Life happens.

Having been the Class Historian at my high school graduation, I was invited to speak at our 50th reunion. That got me thinking about the 18-year-old me and what she thought life was about. As I recall, I had the impression that I would “do what I was supposed to” and life would proceed on an upward climb until I got “there.” Then it would level off to a smooth and comfortable plateau.

That was the plan. And then life happened.

As life threw me one curveball after another, I learned that it’s full of ups and downs. None expected or planned for. No cushy plateau.

As I learned how to move forward in the face of these experiences, I began to see that they were growth opportunities.

That’s life.

At the moment, I’m in the midst of yet another growth experience.  Unlike Frank Sinatra, I haven’t given myself a deadline. But I do need some time to experience and process rather than write. So this blog is on hiatus for a while.

Energy work is a big part of what has allowed me to grow from my experiences. Here are some insights into how this has worked for me…

And…if you’d like to know when I start writing again, enter your email address in the box on the right-hand column of the home page. Click the button and you’ll get a notice in your inbox when the next blog appears.

In the meantime, may all our growth experiences be no more than we can handle.

Normal is not something to aspire to

For a long time, I have thought that we live in a culture where “normal” is the lowest common denominator and, therefore, not something I want to aim for.

Food for thought...It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society. Krishnamurti

I thought I was alone in my opinion—until I heard and interview with Pilar Gerasimo. She is a health journalist and change agent best known for her work as founding editor of Experience Life, a whole-person healthy living magazine that reaches more than three million people nationwide.

In an article titled “The Making of a Healthy Deviant: Choosing a Healthy Life in an Unhealthy World” she says,

Becoming and staying a healthy person in our culture is tougher than it ought to be. You can’t just roll merrily along with the unhealthy status quo, or you’ll become part of it. You have to maintain a base level of hyper-vigilance just to avoid getting sucked into the dominant-culture machine.

Healthy deviance is a term she coined. According to Pilar, it means “being different—in a weirdly healthy, happy way.” She elaborates…

Choosing to be a healthy person in an unhealthy world means becoming an outlier. It means frequently walking against the traffic of a mass-hallucination — and that’s not something most people are prepared to do.

The good news is that we can live outside the “normal” culture without moving to a cave or shunning the good things in modern culture. According to Pilar, healthy deviance is a change in awareness and behaviour that involves…

  • Waking yourself up and noticing what’s going on within and around you.
  • Reclaiming your energy, attention and autonomy.
  • Learning to think differently, choose differently, be different in ways that please you.
  • Hopping off the conveyor belt and tossing some well-placed wrenches into the dominant-culture machine.
Healthy Deviance is choosing to become and remain healthy even in the midst of an unhealthy culture. Pilar Gerisimo

The Living Experiment

Pilar has recently teamed up with Dallas Hartwig to produce a podcast called The Living Experiment. Dallas is co-author of The Whole30 and It Starts With Food. He’s a functional medicine practitioner, Certified Sports Nutritionist, and licensed physical therapist

The Living Experiment is one of my favourite podcasts. I appreciate their thoughtful conversations about the issues we encounter in trying to thrive in an unhealthy world. These are some of my favourite topics, but there are many others so scan the list and see what appeals to you.

  • Purpose vs Pleasure
  • Eating Meat
  • Conscious Language
  • The Health of Others
  • Conscious Eating

So…I’m interested in your thoughts on the concept of healthy deviance. Can you relate or not? Do you have experience in trying to thrive in an unhealthy world, even though you didn’t call your actions healthy deviance? I’d love your comments if you have anything to share about this post.

Are we financially literate?

November. Financial literacy month in Canada. The time when we are officially reminded of information and strategies we can use to improve our financial health.

Financial literacy refers to the set of skills and knowledge that allows an individual to make informed and effective decisions with all of their financial resources. It’s a term that was introduced fairly recently, when governments began to focus on the need for consumer education in this area.

A recent newsletter from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada reports that Canada is near the top of the charts for financial literacy in a global survey published in spring 2017 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Canada tied for second worldwide…in the financial literacy component of the Programme for International Student Assessment, a global survey of 15-year-olds.

This report was followed by… [one] on adult financial literacy… [in which] Canadian adults…tied for second with Norway.

As a Canadian, I was feeling proud… and perhaps even a bit smug. Then I remembered a Statistics Canada report, also from last spring, telling us that the debt-to-income ratio of Canadians was at an all-time high of 167%. This means we owed $1.67 for every $1 of disposable income. The fact that Canadians have a lot more debt than income seems at odds with the assertion that we have high levels of financial literacy. How can this be? Continue reading

Finding your inner “yes”

One of the capabilities that kept me going in difficult times is my intuition, which I usually refer to as my inner sense of knowing. It helps me find the answers that are grounded in my self. In this way, I’m able to discover new perspectives and feel more confident in making decisions. I don’t know how I would have managed without it!

I think my inner knowing was always with me, but not fostered in my environment. It wasn’t until adulthood that my intuition and I reconnected when I took an energy psychology workshop. It was teaching a method of releasing emotions stuck in the energy field. Muscle testing was used to help us identify them so they could be released.

Muscle testing is a means of communicating with the subconscious through our bodies. It was exactly what I needed to make my long-ignored intuition visible.

After a few years, I became aware that I knew the answer inside me before the muscle testing showed it. These days, I use muscle testing when working with clients so they can see what’s happening. Otherwise, I go with the inner sense which, for me, feels like the answer landing squarely on my heart (yes) or rolling off to the left (no).

Befriending your intuition…

Continue reading

Healing Illness with the Subconscious Mind

.If you can heal your mind, you can heal your life. There are resources out there to help you feel like the best you. There isn’t one modality that’s right for everyone, but we can each find something that works for us. Here’s another possibility for your consideration and exploration.

The human body has an innate ability to heal—sometimes it just needs a little help. Danna Pycher knows that from first-hand experience. Surviving a near-fatal accident was the easy part; coping with the PTSD and chronic pain afterward was more difficult. In this TEDx talk, she shares her story about trauma and the transformative insight that allowed her to harness the healing power of her subconscious mind.

Today Danna Pycher is a certified Neuro-Linguistic Hypnotherapist specializing in chronic illness and trauma. She is also a motivational speaker, coach, and Psych-K practitioner.

To learn more…

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

Combining NLP and Hypnotherapy

Continue reading

Getting rid of inner clutter to deal with outer chaos

Paper chaps

True confession—this is what my outer chaos looks like most days.

Ever since I started this blog a year ago, I’ve been drowning in books, papers, and sticky notes. I find myself researching a wide array of sources and don’t want to lose track of  important thoughts. My aim is to pull ideas together in new ways. That seems to mean I have to amass a of ideas before I can recombine and distill them. It’s a messy process, but that’s how I work.

Recently I became aware that the volume of idea clutter had become overwhelming. It was no longer helpful. It was causing me stress.

Relieving the stress of overwhelm

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Self Help for Stress Relief

Stress usually arises at inconvenient times. How useful it is to know what to do about it at the time, on your own!

This post is an introduction to two energy psychology modalities that are self-empowering—easy to learn and you can do them yourself. Both are methods I use and recommend.

Emotional Freedom Technique

What is the Emotional Freedom Technique? How is it used? Does it work? Dawson Church explains…

Continue reading

When life seems too demanding…

It’s easy to feel stuck or overwhelmed by the demands of modern life. It’s not a constructive state of mind. It can lead to stress and anxiety.

Daniel Friedland MD is a high-performance leadership trainer. In this video he shares tips on how to shift your mindset so you can accomplish what seems overwhelming. The key is to turn stress into challenge. This shift in viewpoint leads to a different energy toward what needs to be accomplished, resulting in a greater sense of control and a more productive outcome.

It applies to demands in any setting, for people at all stages and in any role in life. When the shift is made, it’s like a weight being lifted—you feel lighter, with a sense of breathing space. Then you can tackle the challenge with enthusiasm rather than dread.

His two key tips Continue reading

Ask a better question.

Shann Nix Jones unexpectedly found herself married to a farmer, living on a Welsh farm, raising goats, and producing kefir. When her husband had major surgery, he came home from hospital with MRSA, an antibiotic-resistent condition. In Wales, MRSA patients are not allowed back into the hospital because of its life-threatening nature. The doctor who made house calls had no treatment to offer either. Continue reading

Change your mindset, change the game.

Beliefs can be changed

The psychological and physiological effects of anything in our lives can be influenced by our mindset. That means what you think can change your body’s response.

For example, if you think stress is bad for you, your body will respond accordingly. Continue reading