“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”

Henry David Thoreau

Like everybody else, I can get my panties in a wad from time to time.

In some seasons, trying to overcome the collective weight of my own emotions can feel almost impossible and I too wonder if I am sinking.

I engage in my personal practices, and then it feels like the tide comes in again and sweeps me out to sea.

This morning, as I was on my way to pick up a friend to drive to church, I asked myself, “Well, so this period of your life hasn’t been as joyful as usual, but where would you be without your personal practice?”

I notice that I write much more easily from a place of inner tranquility, so keeping myself emotionally balanced becomes not just a matter of feeling happy but also of maintaining my writing.

So after a bit of a hiatus during which frankly I have been flailing a little too awkwardly out in the sea, I thought I would write about what I do when it feels like a giant wave of my own emotions has pulled me into the depths.

Here are a few musings, hopefully some of them helpful:

  1. To me, the matter of maintaining inner balance and ultimately expressing and maintaining a joyful vibration is a personal practice to which I am dedicated as equally as to my yoga, to my work and to my writing. In fact, I have designed my whole life to be happy. If something doesn’t look as if it’s going to contribute to my long-term happiness, I change it – as simple as that. I conclude the relationship. I throw out the garbage, give away personal items I no longer need. I clean up, literally and figuratively. I was never much of a housekeeper before I became an energy healer. Now I am acutely aware how the people around us and our own personal environment affects us all the way down to the cellular level. I keep bringing the Feng shui to my home to better and better vibration levels so that I can continue to feel amazing where I live and work and in the company I keep.
  2. Every night before I go to bed, I write a list of 20 things that I feel grateful for. This is incredibly helpful! Sometimes the first few just spew out on paper and then I rumble around in my head and finally come roaring through. If I can get to 20 things I’m feeling grateful for, I can usually surpass 20. This sets me up for a restful evening as I feel blessed as I shut my eyes.
  3. On my laptop, I have the word “OVERRIDE” typed out in all caps on a white sheet of paper and taped just above my computer screen. This reminds me I have the personal power – as we all do – to override anything getting in my way, whether it be a block in my writing, a difficult period of my life or anything that feels like it holds me back.
  4. I listen to prayers recorded in my own voice when I go for my walks. My latest book, Unlimited Intuition Nowis full of prayers you can say when you want to ask for guidance. I recorded these prayers onto my iPhone as a set of five audio recordings and listen to all of them when I walk.
  5. I pray silently before sleep, upon waking and whenever I notice anything or anyone in my life who might need a prayer. This has become an inner habit for me and allows me to feel connected to the divine and to reconnect whenever I feel I have lost my way.
  6. I generally exercise for at least 1 hour every day. For me, it doesn’t matter what kind of movement I do – this could be yoga, walking, qi gong, lifting weights, even mopping the floors or gardening or whatever presents itself. The whole point is to keep my energy moving. When you get emotionally stuck one of the fastest ways to get unstuck is to move your body because in so doing you move your energy and as a result miraculously allow your own chi to move to the next level.
  7. When I notice I have fallen down in all the ways that can happen sometimes in life, I imagine myself on the back of my power animal, my mother snow leopard, and literally visualize herself leaping out of a deep pit in the forest and back into the light. At the moment, I have been working with dragonfly medicine and visualize myself flying on the back of a beautiful delicate dragonfly. The spirit world is always here reaching out to help us if only we will take up their consideration.
  8. I rewrite my story until there is no longer any negativity. Here’s the deal. Whenever you tell your story – whether you recite it to other people and mull over it in your inner voice – you create brain chemistry and neural pathways. Don’t believe me? Just think of biting into a lemon. See! You had an immediate, physiological response. You can change your own brain chemistry by carefully re-examining your story and actually rewriting it until nothing is left but unconditional love, personal power, insight and forgiveness. For example, when I went through a divorce in 2010, I was well aware of how it could affect not only my emotional well-being but also my health. I would write down my story as positively as I could tell it – keeping all facts true – and then read it. Then I would write it again and again and again until I wrung out the negativity.
  9. I pay attention to how my own energy impacts the people around me. Often we can wonder whether self care is worth the time and money that sometimes is required, whether that be to overcome physical illness or injury or simply to get out of a blue funk. At church today, the preacher mentioned that Billy Graham often noted that the naysayers referred to religion as a crutch. “Yes,” the preacher quoted Billy Graham as saying, “but who do you know who isn’t limping?” I do my best to contribute, to lift up everybody around me in whatever way that I can, whether that be with a kind word, a simple “thank you so much,” listening to what’s actually going on in a friend’s life or offering a simple solution when asked. I thought it was no accident that when my friend and I sat down for a rare cup of decaf after the service that we joined a table with a dear lady. I introduced myself and soon enough she told me about her husband, an accountant, whose migraines are so severe that he has been unable to work. She told us that he stopped taking the medications his doctors prescribed because the drugs had made him feel suicidal. I immediately helped her to log on to her smart phone and pointed out two natural healing devices that would help him alleviate his pain. There are no accidents. I remember the words of Mother Theresa: “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” It’s a high bar, for certain, but I can keep trying day by day even if I fall short sometimes.

Just by these simple practices, I set my intention to maintain the highest vibration of which I am personally capable, even when the waves of my own emotions feel so overwhelming at times that I think I might not be able to keep myself from getting swept out into the sea.