Tag Archives for " healing "

Grace, Vulnerability and Joy

A piece that I wrote two years ago popped up this morning as a memory on Facebook. It’s a piece on vulnerability that I wrote as I was in the midst of creating radical change in my life (you can find the full blog post HERE).

Not only did accessing a deeper state of vulnerability contribute powerfully to this change, but it opened me up to a much deeper state of grace. And then that heightened state of grace allowed me to be more vulnerable, and so forth and so on in this beautiful dance that I’ve been engaging in over the past several years.
 
Lately I’ve been really feeling this again. I chose FULLexpression as my word for the year, and as intentions will do, I’ve been nudged over and over again to express myself in ways that have been challenging. I’ve had to be even more forthcoming with my emotions and be even more present to what is happening within me.

It’s been hard and it’s also been ~ again ~ full of grace.

Vulnerability seems to be revealed in layers and with each one that we strip away, a new rawness emerges to be addressed. This excerpt from what I wrote particularly struck me as I read my post again, two years of growth and development later:
 
“It takes courage to be vulnerable because it is really terrifying to open our hearts and expose them to the world. It is fiercely powerful to be seen without the armor, to come out from hiding with our hearts on our sleeves. It takes strength, resolve and maybe even a dash of insanity. But as we do the work, as we get stronger and feel more empowered from our core, our ability to be vulnerable begins to show itself as a gift rather than a danger.”
 
I am in awe when I see people being open and vulnerable because I feel like I’m receiving a gift from them…It is the true pearl within the oyster, the wisdom and strength that inspires me to grow and stretch myself even more and even when it would seem easier not to do so.
 
And I aim to do the same, through my words and one-on-one with my friends, family and clients. By sharing from my heart, I allow others to know that they are honored and held by me and that they have permission to do the same.
 
Sometimes it is really hard, but it is always liberating. I love more deeply, more fully, more richly when I open myself up in this way.


 
Sharing from the heart creates relief, space and connection. It opens us up to experiencing a vast array of emotions, which ultimately leads to a greater capacity for joy as well. It allows us to be fully US, our awesome, lovely, sloppy, clumsy, authentic selves.

I absolutely adore that version of you! 

4 The Power of Sacred Space

Recently my landlord asked if my workspace partner, hypnotherapist and crystal bowl facilitator, Becky Shanks, and I would be willing to move into a different office space in our building. When I told him that we loved our space, he said, “Well I hate to raise your rent and I can give you the bigger back space for what you pay here.”

I can see how to some people that may be beneficial, but to Becky and me…not so much.

Our office space is magical. And the reason that it’s magical is that we have cultivated love, ceremony, connection and healing in it over the past two years and another healer was there before us doing the same. You can feel the energy of it (and the smell of pure essential oils) before you even get to the door. Even people visiting the seamstress next door comment on it.

We could create sacred space in another location because the sacred comes from within us and follows our connection to Spirit and how we open our hearts to the honoring of the connection. But once you have something magical, the mystical aspects only continue to get stronger and stronger. (And so we’ll be staying where we are for now!)

Sacred space is a safe place, and over the years, I have learned the art of cultivating safe and sacred space. When this is in place, little and sometimes big, miracles are able to take place more readily; they become more accessible and we feel the Divine more fully.

For obvious reasons, one of which is my smaller frame, I can’t take my office with me everywhere I go. And so I’ve learned to cultivate safe and sacred space wherever I bring people together with the intention of healing and working with Spirit, whether that is through ceremony work or through teaching healing or intuitive development. All of this contributes to the power of my work.

But everyone can learn to create sacred space. We don’t need a special room or more objects to do so and it can be as large as a cathedral and as small as a chair or prayer mat.

Here are a few tips for creating this for yourself. The more you work with it and connect with the energy, the more powerful the space will become.

  • Create an altar.
    This can be as small as a few items or as large as an entire wall. Choose objects for your altar that hold spiritual significance for you. For mine, I use gemstones, gifts, articles from nature and more…Basically, things that represent love and that help me feel connected to Spirit.
  • Pray in the space and set your intention for it.
    I call in Spirit to support my healing, growth and understanding. I talk with my Spiritual posse and we all fill the place with love, grace and divine blessings. I connect into this energy often and connect my heart space into it every time I sit with it.
  • Meditate in it.
    Meditation is an opportunity to engage in divine dialogue. In prayer we send out our desires to Spirit, share from out heart and express gratitude; in meditation, we are able to listen and receive answers.
  • Engage in other types of spiritual activities in this space.
    Pull cards, use your pendulum, work with stones…Whatever calls to you. Every time you commune with Spirit, the space fills with more love. And the more love we are able to access and hold space for, the more powerful the space will become.
  • When appropriate, allow others to express reverence and love in this space. When you work with others in the space, the power is magnified.

Before I open any ceremony, I take time to bless the space and call in the spiritual team that most supports the intention that I’m holding. Keep any and all of this as simple as you want or make it as extravagant as you want. Intention and the love that you hold for your sacred space are the key here.

Over time you will feel more connected to your space and it will become more powerful for you. Here are a few examples of different altars to give you some ideas:

Temporary gratitude altar

Altar for a weekend immersion client

Simple single intention altar for FULLexpression

A small portion of my much larger altar

Outdoor altar for a bridal shower; working with the Brigid, the triple fire goddess

And if you would like for me to hold sacred and healing space for you, or take your healing and intuition to the next level, I am now offering one day and weekend healing and intuitive development immersions from my beloved Heart Space. If you are ready to dive into healing and opening your gifts, please contact me HERE so that we can chat about it. Each one is tailored specifically to what you want/need/feel to be right for you along with Spirit’s input.

I also offer ceremony work for gatherings and events. These sacred ceremonies can take place in your home or Heart Space if you are in Atlanta and I can travel to you in different cities. Ceremonies are a wonderful way to celebrate marriage, pregnancy, birthdays, friendships and more. If this interests you, let me know HERE.

Elicia Miller and I will be holding space for a small group of women to heal and access their true potential at our next Sacred Emotion Retreat in Costa Rica, September 17-24. There are still spaces and payment plans available. There is more information HERE.

“Janet Raftis has such profound healing energy, just her presence alone is transformative. She held such powerful space for me during my REVEAL retreat – it felt effortless to hear the truth that wanted to flow through me. Janet is tremendously gifted.”  

~ Meggan Watterson, author of Reveal, How to Love Yourself (and Sometimes Other People) and The Sutras of Unspeakable Joy

Much love,

6 Reasons Why It’s Awesome to Be an Empath

 

A lot is being written about how overwhelming it can be to be an empath, and there is truth to that ~ if you allow there to be.

But being an empath is a gift, truly ~ one that can help you to understand the world that you live in much more fully and that can help you to align with it in the way that feels best for you.

Here are just a few of the ways in which your trait of being an empath is a blessing for you. If you are an empath, you:

1. Are highly sensitive in nature.

This is an amazing gift once you learn how to take care of yourself! When you are feeling the emotions of other people, you have insight into their nature and their character. From this space, you get to choose how this person interacts with you in your life! If this is a stranger, you can disconnect from their energy or send it back to them or hold onto the information that you received if it serves you in some way.But, if you were wondering if someone is a good energetic match for you or if an opportunity is the right choice for you, you have access to an abundance of information that can lead you in the direction that feels best and right for you.

2. Can learn to avoid relationships with people who don’t hold your best and highest good at heart. 

In addition to feeling the emotions of others, as an empath you most likely receive an energetic impression of that person. Learning how to distinguish the emotions that you are feeling that belong to from what your intuitive impression is of them can help you to use these cues to make empowered decisions in your relationships.

3. Have a huge heart!It can be tempting for an empath to give so much of herself that she feels depleted, but if you learn to establish healthy boundaries (with yourself and others) then you have the opportunity to love in a way that lifts your own spirits, helps you to feel lovingly connected to others and the Divine, and provides you with the chance to contribute powerfully to the world.

4. Understand those you love in a truly intimate and compassionate way! 

Empaths don’t need to be alone. Sure we need time to recharge and enjoy self-care, but it’s not written into any script that we have to be overwhelmed in intimate relationships. Our empathy provides us with a powerful ability to understand how those we love feel and how they feel in relation to us. If we can separate their feelings from ours (this is entirely possible!), then we have the opportunity to go even deeper into our emotions and our authentic selves with one another. In turn, we get to experience profound growth and a deep breadth of understanding of human nature.

5. Can tune into the energy of a place before you visit to see if you even want to go there.

This is one of my favorite psychic tools! If you are unsure about whether you want to have coffee with the woman at work or go to the after-work party, tune into the energy of the place before you respond to the invite. Set the intention to access the energy of being there. How does it feel to you? Do you feel uplifted or tired? Is your chest/solar plexus open or constricted? Trust what you get here. And if you get a read that the energy will be challenging but you know that you have to go, set yourself up for success. Take a separate car, your favorite essential oil that helps to center and ground you, and give yourself time-outs from the gathering when needed by stepping outdoors for a few moments.

6. Have a powerful connection to nature! 

Empaths love, love, love the earth and all of its sweet little creatures. Animals and the outdoors recharges us like nothing else, so planning walks, hikes and outdoor time into your day gives you the opportunity to commune with Mother Earth and fill yourself back up again.

If you want to know more about how you can manage it and tap into your other intuitive gifts, I can help you! Email me HERE for more information or to set up a free chat to find out how. I’ve worked with empaths for the past dozen years helping them to understand their gifts and how to feel empowered with them.

Much love to you!

10 Pearled Wisdom

I’ve chosen intentional words for the last few years and they have proven to be very powerful for me. In 2015, “expansion” brought me a business coach, a healing space, and huge growth in both my personal life and practice. In 2016, “activation” brought me even more growth, a hugely opening and expansive relationship, and a new course and program actually called “Activate Your Superpowers.”

Through these past two years, I’ve learned that there is deep power in setting intentional words and because of that I’ve taken a lot of time to allow the right word to settle within me this year.

Initially, because I have experienced such an expansion of energies over the last few years, I wanted to continue along the same vein. But as life and my higher self would have it, a much more introspective and subtle energy came through.

I wrote recently about my experience in New York with my business coach Monica Shah, in which I had an epiphany around how I tend to hold myself back in many ways. I’ve become very open and able to be vulnerable about topics that I used to shroud in secrecy and shame and because of that, I have felt confident in my voice.

But full-expression of ourselves is more than just our voice. It is the way that we move through the world, the manner in which we share ourselves in all ways. It is how we hold ourselves, offer ourselves, shine our lights, and even how we dim them.

So the truth is that I’m fully expressing myself in some areas of my life, but not all. I still hold back in some ways out of fear of being “too much” to others.

And so I was holding this thought in the back of my mind and I asked my team and Spirit to guide me towards my word. “Expression” was being whispered in my ear, but I wasn’t allowing it to take hold within me.

A few days later, at my birthday celebration, I received a beautiful gift of an oyster shell from one of my dear friends. And while an oyster shell might seem like an odd gift (even she claims she had intended to get me a piece of jewelry, but felt drawn to get the shell instead), I was mesmerized by it.

Then, when we got home, I opened a gift from Scott: The Wild Unknown’s Spirit Animal Deck, which I have had my eye on for a good while. I was SO excited to pull my first card. (Y’all, this deck is amazing!)

I laid the cards out and asked to be shown what I most needed to see. And then I pulled…

OYSTER.

Frankly, I was wondering why I hadn’t pulled something more glamorous, like Unicorn or Eagle or the Cosmic Egg. Seriously, oyster??? I wouldn’t even have thought about putting an oyster card in a deck!

I didn’t initially put it all together…And then it hit me: I had JUST received an oyster and I had been reflecting on not holding myself back. My guides were being loud and clear with me:

It’s time to come out of my shell and to reveal the pearl within. It’s time to open and express fully, to not take my inner gifts for granted, to move away from my tendency to hold back and withdraw.

I’m realizing just how powerful FULLexpression can be. I also realize that just as my last two intentional words pushed me to challenge myself in big ways, 2017’s word is already asking the same of me.

So I will be louder, bolder and brighter this year in a way that feels aligned and in integrity to me. I will do so even when my tendency might be to pull back. I’m committing to my word and I’m excited to see what sort of magic will unfold as a result. It scares me, but it lights me up at the same time and that is exactly what the best intentions for growth will do.

What about you? Have you chosen an intentional word for 2017? Hop on over to my blog and share if you’d like. I’d love to hear from you!

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.

Is This Even Mine?

So many of us carry around the weight of others and we don’t even realize it. We may wake up feeling great and then notice that our mood quickly shifts once we walk into our office or the grocery store. It may even shift from something we see on line or from the news.

Until we learn to approach this with conscious awareness, we can feel burdened or overwhelmed. But, it’s possible to shift this experience and to come to an understanding around how to hold our own energy without taking on the energy of others as well.

Working with this simple exercise can help you to begin understanding your energetic and physical bodies more fully so that you can begin to discern: Is this mine? Or did I pick it up from someone else?

Creating some body awareness on a daily basis is the key to this exercise.

Take a few minutes in the morning to tune-in. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths from your belly. Allow your energy to settle in your physical frame. Take a few moments to scan your body and just notice it. Is there anything going on with you physically? Try to stay away from judgment; if you feel it, notice it as well and then release it.

Next tune into your heart. How does it feel? Are you anxious? Do you feel fear? Are you dreading anything? Or maybe you feel happy or excited about your life, your day. This exercise is for creating awareness so you don’t have to do anything about any of it if you don’t want to (though with practice, you just may want to! It will start to feel more manageable). Take stock of your mood and any subtleties of it that you notice.

Finally, tune into your aura ~ the energy field that surrounds your physical body. Does it feel light, heavy, dark, sticky, energized or bright? Take a little tour through it as it may feel different in different areas of your field.

You can take a moment here to send back the energy of anyone besides you that is in your field. Just set the intention that it find its rightful owner and envision it traveling away from you to wherever it came from. Next, call back any energy of yours that has taken residence elsewhere. Feel yourself as complete and whole.

This whole process can take anywhere from 5-20 minutes, depending on you and what is going on. Also, you will get more adept at it with time.

The important thing is that now you are aware of your set point, so to speak. While you are out living your way through your day, stop when you notice shifts in your emotions or energy. Ask yourself: Is this mine? If it’s not, send it back to its rightful owner (note: this could be a person or a place). And if it is, allow yourself some curiosity around it and then ask yourself what you can do to give yourself whatever support feels best.

xoxo!

Superpowers Activate!

For most of my life, I knew I was sensitive.

Throughout those years, I equated sensitivity with weakness, pain, overwhelm, anxiety and confusion. I hated being sensitive, and I did my best to mask it and push it down. I did whatever I could to NOT be sensitive. I wanted to be tough, thick-skinned, able to hang with the boys.

Because of this, I denied my authentic self pretty regularly. In fact, I felt a lot of shame around who I was. I acted like I didn’t care and I put on a strong front, while inside I shrank further and further away from myself.

Feeling all the stuff around me caused me to accept blame that wasn’t mine to take on, it led me to a (very!) poor understanding of boundaries and it caused me to live in fear and confusion and to shut down and numb out.

I didn’t understand people or my environment and I had a poor ability to act in alignment with my integrity. “No” was nearly impossible to say (and even more so after being raped) because I didn’t want to “hurt” the other person and then feel responsible for their pain. I just gave in, kept the peace, all the while holding up the façade that all was well. There was as little boat rocking as possible in my seemingly fragile world.

I had a strong knowing of what all the people around me were feeling and yet they told me that they were fine. “Negative” emotions were deemed inappropriate and yet I could feel them all around me. It didn’t make any sense to me. And so I constantly thought of myself as wrong. I doubted myself, my instincts, and my ability to make sound decisions.

It was just too much. So I shut down.

I turned myself off for about 20 years. And during those two decades, I struggled with addiction, anxiety, insomnia, perfectionism, low self-esteem, overwhelm and more. I was a mess.

When I started doing healing work, shortly after my son was born, my intuitive gifts opened up again. It was like someone had ripped a Band-Aid off of me and all of a sudden, I could feel all the pain again. Every last little nerve ending was exposed. It was nearly crushing and I had no idea how to handle it.

It exacerbated problems with my health (empaths often struggle with candida, auto-immune disorders, IBS and more), it affected my relationships and it caused me to experience extreme exhaustion.

I could only do a little bit of healing work per week because I was taking on the stuff of everyone and then carrying it around with me, a little pack mule of other people’s emotions, illness and pain.

I tried cord cutting, bubbles, sage, crystals and more. They helped, but they didn’t solve the problem. My intuition was continuing to open and I still didn’t have the tools to truly help me do it safely. I was struggling and disempowered on my path.

Until I started to receive very clear messages on how to create a permanent shift in my field…information on how to get back into my body and stay there ~ truly scary stuff for an empath!

But the thing is: Once I got safely back into my body, it actually felt so good to be there that I didn’t want to leave it anymore. I could feel other people’s stuff and not take it on!

I had been given tools that created a permanent and empowering shift for me. My sensitivities had turned into superpowers! And once that happened…Wow! They opened even more.

(Note: If you have experienced trauma or have repressed emotions from childhood, I recommend working with my colleague, Elicia Miller. Core emotional healing and inner child work are essential tools as well.)

Most of my clients come to me overwhelmed and confused; I see this happening on a very large scale right now. And so I am feeling called to share these insights and teachings with others. I passionately feel that if we can understand how to go within and embody ourselves fully and strongly ~ if we can trust ourselves from this place of deep connection ~ then our empathy can become one of our greatest gifts and we can open up our intuition in a way that empowers us to be able to positively affect the lives of others. I’ve experienced it myself and seen it work in others as well.

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I have created a live, online class in which we harness the power of the group for even more connection and activation. In this course, you receive:

  • Four live hour-long group sessions
  • Two group healing/activations (live and recorded to be downloaded and kept)
  • Two downloadable meditations
  • Downloadable content
  • Access to a private Facebook group where you can share, practice with one another and receive support from me

We will cover:

  • Feeling Empowered, not Overwhelmed: How to stop feeling tired, drained, anxious, and overly-sensitive in the world
  • Trusting Your Inner Guidance: How to tune into your higher wisdom and know the difference between fear and your intuition
  • Communicating with Your Guides: How to connect and build a relationship with your spirit team
  • Tune Into Your Psychic Senses: How to identify and cultivate the psychic senses of knowing, hearing, feeling, and seeing

This class portions of this course will be held on July 7, 21 & 28 and August 4 from 4:00-5:00 EDT.

For more information about Activate Your Superpowers: Four Ways to Access Your Higher Self, Your Guides and Spirit to Make Life Easier and Have Way More Fun, click HERE.

Being sensitive doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, it can be a blessing.

Much love!

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.

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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.

 

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