Tuesday, June 24, 2014


We are in a state of renewal. We will return soon with an updated look and continued shared insight and wisdom.

You can continue to write to us through our Facebook page's Inbox at www.facebook.com/soulcerersapprentice. We are listening and we are answering.

Light & Love,

The Soulcerer's Apprentice

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What's your frequency?

There I was, sitting in a very nice restaurant among other creative, intelligent, successful professionals feeling sorry for myself. We were celebrating. Yet, I was holding a grudge. I was bothered by one of the people at the table. She was rude, inconsiderate, and clearly trying to get under my skin. She did. Because I let her.

When we walked into the restaurant I could feel her low-dragging energy and I went with it. She was angry about something, rushed, tired and resentful. Her demeanor and behavior grew out of those feelings. Instead of recognizing her self-doubt and uneasiness, I took it personal. Instead of rising above, I stooped right next to her.

On a quantum level, we are all one collective energy phenomenon. My energy is woven into yours. Yours is woven into another's. That other's energy is woven into yet another's, and so on. So when we walk around seemingly unaware, our energy fields are interacting with each other. We walk into a room and feel the chill in the air when there is tension, the sorrow of sad news, the merriment of celebration and the befuddlement when no one knows what is happening–we feel the vibes. This is energy.

Thoughts are energy and they vibrate high when they are positive and low when they are not. Low vibration thoughts keep us down, slow, negative, pessimistic. When we are on the lower rungs of the energy scale, we feed on outward approval and the emotional responses of those around us. Higher vibrating thoughts energize us and keep us positive and optimistic. When we are on the higher rungs of the energy scale, it's not that we don't care, it's that we don't notice what others think about us, we rise above.

At that table, when I noticed my low frequency, I snapped out of it. I upsurged. And that changed everything for me. This is what we need to do when we realize we are dragging in low and slow vibrating thoughts. When we expand into a higher vibrating frequency, we rise and others can rise above with us. At this level we don't bring each other down, we continue to uplift each other. At any moment, we can choose the frequency at which we pulse at. What is your vibe, what is your frequency today?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Subtle move

I like solving problems, presenting solutions, fixing things, resolving issues. I feel I must understand, figure out and do. Many times I feel like Veruca in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: I want it now!–the solution, the fix, the miracle. Patience is my biggest challenge, and a lesson I face constantly. I am learning though. As I look back, I can see the wisdom in waiting, the grace in letting others have their say, the strength in listening, the undoing in sitting, the peace in knowing, the magic in stillness and the miracle in silence.

I break the magic frequently by saying too much, reacting from emotional reflexes and impulsive functioning. I forget that there's wisdom in time and space. When I let go of the search, the frantic doing, the blaming and the figuring out, I see clearly. Spirit comes through in subtle but definite ways. This morning, for instance, I had a piece I wanted to share with you. Yet this morning, there was an uproar waiting. I didn't understand why I chose to read a book I had already read. I opened it to a random page and there my teacher wrote about the Holy Instant. The message talked about that quiet moment when we open, surrender, and empty ourselves and allow Spirit to make things right. On its own, this would just be nice to find on the morning of a day such as today. Yet just last night, as I was falling asleep, in an out-of-routine and out-of-character move, I turned to YouTube on my iPhone to watch something. Gabby Bernstein had just posted a video in which she talks about the Holy Instant. This made me pay attention to the "random" reading I picked up this morning. The message came to me in a moment of insight and sudden realization during dinner and it helped me reframe the happenings of a difficult and troublesome day. I now know what to do.

Today is a good day to be and allow. Be still, be calm, be quiet and allow the Universe to respond to our questions, our needs and our perceived problems. Allow time and space to breathe in between the frenzy and the tumult, to alleviate the confusion, unrest, worry and anxiety. Let your Inner Guide come through your silence. The magic, the miracles, the solutions, the fixes and the answers all come in the most subtle ways.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Writing meditation…meditation writing

Meditation has helped me so much in so many ways. On the most subtle level, it has helped me see within, go within and be and feel comfortable there. On an outer level, it has calmed me down in ways that those around me can appreciate. On very hectic days, those in which I have a long list of things to do, a few minutes of mediation in the morning helps me look at that list and know what must be done and what can wait. When I am overwhelmed, a few minutes of quiet stillness helps me find my center, my balance. When I am angry, meditation allows me to see what I appreciate in my life, turning my mood around and changing my perspective. When I feel lost, I go within to find my way out. As a writer, meditation has become an essential tool. It has become such an integral part of my writingness that I no longer consider one practice separate from the other.

We receive constant input from what we read, the conversations we have, the news, the music we listen to, the movies we watch and various other sources. It is present, never-ending and ambitiously seeks our continual attention. This hinders our ability to think fresh thoughts, to be ingenious. It keeps our focus on the stimuli in our environment. In order to make room for new content, we must be able to shift our focus. This is where meditation helps, where it becomes a conduit for new ideation.

Meditation helps us come to and into our writing. There are two forms of meditation that I use as part of my writing. I sit in lotus pose with my eyes closed and meditation music in the background for twenty minutes while I focus on my breathing. It is a process, a cycle in which I enter full and come out empty, calm and ready to receive. I also practice a flow-of-thought writing exercise in which I let my thoughts pour out without judgment, censorship or plan in a notebook for a good two or three pages. This is where some of my best writing has come through. I always write by hand for there's more to a poetic movement in writing by hand, there's a connection between our handwritten action and the brain. When we write by hand, our brain receives feedback. This helps us resolve and clear our psyches of many issues, thus making room for inspired ideas.

Meditation is not only great for writers, but for every creative type. If you're struggling in your work, are doing great in your work, feel a creative urge but haven't figured it out, want to explore your creativity or just want to keep ideas flowing, I encourage you to meditate and enjoy the flow.

Image from the millions.com

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Green with calmness

He bought a new bucket. It's green–the same color green that's on the trim of the new mop and the same color green that's on the stick of the new broom. There's a cohesiveness in our cleaning supplies, a sensory solidarity. It helps. It really does. Visual harmony helps my thoughts flow.

I read somewhere that outer order contributes to inner calm. It's true. In a world where we can control so little, clearing the clutter, organizing our spaces–our desks, our countertops, our cars, our wallets and our closets–helps us think in organized ways. It also helps us prioritize better, use our time more efficiently and have better use of our resources. It helps us be more creative, more financially responsible, more productive and, of course, calmer. 

When our surroundings are in order, energy flows more freely. In the mess, the disorder and the clutter, energy gets stuck and we become stagnant. The negative energy stays in the nooks and crannies of our mess and fresh, inspired energy cannot flow.

Today is a good day to bring harmony to our surroundings. Let's please our eyes with beauty, order and organization in our homes, our offices, the spaces we breathe in. Let's wake creative energy up by cheering our senses. Let's appease inner conflict by finding calm and peace in our living spaces.

Image from deviantart.com

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

All hell is breaking loose

Image from redbubble.com
Financial distress, a lost job, a broken relationship, a car accident. Or a broken contract, a big opportunity lost, an illness diagnosed, a natural disaster. Or missing your flight, your stock portfolio plummeted, finding out your spouse wants a divorce. Choose any combination of one-bad-thing-after-another. It seems that disasters happen in a chain and feels like all hell is breaking loose. When this happens, pay attention. This is a chance for you to make your life what you want it to be. It is in these spells that great changes happen. It is in these big shifts that miracles occur.

When something tragic, unfortunate and distressful happens we can think in common ways, traditional ways, in the ways we have been taught to think. Or we can think in miraculous ways. A Course in Miracles says that a miracle is a change in perception from fear to love. Instead of seeing the hardship, what if we saw a new beginning, a better fortune, a new adventure and possibility? We are used to thinking that this is easier said than done, but. What do we have to lose by taking a positive view of an adverse situation?

I have known of people devastated by losing a job in which they had invested many years. Then they realize that they kept the job out of insecurity, in the name of financial security. I have known of people who have been surprised by a spouse who want a sudden divorce only to reframe the whole situation to a being-released. They too remained in a relationship out of fear. In being released, they have found love, joy and happiness…this not only in situations where couples break up, but in being diagnosed with terminal illnesses, going through financial devastation and other calamitous situations.

When all hell is breaking loose, hold on tight. Resolve the practical and reasonable matters of your new state, but do not be part of the chaos and the negative mentality. Let go of what has been and notice the subtleties around you. A new life is possible. When all hell is breaking loose, break loose as well. Break your bonds to old ways of thinking, old habits, old patterns of behavior and old beliefs and let a new attitude, a new path and a new way of life unfold before you.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Wrong answer

That's not what I was looking for. Nope. That's not it either. 

Image from art-is-fun.com
I am ghost writing a book that requires heavy research. So far into the project, research has been the most time-consuming part considering that I am researching, writing and translating as I go. I am able to find most of the information I am looking for online, but it took me a few weeks to get the hang of it. A lovely librarian friend of mine pointed me to several reputable online libraries. When I got there though,  I couldn't find the information I was looking for. I either got related information, somewhat what I was looking for or nothing at all. I took a break…for a few days. When I returned to my task, it hit me: I was asking the wrong questions.

I needed to be clear, just as we need to be clear about anything that we want. Vague questions can get us something more or less close to what we want...or something completely different. I wasn't sure what I was looking for, so I was asking imprecise questions.

When I took a break, I relaxed and took a different look at the whole matter. Instead of trying to figure out the missing or misguided information and focusing on the aggravation I was feeling, I focused on knowing what I wanted. Sure enough, the information came–right after I figured out the questions.

Ask, what do I want? This is the first step to opening the path to receiving the answers you are looking for. When we do this, we remove our thoughts and judgment out of the way. It is a form of surrendering to our Higher-Self, to that source within us that knows what we want, what inspires us, what makes us joyful and happy. Ask, then know. Know, then receive…the right answer.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday morning meditation

Good morning! It's Friday. We are either happy that the weekend starts or we are overwhelmed because of everything still pending to do. Before you go on with your day, take a moment with me to breathe.

Inhale deeply          Mentally count to three          Exhale slowly
Inhale deeply          Exhale slowly
Now breathe normally paying attention to the rhythm of your breath

Inhale          My intention is to have clarity          Exhale
Inhale          I see things as they are          Exhale
Inhale          I understand my purpose          Exhale
Inhale          I know what to do          Exhale
Inhale          I understand my priorities          Exhale
Inhale          I take care of them joyfully          Exhale
Inhale          I am being guided          Exhale
Inhale          All is well         Exhale
Inhale          My intention is to have clarity          Exhale
Inhale          I see things as they are          Exhale
Inhale          I understand my purpose          Exhale
Inhale          I know what to do          Exhale
Inhale          I understand my priorities          Exhale
Inhale          I take care of them joyfully          Exhale
Inhale          I am being guided          Exhale
Inhale          All is well         Exhale

Inhale deeply. Exhale. You are ready. Enjoy Friday. Namaste.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Riding shotgun

Image from www.tripadvisor.com
I am usually the driver. I like it. It gives me a sense of control. I also like the rev of a powerful engine, the grip of the tires on certain turns at a certain speed, the boom of the bass through the sound system. I get to enjoy the fun of driving. Yet I also get to miss a few things.

In the past few months I have enjoyed that someone else is in the driver's seat. Now, I ride shotgun most of the time. I like this too. I especially like the rides back after our weekends away on the other side of this island. I get to see so much nature and architecture that I normally would miss when driving. I feel relaxed and inspired during these rides.

Allowing another to take charge takes courage. But allowing another to do it because they want to is allowing them to fulfill their dharma. It is also part of the language of love, as it is in our case. Releasing my need to drive, to know, to control allows me to appreciate, to learn and to grow. It also allows him to do what he is called to do for he is in the driver's seat in more ways than one.

Riding shotgun may mean that I don't always remember the route for someone else has driven it for me, but I am learning to trust that I am taken care of and that I will be guided when I need to drive. This is not about becoming a passive passenger, but about realizing that life is a beautiful ride in which sometimes we need to be in charge while other times our purpose is to accompany, be present and complete the experience for someone else. Trying to be in control all the time curtails another from their demonstrations of love in romantic, filial and other relationships. It also blocks us from seeing other sides of life and enjoying them.

Today, try riding shotgun…gaze out the window, gaze at the hands on the wheel, relish the conversation, hold hands, enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Taking fear out on a date

What are you afraid of? Do you know? Some of us know, yet many of us do not know what we fear. Still, we act in fearful ways–we worry, we are anxious, uneasy, tense and nervous. About what? Usually it is about something that might happen in the future, something we have no certainty of. The truth is that we fear something that is not real.

Take your fear out on a date. Ask it what is it trying to tell you. It may alert you to your procrastination, bad habits, overspending and other behaviors that have real implications on your career, relationships and health. This fear is your emotional system making you aware of what you know deep inside about certain matters. Once you understand what your fear is all about, you can do something about it.

Image from www.slodive.com
Other than dealing with practical matters and in situations of immediate danger, fear does not serve us, it cannot protect us and it robs us of truly enjoying life, of thinking creatively, of spontaneity, of feeling joy, of appreciating what is happening now.

Fear wants attention. Give it the briefest consideration and, after listening to it, realize what is pragmatically helpful and what is irrational. Then, let it go.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Smoked pork chops

I am writing this on my sabbatical. It has been a few days since I made the decision to disconnect from this love of mine. It was not an impulsive decision. It had been coming. I have much more to learn, and much more to experience before I continue to share with you. I miss it terribly. In the meantime I am I am listening, learning, experiencing.

I have had quite a few rough days. Arguments, complications, deadlines, nearly-missed deadlines, ants in my bedroom and more have tested my patience and my stamina. I am working on a benefit gala, a cocktail for foreign dignitaries and local VIP's, a literary festival–in two cities, building an endowment fund, writing a finance book, revising a poetry book, raising a soon-to-be-teenager…and the list goes on. Today was a particularly rough day. I had a pretty tight schedule to keep. At 7:15 in the morning, as I was driving to my second stop of the day, another vehicle struck mine. BAM! Right rear-end smashed in. I didn't react. I just eased to the shoulder and began the after-accident rundown. I don't need to bore you with the details. When an accident happens this early in the morning, it pretty much consumes the day. The vehicle that struck mine turns out to be a motor coach bus. Yep. A big, long, tall, scary bus with an equally big, long, tall and scary accident claim process. It is part of a fleet. The owner of the bus, who wasn't the driver, told me that he would call me back with the details. This was at 8:21 in the morning. At 10:30 he stopped answering his phone. At 3:30 I was ready to be bound. I was overwhelmed. 

My anxiety level was high…I mean really high. When my heart started pounding, I realized I couldn't function that way. Thinking, planning, organizing was not going to do it. I wasn't accomplishing much. My phone was ringing continuously…continuously! Email kept coming in. My to-do list kept growing. And all I wanted to do was scream, fix my car, get funding squared away for the festival and get the print shop to deliver our latest published anthology out by the 5:30 p.m. deadline. So I stopped and got pork chops out of the freezer. That fixed it. 

I trimmed the smoked pork chops and cut them into squares, slowly. I browned and seasoned them in an old family cauldron. I added corn, water, rice, tomato paste, olives, capers, and red bell peppers then stewed it all for an unhurried while. The smell called my son into the kitchen. We danced silently. On with the ritual. I prepared cut, french green beans in balsamic vinegar and a sizzle of olive oil. I became fully immersed in the moment. I was wholly in my meditative state when the phone startled me. It was the call I had been waiting for. 

I tended to the call calmly. My anxiety was under control. Stepping away from my worry about the car, circumstances I could not control, fear that things would go wrong, a critical attitude and my pitiful self-indulging in what was going wrong according to me helped me relax. I became grateful for the help I got along the way, that no one was injured in the accident, that I have a very supportive family, that my inamorato dropped everything to pick my son up from school, drop him off at home all the while supporting me physically and emotionally, that I work with a very competent group of people, that my car will be fixed, that I did do everything that I needed to do today and that nothing is more important than my peace of mind. Making anything else more important makes me generate negative energy, act selfishly and consume my thoughts with what is wrong. Finding my peace, becoming it, allows me creativity, problem solving, positive action and to be a conduit of these for others. My peace of mind lies in my love of Self and others. I find it in quiet moments, in still action and smoked pork chops.

Image from www.sculptedimage.com

Monday, June 2, 2014

Doing it with the lights on

Image from
Yesterday I woke up in that mood. You know that mood. The one with the insatiable need to create. I woke up later than I wanted to and everyone was already awake. The house was alive with conversation, music and activity. The neighbors were boisterous and the two streets that meet our house were busier than usual. There was no silence–none. There was no free space for me to go to. So I sat down on the floor and closed my eyes. Sometimes we just have to create in chaos. The need to create will not wait for silence, for the right moment, for everything to settle down.

I sat for fifteen minutes or so with my eyes closed focusing on my breath and nothing else. Life was all around me. The kids, the cars passing by, the list of things to do, the urge to write. I sat there…breathing and still in the midsts of it all.

After my impromptu meditation, I wrote in the bosom of the activity around me. My meditation practice has allowed me to create in chaos. I prefer a more structured, quiet and peaceful environment, but I don't always get it. Yet stopping in the middle of life's commotion to be still and quiet helps me to find peace. Meditating in chaos helps me settle it, or at least not be bothered by it. Creating in chaos is the same. It allows me to reach a state of tranquility and equanimity. It helps me quiet and still everything around me.

Just when you think you are going to lose your peace of mind, stop and be still and quiet for a few moments. If you have to create and are waiting for the right moment, don't. Today is a good day to do it with the lights on. Create, breathe, be still, find peace.