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Michele Zirkle

Feeling froggy and want a REAL, POSITIVE CHANGE in your personal and professional relationships? Jump on over to my lily pad and discover why your current relationships aren't working, what you want and need to express to create healthy relationships. The highest vibrational healing sigils are placed in your energy field while we reinvent your life, beginning with you. I am a Belvaspata Grandmaster, Reiki Master Teacher, and Huna Qi Vesta High Priestess. I offer Intuitive Readings, Life-Coaching, Healing L…
Relationship Coaching
Spiritual Healing
Public Speaking Coaching
Personal Development Coaching
Angel Healing
About Michele Zirkle

Feeling froggy and want a REAL, POSITIVE CHANGE in your personal and professional relationships? Jump on over to my lily pad and discover why your current relationships aren't working, what you want and need to express to create healthy relationships. The highest vibrational healing sigils are placed in your energy field while we reinvent your life, beginning with you. I am a Belvaspata Grandmaster, Reiki Master Teacher, and Huna Qi Vesta High Priestess. I offer Intuitive Readings, Life-Coaching, Healing Light Energetics, and Quantum Energy Healing.

8 years of practice
On Core Spirit since May 2022
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Michele Zirkle
Hands that Healed Me

The walls of the room where I am lying are lined with symbols I have never seen. They remind me of Egyptian hieroglyphics, but they are different, more like squiggles and zigzags.
I’m only here because I don’t know where else to turn for help. I don’t even know what is wrong with me. I just know I’m not happy. A friend recommended I see Jeanie, who is not only a Reiki Master; but a homeopathic doctor who graduated Magna Cum Laude from Midwest University. My friend told me Jeanie is a lightworker, and uses a form of energy healing similar to Reiki.
It sounded harmless, but now that I’m on a bed in her basement office, it’s a bit spooky.
Jeanie clicks on a CD, a mix of Gregorian chants and nature sounds which relaxes me a bit.
She tells me she’ll be working on my auric field that’s just above my physical body. She will stop if I am uncomfortable. She’ll be able to sense areas in my body where energy is stagnant. Stagnant energy causes disease. She will channel energy from the Divine to me and the infusion will heal my cells.
Jeanie places my right hand on my belly and tells me I can keep my eyes open or close them. I choose the former.
She wedges her left hand under my sacrum and with her right, makes loops in the air like she is writing an invisible message. I wonder if she is signing the same symbols that are plastered on the walls.
I’m seriously questioning my decision to trust this lady when she tells me that there are angels present and that I can pray while she works on me. I quickly take her up on that suggestion.
For several minutes her right hand hovers over my right hand that’s still on my stomach. Slowly the lightworker raises and lowers her hands several feet above me as if she were smoothing the air with a rolling pin.
She repeats this several times, rolls behind me and cups her hands around my head. I feel like I have static in my hair and I’m dizzy, but I don’t dare tell Jeanie. I don’t want her to stop. I want this to work.
She continues down the left side of my body. It must be fifteen minutes into the session. My head is spinning like it’s in a dryer. I focus on a long shadow on the ceiling in an attempt to make the spinning stop.
Jeanie asks if I’m okay. I’m tingling from my earlobes to my toes and I feel like my head is going to whirl right off of my shoulders, but I tell her I’m fine.
I close my eyes and press my head deep, trying to anchor it into the pillow beneath it.
Suddenly I hear angry voices above me. “You shouldn’t have come here!” I look up, but there’s no one there. Again I hear several voices talking over one another, “Shouldn’t have come! Told you — shouldn’t have come.” I scan the room, but the only person in the room besides me is Jeanie.
I succumb to the sensation of being sucked into a black hole.
The next thing I know, Jeanie’s patting my face with a cool cloth.
I push my elbows into the bed in an effort to sit up, but have no strength and collapse back onto the pillow.
Jeanie’s hand softens to my wrist that’s searching for leverage. “Easy, there. No rush.”
“I’m so weak,” I say.
Jeanie strokes my forehead. “I know, honey.”
I feel really stupid; tired and confused and stupid. Jeanie offers her arm so I grab hold and attempt to swing my legs off of the bed, but they barely budge.
With her free hand, Jeanie slides my legs till they dangle off the edge. With her assistance, I settle into a rocking chair.
“Do you remember anything?” Jeanie asks, her soft blue eyes practically propping me up from across her desk.
“My head spinning and growling voices. They didn’t want me here.”
“You were under attack from negative influences and had a seizure.”
She explained that several negative entities were attached to my auric field and had been influencing my moods and behaviors.
In the ensuing days Jeanie taught me that we each perceive the world in our own way and have the ability to change our perception. With Jeanie’s prompting, I began identifying life-enhancing circumstances and self-defeating ones. I began looking at myself as self-reliant and found joy in just being alive. I began to love myself.
I’ve been seeing Jeanie for five years now. I feel more balanced in mind, body and spirit after my monthly treatments with her.
Jeanie’s advice helped me to change my perception.
Would her advice alone have made such a profound impact on my life without the energy treatments? Perhaps the life-coaching component of Jeanie’s services would have helped, but I doubt I’d have made such a remarkable transformation. It would have been impossible to live an authentic and joyous life under the influence of dark forces.
All I know is that something real and substantial happened on Jeanie’s table the day I had that seizure — something that can’t be calibrated with a gadget of any sort — something I can’t explain adequately; yet, something so profound that the very nature of who I am believes that I was indeed healed by the hands of a lightworker, a healer with a heart who helped me to mend mine.

Michele Zirkle
Appetite to Live

I plopped into my seat at a popular chain restaurant eager to catch up with the family members with me, but the music blaring from the speakers in the ceiling made it impossible to conduct a casual conversation. The loud acoustics, rather than providing a backdrop for soothing dining atmosphere, made it difficult to even hear the waitress recite the specials.
As I shouted, “How was your day?” to my mom, I glanced around at the other customers who were all leaning in close, hands cupped around their ears.
I asked the waitress to turn down the tunes and she accommodated the request, but I wondered if I was the only person in the room who was aggravated by the racket or if I was simply the only one who bothered to ask for it to be turned down.
Even a person who is hard of hearing would be tempted to plug their ears in a place like this. I know my hearing is acute or so I’ve been told by many a student, one of whom would play a high-pitched note from a cell phone during class when I was teaching. When I instructed the prankster to turn it off, he said, “But you’re too old to hear that!” The entire class burst into laughter — right along with me. I was too amused at that point to scold the boy who’d created the interruption.
With technology’s increased presence in schools, there’s always noise — bells ringing, phones beeping, fire alarms chiming, audio broadcasting from the internet. Someone’s always being buzzed in or out. In shopping malls there’s music piped not only into the corridors, but each store along the route, often even into the restrooms where I used to be able to sneak off for some peace.
Have we become so accustomed to the noise that we just accept its interference with even our dinner conversation? Perhaps the management of such establishments mean well — maybe they are bowing to customers’ demand for music that shakes the very table they’re eating on. Maybe they feel they must entertain us. They could be right.
Televisions had lined the walls of the restaurant I was in, and most people’s gazes wasn’t into each other’s eyes, it was anchored to the black box of virtual reality.
Granted, on game day, I’d expect a boisterous group of high-fivers to slam back a few and shout “Hurray,” but this wasn’t game day, and I want to hear the people I’m breaking bread with. Some soft music — a bit of friendly waiter chatter — clanking glasses to commemorate a toast — all good with me, but when the Sirius XM channel shakes my inner ear hair loose, I cringe.
Occasionally, I blast “You Shook Me All Night Long,” on my car radio and scream along with the lyrics — just because I want to. I watch a TV show like Outlander for the sheer fantasy it transports me into, but I don’t live in the radio or in the TV. I relate to the characters’ emotions and life situations for entertainment and a tad of introspection.
The more time I watch actors playing their roles on the media stage, the less time I have to play in my own scenes — to create and conquer my own dilemmas, percolating the adventures I’m hungry to experience — in a pleasantly, quiet restaurant, of course. Bon Appétit .

Michele Zirkle
Faith and a Full Belly

Food dominates our list of priorities on any given day. Even when we are swamped with calls and commitments, our stomach gargles and whines until we give in and toss some spinach to it . . . or a burger or whatever’s in the bag your handed at the drive-through window. How much nutritional value are we contributing to our physical health by eating the processed chicken and sugar-infused drinks? Perhaps an even more important question is: “Are we feeding our brains the same junk we’re feeding our bodies?”

“You are what you eat,” my grandma always said, even as she scooped the cream pie from the oven. Guess she thought I would get sweeter than I already was. She was the dessert queen from orange cookies to strawberry-rhubarb pie; our house always smelled like a bakery. Grandpa would get involved when ice cream was called for. He’d crank that wooden barrel full of ice and sugar until it purred like we did once we were handed a cup.

Grandma was always canning and pickling foods. They lasted longer she said. When grandma cooked pickled beets, the house stunk so bad I’d remain outside with the mosquitoes longer than normal just to avoid going inside. She told me beets were good for me, but I wouldn’t even try them. Anything that smelled that bad couldn’t be good for anyone.

Growing up, other than an occasional comment, not much emphasis was placed on nutrition, but the words “hunger” and “ambition” were synonymous and were used often when describing the drive that motivates people to live their dreams. I now realize that health means more than not catching the flu every time it comes around or just skipping a workout to watch my favorite show.

It means feeding all facets of my body including mental and spiritual mindsets. After all, if our most fundamental desires are afforded no more importance than what we are shoving in our mouths, how can we be healthy to the core?

My diet today is balanced with protein and veggies and only sprinkled with a bit of indulgence — usually in the form of chocolate something. More Importantly, I feed my brain nourishing thoughts every hour, every day. I believe “We are what we THINK.”

The key is recognizing the hunger your brain alerts you to — such as when negativity takes control and you think things won’t work out or you aren’t capable of obtaining your dream job or removing yourself from a volatile relationship — and then provide fortifying mantras like, “I have everything I need,” or “I am creative and resourceful.”

Allow yourself to feel the hunger so you know what you are hungry for. Are you hungry for a dream you have denied yourself to even pursue? Are you hungry enough to let yourself feel the pain of rejection or failure when someone or something shanghais your dream? Are you willing to then nourish yourself with positive affirmations and truly feed your soul?

How hungry are you? Is the ache deep in your belly strong and convincing enough to brave the uncertain outcome?
I am hungry enough to eat a pickled beet, I say, placing my desires on an ornate platter and my faith where my mouth is.

Michele Zirkle
Signs from Heaven

The sound of Heaven may be just a whisper away, but how do you know your angels and guides are near if you don’t see or hear them like you do a human or your trusty smartphone app? Same way you know the sun helped the lilac bush to bloom — you see it blooming and know that if you place the flowering shrub in the shade, it would shrivel and decay.

How do you know the plant would die? Most likely you learned how to grow plants by watching your elders do it, by reading tips, or by simply doing it yourself through trial and error. Similarly, we can learn to connect with our guides by practicing the most common suggestion from those most experienced — meditate or pray. There are many ways to accomplish this, but basically this means clearing your mind for a period and remaining open to receive the ideas and images that come.

Some see angels as a physical manifestation, but some do not. Seeing angels doesn’t require outer vision, but inner vision. Angels and other guides such as deceased loved ones or Saints, (I use these interchangeably) often speak to us in ways you may not recognize until you confirm the information received as correct, or until the pattern repeats often enough that you know it’s not just coincidence — until you trust you are truly being led from a being that exists at a higher vibration.

The signs could be physical — flashes of light, tingles on skin, goosebumps, chills or ringing in ears. You may get meaningful reminders like a cartoon you liked as a child plays on tv when you are particularly upset and needed to be reminded to lighten up and have fun. Maybe you feel someone you just met is dangerous even when the person is seemingly friendly and harmless and days later find out he or she attacked someone, or you get a gut feeling that you need to take a different path home and find out there was a wreck on your normal route. This is your Guides’ way of getting your attention.

When your angel is in action, you may feel suddenly peaceful when you have every reason to be agitated. Perhaps you notice the same symbol appearing in your path like you find a white feather or and antique key various places for several days in a row, or you keep meeting people with the same name, or seeing the same number pattern. Possibly you hear a word you haven’t heard in years, but you hear it numerous times over a few days and not like the word, “hurricane” on the news because there’ve been numerous storms. The word will be unusual and particularly meaningful to you. It’s up to you to determine why. Stay alert to these occurrences as more will be made known to you.

Listening to your Guides can help you make choices that are in your best interest and provide creative options to what seems like a no-win situation.
Your Guides are like eagles who see options you don’t. Eagles see past the ridgetop mountains that lie past the grove where humans, like squirrels dart from one tree — from one possibility — to the next, not even once considering there is not only an entire forest just beyond, but forests as far as the horizon extends.
When we trust the knowing that we get intuitively, the flow of information is readily available, and we will experience effortless knowing, but when we doubt the hits we get, we block the channel of divine knowledge like a metal building blocks a radio signal.

Guides speak audibly and appear solid too, but no worries if you don’t “hear,” or “see,” the same way someone else does. Each of us do that differently just like we each plant our favorite flower where we believe it will grow best. This requires some knowledge and an ample amount of faith, but so does starting your car and boarding an airplane. Trusting your ability to tune into guidance is no different — just lean back, feel the angels wings beneath you and listen as your guides speak through your open heart. The ride is enjoyable when you trust the guide.

Michele Zirkle
How to Practice Trusting Yourself

I ran with my eyes closed the other day. Yep! Just for a few feet, but it seemed like a mile. The parking lot I was jogging through was empty - no cars or cats to bump into. I had absolutely no reason to be afraid to close my eyes for a few strides, yet, I was terrified. Pounding the pavement blind felt as if I could step into an abyss any moment never to be heard from again.

I assured myself that I was safe, that there was no danger in front of me, that I had just peeked and knew that my path was clear, but knowing this failed to translate into confidence in my brain. I still felt like each step was a step closer to injury or even to my demise.

Not being able to see what is ahead can paralyze us or propel us toward the direction in which we wish to proceed. When we know what we want, have a vision for our future, but aren't sure how we are going to attain the goal, the knowing we are safe is often not enough. The knowing is insufficient and fails to provide the feeling of security we need to proceed toward our dreams.

Conversely, the fear of seeing what we want can be as debilitating to our personal growth as having no vision at all. Take, for instance, Peter who beheld Jesus standing on the water several yards from him. The disciple desired to join Jesus, took several steps with Jesus in clear view; yet, the moment Peter felt insecure and incapable, he began sinking. His doubt preceded the action.

Perhaps we could learn from the approach many horse jockeys employ. Race horses are often fitted with blinders to help them focus on the course ahead. Horses have eyes at the sides of their heads and the limited vision afforded by the blinders encourages them to take chances they wouldn't normally take, to run faster than being able to see the entire scene - the stands full of cheering fans - the pavement passing beneath their hooves - the other horses planking either side.

Like these race horses, we may benefit from seeing less of the distractions around us and feeling more of the innate confidence that we were born to cultivate. Sometimes we need to accept that we don't need to see the big picture. We don't need to see who will cross over first. We just need to run the race the best we can, with heads held high and with hope in our hearts.

Sometimes moving forward wearing blinders is the best way to make our way to the light - to the pinnacle of our desire. Blinders limit our view while allowing us to keep our eyes on the prize and most importantly, our faith in ourselves.

I can just imagine the stares as I'm jogging the boulevard donning blinders on my head. But that's all I'll be doing - imagining - because I won't be able to see the stares. I just hope I miss the pigeon poop.

Michele Zirkle
Explore the Unknown and Fly Free

As a life coach the most common question I am asked by clients involves how to navigate life’s journey as if a detailed map is necessary to travel to the correct destination. A predetermined path; however, assures a set destination no more than an impromptu, obscure route. Why? Unknown scenarios unfold continually in an ever-changing universe, and for us to anticipate every outcome and attempt to predict the future precludes the element of surprise and divine inpiration that evolves with each decision, each interaction. Learning requires unlearning.

If Christopher Columbus continued to believe, like most people in the 15th century, that the world was flat, he would never have ventured out and discovered that the world was indeed spherical. Had Galileo held the popular belief of his time that the sun and planets revolved around the Earth, he’d never have discovered that the sun was the center of the galaxy. Had Homer Hickam believed he was a simple country boy from the West Virginia mining town of Coalwood, he wouldn’t have launched the first missile from American soil.

Growth in any area requires not just increasing one’s knowledge, but an open-mindedness to experience the flourishing, creative energy of the newness life presents in each breath of child-like wonder. Growth is limited by old beliefs, so I encourage my clients to explore the path, alert for positive interactions and opportunities they may find they hadn’t ever considered. This approach to life has allowed me to embark on a career path involving my passion of writing and life-coaching and includes me recording podcasts and public speaking which I wouldn’t have known I enjoyed had I failed to follow my heart.

This was surprising to me given that I previously had panic attacks when speaking informally to a few of my teacher peers. I expanded my perception by releasing the old beliefs of not being a charismatic orator and envisioned and practiced speaking with eloquence and passion. This opened the sluices and broke the chains of the paradigm I’d created about myself and my abilities.

New insights require releasing beliefs and knowledge of everything we think we know about ourselves and others. Embracing the unknown requires space — space in our minds to fertilize fresh experience and therefore, knowledge.

The wisest people I know readily admit they know nothing. They’ve learned that to process new information requires an expanded perception. Wisdom is knowing what type of shoes to wear for the terrain we are walking, not simply owning an impressive array of stilettos when a hiking boot is needed.

Wisdom is gained one step at a time, and we can only explore the trails of insight when we allow the path to unfold before us rather than forge straight ahead with onto one destination in mind. For instance, the new job we have our sight on often glitters in the distance, but as we approach, the office fantasy crumbles, and we may feel we need to divert to another opportunity that inspires us. If we continue to a job just for monetary gain or a power title, we reject the insights and joy the passion-filled career move would provide.

Knowledge is gained when perception is limitless — when the known is accepted as a possibility rather than a fixed constant. The known is a variable. What we know to be true one moment can easily become unknown the next when a wider perception is seen.

Absolutes are antagonists in this drama of life where something as simple as a dress can be seen by millions of people as gold and white or blue and black. The same dress, different pairs of eyes, different perceptions bring in various perceptions — colors of truth to the individual observer.

What seems an impossible high jump distance to one athlete, may be a surmountable goal for another, even though both athletes are equally as capable. In other words, our beliefs are the first step in manifesting reality. By limiting ourselves to what we “Know,” we constrict our experience to that of past events and ingrained patterns of belief. We continue to confirm what we already believe to be true, excluding all other possibilities.

Emptying our heads of preexisting ideas of what we believe to be facts, is necessary to permit the brain to breathe — to allow new information to flow into our awareness and infuse our cells with inspiration for an interesting, scenic journey. The man who lifts a car off his child who is pinned beneath it, doesn’t stop and talk himself out of lifting the massive vehicle off his loved one. In an instant he forgets how much weight he should be able to lift and accomplishes the seemingly impossible.

May you too, forget what you know and thrive by doing so. May you always have upon your feet the best shoes in which to enjoy the journey, and may your view be a panoramic one as your ever-expanding perception culminates with the knowledge inside of you — whether innate or learned — through experience, our greatest teacher of wisdom.

Enjoy learning to unlearn everything you’ve learned about yourself and your environment, so you can experience the freshness of life around you and the essence of who you are — no titles or labels, just a curious being experiencing and assimilating the unknown into the known every day or explore the unknown while accepting the unknown may always remain shrouded in mystery.

Michele Zirkle
How I Spoke to 3 Million People Without Having a Panic Attack!

I faced my fear of public speaking, worked through panic attacks and a year later was speaking to three million listeners on an international radio show and breezing through television interviews. Here’s how to reclaim your voice whether in small work presentations or large, live audiences.

It will be scary, but you must face your lion and roar back. He is your biggest ally. Sound nuts? You’re here for help so bear with me. I’ve been there, on stage, nauseous, heart-pounding so loud I couldn’t remember my name let alone what I was supposed to say. All I could think is, “Everyone is looking at me. Do these people really want to hear what I have to say?”

You may have tried the Brady Bunch technique as demonstrated when Jan overcame her stage fright by imagining her high school audience in their jammies. If you’re reading this article that approach likely didn’t work for you. So, here’s what works for me.

PREPARE
Step 1: Schedule it. The only way to get over the fear of public speaking is to seek out audiences and actually do it. If you’re an author, you may speak to the local writer’s group or submit a presentation idea to the writer’s conference. My area offered a Writers Can Read event at a bookstore where I’d read for five minutes to approximately thirty people. Even if you’re career requires you to speak publicly, tack on extra practice. Community, church or school programs, or online forums are excellent opportunities.

Step 2: Mentor it. In your mind’s eye, picture a person you know or imaginary ideal listener in the audience. I’d always imagine my life coach in the back of the room or snuggled on the other end of the air waves and smiling with the most caring, attentive expression.

Step 3: Picture it. See yourself speaking with ease and confidence while you practice your speech. Get comfortable with yourself. How you look and sound. Practice in the mirror. Video yourself and watch it. Record your speech and listen to it as you drive or walk. Rerecord and tweak what needs improved.

Step 4: Accept it. Notice how each time, even if you have a written script, your speech changes. The tone or emphasis changes. Often the words change too. No speech is ever given twice. Accept that it will be uniquely given in the moment you give it to the audience.

Step 5: Flow it. Practice only the first few paragraphs to make sure to nail the beginning. Then practice the entire speech without stopping no matter what you say that you hadn’t planned on saying. Transition smoothly into the script as you can. Practice prancing through the hiccup so that when it happens, you don’t skip a beat. Breathe, pause when needed but do not leave the podium or microphone. Glance at your mentor in the back, take a sip of water, smooth your hand over the paper. REMEMBER: No speech is ever given exactly the same twice.

Step 6: Broaden it. Imagine every single person you talk to is a group of people. Your mother is a million mothers. Your family dinner is the board of directors. Your classroom is a Ted Talk auditorium. No matter the conversation, everyone is listening to you. If your heart starts pounding, slow your breath, smile and soothe yourself by inner talk like, “I’m okay,” or by rubbing your leg. Whatever will calm you down. Keep practicing and this will get easier!

Get Psyched
Pretend. Pretend you’ve already done this a zillion times. Pretend you are on autopilot like brushing your teeth and can’t really mess up anything that can’t be wiped off with a towel. Pretend it’s over and you nailed it. Feel how good it feels to have the lion on your side. Pretending is a manifestation tool. Pretending allows you to step into the confidence you lack. Pretending gives you courage to tackle the challenge.

Mantra. Make up one. A funny one. An inspiring one. Whatever speaks to you. Just keep it short and say it out loud for a boost of confidence before you take the stage. Say it silently when you need to self-regulate. A few of my favorites: “They can’t eat me.” “I got this.” “Sharing this makes me feel good.”

When I took my first step to make friends with my lion, my heart raced, the paper in my hands shook, my voice crackled as if my lungs were empty… but I keep reading. The better I felt about myself in general, the more comfortable I became in front of others, on or off stage. Seriously, they won’t eat you.

Michele Zirkle
How to Forgive and Heal

Burning a bridge is easy. Strike the match and don’t look back — just hope you don’t have to backtrack. Building a bridge is tricky at best and any high school science student will attest constructing a sturdy one requires wisdom. Similarly, bridges on life’s highway can be ill-designed, not to mention intimidating, but without them we are dependent on ferries which transport us to the other side at a much slower pace.

To stride forward on our journey, we must not hesitate when destiny places a bridge on our path. One bridge we can’t afford to avoid crossing is forgiveness.
Forgiving ourselves can be more difficult than forgiving those who’ve harmed us, hurt us or downright destroyed something inside of us. If we don’t forgive ourselves though, guilt and regret corrode our guts and make traversing our life course excruciating.

Sometimes we only offer pardon to others when we hear them say the magic words, “I’m sorry,” but even then, as we are assuring the offender we forgive them, we know that true forgiveness requires more than words — it takes humility and acceptance that we have more in common with the offender than we’d like to admit.
Linking our humanity to theirs forms a bridge where otherwise would exist a gap of misunderstanding and pain. Extending forgiveness to our trespassers tightens the bolts that hold the bridge together and ensures us safe passage over troubled waters.

The invisible cords of receptivity from one heart to another is truly more beautiful than The Tower Bridge in London, one of the most photographed and breathtaking bridges in the world. London Bridge hasn’t fallen as the famous children’s lyrics suggest, but one close to the home-front on the banks of the Ohio did.
Say the word, “bridge,” in the tri-state area and there are instant flashbacks to 1967 — a time when phones had rotary dials, computers were exclusive to NASA and 46 people perished when the Silver Bridge collapsed.

Bridge safety standards throughout the nation became stricter as a result of the tragedy and at the direction of President Johnson. My dad was a deputy in Meigs County, Ohio, and responded to the catastrophe. He arrived to the screams of survivors being pulled from the icy water. The images still haunt him.
I’ve read stories of those who barely escaped this and other such disasters who are paralyzed at the thought of crossing a bridge. Scientists have termed this fear gephyrophobia.

Some states with extremely long bridges like Maryland offer Driver’s Assistance Programs. Phone booths located on either side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge connect people with a driver who will drive them across. For some, crossing a bridge no matter who is driving is too excruciating, so they elect to stay put or ferry over.

Life’s highway provides no surrogate drivers, but there are many guides along the route — elders, friends, and when you’re earnest, an angel or two. So, don’t be a gephyrophob. Take a big breath and whiz across the bridge to the fresh land on the other side.

Maintain your bridges. Keep them safe. Keep them passable for those who follow in your steps. Keep them strong by letting go of grievances that weigh them down.

Forgive others. Forgive yourself. Don’t look back. Don’t look down. Just keep on trucking. Keep on forging alliances and building bridges of forgiveness — one’s that don’t break under pressure — one’s created with heart that spur you on your path. Now, that’s architecture at its finest.

Michele Zirkle
Release Your Inner Child

My day looks nothing like it did a few years ago. The hectic days of teaching bell to bell, hitting the gym and writing till midnight are gone. In place of the restrictive schedule is a flexible day that allows me to explore new opportunities to learn and to play. As I play more, I feel a distinct dance between playing and praying. Feel free to substitute “meditate” or “tune-in” for the word “pray.”

Now that I’m unemployed and have more time than ever to play, I’m getting less accomplished, and I’m a bit confused by the conflict of not having enough time to do what I want, yet having more time than ever to do it.

I often feel unproductive and wonder where my ambition slithered off to. I intend to write, to clean, to exercise, and to energize my healing and life-coaching business. I do all these sporadically, thoroughly and in presence, enjoying the moment. But something is missing. My inner child feels as
if she is watching everyone dance but can’t attend the ball even if she were invited. She hasn’t the right dress to wear. She has forgotten the unpracticed way of moving that is native to her innocent soul.

But to remember. What would it take to remember how to move with grace? To giggle and twirl without a care as to a missed step or a preoccupied audience that’s too busy texting to notice how much joy is bouncing through the room? To feel a stirring of the soul in its raw, childlike state. The sort that jiggles the memories stored in our energy matrix. To let go of rigid goals and checked boxes on lists.

For me it takes prayer and play. Prayer isn’t only something we do when someone’s sick or there’s a problem. Prayer is a form of meditation in which we open our hearts to sacred space and commune with the infinite source of all that is. Play is also a method of opening our hearts to potential and allowing our imaginations to mold the moment like a child who pretends flowers can dance and birds can talk. Both take us out of our mental minds and transport us to a liquid reality where anything is possible. One where we can coax new scenarios to come alive like a painter animating a canvas with strokes of playful genius. As David Curran states in Our Subconscious Mind, “I like to think of imagination like a factory that produces and transforms our ideas into existence.”

In other words, by erasing what we think we know and not taking life so seriously that we squeeze the joy out, we allow an open dialogue between our inner and outer worlds. We can then manifest our wishes with ease and not a grinding away. The difference between work and play is attitude and a possible monetary element, but we can combine them into one through our perception. Work is play and play is a childlike form of prayer with imagination leading the way.

We possess the power to change our reality through imagination that is present in both prayer and play. Imagining guidance or a higher power doesn’t mean it is not real. It means that we open the gate of possibilities. Through releasing what we think is impractical and not possible, we are able to imagine as a child would, in innocence and trust. This is where the magic of manifestation happens. Einstein said, “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”

The more flexible my schedule, the more I imagine the possibilities for my own desires. Something about traipsing through the park on a whim or pouring a salt bath midday frees my mind to imagine. It’s as if I am dancing with freedom as my partner. I reevaluate my priorities and erase my to-do’s like there’s no tomorrow… and perhaps, there isn’t.

Perhaps all that exists is the eternal now. An ever-flowing, glowing love connection of events and glances from strangers and friends in pain and tears washed by the rain. Maybe all we need to know is right under our nose or our feet, our dancing, happy feet, and all we have to do is breathe in fresh oxygen as if we were just plopped onto this mound of dirt rolling through the universe.

Maybe it doesn’t matter if we believe time passes or that everything is happening at once on many levels of existence, or dimensions. What matters is what you decide matters. No meetings or trainings or schooling can tell you what matters. You must decide that for yourself.

I’m suggesting that play is a way to call in your own existential pattern, your own blueprint for happiness that activates when you permit your imagination to rove the way a child rolls down a grassy hill on a summer day. Just roll, trusting the ground to support you. Trusting the giggling on the way down to stimulate your innocent wonder. Trusting that the rolling, the laughter, doesn’t matter a speck unless you decide it is important to let your inner child play so you can cultivate a child-like prayer of praise. A prayer that shouts to the heavens that all is well with your soul and that your creative garden is blooming with ideas to help the world be a better place.

Maybe the connection between the words “prayer” and “play” needs to be emphasized like the words Jesus of Nazareth said and as they are remembered in the Christian Tradition, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not to come unto Me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Maybe the kingdom is the internal fountain of endless potential we see and experience when we play like a child in the sand, not caring if the castle will be gobbled up by the tide. Just building and enjoying. Then admiring what we’ve built such as careers, relationships, and accepting that everything has a season.

God played in the dirt one day and, as a result of forming men and women, kings and queens were born. The child inside of us is a part of our inner royal family and must not only get invited to the ball, but have a place at the table. We can create our own gardens in which to dance. Our own desires for our lives manifest into reality. We must let the wind tingle on our skin until our cells remember how to pray through play.

Through prayer we ask for guidance. Through play we permit ourselves to explore possibilities our mental mind won’t entertain. Both prayer and play are teachers. They teach us to drop limits and create imaginary audiences for the unwritten speeches of our soul.

Prayer means different things to different people but one commonality with this practice is the connection to an omniscient energy that sustains all life. Feel into this and extrapolate from this what helps you and discard the rest. What are you waiting for boys and girls — it’s recess!

Michele Zirkle
How I Stopped Sleep-Eating

How many sheep does one need to count before falling asleep or, in my case, how many spoons of peanut butter does one need to consume?

Anywhere from two percent to twenty-seven percent of Americans experience intense hunger in conjunction with insomnia. Sleep Eating Syndrome (SES), also referred to by researchers as “binge eating syndrome” and “night eating syndrome,” is linked to obesity. The condition is promulgated by inadequate neuroendocrine function and has been effectively treated by enhancing serotonin function.

Insomnia is a public health problem that plagues up to 70 million people in the United States. I would and did go to sleep easily, but twenty minutes later was awake and scavenging the kitchen for food. After researching this phenomena, I found it was due to an inability to turn off my sympathetic nervous system.

This situation was chronic since I've struggled with the condition for over one year. Popcorn bags, half-eaten protein bars and crackers are a few of the snacks I’ve woken to find scattered in bed with me. I’ve even woken with a yogurt-stained spoon in my hand, but none contributed more to the fifteen pounds I’d gained than the peanut butter—jars of it.

The taste, the texture, called to me in my sleep and lured me to the kitchen. I’d head toward the pantry and straight for the magic jar of Jiffy. Even when I avoided the nut butter aisle at the market, I couldn’t escape the signal it sent out like a beacon from the kitchen of every friend and family member with whom I’d spend the night.
Nocturnal eating hadn’t always been a part of my nighttime routine, but for over a year it controlled me. The unhealthy regimen began when my husband and I started growing apart emotionally, often going to bed at different hours to avoid each other.

Every evening I’d set my intention to not get out of bed, not even to relieve my bladder, but inevitably find myself pouring walnuts into the jar of creamy peanut butter and indulging my palette. I’d often get creative and add vanilla extract or cinnamon.

As the scales got heavier, I got more determined, but the more I fought the feeling of hunger, the more I ate. Many nights I was up and eating seven and eight times. The cycle was exasperating.

I refused prescription medications and diagnosed myself with chronic maintenance insomnia. Consults with doctors failed to lead to a solution. This was, in part, because of my desire to treat my disorder naturally with melatonin and Cannabidiol (CBD) spray, both of which lent relief for a few nights, but the effectiveness was short-lived.
I knew there had to be something in the peanut butter that I was craving. Upon researching the topic, I was surprised to find numerous support groups for people who were addicted to peanut butter—people who spread the creamy goodness onto everything from eggs to cookies— even people who substituted peanut butter for salsa on their corn chips.

With approximately two percent of the population having a sleep eating disorder, I was relieved to know I wasn’t alone. I tackled my disorder with a psychological approach. Perhaps, I was filling up with food to compensate for the lack of connection with my husband. So, I set a protocol for determining whether I should eat in the night. First, I’d say to myself, “I am awake and do not need to eat just because I am awake.” I’d then place my right hand on my belly and ask myself if I truly felt hungry.
Regardless whether the answer was yes or no, I took a deep breath, checked the time and made myself lie in bed for three minutes breathing and repeating, “I am full of love and creativity.”

The frequency of my waking remained constant, but the amount of times I would eat decreased to an average of two or three times a night. Moderate success, but I wanted full recovery.

I scoured medical sites looking for the missing link. There had to be something in the peanut butter that my body needed or I wouldn’t be so hooked on it. When I found out the amino acid L-tryptophan was a key nutrient, I began taking an L-tryptophan supplement and, not only did my cravings subside, but I felt more positive in general and started sleeping through the night for the first time in two years.

Seems the benefits to L-tryptophan are trifold. It increases serotonin and melatonin while decreasing cortisol, all of which are conducive to a restful sleep. Although, my experience is contradictory to a recent study of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, which does not support L-tryptophan supplementation as a treatment for insomnia, Stunkard contends that treatment for NES should include increasing serotonin levels. Other researchers report a decrease in nighttime eating after treated with serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

I am still in the recovery phase and about once a month indulge in a 2 a.m. popcorn feeding, but I am not elbow-deep in a peanut butter jar. A key component of my success involved accepting my perceived weakness for nighttime eating and allowing myself a healthy snack of celery dipped in humus should I still be hungry after adhering to my pre-set guidelines and meditation.

Due to a multi-faceted approach to my night-time eating disorder, I’ve reclaimed my unconscious hours and have dropped ten pounds I’d gained. The sleep-eat-sleep cycle taught me there is more than one remedy for much of what ails us, and when we tap into our intuition and implement mindful practices, we cure much more than the symptom. We heal our mental, spiritual and physical bodies from the inside, growing wiser, rather than rounder. Now that’s something to sleep on.

Michele Zirkle
From Panic to Prana

From Panic to Prana

The first time I had a panic attack, I had no idea what was happening. I felt dazed, jittery and silly. I was speaking to a group of co-workers in an informal meeting when my thoughts, which were usually succinct, became all jumbled and my insides trembled. I was clammy and confused. Not more than five fellow teachers surrounded me at the table; yet, those five may as well been five hundred.

My throat was so dry I couldn’t swallow. My heart was racing like I was a contender in the Kentucky Derby, my thoughts zooming so fast I couldn’t corral them. Did I really have anything intelligent to say? Did they want to hear me? What if they didn’t agree with me and if so, could I convince them to?

I wanted to say something that made sense, but only fragments of thoughts became audible. The mish-mash of ideas bouncing around in my head made forming a coherent sentence impossible. Each word sounded like I was speaking under water—at least it sounded that way to me.

I was drowning, but not in water—in fear. Almost a year after this unnerving experience, I learned I’d had a panic attack. According to several experts in the area, one most likely caused by fear of being judged by my listeners, but why now?

I’d taught high school for over fifteen years and known my coworkers for just as long. I was involved in community activities and reveled in the hustle and bustle of work and family life although I’d always shied away from center stage. This ordeal, however, was more intense than a simple feeling of being uncomfortable in the spotlight. I felt like I was going to die or at the very least, tumble into unconsciousness.

The attacks became more frequent as my self-esteem plummeted. Only wimps let their minds spin out of control. Only someone with a weak constitution would feel diminished in the presence of peers.

I felt I could alleviate my problem with self-education, so I researched panic attacks and began implementing slivers of advice from those who had progressed through them and survived.

I identified my lack of self-confidence as the major culprit and my ex-husband’s verbal abuse as a contributing factor. A few sentences into a conversation with him and he’d cut me off. My sentences were constantly interrupted and my ideas shattered with ridicule, making it obvious he didn’t respect me or wish to hear me. With each encounter with him, I felt more hopeless, useless and stupid.

I began breathing deeper before I’d speak up in a group. Often, I’d jot my thoughts on paper, which made me feel more prepared. I told myself, my listeners only perceive me as stupid when I don’t believe in myself. As I applied these strategies, the attacks became less intense, but were just as frequent.

Since I’m an advocate of holistic cures for what ails, I sought the help of a life-coach and implemented the behavior therapy she suggested. This consisted of me reading to her, and not just reading anything, reading my own writings—everything from short pieces to short stories. So, I was practicing not only speaking, but sharing my own thoughts aloud.

At first, even one-on-one with her familiar face, my heart would beat so hard as I read that my head would pound. Heat spread throughout my entire body making me feel like I was in a sauna. The more self-conscious I became, the faster I read, but she never once stopped me. She let me finish in my own time. She’d smile, and we’d often discuss the content, but rarely the delivery. She’d encourage me by simply commenting she could understand me better when I read more slowly.

As I improved, I realized that the more steadily I breathed, the more eloquently I read. Breathing, also known as “Prana,” which is Sanskrit for “Life force energy,” became a tool for instilling more than oxygen into my cells—it permeated my entire being with calm.

Breathing slowly and deeply helped me to feel more confident and to speak more purposely, but my heart still pounded so loudly I could hear the rhythm in my ears, so I started preparing myself by reciting a mantra. “What I have to say is just as important as what anyone else has to say. My ideas are insightful and pertinent. When I talk, people will listen.”

It’s been three years now since my last panic attack. I tackled it face-on, by doing what scared me the most—talking in front of an audience. I volunteered to read every chance I could from small meditation classes to groups of fifty peers at monthly writer’s meetings. I began podcasting online audio of me reading my weekly newspaper columns. I presented a workshop at a writer’s conference last summer.

I accepted an invitation to host a weekly radio show that I call “Life Speaks” because indeed, life does speak to us and we will hear it when we listen.

The more I practiced, the more I realized that I didn’t need to raise my voice or interrupt others to be heard. All I had to do was respect myself and expect to be heard.
Sure, some people still don’t want to hear me, but that’s okay because I don’t take their lack of interest personally. There are some people I’d rather not listen to either.

Listening to my own inner guidance is paramount to my happiness, and whether I’m the one listening or talking, I am grateful to always hear the message produced through prana— breathe in love for yourself—breathe out compassion for others. The cycle is endless until I take my last breath that will end on an exhale of final acceptance of all my strengths and weaknesses. Happy breathing everyone!

Michele Zirkle
Keep the Hope Fires Burning

We need hope now more than ever. Hope can’t directly stop a war or feed hungry mouths or resuscitate the dead, but to stop hoping is to announce that all that needs hoped for is not worth the effort it takes to sort out the good in a tyrannical world. To stop hoping means we no longer see that there is more love inside ourselves and others than there are diabolical tyrants and ill-willed souls.

As for me, I can’t live that way. No rose-colored glasses, but clear and lucid ones that see hope in a darkness illuminated with the divine spark that is my very essence.
I do not apologize for being optimistic amid the devastation occurring in so many locations throughout our world. I see the suffering and demolition of lives that is ravaging our world. I also feel the compassion burning across the land and seas from the fire of justified anger and relentless hope. Below is my contribution to the hope pool that replenishes daily, repelling the drought of love.

Thanks to all those who’ve encouraged me and loved me from the time I wore diapers to the recent years when my pursuit of writing and healing beaconed a new set of like-minded friends into my circle. Thank you to all those who continue to help me evolve to my core — who help me release worn-out patterns and have faith in rebirthing myself.

To all those who came to me in this life bearing gifts too expansive to fit in a cardboard box or paper bag and too valuable to hoard to myself and not share with the world. Gifts in the form of lessons that make me a more compassionate person, some quickly learned and some still under study. Gifts that can only be wrapped loosely with the ribbon of time and curled with perfection with careful use of the scissors of humility.

Like pebbles holding a flickering candle firm in a vase, my support structure is my inner heart space, fluid yet firm in the passionate belief that hope can never be truly extinguished. Hope burns in the darkest night, under bridges of injustice and towers of misconduct. Under domes of despair and in alleys of neglect.

Hope burns in the very wounds of the injured, abused, and discarded souls. It must. For the internal flame cannot and will not be distinguished by man-made chemicals nor water from the cleanest springs. The very nature of hope is a source unto itself, unfailingly fanning the flame and keeping itself alive. The more it is needed the more the fan spins and awakens the sense that all can be transcended, that all is possible.

Raise your vibration by voicing your gratefulness for the gifts, the lessons, even the hard ones, for without them you stay stuck in the mire of self-pity and continue to crawl through life, never growing the wings you were meant to have. Gratitude powers the fan to high and propels you off the ground where you can influence needed change for yourself and for the world. Fly high and keep your scissors sharp. Learning requires humility and resolve.

Treasure the experiences that reveal your gifts. Polish them with humility and feel your love rays outshining the sun. The gift of love is the most auspicious gift you can receive so accept it graciously and spread it lavishly. The well of love is not capable of running dry.

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Thank you for sharing! I am interested in the question, did you yourself once realize that it was time to give battle to your fear, or did someone inspire you?

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New article From Panic to Prana already available! corespirit.com/articles/from-panic-to-prana-s…

I worked through panic attacks and spoked to an audience of over 3M people. I had to become comfortable with myself before I got comfortable giving a speech. If I can overcome the public speaking challenge, so can you!

By Dr. Michele Zirkle - corespirit.com/articles/how-i-speak-to-millio…

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New article Keep the Hope Fires Burning already available! corespirit.com/articles/keep-the-hope-fires-b…

Thanks for sharing the article. My friend should check it out, because he will soon have to defend his project in front of an audience of experts, he is already feeling some excitement

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Fear of PUBLIC SPEAKING? I got over mine and earned 3M listeners! Learn more on my article here!
corespirit.com/articlesconcernCategoryIds=894…

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