Tag Archives for " Emotional healing "

If Something Doesn’t Feel Right…

If something doesn’t feel right…

It probably isn’t.

And yet, so much of the time we don’t pay attention to our body’s signals…and then we end up wondering how we got where we are, why we did what, what we were thinking and why we don’t listen to ourselves.

We’ve been taught, socialized, pushed to use our heads ~ to think things through: How does it look on paper and what are the pros and cons of the situation? We are shown that facts and data and raw analysis will lead us down the right path…The one that our families, friends and society have determined is the best for us regardless of what we feel truly passionate about.

We are shown to discount our feelings and the ways that our bodies communicate with us…to push through the pain, to keep on going, to get things done regardless of the pains, illnesses or sense of dread that we may be experiencing. We are taught that it is desirable and necessary to override our physiology in favor of the mind.

I’m not about to discredit the use of the mind here. It truly is a beautiful thing! But it also has been conditioned and socialized and the voice of the ego is in there messing things up a lot of the time. And while one of the ego’s jobs is to protect us ~ and it’s probably done a great job at that! ~ it is its job to do it at all costs, even lying to us and asking us to overlook our sense feelings in order to get what it wants.

Ignoring my body’s signals led me to chronic pain and illness, addiction and depression. It has taken me years to unravel and I’m still exploring various aspects of it. It also led me to not trusting myself and the decisions that I was making.

A huge part of my growth was a) getting back into my body and b) learning to how to listen to and understand it.

In order to do this I had to access the core emotions and trauma that I had repressed. I did this by going within my body and opening up a dialogue with it. Once I accessed what I had repressed, I honored what was coming up and allowed the emotions that my body was holding to move through me. (My colleague Elicia Miller has developed an amazing and highly effective method for doing this ~ I highly recommend working with her. We also have a retreat coming up in October as well! See below for more details.)

Over time, I started to understand my body and its cues. I began to trust it (it as always trustworthy ~ it was me who had doubted it) and I cultivated my relationship with it. As this happened, my intuition opened even more and I began to live in a state of (mostly) flow. As I began to follow the lead of my embodied intuition, I made better choices, I became more faith-full and courageous, and my life opened up beautifully.

One of my clients noted to me the other day that she’d noticed the shift to saying “I feel” instead of “I think.” I too noticed this when it happened to me…And it was the herald of expansion and growth in a way that I could never have imagined.

Today, if something doesn’t feel right, I release it. And if it does, I embrace it. I’m keeping it simple and allowing my heart to guide me. 

I try to integrate my mind with my body so that they can balance and harmonize and so I’m aware of any potential pitfalls or dangers. My head still messes with me from time to time, but it also provides me with a lot of valuable information. When I feel my mind trying to wrestle control in a situation, I focus my attention within to understand what is really going on. And from that space, I’m able to find the right tools to get me back on track.

How can our retreat help?

The retreat that I’m facilitating along with Elicia Miller October 23-30 in the mountains of Costa Rica is a powerful and effective way to greatly jumpstart this process. We will create sacred space and guide you through processes to help you safely access and release your repressed emotions, connect to your inner child on a very deep level and learn how to re-parent her with compassion and love, and shift your energy in a way that helps you to access your gifts, embodied wisdom and intuition.

Our past participants have all been transformed by this work!

For more information, click HERE or CONTACT ME to set up a free chat. Continue reading

2 Releasing the Bondage of Toxic Shame

Recently it’s been brought to my attention that my “openness” can be uncomfortable to others at times. It provoked an interesting reflection for me, since I spent most of my life buried in secrets.

I remember even as a young child thinking that I needed to keep aspects of myself hidden away as sharing them would show me to be the less-than-perfect human that (of course) I was.

There were always little droplets of shame dusting my existence, since the very beginning of me.

So when I was raped, I knew right where to place it. I took the event, twisted it around in my mind to try to maintain some sense of power in the face of this devastating situation, and then I tucked an entire tome of self-blame and denigration right there along with the rest of it.

I buried it amidst a pile of secrecy and I left it there and I fed it. Each and every day, I added at least a little more. Sometimes I added a lot. Even when I shared my dirty little secrets, it always started with, “Don’t tell anyone this, but…”

The fear of judgment ruled my shame and bled into all areas of my life.

And for a long, long time nothing seemed to help it. I knew that I wanted it to leave me. I was aware that it was harming me, but I struggled and struggled to release it. It wasn’t until I did the deeper work of releasing the repressed emotions along with a lot of energy and body work that I began to feel myself swimming up to the surface.

Once this happened, the shame released. The bundle of emotions that had kept the shame locked into place had moved and with that a tidal wave of energy poured out of me. The place that had been full of all that fear and self-judgment became a beautiful and open space, a neutral vacuum ready to be filled. I knew that I had the say in what went in there and I did not want to go back to the space I had been occupying for most of my life. That had NOT worked for me and I was ready for something new.

I also knew that I wanted to help others who also felt locked in pain, trauma, toxic shame and fear and that I couldn’t do that unless I openly and unapologetically revealed myself to others.

It was scary to very publicly share my experiences. Once on the Internet, always on the Internet. I was aware of this. I knew that the words could not be retracted. I had a few people in my life who really worried about this for me and that was challenging as well.

But I could not repress it again and I couldn’t help others experiencing this same pain if they couldn’t find me. They had to be able to identify me. It was my choice how that could play out: I could put on a modern day Scarlet Letter or I could speak with the voice of someone who had claimed her healing and her power. I chose the latter.

Being open feels natural and normal to me now. I don’t keep secrets and I don’t feel shame in the way that I used to. I don’t share every aspect of my life with every person I meet, but I do get to be authentic and true and genuine about who I am and my experience here in this lifetime.

And honestly…It feels good. I am so much lighter and I breathe so much more freely. I don’t have to cover things up or pretend or hide. I just AM. At times it’s uncomfortable and hard, but mostly it’s freeing. I can just show up and be and hold my space in a way that allows others to also be vulnerable with me. My openness gives others permission to be open too if they choose to accept that invitation. And I like that. It keeps it simple.

Button Lady

8 When You Stay Stuck in a Story…

…you give your power away.

Truth be told, most of us love a good story. An account well-told captivates us; it brings us together and allows us to feel solidarity and connection with others.

In fact, a catchy story played over and over in our own heads can be just as mesmerizing. Typically the plot lines of these stories follow one of two general layouts, either the I’m-the-victim-of-all-of-it plot or the I’m-to-blame-for-all-of-it version (which is also really a variation of the victim story). Sometimes there is even a middle ground that shifts between the two.

Regardless of which adaptation we are telling ourselves, when we hit repeat on the player, we are in effect keeping ourselves in a place of disempowerment. We are telling ourselves over and over again that: “this ~ and only this ~ is how it is.” Much of the time, we’ve written our version into a tragedy because drama sells.

So when the version of the story is one that doesn’t serve our growth, not only can it quickly become stifling ~ it can seemingly smother us. When this happens, we begin to feel anxious, overwhelmed, isolated and alone.

For years I told myself that life was a struggle. I had been victimized and I played that reel over and over again. As a result, the story bled into most areas of my life. I truly believed that I wasn’t enough and that I didn’t have enough value and so, in turn, I never perceived that there was enough available for me.

Turning this belief around was huge. I was attached to my story that life was hard and that I was a perpetual victim of circumstance. And so I continued to struggle and I continued to be victimized. Becoming a single mom further perpetuated the myth I’d created because I then bought into the societal belief that being a single mom is really hard.

And it is really challenging. I’m not downplaying the amount of dedication it takes to be a single mom (or any type of mom or dad for that matter). But I did stop buying into the international best-selling version of the story, which is that single moms don’t have enough money, time or support to raise their children the way other families do.

I decided to rewrite my as-yet-uncharted history ~ to create the unfolding that I truly wanted to claim. Now, updating this story didn’t happen overnight. I had to unravel years and years of personal and societal brainwashing.

I had to heal my emotional wounds. I had to process, cry, scream, laugh, journal my big ol’ heart out, and really dig deep into my psyche and my awareness. It was a complete overhaul of my raison d’être. It was messy and sloppy and so so so beautiful all at once.

But I did it. And thank goddess ~ because I’m not struggling anymore.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t moments that are hard because there are plenty. What it does mean is that: I’m not defined by not being able to get through my hard moments. I get through them by moving the emotions and energy around them. And when I do that, the record changes. It’s a living and breathing story that allows for expansion and growth rather than holding me in a pattern of stagnation and constriction.

I’ve moved from victim to hero in my story. I say hero because I saved myself. And in the saving of myself, I created a better environment around me. This means that my child benefits, as do my friends, my family, my clients, my neighbors and the world at large. How wonderful it has been to take one more version of the stress/lack/scarcity paradigm out of the field and to replace it with a vibration of faith!

I’ve rewritten many stories in the last several years, and one of them is my money story. A part of that was giving up the idea that there isn’t enough and that I didn’t deserve to receive what was out there. I did loads of healing around this and then once I started working with my business coach, Monica Shah, my mindset shifted considerably. Here is a photo of me sharing my now ever-evolving money story ~ the one that I am actively creating ~ at her Master Your Money event in Atlanta this past weekend.


When we claim a new story, we create a new reality.

What story are you ready to rewrite? I’d love to support you. Share in the comment section below and I will hold your intention to shift along with you!

Embracing the Skeleton in the Closet

On the physical plane, the body is the home.

Not only is it the residence within which we dwell, it is a physical reflection of our experience here. Every cell, every gene shares a message with us about our experience, our passions, our fears, our everything…

We were wired to have emotional experiences ~ not just the happy and carefree ones, but also the sad, scary and angry ones.

But somewhere along the way, most of us discovered that it wasn’t safe to feel certain ways…We were taught that to cry was to be a baby, to be afraid was to be a sissy, and that to feel empathy or compassion was to be weak.

In the face of taunting, teasing and even physical or emotional violence, we may have started to push it all down and away. Many of us have felt that the only way to get through our lives was to try to pretend or act as if it never happened. And in the moment, it may have been. When there is trauma or abuse, compartmentalizing or ignoring the pain may in fact be the best coping and survival mechanism available at the time.

And so some of us may manage to forget it. But our bodies never forget. Even when we push our emotions down and away, they stay with us until we acknowledge them and listen to their messages.

Every emotion has a story that yearns to be heard. And when we don’t pay attention, that story starts to play more and more loudly in the background.

It may start as anxiety or an upset stomach or an injury. We may begin to lose sleep and wonder what is wrong. Ultimately, if we still insist on not listening, if we instead continue to numb ourselves or merely treat the symptoms, our bodies will speak up even more loudly.

Illness and disease have an emotional and metaphysical meaning that underlies their manifestation. When we can learn to live more fully present ~ to experience our bodies in a new and empowering way ~ and access the repressed emotions, we can begin to live our lives in a new way.

We can begin to live with a sense of flow, trusting ourselves and our surroundings. We can begin to know true joy ~ a sense of profound contentedness that is not dependent on that outside of us, but that instead rises up from within.

We can learn to intuitively know how to handle life and feel confident in how we do so.

It’s all within our reach. The only requirement is that we be willing to go deep within ourselves in a way that is honest and fearless.

I was terrified to do this work. I tried every way possible to bypass it: I did tons of energy work, I was hypnotized, I did yoga, I meditated, I read self-help books, I talked to counselors and more. It was all very helpful and it all has held a beautiful space in my healing journey.

But one piece was missing and it was an integral piece. I was talking around and skirting the repressed emotions, but I wasn’t feeling them. It wasn’t until I went into the deepest and darkest corners of my closet and pulled up all that I had stashed away that I experienced profound and lasting shift.

It may sound too challenging or too scary, but once we open the door to the closet and actually look at the skeletons, we see that they are an offering. Within each of them is a gift, a key, to a deeper understanding of our soul, our purpose, our how and why for being here. Each bone is a physical and spiritual inheritance, provided just for us.

Skeleton Praying

Skeleton Praying by William Cheselden

Are you ready to embrace your skeleton in the closet? Join me and Elicia Miller for our Tropical Immersion Healing Retreat in Costa Rica. Click HERE for details!

Essential oils can be a great tool to help release emotions and to support you in your process. To help with repressed emotions, both Geranium and Release (a blend from Young Living) work wonderfully! I’m happy to share how you can use them! Contact me at: janet@janetraftis.com.


4 Eliciting Intimacy

When I set the intention to journey into more intimacy in all of my relationships, I wasn’t certain what that would mean for me and others in my life.

A part of me thought that I would be met with wide-open arms, and in some instances that was the case. A few of my relationships deepened immensely and there is a beautiful richness to them that allows for soul-baring honesty, profound support, and limitless love. These connections are nourishing me in ways that I never even knew possible. In addition to the increase of emotional intimacy in these friendships, the openness in my heart has fostered an even deeper connection with Spirit, which has spilled over into all of my interactions with others.


The work of deepening intimacy and vulnerability also afforded me the opportunity to experience a new type of romantic love, one that has shown me what it is to be held fully and completely in all areas of my life. This relationship precludes shame-blame energy, which in return, promotes honesty and truly open communication. It fosters a heart-to-heart connection that has opened me to experiencing myself in new ways.

This process was not easy. I had to be really brave and I had to constantly ask myself: How can I go deeper? How can I reveal myself in a way that feels authentic, true, and safe?

A part of what I realized was that as I have grown to feel safer and more secure in my own life, as I have embodied myself more fully, I have been able to create a strong foundation of self-trust and confidence that in turn has created an ability to trust the process of increased vulnerability. I feel safer opening to others because for the first time in many, many years, I feel safe in my body.

That doesn’t mean that it didn’t hurt when my advances for more intimacy weren’t met. It also doesn’t mean that I didn’t experience sadness when it was revealed that the dynamics of some relationships weren’t equal.

It did convey that I had to look deep within my own heart to examine what it was calling forth of me to acknowledge and honor. I entered into another layer of healing and I looked at my pain as honestly as I could to see if and where I was holding myself or others away.

But even when others didn’t meet me head on, there was an overall increase in the depth of all of my connections and the flow of energy around me, from the teller at the bank to the drivers on the road around me to my family and friendships.

Sometimes this process was messy. And sometimes it was full of grace. At times I was triggered and at others I was embraced.

But it was always truthful. It was always heartfelt. It was always me, standing before another with my heart on my sleeve.


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.


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.


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!

Soul-Honored Community

I am so blessed.

I spent yesterday surrounded by people I love and who love me back ~ beautiful friends who have allowed me to expand my community and who have held me and allowed me to embrace them back.

I am part of a community of friends who ~ when we come together ~ speak and listen with our hearts.

There is little filtering and lots of expression of love. Anything goes from unicorns and fairies to science to irreverent jokes and cussing-just-because to Spirit. We share candidly and without fear of judgment.

We don’t need to use anything to lubricate or mask the experience. We allow ourselves to show up, with our hearts and silly, temporary tattoos on our sleeves.

We hold each other, both physically and metaphysically.

The connective force that weaves through it all is love.

A soul-honored community is a beautiful opportunity to experience who we are on a deeper level. When we choose our community with intention and with a deep desire to honor ourselves through our relation to others, we make choices that allow for growth and expansion.

We cease to place ourselves in connections that don’t uphold our highest good and we learn what it is to simultaneously stand in our power while also accepting authentic and loving support from others.

We begin to experience ourselves without shame or reproach and to see ourselves through eyes of compassion and love.

We laugh more and hug more. We cry more and express our entire range of emotions in a way that feels real and good. We feel seen and heard because we are received with understanding and empathetic support.

More than once last night, I looked around me with reverence. As I’ve opened my heart to experience more intimacy and love with others, I’ve been met at every step.

That is true love. And when I found it within me, I discovered it reflected back to and all around me.

With my beautiful soul sister and colleague, Elicia Miller

With my beautiful soul sister and colleague, Elicia Miller

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.