Tag Archive for: healing

The 12 Day Wellness Journey in the New Year

See Day 1 Here.

Each new year offers the promise of a fresh start. As we embark on this journey into the Wood Dragon Year 2024, it is the perfect time to cleanse not only our bodies but also our emotions, minds, and homes. In fact, I’m New Year’s cleaning today as we speak! I recall asking a Dharma question to a teacher a number of years back, I asked-“how do you get yourself feeling better if you feel a lot of heaviness, sadness or depression?” I mentioned that I often have a lot of negative self talk, and my spiritual tradition has so many steep stages of purification and levels of enlightenment that to me, often sound daunting and exhausting. What I learned from child raising, it helps more to focus on strengths and be encouraging rather than be critical and fixate on shortcomings. The teacher replied to my question simply-“Connect to the freshness.”

This was a very powerful and simple transmission for me, and those four pith words remain etched in my heart. Oftentimes we have these grandiose notions of some well-being, happiness and some ever future ideal notion of accomplishment, that’s always just out of reach.

However, every morning we wake up and basically our life takes place in simple ordinary moments of experience. We go to sleep and wake up, brush our teeth, make some breakfast, meditate (hopefully), do some stretching, bathe, go for a walk, start our day, and every day, repeat. All we really have are these simple elements of human experience tied together, the past is gone and future is but a dream. As you remember the old Ram Dass famous quote- be in the moment, “Be Here Now.” What then, is really being here?



In my dharma tradition they talk about “Ordinary Magic.” Maybe the greatest attainment of all would be for us to really be raw, unfiltered and present in these little moments of our lives. I have a tendency to “future trip” or numb-checkout into Iphone/Facebook/Instagram/Reddit/X electric dissociation stupor, when indeed, the real heart connectedness is right here, in front of me. Can I really show up and be present in my life?

Recently, I was doing a group meditation weekend and it was raining and I was wearing dark wool, winter pea-coat. We went out for a walk during the lunch break and a few round raindrops were on my lapel. The sun was shining through the rain, and as I looked down and I saw a few perfectly refracted rainbows in the little drops of water. I thought to myself… This is it! My whole life has been leading up to this very moment- on this Sunday afternoon, for me to just fully experience these little sun-lit rainbows on my jacket. That was it- simple, unadorned, magic and the experience thereof, even bliss.

So, in a world flooded with detox and wellness advice, I think finding our authentic Selves and being present in each moment of our lives IS the spiritual path. It is all we have, really. Slowing down and opening is self care, rejuvenation and reconnecting again and again to the freshness. If we can take 30 minutes a day, to connect to this freshness, we are well on our way toward loving, self care and evoking this ordinary magic.

The Full 12 Day Wellness Program for the New Year


Day 1: Embracing the Self

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Morning Ritual (15 minutes): Start your day with affirmations. Stand in front of the mirror, look into your eyes, and repeat positive affirmations about self-love, acceptance, and body positivity.

Throughout the Day: Practice self-compassion. Think about all of the good you have done since you have come into this world.

Evening Reflection (15 minutes): Before bed, take out your journal and write down three things you noticed about your life, family, relationships and things that you love about yourself. Focus on your strengths, beauty and unique qualities.


Day 2: Cleanse and Detoxify

Download Detox Plan

Morning Ritual (15 minutes): Begin your day with warm lemon water to kick-start your metabolism and aid digestion.

Throughout the Day: Opt for a juice and smoothie cleanse. Include a variety of fruits and vegetables to provide essential nutrients.

Evening Reflection (15 minutes): Reflect on your emotions and thoughts throughout the day. Journal about any insights gained during the cleansing process.



Day 3: Somatics: Mind-Body Connection

Morning Ritual (15 minutes): Engage in a 15-minute yoga session or light stretching to awaken your soma or body and mind.

Throughout the Day: Commit to daily exercise, and do it! Whether it’s a brisk walk, a dance session, or a workout routine, make movement a priority. My trainer made me commit to 30 minutes a day- EVERY DAY, on the elliptical machine and/ or a walk.

Evening Reflection (15 minutes): Practice mindfulness meditation. Reflect on the physical and mental sensations you experienced during the day.


Day 4: Envisioning Professional Goals

See the 8 Dimensions of Wellness

Morning Ritual (15 minutes): Take time to visualize your professional aspirations. What do you want to do each day when you wake up? Picture yourself achieving your goals.

Throughout the Day: Create a vision board that represents your professional ambitions. Use images, quotes, and symbols that resonate with your dreams.

Evening Reflection (15 minutes): Journal about the steps you can take to turn your vision into reality. Identify small actions you can start taking immediately.


Day 5: Nurturing Relationships

See Articles on Relationships

Morning Ritual (15 minutes): Send a message of love and gratitude to someone you appreciate, remember any good moments, and express your feelings genuinely. Heal the karma if you can with someone that you have not resolved an issue with. Let friends or family go that are not healthy, nurturing and harmonious.

Throughout the Day: Assess your current relationships. Let go of toxic connections that drain your energy. Surround yourself with those who uplift and support you.

Evening Reflection (15 minutes): Write a letter to yourself outlining the qualities you seek in meaningful relationships. Manifest the love and respect you deserve.


Day 6: Digital Detox

Morning Ritual (15 minutes): Turn off electronic devices for the first 30 minutes of your day. Spend this time in quiet reflection or engaging in a calming activity.

Throughout the Day: Cancel personal social media accounts temporarily. (Yes, I canceled my personal Facebook and never felt better!) Disconnect to reconnect with your inner self.

Evening Reflection (15 minutes): Notice how your mood and energy levels shift without constant digital stimulation, and how much time you have for real, living connections. Reflect on the peace gained through this intentional break.


Day 7: Nature Connection

Morning Ritual (15 minutes): Step outside and breathe in fresh air and sunlight. Connect with nature by taking a short walk or simply sitting in a natural setting.

Throughout the Day: Spend at least 30 minutes outdoors. Engage in activities that ground you, such as gardening or hiking. Feel the earth of your feet.

Evening Reflection (15 minutes): Journal about the tranquility and grounding sensations you experienced. Consider how nature can be a source of ongoing rejuvenation.


Day 8: Creative Expression

Morning Ritual (15 minutes): This is otherwise known as Vitamin J=Joy! Engage in a creative activity, such as drawing, writing, or ecstatic dancing. Allow yourself to express without judgment.

Throughout the Day: Take time for a creative pursuit you enjoy. This could be cooking, crafting, signing or playing a musical instrument.

Evening Reflection (15 minutes): Reflect on how creative expression enhances your well-being. Consider incorporating more of it into your daily life.


Day 9: Gratitude Practice

• Morning Ritual (15 minutes): Start a gratitude journal. Write down three things you’re grateful for each morning. I created a lovely digital planner journal for 2024, you can order here.

Throughout the Day: Express gratitude to those around you. Send a text message, make a call, or express thanks in person.

Evening Reflection (15 minutes): Reflect on the positive moments of the day. Acknowledge the abundance in your life.


Day 10: Mindful Eating

Morning Ritual (15 minutes): Have a mindful breakfast. Eat slowly, savor each bite, and pay attention to your body’s signals of hunger and fullness. They say that 1/3 of the stomach should have food, 1/3 water and 1/3 should be left empty!

• Throughout the Day: Practice mindful eating in all your meals. Choose nutritious foods that nourish your body.

Evening Reflection (15 minutes): Reflect on how mindful eating influences your relationship with food. Notice any changes in your energy levels and overall well-being.


Day 11: Energy Clearing

• Morning Ritual (15 minutes): Burn incense, sage or juniper or use another energy-clearing method in your home. Set the intention to release any negative energy.

Throughout the Day: Declutter a space in your home. Let go of items that no longer serve you~ donate gently used clothes, jackets and bedding to Goodwill or the homeless shelters.

Evening Reflection (15 minutes): Journal about the emotional and mental space created through the physical act of decluttering. Notice how a clean, fresh space affects your mood.


Day 12: Self-Celebration and Reflection

Morning Ritual (15 minutes): Celebrate your journey, and you just being you, with all of your positive qualities and flaws. Acknowledge the growth and positive changes you’ve experienced.

Throughout the Day: Pamper yourself with self-care activities you enjoy. This could be a spa day, reading a favorite book, or simply resting with tea.

Evening Reflection (15 minutes): Write a letter to your future self, expressing gratitude for the commitment to self-love and  well-being. Reflect on the many lessons learned and envision the continued journey of self-discovery.



Clean Living for a New Year

As we step into this new year, let’s shift our focus from resolutions and future attainments to uncovering our already existing natural wellness. Just 30 minutes a day of self-care time and really being present in our lives can help so much. Clean living, detoxing the body, mind, relationships and creating a sacred space in our homes and work is a powerful commitment to our well-being. There might just be a rainbow already there, that we can so easily miss. Please stay in touch and bookmark our holistic offerings at rockymountainsomatics.com, where ancient wisdom meets modern, feminine-inspired wellness. A few small lifestyle changes can empower us to detoxify and start the year with renewed freshness, energy, and live our best lives!

Dawn Boiani-Sandberg


Image: https://www.futurity.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/rainbow_droplets_525.jpg

Please listen to my audio journal about scapegoating here-

The origin of the word scapegoat:

The concept of scapegoating dates back to ancient times when a sacrificial goat would bear the burden of the community’s sins and be banished. In dysfunctional family systems, scapegoating serves a similar purpose. The scapegoat becomes the target of blame for the family’s problems, shielding other members from confronting their issues and responsibilities. This role is often assigned arbitrarily and is not based on the scapegoat’s actions or character.

“And he shall take from the congregation of the people of Israel two male goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering….Then he shall take the two goats and set them before the Lord at the entrance of the tent of meeting.  And Aaron shall cast lots over the two goats, one lot for the Lord and the other lot for Azazel.  And Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for the Lord and use it as a sin offering, but the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel shall be presented alive before the Lord to make atonement over it, that it may be sent away into the wilderness to Azazel.” (Leviticus 16:5,7-10)*




Who is the Scapegoat in Dysfunctional Families?

Growing up in a toxic, narcissistic family as the scapegoat, can leave deep emotional wounds that persist into adulthood. I have firsthand experience with this process, please listen to my audio journal above. I was and am hated by my some of my family of origin and told repeatedly that I should not have been born. About a month ago, I got an email, unprovoked from a distant cousin, riddled with obscenities, reflective of the toxic family’s vitriol and targeting.

Being the scapegoat often involves being unfairly blamed, criticized, and marginalized, leading to deep, lifelong trauma, self doubt and low self-esteem. Unhealed, we can have the strong tendency to recreate this again and again in our adult families or community. I sought out unhealthy communities and dynamics and recreated these patterns for years. However, healing is possible with awareness and insight. Let’s explore the origin of scapegoating and dysfunctional family systems, followed by ten essential steps to begin the journey of healing from this traumatic experience. Additionally, we provide below, a powerful guided healing meditation to find inner calm as we progress with our recovery process.

Dysfunctional family systems are characterized by unhealthy patterns of communication, emotional neglect or violence, lack of boundaries and abuse. Narcissistic parents and entire family systems, may exploit and manipulate family dynamics to maintain control and power over a targeted child, as that child becomes the human garbage receptacle of the family shadow. The scapegoat often emerges as a convenient target for the narcissist’s projection of their own inadequacies and insecurities. The harm can be generational trauma, unwholesome patterns and indeed, secrets.

Ten Steps from Survivor to Thriver:

1. Acknowledge the trauma: The first step to healing is recognizing and acknowledging the deep, emotional wounds inflicted by being the family scapegoat. Understand that you are not to blame for the dysfunction, and it is okay to seek support and healing.

2. Set boundaries: Establishing healthy boundaries is crucial in breaking free from the patterns of scapegoating. I heard somewhere that you can not simultaneously heal from trauma and be continually exposed to it. Learn to protect yourself emotionally and limit or even cut interactions with toxic family members if necessary.

3. Seek therapy or counseling: Working with a qualified therapist or wellness coach experienced in trauma and dysfunctional family dynamics can provide a safe space to explore and process your feelings, gain insights, develop coping strategies, and eventually, resiliency.

4. Practice self-compassion: Be gentle with yourself and practice self-compassion. Understand that the negative perceptions ingrained by the scapegoat role do not define your worth or identity. Forgive yourself if you have recreated this role again and again, and make an aspiration to evolved out of any victim mentality.

5. Challenge negative beliefs: Challenge the negative beliefs instilled during the scapegoating childhood. Replace them with positive affirmations that reinforce your strengths and worthiness. E.g. “I am a good person, and loveable and I forgive myself for my mistakes.”

6. Cultivate a support network: Surround yourself with supportive and understanding friends or a chosen trusted family member, who did not participate in the scapegoating, who can offer empathy and encouragement throughout the healing process.

7. Identify healthy coping mechanisms: Engage in activities that promote emotional healing, such as journaling, creative expression, mindfulness, and physical exercise. Humour also dis-empowers toxic people, and families!

8. Practice forgiveness (if and when ready): Forgiveness is a personal choice and should only be considered when you feel ready. It does not mean condoning or excusing the abusive behavior but freeing yourself from carrying the burden of resentment. Knowledge about how and why these patterns emerge generationally helps to heal, and, indeed knowledge is power.

9. Focus on personal growth: Invest time in personal development and pursue interests and passions that bring you joy and a sense of fulfillment. Create a vision board- make an aspiration list for today, this week, this month and even year.

10. Embrace your authentic Self: Reclaim your identity from the scapegoat role and embrace your authentic, heartfelt, strong and healed self. Celebrate your uniqueness and make choices that align with your values and aspirations. Every day is new, and we can recreate our lives and shed old patterns. One of my teachers once said “joy is our birthright.” May it be so!

Guided Healing Meditation:

[Trigger Warning: Please note that this guided meditation and discussion about scapegoating may bring up strong emotions. If you find it overwhelming, take a break and return to it when you are ready.]

1. Find a comfortable and quiet space where you can sit or lie down. Take a few deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth, releasing any tension with each breath.

2. Visualize a golden light surrounding your body, emanating warmth and protection. Imagine this light expanding with every breath, forming a cocoon of healing energy around you.

3. Focus on your heart center. Visualize a small, wounded child version of yourself standing in front of you. This is the inner child, carrying the scars of the scapegoating experience.

4. Approach the inner child with love and compassion. Embrace them gently, letting them know that they are safe now and no longer alone in their pain.

5. Listen to the inner child’s feelings and thoughts. Validate their experiences and assure them that they are not responsible for the family’s dysfunction.

6. Imagine a beam of healing light emanating from your heart and enveloping the inner child. As the light touches them, see their wounds begin to heal, and their pain transform into strength.

7. Reassure the inner child that they are worthy of love, acceptance, and happiness. Encourage them to let go of the burden of scapegoating and step into their true, authentic self.

8. With each breath, feel the connection between your present self and the healed inner child strengthening. Know that you carry this newfound strength and resilience within you.

9. When you are ready, slowly bring your awareness back to the present moment. Feel the support of the healing light and the presence of your inner child within you.


Healing from the trauma of being the adult scapegoat in a toxic, narcissistic family requires courage, patience, and self-compassion. Remember that recovery is a gradual process, and seeking support from professionals and understanding friends can provide immense comfort and guidance. By following the ten steps and engaging in healing practices like the guided meditation, we can begin to transform our experience, embrace our authenticity, and pave the way for a more fulfilling and empowered life.

All my love,



Origin of the Communal Scapegoat From The Torah: The traditional reading for Yom Kippor morning focuses on the offerings that Aaron is to bring before God as atonement And from the Israelite community he shall take two he-goats for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering.

16:6.         Aaron is to offer his own bull of sin offering, to make expiation for himself and for his household.
16:7.         Aaron shall take the two he-goats and let them stand before the LORD at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting;
16:8.         and he shall place lots upon the two goats, one marked for the LORD and the other marked for Azazel.
16:9.         Aaron shall bring forward the goat designated by lot for the LORD, which he is to offer as a sin offering;
16:10.     while the goat designated by lot for Azazel shall be left standing alive before the LORD, to make expiation with it and to send it off to the wilderness for Azazel.
16:11.     Aaron shall then offer his bull of sin offering, to make expiation for himself and his household. He shall slaughter his bull of sin offering,
16:12.     and he shall take a panful of glowing coals scooped from the altar before the LORD, and two handfuls of finely ground aromatic incense, and bring this behind the curtain.
16:13.     He shall put the incense on the fire before the LORD, so that the cloud from the incense screens the cover that is over [the Ark of] the Pact, lest he die.
16:14.     He shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger over the cover on the east side; and in front of the cover he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times.
16:15.     He shall then slaughter the people’s goat of sin offering, bring its blood behind the curtain, and do with its blood as he has done with the blood of the bull: he shall sprinkle it over the cover and in front of the cover.
16:16.     Thus he shall purge the Shrine of the uncleanness and transgression of the Israelites, whatever their sins; and he shall do the same for the Tent of Meeting, which abides with them in the midst of their uncleanness.
16:17.     When he goes in to make expiation in the Shrine, nobody else shall be in the Tent of Meeting until he comes out.
When he has made expiation for himself and his household, and for the whole congregation of Israel,
16:18.     he shall go out to the altar that is before the LORD and purge it: he shall take some of
the blood of the bull and of the goat and apply it to each of the horns of the altar;
16:19.     and the rest of the blood he shall sprinkle on it with his finger seven times. Thus he shall cleanse it of the uncleanness of the Israelites and consecrate it.
16:20.     When he has finished purging the Shrine, the Tent of Meeting, and the altar, the live goat shall be brought forward.
16:21.     Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat and confess over it all the iniquities and transgressions of the Israelites, whatever their sins, putting them on the head of the goat; and it shall be sent off to the wilderness through a designated man.
16:22.     Thus the goat shall carry on it all their iniquities to an inaccessible region; and the goat shall be set free in the wilderness.


Image from Pexels and


How to completely heal from narcissistic abuse, loss of one’s faith and become a light in a darkening world.


I grew up in a rough culture on the east coast of the United States, in Newport, Rhode Island. I was raised by a teenage mother who didn’t really have any capacity to love me. My dad left when I was 3 and the environment before then was riddled with fighting, alcoholism and violence. She remarried right away but I think due to the trauma, she was always preoccupied with herself. She seemed always in fear, very controlling, involved with vanity, how she looked, how she appeared to the world and everything centered around her and her needs. She was emotionally somewhat histrionic and the whole family walked on eggshells in fear of her temper and her hostile reaction toward us. There was no room for me and in the home, I was considered a nuisance. I was then spanked by my stepfather weekly, criticized often and spent most of my time alone in my room. I cried untold tears. I was told I was ugly, devalued and ignored and oftentimes my mother said that she wish that she never had me.

I went to school always thinking that I was a misfit and there’s something deeply wrong with me and I really wasn’t worthy of love. So I started to read a lot of books and I studied really well and I always tried to make the teachers happy with me because that was the only sense of appreciation from anyone in authority that I had. I was really close with my teachers, got the perfect grades and one time my teacher even said to my mom that I was really bright, so much so that I should go to a special school for the gifted. The teacher was concerned because I was also really sensitive and I would get bullied and beaten up and teased a lot. This all now makes sense how I grew up because if I didn’t feel a sense of worth and confidence, small children could pick up on that weakness and I’ve always been targeted for my vulnerability.

Because of the teenage pregnancy and the pain my mother suffered and her fear, she was somewhat dissociated and unwell. I would try to spend time with her and she would send me away. I realized later that she had developed into becoming a full spectrum narcissist that was not capable of loving anyone other than thinking of herself. There was no way that we could ever resolve it as mother and daughter, since part of the narcissistic mindset denies it’s own hostility and projects all negative qualities onto other people. Narcissists, as well as other personality disorders, often must have a target of their shadow and blame. For my entire life for her, I was the chosen one. Thanks Mom!

I was fortunate in my later years to discover a book called Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers, and sought counseling with the author Dr. Karyl McBride, a co-survivor. What I realized is that narcissism at it’s root, is the healthy longing for a person to take care of themselves, gone awry. What I realized is that, if we actually feel a sense of inner love and well-being, from there we can love others. The narcissists attempt to pay attention to something that’s broken inside is at it core, correct. Where it goes wrong is that the foundation of real healing and self-love is not there and in fact it’s often an emotional vacuum, devoid of compassion. From that vacuum, you begin to see others as something that you can use to fill up that hollowness and heal a core of fundamental self hatred.

Part of the fallout in this life was of course in my adulthood, to  recreate the pattern of feeling broken and bullied and looking for other friends, lovers and organizations to make everything right. This is the quintessential codependent  person that likewise feels broken and unwell and uses other people like a drug to put a giant Band-Aid on their loneliness. I would follow rock stars and then cult-like spiritual groups and none of this was super healthy because it was predicated on me feeling hollow, and unworthy looking for something, anything outside of myself to fill the void.


A NEW DAY… uncover bulletproof self love and genuine warmth for others

There’s a Buddhist slogan that says “be grateful to everyone.” I am not angry or bitter that anyone hurt me in this life, they probably had a harder time than I did, and maybe suffer even more. My spiritual community who I used to find solace and meaning in, recency dismantled in the wake of #metoo. I discovered later that guru worship had a lot of covert, exploitative narcissists, it figures that these communities felt somehow familiar. I found myself adrift, really, palpably alone. I decided to take a genuine honest look at my life, who I really am rawly and what matters to me. I feel like I gained my identity through this spiritual community and my friends there and without that, I felt devastated. I have my family but everything was starting to fall apart into an abyss and I wondered, what really has any meaning?

So from there, I decided to really go inward and not depend upon anything or anyone to make me feel better. I began to shutdown social media for longer lengths of time as to not depend upon people liking my posts to faux-foster self-esteem. I took some time to go into solitary retreat as much as I could. I was away from my husband and daughter and taking silence from some friends. I began to journal, meditate and begin the most rigorous process of self inquiry I could muster.

Then, something dawned upon me, a basic truism that I guess everyone else at figured out, but it’s taken me 50 years to realize…

I can’t love another person in a healthy way unless I have strong core of real self-love and self well-being to rely on.

This was my Aha! moment. I asked myself- how to have this life feel meaningful, how to love others and with hope, be of benefit? I can’t be codependent and broken and needing other people or religion or paltry social media to define who I am and make me feel better. I knew that was never going to work, so I decided- let’s start at square one, go into radical self-care and have a love affair with… myself… saucy. It’s a perfect time because all of us are on somewhat of a social timeout with the pandemic so it’s a great time to go inward.


I decided to get up in the morning and do some stretching or some cardio, enjoy sipping dark coffee and take warm essential oil baths. During my retreats over the years I use to meditate 8 to 10 hours a day and do a lot of chanting and complex visualizations. This time, I decided to just take time for me without any schedule or agenda, and just let life talk to me about what is fun and reconnect the sense of magic and wonder that maybe I’ve never even had in childhood. I decided to take a week or so and have absolutely no schedule (and I do feel grateful for the privilege to be able to take this time). I did whatever I wanted to do, if I wanted to journal on my blog, I would write, if I wanted to go for a walk I’d go for a walk, if I want to bake something special for myself I would. If I wanted to cry, I’d cry, whatever was there was listened to and honored, nothing repressed. It’s actually kind of outrageous to take even a day, a weekend, a week or a month to just feel alive, go outside and feel grass under your feet, feel sun on your cheeks, lay on a hammock and see a cloudless sky, and just feel like this life is yours, rather than always having to do something for work or for someone else.

This is where a little tiny light inside my heart started to shine and turn on. I could see it in my eyes when I looked at myself in the mirror, I began to feel the sense of self-love and self appreciation and gratitude for this life. I don’t think I really had this before, it’s taken more than half of my life to finally feel this, and it required that I let go of my tradition, every spiritual, ego prop and support.


self care


I begin to see how real love and real well-being works since it’s never been modeled to me before. If we have this inner spark of warmth, the power and efficacy of that can’t be underestimated. The cultivation of inner warmth can give us so much strength to be able to handle these darkening times. If we can take refuge in our own inner love and well-being in real way, we can’t be narcissistic or codependent, these facets of the same brokenness dissolve. In Buddhism, we call this maitri and and it’s considered a wish fulfilling jewel or diamond. Inner warmth is like a diamond because if you think about it for a minute, if someone criticizes you it may hurt but it doesn’t stick because you know yourself and are grounded in your own well-being. Likewise, if someone complements you or likes your social media, it doesn’t get used as ego’s fodder. We consider this process of compliment and criticism to be one of the worldly dharmas. Things are always arising in duality, both positive and negative, we have both floods and rainbows, love and loss, everything is always changing. Behind that, there’s an inner mountain of real strength that we can access, that we can have our own backs, even up unto our last breath. Through taking time for this deep self care, a love affair firstly with ourselves, we can finally uncover this real, bulletproof inner warmth and joy. You’ve heard the cliche, “you can’t love anyone if you can’t love yourself.” If the relationship with ourselves is caring with positive self talk, we can then create healthy interactions with others, with qualities of real compassion, listening, patience and problem solving.

“Tune in, turn on” and shine your light into these dark times my dear friends, it can help to change our very world. ☀️



Photo by Joshua Abner from Pexels

“Drive All Blames Into Oneself”

Humans, throughout time immemorial have been capable of committing the most cruelest crimes imaginable, some intentional, some based on self defense, emotional reaction or ignorance. However, there is always hope for regret and personal change if we really desire to do so. We cannot have contrition and heal negative karmic patterns, as long as we constantly blame others for our wrong views, misconduct and wrongdoings. Oftentimes, those who we blame and perceive as “evil” and “enemies” are just mirrors of our own unseen bad behavior and karmic traces. I’ve done some work in the prisons, and with war veterans with complex PTSD, who have a hard time recovering from the pain and trauma of what’s called “moral injury,” from the actions and experiences during wartime. However, there’s a tried and true method of healing from even the most egregious negative patterns and past, even that of unforgivable war crimes.

We had a famous Buddhist Saint named Milarepa, who in his past, had reportedly practiced black magic and out of vindication, caused the death of many people. He later, sincerely regretted his dark past, turned over a new leaf and used the rest of his life to be a tremendous benefit to others to ultimately attain full enlightenment. In order to begin this process of getting on the right track and healing, we have to be honest with ourselves about who we are, what we’ve done and like in any 12 Step program, take the first step and admit with all humility, that we have committed wrongdoing. We no longer justify our bad behavior nor blame others. The Dharma offers the powerful Four Powers as a remedy for unwholesome actions, to forgive oneself, make deep personal change and ultimately be free of guilt, blame and shame:



1. The power of REGRET – of a negative activity or pattern.

2. The power of REFUGE – re-establishing of the right attitude of non-harming, compassion and benefit.

3. The power of RESOLUTION – decision never to repeat the negative action again.

4. The power of REMEDY – applying the antidotes, purifying action, making amends to any who you have harmed.


*Lojong Training Slogan

If we’ve even committed any of the heinous crimes which are considered truly unforgivable~ like killing an enlightened being or causing the downfall of the Dharma, there are purification methods which involve powerful transformative rituals. With the Mindfulness Peace Project they work with war veterans that have a hard time forgiving themselves and integrating back into normal society after having been involved with unforgivable actions. What is done, is you take the root of the person’s faith if they have any, and create some type of ritual process of contrition, forgiveness and absolution. One might imagine God or Jesus or all the Buddhas or the Sun, in front of you and you and “confess.” You speak out exactly what you’ve done wrong, and then you imagine that whomever or whatever you have faith in, even if it’s just our “higher self,” completely forgives you and with great sincere regret, you vow to never do those actions again. It turns out that these rituals can be very powerful in liberating the negative guilt and unhealed karmic seeds that we hold within us that wind up re-creating patterns of depression, self-doubt and social harm.

None of us, no action is irredeemable; each of us have within us a human conscience, however dormant. I think we all have an innate longing to live our best life possible, even people with damage, trauma and personality disorders. Through causes and conditions, wrong views and unresolved wounding from our past, we can commit heinous deeds. In contrast, we can also turn our lives around and completely heal if we have the foundation of the willingness to be honest and make the deep personal changes required to really learn and grow. This premise of radical compassion even in the face of war veterans, or hardened criminals, is the root of all possible prison reform and restorative justice that our society is sorely lacking.

This amazing organization called The Compassion Prison Project, understands that at the root within all human hearts, is goodness that cannot forever be covered. Their premise is that each of us could take a wrong turn in life and the people that commit crimes are usually responding to early child abuse and neglect and unresolved trauma, and should be treated with exceeding understanding and therapeutic compassion, rather than reifying the notion that they are criminals and should be punished. I foresee an entire new day dawning with our understanding of human nature, the importance of self forgiveness and healing on personal level and how this can become the building blocks of healing society as a whole.

Step Inside the Circle from Fritzi Horstman on Vimeo.