Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • You know how you find yourself getting frustrated with your daughter or son? 
  • You find that you get so busy with their activities that it seems like life focuses on juggling calendars and trying to fit everything in? 
  • Do you find yourself giving orders and forgetting to praise your child often enough? 

Self-esteem expert Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, cites a study that says 80 percent of children entering school in the first grade scored high on the self-esteem inventory. By the fifth grade, only 20 percent of them were scoring high. And by the time they graduated high school, that number was down to just 5 percent.

Reclaim your inner peace as you set up your child for success and raise your child's self-esteem. 

Help create a happier child with these affirmations sent automatically to your phone each week for you to send to your child's cell or smartphone. Tailor the texts according to your child's interests and hobbies.

Only $1.99 for weekly texts 5 times per month! Renew monthly for continued praise and appreciation. ADD YOUR CHILD'S SCHOOL NAME ON THE SIGN UP PAGE, AND THAT SCHOOL WILL RECEIVE 50% OF THE SALE. GREAT SCHOOL FUNDRAISER!

Click here to purchase and sign up

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Increase Passion, Desire and Loving: Free Event

It’s that time of year when we find ourselves taking a critical look at our lives – and for most of us, our relationship comes under scrutiny. 

Maybe you’re asking yourself: Is this it? Where’s the passion, the excitement and the love we once felt for each other? Is this all there is? 

Well, take heart and know that the possibilities only end when we stop reaching, stretching and evolving. Every good relationship undergoes struggle and moments when it feels like it’s dead on the vine. 

If there’s still an interest, a spark of hope and desire for deep connection and passion, there’s a way. And that’s why two of my colleagues are creating a FREE online event for the evolution of love and desire called: The Passion Evolution Summit: Unlock the Keys to Lasting Love, Relationship & Sex!” It’s like a Sunday brunch for relationship tools, inspiration and exciting new possibilities. 

Sign up here: and get some of their Pre-summit, interviews, or buy the recording package as a Valentine’s gift. 
P.S. Most of us are looking at our relationship and asking: What’s in this for me? Instead of asking: What can I bring to love, to us? Enjoy the summit! It’s going to be evolutionary! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

How Grief Turned Me Orange

As I soak in epsom salt and lavender in my bathtub and feel the warm water blanket me with love, I stare at the navy blue wallpaper with white and salmon-colored butterflies, which has been on these bathroom walls for at least 35 years. I remember when Mom picked out the wallpaper. I've loved this wallpaper for a long time. When my son and I moved into my childhood home three years ago, I brought the navy blue-with-suns-and-moons shower curtain, along with a small box and bowl that I'd painted a long time ago, navy blue with spirals. It all goes together so well.

Except now, I'm feeling orange. Bright orange! The navy blue feels like the old me. Orange feels like the new me. Which is funny, because I went through many years where I despised the color orange. And yellow. Perhaps because for a good 20 years, all four walls of my childhood bedroom were covered with bright orange and yellow butterflies! I think I OD'd on those orange and yellow butterflies.

I found myself liking the color orange again this past spring. I did a lot of work on balancing my chakras, so maybe that had something to do with it. :-) According to "My Holistic Healing" website  the orange, or sacral, chakra, corresponds to 
  • Equality - the balance of independence and dependence
  • The power of choice
  • Creativity
  • Intimate connection with others & sense of unity
  • Sensuality
That's pretty much on target for me these days ...

This past summer, I honored my orange feelings by purchasing an orange bath mat, orange wash cloth, and orange placemat to cover the small table between the toilet and sink. More orange began to seep into my consciousness.

One time this summer when Kendryek (my son) and I were visiting our local Taubman Art Museum in downtown Roanoke, I went into the women's bathroom on the second floor for the first time. OH MYYYY!!!! I was bathed in orange! Orange tile, from top to bottom. Floor even. How delightful! I ran to the men's bathroom to see what color IT was ... RED! All red tile. WOW! I've never seen anything like it and was delighted with the creativity of whomever came up with the idea of swathing a bathroom in one color.

That was JUST the confirmation I needed to cover my own bathroom fully in orange!

I wish I could show you a before and after picture. But, there's no "after" picture just yet. My orange bathroom is in progress, mainly in my mind! Something like this:

Which brings me to the reason for this blog ....FLOW. The grief of losing my mom, dad, and sister in a short period of time has allowed me to learn to go with the flow. Take this upstairs bathroom for instance. When my dad was still alive, and my son and I had moved in with him during his last year, I couldn't WAIT to redo this bathroom. After he died, however, I couldn't bare the thought of moving his electric razor, electric toothbrush, etc. I needed to look at those items every day. They helped me feel connected to my dad; helped me feel loved. They brought back sweet memories of my dad and I brushing our teeth, side by side, when I was a little girl. My dad would get into a ZONE when brushing his teeth. It seemed to be a spiritual experience for him!

And so, for the past two years, I've looked at my dad's toiletry items every day. Sometimes seeing them made me feel happy; other times, I felt sadness. Grief triggered that my dad is no longer physically present. Which triggers that my mom is no longer physically present. And my sister is no longer physically present. Yes, I do connect with each of them in spirit. I feel their presence daily. I am comforted by their spiritual energy. But you know, sometimes I just miss them. And I'll cry a little bit.

A couple of months ago, it felt OKAY to move Dad's razor and electric toothbrush to the plastic container of his special items in the basement. And the ugly old, plastic, dirty white wall shelf above the toilet? Still looking at it and just about ready to replace it with a wicker shelf. And this morning, I decided I'd like to hang bamboo blinds in the window. And I'd like to find a bamboo shower curtain. Bamboo and orange ,,,, yea, that's it!

Grief allows me time to honor my feelings and look at or hold that which brings me comfort. Grief allows the delicate process of hanging on with moving forward - on my own timetable and no one else's. Grief has really brought me down some days. But it has also propelled me forward in my spiritual growth, inspiring me to surround myself with colors and things that lift me up.

I'll keep a scrap of that navy blue-with-butterflies-wallpaper that my mom and I lovingly put up on the walls. And soon, I'll buy the orange paint. And I'll wait for that perfect moment when it's time to paint. And I'll either do it myself or have Maria, an expert painter with a steady hand, do it. Or I'll have her do the edges and corners, and then I'll roll paint. Any of those combinations is OKAY, I've learned. 

Just going with the flow...

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Every Day As Vacation

So my son, Kendryek, and I were in Washington, DC, over Spring Break to see the cherry blossoms and take in some museums. A friend and neighbor previously told me she planned to take her son to the Holocaust Museum to help with his history lesson. I thought that was a great idea, so I also took Kendryek to the Holocaust Museum. I've been in that museum plenty of times, having worked just 2 blocks away for 16 years. I always approached the museum and its exhibits intellectually with my friend and coworker, Mark Gielecki, whose father was a Holocaust survivor. Mark was always very upbeat and told me positive stories about his father's survival. Walking through the Holocaust museum turned into an honor to Mark's father, and it felt good to honor him.

14th Street Entrance of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.Credit: US Holocaust Memorial Museum
Once Kendryek and I got to the front door, we were greeted with a sign that said all exhibits were sold out for the day. All except, "Remember the Children: Daniel's Story," about an eleven year old boy's life before, during, and after the Holocaust. It's very well done, offering sounds, period-appropriate decor and clothes, and journal entries to heighten as many senses as possible for the viewer. Slowly walking through the first part of the exhibit, we heard children's laughter from the exhibit, parents' whispers explaining details to their children around us, exhibit knobs and buttons being pushed by viewers, gentle movement of those in front and behind us ...and then as we walked through a room resembling a cattle car, the mood became more solemn. We could hear a pin drop. The air felt stale. The exhibit was now in black and white instead of color, as it was previously. The gravity of the Holocaust, from a child's perspective, was felt.

I felt sad.

At the end of the exhibit, Kendryek and I walked into the gift shop, where Kendryek bought a Star of David necklace to wear in honor of children who had suffered. As he made his purchase, I walked into the atrium, with its high ceiling of glass panels, allowing sunlight to shine through. I looked up and had a moment of awakening. "I'm so tired of death and sadness," I thought. "So tired of grieving and depression and the energy it's taken and how my body feels." Kendryek walked over to me and stood beside me. And it was in that moment that I released a huge chunk of locked-up grief. I didn't cry; I just felt the grief energy disappear "Come on," I told Kendryek. "No more doom and gloom. From now on, we're having FUN!"

And we did! We saw an Imax movie at the Smithsonian, rode the paddle boats at the tidal basin, went to the beach and rented bikes and flew kites ... with a new lightness I hadn't experienced in a while.

On our way home from the beach, I reviewed all of the things Kendryek and I had done, and I asked him what was his favorite experience at the beach. You know what he said? "Flying a kite with you." He could feel my lightness and the symbolic activity of freedom!

And so every single morning since that Spring day, I ask myself, "How can today be like a vacation?" I make sure I have fun every day as if I'm on vacation. Many days, that looks like an epsom salt bath. Often, it looks like my silly dancing in the kitchen to my favorite music and drinking coconut milk from a margarita glass. I'll often hop in my convertible and drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, blasting my favorite tunes. Sometimes I'll play with the cats or play a board game with Kendryek. Whatever way I can consciously put some fun into my day, I do it!

Having vacation moments throughout each day helps me feel refreshed, recharged, and hopeful and curious about life. And happy! My quest now is to make ALL of every day a vacation day!

Monday, August 5, 2013

One of My Most Sensual Spiritual Experiences Ever

I've had several sensual experiences during my lifetime. This one is at the top of my list.

The first time I was introduced to the healing waters of the Jefferson Pools was when a college friend hosted a few of us ladies for a mini reunion. We had all shared the same portion of hallway my junior year. I love these ladies, even though I hadn't stayed in touch with them over the years. My friend's vacation timeshare was part of the Homestead community in Hot Springs, VA. I hadn't been to the Homestead since high school, so it was refreshing to revisit the resort while revisiting with old friends.

We each donned our white terrycloth robes and hopped the shuttle for a soak in the Jefferson Pools in neighboring Warm Springs. I had a migraine from not hydrating enough while walking that morning, so I was reluctant. My friends suggested that the healing waters might help relieve my pain. When we pulled up, I was attracted to the design of the buildings: round. I love round buildings! I was enchanted with the old, rustic, white structure of the women's bath house and really wanted to test the water. I loved the chipped paint coming off the walls, the opening in the domed roof, resembling a tee-pee, and the encouragement of silence to help maintain the tranquility of the environment.

We all got in. My migraine grew worse. I lasted about 10 minutes before I felt nauseous and thought I'd better get out. The water was 98 degrees (all year long), flowed from natural springs, and held a faint smell of sulphur. I excused myself, got out, and went to rest on a chaise in the waiting room. I fell asleep. After 20 minutes, I woke up. My migraine was completely gone. "What in the world is in this water?" I asked the attendant. I HAD to know what took away my migraine. The attendant told me that Native Americans had identified that these waters have every mineral that our bodies need. Thomas Jefferson knew what was up; he soaked in these waters three times a day as an elderly man. (I have since learned that my body had a magnesium deficiency. I now soak in epsom salt to replenish my magnesium levels when I feel a headache coming on.)

I was stunned and pleasantly surprised that my migraine vanished so quick!!

I was so pleased with the magical powers of these waters that I returned 2 weeks later by myself. I also learned that a vortex is centered at this point and magnifies the healing energy of the Jefferson Pools. As I soaked by myself, I noticed a woman enter the water, sheepishly, without clothes. Hmmm, I thought. Her body type is similar to mine, and she's daring enough to soak naked. Hmmm. Note to self: this is possible. I looked around ... the rest of us ladies wore our bathing suits, but this one woman felt comfortable in her own skin. I wanted to feel comfortable in my own skin too.

The third time I soaked in the Jefferson Pool, I did so while my son, Kendryek, took skiing lessons. And this time, I entered the water naked. It was exhilarating and liberating! I floated on my back and enjoyed feeling the warm water surround and support my skin and joints. I enjoyed the contrast of the warmth of the water and the coolness of the air as my face and toes peaked out of the water.I floated with my eyes closed. After awhile, I opened my eyes to change positions. I looked around the pool. Unbeknownst to me, five women had entered and were also floating in the their own little world. And they were all naked! What an amazing feeling to be part of this sisterhood of naked strangers floating in warm water. They were of all ages and all body types. How freeing!

The fourth time I visited the Jefferson Pools, Bonnie (my dear friend and marketing manager) and I were scouting the area for locations for our upcoming women's retreats. There were four or five of us women soaking in the pool. Each of us kept to ourselves, in our own cocoon of water molecules, This time, I floated on my back and didn't worry about what was exposed above water. This time was even more freeing. And this time amazing thing happened. Rain began to gently drizzle through the opening in the roof. I slowly floated into the middle of the pool to allow the rain to drizzle on my face. I LOVE rain. As a little girl, I'd sit outside on the sidewalk with an umbrella and let the rain pour down around me. Rain is my element. I named Kendryek's middle name Rayne. So you can imagine the joy I felt to be floating in 98 degree water and allowing cool rain drops to kiss my cheeks and chin. I smiled and felt I was in heaven. I looked up to see hundreds of rain drops travel from the roof's opening down to the water. Like each drop had a purpose. The sky was gray and allowed a dull light to seep through the opening. I slowed my breathing, pulled my ears under water for greater silence, and became fully immersed in the sensation of the gentle raindrops on my face, on my neck, on my breasts, on my palms, on my knees, and on my toes.

Pure bliss.

I felt the comfort and protection of mother love. And I felt the stimulation of a lover. I felt grounded. And I felt ethereal. I felt incredibly grateful. I knew Mom and Dad, who used to enjoy watching me sit out in the rain, had conspired to lend a hand in the synchronicity of the rain clouds opening up during my chosen hour of soaking. I felt grateful to have the time and resources for this experience. Grateful for my health becoming more and more magnificent. Grateful for my nerve endings having the sensitivity for these physical sensations. Grateful for my friendships. Grateful to be a woman. Grateful to God. Grateful to be alive. Grateful in my own skin.

I realized that this was, in this moment, the epitome of sensuality, and the epitome of spirituality. I look forward to many more moments like this.


You can also enjoy the healing water of the Jefferson Pools during one of our upcoming Women's Retreats (this October and May 2014). You can soak naked or while wearing a bathing suit. Whatever your comfort level is. Click here for more information:

Thursday, April 18, 2013

How I Get What I Want With Vision Boards and How You Can Too

You should see my bedroom wall. I've got four poster boards, covered front and back with images from magazines and words that I've written in magic marker. Some boards are packed full; others have lots of space. How I lay out images and words depends on my mood, the theme, and where I am on my life's journey.

These poster boards are my vision boards. I first learned of the concept when I was a little girl watching my mom make a treasure map for herself and my sister. Each was a collage of magazine photographs. I remember the word "happy" being on one of the treasure maps. :-)

The idea of a treasure map or vision board is to switch your brainwaves and consciousness to a level where you believe that what you desire can possibly happen.

My son, Kendryek, and I created a vision board together in 2007. We both wanted to go on the Disney Cruise. I printed out photographs of different angles of the Disney Cruise ship, with particular focus on the Mickey Mouse hand sliding board on the top deck, Disney characters dancing on stage, our stateroom, the huge dining halls, the luxurious-looking bathroom, the Disney Hall of Fame, etc. We looked at this board every night at dinner and sang the song, "M I C K E Y ... M O U S E ... Mickey Mouse (Donald Duck!), Mickey Mouse (Donald Duck!) Forever let us hold us hold our banner high, high, HIGH!" And I'd say, "Kendryek, look at our room! And our balcony!" And he'd say, "C'mon, Mom, let's go swimming in the pool!" We acted as if we were already on the cruise having a ball. Anyone who saw us would've thought we were looney (pun intended).

Now, there was a part of me that believed that MAYBE we'd get on this cruise in 5-10 years, and another part of me that believed it could somehow miraculously happen sooner, EVEN THOUGH I had only saved up $65 towards the cruise, and Kendryek had save up $123 towards the cruise. (We needed a few thousand more for the cruise!)

Well, it did happen sooner. In the summer of 2009, as I was going through some heavy grief over the loss of my mom, I told a friend that I had to get out of town for a break. He asked where I wanted to go. I casually said the Disney Cruise would be nice. He said, "I'll take you and Kendryek." And he was serious. My friend treated us to every aspect of our Disney Cruise vacation, including airfare, time in Cape Canaveral before, time at Sea World after ... and I am forever thankful to him and God for that.

Now you may think, I don't have a friend with that kind of money and generosity. It doesn't matter. When you truly believe and put all of your heart into your desire, it will happen. As your brainwaves and consciousness change, Providence Moves too!. The Universe orchestrates people, time, opportunities in your favor. I have many other examples of how it has happened for me.

You can hear my examples and find out how to create your own vision board at our monthly Vision Board Playshops. Keeping with this month's theme of GET JAZZED ABOUT YOUR LIFE, our playshop is called

Vision-boarding: Get Into the Rhyhtm of Your Dream Life
$45 includes light organic snack
April 27th, from 1:30 - 4:00pm

I will guide you with creating your own vision board and taking steps towards manifesting the life that you desire, whether it's wanting an island vacation, wanting to change careers, wanting to improve your health, wanting a better relationship with family members or a significant other ... anything you want can be yours! I'll help take the steps to manifesting what you desire.

Once you become immersed in this vision board activity, you're on your way to matching the frequency of your life to the images and words that you choose.


Click on the drop down menu below to register:

April Playshops

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Heaviness Behind Weight

I've never been skinny. I've been fit and strong, but never skinny. I've covered a range of sizes and weights in my adult life. The smallest I've been as an adult is a size 6. The largest is a size 16, which is what I wear right now. I feel puffy and bloated, my ankles hurt when I get up from the bed in the morning, and I wobble like a penguin (not to be confused with doing the Wobble Line Dance!).

I know what's behind the 25 pounds that I've put on over the last couple of years: grief over family loss. First my mom passed away, which sent me into a downward emotional spiral. Then I found my sister two days after she had passed away, and two months later, my dad died unexpectedly in car wreck.

After losing my family members, I became an emotional wreck, and my body reflected that.With many days of depression, my thyroid became weak, my pulse rate became too slow, my metabolism slowed down, and my joints got used to not moving much and ached when I did move.

Exercise? Ha!

Says the woman who once rode her bike 350 miles over 4 days for the AIDSRide; walked 20 miles a day for 3 days for the Breast Cancer Walk; and coached women in weightlifting at a boot camp. I used to pride myself on physical endurance.

These past couple of years, I wouldn't have gotten out of bed if it weren't for my son and taking responsibility for feeding him and getting him to school on time. Thank God for that!

That's just my recent story of health and weight. I've always been challenged with health and weight, though. I remember, as a little girl, watching my mom and sister try diet after diet, seeking to improve their weight and body image. I absorbed that into my own consciousness and played it out to varying degrees. Many factors contribute to the heaviness behind my weight.

I've sought help from many and various healers and therapies over the years, including talk therapy, energy healing, bodywork, and psychic readings. All from wonderful healers, and all therapies have helped tremendously. I continue a combination of these therapies week after week, and I feel better and better all the time!

Today, my consciousness is being drawn to hypnosis with Mary Ann Walker to help me lose weight and feel optimum health. My understanding of hypnosis is that it gets down to the core of issues and helps change beliefs and behavioral patterns.

I don't look for any one of the therapies that I use to be the end-all cure; I use them in tandem, combining them as I feel drawn to them. I expect the hypnosis to work for me as I continue to walk around the track at PH, continue to increase my consumption of juiced greens, continue to journal, continue talk therapy, continue to line dance, and continue all the other goodies helping me along my path.

That's my story, and I know you have a story too. I encourage you to check out our services and practitioners here at Luxuria Holistic Center and see what you feel drawn to. I invite you to lighten your life with me!

Many Blessings,
Amy Jo