The Earth’s Vibration & Your Personal Vibration

For centuries, alternative health practitioners have explored the healing potential of natural rhythms and vibrations of the earth itself. The view that Mother Earth possesses healing powers to restore itself is substantiated by examples of positive long term outcomes following natural disasters such as forest fires, and droughts where local ecosystems bounce back over time. The acute or chronic negative impacts of nature’s chaos on itself is often reversed or set-right by a homeostatic flow back towards stability, evenness, and wholeness. Nature has a way to settle itself even after horrifying events threaten or kill ecosystems. Nature by definition is a life-force, or a force of life that propels itself forward in a perpetually regenerative motion at a molecular and perhaps quantum level. When the world is silent, and when you are silent in the world, it is possible to feel the earth’s vibration created by life’s regenerative motion.

I am often reminded about the alarm bells ringing in Ontario over the purple loofstriffe plant debacle of the time that warned people about this plant’s ability to suffocate fresh water systems in smaller lakes, creeks, and bodies of water outside the city. Similar alarms were raised about the health of declining frog populations and birch trees across the province as well. Although distressing trends and warnings were real at the time, these shorter-term impacts did reverse. I witnessed the revival of the beautiful birch tree, diverse fresh water shorelines, and rebounding frog populations firsthand as a cottage owner for over twenty-five years.

As a therapist, these examples of nature’s resilience both taught and reminded me about healing. People, like the earth ebb and flow between periods of good health and happiness, and poor health and distress. This is a natural flow, an oscillation of physical and mental well-being that like Mother Earth herself is in constant motion. Even when the earth is silent and still, similar to the experience of looking up at the stars on a dark clear night while standing on an expansive field, you can feel the earth’s vibrations. So too, when you allow yourself to be still and silent, will you begin to feel your own vibrational life force. This journey into the self is only possible when you learn to practice what being still feels like. Being still with yourself will allow you to get in touch with your personal life energy and to grow in familiarity with it, who you really are, and for those in need, how to heal.

Your healing journey in this sense requires that you trust your own natural regenerative force to continually drive you forward to a state of balance that simply feels good and right to you personally. A state of wellness is an entirely subjective and personal assessment. Only you know how you feel. One of the most rewarding aspects as clinician for me is the privilege to witness so many people grow into themselves lovingly. In recent times, my high achieving clients have been asking me where this need and desire to think about the “next” personal goal comes from when their list of achievements is already so long! Posed in this way, ambitious people begin to appear to be suffering with some sort of compulsion to achieve that is pathologically manipulated to block the completely appropriate and healthy desire to achieve more. It is not your personal drive towards success and achievement that is unhealthy, but rather the tendency of a few to pursue ambitious goals without concern for personal wellbeing, the wellbeing of family, community, society at large, and the earth. It is this compulsive desire to achieve without consequence that contaminates your regenerative life force by threatening your own health and wellness in so doing.

When you begin to practice self-awareness in body, mind, and spirit by learning to be still and feeling your own life force, you will grow more and more attuned to what you need and want in your life. A less common but strongly suggested New Year’s Resolution for yourself is to learn to be still with yourself -to feel your own personal vibration or life force and to enjoy it. You will begin to see the places and people in your life who align, compliment, and boost your vibrational energy levels, and those people and places that do not. You will begin to trust your own feelings and allow them to guide you forward on decisions at work, home, or leisure. You will learn to separate the stressors and emotional pain of others from your own without a loss of compassion or care. You will learn to be available to the people who need and love you without disrupting your own inner sense of balance. The notion of finding purpose in the New Year must have this emotional aspect for you to get it right. In other words, continuing to live your life without this deep sense of awareness of yourself in nature is bound to lead you in directions that you cannot trust. None of us can trust decisions that are void or emptied of any personal or emotional feelings.

On the other hand, your personal life will vibrate with serenity and peace when you trust what you feel, even in the face of multiple demands. Give yourself the gift of personal awareness this New Year, and begin to find or reclaim purpose in all the little things that make up your life. Achievement means different things to different people, as it ought! If your desire this year is to learn how to knit like your grandmother did, to become the CEO in your company, to get married, to start a family, or to start a business, it is your life force that propels you forward as life has a way of doing. Make your New Year promise to yourself to protect that innermost gift of your own nature to be whole, happy, and well no matter where your life journey takes you.

Happy New Year in 2023!

Lisa Romano-Dwyer BSc, MSW, PhD, RSW

Christmas & Assertion Guilt

Setting personal boundaries is a critical aspect of most counselling and psychotherapy. Working on your goals to identify what you need, want, and deserve in life is often much harder than it might initially seem. Most of you, share your life with people you love, and learning to set boundaries with these people is usually the hardest to learn without “assertion guilt”. Explained by author, Linda Hill in her extremely useful book, Setting Boundaries: How to set boundaries with friends, family, and in relationships, be more assertive, and start saying no without feeling guilty, assertion guilt are those feelings you are likely to experience once you begin to draw lines with the people in your life.

The Christmas and holiday season is a perfect time to practice your personal boundary setting with family and friends. It is also an excellent time to get cozy with the uncomfortable feelings of “assertion guilt”, that is falsely niggling feelings that perhaps you did something wrong by drawing a line with people in your life. Recovering from years of co-dependent dynamics, most people in North America are learning that healthy personal boundaries are actually a requirement to staying both physically and mentally fit for life, and not hedonistic self-indulgence. Overshadowed by poor examples of carpe diem, that is, a model of living for the moment that gave little to no thought to the impact of personal decision-making on loved ones, setting personal boundaries is very different from narcissism.

Many young people today identify emotional wounds caused by what they feel were narcissitic parents who, they believe consistently put their own needs to be happy before the needs of their children. Children of narcissists are great consumers of psychotherapy. They readily self-identify as children of narcissists (CoNs) in therapy, and seem much clearer about the importance of considering others in personal decision-making than previous generations. They are also more and more aware about the need for setting personal boundaries without feelings of guilt. Their own experiences growing up resulted in feelings of neglect and diminished self-concept. Children of narcissists complain that their emotional needs never felt as important as the needs of their parents.

In psychotherapy, the work to build personal boundaries is often the focus of modern interventions post-Covid where physical and social boundaries between work and home have become increasingly blurred. Simply put, setting your boundaries is a form of self-care. Your subconscious and inner emotions are personal and essential to your sense of self that constitute your innermost core. In her first chapter, Hill writes that learning to identify healthy and unhealthy boundaries is a lot harder than you might think. It is learning what is yours and what is NOT yours. Healthy boundaries are connected to all areas of your life including tasks, emotions, time, and finances. Since life is usually complicated, and emotionally messy at times, society struggles with figuring out whose issues or problems are these anyway? When you begin to shift your thinking to accept that your boundaries are like a personal property line, then the work to more deeply understanding how you cope, manage, and deal with your own life and the people in it becomes the central focus.

Helping middle aged women reclaim personal boundaries after years of marriage and child-rearing is especially rewarding work. Empty-nesters need a period of adjustment to an adult lifestyle where personal property lines no longer include roles and responsibilities related to parenting children, adolescents, or young adults still living at home. Early empty nesting is an excellent time to review how your personal boundaries were modified by child-rearing and parenting roles. It is also a perfect time to reclaiming those aspects of early days as newly-weds when your personal boundaries were likely much clearer.

This holiday season affords you opportunities to begin to practice asserting your line with people without evoking feelings of guilt. Practice returning items, products, or orders that are NOT what you expected. Something as simple as correcting your coffee order that is served with sugar when you only requested milk, or speaking up assertively to your hairstylist or customer service representative about your dissatisfaction with a service and clearly correcting mistakes are good first steps. Consider those moments that you feel assertion guilt over service-correction experiences as boundary-setting immersion therapy. What is the worst that can happen when you assert your corrections for a coffee order that you paid for? The wonderful aspect about learning to reclaiming your personal boundaries in a healthy and assertive manner is that the people closest to you begin to learn to set them as well. Healthy boundary setting grows health boundary setting in others.

With regards to family, setting limits on your tasks and finances more in line with your personal availability and budget this holiday season is a healthy first step to drawing lines without feeling guilty. If you discover, that you are feeling guilty over setting limits with the people you love, then I recommend that you buy Linda Hill’s book on Audible, so that you listen to the full contents of her text over the holiday season. Where you continue to struggle with setting personal boundaries with family and friends then you may wish to secure the services of a professional counsellor or psychotherapist to explore more deeply what obstacles are preventing you from asserting your authentic self honestly to the people you love.

Merry Christmas to those who like me continue to celebrate! A cheerful and restful holiday season to all!

Lisa Romano-Dwyer BSc, MSW, PhD, RSW

Directly Well

Health Insurance Benefits

Accessing personal health insurance benefits as you age is a well-earned privilege that retired professionals enjoy. Commonly used to offset the costs of childhood medical and dental prescriptions, employee based health insurance plans offer options for a range of services proven to grow, rehabilitate, and sustain your wellness.

Gratefully, many companies have recognized the value of mental health in the workplace and it’s links to job satisfaction, productivity, and performance. Increases in funds accessible to employees under prolonged periods of stress is an excellent perk companies commit to the overall health of humanity and to society at large.

As mental health literacy improves, you can trust the best and the brightest upcoming employees to assess company benefits as an important reason to work for and with you. Younger professionals value healthy parental leaves, comprehensive and flexible health benefit plans, and creative options for early-retirement and pension planning.

The field of mental health is changing in exciting and new ways. Service provider options include a variety of professionally accredited allied-health options including family medicine, psychology, nursing, social work, psychotherapy, psychiatry, and counsellors.

As service provider options have improved, so too have mental health and wellness treatments. Individuals, couples, and families may access a number of effective interventions for a variety of illnesses and problems. Interventions may include prescription drugs, and/or blocks of Cognitive Behavioural Therapies designed to treat addictions, depression, anxiety, and trauma.

Your personal health benefits allow you to integrate therapeutic massage, acupuncture, physiotherapy, osteopathy, and more into your journey of healing. Regularly accessing services covered by your health benefits will also prevent future injuries and sustain good health over the long-term.

During this post-Covid period, it is truly a time to be grateful for the comprehensive health insurance plans available today.

Everyone benefits when you are well! So, work at keeping your Best self healthy & well by strategising regular treatment visits to your preferred health services covered by insurance plans AND by keeping up with your list of Wellness Activities.

Be bold and direct your own Wellness! Help is available if you do not know where or how to begin. Make the most of what you got, and reap the benefits of feeling healthy and well.

By Lisa Romano-Dwyer PhD, RSW, Owner