Sunday, November 20, 2016

Wishing All Well With No Attachment

How difficult that can be at times! I've been on a roll with the TUT reminders during these past few weeks.  I find it sometimes uncanny how the themes are just what I am needing to look at or possibly transform in my own life or it is a theme of the week with my clients.

" In all things, Julie, always and forever, simply wish the best for all involved, without stating what you think that is.
And then, whatever does happen, no matter what happens, know that it was.  All the best, The Universe"

We are coming upon a major holiday where gratitude for what we have and for those in our lives is to be celebrated.  Thanksgiving is the start of a month-long string of opportunities - spiritual holidays and the New Year.  Beyond that, we will have a new president with an unknown approach to leading our country.

It is part of the human condition to think and feel that one knows best, but do we really?  Knowing is an interesting word because it appears to be an absolute, yet it is important to recognize that in this vastness of knowing, there is the arena of what we don't know!  Wow - what a tongue twister.  My point here is that in life, circumstances occur that we may label as good or bad and yet, we do not know definitively if this is the case.

When I look over my life, the beautiful and the challenging experiences, I accept and embrace them all, seeing now how they played out beautifully for my own growth and development as a spiritual being.  I used to joke with my friends and family that if I had looked in my crystal ball back in my 20's, I'm not sure that I would have signed up!  Then, I state, I'd have it no other way.  It has been through joy and pain, that my heart has grown in compassion.

As we come upon the holiday season, I'll recite a phrase from "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" - "And his heart grew three sizes that day".

Friday, November 11, 2016

Are You An American? First, I Am Human

Another fabulous quote from TUT this morning and I needed to write my blog sooner than the weekend!

"These are the times, Julie - when hopes are dashed and chaos abounds - that golden opportunities, prized ideas, and new friends emerge into the view of all, but at first are seen only by the few who look. 

Let's go crazy, 
    The Universe"

I've never been a political person and in fact, recall, really disliking the class in High School, to the point where I remember my teacher and the exact room and seat that I sat in!  I found it hard to memorize and grasp the ideas, more favoring math, science and music.

My political information comes from WNPR when I am in the car and I do not watch television - too much chaos, trauma and generally focused on what's going wrong rather than the big picture of the many positive experiences in life.

Media can instill fear and fear creates an easy medium for those in charge to make decisions that are not necessarily spiritually focused.  I have had the honor of speaking at Babson College, a presitgious Boston area college and they have created programs emphasizing spirituality in business.

As part of my next chapter in my work, I look forward to aligning with executives in order to foster not only self-care on multiple levels, but also to influence how they bring this into business and industry.

I've also begun a year-long course in Astrology and as I coalesce concepts that I resonate with, this is indeed a time of chaos, basically an undoing or fall of what was and with this lies opportunity.  We DO have opportunities to recreate not only an America, but a world of peace and harmony.

This will require discipline to listen to our own inner needs, coming from a place of love and not fear, recognizing that there is enough material and energy for all and to use this time of uncertainty to reflect and not react.

Yes, I am an American, but I am first human and I hope to be one small voice and one small beacon of light to assist in a new emergence of humanity.

Sending peace and love to all,

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Understanding Our Young Adults With Compassion

As I awoke to this morning’s personalized saying from TUT (The Universe Talks), I was reminded of this theme that has been showing up in my office and life for the past month, since around the time that school started.  This is not an uncommon theme for me when living life and working with clients.

“You can rest assured, Julie, that those who have hurt you had absolutely no idea of what they were doing nor what might come from it.

It never occurred to them that you'd become even more magnificent. That they'd be invoking your sympathy, adding to your compassion, and increasing your "sparkles." And it will still be eons before they can grasp that you actually welcomed them into your life for some of these very reasons.


Love you with all of my heart,
    The Universe”

I’ve been working in in the areas of nutrition, mental health and eating disorders for many years and keep abreast of the current literature on mind-body and early influences/social aspects for the clients that I work with.  I have long been either on staff at schools and colleges or have been a guest presenter.   I love working with young people because there is such opportunity to assist in allowing the development of positive markers – self-esteem, feelings of capability and the list goes on.

Interestingly (but not coincidentally), I have journeyed through these themes in my early childhood, often bullied and called “Fat Fern” (my last name was Fernekees).  I was then plagued with the ups and down with weight from hormonal disorders and medications that morphed into my own distortions about my body.  While I never had a frank eating disorder, my thought process was very much akin.

Anxiety, yes, from exposure to early childhood disruptions and a family history – likely a combination of  genes and modelling behavior.

In my adulthood, I chose to take these early traumas and to learn about them, assisting others in their own journey.  Not uncommon when one opens up to learning about, facing and transforming these issues, they show up with even bigger hurdles to face.  My beautiful girls experienced a lot of early trauma – many moves, one father with mental illness and another who died very early – and the stage was set for seeing the world as unsafe and unpredictable.

As we now know, these early experiences diminish the capacity for the brain to make adequate and balanced levels of NTs (neurotransmitters).  As we journeyed both traditional and non-traditional treatments, I often tested their neurotransmitters, supported their diet and exposed both of them to wonderful therapists.  Life went along nicely until college.

My older daughter faced six suicides before graduating HS and had another close friend shot and killed in a robbery just prior to going back for her junior year in college.  This totally changed her trajectory.  My younger daughter was witness to this and became involved in a state recognized peer mentorship group, Adolescent Wellness, a group that I became involved in on an advisory level.  My girls also faced multiple moves, our family dog, Krissy, who was deeply loved, having to move due to no pets allowed in an apartment and my second husband died, all within a 4 month period.  Talk about “Adjustment Disorder”!

All throughout this tumultuous time, I gathered information, supported my kids and found that my practice was full of these issues – different story, same emotional roller coaster.  And often, kids were insensitive. 

One major challenge is being a student away from home, often for the first time – new surroundings, unpredictable experiences, bonding/security issues – and possibly low self-esteem with early traumas.  When these conditions are together, the stage is set for misunderstanding on both sides.  This can be tricky because both sides need to feel heard and understood before the education, or I prefer “enrolling” begins.  This is not uncommon in the early months being away at college.
Most of the time, there are valid issues on both sides, but if one person has grown up sheltered with  basic needs met, there will be no context for understanding how the person challenged with anxiety may perceive danger and a lack of connection.

Before healing can begin, these elephants in the room need to be exposed.  Once this occurs, there is an opportunity for neutral discussion and working through the misperceptions.  I’ve navigated these conversations in my office, on the college campus and truly love the opportunity to bring people together in order to heal and move onto thriving.

There is a wonderful book series, “The Five Love Languages”, written by therapist, Gary Chapman, and I have used this in my practice now for a few years.

The motto of the story is that we all have the same basic needs - some get them met early on, while others may have delays.  Let us move forward to embrace and support one another on this planet.
With healing energy,


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

And The Prescription Is Play

As I left my meeting with one of my gurus on Friday, we hit upon a powerful aspect of my personality and what can become the tipping point into the abyss of negativity.  I have a voracious desire to learn, to integrate and to make this knowledge cohesive and available to others.  I use my personal journey through the hills and valleys in order to have a concrete understanding and reality-check before disseminating my “findings”.

In my journey, I learn, read, process, listen attentively and then hit a wall – a wall of complete mental and physical exhaustion, often find myself watching my mindless shows for about 40-60 minutes.  The catch is that there is tremendous guilt in “doing nothing”, in indulging in a purpose-less activity.  This nightmare is not only increasing my exhaustion, but the ghosts of self-doubt emerge and I’m off and running with the following:  “I’m not good enough”, “I’ll never know enough”, “How will you heal your patients”.  Ugh – not a pretty site.

Fortunately, these phases have become shorter, but as I continue to “peel the layers” of my own onion, I am aware of these few remaining hooks that have been with me forever.  I am also able to use my “outside observer”, the phrase that I use over and over again with my clients, in order to be less stuck in the feelings, aware that it is uncomfortable, but also knowing that this is not me, but my conditioning.

Oh that conditioning!  It comes not only from our parents, but from anyone and any circumstances that have been in our lives generally before the age of seven.  It has been often stated in the psychological literature that the Jesuits knew this hundreds of years ago and would state, “Give me a boy before the age of seven and I’ll give you a man.”  This model has been used throughout psychological studies to help us understand how much conditioning and early life experiences shape who we are today.

Enough of the philosophy and psychology, now more of the personal piece.  I’ve shared in past blogs about being the “only child” whose parents wanted to make sure that I was not the “spoiled only child”.  And indeed I was not.  I received remakes, hand-me-downs and Mom, an amazing seamstress, made some of my clothing out of curtains because her “allowance” was very meager.  While well-intentioned and coming from an intended place of love, looking at it with expanded vision, I see how fear was really the driver.  In fact, fear is often the driver in our lives.

Doing tasks and chores at an early age have certainly helped with challenging circumstances that I’ve experienced in my adulthood but what was missing was the vital role that play and imagination are equally important.  I’ve become an expert task-master, often seen as a high achiever and a dependable person, but at what expense?

The journey back to re-learn how to play is not an easy one, but it is well-worth the effort!  On Monday, I had a list of patient-related and business-related tasks to do, but I also had just come off from a long weekend of training in genetics, knowing that I would need time to decompress.  Oh, but the brain was telling me, no, there is no time for play, yet my heart was pounding even louder telling me that I must turn to love and not fear.  It is often stated in various scriptures of many spiritual texts, “live like a child of God”.

Combining my work on Friday with Kristina with my spiritual phrases, I took time with Tammie to play fetch at the park.  It had been such a long time since we played like this outdoors, that she forgot to bring it back to me in the beginning.  Soon, we were both frolicking and feeling playful.
My message to you all is to face those inner demons and lighten the load with balance and fun in your life!

Tiptoe Through The Tulips,