Motherwort: a plant for the Lion Hearted

Motherwort is a common plant seen in backyards and along sidewalks here in West Michigan. I first came into contact with her in my backyard about four years ago. The latin name for Motherwort is Leonurus cardiaca - Lion Hearted. Now this is what got me, even though I didn't know it at the time. As I look back over the past few years, I can see the thread that has been illuminated by this plant. 

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Dancing in the Shadows: Healing my Relationship to Pain

The Guest House by Rumi


This being human is a guest house.

Every morning, a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness, 
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor. 

Welcome and entertain them all! 
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows, 
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture, 
still, treat each guest honorably. 
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight. 

The dark thought, the shame, the malice, 
meet them at the door laughing, 
and invite them in. 

Be grateful for whoever comes, 
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

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Seasonal Support: 4 Simple ways to support your Body this Spring

"Worms will not eat living wood where the vital sap is flowing; rust will not hinder the opening of a gate when the hinges are used each day. Movement gives health and life. Stagnation brings disease and death."

-Proverb in Traditional Chinese Medicine

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The Healing Power of Touch

One of the most important healing aspects of craniosacral therapy comes through relational touch. Sure, there are many ways to explain CST on a physical level, but the magic happens in the space created by healing touch. This is where the body and mind begin to meld, the work deepens and whole person begins to take shape. The body and the mind are intricately connected, although when it comes to integrating trauma or difficult emotions, the body often has a different memory or perspective than the mind does. 

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Simple Winter Self-Care Practice

Last winter I got into a simple ritual that I have been enjoying again now that winter is here. Winter can bring a lot of dryness to our skin, mucous membranes, and hair, so it is important to supply our bodies with more fats and water than in the summer (damper) months. I have found that putting good fats on my skin is a great way to absorb them and feel nourished in a deep way. The following winter ritual keeps my skin soft and moisturized all winter. 

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Healing Modality Highlight: Flower Essences

Flower essences have quickly become one of my favorite healing modalities both for myself and in my practice. They are a less-well-known botanical medicine than herbs, but are just as effective. They differ in preparation than herbs and work on different levels of the body, which I will touch on briefly here.

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Breathe into Being

Have you ever taken a moment to stop on a busy day only to realize that you weren't breathing?  Or maybe you were breathing so shallow that there was no rise and fall in your chest or abdomen.

When I was a nursing student we had to observe the breathing of our patients as part of an assessment.  A fellow nursing student was observing my breathing and found that she had a very hard time counting my breaths because there was no noticeable movement in my chest.  That was the first time my conscious awareness was ever drawn to my breath.  At the time, I didn't think much of it, other than to notice this phenomenon.  I thought, well breathing is automatic so it doesn't matter much what is going on as long as it is still happening!

Over the past ten years, I have become much more conscious of my breath and the connection that I have with it.  Through mindfulness and learning meditation, it has become an anchor into each present moment for me.

I have come to understand that the breath is one of the most central parts of our being.  It can be one of the fastest ways to drop out of racing thoughts into the belly and Being.
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Supporting Your Cycle with Seed Cycling

In honor of this new moon (or dark moon), I am writing a post about a practice called Seed Cycling.  But first, a little back story on the connection of a woman’s cycle to the phases of the moon…

Women and The Moon

Many cultures have recognized the relationship between women’s cycles and the cycles of the moon.  The moon cycles from new moon (dark moon) to full moon in about 28 days.  This is the same length of time for the average female to cycle from day one of her period, to the last day before her next period begins.  The moon is the governor of the water on the earth and the gravitational pull from the moon effects the tides of our oceans here on earth.  We humans are about 85-90% water, so imagine the effects that the moon has on our bodies!

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Using Plant Allies: lavender

Lavender has been one of my favorite plants to use therapeutically for the past few years.  I love the smell and even the taste when mixed harmoniously with other plants and foods.  I recently moved into a house that has a handful of large lavender plants in the front yard and they are just starting to bloom.  Lavender has wonderful healing properties, some of which I will share here.  There are many ways to enjoy and prepare lavender.  

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Pain and Power: an unexpected relationship

Where there is pain, there is also power.

Sometimes it takes extreme pain for us to begin to pay attention to our bodies and their messages.  However, when the decision is made to engage with pain and the process that unfolds, power emerges.  And it is there, that place where the most pain lies, that the most power also resides.

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Craniosacral Therapy Part IV: Trauma, Resolution, and Resources

I briefly mentioned trauma in the last post about the Mind Body Continuum and I would like to expand on it in this post.  Craniosacral therapy is an excellent therapy for all types of trauma, whether emotional, spiritual, or physical.  Due to the inherent respect of craniosacral therapy, a safe space is intentionally created by the therapist which will allow the body to follow its inherent wisdom in finding resolution for unprocessed trauma.

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Craniosacral Therapy Part I: Fundamental Anatomy and Physiology

Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a relatively new experience for many people.  It is very common that first-time clients have never experienced craniosacral therapy or worked with a craniosacral therapist.  I love this!  It is a wonderful therapy and is often much easier to explain once one has had a personal experience with this work.  However, I am going to create a 3 part series of posts to further explore various aspects of craniosacral therapy**.  My intention with these posts is to set a foundation for the cognitive understanding of CST.  Although these posts will likely only scratch the surface, my hope is to answer some commonly asked questions for those who are current or potential clients looking for more information. In this first post, I am going to dive into some of the basic the anatomy and physiology behind craniosacral therapy.  This really is the foundation for the practice.

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