Flow House

Some of the wonderful therapists and healers at Flow House

Some of the wonderful therapists and healers at Flow House

I’m happy to introduce you to Flow House : A Center for Holistic Psychotherapy in Los Angeles, California. At Flow, we are a community of therapists and healers working collaboratively in a beautiful house near Venice Beach.

In my private practice, I had many clients coming in with “anxiety,” but what does that word really mean? It can mean so many things! It can manifest physically as pain, exhaustion or stress. It can be emotional – moodiness, emptiness, fearfulness, lack of joy. Or it can be more subtle, sneaking in with unrealistic self-expectations, and when you feel insecure, not good enough, or like you need to control people & events.

Even though many of us are struggling with the same kinds of issues, I realized that each individual heals in different ways and responds to very different approaches.

I saw a need for something more than traditional talk therapy: other tools, other practices - both ancient and modern. I talk on my blog about the different ways I have learned healing can take place, such as modern neuroscience, secular spiritual philosophies, and body-oriented approaches.

By breaking down the barriers between these practices and drawing from each of them, Flow House came to life. Along with my longtime passion for design, art and interiors, I had a newly-defined perspective that I wanted to share with the community!

I have taken a pause from my blog, but have been full of creative expression on our Flow social networks. Recent topics have included healing in relationship vs on your own, attachment styles, meditation techniques to awaken the body, sexual power in relationships, letting go of obsessive thoughts, our brain’s negativity bias, and ways in which we keep ourselves small in order to fit in socially.

🌱 If you want to stay connected and help our business grow, you may enjoy following us on Instagram. If you’re in the Los Angeles area and interested in coming in for a session, check out our website. We would love to meet you!

We have many more exciting offerings coming to life and cannot wait to share them with you! Love, Jori

Your Body Temple

"The Seed of the Areois" Paul Gaugin

"The Seed of the Areois" Paul Gaugin

This post is a continuation of my previous article on the energy systems in our bodies, known as chakras. 

You may recognize the areas in which you're stuck or imbalanced as you read. Or you can pay attention to the physical pain and symptoms in your body to help steer you. 

If chakras aren't your thing, you can think of each of these seven centers as necessary stages of growth and self-reflection that you go through on your path of inner illumination. 

My Chakra Resource Center will also help guide you. 

Thank you to Jill Willard for the amazing retreat I just attended and for many of these ideas. Also to Marie Manuchehri and Caroline Myss


What it covers:

- Your first years of life. Your basic needs. Safety. Security. Being seen, loved.
- Emotions pertaining to your childhood or family of origin. 
- How did you feel about the homes and neighborhoods you lived in, or the schools you attended?
- The patterning you were taught by tribal / societal / familial conditioning. 

How to strengthen it now: 

- Grounding tools to stay connected to your self, soul, nature: 

  • So much energy absorbs through the bottom of your feet. Touch your bare feet to the ground - dirt, earth, grass. 
  • Walk in silence. Hear your footsteps, feel them. 
  • Put your feet in a tub of organic sea salt water. 
  • Hold stones in your hands. Hold copper. Hold wood. 
  • Hug a tree. Press your chest against the tree, wrap your arms around it. 
  • Hug someone who's grounded.
  • Drum circles. Deep rhythmic music. 
  • Diatomaceous Earth

- Let go of old patterning. What rules are you plugged into? Rules such as "Save your money. Be cautious, be safe. By this age, I should be (fill in the blank). Things should happen how I expect them to. If I do xyz, I will be happy." What rules are you believing, operating under, that you're not even aware of? 




What it covers (it's a big one):

- Pleasure in relationships. Creativity. Joy. Sexuality. Passion. Your need to control. Comparison. Judgment. Addiction. 
- Learning the value of relationship/partnership (and of the relationship with yourself too - both are important). That it's not just me, me, me - we grow, share, create pleasure with others ~ friends, family, partners, neighbors, community. 
- Intimacy and trust. 
- Your need to control others, to control events, to control the way things happen. Can you think of one person you are vitally interested and invested in controlling? 
- Your attitudes about sexual attractiveness, about money, about the relationship between sexual attractiveness and money. 
- Your capacity to nurture and be nurtured.
- Your creativity, the part of you that longs to give birth to ideas. 

How to strengthen it now: 

- Center yourself. Close your eyes and inhale and exhale slow, deep breaths for several minutes until you notice that your mental chatter has quieted. 
- Rate your joy concerning your home, job, money, friends, family, partner, and creativity using 1 - 5 scale. In the areas that you're low, focus on a time in your life when you were happy. Use that memory as a tool. In the future, when making a choice, choose only those things that remind you of the happy time in your life. Do your best to walk away when the feeling is not there. 
- Get to know your desires. Ask yourself: what food, music, or activity is my favorite? You're trying to identify and develop your own happiness, independent of others. 
- Take responsibility for your thoughts and emotions. 
- Give more, expect less.
- Less black & white thinking.
- Pay attention to how many times you wonder, "What will they say if I do this?" How much of your life does this thinking control? 
- Release guilt. Lie on your back and place your hand on your belly. Close your eyes and repeat either out loud or in your mind, "I have always done the very best I could, in every situation of my life, with what I knew at the time." 




What it covers:

- Self-esteem. Self-worth. Fear. Power. Confidence. 
- Boundaries. 

How to strengthen it now: 

- Clearing, activating breath techniques, such as Lion's Breath.
- Slow, long extended breathing with one hand on belly, one hand on heart. 
- What are my thoughts of worth? What have I been taught, mirrored?
- Whose approval have I sought? What criticism has stuck with me? What have I decided makes me attractive? 
- What is my personal honor code, my center of integrity? What will I do or give up in order to keep another person in my life? Even if I know that person doesn't belong there. 
- Where am I invested in fear? Of being rejected, alone, criticized, abandoned, of disappointing others?
- My self-esteem has to be based on my capacity to follow my own self, not based on my capacity to please other people. 




What it covers:

- Love. Forgiveness. Kindness. Compassion. Giving and Receiving. 
- Appreciation. Gratitude. Humility. Unconditional love. Vulnerability. 
- Your relationship with how things are.
- Your relationship to feelings of envy, desire, jealousy, contentment, self-love, love of others.
- Your capacity to love without an agenda.

How to strengthen it now:

- Clear out expectations of others. Take people for who they are. 
- "I am" instead of "I want." 
- LET GO. Of expectation of your life or another's life. 
- What am I grateful for? 
- Expand the heart. Lovingkindness meditation.
- Maturity in intellectual intelligence, emotional intelligence, spiritual intelligence.
- Less words, less numbers, less counting.
- Flow, rhythm, stretch, move.
- Being in water is clearing.
- Stretch and open your shoulders, arms, hands.
- Tap on your collarbone and chest with your fingers. 
- Walking meditation.
- Connection to all living things. Understanding we are all one.
- Learn to not judge others. Find something you appreciate about them and genuinely feel it. 
- Forgive self. Forgive others. Love for self. Love for others. 




What it covers:

- Discovering your voice. Speaking your truth. Acting bravely. 
- Your capacity to control yourself. To maintain yourself while being in a group of people and not compromise yourself in order to stay within that group of people. 
- Staying strong enough to know what you need to do no matter what the outside world tells you. 

How to strengthen it now:

- Write down everything you do that you know you shouldn't do and everything that you don't do that you know you should. See where the wires are crossed. 
- Pay attention to how you excuse yourself to break your own rules (including the belief patterns you really shouldn't believe but do). 
- Express yourself honestly. 
- Jaw release
- Listen. Listen to hear the voice within. Listening wakes you up. But the voice is quiet. 
- Sing. Make sounds. OM. Chant. Music. Drumming. Vibration. Rhythm.
- The eyes are the truth. Look people in the eye. 




What it covers:

- Wisdom. Knowing. Intuition. Becoming a multisensory being. 
- Higher sight. Higher creativity. 
- Your capacity to use wisdom, to not judge. 

How to strengthen it:

- While keeping your head still, make large circles with your eyes in one direction and then the other for 15 seconds each. Look up at the ceiling and down to the floor. Look as far left as you can and as far right. 
- Pay attention to chills, visions, signs, synchronicities, a "knowing." (Write these down in journal). 
- Peace and calm are important in order to hear, notice.
- Yoga, meditation.
- Immerse in water.
- Trying to make a decision? Hold a symbol of the decision at your gut. Does your belly feel warm? cool? nothing?
- Practice becoming aware of your physical body in the moment multiple times a day. For example, feel your socks on your feet. What is my skin feeling? Are the socks tight, loose, heavy? Is the fabric cotton, synthetic?




What it covers:

- Higher guidance. Spirituality. Consciousness. Unity. 
- Your need for spiritual contact.

How to strengthen it:

- Meditation.
- Rituals. 
- Call in energies - who do you want to talk to? 
- Gratitude.
- Your job while you are on Earth is to discover your beautiful, unusual self and live your life out loud - not only to bring lasting joy into your life but to share the energy of feeling whole with the rest of the universe. 
- The thing that keeps us from moving forward in our lives is fear. From there, we create defense mechanisms, which are behaviors that distance us from being fully aware of unpleasant thoughts, feelings, and actions. What are yours? 



Also see: Chakra Resource Center

🌟 Good Energy🌟

Scotland. Photo by Justin Burke. 

Scotland. Photo by Justin Burke. 

My Buddhist influences have helped me to let go of things needing to be a certain way, thinking my life had to "check all the boxes" that we're told to pursue: college, internship, career, marriage, house, kids. I've become more comfortable not knowing what my life will be, finding happiness in the way things are. For a people-pleasing, achievement-oriented, perfectionist like me, it's been one hell of a relief. 

With that attitude of non-attachment, though, was also uncertainty in what I actually wanted for my life. Through healing my chronic neck/shoulder pain this year, I was introduced to intuitive energy work, which has sparked embers of clarity. Now, my focus is on honing my intuition to find my authentic life path - not what I've been instructed to want or what others tell me I want - and to find what I feel is the true meaning and purpose of my life. That lofty enough, for ya? 😉

Mindfulness - and a focus on mental and spiritual health in general - was undoubtedly one of the biggest wellness movements of 2015/2016. And now, not far into 2017, there's already a new magical craze to continue the trend: "Energy work." 

I read that, according to Pinterest, energy work is the number-one wellness trend of 2017, with a 51 percent jump in pins so far this year. Of course, like yoga and meditation, this "trend" isn't actually new - the resurgence of all things mystical is another example of an ancient practice now finding popularity in the modern world.

So, what is it? Roughly speaking, it's a method of healing blocked energy in the body. Physical, emotional and mental stress, accidents, injuries, suppressed feelings and trauma all prevent our body’s energy from flowing freely. Stagnant energy often results in hard-to-explain physical symptoms and pain such as digestion issues, food sensitivities, back/neck/shoulder pain, migraines, skin rashes, fatigue, hormonal imbalance. 

If the energy arrangement in your body has created health problems, you can help by learning to feel your feelings - especially those you have chosen to ignore. Energy becomes stagnant when emotions do because energy moves in the body based on how we feel. Positive energy moving into the body prevents disease and helps the body heal if it becomes ill. When healthy energy moves in, it wakes stagnant energy from its lifeless slumber. Vital energy then pours in, helping tissues and organs function better and making all forms of medicine more effective, too. 

There are many ways to heal and clear blocked energy, including yoga, reiki, qi gong, acupuncture, rolfing, therapeutic massage, dance, breathwork, meditation. The key is to focus on the seven energy centers in your body, known as chakras

The term chakra is a Sanskrit word meaning wheel or disc. Chakras are multidimensional orbs, appearing round or cone-shaped, that begin at the base of your spine and go up to the top of your head. Each chakra has its own color and unique role in maintaining vitality in your body, mind, and spirit. Descriptions of the chakras first appeared in the Vedas, ancient spiritual texts dating back to 2,000 BC. 

If you prefer to stay more literal, you can think of each of these seven centers as necessary stages of growth and self-reflection that you go through on your path of inner illumination. 

In my next post, I'll go into more detail on each system, but for now I'll share a recent example of how I'm using energy healing in my life. 

I received a phone call from a friend, Eden, who was very upset. She had just gotten off the phone with another friend of ours, Allegra, who told her that I had said some hurtful things about Eden's husband and her kids. Thank god, Eden called me directly to check it out because of course I didn't say these things, so I was able to reassure her that was the case. 

I was on vacation at the time, so I tried to "put it out of my head" and mostly did (I'm pretty good at not feeling my feelings). After a wonderful day and delicious, healthy meal, I started to feel sick in my stomach. My friend and I had eaten the same food except for one obvious culprit: "The meatballs. It's gotta be the meatballs," we assumed. Sadly, I was sick all through the night. The next day brought some relief until I ate a mild, bland meal and got sick once again. "The fish?"

When I returned home the following day and started to think about calling Allegra to hear her version of the story and express my feelings, I realized this had been the true culprit of the stomach ache, not the meatballs or fish. Even as aware of the mind-body connection as I am, it's still habit to see the body as one entity and my thoughts/feelings/relationships as another. When I spoke to Allegra I realized these two women were having issues figuring out their relationship with one other, that I got unfairly dragged into this, but that this had nothing to do with me. 

Codependency (wanting everyone to like me), taking on other people's problems and emotions, and stomach aches have all been recurrent themes for me. I now know that these issues are related to the third chakra, which governs the gut/digestive tract and has to do with emotional boundaries.

I closed my eyes and sent healing love, warm, light energy to my stomach and began to feel it softening, warming, soothing like a ball of sun inside my belly. I told myself that this has nothing to do with me. A lot of people tell me a lot of things and I always do my best to speak with love and care, to never gossip or be hurtful, to respect privacy, and to stay positive and loving. 

I was able to let it go and let them figure it out between themselves and, of course, my stomach felt immediately better. 

Check out my Chakra Resource Center for an introduction to your energy centers, the areas of your body they govern, supportive foods to eat, and beneficial practices. 

I Hate Change

I Hate Change

We spend our lives anticipating, and trying to protect against, loss and change. We're afraid of things changing - of losing something we have or not getting something we want. 

Recognizing impermanence, the concept that nothing is permanent, is about being present with what is. Everything is transient; it really is. Anything can happen at anytime. And nothing remains the same forever, it's always changing. 

At first, this can seem frightening, but really it means that you don't have to live in this protected shield trying to keep things from happening. You don't know what will happen, you can't possibly know, and it's not your place to know. So when things do happen, you accept it.

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A Soulful Life

A Soulful Life

I invite you to follow the example of the great teacher of soul, Socrates, and do something concrete to introduce soul into your life. Socrates writes about the Greek therapeia, which means either "care" or "service." He says that it's like the care you'd give a horse on a farm: you feed it, brush it down, exercise it, give it water, and clean its stall. That's the model for therapy of the soul. It's an everyday attention to specific needs, not a cure or repair after things have fallen apart. Its goal is not to make life problem-free, but to give ordinary life the depth and value that come with soulfulness.

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