Monday, August 31

One of My Favorite Spiritual Guides

Check out the recent testimonial I wrote about one of my favorite spirit guides/psychics Melissa:

I have been going to Melissa for the past several years and it has always been a wonderful experience. That face that I continue to seek her guidance after all of this time should say volumes about how much her readings help. I've found clarity during some of the most stressful times of my life. When I leave a session with her, I feel uplifted and positive about what is about to happen in my life. She has been RIGHT ON THE MARK about job issues (including the fall of Bear Sterns), health, and relationships. Additionally she has suggested ways for me to grow and become more grounded and happy in my life over all. I cannot recommend her highly enough! If you want clarity, direction and answers, she is the woman to see.

Make sure and check out her web page by clicking on this posts title!

Tuesday, July 28

I've Got To Sing My Song

I wanted to share the DVD I just got back from my singing performance in June- it was an amazing experience and I am blessed to have been strong enough to do it. I hope this inspires others to push past some of their limitations and see what they can accomplish if they put their mind to it! Click on the post title and it will take you right to my video.

Sunday, July 12

My Amazing Visit With A Psychic Medium

Hi all,
I wanted to share with you the fantastic session I had with Marilyn Papa, who is a very gifted Psychic Medium. I can't say enough about how great her energy is, and what an emotional and eye opening reading I had. First of all, when I fist walked into the room, I was struck by how peaceful and loving the energy was, and how comfortable I immediately felt. I was blessed to not only have received messages from people that I have always loved and who have passed, but I left knowing that they were always with me and I am never alone. How beautiful is that? Honestly, if that knowledge was all that I received from this experience, it would have been more than enough, but I can happily report that it was so much more than that.
Marilyn could see me very clearly and was able to get to the heart of many of the issues that have been holding me back. In addition, she was also able to keenly hone in on what my life has been like, and some of the stuggles that I have gone through-it was quite touching. I was asked to bring a list of questions, and by the end of the sitting, they had all been answered in one way or another. Big stuff like my health, my move to Santa Barbara, and the topic of romance and marriage. I was really moved by the reading, and at one point the heat in the room became quite strong- that's how powerful the energy was in there! Anyway, I left there feeling touched, motivated, hopeful, grateful, and with an undeniable feeling that I had just had a life experience that I was not going to forget any time soon. In fact, I think it will stay with me for the rest of my life.
I have included a link to Marilyn's website below- she is in the LA area, so if you live here or are visiting, you can have a session with her in person. If you are out of the area, she does great phone sessions as well. I am not one of those who just believes that all mediums are for real, or even talented, but I truly think that she is one of the very gifted ones. I really can't recommend her highly enough. Feel free to contact me as well if you have any questions, and promise me that you will let me know about your visit once you see her for the first time. You won't be sorry!

Friday, May 22

Sharing the Recipe for Two of My Favorite Dishes

As a lot of you know, I don't eat sugar or sugar free items, so I have to get my kicks from somewhere! The following two recipes are for winter squashes that I eat on a daily basis- I look forward to them and what's even better is that they are healthfully prepared and good for you too:

1. Butternut squash: preheat oven 400,spray a non stick pan with cooking spray or coat with oil, cut butternut squash into cubes and place in pan, then sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, cover with foil. I usually cook it for about 20-25 min with the foil on, then I take a spatula and flip the cubes over and let them finish cooking with the foil left off. If it happens to get too dry then add a bit of water and cover again. You can also use this on Acorn and other similar squashes but they are more delicate and cook much faster.

2. Kambocha: preheat to 350, put some water in the bottom of a non stick pan, cut squash into pieces and sprinkle with the same seasonings as the butternut squash. Cover with foil and after about 25 min check it to see how far it has progressed. This squash is a little trickier- if you cook it too much it dries out or even becomes like shoe leather. I have also found that when you buy the squash its best to get one that looks older and is not a vibrant green- when they are a vibrant green they aren't quite ripe and the don't turn out very well.

Let me know how it goes!!

Thursday, May 7

Just Dance

Check out this wonderful email I received this morning- it really set a great tone for my day:

"Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music."

Angela Monet

Dear Erika,

Dance to the music of YOUR soul.

Who cares if no one else hears the beat?

Who cares if you dance alone?

Who cares if you look silly?


Passion is an INSIDE JOB!


Rev. James J. Mellon-Bailey
Founding Pastor
The NoHo Arts Center for New Thought

Check out our website:

Sunday, April 26

Are You Having A Romance With Life?

I just got back from church a few hours ago and it was a great service with a fantastic talk! Essentially the message was a wake up call to really dance with life and the universe and not hold back out of fear and old ideas. Our reverend asked the question "are you waiting to do what makes your heart beat faster, what makes you feel fully alive?" My response was yes and no. The stronger I get physically and emotionally, the more I reach out and try and do the things that make me happy: sing, be in nature, ride horses, sit in the sun. On the other hand, I also let my fears and my limiting beliefs stop me from even attempting many other things that I know bring me joy.
What is it in your life that you would like more of? Is there something that fills you with joy, makes you smile, and completely carries you away once you are "in it?" I have decided to challenge myself even more and reach for the things that fill me up- no more excuses. Are you ready to do the same?

Sunday, April 5

Toxins In Your Skin Care

I just want to put it out there for those of you who may not be aware: there are many, many toxins in most of our beauty products, cleaning aids, laundry detergents, deodorants, and last but not least, processed foods. One area in particular that I would like to lean more about is skin care- from what I have taken in so far, most of these items contain parabens which are small amounts of toxic chemicals found in almost every beauty product on the market today. They have been shown to effect changes in estrogen levels, linked to breast cancer, and harmful to those with chemical sensitivities. This doesn't really sound like something that I want to be putting on my body and face everyday- what about you?
I have tried several natural alternatives,and so far I have been rather disappointed. Do I have to sacrifice my health in order to look good? I do intend to look into this further because I feel that it's quite important for my health and my return to wellness. I have stopped using deodorant (don't need it actually), I clean my house and wash my clothes in natural detergents, and I eat organically as much as possible. I really feel that the next step on my path to total wellness is to get rid of the chemicals that I use in the name of beauty each day- there must be some great alternatives out there- if you know of any good brands please let me know!

Thursday, March 19

The Power of Service

If someone listens, or stretches out a hand, or whispers a kind word of encouragement, or attempts to understand a lonely person, extraordinary things begin to happen.
-Loretta Girzartis

I have written quite a bit about depression and doing my best to come out of it and lead a productive and happy life. Well,I am happy to report that I have been experiencing a much fuller experience in my day to day activities, and although it started with going to school and taking a great class- the other main component has been being of service. Getting out of myself and helping another person has always been an important part of my 12 step work, but as of late I have really been available to those who reach out to me. I am also reaching out my hand more and more to help those that are struggling with one issue or another. Do you know what has happened? I am much less concerned with myself, my health, my outlook, my fears- how fantastic is that? It has brought me such joy and peace that I just had to blog about it.
Is there someplace in your life where you can be of service? Your neighbor, a friend, volunteering at a shelter or food pantry? I know that people are caught up in the state of the world right now, but giving your time by just listening and offering support can make a world of difference to someone who feels truly alone and frightened. I can't say enough about the power of service- we can't change the economy but we can make a difference in the people's lives around us. What if we all gave more service? Wouldn't that be amazing? We would not only be happier people, but we would be uplifting others as well! Please take some time this week to help someone in need- you will be happy that you did.

Thursday, March 12

Need To Find The Time

Recently I started taking classes at the local community college as a way to not only get my degree finished, but to ease myself back into the world. Having been ill for so long, starting out slow is essential to my progress and I am thrilled that I am learning so many new things on top of it. The class I am taking is on World Religions, with a focus on Eastern Religions. The last few weeks we have been learning about Hinduism, and I have to say that I just love opening my mind to new concepts, as well as sharing these insights and observations with others in my class.
As much as I love going to school,however, I am having a hard time keeping up with my blog. Posting and networking has taken a back seat to reading and studying, but I am hoping to find a way to balance what I have to do each day so that I don't neglect my blog, which is so dear to my heart. I would love any advice that my readers may have about budgeting your time- I seem to be at a loss with this one!

Monday, February 23

My Artificial Sweetener Nightmare

My Artificial Sweetener Nightmare

I was recently reading a great post on Dr. Mercola’s web site about the dangers of Splenda and it got me to thinking about my own personal experience with these harmful sweeteners. Having had a weight problem my entire life and not being able to tolerate sugar (it made me want to eat and eat!), I did what most people do in my situation- I used artificial sweeteners. On top of that I am quite compulsive, so I used a lot of it. Drinks sweetened with Equal and Splenda were a daily staple, as well as packets and packets of Splenda, which I put in my coffee and on my food. It took me many years to face up to the fact that these so called “safe” sweeteners were really poising my body, and on top of that I had a chronic illness, which was exacerbated by anything chemical and highly processed.
Needless to say, I finally was willing to let all of them go about a year and a half ago, and although it was difficult, it wasn’t the hardest part of my withdrawal from them. About three days into it, I had a severe liver attack which lasted for almost an hour, and I had to lie on my back and deep breathe the entire time so that I didn’t throw up or have to head to the hospital. I had terrible stabbing pains in my side, burning in my intestines, and hot and cold flashes running through my body. Not a pretty experience at all! It has taken me months to heal my liver, and it still gives me trouble now and then.
The reason that I am sharing this with you is because I really want to get the word out about just how toxic these substances are! Splenda may be derived from sugar, but the end result is that it becomes chlorinated artificial sweetener once it has been molecularly altered. Do you really want something like that in your body?

Please go to the following websites for more information:

Do yourself a huge favor and stop using these poisons as soon as you can!

Tuesday, February 17

Do What You Love

As many of you know, I have been working to overcome chronic illness and depression for a while now and I have finally figured out that making it a point to do the things that I love brings me closer to being completely well.
People have been telling me for years to follow my heart and to do things that I enjoy, and I would just dig in my heels and respond that I didn't feel well and I would get to it when I was better. Well, it turns out that I had the cart before the horse! The more that I make having fun and doing things that excite me a priority, the better I feel (physically and emotionally). One thing that helped me to figure out just what those things were was to look back over my life at the times that I was happiest. What came up for me was going to college, singing, attending church, riding horses, and just hanging out with friends. The sad part was that I hadn't been doing much of anything fun for a very long time, and once I began to make an effort to bring those things into my life, the stronger and happier I have felt. Once I made a firm decision to move forward with some of the things that bring me joy, amazing things started to happen: I began to look forward to getting out of bed in the morning, I was able to accomplish more things during the day, and it gave me the strength to affirm that I am no longer a victim and that I really want to be well. Pretty powerful stuff if you ask me!
I can't recommend doing what you love enough- please take the time to put your passion and what makes your heart sing at the top of your list(or at least on the list!)- it will make all the difference in the world. I promise!

Friday, February 6

Vitamin D Deficiency

A few weeks ago I got my blood tests back from my new Endocrinologist and the biggest issue was a very low count of vitamin D. This was news to me! I was expecting it to be my adrenals or my hormones, but vitamin D? How strange. The doctor’s answer was to prescribe 50,000 IU’s of vitamin D to be taken twice a week. She also said that I should check my levels again in three months to see if I have made any progress.
Well, it was no surprise to me that my body couldn't tolerate such a high dose of the supplement. The first time I took it, I ended up having to lie down for a few hours until my feelings of sickness passed. About four days later I took a second dose (but this time at night) and the next two days were difficult for me as well. I felt dizzy, nauseated and a bit weak. Finally I decided that this was not the way for me to get my vitamin D levels up. My acupuncturist asked me to get some of the supplement in liquid form, which I may do, but I have a feeling it won’t come in a high enough dose to make a real difference. My other choice is to take a supplement- so within the next week I will make a choice and start to take care of this piece of my wellness puzzle. Feel free to share any experience you may have with this issue- I would love to hear what has worked or has not worked for you.
Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency
- Inadequate dietary intake of vitamin D
- Malabsorption of vitamin D
- Too little exposure to sunlight
- Chronic Pancreatitis
- Celiac disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Cystic fibrosis
- Colitis
- Fistulas
- Bilary Obstruction
- Renal disease
- Malfunctioning parathyroid gland

If you can’t go out and spend some time in the sun every day, here are some other ways of increasing your vitamin D:
- Take 2 teaspoons of cod liver oil daily
- Carlson Labs and Solgar make a 1,000 IU vitamin D supplement that can be very helpful. Take one daily. Swanson also carries some great brands too.
- Eat foods rich in vitamin D: bone broth, egg yokes, milk, salmon, sardines and cod.
- If you do decide to supplement do so under the care of your doctor- it is easy to increase your vitamin D to toxic levels- this can be avoided with regular blood tests to monitor your progress

Wednesday, January 21

I Just Love GABA!

I have written posts a couple of times about anxiety and depression and the different supplements I have found to be helpful in dealing with these issues. Well, I finally took my own advice and started to take GABBA again. I bought Solgars 500mg tablets, and I take one or two pills a day on an empty stomach. I have to say that after only a few days I can really feel the difference! This is the week before my period comes (sorry guys!) and it is usually quite distressing- anxiety, tears, depression, anger, rage, trouble sleeping, etc. Not this week my friends- I have felt so much better and calmer that I wanted to share this with my readers. If you are having some of the same issues, please do yourself a favor and look into this wonderful supplement.

Monday, January 12

Alternative Anxiety Treatments

I have been dealing with anxiety for many years- usually it is hormone related and the two weeks before my period are the worst by far. Due to the fact that I am unable to tolerate anxiety meds I have been looking into natural alternatives so that I can be free of the stress of feeling like I am on high alert all of the time. Here is what I have found so far:


Magnesium Taurinate
Valerian Root
Apple Cider Vinegar
L- theanine
Passion Flower


Tai Chi/Martial Arts
Cold showers (need to look into this one further- doesn't make much sense to me)
Abdominal Breathing

I would love it if you could share with me what has worked for you or someone that you know- I am absolutely open to suggestions.

Be well!