Tag Archives for " Janet Raftis "

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…


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!

1 Dimmer Switch

I just got back from spending three intense and inspiring days with my business mentor, Monica Shah. Every time I connect with her, I shift, change and grow in ways I didn’t even know were possible.

I had so so so many aha moments over those three days, and perhaps one of the most significant shifts is around how I show up in the world.

I noticed that I have a tendency to put a certain amount of myself out into the world and that once I reach this self-conceived limit, I start to pull back. This measurement seems to hold true regardless of what it is I’m sharing (or not sharing as the case may be). It could be a particular aspect of myself, a program, a service, my life in general or a component of my growth.

I hesitate out of fear of being too much. And that subconscious belief has held me back from sharing my gifts more fully with others. It has held me back from service and it has held me back from receiving as well.

I’ve been shining my light at about 65% capacity.

I don’t want to do that anymore. I have spent years getting to the truth of who I am so that I can show myself as authentically as possible in any given moment. But authenticity only rings fully true if it is without censor, without dimming. It can only show up as true when fully accepted, honored and shined.

And so as I move into a New Year for opportunity and growth, I am turning inward in search of how I can really grow. Growth doesn’t happen without expansion, which means that I must be willing to shine more brightly rather that to keep the dimmer switch on.

I’m still reflecting on what my word for the New Year might be. This year’s was ACTIVATION and the previous one was EXPANSION. Both proved to be extremely powerful for me. And the energy of both still fit…Despite holy moly growth with both, there is more waiting for me to unveil, unravel, unfold…And I feel inspired to go deep and go big.

And what about you? Where do you hold back and how can you shine that light a little more brightly? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.

I love you and I’m grateful for you!


Trusting the Voice Within

Learning to trust myself was a major process, fraught with ups and downs and doubts and fear.

I had never trusted myself and most of my life was spent trying to force myself to believe that everything was okay. When I couldn’t make a decision, I just stayed where I was: I was afraid I would make the wrong one.

Even after my intuition reawakened, I doubted myself. I could see the paths and decisions that would help others, but I could rarely see what would best support me.

I was living outside of my body, I was overwhelmed and confused, and I stayed small so that I wouldn’t have to make decisions that might create a sense of failure or pain in me. And as a result of this, I was allowing others to have dominion over my mood, my actions and my sense of self-worth. It was easier to let life lead me than it was to actively co-create my reality.

Everything had always taught me to not trust what I was feeling and to override what my body was telling me. I played soccer on sprained ankles and I cartwheeled on hurt wrists; crying was a sign of weakness and anger was to be suppressed. I could sense the emotions that everyone else was feeling ~ anger, sadness, anxiety ~ but I would always hear that they were “fine” or “good.” Hide, hide, hide who you truly are was the message all around me…And it confused me and taught me that what I was feeling must have been wrong…

I know this to be true about a lot of people that I work with as well…the inability to trust ourselves and our intuition is a product of years of denying the reality of our situation, feelings, life in general…

And it can be hard to come back from this…It can feel unstable and uncertain. It can be really difficult to move through the conditioning and doubt.

Learning to go back within…to access the wisdom of my body and my higher self changed everything for me. I’m able to intuitively handle situations that used to be stressful and overwhelming for me. I can make decisions that feel aligned and good to me. I TRUST that I’m taking care of my needs and I feel safer as a result.

And my psychic abilities soared as I began to trust my inner wisdom; it’s like having an internal system of checks and balances and so as I receive information from my upper chakras (Third Eye and Crown), I feel the insights land in my body more strongly and I’m able to better navigate the subtleties of what I’m perceiving.

A huge part of my healing journey was this key aspect of finally trusting myself. I still had to navigate trauma and stress and chronic symptoms, but the more connected I became to my inner voice, the more substantiated and grounded I became in the rest. I learned how to BE fully in my body and to listen to its rhythms, likes and desires. I also began to acknowledge, feel and respect its no’s…

My inner voice always guides me with heart and the interest of my best and highest good…And accessing and trusting that is a pure treasure that never leads me astray.

P.S. If this resonates with you, I can help you! Check out my Activate Your Superpowers class HERE.

Living in Your “YES!”


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.

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

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 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.


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