Releasing Anger Inviting Aliveness

(Navigating the Decline of My Mom – Story #2)

I wake up this morning and am lucid dreaming. In the dream, I feel frustrated and angry, similar to how I feel about my mom’s health decline and impending death. I had wanted to have a temper tantrum at dance church a couple of weeks ago, but held back because I didn’t want to disturb the other dancers.

During a phone healing session later in the day, I share about my dream. The healer and I work through issues related to me feeling safe using my voice to express myself. At the end of the session, she suggests I get support to express my rage. She also recommends that I go into nature to do this anger release work.

I am staying at a friend’s house where I am surrounded by two acres of trees, water, flowers, bushes. It’s like a jungle. There is green everywhere I look. Plus, there is a year-round waterfall and creek which feeds into a large pond.

After my call with the healer, I decide to go outside and stand near the waterfall. I take my shoes off and feel the coolness of the earth underneath my feet. I […]

By |April 21st, 2020|Grief and Loss, Living Fully, Spiritual Awakening, Transformation|

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Grounding Meditation for Uncertain Times

If you are like me, you have likely experienced a variety of emotions upon hearing news about the pandemic and directly experiencing the effects of closures, empty grocery store shelves, social isolation, etc. My emotions have run the gamut from shock, fear, grief, depression, to hope for the possibility of a radical awakening and the benefits of slowing down and orienting more fully to what is most important in my life.

As an antidote to the roller coaster ride, here is an audio recording of a grounding guided visualization that I frequently do with my clients. I hope that it helps you find your ground and center in the midst of the chaos. I hope that it helps you remember that you are a Being of love and light who has the power to create positive change in your life and in the world.

Click here to listen.

If you need extra support right now, I offer remote sessions via phone, Skype, Zoom or FaceTime. Click here for more info.

Here is what a client recently said about working with me:

“I highly recommend Karen for anyone needing support and guidance in navigating successfully through a period of grief or personal loss. Karen’s warm and welcoming presence and ability […]

Grief: The Way Out is In

(Navigating the Decline of My Mom – Story #1)

It has been several months since I’ve had a good cry about my mom’s health decline from the effects of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and Pick’s disease (a form of frontal lobe dementia). Every time I think about her situation, I feel tears rise to the surface. I allow myself to cry briefly but then push my emotions back down, just to get through my day. As a result, I feel depressed and my energy feels heavy. From experience I know I need to release my grief to feel lighter and to be more present in my body and in my life.

Over the past few months, it has become more and more challenging for my mom to speak. During my last visit with her at the full-time care facility where she lives, she mumbles her words so much that I have difficulty understanding her.

“Mom, why don’t we use the communication board the ALS specialist gave us to practice with,” I suggest while pulling out the board.

I ask her to point to letters and phrases to spell out a sentence such as a question she might normally ask me about what is […]

By |February 5th, 2020|Grief and Loss, Transformation|

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Expressing Grief Increases Vitality

Once a week my partner Mark and I meet for a “heart talk”. This is an opportunity for us to discuss vulnerable issues that may have come up for us during the week related to our relationship, usually the types of things that we would prefer to sweep under the carpet. Last week, Mark checked in with me about my work.

I had had surgery ten weeks prior to have fibroids removed from my uterus and had allowed my business to drop. Six weeks after my surgery, my business picked back up, but I hadn’t done anything differently to market myself and I still had room for new clients.

“Where are you at with your intentions for growing your business?” Mark asked.

“But my business is growing!” I responded defensively. “I’m worried if I market my business too much right now, I will become overwhelmed.”

Over a year ago, I had been diagnosed with the Epstein Barr virus which frequently expresses itself when I am run down. That morning I woke up with the usual symptoms – fatigue, a headache, body aches and sore throat. I had seen back-to-back clients the day before and I was completely exhausted. I didn’t […]

By |September 27th, 2019|Acceptance, Grief and Loss, Living Fully, Personal growth, Transformation|

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Learning to Value Myself

Happy New Year! I love this time of year. The days are getting longer. The busyness of the holidays is behind us. I feel alive with new possibilities and am inspired to create anew.

As part of my process in getting clear about what I intend to create in 2018, I took time out to review my growth over the past year. What did I learn in 2017? What did I appreciate about myself? How did I heal and transform? Instead of focusing on my outward accomplishments, I decided to focus on my inner journey. I feel inspired to share the highlights with you as this review process was fortifying and empowering. It helped me to anchor in the changes, and set intentions for continued growth.

One of the greatest areas of growth for me this year was learning to value myself more. My nature is to be a peace keeper (I am a 9 on the Enneagram). I tend to lose myself in my relationships and prioritize other’s needs before my own.  My pattern has been to play small and not take up too much space. Consciously choosing to break this pattern has been a process.

I took a step to break […]

By |January 12th, 2018|Grief and Loss, Living Fully, Personal growth, Spiritual Awakening, Transformation|

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Dolphin Encounters: A Celebration of Life

For my 50th birthday in February, I decided to gift myself by following one of my long-held dreams…to swim with the dolphins.

I don’t recall when this dream originated. It may have formed while sailing for six-months in the South Pacific in 1998. The crew and I had several encounters with dolphins swimming at the bow of our 46-foot sailboat. During our first ocean passage, sailing from Fiji, I felt excited, but also quite nervous. Even though I grew up sailing, I had never been away from the sight of land. As we sailed west towards the crimson sunset, dolphins joined us at the bow of the boat, as if to provide a personal escort for us out to sea. Their presence elicited feelings of deep joy and comfort and my nervousness subsided. Even though the swells were large, I knew we would be safe. The dolphins signaled a good omen.

Four years later, while sailing with friends from Dana Point to Catalina Island in California, a pod of dolphins greeted us. I laid down on the bow of the boat and dangled my arm overboard hoping to touch one of these magnificent creatures. I didn’t make physical contact, but I […]

By |March 28th, 2017|Living Fully, Transformation|

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Coming Alive After Loss

After eating breakfast at the Aquarius restaurant at the Dream Inn, which overlooks the ocean, boardwalk and Wharf in Santa Cruz, my boyfriend Mark and I decided to stroll on the Wharf where “Woodies on the Wharf” was taking place, a car convention featuring more than 200 stylish, pre-1952 “wood-bodied” cars, known as “Woodies”. Walking hand-in-hand we admired these classic cars which have been restored by their caring passionate owners.

Each car was unique with varying colors, designs, interior upholsteries and decorative ornaments. A few had the doll “Woody” from the movie Toy Story sitting on the dash or the hood of the car. Some had surf boards on roof racks. The varnished wood was gorgeous and the paint jobs exquisite.  The cars appeared shiny, polished impeccably. I wanted to rub my hands all over them to feel their smoothness on my skin. I barely touched them, though, so as not to leave even a finger print on these perfect works of art.

My senses were fully alive after a morning of passionate love making with Mark and a deep, lively conversation over breakfast about possibility, transformation and the nature of existence. Not only was I moved by the beauty of […]

The Other Side of Grief: Awakening New Possibilities for Living

A lot has happened in my life since my last post, including the dissolution of my 18-year marriage, letting go of my home and most of my possessions, and moving eight times (I am still not settled). The grieving process of “emptying out” as my therapist called it was intense and at times unbearable. Sometimes it felt like the pain would never end. The article below, The Other Side of Grief, offers a brief glimpse into my process and some of the tools that helped me to transform my life.

Star-shaped diamonds dance on the surface of the ocean, creating a path of light across the azure waves in front of me to the brilliant warm sun. On either side of the path white spray shoots up from the blow holes of Humpback whales. Sitting atop the cliffs at Eselan, in Big Sur, my eyes scan the ocean in anticipation of the next shiny black mammoth to surface. In my line of sight, orange monarch butterflies flitter around, sometimes ten at a time. I am entranced by their lightness and beauty as they float through the clear blue sky. Awe-struck, I think, “My life is so amazing. How does it […]

By |February 1st, 2015|Grief and Loss, Living Fully, Personal growth, Transformation|

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Reflections on Grief and Joy

A three-quarter moon glowed pinkish-peach from the rising sun’s reflection on its shadowy surface, as it made its decent towards the horizon. Alone, I stood on the beach taking in the luminescent beauty of the moon, and the glimmering platinum ocean. The early morning light created a symphony of colors as the blue from the sky peaked through the fog, creating a metallic bluish-silver color.

The sand was smooth without foot prints, except for the occasional spiky claw print of a seagull. Bundled up with a scarf, hat and jacket on, I walked slowly from one length of the beach to the other, about half a mile, stopping occasionally to take in the quickly changing scenery and watching as the waves gently rolled and crashed. Their sound soothed my broken heart.

It had been eight months since I had separated from John, after being married for 17-years. Despite the separation being my idea, I was devastated that we hadn’t been able to resolve our differences. The grief was unbearable at times, especially since it was compounded by the loss of my dog and letting go of my dream of having a baby. Now, I was also letting go of my life […]

By |April 18th, 2014|Acceptance, Grief and Loss, Living Fully, Transformation|

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Dragonfly Magic: A Gift in the Grieving Process

A large metallic blue-green dragonfly buzzed back and forth again and again. I followed it with my eyes, like watching a tennis match. It was unusual, so I took it as a good sign. Everything was going to be okay.

It had been a beautiful Sunday in mid-August and I was sitting in the faded green Adirondack chair in our backyard, in Santa Cruz, CA my head tilted back, soaking up the sun. Relieved to relax for a few minutes, I took several deep breaths. Rennie, my ailing Shepard-mix dog, lay panting heavily next to me. I had helped her outside to go to the bathroom. I stroked the soft fur on her back gently as my fingers glided over her protruding spine. I was attuned to her every breath and movement.

Earlier that morning, John had said to me, “It’s time.” We had asked for a sign, something to tell us Rennie was ready to die, something to make our unbearable decision easier. Rennie’s health had declined rapidly in recent weeks. First, she was hospitalized with acute pancreatitis. She bounced back, but then became lethargic. A trip to the vet revealed she had an auto-immune condition which affected her jaws […]

By |October 30th, 2013|Grief and Loss, Transformation|

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