The art of letting go

Four years ago, I took a couple of my friends out along a lesser-known trail to “the blow hole” – a formation of rock cliffs which funnel the ocean waves up and into an impressive spray, like a whale’s blow hole.

It was a magical day, with a sobering footnote: that’s the day our crap-box 1986 Toyota Tercel started to struggle with hills. We could not afford to repair it, so we very quickly reconciled ourselves to life in Tofino without a car. It was the beginning of a 2.5 year financial rebuilding phase which saw us biking through all weather, all year long. It was tough, but we didn’t resist the change. We embraced it, and our friend commented on how rapidly we made the mental adjustment, with little outwardly expressed stress.

This, our housing situation, reminds me of that day, when we embraced the inevitable and sold our car for $500 before it broke down completely.

We have learned to weather these transitions in this way because we have become aware of how much resistance drains energy and compounds stress. We don’t need or want that, and once you’ve really mastered the art of letting go, it becomes a reflex.

It’s like you’re swinging on a vine, and you feel it start to give. You could grip to it all the tighter, bemoan the reasons for it breaking, try to repair it before it gives way – or you can focus on the next vine… and leap.

I’m not a big fan of phrases like, “leap and the net will appear!” This has not been our life’s experience. Leap and learn how to land. Leap and learn how to roll. Leap, aim high, and land strategically.

That’s what we’re doing here.

I’m amazed at the mental shift this change has caused for me. When the vine is breaking, and you KNOW you’re going to leap, you stop thinking about whether this spot or that spot might be better to swing to. When you have to make a decision *now* it’s a lot easier to sort through your feelings.

There is *nothing* for sale, or for rent, in our local market, that we can afford. That could change, we might get lucky, but it very well could be the breaking vine.

We may have to return to civilization.

For ten years, we have lived without easy access to mainstream retailers. The pharmacy closes at 5pm, and the grocery store at 8pm. If your car needs a repair, they can fit you in sometime next week.

It’s a town where few people lock their doors, and many still leave their car keys in the visor or dash. Lots of folks go on unemployment in the winter, and everyone tries to sell their stuff at the same time to drum up cash.

It’s also beautiful. It’s wild! There are eagles, cougars, wolves and orcas! There are thousand year old trees, and the billion year old ocean! In our ten years here, NONE OF THIS has gotten old for me! I love it just as much now, as ever.

But Ucluelet and Tofino requires sacrifice to stay here, housing is a big sacrifice. If we were determined to stay, we could probably rent a house with roommates… but we have done that already. We just are not that determined. We have already sacrificed quite a lot to live here.

We are getting comfortable with letting go, getting excited for our new adventure. It will be an adventure – a return to society after ten years in isolation. A return to a job market with multiple options for both of us. A return to a place with other queer people, with academia, and *food delivery*.

When we started adding up all the ways our rural isolation is consistently challenging in basic survival needs, let alone flourishing enough to plan for retirement one day, we realized that the bloom is off the Nootka rose. Perhaps we are being pushed because it’s simply time to go, and we’ve been resistant to making this change of our free will.

Every time I feel into the future intuitively, I see my spirit family there, smiling and reassuring, giving me optimism and encouraging me to let go…

and leap.

Pushed from the nest!

It’s been an eventful week. On Tuesday I received an email, which felt to me like an earthquake:

Hi Kate,

I am sending you this email to let you know that (my husband) and I have given this considerable thought.

We will be listing (your house) for sale. I’ll be giving (the realtor) your contact information. (The realtor) will contact you and give you Notice, when she needs to walk through your home to do an Evaluation and also for future showing.

I would like you to know that you are our Tenants as long as we own the property. When there is a new owner, according to the Residential Tenancy Rules of BC, they must give you a minimum of Two Month Notice to Vacate if they want you to vacate or
the new Owners may want to keep you as Tenants. The decision is theirs to make.

If you have any questions please email me,

Sincerely,
(Landlady)

Sweetie and I are in for a big change, but we’re not sure what that’s going to look like yet. We have *loved* living in our house these past few years, and our landlords are straight up the best landlords I have ever rented from, in 20 years of renting. I have no resentment towards them for placing the house for sale – they have been so good to us! This event was not unexpected, we figured it would happen eventually, which is why for the past few years we’ve been doing everything we can to save money so that we can buy our own house.

In fact we attempted to buy a little place earlier this year and we were unsuccessful, so we resolved to stay put for another year or so before trying again.

Well, now we’re probably going to get evicted by new property owners. It likely won’t happen for at least 3 months (the house has to sell, and then they must give us notice) but three months isn’t a lot of time, really.

The realtor last night said she has sold this place 3 times in the past 20 years, and it’s always been an investment / rental property, and that no one has had to move before… but honestly I think she was just saying that so we wouldn’t be grumpy to prospective buyers. (We wouldn’t do anything to impede the sale anyway.) The real estate market has spiked in our area, and our landlords have every right to cash in… but there is no way the new investors are going to want to keep us on, paying the rent we’re paying, when they could evict us, renovate the unit, and rent it for double what we pay. Yes, that’s legal, and known as a “reno-viction”.

It’s not a surprise that this is happening, we were just hoping we’d have some more time before it did.

The last time we moved, in 2015, life felt pretty chaotic. We almost left our beloved West Coast. Rental housing is extremely difficult to come by, and what is available is ridiculously costly. We lucked into our current housing because my friend bought her first house, and we slid into her rental at her rate, because the landlords liked us and didn’t want to bother listing it. It’s why we bought our car, which was a whole other ordeal we could barely afford at the time, but it was the only way we’d have a shot at renting our current place. It’s been my favourite place to live. I *love* this house.

And I love living here, on the West Coast. We are so blessed, so fortunate. We could not have done this without my psychic business, either. My friends, you are all a part of this.

We do want to stay here. If we can’t find a way to buy a place, or a rental we can afford, our “worst” case scenario is to leave the area and start again somewhere new. People have to do this in life, sometimes, and where we end up if that happens will depend upon what hospital job I can find. That’s another potential loss as I *love* my hospital job.

But we’re not at the job searching phase yet. We’re in the investigating and listing possibilities phase.

(photo credit)

As I was driving through the provincial park this morning – the world’s best commute, by the way – I was thinking about how this earthquake of an event has cracked open our insulated little life here, and is showing us many different possibilities. Because a change in the near future is *necessary*, it has shifted our frame of minds to see every possibility, and assess them pragmatically, even though there are powerful emotions surrounding *all* of them.

I’m a grounded, and sensitive person. I would really have preferred this change to happen on our terms, when we’re ready, when we are moving *on purpose*. But that’s not how life always works. I have never once been able to accurately predict what my own life would look like 5 years down the line! I like to be flexible and embrace life’s possibilities, even while I grieve the potential change.

Ugh my friends, I don’t want to leave!

I have really appreciated all I’ve invested in therapy in the past 3 years. I haven’t written a lot about it, but it’s been a big part of my life. When my mother got sick, and my life became all about making as much money as I could so I could visit her a few more times before she died, the anxiety (on the heels of losing our coffee business, by the way) pushed me to a limit in my brain. For the first time in my life, I found myself struggling to cope with anxiety and normal life challenges, and all I could do was shut down. It was scary for me, and even after our life stabilized, my mother passed, and we were safely moved into our wonderful house, I found myself struggling to manage my anxiety, and I wrote about it a few times. I also developed an eating disorder, which I’ve written somewhat about, and I developed symptoms of PTSD which I got some effective therapeutic help with. Oh yeah, and I dealt with chronic pelvic pain, and had a major surgery. I’ve been busy, sorting out my brain and my body!

It’s all been positive. It’s been worth it too, because I know if this notice of high potential for eviction had come through even a year ago, I don’t know if I would have coped without panicking.

I’m not panicking. And I’m marvelling that my nervous system is handling this uncertainty so well! Somewhere along my self-healing journey, the part of my brain that felt broken by the overwhelming challenges of 2012 – 2015 has healed, and I’m back to the me I remember from my 20s, where I wasn’t afraid of change, or a challenge. Hello there, old Kate! I so appreciate this realization.

I mean, this could potentially result in uprooting our *entire lives* – which we sacrificed so much to create – and start all over again in another community leaving behind our jobs, our friends and support systems, and our beloved wild west coast. This would have turned me inside out if this had happened any sooner.

But here we are, and I can honestly say that nothing bad is happening here. We are healthy, thank god! There is a lot of good in our lives, and maybe, just maybe, we are being pushed because we need it.

Maybe we will be able to buy something, and then we’ll *really* be living our west coast dream. Or maybe we’ll find another “miracle” rental that will buy us another year or two. Or maybe we’ll move somewhere else and start over, and if so, there will be good things about wherever we end up.

There’s a lot of Buddhist practice I notice coming up right now. We are going to be proactive and prioritize what we *want* to happen, and make sure we do everything we can to make that happen, but the outcome isn’t guaranteed, and we can’t become overly attached to our most-wanted outcomes. Attachment to outcomes can really be a motivator for action, like it was for our coffee business, like it was for our cross-country move to BC, but what really counts is the action we take, and my own ability to regulate my energy, my attachments. It’s so helpful.

So stay tuned, folks! 2019 is going to be a big transitional year for us! Send us good vibes!

And hey, I just launched a special discount for Blog Friends, my “Friendship Circle” mailing list. Sign up here and you’ll get $25 off your next session with me. It’s my thank you to you for caring enough about my story, and my writing, to subscribe. Make sure you’re on the list!

Spring Special SOLD OUT in 24hrs!

Thank you to everyone who booked!

WOW that sold out faster than any promotion I have ever done previously! Thank you so much everyone.

I have a feeling that there are more than a few who missed out, because this special went so fast. I’m going to come up with something for you all to bring forward… stay tuned.

Yahoo! ~$50 off~ Spring Sessions!

James & Katie

Happy Spring my Friends!

Well, it may not feel like Spring to many of us across the world, especially if you have SNOW and COLD!  Here in Tofino, it snowed last night for the first time in *three years*!  *It covered the daffodils!  SOB!*

So I’m going to make it feel like Spring today, by launching this special discount full of flowers and warmth and welcome to you!  Woo hoo!

Spring Special (1)

That’s $133 for a ONE-HOUR session!  I’m only offering this on sessions scheduled *before June* though, so book yours quickly and by the time we talk, it will REALLY be Spring!

If you’re one of the wonderful new folks here, I just want to gently point out this is the first time I’ve offered a discount on regular sessions in *years*.  I usually will do a pet session discount, or my annual New Year Report card special, but I have *never offered a $50 discount* before – ever!

I just felt like I wanted to this time.  I do a little exercise when I’m working with the “energy” of my offerings.  I sit with it for some time and see how it feels, and my $20 discount which I have offered here and there in the past just didn’t feel *exciting enough* for this BLEARY ol’ February!  So I upped the ante until I came to $50 off!

I have already sent this promo out to my email list, and as I’m writing this blog post, I have already TWO bookings!  (Thanks CH and MP!)  I think this special might just book up faster than any one I’ve done before!  (That’s probably why it feels exciting to me!)

*** UPDATE *** OMG – people!  There are only 4 spots left!

So join me this Spring for this special session just for you!

You can book your session here!

Talk to you soon!

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Kate’s Top 5 Favorites of 2018!

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I thought I’d kick off 2019 by sharing some of my favourite things, Oprah style, from this past year that has helped me, enhanced my life, educated me, or fascinated me.  Here we go!

 

Food Psych Podcast

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Through my health struggles and reaching out to various practitioners, doctors, naturopathic doctors, therapists, nutritionists, I developed an eating disorder.  Actually, what really happened was years of disordered eating habits mutated into an eating disorder.  I didn’t realize I had so many disordered eating habits, as that behavior is so normalized in our culture, and I was never considered “underweight” by BMI standards – even at my thinnest when my friends told me I was getting too thin.

It wasn’t until my body rebelled, and refused to get smaller no matter what behavior I engaged in, and then my surgeon told me to lose weight before my hysterectomy even though I’d been trying for years to reduce.  I was afraid I wouldn’t be allowed to have the surgery if I didn’t manage to lose weight – but it also didn’t make intuitive sense.  Before spiraling down too far on the road marked “bulimia”, I reached out to my friends, my survival instinct of “I just can’t live like this,” kicked in, and I talked to the surgical nurse to confirm they wouldn’t actually withhold the surgery if I didn’t succeed in losing any weight.  The nurse surprisingly said that most people actually didn’t lose weight before the surgery, which makes me wonder why on earth this surgeon, awesome and skilled as she was, recommended weight loss before surgery at all.

Fortunately, I found Food Psych.  This podcast, more than any other podcast about diet culture, intuitive eating, health at every size, and gentle nutrition, helped to confirm for myself that a lot of the messaging I’d internalized from all these professionals in my life was actually just wrong, and that the medical world which I also work in, is incredibly biased when it comes to weight.

I mean, I’d gotten to the point where the list of foods I couldn’t / shouldn’t eat due to my attempts to curb my pelvic pain and weight gain was so long that I would often feel anxiety or panic about what I could eat at all.  It was not a healthy place to be in, which is ironic because I was putting so much time and energy into trying to be HEALTHY!

I highly recommend the Food Psych podcast to everyone, because diet culture affects us and oppresses us all, and until we are educated, we actually perpetuate this oppression on ourselves and each other!  Let’s just STOP!  And get happier J

Okay, That’s quite a lot on Food Psych.  I wonder how long this post is going to get!

 

Massage Therapy

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For decades, I have avoided massage therapy.  Frankly, I don’t like being touched that much, and I feel like to pick up the therapist’s thoughts once in a while.  I can’t know for sure if that’s what’s happened, but even if what pops into my head during a massage is NOT telepathic sponging, it IS, at the very least, a sign of how uncomfortable I am.

Well, this year I decided to figure out how to get over my massage hangups, because I frankly really needed the help.  My recovery from surgery this past year has not been the upward gently inclined plane I had visualized it would be (not complaining, I just expected I’d be hiking regularly by now and feeling great about it, instead I still get exhausted by a 1 hour walk.)  I have done *so much physiotherapy* and found it to be frustrating, because I really couldn’t progress past 20 – 30 reps for exercises that were supposed to help my knees, lower back, and endurance.

About 6 months ago, my neck started to seize up.  Nothing I could do would fix it, and the discomfort was constant, and prevented me from sleeping well or enjoying my days.  I decided to go see a local massage therapist to see if it would help, and it DID, though it hurt like hell at times, and I felt like the therapist was having thoughts about my body.  For a while I thought I was just being self-conscious.  At one point when I commented that my calves were one of my favorite body parts, she replied, “Yes, they’re very lean,” and I felt like she thought I liked my calves because they had no fat on them.  This may not be what she meant at all, but really, what could she have meant?  She couldn’t have meant “strong”, which is what I meant, because “strong” and “lean” are very different things.

She was a super-skilled massage therapist and I absolutely would recommend her to friends, but there was something about her that fed my inner eating disorder monster – and that may have had nothing to do with her.  Regardless, I decided to switch to a different massage therapist for a different issue.

After my neck issue was resolved, it still didn’t resolve that my physio exercises just weren’t improving my ability to go on long hikes, and I was (AM) getting frustrated.  It’s been a YEAR since my surgery after all, shouldn’t I be all better by now?

Well I happened upon some physiotherapists on youtube, (stay tuned for my next favorite thing) and saw a simple exercise for the gluteus medius that immediately tickled my brain as the RIGHT THING!  In attempting to do this exercise over the next two weeks, I realized that my gluteus medius was just not functioning like it should, and that my legs in general were actually extremely stiff and sore all the time.

It’s funny how “stiff and sore” doesn’t register as pain at all, and therefore my brain didn’t really bring it to my attention.  It wasn’t until I started focusing on this area of my body for several days in a row that I realized something was wrong.

If I can’t even do these physio exercises, and I can feel the muscle engage but then crap out after a few minutes, I realized that my low back and butt is probably in the same shape as my neck was… so I decided to try a different massage therapist.

Different therapists have different communication styles, and even different ways of working the body, so I thought I’d try a different therapist at the same practice, just to see if I liked her better.

SHE. WAS. AWESOME!  Such a great listener – meaning, she listened with empathy, and I think she must have some background in energy work as well, because the session felt like massage therapy, but also like a light reiki treatment too.  Today my ass feels AMAZING and I actually feel like I want to go on a 2 hour hike and my body will handle it!  I can’t believe how much energy it freed up in my body!

Massage therapists are expensive for people to see on a regular basis if you don’t have benefits that cover the service, as I do.  However, I have found that massage therapists, particularly young ones looking for experience and new clients, can be more flexible on their prices or even willing to work for trade.  Back when Sweetie and I were entirely self-employed through our coffee roastery, I traded coffee for massage, as I was able to write off the coffee and it cost far less than the hourly rate of the session – and the therapist was happy with that.

If massage, or talk therapy, is something you really need for your health and you can’t afford the list price, there’s no harm in reaching out with a *very polite* non-entitled email explaining your situation and asking if they had any flexibility in their pricing or if they’d be willing to do a trade for whatever product or service you can bring to the table, be it child care, property maintenance, cleaning, etc.  You may be surprised.

I’m very optimistic about my butt right now, I think I may have hit on the thing that will get me hiking again!  And you know what that means – I can get another dog!

 

Physiotherapy

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I have mentioned before how pelvic floor physiotherapy helped me quite a bit, but it’s been a frustrating year for physio as mentioned above.  This does not sound like physio is one of my favorite things, does it?  But it IS because I know once you hit on the RIGHT physio exercise, my function and my LIFE improves dramatically!

Just like massage therapists, if you’re not making progress or something feels off with a physiotherapist, don’t give up, try a different practitioner, and do your own research too.  Try youtube videos!  Talk to your friends!  Just keep trying, because that’s the only way you’ll find what you need.

 

“Healing from Hidden Abuse” by Shannon Thomas LSCW

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This book was SO HELPFUL to me, and I think a number of my blog friends will find it helpful too.  I have often felt like I must be “creating something out of nothing” when it came to many formative life experiences and social dynamics in my life.  Sorry to be vague, but the abuse continues if I get too specific.

This book helped me to understand what psychological abuse is, it helped me to understand how I was also an abuser as a child, cast as a “flying monkey” before I really had my own understanding of the situation.  It is helping me to understand the cycle of abuse, which is something that drives our whole world, and it’s helped me to pick apart difficult dynamics I’ve encountered in my professional career as well.

What really enthused me was the information on how psychological abuse and spiritual abuse can team up. 

This is something I’ve seen in spiritual communities near and dear to my heart!

I’ve seen people vilified if they “go against” someone in the group who holds more power or status than they do.  This is a real danger when you have one person, or a few people, who represent a group.  We see this in cults, we see it in entrepreneurial groups, and heartrendingly, we see this in spiritual groups with leaders choosing to single out someone publicly, gaslight them privately, or recruit “flying monkeys” to abuse this individual by proxy.

If you’ve ever been bullied, if you’ve felt singled out or ostracized, if you’ve felt hurt but wondered if you were just “too sensitive”, this book may give you some surprising and liberating insights!

I recommend it to just about anyone who’s interest in piqued, because abuse dynamics are everywhere in our culture.  They’re in our families, our workplaces, and in our entertainment.  We are so indoctrinated to accept this treatment that we may even unintentionally perpetuate it on to others – maybe even to those closest to us.

It is a surprisingly good read, and I’ve read a LOT of books like this in the past three years, since I went into treatment for PTSD in 2016.  Many of these books were helpful, but Healing from Hidden Abuse was so validating, and understanding my experiences through this lens has been freeing and uplifting.  Shannon’s examples and descriptions were easily relate-able and I could see my own life experiences in her words.  I actually listened to the audio version on audible.com

 

The Joyful Telepathy Podcast

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Okay, yes, I am wearing my self-promoting fascinator just for a moment, but I am also being sincere when I say how grateful I am to have started the podcast, and to have received so much support from my listeners.  It has facilitated many important discussions, talks I *never would have had* without the podcast!  Joyful Telepathy has brought me friends, helped me to teach, and has taught me the skills to launch my audio class, Telepathic Communication with Animals and Spirit.

My favourite discussions of 2018 were:

Talking to Animals 101 with Jessica

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The Freddie Mercury Afterlife Interview

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AND OF COURSE, the Fabulous conversation with psychic medium / holds her doctorate in clinical psychology, the wise and wonderful Dr. Lana!  The episodes are here:  Part 1 and Part 2.

And that, my friends, is my Top 5 Favorite things in 2018!  Have a wonderful day!

 

Cover art for massage therapy graduation. Watercolor. Artist: Brynja Magnusson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019: The Year of Leaving Behind!

Leaving Behind

 

I think I’m not alone in being busy – 2018 was one beautiful, but hectic year for me.  I realized today that it’s been a while – too long – since I sat in silent meditation.

 

I’ve noticed that when I feel too busy, I tend to push off the very things that are good for me, and help me cope with busy-ness.  Yoga is something I used to do daily, and haven’t done in a while, and given my feelings of inner restlessness, I decided to start there.
I’m not one of these yoginis who finds all her peace and solace on her mat.  Sometimes, it’s the opposite.  If I’m moving through a series, guided by yoga youtube which I’d done before, and notice I can’t quite keep up to my old pace, or I’m not really enjoying it as the exertion is beyond my ease, I can end up feeling mentally worse on the mat than on the couch!  But that’s a head problem, and knowing it’s been a while, I took a moment to get my head right, and proactively encourage myself to move through at least 10 minutes, and modify wherever I needed to without shame.

 

Funny how an exercise meant to be self-care can end up being self-shaming if you’re not completely on top of yourself.  Being real here – I will never pretend to have my inner life together at all times, because none of us do.  In fact, if you find someone on youtube, Instagram, facebook etc., who appears to have all of their act together at all times, be skeptical and wonder for a moment what they’re choosing not to share.

 

So anyway, I got on my mat, went through the movements, and felt myself click back into a place, intuitively, that I haven’t felt since 2013, (the year my mother was diagnosed.)  It was a deeply peaceful, meditative place.  I have been breathing and moving in the years since 2013, certainly!  Today was different though, and I’ll tell you why I think that is:

I have decided that 2019 is going to be my Year of Leaving Behind. 

Since 2012, I have been so focused on surviving, then doing everything I could to visit my mother as often as I could before she died, then processing the endless geyser of emotional upheaval that continued to erupt in the years since her death!  Huge shifts happened within out family dynamic.  Big emotional events caused relational earthquakes.  My reproductive health took a nosedive and took over my life.  Even childhood events began to demand attention by showing up with unrelenting PTSD-like symptoms.

I coped pretty well, I think.  I went to therapy.  I went to doctors.  I talked to my friends.  I wrote about much of these challenges in this blog!  (Thank you so much for reading!  You help me more than you know!)

2018 has been an incredible year for me, after all we have worked through.  Sweetie and I got married!  I healed from my surgery.  I launched my Telepathic Communication Class.  I did more sessions this year than I’ve ever done in previous years.  My practice is growing, my health is improving, and I can feel things moving forward again.

To facilitate this forward motion, I’ve decided that 2019 is the year I let things go.  I have put so much energy into healing myself, and through that journey, I’ve learned that I really can *only* heal myself.

 

I can’t heal the past, no matter how much I think about it.

While I can certainly help other people, I can’t heal them through only my own effort.

Though I can express my own convictions, I can’t change other’s opinions.   I’m responsible for my actions, but not for what people think of me, my life, or what I choose to do with it.

 

My mission for 2019 is to let all of that go.

 

I’m going to leave behind the expectations that I internalized from other people.  This covers A LOT.

Instead, I am going to remind myself of the standards which *I* hold dear.

 

I’m going to leave behind the wishes and hopes and sighs of “if only things had been different”, because they weren’t, and really, that’s okay.

I going to remind myself to hold compassion for myself and for the other people in those thoughts.

 

I’m going to release responsibility and attachment for relationships I would love to have, but aren’t within my reach.

I will gently remind myself that I am not responsible to do all of the work that needs to be done.  And I will gently blanket myself with a new layer of emotional protection, which I deserve.

 

I don’t really do New Year’s Resolutions – in fact, I’ve been known to resolve to eat an egg for breakfast that very day – and that’s it, resolution accomplished!  However, I have been known to take up prayer this time of year, and I thought I’d share a bit of that with you.

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I have a prayer book.  Not a book of prayers written by other people, but prayers I’ve written myself.  Sometimes I call these, “letters to God”.  I do see myself in partnership with someone greater than myself, and as my understanding of spirituality expands.

 

Sidenote!

I’m learning more about Judaism right now, and the philosophy discussions I’m listening to are so engaging – exciting, even.  All the years I attended the teachings of a dear Buddhist monk who takes the time to travel all the way out to the coast, I never felt the excitement of “yes I believe that!” or “Yes, I value that!”  So much about Buddhism is letting go, releasing expectation, attachment, giving love freely, believing in the butterfly effect of loving kindness, inner reflection, and unconditional compassion.  It’s a lifelong commitment and I *will* always carry these teachings forward.

I owe Buddhism so much in my ability to cope with physical and spiritual distress, and the meditation practice is something I will take with me for the rest of my life.  It is truly a gift.  Whereas Buddhism has brought me quite a lot of peace and strength, and Christianity has brought community, Judaism is really bringing the brain into spirituality – which is exciting!

For example, from Wikipedia:

Jewish ethical practice is typically understood to be marked by values such as justice, truth, peace, loving-kindness (chesed), compassion, humility, and self-respect. Specific Jewish ethical practices include practices of charity (tzedakah) and refraining from negative speech (lashon hara).  

There’s a lot to resonate with there, which I already hold as deep personal values.  I think the thing which I find most exciting about studying Judaism is that there is literally no way I will ever hit the bottom of the philosophical discussions within the community.  I’m not comparing or saying it’s “better” in any way – not at all my point, and I’ve already come across fundamentalist or uber-conservative rabbis who are problematic – it’s just that Judaism as a culture seems to embrace the UNKNOWN aspects of spirituality far more than Buddhism, Wicca, or any version of Christianity I’ve yet encountered.

I am just intrigued by a faith system that admits, “Hey, we don’t really know for sure, why the things that happen here on earth, happen – and we don’t really agree on what happens after you die either!  But we’ve been talking about it for thousands of years!”

A few of the customs I’ve been exposed to through Jewish friends have made an impression on me as well.  For example, in the event of an unexpected death, you still proceed with planned celebrations such as bar mitzvah and weddings, because in life, death walks beside us.  When, this past summer, people criticized a bride roundly for going ahead with her wedding when her mother had died in a surfing accident that morning, I thought of this practice and believe for some families it is completely appropriate not to cancel her wedding, and I believe, as the bride said, this is what her mother would have wanted.  (I don’t know if this family is Jewish or not.)

So the Faithware Upgrade continues!  Back to my prayer book:

 

I have this special journal, with paper so fine and soft I can’t stand to use it for anything but the most vulnerable thoughts in my heart.  This is not a journal for to do lists or business planning, it’s not even practical to write in that often, as the pages are small.  I only write very special things in them – my gratitude for the blessings in my life, and my prayers for support in doing better work, and looking after myself, my wife, and caring for my community.

This book is where I boil everything down to what I have to offer the earth, and what I need to accomplish that.

I haven’t written in this book for four years.

I had almost forgotten what I’d written in it.

After my yoga, I felt the strong urge to just sit in my body, in silent meditation, kegels for the mind!  When I sat upon my mat, with my cat, (ha) I went through my routine of addressing all the thoughts running through my head.  No wonder I like to listen to audiobooks!  It distracts me from all these THOUGHTS!  It took a while for all those thoughts to feel heard, and for my body to make its own state of the union speech, before the space cleared and before me, in my minds eye, I saw my prayer book, and I immediately knew I needed to pick it up and write in it.

 

Before I did, I gently folded back the pages I’d written four to eight years ago, and to my amazement, I could tick off every prayer as answered.  I had never before gone back to check.

My first entry, of course, was a big Thank You.  It’s been quite a journey, these past four years, but I sense a big shift now, like the gathering of momentum under me – the feeling you get when you’re on a horse, cantering across an open straight-away, and with a click of encouragement, you feel your horse shift underneath you, as you get high on her neck, gather yourselves before the burst of speed into a gallop!

 

I don’t know exactly what’s in store for me in the coming years, I do know that I’m ready – not from a place of need (as in, I need things to change) but from a place of growth, where I really can leave these other heavy things behind.

 

Sometimes healing is about letting go, and being at peace with the scar.  One thing is for sure, you can’t truly heal if you keep *looking* at the scar, you just accept it, and when you’re good and ready, you choose to release attachment to the events, the losses, the upheaval that surrounded that scar.  You work with it, and most importantly, you do NOT let it hold you back!

 

Here’s to my Year of Leaving Behind!

May we all release ourselves to gallop towards the future!

 

A very Happy New Year, my blog friends!  Tell me your resolution, if you have one!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Lana is in the house!!!

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My Friends!  It is with great pride and joy that I give you my conversation with Dr. Lana!

Dr. Lana  is herself a psychic-medium AND she holds a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology.  She is currently serving as  a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Clinical Psychology.

Suffice to say, Dr. Lana is straight up overqualified to speak on cultural appropriation, and I’m SO grateful she was happy to have this conversation with me, and help me to tackle some of the *crazy* feedback I received on my original post and video.

You may recall, last May I wrote this blog post, and later posted this video, entitled “Why I No Longer Smudge.”

I knew I’d get some push-back from it, and I was STILL surprised at how much I received, and what these folks had the nerve to say!  Well, Dr. Lana is helping me to tackle the spackle in our two-part conversation, posted on the Joyful Telepathy Podcast!

Part 1 has been posted, and Part 2 will come out NEXT TUESDAY!

I shall attempt to embed the player here:

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Or you can listen on joyfultelepathy.com

OR you can subscribe to the Joyful Telepathy Podcast via Apple Podcasts, or smartphone Podcast app of choice!  Just search for Kate Sitka, or Joyful Telepathy!

Plug in, sit back, and chuckle along with us as Dr. Lana and I bring lightness and brevity to the HEAVY spiritual topics that FEW MEDIUMS DARE TO ADDRESS such as Spiritual Bypassing, Cultural Appropriation, and our response to the comments such as, “I was a ______ in my past life, so I am allowed to use it!”

Stop reading!  Go listen now!

Have you listened yet?  If you have, here is some bonus material!  Because Dr. Lana is a fabulous academic, she has provided us with some further reading material, which I have uploaded here:

Principles of Inner Work – Psychological and Spiritual

Nothing Comes From Nowhere

From Cultural Exchange to Transculturation

Conceptualizing_Religion_and_Spirituality

Tune in Tuesday Dec 11th for PART TWO of our conversation!

And PLEASE feel free to leave your honest and respectful comments and questions here!  It’s okay to not know things – we are all a work in progress and we come from all different life experiences, all that I ask is that you extend your empathy and respect towards others, and observe your own reactions thoughtfully.

Just listening to this episode and *thinking* about these issues is GOOD WORK!  Thank you so much for joining us!

The *Best* Medium Technique???

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When I speak with a client for the first time, I have a “new client blurb” which explains how I make the connection with their loved one, and how I receive information.  Sometimes this is different from what people expect, so I thought I’d talk about it here.

 

Medium to Guide

A few well-known psychics describe working with their guides during every session.  Their guides become their filter, enforce their boundaries, provide protection and aid in grounding.  The experience for the medium who works via their guides is often very similar, session to session.  The telepathic language developed over time between the medium and the guide can become very efficient, and quite detailed, because every session is conducted between the medium and her guide(s), and it’s the guides who are speaking with your loved one on the other side.

The experience for the medium using this technique usually involves visuals.  Some have described it as being on black stage, with spotlights on themselves, their guides, the client’s loved ones, and possibly their loved one’s guides as well.  The medium’s guide does the work of conveying the information between the client’s loved one and the medium, utilizing the telepathic language the guide and the medium develop over their time training.

For the medium, this is a conversation which happens mainly between the medium and the guide, and although the medium may be able to visualize the client’s loved one, there is not a direct connection between the loved one and the medium, because the guide is the one connected with the medium.

I’ve designed this series of graphics to help you visualize what’s happening energetically.  Pay attention not just to the overlaps with the medium, but how each individual being is supporting each other.

Medium's Guide

 

With the Medium – Medium’s Guide – Spirit connection, you can see how most of the energetic output is done by the Medium – Medium’s Guide team.  The Client is supported by their own guide, and their loved one in spirit, and the medium’s own energy is quite separate from the client and connects to the loved one via the medium’s guide.

Of course, sessions tend to be fluid.  The client’s own guide may want to jump in and assist, or connect with the medium directly, or the client might ask the medium to connect with the client’s guide.  All of these energy relationships are very flexible, and there are no rules saying one technique is better, safer, or more correct than another technique.  They’re just different experiences, different paths to the same goal.

Sylvia Browne appeared to use this technique in many of her televised readings, and it’s a great technique to try when you are learning spirit communication – because each session will feel familiar, as your main energy output is between you and your guide.

 

Spirit Medium

The next technique is the one I like to use, which is a direct connection between the medium and the client’s loved one.

My “new client blurb” explains that I make the connection to the loved one in spirit *through the client*.  Some mediums don’t like to do this, because it’s a less controlled environment, energetically.  Instead of being on a smooth lake, it might feel like you’re bobbing up and down on waves of emotion.  Personally, I prefer this technique because I LIKE the feeling of connection with the client, and I prefer the direct connection with Spirit, rather than going through my guide all the time.  I enjoy the variety, I enjoy the challenge of adapting to each individual spirit’s style of communicating, and I find I get a better feel for the spirit’s personality, so I can convey that better to the client.

It’s just a preference, again, no better or worse, just a different technique.  Here it is, visualized:

Medium's Guide (1)

I like to call this the Spirit – Medium technique, which is why I call myself a Spirit Medium.

I like this technique because I can feel everyone there.  I feel like I get to know my client and their loved one better, and I can feel the support of everyone.  I don’t typically speak with my guide or the client’s guide during a session, I connect with the client, and piggy-back off of their love for their person in spirit to invite a connection with their loved one.

John Edward appears to use a combination of the Spirit Medium technique, and the Medium to Guide technique, depending on the situation.  A variation on this technique is connecting directly with Spirit through another tool like a photo, their birth date, or an object the Spirit loved or touched a lot.  Again, the connections shown here are all flexible, and sometimes the client themselves has a telepathic connection with the Spirit, so that gets to be fun in sessions too!

I think this technique contributes to my clients becoming my friends over time, as well.  Often my clients will feel *understood* during sessions, which can be a healing experience.

 

Direct Channeling

The last technique I’ll talk about today is an advanced and sometimes dramatic technique that is Direct Channeling.  Some people will refer to the first two techniques as “channeling” but I prefer to use that word to describe ONLY the following scenario.

This is where the Medium invites the Spirit to overlap in her physical body!  The most complete, intense scenario using this technique will have the medium’s voice and energy change, her gestures and mannerisms would change, and the medium would essentially give Spirit the keys to her car, with Spirit promising to drive carefully and fill it up with gas before bringing it back.

Now, I say this is an advanced technique, but I was surprised when a student of mine described this happening when she was in a sleepy (almost trance) state and her loved one visited her.  I was floored to hear my student describe it!  This is why I don’t tell students to start with one technique first, I like to get to know individual students and find out where their talent is, how they like to communicate, because it’s often easier and faster to work with your natural talents and build on the technique you gravitate to on your own.

Here’s a visual description of the Channeling technique:

Medium's Guide (2)

Here you can see the Medium’s guide is assisting, and the medium hasn’t left her body entirely, she’s merely sharing it.  The medium and her guide could “kick out” the Spirit at any point, but there shouldn’t be a need to assert boundaries because the Spirit doesn’t mean any harm, and is motivated to connect with the Client.

Direct Channeling is where the Medium shifts from being an interpreter, to being a gracious host.

This technique is very intense for the Medium, the Medium’s Guide, and the Spirit, and it can provide experiences for the Client that may not be possible otherwise.  I have heard Clients and friends describe channeling sessions involving hugging the Medium, and having a flash of an experience of hugging their loved one, even experiencing a familiar body odour or scent from the medium that reminded them of their loved one.

There are obvious advantages to this technique, the most obvious being that the Spirit can literally speak for themselves, so errors in interpretation are fewer.

I prefer not to use this technique unless I’m *really moved* to do so, and the client is right in front of me.  I find that when I disconnect enough to allow this to happen, I can’t really be there for my client in the same way.  It’s subtle, but it’s a big difference to me.  I like feeling connected with my Client as well as the Spirit.  For me, the experience of this technique is like a reversal of the flow of water – rather than coming through me, to the client, flowing through to the Spirit and back to me, the flow is coming from the Spirit, through me, to the client.  It feels more like standing under a waterfall than all being in the pool together.

So there you have it – these are three techniques described in general terms.  Remember that before any of these connections happen, the Medium has properly grounded, has mastered her protection and cleansing techniques, is settled, open, relaxed, and calm.

So what’s the *Best* technique?  The one that makes you happy!  The one that leaves you filled with energy and gratitude – whether you’re the Client or the Medium!

For new and developing mediums, you work with the techniques that work best for you, because that’s how you enable yourself to do many sessions instead of a few.  Your sessions should leave you feeling even better than when you started, just like anything else you enjoy doing.  (This also protects you from burnout!)  Always remember to take care of your Clients, too.

If you’re a developing medium yourself, I would love to hear from you!  I do have a class, where I cover all of the essentials leading you up to your first session, and I have built my class so that people can have at least one hour speaking with me about their personal development. 

If you have any questions about my class, or about where you are in your development, please feel free to email me:  tofinopsychic@gmail.com  And if you have any questions about this post, feel free to ask in the comments below!

Talk to you soon!

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New Year Report Cards are back!!!

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Yes my friends, I am offering New Year Report Cards again this year!  They sell out every year – and last year, when I didn’t even advertise them due to the timing of my surgery, people *still* contacted me to book their annual Report Cards – a few of them waiting until Spring for their reading!

I really love doing these special readings, especially for the folks who return year after year.  I do have room for a few new people this year – my regulars have booked 2/3 of the sessions already, but this year I’d love to bring in a few new people!

What are New Year Report Cards you ask?

It’s a special, hour-long session over the phone, with your guides and myself looking at the energy themes at work in your life for the year past – 2018 – and the year 2019 ahead!

It’s a time to process what the past year was about, what you’re working on spiritually, and you get gentle nudges from your guides on directions to follow in the year ahead!

Many fans of my New Year Report Card have told me they refer back to their session as the year progresses and it’s helpful to them all year-long – this is why so many return every year.

And!  I have a special price for my New Year Report Cards – Just $131.25 USD!

Sound good?

You can book your New Year Report Card now! 

Talk to your Petsin Life& in SpiritBook My Report Card! (3)

As always, please feel free to email me if you have any questions at all!

I just love the holiday season!  Have a great day all!

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Last-minute session available!

 

For the first time in three years, one of my clients needed to reschedule her appointment – which means I have a last-minute spot available!

It’s next week – Sunday November 11th, at 11 am PST!

And it’s my *only* appointment spot left for 2018!

Because this is a last-minute booking, I’ve decided to extend my October coupon code for *just this one spot* – book it now and use the code FAMILY2018 for $30 off an hour session with me!

I hope to talk with you soon!

EDIT:  WOW!  Gone in under 10 minutes!