Category Archives: Guest Post

Present Tense

You know things are dire when you are hoping for a root canal. If the antibiotics kick in by tomorrow afternoon (fingers crossed tightly), Tessa might be able to keep the tooth stub for a few more years. The goal is to hold on to it until she’s a dental adult. Please continue to think toothy thoughts for us (and thanks for the ones you’ve already sent).

After my middle sister, Sheri, guest posted for me, I also blackmailed asked politely asked my youngest sister to tell how she became a New Age Republican. Well, that’s half-right. Her Republican part was the same as Sheri’s and mine. But her New Age path was not.

From Tami:

So my sisters both speak of life-altering moments when their chakras expanded, their minds enlightened and their 3rd eyes opened wide. So when was the moment I became “one of those” New Age people? What if there wasn’t one? 

Being present
Several years ago my life and business coach Bill Brakemeier asked attendees what we wanted to get out of his Embracing Your Potential seminar. I thought the other attendees were more evolved than I was because they all said they wanted to “be more present.”
 
Puzzled, I didn’t know that being present was something I should aim for. I thought that some day I would understand and that I, too, would want to learn to be more present.
 
In the time that has passed I’ve learned that being the last-born — along with the lucky benefits of wearing hand-me-downs, living up to my athletic and intelligent older sisters’ reputations, getting to do my own activities only when there was an opening on the already full family calendar, and getting the last 27 seconds in the bathroom before the yellow Chrysler station wagon left the driveway — being the last-born delivered with it the ability to be present.
 
Being present allowed me to love the time I would spend with my son Dominic putting together puzzles. It allowed me to find gratitude in the middle-of-the-night wakings. When my grandparents each died, I didn’t mourn their passing with sadness. I celebrated their liveliness. When my husband Gino was so, so, sick, being present allowed me to make each life-saving decision with clarity and certainty.
 
Yes, presence has been quite a gift.
 
Healing and modern medicine
A gifted massage therapist enabled me to continue my new age normalcy. We called the massage room in her house “God’s Room.”
 
When I broke a finger and the doctor told me I might have to have surgery to reattach my tendon, Suzanne spent night after night after night breaking up scar tissue in my injured finger. When we got the slightest movement out of that finger, she assured me that surgery wasn’t necessary. The doc confirmed her prognosis. This was when I made the jump from “believing” modern medicine wasn’t always the cure-all to “knowing” modern medicine isn’t always the cure-all.
 
Hypnotherapy has helped me manage and alleviate pain. Hypnobirthing helped me bring Dominic into the world, and hypnosis meant the end of chewing tobacco for my husband (an “A-Ticket to Heaven” Catholic). Gino‘s current use of hypnosis is to reconnect his memory to his legs, reintroducing him to the way he used to walk. To neither of us did hypnosis seem at all strange. Among other things, this fell into the category of “won’t hurt, might help.” And indeed, it does.
 
The power within
When Gino and I became Body-for-LIFE Champions, I learned the most about my own power. My Grandma (who died 3 years ago today) had always told me I could do anything that I decided to do. It took 12 weeks to prove it to myself. After I lost 30 pounds, 7% body fat, and 7 dress sizes, I became one of those “before and after” stories that people view in disbelief. At the end of 12 weeks I realized that Grandma was right. This revelation has gotten me through many, many tough situations.
 
Last year when Gino Gino got Guillain-Barre Syndrome was when I most needed to be aware of my inner strength. (It is also when I realized I am still grateful for modern medicine.)
 
Everyday New Ager
I’ve been in the publishing industry for more than 10 years. Deciding what books we could and could not help market, there was always a stack of books on the night-stand. The ones that got read first, and most thoroughly, were on the spectrum of New Age / Self Help. Wine in hand, my business partner Kim and I would enjoy in-depth, after work discussions about the juiciest books.
 
The book industry brought me face-to-face with many New Age notables. I’ve shared a platform with Jay Abraham, Mark Victor Hansen, and Jack Canfield; held the hands of Louise Hay, shared a prayer with Doreen Virtue, and gotten a reading from Monte Farber.
 
Unlike my sisters, I’m not sure I ever experienced that one eye-opening moment. And oddly enough I still find comfort in the same Lutheran church I attended when I was my son’s age. Does it deliver all of the answers to life and the after life? I’m not sure.
 
But is a good place for my son to learn to believe in something bigger than himself, and how to treat others with love? You bet.
 
.So here ends the story of how my inner beliefs were formed. Naw. It was probably the time I drove Lori’s car before I had my license and prayed to each and every GOD ever exalted that I wouldn’t get caught. Yeah. That’s it.

 
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OK, everyone. You can relax now. I’m out of sisters.

Wait a second…what was that about my car???

photo, l-r: Tami, Sheri, me. For a slightly older photo, click here.

While I wine, my sister writes

Just a quickie update before I turn this space over to a guest poster.

I’m reporting now from Oregon’s wine country because I’m on a Girls Weekend with Lucy and Cheryl, two women I met the year we all lived in Japan. Thursday I also got to visit with my cousin and explore themes in our unfolding lives as children, women and parents. It’s been a weekend of reflection and rejuvenation, and I am having a marvelous time.

In my last post, I invited my sisters to share the path they took for their spiritual development. I’ve found it interesting that we three were raised the same way (in the Lutheran church) and ended up at the same place (what some would call New-Agey mysticism) but we took different paths to get there.

From my sister, Sheri:

I spent the first 30+ years of my life creating and living a life of illusion. I was following the path that had been laid out for me: college education, professional job, getting married, and having kids. As I took each step, it seemed like I was moving ahead, but in looking back, I realize that each step took me into a deeper trance-like state. It took the very emotional crises of divorce (which shattered the illusion) to get me to “wake up.”

This is when I discovered that I was very intuitive. This was the beginning of my “New Age” journey. Here’s how it happened:

The divorce left me feeling lost and alone. How could I be leaving my marriage? This wasn’t part of the story/illusion that I believed and yet it was happening to me. Out of desperation and curiosity, I heard about a woman who read tarot cards and scheduled an appointment. As she laid these foreign-looking cards on the table, she accurately explained what was going on in my life and how I was feeling. Through the reading, I found clarity and felt as though someone finally understood.

Although I didn’t know her before the reading, we became good friends – even though we are polar opposites. She later told me that I had a gift of intuition and could read tarot cards. At first I didn’t believe her, but we went to buy some cards for me. I hesitated, thinking that I would probably use them for a while and then they would sit in a box somewhere.

I found that I could read tarot cards and it helped me to get in touch with my intuition and my emotions. I wrote in my journal and noted what questions I had, what cards I pulled, etc. and I got pretty good at it.

One day I remember trying to communicate with a friend of mine. He couldn’t put into words what he wanted to say, so I summed up what I thought he felt. I was right on…and both of us were amazed. I asked him, “Can’t you tell what others are feeling?” He said he couldn’t. I realized I had been doing this my whole life. I could somehow feel other people’s feelings and identify/describe them – some times better than they could themselves. It’s called being empathic.

I started reading tarot cards for other people. In the beginning, I didn’t charge because I thought it was no big deal. It was a cool “party trick.” I was amazed at how accurate the cards were and how much people got out of a reading. Three years later I started getting paid to read cards. I did it on the side and didn’t talk about my hobby very much for fear that it would not be accepted.

My business cards for tarot readings now hang in several locations and I read cards as part of my life coaching business. I have even started a class on how to read tarot cards. People want to get in touch with their intuitive voice and the tarot cards provide a great tool in which to do so.

Tarot cards and life coaching go hand in hand. Tarot helps people discover what’s going on emotionally; life coaching takes their progress to the next level. As a life coach, I help clients move forward and keep them accountable and supported as they make changes in their lives. Life coaching is a bit more “main stream” and more generally accepted than tarot cards. Some of my clients prefer a mainstream approach, and with some clients, I use tarot cards as a tool. It just depends what feels right.

Before I “woke up,” I depended on my left brain to help me navigate through life. This would amount to listing pros and cons and trying to intellectually analyze what the right answer was in making a life decision. With the tarot cards and through my intuition, I have added my right brain into the equation. When there is a decision to be made, I pull out my tarot cards long before I even think about creating a spreadsheet to analyze the pros and the cons. I have found that my intuitive voice is much stronger and more accurate than my analytical, left-brained, logical side. Plus, it’s more fun to play with my intuition!

I guess the shock of the divorce, meeting my friend the tarot reader, and the emotional growth that came from the crisis of divorce opened my eyes to all of the possibilities. My empathic abilities and my tarot cards were the first steps on my intuitive, New Age journey.

Sheri writes a weekly column for her local newspaper, and I keep trying to get her to blog. If you think she should, shout it at her in the comments below.

Now, back to my regularly scheduled wine tastings…