Author Archives: Ann Catherine

About Ann Catherine

Holistic Therapist, Empowerment Coach, Writer and much more residing in the US.

What Is Holistic Therapy?

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Holistic Therapy is a term used interchangeably with reference to Alternative, Complimentary and Adjunct Therapy.

They mean basically the same things, and share the following common core beliefs: Illness, Imbalance, and Dis-ease occur if the body is out of balance, or its natural state of homeostasis.

The body can, and will, heal itself and maintain that natural healthy state if given the right conditions in which to thrive.

The whole individual should be assessed and considered, not just the obvious disease or symptoms of imbalance that present.

Gentler therapeutic approaches must be tried first, prior to employing what would be considered more harsh, or extreme in nature.

Since imbalances that present are the result of an accumulation over time, there is subsequently no quick fix, as healing and balance, or homeostasis, takes time to re-establish.

Natural products and approaches are preferred to synthetic and unnatural ones.

The fundamentals of returning the human system back to homeostasis relies on seeking balance in the following core areas of life and living:

  • Emotionally
  • Mentally
  • Physically
  • Socially
  • Spiritually

Holistic methods when used as a means for healing will complement not only one another, but also conventional and traditional medical approaches and may include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Acupressure
  • Aromatherapy
  • Chiropractic
  • EFT
  • Herbal Medicine
  • Homeopathy
  • Hypnosis/Hypnotherapy
  • Massage
  • Meditation
  • Naturopathy
  • Osteopathy
  • Reiki
  • Yoga

Holistic methods, such as those referenced here, are approaches that require lifelong habit changing practices that will address the core issues that cause illness, dis-ease, and symptoms of imbalance.

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10 Traits of Independent Women

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An independent woman is the “together” woman that gets results in life that she is actually looking for…

10 Power Traits of Independent Women:

1) She has clearly defined goals.
2) She knows what she doesn’t want AND what she wants…and she’s not afraid to go after it.
3) She’s secure with herself and always motivated for success.
4) She lives in the moment without losing sight of her future.
5) She attracts the right kind of people into her life that both accept and support her.
6) She releases her baggage, outmoded beliefs, and relationships that no longer serve her best interest.
7) She has a high sense of self worth, deserving-ness, and purpose.
8) She doesn’t give up easily and picks herself up after setbacks.
9) She picks her battles and thinks before acting.
10) She takes care of herself and is aware of her needs.

The “Big 10”

Can you add to this list? Is there anything you would take away? The “Big 10” here are qualities that every woman not only deserves, but needs to have to live a satisfying life. However, due to social conditioning (since practically birth) women often never have the chance to develop these qualities that most men seem to show from an early age.

Dump Your Baggage

If you want to become stronger, happier and more independent, you have to start at the ground level by releasing your past and the conditioning you received from others that helped to create it. If you’re still carrying around hang-ups and beating yourself up, let me be the first to tell you that it’s not going to help. All negative self talk and image really does for you is negatively reinforce all those things you don’t really like about yourself and your life. Even the people in it…you know…those people that probably never belonged in there in the first place.

Reframe

Reprogramming your subconscious mind and the patterns it creates for you with new positive frameworks is the easiest way to go to accomplish your personal transformation into a successful, independent and purpose driven woman. I’ve seen it innumerable times in my own work – we don’t think and act on a conscious level and it shows…and hurts. We are driven by subconscious patterns and beliefs and often never know it so we can’t consciously change it. Repeating negative pattern over negative pattern is a miserable existence!

Rewire & Replace

Rewiring your brain for good is actually a simple process. YES, really. We act based on what we are told, shown, etc. And then, the subconscious makes sometimes-weird connections to events and pretty soon we are right smack dab in the middle of making mistakes…and lots of them due to the stuff that fills our inner brain. To reverse the negative program process we simply feed that inner mind with all the good stuff that should’ve been put into it in the first place. Suggestions like you deserve to be happy, loved, successful, etc. are simple phrases we sometimes rarely, if ever hear and they are priceless in the boost they can provide us with when given in a steady stream.

Just DO It!

Make the decision to get on your fast track NOW. You deserve to create the strong, healthy bridge between your conscious desires and your subconscious programming so that you can finally maximize your success and happiness in life. You’ll be able to become the soul in this life you were meant to, so go ahead, decide today that you are going to dump those old patterns that have never ever probably really served you in any beneficial way anyway to make room to embrace something better. You just might be surprised and delighted at the new you and what you can do!

Empowered Motherhood

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The Hamster Wheel

Today’s mom has many roles in life. Sometimes we play both mom and dad, balance a career with household and child rearing responsibilities, and rarely we might have a little time left over for ourselves in between carpooling and activities.  Cooking large homemade meals is, for many families, a thing of the past. It’s drive-thru’s and meals out of boxes and bags, and maybe even running out of clean school clothes to wear because there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done we feel driven to do. Some days, when we let it all get to us, we kinda feel like we are in a vicious circle, like we are that crazed hamster running endlessly on a squeaky wheel and can’t escape. 

The bright side is, we don’t have to feel this way. We have choices, choices and more choices on that matter, BUT…

While parenting is very rewarding, when things aren’t going so well with our children, we can become dis-empowered and slip into negative thinking. We might feel as if we are utter failures at parenting when our children display behavioral problems in school or at home, or when they are getting bad grades, and in later years, perhaps dropping out of school or deciding not to pursue a college education.  The scenarios are endless. For the aware mom that has devoted herself selflessly for years on end for the proper care and keeping of her child(ren), these types of situations weigh heavily upon our minds and hearts because we feel like if we’d just done ________, ________ would never have happened.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Once our kid(s) hit that magic age where peer acceptance becomes more important than that of parent’s, the struggle begins. Well-mannered, A/B student with presentable clothing disappears and we sometimes wonder if the body snatchers have invaded and swapped out our kid for perhaps a rude, angry, troubled child with failing grades and a wardrobe (and new friends) to cringe at.  Now in the event of neglectful parenting, an unstable home life, or some kind of trauma, we can better see and understand the “Why’s” behind less desirable changes in personality and habits. Conversely, within the more normal realms of life, these types of potentially alarming changes in a child arise not to make us feel like failures as a mom, but to bring our attention to the fact that our approaches and perspectives on behalf of our maturing child(ren) need to be re-examined and new structures developed.

As a mom of two myself (10 and 12), holistic therapist, and former teacher I have seen a multitude of scenarios and differences in parenting as well as the types of relationships moms have with their kids.  Nonetheless, when I face a situation in which my children aren’t “following the plan”, and acting in ways that don’t serve their highest purpose, I tend to beat myself up too, and wonder where I went wrong.  As time progresses though, I am becoming more mindful of this and learning to redirect the self blame into something more constructive and empowering. Even though we feel extremely responsible for our children’s success and well being, we have to get to the point of gaining a balanced perspective on what we can control when it comes to our children. It’s not easy, going to happen overnight, and it takes time, effort and repetition to change the way we automatically jump to self-blame mode when it comes to choices our children are making.

Something to Talk About

It may be that your child is struggling with an emotional, social or self-esteem issue you are unaware of. The most important opportunity we can take as moms, is the one in which our child is not thriving and doing what we can to bond strongly with them, gain their full trust, and get to the bottom of what’s causing the unhealthy behaviors.  Instead of feeling a sense of having failed as a mom, we instead need to take a red flag as an opportunity to reconnect with our child(ren) and do what we can to encourage them to believe in themselves, their happiness, and potentials.

It’s far too easy for the mom wearing many hats to get caught so caught up in the stresses and demands of working, relationships, parenting, etc., to get into the habit of not being as aware, present and empowered in their parenting.

The Generational Affect

There are no shortcuts to raising children better, healthier and happier than we were or are, which is the way I believe it’s supposed to be. We try to avoid perceived “mistakes” prior generations made for the ultimate purpose of raising children that are not weighted down by the issues we felt resulted from how we were raised.

Being a mom is the most important thing a woman will ever do, as we are creating an ultimate legacy to be carried on in each one of our children.  Does this mean mom shouldn’t have time to herself, or feel as if she needs to be a slave to her children? Absolutely not. What it means is that small mundane things that take up precious moments in our life can be traded in for something of the utmost importance – the time, teaching, loving and guiding of our children.

Sometimes in life things get off track to remind us we need to reinforce our attention and efforts. I believe the same applies to our children. Intervening at the first sign of a potential problem with our kids can avoid problems later down the road. At times, we may feel the need to have our child(ren) see a counselor, doctor, tutor or other professional that can perhaps better address the issue(s) they are experiencing better than we can. Simply becoming aware of an issue and bringing your attention to the fact that a red flag is a cry for your help, and doing something about it to help, is the best we can do.

In a Nutshell

Empowered parenting for moms is about realizing and accepting we wear many hats, and they can’t all fit on at once. Realizing there is no such thing as perfection or ultimate control is the first of many steps as we evolve into motherhood. Doing our best to be emotionally, mentally and physically available and present are the biggest gifts anyone will ever be able to give your child, and will leave a lasting, positive imprint on future generations. If we are not confident in our parenting as moms, something genetically, intuitively, and biologically wired in, what can we feel good about?

Accepting ourselves for who and what we are, being authentic and strong empowers us as mothers, not just as women.  Whether we fully realize our impact our actions will have on our children at a later time is not so much the issue, because if we are present, aware and empowered now, the choices we make on the best behalf of our children will take on a positive life of their own and carry forward.  We want our children to love themselves and be mentally, emotionally and socially well-adjusted, but how many of us as mom’s, women, wives, etc., do nothing but criticize ourselves and live with self-doubt, dragging around guilt and responsibility for a million things we truly have no control over?

The Three R’s

An imbalance of any kind, is simply a reminder that our attention and efforts need to be re-examined, re-focused and re-launched. Perfection is impossible when the mind and ego are the forces fueling our existence. Open awareness, positive intention and effort are the three most significant keys to being empowered as both a woman, and a mom.

 

In Your Dreams

ImageAncient Origins

Dream interpretation is a process of assigning meaning to dreams. In ancient times Egyptians and Greeks considered dreaming a gateway to divine communication and sometimes, intervention. However, the ancients believed that only individuals with certain powers had the ability to determine messages given during the dream state of consciousness. With practice anyone can learn to control dreams and determine types of messages and guidance to receive as well.

Dream interpretation has origins as far back as the 2nd century when Artemidorus created Oneirocitica, the first major work discovered on the meanings of dreams. Later, at the end of the 19th century, dream interpretation became part of Freudian psychoanalysis and is still used today in both psychoanalytic psychology and in hypnoanalysis. Hypnoanalysis, a “modern” technique, actually utilizes your dreams and hypnosis in conjunction with psychoanalytic and other techniques to determine causes of perceived blocks and areas of difficulty.

In ancient Greece, special temples called Asclepieions were constructed for afflicted individuals where cures would be affected through divine forces by dream incubation within the temple confines. We still view dreams today as significant in various capacities. As in the psychoanalytic process, dreams are widely believed to hold answers to hidden subconscious thoughts, feelings, and experiences and in addition, many believe we receive answers to life’s problems during sleep from divine sources. Some of us also receive prophecies, omens, and warnings when dreaming, as were received by the Pharaoh in Genesis and interpreted by Joseph.

Dream interpretation has also become part of popular and new age culture–Edgar Cayce is one example. Cayce believed that the dream process enables individuals to access our higher self. As a result of the connection, Cayce believed that all possible questions could be answered with the proper awareness from our inner consciousness. Many people experience phenomenal events during the dream state that cannot be rationally explained; these experiences range from OBEs, past life remembrances, to the witnessing of future events before the events occur.

New age culture often encompasses the belief that all people are connected to the Source on a soul level, and that information contained within the Source is universal knowledge of all that is, which we all have access to by tapping into the higher self. Scientifically, the part of the brain that controls REM sleep–the state where dreaming most occurs, is the pons, a primitive part of the brain stem that controls automatic reflexes like breathing. Since breathing is an involuntary function, the notion that the physiological, measurable changes that take place during REM sleep–including dreaming which can be physically measured, originates at the internal level–not from an external source.

As an individually spiritual person, I believe the scientific aspects of this theory solidly support the new age ideal that on a soul level, we all have access to divine knowledge and have the ability to tap into universal consciousness for purposes of guidance, answers, and healing. Dreaming is a natural therapeutic process that offers us the opportunity to experience altered states of consciousness that open the doorway to meeting our higher self, or the universal consciousness. All that we seek externally lies within, and can be accessed naturally, with awareness and practice. We each have the ability to program our dreams for answers to life questions and to effect healing on all levels while our physical bodies are at rest.

While we often perceive it easier, or more reliable to seek answers, guidance, and healing from external sources, the key to each of these lies within us already. With awareness and practice, dreaming for therapeutic purposes can be accomplished by anyone and integrated into daily life as an important tool for connecting consciously with the higher self, the source, and universal consciousness. The process of seeking through utilizing external sources can be helpful, but the same answers we seek from others are waiting to be realized within ourselves.

 

Finding Like Minds

ImageThere is nothing I find more inspiring than encounters with Like Minds.  Reading blogs, books and social media posts that resonate with me is an irreplaceable part of my day, as is a spirited conversation on philosophical subjects.

Often, when we are on the path to liberation and positive change, we tend to move away from those not in alignment or resonance with us, and toward those who are.  This can be an incredible experience!

Surrounding ourselves with those influences that empower us, awaken us, make us laugh and be inspired is the absolute best thing we can do for ourselves when we need a pick me up or stronger sense of direction in life.  The path of transformation itself becomes much easier when we realize we are not alone.

“Life is one big road with a lot of signs. So when you are riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief, and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake up and live!” -Bob Marley

Beyond Patriarchy

Excellent article – a must share!

Lauren J. Barnhart

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When I married, I lost some of the respect I had gained as an independent, single woman. It was a change that I hadn’t seen coming. Strangers, without fail, defer to my husband. Servers only talk to me as an afterthought. We just had an experience at a steak restaurant, where only the men were given complimentary Port after dinner. It’s not only with strangers – I’m often asked by friends and family, “Is your husband okay with that?” As though I have a master waiting for me at home, rather than Michael, who loves me most for my strength and individuality. In fact, that is what I love most about him as well.

Michael can tend to be larger than life, and I often have to remind myself to step up and not fall into his shadow. As I’ve acclimated to our life together, I’ve learned I have to…

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A Guide to Woman’s Intuition

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“A Woman’s Intuition” is the term used to describe the uncanny ability women often show as an active response to any number of situations that would be considered outside the realm of typical logic or reason in terms of knowing or feeling, or both.

It manifests itself in:

  • Romantic Relationships

  • With Children and Family Members

  • Random Situations

So, basically it’s safe to say that the Inner Compass of Woman responds naturally to a wide variety of stimulus we encounter on a daily basis.

So why do so many of us question it’s legitimacy?

We naturally get feelings and senses about most of the things we come into contact with on a daily basis without any logical, practical, or rational basis at all. Often, intuition is such an ingrained part of us, we tend to lose the ability to separate true intuition from who we are, instead rationalizing away the feelings or notions we get as imagination, nonsense, etc.

Women are innate nurturers; it’s in our biology. It is my belief that since we are so connected to that infinitely compassionate part of ourselves, recognizing and utilizing our intuition has it’s purpose in not only caring for (and about) others, but is also to be used for our highest good and fulfillment in life. However, we most often nurture ourselves last, or never at all!

Types of Intuition

A good way to distinguish innate intuition from guidance otherwise outside of the Self, is to listen to your thoughts and feelings in the context of “I’s”and “You’s”. Intuitive senses in the self form indicate it’s coming from an internal mechanism. These abstract translations typically operate from the place of our highest personal benefit. “You” type thoughts and feelings are typically coming from an outside force that most people identify with as an external guide, guardian, force, etc. of a positive nature.

In general, negative thoughts, feelings, etc., are not naturally occurring and usually come from a force outside of us that does not have our best benefit in mind. This could be illustrated as a sense of uneasiness toward a person, place or situation that has dark potentials, for example.

Additionally, any kind of negative thought or feeling we have about ourselves is typically the result of negative programming we are faced with in our environments, usually starting from a very young age when we are learning socially acceptable behavior. We are raised to believe every action, motivation, and belief we have should be acceptable to someone else and sets the bar for living a life for everyone else, neglecting the Self.

Embrace Yourself

It’s of the utmost important to allow ourselves the opportunity to determine who and what we are independently of the opinions, judgements and beliefs others hold about, or for us.

We are raised to believe that to be a strong, grounded woman we must exercise rationalism, practicality and logical thinking always. Erroneously, this primary type of thinking is the very thinking that most often leads us from the Path of Empowerment and Authentic Self. The result is that we end up living a life of misery, making choices for the benefit of pleasing others and/or fitting in, ultimately neglecting ourselves and our unique journey in life, and honestly, never really knowing who we are authentically.

“ The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” – C.G. Jung