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Living in Your “YES!”

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For those of us who are sensitive, boundaries can mean tricky business…

An effective early step in working with boundaries* is to begin to understand our own energetic and physical bodies and what feels good to us. Most empaths, sensitives and people who have experienced trauma have developed an energy pattern that is quite literally out-of-body.

We do this to achieve a perceived sense of safety, but what happens is that we lose the ability to discern what is ours and what isn’t ours and where we end and others begin. We become confused over what feels good and right to us and what compromises us in some way. We also become uncertain as to what is our responsibility and what isn’t (other by-products of being out-of-body include overwhelm, anxiety, confusion, ungroundedness and more).

Here is a simple body scan exercise that can help you to get started. I love this exercise and use some variation of it almost every day for myself. Over time, using this and other techniques, I’ve been able to create a very strong sense of self ~ one that enables me to be fully present in my body, empowered in my empathy and intuition, and capable of maintaining fluid boundaries that honor my true needs and all of those I’m in relationship with. Through this work, I’ve been able to know and honor my true feelings.

  • Take a moment to get settled and quiet in a chair or lying down on your back with your stomach, solar plexus and heart centers open.
  • Turn your attention to your breath. On your in-breath, feel your belly rise and expand. Let your breath begin in your stomach and then rise through your diaphragm and then lungs.
  • Allow your out-breath to be at least as long as your in-breath and feel your tummy fall as you release and let go.
  • Do about 10 rounds of this breathing.
  • Next, turn your attention to your body. This type of breathing connects you back into your core and will help you to feel more embodied immediately. (This is great to do anytime you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed.)
  • Start at your toes and move your way up, just noticing and feeling your body. If any judgments arise, gently release them and return to the breath and the scan.
  • When you feel calm and centered, ask your body to show you what “yes” feels like. This may come as a sense of expansion, a smile, an opening of the heart or in another way that feels good to you. If it doesn’t come immediately, that is okay. Just breathe and stay centered. You may need to give it a few minutes or try again at a later time. For many of us, being fully embodied is a new experience and we may need to have space to explore it further before understanding it fully.
  • After you have your affirmative response, ask your body to show you “no.” My body shows me this by constricting in the heart center. Some feel it in their belly or head. Any of the responses can shift and change as well, though the quality of them will tend to remain the same.
  • You can also ask your body to show you a neutral response, as oftentimes that is the case as in a situation like this: “How would an apple for a snack be for me?” If you have no sensitivities to an apple, it may show up in a neutral, if-you-want-it sort of way.
  • When you are finished, turn back into your breath and send thoughts of gratitude to your body for supporting you.

With practice, understanding your authentic, full-bodied “YES!” will become second nature and you will be able to discern which people, places and situations do and don’t feel good to you. From there, you can begin the process of living from a space of honoring that yes and aligning with it more consistently.  Ultimately, that YES! will open new doors of exploration and freedom to you.

With much love!

*Boundaries are complex. The activity above is a great place to start and there are many tools that can help you to begin shifting them. Fully understanding them may require you to undergo deep, emotional clearing work, especially if there is trauma. If there are core trauma wounds present, I recommend working with Elicia Miller to help clear them in conjunction with resetting your energy field and working with tools such as the one above.

The Alchemy of Shift

What do you get when you connect seven courageous women, two loving and compassionate facilitators/healers, a nurturing and supportive healing space and Costa Rica? Pura Vida transformation!

“Elicia, Janet, (Doug and the Vida Asana team) gently held us in a structured, supportive healing space in a Costa Rica paradise. We clarified our hopes with personal intentions, fed our bodies nourishing food, bonded by witnessing each other’s vulnerability and shared courage through tears, laughter, yoga and cathartic meditation and rituals.

 Elicia’s wise, earthy calm and Janet’s spiritual insights create a generous, focused, harmonious coaching partnership. ‘Your symptoms are a gift’ resonated in truth as we unpicked avoidance habits and messages in our suppressed feelings.

Their confidence in the alchemy of listening to, processing, honoring and respecting the un-met needs of our inner children and nurturing their responsible (and angry) expression worked quickly for our collective good. 

I won’t say it was easy to explore hurts and give painful feelings a voice, but it was worth the journey. I have come away with awareness, a new mantra, tools, faith in myself to heal and beautiful, life-long supportive friends. ~ Anna

There is true magic in a connection forged through honest and intimate transference of emotions and experience, the kind that occurs when defenses are dropped and hearts are raised…an intimate camaraderie of sorts that activates our highest potential and allows for individual and shared catharsis.

Reaching down and into the core of our being to reveal that which we thought too painful to face and having it met with compassion and love by others is healing in itself. Beyond that, we are able to see the many ways in which we are the same, the manner in which the very fabric of our lives intersects and intertwines from experiencing similar pain, even when reached through different avenues.

This work with Elicia Miller has become a true love ~ one that transforms me right along with everyone else.  It elevates and inspires and I can’t wait to do it again (September!!!).

“I’ve been lucky enough to do quite a bit of inner personal work on myself in my life. I have to say that this retreat was the catalyst for some of deepest healing I’ve been able to do yet. Janet and Elicia provided such a safe space and environment that I felt safe to work on some very uncomfortable issues that have been wanting my attention for years.  I feel alive and peaceful in a new way and I credit it to the retreat: the material, the environment, the group synergy and Janet and Elicia’s facilitating skills. I’m a new woman.”  ~ Natha

“My week at the retreat was more than I ever could of imagined. I have been in talk therapy on and off for 15 years and honestly accomplished more and saw my “stuff” more clearly in just seven days. The power of the retreat is in the gentle guidance of Elicia and Janet, the power of a group of strong women also searching for self empowerment and the beauty of Costa Rica. I am truly grateful for such a life changing experience.” ~ Kelly

 

“This week was transformational and inspiring. Not only did I feel the shift in my own being, but I could sense it in each woman there. I cannot thank you all enough for what I gained through this experience. ” ~ Amy

 “An inspiring and life changing experience…” ~ Marva

To learn more about our retreat, click HERE.

CONTACT ME if you are interested in possibly attending our September 2016 retreat!

 

8 Musings on Being a Badass

I did something super badass the other day.

The thing is, though ~ I almost didn’t do it.

I was given the task ~ along with about 20 other women ~ of breaking a pine board in half with just our hands. We wrote the limiting belief that is holding us back from creating more success in our lives on the side we were to break through and on the other side we marked down what we truly desire.

I felt pretty calm about the whole thing and wasn’t worried about whether or not I could do it until we actually got down to doing it. I watched my mentor, Monica Shah, lead and then a few others follow. Witnessing so many powerful women really focus and bust through the boards was inspiring. It was joyous. Their exhilaration was palpable.

It was also intimidating. I had started to worry about whether or not I could do it. I have a weak wrist from years of injuries and bartending, and I began to worry about hurting it. When it was my turn, I stepped up and I lined myself up and I struck at it.

Nothing happened.

I hit it again and then again. Still nothing and my wrist hurt from the repeated force against the board.

I stepped back, unsure of what to do. My injury was the result of not listening to my body when I was younger. For years, I had ignored its cues and pushed through pain, both emotional and physical. Even with years of healing, I’m still unraveling some of the repercussions from that.

I also knew that there was something that I was missing. I was aware that it wasn’t about force and that my apprehension was getting in my way.

I was stuck.

That was when this beautiful community of women reached out and lifted me up. My soul sister, Elicia, suggested I try with my other hand and encouraged me to play with a different mindset. She saw into my heart ~ as she does ~ and sensed that I needed an out-of-the-box solution. Another dear friend and colleague (and exceptional body worker), Susan, assured me that she could correct anything in my wrist that needed support. More girlfriends rallied and Big Bob, the man who facilitates this work, was called to assist.

He showed me what I had been missing. I was lacking force from my lower body, trying to push through with my hand, without accessing the simultaneous strength and thrust of my legs to facilitate the process.

I tried again and still I missed. By now, all eyes were on me.

Oh the beautiful and divine irony of it all! The limitation I was breaking through had to do with success and fear of failure with eyes upon me.

But Bob encouraged and inspired me, and the women around me cheered me on.

Then, as if it were nothing, I knocked that damn board and belief right in half.

I was greeted with hugs and I cried and I felt so so so supported. My wrist hurt less when I allowed myself to surrender and move through the belief. Susan worked some magic on it and it actually feels better than it did prior to the board breaking. (Imagine that!) Another Lady Love, Ina ~ channeler extraordinaire of The Alchemists, captured this great shot of my personal victory.

Attachment-1

When I was young, I wouldn’t do anything I didn’t think I could master. I’ve spent years healing that sense of not-enoughness. It still rears its head at times and I thank god that when it does these days, I have people in my life that will support me and show me my potential.

I have opened myself up and allowed myself to be vulnerable ~ real honest-to-goddess, authentic vulnerability ~ in a way that has come full circle so many times.

When I show my heart, others hold it up for me to see.

What a treasure.

Trigger Happy

Triggers are up right now. In many ways, ‘tis the season. The truth of the matter though is that triggers happen all the time. Sometimes we know we’re being triggered, but a lot of the time we don’t.

There are times too that we off-handedly mention being triggered, but we gloss over it or sweep it into the corner.

But when we lightly dismiss them or toss them aside, they don’t actually go away. They may hide out for a while, gently nudging us here and there, but then when we still aren’t paying attention to them – WHAM!

The trigger is back and this time it’s screaming even louder. It might even come back in the form of an illness or an accident so that it can really make us stop and listen.

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Photo courtesy of Anna Gay, www.annagay.com

At some point, we may even begin to feel like we’re losing control of our emotions or our lives.

We may hop in and out of relationships, basking in the glow of the honeymoon period and then high-tailing it when we things get real and the triggers start to pop again.

We wonder why intimacy is eluding us and why we are unhappy in our jobs…Why we are eating too much, drinking too much…Why we just can’t seem to pull it together…

FACT: Triggers will never just go away or disappear.

They may lay low for a while but then they will just get louder and stronger and more frequent until we actually stop and tend to them. Until we acknowledge and listen to them.

Triggers are our inner child’s way of letting us know that something isn’t right, that there is something within us that wants some attention…something that wants to go from a state of repressed imbalance to one of expressed balance.

You know how a baby cries or a toddler throws a tantrum when there is something happening that he doesn’t understand and he needs our attention to help him figure it out?

A trigger is an adult’s temper tantrum. But if we commit to paying attention, it doesn’t have to be. You see…

A trigger can actually be a gift.

It is our inner child saying, “I need you to look at me. I need you to pay attention to me. I have something to tell you.” Really, it most wants to be held.

Triggers tend to occur in moments unrelated to the actual event that “created” them, and so it seems easy to isolate or ignore them.

But if we ever want to be really free, truly able to manage and express our emotions in a healthy manner, we have to pay attention to our triggers.

We have to explore and honor them. We have to ultimately nurture them back into health.

Our inner child wants to know that we are listening and providing for her. She wants to know that she is safe.

A trigger is a beautiful indication that there is something within us that wants to be known. Moving through one is a blessing – an empowering and inspiring way of living that allows for growth and authentic self-expression.

Join me and Elicia Miller for our upcoming course: Emotional Healing & Your Inner Intuitive to learn from your triggers and heal the wounds and patterns causing them, as well as how to care for your energy body, honor your inner child, deepen your intuition and more! We will support and guide you through this beautiful and liberating process over the course of four weeks in Atlanta. Watch our video describing this powerful work, and for more details about our course HERE.

Stay tuned for more retreats and an online course as well!

Life Beyond the Comfort Zone

Neale Donald Walsch said that life begins at the end of your comfort zone. Personally, I have experienced a lot of truth in this over the years, though I’ve come to realize something really important within the statement. Life hums along regardless of whether or not we’re pushing to stretch ourselves. I believe that what he really meant was more fantastical than that. The life we came here to lead – one that is ever expansive and magical – is what occurs when we edge ourselves beyond our comfort zone.

Right now I’m on a flight to Costa Rica with my friend and colleague, candida expert Elicia Miller. As we were taking off, I got a bit teary. I experienced this moment of reflection in which I saw myself a mere five years ago, struggling to get by in a job that was unfulfilling, scared of the future and knowing deep, deep down that there had to be more. More what…I wasn’t quite certain, but I knew that I didn’t come here to be frightened of life’s offerings or stuck in a situation that seemed overbearing and stagnant at the same time.

Progress was slow for me at that time because I was still unwilling to really test my boundaries; I felt safe hugging the borderline of my existence, which was riddled with perceived limitations.

Slow motion forward to two years later: I stumbled into a Jennifer Pastiloff workshop through my yoga studio and it was like the rug was pulled out from under me, only instead of falling, I performed a flip and landed in a whole new layer of existence. Years of digging deep and doing lots of healing work that had yet to coalesce all crumbled in an instant. I experienced a white light moment in which I finally understand on a deep-down, cellular level that if I wanted things to change, I was going to have to really do things differently.

I started that day. I vowed to do one thing a day that scared me, whether that was opening a piece of mail, making a phone call I was avoiding, trying something new for dinner, or enrolling in a new program of study. Every day I pushed the limits of what I thought was possible for me. I challenged myself to act in alignment with what I truly wanted for myself.

It was scary and there were times that I kicked and screamed my way through it. I cried a lot. I processed a lot. But I also laughed a lot – deep belly laughs that rocked my soul from the inside out. It was hard and it was precious. It still is.

And now here I am, almost three years later to the date. I am successful in my healing practice and I work with clients and colleagues who are so amazing that it blows my mind on a daily basis. I get to share love, Spirit, healing, and joy with others and I feel more connected than ever. Every day is more expansive and full than the one before it. I and my life are not without challenges, but they don’t stop me anymore. In fact, they push me to uncover and explore the woman I came here to be.

I’m flying high over Central America right now. I’m leading my first retreat and I couldn’t be more excited about the direction my life is heading. Almost every step through this Break Free from Candida retreat planning process pushed me to overcome apprehensions and fears and I did it. I felt the fear and I did it anyway.

As I look forward in my life these days, I see magic and mystery, and I feel a great, insatiable curiosity.

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Healing Systemic Candida Helped Set Me Free

Healing Systemic Candida Set Me Free - The Spiritual Root Cause of Candida

I spent a lot of my life feeling afraid and disempowered. I’ve written a lot about it, and I’ve always focused on the emotional aspect of it along with the trauma trigger that precipitated it. I did not realize that there was a spiritual root cause of my candida, not just my body responding to physical symptoms.

The primary focus of my healing work with myself and with others is to find the underlying limiting belief and/or pattern that is creating the undesired outcome (whether emotional, mental, spiritual, or physical) and then focus on how to shift the patterns and behaviors so that we may find a way to present ourselves in the world that feels more in alignment with who we truly are. Determining who we really are is often a part of the journey as well.

For me, one of the physical manifestations of disempowerment that I experienced was a serious candida overgrowth. As a result of it, I spent years in a foggy, confused, depressed and anxious haze. Towards the end of it, my system began to reject foods and I was experiencing extreme discomfort in the form of constant bloat, acne, and achiness. As an intuitive, I suspected that the cause of a lot of my physical symptoms stemmed from being raped and the subsequent years of alcohol and drug abuse mixed up with fear and feelings of victimization, but I didn’t fully understand the complexity of what was happening to my body.

spiritual root of candida

The more it lingered, the worse I got. I often refer to those years in my mind as “the dark years.” When I look back on them, it’s like there is a veil of sticky, dark energy hanging over my entire being and I felt trapped and victimized by my circumstances.

I did a lot of self-healing and I also worked with other healers to start pulling back the layers of self-hatred and fear. As I started to gain more clarity, and I began to feel a little stronger in my sense of self, I got to a point of actually believing that I deserved to feel better. This was a huge turning point for me! A part of me had truly believed that it was just my lot in life to be tired, depressed, and disempowered.

I did a lot of research and came across information on candida, and I knew immediately that I was suffering from an overgrowth. I didn’t even hesitate to start the diet, despite the fact that I was going to have to make drastic changes in the way that I was eating and living.

I experienced immediate relief from my symptoms and I thought that I was “cured.” I went back to my regular life, and things moved along smoothly for a while. I was feeling pretty good. My ex-husband and I had separated and I was optimistic about my future. I felt like I had moved into brighter and better days.

I moved back to the States from Costa Rica and I soon stepped into old patterns of behavior that included drinking and disempowered and co-dependent relationships. I was dropping into depression again and I was at a complete loss with respect to how to manage it. I quit drinking; I changed my diet. I tried supplements. Nothing was working. In a moment of desperation, I stumbled upon a Nutritional Response Therapist and I went to him for testing. My system was crashed and my diet included foods I was sensitive to. Underneath it all: candida.

Again I treated it and coincidentally (or not so coincidentally), I began to shift the dynamics of my personal relationships and my life. My candida cleared again.


Could there really be an emotional and spiritual root cause of my candida?


spiritual root cause of my candida

It wasn’t until I facilitated a remote healing session with Elicia Miller that I understood fully what had happened, though. I was engaged in my healing process throughout my experience with candida, so even though I didn’t catch the direct connection to it, I was doing the right things to eradicate it. I was stepping through my fears and eliminating toxic relationships. I was making strides to leave a profession that felt stifling to me and moving into full-time healing work. I was learning to take care of my emotional needs.

What Spirit shared with us during that session was the emotional/psychological component that allows candida to flourish within our system. I was able to understand why my candida had returned and what work I need to do to keep my system in balance. I still have a few food sensitivities, but I can consume fruits and chocolate and grains and tea. I can indulge in a dessert and not worry that my symptoms will reappear. It’s been completely liberating.


spiritual root of candida

When Elicia expressed interest in hosting a retreat to help others work through the core issues of their candida overgrowth, I knew I wanted to be a part of it.

Her tagline is: Your symptoms are a gift.

 Through all the work I’ve done with clients that are experiencing some sort of physical imbalance or dis-ease, I’ve learned that our symptoms are the doorway to growth.

We get the opportunity to know ourselves better, to clear patterns and express ourselves in a new way. If we treat the symptoms but ignore the root cause, the inner expression of imbalance will, without a doubt, find another way to express itself, either through a relapse into the same illness or through another.

Ultimately, treating the symptoms but not the core issue is another way of numbing what really just wants to be known.


Elicia miller

“After 1.5 years on the strict candida diet and another 1.5 years of deeper healing, I felt healed from candida. I then got into an old relationship pattern with a man and my wounds were triggered. My bloat came back with a vengeance and I got a yeast infection.

spiritual root of candida

That's when I reached out to Janet for an intuitive energy healing to see if my Candida symptoms were emotional and what I needed to do. Janet saw my inner child sitting cross-legged, knocking to let her out, to let all of the repressed anger, sadness and even joy that was still repressed out.

I did my inner child work and emotional releasing, and I took care of my emotional needs by ending the relationship. That was three years ago and I haven't had any candida symptoms, cravings, or emotional eating since. I can eat what I want, I married my soul mate, and I live fully empowered from my heart's desires. Through Janet's work I discovered the root cause of Candida and have created a course, programs, and retreats to address healing all aspects of candida to be truly free.” –Elicia Miller