Is It Too Late To Take Care of Yourself? (AND some news at the end you will not want to miss!)

I hope this isn’t reaching you after this season of holiday preparations already has you in a place of overspent (financially, emotionally), unwell (due to stress, too much commotion, or the seasonal weather and exposures), or otherwise regretting this whole time of year. In my own case, well, yes, there is definitely regret that I didn’t get this to you in time to perhaps help prevent ALL of that, but some family urgencies delayed my elaborate intentions. But fear not, wherever you be in the continuum right now, from loving-it-all, to okay-but-on-the-edge, to can’t-wait-until-it’s-all-over, I hope the following tips for gifting yourself and others in the most nurturing ways ever will help!

-Take that meditation break. And I don’t mean it needs to be a particular form that others deem “meditation.” Here are some 5 minute miracles:

This could be just intentional, deep breathing for a mere 5 minutes…you can’t even imagine how that will improve everything else. Or take the same 5 minutes for a walk in the sun…if weather permits. Sunlight is so healing!

Santa Cruz Coastline, California

Sunlight on California Coast photo by Elizabeth Good

Or 5 minutes of just listening to music is also perfect. Draw for 5 minutes! Engage that right brain part of your healing brain. Or laugh and giggle at something, anything, if you can. (And, did I mention…breathe!). Here is a fantastic link if you need support for breathing or body-based quick breaks: Free Short Meditations from UCLA. And by the way, a soothing fragrant candle like this one never hurts.

-Don’t forget the helpful supplements, teas, and foods.

Those of you who have followed me for awhile know I constantly harp on my favorite supplement site, iHerb. They have fast delivery, a very intuitive, easy-to-use website, great customer service, and even carry healthy foods and great body care products too. With their overnight shipping, you can still get great gifts there (or for you!); just a few of many examples are these travel items, fabulous men’s skincare products, a relaxing chamomile neck pillow, a hot chocolate sugar rub for the body, or this culture starter for your fermented-food-making pals!). And YES, I do get a very, very small referral fee if you use my code LIZ264 on your first order at checkout (which gives you $5-$10 off, depending what you spend). But also, they really do have the best price on my FAVORITE go-to-supplements for keeping well during exposure times of year. This is my absolute #1: Gaia Quick Defense. I can’t tell you how much I loooooooove that one. Some other popular ones are here; see which appeal to you and keep a few on hand. (Oh, and here’s a whole slew of ways to organize your pills for travel…or busy schedules in general: pill organizers).

– The nurturing, the laughing, the fun and games, oh my.

Well we know holidays CAN be great, and/or can bring up so much stuff (grief, anger, loneliness, regret, and more) that we prefer not to have at the table. I say, nurture thyself first and foremost by befriending the feeling states.

Definitely give air to that which is painful (cry, scream, talk to someone, hit a pillow. Then cuddle yourself: drink some really yummy warming tea (make sure it’s organic to avoid those chemical flavorings), escape into a good book or an escapist and/or happy film, let yourself BE when you can…demands aside (have you noticed how many who say they don’t have time for themselves nor for relaxing, wind up sick and then have to do exactly that?).

If you ARE lucky enough to have a really happy time with friends or family on the horizon, do whatever is the most fun fun fun for all…including making sure your own preferences are clear. I have a fantasty that someday, someone(s) will take me up on my suggestions to read this recipe and then these hilarious reviews at a holiday (or other large gathering) as quite a few of those 1087 reviews are priceless. (Besides which, it not incidentally also gives me GREAT hope for humanity, even my fellow Americans who lately I wonder about, to see the cleverness in that venue).

You, of course, may have some other ideas for fun and games.  

So that is a quick summation for now. before it’s REALLY too late to give you seasonal tips. Oh, and about the news you don’t want to miss. My next blog post, right around Christmas, is going to have the most amazing (and spiritual) news item that I promise you have never, ever heard about!! Make sure to sign up on my mailing list below if you aren’t on it already; you will not want to miss it!

 

 

How To Finally, Finally, Totally, Really Change (While Still Staying Your Own Wonderful Self)

It’s a spiritual truism, running through the great religions, alternative spiritual paths, even psychological health approaches: accept (even love, if you can) yourself…as you are right now. Accept, embrace, love, and be kind towards all that comprises the one known as “you.”

photo by Alice Popkorn

photo by Alice Popkorn

That being said…most all of us have things we would love to change about ourselves. Sometimes big things, sometimes little things. We want the “more,”–even if we have been lucky and wise enough to move beyond wanting that more to be about things “out there”; the material things. For some, it might be as basic as something like ditching too much time in mindless internet or television. For others, there may be more consequential issues, such as a problem with rage or low self-esteem. And often for those on a spiritual path, there can be feelings of never being quite satisfied with ourselves due to a keen sense of ideal qualities for which we yearn.

So, all the while accepting that you are fine and precious and wonderful just as you are NOW, I offer a humble cheat sheet of ways to–hopefully–finally–be able to implement some of those changes you dream about. These are in no particular order, so let’s just dive in. And don’t expect yourself to do them all—this is a pick-what-sings-to-you-and feels-like-the-missing-piece(s) list!

photo by Ernst Moeksis

photo by Ernst Moeksis

  • Support, support, support!  I am really big on the buddy system, support groups, and/or getting yourself to a paid helper (coach, therapist, psychic, organizer, nutritionist) both for the sweet energy of support and the more defined energy of accountability. I think we often need both of those qualities; the yin and the yang of having both empathy from and responsibility to someone else can be magic. The choices are endless. A truly supportive pal in the same boat is great, 12-Step programs are life saving for some, and there are other free options (sometimes a MeetUp group, or the numerous online approaches). Or start a group yourself! If you can afford it and it’s appropriate to your goal, I do recommend professionals (such as above) of course, too.
photo by Lemon Toast

photo by Lemon Toast

  • Hydration, and proper nutrition. I am amazed at how often people try to push through obstacles mentally or emotionally without having the support in their bodies to make that happen! Again, there are a multitude of ways to get knowledge and encouragement about this (books, internet, friends, & nutritionists, for example). Some of this is basic stuff you know. Water, for instance, makes a huge difference. Are you drinking one to two quarts/liters daily? You’d be surprised what this alone can do for your drive, mental clarity, mood, and motivation.
  • Breathing. Now here is another biggie. Are you making time and space to breathe deeply every single day for a few minutes, or every single hour for a minute even? This realigns you with your Self, your Center, your goals, and focuses and calms the ever-distracted-21st-century mind. You can do this with no instruction whatsoever, or search out a guided recording or written instructions on various breathing techniques.
  • photo by Wonderlane

    photo by Wonderlane

    Help Someone Else. If you are in a helping profession or tend to over give, you may bristle at this sugestion or feel overburdened just by the thought. If so, this one is probably not for you. But it can be surprising how helping a friend in need, or volunteering somewhere, can really start your energy moving. There is so much need in the world, and putting yourself in the thick of that can bring things into a new perspective and a brand new flow. Realizing you have the power to help others can get you out of yourself, being hung up on your issues, and the perception that you are powerlessness to change your own life.

  • Meditate…in your OWN fashion. Meditation for you does NOT have to be sitting quietly on a cushion watching your thoughts! I know many great people whose lives are changed by such practices. I, on the other hand, no can do. This is one of the things I love about working with my clients. I am ever amazed at what “comes through” as just the right process or technique when needed. Your ideal empowering yet soothing meditation might be (as above) just breathing, could be a guided meditation that gives you strength, hope, or sweet support, or might be moving your body through chi kung, yoga, or even sweaty exercise. Find what FEEDS you and notice how doing more of that allows you to relax into the changes you seek in other areas.
  • Creativity-Wallpaper

    photo from embracecreativity.com

    Creativity and Play. There are plenty of studies showing that those who play or engage in creative outlets get things done more readily in areas that are difficult for them. I see it as a kind of crowbar effect—it pries you up in one area to get some traction for another area of your life. Figure out one or two or more options that work easily for you and engage. You don’t need to go buy a hundred dollar easel nor join a soccer team to start.

  • Don’t torture yourself! Be compassionate with your slips and setbacks. And, only try to change one behavior at a time. Please please please just pick a single new idea from the list for this month. And if you care to add more, do one per month; no sooner. It’s well known that the best way to slip back in defeat is to try to add 5 new behaviors all at once. Slow and steady wins the race…this gives you time to make the changes more lasting and also find any impediments that arise, and strategize on how to solve those.

And let’s not forget: Love, love, love yourself (or at least accept!) for who you are right now. You are one of many millions of people struggling with life’s lessons in an imperfect world. We come full circle to our starting point here: to change you have to start right from where you are.

Yoga Class, Capitola Beach California.

photo by Elizabeth Good

If, by the way, one (or many) of your so-far-unreachable changes is to do the very something above (love yourself, be more creative, eat better) where you’ve long struggled, don’t worry about that one. Take another one from the list as your starting point. Get the support system or breathe more or hydrate or find a meditative practice that you just love to death and wouldn’t miss for the world. Don’t get caught spinning your wheels in the very area(s) where you couldn’t change before.

Let me know below what you want to try, what helped you to read about here, or other ideas that work for you. Good luck and have fun watching the changes!

Psychic Sessions and Physical Healing

photo by Elizabeth Good

photo by Elizabeth Good

In this month’s column, I continue to address some of the ways in which psychic energy works. Many people have asked me about the role of psychic readings in healing physical problems. Although it is, of course, highly individual, I will share my own viewpoint on the role that intuitive awareness can play. This perspective comes primarily from my work as a professional psychic with hundreds of clients over the past 17 years.

Thus, I will not pretend to speak for all psychics or healers. On the other hand, I hope to inform and educate about general approaches that befit many other psychics besides just myself. With this in mind, I offer some thoughts that point to one slice of the greater reality that we all share. [Read more…]