Tuesday, January 17, 2012

and the move is official...

Please note: If you subscribed to the RSS feed at SubtleHarmony.com and you're seeing this post, please return to the http://www.SubtleHarmony site and re-subscribe to the RSS feed there. We had a technical glitch for a few days that led to RSS subscriptions to this blog by mistake, instead of the new blog. Thanks - and sorry for any inconvenience!

Subtle Harmony's new website is totally officially live and up and running! I hope you'll check out the site here (http://www.SubtleHarmony.com).

The blog has officially moved there too - clicking here will get you directly to the blog's page on the new site. And if you visit the new blog, I hope you'll stick around to explore the rest of the site too!

Eventually this blog will go away (all posts prior to mid-December have been moved to the new site). Thanks to everyone who has visited or read along here at this blog.... I hope to see you at the new site!  ♥

Friday, January 13, 2012

new home for the blog...

The Subtle Harmony website is now live! I hope you'll check it out here. The new site has my offerings for intuitive consultations, oracle readings, and distant energy sessions. The Etsy shop will still have my handmade items, and there are links to the shop from the new site.

The new site also is the new home for the blog and it can be found here. The posts from this blog (except for this one and the last one from December) have all been exported to the blog's new home.

However, right now the RSS feed on the new site appears to be pulling posts from here - and not pulling the feed from the new site. I've made a few entries there already but they're not showing up on the RSS feed from there.

So if by chance you have already visited the new site and subscribed to the RSS feed for the new blog... unfortunately, it's not working correctly right now. I'll post about it here and on the new blog site when it's all straightened out.

In the meantime, though, there are new posts on the new blog! I hope you'll visit the blog there and take a look around the site.

I hope your 2012 is off to a wonderful start!  ♥

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thursday's thought...

It's a little late in the day to do a Thursday's thought (it's getting close to being Friday where I am) but I'm doing Book of Days with Effy Wild and she posted this quote today that really hit me, so I decided to share the quote here as today's Thursday's thought.

One reason I almost didn't post this - and one reason I haven't posted an entry in a while - is that my blog has basically moved to its new home on the forthcoming Subtle Harmony site. But the site hasn't gone live yet, so the blog is just there, waiting to continue in its new location. Unless something changes, the site will be live late next week... once the new year is underway. I'll post a link here when everything is up and running.

And now for Thursday's thought...

"At the deepest level, the creative process and the healing process arise from a single source. When you are an artist, you are a healer; A wordless trust of the same mystery is the foundation of your work and its integrity."

-- Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen

Hope to see you soon at the blog's new home on the new site! ♥

Thursday, December 8, 2011

on healing and spirals...

Usually if I do a blog post on Thursday, it's a Thurday's thought - a quote (I LOVE quotes!). But this morning I woke up with these particular thoughts in my mind and I decided to blog about them today...

In my last post, I wrote about how I'd been under the weather. Well, this has turned out to be one of those sinus/upper-respiratory things where I'll start feeling better and then have somewhat of a setback... and then feel better and then have somewhat of a setback.

It's been aggravating because I really-really-really don't like not feeling well (for obvious reasons, and also for some deeply-rooted personal reasons).

And besides, I have things to do, dammit! I need to work on the Etsy shop, I need to be creating new things, I need to get content written for the new website, I need to work on the ebook, I need to do classwork and homework, I need to continue with decluttering and rearranging around the house, I need to freakin' clean the house...

But late last night, as I tried to stay warm in bed, I had a long talk with part of my inner self. I was reminded of some lessons to take from this experience (I need to truly rest more, for one thing, and honest-to-goodness do those self-nurturing things I know I should be doing... and there were some other lessons too because it really was a long talk.)

And I was reminded (reminded again, because this is something that has come up over and over for me) that healing is not a linear process. In my experience, with myself and many others, it's just not that simple or straightforward.

Healing - physical healing, emotional healing, mental healing, spiritual healing - is not usually an instantaneous and linear and one-time-for-good-forever event.

I like to think of myself as moving forward in a spiraling motion.

That's the way healing seems to me. And life.

It can circle and cycle back around, repeating some lessons, revisiting some issues, uncovering new layers... all in its forward progression.

This is one reason why the spiral is such a symbolic symbol for me. It's important to me for many reasons... but especially because, to me, it represents the path, the cycle, of life.

And the path, the cycle, of healing.

I've been doing self-work, self-healing-work, self-transformational-work, for a long time. Since my late teens (and I'll be turning 50 next week, so I'm talking a big chunk of time).

But my self-work turned up to high gear in the mid-90s when fear and anxiety took such a strong hold on my life that I became agoraphobic. I had to start working more intensely on healing if I wanted to have a life that involved leaving my house.

By the late 90s, I was no longer agoraphobic. But that time of agoraphobia revealed things to me that I still needed to work on - and that time of agoraphobia also left me with scars of its own.

Creativity helped get me through that time, and the years after. And so did learning all sorts of relaxation techniques, breathing techniques, yoga, meditation, mindfulness (back when not many people in my life were talking about mindfulness), CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) and changing thoughts and self-talk... and eventually there was energy work, chakra work, Reiki, aromatherapy, crystal therapy, sound therapy...

So many tools to help. So much in my medicine bag for life.

My healing path has not been a straightforward, linear process. It cycles back at times, returning to issues I thought I had dealt with... but revealing new layers, new perspectives, deeper wounds to face and heal.

And then there's the new stuff that comes up, life stuff, hurts and deaths and new issues that need to be addressed as the years pass.

Sometimes it feels like I take two steps forward and one step back - or two steps forward and three steps back - as I'm circling around, re-learning lessons, learning new lessons, being re-reminded of things I know deep inside my self.

Moving back around sometimes, moving in a direction that is not always forward...

Except - ultimately - it is forward.

I have always been drawn to the symbol of the spiral. But the phrase "moving forward in a spiraling motion" has been in my mind since I read a certain book about anxiety in 1998, and the phrase is what I keep coming back to when I start feeling discouraged or start thinking negative thoughts about myself when it seems like I'm having a setback or going backwards. When those thoughts of: I should be COMPLETELY OVER THIS BY NOW! start yelling at me. (whether this is physical or emotional or whatever)

Over the years there have been many, many, many books I've read about anxiety and fear and emotional wellness. The book that I thought mentioned healing as moving ahead in a spiraling motion is Journey From Anxiety to Freedom: Moving Beyond Panic and Phobias and Learning to Trust Yourself by Mani Feniger.

I pulled it from a bookshelf this morning and looked for the specific quote... and discovered I've been wrong all these years about the word spiral being involved. It's the same idea but not the same word (unless it appears elsewhere in the book).

My mind substituted spiral / spiraling... and it is symbolic for me... so in my mind, spiral /spiraling will still be what I use.

Here's what the book says. The author is quoting someone she worked with and interviewed:
"I don't even use the word setback," Claire told me, "because it has a connotation that something must be wrong. We all have different learning rates and a lot of things come into play. For me it is never really a step back, because I am never where I used to be. I have all this experience to draw upon. I feel like I am always moving forward in a circular kind of way."
Moving forward in a circular kind of way. Moving forward in a spiraling motion. My life tends to move like that. So does my healing path - healing in every aspect.

So as I deal with continuing to recover from my physical bug, I am reminded of this. And in being reminded of this, I am reminded to be kind to myself, and not beat myself up for not being totally well, and to give myself the time and the space for healing to take place.

To release and let go and let the spiral of life, the spiral of healing, do its thing.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

oils, crystals, and chicken noodle soup...

Early last week I came down with a bug. Congestion, gunkiness, sore throat, coughing, and generally a lot of just plain feeling awful. When I saw the doctor Thursday (at an appointment previously scheduled for something else) she said it was viral, nothing that required antibiotics, and to continue doing what I'd been doing to take of it.

What had I been doing? Well, I attack this kind of thing in a variety of ways.

Lots and lots of rest. That's a biggie.

Giving myself permission to stay off the computer as much as I needed, to nap when I felt like it, to just relax and watch DVDs and read (if I felt up to even doing that), and to do whatever self-nurturing things I thought might help.

I had hot tea with honey. Chicken noodle soup. Mucinex. Extra vitamin C. Echinacea. When somebody told me about grapefruit seed extract, I switched to that instead of echinacea to see if it made a difference. (It seemed to help... although by then I was already starting to feel better, so I'll have to wait for another time to really give it a proper try.)

I also used energetic home remedy techniques. Like giving myself Reiki.

And I used aromatherapy.

I used several different essential oils... eucalyptus, lemon tea tree, ravensara, ravintsara, clove bud, mandarin, frankincense, bergamot, lemon, hyssop, cedarwood... and probably others that aren't coming to mind right now. I didn't use all of these all at once, but I'd add a few drops of three or four different oils to the water in the diffuser and I'd change up the blend every so often.

And then there was crystal therapy...

Because my throat was such a problem, I decided to work with blue stones to resonate with the throat chakra. I wore sodalite bracelets. I made a quick necklace for myself using a piece of tumbled blue lace agate. I worked with loose stones of kyanite, blue lace agate, and blue aventurine.

After a little setback Friday evening and part of the weekend, I seem to be mostly over the bug now. My energy still isn't quite back to normal but it's much better. And it feels good to feel better!

Here's to good health! Thanks for stopping by...   ♥

Monday, November 21, 2011

negative icky self-sabotaging thoughts...

I have a website in the works. It's been my goal for a couple of years now - a place that will have my blog (which means this blog will have a new home!), a link to the Etsy shop, plus other goodies.

Finally, I've taken steps to do this instead of only think and dream of it.

I've hired a wonderful person to put together the site (since I'm pretty clueless when it comes to such things).

I've been taking some great courses that have helped me get more clear and focused on the essence of the business, and what I want my work to be.

I've started working with a fabulous coach to help me deal with this transitional time (staying on my path to do what I need to do to get the website going, the transition to actually having the site up and running, the transition of having one of those "big" birthdays next month... and basically the transitional phase my life is in right now).

Having a website is a big deal for me. It means putting myself out there more than ever before - and in ways I have never done before.

And as much as I believe what I wrote in my previous blog entry it is okay... I still have self-doubts and worries and fears and negative self-talk sometimes.

Friday was one of those times. Big huge high-volume negative self-talk went on Friday afternoon.

The reason?

Because, more than before, some things happened on Friday that meant having the website, having things move in this forward direction... well, it all felt really real. It felt like it was really on the road to happening. It felt like this dream was going to truly become a reality.

And the negative-self-talking, self-sabotaging, icky-feeling part of myself went into overdrive at the realization that I am really and truly taking the steps to make the website real and out there... which means putting myself more out there.

My day, which had started off feeling sunny and warm and optimistic, suddenly got some really dark clouds muddying up the works.

And, wow, did those icky thoughts run rampant for a while...

Who do you think you are? You can't do this. You were stupid for thinking this would work out. You were stupid to believe you could do this. What do you know about having a website? What makes you think you can do anything that might help other people? How dumb are you, daring to be hopeful and optimistic about this? You can't take a risk like this. You can't step out of the box this way. What were you thinking??? THIS IS NOT SAFE!!!!

I know the part of me that screamed those thoughts in my head is a part of me that's scared. Scared of doing something new. Scared of being out there, being seen and heard and known, having products and services that people might not want or might not like.

That part of me is afraid - and it wants to feel safe. That part of me came face-to-face Friday with the fact that I was taking definite steps to move forward, which is not a feeling-safe thing to do... and that part of me had a temporary freak-out.

The negative icky self-sabotaging thoughts about moving ahead with my goals are quiet now. I listened to the fear, I felt the fear, I gave it a warm shower and comfy clothes and a long nap and some chocolate... and after a while I got back to work on moving ahead with my plans for the future.

The main thing I want to say right now is this:

Those negative icky self-sabotaging thoughts? They are not truth. They are not my truth and they are not your truth. Give yourself permission to feel the ick for a while if that's what it needs, to let that part of you know it's being heard... and then find a way to help it and let the negative talk go.

I plan to write more about this in the future, and write about specifics that help me when these thoughts come up so strongly.

In the meantime, I'd love to hear any of your own techniques if you'd like to share some thoughts about this.  ♥

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday's thought...

"Life is your art.
An open, aware heart
is your camera.
A oneness with your world
is your film.
Your bright eyes,
your easy smile
is your museum."

~ Ansel Adams

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

kitchen aromatherapy...

I've got a bunch of different oil warmers and aroma lamps around the house, and a year or so ago I came across one that I just couldn't resist getting for the kitchen.

The tealight candle goes in its own little skillet pan...

And the water and essential oils go into the cute little teapot that sits on top of the "stove"...

But even after getting this specifically to use in the kitchen, I didn't use it. It sat on the bakers rack looking all blue and cute, while I continued using a different oil warmer in the kitchen - when I used one in there at all.

Most often, I use warmers in other rooms of the house. The kitchen? Sometimes. But usually when I've diffused essential oils in the kitchen it's been for big-time sessions... I have an old pot I use for this, filling it up with water and adding things like chopped-up apples, cloves, cinnamon, and a small bit of whatever essential oils I want to add.

Last winter, when I was so sick with an upper respiratory/sinus thing, I would put on a pot of good-smelling apple-cinnamon-clove water to simmer, and I would add things like ravensara, eucalyptus, tea tree, and other helpful, germ-fighting oils. The particular blend of oils would vary depending on the day, but this simmering brew helped clear the air and also added moisture to the winter-dry indoor atmosphere.

But except for using essential oils in other ways in the kitchen (like using peppermint when we had ants), I don't often simply put some oils in a warmer in there. I have no idea why use aromatherapy so often in other rooms and usually not the kitchen, but... that's the way it's been.

Recently, a goddess sister and I were discussing kitchens and I was telling her that I don't really like spending much time in my kitchen. She mentioned cleaning and clearing and intention, and eucalyptus oil was mentioned too... and my mind started working. There are more things I could be doing to make my kitchen a place I'd like to be. And one thing is to cleanse and clear and shift the energy with essential oils.

So yesterday I took the blue oil warmer and actually used it. In the kitchen. The talk with my goddess sister had put eucalyptus in my mind, so I decided to use that. I have three different types of eucalyptus oil, and I ended up going with the lemon eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora).

I also decided to add some Atlas Cedarwood (Cedrus atlanticus) because of its cleansing and grounding properties. The unfortunate thing about cedarwood is that, in the first moments of smelling it, I am immediately and strongly taken to memories of my first elementary school - and I don't particularly like being reminded of elementary school. But that's a temporary thing and it doesn't keep me from using cedarwood, so into the blend went the cedarwood.

Then I added just a tiny amount of frankincense (Boswellia carterii) because although I have always really liked working with frankincense, I've been totally drawn to it a lot lately and I wanted to use some in the kitchen blend.

But... I sensed I needed one more oil, I just wasn't sure which one. So I pulled a card from my aromatherapy deck and - it was the card for basil. Part of the card's description reads: Basil is a memory and mental stimulant. It is kind to the brain and relieves nervous exhaustion and life overload.

Well. Yes! Basil certainly seems to fit what I've been needing lately. So I added a small amount of basil oil (Ocimum basilicum) to the little blue pot.

I lit the tealight in the skillet and it was set to go. And it was nice.

Aromatherapy... it's good for the soul. Even in the kitchen when the kitchen isn't where we really want to be.