Participation

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Here I am – Participating!

Participation is a key to harmony. I believe we all have the responsibility to participate in the changes that are coming about at this time. Old systems are falling away, and new ones have yet to emerge.

I voice support where I feel guided to do so. Recently, opportunities arose for me to participate in expressing my opinion about our country’s current state of affairs and the importance of not ignoring science. I am proud to say that I took part in the Women’s March in January of 2017 in support of our environment and equal rights. I also walked for Science in April of 2017 because knowledge-based decision making leads to good outcomes.

Experience has taught me there are two sides to every story and while things may look gloom and doom, there is a miracle waiting to happen if I pay attention and do not get caught up in the extreme emotions on either side.

 

Posted in Personal Musings

The Rear View Mirror on Summer Solstice

Owl totem came up two days ago in a reading my husband did for me during the beginning of our three-day solstice retreat. Today, the third and final day of our retreat, we headed to the beach for a walk in the energy of the sunrise, moonset, and full moon. I got into the car and looked in the rear view mirror. The photo below is exactly what I saw. A screech owl sitting on my neighbor’s mailbox.

Later in the morning, I wrote the poem below as a tribute to the screech owl who showed up for me. He stood his ground as I backed out of the drive. He is a reminder that we have tipped into light in a cycle that is bigger than the annual tip into darkness at the summer solstice. The time of dark is over. As loud as it may be, its time is passed.

Owl in Rear View

Owl as seen from rear view mirror.

Owl in the Rear View

 Your likeness comes to few

Spotlighted, silhouetted

To the dark we are wedded

Totem here gives sight

Knowing all is set right

As the dark tips into light.

Save

Posted in Energy Medicine, Personal Musings

Oncology Massage in Sarasota

Part of the fun being a massage therapist brings is taking classes to meet CE (continuing education) requirements for license renewal. I met a lovely lady in Sarasota who was looking for a massage but would only receive it from a specially trained oncology massage therapist. That was enough for me to seek out this training.

I enjoyed the class and learned about cancer and its treatments. I learned when and how best to massage a person who is currently undergoing different kinds of treatments including chemotherapy. I feel confident that I won’t inflict additional harm on these poor souls.

Cancer survivors often don’t understand the long term impact of their treatments which are also a consideration for massage therapists. For example, once you’ve had radiation treatment there is an increased risk of brittleness in the bones of the surrounding area. This is important for a massage therapist with a strong elbow to know. Another significant risk is in store for those who have lymph nodes removed. Even one node removal reduces the body’s capacity to move liquid and therefore forever increases the chances of lymphedema, a serious swelling of the tissues, most commonly occurring in the legs or arms. A massage therapist needs to be aware of node removals so that proper pressure and body positioning is used during the massage.

If you have experienced cancer and its treatments, please know that you are safe with me. You too can benefit from the relaxing and therapeutic touch of massage. I will address all your needs. I’d love to hear about your experiences, if any, related to this topic.

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Best Massage Ever!

The best massage ever is always a good massage I have just received. Today would be that massage. I’ve had some good massages over the past few years and some not so nice. What made this one good? This therapist really listened to my needs and worked with me knowing that my initial body reactions saying “stay away” really meant something altogether different. My body needs to trust and this therapist was able to elicit that trust from me even though my first reactions were to guard and be ticklish. I only hope the massage which I will be giving in return next week will be half as good as the one I got today.

I often feel I came out of massage school with a bit of body trauma. All those newbies are just trying to get it right. Aye yi yi! It doesn’t help that I am very sensitive to a person’s intention while they massage and that skill sometimes comes later for new therapists. Some may never acquire it and I believe those therapists don’t make in the long run. Think of the word therapist for starters. It’s defined as a person who is skilled in a particular kind of therapy. This word might conjure up a psychologist rather than a massage. And I would expect that any kind of therapist would have a knack for being sensitive to a client’s needs. Unfortunately, sometimes this skill has to be learned as not everyone comes by it naturally. That is partly why we call what we do a “practice”. My body just doesn’t like being experimented on. It let me know quite clearly it wasn’t happy.

So, how can you ensure that your massage will be good? Price or place isn’t always an indicator of quality. Most massage therapists I know will tell you they aren’t in it for the big money anyway although tips can be good at a top notch facility. A desire to help people and a love of massaging bodies is important, but this too doesn’t necessarily mean the massage will be good. Lots of experience and a clean facility are good indicators. If possible, start by asking around. Word of mouth is often the best way to gain insight into a therapist’s ability. Be sure the therapist is licensed to practice, acts professionally, has high standards of cleanliness, and good people skills. If they don’t ask about your health history, this is a clue that they don’t have your best interest in mind. There are many times when a massage is not a good idea for a person and therapists are trained to know these times.

Finally, you just have to give them a try. Do they listen to you? Are they able to “listen” with their hands which often tell them how much pressure to use? Do they make appropriate adjustments when you ask for them? My therapist commented that he was giving barely any pressure at all on some points of mine that were screaming in painful joy about being listened to. I thought he’d gone in deep but thankfully he had not. That tells me just how much I needed the work. An inexperienced therapist might have gone right in digging deep and would have caused my body to guard instead of relax. Now some people like what I call torture which is not therapeutically effective in the long run. Fluff can be therapy when we need to relax. And fluff can be very effective in releasing taut muscles as well.

I found a wealth of information on the issue of finding a therapist from an article on massagetherapy.com. You can read it here. It’s very informative if you are interested in knowing more about this subject.

As for me and types of massage, I like a good therapeutic Swedish massage with a little bit of neuromuscular thrown in. I especially appreciate when the therapist is observant and intuitive enough to hold a spot that needs holding without my telling them to. And like today, I loved that he didn’t just move on when I showed my ticklish side. I can’t relax when I am guarding or hyper flexed because it tickles or hurts too much. Thankfully, he didn’t give in. He understood this was a sign I needed the work. He slowed down, gave my body time to adjust, and then eased his way in. Oh, the relief!! Another indicator this massage was good is that when I tried to get myself together, I had to go back in to my office no less than four times to retrieve items I forgot. Earth to Kelly, Earth to Kelly….come back now.

I was very lucky the first time I ever went for a massage. I got a woman who had learned her massage at the Davis Massage Therapy Institute in California. I loved, loved, and loved her massage. It got to be where I felt my body relax as I was driving to see her. She was intuitive and over time knew my body well. She had set the bar high for me. It is because of her and my desire to know more about the body for use with my Reiki practice that I took the same 100 hour training course at the Davis school to learn that thumbless massage. It got me off to a good start when I later went to a full-blown 730 hour school in Sarasota. To this day, I haven’t had a massage any better than hers, except for today’s of course. I hope I can make this a regular occurrence.

So, what is the best kind of massage for you?

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Write

While waiting for a friend who would not show, I drew a card from my Ascended Masters deck. I turned it over and there it was again. Write. Thoth was the master on the card and the message was to write. OK! I hear you loud and clear. I have wanted to write forever. I journal regularly and often write to get things off my chest. I’ve been told I have something to say ever since I started this spiritual journey and that I should write about it. Not only does my intuition tell me, but also my guides and readers of all sorts have told me. A recent guest at my office who is obviously a well-gifted psychic also told me to write. She said I had many notes lying all around and needed to gather them up and get to it. She also told me to watch out for my thyroid. I’ve never met this woman before but she was right on all counts. And I am smart enough to know that the thyroid situation can be influenced by the energy of my 5th chakra center which is related to communication and expressing my true self. Apparently, I am still not doing that enough.

The problem as I see it is that I did write for a while. I wrote the story of the 34 day road trip with my sweetie and I took when he first moved to California to live with me. We barely knew each other then. I married him so you know the trip went well despite the challenges. Once that project was complete however, I realized that writing is hard work. It takes dedication and a willingness to put in long hours to get it right. I am a perfectionist who constantly berates herself because perfection is near impossible and my work proves it. So, why do I bother? Oh well, that’s another story. The point here is that once I was done with that project, encouraged by WordPress’s post a day challenge, I felt complete. I thought my writing was done. The urge had left. Apparently though, I am incorrect about that.

Many times I have picked up my pad to write about major events in my life but felt it wasn’t fair to those who lived them with me. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I haven’t figured out how to do it without causing another pain or breaking one’s anonymity. This can be a real dilemma. I once had an anonymous blog where I had forgotten that I shared it with a friend who later became distant. Well, I offended her alright. She then tried to tell her side of the story…on my blog. Lesson learned, the hard way. When I write, it’s obviously my own experience. While I love to hear others’ experiences in similar circumstances, I am not about to try and defend myself or engage in debate. People see circumstances through their own filters and life experiences.

So, write I shall for my creative side is aching to be expressed. I express creativity in my massage work. I express it in my teaching and some sewing projects I’ve completed. It’s not enough. Spirit keeps telling me to write, so I will do as asked of me for I know it will lead to happiness and fulfillment. The issues around it will resolve themselves. So, here’s to writing!!

What is Spirit asking you to do that you have been delaying?

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Fear In My Garden

Today I address fear and the way I deal with it. While I have done many courageous acts in my days, I still have fear. I faced it, I conquered it. Or have I? Today, I have been observing the number of times fear enters my mind. I wasn’t even aware how often this was. Instead of facing it, I have been avoiding it.

I avoid it by going to get another snack. I avoid it by allowing myself to be completely distracted by something else that catches my eye. You see, I don’t have to make that call because this other piece of paper is calling for my attention so I’ll work on that instead. I have fear I will make a mistake, so I don’t start. I fear if I balance my accounts I will see how much money I don’t have. I fear you won’t like, so I won’t ask you to use my services. I fear being angry that the phone will break my concentration so I won’t start that thoughtful project.

All this fear is holding me back in little ways which pile up and become big blocks to success. I read a meditation today which asked me to silently enter my metaphysical garden and begin pulling the weeds of fear. Wow, there were quite a few. The message I heard clearly was to pull the energy of fear instead of trying to name its cause. The causes are many. The causes all have the same message – that fear is real and I should be afraid. Ahhh, but fear isn’t real you say because there is nothing to fear. While this may be true to my intellect, my experience tells me that the feeling of fear is very real and I have been avoiding it far too much of late.

And so; as I notice the multiple times I go into fear today, instead of allowing myself to be distracted I will stop to feel this fear and stay the course anyway. Now that is courage. I have done this before as shown by the courageous and gutsy moves I have made in the past. Big things like my first divorce and quitting my job before my partner had found one. Things like moving across the continent in response to Spirit’s call without really knowing if I would like the place and opening a 3 room office instead of just renting a single space for my business. I overcame and conquered fear each of those times and countless others. I can do it again on a smaller scale by reminding myself that the only way out is through, not avoidance.

So here is to welcoming the coming year of 2015 with a new awareness about fear and the ways it continues to keep me from being all I can be. Goodbye fear. I have learned to acknowledge you and let you go in the big things of my life. I now bid you farewell in the small things. You have been a true friend and ally. For that, I bless you and thank you. And isn’t it funny, I know you will be there anytime I really need you, keeping me safe from harm. But I also have an image of you being happy to see me letting you go. In all things balance and equilibrium. Ebb and flow. The cycles of life. The wheel keeps spinning. I choose to move away from a fearful existence in big and small ways so I can experience more freedom and lightness. I commit to being more mindful in 2015 of the ways I experience fear. For one thing is certain about the visual exercise of using a garden; the weeds will come back if I am not mindful.

When is the last time you weeded your garden?

Posted in Energy Medicine, Health and Wellness, Meditation | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Hearing Aids or stay isolated in my quiet cocoon?

The back story. My family has a history of being a bit hard of hearing. My grandfather wore hearing aids. My father needed them. I remember being tested some time back where they said I had some loss but no big deal. No big deal that is till recently when I asked my husband why he had the window open on one of our hot steamy summer nights. His reply: “To hear the crickets.” I got up and moved close to the open window and realized there were crickets. It was interesting that I couldn’t hear them until I moved close while he could hear them clearly while sitting on the floor. This is when I began to wonder what else I might be missing.

It is true that I don’t like going to restaurants because having a conversation is challenging. And true that I always prefer using my right ear to hear callers on the phone. It is also true that I have to turn the television or radio up fairly loud to hear the spoken words even though the music and other sounds are annoyingly too loud. The kicker is that I didn’t realize how much I had begun to shun away from social situations due to my having to ask people to repeat themselves over and over again. All of this I thought was just normal.

I went to the doctor. I asked him to check for ear wax, but he found none. I then asked about being tested and he pooh-poohed the notion saying that I could if I wanted to but they would just recommend hearing aids if there was a problem. Feeling embarrassed, I declined and went away. But it was still bothering me so when the opportunity came for a free screening at a health fair, I went over and did it. I was then invited to come to their office and get a more thorough check because my tests showed some loss in the higher ranges. A typical loss for someone who has been exposed to prolonged loud noises (can we say Rock Music with ear phones) and who is aging (this is NOT me!). Ok, I am aging but I am too young for this. However, given my family genetics and past ear abuse, it is not uncommon for a young person to need hearing aids. This notion of not being old enough just prolongs the inevitable.

The kicker was learning about what happens to the brain once those signals stop. The brain starts filling in the blanks (how many times has someone said, “I didn’t say that?”) and then it eventually forgets things which can lead to big problems down the road. Perhaps my father’s decline into dementia could have been slowed had he gotten hearing aids? I’ll never know. I want to keep my brain from losing connections and so I agreed to try out a pair of hearing aids.

I am amazed at what I have been missing! Things like the full sound of my own voice. When I got into the car, I actually turned the radio down and could still hear it perfectly. The television volume has come down. Paper crinkling now sounds like what foil used to sound like. Foil is something new altogether. I heard a new bird in the yard I hadn’t heard before. I could hear a single lizard rustling in the leaves. At dinner that first night, I asked my husband if the crickets were always that loud!? He replied “yes”. I then removed the aids and was shocked by the difference. Since then I was able to have a conversation in a restaurant; clearly hear vendors at a benefit fair in a loud crowded room; hear the clerk behind the sushi counter; and not once have I had to say “Excuse me?” or “I’m sorry” and turn my head to point my ear towards that person! I am in awe today and feel more alive and present with my life around me. I realize now how I had been kind of retreating into a quiet little cocoon without realizing it.

I don’t like the fact that I may be looking at a major purchase or having to admit that another part of my body doesn’t work like it used to. I don’t want to use these hearing aids but how can I not?

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Kundalini Yoga Meditation for Awareness

There are times when I forget about my daily mediation practice. I wish I could say I was perfect and always remember but the fact is I don’t. Often I am reminded because my life has become a bit chaotic. I know this to be true because I am coming out of one of those cycles now.

Life is full of cycles and when I set myself on a path to healing and wellness I sometimes inadvertently revert back to old ways that no longer work well for me. This leads me to committing again to a new way. In this case, a daily meditation practice. Why is it so easy to say, “I’ll do it later.” and later never comes? I no longer beat myself up about these relapses but treat them instead as a reminder to how far I’ve come and to how easy I can be led astray.

So, in an effort to more solidify my own personal practice, I am happy to announce here that John Stewart, a certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor, will be coming to the StarLightworker office to lead me and others in Kundalini Yoga Meditations for Awareness. These meditations will be held on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month from 7:30 – 8:30 PM.

Each evening will start with a simple and short warmup allowing us to settle in to a 31 minute group meditation in the style of the Kundalini Yoga tradition. They will include mantra and breathwork. We will finish up with opportunities for discussion and fellowship.

No experience or knowledge is required for these events. They are open to all. Just bring a mat and cushion to sit on. Some chairs are available if needed, but only a few. Space is limited and so an RSVP would be appreciated. The cost is nominal, anywhere from $1-11 depending on ability to pay and what one feels the session is worth.

While my own personal practice isn’t always in this style, I can say that any mediation is better than none and it is my go to practice when I need to restore Peace in my life.

Posted in Classes/Offerings, Health and Wellness, Meditation, Personal Musings, Yoga

StarLightworker – The Name

Some have asked me where I got the name StarLightworker. My favorite definition of a lightworker comes from wiktionary.org. “A person driven and motivated to do work which makes the world a better place, improves people’s lives, and/or elevates people to a higher level of consciousness.” I couldn’t say this better. I first heard the term in Doreen Virtue’s book, The Lightworker’s Way. The book starts out “Lightworkers are those who volunteered, before birth, to help the planet and its population heal from the effects of fear.” It doesn’t matter if I chose this path before I was born or not, all I know is that I was driven to do that work after reading her book. It was a wake-up call for me to get busy doing what I’m supposed to be doing. Of course, this doesn’t mean I conquered fear. Just pressing send on any given post makes me feel that emotion intensely. But I choose to move forward anyway, facing the fear that holds me back and no longer serves me or anyone else for that matter.

“Star” is because of my affinity with the stars. Over the years I was often asked what planet I was from and as a youngster I can remember laying on a helipad after dark on an August night with my family. We were watching a meteor shower with a group of fellow campers. Being afraid of actually seeing UFOs made me want to look away but I also remember being unable to take my eyes off the stars. There were so many and they were so beautiful. Thankfully I did not get my UFO experience that night. What I was left with was an insatiable thirst to know more about astronomy and of course, the possibility of life beyond our own planet.

The two words came together at a beautiful ceremony I attended during my journey to wholeness in which I created a spirit drum for myself. The final step was to engrave my name on the inside. Everyone else was choosing a spirit name for themselves. I didn’t have one. Actually, I was embarrassed to use the term StarLightworker because at the time I didn’t feel I fit into the role. But it was the only name that came to me and I was encouraged to use it anyway and it grew on me, or rather, I grew into it.

So, the result of choosing the name of StarLightworker caused me to fully embrace and accept the call to be a worker of “Light” and to learn to incorporate the energy of the stars in my healing work. Anchoring this healing light into myself and our planet helps me overcome fear which sets me free.

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Women’s Health Expo!

For my local friends and followers, I will be attending this event on Thursday, October 23. I won’t be giving massages there, but I’d love to chat with you. And why not get some free health screenings while you are there?

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Posted in Health and Wellness