Welcome to the second issue of UNTAPPED. The response to our test issue - Vol. 1 No. 0 was excellent. It seems that many people are interested about flow and ways to find it. But finding flow can be elusive. Sometimes it can be a challenge to truly find what we really want. For example, many people find a sense of relaxation and pleasure during a hot day at the beach. But for me, I find it difficult to keep myself cool and out of the sun’s rays. It’s sunsets that give me as sense of pure joy and wonder.
How nice to see a nine-yearold going with the flow! But it’s not just a golden sunset that can bring me a feeling of being in flow. Over the years, I have found that magic can be a wonderful way to find inspiration. As you will read in our profile of Baldini, there truly is a magic in finding flow. Back in July, we held our launch party at Rest Nest Float Studio in Toronto. It was an eclectic gathering of people. Artists, singers, visionaries, thought leaders, magicians and business people came together to both learn and share.
What is remarkable about life is that sometimes the most profound things are right under your nose. The photo that you see pictured was taken in Carlsbad, California this past summer. Carlsbad is just north of San Diego and our family is close with a family who live there. Their nine-year-old son, Tosh, is a talented artist. When we met up I told him about UNTAPPED and its purpose. Tosh then wrote to me what it meant to find flow.
Our incredible cover art was created by Andre Castro. Andre and I met up through Longboard Haven, a very wellknown skateshop here in Toronto. This cover pays tribute to David Milgaard. Why David Milgaard? One of the nonprofits I work with is called the Association In Defence of the Wrongfully Convicted (AIDWYC). Through their incredible efforts, they have help to free a number of innocent people. October 2nd is Wrongfully Conviction Day.
Every day when I draw I feel like I am in a different world. A world where it is just me and my imagination and a world with no rules. Whether I’m just sketching or drawing my best drawing yet, I will always be in that world while I am drawing. I learned that in order to draw well, you don’t need any fancy art tools like acrylic paints. All you need is a pencil and a piece of paper. I draw because it lets out my imagination.
So there you have it. Sunsets, magic and the power of art all wrapped up in one easy to read package. I sincerely hope that you have as much enjoyment and inspiration from UNTAPPED as I get from creating it for you. Yours in flow,
Michael Brooke Publisher
Untapped Magazine Published by: North Of La Jolla Inc. 1136 Center Street Suite 293 Thornhill, Ontario L4J 7X8 No part of this publication can be reproduced without first contacting us. The views and opinions expressed in Untapped are not necessarily those of the publisher but he hopes they inspire you. Have an Untapped idea, story or just want help spread the message? Let us know. 416-807-0805 email@example.com Want Untapped in your town? That can happen. Call us. Publisher/Editor: Michael Brooke Layout: David Darko For a free digital copy of this magazine, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
WHY “PAY IT FORWARD”AS THE PRICE? However you wound up reading this magazine, we welcome you. UNTAPPED is priced as pay it forward because we want you to be inspired to pay it forward. Tap into what’s out there and see where it takes you. If any of these stories, images or ideas inspire you, take the time to then inspire others.
or those of you unfamiliar with our Soul Tools section, we like to highlight products and services that are not only unique, but give back to society in special ways. The Go Sun solar cooker fits both these categories beautifully. So what exactly is a Go Sun stove? The cooking device was developed by Patrick Sherwin, an Ohio native and solar panel specialist. One day Patrick was removing a solar mounted hot water system and he thought it might be fun to test whether the panel could heat up his lunch. The hunch proved correct and he quickly set
to work developing the cooker. The Go Sun uses a solar vacuum tube and heats up to over 550°F very quickly. It can cook a meal in just 20 minutes What is interesting about Go Sun is the impact that this product can have beyond bar-b-ques. According to the UN the use of open fires and traditional cook stoves and fuels is one of the world’s most pressing health and environmental problems. Globally, three billion people rely on solid fuels to cook, causing serious environmental and health impacts that disproportionally affect women and children. According to the World Health Organization, household air pollution from cooking kills over 2 million people every year and sickens millions more. This is something that we rarely think about in our day to day lives. There are now Go Suns in Guatemala and Africa. The company has partnered with the UN Foundation’s Global Alliance For Clean Cookstoves to redesign a model for developing markets and are close to launching out social enterprise. I was so impressed with the premise of the Go Sun that I actu-
ally ordered one of the devices. It is well made and definitely feels and looks futuristic. I am pleased to write that not only does it cook very well, it gets a lot of attention from people wondering where the delicious smells are coming from. The Go Sun is portable and cleans up very easily. Of course, you need sun, so the best time to cook is in the summer from around 10am to 4pm. When you think about the hassle of charcoal, there is no doubt that this is fantastic alternative.
eoform burst onto the world scene from Australia last year as the conscious solution to deforestation and plastic pollution. It is an industrialstrength building material made of only cellulose and water, with zero petrochemicals or toxins. My initiation to Zeoform came when I met its self-proclaimed “evangelist” Jonathan Davis at our Untapped launch party back in July. He showed me a super-strong handmade bracelet, with the revelation: “This is made from hemp and it’s stronger than wood!” I was surprised at first, and as he
explained, this deepened to wonder. Zeoform is a breakthrough technology reverse-engineering the molecular bond trees use to make wood. It is a 100% natural, carbon-negative, universal material for building almost everything we use plastic or wood for today. With open-source “creative commons” patents and cooperative ownership principles, the founders of Zeoform see it as a new natural resource they are stewarding to share with the world. Zeoform can make a stronger
wood in any shape and any density using any cellulose fiber, like hemp, bamboo, cotton, flax...you name it. It can also use waste agricultural biomass, or up-cycle waste paper not even fit for recycling into toilet paper. Jonathan touts Zeoform as a structural powerhouse akin to “organic carbon fiber”, and heralds its limitless applications. The founding company licenses the technology to manufacturers worldwide, and invites all individuals everywhere to join its newly-launched (and free)
open cooperative. The vision is to replace all plastic and other toxic or unsustainable materials, while epitomizing and empowering the new sharing economy. Zeoform pledges to re-invest all profits into environmental cleanup projects through its charitable foundation, and stimulate ongoing innovation by open-sourcing its process for free non-commercial use by individuals and community groups.
In what is continuing to be a series of small but significant coincidences, Rachel and I wound up giving presentations at a fund-raising event in late May. I happened to mention this to someone I knew and it turned out this person had at one time worked with Rachel’s father. This is how we got the ball rolling for an interview and how Rachel wound up in this issue.
ids Right to Know is educating people about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in our food. What is unusual is that this non-profit is headed up by a 16 year-old named Rachel Parent. In 2013, at the age of 14, she found herself taking on former Dragon’s Den honcho Kevin O’Leary on the Lang & O’Leary Exchange. With over 5 million views, the interview is truly jaw-dropping. It serves as a great reminder that courage combined with knowledge is a powerful force. Rachel runs circles around Kevin. I was completely amazed.
Your school project on GMO’s at age 12 was the spark that lit the fuse on your journey. Who were some of the people that helped fuel your passions at such a young age? And what things did they impress upon you? From a young age my parents taught me to have compassion for nature and people alike. Also, because I attended a very small elementary school (6 kids) in the country from grades one through five, I was always embedded in nature, appreciating and loving it for all that it had to offer. In grade 6, I moved to another small school, but this one had about 100 kids. I was shocked to realize that many of them didn’t have the same respect for nature or animals. Also I noticed that what
they ate for lunch wasn’t very healthy. Sadly, many of them didn’t realize the importance of food for their health, or even where it came from! So when I was given the opportunity to do a speech for school I jumped on the idea of doing something that might have an impact on them. That’s when I really realized how big a role food plays in our everyday lives, from farm to fork! So I’d say my peers played a big role in fueling my passions. How do you balance your school/ friends etc. with Kids Right to Know? Although Kids Right to Know takes a lot of time and can be quite demanding, it’s important to take time for yourself. I try to take care of myself and leave time for fun, reflection and friends. The work I do is truly my passion and I gain the most happiness from knowing that I am hopefully helping others out there. If and when things get overwhelming for you, what do you do to find your flow again? When things get overwhelming,
I just realize that I have to take it one step at a time. I may not be able to accomplish everything I want to, but it’s not all on my shoulders. It’s about the movement and what we can achieve collectively. I know that I’m just doing my part and will try to do my best no matter what. Who are some of the critical people that have impacted your life thus far? My parents for sure have been incredible for me. They support as much as they can - all my initiatives and efforts. Also my grandma had a huge impact. Although she is no longer with us, the mark she left has changed my life. Ironically enough, she spoke out against GMOs in the mid ‘90s. I didn’t find this out until after I had chosen the topic of GMOs for my school speech. I’m passionate about carrying on her legacy. She taught me the importance of standing up for truth and for what’s right. I wouldn’t be who I am today without her. Other inspiring mentors that have impacted my life and support our work, have been Dr. Vandana Shiva and Dr. Jane Goodall.
In your incredible interview with Kevin O’Leary and Amanda Lang you gracefully handled all those difficult questions. You remained so calm under fire. Where does that come from? Going into the interview, I felt prepared. I knew the propaganda that the biotechs, like Monsanto, always used, and how to respond to it. I figured Kevin would basically use all the same stuff, which he did. I felt it was important to remain calm, and stick to my message. Name calling or lashing out wouldn’t help. In fact, it could only make the situation worse! So with that in mind I went in there knowing that I would try my best, and whatever happened, happened. I thought it was best to take the high road and ignore his comments about being a lobbyist and a shill, both of which couldn’t be further from the truth. What do you say to kids who say “I’m too busy to try and change things” or “I don’t care to change things and I’m cool with the status quo”? I tell them that our planet provides us with the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. It provides us with life, and as citizens of this planet we all need to take responsibility to care for it and to protect it. I tell them that they should be aware of the many issues that we face in our world today, such as climate change, ocean acidification, destruction of the Amazon, water depletion, endangered species, poverty, human rights violations and even bullying, to name a few. I ask them to find their passion, learn more about their chosen topic, and then do something about it. Even if they are busy and don’t have time to start a club or join protests, small actions such as signing a petition, sharing their information with friends and family, writing a letter to their MP, or even writing a blog can have an impact. I ask them
to imagine how wonderful the world would be if every single person found their passion and took action to make the world a better place. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Possibly an environmental lawyer, or a journalist. Both would give me an opportunity to spread the truth and create awareness about serious issues.
What is the one key message you’d like to spread? Many independent scientific studies have questioned the safety of Genetically Modified Organisms for our health and the environment. The World Health Organization has recently come out and said that Glyphosate, a herbicide heavily used in the production of GMO crops, probably causes cancer. Despite these concerns, 70% of the food on our
supermarket shelves contains GMO ingredients including Corn, Soy, Canola, Vegetable Oil, and Sugar Beet, but no one knows because they are not labeled. I believe we all have the right to know what’s in our food and the right to choose whether or not we want to eat GMOs.
I had the pleasure of first seeing Andreâ€™s incredibly complex and visually stunning artwork at Longboard Haven a few years ago. When I spoke to Andre about UNTAPPED, he immediately understood its concept and got to work. We are extremely grateful for his dedication in creating our first cover. I know you are originally from Mexico. What was that experience was like? Growing up in Mexico I was continuously exposed to arts and culture. From Huichol art to Indigenous crafts surrounding the city, color and imagination were part of my daily life. As a kid, I designed comics for my friends and me. Besides playing soccer most days, my free time was mainly dedicated to art. Mexico is my home and will always play a large role in developing me as an artist. At what point did you get into art and why were you drawn to it? Naturally, I was always inclined towards drawing and coloring as a child; creating maps, comics, inventing machines from my own imagination and with the help of my father, started getting interested in drawing animals. My father plays a big role when it comes to artistic expression in my life. Being a veterinarian, he worked with animals on a daily basis, and so my siblings and I were always in contact with them. I never mentioned this to my father but it is because of him that I have been inspired to include a variety of creatures in my illustrations. So this explains the animals. My father is the one who kept encouraging and developing my interest and fascination in animals has always been the main source of inspiration. Watching him taking care of animals made me want to be like him one day. So just like my father, in my own way, I express my appreciation and magnetism for these majestic beings. What attracts me the most is their communication beyond language, instinctual surviving and unconditional love. When did you move to Canada what are some of your experiences here? Moving to Canada in 2006 I was introduced to a new way of life: a different climate, multicultural explorations and new possibilities in my artistic development. I started studying English, exposed my art to the public, as well as expanded my interests to dj-ing psytrance and techno. My first art involvement here in Toronto was a box design competition for Now Magazine. Winning the readers choice of this competition in 2007 encouraged me to continue my art career in Canada.
A lot of your work is extraordinary detailed. In the flow of creating the art how does it make you feel? Are there times when you don’t feel like doing it and how do you cope with that? It’s all in the details!! When I am in the flow of creating, time stops. I go into a deep trance where only imagination exists. Of course there are times when I’m tired after coming home from my day job and those are the times when I have to push myself to continue doing what truly matters to me. When UNTAPPED first commissioned you to do the cover piece on David Milgaard’s life I know you that you were not aware of what he went through. Now that you know about the wrongfully convicted and in particular Milgaard’s story what are your thoughts? After hearing David Milgaards story I felt sad and upset that a persons life can be disturbed and controlled with no compassion or justice whatsoever. Taking away someone’s freedom is the most frightening thought and it makes me discouraged to know that people in power don’t have their priorities straight. The way I illustrated David Milgaard’s story is through describing three different stages of his life: from the moment he was wrongfully accused by his friends at the time, his imprisonment years, to his liberation day. You can discover different elements of his experience through abstract forms showing the nurturing of his mother, a corrupted political system as well as the imprisonment not only of his body but his mind and spirit. Are there any particular areas or subjects that you haven’t painted yet but would like to? I am interested in developing my skills in realism, painting the universe and the deep-sea creatures. These are all next on my list.
Einstein famously said “Everything is energy. Your thought begins it, your emotion amplifies it and your action increases the momentum.” Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics. For me, manifesting my reality and thus my flow began many years ago. The first time I recall asking questions, I was 13 years old and wrote a letter to Bill Philips - the Body For Life guy (he had the 12 week physical fitness challenge in the late 80’s). I wrote him telling him about this burning I had inside, this fire to do more, be more, help more people. I asked him for a job or to be mentored - not fully even realizing what I was in fact asking him for. He, of course didn’t write back. Since then, my quest has been in search of the answers to a variety of questions. I suspect I wasn’t happy because I always felt - the deep “knowing”, kind of feeling inside - right from the beginning that something was amiss. I always question what we are told, from how we are schooled, to religion, to the government. The way we are groomed into society just never seemed legit to me. In my particular situation, I felt like I had the physical down, but wasn’t intellectually inclined, so I took courses, read, and applied myself in this area. Unfortunate-
ly, I still wasn’t happy or comfortable in my own skin. I always felt like an outsider, an alien. I wondered why I felt so different, and thought as I did, in comparison to others. These questions, along with a growing curiosity and a “there must be more to life than we’re told” mentality is what has led me on an extraordinary journey. Earlier on it was exploring various meditation styles, healings and self-help books, to psychiatrists and therapists; however none of these ever quenched my thirst for long. Ultimately I ventured to Peru to drink a medicinal plant medicine (Ayahuasca) used by Shamans for healing and spiritual connection - the latter led me on 3 separate paradigm shattering adventures 12 ceremonies in all.
This was over 25 years ago. Looking back now, it’s plain to see that I was in flow much of the time, but only something you can truly discover after the fact. As Steve Jobs said “You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking back.” You must trust that your heart somehow already knows the way. This is not to discourage you, but to open you up to the idea that it will most likely be a journey for you as well. I implore you; start with something you enjoy today! “The journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step” Lao Tze. This journey, fortunately, was to lead, finally, to a purpose. And I think that is another key for us all. I believe we are all here for a purpose.
Finally, in the last several years, I made the discovery that this has been a journey all along. A journey in which I have been preparing, gathering knowledge and tools the entire time.
Perhaps flow, somehow equals purpose?
These tools I am happy to say are to aid others that are in search of more. For those perhaps in search of answers to questions such as; what is health? What is happiness? How do we elevate our consciousness? Why are we here? - you know, the easy questions - but ones I can assure you have profound and exciting answers. These are actually the questions I started with way back at 13 - quite a-typical.
I began with what I enjoyed working out. And it has grown and morphed and spawned into an entirely new, exciting and unique adventure that I could never have dreamed of so long ago.
At least that’s what I’ve discovered along this 25 plus year journey.
My passion, my purpose and my flow have manifested into Transcend Health and The Collaborative Preventative Health Care Network (C.P.H.C.N). My desire
to help as many people as possible find their flow has grown with each passing day. Just as martial arts and even yoga come with a very mindful/ meditative approach, so too has Transcend Health adopted and embraced this methodology. The fitness industry has been a 1 and 2 dimensional industry for far too long now. It’s time to embrace and combine a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual (the 4 Pillars) approach to health. One of the ways in which we facilitate this approach and help others find their flow at Transcend Health is by helping people understand how the mind works - how it really works - and then give them the tools to be able to change how they think. Whether we are speaking of physical change, or entertaining new ideas about consciousness or changing your health, selfimage, body image or thoughts about money, all of these have one thing in common. They originate in the mind - the subconscious mind. We must possess a healthy mind and to do that, we must know the different parts of our mind and how it works. Unfortunately, most people are programmed early on and are walking around habitually. The subconscious mind is where the programs are stored or is our emotional mind, while the conscious mind is the intellect or where all of the information is stored (I teach entire lessons on this, so it may be a
little confusing if this is the first time you are seeing this). Ultimately, everything is frequency or energy. Once we discover the difference between our conscious and subconscious mind. Once we recognize why we do the things that we do - that in fact we have been programmed (perhaps not purposely, perhaps purposely - you decide), and we are habitual beings, we can begin to choose and to change - if we choose. Just as you can choose what radio station you tune in to, so too can you choose what frequency you tune your mind to. When you tune to the right frequencies you can change how you look, how you feel, your job, the money that
you make, your relationships, your health, old limiting patterns and ways of viewing the world. When you learn to tune your mind to the right station, you begin to unlock the secrets of living well, minimizing stress and anxiety, manifesting love, abundance, happiness and anything else you so desire. Since our results are always a direct reflection of what’s going on inside of us, we have to change where those results came from in the first place. We have to change our minds. Man, I sure wish I’d have found this out 25 years ago, maybe my flow would have showed itself sooner. However, if that had been the case, I would have never dis-
covered the incredible tools that I now have to share with you. And that’s just it; you never know when your flow will show up. Just as UNTAPPED is a bridge, a conduit to give people a choice an alternative to find advanced ways of thinking, alter old perceptions and find new, more enlightened answers, so too has Transcend Health and the C.P.H.C.N been established to give you a choice. We want to help you find your flow by giving you the tools that have taken a lifetime to accumulate and assimilate. We’ve given you one example and a starting point with the Mental Pillar simply because that’s what will enable you to follow through on any change you make - big or small.
It will help you find your purpose and that which matters most to you. If you want to make a shift, make a profound change and alter ANY area of your life, if you’re looking to find your flow, we’re here to help. I’ll leave you with this. Does flow equal purpose? If you haven’t found your purpose, begin with what you enjoy and build from there. Follow your heart, ask questions, continue to gather passion and momentum, until finally it begins to snowball and IT drives you. It all begins with a single step.
It was one of those days when I had to be in two places at the same time. I had promised my friend that I would join him at an “ecstatic dancing” event but I was also invited to a birthday party exactly at the same time. I was intrigued about the dancing, but after about five minutes of feeling less than ecstatic, I decided to book it to the birthday party. Thankfully, my friend understood (as did the hosts of the dance event who refunded my $15). I quickly travelled south to “Little Portugal” via my longboard and arrived at my friend’s 50th birthday party. In another one of those random coincidences, I struck up a conversation with someone who had engaged the services of my brother-in-law, a lawyer. We were deep in conversation about how truly small the world is, when a bald man with cards in his hands arrived at the table. “It looks like you two are having a pretty heavy discussion” he said. “My name’s Baldini and I’m a magician. Would you like to see some tricks?” At the time, I didn’t realize the ramifications this question would bring.
Like pretty much everyone, I happen to love magic. But what I really enjoy is close-up magic. This is magic that you see right in front of you. Don’t get me wrong, I love the big stuff with tigers and making elephants disappear, but for sheer mind-blowing experiences, you cannot beat close-up magic. You are so close and yet you are completely awestruck. Close-up magic is exactly what Baldini specializes in. Right away, I loved Baldini’s presentation. His routine was funny, polished and he was quick on his feet. I explained a little bit about what I did and how I had this magazine about finding your flow called UNTAPPED. I decided right there and then that I wanted to feature
him in the magazine. (By the way, for those of you new to the party, ALL the stories in UNTAPPED directly relate back to me – it is the only way to truly go with the flow!) We exchanged emails and a week later we got together and realized that we had a lot in common. Baldini uses magic to teach kids about the joy of science and critical thinking. But beyond that, Baldini is a man who is truly dedicated to making the world a better place. Magic just happens to be his way of doing this. We met up a second time for a more formal interview and it was at this point that I made a crucial link. When it comes to finding flow, magic can teach us a great deal. It’s not so much about how the trick is done
as it is about how the trick makes us feel. Baldini’s background surprised me when I learned of it. Unlike most magicians, he did not start in his youth. Photography had been a major interest of Baldini’s and he has spent a number of years as a vocalist and guitar player. Baldini is in his late forties and started with magic at the age of 34 - an age he acknowledges is quite late. “Actually, it’s very late. I had always been fascinated with magic but not to the extent of pursuing it formally. I knew a few simple bar tricks but that was it.” Baldini says it was the brother of a good friend who was a practicing magician that hooked him. “I was at a stag and this guy was performing and I just sat there saying ‘how did you do that?!’” Baldini says he was also influenced by David Blaine. He realized that the magic was more about the reactions of the people to the tricks than the actual tricks themselves. “It really piqued my interest and that’s when I decided to pursue magic serious-
ly.” He learned where the magic store was in Toronto and started practising. “About a year later, someone wanted to hire me. Two years later I wound up getting on YTV performing for the Blue Jays. This was the start of my career in magic.” I was intrigued about Baldini’s background. “I’m actually a numbers guy with a bachelor of science in statistics.” I asked him if there was a correlation between numbers and magic. “That’s a really good question. I think you can leverage number principles. I know there is a lot of mystique around numbers. I am however, science-based.” After working
in real estate for a few years, Baldini returned to school to complete his MBA at York University. He worked for a number of marketing companies before establishing his own promotional business. “I would put companies together and direct the art.” He also hired one of Toronto’s bestknown magicians – Magic Mike for corporate parties. This further propelled Baldini’s interest in magic. As you can imagine, the road to becoming a full-time magician is not easy. “I’ve sacrificed a lot to be a magician. I don’t eat in fancy restaurants and I traded in my car.” Despite the hardships, one
immediately gets the sense that Baldini has found his flow and is following his passion. His enthusiasm for the magic of magic is infectious. “The biggest payoff is not financial” he explained. “It is what I do for people.” I wanted to dive deeper into the psychology of magic – why magic makes us feel a certain way and Baldini was more than happy to comply. “The way I view it, there are two ways a magician can behave after a trick has been performed. They can be all high and mighty – ‘I know something that you don’t’. That is not magic. That is someone trying to show he is better than someone else.” This
has nothing to do with the art of magic. The other way of course is the way Baldini performs. “I take a humble Zen-like approach. I am truly honoured and grateful to have this ability to make someone smile or forget their problems for just a brief moment.” I was able to see just how giving Baldini was, while we ate in a restaurant at a post-interview lunch. At the table he had magically stood an egg up on its end. A patron at another table had spied this feat and was curious. He approached the table with his wife and wondered how it was done. He started chatting with the cou-
ple and found out it was the guy’s birthday. Baldini promptly pulled out a deck of cards and performed one of the most astonishing card tricks I’d ever seen. The couple were of course completely blown away. Baldini struck me as not just a gifted magician, but an incredibly giving person. He’d found his flow in magic and found further flow in both the magic of giving and the giving of magic. After witnessing a magic trick, the normal reaction is to be astonished and then wonder how it was done. But there is something more, for me at least. I somehow want to give back – to acknowledge and amplify the magic I’ve just seen. “I get a lot of hugs, countless free drinks and meals” says Baldini. “I’m not that good at receiving tips but I know that when people respond a certain way, I have to allow them to just be themselves.”
For me, the beauty of magic is what it triggers in people – of any age. For a brief moment we can’t believe our eyes. “It is the unknown that drives magic” explains Baldini. “It is child-like wonder and amazement.” Magic is also an escape from what could be a bad day. “The science behind magic is that the brain wants to know and when it can’t comprehend what just happened, you get that rush of adrenalin. Astonishment is a truly magical high.”
you find flow. He pulled out two regular elastic bands and in front of my eyes merged them together and pulled them a part. It was truly mesmerizing. But when he performed the trick a second time, he combined it with an entire routine linking a number of different moves. “I developed this routine over time and have tailored it in such a way that it impacts both children and adults. For me this is the essence of flow.”
Magicians practice a lot and I wondered how Baldini felt about the countless hours he puts into polishing his routine. “For me, practice is as enjoyable as watching a movie. I didn’t find magic, magic found me. This is what I was born to do.”
Our conversation turned to how magic can help people be more creative. I asked Baldini if he felt magic can be a trigger to help people solve a difficult problem. “Yes, without question. A good magician friend of mine by the name of David Ben actually lectures to Fortune 500 companies about this very subject. He’s written a book called Advantage Play.” I made a mental note to
Baldini explained to me the difference between a trick and routine. It is the routine where
contact Mr. Ben for a future interview in UNTAPPED. Ah, the magic of networks! “What I envision” says Baldini “is going into an office showcasing a number of tricks and then explaining how the tricks were done. The solutions are of course so against the grain of what you’d expect them to be – this can definitely foster creative thinking. But even a small magical routine will get the adrenalin and positive vibes going prior to a meeting. My hope is that people take a different approach to solving a problem after being shown magic.” Baldini tells me that he originally got into magic to do a few tricks on sales calls. “I wanted to foster relationships. I kept getting pulled back to the magic store by some unknown force or flow.” He kept buying books and polishing
his routine. “Opportunities came quickly and it just pushed me on this path. I think I am an artist through and through. This comes from my mother who acted for many years. Currently, Baldini works with about a dozen schools in the Toronto area. He teaches over 70 magic tricks to students. “I am explaining scientific principals with magic to kids in grade three. They are hanging on every word. But it is the teachers who are even more amazed as to how enthralled the students are with a subject like science!” He has also performed numerous times at the Ontario Science Center and this past summer travelled to Camp Timberlane to conduct a magic camp. Baldini has also worked in juvenile prisons teaching young offenders how to do magic. “Magic was a phenomenal way to reach these very hard-toreach kids.” Baldini, along with his partner, Rob Testa have a goal of being in over 150 schools. “We want to teach people to teach our curriculum. We know that teaching kids has such an enormous impact. Magic builds confidence and gives people the gift of making someone smile. The parents of our students are also astonished by the magic their children perform”. As our conversation wound down, I couldn’t help but wonder if Baldini himself ever got astonished by magic and if so, how it made him feel. “That’s a fantastic question” he replied enthusiastically. “It is so rare that this happens to me but it did happen recently. It was a trick called the ‘Impossible Book’ and it was unbelievable.” Baldini relished telling the story of his reaction to the presentation. “I waited two weeks before I went back to my friend and against my better judgement I asked him how it was done.” A great magician makes people feel magical. Baldini found not only his flow with magic; he has inspired others to find theirs. A chance encounter at a birthday party has now led to us joining forces with Longboarding for Peace. I’ve created the Ministry of Magic and we’re utilizing some of his tricks to teach about peace, balance and justice. Not sure why I didn’t think of this sooner, but as with everything, sometimes things appear at just the right time. Now that I am friends with Baldini, I realize that the temptation to ask how a trick is performed is too great. So I decided that no matter how many magic tricks Baldini showed me, I would never ask or search out how the trick was done. That goes for all his magician friends. Of course, I am now realizing that this promise will frustrate the hell out of me. But as renowned magician Max Maven famously said, “To me, knowing is a wonderful thing… but so is not knowing.” To book Baldini, contact spellbinding.ca
Let me share some thoughts on ceremony with you. In terms of staying in your flow, we all need a little bit of ceremony once in a while. I see it as an opportunity to set an intention and create optimal settings for transformation and healing to take place. For magic to happen.
of a ceremony. A rough draft. And when that happens, I know I am supposed to “do the job”. I have come to trust that they found me for a reason and I can be a vessel to facilitate healing.
I didn’t understand its significance but thought I was allowed to take part of a cultural phenomenon not many foreigners got to share. I felt a bit like an anthropologist. Little did I know how it would change the
Next month I will do a ceremony for a world renowned modern dance company. A friend of mine put us in contact. They lost their main musician for the piece they are now about to tour Europe with. He died on the night of their last performance in July, of an aneurism. Very unexpected. Very dramatic. Lots of blood. Big emotions. In a crew of nine dancers and a total of three musicians, this makes a big impact. They had spent the last year creating the performance together and were all very close. And they are supposed to do the piece again starting in mid-September. Almost everyone in the group felt resistance towards this fact and here is where the thought came of having someone ease this process. When I first heard the story I saw before me in my minds eye the trauma of the group. But I also saw the potential for transformation and heart opening for everyone involved, if this could be healed properly. Traumatic events are part of life, but in my current view, we can use it to heal things in ourselves. Immediately I got a picture of what we needed to do. I don’t know where it came from but suddenly it was there, as an outline
many different traditions but not true to any of them. Constantly creating new. He had lived with Lakota people of North America, Samic tribes in northern Sweden, traditional healers in Bali, shamans in Mexico, mystical yogis in India and old grandmothers in Nepal. He had been welcomed everywhere on his travels and had great knowledge of ceremony. And for some reason he was supposed to share this with me. But let me tell you, he was a tough teacher. After having taken part of only one sweat lodge in my life, he said: Now it is your turn. I complained and pleaded that I could not do it, I did not even know what a sweat lodge was yet. But when I finally did it, I was guided by Great Spirit every step of the way. For me it was a sign that the scientist in me could step aside for a higher level of guidance to come through. Today I have come to see most things I do as ceremony, a basic structure to optimize flow, creativity, transformation and healing. It can be a workshop in a business setting, a coaching session or a dance performance.
Ten years ago, I had very little knowledge about ceremony. I had been part of only one real ceremony, which was when I was initiated as a Sangoma, or traditional healer, in South Africa. At the time
path of my life forever. Or maybe more correctly, that I entered my true path.
So what do you want to transform in your life? Where do you need more flow? Let me give you some advice on your path of ceremony: full moon, nature, clear intention, gratitude, fire (except when in California), maybe a dear friend, and off you go.
Then I met my ex husband, who I call a pirate shaman. Trained in
In the course of your travels, you may have encountered a labyrinth. They are circular patterns found in many parks and places of worship. I know I have walked a few but the truth is I’ve never really felt anything monumental. Oddly enough, at the start of July this year, I was drawn to an online interview with labyrinth expert Tony Christie. Although I only watched for a few minutes, I was instantly hooked. I can’t really explain why this was, except to tell you that somehow I knew that his information would be worthwhile to
the readers of UNTAPPED. You can probably guess what I did next. That’s right. I emailed him and asked if he’d be interested in being interviewed. Tony lives in Ireland and we quickly set up a Skype call. My first question to Tony was about the difference between a labyrinth and a maze. Tony explained that “A maze has dead ends. It has choices. It’s designed to confuse you and get you lost”. A labyrinth is something else entirely. It has one path from the outside to the
center and it’s there to help you find yourself.” Tony went on to say that there is a certain amount of mystery in labyrinths. “The symbol of a labyrinth is over 4,000 years old. Over time, people have found that by walking in a labyrinth you can become more balanced.” Tony explained that there were a number of ideas as to why walking in a labyrinth created this feeling of centeredness. “There is a theory that the left sides of our brains have
been bombarded with so much, that a labyrinth allows us to help quiet things down. We focus on following the path and this allows the intuitive, creative and receptive parts of our brain to come into full balance.” According to the website Labyrinthos, additional uses for labyrinths are as protective devices, ceremonial pathways, or a place to dance. For labyrinth enthusiasts, the patterns highlight the daily and seasonal cycles in life, death and rebirth. As a labyrinth’s cir-
cuits expand and contract, they mimic the path of the sun across the sky and its rebirth each morning. Although Tony was never given any training or formal education in art, he nonetheless painted a series of labyrinth cards that are sure to be a catalyst for reflection. You don’t need to be in a labyrinth to use the cards. However, as Tony explains, “one of the ways people use a labyrinth is by thinking of an issue or question they are faced with. Walk-
ing through the labyrinth can bring about an answer or insight into the issue. If you don’t have a labyrinth nearby, then the cards can be used. Tony says he wanted to reproduce the energy and the wisdom that he had found by utilizing labyrinth. There have been discoveries of labyrinths from all over the world. You can find them in places as diverse as Brazil, Iceland, Crete and Sumatra. In the past twenty years, labyrinths were found in Goa, India. Most labyrinths are
circular patterns. “Labyrinths reappear every 100 to 150 years or so” says Tony, “especially when society is starting to question its leaders and religious institutions. A labyrinth helps you find truth within yourself – you start to listen to your own inner voice instead of listening to other people telling you what to do.” According to researchers, over the past 25 years, over 10,000 new labyrinths have been
constructed around the world. There are a number of websites that will quickly point out the exact location of a nearby labyrinth. And this is precisely what I did after speaking with Tony. After a very quick Google search, I found myself at the Labyrinth Community Network checking out nearby spots. I emailed the site asking for some photos of labyrinths. Then I got in touch with Jo Stevenson, President of the network and I asked Jo why people should take the time to walk on a labyrinth and her
You are standing at the mouth of the labyrinth. You have a choice: You can enter or you can stay outside. You can continue to live your life as you have been up until now. You can continue to tread a safe and known path; or, you can take a risk and start a new path right here and now. – Tony Christie 28
answer truly resonated with me. “A labyrinth walk, if approached with intention, is a window into one’s real life. It provides you with an awareness of your centre in that moment.” Jo says she loves the pun that “you place your sole on the labyrinth and trust your path.” As a labyrinth facilitator she has seen first hand the power of walking through a labyrinth. As Jo explained, “on the open stretches you may feel how it is in your life when the going
is easy, and on the many turns that are present on the path and in our lives, you may feel supported within a circle and within a pattern that has been walked for millennia.” She said that each time she sets foot on a labyrinth; she has a renewed sense of well-being. “Many times, the labyrinth feels numinous and I have had rich insights to bring back into my daily life.” As I was finishing up this piece, I began to realize that a labyrinth was a tool that could help people find flow. It was a curious feeling
knowing that I had seen labyrinths for many years and walked a few without realizing the true opportunities that lie within them. So, as with everything that happens in UNTAPPED Magazine, a new connection has been made and a new path has been created. Tony and I decided to swap items. He’s sending me a deck of his cards and I’m sending him some Longboarding for Peace goodies. I’m pretty sure Jo and I will be walking a labyrinth together in the near future. It’s funny how a few minutes of a You Tube interview can bring you so much. As I searched for more about laby-
rinths, I came across a site that offered doit-yourself kits. I’m not sure I have the space in my tiny backyard for this, but then again, when it comes to ideas set forth in labyrinths, you might want to consider what Jorge Luis Borges wrote: “there is no need to build a labyrinth when the entire universe is one.” To find out more about Tony Christie visit labyrinthwisdom.com and to find out more about labyrinths in Canada, visit labyrinthnetwork.ca.