July 29, 2015

Weeding Meditation

Today I did a weeding meditation. Being mindful in the garden is a delight - really noticing the sounds of the birds, wind, my breathing; seeing the colors of the rich earth revealed as I removed the green and yellow sour grass; smelling the fresh air; feeling the roots give way as I gently tugged on the stems, the stretch in my low back, the little wooden stool supporting me; even the taste of a crisp California foggy day.

I found my mind wandering around the metaphor of pulling out negative thinking, the tenacity of old habits, the constant diligence to prune out the what is no longer serving. Even noticing that the big weeds were easier to get rid of then the little ones - just like my habits, some of the big ones are easier to change, more so than the little self doubts that creep in and take hold.

And then allowing myself to simply enjoy the garden, not just work at it - just like in meditation, enjoying the wandering of my mind, with no need to do anything but explore my inner landscape, appreciating the beauty and complexity, feeling whole and healthy - weeds and all.

July 22, 2015

The Queen of Everything

She who walks with her head held high,
Bright red balloons in a sky blue sky,
Crimson dress slit up to her thigh,
Fountain of youth flowing nearby.

She is Leo and she has pride,
The deep red rose that grows outside.
The bright shining star, fortune’s key,
She who is the Divine Feminine Mystery.

The eternal mother, the infinite lover,
The grace of the hummingbirds hover.
Sometimes a kitten, sometimes a cat,
A little bit of this, and certainly all that.

Moon in her hand and sunshine above,
She is the woman who knows she is well loved.

July 15, 2015

Good Morning Habits

Today's Affirmation: I allow myself order and routine.

We often think of hypnosis being used to break a bad habit, like smoking, biting nails or overeating. However, hypnotherapy is also effective in creating  long term life style changes by cultivating good habits, such flossing teeth, regular exercise, and using turn signals at intersections. Indeed, we are creatures of habit, but it begins with a mindfulness, awareness, and a willingness to change. Creating healthy habits is a way to release anxiety and manage stress. They can be comforting, calming, and empowering by promoting self care which creates self reliance.

For developing morning habits, getting up early is key. I was a late sleeper until my early thirties. Then, after having a kid, I discovered that getting up early was my secret time to myself. Now my daughter is 19 and in college, but I still like getting up an hour before my partner and having time to meditate, journal, stretch, etc. It has definitely become a habit, even if I go to bed late. It is way easier for me to add to morning habits - last December I struggled with adding flossing to my evening routine, and still now am using my phone reminder.

Here are my "good morning" habits:
  • Wake up with the dawn to the crowing of cats
  • Make green tea
  • Check emails, play on computer 20 minutes (I used to spend 90 minutes, one great habit change from the September module)
  • Meditate, journal
  • Work out - 30 minutes cardio, 15 minutes stretches, 5 minutes strength exercises
  • Get washed and dressed - use a moisturizer with sunscreen in it
  • Make the bed, tidy the house
  • Take my herbs and supplements
There is some variation, day to day, depending on what time my first client arrives - I try to schedule my work day to start at 10:30am, but sometimes I see clients at 8 or 9am. On Wednesdays I have a 7:30am business meeting, so I meditate and work out usually in the early afternoon. On weekends, my partner and I meditate together, and we either walk or hike for an hour or two, so I use that for my exercise, but I still do stretches at some point.

The one glaring habit that is missing? Eating breakfast! I have not eaten breakfast on a regular basis since junior high. I know it is so good for the body. Wednesdays I go out with my colleague after our meeting, but otherwise I tend to brunch - eating a pretty solid meal around 11:30am before my noon client. Time for some self-hypnosis, Kayla!

What good habits would you like to cultivate?

July 9, 2015

Crystal Healing


     Today I had the pleasure of working with a gentle man doing a combination of crystal healing and Reiki. He brought in a couple of dozen crystals, including strands of sunstone, orbs of pyrite and calcite, a heart made of labradorite, agate, malachite, fluorite, moldavite, and a tiny ceramic buddha as well as others. Some he had acquired, others had been gifted from family, including a lovely crystal wand from his mother.

The intention was to both clear the stones as well as to attune them to the client's frequency, much like tuning a guitar, or even better, a symphony, combining the different energies into a synergetic whole. This was in order to create more clarity, harmony and personal resonance with every one of these power pieces, as well as to tune each corresponding chakra.

After going through every one, their meaning and significance, we discussed various cleansing methods. Clear crystals tend to need more clearing, as they tend to hold onto energy, while darker stones are more proficient in transforming and grounding energies. In simplistic terms, think about how we breathe out carbon dioxide, which plants absorb and then release oxygen, which of course we then breathe in. Some plants act as better filters than others, and of course have their own particular properties (herbs and spices are a good example). Gemstones are the same way, absorbing and releasing energies. Never fear that you are putting "negative" energies into a gemstone, indeed, it's "purpose" is to transform that energy.

Next, the client laid down on the massage table, face down. I placed the various stones, strands, orbs and points along the spine, shoulder blades and in the hands. Then I began Reiki at the feet, working up the body and back down, tuning the chakras. This was empowering, first, for the body/mind, to enhance balance in every aspect of the being.  Second, for every one of the crystals to vibrate in its higher power, releasing any old stuck energies and creating an opening for fresh healing.

I love doing this kind of healing. I have worked with gemstones ever since I was 22, back when I was at Aries Arts in Capitola and would go over to Dragginwood to buy pocket friends. In essence, we all love having a "pet rock". Often we are recommended to "take more minerals" and I feel the best way to this is through touch, to absorb the minute trace elements, whether wearing a necklace or amulet, medicine bag or bracelet.

Let me know if you are interested in a crystal healing - either with your own collection or mine. Amber for love, quartz for clarity, obsidian to dispel negativity - the stones are here as our friends, allies, and companions in aligning our bodies, healing the earth, and creating a more harmonious vibration for generations to come.

Blessed be.

July 1, 2015

Ann Altstatt & Joshua Muir - “River Ghosts”

Ann Altstatt & Joshua Muir for “River Ghosts”
Metal sculpture installation along the San Lorenzo River, Santa Cruz.