Five Ways to Feel Better Fast in Dark Times

Feeling Down? Anxious? Overwhelmed?

Get Your Mojo working with These Road-Tested Consciousness Hacks & Feel Better in 10 Minutes or Less

Five ways to feel better fast in dark timesThe collective angst sure can feel overwhelming these days.

The astrology feels dark and heavy.

You’ve had it up to here with racist, sexist narcissists spouting off in the press, on the campaign trail, and on the Internet.

Maybe you feel like you’re surrounded by the walking dead. Your (insert older relative here) no longer has thoughts of his own. Everything he says to you on the phone is a verbatim quote from either FOX News or Breitbart.

Your partner is in the fetal position on her yoga mat, sobbing silently. You’re afraid she may be emotionally bleeding out for the last time.

Some days you wake up and the first thing you feel is (fear, anxiety, grief, a sense of creeping dread).

OK, so your details may vary, but if you’ve been feeling like you can’t take any more for far too long…

Don’t give in to the collective despair!

The astrology of 2018, even more than the last several years, seems designed to force us to do what we’ve all been trained to avoid doing, at almost any cost. And that is:

Feel our feelings so they can move through us and set us free.

The five consciousness hacks below are distilled from 10+ years of using hypnosis, shamanic journeying, archetypal astrology, and meditation to help people move through their deepest fears and let go of crippling shame. (And to move through my own stuff, of course!)

I can’t promise you that you’ll be able to let go of a lifetime’s worth of repressed anger in one sitting. But I can say with confidence that these five consciousness hacks you can do in 10 minutes or less will break you free from your trauma trance and reconnect you to your powerful, creative Essential Self.

Best of all – you can do any of them in 10 minutes or less.


DK Brainard astrologer embodied painting

What makes a Personal Evolution Astrology Reading with DK a uniquely soul-healing proposition?

Find out here.


1. Don’t just do something, sit there! (And then, without straining, allow yourself to be willing to feel a feeling you’ve been trying to avoid.)

You don’t have to make this a big deal. You can just ask, “What is this heavy feeling in my chest?” Or say out loud, “This anxiety I’m feeling in my upper body” or “I feel SO angry!”

Then just feel that feeling and let it move through you. Once you’ve reached your time limit – or sooner, if you felt it let go – shake it off. Ground yourself with a little movement or three deep conscious breaths. Now you’re ready to:

2. Do something you enjoy – something that gets you out of your head and into your body. With this tool, I suggest you aim low. As in, how low can you go? 5 minutes? A minute? Thirty-seven seconds?

Because the whole trick here is getting started.

Pushing through the ego resistance requires an initial investment of energy. The technical term for this is activation energy. You have to put energy into the new activity to get started, especially if you haven’t gotten your body moving or your voice going for a while. But it usually doesn’t take longer than 3-5 minutes to push yourself through the resistance (“I’m too tired. This sucks. Ow! This isn’t working!”) to the point where positive momentum kicks in.

Now you’re feeling better. You might even imagine yourself being able to feel really good again at some point in the future.

Some starter ideas:

  • Sing along to a song you like.
  • Make up a short interpretive dance.
  • Go for a walk and notice the birds singing or the leaves turning colors.
  • Take a shower or run a scented bath.
  • Make a favorite meal while listening to an album you love.

3. Tap it out. EFT (often called “tapping”) stands for emotional freedom technique. It works kind of like acupuncture, but without needles. And you can do it to yourself and get results.

My friend Cathryn Taylor is a pioneer in the inner child field who uses EFT or “tapping” to clear people’s emotional trauma.

Cathryn invited me on her EFT for Spiritual Fitness radio program last Thursday to talk about the Venus retrograde and how we can thrive during these challenging times. You can tap along as Cathryn leads us through a tapping sequence designed to strengthen our resolve and empower us to move through this period with grace and confidence:

Listen to “EFT for Spiritual Fitness Show 10” on Spreaker.

4. Connect with someone who can hold space for you to be real. I know this is the hardest thing to do for me when I’m feeling depressed or hopeless. But if you have someone in your life you can count on to hold space for you, reach out. Send a text or email if you can’t pick up the phone. “Hey, I’m feeling so much grief right now. Just needed to tell someone.”

Chances are your friend will offer to call you. Or initiate a text conversation. There is so much healing power in being able to say what you’re feeling to another human being who is able to listen non-judgmentally. (I’m convinced this is why AA and other 12-step programs work. They give us a space to say what we’re feeling, free of the fear of being judged or given ‘helpful’ advice.)

The worst thing we can do when we’re struggling with built-up toxic feelings is to isolate ourselves. Isolation empowers the parasitic virus of shame and fear to wreak havoc on your mind and emotions. Connecting with a mature human, expressing what you’re feeling or even that you’re feeling, loosens the grip of those old emotions.

Notes on this step:

  • I probably don’t need to say this, but don’t spew. Your friend is there to hold space for you to work through your feelings, not to carry them for you!
  • If you’re feeling suicidal or that you may be in danger or be a danger to others, please seek professional help immediately!

5. Use this simple five-step process to let go of old, stuck emotions and heal your inner child. This is a powerful precursor to doing EFT/tapping, EMDR, TRE, dance, exercise, qi gong, or any body-based movement.

Note: This exercise may take you more than 10 minutes the first time or two as you get familiar with the steps. But once you’ve got a feel for it, you’ll be amazed at how this can totally change your mood, rejuvenate your energy, and restore your confidence.

I’m going to use ‘fear’ as the problematic emotional state for this example. But it could be any other ‘negative emotion’ such as shame, despair, resentment, rage, hate, etc.

Step 1. Ground and center yourself & connect to your Essential Self.

Take three conscious breaths, using the exhale to imagine you are breathing out of your body any pain, tension, constriction, or doubt.

Ask your soul and spirit to bubble up into your awareness a time when you felt really good. A time when your mind was clear and your heart was light. This could be something you experienced yesterday in your meditation or 30 years ago while riding your bike as a child. It could have lasted for 10 seconds or for several hours. Duration does not matter here.

Once you have that memory, try to imagine yourself in your body and focus on (whichever comes more naturally):

  • feeling what you were feeling in that moment;
  • seeing the sights and colors around you;
  • hearing the sounds that were present in that moment.

This is your Essence, the you that exists beyond this lifetime, yourself as divine creative flow. Affirm your connection to this essential you as you allow the feelings, visuals or sounds to become more and more vibrant.

Step 2 – Trigger the negative feelings you want to let go of.

You’ve probably read the New Age idea that we should always speak affirmatively about our experience. Well, this is one place where you actually want to emphasize the negative!

Start by saying – out loud if you have the privacy to do so; in your head if you don’t have privacy – the negative or painful truth of what you’re feeling.

If you’re not a “words” person, you can follow the feelings in your body or the pictures that pop into your mind. But most people find that speaking the negative thoughts connected to the feeling makes the feeling stronger. Which is important – because that’s what allows the feelings to ‘heat up’ and vibrate out of your body!

  • You can talk about the emotion: “I feel so afraid that Jed will leave me and I’ll end up all alone.”
  • You can reference the feelings in your body: “I feel so much fear in my head and chest. This feeling like I’m having low blood sugar. Feeling like I’m about to faint.”
  • You can repeat the same phrase over and over or you can name the words, pictures, or body sensations that come up in response to each statement. “When Jed left me the first time and I was so alone I couldn’t function.” –> “Feeling so much fear in my chest, like I’m about to have a panic attack.” –> “Like when my dad left and my mom got so depressed she didn’t talk to me for a month.”

Step 3. Identify – and externalize – the past self who got stuck in this feeling. 

It’s really enlightening when you start to recognize that any persistent, intense negative emotional state you’re experiencing is coming from the past and is NOT you in the present moment.

The person feeling the intense abandonment fear in our example is not 35-year-old Lindsey, the successful entrepreneur and mother. Or Jim, the loving father and respected writer. It’s the inner child who was overwhelmed at age five by his/her mother’s trauma responses.

So, the mini-steps for this part are:

  1. Recognize that the person feeling this fear is not your powerful adult Self / Essence Self. Rather it is one of the ‘past selves’ representing old trauma who has stepped in and taken over your center.*
  2. Get a feel for who this part of the self is that is stuck in a trauma state, and describe what she/he is experiencing. e.g. “I’m seeing myself when I was 8 years old. I was scared of monsters under the bed and when I woke up my mom and dad, my dad went into a rage and scared me so badly I never felt safe asking for help again. I remember I had stomach aches so badly during that time period that my parents took me to the doctor but they said there was nothing wrong with me.”
  3. Use your imagination to externalize the past self = pull her/him out of your center and relate to her as you would a physical child.

Step 4. Validate her feelings and extend compassion. The short version of this is:

“I’m so sorry that you  are feeling (insert feeling) and that no one is there to help you. But I’m here now and I’m going to take care of you.”

It’s super important to validate that the past self has a right to feel whatever she is feeling. Because feelings are like the weather. They arise in response to the changing conditions of life. There are no bad feelings – unfortunately, we have been so toxically shamed about certain feelings that they feel really scary to us as adults.

But when we gloss over the ugly feelings (“Mother was doing the best she could at the time”) or shame the the inner child (“Stop feeling sorry for yourself! You’re such a victim!”), we are simply reinforcing the same abuse or abandonment that the inner child suffered in the past.

Your (healed) inner child is your true conscience and also the creative dynamo that can make your dreams come true!

Step 5. Affirm your intention to keep all parts of the self safe. You do this  by remaining in your center rather than merging into the ancestral/wounded parts. Some starter sentences you can work with:

  • “But I am going to keep you safe.”
  • “You can feel whatever you need to, you can think whatever thoughts you’re thinking, you can say anything – I’m going to create a safe space where you feel protected.”
  • “I need you to trust me and help me, because I’m going to change that pattern.”
  • “And I am going to do my very best to keep you safe/make you feel better/(insert appropriate words.”

* For many people, this past self is most accessible as an inner child. But because our wound patterns are actually transpersonal, the traumatized energy within the soul that is crying out for healing may show up as a past-life self or ancestor. You can work with whoever shows up. Working with ancestors/past-life selves will heal the wounded inner child. Working with the inner child will help heal the transpersonal selves.

** It’s important to speak to our younger inner children with a soft voice and inflection – the way you would talk to a flesh-and-blood four-year-old who is hurt and scared.

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