Listen to My Guest Appearance on the Out To Be Podcast!

I recently hopped on Katie Zaccardi’s OUT TO BE podcast to discuss holistic healing through self-empowerment and share some stories about my path. It was so nice to team up with Katie and be a part of her podcast that serves to help awaken and bring healing to folks in the music industry. After pushing myself into overdrive and chronic stress for many years in the music world, it’s important to me to have conversations like this that open up possibility and offer hope!

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Working With Tools of Subtlety (Crystals, Flower Essences, Oils, Smudging Herbs)

When I first started intentionally following my spiritual path, things were rocky. Things were so rocky. All of the “stuff” I’d avoided facing for so long was knocking loudly at my door, in the form of thoughts, feelings, behaviors, interactions… everything. I experienced all-time lows of depression and extremely tense periods of anxiety. I felt as if I was in an near-constant triggered state.

During this initial phase of waking up and facing myself, I was so overwhelmed by everything that opening to and experiencing subtle forms of healing didn’t feel possible. For example, when I’d get a massage, I wanted a deep-tissue massage that really worked my body. Light touch didn’t seem to help and it even annoyed me. And if I used aromatherapy oils in the shower, I wanted to use oil of the strongest scent that would keep my mind grounded and focused. Light, soft scents didn’t seem to be enough to maintain my focus or shift my energy. The same went for crystals. I actually didn’t bother with crystals or medicine stones at all initially; I didn’t feel I could open to them while my PTSD was so strong.

At my first Vipassana retreat, one of SN Goenka’s recorded talks helped me understand what was happening. He explained that (and I’m paraphrasing), when the mind first starts to settle and we sit with ourselves, we initially feel the “gross” sensations of the body… all the major aches, pains, and discomforts. Slowly, as we scan the body during Vipassana meditation, we move through the gross sensations and start to feel the subtler vibrations of the body. Same goes with our thoughts patterns. We have to start where we are, opening to the loudest thoughts in the psyche that might feel rock hard. Eventually, as we do our work, we make our way to the subtler patterns of the mind. But we can’t magically JUMP into the subtle phase without working through the gross phase. That’s how it goes. It’s science.

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New Year's Ceremony For Release, Connection, and Intention

If there’s anything I learned last year from my shamanic and plant medicine work, it’s that everything can be processed, celebrated, loved, and released in a ceremony. We don’t realize how often we use ceremonies to integrate and honor pieces of ourselves and others in everyday life. Ceremonies create the conscious space we need for healing.

Since the end of 2017, I’ve been holding my own intentional ceremonies for weekly, sometimes daily nurturing and growth. It’s strengthened my connection to myself, others, and Source. It’s anchored me and reminded me of my heart and my purpose.

The following is a ceremony for the New Year that you can try out now or later this month. Its purpose is to bring release while cultivating connection and planting loving intentions for the coming year.

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