Lessons in a Hot Air Balloon

When I was 11 years old, I won a ride in a hot air balloon over the Grand Teton mountain range. It was one of those radio contests, where the 7th caller wins. I called over and over until BOOM! I was the lucky number 7. The flight was to take place on the 4th of July in Driggs, Idaho, during a hot air balloon festival. I was incredibly excited. I was born in Driggs and raised on my family’s homestead in a tiny town called Felt. I have always felt a deep connection to Teton Valley. It is my first home, after all. 


Though my family was very short on extra money, my mom took me shopping for a cute new top to wear. I remember it so clearly, a short sleeve button up in a purple metallic fabric with black polka dots with a velvety feel. She really wanted to be sure that I looked good and felt good. The morning of the event, we got out of bed at 4:30 in the morning to get ready to go, as I had to report to the balloon at 6:00 AM! Our plan was to attend the balloon festival, then go to the parade, rodeo and all of the other 4th of July festivities in town.


During the car ride, I started to worry. That signature tummy ache started that I had constantly as a kid. My parents assured me that I would be safe and have fun, that all was well. When we arrived at the balloon launch site, I was ushered away with 3 adults who had also won rides. My fear dissolved into excitement as I watched the balloon fill with hot air.


The balloon pilot ran down a list of safety instructions and strapped a helmet to my head. I was really unhappy about that, because I had worked so hard to make sure my hair looked cute. I had on my cute new top, levi shorts and my hair had been carefully curled. That ugly white helped didn’t match my look at all! 


Soon it was time to take off. I was instructed to sit on the floor of the basket until we were launched. It was a strange sensation, that of lifting off of the ground and floating into the air. Finally, I was able to stand. I was barely taller than the top of the basket, but I could see enough. Teton Valley was spread out below us in all of her wonder. The Teton Mountains, the farms, the Teton River, all of it, so beautiful and green. I took it all in, feeling like the luckiest kid on earth. A felt a bit guilty too, that I was having this amazing experience but my family was not. At one point, we passed directly over the cemetery that my baby brother Ricky was buried in. I couldn’t wait to tell my mom. 


After an hour or so, it was time to come back to earth. Again, I was instructed to sit. This time, the adults sat too. The pilot warned us that the basket may fall onto its side a few times, as it skips across the land to a stop. The basket did lay down twice before we landed. A pilot car was waiting to take us back to the launch site to reunite with our families. I was feeling a bit queasy and glad to be back on land. 


When we returned to the launch site, I was so happy to see my family. While it was an incredible experience, I was glad to be away from these strangers and back with my family. Not so fast though, the balloon people exclaimed! Now that we were official hot air balloon riders, we had to be initiated into the club. They poured 3 dixie cups of champagne and one of OJ, for me. We were instructed to kneel in front of the cups in a row and pick the cups up with our mouths and drink. While our heads were down, the pilot poured an entire bottle of champagne over our heads. 


I was horrified. My cute new shirt was drenched. My hair was ruined. I reeked of alcohol, something that was forbidden in my religion of birth. Much to the dismay of the pilot, who thought he was doing something fun, I burst into tears and ran into my dad’s arms. He apologized to my perplexed parents, suddenly realizing that pouring a bottle of champagne of a kid’s head was probably a stupid thing to do. We were supposed to spend the whole day having fun, and now I was a wet, sobbing mess. 


My mom got me to the car, stripped the soaked shirt off, and put my sister’s jacket on me. We quickly drove to my grandparents farm where I showered and washed my hair as my mom washed my clothes in the sink and got them as dry as possible in the short amount of time we had. My grandma had no hair brush or curling iron, so I had to settle with combing out my hair. I can remember being so angry about my hair getting messed up like that. I may have been a little vain. We raced back into town just in time to catch the parade and enjoy the rest of the day.


For years, whenever I thought about my hot air balloon adventure, all I could remember was feeling humiliated and violated by the champagne incident. I allowed that memory to overshadow all of the wonder of the day. Finally, I chose to sit with that experience and feel all of it. I was finally ready to release the negative parts and allow the rest to come through. After all I am a fully initiated hot air balloon rider! 

My mammogram story

“So, I looked through your records…” My new doctor began, “And I don’t see any record here of a mammogram.”


“No, there isn’t one.” I admitted hesitantly, with a knot in my stomach. “I have never had one.” She didn’t know it, but she was keying in on one of my biggest fears. The big C. Breast cancer, or any mention of it. I am an expert at avoiding this topic. I braced myself for what I knew was coming.


“That is not acceptable. You are 41 and counting. Your mother died from breast cancer. You need a screening right away.” It was clear that she was not going to take no for an answer. Nor was she going to coddle my fears.


I nodded, with tears burning in the back of my throat. I didn’t trust myself to speak. Instead, I accepted the form she offered to make an appointment. For the next month, that form hung on the fridge. I cringed occasionally when passing it, but did not call to make the appointment. Finally, I could wait no longer. It was time for my monthly labs, and I knew I could not show up in her office without taking action on the mammogram. 


I steeled my nerves and made the call. Thursday at 2:00. Perfect. That’s a busy morning, I won’t have time to worry all that much. I visited with a friend that morning who said the obvious thing that I was trying tell myself. “You don’t have cancer Katie. You are making a big deal out of this, and I get it. But seriously, get it over with and stop torturing yourself.”


It’s silly, really, to be afraid of a mammogram. My mom didn’t find out through a mammogram anyway. She was good about her annual appointments, and was current on her tests. Instead, she woke up in the night, after having a dream about her grandmother. Her hand was pressed down hard on her right breast. She could feel a mass that had never been there before. She was scared, and decided to ignore it. Six nights later, it happened again. Clearly, her grandma was persisting with her message. She decided that it was probably nothing, but she should get it checked out anyway. Within days, she was diagnosed with an aggressive, non hereditary form of cancer. Within one week, she had a mastectomy. Within two weeks, chemo progressed. Nine months later, she was pronounced cancer free. Two years after that, cancer returned with a vengeance. Six months later, she died. 


I am bitter. I hate cancer and I just don’t want to face the fact that it could happen to me. My usually optimistic self melts into a puddle of fear and avoidance. Sometimes humaning really sucks. When I checked in for my mammo, a tech took me right back. I had to change into a gown and wipe off my deodorant, then join her in front of a giant piece of equipment. She asked me a few questions and recorded my answers on a clipboard. 


“Has anyone in your family ever had breast cancer, and if so how old were they?”


“Yes, my mom. She was 52 when she was first diagnosed. She died at 55.” The old, familiar lump rose in my throat. 


She looked up sharply. “Oh! Oh, dear. Well then I am so glad that you are here.”


Hey thanks, I thought, sarcastically, swallowing hard. Just what I needed to hear.


Shortly after, I was positioned into the machine for big smush. On cue, my tears started to flow. I couldn’t control them at all. Silently, they slipped from my eyes, one after another, refusing to allow me to mask my emotions. How must she have felt, going through these types of tests, knowing that there was something wrong? She must have been terrified. After the second image, a side view, the tech fussed over her computer. Muttering mostly to herself she said, “Hmmm, they are going to want a second look at that.” 


She pushed me deeper into the machine, trying to get my armpit into the shot. “Don’t worry, nothing scary. Since this is a baseline, we sometimes need to verify things. They may call you back in for a second look, but don’t let that scare you. It is usually nothing.” Yeah, sure. Not scary at all. 


Within minutes, it was done. I dressed, with the tears still flowing. I walked straight through the lobby without a word to anyone, got in my car and sobbed until I didn’t have any tears left. Those tears reminded me of a cold March day many years ago when held my moms hand in her hospital room as the doctor, through his own tears, told her that her cancer had returned. After he left, I found a rarely used public bathroom and cried just like that. Body shaking, guttural sobs. I drove home sniffling, relieved that it was over and feeling so triggered and sad. I can’t think of a time that I have missed my mom more.


I processed my experience for the better part of the next few days. Why was this experience such a wretched trigger? All I can think is that it drew up a lot of buried grief. After all, when she died, my dad was dying. I dove right into his care, and let that be an convenient excuse to bury my grief, hopefully forever. But I didn’t get that lucky. No one ever does. That grief is going to manifest, somehow, someway. 


So, what is the end of this story? I got a letter a few days later, giving me the all clear. I am fine, nothing suspicious. All of those years of fears for nothing. I know that I can’t go back to the land of denial. I have to do this mammogram thing from time to time. Even if it hurts. Even if is wrenches grief to the surface and forces me to deal with it. I can and I will.  


Your Dog Hates Your Phone

I have heard this so many times in animal communication sessions. Your dogs and your cats for that matter, hate your phone. It is no accident when they knock it on the floor or nudge out of your hands. 


Recently, when a dog told me this, I asked him if it was because his companion was paying more attention to their phone than they were to him. I was a little surprised by his answer. He said that is certainly part of it, but that the main reason for hating the phone was that he didn't like the way it made his companion feel. Let that sink in. He could see a change in the energy of his companion when they spent a lot of time on their phone. He was knocking it out of her hands because he felt that it was having an adverse effect on her spirit and her health.


I feel like that is some incredible insight. We have all heard it before. Spending too much time on electronics is not healthy. But straight from the dog's mouth to my ear, a visible change in our energy occurs when we fall down the rabbit hole of technology.  I feel like this is worth listening to and considering. It doesn't mean that you have to give up your phone. But it does mean that it would be wise to self-evaluate the amount of time spent with technology for you and your children. It would also be wise to evaluate the subtle changes that you may be feeling as well.


Above everything else, the next time one of your animals tries to vandalize your phone, take a pause to consider what they may be saying to you.

Pigs Bite and Other Insights from the Pig Pen

My husband has been longing to make a mini pig a part of our family for a long time. A really long time. I have held out for years, but recently decided that now is the time. Finally, we picked our baby up from the breeder last week.


She is 7 weeks old. She weighs 2 lbs. She is just tiny and adorable. And sassy, demanding and opinionated! It is as if we have a newborn baby on our hands. In fact, we do! Her name is Fiona, because she is a bit like living with an ogre. 


We are quickly learning how to be piggie parents. The first hard lesson: Pigs bite. Hard. She has bit me a few times now, all when I was trying to make her do something, like get in her litter box or put on a sweater (yeah, yeah, I know. I probably had that one coming). It is not hard enough to break the skin, but definitely hard enough to hurt my feelings!


The second: Eating like a pig does not always mean pigging out. Sometimes it means being picky and stubborn about what you will eat. This little darling cannot be bought or bribed with a treat.


And third: The noise, dear god, the noise. This little piggy says wee, wee, wee, all day long. The oinking, snorting and squealing is a constant around here. It is darling and astonishing, all at once. She can pitch a fit that makes your two year old look like an angel.  


Little Miss Fiona is quickly worming her way into our home and our hearts. I’m sure that there will be many more piggie stories to follow. For now, know that I am under the mind control of a tiny tyrant with a penchant for warm blankies and cuddles.


We are documenting our adventures with Fiona on Facebook. And Youtube, if you would like to follow us. 

Katie's Ark: Helping Animal Companions Adjust to Change

Life is ever changing, of that we can be sure. In our human minds, it is easy to justify changes, as we think in a series of consequences. Moving, changes in jobs, routines, divorces, etc. are all things that can cause a lot of upheaval in our lives.


As an animal communicator, I often see pets suffering through changes with a great deal of confusion. If you have animal companions, these changes can have a profound effect on them. Some signs that they may be suffering are: changes in eating habits, heightened anxiety, clingy behavior, accidents in the house, and unexpected aggression or fearful responses.


    If you have an animal companion that is struggling through changes, try this: Sit near them and picture a glowing pink and green ball in the center of your chest, your heart chakra. Picture their heart chakra as well, then pull a silver thread of light from your heart and connect it to theirs. Use this connection to send them love and support. Animals think in pictures, so send them pictures of you caring for them, spending time with them, and everyone in the home feeling happy and settled. Archangel Uriel frequently works with animals, and is wonderful for responding to requests for support as well. Occasionally you may want to reach out to an animal communicator to check in with your animals. If you know that you have big changes coming, it is always helpful to let them know beforehand if possible.


    Overall, your animal companions just want to be close to you, feel safe and feel connected to your heart. Be sure that you are making some one on one time for them daily, with no other distractions. When you can give them that, you will soar through life together.




Help wanted?

In animal communication work I frequently work with families whose animals are experiencing behavior issues. One of the most common things I see are bored and confused cats and dogs who are trying to establish their role in the family dynamic. Just as you need purpose in your life, they do as well. Sometimes our pets will assign themselves jobs that are less than helpful.


Recently, I worked with a family who is cat had suddenly started  leaving surprises on the rug instead of in his litter box. His companion suspected that he was angry with her because she was working more than usual and did not have as much time for him. Indeed, he was. He explained to me that it is his job in the home to be near her and help support her. She was not allowing his love and support because of her job demands. He was angry and in order to express his anger, he showed her by leaving a mess. Because her situation will not be changing anytime soon, we agreed to create a new job for this kitty. We asked him if he could turn his attention to another family member who is struggling and could use his protection and comfort.  He agreed to this arrangement and immediately began sleeping with and attending to his new charge. Peace has returned to the home, and of course, no more surprises on the rug.


I have worked many times with families whose dogs were behaving aggressively when other dogs were near. The families, of course, were concerned about  their dog engaging in frightening and violent behavior. Typically these are dogs who are otherwise happy and well-adjusted. In most cases, we have been able to pinpoint the person that this dog has assigned himself to guard. Through animal communication, we have  are able to show them that their behavior is frightening and not acceptable. Most often, these dogs can be shown that rather than behaving violently, they are to trust their companion and be docile by their side when they are approached by other dogs.



The point is, the animals that live in your world are intelligent, sentient beings that require and deserve your thoughtful inclusion in your life. Whenever behavior issues arise, consider for a moment what their position could be and how we can create change together to make everyone in the home more comfortable. The animals in your home all need to have jobs and assignments to keep them feeling busy and fulfilled. And as always, remember that you have your relationships, your family, friends and job. They only have you. Don't take that for granted.

I Will Make You Love Me

Have you ever noticed that people who don't like animals attract them like a magnet? Any one who comes to my house who does not like animals is sure to have dogs and a cat all up in their business. I feel like they are trying to reassure them that animals are safe. I suspect that most people who claim to not like animals have had a bad experience somewhere along the way. That is so sad to me, because I know how much interacting with animals can enrich people's lives.


When I was a kid I had a beloved ferret named Francine. She was one of the coolest beings I have ever had the pleasure of sharing my life with. She was funny, smart and clever. She also had a habit of burrowing down inside of furniture and sleeping for hours at a time. When she did that, she was impossible to find and retrieve. On one such day, my mom had some ladies from the church come to visit. One of them was a bit of a stodgy old broad who did not like animals. My mother was clear on this fact from previous visits and had put the dogs and cats in a bedroom before she came. Little did she know, Francine was asleep inside the couch. At some point during their visit, my mom noticed the liner under the couch moving. I'm sure that she started to get nervous then. Pretty soon, Francine popped her head out from under the couch. It was not uncommon for her to lay on her back and pop her head out to nip the feet of the unsuspecting people sitting there.


My mom noticed her eyeing up the polyester dress pants, pantyhose and sensible shoes before her, and whispered a silent plea for her to leave the church ladies alone. I'm not sure if Francine recognized an anti animal person or if she was just in a particularly mischievous mood. She did not nip at the ankles of the ladies. Instead, she slid right up the pant leg of the woman who would appreciate it the least. Poor Sister Fife leaped from the couch in shock, bellowing in fear with an unknown intruder climbing her leg, zipping past the knee and heading straight for the crotch. My mom moved fast to extricate Francine from the poor woman's pants as she danced around the living room, howling in terror. After Francine was securely returned to her ferret house, my mother apologized profusely for the intrusion . After the ladies left she laughed herself to tears. Her rendition of the incident that night over dinner was enough to have us all in stitches. That was the last time that particular woman visited our home.



Now that might be an extreme example of an animal trying to love someone into submission, if that's what you could call it. But I'm sure that many of my readers can relate. If someone comes to your house that is nervous about dogs, your dog is going to demand to be petted and loved on by that person. If they are not a fan of cats, your cat is definitely going to insist on sitting on their lap and purring loudly. It seems to just be the way things are.

Furry Medicine

My son had his tonsils out last week, as well as a broken nose repair. His recovery has been rough, as you can imagine. We are doing all we can to keep his pain in check and his discomfort at bay. Pain meds are working, most of the time. Ice packs and popsicles offer some relief. He has better medicine though.


He is receiving a daily, constant dose of Vitamin Fur. The kind of medicine that can only be administered by someone of the four legged variety. In his case, his nurses are two tiny chihuahuas with a penchant for warm blankets. The moment we came home from surgery, their work began. They immediately assessed the situation and reported to work, burrowing into the blankets and cuddling up tight. They have been careful around his face and neck, no rowdy business or roughhousing allowed.


The idea of animals taking a role in healing is not a new one. It is a common sight to see therapy animals working with purpose at hospitals, rehabilitation centers and nursing homes. According NPR, the benefits of animals in the medical world dates back 150 years! Many studies have show that petting a dog can lower blood pressure. Some studies also suggest that there is a direct link between interacting with animals and the release of oxytocin, which has powerful effects on healing and the body’s ability to grow new cells.


Animals are excellent at knowing when you are ill or in physical or emotional pain. Have a rotten day at work? You can expect that your fur companions will be stuck to you like glue when you get home. Down with a bad case of the plague? Your cat is going to lay on your chest until you feel better. The empathy of our animal companions is endless. We are so lucky and blessed to share our homes and lives with them.



So for now, I will keep slinging the pain meds and pudding, and leave the heavy lifting to the dogs.

Puke Warfare


Anyone who has a cat knows that puke warfare is a thing. So are piss rockets and poop guns. Cats will use their bodily fluids as a showstopping way to get your attention. Ew. I know. But it works!


I have a cat client with a bowel disease who poops in the dining room to make sure her family knows that she is ill again. It is gross, and they wish she would not do it, but it sure does get the message across.


My mom had a cat that peed into the burners of the stove. Horrible, I know. She was a deaf, blue eyed, lovely white long hair named Angel. She was a magical kitty with some anger issues. She was pissed off (pun intended) about a new dog in the house. No one asked her about bringing this obnoxious dog in, and she hated him.


I have had many cat clients over the years that will puke when they are upset about something. Puking on your bed, in your shoes and on your belongings are all ways that they are sending a message to you. The faster you realize that and listen, the quicker you can end the vomit onslaught.


Now let’s be clear, sometimes cats just gobble their food down too quickly or could be ill. Sometimes peeing in strange places indicates illness. If your cat is sick, take them to the vet. If they are perfectly healthy though, you should consider what is going on in their world.


Some common sources of contention are


  • Power struggles with other animals in the home. Is one of your cats sneaking around, pooping in places other than the box? It could be that a more evil and strong willed cat is refusing them access to the box.
  • New people coming into your world. Your cat didn’t puke in your new boyfriends shoe on accident.
  • A change in your schedule. Have you been gone more than usual, leaving your cat alone more? If so, that Lake Pissagain on your bed may be cat-made, to send you a message of discontent. 


If you know what the problem is, and can fix it, great. This is where an animal communicator can help a lot. Sometimes just acknowledging their frustration is enough. Sometimes it requires dedication and a change in something in the home. You usually cannot ignore problems like this away, however. Nobody wants these issues to get worse over time.

Along Came a Spider

When I was a kid, I had a cousin named Eric who adored creepy crawly things. The only thing he loved more than all of his critters was making everyone else uncomfortable with them. If you were willing to hold his snakes, geckos, rats etc, then you were cool. If you weren't, he would harass you with them until you were. Every one of his critters was named Leroy. He pronounced it in various ways. Heavy on the Leeeee-roy. A subtle Lee with an accented Roy. Leroy, but in an Australian accent. You get the gist. He was a weird and wonderful kid that was a lot of fun to be around. Eric was killed in a car accident when he was 17. The world lost a beautiful, eccentric, incredible soul. 


I learned a lot from Eric as a kid. One of the gifts that Eric gave me was a tolerance for spiders. He had a tarantula that he was constantly packing around. It was not uncommon to see him just watching TV with the tarantula sitting on his chest or climbing his head. If you wouldn't hold the spider you were ridiculed and teased. I idolized Eric and really wanted to be cool enough for him. Obviously, that meant that I had to hold the spider.


It was incredible to me how the tiny toenails of the tarantula would anchor in the pores of my skin as it walked from hand to hand and up and down my arms. Leroy and I bonded and I was no longer afraid. That was not enough for Eric however, who was determined to test my bravery. He insisted that I lay down on the floor and allow Leroy to walk on my face. There was no way that I was going to fail the cool test and so I did indeed lay down on the living room floor and allow Eric to put Leroy on my face Leroy scampered around my face for a few minutes, his toenails anchoring ever so subtly in the pores of my cheeks and forehead. I managed to get through it without a whimper or grimace. After that, I was able to see spiders in a completely different light, with no fear. What a gift.


The thing is, spiders are powerful medicine. They are typically seen as female energies. With their web weaving capabilities, they are inherent creators. Spiders are resourceful and capable of taking care of themselves and creative ways. We could learn a lot from them. For some reason though, it tends to be human nature to be frightened of them. I believe that much of that is conditioning. if your mother was afraid of spiders perhaps you will be as well and so on and so forth.


My challenge to you is that you evaluate your own feelings about spiders. Could you hold a tarantula today? If not, Perhaps you could at least observe a tarantula and breathe with her and give yourself a moment to feel her powerful ancient energy. We tend to fear what we don't understand and if we could understand the energy of the spider better, perhaps much of that fear would be dissolved.



The next time you encounter a spider, whether it is in your bathtub or in the great outdoors, take a moment to reach your consciousness out to theirs. Allow yourself to feel their energy. Sure, your skin might crawl a bit and the hair may stand up on the back of your neck. That's okay. You are feeling something different than you. Feel their energy. Ask them questions if you can. But don't be afraid. Be curious!

The Sacred Buffalo

I live near Yellowstone Park. Because of that, I have grown up hearing all kinds of stories about the wolves the bison and all of the controversies. Did you know that if bison stray out of the Park that they can be euthanized? It's true. They are not welcome to wander the range as their ancestors did. It is because they are believed to carry a disease called brucellosis that can cause cattle to spontaneously abort their fetuses. The ranchers have been so concerned about the buffalo infecting their herds that this sacred animal has been completely cut off from their ancient paths of migration. It seems that in this instance, our need to produce as much beef as humanly possible on this planet has had a negative impact on the ecosystem. That is happening far too much.


It truly makes me sad that we have done this to the buffalo. Where I live it is not uncommon to see deer, and an occasional elk or moose wandering through open prairies or near rivers. I have always wondered what it would be like if you could also occasionally come across a herd of bison living freely in the wild. They could be dangerous if approached, but so can any other wild animal. I believe that with good fences, good management and good citizenry it would be possible to allow the buffalo to wander free as they were meant to.



Buffalo medicine tells us that the Buffalo represents abundance, prosperity, standing your ground and protecting and conserving your resources. Buffalo typically make excellent parents and their babies have a great survival rate do to the protection that the herd offers them. They are fiercely protective of their own. I suspect that we could learn a lot about community from the buffalo.

Dreamtime for dogs

Have you ever seen a dog have a dream? Sometimes they will bark with their mouth shut with this funny muffled found. Sometimes they will whimper, whine or cry in their sleep. We used to have a Great Dane that loved to sleep on the cool tile floor in the bathroom during the summer. She would lay on her side with her feet up against the side of the tub. Sometimes, she would jerk me awake with quite a clatter going on, all four giant feet crashing and scratching against the side of the tub while she was dreaming. Running in her sleep. Our sweet little Chihuahua Rico frequently dreams as well. Sometimes, it is obvious that his dream is not a happy one. He whines, cries and struggles all while sound asleep. I have learned that it is best to stroke him and gently speak to him, reassuring him that he is okay. Eventually, the dream subsides and he falls back into a peaceful slumber.


I have been curious about this phenomena. My mom used to say that they were chasing cats and hiding bones in their dreams. I decided to talk to my own dogs about it. Indeed, my mom was mostly right. They are usually meeting up with friends. Some who are living and some who are not. They seem to be taking a trip across the Rainbow Bridge in their sleep. They are running through endless meadows, rolling around in thick green grass and drinking from cool streams of water. Maybe it is the reward they get for putting up with this earthly experience.



This revelation blew my mind a little bit. Ultimately, this means that dogs can astral travel. They can leave their bodies and go somewhere that they want to go. I don't know why I am surprised, as they are wise sentient  beings. It just seems like such a rich conversation, considering all of the things that dogs could do. Obviously, occasionally it is just a bad dream, just like we have. But the rest of the time, dogs are off having fun in their sleep. No wonder they are so lazy! They happen to be having the time of their lives!

Thanksgiving Food for Animal Companions

Here in the US, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving this week, kicking off a month of holiday indulging. Ask any vet, and they will tell you that this time of year is hell on the bellies of animal companions. Whether on purpose or by accident, pets end up eating things that are all wrong for them.


Our friends at PetMD.com weighed in on popular holiday foods for dogs and cats. Here is what they advise:

  • Turkey- Lean, boneless turkey is fine in moderation. Absolutely not skin, fat or bones.

  • Stuffing- Not recommended due to the possibility of onions and garlic.

  • Mashed Potatoes- Spuds get a green light, in moderation, of course.

  • Gravy- Pass on the gravy. Your babies don't need the high salt and fat in most gravies.

  • Green bean casserole- Green beans are fine, but those crunchy little french fried onions on top are definitely not.

  • Pumpkin Pie- All of that sugar is not cool, but you may consider saving a bit of plain canned pumpkin to share. Dogs love it and it is really good for them.

  • Some obvious no nos are alcohol, chocolate and raisins. It is never worth the risk to their delicate little systems.

  • If you know that your pets are prone to stomach issues, food allergies or chronic health issues, stick to their regular food. Consider giving them a new toy instead of a treat. 


A few things to think about, especially if you are hosting:

  • Keep food covered and/or put away. You know dang well that Mittens will be on the counter and in the middle of that turkey carcass the second your back is turned.

  • Keep an eye on the trash. Plenty of pets have gotten into trouble raiding the garbage can while no one was looking. Their gobble gobble could land them in the vets office.

  • Make sure that your guests know the rules about feeding or not feeding your animal companions. Just because you know better than to give Rusty a bite of chocolate pie or a turkey leg does not mean that Grandma does.

  • All of that holly jolly fun might stress your pets out. Way out. Be sure that they have safe escape rooms to get away from the melee. No animals should be forced to allow guests to hold or pet them. Guests should be advised that if the cats want to meet you, they will seek you out. Otherwise, please leave them alone.



Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope that you and your animal companions get to have some time to relax and enjoy each other's company this week. 

They see you when you’re sleeping…

You have probably heard it said that animals and babies can see far more than we can. As a general rule, this is true. I have worked on many cases of animals seeing other worldly things that their owners could not.


Once I was called in to help with a dog who was barking incessantly at the refrigerator. He would bark at the refrigerator and scratch at the wall next to the fridge. He had literally put holes in the sheet rock. His family had tried everything to make him stop, but it had gone on for weeks and weeks. Someone suggested that they get an animal communicator involved to find out what was distressing him so much. As it turned out, there was a portal there. A portal essentially is an open door to the other side. Spirits were passing through it, going on their merry way, and really upsetting this dog who believed himself to be the guardian of his home. I closed the portal and instructed him that he was to stop doing this damage to the house immediately. True to his word, the barking and attacking stopped. His family was able to repair the wall and the case was closed.


Once I was called out to a home where a darling cockatoo in a cage was displaying the most upsetting and perplexing behavior. Every once in awhile, without warning, she would be pinned to the bottom of her cage. It was as if an invisible hand was pressing down on her she would scream and squawk and struggle to get loose. It was truly terrifying. The only thing that would stop her struggle was to open the cage and pick her up. In this same home, two tiny Chihuahuas  lived in constant fear. Many times, their family reported seeing them fly sideways through the room, yelping as if someone had kicked them or be launched off of the couch where they were resting. Sure enough, there was a dark entity in this home that was terrorizing the animals. They could see it and were clearly being affected by it. After we had banished it from the home, all of the animal's distress stopped.


These of course, are extreme cases. I have also heard many reports of cats and dogs that continue to see an owner who has passed away in the home. These are certainly not frightening occurrences, they are comforting ones. Animals can also frequently see your guides and angels around you. I like to think that they work in conjunction with each other.


The point is, if you have an animal companion that is acting like there is something bothering them in your house, it may be worth investigating. It is likely not nefarious, but still, it is wise to find out what it is and why it is there. An animal communication session can help you to get it sorted out.



The Importance of Animal Communication

Many years ago, when I was still quite new to the field of animal communication, I had an interesting client. A dear friend of mine called me from another state to say that her friend had a pit bull that was going through something and refusing to eat. They were worried sick. In diving into the case I discovered that she had recently become pregnant by a much larger dog. Her owners felt that it was in her best interest to have her spayed. The vet agreed that due to her unusually small size it would be dangerous for her to carry the puppies.


When they got her home from being spayed she was terribly despondent. All she wanted to do was lay on her bed and stare at the wall. She was not interested in eating, cuddling or playing. She was not herself at all. Her humans assumed that the reason she was so upset was that they took her puppies from her. They felt horrible about it and wanted to express to her why it had to happen. That's where I came in. I employed distance animal communication techniques and quickly built a bond with her. I launched directly into the speech from her parents about why she had to go through this surgery and why her puppies had been taken from her. I was puzzled when she expressed her relief for that surgery and explained that she wanted to the be the baby in her family not have babies.


So why then, was she so upset? She explained to me that her experience at the vet was terrifying. She was very frightened and locked in a cage. She had no idea why she was there at the time. She couldn’t understand why her beloved family would leave her in this place where she was scared to death. When the vet tech came to get her out of the kennel to take her to surgery, she panicked and pinned herself to the back of the cage, snarling and snapping. She bit the vet tech. The tech responded by beating her. This sweet little dog received a terrible beating at the hands of those who were trusted to heal her. She wondered why her family had brought her to this place. She had never been treated this way in her entire life. She was traumatized and hurt. Shortly thereafter, surgery commenced. When she woke from surgery, she was back in the same cage. Much to her relief, her family came soon and wrapped her in her favorite blanket and took her home shortly thereafter. She knew that her babies were gone. She could feel it. That wasn't why she was sad though. She was sad because she couldn't understand why her family would take her to this place. She was terrified that she would have to go back there.


Through my own tears, I promised her that I would relay the message to her family. I swore to her that she would never ever have to go back to that place again and that they would find a new place that would be loving to her. I expressed to her that her family loved her dearly and that they would have never taken her there had they known that something like that would happen. A huge wave of relief rushed through her as she knew that she would not have to go back there anymore. I expressed to her that her family was worried about the fact that she wasn't eating. I asked for permission to do a healing on her body and spirit. She gave me permission and I did the kind of healing one would do after someone has had surgery, and a healing for trauma.


When we were done, I spoke to her loving family on the phone. They shed tears as I explained to them why she was so upset and traumatized. They of course, vowed to me that they would find a new vet immediately, as she was scheduled to have her stitches removed in just a few days. As our call was concluding her mother shrieked with joy as she realized that this sweet little dog had just jumped up on the couch, stolen her sandwich and eaten the entire thing. She was able to revert back to her happy, playful self and was back on her food. It was a relief to say the least.


This experience taught me a lot. I learned from her that one should never go into a session assuming anything. Things are so frequently not as they seem. I also learned from her the importance of helping animals understand what is happening when they go to the vet or to be kenneled. So much of her angst could have been avoided had she known beforehand where she was going and why. Of course, that may not have prevented the abuse she endured. I always encourage my clients to have a quick session with their animal companions to help them understand what is happening if they are to be kenneled, taken to the vet or groomed. Wouldn't you want to know why you were being taken and left at a strange and potentially scary place?




Understanding the Brachial Chakra

Have you ever considered what the chakra system of your beloved fur baby might look like? Well no big surprise that their chakra system looks nearly identical to ours. They have all of the same chakras we do in relatively the same places with the addition of the brachial chakra. The brachial chakra is on the back, right between the shoulder blades. This is considered to be the spot where our soul and their soul can connect the strongest.


If you think about where you are most likely to put your hand when you reach down to pet an animal you may find that many times you have put your hand directly on their brachial chakra. I think it is an interesting phenomena. We are simply drawn there. As you caress an animal or run your hand down their head, frequently that's where your hand will stop and rest.


If you are connecting to an animal you have never met before and you want them to know that you are a friend, try to connect through the brachial. If they are willing to allow you to touch them put your hand on their back, between the shoulder blades. Allow the energy from your palm chakra to intermingle with their brachial chakra, connecting your spirits.


This chakra is frequently seen as a black or soft grey color. Abused animals frequently have a brachial that is out of balance, as they are mistrusting of people. Rescue animals should receive a lot of attention to bringing their brachial into balance, as they learn to trust their caregivers.


Many years ago, I was driving home from the grocery store when I felt very strongly that I had to pull into a Farm and Ranch store near my home. As it turned out, the Humane Society was set up that day with a myriad of dogs looking for new homes. There was a beautiful reddish dog with golden eyes. He was profoundly frightened. For some reason I had to stop the car and connect to that dog. He immediately came to this side of the pain and allowed me to touch him. The Humane Society people were shocked. They said that he was terrified of people and wouldn't let anyone touch him. They insisted that he needed to go home with me. I simply could not turn this terrified dog down.


The Humane Society volunteer shared his story with me. His companion was a woman who was living in domestic violence. She finally managed to get her abusive husband out of the house. She had a restraining order, but he walked right through that and came to her home while she was working and shot and killed two of her dogs. For some reason he did not kill this guy. Afraid for her life,  she ended up leaving town.  Her beloved Tebow ended up at the Humane Society, as she could not take him with her. He was absolutely terrified of people. Especially men. He was also terribly frightened of loud noises.



It took Scott 6 months before Tebow would allow him to touch him. From the get-go though, he would let me touch him. I did a lot of Reiki sessions on him in that first few months. We connected for many clearings from all of the trauma he had suffered. He would sit for a great deal of time with my hands resting comfortably on his brachial chakra while he went through the process of healing. He only lived for a few years after he came to live with us, but I will be forever grateful for all of the lessons that Tebow taught me about energy work with rescue animals and most importantly, about learning to trust.

Knowing when to cry uncle

In the animal-loving world, we seem to have an unspoken agreement that we will love, protect and keep the animals that come across our path. For the most part, we fur parents do just that. What happens though, when you bring an animal into your home that turns out to be a bad fit? I've had several clients struggling with something like this recently and I think it bears bringing up. Not every animal will be well suited to your home. Perhaps it's because of the environment. Perhaps it's their personality or their needs. Perhaps it is other animals in the household who are unable or unwilling to adapt to having them there. There could be a myriad of reasons. Essentially, it leaves us with two choices. We either stick it out and find some way to make it work or we find a new home for that animal. Sometimes neither option feels great.


On one hand, there is certainly plenty of reason to give it a little more time. A day or two may not be enough to know if we can work our differences out right? But then again, if it is clear from the get-go that this animal is not going to work out in your home, perhaps it is best to find them a new home before they have bonded to you.


So let's talk about rehoming. Surrendering an animal has a pretty cold empty feeling to it. If you end up in this situation, I would urge you to do the legwork to find a good home yourself. Perhaps that does come in the form of a rescue. Many rescues are breed-specific and will very well understand the needs of the animal that you are rehoming. That is a great option. Another, is to reach out to your field of friends and family and see if they or someone that they know and trust would be willing to take this animal companion on. Just because they are not a good fit at your house doesn't mean that their forever home can't be right around the corner. I think this is a better option when one is struggling with the idea of keeping a home a pet in their home. If you or the other animals in your house are significantly impacted in a negative way by having this pet there, you are not doing the animal any favors by keeping it. Sometimes we may just be the stepping stone to their forever situation. I think it takes some courage and a lot of humility to recognize when there is a poor fit. It is not a failure to recognize what you can and cannot offer to an animal companion. After all, they deserve to be in the very best situation just as much as you do.



Whatever you decide to do, set yourself free from the guilt. Beating yourself up and making you yourself feel terrible for surrendering an animal is silly. So long as you know that you have done the best you can with the information that you have, there is no reason for regrets.

Witches Runes

Making your own set of Witches Runes is a lot of fun. There are 13 stones in a witches set. You can make your runes out of wood, rocks or clay. Be sure to bless your runes with your own intentions before your use them. Simply hold them in your heart and tell them what you would like to do. I like this blessing, "I bless these runes to always tell the truth, both to the reader and the person being read. Let us always work together for the highest and best good of all involved." Runes can be cleared by smudging or being left out in the moonlight.


Cast your runes the way you cast Norse runes, or get creative with your own spreads.


I have found the following chart to be very accurate and easy to use. Please note that I did not make it. All credit goes to www.tarotwikipedia.com.


I have long been a big fan of Frankincense essential oil. It is an ancient scent that evokes feelings of old soul remembrances. It is also an excellent oil forever variety of physical and emotional maladies. Frankincense is one of the few oils that has no objection in the animal world.


Old arthritic dogs, dogs with lumps and bumps, and anxious dogs may all benefit from the use of Frankincense. When using essential oils on dogs, they should always be diluted with a carrier oil. For example, if you have an old dog with arthritic hips, it would be wise to put a tablespoon or so of a carrier oil in the palm of your hand or a small dish and add two or three drops of Frankincense. Very diluted. You must remember that their sense of smell far exceeds hours. If you are placing an oil on their body, you must make sure that the smell is not painfully overwhelming to them. After all, we are trying to help them not hurt them right? Once you have put together your little massage oil, rub it into their hips. It helps to get it on your fingertips so that you can massage deep down into the fur. Be gentle, and listen to their cues. If they are stiffening then you may be using way too much pressure. Don't forget the base of the tail and the low spine as you administer your massage. This can be repeated every day as needed.



As always, check with your vet when addressing any health issues with one of your pets. And of course, with essential oils, do your homework and make sure that you are using a safe oil.


Check out my favorite brand of Frankincense here:



Animal Epigenetics

Epigenetics has gotten to be a large and fascinating study of human DNA. Scientists have discovered that trauma can result in scars on your DNA that can be inherited by your posterity. It is fascinating and useful information. For example, children born to mothers that lived through Chernobyl were much more likely to have anxiety disorders than other children their age. I believe that the same principles apply to the DNA of animals.


Years ago, I had a client with a puppy that had some perplexing issues. He was savage about food. This otherwise very sweet and gentle dog would become vicious when there was food on the floor. He guarded his food dish fiercely. The family was unable to give the other dogs a treat or feed any of the dogs in the same room without a horrible attack from him. Even his human companion had been the target of him defending food. She had received a few terrible bites. When there was no food issues, he was a darling and sweet puppy. Obviously, she had altered the way she fed her dogs accordingly, but even then, sometimes a food issue was unavoidable. By doing some energy work and animal communication with him, I discovered that he came from a feral litter of dogs. She confirmed that he came from the region that I suspected, where feral dogs are common. In digging into his DNA I discovered that his mother had starved frequently and that all of the dogs in his pack had to be vicious about food in order to survive. I did the same kind of DNA healing and clearing that I would do on a human. The results were astounding. The food issues literally came to a halt. He stopped attacking the other dogs in the home over food, and they were even able to start feeding all of the dogs communally again. All of this dog’s anxiety over food security were remedied. What a powerful tool to help this dog be successful living in a family unit.



Behavior issues in animal companions are common. There are many reasons and challenges. Considering scars on DNA is just one piece of the puzzle, but a useful one, no doubt. If you have an animal companion with a perplexing behavior that no other work or training has been able to address, it may be time to consider the origins of this animal and what their ancestors may have been through.

Throat Drops with Essential Oils

Several of you have asked me for my recipe for my throat drops with essential oils. I set out to make a look a like to doTerra's On Guard throat drops and Breathe cough drops. Both of these products help me a lot in the winter, but the cost is way too high, IMO. When I was in college, one of my cooking classes put on a Mother's Day luncheon. We made centerpieces out of hundreds of homemade lollipops. I spent a good week making suckers, until I think I could do it in my sleep. I figured that I could modify a hard candy recipe into a suitable lozenge recipe. 


But first, a disclaimer. Ingesting essential oils is a personal choice. Some aromatherapists and naturopaths do recommend ingesting certain oils. Some do not. I am, in no way, attempting to diagnose or treat you. It is YOUR decision to ingest oils safely, and it is your responsibility to do your own homework. 


This is the hard candy recipe that I followed:




I followed the basics explicitly. You have to be exact with product measurements and temperatures when you make hard candy, or you will end up with a goopy mess that doesn't get hard. Even worse, you can end up with a pan full of burned sugar that smells horrible. It can happen really fast. You MUST use a candy thermometer. You can get one at a big box store for around 5.00. Totally worth it. 


I veered away from the their recipe at the point of adding food coloring. I waited until 280 degrees, as adding it sooner fouled the color in the first batch. My lovely blue cooked into a hunter green. Pay close attention at this stage. You can go from 250 to 300 in a flash sometimes. Instead of adding their flavor oils, I used essential oils as follows.


When your product reaches 300 F, pull it off of the heat immediately. Allow it to sit to 1-2 minutes, then add oils. Premeasure them into a spoon. You cannot afford to waste time dripping oils in drop by drop. Stir them in quickly. There is some controversy among oils people about losing oil properties at high heats. Some say it is fine, others not so much. I feel fine about it. 


On Guard Drops- I used Jade Bloom's* Protect EO blend, 20 drops, and Jade Bloom's Tangerine EO, 10 drops. I had intended to use orange eo, but I was out, so ended up using tangerine. Either would be fine. 


Breathe Drops- I used Jade Bloom's Relief EO blend, 30 drops, and JB Cardamom EO, 5 drops. If you are using Breathe from doTerra, you would not need to add cardamom. 


I bought small candy molds at a local craft store. I sprayed them with Pam while my candy cooked. When the product was ready, I spooned it into the molds with a small metal ladle. You have to work quickly, as the product sets up quickly as it cools. Once your drops have fully cooled and hardened, you can dump them out of the molds and store them in an airtight container. 


A note about safety and clean up. First, be really careful. If you get hot boiling sugar on your skin, you will get a horrific burn, as it sticks to you and just keeps burning. Second, cleaning this mess up is best done by time. I toss all of my spoons and tools into the saucepan, fill it with hot water and soap, and let it sit overnight. By then, it is all dissolved and washes right out.


*I use a few different brands of EOs. I have developed a great affinity towards Jade Bloom due to their excellent quality, transparency and fabulous prices. I have also used a lot of doTerra over the years. If you have another brand that you love, feel free to sub their oils. Just be sure that you getting oils from a reputable source that you feel great about. 


Past life memories in animals

It is a compelling question. Do animals have past life memories? I believe that animals have many many past lives. If that is the case, then wouldn't they have past life memories coming to the surface sometimes? I believe that they do. Have you ever had a dog who had an irrational fear? Perhaps he was terrified of water but you couldn't ever place him having a horrible experience with water. Perhaps he reacts very strongly to getting in the car, though he's never had a bad experience with the car. The list could go on and on. Now clearly, his fears could be grounded in something else, but is it possible that he drowned in a past life? Or was hit by a car? Of course it is. The only way to answer that question is through animal communication.


Years ago, we rescued a special needs Great Dane. He was pure white with blue eyes, and a product of bad breeding. We named him Vegas. He was deaf and mentally stunted. He was a wonderful dog by many accounts. He was huge and beautiful, and frightened of many things. Vegas was particularly terrified of riding in the car. He would leap from the back seat to the front seat, frothing, panting and whining. At that size, he was dangerous to ride with, as he could easily distract the driver or crank the steering wheel. At first, I thought that he was afraid because he was deaf, and perhaps the movement of the car threw him off. Over and over, I reassured him that he was safe, to no avail.


Eventually, I dug deeper with him. He repeated over and over to me that cars are bad, cars hurt dogs and showed me images of cars running him over. I was puzzled because Vegas lived in our backyard, in a very safe indoor/outdoor kennel with plenty of opportunities to the run the yard. We rescued him when he was 5 weeks old, directly from the breeder who was threatening to put him down due to his disabilities. He had never been around a car unless he was on a harness and transferred safely. Where were these fears coming from? It finally occurred to me that he was replaying a past life memory. I continued to assure him that he was safe, that the memories he was replaying did not happen in this life, and that I would never let something like that happen to him. He did eventually settle down in the car. 



In humans, when we uncover a trauma in a past life that is manifesting as a fear or phobia in this life, frequently that fear or phobia disappears. Is it possible to help an animal to dissolve their irrational fears? I believe that it can be done. Through reassurance, communication, and a willingness to understand what they may be going through, I do believe that we can face fears and phobias in our animal companions head-on.


Remember that they put a profound amount of trust in you. You are in charge of their every need. They trust that you will feed them, provide them access to water and hopefully give them some love and companionship as well. This need is no different. I am certainly not saying that anything that makes your pets nervous is a past life memory. I am saying though, that occasionally, in extreme cases of fear and anxiety, the past life connection should be considered.




I do believe that animals have a much greater understanding of the universe than we do. I suspect that that cuts back a little on the fear that they experience regarding spiritual matters. Hopefully that means that they experience past life traumas less frequently than people do. Either way, if we've done everything else that we can think of to cope with fears or phobias in animals or people, and we are still in a place of trauma, it is definitely worth investigating.

Bringing in new Animal Companions

About a week ago I noticed a little white footed tabby cat running around our neighborhood near my house. He is a kitten, but not a tiny baby. At least 12 weeks old. This kitten decided that he lives at my house. He started darting through our legs when the door would open coming in the house purring, meowing, rubbing up against our legs. He even started sneaking in open windows and sleeping in people's beds. We don't have any cats. We have a lot of dogs, and so I've always opted to not have a cat. However, this little guy insisted that he lives with us. I started putting a little food and water out for him, because I certainly didn't want him to be hungry. Then, we started calling him Jeffrey. You should never give an animal name unless you're planning on keeping them right? Anyway Jeffrey has very quickly made himself a fixture at our house. He loudly lets us know what he wants and is basically getting all of the spoiling that he believes he deserves.


Our little Chihuahuas aren't sure what to think. Skippy, our older dog, actually seems to like him. I have seen them taking long, sweet naps on the couch or in the dog's bed. I even caught Jeffrey chasing him through the house batting at his tail. Skippy didn't say a word, just let it happen. Rico, however, our younger Chihuahua, is having none of it. He has never been around cats before and he does not know what to do with Jeffrey. He is jealous and skittish when the kitty is in the house. To add insult to injury, Jeffrey keeps playing with his toys. Rico has a bed full of coveted babies, and Jeffrey thinks that they are a lot of fun. I keep reassuring Rico that it's going to be okay. We are giving him plenty of attention and love. This is not the order in which I would have planned to do this. Had we made a conscious decision to add a new animal to our household, I would have checked in with all of our dogs first, to make sure that they were comfortable with this plan. Unfortunately though that's not how this one played out. The universe had other plans for us when it came to Jeffrey.


As an Animal Communicator, I frequently help people to incorporate new animals into their homes. It really is a respectful and positive thing to do to check with your animal companions and make sure that they are comfortable with your plan. I wish I could have made that happen this time but I couldn't. It's just what happens. When adding a new pet to the home, it is always wise to consider the impact on all of the animals that already live there. Will they continue to get the same kind of attention they've always had? Will their living space be affected? Will they have to start sharing key components of their lives and care? It is likely that all of those things will be affected. That's why it is also wise to discuss it with them and at least make sure that they know what's going to happen.



As for us, we will continue to work towards fostering a great relationship between Rico and Jeffrey and the rest of the gang. I'm still not quite sure who Jeffrey showed up here for. He seems to be a familiar who knows that he lives here. He's been busily bonding with all five of us, but I do suspect overtime his connection to one of us will emerge as the reason he is here. It’s just another day of magic and mystery!

Healing Grieving Hearts

A few years ago, my sister asked me to check in on her German Shepherd, as she seemed to be ill. The first thing that she blurted out was, “I REALLY miss Rosie!” Rosie was another dog in their home, who had passed away 6 months or so prior. We were surprised to hear that because they were not companions and didn’t even act like they liked each other, and yet, there it was. She was in pain, from arthritis and in deep grief that had not been acknowledged. Her physical needs were addressed, as well as her emotional ones. The family went out of their way to talk more to her, cuddle with her, and overall make note of her feelings.


Dogs and cats grieve, sometimes deeply. They can get lost in the shuffle of our own grief. How then, can we help then? By acknowledging their pain, giving them a decent amount of undivided attention and talking to them. Be patient, and don’t be upset if they are not in the mood to play with the toy or run at the park. They will perk up, but it may take some time.


I have been consulted to visit with many animals over the years about bringing in a new companion. I love that. It is the right thing to do, especially after a death. Just because you are ready for new, adorable kitten doesn’t mean that the other animals in your house are. It pays off to find out if they are ready, and let them chime in on who they would like to bring in.


What to expect this week-



The first part of the week will likely result in some clingy behavior. Don’t be surprised if your dog won’t get off of your lap or your cat insists on sleeping on your head. They are feeling the need to be VERY close to you right now. That should get better later in the week. If you are working on training or behavior modification, you should see some breakthroughs this weekend.

Air Quality for the 4 Legged

We think about air quality in our homes for ourselves, but have you considered the air quality needs of the animals who live there? It's a no brainer that second hand smoke is not good for them, but what else?

  • Cleaning Supplies- Harsh chemicals are a huge contributor of indoor air quality issues. Choose your supplies carefully, and go as natural as you can. If you are making your own cleaning supplies with essential oils, be sparing, and learn what it safe for pets. Remember, they walk, sleep and eat on the floor a lot more than you do!

  • Air Fresheners- A little bit goes a long way. Be really sparing with things like air freshening sprays, Plug Ins, wax warmers, diffusers, etc. Animals should never be trapped in a space with things like this. They need to be able to get away from smells that are overwhelming to their sensitive systems. If your dog's fur smells like the air freshener, you are likely using too much.

  • Pollen, dust and other air borne issues- Animals can develop allergies just like humans can. Be sure that filters on furnaces, air purifiers and air conditioners are changed or cleaned frequently to support the best air quality.



McDoggies? McNo!

In a recent visit with our vet, he was telling me about a terribly overweight lab he has been treating with joint problems. He asked the dog’s owner if he was getting table food. She denied that completely, swearing that he was only getting his diet dog food, and that was it! On the way out the door, when she thought vet was out of earshot, she crooned to her baby, “You’ve had a hard day! Come on, honey, let’s go get you some chicken nuggets!” The poor vet could only shake his head. The truth is, we LOVE treating our dogs to people snacks. When I was a kid, our local Arctic Circle would sell you “Doggie Cones” for 25 cents. Our dogs thought that a trip to Article Circle for an ice cream cone was pure heaven.



I had an aunt and uncle growing up that were fairly eccentric. They didn’t have any children; thus their little dog Muffin was their pride and joy. Muffin was a Westie. She was darling, sweet and fatter than hell. Once when we were there visiting, I watched my aunt Jean unwrap a full sized Snickers, chop it up and serve it to Muffin in her dog dish. Muffin gobbled up that candy bar in a matter of seconds. My mom, looking very concerned, mentioned to Jean that chocolate is actually really bad for dogs. Jean replied, “Oh, I know, but she just loves her Snickers soooo much! How can I possibly say no?” Um, Jean? Muffin has no money, no car and cannot possibly go buy Snickers bars on her own. You don’t have to say no. You just don’t buy them.



I know that you are all going to slip your beloveds a little people snack now and again, so I won’t waste my breath telling you not to. It is a losing battle at my house too. Can we just get clear on some basic food nonos for dogs? According the AKC, these are the 10 most toxic foods for dogs:



·        Chocolate


·        Alcohol


·        Onions


·        Garlic


·        Raisins/Grapes


·        Apricots/Pits


·        Sugar


·        Mushrooms


·        Green potatoes


·        Yeast dough




Every one of these foods has a bad reaction in a dog’s system. If you are going to give them a taste of something you are eating, it should not have any of these components in it. A taste should be a less that a spoonful, and never a bowlful. And for the love of god, no dog needs his own Happy Meal!

The Illusion of Privacy

Privacy. Something that we think we want, until someone gives us a cell phone and an Instagram account. People get very upset about the government prying into their privacy, and yet they are likely to spill their deepest darkest secrets to their hairdresser next time they get their hair done. We are funny like that. We want privacy, but always on our own terms. I live in a small house with a husband, three teenagers, and six dogs. There is no privacy to be had. To be honest, I am writing this article while locked in my bedroom, pretending to get dressed. The only privacy that is really ever afforded to me is when I am working with clients. Then my family knows that they better keep their distance and stay away. I just have to keep reminding myself that someday they won't all live here, and I will probably miss their chaos.


Recently, the topic of spiritual privacy has come up for me several times. As a medium, I have spirits around me frequently. Spirits don't tend to have polite boundaries when it comes to privacy. In visiting with some students and colleagues in the last couple of weeks, we have shared some good laughs about times that we've had spiritual activity in awkward moments. We have all had to tell spirits that we were not interested in talking to them when we were in the bathroom, taking a shower, getting dressed, etc. I thought about making one of those cute, kitschy little signs that go on the bathroom door that says “Ghosts and kids line up here.” I probably won't though, for fear that they actually will! Now that's a visual.


Our basic understanding of the spirit world, is that they are kind of like Santa Claus right? They see you when you're sleeping, they know when you're awake, they know if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake! I have had clients wondering if their grandma was upset with them because they were pretty sure that she saw them banging their boss or smoking a joint. The truth is, she probably did see that. And she is also not upset. Judgement in the spirit world is not nearly so much of a thing as judgement around here is. Your late grandma wants to make sure that you are happy and she wants to assist you wherever she can. She is not spying on you to pass harsh judgement on your life choices.


I don't know if we should be comforted or freaked out by the fact that there is so much spiritual activity happening around us at any given moment. Maybe a little bit of both. Hopefully though, I can help you see that you are never truly alone. Even in the darkest, seemingly most lonely and low moments of your life, there is always someone around you to help offer love and assistance.



Spontaneous Much?

Last night, near midnight, I discovered that people were witnessing Aurora Borealis in the clear night skies around me. I was giddy with excitement, as I have always wanted to see the Northern Lights in person. Scott and I set out on a grand adventure, just as we should have been climbing into bed!



Scott drove us way out on the desert, away from the city lights, to the top a tall hill. We were the only souls for miles and miles. We had 365 views of a perfectly clear night sky. In the distance, we could see the whitish, swirling lights rising, with occasional brilliant flashes of green. The Aurora Borealis, in all of her wonder, lighting the sky with her mystical allure. It was pure magic.


The silence was pristine, no traffic noise to intrude on the solace. The only sound that we were heard was the moment when two packs of coyotes, on either side of us, began calling to each other. One pack was close enough that we could hear their individual voices. The young pups, high pitched and shrill, were balanced by the deeper voices of their elders. They talked back and for some time, then moved on.



Eventually, we pried ourselves away from the sanctuary of the sky and headed home. As we drove in comfortable silence, I thought about how much I need these spontaneous adventures. We ALL need spontaneous adventures. Life is often too structured, too scheduled, too planned. I am determined to put my calendar away more and fret less about time. Will you join me? I would love to hear about your spontaneous adventures this summer!


In Defense of the Givers

"You have to HAVE balance between giving and receiving...You give too much...All you ever do is take care of others." We have all heard it, right? I know I have, and I have probably even said it. We have convinced ourselves that there is something wrong with giving with our whole hearts, like that somehow sends the wrong message to the Universe. I am so tired of that message. I don't believe it. I believe that some people were born with a spark in their soul to nurture everyone they come across. Can we please stop shaming kindness and generosity?


Sure, giving can become toxic. If you start to feel bitter and resentful of those you are caring for, it may be time to back off a bit, to get some perspective. It is up to each of us to self monitor our own emotions and act accordingly. Givers struggle to receive sometimes. That's okay. It's not a crime. Just say yes to some help every once in awhile. Don't strip another giver of their desire to serve you.


Our society is a big fan of finding ways to make people feel shame and guilt. How have we managed to fall into the toxic belief that being kind and generous with our time and resources means that we are not taking care of ourselves? It IS possible to be a giver all while taking great care of ourselves.



For all of you givers our there who wear themselves out taking great care of others, rock on! I know you. I know that you are giving your whole heart with a smile on the inside. I know that the comfort and happiness of others is your drug of choice. I know that you wouldn't have it any other way, and I love you for it.

The Nose Knows

Scent is a powerful thing! Smells hold so much nostalgia, and can take us back to memorable times in our lives. For pregnant women, otherwise harmless smells can trigger an avalanche of nausea. For others, certain scents can instantly force a painful memory to the surface. In the psychic world, scents are powerful as well.


The spirit world does a great job at grabbing our attention through our sense of smell. It is called “clairolifacation.” This unique clair is the ability to smell psychically.



A lot of people have some psychic smelling gifts that show up unexpectedly. People report smelling their grandfather’s pipe tobacco, their mother’s perfume or their grandmother’s fresh baked bread out of the blue. What a sweet message that our loved one are near! Additionally, some people report smelling roses when they work with angels.



For me, I smell Big Red gum when my grandma is near. She chewed that gum my whole life. I even slipped a few packs into her casket. When I was 15, one of my beloved cousins was killed in a car accident. He was 17, and like a brother to me. I still get a strong whiff of his cologne from time to time. It is his way of letting me know that he is near me.




Pay attention to the smells around you. Scents from heaven frequently show up in places that they should not be. Cigarette smoke in a nonsmokers home, cologne in the car, a floral scent wafting through your bedroom, etc. If you smell something that reminds you of a passed love one, just say “Hello” and “I love you.” They will be overjoyed that they got your attention.

Turning 40

I’m turning 40 this week. It’s bringing up some weird emotions for me. I don’t really mind getting older. I got a text from my aunt this morning referring to my sisters and me as “you kids.” I had to laugh. Age is relative, right? I am nearly 40, but I will always be one of the kids to her. Yesterday, my husband instructed our son to hang his cell phone up. That made me laugh too. You know you are old when you think you are hanging your cell phone up, instead of putting it on the charger.



Back to the birthday emotions…Birthdays always bring up some grief. Even as an adult, my birthday is just not the same without my mom and dad. Maybe someday I will get over that. Maybe not. The hardest part, every year, is getting specific about something that I want. My kids, husband and sisters all start asking the same question. “What do you want for you birthday?” It shouldn’t be that hard, right? But it is. I have no answers. If I answer with “World peace” again, I fear that I will be getting socks and underwear.



So what do I want? I have puzzled all weekend over it. I know that I want time. I want lunches with friends, drives into the mountains with my husband, and trip to a mystical lake that I love. I want to wander her shores for hours, gathering stones and sticks and hearing her stories. I want to take a whole weekend to drive around and visit ancient cemeteries. I want to sit with the graves of babies and grandmothers and drink in the essence of their lives and the love that surrounds them. I want to sit with friends and family and swap jokes, stories and insults. I want I want to laugh until my ribs hurt and tears run down my legs.



So maybe I really do know what I want for my birthday. I want to relish every second of life, with no time clock ticking. That isn’t too much to ask, is it?



5 Life Changing Lessons from Past Life Regression

As a Past Life Regressionist, I have conducted countless regressions with clients. I have learned so many valuable things from those sessions, and occasionally things that challenge my own beliefs. Sometimes people tell me that they want to have a past life regression because it sounds like fun. I always assure them that it is not going to be fun. It is going to be work. Life changing, sometimes gut wrenching, work. And it is going to be worth it.


The following are 5 powerful lessons that past life work has taught me.

1-    1- We are eternal, sentient beings that have a tremendous amount of wisdom in our souls. Don’t ever let anyone tell you differently.

2-    2- Our current problems, whatever they may be, are just a tiny snapshot of a giant picture. You have surmounted larger obstacles so many times, and you can do it now too.

3-    3- Our loved ones who have died are never more than a whisper away. Time and time again in regressions I have witnessed clients go through their deaths, then stay very close to their loved ones until the ends of their lives.

4-    4- Every life will have some regrets and some triumphs. Love big, travel, be kind, and refuse to become jaded by life. Life your life in a way that whenever it ends, your regrets will be few.

5-    5- The most powerful lessons are learned during times of struggle. It is possible to keep loving, keep finding joy, and keep living, even during hard times. Your struggles shape who you are, even more than your successes do.


If you have been considering exploring your own past lives, I want to encourage you to do so. Get ready to tap into your well of wisdom and deepen your connection to your soul!



Ethereal Metals

I am a dream traveler. I have been for all of my life. In the past 10 years many of my dreams have been downloads of information. Sometimes, I think I am remembering something from a past life that I need to bring into my current one. Sometimes I think I'm being taken to a time and place to learn something that humanity needs right now.


Recently I had one of those downloads. I was with a dear friend of mine who I frequently travel with in dreams. Our dream adventures are sometimes very intense. Once, a couple of years ago, we came back from a dream adventure and she was covered in blood and I had pleurisy in one of my lungs! We must have had quite a night! We don't always remember the work that we are doing, but when we do it is exciting.


In this dream she was laying on a stone slab. She was surrounded by people that were performing some sort of a healing on her. We were in a giant stone building. I identify this place as Atlantis. I have been there in dreams and past life regressions many times. My friend was surrounded by people that were performing a healing on her. They were teaching me how to insert an egg-shaped disc of mercury into her shoulder, draw it all the way down her arm and pull it out her hand for her pain. In the dream, she and I were both concerned because mercury is known to be poisonous. It was patiently explained to us that mercury is only poisonous in the physical form but not in the ethereal form. We inserted the disc into her shoulder and drew it down her arm and out her hand five times. They explain to me that mercury will help with her nerve pain. They showed me how to work with other metals too. I was seeing ribbons of silver, tetrahedrons of gold and little steel balls that we were moving through people's bodies for various kinds of healing.


I woke up from that dream full of wonder. I knew that I had received a download of information that I was now to take forward and use. I called my friend to compare experiences with her and, as has happened many times before, she also remembered the dream and the experience. I have not spoken to her in a couple of months, and did not know that she suffered an injury in yoga that has resulted in a significant amount of pain on the right side of her neck all the way through her shoulder and down her arm. While we were on the phone we practiced the healing technique running the disk in all the way down her arm and out her hand. We did it five times. She experienced immediate relief from her pain. We were both getting very excited about the possibilities. Since then I have been asking more questions and applying ethereal metals to healing whenever I can. The results have been exciting and interesting to say the least. I I'm confident that the more I work with this energy the more we will understand it.



5 Ways to Nourish Your Kids' Brains and Souls This Summer

Ah, summer! School is waning, and suddenly, parents everywhere are looking down the barrel of having their kids home for a few months. It can be terrifying and liberating all at once. No more packing lunches, early mornings, or frantic 10:00 PM homework announcements. No more after school clubs, dances, or band concerts. Yet on the flip side, you now have a wild pack of wildebeests on your hands for the next 3 months. They are prepared to eat everything in the house in milliseconds and dirty every article of clothing that they own in one day. They will be bored in a just a few days, and they will expect you to entertain them. I have put together a list of things that kids can benefit from learning over summer break.

1. Teach them how to prepare a meal that has significance to your family. Someday, when you are gone, or your kids live a long way from you, they will appreciate knowing how to prepare familiar comfort food. Even the littlest children can start helping with tasks like getting things out the fridge, setting the table, tearing up the lettuce, etc. Older kids can easily carry out advanced skills like chopping, peeling, mixing, kneading, boiling, baking, etc. Whether is mom’s chicken noodles or great grandma’s tamales, you will always feel good about teaching them about your family food.

2.    Teach them how to meditate. Meditation has tremendous effects on developing brains. Start slow, with brief meditation times, and work up to something longer. Consider setting up a ritual that you go through together each time to set the stage. You may consider letting the kids help pick and light a stick of incense and a candle, place cushions on the floor for sitting, and choose the music that will be played. Start with deep breathing and relaxation, then leave them in a space of quiet for a few minutes. Meditation time for kids should never exceed 15 minutes until they are teens.

3.   Instigate a family book club. There are so many wonderful books out there that a family can read together. Plan for book discussion times each week, and let everyone weigh in on their opinions and thoughts about the book. Make discussion time fun by making special snacks and brewing a pot of tea. Treat your children like equals as you talk together about the book. You will be blown away by their insights and wisdom.

4.    Teach them “The 4 Agreements.” If you have not read it yet, “The 4 Agreements” is a wonderful book by Don Migel Ruiz. Ruiz presents 4 basic agreements to make with yourself for a successful life. All kids should learn these principles early and learn how to put them into action in their lives.

5.    Teach them how to take care of the earth. Teach them about our planet, pollution, animal extinction, etc. Let them help instigate a family recycling program, and help them understand why it is so important. Take them on hikes with gloves and trash bags ready to clean up the trail as they go. Tune up everyone’s bicycles and ride bikes as much as possible to cut back on your family’s carbon footprint. There are so many tremendous ways that out kids can help us find a cleaner future for our planet, and it definitely starts at home.

Obviously, this is a short list that will get your wheels turning. I hope that you will find a million and one ways to educate your children this summer in ways that will feed your soul and theirs. To all of the parents who have kids getting out for the summer, may the force be with you!

Are you looking for your stairs?

I have an precious Chihuahua who is 11. His name is Skippy. He has never been an athletic guy. He has never been able to jump up onto the couch. That is a huge issue for him, since he spends 90% of his day there. Nothing makes Skip happier than an afternoon of snuggling in quilts on the couch. Additionally if anyone else is sitting on the couch he believes that it is his responsibility to sit with them. Recently he was the recipient of a set of puppy stairs. They were hand-me-downs from his dachshund  cousins who refused to use them. Their mother had finally had enough of them and passed them on to Skip. He wasn't sure what to make of them initially. I had to teach him how to use them by chumming him up the stairs with Cheese Nips. It didn't take him long to figure out that those stairs meant freedom. Now he comes up and down the stairs many times every day. Up the stairs to lay on the couch, down the stairs to get a drink, up the stairs to bark out the window, down the stairs to go see what someone else is up to. It goes on and on all day. No longer does he have to beg next to my chair to be picked up. He simply sprints up his stairs and is in my lap in no time. It has been fun to watch him discover his new-found freedom and start using it. The incredible thing is, he has perked up in other ways too. He is not sleeping as much. He is playing with toys a lot more. He is bouncing around the house looking for someone to play with. He has even been venturing into the backyard to play a little bit. Skippy's life has literally been changed by a hand-me-down set of stairs.


I have a talked to a lot of people lately who are feeling stuck. Jobs, money, relationships and personal growth are all topics of stagnancy. People are looking for their own set of stairs to elevate them to a new level. Most people are looking for BIG change, thinking that will help them to feel better. Could it be, though, that smaller, easier changes could make all of the difference? What if your stairs are looking right at you, so easy, so obvious, but you can't see them?


If you are feeling stuck, step back. Start small. What can you change about your self care, your environment, the way to spend your time? So often, when our whole situation seems bleak and hopeless, we forget that we have the power to change a great many things in our lives. Change what you can, and as you shift your frequency out of feeling stuck, expect to see larger changes begin to roll out.


5 Things Married People Know

I cannot believe that it is May already. The year is nearly halfway gone, and as usual, time flies when you are having fun. May is my anniversary month, and it always makes me think a lot about relationships. I met my husband when I was fourteen years old. I fell for him instantly, and he, for me. We dated throughout high school and into college, and married when we were nineteen. We will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary in a couple of weeks, and I have no idea where the time has gone. I still feel like that fresh faced child bride with utter optimism and complete faith in love. I am shocked to see a wrinkle or strand of gray hair when I peer into the mirror! Many of my clients are drawn to me for relationship help. I used to wonder why, as I have not dated in practically ever, and felt like I did not have a lot to offer. My sister pointed out that I must have some good relationship advice, considering that I have been married for a long time! After pondering that, I have considered five things that married people seem to know.


  1.           Love more than you battle. I know this seems simple enough, and it is. However, I constantly see people battling each other on small stuff, losing sight of the big picture. Will you really care in five years if he wears that ugly shirt to your family reunion? Probably not. But you will care that he came and gave horsie rides to a herd of shrieking kids for three hours, because he loves you. Choose your battles wisely, and offer more love and affection than reprimands.

2-      Equality is a thorn in the side of love. Sure, everyone one dreams of the perfect balance of chores and responsibilities. That would be great. But is it worth your relationship to make it happen? You may say, “I love you,” more than he does. He may take out the trash more than you do. That doesn’t mean that you are lazy or he loves you less. Avoid keeping score or becoming the martyr. It isn’t loving, and it negates everyone’s efforts.

3-         Be your own best friend. It is not your spouse’s job to ensure your every happiness and joy. It is yours. They should support that, and they may some coaching to learn how, but it is up to you to make sure that you feel like your best self. Do your own work, and love yourself. When you can do that, you are so easy to love.

4-           Do not expect to marry a mind reader. Not going to happen. If you need something that you are not getting, speak up! Do not give in to the urge to stew and resent the person you love most on the planet because they are not giving you something that you did not ask for. See how silly that sounds? Use your voice, and request more compliments, affection, romance, etc.

5-        An attitude of gratitude will get you far. Your spouse is not the only one who has bad days, gets grumpy, looks like a train hit him in the morning, etc. You do too, and he tolerates and adores you anyway. There is plenty of give and take in a solid relationship, and you both deserve a little gratitude for being a willing party.


Happy May, everyone. May this be a year full of love, joy and growth for all us, both in relationships and in life.

Saying Goodbye to our Big Blue Girl

It wouldn't hurt so much if we didn't love them so much. That's what I have to keep reminding myself. I know I wouldn't change it for anything. We lost one of our beloved dogs last week. Our Great Dane was nine years old. She was a Blue Merle Great Dane. We named her Saphira after a giant blue dragon in the novel "Eragon" by Christopher Paolini. She definitely had the heart of a dragon. She was getting up there for sure. Her health had been remarkably great. Danes tend to struggle with a myriad of weird health issues, but she really hadn't had any of them. She did struggle with anxiety when there were loud noises like fireworks, thunder or gunshots. Overall though, she had enjoyed an excellent 9 years of health and happiness.

Last weekend she got ill. She clearly didn't feel good and seem to be having some pain in her abdomen. By Sunday night she was vomiting. Monday morning we called the vet. We were instructed to keep her hydrated and bring her in on Tuesday. We did so. On Tuesday the vet suspected that she had a uterine infection that was causing her to have a high fever, dehydration and vomiting. I knew it wasn't good. I had told my husband Tuesday morning I felt like we were going to lose this battle. It's not a prediction that you want to be right about. It is what my gut told me though. I felt like she was getting ready to transition from this world, that she was all done. She was hospitalized on Tuesday, for observation and hydration. Wednesday morning the vet called and said that her white blood count had shot up in the night and they needed to do an emergency surgery to rid her of the infection. We knew that it was fairly risky at her age but at this point it was do surgery or she would die. I authorized the surgery. At 1:30 in the afternoon my phone rang. I was in the shower but felt strongly that I had to take it so I quickly toweled off and grabbed the phone. It was the vet. He said that he was not sure how to express this to me but needed us to know that our dog died in surgery. He said that her heart was doing something funny and he couldn't stabilize her. I wasn't surprised but of course I was still heartbroken. He offered to let us come and get her, if we wanted to bury her. That made me chuckle a little, as in her prime she was a hundred-and-fifty-pound dog. I couldn't imagine the size of hole that would have to be dug in the backyard in order to bury her on our property. We decided to go a different route.

Scott and I grieved together that afternoon. Our hearts were broken but we still had a tremendous amount of gratitude for the time that we did have with her. 9 years old for a Dane is old. We have been on borrowed time for a while and we knew it. We had a very busy ahead of us, and had chosen not to tell the kids until later that evening. At 7 we dashed home to grab softball gear to head to a practice. At that point my youngest daughter realized that something was wrong. She demanded to know where Saphira was. She's not really a kid that you can lie to. She's very dialed in and her intuition is constantly at work. I realized that it would just make it worse by not just telling her the truth and so I did. She cried all the way to softball practice. I told her that she would have to put her game face on and get through practice with me and then we would tell the other kids and grieve together. When we got to practice I noticed her clutching her heart. She looked at me with her giant brown eyes and said, “Mom my heart just hurts. It literally hurts in my chest right now.” Oh, how I know that feeling. We managed to get through softball practice and get home. When we got home we sat the other kids down and let them know what happened. Many tears were shed, of course.

When I got up the next morning, I realized that in spirit she was still sleeping right next to my bed like she always did. She got up and followed me into the bathroom like normal. She expressed to me how strange it was to be so light, so unencumbered. She was also a bit miffed that her bed was already gone. Later that morning Skippy, one of our little Chihuahuas, was spooked by her in the kitchen. I saw him come dashing around the corner towards me then throw the brakes on turn and head into the corner of the kitchen where he watched me with with a bit of suspicion. It made me laugh. He never liked her getting too close to me.

The saddest grieving it all has been from our little chihuahua Rico. Rico was Saphira's best friend. They cuddled together, played together and generally adored each other. She was very careful to play with her 3 pound pal and not smash him in the process. After we went to bed Thursday night, I noticed that he was crying in his sleep. He cried and whimpered for most of the night. He was very quiet on Friday, with no interest in playing with his toys or even playing with me. He wanted to cuddle with Skippy in his blankets, and that was it. We have made a point of giving him a lot of extra attention this weekend, and slowly, he is perking up. I know that his grief will go on for some time, and we will be patient with him. As an animal communicator, I have been careful to be sure that all of our dogs know what has happened. They will grieve anyway though, just like us.

Years ago I was working with a dying dog who told me that death, to a dog, is an honor to the soul. She told me that her body was unable to house her soul any longer, and she would be graduating out of it soon. I know that Saphira is just fine now, no illness or infection or lumbering body to drag around. It sure is weird to go to bed without her demanding a series of back scratches before she can settle in next to me for the night. It is weird to get up in the morning without worrying about stepping on her when I hop out of bed. We are okay at my house. Our hearts hurt right now, but we will heal together. After all, it wouldn’t hurt so much if we didn’t love so much. I wouldn’t trade the love and companionship for anything in the world.

Porcupine Wisdom

Spring has really sprung here in Idaho and the weather couldn't be more volatile. In the last week we have experienced gale force winds, snow, driving rain, hail and beautiful sunny days. It's a lot to keep up with. I have become much more mindful about how much the weather affects my mood. As it turns out, it's not really fair to snap your kids head off because it's raining outside! All of this moisture is greening up the forests. Scott and I have spent many days this last week wandering around gathering morel mushrooms and wild asparagus. It is a hobby of ours in the spring to do so. Yesterday we were in the woods hunting for morels when we discovered the most delightful thing. Scott saw him first. A porcupine was sitting in a tree watching us. It is common for porcupines to bed down in trees. They even make a nest. This guy was just hanging out doing on branches and watching us curiously. Even our loud kids didn't dissuade him, though he did climb a little higher. He allowed us to get some video and some beautiful pictures of him.


I started thinking about the significance of seeing the porcupine. What spiritual significance could this have? What lessons can I glean from this unique creature? I set out to do a little research on the totem of porcupine. I learned that the porcupine is a member of the rodent family. His barbs help to keep him safe. He actually does not have great eyesight, so he likes a high vantage point. I noted that the porcupine has a very sweet and innocent face.


Porcupines are a totem of faith and trust. They remind us to have faith in ourselves and our own inner wisdom. They also remind us to retreat to the trees to get a better vantage point and to change our perspective. The porcupine quill provides protection when necessary and yet they have a soft underbelly that can be exposed if they are feeling safe. Sometimes I see people’s spirits like that. I see them covered in barbs, like life has been too much for them and they have now covered themselves with their protective exterior. We have all felt a bit prickly from time to time. Can you think of a time when you felt so irritated, your spirit felt so prickly that you could not stand to have other people too close to you or in your space? That is the cautionary tale of the porcupine. Know when to use your prickly exterior to keep you safe, but also know when to allow yourself to expose that vulnerable underbelly.

For me, I think that the porcupine is a reminder to me to slow down, to observe more and to remember to seek out joyful things in life. I could use a reminder from time to time to be curious, to seek out knowledge and wisdom and to renew my own sense of wonder. What can you learn from our wise new friend?

The True Weight of Stuff

My aunt used to say that nothing made her happier than bags of trash at the curb. As an adult I can really understand that. When my house gets too cluttered I start feeling like I'm drowning in it. Stuff carries a tremendous weight. We live in a society where we are constantly encouraged to have more. We work hard to acquire more. But the more we have, the more we have to deal with. We have to store, display, clean, repair and deal with all of the stuff in our lives.


We recently completed an addition on our home. We created an additional bedroom. As my son was moving into his new bedroom, he downsized a lot of his things. It made sense to me. Just moving bedrooms he realized that he was holding on to a lot of old things that didn't make sense to keep any more. As my daughters moved into their respective bedrooms, they discovered the same thing. In just one afternoon all 3 kids managed to clear out a tremendous amount of extra stuff. I was amazed to see all 3 of them suddenly acting like they had more energy. They got out of bed the next morning without a struggle, and got out the door on time. Their stuff is organized. They know where their clothes and their shoes are. Their bedrooms are easy to navigate. The energy is just better.


The rest of the house is just about to get the same treatment. Every so often it really pays to do a big decluttering. I am a fan of the box method. Put several boxes on the floor in the living room. Label them. One box for recycling, one for trash, one to return borrowed items, one to give things away, and one to donate. As you navigate to your house it is easy to pick up items and place them in the appropriate box. It doesn't take long to have your house sorted out. The key then, of course, is to deal with the boxes. They can't now sit in the living room for six weeks. I feel like these sorts of projects have to be put on a short deadline in order to be successful. Set a goal to have all of the boxes dealt with in two days. You will be surprised how much better your house feels and how much happier your spirit feels.


All of that additional stuff carries an energetic imprint. If you have a stack of mail that brings you anxiety, every time you walk past that stack of mail you will feel anxious. Instead, deal with that mail. Take action and do what you need to with it so that you can then shred it and have it gone. That dead houseplant in the corner just feels like death. Get rid of it. That ugly old blanket on the back of the couch that your mother-in-law made? Let it go. The worst energetic culprits in your house are the things that you are keeping out of obligation. Just because it was a gift does not mean that you have to keep it front and center if it doesn't bring you joy. I don't know about you, but if I gifted someone something and it did not bring them joy I would certainly not be angry if it wasn't displayed in the living room. In fact if I've ever gifted someone something and they don't need it or use it any longer, I am completely happy for them to donate it or get rid of it. To be honest I probably wouldn't remember what I gave them anyway. We keep many things out of obligation. That is a mistake. Keeping any items out of obligation prevents you from surrounding yourself in things that you love.


I have been on many, many space clearings in people's homes. Some of the worst energetic homes that I've ever been in we're full to the brim of extra stuff. There was a home that was literally built on a landfill. Apparently there had been a very junky old property that was abandoned when its owners died. Rather than deal with all of their stuff, the county eventually brought in a backhoe, dig a giant hole and buried all of their junk. The piece of land was sold and a new house was built. Several years later, my client bought the home. This house was an energetic nightmare. They had constant paranormal issues, weird energetic issues and chaos in that house. Every once in awhile some of the buried junk would work its way to the surface. Their  lawn would gift them with an old baby doll head, a fork or a broken string of cheap baubles. It was weird and unsettling. It took several visits and a lot of creative work to finally fully clear that property. All of that stuff with its own energetic imprint was affecting the entire property. All of that stuff carried a huge energetic weight.

If you feel like you are drowning in your own clutter, make a promise to yourself this spring to let It go. While you are at it, let go of guilt and obligation. Remember that your house is your sanctuary and you deserve to feel fabulous there.

Eloheim, the Angel of Ascension

I’ve been doing psychic radio for a long time. Radio is great, but it exposes you to a lot of different energies. When the Psychic Sisters started on New Sky Radio, at CBS, we were exposed to a much larger audience. Suddenly, I found myself under psychic attack over and over again. A psychic attack happens when someone has a strong emotional response to you and makes a connection to your spirit. I have always worked with Archangel Michael in times of trouble, but it just kept happening. I was exhausted, ungrounded and in pain.



Finally, in meditation, Michael introduced me to an angel I had never worked with before. He was an archangel, and huge, a lot like AA Michael, only older. Ancient. He had long white hair and hardly spoke. Michael told me that his name was Eloheim. I was sure that I was mishearing this, as this is a name associated with God in the bible. I asked for the name again, again heard Eloheim. Again, I insisted that I was mishearing, but for the third time, heard Eloheim. Michael explained to me that man has frequently misunderstood whom they were working with, thus the confusion with who this light being is.



I asked AA Eloheim if he could lessen my load, clear and protect me from the energetic attacks that were coming my way. He used a red flame to burn away all of the psychic debris. He placed a red ring of fire around my feet, to continue to protect me from all that was not loving. I felt better than I had felt in months.



I was so curious about this ancient being of light, who so effortlessly burned away months of pain and struggles. It was explained to me that Eloheim is an angel whose purpose is to help ascending beings. He is, indeed, ancient. He has not been active on our planet for a very long time, but is now here to help anyone who calls on him. He says very little. His job is not to comfort or coach. His job is to clear away lower vibrating energy, in order for us to continue to ascend to higher frequencies.



If you would like to learn how to connect to this powerful Archangel, I am teaming up with Kristi Brower to teach a Spiritual Protection class on April 17th at 7:00 PM at 12Academy.com.  We will discuss AA Eloheim and teach students how to connect to him for help, as well as presenting other techniques for psychic protection. 

You are HER. She is YOU.

I have really been drawn all things Goddess for many years now. I love the old Goddess mythology, Egyptian tales, etc. I LOVE that the oldest depictions of the Goddess show a very round, chubby, mommy shaped Goddess. In fact, when I saw pictures of that, I though, “My god, maybe I am the Goddess. She is shaped just like me!” A good year later, I read a thought provoking book, “The Moon Under her Feet”. That book left me with the full realization that I really am the Goddess. I am Isis, Goddess of motherhood and domestic arts. I am Inanna, the Queen of Heaven. I am most certainly Artemis, Goddess of dance, singing, and enchantment. I am, without a doubt, Demeter, Goddess of protecting women. I am also Kwan Yin, Vesta, Anu, Danu, Rhiannon….and the list goes on. I am, in all of my greatness, just like them. When I am nurturing my children, healing my clients, tending my garden, loving my dogs, cleaning my home, baking bread, tending to family members and friends in need, I am the the Goddess. I am also, in my darkest moments, just like them.


When I am grieving, sorrowing, raging against injustice, or just raging to rage, I am the Goddess. When I having PMS and I am grouchy, I am still the Goddess. When I am laughing with friends, playing games, teasing, joking, singing, and spreading joy, I am the Goddess. When I am communing with nature, hiking, swimming, basking in the sunlight, soaking in the moonlight, and loving the earth, I am the Goddess. When I can forgive those who have hurt me, and when I can forgive myself for my own missteps, I AM THE GODDESS! It is an amazingly freeing realization, to become the Goddess. I am all powerful. I control everything around me. I am a formidable force for good, being that I am the Goddess and all.


So, here comes the point of this article. Are you ready? Have you already figured this out? YOU are the Goddess. Yes, you are. You really are. When you nurture, love, laugh, cry, dance, sing, rage, scream, or just be….you are She. The Queen of Heaven. When you love someone you would love to hate, you are Her. When you get all riled up about something seemingly trivial, you are Her. She is you. You are me. I am you. Do you get it yet? We are all one. One in our love, one in efforts, and one in our attempts to change to world.


The Goddess in me needs to change the world. She is passionate about it! She won’t leave me alone about it! She came here to get things done, and she won’t rest until it is so. Will you join me? Will you rise up, claim your divinity, and be the Goddess? Will you smile when people call you a bitch, and know that Bitch is just another word for Goddess-that-scares-the-crap-out-of-people? Will you follow your heart, listen to your inner guidance, and get the job done? Will you remember, even when you feel like wimping out, that the Goddess is not a sissy? I believe that you will. I know that if you let the Goddess out of the bag, that your life will never be the same. I know that if you decide to embrace you own inner Goddess, and join us, that you will be a force to be reckoned with. I know that you will be unstoppable, fearless, and, I hope, that every once in a while, you will proudly wear the label of Bitch Goddess! It is a great honor to walk this path with all of you.

5 Things That Your Animal Companions Want You to Know

Anyone who shares their life with an animal knows that there is a lot going on in those little craniums. You can tell just by their expressions that there is that their wheels are constantly turning, thinking about all kinds of things. Have you ever watched your dog dream? They can become very animated, sometimes barking, running in place and otherwise acting out a dream. I'm sure that you have looked at that dog before I wondered what in the world is going on in that crazy head of yours? As an animal communicator I have the privilege of working with a myriad of pets, though I'm going to focus this conversation on dogs and cats. There are some things that come up frequently in animal communication sessions and I would like to share them here.




1.      Your company is vital to us. We miss you when you are gone. When you get home we really wish you would make some time just to greet us. We are so excited to see you! Please sit with us for a minute and help us to feel secure and loved.




2.      We feel your emotions deeply. Your pets are so dialed in to your emotions, it is impossible to hide what you are feeling. In fact, they are probably closer to your emotional body than anybody. Many of my clients with extreme anxiety report that even when they cannot stand to be around any people, they can still allow their dog or cat to sit closely with them. You may also notice that when you are grieving that animal tries to be very close to your heart chakra, sitting on your chest, in your arms, right up near your face. This is no coincidence. They choose to sit close to you and to be near your spirit and in your heart space to help heal you. I do believe that animals see auras. They do know what's going on with people just by looking at them. I also believe that due to their enhanced sense of smell they can smell your body chemistry and also know where you are emotionally and physically. When they act like they need to show you love, let them. They have assigned themselves a role in your home and frequently a large part of that role is emotional support. It's okay to hug them, to cry and to allow them to be your comforter.




3.      We really hate your cellphone. These days you spend more time looking at that thing than you do at us. Can you just put it down for a while and take us on a walk or throw our ball? I have found it interesting how many of my clients report that their dogs or cats try to knock their phones out of their hands. I think they are telling us something. Not only has our screen time taken away from the time we would normally spend with them, but I think that they also see what is or is not good for us. In fact, as I type this, my Chihuahua Rico is desperately trying to get my attention and insisting on sitting in my lap. I will definitely have to make some time to cuddle with him soon. (Side note, I finally ended up writing this article by voice text because he was so insistent on being held. He really wanted to be a part of the conversation.)




4.      If we were a rescue pet, there may always be some level of insecurity within us about whether or not this is our forever home. It's not because you don't make us feel secure. It's not because there's anything wrong with your home. We love it here. We're grateful for you. But you have to understand that when you have been abused and abandoned, that kind of thing stays with you. I have been amazed with rescue animals who are in very secure home situations, and have been for years, who are still asking if they will live here forever. If you have rescue animals in your home be sure to reassure them frequently that you love them and that they are there for good.




5.      Please stop setting us up to fail. We try to please you, and we do want to follow the rules. However sometimes our emotions or senses overpower us and we do things that you cannot explain. If we tend to be destructive when you're not home, it would be better for us to be in a crate where we would feel more secure and not have the temptation of destroying your belongings. If we cannot make it through the night without an accident, it would be better for us to sleep in a room where an accident is no big deal. You see, we do have our own limitations as well. I am amazed at how frequently I have a client who is very frustrated with the pet for not following the rules that they seem unable to follow. For example, if you are walking your dog off leash and he takes off chasing a cat, that is on you. He was overwhelmed by his senses and even though he knows that the rule is to stay next to you, he simply could not. Rather than setting him up to fail by going off leash, why not keep him on a leash in places where his safety and the safety of those around him are paramount? Everyone wins in a home where accommodations are made for the needs of the animals living there. This can become especially important as animals age. Elderly pets may not do as well with going to the bathroom outside as they once did. They may need a change in food. They may need to be kept warmer, have different sleeping arrangements or need more time with you. Just as we make accommodations in the home for the humans who live there, sometimes accommodations for the pets who live there is just as vital.




Clearly our relationship with our animal companions is symbiotic. We both receive a lot from these relationships. Just remember, as you are making decisions and plans, to include their needs in the conversation. They are every bit as much of the family as you are.


I presented on this topic recently, at the 12Family Psychic Symposium. You can watch my presentation on YouTube.

Invisible Scars

The scientific study of epigenetics digs deep into the theory that highly emotional events can cause literal scars on DNA that can be inherited, just like green eyes or blonde hair. Part of my work has been to learn how to unlock those scars and heal them, setting clients free from invisible barriers to their success and happiness. It is such an intriguing subject, with an incredible potential for positive change.


I had a client years ago that was in a miserable marriage. She and her husband struggled in every way imaginable. They had both had repeated affairs, and hadn’t slept in the same bedroom for years. They didn’t seem to even like each other, let alone love each other. She wanted to leave him desperately, but couldn’t seem to make it happen. Every time she got on the brink of leaving, something within in her would back up.


She came to see me to see if I could help her sever the energetic cords that connected them. We did that. Six months later she was back, still married, still miserable. We did past life work. We worked through fear and ego. We did inner child work and more energy work. She stayed married. Her family and friends begged her to go. SHE begged herself to go, but as usual, she felt blocked from doing so. Things had deteriorated to the point that he was unwilling to work and they were forced to live with his mother. My client was at an all-time low.


She came to see me for a DNA clearing. She said that she was not sure why, but had a dream that made her think that was what she needed. DNA clearings involve taking a look at ancestry to see where there may be scars on a client’s DNA that are affecting their current lives and behavior. Immediately, her maternal great grandmother came in. We were told that she carried scars on her DNA regarding marriage that her granddaughter was carrying. She expressed to us that as a young bride, her husband was a gambler and philanderer, but her mother would not allow her to leave him. She instilled in her that she had to be a dutiful wife and make it work. She stayed married to him until the time of his death, when she was in her 70’s. It was an unhappy marriage for the bulk of that time. She took joy in her children and her little dogs, and worked hard to keep them all fed.


She expressed to us that the hurt and humiliation he caused her had created scars on her DNA that she had passed along to her posterity. I performed a DNA healing on my client, unlocking those scars at the source, the great grandmother, and sending them forward through her posterity. We followed up that clearing with a new blessing, empowering her to get her life back. Her grandmother promised to stay close by and to help her in any way that she could.


I didn’t hear from her again for several months. When I did, I learned that she left her husband just a few weeks after our work together. She was living in her own apartment, had released 20 lbs. and had a good job that she loved. Her grandmother was so proud of her.  Life still has it's ups and downs, the but the invisible scars that were helping her stay stuck and miserable are gone now. She is in control of creating her own happiness.

Seeking the High Road

Mondays are considered motivational Mondays at my house. I have a little Instagram group with my kids a few close family friends that I share a few motivational quotes with. It has been fun, because I can tailor quotes to the things that I know are going on in these kids’ lives. They are mostly athletes, so many of the things that I share relate to sports, but not always. Sometimes it is about friendship, kindness, teamwork or hard work. Recently, I shared a quote with them that really hit home to me.


“Reach for higher ground, every day, in every decision. Big and small, our choices add up to the life we live. Be someone who encourages and uplifts. Share your story. Trust in what you feel. Follow your heart. Live the dream in you. Then you inspire someone else to live on their higher ground.” Kelly Epperson


This quote helped me to start evaluating my own decisions, big and small. Am I reaching for higher ground, or the easiest ground? Do I encourage and uplift selectively? Am I truly living the dream in me? I know that I can do better, in many areas. I also started wondering, what I am doing to encourage and motivate myself. Does my self-talk reflect who I want to be? Does my self care reflect how I would like my health to be? Right now I have more questions than answers. It is time for me to do some soul searching, with brutal honesty. I suspect that I am in for an attitude adjustment. My kids say, “You better check yourself, before you wreck yourself!” Consider me checked.

Schumann Resonance is Affecting You


It has long been believed that there is a measurable “heartbeat” or frequency of the earth known as the Schumann Resonance. The Schumann Resonance (SR) has been spiking really high over the last 30 days. Higher than it has ever been in recorded history, in fact.


According to Wikipedia, the Schumann Resonance “are a set of spectrum peaks in the extremely low frequency (ELF) portion of the Earth’s electromagnetic field spectrum. Schumann resonances are global electromagnetic resonances, generated and excited by lightning discharges in the cavity formed by the Earth’s surface and the ionosphere.”


Up until 2014, the SR was measured around 7.83 HZ (cycles per second), as a constant. Sometime in 2014, we started seeing spikes in the SR from 15-25 HZ. In Feb on 2017, we saw spikes as high as 36+ HZ. Since the Schumann frequency is said to be “in tune” with the human brain’s alpha and theta states, the SR acceleration could be why light workers have been feeling so out of sorts for the last few months.


Typically, the root chakra grounds to the earth, attuning the frequency of our spirit to the frequency of the earth. With the earth going through such a huge shift in frequency, it is forcing our spirits to realign with it. We are witnessing a huge spiritual awakening on our planet, and it is so exciting to be a part of it! Ultimately, I believe that this shift will allow people to shed old, self-limiting beliefs and behaviors. We will see a heightened sense of intuition in many people as well. However, I do believe that we can expect to experience a fair amount of discomfort along the way.


I believe that realigning to the current frequency can result in feeling dizzy, nauseous, exhausted, emotional and foggy. Some people may also find that they are feeling like they are on the precipice of something big happening, with no idea what that thing is. This energy can be very intense. Over the next 6 months, I expect that many of us will experience significant spiritual breakthroughs.


In the meantime, we will need to take great care of ourselves. Regular energy work is a must, as we are shedding old layers from our emotional and spirit bodies. Some gentle physical movement will help our bodies to ease into a higher frequency. Pay attention to the needs of your body, as you may find your nutritional needs shifting as well. Spending a good deal of time in nature will be an easy and natural way to help your root chakra to stay connected to this shifting frequency.





Women Elevate

I grew up in a home of 3 girls. As adults we have been each others best friends and allies. It wasn’t always that way though. As kids, we fought just like any other house full of kids does. My dad hated the fighting, and couldn’t bear to see us be cruel to each other. He would always say, “That is your sister, and she is your best friend!” What wise words. As we grew into teens, we all became much better friends. We shared a lot of friends that came to our house to hang out with all of us. By the time we reached young adulthood, we were truly best friends.


What kind of a world would we live in, if all women could treat each other that way, like their best friend? Even after all of these years of female empowerment, we are way too quick to tear each other down. It is expected. It is accepted. Women fight, don’t you know? Too many women in an office means war, right? Wrong. It doesn’t have to mean that. It is time to flip the script on people who believe that women are supposed to devour each other for their own gain.


We need to start looking for every reason to defend and support our sisters, whether we know them or not. We are our sister’s keeper. We must start teaching our children a new narrative about girls and women. Our little girls need to see their mothers modeling supportive and accepting behavior towards all women. We must REFUSE to judge other women based on their appearance, weight, relationships, parenting choices, career, religion, clothing, sexual choices or any other thing that is none of our business. Instead, we have to be brave enough to look within, to find the light in our female counterparts, and to draw it out in any way that we can. We have to be brave enough to allow other women to be equal to us, with no need or attempt to tear her down.


There is room in this big world for all of us to be individual. To be successful. We can all win when we choose to stop competing and start elevating every woman and girl in our lives. Never forget, she is your sister and she is your best friend.

8 Ways to Help Kids With Depression

Being a kid is tough these days! Our high pressure world demands action and results from people starting at such a young age. It can get overwhelming and depressing. As parents, it is our job to recognize depression in our kids, and help. Some symptoms of childhood depression are apathy, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, behavior changes, and sadness that does not go away. If you feel like your child may be depressed, they need to be seen by their pediatrician. Being proactive is important to get them the assistance needed to feel better.


There are plenty of things that can be done at home, as well.


1.    Diffuse citrus essential oils. Lemon, orange, grapefruit, lime, and bergamot oils are all great for elevating moods.

2.    Play Native American Flute music. The flute is the oldest known musical instrument. Listening to the tones of the flute helps kids to connect with their spirits and relaxes their bodies as well. Even better, let them choose their own flute to play at home!

3.    Create a “Worry Jar”. Help your kids create a special place for their worries to go, so that they don’t have to carry them around. A quart mason jar works great. Provide paint, stickers, markers, sequins, glue, etc. to decorate the jar. Keep the jar in a place that kids can access it without help, as well as small pieces of paper and pens. Encourage them to write or draw their worries down, and put them in the jar whenever they feel like they need to. Once in a while, let kids help pour all of the worries out and burn them in a safe place.

4.    Do your best to engage all kids in some sort of exercise. Swimming, biking, yoga, Tai Chi, and hiking are all good ones to try. Depressed kids may not be self-starters when it comes to exercise, so you will want to exercise with them. Make it fun, easy, and reasonable to keep them engaged. Exercise is a known mood elevator, as the brain releases vital endorphins during movement.

5.    Keep your space clear. Homes that have a lot of heavy energy are depressing to everyone. There are a lot of great ways to clear space. Consider trying smudging, clearing with basil tea, or drumming. Best of all, space clearing is fun for kids to help out with.

6.    Provide access to great nutrition. Fresh fruits and vegetables are powerhouses for kids that need a boost. If you have kids who struggle with eating fruits and veggies, try providing options for dipping. Peanut butter, Ranch dressing, Greek yogurt, and Nutella are all popular dip items at my house.  

7.  Keep an eye on social media. According to bullingstatistics.org, over half of teens and preteens have been bullied online. Additionally, most kids don't tell their parents when they have been bullied. If your kids have Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, etc, then you should as well. If you don't know how to use them, learn! If you have kids, you live with a bunch of tech experts, after all. Keep an eye on what they are posting and how people are responding to them. Kids are usually not emotionally mature enough to navigate the complicated waters of online relationships, and they may need your help.

8.  Screen time depression is a very real thing. According to Psychologytoday.com, children who are exposed to too much screen time are frequently impulsive, moody, lack in attention span and suffer from depression. It is important to help kids find ways away from their phones, TVs, tablets, etc. There should be some expectation daily of electronics being put away to work on other things, as well as a time at night that they are retired for the evening.


Provide love and support to struggling kids without displaying worry. Do your best, and remember, your love and acceptance is the biggest gift that you can possibly give your children.

Your Bliss Is Within Your Reach

For the last few weeks I have been noticing an interesting trend among many my friends and clients. They are frustrated with each other, angry, and hurt. It seems that emotions are running high and folks are feeling the full weight of it.


Yesterday one of my Facebook friends commented that she had high hopes for the day, but someone had said something to hurt her, therefore her entire day was ruined. In my optimism, pointed out that no one can hurt your feelings unless you let them. My comment further irritated her, and she responded with a curt response, “Well, I’m sorry. Not everyone can be perfect.” I realized a little too late that what she really wanted was someone to commiserate with her misery, and tell her that it was okay to react that way. The fact is, I love her too much to do that. I care about all of you too much to do that, so I am going to share with you my thoughts on this.


Simply, no one can hurt your feelings unless you let them! If someone’s mean comment ruins your entire day, then you are allowing yourself to feel that way. The truth is, people who are behaving that way have a lot more issues than you. Their actions are a result their own drama, their own fear, and their own unhappiness. When you can step back, refuse to take things personally, and see the bigger picture, suddenly, you have no need to get offended. You may even decide to feel a little bit of compassion for that person. That is great, but NO saving allowed. Gone are the days of always having to be responsible for other people’s happiness. Right now, you are only in charge of yours. After all, when you are happy and operating through love, other people with catch that bug. You don’t actually have to DO anything.


So, how do you operate through happiness and love? You just do. You make a conscious choice to be “that person”. I read an article on MSN the other day that claimed that happy people on Facebook make other people feel bad. I think that is rubbish. Truly happy people have simply decided to be happy, regardless of their immediate situation. It doesn't mean that bad things don't happen to them. I doesn't mean that they don't have their own bouts with depression, grief and fear. It does, however, mean that they have decided to find some joy, somehow, in their lives. I love this quote: “Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.”-Ghandi. With that being said, you owe it to yourselves to surround yourself in people and circumstances that feel good. There is nothing wrong with weeding toxic people out of your lives.


Sure, the rain will fall in your lives from time to time. That is a part being human. We all have moments of anger, sadness, grief, etc. It is the way we react to that emotion that is the key. Can you emerge from it stronger, wiser, maybe even happier? Or will you allow it to destroy you, set you back, rob all other happiness from your life? The choice is yours.


Give yourself permission to be happier, love more, forgive more, and laugh more. It is the greatest act of love that you can give yourself. I am pulling for you! I know that you can do it, because I know that I can do it, and we are not that much different, you and I.


Today, I choose to live in my bliss, embrace happiness and spread joy. Join me!

There is Room In This Big Tent

Forgive me this once, for getting a little political. Or perhaps it is not political at all, but human. This Muslim ban business over the weekend has really held my attention. Honestly, I hardly slept last night. I am reading accounts of citizens holding green cards, unable to get home to their children and animal companions, their jobs, their homes. I am reading accounts of judges issuing emergency orders to prevent this, only to have those orders ignored. I am reading accounts of senators and attorneys staying in airport security all night, demanding that innocent citizens be released and allowed to return to their lives. I am reading about countless rallies and demonstrations across the country and beyond, many with mayors, governors and state representatives in attendance. This morning I am reading strongly worded statements coming out of Washington by our representatives, denouncing this act. Suddenly, they are not Dems or Republicans, they are Americans.


Last week a mosque burned to the ground. The LDS church next door opened their doors and offered space to the Muslim community to pray until their building is replaced. Right there, in a room meant to teach little ones about Jesus, are rows of Muslim men, on their knees, praying to their god. Incredible and courageous. They LDS community had to blast through their fear of something they don’t understand or even agree with, in order to make a generous and decent offer. The Muslims praying in that church will never forget the kindness that has been offered to them. It is an example that we must all take to heart right now.


I have noticed some memes floating around, asking Americans why they care so much about immigrants when we have a homelessness and poverty issue in our country that is not being addressed to the fullest. I agree. We have homeless veterans, homeless families, and hungry children. It has to change. They thing is, it is okay to care about both. We have to stop buying into the “either/or” rhetoric that has been sold to us. We can show constant compassion for ALL who are suffering, and we can certainly spread our efforts around. The only way we can offer true change it is to unite and work together.


A few years ago, when the Seattle Seahawks had the strongest defense in the NFL, their coach said that they practiced “ball first” strategies. All plays revolved around the ball, all players gravitated to the ball. It worked. They were unstoppable. At this point, we must develop a “Compassion First” strategy. Every single one us, regardless of the country that we live in, our economic status, or our political beliefs, must start looking at the world through compassion colored lenses. We do have enough. There is enough wealth, enough food, enough land and enough grace in the US to take care of everyone who is suffering. We have been sold a different story. We have been led to believe that we should fear what we don’t know. We have been encouraged to assume the worst of those who are suffering the most. It is time to do more ourselves, expect more from our political leaders and stop getting distracted by our differences.


We are unifying right now, and breaking down party lines. Democrats and Republicans are suddenly under one umbrella, standing up for humanity. It is refreshing. It is needed. This is the time for us to lay down our hammers, to stop pointing fingers and start locking elbows. I don’t care who you voted for or even who you supported last Tuesday. I will join you, heart to heart, human to human, to stand up for what is right. There is room in this big tent for everyone. We can agree to disagree. We can show great love and courage for all of those who need our help. We can capitalize on the things that we are all concerned about and get to work. For all people. For humanity.  

A Medium's Thoughts on Suicide

Suicide. It's not a comfortable topic, but one that must become a part of our dialog about death. Part of my job is communicating with people who have died, as a medium. I often work with grief stricken families looking for answers. I have worked with countless families who have suffered a suicide among their loved ones. I am often able to help them find some peace. So many of the questions, both spoken and unspoken, are the same.


1- Are they okay? If they have already crossed over to the other side, then yes, they are more than okay. They have gone to heaven (or whatever you are most comfortable calling the other side) to heal and bask in unconditional love and peace. Please do not buy into any mean spirited dogma that suicide victims will go to hell, wander the earth for 100 years, cease to exist, etc. It simply isn’t true. They go to the same place that everyone else does when they die. And frankly, it is a wonderful place.


2- Are they in trouble? I find a lot of families really wanting to ask this question, but they are terrified of the answer. The truth is, no one is in trouble. For various reasons, life got too hard, too painful, too overwhelming. They bailed ship before they finished what they came to learn and do. They will likely have a another life similar to this one where they can try again. But are they in trouble? Absolutely not. They are loved, just like you are.


3- Was there anything I could have done to stop them? Again, a sad question that many are afraid to ask. Time after time I have talked to those who have taken their own lives and asked this question. Time after time they have confirmed that this decision was theirs alone, and that no one could have stopped them, at least not permanently. Families and friends: It is not your fault. Ever.


4- What happens now? Now, you live your life to the best of your ability. You love, you find a way to laugh, and you take care of each other. Your loved one will be with you a lot, in spirit. Honor their memory just like you would anyone else who has died. Do not, for one second, allow anyone to make you feel ashamed of your loved one. Their spirit is divine, their soul lives on. There is no shame in that. Your deceased will most likely wait for the lives of their family members to end and guide them home when their time comes. They will guide you when they can, visit you in your dreams, and hold your hand when you cry. You will see them again. I promise.


When people die and they cross over into heaven, they only take love with them. Fear, pain, sadness, etc, do not exist there. Love, joy, peace, bliss, and happiness are the emotions of the spirit world. Spirits that have crossed over are not angry, they don’t hold grudges, and they aren’t in pain. They simply cannot be, since those feelings don’t exist in heaven.



If you are considering suicide yourself, I would like to ask you to consider the effect that your death would have on your family. If you do it, they will likely have to find you, bury you, endure a very painful and sad funeral where horribly insensitive people will say misguided and hurtful things to them. They will live with a lifetime of guilt, horror and unanswered questions. Your parents, spouse, siblings, children, friends, co workers, teachers, classmates, neighbors and others will never forget what happened. Their lives will be changed forever in an awful way. Get help, and if that doesn’t work, get more help. Keep getting help until life is sweeter than it is bitter. There are a lot of options for healing out there. Eventually, I hope that you will find a million reasons to keep living, keep trying, and keep loving.

Dream a Little Dream

When I was sixteen my cousin Eric was killed in a car accident. It was a single car rollover, in his beloved 1960’s Beetle. He was seventeen years old and the closest thing to a brother that I ever had. We had been close for years. He knew how to scare me half to death with some stupid scary movie, make me laugh with ridiculous prank calls and make me feel loved by vetting my boyfriends. I had experienced death before, but never someone that I was so close to. The grief that I felt sent shockwaves through me for months. Eventually, I had a dream about him. He looked so good, like the real him, nothing like the beat up grey corpse that I had last seen. He was smiling, laughing and teasing. He asked me to tell his mom that he was okay. He showed me that he was with a lot of other souls, doing important work of some kind. I woke from that dream feeling some peace around his death. It didn’t take away my grief, but I do think that it softened it. I shared my dream with my mom, who told me that she had dreamed a few times about her grandfather, after his death. In all cases, our dreams felt so real, like we had an opportunity to see each other face to face.


I have come to understand that these dreams are visitations; opportunities to connect with souls that we love. They are precious reminders that we are not alone, that the soul lives on. I often receive visits from my parents, grandparents and other souls who are precious to me in dreamtime. I know that many of you do as well, because you have shared so many incredible stories with me.


The question is, what if you don’t? I have talked to grieving clients over the years that would do anything to have a visit with their passed love ones. I have, in mediumship sessions, heard spirits say that heavy layers of grief are hard to navigate through. I have also heard them say that they will not come in a dream if it would do more harm than good. If saying goodbye again is just going to tear someone’s heart out, they may hold off until the wound is not so fresh.


If you are hoping to connect with someone on the other side, invite them! It helps to ask them to come, and to ask your angels and guides to help make it happen. Be patient, as our linear time is not the same as time on the other side, so it may not happen right away.


May your dreams be filled with comfort and peace.

Understanding Empaths

An interview my spirit guide, Hannah. The questions are from me, the answers are channeled messages from her.


Q- What does it mean to be empathic?

A- An empath feels what others are feeling, usually without realizing that they are doing it. They tend to be more likely to absorb negative energy around them, as well as being more susceptible to psychic attacks. Empathic feelings are a transmission of information from one soul to another.


Q- How does someone know if they are empathic?

A- It is really easy to tell if you are empathic. If the negative moods of others make you feel tired, sad, depressed, etc., or the feelings of happiness, joy, and pride exhilarate you beyond normal emotions, then you have empathic tendencies. There are different levels of empathy. Some empaths just feel energy. Others feel physical feelings of pain or sickness as well.


Q- There seem to be a lot of empathic people on the planet right now. Are there really more, or are we just learning more about it?

A- I believe that there are more emphatic people currently because there are so many people waking up to their spiritual sensitivities. You talk about being an empath as if certain people are born with that gift and others are not. That is not correct. All people, when in the right spiritual frequency, will have empathic feelings. It is a part of your soul.


Q- Okay, so with that being the case, then once empathic, always empathic also does not apply, right?

A- Correct. When someone is softening to their spiritual roots, letting more of their soul shine through, they will naturally be more empathic. If that same person, for example, suffers a trauma that hardens their heart, they may turn their back on their spirituality and the empathic traits would go away as well. Realize that many people spend a tremendous amount of their energy refusing to feel. They leave a wake of broken relationships and hurt people in their path.


Q- Sometimes my clients think that being empathic is a curse, some see it as a gift. What are your thoughts on that?

A- Again, empathic gifts are a part of your soul. Your soul IS you. Of course it is a gift. A soul processes everything through feeling, through energy. It is this very gift that allows for psychic information, energy healing, telepathy, and the connections that souls make that you call love.


Q- Sometimes being empathic can be very uncomfortable. What can people do to have less discomfort?

A- First and foremost, accepting these feelings as a part of your soul. When you can accept that you are so much more than this physical body having this current life experience, you naturally feel better. Secondly, honoring the fact that the feelings you are experiencing are the result of connecting with another soul. It is truly a beautiful wonder to connect on a soul level. An example could be: You meet a friend for lunch. She seems quieter than usual, and suddenly, you start feeling sad. Her soul has connected to your soul and transmitted a message. Your friend is sad. You have 2 choices. You can act like you are feeling nothing, finish your lunch, and leave, still feeling her sadness. Alternatively, you can acknowledge that feeling and release it. You may address it with her directly, “You feel sad to me. Is everything okay?” or you may choose to wordlessly tell her soul, “I see the sadness is you and I honor our connection.” Either way, you have acknowledged the feeling and no longer need to carry it.


Q-What if you feel physical pain from someone else?

A- Again, it is acknowledging it. Consider this: You are visiting your grandmother who has had a stroke. Out of nowhere, you head starts throbbing. Wordlessly, you can thank her soul for connecting with your and sharing with you her pain. Then release it, let go of it, stop feeling it. This is a huge gift to have when you are in the service of others. Mothers know when their children are ill, and where it hurts, massage therapists know exactly where it hurts without being told, healers zero in on problem areas in their clients and understand how to help. Again, we are talking about a transmission of information from one soul to another. On the psychical plane, if someone needs to speak to you, they may call you on the telephone repeatedly until you answer. Once you have answered the phone and received their message, obviously they will stop calling. This is no different. The information, or feeling, will keep coming until we acknowledge it.


Q- How do we help empathic children?

A- Empathic children should be taught to receive the message, then move on. When they go to school, for example, and their teacher feels angry, they may internalize that anger and act up or think it is their fault and shut down. Instead, teach them to check into their own guidance system. They are remarkably intuitive at this point. Teach them to ask their angels or guides a series of questions. If they do not hear messages from their angels or guides teach them how to muscle test.

  1. “Is Mrs. Smith angry?” Yes
  2. “Is she angry with me?” No
  3. “Do I need to do anything about it?” No
  4. “I understand that Mrs. Smith is angry. Thank you for the message. I choose to let her anger go and stop feeling it now.”

Q- Sometimes my clients wake up feeling off, full of pain, maybe anxious. I have found that they are often tuned into collective energies around them that they are feeling acutely. How do they cope with that energy?

A- Collective energy can certainly be painful and difficult. Try this exercise:

  1. Close your eyes and picture your soul self, hovering over the planet. You are so much larger than you realize as your giant, powerful soul self. Embrace the earth and cradle it in your arms, like you would a baby. Comfort and love the planet and every being on it. Acknowledge that there is pain and suffering, and soothe it with love. You may choose to wrap the earth in a blanket of green or pink light, a symbol of love and peace. When you feel that your healing is done, return to your physical body, knowing that you have offered a powerful healing from your soul to the all of the interconnected souls that you share life with.


Obviously there is so much more to this conversation, and I will continue to ask Hannah questions and share here answers here on my blog. I am excited and encouraged about her insight on this vast and important topic.

New Year's Goals

A new year is upon us, and that can mean many things. From a mundane position, it is time to get ready to file taxes, wrap up old accounts, and start a new fiscal year. From a home perspective, it is time to put away the remnants of the holiday, declutter, and bless your house with a good cleaning. From a spiritual perspective, it is time to evaluate 2016 and set some goals for 2017.


I’m not a big fan of resolutions, as they seem to have turned into a trite statement on the New Year that doesn’t mean anything a few weeks down the road. Do you even remember your resolutions from last year? Goals are different to me. Goals will need work and attending to, of course. Goals give us direction, and help us set our course. Goals can be short term or long term, and it is a great idea to have some of each. I think that short terms goals can be wrapped up in a few months, versus long term goals that take a greater amount of time. It is helpful to have a way of measuring the success of your goal in order to track your progress. More success usually lights a fire for even more success. Goals can be a sacred contract that we make with ourselves.


Let’s take a look at an example:

Mary has gotten behind of her bills, and she knows that something needs to change in order to get out of this hole. Her goal is to be caught up on her bills in the next 3 months.

1.    First, she must write her goals down in a place that she will see them. You can work on something if you don’t remember what it is. A vision board is great for this.

2.    Next, she must take a good, and honest look at her finances. Is her goal reasonable? She needs to evaluate how much she can earn and save in the next 3 months. Will there be enough money to accomplish her goal? If not, how can she get creative about it? Can she work extra hours, pick up a temporary second job, or sell something that she is done with? If so, great. If not, she needs to re-evaluate her time frame to be sure that it is reasonable. Don’t set yourself up to fail, as that is contrary to accomplishing your goals.

3.    Mary’s choices must now come into alignment with her goal. When faced with spending extra money, she should ask herself, “Does this support my goal?” If it doesn’t then she knows that it is time to make a different choice.

4.    After Mary has met her goal, and her finances are in good shape, she can move on to a new goal. Perhaps she wants to start saving more money so that she does not find herself in this position again, or start living on a budget so that she is making wiser choices with her money.


Ultimately, goal setting only works if you work it. Goals should be realistic, have an end point, and be measurable. I like to set one or two long term goals for the year, and several short term goals. I build a vision board based on these goals that is hung in my bedroom, so that I am always reminded that I have goals. Goals make dreams become reality.


Ask yourself, what are your goals this year? You DO have the power to accomplish anything that you set your mind to!

Winter Solstice Wonder

The Winter Solstice is near. I can feel it tugging at me, this turn of the wheel. I love this solstice. This is the time that the world settles. This is when we reconcile the past year and start dreaming about the next one. The Winter Solstice always feels sleepy and dreamy and mystical to me. The magic of the Yule is gentle and full of hope, bringing the promise of lighter days to come. The Winter Solstice always makes me long for some ceremony. It is an ancient tug on my soul. What kind of ceremony differs from year to year. Here are a few things I am thinking about this solstice.


1-    A sacred fire. I studied for a few years with a Grandmother who taught me many things about ceremony and ritual. She taught me how to build a sacred fire for ceremony that creates sacred space. I feel like warming my soul in the light of a sacred fire will give me the best backdrop to do my work.


2-    A burning ritual. I have some serious releasing to do this year. First, I must give gratitude for the things that have challenged me and helped me grow, then I must release them. I am going to use pine cones. Some people may choose to use a pen and paper. First, I will sit in meditation, reflecting on the past year. One by one, I will hold a pine cone to my lips, speaking the challenge or situation into its bristles and what I feel like I learned from it. Next, I will release my pine cones into the flames of the sacred fire, allowing them to devoured, transmuted and honored by the flame.


3-    A Solstice bath. I am making solstice bath salts by combining sea salt with Frankincense, Jasmine, Spikenard and Rosewood essential oils. Frankincense, because it connects me to my higher wisdom. Jasmine, because it connects with and honors the returning of the sun. Spikenard, because it connects me to the earth. Rosewood, because it connects me deeply to the Divine Feminine energy that flows through me. Men may consider blending with Cypress, to honor the Divine Masculine. I will bathe by candlelight, and spend that time contemplating things that I would like to learn and accomplish during the Winter Solstice period.  


What will you do with this solstice? Get creative and trust your gut. There are so many wonderful ways to celebrate this truly sacred time of year.

Life Lessons from the Bowl

I’ve been practicing sound therapy for years in conjunction with energy work. I have amassed a pretty good collection of Tibetan and crystal singing bowls, drums and tuning forks during that time. My bowls have taught me many things about energy and few important things about life.


A few years ago, I invested in a lovely little garnet crystal singing bowl. She is small, just 6” across and 8” tall. She is tuned to the note of G, the throat chakra. I was so disappointed when she arrived. She didn’t sing. I tried over and over again, but could not draw a song out of her. I gave up, declaring that I had wasted my money, and put her up on a shelf in my office as a display piece. Recently I moved by bowl collection to my home office. I lamented to my husband, as I prepared to place her back on a shelf, that I am still sad that this bowl came to me with a defect, and wouldn’t sing. “What are you talking about?” he asked me. “I have drawn a song out of this bowl tons of times. You just have to work on her for a while, and be patient.” Curious, I grabbed a striker and began rotating it around and around the bowl. For 60 seconds or more, the only sound I could hear was the leather wrapped striker whisking around the edges of the bowl. Suddenly, a vibration started to emerge, getting louder and louder, eventually filling up my office with a rich, pulsating tone. I couldn’t believe it. All of this time, I had written her off as faulty, when she was far from it. Her song is beautiful, powerful even, when given the patience to really shine. What an incredible metaphor about life. How often do we write people off too quickly? We miss out on so many beautiful songs when we fail to have enough patience for the people around us.

The art of creating Tibetan singing bowls in an ancient practice, passed on from one generation to the next. That practice has nearly vanished now, with a great deal of bowls being hammered by machine. In my opinion, the old way of creating bowls is the best way. In the old way, 7 metals are melted together, poured into rounds, and hand hammered into the shape of the bowl. When the bowl is complete, it is played to learn what note it has become. This is an incredible concept to me. Usually items are manufactured to BE something specific. In the case of Tibetan singing bowls, it is a mystery until the last hammer has rung. They are allowed to BE whatever it is they have become. I have always felt like this is the way we should be raising our children. Rather than force them into our boxes, wouldn’t it be amazing to just embrace whatever it is that they become?


Though the healing energy I have received and passed along from my bowls is incredible, the life lessons I have taken from my bowls is even better. Slow down. Be patient. Be accepting. And of course, everyone, no matter how small they may feel, has a voice, has power and has a song to share.

Tossing Tradition

I had an interesting epiphany about traditions. Traditions can be a yoke around our necks. A heavy link to the past. Even traditions that once brought you joy could be holding you back in the present moment. I'll give you an example. There is a dish that my family makes at the holidays. It is gross. No one likes it. At least no one alive. It's called corn and oyster casserole and it's as yucky as that sounds. Layers of saltine crackers, canned corn and canned oysters finished off with heavy cream, salt and pepper, and baked in the oven. I don't know who came up with this mess, or why it has become a holiday dish. This year, in musing about what to make for Thanksgiving, my sisters and I agreed that we should stop making corn and oysters. No one likes it that is living. I will admit that we have made it for the last three thanksgivings even though we knew no one was going to eat more than a spoonful of it. Why? Because that's the way it's always been done. It was freeing to decide that we did not have to make the nasty casserole any longer. The truth is, we didn't have to make it all along. We thought we did though. That's what traditions do. They get under your skin. They wheedle their way into your repetitive mind, and they stay there indefinitely. Since the holidays are all about keeping with tradition, it makes sense to evaluate those traditions and make sure that the ones you are carrying out are ones that actually bring you joy.


My new litmus test for traditions are that they cannot make life complicated for me, and they have to warm my heart. If they don't, they are out. I encourage you to take an honest look at all of the things that you feel compelled to do, particularly around the holidays. Do these things fill you up? Are they reasonable and feasible? If they don't, I urge you to find it within you this year to say no. I am astonished at how often we break ourselves financially, physically and spiritually to live up to tradition. We have a deep seeded idea that we have to do what has been done before.


So if not that, then what? What comes next if you decide to let go of old traditions? You can start new traditions, with the caveat that they will only remain a tradition as long as they bring you joy and make life richer. For the past few years we have played with different kinds of food at Christmas dinner. One year we did a giant taco feast. It was fabulous. I recommend everyone has a margarita or two on Christmas day. One year we did Italian food. Lasagna, Fettuccine Alfredo and a bottle of Moscato. Does it really get more festive than that? I remember once when I was a kid, my aunt suggested that we have a spaghetti feast for Christmas instead of traditional Christmas food. My dad was horrified. How could we forgo ham and potato casserole and all of the other trimmings that he was used to for Christmas dinner? Ultimately the plan was overturned and we went back to traditional Christmas food. I get it now though. She was sick of the same old grind. She didn't want to stand in the kitchen all day. She wanted a Christmas dinner that was quick and easy and that would change things up a bit. It's brilliant.


Gifting in itself is a laborious tradition. I saw someone suggest on Facebook last week that if you don't want to give and receive gifts you should just let everyone you know know that you are not going to be doing Christmas this year please do not give you a gift and please do not expect one. I understand why people may want to let go of the need to gift. I also understand that this could be a very sticky social situation. As a parent I am afraid that I have built tradition around gifting but I don't feel like I can get away from at this point. In fact I think that most people may see it as a bit callous and mean to decide to stop giving my children gifts for Christmas. The truth is, I don’t want to. Gifting DOES fill me up and bring me joy, so it will continue to be a tradition in my home. I also saw a Facebook friend posting for prayers in a prayer group that I belong to because her family has chosen to forgo Christmas this year due to lack of funds. She said that her their decision to let Christmas go had thrown them into a deep depression that she didn't know if they could climb out of. While I am confident that at some point they will climb out of this depression, that is how deep our attachment to the tradition of gifting goes. My daughters have a best friend who spends a lot of time with our family. Her mother and I have gotten to be good friends. She told me recently that she and her husband do not give each other gifts for Christmas. She said that they have always made it about the kids, and never worried about purchasing things for each other. My first instinct was to be sad for her. No presents for Christmas? The more I thought about it though, the more I realized how freeing that could be. Perhaps they just take good care of each other throughout the year. Perhaps when someone needs or wants something they find a way to get it without the decorum or pressure of Christmas.


This year, it is my hope for you and for me that we can evaluate our traditions and give ourselves permission to participate in things that bring us joy only. Let's do our best to stay present. Traditions are in the past, anxiety is in the future and yet we can choose to be comfortable, and maybe even happy with who we are and what we have right now. It is YOUR holiday. Do what you want with it!

Beating Bah Humbug

It is nearly December, and I am searching for something that is merry and bright. This time of year is tough on a lot of us, me included. A client asked me yesterday what she could do to get more into the Christmas spirit. The truth is, I have no idea. I rarely even put up a Christmas tree. I don't consider myself to be a Christian, at least not a traditional one. I have spent the morning soul searching for some holiday joy.


As I frequently do, I asked Hannah, my spirit guide, for some guidance. She asked me why I think that I have to feel something so specific. She pointed out that the Hallmark version of the holidays is made up, and trying to emulate that may be setting yourself up for failure. Hannah also pointed out that the feelings that I had about Christmas as a child were through the shielded lens of childhood. She challenged me to think about things that inspire me, that create wonder in me. I made a short list of activities that DO make me feel warm inside.

  1. First, "The Christmas Box," by Richard Paul Evans, is required reading for Christmastime. I love this book. It helps anyone who is grieving at Christmas to remember that they are not alone in their sorrow. Over the summer, I had a chance to visit the cemetery in Salt Lake City where the Christmas Box Angel is placed. She brings hope and peace to the hearts of those who grieve, particular for children.

2. Neighbor treats are a big deal to me. When I was a kid, my mom would spend days baking up trays of holiday treats to deliver to all of our neighbors. One cold winter evening, we would bundle up in our warm winter gear and deliver the treats. As a kid, I probably grumbled about helping with it, but as an adult, I have realized that my mother knew something that I didn't. She knew how important community is. She understood that being kind to, and knowing your neighbors was a foundation of a strong community. We are lacking that understanding these days, and we need to do better. I need to do better. I have not even bothered to do neighbor treats the last few years. That is going to change this year. I am going to enlist my teenagers, regardless of how loud they complain, into helping me serve my neighbors. Maybe someday they will look back and understand why it is so important.


3. Christmas lights! Okay, so maybe not on my house, but on everyone elses. When I was little, my dad would load us in the car, stop for a hot chocolate, and drive all over town admiring the beautiful lights. We would blast Christmas music and have a great time doing it. I need that this year. I need to let those lights warm my soul. I need that hot cup of cocoa to nourish my inner child. I need to sing those songs at the top of my lungs. And I need to remember to put my phone down long enough to enjoy it.


So maybe there is a holiday spark in here somewhere. Maybe I just need to stop thinking long enough to let it ignite. I suspect that this list will grow as I allow myself to feel my feelings, without trying to change them. What is on your short list of must do's for the holidays?

Empathy: A Call To Action

Empathy, A Call To Action


Nothing is more important than empathy for another human being's suffering. Nothing. Not a career, not wealth, not intelligence, certainly not status. We have to feel for one another if we're going to survive with dignity.

~ Audrey Hepburn


I have been talking to a lot of my super sensitive clients recently who are suffering. We are feeling drained, exhausted and physically ill. I know that many of us have tried to take breaks from the news, social media and other sources of stress, and yet, we continue to feel beat down. Though I believe that the US election and subsequent ugliness is partially responsible, many started feeling this way in October.


For weeks I have been saying that now is a rough time to be an empath. Last night, I had a realization though. We are not under attack. We are being called into service. Now is not the time to bury our heads and hope that it passes. Now is the time to rise up, to start a revolution. A love revolution! Who is better to lead the charge than those who feel life the deepest?


We have a brilliant opportunity right now to shift our collective vibration into a place of love and hope. It starts with us. Search out those who need your love and support right now, and give freely. Stop focusing on who Tweeted what and get back to service. Stop trying to force others to see things your way. Embrace your differences and move on. Get involved in your community in any way that you can. Now is a great time to collect food and clothing for those who need it. Shine a bright light on suffering anywhere that you find it, and be a clear and compassionate voice for changing it.


So many times I have been told that we are the ones we have been waiting for. We don’t need our government to lead the charge in kindness and compassion. That is on us. We can choose to ignore the suffering in front of us, or we can refuse to accept it.


For all of my beautiful empaths: May service be your medicine. May compassion be the balm your heart needs. May the world be as kind to you as you are to it. May negativity roll off of you with ease. May you wake this week with a new determination to shine your dazzling light to all of us. We love you. We need you.


Candle Magic for Thanksgiving


I love Thanksgiving. It is the best reminder to be grateful for all of the good in our lives. This year particularly, it will be life affirming to me to allow gratitude to abound. I love including candle magic with dinner to draw the conversation away from uncomfortable topics and into a place of reflection.



Yellow chime candles are easy to get online or in your local metaphysical store. Holders are too, but could be cost prohibitive, depending on the size of your dinner party. You may consider making your own candle holders with clay, tiny pumpkins or small glasses filled with rice or dried beans. If you would like to anoint your candles with an essential oil, Nutmeg would be a great choice for this ritual. After the candles are blessed, just rub one drop of oil on each candle, from the bottom of the candle to the wick.

When the candles burn down, and the last bit of smoke is released, all of your gratitude is released to Universe!

Encouraging Children to Trust Their Intuition

As parents, one crucial role that we play is encouraging our children to trust their intuition. So often we have a gut feeling about something that we don't trust or follow up on. If we can help our children to start validating their intuition now, we may be able to help them avoid some heartache in their lives.


Seventh grade was a rough school year for me, as I had some very serious stomach things going on. I missed a fair amount of school.  I had an English teacher named Mr. Peterson. Mr. Peterson had a classroom in the basement of the school. There was no other classroom around his. I was very uncomfortable with him. He had a creepy vibe that was a red flag to me. In my 7th grade 12 year old psyche, I recognized him as a sexual predator. He stood too close to me. He put his hand on my back while lecturing and he made my skin crawl. I had discussed with my mother how uncomfortable I was with his teacher and how much I hated going down to that secluded classroom.


With so many absences, I was frequently needing to gather up homework assignments from things I had missed. All of my other teachers would give me those assignments in class, no problem. Mr. Peterson would not. He would require me to go to his classroom after school to see him. Because my mother had raised me to trust myself, I knew to never go into his classroom alone. I would always take two of my best friends with me. One day when I went into his classroom to collect some homework, he informed me that he would not be able to give it to me with my friends there. They were just too distracting and he needed my undivided attention. He told me if they would leave he would give me my homework assignments. I knew immediately that something was wrong. They did not leave. Not without me anyway. We left together. I went home and told my mom what had happened. She was seething with anger.


The next day she met me after school. We walked into Mr. Peterson's classroom together. His face paled as he looked up and saw me standing there with my mother. She informed him that we were there to get my late work. She also informed him that it was very inappropriate to ask me to come into his classroom alone, and that no children should be coming into his classroom alone. She let him know that from now on if he needed to provide me with something, it would be done during class hours. She told him that she had instructed me never to go into his classroom after school by myself or otherwise. She also told him that we would be paying the visit to the office to let the principal know as well, as she felt that maybe he was having problems with keeping boundaries with students. He quietly agreed. The funny thing is, he didn't have anything to give me. And he never gave me anything in class either. There were really no assignments that I need to turn in. He was luring me into that dark, quiet classroom and trying to insist that I come in there alone.


I don't really know what would have happened had I not listened to my gut. I believe that I could have had an experience that would have scarred me and my teenage experiences profoundly. Looking back now, I realized how many props I have to give my mom. Not only did she unquestioningly trust my intuition, but she marched into that school, looked that man in the eye and schooled him on inappropriate contact and boundaries with students. She called him directly on the carpet. She was not concerned with his feelings, she was completely focused on mine. That took a lot of courage.That experience empowered me to continue to unfailingly listen to my intuition. It has not been hard for me to act on a gut feeling.



How then, can we empower our children to trust their intuition? By listening to them, by asking questions and by trusting their gut. Talk about intuition at home. Share your experiences with your children. It is vital to normalize acting on feelings. I strongly believe that helping our kids learn to trust their gut will set them up to be safe, confident and empowered people.

If Politics Have you Feeling Bent Out of Shape...

If you follow politics here in the US, you know. Things feel weird right now. Every day is bringing us a new onslaught of information, of vile, of nastiness. I came across this Tolkien passage that I feel like sums it up beautifully.


"I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something." -Samwise Gamgee


Take heart my friends. It will end. Election day is coming. I am holding onto my belief that at the end of the day, we are one. We can see past our fear, to see each other as souls who deserve love and respect, regardless of our differences. We can get there.

Getting Organized, One List at a Time

I have been moving through a big life change recently. I sold my brick and mortar business and moved the bulk of my work home. It has been so freeing to let go of a time clock and work in my own time, at my own pace. I almost don’t know what to do with myself! I knew that come home meant that I would have to instigate some sort of structure, or risk getting nothing done. Last week, I settled on a daily list. Every morning, as I peruse Facebook and drink a cup of coffee, I muse about what should be on my list. It is a mix of work stuff, home stuff and self-stuff. Exercise is always on the list. Sometimes I put things on the list that I already did, so that I can have the satisfaction of marking them off. I print the list and keep in next to my laptop, so that I can keep track of what I need to do. One of my daughters adds, “Give Mattie Hugs” to the bottom of the list every day. I do it. Someone else added, “Take kids for ice cream.” I did that too.


There has yet to be a day that I have done every single thing on my list. I am learning to be okay with that. I have had to remind myself that I can be proud of what I have accomplished without beating myself up about what I did not get to. I simply roll those tasks over to the next day. Life does not have to be lived like a marathon. It is easy to forget that in our current hustle and bustle.


Getting organized has given me a tremendous peace of mind. I am not worrying about what I have procrastinated, because I know where I stand. When the negative self-talk of my ego fires up, telling me that I am not doing enough, I kindly refer back to the list. In your FACE ego! I am enough, I am certainly doing enough and I don’t need your sass! I think that I will stick with this list. It is empowering me.

Pumpkin Spice Magic

Autumn is here, and that can only mean one thing. Pumpkin spice madness! Pumpkin spice has managed to make its way into practically everything. From lattes, to cookies, to air fresheners, to vodka, the spice blend of fall is taking over the land. Pumpkin spice is actually a blend of exotic spices, comprised of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and cloves. Each one of these spices has its own magical properties.


Cinnamon- Cinnamon is a well-known spice with many culinary uses. Its magical properties include: Clairvoyance, consecration, divination, energy, good luck, love, money, passion, peace, prosperity, protection, psychic development and success. Cinnamon can also be burned to purify the energy of a space.


Nutmeg- Nutmeg is primarily grown in Indonesia. Is the seed of the tree, and it usually used ground into a powder. Nutmegs magical qualities include prosperity, good luck, psychic awareness, fortune, clairvoyance, divination, justice, and meditation.


Allspice- Allspice is primarily grown in Jamaica. Its magical uses include money, luck, healing, compassion, determination, energy, fertility, gain, love, renewal, and as an aphrodisiac.

Ginger- Powdered ginger is a root that has been dried and ground into a fine powder. Ginger is used in magic to enhance magical work, and for protection from negative influences.


Cloves- Cloves are the unopened flower buds from an evergreen tree that grows in Indonesia, Madagascar and Sri Lanka. The buds are dried and ground to a fine powder for baking. You may have seen oranges studded with whole clove buds, known as Pomandors. Clove pomanders protect the home the negative influences. Magically, cloves are used for protection, banishing hostile and negative forces, and gaining what is sought. They are also good for creating community and kinship in social gatherings.


What a powerful combination of energies we get in Pumpkin Spice blends! If you would like to harness all of them this fall, add a bit to your tea or coffee, baked goods and sprinkle over meat. You may even consider burning a pinch on a hot bit of charcoal, holding the intention of drawing all of the magic of fall.



5 Ways to Connect with your Inner Witch this Autumn

Which witch is which? Fall is in the air, and that makes me feel witchy. You know, the earth loving, nature worshipping, spell casting sort of witch. It seems to flow in my spirit, this need to connect with an ancient part of soul. There are things that I feel drawn to do every fall, maybe you do too.


1.   Harvest- If you have a garden, this is easy. Required, in fact. If you don’t, you still have options. Seek out an orchard, pumpkin patch, or community garden that you can harvest some of your own produce from. Connecting with the energy of the harvest is a powerful way to connect to the energy of your past self, as well as your ancestors.


2.   Have a bon fire- Okay, so maybe not a gigantic fire, but even a small campfire will do. Invite a few like-minded friends to join you for an evening of communing with each other. There is something very sacred about sharing in deep conversations while sitting around a fire. Tossing a few bits of resin style incense onto a hot rock really helps to add a flair of magic.


3.   Go on a nature hike- Take a hike, with the sole purpose of connecting with Mother Earth. Bring an offering to leave wherever you see fit, such as a special stone or a bit of herbs. Walk barefoot, even if just for a few minutes. Bring a small bag or basket to gather any rocks, leaves, berries, etc. that you would like to bring home for your altar or table to enjoy throughout autumn.


4.   Cast a circle- The purpose of casting a circle is to set aside sacred and protected space for magical or spiritual work. Anybody can do it. There are many ways to cast a circle. I will let you do your own research about how you would like to cast yours. The first time I cast a circle, I did so in my own backyard, alone. The energy was really powerful, so powerful that it scared me a little bit until I got used to feeling so electric. At one point, a huge gust of wind shot through out of nowhere, blowing out my candles. I relit them, and continued to do the work I set out to do. You may choose to cast your circle to do some healing work, writing, meditating or any other purpose that you see fit. Have fun with it, and enjoy exploring new energies.


5.   Learn a new form of divination- It doesn’t have to be huge or complicated, but now is a really great time to connect to the energy of divination. A new pendulum or deck of  cards would be great. If you really want to get witchy, make your own set of Witches Runes or staves out of clay or stones. If you are feeling super creative, make up your own form of divination. The possibilities are truly limitless!


Whatever you choose to do, be brave, think outside the box, and get witchy!

5 Easy Ways to get your Creative Juices Flowing

We've all been there. Periods of our lives where we feel stuck. Not sparkly. Our creative mojo seems to have vanished entirely. I know that I have, and sometimes these periods can stretch on for a while. Below are a few tips and tricks that I have used to resurrect my once untarnished creativity.


1- Go for a drive. Get out of your space and out of your head for a while. Sometimes just breaking up your environment is enough to give you a fresh set of eyes and jumpstart your creativity. You may also consider using a drive as an opportunity to hone your attention to detail. Watch for all things that are purple, a certain number, or any other details that you could pick out and pay attention to. Brain games that command attention to detail are a really good way to engage your creative senses.


2- Rosemary and peppermint essential oils are both great oils to engage your brain. You can diffuse them or wear them on your body. Take care to not get them in your eyes. Inhaling the scent of rosemary is a powerful way to light up your brain and engage your senses. I frequently diffuse rosemary and peppermint when I have a writing assignment that I need to complete. If I also am feeling flat and like I need to brighten up, I may add a little grapefruit oil to that mix as well.


3- Try out a new recipe. Cooking is creative as well and is a great way to engage your senses. Find a new recipe that looks interesting or better yet learn how to make something that is a familiar food from your childhood. Allow the process of purchasing, preparing and eating good food to feel your soul.


4- Try moving meditation. Moving meditation is a really smart way to engage your senses. Turn turn on some music that energizes you and get moving. You can dance, walk, stretch, do yoga, swim, etc. Spend this time thinking about the project at hand and how you would like to move forward. Many of us are kinesthetic learners and we need motion in order to fully engage our brains in the learning and creative process. Moving meditation really helps me to make plans and decisions. I love to swim in the winter when it is too cold to go walking. I have received more inspiration paddling around in the pool then I ever have sitting at my desk.


5- Talk it out with a trusted friend. Sometimes just having a conversation with a good listener will help you pull your answers to the surface. Talk to someone who you can trust and be candid with. Explain to them what what you are working on and why you are unable to move forward. They may have some good advice for you, and you will likely see a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow too. I find that talking it out helps me to see what walls I have manufactured for myself, and often how to climb over them.


The point is, do something. Don’t sit in one place too long, feeling uninspired. That gets depressing fast! Lighten up and take action. You will be back to your bright and shiny self in no time!



A Mistake by Any Other Name

Mistake. I really hate that word. It denotes that someone has done something wrong, broken the rules, colored outside of the lines. I frequently hear from clients that are working on making a decision, and they are frightened of making a mistake. There's so much shame in it. So much judgment. If I make a mistake, then I will have to bear the consequences. If I make a mistake then others may think less of me. If I make a mistake I may change my life in some unchangeable way that I will regret forever. There is so much pressure to do things right, to get it right the first time. Don't make a mistake.


It took me the better part of 35 years to realize that I really don't believe in mistakes. I believe in learning. I believe in evaluating a choice and deciding if it's what I would do next time. I believe and letting life be messy. It has nothing to do with being “right” all the time or carefully guarding ourselves from making mistakes. Aren’t all of our choices really just opportunities for self-evaluation? I guess it's true that we then have to use them as an opportunity for self-evaluation and perhaps we don't always. Maybe it's too painful or maybe we just really don't want to revisit it. The truth is every decision or choice we make in our life sets on the next path. There's no saying that it is or isn't the right path. It's your path. Your path may be uphill and straight back down hill. Your path may be full of jagged lines. Your path maybe straight and narrow and never re positioning. Your path may be wavy and flowy. Your life is yours alone to judge and evaluate. You may not always get a say in detour along the way, but you always get a say in how you choose to act and react to changes.


Ultimately I believe that we are better off by doing away with the word and the energy behind mistake. When we are willing, when we are brave enough to put ourselves in the path of whatever lessons life has to give us, we are living an authentic life. We are living in a space of allowing Spirit flow through us. When life lessons happen, evaluate. Learn from it what would you do differently next time? What gifts and gems can you take from this situation? But don’t ever put yourself down, shame your choices or be disappointed in yourself. You can be, you should be, your own best ally. Love you, love your lessons and scars, and keep your chin up. You are exactly who you are supposed to be!

Back to School Tools for Empaths

School is getting ready to start. Parents everywhere are rejoicing or mourning. Kids are getting excited and a little nervous. Empathic kids are probably sharing a myriad of emotions with their parents and their peers. Empathic children have an especially complicated relationship with school. It is the nature of an empathic child to try to make sure that everyone is okay. Since they feel what others are feeling, they may take on the role of trying to make their classmates and their teacher happy all the time because they feel their stress. It really is such a tender and difficult challenge for these children.


I can remember as a kid sitting at my desk with my tummy hurting worrying about why my teacher was unhappy. I blamed myself. Lots of empaths do. Since we feel what someone else is feeling we also feel that we have some responsibility to it. As a child you don't recognize that your teachers are people too. It never occurs to you that perhaps she's had a hard morning, or maybe he is worried about money or some other adult issue. Children have no idea that their teachers may be under some kind of stress or duress. They couldn't possibly fathom that they may not actually love this job or the people that they are working with. And of course, kids rarely realize that their teacher could be ill, and trying to work through it.


I know many marvelous teachers and I hope that your children all have a marvelous teacher this year. But even marvelous teachers have a bad day sometimes. It is vital that we teach our empathic children that other people's happiness is not their responsibility. One of the most important things you can teach them is that anytime their emotions shift they need to check in and ask their Spirit if this is their emotion, or someone else's. For example, Abby shows up to school in a great mood. She had a good morning, her hair turned out great and she had pancakes, her favorite. She gets into her classroom, sits down at her desk and suddenly has an overwhelming feeling of worry. Abby might sit with that worry all day. Potentially, she could be too distracted to do her school work. She may develop a stomach ache or headache. Overall that worry leads to another to another and pretty soon she's feeling tremendously anxious and just wants to go home. What if Abby knew, when the worry started, that it wasn't hers? What if she knew that when she feels that way she should check in with her spirit and find out. If she did, it would be easy for her to recognize she was assuming the emotions of someone else.


Abby will need a tool to get rid of this worry. It works very well to send whoever is worrying, hurting, stressed, etc a blessing. Once she does that, she will likely stop feeling it herself. This is why I love empathic kids to have a Reiki attunement. It is such an easy tool to bless others with. We can also teach children to call in the angels to bless someone, or to pray. Teaching empathic kids to send a blessing is powerful way to put them in control of a situation, rather than them being a victim to the energy around them.


To all of the parents sending kids to school this fall, I will join you in the happy dance! To all of the empathic kids heading back to class, I send you courage, discernment and love.

Love like zucchini

A zucchini kind of love


Zucchini is a wonder to me. Each spring, we purchase a tiny envelope of zucchini seeds. We rake garden soil into mounds and drop 2 seeds into each mound. Before long, tiny green seedlings emerge, stretching their little head to the sky, soaking in the sun. We water them every few days to support their growth. We pull an occasional weed, if it is encroaching on their space. Every week or so, we give them a bit of organic fertilizer. Eventually, that little seedling will sit down and spread out with wide leaves and thick, watery stems. Beautiful yellow flowers will start opening, and tiny little zukes will start to show themselves, at the base of the flower. Some people actually bread and deep fry the flower. Squash flowers have become a delicacy in upscale restaurants. With plenty of water and some good sunshine, those tiny zukes will become giant, baseball bat sized veggies in just a couple of weeks. I visit the garden frequently, just to see how big they are getting. I like them big, so that I can stuff them and bake them for dinner. We always have way more zucchini than we can use, and share it freely with family and friends. By the end of the season, we are shredding and freezing it to add to bread, soups or sauces later on.


From that one tiny packet of seeds, over a hundred pounds of squash will be harvested. The plants are so hearty and prolific that even a novice gardener should be able to harvest from them. All it takes is following a few basic guidelines. Is it any different, really, than growing a good, solid relationship? Growing zucchini is a lot like growing love. If zukes were love, they would be big, crazy, unapologetic love. All it takes is following a few basic guidelines.


1- Plant seeds in the soil, after the danger of frost is gone. If you plant them in the winter, they will not live. Much like love, timing is everything. Trying to force something that is not meant to be will not offer a good yield.

2- Offer them water every few days. Too much water will be bad for them, but not enough water will kill them too. Nourish love with your time and attention, but don’t hover and drown those that you love with your needs.

3- Your plants will thrive with some fertilizer. Be gentle though. Too much fertilizer will burn the plants. Relationships must be nurtured with service. Take good care of those you love, but don’t burn them with your expectations.

4- Pull weeds around them when they are small. As they get bigger, they will choke the weeds out. Do your own work to bring the best “you” that you can into your relationship. Allow the other party to do the same, and have confidence that you will both be strong enough to choke the challenges as they appear. Jealousy will only stunt your growth.

5- Gently harvest squash when it has grown to your liking. Be careful not to damage the plant though, as it will keep producing as long as conditions are right. Appreciate your love, and celebrate it often. Gratitude for each other will continue to keep your relationship strong and thriving.


Grow love that is so big that you HAVE to share it friends, family and the world. You deserve to have a zucchini kind of love.

The Magic of Darkness

I have discovered the joys of being nocturnal this summer, and I don’t know if I can ever go back! The summer sun has proven to be too harsh for me this year. I feel like I am under some kind of cosmic attack with the sun blazing down on me. My skin has burned, peeled and freckled under her fiery watch. Her intensity has brought out an ancient fight or flight response in me that lends to feeling grouchy and combative. But the darkness! Oh, the velvety black sky dotted by millions of twinkling stars has become my respite. I have taken to walking for hours at night, by the light of the moon. I have never felt more connected to the phases of the moon than I do right now. Each night reveals a unique and beautiful phase of the ever changing moon. Last night she was hanging so low in the sky, so yellow, a waxing sliver that promises a stunning full moon later on. The upcoming Perseid meteor shower has my full attention. I am already seeing quite a few shooting stars each night. This week promises to get even better. Later this week, we are taking a night hike to the top of an ancient volcano, where we will have 360 views of the night sky. I suspect that the magic that will ensue will serve as a spark of inspiration for new projects to come.


I have spent many nights this summer in the company of my husband, hashing out our days, talking about parenting, work and other usual topics as we walk. Sometimes we get a chance to dive deep. To talk about future plans, dreams and hopes. Sometimes we walk in a comfortable silence, allowing each other to get lost in our own reverie.


Fall will descend before we know it, and the harshness of the sun will become gentle yet again. The chill in the air may keep me indoors more, but I suspect that throughout the winter months, I will be longing for the day that I can return to my nocturnal ways, to yet again become a goddess of the night, basking in the glow of the moon and adorning myself in the twinkling of the stars.

Home is where the heart is

A few nights ago, while picking my daughter up from a friend’s house, I discovered something shocking. Heartbreaking. It looks like my childhood home will be torn to the ground soon, to make room for more college housing. I grew up next door to my husband’s grandma, and her house is already gone. The beautiful old rock home on the other side of my house is also getting ready to be leveled too. I used to babysit in that house, years ago. It is a stunning piece of history, that is nothing more than an obstacle standing in the way of land developers. The neighborhoods that I played in as a kid are rapidly vanishing, being replaced with massive apartment complexes and parking structures.


Our home was built in 1940, a charming old stucco house with hardwood floors, arched doorways, and plaster walls. I was 6 years old when we moved in. The house was painted pink, pepto pink, and my moms first order of business was to change that. My dad pressure washed the pink paint off, and a gentle buttercream yellow was sprayed on in it's place. The home belonged to an elderly lady named Mrs. Arnold before we moved in. She died in the house 6 months before we arrived. Frequently, when I would come home from school, I would see her sitting in the window of the living room, watching over us. She felt like a grandma, keeping an eye of all of the kids.


I want to fight the decimation of my home, my neighborhood, to protest, to chain myself to the lovely Quaking Aspen that my dad planted so many years ago in the front yard, or camp out under the carport where we played basketball every night, for so many years. I could hold a sit-in in the bedroom that my sister Kara and I shared forever. I could refuse to leave the living room that my sister Kristi and I practiced our clarinets for hours on end. We could sit in the tiny dining room that we shared so many happy moments in with our parents and lock elbows. I want to walk down those stairs that we used to slide down on sleds a few more times, and wonder how we managed not to break any bones. I want to lay on the floor in my parents’ bedroom and remember how many nights I was consoled there after a nightmare, as I was prone to having. I want to sneak into the closet full of hobo spiders that we would peek into boxes and bags of unwrapped Christmas gifts. I want to sneak out under the giant old Weeping Willow tree in the backyard and kiss my husband, the way we used to do when we were teenagers. I want to climb up into the old attic that we used to play in for hours, listening to our mom's Woodstock album and trying on her old hippie clothes.


I know that it is just a house, a house I have not lived in since I was 19. I know that my memories are eternal, but I can’t believe how much this hurts. My sisters and I have grieved anew this week, like we are losing our parents all over again. We are going over to the house soon, to see if we can arrange a walk through. I want to share it with my kids. I want my kids to realize how precious these days, their childhoods, are. I want them to remember to savor the moments that we share, to seal them into their memories. And I need to remember that even through my grief; life is sweeter than it is bitter. It wouldn’t hurt so much if we didn’t love so much. And I would never trade that, for anything.

Thriving in a Job You Hate

I hear it quite a bit from my clients. They are feeling stuck in a miserable job that they hate. Maybe they are looking for something else, or day dreaming about slamming the bosses head in a drawer, but for financial reasons, they cannot leave. It’s a tough gig, working at a job that does not match you. We spend a tremendous amount of time at our jobs, after all. Allow me to share a few strategies to making it through the day with your sanity intact.


1-      Get your vibration out of the gutter. It is so easy to fall into a pattern of focusing on the negative bits, and allowing them to take up a crazy amount of your time and energy. When you do that, your stress level just keeps climbing, all day long. Instead, do your best to focus on things that you do like about your job. Point those things out to yourself frequently, with gratitude for the paycheck. It is a head game worth playing to lower your stress response.

2-      Focus on feeling good in other parts of your life. Now is the time to work to live, not live to work. Your job is just a means to have money to enjoy your life, and enjoy, you must! Plan weekend getaways, buy concert tickets, get a massage, etc. Use the bounty from your job to do more than survive. Use it to thrive too! You were not born to be unhappy, and even though the job may be trying to eat a hole in you, the rest of your time can be spent in better and more productive ways.

3-      Talk to somebody. Seriously, this is important. You have an opportunity right now to learn a lot about yourself. Most employers provide an EAP plan that provides a certain amount of counseling per year. Take them up on that, and find someone that you can run your frustrations by. Just releasing that garbage from your body and spirit will help a lot.

4-      Get regular energy work. Keeping your chakras balanced and your spirit clear will go a long ways toward helping you feel better. When you are in survival mode, you tend be a bit ungrounded. That can result in a blown out crown chakra, which causes anxiety, overthinking, depression and racing thoughts. It is hard to feel like your best self when that is going on!


Ultimately, you have a responsibility right now to nurture yourself as much as possible. And honestly, if you are this unhappy with your job, it is time to make a change. Start working in that direction with a new resume, applications and a little chip on your shoulder. A new employer will be lucky to have you!


Physical Intuition

Intuition is a spiritual thing, right? Yes, of course. But it is a physical thing too. Intuitive hits can almost always be felt in the body. We have all heard of a "gut feeling;" that heavy or fluttery feeling in your stomach when a bit of intuitive information is coming through. Other people report a quickening in their heart, a prickling at the base of their spine, or a tingling at the top of the head, in the crown chakra. I have one colleague who has an eyelid that twitches! Personally, I experience a ringing in my ears or a shift in my crown chakra. I have no problem pausing during a reading if one of ears starts to ring to pick up the incoming message. Sometimes an angel or guide is very anxious to get a message through at that moment.


It can be extremely beneficial for all of us to learn what our own physical "tell" is. A good start is to learn what truth and dishonesty feels like in your body. The easiest way to do it is to sit quietly in meditation for a few moments and start feeling your body. Tune into your solar plexus and tell yourself a truth, something that you know without a doubt is true. Sit with that feeling. What did your belly feel like when you felt truth? Next, try a lie. Say something that you know for certain is not true. What did a lie feel like in your belly? Get familiar with these energies so that you can rely on them in everyday life.


Next, sit quietly in meditation, and ask to feel what incoming intuition feels like to you. Pay attention to any physical shift or sensation. Whenever you feel that sensation, stop for a moment, take a few deep breaths, and ask what you need to know. Trust yourself as the message comes in, and take action if necessary. 


The more you trust and use your intuition, the bigger part of your daily life it will become. Remember that intuition is a muscle, and the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.

The Magic of Gratitude


Frequently, I find myself urging my clients to find ways to be grateful for all of the transitions in their lives, even the painful ones. Is it possible to find gratitude in a lost job, a fading relationship or even a death? I believe that it is possible, and even vital.


            When faced with stress and tragedy, many of us are tempted to fall into a victim role, reciting all of the things that have gone wrong in our lives, past present and future. Even those who mean us well often suck us into those roles. Imagine Susan and her friend Karen visiting over coffee. “It is just so terrible Susan, first your husband leaves you, now you have lost your job. What’s next?” Wouldn’t it be amazing if Susan responded, “It has been a difficult time, sure. I am determined to find the best in my life though, so I am only focusing on things that make me feel good. For instance, I have a great opportunity to spend more time with my family until I find a new job. I’m so excited to see what new jobs may be waiting out there for me! I am so grateful that I get to learn some new skills and make more friends.” By being stubbornly optimistic, Susan has changed the dynamic of their conversation. She has transformed a negative statement into excitement and gratitude. She is a warrior for her future by staying positive!


            Whenever life throws you a curve ball, promise yourself to find the magic in every moment. There is always something to be grateful for. Encourage others around you to help you stay positive. Miracles happen when we live with an attitude of gratitude!

It's Not About You!

I love the book “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz. I love it so much that I made my teenagers read it with me last summer as a family book club book. I feel like the 4 agreements presented are powerful lessons for all people to master.


The Four Agreements are:

1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.


I have been thinking a lot about Agreement 2- Don’t take anything personally. It is a conscious decision to decide to stop and consider before taking action. It is so easy to respond to anger with heightened anger. It takes a lot more control to evaluate the behavior of another and refuse to accept the hurt being launched at you. It is pretty incredible though, when you do. It becomes so much easier to get above fear and unhappiness. Beyond that, we stop looking for reasons to be hurt and offended.


I wish I had mastered Agreement 2 when I was much younger. I used to allow myself to get hurt by in-laws, friends and others constantly. I held myself in a constant state of victimhood. I could not see that that their behavior, just like mine, was being driven by their own experience. I did not know that I could choose to be happy despite their words and actions. I know better now, but of course, I still get sucked into drama from time to time.


My challenge to all of you is to consider the Four Agreements and how you may implement them in your life. Your happiness is in the palm of your hand!

6 Easy Ways to Make the World a Happier Place

Everywhere I look these days, I see stressed people. Exhausted people. Sick people. People who are working more than they are playing and worrying more than they are laughing. We need to lighten up! I invite you evaluate your own stress level, and start thinking about what you can do to invite more happiness into the world around you. Take a look at my list, and add a few ideas of your own.


1-            Start by taking good care of you. You make the world a happier place by being a happier you. When you throw your happy pebble in the pond of life, the waves have a great effect on everyone around you, both your immediate world and the larger one.


2-            Service is key.  When you offering your time to help others, you are happier. Service can be offered in a lot of ways.  Do something nice for a neighbor, clean up trash, walk dogs, call someone who is struggling, etc. Have a service Saturday adventure.


3-            Find every opportunity to have fun. Go to funny movies, sing and dance your way through house work, listen to comedians in the car, take weekend trips to new places, etc.


4-            Be kinder than necessary to everyone. Remember that the barista, waitress, guy who changes your oil, and the telemarketer on the phone are all trying to make their way through life too. The Dali Lama once said, “I believe compassion to be one of the few things we can practice that will bring immediate and long-term happiness to our lives. I’m not talking about the short-term gratification of pleasures like sex, drugs or gambling (though I’m not knocking them), but something that will bring true and lasting happiness. The kind that sticks.” Be a person that brightens strangers’ days, on purpose!


5-            Make eye contact. When you are open enough to look directly into people’s eyes, you are allowing them to see your authentic you. It creates a brief connection between people that strengthens the energy around you everywhere you go.


6-            Shine your light on everything you touch. Envision your solar plexus as a lighthouse beacon, constantly rotating around you, bathing the world in gold light.


We can move mountains of stress when we work together. We can make the world a light, brighter, happier place to be by focusing on our own needs first, then fanning our efforts out. Shine on!




8 Surefire Ways to Beat a Bad Mood

We’ve all been there. You wake up feeling grouchy, get a frustrating start to the day, the stage seems to be set. Today is going to suck. Your nerves are shot and your attitude is terrible. The day gets more irritating as you go on, and by the end of it, you are ready to run screaming from your life. Everyone has those days from time to time. Bad moods happen. With a little work, you can shift that bad mood into something better, before your day disintegrates into a big mess.


1-    Awareness is more than half of the battle. What is actually going on inside of you? Are you worried, anxious or full of dread? Are you avoiding situations that scare you? What can you do to fix that? Face the situations that are contributing to this rotten mood. You will feel a bit better by getting extra weight off of your shoulders.


2-    Check in with your body. Are you sick or in pain? Are you simply exhausted? A bad mood is frequently a cover for a physical issue. Address any physical symptoms that you are having. You were not born to suffer, after all.


3-    I am a big fan of positive affirmations to help quiet negative self-talk and shift unpleasant energy. Louise Hay is the master of positive affirmations and her resources can be very helpful. I also feel like we can certainly be the masters of our own positive affirmations. Look at positive affirmations like a very strong blessing for you. Some guidelines for positive affirmations are that they contain positive words only, they are no more than three sentences long, and that they are written down and placed in places where you will remember to repeat them. They are usually written in first person. Positive affirmations should be repeated over and over again to continually shift your vibration into a more positive place. In case of a bad mood, try an affirmation like “I am having a great day. My life is filled with wonderful people and amazing opportunities.” or “I am exactly who I am supposed to be. All is well in my world.”


4-    Some quick and simple hydrotherapy works wonders to shift your energy. Try running your hands under cold water for 60 seconds or so, allowing your bad mood to run down the sink with the water. The cold shocks your system, making way for a shift, and the water carries away the debris.


5-    Move that body! Your brain is hanging out, just waiting to give you a big dose of endorphins. According to Penn State, all you need is 20 minutes of activity to give you a nice boost. Take a walk, turn up the radio and dance, swim, do yoga or Tai Chi, or even take a run (if you are into that sort of thing). It is amazing how much 20 minutes of exercise lights up your brain.



6-    Take a break with a good book or magazine. Sometimes you just need to escape for a little while to NeverNever Land. It is good for your brain to focus on something other than worry.


7-    Sniff essential oils. Aromatherapy can be a huge help in shapeshifting back into a reasonable human being. My favorite mood blend is Bergamot, Peppermint and Rosemary. You may also benefit from Sandalwood, Lavender, Orange, Ylang Ylang or Roman Chamomile. You can diffuse or wear essential oils to help you feel better.


8-    Take a look around, and throw yourself into service. One of the quickest ways that I know to beat a bad mood is to help someone else. A smile, hello or sincere compliment will make someone’s day. A random act of kindness will make your day too. Send out a few notes to people that may need a boost. Give some gratitude to those who inspire you.


The only wrong answer to a bad moon is inaction. There is too much magic in the world to allow yourself to sink into a pit of misery if you can do something about it. Give one or two of my suggestions a try, or create your own action plan. Before you know it, you will be back in the driver’s seat of your life!










Sacred Spaces, Familiar Places

Have you ever visited a place that somehow felt like you were returning home? I hear this from my clients sometimes and I have experienced it for myself as well. You go on vacation and end up visiting a town or an area that feels like you have been there before. I have heard many people say that it even brings up feelings of homesickness, grief and longing. I had one such experience with a town here in my home state. Lava Hot Springs is a little tiny resort town. People go there to soak in the mineral waters for their restorative properties. There are quaint little old hotels, private hot pools as well as larger public ones and quirky little shops and restaurants.  

My mom was an old cemetery aficionado. Any old town that we visited would definitely include a trip to the old cemetery to wander around wonder at the old headstones and soak up the history. We visited Lava Hot Springs for Mother's Day one year and of course she wanted to go to the cemetery. When we got to the cemetery and I got out of the car, the strangest sensation gripped my heart. I realized that I was buried here. I was startled and unsettled by this revelation, but it was clear. My soul knew this place well. I knew that my name had been Sadie. I wanted to find my grave. I wandered and wandered, looking for the right headstone, but I couldn’t find it. I felt like I couldn't leave. In hindsight I realized that my given name may not have been Sadie. That easily could have been a nickname. Our time in the cemetery was cut short by hungry kids and I didn't feel like I ever really received the information that I was looking for. Occasionally I feel drawn back to that cemetery. One of these days I suppose I probably will go back, when I have no time constraints. I would really like to leave a flower on Sadie’s grave.

My connections to Lava Hot Springs did not end there. Several years ago we were visiting Lava for the day and we drove past an old, old boarded up church. I suddenly was flooded with a vision and awareness of that church. I could see it so clearly. I had blonde hair and brown eyes. I was wearing a yellow dress, and I was getting married. I could see myself in a tiny room with other women around me, getting me ready. I could see the little chapel with sun streaming in the windows. I could feel the excitement and joy of that day. I asked my husband to pull over and we sat outside of this church for quite a while as I tried to get my bearings and make sense of what I was seeing. Eventually we drove away, as I tried to process the sudden waves of homesickness that were washing over me, for another time and another place. I have been dreaming about that church ever since.

The most synchronistic thing happened several years later. My sister-in-law Ronda invited us to come to Lava Hot Springs and help her throw a 50th wedding anniversary party for her parents. She explained to me that she was excited to be able to hold the party in the very church that they were married. She told me that the church is very old and has since been sold and turned into an event center. She was able to rent the event center for the weekend of their anniversary and that is where their party would be held. I didn't think anything of it until we rolled into town. I put the address in my phone and we drove directly to, you guessed it, the church that I had envisioned years ago. I couldn't believe it. I was so excited to get to go inside. As we walked in I was moved to tears as I remembered portions of the vision that I had of my own wedding there in another lifetime. I felt incredibly safe, peaceful and full of homesickness all at the same time. The basement has been renovated into a Bed and Breakfast. It was nothing like what I remembered. But the chapel, with its big windows with the sunlight streaming in, was very much the way I remembered it. There was a tiny room off to the side of the chapel and I remember this room very well also. This was the room that I visioned myself preparing for my own wedding in my handmade buttercup yellow wedding dress. I still dream about that church sometimes. It seems to have left an indelible mark on my soul. I would love to book a room in the Bed and Breakfast and spend a night there. I can only imagine how amazing that would be.


I believe that memories like this are tiny glimpses into who we have been in lives gone by. It is a rare and precious gift to get a peek into the past. What area calls to your soul?

Grieving our Animal Companions

Frequently in my job as an animal communicator, I work with families who are nearing the time to say goodbye to one of their beloved animal companions. It is a tremendous honor and a very tender time for me as a facilitator. I often tell my clients, “We love them like people but they just don't live that long.” In truth, I think that sometimes we forge relationships with our animals that are even stronger than some of our human relationships. Your dog or cat won't judge you. They will always forgive you. They think that you are enough. They have deep gratitude for any amount of time you're willing to spend with them. They will never tell you that you look fat in that skirt or that dinner is burned. They just love you that much. Losing them is a tremendously difficult thing to go through. Though I think that all people grieve differently, I wanted to share a few thoughts about grieving your pets.

Don't grieve until it's time. I frequently see my clients in some pre-emptive grief, as they see their animal companion starting to fail. Try to remember that their souls are deeply connected to yours. When you grieve, so do they. When you are in fear, so are they. Your best bet is to stay positive and stay in a place of gratitude for the time that you have left with them.

Trust yourself. They trust you. Frequently I talk to people who are allowing their ego to run wild with them and put them in a place of guilt and doubt. You are the guardian of this animal and they trust you explicitly. Frequently you will hear people say you'll know when it's time. I don't think that's always true. I find many of my clients in a deep battle between wanting to keep them here for their own heart but knowing that it's nearing time to help their beloved companion pass due to their pain, illness and suffering. Don't wait for them just speak in your ear or slap you upside the head. I'd rather trust their eyes. What are their eyes telling you? Are they in pain, are they unable to bear it? Are you unable to bear it? So frequently in animal communication work, I will have a client come to see me in deep guilt and grief over helping an animal cross over. As we talk with the spirit of that animal, they often tell me but they wouldn't have lived more than a couple of days anyway. Their suffering was ended through a great act of love and courage. I often tell my clients that euthanasia is a gift we can give our animal companions that we can't usually give to our suffering humans. So don't wait until they tell you it is time. They probably won't. You see, the last thing in the world they want is to cause you any suffering. It's a horrifying thought to most dogs to think that they could cause pain to their beloved companions. If you ever have a question about whether it is time, this is a great time to connect with an animal communicator that can help give you some guidance.

Grieve typically goes in steps. There's various steps that humans go through in grief, and I see a lot of my animal families go through very similar steps. I do believe that everyone grieves their own way and should have the right to grieve their own way. Frequently one of the first steps that I see people cycle through his guilt. They always want to know, “Is he angry with me? Did I do the right thing? Did I feed them the right food? Did the time that he got into the garbage 6 years ago have anything to do with this?” And so on and so forth. It is normal to go through stage of guilt because you are the caregiver. I want to try to help let you off the hook though. I see how much you love them. I see how much you fuss over them, how much you evaluate their every move, and how much excellent care you pour into them. I know that you did everything that you could. I know that the decision to put them to sleep was not one that you took lightly. I know by the degree of your breaking heart that you did all that you could for this precious soul. They are not mad at you. They're not hurt or scared or betrayed. They are at peace and they are comfortably released from an ill or injured body. Sometimes, when the end of an animal companions life is full of trauma, I will see clients suffers PTSD type symptoms related to their deaths. If that is the case for you, please seek help. The trauma of losing someone that you love, especially in a terrible way, can certainly trigger a mental health event. Don't hesitate to get medical help if necessary.

Don't feel guilty if you decide that you're aching heart needs a new companion. The truth is it probably does. Don't rush into anything. Wait until you are ready. For some people that's only a week or two. For others it is 6 months. But the truth is they don't want to see you suffer. They do not want to see you withhold bringing a new companion into your life on their behalf. That would be counterproductive to their goals for you. They want you to be happy. They want you to know joy. And they most certainly want you to be able to share that love.

Just as with people you can expect to have your animal companion coming around you in spirit form. Frequently I have clients report that they dream about them, catch a glimpse of them in the corner of their eye, or even feel someone jump up on their bed in the middle of the night. Their routine may remain largely the same for a while as they have no interest in being separated from you.

Please recognize that the other animals in your house will grieve as well. They may be clingy, fearful or act listless and depressed. Be sure that they get the love and attention required to work through their grief as well. I do believe but other animals in the household usually know that that animal is deceased and that they see them in spirit form. Sometimes, a grieving friend may need a chat with an animal communicator to help them understand exactly what happened and what is going to happen now. When deciding to bring a new companion into the home it is a great idea to work with a communicator to help them understand what will be happening and to get them on board as a team mate with you in inviting someone new into your home.

Sometimes I see the same soul enter someone's life over and over again. It is certainly possible to invite the spirit of your deceased pet back into your life. You will know them by their familiarity. They may have some of the same quirks or habits as your old animal. They may just have the same energy or the same bond with you that the last one did. Animals tend to reincarnate much faster than people do with much looser rules on how it happens. I won't claim to it understand exactly the way it all works. What I do know though, is that I have frequently had animals in communication session say, “My soul and your soul are deeply connected. There's no place I'd rather be than in your life and by your side. I will come back.”

Ultimately, when grieving the loss of an animal companion you owe it to yourself to take very good care of your body and spirit. Take a few days off work. Call in your support system. Talk about them, cry and allow yourself to feel your feelings. Try to get plenty of sleep, as grief is so much worse when you are exhausted. You may encounter people who do not understand your grief. When that happens don't allow them to decide how long you will grieve for or what it should look like. Everyone's grief is different. Everyone's grief is valid. Everyone's grief is okay.

First Aid for Negative Self Talk

I am a big fan of positive affirmations to help quiet negative self talk. Louise Hay is the master of positive affirmations and her resources can be very helpful. I also feel like we can certainly be the masters of our own positive affirmations. Look at positive affirmations like a very strong blessing for you. Some guidelines for positive affirmations are that they contain positive words only, they are no more than three sentences long, and that they are written down and placed in places where you will remember to repeat them. They are usually written in first person. Positive affirmations should be repeated over and over again to continually shift your vibration into a more positive place. That is the goal. Positive affirmations, though they may not be exactly true in the moment, are designed to help bring your vibration into that of which you seek. Sometimes I hear people say that they don't like positive affirmations because it feels like they are lying to themselves. I disagree. Actually I believe that the lie would be convincing yourself that all of that negative self-talk is okay. Let’s look at an example. Maria is struggling with her self esteem. Her business has not been in a good place for a while and she has some decisions to make. Negative self-talk would say “You are doing a bad job at this, you are not a business person and you have wasted all of your money.” A positive affirmation might say, “I easily attract business to me. Abundance flows to me in wonderful and sometimes unexpected ways. I am safe to make a good decision.” When comparing these two statements, it is easy to recognize the difference in vibrational qualities. One feels hopeless and knocks the wind right out of you. The other feels expansive and full of possibilities. Now even if Maria decides to close her business, she can do so feeling empowered. She can trust herself and know that she is safe to make good decisions.


Some of my favorite positive affirmations are:


“I am exactly who I am supposed to be. I love myself therefore I take great care of myself.”


“I am a kind and gentle person and I attract kind and gentle people into my world. I deserve to be treated with love and respect.”


“I know what is best for me and I can trust my decisions.”


“Abundance flows easily to me and I always have enough. I am comfortable in knowing that my needs are always met.”


Remember that when negative self-talk sneaks in and starts trying to convince you that you should be fearful and down on yourself, that you have a whole toolbox of truth to work with. Counter negative statements with positive ones to create a powerful energetic shift.

Guest Blogger, Terri Ireland

Why it’s Crucial for Women to Heal the Mother Wound


The following is paraphrased from Bethany Webster, and it’s healing message is too good not to share, and not just for women, in this time of working on our shadow selves.

What many people do not realize is that the core issue of women’s empowerment is the mother wound.  Difficulty between mothers and daughters is rampant and widespread but not openly spoken about. The taboo about speaking about the pain of the mother wound is what keeps it in place and keeps it hidden in shadow, festering and out of view.

What exactly is the mother wound?  The mother wound is the pain of being a woman passed down through generations of women in patriarchal cultures. And it includes the dysfunctional coping mechanisms that are used to process that pain.  It includes the pain of: comparison, not feeling good enough; shame, a consistent background sense that there is something wrong with you; attenuation, feeling you must remain small in order to be loved; and a persistent sense of guilt for wanting more than you currently have.  The mother wound can manifest as not being your full self because you don’t want to threaten others, having a high tolerance for poor treatment from others, feeling competitive with other women, self-sabotage, being overly rigid and dominating, and conditions such as eating disorders, depression and addictions.

In our patriarchal culture women are conditioned to think of themselves as “less-than” and not deserving or worthy. This feeling of “less-than” has been internalized and passed down through countless generations of women.  The cultural atmosphere of female oppression puts daughters in a “double bind.”  Simply put, if a daughter internalizes her mother’s unconscious beliefs (which is some subtle form of “I’m not good enough”) then she has her mother’s approval but has in some way betrayed herself and her potential.  However, if she doesn’t internalize her mother’s unconscious beliefs in her own limitations but rather affirms her own power and potential, she is aware that her mother may unconsciously see this as a personal rejection.  The daughter doesn’t want to risk losing her mother’s love and approval, so internalizing these limiting, unconscious beliefs is a form of loyalty and emotional survival for the daughter.  It may feel dangerous for a woman to actualize her full potential because it may mean risking some form of rejection by her mother.  This is because the daughter may unconsciously sense that her full empowerment may trigger the mother’s sadness or rage at having had to give up parts of herself in her own life. Her compassion for her mother, a desire to please her, and a fear of conflict may cause her to convince herself that it’s safer to shrink and remain small.

A common objection to facing the mother wound is to “Let the past be in the past.” However it lives in the present as the obstacles and challenges that we face every day. If we avoid dealing with the pain associated with one of THE most primary and foundational relationships in our lives, we are missing a pivotal opportunity to discover the truth of who we are and to authentically and joyfully live that truth.

Stereotypes that perpetuate the mother wound:  “Look at everything your mother did for you!” (from other people), “My mother sacrificed so much for me. I would be so selfish to do what she could not do. I don’t want to make her feel bad.” “I owe loyalty to my mother no matter what. If I upset her, she will think I don’t value her.”  The daughter may experience fears about fulfilling her potential because she may fear leaving her mother behind. She may fear her mother feeling threatened by her dreams or ambitions. She may fear uncomfortable feelings from her mother such as envy or anger. All of this is usually unconscious and not openly acknowledged or talked about.

We all have sensed the pain that our mothers carry. And all of us are suspicious to some degree that we are partly to blame for her pain. Therein lies the guilt. This makes sense when considering the limited cognitive development of a child, which sees itself as the cause of all things. If we don’t address this unconscious belief as an adult, we may still be walking around with it and greatly limiting ourselves as a result.  The truth is that no child can save her mother.  No sacrifice a daughter makes will ever be enough to compensate for the high price her mother may have had to pay or for the losses she has accrued over the years, simply by being a woman and a mother in this culture. And yet, this is what many women do for their mothers very early on in childhood: they unconsciously make a decision to not abandon or betray their mothers by becoming “too successful,” “too smart” or “too adventurous.” This decision is made out of love, loyalty and a true need for approval and emotional support from the mother.

Being a mother in our society is unspeakably difficult. I’ve heard many women say “No one ever tells you how hard it is” and “Nothing prepares you for when you get home with the baby and realize what is being asked of you.” Our culture, especially the U.S., is very hard on mothers, offering little support and many are raising children alone.  Our society’s unspoken messages to mothers: If motherhood is difficult then it’s your own fault, shame on you if you’re not super-human, there are “natural mothers” for whom motherhood is easy, if you are not one of these, there is something deeply wrong with you.  You’re supposed to be capable of handling it all with ease: having well-behaved children, being sexually attractive, having a successful career, and a solid marriage.

For mothers who have indeed sacrificed much to have children it can truly feel like a rejection when your child surpasses the dreams you thought possible for yourself. There may be a sense of feeling owed, entitled to or needing to be validated by your children, which can be a subtle but powerful manipulation. This dynamic can cause the next generation of daughters to keep themselves small so that their mothers can continue to feel validated and affirmed in their identity as a mother, an identity that many have sacrificed for, but received little support and recognition for in return.

Mothers may unconsciously project deep rage towards their children in subtle ways. However, the rage really isn’t toward the children. The rage is toward the patriarchal society that requires women to sacrifice and utterly deplete themselves in order to mother a child.  And for a child who needs her mother, sacrificing herself in an effort to somehow ease her mother’s pain is often a subconscious decision made very early in life and not discovered as the cause of underlying issues until much later when she is an adult.  The mother wound exists because there is not a safe place for mothers to process their rage about the sacrifices that society has demanded of them. Because of this, daughters still unconsciously fear rejection for choosing not to make those same sacrifices as previous generations.  A daughter is a very potent target for a mother’s rage because the daughter has not yet had to give up her personhood for motherhood. The young daughter may remind the mother of her un-lived potential. And if the daughter feels worthy enough to reject some of the patriarchal mandates that the mother has had to swallow, then she can easily trigger that underground rage for the mother.

Of course most mothers want what is best for their daughters. However, if a mother has not dealt with her own pain or come to terms with the sacrifices she has had to make, then her support for her daughter may be laced with messages that subtly instill shame, guilt or obligation. They can seep out in the most benign situations, usually in some form of criticism or some form of bringing praise back to the mother. It’s not usually the content of the statement, but rather the energy with which it is conveyed that can carry hidden resentment.  

The way for a mother to prevent directing her rage to her daughter and passing down the mother wound, is for the mother to fully grieve and mourn her own losses. And to make sure that she is not relying on her daughter as her main source of emotional support.  Mothers must mourn what they had to give up, what they wanted but will never have, what their children can never give them and the injustice of their situation.  It takes tremendous strength and integrity to do this. And mothers need support in this process.  Mothers liberate their daughters when they consciously process their own pain without making it their daughter’s problem. In this way, mothers free their daughters to pursue their dreams without guilt, shame or a sense of obligation.  When mothers unwittingly cause their daughters to feel responsible for their losses and to share in their pain, it creates a dysfunctional enmeshment, reinforcing the daughter’s view that she is not worthy of her dreams.  And this supports a daughter’s view that her mother’s pain must somehow be her fault. This can cripple her in so many ways.  

For daughters growing up in a patriarchal culture, there is a sense of having to choose between being empowered and being loved.  Most daughters choose to be loved instead of empowered because there is an ominous sense that being fully actualized and empowered may cause a grave loss of love from important people in their lives, specifically their mothers. So women stay small and un-fulfilled, unconsciously passing the mother wound to the next generation.  As a woman, there is a vague but powerful sense that your empowerment will injure your relationships. And women are taught to value relationships over everything else. We cling to the crumbs of our relationships, while our souls may be deeply longing for the fulfillment of our potential. But the truth is that our relationships alone can never adequately substitute for the hunger to live our lives fully.

The power dynamic at the center of the mother/daughter relationship is a taboo subject and the core issue at the center of the mother wound.  Much of this goes underground because of the many taboos and stereotypes about motherhood in this culture, such as, mothers are always nurturing and loving, mothers should never feel angry or resentful towards their daughters, and mothers and daughters are supposed to be best friends.  The stereotype of “All mothers should be loving all the time” strips women of their full humanity. Because women are not given permission to be full human beings, society feels justified in not providing full respect, support and resources to mothers.  The truth is that mothers are human beings and all mothers having un-loving moments. And it’s true that there are mothers who are simply un-loving most of the time, whether because of addiction, mental illness or other struggles. Until we are willing to face these uncomfortable realities the mother wound will be in shadow and continue to be passed through the generations.

Coming into full empowerment requires looking at our relationship with our mothers and having the courage to separate out our own individual beliefs, values, and thoughts from hers. It requires feeling the grief of witnessing the pain our mothers endured and processing our own legitimate pain that we endured as a result. This is challenging but it is the beginning of real freedom.  Once we feel the pain it can be transformed and it will cease creating obstacles in our lives.

So what happens when women heal the mother wound?  Women cease asking one another to stay small to ease their own pain. The pain of living in patriarchy ceases to be taboo. We don’t have to pretend and hide our pain under a facade of effortlessly holding it together. The pain can then be seen as legitimate, embraced, processed and integrated and ultimately transformed into wisdom and power.  we can create safe places for women to express the truth of their pain and receive much needed support. Mothers and daughters can communicate with one another without fear that the truth of their feelings will break their relationship. The pain no longer needs to go underground and into shadow, where it manifests as manipulation, competition and self-hatred.  Our pain can be grieved fully so that it can then turn into love, a love that manifests as fierce support of one another and deep self-acceptance, freeing us to be boldly authentic, creative and truly fulfilled.  When we heal the mother wound, we begin to grasp the stunning degree of impact a mother’s well-being has on the life of her child, especially in early childhood when the child and mother are still a single unit. Our mothers form the very basis of who we become: our beliefs start out as her beliefs, our habits start out as her habits. Some of this is so unconscious and fundamental, it is barely perceptible.

We address the mother wound because it is a critical part of self-actualization and saying YES to being the powerful and potent women that we are being called to become. Healing the mother wound is ultimately about acknowledging and honoring the foundation our mothers provided for our lives so that we can then fully focus on creating the unique lives that we authentically desire and know we are capable of creating.

For every human being, the very first wound of the heart was at the site of the mother, the feminine. And through the process of healing that wound, our hearts graduate from a compromised state of defensiveness and fear to a whole new level of love and power, which connects us to the divine heart of Life itself. We are from then on connected to the archetypal, collective heart that lives in all beings, and are carriers and transmitters of true compassion and love that the world needs right now. In this way, the mother wound is actually an opportunity and an initiation into the divine feminine. This is why it’s so crucial for women to heal the mother wound. Your personal healing and re-connection to the heart of life, by way of the feminine, affects the whole or humankind and supports our collective evolution.


Terri Ireland

6 Vital Tips for a Thriving Relationship


February is upon us, and that always makes me think a lot about relationships. I met my husband when I was fourteen years old. I fell for him instantly, and he, for me. We dated throughout high school and into college, and married when we were nineteen. We have now been married 18 years, and I have no idea where the time has gone. I still feel like that fresh faced child bride with utter optimism and complete faith in love. I am shocked to see a wrinkle or strand of gray hair when I peer into the mirror! Many of my clients are drawn to me for relationship help. I used to wonder why, as I have not dated in practically ever, and married my first real boyfriend. My husband pointed out that after being together for so long, perhaps we have learned few things. After some brainstorming and soul searching, I have come up with six vital things to remember about relationships.

1-      Love more than you battle. I know this seems simple enough, and it is. However, I constantly see people battling each other on small stuff, losing sight of the big picture. Will you really care in five years if he wears that ugly shirt to your family reunion? Probably not. But you will care that he came and gave horsie rides to a herd of shrieking kids for three hours, because he loves you. Choose your battles wisely, and offer more love and affection than reprimands.

2-      Equality is a thorn in the side of love. Sure, everyone one dreams of the perfect balance of chores and responsibilities. That would be great. But is it worth your relationship to make it happen? You may say, “I love you,” more than they do. They may take out the trash more than you do. That doesn’t mean that you are lazy or they love you less. Avoid keeping score or becoming the martyr. It isn’t loving, and it negates everyone’s efforts.

3-      Be your own best friend. It is not your spouse’s job to ensure your every happiness and joy. It is yours. They should support that, and they may some coaching to learn how, but it is up to you to make sure that you feel like your best self. Do your own work, and love yourself. When you can do that, you are so easy to love.

4-      Do not expect to marry a mind reader. Not going to happen. If you need something that you are not getting, speak up! Do not give in to the urge to stew and resent the person you love most on the planet because they are not giving you something that you did not ask for. See how silly that sounds? Use your voice, and request more compliments, affection, romance, etc.

5-      An attitude of gratitude will get you far. Your spouse is not the only one who has bad days, gets grumpy, looks like a train hit them in the morning, etc. You do too, and they tolerate and adore you anyway. There is plenty of give and take in a solid relationship, and you both deserve a little gratitude for being a willing party.

6-      In the iconic words of Simon and Garfunkel, “Slow down, you move too fast...” Impatience is not a good look in most relationships. Be patient and kind with each other. Put down your phones, talk more than you text and don’t expect instant gratification. I have seen too many budding relationships stomped out because one party got anxious and impatient and wanted everything right now. You have all of the time in the world to develop something worth keeping.