Why don’t you do this for free?

giveforfreeI’ve had the flu thing that has been going around in Arizona. It starts out strong and then hangs on for a long time. This virus is interesting. It reaches for your sensitive area, so if you have weak lungs, it latches on with a chronic cough. If you are like me and have wimpy sinuses, it will be hang out there for awhile. I still sound nasal. But being sick has been a big wake-up call for me. It first hit my back, and all I could find myself saying was how so many areas of my life didn’t “have my back.” I didn’t feel financially supported and that nasty flu attacked my “sensitive”  imbalance.

In the midst of being sick and down for the count, I had a blog reader approach me with a question needing advice. When her answer would be easily addressed by reading a chapter in my book, or a few blog posts here already written, and also covered completely in a lesson in my one class, I directed her to all those areas. I was immediately blasted for not being “spiritual enough,” and “why didn’t I offer all my advice free,” and for trying to sell classes and books. She didn’t offer to pay for a consultation or a private lesson.

Well, the interesting part was, here I was sick as a dog, and not paid for teaching during Spring Break, and my business didn’t have my back. I was in pure panic, because, face it, if neither is producing money, I am screwed. Capital One and APS don’t give a hoot if I didn’t receive a check yet or there’s no sign-ups.

Early in my teaching career, I’ve had similar experiences. I was told I should give free classes, free readings, free help all because I work in a spiritual field. What it came down was a lack of valuing. I have never gone to a dentist and expected free cavity filling. I have never gone to the mechanic, expecting free car repair. And my doctor who went for years to medical school has to charge me to keep his office going and pay back his student loans. What I have learned and trained in has taking me years and years of experience and time also. Is this because our role models like Mother Teresa and even Jesus ran around in minimal clothing and didn’t ask for anything?

I talked to a number of friends working in the spiritual field in some way, and all have expressed the same complaints and experiences…and all were struggling with money. Did we collectively not value our own gifts and what we had to offer because of our spiritual teachings saying that was bad? Or because we were in the spiritual field, we felt those gifts offered were less then? Was that the deeper problem here?

As an artist, I and other artists have all experienced people liking our work but not offering to buy anything. I have often been approached in my twenty plus years experience to illustrate an entire children’s book for free. That always makes me laugh.

The ironic part of this woman accusing me of not being spiritual enough by offering paid options to answer her question, was I have a huge problem with giving away so much for free. All. the. time. I share free art on Instagram. A ton of blog posts that go back five years or more. Free excerpts. Free quotes. Free Pinterest posts. Free stories. And I used to give extensive advice for free for years and years until I realized I was screwing myself.

If I wasn’t listening enough to the signs, I had one woman who was repeatedly calling me for advice on how to create books, websites, etc. but didn’t pay me for a consult. What was the worst was that she kept remarking how she could hire someone else to do the work I could do while talking to me on the phone. Yup, this was a ongoing pattern.

All these teachers showing up, I need to really look at this. I have a huge habit of giving so much without checking on my own needs. It was like I was expected to give out so much selflessly to others, without having those needs matter at all, and you know what? That’s a lack of respect. I have done this pattern more times then I can count. And then someone I love told me the other day, “There needs to be an equal balance.” (and respect)

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Okay, I get it. I really get it. I don’t need another teacher to arrive to show me, whether the teacher is the flu or a person or a situation. I need to value my information, knowledge, talents, gifts, and time. I love sharing but I can only give out and share if there is an equal balance, translated into sales coming back in or my time paid for, otherwise, I can’t give or share anymore. Then I have to do something else, which is what is probably about to happen. It doesn’t work, unless I think it is spiritual to live in a tent with my dogs, give away everything for free, and count on the kindness of strangers to feed us. I honestly don’t think the basset hound would go for it.

Excited…excited…New Storytelling and Intuition class starts Feb. 21st

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So, I’m super excited. I had this idea for this class months ago and I can’t wait to share with you my deep passion for story-making.

What if we could deeper understand and have clarity in our lives by expressing our stories? It was a simple idea that came into my head while reading Christopher Vogler’s book The Writer’s Journey. If we dive down into our stories and relate it to the hero’s journey, everything makes sense. And what if our intuition and our souls were trying to talk to us every day through our different stories that we encounter?

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Being a creative person, like most of you readers, my story comes out everyday I make some form of art. There’s gold there just for me–communication from my soul.

Join me on this storytelling 5-week online journey as we explore this avenue of communication. We’ll play and have fun, of course, and have some valuable “aha moments.”

For details and to register, head on over to HERE.

Book Review: Paranormal

Paranormal: My Life in Pursuit of the Afterlife by Raymond Moody, MD, and Paul Perry (HarperOne, 2012)

I was asked by TLC Book Tours to review this book in my blog. Since I love anything on the subject of the paranormal, and have read Dr. Moody’s previous book, Life After Life, I jumped at the chance.

The book’s title is misleading as it is more about Dr. Moody’s life-long pursuit of proving that the near-death experience is a normal happening in the human existence vs. “paranormal.”

This is a memoir that begins with him explaining his fascination with the subject after being told of an uncle’s childhood dog that appeared to come back to life after being hit by truck, but later reappeared in the flesh.

His was a loving, close-knit family that encouraged his curiosity but was later disrupted when his father reappeared after being sent away to war. It’s his father’s reappearance that started his fight between his father’s world, with a surgeon’s mind of only logic and facts, vs. the exploration of the unseen and seemingly impossible.

Another important key in his quest was the loss of his beloved, nurturing grandfather, who later has a stroke and was unable to fully communicate or support his grandson as he once did.

How I differ in many of the reviewers on this tour, is I, like many of my blog readers, have a deep knowing that there is an afterlife. I don’t need to be convinced. I’ve had multiple visits from “spirits” throughout my life starting when I was very young, and the seemingly impossible is my norm, with each day and each exploration opening up the doorway of perception to what is real. I didn’t read this book as a skeptic, because I have this ability. So, instead, I read his life tale cheerleading him on that he indeed would find lots of proof of the afterlife he could document and share with the rest of the world, and he does, through his many scientific experiments.

His beginning experiments were met with enthusiasm, but the more he advanced in his career he ventured into more riskier or more “woo-woo” areas such as crystal-scrying, that led to using mirrors to meet with deceased loved ones, that  much of the medical community, especially his logic-bearing, rigid father concluded he had lost his mind. He had veered too out of the mainstream for them to accept.

Paramount to his struggle throughout his life, and what I thought was ironic, was that the medical community he worked with solely based their conclusions on logic, and not any form of true intuition or perception, therefore, they missed the crucial diagnosis he had of a dangerous thyroid illness that kept him ill most of his life!  But it was this same illness that allowed him to eventually have true, first-hand understanding of his life-long work into the near-death experience.

I enjoyed the book which held my interest. It is a little slow-going at first as I was anxious to jump right into his near-death work, but knowing his early beginnings contributed and helped me understand his overall story better.

Walking away from reading it, I did have the thought that his pursuit for later contact with passed loved ones was on the surface a desire to help those that are grieving, but maybe more of a personal desire to finally heal that personal wound of experiencing many loved ones in childhood who were there in physical body but unattainable/untouchable in spirit.

Thank you to Trish for allowing me to review this book. To continue on in the book tour and read what others have reviewed go to the master schedule here.

A Book to Avoid that got me going

As I hung out in the waiting area of the third auto mechanic I had visited for my car issues, (story comes later), I happened upon a delightful read that I know will appeal to all of my readers, students and clients. This is THE book to read if you want to put your head in the sand, hide under the bed and pretend that only organized religion can heal all your woes. Don’t go to a therapist if you have any mental illness or issues, definitely don’t use any kind of alternative medicine in any way to heal yourself, and don’t think positively or think your thoughts create your experience in any way. No, it’s best to grab this book, get under that bed, surround yourself with guard dogs and firearms and live in the 1950s all over again.

The book is THE SEDUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY.

The back of the book reads, and I kid you not, “What are the dangers of the growing acceptance and practice of:

  • positive and possibility thinking
  • healing of memories
  • self help philosophies
  • holistic medicine”

I have images in my head of when electricity was invented. Did folks run in fear and claim it was from the devil? Did some still cling to the candle?

THIS is dangerous stuff and goes against everything I believe God is all about. This book got me going and upset for hours just flipping through it! What if you are mentally ill and need help? Of course we need to heal our memories. Better to walk around in trauma and pain? For me, God IS knowledge coming through to help me. That’s what is so beautiful.

I guess many of us are finally awakening and some of us prefer to just go back to sleep.

If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t right for you

I just learned an important lesson. And which is usually the case, I of course need to turn around and share, because that’s what I do.

As a intuitive empath, my psychic sense is rooted in my feelings. When I don’t trust those feelings, I run into trouble. Often, my spidey sense might not make sense at the time, might not even seem logical, but I find out later, those empath hits are spot on.

It was a silly thing really. I was rushing around buying dog food at my nearby feed store. I wanted to buy a small bag of the specialty dog food for Emma Lou I now have her on. The grain-free dog foods have been amazing for both girls’ health and wellness. I was a little miffed when I saw that the space on the shelf for the smaller bags was empty, so I asked the salesman at the counter if they had anymore. He explained I was better off getting the bigger bag financially and a whole bunch of other reasons, and I started the procedure to buy the bigger bag. I could feel my inner nasty fairy in a fit. I wanted the smaller bag. What was in my one bank account was enough, I knew, for the small bag. I had money coming over from my other account in a transfer but I wasn’t sure if it was in there yet. I felt actual resentment I was buying this big bag of dog food against what I wanted to buy.

Long story short, the big bag of dog food caused my overdraft to go into effect because the transfer did not come in time and that $33 bag cost me $68.00. I caught the intuitive feeling as I was walking away and went back to the store and returned the big bag for the little bag and the bank, later on, gratefully, was able to work with me clearing the fees. (this rarely happens with most banks.)

Lesson learned? Definitely a lesson in creating boundaries. I needed not to give in to the salesman and stand my ground. Two, don’t do overdraft protection with your bank cards. You are literally playing beat the clock with a computer who doesn’t care. Thirdly, I felt what wasn’t right for me and I needed to trust that inner intuition, which was basically telling me there would be a problem if I bought the bigger bag. This is good to know when anyone asks me to do anything. Does it feel right to me? Ignore logic or anything else in that moment, if it doesn’t feel right, and worse, you are feeling resentment, it isn’t right for you. No explanations are needed.