PTSD is a worldwide epidemic affecting millions of people. Everyone has been affected by stress and stressful situations in their lives. I have been seeing this illness deeply in my surrounding goddesses and truly am wanting to help by reminding practitioners that a yoga practice can bring long term relief and a fresh perspective on life for PTSD sufferers. It can bring clarity on such a shattered sight of the world, a false Maya, or illusion.
Below is a copy of my list on Rest and Recovery:
1. 2 Hours of Restorative Yoga
2. Richard Millers "I Rest" book and downloadable cd
3. Art Therapy
4. Music and Dance, Sound Bowl Healing
5. Professional therapist program on Trauma
6. Nature, Ocean Swimming
7. Therapy Dog
8. Remove yourself from stressful situations
9. B12, Bach Flower Remedies, Chinese Herbs
At the heart of PTSD is the fight or flight response. This response is a reaction that prepares the body to fight or flee from perceived threat. My re-ocurring issues with this is my constant battle with adrenal fatigue is not being helped by my workaholic tendencies. Some people can have symptoms of recurring flashbacks, avoiding thoughts or people associated with the traumatic event, or numbing of memories of the event, and hyperarousal (high levels of anxiety). Driving can also be a frightening experience as it can trigger anxiety and flashbacks for others.
On a physical level, headaches, muscle tension, chest pain, fatigue, changes in sex drive, upset stomach, sleep problems and urinary disorders are experienced. Psychologically, nightmares, restlessness, anxiety, lack of motivation or focus, irritability or anger and depression are common to this condition. Even chronic health conditions, surgery, and childbirth are considered a trauma. Events involving death, serious injury, threat to self or others, where intense fear horror or powerlessness is experienced causes such symptoms.
So how do we get through all of this??? I know for me, taking time off and stepping back helps immensely, a place to gather, gain strength, and regroup. The ocean, which has been my home for decades, has been a place of serious healing. But to see true lasting change, it takes consistent practice and care to remove the subconscious branding of trauma. I also helped myself by releasing my co-dependant tendencies of trying to heal everyone, very toxic. I will be able to contribute a greater value to the collective consciousness as I heal myself.
Being awakened means releasing the ego from such a shattered sight and into more positive expectations for yourself. I know that KARMA CLEARING can be intense, believe me, no one understands this better than I do. My wounded warrior goddesses must take rest and respite. As the last red moon is very intense and we need to conserve our energy in order to prepare for the next chapter. Do not allow PTSD to control your life any longer. Take time to regroup and make your sight clear.
I have spent my entire life clearing this karma, sometimes I want to give up. But NO, I refuse... All I can tell you is that I will never give up, I will continue to be a warrior, fight for justice, and transform all darkness that surrounds me into light.
I am finally here, starting my mermaid blog and I really am ready to share all the knowledge that has been given to me by the ocean and the Magical Mermaid Springs of Florida. What a adventure it has been!! Last week has helped me resolve so much in my life, I know that we are all processing this energy together as we are getting closer to the last RED MOON of October 2015.
The messages have been abundantly clear….It's time to slow down, well actually, it’s time to STOP!!! As Cristina and I made our way to Mermaid town, our secret destination also brought us to Manatee Central. One of the shooting locations we were supposed to go to was bombarded by 300 manatees! The park was actually closed down because of this. We had so many other red flags, but as determined artists, we were pushing our way though, needless to say we almost crashed our boat in the process. Luckily, a manatee showed us we were going the wrong way, so I turned the boat around and made our way back to the shore. What was the manatee trying to tell us? Well, I looked up this totem animal and here is what it said:
“If a Manatee has made his presence known in your life;
It’s time to slow down and take the time to swim through your emotions. Let your emotions wash over you so that you can feel what is all percolating there. By allowing yourself to feel you are also allowing yourself to move forward and as you move forward you release the old emotional baggage that no longer serves you”
WoW! This couldn't be more on point. This was clearly telling me to STOP and REST but not only that…to FEEL.... Why do we keep doing this? Pushing our way through life like a rushing train and ignoring our feelings? My father has just passed away only 6 months ago and I have been working like a crazy person trying to run my office, teach my workshops, see patients, and much more. Well NO MORE!!!!
I’m sick of doing what other people expect of me, trying to please everyone else, and not listening to my own intuition. And so, this has propelled me to take ACTION. Closing up my new office was the first step to freedom, (this happened yesterday) It has been a HUGE weight lifted off my shoulders. I felt like I could breathe again. The second step was doing what brings me JOY, and lastly, I am now canceling everything else until further notice.
I’ve realized that I have many different kinds of gifts I can share with the world, all which need to involve not hurting my own energy in the process. I have found a way to heal the Collective Consciousness, and that is through Art. Art is the key to heal any drama, trauma, and negativity. I can be of NO SERVICE to anyone until my own healthy energy has returned. I hope all of you can understand that it’s NOT selfish to take care of yourself, put your own needs first, and heal yourself once and for all. It’s your birthright to be HEALTHY and HAPPY, this is your service to the world. Healing yourself will help heal the world. It’s ok to be a Mermaid…….
(Photos by Cristina Rivera Photography)
It seems that we are all transitioning into the new, from ascension symptoms, to major life challenges, the rollercoaster just keeps on moving. As we get closer to the fall equinox, I am happy to report that I have been feeling much better lately. After a week of detoxing, that seemed to put my body back into gear. I am still mindful of not going into overwork mode and honor my body as she is wise and reminds me of what is needed each day. As a practicing yogi, I do what I can and practice santosha, contentment, even though things are not moving as fast as I would like them to be….I continue to remain present.
I have been busy planning a comeback, as everyone really loves that. I have been deeply meditating on what truly makes me happy and that is always being of service to the community and honoring all my teachers along the way. After a summer of extensive spiritual training, dance training, fixing my neck and spine from old injury, and healing my wounds from so much family karma, I am ready to get back into the world with a fresh new perspective.
I have always had a strong passion for creativity and art and will be displaying much more of this along my journey. As an Elemental Goddess (thanks Ali Valdez who coined my title) I will be displaying my work with each of the elements which have played a huge part in my healing process. My crystal singing bowls will be paired up with community acupuncture in many workshops to come, so stay tuned for more of this and more yoga events to come!
The crystal sound bowls have kept my vibrations strong. As Energy Medicine is finally going mainstream, the health benefits are remarkable. I use them in my private acupuncture healing sessions along with Biomat Infared therapy, Quantum Pad, and Biomat Amethyst pillow. (Click above for purchase)
Book your session now! (for office appointments)
I will also be launching my MERMAID BLOG which will be written and transcribed right under a palm tree at the oceanfront of my mer-pad. I have been channeling oceanic messages all summer long and I cannot wait to share this with you all. I have been very blessed and express much gratitude to be able to live by the seaside for most of my life…PARADISE.
I LOVE THE OCEAN….she is my healer, my wisdom, my guide, my everything!!…I am so happy to live here…There are many more mermaid adventures to come, I have photoshoots in secret mer-lucious destinations, more adventure blogging, plus a few other surprises….So stay tuned!!
Yes, this Elemental Goddess is back and the Mermaid has returned...I feel better than ever, and have more creative projects to share with you. Please check in with my Facebook pages from my personal, elemental goddess, and Alpha Omega Holistic Medicine pages. And all my Social Media, Instagram, and Twitter on this site:
Twitter and Instagram: Elementalgoddess
Hope to see you soon….
As an empath we tend to feel things very strongly, almost to the point of no relief. Emotions overwhelm us, certain people drain us, and the planet may even feel too toxic to even live upon. But alas, there is relief! I found it this weekend though my alchemy sound healing training, it was just that…sound…. healing…. our souls in the most profound way. In my younger years, I became a Reiki master, I thought that this euphoric feeling of higher plane consciousness would stay with me forever. Little did I know there were many things I had to be careful of for living in so much light. I felt like as I got older, I was becoming more and and more sensitive. Gifts would come and go, even transformed into other things. I always was grateful for all that I was given, as the path to healer is a great responsibility and with all responsibility, comes many lessons.
I feel like I have tried everything to be ok with myself, to perform the job I know I am destined to do, and to be able to live peacefully on this plane. Having this ability has taught me so much, about being compassionate, learning to love, and living in joy. But when did all of that disappear? When did the burden of life become so heavy….that the everyday mundane tasks of life weigh so much upon my shoulders. When did clearing my karma from so many lifetimes become debilitating? How do I shift from all of this and get back to what’s really important?…Helping others!
Why did I have to sacrifice myself in order to do this? This seemed very unfair to me. Carrying the burdens of so many, why couldn’t I simple release it all? Then it hit me….I was allowing the vibration of the planet bring me down. I recognized this within myself and needed to shift this way of being. No more….I shouted!! I was determined to figure out how to make this work, or I wasn’t going to be able to live peacefully on this planet.
Through this retrograde, I learned the most profound lesson of all….people were wanting to take care of me, do everything for me, and disempower me in every way. It was to the point of thinking that I wasn’t capable of being powerful. What a limited belief system? When the lesson looked me straight in the eye, I saw it for what is was….a lesson…and all lessons can be learned…and most importantly, …can be cleared.
The time of the four blood moons have been upon us for so long, it’s about to be the final stage this October and most times I am just bracing myself for this shift. Our loved ones who were refusing to vibrate upon our increasing energy field have sadly left us…but are not forgotten. I am grateful for all of us who have chosen to stay and create this new world which is about to form. They say in order to build the new we must get rid of the old, who knew that a lot of it would be so painful. At least the final outcome will be worth it the the end. The scales might actually tip and higher consciousness way of living may be all what we know. Our constant DNA changes morph our bodies in such a way so that we are able to handle this new energy vibration.
In order to assimilate, my sound healing practice with the crystal bowls have seem to be what the doctor ordered. They keep my vibration high and almost have been received as a tonic to my sensitive soul. Much like my time in the ocean and even with the dolphins. I LOVE my new dolphin bowl!!! Are we indeed entering back to the age of Atlantis? Well it sure feels like it…it’s beginning to feel like HOME. The home I have been constantly looking for and the space where I can breathe. Yes…..sound heals my every core of my being, and I finally feel like I am free….
Thank you to my amazing teacher and friend Jay Schwed, you taught me how to live again, how to live life though the eyes of a child, and continually play. But most of all you taught me freedom. I feel like I can breathe again, and live in the higher planes where I belong. Sound has healed me in such a profound way, I will never be the same. Thank you to my beautiful new sound healing family!!!
I always thought that the way to show strength was to do everything by myself and push through life like a unstoppable train. Boy does that philosophy not work, especially recovering from adrenal fatigue. Luckily, I had wonderful mentors and friends who helped and supported me through all these years.(Allaine Stricklen, Ali Valdez, Valerie Immore) Not to mention an amazing family. Through my 5 year recovery, I learned so much. Mostly, that I couldn’t do everything by myself, it was ok to ask for help, and lean on my community for support. This in turn, gave me so much strength and I realized that I didn’t necessarily need to scratch someone eyes out to find it.
What does it mean to be a peaceful warrior? Well for me, shoving my way through life wasn’t working. Over doing everything didn’t help either, I had to learn how to conserve and be calm. This in turn gave me great clarity when making important decisions and showed me that I was much stronger by not being so attached to outcomes, goals, and unrealistic expectations. After all, what really did I have to prove? And to whom?
After burying my father 6 weeks ago, I realized something major about my self. I kept attracting a controlling “dad” all these years while he was alive and our relationship was so estranged ,through my mentors, authority figures, and some teachers. All of whom I danced this “control” dance with as they mirrored my experiences. And why was this happening? What was the lesson I was missing?And then it hit me…..I had not really forgiven dad for all that he had done.
Death finally gives us the opportunity to forgive. I finally figured it out at dads 40 day memorial, and boy did I shift. After visiting his grave sight and it finally hit me….My dad is gone, I can forgive, I can stand on my own two feet, and I can be free. I didn't need all these “other” toxic relationships around me. I didn’t need anyone to control me, hold my hand, or make decisions for me. I realized I was able to stand on my own two feet. I found that I could grow back my wings, and began to fly, finally feeling that I was “enough” and completely worthy. I love you dad and miss you every day.
Well, I believe we are all given things in life to teach us, guide us, and push us past our comfort zones. I am constantly being tested and tried through life’s ups and downs. I always turned to my spiritual practices for strength and support. My vigorous yoga practice has dissolved into more of a practice of inner strength, not in my body, but in my mind. This is where true strength resides. Practices that are more meditative like pranayama, restorative yoga, and yoga nidra. All these internal practices have saved me. This is where I have found my true solace, my true peace.
As I finally return from a 360 degree journey and return to the path of healer and teacher, I am grateful to have worked with this amazing group of powerful yoga teachers at Sundance. I realized my path and my calling, is to teach people coping skills through life’s everyday problems and in helping them heal themselves is what matters. It’s about spreading kindness and compassion not only for ourselves, but also for everyone around us.
After a 5 year battle with Parkinson’s disease, I am sad to say that my dad passed away last month on February 24th, 2015, he was 80 years old. He had struggled with losing his ability to walk and finally fell and broke his hip. He had to have a hip replacement surgery and unfortunately, developed a blood clot which led to a lethal heart attack. Thankfully, he passed in his sleep with no pain, this is what I had hoped would be the way he would pass, peacefully. Sadly, I didn’t make it to the hospital on time to be there when he left, but I am relieved that family was with him.
Nothing really prepares you for the loss of a parent, I stayed very strong for my family in the shock of his early demise, we always thought we would be prepared for something like this, and we were….for the logistics, but what about the emotional aftermath? I had many fleeting thoughts come to my mind, like, “He will never get to see any grandchildren” and “What if I ever decided to get married, who would walk me down the aisle?” All the “what if” questions in life, all thoughts that bring attachment of not accepting that he was gone…and that was the concrete realism…that he was really gone.
It was hard to see my dad’s mental and physical health deteriorate so quickly. Growing up dad was always a strong man to be feared, I never would of thought he would change so much in his older age. Along with that came a softer, more child-like presence, something I will always remember and treasure.
My father and I had a turbulent relationship all throughout my life, we never saw eye to eye and he had tendencies to be very controlling. As a yogi, I use my practice of compassion and forgiveness to make peace with our relationship, and thankfully, though his illness, we finally did. You see my dad almost died a few years prior, we were not on speaking terms for a long time, I was committed on fulfilling my dharma as a healer and my dad unfortunately, had other plans for me. Little did he know my training as a therapeutics yoga teacher would help rehab him to walk again and my acupuncture training helped make the rest of his life more comfortable.
It’s amazing how karma works out and allows us the opportunity to make right what was wrong. And now, I cherish the memories of sessions of chair yoga, the acupuncture and biomat treatments he finally allowed me to administer, and all the years of being by his side to finally get the time we never had when I was younger.
We practice our greek traditions on death and dying with a wake, a church memorial, followed by a burial. Funerals and burials are organized quickly, usually taking place within 24 to 48 hours, which reflects the Greek Orthodox acceptance of death. The service is called the Office of the Burial of the Dead. Conducted by a priest, the service includes ancient rituals and prayers.
(Greek church in Kos)
After the funeral, the priest and mourners gather at the cemetery, in which the casket is buried. An official mourning period of 40 days follows, which is Christ’s ascension to heaven. On the last Sunday of the 40-day mourning period, another memorial service is held at the cemetery, commemorating the soul's ascent into heaven. I am just so grateful I got to go to Greece before my dad’s passing to help reconnect our ancestry.
My studies of Buddhist insight into death and dying helped me to develop an awareness of my own mortality in a way that totally transformed my way of thinking on this subject. The reality of life is this, "We are alive, therefore we will die." This is the simplest, most obvious truth of our existence, and yet very few of us have really come to terms with it. I tried to be respectful of this awareness as people around me grieved in different ways. Buddhist principles states, when the body disintegrates at death the mind does not cease, our subtle mind may still remain in the body. Death occurs when the subtle consciousness finally leaves the body to go to the next life. I guess the most important lessons on death and dying is to cherish our loved ones all the time, as we will never know when they will be gone.
All of these practices and philosophies really did help me to accept and process this loss. It was such a beautiful Greek ceremony followed by continuing rituals. Even though I practiced other philosophical traditions in life, I still respected his last wish to have his funeral done in this way. It’s challenging to mourn for 40 days while in the United States, society usually doesn’t allow for this, I just remember him everyday as this time is sacred to me. Chanting “Om Mani Padme Hum” (which invokes the power and blessings of the embodiment of compassion) has also helped.
I have to say that Greek tradition has allowed me to go through the process of grieving in a healthy way. I sometimes wish I could just disappear for 40 days to mourn. Yes, I will always be very grateful for all the extra time I had….and I know that you are still here, Dad, watching over all of us, making sure we are guided and protected. I have spent the last 5 years being your guardian angel and now you will forever be mine….. Rest in Peace John Rhodis.
After a recent trip to Bodhi Fest, at the beautiful Ichimura Japanese Gardens in Miami, I felt compelled to blog about the message I received from this blessed event. The gardens were adorned with orchids and artwork in celebration of the 20 foot Jade buddah, tibetian monks, and paws for prayers. The monks blessed one and all, men, woman and children as well as all animals. I felt so disheartened that my Kayla was not with me to be part of this blessing, sadly, I wasn’t able to attend the event until the last day.
There was a talented artist who painted a portrait of the infamous Lolita, a beautiful Orca whale that has been living at the Miami Seaquarium for quite some time. She has been a product of a slavery to entertainment world, and now, many dedicated efforts are underway and gaining strength daily to achieve the goal of returning Lolita to her home and family.
I thought about all the animals who prey victim from this entertainment industry, from the elephants in Thailand, the traveling circus animals around the world, and everyday animal abuse. It breaks my heart that our society can be so cruel, but I don’t focus on this, I focus on the love that is needed to heal this planet. I pray for the freedom and kindness for all animals.
In Greek the word, “eleutheria” (ἐλευθερία) which means liberty, freedom from slavery is used when describing this kind of freedom. Athenian democracy was the paradigm of civic freedom, of democratic government through the direct participation of its citizens. We are all born free and should remain free.
The message was quite clear, the Tibetians left their country to be free, Tibetans will only be free from oppression when they are free to determine their own future. The same rings true for these animals, they deserve the same freedom as humans do.
After all, we are all one collective consciousness, sharing beliefs, ideas and moral attitudes which operate as a unifying force within society. Are we so different? Whats so different then the Chinese enslaving the Tibetans as Miami Seaquarium enslaving Lolita? When will we understand how connected we all are? Time to wake up society. Please send prayers and healings to all life forms living on this planet.
Please visit to see the full story on Lolita:
http://www.orcanetwork.org/Main/index.php?categories_file=Lolita and donate what you can to help free this beautiful creature that belongs in the sea. These individuals have a retirement plan to help reacclimatize her back into the wild. FREE LOLITA….FREE TIBET…..FREE OURSELVES.
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For this past 2015 NewYear, I was able to go back to my birthplace of New York. I was extremely blessed to see the city in all it’s glory, snow and all. Thank god for my dear friend and chauffeur Nathalie, and my sidekick Kayla, who is the most amazing traveling companion.
We had a blast and caused all kinds of mayhem in the streets of New York. I got to practice at the top yoga studios in NYC, including Rodney Yee’s new studio, Yoga Shanti. The studio was completely made of gold, as his studio should be for being one of the top yoga teachers of this era….A must see.
Plus my hotel was right next to Pure Yoga West, a monstrosity of a well oiled machine complete with a two story building, 7 rooms, showers and complete steam room. Needless to say, ain’t nothing like Florida! It was so nice to do yoga amongst giants.
One of the major reasons for going to NYC was for research purposes as well as having a bit of fun. I am a native New Yorker born in Queens from immigrated parents from Greece. They say you really can’t move forward until you go back to the beginning, and so, another journey completed.
I also got to go back to my most favorite place in the world, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I studied art history in college and have a deep love and affinity for all art, especially from master artists.
What a huge collection displayed for the holidays, simply breathtaking! I loved the Persia collection and all the artifacts, goes well with all the tribal bellydance style.I wanted to “borrow" all the jewelry and costuming.
Since we studied all Greek mythology at the last yoga retreat, I was truly inspired by Artemis on this trip. I felt like I never left Greece as there was a huge Greek and Roman display this year.
Artemis was the Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and protector of young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women. I feel very connected to this goddess right now as she is the goddess of action. It’s time that I get back into my dharma purpose as I have learned so much from this time of rest and recovery. I am so grateful for all the lessons, support and love from my family and friends.
I went to my childhood home in Long Island so I could find out if this was to be my new home. Needless to say, my ceremonial candle broke in my hands to show me that the chords had been cut and it was indeed time to move on.
Oh well, at least I know that New York will always be in my heart, just not the place I plant. I loved this tree as a kid! Onward towards my quest for my HOME…...
As a life long allergy sufferer, I’ve spent my entire life with a challenged immune system. My world became completely toxic, the food I was eating made me ill, the air I was breathing was contaminated, the mattress I slept on made me sick, there was no escape from the hundreds of chemicals that are on this planet, there was only one place left to go....into the water into the sea....where my body could heal and finally be free.
Since I have been in recovery for the last few years now, I have been working on strengthening my immune system. I knew my holistic medicine training would be what I needed to help me most. After all, this is why I got started into this practice in the first place.
Because the water element has been so important to me, I’ve decided to have fun with my healing, and so, a mermaid has been born. I have been very blessed to have lived by the ocean most my life and always used it as my medicine. I have noticed that every time I move away from her, my health would be compromised again. So yes, being a real mermaid is a childhood dream of mine, one that would be such a major part to my recovery.
I’ve actually found a professional mermaid performer, MeduSirena, and am officially a Aquaticat in training. You can see her website here: http://www.medusirena.com . I actually bought my first mermaid tail before I even meeting her (not advisable!) as this tail turned out to be very heavy (30lbs!). Plus, it took 3 people to get me in it when we were in Greece. Thank god for good friends who support your hair brained ideas!Ali Valdez, Bunz Valdez, and my official agent, Madeleine Erhardt.
Luckily, my swim teacher works with a lighter material, I now practice with a monofin. I love my practice monofin, it's much lighter than my tail, and I move fast like a dolphin...since I have less energy on land, the water element has been my cure. Yea, it was a challenge to travel to europe with such a heavy costume, not to mention expensive! But she was worth it.
Stay tuned for the video of one of my very first swims!…oh boy!