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Soulwoman Sanctuary

Invites You to...


Grow & Blossom




his month, I’ve been thinking a lot about the power of possibility. I recently spent a couple of weeks on Hamilton Island for my daughter’s wedding, and amidst all the beauty that surrounded me, it struck me with full force how incredibly exciting it is to see the Soulwoman philosophy blossom and grow. Love. Give. Believe. Yes, together we open our hearts to BIG love. We give all of who we are to what truly matters, and we deeply believe that absolutely anything is possible when we stay close to what is sacred. This month marks a very special milestone for Soulwoman. The brand new Soulwoman Sanctuary is now open and I’m filled with gratitude every day for our members: women who are smart, funny, switched on, talented, and –above all- excited about living a life based on the four pillars of a SOUL-Full life: vibrant health, abundant happiness, deep compassion, and inner peace. Are you writing your own rules, blazing trails and being guided by what makes you TRULY happy? Do you take a stand for holistic health and believe in natural beauty? Consider this your invitation to join us in the Soulwoman Sanctuary. December is the last month that you can lock in LIFELONG membership. Ladies, let’s stand together and embody the spirit of SOUL-Full living!



Soulwoman is such a breath of fresh air! Its pages are filled with incredibly beautiful images to inspire you and thoughtprovoking articles that help you dig deep to reveal your true inner self, dreams, and desires. It’s a MUST read! ~ Elaine Wellman

I love the quality and Reading Soulwoman totally diversity of the women calms me down, centers me, who contribute their rich gives me a chance to breathe tales and share their gifts and think clearly. The laywith all of us. I also love out, colors, pics, and words that it is a magazine which all blend together beautifully. supports women and I look forward to finding out the empowerment of the what I can learn from the divine feminine! I also love experts every month! so many of the wonderful ~ Pamela Wills pictures you use and the poetry is beautiful! ~ Ariaa Jaeger 6

I like that Soulwoman is written by mature women with life experience. It showcases that we can all discover deep happiness and fulfillment in life even after (and perhaps because of) difficulties we’ve faced. It’s empowering and beautiful (both substantively and visually). ~ Martha Brettschneider

This magazine is like going on a relaxing retreat into a beautiful world filled with love, inspiration, hope, spirit, and aliveness! ~Wendy Mackowski


The Soulwoman Philosophy... Love. Give. Believe.



about Soulwoman Sanctuary 9

EDITOR’S NOTE by Tara Ursulescu “Child, It’s time to break the shell. Life’s gonna hurt, but it’s meant to be felt You cannot touch the sky from inside yourself You cannot fly until you break the shell.” - India Aria, from “Break the Shell” song incredible growth for me personally, and from what some of you have shared with me (thank you), I know it has been one of I hope you’re having the most brilliant day extremes in many ways for some of you as or evening! well - from losses of loved ones and breakdowns of relationships and dreams, to Did you know that December marks a welcoming new lives, homes, and family full year that Soulwoman eMagazine has members. I know many of us will never be been around? Happy Birthday to us! We the same after experiencing some of Life’s genuinely hope you have felt many of the greatest challenges, miracles, and blessings gorgeous gifts we’ve shared from the hearts in disguise. and souls of many beautiful woman and men from around the world! We do it I do know this for certain: Through the because we love sharing soulful articles, major changes in my life this past year, I poetry, photography and quotes, and are have grown and blossomed. More growdeeply honored to connect with you! ing and blossoming will occur, I’m sure, as time goes on and I can adapt to the This past year has been one of changes in my life instead of just survive. 10

Processing is happening on a deep level, awakening more awareness within me than I ever could have imagined. I see the same changes happening in those around me too, and it’s beautiful and magnificent to watch. Here’s how I’ve grown this past year: Sometimes my head thinks it’s the boss of me. No, it’s not, I remind myself time and time again. You must always follow your

you put into it. Believe me, I know. And sometimes, doesn’t it get tiresome or overwhelming to be constantly striving, or to be improving ourselves? What if... we were good enough just as we are right now? Perfect in our imperfections? And we realize we can relax and enjoy life in the present because we are exactly where we should be, at this moment. Breathe a sigh of relief. We are where we are meant to be, right now.

heart, your intuition, and your bliss even if it doesn’t make the most logical sense. And we are deeply Loved.

Get out there and LIVE! Sometimes you just gotta be wild! Be crazy! Let Loose! Let go those responsibilities that feel heavy or weigh you down, even if it’s just for a weekend. They’ll be there again on Monday. Then take permanent steps to let go anything or anyone that does not feed your soul or dreams. Life really is too precious to not be happy. Live Loud. Love Passionately. Be Your Wild, Free, Passionate Self! Be You. Play more, worry less! Honor that Inner Child and Feed Your Spirit! Who cares what anyone thinks - they’re gonna think whatever they want, anyways. Isn’t it draining trying to be perfect or maintain that well-manicured image all of the time? Nothing is ever guaranteed, no matter how much meticulous planning

I’m also learning to believe in, and look for, MIRACLES and MAGIC. To follow my Imagination. I now see that Love, Beauty, and Magic of Life are being revealed to us every single day if we are open to it. The people in our lives - all of our relationships - help us grow and blossom. They help reflect back to us our good, bad, and not-so-pretty parts. They touch our hearts when there are no words, or speak the words our hearts and souls long to hear. Life is more beautiful with them in our lives! And as we grow and blossom, so do they. As we celebrate this amazing, beautiful, challenging year, we celebrate Life and give thanks to being able to experience this world altogether as One. 11

Namaste. Much Love and Gratitude to you, Our beloved Soulwoman Readers.


You are our Gifts. Here’s to another fantastic super fun-filled magical year! Listen to India Arie’s song, “Break the Shell”


Table of Contents Soulful Sections



72 14


110 124






YOU are carrying within yourself the potential to blossom, to grow in wisdom, in truth, in the miracle of love. Each time you see the simple beauty of a flower, remember what a PRECIOUS PRIVILEGE it is to be ALIVE.



about Soulwoman Sanctuary 17


table of by







40 18


Living & Wellness

46 52


RESCUED BY LOVE by Kim Wheeler


THE SOURCE OF RENEWAL by Carrie-Ann Baron 19



“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.� - Marcel Prouse


romatherapy harnesses the power of highly concentrated plant oils to offer therapeutic benefits to body and mind. The extracts contain the substances that scent the plants, and are taken from tiny oil glands in flowers, roots, stalks, bark, seeds, leaves, gum or rind of the plant. Each essential oil has unique therapeutic properties.


Chamomile, widely known for its soothing characteristics (particularly in tea), is a powerful calming agent, as well as antibiotic, antiseptic, antidepressant and overall mood lifter. Chamomile helps to battle inflammation, specifically urinary tract and digestive inflammation. It also has analgesic properties and can help to eliminate acne.

While many perfumes and commercial air fresheners contain toxic ingredients, essential oils add uplifting fragrance without compromising your health. You can use the essential oils in the bath, in an oil burner, in a bowl of steaming hot water, or in a base oil for a massage. The concentrated, active compounds get to work quickly, because smell affects the brain almost immediately. Here are a few of my favorite essential oils:



The small white flowers of this vinelike evergreen shrub are intensely fragrant and found in many popular perfumes. Jasmine is also known as mistress of the night and moonlight of the grove, because its seductive scent reaches its peak late at night. Jasmine has been used by many ancient cultures for rituals, and in spells and potions to capture, keep or rekindle the love of a partner. It can elevate your mood, generate energy, and bring strength and warmth to your relationship.


Lavender is a nostalgic fragrance that brings to mind summer days and lavender bushes shimmering against forever-blue skies. It’s a calming scent, and quite possibly one of the most powerful remedies in the plant world, offering both physical and emotional relief for problems as varied as burns, migraines, insomnia, insect bites, skin problems, infections, stress and nervous tension. 22


Rose is the flower of seduction, and rose oil symbolizes love. Its uplifting aroma is helpful during times of stress and grief. Rose oil is helpful in treating insomnia. It also assists in balancing hormonal issues for women.


Ylang ylang is one of my absolute favorite essential oils. Not only does it smell great, it soothes anxiety, raises energy levels, and is an instant mood-booster. And did you know that ylang yang is traditionally used in Indonesia to scent the nuptial bed? The fragrance opens up the mind to a more sensual and erotic experience during intimacy.


the soothing and therapeutic benefits of an aromatherapy bath, especially during those frazzled family times when you’re desperate for a good dose of serenity.

* Use calming oils such as cedar wood or clary sage as a face mist. Mix a few drops into a small spray bottle filled with distilled water. Shake and spray over your skin, hair, Make sure you’re not going to be disturbed or sheets — anytime you feel the need to for half an hour or so, and choose a calmbring some harmony and peace into your ing oil like lavender to pamper yourself. life. You can also look to the woods — sandalwood and cedarwood — for an instant * Raise your energy levels with a few drops sense of soul-soothing calm. of peppermint or ginger oil on pulse points for a quick pick-me-up. Citrus oils and florals are wonderful mood lifters. Dilute a few drops of lemon and * Cover a small piece of cardboard with sweet orange oil, or perhaps jasmine, into fabric, sprinkle on a few drops of vanilla oil a teaspoon of a carrier oil (almond oil, and tuck it into your car console. Refresh jojoba oil, or vegetable glycerine are good with more oil when needed. choices). Pour into your bathwater. This will ensure the essential oils are dispersed * Sprinkle a few drops of pine, cinnamon, evenly in the water. You can also add a few or juniper oil onto a cooled light bulb. drops of oil to a baking soda and Epsom When you turn it on, you’ll notice the salt mixture to make homemade bath salts. mood transformation as the air becomes fragrant. For an extra special treat, turn your bathroom into a temple of luxurious delight. * Rosemary essential oil is famous for Light candles to create a relaxing and senboosting alertness and cognitive function. sual ambience. Put freshly cut flowers in Use it on a diffuser in your work space. A a vase and place your favourite crystals simple terra cotta ornament or pot at your around the bath. Slip into the water and desk becomes an essential oil diffuser when enjoy! you shake on a few drops of oil and let them evaporate into the air around you. Sensual Aromatherapy Baths There is nothing quite like soaking in warm water to cleanse and purify the skin, or ease away stress and tension from the body and mind. Create a pocket of time to tap into 23



Dr. Mia Rose is the founder of The Soulwoman Sanctuary and Soulwoman eMagazine. Mia is the prize-winning author of Awaken to Love and the Amazon bestseller Pebbles in the Pond - Wave Two, co-written with other spiritual leaders such as Neale Donald Walsh. Mia is a psy psychologist with over twenty years of experience in helping purpeople find their life pur pose and master the psiritual practice of health, wealth and happiness. She is a powerful voice in modern spirituality adn shares her inspirational message about the beauty of love with a global audience. Mia was born in South-Africa and migrated to Australia in 2001. She lives at the foot of the Great Barrier REef with her life partner, John.



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n a blustery day there is movement in everything the wind touches. Even the river seems to be carried faster by the rushing air. Nothing in nature is still except the trunks of the strong trees. They are solid, constructed by God and the universe to withstand the torments of nature. We are built this way too. Through experience, the roots of who we are become deeper and stronger making us more resilient to the major blows as we age and grow. These roots hold us steady when the winds of change and challenge arise. Our roots, an ever expanding system of support, allow us to stand alone and stand strong in the face of judgment and adversity. Our roots keep us balanced and provide the spiritual sustenance we need to learn and grow and experience the world using our full span of branches, blooming above ground.

In yoga, the slow and concentrated movement into Vrksasana simulates the growth of a tree. If the foundation and roots are solid, the tree will stand healthy and strong. This is the same way we feel in Vrksasana (tree pose) on the days when we are mentally and physically balanced. Achieving this state is hard though, whether you’re balancing on one leg or juggling kids, job, spouse and a social life. As in yoga, balance is about practice and using your tools of focus, concentration and determination which are key in achieving results on or off the mat. When the mind is single-pointed on a purpose, all the distractions fall away and your full energy lies with your intention. One success leads to another and another and next thing you know, you’re standing on one leg, one arm, your head or you’re done with work by 5:00 with kids in bed by 8:00 so you can snuggle with the hubby or get a glass of wine with the girls. 29

The first step is seeking balance in whatever area of your life feels like a runaway train. You don’t need experience in yoga to practice Vrksasana. The biggest challenge of this pose, is being nice to yourself by not getting frustrated when you fall out of balance. And you will fall out of balance. We fall out of balance in more ways than one every day. Your efforts with Tree Pose will help curb this sense of frustration on a mental and physical level so you can fall back into step, keep moving, keep trying, and keep growing. Remember that as you experiment with Vrksasana. As with all postures, be mindful of the limitations of your body. Be careful if you have weak ankles and stand next to or against a wall if you are prone to dizziness, have vertigo or if you feel unsteady for any reason. Choose a space that has firm flooring and that is unobstructed by furniture or other objects. Read the instruction completely before moving into the posture. Begin growing into Vrksasana by standing with both feet together, visualizing them rooting through the floor into the earth. The four corners of each foot evenly hold the weight of your body. Lift your toes and feel the firm pressure in the balls and heels of your feet. Replace your toes on the ground and lift your kneecaps. Feel the strength growing upward as your quadriceps are engaged. Visualize that strength moving up through the roots you planted with your feet. Tuck your tailbone under and engage your core, feeling yourself rise and grow 30

taller. Roll your shoulders down your back, elongating your neck. Your chin is level with the earth and your face is relaxed. Your arms are relaxed at your sides and your hands dangle at the ends like the leaves on a branch. Feel the way you are planted and balanced, yet flexible as a tree which might sway with the wind. Close your eyes and spend some time here tuning into your body. Trees need oxygen, so remember to take in deep breaths, expanding your belly like a balloon and sending the air up through the ribcage of the thoracic region and into the chest. When your body is full of oxygen, compress the air out from the chest down through the ribcage and use the abdominal muscles to press it out. Once you feel firmly rooted, bring your hands to your hips. Reach for your right ankle with your right hand and place the sole of your right foot on your inner left thigh, as close to your perineum as possible with the right knee pointed out to the side. If this is too difficult, you can bring the sole of your foot to your calf, but never the

inside of your knee. You can also flex your toes against the floor and place your right heel against your left ankle like a kickstand. Wherever you begin, as your foot rises up your leg, you are energetically growing, as a tree, from your roots firmly planted on the earth. Imagine the steadiness being initiated from under the ground and up through your planted foot and standing leg. When you are balanced, bring the hands to prayer, palms pressed together, at heart center. Remember to keep breathing and not to hold your breath. When you are steady here, slowly begin to grow your arms overhead, keeping the palms pressed together and straightening your arms next to your ears. As with all things in our lives, it helps to have a point of focus. As my yoga teacher said during my training in India, “Find your coconut.” Find something in front of you to concentrate your gaze and focus your energy toward. As you stand with strength and purpose, maybe on your first try, maybe on your 50th, imagine yourself as a tree standing strong against the rain, wind and snow, transforming with the challenges of every season; standing strong, alone and powerful against them.

To come out, inhale deeply. As you exhale, slowly begin to lower the raised arms back to heart center. As you release the arms to the sides, slowly let the right foot slide back down to the floor in a controlled manner. Take a few deep breaths, shake your legs out and attempt the other side. A tree represents steadiness. It’s hard to imagine a tree being unbalanced or having a scattered mind. When you’re feeling at your most restless, unsure, worried or out of control, envision yourself as a tree. Regular practice of Vrksasana helps us develop poise, concentration and single-pointed focus. You can practice this same concentration while sitting at your desk by closing your eyes and turning your awareness to your breath. When you concentrate on that one thing, your breath, your mind begins to become still. In quiet and stillness, the mind is reset and the answers to life’s problems become clear as you become mentally and spiritually balanced.

ABOUT KRISTIN DAEMON Kristin Daemon is a spiritual seeker and freelance writer on the topics of Spirituality,Travel, Relationships and Health & Wellness. Using this broad scope of focus, she is able to explore the wholeness of the human experience through her writing. For more samples of Kristin Daemon’s writing, please visit and follow her website and friend her on Facebook.



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hroughout our lives we all face challenges. Then there are those times when life really throws us a devastating blow that turns our life upside down. It is ever so essential to remember that even in the worst of times you have a choice - a choice to move forward, heal, and grow. You can choose wellbeing. You can make a choice to nourish, flourish, and blossom into an even stronger you.

severe sinus infection until an MRI scan came up clear.

Then a lifeline appeared. A very special friend gifted a lovely yoga class to me. I had never experienced yoga before. Just never thought I had time for it. My inner voice knew it was just the ticket though. So when a doctor prescribed a mild sedative to relieve what he described as neuralgia-like symptoms brought on by mild depression it just didn’t feel like a viable solution. The This is what I learned when my brother very next day I was to attend the yoga class Joey was tragically killed ten years ago. I felt like I lost a piece of me. Life was forever and luncheon and even though I had never practiced yoga somehow my soul knew it changed and someone that was always at my side was gone. It was so hard for me to would help and I am so glad I listened. At that moment I knew if I started taking the accept life without him. sedative I would never know what worked. Lucky for me I had four little kids to nurI started yoga the next day and never filled ture and care for and a loving husband to support and love me. Despite all this I was the prescription. Yoga became my lifeline lost in grief, had difficulty sleeping, and and a healthier me emerged. felt so much pain. I just wasn’t showing up I started sleeping like baby, no longer in my life. I needed a glass or two of wine along with pretzels or saltines to lull myself needed wine to soothe my soul, and I embraced joy. Practicing yoga lit up every to sleep. The lulling effects of the wine would wear off and nightmares would wake corner of my life and continues to shine on. me up. I didn’t connect the pain I had in I learned to be still and really listen to my face to sadness. I just thought it was a 35

myself in ways I never had before. Busy was I learned how to nourish my way to a always easy for me and stillness was a chal- vibrant life and I am passionate about helplenge. ing women to do the same. Yoga taught me to breathe, relax, and surrender. It helped me to curtail the pushing and focus on self-nourishment. I learned how to live my yoga practice off the mat and focus on what really matters. Practicing yoga helped me access my feelings and I grew into a more decisive and confident woman. Even though I would reverse the tragic circumstances if I could, I am so grateful for the opportunities I seized afterwards and for my guides that supported me along the way. This experience helped me blossom into the resilient wife, mom and woman I am today. I learned how essential it is to nourish your body, mind and soul so I explored ways to flourish through vibrant foods, meditation, yoga, fitness, self-care and a variety of holistic modalities. As I began to blossom, I found my passion and got certified to become a Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach. 36

Here is my NOURISH TO FLOURISH RECIPE to help you blossom and grow.

ABOUT JUDY GRIFFIN Judy Griffin is a Certified Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach and owner of Nourishing Soulutions. Combining a lifelong passion for Health and Fitness and utilizing a comprehensive approach to wellness, Judy empowers others to nourish their way to a vibrant life where they feel fit, fabulous, and energized. Judy specializes in Woman’s Wellness, Real Food Detox cleansing, Diabetes Lifestyle Management, and Workplace Wellness. Sign up for your free Soul Soothers Guide.

NOURISH TO FLOURISH RECIPE Start by nurturing you. Treat yourself like a garden. Get rooted in fertile soil that nourishes you. Plant healthy seeds, nurture them with plenty of water, sunshine, and rest. Eliminate the weeds that stifle you (stress, toxins, negativity, baggage, and junk) Feed yourself with real food, life food, and soul food that offers you pleasure, joy, and bliss. It’s not about adhering to a perfect diet or exercise regimen. It’s about discovering what really suits and serves you. When you embrace the deliciousness of life and weave in a sense of harmony, you’ll have cultivated a vibrant lifestyle where you blossom and grow rather than feel deprived or compelled to exercise. 37







hen you were little what did you want to be when you grew up? Did you dream to be a doctor, a firefighter, or a veterinarian? Chances are that you knew where you wanted to be and you had grand plans on how to get there. But perhaps life happened and these dreams fell by the wayside. Or maybe you had to put them on the backburner to attend to needs more pressing at the time.

your perfect world, who would you be and what would you be doing? A good exercise to help you out with this is to think about someone reading your eulogy after you’ve passed on. What would this person say about how you lived your life and what you accomplished? What would you want said about you?

Think about all of the goals you have in life and then work backwards. What would it take to achieve all of those dreams? What amount of effort would you But don’t worry – it’s not too late to realize your dreams, even if they have shifted need to put in? Chances are you won’t get a little bit. Just because you no longer want any further than you are right now sitting to be an astronaut doesn’t mean you have back waiting passively for something to to stop shooting for the stars. Don’t sethappen. Now is the time to take action! tle for “good enough.” Become who you always dreamed you would be. If your life is in a rut and you know you need something to change, don’t just think about it – DO IT! Make that change! Allow yourself to blossom and grow. Instead of engaging in negative, destructive behavior, focus on positive Start by visualizing your ideal self. In 41

growth instead. Never stop learning. You are never too old to learn new tricks. Continual growth means continually challenging yourself intellectually. Those who succeed possess a genuine thirst for knowledge that isn’t easily satiated. If you want to grow and blossom into your ideal self, then you must never stop soaking in and discovering all of the wonderful lessons this world and your life has to offer you.

and growing in all aspects to keep your mind active and energized.

Don’t get hung up on your mistakes – learn from them. Fixating on past transgressions only holds you back and prevents you from growing. If you experience bothersome ruminations, ask yourself what the memory is trying to teach you. Why is the recollection so painful? Most likely you need to confront an old, unresolved issue triggered by a difficulty you are currently facing. As much as it may scare you, you Don’t stop trying. Continual growth takes must resolve your past before you can creeffort. It’s easy to fall into the trap of a ate your future. In order to blossom, you comfortable life afraid to rock the boat or have to clear away the weeds first. to risk the safety of what you already know. But even in a life that provides everything Grow into your own person. Don’t try to else, if how you live isn’t providing you morph yourself into someone else’s ideal nourishment for your soul you will evenor attempt to live up to society’s expectually feel bored, disconnected, or worse, tations if they don’t match your dreams. depressed. Instead, keep pushing forward You will only end up bitter and full of


regret. Instead follow your heart and live your passions. Make friends with yourself and become comfortable living in your own skin. By letting go of self-doubt and embracing your true self, you will begin to exude self-confidence and grace that will positively attract all of those around you. Don’t compare yourself to others that you perceive to be “better” than you. Those types of comparisons only cause self-inflicted feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. Instead, concentrate only on making yourself a better person than you were a day before. Soon, you’ll be measuring your true, positive progress towards your goals instead of trying to match yourself up to an unrealistic expectation or ideal that will only let you down when you fall short. Spread love and joy at every opportunity.

You need to give love to grow love, and to blossom you will need that vital nourishment. Congratulate the successes of your peers and feel sincere happiness for their accomplishments. Show genuine appreciation and give thanks to those who help you out, and make sure to pay the favor forward. We are all interconnected, and when we go out of our way to lift up the spirits of others, that positive energy will come right back to us in return. Avoid the trappings of stagnation. Don’t allow yourself to become complacent and never lose your zest for life. Rise above any negativity and embrace the world around you. Life is for the living, and living things grow. Don’t hold back - let the whole world see the beauty that you hold deep inside. Get out there, live your dreams, and blossom!

ABOUT TARA DUBOIS Tara DuBois dreamed of living a life unbound - free from the shackles of conventional corporate world. Now that she has found independence in her career, she wants you to have joy in what you do as well. Tara is the founder of Unbound Website Creations, providing web design service with the modern entrepreneur in mind. You can connect with Tara on her Facebook page to learn more about how she can help you be seen and live a life Unbound and do the work you love. 43



LIVING LIFE UNBOUND orn out of a desire to live a life unbound, this remarkable book celebrates the verve and vitality of courageous women around the globe who have blazed a new trail, reinvented their lives, and leveraged their brilliance to design businesses that make work feel like play. Each of the vibrant stories in this book will inspire you to step into your own power, and align your energy, intentions, and inspired actions to live a freedombased lifestyle. You will be encouraged like never before to follow your own dreams to contribute in ways that feel good, to be on purpose and in abundant flow. The message is loud and clear: As a female entrepreneur, you can conquer challenges, and thrive in a life you love! Buy now.


Dr Mia Rose 45




chieve your dream! Where do you see yourself five years from now? Stuck in a rut, or enjoying a happy healthy, positive, joy-filled life? Do you aspire to greatness or do you feel you are not worthy? Imagine your goal as a big piece of granite: solid, unmovable. Now imagine yourself holding a chisel and day by day you chip away little by little until the day comes when you see the beauty of your creation. With each piece of granite you remove, you are another step closer to achieving your happiness. Dream big and focus on the end result. See obstacles not as a barrier but as a test of your commitment and faith. If you get knocked down, get straight back up, smile, take a few deep breaths, and start again. Always focus on what you can do and not what you can’t do; the word IMPOSSIBLE says it all: I’M POSSIBLE and you are, for you are an amazing being capable of greatness. To help with setting your goals, create a vision board. Collect pictures and inspirational sayings. Put these onto a corkboard, and add your own personal touches e.g. any particular phrases that

you like to use. Place the vision board where you can see it daily. When you start to receive things that are on there, remove the picture and replace with new pictures of what you wish to receive or experience. Put photos of people who inspire you and who you aspire to be like. Tell your friends and family about your hopes and dreams. The more energy that is directed into your goal, the better. Imagine your life as you want it: live it, feel it, embrace it. Ask for the right people to appear. Ask for the perfect solution, and become aware of how small things start to appear. From my personal experience, I have received a lot of what I have asked for. One of my bigger goals was to write for a magazine and as I sit typing this with a huge smile on my face, I’m thinking that dreams do come true. I was already a fan of Soulwoman magazine, and when I went on the website I was guided to the Submissions Guidelines section. I sent in a poem. To be honest, I forgot about it. I had put the intention out and left it to the Universe. Soon, I was contacted by Tara, and the rest, as they say, my friends, is 47

history. Dreams do come true. So I say to you: keep dreaming. Keep believing and keep being the wonderful amazing person that is you. One of my personal favorite quotes is “Aim for the moon. If you miss, you will still land in the stars.� So go ahead and shine your light, for you are the beacon that attracts all the good to you. You deserve the best and the best will come to you.

ABOUT SU DAVEY I am an intuitive psychic and Reiki master. I have sensed spirit since I was a child and have been guided and taught by my grandma who is now 105 yrs old. I write poetry when guided and have always said the angels are my proof readers as quite often when I read my work back, words have been changed. 48

Shine your light

you will blossom 49

Arrange your life as a bouquet of caring and kindness. LEARN MORE

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RESCUED BY LOVE by Kim Wheeler


knelt down in between a sea of Rottweilers and Doberman rescue dogs when I first espied a small face peering nervously from behind a much much larger dog. I pretended to look away but made sure I kept one eye on the little face, hoping it would look again. It did, much to my relief. I quietly and without fuss stood up and walked quietly through the mass ranks of unwanted soulful eyes and knelt down in front of this little face that had so smitten my heart. I choked back the tears as she jumped up and licked my entire face as her tail wagged furiously. I looked into her dark brown eyes and saw me so many years ago, stuck unwanted in my own hell of an orphanage. I looked at her sad soulful puppy face and noticed the tram lines of scars that seemed to be everywhere - even part of her ear was missing. My sadness turned to anger, ‘What happened to her?”, I asked inquisitively. My anger then turned to rage, and then to pity, as I picked up this three month old girl and hugged her warm delicate body. ‘This is the dog for me,’ I whispered to no one, ‘This is the dog for me.’ I had already chosen her name; it was a name that I well remembered from my lonely days when I was first fostered.

Through illness, I had developed a large stomach. My sister said I had a large pod and I remembered that name with fondness, so I called this unwanted bundle of loneliness and hope, Pod. I got my friend to drive my car home as I sat smiling with my first rescue dog quietly resting in my lap to face a new life where pain and aloneness would never happen again. Pod settled in well and soon grew and so too did the love between man and animal. Some years later I decided that I would rescue another dog. This one was a male Rottweiler that was not abandoned, but the owner was someone I disliked, so saving this poor dog from him was imperative. I called this new dog Purdy. I introduced Pod to Purdy expecting Pod to be happy, or if not happy, excited to have a new friend. She was neither and growled and slinked silently back to the sofa. I was so concerned that I spoke with my vet who reassuringly explained that ‘Pod was just jealous.’ Within a few months Pod and Purdy had become more than just friends; they had 53

become inseparable. Together we walked and played, and life took on an entire new meaning to me. Then out of the blue Pod became ill and I was informed that ‘Pod has a leaking heart valve, which cannot be cured.’ My heart sank as I tried to hold back the emotion that within a few days I would be putting this beautiful trusted loyal companion to sleep. Her last weekend was one of my very worst on this Earth.

I drove home at midnight and walked into my empty home; the silence was unbearable. I picked up Pod’s coffin and hugged it like a sad child hugs their teddy for a moment of reassurance. Two weeks elapsed and I picked up Purdy’s coffin and placed it next to Pod’s where they still are, silently watching over and protecting their dad.

I drove to the nearest dog rescue centre. No luck on the first, second or third day, I held her close as tears rolled down my but on the fourth day I saw my next famface. I whispered ‘Goodbye, Pod’ as the ily member: a magnificent brindle coated lethal injection worked instantly. I covered Rottweiler x American Bull Mastiff, a huge her still body and in total silence walked dog whose face just reminded me of the through the deathly silence of a packed softness and beauty of Purdy’s. My heart waiting room, everyone knew what had was set and everyday for one month I just happened. I looked neither left or to would drive the few miles and be uncerthe right, just walked straight out the vet’s emoniously dragged across the fields. and climbed into my car and I wept. I wept ‘You need some serious training,’ I whisfor days while gently reassuring Purdy pered into his giant face whose response that ‘Everything was alright’ when in truth was to lick the flesh from my face. I sudeverything was obviously not alright. Two denly didn’t feel so alone anymore as I had weeks slowly and painfully elapsed until a new friend who needed me as much as I I picked up Pod’s tiny coffin, and again needed him - needed love, affection, directhe tears fell freely from my emotionally tion, a warm bed, good food and an alpha scarred soul. I placed her on top of the male to guide him through his life. I called fireplace where she still sits, quietly and this dog Little Bear. He was about eighserenely, watching over me. teen months old. The day came to take him to his new home and like both Pod Purdy and I continued with our lives but and Purdy before him, he settled in almost like Pod before, Purdy became ill. And immediately. Training was imperative and, like Pod, I was told that Purdy’s time had again like Pod and Purdy, he was so eager come. I couldn’t believe this; the pain was to please that training him was easy. just too much. I hugged Purdy’s massive head to my chest as the lethal injection Within a few months I decided that this coursed through his veins. boy needed another male friend, so back to the dog rescue centre I went, and within 54

a few days I had found yet another badly abused unwanted unloved three month old dog. Again his story was as sad as all of the dogs before him. Six months had elapsed since I first got Little Bear when I found myself walking out of the dog rescue centre with a new puppy, and a happy Little Bear. “I shall call the new bundle of anger and sadness “Bigfoot”’, I thought. Bigfoot settled but it took him longer as he was so unsure of life as he had already been kicked onto the cold streets three times before he was three months old. Little Bear was his older wiser brother and I was happy to let him teach Bigfoot the rules of playing, running, jumping and barking while I stood back and smiled a fatherly smile.

Daily we walk up to, and sometimes further, than six miles. Now let me take you back to 1994 and a few months before I got Pod. I had undergone major lower back surgery and was informed that, ‘If this operation is not a success, you might well be wheelchairbound but you would definitely need a walking stick for the rest of your life.’ Sadly some time later, I was informed that the operation was not a success and that I had an incurable and intractable spine injury, would be in pain for the rest of my life, and that I could no longer work.

Twenty-four years later, I still walk up to six miles per day and yes, sometimes further. I attend the gym and I have taught myself photography, dog training, how Six years have now elapsed and Little Bear to play the guitar, and am now a published author of seven books. Where most and Bigfoot are inseparable from each people may well have given up on life, I other as I am inseparable from them. 55

didn’t, and the reason I didn’t give up or refused to be beaten were my rescue dogs who rescued me. Without them, I just could not have coped.

Over the next thirty years he suffered from several physical injuries, survived meningitis and, was disabled with an incurable spine injury, and ordered to cease all types of manual work. Mental health issues and Four unwanted, unloved rescue dogs a complete breakdown soon ensued. You entered my life and turned it around. I can read all about his life in his soon-togave them love, a home, hope, a chance in life and in return they repaid all of this be-republished book ‘The Battle Scarred by being the most loyal, honest, and faith- Journey’ and his free eBook ‘Rescue Dogs Rescue Man’ which can be seen on his web ful companions who have walked with me every day for nineteen years. Without page All of the the love of my rescue dogs, I don’t think I proceeds from Rescue Dogs Rescue Man would have survived. They alone saved my have been donated to charity. life and in turn, I saved theirs. Kim is also a self-taught photographer, We need to understand more of the power a writer of over one hundred published poems and prose, a dog trainer and dog all animals have to help us and guide us through our journey of life on this beauti- rescuer. He has also learned to play the guitar. ful planet called Earth.

ABOUT KIM WHEELER Kim Wheeler was born at University College Hospital, London in 1954 and was promptly abandoned by his birth mother. He was then taken into care by the local authority and moved south of the river to a children’s home in Lewisham where he spent the next five years. He was eventually was fostered and adopted at age six and moved to Pinner. At the age of eleven, he was sent away to attend a boarding school, where he left at the age of fifteen with few qualifications. 56

Despite being battle-scarred, he steadfastly refuses to be beaten by any of the many trials and continues to face daily battles with all of the physical pains without complaint. Through the love and the walking of his rescue dogs, attending the gym, and writing, he has found contentment in his varied life that seemed almost unattainable many years ago. For a free PDF copy of my book Rescue Dog Rescues Man please go to my email address and ask...






t took me around five minutes into my initial meeting and assessment with Kim to make the decision that this was a man who needed and deserved someone to have faith in him. But not just that, to be prepared to walk along with him through psychological hell, not for a few weeks, even months but for years. I don’t think at this point Kim realized this. There was something in this first meeting with Kim that allowed him to at least contemplate someone may just be prepared to hear his pain. Kim’s courage to face his past, the demons that lurked there, the unprocessed trauma, the physical pain and scars and to survive the rejection he suffered time and time and time again was awe-inspiring. Awe-inspiring from my perspective that he had not emerged from this life some kind of monster himself. Learning to love and care for himself and see the value in himself was Kim’s biggest challenge, but he also had to do this while coping with incurable and intractable physical pain. I only walked alongside Kim for a very small part of his journey so I have a very small part in this story, yet I have seen how much he has progressed since we first met and since our sessions ceased. I have seen how he has showed admirable determination to try and help others through sharing his own painful life experiences. He has done this with a raw honesty that is breathtaking, heartbreaking, but ultimately ‘awe-inspiring’. I have learned so much from Kim and I know this has helped me in my work with other people - the most of important of which is that it is possible to live with pain, both physical and psychological, not to deny it or dismiss it, yet still live a life. Buy now.

Dr Elaine McWilliams - Clinical Psychologist 59




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Let you soul radiate LOVE. Let your thoughts, words and acts radiate harmony. Live your life as a sacred prayer. ~ Mia Rose





t was the fall of 2007 when I heard the words “Surgery is inevitable”. This was after a series of visits to the doctor and specialists, so I had an idea that this was going to be the result …but when you actually hear “The Truth” – it stops you in your tracks. I felt like my world was caving in, and yet, at the same time, those same words were lifting the weight of the world off my shoulders. I zoned back in as she was saying “You can continue to go through this every month for the next 20-30 years, or you can have the surgery now, heal really fast (because you are young) and then ENJOY THE REST OF YOUR LIFE being healthy and pain-free. ” Be healthy? Be pain-free? … Was that possible? Throughout my entire adult life, I struggled with insurmountable health issues stemming from erratic menstrual cycles, extreme PMS, and bleeding resulting in anemia. Knowing what I was dealing with every single day of my life, and knowing that

with each month the symptoms intensified, I realized that this was an opportunity to take back control of my life. No longer would my cycle dictate my life! Was it true? Could I return to being physically active and LIVING an active healthy lifestyle? This surgery, which seemed to sound like impending doom to the masses, was actually an opportunity where I could see growth and possibilities. After discussing the particulars, my doctor suggested the things that I could do to get my body used to moving, so it would be easier to recover post-surgery. During this time, I became willing to take small steps of courage (of self-love) to nurture myself back to life, using this opportunity to embrace my capabilities within my physical limitations to grow and be ready to blossom post-surgery. I began by going for short walks on my lunch break. My strategy was to start at the closest store and spend twenty minutes browsing, then return to the office, and eat my lunch while I recalled what stood out 65

for me. I carried a small journal to capture what caught my attention, things that I paused to look at and appreciate, be it a colour, a scent, a smile, the breeze blowing through my hair, or a piece of art. I was rediscovering and learning how to value myself. This was a huge step for me, because in addition to my ongoing issues with my cycle, I was also incapacitated with a debilitating chronic health condition called Erythema Nodosum, in addition to trying to cope and live with an Anxiety Disorder and Social Phobia. Walking into a new store every day was growth for me. I was facing my fears in the face of adversity for the greater good of my health. I started capturing my acknowledgements, feelings of gratitude, and musings for the day. I was being inspired; my thoughts were flowing onto the paper in the form of poetry. This was something new to me! Even though, my health condition continued to regress, I found that my intuitive side was being nurtured. It sparked hope that this proactive self-care was prepping my mind for when the surgery was completed. A couple months before surgery, I wanted to test my capacity within my limitations on a larger scale. I was willing to drive, once a week, towards the mountains. The first Sunday, I was not attached to how far I would get; I was just happy that I was making the effort. I made it for about twenty 66

minutes, then had lunch at the first gas station. Within three weeks, I was able to drive 45 minutes, and would stop at the restaurant along the highway. Each week, I was willing to apply the same ‘small acts of courage’ to try new things to rediscover what foods I enjoyed. Once a week, I drove out to this quaint restaurant, ordering the plate at top and working my way down the menu each time. The rest of the afternoon, I stayed and drank water as I read a few pages in a book by Eckhart Tolle. By the time, surgery came along, I was growing and getting a better understanding of who I was and what my body was capable of. I felt proud that I chose to Value Myself during this time leading up to surgery. When I was in the hospital and convalescing, I read the book ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ from cover to cover. It was empowering being able to focus on the words rather than the pain, and it provided me with the ability to focus on the positive, and to stay out of the

“woe is me” mentality. I took eighteen months to let my body and mind reconnect with each other. A full recovery included grieving my losses. I gave myself permission to grieve the loss of my uterus and my fertility, of not being able to make my parents grandparents, my sister an auntie, nor to have cousins for her kids to play with during holidays, and so much more. I knew it was important to move through those feelings but not dwell on them. This process allowed me to lift the weight of the new world off my shoulders. During those eighteen months, I was awakening to new possibilities, and began my journey into living an active healthy lifestyle. I joined a group of women who wanted to train for a triathlon, and to have the support of like-minded individuals. A few of us, full of enthusiasm, were willing to consider doing the Ironman Canada in Penticton in 2012! I said “Ok, let’s do this!” I was completely willing because I wanted something different. I wanted to live life, not just have a life. I continued to take steps of courage. I joined a swim class once a week the other girls, then a few of us joined a Learn-toRun clinic. We started with twenty second intervals – muttering “This is crazy!” but doing it anyway. I acknowledged myself for every movement forward. I was now taking the effort to be active four days a week! And then – no word of a lie - I joined a

cycling class, and within three months, I went from NO exercise to a minimum of thirty minutes five times per week! I stood in my truth – I wanted an active healthy lifestyle – over the next three years. I was witnessing myself blossom into someone who was gentle and kind to herself. I was open to all the possibilities around me. I stayed invested in my intention, while releasing myself from the outcome. And on August 26, 2012 ….. I heard these words “Carrie-Ann, You are an IRONMAN!” Yes, I crossed the finish-line in 16 hours, 52 minutes and 10 seconds! From hearing “Surgery is Inevitable” to “You are an IRONMAN!”

What I know to be true is this: Everything is possible when you believe in yourself! The Truth DOES set you free! As you watch your garden grow, you see it begins to blossom into something beautiful when you tend to it. Rain or shine - You take care of it. Be willing to apply the same principles to yourself (as I did). This is “self-love” …embracing that all you need is right here within yourself. 67

ABOUT CARRIE-ANN BARON Carrie-Ann Baron, is currently based out of Calgary, Alberta. She is a Certified Trainer of the Fearless Living Institute, Certified Peer Specialist Core Recovery Program and Advanced Level Integrated Energy Therapy® practitioner. Carrie-Ann, founder of SOLVO Coaching Inc, empowers people with chronic anxiety and overwhelm simplify their life so they can find wellness. She takes her clients on a journey of releasing the weight of the world, rediscovering who they are, and awakening to the possibilities. Her 68

coaching is based on her own journey -from being bed-ridden with a debilitating chronic disease and anxiety disorder to becoming an Ironman Triathlete She is a #1 International Best-Selling Author of the anthology “The Missing Piece: A Transformational Journey”. Carrie-Ann is a recurring guest on Stress Less Radio and contributor to the Soulwoman eMagazine. She is also a Freedom and Empowerment Campaign Champion. In her free time, she volunteers at the Calgary Women’s Center as well as staying active with triathlon training and road trips.




Spirituality and Healing


HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW? by Chris Alexandria

SHATTERED NO MORE by Connie Larson

92 72


CHOOSING TO BLOOM by Margot McKinnon




104 73


Open your heart to change, for without change, nothing would ever blossom, 75


HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW? by Chris Alexandria


love the theme of this month’s issue so much: blossom and grow, grow and blossom. In fact, I’m such an avid gardener, we have named our beach home Blossom’s Cottage. Within this tiny yard, butterflies and dragonflies dance regularly, flowers waltz and tango with another, and the colors resemble fireworks on the fourth of July. Even now, as we are steeped into the end of November, roses are still in bloom and are flirting with the chrysanthemums. There is something simply magical watching your garden meld together, dance and come into its full glory.

Dreams are akin to seeds. But how do you know if this dream/seed is really meant for you and your garden? The process, while quite simple, is extremely effective.

Place your hands over your heart. Remember, your heart is the birthplace of your soul and never lies to you. Your ego lives up with your brilliant mind and showers you with either illusions of grandeur or self-deprecating thoughts such as: “Who do you think you are?” “Getting too big for your britches now, aren’t you?” and more. You are a garden, or a metaphor of one. Full of delicate and robust flowers, periodic In other words, it loves, loves, LOVES to blow raspberries at you. weeds, and ever-changing and evolving. Your garden is your life: how you live, act, Back to your heart. It’s much more yummy and with whom. there. How does your garden grow? Silver bells and cockle shells or ... ? Sit back for a few Think of your seed/dream as your hands are over your heart. Breathe deeply. Close moments and peruse your life mentally. your eyes. Feel your shoulders relax. If an Are you thrilled with it? Is there a dream that has yet to manifest? Are these dreams idea, dream, or vision isn’t of your truest resonance, it simply can’t make it to the just dreams or a strong yearning of what fertile ground of your heart. It becomes you are meant to do? 77

nothing more than a passing fancy. Your thoughts become muddled, vague, and feelings of confusion will become prominent. It just isn’t of your energy resonance. It doesn’t make it ‘bad’, just not for you. However, if the idea has merit, no matter how far out it may be, it feels expansive while entering the heart zone. You will gain deeper insight of events, key players involved and the harvest. Your ‘harvest’ is the juiciness to keep you going. Much like a carrot at the end of a stick, it’s not meant to be a tease, but rather to further entice and encourage you to keep moving. As magnificent as you are, and you are magnificent, wishing on a star, getting the large end of the wishbone, or daydreaming doesn’t make for a magnificent garden. A magnificent garden requires a bit of work and a lot of play. Every seed requires planting in fertile ground so it can germinate, take root, grow and blossom. It requires a bit of nurturing, watering and a periodic weeding to keep the garden clear so the seeds can become the best possible version of themselves. In other words, be proactive with your dream. The nurturing part of blossoming is being active with your dream. Think of it this way: if you wish to be a doctor, nobody will hire you unless you have the training. If you wish to be a speaker, you become connected to other speakers and speaking 78

bureaus. An author? Practice. It’s all feeding the garden/dream. As for the weeding part - that involves getting rid of things, people, etc. that are clogging up the system and preventing the garden to enter its magnificence stage. Some weeds are quite stubborn and there are times when we don’t even see them, they are so insidious, but keep looking! If your garden isn’t in its full glory yet, there are some weeds to be taken care of. Yes this does include relationships. Some relationships are just not good for both people involved, but that is a different topic for another time. Begin using this Askfirmation for the remainder of the month: Why do my dreams come to fruition so effortlessly? Remember, don’t look for the answers to this question; allow the universe and the angels to respond, show and support you. No Miracle Grow required ~ you’re creating your own magnificent garden on your terms!

ABOUT CHRIS ALEXANDRIA Chris Alexandria is Your Transformational Coach with Angelic Insights. She is driven to inspire and empower people across the globe so they too live life on their terms. Her growing line of products are angelically infused and her first children’s book, Have You Ever Wondered About Angels, received a Mom’s Choice Award for bedtime stories. You can read more about Chris on her website.


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SHATTERED NO MORE by Connie Larson THE JOURNEY -- Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice-though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles. “Mend my life!” each voice cried. But you didn’t stop. You knew what you had to do, though the wind pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations, though their melancholy was terrible. It was already late enough, and a wild night, and the road full of fallen branches and stones. But little by little, as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds, and there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do-determined to save the only life you could save.


ith my head in a heavy fog, cords everywhere, curtains surrounding me and suffocating sheets tangling my feet, I am slowly awakening to realize that the bed I am in is in a hospital, the cords are attached to ME, and the phone I am trying to use is the remote to call the nurse. It took even longer to realize that the fog in my head is due to the too many pills I had accidentally taken the night before. The pressure had taken its toll. A twentysix year marriage was coming to an end 83

and I was raising the last of five children alone, all while attempting to hold my family together in the wake of their father’s recent incarceration. This along with a business to run (some 60 people depending on me for the ability to pay their mortgages and car payments), I now lay broken, frightened and angry. The pain I had been trying to escape was staring back at me as I learned of my falling down the stairs and laying unconscious on the landing. How scared my children must have been when they called 911 and watched as strangers came into our home to take their momma out to a waiting ambulance! Police and sirens all disturbing the peace and normalcy and security I had tried so hard to create. There are times in our lives when we face little problems and then there are the times when it ALL shatters... Just days before, the sliding glass door in my dining room had shattered and now stood as a reminder of my own shattered life. On a cold January day a tiny crack crept upward on the pane of glass right before my eyes until a beautiful crystal design appeared like a Disney movie kaleidoscope special effect. The sound of cracking glass is most eerie. It commands attention; it’s shocking, terrifying and surreal all in the same moment. Until the window could be replaced, pieces of glass would randomly drip to the floor like icicles melting in springtime creating 84

an atmosphere of danger and alert, not unlike how I now felt. I was broken and pieces of me were falling away while I remained in a state of panic and constant alert. While in my broken condition friends and family were telling me “Do this, don’t do that, stay here, and don’t go there”, I knew three things for sure: 1. I never wanted to frighten my children like this ever again. They were what I lived for; they were my joy and my pain was not their pain. 2. Taking care of everyone except myself was killing me. 3. I was the only one who knew what to do. I had answers inside of me; they were buried so far that extreme excavation was the way to find them. I could not put the window back together nor could I undo what I had broken, but I could replace the window and I could replace everything that was not working in my life. I cleared the fog and one step at a time, I started anew. I walked on sacred ground to plant joy and begin again. Shattered no more... Determined to save the only life I could save, this is my process for healing, growth and living:


while I silenced the voices in my head to just ‘be’.

I didn’t go to work for four days. In fact, I didn’t go anywhere. I slept. I did nothing and then I slept some more. My body and soul needed time to recharge, to rest and recover. The world was not going to fall apart without me, I was falling apart without me.

I made it my practice to meditate in the morning, to clear the daily fog and to ask the universe what it is that I am to do today - just today! My anxiety began to take a back seat to the peace that was filling my heart.

I learned to take three deep breaths, anywhere, anytime and in any situation. It gave me a chance to lower my heart rate, gather my thoughts, and overcome my adrenalin addiction.


I stopped doing what wasn’t working for me. This wasn’t so easy as I had taught the world that I was theirs for the taking. The more I STOPPED, the easier it got. Take I joined a meditation group. They became a look at the Bob Newhart video clip, this my friends, my family and my support is the best advice I have ever come across. 85

You will laugh at his effective but simple advice for his patient - “STOP IT!”

views and perspectives, not only of my surroundings, but of my life.

The first thing I stopped was my weekly trips to the prison and the facade of a marriage. I stopped keeping secrets so others could feel comfortable. I stopped working all day AND all night. Byron Katie had taught me that “All suffering is a lie” so I stopped believing the lies in my head and began questioning every painful thought. She was right; they weren’t true.


DISCOVERY I set out to discover who I was, what I REALLY wanted in my life, and who I wanted to be.

Writing became part of my morning ritual. I wrote what I was grateful for, I wrote about the good things that happened to me, and sometimes I just wrote nonsense. With the jumble out of my head, answers to life’s questions began to appear. Every day was a new discovery and I wrote to identify the magic waiting for me in the written words.


I surprised - no I shocked - my children I walked and I walked some more. I walked by playing with them. I swam in the lake. I went down the water slide on the housein the desert, I walked in the snow of the boat to land in a roar of astonished cheers. mountains. I walked along the beach of a rocky shore. I walked the old train tunnels I laughed myself out of breath riding beach in blazing heat so hot I wasn’t sure I would cruisers with my son and I went on the make it back, and then I drove to the ocean rides at Disney Land. My heart soared and flew to new altitudes I had not known. and walked on the sandy beach. I listened, noticed, and recognized the per- I still have moments that are hard, but fectly timed coincidences. I discovered new nothing that will break me. Problems still arise, but no longer do they have the power


to shatter my life. It took almost dying to learn how to live, but this I know Healing my past in a few simple steps has allowed me to believe in myself and live the life I desire, because what I am most afraid of doing is the very thing that sets me free.

ABOUT CONNIE LARSON Certified Martha Beck life coach, certified “Self Coach 101”, published author and speaker Connie Larson resides in sunny California where she shares the joy of 9 children, 12 grandchildren, golf, Dodger baseball, movies and great food with the love of her life.

Connect with Connie to receive coaching, support and the tools necessary to reestablish personal power and boundaries, to take you from Victim to Victorious and to be included in a very private Facebook group: W.omen who I.nspire and N.uture to G.row and S.hine . “Because the greatest W.I.N.G.S. you will ever grow will be your own.”

* Photo courtesy of Tracy Stokes Photography

Her time is spent writing, speaking, coaching and educating individuals especially in the arena of sexual assault. Connie is Rape Crisis Center Intervention trained and an accredited speaker with RAINN’s (Rape and Incest National Network) Speakers Bureau, she gives victims a voice and advocates for those affected by sexual violence.



Listen to the silence. In it lives the truth. 89

Dear Soulwoman, Have you ever glimpsed one of those moments where all fear and doubt fall away and you find yourself swept up in the joyful dance of living the life of your dreams? What if I told you that you could experience that every day? The Manifesting Miracles eProgram provides you with the practical tools for transformation that will help you shatter the ceiling of your own limitations and experience better health, more wealth and an ocean full of happiness. Expect extraordinary breakthroughs to occur as you tune in to the Divine and transform your everyday life into a spiritual practice. Let’s make miracles together! Mia Rose xo

Click here to get program details! 90


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CHOOSING TO BLOOM by Margot McKinnon “And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” - Anaïs Nin


remember the day I found this quote and carefully copied it into my journal. I had dropped my three children in front of their Dad’s house that Thursday morning on my way to work. They ran into his house excited, while I drove around the corner, pulled over to the side, and had a little cry. It was hard not to see my children for four whole days in a row.

My journal book is used to document my year, from birthday to birthday, and each year seems to develop a particular theme of my life. That year my theme became the exquisiteness of being human. How could I make my life spectacular? Tonight, I reminisced about what I put in my journal.

As I open the cover, the first thing I see is a black and white photo of me when I Suddenly, I heard a voice say, “You can either feel sorry for yourself or you can use was about three years old. We lived in a the four days every two weeks to remem- beach shack on Cocoa Beach, Florida. I am struggling to lift myself up onto the sea ber yourself.” wall so that I can walk across the top like a tight rope. For a three year old, this was And then I found the quote. fairly dangerous, since if I fell off I would roll down an embankment of cactus. I decided to use the four days to rememNow that I think of it, one of my parents ber who I am, to remember Margot, not Margot the mom, not Margot the teacher, was taking the picture. Obviously, they not Margot the newly separated woman. I thought I was perfectly capable of takwas going to excavate through all my lay- ing the risk. And as a three year old, I did not see the wall as any great obstacle even ers to find Margot. 93

though it was almost as tall as I was. A few pages later, I find a card my children sent from a visit with their grandmother in Toronto. My youngest boy wrote, “Hi Mom, I like Toronto. I made a fort out of my bed. Did you make one out of yours?” It made me laugh. When was the last time I made a fort out of my bed? My older boy wrote, “Wazap – (what’s up). Alex (younger brother) is being as annoying as usual. Right now he is tapping a bed knob and trying to go to Africa (it’s not working). He’s also trying to get turned into a rabbit. I miss you!” It was time to remember my childlike awe and wonder, the feeling that anything is possible. A few pages later I see I have pasted in my son’s Spring Break ‘list of things to do’. He had stuck it to the fridge with a magnet next to my list of things to do. My list: 1) clean backyard 2) taxes 3) dry cleaning 4) detail car . . . His list: 1) read 2) baseball 3) climb trees 4) buy chocolate 5) go to park . . . Each item was enthusiastically checked off with a green crayon. That day I decided to make more lists like his. New list: 1) visit antique stores 2) have a dinner party 3) make five new friends 4) practice photography 5) experiment with three new recipes 6) change my hairstyle . . .

One day was going to be reserved for the universe. I was going to be open, and receive whatever messages came in and do any tasks that were put before me. I was a high school teacher at the time, and while I already set the intention every day to be open, compassionate, and wise for the students the universe put in my care, I took one day to be open in more of a random sense.

For example, on a Saturday morning I set the intention to be open to whatever the universe sent my way and sure enough my phone would ring - a friend was struggling with the death of his wife. The programme of his wife’s celebration of life was pasted inside my book, along with her message: My four days began to fill up with fun peoIf I could have changed anything in my ple, fun hobbies, and fun experiments. I life it would be that I enjoy the journey decided to blossom even further by adding rather than just the end result. The unia different component to my ‘four days off ’. verse called me on Saturday morning to let her husband have a safe place to talk, cry, 94

be angry, love, feel sorry for himself, and remember. On a Friday afternoon, the universe said, ‘Buy some pretty note cards and send friends and family in your address book a card.’ Off to the store I went and came back with boxes of cards. I wrote letters all afternoon telling these treasured people how much they mean to me, and then drove straight over to the post office and mailed them. Not even two weeks later, I came home every day to find a pretty note card in my mailbox with messages expressing how unexpected and delightful it was to get a real card with a real sentiment. I could see myself blooming into my real self, my sacred self. I had been living only

a fraction of my real self, my true passion, and my soul purpose. The more I grew, the more risks I took . . . complete a Master’s Degree, write a book, go to Scotland, quit teaching, and start my own business. When I look back on it now, I made a decision the day I found myself crying about my situation. I was going to model to my children what it looks like to rise up to a challenge, to accept loss and really feel it, and then start again. I wanted them to have an example of how to take risks, how to nurture themselves and others, and how to be thoroughly and wonderfully themselves. Feel free to email me your wonderful stories of risks and blooming. Cheers!

ABOUT MARGO MCKINNON Margot McKinnon, author of the book The Exquisiteness of Being Human: The Body, Mind, Spirit, Soul, Oneness Dominance Theory, is a writer, motivational speaker, and a coach, specializing in body, mind and spiritual wellness. Her provocative theory provides a fresh personality model that includes our spirit, soul and oneness as dimensions of self. It explains why we can sometimes feel there is potential bubbling beneath the surface but it is just eluding us. 95



about Soulwoman Sanctuary 97




n October 1st, 2013 I woke up with what I would name a Call from my Soul. Implanted in every cell of my body was an idea to start a project. Without knowing details of what would happen, I immediately went onto our global Social Network and created an event on Facebook titled “BE-Loved Body Project for Raising Awareness for Body Image.” I basically knew of only two components to this project: 1.) That I would be painting nude bodies and 2.) That they would be photographed.

dumb-founded at how I did not see myself that way when I looked at myself nude in the mirror. Deeply rooted pain rose quickly to the surface and I had one of the biggest breakdowns of my life. It was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Finally I was here in this place ready to feel all that pain that I had been carrying around for thirty-seven years. Finally I could live out the pain and feel it fully so I could start living in joy.

What surprised me the most were the memories and stories that surfaced which still had emotional attachments to them. Two months of the unravelling of this project has left me changed for life. I have Part of this was from my early twenties never liked my body and have had a classic when I had an abortion and also my miscarriage I had eight months after my son love/hate relationship with it. Even with all my spiritual growth and deep awaken- was born. Both two completely different events, but the emotions behind them caring since having my son five years ago I ried the same heavy load: guilt and shame. haven’t been happy in my body. I feel at times I just treated it like it was a stranger I blamed myself for both. Here arose an opportunity to face those heavy emotions and that I was living in someone else’s and give myself permission to fully grieve body. Ironically in my six year journey the death of my two babies. What came of self-discovery, I can look in the mirror next to me was the most profound awarenude without any problem, and I felt like ness that I have felt in years. I have always I had accepted my body - until I saw my felt that I lacked the perfect family because body painted and photographed. I was 99

my husband and I have not had another child, and what felt like a universal shift from lack to abundance happened in no time. I already had the perfect family; it’s just that two of my babies were spirits that I couldn’t necessarily hold and see but I could feel all around me. November 11th, 2013 I asked my husband if we could dig a grave in our back yard and have a small ceremony for my babies lost. Even though he didn’t know me when I had my abortion he agreed. I had a five year old talk with my son about his baby brother that he lost, as he was always asking why he doesn’t have a baby, and I told him that his daddy and I were going to honour his baby brother and asked if there was anything he wanted to say. With my help I wrote down his spoken words. That night we lit a fire and put a small box with some sentimental things in it for the miscarriage and I read a poem I wrote to the baby I aborted. We both cried and released the things that we needed to.

you were born and now you must forgive yourselves. Bury the memory of not being able to hold them, see them or touch them, and in the burying, honour the very fact that they are your children still watching over you as you walk your journey. They love you with all their hearts and they know you love them. “I should have asked to take you home that day, so I could have placed all your tiny pieces in a jar, and really had a good look at you, to know who you are. I was numbed by fear to even surrender to its feel, so I pretended that you weren’t, and changed the movie reel. I should have asked to take you home that day any way I could, and given you the proper burial like now I know I should. But I can’t even remember what day it was, only the month we were in. April something; I don’t even remember the year it was I committed the greatest sin.

Here’s what I know from this experience and the message I received from my angels. I should have asked to take you home Regardless of your past, shame is not that day so I could see what I did. That moral. It is poison that slowly is released. you were actually a human growing; you Everything that we endure is exactly what were my kid. But I didn’t know what I was we need to revolutionize our souls into our doing; I blocked it out so well. Only that fullest potential. To all women of all ages, this was delayed a few weeks and I was regardless of how your baby died, whether probably going to hell. you made the decision to terminate your pregnancy, no matter how far along you I should have asked to take you home were in your pregnancy, you have the right that day, and then I would have grieved. to know that your babies were loved and But instead I was high from the sedation, this was their mission, to be part of your laughing like it was a breeze. evolution. They forgave you the moment 100

If I could go back to that day and a have a conversation with you, I wouldn’t tell you that you’re making a mistake or what you should do. Instead I would hold your hand and put my other on your chest and tell you that this is truly for the best.

this part. And she loves you dearly with all her tiny parts.” With all my love, mommy. xoxox


Amy Walls has a passion for living If I could go back to that day while you consciously and she believes that we are all were asleep. I would talk to her and tell masters of living this way; awake and fully her that you’re sorry and that you couldn’t present in our experiences. Amy’s speak. background is quite diverse and she knows that all of this knowledge was only I would have a conversation with all her bestowed upon her path to help her return tiny parts and tell her that you don’t realize to living consciously so she could help it yet, but you love her with all your heart. others do the same. This includes Personal Training, Fitness and Nutrition, Fitness & If I could go back to that day and help you Yoga for Fertility, Pre and Postnatal ease the pain, of what you would experi- Fitness, BodyTalk, BreakThrough, ence from the loss and the gain. I would Intuitive Painting and Mediumship. She is show you your future son that you love so a Certified BodyTalk Practitioner, Certified much, but also the second child that you Medium and the creator of did not get to touch. TIH Art Therapy. I would show you these things to help you grieve and release the guilt; of death that you perceived to be strongly built. If I could go back to that day and share with you what I know. I would tell you her spirit chose this path that was bestowed. She wasn’t meant to go any further and you were meant to play 101

The spirit within you is a spark of fire. Go. Light the world. LEARN MORE

about Soulwoman Sanctuary






he lotus has become an iconic representation of all things yoga. Having practiced yoga for fifteen years, I admit to showing favoritism to this amazing flora both for its aesthetic beauty and incredible symbolism for growth, overcoming, and higher intellect. The lotus’ journey begins in the muddiest soils of a pond or riverbank, and over time, it works its way up through the mud, through the water to finally bloom on top of the water’s surface. Some believe the muddier, dirtier the water, the more beautiful the bloom. In yogic philosophy as well as other eastern philosophies and religions, the lotus represents the virtues of purity and nonattachment. In the Bhagavad Gita 5.10: “One who performs his duty without attachment, surrendering the results to the Supreme Lord, is unaffected by sinful

action, as the lotus is untouched by water.” As we evolve and change, we must endure the same fate as the lotus: struggle through the thick restriction of the mud, find our way through the murky waters to finally break free of the surface and live out our change in full sunlight for all to see. The seed of my lotus was planted on January 28, 2008, the night my husband of eight years casually announced he wanted a divorce. In the space of a heartbeat, my perfectly planned out future unraveled. I was almost 37 years old and while my soon-to-be ex got busy with a new girlfriend, I was curled up on the floor of my shower crying uncontrollably. It wasn’t long before the crazy talk in my head took over: I’m too old to start over. I’m too old to find love. Who will want me after I’ve been divorced again? 105

This negative loop of overwhelming doubt created a quiet desperation. I found myself begging and pleading with my ex to get back together. Then cursing and yelling. None of my drama or theatrics worked. Nothing changed his mind. He was done. As I finally emerged from the mud--the raw, gut-wrenching pain--I was determined to do things differently, and more importantly, to be different. Yet I was woefully unsure of the how. I knew the answers were somewhere in my yoga training, so I started with the physical--showing up on the mat for asanas. I cried in hip openers and every final relaxation. I grieved for all my losses: my marriage, life as I had known it, the loss of possibly never having children, and most especially for how lost I had become.

Again I took refuge in my yoga lessons. This time with kriya yoga (not the pretzel-posy, skinny-girl wearing black pants yoga). With kriya’s simple three-stage process of burning impurities, self-study and surrender to the Divine, I got to work.

I took a hiatus from dating. I got to know And slowly the cloud of illusion dissipated. me. Not the me from the past. Not the me who’d compromised, but me with all My heartbreak lessened. I began to grow my aches, pains, mistakes and successes. again, and when I did, I saw my starring role in our marriage. With this clarity fresh This major self-renovation allowed me to embrace all the different parts of me—even on my mind, I traveled back through the the ones I had previously wanted to forget last decade of my life, seriously analyzing my decisions, searching for patterns, and I or hide from, like being divorced again. found the common denominator. Me. The work I did was worth every tear, every When I looked at who I was, how I moment of rage and sadness. Learning changed to be with him and others, I was disappointed at how easily I had bent to fit to surrender was difficult--and is always someone else’s wants and needs. Because I a work in progress-- but I stuck with my didn’t love and respect myself, no one else practices, and as a result, I finally broke was going to either. And I needed to learn free of the water’s surface enjoying an amazing life—one I express gratitude for to do both if I wanted to be happy in my every day. own skin. 106

Once I un-hooked from my old patterns and discovered a new way of being, I saw my dreams unfold. Because of the work I finally chose to do on myself, I blossomed into the strong, confident woman I always wanted to be. I stopped daydreaming about the future, and got busy living in the present. Then boom! My forever hubby showed up. Together, we taught each other about mature love, and created a space to bring another soul into this world. In October 2011, right after I turned 40, my son was born. Since I had waited so long to have a child, I wanted to stay home with him, and by fully embracing my love of teaching and writing, I enjoy a career that allows me to witness all of my son’s firsts. I came to understand that yoga is the original coaching/self-help system. Its

philosophy and lessons showed me how I too could grow and blossom like the lotus flower by embracing even my muddiest qualities, to keep moving forward even when the path is murky, and to enjoy the skin on my face as the sun shines down.

ABOUT SHANNON D. CALDWELL Shannon D. Caldwell wants to live in a world where freedom is not only a human right but a state of being, and yoga is better known for its healing wisdom rather than its pretzel poses. As a new author, veteran yogi, and longtime mentor working with women in transition, she’s been spotlighted at the Texas Yoga Conference, in ON Magazine, Suitcase Entrepreneur, ShareYoga, and Sage Women Series. When she’s not training fabulous new yoga instructors at Purple Lotus Yoga, or clicking away on her laptop for her next book or blog post, you can find her chasing her adorable, toddler son and dreaming of life on the beach. Her recently released book Un-Hooked: Freedom After Divorce hit the shelves in October 2013. Discover how you can obtain personal freedom in your life here.


If the sight of blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has the power to move you, if the simplest things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive. ~ Eleanore Duse 108



Relationships and Family






I hate to say this to you, Tara,” said the ever come across. She is always booked young but wise woman’s voice over the up weeks in advance, helping her clients repair their lives, empowering them each phone. step of the way. I had learned a ton from her over the years. I trusted her implicitly. She had experienced the worst and the best times of my “Well, I really hate to say this, but it’s life with me. like you’ve regressed back to that point “Do you remember when you came to see again. After all of the work you’ve done on yourself, the huge life changes, leavme that first time, about six years ago?” ing unhealthy relationships, starting over again and again....But now, you’ve gone “Yes....” I answered slowly. How could I forget? That was one of the darkest periods backwards. Your energy has dropped again. I’m sorry.” of my life - and I’ve had a few of them. She continued as if she could read my mind. “You were so incredibly broken. So sad. I remember wondering to myself when you walked in, ‘Oh boy. How am I ever going to help this girl?’” It was like it was yesterday. The woman who spoke to me with great wisdom and clarity, but also with a no-holds-barred kind of delivery, was one of the best healers and energy workers - and friends - I’ve

She really did sound sorry. I knew she was telling the truth. Then this woman gave me the most shocking news - the truth - that I was about to hear for quite some time. “The man you’re about to marry? In two months’ time? I’m not so certain he’s for you. I’m not saying he’s a bad person, but I only see and hear darkness when you talk about your life together. I just don’t know if it’s meant to be. I don’t know how it’s 113

going to work.”

The next few days were a whirlwind, and my life, and world, completely crumbled I was dead silent. What was she talkaround me. Again, a brief but lethal fight ing about?!! My dress was on its way! My about the same issues, too much yelling, dream wedding was almost fully planned, screaming, and name-calling, which of and it was going to be the best wedding course, made it all even worse. Extreme anyone ever saw! I couldn’t believe my ears. anger flared on both our sides, and like But I knew she was right. a fire that gets out of hand and suddenly out of control, the final destruction ended Deep deep down, if I really listened to my everything between us swiftly, just as Soul, I already knew what she was tellquickly as it started. ing me. He and I were fighting constantly lately, when it should have been like a hon- The wedding was off. eymoon period. The growing distance and silence between us, at other times, He disappeared completely out of my life was unbearably painful. I had been using for a few months without a single word of more wine lately to avoid feeling the grow- communication so I could move out and ing sense of panic and sadness. Silence start a new life without him. First, I had replaced laughter; I knew it wasn’t good. to sell the wedding things we had invested Anger had turned into hopelessness due to in and carefully created or picked out not feeling heard. I knew something wasn’t together during giddy moments of pure joy right but we had both told ourselves that and bliss. getting married was just the right thing to do; we had been living together for years, ...Or so I thought. and known each other for more than half our lives! Perhaps we were just fooling ourselves. It was just time to take the next step together.....Wasn’t it? We had problems and issues that we weren’t dealing with, and hadn’t been for quite some time. We didn’t even bother talking about them anymore - it would only lead to arguing. We had fought about the same issues over the years but not once did we come up with any solutions. Resentment was growing in each of us, like a repressed silent deadly cancer. 114

I probably was in shock, and felt paralyzed for the first week or two. I moved in slow motion. Empty moving boxes laid around the house for weeks. Wedding decorations, ribbons, and vases filled with orchids and crystal gems were strewn all over the floor until my sisters had to finally come in and help me pack up my things. Fortunately, I had time and space to myself to just sit with my feelings, and try to adjust to the

sudden change in my Life’s plans. I made sure I went for a long, long walk every day in the beautiful warm sunshine. And I wrote.

the past three years. But it was what had to happen. We were not meant for each other to live as husband and wife. Yet another Life Lesson, and this one hurt - Big time.

Six weeks later, I had help moving into a new place, and eventually the rest of my things were put into storage. It would be three months before he would be able to talk to me, so traumatized were we both by our sudden change in opposite directions. There was a lot sadness and anger and confusion, and both of us went separately into counselling for a short while. We were grieving the loss of a dream, a future, new home, and possibly a family together. It was definitely one of the most challenging times in my life.

I’ve always known my Life Lessons would be to learn and grow through ‘tester’ relationships. I believe that most of us do grow the most through our relationships. It has often felt like I was destined to go through every kind of painful experience you can imagine where relationships were concerned. Not just romantic relationships, but discussing them all would fill a book!

I felt totally deserted by him, a man who had been my best friend, my world, for

They say that sometimes Love happens when you’re not looking. I’d like to believe that, and in Love at first sight. I have been in long-term relationships ever since I can remember, at least starting at the age of 14. I just wasn’t choosing the right partners for me. They weren’t necessarily bad....just bad for me. I was told time and time again that I was settling for partners who didn’t really appreciate me. Then they would get a shock once my anger finally exploded after I had had enough. I had never really been alone. And I centred my world around the man in my life, often putting my dreams and goals on the back 115

burner. The thing is, I was becoming less and less happy with myself, and less confident in myself. I was losing myself in their world. I knew I was meant to be a better me than what I was currently living.

my life again after my engagement fell apart, and like a hurricane, he rushed in during some surprise visits, stirred and shook things up in my world, then disappeared just as quickly.

Or, if you believe in the Law of Attraction, that your thoughts create your reality, you will know that if you have deep subconscious limiting beliefs about men (or women) such as thinking that they are all untrustworthy, abusive, will cheat or leave, or not able to appreciate the woman they have in front of them - that is what you will attract, time and time again.

I had only been single for a few months, and I knew I needed some time to heal. It was definitely intense, moved extremely fast, and was short-lived, as a hurricane often is. But as quickly as the fire started up in my life again, the same problems we had the first time around five years ago started surfacing again: Not calling when he said he would, and the nights of being out with the boys at the bar became a regular pattern. He told me he couldn’t call or text me during the days before 9 pm because he was too busy. My anger and intolerance from both the past and current situation gave way to a few very heated discussions over the phone, leaving him

I just wasn’t getting it. It’s such a gift when a person can be authentic, even if others around you don’t like or “get” you. Your tribe, or your true genuine friends will stick by, and those who aren’t, will fall away. It is a blessing when certain people leave your life, and a blessing when some come into your life, no matter how long that may be. They are the ones who touch your heart and are the ones worth fighting for if you feel happy, loved, and accepted around them. Recently, I met up with an ex boyfriend from years ago. We decided to give it another try though our first relationship failed miserably and horribly. Naturally I was hesitant. However, he re-introduced a different kind of fire in my life: a passion for love and life! He had barged into 116

to say, “I don’t want any drama! You don’t trust me!” It didn’t help that we lived hours and hours apart; long distance relationships take a great deal of commitment, which I don’t believe we had. Both of these men I have mentioned are not bad men. In fact, I only date men who I feel have big hearts and kind souls. They are beautiful souls in many ways, and I see their gentle sides when they are happy, peaceful, and calm. But of course, I see everyone’s potential (often except my own...) - that’s what makes me an empath and a healer. It just gets me in trouble as I may fall in love with a person’s potential, and not reality.

what he says.” “When he says he’s changed...tell him, ‘Prove it!’” she said. She was so wise, had such clarity. My emotions and faulty outdated beliefs had me doubting my gut feelings with him in some cases, including when we’d go out together. I shared some of our experiences with her, including the feelings I would push down in order to avoid starting a fight with him. It felt good to hear her validate my feelings, instead of feeling crazy and doubting my own instincts, and eyes and ears! She continued:

“When a man truly loves you, is really into That’s where my wise friend’s years of skill you, he will do EVERYTHING to make it and experience in dealing with relationwork. EVERYTHING. He will not get super ships, coaching men and women from defensive and avoid taking responsibility around the world, has helped me grow for hurting you. Instead of him saying (or immensely. telling his friends), ‘Wow, what’s HER problem?’, he would say, ‘Wow. I caused some of So that’s how I found myself on the other that pain because of my behavior. How can end of the phone again, talking to her about I help? What can I do? How can I help her some of the challenges I had been havbuild her trust back up in me?’” ing with my ex boyfriend entering my life again. She knew of him very well as was I was starting to see the picture.... one of the key people in my life to help This wasn’t going to work with him. Not me get through the break up with him five now, not ever. Unless of course a mirayears back. cle took place and there were some major changes in our behavior. “Do you think he has changed?” I asked her, afraid to hear her answer. We all have “stuff ” we are working on, or should be working on. That’s what Life is! “No, I don’t. Look at his behavior patterns. Growing, and changing, and being the best Not at his words. Where is he when he’s we can be. There is no perfect person or not with you? Look at what he is doing, not perfect relationship. 117

But if you are constantly being ‘triggered’ by the other person to a point where he or she is bringing out the worst in you, not the best, and you’re tearing each other down instead of showing patience, love, trust, and kindness - then it’s time to take a break from each other. Ask yourself if this person is really good for you, and be honest. My friend then shared with me a beautiful example of a new healthy relationship she was involved in. She was just thrilled and I could hear it in her voice! I was so happy for her! “Take my new partner, for example. Not once has he faltered. He calls when he says he’ll call. Even if he’s a few minutes late, he’ll apologize profusely. He’ll text me when he gets up and says ‘Just so you know that as soon as my eyes are open and I’m awake, that my first thoughts are of you.’ Then he calls because he remembers my morning routine. He’ll also text throughout the day; not two hours will go by without me hearing something. There are the kind of men out there who will make the effort if he feels that into you. There are no excuses when it comes to love.” Now, I’m not saying that EVERY relationship has to be like that for it to be perfect for those involved, but what she described sounded like exactly what I wanted. None of what she described required a lot of money or time either...just effort, love, and respect. 118

She went on: “I have issues, believe me! But he will do EVERYTHING to help me work through them, and to not trigger them. For example, I wasn’t happy with something that happened, regarding other women. I told him over the phone, ‘I don’t think I’m ok with this!’ However, he then said HE’D TAKE CARE OF IT WHEN HE GOT HOME. And he did.” Not only that - She told me he recognizes her walls (defenses), and told her “I will spend the rest of my life working on helping you overcome that, knocking down those walls.” I was shocked! I had never heard of such a thing! He sounded amazing! “He also tells me how he thinks, how he feels, and what he wants. There really are men like him out there!” He sounded so caring and respectful of her wishes and yes, issues, whether or not he thought they were irrational. Even a quick text saying, “Call you later. Thinking of you” would have made me happy, and it didn’t even have to be every single day! Just something. Anything, to feel appreciated, and like a priority. I didn’t want to feel like I got anyone’s “leftover” time and energy anymore. Do you see the difference? When it’s REAL love, you feel it. Her advice to me was simple:

“We all must prove to each other, not give constant tests to the other to make them prove it. That’s a huge differdiffer ence! We prove to the other how much we love and care, not accept tests from the other.” I’ve learned that EVERYONE has issues. It’s up to us what we will and won’t accept.

“Sit down and really, really think about what it is you want in a partner. For example, I wanted to meet a man who treats me like a queen, and of course, there must be chemistry,” my friend confided. “Next, don’t stray from those set of rules you just made! If he doesn’t feel right to you, or doesn’t meet them, back away. If it’s not going anywhere, and if you’re not being treated how you would like - Back away! Even if you really want it to work, you must stick to your rules and watch a person’s behavior, not just listen to their words. Some people can be very charismatic and persuasive.” Trust and communication are absolutely essential. I had to really think about my friend’s next words:

She then left me with final reminder to know my own power - my Divine Feminine power - and to recognize my own potential. “Men will come into your life. Some will want to stay. But even if you really want it to work, you need to recognize when it’s not right for you, and back away when you know it.” When one person in our lives leaves either through divorce, death, or separation, I believe we can grow stronger, more compassionate and wiser, if we work through the feelings related to that loss in our lives. Our awareness expands, our tolerance for others’ differences grows and we learn to respect other’s different journeys. Instead of anger, we can feel humble and grateful for the time shared together, realizing that the Universe has a grander plan for us. Usually, that plan means connecting more with the Divine and our Souls - and often, with others we can somehow serve through our experiences. 119

Another lesson I had been taught by another healer is that there really is no “loss” or failure when it comes to love. All of our relationships are lessons. Even if the love only lasted twenty days, or twenty years; where ever there is, or was, Love, there is no loss, only gain.

Your energy is STRONG! Keep doing whatever you’re doing!” That, after only being told four months prior that I had regressed to the time when I was at my absolute rockbottom, about five or six years ago.

I couldn’t be more happier and proud of myself! I had spent quite a bit of time with When people from the past come back into healers over the past few months to help me sort a few things out and get back on our lives, I believe it is the Universe’s way of saying, “Are you sure you want them out track again - back on MY path. of your life?” If you have your set of ‘rules’, values, or guidelines that you must have in From this day forward, I am working on being the best ME I can be. I am honoring your next partner and relationship, does the person coming back into your life have and nurturing the best True Love affair I’ve ever had - the one I have with my Self. those core qualities? Be very honest with It has already grown, already blossomed, yourself. and will only get stronger and more beautiful than ever. This is one commitment in Life and Love, to me, really is all about my Life that I know I will keep sacred forFREEDOM; the freedom to be our true ever. <3 selves, with our quirks and all our imperfections, and allowing others to be free, Listen to “Break the Shell” song by India Arie too. Hopefully we all can find that balance between freedom and acceptance, and the compromise and commitment it takes for two to have a healthy respectful relationship. Tara, an empath, is a passionate &


inspirational writer - with an edge! She My wise friend on the phone then said holds a Bachelor’s Degree (Honors) in something to me that was beautiful to my Psychology, and is a Certified Coach ears, and such a relief, considering my Practitioner. She currently resides in intense emotions over the past few months: Calgary, Canada. “I know your energy is sometimes all over One of her many passions includes the place. You’re up, then down, and you meeting and interviewing inspirational get caught up in that head of yours until people and sharing their stories through your thoughts are just going in circles. her writing. Visit her at her new website However....once you get past that part, I where you will find many of her do see and hear that you finally see your published articles from strengths and you pick yourself back up. 120

Soulwoman eMagazine, and more. Tara has interviewed hundreds of people for various magazines and newspapers, including survivors of natural disasters for a series of television documentaries, “Disasters of the Century”, which is still running on The Discovery Channel. Her goal is to inspire others and collect as many perspectives as she can. She’d love to hear from you! Contact Tara on her website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. 121


A new year is unfolding - like a blossom with petals curled tightly concealing the beauty within. Life has loveliness to give, all beautiful and splendid things. ~ Sara Teasdale 123


Business, Career, and Community


LET GO AND GROW! by Nifassa Shireen





LET GO AND GROW! by Nafissa Shireen


s 2013 comes to a close and you start to plan for 2014, what is coming to your mind? Are you envisioning a prosperous year ahead? Are there new professional goals you have for yourself, new barriers you hope to break in both accomplishments and income? I certainly hope so! I truly believe that if you aren’t moving forward, you are moving backwards. One of the mistakes I see many business owners, and executive leaders make, is they set new goals, dream of new accomplishments, while still holding on to their current success factors. It makes total sense; whether it’s a client, a project, a business process, a product or service offering - it could be anything - they have an attachment. It’s their “baby”, and in many ways, it’s also a place of comfort. They know it works, they know they are admired for it, and it’s a “sure bet”. Who would want to give that up?

The thing is, without taking something off their plate, they aren’t making the space for that next leap. When they fall short of those new goals, or find opportunities passed on to other people while they are doing the “same old same old”, they are left scratching their heads in frustration and wondering “Why? I worked so hard?” Can you relate to that feeling? I know I sure can. As human beings, while our ability to grow and expand is infinite, our capacity on what we can take on all at once is limited! By not clearing a space to allow room for new opportunities, we are telling the universe, and those we interact with daily, that we are comfortable in our current state, and that we aren’t ready to commit to that next level of success. If you want to stay exactly where you are, keeping doing exactly what you are doing! If you want to stretch and grow – you need to let go! It’s also the season of giving! 129

What better way to “let go” than to give someone else the opportunity to step up into what it is that made you successful? Give them a turn to blossom into their full potential, to show you they can do it, relieve your load, and give you the space to grow!

to abundant and full of opportunity! This opportunity is available to you as well. It is fully in your control, and I would encourage you to try it! You don’t need anyone else’s permission to be a champion for another.

THESE ARE JUST A FEW OF This truly can be one of the scariest things THE BENEFITS: you can do as a business leader; however, • You create an amazing bond and loyalty it can also be one of the most rewarding. between yourself and your teammate(s) When I think back to what I am most proud • You learn the true satisfaction of serviceof in my career, it isn’t any hard and fast based leadership business result: it’s the women I mentored. • You open the space for you to stretch and It wasn’t always easy. I needed to be pregrow in ways you never imagined pared to let them make decisions, to allow them the space to make mistakes (sometimes BIG ones), to let them get recognition for what used to be my “trademark”, and to find opportunities for them to be visible while I stayed in the background. Believe me, in this process my “stuff ” came up! It was scary, and I worried like anyone else about my own advancement, or if I would become redundant. However those fears were unfounded. Instead of my fears coming true, it was such an amazing opportunity in personal growth. •You reduce costly turnover • You model for and exemplify true leadWatching them step up to challenges and ership, and the one who receives it, will no opportunities, learn to exercise judgment, doubt pay it forward to be free to make their own mistakes in a • If you have helped another person to be learning environment, and become fully able to fill your shoes, your superiors will engaged leaders in their own right was truly be more likely to give you promotions since a privilege and an honor. Some of them I the problem of “Who will do your job?” is even mentored to replace me. filled! • If you are a business owner, you show that It wasn’t until I mastered the art of “letyou have the capacity to serve your clients ting go” that my career went from neutral, even better and to take on more work and 130

still maintain the quality of service.

When you truly and deeply care about those you serve through leadership, an amazing Since this is also the season of giving, as you thing happens: you end up receiving exactly lay your goals for 2014 to paper, before you what it is you desire. even start to think about what it is you want to accomplish, I would like to challenge you So go ahead, set your goals for 2014. Be as to put fear and ego aside and really step up audacious and big as you want to be! You are amazing, and I truly believe you have into a space of abundance with a focus on the ability to accomplish all you dream of. “other”. Ask yourself who on your team In doing so, I truly hope you say “YES” to you can help step up to their greatness? Who will you mentor? What will you teach yourself, and your growth, by giving the gift of opportunity to another! them? What you will let go of? To whom will you give the gift of an opportunity? Have a wonderful, prosperous and safe Holiday Season! By making another’s success a part of your goals for the upcoming year, you will have shown true leadership. You will have set the path to make a meaningful and lasting difference in someone else’s life, while also As Business & Executive Coach, Nafissa improving your own. By being willing to helps business owners, executives and high let go, you now have the space and time to set new audacious and meaningful goals for potential leaders remove roadblocks to success and to achieve the professional impact, yourself. (And remember, expanding your leadership capacity is in itself an audacious income and lifestyle they desire. goal!). Serving in various Senior and Executive Leadership roles, she has worked alongside the C-Suite and Boards of Directors with responsibility for financial management, organization design, community relations, human resources, and compensation design on projects with values ranging from 20 to 100 Million Dollars, and staffing requirements in excess of 100 people. She now uses that experience to help others master the business and leadership strategies to take their careers and business to the next level.


Learn more about her steps to success. 131


When you open your eyes upon the morning meadows and look out upon the beautiful world, be thankful you are alive. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson LEARN MORE

about Soulwoman Sanctuary 133




“MAUREEN” by Chris Blevins




ROSES by Swami


Soulful Art and Poetry


WHO I’M MEANT TO BE by Renee Avard


AMARANTA by Kim Wheeler


ASK ARIAA by Ariaa Jaeger 135


SAY YESByTO FLOWERS Mia Rose Forest’, ‘The First Desire of the Reclining Virgin’, ‘My Gown Is No Longer All White Because in Tearing It the Son of Heaven Left a Little Rosy Stain’, or my favorite, this one: ‘I Possessed My Lover in the Garden’ . ne of the most beautiful languages



in the world is the language of flowers. My love affair with flowers started even before the concept of beauty took hold in my mind. One of my treasured childhood memories is the pure white fragrance of the frangipani that grew in the garden of my family home. From smell it was just a short leap to sight, and marveling at the elegant and dreamy flowers in the neighborhood gardens. The Chinese have always maintained a holy love of flowers. The Chinese name for peony is ‘sho yu’ which means most beautiful. And so it is that certain peonies are named by the Chinese according to their form or color: ‘The Young Girl Who

As gorgeous as they are, flowers are not quite the useless beauties that they’re often perceived to be. Flowers possess the precise molecular key to unlock the mechanism in the brain governing pleasure. The language of flowers conveys a myriad of messages: love of course, but also celebration and sympathy. The fragrant rose intoxicates, raises one’s spirits, and summons memories. Lilies convey purity of heart, and the simple daisy speaks of innocence.

In Elizabethan times in England, the language of flowers was utilized to encode highly personal messages to prospective loved ones, and in Victorian times, it was Offers Her Breasts’, ‘The Water That Sleeps a well-established code. The Victorians Beneath the Moon’, ‘The Sunlight in the made an art of expressing their 137

desires with flowers. Victorian women, for example, carried small bouquets, called tussie-mussies, with hidden messages expressed by types of flowers. Strands of ivy signified fidelity and friendship, gardenias conveyed a secret love, and forsythia meant anticipation.

FLOWER THERAPY Flowers are a powerful positive emotion inducer with universal appeal. Everybody loves to receive a bunch or a bouquet, but even the act of buying flowers as a gift provides an emotional boost for the one making the purchase. Different studies have found that flowers have a long-term positive effect on mood and emotional wellbeing. In essence, they increase happiness and lead to positive social interactions. Basically, what it comes down to is this: when surrounded by 138

flowers, you simply FEEL happier. Not only did women report feeling less depressed, anxious and agitated after receiving flowers, they reported enjoying more positive moods three days later. Participants of a behavioral study conducted by researchers at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital confirmed that people feel happier and more energetic after looking at a small bouquet of flowers in the kitchen first thing in the morning. This study confirmed that flowers impact people emotionally, causing them to feel less anxious and more compassionate. Participants even reported a boost of energy that lasted through their day. Given that the kitchen is the place where families tend to gather in the morning, imagine how big a difference a better morning mood can make for EVERYONE in the family. HERE ARE A FEW TIPS TO MAKE THE MOST OF FLOWERS IN YOUR HOME:

• Be creative. Cut flower stems short and place flowers in everyday kitchen containers such as teacups, salt and peppershakers, eggcups, decorative urns, tattered clay pieces, or even champagne flutes. Place a narrow vase of flowers inside a wider, but equally tall, vase. Fill the larger vase with lemons or limes to surround the smaller vase for a fresh look. It’s all about showcasing your personal style. • When arranging flowers, include flowers with various shapes and stem lengths. Add large, heavy flowers first. Turn the

arrangement as you work to ensure even placement on all sides, and fill in with smaller, airier blooms. Save a few of the larger stems with leaves on them to fill in around the flowers, but leave enough space between the stems so individual flowers have room to shine. Drape some of the greenery over the container’s rim. • Go bold for vast, open spaces. Celebrate big, billowing flowers with an exuberant large-scale arrangement. An abundance of lilies, gladiolus, hydrangea or any large blooms look spectacular in an expansive entryway or lounge area. Arrange the flowers in a fat jug or water pitcher for a burst of cheer, and wind clematis through the blooms to emphasize a cottage-garden feeling. • Use a massive gathering of a single type of flower for a big impact. Dainty alstroemeria, or lovely carnations, make much more of an impression when grouped by the dozen. • Select surprising color combinations such as rich shades of red and purple to make a bold statement. Soothing colors, like blues and greens, create a tranquil feeling, whilst bright reds and oranges add a more energetic touch. Citruscolored flowers convey a sunny feeling, peaches and creams are nurturing, and pinks and lavenders romantic. Create a study in color by experimenting with one of 139

the hottest flower trends — monobotanic (arrangements of all one type of flower) and monochromatic (using all one color palette, such as a range of pinks) to create a simple, pleasing effect. For example, clematis in purple tones look unified yet diverse. • Create an interesting bouquet by combing unexpected elements. An assemblage of begonia leaves snipped from houseplants rewards the viewer with varied colors and patterns. Play with texture by adding airy sprigs and fern clippings to a dense mound of flowers. Late-summer dahlias, for example, would undoubtedly be lovely enough on their own, but adding contrasting elements such as the billowy panicles of tiny baby’s breath, make the vibrant colors even more striking. 140

• For a contemporary look, group several vases together holding just one or two stems. Line three bud vases or decorative bottles, low or tall, along the middle of your kitchen table. Roses look gorgeous when you snip off the stems and place them in glass votive candleholders, which are the perfect vessels for solitary blossoms. For a different effect, float two or three blooms, such as open roses or exuberant gerbera daisies, in a beautiful crystal bowl. • Inspire neatness by placing flowers where kitchen clutter typically congregates to prevent future messes from settling there.

ABOUT MIA ROSE Dr. Mia Rose is the founder of The Soulwoman Sanctuary and Soulwoman eMagazine. Mia is the prize-winning author of Awaken to Love and the Amazon bestseller Pebbles in the Pond - Wave Two, co-written with other spiritual leaders such as Neale Donald Walsh. Mia is a psychologist with over twenty years of experience in helping people find their life purpose and master the psiritual practice of health, wealth and happiness. She is a powerful voice in modern spirituality adn shares her inspirational message about the beauty of love with a global audience. Mia was born in South-Africa and migrated to Australia in 2001. She lives at the foot of the Great Barrier REef with her life partner, John.


Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful.


Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower and be thankful. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson




aureen is actively on a spiritual path. She also likes rocks a little bit. Well, a whole lot. So when I quieted my mind, and waited for the ideas and visual images to come for Maureen’s yOrb™ (your + Orb = yOrb™), the message received was that her yOrb needed to include a metallic element. When she received her finished yOrb, she shared with me, “This made me feel totally beautiful.” As the artist I was complimented of course, but what really filled my heart was being able to reflect Maureen’s soulful beauty back to her. It’s a divine honor.


ABOUT CHRIS BLEVINS Chris Blevins creates one-of-a-kind works of art. Her yOrbâ&#x201E;˘ watercolors (your + Orb = yOrb) are spirit-led creations that capture the essence of your soul and no two are alike. Chris is the featured artist for Goose Ridge Estates wine labels and gallery displays. She offers Pampered Painter Parties, commissioned pieces, pet portraits and more. To learn more about custom creation of your yOrb, visit



THE MAGIC OF BEAUTY by Manu Kaushal I live in India, in the North Indian State of Punjab, in the city of HOSHIARPUR. I am a lawyer by profession. Just like law, some things comes naturally to me like photography and cooking. Inspired by the John Keats’s poem “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”, I started to photograph the flowers grown by my mother in our home to conserve their beauty forever in the picture and to share with the my friends, but what has surprised me was the flow of words of poetry in my mind which was never my sphere. This is perhaps the magic of beauty. I will share with you a few lines:

“My flowers are like my beloved, who has come back home unexpectedly from war. I can’t hide my pleasure to see them, Blooming in the fall” - Manu Kaushal



“These are original photographs. My camera is poor but my love is very rich for the Rose.”

ABOUT SWAMI GYAN RANGEENI From OSHO MEDITATION RESORT, in Pune, India I am ordinary man. i am nature lover, i love animals, plant & wild life. I want to save Nature. I love Roses. I want to flow with nature. I am wooden furniture designer also. I love art. 149

AS SEEN IN NATURE by Renee Avard

Trees with roots and leaves are Natureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bonuses Trees are cyclical in nature and to be counted on Trees are able to provide stability. They exude resilience and a strength They offer a place to play in safety They always turn, keeping things in movement. As a garden will run smoothly and is effective As a garden gives back just as much will be given As a garden it offers true and clear directions. Even if the trees stopped it all today Even if they stopped providing the gifts Even after all of this, I would be thankful. If those gardens went out of existence If the leaves stopped their growth fell down If it just all gave out, all I would feel is gratitude. Because in this Life, at this moment, and in this place I am where I can learn and move ahead steady and slow And the trees and the gardens are my bonuses. Š Renee Avard 150

WHO I’M MEANT TO BE by Renee Avard

‘Too much’ on any level causes exhaustion And Life does not have to be a try-out Even the struggle becomes the norm. Get those labels cleaned off your shoulder No one can truly know one person And that is what makes us beautiful. Do not impart any limitations on yourself Those are the toughest ones to break Because at your heart, what is needed is known. I nearly fell and lost myself to the darkness If it weren’t for Life’s undying love for me I could not be the person I am today Which is who I’m meant to be.

ABOUT RENEE AVARD As an eclectic Spiritualist with focus on Earth-Based Spirituality, Renee Avard, the “Unique-tivity Guide” has many areas of unparalleled knowledge, and this business was created to be a customized Holistic and Spiritual endeavor assisting in bringing out the unique and creative side each person already has inside them. Forever learning, Renee is both a student and a Guide here to show all how to allow your Star inside to lighten Life outside through various modalities such as Crystal Therapy, Intuitive Readings and Counseling, Chakra and Aura work, Healing Touch and others. Renee imparts the wisdom needed for everyone to know and accept that we are ALL worth catching. Follow Renee and her endeavors at 151

AMARANTA by kim wheeler My flower that never fades You chased me through the spring You were my rays of sunshine meadows of my childhood In the warm bird song summer sun Through a thousand silent prayers With you I never had a day of So now as we get older, separation sorrow looms again As I look back at what we had done I just wanted to say to you that you have always been my friend I call you Amaranta But I think, no, I know, you’re so A flower that never fades much more than that You were my rays of happiness Through a thousand silent plays A hidden unused word, I think it’s just called love How many words are there to So thank you Amaranta express the way this feels My flower that never fades Even after separation from you You are my rays of sunshine I still cried alone in my dreams Through all my breathing days So sad I was unable to show you how I felt I will always love you Amaranta Guess it’s just the way life is Until my life force fades away The cards that we were dealt You are my Amaranta My flower that never fades. I call you Amaranta 152

proceeds from Rescue Dogs Rescue Man have been donated to charity. Kim is also a self-taught photographer, Kim Wheeler was born at University a writer of over one hundred published College Hospital, London in 1954 and was poems and prose, a dog trainer and dog promptly abandoned by his birth mother. rescuer. He has also learned to play the He was then taken into care by the local guitar. authority and moved south of the river to a children’s home in Lewisham where he Despite being battle-scarred, he steadfastly spent the next five years. He was eventually refuses to be beaten by any of the many was fostered and adopted at age six and trials and continues to face daily battles moved to Pinner. At the age of eleven, he with all of the physical pains without comwas sent away to attend a boarding school, plaint. Through the love and the walking where he left at the age of fifteen with few of his rescue dogs, attending the gym, and qualifications. writing, he has found contentment in his varied life that seemed almost unattainable Over the next thirty years he suffered from many years ago. several physical injuries, survived meningitis and, was disabled with an incurable spine injury, and ordered to cease all types of manual work. Mental health issues and a complete breakdown soon ensued. You can read all about his life in his soon-tobe-republished book ‘The Battle Scarred Journey’ and his free eBook ‘Rescue Dogs Rescue Man’ which can be seen on his web page All of the





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