The Heart as Chrysalis

Watercolor painting by Katelyn Mariah Oct 2017


Heart Attacks

are the Great Excavator

if you allow them to work their magic.

They will take you on a transformational and metamorphosis like no other.

They will shake you to your core, strip you down, crack you open, throw you down, turn you into goo and send you back into the world like a new butterfly.

It’s a hell of a process!

you will look like you don’t know what you are doing,

people will think you are unevoled because you have raw emotions,

You will be judged and tossed aside and want you to “just get over it”, clearing the way for your real tribe to emerge.

It will be raw and messy, you will wish you were dead, want to give up, try to run away. If you do you will miss your greatest opportunity.

It takes deep courage and radical self care to take the journey.




Launching a New Book

I am a treeStrong limbed and deeply rootedMy fruit is bittersweetI am your mother (2)

I am really excited to be publishing my fourth book!!

Here is a little background…

My story, the short version

One would think that someone who had 3 heart attacks over 10 months must be unhealthy.  That wasn’t true of me. I was healthy, ate healthy food and had worked on personal development for years. I had no warning when I had the first heart attack on March 20, 2016, which was caused by a fire in my dryer.  That fire turned into a blessing because that uncovered the issue that was happening in my arteries. I had the second heart attack in Austria and was hospitalized for a week in a hospital wear 95% of the people didn’t speak English. That by itself taught me a lot. The third heart attack happened January 2017.  All three of them were the result of elevated Lipoprotein (a) and I tell these transformational stories and how I healed my heart in Resilient Heart along with techniques for you can use to strengthen, enhance your health and open your heart.

The importance of this mission wasn’t lost on me and through my own transformation and healing I found pearls that will help you!  That is the kind of deep sea diving I like! It made this difficult journey worth it for me.

I began writing first in my journal, next in my blog and then I put it all together into a book.  There were times during that period where I didn’t have any energy but I could lay in bed and research and I could write in my journal.  I knew from the beginning that this was an important healing journey, I didn’t realize how BIG.

I am on a mission to end heart disease! I want to be part of the solution.  Did you know that 80% of all heart disease is preventable? Our friends and family are dying from it and they don’t have too.  That is why I want this book to become a reality and get out into the world.  I discovered things in my research that doctors weren’t telling patients.  Things they need to know.

For example: 1 in 5 people have elevated Lipoprotien (a) yet they don’t test for it in the US or treat it.  I have to find alternative ways to heal in order to save my life.  I share that in my book.

I have started an Indigogo campaign to help with publishing.  You can be a part of the solution to by joining me in making a contribution to this project. I have some awesome perks that you can purchase and the funds go toward the campaign.  Let’s start saving some hearts.

View the campaign here

Book Cover:



We are powerful creators!



For a few years I have taken issue with the theory around the Law of Attraction because it feels like something is missing and there is a lot of spiritual bypassing in it.

The other day I heard a quote that has me pondering if this is part of what is missing.  It goes something like this,  Everything you are experiencing now is because of what you asked for.  To me that is different than thoughts become things. Here is why…

A few days before I heard that quote I wrote this question in my journal ” why would someone create the experience of having 3 heart attacks in ten months ” which I had done.  Some people told me it meant something was wrong with my thinking. Others often solutions of food and supplements I might try. Others just felt sorry for me.

Then I heard the quote Everything you are experiencing now is because of what you asked for.  It’s like the concept of sending out rockets of desire but it landed differently inside of me.

On March 8 2016 I did a ritual on the Eclipse, which astrologically was a powerful one for me.  Two of the things I asked for were Supreme Health and Wellness and a conscious partnership.

On March 20, 2016, the Spring Equinox, I had the first heart attack.

One of the things I learned early in this heart journey is that my heart was shut down because of earlier life trauma. Trauma I had worked on many times over the years. What remained was hidden from me at the cellular level.

Cellular memory is hard to reach. Which meant it was pretty much impossible for me to have supreme health and a conscious partnership.  My desire for both was strong and the universe was listening and took the most efficient way to open my heart…heart attacks.

This is a different twist on the Law of Attraction where thoughts become things. I wasn’t thinking about having heart attacks. I was thinking quite the opposite. It was confusing because simplistically the Law of Attraction says, negative thoughts become negative things and positive thoughts become positive things.

Accordingly id something bad happens you created it by what you were thinking. There is a lot of shame in that.

If my positive intentions to have supreme health and wellness and a conscious partnership created three heart attacks because that was the pathway to get there, that’s a great thing! It’s nothing to be ashamed of. The universe chose the most effective and efficient way to clean up and clear out what wasn’t in alignment with my intentions.

AND now I am in a space where I can magnetize them because my heart is open and returning to wellness!

Create Your Own Natural Heart Bypass


This information blew me away!  Just the possibility that something like this can happen got my imagination going.  I made up my mind then and there that I was going to grow one to bypass the stent that couldn’t be opened.

Before having a heart attack, I had never heard of the heart’s little collateral arteries. In fact I only learned about them after having a stress test, after the second heart attack.  I was frustrated with the idea that doctors wanted to go back into my heart because I was having chest pain.  I started researching and stumbled upon the first of many articles about natural bypass.

Collateral arteries are small, normally closed arteries that, in times of dire need, such as a blocked coronary artery that leads to a heart attack, can wake up, open wide, and enlarge enough to form a kind of detour around the blockage, thus providing an alternate route of blood supply to feed the oxygen-starved heart muscle. Do-it-yourself bypass surgery!

When cholesterol-clogged plaque narrows an artery that feeds the heart, the body responds by trying to bulk up tiny blood vessels in the heart. As these so-called collateral vessels grow more muscular and interconnected, they begin to reroute some of the blood flow around the blockage. Scientists have been trying for years to nudge collateral blood vessels to develop and prosper, but without great success. However, you can do it at home without anything more high-tech than a comfortable pair of shoes, reports the Harvard Heart Letter in its January 2008 issue.

Growing new collateral blood vessels can ease chest pain (angina), limit heart attack damage, improve survival rate. Exercise dramatically increases blood flow through the coronary arteries. The inner lining of the arteries responds to this “stress” much as it does to the stress of atherosclerosis, by stimulating collateral blood vessels to elongate, widen, and form new connections.

My research said that a little bit of exercise wouldn’t do the trick. I read that you need to push your heart. If you aren’t used to exercising, that may mean brisk walking. Any activity that gets your heart beating faster will do as long as you keep it up for 20 to 30 minutes at a time and do it several times a week It is a great way to prevent Heart disease, Hypertension, High cholesterol, Diabetes, and Migraines, and studies show that it can help some people with narrowed coronary arteries safely avoid bypass surgery or angioplasties.

In response to endurance exercise training, such as running, bicycling, swimming and hiking, blood flow is increased.  This leads to a conversion from capillaries into collaterals.  This is treatment that anyone can accomplish.  It reduces the chances of the occurrence of angina pectoris, myocardial infarctions, and death.

Beyond the interventional, surgical and medical treatments against coronary artery disease, which can have serious side effects, collateral training is a natural and valuable therapy that many patients can apply themselves once they are aware of the possibility.

When you do aerobic exercise the blood flow is increases and the inner layer of vessel cells (endothelial cells) sense this necessity and start the process of forming new arteries called “collateral vessels”. In response to endurance exercise training blood flow is increased, which leads to formation of collaterals. Small bypass vessels which act as a ‘back-up system’ for the heart’s main arteries play a significant role in reducing the mortality of patients with coronary artery disease, according to new research.

There is an actual therapeutic process that they can do that uses compression on your legs and this pressure is supposed to make your heart work harder. It is called EECP which stands for enhanced external counterpulsation.

This safe, noninvasive therapy is often called a “natural bypass” because as it dramatically boosts circulation and increases blood flow throughout the body, EECP also stimulates collateral blood flow. Collateral arteries are small blood vessels that, in the presence of insufficient blood supply, open, enlarge, and create a detour or alternative pathway for blood to flow around blockages in major arteries. Collaterals are truly nature’s coronary artery bypass, and EECP helps open them up. Over time it can force your heart to create a natural by pass.  It takes six weeks and you have to go in for treatment every day.  That was way too much work as far as I was concerned.

After reading the research I had a follow-up visit with my primary care physician.  I wanted to see what she had to say about this idea and even though I thought she might think I was crazy I asked the question.  She reached over and grabbed my treatment plan and started drawing a picture for me about how natural bypass can happen.  I was stunned that she knew and that she was telling me about it!

The following day I saw my chiropractor and was talking to her about the chest pain, stress test and the small blocked artery I had that couldn’t be opened when I was in Austria.  The first thing she said was “you don’t have to worry about that you are going to grow new arteries to compensate.”  This was without any prompting from me or talk about the research I had found.

I brought this subject up to my Naturopathic Doctor in a phone call and she agreed that it was very possible and said that information usually doesn’t trickle down to physicians.  I learned later on that 4 people I knew had experienced this happening to them.

I think that if doctors and the medical profession can be patient with our healing and not jump immediately to stents or bypasses there is a huge possibility that our hearts can and will create natural bypasses.

All I needed was the collaboration with my doctors that it was possible to grow a natural bypass and I made up my mind to do it!  I even announced on Facebook that I was going to. There wasn’t any evidence that I had a collateral artery forming when I was in Austria in August.  It was in November that I decided if it was possible, I would make it happen. I didn’t give it much thought after that.

When I went in for the intake interview for Cardio Rehab after the third heart attack in January 2017 the rehab therapist was talking to me about my stents.  He pulled out a report that had a drawing on it of my arteries and where the stents were placed.  He looked at it and said “Oh, I see you have a collateral artery.”  I said “What, I grew one!  I wanted to do that!!!”  I was jumping for joy inside.  He looked at me and said no one had ever said they wanted to grow a new artery in his office before.  I said “That is because they don’t know that they can!”

I did it! I grew a natural bypass.  How awesome is that?

Here is my before and after.  There was no evidence when I had the heart attack in Austria that this was even starting to happen.


There is a lot of articles written about this on line and I encourage you to do research for yourself.  You will also find several other interventions beyond exercise that can assist the body in creating natural bypasses.


I just finished my new book Resilient Heart: a field guide to a happy healthy heart

Visit my indigogo campaign for details 

Moving from Madness to Miracles!


I had a stress test yesterday to find the origin of my chest pain.  I am told by my chiropractor that it is my ribs but my cardiologist wants to make sure it isn’t my heart.

The treadmill was cranked up to a 16% incline and 3 miles an hour and I was holding on for dear life ask I kept up the pace. My pain was a 10!  I wanted to stop but I stayed with it because I wanted them to have the best idea of what was going on in my heart if anything.

My heart wasn’t happy but it was strong.  It kept beating…

As the hospital cardiologist was talking to me I went someplace else after he said the test was abnormal.  He said it could be coming from the small branch stent that they couldn’t open in Austria or it could be new blockage.  I heard both of those things and my mind went into confusion.  This is the kind of answer that always drives me crazy because it is nebulous and not definitive.  He couldn’t tell me for sure what was wrong and said he didn’t have a crystal ball.  Thanks dude!  I wanted you to have a crystal ball!  It would make things so much easier for me.

I left the hospital defeated. This wasn’t the outcome I was expecting.  I was expecting good news.  As I was driving I raised my hand in the air and shouted “Who the fuck can I trust?” I was angry. My inner guidance, which is a wiser part of me, had told me my heart was strong and healing and not to worry, so I didn’t.  My inner guidance had told me this all along.  Now this doctor is telling me the test was abnormal and there was something wrong and he wasn’t sure what it was.

I drove to the studio my daughter manages, because I needed someone to talk to and I knew she would be a good listener, she always is. I told her I wanted to give up, that this was too much and I didn’t want them digging around in my heart again! I just couldn’t do this any more.

I told her that my guidance had told me that my heart was strong and I was fine.  She said, ask yourself. I said that is myself!!!

I blubbered and cried and said things a 4-year-old might say, because that is where I go when I am scared.  She listened to me while managing the studio from the hallway.  I blubbered while she signed for a package from UPS, while her boss handed her the phone for another phone call, while people came in and out of the hallway.  I just cried and didn’t care who saw me.

As the day progressed I could feel myself feeling better, more calm, as this ball of thread unraveled. The theme of the year has been “Who can I trust if I can’t trust myself?”  My inner knowing is about 99% accurate yet when it comes to personal information I often question it as though it was 1% accurate!!  My inner knowing is my heart wisdom and my heart wants to be heard! It has been shouting at me for 9 months and giving me lessons in trust. Trying to flip the switch to 100% total trust, where it should be.

Socially many of us are taught to go to worse-case scenario.  I often heard “don’t get your hopes up” when I was a kid.  That’s crazy, what’s wrong with having high hopes.

I kept asking “How can I trust my guidance when the test says something else?” Other people who are highly intuitive told me my heart was strong and wasn’t going to block again. My heart told me the same thing.

The question took me deeper.  And then it came to me, I was given two possible options and I had latched on to the worse-case scenario not what I already knew to be true. I was getting guidance from everyone including myself that everything was okay because it was! I knew that the small stent was still blocked.  The doctor in Austria said it wouldn’t have an impact on my life expectancy so I shouldn’t worry about it, but it could cause me pain.  He had given me a medicine for that and when I went to the Cardiologist here he said I didn’t need it.

I traced the pain back to soon after the second heart attack, when I was pulling my suitcases through the airport.  I thought that was just part of the healing process.  This pain eventually got mixed together with the rib pain that I was having.  It had gotten better since I stopped lifting weights so I assumed my ribs were healing.  But there was still that incline by my house.  Not to steep but still caused me severe pain.

This pain and the abnormality on the Stress Test ( which they should rename by the way) couldn’t be a new blockage in the repaired stent.  That would me that it closed back up right away.  That wouldn’t make sense and it was getting better not worse.

This brings me back to TRUST!  My inner guidance and the guidance of others was right.  My heart was doing great.  It wasn’t going to block again. I had so much going in my favor that it wasn’t possible that I was going backwards.  The blocked stent was already part of the healing heart process. My body was learning how to accommodate it.  This is what I have to trust because thinking about it in this way brought me a sense of peace and calm.  It brought me back to love and gratitude, the energy that creates miracles.  The energy that my heart wants me to be in.  I have created miracles many times from this space in the past.  I can do it again!!! And I will do it again!


Courage is my Default Setting


Courage and bravery are my default setting.  They haves been since I was four years old.  They get turned on when I am in threatening situations.  Instead of getting scared I get stronger, more alert, funny and peaceful.  It is not a way to avoid my feelings, it is just my strong suit.

I have gotten through the last eight months because of my courage and stubbornness.  Damn it! I wasn’t going to let 2 heart attacks get me down.  There was a benefit to all the courage and bravery because they didn’t get me down.

I went to see the movie: Arrival, last weekend.  I went by myself, forgetting that movies often trigger me. If there is something inside me that needs to release, a movie will trigger it!  The movie Arrival did that.  I began to feel anxiety during the trailers and it built from there.  Don’t get me wrong, this is an amazing movie that everyone should see but it held my trigger.

I don’t think I will give anything away by saying what it was.  Watching the crew trying to communicate with the aliens.  They didn’t have the same language and they had to figure it out.  It was painstaking and frustrating.

Watching that catapulted me back to the six days I spent in the hospital in Austria where 95% of the staff and both of my room mates spoke German.  I got in touch with all of the feelings that my strength and bravery put a lid on.  My default feeling is not a way of avoiding what I am feeling but a tool for survival.

Suddenly watching the movie I felt the fear, frustration, sadness, anxiety and feels of being trapped in a situation where I had no control and had to surrender to that.  I felt like my heart was going to explode and it was painful and intense.   It was coming out whether I liked it or not.  At the end of the movie I couldn’t get out of the theater fast enough.   I made my way to my car, called a friend and blubbered my way through a conversation as I hung my head over my steering wheel and cried.  I felt a myriad of feelings for several days and then they were gone.  It felt like a turning point in my healing…

Not being me


I never felt like I belonged.

I spent many years trying not to be who I am so I would fit in.  It wasn’t that I was being fake, I hid myself by being quiet and observing, looking for safe places where I could open up.  I kept my real self hidden, afraid to let people in because I was different. I think differently, I am ultra-creative, my mind is very open to new, unusual and “out there things”, I rebel against authority, can’t stand the status quo, I hate when people say things about me that aren’t tru, I get bored easily, I know things I shouldn’t know, I can see 360 degrees around a problem and come up with a unique and perfect solution and so much more.  What would people think if they knew that?  It took a long time for me to let people get a glimpse of me and it was only a handful of people.

What a sad social program fitting in is! We will never feel like we belong. How can we if we are not in touch with our authentic self. People can’t connect to something that isn’t real unless they are pretending too. But that isn’t true connection.  We aren’t socialized to really connect and be authentic. We are socialized to be the same, fit in so we can be acceptable.

Its still happening. I see it happening to my grandson in school. Sit still, be quiet, don’t disrupt or we will put you at a table facing the wall. We will make you stand out for being “bad”. They say “No” to his “yes” and take away his power because he I’d different. He is a creative spirit, like I am and like his mom is and that doesn’t fit into the school program.

I have been pealing back the layers of “not me” for many years, putting my toe in the real water to see what happens. It’s scary at times but I do it anyway. People who I thought were friends have left because me being real means they have to be real too. They liked the quiet, pretend me better I guess.

Finally my heart said no more! Enough playing by the rules and hiding. You must be real to save your life! Your authenticity will create the life that you have dreamed about. The real you is magnetic to other real people and the real things that make your heart sing.

So since the heart attack I have been transparent about the good, bad and ugly and it has been scary, but the more I am my authentic self the fear has faded away. Yes, I have been misunderstood , and people have walked away and that is okay. If people don’t like me they don’t belong in my life. What they think about me is a reflection on themselves . We are deserved to be loved, respected, listened to and heard and accepted and honored for who we are and that has to start within. From there it will ripple out and come back as a reflection outside of you.

When you fit in and belong to yourself you can fit it and and belong to others.

Let’s be Real.


My Personal River Styx


As a visionary artist my paintings are often prophetic.  This one was painting in Ibiza, Spain and at the time I wasn’t sure of its meaning. 4 months after I painted it I began a journey on my personal River Styx that started with a heart attack. (You can read some of my blogs about it here.)

A simple understanding of this painting is that it is Psyche floating in a chrysalis on the River Styx toward the moon.  She moves gracefully over the souls of the dead who lost their lives in the river. I understood the image to mean it is possible to float gracefully over perilous waters when navigating the darkness with light.  The light and dark create balance and she is able to find her way.

In the story of Psyche and Eros she has to complete 4 almost impossible tasks in order to win the favor of the Goddess Aphrodite who was jealous of her and wanted her to die. The last part of the story, in which Psyche has important tasks to fulfill, shows the making of her Self. The third task was to go to the mouth of the River Styx where it entered the underworld and fill a crystal vase with water.  Through death, which is an organic and symbolic part of life, she is born into eternal life by undergoing tests, purifications, death, resurrection, and ascension.

In Asteroid Goddesses, Demetra George says that Psyche archetype is connected with psychic sensitivity, especially towards the mind and feelings of another, but also with being able to feel and communicate with nature.

The river Styx (“the river of hate”) was the boundary between the Earth and the Underworld. It separates the realm of the living from that of the dead. To touch the water is fatal, yet the Styx is the river of life and psyche is learning that she must meet life patiently and carefully. Mythologically the River Styx is the river of life and death.  Its raging torrents are the source of human creativity and vitality.  It could be seen as a symbol of the collective unconscious.  Psyche’s task is to draw from its plrimordial waters only those energies that are appropriate for her emerging individuality (ego self) symbolised by the crystal goblet.

On her path, Psyche is now integrating the archetypally masculine energies symbolized by the eagle: a solar bird of consciousness. The only way for Psyche to complete the task is to not only listen to her feminine self but also subordenate her self to the masculine spirit of the eagle/Zues. This symbolizes the union of the masculine and feminine and how working together gets the task done.

“Eagles are the opposite energy to the energy carried by the river Styx: thus this labour entails the unification of opposites. In connection with eagle symbolism, Cirlot shares an interesting thought in his Dictionary of Symbols: “… the constellation of the Eagle is placed just above the man carrying the pitcher of Aquarius, who follows the bird’s movement so closely that he seems to be drawn after it by unseen bonds. From this it has been inferred that Aquarius is to be identified with Ganymede, and also with the fact that even the gods themselves need the water of the Uranian forces of life.” The higher Aquarian waters of pure understanding are juxtaposed with the murky, toxic waters of hate flowing in the Styx. Both streams reflect the mysteries of Life and Death, as the whole myth of Eros and Psyche does.”

Zeus’ eagle now comes to Psyche giving her an overview of how to go after what you need, how you avoid the dangers, keep your eye on the prize, and go for it. The eagle takes the crystal goblet. It returns to give Psyche the goblet, now filled with Stygian water that she was to get for task three. One would say that at each step Psyche has learned something new. The eagle, has the ability to see what it wants and plunge from the sky to grab it in its talons. That ability to see the overall picture, to see the forest but not each individual tree, is a way of being in the world.  The masculine focus and action combined with the feminine intuition and creative thinking forms a balanced union of the energies, which helps her complete this difficult task.

In my journey to heal my heart I was very aware of the energies of death, especially after the second heart attack which had a 1% chance of happening.  I felt like I was floating on both the waters of life and the waters of death in a very delicate juxtaposition. My task was also to integrate the masculine and feminine energies within myself so that I could live a balanced and authentic life.

At times when I was focused on the idea that I might die I had to rise above those feelings like and eagle and get a higher prospective otherwise I was overwhelmed with anxiety. My task was healing and anxiety didn’t help me with that task.  I had to draw from the life giving waters remembering that I had the vehicle to float gracefully above that waters of death that seemed to be pulling at me.

There is so much more to that painting and so many more connections that could be made but that is a taste of how I see it as being prophetic for my journey and how the information I get is often ahead of what happens in the physical world.


It Takes a Village


Feelings and emotions serve a purpose.

As far as I am concerned feeling what you feel and expressing that is key to healing.  That includes all of the feelings and especially when dealing with life threatening illness such as a heart attack.

Statues quo says talk about the successes and keep the challenges to your self.  Don’t think negative thoughts about what is going on or you will create more of that. We love to hear that our friend who has cancer has blood counts improving or they are gaining weight. Or our friend with a broken leg just got their cast off. All of that is awesome!

We can get behind progress and cheer our friends on!

It is harder to hear about the challenges. People who are sick know that, so they do share and often they suffer in silence and when the pain gets so bad they stuff the feelings away. When they need support the most they shrink away from it to protect people’s feelings.  We NEED to express this stuff too, and we need to feel heard and held.  Express and it will move through you.

We fear that people will think less of us if we express negative feelings!  That is very sad to me.

Behind the scenes I have felt fear, anger, depression, betrayed and all sorts of feelings mixed together. I know that hiding them is not healing for me.

Those who have been with me on this heart journey from the beginning know that I made a commitment to share it all. The good, bad and ugly. My purpose in doing that was to normalize the process. To help others know they are not alone. To give people permission, if you will, not to suffer in silence. I share this process in totality because I know that it works because I have done it before.

In share my healing process I have discovered where my real support is and that has healed me. I was surprised to discover which people dropped out of sight as soon as I got sick.  People who I had always supported stopped talking to me.   I have grown through my transparency which hasn’t always been easy.  People misunderstand what I am doing, some get uncomfortable, some can support in easy, gentle ways and it is my hope that I have role modeled another way to come back to wholeness.

It takes a village…thanks for being mine