The Power of Intuition

Guest blog by Judith Orloff, M.D.

I'm a psychiatrist and intuitive in Los Angeles. What I do isn't my job. It's my life's passion. With patients and in workshops, I listen with my intellect and my intuition, a potent inner wisdom that goes beyond the literal. I experience it as a flash of insight, a gut feeling, a hunch, a dream. By blending intuition with orthodox medical knowledge I can offer my patients and workshop participants the best of both worlds. 

Now, listening to intuition is sacred to me, but learning to trust it has taken years. I've described the details in my memoir Second Sight which is meant to assure anyone whoever thought they were weird or crazy for having intuitive experiences, that they are not! This brief synopsis gives you a taste of the book. 

I grew up in Beverly Hills the only daughter of two-physician parents with twenty-five physicians in my family. From age nine, I had dreams and intuitions that would come true. I could predicts illness, earthquakes, even the suicide of one of my parent's friends. This confused and alarmed me, as it did my parents who were entrenched in the hard-core rational world of science. At first they tried to write my intuitions off as coincidence. Finally, though, after I dreamed my mother's mentor would loose a political election--which to my horror, came true--she took me aside and told me, "Never mention another dream or intuition in our house again!" I'll never forget the look in my dear mother's exasperated, frightened eyes, nothing I ever wanted to see again. So from that day on, I kept my intuitions to myself. I grew up ashamed of my abilities, sure there was something wrong with me. 

Luckily, I've had many angels in human form who've pointed me to my true calling as physician. In the sixties I got heavily involved with drugs in an attempt to block my intuitions out- obviously not something I'm recommending to you! Following a nearly fatal car accident at age sixteen when I tumbled over a treacherous 1500 foot cliff in Malibu Canyon, my parents forced me to see a psychiatrist. This man was the first person who ever "saw" me--not who he wanted me to be, but who I was. He taught me to begin to value the gift of intuition, and referred me to Dr. Thelma Moss, a intuition researcher at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. She was to become my mentor and guide to developing my intuitive side. 

While working in Thelma's lab I had an amazingly specific dream which announced, "You're going to become an MD, a psychiatrist, to help legitimize intuition in medicine." When I awoke, I felt like someone was playing a practical joke on me. I'd never liked science, and I was bored around all my parent's doctor-friends. I was a hippie living in an old converted brick Laundromat with my artist-boyfriend in Venice Beach, working in the May Company's towel department. (I've had a great love of towels and sheets since!) The last thing I envisioned doing was medicine. But because I was beginning to trust my intuition, I enrolled in a junior college just to see how it would go. So one course became two, became fourteen years of medical training--USC medical school and a UCLA psychiatric internship and residency. 

The irony was, that during my medical training I strayed far from the intuitive world again. Traditional psychiatry equates visions with psychosis. Working in the UCLA emergency room, I'd keep seeing psychotics who were wheeled in screaming, strapped to gurneys, accompanied by cops with billy clubs. These patients professed to hear God and to be able predict things. They also felt their food was poisoned, and that the FBI was on their tail. No one tried to sort through this mishmash of claims. Typically, patients would shot up with with Thorazine, hospitalized on lock-down inpatient units until their "symptoms" subsided. Seeing this so many times I doubted whether it was safe or appropriate to integrate my intuitions in medicine. 

When I opened my Los Angeles psychiatric practice in 1983, I had every intention of it being traditional; I'd use medications, psychotherapy, but I didn't intend for intuition to play a role. My practice was extremely successful. Since I was a workaholic and also loved helping people, I had twelve hour days, though very little personal life. But then I had a heart-wrenching wake-up call that changed everything. It was an intuition that a patient, on antidepressants, was going to make a suicide attempt. Because she was doing so well--nothing supported my hunch--I dismissed it. Within a week she overdosed on the antidepressants I'd prescribed and ended up in a coma for nearly a month. (Had she not survived I would've been devastated.) The hardest part, though, was that I thought I'd harmed her by not utilizing a vital piece of intuitive information. This was intolerable for me. From then on, I knew, as a responsible physician, I had to integrate my intuitions into my work.

After this episode, my journey to bring intuition into my medical practice began. I didn't know how I'd do it, but I put out a silent prayer to the universe to help me. Soon, I began meeting people, more angels, who showed me the way. Gradually I grew comfortable with my intuition, set out to write "Second Sight." This took me seven years to complete because I had so much fear about coming out of the closet as an intuitive. I was afraid of what my physician-peers would think, that they'd mock me or blackball me from the profession. My mother warned, "They'll think you're weird. It'll jeopardize your medical career." Ah Mother: I loved her, but thank god I didn't listen. Finding my voice as a psychiatrist and intuitive has been my path to freedom. 

Sure, there's a risk when you stretch yourself, but the rewards are enormous. Now, I'm blessed to travel around the country giving workshops on intuition to auditoriums full of extraordinary people--health care professionals and general audiences alike--who long to embrace their inner voice. I'm heartened to see that many physicians are eager to deal with patients in the new way I offer. Recently I gave an intuitive healing workshop at the American Psychiatric Association convention, a annual gathering of the most conservative psychiatrists in the world. I'm pleased to report the response was wonderful. 

I'm sad to report that my mother didn't live long enough to see this. In 1993 she died of a lymphoma. But, on her deathbed, she decided to tell me our "family secrets." She told me, "I want to pass the power onto you." I was astounded to learn that I came from a lineage of intuitive healers on her side of the family--my Jewish grandmother who did laying on of hands in a shed behind the pharmacy she and Grandpop ran in Philadelphia. East coast aunts and cousins I'd never met since I grew up in California. Also, my mother, herself, had a strong inner voice which told her how to treat patients for over forty years. She'd listened to this voice and secretly used her innate healing powers to keep her lymphoma in remission for many years. "Why didn't you tell me?" I asked her. She said simply, "I wanted you to lead a normal, happy life, not to be thought of as weird like your grandmother was." Oh Mother... I'll always be grateful for what she shared, but, still... she'd waited so long. Even so, I believe in the wisdom of the paths we've been given. Mine has been to fight for what I believed in despite what my parents or anyone said. An invaluable but rugged lesson in empowerment. 

These days, no matter what I'm going through, especially when my heart is torn in a million pieces my intuition has sustained me. I hope that my journey in "Second Sight" can help you. One thing I'm certain of: if you follow your intuitive voice, you can't go wrong. Stay true to it. Intuition is about empowerment, not having to conform to someone else's notion of who you should be. It's about being true to yourself, and all the goodness that comes from that. 

Instincts - The Answers to a Better Life

Guest blog by Lillian Monterrey
Author of Follow Your Instincts

Have you ever thought one thing, felt something else, and ended up saying something completely different?

Everyone at one time or another has faced this dilemma! The reason for thinking, feeling and expressing yourself differently, is because as you were growing up family members and society started giving you messages different from what you felt inside.

Your instinct connection was perfect when you were born. What happened to some of us was that as children the adults in our lives ("the Big people" -- as I call them) began to influence our thinking by creating programs that were in conflict with our instincts, thus programming us to follow our head instead of your heart.

When you were hurt as a child and went to an adult (perhaps your mother or father) to express your hurt feelings, they might have said something like: "That was not so bad…You are not supposed to feel that way." This created confusion between your God-given instincts and what "the big people" in your life were telling you. Therefore, you learned at a very young age not to express or honor your feelings. You created the scenario of feeling one thing while thinking something else, and yet expressing something totally different. What you needed then was assistance in directing you to the instinct blueprint.

Instincts are part of your subconscious mind placed there by the Creator, and intellect is part of the conscious mind. The conflict appears when the conscious mind has different information than the subconscious. 

The instinct program God placed inside us is geared toward helping us cope in every area of our lives. This can be clearly observed in all of the animal kingdom. Understanding our instincts is very important because through connection with them, we get to know ourselves. As an additional benefit, we will get to know our fellow man. All humans have the same instincts.

God gave the animal kingdom (of which humans are a part) instincts to help them function on earth. The difference between animals and humans is the degree of intellect. If you really want to get in touch with your instincts, it is necessary to understand the separation between intellect and instinct.

Animals tend to depend more on instinct, whereas humans have, over the ages, reversed this and rely mostly on intellect. This is most unfortunate because instincts can be of great assistance to us in our lives.

By re-connecting yourself with your instincts you will be able to think, feel and communicate the same message. You will also be able to discover the real you. 

Self-understanding is knowledge about yourself. It allows you to discover the kind of person you are and the person you would like to become. It allows you to be free to become the best person God intended you to be.

The Creator gave you instincts, as a gift for you to live in a successful, abundant, and happy manner all you have to do is to understand, connect with it and follow your instincts to CREATE THE LIFE YOU REALLY WANT.

Can Caretakers Take Care of Themselves?

Guest blog by Debbie E. Mandel
Author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul
Watch her interview on The Woman's Connection YouTube Vlog

On a daily basis, four stressors constantly bombard us: environmental, physical, internal and national. Then we wonder why we feel anxious, irritable, fatigued and unhappy. Shedding stress must be a top priority because stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine coursing throughout the body without a release outlet do physical and emotional damage. If we are unbalanced, all the people who depend on us suffer as well. Of course, this is reason enough to take care of ourselves for the sake of others, but how about exhibiting some compassion for the self? Sometimes we take better care of our pets than we do of ourselves. Carl Jung explained that the hardest person to have compassion for is the self. We need to become selfish in order to cultivate a sense of who we are and express what we want.

Go From Worrier to Warrior

Emotional and physical health depends on the metaphysical balance of giving and receiving. Both the Kabbalah, a work of Jewish mysticism and the Book of Transformations by the Dali Lama state the same concept: In life we can't just keep giving to others. Some of us, particularly women, tend to be givers. However, we must learn how to receive as well because if we just give away what we have to others, we become depleted. Don't wait to be sick and tired before you say no! We need to ask ourselves how we feel before we agree. If it doesn't feel right, or we intuit that it is wrong, we have to honor our feelings, not suppress them, and say no. When we don't, we often become ill. Our disease usually symbolizes the underlying emotional condition that we are blocking out.

The "good little girl syndrome" and the "accommodating woman" must be balanced with personal goals. A first step is to get rid of a word like, should from our vocabulary and change it to could or choose. If our schedule becomes overwhelming, we need to prioritize, release what is no longer important and clean out the clutter. Everyone has freedom of choice and the determination to feel empowered. Each one of us has a mission to experience the feeling of fulfillment and simply stated we must strive to be the best person we can be. Therefore, we must learn to engage in activities that keep us personally stimulated. Everyday we can make a point to learn something new. Routine deadens both the heart and soul.

Sometimes we cannot control what happens to us, but we can control our perceptions. Some people let defeat ruin them; others let victory ruin them. It is neither the win nor the loss that makes you triumphant, only how you feel about yourself. Self-doubt and negative self-talk create paralysis. We need to visualize a successful outcome just as an athlete does prior to a competition or a speaker preparing to address a large audience. Each triumphant performer envisions the event and sees the self successfully completing and shining! Recite a personal affirmation to facilitate the positive outcome. Conceive, Believe, Achieve.

Use humor to objectify difficult situations and restore balance. If it were happening to someone else in a sitcom, you know you would be laughing. Try not to take yourself so seriously and use the humor to take the sting out of these volatile situations. G. K Chesterton aptly said: Angels can fly because they take themselves so lightly. An added benefit: humor boosts the immune system.

And lastly, exercise away your stress. When you are angry or unhappy, exercise will release stress hormones, release your endorphins to make you feel alive, oxygenate your brain to help you think more clearly, lower your blood pressure and strengthen your heart, build up your bones and muscles, reverse the aging process, activate your immune system-need I say more? In addition, exercise will help you organize your day in a healthy way by making you pay more attention to what you eat: proteins, complex carbohydrates, a rainbow diet of fruits and vegetables, fiber and plenty of water. No deprivation, please! The body needs to be constantly fueled to function efficiently and so does the mind. Exercise increases focus for the mind/muscle connection, which carries over into life quality. 

Each day find a balance between earth practicality and spiritual vision. There is no separation between mind and body, not even a hyphen-one word, mindbody. When you find your personal balance, you will live your authentic life expressing your true opinions and achieving your goals one by one. Through positive perception you will heal and grow. Get rid of toxicity and negativity in your life. That includes toxic friends and family. Surround yourself with positive people, media and books. Meditate daily on the good in your life; on things you appreciate or used to appreciate but now take for granted. Learn to read life in order to be receptive to the universe. When you see the obvious, what is in front of your eyes, the rest will be revealed to you. As in Zen philosophy: Before enlightenment, carry water, chop wood. After enlightenment, carry water, chop wood. What has changed? Perception. Be in the moment in everything that you do and enjoy that moment intensely. The moment may be all that we have.

AMERICA UNDER ATTACK One New Yorker's Story

Guest blog by Fran Capo
Author of It Happened in New York City: Remarkable Events That Shaped History
Watch her interview on The Woman's Connection YouTube Vlog

Tuesday September 11, 2001 - D DAY

A week ago, I woke up to what I thought was going to be a glorious day. A day
 bright and sunny, the kind that one is thankful for but at the same time, takes
for granted, as we get on with our lives. I dropped my son at school in Floral
Park Queens, and kissed him goodbye, happy as I drove off. All was right with
my world. 

But that feeling was instantly shattered with a click of the radio switch. "The World Trade Center has been hit". At first I thought I was listening to some second hand rendition of War of the Worlds. But as I listened on, I realized one of the most glorious days had just turned into one of the worst days in American History, if not for the free world. The United States was under terrorist attack. 

My ears couldn't believe it, so I rushed home to a television set, as if seeing it
would make it that more real. I watched in horror, America watched in horror,
 the world watched in horror, as the second tower was hit. Reports came rushing in about planes being hijacked, the Pentagon being hit and another plane crashing outside Pennsylvania. It was too much information to process. A surreal feeling surrounded me, as if I was watching some special effects in a blockbuster movie, only this time the actors wouldn't get up and walk away. I stayed glued to the television watching the tragedy unfold. Not knowing exactly where this travesty would end. 

Then the unthinkable happened. The World Trade Centers, one by one came
tumbling down as thousands of innocent people ran scrambling for their lives. 
People who were lying at the bottom of the World Trade Center relieved they
had escaped, and those who were attending to them, were now having tons
of concrete rain down on them. People were leaping out of windows, and I
had flashes of thoughts at the horror they must have felt before deciding to
jump to their deaths instead of being burned. The image of the couple holding
hands as they leaped is forever etched in my mind. Others were being choked
by asbestos, smoke filling their lungs, some were being trampled and others
were being injured from free flying glass shrapnel and debris. It was a site
New York has never seen. 

Then in a few moments it was over. An eerie silence overtook the city as gray
soot blanketed everything, the color reflective of the mood. The two towers that
had stood and symbolized so much for New York and the world, were now gone. Demolished, and along with it, countless lives. 

An evil well planned plot, played out to fruition, by calm sick malicious minds. 
Seemed like a century passed but it was only minutes. I thought of how long
it takes to build something, or create a life and how easily it can be destroyed. 

The media replayed the buildings crashing over and over, and no matter how many times I watched them fall, I still believed I would see them in the skyline. 

Instantly, my mind raced of thoughts to my son at school. Did he know? Was he safe? Even though he was in Queens miles away from the crash, nothing felt safe anymore. Two giant anchors had been pulled from us. I called the school only to find out that the phone lines were dead. My cell phone was dead too. My
communication was cut off. I had to go to the school. Parents were pulling up in droves, feeling the need to have their child with them if the eminent was to happen. 

The principal said the kids hadn't been told yet. We weretold we could take them home if we wanted to or leave them in school till three. I choose to leave him in school, trying to feign some normalcy to what was happening. I drove home and knew life as we knew it would never be the same again.

From my home in Howard Beach, two miles from JFK airport, I could see the smoke billowing from Manhattan, the same smoke I was watching on TV coming from what was once,  the World Trade Center. As the fires continued, the story kept unfolding. Ambulances rushing everywhere, people talking, crying, sobbing over their near escapes and for those blown apart and missing. The hospitals were overwhelmed. The tunnels, bridges, and subways were closed. The U.S.- Mexican border had been sealed. Planes were being diverted to Canada. All airports were closed.

It took me three hours to get back to my son's school. Policemen stood with shotguns on the highway redirecting traffic. As I passed I saw the JFK ramps were heavily guarded. All firemen, policemen and 911 workers were called in. The National Guard was called in. Military aircraft was seen over head patrolling the skies. Finally, the attack ended. And we were left in a war torn zone, shocked, shaken and badly bruised.

Then all at once, a force greater than our individual selves took over. Like a giant who appears to be dead, then stands up from the ruble and shakes off the debris, New Yorkers rose and were united as one Mighty mass. Time was crucial. We needed to act immediately and we did. Rescue workers searched fevorently trying to save lives. Volunteers showed up in the thousands, people lined up to donate their blood. The focus was on saving lives. Everyone wanted to do their part in anyway they could. The day seemed endless. 

That night, I hung a picture of my son and his friend with the World Trade Center in the background on my refrigerator, a reminder of something that no longer existed. I still stare in disbelief. The next day, my sister and I decided to give blood. We felt the urgency to have to do something. The streets were filled with a silent reverence...people nodding at each other knowing the magnitude and not knowing what to say. We all shared the same pain. 

Stores were empty or closed as if shopping was an unspoken disrespect to those injured. I stopped at the Post Office and was asked to show photo ID for a package I was mailing. Just a glimpse of how our freedoms will change because of these cowardly monsters. 

My sister and I went to the Red Cross to donate blood but were redirected to
Queens General Hospital. We left our names as volunteers with the Red Cross
before heading over to the hospital. 

We were told, rescue workers desperately needed socks and sweats. Gloves
were needed as the firefighters, policemen and rescue teams worked side by
side, heroically taking the debris out by hand. The soles of their boots were
burning from the hot earth, since fires were still raging below. And as they raged
below, they raged in the hearts of the American people. Fires stirring and being
held at bay while we rescued, but knowing that the ambers that were burning in
our hearts were ready to turn into a full fledged inferno as we waited for the hand
of justice to be served.

As we walked out of the Red Cross center, I noticed a sign on the window of Bank of New York. "Please be patient, we are only letting one customer in at a time." More evidence of the fear that was now a part of our society. 

We went to Queens General Hospital to donate blood. There were about a hundred people. We had to sign up and fill out forms. They were specifically looking for O negative, the universal donor, but were taking others as well. My sister, Sharon, is O negative, but because she went to Italy last year, she couldn't donate. They were worried about Mad Cow disease in Europe. We were told, "If you ever had Lyme disease, took aspirins within 72 hours or anti-histamines within a week, or were menstruating, you couldn't donate". I was O but not sure if I was negative or positive. A sad commentary, since I know the make and model of my car, but not my blood. 

The wait was long. And as I looked at the long line of donors I was inspired. Beside me were every race and creed of New Yorkers, willing to give their blood to help others. I saw the tired faces of hospital workers and volunteers working overtime to make sure the job was done. To make sure the people fighting for their lives would get the blood that could save them. 

It was then I decided to let my comedic spirit add to the cause. I remembered that laughter was the best medicine, which in this case had to be applied very carefully. Slowly I started to joke with the person next to me, and then the nurses. Soon I had the waiting room laughing. For the next five hours I entertained them. 

I told them I was a writer, and they said, "If you ever give up your writing career you should become a stand-up comic." I told them I was, and they of course thought I was making it up. We were taken into the donating room in groups of 15. I called our group the blood brothers (not original, but accurate.) When we finally went inside to give blood, there were about 40 people. I was making the guy who was taking my blood, Carlos laugh. I saw he had this pin on, and he told me he got it for being one of the top lab technicians. I told him that I was happy to hear that he was a lab technician taking my blood, and that he didn't work in the cafeteria. After my blood was taken, I was going around to all the other people and shaking their hands. 

One lady kept saying she saw me somewhere. Finally after I knew I was leaving I told them that I was the Guinness Book's Fastest Talking Female. The lady said, "I knew I saw you somewhere. I saw you on Ripley's." I smiled. My cover was blown. So of course, I did what any good fast talker would do. There in the room with 40 people, some with IV's in their arms, others waiting to give blood, doctors and nurses endlessly waiting on people,. I did the "Three Little Pigs" for everyone at warp speed. They all laughed and applauded. Then one of the nurses hugged me and said, "Thank you for making our day so easy, your making us laughed really helped." I felt like a million bucks...less one pint. 

We all have gifts, and at this time we have to use them to help in any way we can. It was a slight reprieve among the horror, and the best way I knew to give of myself. 

But humor only patches things momentarily, enough time to let you regroup. On the third day, my son went back to school…angry and confused. I had made him write his feelings on the day of the attack in a journal, so he could be in touch with them. 

As for me, I walked in my favorite park after dropping him at school, hoping for some solitude, in a park that normally brings me great peace. The park is 15 miles away from Manhattan, in a suburb of Queens, and I thought I could snatch a moment of mindless thought. But because of the shift in winds, the air was foggy and the smell of the burning rumble that was once a twin tower of power, filled the air. 

Amidst the beauty of the trees, the smell of destruction loomed. I cried for this was my haven. I cried many times, often unexpectedly last week as I heard both the stories of heroism, and last words of loved ones spoken on cell phones…till they were cut off. 

But through all the tragedy and pain, the spirit of New Yorkers, Americans and all those reaching out to help each other is the beam of sunlight that is keeping us hopeful, strong and ready to find justice and rebuild.

Now a week later vigils have been held, prayers have been said for those wounded and lost, words of encouragement from preachers, and strength from the mayor, governor and president have been spoken. Emails have been sent around the world, each reassuring each other of each other's safety. Cheers of appreciation for the men and women who risked their lives saving others is constantly heard throughout the city. Funds have been set up for the fallen, supplies donated in record numbers and so many people have volunteered that volunteers are no longer needed. And we still want to help. 

But now as we are licking our wounds, we want more. We want something done. We want something done to the perpetrators. To those barbaric individuals who have violated our freedom and way of life. 19 of them died, killing 5000 of us, using our planes, our knowledge and the trust of our people. 

Words of Nostradamous are flying through the Internet, as people fear the possibility of the third world war. But there is a greater fear, a fear of living in fear and terror. Our society is built on freedom and we will not sacrifice that which so many of our brave forefathers have fought for in the past. They did not die in vein.

We are still in a strange state of morning and sadness as we try to get back to our normal lives, but the anger has risen. We want justice, not revenge. We did not seek this out. Our children now know war, not from history books, but from their own backyard. And in their innocence they ask a resounding "Why"? Yes, rescue workers are still searching, Sanitation, Policemen and Firemen are still working, although complete firehouses have been wiped clean of their men. They are racing against time, before the hordes of rats come to feast on the death and whatever miracle survivors there may be. There is a mall level in the WTC. If anyone is trapped there, they have access to bottled water, food and clothing. If there are air pockets its possible, just possible they may survive. Families are still hoping.

And now, schools are re-opened, as are many of the highways. The stock market has resumed after the longest closure in stock market history. Broadway has brought up its lights in hopes at these times that entertainment can lighten our thoughts. And we have yet to still know the full devastation Of this attack. 

But, we have found the enemy and will do whatever it takes to search him out from whatever darkened crevice he may crawl in and bring him back, "Dead or alive." We need to think like these people, and search for their Achilles heel, for they do not value human life as we do. But everyone has a weakness, and that is what we will seek out. For we are down, but never out.

His attack may have downed our buildings but not our spirit. Like the Grinch that Stole Christmas learned, you can take away things, possessions, even lives of which we will morn For greatly, but you can never, never can take away the human spirit, the American spirit. The terrorists have failed greatly, for in trying to divide us, they have united us and sparked our love for this country and what we stand for more than ever. There is not a street that you can pass, without an American flag proudly being displayed. Makeshift posters of "God Bless America" are all over the streets.

Yes, we are angry, and yes we want justice...and we will have it. For we are a nation of freedom, and we will be damned if anyone or anything will change our way of life. The healing is a long process, but I hope however our resolve is swift.

I think however in times like these, people are moved to reflect upon their own lives and what is important...our friends, families and loved ones. Every morning as I do my walk through the park, I thank God for all the things I do have, and now I pray for world peace and for guidance of our leaders, and strength for our nation. It is not enough to be strong physically, we must be strong spiritually as well. 

A day doesn't pass that I don't hug Spencer and tell him I love him...for in the end that is what truly matters...love and the freedom to share it and live your life in anyway you see fit. No one has ever sat on their deathbed saying..."If only I put more time in at the office!"

Stand up for what you believe in and fear nothing. The mark of a nation, a state or a person is not how many times they fall, but how many times they get up. We are not only up, but we are standing tall, and side by side together we will wipe out injustice, and terrorism…and then stride for a peaceful world in which we all can live. 


God Bless to all, and strength to those who have had personal losses.

Affirmations

Guest blog by Rita

Money
I happily see every bill paid now.
I joyfully see every obligation met now. 
I am the Spirit of Infinite Plenty individualized.
I am boundless abundance in radiant expression.
And so it is!

I am wonderfully rich in consciousness.
What is expressed in love must be returned in full measure.
I am a mighty money magnet and oceans of money engulf me.
Therefore, wave after wave of visible money supply flows to me now.
And so it is!

I am bountifully supplied with money.
I now realize my plan for abundant living.
I lovingly see myself sharing this bounty for the good of all
according to Universal guidance.
 I see my bank account continually filled with an all-sufficiency
to meet every need with a divine surplus.
And so it is!

Good Fortune

New fields of Divine Activity now open for me. 
Someone somewhere is looking for exactly what I have to offer.
I am awake to my good, and gather in the harvest of endless opportunities.
My seeming impossible good now comes to pass, the unexpected now happens!
And so it is!

I give thanks for my whirlwind success. 
The tide of destiny has turned and everything comes my way. 
I have a magical work in a magical way, I give magical service for magical pay.
I see clearly and act quickly and my greatest desire comes to pass in a miraculous way.
And so it is!

I now fulfill my destiny. 
The genius within me is now released. 
Happy surprises come to me each day. 
I banish the past and now live in the wonderful now.
And so it is

Joy

Unlimited channels of good are open to me now.
I accept all the joy and prosperity life has to offer.
I create the world as a happy, abundant place for everyone. 
My life is filled with the abundant blessings of the Universe.
And so it is!


I am rich, well and happy. 
I am rich in consciousness and manifestation. 
Infinite riches are now flowing freely into my life. 
Life is meant to be fun and I'm now willing to enjoy it!
And so it is!

Fine Tuning the 6th Sense

Guest blog by Jane Bernard
Author of Fine Tuning: Connecting With Your Inner Power

You were born with 6 senses. Each sense gives you pleasure and protection. Your 6th sense is your intuition, or instincts. It is an inner drive that puts you on the path of possibility. It is the sum of your potential and it is always available. Tuning into your 6th sense can happen quickly but it is at first subtle. When as you trust yourself to rely on your intuition, the insights become more apparent.

Even though we are each unique, we all search for the same answers. Your inspiration, your intuition, your instincts are your birthright. Tuning into your 6th sense is the secret to overcoming loneliness, realizing dreams and finding comfort with your choices. Fine Tuning all of your instincts is the way to tune into your intuition because all of our senses work together. There are practical ways to do this. When you connect to your 6th sense, you focus on your inner strength. You empower your self and tune into your sense of purpose and joy. 

Your instinct is a guiding hand available only to you. However, life is not a cleared path. When you are conscious of your senses, focus on positive thoughts, your goals and what you are communicating to others, then your path will be broadened.

When you feel like you want to get more out of being alive, when you want to evolve, then it could be time. If you are feeling stuck, confused, as if something is not right, then it might be time to tune into your 6th sense. It will guide you to the core of your unique self. When you tune into your 6th sense you find the possibilities and clarity in your life. Tuning into your 6th sense can also give you a sense of control over your life and at the same time, a sense of freedom.

An Ecumenical Prayer in Times of Terrorist Attack

Guest blog by Rev. Holly Harwood Goodwin

In this hour of grief and loss, may we have the courage to go on. 
May we have the wisdom to react to violence with unyielding compassion, 
courage, and justice for all. 
To be fair to all people regardless of skin color, religion, gender, orientation, 
nationality or ethnic origin. 
To respect the beliefs of others, even when they conflict with our own. 
Bless the souls of the newly departed. 
Bless the wounded, and aid their recovery. 
Bless the families and friends of the victims. 
Bless the rescuers, the donors, and all that help in times of crisis.
Bless our military and government officials with the wisdom and resolve
to do that which is right for the world, regardless of the consequences
to their own careers. 
Cleanse our souls of fear and hatred, that we may choose life. 
Open our hearts to the suffering of all. 
May divine wisdom, comfort, healing, and peace be poured out upon
the nations of the earth. 
Let us love one another, remembering that we are all part of the family of humanity. 

Lessons For Living

Guest blog by Dr. Lillie M. Coley
Author of:   My Story: Tragedy Turned To Opportunity

Power of Forgiveness - We all need wisdom and discernment in handling any type of problems. If we reacted to the shock our parent's death by being unforgiving and with other types of negative reactions, we would not have made it here today. Life would have eaten us up. Holding grudges will destroy us. 

It takes power to forgive when the pain of hurt aches every part of our body. But through life experiences we must learn forgiveness and the importance of it. As we love and forgive, our divine intervention can help and deliver us, which sets us free to help others who are bound by circumstances and the inability to forgive. It's hard to help others until you have first helped yourself, although it is not impossible for hurting people to help hurting people. We must be very careful and use wisdom, because usually we will find hurting people hurt people. Whole people help heal people and make them become stronger.

Forgiveness, however, frees you to live, grow, and move on. Learning to forgive at an early age prepares us for the hurts that will come later in life. We had to "put something in our hearts called love" in order to receive the reward of being free in our spirits. Remember NO DEPOSIT, NO RETURN; what you put out is what you get back.

Forgive as soon as possible because the longer you wait the more damage it does on your body. Unforgiveness is a form of stress that wears and tears on the body.

Power of Healing - It is always best to expose the enemy or our bad habits in our own lives before someone else does. Often, when people find out something negative about you, they cannot wait to tell someone else. This is why we are telling our story, because nobody can tell it like we can tell it. When we tell, we are healed from it faster. Of course, we always must use wisdom and common sense. Use wisdom before you speak to provide clarity of thought and articulation of speech about what to say and not to say. But the healing process requires that we release that which hurts us in some constructive way. Communication is the best way, because it is so therapeutic. As we release the negative in a healthy way, then we have room to fill ourselves up with positive things. During our mending process, our broken hearts will be placed back together one day at a time and one piece at a time. But first, we must admit the problem has literally crushed our soul. Then we must seek to get the ultimate healing. No food, job, sexual experience, money or person can fix a problem like divine healing can. 

Memories are reflected encounters of life that have taught us and brought us to where we are. In other words, we are the sum of our past that has been designed to help us grow into our future. As we reflect and understand where we have been, it is then and only then that we can go to the next level in life. People have a tendency not to want to think about the past because it brings up so much hurt. But, often we must face our accuser, and it is through these encounters that healing can take place. We can be healed in the very place of our pain. Ask me. I know! 

Look at healing as living water. It never touches one person or one place, but, just like water, when it spills, it touches all that is around it. Now, living water will ignite what it touches, to bring life to anything that needs life. It is imperative that we get these lessons, because, otherwise, we may find ourselves falling into the same behavior patterns. Lessons in life teach us about ourselves and lead us on a road to recovery. The roads where it lead us often help us to apply what we have learned during our pain and healing to help others who are going through similar situations. This is what true destiny and purpose in life is all about: helping those to help themselves. The same comfort of healing we received from our parents, we are now able to use to comfort others.

Power of Loving Yourself and Being Whole - We must seek help for all the hurts and pains in our lives. We should take care of them like we would take care of other areas of our lives. Unresolved issues do nothing more than get worse over time. We are not in our problems alone. There is somebody somewhere who is going through something similar. Seek help because it is the right thing to do, and do not worry about what people think. Mentally and physically free yourself from people and their negative opinions. We must seek to be around people that will not poison or vex our spirit but build us up. We need people for encouragement and correction in love. Being free in our minds from carrying unnecessary weight is really the life we want to live. Otherwise, we will be enslaved to ourselves, and our problems will mentally weigh us down. Destruction usually follows along with a life of unfulfillment. Please seek help until it is found, and continue to knock until a door is opened. After every 'No' there is a 'Yes' somewhere.

We must be honest with ourselves first, and then take it to someone who gives us morally and sound counsel. This person should be a good listener. Remember that love is the only thing that changes people. We cannot change anybody but ourselves. As we love people where they are, we love unconditionally, and this helps them move into wholeness. This direction of growth must be our own self-will.

Life's not designed for us to make it by ourselves. Everybody needs help. Seek to find the strength to overcome, and become a VICTOR instead of a victim. After divine revelations, we finally felt completion or closure to our parents' tragedy. Our mind was at rest, and we had peace with the situation. In addition, our mended broken heart was now in sync with our renewed minds. They were of one accord. From this encounter, we became completely "whole" in this area of our lives. We now felt free and had more strength to share our story with others. From these encounters came our mission in life and Community Empowerment Outreach was born. An organization to help those who have similar stories as ours and those who need to be empowered. As we understand our self-worth and have self-identity we can become whole and complete with strength to move on and help others along the way.

Support From Within

Guest blog by D.L. Bolk
Author of When Heroes Fall

A few years ago I lost the best office assistant I ever had. He moved on to kindergarten. Prior to his departure, my nephew, Daniel, provided me with one of the most valuable things a writer can receive.  Support.

He would often tell me I was the best writer in the world (of course this was quickly followed by - - he was the second best). He would send me little memos, on construction paper, words of wisdom that he would have to translate because I never mastered scribble. He would share thoughts that struck him during the day, bits of advice he felt I should share with my 'Petite Group'. 

The first day of school he stepped on the bus and I yelled, "Have a good day at school."
He returned with, "Have a good day writing." Then he turned to another little boy. "My aunt is a writer," he said, pride and support ringing in his voice.

Déjà vu. Fifteen years ago I was knee deep in OD green, uniforms and combat boots. My son was in kindergarten. It was parents' day at school and my son wanted me there. 
I was running late and didn't have time to change from my uniform into civilian attire. I was proud to be a member of the military, but I wasn't sure how my son felt about it. None of his friends' moms were in the service. I dreaded walking into his classroom looking like an escapee from a Rambo movie. I dreaded disappointing him more. 

When I entered his classroom he jumped up from his desk and yelled, "That's my mom. She's a soldier."

The pride I heard in his voice that day is a memory that I will carry in my heart forever. I realized then the importance of support. I also realized where it has to start. It has to come from within. Because what I didn't realized - - until that day - - was that by nurturing my belief in myself, I had gained my son's support.

It's nice when support comes from others, but that doesn't always happen. When it doesn't, that 'self-support' has to kick in. You have to be your own biggest fan.

Not everyone will realize how important writing is to you. There are some who will view it as a hobby. Not deserving of the time it demands of you. Nowhere near as important as getting the laundry done, fixing dinner, or getting that report out.

We all have demands on our lives that warrant our time. But if you believe in yourself, support yourself, you'll find the time to do it all.

Easy?    No.
Possible?   Yes.

Although we no longer share office space, Daniel is still one of my biggest supporters. I'll admit there is a possibility that I'm not the best writer in the world. But I'm the best writer in Daniel's world and in mine.

I support my belief in myself by writing every day. I have faith in myself. I don't waste valuable time letting doubt grab me. A rejection slip doesn't mean I'm a failure, it means I've learned another lesson, taken one more step on the long road to publication.

Support yourself, have faith in yourself. Because without that faith - - that 'self-support', you'll never be the best writer in anybody's world.

As a matter of fact, you might never be a writer at all.

Park That Elephant

Guest blog by D.L. Bolk
Author of When Heroes Fall 

When my oldest son obtained his learner's permit, his father decided to let him drive our 15-passenger van. When he arrived home, the first thing our son said was, "It's like using an elephant to practice riding a horse."

How's your writing? Are you moving according to plan or are you practicing to ride a horse using an elephant?

Do you have that special story that you've always wanted to write, but haven't because someone convinced you it won't sell?

Are you becoming an expert on synopsis and the first three chapters because that's how you were told to market you story ideas?

Did you whip up a neat little short story because someone told you it was easier than writing a novel?

Or, maybe you penned an Inspirational because Inspirationals are hot right now. Or did you just finish that sweet romance, although you'd rather write something hotter? But you can't do it because your mother might read it.

What! You don't want to write a romance at all! You want to go mainstream, but someone told you breaking into romance would be easier because you have structured guidelines to follow.
I won't say you'll never get published if you've taken a spin on any of these elephants, but I will tell you the ride won't be anywhere near as satisfying if it wasn't what you really wanted to write.

Here are six of the best words ever written: To thine own self be true. 

I'm not saying you shouldn't be aware of what's happening in the market. What I am saying is this. What makes you special, as a writer, is you. Telling the story you want in your voice.
I recently dismounted my elephant (romantic fiction) and rode my horse. My first novel (a psychological thriller) WHEN HEROES FALL was released in November 2001.
So, unsaddle that elephant, get on that horse. Your horse. And write your story.
I won't promise you'll get it published, but I will promise you'll enjoy the ride.

Rememberance

Guest blog by Alethea Jacob on March 13, 2003

You stand in the center of your own universe.

You are the love in the heart of your creation.

Give voice to the song in your soul longing for expression.

You are the messenger unfolding the message.

A truth ever known yet joyfully forgotten to delight you with discovery as you travel on.

You are blessed and holy despite any appearance of the profane. 
Refining your purity and power, your innocence and peace is a gift of revelation.

The Earth is your home and you are her home. 
For she would have no being without the song of creation you collectively sing.

Unleash Your PowerZone: Intuitive Intelligence - The Other IQ (Excerpts from Why Cats Don't Bark)

I did not arrive at my understanding of the fundamental laws of the universe through my rational mind. The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you.
Albert Einstein

Unlike traditional IQ, with a century of research behind it, intuitive intelligence is a new concept. It is a different kind of intelligence. In recent years, it is gaining in respectability largely because psychologists are recognizing it as a natural mental skill that helps us make decisions, solve problems, generate creative ideas and even forecast future events. We are beginning to realize that intuition is not just a mysterious gift or an accidental insight. 

As you get rid of the emotional cataracts and your vision becomes clear, you will find the walk upon your path effortless as you proceed with ease. Fears will dissipate as you relinquish yourself to a greater cause or your reason for being. You will feel in sync, not out of touch. You will experience your work as an extension of your "self" or you very soul, feeling one with the process of becoming. You will achieve a level of unconscious competence where excellence and peak performance feels effortless as the energy is allowed to flow through you. Perhaps that is why Michael Jordan refers to this as being "in the flow." Other sports use different buzz words, although the experience is the same. In golf, it is referred to as being "in the zone." Tiger Woods would qualify. In the current world of musicians, Wynton Marsalis seems to become one with his instrument, as does any exceptional musician. The question is, can we all achieve this supreme level of mastery? I believe the answer is "yes," if we are in sync with our instinct and we learn the mind-empowering strategies that provide access to the inner unconventional wisdom of our intuition and instinctual intelligence. 

While all living things grow into their nature with a supportive environment, we must also have the courage to be different to make a difference. We must transcend from success to significance. As we gravitate toward our own uniqueness, we must respect the direction of our "future pull" which is our present self becoming our future authentic self. Singleness of purpose means avoiding exterior clutter like power, prestige and possessions, which may interfere with the chief purpose of our lives. Shakti Gawain, author on visualization, explains, "Every time you don't follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power and a sense of spiritual deadness."

Activities and life experiences which derive from our purpose are not burdensome because there is harmony between what we feel we are supposed to do and what we want to do. Unfortunately, we are often derailed and live in someone else's comfort zone other than our own. Our parents often encourage and coerce us to manifest their own unfulfilled wishes and destiny which, if we obey, is a violation of the soul. 

Until we do the work of excavating, claiming and expressing our uniqueness, we run the risk of putting our life script into someone else's hands. Joseph Campbell, in his book Myths to Live by, warns, "The world is full of people that have sopped listening to themselves to have listened only to their neighbors to learn what they ought to do, how they ought to behave and the values are that they should be living for." Unfortunately, for many people, Campbell is right. 

All of us are far richer than we imagine. None of us possesses a life devoid of magic, barren of grace, divorced from power. Our inner resources, often unmined and even unknown or unacknowledged, are the treasures we carry, what I call our spiritual DNA…the stamp of originality, which is the blueprint of our unfolding.

Human curiosity, intuition, practicality and logic are the fulcrums of personal and professional achievement. They are the revitalizing forces for converting raw human energy and potential into sound judgments and creative ideas. Intuition cannot be ordered, commanded, contrived or predicted. We simply have to be ready for it. 

Jack Schwartz, renown researcher and author, has a theory that at the moment of indecision, there is simultaneously a solution. However, it may take years for us to discover that awareness and act on it, creating confusion and learned helplessness, as we become victims of toxic logic. Yes, "look before you leap," but sometimes we just have to take an intuitive leap and trust that the net will be there. To be fully intellectual beings and experience those "leaps in consciousness" that Albert Einstein believed are necessary for bringing solutions to us, we will need to develop our intuitive abilities as well.
 

Empowerment

Guest blog by Carol Drinkwater
Author of The Olive Farm: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Olive Oil in the South of France
Watch her interview on The Woman's Connection YouTube Vlog

The Oxford Dictionary definition of empower is : give (someone) the authority or power to do something.  Make someone stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.  The noun is Empowerment

What fascinates me about empowerment, particularly as a writer, is how we can create our own power, how through the experiences of loss or grief, learning or challenge we find the inner strength to grow and move forward with a broader and richer understanding of ourselves and the world in which we live and function.   

I believe that no experience is worth having if it does not takes us further. What have I learnt? What can this teach me about myself and the my relationship with the world about me?
In the OLIVE trilogy I am writing, stories about buying a delapidated villa in ten acres of land in the south of France and transforming that ruin and its Mediterranean terraces into a glorious olive farm that produces first class olive oil, there are numerous examples of challenge and loss, some painful, some very funny. Each of the books recounts some of these challenges and how they can be transformed into rich and uplifting and often humorous experiences.

In THE OLIVE SEASON, the second book in the trilogy, I find myself pregnant. The news is joyous to myself and my husband, Michel, because I had a history of miscarriages. Unfortunately, I lose the little girl at seventeen weeks into the pregnancy. The devastation is compounded when I learn from my gynecologist that I will never be able to carry a child full-term. For almost any woman this is a profound tragedy and one that takes a great deal of courage to face and move through. For me, personally, there were two issues that took my grief way down. Firstly, my husband has beautiful twin daughters from his first marriage and though I love them to bits and they love me I will never be their mother and, secondly, I am an actress and and as such my life is sometimes lived in the public domain. On television I have been described as 'womanly', 'attractive', 'feminine' etc and now here I am childless. Being denied the quintessential female experience. How was I to go forward ? How was I going to come to terms with such a deprivation? 

Running alongside tales of the rich and colourful world of life in southern Provence, this loss, these questions and their answers, is one of the themes of THE OLIVE SEASON.  I believe that I allowed myself to go through the grieving and, slowly, as the seasons changed on the olive farm, as winter turned to spring, as a new harvest of olives was gathered and pressed, as sapling olive trees are planted, I began to find strength in nature. I began looking for what was good in my life.

What makes my cup half FULL and not half EMPTY?

The olive tree is considered to be the Tree of Eternity. It lives sometimes to a thousand years. It does not begin fully fruiting until is about twenty-five years and its finest fruits can be harvested when it has reached a century or more.

We have recently planted another two hundred small trees. Sometimes, these days, I stand on our farmland and I look about me and I thank Life for all that is wonderful. I will never have children in the physical, the conventional sense. But we have young trees that will be fruiting long after Michel and I have passed through this life, I have my books to write, roles as an actress to take on and we are creating a farm that will be there for many future generations to come.

Of course, I remain sad that I don't see that little girl at my side on the farm, that I don't hold her hand, but she is there in spirit and I am stronger and richer as a woman now because I have learnt to celebrate what I have. 

I have been empowered - been made stronger and more confident - by the facing of my loss and I have discovered joy in the everyday world around me. 

© CAROL DRINKWATER, France 2003

Heaven On Earth

Guest blog by Dr. Adrian Calabrese
Author of How to Get Everything You Ever Wanted: Complete Guide to Using Your Psychic Common Sense 
Watch her interview on The Woman's Connection YouTube Vlog

When someone dies we realize how short life is. You know I'll never forget something I saw on television many years ago. The actor, John Travolta, had been in love with a women who was many years his senior, an actress, named Diana Hyland. She had a terminal disease and passed away. He was quite young at the time and was devastated by her death. Later that year she won an Emmy award. John accepted that award and I will never forget what he said that night. He said, "I realized something when Diana died. Death is right here," and pointed to his left shoulder. He said, "Death is right here, learning right over our shoulder." It impressed me that there was a man who would live the rest of his life cherishing each day, because he had a personal tragedy to remind him of how wonderful life is. What about the rest of us? 
Are you living each day as if it were your last? Think about that. We have to. We have to put all sadness aside and we have to live, and live and live. We have to not let hardships in this life, the ups and down's, take away the joy. We don't know how long we're going to be here. I'm not saying that to be morbid. I think we have to realize that there are things on the planet that make us happy now. We can enjoy them everyday, and not put them off. Don't be one of those people who says, "When I have enough money ..." or Next week, after I finish such and such I'll do something for myself." Do what makes you happy now, not only for yourself but for others.

Treat people as kindly as you can. I want to leave a legacy of love behind me, and I think you do, too. If you treat people with love and kindness each day it doesn't matter what the fates have in store for you because you're leaving your legacy of love to them, but, if you live each day in sadness dreading the morning, you're not leaving a legacy of love behind. You are leaving a legacy of sadness and depression.

I think we have to learn to value each moment on this earth. We have to live as though today were the last day of our lives, with joy, love and happiness. If your attitude is pleasant, or at least you try to be happy and joyful each day you'll begin to see life in a different way. You will truly be living the spiritual life. We all know people who carry negativity around with them. They have an energy about them that is heavy and dark. These folks don't have one nice thing to say. They have a critical comment about everything and everybody, and we don't want to be around them. These are people who are not leaving a legacy of love and they are not living a spiritual life. If they were to leave the planet tomorrow how many tears would be shed? The point is what are you leaving? What is your gift?

Death is really nothing to fear. It's bliss over there, that's why they call it Heaven. It's better there. When people cross over, they're in a better place. It's a happy state, not a sad one. The people that we love who are on the other side live in happiness eternally. We're the ones who live with the possibility of darkness and sadness. I'm suggesting something to you today. I'm suggesting that you create bliss. I'm suggesting that you create Heaven on Earth because you can have it. Many people see death as a solution to their problems and their agony. It's not. Death is a reward for your sticking it out here and paying your dues. That's what death really is. Its a compensation for having stuck it out, having struggled and having made it. When you die you go to bliss because you deserve it. It's not an escape, it's a gift. You stayed, you learned your lessons and you did all you could. If you create a happy life you'll carry that joy with you to the other side. If you created a life full of distrust, greed, negativity and sadness that's what you will carry to the other side.

Live each day as though it was your last. See each new day as your first. Make it a good one. Get up in the morning and don't say, "Oh I've got to go through one of these again." Instead, get up in the morning and say, "Thank you God, for giving me another one of these beautiful mornings. What can I do today tot make it worth living?" Do one thing each day to make your life joyful whether it's paying someone a compliment, doing a favor for someone else, or bringing artistic beauty into your life. All you need to do is gaze at the sunset, or the moon, or the river, or a flower. Bring one into your home. That's all you have to do to make your day worthwhile. Live each day grateful to God for the valuable gift of life. Don't yearn for things. You have everything you need right now. Don't long for the future. Instead, make today count. Create heaven on earth.

Sacred Journey... The Inner Beauty of a Woman's Soul

Guest blog by Cynthia Knorr-Mulder RNC, MSN, NP-C,CS, C.Ht
Watch her interview on The Woman's Connection YouTube Vlog

Sometimes I wonder how the most annoying people so easily learn how to cultivate the art to charm. One of my more frequent patients who my colleagues describe as annoying, can at times appear to be so charming that as a practitioner you feel completely convinced that this is the session that is going to stop the negative patterns of behavior, change his life completely around and turn prince annoying into a real charmer. Unfortunately, three visits later, you find out you were wrong. 

I started seeing prince annoying over two years ago for many reasons, but more simply put - because everything in his life always went wrong. At the age of thirty something, he was the author of every blind date horror story some sick Steven King wannabe could conjure up. Not only was he longing to find his princess, he hoped his family jewels would soon produce some heirs. 

He was not your typical prince, as princes would go. He was short, not tall, he was not handsome well okay, but he was dark. As a practitioner I am always able to look closely into someone's eyes and see their true soul revealing their inner beauty. Because that is where true inner beauty lies.

Okay by this point you are now wondering why he was crowned the name annoying. I guess you could say it is because he always shows up. With an appointment he shows up, without an appointment he shows up, just because he was driving by, he shows up. For whatever reason he seems to always be there discussing how horrible life is and asking why his princess hasn't shown up.

My secretary learned quickly how to pull up the moat bridge, and put on her armor. "I'm sorry she is with another patient would you like to make an appointment perhaps for next year, I mean next week". Quickly the young prince caught on and when finally one day I answered the phone directly he said, " Oh good, I thought you were avoiding me." I quickly felt pity, until I remembered that such an emotion is negative and invites nothing but bad experiences, so I changed pity to guilt and scheduled him in for next year, I mean next week. 

I dreaded telling my colleagues that he was due for a visit, but sooner or later they found out and as the time approached they scurried into their offices, armor on, doors closed to avoid the soon to be crowned King of annoying. As he sat comfortably in my office chair, looking like he was prepared to stay for a 20-hour session I began to wonder what made us all feel that he was so annoying. 

So how are you? "I'm fine prince annoying. How are you?" I answered. Well you know, so how are you doing? "I'm doing good prince annoying how are you?" I continued. Well I'm not sure. So how are things going..? Stop the press, what was I thinking; now I know why he's so annoying. 

"Let's get right to the point, how is your life going?" I questioned. Not well, I had a terrible accident I fell into a tree while walking down the street. Well that explained the two black eyes and abrasions that I was trying so hard not to stare at. Yeah and that was 8 weeks ago and I still look like this. "Why did it happen?" I don't know he said. I tripped. Trying to move the conversation along as not to go back to how I was doing, I continued to ask if the princess had yet been found, after all he had been carrying her shoe around for over 19 years. 

Well maybe this time, he replied. I have been dating a girl for the past 5 months, she likes me a lot, we have a lot in common and we are having a lot of fun. But, I said. You knew there was a but coming. If this prince hadn't been titled annoying, he could of been the prince of but. Well but, I' don't know. Yes you do, I thought. Just get to the point and stop being so annoying. 

Well but what? Well there is one thing about her? She broke her leg as a child and now she walks funny, you really can't notice, but I think do I want to marry someone who is not perfect? Before booting him completely out of my office and claiming the title as International President, having been voted in by every single woman in this world, I decided I would give him one last chance before I ditched him into the alligator pit. 

Have you gotten to know her soul? Does her outer beauty reflect her inner beauty? Has she gotten to know your soul? And what about your inner beauty? I fired so many inner soul related questions so quickly, I was sure that not only had I lost him, but I think he was hoping for an out of body experience just to avoid my questions. I waited for his reply but there was none.

And suddenly I realized that if I were starting all over again as a princess bride, I would find the ugliest prince in the world for I was sure he would understand life so deeply in a spiritual sense that he would have to have a beautiful soul, a true inner beauty. And he would truly understand that it is not looking beautiful where true inner beauty lies. If I could find this ugly prince, I would snatch him up so quickly, kiss him on his green froggy lips and know that he would love me for who I truly was. 

Hey doesn't this sound like the frog and the princess story. Of course it does and do you know why? Because it was a princess that recognized the true inner beauty of the frog and in doing so she found her prince. Do you think they would write a story about a prince that kissed a frog because he recognized the frogs true inner beauty and behold he got a princess? Get real. Obviously in all of history nothings changed. It is still the princess that sees beyond the frog. 

I ended the session with prince annoying by asking him to reflect upon what purpose his tree mishap may have had in his life. I also told him that it was important to learn a lesson when approached by a wise old teacher - the tree. In fact some ancient old trees have been known to teach many a wise scholar but seldom a slimy frog. I continued to stress to him that he would be wise to learn the lesson for if the lesson was not learnt the first time the teacher would be back again, only next time with a bigger lesson. 

How many times does it take a big fat tree trunk to hit a guy in the face in an effort to realize that any woman who loves him must be the most beautiful princess in the land?

As for me I will not have to worry my teachers will be very proud, for I learned this lesson quickly. Prince annoying's are just that - annoying. No charm can change my availability to provide healing to a soul that chooses to seek a magic wall that will manifest a beautiful princess so that he can live happily ever after. To find a fairy tale ending we must seek our own inner love, appreciate the beauty of the soul, and respect the true magic of life. 

As for Prince Annoying, until he realizes he is traveling on a sacred journey, I predict there will be many a tree that jumps into his path hoping he will look into the mirror and see beyond the trauma on his face. Until one day he realizes that by looking inward to find self-love and reclaim his own inner beauty he will indeed find his princess has inner beauty. The same inner beauty that I saw in his soul each visit, something that has been there all along, just like the beautiful princess that he could find if only he would step back from the wall to see her. 

And what about me, well I'm living happily ever after because I did kiss a frog, once upon a time, a long time ago. Of course I found that frog only after learning that you couldn't kiss an alligator without getting bit. As for my frog, well he turned into a prince and is now tall dark and handsome. He too has carried around my shoe for the past 19 years, however he knows so well how to look past the material me to where my true inner beauty lies - within my soul. 

Sacred Journey...A Women's Power of Wisdom- Connection Heaven, Earth, Mind, Body and Spirit part 1

Guest blog by Cynthia Knorr-Mulder RNC, MSN, NP-C,CS, C.Ht
Watch her interview on The Woman's Connection YouTube Vlog

Every day I am becoming more aware that each moment I experience is not just an adventure it is indeed a sacred journey. The synchronicities have begun to occur with such magnitude that I begin to wonder if the dream is reality or reality is the dream. I have learned from these synchronicities that not only are heaven and earth one, but the experiences of mind body and spirit are connected into that existing wholeness. 

This column is dedicated to the life experiences that we as woman encounter. It is about recognizing those mundane everyday occurrences in our busy lives that we often neglect to notice as signs and symbols of a greater connection. The stories contained within this column are there to benefit those who wish to make the connection between heaven, earth, mind, body and spirit. They are the stories of a women's journey. A woman who has been fortunate enough to appreciate and live the sacred journey of life to it's fullest. My purpose in life is to learn and teach that which I have experienced. By reading this column, may you receive an awakening in your own sacred journey.

Title Obsession
Over time I have promised Barrie Louise-Switzen to write an ongoing column for The Woman's Connection. The only thing that has stopped me, was finding a title. As I searched for the appropriate title, I began to wonder if Abigail had a whole bunch of letters sitting around for years wondering what to call her column? Imagine all that information and advise waiting to be shared and yet neglected because Abigail could not come up with an appropriate title for her column. 
Finally one day, as not to interfere with the process of someone's sacred journey, Abigail gives up the search for a perfect title and begins publishing her weekly column by starting out with two simple words... Dear Abby. Most times we obsess so long on the obvious that we begin to lose the clear vision of the simplicity that life offers. Our life is truly a sacred journey. With that in mind, I begin this column very much like Abigail did with two simple words. Two simple words that imply the meaning to the experience of life itself.... Sacred Journey. 

Sacred Journey
Is reality the dream or is the dream reality...

We have all had the experience of peaceful sleep, restless nights, vivid dreams, astral visits and gifts of prophecy from elder spirits of another dimension. Yet many of us neglect to acknowledge these experiences and write them off as just a dream. Those of us that are fortunate to have awakened the light within are also those who are able to interpret these dreams and understand their existence. A dream is more than a mere manifestation of some shear bizarre dimension. The state of dreaming is a pure connection between heaven and earth. The dream is a message connecting the mind, body and soul. A message, which if correctly interpreted, becomes a manifestation of reality itself. 

Long ago, a very wise and enlightened spiritual teacher once asked me if I believed that life was the existence of reality or if the dimension of the dream state was reality. I initially shrugged this question off and believed the answer was purely simple. Surely, that which I could physically feel was that which was real. Later on I would learn that not only was my perception of reality wrong, but I also learned a very valuable lesson. Never shrug off a question from an enlightened spiritual teacher as something purely simple. 

Dreaming of the Journey...
The Five Sacred Stones
Suddenly the dream becomes vivid, not like other dreams. Immediately I become aware that I am traveling in another dimension. The colors are vivid and I can clearly define and recall each and every aspect of what I see. I approach a stone castle for what seems to be a simple business meeting. Lured to this majestic location, those that join me wonder how it is that I know exactly where it is I am going. Familiar as it all may seem, I realize the experience is new to me and I begin myself to wonder how easily I have stumbled upon the location of this sacred site.  
Inside the stone castle I meet up with a colleague who is being honored for his accomplishments in his professional field. The room begins to fill with all the people I have ever known and loved, who now join in the celebration. I leave the crowd for a minute and enter an octagon room in which a large screen begins playing. I watch what appears to be a movie of my life; I recall the film in its entirety as if I were once the producer of this film. However, as I leave the room, I can no longer recall any aspect of that which I have just viewed. 

Heading away from the celebration, I begin to explore the majestic castle. I walk out the back gate and follow a dirt trail, which leads to an endless field of green, thick grass. Sitting in the grass a young and beautifully tall blonde women sits playing with a small beige and white dog. She asks if she can help me and I reply yes. "I am lost and I am trying to return to the castle where a wonderful celebration is occurring." I ask if she knows of the stone castle that sits on a hill. She smiles and says, "why of course", as she points behind me to the majestic stone castle. "You must simply return back on the same road you came down." Turning around, I see the castle behind me and I suddenly realize I was still on the same road. Looking now at how simple that seemed I begin to wonder why I even thought I was lost. She tells me she will join me along the way, so that I will not get lost again. 

As we approach the castle, we begin to climb the stone stairs to the back entrance. The women comments on the gown that I am wearing. "You look like a princess", she states. Feeling honored by her comment I look down at the elegant black gown and respond by telling her that a true princess should be wearing white. She corrects me by saying that what I am wearing is appropriate for this elegant occasion and she is glad that I have finally found my way home. 
I thank her for helping me back to the castle and ask her to join in the celebration. As I look in her eyes, I suddenly realize that she is filled with enlightenment and is truly an angel. As we enter back into the celebration, I see my colleague who says, "I was watching you the whole time you were lost. I saw you from the top of the castle." I jokingly say, "so if you knew where I was, why didn't you call me on my cell phone and tell me how to get back?" He assures me that he was never worried about me that I was protected and he knew I would return safely. I begin to introduce him to the women who assisted me in finding my way back. Suddenly their eyes meet and he realizes that he knows who she is. Astound he says to me, " Don't you know who this is?" and I reply, "Yes, she is an angel". 

The women then asks me to open my left hand as she begins to give me five secret gifts. My colleague watches and listens as she continues. She begins by telling me the meaning of each secret as she places a small stone in my hand. The first stone is a rose quartz, followed by a black onyx, a square shaped tigers eye, a tear shaped snowflake obsidian, and finally a small blue triangular piece of turquoise. 

As she places the turquoise in the palm of my hand it begins to slip off. She catches it, places it once again into my palm and tells me to hold on to this stone, as it is the most important secret. She closes the palm of my hand tightly so the stones will remain with me and then she disappears. I immediately realize I have forgotten the secrets, yet I continue to keep each of the five stones with me.

I walk back into the room where the celebration continues. Far across the room, I see my colleague who is surround by those who continue to honor him for his professional achievements. I know that he cannot hear me from far across the room, but I also know that he is constantly aware of my presence. Catching his eye for one brief moment I silently move my lips to say, " I told you it was going to turn out wonderful". Understanding exactly what I mean, he smiles.
Now it is time for me to leave, and although the celebration continues I begin to exit the stone castle. Everyone asks me why I am leaving so early. I tell them I must get back and like Cinderel la I begin to walk briskly down the halls of the castle. Hearing nothing but the sound of my taffeta gown as it flows, I cascade down the hallway. As I turn around to look behind me, I begin to notice construction workers covering the top of the high ceiling to the bottom of the stone floor with a white gauze like veil. Now even though I want to look back, I can now no longer see.
Suddenly and abruptly I awaken, jolting back into my body like a flash of lightening. 
Unlocking Sacred Symbols

Many times as we travel on our sacred journey, we wonder what it is that life has in store for us. We hope that we are following the path we are meant to be on, however sometimes we begin to contemplate what the future has in store for each and every one of us. Along our journey we make decisions daily that not only affect us individually, but also affect the greater whole of those around us. This becomes particularly important in the work environment.

Sometimes we may find ourselves loving with a passion the profession we have chosen, but so many obstacles prevent us from completing the job the way in which we dream it could be. A dream, which in reality benefits the greater whole. It is so easy to quit and give up during such trying times, but the road that is rough makes the journey more of an accomplishment and ones life more sacred for having chosen the difficult path. 

If only we can be told or warned of the future. If only we could be guided gently back onto our sacred path by a message. Imagine the comfort in knowing that we will eventually be able to accomplish the purpose of our sacred journey and that everything will indeed turn out wonderful somewhere just a little further down the road? 

If we listen and look carefully, if we provide a quiet place in our mind uncluttered by stress and busy thoughts, if we except that life is sacred, then the symbols and the signs begin to appear. The dream becomes the reality to those intuitive enough to honor the sacred and embrace the light. 

Use Astrology to Change Your Life for the Better!

Guest blog by Stephanie Clement
Author of Charting Your Career: The Horoscope Reveals Your Life Purpose

As we enter the autumn season I am reminded of the many times this meant a return to school. After a summer of vacations, part-time jobs, and outdoor activities, I went back to the classroom to begin a new learning cycle. Even now I feel the strongest urge to explore new subjects in the fall. It happens again in January as we start the New Year.

Are you looking for something new to wrap your mind around? Make astrology your new subject this year. You'll discover there is much more to the subject than just your Sun Sign!
How can you make use of all that astrology has to offer, even if you don't feel like becoming a professional? My clients ask me this question often, so I have gathered together some suggestions for using astrology in your daily life. Let's start with your birth chart.

Understanding Your Chart

The basis of astrology is the birth chart. Each of us has a unique chart for the time, date and place where we were born. Here's what you can find out from your chart:
· about your individual potential
· how to direct that potential to become a creative, happy person
· how to develop satisfying relationships
· how your chart reflects your personality and desires

Here's a short list of what astrology can tell you about yourself:
· Sun - You as an individual
· Moon - How you act from instinct and accomplish goals
· Mercury - how your thinking is organized, how you communicate
· Venus - how you attract love and harmony into your life
· Mars - how you experience action and desire in your life
· Jupiter - how you expand your thinking, your philosophy
· Saturn - how your structure your life on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual planes
· Uranus - how you experience imbalance in your life, how you use intuition to regain balance
· Neptune - where you experience glamour and illusion, how you cultivate compassion
· Pluto - Your power and will
· Ascendant (rising sign) - the mask you wear, your personality
· Midheaven (the highest point in your birth chart) - what you can learn about yourself, your self-awareness

As you learn about the myriad differences among the planets and signs, you gain a new appreciation of the variety and power of opportunities you have. You develop sympathy for other people, whose potential takes them in different directions. And you learn how to work with other people more successfully.

Career: cross reference to Vocational Astrology

Guest blog by  Stephanie Clement
Author of Charting Your Career: The Horoscope Reveals Your Life Purpose

The two most frequently asked questions in astrology relate to relationship and career. Of these, career exploration combines the best of traditional astrological methods with the best of modern psychological astrology. In addition, Vedic astrology includes very specific data about the type of career one may pursue.

Exploration of the career includes several factors in the chart:
· Individual creative capacity. Everyone is creative; vocational astrology looks at creativity as it impacts career choices.
· The careers that suit the individual chart. These reflect the planets, sign, and aspects related to the 10th House and its rulers.
· The actual workplace and the people found there, reflected by the 6th House and its rulers. This includes the geographic location, the type of building, and the location within the building where one works.
· The source of one's personal income, reflected by the 2nd House and its rulers. This house also includes money management, material goods, and also self-esteem.
· The personal style of the individual. This includes myriad factors, with a focus on the Sun, Moon, Ascendant and Midheaven signs.
· The place to begin one's career path (indicated by Saturn)
· The personal activities concerning career (indicated by Mars)
· Character traits that may affect job performance (sign and element of the Sun and Moon, speed of the Moon in the birth chart, position of Mercury relative to the Sun, and numerous other factors)

When career considerations are expanded to include the concept of vocation or mission, the astrological delineation of career takes on a philosophical, or even spiritual overtone. If one's vocation is a calling, who calls? The ideal career satisfies this calling in a direct way. The astrologer can help the client listen to the inner voice, or daimon, to understand the unique personal life path he or she is intended to pursue. The astrologer then uses the above considerations to identify careers that suit the individual mission.

Twenty-first Century vocational astrology has unique demands, considering the rapid changes in the work arena. Significant careers from the past no longer exist, or have metamorphosed into something unrecognizable by a 19th Century person. For example, candle-making was once an essential occupation. The contemporary candle maker is either working in a highly mechanized atmosphere, or is making candles for the love of the task. Very few people make their living in this career. However, like the butcher and the baker, the candle-making profession may be seeing a small revival, as people indicate their desire for "the real thing."
The distinctions between work roles have blurred. For example, where a business person once had a secretary to prepare all letters, email now is an essential component of an executive's work skill package. Yet skilled letter-writing retains a place in the career mix, and is a creative art to be developed by those who aim to get ahead. The executive has acquired the increased need for written communication skills.

A second example involves libraries. The internet and computers have resulted in major revisions in the way libraries operate. Once the province of a professional librarian, book cataloging can be done quickly and inexpensively by staff with far less technical training, and a library collection in Pueblo, Colorado can be viewed by a patron in Italy. In this case the clerical workload of collection management has been shifted to another staff member, and the professional librarian has moved into the role of collection development and reference services to a large extent.

What do these changes mean for the vocational astrologer? The astrologer has to keep current with career changes. Vocational and professional training information forms an important part of the astrologer's resources. Similar to the career counselor in a school, the astrologer must be able to relate the client's astrological vocational picture to the career market of the day.

The astrologer can act as career coach as well. Help with choosing the career field remains the main focus. In addition, the astrologer can coach the client in how to present his or her skills effectively. A third part of the astrologer's role is to help the client present his deeper character traits effectively. Missing from resumes of the 20th Century, effective communication of one's character may be the deciding factor in gaining employment in very tough job markets. The astrologer is well positioned to provide essential information in this regard.
Vocational astrology is a growing segment within the broader astrological career field. The use of traditional charting methods and contemporary computer-aided astrology make this a dynamic branch of a profession that dates back at least to the Greeks and their Arabian contemporaries.

Choose Optimism

Have you ever wondered where the expression, “knock on wood” comes from? There are several theories dating back to the Pagans, Christians and ancient Celtics. The most common is that knocking
on a tree woke the good spirits who would protect people from evil. Today’s version includes knocking on any wood-like surface, but the premise remains the same--preventing bad luck. To me, it’s just another form of negative thinking--focusing on the bad instead of the good.

You bring into your life that which you focus upon. If you’re one of those people who thrives on gloom and doom, yanking others into your web of despair, and then gloating about your foresight when life becomes as miserable as you feared--guess what? This becomes your own self-fulfilling prophecy! You will always live in victim mode, shunning happiness, while you anticipate your next inevitable misfortune. 

Amid these forces of negativity, notice that there are others who always seem cheerful, finding the good in any situation or person. The words, “Murphy’s Law,” never touch their lips! You may think that they have all the good luck. And they do! Because they focus on how great things are or can be, versus what can ruin it. And, if something does go wrong, they find the lesson in the experience--maybe even the silver lining--and move on positively. These are the people who choose optimism. 

When I woke up one day to find my car tire flat in my driveway, I didn't think, “These things always happen to me. This car has been bad luck since I bought it.” Instead I chose to think, “Wasn't I lucky to have this happen here, instead of while I was driving 60MPH on the freeway?” OK…you say, “Big deal! It’s just a flat tire. What about the really bad stuff that happens to us, like death, divorce, 
bankruptcy, illness?” My answer stays the same--How you see it is still your choice. I lost four family members in four years, and my mother was ill for ten years. After that devastating time, I decided to write a book to help others deal with tragedy. I wanted to turn those tragedies into something positive for others and myself. That was my choice.

Optimism is a learned behavior. If no one in your life has ever taught you to be positive, then it becomes your choice to learn. You create the reality around you with your thoughts, words and actions. It’s the law of the universe--what you put out, you get back. Simple. 

Negativity zaps so much energy from you and comes back ten times stronger. It’s cold, dark and heavy on your soul, while being cheerful and optimistic feels like a cool summer breeze--light, sweet and airy. Try it sometime; you may never go back. 

Five ways to choose optimism in your life
1) Hang around positive people even if it seems uncomfortable at first.
2) If you work or live with negative people, don't get pulled into their fear or impose your opinion upon them.
3) Try to change every negative thought and word to a positive one. 
4) Always assume the best from people and situations.
5) Make positive affirmations--if you say it enough, you'll start believing it.

Choose Acceptance

It’s so easy to accept the good stuff when it happens to us. We savor those fortunate moments, like a piece of Godiva chocolate slowing melting in our mouths. But when we’re faced with bad news or unpleasant feelings, we fight, ignore or deny them like the plague. We dig in our heels and think, 
“Not in my lifetime is this going to happen!”

There is a generation of people who experienced more than the usual death and loss, while they struggled through WWII and the great depression. Having gone through so much pain, they seem to be more accepting of what happens in their life. My parents were part of that generation. After my mother became disabled, she would often say, “I never imagined I'd be living like this.” Then in the same breath, she'd follow with, “I guess it’s God’s will.” Whether it was God’s will or not, the acceptance of her uncontrollable misfortune helped her stay sane through ten consecutive years of chronic illness, disability and near death experiences.

Now, I'm not suggesting you roll over and play dead when life deals you a bad set of cards. You should always attempt to change and improve whatever you can. But sometimes, a tornado sweeps into your life without cause or warning. While you can't prevent it, you can certainly live through it. That means acknowledging it and adjusting your life to accommodate and embrace it--without anger or guilt. Major setbacks are often lessons that help you change your life for the better. 

Death is one of the most difficult events in life for us to accept. Often family members choose to deny a terminal diagnosis or worse, assume they’re doing the dying person a favor by not telling him. Then the person dies without the opportunity to say good-bye, make amends or get his affairs in order. Afterwards, the remaining friends and family are left with an even larger burden --sorting out the mess and all their emotions of denial. They may never accept their loved one’s death, which can cause a domino effect of emotions from anger to hate to depression. On the other hand, had they accepted the impending death, they might have been able to make that person’s last days more joyful and their own less frustrating.

By accepting the events in your life, you accept life itself.  You become more tolerable of others and more content with your personal situation, whatever it may be at the time. You realize that every event in your life--trivial or life changing, fortuitous or tragic, eventually comes to an end. 

Life will always be a series of ups and downs. For some of you, it’s a roller coaster ride. For others, it’s just a few bumps on a rather flat road. Either way, you'll be happier if you hold on, pay attention and embrace every bit of the ride.

Five ways to choose acceptance in your life: 
1)   Say and believe each morning that you are open to whatever the day brings.  
2)   Consider death a natural part of life--talk about it, work through it.
3)   Remember that unhappy events and emotions are temporary--don't deny them, they'll come back to haunt you.
4)   Embrace misfortune; it will make the good times feel that much better.
5)   Don't worry or blame yourself for things out of your control--go with the flow.