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Charming Confidence

I remember a moment where I was utterly taken, delighted to the point of bursting into rhythmic patter. It was a bright, hot day in July and I had an experience of transcendent charm.

I’m not shy; I’m a conversation starter. I was speaking with a young boy in a park. Another boy, about eight years old, or so, heard me speaking, and the cadence of my speech caught his imagination. He repeated what I said, I think to savour what he heard, the way some people repeat a good punch line to themselves. And he did it playfully, not mockingly.

Read entire article by Sophia Zoe published in Pavarti Magazine here.

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We Are Here to Experience Everything

Whenever I’ve had intense emotions and sensations, I have felt alive. Most are obvious events at the extremes of the human experience spectrum: falling in love, reaching a goal, nearly being killed in a collision, a surprise betrayal. Juices flow, the cells are excited, the heart opens wide or contracts tightly, a prayer or a curse is uttered, and a sharp sense of aliveness is felt.

People often say “pinch me” when something unbelievable happens. The pinch they crave is a physical sensation to let them know they are awake and alive. One very easy way for me to connect to the cosmos is to take off my sunglasses. Yes, I feel the sun’s sting, and I might squint and my eyes tear… and I don’t mind for a few minutes because I feel alive. I also let myself get a little sunburnt. I want to know that I’ve been sun-kissed. My hot skin makes me feel connected to the entire galaxy.

Read entire article by Sophia Zoe published in Parvati Magazine here.

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Weathering A Storm

Weathering a storm – geological or emotional – takes planning, preparation, courage, assistance and energy.

The reason for so much stress is unpreparedness. Many people interpret the storms they experience as an assault on their lives. The one lesson that is not emphasized enough is the fact that change is constant. It’s not occasional. It’s constant. Knowing that, and being prepared for it makes it easier to deal with, so there isn’t another crisis situation before you’ve managed the last one. Being prepared often means incorporating buffer time between projects or events. Recuperation time. Processing time.  Down time. This way, when that unexpected storm arises, Sheer Panic doesn’t have to be your operating mode.

Being organized is an excellent preparation tool. Have a place for everything. De-clutter. Run your household like a business about to be audited. Make it easy for yourself and others, so problems can be solved quickly. The storm of losing your passport can be calmed by calling your housesitter and saying “In the grey filing cabinet, top drawer, in the file marked I.D., there’s a  photocopy of my passport. Please fax it to the embassy.”   Imagine the chaos of the alternative.

It takes effort to get to that level of organization and calmness.  Having internal storms brewing prevents you from being your best self. Always battling with issues from the past will taint your future and rob you of your present. It’s imperative to heal the storms of childhood. It’s the best way to come into your mature self. The integration of all your fractured parts, the healing of trauma and connecting to your spirit will make the storms of Earth life much more manageable.

Having help with your healing is ideal. Professional assistance will get you farther, faster. An ally or guide through troubling memories will motivate you to continue the work. You can borrow courage until you find your own. With many forms of energy healing, you don’t even have to recount the trauma. The emotional charge is neutralized, so that the memory of the situation becomes one of many biographical facts, but not a filter through which you see the world or by which you operate.

Changing the energy of past traumatic events is crucial to all aspects of your well-being. This way, the storms you face won’t blow you over and disable your power. You’ll be able to stand in your truth, see with clarity and act with wisdom.

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Out On A L.I.M. – Days 21 – 28: Plain Ketchup

What have I done for over a week? I’ve been plain ketchup -or playing catch-up. Yes, that actually struck me as funny, in my spent state.  With everything I’ve added onto my Life Improvement Mission, I had to make choices of omission. Namely, I had time to either blog or exercise. I chose to exercise because that will improve my life more. So I’ve kept up with sweating for at least ten minutes a day. I’ve missed only a couple of days of my 28 so far. I’m okay with that. It’s so much better than the 28 days prior to these ones.

I’ve also had clients, friends and relatives in the hospital. I’ve been like a rat in a maze, going around endlessly confusing hospital wards, trying to find my intended Therapeutic Touch recipient. The challenges of treating someone in a noisy environment, with awkward I.V.s and many interruptions are very sobering. The seriousness of my healing work always strikes me hardest in the hospital. It’s stark, institutional, impersonal, life-or-death in the hospital. The spa-like accoutrement of how healing work can be done are missing. It’s not all ambient music, proper feng shui and nature pictures on the wall like my wellness centre offices have been.

Luckily, I’ve been treating people in hospital since my very first year of offering energy healing. I had made many a trip to Hamilton’s Henderson Hospital (for cancer patients) as a newbie. It helped to develop me into a practitioner who takes her work very seriously. And, I can focus no matter what’s going on around me.

Focusing usually means ignoring the non-essential. These last nine days have required more focus on pro-active tasks, educating new clients who are completely new to energy healing and making those hospital visits. This took me away from blogging. But I had to give a quick update tonight because people were asking.

I am quite pleased with my progress on this mission. My choices of change have been maintained so far. I’ve cleared some clutter, I have only eaten out four times, I’ve gotten to bed before midnight most nights, I’ve lost 23 pounds, I’m properly hydrated, I’ve got some leads on office and workshop space and I’ve been honest and specific in my answers to people – no little white lies for the sake of an easier conversation. I still have to find comfortable sexy shoes. And a few other things, but it’s not their time yet.

I’d love to know if any readers have been inspired to make improvements to their own lives. Go ahead and comment on the blog or e-mail me directly.  You might inspire me!

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Out On A L.I.M. – Day 20: Climb The Bell Tower

As previously mentioned, I joined a choir called The Velvet Curtain Singers. We rehearse at Metropolitan United Church, in downtown Toronto.  One of our members is the carillonneur at the church. He’s the one who plays the carillon – the church bells. He kindly offered to give a tour and demo of the carillon last night. I had heard that it’s not an easy tour. The staircase is killer and claustrophobia-inducing. I almost declined, given my weak knees, and displeasure of tight places.  Then I remembered that part of my Life Improvement Mission is to have new experiences. I had to do it.

What an experience! The history of the church is impressive enough. Add the carillon – the first one in Canada, installed in 1922 – and it’s an adventure. (There are only eleven carillons in Canada right now.) By the church’s main entrance, there is a narrow door that opens to a very narrow spiral staircase.  It’s tight and the steps are spaced a little too far apart, making the ascent a real workout for the legs. The steps are small triangles coming off a supporting wooden pole. The first 50 steps up took us to the rehearsal carillon. Further up, we stopped to gaze across the length of the steeple, above the sanctuary. It felt illicit to see the secret parts of the church, accessed by the secret staircase. Up another 50 spiral steps, and two regular flights of stairs, dizzy and breathless, we landed at the carillon “keyboard” that sounds the bells.

Our guide, Gerald, played us an exciting piece. It was 10:00 pm. I’m sure everyone within the two-block hearing range was wondering what the occasion was. Prior to this, I’d never given any thought to how a carillon was played. It’s not the Tarzan-style rope-swinging you may have seen altar boys do in movies. A carillon’s bells are stationary. A clapper strikes them. The clappers are activated by the keyboard-like instrument beneath them. It’s set up as the black and white keys on a piano, but they are large wooden batons that are played by hitting them with the bottom of the fist. When Gerald played, it looked absolutely violent. The large bells are activated by the foot pedals, so he looked like he was dancing and punching at the same time. Then he invited us to play. I made up a tune and was pleased as punched to hear it ring through the night.

As if this weren’t thrilling enough, Gerald then opened a trap door in the ceiling and invited us up a steep ladder, onto the roof, at the level of the bells. I’m not so good with heights. I declined. But when I heard everyone else’s elated reactions, I decided to go for it; I didn’t want to miss out. With a bit of help and encouragement, I climbed up and saw the 54 bells suspended in the sky. The view from the tower was terrific. It was a rainy night, and everything seemed mystical.

The descent down the stairway to heaven took longer than the climb up. Climbing stairs is done on the toes, but going down requires heels to be stable. With the steps being smaller than my feet, I only felt secure doing down like an 18-month old. First left foot on the step, then right foot joined it, on an angle. I was afraid those twisty worn-out wooden steps would have me tumbling down like a cartoon, birds and stars circling my head at the bottom. I was all tense and holding onto that pole for dear life.

Aside from that, the experience was magnificent. It was a privilege to have had the opportunity. My legs are so sore today from being tense both up and down the stairs, but I’ll be fine. Now I want to go stand outside the church on Sundays mornings, when Gerald plays from 10:30 – 11:00 am.  He’s been playing this carillon since 1997, and tours around the world playing others, too.

If you’d like to hear the carillon, it’s at the Metropolitan United Church, 56 Queen St. East. (2 blocks east of Yonge St.)  And if you’d like to book a tour, Gerald Martindale can be reached at 416.363.0331, ext. 30.  Wear sensible shoes and clothes you don’t mind getting dusty.

Climbing Canada’s first bell tower – and playing the carillon – ended up being a perfect way to be out on a L.I.M. (or ledge of a church roof).

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