Monday, December 1, 2008

Thought on Responsible Language in Healthcare

When a person goes into a doctor’s office, a shift often occurs. They become a patient. Think of that word for a moment – patient. Funny as that rarely describes the experience. When I ask my clients what happens when they walk into a doctors office, they usually tell me fear comes up and they dread meeting with the doctor for fear that they won’t be heard or will be told something that will scare them. How is that healthcare?

Doctors, healers and all of those who work with others need to realize that their words have power beyond the scope that they should and they need to take responsibility for that power. Let's look at how to speak gently and how to use our words as well as our thoughts and actions for healing and empowerment.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Understanding Trauma

I work with many people who have found themselves in deep states of trauma. I say 'found themselves' because trauma is not something we often see the path to, it's a state of being that is often, in itself, traumatic.

Trauma to the unconscious mind can be many things to many people. One aspect that I see for many is that things just 'don't make sense' or things that used to be nothing seem overwhelming. When someone is in a state of trauma - or post traumatic stress as is commonly referred to today as PSTD - they are not really themselves. They are not making the decisions or speaking or living in the way that is truly themselves. We as healers need to realize this. If someone is in a traumatic state, trying to reason the way out of it isn't usually useful. We need to listen, deeply listen, to where to person is and help them find their way to heal that part that feels so out of control and was pushed too far.

Having had traumatic experiences myself, I know first hand how hard it is to explain the feeling of being that disconnected, that outside of oneself, to someone that doesn't understand it. It can seem hopeless at times, trust me, it's not hopeless. You CAN find your home again and this time, you can learn from the experience and find yourself changed and stronger than before. The key is understanding your boundaries and learning that as we get older, we need to build our inner resources as much as our outer resources. Inner resiliency is extremely important, especially in a world so focused on building fear. Building these states of resiliency is something that can happen over time and big jumps can be made in an instant. Knowing your resources is key. If I'm working with someone with trauma or deep stress states, I know I can use a combination of mind, body and nutrition/homeopathy to help them come back home within. Trauma is not a mind OR body state, it is a mindbody state where the entire being goes into fight or flight. It needs to be treated as such, and the whole person, whole being if you will, needs to be respected and held in a safe space in the process.

I wish you all the space to heal, grow and love.

Enjoy your Friday.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Colder Weather - Staying Healthy During the Seasons

Brrrrr....It's sure getting colder in PA today.  I am not a winter person and this weather reminds me of that.  As the seasons change, so do our bodies.  Did you know that dehydration rises during the winter months for most people?

While many think that we need more water in the summer, truth is, we actually need just as much if not more in the winter. Dry heat blowing at home, in the car and at work along with the winter chill can cause dehydration so don't forget the water! Also, drinking water alone (ie. not with meals) means it can go directly where it needs to without being mixed with food so it's best to drink water between means instead to get full benefits.

Full benefits of hydrating yourself include - feeling less stressed, mood elevation, enhanced digestion and the energy to play 'chase' with those little ones (ok, maybe that is just me, I do have three adorable nephews with a lot of energy!).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Too Much Supplementation

How many of you take supplements? Did you know that you could actually be ingesting too much of a nutrient by taking it every day? When people come to my office with a bag of what they are taking, on average, 70% of the nutrients they are taking they test negative for. That means 70% of what they are taking they either don't need or is causing them harm.

Example: A gentleman came in with arthritic problems and a bag of supplements. One of the supplements was a so called neuro-enhancer. It contained what it termed nutrition for the nervous system. Part of what this nutrition was was an herb called ma huang - better known in the western world as an ephedra derivative (technically, ephedra sinica). I tested him and AS I WAS TESTING HIM, he started having the pain he came in to get help for. He stopped taking it and I gave him a homeopathic to balance his system and walla - no more arthritic problems.

My point is, it's not always that you are missing something, just as often, you need to let something go.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A favorite quote - Herman Hesse

From the book, Reflections, by Herman Hesse

"Spirit and soul, intellect and feeling are inseparable and interdependent; anyone who overestimates and overcultivates one at the expense of the other, or worse, in conflict with the other, is aiming at the half rather than the whole.

It is amusing to note that the pure intellectual, for all the aptness and acuteness of his judgments, soon grows tiresome. And the lofty enthusiasts of feeling, the poetic specialists of the heart soon grow equally tiresome. A nobel intellect that relies on itself alone and feeling reduced to its own resources both lack a dimension. We see this in daily life and in politics; in art it is still more evident."

Friday, October 10, 2008

What is good for humans is not always good for animals

We need to realize that what is healthy for us is not always healthy for our animals. Case in point, a 'healthy' sweetener - xylitol - is so toxic for your dog that you might not even get him to the vet before it's too late if he ingests it.

Click here for a full article on the subject.

Let's take care of our animals the way we would our children - recognizing that their bodies don't necessarily process foods like we do and we need to be gentle with them.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Big hug

Sometimes all anyone needs is a hug through the phone. Loving words and a loving heart. Not reasons or judgments - just the feeling that someone is there to hold them regardless of why or what for. Here's a big hug today...just because.

Friday, October 3, 2008

The Reason

Someone asked me today why I do so many things. Why I offer a newsletter, a blog, and various other things that are free. Why not charge people for these things or stop doing them altogether. I felt sad for my friend. You see, I do these things because I enjoy them. I love to share what I have learned with others. I love to do the newsletter every month and offer thoughts people might find useful on my blog. I love meeting new people through this work and learning from all of you as well. I do this in the present moment...and if at some point this is no longer fun, I will find something else that is. That to me, is life.

Wishing you the successful exploration of your own fun.

Blessings, Jenifer

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Power of Silence

In a world so focused on getting it 'right' and getting things done, I feel we often forget that listening is an option.  When was the last time you let another person talk until there was silence?  When was the last time you had a conversation where you felt completely heard and understood?    Can you be silent in the presence of another person without itching to converse?  Do you know the difference between reacting to what another person says and responding to it without judgment (hint).

What would the world be like if instead of constantly trying to be understood or agreed with, we spent our energy on being present and listening in calm silence to those we connect with each day.  The power of silence is in your hands, and mine.  I look forward to listening to you sometime - and maybe even responding after a brief silence:)

Monday, September 29, 2008

On Mantras for Meditation and Living

A definition of a mantra is "that which protects the mind". There are over a million mantras and they are used for many things. The basic reason to use a mantra is to shift something as a mantra shifts energy and creates new vibrations. Some use mantras to change their external world, others to change their internal world. We will focus on the internal use of mantra.

To use a mantra in meditation, you must first choose the mantra and then decide how to use it. When you chant a mantra inwardly or outwardly you are charging your whole body with the energy of the mantra.

A Mantra Meditation Practice 

The So Hum Mantra (So = Higher consciousness Hum = Individual Self)

So-hum is a Sanskrit mantra that means "I am that," beyond limitation of mind and body: It can also be translated as "I am one with the Absolute."

I am choosing this mantra for practice this month because it is a mantra which is naturally occurring through the breath of every living being and, therefore, seems fitting for the season. It is also one of my favorite mantras and easy to use anytime.

Practicing the Mantra

To practice this as a mediation practice, begin by sitting quietly with your back gently erect either on the floor or on the edge of a chair.

Set a timer for the amount of time you wish to practice. To begin, 10 minutes is a good amount.

As you sit, take a few deep breaths and let yourself settle into your body.

Then, begin to recite the mantra inwardly or outwardly saying 'so' each time we breath in and "hum" each time we exhale.

Now begin to bring it into your body and each time you inhale 'so' feel the energy going up your spine and each time you exhale 'hum', feel it going down your spine. This is your practice and anytime you feel your mind wander, come 'home' to the mantra.

You may end your practice by giving thanks for the practice and allowing yourself to sit in the beautiful energy it emits, or, as I like to do, 'sitting in your heart' for a while.

I hope you enjoy your meditation practice and the mantra.



Sunday, September 28, 2008

Clearing the Liver Naturally

People are always asking me about 'detoxing'.  Did you know the word detox is actually a marketing word, not a medical one?  Scary isn't it.  We have a market that has been established on that word and it's a marketing term.  

The body actually has some powerful ways to cleanse itself every moment of every day.  If you would like to do a simple, effective liver flush each day, all you need is a fresh organic lemon and clean hot water.  First thing every morning squeeze 1/4 lemon in the boiling water, drink it and don't eat or drink anything else for 30 minutes.  I can nearly guarantee (based on your unique situation of course), that you will feel better after one week.  This helps some with constipation as well.

For more on natural health and cleansing, see my website.

Friday, September 26, 2008

What Is Power?

Power is a popular buzzword today and one that invokes various responses. Some view power as leading to corruption, others as a means of manifesting. I believe thoughts on power are so diverse because the true meaning of the word is misinterpreted.

Power is often confused with the notion of force. Force is actually nothing like power. Force means a pushing of energy over an object. It’s an opposition, animalistic in nature. With force, there is an opposer and this opposer is focused on invoking a change usually in their favor. Basically force is focused outwardly on the outcome and obtaining a victory of sorts. As you can probably tell, force is more of a mental activity as it contains strategy as well as intention.

Power on the other hand is much more of a heart-centered activity. Power is a state of being with an inward focus. It’s an energy of fullness and contentment from which you can live already complete, without the need for manipulations that are forceful in nature. A powerful being is calm, loving, generous and kind because there are no underlying needs that drive them beyond what is. Power is a healing state as well because when you’re fully in your power and you are not in the state of need you are in the state of being healed already.

From a shamanic perspective, this powerful state is where you can work from and what you worked warrants. Power loss creates illness on many levels and regaining your power heals on many levels. For example Power Animals are those animals who offer you a loving energy based on their own unique gifts to assist you in reclaiming your own gifts.

To see how it differently the shamanic path views true power, look at the aspect of power in relationships. While the dictionary terms power with an underlying force, shamanic healers view it as the basis of true love beyond manipulations. When two beings are in their power, they are able to connect in such a way that a relationships – ie. what happens when two beings choose to relate to each other – can occur from a place of inner strength where neither being needs anything and the two can actually enjoy each other without stigma, unstated needs or feelings of inferiority which occur when one feels less than another due to lack of power.

When you are in your power fully and the trappings of the mind are released, you can be fully with another and allow that connection to come from the present moment, embracing each other for who you are now, rather than old beliefs of who they once were or you believed they were when you were in pain and they weren’t enough to heal you.

Imagine the possibilities for honest, clear, loving relationships if we all came from that place of power. Imagine how light and open we would feel if we trusted in that.

I wish you all the opportunity to be fully in your power and in your heart.

May you walk your unique path and find the many blessings it already holds.

In Light, Jenifer

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Giving Each Other A Break

What would the world be like if we gave each other a break.

What if, instead of assuming that someone is trying to hurt us, we take the stance that perhaps they misunderstood, or perhaps we did. Honestly, it's very rare that someone ACTUALLY tries to hurt someone else.

What would your day be like if you assumed the best in people?

Let's take a gentler approach to life. We just might find that what we put out there, comes back to us tenfold. Amazing how that still works.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New Face of NLP

As a student of NLP for about 24 years, I've found that I use aspects of NLP every day in life and in practice.  This coming year I've decided to hold a new form of an NLP training that reflects a more holistic bent on the old methods.

I was speaking with a colleague about the upcoming NLP training and he asked why I didn't just stick with what works.  I realized that the mentality of 'sticking with what works' has more than one side to it.  I am a believer that if something isn't broken, sometimes you don't need to fix it - however, I don't think life is that simple.  I believe upgrading can save time and create a more inventive and reflective life.  Where would we be if people thought books were enough and never invented computers?  Where would we be if we 'stopped' at cars and never invented trains, planes or telephones?  I believe that there are times to leave things as they are, and I believe their are times to change and grow into new and even better options.

That is the New NLP that I'm teaching.  Upgraded, inventive, useful in today's way of living.  Like upgrading your brain and the mind-body connection.  

Hope you can join us for the classes and/or the training.



Monday, September 22, 2008

Teacher VS Guru

I've never been a follower. I've always walked my own path. As a teacher and healer I've always encouraged all clients and students to learn from the work and teachings and recognize that I am a human being on my own path which may not coincide with theirs at times, and other times may coincide.

I find a natural inclination for many to attach to something that is attractive for them and lose themselves to the teacher/guru of the teaching. From my perspective, this misses the point of the teaching. It is the TEACHING that is attractive, the package or form it comes in may or may not be attractive and if we get stuck in the package, we miss the teaching.

I met another teacher recently who was a bit 'puffed up' from ego. She said she had the 'right way' for this particular method and spent much of her time downplaying the other teachers of the method saying they didn't know their stuff like she did.

As a teacher of alternative methods myself, I felt uncomfortable with the way she was acting as if no one could learn the right way unless it was from her.

I offered that my thinking on the subject differed from hers and that I in no way intended to look up to her, or down on her. I intended to look directly at her and assess whether the teaching she was offering suited my curiosity and interests at this time on my path. She immediately dismissed me, almost as if she didn't see me, and moved on to the woman next to me, one of her greatest fans.

I look back now and think, mmm, I don't actually think she did see me as a being who isn't part of her consciousness may never be seen.

The teaching had some interesting aspects which I'm sitting with to see if I align with them. Not sure yet, sometimes my process takes time to gain full clarity.

Blessings to you on your own unique path. Enjoy the day, Jenifer

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Power of Pacman

As a holistic individual, people often view me as someone who would never play a videogame or watch youtube. That is simply not true.

I loved the original computer games. Pong, centipede, asteroids, and my absolute favorite - Pacman. And now I have found a free pacman online that I'd like to doesn't require anything more than your keyboard to play and it works really well.

Let me know what you think!


Monday, September 15, 2008

Bluebirds and Butterflies

What an amazing day here in PA. It's one of those days when you feel the earth breathing as if nature is holding a conversation directly with you.

I walked out on my deck and there was a beautiful sparrow who had built it's nest in my flowerpot. I sat with her as she sat on her nest for a bit, side by side, taking in the beauty of the day thinking what a gift life is.

When the earth turns to fall, I love to feel everything start to settle in. I also find my body starts to move naturally to foods that are a bit 'earthier' - like carrots and beets and greens. Such a natural connection our bodies make when we take a moment to listen.

I wonder what message your body and this day will give you if you take a moment and ask - what do you need today. It may sound odd but in a world where thinking often takes precedent over feeling - you might find your body actually has something it's been trying to tell you about.

Enjoy the bluebirds and butterflies. Until next time, Blessings, Jenifer

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Back to Blogging

It's been a long time since I've written here. A lot has been going on this year and I've been making a lot of changes. One which may have led you here today is that I've decided after years of running Holistic Hometown and The Empowerment Centre sites seperately to merge them. I believe it is important to consolidate resources to make the most out of your time and I've realized that separately, I simply can't manage both sites the way I want to and together, I can. At least I'm going to do my best. And this is going to give me time to keep creating, which is what I thrive on and need more of right now.

Being in the holistic health field, people often think I relax a lot. Actually, I'm kind of a type A holistic person sometimes, consistently reminding myself that meditating and yoga alone are not enough. I'm the type of person that needs the key seven ingredients of health in my life - love of good people, outdoors, healthy food, loving my work, taking care of my body, taking care of my mind, connecting to Spirit, God, guides and whatever you call that magnificent energy of pure love we are so blessed to be open to receiving.

Whenever I'm out of balance, you can bet it's one of those areas. Right now I'm thinking it's taking care of my body so I'm off to bed. Sleep well. I'll look forward to updating this blog much more often now that I have more time on my hands:) Blessings, Jen

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


Hi everyone,

I hope you are all enjoying the new year thus far. In January it's such a great time to release the old and bring in the new. Focusing on what you want instead of what you don't want will help you start the new year off right, here are some tips and tricks for clearing out the old closets of life.

1) Make a list of those in your life that bring you joy and love and send them a card telling them how much they mean to you.

2) Make a card for yourself supporting you for the wonderful things that you are!

3) Take 3 trash bags and go to your closets, toss 3 bags of ANYTHING you don't use or need. Fill to the brim!

4) Make a 5 MUST DO list for the new year. What are the top 5 things that if you did them you would free up thinking/ruminating energy for your life and health?

5) Taking care of you. How can you take the best care of you mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially, career-wise, relationship-wise this year?

6) What lessons did you learn last year that you don't want to relearn this year:) and what can you do to move forward?!

7) How can you enjoy your life more?

Have a great month and wishing you a beautiful day of sunshine and light!