Dance the Fear Away! (or, How to Heal Yourself with Dance)


A few minutes into the dance, and my eyes begin to burn with tears. My breath comes faster and faster.


This is the moment of the dance. Here it is: the moment of the unveiling. Today, the act of dancing is like looking into a mirror after rolling around in the mud. It’s a bit scary.


This is the moment of the dance; the time when the fear is released. There is a gorgeous song playing, haunting female vocals. I am allowing every note of it to invade the universe of my cells. I am one with the song.


Sometimes, as I dance tonight, I am a soft and subtle priestess: swirling, delicate, my wrists articulating the swoosh and grace of my subtle gossamer being—and, at other times, I am a forceful, angry, ferocious masculine beast: my feet kick and stomp, my fists pump and punch the air. I am hungry; I want blood.


The tears come faster now. Wet and thick like sludge. Some of these tears fall onto the carpet underneath my feet, and some of them fall into my open mouth and I digest them. These tears are primal and necessary. I must release them.


These tears let me know that I have accidentally taken on too much weight, lately, from the world. I have absorbed too much from the (seeming) brokenness around me: the poverty, the violence, the hatred, the fears. The bruised woman, tattooed from head to toe, who came to me for counsel, her traumatized child at her hip, who barely made eye contact. The friend who I watch killing himself with every cigarette. The glaring president on the television screen who says “build the walls”…


… somehow, somehow, in these past few days, since my last dance, that woman with the tattoos, that friend with the cigarettes, and that president have somehow broken my heart. I have allowed them to. I have forgotten who I am.




The dance doesn’t have to be pretty today. The dance doesn’t have to be perfect.


These are the words I tell myself on the days when it’s tough to get off my couch. These are the words I say when I feel lazy.


The dance can be whatever it is, Anya. It can be slow or it can be fast. I can spit or I can smile. I can be wild and mean or a delicate beauty. Whatever. Just dance. Just do it! Just do whatever comes … 


For no matter how awfully, no matter how awkwardly a dance might begin, it will always always end in joy—if you give it enough time.


Yes, the secret of dance is to give it enough time. Give it as much as it takes. Stand up, turn on the music, turn off the clocks, and dance. Allow the dance to feel weird or laborious until the precious moment comes when the dance is a true dance. When all the fears are gone, and the music possess you.


For the past few years, I have made the commitment to myself to dance two or three times a week. And, recently, I have just completed a 30-day dance challenge—where I danced every single day, no matter how tired, no matter whether I was in the mood.


It was incredible.


So, what have I learned about dance?


I have learned that dancing is one of the most freeing things a human being can do.


And I have learned that I, personally, love to dance alone. It has become a sacred ritual for me. I do also love going to my weekly dance class when I can, but my home dance practice is deeply fulfilling.


When I begin my dance, in my humble living room, on freezing winter nights or on sumptuous summer afternoons, I begin with a prayer and I end with a prayer. At the beginning I say, “Please make me a vessel for the divine light to dance through me.” At the end I say, “Thank you; I am so grateful for this dance.”


Yes, friends, I dance with intention; I dance as a healing art. I dance for my own sanity and for my own self-compassion. I dance to fall in love with myself.


I dance freeform. No memorized steps. Just feel what emerges.


Some days the dancing is short: ten or twenty minutes is all I need: it’s a full busy day, and I’m already feeling good.


On other days, however, the dancing is a long and twisting journey: I turn off the phones and the clocks and everything else that beeps and I promise to dance until that blessed moment comes when I begin to feel good. I wait for the serotonin; I wait for the sigh of relief and the smile. On those rather rough days, I know that nothing else is as important as my empowered decision to dance.


Dance is a commitment I have made to myself.


It is a commitment to my own evolution and healing.


On the tough days, indeed, the dance is absolutely imperative to my wellbeing. I know that until this fear departs, I am utterly useless. I cannot serve myself, let alone serve others. Until this fear subsides, what can I possibly do?


So, I dance. I dance the fear away.


I choose to dance and I come alive within the dance. I lose myself, my typical notions of what “me” is.


I blur. I become a goddess and a god when I dance: I reach both, the place where gender has no meaning. I put on my comfiest sweatpants or my sexiest skirt, and I dance until the time comes when sweat slides down my neck and I am intoxicated by the smell of my own armpits as my head thrashes from side to side. I find I actually like this smell.


And now comes the moment when I strip. I peel off all my sweaty clothes, throwing them triumphantly onto the carpet in a beautiful, crazy heap. My roommate is not home. At this moment, I am naked and dancing. At this point, I have reached ecstasy. No drugs needed, except the delicious batch of chemicals my brain has made, especially for me.





Where does anxiety come from?


From whence does fear originate?


Why are some people able to cure their depression while others commit suicide?


Where does the darkness come from, and how can we bring in the light?


These profound questions about what it means to be a human being are no longer simply relegated to the province of priests—now, in our modern age, scientists, sociologists, and psychotherapists are joining the dialogue.


In the holistic community, dance is being used as a treatment for depression, PTSD, autism, eating disorders, and many other conditions. There is much research out there now, showing how dance is an extremely effective healing tool.

For example, Christina Devereaux, spokesperson for the American Dance Therapy Association, describes dance as a way of shedding light upon what’s hidden within the psyche, as a way to explore, purge, and clear painful emotions. “We really believe in the body/mind connection,” she says. “Dance is a way for people to use what’s happening inside them and express it in an external, expansive way.”


In a 2015 peer-reviewed study, neuroscience researchers found that dancing boosts self-esteem, lowers anxiety, and increases psychological wellbeing.


And at the Stanford Neuroscience Health Center, for elders with Parkinson’s meet weekly to dance to live music and spoken word poetry. This “Dance for PD” class is a truly holistic therapy: it heals on the physical as well as the emotional and mental levels as well. Incredibly, the program was launched 15 years ago in Brooklyn, New York, and is now offered in 16 countries around the world!





For over three decades, I struggled to live. The combination of undiagnosed PTSD (derived from physical, emotional, and sexual abuse as a child) plus being gifted with a number of intuitive gifts and sensitivities (gifts not recognized as valid by my culture) left me disabled and suicidal. I simply couldn’t figure out how to function in the world.


In my early thirties, I had no choice but to leave behind a promising academic career, shortly after earning my PhD, due to my rapidly-disintegrating immune system and an advanced case of adrenal fatigue syndrome. (These are, unfortunately, quite common issues for those with unhealed trauma.) For a while, my friends and intentional family had to take care of me. I intuitively knew that if something didn’t shift soon, I would die.


Today, my life looks so radically different that sometimes I shake my head in grateful disbelief. I am healthier now in mind, body, and spirit than I ever have been in my entire life.


In my healing journey, I have been blessed to receive help in many beautiful forms: a highly-intuitive counselor, trusted spiritual teachers, a community of loving friends, and daily holistic practices such as reiki, raw juicing, yoga, and meditation. All of these tools greatly aided my recovery.


And it was that the final, powerful piece of my healing puzzle clicked into place a few years ago, the moment I discovered dance. It felt like nothing short of a miracle. A way to radically rewire my brain and detoxify old, clogged-up emotions.


A way to experience pure joy!


my weekly Sacred Dance class at The Space




Dance is moving faster than the speed of thought.


Dance is immersion in sound.


Dance is instinctive. It connects us with our ancestors, the ancient tribes who danced for rain and to celebrate the hunt.


Dance is primal and sacred. It’s an opening of the heart. It’s a healing space where we feel the music so intensely, so fully, that our bodies cannot help but move.


Dance is being possessed by the dance. The dancer becoming the dance. The body becoming a channel. A vessel of light.


Indigenous cultures throughout history have practiced dance as not only a celebration, but also as a divine healing art. During the height of my healing crisis, about six years ago, my friend Pattie, a Native American medicine woman, began to teach me how to dance. Her lessons were not formal nor were they complicated. They simply arose, organically and simply, because I was ill and she loved me.


We sat by the fire in the open air. Barefoot. Summer evening, fireflies. She began to drum. And she asks me, before the dance, “Are you finally ready to let go of your fear?”


I remember her watching me. I remember melting into the realization that she knew things that I did not. She possessed a knowledge deeper and truer than could be expressed in logical language. As I began to dance around the leaping fire, my feet stomping and grinding with Mother Earth, I wept. I moaned and sighed: anger that had been bottled since my childhood was finally leaving me.


In those beautiful moments with Pattie, I felt all the benevolent spirits who guided her nod their silent, loving assent. (Maybe those spirits were my friends, too?)


On those blessed summer evenings, I danced. I finally felt connected: to her, to her Ojibwa tribe, and to all the people of the Earth who understand the simple ways of healing.


We humans in modern cities lose a bit of life energy every day. Pollution, noise, stress, crappy jobs, poisoned food, living in squared-shaped boxes made of toxic materials. Our feet rarely touch the Earth.


Indeed, we lose our balance in one thousand ways and we become ill. We forget our connection to Source. Through sacred dance, however, we bring our awareness back into our bodies, back into our holy temples. We get our blood flowing again. We turn off our gadgets and our thinking minds, and we return to a simpler, more loving way of being.


What is dance, you ask?


Dance is a mode of reconnection. A testament to the truth that: every body, no matter how seemingly damaged, wants to heal.


Dance is a mode of evolution.


When we are dancing, we forget our stories. We forget our successes, our failures, our labels, our concepts, our To Do Lists…these all vanish, in the glory of the dance. The story of “me” dies.

And what remains? The true self. The healed self.







Dance is a miracle. And we don’t even need music to do it.

Next time you’re in line at the grocery store, try and see what it feels like to gently sway your hips back and forth. Or, when you’re talking to the teller at the bank, what does flexing that smile on your face feel like? When you’re at home washing dishes, what does the soap and hot water feel like as you move your hands in rhythmical patterns across the glistening porcelain?


Can you feel the movement and graceful shapes of your body as you go through your daily life?


Can you make a game of it?


Can each moment of physical expression in this incarnation be an art form unto itself? Can life itself be a joy?


It’s time to turn up the music, my dear friends. Transport yourself to a miraculous place, beyond time and logic. No need to plan, no need to think. Just be. Just be you.


Feel the grace and splendor of your limbs, and breathe in this beautiful thing called life!



An Angel in Disguise: Instead of a Speeding Ticket, a State Trooper Gave Me This

There are moments in life that we never forget.

We look back upon them, wondering if the Universe had arranged it just for us.

One such moment took place many years ago.



My family and I were living in Houston at the time, and we were on our way to visit relatives in Arizona during the holidays. The easiest way to get there by car is to take Interstate 10 straight across Texas, heading west. My girls were still toddlers at the time, and my wife was dozing off in the passenger seat, settling in for the long drive ahead.

Knowing that the trip would take forever, I was anxious to make good time, and was driving just over the speed limit.

Then, two cars that seemed to be following each other passed me, going about 90 mph.  I decided, “hey, if they can go that fast, so can I!”  So I pulled in behind them and followed them, also going 90 mph.  At the time, I foolishly thought, “I’m behind them, so if a cop is going to pull somebody over for speeding, it will be the two cars in front!”

Boy was I wrong!

About ten minutes after I had started following the other two cars, I saw a state trooper with its lights on, following me, so I slowly pulled over to the side and stopped. We were somewhere between Houston and San Antonio, so we were still just getting started on our long road trip. “Great!” I thought. “What a way to start out a long trip!”  Needless to say, my wife was not pleased with me.

After showing my driver’s license and my insurance to the state trooper, he asked me to step out of the car, so I followed him to the back of our car, nervous about getting a speeding ticket. He had very blonde hair, almost yellow in color, and the brightest, clearest blue eyes I have ever seen. There was a glimmer in his eyes, even though his face was stern, which struck me as odd.  He asked me, “Why were you speeding?”

Not having a good response, I hemmed and hawed, and finally said, “Well, you see, I was just following the other two cars.  They were speeding as well, so I thought I could just follow them.”

The officer looked me square in the eyes, with his bright blue sparkling eyes. From his appearance and demeanor, I could have sworn that I was talking to somebody not from this world! He told me something to extent of, “Don’t do things just because other people are doing them. Follow your own way; be true to yourself.”

He then proceeded to let me go with just a warning.



I could not believe it. Not only did I not get a speeding ticket when I was clearly speeding, but the trooper’s message hit home, in my gut.

At some level, I already knew what he was saying to be true … as a loner, I generally tend to do my own thing anyways.  It seemed like the one time I had decided to blindly follow others, I had been given a stern but gentle warning—don’t!

Needless to say, I did not speed the rest of the trip to Arizona.

Ever since then, I have been ever-conscious of not blindly following others, but instead, processing information for myself and deciding what to do with it for myself. I have been warned, and next time I may not be so lucky.

His message really applies to all of us: don’t follow others, but follow your own path.  Make decisions for yourself. Don’t just go with the flow, or with whatever is trendy or mainstream at the time. Follow what you know to be true and right in your own heart.

This is true in pretty much every aspect of our lives: in our faith and spirituality; our relationships; our politics; our careers, and so on.

Be true to yourself.  Follow your own heart and mind.

So … are there areas where you may be following others blindly?

Do you follow your heart—even if it goes against what others say?

Do you follow what you know is right, and live with integrity?




Known as the Be at Peace Coach, José de la Torre works with clients helping them achieve their goals and find peace by working with their minds, emotions and energy in a holistic fashion. He is author of Spiritual Living for Busy People, and also practices and teaches Qi Gong. Please contact him at

What’s Really Happening on Planet Earth: A Higher Perspective




Susie Beiler is a Certified Holistic Health Practitioner with Spectrum Health Consulting LLC. She is the founder and lead facilitator in The Creation Temple®, an online venue for supporting Lightworkers in their ascension process. Susie lives in Sedona, AZ and enjoys nature, authenticity, and high vibrational food. Please visit her at: and


Do You Feel Pressured to Smile? (Part 2)



What would our world be like if we could all just sit with our sadness?


What would our world be like if our world leaders frequently took time off to sit by a river and meditate? What would our world be like if our CEOs felt it was okay to cry?


Let’s imagine that kind of world.


It would be a world without starving people. It would be a world without bombs, without wars.


Make no mistake, my friends: Such a world is possible.


Such a world starts with you.




How do we usher in this new world?


If you’re sad, simply sit with your sadness. No need to smile. No need to run to addictive behaviors. Just sit and breathe.


Just be sad. Don’t worry about others in that moment. No need to pretend you are available to be nurturing to others when you cannot.


You must fill your own glass before you can share with others.


Let’s all just sit in our sadness from time to time. Let’s give ourselves permission to do that.


Let’s sit with our tears. Our heartbreak. Our grief and confusion.


And during those periods, if it feels right, we can phone a loved one and ask for support. We can seek a professional healer. A massage therapist. We can call in sick to work. Take an epsom salt bath. Dance naked in the living room and sweat out the pain. Play some healing music. Do whatever it takes to feel and be present.


Through your commitment to your own healing journey, you give permission to the rest of the world to adopt a new paradigm of self-care and compassion. You help humanity shift.


And … here’s the ironic thing. Once we are reminded that it’s okay not to smile, that it’s okay to drop our masks and be our genuine authentic selves … we often find that what is most genuine and most authentic is a clear space of love.


Even when we find ourselves in the throes of anxiety and depression, what we find, underneath, if we let ourselves surrender to that space of pure feeling for just a little while, is a vast space of love that opens up.


In other words, once we give ourselves permission not to smile, we may find that, rather quickly, we are ready to smile again.





Chances are, if you are reading this article, you identify as a helper, healer, caregiver, lightworker, or wayshower. You understand, intuitively, that your presence on this planet is a source of inspiration for others. You have deep compassion in your heart and want to relieve suffering.


People like us, we are born to feel. Born to help. However, we must temper that natural inclination with giving ourselves permission to be authentic to ourselves and to always look after ourselves first.


This is not wrong or selfish! By loving ourselves, we build and strengthen ourselves so that we may then go out into the world and use our own life as a testimony to others.


As we love ourselves and set the example, it is important that we remember to tell the truth of the dark within the light.


If we hold ourselves to overly strict, rigid standards about “always being positive” or “always bringing the light”, then we may inadvertently carve a mask on top of our natural face.


The darkness (sadness, grief, etc.) has much to teach us about acceptance and unconditional love, too. The darkness is a wonderful teacher.


In Thich Nhat Hanh’s essay “The Dandelion Has My Smile”, he asserts that forcing ourselves to smile when we feel sad is a good practice, because eventually that forcing will become genuine. While I do agree that there are certain situations in life where it’s good to stretch ourselves out of our stale comfort zones and cultivate gratitude even in the worst of situations, I also think that his advice misses the point for people who tend to hold the martyr archetype or those who tend to over-carry for others.


Indeed, I believe that we can go overboard. We can get hooked on “always being the shiny happy one.” We can become addicted to it, in an egoistic way, creating a split between the sad self we feel in private and the happy shiny self we display in public. This can only lead to disjointed, schizophrenic feelings of isolation and despair.


As a highly sensitive person and empath, I have felt for many years that is my duty to smile and make eye contact with everyone I see on the street and in public spaces. And now … I realize the fallacy of that belief.


On the one hand, my intention has been good: I have wanted to use my life, every waking moment, to be a shining light, helping wake others to their own power and divinity. Such an intention has indeed brought great joy into my life.


On the other hand, that day in the park was terrible. (Please see Part 1 of this article.) My obligation to be smiley felt more like a burden than a blessing. I felt like a fake, a sham. More than anything, I wanted to just hold my own hand and not speak to anybody. I wanted to just walk by someone without a word or a glance and let that be okay.


And what I realize about myself is something that many of my friends and clients are realizing, too.


We as human beings have an aching desire to show all the parts of ourselves. Not just the shiny parts.


I want to show the Anya without the makeup. To show her tatters and scars. I don’t want or need to show this side to everyone, of course (especially not the narcissists or those misguided souls who delight in harming others), but I do want to show this side of me more and more to a growing number of loved ones, colleagues, and intimates.


I don’t want to create a false image of myself on this blog or in my life in general.


I want to show the real me to you: the good, the bad, and the ugly. I want to give you the chance to embrace me for all my facets: my dark, as well as my light.


I want to be real.





As we awaken further and further, we dive into the deepest of questions.


Who am I? What is life? What am I doing here? What is the point of all this?


As I write this article to you now, I am asking: Who the heck is this Anya Light person?


As I pause to sip my tea, I smile, knowing that, ultimately, Anya Light is a label. A concept. A reference point in a sea of mysterious energy.


Paradoxically, when I think of life in this way, my body relaxes. I take myself down off the hook of needing to be perfect, and I can just enjoy my life—just as it is, just as I am.


Is Anya Light always blissful and bursting with light? No. Is she always compassionate? No. A fully enlightened yogini? Certainly not.


Here are some truths about the realities of living as “Anya Light.”


I am the archetypal “wounded healer.” I have come to know healing only through intensely plunging into the depths of suffering.


I have pulled myself out of some very dark holes, and I teach others how to do the same.


These holes that I dealt with can be described as chronic illness, suicidal depression, and PTSD. Even though I am healthier now than I have ever been in my entire life, and even though I facilitate safe spaces for others to heal themselves, I sometimes still have relapses.


Sometimes when I’m lacking food or sleep or when stress hits, certain old PTSD symptoms flare up. On these days, I am sad and frightened, like a little child. (Part of healing from trauma is the undeniable fact that even after the worst has passed, and even after the time has come to let go of the label PTSD, sometimes symptoms still come back.)


The truth is: Anya Light is not always light.


Sometimes I’m so fearful of this crazy world that I hide myself in my apartment.


As an empath, I get super overwhelmed sometimes. I feel too much: the terror, horror, and injustice that is unfortunately commonplace in our modern world. I cannot comprehend it or cope with it!


Why would people pay good money to sit in a theater and watch violence on the screen and consider that “entertainment”? Why would people start rumors and gossip about their coworkers? Why would a parent fail to hug their child? Why would politicians steal money out of pension funds? Why would there ever be such a thing as homelessness? These are the questions I ask that I do not have answers for and that sometimes send my head into a worried, sad spin.


Sometimes … living on this planet is just too much, and I get totally overwhelmed. I hide. I lose my sense of who I am and why I’m here.


But, dear friends, I don’t want to hide any longer! I don’t want to be overwhelmed by the world’s madness. I want to come out of hiding.


I want to say to the world “Hey, I’m sensitive and that’s okay!” I want to show others my tears and fears. I want to hold so many hands. I want to surrender to the light that resides within, no matter how dark that light might sometimes appear to be.


I want to be the change I want to see in the world.

I want to reveal my vulnerability.


I want to let others truly see me.


I want to be the change.





As you ponder what I’ve shared with you, I encourage you to read, re-read, and journal about the following questions. Bring them up with your friends and loved ones. Seek answers, throw out the answers, laugh, and start again.


What is it you desire to experience in this lifetime?

What is your purpose?

Are you willing to show your true self?

Who is your true self?

What are the emotions you’ve quarantined or dismissed as “not evolved”?

Are you ready to come out of hiding?

Are you ready to show the light and dark within you?

How do you want to affect this world?

What is the more beautiful world your heart knows is possible?

Are you willing to show your true face—even without the smile?


Dear friends, I’d love to hear your answers to these questions in the comments. The more we can talk openly about these kinds of questions, the more we co-create the kind of world that makes us proud.


I love you all.





Do You Feel Pressured to Smile? (Part 1)



Recently, I was walking in the park near my home. It was a beautiful day outside: sunny, warm, blue sky.


But … inside … I felt rotten.


I had slept poorly the night before. I was going through some difficulties at work. My brain was tied into a million worried knots.


My reason for going to the park was to relax. I wanted to reconnect with the simplicity of nature. I needed to breathe and reboot. My plan was to be alone, without words, without other people, and just be with the trees and allow my emotions to flow.


However, when I began to walk the myriad paths through the sycamore and oak, I began to pass by many people from my small town. It was strangely crowded at the park that day. Apparently, my idea to take advantage of the gorgeous afternoon in the sunshine was not my idea alone!


As I passed person after person, I realized, suddenly, that I been forcing myself to smile at all of them. I had been putting an artificial tone of cheer in my voice and had been saying “hello!” and “good afternoon!”…when all I really wanted to do was cry.


I wanted to feel and really allow the sadness. I didn’t want to be fake. I didn’t want to smile.


But I was fake that day. The smiles and the hellos were forced.


Why did I feel an obligation to be cheerful? Why had this happened?






If you are a naturally giving or naturally upbeat person, you may wish you could smile all the time. Of course! It’s lovely to want to smile.


If you are a caregiver, parent, healer, therapist, minister, motivational speaker, teacher, coach, or helper of any kind, it is your natural tendency to want to uplift others. You want to make this world a better place. You want to bring the light. That is so awesome!


And … yet … we can get ourselves into tricky situations when we fail to honor our authenticity. When we force ourselves to smile or try to help too much—at the expense of our own needs.


I’ve seen it all too often. The genuine desire to be a beacon of light becomes, unfortunately, the mask we feel obliged to wear 24/7. It becomes a heavy burden, a façade. Slowly, over time, we begin to live solely for others, instead of acknowledging that we ourselves sometimes need help too.


Sometimes we are sad, too.





My dear friends, you don’t always have to smile.


Sometimes you have a bad day. Sometimes you feel like shit. Sometimes you don’t get enough sleep or you catch a cold. Sometimes you are triggered by this crazy world: politics, taxes, paying your bills, the cruel treatment of children or animals.


You don’t always have to smile.


You don’t always have to shine.


For example, if you’re feeling lousy today and you’ve got to go to the grocery store, cut yourself some slack. Visualize a protective bubble of light around yourself and just breathe. Love yourself. Go to the store and don’t worry that you don’t have the energy to do what you normally do, such as make abundant eye contact with the cashier or cheerfully chat with your neighbor.


If you’re feeling low, it’s okay to turn off your “empathy button” for a while. Be in your own world. Give yourself permission to be exactly who you are in this moment: empty, flat, tired, and sad.


You don’t always have to smile. You don’t always have to be shiny. You don’t always have to be the perfect embodiment of joy, confidence, peace, and happiness. You don’t always have to bring the light. You don’t always have to help.





The comedian Jim Carey is a wonderful example of someone who has realized the value of being genuine.


In recent interviews and speeches, Carey talks a lot about letting our masks drop. Having the courage to set them down and be real.


He reminds us the value of being raw and authentic, genuine and vulnerable. In order to fully step into our beautiful humanity, it is essential to intentionally show our weakness to others. By allowing ourselves to be seen as “imperfect,” then we give others permission to relax and do the same. In this way, more compassion comes into the world. And more realness.


Carey’s message is the same as countless sages throughout history. He realized that only through daring to be vulnerable can our true light shine through.


The true light of God, Divinity, the Universe (whatever you want to call it) is within us—but if we pretend to be feeling that light when we are not, we are only hurting ourselves.


Sometimes, what we need to do is cry.


Sometimes, what we need to do is reach out to a trusted friend and say, “I need help—can we get some tea and talk?”


Sometimes we need to go to our Mum and say “Hey Mum, I’m scared. Can I have a hug?”


Sometimes we need to call in sick to work.


Sometimes we need to say “no” or let someone down in order to take care of ourselves.


Carey tells us about how, early in his career, while he was striving to become famous, he not only played the roles in the scripts, but he also played a role in his larger life: that role was called “Jim Carey”! But, he didn’t realize that he was doing this until he began to spiritually awaken.


In his awakening (the unraveling of his ego), he realized that in order to continue his evolution as a soul, he must drop even the role of Jim Carey! He must dare to let others see him, truly see him, moment to moment.


Who is underneath the mask, the persona?


When we make the choice to step outside the boundaries of the tense, anxious, ego-self (even if only for a few minutes, even if only for a little bit), we will find a free-flowing relaxation. A loosening. A delicious unravelling. A peace. And we will realize, incredibly, that we are not limited to form.


We are boundless.


What is underneath the mask is what the mystics have always spoken of. The collision of this moment and the infinite. The conflagration of spirit and emptiness. The person and the being. The Tao. The way. The everything.


Jim Carey dares us to be authentic.


And so do I.


What I learned in the park that day was a turning point in my life.


I realized that I needed to take care of myself first. And what that sometimes means is having the courage not to smile. To just feel and honor my own sadness. To just be human.


Even the inspiration of seeing yourself as a healer or a helper can become a false idol, a mental image. If we believe we “are” that thing that we do—even if it’s positive such as being a teacher or a nurse or a minister or whatever—then we will ultimately drown in that form. We will ultimately sink, into the darkness of confusion and untruth.


If we can relax our human role identity, it is then, paradoxically, that we can allow the full range of humanness—all our sometimes seemingly crazy, chaotic emotions—to emerge and be truly felt.






Another person who has helped bring these lessons of authenticity to the light of our collective consciousness is Brené Brown.


In her infamous TED talk “The Power of Vulnerability” (with over seven million views on Youtube), she teaches how being vulnerable is a radical act of courage that can change the world. She shows how vulnerability is ultimately an empowering act: one we can intentionally choose in order to liberate ourselves from fear and step more fully into our joy.


Instead of reaching for that banana nut muffin and a beer, as she reminds us, do we have the courage to really feel what we are feeling? Do we have the courage to just breathe and be, instead of rushing to numb ourselves with food, drugs, or other addictive behaviors?


Can we find the courage within ourselves to reach out for help and be honest with those we love about our challenges?


Can we be honest about our sadness and our fears?


Brown’s questions are potent and transformative. In a world that’s waking up, it’s exactly what we need to hear.


She helps me remember that I don’t always have to smile. Sometimes I can be sad, and that’s okay.





This post has two parts, my friends. Please tune in next week, as I explore this conversation further.


In the meantime, I’ll leave you with two simple questions:


Do you ever feel pressured to smile? Why is that?

How to Heal Trauma with Healing Foods


By Anya Light


Let’s talk about the foods we put into our mouths and how that relates to healing trauma.

In my own journey of healing PTSD and adrenal fatigue, as well as in my work with traumatized individuals across a variety of therapeutic settings, I have discovered that diet plays an incredibly huge role in how quickly we can recover. Quite simply, diet is one of the key, core elements of healing.

Many of us are familiar with a standard group of recovery modes for healing trauma: talk therapy, energy work, meditation, exercise, hypnotherapy, and somatic practice. Many people do not yet recognize, however, just how powerful diet can be.

In this article, I’ll discuss 3 keys to a trauma recovery diet that promotes swift healing.

Before I proceed, however, here is a quick caveat. I am not a medical doctor. I am not a medical professional. In no way does this article constitute a prescription or official medical advice. Rather, what I am gently suggesting here is simply personal opinion, based upon my own personal experience and research.


  1. Nourish your body with plenty of antioxidant-rich foods.


Antioxidants are natural substances that promote healthy circulation of energy through increased blood flow. Healthy circulation helps the body cleanse itself of toxins as well as reduce out-of-control inflammation.

As you can imagine, getting enough antioxidants is important for every human being… but for PTSD and trauma survivors, antioxidants are especially crucial! Antioxidants help uncoil tension and stuck energy within the body, promoting the peace and relaxation that is so necessary to regaining a sense of safety in the world.

Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans are rich in antioxidants. Some specific ones that have the highest levels are: blueberries, blackberries, goji berries, pecans, artichokes, elderberries, kidney beans, cranberries, cilantro, basil, and ginger.



  1. Increase your protein intake.


A common symptom of unresolved trauma is a reoccurring sensation of feeling floaty, shaky, dizzy, unbalanced, or ungrounded. Protein helps resolve these symptoms.


The intense experience of trauma forces us to adapt. In response to the trauma, we learn coping mechanisms that allow us to numb or even energetically flee our bodies altogether. In soul healing methods, such as those discussed in the peer-reviewed article “Trauma and Dissociation“, lasting healing happens when there is a reunion between body and spirit.


Increasing your intake of protein will vastly aid in such a reunion. Protein calms the nervous and endocrine systems. On a spiritual/energetic level, protein helps us to connect more solidly with our Mother Earth. Protein helps us come back into our bodies and to feel strong and safe there.


Some foods that are incredibly high in protein are: nuts, seeds, beans, peas, lentils, brown rice, tempe, kefir, mushrooms, and spinach.


The question of whether to eat meat as a protein source is entirely up to your best judgment. Eating meat is your choice and no single rule works for everyone. At certain phases of a person’s healing journey, meat can be beneficial. At other phases, though, it can be destructive. Listen to your body. Eat a bite or two of meat and then observe your body afterwards. Do you feel renewed? Grounded? Calm? Solid? Queasy? Sluggish? Irritated? Angry? Be open to the messages your body is telling you, whether positive or negative.


If you feel that eating meat is a good thing for you at this time in your life, I encourage you to think about what’s easiest for you to digest. Allowing your digestive system the lightest possible amount of “work” frees up more energy that then is available to your body for healing. Typically, red meat and pork are the most difficult for people to digest. Fish is often the easiest type to digest.

Also, if you are going to eat meat, I suggest limiting yourself to eating only “happy meat” is a wonderful choice—meat that comes from grass-fed, free range, organic, humanely-treated animals. As trauma survivors are quite often energetically sensitive souls, it is not advised to consume meat from an animal that has suffered greatly. An animal that has been tortured (what happens in factory farms) will certainly have vibrations of fear, pain, anguish, and terror imprinted into each cell. When a human being then eats the meat from such an animal, they are—quite literally—ingesting those difficult emotions as well.


As we eat increased amounts of protein, in whatever form our bodies are asking for, we connect energetically to the Earth and we re-enter our bodies in a more balanced, grounded way. We have the energy to complete our daily tasks without overwhelm, and we build the functionality of our muscles. We become strong in the world again.



  1. Avoid Toxic, Stressful Foods


It tends to be easier for people to add elements to their diet rather than take them away. The human ego does not like change, and certain foods and drinks are often habitually consumed for reasons other than health—they are consumed as a kind of drug, to bring relief, comfort, and numbing. Thus, please be aware that what I am about to share with you may be triggering to the ego.


When we are healing trauma, it is an absolute necessity that we do everything we can to calm our physical body. To put our body in certain conditions that will promote peace and tranquility. When we are traumatized, our fight-or-flight mechanisms have gone haywire, and our bodies are typically poised at the edge of fear on a consistent basis. Unhealed trauma means an overly-adrenalized endocrine system and an overly-stimulated nervous system.


In trauma recovery, there is a core group of substances that need to be gradually released for a full healing process to occur. In general, the core group of foods to avoid are: processed sugars, processed flours, foods laden with artificial chemicals, foods with pesticides, GMOs, alcohol, and caffeine.


The last two on this list—alcohol and caffeine—are the most toxic, stressful substances of all.


The damaging effects of alcohol


Why is alcohol important to avoid? The ethanol content found within alcohol causes blood pressure and heart rate to increase. This puts the body into a kind of heightened state that negatively impacts the ability to get a good night’s sleep. For traumatized individuals, getting plenty of deep, rejuvenating sleep is utterly crucial to the healing process. Sleep is the time when the body is most able to clear and cleanse the negative effects of trauma.


Let’s not beat around the bush. Alcohol is a poison. True, it may help us temporarily relax, but only through sending toxins to the brain that dull our senses. Even a single alcoholic drink can do considerable damage because it puts strain on our liver and immune system. For traumatized individuals, our systems are already severely strained. Adding alcohol into the mix is only going to delay our full healing.


The damaging effects of caffeine


When I finally gave up caffeine a few years ago (and this included chocolate), my body made a rapid shift. In the short space of a few months, my panic attacks were greatly reduced and my sleep was vastly improved. I found that I was able to have greater concentration, focus, and balance during the day, because now I was free of the roller-coaster of caffeine highs and crashes.


Caffeine triggers a release of adrenaline and cortisol. For those in trauma recovery, this is the last thing we want to do! Instead, soothing caffeine-free herbal teas are what will heal us: chamomile, lavender, bergamot, dandelion, and ginger are some of my favorites.


Contrary to popular belief, caffeine is not a harmless substance. Just like alcohol, caffeine is a poison. It is a toxin. It hurts not only trauma survivors, but everyone. It’s a substance that puts undue stress on the endocrine and nervous systems. It is incredibly difficult for the body to digest. And it also is quite physically and emotionally addictive.


I often talk to my friends, family, and clients about the devastating effects of caffeine. In fact, I often discuss the parallels in mindset between our over-worked, stressed out, highly-caffeinated culture (with a Starbucks on every corner) to our big pharma culture, where we so often turn to quick fixes like pills to “fix” us. Simply put, a cup of coffee, caffeinated tea, or a bar of chocolate appears like a quick, easy fix for feeling sleepy. And yet, the long-term effects on the body are horrendous.


In truth, caffeine does not heal or fix or aid us at all! In fact, when we ingest caffeine, what is truly happening is that the body is being triggered into an artificial fight-or-flight mode. Thus, we are over-stressing our bodies and addicting ourselves to ever-present feelings of unease and anxiety.


I know from personal experience how difficult it is to release caffeine. I remember when I was sitting nervously in the office of my new holistic doctor, back in 2011. I was sipping a latté. After scanning my test results, she announced that I had an endocrine system that was functioning at levels normal for a 70-year old person (I was 30 at the time). She looked at me in the eye, concerned and grave. She said, “If you really want to heal, the first thing you must do is give up caffeine.”


I remember wanting to burst into tears right in her office. Give up caffeine? How in the world would I get through grad school? For the past three years, I had been surviving each day only by drinking two or three lattés from Starbucks. How would I make it through each day? As my mind raced with these questions, the full impact of my addiction became clear. I had, somehow, begun to equate caffeine with having the energy to live.

It was at that moment that a quiet voice came into my mind. The voice said, “Don’t worry. You can do this.”


And I did. Giving up caffeine was one of the best things I ever did for my health.



Dear friends, as you walk this beautiful path to wellness and to a vibrant, peaceful life, please know that you are not alone. There are countless others who walk this path, too. I have walked this path, and now I’m here to tell you that you can do this. You can heal.


As you make choices about what’s most nourishing for your body, remember that the comfortable or easy choice might not always be the best choice. Sometimes making changes can require a certain amount of discipline. However, making changes is a day-by-day, often step-by-tiny-step process. Healing from trauma, PTSD, stress, or chronic fatigue doesn’t just happen overnight. Healing takes time.


Ultimately, when we set the intention to heal our body, mind, and soul from trauma, we choose a life where the most important thing is self-compassion. Through listening for what is the most compassionate choice, then we naturally and organically begin to make better choices that promote our long-term health and vitality.


Through compassion, we listen for the voice that says, “Yes, yes, dear one. You can do this.”


How to Transcend Polarity with Gender Fluidity





Susie Beiler is a Certified Holistic Health Practitioner with Spectrum Health Consulting LLC. Susie is a channel for the Divine. She assists her clients to discover and live their soul mission so that they can enjoy a deeply fulfilling life. 

After healing herself from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (adrenal burnout), she reprogrammed and rewired herself to live her own soul mission as a channel for the Divine. Susie is the founder and lead facilitator in The Creation Temple®, an online venue for supporting Lightworkers in their ascension process. She lives in Sedona, AZ and enjoys nature, authenticity, and high vibrational food. Please visit her at: and

Zen and a Love Story


By Anya Light


In the beginning, you are seated for meditation. Zazen. You wear a dark sweater and scarf. I notice how tall you are, and slender.

And then we begin to bow. I don’t know this ritual yet, and so I find my eyes drawn to you, as you make the movements. I dip my head reverently to the wooden floor, which represents the Earth. I dip my head and rise my palms for Buddha. (Not in worship—but in Yes!)

Yes, quiet meditation hall. Evening. England. This bowing. And there is no difference, now, between those who are bowing and those who are sitting or moving in this room in other ways. We all Are. I have Buddha nature, and so do you. I bow, watching you. You are always two seconds ahead, to my right. I can’t stop looking.

The story really begins with a headache. My headache. I cannot yet face them: the crowds, the rooms of expectant people, here to hear about my book. I am tired of talking.

Just ten minutes in the Zendo, I tell myself. Just ten minutes of meditation: that’s all I need. So, I rise from the bed, shuffle downstairs, and push open the wide wooden door.

It is you! You are there! You are already seated, on the old wooden floor. My heart is made of firecrackers. My heart is made of chocolate. I burn and melt. In total surprise, I say: You!?

We smile and agree to sit together. At the end of ten minutes, you ring the bell. I don’t remember what we talk about, after we sit, but it’s something that flows beautifully. A few minutes pass, and suddenly we remember other people and clocks exist. We say we are both reluctant to join them, but we do.

And then the story, well, it really begins with my question to you, after the reading: Would you like to take a walk with me? …And then, out in the open evening air, a few streets later, my question: May I kiss you? Your mouth is dry and you laughingly complain. We look around. There’s so much, and suddenly. The moon is big and the river is near. It’s August, the end of summer. We stand in the market town of Hebden Bridge. I don’t live here, but you do. You show the way.

We walk. When we reach the bridge, we hold hands. I remember resting my head in your lap. Your hands upon my head, so gently, so gently.

I tell you I’m a healer, a shaman, that I walk between worlds. I tell you everything. No secrets are between us, already. We talk of magic. We talk of love, mystery, sex. After awhile, we walk a bit more, back toward the house.

Back at the drafty old house, later, you kneel to write your number on a scrap of paper. Time has stopped a long time ago. While writing, you look up at me. I’m in the chair, close to you, legs crossed. You shake your head, disbelievingly, almost like a confused, giddy child. You say: I don’t know you, but I love you.

We are writing a love story, my love. It includes more things. Letters, packages, emails. Visits. Six-hour Skype calls. Orgasms and dances across space and time and all that seems real. You and I in the forest, that afternoon. You and I on the islands, those evenings, when we camped. The whale leaping from the waters.

How your laugh surprises me still.

How crickets can signal not the end but the beginning of a summer.