Darkness Equals Rest

In the pagan Wheel of the Year (or at least the one with which I’m familiar), we’ve just passed Samhain, the end of the old year and beginning of the new. But we’ve also entered a time of year when, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, daylight is short and harder to come by, and it’s only going to grow shorter until Yule, a/k/a the Winter Solstice.

This is a hard time of year for me every year. The lessening of daylight impacts my mental health, and the holidays I grew up celebrating at this time of year (primarily Thanksgiving and Christmas) were sources of trauma and pain for me. Things will start getting better for me after the Solstice and Christmas have passed, though the cold New England winter that will prevent me from being outside as much as I would like will continue to have an impact.

These are things of which I’m always aware, and I do know how to manage myself and keep myself as focused and positive as possible through this time. But in the past years, I’ve also often put self-care behind trying to push through doing things. Running RiverEvolutions, working other jobs, keeping my house (mostly) clean, doing things that other people ask me to do…

This is the time of year when, thanks to having to interact more with blood-and-marriage family, I’ve most often heard that yet another year had gone by without my doing anything that mattered or anything that anyone could be proud of. And so even though most of those people are no longer in my life, and I know I’ve accomplished things people told me I couldn’t, and have accomplishments I can be proud of, it’s the time of year when I get the hardest on myself for not doing “enough,” whatever “enough” is. And so I push too hard, and try to do too much, and don’t honor my own needs.

This year, I’m trying to be different about that. I mean, seriously, who am I trying to impress by pushing through the darkness to do things that sometimes I’m not even sure have a purpose? It’s a time of year when some forms of life enter hibernation, and some just settle in to keep warm until spring, and I think I–at least the business “I”–am going to follow their lead.

I’m not shutting down RiverEvolutions. I believe strongly in this business. I believe people need balance, relaxation, and clarity, and I have seen through working with clients that I can help them achieve those things. I know where I was fourteen years ago before I learned Chios Energy Healing, and I know how far I’ve come–even when voices from the past pop into my brain to tell me I haven’t come any distance at all. They’re wrong.

But I do believe there are times to work and push, and there are times to rest and recharge. There are times to plant seeds, and to harvest them, and to cover the garden with warmth and let the snow fall.

I’m still open to clients on a very limited basis for both Chios Energy Healing and channeling; very limited meaning a maximum of 2 clients per week. I’m still working with my students, and I’m really pleased to watch their progress, and honored they chose me to work with. I’m still poking at tentative plans and ideas for RiverEvolutions for the future.

For the next couple of months, though, I’m turning inward. Looking at my own healing, and seeing where the weak spots are. Relearning what I learned from my mentor 14 years ago that put me on this path in the first place. Relearning what I learned 3 years ago when I was charged with creating this practice and guiding people on their journeys.

Relearning the “me” that exists under the years of sludge and other people’s voices. Because I will be far more effective guiding others to learning who they are when I’m doing a more effective job of remembering who I am, and taking care of myself.

Honoring a Need

Today is the third day I sat down to try to write this blog post. And it’s the third day that I looked at my planned topic and my brain said, “Nope, not doing it. Too tired.”

It wasn’t a hugely involved topic. It was more that I wasn’t as clear as I would have liked on what I wanted to say about it, and trying to put words together was resulting in a lot of mental twisting and turning. I’ve also been fighting off a cold (thanks to working in two elementary schools a couple days a week) and, as often happens at a season change, haven’t been sleeping well, so my creativity is not at its peak.

So instead of sitting here forcing the post I’d intended to write, which would have resulted in some half-assing and inaccurate phrasing, and probably in the energetic vibration of “I don’t wanna do this” coming through, at least to those who are sensitive to energy, I chose to write a post about how I’m not writing the post I’d planned. Because I think sometimes we all need the reminder that it’s okay to give our brains a break. It’s okay to say, “I can’t think about this right now,” or “I can’t complete this project this week,” or whatever.

Obviously if it affects your job or interferes with someone else’s needs, you might need to think about it more and maybe do some negotiation or compromise. But the world isn’t going to end because I wrote this blog post instead of the one I’d planned. It won’t end if my post is under 400 words instead of close to 1000.

It won’t end if I take the time to honor what I need.

Sometimes, I think that especially those of us who were brought up to believe we were responsible for everyone else forget that our needs matter too, and that the world doesn’t actually end if we say no to some things. So this is just a reminder for all of us.

And now I’m going to go honor my need for coffee. Because coffee.

I Have a Confession…

I’m human.

You might be thinking, “Well, duh, everyone is human. How is that a confession?”

It’s a confession because sometimes people fall into the trap of believing they have to have all their shit together, or at least had damn well better act like they do. They hide how they’re really feeling. They present a fully-healed, perfect-ish face to the outside. This seems especially true in the coaching and healing industries, where it’s not uncommon to hear “You can’t help others until you’re healed.” So those who want to help others and haven’t finished their own healing *pretend* they have so people will believe they can help.

It doesn’t work that way. Not always. Maybe not even usually. Healing isn’t a thing you reach and that’s the end of it. You make progress. You might be able to shake some of the things that have held you back, and some of the habits and defense mechanisms you’ve developed, but life is an ongoing process, and so is healing.

I grew up with a constant barrage of “What will other people think,” coupled with constant judgment, bullying, and emotional abuse. I tried my hardest to hide all the things that were “wrong” with me so people would like me and wouldn’t treat me like crap. I hid who I truly was because the alternative was to let people actually know me–which would mean they wouldn’t like me, which would mean they might hurt me.

I’ve done a lot of work on myself over the decades. I’ve learned that other people’s opinions of me don’t define me and in the long run don’t matter…but sometimes, I forget that. Sometimes, especially as a healer and coach, I start thinking I have to at least present a fully-healed facade to the world or no one will want to work with me. I bury my struggles so no one will see them and think less of me. Instead of leaning on the people who care about me, I decide I shouldn’t bother them, and just hold everything in until I can’t hold it anymore.

I have depression, anxiety, and complex post-traumatic stress disorder. These are illnesses, and they aren’t going anywhere. There’s no cure. There’s treatment, which is varying levels of effective, and there are management strategies, some of which I’ve learned and some I’ve developed myself, because I know what works for me.

But despite best efforts, sometimes those illnesses flare up, and those are the times I’m most likely to bury things and try to convince myself I can handle everything without help. The demons of screwed-up brain chemistry and brain alterations caused by trauma start whispering to me that I can’t count on anyone else, shouldn’t count on anyone else, and if anyone finds out I’m struggling, they’ll think I’m a whineass. I don’t deserve to be helped, according to those demons. I deserve to feel like crap, and that’s what anyone else would tell me.

Obviously, that isn’t true, but those demons can be pretty damn persuasive.

I have come a very long way in my life. I have done a lot of healing and a lot of work. It isn’t always steady forward progress; most healing isn’t. There will be setbacks and backtracks, and that’s okay. The point is to keep moving as forward as possible, and accept that when the setbacks happen, they don’t equal failure. They equal being human.

Over the past few months, the demons have been especially loud as I’ve tried to get River Flow Healing fully off the ground. This has been due to a combination of the stress of trying to start and run a business, some personal life stressors, and the medication I’m on becoming ineffective, which is a problem because there is a very limited number of medications I can take without adverse reactions. (If you’re someone who doesn’t believe in medication for mental illness, more power to you, but please post on your own venue about your opinion instead of starting an argument here. For me, and for many other people I know, medication is not only beneficial but vital. Nothing works for everyone, everything works for someone. And I have tried treating my illnesses both without and with medications.)

For the past few months, I’ve forgotten to let myself be human. I’ve become convinced that I can’t let anyone see that I’m not fully, perfectly healed, or I’ll never have clients. I’ve shut down and operated on autopilot, compartmentalizing the negative thoughts and emotions instead of managing them.

But I am human. I’m not some magical being who doesn’t experience pain or fear or flashbacks. I’m not here to show others how to become perfect. I started my healing journey at a much lower point and I’ve progressed to where I am now, and I’m continuing to progress, and I’m here to tell and show others how I’ve done it and how they can too. To be a healer, you don’t have to be fully healed. You just have to be more healed than you were, and continuing to work on it.

So yeah. That’s my confession. I’m human. But I’m a human who’s been where you might be, and if you think I can help you, I would love to try.

Much-Needed Respite

Every year for the past few years, in May, I’ve gone to a spiritual event/retreat. Sometimes it’s relaxing. Sometimes, depending on what’s going on in my life, it isn’t.

This year, I wasn’t really looking forward to going because of some issues in my personal life that were taking most of my emotional bandwidth. I almost backed out of going at all, but I’d made some commitments I needed to fulfill during the event, and I don’t break commitments if I can help it. So I went.

One of my commitments was teaching a Chios Energy Healing Level 1 workshop. I’d done the workshop at this event before, a couple of years ago, and was looking forward to sharing Chios with more people. Although fewer people came than I’d hoped, the important thing was people came! And learned, and seemed interested. A few people later mentioned having wanted to go, but they weren’t able to because of scheduling conflicts. So hopefully I’ll be able to offer the workshop again next year.

Aside from that, I wasn’t able to put as much energy into the event as I usually do. My body decided to rebel against me, leading to my needing shuttle rides around the campground where the retreat is held and to my going to bed before 10 every night. (Usually more like 8. Which is earlier than I ever go to bed at home.) During whole-group activities, I had to sit down and observe for the most part, though I was able to take an active role in one.

I wasn’t happy about it. I seriously dislike not being in control of my body, and the pain and exhaustion were beyond my control. But at the same time, at least I was at the retreat. I was able to participate to some extent, and I had plenty of time to reset and relax. Maybe that’s *why* I was exhausted and in pain. Maybe it was the Universe’s way of telling me to use the retreat to slow down and rest for a while.

Sometimes that’s the way things go. If you don’t take the gentle nudges toward the best course for you, the Universe steps in and gives you a not-so-gentle shove.

I came home from the retreat feeling more positive than I had beforehand, and feeling more rested as well. And I’m looking forward to being there again next year.

The Vibrational Cycle

Last week, I talked about energetic vibration and how raising it can help you create a more positive reality for yourself. Energetic vibration doesn’t change on its own. A lot of factors contribute to the health of your energy system, and to your physical and mental health. And they’re all intertwined.

One of the biggest things that can contribute to having a lower vibration is having a depleted or imbalanced energy system. If your chakras are blocked or energy isn’t flowing through them properly, your vibration will be lower. If there are holes in your energy field through which energy is leaking out, you’ll feel run-down, which might lead to you feeling cranky and snapping at people, which will lower your vibration.

Everything works together. You don’t exist in a vacuum, and neither do your energy system, physical and physiological systems, and your mind and emotions. As you go through your day, you’ll encounter and be affected by other humans.

For example, you’re driving to work. Other drivers are on the road. One of those drivers changes lanes suddenly, cutting you off, so you have to slam on your brakes.

If you’re already operating with a depleted or damaged energy system, you’re likely feeling tired and unwell. You’re putting your reserves into getting through the day, so you don’t have anything left over to keep you from losing your temper with the guy who just cut you off.

Adrenaline courses through you, likely along with stress hormones like cortisol, due to the sudden danger of a potential collision. You start yelling and pounding the steering wheel with your fist. Your chest hurts from the sudden tightening of the seat belt when you hit your brakes. People behind you are honking, which just raises your temper even further. How dare they be pissed off at you, when the dipstick in front of you was the one who caused the problem?

On an energetic level, small holes start forming in the energy field around your fist and chest. Your third chakra, which governs emotions, was probably already out of balance, and it goes even further out of balance as you yell and swear. With the rush of adrenaline, your sacral chakra also has gone out of balance. Your head starts aching, with additional damage and effects on your third eye chakra and the energy field around it.

The immediate situation calms down. The dipstick driver has already gone on their merry way, unaware of the issues they caused. This causes you to feel angrier, but you accept you can’t do anything about it. The rush of hormones settles. You take a few deep breaths, stop yelling, and continue on your drive to work.

But all day, you keep thinking about the driver who cut you off, and each time you think about them, your anger rises again. Your headache doesn’t let up, which leads to you feeling more frustrated and impatient than usual with your job or coworkers. By the end of the day, you’re exhausted, you’re pissed off, and all you want to do is go home and hide, except that you have to get through the traffic first, and then you have to deal with whomever you share your home with before you can actually relax.

Quite likely, meanwhile, things have continued going wrong with your day, and each additional piece of stress leaves you feeling angrier, which leaves you feeling more physically run down, which leads to difficulty focusing or handling situations in your job, which leads to even more things going wrong.

Your vibration was already low because general day-to-day stress, lack of attention to your own well-being, forgoing self-care and rest, and other things depleted and unbalanced your energy system. In turn, this affected your physical health and well-being, which affected your ability to manage your emotions effectively. Losing your temper affected you physically and energetically, which impacts your health, which impacts your ability to manage emotions effectively, and round and round it goes. And the lower your vibration goes, the more things that further lower your vibration occur.

To raise your vibration, you need to break the cycle. In the moment, immediately after the driver cuts you off in traffic, it isn’t easy to do this, but you can start by trying to take the deep breaths instead of yelling and swearing. Pull to the side of the road, if you can, and close your eyes for a moment. Say, out loud if you can, “I intend to raise my vibration to higher and higher levels”; it might feel odd, but just stating the intention starts the process.

In the longer term, you can raise your vibration on a more permanent level by having regular energy healing sessions. Just as you need to see your doctor regularly to keep your body functioning at optimal levels, seeing an energy healing practitioner regularly keeps your energy system in balance, and can repair energetic damage and wear and tear before it leads to depletion.

Just as a lower vibration can lead to more things going wrong, a higher vibration can lead to more things going right. You’re putting out positive, healthy energy, which brings positive things to you. Your healthier energy system leads to a healthier mind and body, each of which leads to further health overall.
Find ways to raise your vibration, whether through meditating, spending time in activities that bring you joy, or even daily stating of “I intend to raise my vibration to higher and higher levels. Keep your physical and mental health in good shape through self-care, attention to your basic needs, and regular medical and, if needed, psychological care. And keep your energetic health in good shape through regular energy healing sessions.

I offer Chios Energy Healing sessions in person or by distance, and would love to work with you on raising your vibration and maintaining your energetic health. Visit the Chios Energy Healing page for more information.

 

Getting In Balance

As I’ve mentioned in the past few weeks’ posts, there are a number of signs that your energy system might be out of balance, and a number of ways that might happen. There are also plenty of potential benefits to bringing your energy back into balance. But how can you do that?

The most effective way to rebalance your energy system and maintain that balance, once you’ve treated any physical or mental causes, is to have regular energy healing sessions with a skilled practitioner. But there are also things you can do on your own that will help.

  1. Rest. Our society is often focused on do, do, do, and achieve, achieve, achieve. We push ourselves to and past our limits. Parents not only deal with their jobs and other obligations and commitments, but also put themselves in the position of straining their resources for their children’s sake. Although “taking time to rest” might feel impossible, it’s important. A car can’t run on an empty gas tank.
  2. Put time and focus into your health. See your health care professional(s) regularly. If you have health concerns, seek treatment instead of letting the concerns linger and grow. Be mindful of what and how much you eat. If possible, and with your doctor’s guidance if necessary, make sure you have some sort of physical activity on a regular basis.
  3. Meditate. Even five minutes of sitting alone quietly with your eyes closed can be of benefit.
  4. Create or stay connected to a spiritual practice, if this feels right for you. “Spiritual” can mean something as simple as observing a tree; it doesn’t have to be religious or connected to a deity. Spiritual practice has different meanings for different people, so go with what works for you.
  5. Do things that cause you to feel happy or positive. This might even include doing something that you enjoyed as a child, like coloring or blowing bubbles. Anything that boosts your mood will help you energetically and in other ways.

And of course, treating yourself to an energy healing session will help. I’m open to new clients now; see my Chios Energy Healing page for more information.

Benefits of Balance

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been talking about what happens when your energy system is out of balance and what might cause that imbalance. Today, I’d like to share some of the benefits you might experience when your energy system is in balance.

It’s important to note, as I’ve done in the previous posts, that energy is not everything. Energy healing is not a substitute for medical or mental health treatment, and any physical or mental symptoms should be discussed with a professional to ensure that illnesses or injuries are treated effectively before looking toward energetic treatment.

If your energy system has been out of balance, you have probably experienced some negative effects, as I discussed in my February 14th post. When your system is back in balance, here are some positive results you might see. No results are guaranteed, but these are some that I myself have experienced after receiving energy healing treatment, and that my clients have reported.

  1. You might feel more rested and find yourself sleeping better, particularly if you have also received treatment for underlying causes of exhaustion or poor sleep.
  2. You might find it easier to focus your attention on tasks you want to complete, whether those are work-related, household chores, or simply things you want to do for yourself.
  3. You might find that things that have stressed you out don’t have as much of an effect on you.
  4. You might find yourself better able to effectively and constructively express and manage your emotions. (If you are experiencing emotional or mental distress, please seek help from a professional.)
  5. You might experience an increase in positive emotions.
  6. You might feel more energized or motivated.
  7. Your sense of well-being and connection to yourself might increase.
  8. Other aspects of your life might become better or more easily balanced, such as your work, family, and social life.
  9. You might gain more clarity on situations you’ve been trying to address.

These are only some of the benefits I’ve experienced or have been told about by clients. Again, nothing is guaranteed, and while you may also experience health benefits, energy healing is not a replacement for traditional health care.

If you’re interested in seeing what benefits you can receive from an energy healing session, I have openings for new clients! Visit my Chios Energy Healing page for more information.

What Imbalances Energy?

Last week, I listed some possible signs that your energy system may be out of balance. A number of things can cause that to happen. Our energy system, physical body, and mental/emotional state are all intertwined, so what affects one can affect the others. Here are a few things that might cause an energetic imbalance.

  1. Physical illness or injury. If something has affected your physical body, it has also had an impact on your energy system. The most common result I’ve found from physical illnesses and, especially, injuries is one or more holes in the energy field. The first step to treating an illness or injury should always be to consult a medical professional if it’s serious enough, or at least to treat the illness or injury the way you usually would (for example, putting ointment and a bandage on a cut). But treating the physical component doesn’t always help the energetic component get back into balance.
  2. Emotional “injury.” Again, what affects you mentally or emotionally also affects you energetically. Something as seemingly minor as being called a name on the playground as a child can have a long-lasting impact on your energy system, including possibly blocks in the energy field and/or one or more chakras. If you are struggling mentally or emotionally, consult a medical or mental health professional first.
  3. Stress. You probably already know what stress can do to your body and mind. It can also, as a friend of mine puts it, “wonk up your energy system.”
  4. Poor self-care or health habits. Not giving yourself time to rest or to get enough sleep. Not allowing time to connect with family or friends in positive ways. Pushing yourself too hard at work or in your personal life. Not eating in healthy ways, or exercising. (Before making any changes in eating or exercise habits, it may be wise to check in with your doctor, particularly if you have health diagnoses.) Any of these things can cause you to get run down physically or mentally, and therefore energetically.
  5. Suppressing your emotions. Too many of us are taught not to express how we feel, at least not when those feelings are negative. Anger is the most common one we’re told to stuff down and hide, but some of us are also taught not to show when we’re sad, bored, etc. Burying those emotions doesn’t make them go away; it causes them to build up and grow stronger, and that causes problems for us energetically and in other ways.
  6. External factors. Particularly for those of us who are empathic, what’s going on around us, both in our immediate environment and the world as a whole, can have a strong impact.

There are other things that may also cause our energy systems to go out of balance, but these are the most common. If you feel that your physical or mental health might be a factor, please consult a professional; energy healing is not a substitute for medical or mental health treatment.

However, energy healing can help rebalance your energy system once physical and mental factors have been addressed. I have openings for new Chios clients, and I would love to help you get back into balance. Visit my Chios Energy Healing page for more information.

Six Signs of Energetic Imbalance

Energy is a tricky thing. We talk about feeling low-energy or high-energy. Some of us say things like “Their energy just didn’t feel right.” But we don’t always realize the effects our lives have on our energy systems, or that our energy systems have on our lives.

Each person’s energy system is a delicate balance of flow. Too much flow, and people might feel overwhelmed or out of control. Too little, and people might feel exhausted or angry without knowing why. And it doesn’t take much to imbalance that flow.

Next week, I’ll talk a little about some of the things that might cause energetic imbalance. But first, let’s look at some signs that your energy might be out of balance.

  1. You feel “off,” but can’t express any more specifically what that means. You just don’t feel right physically or emotionally. You aren’t sick; it just feels like you aren’t quite in step with the world.
  2. You’re experiencing pain in part of your body. To be clear, if you’re experiencing any physical pain, the first thing to do is talk to a medical professional to rule out any physical causes. Energy doesn’t do everything, and energy healing is not a substitute for medical treatment! But, for example, if you have a dull ache in your throat, you have no physical illness (like a cold), and you’ve seen a doctor to rule out other possible causes, it may be that your throat chakra is blocked. A headache that isn’t related to a physical illness might be a sign that your third eye chakra is overactive Again, check for the physical causes first!
  3. Things that usually don’t faze you are stressing you TF out. No amount of deep breaths or meditation or whatever tool you usually use helps. Stress seems to want to be your new best friend, and it takes very little to set it off.
  4. You’re exhausted. It feels like every step you take is through quicksand. All you want to do in the evenings is hide under the covers and sleep. This is another case where seeing a medical professional to rule out other causes first is important. Exhaustion can be caused by physical or mental illness, and you’ll want to be certain that isn’t what’s going on before you decide it’s an energy thing.
  5. Your emotions aren’t cooperating. Your emotional responses to certain things are more intense, or less intense, than usual. You feel frustrated when you would usually feel happy. I can’t stress this enough: Talk to a medical or mental health professional to rule out other causes first. But this can definitely be due to an energetic imbalance.
  6. Your instincts are telling you your energy system is out of balance. You know you better than anyone else does. If you strongly feel there’s an energetic imbalance, there probably is. Trust yourself.

There are other things that might indicate an imbalanced energy system, but these are the most prominent signs I’ve seen. Always check in with yourself to assess how you’re feeling, and always check in with a medical professional if you’re concerned or have physical symptoms. But energy is intertwined with physical and mental health, so even when there is a medical cause and you’re receiving medical treatment, something energetic could also be going on. It’s worth finding out.

If you’re wondering whether your energy system might be out of balance, schedule a Chios session with me! All sessions begin with a 15-minute consultation during which I will tell you honestly whether you’re dealing with imbalances and whether I think you should consult a doctor as well. Visit my Chios Energy Healing page for more information and to schedule a session!

Disclaimer

This post is not a disclaimer. Though the previous sentence might be.

As a holistic practitioner, I have to be very careful about what I say on my website, to clients, and in marketing materials. Laws in my state–and in most states, I believe–regulate holistic practices to some extent. If you claim to be something that falls under those laws and you aren’t licensed, you’re going to run into problems.

More importantly, the government regulates websites, and one of the things they look for is a claim of medical practice by someone who isn’t a doctor. There have been cases of energy healers and other practitioners being sued, either by clients or the government, because wording on their site implied or flat out said they practiced medicine.

Someone asked me why I repeat the phrase “energy healing is not a substitute for traditional medicine” so many times on my site, along with stating that I am not a medical or mental health professional. The possibility of being sued or accused of fraud is why. I’m not a doctor. I’m not a licensed anything. I am a Certified Chios Master Teacher and have a diploma in Life Coaching, but that doesn’t make me a trained medical or mental health professional. It makes me someone who has studied to the point of knowing what I’m doing, and more importantly, knowing what I can’t do.

One of the testimonials on my Chios Energy Healing page is slightly revised, with the client’s consent, from the version I received. Their version included the word “diagnosed,” as in “Kim diagnosed an issue I was having.” (That isn’t an exact quote.) That’s a red-flag word; diagnosing is something a doctor does. So I had to rewrite it.

I’ve also had to change some of my website copy. I have had a client tell me their blood pressure dropped to normal for a few days after a session, but I can’t say that on my site, because that implies I’m practicing some form of medicine. Instead, I have to focus on the other effects, such as feeling calmer and more relaxed.

To some people, it might seem like I’m going overboard with the disclaimers on my site, but I don’t feel that I am. Chios and other techniques I’ve used help my clients. I want to be able to continue to give them that help. And that means being careful about who and what I say I am.