Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Summer Magic


I have just come back from a very good little vacation. I rarely take time off but following so many changes and  the anniversary of last year's big move I was pleased to accept an invitation from my brother Dan and his wife Donna, to be away in the beautiful Interlake area of Manitoba, where they have a cozy little cottage.  Working as an intuitive reader, it's important to sometimes pause and have periods for reflection and re-aligning.
We did a lot of hiking, saw deer, eagles, pelicans (no bears this time) and other wildlife. Dan and I played cribbage in honor of my Dad (it was his favorite game) and reminisced about the times we had at the lake as children. We went up to Hecla Island, had lunch at the beautiful resort, stopped and bought Vineterta (an Icelandic dessert) and fresh Pickerel and Goldeye from the local fishermen.
It's easy to see the magical pull of this place. It creatively inspires and the elemental forces of nature and spirit are so powerful. It was just what I needed. I'm glad to be home and feel re-charged and content. Here are some further pictures of this magical part of our province, sometimes referred to as "New Iceland":









 


 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Very Big Thank You!!!

It's amazing that people are still looking for and finding me following the transition last year - where I had to leave a phone number behind. Thank goodness for things like Google, this blog, the Internet, Facebook and also the very kind friends - including Jan at Blackletter, my previous location (now closed), that have been passing along my contact info and followers that continue to spread the word about where I am and how to find me. This is why I will from now on always have a booking line phone number that follows me wherever I go: (204) 504 9575. Thanks to everyone for continuing to spread the word.

Because some people come for readings irregularly there are people who haven't found me since I read in restaurants, over 18 years ago I read at the Eastside Exchange on Lombard behind the Richardson Building and 9 years before that I had started (for four years) at the Chocolate Shop a location that had been the starting place for a great many well known Winnipeg  readers such as Madame Helen "Red" Davis.

It has been delightful in so much of this change and transition to be re-connecting with friends and very loving and loyal patrons as well as making many new friends around the groovy new location at Elemental Book and Curiosity Shop in Winnipeg's lovely and vibrantly evolving West End.

Once again deep gratitude to all out there who have spread the word and given referrals. I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing if it weren't for you!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Feeling Safe

Hi everyone, just checking in with news and some thoughts on life, the long lingering dregs of winter, the hopeful signs of spring and some learning of the times.

I have posted a fair bit over the last few months about transitions in my life and work, particularly the move from my previous location to the great groovy surroundings of Winnipeg's West End. At the same time there's been things in the news lately about some of the challenging issues in the area, as well as things people have been facing in various places - suburban and rural - in Manitoba and throughout the world. From a small town restaurant closing down partly because of homophobic slurs, someones  home being spray painted with hateful graffiti, to random violence that has gone on - all over it seems. With all that, it's easy to buy into a sense of fear and apprehension. I think fear and ignorance is a big part of what motivates these things to happen in the first place. That fear is something I have had to work through at different times in my life and that I get to work with in what others encounter and move through. It's a challenge to meet that with courage and compassion but it's ultimately what we all have to do if we aren't to feel fear or act out ourselves.

I have a pretty diverse client base, I've read in boardrooms, in restaurants, homes in wealthy areas and low end areas. I've read for doctors, lawyers, teachers and artists, gangsters, nurses, therapists, celebrities, media people, political people, people struggling with addiction, practitioners of all sorts and often for other people that are themselves "sensitive" and they are ALL just plain folks when you get right down to it. Everyone knows what it is to feel fear and uncertainty. I always see a reading as an opportunity to learn from the client and as a point where for some, there's an opportunity to change the road they're on. I love my work and this is why I generally am drawn to reading in environments that would be comfortable for anyone, a place where you wont be judged, where you can feel safe and I think that's reflected in my present surroundings.

One of the things I appreciate about Elemental Book and Curiosity Shop (my primary location) is an atmosphere that supports people's spiritual interests on a broad ranging level, where there are tools for inspiration and growth, books, incense, jewellry, crystals and candles all at very reasonable prices and where experience and honoring of different paths are offered in an understanding way. Dominique (the owner) shares her own extensive knowledge and interest freely and there's a loyal sense of community that people feel and give back to around the place. I like to think we are where we are because we are needed where we are, It's also central and affordable in a way that allows me to keep my price range accessible for everyone. I don't want to be in an exclusive area or where people would feel out of place or be condescended to. It's a good fit for me and so far I've had nothing but positive re-enforcing feedback.

Downtown Winnipeg, particularly this little area near Langside and Portage is a very high concentration of that diversity. There's the adjacent University, CBC, Art Galleries, The West End Cultural Center, Seniors housing (where my mom is), restaurants from fine dining to artsy and funky all within steps of one another as well as also some low income housing, people struggling, addiction and urban living issues you will find anywhere. Our particular location is right beside the West End Biz (a community improvement project with street patrols and resources for area clean up and promotion) and directly across from the new University Sciences building as well as Macfeetor's hall, the student residence. Our building and the adjacent parking lot are monitored. There's security all around us, I feel very safe. But that feeling of safety doesn't just come from things like foot patrols, surveillance cameras or  security guards. I haven't always felt it and it certainly doesn't come from a naive avoidance of what is there. It comes from reaching out, being open and present. I wrote something on my Facebook page the other day that came from somewhere in my head:

"As someone who has known what it is to encounter bullying or social pressures, my heart goes out to those that need to know they are not alone, We have to meet ignorance and hate with a compassion that says bullying is not right.
It's never just the actions of the few bullies that wound...it.is the silence of those who stand by and allow it to happen, that do nothing and say nothing because they don't want to be targeted, when that changes and maybe only when that changes, then we wont have bullying, we will just have occasional jerks that we can help to become compassionate and to be freed of their ignorance and insecurity."

And something a dear friend posted resonates with that too:

"If you call out to your fears, they will come to you. if you're strong enough, go for it. the hawk might eat you, but then again, you might tame a hawk."

I have a commitment to helping others the way I have been helped many times over, and because I'm in a place where I can to reach out to others who are feeling uncertain or scared. Whether that's someone feeling they have to hide who they are, or a person struggling to be who they can be, sometimes having to walk away from pretty difficult stuff. I'm happy to meet people on the road of life. I draw a lot of strength myself from their stories. I've learned there's no safety in hiding. There's also little comfort in exclusivity. Whenever I've been willing, the Universe has given me what I need, sometimes through the generosity of those less fortunate in their circumstances than I. That exchange is something I have to give back to. It's why I feel safe when I show up anyway, do what I can, where I am, and help others to feel safe too. I'd rather be part of change and evolution in a world, a city and a neighborhood that is trying to grow and I hope, dear reader you will too.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

March update

Spring is definately in the air! Things are flowing into a new season for many of us. I am continuing to enjoy being in the West End of Winnipeg, both my home and the primary location of my work presently at 355 Langside St. (within Elemental Book and Curiosity Shop). This has proved to be a great blessing, partly as my mother is in senior's care just steps away and what would otherwise be stressful is made easier by work that allows me to be flexible in terms of hours and her greater peace of mind having me close. I feel greatly supported through Dominique at Elemental and the neighborhood. Elements Restaurant (similar name) right across Langside from my work is great for healthy lunch and dinner as well as the cozy spots nearby (not one but TWO Stella's restaurants within walking distance!). Work is going well and most of my longstanding clients have been able to find me thanks in part to Jan at my previous location Blackletter Books (now closed) having passed along my contact info as well as resources like this blog. I'm also very glad to be meeting lots of people in the new neighborhood, with this also being close enough to where I was that I have not lost touch with the great people in the North End.
 
 I'm enjoying the new booking system, you can call my own independant line anytime (even on my days away) at (204) 504 9575 and I will return your call as soon as possible or by calling Elemental at (204) 779 8900, Dominique (the owner) very kindly co-books for me when I am in a reading or indisposed. It's worked out well and usually means we are able to set up a reading ASAP at a time that is convenient for you!
 
In other news the little stray cat "Om Alley" we were fostering has gone to a very good and loving home, there is more information on that on my Facebook Page I miss the little guy, but know he's having a very good life. I hope we get updates soon. 
 
I did a little vlog earlier today about the Pages in Tarot and how I feel they can relate to learner styles in children. I think I'm also going to be sharing a bit in future posts about the four elements and how they can relate to other areas of care giving and support. The journey with my Mom right now is teaching me a lot. Hope you all are beginning to feel the warmth of a new season. If you're in the area stop by or drop me a line. Comments here too are welcome. Happy Spring!
 
 

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.




Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cycles Of Change

I had some news today that I am passing along. My previous longstanding location Blackletter Books & Collectibles at 1170 Main St. (here in Winnipeg) will be closing this spring. They will be having a huge 75% off sale commencing January 14th and continuing until the closing.


I owe a lot to this place, it allowed me to really become independantly established. Although we were always seperate businesses (I rented space there) we shared a phone number and I learned a great deal working with Jan (the owner). When I moved earlier in 2012, (partly due to family that needs me nearer) it was a cooperative and respectful change. Jan has continued to let my clients know where I've gone and how to reach me, a pretty strong reflection of his great character and a fraternal mutual respect I value highly. I have known of places that have psychics that don't allow for contact beyond that establishment, like hairdressers or other service areas sometimes when you leave clients sometimes have to really search to find you or you have to advertise heavily. I have had a pretty straightforward transition partly due to things like this blog but again largely thanks to Jan continuing to let people know where I've gone and how to get ahold of me.

Over the last two decades Blackletter has been a staple in the North End (it was on Selkirk Ave. for quite a few years before we shared space for the last 17 years on Main) and a respected name in the used book business in Winnipeg, with many dealers coming from other cities stopping by. This industry has had to face a lot of change and transition in the last few years. This is not the first business of it's kind that has had to close in the last few years. I hope Jan will be doing something further, perhaps in a different format and rest assured I will be posting to let people know.

In the the next few months there will be some tremendous deals in terms of merchandise, I will definately be stopping by not just for the sale, but to say goodbye to a place I love and to wish Jan well and show my support to whatever the next chapter holds. I encourage you all to do the same. His hours are 10 to 6 Tues. to Fri. and 10 to 5 Saturday. The phone number there for further inquiries is (204)586-2702