The Enemy Within

I have known for a few days now that I need/want to further delay the opening of my massage practice, but I would not give myself permission to announce it as fact.  Why?

I don’t want to disappoint my clients.

Last week I booked July 5 to 19 solid because the COVID numbers were moving in the right direction, and the state of California seemed to have a handle on the reopening process.  Then we started seeing numbers come in from other states as they reopened, and it’s NOT looking promising anywhere that I can see.

NOTHING but health and safety need be considered when deliberating reopening my massage office, but MY tortured brain is still insisting that announcing my decision will “disappoint my clients.”  WTF?

I was beating myself up for so many things in this scenario!  

I shouldn’t have trusted the optimistic appraisal of California’s
re-opening roadmap. I shouldn’t have scheduled my clients so soon (fucking optimism). I should have waited. Why didn’t I wait? And my personal favorite ~ I should have known better! Really? Even though this is NEW and NO ONE in the world knows what to expect, I was holding myself to the standard that I – Cyndi Combs – SHOULD have fucking known what the rest of the world did not!

I know my massage clients really well.  Most of them have been seeing me for years, and not one of them is the kind of person to hold this against me.  Every one of them wants me safe, and wants to stay healthy and protect the health of their family.  But I got out my emotional baseball bat and turned it ruthlessly on myself.

Mostly I just couldn’t figure out why the decision was DRAINING me so much. Thinking about it left me deflated and unmotivated, and the self-flagellation was so FAR under my radar (read: practiced enough to be on auto-pilot) that I didn’t even SEE it. But I sure as hell FELT it in my bones.

Thank the Universe I have a coach!  Thank God I have developed
the habit of journaling when things feel “off” to try to make sense of them.  Thank Goddess I took this realization of constant, systemic
self-flagellation to both my coach and my journal!

YES!  Even though my current income is less than half what it was just three months ago, I make room in my budget to pay a certified, professional coach, and she is worth every penny.

When I took a long, curious look at my behavior, the following observations occurred.

I understand now that my own harsh self-judgment is my biggest roadblock, and a constant drain on my energy. When I beat myself up, it is the anchor that keeps me from moving forward into my goals!

For example: if I eat off plan, and then beat myself up for eating off plan, I am far more likely to eat off plan AGAIN to soothe my hard feelings. But if I eat off plan and then get curious about why I didn’t stick to my healthy intentions, look at my thoughts and  process my emotions, I am far less likely to fall off the plan again!

The thing holding me back more than anything else is my own judgment of my behavior.  Beating myself up has been holding me back. Beating myself up keeps me from accomplishing my goals.  Beating myself up comes REALLY easily to me.  I’ve practiced it repeatedly for decades, so it’s as natural as breathing and occurs with the same regularity.

I’ve been beating myself up for being human. I’ve eviscerated myself for making mistakes, or not getting ideal results on my first attempt.  I’ve been beating myself up for not doing things I thought I  “should” do because other people expected me to do them.  I’ve been beating myself up for not doing things as well as someone who’s been doing them for decades longer than I have. I have beat myself up for “disappointing” my clients because I was too sick or injured to work. 
I have beat myself up for having emotions that I judged to be negative.  I beat myself up for judging myself. I beat myself up because I should have known better. I beat myself up because I should have been farther along by now. I beat myself up because I said or did something that I judged ‘stupid’ and felt embarrassed.

I beat myself up for not getting enough done in a day!
I am the sole employee at THREE business that I run by myself. I am super-productive, highly efficient, and an organizationally GIFTED, super-human achiever by most standards, and I still would beat the crap out of myself for not getting ALL of it done. 

Fuck!  No wonder I’m exhausted.

All of these things are normal human experiences.  But I have been using them against myself. I have been using them to drain my own energy. The biggest drain on my energy is the enemy within me.
And I am done.  

I am done beating myself up.  From this moment forward, I beat myself up for NOTHING and no one. I will not judge myself harshly. I will allow myself human moments including the full range of this amazing Human Experience.

My self-judgement gremlin has been saying, “Cyndi, you can’t handle this.”

And for years now I have believed her, and beat myself up because I didn’t like the emotions I was feeling, or felt I couldn’t handle a situation because it didn’t turn out exactly as I wanted.

Moving Forward

In order to cultivate awareness of self judgement, I will ask:
What’s going on here? Why am I being harsh with me?   How helpful is that? Where did that come from? Why am I telling myself this story? 

I intend from this moment forward to be compassionate with myself and when I fall short of that intention, I can give myself some grace instead of picking up the emotional baseball bat and wielding it against myself!

You can’t kill gremlins.

‘Gremlins’ is a term used in coaching to describe the voices in your head that say things like, “You can’t handle this.”  “You’re not good enough.”  “You suck.”  “Why bother?”  “It’s too late.” “Everyone except YOU has their shit together.”

I’ve learned a few things working through my own gremlins, and guiding clients to work with their gremlins. Gremlins arise to protect us and they don’t like to be left behind. If they fear they will be left behind, they grow louder and cause a great deal of discomfort. The way to ease their fear is to assure them they are not being left behind, and that we will give them an important role to fill in our lives.  I usually do this by writing them a letter, thanking them for protecting me, and offering them a key role in my psyche moving forward.  Here’s what I wrote to this harsh, punishing voice in my head.

My Darling Self-Judgment Gremlin,  
I would be honored if you would accept the role of discernment decider!   Discernment is crucial to human survival, because all of our choices are based on preferences. When I can discern what I do not want, then I can more clearly discern what I do want.   Without you my darling discernment decider, I would feel confused and without direction. You get to help me decide where we steer our ship, which star we follow,  and what flavor ice cream we eat on the way!  Don’t forget your fucking cheerleading skirt!

Much love, Cyndi

Grow on!

What gremlin messages play on repeat in your head?  
How true is that?  
What is it trying to protect you from? 
How much pain is the message causing you? 
How helpful is that? 
Why does this story keep running on repeat?  
What is it costing to listen to constant negative messaging?  
How willing are you to let it go now?

If this resonates for you and you would like to create a roadmap from self-shaming  to self-respect, I offer two FREE coaching sessions to help you shift directions.  WHY free?  Why not charge for the sessions since I have no massage income?  

Because many people don’t understand the value of coaching.  And if finances are currently adversely affected by the pandemic, most won’t be willing to invest in something if they can’t comprehend its value.  Most people immediately see the value after two sessions, and then invest in my services, so the free sessions are a win-win.  Even if the client does NOT invest in my services, it’s a win-win!  I get to practice coaching about which I am passionate and inspired, and they gain insight into themselves and acquire tools that will serve them for as long as they choose to use them!

Labor Pains

I follow Tosha Silver, author & astrologer.  Recently I heard her say that during this time of Pluto transit, we are being forced to look at what hasn’t been looked at.  Individually and collectively we must burn away what needs to burn.  We are each facing our shadow.  This country is facing it’s shadow.  What no longer works must collapse during a Pluto transit.

Given what is happening right now in our country and our world, even those least inclined to astrology would have to say that seems pretty spot on.  We can feel the energy of it!

Our world is in the midst of change.  The change is a microscope, bringing our world into sharper focus so we can see what truly serves us, and what we need to release to create improved versions of ourselves and our world.  

Awareness is the first step.

If we are going to give birth to more beautiful versions of ourselves and our world, then we must LOOK at what we have not been willing to look at.  Now is the time to look.  Now is the time to listen.  Because to create our most beautiful life, our next more beautiful world, we want to take an accounting of what will grow with us, and what we must now burn away.  If we refuse to look at the darkness within our lives (self-loathing, shame, masked emotions) or within the structures of our society (systemic racism), it will destroy us from within like a cancer.

Allow what needs to go go.  Allow space for what you want to receive..

So many of my clients and friends are going through this right now!  We are clearing out closets, emptying attics, and organizing garages.  We are taking classes, hiring coaches, and deepening practices.  We are getting rid of what no longer serves us, and weighs us down.

Our country is also taking a deeper look at what must collapse, or be burned away.  The systemic racism, and militarized police forces that have emerged from it do not protect, nor serve us.  It must now be removed so that we can ALL grow into our full potential.

To refuse to look at what needs to be looked at, to deny what we see, or to choose to resist the changes that will heal us, is about as beneficial as resisting labor pains.

We cannot give birth to ourselves anew if we resist the pain of giving birth.

The astrology is demanding rebirth.  

Grow on!

What needs to go? 
What shadow have you been unwilling to look at? 
How ready do you feel to root it out to make space for something you desire? 
Are you in a space of personal reflection and change?
Are you in a space of societal reflection and change?
What obstacles might arise on your path of growth? 
What strategies will you use to overcome those obstacles? 
If you’ve been trying to make a change for awhile now, what will you try differently?

Let the Butterflies Struggle

Butterflies are my favorite symbol of transformation!

Cyndi @ the beach. Photoshop by donnio1.com

A butterfly’s transformation seems magical!  They arrive in the world as a caterpillar, they gorge themselves, snuggle up in a warm blanket for a nap and – TA DA! – emerge as a lithe creature of grace and great beauty.  Spectacular!

They make it look so easy.  Many of us dream of transforming our lives so magically.  If we could just go to sleep, then awake in the life we dream of living, spread our wings, and take flight without effort!

But how effortless is that transformation, really?

The chrysalis stage looks passive, as if the caterpillar falls asleep,
then wakes up beautiful.  But looks can be deceptive.  The caterpillar doesn’t just grow wings and fly.  The wing bits already exist inside
the caterpillar’s body, and to reveal them, the caterpillar digests itself, releasing enzymes to dissolve all of its tissues. 

For a time, inside the chrysalis, nothing exists except caterpillar soup, an untidy mess, mostly without organization or form. From this chaos, the Universe guides the cells to reorganize, until eventually the soft, wet butterfly is ready to awaken, and emerge into it’s new life. 

Credit: pixabay

The chrysalis does not simply pop open to let the butterfly take flight.  The weak, fragile creature inside is not strong enough to survive, let alone take flight.  So, after surviving the complete destruction of what it previously was, the new butterfly must now struggle to gain strength and confidence in order to give birth to it’s true potential and fly.

Let the Butterfly Struggle

At this stage, when the butterfly is struggling to leave the outdated chrysalis behind, observers might be tempted to help the creature, in their excitement to observe what they know will be a wondrous beauty.  But we need to trust the process.  The process can be painfully slow sometimes, but to release it before it’s ready is to weaken the muscles it needs to develop if it’s ever going to take flight.  The butterfly must struggle to release itself from the chrysalis in order to strengthen it’s wings and fulfill it’s potential.  

We are all butterflies!

In order to live our fullest potential, we must intentionally dissolve the parts of ourselves that are outdated, or no longer beneficial, while integrating the wisdom we gained from them, in order to give birth to a more beautiful version of ourselves.  This process takes courage and it takes faith.  

In darkness I must un-become everything that I am so I may become what I am meant to be.

Without struggles to strengthen our wings (faith) we never gain confidence to fly.  Butterflies who cannot fly are not living their potential, and die without having fulfilled it.

Let your children be butterflies!

We must let our kids struggle.  If we bend over backwards to make sure they don’t fail, we’re not setting them up to succeed.  If we take away their chance to struggle, they have no way to grow confident,
and can become worried, anxious and self-doubtful.  They may even attempt to find their own path, but when they see us jump in at the first sign of struggle, they get the message that even their parents don’t trust them, that struggle is “bad” and something to be avoided always, rather than a normal part of human life from which we learn and grow.

They see us not trust them to try.  They see us not trust them to overcome adversity.  They begin to see themselves as incapable.  Letting them struggle is not harsh or cruel, it shows faith in the process.  It empowers them and strengthens their confidence.

Knowing our parents will support us no matter what is comforting.  Knowing we can succeed on our own and triumph over adversity is crucial. Wanting to protect our children from harm is normal! Choosing to protect them from struggle diminishes their chances of fulfilling their potential.

A parent’s job is not to prevent children from failing.  A parent’s job is to be there for them when things don’t turn out as they had hoped, show them how to find the learning opportunity, and to use that wisdom to grow forward and inform future choices.

In Glennon Doyle’s new book, Untamed, she says, “I am here to keep becoming truer, more beautiful versions of myself again and again forever.”

This resonates so deeply for me!

In order to do this, we must trust the process of transformation.  Everything we need to become our next more beautiful version is inside us now, like the caterpillar’s future wings.

Our job, like the caterpillar, is to dissolve the parts of ourselves, our community, our culture, that no longer serve us, reveal our individual and collective divine beauty, step into our full potential, and fucking fly.

Grow on!

What aspect of yourself have you been holding onto that no longer serves your wellbeing?
How willing are you to allow that aspect to dissolve now?
How will you transform that energy?
What will you use that energy to manifest?
What’s holding you back?

The Importance of Being Self-Centered

Does self-care seem indulgent or selfish right now? 

Do you feel like you can’t take a break, ask yourself what you need, and then give that to yourself?  Does thinking of your own needs NOW make you a bad person?  No!  No it does not.

Most of us are feeling rage, or fear, or sadness, or shock or all of the above about the events happening in our world.  These emotions are catabolic and drain our energy.  They increase our stress levels, release cortisol that depletes our adrenals, and exhaust our physical apparatus.  How much good can we do if we show up to protest feeling hungry, tired, or overwhelmed?

Self-care is NOT indulgent.  Self care is CRUCIAL if you expect to help, uplift, or protect anyone – especially yourself!

The world NEEDS all of it’s warrior spirits right now!  

The time is here to stand up for what you believe in – which is altogether DIFFERENT than pushing against what you do not want – and you cannot stand for something if you are too exhausted to stand!

PLEASE do whatever you feel called to do, whatever you feel capable of doing to support our brothers and sisters of color, but please remember to take care of you first.  You will be a far more effective ally if your energy is fully engaged.

You are as deserving of love and care as the people you want to support and uplift.  And you will be a far more effective advocate for change if you feel positive and powerful instead of drug-out or depleted.

Here is a short list of options for self-care
adapted from Ana Verzone’s Freedom School:

▪ Learn to say “no.”
▪ Develop a relaxing evening ritual.
▪ Allow yourself to feel and express all of your emotions
▪ Bring you into the present moment.
▪ Create art as a form of anxiety and/or stress release.
▪ Remind yourself of the good stuff in life by writing a gratitude list.
▪ Stop being your harshest critic. Allow yourself to make mistakes.
▪ Do some stretching exercises.
▪ Take a walk.
▪ Drink more water.
▪ Go out and spend 10 minutes under the sun.
▪ Go for a bike ride to nowhere in particular.
▪ Spend time in nature.
▪ Go to bed early.
▪ Avoid toxic people.
▪ Ask for help. Let people know you need some help.
▪ Call a trusted friend or family member and talk things out.
▪ Schedule a date night with yourself.
▪ Limit the time you spend on news/social media.
▪ Make time for meditation.
▪ Do a body scan, and check in with each part of your body.
▪ Do something nice for someone in secret.
▪ Donate money to a charity of your choosing.
▪ Spend time intentionally raising your vibration.

Pick ones that appeal to you.  Support & strengthen yourself first.  Then get out there and do whatever your spirit is being called to do!

I am offering two free coaching sessions to anyone wanting coaching right now! Coaching is what I am good at, and it’s what I can do to help after I recharge my own batteries! Please email me if you would like some help being at your best during challenging times!

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

Mastering your Mind during COVID 19

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.

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!

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.