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December 2012, Vol.14 #12
Present and Counting from Georgia Jones
from L.A. Paveling and some of our favorite Legacy Poets
We Have Come As Far as We Can
from David Donar
Rethinking Marijuana with a Clear Head
So Long, and Thanks for all the Bits and Bytes
Georgia On My Mind
Georgia On My Mind
When I began this column, I was a new mother. I was the kind of mother so new there was probably a tag still on my head. Joel was only a few months old and it may have been a few months since I had showered or slept. In those sleepless wee hours of the morning, I watched a lot of TV including one of my favorite eighties sit-coms: Designing Women. The intro music to the show was always Georgia On My Mind. Sometimes the music lilted instrumentally from the television or was sung by Ray Charles with piano accompaniment. Either way, that song still represents the inspiration, laughter and even tears of that show and my life. I identified with many of the characters and their high-jinks and life changes.
One of my favorite episodes was (and is) one in which one of the main characters gives birth after meeting her guardian movie star, Dolly Parton. In that same episode, a charming elderly woman dies and is walked into heaven with the same sparkling, white-robed Dolly Parton. The cycle of life ending is echoed with the cry of the new born baby. Even though I know the beginning and the end, I bawled (and still bawl) like a baby every time I watch the episode. It is like watching Steel Magnolias. Even though I know Shelby is going to die, I cry every time like it is a surprise. I know I cry and feel the emotions because a writer infused the show with identifiable characters. These are the Southern characters I try to infuse my own writing with, the inspirations that are around me every day.
Joel was joined later by his sister: Emily. I can only hope that my columns improved from my first halting words typed at midnight with a screaming baby on my lap. There were months when sickness slowed my writing and inspiration. There were months when high-jinks slowed my words. Through it all, Georgia waited and sometimes waited some more. She read and gave feedback. She listened and gave sympathy. She inspired from over a thousand miles away. She gave creative freedom to a young mother. Sometimes, the five hundred words I emailed her were the only coherent thoughts I had all month.
I only got to meet this precious mentor of mine one time. Ironically, it was in the most southern and applicable of places: a tea room in Georgia. With a very wiggly Joel in tow, we sat and ate and drank tea. I remember pimento cheese and chocolate tea but most of all, I remember this most gracious and inspirational woman. There was elevator music playing in the background but I expected the theme from Designing Women to suddenly come forth from the speakers.
Over a decade later, Designing Women has returned to television in syndication again. I find myself drawn to the reruns even though I know every line. The episode where Charlene has her baby and Minnie Belle goes to heaven played recently. At the time I didn't know I might soon lose my dear mentor. I cried big tears as I watched larger than life Dolly Parton hold hands with the Minnie Belle character and walk her off camera. I don't know if Georgia would choose Dolly Parton as her guardian movie star. I know that I am glad to have had her as my guardian mentor for so many years.
In the Ray Charles version of the intro, he finishes playing the song at the piano and turns to the camera. In his unimitatable style, he says "I thought that was pretty good." I may know the ending that is coming but I still find myself tearing up. Writing this column and having the privilege of knowing one Georgia Jones has been more than pretty good. I will always have Georgia on my mind.
Read this feature from past issues.
Our guest columnist this month is Dr. Georgina Cannon, author of Return Again and other books.
One door closes, another opens, we say that all the time in day to day life. But what about the corridor in between. The corridor in between doors in our current life can often be filled with tension, uncertainty and fear of what's next for me?
When we talk about 'the corridor' spiritually, the time between lifetimes, the picture is totally different. Instead of fear, tension and uncertainty we experience peace, joy, recognition and guidance. And most of all, unconditional love and acceptance. No wonder most clients don't want to leave that space!
Although many times clients come for their sessions with some knowledge of the process, others come to find their soul path, or soul mates without knowing exactly what it is they are looking for. But whatever the reason, at least 80% follow the same path in their journey - even though they may not have read or discussed the concept of Interlife journeys before. This alone is a matter of wonder to me. How most people follow the same spiritual journey,, from 'station ' to 'station' receiving information and knowledge which will personally help them in their current life journey.
The seven key stops along the way all have something to offer. Sometimes the client will visit all stops, sometimes just two or three, but they always receive the information they are looking for. life purpose, soul name, soul purpose , relationship or karma questions. The steps include: The gateway, or entrance into the space of the interlife, the meeting of a soul group, visiting the library or akashic records, visiting a laboratory, being guided to a place of rest and healing, meeting with the council and the place of life choice, where we choose our sex, body and lifestyle for this current life.
Let's look with more detail at each potential stop along the way.- remembering that not everyone stops at all the stations - and some people have a totally different journey - but this is the most frequent pathway.
The Gateway: The entrance to the interlife is often seen as a white circle of light, or a real gate glistening with light. There are usually one or a few beings of light waiting to greet the client. Sometimes these beings take a familiar shape like Jesus, Mother Mary or Buddha, other times it could be a beloved grandparent or friend who has passed. Or just whispy light beings. Every client reports the feeling they recieve is one of love and 'welcome home'. They feel an enveloping of love - a psychic hug - as one client said. Sometimes there is just one 'being' who is the person's 'guide' - either for just this journey, or through the current lifetime. This is the time that we can ask for the guide's name - and possibly - if appropriate, the client's soul name. The guide often leads the client on the rest of the Interlife journey.
The Soul circle: This group of souls plays an integral role in the Interlife and the overall journey of each soul. By and large, we travel in "pods" and these spirit connections travel with us from lifetime to lifetime. Not every one in every lifetimes, but those that can help us learn and grow each time. These souls come into our lives at seemingly random times, in fact, these meetings are pre-arranged between us in spirit before we come here. The initial feeling when meeting the soul circle is an overwhelming feeling of recognition, joy and comfort . This is your soul family, and sometimes the relationship in life is less than happy or comfortable. Either way, these soul contracts are meant to help us learn and grow.
The library: Sometimes we are taken to a place full of books or information tablets and are shown or guided to our own past lifetimes or our 'Book of Life' or Akashic Records. These are the 'higher self' views of what was and could be. These truly are the 'eagle eye view' of where we have been, the wisdom and experiences gained and the possibilities of the future. Truly profound wisdom is gained here, and is often way beyond what is expected. This is the place where questions are answered that we didn't even know to ask!
The laboratory: This is the place we go to when we need to learn to manage - or change the way we use our spirit energy. Many people who go to the laboratory station find that they need to learn Reiki or some other way of using the psychic energy they haven't yet switched on, or tuned in to.
The resting or healing space: If the soul has experienced a deeply troubling lifetime before, it needs to heal the bruises (my interpretation) and allow peace to flow through once more. Each client's view of the healing space is magical and peaceful, and many bring back this image with them into their current life, during trauma or frenetic times, so they may use it as a touchstone to re-connect with their inner peace.
The council of elders: This is a group of wise beings who can take on any form - who are there to answer questions, guide and affirm - all in a loving supportive way. It can be as few as three or as many as 20. Taking a human form or beings of light. The feeling is one of awe, total acceptance and support. The client's questions are answered, including that of the purpose of the next life, often in a way that is not expected, but always profound and with purposeful meaning.
The choice of the current life: This place often looks like a huge computer room with many screens, or as one client put it, 'a place of pictures like choosing a large piece of art'. In this space, your guide may help you, but ultimately you get to choose the lifestyle, your sex, color and type of body to use as your 'soul casing' so that you may experience your soul purpose for the coming life. Some people 'try on' two or three bodies and lifestyles, some go with the first one that comes. You find out why you choose your family/parents and how you are doing so far in your life spiritual quest.
Not everyone goes to each station, some people go directly to the Council, others might go to the library and the place of choice - but all journeys are profound and make a difference to the choices we make today and tomorrow.
Dr. Georgina Cannon is an award-winning board certified clinical hypnotist and lecturer at the University of Toronto. Recognized as the "public face" of hypnosis in Canada and a respected member of the mainstream health community. Dr. Cannon is a frequent media guest, and her work and views have gained her prominence as a frequent source for news and feature articles on hypnosis and alternative therapies. Dr. Cannon has participated in Grand Rounds at Toronto hospitals, where she lectured to psychiatrists, physicians, nurses and social workers in the healing powers of hypnosis and regression work. Her third book, RETURN AGAIN to be released by Red Wheel Weiser September 2012. Find out more at www.georginacannon.com.
Read this feature from past issues.
Parenting: A path to a higher spirituality
Is it possible for us to reach a higher level of spirituality through our relationship with our children? Does parenthood give us a chance and a way to be part of something larger than ourselves, something grander than we think we are, and more expansive than we ever imagined we were capable of being? Do we need to go any farther than the presence of a child to find "the sacred?" And do we ever realize that in every transaction with our children something sacred is at stake?
"Social scientists have defined spirituality as the search for "the sacred," where the sacred" is broadly defined as that which is set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration." (Wikipedia)
Venerate: to regard with respect, reverence or heartfelt "deference."
Deference: courteous regard for people's feelings, to place another's needs and interests before your own.
At the moment a baby comes into our lives, we discover a love we've never known before, a connection we've never felt before, an awareness of the sacred we've never experienced before. In an instant, we have "that which is set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration." And from that moment on, we have before us a path to our own higher spirituality. The journey begins as soon as we "regard our children with respect, have reverence for their sacredness, and practice heartfelt deference to their needs."
Like happiness, spirituality is a by-product, but unlike happiness which we each define by ourselves for ourselves, spirituality comes with a blueprint that requires our heartfelt deference to our children's interests and needs and our compassionate hearts to find the words and actions that express "a courteous regard for their feelings."
Are you wondering whether you can achieve such a "lofty" demeanor? Is it possible for us to rise above our inclination to get angry at our children? We can when we accept parenthood's invitation "to be part of something larger than ourselves, something grander than we think we are, more expansive than we ever imagined we were capable of being." We grow spiritually when we tune in to our "higher selves" in every interaction with our children. What characterizes our higher selves is our capacity for compassion, patience, understanding and acceptance.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said: "That which we are, we shall teach, not voluntarily, but involuntarily." Our children will learn the meaning of respect, acceptance, loving-kindness, forgiveness, and understanding not by our instruction, but by the way we demonstrate these qualities. Emerson also said, "Who you are speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say." Who we are has the most powerful effect on our children, more than what we say, more than what we do.
Spirituality grows in the atmosphere of humility - and humility is the hallmark of the secure individual who sets aside his or her ego needs to allow the children to display their gifts. Consider too, that humility will restrain our impulse to tell and to teach and instead, enable us to bring out and respect each child's inner knowing. Psychoanalyst Theodor Reik put it another way: "Nothing said to us, nothing we can learn from others, reaches us so deep as that which we find in ourselves."
When the parent persona looms too large and too authoritarian, our children cannot see us for the people we are. This is not to say that we should relinquish our authority, it simply means when children see us as fellow human beings, we stand together on common ground and they are better able to identify with us. As fellow human beings, we too, make mistakes, apologize, and by asking them to forgive us, they grasp what it means to be a human being. Now our actions resonate with them. Considering children fellow human beings will democratize their role in their families and in society. They will share the responsibilities of the household, not because we order them to do so, but because as fellow human beings, they stand beside us and share the burden. They will learn the meaning of cooperation instead of obedience and gain a realistic introduction to their future lives in society. As fellow human beings, we enjoy mutual respect, shared human rights, and mutual regard one for another. No more the lop-sided relationship where parents are the main givers and the children, takers. Now we give them ample opportunities to give of themselves.
The key to higher spirituality is to know the right things to do and to do them. As we respond to our children with our higher selves, we demonstrate how they can respond to us with their higher selves. Thus, we will not only raise them, we will uplift them, and in the process, be ourselves uplifted. Such a "heavenly" partnership!
Molly Koch is reprinted here with permission from Baltimore's Child Magazine. You can also find Molly at mollybkoch.com and keeptheconnection.org. Contact Molly with questions, comments or suggestions for this topic.
Read this feature from past issues.
Can hypnosis be used to improve and build self esteem? The answer is: It depends. It depends on the nature of the suggestions.
If effective suggestions are used, one will improve and build self esteem. If the wrong suggestions are used, one might build and improve a pseudo self esteem and as a result be more likely to experience a life crisis later on in life.
In other words, all hypnosis is not the same. But the problem is that most people-including the professionals-address building self esteem the same way. The approach that is most often used is to improve oneself and build pride. By being proud of yourself, you'll have reasons to like yourself better.
Dress better and you'll feel better about yourself. Get a better job or make more money and you'll feel better about yourself. This is supposed to mean that you'll have a higher level of self esteem.
Obviously if I, as a hypnotist, believed that this is the way to build or improve self esteem, I'd formulate suggestions around this approach. And yes, my subjects would succeed and build and improve their self esteem. But would it be true self esteem?
Up until fifteen or so years ago, I would have been convinced that true self esteem would be built with that approach. However, I've since discovered that self esteem built on accomplishments is pseudo self esteem (not real self esteem).
Sure, there's nothing wrong with accomplishing goals and looking and dressing better. And hypnosis is a phenomenal tool to use to accomplish these goals. However, if you accomplish these goals to build and improve self esteem that is the problem.
And the reason it's a problem is that your self esteem is dependent on maintaining or achieving goals. As long as things work out for you, you feel good about yourself. This is normal. Unfortunately if you lose the benefit of achieving your goals, i.e. you lose your home or job in the recession, a close family member from an accident, your stock portfolio, and so on, you could end up experiencing a life crisis and your self esteem is out the window.
So what is the answer? It's first to realize that even though having goals is admirable, life is often more about our plans that fall through than it is about the plans we have. And when our plans fall through for whatever reason, it's important to continue liking ourselves rather than blame ourselves or experience self pity and self hatred for making mistakes.
To do this, it's important to learn how to deal with disappointments which is a problem for many. This is a totally different approach to build and improve self esteem. This also means a totally different approach to suggestion. A hypnotist who uses this approach, formulates totally different suggestions than a hypnotist who focuses on building self esteem by linking accomplishments with self esteem.
Sure, one will still use hypnosis or suggestion to achieve goals, but no longer associate self esteem with accomplishments. Instead, the focus is on achieving goals with a healthy means of handling upsets and disappointments encountered along the way and feeling good about oneself regardless of the outcome of one's efforts.
If you have any self esteem issues or questions, feel free to email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Read this feature from past issues.
The Scale Conspiracy It's a fact-95% of all diets and weight loss program fail. Why? Are you a compulsive habitual eater, a compulsive emotional eater, or self defeative eater? Warning: Reading this book will provide you the means to build self esteem such that you will feel great about YOU even on the worst "bad hair day" imaginable.
NEW from our own Richard Kuhns
Answer: No, it's not the bathroom scale conspiring against you as it sometime seems. It's that the overweight person has a thinking (suggestion) problem or a problem dealing with certain emotions.
Answer: At any given time you may be one of three types of eaters (compulsive or not). The Scale Conspiracy in easy to understand terms empowers you to identify the type of eater you are at any given time. Then using specific easy to use common sense techniques and suggestion (self hypnosis too), you will handle it successfully so that you may remember you used to have an eating issue but forget what it felt like as you shed weight permanently.
The Scale Conspiracy
It's a fact-95% of all diets and weight loss program fail. Why?
Are you a compulsive habitual eater, a compulsive emotional eater, or self defeative eater?
Warning: Reading this book will provide you the means to build self esteem such that you will feel great about YOU even on the worst "bad hair day" imaginable.