Color Healing

This morning, I performed a ritual for Color Healing. I chose to use the color Yellow as I am continuing to do some work with my Solar Plexus, but you can use any color you want depending on what you are trying to accomplish. Some colors have meanings and symbolism already attached to them. For example, the color yellow represents the Solar Plexus Chakra and is good for boosting self-confidence, helping to strengthen the nerves, mental clarity, cheering up depressed people, aiding in healing of scarred tissue, and speeding up digestion. However, you can set the intention for the color to mean or symbolize anything you want. I think it is more important that you choose a color that means something to you and go from there because when the color is important to you, your intention will actually be stronger.

My simple supplies: Clear glass jar, Yellow construction paper, and tape. Now I just need my filtered water!

The ritual I performed this morning included taking a clear glass jar and filling it to the top with filtered water. It is important to use filtered or purified water that isn’t bogged down with chemicals, as this water will be ingested and used as a tool for healing your body and energy. Once your jar is filled, cover the outside with yellow paper. You can use yellow tissue paper or construction paper. I’m sure some folks would say that there is a right way to do this, but I am a firm believer in using what you have on-hand because your intention is powerful. Once you have wrapped your jar with your colored paper, tape it on so that it stays in place and then set your jar out into the sunshine for several hours. By doing this, you are harnessing the power of the Sun and infusing your water with the color yellow. Plus, the Sun will infuse the water with Light, adding an extra layer to your healing.

My jar, filled with filtered water and covered with yellow construction paper, ready to go outside in the Sun.

Once I placed my jar outside in the Sun, I set my intentions. My intentions included continued healing of my Solar Plexus, having my water be infused by nutrients and healing energy from the Sun, asking the Sun and Water to fully nourish and hydrate my body and cells, and for the Water to wash away toxins and anything that I no longer needed to carry around with me. Your intentions can be whatever you want them to be and some may be complex, some may be simpler. Once I said my intentions over my jar, I blessed it. My blessing was simple. I expressed gratitude to the Sun and to the Water for the nourishment, hydration, and energy that I would be receiving. I blessed the color Yellow for the healing that it would provide to me once infused into my water.

After a few hours, I poured my Color-infused water into my glass and began drinking it. I refilled my jar and set it outside again so that I have more for tomorrow. A suggestion is to perform this ritual and drink the water for a minimum of 3 days. If your jar is large enough, you can do the ritual on the first day and then put your water into the refrigerator and use it over the next 3 days. Of course, you can certainly do longer than that, but I think so many of us are so busy and this could become “one more thing” that we feel like we have to do, which defeats the purpose of the healing, so I like to keep it simple by choosing a shorter period of time. I store my infused water in the jar until I am ready to drink it and then when I pour it into my glass for drinking, I think about my intentions and blessing and this reinforces them.

After infusion, I am ready to put my jar into the refrigerator for drinking over the next few days!

I’m almost through my first day of 3 with this batch of color-infused water. I can’t wait to see what benefits I get from this round. At the very least, I will be well-hydrated and have set super strong intentions for Solar Plexus health and well-being!

Have you ever tried Color Healing or Color-infused Water? If so, how did it go? What did you notice?

Dream a Little Dream

I’m taking a course right now where one of my assignments is to keep a Dream journal for a week and then write about it. I’m on Morning 3. So far, I have had two dreams that I remembered enough to have something to write about. Night one and three, I know I dreamed, but I remember nothing! Night two was the most productive when it came to dreaming and remembering. For most, this may be fairly common but I am a vivid dreamer, always have been, so to be having a dream “dry spell” is a little unnerving. I suppose the lack of remembrance of my dreams says as much about what is happening in my mind as having every little detail does, right? But, what is it?

The first dream from Night 2 was all about my daughter and being over-scheduled for social engagements with her friends. In the dream, we were in a large room with floor to ceiling shelves filled with books and a loft area with stairs that seemed to go nowhere. My daughter’s friend and her mother showed up to pick her up but I was trying to track down my daughter in this vast space and find out why the friend was there already. I was moving around in this room with the feeling that I was unable to get anywhere. I kept saying, “This isn’t right. She shouldn’t be here yet. It’s only Friday and she’s not supposed to be here until tomorrow. Why is she here? The plans are for tomorrow.” My daughter couldn’t explain what was going on and I couldn’t get any answers from anyone else. And, I ended up apologizing to the mother for not knowing what was happening and for my daughter not being ready to go.

I’m sure this dream has all kinds of meanings and that we could pick it apart and figure out every single symbol. But, when I took some time to meditate on it, the most simple explanation that came to me was this: I have a lot going on right now that I am juggling and I feel overwhelmed by it all. And it’s true, I do. I work a part-time job where I have many responsibilities. I am creating this new website here with a blog, which I’ve never done before. I am taking an online correspondence course to deepen some of my skills for healing. I am in massage school and the new semester starts on Monday. I have two kids, a partner, and a household to keep running. I am trying to build my therapy business. It’s a lot but it’s not the first time that I have had to juggle so much at once so I know it can be done and I know I will get to the other side of it relatively unscathed (and so will my family).

The key to getting on the other side relatively unscathed is to make plenty of time for self-care. Generally speaking, I am pretty good at self-care. I have learned over the last 20 years that I absolutely will not be good at taking care of everyone and everything else if I am depleted. I am an introvert and know I need lots of quiet and alone time to re-charge so I make sure to build this into each day. I also make sure to build in time to participate in the hobbies that I enjoy. Walking at the park, through the woods; listening to a good audiobook; binge-watching a good Netflix show; sitting with my feet in the grass, listening to my favorite music, while my kids play. This last week, however, I have failed on the self-care front because I have been overly busy, hence the crazy dream. I will need to do a better job taking care of myself this weekend in preparation for the new school semester which starts on Monday. I see lots of quiet meditation and communing with Mother Earth on schedule for the next 3 days.

How do you make time for self-care? Do you dream? If so, do you try to interpret them?

Butterflies

I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. It is an autoimmune disorder which means my body is attacking my thyroid and creating antibodies against it. I was diagnosed with it in 2011 after struggling with unexplained weight gain, dry skin, severe exhaustion, hair loss, and brittle nails for a little more than a year prior. It runs in my family, so it was always a possibility for me but I was in denial about it for a while before I actually had the blood work and saw my doctor. Since then, I have had a love-hate relationship with my thyroid and with the fact that I have to take a prescription medication to ensure my body has enough thyroid hormone to function. On good days, I do all the things I am supposed to do to support my thyroid. Selenium, Nature-throid, avoiding inflammatory foods, being grateful that my body has an organ that plays such a vital role in so many daily functions. On bad days, I hate my thyroid. I hate that my body creates antibodies to attack a part of itself. I hate that I have to avoid all the foods that I love to eat. I hate that my body is malfunctioning. It’s really a pity party, isn’t it?!

Anyway, I had a session with my Shaman a couple weeks ago and one of my intentions was to work on my thyroid. This led us to an interesting discussion about how the thyroid is shaped like a butterfly and how the butterfly is a Spirit Animal for the Throat Chakra. I found this interesting because I have always been drawn to butterflies with no real understanding of why. So, during my session, we journeyed with Butterfly and I received a very powerful message to “Speak my Truth”. This was powerful for me because I avoid conflict at all costs and oftentimes this means not saying what I need to say. Oftentimes, this means that I hold back and allow the other person to “win” in order to avoid further conflict and to avoid having someone angry with me or dislike me. I find that I end up doing this on social media AND in real life with my friends and family. But why? Why should I shrink back and not stand in my power, especially when what I have to say is just as important and valid as what the other is saying? Why should I not come to the defense of my child or my friend or a group of people when someone says something that I not only disagree with but that is also blatantly wrong or is bullying or is so much a blanket statement that it does not allow for any gray area? And the thing is, I have been this way for my whole life. I have been afraid of conflict and afraid of speaking up for fear of what others will think of me since I was little. Can you imagine holding back that much? No wonder my thyroid decided to malfunction! Talk about stopping and blocking the energy at my Throat Chakra!

And so, my homework was to write letters to those to whom I have had things to say but have not because of my fear and then stick those letters in the fire as a ritual of letting that fear go. I also made it my goal to stop being afraid of saying what I need to when I am on social media. Most of the people I interact with aren’t people I know in real life so why am I worried about what they think about me? I live by the Golden Rule in my real life and I think it is important to do that online too, so I am not saying anything nasty or calling names or anything like that. I want my online life to be filled with integrity as much as in my real life, so I think it is important to still be respectful towards others even when they are on the other side of a computer and not face to face with me. It is amazing how much freer I feel. I am no longer shying away from having hard conversations. They are still hard but the more I do it, the more confidence I feel, and the more willing I am to put my opinions out there. Speaking my truth doesn’t mean trampling all over someone else or purposely causing problems with others.

What incredible insight about my thyroid and rebalancing my Throat Chakra! I added a gorgeous picture (see below) of a Blue butterfly to my altar to remind myself to always Speak my Truth. I can’t wait to see how my energy continues to clear and what other changes begin to happen because of clearing this block!

Amber McDowell is the artist of this beautiful butterfly. You can find her at https://www.etsy.com/shop/AmberMcDowellFineArt?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=385768468. I do not receive any kind of compensation from Ms. McDowell. I simply think her art is lovely and want to share it with you!

Creating Calm during COVID

We are in the middle of a pandemic. Are you tired of hearing this yet? I know I am. I am tired of hearing about it on the news. I am tired of hearing about it on social media. I am tired of talking about it all the time. I am tired of hearing about it all the time. Sure, it is a part of the life we are living right now, but does it really need to consume us? I don’t think it does. I think it is important to find activities that bring you joy and calm and provide you with a break from the constant stress of being in the middle of a pandemic.

Here is a list of the top 5 activities which create calm in my life right now:

  1. Take a NEWS fast – I decided at the beginning of Ohio’s quarantine (March) to stop reading/watching the news. There is so much misinformation in the news and because the media needs drama to hook viewers, it seems like we are on the brink of disaster every single time a news anchor comes on the screen or an article gets published on your favorite news app. It was one of the best decisions I have made in a long time. I immediately noticed that my stress level decreased because there was nothing to get worked up about. Decreasing stress helped normalize my sleep, allowing me to fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply. And, without the news creating fear and anxiety, I am able to research COVID on my own and come to my own conclusions about my relative risk and how to proceed for myself and for my family.
  2. Listen to books – I began reading when I was 4 and was reading chapter books by age 5. I devoured books. However, when I finished my Master’s Degree 14 years ago, I stopped reading for pleasure. I needed a break from reading because my brain felt like it was on overload from all of the books I had to read for my thesis. And then I had a baby and my life was consumed with reading children’s books and listening to nursery rhymes. Nothing like a quarantine to find the time to get back into hobbies that we have previously put away! I quickly grew bored of streaming the same old shows and movies, so I turned to my audiobook app and fell back in love with “reading”. I know listening to books is not exactly the same, but research has shown that it does activate the same area of the brain AND it is an activity that I can do while I complete household tasks, sit outside while my kids play, go for a walk in the park, or while I lay in bed just before turning out the lights. It is amazing what a good story can do, the escape it can provide. I have found that it also helps in decreasing my stress levels.
  3. Connect with Mother Earth – Nothing like being quarantined to make you realize just how small your house is, right?! Luckily, we have a large yard so whenever our house starts to close in on us, we go outside to play and sit in the grass. I also make it a point to walk at the park every morning so that I can be surrounded by trees, fresh air, and the sights and sounds of nature. Whenever I am outside, I take off my shoes and put my bare feet into the grass so that I can reconnect with Mother Earth. This is called Earthing. I have found that when I “go” Earthing, I have a much more positive outlook on life and I feel more grounded and present in my body. I recommend getting outside and putting your bare feet in the grass daily and for as long as you can. I bet it won’t take long for you to enjoy it as much as I do!
  4. Spend time with my children – What better way to decrease stress and remember all of the good in the world than by spending time watching your children explore and discover and love and play? Children are filled with wonder and watching them reminds us of what it was like to also be a child, filled with that wonder. As I type this, I am watching my son play with his grapes. Of course, I could tell him to stop doing that because of the mess he might make if he squashes them. Instead, I am giggling because he is pretending that those grapes are rocket ships flying off into space, crashing into one another, escaping from his dinosaurs, and playing a chasing game through the gummy worm field on the table. He is lost in his own little world, completely unaware of what is going on out in the big, bad world, and he is completely content. Wouldn’t we all benefit just a little bit if we spent more time observing our kids and re-discovering the world through their eyes and less time worrying about what is happening with all of the things that are beyond our control?
  5. Make Self-care a priority – In tough times, we are always so busy taking care of our children, our partners, our homes, our work, our friends, and we end up forgetting to take care of our selves. However, we can not be effective at taking care of everything and everyone else if we are completely depleted. This is why self-care is so important. You have to fill up your cup in order to fill up the cups of others. For me, self-care includes the other 4 items on this list. It includes setting healthy boundaries around requests for my time/energy and learning when to say “No” to those requests. And, it also includes receiving therapy, bodywork, massage, energy work, chiropractic, or whatever other rejuvenating activities that I feel drawn to at any given time. In the last several weeks, I have been receiving Shamanic sessions. These have been extremely useful for clearing away clutter, gaining clarity, and refocusing my energy. It is easy to get caught up in all of the fear, anxiety, and negativity out in the world, so I have been using these sessions to neutralize all of that and expand the positive energy and healing that I want to contribute to the collective consciousness.

Of course, there are other activities that I have been doing to fill my time, to escape from reality, to keep my sanity through quarantine, but these 5 things have been my best strategies. How are you taking care of yourself through all of the COVID craziness?

The Journey…

I was raised in a household that is fully supportive of natural ways of living and absolutely believes in a woman’s ability to birth babies naturally. When I was 18 months old, my mother was a home birth midwifery apprentice until she found her calling as a Lactation Consultant. I have been exposed to and have learned much about birth and breastfeeding through my mother’s modeling. I am the oldest of 5 children. I was born by cesarean, my sister was the first VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) in hospital in Columbus, and my 3 youngest siblings were all born at home with the support of midwives. I have also learned much through my mother’s Lactation work. I remember fielding phone calls from her Lactation clients and setting up appointments for breast-pump rentals when I was 8 years old. Throughout my life, I have always been someone that my friends (and friends of friends) have come to for information about the female body and reproductive system.

Even with all of this background, I did not feel called to this work in my early 20s. Instead, I went the traditional route of schooling. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing with a minor in Sociology from Otterbein College in 2004. I received my Master of Arts in European and Comparative Literary Studies with a focus on Women Writers from University of Kent, in Canterbury, England in 2006. I was convinced that my life was going to be filled with writing the next New York Time’s bestseller or politics or something GRAND! And then I got pregnant with my first baby and my life turned upside down (or maybe right-side-up, since I actually was floundering, trying desperately to figure out my place in this world).

In 2007, I planned a home birth with my daughter but after many hours of intense labor with virtually no guidance or support from my midwives, I felt that I could no longer cope and I decided to transfer to the hospital. Though this transfer ultimately was necessary, it was also very traumatizing. The nurses and doctor were not supportive and they did not listen to me. I was separated from my baby and put under general anesthesia shortly after birth to deal with retained placenta and hemorrhage. I spent many many hours trying to piece together what went wrong during my labor and with my labor support.

Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that things had to change. Not just for me, but for ALL women and ALL babies. I was not the first woman to enter the hospital and have the staff judge her. I was not the first woman who has been ignored, ridiculed, yelled at, demoralized, traumatized, even raped, while under the care of a doctor, nurse, midwife. I was not the first but I wanted to make changes so that perhaps, at least in my microcosm, I might be the last.

With this insight, I felt the call to birth work and natural ways of healing. It was always there but I had ignored it, pushing it aside for what I thought were bigger and better experiences. But now I needed to come back to it. It was a deep desire to learn, to experience, to support, to make change. So, I took a DONA Birth Doula training in December 2009. I also began my lactation counselor apprenticeship, finishing up with certification in 2014. In May 2011, I became a Student Midwife through an apprenticeship program with local certified professional midwives and graduated from Sacred Mountain Midwifery School in November of the same year. Also in 2011, I became a Placenta Encapsulation Specialist.

I have been working as a birth doula, monitrice, and home birth midwife in private practice since 2013. However, my desire to help women have better birth outcomes has intensified as I have grown as a birth-keeper. My desire to assist the body in healing itself took root after watching so many moms struggle with infertility, harder labors, interventive births, and failed breastfeeding. This led me to bodywork and Intuitive Healing.

In 2019, I began my CranioSacral Therapy training through the Upledger Institute. I also began working with a Shaman, who has helped me process through many of my own hang-ups, while also teaching me amazing techniques for tapping into energy fields while working with my own clients. Through this work, I have come to embrace my work as an Intuitive Healer, relying on skills developed as a doula, midwife, Craniosacral Therapist, and through my sessions with my Shaman mentor, to help facilitate the body’s ability to heal itself.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my kids, connecting with Mother Earth, getting together with family and friends, listening to audio books and music, baking, watching movies, and traveling around the world to see the beauty that our Mother Earth has bestowed upon us. I am hoping that through this blog and through my website, I can help offer insight and inspiration to you on your own life and healing journey. If you like what you see here, subscribe to my website so you don’t miss out on anything. If you are interested in an Intuitive Healing session, hit me up through my Contact page.