Spider Sense – Weaving through the Wheel of Life

Spider entered my path this weekend; not in the usual “see on the wall” kind of way.  Instead, it was the result of a bad fall on the sidewalk of life – only this time it was of the concrete type.  I fell directly on both knees and face which I quickly realized was one of those “bad falls”.

A woman pulled into the driveway near where I was sitting/laying and got out of her car. She was older, dressed in one of those brightly colored tunic tops; her reddish short hair possibly with a scarf in it as I recall.  Actually, I remember wondering if she lived in the house and was just returning home. Stopping for me was not in my radar.   She walked over and said, “This happened to me two years ago and no one stopped for a long time.  I remember just laying there and no one came.”

I thanked her angel presence and assured her that I could make the short walk home.  The last few days have been spent figuring out how to walk up steps and get on and off chairs as my knees were quite painful.  Just on the verge of  Memorial Day weekend, I’d planned many activities/tasks that “really needed to get done” and looked forward to time with my family.

Things were now different and I sat there in frustration and tension created from the negative emotions.   One of the healing tools that I frequently use with clients is  what I call “my animal cards”.  These cards were created within a mystical and historical context and have been “right on” for many in challenging situations.  Now, I was the one who needed guidance.  Spider was chosen – the keynote: Creativity and the Weaving of Fate.

I did some research about Spider medicine and found deep secrets embedded.  That’s the magic in these cards – it’s all about what is awakened or related to by the individual.    According to Ted Andrews in Animal Speaks, in India, it was associated with Maya, the weaver of illusion.  It has connections to the Fates in Greek mythology and the Norns in Scandinavian lore – women who would weave, measure and cut the threads of life.  To the Native Americans, spider is grandmother, the link to the past and the future.

The body of the spider has 2 sections which gives the appearance of an eight when on it’s side.  This is the symbol of infinity.  It is the wheel of life, flowing from one circle to the next.  It isn’t always easy navigating those circles or balance between past and future, male and female, physical and spiritual.

Spider is the symbol of infinite possibilities of creation.  Do I want to caught up into the web and become dinner, succumbing to the illusion of just one perspective or be open to other dimensions to the situation?  Why did this happen to me now?  Now what am I going to do?  Of course, I did that for awhile and noticed the impact of that negative thinking pattern.

This is an all too familiar road for most of us humans – probably since the first stories of spider appeared.  This web of fate also represents a wheel of life, the tendency to polarize (good or bad, all or nothing approach) With this line of thinking we forget that we can change things at any time rather than being consumed by our fears and limitations.

Spider symbolizes creativity.  Creativity is the antidote to stress is the phrase I often repeat to others.   Suddenly the idea to CREATE  takes on a new perspective for me.  Funny how that happens when we are busy making other plans.  Andrews states that spider, because of its characteristics is associated with three expressions of magic: the energy of creation, creative power, reflected in its ability to spin a silken web,and assertiveness of that creative force: keeping the creative energies of creation alive and strong.  The third expression involves the spiders spiral energies.

“Are you moving towards a central goal or are you scattered and going in different directions?”  This may involve looking at ourselves with reflection and asking ourselves some questions.  Are you over focused on others or too self absorbed in your own matters?  Do you notice the emotion of resentment in your life?  Balance and creativity are key concepts to learn about spider totems.  Totems are another term for spirit animal to help us in our life journeys.  We have close connections to nature in all aspects of our lives, what we eat, wear, love and nurture.  Respecting what animals symbolize is powerful, positive and fun!  When things aren’t going as we want, seek out ways to connect with your animal totem.  In my case, I am stepping up my creativity by spending time thinking about my creative abilities and asking the question “Are there new ways to be creative at this moment?”  Thinking positively can be very creative when it is not your norm.

Earlier this week, I was drawn to review a book by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, The Wheel of Life.   She is known for her groundbreaking work on death and dying and teaching others about the stages of grief and loss.  Her work with terminally ill  adults and children helped “humanize” medical settings in how they approached the dying process.

In this book she writes about her own dying process, the suffering she experienced over a long period of time and how she applied her own principles to herself.  She felt  a purpose for what she was experiencing despite the angst.  She summarizes her life truths very succinctly:  “The sole purpose of life is to grow – the ultimate lesson is learning how to love and be loved unconditionally. ”  All the hardships that come to your life, all the tribulations, and nightmares, all the things you see as punishments from God are in reality like gifts – they are an opportunity to grow – which is the sole purpose of life.” Taking steps to love self and others…basically the base of therapy and recovery from stress and trauma.

I remember being on the same elevator as Elisabeth during a conference she was speaking at in Winnipeg in the early 1980’s.  She was a very small woman with a German accent whom I knew little about; but this moment was one of those unforgettable memories of life to appreciate now.  Sometimes the rug is pulled out from under you; whether the size is big or small, these rug moments make you pay attention.

When we pay attention, life speaks.   spider image 2

 

Fifty Shades of Midwest Intimacy

 

The countdown began as the media and modern day America prepared for the opening day of 50 Shades of Gray.  Talk shows buzzed and parties planned; romance business blossomed on this February Valentines weekend.  I noticed the parking lots full at the local theater where they were showing the film multiple times in as many theaters.   Marketing wise, what a brilliant idea – sex, love and romance – big movie and even bigger hopes and fantasies of many of the fans.  I didn’t read 50 Shades of Gray until I had several clients reference it.  I have to admit, I didn’t read it to the end.  When I found out there were 2 more books following the main characters and  got the gist of just how steamy and edgy it was, I could just imagine the rest.  It didn’t take long to “get engaged” as I scoped out a few more sections at the end.

 

From E L James’s book, Fifty Shades of Grey; Ana is thinking during a visit to her mother: “What does Christian know of love?  Seems he didn’t get the unconditional love he was entitled to during his very early years. My heart twists, and my mother’s words waft like a zephyr through my mind: Yes, Ana. Hell what do you need?  A neon sign flashing on his forehead?  She thinks Christian loves me, buth then she’s my mother, of course she’d think that.  She thinks I deserve the best of everything.  I frown.  It’s true, and in a moment of startling clarity, I see it.  Its’ very simple: I want his love.  I need   Christian Gray to love me.  this is why I am so reticent about our relationship – and because on some basic, fundamental level, I recognize within me a deep-seated compulsion to be loved and cherished…..and because of his fifty shades, I am holding myself back.”

 

Ana goes on to say that all is meaningless without his love and expressed her fears that he may not be capable of such love because of the abuse he experienced in his complicated relationship with his mother.  Still, the sex is amazingly fierce, creative and prolonged.  The scenes are filled with passion, youth, fantasy, and hope.  I’m engrossed again…but wait!  Today is Valentines Day, the day many couples will relate with each other in countless ways – beautiful and messy  as the case may be.  Most couples that I work with are seeking love and acceptance and priority – that feeling they are Number 1.  When dreams fade, symptoms and problems begin.  It can be a long and windy road once the bumpy road of frustration/conflict begins.  But Wait!  Can this relationship be saved?  Can my dreams be once again resurrected?   Can we once again feel the attraction or the passion or the warmth of positivity; that state of being that embodies trust and well-being, creativity and safety of soul?  Many relationships fail – their intentions and abilities to do the work are not able to create a new style and foundation.  The passion of the beginning, the unknown, the unbearable state of excitement and anxiety – the brain bathed in the love cocktail of endorphins and dopamine.  Not all couples fall into this intensity of emotion but all experience the illusion of creating something good and feeling happy withing their relationship.

intimacy-picture2-300x286 Intimacy is that combination of confiding (sharing our thoughts and emotions) and physical touch.  Sexuality is the connection glue – powerful.  The combination of being open to explore each other’s bodies and minds and respecting one another’s differences.  Most of us Mid-westerners were not brought up in these open/affectionate households.  Stoicism  – a family trait in many of our family lineages still rules.  Being reserved, private and role-oriented.  This worked to help us survive; it doesn’t help us thrive.  We need to THRIVE!  We can do it!  But we can’t do it alone.  In my practice, I see a common theme of misunderstandings and resentments that zap the zing out of a healthy sensual life and creates symptoms we do not want to have in our life.  When they persist, we get sick…one way or the other so to speak.  We all deserve loving relationships and to get our needs met.  The book I routinely suggest is Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson.  There, you can test yourself and learn the inside scoop on why our early childhood, stress and negative beliefs impact us so much.  Just like Christian Gray, he had many shades and shadows to his life.  Just like Ana, who was attracted to his complicated energy to experience “the wild side” of love and sensuality, sex and maturity.  I have yet to finish the Shades of Gray series  – to see the evolution of these 2 characters of fiction who have touched and inspired many, both positive and negative reviews to take note of these sides to our humanity.

 

I encourage couples to have massage tables, use fantasy and role play, experiment with passionate essential oils, and have or learn to have fun together.   Many of us never learned that as kids – that was not on the top of the survival tool kit.  Fun can be learned – I’ve seen it done.  Start with intention, a beginners mind and avoid all judgement.  If there are negative emotions, see them together as a sedgeway to learning something new.   Seeking therapy is one tool but there are others as well.  The first step is doing a Couple Check up.  Know about your relationship!  There are several on-line resources for this as well as resources for learning how to “spice up” your sexual relationship in a healthy and loving manner.  Search couple check up and Better Sex.com., goDesana.com/newpath (romance oils)  Awareness has turned on America and beyond.  Let’s use this for the good and keep the chatter going.

 

50 Shades of Midwest Intimacy

fifty shades of greyThe countdown began as the media and modern day America prepared for the opening day of 50 Shades of Gray.  Talk shows buzzed and parties planned; romance business blossomed on this February Valentines weekend.  I noticed the parking lots full at the local theater where they were showing the film multiple times in as many theaters.   Marketing wise, what a brilliant idea – sex, love and romance – big movie and even bigger hopes and fantasies of many of the fans.  I didn’t read 50 Shades of Gray until I had several clients reference it.  I have to admit, I didn’t read it to the end.  When I found out there were 2 more books following the main characters and  got the gist of just how steamy and edgy it was, I could just imagine the rest.  It didn’t take long to “get engaged” as I scoped out a few more sections at the end.

From E L James’s book, Fifty Shades of Grey; Ana is thinking during a visit to her mother: “What does Christian know of love?  Seems he didn’t get the unconditional love he was entitled to during his very early years. My heart twists, and my mother’s words waft like a zephyr through my mind: Yes, Ana. Hell what do you need?  A neon sign flashing on his forehead?  She thinks Christian loves me, buth then she’s my mother, of course she’d think that.  She thinks I deserve the best of everything.  I frown.  It’s true, and in a moment of startling clarity, I see it.  Its’ very simple: I want his love.  I need   Christian Gray to love me.  this is why I am so reticent about our relationship – and because on some basic, fundamental level, I recognize within me a deep-seated compulsion to be loved and cherished…..and because of his fifty shades, I am holding myself back.”

Ana goes on to say that all is meaningless without his love and expressed her fears that he may not be capable of such love because of the abuse he experienced in his complicated relationship with his mother.  Still, the sex is amazingly fierce, creative and prolonged.  The scenes are filled with passion, youth, fantasy, and hope.  I’m engrossed again…but wait!  Today is Valentines Day, the day many couples will relate with each other in countless ways – beautiful and messy  as the case may be.  Most couples that I work with are seeking love and acceptance and priority – that feeling they are Number 1.  When dreams fade, symptoms and problems begin.  It can be a long and windy road once the bumpy road of frustration/conflict begins.  But Wait!  Can this relationship be saved?  Can my dreams be once again resurrected?   Can we once again feel the attraction or the passion or the warmth of positivity; that state of being that embodies trust and well-being, creativity and safety of soul?  Many relationships fail – their intentions and abilities to do the work are not able to create a new style and foundation.  The passion of the beginning, the unknown, the unbearable state of excitement and anxiety – the brain bathed in the love cocktail of endorphins and dopamine.  Not all couples fall into this intensity of emotion but all experience the illusion of creating something good and feeling happy withing their relationship.  Intimacy is that combination of confiding (sharing our thoughts and emotions) and physical touch.  Sexuality is the connection glue – powerful.  The combination of being open to explore each other’s bodies and minds and respecting one another’s differences.  Most of us Mid-westerners were not brought up in these open/affectionate households.  Stoicism  – a family trait in many of our family lineages still rules.  Being reserved, private and role-oriented.  This worked to help us survive; it doesn’t help us thrive.  We need to THRIVE!  We can do it!  But we can’t do it alone.  In my practice, I see a common theme of misunderstandings and resentments that zap the zing out of a healthy sensual life and creates symptoms we do not want to have in our life.  When they persist, we get sick…one way or the other so to speak.  We all deserve loving relationships and to get our needs met.  The book I routinely suggest is Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson.  There, you can test yourself and learn the inside scoop on why our early childhood, stress and negative beliefs impact us so much.  Just like Christian Gray, he had many shades and shadows to his life.  Just like Ana, who was attracted to his complicated energy to experience “the wild side” of love and sensuality, sex and maturity.  I have yet to finish the Shades of Gray series  – to see the evolution of these 2 characters of fiction who have touched and inspired many, both positive and negative reviews to take note of these sides to our humanity.sensual-touch

I encourage couples to have massage tables, use fantasy and role play, experiment with passionate essential oils, and have or learn to have fun together.   Many of us never learned that as kids – that was not on the top of the survival tool kit.  Fun can be learned – I’ve seen it done.  Start with intention, a beginners mind and avoid all judgement.  If there are negative emotions, see them together as a sedgeway to learning something new.   Seeking therapy is one tool but there are others as well.  The first step is doing a Couple Check up.  Know about your relationship!  There are several on-line resources for this as well as resources for learning how to “spice up” your sexual relationship in a healthy and loving manner.  Search couple check up and Better Sex.com., goDesana.com/newpath (romance oils)  Awareness has turned on America and beyond.  Let’s use this for the good and keep the chatter going.

Emotional First Aid Kit for Mind/Body

2015  has just begun.  New beginnings are in the air, media, social networks and the history of our lives.  I notice cravings for what is new and am aware of that familiar yearning for what is old and familiar.  Advertisers may be all too familiar with these psychological “truisms”,  perhaps more than any of us want them to yet they are the engine of our lifestyle machine here in the US.

  • New – the emotion of excitement
  • Comfort – the feeling of security and times gone by
  • Hope – the anticipation of getting what you want

This year I decided to create my own first aid kit for emotional management and healing.  Based in part on the emotions listed above – the New-Comfort-Hope concept. My advertising logo might be the eagle/dove image.  Over the years in my private therapy practice I have explored many healing modalities for psychological healing. I believe in the explore, experiment and educate philosophy…the emotional scientist so to speak.   The following is a list  of my own tips for managing the truisms of our ourselves, how our beliefs about ourselves derive from our emotions, those we came into the world with at birth or the ones that were created throughout our lives.  The encouraging news is that we can heal from both psychological and physical conditions and ailments.  The reality is that it takes an investment of commitment and time.  Let’s begin:

  • Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  Every moment of every day is a new opportunity to start again.  Take on the beginners mind when you want to change anything.  Discouragement and doubt are powerful emotions.  I have seen many couples in my therapy practice make comments on the how hard it is to carve new paths together.  It is only possible if both have some interest and if the interest isn’t there then the “fun” can begin.  Get out the emotional excavation tools.  As Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”  I believe every life is worth living to each person’s capacity.  Finding that capacity is sometimes tricky.
  • Take an emotional inventory meaning “Who do you love?”  and “Who loves you?”  The belief that we all deserve to love and be loved is also powerful.  Stress and emotional disorders such as mood and anxiety can impact the brain and cause negative thinking and depressive symptoms.  If the answer to the love question is no one and not me then that is the time to call in resources and realize the brain in stress can create problems.
  • Intentional Movement – we hear it all the time that we need to exercise, get fit and toned.  Emotional heath does better with movement in harmony with body and mind.  That would include any type of mindful exercises such as Tai Chi, Yoga, Balance and dance or moving meditations.  Many activities can be adapted to be intentional by slowing them down.  Fast paced, competitive sports all have their place but for the purpose of  emotional health these are better. Essential Somatics by Martha Peterson is one such program that combines these elements to manage/eliminate pain.  I have been experimenting with this one.  The author is a former dancer who experienced pain related to injuries and inflammation.  By “tuning in” to your body regularly, you create a relationship with your own body that can work with you over time.
  • Nutrition and Intuition for the brain.  I have written several blogs regarding the importance of brain health and  the role of nutrition.  Listening to your body and what it does and doesn’t need  is the goal.  In this culture we are not taught to look within for answers, not taught to listen.  Our consumer driven society teaches us to look outside of ourselves; how to fix what is wrong with us with every product under the sun.  Developing a way to access your inner guidance system or intuition will empower and help navigate the current landscape of food choices and beliefs we carry.   Loving Yourself to Great Health by Louise Hay,Ahlea Khadro and Heather Dane is one book to explore this subject.  Question what the beliefs are that you carry around.  Be like Michelangelo and question your life.  Every day create some questions for yourself.
  • Explore emotional healing strategies such as  The Healing Code and The Emotion Code.  The Healing Code, by Alex Lloyd  states that there is a physical mechanism in the body that would heal physical and emotional issues (wrong beliefs) and counteract the source of all these issues which is hidden stress and bring them to light by a practice he has developed using the hands.   The Emotion Code by Bradley Nelson  focuses on the role that emotions play in ones life.  ” Where would you be without emotions?  If the sum total of all your experiences makes up the tapestry of your life, it the emotions that give that tapestry its color.”  He states that unresolved emotions that are stored in the body are the source of many types of pain and suffering.  The treatment is about finding these old emotions and releasing them forever.  This relatively simple tool involves finding a way to access your body/mind using muscle testing or as I have seen, learning how to use the pendulum as a way into yourself. ”  I have been trained in the trauma treatment EMDR which uses eye movement and stimulation to calm the brain as it introduced to new and positive beliefs about oneself and relationship to past stress and trauma.  This is a treatment that needs some guidance, yet once it is experienced, there are many strategies to help yourself when negative symptoms arise.
  • Be Open to Resources.  We all have unique pasts, experiences and personalities.  Whenever you find yourself thinking  “I am right and You are wrong” or “I don’t know what to do” seek out a resource.  This can come in the form of mentor, education(ie.books, computer research, a class) therapist,medical professional, spiritual guide, trusted friend or in a practice such as meditation, centering prayer, art, writing or just being in nature.  Health is all about balance Too much stress can create instability and consequently physical or emotional pain.  I once read the quote “Pain is inevitable, suffering is not.”   I often suggest specific essential oils as resources to help access the parts of us that need attention and healing.  Lavender Vera, Frankincense, Sweet Orange and Peppermint  are a few that come to mind now.  There are oil blends that are created for each energy center of the body (chakra system) and are often used to energize and move what needs to move.
  • Language matters – speak words that have forward motion.  Avoid words such as “No” or “can’t”.  Re-phrase what you want to say with words that are more positive in tone. Yes, you will be amazed at this practice. Research has shown energy patterns to words said both verbally and to yourself.  Positive language carries a higher frequency while negative words are measured at a lower frequency level.  For me, making changes in my own internal dialogue has been most challenging.  I am constantly being shown all the old, habitual forms of negativity that have made their home in my brain.  Genetics, lifestyle, culture and spiritual history all have influence here.  Change has been harder than I first thought.  The good news is Perseverance does pay off.  Keep after it… like training a puppy.
  • Love and Affirm yourself daily  –   This may seem foreign to some.  This  mirror exercise is amazing.    With your hand circling your heart say out loud:  “I love and accept myself completely; with all my faults and limitations and all my wonderful gifts and talents, I love and accept myself completely.  Try it for a week and notice.
  • Last but not least – BREATHE and BREATHE some more.  Explore learning breath strategies.   The audio called  “Breathe to Beat the Blues” by Amy Weintraub is an excellent resource to download.  There are many apps for that as they say.  The 4-4-4 is a basic yet effective breath.  Inhale for the count of 4, hold for 4 and exhale through pursed lips (like blowing air out a straw) for 4.

My intention on this mid-winter day  is to create some excitement for exploration and strategies to use when experiencing the pains of life.  Just like a medicine cabinet holds medicine for your body, the emotions need their own first aid kit…and that can be exciting and comfortable at the same time.

Emotional First Aid Kit for Mind/Body

2015 has just begun. New beginnings are in the air, media, social networks and the history of our lives. I notice cravings for what is new and am aware of that familiar yearning for what is old and familiar. Advertisers may be all too familiar with these psychological “truisms”, perhaps more than any of us want them to yet they are the engine of our lifestyle machine here in the US.

New – the emotion of excitementeagle and dove image
Comfort – the feeling of security and times gone by
Hope – the anticipation of getting what you want
This year I decided to create my own first aid kit for emotional management and healing. Based in part on the emotions listed above – the New-Comfort-Hope concept. My advertising logo might be the eagle/dove image. Over the years in my private therapy practice I have explored many healing modalities for psychological healing. I believe in the explore, experiment and educate philosophy…the emotional scientist so to speak. The following is a list of my own tips for managing the truisms of our ourselves, how our beliefs about ourselves derive from our emotions, those we came into the world with at birth or the ones that were created throughout our lives. The encouraging news is that we can heal from both psychological and physical conditions and ailments. The reality is that it takes an investment of commitment and time. Let’s begin:

  • Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Every moment of every day is a new opportunity to start again. Take on the beginners mind when you want to change anything. Discouragement and doubt are powerful emotions. I have seen many couples in my therapy practice make comments on the how hard it is to carve new paths together. It is only possible if both have some interest and if the interest isn’t there then the “fun” can begin. Get out the emotional excavation tools. As Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” I believe every life is worth living to each person’s capacity. Finding that capacity is sometimes tricky.
  • Take an emotional inventory meaning “Who do you love?” and “Who loves you?” The belief that we all deserve to love and be loved is also powerful. Stress and emotional disorders such as mood and anxiety can impact the brain and cause negative thinking and depressive symptoms. If the answer to the love question is no one and not me then that is the time to call in resources and realize the brain in stress can create problems.
  • Intentional Movement – we hear it all the time that we need to exercise, get fit and toned. Emotional heath does better with movement in harmony with body and mind. That would include any type of mindful exercises such as Tai Chi, Yoga, Balance and dance or moving meditations. Many activities can be adapted to be intentional by slowing them down. Fast paced, competitive sports all have their place but for the purpose of emotional health these are better. Essential Somatics by Martha Peterson is one such program that combines these elements to manage/eliminate pain. I have been experimenting with this one. The author is a former dancer who experienced pain related to injuries and inflammation. By “tuning in” to your body regularly, you create a relationship with your own body that can work with you over time.
  • Nutrition and Intuition for the brain. I have written several blogs regarding the importance of brain health and the role of nutrition. Listening to your body and what it does and doesn’t need is the goal. In this culture we are not taught to look within for answers, not taught to listen. Our consumer driven society teaches us to look outside of ourselves; how to fix what is wrong with us with every product under the sun. Developing a way to access your inner guidance system or intuition will empower and help navigate the current landscape of food choices and beliefs we carry. Loving Yourself to Great Health by Louise Hay,Ahlea Khadro and Heather Dane is one book to explore this subject. Question what the beliefs are that you carry around. Be like Michelangelo and question your life. Every day create some questions for yourself.
  • Explore emotional healing strategies such as The Healing Code and The Emotion Code. The Healing Code, by Alex Lloyd states that there is a physical mechanism in the body that would heal physical and emotional issues (wrong beliefs) and counteract the source of all these issues which is hidden stress and bring them to light by a practice he has developed using the hands. The Emotion Code by Bradley Nelson focuses on the role that emotions play in ones life. ” Where would you be without emotions? If the sum total of all your experiences makes up the tapestry of your life, it the emotions that give that tapestry its color.” He states that unresolved emotions that are stored in the body are the source of many types of pain and suffering. The treatment is about finding these old emotions and releasing them forever. This relatively simple tool involves finding a way to access your body/mind using muscle testing or as I have seen, learning how to use the pendulum as a way into yourself. ” I have been trained in the trauma treatment EMDR which uses eye movement and stimulation to calm the brain as it introduced to new and positive beliefs about oneself and relationship to past stress and trauma. This is a treatment that needs some guidance, yet once it is experienced, there are many strategies to help yourself when negative symptoms arise.
  • Be Open to Resources. We all have unique pasts, experiences and personalities. Whenever you find yourself thinking “I am right and You are wrong” or “I don’t know what to do” seek out a resource. This can come in the form of mentor, education(ie.books, computer research, a class) therapist,medical professional, spiritual guide, trusted friend or in a practice such as meditation, centering prayer, art, writing or just being in nature. Health is all about balance Too much stress can create instability and consequently physical or emotional pain. I once read the quote “Pain is inevitable, suffering is not.” I often suggest specific essential oils as resources to help access the parts of us that need attention and healing. Lavender Vera, Frankincense, Sweet Orange and Peppermint are a few that come to mind now. There are oil blends that are created for each energy center of the body (chakra system) and are often used to energize and move what needs to move.
  • Language matters – speak words that have forward motion. Avoid words such as “No” or “can’t”. Re-phrase what you want to say with words that are more positive in tone. Yes, you will be amazed at this practice. Research has shown energy patterns to words said both verbally and to yourself. Positive language carries a higher frequency while negative words are measured at a lower frequency level. For me, making changes in my own internal dialogue has been most challenging. I am constantly being shown all the old, habitual forms of negativity that have made their home in my brain. Genetics, lifestyle, culture and spiritual history all have influence here. Change has been harder than I first thought. The good news is Perseverance does pay off. Keep after it… like training a puppy.
  • Love and Affirm yourself daily – This may seem foreign to some. This mirror exercise is amazing. With your hand circling your heart say out loud: “I love and accept myself completely; with all my faults and limitations and all my wonderful gifts and talents, I love and accept myself completely. Try it for a week and notice.
  • Last but not least – BREATHE and BREATHE some more. Explore learning breath strategies. The audio called “Breathe to Beat the Blues” by Amy Weintraub is an excellent resource to download. There are many apps for that as they say. The 4-4-4 is a basic yet effective breath. Inhale for the count of 4, hold for 4 and exhale through pursed lips (like blowing air out a straw) for 4.

My intention on this mid-winter day is to create some excitement for exploration and strategies to use when experiencing the pains of life. Just like a medicine cabinet holds medicine for your body, the emotions need their own first aid kit…and that can be exciting and comfortable at the same time.emotional first aid image

Balneotherapy -Mineralizing for Mind and Body


What is the connection between mental health and the ocean?  I recently embarked on a new path of study; that of aromatherapy and the use of essential oils to help support positive mental states.  I quickly learned that there are  many uses of aromatherapy to help support physical health.  Over the last couple of years, I’ve been able to integrate some of this knowledge and  help others learn and benefit from using these essential oils for health and wellness.  Recently, I embarked on a professional aromatherapy  certification class that will require  extensive study and travel.  New endeavors require courage and energy which is one of the reasons I am seeking ways to strengthen mind/body.   I will need it all.  The good news is that it is available to us.  Balneotherapy refers to the art and science of bathing for the treatment of various disease/disorders.  The aim of these treatments may be to enhance the immune system and stimulate lymph and blood circulation.


Many people feel drawn to the ocean, plan vacations there, dream about beaches and imagine warm salty breezes while out on a sailboat.  Negative ions abound in the ocean.  When water and salt connect, the negative ions in the water molecules surround the positive ions in the salt, and the negative ions in the salt are surrounded by the positive polarized particles of the water molecules.  This changes the geometric structure of the water and the salt, and creates something entirely new, a third dimension.  The water is no longer water and the salt is no longer salt.  The elements have liberated themselves from their restrictions, given up their polarities and become a third substance, a whole new synergy.  These last statements are gleaned from my recent Aromatherapy training in El Paso, TX.  Alexandria Brighton, a noted herbalist, aromatherapist and educator at this conference highlighted this new synergy.

himalyan salt image

What is this new synergy?  When you combine Himalayan crystal salt and natural spring water Sole is created.  After 24 hours, the water has reached a 26% salt saturation level and is ready to use.  A teaspoon or perhaps a little less when you are beginning, is all you need to start the day.  This is best used on an empty stomach .  Bio-chemically, the stomach and intestinal activity (peristalsis) is stimualted and within minutes, which in return stimulates your metabolism and digestion.  Electrolytes are created which improve the body’s conductivity and stimulates the circulation.   Salt allows the current to flow.  Every single element within the salt has its own vibration pattern that resonates with the vibrational  patterns in our body.  People of any age can benefit from Sole; a drop for a baby and gradually increase as children grow up to the suggested serving of one teaspoon.

Dead Sea Salts were used therapeutically in ancient times.  King Solomon presented the Queen of Sheba with Dead Sea Salts upon her visit to the Holy Land.  Numerous medical studies have documented the efficacy of the minerals in these salts in treating and preventing various diseases such as psoriasis, acne and rheumatism.  The skin, being the largest organ of the human body absorbs the minerals, vitamins and other substances into the body and is known to help circulation and metabolism.  The regulation of sodium and potassium in the fluids of the body is essential for healthy body and mind.  This balance is regulated by the Adrenal gland, which in turn affect healthy function of the kidneys.  I didn’t know that the kidneys are responsible for controlling 28 chemicals in the body.   Visually, I imagine what that must look like in the body.  The dance of the fluids.

kidney balance image My background is in helping people understand their behaviors and in a sense help balance and regulate their emotions.  Intimate relationships all have their own dance made up of  attraction, experience, history and emotion; love being the heart of the matter so to speak.   In researching  the Dead Sea and the Himalayan Salts, I began to realize the vital role of our own body’s relationship with nature and creation.  We are energy, have long experience and history with the earth and filled with the influences of our emotions and behaviors.  Love still lights our hearts with meaning and has amazing energy.  Our brains continue to evolve – the pace is breath-taking.  Balance is a huge challenge for us today and often overlooked.  That is one reason adrenal fatigue and burnout is more prevalent today than the past.   My interest in balance connects now with the kidneys.  How amazing.  Just as we need the healthy balance of  feeling  loved and being able to love others.

Dead Sea Salt contains 10 times more minerals than ordinary sea salt.  They absorb essential oils with ease and can be used in the bath or a foot soak at home.  Many essential oils work well this way.  There are a few that are not recommended for the bath so check the information before using them.  For example Lavender and Marjoram would be effective bath oils to help ease hypertension.  Pamerossa, Geranium, Ylang Ylang, Bergamont and Roman Chamomile are oils to help with stress and anxiety.    For travel and jet lag the recipe for a foot soak is 1/4 cup Dead Sea Salt, 4 drops Basil, 8 drops Lemon and 2 drops of Pepperment.  Use warm water 100-104 degrees F and soak 8-15 minutes.  the recipe for Depression and/or Anxiety foot soak is 1/4 cup Dead Sea Salt, 15 drops Bergamot, 5 drops Neroli, and 1 drop Sandelwood.   Using a mister spray with Neroli during the day can help keep your mood positive.

If you can take a trip to the Dead Sea or go to one of those fancy European Spas that utilize balneo-therapy treatments, I would invite comment!  For those of us living in the Midwest, October reminds us of  what is to come and ponder ways to endure through the winter.  Consider a trip to your personal spa room in your home and try one of these foot soaks or bath experiences.  It is important to note that doing these soaks regularly is the key(2-3 times per week); just as a balanced diet is to our digestive system.  Enjoy the ions!

Website to learn more on the goDesana website:  www.goDesana.com/tinajohnson

Balneotherapy – Mineralizing for Mind and Body

dead sea imageWhat is the connection between mental health and the ocean?  I recently embarked on a new path of study; that of aromatherapy and the use of essential oils to help support positive mental states.  I quickly learned that there are  many uses of aromatherapy to help support physical health.  Over the last couple of years, I’ve been able to integrate some of this knowledge and  help others learn and benefit from using these essential oils for health and wellness.  Recently, I embarked on a professional aromatherapy  certification class that will require  extensive study and travel.  New endeavors require courage and energy which is one of the reasons I am seeking ways to strengthen mind/body.   I will need it all.  The good news is that it is available to us. Balneotherapy refers to the art and science of bathing for the treatment of various disease/disorders.  The aim of these treatments may be to enhance the immune system and stimulate lymph and blood circulation.


Many people feel drawn to the ocean, plan vacations there, dream about beaches and imagine warm salty breezes while out on a sailboat.  Negative ions abound in the ocean.  When water and salt connect, the negative ions in the water molecules surround the positive ions in the salt, and the negative ions in the salt are surrounded by the positive polarized particles of the water molecules.  This changes the geometric structure of the water and the salt, and creates something entirely new, a third dimension.  The water is no longer water and the salt is no longer salt.  The elements have liberated themselves from their restrictions, given up their polarities and become a third substance, a whole new synergy.  These last statements are gleaned from my recent Aromatherapy training in El Paso, TX.  Alexandria Brighton, a noted herbalist, aromatherapist and educator at this conference highlighted this new synergy.

himalyan salt image

What is this new synergy?  When you combine Himalayan crystal salt and natural spring water Sole is created.  After 24 hours, the water has reached a 26% salt saturation level and is ready to use.  A teaspoon or perhaps a little less when you are beginning, is all you need to start the day.  This is best used on an empty stomach .  Bio-chemically, the stomach and intestinal activity (peristalsis) is stimualted and within minutes, which in return stimulates your metabolism and digestion.  Electrolytes are created which improve the body’s conductivity and stimulates the circulation.   Salt allows the current to flow.  Every single element within the salt has its own vibration pattern that resonates with the vibrational  patterns in our body.  People of any age can benefit from Sole; a drop for a baby and gradually increase as children grow up to the suggested serving of one teaspoon.

Dead Sea Salts were used therapeutically in ancient times.  King Solomon presented the Queen of Sheba with Dead Sea Salts upon her visit to the Holy Land.  Numerous medical studies have documented the efficacy of the minerals in these salts in treating and preventing various diseases such as psoriasis, acne and rheumatism.  The skin, being the largest organ of the human body absorbs the minerals, vitamins and other substances into the body and is known to help circulation and metabolism.  The regulation of sodium and potassium in the fluids of the body is essential for healthy body and mind.  This balance is regulated by the Adrenal gland, which in turn affect healthy function of the kidneys.  I didn’t know that the kidneys are responsible for controlling 28 chemicals in the body.   Visually, I imagine what that must look like in the body.  The dance of the fluids.

kidney balance image My background is in helping people understand their behaviors and in a sense help balance and regulate their emotions.  Intimate relationships all have their own dance made up of  attraction, experience, history and emotion; love being the heart of the matter so to speak.   In researching  the Dead Sea and the Himalayan Salts, I began to realize the vital role of our own body’s relationship with nature and creation.  We are energy, have long experience and history with the earth and filled with the influences of our emotions and behaviors.  Love still lights our hearts with meaning and has amazing energy.  Our brains continue to evolve – the pace is breath-taking.  Balance is a huge challenge for us today and often overlooked.  That is one reason adrenal fatigue and burnout is more prevalent today than the past.   My interest in balance connects now with the kidneys.  How amazing.  Just as we need the healthy balance of  feeling  loved and being able to love others.

Dead Sea Salt contains 10 times more minerals than ordinary sea salt.  They absorb essential oils with ease and can be used in the bath or a foot soak at home.  Many essential oils work well this way.  There are a few that are not recommended for the bath so check the information before using them.  For example Lavender and Marjoram would be effective bath oils to help ease hypertension.  Pamerossa, Geranium, Ylang Ylang, Bergamont and Roman Chamomile are oils to help with stress and anxiety.    For travel and jet lag the recipe for a foot soak is 1/4 cup Dead Sea Salt, 4 drops Basil, 8 drops Lemon and 2 drops of Pepperment.  Use warm water 100-104 degrees F and soak 8-15 minutes.  the recipe for Depression and/or Anxiety foot soak is 1/4 cup Dead Sea Salt, 15 drops Bergamot, 5 drops Neroli, and 1 drop Sandelwood.   Using a mister spray with Neroli during the day can help keep your mood positive.

If you can take a trip to the Dead Sea or go to one of those fancy European Spas that utilize Balneo-therapy treatments, I would invite comment!  For those of us living in the Midwest, October reminds us of  what is to come and ponder ways to endure through the winter.  Consider a trip to your personal spa room in your home and try one of these foot soaks or bath experiences.  It is important to note that doing these soaks regularly is the key(2-3 times per week); just as a balanced diet is to our digestive system.  Enjoy the ions!

Website to learn more on the goDesana website:   www.goDesana.com/tinajohnson

The Brain in Movement

Stop for a brief minute, close your eyes, and try to feel energy. Tune out from the outside, and notice any sensations that you feel such as warmth, coolness, tingling, pulsing, heartbeat, emotion, pain or discomfort, ringing or sounds. The body is one big energy machine and when we are in balance it all works in brilliant synergy. The image of a happy toddler comes to mind – exploring, sensing and seemingly endless energy to do this with. Then the memory of the nightly mother routines, the fatigue of the duties that would sometimes emerge. The”too much on the plate syndrome”. My child’s energies were burning and bright, mine seemed to dull in comparison. For many years I accepted this reality and assumed there was little one could do to counteract the effects of aging, parenthood, work and the wear and tear of life. I believed that, and that belief turned into symptoms of stress which over time diminished my reserves, challenged my health and decreased my creative abilities. Then, I didn’t know about brain health, brain envy or how the brain really works which is still a mystery to medical science even though we have institutes, research and lots of mental health professionals who talk the good talk. The ancients had some good sense when it comes to keeping that inner light going. They moved in ways to cultivate the chi, or life energy within our bodies and combine it our environment to bring it together – the balance of mind and body that is. Continue reading

New Relationship Rule – A Massage Table in Every Bedroom

We are born – we are touched. Newborns thrive on the handling and loving care that is doled out generously in the delivery room. Science now knows the vital importance of getting the baby into connection ASAP. My first child was whisked away shortly after birth to “put her under the lights” to care for the slight jaundice that she experienced. I learned that she was alone in the incubator while she was receiving the phototherapy. Now, this treatment has special considerations with it – frequent holding, singing and touching the child while the child is being treated. The sense of smell and touch are essential and primary to infants and are our earliest perceptions of the world. Is the world safe and secure? This is the first step to love. As adults, a happy love relationship is shown to be indicated as most important for a satisfying life. We fall in love, we touch and desire to be touched in however our love language desires. For many couples, this manifests in hand holding, caressing, cuddling, sexual and non-sexual touches. Our attention is riveted on each other thanks to the ancient code of mother nature, and our needs are met. Love is alive in our minds and our bodies. Fast forward a few years, a child or two, a few of life’s stressful events and perception may be transmuted to frustration and disillusionment. The riveted attention on our partner is now distracted and busy. Physical affection and touch often has been put on that proverbial back burner. As a marriage therapist, there are many reasons couples seek help for their relationship and by this time, the emotional pain level is smoldering or on fire. Sometimes they blame each other, blame themselves or blame the world. There is no shortage of blame…the blame game…find the bad guy. Someone needs to change as they rivet their gaze on the other. Communication not put aside, there should be a new rule and put somewhere on the papers couples sign to get married and that is Have a Massage Table in the Bedroom and Use Regularly. This is the communication of the body and the mind and when combined create a powerful love bond between two people. Continue reading

The Body Remembers – Empowerment through Somatic Experiencing

I recently attended at training that focused on Somatic Therapy which is a treatment for emotional and physical issues related to trauma, stress and the rigors of life. I was amazed once again at the powerful connection between what we experience and how the body processes it. As one researcher, Bessel van der Kolk puts it “The body keeps the score.” What does that mean? For years, since elementary school I remember back discomfort. In my household, if you were sick, the attitude was “just wait and it will go away”, ”grin and bear it” or maybe good excuse to miss school, stay in bed and get a little extra attention. That was my normal and I proceeded on, ignoring my “issues” and stuffing any emotional residue. Over the years, back pain continued to connect with stressful situations which eventually resulted in some chronic tension/muscle pain patterns and an impact on my life both in my belief systems about myself such as “I’m weak” or avoidance behaviors “I can’t do that right now” Anxiety was a common emotion woven throughout body/mind. This training highlighted the impact of these stress reactions in everyone’s life. Ideally we thrive in the zone of balance. Continue reading