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Blog

Filtering by Category: A-ha Moments

Life Happens in the In-Between

Amber Adrian

I’m sitting on my deck, listening to the stream and wind chimes. My zen frog statue sits happily in the balmy air. I’m wearing a blue t-shirt emblazoned with a giraffe in sneakers.

I may be leaving my little garden cottage in Mill Valley soon. I may be here for many more years.

My work may be completely changing. It may simply be in a rest period between two eras.

Yesterday, my network chiropractor said, “It’s like being in mid-air. You’ve let go of the trapeze but haven’t caught the next bar yet.”

That’s exactly how life feels. Things are moving now, differently than they have over the last ten years. I can see possible directions, but nothing has landed.

We’re floating in the in-between.

Everything is possible in the in-between. Potential unfurls in front of us like rainbow streaks through oil on asphalt after the first rain.

I’ve always had this sense that I’m waiting for my real life to begin, like it’s some fairytale just beyond my reach. Whether that’s something I came in with or the effect of too many Disney movies and Danielle Steele novels on my impressionable young brain, I can’t say.

But even the Disney movies know this: the adventure comes before the happily-ever-after.

Because life is happening now.

In fact, now is the only time life is happening. Life is not happening in the past and it’s not happening in the future. All we have is this moment, this one, right here.

Happily-ever-after never comes. 

Because that’s the end, and we don’t end.

So I pause every so often throughout the day and take a deep breath and notice what’s here now.

I feel my butt in my red deck chair, my slippers on my feet. Watch the sun float through the leaves to form lacy shadows on the ground. Notice the energy in my heart, the thought forms swirling around my head, the way my ankle hurts a bit for no good reason.

Life isn’t later, life isn’t what happens when I’ve finally checked the boxes on my list. I know that but I haven’t always felt it.

I don’t have to create some magical experience for myself, I simply have to notice all the magic that’s already here.

Yes, a nearby bathroom when you really have to pee counts as magic.

We’re just living life. It’s all happening now, even when you’re floating mid-air. Especially when you’re floating mid-air.

Life happens in the in-between.

Summer solstice sun, filtering through the trees. Seen by living life.

Summer solstice sun, filtering through the trees. Seen by living life.

Absolution

Amber Adrian

You know what’s exhausting?

Trying to fix everything about yourself.

When I say it out loud (type it into a blog post, same thing) it sounds dumb. Like, dear god, woman, what are you doing? If that’s how you’re spending your time of course you’re drained.

But this fixing of the self situation is insidious.

We’re hardwired to believe that if we don’t enjoy how we currently feel or don’t have something we want, that means we need to fix something about ourselves or our life. Because if I had just done it right, been more successful, healed faster…I wouldn’t feel this way. I would have what I want.

Again, when you type it out loud (go with me here) it really does sound kinda stupid.

Which isn’t to say that I am stupid or that you are stupid, if any of this resonates with you.

It’s more of a “Hey, this pervasive societal plague of “Must Be Better” is stupid.” We’ve been trained to switch automatically into the Fix It gear when we aren’t enjoying something, be it a feeling or a life situation. If we don’t enjoy, we must require healing or our life must require a big change.

It’s a rather extraordinary act of rebellion is to say “You know what? I don’t have to fix anything about myself. I don’t have to get a job, start a business, get married, have a child, pay my bills, run a marathon, lose ten pounds, write a book, make a certain amount of money, or start meditating in order to be a worthy human being. I already am worthy. So are you. So are we all. I can just be in my experience from moment to moment, however it feels. I don’t have to do anything about it.”

But oh my god it’s hard.

Because we’re trained to jump. Trained to jump out of our bodies, out of our feelings, out of our experience and into something that feels better, whether it’s ice cream, a new sweater, red wine, a new job, a new project, a new relationship.

Because being where we are right now is hard.

But I’m finding that it doesn’t have to be hard. Who knew?

It can be incredibly easy to just take things moment by moment. To just notice and be curious about the thoughts and sensations that are happening right now. Without worrying about what’s happened before or what might happen later, because none of that matters even a little bit. Because nothing but the present moment exists.

I’m even going to put that sentence in a different font, that’s how much I want to visually represent the brain popping that happens whenever I remember it.

Nothing but the present moment exists.

Because I am the kind of person who wants exactly what she wants and wants it yesterday, it’s taken me a very long time to get to the edge of this. To get to the place where I don’t want to fix myself or my life any more.

Mostly because I simply don’t have the energy. I don’t have the energy to want anything I don’t have, I don’t have the energy to move anything around, I don’t have the energy to heal any more of the many things my brain tells me I need to heal.

It required complete burn out to get me here, possibly because I am wildly stubborn and will ignore nudges and signs until the proverbial cows come home to take off their boots and turn on the TV.

Frankly, I am thoroughly sick of moving energy around. I just can’t do any more shifting, processing, clearing, calling in, manifesting, transforming, healing or quantum leaping. It’s too exhausting to try to fix all the energy everywhere.

I’m too tired to do anything but be.

Be present with my current experience of my thoughts and physical sensations for a few seconds before going back to the (truly delicious) truffle potato chips.

($3 at Trader Joe’s, guys.)

“Hold not heal” is something Jeff Foster says, and I’m really happy I happened to hear him say that. Because I kept getting the “we are already whole and healed’ message, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to integrate that into the human experience of … everything.

Labels like healing and anxiety and emotional neglect and depression and codependency and all those oh-so-loaded concepts drag me down every time they float across my brain. So I’m done with those too.

It’s okay if my head is pounding, my brain is spinning, my body is shaking, my emotions are careening wildly. It’s okay. It doesn’t mean anything at all, except that I’m human.

Maybe anxiety is sacred. Maybe depression is sacred. Maybe all those other “you should probably medicate that and go to therapy” experiences are no better or worse than any other experience.

Maybe we can just let it all be okay. Let it all be safe. Maybe we can experience all of ourselves in each moment, and take a breath with it, without carrying it into the next moment. Unless we do, and that’s okay too.

My favorite way to return to the moment from wherever I happened to be - floating somewhere in the future or the past or the ether or in some precarious state of disembodied overwhelm - is to notice what’s around me. The leaves on the trees, the smell of star jasmine, the squirrel dive bombing my roof, the steam swirling up from my coffee, my butt in the chair, my feet on the ground, my hair touching my collar bone.

Just noticing these things grounds me in this moment.

When I’m actually in, I can notice what’s rising up in me.

Then I can hold it, be curious about it, love it. Or just fall into it. Fall into being held. Like when your muscles just give up after you’ve run twenty miles and you have to crash into the grass.

I give up on trying to ascend to some level of peace where there are no triggers.

Because - apparently - the universe just laughs at me when I try.

So I’m just going to exist in the triggers. While still doing things, because I’m tired of letting the triggers take me out.

When he was full of fear and anxiety about taking over The Late Show, Stephen Colbert said, “It was my job to calm the fuck down and go back to work tomorrow.”

I love that. I feel like that’s my job. Notice what’s happening in whatever trigger shows up - or not, no big - and then calm the fuck down and go back to work. Every single day. Even though what my work actually is feels very vague right now.

(All my info points away from channeling and energy healing and toward writing again, but the kind of writing that shares my experience (rather than sells anything for anyone) and I’m not 100% sure how a person gets paid for that, and burn-out or no, I still have bills to pay. So that may mean a job? And blogging when I have time and energy? No idea, but I’m open to anything.)

In this moment, I fully absolve myself of having to change anything, fix anything, heal anything, do anything.

Me, trying to exist in the sun and shadows without being dumb about it.

Me, trying to exist in the sun and shadows without being dumb about it.

Let's Discuss Vultures

Amber Adrian

One of my major life challenges is How To Not Be Drained Always.

This shows up in work, in relationships, in going to the grocery store without needing a post-produce section nap.

I get drained because I want to help everyone feel better. So I let them in. Way in, energetically speaking. While that’s awwww sweet on some level, I'm ready to officially declare the Amber Buffet closed.

So much about how our energy intermingles and interacts is unconscious. Even for those of us who make it our actual job to know (raises hand), half the time it’s “wait, what the hell just happened?” after coming home from something only able to climb into bed and stare at Queer Eye for three hours straight.

I believe that energy vultures are just trying to survive, the only way they know how. When someone’s been drained their entire life, they will naturally be drawn to energy they can drain, just so they can get through the day. It’s unconscious, until we get a clue and start working on good boundaries.

I’ve been both the drained and the drainee. I’ve been both the vulture and the tasty roadkill.

Vultures are just doing their best to get through life. If you have some tasty energy on offer, they’re going to partake. Like any one of us would if we missed breakfast and Starbucks had banana bread samples sitting out. Obviously you’re going to take it. They wouldn’t offer it if you weren’t supposed to eat it, right? Right.

There’s nothing wrong with being a vulture. Vultures are their own perfect part of the food chain.

But it’s my choice whether or not to let the vultures feast on my carcass.

So I’m declaring again, here and now:

THE AMBER BUFFET IS CLOSED.

Hey, cool, but how do we close the buffet?

Good question.

I’m still working on it.

What I’ve been doing lately is simply paying attention.

When do I need to crawl into bed? When do I just want to watch Netflix and hug a pillow? When do I land face first in a bag of kettle chips? When do my thoughts circle endlessly on something that doesn’t help or doesn’t even feel like me? Those are all signs that my energy has been drained.

What precipitated the poaching? A trigger? A conversation? An internet troll? A social gathering?

Energetic hygiene - clearing, cord-cutting, shielding - is great for empaths and sensitive peeps. But ultimately, the best protection is connecting with your own heart, your own energy, your own light, and blazing it through your own field.

When you’re all wrapped up in your own light, outside intrusions can’t get in nearly as easily.

So I’ve been chanting “I nourish and cherish myself”, putting my hands over my heart whenever possible, paying attention to my breath, being as conscious of my thought patterns as possible, and doing whatever I can to bask in my own goddamn light.

These past six months, I’ve felt so drained that I couldn’t even find my own light. My rib cage was as dark as a haunted house on November 1st. So I finally had to stop everything I was doing and make myself my number one priority - over my business, over helping others, over money, over relationships, over everyone and everything.

ME ME ME.

While this may be a controversial opinion, I highly encourage any and all empaths and sensitive people, especially those who feel drained and overwhelmed, to adopt a ME FIRST policy.

When you’ve been giving so much of yourself for so long, a wild swing in the other direction is often needed. In the ME ME ME direction. When we’ve been offering our love, energy, talent, care, money to anyone and everyone for our whole lives without receiving enough in return (from ourselves, others, or a particularly wretched combination of the two), we need to put our foot down and declare THIS IS THE ME MONTH. (The Me Day, the Me Year, the Me Decade, whatever.)

Then you do whatever you have to do to take care of you.

For me that means writing with big pots of tea, scrubbing my house, going to the beach, quitting the soul-sucking task of selling myself, doing my best to break a sweat everyday, re-reading Harry Potter, taking off my shoes so I can feel the grass between my toes.

Plug yourself in so you can recharge.

Prime re-charging spot. The beach is like the empath genius bar. Just walk up and your connection gets fixed.

Prime re-charging spot. The beach is like the empath genius bar. Just walk up and your connection gets fixed.

On Overcoming Triggers and Downward Spirals (After Much Stubbornness)

Amber Adrian

Since I still don’t know what I’m doing with my life, business, home, relationships, writing - with anything at all really, thanks, quantum shifts! - I’m doing my best to just keep myself happy and in a relatively positive state. “Vibration” if you live in Northern California.

One thing that’s always made me happy is blogging. Just sharing my experience. Not in a “this is what you should do!” way - in fact, I would generally advise against doing what I do - but simply because talking about what’s true for me in this moment feels important.

Apparently that’s a real thing for empaths. We see and feel a lot and we get trained out of sharing it as kids and then we end up choking on unprocessed information as adults.

Blogging clears the throat chakra (apparently) and hot damn could my throat chakra use some of that.

So I’m going to talk about my week, because that's what you do on a blog.

First up:

The universe is trying to trigger the hell out of me. 

… and it succeeded with vigor on Monday. 

Mostly because my internet went out, which is the most first world of problems, besides maybe being denied your favorite flavor of green juice. But I still find it deeply aggravating. Mostly because it’s a solvable problem that somehow never gets solved.

Side note: One of the best descriptions of the United States I’ve ever heard is that we solve problems no one else can solve (internet and space travel) (the Russians might disagree with that, but I don’t think anyone from Russia reads my blog) and we can’t solve problems that are a major “duh” to everyone else (healthcare and guns).

Anyway, whenever my landlords call Comcast to fix something, my internet gets disconnected. This leaves me full of rage. Because 1. this keeps happening even though I’ve asked for a heads-up so I can make sure the Comcast guy doesn’t sail off on his merry way leaving me without a connection and 2. because I work from home and I need that shit. 

Rage was felt, triggers were acted upon, and if that was a universal test of my maturity and / or spiritual growth, I failed miserably. 

So I drove to Petaluma in high dudgeon to use internet that actually worked while simmering in my frustration and rage, because that’s always a great idea. Rage is good for the skin. 

HOWEVER.

Even though I massively failed the universe’s perverse little test and made life rockier for myself thanks to said rage and high dudgeon, some good things still arose:

Good Thing Number One:

While I was in Petaluma, I went into one of my dark Everything Is Bad, I’ve Done Everything Wrong So I Never Get To Be Happy, I Can’t Do This Any More, Let Me Off The Planet spirals. There was shaking, there was crying, it was not pretty.

I used to get stuck in these dark spirals for hours or days or weeks, 100% certain that I would never get out of it, that there was no light at the end of the tunnel and everything would be bad forever. Which is not a fun place to be, especially if you’re there for weeks. I rarely go that far down the spiral any more and I pop back out fairly quickly. This is big, and I’m doing my best to be conscious of how far I’ve come. Possibly even congratulatory, because while it’s not a sexy achievement, it is an important one.

During this particular dark hell spiral, I was able to recognize that there actually was dark energy spiraling above me and I was held in its thrall.

It freaked me out. I didn’t want anything to do with that dark energy, I was scared, get it away from me.

But then I noticed that I was feeling calm again. The relentless and wildly painful cycling of my brain had stopped. I felt peaceful.

Post-dark spiral peace is absolute bliss. It’s the best high on the planet and this, my friends, is why the world has drug addicts.

So I asked the person next to me if he was doing anything and he said he was. I replied that whatever he was doing was working and please continue.

When I asked what was actually going on, he said he was cycling the dark energy through his heart. He likened it to the obnoxious kid on the playground who just wants to be included. If you try to push the dark energy away, it gets worse. But if you love and accept it, it settles down.

Cue head explosion.

Because I knew this intellectually. But in practice I was too scared to welcome in the dark energy. Partly because I feel like I’ve been welcoming in dark energy my whole life and that’s part of why a reasonable portion of that whole life has been one giant festival of pain. *

*Slight exaggeration but not nearly as much of an exaggeration as I would prefer.

But maybe it’s because I welcome it in but then get scared of it and try to push it away. Maybe by fully loving and accepting it - and myself - everything gets easier. Peaceful.

I’m still chewing on this, but it was a profound experience.

And one that may not have happened if my internet hadn’t gone dark.

Good Thing Number Two:

Even as I was feeling righteously enraged by the egregious internet offense, I knew that there was going to come a point when I realized it wasn’t a big deal at all. Hot on the heels of that point would come the point where I feel rather sheepish.

Yes, that moment came. But no, I didn’t feel sheepish. I don’t have much shame any more.

At the appointed time - well, technically an hour and a half after the appointed time but still half an hour within the given window - a friendly bearded man with a thick southern accent showed up. He admired my hobbit house - he even called it a hobbit house, which is exactly what I call it, and this endeared him to me forever - and said he wanted one just like it. He had just moved to the area from Tennessee and this was only his third day here.

So I told him that there were hobbit cottages aplenty in Mill Valley and how to find one, along with where my favorite beaches and pizza places live. He labeled my internet line with a “Back cottage, do not disconnect” so that Egregious Internet Offense doesn’t happen again.

It felt like one of those encounters that needed to happen for some reason, obvious or otherwise.

So I was feeling good about the whole thing.

Then the universe tried to trigger me again, a mere day later.

Because the universe is nothing if not determined, and also I failed the first test so I guess it wanted to give me another chance? 

But this time I didn’t trigger. Hahaha, take that, universe!

Because I didn’t trigger, I just let the parking meter eat my debit card and calmly reported it lost. Then I calmly walked to the bank and a very friendly teller handed me some cash so I can eat and buy gas for the next week. When my card comes, I will calmly re-set up all my automatic bill withdrawals.

Like a goddamn grownup.

Then I went to my appointment and we worked on receiving (because I am apparently not very good at that) and forty-five minutes later, I got a whole bunch of free soup and bread. Because I was working at Arizmendi’s and it was closing in ten minutes and they had to get rid of all the unsold soup. So me, the college student sitting at the next table, and an elementary school teacher all got big containers of free tomato soup and fresh bread and it was great.

The moral of the story is: Everyone wants to help. Everyone did their best to support me through my (minor first world) challenges and since I’ve been deeply wanting to feel more supported, this was a much needed reminder that feeling taken care of can happen.

Even if the universe was being a bit of a dick.

Me, wearing a stolen hat and triggering only slightly.

Me, wearing a stolen hat and triggering only slightly.

Here's the Path. Now Walk It.

Amber Adrian

Who else has one hell of a holy-whoa full moon hangover?

If you are raising your hand right now, hi. You are my tribe.

Shifts have been rolling in, fast and determined, which is what happens when you let the feisty phoenix give your life and soul a fiery blast.

I’ve been feeling the shift coming on for the past few weeks, which is why I stepped back from anything that drained me, started drinking ridiculous amounts of water, and focusing on healing myself over everything else.

As much as I want kids, I’m really glad I didn’t have them this month, because they probably would’ve demanded things. Like love. And food. And it was all I could do to get myself food, much less love.

Fully surrendering the illusion that I have any brand of control over my life did not come easy. Wading through the muck that was floating to the surface was a Shawshank Redemption-style army crawl through the sewer of my soul.

I want control. I tried to wrest control. I did everything in my rather stubborn power to make the universe bend to my will.

And, sure, the universe will bend to me.

But not by doing what I was doing.

What I was doing just made the universe laugh at me.

(Rude.)

Because, as ever, I need to focus on what’s happening internally.

I had to fill up my own damn cup - by crying, moving through old emotions and energy that got stuck in my spleen sometime in mid-2007, roaming the seashore, and drinking green juice and eating potato chips. By meditating and reading Harry Potter. By connecting with my heart and higher self and watching Netflix.

The human and the divine in one big messy orgy of It’s Goddamn Time and This Shift Is Coming Like It Or Not.

Halfway through, I hated it and was mad at it.

Now that I’m on the downhill slide, I like it.

It feels good to move through something big and dark-feeling and come out the other side with your light back on.

Here Are Some Things I Learned (Again) And Hope To Remember This Time

(Note to self: Remembering simply requires daily practice.)

Connect daily with my light and heart and higher self. It’s all in there, I just have to tap in.

Sweat and yoga it out, every day. Move out anything that wants to malinger.

Notice and be present with any shadows or dark spots. Love myself through it all.

Love myself through it all. Yup.

Have fun. Best way to shift into a higher state of being and vibration.

Fill my own cup daily. Just ask what feels like a soul and body sigh of relief and do the thing.

Blaze my own light and vibration. It works even better than shielding and clearing, though do that too.

Be fully and happily in a “whatever happens happens” frame of mind - with money, relationships, work, and life in general. It’s always “this or something better” and as I feel it all here now, life will organize it for me, all the faster if I keep my grubby mitts off.

Feel what I want to feel now - instead of waiting for the love or abundance to give it to me, because it won’t. The universe is mirroring my internal world back to me. So I can just go ahead and feel loved and secure and abundant right now, and the outer world can do whatever it damn well pleases.

Now is the only moment that exists. So I’m gonna be in it and enjoy it.

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Taken in Mill Valley after staring at the ocean waves for awhile.

There’s the path. So we just gotta walk it and enjoy the motion.

Trust Fall Off a Cliff

Amber Adrian

Yesterday, I got some scary-ass guidance.

It happened right here on this ridiculously pretty California beach, as I sat on the sand in my favorite place to get answers.

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I've been getting - and ignoring - a few messages for months. Since I'm also getting close to falling off the burn-out cliff, which would force the issue, I'm doing my best to pay attention.

Guidance: Take a month off.

Brain: I would love to, but I can’t afford it.

Heart: Take a month off.

Brain: Yeah, but money. MONEY IS A THING, YOU KNOW.

Guidance: You are not to worry about money.

Brain: EASY FOR YOU TO SAY, LIVING IN THE ETHER WHERE YOU DON’T HAVE TO PAY RENT OR BUY ORANGES.

Guidance: You don’t have to buy oranges either.

Brain: But I like oranges.

Guidance [sounding put-upon]: We’re getting off track again.

Taking a month off feels like both a soul sigh of relief (the feeling I always tell my clients to follow) and a red-alert-panic-button-you-gonna-be-homeless-crazy-lady alarm.

Now, I wouldn’t take it completely off. I’ll still be working with my current clients and groups and anyone who knocks on my door.

But I won't be searching anyone out. I won't be launching, sharing, marketing, newsletter-ing, or posting things of the Amber-Is-Sorta-Inspirational-(?)-But-Mostly-She-Seems-To-Be-Talking-About-Monkeys-Again oeuvre on instagram.

Not trying to make money, when humans do actually need money, would be full-blown surrender.

I would be required to trust the universe to send me what I need to be able to keep my house and my car and my oranges. Trust in myself and what I’ve already done, trust in my shaky nervous system not to go crazy with fear.

I’m not 100% sure I have it in me.

I've been getting guided to write more and take a month off for ages - and just haven't done it. Because, fear. Also: possible homeless and orangeless...ness.

But I can't keep touting "follow your guidance! follow your guidance!" to the world at large if I don't follow my own goddamn advice.

What if I did just follow my intuition and stopped doing things that drain me and just did things I love? What would happen?

We’re about to find out.

Trauma Tuesday

Amber Adrian

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I look fairly normal, right?

Nope!

Turns out, I’ve been a walking bundle of traumatized nerves my whole life.

I, hand-to-god, had no earthly idea.

While the world is a traumatic place, I haven’t been through any noticeable trauma (dead dads and miscarriage and breakups aside), so I assumed the word didn’t apply to me.

But there’s a whole subtle trauma underground. Emotional trauma, systemic trauma, empath trauma. They’re like the ninja turtles of trauma: Big, green and will karate chop the heck out of your throat, but no one quite believes they’re real.

After a charged but ultimately no-big-deal conversation on Tuesday night, I catapulted into a 24-hour period of shaking, must-flee, all-my-feels-are-like-fingernails-down-the-chalkboard-of-my-system panic experience.

Needless to say, it was zero fun.

It didn’t really cool down until I ran to the network chiropractor’s office the next day for the first slot they could give me, threw myself down on the table, and yelled “FIX ME!” Which they did.

In the past, I thought I was just being an overly-sensitive drama queen.

That’s the thing about emotional neglect and self-abandonment. (Two terms I don’t particularly care for but have been reading about anyway because they seem to explain a lot.) They’re more or less invisible.

We humans are deeply adept at normalizing and sweeping things under the rug - mostly because we don’t realize it’s an issue or know what to do about it if we do happen to notice.

It’s only been recently that I’ve recognized that this sort of reaction to a fight or any kind of harsh energy or emotion isn’t normal. Or maybe it’s all too normal and few of us really know what to do or how to talk about it.

After my system kicks into high-octane fight-or-flight (but mostly flight), I cease functioning in any normal fashion. I flood, my brain goes hazy, and I become one giant throbbing nerve.

Which is just as much fun as it sounds.

I’ve done a lot of emotional and energy healing, but my poor physical nervous system is so tweaked it can take me down in a hot second at the first sign of trouble.

This is why I have never allowed myself to do any kind of drugs or keep any kind of sleep aids or alcohol in the house, because in these flooded, panicked, in-severe-wracking-systemic-and-emotional-pain moments I will toss back anything handy without giving the first damn.

Which means that on Tuesday night, when I was mid-trauma-trigger, I didn’t have so much as a spare melatonin tablet.

So I went for a drive instead, which may have not been the best plan, all things considered. Luckily, it was after midnight and no one is on the road in Marin. I drove around Tiburon until I calmed down enough to go home, then I worked until I calmed down enough to go to sleep. Then I woke up with a pounding heart, a deep sense of dread, and no idea how to feel better.

The hardest piece of this is the Having No Idea How To Feel Better.

Suddenly, my attraction to energy healing makes sense. For the longest time, it was the only thing that helped me feel better.

To be fair, I have a much better idea of how to feel better than I did in my twenties. Sometimes I can even remember that the trauma spin cycle will eventually end, leaving me much better off. But it’s hard to believe, mid-trigger.

What I learned to do was avoid trauma-triggers. Which means it’s very hard for me to have an argument with someone or, really, any kind of meaningful relationship. Because something jagged eventually and inevitably crops up that requires normal-person communication and possibly a bit of a disagreement and my poor overloaded system just can’t deal. So I run away, silently screaming.

Empaths end up wrangling insane amounts of trauma. Because every human on the planet has been traumatized in some way or another, and very few of them have the privilege of the time, money, help, and knowledge needed to heal. So we just go around sucking it up, all day long.

Energetic boundaries are great, but - as I am currently realizing - very difficult to hold up when your physical system is compromised.

Add in inherited ancestral trauma, whatever you got growing up (because your parents got it growing up), and any of the things that actually happen to you in your life, and it amazes me that anyone gets out of bed. Much less holds down a job and goes to the grocery store in any sort of regular fashion.

Long story short, I had no idea my system was holding so much trauma, and now I know so I guess I get to do something about it.

Big hug to all the other traumatized bundles of raw nerves walking around out there like normal people. You’ve got this.

Ego Explained In a Holy Whoa Moment

Amber Adrian

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In the shower this morning, I was washing my hair and having a little chat with my higher self.

You know, as you do.

I was wondering why I triggered so hard over an aspect of my intuitive work. So I was feeling around and my guides were like, “I ain’t touching that one” and so I got nudged up to my higher self (wise self, small voice, whatever terminology lights your fire).

Here’s the booming, oh-holy-shit response I got:

“The ego triggers when you aren’t honoring your highest calling.”

Well done, higher self. That was a serious mic drop.

My first thought was, Wait a second. My ego goes the most apeshit when I AM honoring my highest calling.

To which my higher self replied, “Your ego goes apeshit when you’re pursuing your highest calling. Honoring your highest calling has a different flavor.”

Huh. Okay. Sure. Let's do this then.

And images flooded in:

Me, triggering when someone who hasn’t been doing this channeling stuff as long as I have gets tens of thousands of youtube views when I get, at best, dozens.

Me, triggering when someone who’s saying the same thing as me on Instagram gets hundreds of hearts and comments when I get crickets.

Okay, that’s far less mysterious than I initially imagined.

My ego goes nuts when I spend my time comparing myself to others rather than trusting and following my path. When I’m happily doing my thing, I don’t care what others are doing or what the response - to their work or mine - happens to be.

Dear Future Me:

For reference, “doing my thing” is writing and channeling and making things for the fun of it and sharing from the heart and resting and having fun.

Not scrolling through Instagram or Youtube and making up all sorts of stories about how I’m doing it wrong or aren’t as good as these other people or whatever other nonsense the brain hamsters spit out that day.

Love,

Present Me Who Just Talked To Our Higher Self and Wants to Help Us Remember This For Next Time, a Next Time That Will Probably Be In Two Hours Given Our Current Track Record

All that said, it’s totally okay for the ego to trigger! We be human and that’s what happens. No judgment needs to be made when the ego fulfills its function.

Life simply goes more smoothly and happily when we notice that the ego’s function is to demonstrate when we’re out of alignment with our soul and purpose.

Right. Got it.

Triggering is cool, feelings are cool, deep dives into the depths of suffering are cool. We just want to notice where all these things are pointing us, rather than getting lost in the experience.

Because all things - good, bad, indifferent, hideous and transcendent - are simply pointing us where we need to go.

Taking care to notice the message our soul is trying to send us through the feelings and experiences is what helps life really begin to move in a horses-and-sunsets sort of direction.

When Your Writing Coach is a Ghost

Amber Adrian

Six weeks ago, I was elbowed by the ghost of Mary Oliver in a bookstore.

She offered to help me with my writing, which was very kind, because she has the whole of the cosmos to play in, as well as any number of superior writers.

But she offered, I accepted, and here we are.

Her first assignment was to write a page a day.

So I dutifully made a folder on my desktop, which I labeled Mary Oliver and used to stash each day’s page.

Whenever this assignment drifts across my mind - like a tumbleweed attempting to cross a twelve lane highway during rush hour - I assume I’m doing pretty well. Sure, I’ve missed a few days here and there, but surely I’m a good student, one a ghost wouldn’t regret taking on.

Turns out, I haven’t been doing well at all.

I looked at the folder today. Between February 19 and today, March 25, I’ve written precisely eight pages. And that’s only if you include this blog post, which I most certainly am.

Why I need a writing coach is becoming wildly and brutally apparent.

One of the aforementioned pages was a conversation I had with her, which I will share with you now, even though it doesn’t portray me in the best light:

Me: I need to feel some more things first.

Mary Oliver: No, you don’t. It’s self-indulgent. The writing comes first.

[Me: Wanting to argue, but deciding against it.]

Me: This is showing me my inconsistency. You said a page a day and I’ve done maybe five pages, partial pages, in a month.

Mary Oliver: Are you going to let that stop you or are you going to do better?

Me: I don’t like the word better.

Mary Oliver: Don’t trigger, just commit to your writing, the way you know you’re meant to and you know you want to.

Me: I’m tired.

Mary Oliver: You’re being whiny.

Me: Yes.

Mary Oliver: Sigh.

Me: So what do I do? How do I move forward?

Mary Oliver: How do you want to move forward? I can’t tell you what to do and you shouldn’t listen to me if I try.

Me: I want to write fiction. I want to write that story that keeps playing like a movie in my head when I take my walks.

Mary Oliver: Then do that. Write those stories as best you can. Trust the one that is meant to come through will. Just keep going.

Me: I’m so tired.

Mary Oliver: I know. I used to get tired too. Just keep going. Nap if you need to, walk to the trees if you need to, but keep going. Just don’t give up. It’s not time to give up.

Me: Is this resistance?

Mary Oliver: Does it matter? Just keep going. Take care of yourself, because that’s good for the writing, but keep going.

Stop overanalyzing everything.

Do your utmost to show up consistently and trust the unfolding.

There are seasons in writing just as there are seasons in nature. There are seasons in your life just there are seasons in the life of an oak tree.

Allow the seasons. Allow yourself to rest when you feel fallow and bloom when it’s time.

You’ll bloom when it’s time.

----

Mary Oliver doesn’t seem to put up with whining, nor should she.

Whining is definitely not my most attractive trait.

It’s a tricky balance between being really gentle and kind with yourself and … not whining.

(Maybe that balance is only tricky for me.)

I want to be consistent. That’s why I started my Moose in the Kitchen blog oh-so-many-years ago. (Thirteen years ago? Fourteen?) That’s why I started writing this blog again even though I’m not sure anyone actually reads it.

I want to be in the steady flow of words, the one I was able to access so easily for so many years.

I want to finish things, things I’m proud of.

I want to stop beating myself up for being where I am, rather than where my brain says I should be.

I want the ghost of Mary Oliver to be proud of me, or at least feel fairly confident that she’s not wasting her time with me.

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Moving Mountains. Or At Least Not Tripping Over Things.

Amber Adrian

It continually cracks me up - in a haha, REALLY, UNIVERSE? kind of way - how the most spiritually powerful people I know are the ones who struggle the most with the real life human stuff, myself included.

Connected to the infinite? Easy, got it. 

Powerful healer? Absolutely, no problem, easier than breathing. 

Receiving guidance from the ethereal, otherworldly beings of light? Naturally, not a day goes by.

Paying rent? Shiiiiiiit. 

Enlightenment is easy. 401ks are hard. 

But I know that’s not actually true. 

It’s all just energy. Money is energy. Rent is energy. The same energy we wield so powerfully to the benefit of everyone else.

What any struggle I have with money is really showing me is where my energy is funky, where my head is working against me, where I’m getting tangled in my emotions. 

(The emotion tangle is a particularly wily beast for the highly sensitive people. We’re not just wrangling our own but everyone else’s, until we learn how our boundaries best work.)

It’s like a human being born in an octopus’ body. Being an octopus is awesome, but it’s not what you expected. You have a vague sense that things should operate differently, but walking down the street on two feet feels impossible when you have eight tentacles instead. 

A wise human-octopus would accept the tentacles and learn to work with them. An unwise human-octopus would get mad and frustrated and sit in the corner of the tank fuming. 

(It probably doesn’t need to be said, but I am not wise.) 

Embrace the octopus, Amber. Embrace the octopus. 

I joke about not being wise, but it’s actually more like being an octopus in a human world. Where everyone is a human but you. The octopus is remarkably sensitive and has simply evolved differently than we have. Sensitivity can make everything trickier to contend with until you learn how to work with the sensitivity and aim it in a direction that serves you. 

I’m still learning to embrace the human. I’m still learning to embrace the sensitivity. I’m still learning how to move through the brain and feelings tangle and toward aiming all my energy in the direction I want instead of letting it scatter to the four winds. 

The more I come fully into my body, and feel my energy drop into my lower chakras (for the first time in my life, really), the easier this all becomes. 

For a long time, it was like trying to drive a remote control car. I was so far out of my body that I was trying to move my body like a puppeteer would manipulate a marionette on strings or an eight year old would operate the controls for a tiny Porsche. I would run into lamp posts and trip over steps and couldn’t ever find a safe space in my body. 

Dancing grounded me. Running grounded me. Lying in the grass grounded me. Lots of meat and potatoes grounded me. 

Emotions ungrounded me. Fear cut the strings and I would go floating into the stratosphere. 

No wonder it was hard to be be human. I was playing PacMan on an arcade console rather than strapping on the virtual reality goggles. 

PacMan doesn’t really get much done. But he does an admirable job of eating ghosts. 

So, getting into my body has helped a lot. Learning to line up my energy, my brain, and my emotions behind what I actually want, rather than letting everything freak out all the time, is helping too. 

I still have a lot to learn. Or more accurately, a lot to practice. I’ve known all of this for years, but it has been epically hard to actually DO it. Because I was floating around outside my body, dropping in for brief moments, getting hit with something and popping right back out again. 

I need to practice not sending my energy - worry, fear, doubt - in the direction of all the things that don’t serve me.

I’m still learning focus. Empath overwhelm is a definite thing and can send you into the energy-emotion spin for days (weeks, months, years). There are so many things I’m capable of and so many things I want to do that I have trouble getting my energy behind one thing. 

When I focus my energy, I can move mountains. We all can. 

Walking on the beach is one of the best ways to come back into the body, come back down to earth.

Walking on the beach is one of the best ways to come back into the body, come back down to earth.

Down the Channeling Rabbit Hole

Amber Adrian

When I was eight years old, I asked what god was. 

I didn’t ask my parents or a teacher or a preacher - I asked the ether. 

Specifically, I asked my bedroom ceiling. 

Talking to the ether was my thing in those days, along with stacks of Babysitters Club books and imaginary friends. So it surprised me not at all when I got an immediate answer. 

I saw all the living beings in the world as points of light. As I watched, all those points of light converged as a massive light in the sky - and that was god. 

Obviously. 

So, visions as a wee sprout, check. But then clairvoyance and all other clairs started retreating into the background as I got older. 

Stuff crept through, of course. Being nudged out of the psychologist’s office when he wanted to prescribe me a bunch of drugs. Blogging my way through my late twenties and learning that I could write my way to healing and answers. My physical body saying “hell no” as best it could to a relationship that wasn’t good for me. 

It wasn’t until what I call the cracking open moment in 2012, around the time of my dad’s death, that this weird path really began to unroll in front of me. 

Kind of like the universe said, “All right, it’s time. Let’s give her a kick in the ass.” 

A few months later, one of my first teachers walked into my apartment in Santa Monica and said, “Oh, you’re an empath and a channeler.”

I nodded like I knew what she was talking about and then, as soon as she left, googled “empath” and “channeler.” 

Slowly, I began playing with the channeling - automatic writing at first, for friends and then for kind strangers who were willing to be my guinea pigs. Eventually, I graduated to spoken channeling and then group channeling and energy healing and energy healing on a timer - setting it up for people like I was preparing the coffee machine to dispense life-giving elixir in the morning. 

It seems that as long as I’m willing to say yes to whatever is coming through, the more I get handed. As long as I’m willing to keep barreling down this unknown path, the universe will keep handing me etheric superpowers.

So that’s cool.

For a long time, I didn’t know what energy I was channeling. I knew it was deeply wise and loving - beyond that I didn’t need much information. 

A few years in, I figured it was time to find out.

I was walking through my neighborhood in Mill Valley and idly asked, “Is there anyone specific I’m supposed to be working with?” 

Immediately, I saw seven figures in front of me, and I stopped dead on the sidewalk. It was a rather immediate answer, like they’d been waiting for me to pop the question.

So I saw them. But since they weren’t wearing convenient name tags, I had to ask who they were. 

The first guide to step forward was Jesus.

I admit, that threw me. 

Since I was raised in the Church of Hippie, I didn’t have any particular thoughts about Jesus, except that he seemed like a cool dude and super helpful to everyone, regardless of race, creed, gender or occupation.  Also, Christmas is the best because who doesn’t like cookies and presents and trees in the house?

But I had questions and wanted to do some double-checking, during which he patiently humored me. “Yes, it’s me. Yes, people call me Jesus. Yep, still me.”

Standing with him were Mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, Archangels Michael and Ariel, Brigid, and Joan of Arc. 

Sure. Okay. Why not.

So I worked with them for awhile - both for myself and with groups of amazing women - and, sure enough, it just kept getting weirder. Because etheric rabbit hole.

A council of magical animals stepped in about a year later. Giraffes, unicorns, lions, otters, dragons, a peacock, and a feisty phoenix.

A few years after that, star beings started waving at me. So I started channeling them too - and basically dropped dead because the energy was so high. 

While I call it channeling, because that’s the word that resonates for me - like I’m turning my super sensitive radio dial to different frequencies and sharing what comes through - there are tons of speakers and teachers and writers who are tapping into this universal source and frequency in a similar way without calling it channeling. 

It really doesn’t matter what you call it. 

We’re all simply tapping into that well of universal wisdom. 

Everyone can do this. We all have access to this guidance and the healing. But it can be so helpful to have other people translate it for us, especially when we’re learning. Especially when we’re floundering. 

(I personally spend at least five percent of each day floundering, often quite a bit more.) 

But it was first called channeling for me, and that’s what stuck. 

Since falling down this rabbit hole, I’ve talked to dragons and Joan of Arc, gotten dating advice from Mary Magdalene, had visions of my future babies, had visions of other people’s then-future-now-present babies, hung out with Jesus, gotten writing tips from the ghost of Mary Oliver, released the ghost of the dude my grandpa killed in a bar fight in the ‘40s, had etheric birthday parties with unicorns doing back flips on trampolines - as much weird, amazing stuff as I can handle.

Playing with all this keeps opening new doors, and I’m so excited to see what comes through next.

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“What if you didn’t need to suffer?”

Amber Adrian

Here, have a question that will implode your reality.

When my energy healer said this to me on Friday night, my brain went KABLAM. Like a cartoon frog being catapulted into outer space via rocket launcher.

That question is still sending ripples reverberating through my reality, a surprised green amphibian ricocheting through the continuum of Amber.

“What if you didn’t need to suffer?”

My god, what would I do with all that extra time?

Until the moment the question was asked, I didn’t realize how much of my experience was colored by suffering.

My thoughts, my feelings - basically the entirety of my internal reality.

The only time I’m not suffering is when I’m channeling, writing, dancing, eating, or maybe having sex.

But I want those times to be marked by joy, not the absence of suffering. My god.

I blame it all on my brain, of course. And that ever-pesky empath thing.

My brain throws a royal fit every time I expand. Since I’m expanding pretty much all the time right now, my brain is in a near constant state of flip-out. (Which is good, but when I’m mid-flip-out, I don’t remember that it’s good, so I just panic.)

Being an empath doesn’t help. Because so many other people in this world are suffering and I am picking up on it, simply by existing and doing things in the world. Things I can’t avoid. Like getting groceries. I do a pretty good job at being a hermit, but even hermits need potato chips.

What if I didn’t need to suffer?

What if I don’t need to suffer, just because everyone else is? What if I don’t need to suffer, just because my family did? What if I don’t need to suffer, just because the world says I do?

What if none of us need to suffer?

[KABLAM]

I know the answer is already floating around me. We always have the answer the moment the question is formulated. But my brain is still trying to catch up.

In this moment, I know the answer is breathe. Sink into your body, let your soul take the reins. Give your brain a break. This will allow a fuller understanding to come in, and the suffering to unravel and loosen and eventually drift away, leaving me in a different state of being.

When I was talking about this last night, I was asked: “What’s the opposite of suffering?”

I didn’t have a ready answer.

Peace? Joy? Neutrality?

Being?

I can’t think my way through this one. Thinking is more or less how I got into this mess in the first place. I can only be.

Trust the be-ingness of it all to unwind whatever suffering is woven throughout my experience, leaving freedom and, I don’t know, aliveness in its wake.

Some would argue that to be alive is to suffer. I would have probably been one of them. But I’m not sure I want to subscribe to that any more. I’m not sure it’s necessary.

What if we don’t need to suffer? What then? What opens up? What else can we experience?

The answers are still assembling, but I’m sure as hell ready to find out.

Cascade Falls in Mill Valley, California: a good place to go to not suffer.

Cascade Falls in Mill Valley, California: a good place to go to not suffer.

Geriatric Wonder Woman

Amber Adrian

Yesterday, I tried to go for a run. All I could manage was a geriatric shuffle.

One conversation with one human earlier in the day had totally sapped me.

I have to be so, so careful about the energy I allow in. People’s energy and emotion can hit me like a dump truck. If I’m not on my guard, the truck will flatten me. And possibly dump old spaghetti all over my head.

One conversation and I lost an entire day. Poof!

Geriatric shuffle instead of a nice productive run and climbing into bed instead of working.

At least I notice the drain now. That’s significant improvement from my days of WHY CAN’T I MOVE WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME. I can assess the situation and understand that I’m not shaking it off because someone else’s judgment was pointing a finger at where I’m judging myself.

I can look at that judgment, decide what I want to do about it, return to my truth and trust that everything is unfolding perfectly. (While also texting a friend for reassurance that I am not a shitty person.)

(I am not a shitty person. My friend said so.)

As I was army-crawling my way through the sludge, I kept reminding myself that just because someone else has a story and energy around that story doesn’t mean it has to be my story or my energy. They can have their truth, I can have mine. It doesn’t mean anyone is wrong, it just means we all get to choose how things look and feel for us.

What helped was imagining a shield of light on my arm - kind of like Wonder Woman’s bracelets - that I could swing up to send the energy deflecting back.

Pew, pew!

Unfortunately, the second I put the shield down, the energy zoomed back in and dropped like a wet wool blanket thrown on top of me.

Honestly, it made me mad. Mad that this happens to me, mad that it still happens to me even as I learn more about how energy works, mad that people hurl their stuff at me because it makes them feel better, even knowing that I used to do the same thing - and sometimes still do, if I’m in enough pain.

But I woke up today feeling so much better. Knowing that I’m allowed to make determinations about who I choose to spend time with based solely on whether or not my energy is drained afterward.

I want to spend my time and energy with those who nourish me, not suck the actual life out of me. Which in turn helps me be someone who nourishes rather than drains.

Being an empath is weird. The interaction of energy is weird. This is supposed to be my area, but I still have so much to learn.

I find this frustrating, as I would so much rather be perfect and know everything already.

But today, after I did a few sessions - including one high-frequency star session that knocked everyone on their asses - I started to wonder about the really powerful and intense experiences my clients were having as we sat on conference calls together. Why is that?

OH. IT’S BECAUSE ALL I DO, ALL DAY LONG, IS HAVE INTENSE EXPERIENCES.

Why can’t I go to the grocery store without crying? Oh, because I’m me. Why can’t I have a charged conversation without having to take to my bed, like a Victorian heroine in a melodrama? Oh, because I’m me.

BECAUSE ALL DAY LONG I’M HAVING POWERFUL ENERGETIC EXPERIENCES.

While this sensitivity to energy is a major pain in my ass, it also helps me help other people have their own powerful experiences - of release, of transformation, of their own divinity, of their own power, of feeling so much better about whatever the challenge is - BECAUSE ALL I DO ALL DAY LONG IS HAVE POWERFUL ENERGETIC EXPERIENCES.

Big sigh for not being a normal human, having normal human experiences.

The upside is garlic cheese fries on session days (they’re grounding! really!) and Netflix. So I can watch other people having intense experiences, while I sit in bed and eat popcorn with my stuffed therapy otter.

Trust Walk Hangover

Amber Adrian

Last week, I went on a trust walk.

I didn’t know what that was either. But when someone I sort of know says, “Meet me at a random park and let’s do a trust walk!” I am the type of person who says, “Hell, yes!”

One of the advantages of the empath / sensitive situation is that knowing who to trust is not my problem.

One of the disadvantages of the empath / sensitive situation is that a simple ninety-minute trust walk laid me up in bed for a day and a half afterward, about which my trust walk guiding friend said “What? That’s not a thing.”

Things that aren’t usually things do tend to turn into things with me. I don’t really know what to say about that except that I am a delicate peony and hopefully the delicate peony benefits are worth it to the people I care about.

I keep trying to describe this trust walk thing to people and keep doing a semi-terrible job, but I’ll give it a whirl for you.

A trust walk is when you get blindfolded and led around a place with nature.

When you’re in the dark, when your sense of sight is taken away, your brain starts operating differently.

We don’t often realize how much of our time and energy is spent categorizing the things around us. Even as I look around the room where I’m writing this, a room where I live, I notice the steady stream of thoughts, “Oh, there’s my red chair that an ex-boyfriend bought me; there’s my dragicorn staring into a bowl of crystals; gosh, I’m glad I tossed that rug in the washing machine, it really needed it; there’s my tiny refrigerator, maybe one day I’ll have a real kitchen again; there’s my bowl of fruit, I hope the ants don’t find it, crafty bastards.”

When we’re out in the world this reaction is intensified. We’re constantly classifying things in our head - noticing a lamp post so we don’t walk into it, reading the energy of the person walking toward us to decide how open we want to be (smile and make eye contact or eyes forward with a quick step?), tracking where we are so we can get where we want to be and then back home again.

It’s a steady barrage of information and stimulus that, when shut off, completely and utterly changes your experience of the world.

The first thing I noticed when the blindfold went on was that my brain quieted. It didn’t have its usual obvious input and so my senses automatically softened and widened - to hear the sound of the water and the dog collars jangling nearby. To feel the energy of the trees around me and the ground beneath me.

The second thing I noticed was that when my friend tried to guide me physically, it did not work at all. I couldn’t walk in a straight line and we both kept running into things. But if she walked a bit ahead of me and I could just track her energy and her voice, my path automatically straightened out and she could guide me verbally around things like mud puddles and trashcans.

The third thing I noticed was how much my energy tends to whirl above my head or stick in my heart. When my energy started to drop from my heart down into my torso and then into my pelvis, I realized that it hadn’t really ever been there before. It was like my entire center of gravity dropped.

Grounding myself and my energy has always been a huge challenge. Getting anywhere near my body took years - the first energy healer I ever went to said she had to yank me off the ceiling by my ankle. And I flew back out the first chance I got. So getting into my heart was a big deal. Dropping all the way down into my pelvis was a major triumph.

In this entirely new space of feeling and sensing, we wandered around the park. I almost fell down a hill, met a trashcan, kept walking straight into the prickle bushes (I was wildly attracted to those prickle bushes), and got really nervous when other people passed us.

After my blindfold came off - while I was still sensing things more energetically and elementally, and less visually and intellectually - my friend asked me how I felt when I was near her energy.

“How do you feel, what do you want to do?”

What I wanted to do was run away from her and straight into the arms of the nearest tree.

So I did. Because the tree felt safe. The tree didn’t need anything from me.

WELL THAT’S DOWNRIGHT FASCINATING.

And probably explains quite a lot about my relationships.

She didn’t need anything from me either. But in that moment, I realized how generally uncomfortable I feel around other people, because I’m afraid I’ll be required to take care of them energetically and I’m afraid of the effect they’ll have on me.

There was an opening that happened in that moment, one I’m still processing and don’t fully understand yet. But, in fascinating confirmation, the evening of the trust walk, I got a barrage of messages from people. Like something in my ability to relate with other humans shifted, and now they felt comfortable reaching out again.

My trust walk experience was so intense that when I got home, I had to stumble into bed, where I stayed for the rest of the day, barely able to move. The next morning, I woke up feeling like I had an energetic hangover.

My entire system has been coming out of hibernation. I’m rebooting. I’m beginning to see how I’ve been led down a very specific path so I can get where I need to be.

It’s weird and fascinating and makes me really curious about what’s coming next.

Trees are good teachers. Especially if you can’t see them because you’re blindfolded.

Trees are good teachers. Especially if you can’t see them because you’re blindfolded.

Fist Bump To Anyone Else Who Struggles With Boundaries

Amber Adrian

While I don’t want to jinx myself or otherwise tempt fate by putting this in writing… I think I might be on the other side of the Great Crash of 2019. I opted out of calling it the First Great Crash of 2019 because I am optimistically envisioning a henceforth crash-free year for myself, a year where I don’t get taken out for weeks at a time because I over-extended myself.

Culprit of this particular crash was my refusal to rest over the holidays when I was encouraged to and also my boundaries.

I can state without exaggeration that I have - in the past, let’s call it the past - had truly terrible boundaries.

Having good boundaries is like having a nice sturdy bucket. When you have a bucket you can catch things. If you don’t want the thing you’ve caught, you can take it out of your bucket. You can keep filling your bucket until it overflows and then you can offer what’s overflowing to other people.

Having not-so-good boundaries is like having holes in your bucket. You pour water in but it will leak right back out again.

For most of my life, I had less of a bucket and more of a fishing net. Nothing could stay - not friends, not money, not relationships, not energy. It all leaked out until I was standing there holding an empty soggy net and wondering what happened.

Since I’ve been working on my boundaries like a fiend, my fishing net has been tightened into a sieve. Better than a net that a crafty lobster can escape but money, love, energy continue to leak out.

This is exhausting and flat-out unsustainable.

Because work is one of my greatest teachers - at least until I have kids, which will be a whole new level of Dear God Help Me - I recently burned out hard.

After spending a few days in a tunnel of despair and also bed, I finally recognized that I had been giving away way too much for free or charging way too little in certain areas of my business.

Free energy healing and channeling for people is just a bad idea. I would sometimes think, why don’t I see anyone else doing this on youtube? Why am I the only one?

OH THAT’S WHY.

Boundaries, man. Boundaries.

The way the universe gets my attention is to cut off my money. It’s a last resort, used only after all the usual avenues of nudging me, poking me, sending messages via other people, and taking me out for two weeks with a cold had been exhausted.

Finally, the universe got sick of waiting. And it whisked everything away. Clients, programs I’d run for years, money I’d been counting on, the person I was dating - POOF!

Up in a swirl of phoenix ash.

In all the years of running this particular business, that had never happened.

So I was left in a puddle of pitiful, thinking forlornly “I can’t be doing all this for people and be in a constant state of terror around money.”

A sigh of relief was breathed by the universe, and my guides and angels patiently waited.

After watching a lot of Netflix, I finally connected the dots.

I was draining myself for others because I thought I had to. I thought that was how I was supposed to help. Because I do believe that everyone should have access to this kind of energetic help and information, whether they can pay for it or not. But there’s a way to do it that doesn’t involve me destroying myself. Because that doesn’t help anyone.

So I’m reorganizing everything - how I work, what I offer, how it’s priced, how I share it. Complete foundational restructuring. So everything feels good and feels supportive, to me and those I work with.

BOUNDARIES.

Patching up the leaks in my bucket, tightening my sieve. Establishing healthy boundaries can be a challenging process, but so worth it. Mostly because who doesn’t want money and love? Who doesn’t want to give it a safe space to land and know it’s going to stick around once it does?

NO ONE, THAT’S WHO.

BOUNDARIES.

Sorry I keep yelling at you. I’m really yelling at myself. Maybe I should stop yelling. My system doesn’t like yelling - and allowing my nervous system to soften and feel supported is a big part of this process.

</yelling>

Part of me is now wondering if I should even post this because hi, lots of boring talk about boundaries. But if you’re still with me, it means this was in some way useful. Hooray! Thanks for hanging out with me, friend! Fist bump to all of us who are devoting ourselves to being healthy in the world. (BOUNDARIES.)

As a thank you for reading many paragraphs about boundaries, here’s a preview of my 2019 Christmas card. I’ve been threatening to do this for years, because the idea of sending out a photo of me with my stuffed animals to all my friends who always send beautifully shot portraits of their adorable children makes me laugh.

The Adrian family, as it currently stands. Sally would like you to know that you can best demonstrate your love by sending sardines.

The Adrian family, as it currently stands. Sally would like you to know that you can best demonstrate your love by sending sardines.

Zooming Out

Amber Adrian

I have decided to accept that I am a big wooden bucket of messy dysfunction. I’ve also decided that being a big wooden bucket of messy dysfunction is 100% okay. Maybe because the wooden bucket is artisanal. Crafted by a bearded gentleman in Vermont who hand-planes wood harvested from local trees with an axe that he inherited from his great-grandfather or purchased from a different artisanal workshop. It doesn’t matter.

Or maybe because it’s okay to be messy and maladjusted and chock full of undiagnosed mental abnormalities. I’m not going to call them illnesses. I don’t even want to call them abnormalities.* Because I don’t think any of this is abnormal.

(* Let’s call them curiosities. Undiagnosed mental curiosities. That’s much better. It invites exploration and wonder, rather than strife and shame.)

So we get anxious walking out into the world. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with that. Maybe the world is an anxious, angry place sometimes. It’s also full of wild oceans and butterflies and kind people doing their very best in a world that’s not always that kind. Maybe the next time you walk out into the world you’ll figure out something about how to be less anxious in the midst of it and you’ll tell me about it and I’ll say, “Hey, that’s a great idea” and suddenly we are less anxious and more able to notice the butterflies floating above the fray.

Maybe not. That’s okay too. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with hiding in your house for awhile.

We’re all just trying to accept and love ourselves as the messy, dysfunctional, divine beings that we are.

Divine and human, kind and unkind, total jerks and purely loving.

In a phrase, absolutely perfect.  

I’m starting to get mad at labels. Because they’re divisive. But they can also help us categorize our experiences and accept them and learn from them. Oh hey, look! Once again, there are two things seemingly at odds with one another occupying the same space.

Maybe we just need to zoom out. Like putting your fingers on the map screen and moving them together so you see California snuggled against the Pacific Ocean instead of the sushi restaurant on the corner.

Maybe if we give everything more room - our anger and our joy, our messiness and our maladjustment - we’ll start to see the absolute perfection in all of it.

Maybe.

I keep saying maybe because I have no idea. I throw out wild theories like half-done spaghetti in the hopes that something sticks to the wall.

But every time I zoom out on my own life, moving up into the air above it to peer down through the eyes of my higher self rather than my annoyed, anxious self, everything looks very different. Beautiful. Perfect. Fun. A way to expand instead of a mistake. An experience in loving instead of a heartbreak. An opportunity to try something new instead of failure.

Sometimes it’s hard to hold that height for long and I drop ignominiously back down into my cranky human self, but that’s allowed. That’s part of it. The challenge is blending the two - the divine and the cranky - into something resembling fully embodied divinity. Grounded height. Higher self and human self into one gleaming, sweating, star-laden meat suit. I don’t know. I’m struggling with the language because I can’t quite parse this experience. Maybe because I’m still drifting between the two, zooming up and down, in and out.

Trees and butterflies are what I think of as a solution to the zooming quandary. Nature and animals help us bridge the divine-essence-in-a-human-experience gap. Zooming in on a daisy growing through a crack in the concrete or the moss on redwood bark is its own kind of perspective and doesn’t inspire acrophobia.

So when in doubt, go find some trees. Hey, at least it’s getting out of the house. Pick big trees so that if any anxious humans wander your way, you can hide behind a handy trunk.

Oceans are also helpful, though harder to hide behind.

Oceans are also helpful, though harder to hide behind.

Star Seed Problems

Amber Adrian

If you've ever found yourself in the bathroom sobbing "I just want to go home" when you are, in fact, at home - you might be a star seed.

I've been ignoring this for a long time because I'm here, I'm human, may as well get on with it and enjoy the benefits of earth (which are chocolate donuts if you were wondering) (most bread products and baked goods, really). But then I found myself crying like a child lost in a shopping mall because I had this bone deep feeling of being alone and far from home and not sure how to fix it - and I realized it's time to dig into this a bit more.

I can feel my work about to deepen again, because looking back on it, most of the people I work with - if not all of them - are star seeds. We have trouble grounding, we have trouble with 3D things like relationships and money, we tend to feel lonely and like we don't belong. Some forget to eat (that's never been my problem) (DONUTS!).

But I'm going to have trouble helping them if I don't have a lock on this myself.

So. Guess it's time to dive into that whole being an alien thing.

P.S. And I thought it got weird with the whole Jesus revelation. NOPE. THERE’S MORE WEIRD WHERE THAT CAME FROM!

P.P.S. As I feel into it, I think I came in with Jesus, decided to stick around to make sure that whole love-and-support-for-all-humanity thing got carried out, and hahaha whoops, no wonder I feel like a failure all the time.

P.P.P.S. (is that a thing?) NOW I NEED A DONUT.

Transformation

Amber Adrian

Transformation can feel like: 

  • Every bad choice you’ve ever made rising up to throttle you. 

  • Spending the morning in bed. 

  • Anger blooming up out of nowhere. 

  • Old wounds doing a rain dance on your liver. 

  • Crying in the middle of an outdoor mall.

  • Wondering if you’re too damaged to get any of the things you want.

  • Events you thought you'd made peace with mooning you on the freeway. 

I may or may not have experienced every one of these symptoms in the past seven hours. 

It’s been a fun Thursday. 

I know I’m going through a transformation, but it’s easy to forget that and just feel like I’m failing at life.

Failing at life A LOT. 

Like everything I thought I knew is in question and all of the divine timing messages I get are complete bullshit.

Because obviously I have failed. A LOT.

But failure is a judgment and self-judgment never shows up more powerfully than when you’re about to burst into something new. 

So if you’re in the midst of a WTF-is-going-on-and-when-will-this-end? phase, you’re probably transforming. 

It’s not super fun. It’s rarely easy. But it’s worth it.

Transformation is how we do what we’ve never done before, how we step into our next evolution.

Transformation takes a lot out of you. Sometimes laziness is called for, as your entire system re-boots and your brain re-patterns. You’re doing quite a lot, even if it feels like you’re mostly just watching Netflix and eating half-off Halloween candy. 

But the more chrysalis processes from which you emerge, the faster the transformation goes.

The first few cocoons I crawled into were long, drawn out, painstaking, and painful. Now I can move through something relatively quickly - in a few days or even a few hours. It’s still painful, but I can usually see my way through it or beyond it.

So even though I spent a few minutes worrying that I was going to need years of therapy to work yet another uncovered trauma (good lord, do they never end), I got that nudge that said, “No, you don’t. Just keep moving through the feelings and being gentle with yourself in the process and this will quickly pass.”

It’s easy to make multiple “I Have Failed” arguments when most of your work is in the 5th and 7th dimensions and most of life happens in the 3rd. But if you’re arguing with yourself, it means your brain is far too involved in the process, and the brain mostly just operates as a 3D recording device.

Brains are certainly useful, but not so much in deep processes of transformation for which your brain has zero reference.

Hush, brain hamsters.

In the midst of a transformation, the best you can do is take care of yourself. Lots of gentleness, lots of care for your body and nervous system, lots of nature and water, lots of rest. Zero judgment of your path, your process, or your results. Just let yourself transform.

Times of transformation are not times to expect a lot from yourself externally, because you’re switching worlds and moving internal mountains and getting ready to emerge anew.

Caterpillars halfway to becoming butterflies aren’t getting much done, I guarantee it.

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Halfway to butterfly. Hence, totally fine that I have a sink full of dirty dishes.

Season of Surrender

Amber Adrian

Surrender one big thing and life gets all greedy and wants you to surrender more.

Fine. (Goddamn it.)

I was all proud of myself for releasing the life-will-align-with-my-husband-and-babies-plan again, when life went, “Great! Good job! We’re just getting started!” as it rubbed its hands together like a miser in a Dickens novel faced with a large stack of gold coins.

Really? We’re just getting started, life? I thought we were DONE.

“Nope! Not even a little!”

Life, the universe, and everything can be a brutal task mistress, I tell you what.

Because suddenly I went into expansion panic, into an emotional free-for-all around my intuitive work and money.

Sometimes I just want the earth to stop shifting below my feet. Sometimes I want to stop having to yank all my stability from somewhere deep inside, because my insides are tired.

But the universe thinks my insides are doing just fine, and tells me to keep going.

So much of our ego and safety and self-worth is tangled up with our work and creativity and bank accounts. Unspooling those threads feels destabilizing, even as it allows for stronger foundations to form.

Here’s what I’ve learned as I feel into what’s next for me on this ride of fulfilling my earthly purpose:

Get comfortable being uncomfortable. You’re fine.

Lift your hands off the steering wheel. You’re trying to steer a matchbook car and we’re trying to chauffeur you around in a Bentley.

Stop trying to stuff yourself into a box. There is no box and never was.

Surrender. Everything is so much easier and so much more fun this way, please do it already.

Note to self: Surrender isn’t giving up.

Surrender is trusting that there are other forces at work.

Surrender is sinking into the idea that you don’t need to have all the answers. Or any of them.

If things don’t look the way you want or expect, it’s because room is being made for something better.

Since I don’t know what this moment requires, in terms of my work or my money or my writing or any of the life purpose things up for review right now, I have to soften in and trust myself, trust what I’m shown, trust my guides, and know that there is no such thing as failure.

Know that I am protected and loved and supported, just as we all are.

Whenever I check in lately, I get “write more.” Because my plan was always to spend half my time on my writing and the other half on my intuitive work (energy healings, readings, channeling the guides, etc). Maybe that’s the emotional rumbling I’m feeling. My higher self is shaking me down to remind me of what I was always here to do, and what I’ve forgotten or resisted or found hard lately.

So here’s to room for something better, for all of us. Here’s to surrendering into the arms of peace and joy and love and whatever the fuck is in it for us when we finally let the universe wrest control from our hot little hands.

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And to writing more, in whatever form that takes.

Self Love Epiphany

Amber Adrian

Here’s a game-changing epiphany I had in the shower a few days ago: 

Whenever things aren’t going well, I always ask myself:

How can I do better? 

How can I do more, work harder, push myself farther? 

While some people thrive under the push, I do not. I am a creature of naps and wood walks, I am a sprite in a world that values the nine to five. Pushing, while I can and have done it, makes my whole system collapse in a pile of harried Why Does It Have To Be This Way? 

I'm a bit of a princess, to be honest.

But asking that question has a subtle energetic implication that in order to be worthy, in order to be loved, I need to do more. I need to be better.

Feeling like you need to be better - whether in your own head, in a relationship, or at work - is a goddamn soul killer. 

NO MORE SOUL KILLING PLZ. 

Instead - and here’s the shampoo-inspired epiphany - I’m starting to ask myself:

“How can I love myself in this place?” 

How can I love myself when it looks like I won’t be able to pay rent? 

How can I love myself when I’m in the middle of a breakup? 

How can I love myself when I’m having trouble getting anything done? 

How can I love myself when it takes a buttered trowel to shovel me into my jeans? 

How can I love myself when my financial spreadsheets don’t look the way I think they should?

How can I love myself when it feels like everything is collapsing? 

For me, the way to love myself in this is to remember that I am worthy and lovable no matter the circumstance. 

We are all lovable and worthy, simply because we’re alive. But we’ve been so rigorously trained out of that idea that it requires some rewiring to remember it. 

I love myself by being gentle with myself. By loving my legs for how well they work, even when they strain denim. By loving the energy of money and how it’s always taken care of me. By loving the roller coaster ride because it’s always taking me somewhere better even when, in the moment, it feels like somewhere much worse.

By loving myself just goddamn because. 

Of course this “How can I love myself?” question has a different answer for everyone. 

Just follow what feels best for you in each moment. If an action feels good, take it. If thinking a thought feels good, think it. If something you want requires something you resist, feel into it and ask how you can make it easier on yourself. Ask how it could be fun. 

As we learn to be gentler with ourselves, we learn to be gentler and more open in the world. And when we're in the world radiating the love we already feel for ourselves, everything changes.

Hoo-fucking-ray! 

In the meantime, be good do you. Do it however you’re guided. You know what’s best for you, always. 

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