Thursday, December 13, 2012

Yule Fires and Shadow Work

During the dark time of the year, our schedules are filled with delightful, festive events, socializing and parties. Then in our private, quiet moments, we have time to engage in some shadow work. Shadow work is involved with reflections on deeper changes that we want to make, giving rise to New Year's resolutions for many people.

In between going to parties with family and friends, during the cold, dark evenings while we have quiet time, we might turn our thoughts to those aspects of our shadow which have served us well and those which we need to tame or eliminate.

For example, if we have a stubborn streak, when does that serve us well? Maybe when we are strongly resolved to forge ahead with plans to create our own business, even in the face of great adversity. Or maybe standing our ground on matters of doing what is correct. Or maybe fulfilling our obligations even if it is inconvenient. So you see, sometimes our shadow side can be a tool for progress.

Yet that same stubborn streak might be a hindrance if our stubbornness gets us into arguments with others which do nothing but cause frustration and anger. Or being obstinate just for the sake of blocking someone else.

So how would shadow work apply in an instance like this? Perhaps we would reorganize our thoughts so  that we resolve not to get into arguments with others that cause tempers and blood pressure to flair, only to have respectful disagreements when important matters are at stake. Perhaps we affirm to ourselves to be silent rather than engage in unnecessary arguments. Perhaps we decide to say yes more often and agree with others and help get things done and if others are doing something we do not agree with or want to participate in, we simply do not get involved.

Some people like to think that if we are doing good things for others and involved in healing and so on, that we are always working in the light. However, in order to do these things, sometimes we have to work in the dark. Our shadows can help create more light.

Think of the yin/yang symbol. There is always a seed of darkness in the light and a seed of light in the darkness.

As we light our Yule logs and candles, what are the things we want to burn away? This fuel for our fires is what gives warmth and light.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Life Path Exercise

People have often heard me say that the tarot can be a self teaching tool, rather than a fortune telling tool. I often suggest pulling one card a day, then meditating on it and journaling about it and what it could mean to you.

Here is another personally enlightening way to use a deck for self development and evolution.

Think of an event or situation in your life that might be represented by each card. Start with the major arcana. After you have finished that, then go to the minor arcana. As you make your list of correlations, what is revealed about your life path?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Making Peace After the Elections

So now is the when we make peace in a democracy. Sad to see the sore losers expressing such bitterness. When I voted and Bush became president, I was disappointed. But I voted the other side won. Then we all had to get along and do what we had to do. 
So now Obama won, and you don't have to like it any more than I liked the Bush presidency. But this is what happens when we vote. So now you are the losers and you just need to be civil and try and get along, and you will live through the Obama years same as I lived through the Bush years. So set the campaign stuff aside and do what needs to be done. Life goes on after the vote. We each speak our piece, we each cast our vote, then we continue on. This is the American way.

We all cast our votes and we live with the results. In a civilized society, we have our disagreements, and sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. We return to being cordial to each other after the elections because that is the way we know that we are still the same people and we still need to do what we need to do, no matter who won the election.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A funny thing happened on here tonight. Facebook suggested I friend someone on here who I knew in real life and who died recently. I guess that means that some of these Facebook characters on our pages are really channeled entities. Isn't that a trip to realize that some of those friends we sent notes to might never respond. If you send someone like this a friend request and they don't respond, what does that mean? If they do respond, what does it mean? Or they will find ways to send us messages without using Facebook? Does the fact that Facebook just suggested this mean that I should become a medium? Or are they just suggesting that we keep in touch anyway? This is like being in a story by Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, Paycheck, The Adjustment Bureau.)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Finding Our Way

Spirit often helps us find our way to things it would be useful for us to know about. For example, I discovered the music of Gabrielle Roth while I was looking through the music section at a used bookstore. I had never heard of her before but the jacket caught my attention and so I decided to try it. The notes on the jacket mentioned that she had also written a book, so I went out and got that after spending hours entranced by her music.

I have heard other people tell similar stories about how they were looking in a bookstore and a book fell off the shelf, and after they picked it up they decided to read it and it revealed something significant for them.

Or stories about how they were curious and went to hear someone give a free talk and that sparked their interest in a new topic.

Or when someone was simply scanning the Netflix downloads available and came across a documentary video that really opened their eyes.

I have heard stories about people who were curious to know more about a subject, and then somehow, it turns out that someone they work with knows about that subject and they just happen to mention it and they get introduced to a whole new world.

And then there are those moments when someone is visiting a health food store and gets a taste of a few different things they have never tried before and suddenly their food choices begin to change.

Years ago I worked for a corporation that moved me around the country for various assignments. When I got transferred to cities where I didn't know anyone, I looked for things to do. In one place, I started going to Sierra Club meetings and hiking with them and made a lot of new friends. In another city, on a day when I had no plans and knew no one, I saw an ad for a psychic fair, and so I went and got introduced to a whole new world.

Spirit finds all kinds of ways to help us find our way. Especially the things that look accidental or coincidental.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012



The first time I heard one of Gabrielle's recordings, Waves, I just kept playing it over and over. The trances induced by her music, on both that recording and others of hers, has fed my spirit and my visions for years. 

I had the pleasure of meeting her, interviewing her and dancing in one of her workshops. Her work taps into powerful streams of energy and consciousness. I am grateful to have discovered Gabrielle and her work and know that her journey into the next world will be blessed.

Listening to her music inspired me to get more interested in drumming and dancing. Reading her books was a fresh burst of inspiration.

Rhythm underlies all of our communications. It is present in our voice, our writing, our connections with other people. Dance is one obvious way we connect with others. There is an altered space we get to when we dance.

There was also an altered space I get to when listening to Gabrielle's music. That altered space creates all kinds of inspired thoughts and feelings. Her work was magical, visceral and profound. Her recordings still work for me even all these years later and after more listenings than I can count.

Its amazing how things we discover when we weren't looking for them can turn out over time to be of lasting value to us.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

There is this dance that we do, sweetening the air between us with anticipation. We flow with the music and then one of us whispers in the other's ear "I didn't know you could dance like this."

Some of the things we may learn about another person may or may not matter. How they dance tells us a lot. It is in those moments when we are close and moving together that words do not matter.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Love & Fear in Action

Here are a few more examples of how choosing from love or fear works.

We can say that we are being more conscious about what we eat and how we eat because we want to enjoy good health and do the things we love to do.

Or we can say that we need to refrain from eating certain foods and make ourselves get up and exercise because we are afraid of getting a heart attack, diabetes complications or cancer if we don't.

Which form of motivation is more appealing? Which will keep us motivated?

We can say that we will stay in a relationship that is unsatisfactory and unfulfilling because dating, making new friends and developing new relationships can be a challenging experience that pulls us out of our comfort zone.

Or we can say that dating new people, making new friends and developing new relationships is an exciting, invigorating experience.

Which approach will add more joy to our life?

The Occam's Razor of Metaphysics

Love and fear are the two biggest motivators we have in life. Upon first hearing this, it sounds too simple to some people, but then after thinking about it, it makes sense. This is the Occam's razor of metaphysics and motivation. The razor simply shaves away the unnecessary complications. Occam's razor simply says that the simplest method usually works best.

When you get up in the morning, do you find yourself saying "I am so happy to be doing what I am doing and I am looking forward to what I have to do today." Or do you find yourself saying "I don't like my job, but at least it's a paycheck."

Even those of us who are happy with what we are doing probably had times in our lives when we felt like we were in the wrong place too, but then we looked for opportunities to change that situation. Acting from love is what would cause a person to find a more enjoyable way to earn money. Isn't it better to wake up every day happy to be alive and looking forward to doing what you have to do?

The same applies to relationships. I hear people say that they are in a relationship that does not work for them but that they are afraid to leave it because they do not have a better offer waiting.

So in both situations, the first question to ask is whether there is any way to make the current situation better.

If the answer is that you have looked at all the possibilities and made the effort but the other parties are not willing to make any change or allow you to change, then it is time to move on. Be grateful for whatever lessons you have learned and then turn your attention to finding a way to be happy living your life.

In work, the best time to look for another job or investigate ways of starting your own business is while you still have a job and income from the job you don't like. If we wait until there is a layoff or buyout or company reorganization, we may find ourselves grasping at straws, grabbing whatever opportunity is offered, and most likely that results in landing in another position that is not really a good fit. It will probably fall into that category of "at least it's a paycheck" and certainly life will be more enjoyable for us if we are not stuck in that mindset.

How does that apply to the rest of your life? The issue is being happy whether you are in a relationship or not or whether you have your dream job or not.

Every time we raise the level of joy in our lives, we are raising the amount of love we operate from. Find a way to raise your vibration. Engage in some activity or hobby that increases your joy and nurtures feelings of love.

All of this contributes to your sense of making your life choices out of love rather than fear. The more often we can act out of love, the happier our life is over all.

Let go of all those misguided notions that we have to settle for an unhappy situation because we are afraid that we cannot do better. Choose out of love rather than fear. Once you start doing this, you will feel the difference. Life is so much better when we do. Maybe we cannot change everything in a day, but we can start today.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Lesson from the Potato Famine

One of the other downsides of the industrial approach to modern agriculture is that fewer and fewer different strains of crops are produced. For example, most of the corn planted in the US is of the same variety.

So if some kind of corn blight were to develop, it would spread across our corn harvest like wildfire, causing severe problems in the food supply system.

That is exactly what happened during the Irish Potato Famine. So many farmers planted potatoes that once the blight started, there were no barriers to the blight spreading.

If there had been a greater diversity in planting, with say, a field of corn, a field of beets, barley, peas, tomatoes, beans or other crops adjacent to a field of potatoes, the other plants would have acted as sort of a firewall.

But since potatoes were such a runaway favorite, once the blight started, it was a runaway too, changing the fortunes of the entire nation.

Diversity in our food is good in more than one way.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Common Sense About Food

You have to wonder when that story was reported about a week ago conveying the impression that organic produce is no better for a person than conventional produce. You have to wonder if this was just sloppy work or an intentional effort to undermine the organic market.

While it may be true that organic produce may contain the same vitamins and nutrients as conventionally produced produce, the huge fact that is overlooked in this statement is that buyers of organic produce make that choice for other reasons they consider important. Primary among those is the ability to purchase foods which have not been treated with lots of chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.

Another is the desire to purchase foods which have not been genetically modified. Although genetically modified foods have not yet been proven to cause harm, a person with common sense would have to wonder why we should eat them.

Think about this. We don't have shortages of milk in this country. So why do we need to give cattle hormones so that they will be artificially stimulated to produce more? Are milk products containing these stimulants necessary or good for us?

Think about genetically modified plants. If soybeans or corn, for example, have been modified so that seeds from this year's crop cannot be planted to grow next year's crop, why is this good for us to eat? The life energy has been altered so that it will not sprout, so doesn't that diminish the life energy we get from eating it?

Personally, I purchase some organic foods and some conventional. Cost is one consideration and another is that some foods simply are only available in one version. For example, I love Vidalia onions, but there are not two versions (regular and organic), so I simply buy Vidalias when they are available.

Another example. Peanut butter. There are store brands that are made simply from crushed peanuts with salt added. I choose this over brands that contain sugar, corn syrup, molasses, oils of other plants, artificial coloring and so on. Even if you do not monitor sugar intake in your diet as I do, you have to wonder why other oils need to be added if simply crushing a peanut releases its own oil.

Of course, one of the other significant factors is flavor. The kinds of tomatoes that are usually found in grocery stores pale in comparison to tomatoes you can get from a garden or a farmer at a farmers market, organic or not. Why? Because what we get in the stores is engineered to have thicker skins and less juice and seeds, which has everything to do with the taste of a tomato.

Maybe it is not your imagination if you think that watermelons without seeds don't have as much flavor as watermelons with seeds.

Farmers markets and some health food stores are the only places you can usually find heirloom vegetables, which are living examples of what produce was like before the majority of food producers all started using the same few modern strains. More homogenous crops have eliminated many of the different shapes and colors of fruits and vegetables.

Several years ago during the outbreak of mad cow disease, we found out about some of the other questionable ingredients that are put in cattle feed, like ground up parts of other cows. I choose to eat meat from cows that are simply grass fed, which is what is natural for a cow. At times when I do not have that choice, I will eat what is available, but I am conscious of my choices and choose healthier when I can. Meat that does not contain antibiotics and hormones is a bit more expensive, but think of it as just another factor in choosing, just like you can choose what percentage of fat you want in your meat.

These are what I call common sense considerations.

If you consider all the controversies about the quality of food and modern farming, all of them arise from one source. Fewer people operating bigger machines and spraying more chemicals are producing our food. Huge buildings containing tens of thousands of chickens and pigs in confined spaces produce cheaper meat, but these conditions also cause more problems.

Organic and free range methods are more labor intensive and that is why they cost more. But maybe it would all be for the best if more people were employed to produce our food.

Use common sense when thinking about food and see what answers you come up with.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

More Cold Tea Infusions

A post I wrote a little while ago was about cold tea infusions that were refreshing and delicious summer beverages.

Here are a few more. Try black tea with lavender. Mostly black with a little lavender for accent, similar to the combination of bergamot and black tea to make Earl Grey.

Another nice combo is black tea with peppermint.

Black tea with rosemary makes a tea with a wonderful light accent.

You can also combine green tea with lemon balm or lavender or just make a green tea infusion all by itself.

Lady Grey is a combination of green tea with bergamot, and to that you can add a dash of lavender.

Jasmine tea is also wonderful as a cold infusion.

For something green and caffeine free, try alfalfa and lemon balm. Or just lemon balm by itself.

Or for a real surprise, dill, nettle and alfalfa. The flavor is very mellow and you are still ingesting some wonderful nutrients while you sip this refreshing tea.

At this time of year, basil is growing prolifically. Let some fresh basil leaves float in a pitcher of water overnight and serve it with a twist of lemon, orange or grapefruit peel, the same way bartenders do with alcoholic beverages, like a martini with a twist, or a vodka on the rocks with a twist. Same principle with a non alcoholic summer cooler.

There are all kinds of delicious opportunities to experiment with while fresh herbs are in bloom.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Blackjack and Intuition

Recently I went up to Blackhawk to gamble. I like to play blackjack. Although it seems like most people play slot machines these days, I enjoy the games where you have a person dealing and other players in the mix.

In the old days, players used to mentally count all the cards that had turned up on the table, which meant that people with quick memory and retention could predict what cards were likely to turn up. So the casinos responded by putting several decks in a shoe so that it would be about impossible to count. Since they rotate dealers every half hour, you could play that long without going through a whole shoe. So it is still possible for intuition to have a rule alongside the logical rules of blackjack. It is a game where intuition and logic will battle. There were times when I just felt like I should take a card, and other times where the traditional rules served well.

Being aware of energies in a casino is an interesting experience because even though I know about following instincts, it is still possible to be pulled off course.

In the first hour or two, I was way ahead of my original stake. I was in the groove and rolling. I made small bets at first and then when I felt the groove, I kept increasing my bets.

Then the flow turned and I wasn't getting any cards. If I stayed on 20, the dealer would pull 21. When that energy shifted, I should have cashed in my chips and took a break from the table, but I was feeling that I could keep on building my winnings. But instead they dwindled, until I lost it all.

I noticed changes in energy with dealers too. Even though they are all trained and they all act professionally, there is definitely a difference. With some dealers, I was clicking like crazy while others seemed to only deal me losing hands.

I could sense when the energies were shifting, but still, I thought I could override my intuition and win anyway.

The other players and dealers were fascinating to watch and some were fun to play with. Next time, I will follow my instincts closer. Every experience is instructive, if we are alert and aware.

Have you had similar experiences?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Rain. Coffee. Dancing

It was lovely to have three of my favorite things this weekend. I always love the rain and I wish we had more of it. A good cup of coffee is a much appreciated simple treasure in the morning. And dancing? Dancing is a great antidote to stress, conflict, boredom, and whatever else is temporarily interfering with your happiness. As soon as you start to dance, that stuff all melts away and fades into the background and you come home with a smile on your face.

Rain. Coffee. Dancing. All three of these things are wonderful. To have them all on the same day is like rolling in wave after wave of joy.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Reading the Beer Leaves

Whether or not you are a beer drinker, there are some interesting lessons from looking at what is happening in that business.

Back in our grandparents time there were lots of little breweries, beer gardens, local and regional brands. Then little by little, a few big breweries became the dominant players, buying up some of the smaller brands and adding them to their product line while other small brewers went out of business and a few others managed to survive as marginal players. The three biggest companies sold most of the beer in the whole country.

The dominant beers became pretty bland as they used the power of advertising to make light beers the most popular items.

But then during the last 20 - 30 years, small companies sprouted up all over the country, drawing on classic recipes for making beer, sometimes adding new twists like fruit flavorings, but often simply reverting to a greater emphasis on traditional ingredients like hops and in some cases using locally grown hops and other ingredients to make their brews.

The new brewers must be doing well in terms of creating profitable companies and new jobs because some of the more successful ones are expanding capacity, opening additional plants, expanding distribution.

The taste of the products from the microbreweries has created a loyal and growing fan base. Beer tasting festivals have become very popular events. Brew pubs where a person can taste the various offerings made right on the premises have become popular restaurant destinations. I know for myself that if I go to a party and all they have is light beer, I'll opt for water instead. I really enjoy the classic flavors, with a penchant for pale ales myself.

We may see a time where the situation devolves to the point where a growing portion of the beer consumed comes from the small breweries rather than the few giants. So the industry may come full circle again.

This observation may offer hope and inspiration to many entrepreneurs. Just as a growing market share wants produce from organic farms, and growing numbers of beer drinkers savor the flavors from the microbreweries, think of other businesses where this same model may work.

Some business that you might like to be in may be dominated by a few big players, but there is always room for people who doing things very well and only serve a small part of the market. With time and effort that small part of the market can grow. And in time, industries can shift away from a few giants to a number of smaller players.

Think about ways that can work for you.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Keeping the Vibration High

It is important to focus on all the things that are going well for us and keep the vibration at that level in order to attract more good developments and people at that level.

It is easy to slip into conversations about what is not going well, and sometimes we can learn something that will help us improve this way, but we do not want to stay in that vibration so that we do not attract influences that are not what we really want.

Keep focusing on what is wanted, desired, intensely. Feel the joy of that choice. Feel it coming to you. Keep the vibrations at the highest level of joy and accomplishment, and they will be summoned to you.

When we see a problem, we need to find a solution as efficiently and effectively as possible and study the problem enough to learn what we need to learn in order to fix it and then resume the higher level of vibration we were on. The danger for some people is that they dwell on a problem for too long and that lowers the vibration of thought they have on their business or other endeavors.

So the challenge creates a disruption just long enough to become a learning experience, not enough to draw down the level of energy that is empowering the vision.

Keeping the energy level and our vibrations high is what propels us toward our goal, and so as we roll with the variations and steer around the obstacles is all about how we steer our way along our chosen course. It's about seeing how promptly we can bring the vibrations back in tune.

Look at your patterns and notice the vibrational variances. Notice when you are on track and how that feels. Notice how the path of least resistance is usually the best choice.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Asking Questions

Often the person asking a question reveals more than the question being asked. For example, the person who asks how you can do some offbeat sounding task for a living is often the equivalent of someone slapping themselves in the forehead and going "Why didn't I think of that? or Why didn't I ever realize that I had many more choices than I thought I had?" I use the phrase off beat sounding in this article but we all decide what that means.

Of course, what is offbeat to one person is the main point to someone else. After all, who decides that helping a corporation sell their new flavor of potato chips, corn chips or lite beer is more important than being an energy healer, a psychic, a massage therapist or a dog walker? We all know that the person who helps market ranch flavored chips will make tons more money, but is what they are doing really much more important? Of course, in the bigger picture, our society holds the belief that marketing ranch flavored chips is mainstream and that reiki healing is offbeat, but that's all a matter of perspective.

It is probably impossible to get accurate info on all these different things, but the more the corporate world keeps merging and acquiring and moving jobs to countries with cheaper labor, then more and more people will find that their only good choice left will be to create their own small business. And some of them may find themselves doing something offbeat. If being offbeat or odd or unusual is all in the eye of the beholder, then the only remaining question is whether you can make enough money to live on. If the answer to that question is yes, then being a psychic or a wedding singer or someone who travels around doing Renaissance Faires or being a pet sitter and walking other people's dogs is simply an array of different choices. There are some people who open a restaurant so that they can make money off their cooking, and some people who cook for their clients in the clients homes. There are people who do singing telegrams and people who do body painting. There are people who are caregivers for the old and the ill. There are people who make costumes and those who make and sell their own music, books and art off their own websites.

Even though some of you may be smiling as you contemplate doing any of these things for your income, the joy is genuine. If you have even been in the situation where some corporation told you that they suddenly no longer needed you and sending out your resumes got as many results as tossing paper airplanes into a black hole, one of these offbeat choices may be your future.

Yes, the short and simple answer to this question is that we make up all the answers.

Once we have that perspective, we have more joy in life.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

You're Doing What???

Choosing to make a living doing something unusual or different often elicits that kind of response from others, often parents, sometimes friends. You're doing what??? Can you make a living doing that?

Psychic work, energy healing and related things are unusual to a lot of people. But then again, it was not that long ago that making a living as a massage therapist or yoga teacher was an uncommon choice.

How about pet sitters or people who walk other people's dogs for a living? Or those people who come in and reorganize the stuff in your house for you? Or people who do singing telegrams?

There are lots of people now who do their work on computer, at home and then send the work off to their client via email.

But there are still people in our parents generation who still think of work as something you go to a factory,warehouse, office or store to do, and you have a paycheck and benefits and you have to ask someone's permission to take time off.

In the course of doing something they love for a living, people often hear parents and others ask the question "When are you going to get a real job?"

Of course my response always was that as long as I could pay my bills and afford to have some fun that I did have a real job, although it might not look like it if you were looking for me to clock in at someone else's place of business or to having to wear a suit and tie or a uniform every time I leave home.

That's the way most jobs used to look. But that was before the upheavals and earthshaking changes in the economy. That was before anyone was familiar with terms like off-shoring, downsizing, right sizing or free trade agreements. When those people, who really do have our best interests at heart ask when we are going to get a real job, they are referring to those disappearing situations where if you showed up for work every day and did your job according to the company guidelines you could expect a regular paycheck, health insurance, vacation pay, sick pay and a pension plan. But that was then. Less and less companies offer these types of situations, and so it is increasingly on us to create our own better situations.

What has happened is that situations have changed but people's mindsets and perceptions are still catching up to the new realities.

In some ways these new realities are simply going back to the pre-industrial age, when all businesses were small businesses and all farms were family owned.

For a growing percentage of people, our best prospects are to own our own small businesses, maintaining a low overhead and a flexible schedule. When you own your own business, you learn all the lessons about risk taking, but you also learn the joys of becoming financially independent. It is a joy to be able to decide when you want time off, and just arrange for it, without having to ask permission. In a big company, you might have great ideas for how to do something better, but those ideas will often fall on deaf ears unless you can convince an entire committee or hierarchy to listen to you and try it. On the other hand, when you are self employed, you can try your new ideas whenever you are ready.

There are whole categories out there that people outside of it might mistake for a mere hobby. But if you think about it, there is an entire segment of the population, although small compared to the whole, which makes its living doing Renaissance Festivals, or metaphysical fairs, comic book, fantasy and sci-fi conventions. There are merchants who make a fine living selling beads, art supplies and other items for customers to buy and do it themselves at home. There are people who support themselves doing energy healing, psychic readings, various forms of bodywork and various forms of consulting. Since the 1990s, there has been a whole subset of people who do web design, software design and similar stuff on their computers in their residence. Each of these segments of the population are small by themselves, but altogether, they form a part of the active economy, responding to the law of supply and demand.

Obviously some people have been forced into learning about self employment thanks to the machinations of their former employers, and some people simply choose to act on their dreams and joyously endeavor to make a living in ways that others cannot imagine.

It is funny, not in the ha-ha way but in the ironic way to listen to conversations of this type, but this is what it looks like when you are on the cutting edge of changes.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Handling Unexpected Expenses

When unexpected expenses present themselves do you say things like this to yourself? "I knew it. Every time I get a little bit ahead, something comes up to snatch away the gain."

Or do you say something like this to yourself? "I will find a way to take care of this unexpected expense. I am staying on track with my progress. I am finding a solution to this problem and proceeding toward my goal."

I have had some of those unexpected expenses recently and decided not to let it ruin my day. Interestingly, my decision to stay happy about making progress with my goals has just intuitively felt like the right choice.

In the past I also had times where I felt like unexpected expenses were the universe's way of throwing stumbling blocks in my path.

Now, however, it feels very empowering to find solutions and proceed anyway. Staying happy lets me stay on track. Unexpected expenses still have to be dealt with, but it is interesting how the energy flows depending on the point of view you take and the attitude you express.

Yes, I have had unexpected expenses and remarkably good progress.

Next time you find yourself in this situation, check on which approach you are taking. See if it makes a difference.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

50 Years of Rolling Stones

I'll bet that when they got together and played their first gigs that the Stones never guessed that they would still be playing 50 years later. So their 50th Anniversary Tour will be next year instead of this one. Doesn't matter nobody else even comes close.

Why? Because they are a blues based band and blues is one strain of music that never goes out of style. Waves of popularity come and go along with the ebb and flow of certain popular musicians, but there is a simple reason why. It has always stayed close to its roots.

When they began their careers, they had a reputation as being bad boys. Their music always had sex appeal, their reputations as hard partiers is legendary. Their riffs and licks come straight out of the down and dirty blues. Their ability to crank out music that people find impossible not to dance to has spanned generations. They were never considered good looking, but their careers have flourished while other pretty boys came and went and are long forgotten.

What is it about the blues? Consider B.B. King. How old is he now? But the music he plays now is the same kind of music he played 50 years ago. Buddy Guy's new recordings sound just as good as recordings from years ago, and it is still in the same style. Koko Taylor sang the same kind of blues her entire career. So did Muddy Waters.

The evidence is right there in the roots. When the Stones came to America on their first tour, they were excited about getting the chance to visit the recording studios where Muddy and other blues and R&B greats recorded. Funny thing is is that at that time, American teenagers were so tuned into pop music that they were puzzled about who Muddy was and why the Stones wanted to meet him. Of course, the fact that the Stones recorded old blues tunes helped bring new attention and cash flow to blues music and blues musicians.

Martin Scorsese made a fabulous series on the blues for PBS called The Blues: A Musical Journey. It is definitely worth watching. I loved the entire series. Netflix has it.

See, the thing about blues musicians is that there are certain traditions to their forms which have worked very well and will continue to work for as long as men and women continue to have relationships, and for as long as men and women enjoy going out for dancing and drinking.

You don't find blues musicians hopping on whatever fashion bandwagon happens to be rolling by. That's why there is a long sustain in the careers of blues musicians. Some pop musicians face that painful question of whether to keep touring or hang it up because they had one big hit way back when and they have not scored another big hit since and the question is how long will people keep buying tickets to hear them.

Not true with the blues. I heard Buddy Guy years ago, and if you hear him now, you still got someone who can play with a lot of visceral appeal with a performance honed to a fine edge. Yet, you cannot name a pop hit single of his, because he never had any. His career was built on a body of work, so he never had a big up and down. Old blues players never ask themselves if people still want to hear this. They know they do.

So the Stones followed a more of a typical blues trajectory. Their popularity is not based on just one hit or a handful of hits. Sure they have had huge pop hits and experimented with various style twists, but underneath it all, still throbbed the old, insistent, funky blues. Strip down their R&B styles to the core and you still have blues. Strip down their dance numbers and you come back to blues.

That's the secret to their success. They kept on practicing until they got great and it never occurred to them to not get on stage any more. Maybe one of these days they will retire, but I have a feeling that they will continue to outlive their contemporaries and outperform them as well. All their inspirations did it this way. Muddy played till he died.

The very thought of the Stones being on a 50th Anniversary tour just sort of boggled my mind.

But then, keep it in perspective. Ray Bradbury wrote until he died at 91. People who do what they love keep going. There are many other examples. Who else would you name?

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Changes Confirmed

Today's event got turned inside out when 80 mph winds blew all the tents down. This is not the first time that I have participated in an outdoor festival that was brought to a halt before the day was half over.

Weird the way it works sometimes. The air is quiet, the sun is out, maybe a little breeze. Then all of a sudden a powerful wind kicks up, knocks everything down, breaking things, tearing things up, then just as fast as it came, it's over.

Problem is when you are in a festival like that, you just have to write off your investment for the day, and if you have a tent or goods that are ruined, the total for the day dips into more of a loss.

A couple years ago, I took almost all outdoor festivals off my schedule, then this year, I thought I would try a few different ones. Still have to try new ideas sometimes.

I enjoy doing festivals because I like meeting new people and sometimes you get a bonus thrown in if there are great musicians playing.

I will continue to participate in festivals, but for the most part, they will be indoor events.

However, I am continuing to focus my attention on developing the private aspect of my practice working with individuals who would like to do more in depth work than we can do at festivals.

It is very satisfying to work with someone who wants to create change in their lives and observe what happens after that is done. It is satisfying to teach someone and then see them put those lessons to work. Or to see the healing take effect.

I continue to affirm the private sessions as the principal focus of my work today and tomorrow and for the times ahead. Life is good.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Heat Relief

Perfect time for cold infusions. Just put some herbs into a pitcher of water in the refrigerator, and as the water cools, the herbs steep, and in a little while you have a very refreshing herbal ice tea. Couldn't be any simpler.

Lots of herbs you would not usually think of make a great tea, like basil, oregano, tarragon, thyme, as well as the mints, lemon balm and chamomile. Add a little zest from citrus fruits to jazz it up. That's been a tremendous help to me during this heat wave.

Those herbs you are growing in your garden that you plan on using for cooking plus the ones you are planning on using for medicinal purposes are all good candidates for cool tea.

Just use your imagination and ingest the healing benefits of herbs along with your water. For example, if headaches or arthritis bother you, try blending equal amounts of feverfew with black tea, and if you are so inclined, add a little bit of orange peel.

A little creativity can bring a lot of relief, and you don't even have to boil a pot of water. Try some cool, soothing relief from this heat. It will be ready when you are.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wondering About Fires & Water

The forest fires must bew a factor in the heat wave we are having. How could they not be? People can smell the smoke in the air even if they cannot see it.

There have been so many fires out here in recent years that it seems like they are a regular feature of the summer months.

Tonight it sprinkled just a little bit. Probably everyone in the region would love to see a big downpour right now. I wonder why they don't seed the clouds to make it rain?

I wouldn't normally recommend it, but in an extreme situation like this, it would seem like a solution.

Of course, I am just a free thinker. I also wonder why coastal cities like LA don't built plants to take the salt out of sea water so that it can be used. It is something they do in other countries. That way they would not need to draw water from the Colorado River. Makes sense to me. Why haven't the people who run the states worked on solutions like this?

If enough people ask these kinds of questions, maybe something will change.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Are You Contained in Your Body?

No, we are not contained in our bodies. When we are feeling really good, our aura reaches out and touches those near us, even when they are not that near. That's why some people light up a room when they walk in.

Physically, yes, we are here. We are consciously moving our bodies. And when we are flying along with new ideas and we are excited about what we are doing, and we are looking forward to what we have to do today, our bodies are not containing our whole beings.

Well, they never really are, it's just that sometimes it feels like it all fits in, like when we may be a little down or withdrawn or disappointed, we are not expanding out into the universe. There is no joy emanating from us to other people in the room. There is no lightness or levity in our interactions. At these times, when we have pulled our energy in, maybe our energy body does fit within the parameters of our physical bodies.

I have measured this and tested it on many people, and it always shows up. Be aware then, that your thoughts project physically out and around us and they do affect how others interact with us in a real way.

If you have not given this much thought until now, try it and see.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Beginner's Mind

Zen embraces the concept of beginner's mind as an attitude of openness, eagerness and a lack of preconceptions as not only a great way to learn, but a necessary way to learn.

Of course, we offer value to others when we have some expertise or ability to share, which comes from having studied and practiced until we have accomplishments under our belt.

At the same time, I have found that being a beginner at something keeps me fresh and enlivens all the other things I do, even the things I am already good at.

It could be something simple, like learning a new dance, cultivating a new plant in the garden or it could be some kind work that I have not done before.

Beginner's mind can be a useful habit to cultivate to keep yourself fresh. If there is something that you find interesting, try it. If you don't like it, you can quit. If you do like it, you can keep it in your schedule.

Even a little bit of beginner's mind lets a lot of air and light in to keep us alert and feed our consciousness to a higher level.

What is it that you have been curious about that you have not tried yet? Why not try it now? If someone offers you an opportunity, even if it is not one you were looking for or planning on, what would happen if you said yes?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ray Bradbury and Our Future

You may have already been aware that Ray Bradbury died last week at 91. There are several amazing aspects of Ray Bradbury's amazing career that are worth noting.

How about the fact that he was a prolific writer all the way to the end? He claimed that in his entire life, he never got writer's block. He was well known and loved as the author of Farenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, Dandelion Wine, The Illustrated Man, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and many other books.

One of his less famous titles that can be helpful to any writer is his book Zen and the Art of Writing. A key point that he makes in there is that the things that tick you off can be just as much a source of inspired writing as the things that you love. And that was one of the dynamics that he claimed kept him from getting stuck. If you can name one thing that you love or one thing that you hate, you have a starting point.

Curiosity always leads me to learn what I want to learn and Bradbury was the same way. He never finished school, but made great use of the public libraries to learn what he wanted to learn, and later in life, he became a fundraiser for public libraries.

Finally, consider this. When we were younger, most of us thought that 91 was incredibly old. But here was a brilliant example of a person who was brilliant and active all the way to that age.

Bradbury will continue to inspire readers on many levels for a long time to come, whether it is his beautiful writing style that opened new territory for many sci-fi writers, the ideas contained within his writing, or simply the fact that he was able to do it until the day his body gave out.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Chop Wood and Dance with a Partner

I spent this afternoon chopping firewood for my sister. This is one of those tasks that has a beautiful rhythm to it. Once you get into that rhythm, all of a sudden you have a cord of wood.

There is an old saying that some of you may be familiar with. It goes like this. "What do you do before enlightenment? Chop wood, carry water. What do you do after enlightenment? Chop wood, carry water."

Simple tasks like this are rewarding in a couple of ways. For one, you can see the direct result of your effort. The other is that the simple repetitious movements require you to pay attention to what you are doing, yet that very simplicity allows you to empty your mind of chatter. You have one simple focus: chopping wood. Other thoughts just drop off the radar. It is calming in that way.

So after chopping wood, I cleaned up and went contra dancing this evening. Another simple pleasure. For those hours, I was not doing anything but dancing and appreciating all the other people who were there to dance with. There was just the joy of the music and the movement, and nothing more. It was enough.

Sometimes enlightenment comes in simple packages. It can mean a lightening of our load. Just doing what is in front of us to do and getting satisfaction from that. Focusing is a good lesson. When we focus on cutting the wood, then we provide ourselves with something useful and our focus prevents us from hurting ourselves.

It is when we do not pay attention that we hurt ourselves. I notice the same thing in dancing. When we try and carry on conversations and take our minds off what we are doing, we can fall out of the groove of the dance. We lose our place and get lost, forgetting which way to go next. And when we just pay attention to the dance you feel good, your partners are happy, you are happy and the dance is a pleasure.

Just focus on what is in front of you to do, and everything gets done in good order and everyone is satisfied. So one definition of enlightenment is that you are able to get more joy out of those things that you choose to do and that brings lightness to our lives.

Chopping wood can lead to enlightenment. Dancing with a partner can lead to enlightenment. The path is not always mysterious, although our simple actions can have profound consequences. There are many paths to enlightenment. This is part of it for me. What is it for you?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A New Frame of Reference

Often we sell ourselves short and we forget that our resume is a list of what we have done, not what we can do. To unlock more potential, we need to get people to see us in a new light, to open up to what is possible, not simply what has been done.

In the past, we may have looked at the record of our accomplishments as indicating the kind of thing we were prepared to do next, but now as we adapt to all the changes in the world, it becomes even more important for people to see us as someone with abilities that can be applied, one of those principle abilities being the ability to learn and grow.

Do not limit this reference to applying for a job, because some of us may venture out and start our own business, and we still need people to view us as someone who is capable of doing what they say.

Similarly, if we are entering into a new personal relationship, people will want to know what they can expect of us from here forward, not necessarily what we did back then.

Experience and ability prepare us for what comes next. Part of our learning is about not making the same mistakes over and over while reinforcing our best features so that they can be put to use for us again.

When we create a new frame of reference, we open a place for a new picture to go inside of it.

Seeds of Greatness

We all have seeds of greatness within us. What causes these seeds to germinate and take root will vary from one to another.

Within one person it may be the water of the emotions that softens the hull of the seed until it gives way to the unfurling of the life within the seed.

Within another person it may be the light shining in that warms the seed until it is energized enough to push up the sprouts through the surface.

In another case, it may be that the soil around it needs to be loosened and turned until the seed finds just the right angle to ease the opening and open a path for the tendrils to climb.

Then there is the air that unlocks the secret of the seed by blowing in the currents of warmth and invisible particles of nutrients that slowly move aside the constrictions of the small space, letting the seed sense its larger future.

Similarly, each of us needs combinations of these elements to allow our seeds of greatness to sprout and grow.

In one way or another, all the varieties of holistic healing, divination and magic exist precisely to stir that growth into actuality.

Each one of these modalities holds a piece of the puzzle and a key to unlocking the seeds of greatness. Just as some plants need more water and some more light, one person may need to revisit the stories of their past, another may need the subtle, silent transfer of energy while a special ceremony might unlock the seed for another.

There have been countless stories published by now about how people have come back from death, serious illness, war, business failure and more only to have their lives turn around from some seemingly small action, such as changing their diet, meditating, getting help from some sort of alternative healer or taking up new spiritual and mental habits.

There are seeds of greatness within each person at all times. They were there when we were born, and they are there now, no matter how old we are. It is never too late to nurture those seeds and find out what more we might become.

We all have potential, but if that potential remains dormant, then we limit what we might become. Nurturing the seeds of growth unleashes new energies. Our lives will look very different once these have sprouted.

Most of us have seen our plans for our lives take a number of turns already. The sprouting of the new seeds simply opens up more potential for us, more options for how we use our time and energy for the rest of our lives.

What seeds of greatness are within us? Are you ready to see what will happen when they begin to grow? It is never too late.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Choose Happy

A common mistake that we often make is that we say that we will be happy after our business picks up, after we get a new relationship, after we lose weight, after we get a new house, after we get a new car, after........................

Of course, the lists can go on and on. But actually, the law of attraction works in reverse. When we are happy, we draw more happiness to us. It may take a while for us to get a new job, new relationship, new house, new look and so on, but we can be happy right now, and we can be happy all day even though achieving our goals will probably take longer than today.

Being happy is a choice that we make every day. By choosing to be happy, we draw similar responses from other people, which in fact, can have a lot to do with achieving our goals.

By choosing to be happy now, we get to enjoy more of life every day and then when the moment comes that we do finally reach our goals, there is even more happiness on top of that.

Like attracts like, happiness attracts happiness. Sometimes the happiness just oozes out of all of our pores and people are genuinely happy to see us.

So if you have been thinking that you will be happy after you achieve your goals, you can change your thinking so that you can be happy before you achieve your goals, and savor that feeling right away. Be happy now and draw your goals ever goals ever closer to reality. Being happy is a lot more effective than the alternative. Give it a try and see what happens.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Getting More Out of Your Subconscious Mind

Dreams are evidence that our mind is busy while our body is sleeping. The body needs to rest every night so that is can heal and regenerate and be ready for the next day's activity. But our mind does not need to sleep.

So it wanders off in all kinds of directions, reviewing bits of what has happened to us in the last day or two. It is also busy downloading all kinds of data from the collective unconscious and presents us with a jumble of these things.

But many people do not realize that the subconscious can help us out in other ways. We can program our mind to get up at a certain time without an alarm clock. We can ask our subconscious mind to find an answer to a problem for us.

Suppose you have been stumped trying to figure out the best way to do something and during your days you have considered different solutions, but the best choice is not apparent yet.

Before you go to sleep, ask your subconscious mind to come up with an answer for you and see what you get.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Magic of Rhythm and Repetition

One of the common threads in summoning our own strength as well as the powers of spirit to our cause can be found in the magic of rhythm and repetition.

In religious practices we have mantras, rosaries, chants, and other repetitious prayers which bring about a trance state which leaves us feeling transformed. Shamanic practices and earth based religions use the same formula of chant and repetition as part of their rituals.

What do you think that cheerleaders are doing at sports events? By leading the crowds in repetitious chanting, they transform the spectators into an energetic force to give strength to their teams.

Think about the things you say to yourself and others every day. If you keep on repeating that times are tough and business is slow, you keep generating that thought in your mind. If you keep on saying that business is increasing and new opportunities are presenting themselves to me all the time, then you keep generating that thought in your mind.

So if the law of attraction is, in other words, the idea that like attracts like, consider what you are attracting to yourself by the messages you vibrate out every time you say or think thoughts like these.

Shift your energy by reassuring yourself that you can do it, you can be successful, you can draw more love and more prosperity to yourself. When you believe that you will be successful, that vibration rubs off onto others and they will believe that you will be successful too.

Even when cash flow is tough, you failed to make a sale, or participated in a venture that was less successful than you had expected, you can still reaffirm that there are new opportunities and more customers coming your way.

Repetition flexes our mental muscles the same way as repetition builds our physical muscles. Repetition is magic. It is one of the most powerful aspects of all the tools we have, the first tool being the power of our mind. So put it to work for you and see how it brings results.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Magic of Dance

I have been a dancer for a long time, and it still amazes me every time how much of a feeling of love and healing seems to permeate my whole being at each dance and that feeling lasts throughout the next day as well.

Why is that? What is so heart opening about dancing? Perhaps because it is nonverbal. When I am dancing, it is all about feeling the movement and moving smoothly with my partner so that the grace and fluidity just flows through.

When I am dancing, there is only the music and the movement and I am completely in sync with it. All my other concerns about other situations all disappear while I am dancing. No matter what else is happening, no matter what other problems or challenges I have been wrestling with, once I do the first dance of the evening, I feel better.

Surrounded by joy and smiling faces, how could your spirits not be lifted?

My feeling is that the key to feeling better and the way that dancing works is that when you are fully engaged in the movement of dance, you get all those good things stirred up in your blood, the endorphins, oxygen, healing blood cells, all that good stuff starts circulating, and while your body is busy coordinating with your partner, mental chatter is more than just off to the side, it is quieted completely. At least for me it is.

That is why I always keep dancing in my weekly schedule, with only occasional interruptions due to work. Certainly there are some dance partners you like better than others and certain ones you are able to dance with better, and in that difference, I sense a degree of heart connection. There is an openness in that moment and a requirement that you be present, and there is always a flow of love that I sense, even if I would not say that I am in love with that person, a sense a connection in dance that goes to the core of recognizing that no matter what else might be going on with that person that we do not even know about, that it does not even matter, just as long as they will be present enough to dance with me, and that shared moment is a crystal gem of unity and genuine care for each other, at least potent enough to transmute the energy of the moment into something truly magical: a dance.

So simple, and so powerful. I keep looking for ways to make more moments in my life into moments of dance. It is magic.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Relationships & Our Spirit Code

Relationships provide some of the most powerful lessons that we ever get in our lifetime. Although there are other aspects of life that also provide powerful lessons, relationships are where we expose our feelings, our most personal aspects. Things that we share with our partner in a relationship tend to be those things that we don't always feel comfortable sharing with the whole world.

By comparison, being laid off from a job or being forced into a career change does not always have a personal component. It often does, but not always.

Relationships, however, always reach to the roots of our feelings, which is why transitions can be difficult.

At the close of a relationship, how often do we say to ourselves "I should have seen that coming" or "I should have ended this months ago" or "Why did I let that happen?"

These all point to the life lessons these relationships taught us. Our feelings are always the part of us that bears the brunt of the impact when the two opposing parties clash.

The genesis of this collision can be that we realize that the person we have been sharing our life with has decided that their dreams are something far different than what we want. The dissonance is jarring when we feel like we suddenly don't know the person we would have said we were closest to until very recently. A difference is revealed and we wonder how we could have been mistaken in such a large way. Was this always so and we just did not notice? Or did something new take root and develop and caught us by surprise?

Our spirit code points the way to these powerful life lessons, and the traces they leave on us draw the map they make on our psyche. From this map of the lessons brought home so powerfully by our relationships, our most powerful teachers, present us with immediate opportunities for pattern recognition.

Once we recognize those patterns, we can see and feel the lessons we need to master in this lifetime. Our spirit code is written all over us, and for those who know how to read these maps, the greatest sorrows can fertilize the soil in which our greatest joy will later take root.

It is not always easy to see in the moment, but when someone touches our soul in just the right way, our spirit code is rewritten, with the luminous points and lines reverberating until they are soothed by the healing touch of a new experience in relationships that rebuilds stronger the next time. It will happen when we open to it, and our spirit code is rewired and rewritten to take our lessons into account.

Yes, our spirit codes tap into the essence of our true power, and our great journey.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Maps of Our Spirit Code

When we reflect on the turning points in our lives, there are usually moments of illumination that that stand out with crystal clarity to herald the changes to come.

There are images that are indelibly engraved on our mind when we knew from our heart to our soul from our feet to our head and everything else in between, that from that moment on, everything would change.

Of course, there were periods in our lives where everything was peaceful and happy for a while, and other times when everything seemed to be off track. Those moods or periods could flow on for a while.

But it is those singular moments, like when you sold the guitar you had for years because you were broke. Or the time you came home and found that your apartment had been burglarized. Or it could have been that DUI and accident that caused you to not be able to drive for a year or two. Perhaps it was that time when you hiked to a place in the mountains where you were standing in snow while looking down on the desert. Maybe that moment when you hiked to a ridge line and a glider circled around you, and you were eye level with the pilot.

Of course, there are those happy moments too, when the things you were planning and working on all came together and you got compliments on it for a long time after.

Or the moment when you met someone new and you felt like you two were connected by a magnetic field, and then that relationship lasted for years.

Perhaps it was when you were the first person in your family to graduate from high school or college. It could have been that game winning hit, or that time when you were onstage playing your music, the people were listening and enjoying it and you felt in that moment that nothing in the world could be better.

Our lives are full of lessons, but it is these moments that really illuminate our vision and we feel fully. In those moments, our lives are brimming over with feelings of joy, victory, power and deep sorrow and deep satisfaction.

In those moments, our minds are not wandering, they are fully present with our bodies. In those moments, we are most alive. The stories of our lives will forever be illuminate by these moments of crystal clarity and electrifying emotions.

Our lives are stories, defined in moments. These are maps of our spirit code.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Our Ripple Effect

One of the mysteries of life is that we never know how we affect other people. When we act with purpose, we have intention, and for those who participate with us in a shared adventure, there will be certain intended and desired results. These we know.

Then there are also times when someone may take us by surprise and reveal something we never knew. These can be amazing experiences.

A few days ago, I published Sarah's Story, which of course I was aware of, although it was very satisfying to hear again in her own words, just how much her life had changed in a short time, due to the work I did with her. That is one of the true rewards of doing this work of healing and reading.

For example, a few years ago, I was contacted by someone I have never met who introduced himself to me by email and informed me that something I had written many years ago had changed his life and inspired him in his career choice.

Another man contacted me a couple of years ago and told me how much my creative writing class had helped him and that now something he had written was being considered as a script for a movie.

There is a woman in another part of the country who calls me for phone readings who feels that the guidance I have given her in her readings has been a great help and provided her with useful ideas, and so she refers other people to me.

There are other people who have felt that my salve and oil work so well for them that they keep ordering more. And yet both the salve and the oil were not originally made to sell. These were things that I simply made for my own use and then gave to family and friends, until other people kept asking me for some, so then began to bottle and sell it.

It is one of the real beauties and joys of doing this work that people contact me periodically and let me know the positive ways in which I have affected them. That is very satisfying.

We definitely know about some of the ways we affect people, and when we hear about some of the others, it opens another window for us to see through.

Sometimes we are so busy and focused, we are not aware of all the consequences of our actions. And other times, there are things that happen as a ripple effect, touching people we have never met in person, but yet were influenced by our actions.

In this way, there will always be mysteries, and there will always be surprises. There are so many ways to see the world and how we interact with it.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sarah's Story

I was having a bit of a breakdown, when I found Dan Liss online. I’m not from Colorado, so I do not have the network I am used to calling upon in times of crisis. I did an online search for Tarot readers and energy workers, hoping to find both in one person. Dan Liss was the first to respond to my inquiries. I took it as a sign to go ahead and book with him, though I live in Capitol Hill (Denver) and Dan is in Longmont. I am so glad I decided to make that short trip!

I have had great experiences with energy healing and Tarot, but I am also aware that charlatans do exist. However, upon stepping into Dan’s space, any doubt of his authenticity as a healer and reader quickly faded. The energy was most definitely there, and I immediately felt calm knowing I was in good hands.

That first session was a mix of Tarot reading and Reiki. It exceeded my expectations, and I began to see my life change around me. I had felt lost and alone before going to the session. On the ride home, I knew I was on my path.

I booked a second session a few weeks later, since I began to feel the need for clarification in another part of my life. My experience was just as rewarding as the first.

Dan’s readings are thorough, and he has the compassion, honesty and insight required to genuinely be of help to someone in need of clarity and direction. His Reiki skills are equally phenomenal. In fact, after a few sessions, Dan became the Master that led me to my own path as a Reiki practitioner! As a healer, I had always been interested in learning Reiki. However, the right opportunity for me to learn just had not arisen. Thanks to Dan’s knowledge and willingness to teach, I have begun my own life-long journey as a Reiki Master.

I think back to the feelings of despair and regret I felt before that first session, and I can’t help but laugh. I am so glad I followed the signs and chose love over fear. I have no doubt I was led to Dan at the perfect moment in time. My life has received a necessary overhaul, and I can see the effects of the Reiki energy daily.

In just a few months, I have changed jobs, living spaces, relationships and attitudes all for the better. I have regained the self-confidence I had lost along the way, and I made a great friend in the process.

Thank you, Dan! It is indeed God’s work you are doing, and the world is a better place because of it. Blessings to you and yours!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Try It While You Still Have Time

For me, the death of someone I know usually prompts another jolt of reflection. We are reminded that we may have put off something we have been meaning to do, and we either resolve to get on with it or let go of it.

Bucket List in a way. But some of the things on people's bucket lists might just be one shot deals like parachute jumping.

What I have in mind are those more life altering courses changes like a person breaking out of a stagnant period in their life, going for a change in relationship, whether strengthening the ties in an existing relationship, letting an old one go, or getting into a new one.

Another big one would be to find work that you enjoy or start your own business or get additional training so that you can create new opportunities.

Some things we might want to do because the thought has been in our head repeatedly, but it never seems so urgent that we make time. The interest might be learning tai chi, writing a book, learning to dance or playing a musical instrument.

Whatever it is for you, today is a great time to move in the direction of your dreams. I am thinking of those longer term developments. All the things I have mentioned involved a consistent effort to yield results.

Whatever it is, try it while you still have time.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Outliving Our Children

A friend from Atlanta called this evening to tell me that the daughter of someone I used to work with died today. She was an only child so that makes the pain even more intense. The fact that it was suicide made it even more shocking.

It is not the natural order of things for parents to outlive their children. My father's mother outlived both her sons by a large number of years. I know that it weighed heavily on her. Once you have grown children you are at an age where having more children is not an option. Nothing can ever replace a lost child, although when you have more than one, you still have some children left to share your life with, whereas if you only have one, there is no other child to help with the healing.

It is often a challenge to put events like this into perspective. The age at which she chose to cross the veil is about the same age as her mother and I were when we worked together.

She was a good kid and the most important person in her mother's life. Why her life became what it did and what led her to make the choice that she did, we will never know. People can only speculate.

We will also never know for sure what happens to spirits after we die until we get there ourselves. Do people who commit suicide go somewhere different than people who die of illness or accident or get murdered or killed in a war?

The various religions all offer their versions, but they are all just stories to try and help us reach some kind of understanding of the order of the stages of life. Karma and reincarnation seem to offer good ways to understand such events. Ever since caveman times, people have had death rituals because they just instinctively knew that our spirits must go somewhere after the life leaves our body. And the rituals are to help ease the transition both for the one who left and the ones who are left behind.

Rituals can ease the transition to a degree but we also instinctively know that children should outlive their parents and for those who experience a young death, that semblance of natural order can never be put back into place. The best the survivors can hope for is to find some solace and peace of mind through their own form of spirituality and the comfort offered by friends and relatives.

Any death of a person we know can reorient our sense of perspective, and cause us to reflect on our own mortality.

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Breath of Fresh Air

A few days ago I wrote about feeling good and how it helps us be more productive, more creative and opens doors for us that can help us reach our goals.

If you are still wondering how much truth there is to that, consider how often we feel lazy and unmotivated when we allow moodiness to rule. When we feel disappointed, sad or unappreciated, notice how little we get done, how we allow those feelings to prevent us from getting going.

We can witness the truth of how our feelings affect us in our everyday life by observing our own behavior and noting when we are really performing to our best.

So if we know this is true and we can redirect our own energies, stir it up to get the most out of life. Sometimes it can be as simple as putting on some music and dancing, or going for a walk, going for a swim, just about anything.

When we want to bust out of a rut, a good way is to just get up and do something to stimulate the flow of endorphins, get some oxygen flowing through the blood, the brain, seeing and smelling the plants in bloom.

Often that is immediately followed by a new idea, and the idea is followed with new actions.

Decide to be happy first and see what happens next. We already know what happens when we feel sad and do not do much. Which one feels better?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

It's All About Being Happy

Our reason for being is simply to express joy. All the other reasons we make up simply lead to that.

Whether we say that the reason for what we do is to improve the quality of life, help people, reveal truth or become successful, it is all about expressing joy.

We each make up our own reasons for what we do, what goals we have, what we think is our life's purpose is. We make up all these things because it makes us happy. When we achieve whatever we decide to achieve, we feel joy.

It's always interesting to watch these documentaries where someone will ask various religious authorities and they like to say that our whole purpose in life is to worship God. They answer that way because it suits their purposes. After all, their continued income is dependent on getting people to continue to join and fund their institutions.

However, if you think about it, doing things that make us happy is the simplest reason of all to do anything. If you have chosen to get married, get a house and have a family, that is the way you pursue happiness. If you start a business and grow it into a profitable enterprise, that is a way you pursue happiness. If you choose to play a musical instrument, dance, play a sport or game and do it well, that is another way to pursue happiness. It is always about the pursuit of happiness.

You know that famous phrase in the Declaration of Independence that we have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It's right there. If we have life and liberty, the natural expression of that is the pursuit of happiness.

So choose happiness as your attitude today and see what happens. Be happy no matter what happens. It's on that same plane as choosing love over fear. Choose happiness over not being happy. See what it difference it makes.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Smoking OPs

I was listening to some old blues this morning and suddenly this old phrase just popped into my head, "smoking OPs." I haven't heard this phrase in a long time. This is something we used to say way back when me and my friends used to smoke cigarettes. When somebody else was out of cigarettes and they would ask if they could have one of yours, you would say that they were "smoking OPs." OP meant other peoples. Some people always just seemed to have run out and always wanted to "borrow" one of yours. Some people were chronically smoking OPs. In fact when someone was always mooching, it was said that their favorite brand was OP.

Well it has been a great many years since I quit smoking cigarettes and most of my friends don't smoke any more either.

So maybe the phrase popped into mind because these days there are lots of different common expressions as well as different ways of doing things.

Today there are quite a number of people who have become enamored of the idea that they are great manifestors because they got something they wanted by simply asking someone else for it. So the other person who was giving it may have done so out of pure and simple generosity. But sometimes the receivers delude themselves into thinking that they are capable of great magic and ability to manifest because their friend responded.

A lot of this is due to the plethora of popular books and workshops promising that you can have anything you want just by wishing for it. Quite a seductive thought of course. No work is required on your part according to this line of thinking. All you have to do is keep thinking about what you want and you will have it. Of course, this is flawed thinking. You must take positive, decisive actions if you want your life to change.

Otherwise, you are not really manifesting, you are just smoking OPs.

Back then, the language was more honest. You both knew that the person borrowing the cigarette was really just asking for one out of your pack. However, today's delusionals might say that they "manifested" a cigarette, as if they performed some enormous triumph.

But we know what is really happening, don't we? Sometimes we just have to humor them when they are someone we know and like. We know that no matter what they say, they are still smoking OPs.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


When we think of courage, images of warriors come easily to mind. But courage is not always a physical thing. Courage of your convictions is one. It has been said that the freedom of speech that our country values is most needed by people with whom we disagree. People who hold popular positions and are popular speakers do not need any protection. Nobody is trying to shut them up. Courage then, is doing the right thing by letting the unpopular people speak. Having the strength to listen to another perspective and consider it even if you disagree.

Courage in pursuing a goal is when you press on and move forward to build according to your plan even if you have doubts about yourself or your ability. That's when courage is most needed. Anybody can roll with a sure thing, but it takes courage to persevere in the face of adversity because you believe in your goals, dreams and visions. Doing the sure thing is easy. Doing something challenging is what makes us grow.

The word courage comes from the French word for heart, coeur. Whatever the kind of courage you have in mind, or whatever kind you have experienced, the one thing they have in common is that it takes a lot of heart.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Making Love In a Room with No Furniture

Watching a movie featuring two lovers in a hot relationship, there were these tweaks and memories of times when I have experienced that, when the excitement was so fresh that we could make love in a room with no furniture and not even notice that there was no furniture.

These were the times of poetry, when there was magic in the smallest touch, the softest word. Music stimulated our taste for each other again and we danced in the living room, just the two of us. We danced and we danced until we found ourselves in the bedroom again.

We went out in the field and picked wildflowers to bring home for our altar to our time together, an altar to the intertwining of our energies, on which we burned fragrant incense and candles, and refreshed each other from a bowl of berries and orange wedges.

Special memories surface when our spirit seems to call for them. Crystal clear moments that stand out from the rest. From the whole span of a relationship, sometimes it is only the moments like this that we remember years later. The excitement and the passion ignite our taste for life. In those moments we welcome the joy and the sweetness back into our life. It is so powerful that even it's recall can summon the magic back in for moment, for a while.

When you didn't even notice that there was no bed in the bedroom was the first time you were truly present.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Love, Fear, Optimism and Restrictions

In every area of our lives, we choose our course of action based on either love or fear. Acting from love may often show itself as optimism and acting from fear becomes a restriction.

A long time ago a famous business man said that "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. I just don't know which half."

That may sound strange, but sometimes when we try advertising our business in a new publication or a new medium or on a website, we really don't know if it is going to work until we see the results.

When we act from love we look for different ways to become successful. When we act with passion and love we find more effective solutions to problems, challenges and blockages. We find ways to free up the energy.

You can often hear people who act from fear expressing a lack of confidence in themselves. The express fear about venturing out because there is no guarantee that if you start your own business you will succeed.

Of course there is not. However, the more actions you take to make your dream come true, the more you increase the odds in your favor.

And here you can see the turning point where an idea is translated into actions, where a person chooses whether to turn to acting out of love rather than fear.

As many of you have, I have also recently been changing my marketing approach in an effort to expand and evolve. It is always an act of love for me because being independent feels so much better than having someone else always telling you what to do, how to do it and when to do it.

Yes, it is risky to be optimistic and act from love, but it feels so much better, so much more freeing than the other way.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Spiritual Awakenings

During the times we have had those insights, those AHA moments when we suddenly could see the world in a new way we did not always find agreement from those around us.

Of course, some awakenings are hard to describe. There have been instances where something happened and when someone asked me what happened my honest answer was "I don't know."

There were also times when I did something but if you were to ask me how I did that, I would have to say "I don't know."

Today, however, when someone asks me how I know something that they didn't think I could know, or do something they didn't think I could do, my response is that this is the result of consistent effort in connecting with my spirit guides and using my intuition. The more we practice, the more connected we get.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Why Do We Not Trust Our Intuition?

Everyone has asked themselves this question at some time or another. Including me.

When we get that gut feeling that this is our best choice yet we overrule it, the root lies in the fact that if we don't have an explanation for our choice that it cannot be our best choice.

One way of describing it might be that struggle between right brain and left brain. Funny though, our brain is not always as reliable as our feelings.

Haven't you also had that experience of overriding your gut feeling and then regretting it? Actually, isn't that always what happens after you override your gut instinct.

I have come to believe that this gut feeling is our connection to our spirit guides and ancestors who are trying to advise us, but they are just giving us a prompting, a physical sign that one thing is a confirmation and the other is a warning. Perhaps we fail to trust our first instinct because we would rather have it come to us in the form of a conversation, complete with explanations.

Then again, even when we get that, we sometimes choose to ignore everything that was presented to us, even if the presentation was factual and reasonable.

So, really, our most reliable guide is that gut feeling. Next time you have it, go with the yes. Don't override and go with the no. If you go through this experience again, take that as a confirmation that your gut feeling intuition is your connection to your spirit guides and ancestors who want to see you do well, survive and thrive.

Try it. See what happens next.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Secret Secrets

Are there really secrets that people have been hiding from us that keep us from getting ahead? No, there are not.

The truth in this case, is once again hidden in plain sight. There are three components to getting more of what you want out of life. One is that you need to form a clear vision of what that is. Second, you need to have a burning desire to achieve those goals. And finally, you have to take action to make something happen.

It is really that simple. Taking a look at our own lives we can see it. If there is something that we wanted, but we haven't got it, are we weak in one of these three aspects?

If you want your life to change, you have to change your life.

If a person asks about how to make a significant change in their life, but they don't want to do anything different, what reason is there to believe that things are going to get better?

There are always people who believe that there is some secret to explain success in life and so they buy books, recordings, courses, and so on, but a little honest self evaluation, a refocusing of goals, a burning desire and willful action to further your own cause is really all it takes to change your life.

There seem to be sales of secret information happening all over the place, and there is a good reason for that. Lots of people have suffered economic losses and they really want to make their life better. When a person is out of work and has lost savings and investments, someone promising the secret road to wealth can be really seductive.

The truth, however, is often hidden in plain sight. Sometimes we overlook it and then conclude that someone must have been hiding the goodies from us.

Take a look at this yourself and see if what I say makes sense. Are your will, desire and vision all in accord?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Feeling Your Vision

It is quite normal for a person to change their vision as they grow.

We have all had that experience of being a little kid and having an adult ask "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I still hear parents ask little kids that same question.

Of course the answer the kid gives is often whatever happens to come off the top of their head at the moment. The next day, you might get a different answer.

You can't really expect a long term vision before a person has a chance to have some life experience. Only a handful of people are so focused that the same thing that they named as a kid is still their goal as an adult.

Then as an adult what happens? We may work in one job or one career for a while, then we move on to something else. These days the move is often prompted by layoffs or changes in an industry or a corporate takeover. Other times, however, a person simply has a burning desire to do something different and start a business or make a career change because they want a real connection between doing what they enjoy and doing what pays.

When you are visualizing yourself in that new job, can you really feel how it feels to be there and enjoying it?

If your dream is to be a great author, can you feel how it feels to be a great author, know what it feels like be be famous, be interviewed, have your book on the bestseller list?

If your dream is to live in a certain kind of house, can you feel what it might feel like to live in that house? Can you not only see yourself, but feel yourself living in that house, swimming in that pool, and having a drink on the deck?

Whatever your dream is, the more you feel it, the more you activate the principle of like attracts like, the law of attraction.

Feelings are important because you will draw to your to yourself other people who share those feelings. We like to associate with others who share our values. Those who share our values will likely share our feelings about certain things.

Every day when we get up, we can choose to feel good or feel bad. We choose our attitude. If we choose to be happy even before we achieve all our goals, we can only get happier as we progress toward those goals.

When we choose to feel good each day, we draw ourselves closer to our goals. Try it.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Feeling Good

When you are radiating out feelings of joy, you are drawing more joy to you.

Picture a person who has a scowl on their face. Now picture a person who is smiling. Which one do you feel like spending time with? Most people, naturally, will choose the one who is smiling.

When you want more of something coming into your life imagine how good it will feel when you get it. That good feeling you are radiating will magnetize you to more of those good feelings.

Feelings are what people tune into. Feelings are what the universe tunes into. When you feel good, it is contagious. Ever notice how when someone starts to laugh all the people around them start to laugh?

Achieving goals is easier when we are happy. If you decide to be happy, you are presetting the signals to everyone around you that you want to draw more of that into your life.

Remember the connection between passion and creativity? People become excellent at what they really love to do. That's because they care enough to act with an eye on quality and the creativity to find ways to do things even better.

Happiness flows from all that. When you are happy with your achievements, you radiate out good feelings. When you are radiating out good feelings, people are drawn to you. When you care enough to do good things and people are picking up on your good feelings, you can't help but have happier interactions with people every day. And when you do that, you magically move along that vibrant pathway to more that will make you happy.

Feeling good leads us to be more optimistic. Optimism leads to recognizing more opportunities. Among those opportunities are ways to achieve our goals and visions.

Decide to feel good and notice what happens.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


One of the secrets behind making the Law of Attraction work for you is intensity.

Many times when we are picturing what we want in life, we take the attitude of "wouldn't that be nice?" But that attitude is not strong enough for us to muster our true creative energies.

When we really want something to happen, we find ways to create that reality in our life. The mystical, magical part that we do not always know is how that will happen. Often times we fail to make the connection between the intensity with which we hold on to the vision while doing what we have to do. So on those occasions where our vision becomes a reality and it is not a result of a direct action we took or it seems to have come about without our direct involvement, it looks mysterious.

However, we had just as much of a hand in that mysterious development as we do in a simple cause and effect, action and reaction sequence.

Consider this example of how we activate our true potential. When you are doing work that you don't really care about, you remain at a level of simply being competent with it, just doing ok. Nothing special. Do this, do that, log in, log out, get paid and hope everything just stays the same so that you can keep getting your paycheck. That is one level of reality and productivity.

Now consider another. When you are doing work that you really love doing, you think of ways to do it better. Your creativity is open and working. You have joy in your life and there are constant improvements, from little tweaks to big breakthroughs. The dedication and intensity are what open the channels for creativity to blossom. A person who is working with this energy and intensity does not think about just getting by, they are focusing on being excellent. Time passes swiftly for a person who is focused and enjoying what they are doing.

When can take that same concept beyond simply our interactions with activities that we do for money. The same holds true of what we might consider hobbies or activities we simply enjoy doing. We have all seen examples of people who have created beautiful items from odd scraps of wood, or people who have created beautiful jewelry, just for fun. Or those who play a musical instrument sweetly, just because they enjoy it and fully engage themselves in the process.

Or those who are wonderful dance partners simply because when they go out to dance, that is the focus of their energy. When dancing they are not thinking about anything else, they are simply present with the music and the other dancers, simply doing this dance, and they seem to float effortlessly across the dance floor.

So consider the factor of intensity. If you have no intensity invested in your vision, it may be time to change your vision. If your current vision of your future is simply expressed with "its ok with me if it happens, and its ok with me if it doesn't," change it to a vision that you really, really, really want to see come true. Notice what happens when you make that change.