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BEING of Service

Most of my life, I’ve felt an innate desire to be of service. I think that’s a good thing. In recent months, however, I’ve been deeply reflecting on what that even means. How do I balance that driving desire to share, to contribute, to accomplish, to do, with an equally or perhaps even deeper need to simply be? To just stop! And be. To live my life with a constant, underlying sense of ease, contentment and joy? In examining all this, I had to admit that joy, contentment and ease were definitely not the three best descriptors of my current inner landscape. How about you? Are these qualities — joy, contentment, ease — ones you experience on a daily basis? Or would “time-pressured, stressed, overwhelmed” be more accurate? And is there really a solution, or is the world just so out of balance that the most we can hope for is to just try to keep our heads above water? Despite the breadth and depth of the challenges we all face — personally and collectively — I wholeheartedly maintain there are solutions! Within easy reach. I was talking with a dear friend the other day, and made some comment about her being of service in the world. She replied with great emotion, “I’m tired of being of service!” Ironically, when we speak of “being of service,” we’re usually referring to an act of doing. And no matter how loving or noble the intention, when the “doing” of our service is out of balance with our even deeper physiological and psycho-spiritual need to just simply be — to rest, renew,...

Bringing It Home – Healing from Senseless Tragedies

Today, I came across this photo that I took a few years ago while traveling. It brought tears to my eyes. As I gazed upon the image of this deity, I felt a wave of profound compassion move through me like a soothing balm. Like millions of others, I have been feeling the aftershocks of the Orlando shootings. My heart is full of sadness, grief, overwhelm, as well as deep empathy and a desire — no, a need — to help, somehow. My human mind and heart barely know what to do with something like this. How can one human being DO that to other human beings? I remember the first time I was old enough to comprehend what war was. I was aghast and perplexed. Even as a child, I wondered, incredulously, “How could anyone think shooting each other could possibly solve anything?” I still wonder. As an adult, I know now that we are, indeed, all One, and that just as we all breathe the same air, we are connected in energetic ways, in Spirit, if you will, that science is finally able to prove on a quantum level. And yet, in instances like this, it doesn’t matter if we don’t understand HOW we’re connected. Many of us simply experience, in our hearts, that we ARE. Perhaps we experience this connection a little more deeply than ever before. Consciously or subconsciously, each of us is affected by what happens to any and all other members of our collective human being-ness. I’ve witnessed the Orlando incident’s emotional aftermath manifest in various ways in those around me, from expressions of rage, anger,...

Does Believing Make It So?

As a cancer survivor myself, I greatly admire people like Jan Adrian who live with cancer on a day-to-day basis, continually making courageous choices in their personal lives while making significant contributions to the lives of many others. I first met Jan at one of her wonderful Cancer as a Turning Point conferences — one of, if not the most, inspiring and informative of the many cancer-related events I’ve come across. In the years immediately following my own bout with cancer, I ended up working with many cancer patients in my private practice; I was always on the lookout for organizations and offerings that I felt aligned with so I could pass them along to my clients. Jan’s company, Healing Journeys, was top on the list. It was only later that I learned Jan had used my cancer-related CDs as part of her personal healing arsenal. We communicated several times about how to combine our efforts in reaching people in need with positive, life-affirming approaches. More recently, Jan revealed to me the very encouraging results from her latest blood tests and her appreciation of a new book by Dr. Joe Dispenza, a researcher on self-healing for chronic conditions and terminal diseases. I was unfamiliar with the book, but was excited to learn Dr. Joe speaks of the same concepts that are the foundation of my CDs and all my work (okay, my life!); for example, imagining and feeling deep gratitude for a desired outcome, as if it’s already so. Jan’s most recent blog post touches upon her encouraging medical findings as well as Dr. Joe’s book, and how these...

Can Sound Really Heal The Planet?

I’ve been studying and practicing the fascinating art and science of sound healing for many years now. Tom Kenyon and Jonathan Goldman are two of the leading pioneers in sound healing, and I’m fortunate to have studied with both of them. Tom’s recent documentary, Song of the New Earth, is an exquisite journey into the realm of sound healing, and gives some insight into the background of this extraordinary individual. It’s quite inspiring — and a bit mind-blowing! Jonathan Goldman is the initiator of one of the largest organized global events, now in its fourteenth year, designed to utilize the power of sound to heal the planet. He dubbed it World Sound Healing Day, which appropriately annually falls on February 14, a day traditionally devoted to love. I’ve been presenting sound healing events in conjunction with this global event for over a decade. Here’s why this sort of thing is so powerful: Quantum physicists are now proving what the ancient mystics knew: That everything — everything — is vibration. Jonathan explains it like this: “Our quantum physicists are echoing the words of the mystic masters of old, declaring that: ‘The universe is Music’ or ‘Everything is vibration.’ Sound, we are re-discovering, is an extraordinarily powerful force that can literally change molecular structure and affect us down to our DNA. Sound can also affect our consciousness, shifting and changing our brainwaves, bringing us into attunement with something greater than ourselves and often times, altering and enhancing our state of being.” Jonathan goes on to explain how the power of our individual consciousness — when focused through group prayers or meditation — is vast....

Care for the Caregivers — The Renewing Power of Love

I recently spent a powerful afternoon with a team of powerful women — staff members and team leaders of the new LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program. They had just “graduated” their first class members, which was the launch of a whole new and ever-so-important program to support cancer survivors in their ongoing body/mind/spirit healing. As a cancer survivor myself, and having worked with many, many clients (and friends and family members) as they navigated their cancer healing journeys, I have come to learn how essential it is to have support during the oft-neglected re-entry phase. So often, those dealing with the cancer experience receive overwhelming support during the initial phases of diagnosis shock and treatment, but once declared “done” or “in remission,” these same folks are often left feeling as if the party’s over and everyone’s gone home… and the “hosts” are left standing alone and exhausted in the midst of a messy aftermath, which is now theirs alone to deal with. To complicate things further, the person standing there most often has a very shaky sense of who they even are anymore! You don’t go through a life-threatening illness without coming out a changed person. This is a huge aspect of the healing journey that I feel often goes unnoticed, and therefore, for the most part, remains largely unsupported. So hooray for programs like the nationwide LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program! Having support to get your physical body back in shape is extremely helpful. But more than that, having a chance to come together with others who’ve just been through a similar experience is invaluable. In the course of...

On BURNOUT, BALANCE and the BLESSING of COMPASSION

Between Christmas and New Year’s, my husband and I worked many long, hard hours catching up on months of business bookkeeping that had piled up during busy months of travel and performances. Then we spent two and half days in silence, followed by two more days unplugged on a couple’s retreat here at our own lovely Healing Sanctuary. Cozy fires, hot tub soaks, time to talk and connect and look at the Bigger Picture (including both our individual and combined goals and intentions) — all wonderfully renewing. We even did a 10-day cleanse fast. By Monday, January 4, we emerged, ready to greet the new year! I told myself, “That was great! Now I’m recharged and ready to go, ready to tackle the many piles and projects with a renewed sense of ease and enthusiasm.” Trouble was, there was a much deeper, much louder inner voice screaming, “I’m not ready yet! I need a real break!” Two days later, I got my break — both bones, in my left wrist — when I fell on the ice on our front steps. COCOONING (SORT OF) That was January 6. Nine days later, I had non-anesthetized surgery and joined the ever-growing ranks of bionic humans, fortified by strategically placed titanium plates and screws. (See previous blog post for that story.) Now, approximately eight weeks post-surgery, I am just barely beginning to feel like I’m emerging from a very necessary sort of “cocooning” phase in which I’ve been immersed. By all outer appearances, it may not seem like I’ve been in a very insular cocoon. During that time, I’ve shown up at a variety of...

A Taste of My Own Medicine

The second week of January, I slipped on the ice outside my home. I broke my wrist during my fall, requiring surgery. Every step of a journey teaches you something, and this experience was no different. Using the techniques I employ when working with others, I gained a fresh appreciation for just how powerful these natural healing approaches are, and how ANY situation can be reframed to become a very positive experience. So, I present to you… my Left Wrist Surgery Saga (originally composed by dictation – one-handed typing is really slow!). 8:40 a.m. Wednesday — my initial appointment with orthopedic surgeon Heather Campion at Slocum Center for Orthopedics & Sports Medicine She confirms I do indeed need surgery. My wrist is 30 degrees off the angle it’s supposed to be. After much rearranging, I finally get surgery scheduled, and my next day and a half is consumed with all sorts of loose ends. (Isn’t it amazing, what it takes for most of us to just take a few days off?!). Finally, ducks in a row, I did a brief crystal singing bowls meditation and toning session, setting intentions and preparing myself for the deep, restful sleep that followed, despite moderate discomfort in my arm. Just before sleep, I also chose a “Rainbow Warriors” card (created by Trinity Harris and Mara Berendt) for the next day. I drew Number 17: Grace. 12:15 p.m. Friday –- Surgery Day! Grace. That was indeed the theme of the day. My check-in time was 12:15 p.m. I got there in plenty of time, did all the usual vitals stuff, changed into the rather...

The Grandness of Being – Part Two

Speaking of definitions… (as I was in Part One of this blog post) One of the reasons I enjoy acting is that it affords an opportunity to step outside our normal self-definitions, wipe the slate clean, as it were, and create our character description from scratch.  (Or, in the case of a scripted play, from the playwright’s notes!) But on the stage of Real Life, what a process, to look at our own character descriptions and realize that we really are the author of our self-defining “rules to live by!”  We constantly tell ourselves who we are, what we can and can’t do, what our history (or in acting terms, our “back-story”) is. All true, on one level.  All total illusion, on another. As the Bard (Wm Shakespeare) infamously put it, “All the world’s a stage…”   Indeed. And we are merely players. So why not choose roles, and self-definitions that bring us a sense of joy, fulfillment and expansiveness of Being?  For perhaps those outdated character descriptions we’ve been allowing to determine our lives – all those “this is just the way I am”  or “just who I am” thoughts and behaviors – are not etched in stone, but rather penned with erasable ink. Perhaps it’s time to take stock of what self-definitions are conducive to our highest good, and which are not.  I’ll bet any of us, if we were to reflect for but a moment, could come up with at least one or two things we repeatedly tell ourselves about ourselves that are ridiculously outdated and needlessly limiting.   (Care to reflect on that for a moment? I’ll wait…!) In...

The Grandness of Being – Part One

I was in the foyer of our local credit union one day a number of years ago, when a woman stopped me to say she’d enjoyed my performances in several shows over the years.  She then said, “But I haven’t seen you onstage in awhile – how come?”   I replied that I also work in the healing arts and that that work had been keeping me very busy, etc.  She put her hand on my arm, looked directly into my eyes and said, “Theater is healing, too.  Get back on the boards. We need you.” We seldom know how deeply our words may have touched someone.  Hers certainly did me.  So, lovely woman, whoever and wherever you are, my heartfelt thanks. For much of my adult life up to that point, I had struggled to come to terms with the considerable amount of time and energy I’d been putting into the performing arts realms. Performing – especially acting – sometimes seemed…..self-indulgent, a less than altruistic use of time and energy.   A little family-of-origin background is called for here: I deeply love and respect my late father. He was an incredible man, and a very loving, giving father.  And, as a research engineer, he considered the human intellect the end-all and be-all. Thus, he derived great satisfaction – and a sense of safety – from measuring everything against the gold standard of Rational Thought. As absolute as Descartes’ “I think therefore I am,” in our family the edict by which the worth and validity of everything (and everyone) was judged was “It is rational or it is not.” Thus, actors were judged, consistently if not overtly, to be at best narcissistic,...

The Language of the Heart

I’ve been in a very active cycle of life, as is evidenced by my lack of written communication – I’ve been too busy doing it to write about it! It’s been a wonderful time of Self ex-pression – bringing into being, in the outer world, things that deeply matter to me – both in the healing arts and the performing arts realms. And, most delightedly, experiencing the overlap and interconnectedness of the two! In the past year or two, I’ve had many wonderful opportunities for artistic expression, growth, and just plain fun in the theatrical world. Most recently, I assistant-directed and played a role in Julio Cho’s The Language Archive. One of its central themes is that, despite our facility with languages, ultimately we can only express what is truly in our heart.  The character I played, Alta, is from a fictitious country whose language, Elloway, is described as the language of the heart. She and her husband, Resten, explain that when they are angry with each other, they argue in English, because their language is too sacred for this kind of angry talk. Later, Alta explains that if you say something in Elloway, you can never take it back. But say something in English, and everyone knows you don’t really mean it. Say it in English, and you can always take it back. (The laughter that these lines elicited every night is a sure indicator that it struck a note of truth in most audience members!) Certainly is food for thought! Each character in this well-crafted play is very well written, and has a great deal of wisdom to share....