As humans, we are meant to experience and feel our emotions. To block
them out is counter intuitive to who we are and how our bodies operate.
Our bodies want us to embrace our emotions. Doing so completes the
experience and allows us to filter and export what we no longer need.
Think of a cup spilling over. That’s why a good cry can feel like relief, as
though a burden has been lifted.
Anxiety can be a result of avoiding feelings. We shelve yucky thoughts,
images and emotions in our bodies and consciousness so we don’t have
to deal with them. This is a coping skill; however, what happens over
time, is our body says it’s not going to house these strong emotions
anymore, so anxiety develops as a result of avoiding the discomfort.
Sometimes, we aren’t aware we shelved certain emotions because of
forgotten memories and experiences. Only through exploration do we
discover why we feel the way we do.
Many unsettling feelings have to do with fear or shame from earlier
childhood experiences. For example, if we grew up in a family that had a
lot of tension or violence around confrontation, we’ll probably fear
confrontation as an adult. We’ll go out of our way to avoid the person or
situation in which there’s discord; even if it makes our life more
challenging. The thought of having to discuss a point with someone could cause crippling anxiety.
Or if we have anxiety about driving on a freeway, we’ll take
the long way home, adding an hour to the commute. As illogical as this
sounds to someone without anxiety, this makes perfect sense to
someone dealing with deep anxiety.
Research cannot pinpoint one reason for the cause of anxiety but there
are several ideas as to why people develop it. Genetics is one – anxiety
can be inherited to a degree. There’s research proving a correlation
between parents with anxiety or Generalized Anxiety Disorder and
children suffering from anxiety. Anxiety can be learned from our
environment if it’s frequently modeled for us. Children can feel their
world is unsafe as they witness their parents’ fears and distress. Thus,
the child learns few distress tolerance mechanisms.
Another way one develops anxiety is from trauma. When one
experiences trauma, they develop coping mechanisms to get through
the difficult ordeal. Depending on the amount of trauma and the degree,
will determine how often and how reliant they become on a coping skill.
Coping mechanisms aren’t evil patterns; they’re lifesavers and usually
effective in navigating through the landscape of trauma. But when the
traumatic experience ends and time continues on, the body and mind
recognize there’s no need to live on the traumatic battlefield anymore
and coping skills begin to breakdown. As a result, the person is
left with their thoughts and feelings, and because these feelings can be
troubling, like shame, guilt or fear, avoidance begins and anxiety builds.
The more one avoids, the more anxiety – usually. People deal with
anxiety by taking medication, drugs, and alcohol or for many, they white
knuckle their way through life, and that is not a very good way to live.
I believe in karmic debt. I believe some people had very traumatic past
lives and they are born feeling unsafe. These people cannot pinpoint a
solid reason for their anxiety and this can increase the grip it has on
them. Knowing the root of an issue helps. I look at past lives and see if
there’s traumatic residue, and if so, we work on releasing the beliefs
associated with the residue. This is usually done via Thetahealing or
EMDR or somatic emotional release.
We don’t always have to have trauma in our lives to feel anxiety or depression.
Sometimes it’s pertained to conditions we grow up with. If we feel a
guardian’s love is conditional on certain behaviors that too can spark
anxiety. If there’s a lot of on‐going tension in the house, a lot of arguing
or constantly moving, these can ignite a sense of anxiety or depression.
What’s most important in dealing with depression and/or anxiety, I
believe, is to understand why we have it, to release the stagnant bound
energy in the body and to shift the cognitions/beliefs in the mind.
There are many ways to deal with anxiety in counseling. One is talk
therapy, which can help with digging into the source of the problem. For
some, understanding the source or root of the problem is healing in
itself. Cognitive‐Behavioral therapy can help in providing reasoning
tools and behaviors as well as developing strategies, both internal and
external, in coping with anxiety/depression. This involves often talking to yourself,
reasoning and providing logic to each situation that might cause stress.
For example – “I am safe walking down the street. It’s light outside and it makes
sense that I can walk all the way home and be fine.” This might help
someone who has trouble walking alone across the street or in town.
EMDR is a very helpful tool in healing childhood or adults wounds that
may be contributing to the overall feeling of insecurity or fear.
Sometimes trauma contributes to the anxiety and EMDR helps the body
continue it’s organic cycle of purging overwhelming feelings of fear,
insecurity, stress, etc. EMDR is somatic in that it’s body centered and
helps the body to release stored negative emotion and helps to shift
negative cognitions. For example, if you are a person who suffers from
work related anxiety and as a child you saw your father beat your
mother, this experience, although years old, may be contributing to your
stress at work or overall anxiety. You may believe that you should have saved
your mom when you were young, even though you were powerless to
do so. EMDR will shift the cognition of “I should have done something”
to “I did the best I could or It’s over and I’m safe now.” These old
patterned cognitions and beliefs could be affecting other areas of your
life but because there’s no obvious direct correlation, we don’t connect
Trauma can also have an effect on people in creating depression. Clients
come in and tell me they had a traumatic childhood but because they
never think about it, it’s not the source of their depression. Sometimes
that might be true, but more often than not, I find there’s a direct
connection between adult depression and past trauma. And remember,
trauma is relative. What might be traumatic to one person is not to
another. It’s a very personal experience.
When we experience or witness violence, inappropriate sexy stuff,
neglect or mental abuse, our bodies absorb all that energy, even if we
don’t remember the incident(s). Our body stores all the visuals, smells,
emotions and sensations from each experience and they don’t go away.
Experience is energy and energy doesn’t disappear, it only shifts or
stagnates. Trauma, depression, anxiety are all stagnant energy and
unless you do something to shift that energy, it will remain stuck inside
you creating internal havoc. EMDR can shift depressive energy just like
it can shift anxiety or traumatic energy or all three. Energetic release
whether it is through EMDR, Thetahealing, or hypnotherapy can help as
it shifts and moves energy from it’s stuck festering position in the body
Some people have imbalances in their biochemistry and medications
can be helpful. When it comes to helping ourselves, it usually is a
meandering quest until we find the right modality and/or healer. But
when it works, it can really work and we feel much better. Remember--
our wounds just don’t go away. They will still live with us through many
lifetimes until we heal them. Why not start now.
New Class - Release the Old and Manifest the New
January 7th - Subud Center in Soquel
This class will focus on meditation and manifestation. Those of you who have taken my classes know they are more information driven than experiential-for the most part.This class I'll spend a bit of time on teaching channeling but most will be spent in meditation. The first half of the class we'll spend time contemplating the year of 2016. What worked for us that we want to keep and what we need to let go. I will facilitate meditations on release and manifestation through the use of channeling, visualization and body centered meditation. This is a wonderful opportunity to start the new year consciously setting our intentions and releasing limiting patterns. Class is two hours and costs $25.00.
Please contact me if you are interested in a class on cultivating peace and intuition in your life. I teach this class through out the year and require a minimum of two people for each class.
In checking into the current energy, I felt like a magnet was pulling me out of my body. This can happen when a large group of people are thinking and feeling the same way. With the election coming up, much of the world is wondering -- What's next? When I checked into what the energy felt like after the election, it felt much different.
Regardless of who you're voting for, you're probably thinking about it, wondering what's going to happen. In those thoughts are fear, anxiety, curiosity, hope, and so on. There are a lot of people putting energy into the thought of, "What's going to happen?" Energetically this can feel like we are getting pulled into directions that aren't our own. It's a time when we can feel more vulnerable, we can be more impressionable, and at the same time, more rigid and myopic. Think of a wind tunnel, that's what the energy feels like. I don't know if you've ever been in a wind tunnel, but it takes a lot of energy to move against the force or to move sideways. Basically there are two directions you can go: With the energy or down to the ground. If you don't care to go with the energy, then ground.
I didn't particularly care for the tone of the general energy so I went back into my own field of energy and grounded. That's what I recommend you do. Ground, ground , ground. There's a lot of fear, anger and anxiety getting kicked up now and it will only increase over the next two weeks. So ground and imagine yourself inside light. Shut the noise out!
After the election, I felt a shift with two different tones to the energy--I don't mix politics with business but I did ask what the energy felt like if each candidate won. For Clinton, the energy felt subdued with a tone of resistance. For Trump, the tone was fearful anticipation-similar to the state of hypervigilance. Remember-- I'm reading the energy for the world, not just the United States.
No matter your political slant, take care of yourself during this time. There's a lot that hangs in the balance and with this energy, we can feel like we're being thrown off center. Bring any anxious thoughts and/or feelings to yourself and consciously release them. They will not help you to hold them in your body and mind. All they will do is bring you down and make you vulnerable to viruses and such. Take a deep breath, release and ground.
As a teen and young adult, I felt fairly fearless in my daily life. I surfed big waves...or tried to, but still, they were very big cold waves, I traveled and worked as an editorial photographer in countries of high conflict, naively thinking if my passion and faith were strong enough for the work, I would be safe from harm. I was proven wrong. I ventured into risky relationships--the kind I knew would break my heart but I did it anyway. I threw caution to the wind and sometimes happily and foolishly courted disaster to experience adventure and to feel alive and awake.
Other than a few crappy relationships, some hard lessons in learning boundaries and self-respect and several slices of humble pie, I don't regret my thrill seeking past. I liked living out of a backpack, traveling the globe with camera in hand, I felt comfortable on the road and I didn't hold a lot of fear in my life at that point.
However, much of my fearless spirit abandoned me when I came back to the states and settled into my new home in Colorado and gave birth to two amazing children in my third decade of life. As soon as my baby's little foot kicked the inside of my womb, a fear like I'd never imagined took hold and ruled. Once the children were born, thoughts and images of disaster preoccupied my mind and I found myself deliberating which route to drive to the store that would least likely have traffic or deer to avoid a crash and killing my son or daughter.
In therapy, we call this awfulization--making the worst-case scenario out of any event, real or imagined. I don't think my fear was entirely abnormal. Many new parents grapple with the angst and vulnerability felt for their new family. Problem was, my fear didn't go away, instead it mutated into an overwhelming sense of unreasonable responsibility to save my children and every child and adult on this earth from pain and suffering.
Some of this herculean desire to help humanity was modeled by my do-gooder parents but other than that, a lot of it didn't make sense. My father used to tell me I became a counselor at the age of seven by the way I listened to the problems of my family and friends. Recalling my childhood, I see now how I had concern for others at a very young age, as many children do. But in my concern was a need to be the hero, saving people like Superman. My imaginary world was filled with magic rings and capes that turned villains into angels, preserving the village from ruin and mayhem.
I thought my inspiration was born from compassion and pure intention to heal, but in reality, the thrusting energy behind my motivation was plain and simple: Fear. I thought if I could help fix someone's problem I would be a better individual and they would live a happier life. On some level I thought the more people I assisted, the more worthy I would become--like Creator would give me a brownie point for each person I helped. Cognitively I knew my actions were a drop in the ocean but I believed my passion to heal could create tsunamis. If I created tidal waves of positive change than I wouldn't fear the oblivion of worthlessness.
My fear of unworthiness did not stem from a compromised childhood or lack of parental love. I was born with it and like fire expanding in air, my angst expanded in the experiences of this lifetime. Giving birth to my children was the kick-starter of an already mounting pressure.
The courage and passion that I had as a young adult I took with me into my healing career by working with difficult populations. Once again, I thought my passion would protect and save me. Old patterns die hard.
You see, my fear-driven-over-responsible-energy resonated with the heavy energy of deep trauma; that energy mixed with my desire to deliver people from pain made counseling highly traumatized clients seem easy and while I helped a lot of people, I certainly didn't help myself. A caseload with a percentage of traumatized clients is normal in the healing practice but a full caseload of only complex traumatized clients is not. Such caseloads are not healthy for the counselor. I took home a lot of heavy energy and carried the weight like it was my own. But that was my karmic release--my lesson was in releasing a responsibility that wasn't mine to hold and with that the tie to worthiness. Could I learn to love myself for just being me, healing or no healing? Could I accept myself as is without ever helping anyone again, that being me as I am is worthy of infinite love? No f------ way, I thought.
This unrealistic and unhealthy belief of omniscient responsibility needed to be released. Call me slow, stubborn minded and resistant, I learned the hard way in releasing the energy. Something I'd like to help you avoid doing, whether you carry over-responsibility, anxiety, guilt, anger or loss, you can release karmic energy easily and gently. First, you need to identify the karmic energy, debt or karmic pattern within you, which is not always obvious and then make the effort to release it.
Looking back at the beginning of my healing practice, I realized I did a lot of heavy lifting in my client-counselor role. There were many clients, especially kids who courageously entered into their healing work like true warriors but some clients sat back and allowed me to do their work. I don't blame them. I blame my fear. In my desire to prevent them from feeling pain, I buffered their experience and possibly mitigated their growth and evolvement. My mentor at the time told me that pain was necessary, that we wouldn't evolve and learn compassion without it; that all the types of pain, be it physical or emotional, eventually will bring us progress and compassion.
At first, I resisted her nugget of truth because it collided with my fear and created spiritual resistance. She was right though. Now after fifteen years of being in the healing arts, I can honestly say there is nothing like the efficacy of pain. This is so hard to witness in a young person such as your child, a teen client, or a friend. Feeling pain drives home a lesson or experience as well as increasing empathy and compassion. How many times have you given sound advise to a child, partner or friend, only to be ignored. I bet ten to one, your loved ones learned what they needed to perhaps battered and bruised but always growing.
I have friends and clients who through their pain become less judgmental, gentler and more compassionate human beings. I'm sorry for their pain but not their growth. With time, they get over the pain but their evolvement plays out in every move of their life. Their change is inspiring and beautiful to be a part of.
It took many years of heavy lifting in relationships, not just my client- relationships but my personal relationships, as well as getting sick before I decided my way of helping maybe wasn't the best way for my clients or me. I had to find a way to release this responsibility and accept myself in the process. By taking care of myself, doing the healing work and taking the time to facilitate self-love, I've let go of my heavy burden. While I still hold compassion and empathy in my heart, my intention for my work is more clear and clean. I still care a heck of a lot how my clients are doing but in a way that enables them to hold accountability for themselves and when they do, they are empowered to make positive change. I now WANT to heal, instead of feeling like I HAVE to heal. When your motivation is driven by HAVE instead of WANT, than that might be a clue your desire is karmic driven, which is not a bad thing. When you feel compelled to partake in something, you are giving yourself the opportunity to release and learn something new about yourself and to feel more peace.
When your major karmic debts are released then you are left asking, "What do I really want to do? What is me and not debt?" This in itself can be challenging because you're no longer driven by a needling energy. You get the chance to know yourself in a deeper way and that can feel like being lost at sea for a while until you figure things out. But when you do, you know your desire is unwavering and pure in this time and moment.
I can also say from my experience I can help people locate their karmic pattern and facilitate release. There are many protocols that are offered by so many amazing healers that enable karmic release such as Thetahealing, hypnotherapy, EMDR, meditation, and often, just knowing the who, what, where and why of karmic patterns can help release it. In future posts I will give examples of what karmic patterns look like and how they were released in case studies.
As we move through our life, we have layers of energy surrounding us: The first layer is your physical body. The outer four layers of energy are commonly referred to as your aura. Together, these five layers or "energy bodies" are the human energy field. Our field or layers of energy affect us in numerous ways, especially our perspective. We have so many experiences in our field of energy that motivate us to do all sorts of things. Continue reading about what each layer represents as it's important to understand these layers and how they impact us. Our karma resides in our field of energy.
The Physical Energy Body –
Everything is energy, trees, animals, buildings, etc. Our bodies are also energy; same as the four energies surrounding it; although, many people can’t see or sense these layers on a physical level.
The Etheric Energy Body -
The second layer -- the etheric layer of our energy body is located approximately one quarter to one half an inch from the physical body. The etheric energy body has also been referred to as the blueprint or holograph of the physical body. Many energy workers work with this blueprint. Our Etheric layer protects our physical body from toxic energy unless we have wounding in our layers, which look like holes or tears.
The Emotional Energy Body - The emotional layer of our energy body is the third layer. This is where our emotions reside and this layer can fluctuate depending on the intensity of our mood.
The Mental Energy Body – Our beliefs, thoughts, and ideas transform in this layer. As our beliefs change, our perception on the world changes-as does this layer of energy.
The Spiritual Energy Body - The spiritual layer of the human energy field is the final layer. Some say our higher consciousness lives in this layer.
As we release karmic traumas, our frame of reference or perception of the world shifts and clears, as do these energetic layers-- they can move, grow larger, darken or lighten.
Imagine, these energetic layers being like a coat we wear through life. Our energetic experiences live inside our coat, affecting our frame of reference-in other words, our perspective on life. As our field or coat of energy gets cleaned up, our perspective changes and we see and experience things differently than before.
When we reach the end of our life here on Earth, we check our coat at the door before entering into eternity, which some people call heaven or the life after and so many other names. I believe this is where we live our real life. We continue to learn, share, work, etc in eternity, just like we do here. We live our eternal lives in eternity but come here to Earth temporarily (although it can feel like forever) to learn and evolve.
From what I understand, we choose our next life based on what we want to experience and learn. Our souls exercise our free will in choosing (or not) to grow, evolve and expand as beings. When we are reborn into our next life we put our energetic coat back on that we checked at the door when we left our previous life. In that energetic coat are all the experiences from previous lifetimes, which again, affect our perspective in the current life. We live with past life residue and it is up to us entirely to wipe away those residual experiences so we can have more clarity in our souls and mind.
Our energetic coats are loaded with thousands of experiences, both positive and traumatic. From what I’ve seen in my work and what I’ve studied and learned from other healers in this line of work, is generally there are four to five past life experiences that substantially affect our current life and most of those past experiences were traumatic.
We don’t always get opportunities to heal our trauma, especially if we had a traumatic death or lived in an era where surviving was the only item on the menu. When we have deep trauma in our energetic coat, it can affect us in our current life any where from causing fear, stress and anxiety to feeling inexplicably sad. Past life trauma lives in the four layers surrounding us and stays there until it is recognized and healed.
If there’s intense trauma in your energetic coat, think of it looking like a dark grey mass in one of the layers, that mass will push into the other energetic layers, affecting our physical and emotional bodies. Remember, we are all energy and energy is constantly moving, unless it gets stuck. Energy never just disappears, it moves or gets stuck, thus disease and negative patterns and thought beliefs. Trauma can cause our energy to stagnate and get stuck in our energetic coat, thus affecting our perspective and how we literally feel every day of our life. Often it can feel like a needling energy that motivates us to act a certain way, maintain unique beliefs, have fear or anxiety, or pursue a goal or career that matches or relieves the thrusting energy (see blog on the efficacy of pain).
When we are reborn into our current life, we sometimes choose similar circumstances of that of a past life, so that we could trigger our past wounds. We do this as a way to heal our selves. If our wounds aren’t triggered, how would we know they exist. They’d lay dormant, affecting our belief system and driving our behavior and/or cognition. An example of this is when someone dies alone in a house fire in a previous life, in their current life that fear could be triggered when they are around fire or in that they feel uneasy when they are alone. Many times our fears may feel so ungrounded in reason because there’s no concrete experience to substantiate them. Why would someone feel deathly afraid of being alone when they grew up in a loving family with no abandonment of any kind?
I get this all the time in my practice. Clients, bewildered, share their fears with no idea as to why they are so anxious. But when I “look” at their karmic past, everything makes perfect sense to me and eventually to them as well. It’s helpful to have a reason for the way we feel, even if we can’t see it or experience it in this lifetime.
When we heal, we may not be only healing a wound in our current lifetime, but one from many lifetimes. Not all our experiences in our current life mimic our past life trauma, but we are still affected by those residual experiences. If we want to feel more clear and light, we have to dig for reasons behind our behavior or needling energy, especially if it doesn’t make sense.
Healers can locate some of the wounding in our karmic coat and explain what happened, why and how it affects us in our daily lives. Knowledge is power, power to change and clear our mind from fear, anxiety and overwhelm. Some healers can facilitate the energy out of the energetic layers. When this happens, we feel more peace in our mind, our bodies feel light and the anxiety and fear dissipates or in some cases disappears. We then see our world in a different manner. What may have seemed too daunting or scary, may appear exciting or do-able. Or simply, we may not over react to the environment around us. So many times, we walk through life reacting, letting our emotions drive rather than our mind. With karmic release we’ll have more opportunities to accept and/or feel motivated to change our environment consciously. Not because we need to out of guilt or fear but because we want to, because our minds are at peace and we no longer wage war with the world inside ourselves-- and that is a big difference.
When my client pounded her fists onto the couch and said, “Is
my life EVER going to get any less difficult? Why does life
keep throwing curve balls at me and when is it going to stop!”
I understood just how she felt, along with many other clients of
My reply to her was, “Well, life probably won’t stop throwing
curve balls but you do get a choice in how to deal with them.
And since the curve balls won’t stop coming, you might as
well do something to help yourself–or not.”
And this is where I start my work with many of my clients,
whether they come to my office for trauma-related work,
improving relationships or spiritual work or all three; it all
comes down to making the choice to work on yourself and
loving yourself on a deeper level. Peace = Self Love. As we
grow more peaceful, our world around us mirrors that peace
and balance. The biggest step is choosing to do the work, and
if you’re reading this right now, I’d say you are ready to do the
My connection to spirit is strong. As a child, I heard and felt
my angels. At the age of nine while laying on a picnic table at
UCSC, I was surrounded by pure light and felt lifted and taken
away to a place of indescribable peace. Later, the woman who
trained me in the psychic arts, said I was taken by the angels.
Since then, I’ve been striving to return to that level of peace.
At the age of 12, I started training in Karate. When I turned 14,
my Sensai pulled me aside with four other students and told us
we were gifted and ready to start a deeper level of spiritual
training, which included breath work, meditation and chanting.
This opened up my world and I realized how much more was
going on in the universe and that we could access it. My 14-
year-old mind thought it was the coolest thing ever.
What I’ve learned from years of practice is that connecting to
spirit will bring us into our soul’s desire-- and that is peace -
which means freedom from the fearful constructs in our minds.
When we connect, we decrease and/or sometimes altogether
lose our fear, we resonate with the peace and before we know
it, we’re breaking old negative patterns, moving energy and
changing our beliefs about the world around us. I will write
about this from 15 years of case studies of what has worked
and what has not. I also teach classes on developing peace and
building spiritual connection and intuition as well as other
classes. Please click on my “services” button for more
information on what I offer.
And last but certainly not least, I am married with two
children. I love to meditate, take long walks, sometimes surf,
collect sea glass, and eat excellent food with excellent wine
and wonderful friends.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
And amidst the chaos
Keep Peace within your soul-Max Ehrman
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