Friday, July 31, 2009

Don't Give Away Your Power

In recent years, companies have marketed Buddha in a Box, Goddess in a Box, Teen Spell Kits, Books for Dummies, Complete Idiots Guides to whatever.

I know some of you may be wondering what's wrong with that.

Look at it this way. If you get a little box with a statue, a candle, a stick of incense and an instruction sheet, that does not really give you a good understanding or appreciation for that spiritual path. These marketers are saying "you don't really need to understand a lot of stuff. Just take the goddess out of the box and light your incense and candle. Don't worry about why we chose this goddess for the box instead of one of the other ones. It's not important."

Marketers have been dumbing us down by proffering books that imply that we don't really need to waste time researching subjects by going to different sources and comparing texts. It is as if they are saying "you don't have to waste your time on all those other things. Just take this one book and it will tell you everything you need to know."

It's like the kind of news that many have settled for where we are presented with a minute or two of this and a minute or two of that, and we are going to try and understand important events and changes based on those minute glimpses into what's happening. Or we are presented with shows where people with more opinions than facts yell at each other, as if that will help us understand important decisions and their ramifications.

In order to make the best decisions for ourselves, we have to be able to gather information, digest ideas and decide for ourselves what makes sense, what works, and what we want.

See how the information feels for you. Consider whether the information makes sense to you. Notice how you get comfortable with your decisions and whether you feel that you can live with them.

Be skeptical about these things that come prepackaged. Your most satisfying practice of spirituality might be found in using a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

Your greatest understanding of the news and important decisions facing us might be a result of a combination of your own experiences, your observations about how things work, plus some research to find out what you don't know. Takes a little more time and effort to do things this way, but it is well worth it.

Don't give away your power. Take the time to use all your resources and claim your power to live your life in a way that makes sense for you. The best answers to a lot of our questions will come from the extra thought we put into it, the feelings we consider, the extra listening and looking we do, rather than from what we are being presented by the marketers.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

When do you feel most alive?

When do you feel most alive? Is it something that you can do right now? Is it something you can do later today or tonight?

If the answer to this question makes you stop and think, good.

If the answer to this question comes to you quickly, will you act on it?

There are always reasons to postpone doing something we have been thinking of doing. These diminish our sense of aliveness. Once you realize this, do you sense any shift in willingness? Do you reset priorities to take things off your list or move things up?

How many times do we stand in the way of our own happiness? Do you stop yourself from doing things because you are afraid of what others will think?

So ask yourself again. If you set aside concerns about what others might think, or things that require money that you simply don't have, what would you like to do today?

There are passing thoughts about what you would like to do, and there are recurring thoughts about what you would like to do. The recurring thoughts are the ones that deserve your attention.

What can you possibly do today that would make you feel more alive?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


It is interesting how many times we get let down when we have expectations. When we just proceed with whatever we have to do, life presents us with all kinds of gifts. Expectations can be a trap, because they are about how we think things will turn out.

Expectations are centered in the future and may or may not happen, and they can set us up for disappointments.

These are different than visions for the future which may involve goals we are working towards. For example, if you and another person have an agreement to work toward achieving a goal, then you measure your progress toward it.

However, if there is an assumption on either party's part that is not agreed on, one person may be counting on a result while the other feels no commitment to it, and as a result one person is happy while the other is unhappy.

The way to avoid being disappointed by the failure of expectations is by making and keeping agreements.

Life is much more joyful if you just do what you need to do and then accept whatever good fortune comes your way.

Here is another thing I learned long ago. Revolutions never come when we feel at our absolute lowest point. They come when things start to get better, because then we know that they can get better and so we feel our desires fired up and we have the energy to reach for more. The fact that we are no longer at the absolute bottom is inspiring. When there is movement, there is reason for hope, and hope gives birth to action.

Expectation without agreement is like positive thinking without action to give it traction. They present us false hope. Agreements and action give us strength to move forward and create the life we want.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Decisive, Liberating Actions

Yesterday I was working with a client who is having a hard time moving forward with the actions she needs to take. She kept procrastinating and distracting herself because she realized that moving forward means saying goodbye to her old identity.

The old identity that we need to let go of is sometimes wrapped up in sentimentality or ego, and those present stumbling blocks.

Many of us face that when we change careers. It was a real jolt for me when I changed careers and went from having a good salary and benefits to a straight commission sales job. Years later, after being happy and comfortable being a magazine editor for about 10 years, it was hard to adjust to the fact that the business had changed and I needed to change. I had to get a clear look at my future, make another plan, and then act on it. Each time, the shift itself looked daunting, but once I made the leap and shifted gears, everything worked out.

My client is in a similar situation. She is creating a new business for herself and she intends to remain the sole owner. Her resources include some household goods and personal items that remain from her old life that can be sold to bring in enough cash to fund the new venture without taking on debt or a partner.

She is realizing that memories of the past when she had a big house full of elegant furnishings is not where she is any more. The lifestyle that works for her now is a smaller house, nicely furnished with other available money funding her business. The remnants of the old lifestyle are actually a liability, because they do not generate any cash or function in any way to bring in clients, but when she moves again, it will cost a significant amount of money to move it all once more. Selling those items now and using the cash to fund the new business turns them into an asset. It will not only fund the new business which will provide her income in the present and future years, but it will also make it much less costly to move when it comes time to move.

Once we really recognize the truth that hanging onto baggage from the past can prevent us from having a better future, then the present choices become easier to make, and the required actions are not only decisive, but liberating.

If the career we used to have is no longer available to us now, then we have to create a new one. And we have to do whatever it takes to make that work. In so many ways, the person we used to be cannot continue to define our future if we are to survive and live well.

Letting go, in so many ways, is the key to success, growth and freedom. Being at peace with who you are now and what you are doing allows you to act decisively, swiftly, and without remorse. Be who you are now, and taste freedom and strength as you breathe in and step forward. Gives you chills, doesn't it?

Monday, July 27, 2009

Boldness Has Genius, Magic and Power In It

I am paraphrasing from memory from the great German poet, Goethe: "Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. For boldness has genius, magic and power in it."

As most of you reading this know, I am working as a professional tarot reader weekends and evenings at all kinds of fairs, festivals special events, private parties and for individual clients in private. I also do reiki healing and past life sessions, and a variety of other things. I love this work and I am focused on making that my full time source of income.

During my life, I have had the opportunity to experience many different jobs and careers. Some I took when I was simply in need of cash flow, so it was a whatever job. That would be like my current day job at the computer company, or the factory jobs I had when I was just out of high school, working for a commercial printing company, as a file clerk for a big law firm, as a janitor for a school, as a shipping clerk in a warehouse, loading trucks on a loading dock, repairing surveyor's instruments.

Other times I took jobs out of sheer curiousity like when I was a security guard for the Chicago Cubs baseball team one season, when I worked at a picture framer for an art gallery, when I worked as a cab driver, when I delivered pizzas, delivering daily newspapers in the middle of the night or working at a retreat center in the mountains.

Some jobs I took on a lark, like bartending, were so much fun that they lasted for several years. Being a bartender and a waiter was a great part time gig and fallback position in a crunch, even years later. People will always drink, and they need someone who knows how to pour and mix. Then there were the years when I worked for the American Red Cross organizing blood drives. That was a curiosity that turned into a career for several years too, and moved me around the country.

I worked as an advertising salesman for trade publications, in turn led to working for an advertising agency, which in turn led to being an advertising copywriter, and a freelance writer. And that led into my career as a magazine editor, which again started on a whim and turned into another career move that spanned a number of years. And that ran in tandem with being a teacher of creative writing for a decade. I also self published two books of poetry and produced shows for a couple of years as a performance artist, and although I was unable to find a way to make those pursuits profitable, they were fun. There are probably a few other things that I forgot to mention, but we'll let that slide for now.

I have met people who have had one job or one career their entire life. I don't think I could have done that. It has been interesting to do all these different things, to meet all these different people.

As I was reflecting on all this, it came to me quite clearly that there is one simple, very powerful thread running through it all.

If you do not do what you need to do in order to make a living doing something you like, you will find yourself doing something you don't like for a living.

Yes, there is that gray zone in the middle where people don't really like or dislike what they do. They just clock in and do something in return for a paycheck and can't wait to get off work so that they can do something they enjoy.

For me, making a living doing something that you can get out of bed looking forward to doing is as good as it gets. Well, that part of your life anyway.

Don't pull out any stops. If there is something that gives you satisfaction to do and you get good feedback on what you do from customers or clients, do whatever it takes to organize that activity into something that can provide your income.

I am working diligently to get back to that place. You can too. It is worth every bit of the effort. Do whatever you need to do to get into a place that you like. That place where your efforts are rewarded and you have a smile on your face. It looks good on you.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Climbing the Mountain

Picture this analogy. The top of the mountain is your goal. Whether that mountain top represents your work, your ideal partnership, your aspirations to write a book, paint pictures, make films, plant a beautiful garden, become a joyful and fluid dancer, to play a musical instrument, to make pottery out of clay, to work on an archeological dig, to go back to school and earn a degree in another field, to start your own business and have it become profitable so that it alone will support you.

Whatever you set as your goal is the top of the mountain.

Now consider how avid hikers approach the mountian. Their goal is to get to the top. So what do they do? They look at everything that is in their backpack and start taking out everything that they do not need, because everything they carry weighs something. So if they can leave things behind, that makes it more possible to reach the top.

Backpackers take a good look at everything and see it in a way that other people do not. They look at ways to take the things they need but without the extra parts. They look at ways to reduce the weight of what they need. There are essentials like food, water, a first aid kit, a knife, a sweater, a rain poncho. The question underlying all of it is: how do I make it so that I have everything I need while carrying as light a pack as possible? That is an important part of what allows me to get to the top of the mountain.

I had that experience when I moved here, and I had to pack light. Things that I thought I would always have suddenly had no place in my next stage of the journey. What I discovered when I got here is that I could, in fact, live well without all those things, and I managed to find replacements for everything I really needed, and a few other things I liked simply for the sheer joy and beauty.

When we look at our belongings, for example, and we are trying to start a new business, and that business needs capital, then we can either take on the burden of debt, try and find others who will give us loans and so on.

And there is another choice. We can look at all the stuff we have in closets or storage and see if we can turn it into cash to fund the new venture. We can look at all the things in our living space and see what can be sold. Can we do without it or will a less expensive model serve the purpose quite well while the collector's item or luxury edition funds the new business?

We find the same is true for beliefs and concepts. I had one friend years ago who thought that his target market for what he was selling was one thing, but as he got going, he discovered that his best customers wanted something else. A person who is too certain of their own beliefs might have kept pushing the original concept, and may or may not have found success. My friend followed the customer's lead and emphasized what they wanted and de-emphasized the original plan, and he became successful.

The question we each face is what weight are we willing to leave behind in order to get to the top of the mountain?

Are we focused on that goal? Would we sell an old keepsake in order to get to the top? Would we be willing to condition ourselves with many short hikes in order to get ready for the longer hike? Would we be willing to wear a pair of funny looking shoes or a funny looking hat if that's what it took?

If selling a watch, piece of jewelry, a piece of furniture, a piece of art or a collectible item provides us the money to fund our new business, and that new business will provide us income for this year and the years after, is it not worth it to let go of the things we have been carrying?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Relationships and Our Life Path

In one sense, the relationships that we have had are never really over, because our memories and experiences become part of our life, our consciousness, part of our soul. And these carry forward with us. Our life experiences are the one thing that are truly ours. Yes, the relationships are over in the sense that we will continue our life journey while participating in other relationships, but what we have learned is the part that goes with us.

Ending one relationship and tasting the sadness of that experience means that we now have had the opportunity to know the full human range of ecstasy and sadness that this relationship had to teach us, and we have survived to continue on our life path and have more relationships. We always begin a new relationship with hope and great expectations, and that is why when a relationship ends, we are reminded of those stops on our life path, the map of our journey so far, landmarks where those things we want to keep and those things that we want to let go of made a significant impact on us, and we are reminded to carry our lessons forward. These serve to help us choose the best steps for us on that the next stage of our journey, providing us with an inner compass that yields a stronger sense of direction so that we can draw ever more satisfaction from our continuing journey.

We are not defined or limited by what we have done, because our experiences will also point the way to what we can do. Much in the same way that our resume tells what kind of work we have done, that does not define all that we can do.

From each relationship, we retain certain memories that serve to teach us some valuable life lessons. Of course, few of us could remember everything about a past relationship, but those things we choose to keep with us are our milestones. These are our markers of progress on our life path.

The important things we carry forward are not things that we can pack in boxes or haul in cars and trucks. We learn as we go to value what is good and what is worth keeping. We also learn what is important to us, what we are not willing to let go of, and we resume doing those things that we used to enjoy but let fall by the wayside. We realize what lessons we do not want to keep repeating. As we open to new journeys with new people, we explore the areas of the map that are unknown. We will still travel familiar roads on journeys to and from our true selves, we will notice things we have not noticed before.

It is like when we drive down the same road to and from work many times over, and then one day, a store or restaurant catches our eye, and we feel drawn to stop in. The experience is good and we wonder why we never stopped there before. Our habits and patterns can lead us to overlook things, and that is why sometimes the jolt from a change, from an ending, reawakens us and renews us.

What we carry forward are the invisible rhythms of life that work their way outward to shape the expressions on our faces, the depth of our souls, the language of our bodies, the expressions of our creative spirits, the light of life that shows in our eyes.

Each person we have had a relationship with has affected us, and that will always be part of who we are, from that time forward. Some relationships may mutate into a different form, such as a lasting friendship, while others we may choose to let fade. But whether they are brilliant glimmers of soul light or shadows that walk with us, they all form part of the whole picture.
As we extract the lessons from each and drink deeply of their nourishment, there is something for us, something that feeds our hunger, quenches our thirst, and shapes our consciousness, even if some of these gifts of wisdom and love can only be savored from a distance in time, when we have more perspective and see the bigger picture.

When we can own it all, we can uncover the gems that we did not see until we turned them over, the illumination from the light on our path and the mysterious and hard won ways that it often comes to us.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Challenges As Opportunities

Challenges are opportunities that often come in very clever and nifty disguises. Big changes often spur growth because we force ourselves to think differently and act differently, and in so doing, we find that we have greater capacity than we thought we had.

We have to look for the ways to build our energies up instead of letting them run down. Those very things that may make our circumstances difficult can open the way to new joys, new discoveries, new opportunities.

When we overcome an obstacle, pass a test, learn to do something new, or make a significant change, we can feel exhilerated and sense excitement in our life. Each time we handle a big transition it reminds us that we have capacities that have been untapped and that we can do more than we thought.

When we are simply comfortable, and feel no urgency to do anything, then we could be letting everything move along at a snail's pace, where if we were to pay attention to it, we could stimulate the results faster, whether this is in regard to career development, hobbies, personal studies or whatever else.

Comfort can lull us into a place where we do not see all our possibilities. Options that exist escape our notice. When we are prompted by change, we can be forced to discover new options, new ways of doing things. These days, when we are talking about careers and jobs we increasingly find ourselves needing to explore more options. In our personal lives, exploring new options is a way of adapting to changes through exploring new options.

Comfort zones change. We find new ways to do things and eventually within that, find new comfort zones. Make new friends, find new work, and see the world with new eyes, hear with new ears and sense things that we appreciate with a new touch.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ebb & Flow in Relationships

Living together is a huge experiment. When we are single, we have ways of doing things and we get used to it. Then when we live with someone, we make adjustments, and some of those adjustments are easier to commit to and stick to than others.

Although being in a relationship is desirable, for a great many people, being single works for others, in the same way that some people love being parents and some do not want to have children.

We are perhaps caught between visions and realities in our concept of relationships. The romantic idea of relationships still looks like two people who fall in love and stay together forever. But how many people do you know who have only been married one time, and to the same person?

The world we really live in is that we ebb and flow in our relationships. We meet someone we really like and decide to become a couple. Then somewhere down the road a few years, we decide that we really want a different situation or a different person. Most of us have now had more than one marriage, live in, or long term relationship. It seems that it would be more realistic to think of our relationships as arrangements that fit us for a certain period of our lives.

Our friendships mirror this too. Think back on how people you called your friends in grammar school or high school seemed like they would be part of your life forever, but then when you got to college, there were new friends who you had a lot in common with, and they became the ones you spent a lot of time with. Later in life again, as you worked in one career or job, you became friends with people from your work life. But then a little later, you changed jobs or careers and those people changed again. Or perhaps there were people you saw all the time when you went dancing, but now that you are not dancing any more, you rarely run into them. Or perhaps you used to see them at the gym, but now you have moved and no longer go to that gym. Or there were people you always talked to when you were walking your dog, but now you live in a different neighborhood or city and you meet different peole when you are walking the dog.

So it goes with our relationships. Our life changes, our relationship changes, and the relationship is just as subject to change as our friendships and the people we met on the job who we like. We no longer stay in one relationship for a lifetime any more than we stay in one job for a lifetime.

Parting of the ways does not have to be bitter or acrimonious. It can be amicable and simply recognize the fact that each person has different wants or needs that the other cannot fulfill.

Today there are many different models to operate from. Some have open relationships. Others continue to live in the same house, although they have separate bedrooms, and separate social lives. In recent years, there are people who were divorced but unable to sell their house, so they found themselves living like roommates, or apartment dwellers in the same building. If a parting is on good terms, these kinds of adjustments can work.

Hope frequently triumphs over wisdom when we try and adjust to living with another person because we love them, even though we may have vast differences about issues that we feel are important.

Perhaps the one conceptual difference that will help us better adjust to changes in our life is to recognize that there are ebbs and flows in relationships and instead of labeling them good or bad, simply recognize that they are. We often do not differentiate until later which differences are deal breakers and which ones are just interesting. One truth is that our lives are made up of a series of relationships, rather than just one that lasts forever. Embracing that reality can ease the pains of transitions. That is not to say that there will not be any pain, but the transition may be a lot easier to adjust to and continue on with our lives if we reflect on our lives and see them in this light.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Alchemy of Opposites

Do opposite attract? Yes, but they do not last long. What is really best in a relationship is when like attracts like. Maybe for a little spice, same, with some differences.

Many people who embrace the concept of past lives and reincarnation look to this to explain why we are strongly drawn to, or strongly repelled by someone we just met. Sometimes that is the only way to explain a magical sort of feeling of immediate familiarity. There are millions of people for us to connect with, and so the question naturally arises when we sense such a connection. There may be a karmic relationship to play out. But there are other factors as well.

When the good girl goes for the bad boy, is she just taking a little walk on the wild side and then she will retreat after a brief interlude? Or is she really revealing what she wants, and she is ready to shed that outer layer and reveal the inner adventuress?

When the guy pretends to be interested in the same things as the girl because he finds her attractive and wants to get closer, will he be able to sustain his interest in this new subject or activity? Or will he revert to his normal tastes?

The same question, of course, applies in reverse. If one person gives up an activity that they really enjoy in order to get along better with their prospective partner, will they be happy? Of course, an alternative solution is that both have some free time to enjoy those things they really like, but are not equally appreciated by their partner. This gives each a little breathing room. This is why some couples are more closely tied together than others. They just have more breathing room.

Sometimes opposites attract simply because people like to explore what people not like themselves are like and having some differences can make them more interesting to each other. Overall, they must be more alike than different or it cannot be a match.

What I call the X factor is critical, because when you take the reverse approach as many dating services do, and you make this big checklist, and have them match, yet when you meet in person, there is no chemistry at all, no X factor. When you have X factor, lots of ground can be covered quickly.

The energy of finding someone who really has a lot of feeling for you and enjoys many of the same things as you forms a powerful synergy. Two people moving in the same direction can get a lot of traction as they move toward their dreams.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Giant Steps

How appropriate that today is Monday, the moon's day. 40 years ago today, astronauts landed on the moon. Many people are able to recall where they were and what they were doing when the moon landing happened. I am not.

I do remember that I was working full time in a warehouse during the day and going to college at night. Sometimes after class we would go out for beer. Other times, we might go to someone's apartment and play guitars. Not sure what I did that night, but I do remember coming to work in the warehouse next morning and hearing other people talk about how strange it seemed that astronauts were able to walk on the moon.

To me, it was mind expanding to think that we could do that. But it was simply a curiosity. It was not the most important thing in my life. It has provided a reference point in so many discussions. We have found a way to land on the moon and return, but not to be able to..........................(you fill in the blank). But that's about it for me.

People asked me if it was hard to be a full time warehouse worker and a full time college student. It was not too much for me, because I had a goal, a vision for my future. I knew that in a few years I would graduate from college and get into some different kind of work, and that the warehouse was not my whole future. That always inspired me to keep going.

Ironically, here I am 40 years later, working full time in an electronic sweatshop, seeing clients evenings and weekends, holding the vision of transitioning my career into something that I will find more joy and fulfillment in doing, namely doing tarot reading, intuitve consulting, energy and healing work full time. I am working hard seven days a week to make this my reality.

In all those years in between the moon landing and now, I have had other jobs I have enjoyed, some that were really interesting, and I have been an entrepreneur and freelancer. I have lived in different parts of the country. I have gone through many evolutions. Today, the evolution that seems right is this one.

Life goes on. You might say this anniversary is an interesting footnote. A few people have gone to the moon. The rest of us have our own journeys. Curious, zigzag patterns through life, rather than straight lines, define our orbits

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Becoming One With Your Dreams

Do you tend the garden of your self as well as you tend your garden of flowers? Is water enough to slake your thirst? Do you uproot the things that choke out the things you want to grow? Do you prune off the damaged branches so that the healthy branches can grow stronger?

Do you sing to soothe your soul and make up poetry in the dark when only you can hear it? Do you like the feeling of the rhythm in your body? Do you like the sound of rhymes in your ears? Do you give voice to your dreams to see who else has similar dreams? Do you sing for no reason and for all reasons? Does it feel good to shape the words, shape your feelings with your mouth? Does it feel good letting all that energy express itself through your throat? Does your voice reveal the real you? Or is it more?

Do you dance even when no one is looking or especially when no one is looking? Do you laugh at your self as well as at others? Do you find reasons to laugh at the slightest provocation?

Do you pursue your dreams with passion? Or did you quit dreaming because you have been disappointed before when you were not able to realize your dreams? Did you give up before you got what you wanted? If you had another chance would you go for it? Are you ready to give your self another chance? Are you ready to dream again and this time see if you can make it real?

What is the difference between dreams that are possible and dreams that are impossible? What will it take to move you in the direction of your dreams? What is the passion that you want in your life? Are you ready to speak for it now? Are you ready to receive it now?

Can you get up every day and say "I am looking forward to doing this?" Can you get up every day and say "This is what I like?" Can you get up every day and say "I am becoming one with my dreams?"

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Detective of Life

When I look at a card spread, I am looking at the trails of energy, looking for clues as to what is going on in this life.

I see the traces of love, fear, anger, joy, seduction, suppression, the victories, the secret desires. I see the tracks of the path well worn as well as the path only traveled in dreams. I see the impression of a being grown too robust for its cage to contain it. I see the passion abandoned by the one who felt that it was better to disown it and choose the safe route. And I also see the one who chose safety over passion a little further down the road, wishing they had pursued their passion after the bottom fell out of the safety net. I see the disillusionment that led to the collapse of the old and now provides the rubble strewn ground that will be cleared to build something new in its place.

I see the discoveries that lead out of the old life and into the new. I see the taste for adventure that lights the lantern on the path, the very glimmer of hope, bringing joy to the seeker who is walking their path.

I see the footprints of experience and the light on the horizon, the openings where friends will join in this journey and the tears from the drama that now water the wildflowers. I sense the change of temperature in relationships, where the body heat has cooled, and the tremors of awakening where the sleeper is awakening.

I hear the whispers of those who are saying yes to life, who have not the courage yet to speak it out loud or let it out in a passionate scream of delight.

I catch a scent of the subtle aroma of wakening from sleep, of reaching for more, breaking a sweat, the satisfied air of breathing deep.

I read the stories to see what is there, to read the patterns, and point in the directions of discoveries of life. When they are at the crossroads, not sure if their map will serve them, I reconnect them with their inner guides to help them feel their way to the treasure, the abundance that awaits those who move in the directions of their desires, their dreams, their heart connections.

I read them the stories that open the way. It is their choice to whether to read a new interpretation of the story, to follow a new path, to believe in a different set of possible endings. Like other detectives, I can see what is there, and how the evidence outlines the story. How the story ends is up to the choices made by the main character.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Galaxies of Galleries

I think of tarot decks as little art galleries that a person can carry in their pocket or purse, or keep in their desk or on a coffee table. Portable art collections. So there seems to be natural connection doing readings in art galleries. People who really appreciate the visual arts have an eye for the special effort that artists put into creating unique decks.

Packs of cards with 78 images can offer the same reflective and meditative qualities as coffee table books of art or framed pictures hanging on walls. Plus there is one advantage: portability.

Plus another quality, and that is that no matter what theme or style the artist chooses to work in, the pictures all relate in ways that tell stories, share ideas and explore many different paths to wisdom, many different ways to appreciate beauty.

Pocket art galleries. A world of choices. A world of inspiration. Other worlds in your hands.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Beyond the Subject at Hand

Tonight as I was teaching reiki, all of the wonderful aspects of it became clearer. Going over various points about the techniques and the ideas behind the techniques, many positive habits and useful concepts were reinforced. The elegance of reiki is in its simplicity, and that is also what makes it both powerful and accessible.

As with teachers of any skill, it is rewarding to see a student progress. It is pretty normal that when a person decides to take up a new study that they are tentative at first, and as their practice increases, so does their confidence level, and as that increases, so does their ability. In reiki, one of the traits of a healer is the heat in the hands from the energy traveling through them.

In teaching of a method such as this, it is also part of the continuation of the tradition that it is taught personally with hands on practice rather than just watching a video. A good teacher will also hold the vision that those they teach will also one day become teachers themselves.

Reiki also offers incentives for the student in that they can observe their own progress in a rather short period of time compared to other types of skills, and being aware of their own progression encourages a person to do even more. It is rewarding to the teacher to observe the student grow. It is a good feeling to pass on traditions to those who are dedicated to learning.

Good students encourage teachers to become even better teachers, and good teachers encourage students to become better not just in the subject at hand, but more as they use what they have learned in their life, beyond the specific applications at hand.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Questions About Past Lives

One of the questions that prompted me to inquire about past lives is this. Why are some of us born healthy while others of us are born with various physical conditions that require surgery to correct? Why do some of us have a fear of small places, or heights, or deep water or crowds which has no rational or logical explanation in any life experience?

Yes, a person could say that it is simply genetics or an inherited trait, but where would that originate? People certainly are born with conditions that run in families like diabetes or heart conditions. But not everyone in a family is born with a fear of heights or a fear of water.

It is interesting that in my own case, I was born with one leg not properly formed and it took many surgeries to correct. They did a great job with the surgeries and I have been able to get around just fine.Still, doctors advised me not to play contact sports like football because they were afraid I might break it and that they would not be able to get it set properly again. So one past life revealed that I was a great athlete in a previous life, but that in this life, I was born with an unmistakable sign that this lifetime was not to be about being a great athlete. Another aspect of that life is that I had visions that I wanted to express but was never taught to read and write. I also had other lifetimes where my ability to write was a pivotal part of the story. I have always wondered why writing came so easily to me. For a good part of my adult life, I made my living as a writer, editor and writing teacher. Today I write on this blog.

Sometimes another person's story will reveal that their fear of water might have been as a result of drowning in a past life. Or a pain in a certain part of their body is related to a severe or fatal injury in that part of the body in another life.

Or a certain relationship pattern reflects patterns present in other lives. When we notice that we keep repeating a certain pattern, we have an opportunity to change it. Perhaps we never even realized we had a pattern until we recalled some stories and noticed the similarities.

That is why sometimes we feel like we know someone, even when we have just met them. They say that we reincarnate in groups, so that is why when a person is recalling a past life story, they feel that the person in one story reminds them of someone they know in their present life. Perhaps they do not look the same, but their energy, characteristics and manner are clearly recognizable.

Brian Weiss and other well known authors on the subject of past lives offer many examples in their books of how many people found release from fears, pains and anxieties after stories were recalled. Sometimes it is simply peace and freedom from anxiety that are found. Sometimes it was relief from a recurring pain, and sometimes it was just the ability to relax and be able to sleep through the night.

In my own case, it was the doctors who reconstructed my leg, but knowing that there was some reason, or at least a plausible story from my past, that explains why I was born with that physical challenge plus an ability to write that helped confirm for me that I am on the right track and that using my available energies in the way that I do fits a larger picture and confirms the pattern already working in my current life.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Past Life Resonance

I know that many people are skeptical about past lives, so let me present it to you the way it was presented to me, and this may open it to a different perspective.

The first time I ever went to someone to experience a past life session, I asked her this. "I have a good imagination, so how do I know if I ever had a past life or if I am just making things up?"

She said "If you go through this process with me and you come up with a story that teaches you something valuable, does it matter how you got the story?"

That is a lesson that has stuck with me, because the past life stories I recalled made sense to me and helped me recognize the patterns in my life. Recalling past lives did not change what I had done in this lifetime, but it helped me make sense of it. The patterns from the stories echoed real life events from this lifetime.

When a person recalls their own past life stories, they see patterns in relationships, patterns in life, perhaps uncover roots of fears or pains. Then once those roots are uncovered, some of the pain associated with them seems to dissipate.

Some of my own stories surprised me, some did not, but all were useful and helpful in understanding the life I have now. There are, no doubt, stories I have not yet remembered, but when the time is right, I will. Our stories are uniquely ours, and it is amazing how our experiences can be felt when we remember them and how cathartic it can be when we recognize our patterns. And that empowers us and frees us. Our past does influence our present. Our free will determines the course of action we choose from here.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Thunder Moon

Interesting that one of the traditional names for the July full moon is the Thunder Moon because of the tendency of sudden thunderstorms to blow up at this time of year. We certainly have had a number of sudden rainstorms this July. In fact recently we have had more than the usual number of rainstorms. Lots of lightning in the sky.

Another name is the Buck Moon for the new antlers that deer sprout at this time of year. Some people may also call it the Wort Moon, a word that comes from the Old English word, which in turn came from an old German word, healing green plants. That is why some of the old folk names for some herbs end in wort, like lungwort, liverwort, mugwort, St. John's Wort, spleenwort, sleepwort, dropwort, goutwort, and many others. At this time of year, many of these would be enjoying robust growth and people would begin harvesting and drying some for use during the fall and winter months.

These folkloric names for the times of the year are still useful for harmonizing ourselves with the cycles of nature. Even though many other things have changed in the world since people began naming the moons in this way, this knowledge can still be very useful to us, in both metaphorical and practical terms.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Magic Deck

Last week, my favorite deck blew off the table while I was doing a reading at an outdoor festival. Amazingly, they were all recovered and the deck is intact.

This weekend I read with them again, and they seem glad to be back and have a renewed sense that they have much more work to do before they are retired, if ever.

There seems to be a mysterious energy emanating from them now, and they are clicking ever faster and clearer when they turn face up.

I was elated when I discovered that the deck was still intact and ready to be used again. None was damaged or missing. The windstorm seems to have infused them with a renewed vigor.

They have always worked well, but now they seem to work even better. It is as if the windstorm breathed new life into them.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Enjoying Outdoor Festivals

Every day I get closer to my goal. Working outdoors today, trying to stay in the shade as much as possible. Met many new and interesting people, and had a great time.

Once again sudden rain and wind almost caused an upset of the day's events, but it calmed down and we resumed. Weather definitely presents a risk at outdoor festivals, yet it is a good way to meet people who would probably not ordinarily go a psychic fair or healing arts fair. In a public festival setting, it is a pleasure to meet people who are going for the experience of getting a reading for the very first time.

In these types of situations, it also happens that many times I read for family members or friends who are there together. What a great way to spend a day.

When people ask me why I work so hard and put in so many hours at all these events plus seeing private clients on weekday evenings, I can honestly say that I enjoy doing this much more than just kicking back with a drink and watching TV. I do enjoy having a drink and watching a movie, or reading a novel, or catching up with people online, but that is after the in person sessions have ended.

I always affirm that I will be of service to those who come to me, and that I will bring through something useful for them at this time. And that feeling stays with me after I am done. So I am going back to do it all again tomorrow. When you can do what you love, you are truly blessed.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Our Quest

Our quest for creativity and pleasure in our work is a challenging one.

Some people have feelings or ideas that contradict their goals, such as "It is hard to make a living doing what I like." It is not easy to start and grow your own business, but if you enjoy it, there is pleasure in every effort you make, because each step gets you a bit closer to your goal.

Some people may feel that they do not deserve to have a life that is pleasurable in every aspect. They may believe that they must slog through work they do not like in order to make money. While all efforts to create your own career and direct your own energies involve investment of energies including both money and labor, there is a reward for that labor that will reward you much greater than slogging through some job where someone else sets limits on your income and schedule. When you work for yourself, you make your own schedule and decide what your goals are.

I have seen many people lose faith in themselves and quit. If you really feel that what you do benefits both yourself and others and you enjoy doing it, I would encourage you to keep finding ways to do it that yield profitable results. If your desire to reach your goal is strong and you keep on looking for ways to get to your goal, the universe will help you find a way.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A One Trick Pony

A one trick pony is better than a no trick pony, but then that one trick pony is limited to continuing to find that one trick amusing.

One hit wonders who had a popular song many years ago and are still touring, singing that one song to those people who never get tired of hearing it. Boxers and wrestlers who were stars a long time ago who try to make a comeback and look less inspiring than we remember them. Writers whose most recent book reads like the warmed over ramblings edited out of their great books.

When a person runs out of ideas or lacks the desire to create new ones, they fall back on old routines that used to work for them. Why would they do that? If you have ever had one triumphant moment in your life where you were considered one of the best or you were very popular, it is hard not to want to bask in that glory again.

In a time of uncertainty, it is tempting to want to fall back on that again and capitalize on it. But in time, that becomes simply a losing proposition as the number of people who care to keep on reliving that moment in the past grows smaller and smaller.

The other option is to keep on growing and changing and finding another way to utilize our skills, abilities and interests to create some new aspect that is not simply a repeat of the old career path, not just a lame imitation of the greatness that once was.

Many people have successfully reinvented themselves over time. Imagination can move us forward, into a creative place. Many of the one trick ponies are fading away in favor of the more flexible ponies who have learned at least a few new tricks.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Feeling and the Mind's Eye

Ever notice how you can have even a fleeting image fly through your mind, and feelings come up? Images are powerful. The picture of someone we carry in our mind's eye can summon the same feelings you had with that person when you were together live and in person.

We use that faculty more than we realize. You know that example that has been used many times about when you imagine yourself biting into a lemon, and your mouth starts to pucker, but there is no lemon there. Your body, however, reacts as if there really is a lemon there.

When we watch a movie or read a book, we can feel some of the same things the character is going through because we can identify with them and relate to what they are feeling, especially if the book or movie is like anything we have ever lived through.

Our mind's eye even opens up new vistas to see what we have not seen, as in remote viewing, or what they call "casework" in the Silva Method Training. We can tune into feelings near or far and see things we did not know we can see. We can feel things and sense things about life from a distance, from memory, in our mind's eye.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Healing and the Mind's Eye

To send reiki healing energy to people over a distance, it is helpful to focus the energy by picturing the person you are sending it to. A photo can help, but even without a photo, if you just close your eyes and imagine that the healing energy is being sent to the other person.

You can hold your hands around the picture and imagine the energy flowing through your hands to the person you are intending it to reach.

Like anything else you want to do, you will get stronger at sending with practice. You can test this with other people and see if they are picking up on it. Ask them if they felt anything. Ask them if they are feeling anything now. You can practice by suggesting to them a certain time of day that you will be sending energy so that they can open themselves to receiving it. You can also send it without mentioning a specific time and see if they pick up on it.

Yes, there are techniques for amping up the flow of energy, and as I mentioned, practice strengthens the flow. Meanwhile you can try it. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose. You can also try it on your plants and animals. It is simple, gentle, beautiful, and it works.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Hearing and the Mind's Eye

I like to wear a headset when I walk and listen to the radio. Sometimes music, sometimes interviews or intelligent conversations or books on tape (yes, I am still using the old school walkman, not an ipod).

This can at times produce a very pleasant surprise. Tonight, for example, I just happened onto an interview with a farmer who harvests maple syrup in the northeast. Listening to him describe it, I could picture the whole scene in my mind's eye. At the same time, I was watching the moon as clouds floated past and obscured, then revealed it for a while.

A little later, I heard an interview with a science fiction writer, and another evening an interview with a paranormal researcher. You have to just skip around a bit to happen onto these things. Listening to a book on tape is all about learning to listen and picturing the story in your mind as you follow along.

The ancient technology of storytelling is still alive and well, and when a story is well told, it is an engaging experience that rewards the listener with a stimulated imagination. And there is a lot of power within the imagination. In fact, you can substitute that word for other terms like guided meditation, or visualization or trance and you can see what kind of doorways it can open.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Kindred Spirits Calling Out

The parakeet in the living room is stimulated to sing by two things. One is the sound of running water. Something about that must remind him of home.

The second is when the screen door or the window is open and he hears other birds and starts talking back to them, calling out to them. He cannot see them from his cage in the living room and they cannot see him from the trees and shrubs, or up on the roof. Still, the call and response is their songs.

Yet he recognizes the familiar sound of like creatures calling to him. He calls because he knows there are kindred spirits out there, and when they call back, they encourage him. He must think that one day he will get to meet them, fly with them and do what birds do when they get together.

How many people are like that? Kindred spirits calling out, knowing that there are others like them out there somewhere, and if they keep on calling, who knows, one day they will meet in person. The difference is that the parakeet is not able to open his cage. People can open theirs and they can see who is out there who sounds like someone they would like to meet.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Written on the Wind

Today I was working in a fair in Firestone. We had a tent set up and more people were starting to come in for readings. It had been hot and sunny, shifting into slightly overcast at times.

Suddenly, some really dark, low hanging clouds drifted in, the temperature dropped about 20 degrees and a strong wind kicked up. The lovely young woman and her daughter who had just begun their reading suddenly saw all the cards fly off the table. Then my business cards and brochures. Then my vase of flowers. The young lady was kind enough to help pick up my cards, and miraculously, not one was lost. I wadded up everything on my table into the tablecloth and put it in my bag.

I had bought a lovely little tomato plant from another vendor, and it got broken when my table fell on it. I brought it home any way and planted it even though it was broken. I have a feeling that it will survive and produce some beautiful tomatoes anyway.

Other people helped us put the tent away, including police and firemen who were there. Other people weren't so lucky. Their tents got tossed across the road. So the holiday fair was declared over less than half way through. It is always a risk with outdoor fairs, just like sudden rainstorms or blazing heat.

Someone said that the winds were 75 mph. I have noticed driving north on I-25 before, feeling winds that exerted a strong pressure on my car, and I drive a very substantial car. I have heard that those winds get to around 80 - 100 mph on the plains in Colorado and Wyoming.

Quite amazing. The sudden gale force gusts driving across the plains, upending everything.

It was very surreal doing a reading and watching all the cards blow away off the table. It was just as surreal getting them all back.

So the crowded fairgrounds were suddenly empty. The clouds continued to be very dark purple and some layers seemed strangely close to the ground. People helped each other and we all got out OK. Yet it still seemed strange to be interrupted in that way and get home early because we could not finish what we started.

Winds went from refreshing to freaky in a matter of minutes. And for a moment, all my readings were indeed, written on the wind.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Aroma, Sight and Taste of Pleasure

Since there is not really a yard at this townhouse, the garden is a number of containers. This year, we focused on planting vegetables and herbs rather than flowers. Just in more of a mood to be practical.

This week, the cucumbers bloomed with these beautiful bright yellow flowers. The pepper plants have these little white flowers. The tomatoes, of course, have little yellow flowers.

A friend, once upon a time, kept picking all the little yellow flowers off the tomatoes figuring that would make them grow bigger. Then she asked someone why her plants never got tomatoes.

Basil has not yet flowered, but it is expanding into some wonderful big leaves. Chives and parsley are exploding with growth like their own little fireworks show. Oregano is just expanding slowly and steadily. Green beans have filled their allotted spaces and the bush beans, as they call them, will in not too long a time, be providing us with a delicious harvest.

It is a life lesson to watch these seeds and starter plants take a little while to acclimate to their new homes. Their flowers last for a little while, but there is much happiness in knowing that each flower will soon become something good to eat and will become dinner one evening. Sometimes it just takes a little while, and we have to let it flower and provide us with nourishment on its own schedule. They take a certain amount of time, and that is just the natural order of things.

A little earth, a fair amount of water, not too much sun, and life expands. We bring our spirit out to play with the plants and help tend the garden. We nourish the plants and then the plants nourish us. We help each other. Flowers nourish the spirit with their bursts of visual joy, but they are not the only viewing pleasure. There are all sorts of green shapes is the other plant leaves. And then there is the pleasure of the palate, which comes after the color and the aroma. Satisfaction comes in waves. Life affirming, simple, beautiful waves.

There are many different pleasures in life, and this is one of them.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


It is fascinating how the internet makes it easy to connect. I can keep in touch with clients and people I have met recently and I have heard from people that I have not heard from in a long time. I can visit sites that feature very specialized subject matter and share with others who care about the same subjects.

And it is all just a few clicks away. It was not that long ago that keeping in touch with friends who lived in other parts of the country meant running up large phone bills. Exchanging handwritten letters took weeks. Now sending an email to someone thousands of miles away is no more expensive than sending a message to someone in the same town.

Connections help us realize what a small place the world is, even though it is also a great big place.

I like the way that we can exchange ideas with people we only had a chance to meet briefly in person and get to know them so that when we do get to see them again, we already feel like we know them better.

It would be hard to ever go back to the times when we did not have email or websites. Now that we know how it all works, we can only go forward. It is really a pleasure to check the email and find messages from old friends and new friends and keep in touch easily. It is also a good business building tool, and I am learning more about how to use it all the time. There are so many ways that you can always waste time on dead ends before finding the more efficient ways.

Connecting our energies is certainly amazing using this technology.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


How many times in your daily life do you experience joy? Can you experience joy from going to the farmer's market and buying fresh produce? Can you experience joy from simply going for a swim? Can you experience joy from seeing plants grow in your garden? Can you experience joy from drumming and singing for a little while? Can you experience joy from drinking a cold beverage while watching the sun set or the moon rise on a warm evening?

Now what about letting your creative spirit out to play? Did you ever just feel like writing something simply because you felt like saying something? Did you ever feel like drawing a picture just because you had an idea you wanted to sketch out? Did you ever want to sing a song that just came to you just because you felt like it?

Did you ever make love with total focus and just feel the joy, and letting it continue on? Did you ever make love until you felt your energy connect in a different way with your partner? Did you ever feel your energies connect on another level that is not easy to explain? Did your joy become ecstasy? Did you ever feel the joy so permeate you that you reached a happiness beyond all recognition? Does this happen often? Why not? Would you like it to? Is joy so simple to attain that we forget about it? Or is joy one of those things we save for special occassions?

Do you get up in the morning and dress comfortably and do what you need to do with joy as the feeling that flows through you? Do you experience joy and creativity every day? Why not?