Self Care: Crisis Teaches the Preacher to become the Student (again!)

Pink orchid branch with river stones, bamboo, arching over waterI feel moved to share with you a recent, personal story of the cost of neglecting one’s self care. We hear the message all the time and, as a holistic psychologist, I say it all the time to others: It’s so important to take care of yourself, especially if you are one who takes care of others (children, family members, clients/patients, friends, etc). And yet, this past winter, when I had a grueling schedule of working full-time and taking a 30-hour-per-week internship in chaplaincy, I was reminded how hard it is to live this premise when we feel so tired and over-booked with responsibilities. Although I did eat right and think positively and practice some self care (i.e. monthly massage), I also dropped my exercise routine as well as my meditation and I severely limited the renewing activity of time with friends/family and other nourishing habits. I heard myself saying the familiar refrain I hear from my clients, “I don’t have time.”

I paid a significant price for slipping, and received a reminder from The Universe that self care is not optional nor is it self-indulgent. It is a basic need.

uplifted hands radiating healing energyThe internship lasted 6 months. By the middle of the 4th month, I had developed tachycardia (very rapid heartbeat) and was emotionally and physically exhausted. There I stood in the health food store being told by the naturopathic doc just what I told others – “start taking better care of yourself or you will not be able to finish the program.” So, instead of spending time walking or meditating, I was running to doctor appointments, medical tests, drug stores, health food stores and massage therapists. Amazingly, I DID have the time for those appointments once the crisis hit! Thank heavens, I did finish the program. And, yet, a month later, while trying to slowly resume my walking routine, I fell and knocked myself out briefly!

The Universe was giving me a strong message. What was the message now?! I am trying to get healthy by walking! I meditated (since I had to stop walking for awhile as the exercise made the post-concussive headaches worse). Ahhhh. So, not only do I need to resume walking in order to heal, I need to resume meditating. Thus, in many similar “aha” moments, each step of the recovery from the tachycardia and post-concussive syndrome led me to re-create the many aspects of a healthy and balanced lifestyle I had let go of, and start living my Truth about the benefits of these healthy habits, giving myself permission to nurture myself, as well as reminding me of the cost of minimizing their import.

Person rejoicing with arms upheld by the water at sunsetAfter only two months of following the recipe below, I am feeling invigorated, healthy, and full of joy and optimism! I have no symptoms of tachycardia and only minor reminders of the post-concussive syndrome. My life is again feeling fresh and exciting.

As much as a reminder to myself as for others, I share

The Recipe (for self care that I used in my recent recovery):

~        Exercise/walking
~        Healthy eating
~        Meditation/reflection time
~        Time with Nature & Beauty
~        Time with friends, family & pets
~        Massage/Body work
~        A personal retreat
~        Supplements to maintain health
~        Permission to relax & take time off
~        Reading
~        Nurturing my spiritual self
~        Re-connecting with my joys & dreams
~        Speaking my Truth

Do you need a renewing adventure? A retreat from your hectic life? A weekend of of pampering self care that embodies nearly all of the aspects of the above recipe? If you do, then check out the retreat Tracie Nichols and I have created just for you – a retreat to Deep Restoration.

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Posted in Healing, Joy, Retreats, Teresa A Glatthorn | Tagged | 2 Comments

Chanting as a Pathway to Joy

Hot pink plumeria flowers

How Do You Connect with Joy?

I enjoy connecting with Nature as a way of hearing Guidance from my own Inner Wisdom and/or God. Twice recently when I connected with Nature, there was a theme of the need to sing. I had no idea at the time how powerful this Guidance would be once I heeded it. The first singing message was when I connected with the energy of a stream. The stream asked me to notice that it runs along carefree, never wondering where it will end up or trying to plan its course – just trusting it will be Guided to the perfect places. (An inspired way to view life.) It also said to notice that when it encounters boulders, turns in the path or other “obstacles”, that is when it dances and sings. It doesn’t lament. It dances and sings! What a powerful message about how to view changes in our own course! They are opportunities to dance and sing!

Another day, not long after, I was connecting with a bird and felt her energy – the excitement about all of life. It was if she was saying, “It’s sunny, how wonderful! It’s shady, how sweet! It’s hot, how perfect! It’s cool, I love it! Life is grand, let’s sing!” No matter what was happening, she experienced life as great. She sings out her Joy!

I began to sing along with the radio and CD’s more. However, the final piece of the leading was when I was invited to attend a kirtan (with Krishna Das) – a new experience for me. A kirtan is a Buddhist way of connecting with Spirit through singing chants back and forth with a leader. I was surprised at how moving it was. I bought his CD set and have been chanting (singing) nearly daily ever since. I find myself moved to tears during some of the chants and now I get Guidance from Spirit while chanting. I feel Spirit and Connection and Joy resonating in my throat, chest and head as I chant. I FEEL the spirituality!  I know now that the bird and stream guided me to this spiritual form of using voice to connect with Spirit. Many thanks to you, Stream and Bird!

When you notice Nature and how She handles life, what are you Guided to try for yourself?

 

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Synchronicities & Inner Urgings

A few years ago, I experienced a number of synchronistic events and an inner nudge that, when followed, guided me to a profound spiritual experience.

I was hosting a sand-tray therapy class that spring. The presenter, Kate, spoke of Jungian symbols or archetypes and she placed a figure she called Kwan Yin in the sand tray, indicating she felt very close to Her. I had never heard of Kwan Yin and inquired about Her. I felt an inner intrigue. Kwan Yin’s name came up again in another sand tray class a short time later. The intrigue grew. Who is this Kwan Yin? A few months later, I was in a class about angelic healing. In the introductions, a woman spoke about teaching Magnified Healing, a healing technique channeled through Kwan Yin, as well as stories about the remarkable healings that resulted from this technique. This was more than a coincidence. I was very moved. I knew I had to take this class and find out more about Kwan Yin.

I took the class on Magnified Healing a couple of months later and learned more about Kwan Yin and her healing technique. I wasn’t sure I believed such amazing stories and I wasn’t accustomed to believing in spiritual beings other than God and angels. I learned the technique and decided to see for myself. During the attunement (the process in which the student receives a special blessing in order to be able to connect to this healing energy), I felt a very special sensation accompanied by a particular image, which I had never experienced before. (I am purposely not sharing the details. That way, if you experience it, without being told what it was, you will know you had a true connection.)

I practiced the technique fairly faithfully on myself and my loved ones. (You can send this healing to lots of people all at once in about 10 minutes). I held no expectation, however, about how much effect it would have. I still wasn’t sure if Kwan Yin even existed and whether this healing technique was valid.

A year later, I was in ministry school and we were on retreat, studying Buddhism. The instructor led us on meditations with Buddha, which were nice, but nothing huge for me. Then he guided us on a meditation with White Tara (the Buddhist version of the Hindu’s Kwan Yin). He took us through a relaxation process. Once we were relaxed, he invited us to imagine certain images; then he described a sensation to imagine and another image that people have used for centuries to call in the energy of Kwan Yin. It was the exact same image and sensation I had had with the attunement a year prior! Tears streamed down my face as I connected with Her; I knew She had visited me during my attunement. I then felt a huge ball of energy on my lap and knew She was on my lap and surrounding my entire being. I know now (not believe) that She is real. Since then She has performed healings (via Magnified Healing) for my friends and family, as well as my dog, including healing a 20-year rift in my family!

The message for me is a reminder to listen to the inner urgings and coincidences. They lead us to beautiful places on our Path.

To what have synchronicities and/or inner urgings led you?

Posted in Angels, Divine Feminine, Healing, Kwan Yin, Spirituality | 6 Comments

Divine Guidance

Rev. Teresa Glatthorn, Psy.D.

Rev. Teresa Glatthorn, Psy.D.

Welcome to the Divine Connections Blog! This blog will be a dialogue in which people share the ways they have connected with and been guided, healed, protected or otherwise personally touched by the Divine in some way. The purposes of the blog are to acknowledge those events; make it clear that these Connections are frequent, available to us all & profoundly helpful; and highlight the variety of forms these connections take.

I was told – through a Divine Connection, of course – that the first example of a Divine Connection should be the origin of this blog. I was at a “World Conference for Interfaith Ministers” at which I had hoped to gain more insight into my “calling” and skills in order to proceed on the mission to which I had committed upon my ordination: “to create sacred space and events to empower people to make personal Divine Connections.” There were lots of informative talks about huge, important worldwide projects and presentations about how to use mass media to reach large numbers of people with interfaith messages.  I was overwhelmed afterward, wondering where to begin and, as a basically shy person, who previously did not see herself as having a mission of those proportions, I began feeling intimidated by my own mission and the missions of this interfaith group.

On the grounds of this retreat site was an outdoor labyrinth, an ancient means for centering and connecting with the Divine. To settle my thoughts, get grounded and discern the relationship between my own mission and these global missions, and to be Guided regarding where to begin, I embarked on a labyrinth walk asking the questions, “Where do I begin with my mission? What is my next step?”  The answer came very clearly as a thought inside my head – a thought I would never generate: “You need to start a blog.” I argued that I had nothing to say. My Guidance replied that I mostly certainly did and that I was to write about the variety of Divine Connections I have experienced and how they have transformed my life. I was also to ask my readers to share their Divine Connections. I was then reminded throughout the walk of many of the experiences with which I have been blessed and about which I will be sharing in this blog. My life has been saved at least twice through these connections. Although the daily Guidance I receive may not always rise to this level of impact, it is always crucial in directing me in matters of health, family, social, educational, career and spiritual/soul aspects of my life. When I follow this Guidance, which sometimes asks me to step forward in ways that require courage (like opening myself up and starting a blog!) my life is inspired and works in amazingly beautiful ways.

So, readers, here we embark on our dialogue! Here is my first example of how Divine Guidance showed up – as thoughts inside my head as I walked in an outdoor labyrinth asking for direction. What Divine Guidance have you received and how did you receive it? I invite you to share here. My Guidance says you have beautiful stories to share with the world.

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Life-Saving Guidance

One of the most profound examples – at least from a material life and death perspective – of Divine Connection was one of the times in which I know that the Guidance saved my life.

For those who do not know me, I begin with a fact: I am on the short side (5’1”). (This is important later.) I had been Guided to return to college to earn my doctorate in psychology and I began the program in May 1997. In my first classes that summer, during the class discussions, several classmates would occasionally refer to programs they had heard on NPR or talk radio on a certain station. These programs sounded fascinating and I was curious to hear what else one might hear when listening to such a station. So, in fall 1997, because I met these people in the university I was Guided to attend, and because my classmates were Guided to share what they did, I began listening to a new radio station and talk shows. However, the only time I listened to this station was the 2 times per week I drove an hour each way to school and back. (I was a single Mom with teenagers who had control of the radio most other times!)

In the course of two months, from September to November, on just those two nights a week in just those two hours on those nights, there were THREE talk shows highlighting the dangers of airbags for short people. The third time the topic showed up, I got chills and “knew” the message was for me. The message was to move my car’s seat further back from the steering wheel so I would not be killed by my airbag if I were in an accident. I was scared. I knew at some level that a car accident was headed my way. I also knew I was being protected. I listened. I moved my seat. Within a couple of weeks of moving my seat back, I was in a bad car accident. My car broadsided another car (that ran a stop sign) at 45 mph. My last thought before impact was, “so this is how it all ends!” I was hit by my airbag, which caused me a closed head injury and serious neck issues as well as a brachial plexus injury. However, when I awakened at the site, I marveled – I was alive! If I had not moved my seat back, I would have been killed by my airbag! My life had been perfectly orchestrated so that I would learn I needed to move my seat back from the airbag. I survived that accident, which brought many other messages during the healing process.

Now I ask you: How have you received Guidance or Protection that has saved your life in some way? In what form did this Guidance arrive? What happened when you listened – or didn’t?

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Message from Molly

Molly's Picture

Molly, Canine Co-Therapist

Molly, my Cavalier King Charles side-kick, who comes to work with me every day, came to me in my dream one night and told me she wanted her own column in my newsletter to share her wisdom.  I will share some of that wisdom here as well.

Molly’s most recent message was:

“Please honor the Wisdom & Guidance we (“pets”) share with you and do not dismiss our behaviors or minimize their importance.”

Molly asked that I give you a recent example. As part of my Path to manifesting abundance, I was Guided to “avoid useless talk,” which is not just gossip, but also watching TV that is “meaningless”. My habit had been to watch an hour or two of TV after returning from work each night before going to bed. Molly went along with this plan until my Guidance suggested this new path. Then, when I was not heeding the advice to change, Molly took it upon herself to go upstairs to bed earlier each night, trying to lead by example – and then she’d return to me and encourage me to come up with her. She went as far as to engage in what I experienced as “annoying behaviors” in order to gain my compliance. I resisted – to the point of putting up a gate preventing her from retiring early! At that point, I realized the degree of my stuck behavior and relented to the Guidance of the Angels – through Molly. Since then, I am enjoying spiritual reading at bedtime and not only is abundance flowing more smoothly, but since I have been in a more spiritual space during my sleep, my dreams have been providing supreme Guidance in exchange for my cooperation! Thank you, Molly & angels!

What are YOUR pets guiding you to do? Get out and enjoy fresh air? Take more breaks? Be joyful & playful? Molly suggests we Listen to their Wisdom instead of minimizing their behaviors.  They Know! They can be a Divine Connection.

What messages has your pet shared? How did they get you to listen?

Posted in Messages from Nature, Molly's Wisdom, Spirituality | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments