A Lesson In Communication Discovered In The New Year

A Lesson In Communication Discovered In The New Year

by Bob Olson

I don’t know about you, but New Year’s resolutions just make me feel bad. It’s like setting myself up for failure. If I was really disciplined enough to exercise everyday and cut down on my coffee intake, wouldn’t I be doing it already? I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s the health clubs and diet pill companies that started this whole resolution thing in the first place. It certainly wasn’t the cigarette and alcohol companies.

But since it’s traditional to make a resolution, I’m going to make an effort to communicate better. I thought I was a pretty good listener, but I’ve recently learned that listening is only half the battle. Communication is also about paying attention to our surroundings.

My wife, Melissa, and I recently purchased a new slipcover for our loveseat. While picking out the new slipcover, Melissa asked me what style I preferred. I told her I like the kind that isn’t fitted to the cushions because I’m tired of tucking the slipcover around each cushion every time I walk by the loveseat. Melissa looked at me kind of cross-eyed.

“What are you talking about, Bob?” she responded. “The slipcover we have now isn’t fitted. For three years I’ve been untucking the slipcover every time I walk by the loveseat!

Of course, the whole thing was my fault since the slipcover wasn’t supposed to be tucked-in in the first place. But I learned a valuable lesson in communication. Now I’m wondering if the shower curtain is supposed to be on the inside or the outside of the tub. Is it possible that we’ve both been watering the plants? That might explain why they’re dying. And how about the door to the guest room? Maybe it isn’t closing by itself after all. Could it be she doesn’t want the cats in there?

 

Purpose: What’s The Purpose?

Purpose: What’s The Purpose?

by Bob Olson

Webster’s Dictionary says that purpose is “the reason for which something exists.”

It is not uncommon to hear of an elderly person who passes away shortly after the loss of their spouse. We sometimes hear this happening after the loss of their pet. While one could argue that this is merely a coincidence, I would surmise that they lost their will to live because their spouse or pet was their last reason for living—their final purpose that gave their life meaning.

Many people talk about finding their purpose in life when the truth is that we each have many purposes, not just one. The more reasons you have for living, the more meaning you have in your life and the quicker you get up in the morning. When you lose your reasons for living—when you no longer feel meaning in your life—you have no purpose to get out of bed each day.

People find meaning in their work, in their children, in their partner or spouse, in their hobbies, in their travels, in their volunteer work or clubs, in their classes, in their art, writing, crafts, and even in their pets. We don’t have just one purpose in life; we have a hierarchy of purposes. Some are more important to us than others, but all fill us with a sense that our lives are meaningful. Our catalog of purposes teaches us that we are important in this world, that we have a reason for living; and this sense of importance gives us our will to live.

As we get older, our purposes drop off on the wayside. We retire from our careers. Our children grow up and move away. We either lose interest in our hobbies or we lose the physical ability to continue them. Our gardens go to weed and we leave our homes in trade for the elderly community or nursing home. Sometimes, if our multitude of purposes has dwindled, all we have left is our spouse or our pet. So when either leaves this world before us, they leave us alone with no reason to get out of bed in the morning.

Michelangelo lived to the age of eighty-nine at a time when most people didn’t make it to forty. Here is a man who was a sculptor, a poet, a painter and an inspiration to others. He never lacked a reason to get up in the morning. He took on huge projects that took years to complete, even in his elderly years. The Sistine Chapel alone took four years, and he painted it while lying on his back! But he made a commitment, and that commitment gave his life purpose.

We all know a Michelangelo in our life. It is that person who is bound with vitality. They don’t mope around with their shoulders reaching for the ground. These are the people who are up early in the morning singing and whistling and excited about their day. They say hello to their neighbors and even talk to strangers in the streets. They are fascinated by the wonders of nature and they seem to feed off the energy of children. Yet, in reality, it is actually nature and children who feed off their cheerfulness, verve and spirit for life. And that is why we are attracted to such purposeful people.

If you want to feel more alive, commit yourself to purposeful endeavors. A life without commitments is a life without purpose. A life without purpose is a life without meaning.

Begin projects that will take weeks, months or years to accomplish. Accept responsibilities that you may even regret in the future. Take a stand for a cause you believe in, and hold true to it regardless of what other people think. If it fills you with passion for life, then it will balance off the mundane obligations that once filled your days. Committing yourself to purposeful endeavors does not just add color to your life; it is the lifeline that connects you to the Source of all that is beautiful and meaningful.

If you are unhappy, give yourself over to making others happy. Do volunteer work at hospitals, shelters or nursing homes. Visit the sick, elderly or terminally ill. If you are shy or uncomfortable with people, do the same for animals. Animal rescue leagues and shelters are filled with cats and dogs that suffer from a lack of love. Just a simple smile, hug and a little attention can do wonders to heal and comfort any soul.

It doesn’t matter what you do. What matters is that you do something. Whether you help people or pets, create paintings or books, grow gardens or plants, the only requirement is that you make a commitment and follow through with a smile. Be willing to open your heart and put love in all that you do. By simply showing up and following through with your commitments, your presence, intentions and passion will be felt and appreciated throughout the world. And the ripple effect you create with your zest for life will fill your own heart with an abundance of love. In effect, you will have found happiness from a single purpose. Imagine the power of several new commitments.

If a lack of purpose can eliminate our will to live, then adding purpose into our lives can increase our vitality. It doesn’t matter if we are helping millions or a single individual, the simple act of making one other person’s life a little more comfortable, happier or filled with love is empowering beyond belief because we get back what we give to others. On the other hand, we can’t give what we don’t have. So your purpose may be to bring peace and comfort into your own life. This, too, will create a ripple effect that will influence the entire world. Yet it all begins with one step—one commitment. Before you are faced with the loss of your final meaning in life, plan ahead to surround yourself with many reasons to jump out of bed each morning with enthusiasm!

Students Discover Unexpected Reward At The Acupressure Therapy Institute

Students Discover Unexpected Reward At The Acupressure Therapy Institute

by Bob Olson

Upon attending an open house at Barbara Blanchard’s Acupressure Therapy Institute(ATI), I discovered an unexpected benefit to learning about energy. I went to the lecture and demonstration anticipating a rather predictable discussion on the benefits of acupressure shiatsu. What I learned, however, came as a surprise. I discovered how students of acupressure shiatsu gained much more than an education toward a new fulfilling career; they also gained an education about something that would forever improve their personal lives, as well.

The open house became a remarkable testimonial to the benefits of being a student of energy. In two fast-moving hours, I witnessed students and teachers alike enthusiastically expressing the personal benefits—not just the vocational benefits—gained from their education. Interestingly, I don’t think the speakers this day were aware of the impact their words presented. The open house was clearly not rehearsed. In fact, ATI program director, Barbara Blanchard, told me she was lucky just to get everyone to show up on such a beautiful day—never mind rehearse the presentation, too. I believe the spontaneity of these testimonials is partly the reason they came through so inspiringly. I am grateful to have experienced this story of which I am about to share.

It was a Saturday and I was a little weary from the two-hour drive from my home in Kennebunkport, Maine to Canton, Massachusetts. I was sipping my medium-size Dunkin Donuts’ iced coffee when I arrived at the Acupressure Therapy Institute—pleased at how easy it was to find. I parked my car in the shade and walked into the school with my notebook, camera and my iced coffee. Barbara Blanchard greeted me at the door.

Barbara was accompanied by one of the school’s instructors, James Coyne (pronounced Coin). James is one of Barbara’s former students from another school, and apparently quite a success story. Based on his accomplishments with his private practice in Plymouth, Massachusetts, James teaches business management for bodyworkers at ATI. This is a course to equip students with the tools needed to duplicate James’ success.

After hearing a basic rundown of what James teaches in the course, I was most impressed with some of his creative marketing strategies. As a former marketing consultant myself, it was immediately evident why James has met with success. He has applied his knowledge of general marketing techniques to the specific practice of bodywork. If you’re a bodyworker looking to maximize your success, this business management and marketing course offered by the Acupressure Therapy Institute sounds like a goldmine of information.

After Barbara showed me around, I found a chair from which to observe the lecture and demonstration. Most people were sitting on large futon-like mats on the floor that are used for the acupressure shiatsu therapy, but I snagged a chair so I could take notes more comfortably. Once everyone arrived and got seated, Barbara started her talk.

Barbara’s introduction made me realize why her fifteen-month course on acupressure shiatsu has a reputation as one of the top curriculums for this style of Asian Bodywork Therapy. First, even the national standards of The American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia (ABOTA) were originally modeled after Barbara’s curriculum at her first school for shiatsu, The New England Shiatsu Center. Today, Barbara takes great pride in knowing her current curriculum at ATI is even more extensive. For instance, ATI is one of the only schools in the nation that teaches the Extraordinary Vessel Acupressure technique.

Aside from her twenty years of teaching experience, Barbara offers one of the most comprehensive training programs for Asian Bodywork Therapy in acupressure shiatsu. After graduating, students will be both knowledgeable and practiced in assessing, evaluating, treating and following the care of clients. Barbara quotes her brochure in saying, “Students will be able to give a treatment that will encompass local therapy for balancing symptoms of a presenting condition, and also, that will balance the deeper energies of the constitution.” In short, when Barbara’s students graduate, they know what they’re doing.

Something I immediately recognized about the ATI students at the open house was that they came across as exceptionally knowledgeable in their field, more so than some working practitioners in this line of work. I’ve met some Asian bodywork therapists (not trained at ATI) who were unable to explain the difference between Acupressure Shiatsu and Zen Shiatsu. In fact, one practitioner I’ve met wasn’t even sure what style shiatsu he was using. This wasn’t the case with ATI students. The students at this open house were obviously well-trained and confident with the in-depth knowledge they had acquired—and they still had a couple months to go before graduation!

In case you were wondering, acupressure shiatsu is quite different than massage therapy (many people confused the two). Acupressure shiatsu focuses on using the body’s energy to heal and to create balance and harmony for ongoing health. Different than massage, the practitioner applies firm, although gentle, pressure to certain areas of the body called acupoints or meridian energy centers. The purpose of this therapy is to balance the “Qi” or energy in the body. I have heard people refer to acupressure shiatsu as acupuncture without the needles, although I’m sure some acupuncturists would find fault with that description.

Barbara explained, “What we do as acupressure shiatsu therapists is basically detective work. We don’t just learn form and repeat the same movements on every client. We first discover what is happening energetically with each person—what is needed to balance their body’s energy. Then we determine the best way to help that person based on that assessment. Even three migraine sufferers could be treated three different ways. Each person’s healing needs are unique regardless of the symptoms they may be experiencing. The symptoms merely clue us in on what might be going on in their body energetically.”

Many massage therapists take shorter clinical courses at ATI to become familiar with the benefits of acupressure shiatsu and to incorporate some basic techniques into their work. But the full certification program requires 720 hours to fulfill educational standards set by two national professional associations: the AOBTA* & NCCAOM**. This is the fifteen month course.

After Barbara’s brief introduction, another of her graduates, Carolanne Chiang, talked about the work she does at the Massachusetts Hospital School on adolescents and young adults with physical disabilities. Students of ATI have the option to work with these children as part of the school’s supervised clinical training program. Carolanne’s presentation was an emotionally charged illustration of how acupressure shiatsu therapy can lead to a fulfilling career. Her eyes sparkled as she spoke about the use of acupressure shiatsu therapy as a pain and stress management technique for the physically disabled children she treats. It was a rousing testimonial to the satisfaction possible from doing work that helps others.

Carolanne also discussed the coming acceptance and use of acupressure shiatsu in hospital settings. This was an inspiring presentation for all holistic practitioners who anticipate the day alternative therapies will be more commonplace in mainstream medicine. Although still too early to draw predictable conclusions, Carolanne explained that studies are being done to offer scientific evidence of the benefits offered by bodywork therapy such as acupressure shiatsu.

The message that most prominently emanated from Carolanne’s words and body language was the satisfaction she receives daily from the gratifying work she does. If more people shared Carolanne’s passion for the work they do, there would be a great deal less people discontent in their careers. Carolanne’s enthusiasm set the stage for the next presenter.

Peggy Balmaseda was next to speak. Licensed in both acupuncture and shiatsu, Peggy is the head of the Pain Management Clinic at the Massachusetts Hospital School (MHS), supervises the ATI student clinic at MHS, and is a faculty member at ATI. One of the reasons Peggy uses shiatsu in her work—and not just acupuncture alone—is due to her belief that “a patient’s energy thrives on human touch.” She emphasized the point that “People respond to shiatsu in a way that isn’t possible with acupuncture alone.”

Barbara Blanchard is also licensed in acupuncture, and admitted that she prefers the way people respond to acupressure shiatsu. “It hasn’t achieved the respect in the medical community that acupuncture has, but the public is becoming knowledgeable about this acupuncture alternative and many individuals prefer the gentle yet firm pressure we apply using our hand, elbow, knee or foot to specific acupoints,” said Barbara. “In fact, traditional acupuncture theory is part of the foundation for the assessment skills and treatment planning that we do,” she added.

“Is there a certain type of person who is drawn to acupressure shiatsu,” I asked.

“Take me for instance,” said Peggy, “I come from a Latino family. We love to hug! That’s probably why I was drawn to shiatsu.”

Peggy’s fervor for the healing properties of touch got me thinking about the studies done on newborn babies that showed how babies who received the most human contact grew faster and more healthily than babies that received little human contact. Peggy’s statement that, “I’m a firm believer in the power of human touch” made me wonder why some people avoided or feared human touch for one reason or another. Perhaps these people need human contact more than anyone.

“What about patients, like at the Massachusetts Hospital School, who are uncomfortable being touched but don’t have much choice in the matter?” I asked. “It’s one thing if you call a practitioner yourself, but if your doctor recommends the therapy and you are uneasy about it, what then?”

“We are always careful to respect people’s boundaries,” said Peggy, “That’s something Barbara teaches—how to touch clients with respect. We work on people who are fully dressed, and we ask permission before we palpate (touch the body to assess problem areas). Plus, it’s a firm pressure we apply to specific meridian points, not a light fluffy touch all over the body,” she concluded.

This encouraged a brief explanation of how shiatsu works. According to Peggy, her job “is all about moving energy.” This is why she recommends the curriculum at the Acupressure Therapy Institute. ATI’s curriculum integrates different bodywork styles through the experience of a varied group of instructors. Peggy explained that Barbara’s program arms students with both knowledge and hands-on experience to better understand the body’s energy. She added that it’s important to get this variety of education and experience. Study offers certain benefits, while hands-on training offers completely different benefits to the student. It’s important that a student be trained using both methods.

At this point, Peggy became sidetracked in her presentation and began talking about how students experience radical positive changes in their personal lives because they internalize what they are learning about energy and balance. As she diverted from her lecture on shiatsu as a career, Peggy began to reminisce about her days as a student of acupressure shiatsu. She touted the rewards she gained from getting worked on by the other students as they practiced on one another, and pondered how she missed that near-daily realignment of her energy.

“Therapists gain energy by helping people find balance,” said Peggy, “It is a dance of energy between practitioner and client.” She added that students receive these same benefits by practicing on the other students; only they doubly gain by getting worked on themselves.

I realized from listening to Barbara, Carolanne and Peggy that learning acupressure shiatsu offers a more empowering advantage than simply being taught a new skill. Students change on a personal level even if they don’t go on to be a working practitioner. I recognized that although I have no desire to become a practitioner myself, there could be equally important personal reasons for attending ATI. A current student of the Acupressure Therapy Institute described it perfectly in an email she recently sent me. Here, in her own unedited words, are several reasons why anyone might consider enrollment:

Dear Bob,

Interestingly enough, I have been thinking about [how attending ATI has affected my personal life] since the day of the open house you attended.  When Peggy Balmaseda made that remark about it being a life altering choice, I was in full agreement.  Her remark rang with the clarity of truth.

From that day I have thought of how my life has changed and in what ways.  There is nothing in my life that has NOT been affected by my studies in shiatsu acupressure.

First of all, let me say that I have suffered no illnesses, bugs or flus since I have started school.  In practicing on each other, I have built up a strong immune system which has carried me through the fall, winter and spring germs.  Everyone in my office has been sick at least twice and I have not been ill once.  My children have brought home illnesses from school and work and still I did not fall susceptible to any of these germs. This is a first in my life.

Secondly, I have always been a very driven and ambitious person that was unable to slow down or separate myself from the stress in life. In the last ten months [while attending ATI], I have experienced a transformation in what affects me because I have found that my whole attitude has changed.  There is nothing I can’t do, nothing that can’t be faced head on, and nothing that I will let shake my world.  This was not how I felt a few months ago [before I started at Barbara’s school].  I have developed an inner strength that I am still in awe of.  I am not a religious person and I would not say I am very spiritual and yet I have more faith in our own abilities to heal and an unending wealth of power within ourselves to handle anything in a non-stressful manner.

Third, I have a lot more patience and tolerance for all people than I ever have before.  I always thought I was patient and yet now I look at people and instead of seeing an angry person, I look at that person and wonder what it is that can be treated to help them ease that uncontrollable anger that is controlling them.  I see these things almost like an illness that can be treated and because of this I see hope for all people to be well.  This has made me a better listener and observer of people and animals alike.

Fourth, my personal life has and still is taking on major transformations.  I don’t know where it’s going but my relationships with my children, significant other, family members and dear friends are all evolving.  I have greater respect for myself and expect the same from others.  Surprisingly, they are seeing and feeling these changes and coming into line also without any strong arm tactics.  It is so true that when we learn to love ourselves that others will do the same.  Do not get me wrong, these people have loved me and I have loved them but I believe a truly healthy relationship is based on truth, respect, honesty and unconditional love.  I always thought that people needed me to love me.  I have begun to learn otherwise to my surprise.  Now I have no fear that I must do as they say or not be loved.  I can be loved just for being me.

So I see myself becoming healthy emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.  These are gifts that I never thought I could give to myself but through education under the leadership of Barbara and her staff, I am now evolving into a self-actualization that I never dreamed possible for myself.  I thought it was only for guru chasers and mantra chanters of which I am not.  I did not think to look for this and never expected to find it through the grueling schedule I have set for myself between a full time job and heavy school schedule.

I am currently in the sales profession for a chain of hotels and find this totally unsatisfying as I will never see the world change for the better with anything I do here day in and day out.  But with shiatsu acupressure if I can give to one person the escape from pain that I found after 20+ years of migraines, then I will have made the world a better place and I will be a happier person.  There is a selfish aspect to all of this you see, I can only improve as I bring relief to others.  What better gift to give myself and others?!

Thank you for considering my thoughts and opinions, Bob.  I know for a fact that I have found the right path in life for me and I couldn’t be happier.

Sincerely,

Dawn L. Ciavattone, student at the Acupressure Therapy Institute

This is what I love about my job. I go to an open house expecting a mundane lecture; yet I leave with a refreshing new insight on how to balance your life, career and relationships. Who would have guessed your personal life could become so empowered by going back to school? Personally, if I didn’t live two-hours away, I’d be attending Barbara Blanchard’s next class starting this August. I’m not interested in changing careers, but I sure would love to have the harmony and strength evident in Dawn’s letter above. Whatever your motivation might be—fulfilling career or personal empowerment—I recommend sitting in on one of Barbara’s open houses, or even one of her classes, to see if The Acupressure Therapy Institute is for you. Tell the nice folks there that Bob Olson sent you.

* AOBTA: The American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia
** NCCAOM: The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
For more information on The Acupressure Therapy Institute contact:

Acupressure Therapy Institute
One Billings Road, Quincy, Ma. 02171
617.697.1477

 

Energy Healing Benefits Of A Massage Alternative Put To The Test… Results Surprisingly Positive!

Energy Healing Benefits Of A Massage Alternative Put To The Test… Results Surprisingly Positive!

by Bob Olson

You’d think the editor of a holistic magazine would be knowledgeable about things like shiatsu, Reiki or polarity, but nobody can really understand something until they have personally experienced it. Now that I’ve experienced a bodywork session that utilized all three of these modalities, I’m unexpectedly hooked. All my previous misconceptions have been shamefully proven wrong, and I now understand why people are using their lunch hours to relax and rebalance with an energy bodywork session.

I have never been keen on having my shoulders or feet massaged, so the only bodywork I’ve had done is on my car. As a result, my knowledge of therapeutic energy healing has been sadly limited to the articles I’ve edited for OfSpirit.com. It was time I had a personal experience, and De Costanza of Wayland, Massachusetts, was willing to accept an ignorant and slightly skeptical new client.

My skepticism stemmed from my suspicion that the benefits of bodywork, or any kind of energy healing, resulted more from a placebo effect than anything physiological (boy, was I misguided). So I walked into the bodywork room like a cop begins an interrogation—suspicious and safeguarded. De Costanza wasn’t shaken. She is one of those people who is grateful for rain because the flowers and plants need the water—eternally optimistic. I couldn’t help but to feel my energy lift just being in her presence. She handed me a sheet of questions about my health and left the room while I filled them out. Some interrogator I turned out to be, now I was the one being quizzed.

When De returned, I learned that my answers to the questions helped her assess the energy needs within my body. The bodywork she was about to do on me would harmonize that energy, thereby balancing my body for better health and healing. After hopping up on the bodywork table (all the work is done while the client is fully clothed), De turned on some relaxing music and began working her magic.

Knowing that I was a little uncomfortable with strangers touching me (psychotherapists will have a field day with that remark), De began with a “head cradle,” which was basically just her holding my head in her hands as a Reiki technique. I don’t know exactly what she was doing (the word “craniosacral” was mentioned), but with the comforting music and her occasional shift in hand position, it was causing tingling goose bumps to spread all over my body. I don’t want to admit that I was already beginning to enjoy this session, but my mind was opening to the possibilities.

The Reiki head cradle turned into a polarity technique that has something to do with gas release. I’m glad I didn’t know about that at the time or I wouldn’t have been able to stop from giggling. It is now my understanding that this involves some type of gas inside the head, not some other place. If you had asked me while it was happening, I would have guessed she was just massaging my skull. Regardless of the technical aspects of this polarity method, I was beginning to float on air and we couldn’t have been more than fifteen minutes into the session.

I can’t tell you the exact order of everything from this point, because I was in a deep mental state of blissful euphoria, but I recall De applying some sort of acupressure on my arms and legs that I later learned was shiatsu. Whatever it was, it felt like tension was being released from my muscles with every move she made. Sometimes she would actually stretch my arms or rotate my shoulders, ankles or wrists so that every last bit of resisting stress surrendered. By the time she had worked from my head to my feet, I finally understood what it would be like as a noodle, and we were only halfway through the hour.

The one part I really expected to dislike was the footwork, which she does using a combination of reflexology and polarity. I don’t know if it was the peppermint cream or the fact that I was numbingly comatose by the time she got to my feet, but I didn’t experience anything uncomfortable, just a deeper sense of relaxation. When De finally asked me to roll over so she could work on my back, I wondered if I might possibly melt right into the table.

With the back work, De strategically saved the best for last. I never realized how much my back is neglected. Yet it wasn’t just my back, but also the back of my arms and legs that got massaged, stretched, rotated and rocked. I thought to myself how the person who invented this combination of Reiki, polarity and shiatsu in one all-encompassing session must have truly been a genius. I later learned that De, herself, created this specific program that she uses, which she named her “Integrated Energy Therapy” session. The name didn’t mean much to me before we started, but when I understood how she integrated the three bodywork methods into one therapeutic energy technique, I realized the name was perfectly descriptive.

After about an hour, the session was over. De left the room instructing me to take my time sitting upright and getting off the table. As I left her office, my only regret was that I had to fight five o’clock traffic during my two-hour ride home. I was afraid I would undo all the relaxation and tension release De had provided. Instead, I glided home, never noticing the hustle and bustle of the stressed-out commuters.

If I had to describe my experience with De’s polarity, Reiki and shiatsu technique in only a few words, I would narrow it down to a combination of deep massage and meditative relaxation. That’s my layman’s perspective, anyway. Most people have a pretty good idea of what a massage is like, so I’d have to call this the “massage alternative” for those who don’t like the nakedness of traditional massage or seek the strategic meridian acupressure of the energy therapies. It’s no wonder why so many people claim that this energy work has healing benefits. If you have ever read Dr. Herbert Benson’s book, The Relaxation Response, you understand why a session with De can have unexplainable healing results.

Before the session, I asked De to tell me some of her healing success stories, of which she had several. Unfortunately, she prevented me from writing about them, as there is no scientific evidence to back up the claims. This is an issue with many holistic therapies—plenty of testimonials, but no federal approval for advertising these healing benefits. That leaves us with personal referrals and stories like my own for discovering many of the best alternative therapies available to us. If I had not had this experience myself, I never would have believed shiatsu, Reiki and polarity could create such a therapeutic state of relaxation.

The next few days following my first energy healing with De proved to have a lingering effect. This is when I discovered that my placebo effect theory was wrong. If the benefits I felt from De’s bodywork were simply a result of my expectations, I doubt I could have awakened the next morning feeling so alive and energetic—long before I remembered the previous day’s session. Plus, my expectations of bodywork had me believing that it only felt good while you were having the session. It never occurred to me that the effects would last several days.

My wife, Melissa, and few people with whom I work, commented on my calmer attitude over the next few days. I enjoyed being able to handle the stress of running a magazine with a little more balance and ease. The only problem was that I was now hooked—I wanted to feel relaxed and calm all the time. The effects eventually wore off and I wanted another fix! In one single dose, I had become an Integrated Energy Therapy junky.

I now understand why the “Relaxation Response” alone can have such healing effects. I still don’t fully understand the theories behind shiatsu, Reiki or polarity. But a guy like me doesn’t really need to know why something works; it’s enough to feel the results.

De Costanza: 508-653-3443 (Mystical Wisdom, 185 Commonwealth Rd, Wayland, MA)

De Costanza is the owner of Mystical Wisdom in Wayland, Massachusetts. The bodywork she offers is a therapeutic energy massage that includes, Reiki, shiatsu, craniosacral and polarity. Call De (pronounced “D”) to make an appointment at 508-653-3443.

Mystical Wisdom is De Constanza’s brand new Holistic and New Age Store (opened 2003). Check it out for the latest in natural skin care and health products, handmade gifts and products from artists and holistic product growers and producers, gifts, books, music, candles, crystals, aromatherapy and herbal products, and “instructional classes” such as:

Meditation For Beginners
Intro To Energy Healing
Intuitive Development
Reiki I & II
Reading The Tarot

Check out De Constanza’s website for Mystical Wisdom at: www.MysticalWisdomMA.com(the MA stands for Massachusetts).

Crystal Clarity: How To Expose The Hidden Obstacles Lurking In Your Subconscious

Crystal Clarity: How To Expose The Hidden Obstacles Lurking In Your Subconscious

by Bob Olson

I had been struggling with an issue for about seven years that I was beginning to think I might never overcome. So I went to see a counselor named Dr. Trish Whynot who specializes in personal transformation, self-healing and self-empowerment. I wrote an article about Trish a couple years ago and have since gained a deep respect for her gifted abilities. I’ve recommended her to many friends and colleagues who have since experienced incredible results from her services. Hence, I decided to see if she could help me with my issue.

About a month ago, I had been to see Trish a couple times and was working on the homework she had given me. At the same time, my wife, Melissa, was also seeing Trish to work on an issue of her own. Trish is able to help people by telephone as well as in person, but since we live fairly close to Trish’s office, Melissa and I like to go to our appointments in person. Trish has such a powerful energy that Melissa and I feel it is a healing experience just to be in the same room with her.

One Friday afternoon, Melissa had an appointment with Trish. I needed to get out of the office, so I went with her even though I didn’t have an appointment myself. It was a perfect sunny day to do some work on my laptop in the car while I waited. After Melissa’s appointment, Trish mentioned to me that she had some time if I wanted to get a crystal reading. Trish uses various tools in her counseling to release and identify the hidden obstacles in our subconscious minds. Crystals happen to be the tool that Trish enjoys most because they are as fun to use as they are revealing.

I’m kind of an old-fashioned guy who usually prefers more traditional methods of therapy: a punching bag, a journal or self-improvement tapes. So I was a little apprehensive about the crystals. They were a little “out there” for me and I didn’t really understand them. But hey, I had been dealing with this issue for a long time, so I saw no harm in giving the little rocks a try.

The truth is that working with the crystals was actually quite fun. All I had to do was come up with a question that I wanted answered—naturally related to the issue I was working on—and then choose any five crystals that jumped out at me from a glass case that is filled with the colorful stones, which Trish has in her office. Obviously, they didn’t really jump out at me, but when I looked at all the crystals in the case, one-by-one my eyes seemed to gravitate toward five of them. It was like each crystal that I chose appealed to me in color, size and shape at that very moment, so it was easy to choose.

I should mention, too, that Trish has set up a website that allows anyone around the world to do this right on their own computer. You can look at thumbnails of numerous crystals, click on each one to see them in a larger size, and then choose your crystals exactly as I did, but while in the comfort of your own home.

The order that you choose each crystal is an important part of the process, so once you have chosen your crystals, you then tell Trish what crystals you chose and what order you chose them. With this information, Trish explains what each crystal reveals in reference to your question and in reference to the order they were selected. The whole process reminds me of a Tarot card reading. But what I really like about the crystals is that they hold an energy vibration, so our own energy of body, mind and spirit actually resonates with the frequency of certain crystals, thereby assisting us in choosing the crystal that will best reveal the answers we seek. Because there is evidence to indicate that crystals really do hold energy, it helps me to understand why crystals are so effective in this work. Plus, for those who are interested, the energy of each crystal can also be useful in helping you overcome your issue simply by holding the crystal in your hand, pocket or within a piece of crystal jewelry.

My understanding is that each of us already holds the answers to overcoming our issues inside our Higher Conscious mind. We just have difficulty accessing those answers at times because they become hidden by the chaos and confusion of our thoughts and emotions. We can’t see the solutions to our issues because our inner vision is clouded by our beliefs and fears, which are hidden deep within our subconscious mind like obstacles that prevent these solutions from making their way to our conscious mind.

Saturday, the day after my crystal session, I felt a little more relaxed than normal, but nothing too out of the ordinary. I thought about what the crystals revealed regarding my issue and decided that this crystal work wasn’t all that “out there” after all. I realized that it simply allowed me an awareness about myself that I hadn’t been able to obtain with any other technique. And with awareness comes clarity.

When I woke up on Sunday morning, I immediately sensed a release had taken place before I even got out of bed. There was something different about me—something lighter. I felt an instant clarity like I had not experienced in my entire lifetime. I saw myself, other people and the entire universe in a new light. For the first time in years, I knew I had overcome the issue that had tormented me for so long. For seven years I had sought to learn something new, thinking that I must be missing a piece of the puzzle that I needed to learn. Instead, what I needed was to release something—a limiting belief or fear that had been filtering my vision. And now it was gone.

I have no doubt that my recent breakthrough resulted from an accumulation of all the personal, spiritual and emotional work I have done over the last few years. We grow in stages, not in one single step. But no one is more surprised than me that a crystal reading was the final step to expose this stubborn obstacle lurking in my subconscious. And the awareness it gave me resulted in a clarity for which I am most grateful. Who would have guessed that some pretty little rocks of various shapes, colors and sizes could do all that? I can honestly tell you that this old-fashioned guy would have never believed it if it had not happened to me.

I highly recommend a crystal reading with Trish to break through any issue you may be dealing with, including health, relationships, career, financial, emotional or spiritual. It’s both fun and effective!

To View Trish’s Crystals On The Web: Click here for her “Webstones” website and email her for instructions and fees for a crystal reading at Trish@TrishWhynot.com.

Trish Whynot, D.C.Ed. is a holistic counselor and author of “Why Me? Why Now? Why Not? Finding Opportunity in Your Obstacles.” She utilizes an ASAT™ C.O.R.E. counseling approach along with meditation and assistance from the Mineral Kingdom in her work with clients. Her Whynot way is a blending of personal growth and spiritual wisdom. She works with clients via phone, Skype, FaceTime and in person from her Central and Southern NH offices. For more information and contact info visit www.TrishWhynot.com.

Is It Wrong To Pray For Perfection In Our Lives?

Is It Wrong To Pray For Perfection In Our Lives?

by Bob Olson

Is it wrong to pray for perfection in our lives? I keep asking myself this question and life keeps handing me the same answer: It’s okay to pray for perfection, but it’s more empowering to “trust” that there is some Higher Power orchestrating life; and whether we know it or not, life already IS perfect.

That sounds like a nice concept when the forecast regarding my health, relationships and career is sunny and warm; but when it feels as though a dark cloud is following me around, it becomes difficult to envision “perfection” in God’s plan. So sometimes I begin to question if this Bush-Gore election fiasco, or some world crisis, is taking all of God’s time and He doesn’t have any left to focus on little old me. Certainly Presidents and celebrities must come first in God’s hierarchy of attention. Or maybe the world has become so overpopulated that God’s simply overburdened, and instead of striving for “perfection,” He now just aims at “good enough.”

Last week my sister-in-law’s cat disappeared for a few days. Now this is a big crisis in my wife, Melissa’s, side of the family—these people love their cats. I keep hoping that my next life be will as a cat belonging to her side of the family. Anyway, Melissa asked me to pray for the cat to come home. To tell you the truth, I hated to use up a good prayer on a cat that was probably being pampered and fed by some sweet neighbor; but I prayed just the same—Melissa doesn’t ask me for much, and I know I used one of her prayers when I thought there was an oil leak in my car. So I got into a meditative state and did some serious praying.

The most amazing thing happened while I prayed to God to bring the cat home—I think I got reprimanded! The message that adamantly filled my mind was this: “Bob, do you think that I don’t know what I’m doing? Do you really think that this missing cat is just some random meaningless occurrence? Or is it possible that there is a lesson in this for your sister-in-law or nieces, perhaps in preparation for some greater loss?”

The message went on for a bit longer, but that was the gist of it. When I stopped praying, I kind of felt bad for my obvious lack of faith. I guess I need to believe that life is exactly as it is supposed to be. I need to trust that it’s perfect even if I don’t see the meaning behind it all.

As expected, the cat was found the next day. A nearby neighbor was pampering and feeding it while assuming the cat was lost and homeless. Go figure. Now I’m one prayer short but a whole lot wiser. My only regret is not asking about that knocking sound in my wheel while I still had God on the line. Maybe I’ll ask Melissa to pray for the knocking to stop.

 

Stop Swimming Upstream! How To Avoid Struggle In Your Life

Stop Swimming Upstream! How To Avoid Struggle In Your Life
by Bob Olson

I saw an astrologer the other day from the Boston area named Eric Linter. It was my first experience with an astrologer. I wasn’t a big believer in astrology before seeing Eric, but now I understand why people consult him on a regular basis. I realize now that he teaches his clients how to flow with the current of life, rather than struggle by swimming upstream. It was an eye-opening and empowering experience.

If you’ve ever seen an astrologer as good as Eric, you understand when I say it felt like he knew my life’s story. Even more so, it felt like he knew me. He listed every character trait that makes me unique. Some traits I’d prefer to forget; others I try hard to remember. Eric knew about both kinds.

My wife, Melissa, sat with me during my astrological consultation. Her head nodded a lot in agreement with the things Eric was saying. I tried to get her to stop during the embarrassing stuff. Instead, she just emphasized her nodding with a comment like, “Oh yeah, stubborn, that’s Bob. You nailed it!” Eric got a kick out of her comments. I just wanted to give someone a little kick. Unfortunately, she was out of range.

Eric said I had one of those charts that would send most astrologers screaming with fear. He laughed as he said it, of course, and was reassuring that a chart like mine could still lead to a fulfilling and abundant life. But he was right on the mark. While many people have suffered much more than me, my life has had its struggles. And Eric knew what these struggles were by looking at something on my chart called a “grand square.” Each red line that drew this square box on my chart indicated my “rough edges,” areas that needed attention in my life.

In reading my chart, Eric forecasted my father’s alcoholism when I was a teenager. He knew about his disability later in life. And he spoke of a chronic depression I suffered years ago. In fact, he knew about a whole bunch of stuff that happened in my life. But Eric’s point in recognizing these grand square events was not to remind me of how much my past sucked, but to show me the major events responsible for developing my self, my soul. He taught me that these are gifts from which we learn, not punishments for past wrongs. And, according to Eric, we need to face and work through these major issues to turn them from a negative to a positive—thereby fulfilling our purpose for choosing these obstacles in our life.

What? Choosing these obstacles? Is it possible that we chose the depressions, addictions, disabilities and all the other issues in our life? Well, that is what our chart would indicate. Especially when you consider that Eric uses astrology methods that date back thousands of years. This means he could have predicted these life events on the day I was born—not thirty-eight years later after everything had already taken place. He wasn’t looking in hindsight. He was simply looking at the alignment of the sun and planets in relation to the exact time and location of my birth. That’s kind of mind-boggling when you think about it.

One of the key insights I walked away with from Eric’s astrological consultation was that my astrological chart seemed to reveal that my life was planned, or charted, before it started. If this is really the case, it could actually bring a person peace-of-mind knowing that whatever is happening in their life is supposed to be happening. It kind of takes the worry out of life, worrying that you are heading in the wrong direction. Perhaps the only freewill we have is in how we react to these events, or in how we arrange our life around these events with the insight gained from tools like astrology.

Eric taught me that astrology is simply a tool to help us understand ourselves better and to make better choices in our life. He said we should never let an astrologer tell us that we are stuck with the red lines and grand squares in our charts. Instead, we can use our charts as a means of anticipating life’s changes, allowing us to better prepare for the future.

Eric said, “The trick to life is in finding the joy in it, those things that energize us and make us feel more alive.” If we are doing things that energize us, then we are flowing with the current of life. And our astrological chart can help us discover what those things are and how to make choices that will lead us to them.

Some of us, however, seem to find no joy in life. If we are in jobs that we hate, relationships that make us unhappy, or living lives without a sense of fulfillment and purpose, then we are swimming against the current of life. If this is our truth, than we are probably approaching life from a lack of insight. Astrology can help us acquire this needed insight.

How much easier would life be if you knew that September was a good month for making a major change, such as a career move or a major relationship change? Wouldn’t it be helpful to know the strengths and weaknesses with which you came into this life? How much of an edge would you have knowing that winter would be a better time for you to buy a new home than autumn? Or that writing a book about your divorce would be a positive healing tool?

Although Eric used astrological terminology while explaining my chart—a rising sun here and a double Virgo there—he also spoke to me so that I didn’t need to know this gobbley-gook. One shouldn’t need to be an expert in astrology to have their chart done—that’s the astrologer’s gig. I went to Eric to learn more about myself based on the secrets revealed by the sun and planetary alignment at the time of my birth. And that’s what Eric provided me: an hour of personal insight that I didn’t think possible from something so cosmic.

Did my consultation with Eric Linter change my life? Well, the consultation, in itself, probably didn’t change my life; but it sure helped me to understand my life better. It made me feel proud and grateful for the struggles I have gone through and survived; and it gave me a feeling of empowerment for what is to come. That’s not a bad compliment for someone with whom I spent only an hour. You can be sure I’ll be seeing Eric Linter again, soon.

Eric Linter, Astrologer
Consultations, Classes, Events & Lectures
617-524-5275
EricLinter@aol.com

 

A Father’s Pride

A Father’s Pride

by Bob Olson

When I lost my father in 1997 to lung cancer, I was blessed with a most unexpected gift. It was a gift that I had not known I wanted, but when I received it, I immediately realized how important it was to me. It is a simple gift that any father can give to his son at any time in his life. I hope that any father who reads this story will be inspired to keep giving this gift as often as possible.

It was the end of a long cold winter. Forty years of non-filtered cigarettes were finally taking their toll on my father’s defeated body. He had been in and out of the hospital for years due to poor health—including having half a lung removed one year, and a quadruple bypass another—but during the last few months he spent more time in the hospital than out. Although it was a difficult experience, I’m thankful for the time we had to prepare for his passing. We were able to say, “Goodbye,” say “I love you,” and best of all for me, my father told me he was proud of me. I believe my life has been easier due to those simple words of approval.

During the last few months of my father’s life, I tried to remain strong for my mother, my sister and my wife (who had known my father since she was twelve years old). I almost became emotionally detached, wanting to be the pillar upon which my family could lean and a shoulder of strength to cry on. But when my father and I found ourselves alone one day, him lying in the hospital bed with me sitting by his side, I lost my strength when he held my hand and told me how proud I had made him in his life. Like the last drop of water that broke the dam, a flood of tears overcame my macho facade of detachment.

Had I known how much I needed that affirmation, perhaps I would have been better prepared. Instead I was ambushed, barely knowing what hit me. It was evident that every cell in my body craved those words—especially just before I lost him forever. Now the memory of his voice—as he expressed his pride in me—will forever echo in my mind. I could not have asked for a more encouraging and self-assuring last few words from him. It was truly a gift.

I never took the time to contemplate the significance of that moment until a year later, after I spoke to a friend on the phone. He informed me that his father was diagnosed with a terminal illness, and had only a few months to live. Interestingly, after he delivered this sad news, he almost enthusiastically recited a conversation he had with his Dad that afternoon. His father told him for the first time in his life that he was proud of him. Since my friend had left home in his teens due to his father’s disapproval of his lifestyle, these were words that he desperately needed to hear.

His father expressed how he admired his son’s courage to walk out that door and never look back. He admired that he was the only child of four who had been self-reliant and had never asked for his help. His father wrapped his arm around his shoulder and showered him with approval—long overdue approval. I am without doubt that this precious exchange between my friend and his father was more valuable than years of future therapy could ever have been.

There are very few words that can regress a grown man into a little boy within seconds. Now I know that hearing your father say “I’m proud of you” holds that power—especially if it’s one his last few words. For most men, there was at least one time in our lives when we wanted to be just like Dad. Even if that were at a very young age, that part of us is still in there. And the need to please our fathers, to make them proud of us, almost seems genetic.

Oh, I’m sure it’s just an ego thing. We want to win the approval of our first and oldest teachers—our parents. We say “Gaga” as an infant, and our parents smile and laugh. Later, “Gaga” no longer impresses them, but “Mama” and “Dada” get a new positive response. So we go with it because it feels good to please them. We are rewarded for making them happy.

Soon, we stand up, and once again we have clapping and joy. Before you know it we’re walking, running, then riding a bicycle, and eventually driving a car. As we grow older, it becomes more difficult to please them. We’ve run out of new stunts that will attract their attention. The old accomplishments no longer win a standing ovation—they’ve become expected. But we continue to desire their approval. It doesn’t just go away. This desire to please our parents is more than just how we learn, it feeds our self-esteem and self-confidence. Our parent’s approval has become a measuring stick for our self-worth.

Eventually, after high school and perhaps years of college, and especially after we have established our careers, this measuring stick rarely has an opportunity to be tested. Our parents may tell us they love us, but they have very few events for which to applaud us. Yet our need to make them proud—and to receive this acknowledgment—still exists. It may be concealed deep within us, but we still crave their displays of approval.

For years, I had no idea how much I craved those words of approval from my father. This inner desire simply lay dormant as a void within my soul. But that precious day, as I literally sat on his death bed, it was like flicking an internal switch. When he said, “Bob, I am so proud of you,” his words triggered emotions I had no idea still existed. My mature defenses—that wall of protection I had built around me to act like a man—exploded into disintegration. And all that was left was this little boy sitting next to his father—beaming with self-assurance that he was worthy and loved unconditionally.

I hope this simple reminder will influence parents of both sexes to remember a need that we all know is there, but we often forget about in our busy hectic lives. I certainly feel blessed to have had a father who did not forget.

Thank You, Ruth Harper, And Goodbye

Thank You, Ruth Harper, And Goodbye

by Bob Olson

A recent newspaper article featured a story about a woman who was hit by a car and died. It was a hit-and-run accident that occurred just up the street from my home. Although we didn’t know the seventy-five-year-old woman, my wife, Melissa, and I could not help but to feel deeply disturbed by the news of her death. Let me explain why…

A couple years ago while I was driving down my street, I saw this same woman walking her dog. Her back was to me, but as soon as she heard my car, she turned and waved “hello.” Hesitantly, I waved back—I was afraid she would realize I was someone she did not know and think I was strange waving back at her. But in the time I thought about it, she was far behind me.

The next time I saw this woman walking her dog, she again turned at the sound of my car and began waving to me. Not so surprised this time, I waved back with enthusiasm. It felt good to have a new friend in the world to wave “hello” to.

This went on for some time. I was excited for Melissa to witness this kind woman’s greeting, so one day when I spotted the woman down the road, I forewarned Melissa that she was in for a treat by exclaiming, “Oh, there’s my new friend…” As I drove by waving, Melissa waved along too with a curious look on her face.

As my schedule changed, I didn’t see the nice woman anymore. Melissa would often comment, “I wonder where our friend is today.” As silly as it may sound, we felt a sadness whenever we drove down the street without seeing her.

The newspaper interviewed the man who found the woman’s body. The man said he didn’t know the woman, but he normally saw her on his way to breakfast—she always waved to him as he drove by. This particular morning he didn’t see her. On his return from breakfast, he noticed her body on the side of the snow-covered road. Although he phoned the police immediately from his cellular phone, her injuries were fatal. She was pronounced dead at the hospital a couple hours later.

Melissa mentioned to me that she felt compelled to go to the funeral services. “But we don’t even know her,” I said, not admitting I felt the same impulse. “I know,” she responded, “I just feel like we had a connection with her.” I agreed, of course. And it was then that I discovered a little lesson about life.

I don’t know if this sweet woman was a little nutty or just unusually friendly, but her simple gesture of waving “hello” to every car that drove by somehow touched people. I know she touched Melissa, myself and that man who found her on the side of the road. I’m sure there were many others.

I drive by many of the same people day after day and feel nothing. Heck, I have worked with people day in and day out and felt less connection with them. Perhaps if they had just returned a smile now and then it would have been different. Instead, sometimes the best part of my day was when a stranger waved to me on my way home.

I’m not suggesting that we all begin waving “hello” to strangers, but I can think of worse habits to start. I’ll bet most car drivers have exchanged derogatory hand signals to a lot more strangers than they have waved “hello” to. Why are we so uncomfortable waving “hello” to people we don’t know?

Have you ever smiled at someone in the hall at work, or on the street, and had them just stare blankly at you? Doesn’t that feel lousy? Why are we so cold to one another? Especially when it feels so good to exchange… well, I guess I’ll call it an expression of love.

Couldn’t a wave “hello” be considered a gesture that sends a little love? A smile might fall into the same category, although I think it’s safer to smile at someone than to give them a big wave. So a wave must send more love than a smile. And a hug would be sending even more love. And a kiss would hold a mountain of love.

Ever hug a child? Ever be hugged by a child—one of those great big bear hugs? It feels so good it makes your spine melt. Children don’t hold back their love until adults teach them to. That’s why nobody hesitates to wave or smile at a child—we know the child will reciprocate. Maybe that is our problem; we fear that others won’t reciprocate the love we send.

Perhaps the reason we sometimes stare blankly at a person who smiles at us is because we are caught off-guard, even suspicious, of anyone we don’t know who is sending us love. “What do they want? They must want something from me? Am I being manipulated here? I must beware.”

By the time we think it through and realize that there are no strings attached to their smile, the person is gone and the moment is over. Now we have hurt that person. Sure it’s a minor hurt, but we rejected them just the same. When we finally get a second chance to smile at that person at a future date, they’re gun shy and look away. They don’t want to risk being rejected again.

An individual only needs to be rejected a few times before he or she will stop waving and smiling at strangers altogether. Before you know it, nobody’s exchanging love with anyone they don’t know and trust. The result is the world as we know it—a world that needs more people who are not afraid to wave and smile at one another. Our world needs more people like that nice old woman on my street. Yet, now we have lost her.

With the help of this loving woman who wasn’t afraid to wave “hello” to everyone passing her on the street, I learned a valuable lesson. Unfortunately, she had to die before I really thought about it. I guess, though, it’s not unusual for death to teach us the most important lessons about life. Thanks to this wonderful soul, I have learned a lesson while I am still healthy and alive. Thank you, Ruth Harper, and goodbye.

 

Discover Your Ideal Mate, Perfect Career, Life’s Destiny, Health Forecast & Past Lives From A Top Astrologer

Discover Your Ideal Mate, Perfect Career, Life’s Destiny, Health Forecast & Past Lives From A Top Astrologer

by Bob Olson

If you have never had your astrology chart done, you are probably not aware of the enormous benefits astrology can provide in the most important areas of your life. Astrology can help you find your ideal mate by giving you insight into your romantic compatibility with people. It can help you discover your perfect career by shedding light on your strengths and natural abilities. It can help you with health issues and even predict potential concerns that might be coming your way to either prevent them or know what to keep an eye on. It can help you choose the best time to make travel plans,contract negotiations or invest money. And astrology can give you immense insight into your emotional issues that can be useful in alleviating suffering, improving family relationships, and overcoming beliefs that may be holding you back in life.

Personal Characteristics, Life Patterns, Intended Path, Past Lives—And Baby Charts 

Overall, astrology can accurately pull out enlightening aspects about your personality and characteristics, your life patterns, your intended path, and even your past lives. Such information allows better clarity into your life, and helps you to understand why you are attracted to (and repelled from) certain interests, people and opportunities.

Similarly, many parents have even had their newborn baby’s charts done to immediately gain an understanding about their child in a way that helps them recognize their child’snatural gifts, needs and potential. No more guessing whether your child is meant to be a piano player or baseball star, the chart will indicate whether he or she is destined towards art, communication, teaching, leadership or fame. Armed with such insight, some parents feel better equipped to watch for talents, interests and skills that they may have overlooked, but can now help their child to cultivate due to their advanced knowledge of their child’s predetermined potential. 

More Informed Choices, Greater Clarity & Unseen Options 

Since we all have free will, astrology provides us with a bird’s eye view of our lives so that we are able to make more informed choices. Since we are deep in the middle of all the issues, decisions and turmoil of our lives, it is often difficult to have clarity concerning the many possible options available to us. Astrology helps us see every option, some which might normally be outside our filtered and limited perspective. With the guidance of an astrology session, we are better able to make smarter choices—choices that often affect the rest of our lives. 

An Ancient & Precise Tool For Guidance 

Okay, so astrology helps us make better choices in life, but is it a legitimate tool for guidance or just some woo-woo nonsense? Well, as someone who grew up skeptical about such matters, I’m comforted by the fact that astrology has been practiced by civilizations dating back to 3000 B.C. including the Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Persians, Native Americans, Chinese, and many others. And astrology isn’t like some divination tools where you might get different information every time you have a session. Astrology is a little more scientific as it’s based in planetary alignment and mathematical tables, so your chart is always going to come out the same regardless of how many times you do it. In fact, it is so precise that there are now computer programs that can print out your chart in only a few seconds. The only fluctuation you’ll get with astrology is in the interpretation of your chart. And this is why it is so important that you choose a skilled, experienced and reputable astrologer. 

An Astrologer Who Knocked My Socks Off 

As editor of OfSpirit.com, a lot of people ask me who I recommend for practitioners in certain fields. While I don’t usually make recommendations, I am happy to tell people about my own experiences with practitioners who have impressed me, which isn’t easy to do. In reference to astrologers, there is one woman who really knocked my socks off with her interpretation of my chart—not just once, but twice, as the first session was so good that I went back to her a second time. Her name is Elizabeth Hermon and she can be reached by calling (781) 646-0026 (she can do sessions by phone, which is what I did for my second appointment, or see you at her office in Arlington, Massachusetts). 

Your Chart Is Unique, Your Life Is Special 

Elizabeth has a passion for astrology that manifests in her readings in a way that makes you feel so lucky to be you; that is, she makes you feel like you have the coolest astrological chart in the world. And in a way, you do. Since each of our charts is unique, like one of three hundred million snowflakes, your personal chart is special; and therefore, your astrology session helps you see your life as special.

Elizabeth feels that each astrological chart is like a description from the universe, a soul-print if you will, enthusiastically depicting the purpose and prominence of its owner. Resultantly, she basically boils over with enthusiasm when reading your chart because, according to her, “every chart teaches people to embrace their life.” And I must admit that by the time my hour with Elizabeth was over, I was feeling lucky to have my chart and eagerly anticipating the coming year. My session with Elizabeth honestly had me embracing my life. 

Astrology In Layman’s Terms 

What I found most appealing in my first session with Elizabeth was that she didn’t make me feel like the astrologically ignorant man that I am. She spoke in layman’s terms so I could easily understand her. She explained that my chart is a snapshot of the dance the planets were doing at the moment of my birth. My first appointment—covering my “natal chart”—essentially explained the significance of this planetary positioning at my birth. My second, and most recent, session with Elizabeth focused more on what my chart says about my current circumstances and the upcoming year. Consequently, having two sessions with Elizabeth taught me that once you have your natal chart done, subsequent astrology sessions can be more specific about how the planets are affecting you in the present and what is coming up for you in the near future. 

A Map To Guide You Out Of Tough Times & Into Your Highest Potential 

Before founding OfSpirit.com, I never realized there were tools such as astrology to help me improve my life. As a result, I struggled. Life felt like an uphill battle. And it’s not surprising to me now that I made a lot of wrong turns and poor choices back then. The fact is that I was running through life with my eyes closed. What I needed was a map to guide me, but I didn’t know one existed. Today I feel so grateful to have discovered such a map in my astrology chart. And now I wonder how I survived so long without it. 

If you feel like life is a struggle. If you are dealing with difficulties, challenges or turmoil. If you seek guidance or knowledge regarding your relationships, career, investments, travel, health, past lives, life path, karma or emotional issues, your astrological chart holds incredible insights to help you make more informed choices that will lead you out of the tough times and into your highest potential.

I am adamant, however, about finding yourself the best astrologer you can find. Be careful with people who have read one book on beginner’s astrology and think they can earn some extra money on the side as an astrologer. I recommend being cautious because life is too important to put into the hands of amateurs. One thing I liked about Elizabeth is that she has over 30 years experience to base her interpretations on, including clients who are celebrities, CEOs, Olympic athletes, and lots of normal everyday people like you and me (and yet her fees are very reasonable). That means that hundreds (if not thousands) of clients over three decades have given her feedback that has helped her become a more intuitive astrology practitioner. To me, experience and reputation are important. If you care as much as I do about the quality of the interpretations being made about your astrological chart, then find someone you can trust that is as professional and gifted as Elizabeth. Or simply call her at (781) 646-0026 for an appointment.