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.

What Would You Like to Know?

At the beginning of June, I began offering channeling as a service to my clients. Although I’m able to do trance channeling, in general I’ve found I prefer relayed channeling. In relayed channeling, I’m listening to my guide Shiva’s responses to my client’s questions and am passing along his words, but I am also able to offer empathy and clarification. When I’m in trance, Shiva is the one speaking, and I can only address what he’s said after I come out of trance.

I’ve had the honor of doing channeling sessions for a few clients now, and it excites me to see how much help and understanding they seem to get from hearing what Shiva has to say. I have openings for more clients, both for real-time sessions, which can be done in person or by video chat, or for email channelings. I would love to work with you to help you get the answers to the things you want to know.

To give you an idea of what you might receive in a session, Shiva and I did a brief channeling for this blog post. This one was done with me in trance. (Note: Shiva refers to me as “Ganatram,” a name he apparently gave me several lifetimes ago.)

Many of you have questions about your lives, but hesitate to ask any, whether human or otherwise. Why do you fear the answers to the questions you know you must ask? In some cases, these answers may shake your view of the world to its core. Many of the beliefs you hold within you are incorrect, and yet those beliefs have taken on an existence of their own, as it were. They cling to you as you to them, and they will allow you to hear nothing else, because they would then lose their grip upon you. And you would lose that with which you have become familiar.

The unknown is frightening. When my Ganatram first began to work upon her traumas and beliefs, she questioned who she would be without them, and the fear of not knowing who she might become was greater than the pain of the beliefs. So, too, is it for many of you. Pain and fear are not your preference, yet they are familiar and therefore feel safe to you. Countering those beliefs and fears is frightening, because you do not know who you would be without them.

It is time to learn the truth. Time to seek out the validation of what you know deep inside, beneath the fear, to be real. Those who care for you are with you, even when unseen. Trust in this.

* * *

Could Shiva and I help you uncover your truths? Visit my Channeling page to learn more about how to work with us and schedule a session or arrange an email channeling.

Listen to Yourself

In all the things I’ve been writing lately about channeling, I realized I’ve forgotten one very important point.

Your guides–or my guides, or the guides of anyone else who might channel for you–know a lot more than humans do. There’s no question about that. They have access to more knowledge and wisdom than we have, and they’re happy to share that with us if we ask.

But no matter how much they know, you aren’t obligated to listen to them. And a true guide will never force you to listen.

I’ve met people who have told me their guides call them “stupid” if they don’t listen, or insult them, or order them to do things whether they want to or not. I recently had a conflict with someone close to me who claimed that if a guide or being wants to get a message through, they’ll have no problem forcing a human to relay that message whether the human wants to or not. He didn’t seem to see a problem with that, but he had a big problem with my assertion that a truly benevolent being would never do such a thing.

Benevolent beings who work with humans, whether as guides or in other ways, are–well, they’re benevolent. As Shiva puts it, “Free will trumps all.” These beings want to help us and show us love and compassion. Forcing someone to relay a message, or commanding them to follow a course of action no matter what, or insulting them if they don’t listen, is not love or compassion. And it definitely isn’t helpful.

As part of that, while a guide will offer you information or advice if you ask for it, they don’t demand that you accept it. Even when they know they are correct, they leave it up to you whether to listen or not. I frequently refuse to listen to my guide Shiva or one of my other guides, partly out of obstinacy and partly out of fear, and they have never gotten angry, never insulted me, never given me orders. They simply, and patiently, say, “You don’t have to listen. We’ll still be here.” And when I finally accept they were right, or if something negative happens as a result of my not following what they’ve said, they simply, and patiently, say, “It’s okay, we’re here, let’s figure this out. And maybe you could listen this time?”

When you have a channeling done, or speak with your own guides, it’s a good idea to listen to what they have to say. But it’s also a good idea, maybe even a better one, to listen to *yourself*. To your own intuition. Does what the guide says feel true to you, or is your intuition telling you something different? What feels like the best course of action?

A true guide won’t become angry or frustrated if you choose to follow your own inner guidance rather than the guidance they offer, because one of the things these beings want for humanity is for us to learn to listen to ourselves. Even if it turns out the guide was right and our intuition has steered us wrong, choosing our own free will over someone else’s words is not a wrong thing to do. It’s part of learning to connect with yourself and make your own choices, and that’s one of the things guides want for us.

It’s Pride Month…

I’m not sure how wide-spread Pride Month is, but I know in a lot of cities in the US, at least, there are events during the month of June to celebrate people who are LGBTQ+. As the parent of someone who fits into those letters somewhere, I’m glad to see these events exist. It isn’t about shoving one’s sexual orientation or gender in other people’s faces, and despite how offended some folks get, it isn’t about pissing people off either.

It’s about acknowledging the prejudice and discrimination those who are LGBTQ+ have faced throughout history–and continue to face today. It’s about acknowledging people as human beings, regardless of who they love or who they are. It’s about celebrating diversity, love, and respect.

In past years, I’ve gone to the Boston Pride Festival as someone who considered herself an ally. I’ve been an attendee and a volunteer. But I’ve felt like I was watching from the outside, and felt privileged to be allowed to be there.

This year, Pride means something different to me. After years of wondering why I grew up not feeling like a girl (and not particularly wanting to, if “girl” meant acting like the bullies and backstabbers I knew), and why that feeling persisted into adulthood, and after doing a lot of soul-searching and inner work, it finally made sense. I didn’t feel like a girl because my gender isn’t female. It isn’t male either. I’m agender.

Agender means not having a gender. It’s important to note that gender has nothing to do with anatomy/biology (that’s sex), or with whom someone is attracted to (that’s sexual orientation). Gender is who your brain tells you that you are, and how you identify. Although I was assigned female at birth, my brain was never comfortable with being considered female, and male didn’t fit right either.

Gender is a spectrum, not a binary. And this year during Pride Month, I’m going to celebrate having finally recognized where I fit on that spectrum.

I Admire…

…people who aren’t afraid to speak their truth and share it with the world.

As a transformational speaker and coach, that’s what I’m trying to do. But I am still on my journey of opening up and allowing myself to believe I know what I know, and that it’s okay to share the things I know.

Growing up, I was a “pleaser.” The one who tried to do what everyone else around me seemed to want or expect. I didn’t usually dare to say what *I* wanted, or what I believed, because doing so wasn’t necessarily safe. Sometimes it was far safer and easier to just stay quiet. Not that I enjoyed staying quiet. I knew I had things to say that others needed to hear. I just didn’t necessarily believe I should be the one to say them.

One of the hardest tasks in my journey has been letting go of what others might think of me, and just being who I am. Accepting oneself can be difficult at the best of times. When one has been taught that they’re unacceptable, it’s an even harder fight. I’ve learned over the years that not everyone is going to like me, and even those who like me as a person might not like what I have to say, and that’s all okay. They don’t have to like me or my truth, just as I don’t have to like them or theirs.

It isn’t about being liked, or about what others find acceptable or true. My truth might not be true for everyone, and that’s okay too. It’s about liking and accepting *myself* and what I have to say, and knowing that even though not everyone will be happy with it, some will be helped by it. And that’s why it’s important for me to allow myself to speak, because there are still others who need to hear what I have to say.

In Hiding

“Living your truth” is a big thing in the coaching field. Every coach I follow has said it at one time or another, and I definitely have used the phrase myself on more than one occasion.

The thing is, it’s easy to say, but less easy to do.

When you’ve been taught that you have to hide certain things about who you are, or who your family is, you learn that living your truth not only isn’t acceptable, it can be dangerous. If you say the wrong thing to the wrong person, someone might hurt you. At the very least, you might be shunned by the people around you.

Even though I advise others to live their truth, I’m not always out there showing everything about who I am. I am in hiding about some things, because I’m one of those people who was taught to hide. As a child, I talked about things like communicating with the wind and trees. I told my parents when I “just knew” something was going to happen, and I shared my writing and stories with anyone who would listen.

I wasn’t praised for those things. I was told not to talk about the wind and trees because people would think I was “crazy.” My parents said the same thing about my “just knowing,” and also ranted at me about how little good it did to know those things since I couldn’t do anything to change them. While my parents tried to be supportive of my writing, and so did some of my teachers, my peers and other teachers made fun of me or at least of the stories I wrote.

I learned to hide.

Even as I type this, there are some things about myself that not everyone in my life knows. There are things about which I don’t talk to some people, and other things I don’t talk about at all.

Living your truth and speaking your truth are important as you build the life you want to live, but sometimes you have to be more cautious than you would like about what you say and how you live around certain people. And that’s okay. If you’re just playing it safe because you don’t believe in yourself, that’s one thing; but sometimes it really is a matter not of *playing* safe but of *being* safe.