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    The Importance of a Change in Perspective

    Sunday, February 22, 2009, 7:17 PM [General]


    One of the challenges for me both as a spiritual person and as an artist in the winter in this high Arizona desert environment we live in now is finding my inspiration. There's not as much variety in the landscape as I'm used to. When I say there's nothing but juniper trees, dead grass and an occasional tiny cactus for MILES around I'm not exaggerating.

    Except maybe a little bit. Obviously there's the occasional cow or jack rabbit or coyote. There's interesting pieces of petrified wood and things like that. But the environment is plain, simple, not nearly as exciting as the coastline at Big Sur or the garden at the UCSC Arboretum in Santa Cruz.

    Still, when it comes to subject matter, some very famous artists have never been held back. Claude Monet, for example, painted the same scene of haystacks in a field over and over, showing the change of light through the day and through the seasons, and actually made a living selling them. He was one of the few impressionist artists of his day that made a living from his art while he was still living. Lack of subject matter doesn't have to be the problem!371d36d75e05eda735858f8e467be99c



    So a few days ago I sat still for a while just looking at my environment and felt inspired to go on a personal photo shoot. Paul insisted I bring both cameras so I could use two different lenses without having to change them. It was windy and he didn't want sand getting into the camera but it turned out to be a great suggestion for another reason. I never change lenses. I'm too lazy. But because I had two very different lenses with me -- a macro (extreme close-up) and my normal wide angle -- I was able to take advantage of the extreme difference in perspective these two lenses had to offer.

    Using a macro lens in windy weather typically would not be a very good idea. In fact, it's a really BAD idea. The lens focus is so tight most macro photography is done with a tripod. It's a requirement really for the kind of work most macro photographers are known for. But all that meant is that I had to let go of the outcome and use this photo shoot simply to get out of my head and let the experience show me something new.

    For that purpose I also took advantage of another Paul Hood photography technique. Paul shoots blind. Not all the time. But once in a while, when he wants to get a very special angle on a shot that he can't get any other way, he just swings the camera out away from him, points it in the direction of his subject, and hits the shutter without looking. Bam! More often than not he gets an amazing shot. And the true joy in it is that he gets a perspective on his subject neither one of us could see enough to get. There's magic in it! Something unexpected happens and it's a lot of fun! (Thank goodness for digital photography though. You also get a lot to throw away.)



    Here on this blog is an example of how that worked for me. All three photos were taken in the exact same location. One was taken normally with me looking through the camera lens. The second was taken blind with the camera held below my waist. The third was taken the same way with the macro lens.

    The blind macro technique led to some really wonderful effects. Some of my shots wound up looking surreal, like an abstract painting. And then I found that if I used the unique perspective the blind technique showed me and then actually looked through the lens to line up my next shot on purpose... I got some really unique and creative stuff. I'm calling the series that came from this shoot "Desert Grass, Cactus Spikes and Barbed Wire."

     A change of perspective is what we all need from time to time. We can look at our lives through the eyes of despair or shift our perspective and suddenly what seemed so bleak an hour ago can look abundant with possibility and expectation. It's worth remembering... and I hope I do.

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    These photos are available as framed or unframed fine art prints or prints on canvas through my Imagekind gallery. The first two are also available on a variety of products (mugs, t-shirts, greeting cards, etc.) through Cafepress.

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    Desert Insights

    Wednesday, February 18, 2009, 2:08 PM [General]

    Sitting outside, semi-meditating, really just wanting some time to myself, I looked to my left and found myself entranced by a pretty view. Juniper trees. Nothing unusual for around here. But they were "arranged" beautifully, I thought. An artist's thought pattern if ever there was one.

    There appear to be more than one kind of juniper around here. The most common variety has multiple small trunks fanning out from the ground and grows in a bushy, round bottomed Christmas tree like form, not very tall, but VERY abundant.

    The other kind that was common to Sedona but not so much around here is tall, has a single thick trunk or a double trunk that sometimes twist around themselves as they shoot up to the sky. No Christmas tree look here but quite exotic and interesting, at least from my point of view.

    They don't always twist but there are enough of them that do that I'm beginning to think that the Sedona myth-making machine that tells people that the trees twist because of their proximity to a "vortex" has to be suspect. I'm revisiting the idea of vortexes today. I loved my experience at Cathedral Rock...but I've felt that way in nature many times before. In Vermont, other places as well. Any place with a long view and a quiet atmosphere where I've been allowed to sit long enough to relax into it and soak it up. In some places it happens faster, without any effort on my part. Cathedral Rock was definitely one of those places for me.

    But I've seen Paul do this instantly whenever he gets into a healing frame of mind. He doesn't believe a vortex is necessary for spiritual communion and well-being and neither do I. It's just rare for those of us who live (or used to live) more urban or suburban lives to get into a meditative frame without deliberately trying to meditate.

    This happens for me when when I sit quietly in nature or when I'm being an artist. I believe the mystic and the artist have a lot in common. A lot of mystics ARE artists. The act of being in the moment and being open to what it is present is so much a part of what it's all about.
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    This image is available as a framed or unframed print, on greeting cards, mugs and a wide range of other items in our Cafepress shop. 371d36d75e05eda735858f8e467be99c
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    Claiming the Future, Our Health, Our Lives

    Sunday, February 8, 2009, 11:07 PM [General]

    I haven't always been a person who claims what she wants in her life. But it occurs to me right now that there have been numerous examples where I have done so that I could share and draw inspiration from for support in my life right now. For example, I used this attitude when grabbing hold of my health.

    I went through a period of time where I had multiple food allergies, the most challenging and difficult to live with being an extreme sensitivity to wheat. I remember insisting to myself that God could not possibly have made human beings with the tendency to become allergic to the staples of their own diet. That despite what the medical and science professions might say -- this could not be a "malfunction" of the immune system. That assumption just had to be a mistake.

    I believed there had to be a logical explanation for why this happened and a way to undo it... and I intended to discover the secret and make use of it to heal myself. This wasn't a namby-pamby intent. It was a commitment, a project embarked upon with true conviction and the expectation of success. I intended to claim my health -- I believed I deserved it and was going to have it. And then I did.

    The healing centered on finding the underlying cause of the difficulty. Not trying to find a quick fix for the symptoms themselves or by trying to circumvent the supposed "malfunction of the immune system" which drug therapy is created to do. It had to do with determining the reason why the immune system was treating previously benign substances like a foreign invader and addressing that.

    The point of this article isn't to go into depth about how to heal sensitivities that develop over time. Suffice it say, however, that the functioning of the immune system in this situation is a great example of the mind/body interconnection at work: in my case, conditioned responses left over from past experiences of hurt that I reacted to in a particularly anxious fashion. Because these experiences were repeated over time my immune system, like any good Pavlov's dog, learned to associate substances usually present in my environment with these anxious feelings and went into action to keep me "safe." Once the true source of my anxious reactions was identified and appropriately addressed my immune system was freed to make a new decision. I had to consciously retrain myself to accept the foods my body previously rejected, and that takes practice, but relatively quickly my immune system behaved.

    In the case of some of my allergies one or two healing sessions was all that was required. But for some of the allergies the healing took time. There were several layers of hurt to be addressed and more than one resulting pattern that had to be unraveled. It took several months of consistent work. But the results were worth it! I now eat pretty much whatever I want.

    It occurs to me that in the multiple crisises our world currently faces -- economics, housing, healthcare, energy, food (in some parts of the world), and global climate change -- that we could certainly benefit from taking a similar approach. Forget about quick fixes and superficial circumventions. We need to allow enough time to unravel the underlying factors that have created these issues one by one, and deliberately focus our intent on true healing that will support the world as a whole over the long haul.
    371d36d75e05eda735858f8e467be99cThe healing centered on finding the underlying cause of the difficulty. Not trying to find a quick fix for the symptoms themselves or by trying to circumvent the supposed "malfunction of the immune system" which drug therapy is created to do. It had to do with determining the reason why the immune system was treating previously benign substances like a foreign invader and addressing that.

    The point of this article isn't to go into depth about how to heal sensitivities that develop over time. Suffice it say, however, that the functioning of the immune system in this situation is a great example of the mind/body interconnection at work: in my case, conditioned responses left over from past experiences of hurt that I reacted to in a particularly anxious fashion. Because these experiences were repeated over time my immune system, like any good Pavlov's dog, learned to associate substances usually present in my environment with these anxious feelings and went into action to keep me "safe." Once the true source of my anxious reactions was identified and appropriately addressed my immune system was freed to make a new decision. I had to consciously retrain myself to accept the foods my body previously rejected, and that takes practice, but relatively quickly my immune system behaved.

    In the case of some of my allergies one or two healing sessions was all that was required. But for some of the allergies the healing took time. There were several layers of hurt to be addressed and more than one resulting pattern that had to be unraveled. It took several months of consistent work. But the results were worth it! I now eat pretty much whatever I want.

    It occurs to me that in the multiple crisises our world currently faces -- economics, housing, healthcare, energy, food (in some parts of the world), and global climate change -- that we could certainly benefit from taking a similar approach. Forget about quick fixes and superficial circumventions. We need to allow enough time to unravel the underlying factors that have created these issues one by one, and deliberately focus our intent on true healing that will support the world as a whole over the long haul.
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    Claiming the Change

    Friday, February 6, 2009, 1:48 PM [General]

    Everything changes. That's a Buddhist tenet I've never felt very good about. Change isn't a favorite thing of mine to negotiate. But lately change is what we all need, what the present administration was elected to provide, and what many of us may be pinning all our hopes and dreams upon.

    Yesterday I was walking with Paul down one of the country roads close to our house. It's quiet here. Paul wrote about the natural quieting down this creates in our lives and how it helps one look at the contents of one's thoughts in a recent blog and newsletter article. I got a great illustration of how that works in my own life while on this walk.

    At first I enjoyed the scenery, the pleasant weather, and my optimistic point of view. "How nice it is to walk out here." I thought. But then I had another, more insidious thought process come in.

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    "Oh, it's nice enough now. But what if this is where you had to stay forever? What if you and Paul never get out of this 'situation'? How would you feel about this landscape then? Wouldn't it be boring to do this day in and day out?"

    I immediately felt frightened, desperate, and almost completely miserable... and then caught myself. "Look at what happened here!" I thought. I went from happy and content to miserably discontent within the shortest time imaginable... and NOTHING had changed except my point of view. My rogue thoughts had almost ruined my day but I decided to choose another way.

    I experimented with other thoughts: "Maybe we'll love it here and want to stay. Maybe we'll go. Everything changes. Why would I think this couldn't change, too? Maybe, I won't even want it to!"

    Forever is a limiting point of view. The present moment always contains the seed of change. Paul warns me that trying to predict the future, or worrying about it based on false predictions my fear-based mindset would try to create, is a foolish thing to do.

    The best way to predict the future is to claim it. "Claim it" is the phrase my guidance insisted on when I was writing this sentence. I had planned to say "create it" but that isn't good enough. We need to insist on what we want to create. To intend it so firmly we believe it is our birthright. To recognize it as something we ought to be able to have for ourselves. To claim it means "This is mine. this belongs to me and I deserve to have it!"

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    The "Perfect" Teacher

    Wednesday, February 4, 2009, 7:41 PM [General]

    Paul and I have joined his mother watching a film on satellite TV about Khyentse Norbu, a well-known Tibeten Buddhist Rinpoche who has made a couple of feature films (The Cup and Travellers and Magicians), likes to wear a snappy fedora-style hat along with his Tibetan robes, and has a reputation of being a bit of a trickster to his students. We're getting a great kick out it because his students want so much to either venerate him as an omnicient special being or show him to be a regular man...and he keeps defying their expectations at every turn.

    We see this phenomena in our practice occassionally and in the email we receive from time to time. People want so much to believe in someone they think is better than them and, on the other hand, want so badly to tear down people who they have perceived in this way -- to bring them down a peg, show them to be "fake", whatever it is that will help them recover from the mistake of putting themselves down in the presence of a teacher in the first place.

    Luckily our experiences with this are rare. I feel badly for people like the Dalai Lama who wind up having to deflect this kind of guru worship all the time and horrified by people who deliberately want to court that kind of adoration.

    The name of the film we're watching is Words of My Perfect Teacher. I highly recommend it.
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    Our Latest Spiritual Counseling and Healing Newsletter

    Monday, February 2, 2009, 6:28 PM [General]

    Hello Everyone,

    Happy Super Bowl Sunday for those of you who participate. Our good news is we got satellite internet! Those of you still living close to civilization have no idea what being without that wireless fix is like.

    We've had an interesting month, traveling to Sedona and then back again to the high desert, and living in a new and very different place than we lived in before. A lot of us are traveling to unfamiliar places , metaphorically at least. The whole world is experiencing the impact of the economic challenges we face right now, hard choices are being made, but we needed these challenges to fix much more deep seated issues facing our world as a whole. We'll be sharing our insights on the path we're on today and on our blogs (as usual).

    In our sessions we're seeing this time as a period of great potential. A turning point and period of tremendous inner and outer growth. If we can support you in the process in anyway, please give us a call.

    Our newsletter offering this month is by Paul. And for those of wanting to see more pictures and learn more about Sedona, life in the desert, etc. there are plenty of links offered below.

    Love,
    Sheryl and Paul

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    OUT HERE
    by Paul Hood

    We're small out here. In the middle of the Arizona big sky, awash in a sea of Juniper trees and red sand, it becomes easy to appreciate the privacy, solitude and the astounding vastness of the stars.

    What one is most confronted with here is the self. What were our notions about our own identity, about our likes and dislikes, our possible futures and our inevitable passing into history? By nature we are soft and compliant, we change and adapt and at times it's easy to feel lost. But it's just as easy to understand that the very concepts of lost and found are just constructions of our own thoughts, and that we therefore are not threatened by anything but that which we have ourselves built out of words and feelings. Out here it is quiet. Out here it is plain.

    On our walks we step over thousands of rocks and pebbles, fallen wood so old that it has become stone with ice- shattered edges pink as flesh. The earth is the color of rusted iron and the country roads stretch out to the horizon. We get to know the Ravens by sight. The cottontails, giant jack rabbits and small birds with wings which hum like a cat's purr take stock of us and move on.

    Out here it is quiet. Out here it is plain.


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    MORE SHARING FROM THE PATH WE'RE ON

    Desert Light
    Petrified Wood
    A Woman and Her Cat

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    PHOTOS AND INSIGHTS FROM OUR TRIP TO SEDONA

    Contrasts
    Healing in Progress - Boynton Canyon Trail
    "What's a Vortex?" - Cathedral Rock
    Crescent Moon Ranch

    --------------------

    SESSIONS BY TELEPHONE

    We're booking sessions at least 48 hours in advance right now. We call you after the appointment is made so there's no long distance charge.

    Sessions cost $100 an hour, $150 for an hour and a half, or 5 1-hour sessions for $400

    --------------------

    MAMA LOVE IS NOW IN LAKE WORTH FLORIDA

    Click here to find out more.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    THANKS FOR ALL YOUR REFERRALS!
    Simplest way to tell people about us? Forward this email with a note saying you like us. It's easy!

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Interested in a session? Send us an email  or visit our website at http://www.healingcommunication.com to find out more.
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    The Solstice Evergreen

    Tuesday, December 16, 2008, 3:06 PM [General]

    Years ago when this book came out it was labeled "the definitive book" on the origin of the Christmas Tree...yet for a long time now, every year at this time of year, I forget to promote it!

    I guess I feel like I've moved on to many other interests... but it's certainly still relevant.

    I've always had a fascination with the spiritual significance of plants and trees (and everything else). The research I did for this book pretty much cemented that curiosity for life. The more I found out, the more I wanted to know. At the time I wrote this book I knew nothing about the healing significance of evergreen plants. Now the healing and spiritual uses of flowering plants are a big part of what I do as a flower essence practitioner and healing perfume designer. Many evergreen plants are associated with Christmas -- I use several of them in my Peace and Goodwill perfume.

    I just unpacked my Solstice Evergreen books and, if you act soon, I can autograph them and send them out in time for you to receive one in time for Christmas. Here's an excerpt from the introduction I hope you find interesting and here's a link to one of my favorite stories (also from the book).

    FYI: The book features my artwork on the cover. On request, I'll infuse it with Reiki for you or the intended recipient at no extra charge. :-) 371d36d75e05eda735858f8e467be99c
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    Don't Throw Us in the Briar Patch!

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008, 1:12 PM [General]

    Paul and I are off to his mother's house in the middle of the Arizona desert. It was sweet of her to invite us -- it's been a long-standing invitation -- but we've been resisting this solution with all our might. But today we're thinking better thoughts about it. The well-wishes and positive suggestions from Beliefnet members have been a big help!

    When it comes to getting out of a no-win sticky situation, sometimes the best solution is the one that appears to be the worst. Since the rabbit is a symbol of prosperity for me I thought I'd post this story as an example of what we're thinking about our current move to Arizona now. We're actually looking forward to the new opportunities this move would bring. If Paul's mother wasn't going to be out of town until Dec 1 or 2nd we'd be on our way sooner.

    The following story is used with permission of S.E. Schlosser and AmericanFolklore.net. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

     

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    Brer Rabbit meets a Tar Baby
    retold by
    S. E. Schlosser

    Well now, that rascal Brer Fox hated Brer Rabbit on account of he was always cutting capers and bossing everyone around. So Brer Fox decided to capture and kill Brer Rabbit if it was the last thing he ever did! He thought and he thought until he came up with a plan. He would make a tar baby! Brer Fox went and got some tar and he mixed it with some turpentine and he sculpted it into the figure of a cute little baby. Then he stuck a hat on the Tar Baby and sat her in the middle of the road.

    Brer Fox hid himself in the bushes near the road and he waited and waited for Brer Rabbit to come along. At long last, he heard someone whistling and chuckling to himself, and he knew that Brer Rabbit was coming up over the hill. As he reached the top, Brer Rabbit spotted the cute little Tar Baby. Brer Rabbit was surprised. He stopped and stared at this strange creature. He had never seen anything like it before!

    "Good Morning," said Brer Rabbit, doffing his hat. "Nice weather we're having."

    The Tar Baby said nothing. Brer Fox laid low and grinned an evil grin.

    Brer Rabbit tried again. "And how are you feeling this fine day?" The Tar Baby, she said nothing. Brer Fox grinned an evil grin and lay low in the bushes.

    Brer Rabbit frowned. This strange creature was not very polite. It was beginning to make him mad.

    "Ahem!" said Brer Rabbit loudly, wondering if the Tar Baby were deaf. "I said 'HOW ARE YOU THIS MORNING?"

    The Tar Baby said nothing. Brer Fox curled up into a ball to hide his laugher. His plan was working perfectly!

    "Are you deaf or just rude?" demanded Brer Rabbit, losing his temper. "I can't stand folks that are stuck up! You take off that hat and say 'Howdy-do' or I'm going to give you such a lickin'!"

    The Tar Baby just sat in the middle of the road looking as cute as a button and saying nothing at all. Brer Fox rolled over and over under the bushes, fit to bust because he didn't dare laugh out loud.

    "I'll learn ya!" Brer Rabbit yelled. He took a swing at the cute little Tar Baby and his paw got stuck in the tar.

    "Lemme go or I'll hit you again," shouted Brer Rabbit. The Tar Baby, she said nothing.

    "Fine! Be that way," said Brer Rabbit, swinging at the Tar Baby with his free paw. Now both his paws were stuck in the tar, and Brer Fox danced with glee behind the bushes.

    "I'm gonna kick the stuffin' out of you," Brer Rabbit said and pounced on the Tar Baby with both feet. They sank deep into the Tar Baby. Brer Rabbit was so furious he head-butted the cute little creature until he was completely covered with tar and unable to move.

    Brer Fox leapt out of the bushes and strolled over to Brer Rabbit. "Well, well, what have we here?" he asked, grinning an evil grin.

    Brer Rabbit gulped. He was stuck fast. He did some fast thinking while Brer Fox rolled about on the road, laughing himself sick over Brer Rabbit's dilemma.

    "I've got you this time, Brer Rabbit," said Brer Fox, jumping up and shaking off the dust. "You've sassed me for the very last time. Now I wonder what I should do with you?"

    Brer Rabbit's eyes got very large. "Oh please Brer Fox, whatever you do, please don't throw me into the briar patch."

    "Maybe I should roast you over a fire and eat you," mused Brer Fox. "No, that's too much trouble. Maybe I'll hang you instead."

    "Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please," said Brer Rabbit. "Only please, Brer Fox, please don't throw me into the briar patch."

    "If I'm going to hang you, I'll need some string," said Brer Fox. "And I don't have any string handy. But the stream's not far away, so maybe I'll drown you instead."

    "Drown me! Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please," said Brer Rabbit. "Only please, Brer Fox, please don't throw me into the briar patch."

    "The briar patch, eh?" said Brer Fox. "What a wonderful idea! You'll be torn into little pieces!"

    Grabbing up the tar-covered rabbit, Brer Fox swung him around and around and then flung him head over heels into the briar patch. Brer Rabbit let out such a scream as he fell that all of Brer Fox's fur stood straight up. Brer Rabbit fell into the briar bushes with a crash and a mighty thump. Then there was silence.

    Brer Fox cocked one ear toward the briar patch, listening for whimpers of pain. But he heard nothing. Brer Fox cocked the other ear toward the briar patch, listening for Brer Rabbit's death rattle. He heard nothing.

    Then Brer Fox heard someone calling his name. He turned around and looked up the hill. Brer Rabbit was sitting on a log combing the tar out of his fur with a wood chip and looking smug.

    "I was bred and born in the briar patch, Brer Fox," he called. "Born and bred in the briar patch."

    And Brer Rabbit skipped away as merry as a cricket while Brer Fox ground his teeth in rage and went home.

    You can read more Georgia folktales in Spooky South by S.E. Schlosser.
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    Spiritual Counseling Team on the Move

    Friday, November 14, 2008, 11:45 AM [General]

    Paul here: This month Sheryl and I are putting out a vision, our vision. We're required to move from our home and home office very soon and have been seeking a new situation with a lot of the same good stuff but more and better, too.

    We do firmly believe that when one door closes another one opens. Sometimes we squeal about it, sometimes not. As Sheryl and I have discussed numerous times, we'd like more face time with clients and potential clients. Anytime we bring it up, visions of a spiritual retreat center, with a gift shop, maybe a cafe come up. Or sometimes it's simply a spiritual bookstore with a private room for counseling and healing. Sometimes Sheryl and I envision a very similar space to what we have now: more residential in appearance, and maybe we do live in the back, or off to the side, but the front structure is definitely business: it's a storefront with proper signage and in a good location for doing business.

    As many of you know we are engaged in multiple business interests. In addition to our joint healing and counseling practice, Sheryl is an artist, a non-fiction author, and sole owner /proprietor of Mama Love Products which is a line of healing body care products. She manufactures and sells the whole line herself to both wholesale and retail markets. Sheryl is also primary web-designer and marketer for much of what we do.

    I am an author of fiction / creative non-fiction, and an accomplished photographer. It's not hard at all for us to imagine a single venue stocked with our art and photography (cards and prints) our books, articles and stories, body products and other gift items, a treatment room and even a small photographic portrait studio. Of course, there'd be a website too. Oh, and surprise! Sheryl sees a bed and breakfast as playing a possible part in all this.

    Many parts of this are already a part of our lives—it would be easy to transfer many of these skills and abilities to a creative collaboration —but we have not yet found the physical space, the partners and financial backing, at least not yet.

    Our fantasy is that someone on our list knows someone who needs our help in their metaphysical bookshop / bed & breakfast / retreat center or the equivalent. And that they’d love to have a special spiritual counseling and healing team join their staff. Since housing is also one of our primary concerns various possibilities in regards to compensation might be worked out.

     We're commited to personal empowerment, transformation and spiritual development and intend to bring our work to a location where we can become part of a healing community. If you have any leads to offer please send us an email through this site or visit our website at http://www.healingcommunication.com or give us a call at 831 325-4076.

    Thank you!

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    In What Way Do You Keep Yourself In the Closet?

    Saturday, November 8, 2008, 1:25 PM [General]

    I have a new video up on my profile today and also on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVXVqm7OVP4 . It's called "The Importance of Being Yourself" and it's about my "coming out" as a person with psychic abilities after trying very hard to have a much more conventional life before and why I did that. I have to admit to feeling uncomfortable with the amount of emotion I express in it. While I knew these issues are things that play in the background for me a fair bit of the time, I honestly had no idea it's been in my way to the extent that I've noticed it lately.

    Paul doesn't struggle with being himself the way I do. He seems to think it's because he was a pretty popular kid growing up and has never identified much with being a member of an oppressed group. I was brought up Jewish; he wasn't. I heard the phrase "what will the neighbors think if..." used as the reason me or my brother and sisters should not behave in various ways on a regular basis. Paul's mom actually went to bat for him in school and defended his right to be who he was. He has an aura of confidence about himself I dream of for myself.

    What would the world be like if we all felt safe enough to be who we are?

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