Author Archives: admin

Our “Inner” Haunted House

I began this Monday morning (specifically, the Monday before Halloween) watching a YouTube video posted by “The Ellen Show.” In this video, Ellen Degeneres sends two of her staff members into a very elaborate haunted house. This apparently is a yearly tradition for Ellen, but what made this video particularly funny was that her female staff member had been made aware of this somewhat sadistic field trip, while her unassuming camera man was thrown into the horror at the last minute.

The result was three minutes of hilarious footage of a fully grown man shielding himself with his woman friend, while repeatedly telling the relentless, prosthetically enhanced zombies to “STOP IT, STOP IT NOW!”

At the end, as Ellen wiped her laughter tears and teased her champ of a camera man, I couldn’t help but ponder the haunted house as a phenomenon; wherein we actually agree to be scared by things that aren’t real.

In daily life we can become crippled by fears that don’t necessarily exist. These perceived “demons” (poverty, health, dying, etc.) can become just as exaggerated in our minds as evil witches and flesh-hungry zombies. In real life, we may want to try to manage or ignore our fears instead of facing them, but Halloween and haunted houses can serve a hidden purpose: to remind us that sometimes our most sinister and deepest fears may not be as fatal as they seem.

We can use this twisted holiday to indulge our very real and very “grown-up” fears. The next time you feel afraid imagining yourself at the door of your “inner haunted house,” consider having a sense of adventure or courage instead of crippling fear. Remember when walking into any haunted house (imagined or real), the only way out is through.

Proceed while shielding yourself with loved ones! Scream at your monsters until your throat is sore! Proceed boldly through the fear! Not only will you make it out alive, but also you may see just how conquerable your demons really are.

 

-Kaitlyn Connors

Pushing the Pause Button

Every day, we are confronted with countless decisions. Some of these decisions require immediate attention—should I have a salad for lunch, or a hamburger? Others loom over us, with questions of how and when to resolve these dilemmas further complicating the situation. Should I stay in this relationship? Is this treatment working for me, and if not, what should I do?

As women, we often have so many things competing for our attention; it can feel tremendously gratifying to cross a particular dilemma off our to-do list. Making a choice and taking decisive action can be one of the most effective ways of minimizing stress.

However, there is value in slowing down or accepting the situation as it is, sitting in the confusion or discomfort we feel before making the decision.

This state of non-action gives us an opportunity to ask:

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  • What am I feeling, and where are these feelings coming from?
  • What am I telling myself about this decision?
  • Am I concerned that if I don’t make a decision right away, I’ll miss out on an opportunity?
  • Am I worried that others will judge me if I allow the situation to linger?
  • Do I trust that I can handle the consequences of what I decide to do?

As you deepen your thinking about the situation, you may discover that the beliefs or worries you are holding create excess stress that clouds your judgment. Or, you may realize that the decision is quite clear and easy for you to make, but you need to increase your confidence as you prepare to deal with the changes ahead.

Especially now, as many of us feel extreme pressure building inside and around us, the best option might be to push the pause button and develop the capacity to sit in an agonizing situation until we identify a choice that feels right.

~ Joanna Siebert

“There’s Nothing Sexy About Trying!”

“There’s nothing sexy about trying!” announced one of my patients who feels ready to have a child.

Last year, at age 41, she opted to freeze her eggs—twice. After obtaining this “insurance,” she now finds herself in a relationship with an available man who wants to start a family!

“He offered to go in for testing because his dad had low sperm and he’s all freaked out that might happen to him!”

“Really?!” I replied, “They did sperm analysis 40 years ago???”

After enjoying a good laugh at the improbability of this, I watched as she withdrew inside her mind and became deep in thought. She started analyzing the number of times they would get to “try” in the coming week. I could see her getting stressed.

Then I interrupted. I reminded her that I had witnessed her make a higher than average number of eggs…two times! And noted that I had also seen her all made up for a night out, exuding sensuality and confidence. I reassured her that she didn’t need to overthink this situation and lose her feminine power.

She relaxed and smiled, which softened her face. As I inserted needles to support follicular development and improve ovarian function, I explained that women who embrace their feminine power can be quite creative. This ability to “create” often overflows into conceiving a child.

I frequently encourage patients to experiment with different ways of expressing their femininity and being creative. For instance, they may:

  • Wear colorful dresses/skirts, instead of constricting clothing in all black, white, and grey.
  • Use an engaging color scheme to redecorate at home
  • Write, draw, or make a collage
  • Cook an amazing meal
  • Speak and move with intention, allowing the pace to slow and soften
  • Take up belly dancing or another form of sensual dance
  • Meditate

All of these endeavors can help to direct the energy toward creation.

From an intuitive, open space, it is easier to let go of the judgment, worry, and shame that can cloud your mind, and instead trust in your own creative process.

 

Free Floating in Uncertainty

Clouds floating above ocean

Photo credit: Joanna Siebert

Uncertainty. Everyone’s feeling it. Everyone is fearing it. Everyone wants to know what’s going to happen next, how things are going to work out, when life will change in a way that brings more peace…more calm…a more “settled” feeling.

So much unknown is creating anxiety.

Will I attract a mate? When will I attract a mate? What if my eggs are bad? What if this fertility cycle doesn’t work, or what if it works too well and we conceive multiples? When will I have financial freedom? When will I break free of chronic pain? The undercurrent of potential catastrophe looms and threatens to destroy us all!

I’ve never treated more unrest, or seen as much physical discomfort in the form of palpitations, teeth clenching, headaches, stomachaches, and insomnia as I have over the past two years. No one seems to like free floating, not knowing what their fate will be. Everyone complains of being overwhelmed and in need of answers or guarantees, which may or may not have the power to calm worried minds.

The feeling of uncertainty can create a splintered state of being in which we are convinced that we have absolutely no control over our lives. It all stems from a lack of faith—faith that we are exactly where we are meant to be…faith that life is going to unfold in a way that makes us happier than we have ever been…

Through my work, I help so many people who are dealing with uncertainty; because of this, I remind myself to stay uber-calm. Regularly throughout the day, I recommit to holding an “as-grounded-as-possible” perspective. I speak calmly, as if my tone has the ability to talk directly to over-firing neurons. “We are all OK. Everything is OK already. Let’s take some deep breaths…” As I say this to my patients, I imagine a dark blue color, like a deep-sea blue I may have known while on vacation. Or I imagine a soft pale blue and tell myself it is safe and comforting somewhere up in the clouds.

Really, only one thing is certain now—that life does not offer any guarantees. I have come to rely on my ability to access the part of my consciousness that has the power to calm my own worries about uncertain outcomes, and this enables me to free float in uncertainty.

~ Danica

 

 

The Heart Wants What It Wants

This week I am helping my 44-year-old patient go through the process of trying to have a second child.

For the past two years, she and her husband have tried to conceive naturally, received acupuncture and herbs, used Clomid, and then graduated to IUI with ovarian stimulation. Last month was their first IVF; despite transferring two gorgeous embryos, her blood test was negative.

“I’m trying to stay focused on joy,” she said to me today.

Normally, I would think that is a fine idea. But as I considered the spectrum of thoughts and feelings known to flood women when they experience joy, I realized that she might spend too much energy thinking about what isn’t there to bring in joy.

“How about thinking about peace instead?” I asked. “Can you sit in a space that feels peaceful about what you already have? A healthy 5-year-old son, a husband who is sitting in this frustrating, powerless space with you…”

She exhaled. Her face relaxed. For the moment we were both able to appreciate that when things don’t feel right or we are dismayed or disappointed with where we are, it may be best to focus on feeling peaceful with what is.

~ Danica

Shedding the Past

I am working with a woman who recently survived another miscarriage.

A few weeks after the loss she began losing hair on her head, buy which she initially believed to be confirmation that she was officially falling apart.

In our sessions we immediately addressed the grief; the loss of the dream of giving birth at a certain due date.

The sessions validated her feelings of heartache. Soon she was able to trust me, and trust this process.

We began to talk about the ways in which herbs, certain foods, and acupuncture can be viewed as “deposits” back into her baby-making account. Through several conversations about what this particular loss represented for her (an awakening, a shift), she stopped losing hair and is now ovulating again.

Today she is able to reframe the way she views this journey to baby.

Her words now: “I never realized that my hair loss could be viewed as part of a shedding process I needed to do.”

My guess is that the space created from this shedding will be the space that makes room for baby.

~Danica

Moving Forward in Life

The moment we realize we are “sitting with our pain” is the precise moment when we begin moving through it.

Somewhere inside of us, there something shifts: at last, we give ourselves permission to move beyond that pain and those beliefs!

Wisdom has been gained along the journey. It propels us and gives us courage as we take steps forward.

We fix our gaze on the vision. New love, a baby, a happier relationship, a healthier body…

Whatever it is that we seek, wisdom and faith tell us we will eventually get there.

~Danica

Allowing Change

Each of us carries the power to change our circumstances.

It may not be done quickly or easily, but it is true just the same. First we must acknowledge our role in our pain or misfortune. How is it that we are holding on to anger, excess weight, old heartache, or pain from loss?

We tell ourselves that we are willing to change or do better, yet each year that feeling of unmet expectations appears and threatens to keeps us stuck.

The way out of this plight is relatively simple. Start by ALLOWING things to be different! Begin the process of creating a new outcome by allowing a shift to occur from within…

New Year’s resolutions imply hard work and effort. Isn’t it easier to simply remind ourselves each day that we have the option to allow things to be different?

~Danica