The Battery Meter Metaphor & Simplifying

Heard of Spoon Theory? Here’s My Take on It

As you recall from my previous newsletter, I am redefining my focus to concentrate on supporting those who, like me, are living with one or more chronic conditions. Here is my newly clarified mission statement:

My Mission Statement:
To be a guide to those who seek support in their basic wellness. To offer hope and coping tools for the multiple unique aspects of coping with a chronic illness. To uplift. To share practical ways that the chronic health journey can be a little easier and a little brighter. To be real, and honor that it hurts and it’s difficult. To remind that there is still joy to be found, even in our humanness.

New Facebook Group:
I have started a new Facebook group called Chronically Thriving in order to pursue this mission and create a community of support. I am still not entirely sure how this will evolve as time goes on, but I feel really good about offering a place of support, encouragement, hope, acceptance, tools for coping with the unique stressors chronic illness brings to daily living, and building mental and emotional resiliency. If this group will support you or a loved one, I hope you will join us!

The Battery Meter Metaphor:
Most people who have a chronic condition have heard of the Spoon Theory, which has helped many people to have a way to explain what it’s like to manage their energy with a chronic condition. But that explanation has never quite resonated with me and I found that a different metaphor naturally came about when I discussed it with others. Click on the video below for more.

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Your Wellness Tip:
One of the biggest challenges for me with regard to energy management is planning, buying, preparing, and cleaning up after meals. It can help a lot to have as much as possible delivered, and many grocery stores offer delivery these days. That alone saves me huge amounts of energy and stress! I love to delegate as much as possible, but I also love when that can mean reaching out to services such as delivery options so that you still get the rest time you need without overtaxing loved ones.

To help you conserve some of the energy on your battery meter, here is a very simple meal idea that literally only takes 5 minutes, has easy clean-up, and is full of nutrition!

Slow Cooker Chicken & Rice Stew
1 pound of chicken breast tenders
4 ounces of frozen carrots or peas & carrots
1 Tablespoon (approximately) of minced garlic (buy the jars of pre-minced to save energy/time)
1 teaspoon (approximately) dried thyme
1 teaspoon (approximately) dried rosemary
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup rice
1 quart (32 ounces) mushroom, chicken, or vegetable broth (mushroom broth is amazing! And rich with nutrition!)
An additional quart of water
Salt & pepper as desired

Dump everything in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Stir and serve. If you have a removable crock in your slow cooker, you can store any leftovers very easily by placing the lid on the crock and placing the entire thing in the fridge. And, as easy as that, you have lunch or dinner for the next day, too! Use this recipe as it is or use it as the basis for battery meter saving ideas of your own!

In Peace, Love & Joy,
Angie Webster
Online Classroom
Facebook
Amazon Author Page

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Follow up to “New Age Reality Check”

 

Sometimes some stillness brings clarity

It’s been a month since I wrote “New Age Reality Check” and I have done a lot of soul searching since then. It had been a long time coming, and I’m glad I had the chance to really sit with the dissonance I had been feeling. It helped me to get honest about how to clear that dissonance from my own life and how I want to move forward with my work.

For my own wellbeing and to support the overall wellbeing of my readers and students, I will be taking a huge step back from the New Age movement and beliefs that are often associated with it. I am not entirely sure how this will evolve over time, but for now, this mostly means taking greater care with my wording and my topics, as well as narrowing the focus of my work. To this end, I have redefined my mission statement.

My Mission Statement:
To be a guide to those who seek support in their basic wellness. To offer hope and coping tools for the multiple unique aspects of coping with a chronic illness. To uplift. To share practical ways that the chronic health journey can be a little easier and a little brighter. To be real, and honor that it hurts and it’s difficult. To remind that there is still joy to be found, even in our humanness.

Of course, this will mean some changes. While I will still offer the courses I have been teaching, some of my classes will be getting a revision in the near future to reflect a more grounded and clear approach. New classes will be added that reflect my new mission statement and my newly refined focus on supporting yourself during chronic illness. My focus in my writing will be support and encouragement in your overall wellbeing. In each newsletter, I will offer a short wellness tip or herbal support recipe, a short bit of inspiration, or a book review and recommendation. I will talk about real life and everyday issues we all face. I will address chronic illness, chronic pain, and differences in neurology in realistic and supportive ways.

I truly hope these new changes will support you well. They feel like a breath of much needed fresh air to me!

Here is your wellness tip for this newsletter~
Wellness Tip
When the weather gets cooler and the kids go back to school, it never takes long for the stomach viruses to start making the rounds. There are a few things you can do to help ward them off if you should happen to get exposed or feel the unpleasant tummy rumblings beginning. Eating healthy, with reduced processed foods goes a long way to helping your immune system stay strong and prevent illness. But we will still get sick now and then, unfortunately.

This ginger root tea is a powerful multi-level destroyer of stomach viruses. Ginger is anti-viral, so it slows the virus down greatly. It also soothes nausea and eases inflammation. That, combined with the anti-viral effects, make it the ideal option to sip when you have a stomach virus, or even if you have just been exposed to one and want to head it off.

To make ginger root tea, chop a one-inch piece of ginger root into pieces. I don’t bother to peel mine, but you can if you want to. Add the ginger root to a pan or a teapot. Pour 2 quarts of boiling water over it and allow it to steep for 10-15 minutes. Add honey to taste and freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1/2 to 1 whole lemon. Sip the ginger tea slowly, as tolerated. (If you are having diarrhea, you may want to leave the lemon juice out until this has calmed down.)

Diarrhea can be calmed in many cases by drinking rice water. To make this, add 1 cup of rice to 3 cups of water. Add a pinch of sea salt. Bring it to a boil and let boil for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, then strain the water off. Drink this slowly.

In Peace, Love & Joy,
Angie Webster
Online Classroom
Facebook
Amazon Author Page

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New Age Reality Check

key-2471021_640Trust Your Experience. Always.

I have been concerned with some harmful beliefs that I realized had taken root in myself and other healers and spiritual practitioners. I may make some people angry by saying these things, but that is not my intention. In the past year or so, I have seen so much harm come from this, I feel I have to share my thoughts in case that maybe someone out there needs to hear it, and in the hope that no one else suffers needlessly. My hope is to share my experience, bring awareness, and possibly to prevent harm to others.

We often develop the belief that someone who practices healing, or who has a spiritual practice no longer has difficult life experiences, pain, illness, or imperfections. That they are not also hurting or broken. We often hold ourselves and each other to these impossible standards. Isn’t it strange that we seek out healing or spiritual practice because we have difficulty, feel loss, have pain, and all the other human emotions, yet the moment we enter the path, we believe that is all supposed to vanish forever?

Yet all of us are living human lives, and those include both happiness and hardship, pleasure and pain, joy and grief, fulfillment and loss. We aren’t going to be blissed out and abundant all the time, not even on the spiritual level. Here’s what I forgot: my spiritual practice was to help me face life, to see it clearly. That often helped me make better decisions, but it didn’t make life struggles vanish. And that wasn’t what it was for! It was not to help me pretend and run away. It was not to delete all difficulty, loss, change, emotion, or illness from my life. And it was definitely not to fulfill all of my greed and desires. Rather, it helped me to see them clearly and face them honestly. My spiritual practice helped me to see that life is constantly changing. Even my inner world. Just being still with that brought me peace and the serenity to be OK with never being able to grasp permanence.

I developed my spiritual practice, not because I was healed and no longer suffering. I initially developed it for the opposite reason: because I was in enormous pain, physically and emotionally. My practice didn’t suddenly make me stop having human experiences or emotions. It gave me tools to be with them, to accept myself just as I was, even the pain. That doesn’t mean the pain isn’t painful, or that it doesn’t suck, or that I don’t still kick and scream for it to stop sometimes. It’s just that my practice reminds me that neither the highs or the lows are all there is. And the practice reminds me—over and over—to accept myself however I happen to be in that moment. I just accept that it’s what’s real right now.

I had spent much of my life not allowing myself to just be who I am; to accept myself. My practice began giving me back to me. I sought more information in energy healing for similar reasons. Tools for coping and for understanding myself better. But at some point, I began to believe that my brokenness wasn’t acceptable. I began to believe that if I felt something emotionally or physically painful, that I was doing something wrong, or wasn’t doing something right. Or that if I had a thought that wasn’t perfect peace and love, I was not attracting bad things to my life. Honestly, it sounds a bit silly when I read it. This was not what my original spiritual practice was about. I was just becoming overwhelmed with new age spiritual ideas and information, which seemed to be everywhere.

There is an undercurrent in the healing, spiritual, and “new age” community that we need to “raise our vibration” and that any illness, depression, setback, or difficulty we are experiencing is due to a failure at this, or to “unhealthy thoughts.” Or worse, that we have simply not tried the correct combination of crystals, essential oils, guided meditations, special diets, juice fasts, or exercise programs. Please stop listening to this! If you are sick, or if you are depressed, seek help! Sure, you can also use supportive measures such as nutrition and complementary healing methods, but also go to a qualified medical professional.

There is a strong need to pretend that all is—or even can be—perfect. That we never get sick and if we do, we know exactly how to cure it. That we can all be rich, cured of all health issues, and happy all the time. That is false and it doesn’t work. It is much more complex than that. When we get stuck on the idea that we CAN do all these things all the time, we make ourselves miserable. It is human to fear suffering and pain. And we want to cling to the things that tell us we have control over the suffering of the world; that we can keep it at bay somehow. We want to feel that the world is safe and that we are completely safe within it.

But in reality, the world is both happiness and sorrow, comfort and danger, life and death, vibrancy and decay. It is the way of Life and though we can observe it and participate in it, we can’t stop it. By chasing control and perfection, we will feel defeated each time we fall short. And we will always fall short because control and perfection are like mists in the sunrise. We can chase them forever, but they will always be out of our reach. In my experience, it is far more healing to put aside our attachments to an outcome, surrender, and be with what is. Which takes a lifetime of practice. A tough pill to swallow in an age where we want a quick fix for all things uncomfortable.

I have seen that we are harming ourselves by getting stuck in the belief that positive thoughts and the right diet will make all the unpleasant things go away. We harm each other because we hold each other to these false standards. In recent years, I have seen people lose everything and become homeless because they believed they could manifest whatever they wanted. Worse, I have watched a number of people die in the last year. Suicides in the spiritual community because they didn’t feel they could say that what was really going on in their lives or seek help. And others who have died or become very sick because they waited far too long to seek medical attention because they were afraid to admit that they had pain or illness or that their chronic health condition was worsening instead of being miraculously cured as everyone seemed to expect it would be.

It seems pretty important to hold space for where people are at, including ourselves. When we push away our own experiences or insist that others could stop having those experiences if they just did things the way we tell them to, we are NOT being healing or supportive. We are diminishing the life experience of another. And that prevents them from sharing, reaching out for support, or seeking appropriate help. It also prevents them from reaching out as they carry their burden. When you feel that your experience will be diminished with platitudes and subtle shaming, the thought of reaching out can feel overwhelming. And it leaves people completely isolated, feeling they are doing something wrong, simply because they are struggling, ill, grieving, or otherwise having a human experience.

As I have been dealing with my own health issues this past year or so, I have seen this pattern in myself very clearly. That need to pretend all is well, or that if I just found that one bad thought or low vibe thing in my life, I will get better. But I realize I am making light of my reality, my brokenness, my humanness, minimizing my imperfections. I have allowed myself to accept a different illusion, rather than continue the work of looking clearly and compassionately at reality. I don’t care to do that anymore. I have to return to the inner work that helps me see clearly. I have to drop the work that clouded my judgement and led me on false paths. I have to release the illusions, no matter how comforting they may appear at times.

I hope we can let go of this need for holding ourselves on a pedestal of perfection if we claim a spiritual path or if we are healers. We are hurting ourselves and others by perpetuating it. My original and abiding hope is to see with clarity and to live with compassion and truth. I can not do that by hiding behind a pretense of constant light. I know that the world is not simply the experience of light. It is far richer and more vibrant than that.

Heal Your Heart with Plant Energy Medicine

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Recently I have been very moved and guided to work with hawthorn more. Hawthorn is best known for its benefits in supporting and balancing the heart. It is full of vitamin C, B vitamins and is rich in antioxidants and bioflavonoids. It’s a deeply nourishing food that also acts as a tonic and brings greater balance to our systems in an extremely gentle manner. It helps to balance blood pressure and bring support and balance to veins, arteries, and capillaries. Because it helps to support and stabilize the collagen in our bodies also helps to repair and build health in the joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. It is also helpful for many digestive problems. 
In herbal healing, the energetic factor is often overlooked–the ways in which herbs help us emotionally and spiritually. Plants connect with us not just physically, but energetically. Hawthorn is a very special plant for supporting the healing of the heart on a spiritual and emotional level, as well as physical. It helps to heal and release grief, opens the heart to true expression and connection, and eases anxiety and deep sadness, especially as related to loss or feelings of being “shut down.” Hawthorn brings balance to the energetic heart, allowing for healthy boundaries, which make the heart capable of peaceful, compassionate, and gentle connection. That is a deeply nurturing and wise healing lesson for our physical cells and our souls.
Here is the recipe I was inspired to create. It is so delicious and can be eaten as a treat that is nutritious and healing on many levels. Astragalus is an adaptogen, helping to bring the entire body, mind, and spirit into balance. Ginger helps bring energy and movement to the herbs and into the body, and it brightens the other flavors and makes their sweetness “pop.”

Love Your Heart Herb Balls:
2 part hawthorn powder
1 part astragalus powder
1/2 part ginger powder
honey
Mix the powders together. Add a small bit of honey (maybe a teaspoon), enough to help the powders bind together and form a dough ball. Mix well until a nice dough ball is formed, then pinch off small pieces and roll into balls. Roll the balls in a little hawthorn powder to coat them and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

I’m not sure why I was led to work with hawthorn or inspired to create this recipe. But I have been working with the plant energy long enough to know that when I am called to work with one, there is always a reason. The energy reaches out where it is meant to go. May it bless any that can benefit from it.

Joy and Peace,
Angie

P.S. Just a reminder…there is still a little time left to take advantage of my Solstice specials on my Herbal Basics Class and my Animal Reiki Class. These are both 25% off through the Solstice on June 21, 2017. The links will take you directly to the information and enrollment page with the discounted price.

Flower Power Tea Blend for the Summer Solstice

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It’s Almost Midsummer–The Solstice!

I have finished Herbal Basics! It is online and ready for you! If you have pre-registered, please enjoy the class. If you were waiting for the class to be completed, now is the time! In fact, in honor of the Solstice, I am offering a 25% off special to Herbal Basics for my newsletter subscribers.

I am also feeling the nudge to offer a 25% off special on my Animal Reiki Class. Summer is such a wonderful time to go outside and do animal Reiki!

Here is a lovely tea blend that is one of many herbal recipes I share in Herbal Basics. Try something fun and do a little Solstice ritual to offer your gratitude to the herbs, plants, trees, and the Earth as you prepare this tea (or any tea). I hope you enjoy!

Flower Power Tea Blend
This is a gorgeous tea that smells amazing, too! It is a great tea to sip during the work day, before bed or as a cold beverage to cool off in the summer. Children will love this tea because it is so colorful and tastes so good!

Ingredients:

2 parts lemon balm
2 parts hibiscus
1 part lavender
1 part rose petals

Blend the herbs together and store the portion you won’t be using now in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. To brew, use a teaspoon per cup of boiling water. You can make an entire pot and add ice cubes to make a cool drink for summer barbecues or picnics.

Blessings,
Angie
angie-webster-healing.thinkific.com

Herbal Basics homepage

Plants are Our Energetic Allies

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I have always found a deep energetic connection in Nature and her plants.

Sometimes I find myself getting a bit disconnected, but she always calls me back. The flowers, trees, and plants send their loving medicine to me, even if I’m not listening or I don’t fully know how to receive it.

A few years ago, I started receiving messages from the plants during energy healing sessions. I would get an image of a plant or a tree and understand on a deep level that this plant offered medicine that was needed for that particular situation or person. It wasn’t that the person needed to consume the plant, I simply needed to call upon that plant’s energy to allow the energetic plant medicine to flow through and help healing take place.

When this first began happening, I was fascinated! I would look the plant up after the healing session to see what healing properties it held. I always found that the plant was ideally matched in some way to the concerns of that particular client or situation.

In many cases, I was personally led to the perfect herb to help me heal from a particular health issue or a flower essence to help shift an emotional block. This all led me strongly back to my lifelong fascination with Nature, plants, herbs, flowers and generally with being outside and connecting with the Divine Life Force all around us. I returned to making my own herbal remedies and began using plant energetics in my life on a regular basis.

Life does tend to get busy and things happen that seem to come out of nowhere. Sometime in the last year, I found myself so caught up in the tasks of everyday life that I began to forget the plants and flowers again. I still called upon them on occasion, but I could feel myself ignoring my need to re-connect, insisting that I was too busy. Each time I did this, I felt a part of my inner self wither and die. I felt sick inside. And I began to actually feel physically sick, in pain, and thinking in a lesser vibration. I was shutting myself off from that which fed my life force.

One day, in prayer and meditation, I asked to be connected to and nourished by the River of Life. I often do this, but this day I was feeling lost. I suddenly felt a warm, motherly presence that I recognized as the Divine Feminine Aspect of Life—or what many may call Mother Mary. She seemed to be all around me and within me. She said to me, “The River of Life is inside of you and all around you. You are never separate from it. You only need to breathe to remember your connection to it. It is with you always and you can never part from it. You are swimming in it.”

I felt an immense peace. And I remembered the flowers and plants. I remembered my connection was in all of life, on both an energetic level and a physical level. Yet, I had to find my way back to actually applying it, undoing the blocks I had built up in body and mind.

Around that same time, the plants began visiting me in my dreams. First, there was chickweed and calendula. Then dandelion and violet. Soon nettle joined, and then oat straw. Each time a plant would show up, I felt instantly lighter and freer. They were working with me on an emotional level. I also knew enough about these plant’s properties to realize that they were ideal for the physical issues that I was having.

Once the dandelions, chickweed, and violets made their arrival this spring, I went to visit them in person, to pick some for physical medicine and to receive their healing presence. The simple scent of them each time is enough to heal my heart and mind!  Sitting with them in ordinary silent prayerful communion heals my spirit and reminds me of my truth. Consuming them as food, teas and tinctures has been deeply healing to my body as well.

I have returned to my practices of communing with the plants, trees, and the Earth. They are my connection to the Divine, and they are my medicine—on so many levels. It has been the experiences that I speak of here that have encouraged me to teach my Herbal Basics Class this summer. And more classes later on plant energetics. I have felt the nudge for a long time and I am so glad the Divine Mother opened my heart to listen!

Blessings,

Angie

angie-webster-healing.thinkific.com

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The Magic of Acceptance

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Acceptance is a Magical Energy.

When I say ‘acceptance,’ I don’t mean simply hanging your head and giving up. That is resignation. That is a loss of hope. Acceptance is the ability to look around and assess where you are right now, in this moment in time, this very second, and just breathe and recognize this is reality, and be okay with that. To not judge the moment, or yourself in a negative way, but to simply allow it to be what it is. You don’t have to like everything about where you are and you don’t have to be ready to stay there forever. Just find a space where you can breathe and notice that you are okay, right in that moment. You’ll find that from a place of acceptance, you can often see the light well enough to notice what the next baby step forward is for you.

Each day as you wake up, spend a moment noticing your surroundings and your life. Take in the sights and textures of a few things around you, notice how your body feels, be with life. Don’t judge it. Just notice. Try and find at least one thing that you can be okay with, or even loving towards, in what you witness. It can be really, really small. Then notice at least one thing you can be accepting and loving towards in yourself. That part is even harder for most of us. It was for me. (And often still is.) But working with self-acceptance is really vital to healing all the underlying emotional energies in your cells and changing any self-defeating thought patterns that may have become ingrained in your mind.

There was a prayer that I said to myself every morning in the shower for a very long time, which helped me to find and understand acceptance. I still say this prayer when I am facing a difficult day. Prayer helps us call upon the larger energy all around us in a conscious way and to center our own mind. It doesn’t have to be focused on a religious affiliation. Even the simple mental wish for strength or for someone to have a good day can be seen as a prayer. This prayer is called the Serenity Prayer:

Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The Courage to change the things I can,

And the Wisdom to know the difference.

In many ways, when we accept where we are, we have to let go of certain things. We hold many expectations about things—expectations about the way things should go, about how others should behave or think, expectations about ourselves. Most of the time these expectations don’t turn out to be exactly what happens in reality. When we spend our time and energy thinking reality should match the image we have in our heads, we create energetic resistance. It is a state of disharmony and it is a lot like trying to force water through a blocked channel. It won’t work, but it can surely cause struggle and pain.

One of the fastest ways to change the way you feel about a situation that you have no ability to change is to let go. Accept that you have no control over it. For example, you cannot control someone else’s behavior. It doesn’t matter what the behavior is or what you do or say about it, in the end, you aren’t in control of it. Letting go of that allows you to find space to see options for either learning to accept the behavior lovingly or find distance enough to be free from it.

In any situation, including illness and pain, you can only control your part and your responses to the situation. Trying to control the rest of it is exhausting and anxiety producing. It won’t work in the end. But you can tune in to how you feel about the situation and respond in the most open, kind, and loving manner for everyone concerned—including yourself.

Lovingly letting go of the things you can’t change allows you to see options for the things you can change. Accepting what is allows you to open to Universal Life Force. It brings in trust that all things will pass. You can really begin to notice that this is true. No emotion or situation stays forever. They all shift at some point. Opening your energy channels to allowing Universal Life Force to operate through and around you each day acknowledges that you are aware that you are part of a larger whole and can’t see the whole picture. But you allow room for the mystery of the picture, even when you can’t see all of it.

(An adapted excerpt from my book Infinite Reiki, Infinite Healing.)

Blessings,
Angie

P.S. Pre-registration is now open for Herbal Basics: Creating Your Family’s Apothecary. This online class will be fully released on June 30th. Those who pre-enroll will receive a free PDF as an early preview of the class so they can get started now. Early enrollees will also have early access to class the material as it posts. Join us and learn how to create a few simple, basic recipes to have on hand to support your family during colds, minor cuts, scrapes or burns, and stress or sleeplessness! Pre-registration price is $55.

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