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TRICIA WOODS Posts

Bring Your Shadow Self Into The Light

Posted in Self-Care and Self-Healing

We all have qualities we keep in the shadows, but what if shining light onto these darker aspects could actually make life better?

If we want to feel more peaceful and complete, then we’ll want to know more about these parts we’re not owning.

The way we discover what they are, is to observe what bothers us about other people, particularly the people we love.

The qualities we demonise in others are our shadow qualities.

Allow me a moment to explain:

Might you sometimes be heard whingeing that your partner, child, sibling or dear friend is negative/lazy/ unmotivated/self-centred or any other quality you despise?

Yes?  Come on, think about it. Mmhmm – maybe just a little?

Let’s just say we all have ‘issues’ with certain qualities – for me it’s things like anger, martyrdom, competitiveness and ungratefulness.

It’s understandable to dislike these nasty old traits right?

Except for this….

What’s true is that we ALL have the capacity to embody every quality that’s ever existed. 

But rather than loving it ALL, what we do with the parts that give us a squeamish feeling is to deny them, project them onto other people and cover them over with niceness and approval seeking.

To examine the qualities we dislike in others is to look directly into a reflection of what we ARE but don’t want to own.  The question we must ask when we feel ourselves bristling at the behaviour of another is: “How do I do that?”

And this is where compassion comes in.  Compassion for yourself and compassion for everyone else because gosh aren’t we all just muddling along the very best we can?

The shadow aspects we’re most afraid of might actually become super-powers if we learn how to integrate them and shed a decent amount of light on them.

Let’s take the quality of competitive drive and have a closer look.

I denied this aspect of myself for the longest time but here’s how I know I’m competitive:

  • I react with strong dislike to other people being competitive
  • I get quite emotionally involved with my children’s sporting matches and want them to win
  • I feel slightly envious of friends who are more successful than me
  • I feel more attached to my children receiving awards than is perhaps healthy
  • I like being good at stuff and love getting recognition
Even caterpillars have shadows. Image by April

The funny thing is, now that I’ve began to lovingly embrace this quality and see it as funny and adorable rather than nasty and shameful, it’s softened.

And I can use this competitive drive of mine to get things done!  If I didn’t care at all about striving for a better life, I probably wouldn’t have chosen to become self-employed.  And that would’ve been a pity because I love my work and I’ve already helped quite a few people.

Do you see where I’m going with this?  By shining light on our shadow qualities we get to benefit from their good bits and allow them to partner with our so-called positive qualities for great outcomes.

Hide them away and they become bitter and destructive.  Embrace them as vital elements of our humanity and they become another playful and productive part of who we are.

Angry people make great activists and campaigners for social change and martyrs make great community volunteers, even if they do make others miserable with their bitter complaints…

What’s your shadow?

Are you willing to acknowledge it and lead it into the light?

For help with this and other brands of self-exploration contact me for a session. Click here.

Why Are We Afraid of Being Soft?

Posted in Self-Care and Self-Healing

To be soft, yielding, gentle, quiet, accepting, open, innocent, trusting….

They’re not qualities we value so much these days.

Our culture seems to value their opposites – tough, strong, critical, resilient, decisive, assertive, cynical and street-wise.  It’s the yin and yang, the feminine and masculine at their extremes.

Because of course we can be soft and strong, quiet and assertive, gentle and tough.

Yes indeed. Think of a rose – soft and delicate petals with tough leaves and strong, thorn-laden stems. Nature at its most wondrous.

I feel we’ve forgotten the value of softness.

Softness is love, warmth, praise, compassion, open-mindedness, trust, vulnerability, acceptance, appreciation…

Just think about it, when you’re with your family, is the mood one of softness or hardness?  Could there be a softening?  Would it feel better?  Would it allow more love in?

When I’m quick to assert an opinion, make a judgement, defend myself or speak without really listening, I’m not adding a loving presence.  I’m certainly not bonding more closely with the people I love. If anything, I’m holding them at a distance.

If I could just soften a little, slow things down, be more gentle and open:

Would people walk all over me?

Would I lose my way?

Would I be diminished in my effectiveness, my productivity?

Would I count for less?

The archetype of the soft and loving mother has become an anachronism.  She disappeared out of fear and shame in the face of a masculine-oriented world.  The gentler feminine qualities were subjected to ridicule and derision. It became an insult to be soft.  Toughness and boldness became the goal.

The harshness of the world has taken this quality away from us, men and women both.

We’re hard on ourselves.  We’re taught to compare and compete against others from a young age.  We’re taught it’s a dog eat dog world – you’d better get the prize before your neighbour does.

Try harder, do better next time, don’t let yourself down, toughen up, keep going, don’t give up, don’t be so soft.

You got this!

I want to break it all down and let it go and not just because it doesn’t feel good….also because it doesn’t work.

I don’t do better when I strive harder, are more critical of myself or more uncompromising.  It just makes me freeze up and feel panicked.  I’ve always been sensitive to stress. When I was a student I had performance-stunting anxiety in exams, became mentally scattered and unfocused under deadline pressure and would end up ill after prolonged periods of emotional strain and busyness.

I do not thrive under pressure.

Does anyone really?  I suspect we get addicted to the adrenaline rush and the ego-trip of being so busy we haven’t got time to scratch ourselves.  I’m busy and stressed, therefore, I’m important.

Of course having some degree of structure and discipline is essential for getting things done but do we really need to harangue ourselves into feeling a slave to every task, overwhelmed and a failure?

So where does that leave us?  I feel we’re starved of self-love and self-compassion.  Danielle Laporte raises this point in her new book White Hot Truth…check out some excerpts here.

We’re all trying so hard to be too much to too many people and it hurts.

What if we just softened a little?

I’d love to hear your thoughts….

For sessions with me click here and give me a call to book your FREE 15 minute consultation.

Seven Steps to Facing Fear and Getting on Your Path

Posted in Live Your Passions

We all let fear hold us back from time to time. 

If it was easy, everyone would be doing it right?

It’s true though.

The roles we’re here to fulfill are usually hard won.  And hey, if you’ve always found life easy (that includes nobody I know), then you’re probably bored with where you’re at and not on your true path. Yes?

Your true path is a job or creative vocation that challenges you, pushes you right to the edge of your comfort and then over it and makes you feel excited and energised when you imagine doing it.

So, do we play it safe and avoid the bigger game, or do we risk it all for love? You know. love for yourself and the entire planet – no big deal.

And let me tell you, this is quite a tough decision – because from what I’ve experienced and helped many clients with – life doesn’t really allow us to sit in fear as the lesser of two evils.

Oh no, if you’re thinking you can just keep it low key – cower to the fears and let them call the shots – then I’m sorry, I don’t think you’ll find it that simple.

Oh and by the way – If you’re over 40 and still not on your path, then pay close attention…

                    Fly free like a bird

Why?

Well because life will eventually find other ways to get you moving….

You may be criticised by family, rejected and abandoned by your friends or partner, bullied by workmates or made redundant from your job.

You may also feel untold discomfort in the form of envy, dissatisfaction, frustration, compulsive complaining, judgement of others and self-criticism.

Not to mention the de-railing of your health and peace of mind by the behaviours you adopted to avoid getting on your path such as addictions to alcohol, other drugs, food, shopping, television, social media…the list goes on.

Phew!  It all sounds exhausting right?

Well yes, because you’re not here to play it small and deny your gifts.

Once you get moving in the direction of your gifts and passions though, that’s where the magic happens and things slowly begin to fall into place. You get a sparkle back in your eye and a spring in your step.

Although I’m sorry to say, the nudges and prods won’t necessarily end there.  Once you begin the work of getting on your path, you’ll most likely experience a whole lot of resistance emerge from within you and sometimes from outside of you.

Don’t worry though, this is just your ego trying to protect you from changing too fast.  The ego believes we need to stay the same in order to stay safe.

Where I see many clients delay their progress is right here, when the first round of resistance shows up.  It’s very understandable.  Some very intense emotions can come to the surface and a big steaming pile of FEAR is at the front of the assault.

Sometimes we need a few run ups before we sail over the ditch between us and our brighter future. That’s okay, there’s no hurry.

Here’s what I suggest:

  1. Start something – read a book, do a short course, talk about your dreams and aspirations with someone you trust. Just make a small start.
  2. Notice the feelings as they emerge and allow yourself to feel them. Once felt, they naturally dissipate.
  3. Tell yourself it’s natural to experience anxiety or dread, or heart-stopping fear when you’re stretching out of your comfort zone.
  4. Find your tribe of people who love the stuff that you love and who speak your language, seek out local groups, Facebook groups, workshops and classes.
  5. Allow yourself to stumble, trip or completely fall. Failure is a wonderful way to build resilience and lighten everything up.
  6. Realise that even though it’s hard, it’s better to be living full out than hiding from your truth and walking through life at half-pace with a fake smile plastered on.
  7. Keep on going – this is a wonderful adventure, it’s not supposed to be straightforward, easy or fast. Keep following your heart to the activities that make you feel more YOU.

Book a session with me and I’ll help you get on track. Especially if you don’t even know what you want to do, one of my super-powers is career guidance. Just click here

The Feminine Is Rising – Can we drop the need to compete?

Posted in Heal Relationships, and Live Your Passions

Competition is neither the sole domain of the feminine nor the masculine.

We all possess the drive to compete and sometimes it serves us.  An urge to be the best, the winner or at least in the running stimulates creativity, commitment, hard work and can bring out our best.

We all love watching others excel, particularly in the sporting arena.

What I’m talking about here is more subtle.  I’m thinking of the insidious ways suppressed competitive impulses can erode friendships, workplace harmony and our own self-esteem.

It all begins when we draw comparisons between ourselves and others, thereby reducing our worth to a very narrow and often superficial checklist…

Little girls start comparing themselves to others at a very young age. At around six or seven they begin comparing their appearance, their skills and their possessions:

“She’s got prettier hair than me.”

“She’s better at drawing dogs than me.”

“She’s got nicer shoes than me.”

With my daughter it wasn’t like this though, it was more like:

“I’m better at climbing than her.”

“I was the best runner today.”

“I’m good at drawing.”

Which is better?

And why am I speaking of girls and not boys, because surely boys are competitive too?

It’s because the older we girls get, the more our feminine competitiveness goes underground and shifts into more subtle behaviours, whereas it seems that boys are given permission to compete openly.

This happens because girls are often judged harshly when they’re openly competitive. Have you ever heard a little boy being criticised for being too feisty or “full-throttle” on the playing field?

Anyone else have a daughter who’s been labelled ‘bossy’?

Our competitive urge gets subverted:

  • We pump ourselves up or shrink ourselves down in the workplace depending on who’s listening and many women withdraw from the corporate climb all together rather than be seen as ambitious
  • In social settings we cultivate the chameleon, acting (and dressing), confidently and assuredly with one crowd but passive and downplayed with another
  • At the extreme, we undermine other womens’ confidence with sneaky comments or ‘jokes’ or manipulate how others are perceived by carefully launched verbal missiles dressed up as gossip.

It’s this subterranean style of competition that’s more difficult to tackle and it can stay with us throughout life if we don’t acknowledge its presence.

We’re entering a new era of the feminine rising to meet the masculine in a symbiotic union.  The time is drawing nearer for us to welcome the end of the patriarchal rule that has well and truly run its course on our planet.

We’re at the top of the pendulum’s swing….it’s about to swing back.

So get ready and own your place in the coming change.  We all hold some responsibility for this new landscape as it takes shape.

When we compare ourselves with someone else or feel the need to match their achievements we’re sitting in the energy of lack and competition.

We’re also denying our own truth.

We never win when we drag someone else or ourselves down a few notches.

So what’s the solution? Just sit in your divine perfection (it’s in your heart centre), learn how to love yourself fully and connect with your unique gifts and talents.

Then start living your life with this as your foundation.  Simple!

To grab some help, contact me for a session – click here first.

Love to you, Tricia

Is Ancient Shame Holding You Back?

Posted in Self-Care and Self-Healing

Shame that’s hidden from view is still shame that holds us back.

Mainly from love – giving and receiving.

We’ve all done things we’re ashamed of right?

Cast your mind back to childhood and I’m sure you’ll find something – a lie, a theft, a blurted nasty comment, classroom cheating, betrayal of a friend….

Ringing any bells?

More than twenty years ago I betrayed the man I had made marriage vows with not much more than a year earlier.

I left him for someone else.

I knew then as I know now, it was for the best.

I still hated myself for the pain I caused. I wished it could have been different – sort of.

It was exactly what it was and maybe the only way it could have been after nine years of familiarity and habit.

It did it because I’d been thrown a lifeline and I wanted to live – gawd that sounds dramatic.  I wasn’t in any physical danger.  It was just that I felt like I was sinking.

It wasn’t his fault. We’d just created something that wasn’t very happy.  The dynamic was all wrong and I suddenly saw it for what it had become;  we were like brother and sister.

I wanted more and I felt trapped with what we were capable of.  I began to harden up, toughen my outlook.  I set my jaw and steeled my gaze.

I guess I thought I could manage it okay if I changed myself enough. I held my breath.

And then I saw him at the party.  My husband was outside chatting with someone.  I walked inside and there sitting with an empty chair beside him, was a person I’d always wondered about.

I sat down and before I knew it I’d said, “I still have feelings for you.”

“But you’re married”, he said.  “I was at your wedding”, he said.

“I know”.

We both leaned forward, heads in our hands and smiled silly, hopeless sort of smiles.

Weeks went by and I told myself that was that. Nothing could happen.

Coincidentally, he worked at the university where I was studying. We met up a few times in the campus grounds after my lectures. Sat on hard benches and talked as the sun went down.

I persisted that it was pointless as I wasn’t about to leave my marriage. I said, I couldn’t bear to go through that.

He gently said, “You wouldn’t be sitting here talking to me if you were happy.”

Then a few weeks later he flew to England for a planned six month stay.

Just before he left, my husband worked out something was up.

One week later I moved out.

Life went on. I kept studying and working, friends chose camps, my parents were very supportive, I never saw my in-laws again.

It wasn’t easy but I had this little voice inside that I’d ignored years earlier when I was confused about love.  It whispered; stay strong, keep going, this is temporary, you’re doing fine.

My new flame came home and we moved in together. Four years later we got married.  You know the rest….kids, jobs, studies, homes, holidays, change, challenges, a move to the country and suddenly we’re middle-aged.

Up until last week I thought I was over this part of my story.  I’d done the counselling, read the books, been healed by experts, become a healer myself, gotten it all straight in my mind and reached a level of peace about it.

The Australian Bush Flower Essence – wedding bush supports us in being committed to any aspect of life.

But in truth I’m still holding it against myself.  I’m still ashamed of what I did and only I can resolve that. And resolve it I will because what I’ve realised is that this shame is stopping me from having the quality and depth of love I want in my relationship with not only my husband but with all the important people in my life.

So how?  This is what I feel:

  • Put my hands on my heart and love myself a little more
  • Feel into my soul, trust in the wisdom I followed and know that it was my best choice at the time
  • Grow into stronger compassion for the 24 year-old me who was simply saving herself
  • Give thanks to the universe for giving me the courage to step forward onto that new path and risk losing everyone’s love in the process.

All these old fragmented, hidden parts of ourselves don’t really need to be released or healed….they need to be integrated into the wondrous, complex and multi-faceted beings that we are.

We don’t need to continually make ourselves wrong or flawed or broken.  We’re all the villain and the victim. We’re all innocent and all guilty.  We are all deserving of love no matter what.

Tricia

Book a session with me by first going here….

Five ways to tell if you’re being safe or real

Posted in Live From Intuition, and Self-Care and Self-Healing

We’re born complete. We’re born real.

We start out life as these individual sparks.  Both perfect and flawed.

Wonderful and remarkable, yet quirky and somehow not-quite-formed to those who love us.

This is where it begins…

Even in the womb we’re absorbing information.  Feeling and sensing who we might be.  Then we come out into the world and we begin taking stock, tallying the facts as we see them and adjusting our responses.

Managing our image.

Who we start to become is still us, it’s just that, well, we can’t help but be partly molded and shaped by what we experience, who we spend time with each day and what they think and feel.

And don’t get me wrong, none of this is a mistake, none of it’s wrong or anything other than what our soul ordered from the cosmos when we deigned to alight on this here planet of ours.

It’s just that sometimes we end up forgetting lots about who we really are.

We grow up and blindly become a version of our parents or we follow a set of beliefs gained from family, church, school or culture that sort of feels correct but scrape the surface just a smidge and it can suddenly all feel like someone else’s ill-fitting suit.

You know what I mean? We reach maybe 26, and wake up one day in a career, relationship, town, crime gang, religious cult or all of the above and think, “How did I get here?”.

We get the urge to wriggle free and escape.

But oh the temptation to remain safe and approved of.  It’s mighty powerful.

Why rock the raft or bite the hand?

It might feel scary and cause some consternation among those who wish we would stay the same (cos then they can stay safe too), but believe me, the open road beats the prison cell any day.

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Let’s get down to tin tacks.

Here are five ways you can find out if you’re being real in your life:

  1. If you feel completely at ease and good about yourself when you spend time with your closest friends and you don’t need to dress a certain way or talk a certain way in order to fit in – good job, you’re keeping things real.
  2. If you have a job where your work mates see the same ‘you’ as your friends and family do then, you’re probably being pretty authentic.
  3. If you can look into your wardrobe and see plenty of clothes you feel good in and enjoy wearing, then you’re choosing clothing for the right reasons, i.e. you like them and buy for yourself rather than to please anyone else – that’s you being real.
  4. If you feel things are pretty fair and even in your relationship when it comes to choosing things together such as meals to cook, grocery or household items to buy, movies or television to watch, outings or holidays to enjoy – then you’re clearly expressing your preferences openly and that’s a good thing.
  5. If you’re comfortable to say no to requests or invitations from friends and family sometimes because what they’re wanting you to do doesn’t feel right or doesn’t fit in with your desires or plans AND you feel totally relaxed and comfortable with doing this, then right on! You are really rocking this realness gig.

Tick yes to three of the above five scenarios and I would say you’re doing pretty darn good with being true to who you are.  Less than three and I’d recommend you rethink some of your automatic choices.

It’s all about how we feel:  That surge of anxiety when mum drops in for a cuppa, “Shit, is the floor clean enough?”

That sinking feeling you get when a certain couple invite you to a party and you recall not liking any of their friends….

You get the gist.

I’d love to help you with a personal session.  Simply read more here and then give me a phone call to talk it over and make your booking.

Love, Tricia

 

 

How to Evolve Without Making Yourself Wrong

Posted in Self-Care and Self-Healing

You know you’re here to grow and change right?  But are you like me? Do you find it hard to evolve without feeling that everything that came before this new fresh moment has been wrong?

When we make those sudden leaps of growth and suddenly see how flawed our thinking has been, it’s very tempting to judge ourselves harshly.

We all go through times of rapid transition and evolution.

Sometimes it makes my head spin.

One minute we’re rolling down a road we set out on years ago, and then suddenly, we come to a screeching halt, look back, look forward and decide to take a left turn.

Then, not surprisingly we come over all self-critical. We sometimes question why we were ever on that dusty old road to begin with.  “What was I thinking?”, we say to ourselves.

Any first marriages spring to mind? Mine does

Then we spend energy and time pointlessly beating ourselves up over all the past decisions, plans, beliefs and dreams that failed to make us happy. It’s so easy to see how wrong we were. But where would we truly be without having taken that risk, forded that river, climbed that hill?

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My gorgeous risk taker.

Is looking back with regret really helping us to enjoy life? No, I feel it undermines the new life we are aiming to create and more…

My top five reasons why it’s so important to stop indulging in self-criticism when we evolve:

  1. It prevents us from acknowledging how far we’ve come and celebrating our successes
  2. It keeps us stuck in the past and unable to enjoy the present
  3. It deters us from continuing to improve our lives because we become fearful of making a mistake
  4. It stops us gleaning the gold from the tough times we’ve experienced and being able to forgive
  5. It reduces our capacity for self-love and self-compassion

Your marriage ended. So what? Your business failed. So what? You didn’t get your dream job? So what?…..You learned some cool things right? You certainly evolved.

Life’s not about being perfect, being right all the time or having 100% clear foresight.

The people who play it safe and stick with the decisions they made in their early twenties only because breaking out of that world feels way too risky, are the ones who end up unhappy later in life.

Those of us who run headlong into adventure, change, new experiences and new ideas on how to live are the ones who I see thriving and living more vibrant, engaged, fulfilling lives.  Mistakes and failures are all part of the ride.

So to wind this up, let’s look at the alternatives.  As I see it we have three choices:

  • Never change
  • Change and beat ourselves up about getting it wrong the first time around
  • Change and celebrate our freedom and flexibility to be adaptable.

Easy choice right?

If you’d like some help with your capacity to evolve and feel good about it then just contact me here for a session. (Click here). I’m available for bookings right through the festive season.

Much love, Tricia

We see the obstacles but not the support – What’s real?

Posted in Trust The Universe

What if the obstacles we notice in life are borne out of a belief that life is a struggle and the truth is, we have far more support than we realised?

It’s been a long year for many of us.  There’s been a feeling of slow progress for many of my clients and for me as well.

If you’re familiar with numerology, you’ll know that 2016 is a year nine for the planet.

This means we’re at the end of a nine year cycle and next year a new cycle begins.

It’s a personal year nine for me as well because if you add my birth date and month to the year 2016, you get nine. Neato!

So, being the end of a cycle, this year has been all about completion, release and endings.  And since ‘nine energy’ is all about integrity, ambition, idealism and disillusionment (among other things), we’ve been seeing these sorts of themes come up on the world stage just a little….ahem, need I say ‘election’?

I’ve been slogging away selling what I do on Facebook and wondering when that constant stream of suitable and willing clients will finally appear….

I’ve been delivering my women’s sacred dance class in a variety of formats and venues throughout the year and I still can’t crack eight or nine participants per class…..

I guess the story I’ve been telling myself is very focused on the obstacles, the blocks and the challenges of reaching my audience and making this work I do into a proper income. What to do?

Well I reckon it’s time I changed my perspective and got real about everything that’s working in my favour.

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  • We’ve been living in this amazing part of the planet for almost five years – dream fulfilled
  • I’ve been leading my women’s meditation circle for three and a half years
  • I’ve made some of the most gorgeous friends of my life – they are my tribe
  • I love my work and I have so much gratitude for the freedom I have in this lifestyle we’ve created
  • I’m constantly challenging myself to follow my creative inspiration, to enjoy life more and be more fearless
  • Many people support me and praise my work every week
  • My relationship with my husband and kids is on a firm footing – we love each other a lot
  • I’m in good health and I have tons of energy

So really, I don’t have an awful lot to complain about do I?

Those funny moments where the venue falls through, there’s no power supply for the music, the people don’t enroll in high numbers, I run late because of a family crisis or the elderly lady insists on barging into the hall before my class has finished are really just minor hassles, rather than substantial barriers to my success.

All in good time my child, all in good time.

We’ re all being supported by life much more than we realise.

 

Are you ready to take off in a bigger way in 2017?

 

Let me help you get there with a counselling and energy healing session over the telephone, on Skype or in-person.  I love helping others overcome the barriers we all experience from time to time. Click here

You can talk to me first by phoning 0418 698 305 (Australia)

I’d love to hear from you, Tricia

 

 

Could Your Past Lives Be Serving You Better?

Posted in Live Your Passions

Do you believe in past lives?

Have you had momentary inklings of the times and places you’ve been in before you were here in this life?  Ever been to a completely foreign place and felt strangely at home?

Earlier this year when we went on a family holiday to France I was stunned at how completely comfortable I felt in Paris and was even more amazed at the heart-wrenching sensation I felt on the day we left to come back to Australia.

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I usually love it when I’m going home……..And, I’m not even a ‘big city person’!

So what if it’s true that we’ve had all these hundreds (maybe thousands) of other lives and that there are key themes from these times of old that are still playing out in our lives today?

One of the really cool techniques I’ve found myself using with clients for the past couple of years has been past life integrations.

Now this isn’t something I’ve learned or read about, it’s just kind of started happening in some sessions.

I’ll let the video take it from here……

So, what do you think?

I’d love to hear about your stories of past life memories and cool synchronicities and coincidences related to your feelings about some of your specific past lives.

Do you have strong emotional connections to a particular culture, country, region or landscape?

Maybe this is meaningful and just maybe there’s significance here for you to explore further.

When we integrate experiences and themes from other lifetimes into the present, we enrich our understanding of who and what we are and our limitless potential.

I’d be happy to talk it over with you.  Go here to read more about my sessions and please contact me if you feel called to make an appointment.

Enjoy your week everyone. Much love, Tricia