Sunday, May 29, 2011

Nurture Local Talent: It's a Good Deal

Last night, John William Davis played an acoustic music concert at a great local bookstore, Barbed Wire Books in Longmont. He told humorous stories and picked guitar and sang beautifully too. It was a very enjoyable evening. And it was affordably priced at $10 per person. It is good that we have other options for entertainment, and it shows creativity on the bookstore owner's part to feature acoustic music as well as book signings and talks.

Contrast that to another recent concert experience. Another singer/musician I am really looking forward to seeing will be playing at a concert venue downtown. So I went online, chose my seats, paid for them by charge card. It was a totally humanless interaction. Yet, they automatically slapped on a $22 "service charge" for the 2 tickets, over and above the price of the tickets plus taxes. What service? There was no flyover or pop-up that would explain what the service charge was for. No one answered the phone and advised me about the best available tickets or took my card number or did anything else. If it costs more to put on the concert, simply price the tickets that way, rather than slap on a bogus charge which produces sticker shock when you see a final price that is significantly different than the advertised price.

Another recent evening, I went to a comedy club to hear a big name, big ticket star who had been featured on a TV show. He was not nearly as funny as the same club on another night featuring local talent, and again, at a much more moderate ticket price. More dollars does not always mean "mo' better."

Look around and see what other options you might be overlooking. Supporting local musicians, authors, artists, comedians and actors is a good value, both ways, in terms of entertainment for the dollar and valuing the talents of others.

It is akin to buying produce directly from local farmers, whether they feature organic or heirloom varieties or otherwise. And buying beer from the smaller local/regional breweries. Plus, all of it helps create and support local employment, another great benefit.

Nurture local talent and we all benefit in all kinds of ways.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Provocative Art

One of the provocative aspects of art is its ability to help us, or sometimes, demand of us, that we see things a different way.

Art has always done that. The best artists cause us to do double takes and reconsider what we are seeing by presenting us with different perspectives.

As a person who deals in a particular kind of art, tarot decks, I see many more than the average person. I see more than the biggest retail stores because I deal with private parties and that is how I often come across art that his hard to find and out of print, so I get to experience, and sometimes own for a while, art treasures that are unusual and rare.

What I have noticed about being exposed to all this art is that there are many decks that follow the traditional designs and concepts. Then there are those rare decks that really push the boundaries and demand to be taken on their own terms.

That is why I change the decks I read with every once in a while. It is refreshing to follow the flow of the cards and be pleasantly surprised when a fresh perspective by the artist prompts the reading in a new direction. The visions of some artists are gentler and more compassionate. Others can be disturbing and direct.

When presented with a radical redesign, you have to let go of your preconceived notions and deal with this new art on its own terms. Sometimes it can open us to experience and interpretation that may even surprise us.

It is good to do this every once in a while in order to see the world through new eyes. It is very enlightening. New art can be challenging, and it can also be a doorway to meetings with new spirit guides, new realms of imagination and most importantly, new perspectives on ourselves and what we do.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


How much difference can words of encouragement make? Sometimes that's all other people need from us in order to move forward with what they really want to do?

Starting your own business always takes up a great part of your consciousness. So there is one place where a person can use encouragement. There are so many things to do to create a successful business. So when someone makes a useful suggestion about how to promote your business, or helps you find a better way to sell, or even suggests another possible source of vendors, that person will get a second wind and tackle that suggestion, and maybe that is a suggestion that helps them turn things around, or at least provide a partial solution that gives them hope.

Even for fun, people need encouragement. Those who have always been shy about their dancing might not let themselves relax and give it a good try without words of encouragement. The first time I went dancing, I was very unsure of myself and holding back a bit more than normal. Then a woman asked me to dance, and I was hooked. All of a sudden, I felt like I could. I mean I had to, because now I had this dance partner and I had to do something. So I stepped right in and got the hang of it quickly.

It was common, back when I led drumming circles, for a person to come and say "I don't know if I can do this, but I would like to try." So after a few words of encouragement, they would listen for a few beats to see what was happening, and all of a sudden, they were drumming along with everyone else.

When I used to teach creative writing, I watched people blossom, going from shy and self censoring to great stories, once I encouraged them to get out of their own way. Sometimes at the beginning of the class, they would identify themselves as someone who just wanted to try doing this because their job was boring and they needed some kind of creative outlet, and maybe somewhere along the way someone suggested they try writing. Maybe it was because they could tell stories and jokes when they were loosened up, but for some reason when they sat down to write, they started telling themselves that they shouldn't say this or if they say that they might offend readers. But not everyone will like what you write, no matter what you write, so just say what you want. That's why people like listening to you when you get loosened up, isn't it?

Sometimes when a person gets a reading, they find encouragement in the reading and things they had been putting off are suddenly things they are ready to do. When a person finds validation and understanding in a reading, encouragement is a common traveling companion with those.

So that is one other good result that can come from a reading, and it can be the very factor that helps transmute the fortune telling into a tool for the person to use in their own fortune making.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Professional Kite Flyer

There are so many realities out there right now that we can just tune in to the ones we care about and tune the rest out.

Every once in a while a subject will catch my ear and it is something new to me, but then I realize that this is huge to someone else. Suddenly you realize how we adjust our field of vision and what is not in that scope becomes invisible.

That is why what we focus on is so important. Every once in a while I will come across something and I will be thinking that I didn't even know that anyone did that. Today I just happened across an article about a professional kite flyer. I didn't that anyone could be a professional kite flyer.

So then my mind starts wandering again. I wonder what else we could do.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Accepting Ourselves

Sometimes what a person really wants from a reading is to be understood, to be validated.

How many times have you wanted to do something, but others tried to discourage you, and after you let them convince you, you felt as if you missed a good opportunity?

Or on the other end of the spectrum, have you ever had friends and relatives encouraging you to do something that you felt was not really your best choice?

That is what is happening sometimes when a person wants a reading. By going to someone who is completely unattached to the outcome, and not familiar with all the individuals and all the background, they can get an unbiased second opinion.

When that second opinion agrees with their feelings, there is validation. "Someone else agrees with me and sees the sense in my choice, they understand me," and that is a good feeling. After all, when people you know all around you are telling you that "you would be stupid or crazy not to do this" you can start to wonder if you are not wrong in your assessment since no one seems to agree with you.

But the fact that you have a different point of view does not make you crazy or wrong. How many times have you intuitively felt a certain way even though it may be contrary to what seems to be the popular opinion around you?

Sometimes this neutral second opinion can be very uplifting when we find ourselves encouraged to do take action and take heart. Sometimes a person will say, "I keep thinking about that and have wanted to do it for a long time. It's interesting that you mention it. I take this as a sign that it is time to at least try it."

Acceptance is something all people want and need, and self acceptance is a great place to begin. If we believe in ourselves, it makes it easier for other people to believe in us.

This is one of the many valuable reasons to get a reading. It is not always about fortune telling.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Why Didn't I Think of That Before?

Because you weren't ready yet.

Do you ever get the feeling that there is just one more thing you might do that might help your business make giant steps forward, but you can't quite put your finger on it?

You try all kinds of things and have some success, but want more. Some of the things you try work well and some do not. And you keep getting the feeling that there is just one more tool, one more strategy or one more approach that you could add to your array of offerings and that perfect solution just seems to elude you, like something you see in your peripheral vision, but when you turn around, you don't see what you thought you saw.

What we have to do in this situation is to just keep our eyes and ears open, keep our psychic awareness open, notice what else is going on that is working. Notice what opportunities may be available. Perhaps only a few of them will be suitable for you and your business, but that's fine. You don't need all of those things, just one that really works for you.

Just one idea, one tool, one whatever, is all that it will take to open up new levels of success for you.

And it is often that one thing that you finally recognize and AHA! that is it, and you say to yourself, "why didn't I think of that before?"

That delicious moment when you turn around and the thing that has been tantalizing you in your peripheral vision suddenly comes into focus.

When you feel that feeling, take a second look at everything and trust your intuition.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Rhythms to Magically Shift Our Spirits

The rhythms of our days vary. Some days we get up and feel eager to get going. Other days we wake up slowly and we welcome the slow pace of a day with no urgent appointments on the agenda.

Rather than force ourselves to be one or the other, we can either increase our pace and speed things up or we can slow things down.

When we match the pace of our feelings, we are in sync with our spirit.

Have you noticed how some days it seems to take a while to get in sync? How the rhythms of our day may take a while to catch up with our feelings? Or how are feelings seem to be brought into line with our pace?

It is always a matter of fine tuning. After all, we do not just have one pace all the time. It fluctuates, just as our mood does.

Sometimes when we are down, we can play directly into it to lift ourselves out, singing blues, dancing slowly with ourselves, maybe drumming a little or reading a good book until we move into another rhythm.

So the rhythms we work with can alter our moods. We could be feeling out of sorts, but then by simply taking a walk, we can come back refreshed and come up with fresh ideas.

We could even be discouraged or disillusioned, but after going out to dance for a few hours, come back with a whole new attitude.

We can use rhythms in our life to lift our spirits, improve our health, find inspiration, grab a hold of the joy of life and clasp it to our chest, so that we are heart to heart with our aliveness.

Consider the ways in which we establish and shift the rhythms in our days. It is a magical energy that is always at our fingertips, at our feet, the sparkle in our eyes and the sweetness of discovery. Every day has new things to discover, if we just open our senses and engage with them.

We always have the power to bring things into alignment with movement, and rhythm is the tuning fork for what drives us.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Enlightenment Can Be a Tricky Process

Enlightenment can be a tricky process. You make some progress forward and you slip back a bit, then go forward again, then maybe sideways some.

Several years ago, voters in Colorado decided that legalizing marijuana for medical use was a good thing.

So then lots of people invested time and money and went to work and started growing, some put their savings together to open shops where marijuana products would be legally sold.

New jobs were created in towns all over the state. Green jobs. Local jobs. Sales taxes were generated.

Then some towns decided that they didn't want any of those businesses in their town. Last night, Longmont became one of them. Conservative city council members decided that if people need to go to dispensaries, "they can just drive over to Boulder."

Some people got relief from health problems jobs were created, taxes were paid, local people were employed and yet, the council members just decided that they didn't want these kinds of businesses here.

Win some battles, lose some battles. I predict that eventually the laws will change and we will just have legal marijuana period, not just medical.

It is just foolish that it has taken this long. The experiment with banning beer and liquor didn't last for 80 years. After about 10 years, they admitted it was a mistake and repealed the law, let businesses open legally again and then taxed them.

I think that some people know that the enlightened approach would be to just do it that way, it's just that they have been stuck in their anti-drug position for so long that they choke on the idea of saying "oops, we made a mistake, so let's correct it."

But one of these days, the tide of public opinion and votes will sweep them aside. Too bad we wasted so much time haggling over it, and they will finally come out and admit that they know it is a beneficial plant and people want it, so let's just go ahead and sell it and tax it.

It will be like the day when naysayers in the field of green energy finally get up and say "yes, let's just go ahead and build more solar, wind and geothermal energy generators and run more power lines to them so that we are not so dependent on fossil fuels. It takes time for stubborn people to come around, but one of these days you will see the turn of the tide.

They will get up and say "yes, it will work. Let's do it." I am hoping this agreement comes sooner than later. I keep holding that thought.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What Will the World Look Like in the Morning?

How will the world look in the morning? It all depends on what you were thinking about today.

As we all work to make our dreams into realities, there is a pattern that eludes our vision because the final pattern is the result of so many different individuals with so many different visions who are all acting independently. So when we see the final product there is some of our handiwork in there, plus bits of what everyone else is doing.

Visions of the future are rarely unanimous because everyone looks at it from different angles.

Look at how the Internet has evolved. It went from being a way for academic and military researchers to share information to being a place for everyone.

We use it to exchange personal messages with friends, to set up a place to shop for products we want, a place to look for work or create our own work. It is a place for artists, writers and musicians to show their work to the world without going through an agent, gallery or corporation. It is a place to research anything.

Its immense popularity then created new problems. Once these avenues were opened up that let anybody create any kind of website and put it out there, the next thing that happened was that the person searching has to wade through all kinds of stuff to find what they want. And the person posting has to learn all kinds of tricks to get people to come to their website.

The web is the biggest single example in the world of people all over the planet with competing and conflicting visions all working together without really working together.

Old myths often speak of order being created out of chaos, and here we have right in front of us a perfect example of that. And of course, it is not done yet. It is still order emerging from chaos.

There is something goofily ironic about the fact that at a time when some politicians are proposing to do away with Medicare that the topic most searched for was Charlie Sheen's drunken buffoonery. And now while there is still much confusion in the world about the uprisings in Arab countries and more jabbering instead of decisive leadership in the field of increasing our ability to develop and use solar, wind and geothermal energy to replace fossil fuels, among the most researched topics today were Chastity Bono's sex change operation, Schwarzenegger's divorce and the trial of a mother who murdered her daughter.

Perhaps the explanation is simply that people love a good story, and as tragic as it sounds, what all this may tell us is that people who tell stories about developing better sources of energy are not telling stories nearly as well as the people telling these other stories. I think that in order to make real progress in the world, we need better storytellers.

What will the world look like in the morning?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Transforming One Moment at a Time

Removal of self doubt is one of the greatest ways we can advance our own cause. How many times have we come up with an idea only to let it drop because we don't think that we can do it? Or we share our idea with someone who discourages us.

Those are obvious interferences. But often our failure is subtle. For example, when we tell ourselves that one day, we will do what it takes to get in better shape, or one day, we will have our own business. Or one day, we will have a relationship that works well. One day we will dance. One day we will sing. One day we will walk with someone who shares our dreams. One day we will make love like there is no tomorrow. Today is that one day, if we choose it to be so, and then follow through with action.

All it takes to shift the energy on these desires is to keep reminding ourselves that there are things we can do to make a difference now. That we are becoming what we have been thinking about, now.

As we remind ourselves that we are transforming now, becoming our future now, then the changes begin to take place immediately. Perhaps we do not get everything the way we want today, but we can feel our progress towards it today. Keep remembering to thank our spirit guides and the universe for all the good we have received so far, and be open to whatever they can do for us going forward.

And with each bit of progress, our dream becomes reality. Bit by bit, moment by moment, we make it real.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Celebrating the M Days

May is the month of M days. After kicking off the month with high spirited Mayday Maypole dances, the month then brings us Mother's Day and we wrap it up with Memorial Day.

With each of the M days, we return to the heart of matters. Each of the three M days is about heart. We begin the month with exuberant energy pouring off us, dancing for what we really want. It makes a difference. When we work up a sweat going for what we want, we are following our heart's desires. Is it even possible to work up a sweat for matters that we do not really care about? So we work up the energy to bring our dreams into reality.

Mother's Day is an opportunity for us to express gratitude to our mother. The purpose is simple yet profound. You don't really have to buy anything to express your feelings. It is simply taking the time to do so. As we examine our own story on this planet in this lifetime, lessons can be derived from the story of our mother and father. Reflecting on this story and the related stories can be useful in sharpening our vision of our own future. When Mother's Day is an opportunity to tell stories, there is an opportunity for enlightenment.

As we wrap up the month with Memorial Day, we give honor and pay our respects to those who have died in war. Begun as a day of healing after the Civil War, it was later expanded to include those who died in all wars in which Americans were involved. Then it also expanded generally to remembering our dead. It was a natural progression. I suppose many people who were going to the cemetery to place flowers on the graves of military veterans also figured it would be a good time to stop at other family members graves.

Memorial Day is a potent holiday because of course, we cannot conjure up the memories of wars without also bringing up feelings about why we ever got involved in those wars. I have hope that in the future we will be much more reluctant to go to war and much more skeptical of those who urge us to do so. Of course, I, like John Lennon, imagine different futures for us all.

In fact, those of us who are seers have accepted the challenge of seeing things differently, of being able to interpret the stories differently, of being able to see what others are missing. It is what we agreed to do with our abilities.

We do not always want to see what we see, and sometimes we do not like what we see, but as seers, we take a look and then report back to the one who is asking us questions.

It is our nature to like questions. I started out by picking up a deck and asking myself what can a deck of cards do? I started doing energy healing on others because I asked if people really could do that. I started to learn about past lives after I asked the questions about whether it was real and whether it mattered. I found the answers to the questions were extremely gratifying.

And here we are, celebrating the magnificent M days in the month of May.

So do a little dance to energize your dreams. You can start right where you are. Right there, in the privacy of your home, move around to call to your spirit guides and send your intentions off into the universe. Funny how the whole world seems a little brighter when your clear intentions are empowered by energetic movement. Signal to everyone that you are ready to get moving.

And if you enjoy dancing with other people, there are always places to go and do that too. Take time to reflect, then get up and move, stirring up the energy that will advance you in the direction of your dreams.