Human Adaptability


Chameleons have learned to adapt to their changing environment in order to survive.

One of the ways that humans, as a species, have survived is the ability to adapt. Humans have had to learn to adapt to different temperatures, different topography, different availability of food sources, and even different oxygen pressures. In our modern society, we have to also adapt to rapidly changing conditions that are not necessarily environmental changes. We are bombarded daily, hourly, and even minute to minute by new information, news, events, and communications. For me, the last month in particular has felt like we are living in a constant soap opera where “reality” shifts at the speed of light. 

It may be hard to assimilate these changes and we may find ourselves resisting and becoming mired in challenging emotions, like anger, sorrow, despair and a sense of being lost. Ultimately, though, humans’ innate ability to adapt tends to come through. We make a shift and what has seemed utterly alien begins to become more acceptable.

“When both good and bad things happen, at first you feel intense emotions,” says Sonja Lyubomirsky, distinguished professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside. “Then you adjust and you go back to baseline. This is much more powerful with positive events. People don’t adapt as completely to negative change in their lives.”

One of the ways that humans can integrate seemingly negative changes more easily is to make new daily routines. By embedding new actions or thoughts into previously established patterns, changes can seem more acceptable. Hedonic adaptation is a more scientific name for this ability to make rapid changes and it is hard-wired into our brains. It helps us to adapt quickly and what may have seemed unimaginable a month ago is now possible.

Some of the changes we have been called upon to make may be positive despite the initial negative cause. Many people have been getting outdoors more than before; some people are changing their eating habits to more healthy patterns; and others are discovering that this period has allowed them to connect with people they had lost touch with. It has also been a time for people to remember or discern what is truly important to them. How can you use your innate ability to adapt to best serve you?

Sheila Peters is a certified Eden Energy Medicine Clinical Practitioner, Reiki Practitioner, and shamanic practitioner. She also teaches classes and workshops in Stretch/Body Awareness, Energy Body Tune-up, and Jazz Dance. For more information, email Sheila at: sheilapetersdance@gmail.com, call 781-354-0725, or visit Sheila’s website at: www.energymedicineanddance.com.

© 2020 by Sheila Peters. All rights reserved.

What is distance energy healing?

Many people are both curious and skeptical about distance energy medicine sessions. Some are wary about trying a different way of experiencing energy medicine. They wonder if it works. I answer the most frequent questions below.

What does the phrase “distance energy healing” mean?

Distance energy healing refers to an energy medicine session in which the practitioner and the client are not in physical proximity. Sometimes called a remote session, the distance between the two parties can be many miles apart or they can simply be in separate rooms. The actual physical distance doesn’t matter.

What is distance healing?

Distance healing is based on the belief that time and space are not concrete and fixed constructs. The modern science of quantum physics theorizes that time is fluid and objects far apart can influence each other simultaneously. Since everything we know in the universe has an energetic signature, it follows that thoughts, emotions, intentions, and words have an energetic vibration just as physical actions do. 

Quantum entanglement, proven in 1997 by a University of Geneva in Switzerland scientific study, suggests that the universe is holographic. One piece contains the whole and vice versa. Thus, if an energetic vibration is sent out by a practitioner towards a receiver, the receiver experiences a response regardless of the space between them. 

We have heard of this kind of interaction between all parts of the whole in the much-vaunted Butterfly Effect (Edward Lorenz, chaos theory), i.e., that a small change can make much bigger changes happen. For example, a tiny butterfly can flap its wings in Tokyo and affect the weather, continents away. In distance energy medicine work, the practitioner’s healing energy can be felt simultaneously by the recipient, and it can have a long-term effect.

How is a session set up?

Usually, a practitioner will have a preliminary conversation with a client to learn what issues, whether physical or emotional, are troubling the client. The actual “working” part of the session will then follow and last as long as the practitioner determines is necessary to give the client some relief. The session often ends with a second feedback conversation. 

There are many ways to set up a distance healing session. Some practitioners like to use technology to interact with their clients; for example, a Skype or Zoom meeting may be used for the entire session. Other healers will speak to the client in real time before and after the “working” section of the session. Some practitioners interact with their clients only through emails, and give and get feedback days after the session.

What is my preference when facilitating distance sessions?

My personal preference is to chat via phone initially with a client to get an idea of what the client wishes to address, whether it is a physical malady or an emotional situation that is causing problems. Often the two areas – physical and emotional – will be intertwined and can be addressed at the same time since an emotional issue can be reflected in the body. After the phone call, I ask the client to lie down in a comfortable and safe place and just relax while I go to “work.” During this time, the client may fall asleep or sink into a drowsy state. If the client has a hard time relaxing, I usually suggest that they remain quiet and read or meditate or listen to soothing music. Usually the “working” part of the session lasts about an hour. I then call the client back and we talk about what the client experienced and what I observed as I did the healing. Typically, I then give the client exercises or tasks to do as a follow up to enhance and augment the healing that was performed.

What is it that I am doing during the “working” part of the session?

Just as I would in an in-person session, I check various energy systems in the client’s body and auric field. In a physical session, I use muscle testing on the client to get a reading of whether a particular system needs balancing or support. In a distance session, I utilize surrogate testing to determine if some areas needed attention. Once I have cleared the basic organization of the energy systems, I work more deeply on whatever comes up that needs deeper attention. 

I am still using my intuition and honed investigative skills to sense a client’s needs in a distance session just as I would in a face-to-face session.

How is a distance session different for me as a practitioner than an in-person session?

Frankly, a distance session can be surprisingly effective and can even allow me to go deeper than an in-person session. Because there is no talking involved during the treatment, there is less distraction for me as I am “listening” to what the client’s energies are saying about their well-being. Since the client is relaxing at home, he or she is sometimes even more open to letting me in psychically. Further, some deeper core issues may be more apparent without the physical body being present. Beliefs and patterns of thinking can also become clearer without clients feeling they need to put up a façade or mask, as they might if they were right in front of me. So sometimes a distance session can feel more efficient than a physical session.

That being said, I do miss the physical interaction as do many of my clients that usually see me in person. Although I have some clients that I only do distance work with because they live so far away from my studio.

How do I know it’s time to end the session? 

Just as I can sense that a client has had enough in a physical session, I can sense the same in a distance session. Often clients say they were “fully cooked” or waking up, just before I call back for feedback. 

How is a distance session different for a client?

Well, the obvious difference is that the client doesn’t drive to my studio. As one client said to me the other day: “You have to trust and surrender, and what comes, comes; what happens, happens.” LB

Here are other clients’ responses: 

“I have been a client of Sheila’s for several years, and I had always experienced positive, sometimes transformational, results from her energy medicine sessions. The benefits of these sessions have occurred for me in mind, body, emotions, and spirit. I consider our sessions to be a valuable tool in my kit as I continue to grow into my Self. Of course, our sessions have always been in-person.

We scheduled a session for early March when the COVID-19 pandemic descended upon the world. Sheila suggested that we have a session remotely, by phone, something she has done with clients in the past. Knowing and trusting her as I do, I agreed. As the session progressed, following her guidance, I began to experience myself settling into a deep state of relaxation in my body, with my awareness quiet yet alert. Immediately following the session, I rested and the inner quietness and feeling of being grounded and centered continued. 

My sessions with Sheila have always produced profound results. I feel a sense of peace and contentment in the moments immediately following our sessions, and then in the days that follow, I notice subtle changes begin to take place.” JP

“When I have a distance healing session with Sheila, I can feel the energy moving in my body as if I were in person with her. I can feel the energy begin to move right away and it feels like light sensation moving through my body as she does her work from afar. Connecting on the phone before and after the session is very helpful to ground me in the session and lift my spirits in this wild and crazy time. So grateful to be able to still do sessions with Sheila even though we are all quarantining.” CS

“I have been working with Sheila for many years now. She is amazing and has healed old traumas and wounds energetically. I can arrive feeling low energy and depleted, and leave feeling on top of the world ready to conquer whatever crosses my path.  She uses many modalities and always seems to know what I need before I even arrive. She has been doing remote work on me and the effects are amazing and I always feel better, either calmer or more energized, depending on what I needed. I highly recommend her.”  CF

To schedule a distance energy medicine session, call me  at 781-354-0725, or email me at sheilapetersdance@gmail.com so we can find a date and time that works for you. 

Sheila Peters is a certified Eden Energy Medicine Clinical Practitioner, Reiki Practitioner, and shamanic practitioner. She also teaches classes and workshops in Stretch/Body Awareness, Energy Body Tune-up, and Jazz Dance. For more information, email Sheila at: sheilapetersdance@gmail.com, call 781-354-0725, or visit Sheila’s website at: www.energymedicineanddance.com.

© 2020 by Sheila Peters. All rights reserved.

Who, me? A Snowbird?

Who, me? A Snowbird?

It began as a daydream. The idea of escaping to Florida got encouragement from my son and daughter-in-law. Then the New England winter strongly reinforced it. And suddenly it began to feel like it could become a reality. Despite all of the urging, there was a lot of resistance on my part. Could I afford it? Would my classes suffer? Would my clients feel as though I’d abandoned them? Would I be lonely or bored?

The main issue, though, was that I’d never thought of myself as a Snowbird. I had envisioned them as grey-haired, decrepit, old people escaping the harsh winter months because they couldn’t hack it. They were burned out and frail; they didn’t have the gumption or energy to make it through the colder months. That wasn’t me!

In retrospect, I have to admit that I was finding the ice, frigid temperatures, and shoveling of snow more onerous than in the past. In order to counteract the winters, I had been taking one-week vacations to beautiful scenic spots for several years – the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Belize. These vacations seemed to restore both my body and soul, and I returned to New England each time feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. 

Last February, I returned from a snorkeling trip where my hair, long-dyed, lost much of its color. Although I had contemplated letting my hair go gray for a couple of years, I always seemed to pull back from actually committing to the process. I knew it would take years for my natural gray to fully return, as my hair is long, and I balked at chopping it all off. After this particular trip, it just seemed to be the right time, and I am now a multi colored woman! Grey/silver hair for about 6 inches, then a mixture of browns with a couple of brightly colored green and blue streaks underneath.

So, I had now achieved 2 out of the 3 items in my list of what made up a snowbird: I had grey hair and admittedly I was getting older. But decrepit – never! This is when I realized that aging itself is a choice. If I didn’t limit myself in terms of physical activity and health, why did I need to limit myself in terms of how I thought about being a snowbird? In fact, there were many advantages to spending time in Florida in February!

Miami Beach – warm, humid, flowers and leafy trees, ocean, and family! My son and daughter-in-law had moved here over a year ago and my grandson was just 7 months old! One of my best friends and energy medicine colleagues lived in Miami. No snow, no cold outside temperatures or dry roasting hot rooms inside the house. No need to put on excessive layers of clothing. I could enjoy the beauty of a new place, discover new neighborhoods, meet new people, and push myself to explore what was unfamiliar. Being a snowbird no longer seemed to be about shortcomings but more about breaking limiting habits, thoughts, and boundaries.

In this first short week, I have moved into a small but perfect, for me, cottage in a neighborhood that I most likely would never have seen had I stayed in a South Beach hotel. The area is filled with extravagant new mansions that face the bay but also more modest homes that were built years ago. Walking around, I have discovered fantastic gardens, elaborate wrought-iron gates, and wildly varied styles of architecture. There are no high-rises here, and the trees are filled with birds and squirrels while little lizards scurry to get out of the way of my feet on the sidewalk.

I am walking everywhere here and sometimes think I know better than the maps I consult on my phone. That leads me to investigate places that I would never have been seen otherwise. The free trolley is a boon, though sometimes they don’t stop because they are full. This means I have to be patient and temper my expectations while I wait for the next trolley. Each day, I am reminded of how much I am driven by my schedule and routine at home.

Learning how to live in a new environment compels me to create new mental maps. How do I get the things I need when I don’t know where to get them? How do I get to those places without a car? What are the basics that I really need to survive and thrive? What can I live without that I never imagined? It begins to narrow down what is essential away from what is superfluous.

Perhaps what this experience is teaching me is to see more clearly without the filter of external expectations, imagined limitations, and unrealizable ambitions. To acknowledge all my attainable desires and wants and needs. To release what is not attainable or even realistic. As Joseph Campbell so succinctly noted, “We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”

After all, going on this journey to a new place and learning how to create a life here in Miami Beach isn’t the most difficult of challenges. I’m not completely alone and English is spoken here. But in a sense, it’s like going to a strange and unfamiliar country. I have to relearn myself and figure out where I fit into the new environment. I am evaluating who I am becoming at this stage in my life and looking at future possibilities.

My maternal grandparents visited San Miguel de Allende in Mexico when they were in their middle seventies for five months. Part of their motivation was my grandmother’s lifelong interest in painting. For me, they serve as an example of what is possible at an older age. We don’t have to stay home and wither away. We are fully capable of continuing to grow until our physical death, capable of rejuvenating who we are through new experiences and exposure to the unfamiliar, capable of finding new passions that fuel ongoing dreams.

It is important for each of us to try out new circumstances, to venture outside of our comfort zones, to reach for the unknown but often dreamt of. The novel experience doesn’t have to be extreme, and we don’t even have to travel away from home to encounter a fresh adventure. However, for me, this time my adventure was becoming a Snowbird.

Sheila Peters is a certified Eden Energy Medicine Clinical Practitioner, Reiki Practitioner, and shamanic practitioner. She also teaches classes and workshops in Stretch/Body Awareness, Energy Body Tune-up, and Jazz Dance. For more information, email Sheila at: sheilapetersdance@gmail.com, call 781-354-0725, or visit Sheila’s website at: www.energymedicineanddance.com.

© 2020 by Sheila Peters. All rights reserved.