Category: Soul Nourishment

Self Care Is A Journey

Chonteaus SPP Session-45

I would definitely say the term “self care”  is trending right now.  Every women’s magazine has an article about ways to take care of yourself, from weekly ritual baths,  to girls nights out on the town.  There are tips for setting boundaries with others and eating healthy foods, all in the name of self care.

My life coaching business is centered around guiding middle-aged women through the terrain of self care but self care is not always easy.  I have found there are various levels of self care or soul nourishment,  what I prefer to call it, and when one truly commits to soul nourishment…. well, hold onto your socks, because your life is going to turn into “Mr Toad’s Wild Ride”. Why would I say that? Soul nourishment  aka self care is supposed to be fun right? When I focus on my self care I get to have massages,  pedicures and buy new clothes. I take myself out to dinner and hang with my girlfriends.  We get to pretend our lives are perfect by distracting ourselves with our children’s school issues or complain to each other about all the wrongdoings in the world. Can you tell I am kinda over it.  That is not self care.

A couple of years ago decided to write a book about self care.  However I did not want it to be the cookie cutter  14 tips to self care book, it was very important that I share some of my journey as a middle ager. I wanted to share some challenges, but mostly introspective strategies of how to change who we are.  There, I said it, self care in my definition  is about change. Actually it is about deep inner change, and we all know what happens next…. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

My self care practices have evolved over the years, not because I am getting older but because I am becoming more aware. Self care used to be about gardening, pottery classes and going out to eat.  It evolved to daily meditation, going to church and focusing on my spiritual life. I am now at the stage in my life when self care is more about soul nourishment and learning to love myself just as I am. I love eating wholesome, but when I don’t, do I love myself still and have the courage to explore what I do not want  to face. Gardening and meditating are still part of my life but I have learned to embrace so much more.

An 84 Day Self Care Journey For Women In Their Middle Years is a simple but profoundly deep self help  journal that focuses on the steps of how to change and renew ones life.  For many middle age women,  we have put of our dreams on a shelf and  midlife is when we go back to that shelf, dust off our dreams and re-dream something new.  The only way to do this is to commit to our soul nourishment, that’s the key. We must put ourselves first and that my friend is no easy task.

I will get you started, here are the first 7 days of An 84 Day Self Care Journey For Women In Their Middle Years:

  1. Day One:  Renewal of self begins with the commitment to doing the inner work.  Today I commit to doing the work.  
  2. Day Two:  Today I make a list of what parts of my life the need renewing.
  3. Day Three:  Today I remind myself that change is a process that last a life time. There are no shortcuts to renewing our Spirits. Today I continue to stay committed to the process. 
  4. Day Four:  Our relationships play a vital role in our lives. Today I contemplate my relationships. I ask myself which relationship are hurting me and which are helping me?
  5. Day Five:  Today’s Affirmation: I deserve to have healthy and happy relationships in my life. 
  6. Day Six:  First 5 days on our renewal journey is complete. Congrats on committing to your self care.  Today I meditate on the last 5 days. 
  7. Day Seven:  Rest

Self care or Soul Nourishment  is a journey and I never expect to reach the end, what fun would that be? A life without twirls, turns bumps and humps is just no fun at all.  I happen to like  Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, what about you?

5 Tips To Clear Negativity From Your Office Space


As a Healer it is really important to keep my office/healing space clear of negativity, stagnation, fear  and other unwanted energies.  As Coaches, it’s no secret that our clients share a lot of what is not working in their lives.  We are the container that holds  the space them them to vent, clear and release what holds them back.  Well, where do you think those thoughts and words go? A lot of the times they get stuck in the corners of our offices and healing rooms.  This is why spiritually clearing our spaces on a regular basis is so important to keep the  energy vibrant and fresh.

During times of epidemics in Europe thyme fumigations were used to rid the area of sickness. Dried Thyme was burned in the streets.  Using this same philosophy, one can burn other herbs, also called smudging,  to help c00B03934-A3F1-4A7A-92E6-83343FE9FC8Clean an environment of unwanted energies or enhance an environment by invoking energies that are helpful to an area.

From this Modern Day Shaman, here are a few of my top tips for  keeping your office/healing  space  clear.

  1. Think prevention:  Keep an incense or  candle burning when meeting with a client. Smudge your office regularly.  Have numerous water elements around your office such as a fountain, water plants and placing a bowl of water with fresh leaves behind the door.  The water will absorb negative energy, be sure to change the water daily.
  2. Clean the floors and walls with flower water.  Every week I like to clean my office floors and walls with flower water.  Flower water is a sacred water created by Medicine People.  The flower water is anointed and can be added to a cloth that is used to wipe down the walls and floors of your office. If you do not have flower water use lemon and sage essential oils with water.
  3. Dust and wipe down your desk and cabinets.  Do not let dust collect in your office. Dust carries germs both physically and spiritually.
  4. Meditate and Pray.  Did you know the more you meditate and pray in an area the greater you raise the vibration.  Think about it. Why do sacred sites feel so amazing? People come from all over to pray and meditate they are creating a vortex of healing energy.  You can do the same in your space.
  5. Have crystals around your space. Rose quartz, quartz crystals, fire agate to name a few are excellent for absorbing and deflecting negative energies. They also add positive qualities to your space.

I have been in the healing business a very long time and one of the things my clients have always said is how wonderful my space feels.  That is not by chance it  is by design.

Be Inspired Today and Everyday


Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we get caught up in the drama around us and forget who we are on a deeper level. We forget that we are Divine beings having a human experience.  My healing practice is all about reminding people who they really are and helping them awaken to their brilliant light.

Sometimes all it takes is  one little spark of inspiration, and we can leave those fearful thoughts behind. Inspiration reminds us that we are not our problems, nor are we bound by our limiting beliefs.

When we are inspired, our spark inside turns into a flame and our lives and those around us are changed. We have the courage to step into the unknown and follow our dreams. We set aside our fears and move forward confidently to play bigger in the world and live the life of our dreams.

But how do we find such inspiration? It can be found almost anywhere, if we’re open to finding it. Perhaps it’s a walk in the woods, watching a child at play, enjoying the scent of a flower or gazing into the eyes of your beloved. Perhaps it’s as easy as reading something that reminds you what a powerful being you are and helps you step away from the story you’ve been telling yourself for so long.

Regardless of how we find it, inspiration has the power to change the world. It first starts with us and then spreads out into the world. Before you know a movement is created and living an inspired life becomes the norm.

I shared an inspiration with and I was chosen to be one of thier Inspirational Luminaries.  It was an amazing experience and has truly inspired me to continue sharing my inspiring stories with more online communities. 4 Ways to Slow Down and Be  Mindful, you can read it here if you like.

Want to improve your world? Make inspiration a daily part of your life and things will change.  I’d like to introduce you to a website that makes finding inspiration so easy for all of us. Each day, features one Inspirational Luminary who answers the question, If today were your last day and you had only 500 words to leave to humanity, what have you learned that matters?

Imagine how different your world would be if you started each day with the wisdom learned from household names like Sir Richard Branson (Virgin) and Guy Laliberte (Cirque du Soleil) to thought leaders like Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Marci Shimoff (The Secret). So far more than 1000 Luminaries have been featured, including me. That’s a lot of inspiration and I’m proud to be a part of it!

This daily wisdom takes but a minute to read, yet acts as a conscious reminder to that spark within each of us, rekindling our fire within. I invite you to read my inspiration on and browse through the wisdom of more than 1000 other Inspirational Luminaries, and watch the difference it makes in your life.

Remember, when we get caught up in our own stories and start to forget our own design as infinite beings, it is inspiration that turns the ordinary into extraordinary, fear into hope and the darkness into light. Inspiration reminds us that we are greater than we seem, and more resilient and powerful than we think.




Are You Running A Fear Pattern?


In the last 9 months I have become acutely aware of the fear patterns I have been running in my life. Regardless of how great  or not so great things are going for me, there is  always an element of fear that lingers in the background of my life.  This year is a nine year for me.  I am 45 and 4 +5 equals 9.  Nine is a number of completion and resolution which means,  and end of a cycle.  I had no idea what cycles  were going to complete or how they were going to be resolved but, what else could I do but to be open.

I must share with you this year has not been easy.  It is not that I have come face to face with my fears, I have come face to face with fear itself and that is a totally different animal. Not only have I come face to face with fear I have explored how fear itself has been running in my life and at times running the show.

I have had two choices this year: 1. Embrace Fear  2. Run from Fear

I have chosen both.  To be truthful, it has been in the embracing of fear that I have learned fear is my constant companion.  There are days when  run for the hills and fear is fast on my trail reminding me that it is not going away.  It is  in those moments that I stop running and instead of facing fear like an angry dragon I embrace fear like the gentle doe. I invite fear to be with me and I give fear a voice and always when I do, fears gets smaller….until next time.

In the process of creating the life I desired, I found I was stuck in fear and the same themes kept appearing over and over in my life. Running for the hills in my life looks like procrastination, avoidance, withdrawal,  pretending, lack of creative inspiration, prolonged confusion and extreme sadness.  I can also add blaming, easily irritable and a general sense not moving forward. I think you get the picture.

Since becoming more aware , clearing and healing the fear patterns I am running, my life has become more manageable and freeing.  I do not run for the hills as much, notice I said as much, and when I do, I recognize it a lot sooner and this helps me embrace fear sooner; thus the clearing and healing can occur.

I wanted to include a few steps I have taken to become aware, clear and heal my fear patterns.  I feel you can use these steps for any negative life pattern you are running in your life.

Becoming Aware

  • Begin to identify what running for the hills looks like to you.  In other words notice when you are procrastinating,  withdrawing from others, and increasing addictive behaviors.
  • Start talking to yourself and answering back.  Time to start listening to the conversations that are happening in your head. Write down your conversations if it helps.  Begin to recognize your themes in your conversations.
  • Begin to evaluate your life.  This was a big one for me because I started evaluating if I was happy or not and begin questioning myself if I believed I could change it.


  • Seek out a Light Worker.  I am not even going to lie, when you get to this part of your journey there is no substitute for outside support.  Light Workers come in all  shapes and sized and do not be afraid to work with more than one.  I feel this is a priority.  Ask the Universe to send you a team of healers that are a perfect match.


  • Sometimes this can be the hardest part because you now have to integrate new strategies, thought forms and be extremely gentle with yourself.
  • Keep seeing your Light Worker.  Do not stop working with your support. Often times we  have our chakras balanced or we have a breakthrough with our body worker and we stop.  Do not fall into this trap.  Support is invaluable.
  • Keep an evidence book.  This was a new one for me, but it has helped so much for my rational mind  to see evidence that I am feeling better and I am recognizing the fear patterns and not getting bogged down every time.

We all run and get stuck in “negative” life patterns. Remind yourself that everything is going to be alright and this too shall pass. My last step would be to release your attachment to outcomes and timeframes. When working with matters of the Spirit there just is no such thing.


Personal Ritual For The Waning Moon

waning moon

For those of us that really like doing personal ritual during the new and full moons there are so many ideas to choose from.  However I have not seen many ideas that work with the waxing or growing moon and the waning or shrinking moon.  I thought I might share a personal ritual I did lately which captures the energy of the waning moon.

The waning moon energy can be intense as it starts our process of letting go. If we think about it, the waning  moon starts the day after the  full moon and as the moon “shrinks” it helps us get rid of our excess.  Excess takes the form of unwanted attitudes, thoughts, possessions, people and any other thing that has grown out of control and needs to be shed.   The waning moon for me is always a time to letting go and making room for newness. The waning moon beckons me to go under the surface and do some deep inner work, which in turn will help me burst through the surface when the new moon returns again.

I recently created a ceremony  that supports the inner work the waning moon beckons us to do.  Understanding a ceremony or ritual is a sacred act of creating a space in which healing is going to occur; invoke your Divine Support, set your intention and leave the rest up to Spirit.

Here is the ceremony I created.  I love the symbolism of sweeping and the concept of cleaning out the old and making room for newness is not new.  To create a sacred ceremony you  can use a few props, set a sacred intention, set aside about an hour of undisturbed time and you are ready.  The items you will need are:

  1. Several small bush branches with  leaves
  2. Raffia or some other twine to tie the branches together
  3. Small pieces of paper and pen
  4. A smudge pot and sage (if you have it)

First you will collect about two or three small branches.  I like to walk around the area and find ones that have fallen from trees.  If I have sage, I smudge the outside of my front door area.  In a prayerful way, I tie the branches together to make a natural broom.  I set my broom aside.  I then take some time to think about all I want to release from my body, mind and emotions.  I think of what might be holding me back from living my greatest life at this time. What people, attitudes and emotional baggage am I carrying around that no longer supports me,  and I write those things down on the paper slips.  I then place those paper slips on my front door stoop.  Again I do this  very prayerfully.  I focus my intention on mIMG_0588y natural broom and I began to sweep away the slips of paper.  I sweep them down to the curb and place them in the garbage.  I may even do a little dance to celebrate their departure.

Be careful what you place on the paper, because magic is real,  and that which you ask to leave will leave….eventually if not sooner. I close out my ceremony with a prayer of gratitude.  I may then write in my journal or sit quietly and reflect.  When this personal ritual is done during the waning moon, you are using the natural forces of Mother Nature to support your healing and growth and for me there is nothing better.

If you want more information on how to use Mother Nature to support your life, check out my new e-course Natural Rhythms.  There are some great ways to bring  the wisdom of the seasons into your life. My next e-course Personal Ritual will be coming out soon.



Seasonal Living Basics

treeDid you know that each season carries a unique energy to help us manifest what we want in our lives? Mother Nature has some pretty incredible rhythms and cycles and if we learn how to tune in to her natural rhythms, we welcome more harmonious life.

The concept of seasonal living is very prevalent when it comes to eating.   There are lots of articles which help us understand how to eat with the seasons, and eat what is growing locally.  Have you ever thought of going beyond your food?  There are sacred rituals from all over the globe and from every culture that celebrate the earth  and her natural cycles.  Solstices and Equinoxes are the major earth celebrations which focus on each season but there are others.  Some cultures celebrate the migratory patterns of birds, fish and  four legged friends.  Planetary alignments as well as the growing patterns of sacred plants and trees are also recognized and our lives are enriched when we can view this wisdom as a life map.

When we observe nature we observe ourselves and the wisdom held deep in the earth’s crevices  can not be denied.  Right now I am in heart of summer  and by understanding the energy of summer I am welcoming abundance, rapid growth, freedom, fun, passion and heat. There are other themes running through this time of year for me, instead of going against the natural flow I am able to move with it and that brings an overarching peace.  It also brings a deep understanding that only comes from mindfully observing  our natural world and discovering what she has to share.

Why do you think we are encouraged to eat  what is growing at the time, it is because  nature always provides what we need.  Nature knows what our bodies need to be nourished and fresh foods provide the right amount of nutrients we need to support the season we are in and to prepare for the season ahead. This is also true for seasonal activities.  Food is not the only way to nourish our bodies and Nature knows this.    Everything is always working in concert and when 80% of our food and energy  is  not seasonally based, we are no longer  in alignment with Earth Mother’s natural rhythms and that equates to dis-ease. Dis-ease presents itself as emotional stress, physical illness, irritability, lack of compassion, sadness and so much more.

Here’s a solution:  

  • Make learning about the Earth’s Cycles a priority.
  • Mindfully spend time in outside and observe and contemplate what you see and feel.
  • Develop the mindset that you are not above nature which will help you have a child’s mind and embrace the wonderment.
  • Research your ancestry.  If you go back far enough you will uncover an earth based culture that will be rich with wisdom.
  • Download my next e-course Natural Rhythms~ Living in Harmony with Earth Mother (releases on July 1st 4 pm)  and learn more about how to live with the seasons and not against them.  This e-course will have simple rituals, and other ideas of living in harmony.

I always say, it does not matter where you start,  just start.  The process of creating a life that is more aligned with mother nature is a life well lived.

Natural Rhy p1a join  us for our facebook happy hour on July 1st from 4 pm to 5 pm and get a 50% off discount code for this class. Join our event here.


Fear Of The Blank Canvas


empty canvas

For some of us the blank canvas is one of the scariest things we will ever face in our lives.  It seems our culture leads us, from the time we are born, to go with the herd.  We are taught not to think for ourselves but to wait until we are told what to do.  We are taught to use only primary colors and stay in the lines.  At an early age it is reinforced that out of the box thinking, is great as long as you stay within the tribal norms.

This sounds like a culture that fears the blank canvas. I am product of this culture and for a long time I avoided the blank canvas, it was scary.  I got very comfortable operating in my own paradigm where everything felt safe and comfortable. I created a safe job, having children at just the right age,  and making sure I was always responsible.   I attracted canvases that came with instructions or had an outline of what I was to do.

Recently I have craved something different.  Something has shifted in me and I am starting to crave the artistic expression which requires an empty canvas.  I am desiring to operate without rules and boundaries.  I am beginning to see the fun in coloring outside the lines.  I can hear my father saying, “when the herd goes right….I go left.”  In my adult life, am beginning to understand why my father never really told me what to do.  He only offered up his own experiences as an example of what HE did and what was important to him. My dad taught me, some rules are not for me and it is okay to stand alone.

I think many of us are avoiding the blank canvas or the empty playbook because we do not want to be 100% responsible for our lives.  When something does not work out we can point the finger at someone else’s system as to why it did not work. Instead of embracing the empty canvas and the uncomfortableness that comes with creating our lives new, we look for a template of another and try to figure out how we can fit.     We are constantly searching for the cosmic template that says, who we are and what we do is acceptable. I have learned to sit  with the uncomfortableness of  that blank canvas  and  wait for inspiration  to come….and it will come.

I have decided to continue the next leg of my life’s journey embracing the blank canvas.  I am going to open to  the inner artist and start creating from scratch.  I have decided to mix my primary colors and create new colors for my life.

Here is a great mental exercise that can help you:

One of my favorite visualizations to do, is to imagine I am sitting in front of a blank canvas. Within my minds eye I can see the canvas.  I then  ask myself to  create the most beautiful masterpiece.  I never know what I am going to  create and I do not attach myself to what it needs to look like.  When my masterpiece is complete, I imagine jumping into my masterpiece and play.

I began using this visualization about 2 years ago.  It was difficult at first, but I stayed with it  and what a difference it has made in my life. It has helped me to embrace my own ideas of inspirations.  Now when I see a blank canvas I get excited,  I think of all the  possibilities of what I can create.

May the next leg of your life’s journey BOLD, BEAUTIFUL and BODACIOUS!

Why Don’t You Meditate?



Like many Social Workers, Therapists, and Nurses, I entered into the healing profession to make  a difference in the lives others.  I was taught by my mother the importance of giving to others, sharing what you have with those who did not have, was the best way to live.  I  watched my mother get involved with numerous community groups and projects.  I watched her juggle holidays events, PTA meetings and being there for her children. What I did not see,  was her take a break.  I never saw her collapse on the bed with exhaustion.  I always saw her doing something for someone else and never for herself.   Women were trained and groomed to “do it all” and to have  smile on our faces while we do.

That is not my paradigm….anymore.   In my mid twenties I entered into the Social Work profession. Though I had some great self care tools, and I used them,  it was not until I had suffered major losses in my life that I  completely embraced self care as a way of life.  We can know what to do, even teach others what to do to take care of themselves, but until it becomes a part of our lives, there will always be gaps. When the stressful time is over  and the self care is no longer needed, it will be very easy to slip back into what you were taught or what was modeled to you as a child.  The go go go and do do do attitude is not just modeled by our parents,  it  is woven within the fabric of our American culture. The  attitude of “there is no time” is pervasive, especially in the healing  service professions.

I would like to introduce a remedy.  Meditation!!  Yes, I know it is not new and holistic practitioners and free thinking leaders  have talked about  using meditation as a self care, stress reduction tool for centuries. But here is the thing, it really works when you use it, internalize it and make it a part of your life and not just a novelty.  As a Social Worker it was the most beneficial tool for burnout prevention and intervention I ever used. It has been  the most centering and loving tool I used  to support my life.

Many of us want to meditate but, for some reason it has not come to fruition.  I knew a woman who loved her yoga class, but at the end of her class she got up and left because she felt lying in corpse position was a waste of time. I challenged her to explore her feelings a little deeper about leaving when she was invited to be still.

It came down to safety, she simply did not feel safe in her own body.   I  find the main reason people do not meditate, is because they do not feel safe.  Safety is not just about our physical surroundings, emotional  and spiritual safety are also components to allowing ourselves to be still. So many of us fear what is within the silence, we do not trust there is a part of us that is safe and does not need to control every outcome. Our Ego’s  will come up with numerous excuses as to why we can not meditate in order to keep us feeling safe. Here are a few.

  1. There is no time
  2. Not sure how to do it
  3. Can’t quite my mind
  4. Convinced it will not work
  5. It is something different and I am too old to change my habits

If you read these reasons and see yourself, you are not alone, trust me. Learning to meditate and then developing a habit takes time.  The first step is to  explore what may not feel safe to you about being still and quiet. Before sitting down to meditate I will ask myself this question, “do I feel safe?”  If the question is no I will NOT proceed. I will explore my feelings of unsafety. This may take a few moments or it may lead to deeper self inquiries.

When you begin your meditation practice with this question, you will find the excuses falling away, and your meditative practice will become easier and deepen over time.

Let me end with this.  I started meditating on a regular basis when I was 20 years old.  That was 27 years ago.  I have had a lot of time to practice and figure out what works and what does not work for me.  Give yourself some time. Be patient and gentle, there really is no rush.