On my way out to the beach, I breeze past my laptop sitting on the table.  I’ve ignored it so often during this vacation that it doesn’t even call to me anymore. 

I brought my computer along to Belize just in case I might be seized by the urge to write.  It soon became apparent that indulging in the pleasures of Central America was a much better choice. 

Soaking up the warmth of the tropics after the brutal winter we’ve endured, reveling in the beauty of beach and jungle, exploring Mayan ruins – it felt like a no-brainer.  What kind of workaholic was I anyway, to think I’d be spending time writing while away on vacation?

I dedicate myself to thoroughly enjoying this last day on the beach.  I watch a lone fisherman pole his boat slowly across the water before me. I savor the last of the papaya we bought at a roadside stand, its fabulous coral-orange-pink color and delicate sweet flavor the essence of the tropics for me. I luxuriate in the delight of simply doing nothing.

No trace of guilt.  No sign of remorse.  No anxiety whatsoever.

Back Home it’s Not So Easy

I return from vacation energized, enthused about new blogs to write, new workshops to design, new Inner Wisdom Circles to get started.  And then, I do nothing. 

For the first week this feels all right.  After all, it takes a while to readjust after any vacation. 

But it’s been two weeks now since I returned from Belize. I’m becoming more and more concerned about my failure to accomplish anything.  I’m feeling more and more distressed by the sense of suspended animation that I seem to have slipped into and can’t seem to escape. Will I never get moving again?

As I gaze at the daffodils growing outside my office window, I realize it’s time to check in with my Inner Wisdom for help and guidance. 

Learning from the Daffodils

My Guides invite me to consider the daffodils I was admiring just moments ago.  They remind me that for nine months of the year those daffodils remain invisible under the ground.

During that time they are storing the energy they have gathered, waiting patiently for the next exuberant above-the-ground manifestation that will certainly come when it is time.  Then, when they are ready, they burst forth in their flamboyant and magnificent way.

This is their cycle. I would never dishonor the cycle of daffodils.

My Guides encourage me to come into greater comfort and better relationship with those below-the-ground times in myself Things remain quiet on the outside.  Just because nothing is visible, though, doesn’t mean that nothing is happening.  What’s happening is taking place deep within.

As I begin to grasp this perspective, I feel the tension and self-blame drain away. What a relief!

My Guides point out how our culture knows only to value production, activity and results.  Our society remains critical of that interior introspective time.  It doesn’t know what to make of silence and waiting, of not doing.

My Guides suggest that it doesn’t have to be this way.  Joyfully, I feel myself growing into the spaciousness of this expanded perspective. 

Action Inspired by Enthusiasm Creates Joy

My Guides suggest I create only when inspired by enthusiasm for my task, just as the daffodils burst into glorious blossom only when propelled by the life force within them.

They remind me that when I am excited about writing a blog or designing a workshop, nothing gives me greater joy.   I get myself in trouble, though, when there’s something I think I should be doing, but I don’t find the energy or motivation to act.  Then the discrepancy between what I think should be and what is creates distress.

Tears stream down my face as I fill with gratitude for the truth they are sharing.  Though the message is familiar, I recognize a whole new dimension opening up, as my Guides apply it to this challenge I am facing.

“Always, always, always, always, always,” they exclaim, “when you have ideas of what should be that are different from what is, you will always create disturbance, dissatisfaction, and unhappiness for yourself.  If nothing is happening, getting angry or impatient with yourself won’t help.”

I feel flooded with light as I recognize the truth of what they say.

“Instead,” my Guides encourage me, “cultivate a ‘just so’ attitude, whenever nothing productive seems to be happening. Then you can turn your attention to whatever would give you joy in that moment”

The key is trusting that productive activity will emerge when the time is right, just as those daffodils will certainly bloom again, but only at the right moment.  

I feel the light and hope grow within.

Back to Work – Joyfully

I return from this journey filled with gratitude for the Gifts of Inner Wisdom I’ve received. 

I hear my laptop, calling me from the kitchen.  The spell is broken. The lethargy is gone. 

Now I’m excited to sit down and write.  I delight in the click of the keys as my fingers race to share this beautiful message with you.

Whenever you find yourself uninspired, please be kind to yourself.  Know that those below-the-ground times are part of the natural cycle of creativity.  Wait patiently, trusting that the urge to blossom will return in its time. When it does, your creativity will burst forth joyfully, as glorious as the daffodils.


It’s 4:55 in the afternoon and I’m feeling great. I’ve celebrated the wonderful dream that came to me early this morning by giving myself plenty of space and time to do the things I love.

I strolled through the booths of the farmers market, buying local cheese and chocolate and my weekly indulgence – a gooey cinnamon raisin bun. I took an especially long, leisurely walk along the river with my beloved companion, Zoe dog. I got my hands into the dirt in the garden, cultivated my beds and got my early lettuce and kale starts in.

What a wonderful day!

Then I glance at today’s date on the calendar. Horror seizes my gut and twists it hard as I notice what’s been written there for weeks: ‘Alan & Libbie’s Exhibit 2-5 PM. Be there by 2:30 to hear Libbie’s presentation!’

I can’t believe it! I’ve entirely spaced out the opening!! The contentment of the day lies all around me, shattered to smithereens.

For weeks I’ve been eagerly looking forward to Alan and Libbie Soffer’s opening. Together we presented a great workshop – Creating from Passion – combining Inner Wisdom work and art play. Encouraged by its success we’ve scheduled another. The opening of their two person art exhibit offers a unique opportunity to support them, get more familiar with their art and promote our workshop.

I’ve been so primed for this event! Then today, in the early hours of the morning, I had an extraordinary and very powerful dream.

Flying Free

For years, I’ve known that it is time for me to move beyond the role of psychologist and life coach into something more spiritual. I – who am in the business of helping people change – have encountered enormous resistance to these changes.

This morning a dream appears showing me that the time really has come for me to leave the house of iStock_000003529536Smallpsychology and life coaching and move toward helping people in a more spiritual way. I know this to be true and feel enormous relief: I can do this!

As I step out of the house I encounter an African Man, dressed in traditional costume, waiting for me just outside the door. He greets me, his skin, as black as black, shining against his elegant, white robe and cap.

He assures me that now that I have left this house and closed the door behind me, I can fly. He shows me that all I need to do is spread my wings and I will soar.

I spread my arms wide and find myself lifting effortlessly off the ground in euphoric flight. My heart fills with wondrous feelings of freedom and bliss. It all feels so right and real, so obvious and easy, so simple and wonderful!

I know not only that I can do this, but that I will. It feels inevitable.

I awaken, still filled with the joy, confidence and optimism of this vision. I’m delighted that I have the whole day stretching before me to celebrate this transformative experience by doing the things that nourish me most.

My Victimizer Rears Her Ugly Head

Upon realizing I’ve missed the art opening, my Victimizer appears, her response swift and terrible.

My Victimizer is the one who emerges any time I do something ‘wrong’. Historically, she has been vicious – tearing me apart with razor sharp claws and teeth, while shrieking, “How could you do this? What an idiot you are!!!”

With all the work that I’ve done, I’m usually able to handle her and she’s become less and less active. Now, however, she attacks with a vengeance.

Even as she tears into me, I recognize how the fury of her retribution far exceeds the seriousness of the crime. Sure, missing the opening was unfortunate, but it’s not the disaster she’s making it out to be. Unmoved by such rational observation, she continues her merciless attacks.

The Black Poison of Doubt

The upset that comes when I’ve f*cked up is familiar. Much worse, however, is the realization that slowly dawns: it is my Inner Wisdom that has betrayed me!

Were it not for my dream, I would have remained focused on what I needed to do. I would have shown up at the opening. Everything would have gone as planned. It would all have been all right.

How could my Inner Wisdom do this to me? It’s supposed to be on my side!

In that moment, for the first time I see Spirit existing on some airy fairy plane, while here I am, struggling along in physical reality. It suddenly appears that my Inner Wisdom doesn’t give a rat’s ass about my desire to make it to the opening. What kind of help and support is this???

For 30 years my trust in the impeccable guidance and unwavering support of Inner Wisdom has been the foundation of my personal well-being and my professional success. Now it feels like that foundation has given way. In painful confusion I wonder what’s left for me to stand on.

Plunged into turmoil, where can I turn? My trusted source of guidance and support seems suddenly to be the enemy.

A Different Perspective Can Always Be Found

I turn to someone I’ve come to trust. Cheryl Trine is a skilled reader of the Akashic Records. (I highly recommend her to you. You can find her at www.trine.com).

Cheryl’s voice coming over the phone feels calm and matter-of-fact. She’s totally unfazed by my calamity. How could this be?

Yet her upbeat attitude begins to open up the glimmer of possibility. Maybe this whole experience isn’t the total, unmitigated disaster it seems to be.

Reading my Records, Cheryl explains that the whole situation has been a grand set up to flush out my Victimizer and, once and for all, expose her for what she is – a big bully who no longer has a place in my life. If her merciless overreaction to my error didn’t convince me, her absolute lack of compassion provides ample grounds to disown her forever.

More important, Cheryl explains, this incident represents a major turning point in my work. I have experienced – and presented – Inner Wisdom as a resource that will get you what you want. This is often true. However, what Inner Wisdom offers is actually far greater than that.

Often you don’t get what you want in life. At those times, Inner Wisdom will give you what you need – the wisdom and perspective to handle whatever you’re dealt, whether you want it or not.

What Cheryl shares with me feels right. It even makes sense. But I’m not comfortable with it.

I’m partial to getting what I want, not what I need. I assume my readers want to hear about how they can get what they want, too. I fear that this new message may be something most people don’t want to hear.

Transcend Suffering by Finding the Grace Hidden There

In the days and weeks following this reading I come into greater and greater acceptance of myself and what I did. And I begin to open more fully to the message that connecting with Spirit is not about getting what you want. It’s not about everything being love and light, joy and peace all the time. It’s actually much greater than that.

Connecting with Spirit is about finding freedom from suffering by seeing the opportunity for transcendence in even the most challenging experiences.

It takes hard work. We return inevitably, over and over again, to our old habits of judgment, anger, and blame toward self and others.

Yet a different perspective is always available, offering the opportunity for grace no matter how challenging the situation may be. We always have the alternative of peace that comes through acceptance, forgiveness and love.

The love and light, the joy and peace are always waiting there within. Getting through to them takes dedication. At times it takes hard work.

How sweet, though, are the rewards of bliss when won through the struggle against pain and suffering!

‘Qatana, I STRONGLY suggest you listen to this. I really want to talk with you about it…and perhaps partner to hold each other accountable.’

This email from my dear friend, Joan, is waiting for me upon my return from a four day retreat. I love Joan, I respect her judgment about what’s worth listening to and I want to support her. So I listen.

Sitting in front of my computer in the kitchen, I like the vibe of the woman presenting the webinar. Her voice seems calm yet forceful. She seems earnest and sincere. The promises she offers are enticing.

Want clients to flock to you? Provide lists and templates, and promise results. Want to work less and earn more? Just charge lots for packages of services that assure people they’ll get what they need. Want a six figure income? Offer on line programs attended by hundreds and you’ll be there in no time.

Glowing testimonials leave no doubt that the formula works beautifully for some. Pictures of attractive people flash on the screen. They’ve made more money by investing in the program. They see more clients. These people ooze success and offer gratitude to the presenter for her role in creating it.

Instead of feeling energized or motivated by this presentation, however, I feel a heavy discouragement settle over me. Underneath, I recognize the same program that didn’t work for me back in 2010 when I spent tens of thousands of dollars and ended up with nothing to show for it.

I know from experience that this program doesn’t work for me, but the promise of success still entices me. After all, the inner guidance I just received on retreat offers no guarantees. My Spirit Guides have shown me how trusting the process and going with the flow will lead me to the path that’s right for me.

No templates. No clear instructions to follow. I don’t even know exactly where this path is leading.

Away in the retreat setting it felt empowering to let go of the struggle of trying to do things that don’t fit for me. Finding my own path felt right. But now, compared with clear instructions to follow and assurances of success, this path seems filled with uncertainty.

What if the path less traveled leads nowhere?

Why can’t I be like those people in the testimonials, who follow the instructions and get great results!?!

With my confidence shaken, I turn once again to my Inner Wisdom for help. Immediately I am transported back to a moment many years ago in a chapel in the Irish countryside.

Illumination in the Chapel

I’m sitting in the small convent chapel.

I’ve come to Ireland on a program with my harp teacher the summer after being confirmed in Judaism. We’ve stayed in convents where I’ve encountered the Gift of Faith in some of the nuns I’ve met – a sublime peace and calm grace that comes from absolute trust in God and the teachings of the Church. I have never encountered anything like it before.

I long for the peace this Gift bestows, but know myself to be of a tradition that constantly wrestles with God. In the Judaism I learned, every answer begets another question – many questions, in fact.

I’ve entered this small chapel, bright white and filled with brilliant bouquets of red and blue, pink and yellow flowers, tormented with an intense longing for this peace, yet feeling condemned, by virtue of who I am, to never experience it.

Suddenly, I’m astonished as the room fills with a brilliant light. The flowers look as if illuminated from within. In this instant I receive the simple knowing that I am who I am. The path of these nuns is not my path. I am different from them. This is simply what is.

This simple message of acceptance instantly frees me from my torment. I feel that deep peace of knowing that things are just what they are and that this is all right.

Back to the present – and the future

The reminder of this experience brings me home to a vital truth – embracing my own path is the one way to peace. I see how only pain can come from comparing myself to others who are different from me. I also appreciate how fine this path that I’ve been on in the decades since that moment in the chapel has been. I could never have known at that moment the places it would lead me, but now I know the journey has been rich and full. It has been my journey.

Knowing this gives me courage to follow my own path into the future, as uncertain as it may seem at the moment.

After all, I may not know where this path leads, but I trust with absolute certainty that I’ll encounter richness and beauty along it. I suppose that this, in a way, is a Gift of Faith.

Our Inner Wisdom Knows

Our Inner Wisdom has been with us since the very beginning of our lives. It knows every single thing we’ve done, everything that has ever happened to us. It can remind us of earlier learnings and show us how to apply them in our current situation.

No counselor or advisor, no therapist or coach can ever do that. This is one of the great gifts that Inner Wisdom offers. I am so grateful for this gift.

I’m in a hurry when I enter the flower shop. I expect to find just the plants I’m looking for, pay for them quickly and get out. Flowers from the garden won’t kick in until March when the first of the daffodils begin to bloom. Between now and those first daffodils I must depend on the florist to decorate my home with flowers – and I love decorating my home with flowers.

For me, this is the cyclamen time of year. During these winter months, there’s nothing I love more than deep red, or coral or delicate pink cyclamen. They remind me of my garden in California when only the cyclamen bloomed during those winter months, with their graceful turned back petals and lush green foliage. Those bright blossoms seemed like a miracle, a promise of Spring to come.

I look quickly around the shop, but all that I find are a couple of white cyclamen and an ugly purple one – definitely the wrong color! Besides, they’re hopelessly small and spindly.

Before I can stop her, my Evil Twin Sister bursts forth with a vengeance. “Are those the only cyclamens you have?” she demands, her disdain so thick you could choke on it.

My Evil Twin Sister

I hate it when my Evil Twin Sister shows up. I get all huffy and entitled and imperious. I spray my anger and upset all over the people around me. It’s not a pretty sight and I feel just awful when it’s over.

My Evil Twin Sister used to be a constant companion. I was so accustomed to her that I never questioned her presence. Through these many years of work, I’ve come to know that it doesn’t have to be that way. I always have a choice. I’ve become less reactive. What a relief!

Now that she shows up so rarely, I’m much more aware of the suffering she creates. I feel the pain of agitation in my mind, tightness in my gut and tension throughout my body. I’m appalled – even as I’m doing it – at how rudely I treat people who have done nothing to purposely hurt me. Afterward I burn with embarrassment, knowing that these people have seen me at my naked ugliest. I know all this and still, at moments like this, she’s hard to control.

I huff around the shop, complain about how little they have in the way of cyclamens, and then –and I’m really embarrassed to admit this – stomp out of the store declaring, “I’ll just have to go to Whole Foods to find what I want!” So much for enlightenment…

I’m sick of my Evil Twin Sister. I’d like to be done with her once and for all, though I know that old habits die hard. That night before I go to bed, I ask my Inner Wisdom for help.

Upon awakening, as I write in my journal, these words flow out. I share them with you in the hope that you will find them helpful. (To learn more about the technique of asking Inner Wisdom for guidance the night before and receiving exactly what you need the following morning, please see my blog, “Order Up Your Daily Wisdom,” published July 25, 2012.)

Flexibility or Rigidity?

Flexibility is the ability to see clearly from a point of stillness, to recognize the true situation – what really is – and to act accordingly. Flexibility is the opposite of rigidity.

Rigidity is to have a set of expectations about how things are going to be and to enter a situation insisting that reality conform to those expectations. Of course, the florist will have exactly what I am looking for and I’ll get out of there in record time! When reality gives us what we are looking for, there’s no problem.

When reality fails to conform to our expectations, if we are in rigidity we insist that reality must behave the way we want it to.

Of course, reality is what it is. It’s highly unlikely to become other than it is just to please us. When we cling rigidly to our demand that reality behave the way we want it to, we set ourselves up for the pain of anger and upset which can lead to acting in ways we will later regret.

The cure for rigidity is flexibility. At any moment we have a choice. Step back, recognize what is and react accordingly, or insist that things be different than they are and suffer. This seems obvious and clear when Inner Wisdom puts it that way. It’s just hard to remember when the cyclamens are not what I wanted.

So What Can We Do?

While it’s happening:

  • As soon as we feel that anger and upset arising, we can notice how bad it feels and remind ourselves that we have a choice. Taking a deep breath can go a long way toward helping us calm down.
  • Really feeling a connection with the Earth through the soles of our feet, we can ground ourselves in the reality of what is – ‘just so’, neither good nor bad – regardless of how we may want things to be.
  • Then we can choose wisely.

If we’ve fallen back into old habits and chosen unwisely, then after it’s over we can:

  • Be kind to ourselves. If we start beating ourselves up – “I can’t believe you did that again! You idiot! Will you never learn?!?” – we can remind ourselves that we don’t deserve to be treated so cruelly, even by ourselves.
  • Use the incident as an opportunity for deeper learning and come up with what we could have done differently. That way those options will be more available to us when we fall back into rigidity. When I look back on those moments in the flower shop I see several possibilities. I could have:
    • Bought the cyclamens that were not exactly what I wanted as a stop gap measure until I found others that pleased me more. X
    • Bought cut flowers and continued looking for plants I liked better
    • Politely left the shop without buying anything and just gone flowerless for a few days until I found what I wanted.
  • Go back to the people we’ve abused, acknowledge what we’ve done and apologize, perhaps even laugh about it.

Cyclamens   After writing this article I thought I’d give apology a try. When I returned to the shop to apologize for my dreadful behavior, the sales ladies very kindly claimed they had no recollection of my acting badly. One of them insisted that she could not imagine me doing such a thing. I had to agree.

Now, my Evil Twin Sister, well that’s another story…

We’re on one of our familiar walks along the river, when my husband, Jim, mentions, “I’m thinking of signing up for the Pilates Comprehensive Training.” The comment seems casual, almost off-hand.

The sun shines through the golden leaves and glints off the water. The squawk of a blue heron breaks through the warm air of Indian summer. Our black dog, Zoe, dashes off after a squirrel.

I stop abruptly to stare at him. “You’re thinking about doing what?!?” I exclaim.

Ever since he retired, Jim has focused more and more of his time and attention on Pilates. He’s even begun teaching a Pilates class. This training, though, seems over the top.

“It’s essential for my future as a Pilates instructor,” Jim explains. His tone of voice creeps into defensive as we start walking again. “They’re offering the course here in Pennsylvania. I won’t have to travel to Tucson to take it, the way everyone has in the past. That’ll save a lot in travel expenses and time.”

His justifications don’t swing it for me, but, unable to voice my objections, I have no reply. How can I tell him what I really feel?

Jim trusts  that I’ll support him. For 30 years we’ve counted on each other to provide steadfast encouragement when it comes to pursuing our dreams. Our relationship rests solidly on this foundation. This time, though, feels different to me.

I resent the enormous amount of time and energy that this training will demand – endless hours of classes, observation and practice teaching. I’m concerned about the cost, which seems exorbitant. What’s really bothering me, though, I dare not mention to him.

I married a Ph.D. chemist, a director in a major pharmaceutical firm. I could be proud of that. I was comfortable with it – but a Pilates teacher?!?!?! It’s just not serious. It’s not impressive. It’s not prestigious.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but there it is. I don’t respect what my husband is doing. I know I should, but I can’t bring myself to accept what gives him joy.

As we walk together in silence, the objections chase each other around in my head. At the same time, though, I know he belongs here. I’ve seen the enthusiasm he shares at his students’ progress, his pride and satisfaction at the difference he’s making in their lives.

Deep in my heart of hearts, I want to support him. I really do. No matter how hard I try, though, I just can’t let go of that judgment.

We arrive back at the car. My throat chokes as I grudgingly murmur, “Well, if you think you have to….” I’m not happy. Sensing my disapproval, he’s unhappy, too. The air chills as clouds cover the sun.

≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈

For weeks following this discussion inner conflict tears me up. My annoyance pains me every time it wells up. My heart breaks from the stress and negativity that’s growing between us. I know I should support him. I want to support him. I just can’t bring myself to do it. And then my Inner Wisdom shows me the way.

≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈

I’m walking along the same river path when I finally turn to my Inner Wisdom for help. Most of the leaves have fallen, but the sun still glistens on the flowing water. The crisp air feels invigorating. Zoe, my only companion, dashes off after a squirrel.

Suddenly, the larger picture opens up before me. The absurdity of the situation cracks me up.

Here I am, offering my clients the Path of Joy. “Do what gives you joy,” I say. “It’s more important than the money. It’s more important than the approval of those around you. It’s the most important thing there is!”

And here I find myself in complete opposition to exactly what gives my husband –the person I love most in the world – joy!

The question comes clearly, “How can you expect people to be drawn to you and to your message, if you can’t open your heart to embrace what gives your husband joy!?!?!?”

Instantly the resistance, the opposition, and the upset disappear and I am flooded with blessed relief.

≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈

Since that moment I’ve known the joy of being happy about what makes Jim happy, of finding satisfaction in his successes and pride in his achievements. I know the well-being of finding myself back in integrity with what I believe! I savor the return of harmony in our relationship.

Our living room has become an occasional Pilates studio as I go through the exercises under his guidance. I love the convenience and flexibility of having my own in-house Pilates teacher.

And Jim’s a great teacher. You can take it from me. I know a good Pilates teacher when I see one. After all, I’m the one who introduced him to Pilates all those many years ago…

What you can do to love what you hate

First, notice how much worse you feel when you allow something to really upset you. Make a commitment to yourself to stop suffering this way.

Then check in with your Inner Wisdom to discover what it wants you to know so you can once again enjoy a state of calm well-being.

Give yourself some space and time when you know you will not be interrupted. Relax deeply. Then ask your Inner Wisdom for help. You might try one of these questions:

  •  “What do I need to know to help me handle this better?”
  •  “Please show me any issue from my past that’s being triggered here. How can I use this situation for my learning, healing and growth?”
  •  “Please help me see this situation from a different perspective that will bring me relief.”

Or just ask whatever feels right to you. Then wait patiently for any awareness that comes to you.

Do not try to answer this question on your own!!!

Remain open to any word or phrase or image that comes to you spontaneously. If you have questions or concerns about whatever you receive, express them openly. Enter into a dialog with your Inner Wisdom until you reach resolution and peace.

Your Inner Wisdom comes directly from your Divine Nature, an infinite source of compassion and unconditional love for yourself and for others. It is eager to help you. All you need to do is show up with an open heart and a willingness to learn. The more you practice turning to your Inner Wisdom for guidance and support, the more easily you’ll receive the gifts that await you!

The joy I felt in the Inner Wisdom Circle yesterday evening reminded me so powerfully of what it’s all about. For me it’s about people connected in spirit, openly sharing what’s in their heart, discovering commonality, experiencing beautiful journeys and creating benefit for others through the sharing of their journeys, supporting one another – YES! This is what I’ve dreamed of. This is what I love.

Sitting in that Circle, filled with that joy, the doubts and fears fell away. I knew that for me, having a million followers, or raking in a million dollars, or selling a million books is not what it’s about.

What it’s about is finding what gives you joy and then creating that in your life, finding a way to structure your life around it and then live it.

≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈

Interestingly, this theme emerged in the Circle. How do you find your life purpose? How do you identify what makes your soul sing? How do you keep at it in the face of uncertainty or financial insecurity?

The answers came in facets, gifts from the Inner Wisdom of each person sitting in that circle:

  • You notice and honor what comes naturally to you, where it is you are comfortable and easily excel.
  • You welcome steps as small as reading a book suggested to you by your Inner Wisdom, without a clue of where that book might lead you.
  • You listen to your heart and you follow it, even in the face of financial uncertainty. (One woman put it so beautifully: There are many ways to starve. Some of the artists she knows, though not earning much money, are abundantly nourished at the banquet of their creativity.)
  • You ground yourself in the foundation of what really matters and grow from that, like a deeply rooted tree.
  • You notice when you feel deep joy and satisfaction, where you feel like there’s nowhere else in the world that you would rather be, what it is you’re doing when you say to yourself “This is what really, really matters to me.” You recognize this as home – or Om – and you go toward that.

≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈

Please be curious about discovering where the joy can be found in your own life. It may be hidden here and there, in small moments of delight, or calm or pleasure. You may need to search for it in your past. You may even need to examine your longings to detect what the joy you yearn for might look like or feel like.

Know that clarifying life purpose is neither quick nor easy. More it’s an ongoing process, unfolding and opening up as you go along, filled with doubt and uncertainty along the way.


And then there are those moments when you really feel it – as I did last night. At those moments you know. For at the heart of life purpose lies whatever it is that gives you joy.

Then you’re ready to face the tough question – how will I shape my life around this?!?

P.S. Loving thanks to my subscribers. If you enjoyed this post and are not yet subscribed, enter your email address below and click ‘Subscribe’. You will receive each new post in your email box. To share on Facebook and Twitter, simply click below. Thanks!



“The more we open to the unconditional love that is always there waiting for us, the more joy and equilibrium we experience in our days here on Earth.”



qatana email footer 2013



“It’s time to come clean.” These words I heard as I woke up this morning.
To help you understand the changes I’m going through, you need to know the truth. You need to know how bad it really has been, so you can begin to understand – as I am beginning to understand – what this is really all about.

≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈

In 2010 I spent tens of thousands of dollars on programs to help me get my message out there so more people could discover the beauty and power of their Inner Wisdom.

People promised to make me into a million dollar author. I went for it because I’d learned that to get the book I’d written published I needed platform – thousands of followers who would snatch up my book the instant it came out. These people knew how to get platform.

People promised to make me a six figure coach. I went for it because their plan to reach more people with information products and teleseminars made sense – even if it didn’t feel right to me.

A famous author promised that she would show me how to achieve the success she had enjoyed as a speaker and writer. I went for it because I liked her work, respected her message and envied her success.

Here’s what I got for the tremendous amount of time, money and effort I put in:

  • Huge credit card debt for the first time in my life. Each time I plunked down another six or ten or twelve thousand dollars, I told myself I wasn’t buying something frivolous, like diamonds and furs. I was investing in my vision, my business, my future – and anyway, I’d make back many times these amounts by following the program.
  • Deep feelings of failure and shame. In my entire life, if I worked hard at something, I always succeeded. I was always at the top of my class in school. I never doubted my talents and abilities. In these programs I saw people succeeding, while I floundered. I compared myself to them and felt like a failure. For the first time in my life I experienced what others may have felt in comparing themselves with me – inadequacy, helplessness and inferiority. I had never paused to think about those people before, and now I was one of them.
  • Doubt in my message. How could I put out there that following your Inner Wisdom would lead to happiness and success? Look at what had happened to me! I felt like a fraud and – worst of all – I found myself questioning the very foundation of my life.

This was truly the dark night of my soul.

In October, 2010 everything ground to a halt, like gears rusted shut that simply refused to move. I sat down at my computer one day and seized up with anxiety. I could not push myself one step further.

It had become clear that I wasn’t going to grab the golden ring. Now I knew it was time to get off the merry-go-round.

I went back to my roots.

Up until that point I knew Interactive Imagery – the process I use to connect with Inner Wisdom – to be my path of learning, healing and growth. I’d done my own work three times a year in a retreat with trusted co-journeyers – our beloved Woodstock Group. The healing I needed now could not wait. I started working on a regular basis to heal – not the personal, family traumas of childhood – but the more subtle and pervasive traumas inflicted on all of us by a culture obsessed with competition and material gain.

Those earlier quotes and blogs you may have read about going with the flow, about releasing painful comparison with the apparent success of others, about learning to be kind to yourself – all of this was part of my own healing. We teach what we most need to learn.

≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈

Nothing has changed. My book has yet to be published – though the book that I’ll publish will be quite different from the one I wrote four years ago. I have not achieved the fame and fortune promised to me by those programs. Others continue to enjoy success in ways that I have not. (Well, actually, I have worked my way out of debt, so at least that has changed!)

But everything feels different. I no longer hate myself for failing or those other people for succeeding. I recognize that those programs could never have worked for me, because they were never authentic to who I really am and what I really believe.

I now see the whole experience as a process I needed to go through. I know I can trust that process as a necessary gift for teaching me what I needed to learn, for helping me get where I needed to go. I’ve come into acceptance, and with that has come peace and joy.

I’m coming to learn the true happiness is not a matter of achieving your goals. In fact, my old URL – achieveyourgoals.com – is up for sale.

Going forward, this blog will be all about what I’m learning about true happiness – all gifts of Inner Wisdom.

Post Script: As I finish writing this blog, I weep deeply, deeply, knowing the relief that comes with the release of the shame I have carried for all of this time. If you are carrying shame, please know that shining light into the shameful places brings blessed relief.

P.S. Loving thanks to my subscribers. If you enjoyed this post and are not yet subscribed, enter your email address below and click ‘Subscribe’. You will receive each new post in your email box. To share on Facebook and Twitter, simply click below. Thanks!



“The more we open to the unconditional love that is always there waiting for us, the more joy and equilibrium we experience in our days here on Earth.”



qatana email footer 2013



For decades in my own inner journeys and in guiding the journeys of others, the foundation for the work has been ‘Trust the Process.’ In these journeys I have always found it deeply reassuring to know that I can completely trust Inner Wisdom – mine and my clients’ – to know exactly what needs to happen. What a relief to learn that there is a resource within greater and wiser than the one who has been running the show! All I need to do is remain open and allow the process to flow.

I find that my life now is being blown open. I’m being called upon to trust the process – not just in my journeys – but in my life. This means struggling less to make things happen and being willing to go with the flow – whatever that is. This means letting go of attachment to outcome. This means trusting that good comes to me through Divine plan.

Occasionally this feels sublime. Often it feels scary, even foolish. Sometimes it feels all of the above.

≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈

This morning, as I awake, the image of a beautiful, calm older woman comes to me. Though I have never seen her before, I immediately recognize her as one of my Inner Wisdom Guides.

“There are two ways to get things done,” she tells me. “One is to actively make things happen. This is the way you are taught to get things done in your culture. This is all about ‘Just do it.’”

“The other way to get things done,” she continues, “is to create the conditions in which the desired result is more likely to happen and then trust that this result will come to you on its own – a result of your preparation, patience and perseverance … and your trust.”

My Guide goes on to explain that this second way of doing is not as well known or appreciated in our culture, but it is no less powerful and effective. Nor is it more powerful and effective. They are both equally important. The thing is to be open to both, to be capable of both, because different situations call for different ways of doing.

It’s like hunting, she explains. If you are hunting a deer, you can go after that deer. You can track it and stalk it until you run that animal down. Or you can sit very quietly in a blind, sprinkle some corn and wait patiently for the deer to come to you. Each of these strategies has its merits.

My Guide reminds me of the quiet breathing practice I have adopted to help me get back to sleep when I wake up in the middle of the night. If I try to pursue sleep, it eludes me. The harder I grasp for sleep, the more I push it away with my anxieties – ‘What if I can’t get back to sleep? What if my day will be ruined by that awful not-enough-sleep feeling?’ When I breathe gently, barely audibly, I drift softly back into sleep, lulled by the soft sound of my breathing, like the gentle sound of waves lapping on a beach.

Throughout my life, as a child of my culture, I have specialized in the more active, aggressive way of doing. Now, I am just learning how this more quiet, passive way of doing can operate in my life. I sense that the energy I create through trust and acceptance can make things happen in more subtle but no less powerful ways than the familiar habit of working hard.

I am so new to this that I find it difficult to comprehend, let alone write about. Certainly, though, you’ll be hearing more about the unfolding of all of this in future blogs. Stay tuned!

P.S. Loving thanks to my subscribers. If you enjoyed this post and are not yet subscribed, enter your email address below and click ‘Subscribe’. You will receive each new post in your email box. To share on Facebook and Twitter, simply click below. Thanks!



“The more we open to the unconditional love that is always there waiting for us, the more joy and equilibrium we experience in our days here on Earth.”



qatana email footer 2013


There are many ways to be special. We can be smarter than anyone else, or stronger or more beautiful. I saw a TV show the other night that featured a man named Bob who could eat a Philly cheese steak faster than anyone in history. You should have seen him shove that thing down! You could tell just by looking at Bob how proud he was of his achievement.

Being special seems like it should be great, but the truth is that it creates serious problems. Special is always in comparison with those around us. If we are smarter or stronger, there are others not so smart or not so strong. If we’re more beautiful, then there are many plain, even homely people who are less attractive. If we’re able to eat a Philly cheese steak in record time, there are countless others who are slower than we are.

Once we get to thinking that we’re more special than other people, it’s easy to imagine that they envy us – our beauty, our smarts, our strength – anything that sets us apart – and above – them. This creates alienation.

Being special also creates fear. Sooner or later, someone else will come along who is smarter, or stronger, or more beautiful. It’s inevitable. Someday someone is going to eat a cheese steak faster than Bob (though I can’t imagine anyone wanting to!). Then he won’t be so special any more. What then…?

Most important, the need to be special comes from and reinforces the deeply held belief that unless there’s something that sets us apart from – and above – others, we’re not good enough. If there’s only so much love or happiness to go around, then if we’re special, the hope is that we’ll get a bigger share of the good stuff. If not, well….

Here’s the wonderful news. There is infinite love to go around. Happiness is available to you at any moment. You don’t need to be special to get what you want and need.

The unconditional love of the Divine is all around you, and it is within you. You can experience the bliss that comes from receiving this love any time. All you need to do is open up to it.

Divine love is endless and boundless. There is more than enough to go around. It’s there for you no matter how dumb or foolish you may think you are. There’s plenty for you regardless of whether or not you think you’ve failed. Divine love does not care one bit about how ugly or flawed, or fat or thin you might be. It doesn’t even care how fast you can eat a Philly cheese steak!

Divine love is and it is there for you. You don’t need to be special to receive it. Let go of special. What a relief!!

Feel the love and the bliss that comes as you let go of needing to be special and open to receive Divine love.

What you can do

Develop a regular practice of connecting with the Divine – the Divine that is your own Divine nature and the Divine that is all around you. Let yourself experience the calm and the bliss of knowing you are loved just the way you are – no need to be special.

Set aside time to sit quietly. Breathe deeply. As you breathe in simply imagine yourself opening to Divine love. Welcome this love and allow it to fill your heart.

You may imagine it as the infinite love of God. You may feel it as oneness with all that is. However you think of it, let it fill you and notice how you feel.

As you breathe out, imagine yourself releasing any feelings of self-doubt, self-blame or self-hatred. Just let them go. Let the light of Divine love fill all those places where negative feelings have been hiding out. Notice how you feel.

Practice this first thing in the morning, or last thing at night before you go to sleep – or both. Practice during your commute to and from work – especially if you’re caught in a traffic jam. Notice how your feelings of love deepen as you make this a regular practice. I have. What a relief!

P.S. Loving thanks to my subscribers. If you enjoyed this post and are not yet subscribed, enter your email address below and click ‘Subscribe’. You will receive each new post in your email box. To share on Facebook and Twitter, simply click below. Thanks!



“The more we open to the unconditional love that is always there waiting for us, the more joy and equilibrium we experience in our days here on Earth.”


qatana email footer 2013


We have all experienced pain in our lives. Life in a body on Earth among other human beings who are not always kind necessarily entails suffering. Our relationship with the pain life brings us determines whether our lives are filled with misery or with joy. I met a man last week who moved me deeply. He had the emaciated look of a person struggling with a life threatening illness. Indeed, I was told that he had spent six months in a cancer treatment center battling some form of blood cancer. That was two years ago. He looked horrible. And then I was introduced to him and spoke with him and was absolutely enchanted by his humor, his kindness and the exquisite light and love that shone from his eyes. There was not on shred of self-pity or despair in Paul. I felt blessed just being in his presence. Speaking with Paul, I recognized why it is that we walk this path of spiritual growth – to be able to face life’s suffering with beauty and grace. How magnificent is that!?! How empowered is that?!? Seeing someone like Paul deal with such a terrifying situation with such equanimity gives me the hope that maybe I can manage the challenges in my own life with greater ease than I’d imagined possible. This is really what the Path of Joy is all about – to be able to remain in a state of love and light, beauty and joy, regardless of the suffering that comes our way.

P.S. Loving thanks to my subscribers. If you enjoyed this post and are not yet subscribed, enter your email address below and click ‘Subscribe’. You will receive each new post in your email box. To share on Facebook and Twitter, simply click below. Thanks!  



“The more we open to the unconditional love that is always there waiting for us, the more joy and equilibrium we experience in our days here on Earth.”

qatana email footer 2013