Family Ties

Beaded Embroidery by Cathy Ulrich as taught to her by her sister Becky

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about holding one’s vibration when confronted with the challenges of old family dynamics. When we’re in a process of questioning beliefs and life patterns, exposure to some family members can make us feel as if we’re back to square one. But today, I want to talk about a different kind of family dynamic, one that I got to experience in all of it’s richness. One that I’ll treasure for a long time…

My sister, Becky, came to visit last week. Becky lives in Georgia, where we grew up. I now live in Colorado. Yes, of course we talk on the phone, text frequently and stay present in each other’s lives, but when we get to see each other, it’s a very special time.

While Becky and I had been close as kids, much of our adult relationship was through our parents, especially our mother. Mom would keep us both appraised of our respective lives and when I visited Atlanta, Becky and I would visit, but our interactions, for the most part, revolved around Mom, and to a lesser degree, Dad. It was as if, we all agreed to re-form that family dynamic, especially the part about acquiescing to our father’s needs and demands. We would go on short road trips, because that’s what Dad liked to do. We’d even sit in our respective places (from our childhood) in the car – Dad driving, Mom in the front passenger seat, me behind Mom in the back, Becky behind Dad. Even though we were adults with families of our own, we replayed this scenario every time I visited!

When six years ago and in a span of five months, both our parents died, Becky and I were thrust into a new world – one in which we only had each other as original family members. We were left with our grief and our parent’s home in a failing economy and a housing market in Georgia where the house lost half of its value in less than a year. When we could not sell the house, which we tried to do twice, we decided to rent it and use the rental money to maintain it.

We eventually discovered that we had built up a nice little nest egg from the rental proceeds and Becky had a brilliant idea. “Let’s start a travel club! We can let Mom and Dad pay for our trips.” Rather than dividing the money and spending it separately, we both agreed to keep it in a special fund – one that we would use to travel together. Becky loves the West, so our trips have been focused on places within driving distance of my home.

So last week we went to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. We hiked, we kayaked, we shopped – we even let Mom and Dad buy us matching handbags. And we laughed, talked, beaded (Becky is a beading artist and owns a bead store), shared our challenges and dreams and discussed where we wanted to go for our next trip.

I love my time with my sister. The joy that we share, I think, is a combination of sharing a common heritage and a commitment to a friendship that has simply become rich in the past few years. Vibrationally? I suspect we do have a similar inherent vibration. While we don’t look a lot alike, our voices do sound alike. When I met Becky’s 6-month-old grand daughter, the beautiful little girl leapt towards me from her grandmother’s arms. It was as if she was saying – “Oh look, another Grammy!”

The thing is, we’ve both committed to our own personal growth and that growth has allowed a space for each other. Do we see eye-to-eye on everything? No, not really. Becky is committed to something I would probably call a more traditional Christian perspective, but she’s truly spiritual in her appreciation of the nonphysical. I’m committed to a spiritual perspective without the religious overtones. But our love for each other has created a space where we can both talk about our “beliefs” without feeling judged or threatened. And we don’t try to convince each other that either is right. It’s a nice, clear, lovely vibration and I feel so blessed to share it with her.

When we got back from Steamboat, Peter suggested that the three of us go to the Grand Canyon in the next year or so…And Becky said that she would love to ask him to join our Travel Club from time to time! So who knows where we’ll go next? But I can tell you right now, it will be fun!

Love,

Cathy

©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012

Cultivating Intuition – Create!

Northern Lights – Digital Painting by Cathy Ulrich

I suspect I’ll be “preaching to the choir” here with many of you about this one, but it’s one of my favorite ways to cultivate my intuition. That is: creativity. I love to write, paint, draw, play the piano, knit, bead and cook among other things. I find that when I’m in that creative space, ideas flow freely and time dissolves.

Have you ever noticed that when you’re doing something creative, you forget everything else? You become immersed in the present, in the activity. When I’m in that space, it feels as if I’m connected directly to Source. My mind is clear, focused and present while I’m painting or playing my piano. And I get lots of intuitive hits.

The idea of Right Brain thinking versus Left Brain thinking is a possible and intriguing theory around the connection between creativity and intuition. When we’re in a space where we are creating something new, we’re using a part of our consciousness that’s plugged into source – that Right Brain, holistic side that opens and invites creation in all of its facets.

I once heard someone say that when we create, we’re surprising God! And since the very nature of the Divine is creative, we become one with its essence. How can we not be connected to receive intuitive information in this space?

So, I invite you to allow some time this week to create. For you wonderful bloggers out there, you’re already writing. I invite you to write but avoid editing at the same time. Separate out those activities. Write first, then go back and edit – you’ll stimulate your creativity even more.

For you visual artists, I’d suggest that you spend some time this week painting or drawing. If you love arranging flowers, set aside some time to pick out a beautiful bouquet, arrange it and find the perfect place to display it in your home. And if you don’t think of yourself as an artist, check out this website. Zentangle.com It’s a wonderful and creative way of drawing that anyone can do.

What do you like to create? And how do you feel when you’re doing it?

Love,

Cathy

©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012

Cultivating Intuition – Move

One of my favorite ways to solve problems is to run. I find that when I can set my feet on the earth, allow myself to breathe and my body to move, I get amazing insights. The information that comes to me is creative, pure, even funny!

I discovered this form of self-therapy after my mother died. I was working though my feelings, understanding my childhood, my loss, my own sense of self, mortality – all those things that represented myself in my family and my world. It was easier to talk to my Mom when I ran. And it was easier for me to hear her responses. And I would even talk out loud to her at times – still do, especially when I’m running (mind you, I live in a beautiful place where I can run on a bike path on an open prairie with few people around. So talking out loud is usually O.K.) These days, I run for the pleasure of seeing what comes into my head!

In her silent retreat, Lola Jones introduces the participants to a process called “non-habitual movement.” I had learned of it in my Rolfing Movement Practitioner Training and it made a lot of sense that she would use it to help participants access their inner guidance. By moving in random patterns to music, we can break up those habitual body and thought patterns which frees us to feel and contact our inner knowing. It feels a bit strange at first, but by inviting the body to lead the movement, keeping the mind as a curious observer, we can enjoy a freedom that we have never felt before.

Not everyone likes to run or even can run, so walking or hiking is also a great way to move. I recommend that you go for a walk several times a week, either alone or if you’re with someone, ask them to walk with you in silence. Feel your feet on the ground, feel your body moving, feel your breath and notice that inner voice arise that wants to be recognized and heard. As you become more familiar with that inner voice, talk to it, acknowledge it, maybe even take a small recorder or note pad and document what comes in.

Have fun with moving and let me know how you’re doing.

Love,

Cathy

©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012

Cultivating Intuition – Savor the Silence

As the energies in our world speed up, all the “shiny” things in our lives become more and more enticing. Internet, social networking, streaming video, television, smart phones, mobile devices – all vie for our attention. But when and where do we allow ourselves to stop and notice what’s going on for us in our inner world?

A few years ago, a dear relative and friend came to visit. She has a hectic life and she loves to come to my home and stay for a while. It’s always wonderful to see the stress in her face melt as she relaxes into the resonant field that Peter and I have created. One day, as we were sitting outside in the courtyard, listening to a meadowlark singing, she said: “You know, I could never live the way you and Peter do. It is silent in your home. Aside from the jazz that you play while making dinner, there’s never a T.V. running. There’s no background noise. If I did that, it would make me feel more intensely and probably drive me crazy. I’m not sure that I could.”

When I did the Religious Science Practitioner Training many years ago, one of our exercises was to turn off the radio in our cars for a week – just to drive around without any noise in the car.  It was astounding to see how many people in the class found it hard to do this simple exercise.

The best vacation I have ever had was the five days of silence I spent with Lola Jones and a fabulous group of people in Lola’s special retreat. The purpose of the silence was to eliminate any distractions so that we could all cultivate a closer relationship with the Divine – to be able to get our nourishment, insights and support from within, rather that seeking outside of ourselves for answers. It certainly worked for me. Not hearing my own voice, nor that of others, allowed me to feel the Presence within me and, while I have always had a strong intuitive sense, the five-day retreat strengthened it beyond measure.

With all of the distractions, the “shiny things” in our lives, pulling our attention this way and that, it can be a challenge to hear/feel/know of that guidance that only comes from within. Savoring silence is one of the best ways to feel it. So even if it is only for a few minutes a day, allow yourself a time of silence. You don’t have to actively meditate or work at it (although it may be work, at first, for some!). Just turn off the radio in the car as you drive to work. Turn off the T.V. for 30 minutes before bed. Silence your smart phone and avoid the temptation to answer that text message.

See what insights come to you when you give yourself this gift. Then send me a quick comment and let me know how it’s going.

What other ways have you found to cultivate silence?

Love,

Cathy

©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012

Through the Eyes of the Divine

This weekend, I was blessed to read Gina V’s wonderful blog posting “Walk the Talk,” In it Gina shares a story of how she shifted her perspective of her mother by choosing to look at her through God’s eyes. By changing her viewpoint, she was able to let go of old judgements and stories and simply love her mom as she was. Their relationship became richer and easier after that spark of enlightenment.

Recently, I did a healing session with Jade (not her real name). A wonderful and beautiful healer herself, Jade was having problems with recurring dark spots on her face. She had a sense that there was something bigger going on in her subconscious, but couldn’t quite put her finger on it and wanted my help to see about uncovering any buried treasure that could be the root cause for the spots.

While setting the intention of shedding light on Jade’s issue, I began a physical scan of her body. As I moved my left hand through her field from her head towards her feet, I felt a strong pull and a sense of heat over her heart. Then as I moved my hand away from her body, the heat became stronger.

It seems that many emotional or physical traumas, especially those that are not fully resolved, tend to stay somehow fixed in our energy field, kind-of like a rock in a stream. The stream moves around the rock, but that rock impedes the stream’s flow. And, somewhat like the rings of a tree, those “energy lesions” seem to travel with us, the older ones being further from the body and the more recent ones, closer. So it’s possible to estimate when something may have occurred in a person’s life that is still present and, perhaps, even the root cause of the physical manifestation. I don’t usually know what the trauma was, but I can estimate when. The client fills in the details. Then, by harmonizing that lesion at the place where it’s stuck in the field, it can move and be resolved.

As I was scanning Jade, I said: “I’m finding an imbalance in your heart and it seems to have started when you were about six or seven years old. Any sense about what that might have been?”

Jade began crying softly. “It was when my parents divorced and my father remarried. My step-mother was really mean to me. At the time I couldn’t understand why my Dad did that.” She said: “God, Cathy, I’ve forgiven them, and I thought I had resolved this years ago, but you’re right, it’s still there!”

Jade shared how this time in her life had molded and shaped her way of viewing herself. As a child, she took on the challenges of her family and it affected her ability to fully love herself. And as much as she had worked, released, forgiven, loved, there was a piece that had been buried, waiting to be moved. We both agreed that this was, most likely the root cause of the dark spots on her face.

As, I gently pulled my hands through Jade’s field, smoothing and harmonizing the lesion, we both felt the heaviness lift. Her tears of sadness turned to tears of joy and we both laughed as the field changed.

At the conclusion of our session, I left Jade with a final suggestion – something to play with and to reinforce our process. “Jade,” I said, “How about when you look at yourself in the mirror, look at yourself through the Divine’s eyes?”

“I love that!” she said. “I look at so many things and people through the Divine’s eyes, just not myself!”

What if enlightenment is really about looking at this life through the eyes of the Divine? Even looking at those who challenge, even looking at ourselves through those eyes? I invite you to try it today and let me know how it goes.

Love,

Cathy

©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012

Beautiful and Versatile Blogger Awards

I was surprised and delighted last week, when Julie Hansen Intuitive gave me two blogger awards! It’s such an honor to be recognized and included in her list of fabulous bloggers. Thank you, again, Julie! For a new blogger, it means a lot!

So here they are:

The rules for the Versatile Blogger Award are:

– Thank the blogger who nominated you.

– Share 7 random things about yourself. (My list is at the end of the post)

– Nominate 15 fellow bloggers.

– Inform the bloggers of their nomination.

– Add the Versatile Blogger Award pic on your blog post.

The rules for the Beautiful Blogger award are similar to the Versatile Award: bestow it upon 7 other bloggers and list 7 random things about yourself.

Since I’m so new to the Blogger experience, I’ve decided to accept both awards, and nominate seven bloggers. Some of them have already received awards, but I wanted to put them on my list because they’re so awesome! I loved receiving the awards from Julie because I got to connect with some wonderful people on her list and I hope that you’ll check out both her site and the sites of those listed here.
Here are my nominees in no particular order:
  1. LadyRomp
  2. Howtogethappy
  3. Freedomtoafulllife
  4. Medicography
  5. Fearnoweebles
  6. iliketheworldfuzzy
  7. grandfathersky
Please don’t feel obligated to acknowledge or pass these on, but know that I love each of your blogs and I wanted to share your links with others. Those of you who have already been nominated, just think of it as being Versatile and Beautiful bloggers squared or maybe even cubed! Thank you all for blessing me in so many ways.
So here’s my list of seven random things about myself:
  1. I won the Florida Cycling Federation Women’s Cyclist of the year in the late 80s (sorry don’t remember the exact year).
  2. My best 10K time is 42:18 (running, that is).
  3. I play piano (mostly badly).
  4. I’m a glass mosaic artist.
  5. I have logged 160 scuba dives.
  6. I speak Spanish and love to travel in Spain.
  7. My favorite music is Jazz and I go with my husband to the Weekend of Jazz at the Broadmoor every spring.
Congratulations to all of my nominees. Thank you for your art, insights and humor. 
Much love,
Cathy

Getting Permission

We had our second Energy Healing conference call last night. The group posed lots of great questions which evolved into lively discussion. So, today I wanted to expound on one of the questions that sparked the most controversy. I’ve been thinking about our discussion, and I wanted to offer more clarity today.

Do you always need to get permission from someone to do a healing? My answer is “yes” with a few caveats. Unlike massage or other modalities, energy healing is something that can be done without an obvious display of effort. With nothing more than intention, one can send the harmonizing electromagnetic frequencies that produce healing to anyone, anywhere, at any time. So why wouldn’t you do that whenever you wanted to?

Well, when you send energy without getting permission, you’re assuming that the recipient wants the healing and that you know what’s best for them. I recently talked with a client who is extremely sensitive. On our initial consultation, I mentioned that I do energy healing which might be appropriate for her condition. While she was open to this, she was emphatic that I get her permission before engaging in any energy healing. She related a story where a massage therapist had done energy work with her during a massage without asking. It made her sick for several days after the session and she vowed to never return. I think she felt violated in some ways because of that encounter.

Several years ago, I got a call from a man enquiring about my services. He was interested in making an appointment for his wife, but before he did, he wanted to know if I did energy work. My answer was, yes, but only with the client’s permission. He was emphatic that he did not want energy work for himself or his family. I said that I would always respect his wishes. I remember thinking, “Well, I’ll never hear from him again.” I really thought I had scared him off because my answer to his initial question was yes. Turns out, he called back, made the initial appointment for his wife and since that time, I have worked with him and his entire family. I’m the first person they call if they are having any physical issues. He wasn’t bothered that I offered energy work, he just wanted to be sure that I didn’t do it on him or his family.

I think intention is the key, here. Of course the resonant field that we set up when we’re attuned to do energy work has a healing effect wherever we go. In my discussion with the above-mentioned client, I told him that even bodywork (Rolfing in my case) has an energetic component as I believe that it’s impossible to touch someone without being in their energy field (and again, it was surprising to me that he called back!). But I don’t intentionally call in the healing frequencies without getting permission.

In the online course I say that on some level, I believe that I’m doing Divine Openings Healing all the time, even when I’m doing bodywork. The resonant field is powerful and it just “is.” I have noticed that since I was activated to do this form of energy healing that all of my work has become more effective. But my intention is even more powerful. The difference is whether I’m intending a healing or not.

What do you think?

Love,

Cathy

©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012

 

I Heart Blogging!

I’m relatively new to blogging. When I started this project, my intention was to enrich the experience of students taking my online healing course. I also thought it would be a way to spread the word about the course and share ideas with people who were considering taking it, so they could get a sense of my voice. I suspect it’s doing those things, but…as is often the case when starting a new endeavor, I’m finding that I’m getting much more out of blogging than I could have ever expected.

First of all, writing regularly sparks creativity. Having been a writer for a number of years, I suffered from the misconception that I needed to set aside a lot of time to write – and hence, wrote intermittently or not at all. The practice of blogging – writing shorter posts several times a week – has made all the difference in my ability and desire to come up with ideas and follow through – writing, editing and then posting. Many times, I’ll get up, fix my coffee, sit down at the computer, and write a complete post…before I head to the office. It’s awesome to be able to do this in less than and hour.

Secondly, I had no idea how many really cool people commit their time, energy and creativity to write awesome stuff…regularly. As I’ve cruised around the WordPress blogosphere (for those of you who don’t know, this blog is published through WordPress.com, which hosts about half a million blogs worldwide), I’ve been inspired, amazed, touched and amused by the wonderful writers on this platform. Blogging seems to hearken back to an age when people wrote meaningful letters to friends and family – stories of their lives, things that interested them, things that they were learning or teaching, before the telegraph, telephone or internet. The quality of communication offered by my fellow bloggers through poetry, photography and prose has enriched my life in ways that truly surprise me.

Finally, I have found that bloggers are generous. They’re free with their praise, comments and suggestions. The activity of blogging is often grouped into the category of “social networking.” Yes, I can see that. But the group of bloggers that I’ve already met in six short weeks blows me away. I’ve met intuitives, counselors, poets, historians, feng shui masters, and serious writers. The “networking” part is really more about finding these amazing people – on this wonderful platform. People I would have never met, had I not decided to start a blog…

Love,

Cathy

©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012

Tribal Vibrations

Photo Courtesy Flickr Creative Commons – some rights reserved by jurvetsen

Last week, I did a remote healing session with Loren (not her real name). I’ve known her for about a year, but it had been some time since we had talked. Loren’s awareness about the origins of her physical manifestations continues to unfold and I was excited to learn of the progress that she had made with the various healing modalities she is employing. She has truly taken charge of her life and choices, and she is learning to relax into her own divinity.

As the session neared a close, she brought up one of her primary challenges, one which many – maybe most people – find difficult to overcome in their path to enlightenment. She said: “Cathy, I’m doing so well when I am with my daughter and friends, but it is much harder to hold my vibration with my parents and sister. I feel like they bring me right back down into the mire with their problems and drama. I don’t want to judge them and I try so hard to let it go, but I feel myself being pulled back. Why is that so challenging? I mean, I love them, but I don’t want to be like them! And, somehow if I’m not being like them, I’m not playing by the rules!”

What is it about family of origin stuff that makes us crazy? And how can we love our families, but remain true to ourselves as interdependent, evolving beings? For Loren and many, I think the vibration of the story, of the history of our tribal roots, loyalty to the family beliefs is the key. And my advice was to drop the story and just see it as a vibrational issue.

Loren has raised her vibration by changing her thoughts, feelings and beliefs about herself, her life, her world. Her new vibrations no longer match those of her family – it’s as if she’s not playing the game anymore. She’s able to hold her vibration except when she is exposed to her family – the “familiar” vibrations. Like a drumming group, one drum beats and the rest follow in rhythm. Except in Loren’s case, she beats out of rhythm with her family now. Since the family vibration is the norm, if she holds to her new, true vibration, she becomes the outcast, so she slips back into the old vibration when she’s with them. Then she becomes angry, frustrated, and feels as if she is at square one -judging them and herself.

I suggested that she simply feel her unique and “unfamiliar” vibration. Know that it’s now different from the family. Continue to love herself and by doing so, she strengthens it, like turning up the volume of the drum. What’s interesting about nature is that oscillating (vibrating) systems that are close enough in frequency will entrain (begin beating together) usually towards the faster one. So if Loren can simply stay in her higher, faster vibration, she may even see behavior changes in her family when she is with them. I cautioned her not to expect this, but just be pleased if she saw it.

I know this idea of holding the vibration without the story of the family drama is somewhat abstract. But the story just pulls us back into the mire. And you know, we can do this with our family, but also our world. The tribe wants to be validated and stay where it is vibrationally. By not giving it the power of the old way of doing things, we may just be able to raise its vibration by pulling it along with us through our own vibratory elevation!

Where have you felt the tribal vibration in your life? And what have you done to move to your own rhythms?

Have a great week!

Love,

Cathy

©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012

Dolly’s Gift

Young Dolphin courtesy Flickr Creative Commons some rights reserved, Rob Shaw

The aquarium

We went to the aquarium today
and I had all the same queasiness
I knew I would have
about those big shiny bodies
enduring the strangeness of walls
but I also couldn’t help but see
the way they kissed their trainers
their big whale mouths
so tender against the skulls of men
it wasn’t just obedience
or a ploy for food
they traded their freedom
for love.

Samantha Reynolds – bentlily.com

 

Lives ago, when I lived in Miami, my sister Becky came for a long-weekend visit. We decided to go to the Miami Seaquarium for the afternoon. I’m the scuba diver, but Becky loves the ocean even more than I do. And when we get together, we love to savor a venue such as the Seaquarium. Becky often says that I’m the only person in her life who is willing to linger before a painting or simply stand and watch fish swimming in a large tank. So this particular day was already special, as we got to spend it together.

The only display that I find difficult to enjoy is the dolphin show and exhibit. Having seen these magnificent creatures in the wild, I have a hard time enjoying their captivity. The inherent intelligence that they display and their lovely, joyous energy somehow makes me sad and happy at the same time when I see them in an enclosed space. But, nonetheless, I  love to see them. So when the announcement came for the dolphin show, we made our way into the arena along with several hundred others.

As we waited for the show to begin, I noticed one of the dolphins circling the tank. She seemed to be checking people out as they arrived. I remember thinking to myself, “She’s watching us…” I could feel her vibration, and as she passed by me I sent her a quick, telepathic “Hello.”

The show started and we watched the trainers and animals go through their routine. Enjoying the jumps, splashes, spins and dives, Becky and I applauded along with the crowd. Then, as the show neared its end, the lead trainer made an announcement: “Dolly loves to bestow gifts on our visitors. Before the show started, she picked one of you to receive a special gift.” At that moment, Dolly came swimming up to the trainer who placed a single white carnation in the dolphin’s mouth.

Dolly circled the tank and, somehow, I knew that she was going to toss that carnation towards me. And that is exactly what she did. The fragrant, white flower landed perfectly in my right hand…