Created with Sketch.
Psyche & Soma: Deep Healing for Body & Soul
10 minutes | Apr 4, 2015
Dear Diary, or, Tongue Reading Gets Real
Something has been missing from my writing and podcasting in the last few months. It's me. The truth is, the 'expert' voice doesn't suit me terribly well. It's not that I don't have a lot of great (in my opinion) information to share, or that I don't like teaching...it's that facts are a dime a dozen and you can learn about herbs and food and self-care in dozens upon dozens of places. After all, if you're anything like me, finding the facts isn't the biggest challenge. The real challenge is the day-to-day practices of caring for this body and soul of yours (and mine.) I must confess: I'm not some expert perched atop a perfectly figured out life with a perfect diet and perfect herbal regimen and perfect relationships and a perfectly realized life purpose. My real life is much messier than that. And while I might long for a more picture-perfect day sometimes, the messy truth certainly makes for better reading. Hopefully, it also makes for a better, deeper connection with you. Maybe, just maybe, if I can find the courage to open myself up more and more to share the messy parts of what it looks like for me to walk my own healing path and to walk beside my clients on theirs, I can share a few morsels with you that you couldn't find on WebMD or Livestrong or even in the writings of my herbal teachers. So, with that, dear reader, I'm closing my eyes and hitting "publish" on this post. I dedicate this story to all of us in all of our glorious imperfection and tender human vulnerability. It’s 6:30am and I had a terrible night’s sleep. This has been one more tough night in a series of tough nights that’s seemed to stretch on for weeks. “Just as love crowns you, so may he crucify you,” the Gibran quote says. I don’t quite feel crucified; it’s more like my heart’s been wrung out like a dirty dishrag and used to mop the floor. I step into the bathroom and switch on the light. My face. I no sooner see it in the mirror than the cascade of judgements starts about the puffy-eyed, yellow-pale, acne scarred, dry skinned face that’s looking back at me. I massage the cleanser in and inhale the grapefruit and cocoa butter smell then gently buff it off with the tiny circular motions of a warm washcloth. Try as I might, I can’t quite get this to work as a self-love ritual. I’m too attached to trying to fix the dry skin, the blueish tinge under the eyes, and the deepening lines on the sides of my mouth that insist on reminding me that I’m older than I
35 minutes | Mar 27, 2015
Herbs & Psych Meds
The Spectrum of Poisons & Remedies Imagine a spectrum in front of you: on the very far left, you can see lots of different food – it’s all calorie-dense, but not particularly nutritious. A little further in, you see lots of produce and multi-colored, ...
30 minutes | Mar 23, 2015
Herbs for Anxiety and Panic
Today's episode is all about using herbs to support yourself in acute moments of anxiety and panic. Listen in to learn about safe & effective options to help restore a feeling of calm and safety.
31 minutes | Mar 14, 2015
Shame & Storytelling
A very wise mentor of mine once said, “What unites us as human beings is not the triumph and the joy, or the achievement that we feel. What unites us is the experience of suffering, and loss, the sadness, the depression, maybe even the shame.” While no...
28 minutes | Mar 7, 2015
Grief: The Metal Element
Grief is one of the emotions that's most resisted in modern Western culture. Employers pressure us to come back to work ASAP after the death of a parent or the loss of a pregnancy, and we may feel similar pressure from friends, loved ones, and ourselves to "get over it" when we experience a loss. That is, if we allow ourselves to even experience the loss in the first place. So many of my clients seem to be carrying around heavy loads of things that they're holding onto for dear life lest they give into the urge to simply let go of something that once was precious to them. I've been there, too. Today's episode will gently explore this sacred territory of grief, and the release that's possible when you allow yourself to let go.
27 minutes | Feb 20, 2015
Worry & Rumination: The Earth Element
Opening Exercise: Taking in Nourishment Start by taking a few deep breaths in. Rest your hands on your abdomen just above your belly button. As you breathe, try to recall the experience the sensation of eating a wonderful meal you’ve eaten recently – where you took your time and felt safe, supported, and nourished. Recall the experience of what it felt like to take in that nourishment: what you were able to see (the setting you were in, the people you were with, the appearance of the food, what you were watching on TV), the sounds you heard, the smells that came from this delicious meal. Start to imagine the feeling of eating the food. Imagine its texture, and the sensation of chewing and swallowing. Next, see if you can recall the taste – not only the texture and the sensation of the food, but way it tasted and smelled. Take a few deep breaths, and allow yourself to recall the experience of all five senses, as well as your emotions as you were eating this wonderful meal. How did the sensations in the rest of your body start to shift as you continued eating this wonderful meal? How do you feel after doing this? How is this different from rushing through a meal or eating without noticing? (Amazingly, for some of us the experience of remembering this deep nourishment may actually be more nourishing than eating a meal!) Meet your Spleen* This exercise is a way to connect your own experiences with today's topic: the emotion of worry, which is tied to the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) organ system of the Spleen* as well as the Earth element. Worry is often referred to as rumination, which has an interesting word connection: rumination is similar to ruminant, which are large mammals – such as cows – equipped with digestive systems built to break down very tough plant foods. Ruminants chew their food, swallow it, and repeatedly regurgitate it into another stomach in order to fully digest their food. There are lots of English idioms connecting food and digestion to thinking and worrying (for example, “let me chew on that,” or “I need to digest this”). These connections illustrate the process of assimilating raw material – information, life experiences, knowledge, etc. – and turning them into wisdom. *Spleen is capitalized here to denote the TCM interpretation of the organ: not just the physical spleen itself, but the functional system it represents. The Spleen Transforms both Food and Experiences In TCM, the Spleen controls the
35 minutes | Feb 6, 2015
Joy: Secrets of the Fire Element
In today's episode we continue our exploration of the emotions through the lens of Traditional Chinese Medicine with the beloved emotion of Joy. Starting with a visualization of fire and concluding with how to use catnip to calm a restless heart, our j...
22 minutes | Jan 26, 2015
Opening Exercise: Body Scan Begin by scanning through your body; see if there is any tension, frustration, anger- anything that feels a little bit stuck or pent up (especially in your shoulders and your neck). After you scan for a little bit take a nice deep breath in- then I want you to sigh out loud and notice: what do you feel? Take two more deep breaths and sigh out loud two more times. Notice how you feel. Keep in mind what you noticed as I tell you a little bit more about Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and anger and frustration. The Wood Element and Anger Anger and frustration are the emotions associated with the Wood element in TCM. The Wood element is not an element that we think of in the Western Traditions; so the Wood element might need more explanation than the Air, Earth, and Water elements. Wood energy is the energy of plant life. Think about the amazing amount of strength and energy that is required for a plant to burst out of a seed and push its way up through the dirt towards the surface in order to reach the light of the sun! This is the power of the Wood element. When you think about the energy that allows trees to move all the way up into the sky to get as tall and strong as they do helps give a little sense of what Wood energy is all about. The Wood element is the energy of forward growth, expansion, progress, and newness (creating things). There is a sense of striving or pushing forward; so it should come as no surprise that this is the element that I would assign to the United States of America (if I had to assign an element to diagnose the culture as a whole). I would say that this is a Wood culture that I live in- it is very different than cultures that emphasize values other than always striving, growing, and moving forward like pushing into a frontier. And just as for Wood people, some of the most admirable and most problematic features of American culture emanate from these Wood-like characteristics. I think as a result many people (whether or not you are a Wood type person) can be affected by this very strong Wood energy that pervades our culture- not in any woo woo sense; but in the sense that the cultural values really emphasize achievement and put a lot of pressure on people. When we emphasize achievement, striving, and pushing forward to the exclusion of other values, we can start to get pretty irritable, frustrated, and even angry. Energy Traffic Jams Stagnation of the Liver Qi, associated with the Wood element, i
35 minutes | Jan 16, 2015
We begin our exploration of the emotions with fear, the emotion associated with the element of water, the season of Winter, and the organ system of the Kidneys (capitalized to signify the TCM concept of Kidneys rather than the physical organs themselves.) Today's episode begins with a short visualization and then moves into an exploration of how we can use the insights from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to get a better understanding of how to work with fear in our lives. As I mention in the podcast, I'd love to invite you to join the free workshop series that begins on Tuesday January 20th. Here's the link to register. Please join us!
28 minutes | Jan 9, 2015
The River of Emotional Integration
Health can be seen as a river of integration that flows between the two opposing forces of Chaos and Rigidity. (For more on this idea, please see Dr. Dan Siegel 's book, Mindsight.) Too much chaos gets us into trouble, but too much rigidity is equally risky. The key to emotional and physical health is to strengthen the links between the differentiated parts of our selves, our lives, and our communities. Just like biodiversity keeps an ecosystem healthy and a diverse workplace gives rise to the most creative & innovative ideas, health requires an inner life that's inclusive of ALL of the parts of ourselves. This month, we'll be exploring this river of integration as it applies directly to emotional health. Over the next five weeks, we'll be exploring emotional health through the lens of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In TCM, we can use the Five Element Theory to help us think through the relationships between different systems of the body, including our emotions. Each emotion correlates to one of the five elements, and each element has a web of relationship that includes all of the other elements. The Five Elements are: Water Wood Fire Earth Metal And the emotions that correlate with each element are: Fear (Water) Anger (Wood) Joy (Fire) Rumination or Worry (Earth) Grief (Metal) Listen to the episode and explore the ways that these emotions and elements seem linked in your own experience. We'll be back next week to talk in-depth about the emotion of fear, associated with the Water element and our current season of Winter here in the Northern Hemisphere.
25 minutes | Jan 2, 2015
Resolutions Don’t Work. Try this instead….
Resolutions are rigid. They call upon a certain hardness and lack of flexibility and give us a sense of "sticking to it---no matter what." That's why they fail. That's why gyms are packed to the gills in January and back to normal by Valentine's Day. This rigidity is also a big part of why resolutions don't feel good. For the last few years, I've noticed a shift in the way that people talk about setting their goals at this time of the year. The impulse to reign in some of the wild abandon that sets in around the holidays is still present, and so is the intention to give a little bit of thought & structure to the seemingly blank slate of a new year stretched out before us. Yet, I'm also noticing that people are getting fed up with the rigid nature of resolutions and looking for a more compassionate (and long-lasting) way to imagine their goals and set their intentions. Today's episode begins with a moment of pause, as we ask our hearts what we really want in 2015. Then, I'll talk a little bit about why starting with a heart-centered intention is so important, and how to use this intention to guide you in 2015. (And I'll be sending a free mini-course to everyone who's subscribed to the psyche & soma email list, too! Listen to the episode for more info about what to expect, and make sure that you're registered to receive it. Click here to get on the list if you're not yet a member. It's free.)
27 minutes | Dec 26, 2014
Winter Solstice Meditation
Darkness is essential to human life. Under the veil of darkness we can rest, let go of the effort & activity of daytime, and visit the world of our deepest imagination in our dreams. It is in the safety of darkness that an embryo grows into a baby, and in my own creative life, I find that I need a similar kind of incubating silence and quiet around new projects before I release them into the world. We've just passed the Winter Solstice, the longest & darkest night of the year here in the Northern Hemisphere. This is a moment when we celebrate the return of the light, as the days begin to grow longer. It's also a beautiful moment to celebrate the gifts of darkness, rest, and sleep. As we say goodbye to the current incarnation of The Creative Wellness Podcast, let's take a moment to enter this sacred darkness. Today's meditation will allow you to experience the beauty and power of giving yourself a chance to rest, as well as the new aliveness that comes along with the return of the light. With all of my heart, I wish you a happy and healthy Holiday season and a beautiful start to 2015. Next week, I have a whole new episode for you all about goals & resolutions for the New Year---as well as an updated podcast that's going to support us in deepening these conversations that we've been having over the last 21 months.
28 minutes | Dec 19, 2014
Herbs vs Stress: DIY Tricks for Instant Relief
Sometimes, stress & overwhelm hit when you're least prepared to deal with them. Even if you have a full toolkit of herbs, guided meditations, and supportive people to lean on when you're at home, there are going to be times when stress hits you like an avalanche and you can't access those tools. Today's episode is all about what to do when your first-line remedies for stress, anxiety, and overwhelm aren't available. (If you want to learn about some of my favorite remedies for stress & anxiety, check out this episode from July of 2013. I won't be covering any of those remedies today, and you certainly want to know about them!) Community Tips A great big THANK YOU to everyone in the community who shared a tip for this episode. If you'd like to join us around the virtual bonfire, clickhere and request to join the group. Make some Sage Tea You may not think of sage as a medicinal plant at all, let alone one that can help with stress and overwhelm---but it is. And lucky for us that it's often hanging around in our kitchens & gardens during this time of year! Of course, Sage is a wonderful remedy for upper respiratory complaints, but it's also very helpful for the nervous system. Kiva Rose writes that Sage is helpful for: Nervous exhaustion with shaking, tremors and a sense of chronic inner trembling. Panic attacks with heart palpitations, nervous headaches and a feeling of shaking loose from the body. An excellent nervous system restorative on par with Skullcap and Milky Oats, but quite underused. Also wonderful for waking up the mind, increasing memory and awareness while staying grounded and calm. Even the smell of Sage infused oil is deeply calming and healing for me. A Pinch of Salt This might be my weirdest suggestion of all---but hear me out. First, there's a lot of interesting research going on related to salt and anxiety, but the results are still mixed. My suggestion would still be to eat a diet that's low in salt overall (unless you have very low blood pressure or tend toward dryness/Yin Deficiency), but there are specific moments when having something salty might be helpful. A moment of feeling anxiety or nervousness in a place where you don't have access to any other herbal remedies is
31 minutes | Dec 12, 2014
DIY Fixes for Digestion
In an ideal world, you'll be taking great care of your digestion on a daily basis. Simple things make a big difference when you do them regularly, and for most people, great digestion comes naturally when you're eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables...
32 minutes | Dec 5, 2014
Gifts, Meaning, and Emptiness: Healing the Holidays Part 3
Giving gifts can be another expensive, exhausting obligation, or it can be an opportunity to connect deeply with the inner treasure that you want to share with those you love. Gift-giving can bring real joy to both the giver and the recipient, but in order to find that joy again we need to step back from the consumerist frenzy that's going on all around us and take a moment to ask ourselves about the deeper meaning behind giving a gift. What do you want to feel when you give? And what do you want to create in the world? How do you want your recipient to feel? Today's episode explores the deeper meaning of giving gifts. I hope it will inspire you to find more peace and abundance this holiday season.
25 minutes | Nov 21, 2014
Obligations vs Self Care: Healing the Holidays Part 2
How do you balance your desire to uphold traditions, please others, and fulfill your obligations with your own needs during the holiday season? Striking this balance can feel particularly difficult this time of year, and in today's episode we'll talk about a simple framework that you can use to help clarify your needs and make it easier to say "no" when you need to---even when holiday traditions and family expectations are at play. For more on this tool, you might like to re-listen to this episode on boundaries that aired in April 2014. Special thanks to Teddi, Meg, Laura, Emma, and Susan as well as all of the members of our community who shared your thoughts and stories around this topic. If you're not yet part of the circle, come on over to Facebook and request to join the group. We'd love to have you with us.
40 minutes | Nov 15, 2014
Holiday Eating: Healing the Holidays Part 1
How do you balance your health goals with holiday pleasures? What happens when you're the only vegan at the Thanksgiving table? Is there any way to maximize your enjoyment without sabotaging your health during the holiday season? Today's episode will explore all of these questions with a focus on realistic ways to take care of yourself through food & eating this holiday season with absolutely NO strict rules, nagging guilt, or sugar substitutes required! In other news, our virtual bonfire is roaring----vegan marshmallows are toasting, great conversations are unfolding, and somebody's pouring you a mug of her amazing homemade kombucha. Come on over to Facebook and request to join the group, and either Laura or I will welcome you in. Once you arrive, take a peek around to get a sense of the place, and then please jump right in and introduce yourself!
30 minutes | Nov 7, 2014
Herbal Holiday Gifts
Is the holiday overwhelm already starting to creep in? If so, today's episode might be just what you need to ward off some of the craziness, overspending, and exhaustion that can come along with the season. Today, I'm sharing some inspiration for homemade herbal gifts that are simple, elegant, and heartfelt. We'll cover edible gifts like infused oils&vinegars, gifts for the home like room scent jars and reed diffusers, and bath & body gifts like a yummy sugar scrub that you can make for a fraction of the cost (and with none of the chemicals) of the store-bought kind.
43 minutes | Oct 31, 2014
Death & The Ancestors: A Halloween Special
"There are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." ~ Hamlet 1.5 Happy Halloween! Today's episode dives into the depths of our connection with our ancestors. I invite you to listen with an ear for the connections that are present in your life to your own ancestors, whether they're your forbears by bloodline, by the spirit of their example, or because the body of work they left behind laid the path for your own. This modern holiday has ancient roots, and it's inextricably tied with the dying away of the plant world that happens at this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere. Now that you've reaped the harvest, what is ready to die in your life? What needs to let go so that something new can be born with the Spring? Join me in entering into contemplation about our ancestors, our connection with the past, and with the continuous cycle of death & rebirth that constitutes a human life. May these thoughts enrich your celebrations, and may you have a happy and safe Halloween with many more treats than tricks!
28 minutes | Oct 24, 2014
Soft Addictions are those seemingly harmless habits like over-shopping, overeating, watching too much TV, endlessly surfing the internet, procrastinating—that actually keep us from the life we want. They cost us money, rob us of time, numb us from our feelings, mute our consciousness, and drain our energy. And we all have them. ~ Judith Wright What habits keep you from being the Self that you really want to be? It's normal to need downtime, to love comfort, or to zone out from time-to-time. But when things feel tough, or when we're confronting the next stage of our personal growth, or when we're in emotional pain or just feeling really confused about what to do, many of us find false refuge in "soft" addictions. These are behaviors that don't serve us at the deepest levels of our physical, emotional, and spiritual health, but that provide temporary comfort in exchange for some of our precious time & life force. Today's episode is all about these soft addictions that almost all of us (myself included!) contend with. You'll learn some strategies and ways of thinking to start to address the soft addictions in your own life with compassion and strength.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2022