Karen Armstrong

It’s that time of year again! The shifting from one calendar year into the next. A opportunity to look at what the highlights of 2023 brought and listen into what my heart is whispering for the coming year. Each year over the holidays, I do this practice. It always involves journaling, pulling oracle cards and sharing some of these thoughts with my family and close friends.

I received an email from Soul Inspired Gurl, AKA Dr Laura Foster with a new set of journal prompts and though I read them during the end of December, I did not sit down to journal them until January 1st. I really enjoy the process of snuggling down and responding to the prompts from a curious and open perspective. I have the integrated knowing from past years how much this process supports me. It gives me another chance to look at the great moments of 2023, the challenging moments, what those challenges brought into my awareness and to honour it all. Then I can step into the feeling of the new year. I was aware that this year is an 8 year in numerology and a personal 4 year for me. That we will move into the Chinese year of the dragon in February.

A summary of the 8 year from www.creativenumerology.com is: “8 is the number of power, material and financial gain, achievement, reward, status and satisfaction. The 8 year vibration will provide the means – personal power – with which to change the status quo and accomplish a significant goal that will alter the direction and quality of your journey”

A summary of the Chinese year of the dragon from www.chinahighlights.com is: “In Chinese culture, the dragon holds a significant place as an auspicious and extraordinary creature, unparalleled in talent and excellence. It symbolizes power, honour, luck and success. Consequently, 2024 is forecasted to bring about opportunities, changes and challenges. If you’re seeking a shift in your current lives, this year might offer a favourable chance.”

The big picture here in leaning towards this year being one of great potential to shift. I like it! So with that understanding, I leaned into what that could bring for me. This is a personal 4 numerology year for me which is about laying the groundwork for everything in my life. Time to focus on the big picture of my life’s purpose and set the stage to invite that in.

So here are the Intention Words that are sparking my inner flame for 2024.

  1.  Create

    This must surely be a year to invite a deeper level of creativity into my life. An invitation to watch where I habitually want to spend my time, thoughts and energy and see what new ways I can express myself. I am kicking it off by following through with a lifelong desire to learn how to play the piano. YES!! I have my teacher, my keyboard and my beginner book and here we go! Who knows how it will impact me. I am excited for sure. Thanks Madison Ryley of @yogapella.cohere.live

  2.  Emanate

    This word came through from one of the cards I pulled from my Language of Animals deck. Koala is here to assist me in being a source of peace and positivity in the world. To “turn the tap on from within” which spoke so deeply to me and brought this word, Emanate or Emanation into my list for the year. To pay attention to who I am being in every moment and to really allow that to shine out. Woah – that’s big stuff!!! For me that also is an invitation to relax into life and know that life shows up for me, it does not happen to me. That brings a real level of trust and faith. So it is.

  3.  Say Yes

    The essence of create and emanate bring this next intention through. It will remind me to lean in when it feels like life is offering an opportunity to align with my bigger purpose. It does not look like I used to be, saying yes to everything and everyone from an ungrounded place. That led to burnout. This Yes will come from a rooted sense of groundedness, tapping into the big picture and then even if it feels scary, to lean in and follow my heart.

  4.  Collaborate

    I know that being in a community of like-minded people lights me up. It provides so much to fuel my dreams, my enjoyment in life and what is possible when big dreams and changes are held from a collective place. It’s the network that can make the impossible, possible. I love being part of community from my incredible family and friends to my North Metro chorus, Women’s Wellness Circle and international reiki community. I am so grateful for all the richness these relationships have brought to my life.

The energy of this year excites me and calls an expanded version of me to come out and play. I would love to hear from you on what is surfacing around this year for you. Share your thoughts, let’s create some magic. With so much gratitude that you have read this, I send out some sparkle dust to light your path.

Till next time,


Ceremony - a magical ingredient

Here’s a short clip:

“We have a choice in living each day. We can have the perspective and belief that nothing is a miracle or that everything is a miracle.

‘Having long chosen the latter, this perspective is part of who I am (though being human, I can get derailed sometimes). I believe I was born with a little pixie dust in my heart, because little things can get me quite excited. I love to spread joy, because it roots that feeling deeper into my experience and lifts me up – a bit of a win-win for sure.

So where does “ceremony” come into this? And what is the difference between “ceremony” and “celebration”?

Click here to read more

Intention Words 2023 Karen Armstrong

For those of you who have followed me for a while, you will be well aware of my New Year’s practice of creating my intention words that guide the overall vision of my year. Like many, I found that New Year’s resolutions did not have enough motivation past January to make any impact on the whole year. My words on the other hand create a framework for what I have chosen to invite into my life during the coming year. Whether I look at them often or they slip into the background of my awareness, they always carry strength to draw the people, experiences and ideas to enrich my year.


Creating the right space is the most important ingredient to getting clear intention words. I provide myself with a window of time that I can call my own and not be interrupted. This year after preparing my space; lighting a candle, getting my crystals, background music and tea, I followed a journaling exercise from Laura Foster. https://soulinspiredgurl.com/ It was called Walking Your Sovereign Path, a series of journal questions summarizing 2022 and looking ahead to 2023. I find it both comforting and inspiring. Following it’s completion, I decided to bring together my 5 Tarot and Oracle decks that I currently have at home and pull a card from each one to see what messages surface. This was most interesting and certainly assisted me in determining my intention words for this year. They ended up being phrases or mantras actually as you will see below:

1/ Heart Centered

No matter what I am doing or where I am, I will endeavor to be more heart centered in all ways. Thinking, speaking, acting, being, making choices and decisions. This includes how I spend my time and my money. I believe we each have a lot of influence by the choices we make and how we choose to spend our dollars. I continue to support local wherever possible, small business and Canadian made products. Large and/or international companies will continue to earn portions of our spending for the foreseeable future on specific items, however we have more room to make a difference.

2/ Root into Faith, Gratitude and Trust

I have found myself leaning into these more and more over the past couple of years. So much is changing, so much is being revealed and there is a high level of fear in the collective world. I connect to my roots or Faith, Gratitude and Trust with meditation, yoga, walking in nature, music, reading or listening to inspirational thought leaders, journaling, simple ceremonies, my family and animals. I also find that when I come from the perspective that life is always happening For Me and not To Me, I see from a more open perspective.

3/ Creativity

This word has been part of a few yearly intention lists. I find I can get too serious or naturally following the way I have done things in the past. I find my life is more fun and inspiring when I can allow my creative juices to flow and shake things up. It has definitely been easier to do now that we have welcomed grandchildren into our lives. When I spend time with them, I allow that playful spontaneous part of me to take hold and it’s truly joyful. I also intend to book more day excursions into my calendar. Just writing this brings a joyful anticipation.

4/ Free to be Me in 23

This jumped out when I did the journaling exercise so I trust that it carries a strong thread to follow this year. This brings into play all the previous intentions and wraps them up in a way of being. I guess I may find that by bringing more attention to the previous intentions, I in fact may be more free to be me!

These are my words for the year. They ignite a good feeling when I read them and an anticipation of how they will manifest in the weeks and months to come.

As I have been listening to the radio and watching some of my social media feeds in the past couple of weeks, I notice a trend away from the traditional New Year’s Resolutions. Maybe we are ready to set ourselves up for more success in the long run, not just short-term goals. If we make small consistent changes, they tend to create measurable changes that are easier to adopt as part of our lifestyle.

I love to hear about the ideas that you come up with or questions you may have. Please share your magic. Happy 2023! We are capable of so much together.

Till next time,


A small river flowing through a forest

I am back and so happy to be sharing my updates with you. It has been a year since I announced my Sabbatical and took some time away from the office and my writing. So much has happened and the biggest lesson I have taken from this past year is to truly – Go with the Flow!

Right after publishing my last blog, we welcomed our first grandchild into the family. A happy little boy who also turns 1 year old today. This was followed by two weddings and the birth of our first granddaughter in October. To say life has changed is an understatement. There is so much joy along with all the crazy. This balance has definitely helped to keep perspective.

I had such expectations that my sabbatical was going to allow for a deep dive into how I might shift my work to be even more impactful in the world. That is would look like a big 360-degree shift in my offering. As I entered into month 3, I was getting quite restless. All my tuning in, meditations, coaching sessions did not seem to be birthing this new program. Some colleagues started to reach out for sessions and it felt right to see them. Slowly, my schedule began to fill up without me making any formal announcement. I noticed that I was very clear on my boundaries. I would work my 4 days a week with specific hours and not get pulled to make time work for everyone else’s schedule.

The big result was – I was different. I was and am bringing a new level of presence and awareness to my days and that has created more joy and gratitude to be doing what I do. This does not mean that new programs will not show up, change is always with us. As my company name suggests – all real change comes from the inside out. It was my mind and programs that were telling me that in order to justify the time off, I had to make a big outward change. It makes me smile with more self-compassion now.

So what are some of the things that have contributed to this inner shift?

  • Daily (almost) meditation
  • Walks in the forest or by the river. Many with a dear friend, some with family or solo, and the dogs.
  • Yoga – self-care
  • A nine-month Enneagram program with Russ Hudson and the Awakened Company.
  • An online community choir called Wonderland Singers with Coco Love Alcorn.
  • Continued North Metro Sweet Adeline’s chorus.
  • Continued Women’s Wellness Circles monthly

Karen standing on a rock

The biggest shift as I mentioned opening this post was an ability to go with the flow. Whether it was last-minute client cancels due to health or life demands, changes in how a day would unfold, the numbers for Circle, changing my teaching schedule for reiki…I was consistently being reminded to let go…to trust…to know that the best outcome will always be supported even if it did not look that way from my initial vantage point. I did not realize how much I planned my time. This was partially engrained in me from upbringing and school and work. In order to be successful, you must employ time management skills. The other part was out of fear. My fear looks like not being able to keep up with all the demands I expect of myself, what I thought others expected of me, to be able to be there for others, to not show weakness that I can not manage whatever comes my way. These are the self-sabotaging patterns that set into motion years ago.

Change only comes about through awareness and practice so my time allowed for more of both of these. I also have incredible support in my colleagues, friends and family to not give up when it got tough to feel my way through.

I am so grateful to be where I am today and know that there is so much more to experience and expand into. Thank you to all my clients who continue to put their trust in me and teach me. Thanks to my family, friends and colleagues and community. We are always stronger together.

As we welcome the December full moon this week and prepare for the Winter Solstice on the 21st and holidays, I wish for you to invite in self-love, curiosity, gratitude, playfulness and big dreams for a world that works for all of us.

See you in the New Year. Blessings to each of you.

a photo of tree tops taken looking up to the sky. They're dusted with snow and in the middle of the photo it says 2022

I’m a bit behind the eight ball in getting my 2022 Intention Words out.  They were created on the New Moon of January 2nd and have been very much part of my presence and practice over the past couple of weeks but I was resistant to getting my butt in the chair to write about them here.  I guess Lee Harris’s January energy update is alive in me. He did share that this January; the prompting is to go inward instead of launching out of the gate.  We can wait until February this year for that energy to arrive.  Thanks, Lee for giving me permission to not get too critical with myself…lol.

For those of you who have followed me for a while, you will be well aware of my New Year’s practice of creating my intention words that guide the overall vision of my year.  Like many, I found that New Year’s resolutions did not have enough motivation past January to make any impact on the whole year.  My words on the other hand create a framework for what I have chosen to invite into my life during the coming year. Whether I look at them often or they slip into the background of my awareness, they always carry the strength to draw the people, experiences and ideas to enrich my year.


Creating the right space is the most important ingredient to getting clear intention words.  I provide myself with a window of time that I can call my own and not be interrupted.  Then I get my tea, journal, oracle cards, essential oils in the diffuser and an oracle or tarot deck of my choice. With soft relaxing music, I settle into a mediation to ground in my body.  Now I am ready to journal about the year I have just come through.  The highlights, the challenges, the insights and whatever else flows from my pen.  Then I allow myself to invite the vision of what I want the new year to feel like. From this, words or phrases come to me.  It’s like writing a letter to Santa as a child.  We tend to ask for things that will make us feel a certain way. Each word has its own unique meaning.  Allow me to share my 2022 Intention Words with you now.

  1. Deep Connection

    As I am beginning this year still on my sabbatical, I am taking a couple of online classes and a spiritual program to support this deepening practice. It is a desire to know myself and my journey more intimately. I would like this deeper connection to flow into my work with my students and clients.
  2. Innovation

    As we seem to be at a worldwide crossroad of change, I have been witnessing the clarity for myself and others of what no longer works. Sometimes the trickier part of letting go is to know what to replace the old with. I welcome in the energy of innovation to my life. Welcoming out of the box thinking, synergy and alchemy.
  3. Exploration

    To support the innovation, I am welcoming in a focus for exploring new things. It could mean listening to new music, reading books I would not normally pick up, engaging in conversations with radical openness. Shake things up and allow new neural pathways to engage.
  4. Playfullness

    This past couple of years has been a marathon of growth and not all days were joyful. I can get very serious when I am trying to understand what’s going on and how to maneuver rough waters. I am craving more laughter and lightness. It’s time to welcome that youthful free spirit back into my everyday living. Maybe I’ll join a couple of Cathy Nesbitt online laughter yoga sessions to spark some happy hormones.

These are my words for the year.  They ignite a good feeling when I read them and anticipation of how they will manifest in the weeks and months to come.  To give them a bit more visual presence this year, I have done the following.  I did a full card spread with The Muse Tarot deck by Chris-Ann.  Then I embarked in creating a vision board with the focus of my words and the guidance offered by the cards.  My Vision board is not complete yet.  I am searching out more magazines to complete it.  Watch for a finished picture on my social media pages. This will hang in my office where I can allow it to inspire me throughout the year.

I have had clients write me to share their experiences with creating intention words.  Some have found a picture that reflects each word for them, framed them and placed them in a significant spot in their home.  Some create cue cards and use them for bookmarks or tape them to their mirrors.  Some have done separate journal entries for each word and expanded on how the word inspires them.  Let your imagination run free and see what you come up with.  I can see candles, essential oils blends, bath salts, bracelets, songs etc.  Have some fun.

I love to hear about the ideas that you come up with or questions you may have.  Please share your magic.  Happy 2022 intentions!

Till next time,

Karen - Fall 2021

Sabbatical; a leave from duties and responsibilities in order to reset, research and rejuvenate.

As we approach the full moon partial eclipse on Friday, the impulse that has been bubbling up in me over the past few months can no longer be pushed aside.

When the first thought of a sabbatical entered my consciousness in the summer on one of my precious coaching calls, it both excited and scared me. After running my practice for the past 21 years, serving my community in a myriad of ways, it felt like I was being irresponsible to entertain a full break. The difference was, that was the response in my head, not in my heart and body.

I have been honing my skills over the past 2 years to listen more deeply to my body; and so its voice is getting louder. I knew that it was something I was being invited to do, however, I tip-toed into it.

I began to only book clients on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. It didn’t take long for me to break that and accept an appointment on a Monday or Saturday for those who were requesting alternate options.

I decided it would be good to find a colleague to bring in so that healing was still happening in my sacred space. The right connections were brought into my life within a month of that thought. One step closer but still I hesitated to set a date and announce this big step.  So, as you are reading here, it is time.

Why?  My soul is calling for it.  Over the past 1.5 years, I have felt as though something wants to be birthed through me in a new way.  The issue is, I need to stop what I am doing in order to listen fully for what is coming.

The fall and winter season is a natural time to go within and hibernate.

I also have the joy of anticipating our first grandchild.  What a precious gift to be fully present for.

I have been preparing for this time.  I was part of Laura Foster’s first group program entitled “Roots”.  A beautiful program consisting of 10 modules digging into the foundation of our being and soul that allows for the clarity and strength to rise. It created a stronger connection for me to listen to my heart’s calling.

I also registered for a 9-month program with Russ Hudson and The Awakened Company which runs from October 2021 – June 2022.  Again, a deep dive into a spiritual practice, creating practices that will serve to enlighten me to what is being called of my gifts and service at this time on our planet.

I feel we are at a crucial point in humanity’s awakening. It’s a time to support sustainable practices that will build and not destroy. It is time to bring in creativity and potential into new form.

I will continue to host my monthly Woman’s Wellness Circle on the 4th Thursday of the month.  We have moved back to our Zoom platform beginning this month. My monthly newsletter will provide details for each event.

I will continue to support my Reiki students with some online offerings and those too will be announced as they are scheduled.

To all my cherished clients, I am grateful for what we have shared and for the anticipation of what is coming. Keep looking after yourselves and enjoy the coming season. Remember to schedule things that make your heart smile.

Till the new year, sending all my love.


Woman on top of a mountain because she supported her vision

I know it’s been some time since my last post however the inspiration has returned.  I was introduced to a fascinating Doctor’s YouTube channel and the first podcast that I listened to was all about supporting our vision.  This was timely for me as my recent eye checkup revealed that my eye pressure went up significantly over the last year and I was sent for a specialist appointment.  That visit resulted in me having a laser procedure to hopefully provide relief for the pressure.  My follow-up appointment is not until July 19th when I learn if it worked.

Needless to say, I have become more curious about ways to support my eyes and vision.  A most important part of our life experience. My first response after the ophthalmologist visit was to journal what I was not wanting to see in my life.  With the massive changes going on in our world, it is not difficult to acknowledge some truth there however I dug deeper and peered into the personal well.  I did come up with a few nuggets that needed to be addressed.  Tough work and yet very empowering.  This is also where the work with a great coach supports us in our greatest life!  Shout out to @soulinspiredgurl.  The other beautiful synchronicity came through a good friend and colleague, Theresa who told me about a great doctor’s podcast series on YouTube.  Dr. Andrew Huberman is an American neuroscientist and professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine.  I will summarize some of the 90-minute sessions in this post and will provide a link to the full recording which I highly recommend.

Top Take Aways To Support Our Vision:

The only way that light information gets into our body is through the eyes. They are an extension of our brain. (neural retinas)  The fastest reflex we have is our ability to blink.

The ancient cells of the eyes are called retinal ganglion cells  – they send information to the brain and influence our mood, wakefulness, sleepiness, metabolism, blood sugar levels and pain threshold to name a few important things. 

To support the retinal ganglion cells, we need to spend 2-10 minutes outside in the morning when the sun is rising in the east and again in the evening when the sun is setting in the west. This anchors our body in time and sets our circadian clock.

To reduce the potential for myopia, it is advisable to spend at least 2 hours outside each day without sunglasses.

Exercises to offset the amount of time our eyes are focused up close on a devise or any other up close activity. 

Every 30 minutes of screen time, take a 2-5 minute break to look outside at a horizon or provide a panoramic view.  Ideally not through a window.

Every 90 minutes of screen time, go outside for 20 minutes to relax your eyes and again look at distant views.

Go for a walk or bike ride each day to provide the opportunity to optic flow. “Optic flow is the visual motion that results from an observer’s own movement through the environment. The distinguishing feature of optic flow is that it covers the entire visual field, whereas object motion covers only a part of the field.” This distresses our body.

Focus change: This is one of several eye accommodation exercises

  • Hold one finger a few inches away from one eye
  • Focus the gaze on the finger
  • Move the finger slowly way from the face
  • Focus on an object farther away, and then back on the finger.
  • Bring the finger back closer to the eye.
  • Focus on an object farther away.
  • Repeat three times.

Smooth Pursuit Exercises (also called tracking) will improve vision and keep muscles strong as the brain follows the movement of the eyes. Do for 5-10 minutes, 3 times per week.  Here is a quick YouTube link

Whole Foods:  dark leafy greens and carrots or high carotenoid vegetables.

Supplements – this area is under constant study however Dr.Huberman suggests there is evidence to support the use of Lutein especially when combined with Zeaxanthin and Astaxanthin.  He references a website called examine.com for reliable information.

After listening to this podcast twice, I realized that one area of great improvement over the last year for me, was my close-up vision.  My prescription went from 2.75 to 2.25 due to the number of hours I spent outside walking and in the garden last year.  I look forward to incorporating many more of these suggestions and supporting my visual health.  Here’s a link to the full podcast

What have you learned more about in this last year?  I am always curious and open to new insights.  Till next time, enjoy the summer and get out in the natural light.

I want to expand on my first Intention Word for 2021 shared in my last post. Belly Breath or simply Breath. It is the most automatic instinct we have from birth and therefore one that we don’t typically pay much attention to without cause.

We have so many expressions that include the experience of our breath:

“breath of fresh air”

“under one’s breath”

“hold your breath”

“save your breath”

“take your breath away”

“breath taking”

“catch one’s breath”

“just breathe”

“breathe life into your dreams, desires, intentions etc”

I shared that without my weekly chorus rehearsals where we spend 3 plus hours singing with and without choreography that my natural breath pattern became more shallow. That in turn raises can result in anxious feelings, contraction in my abdomen which impacts my digestion and an overall sense of unease. All it takes it conscious moments throughout the day to take 3 big deep breathes to change my whole physiology. It is also why my daily walks in nature have had such a profound calming and grounding influence on my well being.

As a Reiki Master, it is absolutely one of the most influential aspects of receiving the benefits of a treatment. I start all client sessions with a a gentle invitation to come into presence through our senses and landing with the breath. I watch the breathing patterns of my clients as they are on the table to notice when they change. It provides strong clues as what is happening within and when I might inquire or support differently.

We have so many options available to us to bring awareness to our breath and create healthy breath practices. Breath is the foundation to the following and I know it is not a complete list:

“Yoga, Meditation, Qui Gong, Tai Chi, Vocal expression, Pilates, Reiki, Body Talk, weight training, birthing, sports, good sleep, digestion”

I receive the daily inspiration from Abraham Hicks and as a synchronicity, this is the post that arrived today which fits so perfectly.

“Through our daily process of focusing upon your breathing, you will progressively breathe your resistance away, causing a gradual shift in your Vibrational point of attraction. And then, you will begin to feel a strong resonance with the words that we have been speaking to you. When that occurs, the Vibration of your physical body and that of the Source within you will be at the same Vibrational frequency; and when that occurs, your physical body will benefit.

In the same way that a complete understanding of electricity is unnecessary in order to flip the switch and receive the benefit of it, you do not need to understand the complex inner workings of your physical body. You only need to understand the simple process by which you allow your intelligent cells to do their work.

As you find and practice resonance with the Vibration of the Source within you, communication between the cells of your body flourishes, as does your entire physical body. And it all begins with the simple focusing upon your breathing to “flip the switch” of absolute physical well-being.

Excerpted from Getting into the Vortex Guided Meditation CD and User Guide on 11/1/10

Our Love Esther (Abraham and Jerry)

I invite you to bring more awareness to your breathe in the next week and notice the difference that it provides in your overall sense of wellbeing. As always, I encourage feedback and suggestions from readers. As we share we expand.

Until next time.

Intention Words for 2021 - New Year's Resolutions and Intentions Reiki Master Toronto, Newmarket, Ontario

Welcome to 2021.  It is incredible to be sitting at the beginning of another new year with the realization that this past year saw unprecedented world changes that are still unfolding. We have no idea what is coming as we look ahead this year.  It’s not like we ever really know what will happen with each coming day however, there is a much deeper understanding of that from our new vantage point.

Those who have followed me for a while know that instead of determining New Year’s Resolutions, I like to create my Intention Words that guide me for the year ahead.  These are words that will inspire my decisions, creativity and my beingness for the year ahead.  They have always provided results in the most miraculous ways and so the motivation for me to continue this practice is very high.

My 2020 words were Exhale, G.A.J. (which stood for Gratitude, Appreciation and Joy) and Creative Expression.  The huge lessons that I experienced last year were supported 100-fold by these intentions. The biggest support in moving through the challenges included:

  1. Exhale: A consistent yoga, chanting and walking practice.
  2. G.A.J.: Journaling, being present to all that I love like nature, animals, gardening, cooking and connection with family and close friends. Finding Joy in everyday moments.
  3. Creative Expression: Finding new ways to offer my services, to run Women’s Wellness Circles, to take classes, to sing with my chorus, to connect with family and friends in a virtual format and in-person. Taking time to make Vision Boards, flower planters, winter urns, and decluttering space.

So, to continue on this roller coaster ride into 2021, my words of inspiration have presented themselves as follows:

Belly Breathe

After not being able to attend my weekly chorus rehearsals after 38 years, I realized how much my body relied on this deep diaphragmatic breathing. The tightness that developed in my lower diaphragm was noticeable after a few months.  This is why I began to do some morning chanting and why I will actually put this as my first intention word for 2021 (and after a good reminder nudge from my dear friend Theresa Gagnon).


I learned this year how often I question my own inner knowing for myself.  Not in my work practice for clients, that comes easily after these years of practice.  My inner critic and fearful voice turns up its volume when it comes to listening to my own body which has been extremely dramatic this year.  I will trust in my own strength and wisdom and be kind and patient with my body. I will also remind myself to trust that all things are unfolding for the highest good of all.


This has proven to be an extremely valuable practice as we continued along the uncertain path.  To root into the practices that ground me and provide calmness, clarity and inspiration. On top of walking in nature, yoga and journaling, I am open to discovering more ways to ground myself in this new year.


We all need to shine our own unique light for this world to be all it can be. To birth new realities, to make life worth living, to express our own creativity and spark each other.

Once I allow the process of breathing, trusting and rooting to shape my foundation, I will be ready to Shine my spark into the world in ever expanding ways. This fills me with excitement.

As a reminder, my next creative project will be to make a piece of art with each of these words and frame them to have out as a constant incentive.  I will share a picture of my completed project on my SM feeds.

It is so great to share in this space with you.  May you feel inspired to respond and share some of your intentions for the year ahead.

Let us stay vigilant in our vision of a future that is centered around kindness, sustainability and an insatiable thirst for truth with the freedom and courage to express that truth and be heard. Let’s create a world that works for all.

Until next time…


Last week’s Women’s Wellness Circle featured Shawn Nisbet as our guest presenter with a timely topic for fall; How to Strengthen Your Immune System.  As the allowable numbers for indoor gatherings in our geographic area only permitted a maximum of 10 people, I promised to write a summary of the information shared on the 22nd.  So here is my attempt to share what actually would be a whole book of information and then provide a link for Shawn’s incredible resources.

What is your Immune System?

It is a collection of billions of cells that travel through your body via your bloodstream. The cells move in and out of tissues and organs defending the body against foreign (antigens), such as specific bacteria, viruses and cancerous cells that can make you ill.

The Main Parts of Your Immune System

There are actually twenty-one different kinds of immune cells and each of them have numerous jobs to do to keep us healthy.

How Do We Strengthen Our Immune System?

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Manage your stress.
  • Drink less alcohol.
  • Sleep well.
  • Exercise moderately, preferably outside.
  • Spend more time outdoors, even in winter.
  • Get more Vitamin D.
  • Nourish your gut biome.
  • Eat less sugar.
  • Eat a healthy diet full of fruits, veggies and other plants.
  • Eat less bad fats.
  • Manage your weight.
  • Breathe deep and relaxed through your nose.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Wash your hands properly.
  • Add important bio-available supplements to your daily diet.

This is a comprehensive list that we discussed in detail with statistics and tips to follow through.  Many that we already know, because we have heard them before and some are common sense.  Some have new findings to support a more thorough understanding which can motivate us to make new choices.

Taking It One Step at a Time

Taking a lot of information in can be intimidating, sometimes deterring us from taking action.  Shawn recommended that we each pick one thing that we are prepared to implement the next day.  Once we felt comfortable with that change, then we could add another step.

It was a fantastic evening and we had active discussions on many topics.  I encourage you to sign up for Shawn’s newsletter or peruse her website for recipes and ideas on health promotion. https://www.nutritionwithshawn.com/

Other incredible resources that I recommend are;

So, let’s keep our dialog going, share your thoughts and let’s take this time to learn more about our brilliant bodies and how much they can support us when we support them. 

To your health and wellbeing,


Welcome to September…not sure how July and August flashed by so quickly yet here we are. As I shared in my last post, these last six months have provided a fertile ground for us to do a deep dive into our closest relationships.  Limited travel, gatherings and outings have resulted in more time spent with our close family, friends and most importantly; ourselves.  Some of us have always been comfortable in our own company for long periods of time, however for many; this is a very new experience.

I happen to be a very social person; enjoying the opportunity to work with my clients and hosting events that bring the community together. When that was cut off for a few months earlier this year, I too was in my own company for many more hours a day than ever before. It has been a rich ride, some days blissful and some days extremely uncomfortable.  I found I was slowly going down a rabbit hole of seeing all the things in myself I didn’t like.  The crazy thing is, that same outlook was in play as I looked outside of myself too.  I was seeing all the things that had built up over the years with other relationships. As I touched base with others, many were also saying that their buttons were so close to the surface that others could push them without much effort. What were the gifts coming forward in this uncomfortable way?

One of the incredible gifts that came forth was a series of online Enneagram classes with The Awakened Company led by Catherine Bell and Russ Hudson. The timing was so perfect to provide very practical understanding on how each type might deal with the pandemic crisis. 

What IS the Enneagram?

For those who are unfamiliar with the Enneagram, it is a personality system that provides incredible insights into nine patterns of thinking, feeling and acting in the world.  We all hold some of each type within us and we all have a dominant personality type that is the base motivation for how we engage in the world with ourselves and others.

My website contains more detailed information and videos describing this system.  I also coach individuals, couples and teams with the Enneagram to bring more ease and effectiveness to their relationships.

Exploring Enneagram Types In-Depth Workshop

Once each year, I hold a public workshop where individuals can witness others who know their type describe how they tend to look at life.  It is one of the most fun and informative days that I lead every year.

This year will have a slightly different atmosphere in a great way!  We will be outside under a huge tent at the Historic Sharon Temple on September 13th. There are a few spots still available.  If this is not an option for you, I encourage you to research the Enneagram. I am happy to work with you or guide you to Russ Hudson, , Ben Saltzman, , and the Awakened Company, to name a few.

May these times bring wisdom, transformation and compassion as we move forward together to create a world that works for everyone.

Until next time,


Reiki Energy Healing in Newmarket by Karen Armstrong of Inside Out

Happy July 2020, it’s been quite the ride these past few months and it shows no signs of being any different in the foreseeable future.  As humans, we are natural problem solvers and control freaks, so there is no shortage of opinions and thoughts on how to handle everything.  So who are you listening to?

It has been so natural to look outside of ourselves for so many answers to questions that arise in our lives.  After all; how can we be an expert in everything?  We definitely are not and no one is.  We are an expert on our own body and what is best for us, we have just forgotten how to tune in and listen.

I am no exception. I got myself so busy last year, that even though my body was speaking up loudly with signs of exhaustion, I was on auto pilot.  It didn’t matter how many incredible colleagues I saw to keep me balanced, I was actually just enabling myself to carry on a bit longer and keep piling up my personal expectation list. 

I have shared that at Christmas 2019, I realized that things needed to change.  I began 2020 in a very different way, carving out personal time every morning before heading to the office. I would meditate, journal, do self-reiki, yoga or read.  I also made tough decisions to cut back on some of my extra-curricular commitments.  Instead, I booked a personal retreat, booked a weekend off to visit my son and his partner and was planning some regular “me” days. 

Then the Covid-19 shut down hit.  Well that brought everything to a big halt overnight.  At first it felt fabulous… “ahh, I can just stop without any guilt of letting anyone down”.  But my strong, lifelong patterns of finding value by doing began to surface at the same time as my realization that I truly needed this stop time to rebuild.  Those were two very conflicting inner messages.

I Went on a Search for Assistance

So – who did I look to for support, who could I listen to that knew how to assist me in this tumultuous time?  The process of determining that created the acknowledgement that I had to tune in to me first.  I am not completely new to this, I have built a strong intuitive ability to tune in to myself, however this was taking it to a much deeper level. Of course the universe brings people into our lives at the perfect time.  Besides myself, here is who I have reached out to as I deepen my relationship to self.

Dr. Laura Foster – I have known Dr. Laura Foster for many years, though it has only been the last year that our circle drew much closer. From the incredible health and wellness expo that she and Danielle Warner organized last fall in Newmarket, to the incredible retreat I attended in February, to monthly Inspired Conversation Zoom calls, Laura has been through a similar rebirthing in her life and  is now skilled in assisting others to tune into their inner voice.  https://soulinspiredgurl.com/

Dean Noblett and Rebecca Couch – my reiki masters.  From the start of shut down, Dean and Rebecca stepped up to run daily, and then weekly, meditation evenings to bring our light worker community together.  This has been an incredibly empowering support to remember the big picture, that we signed up to be here as the earth integrates into the 5th dimension and how to stay grounded yet tuned into the higher frequencies coming in. Check out http://www.heartlight.ca/

Andrea Mathieson – a long time spiritual mentor, Andrea works with plant medicine and Gaia to bring in a deeper listening from the wisdom of Mother Nature.  She offered a 2 part Creating your Own Flower Essence Workshop online which was wonderful and has now expanded into a 4 part Communing with Nature.  This calls a different aspect of intuitive listening for me that I know will serve me in many ways. https://www.ravenessences.com/

Meadow Eagleweed used to make my flower essence.

The Awakened Company – Catherine Bell and Russ Hudson have teamed up to offer weekly classes on the Enneagram, a system of our human nature that I have studied and worked with since 1996. The richness of these classes has been great during these times as we witness the polarities of our personality rise with the ever present fear. You are not too late to jump in and learn from these wise souls: https://awakenedcompany.com/enneagram-courses-awakened-company/

There are countless others bringing their wisdom and gifts to the forefront now and many who have other agendas. We are living in a very rich time of shifting old paradigms and rebirthing the world in a more sustainable, compassionate and inclusive way that will be better for all.  All lives matter no matter what colour our skin, the animals, the vegetation, our water and earth. We are one eco system that relies on each other to bring our own light and gifts to the whole.  May we listen with an intention to bring about a kinder world.

I would love to hear from you, who are your favourite peeps at this shifting time?

inner critic

As we enter week 11 of being more house bound and adhering to social distancing, old patterns are arising, and our inner critic is getting very loud. We can find ourselves in a reactive mode not only with outside issues; the more detrimental tendency is that we tend to attack ourselves first.

Why am I heading to the fridge again?

Why can’t I get myself motivated to do my “To Do” list?

How can I let anyone see me with this hair?

How can I stop my worrying?

My thinking is scattered.

How Fear Effects Our Reasoning Mind

We are in an unprecedented territory of change worldwide and yet, we put expectations on ourselves that are running from old patterns. We have the skill set to move into a responsive mode, yet we are out to lunch 98% of our day. Not consciously, our unconscious patterns and learned behaviours are in the driver’s seat, especially with the heightened level of fear coming at us from every angle. Fear by its nature limits our immune system, our reasoning mind and creativity.

Breaking the Cycle

inner critic

So, how do we break the cycle? The simple answer is presence. I hear your rebuttal – oh right, not so simple. The reality is that presence can be tough work. So, how do we approach tough work? Through simple steps repeated with consistency. It comes through our breathe and our body – our body communicates through sensation.

Breathe and Body

When we take the steps to welcome in our breathe and body sensations, new messages can come to the surface. This is where the work comes in. We typically get to this front door and then leave because it is not always confortable. It requires a deeper letting go and flow than we are used to. There is a vulnerability to be in the moment and trust. ..

Here’s an invitation for you. As you move through your day or week, stop periodically to breathe and feel into your own goodness. To acknowledge the sacredness of this new space and the journey we are on at this time. We can remember that we are our own custodian and caretaker. We can also notice the habits by which we give ourselves a hard time. We can notice if there are recurrent themes. Write these messages down and read them from a place of kindness. We might see the untruth of them. 

We are never wasting time by working on our inner critic. It is freeing.

Until next time,


support, virtual services

Welcome to May 2020. We are still under social distancing guidelines in Southern Ontario, so I wish to update you on the services still available with Inside Out.

It has been a time of great polar opposites. Feelings of gratitude that we have more time to look after ourselves, family, nature and community as well as fear, uncertainty and mixed emotions on what is really happening. Of course, the big question is – what will it look like on the other side of quarantine? I am excited to be taking some time to be very conscious of what I want to co-create in our world. We have been talking about how we are living in an unsustainable way for our planet’s well-being and noticing how the stress and pace is being expressed in record high levels of anxiety and depression for all ages.

This extreme world situation definitely carries many casualties that are brutally difficult to see and on the polar opposite, it is showing us without a doubt, that our human activity is having a detrimental effect on the environment. There are countless entries sharing how nature is bouncing back.

“If there’s something good to come from this worldwide pandemic, it might be the way Earth is given a chance to breathe a bit. Scientists have already seen how quickly the climate, and nature far and wide, is already revitalizing and recovering from human climate change damage.  https://eponline.com/articles/2020/03/24/covid19-and-climate-change-the-unexpected-pairing.aspx

So, with this pause that many of us are experiencing, we have a brilliant opportunity to think about what we want our world to look like. Our thoughts are energy and where thoughts go, energy follows. Our actions will be influenced by our thoughts, which have a ripple effect on our circle of influence.

I am appreciating this pause to do just that. I have not come to a full picture of how I want to show up when things go back to allowing interaction of physical, but ideas are percolating.

In the meantime, I am definitely available to support my clients in the following ways:

Distant Reiki Healing

This involves connecting by phone, Zoom, FT or Skype to have a conversation about where you are at and what is coming up. Then we either stay connected or hang up and I will send a reiki healing treatment to you as though you were with me.

Enneagram Relationship Coaching

Using the enneagram personality system as the focal point, we will discuss whatever blocks or challenges may be coming up at this time relating to yourself or others. Great insights reveal themselves and new steps forward are determined with more clarity.

General Support

My experience over these past 20 years has provided a strong platform to listen, question and provide a fresh perspective on what may be going on in your life wherever you need support.

Women’s Wellness Circle

This wonderful monthly connection has moved to a virtual platform until we can gather together. It takes place the 4th Thursday of each month and I feature a different presenter and topic. This month will be focused on our relationship to food. Watch for details on my newsletter and on my FB Business page.

New to my Website

New to my website is an online shop to purchase the few items that my clients have come to love. I am covering ½ the shipping costs during shutdown or free delivery to East Gwillimbury, Newmarket and Aurora.

My new online scheduling system will be up and running this week making it easier to book at your own convenience.

I am forever grateful for the support of my long-time clients and students. Many of you are now friends. I have never looked back from my call to serve in this way. May these challenging times provide a place of deep reflection on the world we want to co-create for ourselves, our children, grandchildren and the planet we call home.

Until next time,


It is no surprise that our current worldwide Covid-19 health conditions are changing the way we interact on a personal and business basis.  My monthly Women’s Wellness Circle is no exception.  As the social distancing measures rolled out during the 3rd week of March 2020, and with Circle fast approaching on the 4th Thursday, a decision needed to be made.

Do I cancel this amazing event completely or try bringing it to an new online platform?  The answer was a definite; let’s try to bring this month’s Women’s Wellness Circle to an online platform.

I had a fantastic coach in Dany Spencer who led me through tutorials and thankfully the Zoom platform is a very user friendly one to host a meeting.  Dany posted a simple cheat sheet on the FB Circle Event page and I found a short You Tube tutorial to post. I had a strong attendance response for March’s presenter, Chris Anne Donnelly and wondered if it could be as meaningful to connect through computer or smartphone screens.

The Virtual Accessibility Actually Increased Overall Attendees

Our night arrived and to my thrill, 35 women joined in.  Not only did I have my local attendees; with the virtual venue, I had women join from B.C., Toronto, Collingwood and Bracebridge.  Chris Anne is very comfortable communicating authentically online after developing her numerous tarot decks with an international team for Hay House.  I am continually in awe of how spirit works to support Circle.

We had such a special evening, connecting inward with a meditation, having a beautiful conversation on how we were experiencing the unfolding of the new conditions and finally receiving a personal card message from Chris Anne.  All left feeling just like we do when we gather in person…reconnected, uplifted and knowing we have others supporting us during all times.

I pressed record on our call once we had tuned in and then my amazing technical team; Rosewood have loaded it onto my YouTube channel.  Those who wish to listen to our call, please connect here.

April’s Circle will take place next week, April 23rd under the same format. Last month’s experiment was a totally free event.  This month, I am requesting a ‘pay what you’ can via e-transfer to Karen@in-side-out.com.  The registration link will be forwarded to all those I hear from.  This month we have Dr. Laura Foster of Soul Inspired Gurl who will lead a very heart centered session on what is bubbling up for us in these days and how to access the call of our heart. Be sure to join us.

As always – thank you for your amazing support.  Women’s Wellness Circle feeds our soul and desire for connecting with like-minded women.  We were made for these times, a global reset button has been activated.  Let’s co-create the world we want to live in on the other side of Covid19.

Check out both presenters:

Till next time, treat yourself and others with kindness,



I am stretching here to share a personal part of my year’s journey so far. I attended an Archangel Metatron workshop the weekend of January 11/12 as we entered into the Full Moon Lunar eclipse. The emotional energies were very sensitive. We did a powerful meditation on the first afternoon that really stayed with me.

Powerful Meditation

The most significant part took place in the first 60 seconds on tuning in. As I closed my eyes and began to take a few deep breathes, I saw myself with my arms stretched out to either side like wings and the feeling was that I was reaching out to connect with millions of others as we stretched around the globe. My heart felt so expanded it was palpable. Then just as quickly as it dropped into my awareness, it settled into the background and I could once again follow the voice of our facilitator as she continued to guide us.

The Feeling of a Seed Under the Ground

This vision however stayed with me and I wondered how it would show up in my life this year. Fast forward to 2 weeks ago, as I was in a personal coaching session and trying to articulate how I was feeling. This was just before the expanded actions of social distancing went into place. What I ended up sharing was that I was feeling like I was a seed under the ground.  One would think this to feel cocoon like and swaddled in the ground. That was not my sense at all. Once under the ground, it was as though it was expansive, that I was in touch with the whole planet via the earth. That I was connecting with light workers and healers around the planet and we were just waiting to be activated. That once the activation came, we would each know how to sprout up in our specific geographic area with our unique gifts to take action in the world.

Pivotal Transformation Point

It was such a strong and once again visceral sensation in my body. I feel this down time is meant for us to take purposeful time to go within, to receive the messages that only we can get on how we move forward in the world at this time. We are at a pivotal transformation point on the planet to awaken to more balance and conscious choices for the good of all. I still have not received my clear activation message however I am continuing to tune in and feel and learn. I trust it is coming and feel a sense of excitement building around it.

Use Your Time to Support Others and Learn

We chose to be here now so there is no mistake. Let us use this time wisely and learn. Let’s continue to reach out to each other in new ways, support those who need it. Let us share positive messages with those we know who have not been given the gift to slow down. Our front-line people who are out there every day. Thank you to all who are keeping our communities alive through their service.

There is one mantra that I have been saying every day.

I am Happy,

I am Healthy

I am Strong

I am full of Vitality

I am Divine

I am Loved and Loving

I am full of Gratitude that all is well in my life.

May blessings flow to all at this time even in the smallest gestures. Let’s see what we can create together as we symbolically join sacred hands and hearts.

Until next time,



Sometimes life calls us to recalibrate, to breathe, to trust our inner guidance and move forward with patience, creativity and kindness.

This truly feels like one of those times. We will never forget the unfolding of 2020 and it will surely go down in history for generations to reflect on and hopefully learn from.

What I am learning is that updates are coming in very quickly that are not what we necessarily want to hear. There is anxiousness, fear and some panic. Those feelings do not always bring out the best attributes of our humanness and we are hearing some of those stories.

We are also hearing of truly generous and kind stories of people reaching out and helping each other. The forced shut down of business and road travel in China has produced this staggering unofficial result:

“The two months of pollution reduction, Burke calculates, has probably saved the lives of 4,000 children under 5 and 73,000 adults over 70 in China. That’s significantly more than the current global death toll from the virus itself.” (credit)

I am learning that to make great change sometimes takes great challenges. I am learning to increase my inward reflection and trust what comes forth. I am having wonderful dinners and conversations with my family. We are expressing our gratitude for what we have.

No matter what our personal views are, this is very real right now and we are all being asked to be part of the solution to keep the spread down.

Inside Out Events Postponed

In light of that, Inside Out will be postponing all reiki training classes and practice days as well as in person client sessions until restrictions are lifted.

We will be postponing the upcoming Enneagram Relationship Workshop scheduled for April 19th, to August 30th.

The monthly Women’s Wellness Circles will take place in an online format for this month and if all goes well, April may follow suit. I will be posting updates on my website, Facebook page and Instagram.

Reiki healing will still be available for those comfortable with distant treatments. Please reach out to me to book these personal sessions.

Let’s take this time to birth in a new reality and hold a vision for the world we want to live in. May kindness prevail.

Please stay in touch,



The Enneagram is a brilliant personality system that provides insight into our everyday personal and business relationships. That’s great news because, “A great relationship is about two things, first find out the similarities and second, respect the differences.” – Unknown

What is the Enneagram?

The Enneagram provides the road map to understand the natural similarities and differences while providing the scope for everyone to be their unique individual ever changing selves. In my experience, the Enneagram does not place us in a box, we look after that one fine all by ourselves. It does provide the framework for us to stretch outside our own boxes and open up our perspective.

I have written a number of blogs on the Enneagram and have a couple of videos on my website for those interested in learning the basic premise of the system. From a basic understanding, the Enneagram states that there are nine ways of thinking, feeling and acting in our human world. We all have one of those 9 ways of thinking that becomes the basis for how we look at and respond to the world.

I am forever grateful for the introduction to this system many years ago when our three sons were very young. As parents, it is a natural to parent our children from our own point of view and not from theirs. Not only can that be tricky, each parent typically is a different type, so you are already juggling two different parenting styles before even acknowledging the child. It became a question of “do we want to be right, or do we want a specific result?”. If it was the later, then it was much more effective to know what the underlying motivation of the child is.  That actually works for everyone.

Enneagram Panels Day

Communication always begins with understanding ourselves, so the first step in putting the wisdom of the Enneagram to work is to know our own inherent type. There are books, podcasts, videos and many opportunities around the world to attend in person events. If you are in the York Region area of Ontario, then a great opportunity is available in April. I am running my annual Enneagram panels day, where people who know their type provide an ideal vantage point to understand each of the nine personality types.

Keep an eye on my IG and FB pages to watch short videos from last year’s event.  You can learn details and register on my website at: https://in-side-out.com/enneagram-workshops/

Relationships are the fertile ground for understanding who we are and what’s important in our lives. Let’s all take time to bring more peace and understanding to our similarities and respect to our differences.

Check out last year’s Enneagram panels below!

Till next time,



Welcome to 2020, a new decade. Those who have followed me for a while know that instead of determining New Year’s Resolutions, I like to create my Intention Words that guide me for the year ahead. These are words that will inspire my decisions, creativity and my beingness for the year ahead. They have always provided results in the most miraculous ways, and so the motivation for me to continue this practice is very high. 

The last weeks of 2019 were extremely full and I did not create the reflective time to settle with my words for this year. Over the holidays as I slowed my pace, my words began to percolate. They did not settle until the last couple of days. The big energy we are in has been tricky for me to settle on the top intentions I wish to invite with me. They have now arrived, and they feel right.  


How powerful this word has been speaking to me lately. I can get caught in my head, with my next steps, thinking about my family, my clients, my life activities, and so much more. I think we call it “the monkey mind”. When I am in my yoga practice or singing, it is a built-in activity. My mind relaxes and so my body follows. I will make this a mantra this year and see how I can relax my mind and be more present to my breath. Both the inhale and exhale, though the exhale allows for a soft letting go. Yes please. 


I read that if my goal is to raise my vibration then I need to raise the frequency of energy that I am taking in and expressing out. This is similar to inhale and exhale. Other keys to keep our frequency uplifted are Gratitude, Appreciation and Joy. My new 2020 word (G.A.J.), will be a constant reminder to watch the emotional content of my thoughts. It not only lifts me up, it tends to be contagious and that’s a sure win/win. 

Creative Expansion 

In order to allow for creative expansion, I require time to be inspired.  I love to read, to participate in workshops or nature outings. Oh, how I enjoy taking a spontaneous day off with my husband or family. Or spending time with dear friends, engaged in deep conversations or frivolously dreaming crazy things that make us laugh. My words from 2019, Pace, Nourish and Fearless Love, have prepared me to prioritize this even higher. It fuels my energy and brings back my playfulness.   

Many brilliant leaders are writing about the changing time we are in and we see it reflected in our world both on the catastrophic side and the miraculous side. Let’s keep our energy clearly focused on what we want to attract and co-create. Let’s keep our community together, supporting each other.  

Women’s Wellness Circle

If you are in the Newmarket area, then join us at the January 23rd Women’s Wellness Circle as we create our new Vision Boards. Stay updated with my Facebook page for the event details. Our minister shared a poem this week that really spoke to me of stepping into our new decade. Maybe it will speak to you. 

Let us take with us the words of a poem quoted by King George VI in his 1939 broadcast: 

“And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:

‘Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.’ 

And he replied: 

‘Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God. 

That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.’ 

So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God, trod gladly into the night. 

And He led me towards the hills and the breaking of day in the lone East.” 

Is there a new practice that you are inviting into this next decade? Please share with us, that’s how we inspire. 

I wish many joy filled moments for all of you this year, ones that create the memories that we look back on and feel good.  

Until next time… 



I am delighted to be part of a month-long online project entitled “Beauty, Balance & Peace”, a foundation for weaving voices of peace hosted by Janet Stanley. This is an online gathering of Peacemakers from around the world that will begin on November 4th, 2019.

I met Janet on a trip to Finland and Estonia this past July. It was an incredible trip organized by Elisha MacMillan and Christie Perrault to witness the 150th anniversary celebration of the Estonian Song Festival. 

The Estonian Song Festival

“The Estonian Song Festival (in Estonianlaulupidu, Estonian pronunciation: [?l?u.lu?pi.du]) is one of the largest amateur choral events in the world, a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. It is held every five years in July on the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds (Lauluväljak) simultaneously with the Estonian Dance Festival.” There were 32,000 voices of all ages singing with a full orchestra to over 120,000 thrilled audience members.

It celebrates the heritage of this small country on the Baltic Sea that has been overtaken by other powerful nations in the past. The singing celebrations became the main anchor of Estonian identity. In the 19th century, the choirs and song celebrations were at the core of the national awakening of Estonian peasants. As a result, it helped establish an identity that indirectly led to the country’s independence in 1918.

My Experience at the Estonian Song Festival

As a singer, it was one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had. Though I did not understand the words sung, the emotion and strength of the message of peace, unity and hope was profound.  The various costumes each group wore to represent their cultural heritage were so colourful and creative. “Research shows that 48% of the Estonian population has, at some time in their lives, taken part in the song celebration and is one of the remaining activities that is enjoyed by the whole of society.” https://estonianworld.com/culture/gallery-estonian-song-celebration-2019/

There were 10 women who were drawn to the invitation and of which I personally knew only 3 before we came together. We entered into our own sacred ceremony for the trip to bring the message of peace and freedom home with us. This was more important than we first thought as we shared a small air b & b with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom. We had beds and suitcases all over and managed to get through potential sticky situations with much grace and humour!

Being a Part of Janet’s Peace Project

On one of our many stimulating discussions, Janet shared a Peace project she was undertaking to launch in the fall. After all my years leading Women’s Wellness Circles, I have come to truly know the empowerment that comes from people sharing their own stories and gifts. I was immediately drawn to learn more about her endeavor. Therefore, we arranged to connect upon our return and was asked to take part in her project and be interviewed which I humbly accepted.

With this in mind, I encourage you to accept the invitation and sign up to listen to the 24 interviews of people who are living out their own version of peacekeeping in our world. https://0vs1sd5o.pages.infusionsoft.net/

May they inspire each of us to become more conscious of our thoughts and actions as we continue to create a world that works for everyone.

Enjoy a few of my photos and a short video from the Song Festival.

Until next time,


A good friend shared an article with me recently that really hit home.  It was all about the Reiki Triangle and how one Reiki master interprets its value.

I found it curious because in the 24 years that I have been practicing Reiki, I had not heard this term. What I found was a very practical idea that I can share, whether one is a Reiki practitioner or not, for it speaks of balance in our energy. Specifically balancing what we give and what we receive. This concept has been a real focus this year in my practice.

Are You Running An Energy Deficit?

I often share with new clients that in our busy society – where there is more focus on doing rather than being – we are usually running an energy deficit. Our output is much greater than our input.

This is where the true gift of receiving Reiki presents itself; to fill up our consistently empty energy tank. It is easy for us to understand output and many will ask how best to access more input outside of coming in for a session every day.

My response covers 3 aspects. We rebalance our own energy reserves through:

  1. Good sleep.
  2. Good food.
  3. Doing things that bring us joy or peace within our body, mind and spirit.

The last category is endless and definitely an individual preference.  It can encompass things like being with friends, being in nature, our hobbies, travel, enjoying animals… you get the idea. Interestingly enough, without realizing it, I utilized the triangle symbolism by having these three categories.

Striking a Balance on Your Triangle

Within the article, the author speaks of striking a balance between doing self-practice, offering Reiki to / receiving Reiki from others.  I love this idea because through personal experience, I am finding the balance of these to be critical in my ability to offer the best of myself to my clients.

I have a regular daily self-practice that helps keep me connected and as I have a professional practice, I definitely fill the category of offering Reiki to the full extent.  The third section of the triangle involves receiving Reiki from someone else.  This has historically not been an equal share of my personal practice. I did realize that it was an area I could improve upon last fall and have since added more regular sessions for myself into my month.  It is making a big difference!

We can incorporate this model into our complete self-care program. If you are honest, would you say that you have a balance between what you do for yourself, what you do for others and what you allow others to do you for you?  It could be a very easy thing to record for a specific period.

As we enter this period of Spring and new beginnings, why not incorporate a new level of balance in our own energy input/output? I would love to hear from you with thoughts of this idea.

You can connect with me by email or telephone, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook too!

Until next time,


February Inspiration - Getting Through Winter - Reiki newmarket, energy Healing with Karen Armstrong

Here we are in our 7th week of 2019, still in the thick of winter here in Southern Ontario. And I am noticing that many around are having a tough time feeling happy.

Some are fortunate to head on a southern holiday in the sun and take time away with friends or loved ones. Some find a distraction in events like Valentine’s Day or the numerous shows taking place like the GTA Home Show, The Spring Camping & RV Show, The International Auto Show, The Woodworking Show, etc. Some just wonder how they are going to make it until Spring when our days are longer, the weather is warming up and the colours of nature come back to life.

The Search for Purpose & Meaning

My sense is that many are looking for purpose and meaning in their lives. When we can tap into that energy, it fuels us forward. How do we do that?  Of course, it is a different path for each of us.  A path that requires time, curiosity and patience.

Gregg Braden shares an idea in his book, The Divine Matrix, that when thought, feeling and emotion become one then miracles happen. When we can come from our heart, we are not in fear or anxiousness. This is huge because fear is everywhere around us. It takes consistent daily practice to disconnect from the cultural consciousness of fear and listen to the wise still voice within.

My consistent daily practice happens to be reiki.  It did not begin that way but has grown to become my spiritual practice.  It is the way I can tune into myself and the creative energy that unites all entities within our universe. It is the way I can have a touchpoint to my purpose. I remember that my life and all life are sacred.  I remember that I am here to share my love and light in all that I do.  There are many positive support tools available for us to infuse into our daily practice to instill a sense of peace and inner strength.  A couple are listed at the end of this article.

Making the Best of Winter

Winter provides us with time to hunker down in our own cozy place and read, listen and expand our own beingness past where we have been.  We can then bring this new awareness into the spring and into more of our doing activities.

Let’s take this time to seek our own inspiration so that we become the uplifter of our life. That will automatically ripple out to everything around us.

Here are a couple of resources to check out:

  1. Insight Timer App, a free app for your smart device. One of my favourites for meditation is Sarah Blondin.
  2. Mind Valley  another great site to explore for transformational global education programs.
  3. Finally, a link to a beautiful 11-minute uplifting video that was shared with me by Dean Noblett of Heartlight in Schomberg.

Please feel free to share your inspirational resources here for other readers to see. Remember to spoil yourself with some love this Valentine’s Day.  If we fill our tank, we always have lots to share.

You can connect with me by email or telephone, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook too!

Until next time,


intention words Karen Armstrong inside out aurora

Welcome to 2019. Those who have followed me for a while know that instead of determining New Year’s Resolutions, I like to create my Intention Words that guide me for the year ahead. These are words that will inspire my decisions, creativity and my beingness for the year ahead. They have always provided results in the most miraculous ways, and so the motivation for me to continue this practice is very high.

I usually take the few weeks leading up to the New Year to go through the process of choosing three intention words; this time was an exception though. My first two words came to me very quickly. And though I knew there was another word pending, it did not present itself. Not until my last reiki session. It took a deep inner process for my third intention word to surface. So here they are:


This beautiful word comes from the Brain Gym training I did back in the early 90’s. I know I’m not alone when I say, time feels as though

it’s speeding up. There is a direct correlation between what I expect to get done in a given amount of time, and the end result of those expectations as they combine with the realities of each day.

I truly love what I do, and I want to accomplish as much as possible. However, I am paying a price for the Pace I’ve been keeping. My whole being is communicating with me. Trying to get the message through to me that a gentler Pace would serve me much better than my current one. To assist me in setting a more conscious pace I began to incorporate the Five Minute Journal into my daily routine, and have already seen positive results from this simple step.


This fits right in line with my body’s desire for a gentler PACE. I am craving a higher level nourishment for my mind, body and spirit. This has been a consistent journey over my awakening consciousness path. I have come a long way from only focusing my energy outward, towards serving others, and not on serving myself. I actually had no idea how to do that at first.

It started with giving myself permission to book regular massage, osteopath and pedicure appointments. From there I began to scheduled days off to do what I wanted, like registering for courses that educate me to nourish myself better. This year, I’ve moving back to basics. I plan to nourish myself each day with my thoughts, by setting a realistic pace, spending time outdoors, gathering fresh flowers, drinking tea, taking walks with friends and reading good books. And I look forward to learning more nourishing tips along the way.

Fearless Love

This was the one that showed up last week. Last year held many shifts for my clients and within my family. I’ve always believed that love can conquer all, change all and shine through in the end. I have trusted in that. There is a visceral reaction within me when I say fearless love. As though I’m ready to put all my belief in this inner power to the test and see where it takes me. That’s it… I cannot even expand on it right now, other than to say I know it will lead me in a greater way.

Do you have any stories to share about your new year practices? I find hearing others ideas and stories very inspiring so please share them.

I wish many joy-filled moments for all of you this year, ones that create memories that you’ll feel good about when you look back on them.

You can connect with me by email or telephone, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook too!

Until next time,


inside out healing karen armstrong change your focus york region

Happy fall! It is my favourite time of year. As I reflect on the activities of the past summer, I am reminded of one great morning at church where our minister decided to show a movie entitled, “Celebrate What is Right in the World” by Dewitt Jones. It was so rich in inspiration, both visually and literally, as Dewitt told stories from his life and work at the National Geographic Magazine.

I absolutely encourage you to watch the Tedx Talk at this link:

I would also love to share some of my take aways from this video.

I’m not sure how many of you are, like me, hesitant to take in too much mainstream media because it focuses so much on what is wrong in the world. I find that the news I need to hear comes into my awareness anyway. And I can always look into any headline that I may want to learn more about.

Dewitt’s message spoke to me because as an energy worker I know that, where thoughts go, energy follows. In his career life, he was a photographer for the National Geographic Magazine. One of his opening lines was, “Vision controls perception and perception becomes our reality”. He didn’t realize until well into his career how powerfully the focus of his work for the National Geographic helped to reframe his perception. He began to notice how the world of media operates, from a Fear – Scarcity – Competition focus, instead of a “What’s possible or what is here to celebrate,“ focus.

Focusing on the Negative

It’s so easy to fall into an unconscious pattern of sharing stories with friends and co-workers on what is troubling, because let’s face it – life can be really tough!!  We like to have company along for the struggles in our journey. By talking about our difficulties, we can always find an understanding ear, but this point of view can rob us of the joys in life.

Over time, we always get what we focus on. And I have noticed how many people are getting very tired of going down the path of negativity our society has developed. It feels heavy, like it’s dragging you down. That is true!

A New Perspective

If we instead find ways to appreciate special moments each day, we will begin to retrain the focus of our attention. The more we do this the more we will notice how many moments in our day we can actually enjoy and be inspired by.

Like Dewitt, I have been labelled as a Pollyanna in my life. Though I never did understand how that was a negative thing. Even with a naturally positive outlook, I can find myself spiraling down the negativity path occasionally. There are lots of reasons, but typically it is because I’m tired, and not looking after my own self-care needs. But, if I can take time to walk, meditate, journal or share with a wise friend, even when things are a bit rough, it is possible to shift my perspective and create new possibilities.

Dewitt’s message reminds us to connect to the energy of passion every day. To look for what is here in our world to celebrate… to fall in love with. And to remember that every day we get to choose which lens we will look at the world with.

Change your Lens – Change your Life!

At our recent Women’s Wellness Circle, we created Vision Boards.  They represent a focus of attention that we want to invite into our lives. The collage of words and images should be placed somewhere we will see them every day. This subconsciously programs our perception to watch for ways to bring these visions into reality. We begin to align our energetic vibration to become a match for what we want.

Fall Equinox can be a powerful time to refocus and inspire new intentions. What do you want to invite into your life at this time?  Brainstorm, clarify and begin the baby steps to celebrate your journey of life!

You can connect with me by email or telephone, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook too!

Until next time, enjoy our beautiful fall,




Sadie - Pee & Walk Away - Pelvic Health Inside Out Karen Armstrong Newmarket Aurora Women's Wellness Circle

Sadie - Pee & Walk Away - Pelvic Health Inside Out Karen Armstrong Newmarket Aurora Women's Wellness Circle

I recently brought Nelly Faghani, a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist specialist out to the Women’s Wellness Circle to educate us on the importance of keeping our pelvic floor muscles healthy.  It was such a huge eye opener that I wanted to share the information I jotted down with as many people as I could.  As these are from my notes, they are meant to bring awareness only, please refer to your own specialist for personal questions and clarification.

Four Main Functions of the Pelvic Floor

1.  Support

The pelvic floor is a basket of muscles that support organs against gravity and intra-abdominal pressure as well as vaginal/rectal walls.

  • Pelvic organ prolapse is a functional issue coming from genetic predisposition, years of heavy lifting or constipation to name a few. This effects 41% of women over 60 who have not had a hysterectomy. It is a high level of bothersome. Pelvic floor training is highly effective.

2. Sphincter

The sphincter controls openings of the urethra, vagina and rectum maintaining urinary and fecal continence.

Types of incontinence:

  • Stress incontinence:  coughing, laughing, sneezing or lifting.
  • This effects 1-3 women and 1-9 men
  • Urge incontinence: urine loss associated with a strong uncontrollable need to void or an inability to delay voiding.
  • Functional incontinence: physical or cognitive impairment.
  • Mixed incontinence: pressure and intense urge to void.

Social Consequences of Incontinence:

  • Decreased self esteem
  • Impedes social activity
  • Impedes physical activity
  • Institutionalization – it is the Number 2 reason elderly are institutionalized!
  • Heavy economic burden of patients, families and society.

3. Sexual Function (blood flow, orgasm)

Dyspareunia – 25-40% of post-menopausal women find intimacy painful.

4. Stability

Assists in sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Pelvic Floor muscle problems can also cause pain in the sacro-iliac joints. Pelvic floor muscle tightness can slacken the posterior (back) ligaments of the SI joint, and weak pelvic floor muscles can create decreased stability in the SI joints. In other words, if your pelvic floor is too tight or weak, it will de-stabilize the sacroiliac joints.


  • Challenges are normal after childbirth.
  • Challenges are a normal part of aging.
  • You cannot do anything for it.

Pelvic floor exercises are not one size fits all such as Kegels!  Each person is different with some categorized as underactive or hypotonicity and some as overactive or hypertonicity.

When should you seek pelvic floor muscle training?

  • Before any surgery.
  • Before and after childbirth – Core stability training is recommended to prevent and treat back and pelvic pain during and following pregnancy.
  • Post-surgery rehabilitation improves strength, relaxation, control and assists in regaining a better quality of life.

Education Tips:

  • Wash vulva with water only, no soap.
  • Wipe from front to back after urination.
  • Use organic detergents.
  • Use cotton underwear or sleep without.
  • Remove wet clothes immediately.
  • Never use the feminine product brand “Always”
  • Stay well hydrated.
  • Normal is 5-8 pee’s per day with 1 overnight. (urine colour: light)
  • Constipation creates more risk of challenge.
  • Toileting posture – knees above hips. (*think squatty potty)
  • If you need to bear down to void, do not hold your breath. Nelly provided a super tip:  blow into a closed fist to keep your air moving.
  • Bladder irritants include caffeine, alcohol, citrus fruits, carbonated beverages, diet pop and artificial sweeteners.

It was a jam packed evening of information and very candid questions and discussion.  Life is life and education as always provides more choices.

A huge shout out to Nelly Faghani of Pelvic Health Solutions. Their website is very informative.

If you are in the area – consider joining us for the monthly Women’s Wellness Circles. My website also links to my colleagues in the greater GTA.

Coming up in the next few months for Newmarket/EG are:
June 28th – Wendy Purves-Lambie with Circle Dance
July 19th – Tanya Porter leading Rhythmic Reframing
Aug. 23rd – Elisha McMillan, “Movement as a tool for Healing & Manifestation”
Sept. 27th – Shari Miller creating our own Vison Boards.
Nov. 1st – Bev McLeish, Herbs for Natural Immune Boosting
Nov. 29th – Mickey Eves – Leading with your Heart – using your imagination with purpose and intention.

You can connect with me by email or telephone, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook too!

Until next time, enjoy our beautiful summer,


Enneagram Personality Systems Seminar Workshop Ontario

Enneagram Personality Systems Seminar Workshop OntarioThe Enneagram personality system is a valuable platform for understanding ourselves and others.  I was introduced to it in 1994. Since then it has provided so much wisdom for me in my business and personal life that it was only natural for me to incorporate it into my practice.

Not Putting You in a “Box”

Unlike other personality typologies that tend to box us into a quadrant, the Enneagram works from the inside out (no wonder I like it!) to expose the underlying motivations that arise out of a basic desire and basic fear.  The system identifies 9 different ways that we respond to the world around us through our thoughts, feelings and actions.

I have so many clients and friends who have learned about the Enneagram through me and continue to share how valuable it has been in their lives. Relationships provide such a rich experience to be loved and supported as well as challenged and stressed.  There are two popular sayings that exemplify this fact so well:

“Birds of a feather flock together”

“Opposites attract”

Announcing Two New Videos!

I am excited to share that I have just completed two new videos that are now on my website to introduce this wonderful tool.  The first runs 15 minutes and gives an overview of the Enneagram system, its basic origins, some of the information we can learn from it and why it can support us in our everyday lives.  The second runs for 30 minutes and provides a brief description of each of the nine types. My intention was to introduce the material I would cover at an introductory workshop and become the base for further exploration.

Here is a link to the videos.

Join Us June 2nd for a Full Day of the Enneagram!

Enneagram Personality System Seminar Training Workshop Ontario

For those in the geographic area, the videos provide the perfect introduction for a full day session taking place on June 2nd in Aurora at St Andrews Valley Golf Club from 9am – 6pm entitled “Exploring the Enneagram Types in Depth”. During this day you will witness an interactive panel of people who know their type come and share from their perspective of the world.  If you are not sure of your type before coming, the experience typically provides enough examples to clarify the differences and to know what really feels right within you.

Here is an email I received from a participant after attending the full day program;

Fantastic session. Thank you so much.

Being a Type 5, I am now investigating and analyzing. It is remarkable how some things from 30+ years ago are now clear to me. Truly worthwhile from my perspective.

I am an already enthusiastic fan and proponent. My ‘Type 9 with Type 1 influences’ wife is very amused by my continuous talking about it. Of course, we are all now classified in my family and our motivations laid bare. Yeesh!

I believe that life is meant to be fun and that learning is a constant inspiration for fulfilment and expansion of awareness. Anything that provides more understanding to de-stress our lives is time worth spending.  I encourage you to take a look at the video. Explore for yourself if there is something more for you in the Enneagram.

Until next time, enjoy this beautiful spring weather and do something to nurture your important relationships.

You can connect with me by email or telephone, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook too!

In harmony,


Looking through my photos of my trip to Japan allows me to continue to integrate my experience. Today I want to share what is possible when we open up to collaboration from others on a challenge to create something totally unique and special.

The Buddhist Temple of Otagi Nenbutsu-ji
One of the Temples that I visited really touched my heart from this perspective. Otagi Nenbutsu-ji is a Buddhist Temple in the Arashiyama neighbourhood of Kyoto. Originally founded by Empress Shotoku in the middle of the eighth century, it was destroyed once by flooding and once by a civil war. It was moved to its current location in 1922, later suffering typhoon damage in 1950.  It took thirty years to repair the damage but when it was finally restored worshipers celebrated by donating the 1200 rakan sculptures (stone statues representing the disciples of Buddha).

Happy 2018 to all…a fulfillment of my intention words for last year led me to book a spiritual reiki trip to Japan in November. It was there that my 2018 Intention words were inspired.

The Trip of a Lifetime

Yes – a trip of a lifetime opportunity arrived in my inbox early in 2017.  Coincidence or co-created by my intention words? I choose to believe that our thoughts are energetic and assist in attracting their matching experiences.  I read the invitation entitled, The Essence of our Practice, and felt my whole being respond with a YES!

Full Alignment

Then my head engaged and started the series of practical responses.  You know what I mean.  It is too much money, it is right after my chorus trip to Las Vegas, I should not take that much time away from my clients and on and on.  So I left it alone for almost 2 weeks, all the while thinking about it constantly.  Then I remembered my intention words for the year.  Fearless Living and Stillness. That was it – I decided that it was in full alignment with what I wanted to create and the universe would provide all I needed to support it.  My experience confirmed this to be absolutely true!

Intention Words for 2018

I will share a few blogs to start this year around my magical trip to Japan however this one will focus on my Intention words for 2018. It was organized and led by Phyllis Furumoto, the Grand Master of the Usui System of Reiki Healing. I joined 12 other reiki masters/practitioners from around the world to explore the Essence of our Practice; it’s deep roots and traditions. Part of our trip included a visit to Mount Kurama outside Kyoto, a sacred mountain for many and the location of Dr. Usui’s enlightenment Reiki experience.

Our first experience on the mountain was not an organized tour day.  Instead, Phyllis arranged for us to receive a beautiful boxed lunch, gather our notebooks and enter into a silent solo pilgrimage for the day.

It was a beautiful clear and cool fall day. I was filled with emotion as I pulled on my boots and bundled up for my day.  How many times have I shared the reiki story with my students over the years and now – I had the chance to walk the same path of our founding Master, a journey that has impacted so many lives over the last century including mine. I was definitely in a mindful space.  Once I paid my entrance fee, I received a map and a small printed ticket which included this prayer:

“Since Primordial times, the life-energizing vitality of Mao-san (symbol of Power), the great king of the conquerors of evil and the spirit of the Earth, has pervaded Mt. Kurama. Imbued with this life energy, a wide variety of life forms resides here in serenity, and the rich natural environment continues to flourish.

Since the guardians of heaven Bishamonten (symbol of light) at the end of the Nara Period and the thousand-armed Senju-kannon bodhisattva (symbol of love) at the beginning of Heian Period became enshrined in this land, people have continued to flock here to offer their heartfelt prayers.

At Kurama Temple today, these three venerated deities are worshipped as the trinity of Sonten (symbol of cosmic energy). All those who come into contact with Mt. Kurama not only receive the life energy emanating from the mountain but also become conscious of their own “shinge” (pure and innocent spirit), and look forward to the dawn of a world of peace and harmony where lives of all people will shine with the brightest of lights. To create a world, where all lives shine,

Beautiful as the Moon (Love)
Warm as the Sun (Light)
Powerful as the Earth (Power)
We trust in Sonten for all things.”

Reading this put me into the perfect inner space to become conscious of my own pure and innocent spirit and my day was magical and rich in embodying the roots of my practice.  As I descended the mountain late in the afternoon, these words came to me and I knew they would become my 2018 Intention words.

Honour – to honour my teachers, all living things, and the planet I call home.

Gratitude – closely related, however it felt more like focusing on having a grateful heart and attitude in my life.

Playfulness – with another mountain spirit present named Tengu, my seriousness was interrupted with something that took me by surprise and made me laugh. It reminded me to keep a playful spirit alive in my life.

2018 feels full of opportunity to challenge the status quo and to continue to play my part in creating a world where all lives shine. May we all adopt this symbol of trust in Sonten and let Light, Love and Power lead us forward.  It will challenge many deeply held patterns so make sure to allow for a playful spirit to accompany you.

More to come from my travels in Japan. Happy New Year.

You can connect with me by email or telephone, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook too!

In harmony,


It wasn’t until my first son was born that I began using tea for its medicinal properties. He had a sensitive tummy and our Yugoslavian caregiver recommended using chamomile tea to soothe the discomfort. He loved it and it worked wonders.

Herbal Teas and Tisanes

I was born into a family of mainly English origin and therefore exposed to tea from a young age. It was a staple in my daily diet like coffee is for many others. However we only consumed black tea with milk. Though it is still part of my diet, today my cupboard is filled with so many more wonderful medicinal teas or tisanes.  Also known as herbal teas, tisanes (pronounced ti-zahn) are not actually teas at all. Instead they are infusions made from leaves, bark, roots, berries, seeds, and spices. Common tisanes include mint, chamomile, tulsi, and rooibos. I regularly consume ginger/turmeric, nettle, dandelion, pau d”arco, holy basil and mint tisane’s today. They are soothing and I experience results for what each one provides for my body. Most are good hot or cold as well.

Over the years hosting Women’s Wellness Circles, I have had a couple of amazing presenters who really know about our local vegetation and how to use some of nature’s gifts to make healing tisanes. They are; Karen Stephenson of Edible Wild Food and Sarah Feiner who is currently studying Herbalism and deepening her knowledge of this fascinating field. Let me share with you some of my favourites and why I love them.

Ginger/Turmeric Blend

This is my all-time favourite especially through the winter months.


  • Slice approx. 1 inch or 2.5cm of fresh ginger root
  • Slice approx. 3 medium size pieces of fresh turmeric root


  1. Put in a non-aluminum pot with 8 cups or 2 litres of fresh water.
  2. Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer for 20 minutes. Feel free to add fresh squeezed lemon juice and/or honey to taste. Also adding ¼ tsp of black pepper will increase the absorption rate of turmeric.

Healing properties:

Anti-inflammatory, pain reduction, boosts brain power, helps digestion, improves blood circulation and stimulates your immune system to name a few.

Here are links to some excellent medicinal teas:

Whether you are looking for the medicinal properties of teas or just looking for a healthy alternative to black tea or plain water, exploring the world of herbals teas is lots of fun. Let me know what your favourites are. As we move into harvest time may we be thankful for the abundance that grows in our area.

You can connect with me by email or telephone, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook too!

To our health & wellbeing,


reiki retreat karen armstrong find your tribe

reiki retreat karen armstrong find your tribe

I just completed a 3 day Reiki Retreat last week and by the end many of my students expressed feeling such comfort because they had “found their tribe”.  This expression describes the feeling of being in a group of like-minded people where it is safe to share our true selves.  We get to dream, explore our inner world, express our needs and feel supported instead of judged.

Sometimes Our Spiritual Path Can Feel Lonely

Sometimes when we are on a spiritual or holistic path, it can feel lonely holding down the fort in our circle of family and work connections.  Some of them may want to support us however they may have different beliefs and so we are careful of where and when we share our own thoughts and feelings.

It is both reassuring and inspiring to come together and deepen our own inner knowing.  We part ways knowing that we are not alone and this group that once was strangers have become our tribe. The culture that has emerged in our affluent society has created a reality that many families live in different cities. Getting together requires planning and time both of which are stretched to limits with full schedules.  Finding a common interest helps to bring people together filling a need for being in community.

The Importance of Community in My Life

I realize how important community is for me as I have created a few very important ones in my life. My love of music and singing has found home for the past 30 years with the North Metro chorus. My thirst for knowledge and sharing has led me to host a monthly Women’s Wellness Circle for over 10 years. We joined some of our church friends to create a couples activity group that has enjoyed countless hours of fun and exploring for the last 17 years.  Finally, my work and life with reiki has now expanded into a circle of students, friends and colleagues who come together regularly.

North Metro Choir Karen Armstrong - Inside Out

These groups fill my life with a richness that is not possible on a solo journey.  Sometimes I need to balance and pull back for a while but I could not even dream of my life without all that a like-minded community brings.

Don’t get me wrong – it takes intention and action to find your group, as Amanda Kohr shares so beautifully on wanderlust.com;

Whether it’s a family, community, or group of fellow practitioners, our tribe is important because it reflects our values while simultaneously satisfying our need for companionship.

That being said, finding a tribe is hard. That’s why there are so many movies where high school students end up eating lunch alone. And as we bloom into adulthood and lose the setting of forced social interaction, it can be even more difficult to find authentic connections.

Doing so requires effort, authenticity, and confidence.

True – and I am here to say that it is worth every minute of searching.  So I invite you to reflect on what you might be missing in your life and then set the intention to find it. Let’s make life count and have fun along the way with our Tribe!

reiki retreat inside out karen armstrong

Do you have a favourite group of peeps that you want to share? I welcome input here.

You can connect with me by email or telephone, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook too!

Until next time, may you enjoy your summer.


biophoton light therapy

biophoton light therapyBiophotons are the smallest physical units of light which are stored in and used by all biological organisms – including your body. The purpose of these biophotons is much more important than many have realized. It turns out that they may very well be in control of virtually every biochemical reaction that occurs in your body — including supporting your body’s ability to heal.

Your Body is Glowing

Your body actually emits light on a daily basis, in concentrations that rise and fall with your body clock and the rhythmic fluctuations of your metabolism over the course of the day.

This light is 1,000 times less intense than levels that can be seen with the naked eye, which is why most people cannot detect it.  Some people, however, are able to see this emitted light or “aura,” and some can even distinguish colors.

Dr. Fritz-Albert Popp was the first to suggest that this light must come, at least in part, from the foods we eat. When we eat plant foods, the light waves, or photons, in the plants are taken in and stored by your body.

Light Controls Your Cell Functions

It is known in biology that every cell in your body has over 100,000 biochemical reactions per second, all of which must be carefully timed and sequenced with each other.

Where Does Your Body’s Light Come From?

Dr. Popp proved that light in your body is stored by, and emitted from, your DNA. The DNA inside each cell vibrates at a frequency of several billion hertz. The vibration is created through the coil-like contraction and extension of your DNA — which occurs several billion times per second — and every time it contracts, it squeezes out one single biophoton; a light particle. That photon contains all the information on everything going on in your DNA at that moment.

Illness Occurs When Biophoton Emissions Are Out of Sync

Research by Dr. Popp also showed that the light emissions of healthy people follow a set biological rhythm for day and night and also by week and month, as though they are connected to biorhythms of the earth, as well.

However, in his studies, the light emissions from cancer patients had no such rhythms and appeared scrambled, which suggests their cells were no longer communicating properly.

Because light is such an integral part of your body’s processes, biophoton therapies are at the forefront of medicine. For instance, therapies are emerging that involve stimulating the body with specific quantities of light to reduce pain and promote healing processes.

For the full article – please click here.

Biophoton Light Therapy

I loved reading this article on Dr. Mercola’s site because it sets the groundwork for understanding the work I do with my Chiren Instrument called Biophoton Light Therapy. I have worked with this therapy for 5 ½ years now and the incredible results have proven that non-invasive energy-based therapy is very effective to bring balance back to the body.  Symptoms show up if our body is out of balance.

In the past month I have supported clients with strep throat, vertigo, digestive issues, headaches, negative vaccine reactions, heavy metal toxicity and anxiety. I am always learning from my clients as no one is the same. It is therefore fascinating and fulfilling to learn of symptoms easing and disappearing. The biggest comment is – why don’t more people know about this!

If you have had positive experience from a therapy, please share it. That’s the way we can help each other and take some of the strain away from our overburdened health care system. It’s time for each of us to participate in our own health and not expect a professional to fix us.  Thanks to the millions of people who dedicate their lives to supporting our well-being and may we remember; we are our own healers… always have been and always will be.

You can connect with me by email or telephone, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook too!

To our health & wellbeing,


I recently attended my Regional Sweet Adeline contest in Syracuse, New York where we honoured our director of 45 years.  The legacy she has left for not only her chorus, but the Region and the International organization is undeniable.

Singing has been a passion of mine since I was a young girl and though I sang in school choirs and dreamed of growing up to be in musicals…. I never would have guessed that my passion would find its home in a women’s four-part a cappella organization. I found it when I was 22 years old and was hooked from the first visit. I didn’t realize that a women’s organization like this existed – I thought it was only a men’s gig.  I had so much fun on Tuesday evening rehearsals; I made great friends, learned so many vocal skills and the bonus was the choreography which reminded me of the musicals I loved growing up.

North Metro Chorus

After 5 years with a local group, I made the decision to try out with the Toronto group who I had the chance to watch and be inspired by at our Regional contests. Their level of performance, choice of music and fantastic choreography had me spellbound every time I saw them. So, in May of 1987, I made the move to North Metro Chorus where I am to this day 30 years later.

Director June Dale Always Led Us to Victory

June Dale has directed this chorus from its beginning with only 17 members to a peak of 185 members. She has led us to win every Regional Contest I have ever been in with North Metro which qualifies us to compete at the International level.  These international contests have fulfilled another of my passions, travel; as they are held in various US cities including Waikiki, Hawaii. When we placed first in 1996, we were the first chorus outside the USA to bring the gold medal home.  We now have 4 International gold medals to go along with many other top 5 medal placings.

We have been Walt Disney Newsies, chimney sweeps from Mary Poppins, Oklahoma, Sailors, Miners, Martians and Toy Soldiers, just to name a few or our themed packages. June continued to expand her talents over the years and became a Master Director, a certified music arranger, coach, International faculty member and a true visionary. Together with her daughters – Erin who created all our award winning choreography and Lynn who created our incredible costumes – this team was a true winning combination.

Passing of the Torch to Erin Howden

This past Regional, we had the opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of our incredible leader as she has decided to step down from directing us in competition and pass the torch over to her daughter Erin Howden. It was a weekend of emotional celebrations. There was a strong outpouring of love and respect shared from everyone in attendance including our International Judges who were present. I got another chance to reflect on how much this hobby has added to my life over the years. It makes the weekly travel, hours of learning, the cost of our dues and travel a small price in exchange for the lifelong friendships, transferable skills, numerous life experiences and the rush of creating the most beautiful harmony that changes the lives of ourselves and audiences alike.

It is an organization that welcomes novice singers of all ages to come together and create a professional level performance. I am as excited about the journey today as I was 35 years ago.   I can’t imagine my life without it!  Here is a link for a YouTube clip of our last International performance.  We have a show planned for this September 16th to perform the package we will take to international Competition in Las Vegas in October.   If you are interested in learning more, check us out here.

I would love to hear about your hobbies and how they add richness to your life.

You can connect with me by email or telephone, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook too!

In harmony,


Joy is daily visits from our wild turkey neighbours

Have you ever heard the expression that “Life is Just an Illusion?” Humans have always searched for meaning and longed for the truth on why we are here and where we actually came from and go to. I remember as a child having some disturbing dreams about this unknown territory, yet thankfully have come to accept that for me – I know for sure that I am here now! This life feels very real.

Life on Earth

I have been reading a book on my new Kobo entitled: “Life on Earth”, by Mike Dooley.  It is like reading a book that incorporates thoughts of many others I have read including The Law of Attraction, A Course in Miracles, Return to Love… you get the idea. I had to smile at a passage I read last night and wanted to share it with you.

Concerning the world or dimensions, “before” and “after” time and space? Let it go. That you are alive now is indisputable. The important question then, is really, “What are you going to do about it?” It’s like being a fish born in and living its life in a fabulous, million-gallon aquarium while wondering about life beyond. That beyond is truly “incomprehensible”, if you try to wrap your head around it, you will have little traction. You are here, period. Wake up, discover, celebrate, and rock on. So what if you now have little idea of how or why you got in your “tank” and no idea of what will come next? Through observation, you can see that you will nevertheless call this place home your entire life.

You can notice that you are phenomenally powerful, that what you resist persists, and that what you think about, you bring about. That the energy moving you is free, that love is everywhere, that those sharing your space are as awesome. Scared and hopeful as you, and that your “tank” is a blooming paradise of splendor, beauty, diversity, simplicity, complexity, and abundance – all quite indescribable. Your “tank” is actually more like a gigantic, whirling, living, loving sphere…called Earth that constantly provides for you. This is not an accident. It loves you. Be here now.

The author doesn’t say he has all the answers that occupy our questioning minds, he acknowledges that we all have them.  If searching for answers to where we came from and where we go after this life are comforting or exciting and bring you meaning… awesome! If they stress you, then maybe it would serve us better to accept that planet Earth is our home and to be fully present to all the opportunity here for us to discover.

Putting Our Energy into Being Present

I must say that my list of things I want to do in this lifetime are endless. We have so much to explore and learn here.  I believe if I put all my energy into being present to the magic of each day and not plan every moment, I would feel fulfilled. It’s a constant balancing act for me – how much to plan and how much to just let go and go with the flow.

I smile every time I read one of Mike’s daily e-mails as he closes with saying, “Thoughts become things…choose good ones”.  This message is so simple, yet as in all truths; challenging to follow all the time. However, I am ready and willing to keep at it.

I wish everyone reading this good thoughts and good experiences! I love to hear from you so I welcome your thoughts.

You can connect with me by email or telephone, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook too!

Happy Spring!


stress and imbalance playing in the dirt

stress and imbalance playing in the dirt

Don’t Blame the Bugs is the title of an article in the winter edition of Pathways to Family Wellness Magazine that really spoke to me.  Because people come to me when they are dealing with some level of imbalance, I am constantly reminded how the majority of us view germs, bugs, viruses etc. The sense is that they are lurking around every corner waiting to get us and make us sick.

We must be diligent about keeping everything sanitary, use hand sanitizer, wash with antibacterial hand soap, stay away from anyone with a sniffle. There is a lot of pressure and focus on us to keep the shield up and that in itself is part of the imbalance and cause of undo stress.

Building Healthy Immune Systems

It begins with our children and learning once again to assist their bodies in building healthy immune systems.  Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein writes about this in detail in her book called “The Dirt Cure”. She believes that children’s bodies naturally have the capacity to be healthy and heal when they have the tools to do so.

In her book she details a plan that starts with the soil, using fresh foods and nature to heal children from the inside out and outside in. She reveals the profound connections between food, nature and children’s health and explains how food is constantly changing kid’s bodies, brains and even genes – for better or for worse.

Our Health is More Than Just the Absence of Disease

I believe we are really starting to hear more of and accept that our health is more than just the absence of disease. It is about living our life with joy, purpose and respect for how we treat our bodies. Instead we have been bombarded with messages that create fear and that will have a stronger negative effect our immune system than what germs we are exposed to.

This article ends with a wonderful summary that I will share with you here.  It is the premise that I believe in and bring to all of my clients because true health is a whole mind, body and emotional package.

A Better Outlook

The outlook is not as gloomy as it might appear. We don’t need to be afraid of illness and disease. We are not the inevitable victims of vicious external pathogens waiting to strike us down at every grubby corner we may frequent.

Our health is sustained by the dynamic interplay of our emotions (the way we think, act and feel); our structure (our posture and the physical condition in which we maintain our bodies); and our biochemistry (the way we use food and other nourishment to maintain our function). These are largely under our personal control.

If we become unwell it is usually the result of the breakdown of this balance, and the bacteria and viruses which proliferate are a secondary consequence of that breakdown. They may in fact, have a vital function to perform in bringing things back to normal.

So, the next time you feel ill, don’t blame the bugs! Try instead to see where things may have gone wrong with your internal balancing process. Find the real cause of the disorder and see if you can, in some way, start correcting it. Seek ways to strengthen and sustain your own resilience and immunity.

As you learn to do so, you will begin to respect and understand the wonderful self-regulatory powers of your own body and mind.  Above all you will gain confidence that can eradicate the leading cause of disease, which is the fear itself!  (R.Newman Turner, N.D., D.O., B. Ac.).

Let’s feed our minds with information like this that brings the power back to where it really exists – within us. After such a beautiful family weekend here that was filled with sunshine, it is hard to deny the impact sunshine has on our outlook and balance in life.

I was drawn to the work that I do to keep balance in my own life and be able to share that with others so we can enjoy life to the fullest. Please feel free to share your tips and experiences here for others to learn from.

You can connect with me by email or telephone, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook too!

Till next time!


Karen & Family

Our first southern holiday!

Happy 2017 to all… from a numerology perspective it is a “1” year representing new beginnings.  If you have followed my blogs over the years, you know that I create my Intention Words for each year instead of typical New Year’s resolutions.  They inspire me to focus my thoughts and actions to create very real results.

I took time just before Christmas to go on a personal 2 day retreat at Grey Heron with Andrea Mathieson.  The retreat allowed me to step away from my office and home activities and focus completely on what the energy of this New Year was calling me to step into.  It was very insightful, nourishing and surprising.

Reviewing 2016 Words of Intention

My 2016 words were Explore, Plan and Create and as I review the year, they definitely showed up in so many ways.

Exploring brought me to the Simplicity Online Course, A Dundun workshop, joining a Course in Miracles group, meeting an amazing hang drum/flute musician and my husband and I co-owning a classic motor coach with another couple. A really big exploration was planned in 2016 and manifested the first week of 2017. Which was a first-ever family trip to a southern all-inclusive destination for my husband’s 60th birthday! Amazing!

Planning resulted in a fabulous year of Women’s Wellness Circles, a series of Enneagram workshops, a new organic mattress from Dormio Beds and finally a new office move in December.

I was able to Create a new Reiki Retreat with my reiki mastery initiate and use my creative juices to design the layout of my new office.

New Intention Words for 2017

The new expansive energy of 2017 is calling me to bring in Stillness, Recycle, Technology Flow and Fearless Living.  Here is what comes up around these words currently, though I know they may manifest in completely different forms as the year unfolds.


I am realizing the value of stillness as I mature in my life. I have always been a person who wants to experience and be part of all that attracts me in life.  This can result in having a very full schedule and even if it involves everything I love – too much is still too much!  I intend to plan stillness into every day as well as 1-2 day get ways throughout the year.


This refers to preparing for renovations at our home.  Room by room I would like to see what can move on to a new home and make room for new space and creative expression.  Simple but BIG!

Technology Flow

Oh my, I have dodged this one for many years.  Just ask my sons who bought me an iPod many Christmas’s ago that is still in my drawer not being enjoyed as I had envisioned. I am going to solicit help to get comfortable with the capabilities of my iPod, iPhone, Pod Casts, digital photobooks, video etc. Who knows where this may lead. LOL!

Finally, Fearless Living!

This was really inspired by a book I read on my holiday on my brand new Kobo entitled “Dying to be Me” by Anita Moorjani. A true story of Anita’s near death experience and the message she is sharing with the world.  It certainly spoke about so many things that I have heard, read and to a large degree, believe to be true, however it was the right synopsis and the right time that has really resonated deep within me. I do not know how this will manifest in the coming year and beyond however I do know I will keep open to exploring it in every way.

For those of you in this geographic area – Karen Strumos will be talking about the numerology of 2017 at this Thursday’s Women’s Wellness Circle in Sharon.

I have no doubt it will be a super amazing ride around the sun for 2017. So many of you shared this exercise last year and I hope you are moved to do the same this year. We are magnificent creators and we were made for these times.

What is calling you this year? I encourage you to share it.

It’s great to share and learn from each other. I would love to hear from you. You can connect with me by email or telephone, or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website. Don’t forget to join in the conversation on Facebook too!

To our health & wellbeing,



For the past couple of years, I have been listening to my inner urge to find new space to do my healing work.  Where I have been is wonderful and has served me perfectly for the past 11 years and I was ready for more.  More space, more possibility, and a place to make my own tea!

I kept my ears and eyes open and looked at few different spots but nothing was resonating. I realized how much I liked my current location. So if I was to stay there, the only space that provided more room and the flexibility I was looking for was a suite downstairs and it was occupied.  I knew from conversations with the business in there, they were also looking for another location that was bigger still for their whole operations. Read more

Woman handcuffed to a cupcake

This week we had a community viewing of a documentary entitled “That Sugar” hosted by the Green Connections Network.  It was a brilliant coverage of what happened when a perfectly healthy Australian soon-to-be father decided to do an experiment.  He had been clean of sugar in his diet for 3 years prior to the 60 day experiment. Then he decided to reintroduce sugar to his diet and the results were astonishing.

What Happened After Adding Sugar to his Diet After 3 Years Without It? Read more


A poem by Danna Faulds – Metamorphosis

“Called beyond the confines of this chrysalis by a force I cannot see or name, I am compelled by pain and something bigger than myself to leave the protection of all that I have known.

There is struggle, doubt, an awkward setting forth.  Finally I break free of the cocoon and find myself surrounded by air and light.

I dare to act, still not knowing what I am; instinct, or maybe faith bids me move forward, make the leap, explore this mystery of change and flight.

I find myself with wings that dwarf my former world. Unfurled, they dry quickly in the sun. I, who expected to spend my days crawling, now teach myself to soar.

Such a rush of wind and freedom – that first flight teaches me more that I had learned in a lifetime of crawling.”

Read more


Continuing on my last post’s theme of hormone disruptors and building on the key health foundation of good sleep; I would like to share with you my journey to find a new mattress.

As we spend approximately 1/3 of our day resting and rejuvenating, it warrants spending some time researching what contributes to a good night’s sleep.  I have been experiencing an increased amount of arm numbness and neck tension upon awaking so it has got my attention big time. Starting the day feeling rested and ready to go is the only way in my opinion. Read more


image courtesy of authenticdiscovery.com.au

I have been unable to ignore a message coming to me lately to share on my blog.  Hormone disruptors are a key component affecting our core health and the ability to keep our body strong.  I respect the research and work of The Environmental Working Group and as I reviewed their site, I found this wonderful blog post that I would like to share in its complete form with you. Read more


What an incredible summer we are experiencing!  Somehow as we arrive at September, our world still changes cycles.  We are in the rich harvest time of our area with Farmers Markets loaded with produce and for those ambitious few who capture summer in a jar; it is a busy time. I love seeing the beautiful colours of summer filling my jars ready to provide nourishment throughout the winter months.  On my to-do list are peaches, chili sauce, apple sauce and beets.  Yum! Read more

Last year was a turning point for me with regards to my oral health. I have had receding gums since my 20’s and my gum pockets have continued to deepen over the years.  I am so happy to share with you today how I decreased my tooth gum pockets in the last year. Read more


Being out of balance is a result of not paying attention to our needs, physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually.  What is your wake-up call that brings you back to awareness?

Encouraging balance in life…

My tag line for Inside Out is “encouraging balance in life…” I chose this because it has been part of my journey and continues to require tuning in and presence.  I have identified some keys that bring me back to balance and the process just might work for you too. Read more


I received a reflective writing from Caroline Myss in my inbox last week that struck a strong chord with me. The article was inspired by the Orlando massacre however she brought it to the level of the collective consciousness which we can also call the collective unconscious and that had me take a personal look.  If we are, at some level, one, then how am I being in my life?  Are there places in my life calling for more grace? Read more


For those of you following my posts this year, you will have noticed a theme.  I embarked this year on expanding my awareness of healthy lifestyle choices that result in feeling more energized, happy and physically strong.  This inner pull was motivated by new hormonal shifts taking place in my body that created a feeling of not being in control. I felt exhausted, my digestion was sensitive, I got light heart palpitations at night and my natural exuberance for life was hard to connect to. This menopausal feeling mimicked my early months of pregnancy when I felt exhausted, nauseous and overly sensitive to food and smells. What I knew was – it wasn’t a happy place! Read more


Our world was shaken up in a good way this past long weekend with the arrival of our new puppy Sadie. How one little bundle of love and joy requires an immediate shift in patterns is quite remarkable. We have had 3 dogs over our 30 year marriage though it’s been 1.5 years since we said good-bye to Tess, our lovely Bouvier.  I always missed having a four-legged companion but as the family is grown and we have busy lives, it just didn’t seem like the right time.  I would often find myself browsing websites of different non-shedding breeds like Bouviers, Portuguese Water dogs and Schnauzers to see what was available. And of course I would often dream about having one. Read more

Young happy woman enjoying fresh air in autumn, intentionally toned.

It’s something we take completely for granted – our breath; and yet it is one of the most powerful medicines we can utilize for so many benefits.  And, best of all, it’s FREE!  Being conscious of how we breathe can have many health benefits while, on the other hand, not being mindful of our breathing can affect us both physically and emotionally. Read more

Your reality is created by your thoughts

We don’t see the world as it is – we see the world as we are! Therefore our perceptions create our reality. This is one of the statements I use when introducing the powerful personality system I work with called the Enneagram.  The Enneagram brings ancient wisdom together with modern psychology to reveal 9 patterns of being in the world.  Though we all share a bit of each of the 9 types within us, one is deeply part of our personality from womb to tomb. Read more

motivational poster quote LIFE BEGINS AT THE END OF COMFORT ZONE

We have just gone through a deep freeze here in southern Ontario with a low Sunday of -26C.  What a time to step outside of my comfort zone and choose to incorporate cold showers into my morning routine!

It all started last March when I was reminded by a wise naturopathic doctor how healthy it is to finish a hot shower with a few minutes in a cold splash! Finishing a shower with a cold blast is also great for rinsing your hair after washing it. I began to do this regularly for quite some time and then somehow dropped the practice. Read more

Trending oral health practice of Oil Pulling or Swishing

I have been reading a lot about the Ayurveda practice of Oil Pulling.

“Enthusiasts of oil pulling, also called Kavala Graha or Gandusha, claim that toxins and bacteria in the body build up in the mouth and that swishing or holding oil in the mouth for a prolonged amount of time will draw out these impurities or wash them from the mouth. Once the swishing is complete, the oil is spit out into a sink or trash basket.”

via LiveScience.com 

As someone who has had sensitive teeth and gums for most of my adult life, I am always curious about exploring oral hygiene practices. The information online regarding oil pulling ranges from the gamut of being a complete hoax to claims of it healing intestinal diseases, heart and kidney disease and sleeplessness. I tend to look for the relatable and common sense benefits that some people share.  These include: whiter teeth, less bleeding gums, and a decrease of halitosis. Read more

Circle 2016 - Cropped

June 2012 Circle with Terri Segal, Elisha MacMillan and Shaw Percussion.

Happy 2016! Though every moment is a new beginning, there is heightened awareness of this as we enter a New Year. A fresh opportunity to welcome new adventures, new acquaintances, new thoughts and magical moments!  I am reminded by this quote that balance is also important and that we will also be letting go of what no longer serves us. Read more

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click to enlarge

A couple of years ago I shared my own New Year’s tradition with you and it has been a popular topic so I am ready to update it for 2016. You see instead of making resolutions or goals, I take some time to tune into what I am feeling the energy of the New Year is bringing forth in me. I then pick 3 or 4 words that capture the essence of that energy to be my Intention Words for the coming year. Read more

Enneagram expert

I was commenting on a client’s beautiful red sweater this week and told her it was a very intuitive colour for her that day because she was feeling tired. As we were discussing this, I realized that the Christmas colours of red and green are symbolically very powerful. Humour me as I carry on…. Read more

biophoton therapist Newmarket

This Friday, The Green Connections Network will be hosting the documentary film entitled “Tapped ” at a local venue which reviews the bottled water industry. See here for details: We know that healthy water is linked to healthy bodies and yet the ability to sort through the studies and claims of current water products and technologies is daunting. Opportunities to come together to discuss can help answer some questions.

“Water plays many important roles within the body. Water is the major part of most of the body’s cells (except for fat cells) and it also cushions and lubricates the brain and the joints. It transports nutrients and carries waste away from the body cells. It also helps regulate body temperature by redistributing heat from active tissues to the skin and cooling the body through perspiration. Read more

health effects of nail polish

I receive numerous health newsletters, scientific findings and special interest updates on a regular basis. Sometimes one just hits a “pause” button in me and has me question a habit I have incorporated in my life. This time was around the hidden health costs of having beautiful nails. The headline was “Nail polish users exposed to chemical linked to paralysis and reproductive disorders”. I have used natural organic body and oral products and make up for years however throughout the summer months, I still add beautiful colour to my toe nails and often use clear polish on my finger nails. Oh dear, now that I am in that shifting menopausal time of life, I seem to be extra sensitive to chemicals which means I have new choices to make. Read more

East Gwillimbury Community

I am very passionate about the power of community so I hope to keep this post brief! I just attended our monthly East Gwillimbury Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting this week and the sponsor presenter was Neighborhood Network. I was not aware of this excellent local volunteer based organization and it had me reflect once again on the how much good is added to people’s lives when caring souls reach out! Read more

Munro Armstrong

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Here we are at the gates of September when life kicks back into high gear. Have you noticed the change in expectations on our time which plays havoc with life balance?

Whether you have children in school or not, life seems to jump into warp speed once September arrives at our door. I say ‘it seems to’ because we all know that time is a constant however depending on what we are doing, our experience of time can change drastically. If we are under a tight deadline to complete something, time seems to fly yet if we are sick in bed for a day unable to sleep due to discomfort then a day could drag on forever! There is a middle ground too. It happens when we are doing something we love and we’ll say we have no sense of what time it is and we don’t care.

Read more

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click to enlarge

Electromagnetic fields (EMF) and radio frequencies (RF) are everywhere in our modern technological society and the impact of these on our health is in constant speculation. For those of you who have read my previous blog on this topic, you will recall that my husband has an acute sensitivity to these EMF frequencies. Because of that, I am always on the lookout for practical solutions to minimize the impact of these frequencies within our home and on our person. I have some new updates to share with you. Read more

Marise Foster - click image to enlarge

Marise Foster – click image to enlarge

This year I have been focusing on building my well-being and spiritual practices. I have always had many interests and love to learn. One of the challenges this brings is that I have not been committed to a specific personal practice on a daily basis. After 5 months of making a commitment to myself to do a daily practice; I am realizing just how much it contributes to building my overall personal resilience. Read more

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click image to enlarge

Recently I have had clients message me with different issues and ask “Would a biophoton light therapy session support this?” Now that I have worked with my Chiren instrument for over 3 years, maybe it’s time to share some of the answers to – why biophoton light therapy ? Read more

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click image to enlarge

Last fall I decided it was time to take action on one of my dream projects…my Fairy Garden. I know – you are thinking, what constitutes a Fairy Garden? I have 3 sons so I have had that question arise a time or two. My vision was to have a garden located outside my home office window that I could gaze out to when I was home working on the computer. It would be a place that invited nature to interact and I could watch and enjoy the happy scenery. It all started when I bought a wonderful bird house from our church talent auction that was made by one of our elders. I asked my husband to put it up outside my office window where I could watch the birds come and go. Read more

biophoton and reiki treatment newmarket

In keeping with my last blog, I will continue on the path of our bodies from a different angle. How our lifestyle choices directly affect our body. This is something I experience in my practice all the time so I got very excited when I read Lissa Rankine’s book, “Mind over Medicine “, as she brings scientific proof to this very concept. Here is an excerpt from her book: Read more

reiki master NewmarketAs I mused about what to share this week, a client came and told me about an article she has just read in a local publication. It was a letter written by a woman to her body and my client said I am going to put this letter where I can read it every day and remember how special my body is! She believed that it was likely many of us could relate to the essence of the message. I agree…it is a common theme. Here is the letter:

Dear Body, Read more

reiki master NewmarketIn my reiki classes and practice days I always have a beautiful beeswax pillar candle set in the middle of a table alter surrounded by crystals. We light it at the opening of our time together and extinguish it after our final prayer circle. I always felt that it provided more than a beautiful centerpiece and after listening to a networking colleague share his wisdom on the health benefits of pure beeswax, I understood why.  And since it is earth month, I thought I would share what I have learned. Read more

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click image to enlarge

One morning after handing my middle son over to our new sitter while he cried hysterically, I also cried all the way to the office. I sat in the parking lot for some time to gain my composure and walked in the door. A close colleague saw me and immediately took my arm leading me to a quiet room to ask what was going on. I told her I just didn’t think I could keep going like this; that I didn’t bring my sons into this world for someone else to raise. I missed being with them more and I was exhausted. She smiled and said; “What you need is Reiki”. I didn’t even know what that was. “Why Reiki?” I asked. Her reply was that it would help me find my truth. Read more

Green Connections network

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For those of you who follow my blog, you know that I value the ability we have to continually educate ourselves. It provides a better platform to make wise choices in our lives so that we create the outcomes we want. On that note, I would like to highlight the community film nights hosted by The Green Connections Network. Moving into our third season, these documentary style films have been a highlight of the community building activities of this great green group! Read more

Relationship Expert York RegionAll around the world, International Women’s Day represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality. Make It Happen is the 2015 theme for our internationalwomensday.com global hub, encouraging effective action for advancing and recognizing women.

Each year International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. The first International Women’s Day was held in 1911. Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organizations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women’s groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day. Read more

How to Love YourselfA few years ago I wrote about “The Five Love Languages” as shared by author/speaker Gary Chapman. See post here. I have found the wisdom in this work to be most valuable in the past for my own inter-personal relationships. The interesting thing with life is that common issues can circle around and present themselves in new ways as the years unfold. And that is exactly what I realized last week as thoughts and conversations were focused on Valentine’s Day both with clients and in the media coverage.

Let me back up a wee bit. As each New Year begins, instead of resolutions, I have enjoyed coming up with 3-4 words that represent my high level intentions for the year ahead. This year my words are: Read more

biophoton light therapist york regionEvery year I purchase science and discovery type magazines for my family to read over the Christmas holidays and this year was no exception. An article entitled “Could this Apple Poison Me?” in the Ideas & Discoveries magazine really caught all of our attention.  Education allows us to make informed choices and so I would like to share some of the highlights of this article about imported poisons in our food and the hidden health hazards, with you.

We import over 4 billion pounds of food from China every year at unbeatable prices however we are paying a hidden price in our health. No other country exports food that contains so many toxic substances as China does including lead, aluminum, hepatitis A virus, DDT, glyphosate and formaldehyde just to name a few. Read more

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Happy 2015! I am pleased to share this Women’s Wellness Circle news for the coming year. Within the healing community, I am receiving many affirmations that the astrology, numerology and spiritual messages of 2015 bring infinite possibility and openness to new ways of being for those who are ready to tune in. As Dale Osadchuk shares in this excerpt from her current Full Moon teachings:

There is also a Cosmic Grand Cross being formed by the planetary dance at this Full Moon. The two leggeds in the far away time have the opportunity to break out of the box that has been holding them back from achieving Illumination and living their Soul Purpose. Awakening and Transformation are the gifts that this Lunation is blessing the human kingdom with. In the far away time this is a New Year. All the work that has been done on the material, physical, mental, and emotional levels the past thirty two Moon cycles can now be completed.Click here for the full article: Read more

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The last week of November, our presenter for the York Region Women’s Circle was Donna Smith-Montcreiffe who shared first hand with us the research she has just completed for her upcoming book to be released in March 2015 on Energy or Alternative Healing. We had an incredible evening that stretched our thinking of healing and of the whole human experience. Donna focused on 3 main areas for the evening which included past-life regression, alternative healing and out of body experiences. She read a case study for each of these areas after talking about some of her travels to meet healers and the corresponding healing sessions she had the opportunity to observe. Read more

supporting the immune systemI participated on a panel of experts at the recent Annual Richmond Hill Library Health Fair with 7 other incredible practitioners. We were given the opportunity to introduce our specific health modalities and then the moderator guided us through a few questions pertinent to the season. It was a wonderful experience to realize how unified we were on our overall principals AND the different perspectives we brought to the table that served the whole spectrum of well-being. A super important focus for this time of year was being asked to give our 1 unique tip for supporting a healthy immune system. Here are 8 ways from the list of experts. (I hope I remember them correctly!)

Angela Dacey:  Bring the colour RED into your life. Red is for physical and sexual energy and passion. It is stimulating and energizing, therefore it is helpful for tiredness and lethargy, to stimulate low blood pressure, to boost sluggish circulation. Red helps build up our confidence so we can be more comfortable with our body. Read more

fearI just facilitated a workshop on the topic of FEAR – something that we all deal with in varying degrees for most of our lives. We are born with only two instinctual fears, that of falling and loud noises. All others are learned. This does not mean they are not real, just that they are learned from life experience. This is a huge topic and I intend to just touch on a few valuable tips to keep fear in check. Fear can be paralyzing. If given the power, fear will prevent us from doing and having things in our lives that we say we want.

Fear is not a bad thing; it keeps us aware of potential negative or dangerous situations. However, because they are learned, they become registered in our minds as thoughts. Thoughts are energy AND “Where thoughts go – Energy follows! Our bodies do not know the difference between thoughts that are from real and present danger or if they are assumed. This is where the acronym, False Evidence Appearing Real comes from. Most of our fears are learned and originate then from our thoughts. Our negative emotions are triggered and our bodies respond. Read more

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It has been a rather interesting weather pattern here this year and October arrived with one of the best weeks we have had in the past couple of months! Warm, sunny and colourful! I love taking advantage of the fall season – the time of year when the magic of Mother Nature explodes in full colour teasing us with a taste of the cool weather that is coming over night but warming up through the day. It’s a time of dressing in layers and being prepared for the shifts of temperature that happen throughout the day. Read more

organycWhat? Toxins in feminine hygiene products, what am I talking about?! This blog is sensitive and yet very important for me to share with my readers. This year has brought me up close and personal with some of the very issues that one of my networking groups is so passionate about; educating the public on current practices and statistics that affect the health and well-being of people and the planet. The last film to be viewed was entitled, “Unacceptable Levels” which exposed the toxic chemical load in many products that we use every day (View trailer here). Read more

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I just spent the most amazing weekend in the woods out in the Hockley Valley; an event hosted by Visions in the Woods proprietor Deborah Kolody and a team of incredible leaders.

It was an outdoor event literally in the beautiful woods of Hockley with many vendors sharing their gifts and services with each other and the participants. The theme was experiencing the elements of water, fire, wind, earth and storm and I must say they were present at every level. Read more

Red-tailed Hawk This past month we have experienced some wild weather patterns in southern Ontario and it was on one of those thunderstorm days that a Red Tailed Hawk shared a message with me and my friend.

We were waffling about whether to head out for our scheduled 5pm Nordic pole walk as the skies were quite ominous however; we changed locations and decided to give it a try. Leaving from my place on a rural road, we head out for a quick walk and chat before beginning the evening supper activities. The winds were quite strong which gave a sense of anticipation. My attention was drawn above to a beautiful hawk circling above…how I love to watch the birds of prey as they are on the lookout for their next catch. As we moved along, I noticed that the hawk was now about 200 meters ahead of us and just hovering in the sky on the north side of the roadway. Read more

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For the past few years I have added the joy of keeping a small vegetable garden for our family’s enjoyment. Though we are in the heart of the fertile Holland Marsh, nothing compares to the opportunity to go out your back door and pick your own freshly grown and nurtured veggies to accompany any meal.

Though we are on a country property with lots of wildlife around, my first year was clear sailing without even having a fence protecting the space. I did grow marigolds around the perimeter which gave happy colour all summer and seemed to distract curious four legged nibblers.

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Ho’oponopono is a Hawaiian healing tradition that “undoes” the threads that cause disharmony in our lives. It involves using statements with a lot of historical power on their own, but, when your conscious intention is behind it, without guilt or shame or fear, it is an extremely powerful tool of change!

This past weekend a friend and I co-hosted a wonderful workshop to learn the art of Ho’oponopono with Krow Fischer from Here on Earth. Over the past year, I have been really looking at and releasing some old patterns that were no longer serving me in my life as many of my friends and clients alike have been doing. We all learn in different ways and though I read many books and listen to many CD’s etc., my best way to integrate learnings are through experiential work. I had read a book this spring on Ho’oponopono, the Hawaiian art of love and forgiveness which was very intriguing. To my delight, I found out that Krow Fischer was leading workshops for this after studying with Harry & Sila Jim, Traditional Hawaiian Kahuna’s. The art of attraction in action!

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kiboMany of my clients ask me what I use for skin care and make-up as we begin to realize how many chemicals are in the favourite products that we use every day from deodorant to shampoo and this time of year; sunscreen! It’s a fabulous question and one that I continue to learn more about every day. Being fair skinned, I have used face make-up since I was a young teenager and I realize that my body was exposed to harsh chemicals for years. I trust that my body is always ready to spring back and respond to healthy changes and so today I have a completely different approach with that of organic skin care.

I have a number of local favourites that I use which I am happy to share here along with a couple of great websites for further information. It started with the EWG who provide a wealth of research on product contents and my new find, The Health & Beauty World.

Here is a list of ingredients to avoid in your skin care from the Health & Beauty World website: Read more

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It is such a gift to be part of local networking groups which expose me to incredible people. Yesterday’s BWNA joint meeting held at Pathways to Perennials in King Township was no exception. We were fortunate to have a dynamic and passionate speaker, Donna Tranquada representing Food & Water First to share with us her personal journey over the past 3 years about saving our agricultural lands.

Donna lives and works in downtown Toronto however she and her husband own a farm property in Melancthon Township just west of Mulmur Township in Dufferin County. For those of you familiar with the area, you will know a great grass roots movement took place to stop the development of a mega quarry in this prime agricultural and precious water landmass. Thousands of citizens came together to uncover the truth of what was planned for the area and organized their efforts to educate Ontarians including the politicians on what repercussions would result for the invaluable water and food supply of the area. The process was a success and the mega quarry has been halted for now.

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Enneagram Type 6I was working with a young client recently who shared with me her challenges around anxiety and the thought patterns reminded me of how some of my Enneagram Type 6 friends have shared what they experience. I reached out to ask them what they have found beneficial to quiet the anxious thoughts which lead to the anxious feelings in the body. I was very touched by the thoughtfulness that was put into the responses and I am sure that the suggestions will be valuable to all of us regardless of our Enneagram type. (for a refresher overview of Enneagram Type 6, follow this link.

These responses represent both genders from a more experienced stage of life. They all acknowledged that managing anxiety has been a pattern of struggle in their lives and so they have been very motivated to look for strategies to ease this. There were definitely common strategies and then there were specific ones that provide support for specific personal challenges. I will begin with the most popular response and work to the individual.

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Biophoton Treatment York RegionI watched the evening news one day last week and was saddened to see a story on vaccines that reported parents were not being responsible if they chose not to vaccinate their children.  The report was explaining that there is a rise in childhood illnesses like measles because of the parents who are making the choice not to vaccinate.

There are thousands of reports supporting each side of the vaccine debate with Government bodies and Medical establishments providing the research to support vaccinations and other medical professionals and human interest groups like Think Twice Global Vaccine Institute providing research on the dangers involved with vaccinations.

I personally believe this is part of a much larger issue facing health and wellbeing in our world. The environmental toxins present in today’s lifestyle are taxing our immune systems so that we have less ability to deal with normal childhood illnesses. Right up there with the environmental toxic overload is the typical sugar laden, processed and genetically modified food diets that we live on and provide to our children. I cannot forget to add in the bombardment of electro-magnetic frequencies from all the wireless technology that permeates our society.  After this we can add the stress levels experienced by families working to just keep up with the responsibilities that they carry which depletes them of their “Joy”.  It is a challenging picture indeed.

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Staying positiveI was asked by a colleague yesterday “How do we stay positive when the negativity creeps in?” Here in southern Ontario as with many other regions in Canada and the northeastern states, we are still in winter weather conditions. Last night we experienced -15 and though it has warmed up a bit today, the snow flurries have arrived. Even the winter enthusiasts are waning and looking forward to warmer spring conditions. The top world news stories do not paint a beautiful picture of peace and the astrological shifts are definitely stirring up the status quo. So, the question is a really great one and I thought I would share some of my thoughts on it here. Of course I am hoping that it will encourage others to share their strategies and tips as well. Below are 6 tips to staying positive.

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At our February Women’s Wellness Circle, Charles Brand of Appealing Environments, entitled his presentation to us as “Crystal Enlightenment”.  He reminded us that as we are moving into the Age of Aquarius that we are actually raising the vibration of our bodies and shared with us a way to support this process with crystals.  So how can we raise our vibration and how does it have anything to do with crystals like quartz and amethyst?  Well, Charles talked about how our bodies are a carbon base and carbon is close on the periodic table to silicon or Sand. We had the opportunity to look at “Sand” in a whole new way and explore our own “Self” in the process.

Quartz Crystals, Amethyst and Citrine are made up of Silicon dioxide (SiO2). Silicon Dioxide is the most abundant compound in the earth’s crust.  It exists as quartz crystal, amethyst, agate, flint, jasper, opal and commonly known SAND. As we are moving into the Age of Aquarius – I reference the writing of another researcher who speaks of this topic in his work.

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It is Valentine’s week so it feels very timely to be answering a question that was sent in from a Type 5 reader asking, “How do I stay connected with my emotions and not detach when it is important to do so?  Please review my overview blog on Type 5 for background.  I decided to reach out to my panel of experts…the Type 5s in my life for their input to this question.  Needless to say, it was not an easy response for the majority of them, which is why this question is so powerful.

Type 5s are in the Thinking Triad and identify powerfully with; “A sense of being a detached, outside observer of the world – not part of it. They resist recognizing physical presence and state, feelings and needs, from the book “The Wisdom of the Enneagram”. Read more

Living healthyI had the opportunity to appear on Rogers Daytime TV this morning as part of the Green Connections Networking group I belong to. I wanted to link being healthy with being green and sustainable.  I have been part of this great green group for over a year now and am so impressed with the personal conviction that each of us shares towards living in a more sustainable way, no matter what our business segment is. I have noticed that people who take care of themselves also have a higher propensity to make greener choices overall in life. I prepared a multiple choice fact sheet to work with for the interview segment that I believe might be of interest to you as readers.  I have highlighted the correct answer.

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Women's CircleHappy 2014! It is vividly cold for us here in Southern Ontario yet the sun is shining and that combination makes me feel very alive!  I am reminded that I always find myself feeling this alive and connected at the close of each month’s Women’s Circle. The Power of the Circle never ceases to amaze me – there is a foundational peace that resides when a group of like-minded people gather together in circle.

Founded 10 years ago by Jill Hewlett, the York Region Women’s Circle has been meeting monthly at various locations, bringing a diverse yet connected group of women together to share, learn, experience and laugh. I began hosting the summer outdoor circles at our beautiful acreage in Holland Landing many years ago and soon joined to co-host throughout the year. We now offer two locations every month with Jill hosting a Toronto location and I carrying forward the York Region group.

Every month we feature a different presenter to share their journey and talents.  It is experiential, nurturing and oh so much fun! Every month has first time attendees and those who rarely miss.  New friendships are made and new ideas germinated that bring women to something they never thought of before. There is an uplifting that is so valuable in our busy lives. When we participate in the circle, we find our power increase exponentially like a drop of water rippling on the surface of a pond.  There is power in numbers and when the commitment is made by many to come together in a circle to focus attention and joy, the circle emanates ripples of energy that can change the world.

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2013 - Hawaii 2 139aThis is a follow up to my last post where I shared that I had just returned from a beautiful trip to Hawaii and now I would like to expand upon “The Spirit of Aloha”.  As we move into the holiday time of year, we are inundated with the marketing of the season luring us to buy a multitude of material things yet the deeper meaning includes gratitude, reflection, giving and acknowledgement of our blessings. I found this passage describing the deeper meaning of Aloha and it once again struck me how we are all unified at the core of our roots.

by Curby Rule

For those who follow the path of Huna, or are fortunate enough to live in Hawai’i, it is common for us to use the word Aloha. We use it in greetings and farewells and in expressing love. But the word means even more; it is a way of life.

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My husband and I just returned from a beautiful holiday in Hawaii where we toured around Oahu for a couple of days and then flew to Maui to live in a beach house shared with 2 other couples for 10 days.  It could not have been a more perfect holiday; with ideal weather, vistas to fill every sense, excursions to expand our knowledge and our athletic skills and good friends to laugh and share it all with. We certainly made some plans for the top activities we wanted to experience and the rest of the time we allowed the day to unfold by tuning into what felt good. I chose to be completely “off” of work mode and completely “on” enjoying the time with my husband and friends.  I arrived back on Friday and still had no idea what I wanted to share next in my blog.  As I was catching up on the inbox…I came across this wonderful article in a Hay House e-mail about 10 ways to live happy and was reminded how much I enjoyed Lissa’s book.  Enough so, that I have given it to clients and friends this year. It is a perfect segway for keeping a little Island feel inside as I live each day!

10 Ways to Live Happy for 100 Years

man_1125In her public television special Heal Yourself: Mind Over Medicine, Dr. Lissa Rankin shares a story of Stamatis Moraitis. (The New York Times featured him in a recent article called “The Island Where People Forget to Die.”)

Stamatis Moraitis was a WWII veteran from Greece who came to the U.S. to get treatment for his arm that was mangled in combat. He wound up settling in Boynton Beach, Florida where he married a Greek-American woman, had three children, had a good job in manual labor, bought a three-bedroom house and a 1951 Chevrolet.

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Karen Armstrong - Reiki Master Newmarket

Last weekend I taught a Reiki Level 2 certification class. It was a joyful experience in so many ways.  As we sat down to lunch, one of my students commented that he didn’t know what he looked forward to more, the teachings or the yummy home-made lunch!  He even suggested that I start a new blog entitled “Reiki in the Kitchen!”  Well, I chose to start out with a single blog on this topic because it really did speak to me on the capacity of bringing the healing power of reiki to whatever we do.

I love to cook and prepare meals that nourish our soul and to sit at a table with others to share just adds more joy to the whole event!  When we spend time at the reiki training to open our heart and learn the sacred teachings of the Usui natural healing system, it only seems to fit that we also take time to nourish our bodies with healthful food to support the day.  I love to take time looking through my cook book collection to find just the right dishes to share for the time of year. I tend to focus around a soup dish and this past weekend was no exception.  I chose a recipe from Julie Daniluk’s book entitled “Meals that Heal Inflammation” called Ginger Butternut Soup. I will share the recipe below.  Served along with a salad of fresh baby greens, basmati rice and bread, it warmed our bellies and prepared us for the afternoon session.

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GoingWithTheFlowHave you been noticing the shifts lately?  You know the ones that are bringing up old stuff that are calling to be released!  Planetary influences are all about “releasing what no longer serves us” so I have been noticing with many clients and in my own life opportunities to release and to transform our thoughts and perceptions.  I took my reiki mastery training with Dean Noblett and Rebecca Couch of Heartlight in Schomberg.  Rebecca is an excellent writer and she posted this piece on Spirit Library that fits perfectly for the energies taking place right now. Here are some things to remember when the shift hits the fan!

Dean & RebeccaProcess Your Emotions Honestly Feeling makes you human. Allow your emotions to express themselves within you truthfully. Just be with them as they arise, because you have a right to feel however you do. Stay with them until you can name them – but don’t get stuck in them and don’t hurt yourself or anyone else with them! You are not your emotions; you are oh-so-much more.

Breathe and know that all is well.

Remain Calm and Carry On Just like any emergency situation, you can think and respond better when you are calm. Remember that there is great power and balance in neutrality. Don’t take anything personally. Be the neutral, objective watcher as much as possible. Have courage, and keep on keeping on…there are great insights ahead. Always put the oxygen mask on yourself first.

Breathe and know that all is well.

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Cultural CreativesCultural Creatives are a growing segment of the Western population transforming mainstream culture.  Driven by their holistic values, integrated worldview and ability to synthesize vast amounts of information with an inner vision (insight) of wholeness, Cultural Creatives are in the author’s words, an “emerging wisdom culture”.

This was the opening of an article I happened to find in the latest Pathways to Family Wellness magazine that I get at Foster Family Chiropractic. I was very taken by what author Paul H. Ray, a social scientist had to share from his years of research about this group of people.  I related it to my life and to the groups that I am part of and realized that this brought more insight into the reasons why I am drawn to being part of or coordinating these groups. As I was preparing for a talk at one of them, the Green Connections Networking Group, I found the synchronicity of this article beautiful. Let me share a few highlights of what the article covered. Read more

patterns“Old age merely reveals all the problems the person has failed to solve in his life.” Luis Martins Simoes

Have you watched the commercial on TV recently that plays out 2 scenarios of the how the last 10 years of life could look?  One shows a man aging with grace and vibrancy and the other shows him deteriorating slowly but surely until no light is left in his system.  This is very real!  Our body is sharing with us every day how it is doing and what is out of balance calling for attention.  I have spoken numerous times around this idea.  That is why this quote above so spoke to me and I carried on reading further the insights of Luis in his research.

He looks at the emotional connection to various ailments that we experience in life and I will share one with you as an example.  We often hear the saying that a symptom is age related and a very common “age related” issue is eye sight. Here is what Luis shares about aging eyes. Read more

Harbour Breezes Nova Scotia

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My husband and I recently returned from a wonderful trip to Nova Scotia where we visited with friends in Musquodoboit Harbour on the Eastern Shore about 45 minutes from Halifax. While there we toured an incredible garden property called Harbour Breezes where owners Allan and Shane have created a visionary wonderland. I wanted to share this story with you because I was so moved by what I experienced walking these gardens and listening to the story of its “becoming”.  It truly is a “Vision in Action”.

The property was purchased in 2004 and opened to the public in 2006. Its location is ideal being right on the well traveled Hwy. #7 along the Eastern Shore at Jeddore Harbour with a south facing view of the water. From the humble home at the road, the property goes straight uphill behind.  The land is rough, covered in large rocks, trees and native scrub brush. As the story unfolded, we learned that every year Allan gave his creative dreams permission to grow with lots of hard work and research and determination. The core lines of products are Day Lilies and they currently have over 750 varieties with new ones being added every year.

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L – Life

I – Onmipresent

V – Victoriously

E – Expressed

By “life omnipresent”, I mean that life is present in all things.  It is not only in human beings, but in animals, trees, rocks – in every living thing, every object. Even a table is composed of the same energy that we are. It is part of the interrelated whole. It has function and is going through it’s own transformational process.  The same is true of the 75 million cells that make up the human body, and of every particle in each of those cells.  Not a single one is exactly like another, and each has it’s own destiny.  If we can accept this truth, perhaps we can learn to stop judging other things and other beings by limited human or cultural standards.  That would be a great advance, for it is judging that holds us back from giving and receiving unconditional love.

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transitional shiftingThere is one constant in this universe and that is change!  We tend to create stress in our lives when we are constantly looking for stability, defined as “no changes”.  We can definitely create stability however it looks different.  It is an inner state rather than an outer state. And with so many of my clients feeling the effects of change and transition very intensely right now, my attention was peaked while reading the latest issue of PATHWAYS to family wellness magazine.  I would like to share a portion of one of the articles here with you entitled “Why and How we Shift”.

IONS (Institute for Noetic Sciences) did a 10 year project looking at consciousness transformation. And we looked at the catalysts that shift someone. It can be anything…people describe something as mundane as washing dishes, or as in the case of Edgar Mitchell, as profound as coming back from the moon, that would allow a moment of reflection to say, “Wow! I just feel there is something more here.” It could be the death of a loved one or the loss of a job, a divorce…all of these can be helpful to disrupt our current state.  It’s really beautiful when we can move our conversation about something that is traumatic into something that can help us grow and evolve, because that’s the worldview shift. It’s how we define the situation.  One person can see it one way and another person can see it another way.  It is how we can begin to own the power of the interpretation of the experience.

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bigstock-Raging-kids--children-shoutin-30047846This topic has come about so frequently with clients and in my own life over the past few weeks that it felt like a great topic to write about.  This subject of mirroring is not a simple process to understand however it can be very powerful.  In the big picture, I always say that “we do not see the world as it is, we see the world as we are!”  This means that we interpret our outer experiences from the perspective that we hold at any given time.  If we wake up one morning over-tired and not in a great mood, the experiences of our day seem to reflect that mood that we hold!  As Abraham would say:, “The worse it gets, the worse it gets!!”  Thankfully, the opposite is true too:, “The better it gets, the better it gets! Read more

LoveWhatYouDoI recently received a comment from a reader on my Enneagram Type Nine blog: that went like:

“Thanks for your really helpful comments, which I wish I could instantly digest and do something about! Would be interested in your thoughts on type 9s identifying their passion which I know is a problem for them.”

So I answered him back with my thoughts but also advised that I would check in with my expert panel themselves, the Type Nines, to see what insight could be gleaned.  Well – it was a beautiful experience and I believe great information for the Nine in all of us.  Here is a summary of the responses that I received.

You have to push yourself, take risks, get out of your comfort zone, try something new and give yourself permission to do something that may make you stand out and may not be what everyone expects of you.  If you haven’t found your passion in the world that you have created for yourself you have to venture out further to find it.  I think usually fear is what holds us back from reaching for the next level and challenging ourselves; fear of failing, fear of making a mistake, fear of being judged, fear of being noticed, fear of disappointing someone … and maybe even fear of success.  I have discovered that the only thing you should fear is standing still and not growing.”


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