Enough Already with "not enough"!

Back in August, I started the second annual

101 Days of Gratitude

.  The idea is to post something that you are grateful for everyday.  Last year, I did this to both create meaningful daily content on my

Facebook page

(the key to social media success, so I hear) and to force myself to work through my aversion to social media. It worked really well! I got more fans, even had a few people join in with me, and surprised myself on how fulfilling posting things online can be.

This year has been different

. I started this project with the intention to start to create a community around my ultimate dream of creating the Upward Spiral Center for Healing and Transformation.  Earlier this year, this dream started to look like a reality and I have been working hard to make it happen.

But that's a lot to juggle.  The creation of the center has brought some core issues of mine up to the surface and that's caused some breakdowns and needs to withdrawal. For the past month or so, I've taken a step back from major work on creating the center, because I realized"

If I'm going to create the Center, I need to first find my own.

There is this saying in Chinese Medicine that

"one can not inspire a virtue in someone else unless they first possess it themselves."

Since I came across this thought in my Daoism and Chinense Medicine class back in 2009, it has infused much of my thoughts about work and therapy.

One basic issue for me (and I know for a lot of my clients) is essentially that

I'm not enough


And the silent belief that follows is that

no one will love me


To create the center is to affirm the opposite:

I am working to create a space for all of US to explore what our healing journeys can become

. To do this, I will need lots of love and support from my community.  It can not happen with out it.

In addition to really slacking on my own gratitude posting during this year's project, I publicly admitted the other day that I miscalculated 101 Days.  The intention is to lead up to Thanksgiving, but I started a week early. So its 108 days instead. Thankfully, its a symbolic number!

I've still felt alot of 'gratitude guilt' (which essentially traces back to "I'm not good enough") about neglecting my gratitude and miscalculating.

I was overjoyed at the responses I got after posting about 108 Days. You can see some on our

Facebook Event


I had a guy write me a personal message and say:


no embarrassment needed ... I just kept thinking how is my counting wrong !?! lol its an awesome idea and has brought joy to even more people than you'll ever know ... it's fabulous and I wouldn't change a thing"

I also had a friend of mine tag me in a post:

"I am grateful for 

Nyssa Rhiannon Hanger

, a great friend, and someone who has the imagination, thoughtfulness, and work ethic to do something good for her community. Or better yet, to get us to do something good for ourselves!"

How can I not feel loved and enough reading things like this? I am bookmarking this page for the next time I feel bad : )

I don't know if I can really say "ENOUGH!" to "not enough," but I'm sure gonna try. This is what I hope to inspire in others eventually at the


, but for now I'm going to continue to work on me and inspire the community I already have.

Thanks ya'll, for all your love.

All You Have To Do Is Answer

Joseph Campbell taught me that the mythic process always begins with a call to action.  I will often joke that God may call us, but we have to pick up the phone. 

Well, I got this phone call last week, just as I was walking out the door.  I could see that it was not a familiar number but I answered anyway. It was a very nice woman calling from the

Hippocrates Health Institute

 asking me if I was interested in representing my business at their upcoming community health fair and lecture here in Tampa, Jan. 30th. Even though she was essentially trying to sell me something (a table/booth), there was also a genuineness in her, I didn't feel immediately turned off as tends to happen with solicitors.  The more she told me about the lecture the more I felt like it was something I'd like to attend anyway.  I figured by representing Upward Spiral at the event I will be exposing myself to my ideal clients: people with the desire to take their health into their own hands. Plus, Dr. Clement will be talking about not only diet and exercise, but also spiritual practice.  This is totally my event. 

So I will be there (I have six $15 tickets for sale - contact me if you'd like one!) and I feel like the action of making that choice is propelling me forward in many ways.  Whether or not I actually get connections out of this event or not, I see how this project is forcing me to get my act together. 

After the 101 Days of Gratitude Project, I was about computer/internet/social media -ed out. Through December and early January, I had very little activity on Facebook (personal and business page) and Twitter, and I even slacked off on my email or website updates.  In reviewing my journals from the past year, I was reminded that I had about a week "internet fast" during the summer when I was out of town and I remembered it feeling really great. Over the holidays, it was what I needed as well.  I guess we have to detox from technology as much as toxic food. 

It's not that technology is bad, it helps me out a lot. It is how the Hippocrates Institute found me, and how I learn about some really amazing things.  But I know that I just don't feel good when I spend a substantial amount of time at the computer. Moderation, Moderation. Reminds me of one of my FAVORITE Get Fuzzy comics. 

So I am back online updating my website, cleaning up some loose ends, composing new marketing material and just generally getting on top of things. It feels really good. After being a little stagnant, I see that all I needed was a hand to reach out and encourage me to move forward again. 

Basically, I feel right now that I am stepping forward in the answer of my next call to action. I see that as the continuing evolution of Upward Spiral, becoming more of what it really is, which I guess is essentially, me giving my heart to the world. A little scary, but that's why growth tends to happen in moderation. 

Day 96: A Strong Relationship

Things have a way of getting uncomfortable real quickly, but with the right tools and a little patience, you can turn discomfort into deeper connection in no time.

My boyfriend and I had a brief miscommunication tonight and had about 10 minutes of uncomfortable-ness between us. It was a small thing that didn't need to be a big deal but we were both in a place that we got easily emotionally charged about it. Before I knew it we were both upset and neither were helping to make it better.

I have observed enough about the world to know this is not a unique scenario to only us. Every couple has moments like these, and though they are not fun, it is always an opportunity for growth. At least that is how I see it.

I am blessed to be in a relationship where we sort of have an unspoken policy: no one leaves upset. Even though that is exactly what we want to do sometimes, my boyfriend and I have a habit of staying with the discomfort, of holding on through it, of coming out the other side still loving and caring.  I believe this makes all the difference, creating a stronger bond each time.

And that's what we did tonight. It is amazing how hurt and blame can so quickly turn into love and adoration.     The next time you are in a situation that has become uncomfortable, if it is not dangerous to your well-being,  see if you can just stay with it for a bit.  If it is with someone you care for deeply, chances are those feelings will begin to trump any pains to your expectations, beliefs, or ego and you might feel your heart expand just a little more. I did and will say it was all worth it.

Days 88-95: Time that Flies By and a Whole Lot of Gratitude

I can't believe it is already Monday and that by the time I get to actually posting this Monday will be practically over. It might already be Tuesday, who knows [and as it turns out, this didn't get posted until Wednesday]. All I know is that it seems overnight, all of my time has gotten accounted for.

My last post was Wednesday and everyday since then has been filled with productivity and a whole lot to be grateful for.


: This was my doggy's dental appointment which turned out to cost me much less than I thought it was going to. In addition to this great financial outcome, I saw one of my regular client's this day who bought herself a new package and included in her check a VERY large tip. Having seen me for over 100 sessions, she has given me a gift like this once before and both times my jaw dropped. In the note on the check she wrote, "Happy Thanksgiving!" Happy Thanksgiving indeed. Let's just say that it would pay for several doggie dental bills, but it will probably just pay off my credit card debt, which is such a blessing. My day ended with an amazing open mic night at Cafe Hey where I felt honored, cherished, and loved. I left early because I was exhausted and had several long days ahead of me.

I was thankful

to have someone else who can run the show and give me time to go home and relax, since that time has been few and far between lately.


: I started my day at Gaither High School, my second school this year in the Arts Council's Poetry Jam program that I get to do every year. I am one of the Arts Council's poets that visits schools around the county and share a love of writing and the power of poetry and the spoken word. AND I GET PAID FOR THIS.

I am eternally grateful


Gianna Russo

, my poetry teacher, who suggested my name to the Arts Council when they were looking for poets.  These often involve me being at high schools before 8am, but I don't care. This is one of the best jobs I could ask for; the only part I would change is to be able to do this all year long. I was at Gaither until 2pm, then had a little time off before an evening client. It gave me time to go to the bank, stop by Kaleisia for some tea and a snack and take a little time to review the final proof of my chapbook that will be debuted this week. What an amazing Friday...

Saturday and Sunday

: I spent all weekend in the first workshop in the CranioSomatics training program. Back in 2006 I started studying Structural Energetic Therapy, developed by my teacher Don McCann, who combines cranial releases with deep tissue bodywork.  Don learned the cranial work from Dallas Hancock, the creator of CranioSomatic therapy. Now I am learning the cranial work for my teacher's teacher, and it is blowing my mind! I am only at the beginning of the training but will say that touching the cranium will never be the same again. I spent two days filling my head with all this new awareness of the cranium, and it is a good thing we did some releases on each other because frankly, I need a little more room in there to fit all this information! It was great to reconnect with some of my previous class mates and fellow therapists and I am SO excited to integrate this work into my practice. Six months ago I decided that this would be the next step for my practice.

I am thankful

that it is finally coming to fruition (and I should also mention, that my mom helped me pay for the class!).


: Here we are at Monday. I am writing this is the morning but know that the day will bring me more to be grateful for. I know this because I welcome it. If there is anything I've learned from this continuous gratitude practice is that when you are open to the world, it opens for you. I have had so many opportunities emerge in the past few months that I can't do anything but be thankful. Something that takes almost no time at all, makes the biggest difference. So

I am thankful

for today and the time I had to write this post.


Now it is Wednesday and I haven't even posted all this yet! Let's recap and get back on track.


(revisited): Monday turned into a great day! I saw three clients and got to try out some of my new techniques, with great success.  My day ended with seeing a bunch of my family at Skipper's for a big fundraiser concert. Though I am sure the musicians that night were super talented and deserved respect, I was really only there to hang with my family.  And I was glad they were there because I made a bad choice for my parking spot and got my car stuck in a bunch of sand. My male cousins knew exactly what to do and got me out of the hole, which involved rolling back up over a steep step, scraping the bottom of my car and popping off the corner of the front bumper. But here is where gratitude comes in:

I was super thankful

that it wasn't any worse (like leak-inducing or something) and that I already had plans to take my car in the shop the next day for routine maintenance. All in all, it turned out okay.


: I woke up not feeling too well and wondering if I needed to cancel my work. I went to work anyways and was relieved to find out my first client wasn't feeling well either. I moved my second client (who was coming in for a double session) to another day and had the whole afternoon to catch up with things. It was just what I needed. Though

I am grateful

to be so busy with work I am also grateful for understanding clients. I felt good by the afternoon and stayed to see my last client for the day. It was the second time I had seen her and the session was incredibly powerful.

I am thankful

to be increasingly working with clients on all levels, mind, body, and spirit.  This is truly what I am here to do.


: Now, here we are. Today I am thankful for some time to just be. My days have gotten really full, as the rest of this post explains, but I am learning more and more the lesson of finding that quiet time within. I was able to take some time this afternoon to just enjoy and breathe, which was a great way to get ready for another Tea + Meditation at Kaleisia this evening.


Yay! I am glad to be back on the wagon. Only a few more days to go before the end of this project. I suspect, though, gratitude will continue to be a driving force of positivity in my life. After these past few months, it seems like I can only see it as essential.

Day 50: Emotional Release

For the past few weeks, I've felt that I needed to do a breath session. In the advanced bodywork system that I studied (

Structural Energetic Therapy

), we learned a technique in releasing emotional energy in the body that we call Emotional Energy Release Therapy, Emotional Release Therapy, Emotional Release,...you get the idea. It is based on techniques used in Alexander Lowen's therapy called Bioenergetics. We use a process of continuous, facilitated, deep breathing to charge the body with energy, break through energetic/emotional blockages, and allow more life/awareness/consciousness to flow through our body.

I've been feeling for a few weeks that I was due for a session. I would find myself being more upset about things than I knew I needed to be, or taking a long time to let something small go.  There were times of heaviness, of a lingering sense of unease, of only being able to see the things that were not going my way. I know better than this, but the funk was still there. Its because our bodies hold onto way more than we need it to, often the negative thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Those then come to shape our reality in negative ways, perpetuating the problem, and sometimes it is hard to get out of it.

As much as I didn't want to do a breath session today, my neck had been hurting the past few days and my throat was even a little sore (I think from yelling a lot this weekend at the Dance Party), I did it anyway. I breathed deeply in and out, knowing that I'd feel better in the end. I cried, yelled, screamed, even got up and hit the punching bag. I felt tingling throughout my body, a large concentration in a band around my diapragm/mid-torso and my hands. I got insights on the truly important things in life.

So many things went through my mind; though much of it are things that I worry about, I feel much better about them now. They don't have the charge they did previously. There is this feeling that everything really will BE OKAY.  I feel lighter and more clear-headed. Again, like whenever I return to yoga, I think, "What the heck took me so long?"

Oh yeah, and that neck pain, totally don't have it anymore. Amazing.

Day 33: My Practice

The past few days have presented me with a few challenging situations in which my mindfulness practice has become invaluable. All in all, things are great.  There is really one incident in particular that has been calling for way more of my mental attention it deserves. Being able to focus on what I am doing instead of steaming in what I should say now or should've done before is what is getting me through it. And without the mindfulness, I would have already said things I shouldn't. So instead, I am being with the amazement of another person's "stuff" and how they want to place it on me.  Being with the amazement of it doesn't mean I am wearing it. It just means I am working on my compassion and being thankful for this opportunity to learn how other people like to wear their "stuff" accumulated in this like. I'm thankful I can recognize what is under the surface without being pulled under also. My practice is my life raft.

This is why we meditate and do yoga. When we practice being with what is when 'what is' is fairly neutral, then we are more like to be with what is when it is freaking crazy.

Day 32: My Job

I don't think I posted this gratitude exactly yet, but it was coming. I've said it before and I will say it again:


This is what I did at work today:

First I saw a client who is recovering from a concussion.  He has been seeing me every week for therapeutic bodywork, which has been fun because I have been experimenting with various techniques and approaches. Today I incorporated vibrational healing from a Tibetan Bowl and a chime, both with sounds that evoke the sacred space within. After the session he said that it was the best session he's had so far. Yeah!

Then I saw my weekly Traumatic Brain Injury client. I've wrote about him before on the Upward Spiral blog.  Though his movement and communication is limited, we've worked together so much that I feel a fond friendship with him. Today when he came in he said hi to me for the first time. It may not have sounded like that to someone else, but I heard him. For an hour I got to help him feel relaxed in his body that he may often otherwise feel trapped in.  I even got some good laughs from him in sharing some funny stories.  He may not say much but he sure loves to laugh.

Last I saw a client that came to me originally for physical pain and in that we've found other emotional traumas that were tied up with it. We had a long discussion about where she's at and where she'd like to be. She left saying that it was like counseling and massage all-in-one place, and that she feels like she can get through the rough road she's been traveling. We brought in some light where there was darkness. To top it all off, we helped make significant difference in her chronic pain.

And I get paid for all of this!  That's just the icing on the cake of transformation. More please!

Day 13: When Something Clicks

Yesterday I was driving and someone cut me off. Not really bad, but it was definitely my right of way and they went instead. As I continued on behind them I felt my mind starting to form the thought of being upset. I saw a bumper sticker on their car for the Christian radio station and I felt myself starting to "go there" with the thought. And then in the next moment - ZAP - I felt the judgement, still not fully formed, suddenly disappear from my consciousness. The whole instance happened in only a few seconds, and all I was left with was awe.

I'm usually having to backtrack negative thought patterns; meaning I will have them, then realize it, then reframe the whole thing.  This experience yesterday was a completely different process that I had never consciously witneseds before. It was like some new metal alignment took place.

All I can say is yoga is definitely working for me.


So, I have begun a yoga teacher training and will be heavily immersed in the study of yoga for the next 6 months...and probably the rest of my life.  Part of the program is to keep a journal of our experiences; though I will be keeping a written journal as well I hope to use this platform to share some of what I learn.  I believe that what I discover will be humbling, enlightening, and centering, with surely some struggle and resistance mixed in.  But hopefully in revealing some of that here, I can help inspire others to immerse themselves within.

A few weeks ago I committed myself to going to as many yoga classes as possible. In our program we are encouraged to attend as many different classes/locations/teachers as we can. Even if we don't like a teacher or type of class, we should try it again see if its different, learning more about what is important to us in practice. Also, we will use all of our learning to deepen our own personal practices.

Currently, I am still working on integrating my own yoga practice into my free time at home, but I see ways in which I am doing a form of yoga everyday. I also know that yoga is much more than doing the physical postures and breathing exercises. They help, a lot, but help what? Help me to stay more firmly in my centered space, feel less hurried, have less of a need to get, do, want, and encourage love love love.

I am exstatic to be taking the time to delve into the deeper level of yoga practice and learn more about who I am. 


So, it's been over a week since I have posted even though I set the intention to post everyday. This is a typical pattern for when I have set intentions to do something daily. I'm adamant then more casual which slowly slips into forgetting I set an intention at all. Well, I want to try breaking that.

Its not that I haven't had things to write about, there are things everyday. It is more about making myself sit at the computer and type, not worrying about what others may think of what I write.  If that is an issue for me, why write on a public blog?  I like the exercise in letting go of what others think and just be myself. I believe this is good work.  This kind of exposure and introspection is what I hope to encourage in others through my business so I also feel that it might be helpful for some to see that I do it too.  Plus, it makes me continue to do my inner work, a necessary element in being able to effectively inspire inner work for others.

So let me get back on the wagon...or is it off the wagon? I can never remember...