The Energy of a Smile

On a beautiful spring day in 2010, Peter and I went with Angie and Soraia for a hike in our nearby mountains. Only a twenty minute drive from Fort Collins, Bobcat Ridge Open Space hosts trails that wind through grasslands and into the foothills overlooking town As we walked the two Rotary high school exchange students strolled ahead of us and chatted as teenage girls do.

Because Bobcat Ridge is so close to town, quite a few people were on the trail that day. Mountain Bikers, people on horseback and hikers like us were enjoying the space, the day, the chance to get out and be in nature. And almost without exception as we passed each one, we got a smile, eye contact, and a lovely “Hello,” which we returned in kind. It’s something that most seem to do out here, especially on the trails.

After the fifteenth person passed, smiled and spoke, Angie, who is from Buenos Aires, Argentina, slowed her pace, turned to us and said: “You know, when I first came here I wondered about this habit. One day, as I was riding on the bike path through town with my host dad, I asked him: “So do you just know everyone here?”

As we all laughed together, I was struck by the beauty of this message. Our willingness to share a smile and a nod on these lovely natural trails reminds me of the yogic salutation – “Namaste.” It is usually accompanied by the gesture of placing the palms together in a prayer position and holding them over one’s heart while making eye contact. Loosely translated, Namaste means: “The Divine in me recognizes and honors the Divine in you.”

I know that in large cities like Angie’s, where people live in close proximity, the culture dictates a certain level of privacy. Speaking to and smiling at everyone on the street would be considered rude or even worse, crazy. But out in nature, and in my smaller community, I find this simple habit makes the hike a richer experience…

How do you feel when guided to share a smile and a nod in your daily adventures?

©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012

Vibration and the Law of Attraction

Electromagnet – Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons, some rights reserved by marc.spooner

Anyone who has seen “The Secret” or “What the Bleep Do We Know” is somewhat familiar with the Law of Attraction. The idea that we create what we spend time thinking about or believing is not really new. One of my favorite statements in the New Testament came from Jesus when he said: “It is done unto you as you believe.”

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about vibration as a kind-of magnet that literally pulls to us those things on which we focus. I remember talking with a client recently who gave me this great metaphor for how we attract things to ourselves. And I promised him I would share it…

Most kids learn about electromagnetism by making a simple electro-magnet. If you take an iron nail and wrap it with copper wire, then attach the wire to the leads of a battery, you’ll create an electro-magnet. I remember the delight I felt as a child when I learned that I could do this. I made my magnet and then went around picking up various metal objects. When I wanted to pick up a paper clip, I attached the copper wire to the battery and grabbed the clip. When I wanted to drop the clip, I disconnected the wire and the clip would fall off the nail.

Here’s the thing I find really interesting about this analogy: Our thoughts are literally electromagnetic fields. And we are broadcasting all the time. Just like an electromagnet, we pull things, experiences, relationships, prosperity, health, (or the opposite of these) towards us through our resonant field.

Fortunately, unlike the electromagnet, we rarely attract instantaneously. There seems to be a lag-time when it comes to thoughts and belief patterns. This gives us more leeway to adjust our vibration so we don’t attract every single thing that crosses our mind (thank goodness!). But, over time those habitual patterns or “Vibrational Habits” eventually pull those experiences towards us. The more powerful the magnet, the faster the experience shows up.

So how do you get more proficient at attracting what you want?

  1. Be conscious of what you think. Instead of the mental tape running constantly in the background, notice when and what you’re thinking that magnetizes you to attracting both what you don’t want and what you do want.
  2. Choose what you think and believe. I recently saw a bumper sticker that said: “Don’t believe everything you think.”  When we hold on too dearly to beliefs about ourselves, our world, our families and friends – you name it – we continue to create more of what we’re experiencing.
  3. Disrespect “reality.” Our thoughts can be influenced by the strong beliefs of the collective human experience.  Ever have any of these thoughts?: “The economy affects my ability to earn a living. There are no “good men (women)” out there. I can never get a break. I’ll never lose weight.” These kinds of thoughts have been broadcast to you over and over until you become attached to that vibrational habit. Then you become a magnet for them and continue to support the belief in “reality.”
  4. The magnet does not understand the “Don’t want” part. It just attracts whatever you’re thinking about. So if you’re thinking about what you don’t want, you’ll get that, too!
  5. Relax! Once you’ve set your intention, enjoy the wait as your magnet does the work of bringing your experience to you. You have pointed the nail to that thing that you want to attract and you’ve attached the copper coil. Worrying about it; constantly looking to see if it is coming would be like repeatedly unattaching and then reattaching the coil to see if it’s working. Think about it, you’re just slowing down the process. The magnet’s on, then off, then on, then off, so the poor thing that you’re attracting is constantly getting jolted like a roller coaster being pulled up a steep incline! Once you’ve set things in motion, let the magnet do its job and your desire will get to you sooner.

Thought patterns are simply habits, and I’ve heard it said that it is easier to replace a habit than to eliminate one. So when you find yourself thinking about the negative, shift it. Spend time focusing on what is going well in your life. Feel the gratitude for your job, or your talents, or those you love…or the beautiful day, or the music in your life – whatever gives you joy. My friend Lola Jones calls this Raving. Rave – with lot’s of energy for the good, the great things. Then you become a magnet for more of that.

You are far more powerful than you realize. When you raise your vibration, you amp the battery to that copper coil and your magnet becomes more powerful. Then you become a master of the Law of Attraction (not a victim of it).

Have a great weekend!



©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012

The Energy of Cleaning Out the Closet

I’m new to blogging, although I’ve been a professional writer for a number of years. What I’m loving about the “Discipline of the Blog” is that there is a very Zen-like quality to writing regularly. Before starting my blog, I read several short books on how to do it effectively and I found that, pretty much without exception, the guidance from the most successful bloggers is this: stay focused on some particular topic.

Since I’m teaching energy healing, these days, I decided to focus my blog on energy in all of its aspects. Now I will admit that since energy is the basis for all of what we call “reality” here in the time-space continuum, that’s a pretty broad topic. However, I’m enjoying the thought processes that go into reframing many of my daily activities as a way of explaining energy and vibration for the blog. And, those of you who blog regularly can relate to what I’m starting to discover – the blog needs care and feeding (ooooh, another blog topic related to energy!).

So anyway, after returning from a fabulous weekend trip with Peter I started unpacking, and decided to get rid of some clothes in my closet that I haven’t worn in awhile. I bought a new outfit while I was away and realized that I literally had no more room in my closet for it. The decision to work on the closet has been percolating for a few weeks with spring coming and the fact that I was having trouble finding things in there – I noticed this when I was packing to leave for the aforementioned trip! So it’s time…

Have you noticed how good it feels to clean out old stuff that you’ve been hanging onto? To decide to let it go and in so doing, make room for new things to come into your life? That old jacket that I haven’t worn in years could be the vintage piece of clothing that a college student loves. Or I can gift it to an organization that provides business clothes to single moms for job interviews. It a great jacket, it’s just that my tastes have changed over the years and I don’t wear it anymore

Energy is all about movement. When my closet is too full, things in there become stagnant, wrinkled, hidden. By making space and releasing the old that no longer serves me, I can create the space for the new to come to me.

I once heard someone say that the Universe abhors a vacuum. I’ve always loved that phrase. By creating the vacuum of an empty closet (or at least a less full closet), I invite the vibration of the new into my life and the energy moves…Whether it’s clothes, beliefs, relationships, or anything else that has been hanging around too long, I invite you to make space for the Universe to fill it. I think you’ll be glad you did.


©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012

Food Vibes and a Meditation for the Senses

I love good food.  I love to cook it and I love to eat it.  I once dumped a guy after two dates when I offered to cook him dinner. As I was preparing to saute onions for a cajun dish, he turned up his nose and said “No onions, they make me crazy!” Huh? What do you mean they make you crazy? Are you allergic? “No, they just make me crazy!” That was our last date…How can anyone not like sauteed onions? Well, maybe I was a little harsh, but I don’t think it would have worked out anyway. On that same date, he took me to the Hialeah Race Track and taught me how to handicap horses. I picked the winning horse, but he bet on it to show. Have I mentioned yet that I’m psychic?

Food is such a sensual part of our human experience. It helps to define cultures; it’s probably safe to say that food is a distinctive component of all cultures around the world. It serves to bring people together. Sharing a meal is one of the most basic and powerful ways to share of oneself.

So what is it about the energy around food? Yes, I could go into the whole thing about tastebuds and the five known tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami). Yes, I could explain the vibrations of the food molecules and how they interact with our nose and tongue.  But I’m not going to. I’d just say that I think the attention we give our food is symbolic of how we feel about ourselves.

At home, I take great care in preparing my food. Peter and I cook together most nights. Sometimes he plans the meal, sometimes I do. We both chop and slice, we both cook at the stove, grill or oven. We both clean up. It’s our time together after work, a special time to talk, taste and nourish ourselves – a reward after a long day.

When I go into a restaurant, I’d like to think that I can feel the energy coming from a well-prepared dish. And I try to spend a few moments looking at it, enjoying the textures, colors and smells before I even taste it. Only after I’ve used my other senses, do I allow myself that first bite.

What does this have to do with energy healing? Well, all feeling, including the “common” senses, are about emitting and picking up vibration. So paying attention to them sparks our sensory awareness and helps us to use those senses while we’re doing the healing.

So when you sit down (and please do sit down!) to your next meal, I’d suggest the following: Feel the vibration of your food before you take your first bite. Appreciate all of the people that participated in getting it to you – the farmers, shippers, wholesalers, stores, chefs – however it made it to that plate in front of you. As you take your first bite, allow yourself to truly taste. Is it salty, sweet, savory – a hint of bitter? Those are the vibrations of the food and the events that made it possible to get it there. As you swallow, invite the food to gently assimilate into your body, nourishing the organs and cells. Stop and take a breath between bites. Put down your fork a few times – make it a rich and powerful experience…and let me know how it goes.

©CathyUlrich and LargeSelf, 2012

Do You Resonate?


Anything that vibrates (an oscillator) has a natural frequency. A vibration is basically a wave of energy – like a sine wave – and the speed that the wave changes direction from up to down through a full cycle is its frequency. Here’s the key: when the natural frequencies of oscillators are the same, it’s easy to transfer energy between them.

If you have two guitars sitting in the same room and they’re tuned alike, when you pluck, say, the A string on one, the A string on the other guitar will vibrate. This is called acoustic resonance. The energy of the sound wave generated by the first guitar travels through the air, contacts the second guitar and since both strings are tuned to the same natural frequency, the second one will vibrate too.

Another kind of resonance – mechanical resonance – shows up in many ways. When you push a child on a swing, if you time your push in phase with the swing, they will go higher – that’s because of the natural resonance of the pendulum. Breaking a crystal glass by exposing it to a specific sound pitch, the natural resonance of the glass, is another. And engineers have to pay strict attention to the natural resonance of buildings and bridges as part of their design process. If they don’t the structure they have designed can shatter – just like the glass – if it happens to be exposed to its natural resonant frequency from outside forces such as wind or earthquakes.

So how does it feel when you resonate with someone? How does it feel when you’re resisting them? And can you adjust your frequency (like that of the guitar) to resonate with someone better when you’re trying to understand them?


©Cathy Ulrich and LargeSelf, 2012