Tohoku Earthquake 8 years later

A few of you (online) may know that I lived in Japan!

A few of you may also know that I was in Japan during the historic 2011 Tohoku earthquake, March 11th -- 8 years ago.

When the earthquake struck, my friend and I were in a different town than where I lived. It was still one of the strongest earthquakes I have felt, despite it being hours away from the epicenter.

Having lived in the NW, earthquakes and drills are commonplace. The types of earthquakes I had been in prior were NOTHING like the sensation of the Tohoku quake. It felt like being on the sea during bad swells, like my legs couldn't balance or trust the earth we were standing on.

Just a few hours before the earthquake in Kamakura, Japan

Just a few hours before the earthquake in Kamakura, Japan

In moments of disaster, I go into to troubleshoot, and resolve mode. "Do as the Japanese!" We were in a tourist town, but still there wasn't a lot of English spoken, so we followed suit, exited the store we were in (scouring for Japanese Kit Kats), and stood in the promenade in the center of the street. We watched light posts sway, and the architecture thrash.

We returned to the train station afterwards only to find out all transportation is halted, as well as cell phone service. The few English phrases I heard was "bad accident", "National Emergency", and overheard "Tokyo Disney is underwater!"

She and I wandered and found a fellow stranded passenger from the Naval Base. I asked this woman if she'd like to join us since we were all in limbo. A small restaurant, not normally one to welcome Western faces, took us in for a couple hours while we tried to wait for more information. So many aftershocks that felt like sea sickness. To this day, if the building I am in, rattles, I immediately sense whether or not I need to duck and cover.

Once we realized there was no transportation at all for the night, we strategized how we were going to make it back to where I lived.

There was a huge line at the taxi stand. The Japanese, so respectful to social courtesy, patiently waited as the next taxi would come back for the next person in line. Orderly.

Well that wasn't going to work because we were all without a clue wtf was going on. I finally got a hold of my bf on a payphone, at the time, and he explained that it was really bad and that the Naval station was making big plans to move. We knew we had to get back.

We walked a mile or so outside the town center. When we finally flagged a taxi driver willing to stop for us, my Brooklynite friend immediately climbed in the back of the cab and refused to budge until he agreed to drive us. We pooled $100 cash, and he very, very reluctantly agreed. Our driver had a mini-cry of consciousness on whether picking us up was "right" because there were people waiting in line.

I'm very grateful for his decision to drive us back, and acknowledge my responsibility in talking him into it.

When we returned to Yokosuka, I had so many messages from friends and family. Worried. Uncertain.

When I finally saw the damage from the tsunamis I understood the severity. Where we were the earthquake was still around a 7 on the richter scale. Aftershocks happened multiple times a day, and even one struck as my plane was taking off about a week later.

8 years later we know just how bad the damage is. Fukushima, the nuclear power plant, had irreversible damage and poisoned our ocean. I learned how differently the US processes disaster on a Federal level because of how kind the Japanese were to their people. Simply, honorable.

Older employees at the power plant, literally risked their lives to fix the reactor and address the radioactive water. They volunteered first.

One of the largest vending machine companies, on national television, told people how to override the machines and manually open them, should people need food and drink. Other parts of the country respected this information and didn't use it as an opportunity to loot. This is still something I can't see any US brands offering up, and our culture respecting.

My friend was able to get on a flight within a day or so, and I had to move my return date up a month and start packing up my apartment. While Japanese media still wasn't revealing *just* how bad the radiation leak was, the US naval equipment was already reading it. That return week was a blur, I contracted the flu, and the next month was exhausting for me to return to the states. I wasn't sleeping well, still felt the immediacy of perceived aftershocks, and my bf wouldn't return until nearly May.

I wanted to share this today as an opportunity to encourage you to check your own emergency preparedness kit. This is a non-negotiable in my home, and helped Karl and I prepare early for another historical disaster, Hurricane Harvey.

Regardless if you are in a earthquake zone, you may be in a tornado alley, severe wildfire risk, hurricanes -- different elements, similar effect.

Here are some of my musts:
Know your emergency plan: who is your area and out of area contact?

Where will you and your loved ones meet if your home is compromised?

Escape plan for safety.

The minimums: food, water, radio (hand cranked or plenty of batteries), flashlights, back up phone chargers charged...

Access to important documents: insurance info.

Check out for disaster-specific guides.

What I've learned is that this is NOT a morbid process, this is survival, and therefore literally all of us can be prepared. Everything can be replaced except life, so it's worth the "off season" day or couple hours to check in with your own reserves and review with your family an emergency drill: do the climbing out of the window and pop quiz who are you going to call.

Preparedness saves.

Finally, the most important lesson I learned from the Japanese during this earthquake:

The power of kindness and community.

Extend additional compassion and service as fully as you are capable when a disaster strikes. Love kindles people's reserves and fortifies their "can make it" attitude.

Kindness makes us feel more human, more welcomed, and capable.

Cry of Anger: What's Anger Telling You?

Pissed off. Frustrated. Hurt. Venting. Resentful. Indignant.


"How dare (s)he?"

Frigidity. Apathy. Impatient.


::honks car horn for a good 5 seconds longer than necessary::

Antagonized. Mad. Offended.

"Well, they started it."

Violent. Furious. Hostile.

"Fuck off."

"Fuck you."

"Go fuck yourself."

Punctuated by the long period of deafening silence. That'll show 'em.

So much of what I am witnessing in my coaching practice and in the collective consciousness is the CRY OF ANGER.

Anger is a channeled emotion. Often externally obvious, or internally self-punnishing. It's often painful, if not violent emotionally when unchecked.

When you experience anger, how does it show up for you?

What action do you reach for first? Out of instinct or lack of present mindfulness...

For those who are VERY familiar with anger, it can be a sign of depression. If nearly everything is setting off your anger alarm: impatience, crankiness, overuse of sarcasm, annoyance, to the point where that is your "norm" for days, weeks, on end, than it's time to AT LEAST check in with yourself, and even a doctor or therapist.

Anger kills, slowly and quickly. Without an actual resolution and peace.

This is why it's so necessary to explore your language of emotions.

For me, anger presents as slammed doors/drawers, self-punishment, restriction, hateful/venomous language directed mostly to myself and sometimes to others (directly or indirectly).

What I have learned through watching my own behavior, and coaching others through their emotions, is that anger really is a catalyst for action.

Often, it's the masculine balance of correction because it brings so much energy that can be used as fuel.

What must be protected?

What must be restored?

What can I do in service of my anger, not in reaction to?

What I offer today is an invitation to ask yourself:

Who am I with and without my anger?

How often does anger take up my energy?

Instead of reacting, respond personally. Get to know what your anger is telling you. Through acknowledgment you bring awareness to your emotions and that immediately tempers the flare up.

Seriously, just two seconds to stop and listen.

Then, you reclaim your autonomy to make a choice. To resolve the situation and not create a wake of damage. You can channel your energy into HELPFUL action.

The Great Depression: breaking up with melancholy

abraham lincoln.jpg

TIL: President Lincoln had depression and wouldn't carry a knife because he was afraid he would self harm.

For myself in the peak of my depression in high school, I wouldn't (and still don't) carry meds with me -- even OTC. There was a time in which I would take 20-30+ aspirin or ibuprofen and numb out. (This lead to major gastro-intestinal pain later...) For others, maybe they use alcohol, weed, or other prescription drugs. The outcome is the same: to numb the pain and emotional turmoil.

To escape the pain of melancholy, numbness and apathy are familiar emotions. Because rather than the sadness, despair, and hopelessness, the lack of visceral feeling can actually be higher vibe. However, learning to manage these feelings withOUT substances or harmful behaviors is life changing and depression-cycle breaking!

The key to it though is: don't spend longer than you have to in these emotions.

Extended periods of lack of feeling leads to further isolation and separation not just from others, but also from yourself. It creates a rift inside you that disconnects from authenticity, vibrancy, and ALL emotions including goodness, joy, compassion, and peace.

So how do you break up with the melancholy?

At some point it comes back to an awareness of choice. How long have you been in the blues? Numb? or hopelessly sad? What choice can you make right now to do something different?

Fake it til you make it:
Remind yourself of love by looking for it ANYWHERE. Volunteer, one time or sign up for a longer commitment. Do something nice and altruistic without expectation of return -- paying it forward is DEEP medicine for when you're feeling worthless. How can you be worthless if you just added value for someone else?

kindness is magic.jpeg

Express yourself: 
Cry, feel the breadth of your emotion or get angry. Don't bottle it up to sneak up on you later in an out-of-control, or possibly unrelated manner where you take someone out with you. Scream. Rage dance to music. Get to a kickboxing class.

Tell someone:
If it's been lingering around for what you feel like is "too long", it's time to be brave and open up. You don't have to suffer silently with your disturbing thoughts. Allow someone you trust to listen and help come up with a plan to do something about this extended time spent in depression. A therapist or a visit to your doctor to discuss anti-depressants are all self-caring and life saving measures.

Ocean Jasper can come in a variety of colors: pink and green, blues, yellows — it’s funky and supports the root, heart, and throat chakras.

Ocean Jasper can come in a variety of colors: pink and green, blues, yellows — it’s funky and supports the root, heart, and throat chakras.

Explore what can't be seen & Get some Ocean Jasper stat:
Try mindfulness and meditation. Get a freaking crystal already--literally any crystal, but especially ocean jasper. :) If you're ready, any action is better than no action. Get curious. Explore an idea or spiritual concept you wish to know better. Astrology can teach you layers about yourself that may feel like truth. Numerology. The philosophical. The esoteric. Sometimes our human depression comes from a spiritual longing.

grayelsha light.jpg

Here's the wonderfully surprising side effect of depression:
It makes you feel deeply--arguably more so than most others.


It makes you more empathetic to the human struggle and condition. I believe that maybe Lincoln's depression and how it affected his life is why we have an affinity and respect for his legacy.

Once you learn your own language of depression, you can work WITH it, instead of struggle against it. The only option you have left is to try and make different choices that support you -- even if you don't quite believe it yet. By becoming aware of HOW depression manifests for you, you can unlock your own code and drop the melancholy.

You won't know until you try.

If you're curious about Lincoln, click for the article I read.  
If you're curious about learning about how to heal depression, Kelly Curtis and I have created a self-guided study to help you through and heal holistically.

New Moon Eclipse in Cancer

cancer new moon eclipse.jpg

Ya feel me? Happy #newmooneclipse in Cancer !! What have you been feeling? There’s some major celestial energy behind this eclipse with opportunity to connect to out of this world energies. It’s also quite sensitive and maternal.

Keywords: excavation, reconciliation, nurturing, discovery, unlocking

What to rock: pink amethyst, rose quartz, moonstone, & larvikite

Questions: What questions are you making that empower you? 

Where are the emotional dam leaks? Where is your energy going that is NOT in alignment with you anymore?

To Consider: what would leading from the heart, as opposed to exclusively the head, look like? 

Eclipses and Broken Crystals


Over the last couple of years, I have noticed a trend in this crystal community as well as with others in the larger crystal healing community, that there seems to be a correlation between eclipses and crystals breaking.

Here's my take. It's unique, and one that I believe should be reassuring.

When crystals break, go missing, chip, etc. it is because they have a had a surge of energy. This can mean something as common as dropping it (obviously force + velocity), but I feel like there's also additional celestial energy of which eclipses DEFINITELY fit this bill.

Yesterday, someone on my FB feed talked about unusually low tides in WA state--well when we have something like the earth or the sun literally eclipsing the moon, the gravitational waves which we can't see (and can now measure--thanks LIGO!) are being interfered with it disorders the regular vibrational waves Earth receives from that celestial object.

Think about it: if you block or interrupt the force of something it's going to effect the impact.

Humans are incredibly powerful--much more than we give ourselves credit for--and we often have energy through emotions, physical entropy, our past, our mental faculties, all have an effect on the energy around us.

Have you ever walked into a room and sensed physical discomfort even though people have big ol' fake smiles on?

That's an example of the energy not being congruent with the facade. That stifling of authentic or genuine emotion manifests physically! And we ALL know it!

It's the physical manifestation of "I'm fine," said with pursed lips.

When you work with crystals, your own energy intertwines and starts to weave with your mineral. The vibrations of what that crystal is stimulating is interacting with your body, mind, heart, and soul.

That crystal adjusts your own energy to harmonize with whatever lesson, energy, or experience your crystal is syncing with.

As you start to evolve and grow as a result of that crystal, your own frequencies start to change too and it can cause them to break.

I know it can be devastating as I have actually cried when my crystals have changed.

rainbow tears.jpg

HOWEVER, I want to share the goodness in what this means.

Your crystal isn't "done." You can still work with it, it's still as powerful, it's just undergone a physical transformation.

What I like to do is recognize how much that crystal has given me, and to thank it for being my companion and teacher.

And, I always recommend cleansing it and gifting the broken piece—maybe this is one to share with your partner or a friend? It pays the gratitude forward and spreads even more crystalline vibrations in the world.

I have noticed with eclipse energies or other tight celestial transits will create a bit more of a susceptibility, but it is also the case when you very first start to work with crystals.

Your own energy has been out of whack until you received that crystal and that crystal has been in overdrive to help course correct and lend itself to you. That's worthy of gratitude and praise for you both. It's the purest and most innocent form of empathy.

Thank you for doing YOUR work: to be open, to receiving, to allowing the crystal to do its thing.

Thank you to your crystal for being present, and for continuing to bring your gifts to this moment in time.

Don't dismay! This is a powerful lesson from the crystalline kingdom that we all must learn (earlier, perhaps the better?):

It's a moment to recognize the gifts of transformation. The gift of mineral assistance. A moment to truly appreciate what the crystal gives you.

When the edge that broke is a bit more rough: touch it. Rub your fingers on it carefully.

Warm your hands on the edges. Soften them, as the crystal has softened you with more love and kindness.

I know it can be a fucking bummer, and I ask that you don't cast your rock friend aside but welcome it's new form with even more love and gentleness and spread that broken piece to others with immense gratitude to a friend, a partner, or a plant. (Plants LOVE crystals!)

Honestly, when a crystal breaks, I think they're more beautiful because of the gifts they've shared.