Deep Share, part 1 (aka getting off of anti-depressants)

When I thought about sharing one of my own Gate Passages with you ...

I felt major butterflies in the belly.

I’ve felt this feeling many times. I know it intimately. It’s the signal to do something even though, and more importantly because, it scares me. 

This feeling reminds me why I’m here. I’m here to shine a light in the darkest places, which usually happens during Gate Passages (times when your life swiftly and unexpectedly changes). I absolutely love doing this for other sensitive souls.

Here, though, I’m shining a light in my own dark place — one of my own Gate Passages. 

Over the past 2 years, I’ve been winding down taking an anti-depressant. It’s one I’ve been on for about a decade — the last time I took a break. 

The first time I went on one was 1996. I was struggling with searing pain from my neck to my fingertips that started when I was a newspaper reporter. The pain turned into a disability, which ended my journalism career and also caused major depression and anxiety. 

I didn’t realize it then, but this pain brought to a head something deeper. It brought to the surface something from my beginning: I struggled enormously with being a sensitive and empathic soul on this Earth and did not understand how to get along here. 

With this deeper issue now front and center, I had a new normal — crying. Crying was how I dealt with everything. When I had to make a decision and felt overwhelmed, I cried. Whenever there was any stress, like not being able to find a parking spot for doctor’s appointment, I cried. When I was with someone who was sad, I cried.

The doctor I’d been seeing — a wise physician with kind brown eyes who wrote a book about the kind of chronic pain I had — suggested it. I agreed to try it. Within 2 months, I felt lighter. The darkness and despair decreased.

This felt good. Even better, though, I stopped crying and felt better able to cope with decisions and stress.

While it turned the volume down on the extremes — the intense despair as well as the intense joy, it dulled my empathic skill and sensitivity. I was fine with this trade-off at the time, because it gave me the energy to focus on healing the chronic pain. 

I’ve gone off a few more times since then. I wanted to see what life was like without anti-depressants, and I also wanted to see what I was like without them.

Each time, the crying was back. The darkness in my heart and my head was back. The intensity of feeling everything was back. The physical withdrawal symptoms, like weird eye-clicking when I blinked and vertical dizziness, were back. Even though I became much better skilled at coping with life, I was a mess. Within days or weeks, I’d go back on.

This time, I was ready. I gave myself way more time to get off than previous times (like a year and a half more). This time, I was self-employed and my schedule was very flexible. This time, I had flower essences for support. 

Aside from the physical withdrawal symptoms, I didn’t feel much change really until the final 6 months. As I went from the tiniest dose to nothing, the intensity came back. The despair came back. The crying came back. 

This time I noticed a mountain of heartache and regrets. This time, I’m ready to face them, to heal them, to honor them. Art therapy is my tool of choice for this, and I’ve been diving into my studio and following the intensity where it leads. I’m also practicing things that are hard for me, like reaching out to others for help. Each week, I make myself a new Your Signature Blend Flower Elixir and pop that sucker into every glass of water I drink and right on my tongue when I need it.

This time I also notice that my empathic sensitivity is different. I’ve always heard and felt stuff, but now I’m also seeing it. This showed up in the New Moon Oracle readings I did a few weeks ago (I’ll be doing them again from June 21 to June 23 and will announce it here first).

I share this with you because Gate Passages are freaking hard.

It’s hard for each one of us — no matter how we look on the outside or what we do for a living. 

Too much, and you're off. Too little, and you're off.

You, my dear, are such a delicate tender creature when it comes to sleep. Nightly rest that falls in the zone of just right is what you're after.

In my 15+ years as a therapist, people have been telling me the stuff that keeps them up at night. I freaking love hearing about this for so many reasons.

One of them is because if your sleep is off, then using your power in the world is much more difficult.

I look at bedtime routines (yes, you need one), when you put down electronics (at least a half-hour before bed), what you put in your body within a few hours of getting horizontal, and how you put the day's thoughts and worries away.

The key here is that just right sleep helps you use your power in ways that feel good.

Here are my expert tips for a good night’s rest: 

  • Exercise during the day. Hands-down the best tool. Walking, running, biking, swimming … whatever makes your heart beat faster, do it. There’s a ton of science behind this, some of which you can read herehere and here.

  • Take a bath about 2 hours before bed. This raises your body temperature as you’re soaking and lowers it quickly as you get out, both of which helps you drift off to a deep slumber. Again, there’s science behind this that has to do with your circadian rhythm that you can easily find. 

  • Take Magnesium. Either add 1 cup or so of Epsom salt to your bath or drink it before bed. I love this stuff.

  • Sleep Like a Baby Elixir. I made this after being inspired by how babies look when they sleep ... like the bundle of love in the photo below. I chose 11 flower essences that are the best at helping you mentally unhook from the day’s events, unwind tension in your body and soothe your frazzled nervous system after a day of computers, iPads and cellphones. Click here to get yours. 

Run vs. Stand Your Ground

I knew I had touched a nerve 

when she followed the impulse to run. 

I just did a bunch of mini Oracle readings for 2017 for my newsletter subscribers. The readings are a mini-burst of illumination to highlight the challenges and blessings of your year. The overarching theme is about using your power -- an essential part of living that I freakin' love talking about.

Hers wasn't going to be a terrible year, by any stretch of what most of us go through. In addition to blessings, there was a specific challenge in how she was relating to the people in her life to watch for, keep in check, and grow through. It was about using her power differently in relationships, without throwing her weight around or being a bully.

As soon as she received the reading, she wrote to me saying she was sad and upset. I wrote back with compassion and suggestions. Then she unsubscribed from my newsletter. 

I understood and silently sent her blessings. She needed time to digest what the reading illuminated. 


When you're being called to use your power differently, your impulses are to run or stand your ground.

Today is the first full moon of the year in Cancer. Another thing I love talking about. It heralds a turbulent emotional time, and you might feel as if your feelings are all over the map. Like all full moons, this one illuminates and floods light into the dark places.

This Cancer full Moon shows a crisis and opportunity ... just like her reading ... to let your guard down, let go of what's no longer serving your highest good and choose change rather than run from it.