Jumping into Free Play

Peter and I having fun during a photo shoot in 2017. Photo credit: Kelly Fitzsimmons

I am a musician and since the pandemic hit last winter, I have been unable to perform live. I play lead guitar and sing backup vocals in an acoustic trio called Wendy Darling and the Lost Boys and over the years we have built a following and secured gigs at a number of local restaurants and festivals. The live events are always a lot of fun as are the practices leading up to them, each giving birth to an abundance of laughter, cheerful conversation, delightful consumption, fluid movement to the music, and an overall relaxed and joyful experience. Working and playing with the band has added a great deal of happiness and play to my life.

Over the course of the quarantine, however, it has become increasingly difficult to maintain an energetic and creative musical practice. Where at first, we tried new approaches like putting out Youtube videos and sharing material through GarageBand, these methods eventually got old and punctuated the absence of the brilliance that can only be captured through live interaction, the interplay of sound, ideas, emotions, surprises, and improvised reactions. 

I have felt myself falling into a slump and have had trouble regaining momentum. 

A couple of weeks ago, I confessed my growing disinterest to my guitar teacher and he quickly offered me a book he said would help re-energize my approach. The book, called Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art by Stephen Nachmanovitch, outlines the benefits of using play to ignite passion, creativity, and progress. He gives examples of renowned musicians, artists, writers and inventors such as Beethoven, Bach, Picasso, da Vinci, M.C. Escher, Van Gogh,  Einstein, William Butler Yeats, and William Blake, all who have created in this way.  He talks about opening ourselves to divine play (known as Lila or Leela in Hindu philosophy ) in which we surrender our consciousness and need to control the outcome and open ourselves to whatever inspiration may come through. This approach allows us to tap into the spiritual collective and ultimately, join it with our own individuality to bring forth new and unique ideas. 

As distribution of the Covid vaccine moves swiftly and the world begins to open up, I am beginning to see the point as it applies to my life. I am realizing how much play time I have been missing. I miss performing with my band in front of a smiling crowd. I miss travelling, get-togethers with family and friends, team sports, parties, farmer’s markets, festivals, walking downtown with a street full of people, eating out in a lively establishment, watching the latest movie in a sold out theatre, laughing my head off with a group of friends. When I think about my pre-Covid self, I realize when there is play in my life, I am extra productive, a better learner, and relaxed. I have deeper and more meaningful relationships and increased imagination and creativity.

I am only part way through the book, but I have already begun to approach my daily guitar practice differently. Instead of making a to do list and going through the scales and songs with mechanical effort, I have been allowing the process to come forth. Some days, I play whatever happens to be on the music stand. Other times, I take a band standard and try it with an entirely different guitar tuning. I experiment. I create. I dance. I play. 

I am finding that all I need to do is show up and allow myself this opportunity, to lose all inhibitions and bring forth that which makes me happiest.  I am beginning to regain my enthusiasm and new ideas and accomplishments are starting to surface, just as Nachmanovitch promised.

As the pandemic cloud lifts and we are able to get together in larger groups, there will be more opportunities for play, and I recommend taking them. There may still be a period of waiting before it is safe to rush out into the world, but even now, we can begin to approach all endeavors with the child-like perspective of fun, surrender, curiosity and joy. We will certainly be happier and we may even discover a hidden treasure or two.

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

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/

Winning Together

Photo compliments of Shane Rounce, Unsplash.com

The full moon occurs this coming Thursday, January 28 and I have been thinking about what I truly want to manifest in my life and what I need to release. As I was pondering the question this morning, a book I had been reading came to mind called the Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton. The book, which gained popularity in the early 2000s for its innovative and groundbreaking scientific discoveries about cell behavior and how our thoughts affect it, points out that the most successful cells form communities and learn a cooperative pattern of behavior in order to win the game of survival. This idea is a stark contrast to Darwin’s survival of the fittest mentality which has ruled at least the field of biology since the concept was brought forth in 1859. 

Lipton also impressed me with the idea that cells and their communities act in much the same way as human groups and both make decisions in response to their environment. We humans are, in a sense, larger cells which form alliances of complementary specialties in order to run communities, localities, states, and countries which make up the larger earth body. How well these communities interact is the number one key factor in their ability to survive.

I began to consider my own life and the role of competition vs. cooperation. When I think back on my childhood and most of my adult life, I can remember many situations and relationships in which competition played a role. The mentality was that in order for someone to win, another had to lose and although my personal wins felt good, they were often isolating and short lived, especially when they weren’t part of a team effort and there was no one with whom to share the victory. 

Losing never felt good. Instead of being seen as an opportunity for growth and improvement, it was instead a definition of character and ability. If I wasn’t the winner, then I was certainly a loser or at the least, not good enough.

As I grew older, I have seen the holes in this approach. First of all, we are not separate nor are our accomplishments. I believe that when we improve our own condition, we improve the whole, and to think that we can only win at the expense of another is limiting at best. We are in a constantly evolving and adapting biological body (earth) and if we don’t find a way to work together, we may eventually be outmaneuvered by another group of organisms, such as an aggressive virus, whose cooperative skills outshine ours.

Second, I believe our most treasured experiences and feelings are a result of connecting, cooperating, and achieving with others. We can go much further when we collaborate than we can on our own, and the achievement is that much sweeter. Finally, if we are to reach higher levels of intellect, spirituality, consciousness, and health, we will have to let go of our need for individual success and separateness and instead join forces in a system that incorporates each of our unique gifts as harmonic parts of a healthy and thriving earth body.

The chaos and separation of our current political climate, the rampant virus, and the injured environment all point to a need for expedited cooperation among all people and consideration for all living beings. Lipton quotes a study (Lovell 2004) which states, “the natural world is experiencing the sixth major extinction event in its history and as far as we can tell, this one is caused by one animal organism – man.”

The full moon will be here soon, and I intend to release the need for individual victories over others so that I can make way for new ideas, habits, and actions that promote cooperation, connection, higher consciousness and the best health of the planet, and that, I believe, will be a win for all.

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

Manifesting the Magic of Sand Dollars

The magical sand dollars we discovered on our beach walk

About 6 years ago, I took a workshop that changed my life. The course, entitled Manifesting Magic and Miracles, was held on a summer weekend at the Omega Institute in upstate New York. My mother, sister, and I were looking for something fun to do together and were familiar with the restorative retreat at Omega. We had never heard of the presenter, Pam Grout, but all agreed we could use a bit of magic and a few miracles to help us break old patterns and move towards a more spiritually rewarding life.

The course, based on Pam’s book, E2, began with a few simple exercises to help us think “outside the box” and prove that by reshaping our perspective and employing some inventive techniques, we could manifest anything imaginable. We started by picking words from a hat, things like red cardinal and baseball bat. We then meditated as a group, focusing our attention on the intended object and asking that the Universe bring forth the item in some form or another over the next couple of days. Each following morning at the start of class, we went around the circle and attendees shared their experiences. The stories were varied, surprising, funny, endearing and serendipitous and by the end of the weekend, nearly everyone had manifested their object in one way or another. 

On the final day, we dug a little deeper, breaking into small groups and turning our work to our own personal quests. We focused on our truest and most individual desires. We created vision boards and discussed ways of releasing limited thinking patterns. We committed to surrendering our wishes to the Universe and asked that they manifest in the best way possible for the good of all…..and by god, they did. 

Within the next few years, my entire life had changed and I was living a lot of what I had envisioned over that fateful weekend. 

I continue to practice experiment #1 in the book which calls for the seeker to ask the Universe to deliver a specific object within a limited timeframe, usually 48 hours. I have found that the key to success is not to look for the object but instead to allow it to come by being aware of how it presents itself (which is often different than what you would expect). Sometimes, noticing and following a trail of breadcrumbs or related items will eventually lead to what is being sought. The ability to recognize these clues is paramount.

This past weekend, my partner and I set off for a walk at the beach. The isolation of the pandemic was getting to us and we had exhausted many of the local trail networks. We love to look for sea treasures during our ocean strolls and recently have been experimenting with Pam’s method to attract the best offerings. 

This weekend we were looking for unbroken sand dollars. We envisioned the most perfect specimen and then put our intention into the Universe. We let go of the act of trying to find it.  We allowed our attention to divert to conversation and other happenings around us. We even forgot at one point that we were searching for shells until suddenly one appeared, and then another and another. We found several beautiful and varied sand dollars as well as a number of other intricate shells.

I love this type of magic because it is fun and playful and more importantly, it works. When carried out correctly, the Universe will deliver desired objects right into your life and, when taken a step further, the approach can be applied to attract situations and experiences. Its power, however, should never be underestimated. It is important to be clear on what you want and make sure you are ready to receive it. After all, you may just get what you wish for. 

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

The Power of Journaling

Journaling has a way of helping us open to the wisdom of the subconscious mind.

I woke up this morning with an underlying feeling of anxiety. I couldn’t pinpoint exactly where it was coming from. There was nothing particularly unnerving in my current life, so why was this visceral gnawing tightening my chest and leaking into my gut? I wasn’t sure. I hoped my morning walk would bring some clarity or at least some icy air to freeze it out, but no such luck. It was just as strong once I returned, refilled my coffee and sat down at the desk. 

Before I could move on with my day, I knew I had to take some type of action, so I decided to employ a method of journaling that evolved over years of daily writing. 

Whenever a feeling or decision has me stumped, I take out my pen and paper, scroll the question at the top and then begin free writing the answer as fast as possible, without critique or concern for the content or style. I write whatever comes to mind, knowing that I can burn or shred the pages if they reveal something I don’t want anyone else to see. This frees me up to say whatever I want in order to get to the truth. And the truth is always what ends up on the page. 

When I first discovered this technique, I used it daily. I took the approach of coach to client, therapist to patient, and friend to friend. No matter who was in dialogue, I could always sense two distinct voices surfacing, one asking the question and one answering it. The questions were insightful and on track but the answers were what surprised me the most. Each time I began to write, the message would pick up speed and ideas and solutions would come flowing out onto the page from somewhere deep inside. It was like discovering a gold mine or an oil reservoir. Once it was tapped, the treasured solutions flowed out abundantly and easily.

This type of journaling helped to guide me through some important decisions and provided insights that may not have been uncovered otherwise or would have taken years. I called the technique “The Inner Coach” and it became my go-to strategy for solving unanswered soul and life questions.

Recently, I came upon a book which outlines a similar method called writing down your soul by Janet Conner. It is a wonderful book and goes a few steps further to help the reader assign an identity to the voice and also provides prompts to foster deeper awareness, meaning, soul exploration, imagination, and creativity. 

After completing the recommended meditation and journaling, I discovered that I was harboring a fear and uncertainty about the events of this past week, the state of American politics, the instability and fractured nature of our country, the continued loss resulting from Covid 19, our injured economy, the growing unrest and persistent hate. What I was feeling in the center of my chest was a result of a connection to the collective consciousness or communal heart (as I like to call it), the most extreme of which wasn’t happening to me directly. Yet, I could sense a piece of the greater suffering and destruction that is part of today’s reality. 

My inner voice suggested that I meditate to a sound healing video in 639Hz (a frequency that addresses the heart chakra). It also guided me to do another journal entry afterwards, this time focusing on what I want to manifest in 2021 and particularly what I’d like to put out into the Universe as a focus for this month’s new moon (which occurs on Jan 13 at 12 a.m). 

After following the guidelines that came forth on the page and writing out my wish for more peace, collaboration, and love, I feel much better. The ball of anxiety has been lifted and my thoughts are where I want them to be, focused on positive change. I am now able to move on with my day, in a heightened state of clarity and hope and with the belief that the work I have done on myself will extend out to help heal the collective condition. 

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

Manifesting Your Resolutions with the Tarot

A Tarot Spread for the New Year

The New Year is underway and our carefully outlined goals have been determined. The dreaming has been fun, inspirational and inventive, and now is the time for action. Personally, I have vowed to improve my self discipline and time management skills. In order to manifest my resolutions, I realize I need to become more focused, efficient and direct. I am committed to trying some of the more popular techniques of time blocking and habit development. However, I also realize that, particularly during this challenging and dark pandemic time, I need to keep things fun, colorful, and light with a sprinkle of magic whenever possible.

I have been working with the Tarot for many years in a personal quest to understand myself and my life on a deeper level. I believe that the human mind and its ability to possess accurate self awareness can only go so far. In order to gain a deeper understanding, we need help from a higher power. In truth, I believe this wisdom is accessible within ourselves. All we need is a compass and some pointers to help guide our way. I have found that the Tarot is one of the best tools for this type of exploration.

In case you don’t know, the Tarot is a deck of 78 cards composed of 22 Major Arcana (representing major life themes) and 56 Minor Arcana (addressing issues of a more daily nature). The practice of laying out and interpreting the card meanings dates back as far back as the 15th century (possibly even further.) Noone knows for sure. Each card represents a theme and is decorated with symbolic illustrations which point to a variety of interpretations depending on the individual and their unique situation. The cards are shuffled and drawn into a particular sequence or layout.  Based on their position, the reader is able to glean a certain meaning. Due to the variety of positions and the number of symbols represented on each card, the interplay can lead to an infinite number of possible interpretations. This is where the intuition or inner knowing of the reader comes into play.

The Tarot is often misunderstood to be a fortune telling tool and many fear that it will bring forth some undesirable news or predict events that cannot be changed. This is simply not true. The Tarot is a wonderful resource for tapping into major (and minor) life themes, relating them to one’s situation and offering options for change or areas on which to focus. When I was first introduced to the Tarot, I would call on an Intuitive Reader whenever I had important questions to answer or felt that I was blocked and needed further insight. I later realized that I could use the Tarot on my own, on a daily basis, to help me navigate through periods of change or even to gain insights into my daily existence. This process of discovery resulted in a sense of peace and a feeling of empowerment, and I continue to use the cards to help me make better decisions as I travel down my life’s path.

After years of daily personal use, it seemed only natural to extend my knowledge to others. I have since started a virtual business called the Soul Purpose Project with the aim of helping people identify and clarify their purpose and also to identify the obstacles that prevent them from reaching their fullest potential. A major part of my sessions involve the use of theTarot as I find it the perfect starting point for a conversation about what lies beneath the surface. In conjunction with my client, I determine an appropriate layout and as they are meditating on the topic, I pull the cards. I send them a picture via text of the resulting spread and begin to explain each card’s meaning and my intuitive interpretation. I find that involving my client in the interpretation is helpful as it promotes their own self discovery. There is never a question as to the accuracy of the final message as I believe we all know the truth when it is revealed. If it does not feel right, then there is probably more digging to do.

The New Year is a perfect time to do a Tarot reading. If you want to try one on your own, I would recommend purchasing a copy of Tarot for Life, by Paul Quinn. The book provides an excellent overview of the cards, their meanings, and a variety of layouts. It also shows ways to use the Tarot in a daily practice to help gain insight into relationships, career, family, and personal development. I would also recommend buying the Rider-Waite deck. This is a good starter deck and one of the most frequently referred to in learning texts. 

A few good New Year’s spreads can be found here:

If you don’t have the time or interest in learning the Tarot on your own but want to treat yourself to a reading or see how I do it, I am offering a 30-60 minute session, accessible here: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/

I look forward to hearing from you and wish you all the power and insight to manifest the life you are dreaming in 2021. And…… I hope you can do it with some fun, color, light and a sprinkle of magic.

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

Embracing the Liminal Space

The Guardian reviews Katharine May’s book, Wintering. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/feb/04/wintering-how-i-learned-to-flourish-when-life-became-frozen-katherine-may-memoir-review

Christmas is over, the New Year is quickly approaching, and my mind has turned to resolutions and what I’d like to accomplish this year. I’ve had plenty of rest in 2020 and now I’m ready to go, but where and ….how?

Every year, the space between Christmas and New Years offers an opportunity to look at our life, evaluate our successes and shortcomings and dream up a plan for the future. What do I want 2021 to look like? What should I let go of and what would I like to attract?

As the thoughts and feelings swirl around my head, I am overwhelmed. There are a lot of goals yet unrealized and habits I’ve been determined to change but which continue to rest on my shoulder. Will this be the year that I figure it all out? Will I be able to shed my self destructive habits and move into my best purpose? I’m not sure.

I am in my 50s and have spent years studying how to access the subconscious for a better understanding of my inner beliefs and feelings. I have looked at ways to manifest my reality and techniques to steer my life in the direction of my deepest yearnings. However, I still get drawn into the liminal space of this particular week, the time just after Christmas and before the start of the new year, a time of suspension in which we have left something behind but have not yet entered into the new. 

The concept of liminal space came to me yesterday while reading a lovely book I received as a gift for Christmas called Wintering by Catherine May. She talks about this “crossing over” time as a confluence of grief, uncertainty, doubt, and fear as well as excitement and anticipation of what is about to come. Liminal space is sometimes uncomfortable. The pandemic has brought it to the forefront and forced us to work within its confines. The result has provoked anxiety and fear. Yet, there has also been healing, blessings and discoveries, experiences and realizations we would not have found otherwise. 

In her book, May points out that liminal space often accompanies periods of transition in our life, offering us an opportunity to reflect, to heal, to forgive, to redefine and then to design, to dream and to set intentions. The concept at its simplest tells us that when we empty or are emptied of something, there remains a space waiting to be filled. I believe the contents of this space can be influenced if not fully determined by our thoughts, efforts, and wishes. 

It dawns on me that this must be the idea of New Year’s resolutions and that our ancestors no doubt felt the need to address this period of suspension and fear with productive planning. I have realized that entering the quiet or wintering period as May puts it, removes the daily static and encourages us to face our truths head on.

I have always been one to seek happiness, comfort, and joy, but I am realizing that these aspirations are only part of the picture. As I move into 2021, I have decided to try something new, to embrace the winter, to hold love in the space of darkness, to forgive the limitations and deflate their power, to feel the sadness and pain of loss and then to move through the discomfort instead of running away or shutting down. Perhaps, this will be just the approach I need to help me leap over the hurdles that have blocked my way for so long. 

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