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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Living in Harmony with Nature

I have had an image of a way to work with plant medicine floating around my brain for the past few months. The image is of a plant and human side-by-side. The plant (say a flower) has roots, stems and leaves, and a flowering top. The human looks just like you would imagine. What if we worked with plant medicines in a way that reflected this image? Plant roots to nourish our arms and legs, our root chakra, to ground our energy. Plant leaves to support the internal organs, the fluids like blood and lymph, the bones. Flowers and tops of plants serve to balance the head, the mind, the emotions, the energetic system. 

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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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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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Craniosacral Therapy Part II: The Process**-From Chaos to Wonderment

I had the opportunity to attend an intensive craniosacral therapy program last week in Truth or Consequences, NM.  This intensive is one of many week-long programs hosted by Integrative Intentions, a unique organization that offers therapy programs that combines craniosacral therapy with group dynamics, water therapy, and equine therapy.

One morning, in our daily group meeting, the concept of transitioning from chaos to wonderment came up.  This concept became a theme for the group over the course of the next few days.  As these things often happen, I began to come across this concept in books and conversations.

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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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A Few Thoughts on Forgiveness (and... go take a VACATION!!)

“To begin to forgive, it is good to forego for a while.  That is, to take a break from thinking about the person or event for a while.  It is not leaving something undone, but rather more like taking a vacation from it.  This prevents us from being exhausted, allows us to strengthen in other ways, to have other happiness in our lives.”

~Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women who Run with the Wolves

I have found that forgiveness, whether of self or another, is often an integral part of a healing journey.  Forgiveness does not happen once and it is done – often we revisit forgiveness in many ways and from many angles over the course of life.  The interesting thing that I have learned recently about forgiveness is that it is not often for the other person (you know, the one who did you wrong).  More often, the act of forgiveness happens for YOU, the forgiver.  Forgiveness is about opening the heart and while living with an open heart can be scary, it also allows us to be courageous and compassionate.

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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 III: BodyMind Continuum

In this third part of the series on foundational aspects of Craniosacral Therapy, I am going to elaborate on the bodymind continuum.  While craniosacral therapy deeply affects the physical body (read more about the basic anatomy of CST here), it is also one of the best therapies that I have found to work with the bodymind continuum.  True healing is expressed when there is harmony between all aspects of oneself – Mind, Body, Soul.

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