Category Archives : Essays


The Spirit of Nature

By Victoria Wilson-Jones, M.S., Clinical C.Ht.

My garden calls to me. Time to have my hands deep in the soil, the warmth of the sun on my skin and the feeling of the breeze whispering to me. Spirit manifests in all life forms. The call of the sacred can be found in many places speaking quietly in their own languages. When I attend this call, answering with my presence, I am taken into a new level of peace joy and communion.

No matter how stuck, depleted and isolated we feel the Source has given us nature to help us heal and reconnect. Just being in nature for twenty minutes will move a person into an alpha brain wave state, that wonderful space between waking and sleep where prayer and meditation transforms us. Wendell Berry speaks to the healing force of nature so beautifully in his poem, “The Peace of Wild Things”. May it remind us all of how generous Spirit is, placing us in the midst of the beauty and healing force of nature.

The Peace of Wild Things
by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.


What Does it Mean to “Love Myself”?

By Victoria Wilson-Jones, MS

“Love yourself!” “Nurture yourself!” These suggestions seem to be everywhere, in magazines, on the radio and on innumerable talk shows. What does it actually mean and why should any of us bother? One of my favorite philosophers, Ken Wilber says the most important part of the self you will develop is your “self sense”. It’s this “self sense” that we use to navigate the river of life. The time and attention that we give to developing a strong, healthy, self respecting “self sense” is what self love and self nurturing are.

In all of the years we spend in school no one teaches a course on how to develop and maintain self esteem. For many of us it is the reason we seek out counseling, therapy or life coaching. We need someone to help us create a structure that cultivates the qualities that we want to experience within ourselves. The qualities we need to navigate the river of our own life.

Here are some simple awareness exercises that you can explore. They will begin to help you develop self awareness and self respect, the corner stones of self love.

Awareness: When you talk to yourself, someone vulnerable inside of you is listening to everything you say, and believing it. Spend a few days taking notes on how you talk to yourself. As you reflect on these notes ask yourself:

  • Is what I am saying to myself kind?
  • Is what I am saying supportive?
  • Does my self talk raise or lower my sense of self worth?
  • Would I talk to a child, a friend, or a lover this way?

Rewrite your self talk. Be respectful, kind, considerate and supportive when you talk to yourself. Speak to yourself the way you would want others to speak to you. Make it your business to correct you negative self talk. Listen for it, catch it and reframe your statements to yourself. We all function better when people are giving us positive feedback and supportive comments. Do this for yourself!

So many of us are self critical, we have a long list of our short comings and yet very few of us can name what is right about ourselves. Make a list of what you like about yourself. Keep adding to it as you think of new things.

Here is a part of my list as an example:

  • Funny
  • Kind
  • Caring
  • Curious
  • Loyal
  • Love to read
  • Love music
  • Hopeful
  • My brown eyes
  • Laughter
  • Intelligent

These may seem like simple exercises… however, knowing that you do like things about yourself helps to balance out the critical self talk. Reframing how we speak to ourselves changes how we feel about ourselves. Lasting change happens from the inside out. Learning to talk to yourself in positive ways will change how you feel about yourself. This is “self love” in action.

Feel free to write to me with any questions you may have or to share an experience.


An Evolutionary Leap: Caring for your Energy Body

When we think of a person who cares for his or her body with nurturing self awareness, we think of an individual who is responsible, even sophisticated. Eating well, choosing healthy foods, exercising, spending time in nature, drinking water, meditating getting enough sleep. Even including experiencing enough close social time as well as sexual expression as ways to stay open and unstressed. But, what about taking our awareness, our evolution of self care, to the next level?

Everyone exploring a spiritual awakening process has some knowledge of themselves as an energy system. In this case we will be looking at the Chakra system. This Chakra system is an energy system. This energy system/body is even more subtle and more complex than the wonderfully complex physical bodies we are a part of. Yet, there is very little daily self care happening to support our energy body. An important part of our spiritual awakening and unfolding is to develop this sophisticated, subtle and profoundly powerful part of us. If you know anything about the endocrine system, you know that the myriad hormones it produces have a profound effect on your energy, wellbeing, stress levels, bonding capacity, hyper-vigilance, feeling of inspiration, safety and even love.

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Sept 11, 2001: Taking a stand for responsible consciousness

This year, as a spiritual educator, I will be encouraging and assisting those I work with in opening to and developing their strategies for self-empowerment. I will be encouraging and supportive of change. My heart, mind and soul will be present as I walk this world. I will be a force among the forces and the power that I will invite to move through me is the vibration of love.

I invite each one of you to ask yourselves, “What do I stand for? What is the prayer that I want to walk into this world?” Become that prayer. No longer invest in thoughts or beliefs that make you and others less that you truly are.

Please take a moment to close your eyes and center yourself. Let these words speak to the spirit within you. This past year has been an initiation into the darkest and the lightest sides of our nature. We face that which we have been separated from within ourselves.

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Death, the advisor

November 11, 2002

At the approach of each New Year, I take stock of the year just past and look at what I feel is in store for the next.

I recently moved from my office in a lovely Cape Cod style home (converted to executive office suites) where I had spent many happy and productive years. There are remarkable things about this move. One is that I am moving from a space that was upstairs and tucked away in the back of the attic, lovely and womb-like, with slanted ceilings and one small window to let in a sliver of light. My new space, in a single-story brick building just down the street, is a suite of offices with its own private entrance. Many windows not only let in abundant sunlight, but make me quite visible as well. I am amused to think of myself as on display… anyone driving by or pulling into the parking lot could look through the floor to ceiling windows and watch me at the work of my soul.

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Reflections on Italy 2007 Soul Quest

It has been less that two weeks since I returned from Italy. The experiences continues to blossom within me, subtly and profoundly altering my perception. I find it isn’t just my sense of the world that has changed, it is a shift at a deep core level of my being. A letting go… a surrendering to Spirit in a way that I don’t yet have words for. There is a fullness in my heart and a fullness in my being that surfaces in my life as a profound sense of peace .

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Diving Deeper: Finding Meaning in Health Issues

In these times of turbulence, change, and chaos, it is easy to want to oversimplify, to search for easy answers to life’s challenges. As a spiritual counselor, I find all too often, that the first place people go when they have an illness is self blame. They wonder what they have done wrong, or what issue they have failed to resolved that has caused their current condition. The first thing I tell them is, “The world is not a reward and punishment system, this world is a school for our spiritual evolution.” It is important to let go of self blame and open to what wants to stretch and grow within us. What are the deeper truths that we are ready to manifest?

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Anniversary Grief

Christmas has come and gone, as has New Years day. Life settles back into a known and not unwelcome routine. I wonder if this year the anniversary date will pass me by, without its dark invitation. I wonder, because I do not have a specific date for the anniversary I am writing of. I have a vague memory of time of a month.

Trauma can work that way, for many of us, we disassociate. We no longer use the rational mind to mark time, and other details of an event. Instead of an experience being processed and metabolized by the psyche, we choose to not think about it. All of our experience disappears, as it heads underground. Unfelt, unprocessed, feelings go straight from the emotional self, into the body consciousness, where they stay until triggered. We are left with the protection of a dreamlike memory, less devastating because it does not stand in sharp relief, its details exposed by the magnifying glass of our awareness. Vague and dreamlike yes, but not a pleasant dream, more like the unremembered nightmare that haunts your day. In fact all of us are haunted by any traumatic event that shaped our self sense and has gone unresolved.

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Watching My Children Blossom in Nepal

I began planning this trip a year ago, and here we are sitting outside the Hotel Vajra in Katmandu, Nepal.

There is an air of excitement all around us. We are here at festival time and the beautiful old brick walls surrounding the hotel are vine and flower strung. The deities in their niches are decorated with colorful powders and fresh flower garlands. They are each surrounded by lit candles and the air is rich with the incense wafting on the breeze. Lavish attention has been paid to the feminine deities in particular as this sacred time of year is celebrated.

There is a subtle yet pervasive feeling of the Himalayas that loom in the distance, though the overcast sky makes them almost impossible to see. I listen to the banter of my daughter Megan, and my son Chris, as they share lightly, easily, effortlessly with some of the group of 20 whom we have traveled to Nepal with.

We are on pilgrimage here to the birth place of Buddha. We have come to find the place where the sacred dwells inside each one of us. We are here to view ourselves and the world with the beginner’s minds. Each of us hoping and waiting for an invitation from this sacred ground, into new depths of our own connection with spirit.

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Affirmations

Affirmations are powerful tools that can help you hold a more relaxed and successful focus. We all have internal dialogue, and most of the time. We are simply so used to it that we don’t recognize it as the self talk that it is. If your inner dialogue is self-defeating, negative, or critical, you are not creating the best environment for yourself. Keep in mind that whatever you say to yourself, there is a part of you on the inside believing everything she/he hears. You are continually defining yourself and your reality. Minute by minute, self-talk by self-talk.

By using positive affirmations, you can create an environment inside yourself that encourages and supports you in all of your endeavors. Ask yourself, “Do I do better when people are positive and supportive, pointing out my strengths and skills, or when people are critical of me?” If your answer is positive, then affirmations can be helpful to you.

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