Taking Care of Yourself

selfcare at Center for Holistic Healing and ArtSpoiler Alert!! Taking care of yourself doesn’t get easier as you get older. Sorry if that comes as a shock. The daily requirements of getting enough (including appropriate amounts and kinds) food, water, exercise and sleep continue to remain a challenge for me and many of my friends. I somehow anticipated that it was only an issue for the “newly adulting” set, back when I could count myself in that group, but no- it remains a challenge at the best of times for myself as well as for friends in their third decade as well as those in their seventh decade. I have to assume that it continues until, as in childhood, someone else becomes responsible for taking care of us. Add in illness, an increased stress due to major life changes, or both and it becomes a recipe for disaster in the realm of self-care. This is when friends and loved ones are essential. They can offer gentle yet insistent reminders and encouragement to not only meet those basic needs, but to also juggle the myriad questions of what medicines to take and how much, how to modify food and liquid intake, exercise, even when to call out of work!

This is the time of year when so many are getting some kind of transient illness. I encourage you to do two things: 1. Reach out to your friends and family if you are sick and get the support you need so you may get better faster. Don’t try to be superhuman and handle it all on your own. 2. Don’t listen to your friends and family when they are sick and insist that they are “fine”. Give them a little TLC even if it’s just daily phone calls to remind them to take care of themselves.

My message here is this- taking care of yourself is challenging. Don’t give yourself a hard time for having to work at it and think about it on a regular basis. No one really does it automatically, it just looks like that from the outside. It’s worth it to keep aiming for the ideal balance, but it’s not a goal you can attain and then never worry about again. The need for self-care is inescapable, so embrace it and honor the fact that your body’s need change from day to day. Be kind to yourself on this journey, and don’t be afraid to reach out for support. That’s our specialty at Center for Holistic Healing and Art, supporting you on your journey so you can shine!

Vulnerability- permission for mistreatment?

We had a wonderful gathering at the Center for Holistic Healing and Art in Mansfield, MA last weekend for Empath Support Group- which we decided should really be called Empath Empowerment since it’s really what we aim to do- help all the sensitive souls embrace the power that comes with being empathic.

The big topic for the evening was vulnerability and how allowing ourselves to be vulnerable is really what is necessary to create the deepest, most meaningful connections.  We agreed that feeling connected is what we are all yearning for- connection to ourselves, to each other and to the Divine. However when we talked about vulnerability we began to hear and feel fear and anxiety enter the conversation. The biggest concern was : does being vulnerable mean allowing and even inviting mistreatment? Does it require tolerance of mistreatment as an unfortunate byproduct of connection and vulnerability?

What we are talking about when we encourage you to be vulnerable is having the courage to show your true self. To stop hiding or trying to be what you think others want you to be. To be authentic and unapologetic for who you are at your core. When you stand fully in your vulnerability, you are the most grounded and powerful you can be- because you are owning who you really are. Being true to yourself is no more license to be mean to others than it is permission to allow others to treat you poorly. It does not mean to remove your boundaries or to tolerate having your voice ignored or dismissed. You have an inherent right to be fully seen, truly heard and to know that you matter entirely. Let your heart shine. Let your true self out to play- you will find others who are doing the same and the connections you make when you are each being fully yourselves will be incredible!

With much love and light for who you really are,

Kristi, Amy and Andrea

PS: If this sounds like a group you’d like to be a part of, the next gathering will be on Aug. 11, 2016 at Uplifting Connections.

Staying Safe As An Empath

Last night we had the privilege of holding an Empath Support Group at Uplifting Connections in Bridgewater at the generous invitation of the owners, Kellie and Jon Hailey.  14 empaths gathered to share concerns and questions as well as stories of challenges and triumphs. Questions were sometimes answered from our experiences but often channeled directly from Spirit. We are fully supported in our quest to live comfortable and meaningful lives!! Those in attendance ranged in age from recent graduates to retirees and were all relieved to see recognition and understanding on the other faces in the group as they spoke of experiences many in their lives had deemed somehow wrong or unacceptable.

Each time we hold one of these groups there is a common theme or thread that runs through the evening. Last night’s theme was personal emotional safety and coping with the extra feelings of those around you. Several important tools were shared including staying grounded and practicing good self-care. Among the specific coping mechanisms that were shared, many talked about spending time outside, being in or near water, using deep breathing, prayer and crystals. One of the more unique practices was to write the unwanted emotions down and then to shred the paper while deliberately releasing the emotions as it shredded. I have a feeling there will be some busy shredders in the upcoming weeks!  A full list of all of these tried and true suggestions was created and it may be found here.

One final thought that is important enough to repeat here- we are all connected- how that shows up in our lives differs but we should always try to react to another with compassion and from a place of love. Whether you know who those “extra” emotions belong to or not, sending out love and light is a powerful and empowering tool that will help keep you safe, aid those you are sensing and help you release those emotions that don’t belong to you.

With Love and Light,

Andrea, Kristi and Amy

from the Center for Holistic Healing and Art, Mansfield MA

 

Spirit retreat 2016 Puerto Vallarta sunset from the boardwalk of the city

Affirmations

You know what an affirmation is. Even if you think you don’t, you know instinctively that it is something that will bolster your confidence, solidify your resolve and encourage you to take the next step no matter how daunting. It is a word or short phrase that you say to yourself to do just that: help you move forward.  We know this from a very young age. Here’s a perfect example: once our 7 year old neighbor was dropped off by the school bus and no one was home to meet him as planned. He came to our door and from inside we could hear him repeating to himself “Be brave, just be brave” until finally he knocked on our door and asked to wait with us and to call his family.  Now I’m fairly certain no one coached him to execute that plan, he just knew that he needed adult support in this situation and to get that he needed to overcome his shyness and knock on our door. Giving himself a dose of a confidence-boosting affirmation was just the ticket. He was only out there a few minutes before he knocked.

Affirmations are a way to use our conscious mind to alter the deep-seated beliefs and behaviors that are initiated in our subconscious. This can be a part of your daily self-care and a gentle way to show yourself love. The ones that work the best are those that target the real issue that is slowing us down on our journey. I believe it is more effective to focus on just a few (one to three max) than to recite a whole laundry list of things you think you need to change about yourself. I don’t have any scientific proof that this is true, it just seems logical to me that you will see greater results focusing your attention on a couple of things than by dividing your attention between many. It is critical to choose affirmations that are stated in the present and in the positive voice i.e. “I am smart” not “ I am not stupid” or “I will be smart”.

Do something with me, try these phrases on for size by saying them out loud: I am enough; I am strong; I am worthy; I am accomplished; I am beautiful; I am lovable; I am powerful; I trust my instincts; I embrace change; I welcome challenges; I am capable; I love myself; I am successful. Do any stick in your throat or feel untrue to you? The one or ones that are the most difficult for you to say with truth and conviction may be where you want to begin your daily affirmation ritual.  Say it out loud, to yourself at least a few times per day. This a perfect case of “fake it ‘till you make it”. It is just like Julie Andrews taught us as Anna in “The King and I” to “whistle a happy tune” when you are afraid until you are “no longer afraid”.  Affirmations aren’t going to change how you feel immediately but rather over time- you say it and think it with your conscious being until your subconscious lines up with that. Thinking it over and over raises your vibration and you begin making decisions and taking actions as if it were true until your words, actions and feelings about that affirmation all line up!

Here at the Center for Holistic Healing and Art in Mansfield MA, we love success stories! Please share how you used an affirmation and saw positive results.

With Love and Light,

Kristi

How the Lawyer Met the Medium, an Unlikely Love Story

How the Lawyer Met the Medium, an Unlikely Love Story

POSTED ON  

I will never forget the moment I met Andrea Kukulka.  We actually met at the Women’s Business Network.  One Tuesday morning back in early 2012, I was standing at the resource table at WBN when Andrea came up to me.  The second I looked up and saw Andrea I had the most intense feeling of Déjà vu.  The room around her started to move and I felt like I was going to faint.  She put her hand out, introduced herself, and told me that she was a medium.

“A medium?!” I thought to myself, I really was going to faint.  I managed to squeak out my name, told her I was an attorney, and then bolted to the other side of the room so I didn’t have to say anything else.  It had been a year since my father passed away and I was in NO position to talk about his death in an open forum.  What if she was speaking with my dad right now?! What if she could tell he died?! What if she says something?! Oh, no! I don’t want to break down in tears right here! All of these thoughts rushed through my head.  I loved and missed my dad so much, I did not want to open the door to heartache in front of a bunch of newly found business acquaintances.  I avoided Andrea like the plague and cowered in fear.  We didn’t talk again until 2014.

The only thing abundantly clear about my life back in 2012 was that it was not working.  Within one year I had lost my dad, graduated law school, moved, passed the bar, got married, re-located my mom, and welcomed my nephew to the world.   I was drowning in grief, riddled with anxiety, and I could not get out of my own way.

As an a-type overachiever and I had no idea what to do next.  I figured if I just immersed myself in building my business life would magically get better and the pain would go away.  Except, it didn’t.  The only thing that continued to grow was the numbers on the scale and the hours I had gone without sleeping.  Some days I literally felt as though I was having a heart attack.  I was debilitated with heartache and I believed that I simply had to “keep going”.

I was miserable and something had to give.  That Fall, through my business coach, my life changed forever.  I was introduced to the concept of mindset.  Thoughts create things? Positivity sets the outcome? Yeah…..okay, if you say so! The only reaction I had to that was snark.  I heard of, I actually even read The Secret (it was Oprah recommended!), but I never really understood and I wasn’t willing to buy-in.  I blew it off as jargon, rested my hat on my belief that it was my intelligence that had taken me that far, and went on my way.  The only problem was that I was stuck big time.  I was in the thick of it and nothing was getting better.  So I figured, what the heck! I had nothing to lose.

I decided to jump on the mindset train.  If it worked for all of those other entrepreneurs it could certainly work for me.  What started off as a business building tactic turned into something greater than I ever could have imagined.  I became a mind-set/law of attraction junky.  I entered the world of self-discovery and introspection in an unprecedented manner.  I started pouring over books by people like Jack Canfield, Napoleon Hill, Bob Proctor, Michael Neil, and I immersed myself in one of Fabienne Fredrickson’s Mindset Retreats.

The spark was ignited, there was no turning back.  I devoured anything I could get my hands on.  I was a sponge.  And then, funny enough….I started feeling better! Not only that, I even met my business partner within the next few weeks (more on that at a later time)!  Day-by-day, life was improving.  Things were starting to click.  Life was shifting and I started expanding.  I began meditating, going to reiki and acupuncture, and I learned the hard way the importance of self-care.  I was on a never-ending quest for internal peace.

Then, one day, on a whim in a coffee shop in February 2013, I was introduced to Table Tipping.  Excuse me, table what??? Yes, table tipping.  My friend described to me this experience whereby they sat around a table and received messages from departed relatives by the table tapping out a message.  I thought my head was going to explode.  “What?! What do you mean you received a message from a dead relative through a table?!?!” I had zero comprehension of this.  I was told that the table would tip once for “yes” and twice for “no” and would spell out messages by tapping out the letters of the alphabet.

I was dumbfounded.  I had no idea what to say.  At that point in my life I had never been to a medium, I never really sought out those types of experiences, and I was skeptical to say the least.  The only thing I had done even remotely close was go to a palm reader once with a friend.  However, an invitation was extended and I took the bait. Hook, line and sinker, if this was for real and what I was told was true, I wanted in!  I thought to myself that there was NO WAY that it could be real and I had to find out for myself.

The following week, in a small intimate group of absolute strangers, I had my first Table Tipping experience.  I was blown away.  As expected, and why I avoided Andrea upon first meeting her, I started crying immediately.  An ugly cry.  Snot and tears everywhere, there was no holding back.  I was in pain, and the second I felt my dad’s presence I experienced a release like none other.  I received messages from Dad and others for over 3 hours.  I couldn’t believe what had just occurred.  I was hooked.  I wanted to be connected to my father at all moments.  I wanted to open the channel.  I needed to know more and do more and feel more.  I wanted to feel his presence with me at all times and that is exactly what table delivered.  I was in awe.

Table for me became an incredible tool for healing.  Through this new found communication I was able to close the wounds and find comfort.  I found love and support from my dad in a new way.  Our relationship had changed, but it was still there and it remained palpable.  And so, like any good overachiever, I was determined to figure out how I could table tip on my own.  A new path for expansion had opened, I acquired my table (another divine unimaginable experience), and the journey continued.

Fast forward to March of 2014 and I was yearning for even more.  Other than the small group of individuals that had introduced me to table tipping, I had promised myself that I was not going to utter a single word about any of this to anybody, EVER.  However, I wanted to test this out with new people.  I was on a quest for further validation.  Yes, I was even skeptical of myself at that point.  I knew Andrea was in WBN and I needed a way to practice and continue to expand.  I also knew she would be able to validate what was I was receiving.  I held my breath, and sent an e-mail.

 

After a few bumps in the road (another funny story for a later date), we made a plan to meet.  The second she felt the table move we were instantly connected.  One
meeting later, I met Kristi.  The rest is history.  A dead dad, a business meeting, a table, a medium, a few details in between, and here I am, perfect, whole, and complete, with my trilogy.

Trilogy 1

What comes next? I’m not sure.  What I do know is that I was put here on this earth to specifically help people through their own times of transition, whatever that looks like for them.  Whether that be through the law, healing, messaging, or whatever else they need.  I have been put in a unique position to offer assistance and I am able to offer such with the perfect amounts of both strength and compassion.  I’m taking myself on, I’m reaching new heights, I’m allowing my own effortless expansion, and I’m inviting you all to follow along.

As I move into my first home, I am simultaneously becoming a Mansfield resident as my name goes up on Main Street as part of the Center for Holistic Healing and Art.  The three of us are so excited for our new journey together and I am so excited to share this part of me and to share these opportunities with all of you.  Believe me when I say, there is more to come!

So if you will, please sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.  I know I sure will.  With Love,

Amy

A New Service is Born

A new service is born

POSTED ON UPDATED ON

All through my life when something is meant to be, it has literally dropped in my lap. Teaching art classes is a perfect example. I didn’t set out to teach, as a matter of fact I had many reasons why I couldn’t, but the persistence of some eager students convinced me and it has continued for the past 19 years.

Well, it has happened again!

I have come to understand over the past 2 years that I am an empath- aware of and even sometimes feeling acutely the emotions of other people. Now I have had 3 people request my advice in how to best manage their empathic gifts.Three is no coincidence and since I am always happy to share my knowledge, a new service has been born : Empath Support. I look forward to sharing what I have learned both individually and in small groups.  I love how this wonderful world works!

Wishing you Light,

Kristi

2nd Anniversary

2nd Anniversary

POSTED ON UPDATED ON

cropped-centers-fb-cover-page.jpg

It was a beautiful day for a party. We are still so impressed with all the love that has come our way, sent on the wings of our beautiful human angels and fairies. We are truly blessed to be on the receiving end of so much love and joy and are deeply grateful for each and every one of you!

We were treated, once again, to especially yummy food brought in by one of our favorite friends, and the lovely Kat Terry brought desserts. These two woman are a major part of our community. They bring so much love into our Center. We were also blessed with the light that shines from Debbi Blum. Debbi was doing pendulum healings along with readings. She touched many hearts that day. Andrea Kukulka was busy with Reiki healings, Kristi Johnston not only did Reiki but also was doing readings from her Intuitive Energy Cards. We got bonus presenters too.Amy Antonellis was asked to do some Table Tipping and she happily obliged and Brenda Phipher was delighted to pull out her tuning forks.

The air was filled with laughter and joy all day long.  We had so much fun at this time that we decided to have a Christmas Party this year too. Stay tuned.  😉