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Blog Soul Coaching® August 6, 2018

I want to share with you Dr. Estes brilliant work, “We Were Made For These Times”,  because we are in “these times”! (If Social Media stats are correct and you don’t want to read that much text, then just read whatever line pops out at you. There are NO coincidences!)

Read her post below and then continue on for a few ways that we can learn to surf in the choppy waters of change.

My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times.

I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world right now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.

You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking.

Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.

I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.

Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.

In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency too to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails. We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear.

Didn’t you say you were a believer? Didn’t you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn’t you ask for grace? Don’t you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely.

It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing.

We know that it does not take “everyone on Earth” to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire.

To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others, both, are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it.

If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do. There will always be times when you feel discouraged.

I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it; I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.

The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here.

The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours: They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here.

In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for. This comes with much love and a prayer that you remember who you came from, and why you came to this beautiful, needful Earth.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D

Learn to Surf

I was born in California but I’m not actually a surfer. However I DO love the metaphor! Here are some ways to get up on the surfboard of life without wiping out.

  • iGPS– Your dreams are an inner Global Positioning System, or “iGPS” for short and they can not only tell you what you’re feeling and thinking, but they will tell what you don’t yet know about yourself. In stressful times, this can be a life saver. Dreams can also provide answers to life’s dilemmas as well as giving you creative solutions you might not think about with your rational mind. When life is uncertain and stressful, your dreams will be your inner guide that you can consult for direction.
  • Balance– Too much, too little and you wipe out! I don’t know about you but finding balance in my life has been a life-long practice. Balance between work and family, between rest and play, between self care and everyone and everything else! Schedule time for yourself during stressful times because your heath is essential to those in your life. But more importantly, finding your “sea legs” keeps you afloat when the surfboard rocks. You can’t be too stiff or too loose, but finding the right in-between stance will allow you to respond to the waves of life in a way that keeps you balanced.
  • Media Fast- While this isn’t a perfect surfing metaphor, I can say with certainty, that surfers aren’t watching their screens while surfing! “These Times” are unfortunately available to us 24/7 whether on TV, online or on your devices. Take a break from the news. Your body and your mind will thank you and you will find yourself feeling calmer and less anxious. Doing a media fast for 24 hours or more will have the added advantage of helping you be present in your life. You will ace the “Be here now” practice, whether watching the waves or focusing on what’s right in front of you.
  • Hang Ten- While this originally referred to hanging ten toes over the end of a surfboard, now it also means to just chill. We need to know when to pause in our hectic lives and then actually do it- get off the merry-go-round- rest and renew your energy.  This is more important in stressful times than ever. Just do it! You may think you’re indispensable but for the majority of us, the world will manage without us while we take a break.
  • The Perfect Wave– Surfers look for the perfect wave and that takes patience.  You may never find it! Watching, waiting, timing, using experience and visual clues to know when it’s coming and then get in there…. In surfing through stressful days, you too can use some of these traits to know when to hold ’em; when to fold ’em…. Oops, sorry, wrong metaphor. Patience my friends, and a little detachment, and you too can choose when to step into the wave or when to let that one go and wait for the next one. This detachment can be a life saver when stress has you reaching your limit for the day. Patience, pause and breathe. The nature and constant of the universe is one of change; know that there is never only one wave.
  • Riding the Waves- Once you’ve decided to jump in whatever is up for the day, riding the waves requires the ability to allow. You might be able to control how you surf but you can’t usually control the wave itself! There will always be some letting go involved as you allow life to unfold. You might as well relax and not fight what isn’t yours to fight or control. What you can control, however, is how you ride the wave. Like in life, how you choose to respond is even more important than the situation you are responding too. (Hint: respond with love and compassion as often as you can.)
  • Find a Friend– Find a buddy who knows how to surf. Whether teacher, mentor, friend or coach most of us will need a lesson or two. The same is even more true in stressful times. There are people who know how to survive the challenging waves of life. Let them guide you. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel and you don’t have to do it alone. Someone has walked the same path during “these times” and can shine the light on the potholes before you fall into one.

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

– John Kabat-Zinn

It’s time to shine your light and find your voice my friends. We can get through these times together!

tiago muraro
Blog Soul Coaching® March 4, 2018

I have only 79 days until I turn 65. Not that I’m counting; I googled it. For those of you who are older than I am, you may be remembering those halcyon days of yore and wondering what’s the big deal. For those of you who are younger, I may seem old and over the proverbial hill! Of course, the hill keeps moving, depending on which side you stand.

What Happened?

The whole event we call aging has been on my mind of late. I’m not dreading turning 65, especially if I consider the alternative, and intellectually, I’m happy about it…yet…There is a little voice in the back of my head asking,  “How the hell did I get here and what the f-ck just happened?” (Sometimes profanity is not only called for, it’s recommended.) Then again, as a Gemini, I’m always of two minds and, I can be in two places in my head at once! I’m embracing my age, but I’m still thinking about it a lot!

Still A Young Thing

When I turned 60, I challenged myself to blog about it for 60 days, trying to catch a dream for 60 nights in a row, and the issue of aging came up in my dreams and my waking life. Five years later it seems I’m still grappling with the issue of aging. Well at least my subconscious is! It was long before 60, in fact, when I started thinking about it consciously. Was I thinking about it as I watched my grandmother, then my mother age, get sick and die? Or was it the pimply-faced kid at the movies who gave me too much change for my ticket because he charged me the senior rate without even asking? I had grey hair so I must be a senior!

Since then, I’ve been watching and tracking how society treats seniors and let me tell you, it ain’t pretty! It’s not an honoured label in North American society, and if we are not alert to how seniors are treated, and aware of our own beliefs on the topic, before you know it, you start thinking like “they” do, hating your age, covering up your grey hair (Hoary Heads Rule!) and bemoaning your fate as “old”.

65 is the new 45

In any case, now that I look back at 60, I recall that while that age seemed like a milestone to mark, I wasn’t too worked up about it. I just wanted to go through it with self-awareness. And, wasn’t 60 the new 40? Now that I’m staring down the barrel at 65, it seems everywhere I look, everyone wants to give me a “seniors’ discount”! Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as Seinfeld would say, but it’s on my mind!

The List

So in the spirit of gratitude for the upcoming 65 years of blessings, and with the help of my Facebook friends, I’ve come up with a list of seven blessings, seven good things about aging. See what you think!

1. Life Begins at 65! 

This time of life, or any “big” birthday can be a rite of passage. It’s a time to be marked with ceremony and celebration. It’s a time to start something new, whether a new project, a course of study, or anything you never had time for in the past. The fact is, we can take more time, time to tackle our list of “some days”, to relax, to join a basketball team! This San Diego basketball team players are all over 80!  (Thanks Facebook friend Veronica!) You can slow down from your list of “have to’s” and follow your heart with “want to’s”.

2. Silver Hair Privilege

The age may vary according to the company, store or government agency but generally by 65 the discounts have begun! While this isn’t a comprehensive list, there are discounts at movies, plays, mass transportation, as well as Medicare and Social Security (in the US), Canadian Pension Plan, GIF, Old Age Security, drug benefits, free university tuition and more (in Canada). Facebook friend Lyn called it “Silver Hair Privilege” and that is the perfect name for this bundle of goodies! You earned it!

3. What the F-ck Do I Care?

You made it! Your mission, should you decide to accept, is to no longer care so much about doing the right or politically correct thing. This does not give you license to be a jerk, just permission to not care about others’ opinions of you more than your own opinion. This includes freedom from others’ opinions about your lifestyle, hairstyle, clothes, weight, friends, activities, choice of partners, and in a nutshell, the freedom to do, say, behave in a way that would make you proud of yourself, while not caring what your kids or your neighbour thinks about you. I’m still working on this one in some areas!

4. Wisdom & Knowledge

At this stage of life, your priorities may shift. You know what’s important, and you don’t sweat the small stuff. You’ve been down the road and back, handled the twists and turns and if you are even slightly self-reflective, you’ve learned from the journey. It’s a time to take courses, learn something new, mentor others, and with this wisdom, you’ve come to accept yourself; the whole package.

5. Creativity & Connectivity

When we are creative, we connect to Source; the Creator. You don’t have to be an “artist” to be creative but when we stick our fingers in paint or clay, write in a beautiful journal, receive a flash of inspiration, connect with the same energy that gives life to create… well, to create anything, we renew and rejuvenate ourselves. We can do this on our own, but to connect with others in community or groups we get the support of other humans and that fills a primal need. According to research, we even live longer in community, whether with friends, lovers or people of all ages. Isolation kills. So follow your heart with a friend and watch your heart get healthy!

6. Growth

Facebook friend Jennye has come into her personal power and she’s not alone. You’re finished with all the “issues” of family and growing up. You’ve climbed your mountains and survived. You’re comfortable with yourself, and you can honestly give advice (should anyone care to ask) to the youngsters!! Your mind is open to new ideas and adventures and you’re not done growing….Unless all you do is sit in front of the TV and binge on Netflix.

7. Gratitude

Seniors who do the best in their twilight years are the one’s who feel gratitude for their life; the good with the bad, the challenges with the delights. It’s a time to celebrate and laugh with the children and our friends. Gratitude can pull you out of depression, anxiety, grief and loneliness. What are you grateful for in this moment? Don’t wait until you’re 65 to begin.

We Need A Theme Song

Remember the TV show Ally McBeal? At one stressful time in her life, she went to therapist Tracey Clark, played by comedian Tracey Ullman, who asked her what her theme song was. Everyone, apparently needs a theme song. So in that same vein, I propose the following theme song for every Boomer turning 65 this year or any year. This song, Young At Heart, is turning 65 too (it came out in 1953), and although it was first recorded by Frank Sinatra, my favourite version is this one by Jimmy Durante.


And if you should survive to a hundred and five
Look at all you’ll derive out of  being’ alive
And here is the best part, you have a head start
If you are among the very young at heart

It’s Simple

My advice and philosophy is simple. For myself, and hopefully for you too, I plan on staying young at heart, no matter what my age! I won’t wait 79 days until I turn 65 to get my perks going. What will your next age look like?


What's your disease
Blog Soul Coaching® August 30, 2017

What’s your dis-ease? We all have something! We all are looking for health and wholeness. Today I’m talking about “dis-ease” that develops into “disease”. When we are out of alignment with ourselves in some way, when we are not easeful within ourselves emotionally or spiritually, over time physical disease or illness will set in as an acute or chronic ailment or disease. I first learned about “dis-ease” from Louise Hay back in the 80’s. Quoting the Course in Miracles she wrote, “…all dis-ease comes from a state of unforgiveness” and that “whenever we are ill, we need to look around to see who it is that we need to forgive.” Sometimes the “who” is ourselves. This is true of the common cold as much as any other disease. Let me use my own life as a cautionary tale.

For the last two weeks, I’ve suffered from a flu or cold and cough (When you’re miserable, it’s often hard to tell them apart but it’s probably a nasty cold. Can you relate?)  I’ll start at the beginning. I’ve had an extremely busy summer- more than usual- filled with travel and family visits, an engagement and wedding planning. All wonderful blessings! I love my family and was happy to have everyone around to celebrate, especially my grand miracles, but my disease is the “Disease to Please” so before I knew it, my own place on my TO-DO List sunk far to the bottom.

I “forgot” to eat right having far too many celebratory desserts. (Sugar depresses our immune system.) I didn’t remember my vitamin supplements. I didn’t have a chance to exercise but was too tired to even remember that I should. Add to that the fact that I was constantly around people and crowds (Disneyland and Universal Studios for starters), and as an introverted empath who needs time and space to recharge, we had an illness in the making.

I developed cellulitis earlier in the summer then the night before my daughter left I felt the ominous tickle in my throat that tells me I blew it. The next day, it moved to my chest and two weeks later, I’m still not back to normal. The dreaded Disease to Please was back! I guess it’s easier to get sick than to say NO or ask for help.

Now I’m not saying we all consciously make ourselves sick or that we do this on purpose. Not even me! I know we don’t. In my case, with my Sedona Soul Coaching® training coming up, I have too much to do to be sick. I don’t have time for this but my body told me that I have to take the time. Somehow, no matter how much we know and understand, it’s easy to continue on doing things the way we have always done them, even when it does not serve our highest good and feeds our disease. Therefore it is important that we learn to listen for clues from our body. Ok Louise, I’ll start with self-forgiveness!

This is true of our obvious habitual behaviours like smoking and drinking and couch potato-ing. But it’s also true of our thoughts. What habitual ways do you think of yourself and how do you talk to yourself? Are you kind or do you find fault with yourself? Believe it or not, we choose those thoughts, but the good news is we can choose different thoughts!

Often we have the inner child self acting one way- the way that helped us survive our childhood- and our adult self who knows better, goes along. I know the child I was needed to please and take care of things to be okay. So why do we still do it? For as many people who read this, there are that many reasons we fall into dis-ease. In a sense though, when those behaviours are repeated, we are all stuck . How do we get un-stuck? Here are four things that can help. I’ve to put them into practice for myself but feel free to adapt them to your situation and your dis-ease.

Dis-ease Awareness

You can’t change what you are not aware of. Spend time watching yourself. Become the sacred observer and see what you are actually doing that may not serve your highest good or be in alignment with your soul and your life. Then keep a journal and write it down. It is hard to see our patterns unless they are right in front of us, in ink!

field notes


What is your intention? Do you want to shift the way you speak to yourself? Do you want to change a less-than-optimal behaviour? Set your intention! The universe will meet you half-way but you have to do your part. Setting your intention is the best way to begin manifesting change. Your energy will begin to align with your intention and as like attracts like, you will begin to draw different and healthier habits and experiences to you.

Trust in God but lock your car


Perhaps this could be added to Awareness above, but the fact is, we have to be honest with ourselves. This isn’t always easy but if you have already begun to observe yourself, you might as well tell the truth. Pull out your journal and write it all out….Those times when you weren’t kind (to yourself or others), when impatience led to an outcome you’d like to forget, or when your life began to feel like Goundhog Day (the movie)…write them all down with honesty. Buy a mirror and see yourself the way others see you. No BS. No sugar-coating your story. I’ve been doing that with my latest cold and while I don’t like some of the things I’m discovering about myself there, isn’t a better way to get shifting.

Shift Happens


Yes dreams! When I was deciding what to write about I asked for a dream. The dream that I caught was chock full of symbolism that didn’t need much expertise to decipher. I was having trouble communicating and connecting with the internet. People were crowding me. Babies needed feeding. I awoke feeling overwhelmed with it all. Bounce your dreams off friends and partners, as long as they are respectful with your feelings. You can always book me for some dream time if no one in your life fits the bill. The reason we track our dreams as we try to shift, is that they will serve as a barometer of your feelings as well as tap into your unconscious. The Creator has given us the gift of dreams, so why not use them to shift?

our life is composed of dreams

At the End of the Day…

the older I get...

At the end of the day, for those of us taking baby steps towards health and wholeness, there will be a point of surrender. We are not “running the show” and we have to let go of the need to control the show or be perfect. But if we do our part, with intention and honesty, we will begin to see the connections between our thoughts, behaviours, and the dis-eases we manifest. And we might just decide to do it differently next time.

A Sad Post Script

Just as I was writing this, and mentioning Louise Hay, I learned of her passing! She was 90 and died in her sleep. Though sad, I can’t help but think, “What a great and blessed exit!” She helped millions and if you’d like to read more about her click here. G-d speed Louise. You were my first teacher.

3 Ways You Can Stop Beating Yourself Up and Be Happy
Blog Good for the Soul Soul Coaching® June 20, 2017

Stop Beating Yourself Up

Are there really 3 ways you can stop beating yourself up and be happy? It seems too easy but the ways we beat ourselves up are endless and the words we use do matter! It’s not just the words we say to others. The way we talk to ourselves is an important part of our spiritual development. Let’s start with others.

Words Can Kill

In Taunton, Massachusetts a woman who sent her boyfriend a barrage of text messages urging him to kill himself was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. A judge ruled that Michelle Carter caused the death of Conrad Roy III, who intentionally filled his truck with carbon monoxide in 2014. Clearly, her words mattered to Conrad Roy.

Let’s Get Personal

Lets take it personally. Every day, every moment, we beat ourselves up. We shame and berate ourselves. Horrible things that we would never say to another person we love are the norm. “You idiot! Why didn’t you…?” “You’re such a jerk.” You’re lazy, fat, stupid… Fill in the blank with your favourite way to beat yourself up. It’s very personal and most of the time, it’s not even our words. I wrote about a version of this recently in the Letting Go of My Old Stories. We are all “works in progress”!

Shift Happens

Who taught us to talk to ourselves that way and can we shift it? Can we learn to stop beating ourselves up and be happy? The answer is YES! Sometimes we are using the harsh words of our parents, our siblings, or negative teachers or the abusive bullies in our lives. For myself, I’ve done my share of self-trashing and when I trained in psychotherapy, I learned how much I did it. I learned to notice when I did it. It wasn’t until I trained to be a Soul Coaching® Practitioner that I learned some practical tools for shifting those hurtful habits and replacing them with more positive self-love. Don’t worry, I’ll share them with you!

What Me Worry?

Did you know that that worrying makes you feel like you’re doing something to solve your problem and in so doing, it activates the brain’s reward centre? Rationally, we understand that worrying doesn’t solve our problems, but that ancient brain of ours kinda likes it! Thanks to curious researchers like Alex Korb, who wrote The Upward Spiral, we now know that rather than getting off on worry, GRATITUDE boosts the neurotransmitter dopamine and serotonin! Take that you worry-wart! GRATITUDE is #1. Always #1. Apparently it doesn’t matter what you find to be grateful for, what matters is searching for something to be grateful for. Let the search begin!

Observe Your Life; Change Your Words

In the 28-day Soul Coaching® Program we spend 7 days looking at our beliefs and observing our thoughts and our life. What if you were to look at the events of your life as neither good nor bad? The meaning you give those events will determine how you see your life. Most of the time, we do this on automatic pilot, regurgitating someone else’s beliefs about our lives. In Soul Coaching® we become “the Sacred Observer” and observing how we talk to ourselves is part of that exploration. “No pain, no gain.” I’m too old to think about a new career.” “I never finish what I start”… and worse, the verbal abuse we heap on ourselves are more frequently repeated in our heads that you ever imagined.

We learn to notice and we learn to reframe how we think of our lives and talk to ourselves. Become the Sacred Observer then Say it Differently is #2.

Mirror, Mirror

We tend to unconsciously draw mirrors to us in life. What we believe about ourselves will be reflected in the people and events of our lives. Once you have found some newer, kinder ways of talking to yourself- it takes practice- find people, attitudes and philosophies that will support, reinforce and mirror the new you until it becomes second nature and a new habit.

They say it takes 21 days to change a habit but for most of us it’s more like a million and 21 days! You could start with something simple like the music you listen to, yet you may find, over time, that more and more supportive people come into your life. Try starting small and doable by making a new playlist of songs with lyrics that says all the wonderful things that are true about you. And if you have to curse at yourself, do it like this:

3 Ways =Happiness

Happiness is hard to define without using external measurements. I’ll be happy when I find love. I’ll be happy if I lose 20 pounds. When I get that raise, then I’ll be happy…. It’s always somewhere just out of reach and dependent on an external goal. What if happiness were measured in terms of love or gratitude? If I can find 3 things to be grateful for, then I must be happy! If I can say 3 loving things to myself, then surely I’m a happy person! Way better!

  1. Don’t Worry; be Grateful.
  2. Become the Sacred Observer & Choose New Words!
  3. Find Reminders

Now tell me….How will you talk sweetly to yourself? Your words matter!






family trees and other connections
Blog Good for the Soul Soul Coaching® May 23, 2017

I’m thinking about connections. I’ve started working on my family tree and I recently connected with a distant relative I didn’t know I had! It turns out that his paternal great grandmother and my paternal great grandmother were sisters! And the connection came through Facebook, which for all its imperfections is great for connecting or reconnecting!

Family Trees

I learned who my great, great, grandparents were…with photos! I was so moved to find out some of their history; that my great, great, grandfather was a bookbinder in Tsarist Russia and was favoured by the Tsarina. I had heard various versions of this from my mother over the years. To have it confirmed from an unexpected source was exciting! Through my newly discovered fourth cousin, I also learned that this ancestor was a scribe. For all the years I did calligraphy professionally (back in the 80’s), I never once suspected that it was a “family business” 100 years before!

Claff great, great grandmother

Your connections

How often have you considered the unseen forces that animate your life? When I need to connect energetically with someone, I picture the world as a globe fully encircled in a grid of light. Rather than “six degrees of separation”, it’s NO degrees of separation! We are connected to everyone in one way or another. That so-called “stranger” may not only be a cousin, but may be someone you knew and loved in a past life! And I believe this is true, not just genetically and psychically but also in the way we affect each other’s lives. Mitch Albom’s book, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, shows how our lives are intertwined with the lives of others in a way that we may be unaware of! Yet seen or unseen, our connections to each other impact our lives.

 “…that each affects the other and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one.” (M. Albom)

 One more connection

The connection to others, to our past and family history, are but a few types of connections we need to make in order to live life fully cognizant of what we are about. Additionally, the connection within, to our own Self, is one that I believe we should explore as well. Everything I do, whether journaling, reading, or watching a movie, or my professional work of as Dream Teacher or Soul Coaching® Master Practitioner and Trainer, all help me know myself. But every person I meet helps me know myself too….from clients, to family and friends to random people in the grocery store!

Explore your connections

Our lives are filled with mysterious connections! Will you explore your connections in life or will you let them get dusty like my family history? How do you know yourself? What is your favourite way to connect to others or do you prefer to stay disconnected? One thing I know, it’s easier to not pursue connections, but it’s so much more interesting when we do!





Letting go of our old stories
Blog Soul Coaching® April 23, 2017

What kind of stories have you been telling yourself lately? I’ve been telling myself that I’m not good at marketing, networking or social media. In a seemingly rational voice I criticize myself, nitpicking about my skills and denying my successes. I’ve been working on stopping that but old habits die hard. (There’s a belief to change!) I know where this comes from and while I have many insights around this, I need reminders from time to time to help me do a course correction and come back to who I really am.

The Universe Sends a Message!

Right on cue, Colette Baron-Reid provided the reminder. I went with another Soul Coaching® Practitioner to hear her speak and do readings in Toronto. In the washroom, of all places, I ran into someone who clearly recognized me but I couldn’t place her. It turns out that not only did we meet at an International Association for the Study of Dreams event, she even bought a deck of my oracle cards, The Abaton Keys®! This may not feel like a big deal to you, but for someone who thinks she sucks at networking, this random encounter, reminded me that I’m not invisible and I can, in fact, network!

colette baron-reid and patti allen

And It’s a Cleadon!

A “cleadon” is a message from spirit, delivered from random and sometimes unintentional sources. In other words, spirit makes sure we hear what we need to hear, whether it’s an over-heard conversation or lyrics of a song playing on the radio. In this case, Colette was giving me a message, that was delivered to the audience in general. After the washroom encounter, I find my seat and Colette comes on stage and tells her audience “Your old stories have to die!” Ok universe, I get the message! All that negative self-talk ain’t necessarily so and I’ve got to let all those inaccurate beliefs about myself go…again! I bought the mirror pictured above to remind myself to see myself through the loving eyes of others, rather than my own critical, self-deprecating eyes.

So what kind of stories have you been telling yourself? That you’re not enough? That you’re too this, too that? That you’ll never be happy until___ (fill in the blank)? Just in the same way that I don’t choose to believe in “genetic determinism”, that our genes determine our lives, I also don’t believe that just because we were raised in less that perfect, nurturing families, we will inevitably be what our parents were. Sadly, my negative voice is the voice of my mother. My learning curve has been how to keep her love while rejecting her less that perfect parenting or attitudes.

How will you let go of your old stories? I’m starting by talking to myself in the mirror (“No I’m not crazy. My mother had me tested”, as Sheldon would say) and creating positive mantras to counter the negative ones in my head. I’m sure I’ll repeat as necessary. Please share how you’re letting go of the old stories. It time we let them die.

anticipatory gried
Blog Grief February 19, 2017

Anticipatory grief is a thing. Really. Maybe you thought grief only happens after a loss, when you’ve actually lost someone you love. Anticipatory loss begins when you hear news of a terminal illness and impending loss. Sometimes with dementia one might experience anticipatory grief even before an official diagnosis.  A part of you just knows.

Time to Say Goodbye

There are some wonderful and beautiful opportunities that come from knowing someone you love is going to die, even though mixed with shock, pain and sadness. (Yes, we understand intellectually that we all die but I’m talking, for the most part, about the moment it becomes real and a diagnosis is followed by a timeline and the prognosis isn’t good.) The good things that come from this is the fact that we have time to talk to our dying loved one and finish up any unfinished business. We can take the time to express love, or work through old pain and try out the possibility of forgiveness.

Love Lives On

Isn’t that true? Love does live on. It’s also a great name for a website that helps people deal with their grief. Here is a little interview I did for them: on the subject of anticipatory grief.

For those who have already moved into the grief stage, our next bereavement support group will begin Monday, April 24th @ 7:00 pm. Contact us for the details. Meeting with trained bereavement educators and the support of others who have experienced the same loss as you have, is helpful in ways that are hard to imagine when grief is fresh. We can help.

Do You Grapple with Belonging
Blog Soul Coaching® January 30, 2017

Do you grapple with belonging? I do. I’ve probably done this over many lives too. So these are just my field notes from the journey as I am still travelling, but the grappling comes in cycles and I suspect that belonging has its own cycles and rhythms as well.

In the Beginning…

We are born into a family; we are born belonging. Yet we must struggle with the family system into which we are born—its beliefs, its assumptions about life, its way of doing things—in order to individuate and grow. Though, to paint the fuller picture, I have to add that some people never question, never leave home, are happy in their family and that’s fine for them. I’m not judging. I just don’t find too many people like that in my private practice as a Soul Coaching® Practitioner. I attract the grapplers.

The Hero’s Journey

You are probably familiar with the concept of the Hero’s Journey. We heard about it from Joseph Campbell and others. The Hero is everywhere in popular culture and in our communal psyche as well. From the Greek’s Ulysses, the Bhagavad Gita’s Arjuna to Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz or the superheroes in our comic books, we know this journey’s script well.

At its core it is the journey away from home, away from belonging, where we, as individuals, move into the “dark forest” of original experience. We have to work through it all, find meaning in our life’s experiences and we return, forever transformed. We are transformed because it isn’t just an ordinary road trip but it is a “journey of initiation” that awakens our spiritual knowing. But this is where many of us wander off this archetypal path. We don’t return.

I’m Outta Here

We reject the beliefs and attitudes of our family, the rhetoric of our institutions, or the politics of our governments and we leave. We say we are “loners” or that we just don’t join committees or groups or organized religion or that we don’t get involved in political groups and we enjoy our freedom… Until the longing returns. Always on the outside, a part of us longs to belong. We yearn for something inexplicable that is just out of reach, just beyond our ability to articulate what we feel in the dark, fertile soil of our being. What is that longing?

There’s No Place Like “Home”

I suggest it is “home”. It is the feeling of being home, where the people in your family and community are there for you. Where we shovel someone’s driveway because they can’t, where kindness and respect is the norm and where we create sacred space in our rituals, our celebrations and shared holidays. But home isn’t necessarily a place we can return to, any more than those “perfect” places exist. It is a place inside your Self.

So shovelling someone’s driveway is really an act of self-care within you. Sharing holidays and creating rituals for ourselves becomes our “home”. I know it’s not easy, it may be the longest and hardest journey of all, but I suspect that the feeling of belonging can only be fully felt after we come home to ourselves. Of course we can feel it before then, in small and many ways, but I’m speaking here of the journey, the deep inner return. Once we can do that, then outer belonging, so essential to our existence and wellbeing as humans, can truly help us thrive. We cannot remain alone and be healthy. We are born into our human litters and that is how we know and experience the world…in groups.

“To be human is to belong. Belonging is a circle that embraces everything; if we reject it, we damage our nature.” John O’Donohue*

We Pause for True Confessions

As a honorary Hermit, I hate that I have come to this conclusion. And there are many people, groups and institutions that were once a part of my life that are no longer there. And the pain of that loss is just the same as family losses because if we are not walking a conscious path, we just recreate “family” in every group and in every encounter.

I’m working on changing my “unbelonging” status and in many ways I already have. (Hey, once we invoke the alchemical question “Why am I here” there is no turning back!) I’m now actually “involved” with my professional family that reflects an aspect of home in it’s best sense—loving, kind and respectful, with healthy boundaries (I love my Soul Coaching family!). So while I’m coming along, I have to admit that I don’t have it all figured out but I suspect that if I can change the pattern of relating to groups and organizations, then it won’t be long before I can deal with organized religion and other unfinished business from my past. But it’s all good. I’m in an on-going inner journey home.

How About You?

Okay, that’s my issue (the cross I bear?) but what’s yours? Have you made peace with your family? Sometimes there is no peace that is possible, so we have to make the peace within ourselves. Have you found a way to belong? Have you found your inner voice so you can find your way home? One of the maps I use is Soul Coaching®. What maps have worked for you?

Post below and share your own journey with belonging. I’d LOVE to hear from you!


*John O’Donohue was a light that was taken from us far too soon. He writes deeply, in flowing poetic prose, articulating “being and longing” in a way I can only hope to some day emulate. If you, too, feel an inexplicable longing, read his book Eternal Echoes.






all roads lead to soul coaching ®
Blog Soul Coaching® December 19, 2016

Many Roads

All roads lead to Soul Coaching® for me! My studies have been rich and varied, and I use everything I ever learned in my Soul Coaching® work! In 1991 I was training in the Rubenfeld Synergy® Method when my dream life suddenly because very active so I delved into the subject of dreams. I learned a lot and my dream groups grew as my growth and learning continued. It boiled down to this: If I can help people tap into their innate wisdom to gain self-knowledge and transformation, then I am living “on purpose”.  And if I could find my purpose through Soul Coaching®, so can you!

 My Experience with Soul Coaching®

I was searching; searching for more conversations with my own spirit in the busyness of my personal and work life. I was also searching for a way to work with my clients that included their spirit and spiritual issues.

Trained in body-centred psychotherapy and energy work, I had a busy private practice of more than fifteen years that included serving as a Reiki Master and well as a specialist and coach in dream work. Over time, I was doing less and less body-mind psychotherapy because my clients would bring their metaphysical questions to me and wanted to explore spiritual issues. They knew they were safe to explore their spiritual questions with me and often we searched together. It wasn’t enough to get in touch with their physical pain and the emotions that fed them (though it is essential work that has to be done), without working through the mental and spiritual realms too. The Rubenfeld Synergy® Method came pretty close but I was still searching for the right balance. I investigated many professional options, but I found that their approaches were often uneven and didn’t include the whole person.

Balance, Baby, Balance!

In Soul Coaching® I found alignment for the whole person! I found a way to work with my clients that gave equal weight to our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual experiences. Many modalities work with primarily one of these realms. Some body therapies discourage too much thinking and processing while emphasizing feelings and emotions. Other therapies work with just the spirit through contemplative approaches. Some emphasize one’s physical health through the body or energy work. Others focus on one’s emotions in talk therapy. As a Soul Coach I learned how to guide my clients over the terrain of their whole Self; to know where the road twists and turns, where the potholes are and how to walk the path of growth and self-evolution!

Soul Coaching® works holistically using energy and space clearing techniques along with power of the four elements of air, water, fire and earth, combined with the power of clutter clearing! Mental thoughts and attitudes, belief systems, emotions, creativity, spirit and the physical body are all explored with the guidance of a Soul Coach. We do this first in our own lives and then we learn how to guide our clients in clutter clearing all aspects of their lives. It’s an amazing process and my clients learn that they, too, can hear the authentic voice of their heart and soul.

The Bonus

And the bonus? Soul Coaching® makes space for your dreams, intuition, personal guidance and insights and teaches you to trust your own intuitive and wise self. As a dreamer and dream teacher, that was very important to me! Most impressively, is that Soul Coaching® does it in a grounded and balanced way! As someone going through the 28 days of Soul Coaching® and later, as a practitioner, Soul Coaching taught me to facilitate miracles!!!!

The Road

Where is the road leading now? What’s next is exciting! Denise Linn, the founder of the International Institute of Soul Coaching® is no longer training Soul Coaches (Ok that’s a little sad too.). She is turning over the training of Soul Coaches to a small group of advanced Soul Coaches. I will be training for this at the beginning of January! Woohoo! And then what comes next is me offering trainings to amazing people like YOU! Watch for details in the new year, or contact me if you can’t wait at! I can barely wait myself!!! So from body-psychotherapy, to energy work, to dreams… After twenty five years +, all roads truly lead to Soul Coaching®.

“Patti is a remarkable and compassionate Soul Coach. She creates a safe and nurturing environment for discovering your soul’s truth. She has a profound depth of understanding of the world of dreams and the deeper workings of the soul.”

– Denise Linn, Founder, International Institute of Soul Coaching



Blog Soul Coaching® December 12, 2016

I am a Soul Coach. And I’m very good at what I do because I learned to listen. I wasn’t taught to listen at home. Like most of us, I had to learn this somewhere else but it wasn’t always this way. In fact, I was very good at ignoring myself, my feelings, my body and my needs. In 1991 I began my training as a Rubenfeld Synergist, which is what practitioners of the Rubenfeld Synergy® Method are called. It is a technique for opening a dialogue between body, mind, emotions and spirit.

First I Dreamt

When my psyche and my body knew they had my apt attention, the communication flowed and the listening began. I was always a dreamer who dreamed frequently but remembered seldom. Most of my dream images would quickly evaporate in the light of day. Once in a while, though, one would stay with me, shadowing my day and tracking my every move, as if to say, “Look at me! I am important!” When finally a dream challenged me enough to remember it, I surrendered and wrote it down, thinking about it as if it were a riddle to unravel or a puzzle to solve.

Nine months before I started my training, I wrote in my journal,

I’ve denied so much of myself over the years that I doubt that I’d allow myself to recognize whatever might present itself [as the path to follow]. So I think I’ll try this Rubenfeld thing…shake myself up…do something new. One thing may lead to another.

I went to bed after writing that and had a flying dream! And so I began my training in this fertile dream soil that I had barely begun to till.

My Body Has A Few Things To Say!

As part of the training, we were required to have a minimum of twenty private sessions a year. These sessions took me beyond the intellectual interpretation of my dreams and added to my awareness the physical and emotional dimensions that had been lacking. I would sometimes look back in my journal and see that insights that I had- and soon forgot- were brought back to the surface to my conscious awareness when my body was involved. It was as if my body was listening (it was!) and was ready to remind me of those insights when I was ready to integrate them.

Through the use of touch and by focusing on my awareness of my body, my feelings slowly began to emerge from the dreamwork. My feelings were key and I could no longer ignore them. They became less frightening than I had feared because my body was engaged in the process in a way that was grounded and focused on the “here and now” of the Gestalt therapy tradition from which this work sprung. In the words of one of my clients, “I wasn’t alone. I had my body.”

Let The Dream-Catching Begin

During my three year training, I recorded over one hundred dreams in my journal. While it wasn’t a daily “catch”, that was a HUGE number of dreams for me to catch, relative to my “once in a  blue moon” dream-catching from before my training. My dream journals became my “State of the Union” address- the “union” of my conscious and subconscious selves.

I Learn To Listen Even More

If that’s all that happened in my training, that would have been enough! But of course, I was learning how to listen to others as I learned to listen to myself. I learned to shuttle with my awareness from my clients, to myself and back to my clients, in an on-going dance of awareness. Ilana Rubenfeld taught me how to listen to the body’s “score”, as she drew on her own training as a musician and conductor. We learned to pay attention to the notes, but equally important,  how to listen to the silence between them. Forever grateful for Ilana’s brilliant work, I continue to use these skills in Soul Coaching®. I became adept at seeing patterns in my clients and myself.

I’m Still Dreaming….

Some time after my training ended, I dreamt,

There is a performer, a combination of Joan Rivers and Judy Garland, who is rehearsing onstage for an upcoming show in an open amphitheatre that feels like Vegas. I am on-stage with her and treated as an honoured visitor. I don’t understand why I am there nor why should be honoured. The star asks me to do something like sing or dance and I’m confused and embarrassed, not sure what she wants or that I can do it. I see a crow fly by. I tell her that’s a good omen. It seems that being able to read the omen gets me off the hook in some way… [There is] something about the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. I am unsure. Do I sing it? I explain to her that it is a song expressing hope.

If I’m not quite ready to integrate my “star” parts, I am willing to be on the stage of life and read the “omens” and the signs! By turning my attention to the powerful work of Denise Linn in Soul Coaching®, I teach my clients how to listen to their bodies, minds, emotions and spirits. They listen to the art and creative beauty of their lives.

Your Turn!

Ok, now it’s your turn. Do you listen to your dreams? Is listening to your body something your easily do? How about listening to your emotions? Or your spirit? Would you rather tune out to your body and emotions? See if you can find one small way to listen to yourself today, whether it’s simply following your breath or acknowledging a feeling. Listen to all  your notes……The whole notes, half notes, the quarter notes, even the grace notes…and the silences and spaces between them. That’s how I learned to listen. One note at a time.