How to Improve Your Health with Feng Shui

Tanya Jahnke, Feng shui expert and intuitive designer, explains how you can improve your health with Feng shui. In this interview for the Natural Healing Show on UK Health Radio, Tanya Jahnke explains: 1.  What is Feng Shui and how does it relate to your health? 2. How EMFs in your environment can affect you. 3. […]



Goodbye Sonoma County Redux: Synchronous Owls, NaNoWriMo, and Safe Passage

My February 2010 entry, “Goodbye Sonoma County, Goodbye California,” has haunted me for nearly eight years. David and I decided to get married in December 2016 in preparation for purchasing a house in Michigan and relocating from Goshen, Indiana. Ever since then, memories of my sudden departure from California have tumbled across consciousness at least several times per week. From needing to retrieve Sonoma County divorce records — to a two-week stint on Instagram that felt like an assault of photos from places I worked so traumatically hard to leave — to discerning and executing our own exit plan from Goshen, the late 2009-early 2010 time period in Sonoma County kept bursting through.

Although David and I met as friends in Chicago, unbeknownst to me at the time, our story actually began in Sonoma County and Napa. Synchronicities too intricate to tell here led to our star aligned meeting, fatefully becoming housemates, and then falling in love. Recurring dreams and bizarre musical playlists played big roles, too, for both of us.

I’ve previously described six months of recurring dreams while living in Sonoma County. Those dreams featured me living in a cottage-like house filled with painted doors in Northern Indiana, long before I began painting doors. The dreams seemed so real that whenever I awoke in my bed in Santa Rosa, California, it took me about 20 minutes to reorient myself. Towards the end of my then marriage, I often felt and voiced, “I’m in the wrong reality. I’m not supposed to be here.”

Mike Clelland’s upcoming book on owls and synchronicity (sequel to his popular book, “The Messengers,” ) features a whole chapter on me, including, how owls and synchronicity rescued me. Very long story short, after years of trying, the opportunity finally opened to get divorced and leave California. What I have never shared publicly — and only very rarely in private — was just how matter of life and death I felt the need to leave California when I did. Towards the end, I kept hearing a roar and seeing bright light barreling towards me if I stayed. I felt suffocated, a full body, fight or flight need to Get. Out. Now.

Keep in mind, I loved living in Sonoma County, and my only trips through Indiana had convinced me I would never in a million years want to live there. (This March 2015 post describes how and why I wound up in Indiana.) My urgency to leave Sonoma County and get back to Chicago with an eventual destination of Indiana seemed irrational to anyone I told. My landlords said they needed to handle me “with kid gloves,” and my now-ex diagnosed me as having “fugue moments.” Meanwhile, that roar and light barreled towards me if I chose to remain.

Knowing how panicked I sounded, I just prayed that someway, somehow I could leave before the chance to jump that timeline closed. If I elected to stay in Sonoma County after my divorce, I knew I would remain there for the rest of my life — however short that life might be.

I don’t want to rehash the chapter in Mike’s book before he releases it, so I’ll just say that synchronous owls played a major role in opening my California exit door. In summoning that opening, I posted an old and new story called “Synchronous Owls,” which led Mike Clelland first to contact me via the comments. He and I failed to connect until Summer 2015, not realizing until then just how many times we had each tried but failed to contact the other.

The story I tell in Mike’s chapter involves an owl painting I completed in late January 2010. This painting now hangs in David’s and my new living room. This past weekend, that very same painting came alive in synchronicities. After teaching the Reiki Level 3 Master Teacher course, I headed out to dinner with David and then to my hairdresser’s husband’s 40th birthday party. We knew no one besides my hairdresser, but we met loads of musicians at the party. We loved all the music and the creative people.

Sunday morning, David and I lay in bed, pondering one particular musician and a song she sang about her mother. I suddenly got an unshakeable urge to go to the Portage Farmer’s Market. David didn’t want to go, and I couldn’t articulate why I did, so we figured we’d better check it out. Following David’s urge to explore the State Theater a month ago led to that party invitation in the first place; we decided to go with the flow even if we couldn’t explain our why. The Portage Farmer’s Market had very few vendors this week, but one booth caught our eye. The Quirky Bohemian. Fun clothes, jewelry and more engaged us until I looked up and said, “Hey, aren’t you? Didn’t we just? Were you????”

Sure enough! This stall belonged to the very same musician we’d listened to and chatted with the night before. It turns out she has a running joke that her new band will be called “The Black Squirrels of Goshen,” and this little tidbit led to many synchronous rabbit holes. I contemplated getting an elephant print dress from her booth when suddenly, Quirky Bohemian’s mom appeared (yes, “Mom” from the song we discussed that morning right before I got the wild urge to go to the Portage Farmers Market). She wore as a tunic the same elephant dress I held in my hand.

“My mom’s so cute. She always wears my clothes whenever she comes to market.”

Eventually, talk turned from black squirrels to Goshen music venues (Ignition Garage), to gardening, to Kalamazoo Kal, because it all comes back to Kal, doesn’t it? Well, no. Apparently, it all comes back to owls, because according to “Mom,” “Groundhogs hate owls.” This statement prompted more tales of calling owls, including David pulling out a photo of my painting of the great horned owl I’d called. More owl stories followed, including growing up in a house full of a mother’s owl collections — something Mike Clelland finds frequently in his research.


Later that day, I received multiple emails about owls, including one about an owl brewery t-shirt, and would I “please tell David.” I did, and funnily enough, he had just unpacked a vintage Bell’s Best Brown Ale great horned owl t-shirt he procured on EBay.  I snapped a photo of him wearing it next to my painting, and sharing this image led to more owl stories from more people. The next morning brought texts about screech owls and Mike Clelland. All this owl talk brought my mind right back to late 2009-early 2010 Sonoma County.

I’ve also had Sonoma County on the brain because after an 8 year hiatus, I recently decided to inaugurate my return to writing fiction with NaNoWriMo 2017. The last time I wrote any fiction was NaNoWriMo 2009 — in Santa Rosa, California, the downtown of which just burned to the ground. That NaNoWriMo’s frenzied writing forced me to realize in no uncertain terms that my marriage was over and I needed to leave California even sooner than ASAP. Which brings me full circle to the beginning of this post, referencing Goodbye Sonoma County, Goodbye California. Although I did not detail the intensity of my need to leave California, I did reference “the pillar of cloud and the pillar of fire,” Biblical allusions that captured my mood at that time.

For years, I’ve wondered why I felt such panic and urgency to flee Santa Rosa, California. That roar and bright light still would haunt me, almost like PTSD of something I never experienced. I used to think maybe I would have been run over by a train or hit by a truck if I stayed in Santa Rosa. After awhile, I tried to dismiss that visceral message as metaphorical. Then I saw yesterday’s headline from ZeroHedge:

“10 Dead, 1000’s Displaced After Wildfires Engulf Napa, Sonoma, and 6 Other California Counties.”

I read yesterday in the comment section:

In all seriousness, here’s an email from my brother a couple of hours ago:

“The fires are burning to the north, east and west of us. Many parts of Santa Rosa, including downtown have been leveled and the fire is burning into Rohnert Park. Kenwood and Glen Ellen are burning. More than 1500 structures gone so far. 20K+ evacuated. My manager’s home was lost in Santa Rosa. The news reports keep mentioning the lack of fire support due to the massive size of the burn (currently 50K+ acres). No containment of any sort yet. From the last report I saw, the fire is approximately 3 miles away from us.

Winds have died off, which should help going forward. No evacuation orders as yet. We are packed as best we can. Cross your fingers.”


Reading that comment and seeing footage of the fire, I realized without a doubt that this is what I foresaw and fore-felt. I reread my February 2010 post and now see how strong a premonition it was. “The pillar of cloud and pillar of fire.” That roaring sound and utter panic as fire unexpectedly engulfs a downtown. I am so grateful I trusted my intuition to leave when and how I did, even though it seemed rash to those around me. The positive synchronicities that led me to get together with David and for us to find our way from Chicago to Madison to Goshen and now home in Kalamazoo amaze and delight me. But the warnings and supernatural care humble me beyond anything I can express.

I Am Grateful.

And prayerful. Peace, safety and rain to Northern California … and care and love to anyone displaced by the many challenges on Earth right now. May clarity and Grace prevail … may we always recognize our openings and the help that surely comes.



How Do Your Expectations Affect Your Health?

Art Costello, author of Expectation Therapy, explains how what you expect determines the course of your health and happiness. In this interview for the Natural Healing Show for UK Health Radio, Art explains how connecting to his intuition as a teenager changed the course of his entire life. Art Costello is a visionary mindset expert, […]


Garden Update: New Critters, Compost and Putting the Crazy Back in CPL

We’ve had some new developments since I posted “Garden Update: The Good, the Bad and the Undetermined.” The big news is that Kalamazoo Kal showed up the next day, apparently to apologize for stealing my kale. He popped out of his old hidey hole and stood on his hind legs as soon as I sent him the mental message, “Not acceptable, Kal!”


He normally only stands on hind legs when the cat teases him, but this time, he seems to have been responding to my lecture about kale thieving. Soon afterwards, he went right to spots of the yard I had tagged earlier in the day as in need of weeding. He even munched dandelions in the mulched area between our magnolia and purple maple. (Sorry for photo quality. It’s tricky to photograph through window screens or at a distance through the sliding glass door.)


He later approached the hostas, but this time ignored them and only plucked some dandelions that had invaded the bed. He kept looking up at me to make sure I noticed whenever he plucked one of the weeds I had on the next day’s docket. “OK, you chubby rascal, you’re forgiven. Help yourself to the sacrificial kale on your side of the driveway. Just stay away from my front yard garden.” (11:11 a.m. as I type this.)

Without getting into too much detail, according to some scat near the sacrificial kale plant, it’s not a bunny munching on it. One night last week, I happened to see Kal dart across the driveway far past his bedtime. Something just prompted me to open the front door right then and look out after 10:00 p.m.. Kal’s roly poly rumble on his usual path is unmistakable, even in the dark. In any case, no one has bothered my other kale plants again, but that same night I saw Kal, someone left a calling card of sorts right near the sacrificial kale. We have returned to our old understanding, even though I’ve not seen the guardian kitty since mid-September.

I did, however, find some new kitties the other weekend. I had seen a small grey and white one before, but this time, I noticed the little grey and white one, along with my new favorite all black cat:


They had such fun playing hide and go seek, darting into and out of the shed via the now universal hidey hole. Older than kittens, they still play with exuberance, except when Mama Cat slunk along the spruce and told them to settle down! After many antics, the black one curled up in one of my black fabric pots by the shed. A flicking tail over the handle provided the only evidence on this one’s location. David can confirm my squeal of delight. Synchronously, just as I began today’s post, the black one showed up for a requested photo shoot through the sliding glass door:


You can just see her to the bottom left, with some osage orange balls behind. I’m struck by how similar she looks to the black fox faery sis Tania Marie recently reposted. I say this black cat “synchronously” showed up today, because I have not seen any cats in the yard in over a week. This one arrived alone right after I thought how much I love the little black one.

Whenever the cats vacate, the birds immediately return. In lieu of kitties, I’ve seen cardinals, blue jays, chicakadees, a downy woodpecker, and twelve Canadian geese who spent two mornings nibbling something in our front yard.


I had to giggle when cars needed to honk at geese crossing the road, because, well, honks! Geese! Anyway, the critters provide hours of entertainment, and the students in Saturday’s Reiki 3 Master Teacher class could not believe how much wildlife and seclusion we have while living a very short walk from all sorts of amenities.

Aside from watching live, on-site episodes of Animal Kingdom, I’ve spent time preparing the garden and yard for Winter. Warm daytime temperatures mean tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and basil continue to produce, but cool nights mean late Summer sown lettuce, chard, arugula and spinach are finally showing good growth. I began amending beds and planting next year’s garlic and shallots. Attempting the 200+ daffodil project resulted in some realizations and changes:

1) I realized that even with the limited garden here, I’ve put the Crazy back in CPL (Crazy Plant Lady).

2) David bought me a bulb augur (thanks for the tip, Karen!) that uses a drill to plant up to 500 bulbs per hour. We’ll see if it lives up to the advertised ease, but it will for sure beat my 12 bulbs per full body workout hour record of planting daffodils in this dry, compacted yard.

3) The gifts of plants from various friends necessitated buying more pots and yes, more potting soil and compost. Despite “overbuying,” I always need more. (You might be a CPL when the checkout woman at Menard’s starts comparing you to a legendary CPL who, um, bought fewer spring bulbs than you did.) In any case, new and transplanted irises, asters, lilies and perennial veggies will now have homes in pots and/or the soon to be thinned yellow iris bed up front.

Amidst the whirlwind of sessions, gardens and wildlife, David and I continue to love Kalamazoo. Synchronicities abound, and we particularly rejoice in all the musicians, artists and amazing farmers we keep meeting. With any good fortune, this mad dash of Fall planting will result in decades of easy gardens, a low maintenance feast for the eyes, nose and belly. Wishing you and yours an abundant season, whatever that means to you!








Lee Harris ~ October 2017 Energy Update

Lee offers some great breathing exercises and then a timely update on current energies. I’m glad to post this energy report; between sessions and research this week, plus preparation for Saturday’s Reiki Master Teacher Certification Class, I’ve been too busy to blog much.

As Samhain approaches in the Northern Hemisphere, Nature urges us to turn inwards, to release that which no longer serves, just as trees release their leaves in Fall. If you long to thrive no matter what happens on the “outside,” then remember to look for miracles and moments of Grace. We have so many options of how we interpret events and whether or not we choose to react to, respond to or embrace the unexpected.

Lee does a great job looking on the other side of this and last month’s transitions. Those who make the journey can expect big rewards for having done so. As I prepare to plant another round of daffodils, I wish everyone inner peace, deep roots, and that quiet faith that whatever you plant will burst forth at just the perfect moment. Today’s hard work comes to full bloom in the fullness of time. Let yourself change and trust in your own process.


How to Not Lose Your Mind in Corporate America

  How do you not lose your mind in corporate America? Bernadette Boas, author of Shedding the Corporate Bitch, Shifting from Bitch to Rich in Life and Business, teaches you how to change your mindset to eliminate stress in the corporate world. In this interview for the Natural Healing Show for UK Health Radio, Bernadette […]


Where Disease Originates: Inner Speak Creator Jean Adrienne Explains

Where does disease originate? Jean Adrienne, creator of the Inner Speak system, explains to Catherine Carrigan in this interview for the Natural Healing Show for UK Health Radio. Jean Adrienne is the developer of InnerSpeak, a method for clearing karmic and ancestral blocks. She is the author of four books and two decks of oracle […]


October 2017 Specials

Ah, the month of pumpkins, mums and All Hallow’s Eve! October is my favorite month of the entire year, with so many hinge points and the Celtic New Year on Samhain. This month’s specials reflect current energies and recent requests for support.


The Faeries’ Dream

The Fae seem to go through phases of having strong messages and support for humanity, and I (and others) sense a recent increase in activity. This 20-minute reading can focus on Faery advice, requests, and/or messages for you, and/or instructions on how you can connect more easily and effectively with this Realm.

The Faery Realm holds the original imprint of our completely pure, loving and healed planet, so working with the Fae always puts us in close proximity of that possibility as material fact — what has always remained and thus already is pure, healed and beautiful. This reading springs from such knowing and offers a chance to learn what your faerie companions would most love for you to focus upon instead of all those things that crop up as worries or concerns. Invoking delight brings us that much closer to experiencing it. $77 if prepaid on or by October 31, 2017. Please contact me to sign up.

The Ancestors Approach

This is a brand new offering in honor of the upcoming All Souls’ and All Saints’ Days. It can cover generational healing, soul readings about your relationship with/to those who have passed, support for recognizing signs, or in appropriate cases, cutting cords that reach across the veil. $133 for 40 minutes if prepaid on or before October 31, 2017. Please contact me to sign up.


Garden Update: The Good, The Bad, and the Undetermined

Despite last week’s heatwave into the mid-nineties, which we had not reached all Summer, signs of Autumn continue to reveal themselves. A cool breeze here, crunchy leaves there, along with more squirrel activity than I’ve seen since Spring.


It’s also the start of Fall bulb planting season, and — since CPL (crazy plant lady) ordered those bulbs before what turned out to be a slightly dislocated rib causing all the neck and upper chest pain — I’ve got a lot of bulbs to plant. Not the 1,000 I planted in Goshen in 2015, but 200+ daffodils, alliums, irises and fritillaria are nothing to sneeze at.

About those fritillaria

I sure hope they’re worth it! I ordered them as groundhog, rabbit, vole and deer deterrents. If the flowers and leaves smell even half as potent as the bulbs, they might also become Laura deterrents. Oh. My. Skunks. Seriously, those bulbs smell like skunk times ten. They won’t make you sneeze, but they might make me gag. Crown imperials are so stately, though finicky, and fritillaria meleagris (the checkerboard droopy tulip looking things) look so dainty. Let me tell you, they don’t smell dainty! And that’s the point. I hope they keep groundhogs at bay as much as people claim they do, because Kalamazoo Kal appears to have found the front yard gardens.

I can’t prove it’s him. Yet. But I strongly suspect, because a) I’ve seen him right across the street, eyeing our front yard; b) a possum moved into his former home under the backyard shed; and c) something has had major kale munchies on the side of the driveway that Kal used to zip past on his way to and from the backyard:


That kale is in a pot between lemon time and day lilies, away from the rest of the edibles. I noticed evidence of kale poaching several weeks ago, but I didn’t really care, because that kale was puny compared to my femur length kale leaves tucked behind the weeping birch tree on the other side of the driveway.  It’s also too close for comfort to the neighbor’s septic tank, so I figured whatever wants to eat over there, have at it, as long as it keeps that critter away from the rest of the garden.

That might not have been the best plan. I think someone now has a fever for the flavor of lacinato. Last night, I got a warning as I sometimes do that I should protect my main crops of front yard kale. Instead of hustling out with deer repellent spray, I spent an hour and a half on the phone and then dove right back into novel preparation. Characters, mirror moments, structure, genre, how to do this, how to craft that. Very productive time, I might add!

Unfortunately, someone found the golden goose. A completely unprotected brassica heaven, without the eagle eye view from the dining room table. Whatever ate this kale came up on the house side and munched a lot of leaves at least two feet above the already raised bed. It could be a rabbit, but I do suspect it’s Kal, even though he’s been warned –repeatedly– that the forbidden side of our yard means a trap. Don’t make me do it, Kal.


It’s not terrible yet, but the house side has been seriously gnawed, and if this critter continues like it has with the sacrificial kale, we’re going to have a problem. I suspect Kal due to groundhog’s notorious love of kale, but also due to some interesting timing. I had just yesterday decided those fritillaria stink too much to plant them all. They’re expensive, so I didn’t want to throw them away. I offered quite a few to a friend, but today, I needed to skim the top of that offer in an effort to deter (and thus spare) my worthy adversary.

Several synchronous gifts followed. This friend reminded me about planting garlic, which I already have scheduled to do, but she sent me a site with perennial vegetables in case my sea kale seeds (which I misplaced) didn’t sprout. I’ve procured and not received sea kale several times this year, so hopefully the third time’s the charm. Someone in Kalamazoo offered me one as a gift, but they dropped off the radar as soon as I accepted. Other locations had run out of sea kale, and I have no idea where I put those seeds! I thought of taking a root division in Goshen, but it was sooooo hot and muggy the day I visited. I also at that point, thought I had a plant waiting for me in Kzoo.

In any case, thanks to my needing to explain why I was tweaking the number of fritillaria, I now have 2-3 sea kale root divisions, ramps, another rhubarb and one (that’s all you need!) Egyptian walking onion en route. So thank you, Karen! And thank you, critter, although I will specify right now that this sea kale is not the thank you. You can munch on the dandelions, the sacrificial kale, and be glad I haven’t asked the cat to spray.

Another synchronicity about this suspected Kal violation is that just this morning I got inspired to change both point of view and the protagonist/antagonist structure of my novel. I’m still brainstorming, but I had a major aha moment right before I discovered the early morning mischief. The breakthrough involves creating a surprisingly sympathetic villain protagonist who finds himself caring about his adversaries. How do I show that sort of thing? What does it feel like? What sort of emotions and conflict might that fuel? Enter Kal into my prized front yard garden. Even if it wasn’t him — but oh, you fat rascal, I know it was — the suspicion gave me great insights into character, conflict and motivation.

I walked to the nearby landscape store to get bulb fertilizer since I got my initial batch of 50 daffodils and a reblooming “Mother Earth” iris. While there, I ran into an edible gardener (gardener of edibles?) who actually offered me a groundhog solution besides, “Oh, you just have to trap them. That’s the only way.” “Here, let me show you what I use. It smells like vomit!” Sold! Actually, I did buy it and sprinkle it around the kale. I also sprayed the deer repellent around the edge of the garden. I wouldn’t put it in a perfume, but obviously, this guy has not experienced fritillaria!

Anyway, I got the bulb fertilizer so my daffodils actually bloom in the lawn’s poor soil, and I spent two hours planting eleven daffodils. I need to wait for some rain, or it’s going to be a long, slow Fall bulb season! Daffodils are the best gift you can give yourself, though, imho. One time planting brings decades of Spring cheer, and unlike tulips, nothing wants to eat them. I’ll view this batch first thing in the morning, as I open our bedroom curtains. The others will get scattered around the front and back yards, in spots that won’t get watered during regular garden season.

I also got the reblooming iris planted within easy view of the front window, and the root of a miniature aster by the mailbox volunteered to clone itself in a nearby spot, as well. You can see some of the current garden in bloom, along with newly planted beets and lettuce, and just imagine the deep purple aster and reblooming iris of I forget which color towards the right of this photo:


Speaking of asters, this one made it from Goshen! Once it finishes blooming, I will plant it out back by the shed, between the larkspur and clematis. In Goshen, this one grew to about four feet tall, so I look forward to prolific blooms next year:


All in all, the garden’s doing well. Two rhubarbs have established themselves in the 20-gallon Smart Pots out back, and today I noticed we even have a full sized strawberry trying to ripen before frost sets in:



The late Summer planted lettuce has finally taken off:


And a clematis who’d nearly given up the ghost before we moved in has recovered enough to bloom a second time this year:


So far, the kale muncher has left most of the collards alone:


And to top it all off, the shrub the former, former owner told us was a reblooming lilac is, in fact, blooming right now:


I have been so preoccupied with writing prep and sessions that I really have done very little in the garden of late. That will, of course, change as I plant the remaining 190+ flowering bulbs, garlic and perennial vegetables. Fortunately, my neck-rib-chest bizarre injury/initiation seems to have healed enough to get these babies in the ground. I get glimmers of how colorful the yard will be next year when this year’s newbies start coming into their own. With any good luck, those skunky fritillarias will do their deterring, while I do my writing, and Kal and I will continue this uneasy, yet somewhat comical dance of wills.

Wishing you and yours brilliant colors and abundant harvests — on whatever level!