Thursday, June 27, 2013


"Therapy "-Origin: mid 19th century: from modern Latin therapia, from Greek therapeia 'healing', from therapeuein 'minister to, treat medically'

I have been in therapy for almost 2 years now. I went because my marriage was ending. I began seeing a therapist who was suggested by someone who I highly respect. I have heard that it's rare to find the right therapist for you the first time but I did it. Her name is Kristina Lund. She has helped me in ways big and small and I've learned so much about myself and feel that therapy with her has made me whole. At first I went every week, and then when I told her that I had the best summer of my life last year, she said I didn't need to come every week,once a month is fine. I continue to go once a month. Just as I get regular massage and exercise regularly I also need to check in emotionally. I have worked with sacred psychology through my lessons with the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids. The coursework defined therapy as "healing by becoming whole." I was not only working on my spirit, but my psyche and emotions through this amazing self-paced, home study course. I'd like to share a quote with you from one of the lessons.

"Many spiritual and esoteric teachings present us with the goal of perfection. We are urged to develop our "higher selves," mastering or eliminating the desires of the "lower self." But Druidry, in common with other Earth Religions and the newer disciplines of the spiritual psychologies, presents us with the goal of wholeness or completion rather than perfection." In Druidry, we are not seeking perfection, but wholeness and at-one-ness with all nature."

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Keepers of Four Secrets

There is an old proverb which states "Man is God's secret, power is men's secret, and love is women's secret." I've studied this extensively, meditated and pondered upon it, and have now changed the wording and made an addition so that this proverb reflects for me, the secrets of my life. Here is my wording:

"People are the Divine's secret, Power is Men's secret, Love is Women's secret, and Play is Children's secret."

We all heard and read that man is made in God's image. Of course God is male, the patriarch, a guy with the big white beard sitting on a throne up in the clouds. I sought that God, prayed to that God. I talked that God. I followed that God mainly through Sufism. It wasn't until I questioned and embraced the Sacred Feminine that my spirituality became whole and I truly found myself. I was also able to find the Sacred Child, the divine baby of light, born of the Sacred Masculine and the Sacred Feminine. My work with T'ai-Chi has given me so many examples of opposites in harmonious union and blending. The  yin-yang symbol is not of two, but of three: active, passive, and neutral. By embracing all aspects of the divine in my life I was able to embrace all aspects of myself. One concept that I got from my work with the Order of Bards,Ovates, and Druids is that we are in a relationship with the gods. We are not at their mercy nor are we bad children who always have to get punished or manipulated by them. Our lives and deeds and energy are just as important to them as they are to us. In a nutshell, they need us as much as we need them.

What does it mean to be a powerful man in 2013? Is power about conquering, dealing death, taking, dominating, subjugating all to your will? What is power used for? For eons men have been hunter-gatherers and the warriors who protected the tribe. They used their power to hunt and kill for food and to protect the weaker members of the tribe. Not a lot of that happens today in Minneapolis Minnesota. I haven't seen too many woolly mammoths on University Avenue! Power out of balance is what's filling battered women shelters and the news with man-on-woman violence. Men not knowing how, why, or when, to use their power. In the old days older men had to teach the younger men how to use their power but now I feel older men have to teach younger men how not to use their power. Women now are also physically powerful in sports, martial arts, business, and all aspects of American society. ( I know, I can see that glass ceiling...) They too will have to learn the double edged sword of power. Only power with understanding and balance is true power.

It takes a lot of power to love. To love unconditionally. To be swallowed up and drown in that ocean of bliss, and joy, and sometimes, pain. Having three children of my own I've experienced the depths of love.Love is so powerful. It causes the salmon to swim upstream against unbelievable odds, just to return to their spawning grounds to mate and continue the love. Love can overlook so many faults and heal so many wounds. Love can give the highest of pleasures and the deepest of pains.  The Tao of Love has taught me how to give and receive love. My lover is the teacher and example and the source of love. It is through their love ,understanding, and forgiveness, that women have been letting impatient,selfish ignorant,arrogant men into their lives as lovers. Is it better to love or be loved? Ask a woman!  Stealing a line from the Tao Te Ching, "the love that can be told is not the eternal love."

Play and imagination, daydreams and wonder, are our treasures in childhood. To be creative and happy as an adult we need to have these treasures be with us as we grow, as we mature. Play is so essential. When every thing is serious or becomes a life or death situation, even when it's not, stress levels in adults soar and what quickly follows on the heels of stress is disease and illness. Play can be very powerful and is not to be underestimated. Children who are abused or neglected play and make believe that everything is okay. Or they play that all the troubles with themselves and their families and their abusers are their own fault. Play and imagination can become reality. There is a line in the Tao Te Ching that says "can you become like a child?" If someone called you childish, or said you are acting like a child, or said don't play around, would you take this as an insult? And yet in the media everyone is striving to look younger,act younger, be younger, and failing miserably. One of the secrets that children know about play is how to be in the moment, and out of the moment, at the same time.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My First Guest Post

(A paper submitted by my son, Yaseen, which he received praise and a "P" for in school)


Raymond Hayward exits his car on the corner of Raymond and University. He had navigated through the sea of warehouses to the Twin Cities Tai Chi Chuan Studio. He passes the familiar sign as he unlocks the door and climbs the stairs to the second floor. A few students mill about in the hallway, stretching and talking about this topic or that. He unlocks the main door the wide variety of students from early twenties to late sixties. Students wander inside and a few head to the changing rooms to get changed into loose-fitting, comfortable clothing, along with Ray. The class starts with some meditation and warm ups then the students are broken up into groups based on how much they know. Ray walks around helping anybody who needs it, or he takes them into the room with padding on the walls for a private lesson. After class, people start leaving and a few ask him questions, he happily helps them. Once everybody leaves Ray leaves, ready to continue on the morrow.

Twin Cities Tai Chi Chuan, established in 1981 was made to teach self-defense and calming techniques as well as promote a healthy body, state of mind and lifestyle. It was founded by a group of people who wanted to study Tai-Chi to prepare for a bike tour in China, afterwards they just kept learning. They moved to their own space in 1984. Next year Sifu Ray Hayward, who had been studying with Master T.T. Liang learning the Yang style of Tai-Chi, joined the group and began teaching, so when the first teacher, Jonah Friedman, moved to Taiwan, the Studio had a new chief instructor in Sifu Hayward. In 1982 Ray met Paul Abdella and they began learning Martial Arts together, and eventually Abdella became another instructor in the studio. In 1993 they moved to their current location on University Avenue. Thirty-two years later, they are still here, helping people become healthy and learn martial arts.

The Yang style of Tai Chi, which the Studio teaches, was founded by Yang Lu-ch’an in 1820. The Yang style eventually led to the development of three other styles of Tai-Chi. Tai-Chi has many health benefits and is good for self defense, many people practice it entirely for its health benefits. It is a hard and soft style that is often practiced moving slowly.

Raymond Hayward is the main instructor at the Twin Cities Tai Chi Chuan Studio. He has embraced martial arts since he began practicing it 40 years ago. Hayward began teaching when T.T. Liang asked him to help him teach the newer students.

He holds the studio in high regard. “We provide a safe and friendly place for people to gain health and self defense skills.” Hayward says. With a large community of over 100 students, TCTCC still thrives despite the troubles with the economy and the light-rail preventing parking and access. Hayward thinks the future is bright for the Studio, “we will be able to continue providing quality instruction.” He credits the success of the community to a wide variety of students and a solid system of martial arts.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Wedding Officiant

I am a registered minister with Ramsey County in Minnesota. I can perform weddings and other rites of passage. I specialize in Druid and Earth-Based Wedding Rites and base my work on the rituals of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids, of which I am a Druid Graduate and Mentor. I can help you with your wedding, hand-fasting, renewal, or other ritual. I am also connected to my Scottish Ancestry and can offer a Scottish themed wedding as well. 

I can assist you with;
Naming ceremony
Commitment ceremony
Renewal ceremony

Monday, June 10, 2013

How do I look?

Body image causes lots of stress in our culture. Does this dress make me look fat? Is my stomach flat? Is my penis or breasts too small or too big? (In medieval Europe big penises were considered “grotesque” while in ancient China small breasts were the most desirable.) Will I be attractive to others? Do I look in shape? I need to fight the fat, run away from food, and freeze until I’m noticed. Think of how stressful peer pressure can be. In our imagination, we have people spending more time and energy looking and judging us than they actually do in reality. There is a saying, “Don’t worry about what people think of you. What they are really thinking about is what you think of them!”

The media trains us to look and judge. We can become stressed when we try to counter that system, which has pretty much perfected the desire market. Sex sells. It also makes lots of stress and for all its pleasure and enjoyment, we don’t seem happy or relaxed or at peace with our sensuality, but appear to be even more preoccupied and unsatisfied and unhappy with our bodies and our sexuality.

There, I said it. Unsatisfied.

Are we happier or more content with more sex? The stress of body image is robbing us of the joy, contentment, fulfillment, and relaxation that comes from healthy intimate relations.

Gender roles are giving us lots of stress. Thousands of years of genetics made men into hunter-gatherers and women into healer-lore keepers. How can we undo that in a few decades? Yet this is where we are. How stressful! Men are confused about what power to have, what power to use, and what power to let go of. Women are emerging into their many roles which they were denied for eons. Yet women are the only ones who can conceive, carry, and birth babies. No wonder ancient men worshiped the Goddess and women's ability to create another life! Confusion about who we are in our gender can cause huge amounts of stress.

Two books I recommend are;

The Tao of Love and Sex by Jolan Chang
A Woman’s Worth by Marianne Williamson

In the words of Billy Crystal, "You look MAHVELOUS!!!"