Law of Attraction

Placebo as Medicine

In my experience, the placebo effect has always gotten a bad rap. It has either been used as a way to disprove the effectiveness of a drug or therapy being tested or to uncover a group of hypochondriacs.  Whenever the placebo effect comes out ahead in a clinical study, it usually means that an attempt at a real cure has failed.

I have been thinking about the placebo effect recently while developing my new business, a life coaching and healing enterprise called My Soul Purpose Project. (Click here for more information on how you can begin manifesting your deepest desires~ https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/). Several of the healing services I offer have no solid scientific backing. I perform Reiki, Tarot card reading, and moon phase planning in addition to the more (but not completely) proven methods of massage, craniosacral therapy, and soul journaling and the outcomes are almost always positive, sometimes in cases where more traditional methods have not worked. I have seen miracles happen and seemingly insurmountable obstacles overcome with a focus on belief, positive thinking, healing energy, and tapping into inner wisdom. I began to wonder if the success of these approaches was a result (at least in part) of the placebo effect and if so, did it dim their authenticity. 

The placebo effect is a concept used mainly in the scientific and medical fields and is defined by the Webster dictionary within this context. However, a 3rd definition is given which suggests a broader meaning, “something tending to soothe.” 

Through my recent studies and practice, I have been learning about the power of positive thinking and belief in shaping our experience and it makes me think about the placebo effect and it’s value in the healing process. Instead of looking at the placebo as a tool to prove or disprove the real cure or as a fake medicine to trick the patient into wellness, perhaps it is itself the remedy.

More recently, the placebo effect has been getting attention as a real player in the field of health and has become the subject (instead of just the control) of scientific study. According to a an article published in Harvard Health Publishing/ Harvard Medical School, The Power of the Placebo Effect (Aug. 9, 2019), “How placebos work is still not quite understood, but it involves a complex neurobiological reaction that includes everything from increases in feel-good neurotransmitters, like endorphins and dopamine, to greater activity in certain brain regions linked to moods, emotional reactions, and self-awareness. All of it can have therapeutic benefit.”

The article also states that belief is enhanced with ritual and by taking a sugar pill regularly or following through on a prescribed course of action, the results will have a much greater chance of success.

As I refine and develop the programs and services offered through my life coaching and healing practices, I will keep this in mind. I will continue to develop methods, exercises, and rituals to help tap into inner wisdom. I will encourage positive thinking and help cultivate ways to visualize and strengthen belief in the desired outcome. I will introduce techniques for gaining clearer insights by accessing the subconscious mind through the tarot and soul journaling, and I will foster a connection to the healing energy that surrounds us.  

I believe we should all embrace the effect of the placebo as it appears to be a valuable medicine. Used alone, or in combination with other pharmaceutical, herbal or energy therapies, it offers a natural and self empowering way to heal and to me, this makes it a real cure, one of the broadest, purest and most powerful.

Other Websites.   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

Photo by Liam Simpson on Unsplash

Manifesting the Magic of Sand Dollars

The magical sand dollars we discovered on our beach walk

About 6 years ago, I took a workshop that changed my life. The course, entitled Manifesting Magic and Miracles, was held on a summer weekend at the Omega Institute in upstate New York. My mother, sister, and I were looking for something fun to do together and were familiar with the restorative retreat at Omega. We had never heard of the presenter, Pam Grout, but all agreed we could use a bit of magic and a few miracles to help us break old patterns and move towards a more spiritually rewarding life.

The course, based on Pam’s book, E2, began with a few simple exercises to help us think “outside the box” and prove that by reshaping our perspective and employing some inventive techniques, we could manifest anything imaginable. We started by picking words from a hat, things like red cardinal and baseball bat. We then meditated as a group, focusing our attention on the intended object and asking that the Universe bring forth the item in some form or another over the next couple of days. Each following morning at the start of class, we went around the circle and attendees shared their experiences. The stories were varied, surprising, funny, endearing and serendipitous and by the end of the weekend, nearly everyone had manifested their object in one way or another. 

On the final day, we dug a little deeper, breaking into small groups and turning our work to our own personal quests. We focused on our truest and most individual desires. We created vision boards and discussed ways of releasing limited thinking patterns. We committed to surrendering our wishes to the Universe and asked that they manifest in the best way possible for the good of all…..and by god, they did. 

Within the next few years, my entire life had changed and I was living a lot of what I had envisioned over that fateful weekend. 

I continue to practice experiment #1 in the book which calls for the seeker to ask the Universe to deliver a specific object within a limited timeframe, usually 48 hours. I have found that the key to success is not to look for the object but instead to allow it to come by being aware of how it presents itself (which is often different than what you would expect). Sometimes, noticing and following a trail of breadcrumbs or related items will eventually lead to what is being sought. The ability to recognize these clues is paramount.

This past weekend, my partner and I set off for a walk at the beach. The isolation of the pandemic was getting to us and we had exhausted many of the local trail networks. We love to look for sea treasures during our ocean strolls and recently have been experimenting with Pam’s method to attract the best offerings. 

This weekend we were looking for unbroken sand dollars. We envisioned the most perfect specimen and then put our intention into the Universe. We let go of the act of trying to find it.  We allowed our attention to divert to conversation and other happenings around us. We even forgot at one point that we were searching for shells until suddenly one appeared, and then another and another. We found several beautiful and varied sand dollars as well as a number of other intricate shells.

I love this type of magic because it is fun and playful and more importantly, it works. When carried out correctly, the Universe will deliver desired objects right into your life and, when taken a step further, the approach can be applied to attract situations and experiences. Its power, however, should never be underestimated. It is important to be clear on what you want and make sure you are ready to receive it. After all, you may just get what you wish for. 

Other Websites.   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

The Universe Has My Back

Photo Credit: gabbybernstein.com

I awoke this morning to a steady downpour of rain and it is still coming. On top of that, it is dark and cold and the days are getting progressively shorter. Today, we will experience exactly 9 hours and 31 minutes of the sun’s light and she will be hidden behind clouds for most of that time. 

The world is also looking glum. The pandemic is raging just as the country’s leadership has gone into hiding and although we have hope of a new direction, it doesn’t look like it will gain substantial purchase until the end of January at best. In the meantime, all we can do is hang on, proceed with our best judgement and pray for a good, or at least less than catastrophic, outcome.

These feelings were haunting me this morning as I sat down to write this week’s blog.  I was finding it hard to pull up an inspirational and uplifting perspective. Then, I remembered the best way to assuage negative feelings is by looking for the positive and giving gratitude. 

This Thursday is Thanksgiving and in addition to being grateful for my health, my family and friends, my warm home, good food, and all of the love in my life, I am also thankful for the ability to receive information from the Universe. One such encounter happened over the weekend and I am convinced there was some sort of divine intervention at work.

For months, I had been trying to make some decisions about where to settle, what type of house to buy, whether or not to go in on the purchase with my new partner, to build a barn apartment or simply to stay put. My ideas had been a bit scattered and broad and I had been looking for clarification. Last week, I decided to take some action steps, to get more details about the barn and what it would take to build, to talk to the realtor about moving, to look at housing prices and availability in some of my top areas of interest. And then, on Saturday, the answer came. 

My partner and I made an appointment with someone who knew the town and the building process, and could give us advice on what we were thinking. As we listened to her talk, the entire puzzle came together and our plan took a complete turn. Everything she said seemed to point us in the right direction as it satisfied all of our needs and desires. It truly felt like the Universe speaking. I knew it was the right move because of the ease at which I was able to let go of my previous idea and the confidence and relief I felt moving forward with this new plan.

If I concentrate on an issue hard and long enough and release it into the ether, I usually get my answer, especially if I can remain open to the way in which it is communicated to me. Sometimes it comes as I am journaling or meditating. Other times, the answer arrives by way of someone else (like it did this weekend) or a seemingly coincidental occurrence. I love when this happens because it not only helps me to move forward in the right direction, but it gives me the assurance that I am not alone and that the Universe has my back. And that puts a smile on my face and inspiration in my heart. 

Wishing you all a safe, healthy and happy Thanksgiving.

Other Websites.   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

The Power of Positive Thinking: Applied

Popham Beach, Maine

Just the other day, my mother recommended I read The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. The book was written over 70 years ago and my mom had read it then, but she recently heard it mentioned in the news and it had piqued her curiosity. 

For as far back as I can remember, my mother and I have been drawn to the teachings put forth by Esther Hicks (The Law of Attraction), Rhonda Byrne (The Secret), Pam Grout (E2), and Louise Hay (You Can Heal Your Life) to name a few. We have always had a strong inner belief that our thoughts influence everything around us including our health, financial state, relationships, emotional well being, and the dreams we are able to manifest. 

What we think becomes reality. It’s as simple as that. 

The idea has been gaining traction in recent years and we are seeing more books, blogs, webinars, and seminars on the topic. The power of using our thoughts to create our reality is a concept not that far reaching today.  However, back in the 1950s when Peale wrote his book, the ideas were novel.

Since I am a practicing student of the laws of attraction, meditation, positive affirmations, and manifesting magic and miracles, I decided to give the book a try, and although I am only on chapter 3, I have already gleaned a new realization.

The concepts presented cover familiar territory, clearing out negative thoughts, practicing daily silence, visualization, and filling our minds with positive words and pictures. 

What is new to me, however, is the practice of bridging these two concepts, the emptying and then the filling. For some reason, I have never before put that together. 

I have tried many of the techniques for “emptying the mind”  to which Peale refers. I have visualized my worries and fears being thrown overboard and have practiced the art of meditation or what Peale calls a “daily practice of silence.” 

On the flip side, I have filled my mind with daily gratitude and positive affirmations, have written down what I would like to manifest, and created vision boards; but it isn’t until now, that I realized the power of putting these two methods together.

Once it is empty, says Peale, “ immediately start filling your mind with creative and healthy thoughts.” These thoughts can be words of gratitude, visions of peace or that which you want to manifest.

“Then when the old fears, hates, and worries that have haunted you for so long try to edge back in, they will in effect find a sign on the door of your mind reading Occupied.” 

The Power of Positive thinking has been in the news recently highlighting its influence on the life and career of President Trump. An article in NPR (July 25, 2020) points out “It has been argued that Trump stands as the single most successful practitioner to date of Peale’s philosophy,” and by following Peale’s suggestions, Trump has been able to defy reality and gain increasing amounts of power.

article link: https://www.npr.org/2020/07/25/894967031/2020-crises-confront-trump-with-an-outage-in-the-power-of-positive-thinking

My mother wanted to find out if anyone could wield successful results by following Peale’s ideas, regardless of the quality of the intention. After the events of this past week, she’s thinking not.

Check out https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com// Life Coaching Program

The Benefits of Showing Up

“You don’t need money to be an artist. You need but one thing. Persistence to keep getting up off the floor where you sometimes lie (or at least I did) with your face pressed against the cold concrete, moaning, “What was I thinking?” You just keep getting up and taking the next step.” – Pam Grout (pamgrout.com).

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I’ve been thinking about this concept lately, about how I so often back off from an idea or an endeavor as soon as the going gets tough. Usually it happens early in the game before I’ve ever really given it a chance. When it starts to get hard or the next step becomes unclear, I begin to find all types of excuses for why I’m probably not on the right path and how ultimately it will end poorly.

I am tired of telling myself that a creative life will bring all sorts of hardships and lack and that I am simply not good enough. I am beginning to question my inner dialogue which tells me I am likely to put forth earnest effort and vulnerable exposure only to fail or end up somewhere I don’t want to be. 

The truth is, it would actually be better to spend the time and energy striving towards my goal, rather than sit on the sidelines in uncertainty. Even if I don’t succeed in a particular endeavor, I will at least be out there learning and growing and the chances of manifesting my ideas will increase with each attempt.

Pam’s blog reinforces that no matter what doubts or obstacles surface, if I just keep moving every day in the direction of my goal, I will eventually arrive. 

Every time. No exceptions. 

Pam is a New York Times bestselling author, but she wasn’t always. In fact, two of her most widely acclaimed books were unsuccessful in the first round. Were she to have thrown in the towel then, she would not be who she is today, a respected and well-known writer and blogger influencing thousands of lives.

I have had many ideas and aspirations throughout my life. When I was in my 20s and just starting out, I wanted to be a travel writer. After giving it a shot (I think I wrote a total of two articles) with no success and receiving a comment or two of criticism, I quickly shut down the endeavor. I told myself that I didn’t have the skills required and the road would be too difficult.

I also had dreams of being a filmmaker and performing musician but never gave those enough time either, because the mountain seemed too high and the competition too steep. I envisioned a multitude of possibilities but remained paralyzed in my discouraging inner dialect.

My most recent idea is to create a virtual business in which I coach people towards their life’s calling through guided discussions, dream interpretation, tarot, flower essence therapy, and distance energy healing. I am calling it, My Soul Purpose Project, and am currently designing the website and refining the product.

It has gotten off to a good start. I did a 4-week pilot and was very pleased with the results. The feedback was extremely positive.

I am now in implementation mode. I am being faced with decisions that are not clear and I am hitting a few roadblocks. My tendency is to question it. Maybe this isn’t the best idea. Will it provide me with the life and creative outlet that I seek?

I have decided to stick with it. 

It will be an evolving process. I won’t make all the perfect decisions and inevitably there will be some mistakes. However, if I continue to put in consistent effort and feed my head with encouraging self talk, if I keep showing up, I will make my way slowly and surely towards success. 

Photo from Thoughtco.com.

 

Everything Grows

Pruning BlogEverything wants to grow.

The importance of this idea came to me the other day as I witnessed a tree being pruned in my neighbor’s yard. I realized that every living thing seeks growth and without the proper attention, like the kind being given to the tree, my life could end up somewhere I didn’t want it to be. 

I had been feeling unsettled and couldn’t quite put my finger on what was causing it. True, I was experiencing the pangs of empty nest syndrome after spending a week with my adult daughters in Maine and then having to say good- bye. I was also at the end of a divorce and there were still some unanswered questions and new decisions to make. 

I reflected on my current situation and couldn’t find anything really wrong. I had landed on my feet. My children were healthy, accepting and independent. I was financially secure with a steady income. I was in good health. I had developed a friendship with my former husband and was in a new relationship that was supportive, loving, and fun. 

There was no reason not to be celebrating my liberation and good fortune. 

Then it dawned on me that the thing that was causing me the most angst was my uncertainty about the future. I have a lot of options, but haven’t yet pinned them down. And, without this future plan and an idea of how to get there, I was worried that my life might go awry or I would lose all that I did have. 

I have been working on my vision. I practice the Law of Attraction, Pam Grout’s Manifesting Magic and Miracles, and Mike Dooley’s Playing the Matrix and am becoming clearer on the importance of visualization, taking action, listening for the universal cues, practicing gratitude and believing in the outcome.

 I also realize that for anyone to flourish, they must be nurtured and in an environment conducive to their unique needs. Like a plant that requires pruning, a person must eliminate the areas no longer beneficial to move in a more specific direction. 

In addition, we all benefit from the help of outside sources like the sun, rain, or a good friend, and thrive best when given time and space to move where we may, as there are forces more wise than ourselves helping to guide our path. 

And there is another even more difficult practice to adopt that will help us move more fluidly towards our life’s goals.

Embracing change. 

Growth is change, and change brings about fear, uncertainty and discomfort (almost always) and so we avoid it at all costs. Yet, the truth is that everything grows whether we want it to or not, and it is up to us to nurture, prune, and guide the growth towards our unique vision.

The Power of Flower Essence

Flower Essence Pic

I first got involved with flower essences about 15 years ago when I was studying energy healing for personal growth. My soul had been nagging me for years to take a deeper look, to make some changes, so that it could bloom in full. 

I tried a variety of modalities including yoga, Reiki, massage, craniosacral therapy, and nutrition and although they all helped to center my mind and calm my energy, they weren’t able to specifically address my deeper feelings. I realized there was an emotional component to whatever was holding me back and until I could temper it, I would never be able to fully heal and move forward.

The mentor with whom I was studying at the time recommended I try Essence Therapy.

I was quick to fall in love. I ordered a few bottles of the concentrated remedies from Alaskan Flower Essences (https://alaskanessences.com/) and began to experiment.  Their gentle healing energy flooded my senses in the most subtle ways and suddenly I would notice my perspective had changed or I was no longer feeling angry or sad about a particular situation. It was that easy. No talk therapy. No painful memories. No medication. No discomfort.

Many years have passed and I am once again revisiting the power of the flower essence. 

As I began to work on the Life Purpose Project (a business I started recently), I noticed that a lot of the obstacles that keep people from moving towards their fullest potential have an emotional component. I realized that even though I had developed tools for gaining insights and designing action steps, without the ability to remove the emotional roadblocks, we can only get so far. 

 

In my program of identifying and moving towards one’s life purpose, I encompass dream interpretation, tarot, collaborative discussion and planning, and lots of additional resources. I also encourage everyone to choose one or two flower essences to help them move along more quickly and easily. 

There are many excellent sources for essences including Alaskan Essences (https://alaskanessences.com/), Hawaiin Essences (https://www.janebellessences.com/), and the most widely known, Bach Flower Essences (https://www.bachremedies.com/). 

According to the Flower Essence Society, “flower essences are liquid extracts used to address profound issues of emotional well-being, soul development, and mind-body health. They are part of an emerging field of subtle energy medicine, which also includes homeopathy, acupuncture, color therapy, therapeutic touch and similar modalities.”

Essences are made by harvesting pristine wild flowers and garden blossoms and then capturing their unique energy imprint in distilled water as it is infused by the sun. The potentized herbal infusions or decoctions are then preserved in an alcohol base and further diluted before being distributed. They are administered by putting a few drops under the tongue a couple of times a day or by dropping the essence in a glass of water and sipping as needed.

Many people confuse Flower Essences and Essential Oils and although each complement the other, they are in fact very different.

According to the Flower Essence Society, “The most significant difference is that essential oils have definite aromas; flower essences do not. Essential oils work primarily through the sense of smell and its effect upon the old brain. They are highly concentrated chemical substances, many of which are quite poisonous taken internally.  Essential oils are produced from large quantities of plant material, the flowers, roots, seeds, or bark, depending on the location of the volatile oils in the plant. Steam-distillation is the most common extraction method. With flower essences, only the flowers are used and in a very small quantity. The vibrational imprint of the flower is extracted in water, which is then further diluted. Thus essential oils are a physical extract and flower essences are a subtle energy extract.”

For more information, visit  http://www.fesflowers.com/learn-about-flower-essences/what-are-flower-essences/

During the pandemic, I have experienced more anxiety than usual. I have found Bach’s Rescue Remedy to help curb the stressful feelings and keep me calm. I am also working with Bach’s Star of Bethlehem and Walnut.

I am an advocate of flower essences for many reasons, but perhaps the most powerful is their ability to balance our emotions and help us adjust to a healthier perspective through the gentle and subtle genius of nature. Sometimes life’s greatest healing gifts are right outside our door.

What the World Needs Now is Self Love

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As a woman, mother, wife, and healer, my tendency is to take care of those around me. I have always felt a responsibility for the happiness of my children, husband, friends, family members and clients (really, anyone significant in my life). Whenever things get difficult emotionally, I fall into action and begin the process of consoling, re-arranging, compromising, supporting, comforting, rescuing. I do whatever I can to assuage the anger, sadness and hurt, even when it means sacrificing my own needs. 

I have been under the assumption that by keeping everyone around me in a state of joy, I would secure my own well being. It’s taken me over 50 years. I’ve been through a divorce and experienced my children leave the nest, but I’m finally seeing that this is not at all the case.

I have realized that I had been shouldering the emotional baggage of my family for years and had grown tired and resentful. What’s more, the pain and discomfort always came back. In attempting to solve the problem, I was actually preventing my loved ones from learning and growing, and I was sabotaging my personal journey along the way. In trying to make everyone else happy, I was missing the point. 

Recently, I have been thinking about the concept of self love. What would it mean to treat myself as if I were worthy and loveable? What would it feel like to console and comfort my inner being with soothing words when I was upset? What if I spent time and energy rearranging my schedule so that I could do something that meant a lot to me? 

According to an article in Psychology Today by Deborah Khoshaba, (March 2012), “when we act in ways that expand self-love, we begin to better accept our weaknesses as well as our strengths, have less need to explain away our short-comings, have compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning, are more centered in our life purpose and values, and expect living fulfillment through our own efforts.”

The steps Khoshaba prescribes are; be mindful, act on what you need, stay away from automatic patterns that get you into trouble, keep you stuck in the past, and lessen self love, practice good self-care, set boundaries, protect yourself by bringing the right people into your life, and live intentionally. 

Full article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/get-hardy/201203/seven-step-prescription-self-love

The Law of Attraction.com also recommends that we practice the art of self love by having fun by yourself, travelling once a year on your own, forgiving your mistakes, starting a journal, taking a break, making a list of accomplishments, creating a vision board, pursuing new interests, challenging yourself, giving yourself credit where credit is due, and working on self trust.   Full article: https://www.thelawofattraction.com/love-yourself/

Learning to self love is a process. It takes time and consistent effort to nurture our own growth. It takes regular practice to change the negative internal dialogue, to let go of perfectionism, and to find the beauty in all that we are. It takes effort to change old habits and beliefs.

I have begun to pay attention to my own destructive patterns and negative self talk. I have realized that I am harder on myself than anyone else in my life.  I have noticed that when I am angry with something I’ve done and my self esteem is low, I take it out on others. I become angry quicker. I make hurtful comments. 

I am a better person when I am loving myself.

Sometimes I wonder what the world would be like if everyone practiced the art of loving themselves more.  Would there be as much hatred, anger, defensiveness, hostility, and aggression? Perhaps if we each loved ourselves more fully, there’d be less room for injustice, violence, abuse, and inequity. 

I wonder. 

If the hate that feeds on human weakness is replaced with love, it will have nowhere left to go. Once it loses our attention, its power will diminish, and the next time it comes knocking, we won’t even notice. We’ll all be too busy enjoying our own company.

The Life Purpose Project

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Even before the pandemic hit, I had been trying to discover my life’s purpose. Why am I here? What am I meant to do? I can remember (as far back as my teenage years) feeling that I was meant to do something important during my time here on earth.  I began to pursue different options in my 20s, but then, like many people, my focus turned to finding a partner and starting a family. I knew I wanted to have children. That was a certainty.

My family life was traditional. My husband worked long hours while I managed the house and our two girls. We were busy. Between gymnastics meets, crew regattas, music lessons, schoolwork, meal planning and home management, my time and energy were pretty tapped. I added a part time massage business when my younger daughter was 5 and this satisfied some of my yearning. However, I knew it wasn’t enough, and although I received immense joy from raising children, I felt there was something else waiting for me. 

I am now in my 50s. My girls are out in the world beginning their own lives and I have found myself staring into the future, knowing that the possibilities are endless, but also feeling myself frozen in old habits and uncertainty. Midlife is a challenging time of transition, loss, and redesign. Yet, it also offers a broad spectrum of possibilities and another chance to uncover the reasons why we are here. There is an entire new chapter of life waiting to be written. 

During the recent quarantine, I have had time to reflect on where I’ve been and where I want to go. With the world in enormous flux and a massive state of upheaval, discovering my soul’s path seems that much more urgent.

I have been thinking about a way to realize my life’s purpose while also helping others reach theirs. I have been studying and testing a number of modalities and approaches over the years and feel that now is the time to put them into a comprehensive package ready for implementation and action. 

I see myself as a Life Purpose Facilitator of sorts with the objective of helping individuals identify their life’s mission and then begin to remove blocks that prevent them from moving forward. 

I envision myself attracting those who have an inner gnawing and strong desire to uncover a hidden or under developed life purpose. This journey can begin at any age, though I see a particular need for middle aged men and women going through their “second birth.” 

A couple of weeks ago, I put together a program that I can carry out online through a weekly zoom meeting. I decided to offer it to 5-10 volunteers free of charge once a week for one month as a way to practice, revise, and refine the service. I sent out a letter to my past and present massage clients and the response was affirming.

I am now halfway through the month-long trial and it is going extremely well. I am offering a holistic, natural approach to soul purpose discovery combining tarot, energy healing (distance Reiki, chakra healing), dream interpretation, and flower essence therapy. These are all modalities I have studied over the years for personal growth and am now thrilled to be able to share them with others. It is encouraging to observe the insights and breakthroughs that are already beginning to happen with my clients.

The Life Purpose Project, as I am calling it, is the perfect convergence of many areas of interest and study. Everything about it feels right. I have a sturdy base of knowledge with much to learn (all of which is inspiring and intriguing), and although I’m not sure exactly where it will lead, I can tell that I am on the right path. What a surprising irony, that my own life purpose would be to help others find theirs.

The Benefits of Daily Gratitude

Gratitude Blog

I woke up today feeling a bit blue. I’m not really sure why. Maybe I didn’t sleep as soundly as I should have. Maybe the pandemic restrictions are getting to me, or maybe it was something else all together. My mind began to wander to the circumstances in my life which could be getting me down, all the things that weren’t perfect, and the more I ruminated, the worse my mood got. 

Some days there seems to be a part of me that wants to wallow in the negative. It feeds on any detected sadness (no matter how small) and blows it up, way out of proportion. It sabotages my efforts and at the extreme, leaves me feeling worthless and doomed.

I know that I have a choice. I can continue to feed this negative voice or I can turn it around by changing my thinking. I have witnessed how my thoughts create my reality and affect my mood, and so I began to search my mind for ways that I might pull myself out of this funk.

I quickly remembered a practice I used to follow faithfully but which has recently fallen from habit. It consisted of the daily writing of at least three things I am grateful for. I had created a special journal for this purpose and set aside time each day, usually first thing in the morning, to make note of a few of the things I was grateful for in my life. I recalled how the act of identifying and recording these blessings consistently brought me more happiness, a positive perspective, better focus and improved relations.

In an article from Psychology Today (April 3, 2015) entitled, “7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude,” Amy Moran points out that daily gratitude can improve relationships, physical and psychological health, sleep, self esteem, mental strength, empathy, and patience. It can reduce depression and play a role in the overcoming of trauma. She cites a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being which reports that “15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed, and you may sleep better and longer.” She also adds that a 2006 study published in Behavior Research and Therapy found that “Vietnam War veterans with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower rates of post traumatic stress disorder.”  

All good results that are surprisingly easy to conjure.

Full article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201504/7-scientifically-proven-benefits-gratitude

After pulling out my old journal and beginning to list all that I am thankful for (my health, my children, an amazing living situation, extra time to mountain bike and write this blog, access to good food, daily talks with my mom, the flowers in my garden, a job), I immediately felt better. The fog lifted and I could see a much more appealing reality. 

There are many ways you can enlist the benefits of daily gratitude. You can journal as I do or simply set aside time each day to reflect on all you have. You can say a prayer at night that includes at least 3 things you are thankful for. Additionally, you can spread the gratitude to the people around you by thanking them for ways in which they may have helped. This will not only make you and them feel better and more appreciated, but it may also open up new opportunities, now and in the future. 

Whatever method you choose, filling your mind with thoughts of gratitude will push out the negative saboteur and lead to a happy, healthy, and more fulfilling life.