The Present is a Gift

Be present.  We hear this term everywhere it seems, but what does it mean to “be present”?  Why is it so important?

Being present seems like a simple concept.  We are physically present wherever we stand.  But we’re talking about being mentally and emotionally in the here and now.  That’s a little trickier for most of us.

Humans spend a vast amount of our time reflecting on the past or wondering about the future.  If we’re reveling in a wonderful memory, or excited about an upcoming occasion, then that tiny bit of time travel is beneficial, lifts our spirits, raises our vibration, and attracts MORE of the same kind of energy to us.

However, most of the time when we focus on the past, we focus on memories that bring guilt, regret, shame, or embarrassment.  And often when we focus on our future, it’s the unknown we focus on which brings emotions like worry, anxiety, or doubt, which benefit no one.  It drains our energy, lowers our vibration, and attracts MORE of the same kind of energy to us!

When we are focused fully in the present moment, we cannot simultaneously experience guilt, regret, shame, embarrassment, worry, anxiety, or doubt.  Since all of these emotions are energy drains, it stands to reason that we have more energy when we are fully present.  The gifts of being present are absence of negative emotions, and having more energy to spend on what’s important to you.

Now is powerful.

We cannot take action from the past, nor from the future.  The only place we have to act is now.  Clients often tell me they can’t seem to get anything done, but they come to realize that they are often not being present, and are therefore unavailable to take action.  We lose a lot of time being in the past or future, instead of taking action in our powerful NOW.

So, how do we be here now?

Here’s a simple exercise that can easily guide you to the present moment when you find yourself wandering in time.

Take a deep cleansing breath. (Hell, take two or three, they’re FREE!)
One at a time, take stock of your five basic senses.
Sitting quietly, note just one or two things that you can sense with each.

Here are my examples for this moment in time:

Smell – I smell jasmine flowers and coffee.
Taste – I taste toothpaste.
Touch – I feel the chair beneath me, and the floor under my feet.
Hearing – I hear a clock ticking.
Sight – I see sunlight streaming in the window, and the dog lying in the sun.

Notice how the exercise immediately brings you into the now.

Whenever you catch yourself in your head living from the past or into the future in a way that is not beneficial, you can instantly improve how you feel by checking in with your five senses and being present in the moment.

Grow on!

How often are you in the present moment?
What have you been missing while not being present?
What will change for you when you are more present?
What difference do you notice in your tension/stress levels before and after the above exercise?

Seven Levels of Energy

The Reason for varying Pandemic Perspectives

Life is energy. 

Humans are energy.  Our bodies are energy systems.  We are literally made out of flowing energy!  Often when I introduce this concept to clients, they ask questions like, “Well if I am made of energy, why am I so TIRED all the time?”  That’s a GREAT question that really gets to the root of how I help my clients with energy coaching!

There are two types of energy available to us: Catabolic & Anabolic.

Catabolic Energy ~

Catabolic energy is destructive, draining, and stressful on our bodies, our emotions, and our mental capacity.  Catabolic energy is crucial in life-threatening situations because it’s the energy that allows us to fight, flee, or freeze.  Catabolic emotions include guilt, shame, fear, anxiety, worry, hostility, resentment, frustration, loathing, condemnation, blame, and judgment, to name a few.  Catabolic emotions feel hard, and challenging.  They create stress hormones that deplete us of energy, lower our immune system, and impede the optimal function of our mind and body.

Anabolic Energy ~

Anabolic energy is constructive, healing, fueling, and growth-oriented.  Anabolic energy strengthens and energizes us with long-term use.  Anabolic energy includes emotions such as love, forgiveness, compassion, peace, joy, passion, and so many more.  Anabolic emotions feel good.  They cause our brain to create feel-good hormones, and they naturally promote healing, and wellbeing.

We have Seven Levels of Energy Available

According to Bruce Schneider,* there are seven levels of energy presentation, each made up of varying degrees of catabolic and anabolic energies.  In the chart below, we see that the highest levels of energy are anabolic and the lowest levels are catabolic.

Image courtesy of BSM Consulting

So while every energy level has both advantages and disadvantages, it correlates that the more time we spend in those higher vibrations, the more energy we have.

Nobody is just one energy level all the time.  We each have a unique energy profile made up of all seven levels with primary and secondary levels that we choose to use most of the time under typical circumstances.  It should come as no surprise that our energy profile changes under stress. 

Energy Overview

Below is a brief look at the seven levels of energy, and possible thoughts that someone might be thinking about pandemic circumstances in each level.  If you would like to learn more about these concepts, check out Bruce Schneider’s book, Energy Leadership, or contact an iPEC certified energy coach.

Energy Level 1 ~

This is the most catabolic energy level, so we end up with the least amount of energy left to “spend” on anything.

Core Emotions – apathy, shame, guilt, anxiety, self-doubt, worry, fear, embarrassment, hopelessness, depression

Possible Thoughts about the pandemic – 
The economy will never recover! 
My finances are ruined! 
There is no way I can possibly come out better at the other end of this. 
I’m too old to start over again! 
How will I feed my family? 
What if I catch the virus?! 
What if someone I love dies?
What if I do something wrong and someone I love dies because of me?
What if they never find a cure? 
How will I possibly survive? 
My career is over. 
I’ve lost everything. 
Everything was going really well for me, and then the pandemic ruined everything I’ve worked for. 
Circumstances have crippled me. 
I’m trapped!

Energy Level 2 ~

Core Emotions – anger, greed, resentment, blame, judgment, antagonism, struggle, frustration, irritation, hatred, pride

Possible Thoughts about the pandemic – 
I am very aware of all that could go wrong and I have to be on guard against it.
Why isn’t the government doing more? 
Why did they wait so long to act? 
Why don’t people act right and follow orders? 
Why should I follow orders? 
They are NOT going to tell me what to do. 
Why is this so hard? 
How can I profit from this? 
What’s in this for me? 
I’m doing everything I am supposed to and I’ll probably get sick because someone else didn’t do what they were supposed to! 
This is the government’s fault. 
This is China’s fault. 
Whose fault is this? 
What a shitty period of history to live. 
Fuck coronavirus!

Energy Level 3 ~

Core Emotions – forgiveness, rationalization, justification, tolerance, relief

Possible Thoughts about the pandemic –
I’m doing the best I can. 
I hope everyone will take care of themselves, I certainly am. 
I can find ways to get through this. 
I’m a survivor. 
I’ll be fine. 
Those in charge are doing the best they can. 
I can tolerate whatever is needed to get to the other side of this disaster. 
I’ll be fine. 
I’ll find a way to pull through. 
I can cope with anything.  

Energy Level 4 ~

Core Emotions – compassion, caring, generosity, gratitude, love

Possible Thoughts about the pandemic –
What can I do to help? 
Who most needs my support? 
We must do everything we can to help people. 
We must work together to stop the virus. 
I must make people see how important this is! 
Why are they not taking every precaution? 
Why are they bucking the guidelines? 
I’m not bucking guidelines.
We are all in this together! 
We can only get through this if we all do our part. 
Why isn’t the government doing more to support the most vulnerable? 
I can start a movement to help people! 
I feel so depleted.

Energy Level 5 ~

Core Emotions – peace, harmony, stability

Possible Thoughts about the pandemic –
What if the virus is here to help us?
This is the perfect time to take some online classes and change careers. 
This is a great opportunity for each of us to examine where we are, and what we want to create next! 
How wonderful that we are finding innovative ways to work from home. 
This can lead to reduced traffic in the long run. 
It’s the perfect opportunity to identify weak spots in our systems, and create solutions to strengthen them. 
I can’t work where I was getting my income, so I am going to use my gifts to create other revenue streams. 
The pandemic slowed my momentum, so I will flow my momentum in a different direction. 
The overall impact of this will be abundantly beneficial for all of us.

Energy Level 6 ~

Core Emotions – joy, hope, eagerness

Possible Thoughts about the pandemic –
I have been feeling so happy. 
What an incredible time to be alive! 
Restaurants are thriving doing more business in take out than they ever did with seated guests. 
People are leaving notes of gratitude for essential workers. 
People have more time to spend with their families. 
We’re finding more balance between careers and personal fulfillment.  
There is a sense of joy and camaraderie as I move through my day.
People are happy and helping each other. 
It feels as if social distancing has brought us vibrationally closer to Source and to each other. 
There is good news everywhere of people making full recoveries, of companies innovating supply chains, and creating new ways to connect and work from home, of our environment healing, of our air and water becoming clearer.  Countries once at trade war are now collaborating to ensure the flow of medical supplies. 
Researchers across the world are working together to create vaccines.
I know that something wonderful is happening. 
Everything is working out for our highest good. 

Energy Level 7 ~

We dip into this level of energy during meditation, and spiritual connection.  For most of us, it’s a level where we recharge our batteries, not a permanent place from which to live.

Core Emotions – absolute passion, unconditional love, ecstasy

Possible Thoughts  do NOT include the pandemic –
I am.  We are.  Everyone is.  All is well.  

Takeaway tip:

Try leaning into the thoughts for each energy level above.  We can clearly feel the difference in vibration, the difference in emotion, the difference in energy that comes at each energy level. None of the levels is bad or good.Which one feels the way you want to feel?

Wondering how much of each level you currently embody?

sample ELI report

The Energy Leadership Index (ELI) assessment is a tool that measures our unique energy profile.  Through a series of 84 questions, the ELI reveals the percentage of each of the energy levels you experience under “normal” circumstances, and also how your energy shows up under stress.  Your Average Resonating Level of Energy (A.R.L.) represents your average energy presentation, under normal circumstances and under stress.

You can master your own energy and transform your life.

With the awareness and insights gained through the ELI & the ELI explanation session that follows, clients discover opportunities to align energy with their own goals, boost creativity, elevate communications, and increase overall satisfaction in any aspect of their lives. 

Once a person identifies their personal energy drains, they can choose to make adjustments that allow them to overcome their blocks, reclaim that energy, and focus it on what’s really important to them.  A study by the International Coach Federation shows that clients who apply this knowledge with the help of a certified professional coach begin to see sustainable transformations in health & wellness, relationships, confidence, finances, and more.

Source: International Coach Federation

Every change begins with awareness of what is.  If you are interested in becoming aware of your current energy patterns, I would LOVE to chat with you! I can schedule your ELI assessment to get you started on your path toward a more energized life!

Higher levels of satisfaction await.
Power, purpose, and passion await. 
More joy and fulfillment await.
What are you waiting for? 

Grow on!

What energy levels do you practice on a regular basis?
What energy level feels best when you try it on? 
What will change for you when you master your energy? 
What changes will you create in your life when you master your energy?


*The Energy Leadership Index Assessment, seven levels of energy, and the Energetic Self Perception Chart were developed by Bruce Schneider, PHD.  Bruce is the founder of the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching where I received my life-altering coach training.

Stop Shoulding on Yourself!

Has shoulding yourself into action EVER been effective?

Honestly?  Most people find that feeling we “should” do something drains our energy, so it’s demotivating rather than motivating. 
Should-dos and must-dos weigh heavily on the shoulders and mind.

Should is “could” with shame attached, and shame is the very lowest vibration.  No wonder “should” is so heavy!

Could means we are at choice.  We could do something if we chose to do it.  It’s a choice, an option, completely voluntary.  Should suggests that we are somehow less-than if we choose not to do whatever we are shoulding ourselves to do.

When we have choices, we feel more empowered!

Should means we don’t have a choice, and nothing makes us feel more powerless. Simply shifting our thought from, “I should wash the dishes,” to “I want to wash the dishes so the kitchen will be tidy,” can be immensely energizing.

I’m not talking rainbows and lollypops.  I’m talking about creating new thought pathways that cause less stress in our lives.  Less stress means less cortisol and less disease, so it’s worth the effort!  And finding ways to reframe your thoughts can be fun, and creative.

Grow on!

Catching your ‘shoulds’ is the first step.  
Listen for them when you speak and think.
When you catch yourself, stop and ask:

Why do I believe I should?
What is the worst that will happen if I don’t? Can I live with that?
How can I reframe it so that I am choosing to do this?
What’s the most positive aspect about choosing to do this?
How can I make this fun?


having trouble reframing a ‘should’ statement?
drop it in the comments and I’ll help you brainstorm some ideas, so you can take back your power!

Give Yourself a Break!

I have been receiving massage on a regular basis for the last decade and a half.  Once a week I give my body a break from EVERYTHING. 
I put myself face down on some lucky therapist’s table and I just release every bit of tension I can release.  It’s like a rebirth for my energy.  Blood, oxygen, and chi all begin to flow where they may have been stuck.

I learned a long time ago that not only do I release the tension my muscles are holding during massage, but my muscles remember how to release, so they actually accumulate less stress between massages.  

But here in pandemic world, LOTS of perceived stress to go around
and NO massages!  So what can we do to release stress?

Give yourself a fucking break!

Often we are so busy that massage time is the ONLY time we allow ourselves to relax.  Maybe you look forward to some down time during your regular pedicure.  I remember being so busy when my kids were little, that I looked forward to doctors appointments because I usually got a solid 10 or 15 minutes in the wait room where I could just sit!

If you can’t schedule a massage, a pedi, or spend 15 minutes just waiting in a doctor’s office, when are you scheduling rest breaks? Most of us just aren’t!

It’s like we think we have to “do” something on order to relax.  What if we just relaxed?  What if when we’re tired, we just lay down and take a nap? 

Does going with the flow seem too radical?

Write a rest break right into your schedule. 

It’s as important if not MORE important than anything else on your schedule.

I KNOW!  You’re working from home, learning new tech, teaching your kids, walking the dog, and trying not to lose your mind.  But if we were NOT sheltering at home and socially distancing, you would schedule that massage or that pedi, or that yoga class, right? 

Set that hour aside for rest!  

Pencil it right in where the massage or the pedi would go.  Let anyone you live with know that you have an appointment to keep and then use that time to be quiet.  Close your eyes and just rest.  In bed is fine, or on a yoga mat.  Put a bolster or pillow under your knees, and a slightly rolled towel under head and neck to support your relaxation.

Savasana is the “corpse pose” done at the end of a yoga class. 

Make yourself as comfy as possible and just let it all go!  Let go of the “have too” and the “must-dos” and all the rest of it, and just relax for 30 minutes.

If it’s possible to fall asleep, and you need to be up and doing something in the next segment of your day, set an alarm on your phone.  Choose one that’s gentle, like birds chirping so it doesn’t jar you from the resting place, but rather invites you to open your eyes.

Humans rarely allow themselves time to become fully rested and most of us are often deprived of the right amount of sleep.  But rest is essential to body, mind and spirit!  

If you are hearing stories in your head that tell you that you don’t have time to rest, or you don’t deserve adequate relaxation, or self-care, coaching might be able to help!

In the most basic of terms, what I do as an energy coach is help clients remember how to release worry, anxiety, self-doubt, low energy and overwhelm. 

If you or anyone you know is interested in uncovering what’s holding you back, and moving beyond where you’ve been able to grow before, please contact me at cyndicombs@gmail.com to set up a free phone session to see if coaching is right for you.

Grow on!

Just relax!

Grasping Detachment

To understand detachment more fully Tosha Silver is a master teacher, and my sensei! Her most recent book, It’s Not Your Money, is about

releasing our attachment to money, freeing ourselves of fear around finances, and offering everything, not just money, to a Higher Power (Source, God/Goddess, Universe, Divine, whatever Higher Power you know).

What is detachment?

Maybe it’s easier to start with the question, “What is attachment?” 
We can all relate to this one.  We know what it is to be attached to something, to deeply desire a particular outcome.  We want something.  We go after it with gusto.  We do not get the outcome we were expecting, and we feel like the Universe is holding out on us, or we got cheated out of our prize.  If we are in a long term relationship that suddenly ends, we may feel angry or depressed because we expected a different ending to the story.

If we are attached to something we cling to it.  We try to force the outcome we want because we WANT it, and think that we can only be happy if it turns out the way we have imagined it.

We can think of attachment as a clenched fist trying with desperation to hang on to something slippery.  We might manage to hold on, but the energy it costs can drain us entirely.  So then, we can think of detachment as the gentle opening of that clenched fist.

Detachment is the release that causes relief.  It’s the art of allowing, the act of surrendering to faith in the Universe.  

The more we are able to release our attachment to a particular outcome, the more opportunities become available for the Universe to flow abundance to us.  This doesn’t mean we can’t have preferences.  I’m talking about being able to hold your preference while releasing attachment to the outcome.

Let’s say Sally wants a career shift that allows her more flexible hours, better benefits, increased income, and the opportunity to work with some wonderful people.  If she becomes focused on one particular position as the answer to her prayers, she might miss other opportunities that are a better fit.  If she is looking only at one possible outcome, she might not recognize the perfect thing when it pops up because it doesn’t resemble what she’s looking for. 

On the other hand, if she is open to receive what she wants without demanding that the Universe deliver it in one particular way, the Universe will deliver by amazing and miraculous methods.  

The Universe knows what we truly desire and will do everything in its power to deliver that to us as long as we don’t hamstring it into producing only what our own human mind can conjure.  The Universe has infinitely more ideas for how to give us what we want than we could possibly dream!

If we believe that our only source of money is our current job, then the Universe can only deliver money to us through our current job.  If that paycheck goes away, it’s understandably going to produce some fear because we don’t currently believe in any other source of income.

If, on the other hand, we trust that the Universe has more sources of money than we can imagine, and we believe that the Universe (Divine Source, or God) will supply our every need, now we open ourselves to miracles.  Now the Universe delivers support in myriad ways, large and small, expected and unexpected.

If you are determined that your next salary MUST be X dollars, you close yourself off to both higher paying jobs, and positions that offer less money now, but are the springboard to your dream job.  

Often times we do not move forward into the infinite abundance that the Universe is flowing to us because we have anchored ourselves to something from the past.  If we are weighed down with guilt or shame from our own actions or the actions of others, we cannot receive all the gifts the Universe is wanting to deliver.  This situation is like casting ourselves as the cartoon dog tied to his dog house.  We find that what we desire is right in front of us, and we could easily reach it if what’s behind us weren’t holding us back.

How do we detach?

Some things, like income, feel pretty important to hang on to.  So how do we begin to loosen our grasp and release our fear of the unknown?

Take a deep breath!  Breathing is always my starting point.  Taking a deep breath grounds me in the present moment where I am free of any guilt or shame from the past, and free from any worries about the future.  When I am present, the past and future do not exist.  So I always encourage my clients to start with a deep grounding breath or three. 

Often I feel my physical body release tension with just this one simple step, as if my entire physical structure had been HOLDING ON to whatever I am currently grasping for. Then I open my hands (sometimes subconsciously they are clenched closed) and I offer the whole thing to intuition.

Intuition comes from Source Energy (God, Goddess, Inner Being, Higher Self, whatever Divine Source to which you adhere or relate), so offering my desire to Divine Self releases my small self (ego) from trying to run the show.  

Here’s an example from my life. 

Last Friday after meditation I opened my eyes and felt a new,
full-blown desire erupt in my heart.  “I want  a puppy!” I heard my heart say to me.  Since it was flush on the heels of quieting my mind, I accepted it as wisdom from Source, and I ran with that desire along the well-worn path of “How do I make this happen?”  I am, after all, a make-it-happen kinda girl.  For about 24 hours I chased after my puppy.  I did the research.  I contacted my vet for costs on puppy shots.  I looked into fees at spay clinics.  I Googled dachshund breeder websites, and dachshund rescue sites.  It may have been the initial sticker shock that put a hitch in my vibration.

Nine years ago I purchased the world’s most adorable dachshund for $400.  BEST money I ever spent! Captain Boscoe P. Jenkins is the joy of our lives.

Little boys have doubled in price since then, and girls are higher still! Which makes complete sense. What hasn’t increased in price in the last nine years?  Add to that the fact that I started trying to figure out how Boscoe’s precious life will be impacted and suddenly I got hooked into trying to figure out HOW I was going to get my puppy. 

I felt slightly frustrated and a little irritable because I know exactly what I want – a female dachshund less than 6 months old with short hair who adds as much joy to our lives as Boscoe does, whom Boscoe adores, adopts as his own, and enjoys playing with.  And I feel in my heart that she is moving toward us.  But trying to figure out HOW to get her, and WHERE she will come from, and HOW to afford adoption fees, and all the rest felt like my whole body was grasping, contracting in, pressing down on my heart, depriving me of blood & oxygen, and stopping the flow of my puppy moving toward me.

Then I laughed so loud!  

In my excitement, I had completely forgotten to offer my puppy to Divine Order.  After all, if the Universe wants me to have her (and I firmly believe the Universe does), Divine has already chosen the perfect puppy for us and will deliver her in the exact right way.  It’s NOT my job to figure out the details.  So I took a deep grounding breath and offered the situation to Divine Source.  I said something like, “Divine Mother, I have a deep longing to have the joy of another puppy in our home. I know You have selected exactly the right puppy for our family and will deliver her with ease at the exact right time. I release my need to make this happen in my own way, and trust You to handle everything.”

My body unclenched, and my heart opened, and instantly I felt the joy of getting a new puppy again instead of the dread of not knowing how to get her!

You could rightfully point out that I am still attached to the idea of a female. The reason for that is Boscoe’s preference. He gets along much better with girls than with boys. Then again, I guess if there is a boy puppy out there that is perfect for Boscoe’s playmate, God will certainly know how to find him!

Do I have my puppy yet?  No.  But that’s only because it’s not the perfect time.  I feel relaxed and comfortable waiting for Source to deliver in whatever way is best, because if I keep grasping and grabbing and forcing MY timing and MY will, I’ll likely end up with someone else’s puppy!  She won’t be the perfect puppy already lined up to be Boscoe’s little sister.  Offering it hasn’t instantly delivered the manifestation.

The gift in offering is that I can focus on what I want – the joy of a new puppy – and not all the unknowns that may cause stress and dis-ease.

Ironically it is only when we stop grasping for what we want that it is able to flow to us.  We’re no longer blocking it from coming with our contracted energy. 

How many stories have we heard of women who desperately want a child, who try every possible option to get pregnant, and go through painful fertility procedures, who end up feeling heartbroken if all of that effort doesn’t give them their child.  It’s usually when she gives up and moves her attention to something else that she finds herself suddenly a mother to someone else’s child, or  unexpectedly and delightedly pregnant herself.

The Lord  works in mysterious ways.  Truth is stranger than fiction.  That’s because Source (your intuition) is Infinite Intelligence.  Our limited human minds can’t think up a fraction of the possibilities available to Divine imagination!  And it baffles our minds and drains our energy when we try.  

Faith is a muscle.

Like any muscle, faith requires strengthening to perform optimally.  As you begin to practice, don’t offer the BIG question that you have been struggling with the most.  Your faith might not be strong enough yet.  If you try to offer the BIG question without practicing on small stuff first, you may naturally revert to old thought patterns and decide it’s not working and give up.  Practice on the small stuff first.

Practice offering by letting go.  Try letting go of a disagreement with someone.  As you realize you are about to correct them or their behavior, surrender it to Divine and just let it go.  Remember, their behavior is not your responsibility, so just give it back to Source.  You may well feel a huge burden lifted as you release this need to tell them how to act. 

Let go of the worry of not knowing something you want to know. If you have a question about something that you can’t currently find the answer for, offer that to Source. You can offer anything and feel the sweet feeling of relief for not being responsible to figure it out. Trust that your intuition will guide you when action is required, and until then, just chill!

Tosha’s books are full of myriad prayers of offering for virtually every situation, and stories of how letting go and having faith delivered the perfect answer to one who had been striving, then let go and offered it up to a higher power. I highly recommend all her books for building the faith muscle and uplifting the spirit.

Grow on!

How would it feel to just let go and have faith that whatever you are currently going through is going to turn our for your highest good,
and you have zero responsibility for figuring out how that’s going to happen?
 
How much energy would that free up for you?
What in your life are you currently struggling to maintain control over?
What’s it costing to cling to that?
What will it take to release your grasp just a little?
What will change for you when you do?

It’s not Trump’s role to fix this fucking mess.

Bear with me!  I realize how askew that sounds, so let me be clear.

I believe whole heartedly that everything has a purpose.  Not just the stuff I like.  Not just the positive experiences. Everything.

Since this is True, even Trump has a purpose, but if anyone is thinking his purpose is to course-correct the country, I would have to challenge that assumption.  The current resident of the White House has proven he has neither the capability, nor the interest in doing so.

In my opinion, his role is to shine awareness on how broken our systems are, and I have to hand it to him for doing a bang up job in that department! The political system, the education system, the health care system, the financial system are all collapsing under the weight of this pandemic. (So much winning.)

So who plays the role that fixes this fucking mess?  

Anyone who genuinely cares.  (See why it can’t be trump?)

It’s our role to accept what is, and use the assets available to us to overcome limitations and consciously choose a better path forward, together.

It’s up to you and me to do what we can, where we can to improve
what we can and help each other through this crisis. 

It’s up to us to create new systems that support well being and quality of life for everyone.

It’s up to us to dream up systems where those who wield power do so for the highest good of all involved.

It’s up to us to imagine ways to make the world a better place to live for our children than it has ever been before.

DON’T ask yourself to solve what seem like the most enormous issues (unless you are one of the researchers who already has momentum in that arena).  If we ask “Why is this happening to us?” or “Who can we blame?” we get very different answers than if we ask, “What can we learn from this?”  or “How can we use this knowledge to grow forward?”

If we ask questions like these we feel powerless: How long will this last? Where will the answer come from? Who will die? Why doesn’t EVERYONE take this seriously? Why didn’t they tell us sooner? Why weren’t we prepared?

Ask yourself questions you already have answers for!

What emotions am I experiencing? 
What can I do today for my health? 
What helps me feel more connected while socially distancing myself? 
What can I do to boost my immune system today? 
What steps are within my control?
What steps can I take to protect myself and my family? 
Name one time today that you felt ok.  How can you do more of that? 
What brings you joy? 
What can you do to soothe yourself? 
What can you do to help your neighbors or family?

So, while the current resident in the White House has most likely played a role in increasing the death rate of this pandemic – a role in adding to the confusion & overwhelm, a role in the exponential spread of the virus despite his incapacity to understand the term “exponential growth,” a major role in making the problem way worse than it had to be – it is not going to be his role to fix the thing.

That’s going to fall to those of us who care.

If you need space to process your emotions and talk through what’s going on for you, contact me for a chat!

Fabulous Fucking Resources

Hey beautiful People!

How are you coping with the choice to shelter at home to stop
the spread of the virus?

Palace of Fine Arts ~ March 26, 2020

I’m letting my inner child play!  I’ve gone outside every day to get some recess, and I’m taking afternoon naps.  I’m creating new landscape photography while getting fresh air and physically distancing myself from others who are out playing in the sun, and I’ve enjoyed creating some new zentangle art.

Learn more about zentangles here.

One of the things that’s helping me most is devouring as much counterpoint to the general negative vibe of the planet as I possibly can.  To that end, I want to share some fabulous fucking resources that are helping me to manage my thoughts and stay calm in the face of all the panic and fear swirling around the complicated challenges arising from the global pandemic.

Esther Hicks ~ Inspirational Speaker & Author

Esther is my go-to positive vibe guru. She presents Law of Attraction workshops drawing hundreds, sometimes thousands of people together in up to 60 cities per year.  I have been to half a dozen of her events and always leave feeling like my battery is charged high enough to power me all month!  Obviously her events have been shut down for the foreseeable future, so she is offering something new and I want EVERYONE to experience this!  

Esther is currently hosting Abraham NOW where Abraham answers write-in questions from viewers three times a week. Abraham NOW is online Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays!  This is such a COOL way to hear what infinite intelligence has to say about the questions coming up right now about what the FUCK is going on in our world!  You can get access to this fabulous fucking resource in two ways.

One way is to pay $300 and get unlimited access to the three live streams per week PLUS recordings of all the past live events since Esther began doing this on March 21.

The second way to get access is even better!  Pay $225 for any live event currently scheduled and get access to the live streaming broadcasts for FREEThat’s like paying for one Abraham-Hicks event and getting a free Abraham event every week! I had planned to go see her in July when she’ll be back in San Francisco, so I purchased the ticket and now I get live streaming Abraham three times a week!  I can’t think of a better way to tune my vibration to Source!  Even if the July event gets postponed, my ticket is still good whenever they return to the Bay Area!  This is a big WIN in my book.

Tosha Silver ~ Author & Spiritual Teacher

You may remember Tosha from a blog post I wrote last year.  I highly recommend all of Tosha’s books as counterpoint to any negative energies you may be experiencing.

Well check this out!  She is currently offering a FREE two week trial of her Living “Outrageous Openness” Forum.  The jewel in this offer is the weekly 75-minute phone call led by Tosha!  The call happens Tuesday mornings and consists of Tosha leading a grounding, doing some teaching and then answering questions that were written in, from forum members.

This week she talked a lot about how important it is to take care of our inner child right now, completely validating my own plans to spend my afternoon entangling some seashells!

Access Tosha’s free offer by clicking here.  I am not sure how long the offer will be valid, so check it out SOON!  Even if you miss the offer, Tosha’s books and her Living “Outrageous Openness” Forum are a fabulous fucking resource!

Ana Verzone ~ Master Coach & Freedom Junkie

Ana runs the Freedom School ™ online where I am currently enrolled for the entire year and congratulating myself on making THAT decision back in December because Ana is a fabulous fucking resource for gaining confidence, managing my thoughts, and understanding how not to lose my shit in times like these! 

Ana offers lots of free resources and trainings and last week she gave a one hour class on How Not to Lose Your Shit in a Crisis!

Click the link for the recorded class for lots of solid wisdom that helps me to feel courageous, and not worry about the things I cannot control.  She is amazing and so are all of her trainings.  Here is the recording of another free class she offered recently called Mindset Reset.  Ana’s trainings are solid gold!

When I grow up as a coach, I wanna be as fucking awesome as Ana!

Michelle Dwyer MS, CNC ~ Health Coach & Nutrition Consultant

Michelle is an amazing health coach and nutrition consultant with a high vibe, who helps her clients improve body, mind & spirit.  Michelle is currently offering a special deal that is an amazing opportunity to get a personalized solution for your unique health and nutrition needs!

Michelle is a fabulous fucking resource if you are currently struggling with any of these topics or any topic related to health and wellness.

  • Immune system support
  • Eating well while in staying in
  • Self-care practices including sleep, movement, stress-management, emotional/spiritual grounding
  • Strategic supplement suggestions based on your body’s needs (access to online e-store where everything is 25% off retail)
  • Strategies for mindful eating (and limiting emotional eating)
  • Creating healthy daily routines
  • Healthy weight maintenance during stressful times
  • Practical tips for grocery shopping, food storage, and meal planning

Click this link to access special discount offer from Michelle.

Jill Lebeau MS, LMFT~ Living in the Flow Coach, Spiritual Psychotherapist, & Author

What can I say about Jill?

Jill is who I call when I need an instant magical manifestation of joy.  She is my therapist and my energy coach.  She maintains her own vibration in such a high frequency that just being in conversation with her soothes my soul and lifts my vibe!  And THAT is the most fabulous fucking resource I can think of during this time of heightened fears and incredible uncertainty. 
My one-on-one sessions with Jill always leave me feeling incredibly free and invincible!

Jill teaches simple, powerful, fun ways to become an alchemist of love and master of your life, transforming lower vibrations like fear, resentment, stuckness, and depression into love, forgiveness, gratitude and inspiration.  She helps clients remember the peace, love and joy of our True Nature from the very first session.

If you need a therapist, I recommend Jill with all my heart, and know that she can help you through whatever you may be struggling with! 
I also highly recommend Jill’s coaching skills if you have a desire to feel better than you currently do, or just want to live more fully in the magical flow!

Jill’s new podcast, The Spiritual Sandbox, is here now!

Click here for more information on living in the magical flow and booking a session with Jill.

These are the tools I use!

How do I keep a positive mindset on a regular basis, stay healthy and balanced despite everything going on in the world? 

I tap into these fabulous fucking resources with regular frequency.
I use the tools they have provided me and I LIMIT the amount of news that I see.

Cyndi Combs CPC ~ Empowerment & Wellbeing Coach

Yes. I am a fabulous fucking resource, and I am just going to own that.

Fair warning though, if you are easily offended by F-bombs
or other off-color language, I may not be the best coach for you.

If you are struggling right now due to all that’s going on in the world, or something going on in YOUR world, I would LOVE to offer you a free coaching session! You won’t get a sales pitch and there are no strings attached. I simply want to be of service at a time when so many people need the kind of help that coaching can offer!

In the most basic of terms, coaching decreases emotional suffering.

If you are suffering emotionally, please reach out for a free session. Maybe I can help with what you’re going through, or maybe I can refer you to someone else who can help! Call me at 707-515-8324.

Grow on! 

Access resources at the links below:

Esther Hicks
Tosha Silver
Ana Verzone
Michelle Dwyer MS, CNC
Jill Lebeau MS, LMFT
Cyndi Combs CPC ~ cyndicombs@gmail.com

It’s totally fine to freak out.

You really do get to choose your perspective, so choose the one that serves you best. 

You can choose to see the pandemic as a horrible, challenging,
crisis-riddled, terrifying, chaos that is worsened by everything the government does, and continues to spiral out of control.  That is certainly fucking true and if you want to look at that, and point to it,
discuss it ad nauseum, and pour your energies into it, no one will blame you even a little! 

Or we can accept that circumstances are challenging, and choose to look for opportunities to shine in the darkness. 

We can choose to look for the kindness in people, the generous nature of our neighbors, the chance to help others.  We can choose to look at the benefits to Mother Earth of her children slowing down, and the benefits to our health from cleaner air.  We can appreciate a chance to consider what it is we truly value.  We can choose to shift our focus from finances to wellbeing, because we have been meaning to focus on wellbeing for such a long time.  We have more time to spend talking to those we love most.  We have time to cherish this one precious life.

It is a time to take stock and clean house, to decide which pieces we want to keep and which we want to let go.

We can panic, and suffer with the heavy “unknown” weighing us down, or we can rise up with faith and know that everything has a purpose.  Everything is happening for us, for our benefit, for the greatest good of all involved.

We each get to choose.  And if right now you are choosing panic and fear, that does not make you wrong, it makes you human. Don’t beat yourself up even if you are the most uplifting person who always chooses the bright side.  If your friends and family are choosing panic and fear, that’s normal. Don’t shame them for experiencing emotions!

Humans have emotions.  All of them are normal.  But just because emotions are normal, does not mean we must suffer them whenever they hit us smack out of the blue. 

In the last two weeks, I have experienced a few panic attacks and some outright fear.  These feelings are planet-wide at the moment creating a vibration that is palpable, especially if you are sensitive to energy the way humans are.  When I feel the pull of the negative vibrations, it feels ICKY!  I want to run and hide so I don’t have to fucking FEEL it! 

Instead, I try to remember to allow the vibration some space inside me.  I identify how the vibrations feel physically, and name the emotions that I am experiencing and NOT enjoying.

This allows me to process the emotion and release it more quickly. 

That doesn’t mean that I don’t feel the fear again, but it does mean that now I have built confidence.  When the fear edges in again,
I remember that it did NOT knock me off my feet last time, so I allow it some space inside me again, knowing that the emotion is uncomfortable, but not fatal.  Each time I process a challenging emotion and transform that energy, I gain confidence and build my faith that I can handle this shit. 

It’s a step by step process.  It doesn’t mean I won’t experience hard emotions, it just means I have confidence that those challenging emotions can’t overrun my life.

Faith is like any other muscle.  We must strengthen it daily if we want it to be strong when our lives depend on it.

And if all of this sounds like platitudes at the moment because the sky is falling, it’s OK.  

The sky IS falling and you are allowed to be human and observe the obvious danger in the situation.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  But it’s your choice.  So don’t let them tell you you have to focus on fearful or selfish energies just because they exist!

We can also choose to focus on the beauty of our eternal soul,
the opportunity to make someone smile, less traffic and cleaner air,
the chance to try living differently.

I personally vacillate between seething anger that there are still non-essential businesses operating in California, and complete
and utter calm because I know that everything is always working out for the highest good of everyone involved even when our current vantage point makes it seem like the ship is sinking
and none of us will survive. 

Here’s hoping you have more moments this week where you are able to choose calm over anger, love over disinterest, faith over fear.

Discomfort Foods

I love food!  A little too much maybe?

Humans love delicious food to celebrate the good times,
and we use food to soothe ourselves during challenging times.

Facebook meme – March 2020

Self-soothing with food is something to which most of us relate, though I’ve heard people say they don’t like the term ‘self-soothing’
or that self-soothing is for wussies.  But if you are stress-eating,
or using food to deal with anxiety, push away discomfort, or buffer uncomfortable emotions, you are self-soothing with food.  What’s your favorite comfort food?  Pizza?  Mac & cheese?  Chicken soup?  Sugary sweets?  Sometimes it doesn’t matter what the food is, it’s the act of eating that soothes us simply by causing a momentary distraction.

One drawback to using food to soothe is that it tends to result in overeating and excess weight.  Comfort foods rarely include vegetables, and almost always include either high fat or processed sugar.  While neither of those is detrimental in small doses, if we are overeating them on a regular basis, they can cause physical discomfort, increased health risks, chemical imbalances, confusion, emotional fluctuations, and spiritual stress (due to being out of alignment with personal wellbeing goals). 

Used repeatedly as an anesthetic, soothing with food sets up the craving/reward cycle.

Cravings and Rewards

A bigger problem with using food to sooth discomfort is that we train ourselves into a cycle of craving and reward.  When we experience an emotion that is uncomfortable, then reach for food to dull our discomfort, we are rewarded with a little hit of dopamine. 

Dopamine is a chemical signal from our brain that we have done something that sustains life.  Our body regularly produces dopamine when we are warm, when we eat, when we have sex – because these things are necessary for survival.  The dopamine REWARDS us by making us feel good for a minute. 

We experience discomfort.  We soothe with food.  We receive a chemical reward of dopamine.  We experience discomfort, soothe with food, receive a reward.  Experience discomfort, soothe, receive reward.  Discomfort, soothe, reward.  Discomfort, soothe, reward.  

Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.

Our lizard brain now believes that the foods with which we soothe are necessary for survival.  When you try NOT to soothe with food, your mind will try to convince you that you will DIE if you do not indulge.  

Have you ever experienced a time when you felt you HAD to have something?  Where you felt you couldn’t NOT eat (smoke, drink, do) something, like you will DIE if you don’t?  That’s what that was about!  Your lizard brain actually thinks it will die without that dopamine reward.   Processed sugar produces a highly concentrated hit of dopamine, much higher than the amount we are normally rewarded for engaging in life-sustaining behaviors, so if you are self-soothing with sugary treats, the craving/reward cycle becomes much more powerful.

Despite what our lizard brain thinks, we will not DIE if we don’t get that sugary treat.  Imagine a six-year old throwing a tantrum because you won’t give her a candy bar.  She can scream and cry and throw the biggest fit full of snot and tears, but you know she’ll be fine.  She won’t die because you don’t give her the candy, right?  

Compromised Immune System

Another issue with using food as comfort is that it causes an overload of toxins that our body systems must deal with. While the body is focused on removing toxins from less-than-healthy food choices, it has less energy to keep the immune system strong to protect us from illness. And isn’t THAT what we’re all craving right now? Safety. Protection from harm. Food can’t give us that, but a strong immune system can. Protecting our immune system might be the number one reason at this time to avoid using food to soothe our challenging emotions.

Food is fuel.  It’s meant to efficiently power our physical body.  When we eat to soothe or comfort ourselves, we actually cause discomfort.  We experience physical discomfort or mental/emotional discomfort, even spiritual discomfort from misuse and overuse of food.

Food is NOT a healthful coping mechanism.  

Things are feeling really stressful for a LOT of people right now. 
No one will blame you if you overeat or if you eat foods you normally don’t eat, and you certainly won’t be the only one.  But if you want to comfort yourself in a healthy way, or soothe any anxiety you may be feeling, there are many ways to do that without using food.

Some effective ways to soothe without food include:

  • Physically place your hand on your heart and pet it. This is an amazingly effective technique for comfort!
  • Wrap your arms across your chest and around your own shoulders and give your self a long hug.  
  • Write yourself a letter and say every comforting thing you wish someone else were saying to you right now, or that you would say right now to a child whom you love with all your heart.
  • Get outdoors every day.  
  • If you can’t get outdoors, google gorgeous landscape photography and imagine yourself in the photograph! Your imagination is a powerful tool.
  • Take a walk, even if it’s indoors.
  • Go for a run.  
  • Put on your favorite song and dance around your living room.  
  • Call a good friend for a long chat.  
  • Journal about your emotions or about the circumstances you experience and what you are thinking about them.  
  • Talk to yourself as you would talk to a friend.  Have a full conversation about how you understand how hard this is, that you’re sorry you’re going through this, and remind yourself that you will get through this, that everything will work out again, whatever you would tell a close friend in this circumstance, tell it to YOU out loud so you hear it in your own voice.

Please list your favorite HEALTHY ways to cope or soothe
in the comments! I love hearing from my readers!

Coronavirus COUNTERPOINT

A steady diet of fear will make us fearful.

I am a fairly fearless person, and I have been feeling an undercurrent of fear in my community strong enough to pull me under – and I do NOT watch TV news shows.  Feeling that fear is completely understandable, especially for those of us sensitive to energy.  Over the last few days I have had several times where I simply felt like something is off

Like a great disturbance in the Force, as if thousands of voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

Yesterday I had a panic attack.  The panic wasn’t my own, it was seeping in from the general atmosphere of fear surrounding the globe.  It didn’t last long, but it sapped my energy JUST enough to make me wonder if I might be coming down with something.  There are multitudes of people panicking right now, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better. 

If we watch the whole thing unfold on news programs, more of us will die from stress than from virus!

It makes sense to keep informed from reliable sources of news, but if we are living on a steady diet of ‘what’s happening in the world’ without digesting some kind of counterpoint as well, it depletes not only our energy, but our immunity.  

Don’t do that to yourself!

First of all, reduce your exposure to the news.  Don’t let it saturate your waking hours with fear and anxiety!

Counterpoint can be anything that lifts your spirits.  

Watch a feel-good movie or TV show.
Get out in nature!
Move your body.
Try a new meditation app
Research something that interests you.
Have a long conversation on the phone with someone you love.
Read uplifting books and blogs.
Listen to something uplifting on YouTube.
– One of my FAVORITES: Everything is Always Working Out for Me
Here are links that frame the virus in a different perspective
What if the Virus is Medicine? From Heartward Sanctuary
What if… by Gurpreet Gill

Choose whatever counterpoint you like, as long as you LIKE it.

If we eat a steady diet of fear, we become fear filled.  If we balance that with counterpoint, we can become whatever we choose to look at. 
We can be inspired.  We can be informed.  We can be calm, prepared, steady, helpful, uplifting, fulfilled, joyous.

The choice is ours.

Grow on!

Purification Meditation ~

This exercise will communicate to your energy system (body) that you are willing to align with vibrant health, and willing to release any resistance to wellbeing you may have been holding.

  • Visualize yourself in a stream of light.  Let it pour through you as if you are translucent.
  • Allow the light to cleanse and rejuvenate every cell in your body as it pours through you, warms you, strengthens you, and purifies you physically.
  • Then reverse the stream and allow the light to emanate from within you.  Imagine it purifying all your cells as it streams out from you.

Please feel free to share YOUR favorite counterpoint activities in the comments!

Namaste.