Category: Intention

Thanks, Debbie Ford. Now Get That Smile Off Your Face.

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Earlier this week, self-help author Debbie Ford passed away at the too-young age of 57.  I was introduced to her work by a friend who gave me a copy of “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers.”  Yeah, I know – awful title.  But the point of the book is really interesting:  namely, that our “dark” side is a necessary part of who we are.  That notion really got me to thinking.th

I’m told that I was a pretty happy kid. I still tend to view life on the sunny side. On the occasion that I’m feeling less than cheery, or just have a “meh” look on my face, someone will invariably say, “Hey…smile!”   Super-annoying.

The message is clear:  tantrums, moods and other “dark” things are not welcome in this over-medicated world of ours.

"She goes running for the shelter/of her 'Mother's Little Helper..."
“She goes running for the shelter/of her ‘Mother’s Little Helper…”

But Ford’s book encourages us to embrace those parts of ourselves.  They are vital pieces of the puzzle that make us who we are, the yin to the yang.  And flipping your “dark” side over on its soft white underbelly can reveal some powerful insights.

I know a woman who, for years, chronically played “the good girl,” always sweet, giving and polite.  But there were a few occasions when she threw a righteous temper-tantrum.  I’m talking the red-faced, object-throwing, furniture-rattling kind.  Clearly, her “dark” side wanted out.  It was showing her that she had power, the kind she denied herself in her quest to always be sunny and light.   Once she accepted her ability to get angry, she was more fully herself.  She finally got the guts to stand up to her overbearing boyfriend (’cause he didn’t want to see the red-faced version of her. For real).  And fewer objects got broken.

One of my guilty pleasures is “Star Trek.”  There was an episode where, after a transporter malfunction, Captain Kirk got “split” into his good half and his bad half.  After causing plenty of havoc and confusion, Kirk realized that he needed the icky side to make him the kick-ass space cowboy that he was.  Check out the awesome ham-tastic acting!

In the metaphysical world,there’s a lot of talk about “living the light,” being positive, etc.  This might sound like we want to avoid the darker parts of ourselves — but to be a fully-integrated human being, we need to acknowledge and work with them.  That’s part of our spiritual challenge.  Acting like a junior pageant queen 24/7 will get you nowhere.  Except, perhaps, committed.    RIP, Debbie Ford.

She's just two stops away from starring in a Lifetime movie about running over her husband with a milk truck.
She’s just two stops away from starring in a Lifetime movie about running over her husband with a milk truck.

Psychic Encyclopedia: The Trickster

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I just learned about something called “The Trickster.”  Not to be confused with T-Rex, Jeepster (love this song).

The Trickster is just what it sounds like:  an entity with a slightly warped sense of humor.  Your keys go missing, your reading glasses vanish, your checkbook was JUST THERE and it disappears.  Some of it may be age-related (or in my case, blonde-related) but there are times when its The Trickster.

Don't you just want to kick this little wiseass in the nads?
Don’t you just want to kick this little wiseass in the nads?

According to Wikipedia, the Trickster appears in a ton of other cultures, such as “Loki” in Norse mythology or “Anansi” in African lore. “Br’er Rabbit” in American folktales is another representation. Bottom line, we’ve got a very deep familiarity with this kind of energy, the kind that likes to break rules, mix it up and generally tweak easily-frustrated humans.

Done in by a giant ball of petroleum wearing a hat. Happens every day.
Done in by a giant ball of petroleum wearing a hat. Happens every day.

I believe that every home has a House Spirit — and The Trickster may pay a visit when the House Spirit isn’t looking (probably folding laundry — which I wish MY House Spirit would do).  The best way to deal with their naughtiness is to call them on it.    I read of one woman whose bag of pearl onions went missing as she made dinner.  They had been there in her produce drawer, then they weren’t.  She called out — loudly — “I want those onions back, and I want them NOW.”

Believe it or not, she heard a “thunk,” opened the drawer and –you guessed it — there they were.

Kinda wish it was a bag of diamonds....
Kinda wish it was a bag of diamonds….

So it goes to show you that the Trickster isn’t evil — they’re just a little twisted.  Like your weird Uncle Bart.  Or Rick James.  And recognizing what they’re up to is your best weapon.  I want to learn more about this entity, so share any stories, myths or family tales you might have!

The End of the World? Nope.

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There’s an old REM track that’s been making the rounds, in light of this Mayan prophecy of the world ending today: “It’s The End of The World As We Know It.”

Well, clearly, since I’m sitting here, listening to the sound of the dryer and my fingers clicking away on the laptop, the world has not stopped spinning.   But I think that song title is still appropriate: it’s the end of the world AS WE KNOW IT.

The last couple months have really turned things upside down, especially Hurricane Sandy and the unspeakable tragedy in Newtown, CT.  Those two incidents alone have created a seismic shift in our thinking, about how we function as a society.  We’ve had similar disasters, but this time, something has changed.  We feel it.  And I believe this is what the Mayans meant:  we are passing into an age of enlightenment.  We are taking another step on the path, collectively.

I read somewhere that we are passing out of the Iron Age — one that has been vicious, combative, filled with selfishness (Bernie Madoff, I’m looking at you).  The Hindus refer to our current time as ‘the age of quarrel.”

Here’s a clip from a really-underrated movie, “The Devil’s Advocate,” in which Al Pacino — as the Devil — gives one of the great speeches ever.  It kinda sums up where we’ve been:

Spoiler alert: in the movie, the Devil doesn’t get to take over the world.   And now, in this new world, he doesn’t get to either.  We are passing into an age that’s kinder, more interdependent, more spiritually aware.

For the last few days, I’ve sensed a personal shift.   I’ve been cleaning out closets, getting rid of old stuff –literally.  As we go through the long, dark winter, take some time to go within and help step up your game to meet the new energy of this beautiful new age we’ve just entered.  Just like Dorothy did…

Angels: They’re Not Just for Christmas Anymore

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This time of year there are angels everywhere: in malls, on Christmas cards, hanging from my neighbor’s roof — you name it. I like the ones at Rockefeller Center myself:

images

We tend to focus on the one angel who brought the news of Jesus’s birth – and that would be Archangel Gabriel.  Now I know she (yes, she’s the only one depicted as a girl in art and literature) works more than that one day a year.  So I decided to find out more about this entity who was entrusted with the biggest Facebook post of all time.

"OMG!  Don't let those barn animals near the baby..!"
“OMG! Don’t let those barn animals near the baby..!”

Gabriel is — no surprise — the angel of communication.  She’s the one to call upon if you’re a writer, artist, journalist, or anyone who needs to get their message out.  This goes for psychic work as well;  Gabriel can help unblock your Third Eye and send you angelic guidance, prophetic dreams and visions (might want to not be driving when you send up your request.  Just sayin’).

Archangel Gabriel can send inspiration and motivation — and she will give you a righteous kick in the ass if you are held hostage by fear and procrastination.

If you feel like you’re not where you need to be, that you’ve fallen off your “path” — give her a shout .  She’ll get you straightened out and send you hints, info and nudges that will reveal your true calling.  So needless to say, when you’re considering a career or job change, add Gabriel to your LinkedIn contacts.

But she’s not just about communication themes: like most women, she’s got a practical streak.  Call on Gabriel if you’re trying to either get pregnant or adopt a child.  She can help if you’re buying or selling a house.  She’s also gonna help you out if you’ve overdone it on junk food, booze or anything else not Dr. Oz-approved; Gabriel will help you put down that box of  Franzia, those Salem menthols, and purify your body.  This goes for toxic thoughts, too.  After all the family dysfunction this season brings, that’ll come in handy.

When you can't get in to see THIS guy....
When you can’t get in to see THIS guy….

Gabriel is one of only two angels mentioned by name in the Old Testament (Michael is the other);  clearly,  she made an impression.  And she doesn’t mess around: when you call on her, she will push you into the kind of action that will lead to wonderful things.   So ring her up — and then “hark” to what this amazing “herald angel” has to say to you.  It will be life-changing.

What Goes Around…

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One of my Facebook friends has been sharing some hairy details of a family feud.  It’s not pretty.  The stories she tells are awful: stalking, theft of property promised on a parent’s death bed, and far too many cruel words.   Most of this seems to emanate from one member of the family, to the pain of everyone else.  Underlying the gory details is frustration that this one awful person is “getting away with it,” that others still think of them as the epitome of a good Christian when privately, they act more like Rosemary’s Baby.

Otherwise known as your sister-in-law’s house

We’ve all known someone who can be the most terrible, sneaky human ever– and somehow, they manage to escape judgement.   In public life, we’ve seen those who continue to succeed, despite heinous behavior (former Vice President Dick Cheney — who helped lie us into Iraq and outed CIA agent Valerie Plame is my personal bete noir).  It makes you want to throw one righteous temper tantrum.

Yes, it would be enormously gratifying to see those people embarrassed, brought down and otherwise smacked in the face with rotten tomatoes.  That would satisfy our egos.  But just because a public shaming doesn’t occur, doesn’t mean they “get away with it.”

You know how they say that your life flashes before you when you die?  It’s my belief that, at that moment, we experience a sense of both our good moments, and bad.  If you accept that you had those dark moments, if you own it — then you pass into enlightenment.  The owning of those moments can be tough; I think you get a true measure of the pain you have caused with every thoughtless, selfish gesture.  It’s a fleeting moment, but being willing to suffer through it is the price we pay for enlightenment and entrance into the Light.  This is how our soul grows.

There are those, however, who cannot bear to look at what they have done (and in some cases, with good reason.  Would YOU want to trade places with Hitler?  Didn’t think so).  They turn away — literally — from the Light.  The dark place where their soul stays stuck is a kind of punishment you can’t imagine.  I supposed you could call it Hell –although minus any demons and pitchforks.  It’s the absence of Light that’s the true torture.

Sure as hell wouldn’t want to be you when the time comes…

I once went through a guided meditation that was meant to give us a taste of what this “low level” was like.  I have to tell you, I felt sick to my stomach — and racked with sorrow for what people endure in that place.  And that was about 1/100,000,000th of what they experience.

The point is, is that no one gets away with anything. The best we can do when presented with these frustrating people is to stay in our own lane and remember that they will be held accountable at some point.

In plainer terms, “What goes around, comes around”….”Every dog has its day”…and my favorite, “Karma’s a big bitch with PMS.”   Stay peaceful.

The Power of Thanks/Giving

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With Thanksgiving upon us, I’m seeing tons of ads for Black Friday.  “Sale! Sale! Sale!”  “Buy! Buy! Buy!”

This is the time of year when people line up at 5 in the morning, just to pick up some ginormous flatscreen TV.  This is the time of year that feeds a never-ending appetite for stuff.  There’s no diet that can kill that ravenous hunger. Unless….

Unless we start to appreciate what we already have.  I was cleaning out a room in my house the other day, and it gave me a chance to notice things like my wonderful collection of books, the wall hanging my sister made me out of one of our grandmother’s quilts, the beautiful Maxfield Parrish print that makes me smile, the comfy love seat that my cat sleeps on while I read.  It made me happy.

Sheryl Crow once sang, “It’s not having what you want, its wanting what you got.”  Appreciating what we have  brings a certain sense of peace.  And ironically, it changes the energy, allowing “more” to flow into our life.  I think it’s because, when we constantly want for more stuff, love, money, whatever, the underlying message is “lack.”  We magnify that thought when we remain unsatisfied — but when we FEEL rich, that feeling also gets amped up.

It also helps to look at the blessing that a bad experience or challenge offers: adversity can offer us a gift if we look for it.  When I was 19, I ran across a saying in my Philosophy class (don’t ALL 19 year olds take Philosophy?) that stayed with me: “What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger.”  Nietzche may have had plenty of issues, but he got it right with that observation.  Turn your dark moments inside out and find the hidden gem within.

Anyway, stop right now and count your blessings.  Literally.  Make every day one where you “give thanks” for everything that’s going right in your life.  Notice what happens after just a week or so. That flatscreen may not be so appealing after all.

Back-To-School….and Fearless

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My great-niece, Ella Ruby, starts 2nd grade today.  She is totally chuffed, excited about her new teacher, backpack and classroom.  She doesn’t care that she knows nothing about 2nd grade math– she just plans to tackle it and get as many gold stars as she can grab.

Ah, for the days of spitballs and forgetting your locker combination….

There’s something wonderful about a 7 year old’s complete lack of fear.  For the most part, everything new is an adventure.  Their little egos are practically non-existent, so they don’t even think about how it will look if they fail.  They just want to try the New Thing.

This is where the 8 of Pentacles comes in.  While I don’t play favorites with the Tarot cards, I admit that I love when this one comes up.  The message is an encouraging one — it means that whatever you’re faced with, even if you know zilch about it, you’re gonna totally dominate.  The card is nicknamed “the talent card,” revealing hidden abilities.

Most of the time when it appears in a spread, my client has a hard time believing that they’ll be able to pull off whatever that hidden ability may be (“I don’t know ‘nuthin’ ’bout Excel spreadsheets…”).  I remind them of one of my favorite quotes from Teddy Roosevelt: “When you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”

Can’t argue with a guy sporting such a fierce ‘stache…

A few months back, I got a call at 4:30 PM inviting me to do some copywriting for a start-up tech firm.  There was a conference call less than an hour later — and in that time, I had to Google the firm, download Skype and learn how to use it, and give myself a crash-course in tweeting. I was able to fake my way through the call, and landed a nice gig.

Second-graders like my niece embrace learning — it’s what they do.  Somewhere after graduating, we grownups decided our days of learning were pretty much over.  New things freak us out, make us feel uncertain.  But taking the challenge posed by the 8 of Pentacles is always a good exercise in reaching a little further towards our full potential.  Whether we succeed or fail at it, we still get a gold star for trying.

An Angel On My Sofa

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There’s been this thing going around on the Inter-webs, about “hosting” five of the archangels in your home.  You invite them to kick back with you for five days, before sending them on to visit 3 of your friends.  Kind of like a heavenly chain letter.  Anyway, all sorts of cool things are supposed to happen, so I figured, what the hell [oops — “heck.”  They ARE angels — so a little respect…]

"God? Yeah, we know him. Cool dude...."


Before they arrive, the house needs to be clean.  Makes sense; I mean, if the President were coming to visit, you’d clean the cat hair off the sofa, wouldn’t you?  So out came the Swiffer and Scrubbing Bubbles.

Then you set up a makeshift altar with some white flowers, and a candle that will burn the whole time they’re in residence.  I opted for one of those battery-powered ones. They look kinda tacky as they “flicker,” but if it keeps my house from going up in flames in the middle of the night, I’ll deal.  You write out 3 wishes and put them in an envelope, also set on the altar — and the last touch? An apple, which you eat after they leave.   Good thing it’s not a brownie — I would not leave THAT alone for five days.

Doesn't. Stand. A Chance.

Then, you wait. At 10:30 PM on the night they’re scheduled to arrive, you light the candle and open your front door to “welcome”  Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael and Metatron.  [Is it just me, or does “Metatron” sound like a creature from a Japanese monster movie?]  I pictured five very tall angels, tote bags in hand, checking out the digs like some old lady visiting her grandson’s girlfriend for the first time.

"When does 'Jeopardy' start?"

It DID feel like something “shifted” in the house. One of the cats ran upstairs, but he does that whenever I open the door.  I was suddenly tired and got the definite message, “Go to sleep.”  Maybe it was just because it was a little past my bedtime, but I didn’t question it.  I fell into a heavy, dreamless sleep.

For the next five days, I didn’t notice anything dramatic.  However, there seemed to be a lighter feeling to things.  I did get some “insights” out of the blue.  I was a wee bit nicer to people.  But the squirrels in my yard didn’t start talking to me or anything.

"Get me peanuts. The GOOD kind. And take the shells off...."

Once it was time for the angels to move on, I thanked them, burned the envelope with my “wishes” to release the energy to the universe, and ate the apple.  I was kinda hoping it would give me superpowers — but so far, my attempts at seeing through walls haven’t worked out.

I’m told  by others who’ve done this to keep a watchful eye for my wishes coming true, and to be aware of any little synchronicities that may occur in the coming weeks.  Fair enough.  Who am I to argue with how angels work?  I have to admit, it was fun to have a little magical ritual going on; and it was comforting to think I had my own NBA-sized protectors hanging about (and they didn’t even need to be fed).  While I partly expected miracles of the Biblical variety to occur, maybe it works on a subtler level.  Maybe being aware of the “little magic” that goes on, just out of range of our overloaded senses, is what its all about.  So I’m lowering my gaze from the heavens to my own backyard.  Thanks for the reminder, angels — and for kicking in beer money for the week.

An Angel On My Sofa

2 Comments

There’s been this thing going around on the Inter-webs, about “hosting” five of the archangels in your home.  You invite them to kick back with you for five days, before sending them on to visit 3 of your friends.  Kind of like a heavenly chain letter.  Anyway, all sorts of cool things are supposed to happen, so I figured, what the hell [oops — “heck.”  They ARE angels — so a little respect…]

"God? Yeah, we know him. Cool dude...."


Before they arrive, the house needs to be clean.  Makes sense; I mean, if the President were coming to visit, you’d clean the cat hair off the sofa, wouldn’t you?  So out came the Swiffer and Scrubbing Bubbles.

Then you set up a makeshift altar with some white flowers, and a candle that will burn the whole time they’re in residence.  I opted for one of those battery-powered ones. They look kinda tacky as they “flicker,” but if it keeps my house from going up in flames in the middle of the night, I’ll deal.  You write out 3 wishes and put them in an envelope, also set on the altar — and the last touch? An apple, which you eat after they leave.   Good thing it’s not a brownie — I would not leave THAT alone for five days.

Doesn't. Stand. A Chance.

Then, you wait. At 10:30 PM on the night they’re scheduled to arrive, you light the candle and open your front door to “welcome”  Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael and Metatron.  [Is it just me, or does “Metatron” sound like a creature from a Japanese monster movie?]  I pictured five very tall angels, tote bags in hand, checking out the digs like some old lady visiting her grandson’s girlfriend for the first time.

"When does 'Jeopardy' start?"

It DID feel like something “shifted” in the house. One of the cats ran upstairs, but he does that whenever I open the door.  I was suddenly tired and got the definite message, “Go to sleep.”  Maybe it was just because it was a little past my bedtime, but I didn’t question it.  I fell into a heavy, dreamless sleep.

For the next five days, I didn’t notice anything dramatic.  However, there seemed to be a lighter feeling to things.  I did get some “insights” out of the blue.  I was a wee bit nicer to people.  But the squirrels in my yard didn’t start talking to me or anything.

"Get me peanuts. The GOOD kind. And take the shells off...."

Once it was time for the angels to move on, I thanked them, burned the envelope with my “wishes” to release the energy to the universe, and ate the apple.  I was kinda hoping it would give me superpowers — but so far, my attempts at seeing through walls haven’t worked out.

I’m told  by others who’ve done this to keep a watchful eye for my wishes coming true, and to be aware of any little synchronicities that may occur in the coming weeks.  Fair enough.  Who am I to argue with how angels work?  I have to admit, it was fun to have a little magical ritual going on; and it was comforting to think I had my own NBA-sized protectors hanging about (and they didn’t even need to be fed).  While I partly expected miracles of the Biblical variety to occur, maybe it works on a subtler level.  Maybe being aware of the “little magic” that goes on, just out of range of our overloaded senses, is what its all about.  So I’m lowering my gaze from the heavens to my own backyard.  Thanks for the reminder, angels — and for kicking in beer money for the week.

2012 – Destination, Fabulous

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Thanks to our friends, the Mayans, there’s been a lot of talk about how 2012 will bring about the end of the world.  Jeeze…talk about a buzzkill.  Although come to think of it,  there ARE a few things that make me think there’s something to those rumors.  Like this…

One sign of the coming Apocalypse..

or this….

Her Satanic majesty…

But despite the temptation to buy into the doomsayers and fear 2012 as 12 months of fire, brimstone, and  [god help us] Kardashians, I have a different view.

It’s pretty obvious that the last two or three years have brought massive change and more than a few freaky natural disasters.   From Occupy Wall Street to crazy weather, Penn State to the Fukushima nuclear plant, the news seems to have been more “WTF?” than usual.  My clients have also been undergoing their own personal upheavals, some of them off-the-charts dramatic.  All of this is happening for a reason: we’re offloading the old ways and making way for the new.  I feel this in my bones and think this is the “end of the world” that the Mayans really meant. Change is never easy [see: “New Year’s Resolutions, Volumes 112 through 183”] so you need to expect some pushback, but its exactly that  friction that creates positive change.  So let’s use it.

While 2012 is still fresh and new, take a moment to determine what positive things you want the year to bring.  This “setting of your intention” is like programming a GPS.  If you’re driving from New York to San Diego, you’d have a general idea of how to get there as you start out.  Where — in general — do you want to get to this year?  Granted, just like in your cross-country adventure, there will be side trips, detours and stops along the way [in my case, I always stop anyplace that offers pie].

My new best friends

Of course, you’ll need to recalculate as the months go by.  But if you have an overall destination in mind, your journey will make a lot more sense.

Don’t overwhelm yourself with tons of details; check in with your heart and spirit and listen to what they’re telling you:  “Better health,”  “A great relationship,” “Financial security.”  The simple essence is all you need. Jot your intention(s) down and stick it somewhere where it can soak up your energy — maybe in a box by your nightstand, or in a book that has meaning to you.  The simple act of declaring what you really want is enough to realign the universe.  By the way, do yourself a favor:  don’t twist yourself in knots trying to figure out “how” something is going to happen — or how it “should” happen.   Unlike traditional goal-setting exercises, “intention” is a lot lighter.  It breathes.  Intention is elastic, allowing for coincidence, synchronicity and magic to creep in and bring you opportunities to act and move forward.

Remember too, that when you hit a pothole, let it serve as a reminder or a warning:  what is it telling you?  Deal with it, and keep moving.

As for me, I intend for all of us to have a wonderful, healthy and happy year.  I intend that we move forward easily on our individual paths and as  “one tribe” [shout out to the Black Eyed Peas]. I intend that this blog be a source of useful, uplifting and fun information to help you make it a great journey.

And I intend that, this time a year from now, we can all look back and do a Happy Dance.

“I haz a happy!”

Happy 2012, y’all.  Especially to the Mayans in the house.