My Blog

The Necessity of Space

During a recent reading, while connecting with a dog, the subject of space came up.   The animal was telling me how necessary it is for their human to have space and how intrusive it feels when people don’t respect that.    I had a strong knowing that this person detested when someone hovered both physically and emotionally.

Growing up I didn’t have my own space and it affected me greatly.   I moved into my grandparents’ home when I was six and didn’t leave until I was twelve.   It was their home, and I never for one second felt welcome.   I was a stranger there, a tiny human navigating through the decimation of my parents’ relationship, an only child in need of warmth and love.   Those years were monumental.   My first detailed memories appear from that time and it’s where, most of all, I learned to live with shame.

The town in Long Island we lived in was full of wealth and prosperity.   We were not at all affluent and I quickly found out that I would not be treated well because of this fact.  Kids were really mean and cruel in a time before bullying was a buzzword and I didn’t know how to defend myself.   No one intervened.  When my mother went to the school to complain because a boy was constantly in my face telling me what a loser I was because my parents were divorced, the teacher actually said it was MY problem to work out.   I was 9.

All I wanted was to come home from an emotionally difficult day at school and have a snack.  On top of this, three days a week I had to go to religious school, and consequently I didn’t have much time to enjoy this smallest of pleasures.   My grandmother hated for me to be in her kitchen if she wasn’t there to watch me and criticize every move I made.   As I sat down at the table, I’d hear her telltale footsteps approaching her domain.   My body would freeze and be filled with rage.   I wanted more than anything to be left alone and have a moment to myself, and this woman wouldn’t even give me that.   She would taunt me with how bad my table manners were, how crumbs were getting on the floor, how I needed a new napkin, that my elbows were on the table, etc…   This experience among others began a pattern of deep, dark shame that invaded my nervous system and psyche, not to mention an irrational phobia of eating in front of other people.

I hated living there.  I hated feeling so picked on.   I hated how here I was, a kind, sensitive soul with a great sense of humor and in no way was that nurtured or appreciated.    Except when I would see my father one night a week, I was constantly anxious and uncomfortable.   I was desperate for peace and little did I know that a couple of years after I got out of my grandparents’ home I would be back in a similar situation for the next many years.

It has been quite a process letting this shame go.   Remnants remain, but luckily, through the turns my life has taken both spiritually and emotionally, I now know that this wasn’t my fault and that I didn’t do anything wrong.   It took me a long time to not only understand this but to apply it to my soul.   All of this pain and lack of personal space resulted in giving me an enormous amount of empathy that I am able to use in my life and work.

Animals want us to love ourselves.  They see us for who we really are and wish we would tap into that glorious potential in order to thrive.   As I write this, my cat Bubby is staring at me with the most gorgeous green eyes.   I have no shame in this moment. 

The Big Pause

girl on bed reading book

 

It’s so easy to worry.   It’s so easy to be scared.   It’s so easy to live in a state of fear wondering what’s going to happen to my life and the world around me.  I usually reside in Manhattan but have been quarantined in Massachusetts for the last six weeks.   I don’t know when I’ll return home.   Even when restrictions are lifted and stores open, when will it be safe to go back to the epicenter of this nightmare?

I often complain and observe why living in NYC is terrible.   Most of my reasoning is based on the incredible surfeit of stimuli all around.   The noise drives me crazy, the air is filthy, there are way too many people stacked on top of each other paying exorbitant rent that gets them a studio apartment when they could take that same rent money and buy a three bedroom house with a yard.   The smells are often putrid, especially in the summer and the energy is more often than not overwhelming.  However, I miss it.   This revelation has made itself clear and there’s no denying why.

I miss my stuff.  I miss my kitchen where I have full control over my meals.  I miss my bookshelves filled with all the writing that has influenced my thoughts and personality.   I miss walking one block and working out at my gym.  I miss the subway, taking me where I need to go quickly and efficiently, for a small price.  I miss meeting friends for a drink and the laughter that stems from an evening out.  But, what I miss the most, is my alone time in a city that I can be anonymous in.

I know when I do go home that the vibe will be different as it is everywhere.  I cannot get used to seeing everyone in masks.  I hate feeling annoyed and repulsed when someone gets too close fearing that at any second they will sneeze and cause my lungs to be harmed for the rest of my life.   I don’t know how things will look in a month, let alone three.

Sitting in the uncomfortable is now the norm.  Not just for humans but for their animals too.  I feel for all those animals right now internalizing their human’s anxiety and fright.   I rejoice when I see adoptions are up, but, the minute people resume their lives or whatever’s left of them, these animals will once again be left alone for long periods of time.    So much is being said about how needed this pause was; how necessary it is for the planet to have a break.   I hope so.  I really really do.

Let them be

Tiger-Ranthambhore

I usually do not like to read reviews before I see a movie or television show, or even listen to an album.  However, as we all sit home in our new reality (hopefully temporary), I can’t help but notice the amount of discussion and notoriety that are the phenomenon of Tiger King.   Everywhere I look a mention of this series pops up and it’s impossible for me to ignore.

I am horrified by human beings who keep big cats in captivity and exploit them for whatever perverse reasons they feel justified.   As much as I like to be in the know, I will not watch this.   I am disturbed enough already and the idea of sitting through seven episodes of imagery where sentient beings are trapped in cages and put to work is too abominable to fathom.

More tigers are kept by humans then there are free in their natural habitat.   I want to think people are better than this and would be aware of the suffering they cause, but, they aren’t.   As interesting as the true crime element is in this story and how weirdly unique this cast of characters is, I still hate that someone would watch this and not feel horrible that this abuse is ubiquitous, occurring throughout the world.   It’s a culture that I obviously can’t relate to and it hurts me that so many can.

As a soul level animal communicator I base my experience and intuition around the belief that animals choose to be with us.    I communicate with many cats, dogs and horses who convey that concept to me and it makes total sense.   However, it is challenging for me to believe that so many lions and tigers choose to be captured only to have their lives controlled by humans who like the idea of owning an exotic animal; like it gives the human a unique identity that makes them feel important in a mainly homogeneous environment.

It pains me to know of any abuse that exists.  An antidote to this sadness and horror that’s been building is quarantining with my cat Bubby.   She’s a small cat, but she’s the world to me.

Pandemic: Science fiction is now nonfiction

Mona Lisa with mask

Where to even begin?   The entire world has come to a standstill.  Life as we know it is changed forever.  Every single human being is at risk and I don’t mean just because of the virus.   The suffering is immense, calamitous, devastating and will have ripple effects for a very long time to come.   As the days blur together and the imprisonment continues, even among this most insidious feeling of dread, I have moments where I’m filled with hope.

For years of my life I self-quarantined due to my ennui and unhappiness.   I wanted nothing more than to hide away from the world and be free of relationships (or so I thought).   What I didn’t know then was how my sensitivity, empathy and intuition were gifts and not hindrances to a life filled with meaning and joy.  Now, as it is necessary to stay inside and not have any face to face social interaction, I miss it.   I already miss many things…i.e., shopping for food without worrying someone is too close to me or that the items on my list will be stocked and plentiful at that.   I miss meeting my friends and drinking a glass of wine. I experience constant anxiety that the virus is on my hands and I’m always hearing a voice in my head saying don’t touch your face even though I have an itch.  The list goes on and on.

I’ve been reading many opinions of what the bigger picture of this could be.   Some say the earth needed a break, others that this is a shift that will change the framework of our existence and move into a time of greater spirituality and connection.   So much information is coming at us like a bullet train and it is up to me to decide what and how much I want to look at and take in.    It’s easy to be consumed with worry, doubt, fears about the decimation of the economy etc… What’s challenging and also interesting is trying to be present, stay in the moment and not collapse over what may or may not happen.

I think a lot about how animals are perceiving this change in their surroundings.  So many pets are accustomed to long periods of time without their humans and now they’re together constantly.   I think about the anxiety of many and how their animals are working hard to comfort them and make them feel loved and safe.   Once again, in a time of crisis, our animals show up for us.

A Rumination

 

oscars-trophy

 

I was in Los Angeles recently helping a friend promote her product line at an Oscars gift suite.  It was two long days sitting in a very crowded room in an uncomfortable chair with hundreds of people going in and out.   I was looking forward to this event because I’ve always been fascinated by pop culture and actors and I’ve fantasized many times about attending the Academy Awards.

Surrounded by the ultimate grab for free stuff, I sat there observing all the humans who supposedly “made it” in Hollywood.   It never ceases to amaze me how the wealthy are offered so much for free that they can easily purchase themselves and the “little people” struggle and want but go without what they often can’t afford.   I listened relentlessly to sales pitches and branding tactics all around me to the point of knowing what the seller would say before they said it.   It was both tedious and mind-numbing.   There was a table of products across from the booth I was working at of some invention said to eliminate 95% of radiation from a smartphone.   I wanted this item very badly as I’m deathly afraid of what all the radiation is doing to me.  As I watched an endless parade of people being given this cool thing, I kept hoping to go home with one and decided I would ask the woman who was distributing this device if I could have one at the end of the event.

As the event died down, I witnessed people who, like me, were working there, openly helping themselves to these gadgets.  I knew it was against the rules, but it was none of my business and I am not a snitch.  There were still many boxes full of bags upon bags of the devices and I couldn’t imagine it would be a problem to procure one.   I asked my friend if she thought it was appropriate if I asked for one and she answered of course, you should just go take one as I had just seen a bunch of girls grab them and put them in their bags.   I approached the overseeing despotic tyrant of a human being and politely made my request.   She responded with a stern “absolutely not, no I cannot do that”.   Her mean spirit pierced right through me leaving a sour taste in my mouth and a stinging sensation in my heart.  In the frenzy of all of this energy and giving away so many of these, she couldn’t spare one more when there were at least a hundred still lined up on the table.   It was a power trip and I despised her so much in that moment.  I found this odious termagant so repugnant to not allow me something so small, some token that would have made my time there feel appreciated.  My friend couldn’t believe it and walked up to the woman explaining how many had been stolen in plain sight before her eyes.  The woman paused and said “well, that’s okay”.  Just like that.

I know this exchange wasn’t about me and I happened to be the little person that this woman could screw with to make her feel powerful.   My immediate reaction to this denial was hurt.  I took it personally for a while until I came to the realization that I had to move on and not allow painful feelings to consume my already fragile feeling of being a sensitive empath existing in a cutthroat environment.

As I left the madness and chaos, I couldn’t help but think about the unconditional love of animals.   An animal would never treat a sentient being like that.   An animal would never get off on taking away the pleasure of another just because they could.   An animal would never be mean to another animal because they thought they were superior or more deserving.   As I drove away a smile pushed itself through my tears and I knew there was a lesson for me in this experience.

A Blessing in Disguise

A few days ago,   I was on my way to an appointment when I realized I had left my Iphone at home.  It was too late to turn back and a sudden, instantaneous panic swept over me.   As the anxiety took hold and my heart beat faster, I had a realization.  Had I become addicted to this device?   Why was I experiencing distress at being separated from my phone for  what would end up being around seven hours?   I had lived without one for the first 35 years of my life so why did it matter?

It then dawned on me how much of my waking life I am using this object.   A portal to all of my communications with people, I felt an aloneness that struck me as strange.  I started thinking about how this thing had altered my life and what this meant and how was I to proceed with this new reality enveloping me.   As I calmed myself down, I started to be very specific in understanding why exactly I was having such a strong reaction.   Without this phone it was like I didn’t exist to the world or other people.   I couldn’t find out any information, wouldn’t be able to know if my boyfriend was trying to contact me,  had no way of seeing my mail (both business and personal),  no access to Google or Wikipedia to look up a random historical figure or event that came to mind, etc…  Suddenly, I felt liberated.   I was free to be invisible for part of the day.  I didn’t have to respond to anything or anyone or be able to look at the news or dumb celebrity gossip.   I had myself to rely on for entertainment and stimulation and I decided I would enjoy this time without any form of digital interruption.  I happened to have a book on me that I had been carrying around for over a week.  So, when I got to where I was going and had to sit still, I read.  I read and had a conversation with someone that I had never met before and likely will never meet again.  

There was peace, quiet, rumination, and simplicity. All qualities that animals encompass and want to share with our species. My cats never had to think about texts, emails, and Facebook. They never felt in a rush to do anything. They rested and breathed and that’s just what I needed as the day progressed. It turned out to be a blessing and a matter of perspective.

It’s been a while…

 

I haven’t written a blog in months.  This is due to a plethora of reasons.   I’ve been engaging with the world in a way I never did.   This past year has gone by in a flash with new adventures that have consumed me and taken me away from actually sitting down and writing my reflections and insights (which are profoundly relevant to my experience).

I have now been on Facebook for three full years, owned a smartphone for a little over two, and these two intrusive modalities have changed everything.   There’s much nuance to these platforms, not only good or bad.  To say I’ve been distracted is putting it mildly; I am burned out from all the noise and clutter being forced on my brain at every turn.   As an intuitive who works with both people and animals it’s of the highest importance that I have downtime and relaxation.  These two states are not compatible with being on social media at every waking hour on a daily basis.   The fatigue I have come to know is one of many layers regarding how I FEEL I am showing up in this world and how it relates to my gift of helping animals and people.

Who I am doesn’t correspond well with being on Instagram and Facebook.  I think many postings are inane and tedious.  I love cute animal videos and beautiful quotes and pictures as anyone would, but not all of the time, and not shoved at me begging for a like or comment.   There is so little room for ambiguity or contradiction.   I’m self-conscious about what I say because it is bound to either offend or be so bland as not to mean anything at all.   I hate being bored and, more than that, I hate boring others.

I spent two months this past year in Costa Rica working with horses.  So many interesting occurrences and details took place.  I feel I’ve evolved due to being in this magical place which is unlike anywhere I had known in the past.  I often thought to myself how come I’m not promoting my work, how come I’m not journaling and letting people know, both those close to me or not, what’s going on?  The reason?   I don’t know how to begin to articulate my experience.  I don’t even particularly want to, depending on what it is.   I’m not into this culture of endlessly sharing every cool, interesting event taking place in my life.  Like I’ve stated, this past year has been filled with stuff that I couldn’t have foreseen on any level.   This is basically the most exciting thing about being alive – the unknown and all the possibilities the universe has to offer.   These past 11 months have been filled with deeper friendships than I’ve ever known,  messages from animals that feel so right and relevant to what I need, and the absolute and utter chaos that results from putting myself out in the world to date and actively seek the person I want to share my life with.

Until a few years ago, I thought my life was over.   I was in a perpetual state of pessimism and abject misery.  I only lived to wake up and fall back asleep.   I didn’t like being outside or with other people.  Now, it is the opposite.  I can’t stay home and look forward to what’s to come.  Every man I meet is a gateway to something new.  Every workshop I lead or participate in provides growth, lightness and darkness that I cherish.   I LOVE many people in my life.  It’s a whole new experience and one that I could never take for granted.

Emotion vs. intellect

bear with cubsI can’t stop thinking about an image I came across the other day of a mama bear and her cubs hibernating.  It was a picture of absolute innocence and tranquility.   In front of this tableau was a man and his son, guns drawn, just a moment before they were to shoot this ursine family to death.

This massacre was captured on video.  I don’t know where this was or the names of the murderers because I couldn’t stomach learning the details of such a barbaric event.   At first I started to cry, then the tears turned to rage.  As the anger took hold, I couldn’t help but feel what I can only describe as a spiritual pain.  I didn’t feel wounded physically – more like an emotional bomb of revulsion along with a terrifying anxiety that animals will never get the respect they deserve or be loved and protected for who they are.   Seeing this example of a total disregard for the life of these sentient creatures, who in no way posed a threat to these barbarians, imprints itself in my psyche to be remembered forever.  I will always have this awful image in my brain, adding to the already crowded list that continues to grow.

In all of my learning about animal communication, a central theme is that there is always a bigger picture and a lesson imparted.  An animal’s demise is not simply explained by the obvious.  In this case there’s more to why this senseless murder occurred, rather than the simple fact that a violent man with zero empathy or compassion got some kind of rush or pleasure from extinguishing life and feeling a power in doing so.  But, despite what I have been taught about animals orchestrating and choosing to die in the way and the moment they do, I’m having a hard time believing that this Mama chose this death for herself and her babies.

I tell myself there’s so much good in this world,  so many souls who deeply care about the lives of others.  Yet, when unprovoked aggression occurs, it still hurts every single time.  It doesn’t get easier.  I can’t be desensitized to it.  Being an intuitive animal communicator, this extreme hyper-sensitivity adds to a powerful, revelatory connection made during a reading.   I came across this work after years of feeling great sadness and helplessness; I couldn’t figure out how to break through my limited interpretation of events.   Every spiritual pursuit I come across teaches to have compassion and forgiveness for the less evolved.  It would be inauthentic if I said I did.  I’m not there yet.  I don’t know if I’ll ever be.  Right now, as far as I’m concerned, that mother and her children deserved so much more, at the very least to wake up and continue their earthly existence.   Alas, it was not meant to be.

 

Thinking…

ape thinking

I was born to two individuals who had something essential in common.  They both believed, and still do, that critical thinking is a vital component of an intelligent, intellectual life and an active mind is imperative for an extraordinary existence.  They separated when I was six years old, but as I age and life takes me where it must, I share this opinion fully and unapologetically.   I’m always thinking about thinking.  I’ve been told in the past that I think too much and that can be a damaging load to carry.  I think it comes down to what kind of thinking I’m doing.   Thinking obsessively about what vegetables I’m going to buy at Whole Foods or what TV shows I’m going to watch that night is not the same as pondering the deep questions, the questions that have no easy answer or even an answer at all.   For most of human existence thinking for oneself was deeply discouraged.  Unfortunately, it still is in many walks of life.

Brainwashing is everywhere.  From the moment we’re born we are indoctrinated by whoever it is we live with.  Then come schools we attend, religious teachings, and the culture we’re inundated with.  We’re told what’s right and wrong, what books are worth reading, what an education is, etc.  The message is that conformity is desirable…be like everyone else, fit in, don’t make waves.  This directive has devastating effects and repercussions on lives.   We believe that in order to be accepted and liked we have to go with the program even when time and time again we learn that there’s not a one size fits all approach that works.   I question authority, and the people who I truly admire and am inspired by do also.  A person who stands up and speaks the truth when it’s called for radiates a beautiful sexy quality.  The people who say what so many are thinking and have the courage to express themselves loudly and publicly, whether about a brutal injustice or a simple truth, are the people who make a difference.  The world would be nowhere without these brave souls who don’t follow the herd.

Social media is filled with millions of people forging identities and portfolios of their perfect lives for the purpose of gaining followers who will post messages of praise.  It becomes one big never ending orgy of self obsession.  Everyone has an outlet to write and post whatever they want, whether it’s true or not, but most people post the same politically correct, socially acceptable pablum.  So many of these pages are formulaic and interchangeable.  It’s to the point where Facebook alone has changed the definition of friendship and the way we socialize with others.   For all the individual power it can bring, at the same time it takes away so much.  It saddens me when friends don’t want to or are unable to be confronted with an idea that might make them uncomfortable.  When the walls go up around a difference of opinion I get turned off and disappointed.  So many people tout their values of acceptance, compassion, and morals but when it comes down to it it’s all talk.  Authenticity frightens them and thinking from a critical standpoint is too much.  They’re in love with the idea of being unique, but when push comes to shove, they have nothing original to say.  They just continually quote the same passages from a favorite self help book or poem that once evoked something in them.

I will always choose to challenge myself intellectually.   Every book I read expands my world view.  I have met and will continue to encounter people who have no understanding of this concept of truly living by one’s experiential truth.  I’m too intense and direct for some, but that’s also the quality in me that has drawn in so many incredible people into my life.  They get me and I’m enough.  I’ve never met a positivity oozer who’s made me laugh or entertained me.  It’s the people with moxie that I have the best time with.

I end this blog with a quote from Vaclav Havel: “keep the company of those who seek the truth, and run from those who’ve found it”.

 

 

Would you think Beethoven was a better composer if he had a master’s degree?

Einstein quote

Many years ago, while in my teens and early twenties, I went to acting school.  I attended the high school of performing arts (the Fame school) in Manhattan.  I also went to other schools that had prestigious reputations.  I noticed early on how many people weren’t that talented, yet, they were endlessly encouraged to persist in a field where chances were slim to none they would end up as a working actor.  They would rack up credentials to fill their resumes with.  Meanwhile, plenty of brilliant actors didn’t need a single acting class to shine.  In my opinion, you either had it or didn’t and if you were in the second category it didn’t matter how much Shakespeare you performed, you weren’t improving.  I also attended a writing class and it was the same experience.  Week after week people would read their stories clinging to the hope they would soon be discovered and could eke out an existence where writing paid their bills.  I would sit there astonished at how boring and unoriginal so much of their writing was and then be shocked and dismayed when the teacher would tell them how fabulous their creation was.   When practicing an art, whether music, writing, painting, acting or even intuition, it doesn’t matter how many seals or degrees you have, what matters is the experience you provide to another.  In fact, I think too much professional guidance tends to lay waste to an ability that comes naturally without force.  Someone can’t really learn to be psychic or communicate with dead people.  Sure, you can learn to improve and have structure that is beneficial, but just because someone has attended twenty different programs doesn’t necessarily mean they are more gifted.  Personally, when I have an interest, instead of paying someone to teach it to me, I read.  Never underestimate the power of books.  People who have studied long and hard and have done copious amounts of research can teach me with their words of wisdom.   I don’t feel the need to have a long resume or a lot of letters after my name to prove I’m capable.

The world is full of people trying to succeed.  Success can mean many different things depending on how you view it.  When it comes to someone wanting to be an expert in any given field, most will find a program or course that will teach them how to do what it is they want and desire.   In the realm of spirituality, everywhere you look, there are loads of online schools that promote ways you can learn anything: astrology, past-life regression, tarot, mediumship, Reiki, Shamanism, etc.  These new age modalities appeal to many and rightly so.  In a universe shrouded in mystery there is so much unknown, unexplainable, fascinating phenomena.  Between books, podcasts, webinars, lectures and workshops, there has never been a time when so much access is granted to so many to pursue the esoteric.  All this is great, but it comes with a catch.  When students who feel compelled to explore these topics (with the hope of establishing a professional practice), and have the time and means to indulge, the end result is often mediocrity, because many of these seekers are strongly encouraged by teachers who ooze positivity while stuffing their own purses.

Animals don’t need any education at all.  They’re perfectly brilliant just the way they are. And, they never have to prove a thing.