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How Working With a Bear Animal Guide Helped Me Heal

About 5 years ago, during a guided meditation, a bear showed up. I didn’t think too much of it until the bear showed up again in another meditation a few months later.

Before this, if you had asked me what my “spirit animal” was I would have definitely said, tiger.

So I was unsure about this bear. I did a little research to discover the energy associated with bears.

Bear Animal Guide Characteristics

  • Hibernation.
  • Solitude.
  • Alone time.
  • Protection.
  • Mama bear.
  • Grounded.
  • Earth energy.
  • Strength.
  • Confidence

At this time in my life a lot of change had been going on and I had been struggling a bit. Just reading the words associated with bears soothed me. I knew I needed this energy in my life.

I began taking more alone time and focused on getting grounded on a regular basis. In the beginning, I would imagine myself in a field and bear coming and putting its arms around me. Protecting me.

It felt good to have this strength and confidence surrounding me.

I decided I was going to call it “Bear” instead of a name. I don’t always associate Bear with being male or female. None of that seemed to matter in this instance.

As time went on, I started to bring “Bear” into my daily life. During my life coaching training when we were doing our first sessions with each other I would imagine Bear right behind me putting its large paw on my back.

This gesture reminding me that I was supported. Sometimes I would even lean back into a bit to connect to this energy even more.

Now I imagine Bear supporting me like this on a regular basis.

When I started wearing flower crowns for videos and events, I started to imagine Bear wearing a flower crown too.

When I start worrying, I ask Bear to take my worries away. I again imagine and almost feel the paw on my back. I visualize worries going from me to Bear. I feel lighter and also cared for.

My phone screensaver is a painting of a bear hugging a woman that reminds me of me. I love and appreciate our connection.

Sharing With Others

Everything I just wrote, I used to be nervous to share with others.

Would people think I was crazy?

  • I have learned who to share more with and who to keep my mouth shut around. I have also learned that I don’t care too much about what others think so that helps a ton. It took me about 40 years to get to this point and honestly I feel like I have Bear to thank a bit for this too.
  • Doing this work has benefited me tremendously without hurting anyone. I have always enjoyed taking the path less traveled and here I am.

Would my parents worry that I was replacing God with a bear?

  • I was raised Irish Catholic so the idea of working with an animal guide was more something I had heard about but not experienced. My Bachelor’s Degree is in Religious Studies and I have spent a lot of time studying religion and spirituality. However, I did not feel religious or spiritual for most of my younger life. I felt disconnected. Teaching yoga led me to more spiritual pursuits are not necessarily Catholic and they actually brought me back to using the word God and believing in a higher power. I am grateful for it. I also say Universe and Spirit.
  • We are all on a journey. I believe animal guides are simply a way for God/Universe/Spirit to connect with us and lend us support. My parents support me as I explore my own spirituality and are happy that over the years I have become closer to the divine instead of further away.

Is any of this real?

  • This has been a HUGE sticking point for me when it comes to sharing about working with animal guides. I have ultimately learned that what I have experienced is real. I have felt comforted, healed, and connected. I believe it is a combination of my imagination, intention, and energy. The universe is mysterious. I could spend all of my time worrying instead of allowing these experiences to help heal me. I could worry about what others think or help those who feel drawn to me and this work.

Where I am Now

I now insist on taking alone time daily. I even hibernate sometimes from social media and the world. I have a few solid grounding practices that I used daily too. I know how to connect with Earth energy and how to protect my own energy.

I embrace being a mama bear to my family and have increased my strength and confidence a ton over the years.

When Bear first came into my life, I NEEDED the energy. Now I embody the energy.

Bear Painting by my super talented herbalist friend, Kimberly Kling of Joyful Roots!

Simple Full Moon Ritual

Ooh! One of my favorite things to do on the Full Moon is to set time aside for ritual.

When you first start working with the moon it is best to keep things simple.

It is so easy to get carried away with life and forget to take a moment to slow down, express gratitude, reflect on your New Moon intention, and/or simply enjoy the present moment.

The Full Moon allows you to take this time.

Here is a simple Full Moon Ritual that you can customize and make your own:

Just Me & the Moon (no supplies needed):

  • This can be done outside or inside.
  • Find a place to sit comfortably with a straight spine. If you don’t think you will fall asleep, you can also lie down.
  • Take at least 3 deep breaths in and out of your nose. Or set a timer and breathe deeply for 1 minute. Then allow the breath to relax.
  • If the sky is clear, take some time to gaze at the full moon. If not or the moon has not risen yet, simply close your eyes and imagine a full moon above you.
  • Express thanks for being here right now. Express thanks for anything else you are feeling grateful for.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Imagine the light on the moon coming down into the crown of your head. Imagine that silvery, cool energy moving down your face, over your shoulders, arms, chest, back, belly, hips, and down both legs.
  • As the light moves through your body, imagine tight areas relaxing, dark areas being healed, and blocked areas being opened.
  • Imagine that the light surrounds your body too. Bask in this light.
  • You might like to set a timer, play music, or stay as long as you want.
  • When you are ready, begin to deepen your breath again. Bring your awareness back to your body.
  • Notice how you feel. If any feelings, ideas, or thoughts came up, then take a moment to jot them down.
  • Thank yourself for taking this time. Thank the moon for her healing energy.
  • Know that you can move forward with grace and ease because you took this time for yourself.

How to customize:
  • You can visualize a specific color coming from the moon or notice if a different one shows up in your visualization. Look up the healing properties of that color.
  • If you need some physical healing, allow yourself to have the moonlight focus on a particular area. Imagine that is bringing healing energy to that area.
  • If you need to release a negative habit or memory, imagine the moonlight going into a dark area and shining a healthy light there. Giving you the feeling that you no longer have to hide behind that habit or hide from that memory.

Any of these customizations can be taken deeper.

You might like to ask out loud or in your head to be shown the next steps to take. Trust that by taking this time for yourself tonight that you have raised your vibration to match the healing or opportunities you desire to come to you.

The first part of this is super simple because I believe it is important for you not to get caught up in supplies, astrological signs, a beautiful Instagram shot. While I enjoy these things myself, the whole point of following the moon is to slow down.

When you slow down, your body and mind have a chance to catch up and blend everything together.

So I hope you take the time to sit under the moon and allow her silvery light to connect you with the real you.

One of my favorite place to look up the dates, times, and names of the full moons is: https://www.almanac.com/astronomy/moon/full

Bringing Mindfulness to Creatives at Craftcation 2018

I was thrilled to be invited as a presenter at the Craftcation 2018 this last April put on by Nicole Stevenson and Delilah Snell of Dear Handmade Life. This is an extravaganza of crafts, color, fun, and talented and generous people.

The energy of this event is almost indescribable. Also, the effort and vision of its founders blew me away. It was such an impressive event that really brought people together. A lot of the focus was crafting and business but what I picked up on the most was people talking about being around like-minded people, expressing themselves without judgment, and seeing the event as an epic act of self-care.

I was asked to present about Mindfulness for Creatives with my friend Cassie Uhl of Zenned Out Jewelry. We talked about the importance of taking time for yourself and shared a lot of tips similar to what I share on this blog and on social media.

Each day people could sign up for office hours that covered different topics.

I did mini-intuitive business readings and absolutely loved them! Some of the people have continued working with me as clients.

I had my tried and true Medicine Woman deck along with these amazing oils from Joyful Roots. The oils help bring people into the present moment and the cards help people think about and view their situations from a more intuitive place.

I also offered Guided Meditations to attendees on the beach. Wow! These were so amazing. I just loved the energy of the people who came and the sounds of the ocean in the background. To be honest, I felt like I could do this all day long!

One of the highlights was listening to Debbie Stoller talk from Bust Magazine. I am a fan of hers and she left me pondering about what to do with my own Kerry Magazine. It was a project of mine to help show all women as beautiful. It evolved into some pretty interesting issues. You can check it out here: https://www.kerryburki.com/kerry-magazine/.

I love connecting with people I knew from being a presenter at previous conferences like Ami from Flutterbye Prints(above).

I was also on a panel about self-care which is one of my fave topics! I showed up in a bright red dress and a huge flower crown because that is one of the ways I show love for myself, by wearing what makes me feel fabulous. Also, on the panel from left to right is designer, Jeanetta Gonzales, business coach, Alisha Roberston, and Holly Marsh of MarshMueller.

Some takeaways for you would be: getting better at saying no, scheduling downtime, learning to know when you are close to burnout, practicing breathing exercises, decluttering, and taking breaks from social media.

The last evening I was there, I was a part of Wanderings. This is a super fun event where guests and presenters alike are given the opportunity to change their room into a theme for the other attendees to wander in and out of all night. Cassie and I created The Zen Den. We offered DIY essential oil blends, coloring pages, crystal kits and, of course, tarot card reading with me.

I went for 4 hours straight and LOVED the connections, and “aha” moments that happened that evening. I hugged and cried and laughed with people I had just met. When asked how I was able to do this, I told them that I simply created the space for them to feel safe to look within and honestly view the situations they were concerned about. I followed up with everyone about their card a few weeks later to help keep them in the groove of the event.

I made sure I crafted too! Of course, I signed up for the clay moon phase mobile class and a mixed-media macrame wall hanging (above).

If you are a creative business owner or simply someone who loves getting crafty, I encourage you to check out Craftcation. I am very grateful to have been part of it this year.

Photo cred: Heather Shane Photography

Coping & Thriving as a Parent of a Child with Type One Diabetes

A year ago Wednesday, I took Simon (my 10-year-old) to the doctor to find out if he had a bladder infection. Turned out he had Type 1 Diabetes. 

I had no idea what that meant. They were sending us to the hospital and I thought we would be there for a couple of hours.  

As we were leaving the doctors office, he told us to stop at home and pack a bag because we would be at the hospital for a few days. I was shocked but didn’t show it.  

Matt (my husband) was traveling back from a business trip and didn’t know anything yet.  

By the time we got to the emergency room, Simon was feeling lightheaded. His blood sugar was 530. I had no idea what that meant. They asked him if he knew where he was. I found out that his blood sugar should be between 80 and 150. 

He was scared and dazed. Isaak (my 7-year-old) was paying attention to everything. Matt arrived later that night. 

Simon and I spent the next 4 days at the hospital. Once they got him on insulin and his blood sugar levels were safer they started teaching all of us about diabetes and how to handle it.  

Matt and I learned that Simon’s pancreas has stopped producing insulin which is a hormone needed to allow sugar to enter cells to produce energy.  

From there we learned how to use syringes and vials. Make calculations of synthetic insulin doses based on blood sugar and counting carbs in food. We practiced on a Type 1 teddy bear and then had to practice on Simon. 

We stayed positive and really appreciated the support of Phoenix Children’s Hospital. 

I am grateful for the spiritual practice because it saved me in the hospital. I prayed, I asked angels to watch over Simon, I used breathing exercises for energy, yoga stretches to release stress, asked guides to lead us forward with calm and ease, and so on.  

Once we got home our lives became filled with shots, finger pricks, keeping insulin at the right temperature, monitoring blood sugar, and counting carbs. I was pulling out syringes in parking lots, bathrooms, theaters, and cars.

 

It was our new normal that also came with comforting both Simon & Isaak during this time. 

(more…)

Animal Guide Meditation & Painting Workshop Photos

Kristen Fagan and I had THE BEST time helping others connect with and paint their animal guides at this workshop. It was so inspirational and I just love how gorgeous all the paintings turned out.

EVERYONE LEARNED HOW TO:

  • Connect with their current animal guide
  • Receive wisdom and guidance from their animal guide
  • Paint a picture of their animal guide
  • Use their artwork as a way to connect with and work with their animal guide
  • Begin to use animal medicine and energy in their life

So beautiful!