The Wednesday Word is: EQUANIMITY

This word came to me a week or so ago as I sat pensively awaiting answers to a question I posed to God. We had been at odds in recent years, yet I find myself turning to Him these days, as if He is my only friend and true confidant. I didn’t get the answers I sought immediately. As per the usual, I was not God’s only caller that day. I had to wait my turn. I found the word returning to me this morning during meditation. What could it possibly mean? Maybe it was an answer.

Last week, many of you saw I graduated from the Palouse Mindfulness training. While this 8 week training is free to anyone, it is anything but cheaply made or underdone. It was grueling some days and weeks. Lots of reading and video watching to learn and gain insight on mindfulness practices. That, paired with incorporating said practices into my daily routine, took commitment and perseverance. In the end, it provided much needed introspection, which I had put off years ago. This MBSR program made me make myself a priority. Thus enhancing my mental calmness, composure, and evening out my temper, especially in difficult situations. I learned to practice indifference and balance the good and bad. This doesn’t mean I lack opinions, care or concern. It means I have enhanced those aspects of my life and am able to best choose if my opinion, care and/or concern can aid any said situation. If yes, I offer my advice or services the best I am able. If not, I get to choose to allow someone else to be of service. I also discovered value of understanding my ego. When faced with any situation I want to engage helpfully, I ask: Am I doing this to help or does my ego-self need to be a hero? If it is the latter, I am offering for the wrong reasons.

Discovering my inner equanimity has opened my eyes to the true me. I was not always kind, calm, composed, or even tempered, especially in a difficult situation. I had to work at it. For years I felt the world might be out to get me, or perhaps, I was doomed. Growing up surrounded by chaos and living in a life of constantly waiting for the inevitable other shoe to drop made me cynical, angry, bitter and manipulative. These qualities were my tools for survival. My survival meant no one in and nothing out. Showing emotions was a sign of weakness. Having an opinion or ideas meant I was uppity or trying to come off better than my parents, and often lead to physical, emotional, psychological or spiritual retribution.

Practicing mindfulness and owning qualities of equanimity, now, have opened my eyes to other qualities my parents had, not just the sad, bad, haunting memories. For this I am grateful. It doesn’t mean the lessons of the bad or those events never existed, because they did, or that I would ever excuse their behaviors. It might take an entire lifetime to never let them consume me some days. Instead, I am allowing the good of it all, which was instilled within me, to illuminate the dreadfulness. In doing so, I discover the good within the bad.

Meditate on what equanimity means to you. Perhaps it is a quality and value you already, own and practice. How might you enhance this? Perhaps it is a quality you seek. How might you now be empowered to engage in your own self discovery? What lessons might you need to learn to bring calm, stillness and compassion to your life?

The Wednesday Word is: NEED

Much frustration lies in the ideology or the fear that somehow our needs are being defined for us. Fear is lying to you.

I believe the majority of our leadership is doing what is believed to be in the best interest of the majority of the population. Yet, as time goes and grows, desire and needs begin to overlap. However, if you really think about it, other than how often you leave your home, what has truly changed? Hasn’t desire and need always overlapped in some way?

If we look at Maslow’s theory, we know within this theory is the understanding that unless the lowest tiered needs have been met, the upper hierarchy of needs cannot be met. How we define a need being met actually has more to do with our perception of our actual need for these needs. For example, within the lowest level of the hierarchy is physiological needs: breathing, food, water, sex, homeostasis, excretion. The majority of these needs MUST be met in order for wellness to exist. In this example, sex is not a need for repopulating the species, but the need to engage in sexual activity to maintain an overall wellbeing. I would challenge whether or not all needs listed, are actual needs or if they must all be met before moving on. Perhaps the tiers can be tweaked, depending on the individual and whether something is truly a need.

Is sex a true need? According to some studies, “there is not a clear link between a “lack” of sex and more serious medical or psychological pathology. And when one considers the occasional medical/mental health costs of engaging in sex” (e.g., Meier, 2007), or the “considerable efforts people go to to sometimes conceal their sexual activity (e.g., Olson & García-Moreno, 2007), it’s not at all clear that engaging in sex is always a plus for mental or physical well-being.”

In a study by Meston and Buss (2007), their work has people identifying reasons (more than 250 reasons) for engaging in sex. A closer look at their list of Top 50 reasons by both men and women seems to show the reasons are less about needs and more about other drives/motives. Sex is most likely a widely-shared want than an actual need. Plus, let us take into account the wellbeing of those choosing celibacy or perhaps persons who for medical or psychological reasons are not engaging in sex. Certainly, they adjust their hierarchial needs barometer and thus their happiness and wellbeing are intact and they can move up other levels. Sex, for the sake of sex, while enjoyable for those of us engaging, is not a bona fide need. Neither is ice cream, or a chocolate bar, or wine.

If we move up a level to safety, much of our angst lies there. Constantly hearing words like uncertainty and unprecedented times does not do much for our perception of safety. However, if we look at how we are, individually, right now, we can see those needs are better met than we believe. Maybe the situation is less than ideal. Or, if you lost a loved one to this illness, this area may be where your struggle prevails. Grief and suffering make us feel as if we can only function in the bottom tier and we are not even sure we can do that. It’s ok to feel that way. If there ever was a moment to reassess needs, this would be the time for you, especially. Honor the process and honor how you feel. Process through, then move.

Moving up the tiers to love/belonging and self-esteem, some people do not enjoy being with their families. Some people prefer to be by themselves. This IS how their needs are met. I know quite a few well-rounded introverts. Again, perception vs need. Some people crave wanting to hug another human, while others are content and have been practicing for this shelter-in-place order most their lives.

There is the desire to want things to go back to whatever you defined as normal. I would ask you how well your version of normal was working out for you. Perhaps your needs were met then and are met now; you’re adaptable. That is great! Maybe this process has shown you areas in your life where you can be better, or helped you better assess needs versus desires. We don’t need to go out to eat. We desire to go out to eat. However, many restaurants were able to reassess how they do business and stay open, offering carryout and delivery. You can still support these businesses. Other businesses had to close and were without options to reassess and open differently. I had to cut many of my services because I can only do so much online. I had to purchase additional software and hardware to keep up with the needs or running my business solely online. I had to assess my personal needs and my business and clients needs. It has not been easy for a lot of us. What I am learning is we are quick to adapt.

So, when you think about your individual needs are you complaining your needs are not being met or losing your collective minds because you feel tethered to the system instead of having the freedom you thought you had? I have news for you. You can still make all those same choices. You can assess your needs and respond. Every choice has a consequence; some good, some bad. Decisions made were for the best interest as a collective. You can be the problem or be part of solution, for yourself and your community. THAT IS how it has ALWAYS been.

Fear has been lying to us. Fear makes us feel as if none of our needs are being met. Do yourself a favor, in case you were unsure just by reading this now, follow these steps:

1. Breathe in.

2. Realize the life force entering you.

3. Breathe out.

4. Realize the life force you are giving to the plants, trees and greenery.

Your most basic need is met. You’re breathing. Fear did not win. Fear wins when it paralyzes you and keeps you from living. You are breathing. You are alive. Doing things to keep homeostasis is part of meeting and fulfilling that need. You did that before the crisis, you’re doing it now. You have breath, you have food and resources for food, you have ability to interact- if you desire.

Fear lies to you, tells you your needs are not being met. How many of your pre-crisis needs have you realized by now are actually desires?

Meditate on what your actual needs are and how they are being met. Complying the best you are able is for essential and non-essential employees and all people right now. Because now and always each of us are essential. It is essential how you decide and how you define your true needs. How you decide and define may be what hinders an actual need of another. Be the solution, not part of the problem.

Love Yourself Anyway

I was moved to tears a few weeks ago during American Idol. Katy Perry asked a contestant, Demi, why she hadn’t pursued a career in music. Demi stated, “because she doesn’t look like other girls…” Ms. Perry went on to give her the best reply, “There’s probably not someone that looks like you because you’re supposed to be the one that looks like you,” Katy told Demi. “That influences all the girls that look like you that don’t feel like they look like anyone else.”

Thank you, Katy, for giving not just girls, all people, inspiration to be courageous enough to be themselves.

Despite what anyone says, despite how you stack yourself up against anyone, just be you… and love yourself anyway.

This is me, age 17…with hair no one understood, with a style that made people shake their heads and dreamy ideas no one thought I would achieve.

This isn’t even my dog and a week before this picture, one side of my hair was longer than the other as I tried to fit in with the 1980s punk rock/skater crowd. Being someone I wasn’t didn’t work for me. The girl in this picture was barely me. I came to accept the true version of me, flaws and all. I’m a better person because of it.

Be you.

Love you.

Do you.

I promise, the rest will fall into place, eventually, if you’re brave enough to dare to just be you.


The Wednesday Word is: STIMULATE

These are unprecedented times. For weeks many people have had to shelter in place. We find ourselves longing for connection, seeking stimulation and eager to engage in our usual activities. Now, more than ever, the importance of making best choices to stimulate our physical, emotional and intellectual needs is the key to maintaining a healthy, happy you. Are you making healthy stimulating choices, such as exercising at home, making better meal choices and spending time doing tasks you thought you didn’t have time for? Are you allowing yourself time to breathe, relax, be still and attend to your feelings, both internally and externally?

The mind-body connection is strong. What we accept into our minds affects our bodies and visa versa. Making best choices, especially right now, could make all the difference in the world of how you come out of this crisis. Every one has their preferences and peccadilloes, of how to cope in crisis. Some choose to exercise instead of ingest alcohol and may reap better rewards and actually be stimulated. Many people drink alcohol as a means for stimulation – to relax and unwind, when, in fact, overconsumption of alcohol has depressive qualities, and slows down the mind-body connection. Making better choices to relax and unwind, such as exercising, doing meditation or yoga, will provide the stimulation you desire while improving your health.

How we spend our time matters. Doing something or doing nothing may be exactly what we need, but to know which, we need to listen to our minds and our bodies, and sometimes our spirits.

Some people are loving the shelter in place as they are not social creatures and this suits their way of living just fine. Some people are used to not engaging outwardly and need to additional means of adapting. Others, however, may feel lonely not being able to engage with friends. One way people are stimulating their need for connection is holding online get togethers via social media. This is a great way to engage with friends and stay in touch while we shelter in place.

I know many of people have been at home with loved ones for weeks on end now. As engaging as these loved ones can be, too much of a good thing can be overstimulating or unnerving. It is important to take time for yourself to avoid saying things to one another which could cause more strife or become a circular argument with no positive resolution. Some people find arguing stimulating. While it may feel stimulating, arguing is not healthy communication, nor is it good for you. Arguing can activate the amygdala, releasing the stress hormone cortisol. Too much cortisol can lead to slowed healing and excess weight gain. Screaming will actually damage your vocal chords and all this can cause your breathing to be be sporadic, causing your chest to tighten… So chill. There is nothing stimulating about any of that. The temporary high you think you feel while amidst an argument will be short lived if you are thrown into a panic attack, or worse.

Rather than give in to the hopelessness and despair, understand that you are neither on standby nor stuck. Reframe how you see your situation. Instead of being stuck at home, reframe your thoughts and words to, I am safe at home. Rather than stimulate your environment or self with overconsumption of unhealthy choices, make a better choice.

You have options. While it might seem like your options are like choosing the lesser of two evils, you always have another option. Choose wisely.

Regarding communication, one other positive option is silence or not reacting. There are many healing properties in doing so. Having an increased presence on social media may make you feel connected, but we can find ourselves becoming overstimulated by too much information or opinions which infuriate us. Often we do not realize the the healing qualities in silence or not being reactive because so much of our world is overstimulated. It becomes a built in behavior to feel the need to respond. Well, I am granting you permission to be still, do nothing, say nothing — and see how it changes you for the better. When was the last time you enjoyed the stimulation of doing nothing, silently? Could you use a little of that type of stimulation right now? There is no better time than now to make a positive change in your life.

Overstimulation is overrated and unhealthy. According to the article in INC. magazine by Jessica Stillman entitled: The Incredible Brain Benefits of Silence — “In the mid 20th century, epidemiologists discovered correlations between high blood pressure and chronic noise sources like highways and airports. Later research seemed to link noise to increased rates of sleep loss, heart disease, and tinnitus…” Being still, taking time to be mindful of what matters most, making better choices, and understanding your true needs are keys to quality health.

So you see, you have options for stimulation that are within best practices. Being sheltered safely inside your home and enjoying your time with self and family can be of great, stimulating benefit. And while exercise, being active or spending time in silence are among best practices, so is doing nothing. This does not emphasize the idea of being or becoming sedentary. Instead, become aware of your mind-body connection and know how you feel and what you need, both internally and externally. In order to stay well you also need to rest. Avoid becoming overstimulated too close to bedtime. A good night’s rest is a wonderful foundation for a healthy, happy you. Give yourself permission to make the most of this time. If that means taking to tasks you now have time for, great! If that means giving yourself permission to rest and rejuvenate, wonderful!

What can you give yourself permission to do or not do today? How can you make choices today to help positively stimulate your mind-body connection and live the life you deserve right now?

Be well. <3


I do not claim to know everything. Below is a post based on what I know and believe to be true, presently. Be aware: just because you speak God’s name does not make you Holy. I am the first to admit that just because I am a licensed minister does not make me Holy. It also does not make me not a sinner, nor perfect. As with most things in life actions and beliefs are driven by, first and foremost… INTENTION! You can lead the most profound, compassionate life and the most heinous, filth-filled life while invoking an praising God. Many of us have beared witness to both examples.

Case in point: This poster was brought to my attention last night. The person who posted it, by all accounts and in my experience with this person, is a kind, loving, genuine human being. Upon sharing this, the person stated they meant no disrespect and apologized for any misunderstandings. That took a lot and speaks well to their character. However, they are not the first to post it. I have family who have posted it in the past, as well. Upon further thought,

I felt compelled to offer insight about this poster. These are my personal and, perhaps, professional opinions. The poster, in and of itself is comical, really. It is just a poster. It was said to me once about the value of intention, “I can open a can of soup and invite Satan in to swim among my oyster crackers with the intention of pursuing evil and acting out accordingly. Doing so does not make soup evil. My actions might.”

These are symbols and practices. People and their intentions and/or people and their misguided judgments make these practices evil — and on the flip side, people can set the intentions for the betterment of self and all and use these practices for the best possible outcomes.

There are quite a few practices on here, which are quite healing and widely used in the wellness/complementary care field. While I have met people during my 48 years who designate themselves as witches, I, myself am not a witch, nor do I practice witchcraft. Of those I have met who state they are witches, none I have ever met are evil. In fact, it is safe to say, one of my closest friends is a witch. It should be noted many of these practices are not witchcraft. I do not claim know everything, but I know this centuries-old rhetoric is misleading and incorrect. While some of these practices may be tied to or used in the different cultures; cultures you or I may not practice nor understand, does not make them witchcraft.

For example:

Yoga: Classical yoga was developed more than 5,000 years ago and is practiced to bring one closer to embrace enlightenment. Largely aligned with Hinduism and Buddhism, not Wiccan or witchcraft, itvis practiced by many people of many different cultures and religions, as well as outside of any deep religious movement. In a post-modern yoga society, and in a wellness context, yoga is a discipline which can be used by the practitioner to learn to control their own thoughts (through meditation practices) and their bodies by increasing muscle strength, tone and flexibility.

Chakras: Sadly, bc of the title of the book: Serpent Power, by Arthur Avalon, my experience is people are misled by what chakras are before even opening the book. Our bodies are like road maps. Chakras are energy meridians on this map. I could educate on the positives and negatives of opening, cleansing and restoring chakra functions, but it is a lot to process. One of my Christian leadership friends likens the Holy Trinity as the three main etho-chakras of Highest Divinity. With or without the practice of understanding and using chakra energy, we can feel positive and negative energy. You just “know” at your core when something doesn’t “feel” right. Our bodies, minds and spirits record these feelings. And much like many of us have done in our homes lately, purging these energies is often necessary for people in order to feel well.

Kundalini: Having just done extensive research for my book: “Haven Hypnosis: Meditation Guide”, Kundalini is a yoga/meditation practice used to strengthen your nervous system and quiet your mind, boost self-confidence and actually used (though not called kundalini) in mainstream Christian cultures, as well. I believe the closest relation I experienced was when I was a practitiner in Catholicism and learned of a term called Incendium Amoris, which means fire of divine love. This practice can bring you closer to the Divine presence of God. It may seem frightening, as when Moses experienced this with the burning bush. However, this type of spirit is precisely the same as experienced in Kundalini – experiencing a love which is giving, tolerant and sacrificing. It is said that, to make sacred is to sacrifice your egoic needs to the Higher self and your Divin­ity. We often think of sacrifice as giving up something. True sacrifice involves no suffering.  In fact, sacrifice is meant to bring you great joy and bliss. Mother Mary is the epitome of this type of spirit in her sacrifice to bring about the life of Christ. However, because of the serpent symbolism of the Kundalini, people refuse to dig deeper and stop at serpent energy and deem it unholy. Kundalini is your life force energy. It’s believed that in those who are unawakened, their energy remains coiled at the base of their spine, like a serpent. For those who have an awakening event and become conscious, the energy spirals upward, toward the Divine.

Hypnotism: Again, a host of benefits, all of which you know I could go even further in depth than I have thus far. These benefits include, but are not limited to: help people overcome phobias, fears, and anxiety, help people sleep better, relieve stress, deal with grief, promote cellular healing, pain management, overcome addictions, etc.

Rosary Beads: Used in prayer. According to the Catholic Exchange: “The rosary has had a long history and gone through many stages of development. The use of prayer beads actually precedes the time of Christ. Hindus used them to help keep track of prayers said throughout the day. In the Christian tradition, early monastic orders would pray the 150 psalms daily. At first they would use 150 pebbles in a small pouch in order to keep track.”

Dream Catchers: The Chippewa Indians believe that night is full of both good and bad dreams. Dream catchers are hung above the place where you sleep it moves freely in the night air and catches the dreams as they drift by, as a symbol to allow for peace-filled sleep. Symbolism, such as this, is scattered throughout Christianity. The dove, for example, is a symbol of peace. It is said, in Matthew 3:16, the Holy Spirit appeared to Jesus as a dove. According to First Nations Monday, the dream catcher has a deeper meaning than just warding off dream states : “The dream catcher, as a whole, represents the Creator’s heart for salvation. The feathers represent the Trinity. The circle represents Creator, the Father.”

Spirit Guides: As a trained Reiki practitioner, I am aware — Spirit, though it can, depending on the invocation, does not ALWAYS imply evil spirit. Is not our Lord and Savior the HIGHEST spirit guide?

Though people often use the terms interchangeably, spirit guides and angels are not the same. Like spirit guides, angels are available for guidance and protection, and embody unconditional love, and wisdom. Angels have a hierarchy in purpose.

I know God bestowed upon me the abilities to lay hands and help mend. I knew this from an early age but did not accept it until recently. Though my family’s religion long practiced the laying of hands and invited the spirit of the Lord to present and heal, somehow my practice was deemed unholy, though i practiced as they practiced– for the betterment of all involved. I still practice this way. If you knew my heart you couldn’t truly make that statement. I am lead by the Divine to help to the highest good, for the betterment of all involved. I can tell you and some clients can attest to God’s spiritual presence in my office.

Several archangels—such as Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, govern different areas of life. Archangel Michael is the angel most called upon for protection and guidance; Raphael is called in more frequently for healing. When I was baptized Catholic, as an adult, I was given a gift which included the Roman Catholic prayer: Angel of God, which serves as a reminder of God’s love, by enjoining the guardian angel to support me.

I have called upon God personally and for my clients, to help protect and heal. God sends us spirit guides and angels. We are each other’s angels right here, right now. Many are proving that these days. Sadly, some are choosing selfishly.

Though not listed here, meditation is sometimes looked upon with similar, misrepresented rhetoric and ideology. Yet, in many Christian religions, prayer and centering prayer is practiced – both of which are meditative rituals.

Educate yourself and yes protect yourself from anything that feels wrong to you. Just because you may feel these practices are not for you does not mean they are not beneficial to some, nor does make it evil. Just as I sure, though given facts here, one might try to argue that my saying it is not evil does not make it not evil. Yes, evil exists. It can exist inside and outside these practices. Many people have done heinous things in the name of God.

I am not typing this long post to change your mind. That is up to you. I am writing this to stand firm on who I am. For far too long I allowed people to make blanket statements about who they thought I was/am, or who they believe my friends and colleagues to be. And this allowed me to believe for too many years I was nothing because I didn’t match their expectations or acceptance.

I won’t stop. I AM in and of Christ. Ordained and licensed to serve in accordance. I will not teach others these things are of the occult, because you’re wrong. If you knew heart and what I am about, you’d understand.

Thanks be to God for the healing gifts bestowed to me. May God bless you, always. Be well. <3

The Wednesday Word is: PEACE

Peace. We are all searching for it. The internal question begs, “When will it end?” To find peace, stop asking the question. None of us know the answer today more than we did before the pandemic started. Tomorrow was never promised, so just live, today.

Perhaps you’ve said, “I cannot deal with one more month, week or day with this situation!” You’ve likely said that repeatedly regarding situations before the pandemic, yet, here you are. I’ve got news for you. A plan to get you the peace you desire.

1. Stop saying those words, because you obviously CAN endure more than you credit yourself with.

2. Stop trying to live each month, each week or each day in one moment. Just live and get through this moment. Then this one. Then this one. Then this one. Before you know it, it’s morning, and you have made it through another day.

Within living in the freedom of step #2 is where peace resides.

If you’re still struggling, find words of wisdom which bring you peace. For me, it is in the words of the Holy Bible, in this passage:

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

John 14:27

May peace find you.