“What Do You Want?”

Recently I was talking with my close friend, who often acts as a mentor to me, and the conversation turned to my social life. My social life is an ongoing source of frustration for me, because I’m still building a social circle, and sometimes going to events or getting together with friends is difficult because of transportation issues or scheduling.

I told him I wished I had the social abilities he seems to have. Some days, he’s in contact with probably dozens of people, between face to face interactions, texting, phone calls, and various venues of online messaging. Setting aside the contacts that are related to his business, not his personal life, there are still well over a dozen social interactions in any of his days. I said I’m sometimes hard on myself because I don’t reach out to people, and I don’t take the time to message people online very often.

He said, “Before you worry about messaging, and instead of being hard on yourself, first you need to figure out if that’s really what you want. What do you want?”

Good question. As a holistic mentor, one of my roles in my clients’ lives is to help them figure out what they want, but sometimes I struggle to answer that question for myself. My brain tells me I “should” want to have friends, to keep in touch with people, to act a certain way online and in social situations… but are those things I really want? Or are they just the “shoulds” that people have fed to me in my life?

When you’re sure you want something in your life, but you hold back from going after it or procrastinate, or make excuses about why you aren’t doing it, ask yourself what you want. Because what you *think* you want might not actually be it.

Believing In Yourself

Every once in a while, I start to doubt myself. I wonder if I’m going to gain the clients I want, or be able to help people, or write anything people want to read. I wonder why things aren’t seeming to work out the way I’d like.

It’s human nature to have doubts and fears. Finding someone who doesn’t have those is rare, even among life coaches and motivational speakers. Every once in a while, almost everyone has questions go through their minds about the things they’re doing.

The key is to keep doing it anyway. To ignore the questions if they’re holding you back, or answer them if doing so seems like something that might be helpful. Sometimes trying to answer those doubts and questions can lead to a new way of looking at the situation, and that can lead to a new way of doing whatever it is you’re trying to do.

Deep down, I know that I’m an excellent healer and mentor. I know I have the knowledge and skills to help my clients, and I know those clients will find me when I’m ready to work with them. I believe in my skills and abilities, even if sometimes I forget for a little while that I believe in them. And so deep down is where I need to look when those doubts and questions arise.

The brain tells you things are going wrong, or you aren’t doing it right or aren’t going to succeed. But the heart knows the truth. Your energy system knows the truth; when you feel doubt, you might feel your entire energy system contract, but when you believe in yourself, you feel yourself opening up, and that brings more answers and more possibilities.

So when doubts arise, keep working. Keep believing. Even if those doubts seem louder than the belief, keep going anyway. You’ll get there.

Teaching

At Rites of Spring this year, I did a Level 1 Chios(R) Energy Healing workshop, as I mentioned a week or so ago. It was a great experience. I really enjoyed working with the eight students who attended. I felt confident about my teaching, and liked seeing the students understanding the concepts and feeling the energy flow for themselves.

That reminded me of how much I used to love teaching. I was a certified special education teacher years ago. I worked as a teacher, aide, or substitute over the course of about sixteen years, working in every public school grade level at one time or another. I got out of teaching because bureaucracy and paperwork were interfering with the reason I wanted to teach in the first place: working with students. I also moved from Maine to Massachusetts, and couldn’t get my certification transferred without going back to school to get an advanced degree, something I didn’t feel inclined to do.

I tried substitute teaching after I moved, because I didn’t need certification for that, but it was only about a month after I’d had major surgery. I wasn’t physically or mentally recovered enough to deal with a day of teaching, and the experience ended up being so negative I chose not to try again.

That was the last time I really taught anything. I’ve done informal “teaching” in that sometimes I end up educating people I know in person or online about certain things, but that’s been about it until the Chios workshop.

I loved teaching that. I loved seeing the excitement of my students as they learned and practiced the techniques. I’m already planning to offer the workshop again next year, and I can’t wait.

I want to teach more. And I’m planning to. I’m taking private Chios students now (see the Chios page for more info), and I’ll be offering the workshop through some area community ed programs. I’m also putting together an 8-week class using A Story You Tell Yourself, which I’m planning to do through community ed first and then maybe in other venues, including possibly online.

I’ve known since the River Flow part of my journey began that teaching and speaking were meant to be part of my path. I’m really excited to be figuring out how!

Recalculating…

I’ve been in a state of recalculation lately. You know how sometimes when you’re using your GPS and take a wrong turn, it says it’s recalculating? That’s where I’m at.

In my life, I’ve done a lot of things because other people told me I should, or I had to. Even if those things felt counterintuitive to me, I ignored the intuition and listened to the other people. This has often led to things not quite working out for me. I’ve spent inordinate amounts of time doing social media promotions that didn’t work because I half-assed them. Writing books that aren’t fun to read because my heart wasn’t in them. Taking classes out of which I got virtually nothing because they weren’t on subjects I really wanted to learn.

I’ve taken a lot of wrong turns.

But the cool thing about life is that when you take a wrong turn, you aren’t locked into continuing in that direction. You can recalculate and find a different route. If there’s too much construction on a road you’re driving down, you find an alternate way to get where you’re going. The same is true of life. If a route you’re taking to get to a goal doesn’t work for you, you find a way that *does* work.

I’m working on figuring out what works. I’ve already made some changes to this website to reflect some of the new direction. I’m no longer offering guided readings, other than at special events like psychic fairs (and then only if asked), because my heart wasn’t in them and I don’t feel that’s where my best skills lie. I’m good at them, and the readings I’ve done have helped people, but that isn’t part of the route I want to take for River Flow.

I’ve decided against some of the things I was planning to write, both nonfiction and fiction. I’ve reversed my decision about taking one of my pen names out of existence, and am focusing on promoting the few books still available under that name, as well as promoting the books available under my other name.

I’m trying really, really hard to get a grip on time management, which unfortunately is something about which I have a mental block. I want to push that block out of the way so I can stop rushing through things to make sure I get everything on my list completed, and stop spending time doing nonproductive things when I want to be productive.

It’s a work in progress. Life often is. But I’m thankful for the chance to step back from the wrong route and recalculate to find a better one.

Survey Says…

To help in my development of the A Story You Tell Yourself program, I’ve put together a short survey. If you have a few moments to take it, I would greatly appreciate it!

Believing What I’m Worth

A while back, I listened to a webinar about running a coaching business. One of the points the leader of the webinar made was that people, especially women, often develop products and a business but then don’t charge what they’re really worth. Because they don’t *believe* what they’re really worth.

I can say that’s definitely true for me. My past has led to me constantly underestimating my own worth, whether it’s as a person in general or as a parent or as a healer and coach. This has been a problem in trying to build River Flow Healing. I second-guess myself and doubt myself quite a bit, which is not an effective way to draw people who trust that I know what I’m doing and want to work with me.

My past impressions about money also play a role. Money has always been a difficult topic for me, and when it comes to my business, I don’t want to charge “too much,” because people might get upset that I cost that much and might think I’m not worth it.

That’s a major fallacy in my thinking. I truly know what I’m doing, and I bring value to my clients. That’s worth a lot!

I’m still working on myself as well as on the business. Improving one’s life and outlook isn’t a one-and-done kind of thing; it’s an ongoing, often life-long process. I’m learning to have more confidence in my worth and value, and that means I’ll get there.

Studying

I’ve been doing a lot of studying over the past few months. So much that some of it kind of leaks out of my brain. It’s a good thing I take notes!

When I was in school, studying was something I tried to avoid at all costs. I didn’t care about the things my teachers were trying to drill into my head, so I sat in class and mostly listened, took notes if I thought I should (or if the teacher required note-taking as part of the grade), and pretty much took tests from that. I often did homework the morning it was due, as I sat in the school cafeteria chatting with my friends.

The traditional school structure didn’t work for me. I didn’t fit in as a student, or as a peer. I wanted to do and learn my own things in my own way.

As an adult, fortunately, I have that option. I’m taking some courses, but they’re online home study courses that move at the pace at which I decide to move. I’m reading a lot of books and taking notes about the things that resonate for me, or things that I believe will be beneficial for me to know.

I wish I’d had the option to learn this way when I was in school. For years, I daydreamed about starting a school where kids could do exactly that: Learn at their own pace in ways that made sense to them.

There are schools like that in existence, and may well have been when I was growing up. Some forms of homeschooling, such as unschooling, operate on exactly that concept.

I hope someday it’s widely recognized that people are not cookies cut from the same cutter. We learn in different ways, and have different interests and needs. One thing we do have in common, though: We can all succeed if we’re given the right tools and opportunities. I wish that happened more often.

A Bit of History

Thousands of years ago, people began to recognize the power of the human touch in healing others. In ancient civilizations in places such as China and India, scholars identified the human energy system and discovered that through touch, energy in the auras and chakras, or meridians, could be manipulated, thereby causing improved physical and emotional health. In other places, faith healing or laying on of hands has been practiced for decades or even centuries.

Whether you believe the healer is manipulating the energy alone, or a higher power of some sort is assisting, the fact that energy healing or touch healing has been practiced in one form or another for millennia indicates that people believe it works.

Energy healing, put simply, is the practice of using certain types of touch or other methods to balance the human energy system. While some methods, such as faith healing, probably wouldn’t put it quite that way, the principal is the same. Touch in and of itself can be healing for many people, partly because through touch, we share energy with one another. When the touch is done with intention, using certain techniques or methods, it can be incredibly powerful.

I was trained in Chios® Energy Healing and another modality developed by my teacher (which I’m not naming here because I don’t practice it any longer, and because as best I can tell he isn’t yet training others in it). Both are based on the chakra system: Seven major energy centers on the human body corresponding to seven aura layers that surround the body. The chakras rotate at a certain speed, while the energy field vibrates at a certain level, which is not the same for everyone.

The healing methods I learned employ certain hand placements and other techniques to repair poor functioning or damage to the chakras and aura layers. While there are other methods of healing, such as crystals or flower essences, for the next few weeks I’m going to be explaining energy healing from the perspective I learned. That isn’t to say that the way I do it is “right” or that other methods aren’t as valid. There are many ways to heal and maintain health, and all of them work and are equally valid.

Roadblocks

What are your roadblocks?

It’s relatively common for people to put up roadblocks in their lives. The “I can’t” and “I shouldn’t” that cause us to avoid doing things we want to do, or cause us to stop trying if we aren’t immediately successful. Of course, those roadblocks are often what cause us not to be successful in the first place. We aren’t always aware of our own roadblocks, though.

Money is a big one for some people. They get stuck on “I need to make money,” and that blocks them from doing things they love, or from pursuing an opportunity that doesn’t look lucrative.

Doubt is a huge roadblock for some. We doubt we have the capability, or that we deserve to do what we’re trying to do, or that it’s even possible.

Fear is probably the biggest roadblock of all. Fear of not having enough, not being enough, not doing enough. Fear of failure—and sometimes, fear of success.

Those are far from the only roadblocks people experience in their lives, but they’re among the most common.

So what are your roadblocks? What is stopping you right now from doing something you would love to do, or something you believe would make your life better? Think about those things. Try to reason with yourself about them. Imagine what your life would be like if those roadblocks went away.

The thing about roadblocks is that we put them up ourselves, sometimes without even realizing it. And since we put them up, we can also tear them down. Recognizing what they are is the first step. Then figuring out, on our own or with help and support from friends, family, and/or professionals, how to remove them.

And then the way is clear for us to change our lives. We just have to try.

Polyamory

I know a number of people who are polyamorous, and who have encountered varying degrees of understanding and acceptance. Polyamory and other alternative relationship styles are more common than people realize.

Some people confuse polyamory with the polygamy they’ve heard about in the news. While polygamy can be a form of polyamory, it isn’t the only one—and cults that enforce polygamy have little to nothing to do with polyamory.

Polyamory, put most simply, is having, or having the capacity for, more than one romantic and/or sexual relationship. In general, people include romantic love as a requirement, since the “amory” part of polyamory means love. But as a broader term, polya, as some people call it, can also include sexual relationships that don’t involve romantic love.

There are many different forms of polyamory, and trying to explain them all would take a month or more worth of blog posts. Even then, I would probably miss something. Looking online, you can find a number of resources about polyamory if you’re curious.

There is no “one right way” to do polyamory. Relationship configurations and agreements differ from one person or grouping to another, and there isn’t anything wrong with that. Jealousy is a thing for some polyamorous people, and there isn’t anything inherently wrong with that either, as long as the jealous person owns their emotions and controls their own actions and responses instead of trying to control their partner(s).

I’ve seen debate about whether polyamory is an orientation or a lifestyle choice. Personally I would say it’s both or either. Feeling as if you’re “hard-wired” for polyamory still requires a choice about whether to have polyamorous relationships. For people who consider polya their romantic orientation, *being* polya isn’t a choice, but *doing* polya is.

For other people, it’s entirely a choice. It sounds like the way they would like to conduct their romantic life, so they do it. They don’t necessarily feel like they’re wired that way, they simply like the idea.

That said, polyamory definitely isn’t for everyone. But it is a valid way to live and love.