October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month – the Source of Disease

Some of you know, breast cancer has a special place in my heart. Both my mother and sister were breast cancer survivors. My sister lost her fight with breast cancer in 2018, and a month later, my mother passed due to complications from a brain bleed. 

Before I go much farther, I want to point you to two breast cancer organizations I support. The first is in memory of my sister, “Friends of Lisa.” This organization helps get my sister’s daughter through college! Thank-you to the amazing community that was part of my sister.

The second is “Casting for Recovery” This organization focuses on providing outdoor, fly fishing excursions with other survivors wholly funded by donations from people like you and me! Most of you are aware; finances can become a critical issue when battling any cancer. This is an excellent opportunity for survivors to feel special and relax. 

So, for all of you who are helping with your hard-earned dollars, thank-you!

I thought I would share a little about disease theory in Chinese medicine related to breast cancer. I have a two-part series on my Youtube channel, introducing you to one of your “Sacred Keys.” Sacred Keys are things in your universe that allow you the opportunity to pull back the curtain and see what makes you tick. The series goes into the Sacred Key in more depth and gives you exercises to start helping you unlock that door. 

Why I even bring that up, is because disease theory in Chinese Medicine outlines where the disease originated and a generalized outline of what may have started the disease. Yet, for every individual, this generalized outline is just that, a generalized outline. 

It’s like saying, “Oh, you’re looking for Mount Rushmore? Yeah, that’s located in the United States.” That is what a generalized theory is. It would be more helpful to say, “That is located in South Dakota in the United States.” Even more helpful would be to say, “It’s in the Black Hills region of South Dakota outside of a town called Keystone.”

You get the picture.

One of the more common causes of breast cancer in Chinese Medicine is pathology in the liver and gall bladder channel. The gall bladder channel travels along the breast’s side, and the liver channel travels beneath the breast.  

Both these channels and their relationship with the triple warmer seem to develop with my breast cancer patients. Repressed emotions take a large piece of their soul. Anger, frustration, resentment, depression can all play a role in their disease.

The emotions may be combined with poor eating choices. To be real, it’s challenging to have good eating choices today due to the highly processed nature of all our foods. Yet, poor food choices can leave you nutrient deficient. The liver is dependant on calcium to detox the body, and one of the more common nutrients that becomes deficient is calcium. Poor food choices can also help fill you up with preservatives and other toxins. 

But going back to the emotions, the emotions of anger, frustration, resentment, depression need a source. That’s why I say the diagnosis in Chinese Medicine is very broad. The source becomes very specific to you.

Reading the words of anger, frustration, resentment, depression, you can probably point to a potential cause. Depression could be tied into a self-worth concern or an inability to succeed. Frustration could be due to feeling powerless. Resentment could be feeling you are facing things other people don’t have to face. Anger could be due to feelings of being abused or unjust losses. Everyone’s source has a particular flavor that is all about them.

This flavor begins to tarnish your life. And I say “tarnish” because it does take the shine off your world. You can see or feel this tarnish in your aura. It comes out almost like a brown. 

There is an effort in Daoism to let the world flow past you without causing any disruptions in your flow. For me, that is really hard to do because I’m attached to many things in the world. The problem with emotions is they mark an attachment in the world. It’s not that Daoism says this attachment is wrong. What Daoism says is attachment stunts your internal growth. You can’t grow beyond your attachment.

With Covid-19, I’ve been watching my office bookings and managing insurance, very heart channel things. I was talking to a client this morning. We were talking about some of the research on Covid-19. They made an interesting observation. 

“It’s almost like the world is trying to reduce the population.” When I thought about that and the amount of effort I was putting into ensuring client bookings and insurance payments, the office suddenly looked like nonsense. If I was to die tomorrow, all this meant nothing. I finally found that point of internal Daoism with my practice.  

That also helped me see how very personal disease is for each individual. The disease manifests not only because of an emotion. The emotion is rooted in something that has high value to you. 

When I was a kid, my little brother accidentally ran his bicycle into my Dad’s friend’s vehicle. It left a scratch and a dent. As payment, my little brother had to give my Dad’s friend something my brother found valuable. My brother had hot wheels and just loved them. He gave away his favorite hot wheel. I can remember my brother’s face when he gave the little toy car away. It was a mixture of longing and regret. The lesson made an impression on me, and I was impressed with my little brother’s integrity, commitment, and understanding of value. 

Yet, every day, disease asks you to make that decision and give up something you find valuable in exchange for you. It sounds really simple when I say it like that, but it isn’t. Disease could leave you questioning survival needs, love, safety needs, abandonment. Being human is complicated, and I’m not that perfect Daoist who has figured out how to detach from all attachments. 

Yet, trying to figure out what that thing is that we find valuable can be the most challenging part of the exercise. It’s the same exploration involved in finding Karma. What is the story you are telling yourself? And don’t count on everyone else being able to see your story. They may see your behaviors and completely misunderstand the cause of the action. The easiest way to know when that is happening is you are sure what they say has nothing to do with you. 

In episode 2 of Finding Balance, Sacred Key, you can find tools to help you find that inner story playing in your head. As a special gift to you if you’re struggling with chemo-induced neuropathy, check out my episode on “Natural Remedies to Stop the Progression of Chemo Induced Neuropathy.” Good-luck on your journey. I’ll catch you on the other side! 

Five Great Reasons Why Water Should Be the Most Popular Person Right Now

There hasn’t been a better time to be a person who has a Kidney constitution than right now. All the chaos happening in the world is ripe for the strengths and resilience of someone with a Kidney constitution. This also makes them great to have as a friend. What are these amazing strengths?

In Chinese Medicine, Water is the representation of the Kidney channel. Every quality of water has the potential to be expressed in people with a Kidney constitution. The qualities make water the most appropriate element to help us through the chaos and upheaval we are experiencing. Here are five impressive traits that a Kidney constitution could have and why their friendships are essential right now.

A balanced Kidney channel exhibits wisdom and patience, and understanding. I’ve been listening to motivational speakers and spiritual leaders because I’m seeking guidance in the chaos. I’m looking for a little piece of serenity in a world that is imploding into civil conflict. Sometimes it only takes one word from one wiser than me to change my direction.

Water can cool off a hot situation. Out of all molecules on earth, water has the highest heat capacity, which means that water can consume a lot of heat before getting warmer. Water can absorb 11x the heat copper can before increasing 1 degree. In situations of tension and strife, the Kidney person can diffuse and absorb the energy allowing a pathway for calmer minds. Each Kidney person has a particular way they do this, and being that diffusing a situation is one of their superpowers, people naturally follow them.

Water is considered a universal solvent. Through patience and perseverance, water can dissolve all the paraphernalia used to create the ego identity. Like rocks and stones are only the egos of sand posturing as mountains, even the most hardened rock, will dissolve under the constant vigilance of water.

Another superpower of water is the ability to be very still. There can be chaos happening on the surface, but sink into the depths of a lake, and you will find quiet and calm under the storm—the perfect place to rest.

Water has flexibility no other element has and can “separate the wheat from the chaff” or separate what is valuable from what is not. Water is always moving to the lowest point and gives no attention to obstacles because obstacles are chaff. Water finds ways around the obstruction without engaging the barrier and continues on the journey.

With these five killer traits, kidney people are my anchor in today’s turmoil. When I find myself angry and fraught with frustration, a kidney person can distract me with humor. When I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, the kidney person helps me remember a new birth is always messy. When I’m just exasperated and tired of it all, the kidney person lets me sit with them and find that quietness in their presence. When I’m spiraling into distraction, the kidney person reminds me of my goal and that some people are jerks.

Why Fear Should be Your First Focus

Who knew Chinese Medicine could completely change how you see the world? I work with Chinese Medicine and have been using Classical Chinese Medicine to help people improve their internal dialogue and transform their daily interactions. They are the bravest people I know. Sometimes, to change your outlook on life, you have to face your darkest fear.

I know – you don’t have a dark fear. Your life is good. You feel sorry for those people who have these dark fears and realize they must have come from a very troubled house. 

To be afraid of something can be a healthy response. In fact, celebrated when the response keeps you safe. What happens when fear isn’t a response to something that can harm you but is a reaction to a current event? What happens when fear is the internal emotional turbulence which affects your interactions with others and not your physical safety?

It made me think of how we communicate. I thought about the verbal and physical body language. When I started working with Classical Chinese Medicine to bring your internal dialogue back into harmony, I became captivated with communication.  

You have a family where you were taught behaviors, emotions, community, and more. These experiences and learnings you applied outside your family and found friends and relationships based on what you learned growing up.  

I worked in large Corporations. I moved and traveled a lot. Finally, travel became exhausting. At first, it had been an exciting experience of different social and cultural norms, different ways of communication, different expectations. After years, I found it draining and stressful. When I made my last move, I remember looking for a location with people who had similar values to where I grew up without the snow. 

When my husband and I finally met, I was tired of the dating scene, the bar scene, and the lack of connection. The lack of connection was probably the biggest concern. If you can’t connect, how can you be understood? If you can’t connect, how can you recognize somebody? 

The whole world is based on interactions. Everything is this noisy box of you reaching out to connect and reacting to your interpretation of the feedback. You change behaviors or environments to attain the most emotionally pleasing response. And you rinse and repeat.

These experiences taught me communication was more than words and body language. Part of the conversation was discounted. Part of what happens in communication was social norms, shared experiences, social conduct, and cultural expectations. Yet, when I was looking for something familiar, what I was really looking for was the ability to connect. I was looking for a connection based on prior experience. And all my previous experiences created my internal dialogue.

So, the most emotionally pleasing response was not necessarily a good one.

I had a client who had to give presentations. He had thought he was horrible at giving presentations, and he wasn’t valuable enough to speak to other people. This would cause him nervous anxiety. He would sweat and shake, and it would take over his mind. Though what he was thinking was not reflected from the outside world, he couldn’t see that. His prior experiences had created an internal perception of himself that he could not give up. And then his mind started taking over. The brain does that. If the lesson was you are not valuable enough, but your outside environment is not reflecting back that information, there is disbelief. The disbelief encourages the internal chatter to increase until you overcome or succumb. 

Most times we succumb and continue to live a life we don’t want to live.

I think the people I work with are the bravest people I know. When you want to change, you have to face these internal demons or acknowledge they exist. This chatter that you learned from your youth insidiously plays in your head. The chatter is background noise that keeps playing over and over. It’s your self-judgment and self-criticism. It says things like I can’t do that. I’m not worth that. I’m not that. The talk is so entrenched in your psyche that you don’t even hear it anymore. Still, every one of your interactions is tuned in and ensures you stay in the role created in your head.

By seeking what is familiar, you are guaranteed to play out the role you are playing in your head.  

I had another client who finally left a horrible relationship and found a fantastic partner. Not an easy thing to do. But, even with a great partner, the internal dialogue played its insidious tune in the back of their mind, “You are not worth this relationship. They will leave you. It’s not safe…” It was scary to be so vulnerable. It was scary to find yourself in a position that actually challenged your internal dialogue. It was frightening to go after a connection you really wanted because if that failed, would it prove all your worse inner beliefs about yourself?

These thoughts are life-threatening because you can’t get away from yourself. So, they can destroy your life. 

When faced with something life-threatening, you get busy. Busy, busy, busy, so you don’t have to hear that little voice in the back of your mind scaring you. You work really hard to stop hearing that voice. And the endless activity is part of the destructive sequence of finally succumbing to your past and seeking something familiar. 

Why this ultimately becomes destructive is by being busy you are avoiding the “problem.” You are trying to repress the fear. Fear is uncomfortable, so who wouldn’t want to suppress that? In Chinese Medicine, when you try to avoid examining an emotion, it causes energy to block in your body. The energy is blocked, but the feeling doesn’t go away. Instead, it gets bigger and bigger. Like a river flowing to a dam, the water doesn’t stop, and the dam creates a pond, then a lake, then an ocean. Finally, it breaks the barrier and causes massive flooding downstream.

When your dam breaks, you retreat from the thing that is causing you the discomfort and seek more familiar shores. Every time you reach for what you really want, you are challenging what you were taught to believe about yourself. You are stepping out of your safety zone of what is known and entering into a free fall. Can you trust yourself enough to know you will survive?

Dams are managed because without letting water out in controlled spills, the water will destroy the dam.

For you to change your world and obtain a bigger and better life, you have to face your internal fears in controlled bursts. Fear is the problem. The fear may be a belief that acknowledging what your inner dialogue is saying about you will make it true. That is not what happens. By avoiding your internal dialogue, you create the energetic back-up, which will ultimately destroy your dam and your chance of changing. By hearing your inner talk, you allow the tremendous internal sadness that has attached to each one of those self-judgments and criticisms to be released from you. You allow yourself the opportunity to be present in the current moment instead of the past. 

One of the beauties of Chinese Medicine is its ability to identify the blocks and help open the gates allowing the stream of emotions to come through in a safe environment. You can see these emotions in their raw presentation, without fear, and they become understandable and lose their power to control you.

Other things help you face your fear. Meditation can allow your mind to release the fear. Writing will enable you to free form and find a way to your own answers. Friends, counseling, music, positive affirmations.

Fear that has no basis in our physical well-being has a basis in our mental well-being. My inner dialogue is my opportunity to change my world. Every day is an opportunity to face my fears. Finding what the fear is hiding is the puzzle. As soon as you can find what fear was hiding and acknowledge it, you release it.

Good-luck on your journey.

Halfway to Heaven and Earth, a roadmap to inner peace using the trinity and self-cultivation in Chinese Medicine

Not a day passes me by where I don’t think about my life, my spirituality and how to find greater inner peace. Each time I attain a new level of awakening and understanding I think to myself, “Ah, I’m here, I’ve finally made it.” As I sit and rest and look around, I find I’ve only removed part of my blindfold. Being able to see more clearly, I see new opportunities and new clarities. 

I can stop if I want. So, as you go on your journey to your own inner peace, remember you can stop at any time. Each step forward brings a more beautiful environment than the previous one. Stopping in a more beautiful place seems o.k. to do. 

What is the trinity of heaven-body-earth in Chinese Medicine? The trinity of heaven-body-earth is a Taoism principle and gives guidance on how to interact with the world. It is a roadmap to the city of inner peace. You don’t have to try and figure out how to get to inner peace or what it means. Instead, you can look at the roadmap, determine where you stand on the map and where to make your adjustments in your journey

I focus on the emotional and spiritual aspect of our lives in my practice…how to get to that inner buddha. So, I’m going to talk about a very narrow aspect of this trinity as it relates to our internal chatter and internal emotional environment. And I’m going to share with you some checks you can use on yourself to start identifying more informed choices for yourself.

In Chinese Medicine, the trinity helps define three realms of being a spiritual human. Heaven is your relationship to your identity, the body is your interaction with the world, and earth is your physical body. The three realms mark your existence and are not separate from each other. They are intertwined and happen simultaneously.   

Heaven is your identity or the inherent qualities of mind and character. The qualities change through interaction with other people, especially through your childhood interactions. 

To get more information on how Chinese Medicine sees this check out my Youtube video “Forgetting What We Were Taught” or “Using Chinese Medicine to Feel Normal Again” or my blog “Changing your life isn’t as mysterious as it sounds.”

 The body is your interaction with the world. Your choices to interact in one way or another. 

Earth is how your decisions impact your body.

In Chinese Medicine, there is always a yin and yang. You want to be at the point of balance between the two polar opposites. Let’s look at the point of balance for each of the three realms.

For heaven, balance is compassion. You can change your character with compassion. Without compassion, your personal faults are unforgivable. With compassion, anger and greed don’t take over. 

For the body, balance is wisdom. Wisdom is the ability to choose a course of action with the best positive impact. With wisdom, grudges don’t rule your activities. 

For earth, the point of balance is reason. Reason is the ability to use your mind to think and understand rationally what is happening. To see the situation clearly without resentments. 

Each of these three realms happens simultaneously and without any effort on your part. I was at dinner the other night and in a conversation when I noticed my internal dialogue was going off the charts. I realized it happens all the time. I was just quiet enough to hear it that time. 

But, we usually are not quiet. So, how can you become more aware of how your realms are doing? Ask yourself some simple questions.

  1. Heaven asks the question, “Is there any anger? How do I feel when people go against me?”
  2. The body asks, “Am I content? Do I show favoritism?”
  3. Earth asks, “How was my conduct and can I change something?”

Finding inner peace is about getting to know yourself in ways you haven’t previously discovered. It is a road that you must walk on your own. You will find guideposts to help you choose your direction. Guideposts are any resource you use to help you navigate through your journey. They can be gurus, practitioners, books, videos, conferences. Guideposts help your journey go faster because you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. 

At any time, you can sit down and say, “I’m o.k. with here.”

Uncomfortable being alone? 6 strategies to help you avoid your alone time.

Did you ever wonder why you don’t like spending time by yourself? 

I’m going to share with you how Chinese Medicine sees this and then take you through six simple strategies you can do to help work through your alone time.

Every aspect of Chinese medicine identifies how emotions and mental outlook affects your health. When it comes to your emotional and spiritual life impacting your health, most people know the Type A personality can create heart attacks. Chinese Medicine sees repressed rage and resentment as a significant player in breast cancer. Most of my breast cancer patients have high levels of repressed anger and resentment.

Chinese Medicine has your emotions and mental attitude as prequels to physical disease. Each of the five yin organs has the responsibility to express different feelings. These emotions can have a positive or negative effect on your health. The five emotions that can take away from your well-being are anxiety, sorrow, fear, anger, worry.

Most of the time, being uncomfortable when alone is about how you learned to treat yourself as a child. To get more info on this, check out my video, “Forgetting What We Were Taught,” or “Using Chinese Medicine to feel normal again,” on Youtube.

Spending too much time with these negative feelings changes your internal chatter. Your internal self-talk becomes critical. I call this internal chatter the three deaths: criticism, blame, and self-judgment. Three different and damaging ways you learned to communicate with yourself. Being that you can’t get away from yourself, negative self-talk can be very harmful. It’s like being around a bully 24×7. The only way to get away from the bully is by hiding with other people.

Criticism finds fault and disapproves of an action you’ve taken. You might say something like, “I could have done that better. I didn’t schedule my time well.”  

Blame finds your actions unfavorably caused or influenced the outcome of a situation. When you see fault with your efforts, you might say things like, “If I hadn’t done that, this would not have happened.” Every once in a while, you might be at fault. More likely, you are blaming yourself for things that are out of your control. You have enough to do taking responsibility for your actions. You don’t need to own someone else’s actions.

Self-judgement is an unfavorable personal critique of you and who you are. You might say something like, “I’m always causing problems.” Or, “I’m a bad person.” 

Self-judgement is a way to ensure you don’t interact with the world or try new things. Self-judgment isolates you from doing and trying to do something you want to do.

These three voices are a crucial reason why spending time alone can be so uncomfortable. The three deaths work together. You’ll find all three traveling around in your head at the same time.

Here are six simple strategies you can do to help avoid your alone time and the three deaths. 

  1. Exercise can kick off the endorphins which boost mood. If you’re in a depressive funk, try jogging or some physical activity that pushes your limits. When the sweat starts rolling, so will the endorphins. With exercise, you don’t have to interact with others, but you’re not digging on being alone and want to release the emotions.
  2. Pick up a hobby. You don’t have to like the first one you pick up. Just pick up a hobby. Try it out and see if you like it. If you are uncomfortable meeting new people, maybe learn a new musical instrument. You can take one-on-one lessons and be around someone in a controlled environment with your small talk already identified. There is a time limit on how long you need to interact, and you don’t have to worry about making friends.
  3. Pick up yoga, qigong, or taichi. Each of these practices helps you get more in touch with yourself and helps to quiet your self-talk. The classes also give you an opportunity to meet others and practice small talk. Because a class is a specific amount of time, you can gain comfort in knowing a time limit exists. But, you have the option to try and make friends here, and can decide to get a coffee or sandwich afterward. To help ground yourself before going, try out one of my “Finding Balance” tools.
  4. Cruise Meetup.com. Meetup.com is a website that allows people to create online groups and organize in-person activities based on the group. You can find people with similar interests in your local community. You can attend an event. The benefit of meetups is about three-quarters of your “meeting new people” anxiety will already be addressed. You know what to small talk about, people have similar interests to you, and they want to meet other people. If you need help settling your nerves before going, try this powerful but simple breathing exercise.
  5. Try one of the geo-tracking games like Pokemon Go. Sure it’s a boomer thing, but you’re lonely, and you don’t like being by yourself. Besides that, boomers are usually friendly and easy to interact with. Sure, you might not want to go out and have a beer with them. But, you’re going to find you might enjoy talking with them and hearing some supportive comments from strangers.
  6. Search the web for local events happening around you. If you need to be around people and activity, this could be the one for you. If you want to make friends, this may be the most challenging option as you are trying to meet people in the wild. So, they’ll have their friends around them and their walls up. Unlike the previous suggestions that create a safe zone, meeting in the wild brings up everyone’s insecurities and defenses. To start doing some in-depth personal work on your insecurities, check out “Taking Back Your Power! How To Start Letting Go and Moving On from the Past.”

So, there you have it, six killer strategies to help you avoid your alone time and get you out of the house and out of your head. 

At some point and time, you’re going to want to change how you see the world and how you talk to yourself. Check out my blog or Youtube channel for tools on using Classical Chinese Medicine in your everyday life to manage your emotions. 

Or schedule a free initial consultation to learn how you can overcome your negative self-talk and sabotaging behaviors. Discover how you can create the life you want and how you can be comfortable in your skin no matter what the situation. 

Either way, we are going to talk more about this in my blog and on my Youtube channel. We’re going to talk more about things you can do to help change negative self-talk!