Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Waking Up and Embracing Spring

Hi! I'm back after many months of winter hibernation. For many people the winter months provide a needed time to find solitude and  inner strength. Did you go to your cave....a metaphorical womb?

Some people have difficulty waking up, opening their eyes and taking a deep breath. Don't be afraid to wake up, take small steps and nurture yourself. What did you discover about yourself? And what do you need in order to spring board to a new level, for spring is about moving forward. 

Growing up in Chicago winter was often very long, sometimes as early as October and lasting until the beginning of April. One of my favorite spring symbols were the purple and yellow crocus. It was always the first flower to push its way through the frozen earth, even after a late March snowfall. So fragile and yet so resilient, it was the flower that gave me hope and told me spring had truly arrived. No matter how it may have appeared on the outside, cold, gray and dreary, if there were crocuses at the back door, I knew that spring was around the corner.  The crocuses reminded me not to rely on only what you see but also what you intuitively know.

Sometimes it is hard to find the symbols that tell us what we need to know. These symbols are all around us, sometimes very subtle, and sometimes bold. It is the beauty of these symbols that add to the joy and mystery of  our life. Sometimes the symbol is a song that plays on the radio, a scent, color or dream that triggers a memory or new awareness, a story that keeps repeating, people that we are thinking about and then they suddenly appear in our life, an animal or pet that unexpectedly arrives, or Purple Crocuses.

Embrace the spring and watch for those "amazing" symbols and signs.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter Solstice: A Turning Point - From Darkness to Light

Winter Solstice is the time of the year when the sun is at the lowest and weakest, a pivotal point from which the light will grow stronger and brighter with each passing day. This is a turning point of the year. It is the shortest and darkest day of the year reminding us of the importance of the sun to life on the planet, and the symbology of light as indicators of renewel.

Without darkness we can't have light, and the beginning of gestation is where fertility takes place..... here in the dark, is the beginning of life.

This winter light a candle and give thanksgiving for something in the past, and in the present and then send a blessing for the year to come. Light a candle for someone you love, light a candle for someone you need to forgive and make peace with, light a candle for yourself, for we are often the hardest on ourselves, light a candle for someone you don't know but needs strength to carry on, light a candle for homeless children and lost souls who need to find their way back home.

Sometimes we need to be the one who holds the light, who shines like a beacon so others can find their way, sometimes we are the one who needs someone to help us find the light and carries us when the path is unlit and we can't see which way to turn.

This year allow the spark from your soul to light up your life and transform your existence from the routine to the passionate, allowing an unfolding of your unique story and purpose in the world.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Overcoming Lonliness and Moving to Connection

This is the time of the year when we are very aware of numerous celebrations. Thanksgiving has just passed, Chanuka finished, soon Christmas and New Year will be upon us. In the middle of all the celebrations we can feel very isolated. Holidays bring back memories, sights and sounds, colors, smells and voices of the past can be remembered and felt. Sometimes when I have passed a home and there is someone cooking brisket or chicken soup, the smell takes me back to my childhood. I can hear my Granny's voice calling from upstairs when I rang the doorbell on a Friday night, tired and cold walking up the steps to their second floor condominium in Chicago, a blast of hot air would steam up my glasses and the smell would make my mouth water, warm air, warm hands and warm embrace. Then for a fleeting moment I can feel her soft and gentle arms around me and once again I am 10 years old.

All from a scent......I am so grateful for these sweet memories. It isn't possible to recreate these moments again, I can only acknowledge that I miss her, feel the lonliness, acknowledge my loss and then I can move forward. Depending on where we live and what developmental stage we are in our life our life will look and feel different with each holiday season.  Not everyone may be able to attend a gathering, there are usually changes in a family, new additions, babies, children, partners, or pets, someone who is not there due to illness, seperation, divorce, or relocation.  Perhaps different food,  new customs, everyone is a year older, then again there may be the same arguments or familar family story. I remember almost every holiday gathering at my Dads parent's home my Grandpa at some point would take out his mandolin and serenade the family with his rendition of "I love you truly" All the grandchildren waited for this, the dinner wouldn't be complete, of course, we would try not to laugh and always practically choked on our food. Grandpa sang with such passion but he sang so off key, we waited for this familiar and funny ritual.

Allow yourself to remember what once was, keep your heart open and then create new rituals or celebrations.....move toward connecting .....isolation leads to alienation, as human beings this can become our enemy fueling a deeper sense of  lonliness and isolation. Stay connected....we are truly all part of the same family. We all want and long for the same thing:
"To love and be loved"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Be Still My Beating Heart

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye"
Antone de Saint Exepery

It was the end of winter that Lulu came into our life. Everything in my intellect said "Are you mad, crazy, what are you thinking? You'll get sick, you'll develop severe asthma, you could stop breathing, you could die"
Everything in my heart said " You have nothing to fear, you can overcome this, and you will overcome your fear and this little furry creature can heal you" I looked down on the ground at her big round eyes, she was sick and fearful after being chased and poisoned. At that moment I felt my heart expand and an overwhelming feeling of unconditional love overcame me........I knew I had to take this little one.
My stepson picked her up in his hands, and we walked uptstairs. When we opened th door, my partner was shocked and overjoyed, he looked at me and said, "Are you sure about this?" I said, "Yes, I'm sure, I've wanted a cat my entire life, now its time." The timing couldn't be more perfect, as he had a broken ankle and was housebound for the next two months, I knew she would also help comfort him, and our son would delight in the company of a kitten. Now all I had to do was overcome my fear. To overcome my fear I was going to have to become active in my healing.
Just taking an inhaler or medication was not going to be adequate, that is a very passive form of coping. I was going to have to become active in my healing of allergy and asthmatic reaction to cats. In this case I followed my heart and this became a life changing event.

Dr. Caroline Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit and a known medical intuitive psychologist points out the value and importance of learning how to interpret your health symbolically. Observing what  causes you to lose power and where you feel the loss in your body, this is the symbolic language of energy. Energy information is always truthful. Although a person may say one thing, his energy will state how he really feels, and his real feelings will find there way to a symbolic statement. Our biological and spiritual systems always seek to speak the truth.

When I had an allergic reaction to cats I actually felt the loss of energy in my body, in my lungs and heart, I wheezed, I coughed, I couldn't catch my breath. I felt lonely and sad, because I so desired this connection and denied myself this deep inner longing. Once I embraced this feeling and allowed my heart to expand filled with compassion, love and reaching out, instead of withdrawing from fear, as I did when I was a child, I overcame this allergy.  It is similar to the concept of homeopathic medicine in order to overcome the symptom, or dis-ease. your symptom is matched to a natural remedy, that replicates the symptom, thus mirroring exactly what you are
avoiding, thus strengthening your body and mind. 

I  must say it took disciplined effort to overcome my fear, but here's the most important point, I wanted to heal, I wanted to take action. I had to remind myself not to panic and to breath, sometimes I cried and thought this will never work, how can I overcome something like this, my partner gave me Reiki frequently, sometimes I wore a surgical mask, sometimes I had to leave the apartment for a awhile until I felt grounded again, I vacumed the house with a hepa vacume, I used homeopathic remedies and eventually my immune system became stronger and I started to believe cats were not dangersous. (Remember this was a belief system that had developed since was a little girl, around 5 to be exact) Now I was in control not allergies. It was a powerful process, but now I have 3 beautiful cats and they often sleep in my bed!

Allow your heart to be still.....quiet your mind and then ask yourself if I was to step outside my comfort zone and embrace something new, what might that be? Where in my life have I been losing power/energy, what have I been avoiding but  desired? What might that be? Trust your inner, creative voice, and take that first step. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Tis the season of pumpkins, jack o' lanterns, candy corn, bats, wild witches brew, costume and masks. Every age in America loves to participate in the ancient ritual. Many businesses allow their staff to dress up, so don't be surprised if you go into Bank of America and see a teller dressed up as Cinderella or a Witch, restaurants, shopkeepers, you name it.......of course school parties, and after school and midnight Trick or Treating, Disco's and Amusement Parks fame themselves with Haunted Houses.
And what is it that is so magical about this day.......the wonderful and freeing opportunity to be a child and to dress up, and be someone else with the full permission of the society. Costumes   give us the chance to be an angel or a devil, to create the dark or light side of ourselves. For that matter all celebrations or festivals that allow costumes and masks lets us become a free spirited, spontaneous child again. 

I'll never forget the year when I was driving to a costume party in Los Angeles, I was 26, and dressed up as Mother Nature. I wore a wild natural of curls sprayed gold, my eyes painted with rainbows, and long bright blue eyelashes,white skin, painted bright red lips, and lightening bolt going through my hair, and a tiny bird attached to my flimsy dress. Wouldn't you know it, my battery died in the middle of traffic. Lucky enough it was by a supermarket, so I  got out of the car and easily gained assistance with alot of honking and hooting horns.

I walked in the market to make a phone call, no cellulars then, and was greeted by numerous people..."Hey how ya doing tonight.....who are you?" While I was there I  made a call to the Automobile Club, the shop manager asked me " Wait a minute if your Mother Nature how come you need help? You can do anything" Yes, I was Mother Nature for the night but I could not charge my own battery, I had to wait for the Auto Club , but I enjoyed every minute of this. My embarassment lasted for 5 minutes and then I had fun.....I felt very empowered "No one messes with Mother Nature!!!"

So what is this really all about................let your inner child speak and express itself. There is so much wisdom, so much joy and creativity that this part of yourself embraces. It is the part that loves to play, sing and laugh, build sand castles, finger paint, fly kites and play on swings and slides, blow bubbles and catch snowflakes on our tongues, or go Trick Or Treating. Today let your inner child play and do something joyful, that brings a smile to your face and lightens your heart. Allow yourself the pure spirt of childlike joy to radiate your soul, and balance your being, with simple and pure pleasure.
Let the magic begin within your heart,
With Love

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Autumn The Season of Change

              I grew up in the mid west, Chicago to be more exact. I watched the leaves change, ever so slowly. First there would be a few yellow leaves, next a few more on the ground and before too long the leaves would be turning yellow, orange, crimson and red. Every season brings forth something unique, autumn, the light filters through the sky differently, it begins to get dark earlier, the earth begins to smell different, the air becomes cooler at night and the sky sometimes deeper blue, sunsets and colors appear richer, and birds are departing for the south to a warmer climate. 

To this day it doesn't matter where I am if I smell someone burning leaves it takes me back immediately to Chicago, where people gathered and raked their leaves into large piles and would burn them, the smell was special, rich from the woods and trees. One of my favorite activities at this season was going "Crunching" finding piles of leaves and run through them, crunching dried leaves with my feet. Autumn brought different foods, warm and flavorful soups, tart Jonathan and Macintosh apples, taffy apples, apple pies, chicken pies....sweet potatoes and turkey in another month at Thanksgiving. For some autumn is a sad season reminding us everything has an ending,  leaves fall, flowers die, animals hibernate, until the right moment in time that there is a rebirth, after winter when we are reborn into spring. Depending on where you live there are many places where you barely notice the difference between summer and fall, until the clocks are turned back or the first cold rain. However, the seasons do change, however subtle it may appear, autumn will come and go.
         So before the season ends, open your heart to autumn, the season of change: what are you prepared to release, let go of and say goodbye to and what you are prepared to bring forth into you life. Do not be afraid to walk down a new path, open a new chapter or create a new memory..... or if you have the wonderful opportunity go crunching!    To Every Season   With love  Keren

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Who Am I

I believe we are similar in our deepest desires and hopes as human beings, but how we process our emotions and thoughts, and express ourselves according to our life story, is what makes us so uniquely special. 

Sometimes we have the feeling of being stuck, in a rut, we can't move forward and nor can we go backward, a neutral zone. Sometimes we need to stay in this place, a kind of cocoon where we hibernate until we have the strength and belief in ourselves to take the next step in life. 

However if we stay in that place too long we can feel frozen, suspended in time, separated from our true self, and feel we are living but not fully alive. Just going through the motions, these motions can become habitual, keeping up the status quot, however the longer we stay in this place we either can become numb, build up resentment, which becomes anger and when it has gone on too long it can become rage, or fear, turning into anxiety, 
and panic.

There may come a point in our life when it is too difficult to process these feelings and thoughts alone. Working with someone other than family or friend, a professional who can reflect, guide, teach, mentor, and remind us of who we really are from a fresh perspective is one of the keys to healing through counseling.

What kind of therapy can I offer you? I'm very eclectic and creative in my approach. I will focus on who you are, your style and personality, and  together we will find the right approach to help you move forward.

Exploring your family of origin helps in identifying rules and faulty belief patterns we have internalized from childhood, understanding how we cope under stress and fear, finding new coping stances to strengthen ourselves, some people need a very cognitive approach, others need a more creative outlet of  exploration through art, painting, journals, guided imagery, stories....dreams.
What ever the problem is we can go there.... as Virginia Satir said "The problem is often not the problem but the coping is the problem."
With Love To You