INNER ALCHEMY | karen johnson

Somatic Awareness: Body Sensations Open Inner Worlds

We are all unique.  Each and every one of us is an expression of that life force we hold within. How that life force or intelligence expresses will be as individual and distinct as we are.  Your physical and energetic body holds everything. 

It’s the Blueprint to Discover Who You Are


Body Intelligence

Our bodies contain wisdom about how we live, what we believe, what brings us joy, sorrow, and what we need to allow ourselves to be who we are.

Your emotional and physical health is imprinted within your body sensations and felt sense.  You will identify the problem and find the direction to move forward by listening to your body.  Sounds simple.  Well, yes and no.


Ignoring the Body

For many people it is pain which finally awakens us to what is being held within the cells of our body.  We can be so focused on our life while being disassociated from what we are experiencing and feeling that we don’t pay attention to the subtle signals which our body transmits constantly to us.

The body can turn up the volume to get our attention: even shouting at us.  It is at the moment when the body is screaming at us in pain that we finally pay attention.



Body Sensations

A body sensation is a clear, physical feeling sensed in the body. To learn how to interpret our body sensations we must slow ourselves down, take a calming breath and intentionally bring awareness to the body.  Just notice.

Our body talks to us through the somatic language of what it feels or senses.  Body sensation language expresses these physical feelings using words based on our five senses:  touch, sound, sight, taste and smell.  It is crucial not to confuse sensations with emotions.

Frequently this message is transmitted through aches and pains we feel, and if we are not paying attention this can progress into illness and disease.


What is Felt Sense

Felt sense means bringing your awareness inside your body.  We must move our focus from what is happening in the outside world around us to our internal experience (moving from outer landscape to your inner landscape).

The qualities of felt sense can often be subtle, vague even elusive; whereas physical body sensations are more defined and tangible e.g., I have a pain in my shoulder, my head aches, a throbbing pain in my knee.

The felt sense is also different than emotion, although felt sense can contain emotions.  Sometimes the difference between the two has been likened to emotions being seen as primary colours while the felt sense is a blend of colours.

Some examples:  the emotion could be anger but the felt sense could be heat, fire, steel; the emotion could be fear but the felt sense could frozen, blank, rapid heart beat, jumpy.  It can present itself as textures, colours, shapes, sensations.  The jittery feeling that comes when you stand up to speak.


Listening to Your Body


~ Sensing into your Body

Intentionally bring awareness to your body.  To the outer area of the body: feet, hands sensing from the outside.  Then to stomach, abdomen, chest and throat and as you sense into these trying it from the inside out.

~ Asking Questions

Approach it as having a conversation with another person.  Ask a question and wait to hear the response.  In the beginning it will require attention and focus.  You are learning a new language.  Be patient.

~ Acknowledge

You become aware of something:  a feeling, a difference, something previously unnamed, unfelt.  You may not know what it is, but just by greeting and acknowledging this can be very powerful.  To welcome what is there even when you don’t know what that is.


The Gateway

There is a deep knowingness that comes through developing your somatic awareness.  You open and operate from a deeper level.  You begin new conversations and meaningful dialogues with forgotten parts of yourself.  You don’t have to learn anything new as it has been hidden away just waiting for you to rediscover and reclaim it.

Connecting people and businesses with alignment to their individual and collective consciousness to Activate their Full Potential… 

Karen Johnson | 416.732.2661

Shamanic Healing | Energy Medicine Specialist | Somatic Trauma Therapist

Conscious Awareness of Presence and Breath

Simply defined presence is your ability to be aware in current time.  Presence like Being has a non-doingness to it.  If we are truly present we don’t need to do anything.

When we are present there is a feeling of aliveness and stillness within.  Of course, it is possible to be present and still active but this normally takes practice to develop the capacity to hold it.

Most of us need to sit in a quiet place to develop the awareness to follow our breath. The more we take the time to be with our breath, the stronger our capacity to hold both true presence and the ability to be active simultaneously.  This is how we develop our neural pathways which are involved in sensing the subtler sensations like breathing.

Take a moment now to sit quietly and observe your breath.  Let yourself notice everything you are aware of when you have this intention of being with your breath.  Can you sense your breath?  If so, where in your body do you sense it?  Is it fast or slow?  Shallow or deep?  Any other qualities?



Breath Awareness

The purpose of breath is to carry oxygen to every cell in the body.  Acknowledge the possibility of every cell in the body breathing and sensing this.  This awareness requires our slowing down, taking us into more subtle areas of perception.

Take a few moments now to observe your breath.  Do you feel any slower after being with your breath?  Did you notice your breath change at all as you were with it?  How is it now?  Can you read this and still be aware of your breath at the same time?

Awareness is an essential aspect of presence.  If you are with someone but thinking ahead about what you are going to say next you are not really with them.   Have you considered if you are even with yourself?


 Breath and Relationships

Have you ever noticed that your ability to be with your breath and the sensations which accompany this shift when you come into relationship or contact with another person?

 Take a moment and sense your breath as it moves in and out of your body.  Notice whatever sensations you become aware of.  Once you have a sense of the flow of your breath, imagine a friend or family member walking in through the door.   What happens with your breath?  What happens with your awareness of it?  Can you still feel the breath?

Frequently there is a change in our breath when we encounter others.  This may be leftover from  our primal animal instincts, a need to sense the person with us to determine whether we are safe or not.  As our sympathetic “fight or flight” nervous system is activated to enable us to remain alert enough to check out the other person, our breath normally accelerates.  With our attention focused on the other person, we often lose track of our own breath as we enter the relational field.  What happens if we settle back into a sense of breath?

What is in the way of our being present in relationship to the moment.  In this relationship?



Here is a practice to build on your Breath Awareness


Inspiring Change through Empowerment… bringing balance to the body, mind and spirit

Karen Johnson


Shamanic Healer | Somatic Experiencing Trauma Resolution | Intuitive  |  Trauma Therapist

Mudras Shift Energy and Awareness

I love the simplicity of using Mudras to open, transform and enhance your overall wellbeing.

In Sanskrit Mudra means gesture or seal.

Mudras are mainly used in a meditation or contemplation practice directing the flow of energy within the body.


How Mudras Work

You stimulate different areas when you place your hands in certain positions.  Different areas of the hands are connected with areas in the body and in the brain. This will help to generate a specific state of mind.

Mudras work to stimulate energetic pathways in your body.  Any time you are feeling physically or mentally run down, weary or out of balance they can help you tap into hidden energy reserves.

Ganesha Mudra

Named after the Hindu Ganesh. Ganesh is considered the remover of obstacles and said to bring back self-confidence and courage to move beyond whatever obstacles that is holding one back.

Practice:  place you left hand in front of your chest, palm outwards and grasp the left fingers with the right hand.  The hands stay at the level of the heart as they are energetically pulled without releasing the position.

Repeat on the other side to maintain the balance.  Do up to 6 times.

Ganesha mudra helps to dispel fear and open the heart chakra.  Boosts confidence, courage, compassion and openness.


Prana Mudra

Prana is the vital force that is within all living things.  The Prana mudra is thought to be one of the most important mudras as its ability to activate dormant energy in your body.  Sometimes it is referred to as the ‘healing’ mudra.  This mudra will help awaken your personal prana putting you more in tune with the prana around you.  


Practice join the tips of your ring finger and pinky finger and your thumb together.  Let the other two fingers remain stretched.   As you hold the position breathe slow inhalations and exhalations.

Hold anywhere from 2 minutes to 15 minutes.

Prana mudra restores our energy reserves increases vitality, reduces fatigue and nervousness.  Improves our assertiveness, self confidence, courage and ability to see things through.


Rudra Mudra

This mudra relates to your transformative abilities.  It activates your solar plexus aka as your personal power centre and stimulates creativity and improves self worth.  Increases clarity, concentration and focusing your thoughts.  

Practice:  touching the tips of your index and ring fingers to the top of the thumb, while keeping the middle finger and little finger fingers stretched out in a comfortable relaxed position.

Hold the position for at least 5 minutes.


Rudra mudra strengthens personal will and sense of self.    It can also help deal with exhaustion, dizziness and chronic tension to energize and empower.  Combatting fatigue, impatience, heavy heart and anxiety.


Awareness is like the sun. When it shines on things, they are transformed.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Karen Johnson | 416 732 2661

Urban Shaman | Somatic Experiencing Practitioner | Intuitive |  Energy Healer

Inspiring Change through Empowerment… bringing balance to the body, mind and spirit

Intuition, Trust and Connection

What happens when you feel like your trust in a person has been fractured?

How do you know if it is a true rupture? Could it have been sparked by old imprints of an out-dated belief system?

Time to investigate whether it’s a true breach or merely a projection.  It can be tricky to unravel.

First, listen to what’s going on inside. If this is near impossible to do, that’s your first indicator something is off.



The more you ground yourself, the clearer things become. Do this from a position of calmness. As your capacity to access stillness grows, your thoughts will become clearer and less likely to be twisted up in projections, defense mechanisms or self-justifications.

The clearer you become, the finer resolution of intuitive knowing you are able to interpret.



This is not a war of wills, nor a retreat to protect and keep you safe. You are not being pitted against another. If any of these thoughts or feelings show up, then you could be within the range of old defense mechanisms, warning you of danger. This is erroneous data no longer valid.

Any of these situations can distort the level of integrity of intuitive knowing you are able to access. Your intuition has been compromised and your knowingness will be contaminated.

This is not True Knowing…

Nexus Points

Why is it so hard to allow connection and permit innate intuitive knowingness to emerge?

We sometimes unwittingly bottleneck the flow or censor how much can come through.

This is unconscious, buried like fibre optics deep within. Hidden to keep it safe from prying eyes.



Existence is about connection: with other people, our environment even the atmosphere surrounding us. The healthier our relationships with all our connections, the more connections we are able to grow and sustain.



We cannot be truly intuitive beings without connection. Intuition grows out of connections.

We can learn how to be intuitive or psychic from books, people, or even the internet. But the real juice of intuition, in all its glory and magnificent shades of being, needs us to own our own connections. It never can come solely through another individual.

Each of us is born fully equipped to be an intuitive, sentient being with heart-felt ways of living in the world. Life experience can dictate the need for compromise, of putting something away for safekeeping.

No one person has all the answers. The answer you look for in another resides inside of you. You will never find a clearer guru, spiritual leader, nor someone who understands you more than when you look inside.



Others don’t know how to obtain your truth. They can guide and help you find direction. But they can never know you better than you know yourself.

You alone hold that key.

There are facilitators, teachers, therapists, who can help but YOU must always tune into what is right for you.

They will teach discernment and how to listen and open your heart, share knowledge, and the experience of going ahead of you on the path.

If you listen with your heart, doors open and you land exactly where you need to be:

Home.   Wholeness.   Connected to ALL.


Connecting people and businesses with alignment to their individual and collective
consciousness to Activate their Full Potential…

Karen Johnson | 416.732.2661

Shamanic Healing | Energy Medicine Specialist | Somatic Trauma Therapist Toronto

New Circumstance… Old Patterns

The air smells of freedom. Life is new.  The situation is fresh and alive.

Unexpectedly arriving, knocking at the door, pleading to be let back in, are the old comfortable patterns.

They don’t make you happy.  But, are oh so familiar and comfortable in a most uncomfortable way and there appears to be is a lot of baggage with them.  They’re here for the long haul.

Intellect says no. Been there, done that.  But there is something inside that remembers the old patterns and is unfamiliar with the freedom in the new territory you have entered.



The universe is challenging you. Okay, you say you’ve changed: let’s test that theory out.  This may show up in different ways; can be tempting, seductive or just plain in your face confrontational.

On the surface it would appear to be a no brainer. Freedom ‘YES’.  Old limiting patterns ‘NO’.  But there can be a pullback, even a temporary setback that draw us backwards back into the trap.

We thought we were smarter than this.



It’s how we cope. Can we stay grounded, clear and move forward?  Or do we get stuck back in it even momentarily?  It shows up through relationships, circumstances, unexpected events.  Frequently we are caught off guard.


Turning Points

What do we do now?  Make the same decision or do we choose something else?  These  crossroads can be pivotal to what happens next.

What’s changed to make this different? Is it simply we are back in fantasyland thinking this time will be different.  No idea how or why, but we did wish ‘really’ hard for this to happen.

Maybe that’s enough. Maybe this time it can be fuelled simply by wish fulfillment.  That could be the vehicle to create a difference this time.

If you are manoeuvring down this lane, better put your seat belt on, because it sounds like eventually you’re going to crash-land. Hope you bought insurance this time round.



Electing to choose something new is a risky and brave move. Exercising your free will can leave you feeling more like a stranger in a strange land.  Need to learn the new language and customs.

But the pull to move  towards something new can feel stronger than hiding out on a well-worn roadway.



Nothing is written in stone. Allow flexibility to change your mind.  If something isn’t fitting anymore, it’s not fitting.

It’s freeing and empowering when you contemplate your life through this lens.

Conscious living brings opportunity. Sometimes our vision goes askew and we forget how to be in life in a mindful and conscious way.

Whichever choice you make:
wn It 

Make it consciously.  You are the one making the choice.  No one else.  Even when it feels like others are making the choice for you, know that you always are the chief decision maker.

Inspiring Change through Empowerment… bringing balance to the body, mind and spirit

Karen Johnson | 416.732.2661

Shamanic Healing | Energy Medicine Specialist | Somatic Experiencing Trauma Resolution Therapist

Sonic Expression: Discover Your Authentic Voice

Life is like a pond. We stand at the edge and watch the ripples run through or stick our hand in to test the temperature to see if it’s right for us.

Stay safely on the side watching the surface wondering what might lie beneath or dive right in.  Even just walk away.


What are You Waiting For?

There are choices and decision points for each of us. There is no one route is for all.

It’s a big pond. Many life forces co-exist and what we choose to do makes up our individual journey.  We may each end up at the same point while choosing different avenues to get there.

Does it matter?  It’s making a choice that is key:  standing still or jumping beneath the surface.

Authentic Voice

Finding your own voice can be a struggle. There are many layers. 

Sometimes it’s hard not to be influenced by flamboyant voices claiming they are ‘THE ONE’ having the right or perfect vision of what is or must be.

Who made up that rule? Why are we so easily led? 

Why would we let an outsider tell us what our own inner truth is?   That is an oxymoron.  But many are desperate to be told who they are.  That is not the way it works.



We have a choice in disclosing our authentic voice.

Some of us have submerged it deep inside to keep it safe from danger, real or perceived.

When trauma or repeated threats occur, especially during early developmental stages, we can bury our authentic voice in ways that make it extremely challenging to identify.

This is a safety mechanism to protect what is ours but can eventually recede deeply into forgetfulness.



This kind of silence has a violence to it.

Whether it’s something in the history of the individual; it’s not being held in stillness.  Rather it’s being held hostage by withholding its true nature from the individual.

There is no knowingness here. It is a wilderness of blankness and adopted conformity that has left the individual expressionless.

Or without ability to know its true nature

The silence expresses only what it has been told is good to express. Like a compliant member of a cult following the institutionalized thinking of the group. 

Nothing original.  Nothing solid.  Nothing authentic about the individual.


What happens if you embrace your voice? Utter a sound.  A sound that has an exclusive resonance that is your own.

There has never before been a vibration like it and there never will be.  It is solely your own distinct sound frequency.

Your authentic voice wants to find a way to squeak into life and show its particular spectrum of colour. Whether that sound frequency comes audibly or through another avenue.

Can you be bold enough? Brave enough to express your own distinct sonic shade?


The World has been Waiting
for You to Arrive


4 Steps to Access your Authentic Voice 


How do you get better at coming from your Authentic Voice?   Here are some ways to help you achieve and connect to your Authentic Voice.

Set an Intention on Being Authentic

Intention directs and guides your action.  It means your intention is clear and you are aware of it.  Whatever way you express yourself you hold it in alignment with the intention you set out.

Admit you don’t know something. It’s okay.

People respect you more when you are truthful.  Acknowledging you don’t know something is fine.  There is not one person who knows everything.  It’s part of being human.


Understand what Inauthentic Means.

By exploring and understanding how it feels when you are being inauthentic and phony it can help you understand and know that to be authentic and genuine is the opposite so you can recognize when you have shifted into inauthenticity.

Keep a Journal

Writing down observations on experiences, situations and feelings can help you begin to track and identify patterns and habits where you lose your ability to be authentic. As you identify these destructive patterns you begin to change just by bringing them to consciousness.


Inspiring change through empowerment… bringing balance to the body, mind and spirit

 Karen Johnson | 416.732.2661

Somatic Experiencing Trauma Resolution ~ Shamanic Healing ~ Energy Healing ~ Family Constellation Therapist ~Intuitive Consultant

Manifesting What May Come


Ever tried to manifest something
and then what you wanted never happened.

Could you have been looking in
the wrong place?

Missed what the universe was offering?

“Do not insist that the universe comply with your understanding of it.”
~ Gary Zukav ~



Like a mesmerized audience member entranced by a magician, who has distracted you from keeping your eye on the prize, to miss what the reality is.

You may be suffering from tunnel vision that is excluding many opportunities that lie in front of you.



Basic manifesting philosophy: hold a clear intention of what it is you want to create.  Do this from a grounded clear space.  Hold that intention and then let it go.

You have put it out into the universe.  Trust that it will come and be thankful for all that comes after.

Do not keep putting it out in a frantic way. Then you change the original intention.   It is no longer solid and clear, it has now become desperate and unfocussed.  You can even be attaching scarcity beliefs to it.

Ground.      Be Clear.     Move on.  



What is required here is a little space, belief and trust in the universe. Belief in your ability to manifest healthy, clear and positive outcomes.  We both know you have experience of the reverse and maybe that has happened a few times.

But what happened then is like an old vinyl record getting stuck in a groove which keeps repeating and repeating eventually manifesting something not wanted but inadvertently created.


Change the Lens

Fine-tune what you are capable of seeing now. It changes over time but it is essential to accept where you are.  This allows you to see what is here now for you.

You might get stuck in the details and lose sight of the big picture.



Toss away that telescope which has you looking for exactly what it is you want to manifest. You may miss out on something bright and shiny here waiting for you now.  This could lead on to the next piece and so on and so on… leading you directly to what you are trying to manifest.



Oh wait. Could it lead you to something better?

There is one thing I know for sure:  whatever I can think or dream up the universe always has something better in mind for me

It is a truly benevolent universe we live in. If we take off our blinders and allow ourselves to roll down the windows and let the wind blow in you never know what will turn up.

That is where the real prize lies, not in the small we are trying to create and control.

Allow flexibility in so our highest good can be manifested instead of carving it down into something wonderful but not as quintessential as the universe has in mind.


Schedule a Session :  Karen Johnson  416.732.2661

Energy Medicine and Shamanic Healer | Intuitive Consultant  |  Trauma Therapist | Somatic Experiencing Trauma Resolution

Align and Connect with Higher Self

Have you ever had the feeling that there is something bigger inside trying to come forward?

Do you know the solution to a problem in your life but it remains outside your grasp?  You don’t know how to access it.

Don’t you realize that within yourself you possess the access to extraordinary capacities and knowledge?


What is Higher Self

Throughout time and within different spiritual traditions and belief systems, the Higher Self has been given many names: Atma, Buddha-nature, Christ consciousness, Inner Self, Soul, Divine Nature… 

However labeled, what all agree on is that Higher Self is eternal, infinitely wise and transcends everyday consciousness.  Higher Self is always in touch with the Divine because it is part of it.  Each of us has a Higher Self.



Throughout history attaining knowledge and diving into the depths of inner wisdom is the aspiration when working with Higher Self within­ many spiritual teachings.  The Higher Self is the deepest and most divine essence within us; that aspect of you that connects directly to the spiritual realms.

In basic terms your Higher Self is the highest aspect of you that can be attained and held in your physical body.  This means that you are not merely your conscious or subconscious awareness; beyond anything you can know simply through ordinary rational thought.

Higher Self sees, knows and understands at the highest level possible.  Anchoring the wisdom of the Higher Self into your physicality is part of our spiritual evolution.



Even knowing this, many of us struggle to connect with and develop an ongoing relationship with our Higher Self.  We may understand the concept intellectually but are mystified at how to translate it from idea to feeling to an actual experience.

Some fundamental principles:

  • You are always connected to your Higher Self
  • Higher Self is never negative, loud, frantic or demanding
  • It always upholds freewill and will never override any choice that we make



Deepening Connection

There is no standard way to experience your Higher Self.  How you connect will be different for each of us.  The key is to start with stillness… this is the invitation that opens the door.

It may be through meditation, dreams, a walk in nature, even a near death experience, trauma or out of body experience.  For others it may be as simple as driving a car or taking a long, hot bath.

It’s an uplifting experience when you connect and is unique for each.


As you connect
you’re uplifted and
feel more peace and contentment



The search for love, peace and happiness is universal.  We’ve all experienced it.

Connecting with Higher Self allows you to stop running in place and begin to experience and journey toward your own conscious spiritual evolution.

Higher Self is always with you.  You have the access you need to live an empowered, good, and purposeful life:  to meet the world with heartness with all that brings.



Give Yourself an Edge | Schedule a Session

Karen Johnson

Energy Medicine Specialist   | Intuitive Consultant  |  Somatic Experiencing Trauma Therapist