Intuition

We are all trained to ignore, discount and even ridicule the inner voice that guides us. We learn not to
trust our own wisdom but to be guided by the outside forces of our lives.

Having our intuition validated is one of the first steps in learning to listen to and trust the voice that we
have forgotten.

I was 18. A short, chubby American girl living in Munich with a couple of runway models and my cousin
Adam, a fashion designer. I was a fish out of water. We lived in an old apartment on Schulstrasse near
Rotkreutz platz. It was originally three apartments after WWII, but was changed into one apartment at
some point before we lived there in the late 1980s.

Our apartment was on the third and fourth floor of the building. The dining room on the main floor had
two large mirrors on opposite walls which added even more spaciousness to an already large space.
Whenever I went down the stairwell, I felt tightness in my chest. There was something about that spot
that made me feel very uncomfortable. I told myself that I was being silly, but I still went very quickly past
even though it made no logical sense.

One night, as we sat around on a low, makeshift couch that circled the French wood stove, we passed a
joint of hashish mixed with tobacco. We gazed into the fire and talked about intuition and ghosts. Adam
said that he thought that the upstairs was haunted. I looked up at the stairway and pointed, “yeah,
whenever I pass that spot on the stairs I have to run fast.”

He laughed at me. Said that I was messing with him. Knew that Beatrice must have told me the story.
But Beatrice hadn’t told me any story. That was when I found out that someone had died there (suicide)
just after WWII when that spot had been the laundry room. Thank you, Adam, for confirming the feeling
was real and not something that I’d made up!
That was the beginning of me trusting myself.

A few months later, I was in Laumersheim with some cousins beside the inn that had been in my
grandmother’s family for many generations. In the courtyard between the church and the inn, we were
drinking wine and laughing into the night. I was about to head back over the Atlantic and I was nervous.
I hated flying.

Once again, the subject became the haunted apartment in Munich. Not to be outdone, my cousins
informed me that the courtyard we were now in had been a cemetery, that there were bones buried
beneath us. I thought, “cool.” I’ve never been bothered by cemeteries. Since I was a child, I’ve
especially loved walking in old cemeteries. I look at the names and the dates and wonder about the
people buried there. What did they looked like? What were their lives like? What would they say to me if
we could speak?

I’ve always loved history, and history is most enthralling when it is told by someone who was there. Cold
facts and dates are not nearly as entertaining as personal stories. Not having gotten the response that she’d hoped for, my cousin told me that our ancestors were in a crypt in the church. I found this fascinating.

They dared me to go into the church, and I willingly took their dare! They got the key from Opa and
opened the old wooden church doors. I went inside and they closed the large doors behind me. It was
completely black once the doors closed. I shuffled forward until I felt a pew and found my way forward by
going from pew to pew in the dark.

When I got to the front of the church, I leaned my head against the old stone of the wall and luxuriated in
the sensation of the coolness. I felt enveloped in love, and almost heard a chorus? A chorus of angels
or was it the sound of a distant highway? Either way, I felt euphoric. I felt surrounded by the love of my
ancestors.

Eventually, I heard Adam calling me from the entrance of the church. “Mimileinschen, Mimileinschen, bis
du da?” Adam’s flashlight pierced the darkness, as he came to rescue me. The cousins apparently were
concerned because they opened the door and I wasn’t there. They were too chickenshit to go in looking
for me, so they got Adam.

I tried to tell Adam about being surrounded by a choir of angels and the love of our ancestors, but he only laughed and asked me how much I’d been drinking. But I didn’t need him to tell me my experience was legitimate. I now trusted myself. I knew they were there, and with me today.

So now, in whatever situation, be it advantageous or dangerous, I trust my voice. I trust my intuition. It has never let me down.

This entry was posted on February 29, 2024.

The House of Love

Everyone who has rented our house of love over the last six years has left to get married.

We can’t advertise that, though:
“Having trouble with your love life? Rent this small one-level home in the blue collar neighborhood of Cranston Heights, and we guarantee your luck will change.”
No, we only list it as a single-family home with two bedrooms and a bath.

There is no mention of the love spell unwittingly cast by years of soft round river rocks gathered on my favorite beach in St. John and placed in the front of the house of love between the house and the front side walk. No mention of the sage incense burned in each room as I visualized love, laughter, harmony, cooking healthy food in the kitchen, music and conversation in the living room and harmony overall. Harmony within the house was my goal as I pictured what the space would become.

The House of Love was not always a house of love. It needed a lot of healing– physical and spiritual.

When my husband Pete told me about the house, which was directly behind the house where we lived, he was very enthusiastic. He said he couldn’t make an offer without showing it to me and getting my OK. Of course, as excited as he was, I already knew that I would say “yes.”

“We can get it for a song. It’s in terrible shape,” he said with glee. “It will be such a low mortgage; I know that we can handle it.”

When I walked into it the first time, I almost walked right back out again. It smelled really bad. Dust and closed windows and dog urine and an improperly vented heating system combined to make a very bad first impression. It was filled with garbage.

The dark wood paneling of the living room behind the furniture and stacks of books made it feel very small. The paneling continued into the hallway which was lit by one bare 15-watt bulb that hung around the corner where the dim hallway narrowed.

“That’s ok,” I said before turning the corner, “I don’t need to see the bedrooms.” The thought of turning that corner filled me with dread, not just because of the feeling of being trapped, but also the heavy energy that filled the space.

I didn’t need to see the bedrooms, because I trusted Pete’s vision. He saw possibilities where others only saw a building that should be condemned. I could walk confidently with my seeing-eye dog (husband) Pete. He knew where we were going even if I didn’t.

One of the first things we did was knock down the fence between the two back yards so we could easily walk from one yard to the other. It wasn’t the only wall that we knocked down. We turned it from a three-bedroom to a two bedroom with a sunny alcove where the narrow hallway turn had been.


Our theme song that summer was “We Got The Funk” https://youtu.be/l4nOHdUntyM by George Clinton. We sang it as we emptied the funky house one dumpster at a time.

We would come home, put our clothes in the washer, and jump in the shower scrubbing off the funk of the day.

The garbage, the shag carpet, the dark wood paneling, and soon the walls themselves were thrown into dumpsters. Three 20-yard dumpsters were filled by the end of the project.

I learned of the joy of demolition that summer: How to use a crow bar, and the power of gravity working with a sledge hammer.

We were young and optimistic when we bought. We hadn’t counted on rewiring the entire house or replacing weight-bearing walls riddled with termite damage.

When first clearing out the house of love two decades ago, I always started by putting on a mask and opening all of the windows. Clearing out the back bedroom, I lit a candle and talked to the female spirit of the house as I emptied her closet.

“Oh, you were Catholic, too,” I said as I got to know her. Her rosaries and old family photos were sadly without a family home. “I will take good care of the house,” I assured her as I packed up her belongings.

The house needed a lot of physical and spiritual cleansing. It gradually transformed to became a completely different space.

In the end, the house was not just new and clean and light and airy and open, it was magical.

Yes, we took down a wall changing it from three bedrooms to two bedrooms and an alcove, widening the hallway. The house hugs you when you walk in, beckoning you to stay for a while.

Our current renter is a salt-of-the-earth sweet guy who works as a welder and was just coming out of a bad divorce. Within months the house had worked it’s magic and he asked if he could move in his girlfriend. They have been there for three years now. They ride their Harleys together and take great care of the house and yard. The neighbors love them. However, if they move on, I know the house will bless the next renter with it’s magic.




Memories of Turtles

Laying on a beach in the rain is not pleasant.

I had the day planned out. A morning guided bird hike with my husband Pete in the marshlands by the ocean, with a park ranger in St John, USVI near Maho Bay. Then we would have a leisurely lunch overlooking Maho Bay and walk down to a deserted beach where I would read and gaze out into the Caribbean.

But then it started to rain on my book, on the sand, on me. Pete was snorkeling in the water in front of me. We were the only two humans within sight, and there was no shelter anywhere along that beach.

Reluctantly, I shook out my towel and packed it away with my book. Grabbing my fins and snorkel, I waded into the water. I put on my fins once I was waist deep, swimming out as the rain wet my back and rippled the surface of the water.

Beneath me was sand and seagrass but not many fish since there was no coral.

Pete was trying to get my attention. I looked up, hoping there was not danger or a problem.

“Turtle!” He exclaimed with a stuffy voice (his nose covered by his mask).

I quickly swam towards him, but before I got there I saw her. Sweetly munching on seagrass like a cow she took no notice of me. Time stood still as I watched her. She was joined by another turtle, and then another. Three turtles were noshing beneath me! I was mesmerized, not moving, just swaying with the waves.

Then she came up straight towards me! I swam backwards trying to miss her as she surfaced to take a breath, our faces less than a foot apart!

This was maybe 20 years ago, this moment frozen in time when I was face to face with a giant green sea turtle. Long ago, and yet still profound to me today.

It was pure magic, and it would not have happened if the day had gone according to plan.

I try to remember that magic happens when you can let go of plans and be guided by unknown waves. There’s magic all around us if we only open our eyes.

Paradise

When I first landed in St. Thomas I immediately felt over-dressed.  I had caught the train to the airport from Philadelphia right after work on a blustery winter day.  Even after shedding my coat and hat and scarf and pullover, I still had on a long-sleeved dark gray wool dress with black tights and pumps.  I longed to take off my tights and shoes as I sat on the small boat taking me to St. John, rum punch in hand.

The water seemed to glow in the sunshine like a magical giant pool, clear as gin.  It changed in colors from bright aqua to deep blue depending on its depth, where the sun hit it and where the clouds shadowed the sun.

I remember my amazement as the plane descended towards St. Thomas at how beautiful the water was.  It was more beautiful than any photograph or anything my mind could have imagined.

As I sat in the boat looking out over that water with sweat on my brow, I longed to put on a bathing suit and jump in.

Throwing the office suit into my suitcase, I would pack away that person for now and become the beach bum that had always been buried inside of me.

I could see the fishes swimming as they approached Caneel Bay.  The water was so clear it made my heart ache, the sun so bright it made my heart sing.

That was 1997, the first time that I saw the Caribbean in person.  Ever since that day, I’d always find my mind drifting back there…

Remembering a perfect day sitting in the sand at Hawks Nest Bay as the waves washed over my legs and then went back out to sea.  That image always makes my shoulders relax and my breath deepen.

Where have you been that causes your shoulders to relax and your breath to deepen?

Is there a person that you would like to pack away?  Who would you become?

This entry was posted on September 8, 2016. 2 Comments

Delaware Continuing Education

I’m so excited to be teaching continuing education for the first time for myself! I’ve taught at Dawn Training Center, but this seems very different to me.

My course: Foot Reflexology/Massage East Meets West

Approved by the Delaware Board of Massage for 8 Core Hours.

This course will be foot reflexology with a twist. The twist is, in addition to the usual working of the systems of the body through the foot, I am also going to be focusing on tendon attachments and how we can help relieve foot pain by releasing the muscles of the lower leg that are attached to those tendons.

Most people don’t know that foot reflexology was my first love. It was my gateway drug into massage! My first course (before massage school) was at Our Lady of Lourdes Wellness Center for Foot Reflexology. Even before my reflexology class, it was my hobby. While still in high school I bought my first reflexology book and started practicing on my family.

I will be teaching this course throughout the year. As all Delaware Therapists and Technicians know, 2016 is the year everyone has to renew their Licenses and Certificates.