Friday, February 8, 2013

Readings For Couples

I was asked today about doing readings for couples. I'm asked about this sort of service often and with Valentine's Day right around the corner, I feel this is a good opportunity share a little about how I work in this capacity, with some related issues thrown in. Here is my response to the question of "Couples Readings":

Q: Do you do couples readings? I'd love to come in and have myself and my partner read :)

A: Hi, I'm asked this sort of question often so I'm including somethings in my answer beyond what you have asked. I often have couples come in together and you are always welcome to bring along a supportive friend. The session is for the person being read but the reading should pick up on the dynamics of a relationship and I will discuss to a degree the things a partner may have going on insofar as how they relate you, but it's not a "two for one" dynamic. In terms of both people seeking direction and having individual issues, it's best to book two consecutive sessions side by side. Again it's important for those present to be open minded and comfortable with what's going on, it's never a good idea to surprise someone with a reading, I won't impose what I do on someone unwilling or uncomfortable. I should respectfully mention too that other readers work in many different ways and some offer different promotional rates (often when they are beginning to establish their client base). Being fairly well established (after 31 years) I generally only offer promo stuff when I am reading for charity or a worthwhile cause. Most of the readers I know in Winnipeg charge rates far below what you'll find in other cities. I also sometimes reserve the right to wave a fee or make exceptions when the situation warrants. By all means these things can be discussed when you call to book. I look forward to being of service and thanks for your interest!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

February Monthly Update

"February made me shiver......with every paper I'd deliver, bad news on the doorstep, I couldn't take one more step". That's a great line from  Don McLean's iconic song Bye Bye Miss American Pie. Many people know the song, it's sentiment and feeling goes beyond those who know the original reference is to the death of Buddy Holly, the end of the idealistic 50's, the disillusion, protest and new vision of the 60's and a kind of maturation that many like the singer came into reflectively in the 1970's.  We don't have to know these things to get the feel or essence of them through the song and, interpretations aside, something in it resonates with anyone who has experienced disillusion, has nostalgia for a simpler time and looks back with a feeling of our impermanence. Madonna covered the tune more recently and a much younger audience probably has their own associations they can make to it.

It (the song) came to mind today because February in Winnipeg literally DOES make me shiver. It's been unusually cold this winter, sometimes a wind chill of -41 Celsius. It tends to make us all stay in, be reflective and both nostalgic and hopeful for warmer times. This particular winter has been hard for a lot of people, a number of longstanding businesses in Winnipeg have transitioned and closed, the Paddle wheel Restaurant in the soon to be closing Hudson's Bay Store, Kelekis Restaurant in the North End and soon (on February 28th) my previous location at Blackletter Books (see the article previous to this one "Cycles Of Change"), along with a great many other places that many of us have held dear. It's sad to see these things go, but the world is changing right before our eyes.

At the same time, living and working in the West End has been a time of growth for me personally. The close proximity of the University Of Winnipeg means a lot of young people from all over the world as well as the various instructors and people who are resources around that. There's a lot of growth going on, from the new learning and arts related centres to some new small businesses and restaurants. In many ways Sherbrook Street, for instance, reminds me of Osborne in the early 70's when a number of fledgling businesses and restaurants started up. It's good to see next generations of young people creating places that reflect a sense of community as well as some great surviving stand by places that support and mentor on other levels. In line with that mentoring, we also have a lot of Seniors housing nearby. My mother is presently residing in one of these and I'm able to be just steps away from her if she needs me. She is experiencing a lot in terms of age related issues and it's easier to be near, this was a big factor in the changes I had to make. I appreciate her being in a place that's safe, affordable and warm in terms of community.

Getting back to our unusually cold weather, about two weeks ago I
noticed an odd little shelter had been built behind the place that I am reading through (Elemental Book And Curiosity Shop). Someone had put a cardboard box with a blanket in a snowbank with a little door cut out. I later learned it was one of the young musician's that use basement rehearsal space in the building. I was keeping an eye on this for a day or two, curious to see what, if anything, was surviving the cold in this structure. Amid the -41 windchill that had been hovering for a few weeks, I opened the back door and out of the box came a handsome tabby that looked at me, meowed and walked into the store like he owned the place. We nicknamed him Om Alley. Some friends and patrons have donated food and proceeds to his care and thanks to that he is going to a vet to be neutered, have his shots and a tattoo. We hope to find a good home for him, hopefully one where he will get to come back and visit from time to time, he's very sociable and mellow, he has sat in on a reading or two, not intruding just sitting on the chair beside me looking very wise.If you, or someone you know could give a good home to Om Alley, give the shop a call at (204) 779 8900. Here is a link to a little video I made of him:

It's heartening to see the kind of support that's come together around this little fellow and I'm very grateful to all who have helped out. As I've said before, these aren't easy times, but these are also times where we all can reach out and be there for one another. A lot of creative, meaningful and useful things are born out of these conditions.

In Tarot symbolism The Tower is the shake-up of our structures, sometimes upheaval and trauma, but also a breakthrough where our old ideas of belief, immunity and security get severely tested. When we go through these big bumps we can run around looking for new structures, new systems to keep us safe and immune, we can panic like chicken little sharing our hysteria, or we can let go. Letting go doesn't mean giving up, but we count our fingers, count our toes and see that we are whole, that even in uncertainty we are OK.

We also see, when we are willing, that others are and have been moving through this too and this wakes up our compassion. In my own life it was hard to leave familiar ground recently and being close for a loved one who is aging, losing some of their Independence and ability is a challenge and not all sweetness and light. Yet at the same time, what kind of life is there when we don't have concerns, things to care about or be there for? Pretty shallow and empty. In terms of my mom's issues I am blessed to have family that shares concern and it seems like a lot of my friends are working with similar issues. I've found this again and again, when we stop resisting what's going on, when we stop saying "this shouldn't happen to me", we start to see a way through. What's more we develop understanding and the intimacy of not running away, showing up, doing what we can do and often being surprised at that.

A resource I have found very helpful through this last while is one of those books that I read a little at a time, digesting the words and going back to them again. Pema Chodrun's "When things Fall Apart", gives a lot of insight about moving through uncertainty, using it as an opportunity to open up, to stay present and have compassion for ourselves and others. I recommend it highly.

It's also good to remember that the Tower is followed in the Major Arcana of the Tarot, by the Star. When we let go of belief structures that do our thinking for us, we begin to get glimpses of our greater self, our real potential. Our direction , like following a pole star, isn't based so much on circumstances but on a sense of something greater. Our security isn't much if it's based on what we can lose, if we are worrying over it, it's owning us. Change, difficult as it is, can be our friend. It can free us up and show us what has been owning us. Our creativity and ingenuity can overcome tough times. They say "necessity is the mother of invention" and tough times help us see what really is necessary.