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Love, Breakups & The Internet – Sitting at the campfire of your heart

love, breakups, heart, keri krieger

 

 

 

A little over four months ago I took off down the road from my new home and had myself a solo lunch date. This is something that I have often loved to do, book and dog in hand I have no problem enjoying my own company. I wrote on this day that too often we wait, for the guy or the gig, or the something before we do the things we want to do. Go in with a full deck I said for when you do meet that someone, inspired by an afternoon reading articles by wordsmith Alex Franzen I was reminded of her post on online dating … and the seed was planted.

Then a few short weeks later I came home, rearranged my lounge room (for the 10th time since moving in three months earlier) I was just about to have my house Feng Shui’d and thought to myself ….. I’ll just see if there looks to be some real warm humans online. I’ll just see.

Be careful what you wish for because we are powerful manifestors beyond our wildest dreams. I saw a warm face amongst many others that were probably just as warm.

And I thought.

Him.

I would love to meet him.

And so off I went and wrote a profile that seemed much more like a CV than anything I would actually usually write, because truly it’s the oddest thing to do. I thought to myself that regardless of what happens here I needed to put an intention out into the world that I was ready to meet someone (because the universe hadn’t seen me rolling my eyes for the last bazillion years)

And so a week passes with a couple of singular coffees and I am already hitting that wall that looks like one of those signs that keeps small children off scary rollercoasters, except mine has blonde swatches attached and says ‘if you can’t walk comfortably under this bar turn around’… or so I think. And I remember taking that personally which you really can’t because like everything else in life, it isn’t about you. So I sat myself down like one of my coaching clients and I said Keri, we can shut down here, or we can lean into this and be even more brave….. and I remembered Alex Franzens post on dating.

This was much more the tone of how I would speak and it was warm and funny and so I leaned in and added a few of my own touches. (I may have compared myself to wasabi) Hit update.

And within a minute. (literally)

He messaged me. Him.

The guy I wanted to message me messaged me!

And I fell in love. Big love. Bells, Whistles, Essays, Country breakfasts, Families, Wooing, Flowers and Candles and Magic fucking unicorns raining from the candy floss filled skies. Deep feminine connected Love. For the first time in oh so long.

 


 

And then he changed his mind. Without any conversation.

Of course there was (only slightly) more than that but the purpose of why I am writing is to remind myself (and you) that heartbreak has the power to derail your life.

If you let it.

If you get caught up in being right, if you get caught up holding grudges against the perceived injustices. If you focus on making them see. If you make it mean that you’re not meant to live your big brave wholehearted life. If you get caught up in the shame of failure and are not gentle with yourself.

If you are holding your own heart with love it can never be broken.

In Chinese Medicine the heart is the master of the Fire element and without a solid fire element the Water element, the kidneys and its component of fear becomes more dominant and without Fire to nourish the Earth element and your digestion your appetite goes out the door (or you eat the door) and without a solid Earth element to nourish the Metal element (and your lungs) grief settles in its place and this only adds to the now raging fears of the unsupported Water element.

Our only hope to bring us back to ourself is the Wood element and the spirit of the Hun. The Hun is the essence of who we are outside of our human existence. Our Soul self, the self that will return to the collective unconscious when we die, the element of ourself that if nourished guides us on our path in life. The wood element nourishes the heart and the Fire element. Without it we are rudderless.

It is here that heart broken people can make the understandable error of turning to work as a way through as we so often identify ourselves with our jobs. Becoming a workaholic won’t truly nourish the heart, it is only part of the expression of who we are and often it’s not until we find ourselves dealing with grief, loss or heartbreak that we discover that we lost or abandoned ourselves somewhere along the way, or perhaps didn’t know there was any other way to be.

All heart break is an invitation back to self. This isn’t a trite statement. It is not always simple. Sometimes this will become a life long pilgrimage but find what lights you up however small and do that thing everyday even for just five minutes and you will be adding small twigs to the fire of your heart.

Romantic heartbreak is almost certainly a call for you to care for your own heart, and an invitation to trust in self and truly be anchored in your own self love first and foremost. I know this to be true. I have needed to invest in time alone with lots of writing, and feeling all those messy emotions. My Tigress Yoga practice as been invaluable as have the quiet loving spaces of my girlfriends.

There will be things, possibly small things that we will need to discover that can lead us home. Whether its painting, writing, being in nature, drinking hot chocolate and watching your children sleep at 2am. Whatever it is do THAT thing and watch your heart slowly come back to life one piece of kindling at a time.

So beautiful reader, if this finds you heartbroken find what nourishes you and be gentle, but brave and always keep that anchor in the heart of who you are and Ms Franzen, if you’re reading, thank you. Thank you for your life affirming heart filled words I truly love them. And thank you oh so much for that dating template.

Because for a little while I was in love .

And it was beautiful.

 

x

 

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Did you find your love on the internet?

Are you nursing a broken heart? How you doing? I’d love to know.

My love letter to Fear


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Fear we are often told is something that we need to get the better of, we need to conquer and be in charge of and sometimes this might be true. Liz Gilbert has a wonderful conversation with fear here. But what if occasionally when we feel fear taking hold we sat down and had a chat and listened to this very primal instinct. What might we say to make it listen and quiet down?

Let me explain.
I have long history with getting a ‘wry neck’ It’s my go to stress complaint. Part physical work hazard, part structural habit part just plain not taking care of myself.
One particular time last year I developed a really painful wry neck.
In an ideal world I wouldn’t have waited for this to happen. Our body is always in conversation with us and with practice we can learn how to listen to the more subtle whispers.
This time however I was ‘busy’ which is code for ignoring all the signs, and after a couple of bad nights sleep, where I woke up with nightmares on the third night I woke up unable to move. (normally I am an amazing sleeper)
Now I had also picked up something very heavy very poorly, but in essence my body and mind had been giving me every possible signal that something wasn’t right. That I was scared and emotionally wrangling with some worries.

And because I didn’t get it, it showed up in my body loud and proud to get my attention.

Perhaps you can remember a time when the same sort of thing happened?

Then a few weeks later I’m at the airport on my way to work in Sydney. I have a full weekend of clients (really full) and I feel my stiff shoulders getting worse, I feel a headache creeping up the back of my head and I remember that I had a rough nights sleep and woke after strong dreams in the night.
There has been a lot on. And some of those things involved big decisions that I am having to make very quickly.
The reality is I hadn’t given myself time to FEEL, and there wasn’t necessarily going to be time to feel right here right now.
And then I remembered my earlier experience with fear and my neck and right there at the airport I started to feel fear taking over. Let’s just call it panic and be done with it!

I could have run with it, freaked out thinking how am I going to work with a stiff neck, what am I going to do, should I cancel, can I take painkillers… on and on….

And then I remembered the antidote to fear.
And I breathed.
The only way we have direct access to our parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest functions) to switch of the flight or fight mode is with our breathing. So I slowed my out breath right down breathing slowly into my belly.

And then I wrote a letter to fear.
You might find it helpful, cut out the specifics and add yours in.

Dear Fear,

I can feel you, I’m paying attention I promise.
I know you want to keep me safe. This stuff we’re doing right now is big and scary, but look I honestly believe we’ve got this. We have lots of help, new great work on the horizon, genuine friends in our corner.
I’m taking my time, and caring for us.
I want you to know that I heard you.
I promise.
I’m listening and I’m going to keep on checking in with you, and at the first sign of real trouble I’ll let you know.
Lets have a great weekend in Sydney, have some fun, sleep in and do some great work.

Our heart is big enough for all of this I promise.
I’m choosing to be here now and trust all that is.
Let’s let that tension in our neck go.
Soften.
And that tension in our jaw too.
Lets let it all go.
I love you.
We’ve got this.

I re-read this a few times focusing on my breathing.

And by the time it came to board my flight. The headache was gone, my neck was no longer stiff on the side it always tightens up on and I was back in my body.

Fear is a slippery thing, our minds are programmed to keep us safe. There is a part of our brain, the Amygdala who’s only job is to seek out things that are dangerous.. even when they are not there, it’s like a very odd game of snap where it wants to win and it wants to find scary things.  At the very least it wants to keep us in a known place (even if it’s not a great place) To disengage this we need  to loosen its grip on our nervous system and to do that we need to first harness our breath.

In Chinese Medicine the spirit of the lungs the PO, which is our embodied primal self reaches down and grasps the Kidney energy and regulates it, as it does this it passes through the Shen, the spirit of the heart. It takes magic and spirit in each breath to speak to our darkest of fears and bring them literally into the light.

I sat in the departure lounge with a scrap of paper and a pen and scribbled down furiously. Really feeling fear hear me. It could see it wasn’t required, there was no saber tooth tiger to flee from, no impeding peril about to wreck havoc on the airport. I was safe, and supported and in charge of what I was doing, and about to embark on an incredibly privileged weekend.

Nope, no need for fear here.

 

Love and I have it sorted thanks.

 

x

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What to do when friends no longer support your path

 

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Oh wow. I agonised for at least an hour over that heading. I really wanted to call it “not everyone in the transit lounge is coming on the plane with you” but google wasn’t understanding the metaphor! It hurts to even read that title. But it doesn’t have to.

Here we are heading for the half way mark of the year, and I’m wondering how your going with all those New Year goals?

Did you pick a word for the year? It might have been shine, or something around being visible, speaking up, owning your truth, being the best version of yourself and all of this sounds pretty good doesn’t it?

How has that been unfolding for you?

I’m wondering because at some point we will get to a place where we can get stuck, we stop, we lose confidence and baulk at the job in front of us. We decide that perhaps that ‘thing’ we were doing wasn’t for us or that we have changed our minds. We start looking around us for signs that we’re on the right path or for confirmation from potentially the wrong people that we’re ok.
Often we receive difficult to hear feedback on what we’re doing because you’re making changes in your world or how you’re operating or showing up and that effects other people. Not just you.

With my coaching clients the first module I send them regardless of what program they have opted in for always includes the ‘expect kick back’ warning.
Not everyone is going to be thrilled about the brave new you you are creating. Not everyone is going to be thrilled with the wonderful goal posts you’re shifting (or erecting), even if you involve them in the process. Even when they are intelligent ‘conscious’ aware people, they are still human and still prone to taking things personally, making stories up that aren’t true and the killer trifector doing both of these things AND finding supporting evidence and then not telling you about it until they reach breaking point.

What does this look like? …… let me give you a hint…

Kaboom!

In your lounge room, in your office more often than not in your inbox.
Yup. It sucks. It really hurts. You might also fall prey to being human at this point and lash back.
If this is happening or has happened for you. I’d love to you stop and take stock, because this painful little saga, can actually be a sign of good things unravelling and of healthy necessary change.

You will though need to pause, take some deep breaths, ask for some space, take stock of what is real FOR YOU and if you don’t have anyone really solid in your corner please find a Therapist/ Coach/ Counsellor to be that person. You are going to need them. You do not need more drama at this point. You don’t need well meaning people taking sides or saying you need to take the blame.

There may well be many levels of situation going on here. But essentially, you shifted the goal posts and these very human people went looking for you at the old goal post, the fact that you weren’t there has upset them. (if you get my metaphor)

This isn’t for you to fix.

Now all this might sound just a little dramatic, sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t, but remember back up there at the top where you asked for life to change, to shift things up a little? You wanted to be seen or heard or to speak your truth, you wanted to step outside the way you have previously operated and grow. Did you think it was going to be a happy little stroll along a neatly paved path?

I am the first one to debunk the whole ‘nothing good come easily’ myth but we don’t exist in a vacuum. When we start to change the relationship that we are having with ourselves, it changes everything slowly but surely (usually for the better) in our external world.
This includes other people, not everyone is here for the long haul and thats ok. If they leave, that’s also ok.  It’s not about you.

Let me repeat that because we can be very egoic creatures!

It’s. Not. About. You.
In some cases they are going to ebb away quite naturally as relationships are prone to do, a reason a season and all that. In other cases there will be kicking and screaming and blaming and a whole lot of ‘you changed’ and whole lot of misguided ‘help’ in the form of “because I love you and I’m hurting I think I have the right to tell you how I think you’re doing it all wrong and this here is how you should live your life”. And for that last one you are going to need the help from that aforementioned therapist. Because you’re going to have to NOT react when triggered and to grieve the hell out of that very tricky situation.

And it’s this my friends that is usually well and truly in the too hard basket for a lot of people and we can find ourselves opting for stepping back into that old persona and choosing to see this backlash as a reason that the ‘thing’ we were looking for or going after isn’t ‘it’ after all or that it’s all really too hard. And you know what . That’s ok too.

To degree.

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But if you’re at that turning point before you slide back into an old era (that doesn’t really serve you anymore) what can you do to support yourself?

Here’s my go to’s ;

Professional help.

And by this I mean actual real professional grown up help. Not a spiritual guru wanna be that will advise you to bypass the hell out of all of the above. A business coach/ life coach/ holistic counsellor/ psychologist. Some one grounded in a very practical down to Earth profession that can hold solid space for you when you’re vulnerable and in pain. In many places as is the case here in Australia you can access almost free assistance if referred by your GP, most private health funds offer healthy rebates and this most certainly comes under the heading of professional development expenses if you’re in a helping profession.

Faith.

This is where you can get spiritual. Seek solace in your beliefs of being supported and connected to a higher power. Whether they be in a church, or a yoga practice. Whether its a meditation practice you do each day, mantras you chant, prayers you repeat, or a community service you perform. Wear your malas, light your candles, water your herb garden, heavens, chat to your deceased great Aunty Myrtle if it helps to bring your heart solace. Also, please be real with yourself. Now isn’t the time to get up on your high horse!

Journal.

Writing down how your feeling in a private place preferably with a pen and paper is such an important discipline. I use the word discipline here because when we are feeling high emotion we will want to take physical action to dissipate what is often a really intense situation. Firstly though we need to empty out our thoughts and feelings in a really safe space and get clarity for ourselves. Writing everything down gives us just enough space to do this.

Physical nourishment.

To stay clear around our emotions and to create healthy new elements in our lives it helps if we have an embodied place to hang out in. And our bodies are really the only place we can do that! This doesn’t mean to suddenly decide to run a marathon (although you might!) , but physical movement of a sort that you find enjoyable is essential. It helps support healthy biochemistry essential for balanced and appropriate moods, to alleviate stress, and improve sleep.

 

This is just the start of course. Often these challenges occur in much more established relationships within families and spouses. My own divorce is a prime example of this.

I hope this has inspired you to seek support in your life from any of the sources I have mentioned.

If you’d like to know more about my mentoring and support for health practitioners check this out. And I have a new Life Coaching course called My divine Feminine Compass opening soon designed to offer support to women navigating transition and change. If you’d like to know more contact me here.

With love

Keri

x

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The Practical Magic of Feng Shui

 

Art by Brandy Woods

Art by Brandy Woods

 

The last few weeks have seen me re-arranging the furniture like crazy. This is a pretty normal habit for me. Seasonally I like to keep the energy in my home fresh and keep clutter from building up.

But after 3 moves in 13 months last year I was taking no chances so last week I had Feng Shui Consultant, Building Biologist and Nutritionist Kate Woods come to my house and check things out.  Kate is one of the very few building biologists in the country. As corporations come to realise the link between productivity, staff health and that our environments directly impact that, this field is set to explode. And of course as an acupuncturist I wanted to make sure the energy in my house was being supported. I wanted to feel like the energy of my home was working WITH me. In acupuncture treatments we take into account the external causes of illness and these can include the obvious things like external trauma, too much heat, wind, and dampness but also other ‘pathogenic factors’. I looked at this like an acupuncture treatment for my home and couldn’t wait for Kate to work her magic. It’s an incredibly precise science, and I wondered how I would possibly measure the results.

 

Reasons why you might want to look at FengShui

Your moving or occupants of the house are changing or relocating.

You’re renovating

There has been illness or discord in your home and you’re looking for a fresh start and in some cases some support to discover alternative causes after other obvious factors have been ruled out.


What you need 

You need the floor plan of your home, the year it was built (as close as you can if it’s not yours) I was able to google stalk the original purchasing dates of my apartment. My real estate were also very helpful.

What you will receive

Each consultation is unique  but all involve a comprehensive report (physical and digital) on your home, layout, remedies, and suggestions to detoxify your home from a building biology perspective. Kate is incredibly thorough and will spend hours going through your home before writing up her report.

Keri-Krieger-Feng-Shui-

So whilst my home has felt very lovely and I’ve taken care to create ambient light filled spaces there were some rooms that were less ideal for the prosperity of my work.

Even before I had Kate in, there was a sense that I needed to shake things up a bit. As a single woman living on her own running her own biz there’s a lot of alone time and often a sense of longing for support. I have wonderful people in my life, a family that cheer my mad life choices at all times but there are days when two hands and two legs can only do so much … as anyone who has tried to put a bed frame together on their own will attest. My intention with this consultation was to feel like I had the support of my home, now this might sound a bit bonkers but there are areas in my life that I would like to work on and put more energy into, but I don’t want that to be at the expense of my business and income and ability to support myself.

One of the most meaningful things Kate said to me is that I had chosen a house (or the house had chosen me) that would support my business growth and financial wellbeing (this was due to the wonderful placement of my entrance way)  But that I would have to work on other areas such as my health and relationships, but that I could do this without compromising my business. (obviously these are all supportive structures, I still have to show up, Feng Shui isn’t a magic unicorn of lotto wins!)

A fascinating element of the layout of my home showed that there was this funny little piece missing out of the building. Now missing structures need a ‘remedy’ which can be pretty straight forward. What was so fascinating was that the missing piece in that quadrant indicated a sense of lacking support in ones life. This home was going to give me an opportunity to heal that!

How Cool!

Feng Shui remedies much like acupuncture treatments involve balancing the elements in your home, by nourishing the elements you need more of or adding controlling features to keep negative elements from overpowering the space.

The one essential move that I needed to do was to move my office from where I had it down stairs to the most auspicious placement in the upstairs second bedroom. Now by all means call it co-incidence but within the next 4 days  I had taken three phone calls from clients I hadn’t seen in ages to book in, two new client referrals and new and old friends got back in touch and there has been a marked increase in my social calendar! I’m happy to also share after years of man drought there has been some truly nourishing and fun developments on that front. I don’t believe in co-incidence and even if you’re not prepared to believe that moving furniture around alone can create change in your life, I think its pretty hard to doubt the efficacy of a reinforced intention backed with practical action to remind you on a daily basis of where you want to be growing in your life.

 

Focused intention and practical attention are the keys to creating change in any are of your life.

 

For more on the science of The Flying Stars School of Feng Shui see Kates post here.

If you are in the South East Qld area of Australia or even Sydney please contact Kate and receive a discount on mentioning this post. She’s currently working out ways to offer Skype consultations to those far and wide.

 

 

*FYI

Kate was generous enough to gift me this consultation as I have pretty much been pestering her since we met because I just loved the idea of ‘giving my house an acupuncture treatment’ but I won’t be receiving commissions on referrals or anything like that cause I love having magic to share with my tribe and I want you to get that Qi flowing correctly!! What are you waiting for get in touch!

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The single divorced middle aged woman’s guide to not giving a f*ck about Valentine’s day

(and so much other crap that compromises keeping our hearts strong and open)

Keri Krieger_valentines-day

 

Now that I’ve got your attention with that incredibly dramatic title, let me just say

I love love. All of it.

 

I mean, I love romance and flirtation and devotion.

I love that feeling when you first meet someone that you like, that feeling that you get when you haven’t even met someone but you’re just finally OPEN to it. Like yeah… I can go there.

I almost, ALMOST even like that feeling when you have just broken up with someone you truly deeply loved. Like you know even though the air around you hurts you did something real and magical there.

I love lusty, and sensual. I love that feeling when you are truly inhabiting yourself and people stop and look when you walk by. Even though you haven’t brushed your hair and your wearing clothes the dog slept on (or maybe they can tell.. who knows)

But you get my point.

I love feeling connected; with myself, with the world around me, with potentially a pretty hot human.

And then there is Valentines Day.

And it’s just not fucking helpful.

I don’t know about you but I have been bombarded from all sorts of apparently well meaning sources for the last few weeks about the upcoming VDAY. Like we’re all going to be invaded or something.

All I feel from these exchanges is isolation, exclusion and competition. And to be honest it felt like that last year even when I had a lovely man showering me with attention, and in my marriage, while it was full of romance and thoughtful gift giving we never ever celebrated Valentines Day.

In fact my lovely date last year went out of his way to tell me that the flowers (that weren’t roses) and champagne and homemade food had NOTHING to do with Valentines’ Day. Now if that doesn’t tell you something about the pressure this cultural hoop jumping puts us under I don’t know what does.

So, far be it from me to tell you when, where and how you might want to express your love.

I thought I would instead share my tips for those of us single, recovering, peeping our heads out from under the divorce doona or other wise uninterested in sitting in a room with 12 other couples eating a set menu (ok so that was bitchy).

These are my tips on what to do to really be in touch with your heart or the heart of some other potentially hot human.

 

Nourish Yourself.

The notion of self love is getting alot of airtime at the moment and I believe even the most flimsy versions of it are a great place to start and are certainly better than nothing. For me Self Love is about  truly being with self, whatever that looks like. Which sounds really simple but can be really damn hard when ‘self’ is about as much fun to ‘be with’ as stubbing your toe repeatedly. So it might start as an external practice of getting a pedicure but the internal process here is you prioritising your time and your worth.

Taking time out to learn to self soothe is an investment in the future of not only your relationships but your own wellbeing. Most of us didn’t learn all the healthy relating skills we need to flourish during out childhoods. Quite literally taking yourself off to ‘school’ to learn these things through counseling or other modalities is truly a gift of self love that continues to give.

Be demonstrative – but keep your own counsel

Let your actions speak; express your affection, be excited and moved and emotional. Ask clearly for what it is you want and how you would like it (ask nicely manners are free)

But for the love of mystery don’t blurt. every. single. thought. in a stream of consciousness large enough to knock down a Bison. Please. This isn’t about hiding the real you. It is about anchoring into yourself, being at home with who you are (as best you can in these vulnerable times) and trusting yourself to show up clearly without explanation. Don’t unwrap the package of you for them. Let them work out where the sticky tape is for heavens sake this isn’t a three year olds game of pass the parcel!

Discernment

Yep that’s real sexy right there. Seriously, so hot. But honestly, whether you jumped straight into bed or have known each other for years there will be a moment where you get to pause and discern if this is truly right for you. Not them, not your future unborn children, not the unhelpful crowd of ‘well meaning’ onlookers.

YOU.

Please Trust yourself.

The minute you start outsourcing your power, for this is what your doing when you don’t trust your own gut feeling, you are powerless. This is a recipe for disaster in every possible sense.

Does. This. Feel. Right. In your body and in your heart.

I walked away from a big love because I knew I had fallen in love with his potential. I wrote myself this manifesto to keep me on track. This is an exercise in trusting yourself. Don’t underestimate its power. It might look like you’re flaky or unsure or running hot and cold but your not, your checking in to see if your boundaries are current and real and doing their job.

 

Create your own ritual.

If you’ve spent even 5 minutes with me you will know how much I love a ritual and every relationship including the one with yourself is better with them and with out even thinking you will have created them I’m sure.

  • That fave place you have brunch
  • The way you bring her tea first thing in the morning
  • Walking the dog every Sunday.

I read a blog the other day, and for the life of me I can’t find where it was from, on a couple that take a candle lit bath together almost every day and go over the week ahead. (Whatever you do don’t google ‘couples who bathe together every day’)

I LOVED this idea. And clearly this couple were childless with an endless water supply BUT hopefully you can see how fun it might be to create your own regardless of your relationship status

Or if you like you can even celebrate Valentine’s Day…. Yawn xx

 

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