Self Care: Scheduling

On the Beach
Beach Time

Taking good care of myself is the most important thing I can do to keep my healings effective and my sessions energized.

It’s so crucial for me to not over work. I enjoy my work so much it does not feel like I’m working, so it is important that I tune into my needs regularly.

To do this, I ask myself two basic questions every work day that let me know if I am taking care of myself (and therefore my clients).

In the morning, I look at my healing and massage sessions booked for the day and I ask myself, “Am I excited about my schedule? Am I looking forward to every session booked?” If not, my schedule needs to be adjusted.

At the end of the day, I ask myself, “How do I feel? Do I feel happy and satisfied or do I feel drained?” After my sessions I expect to still feel inspired. It’s OK to feel tired, but not drained.

If I do feel drained I immediately block out some time for whatever I need to feel restored. This could mean a weekend away, a day off, or a morning for meditation. It could mean scheduling a healing for myself with another practitioner, breakfast with a friend or time in my art studio.

Even though my life can get out of balance fairly quickly, tuning into my needs with these questions keeps me from burning out, losing my enthusiasm or getting sick. I’ve been using these questions for the last 15 years to keep my healing practice grounded, and I plan to keep  asking them for the next fifteen years.

A Healing Community

Here I am recieving a healing from HTP Julie Bergum.
Here I am receiving a healing from CHTP Julie Bergum in 2004.

Community is an essential factor in my success as a self-employed healer. As a Healing Touch Practitioner, I have a local community of active Practitioners to call on for my own self-care and to refer clients to when I am on vacation. I also belong to the Healing Touch Program (HTP),  an international association for professional development that supports me in growing my business and provides me with resources for learning to become an even more grounded, present, and effective healer.

Many years ago I realized how important community was as a self-employed business owner when I had a massage client who was a chef in a stressful, high-pressure restaurant. She worked long hours and professional cooking was very hard on her body. Being a chef is a very physical activity.

She finally quit that job and started her own catering company. She did very well right from the start, was always busy and could choose her clients and schedule. Yet in just under two years after she started working for herself she went back to full-time restaurant work. I couldn’t believe it. Why did she give up her successful business?

When I asked her, she told me she found working for herself to be too lonely.

I realized then how important my friends, family, colleagues, and community were to the success of my business and my overall sense of well-being.

So, as a self-employed healer, I belong to several healing communities. The Healing Touch Network of the East Bay/San Francisco is one of them. We meet quarterly on the first Monday of each month in Lafayette, California. Healing Touch Practitioners attend from all over the San Francisco Bay Area to share a potluck dinner and catch up on Healing Touch events in the area. There is also a talk or presentation on a related healing subject. We support each other on all levels: personal and professional.

I am always incredibly inspired by these meetings. I learn what other Healing Touch Practitioners are doing in their practice and which hospitals, clinics, and hospice facilities have Healing Touch available. This is valuable for my clients when they are interested in finding Healing Touch for themselves, friends and family who may be staying in local medical facilities.

As I mentioned above, I also belong to the national Healing Touch Program (HTP). HTP has a worldwide Healing Touch Conference every year that I am planning to attend next year. Every year I attend the Healing Touch regional conferences and this year we will be in Santa Barbara. The Healing Touch Program is a great resource for staying connected with the current healing trends and learning new skills. It’s also really a fun weekend.

HTP also has a free online periodical, Energy Magazine that I think is the most interesting and relevant energy periodicals published.

Another very important benefit to being connected to my healing community is that I am able to refer my clients. When I go away on vacation, or get a cold and can’t work with clients who have a compromised immune system, I can send them to another local Certified Healing Touch Practitioner in the San Francisco Bay Area and I know they will be in good hands. I can’t imagine the responsibility of feeling like I was the only person who could help someone feel better during a long round of chemotherapy.

I’m so grateful for my Healing Touch community. Without my community support, I know being a solitary healer would be stressful and lonely. I wouldn’t be able to truly help my clients in the best possible way.

Community helps me realize I’m not alone. Today there is a whole consciousness shift in the world and people are opening to the potentials of energetic healing that is inherently available to all of us. I’m very excited to be a part of this community and this awakening.

Breathwork Circles In Emeryville, California

A Space to Breathe

Breathing in a group is a wonderful way to experience Clarity Breathwork for the first time.

Mary Gaetjens and I hold monthly Clarity Breathwork Circles in Emeryville, California. Our last Breathwork Circle was last Monday, and even though it’s now Friday, I’m still feeling the deep connection and healing energy that the circle created.

Facilitating these circles with Mary is as profound and as powerful as breathing in the circle.  I am always amazed at the breakthroughs, insights and transformation that happen each month. Breathing in a group creates an energetic space that is incredibly supportive and consciousness changing. Breathing in a group is also a wonderful way to connect and be in community with other people who are committed to their personal growth.

In my Breath practice I regularly have private sessions that take me to profound states of higher consciousness and keep me emotionally, physically and mentally balanced in my daily life. Yet I have also found that breathing in a group gives me access to energies and supports me in ways I may never have experienced otherwise.

We invite you to check out our Circle! Our Clarity Breathwork Circles usually meet the first Monday of every month. The next Circles are scheduled for October 3rd, November 7th and December 5th. The circle starts at 6:30 pm and is over at 9:30 with plenty of time to integrate your experience after the Breathwork. The exchange for each circle is $35.00. Call Mary at 510-393-7671 or myself at 510-601-9632 for directions and to reserve a space.  We do limit the number of monthly participants to 12.

“Healing Yourself With Breath” A Guided Clarity Breathwork Session by Ashanna Solaris

A Guided Clarity Breathwork Session CDThe great thing about having a blog is sharing the ideas and practices that have made such a difference in my life. This guided meditation is one of those gifts.

I have listened to this CD hundreds of times. I still hear Ashanna say the perfect affirmation at the perfect time for the perfect breathe and, even though I know better, it feels like I never heard her say it before that moment. It’s an oracle breath session; I receive guidance and insights, as well as feel clear, centered and more focused afterwards.

This CD has also guided me to heal my physical body. I was hit by an SUV in a cross walk several years back. For months after I would feel my back “give out” in the middle of the day. To rebalance and energize my back, I’d put on this CD and breath for 15 minutes. I start with Track 4 for these shorter jumpstart sessions. Just 15 minutes of breathing helped me relax my muscles and rebalance my spine so that my body felt strong. Then I could work comfortably until the end of the day. It was quite remarkable.

Healing my own back injury made me realize that breathwork is a powerful modality for healing back and spine issues.

Click here to order Ashanna’s” Healing Yourself with Breath”. This CD also features the incredible harp music of Lisa Lynne. Click here for more of Lisa’s music and CDs.

I also have an article on the Clarity Breathwork website about how Clarity Breathwork and the CD “Healing Yourself with Breath” changed my life and healed my migraines.

Self Chakra Connection

Doing the chakra connection on yourself is a wonderful way to ground and center in the morning. It is also helpful to release the stress of the day and prepare you for sleep. At night you can visualize the hand positions and slowly breathe into each position as you make your way up the body.

I recommend that you hold each position one to three minutes or until you feel a “shift.” A shift may feel like a pulsing between your hands. If you are holding your foot, it can also feel like your foot “expands” or “fills up.” You may also experience a shift as the sudden impulse to change to the next position.

I many times feel energy as “warmth” or “fullness.” Energy and energetic shifts can feel quite different from one day to the next.

You may not feel anything at all and that is fine. The energy is still connecting in your body.

I suggest you set an intention for the highest good for yourself as you start the connection and stay as present as you can during the hand positions. Enjoy!