Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Eternal Dance of the Student and Teacher




Shortly, those who have school age children will be getting ready to send them off to school again. And there may have been a time when we were very young that we thought that once we graduated school that the entire business of student and teacher would be over forever. 

Later on, we realized that we are always learning, whether it is new skills for a particular job, playing a musical instrument, a sport, a game, a hobby, or life skills for improving our relationships and exploring developments that would enrich us spiritually, philosophically or physically.

And in time, we found ourselves being the ones that others came to for advice, and perhaps we were surprised by who asked us and why. 

And that may lead us into a one on one mentor relationship or a group class, a formal or informal course of studies.

You see, once we have taken care of finding work and a home, our attention often wanders into areas that will enrich our lives. As we get older, we give more thought to subjects like mortality, parallel dimensions of life and our legacies. As we do, we realize that legacies can be much more than the physical things we leave behind. Legacies are also about what we have taught and shared and about how well those we have taught and shared with have evolved. 

The realization that we are always both student and teacher upends the notion that we only learn for a while and then we are done. Awakenings may have come to us at a time of career change, a relationship beginning or ending, facing a serious health challenge or the death of someone close to us. 

When we look closely at what we do, if we pursue excellence, we are always asking how we can do what we do better. It is at these moments when new truths reveal themselves. When we are preparing to teach someone else and it suddenly occurs to us how we can present the subject better. Or when we are doing something we have done for quite a while and suddenly we discover another way to practice it. 

We are never really done learning or teaching. Some times we are one, some times we are the other. We are both at the same time and it is rewarding and deeply satisfying to know this as we act on it.

The subjects may change, but in essence, they are always the same. We are always exploring and discovering ways to improve the quality of our lives and this always affects those connected to us. 

Our circles of connection are more extensive than we often realize, encompassing not only lovers, but close friends, relatives, co-workers, neighbors and casual acquaintances. And then if we have published anything on line, who knows who saw it? 

If we are always conscious of our own evolution, then there is no end to the new beginnings and fresh starts waiting to be unveiled, experiences for us to step into.




Thursday, July 7, 2016

Celebrating Freedom from limiting thoughts and openness to new ideas




We recently celebrated July 4th, which is about how we fought for our freedom as a country by choosing to free ourselves from the British Empire and create our own country where we would have the freedom to live as we like and elect leaders who would represent our interests, first and foremost.

In some ways, we do this every day when we wake up and begin another day. Each day, we are given another opportunity to make new choices and explore new ideas.

What kind of new ideas? Within recent years we have chosen to explore new spiritual paths and practices, many very different from the ones we knew earlier in our lives.

Energy healing is another practice that many people are opening up to, and as we open to these practices, we experience how well they work.

Ideas about positive thinking and the Law of Attraction give us a different perspective on life, which encourage us to choose more consciously to create our lives.

When we look at life from a fresh perspective, we change the way we eat and the ways we relate to food. We change the way we think about voting and who we choose to represent us.

New ideas also lead us to choose different forms of entertainment. Growing numbers of people have now disconnected from cable and satellite dishes and get their news and entertainment through the internet, independent radio stations, watching documentaries and independent films and reading different books or joining discussion groups, book clubs and meetings which support their new exploration of ideas.

Many people have been forced by changes in the economy to figure out new ways to make a living, and although the changes can be wrenching and traumatic at first, many have found more satisfactory ways to make their living.

One of the things I do most often is help people see other possibilities and support them in their transitions. Often at times like this, we need people who will support and encourage our choices and our new thinking because in our explorations some of our old friends may think that we are off track, so it takes someone else who has an objective vision to help us see more clearly and encourages us to continue our explorations to have a happier new phase of life.

Given the changes in our world, we need new friends and helpers who will support our new visions for our lives and are traveling down these new roads themselves to create a better life for themselves. Opening our minds to new thoughts will lead us to explore new territories and these new worlds we are living in may bear little resemblance to our earlier lives.

As we enjoy the fireworks, what are the ways that we are freeing our minds to live in new states of independence? What new ways of thinking will help us enjoy our new freedoms? What will our next step be? Even though changes can be kind of scary and upend our old status quo, the rewards on the other side are exciting.

Remember that courage means proceeding even in the face of doubt. Doing a sure thing requires no courage. As we call upon our courage, we can feel the physical sensations in our body when we rise to meet new challenges. New thoughts may encourage us to act swiftly and decisively, and as we make progress, there will be new waves of joy that confirm our choices.

Creating a new country and creating a new life have these things in common. Countries can be pieces of geography and they can also be states of mind. What will you choose next?



In a few days we will be celebrating July 4th, which is about how we fought for our freedom as a country by choosing to free ourselves from the British Empire and create our own country where we would have the freedom to live as we like and elect leaders who would represent our interests, first and foremost.

In some ways, we do this every day when we wake up and begin another day. Each day, we are given another opportunity to make new choices and explore new ideas. 

What kind of new ideas? Within recent years we have chosen to explore new spiritual paths and practices, many very different from the ones we knew earlier in our lives. 

Energy healing is another practice that many people are opening up to, and as we open to these practices, we experience how well they work. 

Ideas about positive thinking and the Law of Attraction give us a different perspective on life, which encourage us to choose more consciously to create our lives.

When we look at life from a fresh perspective, we change the way we eat and the ways we relate to food. We change the way we think about voting and who we choose to represent us. 

New ideas also lead us to choose different forms of entertainment. Growing numbers of people have now disconnected from cable and satellite dishes and get their news and entertainment through the internet, independent radio stations, watching documentaries and independent films and reading different books or joining discussion groups, book clubs and meetings which support their new exploration of ideas. 

Many people have been forced by changes in the economy to figure out new ways to make a living, and although the changes can be wrenching and traumatic at first, many have found more satisfactory ways to make their living. 

One of the things I do most often is help people see other possibilities and support them in their transitions. Often at times like this, we need people who will support and encourage our choices and our new thinking because in our explorations some of our old friends may think that we are off track, so it takes someone else who has an objective vision to help us see more clearly and encourages us to continue our explorations to have a happier new phase of life. 

Given th

Monday, June 20, 2016

How to maintain good energy when times are difficult



I have always felt that there is good energy in the building where I live. Now I know why. Recently one of my neighbors told me that long ago, the local hospital was just a couple of blocks from here and so this building was built as housing for the nurses who worked there so that they could live within walking distance. No wonder I always feel lots of good juju here.

There is now a large sign more than 6 feet tall out front advertising the property for sale.

Every day I wake up, I express gratitude for having another day. I also express gratitude for being able to live here and affirm that for today, and for as long as it lasts, I will be happy to be here. When the time comes that someone else buys the property then I will know whether I can stay or have to move. Since I cannot afford to buy the property, that decision is not within my hands. I maintain my peace of mind by affirming that I am happy today. Other decisions will be made in the future.

Sometimes it is hard for us to stay in the present at times like these. I know that some of my clients have had difficult transitions finding new jobs after being laid off, or getting out of problem relationships and finding new ones.

We have to remain confident that there is a solution for us, even if we cannot see it right now. Sometimes it takes time, and sometimes we may not be able to see it because our attention has been focused elsewhere.

In the bigger picture of our lives, sometimes we need to take a step back and reflect so recognize why we are where we are and where we are going next.

What did we get out of being here? How did our life change for the better? What is the next thing for us to do? Do we have a plan for our progress? Do we have a burning desire to change our direction?

Each time we come to one of these important transitions, we have an opportunity to choose again.

As we look back, note how the choices we made then were made with the best information we had at the time. We acted on it in a way that made sense to us. So now we act with the information we have now. At each birthday, we look at our future through the lens of experience and wisdom we have acquired since our last birthday, and then we apply that going forward.

The current situation of my possible move has motivated me to really start a deep house cleaning so that if and when I need to move, I am only taking with me what I really want and need, and also rediscovering things that it would be good for me to either use again, discard, give away or learn from again.

Staying calm, staying present, we are able to enjoy each day and able to make the best of every opportunity in life.

Enjoy the playful spirit of the Summer Solstice this coming Monday. Savor the beauty of the longest day of sunlight in the year, and celebrate in whatever way you feel best.


Friday, June 3, 2016

Gaining Control by losing control. How does this make sense?





We have all heard of that expression "one day at a time." I am getting an exercise in that right now as I continue to live where I live without a lease and without knowing what will happen until someone buys the property and announces their intentions. So each day I get up and give thanks for the opportunity to live here and for having another day of life. Whether I get to stay or have to move will be a decision that is out of my hands at this time. I appreciate each day for what it is and I do what I need to do every day.

It takes a lot of courage to trust that things will work out without knowing the answers to all our questions. It also takes a lot of courage to be open to possible developments that we had not anticipated. Actually, doing some research now is revealing some patterns that I had only been vaguely aware of before. At this moment I am keeping those discoveries to myself until I see how they all add up and how they may influence future choices. Suffice it to say that I am making discoveries because these factors are causing me to research and reconsider what I know and what I prefer.

Face it, it can be unnerving when we have a plan and it unfolds in a different manner than we expected because it took a different turn.

We all like it when things go according to our plans. But sometimes, it just happens that someone else makes a decision or takes an action that sets in motion a chain of events and next thing you know, your schedule has changed and your plans have changed.

Be patient. The changes work out just fine. Just like that old saying about when one door closes and another opens.

Sometimes we gain control when we lose control. Here is a simple example of a fun way to experience this. I used to lead drumming circles and still use the drums with people who want a different kind of meditation experience. By just listening and following what we hear, we feel the music and our minds are just following that track. Malidoma Some, an African drummer and shaman whom I had the pleasure of encountering says that "a person who has trouble with drumming has trouble with listening."

Consider that for a moment. When we become more aware and pay attention to the signs we pick up from all around us, we find new paths. We learn melodies that we did not know. Fresh thoughts come to us. And we learn to work with others more beautifully, more harmoniously. We play together, listening to each other, we find a groove and that frees our mind to travel. And we would never have discovered those paths had we not opened our ears to listen.

So you are not drumming, you say? All drumming comes back to the first drum, our heartbeat, our breath. As we are more observant and aware of our surroundings, we perceive in ways that were once not visible to us. Hidden in plain sight is also revealed by listening to things that we have not been tuning into before.

It's also interesting how sometimes pieces of information come to us that help us make decisions that we were not even searching for. Guess all you can say is that the guiding influences in our life must have intended for us to have those, whether we call those guiding influences God, Goddess, spirit guides, ancestors, angels or something else. So here we are. Once again making a decision that veers off our original course. Is that bad? No. Making changes often leads to finding a better way to do things.

If we allow things to come to us, they will. Sometimes not being certain will get us where we want to be, except that the process of discovery reveals that we are in a place that we did not know we wanted to be but it is working out well although it was unexpected.

And we can gain control by losing control.



* A note about the photos. The image on top is the 4 of Wands from Ciro Marchetti's Tarot of Dreams which is one of the decks I read with all the time. The bottom photo is Layne Redmond, one of my teachers in the world of drumming.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

What do I not know that I need to know?




This is a question I ask myself every day. And it is something that I ask my spirit guides every day. Throughout my life, curiosity has been a guiding light in my life. I always figure that if something keeps coming to my attention that there must be a reason for that. I figure that my spirit guides bring these things to my attention because they want me to check it out.

As a result of these prompts, some of what I learned I taught myself by reading books or experimenting and some things I found teachers to teach me.

Life becomes an adventure in this way. We explore paths that are unknown to us in search of elusive goals, but we are motivated because we know that there must be something worth while out there. And the variety is infinite. This question extends into all areas of life. What will I discover if I explore my ancestry? And there are times in life when we want to know the answers to these questions, and some times when we just don't care.

When I wanted to have the experience of hiking in the desert while the cactus were blooming, or when I went to art fairs just to look at art then maybe talk to the artists or buy a piece, I got to experience the world from another point of view.

When I went snorkeling and swam with the brightly colored fish among the coral reefs, it was a different experience of the world again.

One time when I was hiking in the mountains and a glider pilot was riding the currents of lift that he got on the border between the mountains and the desert, and he passed by so close that I could see the pilot and it was stunning to think that he was flying in a plane and I was walking but we were seeing eye to eye. Or times when I was cross country skiing and we were looking out over a cliff, and there was desert below. We were standing in snow, wearing warm clothes, with boots and skis on, but directly below was desert, sand, cactus and all.

To be on the edge of one world and able to see into another, my mind could jump back and forth, knowing how it was to be here and also knowing how it was to be there.

When I wanted to know if psychic abilities were real or not, it was like that again. To know how it is to be able to be here, and also to be able to know hot it feels to do that. A common concept that is often expressed about shamans and witches is that they are walkers in two worlds. They know how it is here, to use herbs, stones, sound and touch to heal and bring peace, and they know how it is to know things that spirit communicates to them and then pass those things on for the benefit of the person who is asking the question. What do I not know that I need to know?

Notice what happens when a person asks you if you would like to learn something, or try something new. Is your response along the lines of "no thanks I am not interested?" or is it "yes, I would like to know more." Follow your gut instinct with this. There are things we discover that enable us to see the world in a new way, giving us flashes of insight and appreciation. Instances like this can open the door to things that we didn't know we needed to know, but now that we do, we find all kinds of uses for it.

Every day I wake up, the first thing I do is to thank spirit for giving me another day. Then I ask them to tell me if there is anything I need to know right now. What comes to me in the moments after asking that question guides my choices and my actions.

I know that you have had pivotal moments in your life like this too. Whole new worlds opened up to me because I one day wondered if I could learn to drum? Can cards really tell a person anything? What are the runes all about? Does reiki really work? Is tai chi a way to strengthen you? Can herbs work as well as patent medicines? Can people's stories reveal levels of truth about their lives that they do not yet recognize themselves?

So many questions. So many interesting things to learn. So many fascinating people in this world. So many interesting things we can do with our lives.

What do I not know that I need to know?


Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Power of Yes





How many times when we are presented with a new opportunity have we hesitated before saying yes?

In my own life, there have been many times in my life when someone suggested I try something new and different and saying yes to something out of the ordinary opened up a whole new world for me.

A situation many of us have faced is in pursuing career opportunities. Because of our experience may be in a certain field, we may be expecting our opportunities to follow a certain path. In the past, that was the normal, reasonable expectation. Today it may not be. A person may ask if we would like to do something we had not thought of, and thus, a whole new opportunity is opened.

Way back when I was in college, one of my teachers was the vice president of one of the largest public relations firms in Chicago asked me if I would like to be an intern at his firm. I declined, telling him that my goal was to be a reporter. When I reflect back on that now, I smile and think how different my life would have been had I said yes to that.

Then I look back on other opportunities that presented themselves when I was working at a corporation and they offered me an opportunity to move around the country and work for them in different cities. Then I said yes, and it changed my life forever to experience living in different places for years at a time, having different responsibilities, meeting lots of new people.

Some of the changes were not obvious, because you see, in each place I was transferred, I had no friends or relatives, or any other connection, just a job. So in one place, looking for something to do, I joined Sierra Club and found new friends by going hiking on frequent weekend excursions into the mountains. That connection lasted through two different regional moves.

In another city, I found myself on weekends with nothing to do an no connections outside of work, so I looked at the free entertainment news weeklies and started to go to art fairs and art galleries to mingle with new people and expose myself to new art.

Then on another weekend, I saw an ad for a psychic fair. I had never been to one of those before and had no idea what went on at one of those, so I went to see what it was about. I got readings from a couple of people, including a tarot reader and an astrologer and was quite amazed at what they had to say. And that prompted my interest and inspired me to investigate further. A whole new world just opened up to me.

Subsequently, as my career evolved, I went back to my earlier path and became a professional freelance writer, doing things like writing brochures, ads, fliers, annual reports, letters and press releases for companies. I even worked for a while writing those on hold messages for companies. You know, those prerecorded things you hear when you call a business and they put you on hold.

Then there came a time when I wanted to put a little variety in my writing, so I wrote and published a book of poetry in combination with an artist I met at one of those art fairs. So I did a ton of public readings and performances and sold my books at performances and had them on sale in stores. I freelanced articles for all kinds of magazines that focused on art, literature and music. And then one day, the artist suggested that there was a metaphysical newspaper that needed writers. So just for the pure variety of it, I went and met with the publisher. She told me that she did need writers but that there were no paid positions available, that all the writers were volunteer contributors. So I agreed to write one article a month for the paper for free. That was in addition to the freelance business writing jobs I was doing.

It was an eye opening experience. I said yes to every assignment she gave me. I was sent out to interview a wild variety of healers, artists, musicians, famous authors, all kinds of people. Most of them I never heard of before I was sent to write about them, so every subject started with a clean slate. Eventually, I was offered the position of editor for the paper and was given a small salary and a commission for selling ads. That person got cancer and so the business folded.

So I went back to focusing on business writing until another woman who was a customer of the previous publication called me and said that the community really needed a new publication because there were all these people doing things, but no publication was paying any attention to them. She asked me to help her start a new paper, and my first answer was no, because my business was supporting me and I saw no reason to do something different. But she kept coming back and asking me questions about how to publish a periodical because I knew how to do that and she didn't. So, for free, I wrote up reports for her and explained to her how to do it. Then she came back to me again and asked me to help her do this. Finally I said yes, and my life changed in a big way, as I transitioned from being a business writer to the full time editor of a monthly metaphysical magazine. I learned more and more about psychics, alternative healing techniques, alternative spiritual paths, environmental issues and all kinds of things along those lines.

As the editor, I got invited to a lot of workshops, concerts, presentations and author interviews. Our publication co-sponsored major metaphysical fairs and it was all a big success. But I decided after seven years that I wanted to do something different, so I got a job in a small mountain town at a retreat center. But that was too isolated a place for me. Even a trip to the grocery meant a drive up and down the mountain, and there was not even a neighborhood bar where you could go and relax and have some fun. The place was so small that even getting an internet connection was a sketchy thing. You could only get TV if you had a satellite dish and only a couple of radio stations were available. So after a few months, I decided that I really need to live in a more populous environment, and went back to the city.

Then I as offered another opportunity by another woman who had a newsletter that she wanted to turn into a magazine. So she hired me to do that. And I got that running and after a few years wanted to take time off of that to write books. The books never got published, but now I was on a different path. I got married and divorced for the second time and then moved to Colorado because I have two sisters who live out here.

I worked in corporate for a few more years and then struck out on my own to make my full time living doing readings and healings and teaching people who want to learn things I know.

So I did get to be a reporter after all, after a very long interval since college. If you had asked me years ago where I would be later in life, I never would have guessed living in Colorado making a full time living this way. Saying yes to unusual opportunities opened many doors for me and changed my life in ways I would not have imagined.

So there were times I said no to new ideas, but the times I said yes opened my life in extraordinary ways. Think about this next time someone offers you an unusual opportunity. There is a power in saying yes that can open your life to magnificent adventures and experiences that can enrich you beyond your wildest dreams. If I had not said yes, I would not be here now. I am glad that I am.





Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Spring Cleaning, Nurturing You




Spring cleaning is really about clearing out old energy to make way for new energy. So in your garden, we need to clear away debris and turn the soil before planting the seeds.

Spring cleaning in our selves means letting go of what no longer serves us including old thoughts that no longer serve us, relationships that no longer serve us, looking for work that suits us better, clearing old debts or making progress on them, old hobbies or activities we are no longer really interested in, and clearing all these so that they can be replaced by positive thinking, new goals, inspired actions and better relationships.

Spring cleaning of things in the house relates to all these goals.

When we look around our residence, it should be filled with things that fill one of two criteria. What surrounds us should have value because it is something we use or it should be something that is just so beautiful that it adds aesthetic value to our space, so that in essence, our space always serves to support us, nurtures us and helps us recharge our batteries.

As part of doing this, we need to get rid of mementos and things that have emotional energies that pull our energies down rather than lifting them up. This could be a picture of an old relationship that is clearly over, but it could also be that arts & crafts project that we bought supplies for and started a few years ago and never finished. One spring, I noticed that some old sporting gear I never used any more. Every time I looked at it, I would think "I used to be a good ball player but I can't do that any more. So I put the gear in a yard sale and sold it to one of the next few people coming by. 

Sometimes space can be refreshed by rearranging rooms, changing the flow of traffic and also making plenty of room for what we want to do next.

The extreme of course, is hoarding. I have seen some of these disasters first hand. Hoarders are afraid to let go of anything. Their lives are full of fear. Fear that they might need that stuff again sometime, although that never happens, so the house just gets congested, and the energy of the person and the place is congested.

So if we become more highly aware of who we are and what we want to do. That is why purging book and music collections can be much harder than other tasks. But as we go through phases in life, art one time we read a lot of one type of literature, then moved on to another. So keeping only what resonates most strongly with us, helps us focus and move forward. It also leaves room for new knowledge to come in.

Think of this whole process as giving you a fresh start. New energies, new ideas, new actions, devoting more time to what we feel is most important.

See yourself as a garden where some things get pruned, some get pulled out and some bloom and bring us great joy, strength and many healthy gifts. So maybe old thoughts & things you took out left room for a new focus of energy, and maybe giving more time to something we only did a little of lately. Now that area can grow, just like plants with room to expand. We are constantly adjusting and evolving, and now we ask ourselves the important questions. What do I want more of in my life? And what do I want less of in my life? And then the answers to those two simple questions reorients our schedules and activities to reflect these realizations.

The seeds we plant now bring more beauty into our near future. Today's garden started out as a dream, either ours or nature's.

I can help you with any of these tasks, what ever you want to let go of and what you want to bring in, it is a good time to tackle this seasonal challenge. Readings? Reiki? House Blessing? Aesthetic questions? Soulful questions? Help you with decluttering? Help you refocus your energies on your current goals?

Go ahead, ask me.