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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 this pattern by creating a meaningful experience for my 50th birthday. I had always dreamed of swimming with the dolphins, so I researched the best options and booked a trip with my partner, Mark, to Hawaii, where we swam with the dolphins four times. It was a life altering experience (click here to read about it).

There were many times this past year when I chose to speak up for myself about my needs and desires even when it felt very vulnerable, and I was worried that I might create conflict in my relationships. As a result of taking risks and daring to speak about needs of mine that were not being fully met, I am now experiencing more love and abundance in my life. For instance, I spoke up to Mark about taking the next step in our relationship and moving in together. I had been feeling frustrated with going back and forth between our homes and wanted more consistency. He was initially hesitant because of certain fears of intimacy and fear of losing his autonomy. Communicating honestly, we were able to move through the barriers, with attention being given to both of our core needs, our fears, hopes and desires. We are now living together and are creating a rich life shared with a robust community of friends.

In this example, not only did I value myself and what was true about what I really wanted, but I listened to and trusted my inner guidance. I followed what was aligned and true for me even if it meant rocking the boat and potential loss. It was very scary at times, but the outcome has been well worth it.

My partnership with Mark has also challenged me to heal and release deep core wounds related to abandonment and rejection. Initially, I took Mark’s hesitancy about moving our relationship forward, personally. What was wrong with me? Why wasn’t I enough? I wanted him to validate me and prove to me that I was worthy of receiving love. Through honest communication and taking responsibility for my own insecurity, I have transformed these wounds. As a result, I have noticed a growing feeling of inner strength and security. I am less reactive and rarely triggered. I feel more peaceful, calm and grounded within myself. Overall, I am experiencing greater self-love, rather than depending on Mark to provide me with security and validation.

Over the past year, I also grieved and healed unresolved losses. I had the courage to see and feel what was under the surface even when it was painful. For example, as I explored my own fear and ambivalence about being a mom, unexpected grief came up related to my brother’s diagnosis of Cystic Fibrosis when he was six months old.  I had grieved his death, but not the moment I found out about his terminal illness. I also experienced more grief about not having been able to conceive my own child.


As a result of valuing myself, healing old wounds and grieving unresolved losses, I grew my capacity to embody more kundalini energy (vital  life force energy) and thus more bliss, ecstasy and lightness in my body. I now enjoy this embodied energy on a daily basis. For example, when I stand at the edge of the ocean and watch the waves crash and recede, I can sometimes feel the energy of the waves as an orgasmic bliss undulating throughout my body. Dancing, I experience similar sensations of bliss and ecstasy. I often feel like I am living in Heaven on Earth. I don’t think that could have been possible, however, if I were not willing to face the uncomfortable and painful parts of this human experience.

Where are you on your journey with self-love and receiving? Are you able to speak up for yourself and ask for what you need? Do you have unresolved grief keeping you stuck? Or, are your energy channels open and flowing? If you find yourself struggling with any of these areas, I would love to support you through my “life transformation sessions“.  My primary intention for 2018 is to use my gifts to help others heal and transform their lives.

“Yes, your transformation will be hard. Yes, you will feel frightened, messed up and knocked down. Yes, you’ll want to stop. Yes, it’s the best work you’ll ever do.”

– Robin Sharma

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Karen Mehringer, MA, MFT - Grief support, counseling and life coaching in Santa Cruz area.