Archive for the ‘Personal Stories’ Category

How Resistance Guides My Work

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

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Sometimes, the hardest part of the work isn’t the work, it’s the resistance.

This is probably true of anything we create. For me right now, that’s Healing Lab, the company I’m starting to research energy healing.

Sometimes I think, “If only I could plow through tasks for eight hours a day, this business would have been up and running months ago.” But I can’t, because each task brings up resistance: The vision that’s big and intimidating, the events I’m afraid no one will like, the fear that none of this will work, that it’ll all be wasted effort.

Each day, more than half my effort goes into working through resistance.

And writing this, I realized: That’s the point of this year. To work through the resistance, to become comfortable sharing the vision and organizing the events and doing the work.

I’ve been focusing on the output (like website, classes, studies) and wishing I could do more of them in a day. But measuring the total number of tasks is the wrong metric, it pushes me toward easier tasks, and pushes me to brush off the resistance rather than addressing it. Much better to measure the number of emotionally difficult tasks I worked through, the insights I had and the amount of resistance I resolved. Harder to measure, but far more important.

(And a possible misinterpretation I want to avoid: It’s still important to finish tasks. Each task brings up resistance. To sit at home, not finishing tasks, just congratulating ourselves for thinking about resistance — that doesn’t actually bring up the resistance we need to work through. This is still about doing the work, it’s just about accepting a slower pace as we work through resistance.)

I’m going to break the fourth wall now. This short post took me four hours to write. But writing it (and the pages of early drafts) caused me to look at my resistance, and my desire to complete more tasks, and to recognize my real work. These sentences were hard because they were part of accepting this process, instead of punishing myself for it. And recognizing that, saying, “That’s what I accomplished today,” I feel much more at peace with the pace of starting this business.

It also has me ask, “Which tasks feel hardest right now?” Because that’s the one with the most resistance. That’s the one to focus on.

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Overcoming Overwhelmed-ness

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

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Whether you do energy healing research, or magick, or entrepreneurship, we all create new paths. This week, my path with Healing Lab got jostled, and I want to share how I got through being daunted and found a vision I’m even more excited about.

This week, Dr. Melinda Connor spoke with me about Healing Lab. She researches energy healing at Akamai University in Arizona, has published books and papers on the subject, is more or less doing what I want to be doing. A few notes from our conversation:

  • Publishing a double-blind study requires a bunch of hoops. It’s not something I can do alone.
  • There are already studies comparable to what I had planned to do. It’s not wrong to do more similar studies, but it’s probably not the highest-impact place to focus.
  • Despite all that, she was genuinely encouraging. She wasn’t trying to rain on my parade — it’s more like, there was already a bunch of rain on the way, and she was the one to point it out.

I spent 24 hours feeling daunted. Too big, too difficult, why bother… Three ideas helped me work through it:

  • Everything is harder than we expect. Sometimes it’s 100x harder, and maybe we give up. But this one is 10x harder. I can work with that.
  • The fact that people are already doing similar work is good, it means it’s possible. It means that, if I want to, I can follow their path.
  • Other people are doing some of the projects I’d planned (like double-blind trials), and they’re better at those skills than I am. That’s OK. It lets me focus on what I’m best at. All I have to do is figure out what that is.

When I daydream about Healing Lab, it’s not running trials or speaking at conferences. I daydream about developing new techniques for energy healing, sensing the biofield, or communicating with spirits (and maybe humans). Engineering, along with developing the scientific models to support it. That’s what I’m uniquely good at.

It’s also what we need. Because we’ve been researching and publishing about energy healing for decades, and it’s still drowning in stigma. But if we had techniques that produced even more obvious results, things that were even harder to dismiss or deny, that might move the needle on acceptance.

I’m going to use the word “engineering” for creating new techniques, and “publishing” for doing double-blind trials to demonstrate that those techniques work.

The rest of the path became obvious: Engineer the techniques, publish enough to convince other energy researchers that the techniques work and are worth studying, then collaborate on the really definitive publications. So instead of being 50% engineering and 50% publication, now I’m envisioning maybe 75% engineering, 25% publication — a shift in focus that feels relaxing and liberating, more aligned with my skills and interests.

(And the next step is still the same: Publish some case studies to prove I’m serious.)

Jostles aren’t bad. Being daunted isn’t bad. These are things that happen. And if you’re lucky, you’ll emerge with an even better plan.


This is the last week of the double-blind sigil experiment. It’s a great way to build confidence in your skills. Please try it. (If you already tried one sigil, please try the other.)

I’m teaching Beyond Tantra: Intermediate Erotic Energy Techniques this Thursday, 7pm at Wicked Grounds in San Francisco.

And Dr. Connor wants to connect with other energy healing researchers. She gave me great info and sincere encouragement, and I’m very glad I reached out to her. I’m not posting her email because I don’t want spambots to bother her, but if you’re doing research in energy healing and want some input, drop me a line and I’ll connect you. (And I’d be happy to talk with you too.)

If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at

Confidence, Resistance, and Testing Ourselves

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

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This week I posted a double-blind placebo-controlled sigil testing.

In the days before posting it, I encountered more resistance than I have in years. The whole point of science is that it can tell you if you’re wrong, and choosing to honestly test a precious belief is a bit like choosing to walk face first into a wall — there’s an enormous urge to stop short.

But after posting it, I feel light, confident, liberated. For years, I’ve known I should be approaching my work this way. Finally doing it feels amazing.

Please try the test. It takes about 15 minutes, including reading the post.

For those of you encountering resistance: I get it, I really do. Testing brings up every doubt we have, every time we’ve feared none of this is real, or that we’re simply not good at it. Take your time, feel into that resistance, accept it as part of yourself. Then do the work. Because on the other side of that wall is peace and confidence. That’s what proper testing does for us, that’s the reward for facing the resistance.

And thank you to everyone who participated already, and everyone who will in the coming weeks!

(And to those of you who are active on discussion groups or have your own blog, please share the project. Thank you!)

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Imposter Syndrome

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

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We all have stories in our heads, unrealistic expectations that keep us from fulfilling our calling. Sometimes they even keep us from contemplating our calling.

Here’s my paralyzing story: If I were skilled, I’d be able to produce instant, unmistakable results from energy healing, then pluck any information from the ether through manifesting. I’d be able to demonstrate magick for anyone who asked, and it would be easy.

Do I really think that? Of course not. That’s maybe what a mature science looks like, or perhaps a company that’s been operating for decades. It’s where we finish, not where we start.

And yet, when I focus on learning magick or creating Healing Lab, that story creeps up, oozing doubts and fears and resistance.

Everyone has these stories, but nobody talks about them. So these stories isolate us, and they become stronger. That’s why I’m sharing this today.

What are your stories? And what are you waiting to start?

If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at

How I Designed a Life Around Healing

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

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Often called “work-life balance,” today I’m reflecting on how I’ve designed a life and career to support my healing work and magick.

It’s Not a Balance

Balance implies that both are equally important. They’re not. I want to tip the scales toward life and passion as much as possible.

I work to support the life I want. I’m not trying to balance anything.

Choose Lifestyle, Not Salary

At some point in every career, the person has done good work, is valued by their colleagues and employer, and has the social capital to make a request.

Don’t spend that capital on a promotion. Instead, spend it on lifestyle.

For me, that was consulting. In 2010, I changed from full-time work to consulting, getting paid well when I work, but making nothing when I don’t. If my goal were to maximize my yearly income, this would be a problem. But my goal is to work a few months a year, earn enough to support myself comfortably, and spend the rest of the time on other projects. Consulting is perfect for this.

Your lifestyle option might look different. It might be working from home (where you take 2 hours every morning for your own project), or some other sort of freelance work. But if you want to work on your passion, choose lifestyle over promotion.

Live Frugally

One related choice: I live in a studio apartment. It’s enough space for me, and it keeps my costs down, which gives me more freedom in designing the rest of my life.

Why cut back on the apartment, rather than dining out or other luxuries? Because I can easily save $500/mo by living in a small apartment, and it doesn’t really affect my life. But to save that kind of money on food, I’d be eating nothing but microwave ramen.

You might choose another way to live frugally. But the point is, spending less than I could creates flexibility in my life, which gives me options for designing a lifestyle with time and space for what I care about.

Create Your Art

With no one to tell me to work, and no one to report to, it’s so easy to skip a day. Especially when I hit resistance. (That’s why I write about resistance so much.) Then it’s easy to skip two days, and more.

I find it helpful to remind myself that this time is limited, that another consulting project will come along soon, and that I’m purchasing these days of creativity with days of work I’d rather not do. Because, when designing a life that allows healing or magick or art, the real challenge is actually doing that creative work.

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Choosing the Hard Path

Monday, March 14th, 2016

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I’m learning energy healing the hard way, and it’s forcing me to become a better healer.

I want to demonstrate my healing techniques (among other goals). And it’s so tempting to do a healing session, see that the person sleeps better or hurts less or whatever other result, and call it a success. So, so tempting.

But that path invites placebo and luck. That isn’t the demonstration I’m looking for.

And facing my goals, really truly facing them, is forcing me to realize the space between where I am now and where I want to be. The space between “skilled” and “skilled enough to know I’ll create obvious results, if energy healing and magick are the only tools I’m allowed.” And facing that gap is the only way to close it.

It’s hard. At times I hate it, at times I resist learning. But I’m figuring things out and practicing techniques now that I never would have otherwise. I’m only doing them because the scientific method is forcing me to do it the hard way.

It makes me wonder: What other ways have I convinced myself I’m skilled? And if I got serious about testing, how much better would I become?

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What is the Biofield?

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

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A friend asked me, “What is the biofield?”

That’s like asking, “What is gravity?” Or “What is magnetism?” There’s no simple answer, and perhaps no known answer. The best we can do is give you examples, and describe how those phenomena behave.

Examples include Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Chi Gung, and many more. “Biofield” is the term used by the NIH and medical researchers to describe the energy used by all of those healing modalities.

How does the biofield behave? It seems that living cells emit some sort of field. The state of those cells — inflamed, injured, healthy, etc — determines the state of that field. Normally, the field flows out of cells. But it seems that the flow goes both ways, and that influencing the field can also influence those cells. (This has been demonstrated with cell culture studies, for example.)

That’s my answer. But there’s also a story here. The question came up at a writer’s potluck — bring food, bring something you’re writing, share both. I read the start of my vision for Healing Lab, got asked that question and flubbed it in front of a dozen writers. Just went off on a tangent, focusing on how no one knows instead of giving examples. Not a good answer, and I got gentle, kind feedback to that effect.

Today, this feels ok. That’s what practice is for: To make errors, reflect on them, plan a better answer next time. Better now with friends than later with investors.

But in the past, that writer’s potluck would have terrified me. I wouldn’t have read my work, wouldn’t have taken the question, would have frozen up instead of reflecting on how to answer it better.

I think bloggers too often share only our successes. Only the good answer we’ll give next time, not the failed answer we said in the moment. So I’m sharing that failure, too. If you’re afraid of flubbing an answer, know that us experienced folks mess up, too. I hope it helps you share when you get the chance.

The world doesn’t need your silence. The world needs your art.

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Death is Wrong

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

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Death is wrong, and we should end it. That’s one of my core values. That’s part of why I do biofield healing. I discussed this with a friend last week, and decided to share it here, too.

Death is a tragedy. An error of evolution that we should fix with medical technology. Researchers are currently working on this, and we collectively should be doing more to research and fund it. One of my goals with Healing Lab is to one day participate in that research.

I’ve had this conversation before. You’re probably thinking of an objection. What about overpopulation? Slower social progress? Or the drive that death gives us to appreciate each day? It’s normal to internalize some of the ways we cope with death. Here’s what I always say:

Imagine it’s 2316, three hundred years from now. You and I are still alive, healthy, in what is today a 30-50 year old body. People occasionally die from accidents, though less often because of increasing safety standards. And very rarely, a person decides they want to die, and we let them. But mostly, we all expect to live for another 300 or 3000 years or more.

The problem you imagine comes up: Suburbs become cities. Meat becomes expensive. Transgender rights took 100 years instead of 50. People spend less time appreciating each day. Whatever your scenario is, it happens.

What happens next? I imagine engineers designing taller buildings. Scientists developing non-animal meat, and social mores changing to allow us to eat insect protein. Political rights movements learning new ways to reach people from an older age, and as today, change is slower than it should be but still happens. New spiritualities emerging to help us appreciate each day, simply because it is an enjoyable practice.

What I don’t imagine is someone saying, “The solution is simple: Kill everyone over 100.”

That’s not a political platform. It’s not even a comic book villain. It’s eat-Irish-babies level satire.

It’s also our status quo today. That’s wrong, and we should do everything we can to fix it.

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My Reasons for Magick

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

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For sanctuary. A private hobby to explore and experience. Safe but also isolating.

For curiosity. A deep need to understand experiences. The drive behind science.

For healing. Today we understand the biofield as well as 17th-century doctors understood the body. What could we do with a 20th-century understanding?

For power. Manifesting to solve problems and improve my life and the lives of my friends.

For a dream. A worldwide community of magick researchers, advancing medicine and biology and physics.

For transhumanism. Ethereal muscles to expand our mental capacities. Biofield healing for life extension and, eventually, immortality.

I’ve had all these reasons. Still have most of them. (I’m shedding private sanctuary as I embrace vision and transhumanism.)

They’re all valid. They all lead to different explorations, different achievements.

What are your reasons? Where are they taking you?


And here’s a wonderful webcomic ode to the dreams behind science. I found it last week, I think you’ll enjoy it.

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Priorities and Sacrifices

Monday, July 27th, 2015

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I want to be fit. But my friend who biked from San Francisco to LA? She wants to be fit in an entirely different way.

But if I could be fit without the sacrifice? Sure, I want that.

To find your priority, see what you’re willing to say no to.

A few of mine:

No to a party, so I can write and sleep and focus again the next day.

No to a lucritive-but-tiring job, so I have the energy to study magick.

No to traveling, so I can focus on Healing Lab right here at home.

Those are my sacrifices. Yours may be different. But whatever your priority, there will be sacrifices.

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