Month: February 2021

To Everything There is a Season

Adapting to the pandemic, NYC constructs outdoor pods for dining in winter, a testament to the city’s innovation and resilience. Photo from the NYTimes.

Since the pandemic hit nearly a year ago, I have been keeping a low profile. I have stayed home most of the time, starting an online coaching business, visiting with family and friends over zoom, learning to paint through Youtube tutorials, expanding my cooking skills, exercising to online classes and watching countless Netflix productions. True, there have been some new insights, habits and skills gained, but at this point, I am eager for life to return to normal.

So, when my daughter who lives in NYC asked if I could come for a brief visit to drop off a guitar and celebrate her 27th birthday, I jumped at the chance. She said that NYC restaurants were open for indoor seating at 25% capacity and many had adapted by building outdoor heated structures that were separated with temporary walls. She said to wear a mask at all times, follow the same protocol I had at home and I’d be fine. As I began to think about the details, however, I got a little nervous. What would the City be like in the wake of Covid 19? Would it really be safe to walk down the street in such confined quarters? Where would we stay? Should we plan to eat outside in the middle of February? Had I made a bad decision?

When my boyfriend and I first arrived, we were struck by how little traffic there was. We had both driven through these city streets on a number of occasions over the years, and this was a stark contrast. In place of cars, there were hundreds of electric bikes, most making deliveries of groceries, meals and numerous other goods. Some were even pulling trailers. There seemed to be more bikes than cars and it felt a little unsettling as the traffic rules for this growing culture were vague and chaotic. It was a bit of a free-for-all and we found ourselves looking over our shoulders and around corners constantly in order to avoid these speeding delivery vessels. 

My daughter lives between Murray Hill and Gramercy near the Lower East Side and we were able to find a hotel within a 30 minute walk to her apartment and a 15 minute walk to where we would be having dinner. We had stayed at this hotel before so we felt comfortable booking a room there and the cost was nearly half what we had spent in the past. We settled in, regrouped and then made our way to dinner. My daughter chose a chic Indonesion/French restaurant in Nolita and we decided to try the indoor seating because well, it was cold and we wanted to get the full culinary experience. 

As we walked, we began to notice a number of empty storefronts and many makeshift structures jutting out into the street so that clientele could sit outside to enjoy their meal. Many were charming, garnished with clever decor and seating pods separated by plywood walls and plastic entrances, a testament to the innovative and resilient spirit of the New York culture. Modular heaters accompanied each space and although eating while dressed in winter garb, the diners seemed cozy and relaxed. 

We enjoyed a first class dinner in a nearly empty restaurant with all the amenities and accoutrements one would expect of a fine NYC establishment. It almost felt normal until we got the bill via an app on my cell phone and did all the paying and tipping without making any further human contact. 

It was a decent walk back to my daughter’s apartment, but the weather had cleared, we had eaten well, and the visit felt too short, so we offered to accompany her home.  We were only a few minutes into the walk when things began to feel different. I had visited my daughter before and walked through these very neighborhoods, but now I noticed an increased number of vacant storefronts. There seemed to be a lot more graffiti and there was trash everywhere. (It may have been trash day or a result of the winter storms that had passed through, but I never noticed it like this before). There were few people walking the streets and as we continued, it got quieter and more desolate. Where there normally would have been hundreds bustling to and fro, there were only a few.  True, it was Monday, but it was only 9 p.m. when we dropped off my daughter and headed back to the hotel, and the city was asleep. 

As my boyfriend and I turned a corner, we paused for a moment to take it all in. I felt a weight in my chest and a realization of the extent to which Covid 19 had administered a devastating blow to this proud metropolis. I felt fear, grief, sadness and uncertainty. It seemed very clear in that moment that life would never return to normal because that’s not how it all works. We cannot erase an experience or even go on as if it hasn’t happened. We can never put it all behind us, because even though the phase of destruction eventually ends, it becomes a part of who we are going forward. And in that, I felt hope.

As I stood there looking at the boarded up storefronts and the moon under a brightening winter sky, I began to think about Pete Seeger’s song which was made an international hit by the Byrds in 1965 when it rose to #1 on the Billboard charts. The lyrics of the song, Turn, Turn, Turn, were taken directly from the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. They rang true then and they ring true now. 

“To Everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.”

New York City will rebuild just as we will all find ways to heal and redesign ourselves.  We are creatures of adaptation and soon we will flourish again, as the cycle of life continues. Turn, turn, turn.

Other Websites.   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

Riding Out the Pandemic Crucible

The Hanged Man as portrayed in two different Tarot decks.

I had a remarkable experience this week which I’d like to share. I am a student of the tarot and as part of my recent practice, I have been drawing a daily card, setting intentions for the day related to the message and then reflecting at night. It’s a good way to gain insights into my life while enhancing my understanding and relationship to the cards. 

I usually find the themes to have important and personal cues which guide me to areas of my life needing attention and often catalyze new ideas and insights. It is not uncommon for me to feel the Universe pushing or pulling me in a given direction or to hear my inner wisdom raise its voice. 

This week, although I was not looking for help on any particular issue, the cards seemed to be asking me to stop and pay attention, and they were rather loud and clear.

Over the past four days, I have drawn the Hanged Man every single time. This is highly unlikely given the fact that I shuffle the deck fully and then cut it at different places before uncovering the chosen card.  It didn’t seem that strange when the Hanged Man appeared for a second time. After all, coincidences happen and the interpretation made sense. On the third day, I thought, “how strange,” and by the fourth (today), I had no choice but to stop and take a closer look.

The Hanged Man card in the Tarot deck symbolizes suspension, detachment, letting go, and uncertainty. The subject hangs from a tree, tied by one foot. He is not free to go easily. Yet, he appears relaxed as if surrendering to his circumstances. His second leg and arms are not bonded and a yellow light emanates from his head, indicating intellect and spiritual development. The card is said to suggest sacrifice, a necessary step in the process of moving forward. Sometimes, the card asks for a certain action to be suspended. It tells us the time is not right to make a move. I have also read that the Hanged Man can represent a crucible, a situation or severe trial which leads to the creation of something new and improved.

I have been thinking lately about the pandemic and its effects on the mental health of our world. People are suffering or at the least being tried, physically, financially, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. There has been enormous loss and challenging circumstances everywhere and on every level. The economy is wincing. Politics are dividing and in our isolation, we are being forced to face ourselves head on. There is nowhere to hide. We have been stripped of our usual escape routes, like busying our lives to the point of exhaustion and complete distraction. And although the situation is improving, there is no saying how much longer we will be hanging from the tree. 

I have been noticing a growing pressure myself and like many, I feel the need to bust out, to make a move, to release the bondage, to battle with the cords that bind me, and to break free. Some days I feel unnaturally restrained. However, as the Hanged Man suggests, it may not be the right time to act. It might serve me better to relax into the situation and allow my inner light  to mull, to grow and to strengthen. It may also be time to surrender to the restrictions and fallout of the pandemic instead of trying to resist. It seems the Hanged Man is telling me with certainty to accept what is and remain patient with life’s timing. 

This seems to be a good message given the current state of the world and one that is hard to ignore considering the way it was delivered (drawing 4 of the same card in a row!).  I may be more successful and the journey smoother if I hang loose for a time. If I allow myself to ride out the pandemic crucible with acceptance and patience, it’s possible I will emerge on the other side as something new and more highly evolved.

Check out my other websites:  Body https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

Tom Brady’s Playbook and Collapsing the Wave

Photo by Todd Turner on Unsplash

Tom Brady did it again. Last night, the 43-year old superstar quarterback (the oldest player in NFL history to even be in a Super Bowl) led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to victory (the 7th Super Bowl win for Brady and 5th Super Bowl MVP award of his career). I suspected Brady might retire last year after having completed a successful 19-year career with the New England Patriots or at most, renew his contract for a couple more seasons. However, I never thought he’d sign on with a new team. So when he announced his move to Tampa Bay, I assumed he simply wanted to eek out a few more years in the sun, perhaps freshen his perspective, and continue to earn a reputation as one of the oldest quarterbacks in the NFL to play at that level. I didn’t expect him to win another Super Bowl and certainly not in his first year with a new team. No doubt he came to last night’s game with a lot of experience and a heavily loaded roster, but still. To win with such force and surety seemed like nothing short of a miracle.

I live in New England and have been a Brady fan for nearly 2 decades. How could I not be? His intelligent, persistent, and focused leadership have made for many an exciting game and his ability, year after year, to achieve win after win (sometimes in the face of defeat) have awarded his team high levels of respect and support, mine included. I particularly love his signature last minute touchdowns, where he drops into complete focus and true magic happens. There have been times when I’ve wondered, has he somehow sold his soul to accomplish such superhuman feats?  I didn’t think so, but still wondered how it was all possible.

In more recent years, as I’ve studied the power of intention, positive thought, and using our minds to create reality, I have begun to see how this sort of magic works. An interesting and exciting example, and one I think Brady employs whether he knows it or not, is the quantum physics theory of Collapsing the Wave.   

The idea is based on the proven theory that light can exist as a wave AND a particle (although not at the same time). The wave holds unlimited potential at any given moment and becomes a particle only once it is given attention. In other words, we all have an infinite number of choices, swirling around us in wavelike form, of what to see and believe at any point in time. Once we put our focus on one of the options, the rest of the potential crashes (the wave collapses) and the other possibilities blur. This choice then becomes our reality and we lose sight of everything else. This can create a very limiting existence until you understand how it works.

Just as light can be both a wave and a particle, our thoughts can be both limiting and expansive. If we understand that we can change our focus at any point and that everything is possible, we can begin to steer our experience and our destiny. If we realize that we are never truly stuck in any situation or pattern and that it is in part of our own making, then we can begin to change where we put our attention and like Brady, we can redirect the movement of play. 

The new moon will be here on Thursday and I am again thinking about what I’d like to manifest and how I might use the Collapsing Wave Theory. I may want to take a page from Tom Brady’s playbook who most likely does not follow the phases of the moon, but who, I’d bet, has formulated some cyclical process of conjuring dreams, creating and executing plans to carry them out, re-evaluating, adjusting, and revising methods and strategies, letting go of what is not working, pushing forward with belief and vision, releasing the outcome to the Universe, and then regrouping, resting and readying himself for the next round. It was reported that during the week leading up to yesterday’s game, Brady repeatedly texted his teammates stating, “We will win,” and that is manifestation at its purest.

It appears that Brady has not sold his soul to the devil after all, quite the contrary. He has mastered the art of collapsing the wave and for those who choose to do the same, like myself, there will surely be more victories in the Super Bowls of their own lives.

Other Websites.   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

Practical Magic

In recent months, I have been studying the cycles of the moon and experimenting with organizing my life’s goals and tasks around her varying phases. I set my intentions during the new moon, work towards their realization as she grows larger, release my efforts to the Universe when she is at her fullest, and regroup and heal as she shrinks in size. So far, I have found the approach to be a beautiful combination of practical and magical, which is exactly what I’m after. 

This month’s full moon occurred last week and through my studies, I was instructed to focus on forgiveness and letting go of all that was no longer working in my life.  

Over the years, I have been told that in order to live my healthiest life, I would need to identify and let go of things, of outdated people, patterns, attitudes, possessions, thoughts, situations and basically any negative energy that was not serving me. I also knew that forgiving was a key to healing and that sometimes I needed to forgive myself. I accepted these truths but never quite knew how to carry them out. Easier said than done, I thought. However, as I started practicing the rituals surrounding the different moon phases, I have begun to understand (and to feel) how it all works.

First of all, anything we spend time and attention on will grow. The very fact that we are committing energy to clarifying and manifesting our desires will result in more successes. Second, when we contemplate and write out our intentions/goals (which we do at the new moon), we gain clarity and give our thoughts power. Our ideas turn into words which turn into actions which eventually lead to the desired result. Envisioning and feeling the outcome magnifies the energy and makes the realization that much more likely, and when we add a ritual, like burning the paper holding the words, we create a stronger intention and a grounding in our commitment to carry it out.

As we move from the new moon to the full moon (during the waxing stage), we determine action steps and consciously move towards our goals. The simple act of pushing forward, of making adjustments and going at it again, will inevitably bring us closer to our desired path. 

By surrendering our efforts to the full moon at the peak of the cycle, we allow the Universe to decide the best outcome for all involved. We make a promise to trust the result and this allows us to move into a more objective position and see the reality of our situation more clearly. 

Realizing and accepting what is and then releasing the parts that are no longer working is a key to manifesting our intentions. It allows us to empty our psyche and energy field of feelings, perceptions, habits, people, and situations that are not moving us towards our goal. In turn, we are offered new space to fill with positive energies that will propel us forward. It is also important to make time (during the waning cycle, after the full moon and before the new moon) to reflect and heal so that we will be ready for a new cycle of manifestation.

Finally, I love the cyclical nature of following the moon as it allows for the ebb and flow of events, efforts, rest, reflection, adding and releasing. If we continuously put out and move forward in a linear fashion, we are likely to burn out, lose perspective, dampen creativity, and damage our physical and mental well-being. On top of that, we will likely never reach the desired end point. 

As we leave the full moon phase this week and enter the disseminating moon phase, I am thinking about what to let go, what to keep, and who to forgive. I am beginning to rest and regroup, leaving space to reflect and edit my plan. I am making an effort to accept the reality of what is, then to revise, rewrite, and move towards the goal again or to come up with an entirely new pursuit if that is what is warranted.  

The more I organize my life around the moon phases, the more naturally it seems to flow. It is a pragmatic approach with extraordinary potential. I like to think of it as practical magic, the very best kind.

Other Websites.   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/