The Seasonal Power of Myth and Wonder

Recently, I sat around a dinner table with friends who were sharing their memories of holidays as children. We laughed about the family dynamics of Thanksgiving and then the topic of Christmas arose. Although, most of my friends at the table that night were of Jewish descent, to my surprise I discovered that their families made allowances for all their children to invite the magic of Santa Claus into their homes.

The conversations I heard were quite interesting. Each adult shared their family tradition of gift giving and then their very personal, heart sinking experience the day they were told that there was no real Santa Claus. Each one recalled in detail, where they were, who was the person who told them and how they felt . The memory was described as an awful moment for them because it marked a loss of innocence.  Once the wonderous belief in a Santa was gone, was there any magic left in the world to believe in? What else was also a lie?  These shared experiences of feeling shaken in their belief systems speak to the fragility of youth. How often we forget that the hardness of realities much greater than this simple example can rob a child of the power of wonderment in the world?

 This got me to thinking about the power of the myth and what occurs to a child who is prematurely stripped of their beliefs and myths?  Myths exist as universal templates in which the soul's imagination breathes color and enlivens one's world. The stories that accompanies myths develop a capacity to stretch beyond logic enough to believe in a sense of "more" to life than what meets the eye. Albert Einstein said " There are two ways you can live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle or you can live as if everything is a miracle".  Without one's  little miracles which thus exercise one's capacity for imagination to be in wonder, the human mind and spirit becomes dim.

I recall stories of friends and clients who as children never had the opportunity to look forward to something special or if they did on occassion, then they clung onto the memory like a beautiful ornament hanging on a golden thread. Every child's mind and heart needs the power of some magic in their life to stir them toward the myth and mystery of believing in more. Adult children who lack experiences of wonder in their lives become hungry and restless wanderers. Their search for "more" is a desire to fill an emptiness within the soul that remains unmet. Many times those wanderers become seekers who ultimately discover that the greatest wonder of all is that everything is love and they too are lovable and worthy of feeling loved.  

If you chose to give a gift during this time of year, as most cultures find a reason to celebrate during the Season of Light, do remember to appeal to the wonder in all persons. Remember that every adult needs a reason to believe again that the world holds the return of light even in the darkest of hours; be reminded when you raise your eyes toward the winter sky that the stars in the heavens are streaming their light toward you. Allow yourself to reconnect with your ancestors and know you are not alone; behold the twinkle lights, bathe in the crystal world of snow, share your light with every one you meet and remember the Spirit of giving does its' magic only when we let the child in us believe once again.


Blessings, Happy Hanukah and Merry Christmas 



 ........ Witch way do I turn?

It's the most invigorating, confusing, melancholic, and radiant time of year, all stirred into one pot of stew! Mother Nature seems to take delight as she plays tricks on you from one hour to another. Temperatures plummet then rise again, darkness begins its slow descent, challenging you to count your blessings, not the hours of light remaining. Trees illuminate the way to cathedrals in the woods. Winds blow fierce as silence amongst trees is broken. Chaos swirls, leaves twirl, while enchantment fills the air. Autumn releases her restless spirit. An alchemy of fire and air moves the soul, thinning the veil between this world and the next.

Autumn teaches you the gift of gratitude. You are alive and able to say yes to life once more!; The Earth celebrates the wonder fullness of manifestation and the co-creation with humankind that partakes in its ever unfolding, rhythms and mysteries. While you savour the fruits of your own labors, remember to become richer from lessons well learned. Sometimes, you discover the true harvest lies within your heart.  Often, it is not the belly that knows the taste of fullfillment.

Fall, Autumn's shadow side,  is also a teacher reminding  you to seek balance in this season of extremes as you struggle to maintain order in chaos. Take a break from your serious side before your rigidity breaks you.  Kick up those leaf piles and throw down the rake every once in a while! Shock yourself,  then make yourself laugh, as you climg out of the roles that cling to you. Let the masquerade begin; at least in the privacy of your own home. If you ignore the need for balance within, then you jeopardize another kind of fall with colds, flues and aching bones. If you stretch yourself too thin, you soon feel like a halloween skeleton screaming from lack of nourishment and rest!  Learning how to stay in balance is not a trick but definitely a treat. Learning how to let go when the time is right, as softly as the last leaf that floats to earth, is the movement of body wisdom.




During this Autumn season, known in the old pagan European cultures and Christian esoteric circles, as a time when the threshold between this world and the next are at their thinnest, (hence, Halloween, All Saints and All Souls Day) the subject of mortality has circled around again. Some friends that I know are dealing head on with their own impending death, due to a bad diagnosis; while others are being deeply affected by the sudden prognosis of someone else that they know and love. In either case, what emerges for all is a deep stirring in the soul that is a reminder that we are vulnerable to the brevity of one precious human lifetime.  

While the faint sound of an old movie song from the sixties "What's it all about Alfie?" plays in my mind, I am reminded that our human drama remains to be a struggle that is compounded by the the need and attempt to be in control at all times. While control emerges as an expression of our free will , it is not necessarily a free will operating freely.  It is often generated by a fear of one's limits and capacity to be vulnerable while living in a state of questions rather than definitive answers and certainties. It is often true that when life beckons change, we dig our heels deep into the ground and create greater resistance. Rarely, does the outcome serve us.

Developing trust in life requires more than developing trust in ourselves. Life, by nature, is always evolving with an ever present force moving, shaping circumstances around us. Life generally asks of us to participate by continuing to adapt and learn new behaviors, expand our consciousness and make the necessary lifestyle changes that support a thriving existence to our wellbeing and others.  When we forget that we do not control our time on Earth, it is easy to fall prey to the dillusion that we have all the time in the world to get around to living the life we really want. We try to mastermind the perfect timing of a reality that is by nature destined to crumble before our feet. It is then on this new fresh soil of broken dreams that we stand in the truth of our corporality and soul life.  It is then, that we begin to walk the path that leads with a "soft will" versus a hard will, as Hungarian philospher Georg Kuhlewind spoke . It is then, that we realize there is wisdom in the authoress, Barry Stevens words titled in her classic on Zen wisdom "Don't Push The River".

 My one dear friend chooses to remain as wide eyed and open to the unfolding experience of her letting go by exploring the transformative potential that dying offers. She refuses to stop learning about herself and the relationships that have and continue to shape her life. Her family and friends have had the opportunity to express the deepest of feelings to her. In her vulnerability she has discovered how she has positively impacted those in her life, while she has also allowed the healing power of receptivity to work deeply through her. Her life is very nourished now as she drinks every last drop from the chalice of Life.

Dear Friends, Let's consider in this very moment, that there is an alternative to being struck down in health in order to become awakened and vulnerable to living a life that is truly in balance. Breathe in deeply and realize that this is your exquisite time on Earth. Breathe in deeply the duration of this gift into your body, heart, and soul. Breathe out a life that is artful, gracious, grateful, humble, truthful, generous, wise and loving.  If not now, When? 




After spending last night around a dinner table with good friends, a conversation emerged between two of the people who were meeting, for intensive purposes, for their first time. They discovered that they had acquaintances in common and that they had both participated in possibly the same Insight seminar weekend in Phila. 35 years ago. They remembered the process of creating with clarity and deep intention an affirmation that they could live by.

Now, we all know affirmations are made, sometimes daily, but how many people hold onto them their entire life ?How many grow into their affirmation because the words that have meaning resonate so thoroughly in agreement that they become their living statement? On this evening, both parties could recite their affirmations that were created 35 years ago on the spot. Not only was I impressed by this,  but, also by the words I heard. Each of these people I know very well and I would say, they have embodied their affirmations. They are walking their talk.

So, this has got me thinking again about some of my favorite subjects. Linguistics, spirituality, intentionality and bodyword®. We are born as creative, communicative beings. We are given the gift of oral, written and body language; we are given our human body to ground our communication and awareness into manifestation; we are cognitive, spiritual beings; we are human beings capable of bringing into existence this powerful creative process of intention through the affirmation. Since we all have the capacity to create an intention that becomes an affirmation to live by, then isn't it fair to say that we all have the opportunity to become our living word?  In ancient cultures and in spiritual text , the word is always held as sacred. There is an old saying that "A man lives by his word". Another tradition of not so long ago that carried the weight of a written contract was simply, "I give you my word". These sayings existed when man remembered that the word of man materialized. When the Logos/Word Became Flesh. Many philosphers speak of a time when language created experience, named it into being and that the listener and the speaker shared the mutual experience of meaning. This is the forgottoen power of primordial language. It is also the orignal inspiration of my creative and therapeutic BodyWord® process.

So, while we live in a world of  chronic communication, it is common knowledge that words have little impact, lesser meaning, are often forgotten, tossed around casually, and manipulated for the moment. Learning to walk your talk requires developing an affirmation that is easy for you to carry in your heart and soul because it serves you and others well in the very long run. I remember, at the age of 17, when I learned to meditate that I became clear that I wanted to do something with my life that would serve to heal and help others. I didn't worry about what that would look like, how I would make money, but simply what it was that resonated with my heart and soul. In time, my life's work became clear and I have never regretted a day of my profession which is more of a vocation, a calling. I also, remember many years later I had an unusually successful client who told me, as I was just starting out in my private practice as a healer and bodypsychotherapist, " Ellen, never worry about money. Do what you love and you will become good at it. The money will follow." I have lived long enough now to know this too is true.

There is no better time of year than now to begin creating an affirmation if you don't already have one you live by. Affirmations give one a sense of direction because you begin to shape intention into your life. The words may take time to appear so be patient and listen deeply. Don't force one as it will not serve you nor have the power to last. You are calling through your words to your destiny to meet you. Listen with an open heart and trust your calm, clear mind; feel for the vibrational resonance of true words with your soul. Then let your body wisdom move you in the right directions and away from all else.  You will know it to be true someday because you will realize that your Spirit answered Yes! 




A little more than a week ago, I had the honor to be part of an intimate circle of support to a young couple that were first time expectant parents. The new mother Annette successfully gave birth to her little girl Bowie B. Meyers, after a two and a half day labor. Annette was very clear from the beginning that she wanted to have a vaginal delivery, if at all possible. She felt strongly that she could accomplish this, even while her window of time became increasingly narrowed. Her midwives stood by her decision and aided her with years of their experience in feminine body wisdom. Her husband stood by her in loving respect and support, while he watched the woman of his heart wield a feminine life force that was unparrallel to any physical feat he had ever witnessed. Fully possessed, as only a birthing mother could be, Annette and her Bowie worked together to experience a healthy entrance into this world. 

 It is not possible to sit in wait and not recall one's own birthing experiences and the flood of memories that accompany them. I write this articles with the awareness that my own son's birthday was yesterday and within a few days I will join him and his family in Colorado to celebrate him.

I recall after the birth of my second child Iris, that my husband Pat, who participated in both of our children's home births, came to my bedside with joy and tears in his eyes and fell to his knees. He spoke of his "awe for me" and said he had never witnessed such strength and force.  I ask myself as I reflect on this memory, "Are not all women Madonnas, when they give birth?" Regardless of how the birthing process goes and there are so many twists and unexpected turns of events, we as woman struggle and waver at the threshold of life and death. Our bodies demand that we thin out, until no resistance remains in us; our wills organize in a determined resolute so our committment is unshakeable in the face of pain and fear; our psyches are required to trust and surrender to the mystery of a fate and destiny in the making; while our souls become initiated into divine co-creation.  

Blessings to Annette and all our Mothers who have risked it all for the love of humanity!