Tag Archives: women

Cracking the Mirror of Self-Reflection

Virginia in 1935 at 16, her graduation photo from Julia Richman High School, Manhattan…

My Aunt Virginia, who died in 2012, left me her important papers, a partially written memoir, letters, jottings, and diary entries, which she had severely edited by slicing them out of her journals with a sharp knife, leaving behind only what she wanted posterity to see.

During our recent move to Virginia I came across the box where I had stored her stuff since her death and decided it was time to sort through it. What I found has been a treasure trove of family history, as well as an introduction to a complicated, fiercely intelligent, strikingly independent and delightful young woman.

I knew Virginia intimately my whole life as my aunt, my Godmother, and my spiritual mother, but as I poured over what she chose to leave behind I learned what she had never shared; her deepest struggles to figure out life, to live and love to the fullest, to use and be respected for her intellect. She was determined to not just do what was expected, to marry the first appropriate guy that came along with a decent job. She wanted true love, a soulmate, and she stuck to her guns about it, taking a unique stance for a young woman growing up in the 1920s and 30s, delaying marriage until it was right, in spite of the many attempts to marry her off.

She did meet her true soulmate when she was 30, a vibrant, brilliant young graphic designer who was making a name for himself in the New York graphic design world of 1950. It was a love affair that swept them both off their feet and into a whirlwind of intense love, emotion, and deep spiritual connection. He proposed to her on the first night they met and she accepted, though she was inclined to take things a bit slower than he. It turned out he was right to want to speed things up because it all ended tragically when he died suddenly and unexpectedly two months after they met, on the operating table during an emergency appendectomy of an allergic reaction to an anesthetic.

His death left her desolate, but it didn’t stop her; she sought to recapture that love and intense connection in another, and another. She gained insight and wisdom the hard way, by living and learning, by looking deep into her yearning heart and by using her keen mind. She once said, “It seems that you just keep on and that’s not even so bad, so long as you keep struggling!” The “struggle” she refers to is the soul’s yearning for something that only the heart will recognize when it finally comes around.

Virginia was born in 1919 and lived through the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, and World War II. She lived most of her life in New York City, though she loved the countryside. When she was growing up the family always had a house elsewhere to venture to on weekends and during the summer months, a shack on the beach at Rocky Point, a farmhouse in Orange county, and later a permanent home in Dutchess County.

She held various positions in publishing, having worked at Harper’s Magazine, McGraw-Hill and the World Press Review. She was active in international relations during World War II, working at the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies (CDAAA), The United Nations Association, and for Professor and Legal Scholar Clyde Eagleton at NYU’s Graduate School of International Affairs during the founding of the United Nations.

Virginia was an insatiable reader, her library was vast and all-encompassing. She found something of interest in every book she ever read and every person she ever met. A prolific letter writer, she maintained lifelong friendships with several international pen pals, from her teen years until her death, or theirs, many of whom she never met in person. And, always, she aspired to being a “real” writer, like many of the great writers she met during her years in publishing.

Recently, Chuck wrote a blog that included insight into one of our most intriguing human psychological traits, one that we all innately possess, that of projection, and the power we have within us to use the mirror of self-reflection to achieve a higher state of self-realization, especially by confronting our feelings of self-importance.

He wrote: We begin by assuming responsibility for the fact that we, as individuals, reflect the reality we see without. Although it may be difficult to face this shadow truth, it is also quite empowering. You can read the whole blog here.

Among my aunt’s papers I found more than a few pieces that directly confronted her own struggles with this most common trait, the power of projection in the search for a soulmate. As Chuck wrote in Soulmate 101: At the psychological, or spiritual dimension, the soul mediates our spirit’s longing for itself in matter. The root of desire is this attractive force of spirit seeking appropriate matter to realize itself, or to manifest as a physical reality. To accomplish this, soul uses the psychological mechanism of projection.

Virginia was a jazz aficionado. As she wrote when she went to her first jazz concert at Town Hall in 1942: “I was struck dumb. I felt exactly as though I had been slugged with a baseball bat… I had come home. This was the music I had longed for, without knowing it. I knew it at once, though.” After that she could not get enough of jazz. She went to as many concerts as she could, read as many books on the subject as she could find, scoured the record stores for albums, learning as much as she could about this new music that was, as she wrote, “something to believe in.”

The following example of soulmate projection and reconciliation was written when Virginia was 38. She was facing the end of one soulmate projection and was soon to meet another soulmate, her husband-to-be, Max Kaminsky. Max was a well known jazz trumpeter and cornetist and she had been one of his biggest fans, meeting him shortly after that first concert she went to in 1942. They lost contact for many years then met again when she was 39 and he was 50. Eventually, they married and wrote My Life in Jazz together, a memoir of his long career as a jazz musician. Their marriage was intense and loving, and it lasted until Max’s death in 1994, the day before his 86th birthday. Here is Virginia’s reflection:

August 9, 1957

“Dad was talking tonight about how much the old-time performers gave of themselves—and it suddenly struck me—more forcibly than ever before in my life—how little I give of myself.

This is one of my worst blocks—I noticed it in myself in the car tonight with the two women [whom she frequently rode from the city with on weekends to visit the family farm in Dutchess County]—all they really want is pleasantness. I used to be so touchy, thinking that if I gave of myself they would have a power over me—is that it— or was it that I expected so much of them that when they misunderstood I became hurt, disappointed and offended.

But it’s a prison—one I’ve made all by myself. I’m a secretary because I act like one—goddammit—a stuffed shirt. What I have to get thru my thick head is that I am free-free-free, just as free as I choose to be and that it’s not those “other” people who are holding me back—it’s me.

I don’t have to believe in the role Jacques [the man she was in love with at the time] has assigned to me. I am perfectly free to love him if I choose—and in that way it’s none of his business—as long as I don’t, overtly or insidiously, ask for his love in return. That’s the counter, [the] balance—you are free just so long and in proportion to how little you try to exact from others.”

In this piece, my aunt reflects beautifully on herself, coming to a deeper realization that she is responsible for how she feels and views the world. In her analysis, she fully owns her own part in the unfolding of her life, deciding that she can choose as she pleases, as long as she doesn’t take what is not freely given, even energetically.

Here she breaks the mirror of her own self-reflection, withdrawing her projection and owning her own inner soulmate, preparing to live it in her physical life. In fact, it was a pivotal moment; without her even knowing it, she was preparing to enter a new reality, opening the way for further true self-realization. And as we know, she did meet her true soulmate, Max, shortly after this, perhaps because she was finally ready.

At the time, she held a limiting belief about herself, that she was only a secretary. Shortly after this, her papers reveal, she decided to give more of herself and volunteered to read to the blind. She ended up as a volunteer reader for many years, reading to law students, to college and high school students, when called upon. But the actual truth is that she grew far beyond the secretary self that she so bemoaned, eventually becoming the senior editor at Harper’s Magazine. I used to see her name on the masthead, third one down from the top, after the editor-in-chief and the managing editor. And she did become the writer she had always yearned to be.

Having opened the box containing my aunt’s things and discovering what she valued and chose to pass on, I too ask myself, do I give enough? Do I do enough? Am I kind enough?

Do any of us give enough? Are any of us kind enough? How much do we hold ourselves back because of our limiting beliefs, because of our entrenched defenses, our sense of entitlement, our regrets or resentments? Why are we so offended all the time?

I thank my aunt for the little bits she left behind, modest and humble in their number yet full of profound insight into a woman’s struggle to find her place in the world, and to matter.

In remembrance of a wise woman,


Chuck’s Place: Locker Room Talk

(This is the third in a series of blogs around the same theme. Beginning with Narcissism on the Way to Love and followed by Hillary as Hermaphrodite, this blog takes a closer and deeper look at the psychology of narcissism. All three blogs are commentaries on the rebalancing of the masculine and feminine partnership, so necessary for the survival of the world and currently being played out in the political arena.)

Recent political events have given rise to the term “locker room talk” as a recognizable and understandable categorization of male sexual fantasy or actual sexual behavior, at least one common expression of it. So recognizable is its occurrence that many intelligent women in a recent New York Times article actually dismissed locker room talk as a legitimate reason to disqualify a potential presidential candidate exposed as engaging in it, in locker room talk.

On some level these women seem to be expressing the truth and acceptance that all men have that side of themselves; however annoying or immature it might be—it simply is. So, what is “it”?

In my recent blog, Narcissism on the Way to Love, I gave a nod to Freud’s stages of libidinal (sexual) development, beginning in primary narcissism. Narcissism is a psychological mindset that literally can’t get its face beyond looking in the mirror. The eyes simply cannot take in a picture of the world separate from the self.

Time to put away the toys and grow up! - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Time to put away the toys and grow up!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Relationship is not possible at the narcissistic stage because relationship requires two separate people in order to exist. For the narcissist there is only one being, the self. Of course, at the adult stage, a narcissist must function in a world of separate objects, and they do. However, those objects are just that, toys in a toy chest for one’s pleasure and amusement.

Locker room talk depicts a woman, not as a separate being, but rather as an object with body parts available for one’s play and for one’s taking: legs, tits, asses, and pussies. The narcissist cannot solve the puzzle of a world beyond the self, much less the mystery of woman, a being distinctly other than themself. In fact, the terror of confronting the mystery of otherness gives rise to the sanctuary of locker room talk. Here men can brag of tales of conquest as they graphically describe the booty of body parts, the treasures they have stolen or intend to steal. Here men collude in an attempt to avoid real terror at the power of nature as embodied in a woman. The fixation here does indeed go back to mother. For what more powerful being on earth could there be than woman, whose body gives life to all human beings?

Freud localized this problem to an incestuous desire to unite with this powerful woman and therefore remain under her protectorate in an eternal Eden of bliss. Jung expanded this perspective beyond this regressive wish to include the challenge to individuate, to truly become a separate self capable of standing on one’s own two feet and thereby actually able to take on the mystery of relating to a feminine being that exists outside the narcissistic orbit of the first three chakras. For Jung, true relationship could only begin at the level of the heart chakra, where another individual can be seen and experienced objectively as existing outside of the self.

At the heart center, another person is a whole person, both body and psyche. Connection requires meeting the whole person. Body parts may indeed activate instinctual desires, but at the heart center the true desire is to meet and connect with another being, body and soul. Reaching this stage of development requires a heroic effort to both withstand the regressive protectorate of the mother world, frequently projected onto all women “partners,” and a willingness to truly encounter the mystery, power, and integrity of another as they truly are.

Donald Trump serves as a helpful example of both Freud and Jung’s perspectives. Donald expresses his penchant for married woman. Freud, of course, would see the oedipal victory in this: steal another man’s wife, obtain mother! This includes the power dynamic of defeating father because, as Donald states, in his world mother (married woman) willingly chooses/loves his lecherous approaches!

Jung would acknowledge this pyrrhic regressive victory but would insist as well that the hero in this case has really not slain the primordial dragon of dependency on mommy and her power to sustain life. To slay the dragon is to move beyond the family nursery, to stand on one’s own and enter the mystery of life. And, in entering that mystery of life, we must grant others their own autonomous existence.

Beyond the narcissistic orbit others are not simply need-fulfilling objects to play with or break. Others are powerful beings who likely terrify us because of their godly ability to give life, as well as take it if they see fit. Can woman be granted the fullness of who she truly is? This is a Relationship 101 prerequisite.

Like the toys of childhood, locker room talk must be put away if we are to take on the challenge of true adulthood and real relationship. It’s time to stop settling for less, men and women alike.

Outside the locker room,


Chuck’s Place: The Divine Power Of Sexuality

Accessing the divine cosmic... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Accessing the divine cosmic…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Human sexuality is the physical manifestation of a far subtler yet powerful cosmic energy whose guiding intent is union. At the highest level that union is oneness with God, or the cosmos. At the most basic level, in the human form, it is unconscious instinctive union that results in procreation. One of the greatest challenges for human beings is to reconcile this divine energy with its physical, emotional, and mental energies in the human body.

I opened the Huffington Post the other day to an article entitled: Saudi Historian: U.S. Women Drive Because They Don’t Care If They’re Raped. This somewhat bizarre argument, to justify the Saudi law that forbids Saudi women from driving, does shine a light, however, upon a worldview that acknowledges the power and dangers of sexual energy. The Saudi solution is to overly protect women from the dangers of male sexual energy that loses control in situations of rape. Their solution is an affront to modern sensibility and progress, yet it nonetheless openly confronts the power and potential dangers of sexual energy.

In the West, the assumption that rationality, maturity, love, and respect insure safety in sexuality is blatantly on trial in our age of internet revelation. Abuse of sexual power is evident in our most sacred religious institutions, our schools and universities, and in our homes. It is quite arguable that for all our technological advances we are extremely naive and underdeveloped in our handling of sex.

In old Tibet, children entered monastic life long before the adult manifestation of sexual energy. Celibacy and the refusal to engage in sexual pleasure, even in masturbation, are fundamental to nuns and monks seeking enlightenment. The Shamans of Ancient Mexico discouraged sexual activity, as the energy it exhausted is seen as critical to dream advancement. In these practices we see a respect for the power and vitality of sexual energy, and while it is sublimated it is still utilized, channeled into spiritual advancement. Freud went so far as to suggest that civilization itself was a by-product of sublimated sexual energy.

This scant survey of sexual management throughout the world highlights the power of and the challenge that the carnal and the spiritual dimensions of sexual energy pose. If we can allow the hypothesis that sexuality is of cosmic origin, a blind yet divine energy, sent from “God” to empower union in human form, then it is our greatest human challenge to reconcile this blind, divine energy with full human consciousness. Thus, we can ill afford to lock it away in protectionism, divert it for spiritual aims, or naively assume anything goes simply because we all have rational control.

Trashy Barbie... - Trash Art by Jan Ketchel
Trashy Barbie…
– Trash Art by Jan Ketchel

As humans, we are charged with discovering the full depth and power of our sexual instinct, this divine energy from God, in all its manifestations—physical, emotional, and mental. We are all charged with actively uniting this side of our nature with our consciousness, that which, in our human form, is our ephemeral spiritual center.

This weekend we celebrate Valentine’s Day, a day appropriated to pay homage to love in relationship. The intent of this celebration is to merge love—union based on consciousness, driven by what is right—with sexuality, in its most instinctive form, in a harmony that symbolizes wholeness and oneness, as cupid depicts, in divine rapture.

Valentine’s Day is, not coincidentally, the opening day for the movie Fifty Shades of Grey. This movie is based on a highly erotic novel that develops the theme of dominance/submission, sadism/masochism in sexual practices. The novel, with all of its steamy sex scenes, has had unprecedented worldwide success. I suggest this success is due to its liberating effects on the exploration of female desire and sexual fantasy, which have been largely undervalued or “protectively” ignored. However, I don’t feel that this fantasy of female sexuality is fully accurate or comprehensive. It may serve for the release and exploration of a largely hidden topic—woman’s sexuality—but I think it actually mirrors the collective frozen states of women’s sexual pleasures and the relationships that reinforce them.

The storyline of the novel allows women pleasure in bondage. Bondage may indeed be a pleasurable experience, but it hardly touches the depths of real pleasure that a woman is capable of experiencing in a truly conscious, loving relationship. The true union of the primal sexual power with consciousness requires the containment of a safe, loving relationship where these primal energies can play and merge in full consciousness.

Bondage, by design, is the antithesis of true freedom. Nonetheless, bondage might be viewed as a more primitive form of commitment. In true commitment, however, a couple freely bonds themselves to each other in a love that allows the full meeting of two beings on all levels. This deep and freeing union, I suggest, is one realization of the divine intent of sexuality. Issued from the highest spiritual plane, it culminates in full realization of the divine in sublime human form.

Rape, in all its manifestations, is the consequence of an aberrant decision to not take up the challenge of humanness and instead to surrender control to the proclivities of the dark side. It’s inhuman. Bondage, in all its manifestations, is a rudimentary experience of trapping and controlling the divine energy. Conscious relationship is the exact opposite, as it seeks to responsibly unite animal and divine.

Will we go through the bardos into the light this time? - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Will we go through the bardos into the light this time?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The ultimate challenge awaits us in death itself, where we, as individuals, must completely merge our human energy with divine oneness. Notice, this is not union with another person. This is ourselves, as individuals, uniting with the divine.

Our ultimate, full realization of divine sexuality is in the inner union of self, in the wholeness of all energies merged, physical and divine, transfigured into the oneness of all. Will we resist releasing our body and land in the bardos to continue to work through our attachments to physicality? Or are we ready to fully join with the divine light?

Happy Valentine’s Day,

Chuck’s Place: New Models Of Possibility

The answer is true connection... - Art by Jan Ketchel
The answer is true connection…
– Art by Jan Ketchel

Having read the synopsis of Don Jon, I was curious as to how the movie might address a major relationship challenge of our time: addiction to internet pornography.

The movie was energetically rajasic, difficult to stomach, however, it managed to realistically offer an insight into the core challenge of porn addiction and how to go about addressing it. The main male character, who had a very active sex life, even a relationship with Scarlett Johansson—who I later learned has twice been announced the sexiest woman on earth by Esquire magazine—preferred pornography to an actual flesh and blood person because it allowed him the freedom to lose himself in masturbation rather than have to face the challenge of intimate connection. The antidote to his fixation was to learn to actually look into the eyes of his partner and feel a genuine connection.

When I recently spoke with my daughter, currently completing her graduate studies in Social Work, I suggested that she view the movie as part of her own clinical education. She called me the next day to inform me that her boyfriend had preferred to see Gravity, and so they saw that instead. “Dad, why didn’t I go into science… there’s so much more out there,” she expressed excitedly. “We’re just a tiny part of it all!” She went on to share a dream she’d had after seeing the movie.

“I was with friends at the ocean,” she said. “We wanted to create a whirlpool. We started making the whirlpool. I was the furthest out in the ocean. Remember, Dad, when we were in the Hudson River and we struggled with the current. You always warned me about the undertow. Well, it got me in the ocean. I was pulled away. Suddenly a voice inside me said, ‘Just let go,’ and I did. I let go and I was fine.”

I was so struck by her experience and dream that off we went to see Gravity the next day. I have never seen a movie where the lead actor is a woman astronaut in space. What an amazing experience! And I could see the impact such an image could have on a young woman’s imagination of what she might really do in this life. Just a week before, I had been drawn to read an article in the New York Times—Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science?—lamenting the paucity of women in science. One causal suggestion from this article was the lack of female models that one would feel comfortable realistically identifying with. Sandra Bullock’s performance may open a new era of models for girls and women to free themselves into new vistas of possibility. Had my daughter been a child today, she might actually have chosen to go into the sciences after seeing this movie with this strong female lead.

The lessons of Don Jon may offer men, as well, freedom from the stuckness and control of two-dimensional images as they challenge themselves to open to the immense possibilities of real life intimacy. These two movies, as diverse as they are from each other, hold similar messages: don’t ever underestimate the possibilities!

Enjoying the movies, and the possibilities too,

A Day in a Life: Tap Into The Feminine Source

I perceive a triangle...

I wake up each morning and directly out the window I see a triangular shape of branches. I see this every morning and every morning I wonder what it means. The triangle is important, significant, and its image hovers in my thoughts throughout the day. This morning I noticed something else. I saw a cluster of leaves and light creating a wheel at the top of the triangle in the way the light was hitting the tree. “Oh, the dharma,” I thought, the wheel representing the teachings of Buddha. I knew I was being asked, as I often am, to spread the dharma, that which I have been learning. “Okay,” I thought, “today is the day I write my blog. What will it be about?” And so, since then, it has evolved into the following message.

An old idea has come circling around again, into my conscious thoughts, appropriately so, for it is nature itself calling. It is Mother Earth calling out to the women of the world, asking us to remember who we are, for we are the source.

As a channel, I cannot ignore what comes through me; it would be neglectful and perhaps even disastrous to do so. I’ve had enough experience to know that it’s important to speak of what comes. I am not being inflated. I have learned over the past decade that what comes through me energetically is usually right on the money, it has value, and so I ask: Who are we? Do the women of the world truly value and utilize all that we hold inside us? Do the women of the world realize how intimately connected we are to nature, to the flow of energy, to the innate powers of healing and nurturance?

Thyme...from the earth...

Last night, as I was preparing dinner, Chuck asked: “Is this all ours?” Meaning, did we grow this? “Yes, it’s all ours,” I said. “Wow, you did this!” he said. “This is all you!” And I had to acknowledge that, yes, the food we are eating these days is all due to the efforts I put into making a garden so that we may eat directly from our own soil. At that moment, I realized that we all have the power within us to bring forth healthy goodness, to nurture ourselves and others in so many ways. Men and women alike, we are all capable of creating a beautiful, peaceful, healthy world, for I will not leave men out of my message today. However, I direct my words to women, because I feel that we have increasingly gotten distracted from, and discouraged from being, who we truly are.

In truth, we women are deeply connected to the source of all life, to the rhythms and flow of nature, to the moon and stars, to the deep rumblings of the earth, to the mystical, ethereal realms of the heavens. We are the beings who have the greatest opportunity to bring interconnectedness back into life, into everyday life. We are many, and we are fully capable of changing the world, but our power is, as of yet, largely untapped. Though many women are already aware and involved in awakening feminine energy, many more women need to get involved, in whatever way feels right and comfortable.

We all want the world to be a better, safer place. We can start to make that happen in small ways, simply by letting our spirits speak through us, by letting ourselves channel the good energy inherent in all of us. As we send our children and those nearest to us out into the world every day, as we meet people every day, we must not forget to tell them that they are good, kind beings, and that they should live their lives that way too, because life itself deserves this kind of energy, life is calling all of us to be this way.

We must remind ourselves of this goodness and kindness within ourselves and live it fully as well. We must all discover that we are all the same and that we all want the same things. Not money, not riches, not more stuff, but that we all want to love and be loved, to feel good about ourselves and others, to feel happy and contented. But how many people can really say that they are those things? How many people can truly say they are happy and contented in their lives?

Happiness, as we all know, does not come from having more. Greed, as we see all over the nation and the world, has wreaked havoc for decades, spoiling our earth, our water, our food, our bodies, our politics, our religions, our educational systems, and so much more. We are all out of balance because of greed, whether we have been directly involved or not.

Greed is definitely masculine energy unleashed, overpowering the feminine. It’s time for the feminine to rise up in a new way now, not in the masculine way, not by turning into that which we have learned does not work, but in an energetic way. We women, and men too, must turn to energetic interconnectedness on a conscious and deeply spiritual level, bringing change into the world in whatever way we have at our fingertips, for I believe we all have the power of interconnectedness at our fingertips right now.

The dharma...the teachings of spirit and life itself...

I realized that I made the choice many years ago to bring what I am learning to others, what I might call the dharma one day, which is really just about discovering what it means that we are all energetic, interconnected beings. I spend a good deal of my time each week writing blogs, not because my ego needs the work, but because the spirit inside me and the energy of that which I channel challenges me to be open and giving. After a lifetime of hiding behind shyness—which is another side of ego too, I might add—I now know that the rest of my life is taking me in a new direction and I am letting it guide me. I will not stand in its way. And I can tell you, it’s never too late to change. It’s really all about allowing the energy of change, connected to the flow of nature, the energy of all things, to take over, and daring to go with it.

I notice, especially over the past few months, how strikingly desperate we all are for change and how many people feel helpless, lost, and even hopeless in the face of what we have done to our planet and our species. Have we indeed turned into zombie creatures that just roam the earth destroying uncontrollably, without any connection to the sacredness of life? Have we come so far from caring about others that we cannot see that we are all in the same boat, desperately fighting for our next clean breath of air, our next sip of clear water, our next bite of pure food? Are we so far gone that we do not care if our earth gets fracked and drained of its resources, further destroying that which we have already destroyed to the point of no return?

So what do we do now? Where do we go from here? Well, I have a few ideas, simple ideas that I’ve been utilizing myself for a long time. I know they work. It all depends on who you are and how you personally decide to investigate changing your own lifestyle. Each of us must make personal decisions to change how we live in order for others to do the same. We can’t ask of others what we are not willing to do ourselves. But I can attest that making even simple changes begins a process of change. Keep in mind, however, that although change can happen on a simple scale, even the most simple of changes requires discipline, but not so much that balance is lost. Balance, as we see in nature, is of utmost importance.

Learning to do simple meditation on the conditions of the earth and humanity, breathing in the pain and destruction that we see and breathing out healing, nurturing energy is extremely easy. Everyone breathes. So what if we all set the intention to breathe in a new way, asking that each inhale we take be a breath focused on what is wrong in the world and each exhale be a breath of healing energy? Can we do it?

Try it. Set the intent that each normal breath, whether consciously focused on or not, have meaning. Set the intent for the self first, then for those closest, then for the world. Ask that the energy of healing and nurturance flow through you and that it heal you, those closest to you, and that it flow beyond you to the rest of the world. Watch what happens as you set this intent and then go into your day and just breath naturally.

We all have it...Can we dare to use it for good, for all beings?

For a more focused meditation, breathe in personal issues and conflicts and breathe out healing, for the self and others. Breathe in fear and greed, and breathe out compassion and balance. This is a very simple energetic act of kindness, love, and compassion for all beings. Breathe in sorrow and grief, and breathe out happiness and contentment, for self, those closest, even those you are at odds with, and then to the greater world, and see what happens.

To those who are gardeners, as I am, send this same kind of good and nurturing energy into your soil, even into the pots on your balcony or deck. Ask the earth to heal by spreading healing energy from your little plot of ground, down into its interconnected byways, spreading to your neighbors’ yards and beyond. Ask your earth to provide you with what you need to heal your body and your soul and ask that it go outward to others as you garden, as you put your hands into it, as you walk barefoot upon it.

Do this in water as well. If you have access to streams, river, or ocean, ask the waters to interconnect with healing energy, bringing it far beyond your own dipping spot. You can even do this in the shower and bathtub. Send your healing energy around the world. In these simple askings—in intending that the air we breathe, the earth we grow our food in, the water we drink, be interconnected channels of energy—we implement an energetic intent to change, offering it to everyone.

As simple as these things may seem, as naive as they may sound, anyone who has experienced energetic interaction knows that this is not hogwash. It is what the great healers, saints, and holy people have been teaching us forever. Love heals, love changes, love is the way. Love begins within each of us. It is feminine energy, the deep pool residing inside all of us, waiting to be tapped into, not just in women, though I send a plea to all women to return to it now and use it to change the self, and then the world. We all have this source within us, and though it may feel distant and unfamiliar, I ask you to tap into it again. Like an innocent child, bring it back into your life.

It has become increasingly clear to me that all of us women must step up now. We must take over the energy of change, shifting it in a new direction. As much as the men of the world have struggled to change the world, they too must admit that things are not looking too good. We have to all tap into the feminine source now, and return to our deeper roots. We must all become humanitarians and utilize our full human potential to love, to heal, to evolve our species to a new level of interconnectedness.

Breathing for all of you, with humbleness and love,