If you know me, you know I’m all about sharing tools that support personal growth. It was about two years ago when I tried something new for the first time. I was skeptical about it, yet open to the possibilities of what it could bring me.
How would you like to …
- Feel full of energy
- Soothe away anger and tension
- Evaporate anxiety
- Unlock trapped stress
- Enjoy more confidence
- Decrease cravings
- Erase a bad mood
- Overcome depression
- Eliminate test anxiety
- Move past trauma
- And more
What if I told you I know of an evidenced-based practice that is safe, effective, and approved of by the American Psychological Association that is on the leading edge of self-help today?
Would you be open to hearing about it? How about trying it?
There are several studies out there to prove efficacy. I however, like to experience things first hand and decide for myself if the effects produce positive results. I was amazed at the immediate relief this brought me.
I’m talking about EFT, which stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques or tapping, also referred to as Psychological Acupressure. It is an energetic healing tool within the field of Energy Psychology that is gaining the attention of healing professionals all over the world, from scientists to spiritual leaders and everyone in between, including lay people like you and me.
Its popularity is attributed to the fact that it combines Ancient Chinese Acupressure, Modern Psychology and Neuroscience to create a powerful self-help tool to alleviate both mental and physical stressors and remove blockages in the energy system.
The brains master of the stress center, the amygdala, along with the memory centers hippocampus, both play a role in the decision making process of whether or not something is a threat, thus initiating the fight, flight or freeze response. EFT helps interrupt that firing alleviating undue stress.
Gary Craig founded EFT in 1990. He discovered lightly tapping the meridian points of the body in a particular sequence, as you focus on a feeling, sensation or thought resolved a whole host of issues from physical pain to emotional distress in a matter of minutes.
Best yet, it’s free, portable, and simple to learn.
Over 10 million people currently use EFT worldwide. It is an extremely useful tool to clear out limiting beliefs, restrictive behaviors, and do away with those “stinking thinking” negative thoughts, aka the gremlin.
So why should YOU choose EFT?
EFT can calm, relax, relieve and restore your harmony as well as renew flow back to your disrupted energy system. EFT can help transform your negative emotions and beliefs, rewire your neural connections and improve your immune system functioning. All these things will enhance the heart, mind, body, and spirit, which is so vital to overall wholeness, wellness and your Wholistic Woman Health.
If I have piqued your interested and you would like to learn more, here are a few reference links to give it a try.
- Gary Craig’s Introduction to EFT https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFKVVP8KXd4
- How to Tap http://www.eft-alive.com/how-to-do-EFT.html
- How to Tap https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAclBdj20ZU
- How to Tap https://www.livestrong.com/article/1011745-eft-tapping-need-try
Congratulations! You’ve just completed your first Tapping sequence. What did you think? Let me know your thoughts.
Today’s author: Kat Middleton is a professional certified coach and the founder and CEO of Wholehearted Concepts, LLC. Kat is a Professional Energy Empowerment and Self-Acceptance Coach who specializes in helping clients personally and professionally that struggle with inner doubt, perfectionism and being way too hard on themselves. She is available for private one-on-one coaching as well as group workshops, seminars, and speaking events. Learn more about her at her website: www.wholeheartedconcepts.com
Today’s guest blogger is Wholistic Woman Retreats member Tiffany Richardson. Tiffany is a 2018 scholarship recipient and writes about her life experiences and how she came to find our 2018 Be Creative retreat. Welcome, Tiffany! We are so happy you found our community!
Earlier this year, someone told me about Wholistic Woman Retreats and how they meet once a month during dinner time. We talked about it briefly and then the topic was never brought up again.
However, I was so interested in learning more about it that I Googled it and found the website. As I was scrolling down to look for future retreats, the words “Be Creative” caught my eye.
You see, I used to be so creative. I wrote many short stories and I shared them with family and friends who enjoyed reading them. I told hundreds of stories using sign language in front of an audience who kept asking for more. I even sang songs in ASL at my Deaf church. I was in theatre arts at my church, at my college, and once for a community theatre company in Houston, Texas. I used to draw all the time.
All of that stopped almost 25 years ago. Why?
My mind was blocked. I couldn’t get it to open up. I did attend a couple of those “Paint with Wine” events, but I wasn’t painting with my own creativity or my own ideas. I was painting by following the instructor’s steps and all of the six ladies who were there had the same image as the one I painted. It wasn’t unique as if it had come from my own creative juices. It’s like coloring a picture that has numbers to indicate which color that specific spot had to be.
So what happened 25 years ago? I went into full survival mode without realizing it or even knowing that specific term. I was in an abusive marriage with a man who was a classic narcissist. I mean, if I were to read an article about what a narcissist abuser is usually like, I would find myself nodding because the characteristics matched.
When our daughter was only eight weeks old, I called the police because my husband was threatening to kill me that night and he was so angry that his whole body shook with both hands shaking too. I knew that my baby and I weren’t safe there – we never were – but that night he couldn’t control himself. I left him without looking back.
However, he did almost everything in his power to try to destroy me and to take custody of our daughter. He harassed me to no end for ten long years after I left him.
My daughter is now 18 years old. We haven’t seen him or heard from him for eight years now. I took care of her by working two full-time jobs when I first left him. I realized I couldn’t afford to keep the roof over our heads, so I took on a third job, but it was only part time teaching ASL at a community college two nights a week. I lived paycheck to paycheck for 18 years. I struggled to keep my head above the water.
There were times when we had to live with strangers because the other option would be to go to a homeless shelter. We used to get our food from the food bank or use food stamps.
But we finally got an apartment of our own in 2012, with just the two of us. I’ve managed to stay afloat since then. I used the food bank for the first three years since moving to that apartment.
By 2015, things started to look better for us. I still am living paycheck to paycheck, I still struggle, but I do see hope because I’m still recovering and yes, it is taking a long time for me to heal.
I remember when I saw a video of a strong Deaf woman teaching self-defense to Deaf women all over the world. I asked her if she would travel to our city. In my email to her, I wrote that I wanted to learn self-defense because I was a victim of domestic violence.
Know what she said?
“Tiffany, you are not a victim anymore. You are a survivor!”
That was so empowering for me. I saw myself in a new light.
Being a victim is so dark for me, so when I was finally able to say “I am a survivor,” things began to look brighter. With that said, I don’t want to be a victim anymore. I don’t want to be in survival mode anymore. I want to thrive and live to my fullest potential, whatever that is.
This is why I was interested in Wholistic Woman Retreats and I want to go to ALL of the events!
When I saw the Be Creative event I told myself, “This is it! This is how I will start my journey of shifting from my survival mode to my new way of living by thriving!”
I was getting so excited as I read the description of the event. I searched for the “register now” button and when I did, I was dismayed to see the price. I really wanted to go, so I searched to see if there were anything like a scholarship.
Of course, when I saw that there was one, I was overjoyed and I applied right away.
I don’t really remember everything that I said in the application, but I do remember saying that I understood or thought that for a woman to be wholistic, she would need to grow and develop some kind of harmony with her heart, mind, spirit, and body, and that it is a process that will require time, patience, practice, and lots of support from other women. I wanted to do that and I also wanted to thrive!
Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to attend the “Be Creative” retreat!
Since the retreat, I’ve been drawing, writing, and even dreaming again. I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity to participate the retreat with you all!
Hey Ladies . . .
DO YOU KNOW YOUR VALUE?
A friend and I recently attended the “Know Your Value Conference” in NYC – it was hosted by Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and founder of Know Your Value. The conference is meant to enrich the lives of women and help them learn to own their power and grow their value – important stuff! The topics included Negotiation and Promotion, Financial Health, Emotional Health, Physical Health, and more.
I will admit, at first I thought the show was a little glitzy compared to other motivational conferences I have attended where the focus has been more on spirituality and inner healing. The presenter list included Martha Stewart, makeup artist Bobbi Brown, Jane Pauley, and Sarah Jessica Parker (love, love, love Sex & the City) just to name a few . . . remember, it was NYC!
BUT, the presenter that moved me the most was someone I had never heard of . . . Janine Driver, the author of You Say More Than You Think, which is a book about body language. If you knew me better, you would know that I am totally obsessed with books and learning. So when I was perusing the book table before the conference, Janine’s book spoke to me and I purchased it on the spot! Little did I know, a few hours later I would meet her in person, get my book signed, and compare notes about our 12-year-old complex boys – this all took place BEFORE I heard her talk.
Janine’s presentation was funny, powerful, energetic, and emotional. “Wow,” you must be thinking – “really, all that, and she was just talking about body language?” Well, by listening to her talk, I realized that my body language has been holding me back from owning my power.
Are you aware of your body language? Do you know how your body language affects the responses of others?
The good news is you can start implementing positive and effective body language techniques immediately. Challenge yourself to try out the different body language tips below and observe how people respond to you.
So there is the usual “Wonder Woman” hands-on-hips pose and the power steeple (you see this one on “Shark Tank”), but I am going to challenge you to look farther than the pose and notice how you respond when you see other people taking these poses. Notice the stances of women CEOs, politicians, and other powerful business women and entertainers. See mine above taken at the conference.
Homework: Have a friend take pictures of you in the various poses – see which one you like the best and start using it!
This one became famous during one of the presidential debates when Hillary Clinton reacted by smiling, closing her eyes, and shimmy-shaking back and forth. But did you know that shaking your body is a simple yet powerful Qigong technique? Next time someone ruffles your feathers do what Taylor Swift says and, “Shake it off!”
Homework: Next time you are stressed or emotionally overwhelmed, find a private spot, ground your feet, and start moving your body from head to toe for 1-2 minutes.
Be the first to reach out for the handshake (hands side to side). You can make a positive impression by facing the person – belly button facing the person you are shaking hands with, not just your face and upper body. Also, hand placement on the top portrays power while the hand on the bottom implies weakness. If someone does a power play on you and shakes with their hand on top, you can come back with a “hand hug,” meaning you cover the top hand with your hand.
Homework: Practice a variety of handshakes with people you meet – notice the response when you face and shake vs the shake that is not fully engaged.
The Shoulder Shrug
The Shoulder Shrug means I’m not sure of myself – DON’T SHRUG YOUR SHOULDERS!!! This is one body move women tend to do that totally takes their power away. Janine shared the story of her mother who was diagnosed with cancer and only a year to live. The video she showed was of her mother holding a rock over her head, saying “This is cancer,” and throwing it into the ocean. When Janine asked her mom to yell, “This year is all about me” . . . well, her mom threw the rock, looked into the camera, and said, “I guess this year is all about me,” then shrugged her shoulders. Janine had her say it over and over again until she said it like she meant it with NO shoulder shrug. She also had her mother practice a variety of positive body language techniques. Her mother outlived her diagnosis and was with her for three more years.
Homework: Catch yourself when you are getting ready to shrug your shoulders and STOP! If you have a hard time with this one, start by being more aware of the situations in which you shrug.
Start making positive changes to your body language today – it can help enhance your social life, relationships, and professional career. And, if all else fails, “Shake it off!”
Today’s author: Kim McClure, Holistic Health and Wellness Coach received her coaching education from MUIH, Laurel, MD. Kim is a certified Sanity School™ for Parents Trainer. Sanity School™ teaches a Coach Approach to parenting Complex Kids. Learn simple and clear strategies to motivate your child or teen to reach for success. If you need Sanity or want to learn more about the program, contact Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website HealthSanityLife.com
I struggled this month to come up with a topic for my blog. I found myself coming again and again to the topic of grief and loss. Nothing else seemed quite right, and considering that we’re going into the autumn and winter, perhaps it’s appropriate for this topic to come up now. We are entering the seasons of ending and darkness before we rejuvenate in the spring, and grief is a topic that, while not taboo in our culture, is still discussed too infrequently. And so I would like to share with you my recent experiences with grief and what I’ve learned.
I’ve never experienced a death in my life before. I’ve experienced losses of a different kind, but not death. My family has been fortunate. We’re all fairly healthy, and longevity run in our genes. So I find myself ill-equipped to handle the death of someone I’ve loved and cared for over many years.
I miss being woken in the morning by yells for breakfast. I find myself still calling out a goodbye when I leave the house and then remembering I’m talking to no one. I have difficulties sleeping because her presence isn’t there. The house feels lonelier and quieter without her voice, and I’m more aware of when I’m alone than before. She would crawl on my lap and “help” (i.e., get in the way) when I was working. She would comfort me when I was sad and she never failed to bring a smile to my face. My constant companion for eight years died on September 22.
Unfortunately, I found myself feeling guilty and ashamed because the death I was mourning was that of my cat. While my pet is beloved to me, to other people, she’s “just a cat.” While in the depths of my grief, I heard from multiple people that said grief is misplaced, because I was “just” grieving a cat. While I do not have any children, it feels to me like I have lost my child, and for others to dismiss my grief because I was mourning a cat felt offensive and hurtful. Those feelings were piled on top of the guilt I already felt because I’d had to make the decision to put my cat down, and that decision broke my heart.
But when I related these feelings and how a few people had reacted, a client of mine gave me some very good advice. She said, “Grief is grief, and there’s no timeline for grief.” That was exactly what I needed to hear. Grief is grief, regardless of whether it’s for a person, a pet, or even a situation. We all process grief in different ways, and that grief may last for a few weeks or it may last for years.
Hearing those words helped me to allow myself to feel the grief without the guilt or shame. My grief is my own, and I must process it in the way that’s best for me. I found ways to give myself touchstones to get through the day. In the immediate aftermath, I found myself unable to put down one of her favorite toys. I carried it around in my pocket while at home. My cat used to follow me around the house, and carrying her toy made it feel like she still was. Then I was able to set that aside when the immediate sorrow has lessened and I no longer felt like I needed that particular reminder. Later, I found an Etsy shop that makes affordable custom rings, and their specialty is slim rings with the name of your pet and a paw print stamped onto it. So I bought a ring with my cat’s name. It was the perfect thing I needed to allow my grief to settle.
I still have moments when I feel that grief crashing into me, but it’s getting easier, and the pain is less. My heart will always be scarred for her, but I have ways now that I feel like I will always remember the love and comfort she gave me over eight years, and so the healing has begun.
What has helped you move through loss and grief?
So many people I know have lately been affected by death, whether it’s the death of beloved pets or family members. My good friend’s aging dog died of a heart attack. Two friends I know have had family members succumb to serious illnesses. While volunteering this past week, a phone call came in for the staff with the news that a coworker had passed the previous day.
Each piece of news that comes my way feels like another pebble dropping into the bucket of grief and it grows heavier with the collective sorrow those in my circle are feeling.
If you are experiencing grief or loss, I encourage you to reach out to friends and loved ones. You are not a burden, and your grief is not a burden. The only way out is through.
Grief is grief, and there is no timeline for grief.
Today’s blog is written by one of our alliance partners, Kira Tregoning. Kira is the owner and founder of Maia Media Management, a local social media business. She offers social media management, consultations, and trainings, as well as video services, proofreading, editing, and manuscript critique services. Kira is also a published author with two fantasy novels available on Amazon and more on the way. Learn more about her at www.kiratregoning.com
Have you set an intention to do something in your life but feel overwhelmed with all that is required to see that intention realized? Often it seems that you couldn’t possibly have enough time to accomplish this intention and if you’re like me, you may even find yourself mindlessly binge watching a Netflix series instead of tackling this thing that needs to get done because you don’t think you have the energy for the work ahead of you! Sound familiar?
OK, maybe you don’t indulge in a binge watching marathon at all, but you probably have your own personal way of avoiding overwhelming things that you aren’t sure how to tackle effectively. And I’m not just talking about a task like cleaning out a messy closet or losing 10 pounds. It might be something much more significant, like improving a relationship in your life, finding a job that’s aligned with your life purpose, or taking steps to change your life in a significant way.
What do you do when you are trying to avoid getting that significant task, project, or intention addressed?
At times, I have heard myself saying, “Why try to start tackling this mountain of a goal if I can’t imagine getting this completely done today, or sometime soon?” Maybe that thought is driven by some level of perfectionism. When that bubbles up, I remind myself it doesn’t have to be 100% complete, I just need to make progress today or create momentum—that’s a word that really resonates with me. When I wake up in the morning, my mind often runs down a mental checklist of all of the things that I should be getting done. As that mental exercise plays out, I find my energy draining because I know that I have so much more on my to do list than the time I have in the day. I’m sure I’m not alone in this.
To raise my energy level, I often do a few simple things that allow me to feel as though I have accomplished something small before attempting to jump into that bigger endeavor. Perhaps it’s making my bed before I go downstairs for breakfast. As I type these words that feels a bit silly, but I have to admit there are days I don’t make my bed at all because I think that there just isn’t time for that. There are just too many other things that need to get done.
P.S.—I know I’m in desperate need of perspective when I tell myself this! Making my bed takes 30 seconds. And do you know what those 30 seconds do for me? They create MOMENTUM for my day! It makes me feel good that I got something done and it makes me feel good that my bedroom looks neat and organized and prompts me to tackle the next bigger task with renewed energy. It’s not the act of making the bed that works (or whatever small thing you do), it’s the fact that any small step can create momentum that launches you into a more productive day.
What small thing could give you that positive energy boost for your day?
So many things can create momentum. Some of my favorite things include mediation, prayer, visualization, and positive affirmations. All of these can quickly shift your mindset and put you on a positive trajectory for your day. Other simple things can also work to create a shift in my perspective. Music is a huge energy shifter for me. Great songs like “Beautiful Day” by U2, “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, “Dream On” by Aerosmith, or another oldie but goodie like “Ain’t No Mountain (High Enough)” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell (turned up loudly with dancing involved, of course) never fail to lift me up or remind me that nothing is impossible!
What is one small thing that you might be able to do each day to start your positive momentum?
Once you get the momentum moving for a good day, what is one small thing you can do specifically to get momentum for your important intention?
Something that has worked well for me is to set the stopwatch on my iPhone and tell myself that I am setting this for 30 minutes, and for that time I am going to exclusively work on this task that I don’t really want to tackle. I give myself permission to stop working on it after the 30 minutes no matter how much or how little is done. The only requirement I give myself is that I work with laser focus for the full 30 minutes. I often feel so good about the progress I made because I focused 100% on my important intention and have a sense of accomplishment from that, that I keep going. That’s momentum and it’s critical to keep yourself moving forward!
Today, think about challenging yourself about whether you are carving out the time to focus on the thing that is most important to you right now. Give some thought to what inspires and motivates you. Start your day with those things and build on that motivation to keep momentum throughout your day. You may find that your intentional daily small steps create the momentum you need to keep climbing whatever mountain you need to climb!
Today’s blog was written by WWR Partner Coach, Donna Kettell. Donna is a certified professional coach (CPC) and a master practitioner in energy leadership (ELI-MP). Her certifications were earned through The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), which is accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
This Tuesday was a Tuesday like any other: I got ready for the day, placed my Starbucks coffee order, headed to my BNI meeting and set up the coffee for my group, and began networking. The morning meetings went well and I felt energized and hyped to continue going about my day. After the BNI leadership team meeting, I drove from Frederick over to Mount Airy for another meeting with a new contact.
Again, the meeting went very well. We were even able to sit outside and chat in the cool breeze at a shaded table. It was very pleasant, and I climbed back into my car afterward feeling great about myself and my business.
I decided, since I was in Mount Airy, to stop by the local Jimmie Cone. If you have never heard of Jimmie Cone before, it’s a local ice cream stop with locations in Mount Airy and Damascus, and they’re known for the crunchy “jimmie” sprinkles that go on top of the ice cream. I have many fond childhood memories from when I used to live in Mount Airy of going to Jimmie Cone with my dad and enjoying a cone in the summer evenings. Well, since I had driven up here and had some time, I drove the two minutes over to the Mount Airy location.
I got my ice cream, took the first bite, relaxed into my seat, and took a look around me. Fluffy white clouds floated across a bright blue sky, and despite the busy road being nearby, it was actually pretty quiet in the middle of the day. A breeze tossed my hair away from my face and kept the sunshine from being too oppressive. I put away my phone and took the time to enjoy the beautiful day and my delicious ice cream with the crunchy jimmies (which I rarely allow myself these days). While I had originally only planned on stopping for maybe ten minutes and wolfing down my frozen treat, I ended up stealing half an hour. It was worth every second.
As a relatively new business owner, I struggle with finding the right balance for my days. I’m going into my second year of full-time business, so I’m still working out some of the remaining kinks and striking the right work-play-rest ratio. On advice from multiple seasoned business owners in my circle, I’ve recently begun working hard on my time management and scheduling out my days to make my workload easier to deal with and also to ensure I’m still getting enough time for sleep, exercise, and time with friends and family.
I had attended the Be Balanced event at the end of May with Carol deLaski, and one of the takeaways for me from that event was the reminder to find balance, and if I can’t find it (i.e., if it doesn’t happen naturally), then I need to create it until I do “find” it. And my unexpected Jimmie Cone time was a reminder to build in time for rest and play—or at least, not to feel guilty when those moments pop up.
When I finished my ice cream, I smiled, cleaned up my trash, turned on my car, and drove off to return to my business.
Today’s blog is written by one of our alliance partners, Kira Tregoning. Kira is the owner and founder of Maia Media Management, a local social media management and editing business. She offers social media management, consultations, and trainings, as well as video services, proofreading, editing, and manuscript critiques. Kira is also a published author with two fantasy novels available on Amazon and more on the way. Learn more about her at kiratregoning.com.