Looking Ahead to 2021

Happy New Year!

2020 has definitely been one heck of a ride. At this time last year, I sat here making plans for expanding RiverEvolutions, for services and workshops I wanted to offer and for how to bring more visibility to what I do.

And then there was a pandemic.

Instead of being a year of attracting more clients, 2020 was a year of attracting fewer. But it was also a year of taking better care of myself and of doing some serious inner work on my “shadows.” It’s been a beneficial year in a number of ways for me, even if it hasn’t been the year I’d hoped.

I’m cautious about planning for 2021, because I understand more than ever how quickly and vastly things can change. But I do have some things in store.

I’m still offering energy healing sessions, channeling sessions, and my most recent addition, oracle card readings. These services are open to anyone who is interested, but my heart is in working with those who have experienced abuse and trauma and are working to embrace their inner power to create their best lives. The tools and services I offer are those that have helped me in my own healing journey from abuse and trauma and in claiming my own power, and I am excited to offer them to others.

Any time I’ve done sessions with others, mindset coaching becomes part of it. Mindset coaching is gentle guidance and encouragement in recognizing the thought and behavior patterns that hold you back from creating your best life, and identifying ways to counter and break those patterns. This will also continue in 2021, and will be explicitly included. It isn’t a separate service and doesn’t include a separate cost; it’s part of whichever service you choose to have with me. And it is optional; if you aren’t interested in any discussion or coaching around mindset blocks, we can leave it out.

All sessions until further notice are done on Zoom or Facebook video messenger. Zoom is my current preference because of the ability to record the sessions for the client’s future reference, but I have to admit I find Facebook video a bit easier technologically. So it’s up to the client which they prefer. I won’t be offering in-person sessions until I feel confident in doing so without risk to my clients’ health or my own. (Channeling and oracle card readings are also available by email.)

I am not currently planning to offer any classes, workshops, or instruction in 2021. I thought long and hard about this one, because I know a number of practitioners reach potential clients and give added benefit through classes and workshops. For myself, I feel that I need to get a better handle on *how* I want to teach and then determine *what* I want to teach, so I’ll be working on that throughout 2021 and plan to resume offering Chios instruction, as well as other classes and workshops, in 2022. By which time hopefully I’ll be able to offer some in person!

I will be putting together resources for learning, though. Over the past few months, several people have asked, either in Facebook groups or directly to me, about connecting with their guides and learning to channel. That’s one thing about which I feel very called to create resources such as ebooks and videos, so I will be working on that and introducing the resources as they’re ready. That isn’t the only thing I’ll be creating, but it’s the most prominent in my mind right now.

Speaking of channeling, in May I will be releasing the first Messages from Shiva book, in digital form and hopefully print. This is a compilation of the daily channeled messages I share on Facebook, with some additional content and arranged by topic and theme. It’s my hope that this book will bring guidance and encouragement to those who purchase it. I’ll be sharing more info and some giveaways as the release gets closer!

I am continuing my inner work as well, and utilizing resources on trauma-informed coaching and other services so I can offer the most beneficial experiences to my clients.

It’s my hope to offer support and guidance to people navigating their way into the coming year and into their best lives. May 2021 bring us closer to the lives we desire and deserve!

How I Do Oracle Card Readings

Oracle card readings, using my exclusive Seascapes Oracle deck, are one of the tools I offer to clients who are seeking to create and evolve into their best lives. These readings provide guidance and insight about the client’s life, or about specific issues or questions they have.

A number of practitioners offer oracle readings, and there are a number of ways to do a reading. I wanted to share how I do mine.

Right now, real-time readings are only done over Zoom. If you don’t have Zoom, that’s no problem! As long as you have a computer or phone with video and a microphone, we’re good. I set up Zoom on my end and send you the link; at the time of our meeting, you click the link and you and I will be in a “room” where we can see and speak to each other. I can help with minor troubleshooting, or if you aren’t sure of the controls for things like your camera and microphone.

I’ve chosen to do the readings in Zoom because doing so gives me the option to record, and I want to be able to record the reading to send to the client for their reference. So you aren’t only getting half an hour of my time, you’re getting a recorded session to which you’ll be able to refer back as often as you’d like. However, if Zoom isn’t something you prefer to work with, I can also do the readings on Facebook video chat; this doesn’t allow for recording, but is easier to work with.

You’ll have chosen, at the time of scheduling and paying for your session, whether you want a 3-card reading or a 6-card. I recommend 3-card readings if you have a specific question; if you want general guidance, either a 3-card or a 6-card would be appropriate, though you would receive more information in a 6-card reading.

Once we’ve introduced ourselves and talked a little about why you’re having the reading, I pull the cards. I do this through energy; moving my hand over the deck, I feel “pulled” to certain cards. I have found that the first card I draw is usually the one the client needs to hear the most, though it may not be the one that most directly answers the question. 

I show you each card and read the message on it, and then expand on that message. My readings are mostly intuitive; while the messages on the cards are relevant, my intuition and my guides are what show me *how* they are relevant. The expansion includes how the card relates to your question or life, how it relates to the other cards in the reading, and what it might be suggesting in terms of next steps for your life or in the situation you’ve asked about.

After all of the cards have been read, you have time to ask questions for clarification or further expansion on the reading. During this time, I’ve found that some mindset coaching often happens, because thought and behavior patterns come to light that might be holding the client back. While I don’t offer coaching as a separate service, it tends to play a role in all of the services I offer; creating your best life includes recognizing what’s been holding you back from doing so.

After the reading is over, I’ll send you the link for the Zoom recording if we’ve done it on Zoom. For one week afterward, I’m available to you by email or Messenger to answer any additional questions or provide more clarification about the reading. (If you use Messenger to contact me, it won’t be a real-time conversation; it will be similar to emailing back and forth.) 

I also do email readings, which are three cards only. For an email reading, once I’ve received your question or request for a general reading, I pull the cards and send you an email that includes thumbnail images of each card, the cards’ messages, and a brief expansion as I do in a real-time reading. Email readings don’t include the discussion period afterward, and the expansion may not be as full as in a real-time reading, but you still have the one-week option to contact me for further clarification about the reading.

I would love to do a reading for you! Readings are by appointment. To schedule, Contact Us or visit the Readings page for more information. You have the option on that page to purchase a reading and have me contact you for scheduling.

What Are Oracle Readings For?

Oracle cards are a tool for receiving guidance and insight about your life. These cards include messages that give you encouragement or information about situations in your life, including things about yourself that might be holding you back.

When you’re figuring out the next steps in your life, sometimes it’s difficult to figure out what will be in your best interests and highest benefit. We sometimes have trouble seeing this because of mindset issues or things from our pasts that are holding us back and keeping us from seeing clearly. 

Oracle cards can help clarify these things. The cards are objective, but at the same time, because energy is involved in the reading, the cards you draw or someone else draws for you will be relevant to your situation.

Oracle readings don’t tell the future. They aren’t meant as a predictive tool, though sometimes the cards’ messages are relevant to your near future rather than what’s going on with you right now. The cards also won’t tell you what to do; you aren’t likely to pull a card that says “It’s time to change jobs,” for example.

Instead, a card might give you a message such as “Change is coming, consider your options,” or “Meditate and you will find the answer.” Or it might encourage you with a message like “Through this dark time, trust that you’ll arrive in the light.” 

These cards are one tool that can help you clarify and plan the next steps to take as you work to create and evolve into your best life. You can buy your own oracle deck and pull cards for yourself, or have a reading done by someone else, or both. These readings won’t give you all the answers, but they will help you find the answers for yourself.

I’m now offering oracle card readings starting at $40 for an email reading or $50 for a real-time 3-card reading. Visit the Readings page or Contact Us to reserve your custom reading now using my exclusive Seascapes Oracle deck.

Power to Choose

How many times have you heard yourself saying things like “I have to do this” or “I have no choice”? If you’re like most people, those are phrases you probably use fairly regularly.

The truth, though, is that we almost always have a choice. We were created as beings with free will and the power to choose. We might not always *like* the options that are in front of us, but most of the time, if not every time, there are options.

For those of us who have lived in abusive or traumatic situations, that belief in the absence of choice may be particularly entrenched. After all, abuse, by its very nature, is the taking away of power. We don’t have a choice about how we’re treated by our abusers, and we certainly aren’t choosing to be abused. Those things are genuinely beyond our control. But having that power taken away can lead us to believe that we have no power in any aspect of our lives.

One of the most important steps in our healing journeys is to recognize the power we have to make our own choices. That doesn’t mean that we’ll always have options we want to choose! Sometimes when we say we have no choice, what we really mean is “That choice isn’t viable for me because of this reason,” or “Only one of those options comes without consequences.” But that doesn’t mean the other options don’t exist, only that they aren’t something that would work for us.

Freedom to choose doesn’t mean freedom from consequences, which is something people sometimes forget. You might, for example, choose to drive 100 miles per hour on Main Street; you’re free to make that choice. But that doesn’t mean you won’t get pulled over and ticketed or arrested!

Sometimes we confuse the existence of consequences with the absence of choice. As we learn to recognize and embrace our personal power, we need to learn that choice does exist, and to consciously make choices rather than falling back to a default because “there is no choice.”

This is something it’s taken me time to learn, and sometimes I still catch myself saying I don’t have a choice. But at those times, I stop myself and say, “Okay, wait a minute. What are my choices here? Why are choices A and B not valid for me right now?” Going through that process enables me to *consciously* choose option C, rather than just going with it because I’ve forgotten that I have the power to make a choice. I have free will, and I can use it.

The next time you’re faced with a situation in which you believe you don’t have a choice, I invite you to go through the process I just described. Ask yourself what choices exist in the situation. Not what choices you like, or which ones have no or fewest consequences, but just which ones *exist*. Once you’ve done that, look at the possible outcomes of each option, and consciously decide on the option that has the outcome you want.

Embrace and exercise your power of free will, and see how it can help you create the life you want to live.

An Oracle Card Reading

One of the things I’m gearing up to offer through RiverEvolutions (starting November 30!) is oracle card readings.

Oracle cards are cards that contain certain messages to guide people through their lives, offer answers to or insight on questions, and so forth. Oracle cards differ from Tarot in that oracle cards don’t include suits, while Tarot do, and the number of cards in an oracle deck vary from deck to deck, while Tarot decks always contain the same number of cards. Tarot cards are interpreted based on the meanings of the suits or other aspects of the cards, while oracle cards often spell out the meaning or part of the meaning in words on the card itself.

In 2006, I created an oracle deck, and have used it in various ways since. I was a little hampered in my use of my own cards because the images I originally used did not belong to me; I had permission to use them, but that permission was withdrawn after about a year. So I had cards with messages and guidance on them, but no pictures, and pictures are an important part of oracle cards.

Fortunately, I found a solution to that issue earlier this year. My deck is now called the Seascapes Oracle, and I’ve been using them as daily cards on my Facebook business page, as well as to do weekly readings on Facebook Live.

I wanted to do a short 3-card reading here to give a sample of what I’ll be offering to individual clients beginning November 30. This is just a general reading; the cards are applicable to anyone seeing them, though they may not resonate or feel relevant to everyone. The message in quotation marks for each card is what is on the card; the rest is my interpretation.

 

 

 

The first card is Limitless Source, “There are no limits to the abundance of the Universe.” You’re feeling reluctant to ask for what you want or need because you’re afraid you’ll be taking something away from someone else. This card says there’s plenty to go around. Whether it’s in your personal life or your business, it’s time to stop holding back and worrying about taking away from others. Reach out to have your needs met, or go after what you want, and know that there is more than enough for everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second card is Cool Waters. “Allow clear water to cleanse your mind and soul.” You’re stuck in the muck, so to speak. “Dirt” from other people’s words and actions in your past–or maybe your present–is covering up your true self and holding you back. This card is both figurative, in the sense that you are covered with the “dirt” other people have left behind and need to cleanse yourself of that energy; and literal, in the sense that spending time in clear water, whether it’s a lake or ocean or your own shower, helps clear your energy as well as cleaning your physical body. So take some time to do this. It might be too cold where you are to spend time in a body of water outside, so take a bath if you’re able, or a shower, and envision or intend that your mind and energy are cleared of the residue left by your past.

 

 

 

 

 

And the third card is A Crystal Vision. “Your sight is obscured by expectations.” Instead of seeing what is truly there in front of you, which might be some pretty awesome stuff, you’re stuck on what you wanted to see or what you believed would be there. You aren’t seeing the good things in front of you because your mind is focused on the things you *don’t* have. Let go of expectations, and know that sometimes, you don’t get what you want or expect because it isn’t what’s truly in your highest benefit. What’s in front of you will benefit you more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So that’s a sample oracle card reading. If you’re interested in having me pull cards for you during one of my Friday Facebook Lives, please join me on the RiverEvolutions Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/riverevolutions) at 12pm Eastern time any Friday or send me a message through that page. And stay tuned for information and details about private card readings starting Monday, Nov. 30!

Some Benefits of Chios Energy Healing

Since 2005, when I was first introduced to Chios Energy Healing, I’ve seen a lot of benefits from it, both as a recipient and as a practitioner. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail in this post, because I need to be mindful of the confidentiality of my past clients, but a few things that I can say:

I’ve found that Chios has helped unlock memories of my past. While the memories themselves aren’t always positive, having them has been invaluable in helping me recover from past traumas and progress in my healing journey. You can’t address what you don’t know is there.

I’ve worked with clients who lived with chronic pain who, after a Chios session, experienced a decrease in their pain level for a few days or even a few weeks. Again, Chios isn’t a medical treatment, but what affects your energy can affect you physically and emotionally.

I’ve worked with clients who were experiencing a great deal of stress, which was affecting them physically as well as mentally and emotionally. After a session of Chios, some of these clients had less stress, and their overall well-being improved for a period of time.

Almost all of my clients have said they gained clarity and mental focus after sessions.

If nothing else, when you experience a Chios Energy Healing session, you relax. For the main part of the session, whether you’re having it in person or by distance, you’re lying down to rest. That alone can have a profoundly positive effect on your well-being.

On October 24, I received my certification as Chios Master of Healing Consciousness. I’m so excited to have attained this level in the Chios modality, and I’m thrilled about being able to offer this even more powerful level of healing to my clients! The CMHC techniques allow me to provide a more intense and beneficial level of healing energy, which in turn facilitates greater healing and well-being for the people with whom I work.

On November 2, I’ll resume offering Chios Energy Healing sessions. For the time being, I am only doing these sessions by distance, since my goal is to facilitate health and healing, not take risks with physical health. In a distance session, I meet with the client via video chat (Zoom or Facebook video messenger, generally) for a short consultation, and then for about half an hour I do Chios techniques for the client while they lie down and rest. We aren’t on video during this part of the session. When I’ve completed the techniques, I contact the client again via video chat so we can discuss what I noticed and what they may have experienced during the healing work.

If you’re curious to find out more about Chios Energy Healing, or to schedule a session, please Contact Us or visit the Chios Energy Healing page.

“Create Your Best Life”

“Create and evolve into your best life” is the tagline for RiverEvolutions, but some people aren’t clear on what I mean by it. So I wanted to take a moment to explain.

I believe all of us have the innate power to bring things into our lives, change our lives, and create what we want to live. This isn’t some magical thing, though some people might call it magic; it’s a power we have purely by virtue of being alive.

As children, a lot of us play games of “make-believe” or talk about what we want to be when we grow up. We don’t recognize limits on our creative power. We believe in magic, we believe we can be whatever we want to be, and we create those things in our minds. And sometimes, those childhood “imaginings” and creations carry over into adulthood.

But sometimes we lose touch with that creative power. It might happen because adults tell us to stop playing “silly” games and make-believe. Sometimes, it happens because our power is taken away through abuse and trauma. We learn that life is a thing that happens to us, and we have to take what we get.

That’s a mindset I was in for a long time, and the events in my life didn’t do anything to change that mindset. But finally, I started realizing that I do have power in my own life. I can make things happen instead of sitting back and waiting. 

What I want in my life is what I can have, if I am focused and believe I’m deserving of having the things I want. If my life isn’t working out the way I want it to, that doesn’t mean I don’t deserve good things; it means I need to examine where I’m not using my creative power, and make changes in those areas.

When I talk about creating your best life, I’m talking about reclaiming your power and using it to make things happen in your life. And evolving? That means learning to *accept* your creative power, learning how to use it, and pushing beyond the fears and “what ifs” to actually put things into place so you can live the life you truly want to live.

Basically, I believe everyone deserves to live a life where they feel fulfilled and happy. Learning to create that kind of life is a journey, one I’m still on myself. But tools like energy healing and channeling have helped me recognize, reclaim, and use my creative power, and that’s what I love to do for others using those tools. For me, part of creating and evolving into *my* best life means helping other people create and evolve into theirs.

Speaking Through Fear

I’ve been working and learning to be better about speaking my truth. Speaking up for what I believe, and expressing who I am and what I stand for.

What I didn’t take into account is how scary that actually can be.

I knew *I* was scared to do it, but chalked up the fear to all the time I spent in environments where speaking up was literally unsafe for me. What I’d forgotten is that in claiming my freedom to speak, I’m also claiming responsibility for the things I say, and sometimes that responsibility includes facing people who respond negatively or who are hurt by my words.

When I am informed that I’ve said something offensive or hurtful, I apologize where warranted and make amends where possible. My right and willingness to speak up doesn’t absolve me of the need to own my shit and take responsibility. But even though I apologize and I respect and validate people’s reactions, that doesn’t mean fear doesn’t raise its head.

In my past, people have harmed, or attempted to harm, me because they didn’t like things I said or just didn’t like me. So when someone approaches me with an issue they have about something I’ve said, while outwardly I try to respond in a respectful and productive way, my inner child is gibbering that the person might hurt me, that they’ll talk behind my back and turn people against me and so on. And anyone who has experienced the gibbering fear of a child can tell you that logic doesn’t always work to quiet the fear.

Then there’s the issue of attracting unwanted attention. Since I’ve begun speaking up more and sharing my messages on Instagram as well as Facebook, I’ve had about half a dozen men respond with propositions and “compliments.” (They might think that “Hey, you’re sexy and I want to be your friend” is a compliment; I do not.) It’s easy enough to block them, but again, my past comes up. I have been preyed on and victimized in the past because I present as female, and so even though I know these men are online (and often in far-away countries) and I can block them, the fear that they’ll stalk me or track me down elsewhere in person or online still looms.

I’m learning. I’m finding the balance between staying quiet out of fear of hurting someone’s feelings or speaking up but in a mindful way. I’m also finding the line between rational fear and irrational, and the more important line between what I am in control of and responsible for, and what is in the control and responsibility of others. I believe I owe people the respect to not hurt them intentionally and to apologize if I cause hurt; I do not believe I owe anyone the choice to keep my mouth shut so they aren’t offended.

(Note that I am referring to individual offense, such as someone not liking it when I state an opinion that is opposed to theirs. I am not referring to things that are offensive, prejudicial, and harmful to entire groups of people, such as racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. speech. I don’t engage in those types of speech knowingly, and if someone calls my attention to something I’ve said that falls under one of those things, I learn from it and am more mindful going forward.)

Saying, “I’m going to use my voice and speak my truth no matter what” is easy. Actually *doing* it is complicated, difficult, and scary. There are a lot of things to weigh, including whether speaking truth is worth the risks. For me, it is, and I hope to learn more over time about how to find the balances I need in order to speak.

My Voice

As a child, I was taught not to use my voice, especially when it came to speaking about the things I knew to be true. My mother became easily overwhelmed when I talked “too much” (meaning, talked the way a young child typically would), and my father was horrified and upset if I talked about magic, having invisible friends, trees talking to me, or any of the other things that made up my world at the time. My father and other adults also told me not to talk unless I had something important to say, with the implication–and sometimes explicit statement–that nothing I had to say would ever be important.

Whether it was because of how adults treated me or something I would have experienced anyway, I also have always had a great deal of difficulty with expressive language. The ideas are there, in my brain, but sometimes the words to express them aren’t. And even when the words are there, sometimes I’m too afraid to speak because of what others might say or do. Anxiety about saying the wrong thing, about being accused of lying or having someone misunderstand me and get angry with me because of it, has been a constant in my life.

I also have difficulty comprehending what others say; sounds get into my ears just fine, but the words sometimes get jumbled or translated into gibberish as they reach my brain. This only adds to my difficulties with speaking and my anxiety about conversations.

As an adult, I lived for about fourteen years in a situation where speaking my truth was literally unsafe. I learned to be quiet no matter what was going on. It wasn’t what I wanted to do, but self-preservation took over.

Now I’m in a safe situation, but with some people who don’t understand or don’t believe in the magic, energy, and other things I’ve rediscovered from my childhood. My entire business is based around those things, but I can’t talk about them to my husband or some other people in my life. They won’t harm me, but their eye-rolling and disrespect aren’t much better.

For many years, I’ve learned not to speak my truth, not to speak up for my needs, not to express my wants and dreams. Even as I started learning about energy, and knew that choosing to be silent would have negative effects on my throat chakra, which could lead to negative effects on my overall health and wellbeing, I was still too afraid to speak. I did energy work on my throat chakra, but didn’t carry that through to speaking up about what I believe in, my gifts and skills, and even who I truly am.

Now, in a couple of weeks, I will be having surgery to remove my thyroid. My immune system has been attacking a gland that resides in my throat, and on top of that there are growths on the thyroid. I had a biopsy that came back with no results due to an issue with the sample; I’ve since had a second biopsy that revealed abnormal cells, and we’re waiting for additional results to determine whether it’s cancer. These issues, and others I’ve experienced due to the deterioration of my thyroid, should be fully resolved by the surgery. But the surgery itself carries the risk of damaging my vocal cords. I could literally, and permanently, lose my voice.

I’m thinking about the positives. The risks are small and unlikely. However, I’m also thinking of how I got here. The fact that my constant and consistent refusal to use my voice has led me to a point where losing it is a possibility. The fact that this condition has been present for at least two years, worsening all that time as I continued not to speak even when I knew there was something wrong in my throat.

I’m learning to speak up now. It’s too late to correct what I’m facing, but I can correct the energies and the habits.

Speak your truth whenever and wherever it’s safe to do so. Use your voice. Avoid my choices, and make the ones that will most benefit you when it comes to speaking up.

Emotions Aren’t Bad

We’re taught that certain emotions are “bad” or wrong. We aren’t supposed to feel them. We’re supposed to suppress them and act like they don’t exist.

The top among these is anger. Especially if you’re a girl, or raised/socialized as one, you’re told to be quiet and “ladylike” and sweet. If you show anger, you’re bad.

This can be common in the spiritual practice world as well. If you’re truly spiritual, so the story goes, you don’t feel anger. You just accept and forgive everyone and everything and feel nothing negative at all ever, because if you do, you aren’t really spiritual.

Bullshit.

Anger, jealousy, fear…all the emotions that some people designate as “bad” are HUMAN emotions. If you’re a human being, odds are good that you feel emotions. Feeling anger is no more “bad” than feeling joy. Emotions are not good or bad; they just are. And trying to force yourself not to feel them often results in just stuffing the emotion down into a little box in your mind—a box that might burst somewhere down the line.

The key isn’t to stop *feeling* emotions. It’s to learn healthy and productive ways to *express* them.

Ultimately, we are each responsible for our own emotions and how we display them. Emotions are neither good nor bad; actions can be, but taking a negative action does not automatically make someone a bad person. 

Feeling emotions is NORMAL. Even emotions we’ve been taught are wrong or bad. Trying to suppress or ignore those emotions can be harmful to us and can lead to them coming up in less manageable ways down the road.

We also dishonor ourselves when we deny our emotions. Many of us who have experienced abuse and trauma have a child self living within our minds, a part of ourselves that became frozen at a time of trauma. In DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy, a technique often used in treating borderline personality disorder and PTSD among other things), that part of us is referred to as the “emotional mind.” In some forms of Witchcraft, it’s Younger Self. Whatever you call it, it’s a part of us, and it’s part of our healing journey to accept, nurture, and work with it. If we’re telling ourselves, “I can’t feel angry, it’s bad, I’m a bad person for feeling this way,” we’re continuing the abuse that damaged us in the first place. We’re taking the words and concepts forced on us by others and internalizing them, and that continues the damage.

Instead, I’ve found it’s far more productive to feel the emotion. To say, “I feel really angry, and that’s okay; how can I deal with this?” Even to express fear of feeling the anger, if that’s present for you. Some coping strategies for anxiety and PTSD can be used for anger as well.

Allowing yourself to feel those emotions and express them in *healthy* ways can help lessen them, and honors you as the awesome human you are.

You aren’t bad if you feel anger. You aren’t “not truly spiritual.” You are human, and you have the right to feel however you feel. You don’t have the right to express those feelings in harmful ways, but you one hundred percent have the right to feel them, and to express them in nonharmful ways. (And if you do express anger or another emotion in a way that’s harmful, that still doesn’t make you a bad person. It still just makes you human. Make apologies, make amends, and get help with learning more effective management strategies if it’s an ongoing problem… but accept yourself as a good person who just needs help to learn better responses to your emotions.)

As a final note, if you’re a parent, please teach your children that emotions are always okay to feel, and teach them healthy, productive ways to express them. Show them that they, too, are good people, and that you love them no matter what emotions they feel. Show them how to love and accept themselves even when the anger seems big and scary, or the jealousy overwhelms them, or the fear seems to cover everything else. Let’s break the cycle of people who believe and preach that it’s bad and wrong to feel human emotions—and the people who, because of those beliefs and preaching, believe that *they* are bad and wrong.