Sinix’t Barter Fair (Nov 2010)

On the front cover is a photo of sixth annual Sinix’t Barter Fair that happened Oct 1st-3rd in the Slocan Valley, close to Nelson, BC. Good music, wholesome foods and items to buy or barter. Richard really wanted a picture of our new kitten on the front cover so I split the page. I think the ever-changing stage deserved the attention and below is an image so you can get the essence of the weekend. Richard talks about kitty in his column, who was four weeks old and the last of eight kittens to be given away at the fare. We looked at several older kittens but none felt right.

During the event, we got to say hello to a few people we know but don’t see too often including Max, the jeweller who made our wedding bands. He told us his movie, called THE SINIX’T: Bringing Home the Bones, is now complete. Beginning thousands of years ago and continuing right up to the present day, it is a unique and genuine West Kootenay production about the Sinix’t nation and their struggle to be recognized by the Canadian government. They were declared extinct in 1956. Bob Campbell, a.k.a. Laughing Thunder, the spiritual leader of the Sinix’t Band, is looking for support. www.sinixtnation.org.

I am inspired by stories of people changing the world. The shift is accelerating as we, the people, join together to share our experiences and find ways to be effective in our efforts to say that “enough is enough.” One really dramatic example is Avaaz.org, (which means “voice”). It is a global online advocacy community with a simple democratic mission: to organize citizens in every country on Earth to help close the gap between the world we have and the world most people want. The online petitions Avaaz circulates gather millions of signatures in a matter of days, giving world leaders a wake-up call and often affecting the course of history. Change.org and Care2.com are two more websites that support changing how the world re-acts to events.

I have featured many “people making a difference” in the past and will continue to network and provide support for people looking for alternative information, be it on health issues, sustainable living or psychic insights. I urge you to support the Charter of Health Freedom by going to their website below and adding your name to the list. Please read the article on page 10 and join the letter-writing campaign we started last month by going to www.charterofhealthfreedom.org/index.php?/charter-challenge or attend a lecture with Shawn Buckley, their lawyer.

Flordemayo, a member of the 13 Grandmothers Council, tells us that “In this time of movement, where celestial doors have opened, we must do what we have been asked to do. We are standing in the movement and the vibration of a sacred prophecy. The prophecy tells us that consciousness is preparing the spirit of the feminine, the spirit of the grandmothers. It is in the prophecy that we shall walk into the light, united from the four directions.” Creating community is not easy, but trusting in the universal flow is a feminine trait and, as the grandmothers have predicted, it is the feminine forces that will re-shape the world and provide the change we need. Becoming conscious is important as we each learn to speak up. If not, soon there will be little choice left as the corporations and government, who think they control the world, get the One World Order finalized.

When I look around at how much of the garden/Retreat Center work still needs doing, I can easily slip into feeling of frustration as I struggle with the amount of time it takes to write Musings, wondering how much should be said as I put my life into perspective with what is happening globally, knowing we reflect the whole. Can I do it clearly and with love, processing my feelings about what is happening in my life in such a way as to find wisdom and raise awareness collectively? Recently I got upset because some our beautiful organic tomatoes were rotting on the ground because there was not enough help available to bring them in before the frost hit. I know it is not my problem but still, it bothers me. The summer season is complete, and most of our volunteer staff have moved on. I am grateful for the time they have given to the Retreat Center so we could survive another season but I want it to thrive. I appreciate Richard’s hard work, his sense of humour and his ability to relax and share his space with so many strangers. I am enjoying his cooing and laughter as he plays with our new kitten. I appreciate myself and my angels for choosing a task that takes endurance, for many a time I would have preferred to have given up as creating community is not easy and neither is co-ordinating a Retreat Center with someone who thinks so differently than I.

If you are interested in “being part of the change” here at Johnson’s Landing, we are looking for self-motivated and hard working people who believe that “work is love in action.” This is the philosophy of Findhorn, and something I aspire to create here in Canada. Resolution helps change the energy and my intention is to manifest a permanent gardener, maybe a couple with some building skills who would like to trade gardening for living in the lower house. My son Dale has chosen not to move here from Edmonton as he wants to start a solar/green business where he lives and feels he will get better support in the big city.

Right now, we have Antony staying with us, who has four pages of the magazine, the ones with the green strips, on alternative energy. He enjoys doing research into sustainable energy production and is good at writing about his experiences. His articles are on pages 16-20. I would also like to introduce Austin, who lives in Nelson and wants to start his own magazine called Creative Culture Canada; his pages are 35-40. I am delighted to have the help of these two souls as we each grow our wings and make a difference in the world. There are many ways to contact us (on page 4) if you feel a calling to.

I have featured many “people making a difference” in the past and will continue to network and provide support for people looking for alternative information, be it on health issues, sustainable living or psychic insights. I urge you to support the Charter of Health Freedom by going to their website below and adding your name to the list. Please read the article on page 10 and join the letter-writing campaign we started last month by going to www.charterofhealthfreedom.org/index.php?/charter-challenge or attend a lecture with Shawn Buckley, their lawyer.

Flordemayo, a member of the 13 Grandmothers Council, tells us that “In this time of movement, where celestial doors have opened, we must do what we have been asked to do. We are standing in the movement and the vibration of a sacred prophecy. The prophecy tells us that consciousness is preparing the spirit of the feminine, the spirit of the grandmothers. It is in the prophecy that we shall walk into the light, united from the four directions.” Creating community is not easy, but trusting in the universal flow is a feminine trait and, as the grandmothers have predicted, it is the feminine forces that will re-shape the world and provide the change we need. Becoming conscious is important as we each learn to speak up. If not, soon there will be little choice left as the corporations and government, who think they control the world, get the One World Order finalized.

When I look around at how much of the garden/Retreat Center work still needs doing, I can easily slip into feeling of frustration as I struggle with the amount of time it takes to write Musings, wondering how much should be said as I put my life into perspective with what is happening globally, knowing we reflect the whole. Can I do it clearly and with love, processing my feelings about what is happening in my life in such a way as to find wisdom and raise awareness collectively? Recently I got upset because some our beautiful organic tomatoes were rotting on the ground because there was not enough help available to bring them in before the frost hit. I know it is not my problem but still, it bothers me. The summer season is complete, and most of our volunteer staff have moved on. I am grateful for the time they have given to the Retreat Center so we could survive another season but I want it to thrive. I appreciate Richard’s hard work, his sense of humour and his ability to relax and share his space with so many strangers. I am enjoying his cooing and laughter as he plays with our new kitten. I appreciate myself and my angels for choosing a task that takes endurance, for many a time I would have preferred to have given up as creating community is not easy and neither is co-ordinating a Retreat Center with someone who thinks so differently than I.

If you are interested in “being part of the change” here at Johnson’s Landing, we are looking for self-motivated and hard working people who believe that “work is love in action.” This is the philosophy of Findhorn, and something I aspire to create here in Canada. Resolution helps change the energy and my intention is to manifest a permanent gardener, maybe a couple with some building skills who would like to trade gardening for living in the lower house. My son Dale has chosen not to move here from Edmonton as he wants to start a solar/green business where he lives and feels he will get better support in the big city.

Right now, we have Antony staying with us, who has four pages of the magazine, the ones with the green strips, on alternative energy. He enjoys doing research into sustainable energy production and is good at writing about his experiences. His articles are on pages 16-20. I would also like to introduce Austin, who lives in Nelson and wants to start his own magazine called Creative Culture Canada; his pages are 35-40. I am delighted to have the help of these two souls as we each grow our wings and make a difference in the world. There are many ways to contact us (on page 4) if you feel a calling to.

Hollyhock Sanctuary (Sep 2010)

The front cover image was taken inside the meditation space at Hollyhock, Canada’s leading education retreat centre. Located on Cortes Island, they celebrated their 25th anniversary a few years ago by becoming a not-for-profit foundation. Greg Osoba from Hollyhock has been my contact for a while now, sending me their yearly programs to distribute when I take Issues magazine around the valley. His story of how he got involved is on page 12.

Each season has its own rhythm and each year I get to know myself a little better. Summer is a time of fast growth for plants and people alike. Living in a community and having company all summer long sometimes take a toll on my patience. One of my mantras that keeps me sane during the frustrating times is “you can’t get this kind of an education in a university.” When I feel maxed-out, I find a resolution to my dilemma and soon feel the change happening within and around me.

Being around so many people does brings out different aspects of my personality that I didn’t notice before. Since I wear many hats and like being the archetypal mother figure who pleases people, it is good that I become aware of my strategies when tension arises. Noticing how I react to comments and seeing my personality being reflected back through others also provides me with many thoughts. Intellectually, I know that people affect my energy field and that I am easily influenced by various conversations. This fact was proven to me after a Rolfing session many years ago. As I left the room and walked into the hallway, another client brushed past me and I felt a jolt in my energy field even though we never touched. I thought, “how interesting” and took a walk. I noticed it took about half an hour before I could walk past someone without feeling a low-grade jolt as our auras rubbed against one another.

Learning to be an observer of my patterns, I have watched myself go out of my way to avoid confronting someone, or keeping quiet when something bothers me. In my family-of-origin (or childhood) training, it was the safest way to stay happy. As a young business owner, I learned to breathe deep, say some encouraging thoughts to myself, and then say what is on my mind: it never turns out as badly as I have imagined. Often I can feel a tight spot loosen up or my shoulders release once the energy flows from my speaking out. Richard has a family-of-origin pattern that is the opposite of mine: he is much quicker and better at putting words to his needs and feelings. In fact, he thinks as quickly as I feel. Living with him is teaching me the fine art of standing up for what I believe, or at least defending my point of view, as we learn to communicate more clearly and define what we each know as truth.

This summer, we had a twelve-day silent retreat with Robert Beatty as the instructor, There was no talking, no acknowledgment of any kind, not even nodding your head – just honorable silence. At first, it felt like we were ignoring one another, but that was short-lived. As people continued to enter the Lodge in their slow, moving silence to eat food mindfully, it helped slow me down as well. When the Tai Chi Retreat started, I noticed I reacted with a quick smile but did not feel as much like chatting and that I like being quiet doing my work.

I noticed that the Buddhists, who don’t seem to do much, actually have the most going for them. They often book the best accommodations, leave the most tips and generally enjoy helping with the various tasks. To them, doing chores is being of service, something they strive to do mindfully. This leaves me to ponder the results of meditation or reflection time: even though it may seem like doing nothing, this is the “real” work in the world. Controlling the ego/mind is a full-time job!

Once again, I am grateful for the people who showed up this summer to help make the retreats flow. Not having to cook while still getting to eat delicious, mostly organic meals is a treat. The garden produced lots of veggies with the help of Kathy and WindSong who tried to keep ahead of the weeds. Lillah was our cook and her forte is Ayurvedic and East Indian dishes that she learned while living in India. She has a flair for creating new dishes that are tasty and unique. She is now looking for another place to live for the winter, so if you have space and would like to have someone cook, please email her: lillah108@yahoo.com.

Suzanne, an amazing kitchen deva also showed up just when we needed her the most. She made salads twice a day, beds when needed and hung the laundry … and danced while she did it. She enjoyed every new project we suggested including sharing tasks with Bonita, my five-year-old grand daughter, who is moving here this fall with her family. Getting to know so many service-oriented people was a delight, including a variety of Center Life people and WOOFERS who took turns helping with the various projects.

I am also happy to announce that Anthony Chauvet, a Buddhist who stayed here for three months in the spring working on our alternative energy projects, will be returning. He wants to be part of producing the next Issues magazine, which is a dream come true for me. He likes doing research and is planning on selling ads for an eight-page section on alternative energy and sustainability that he intends to have ready for the next and subsequent editions. He wrote an article on page 14. Richard and I both enjoyed his quiet demeanor and slow, steady working style. He comes from France and has a background in computer technology.

Thanks to our capable staff and not having so much to do, Richard and I were able to take a few days off during the hot weather and between retreats to enjoy camping on Kootenay Lake. Richard loves kayaking and I love reading, so we did a little of both. Relaxing is not the same as meditating, but to people as busy as we are, it feels like a close second.

Hollyhock offers some excellent meditation programs and I may attend Tami Simon’s workshop in September. I would also like to see how they do things. It has been on my list for at least ten years, so hopefully soon.

There are many wonderful retreat centres and teachers all over BC if you want to see yourself in a different light. For starters, there is the Naramata Centre where I am hosting the Wise Women’s Festival Sept.17-19. If you are thinking of attending, you will be happy to know that we are not charging late fees to encourage more women to sign up. There is also Yasodhara Ashram, which is on the same side of Kootenay Lake as our Retreat Centre but you travel there via the ferry to Creston. There are also the Birken Forest Monastery near Kamloops, the Vipassana Retreat Centre near Merritt, the Humuh Monastery near Rock Creek and the Clear Sky Meditation and Study Center near Cranbrook, where Anthony stayed last year. Check then out online and make some time for yourself.

Getting Tara into Place (Jul 2010)

On the front cover of Issues are two photos taken at the Johnson’s Landing Retreat Center. The top photo showed a group of Tai Chi students and instructors at our annual Summer Tai Chi Camp. See Hajime’s article on page 34. The bottom photo shows our new stone steps leading to the Lodge and a statue called Tara that recently got moved to her new location. I feel joy in my being when an idea gets manifested into reality. About five years ago, a Feng shui practitioner opened my eyes to the importance of first impressions and entrances. As she walked around the grounds, she suggested many improvements including a stone staircase on the slope leading to the Lodge.

A year and half ago on one of my distribution trips, I stopped at Sacred Journeys, a store on the way to Creston that had statues from Thailand. I found a buddha and knew where he would go. As I was leaving, I asked the price of a large Tara statue that I had ignored as I entered as I assumed it was beyond my budget and could see no price tag. The lady looked at me and with a heavy heart said, “One of her fingers is broken.” She then said, “She needs a good home, so I will give you a good price.” The price seemed reasonable for the size and workmanship of the carved limestone, and so I decided to take her.

Over the years I have become attached to Eastern deities like Quan Yin, who is on the cover of the Wise Women’s Festival program. Now I am getting to know Tara, who is probably one of the oldest goddesses. Her Sanskrit name means ‘star,’ or ‘She Who Brings Forth Life.’ A version of the Goddess Tara exists in virtually every culture. Her Celtic name is thought to be the root of the word ‘tor,’ which is a mound of earth imbued with spiritual energy. In Latin, Terra means ‘earth,’ or even ‘Mother Earth.’ They are both considered female buddhas, beautiful, energetic and renowned for compassion. Their devotees call upon them for assistance in difficult situations. Although their primary role is that of protectress, they have many different forms to help humanity transform consciousness.

I made arrangements to pick up the statues later as it would take three men to load Tara into our pick-up truck. When we got home, Richard slid her out of truck and under the protection of the Johnson’s Landing sign that was in the entrance, where she sat all last summer.

This spring I said to Tara, “If you want to get moved, manifest yourself a rock-person.” I wanted the steps completed before we moved her. At the Opening of the Season event, people help us get the place ready by putting up the tree houses and working in the garden. About eight people showed up including Generoso Panazella, who turned out to be a stone mason. His first words as he looked around were, “Would you like a stone staircase?” and Richard said, “My wife will be thrilled!” Saturday morning he gathered many flat rocks and tried them for size and shape, and by Sunday, Generoso was mortaring the cracks. He then found a huge rock that he said was perfect for Tara to sit on and asked Richard to move it with the tractor. They dug two holes and buried logs vertically and made a roof before leaving on Monday. The man standing in the photo is Cory who was Generoso’s assistant for the three days and a volunteer at the Retreat Center. The man squatting is Generoso, putting away his tools. There is an ad on the page six in gratitude for showing up on Tara’s behalf just in case you might need a rock mason.

Later that week we covered the hilly mound of grass with old magazines and cardboard, topping it off with some lime and wood chips. On Friday, the original JL sign needed to be re-planted. Cory dug one hole and then checked with me for the placement of the second hole. The sign needed to be shifted forward so he could dig. We pulled on the sign from either side and it did not move, so Cory said, “You balance the front and I’ll pick it up.” My mind said, “It is top-heavy,” but those words never made it out of my mouth. Instead, I said “okay,” and raised my hands to support the sign.

Well… the sign was top-heavy as it had a roof over it, and it clunked me on the head. As the weight pushed me downwards, I felt my ribs make contact with the trailer hitch on the truck. Winded, I watched the sign crash sideways, suffering some minor damage, as did I. Luckily it was slight, considering how naive I was. Why did I not pay attention to what my angel had said? In the early days, I used to keep track of how many times I heard my inner guidance and how many times I paid attention to it. This was not one of those one-hundred-percent days.

So, once again I am moved slowly, with a few cracked ribs and a deep bruise making me more aware of my breathing. Richard plastered me with comfrey for the next few nights and I took some extra magnesium. When accidents happen, I give myself time to reflect on the energy shift. I call ‘accidents’ my universal kick-in-the-butt. I wonder why my right side keeps getting hurt and what it is releasing or representing.

Another person’s input also helps get to the bottom of things, so I phoned Colette Stephan, a Yuen Method practitioner. The first impression she got was a feeling of being overwhelmed, which I agreed with. There are so many projects that all want to be done and some days it feels like… just too much. She then asked, “Why didn’t you speak as a child?” I go into my past. I remember a time when I am four and half years old, and my mom has taken me to a speech therapist so that I will learn to pronounce consonants. As I look into the therapist’s mouth, for she is showing me how to roll my tongue, I hear my angel say, “Give up, Angèle, they have won.” Within a few days, I am speaking correctly.

Colette then asks, “What are you feeling?” I say, “sadness,” and she says, “What about anger? Do you remember feeling angry?” And another memory pops in. As a child I bit everyone and everything. In my baby book, it says that the first words I spoke were “I’m mad.” I even bit my Dad in the knee once when he was sleeping, believing, as only a two-year-old can, that if I bite off his leg, he won’t kick our dog again. Dad did a knee jerk and I went flying over his head, hitting the wall. I assume I was reflecting the frustrations that my parents felt. Dad would often kick our dog when he was having a bad day or boot us in the butt if we did not move fast enough when he told to do something. It was his way of communicating, and one that I chose not to repeat when I raised kids, but perhaps that anger is still buried. We talked about my inner bruisings and difficulty articulating what I hear. Colette then cleared that energy from my auric field.

I have read that as we age, our bodies no longer have the extra energy needed to hold memories in place, and that as they surface, we can have ‘accidents’ or develop dis-eases like Alzheimer’s. I have processed many of my feelings with skilled facilitators and know the extra energy I have once the auric field is re-organized. We will have many skilled presenters and healers at the Wise Women’s Festival if you are interested in knowing more about these alternative practices.

I am thankful for the Reiki sessions that Chelsea Van Koughnett gave and to the Buddhists who sent loving energy. Those two groups arrived the day I fell. It has now been two weeks and I am breathing much easier and deeper than before. My Rolfer will do some soft-tissue damage repair work once the magazine has gone to print, and soon I will be back to full functioning.
As Ida Rolf says, “The issues are in the tissues,” I am thankful for the Reiki sessions that Chelsea Van Koughnett gave and to the Buddhists who sent loving energy. Those two groups arrived the day I fell. It has now been two weeks and I am breathing much easier and deeper than before. My Rolfer will do some soft-tissue damage repair work once the magazine has gone to print, and soon I will be back to full functioning. As Ida Rolf says, “The issues are in the tissues,” so I expect clarity will come as I contemplate my feelings and needs.

Maya Paints Spring Colours (Apr 2010)

On the front cover is our favorite view of Kootenay Lake, in bright spring colors, as painted by Marianneke Heringa. Since my birthday fell on a Saturday this year, we spent Friday evening in Nelson, enjoying dinner and a live play. Richard and I stayed at Marianneke’s place called Casa del Soul B&B, a delightful haven for creative souls. I enjoyed finally getting to know this delightful and energetic lady in person. She has advertised with Issues for several years and I have been meaning to stop by. Her story is on page 33.

Something different for this edition was to have Michael O’Connor do an update on my birth chart rather than the general three-month seasonal forecast I usually get. I thought a few of you might find it interesting, and if you have never had your chart done, this is your chance to see what is revealed in a reading. It was ten pages so I condensed it. The full version and graphs are on Michael’s website, see page 30.

Also enlightening was talking with Joseph Roberts of Common Ground and his interview with Bill Vander Zalm on the HST (Harmonized Sales Tax). He says we do have a choice about this tax and that, in fact, it is unconstitutional. It’s not only taxation without representation, it’s fraudulent taxation. The provincial government is giving up a provincial jurisdiction without consulting the people and giving it to the feds. To stop it 10% of the population needs to vote against it. Read the article on page 6, go the website and help with the petition.

By the time you read this edition, the winners of my 20th anniversary contest will have been notified. The two passes to the Spring Festival of Awareness was given to Jody Furneaux of Vernon and Rosemary Fischer of Moosejaw, SASK. The $100 credit at Johnson’s Landing Retreat Center goes to Louise Cheshire of Proctor, and Jamie Evans of Vernon is the winner of the free ad. Robyn Tatum from Salmon Arm won the Whole Package Deal donated by Stephanie Monsen. A friend sent Marion a heartwarming letter that explained why she deserved to attend.

I like being an organizer and the Spring Festival of Awareness as it uses all my talents plus I get to connect with many like-minded souls. Twenty-two years ago a wandering psychic named Peter Morris, appeared in my life and convinced me that the Festival needed to continue and he would help. Saying yes to co-creating this event changed my life and I love it. Several years after my first festival, during a meditation, I got a reminder that I had asked for this opportunity… which I barely remembered doing. I was working late for the Summerland Recreation Department, posting run times for the Man of Steel event, when I looked up to the sky and said, “Why don’t you give me something to organize that I would like to attend?” I forgot those words till the force that is greater than I, and which has a much higher perspective, reminded me that we always get what we ask for. I smiled at myself and thanked my angels for waking me up to a greater potential. It is not always easy to “feel the fear and do it anyway.” I have learned that what I want is usually on the other side of some intense feelings. I breathe deeply into the belly and feel the anxiety. I ask for clarity, what do I really want? My inner guidance always amazes me. Sometimes it is instant, most times it comes when it wants to. Once the Spring Festival is over, it will be time to plant the gardens at Johnson’s Landing Retreat Center. Looks like we will have a few helpers arrive in time for this year’s experience of planting the garden and building a solar shower house. May the season of renewal be all that it promises as we spiral upward, ready or not for the changes that occur as each one of us chooses to be here, now!

Angele with Trout (Feb 2010)

Happy Birthday! Issues Magazine for Empowerment is twenty years old. I knew very little about computers and even less about the print industry when I started it. A big thanks to my mom for supplying me with enough fantastic homesteading photos to create front covers for ten years. In those days, I did not own a laser printer because they cost too much. I printed rough proofs on a dot matrix printer, and then put them on a disk and took them to a print shop. I spent most of a day cutting and pasting the images. I then chose the color of the month and gave the finished pages to Webco Press to print 5,000 copies. If you look at the lower magenta magazine featured on this month’s front cover, you will notice there is no date on the premiere edition. It took six months before the ‘light went on’ and I added the dates and the names of the people in the photos.

So how does a woman with just basic English skills and no computer knowledge get to be the publisher of a magazine and make a living at it for over twenty years? Trust! For me it was trusting the knowingness in my heart and sticking with the plan. I know some of you have heard this story before, but it bears repeating at this special time. I was facing giving up my job as a lifeguard because my inner voices were shouting at me to move on with my life. I asked them to take the pressure off for six months so I could complete my obligations and figure out how to make a living without union pay. When that time was up, it would have been easy to pretend that I had not made the deal since work had improved. But since I also believe in angels and “a promise is a promise,” I handed in my resignation, cried a few tears and accepted that my life was about to change. I had come up with some ideas of what to do and that helped quiet the unrest in my mind.

Shortly thereafter, I was going for a walk when I heard a voice in the sky that said I was to start a magazine and call it Issues. For years I had been distributing the Vancouver magazines Shared Vision and Common Ground in the BC Interior, and I did think that the Okanagan should have its own magazine. After I heard the voice, I decided to visit Vancouver and talk to the publishers at Common Ground, who said they had tried selling advertising in the valley and found it difficult. Samaya at Shared Vision said, “If I can do it, anyone can.” I liked her answer, so I applied for a Communities Future grant and traded in my UIC benefits for a chance to be creative and network people and ideas. At this point, I had also organized my first Spring Festival of Awareness, which I inherited from the Vernon Metaphysical Society. I needed a computer with a publishing program and as magic would have it, I traded it for room rent. Co-incidentally, my oldest son had just moved to college and his room was empty. The rest is history. Issues magazine continues to be published because of the guidance of my angels and my determination that alternative magazines are important.

Going through the old editions and scanning them for the front covers, I got to muse over my learning curve in publishing. About five years after I started, one of my original advertisers said, “The magazine is starting to look good!” I smiled and said, “I always thought it did!” I am ever so thankful for the suggestions, guidance and support over the many years from practitioners and writers. Laara Bracken, who still advertises, was in the premiere edition right beside my one-hundred-word Musing column where I talk about looking the word up in a dictionary, which shows how limited my English skills were. My angels had told me to write a column and call it Musing, so I did my best. Then my angels manifested me a top class editor who took the time to explain the basics and refined my words so they had order and read well.

By the end of that first year of publishing and second year of organizing the Spring Festival of Awareness, my husband of twenty-some years had had enough of this New Age nonsense and my switch to being a vegetarian. He gave me two options: 1) go back to who I was, or 2) allow him to find a new mate. I asked God what to do and he said, “Karmically, it is over. The choice is now yours.” The day after our decision to separate, I ran down our split-level staircase, something I did many times each day, but today I noticed how light my feet felt. I stopped for a moment and realized that I had a new sense of freedom and lightness in me. Our separation had more moments of magic in it than the last five years of our relationship, as we both surrendered to the change that was needed.

The change-over wasn’t all sunshine and roses. There were certainly moments of fear, like the morning I awoke and turned ice cold while still in bed. I had started to think about where I could move to and what I needed to do next … One day, I will compile my many stories with the intention of inspiring young people to listen to their inner guidance. I am told it will be titled, The Making of Angèle. A person whom I have known for a while has agreed to move to Johnson’s Landing this summer to learn computers. She will slowly take over the publishing, allowing me time to focus on this and other projects.

I have also always paid close attention to the intermittent messages that come from the ethers. I love that I have the flexibility to say yes to a task that I don’t know how to do. I assume I will get shown, for I have learned that once I am committed, the answers always come. I am also happy that writing my column Musing over the past twenty years has documented some of the emotional process work that I have done. It is very important to feel our feelings, speak our truth and allow our hearts to stay open.

If you are a regular reader of Issues magazine, then you have already stepped onto the path of awareness. If you want to know more about some transformational awareness workshops, please respond to the various advertisers in Issues or join us at the Spring Festival of Awareness, April 23-25 at Naramata Centre. The 2010 Johnson’s Landing Retreat Center Events Calendar is also available which lists inspiring workshops throughout the spring, summer and fall.

You could also win a FREE pass to the Spring Festival of Awareness. See the details above and go to our new website: www.IssuesMagazine.net. Let me know why you read Issues Magazine, how you found your first copy, etc. I appreciate all those who have already shared enriching information with me. I intend to carry on the Issues tradition of expanding consciousness. I know how important it is that we wake up to the reality that we co-create our lives and to honour our unique challenges as we explore consciousness, allowing it to change us.

Preparing for Winter (Nov 2009)

Winter is coming and a good six cords of wood will be needed to keep the Lodge warm and that takes three or four people about ten days, bringing down standing dead trees from the mountains, which are chain sawed into 6 foot lengths and loaded onto several trucks, then unloaded and chain sawed into 20 inch pieces. If they are large rounds they are split with a gas-powered wood splitter that is safe for everyone to use. The front cover shows Doug operating the wood-splitter while Crystal and Alex stack the wood shed. After that job is done a group of us will discuss next year’s programming for the Retreat Center as well as finish off a few construction projects over the winter months.

It was a busy year with lots of participation in a variety of programs. I am glad that Jennifer did most of the cooking and Doug worked with Richard. They have decided to stay another year, as have Kathy and Barbara. Each year lots of folks visit and each one brings their gifts, which I appreciate but I love it when some stay so there is a continuity of how things get done. As each person integrates into our collective it brings an added dimension with many learning opportunities for all, as we each become more aware of our needs in context of another.

Last month Richard and I listened to His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama in Calgary. First we got to enjoy several school performances, then the sound of a Grandmother Drum with prayer-chants to Mother Earth followed by three Cree ladies singing O Canada. After sitting down I took several deep breaths into my belly so I could really sense the energy – immediately I started to cry…quiet, deep tears as it moved through my heart for about fifteen minutes. I wasn’t the only one who felt this energy.

Once the Dalai Lama arrived he asked us to take the white scarves that were on the back of every seat and put them around our shoulders and give the ends to the person on either side. I felt the magic when I looked around the stadium with the white scarves glowing, connecting each of us in the circle, for we looked like we were all one. He then joked about his gratitude for the Chinese, even though they chased him out of his country, he still supports them by having them make the scarves. His overall message was to encourage 20,000 of us to explore deep within … as that is where peace starts.

At the Peace Summit in Vancouver, BC, just before his Calgary visit, he reportedly said to the crowd “the world will be saved by western women.” I wonder if in his travels he sees so many impoverished and repressed women that he feels that western women are a force to be reckoned with, since we have time and interest in helping ourselves wake up and take responsibility for our actions as an individual and as a nation.

I just finished reading an article by Polly Young-Eisendrath titled Women and Desire. She says after twenty years of asking women, “What do you really want?” she came to the conclusion that women are confused because they have several layers of needs that are not easily understood. She goes to great lengths so we can understand the hidden compulsion to be desired and switch it to being responsible for our own desires. She says, “Women often sacrifice their real desires to fit someone elses expectations, which can undermine self-direction, self-confidence, and self-determination.” It takes courage to speak from our authentic self in the presence of another, knowing we are vulnerable to judgements, blame or rejection. If we fake our feelings, we retain the illusion of control but we lose the possibility of being loved for who we really are.

Being honest and direct while being respectful of those we are in relationship with takes practice, for our programming is subtle and deep. As we relearn speaking from an open heart, like little children or the Dalai Lama, we will find that almost nothing is impossible – not because we are in control but because we discover how to depend gratefully on others, how to change when change is required, and most importantly… listen to divine guidance as it comes and trust it.

Several western women have created a website for women who want to be inspired and create change: www.WomenOnTheEdgeOfEvolution.com. It has details about 14 of the world’s leading female spiritual luminaries including; Barbara Marx Hubbard, Jean Houston, and Lynne McTaggart. There is no cost for this live, interactive event, thanks to the generous sponsors and visionary women who have volunteered their time and wisdom. All you need is a telephone or a computer to take part.

You can also check out the Spring Festival of Awareness that happens the last weekend in April at Naramata Centre, BC, with over 35 presenters sharing their love and knowingness. Details in the next edition, which will be the 20th anniversary of Issues Magazine.

I am feeling it is time for someone else to step forward and take Issues Magazine for Empowerment to the next level of creation. Someone who would like to join our little community, has good English and computer skills, likes a challenge and is keen to learn about the publishing world while getting to know people in metaphysics. If you get goose bumps when you read this, then the angels are talking to you. Email or call me so we can talk. 1-888-756-9929. I also need help filling my racks in the Creston, Cranbrook and Vancouver areas. I would mail them to you. Many blessing for the Yuletide season and may the Solstice moon shine brightly on your intentions.

Komasket Music Festival (Sep 2009)

The cover photo was taken at the Komasket Music Festival that was held near Vernon on native land. With no drinking, no drugs and no beer garden surrounded by a fence it was a delight to attend. Many vendors served healthy food and organic coffee was donated by Canterburys Coffee Corp. and sold by volunteers as a fund raiser. Many other local companies donated food so the performers and staff could have food on-site. North Valley Frameworks was given a tribute for putting in long, late hours making sure the stages were ready. Lots of effort was also put into the kids’ festival, where we sometimes sat enjoying the magic that happens when so many talented artists perform.

I chose this image because it merges the old and the new… the many orbs can only be seen with a digital camera and the tipis are a majestic reminder of the past. The bright orange dot in the center of the image was the moon, colored by the forest fires burning in the Okanagan and by the intense heat of the August long weekend. It was great to take a few days off and enjoy the festivities, including the networking, seeing the latest fashions on all the young people and listening to high-quality world-beat music, as well as having some quality time with Richard.

Jennifer Steed has been the primary cook this summer at the Johnson’s Landing Retreat Center for which I am grateful. Her husband Doug is a great help with all the major projects that Richard loves doing. I am enjoying and appreciating their steady energy along with the presence of their delightful four-year-old, Olivia, who radiates total joy, honesty and a willingness to work on any project. I have always been intrigued by the quote “It takes a village to raise a child” – and now I get to see the philosophy put into action.

Jennifer is a multi-talented mom, a massage therapist, yoga and ecstatic dance instructor who just finished recording some mantras that she chants to a catchy tune. I am so pleased that my visioning last November in my Musing column worked so well….when I asked for a couple to help out. Now I am visioning another couple joining us for we are building our third green house and could use some gardeners. My hopes are high that our community is finally starting to grow and we will attract reliable people, who can guide the volunteers as they come and go.

Since I have not been around many young kids since I raised mine I have been musing to myself … “Did I act like Olivia at four-years old?” It is good for me to see the loving, patient responses she gets to all of her questions. During our recent family reunion I also watched my two sons and their wives, who have two children each, be better parents than I think I was. I made sure my kids had healthy food, set clear boundaries, provided them with lots of play time while allowing them room to be themselves. Looking back, I realize that I did not have the parenting skills of an older mom but I do remember not wanting to repeat some of our family patterns so I asked them to tell me if I ever started acting like my Mom. Several times they did remind me that I was using guilt to get them to do what I wanted. When that happened, we had a few productive conversations and came up with solutions that worked for both sides.

Young people are so smart. Watching these young ones being raised gives me hope that as they mature they will have enough self-esteem to be strong and creative. They are inheriting a troubled planet and will need to take back control of our economy and develop a better way of creating structure, sustainability and living in peace while eating healthy food.

We seem to have entered a kind of sci-fi film scenario like ‘The Matrix’ where freedom is being dramatically restricted without us even knowing it or at least not the majority. Many are being conditioned into thinking mandatory vaccination is the best way to protect against the swine flu virus. I hope people educate themselves and refuse to obey. The website, www.anhcampaign.org has lots of facts or you can join an organization like HANS, (the Health Action Network Society) a BC group that has been around for over thirty years advocating for preventive care. www.hans.org.

We vote with every dollar we spend, and if everyone stopped supporting Big Pharm and other large corporations they would disappear as does the little stores when we stop shopping at them. The choice is ours and there are many groups striving to make our government accountable, including Greenpeace and the Council of Canadians.

Life is wonderful, living in Canada is an honor, and I enjoy being able to work as much as I do so that changes can happen as we shift into the next era of understanding ourselves.

Energy Alternatives for the Future (Jul 2009)

Just as soon as the April and May Issues came off the press I knew I should have called it April, May and June. I sweated it for few days, because I feel so responsible with my deadlines, then decided to let it go and sent a message via the ethers to let my readers know that the new summer edition (July and August) would be out at the end of June. This extra time allowed me to get the garden planted, help organize the Opening for the Season event and cook for the Cabin Building and Solar Power Systems courses. The solar panel on the front cover was installed during that class, near our 1939 Paris Dunn wind generator. It can be seen in the background, along with Tullum the horse; and the road up to the Retreat Center.

My musing these days feels really deep. I feel a sense of loss, knowing our planet and the animals are in such critical condition. Every day I get emails from groups wanting support so they can save the seals, the whales, our water, our forests, etc. The natural world as we know it is disappearing quickly.

From a New Age perspective the micro is a reflection of the macro. Can we really heal the planet by healing ourselves? And what does “healing ourselves” mean in the big picture? What about people who do not even think about healing themselves or care if they affect the planet? What if they did? Where would they begin? Rudolph Ballentine in his book Radical Healing says, “Start with what bothers you the most.” He goes on to say that each of us is responsible to do our part so that change happens, but to do that we must get past our ego-dominated consciousness.

Most of us by now have come to realize that the government is not there for its people. We are being governed by large companies and their lobbying groups who take no responsibility for the health of our planet or the people who share it, only the profit margin. In a metaphysical sense, as in our dreams, the government represents our internal controls, the unconscious part of us that rules how we think.

Recently I watched a video on the use of depleted uranium which reminded me of the huge billboards on the highway in the 1980’s asking the government to leave uranium in the ground. Dave Cursons, who wrote a column for Issues Magazine called Networking for Change – from 1990 to 1993, included a full-page article in the premier edition. I barely remember the details but was glad to support the folks who talked of the dangers and wanted to share that info. I could easily rerun many of Dave’s columns, for the same issues are still being discussed. I asked Dave to write an update on the uranium issues so we can better understand how that is progressing. His article is one page 26.

Listening to psychic Sylvia Browne while doing the last distribution trip I heard her describe on her CD about Prophecy, a torrent of acid rain that wipes out huge tracts of land, land that will no longer be usable for growing food. She then describes huge plastic bubbles that we will build to protect ourselves from the environment. It saddens me to think that the Earth is being destroyed by our ignorance and greed and there is little I can do except change myself, which I have been doing since I started this publication twenty years ago, after living a ‘normal’ life, raising kids and working as a life guard/swimming instructor. With so much information available these days, it takes time to do the research and know the truth when you read it. I have learned to feel the truth in my body and ‘see’ the bigger picture by reading books like Radical Healing. I also highly recommend yoga and breath work.

I keep noticing my own patterns of doing and being, both positive and negative. My partner and others help me see my shadow side. Anytime my body reacts, I make note, thank it, and see if I can figure out a way to make change. We all have choice. A good place to start is by asking “What are my REAL needs?” The Nonviolent Communication model on page 25 helped me to understand my strategies for getting them met but they were not my REAL needs, just my programming.

I am really enjoying the feeling of balance when I walk or sit for many hours at the computer. Glad to have the stress gone from my shoulders. I am grateful to all the like-minded souls who travel in my circle of influence. If you would like to join our network for a life-changing event please register for the Wise Women’s Festival, Sept. 18-20 or sign up for a workshop at the Johnson’s Landing Retreat Center.

Fair Voting (Apr 2009)

Politics on the front cover… I am hoping this a good sign and that “we” the people are being heard. When I was younger, I belonged to a conscientious group of people in Terrace who protested that Aspartame was toxic and asked the government not to allow the poison into our food supply. Instead, they endorsed using it, and that was when I knew I was on my own. I educated myself to protect my family and wondered about entering politics. I knew lots of people who wanted a better health care system and thought… if I could make a difference… it would be worth my while. But I decided I did not have the skills or a thick-enough skin to be in politics, so I choose to publish enlightening articles and encourage people to find answers.

Despite advances in modern medicine, our health is worse today than ever before! There is no doubt that any kind of sickness affects us, causing suffering and hardship. I feel that many people are sick because our ‘lack of health’ is economically profitable for big companies and their shareholders. This includes the food industry with all the ‘designer’ junk foods and beverages that hold no nutritional value and actually make us fat and sick. The ‘health care’ industry figured out long ago that there’s a lot more money to be made in treating symptoms with drugs and surgeries rather than providing patient education, prevention and natural medicine. People need to educate themselves, to see through the commercial deception and brainwashing of commercials and fancy packaging, and keep themselves healthy.

I am disappointed with our government system, but I also know it is a reflection of the whole. We have trusted our politicians and they have lied to us many times. At the same time, I know it could be worse, even though it could be better. Redefining how our vote is counted is a good step in the right direction, so I would like to encourage everyone to vote on May 12.

We also vote with our money. One of my favorite quotes is… Every dollar we spend is a vote for what we believe in. If we support local food suppliers and don’t buy chemically-made products, the chemical companies would run out of money. I have never understood why anyone would spend money on pop, candy, cigarettes and other vices, but these are multi-million dollar businesses.

Lately, the list of problems seems to be increasing. Which is good, for at least they are being talked about. Sometimes I feel my efforts to make a difference are futile, and then I read about all the good people with great websites and books that can educate us. So many good causes to support! The main one that comes to mind is water. Is it a commodity that can be bought and sold. In 2008, a survey demonstrated that 89% of Canadians want a national water policy, yet the Conservative government played a key role in blocking the motion at the United Nations Human Rights Council. Then there are GMO products with no labelling, etc, etc.

Marion, who is becoming a great assistant and friend, has joined our writing team and exposes the facts about MSG and its 30 different names. A few groups are working to get it banned, or least taken out of children’s vaccines. Personally, I would like to see more options in health care as described in the Charter of Health Freedom. See the article on page 23. It seems that the pharmaceutical companies have taken over and now tell the government and doctors what to do. As long as a doctor can label the dis ‘ease,’ they are allowed to prescribe. I have always liked the system in China where doctors are paid to keep people well: if someone in the village gets sick and is unable to work, it gets docked from the MD’s pay.

When I started writing Musings almost twenty years ago, I used to read the newspapers more than I do now, and I remember feeling hopeful when Peter Dueck, who was the Minister of Health, said we needed to find out why people are falling into the river, instead of just pulling them out. Then we had the Royal Commission and nothing improved, then I spent a year on our local health committee and felt like I wasted my time. They made it sound promising that our concerns would be taken into consideration. Now we have the NHP (Natural Health Products) under threat of extinction. Why didn’t they pick on the cosmetic industry if they wanted to try out some new regulations?

Common Ground, the magazine I borrowed the front cover image from, has a great writer called Alan Cassels. His column is entitled Drug Bust. Educational indeed, and well worth the price of the subscription. It is free if you go to www.CommonGround.ca. Thanks, Joseph, (the publisher/owner of Common Ground) for inspiring me so I can inspire my readers.

There is lots of good information if one wishes to know. There are naturopathic doctors, acupuncturists, body-workers, health care practitioners, etc. That I can pay for if I want help. As far as I am concerned, doctors should be for emergency use only. We all have a choice, and the choices are becoming more abundant every year with some amazing people stepping forward to speak the truth. People are becoming empowered, and as that happens, the spell of ignorance will be broken. One day “we” the people will have a government that represents us. Till then, read labels, write letters to your MP, and give appreciation for all that we have.

In the Mail Box

Dear Angele … I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate all of the love and energy that goes into each Issues Magazine. I have been an avid reader for the last ten years or so. After reading the magazine I am always reminded and inspired at what limitless potentials there are for each of us to reach out to others and help make this world a better place. I want to thank you and all of your angels for keeping this window open for me and others. Your efforts bless many. Enclosed is $20 for a two year subscription. Melanie, Cawston

Richard and I often get thoughtful comments from people in support of what we do… I don’t always make the time or space to print them but they are appreciated. Today seemed like the right time. Many thanks to all who have kind thoughts.

Welcome to a New Year (Feb 2009)

This month’s front cover depicts the wintry entrance to the Johnson’s Landing Retreat Center. The huge cedar tree loves our backyard, the amethyst geode under the sign welcomes all for a visit, and our garden shed has a fairy door for all our little friends. This edition of Musings tells of the latest books I have been reading. It is not easy for me to put into words what I often sense is important information, so here are some quotes that resonated with my winter contemplation time.

No one man can go beyond his own knowledge, no thought can reach beyond contemporary thought, and it is impossible for us to guess or foretell how many generations of humanity may have to live in war and waste and insecurity and misery before the dawn of the great peace to which all history seems to be pointing, peace in our heart and peace in the world, ends our night of wasteful and aimless living. Our proposed solutions are still vague and crude, passion and suspicion surround them. A great task of intellectual reconstruction is going on, it is still incomplete, and our conceptions grow clearer and more exact – slowly, rapidly, it is hard to tell which. But as they grow clearer they will gather power over the minds and imaginations of men. Their present lack of grip is due to their lack of assurance and exact rightness. They are misunderstood because they are variously and confusingly presented. But with precision and certainty the new vision of the world will gain compelling power. It may presently gain power very rapidly. And a great work of educational reconstruction will follow logically and necessarily upon that clearer understanding.

This quote was written in 1933 by H. G. Wells of London, England. It is on page 223 of the original edition of his book entitled A Short History of the World. The first 200 pages is a condensed history of who killed whom because of this attitude or belief system prevailing since about 1,000 BC.

The Dalai Lama’s Little Book of Inner Peace is the one Richard and I chose to read on December 21, a day of contemplation and the winter solstice. The Dalai Lama asks the question, “Who created the universe?” His answer… “If evolution has a cause, there are two possible explanations for it. You could accept that the universe was created by God, but this will entail many contradictions such as that suffering and evil were also necessarily created by God. The other possibility is to say that there are an infinite number of living beings whose karmic potential has collectively created the whole of this universe, as a fitting environment. The universe in which we live is created by our own aspirations and actions. At least this argument has the advantage of being logical.”

According to the Dalai Lama, space or ether is not a total void or nothingness but is composed of emptiness particles, going from the subtlest matter to gross matter (air, fire, water and earth), and this process is called generation. When these particles dissolve back from gross matter into subtle matter, it is called dissolution. Space or universal emptiness is the basis of the entire process. Emptiness corresponds to the idea of zero, to the total absence of intrinsic existence. A zero, in itself, is nothing, yet without zero, counting is impossible. Therefore, zero is something and nothing at the same time. The same goes for emptiness. Emptiness is empty, and at the same time, it is the basis of everything. He also asks the question, “What brings about happiness?” His reply is… “Happiness is related to the way we think,” and continues onward …that human beings are not capable of living in isolation. Our nature requires we live cooperatively. Indeed, it is natural to love, as a parent loves their child. We all have a deep desire for peace even if it is hidden, thwarted by our upbringing. That is why the Buddha advises us to search deeply to satisfy our craving for peace, and that often takes many life times.

Since I usually have several books on the go, it is interesting for me to note the similarities, each one adding understanding. In his book, The Different Drum, Scott Peck describes emptiness as… “An exercise of discipline and always the most difficult part of process that a group must undergo if it is to become a community.” He continues, ”There are few among us who do not have great difficulty in tolerating the emptiness of not knowing. After all, knowledge of the past, the present and even the future – and above all, self-knowledge – are touted as the ultimate goals of the human experience.” He then talks about a few situations and then asks “What would happen if each of us said, ‘I don’t know‘ and allowed answers to present themselves.” He then talks of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, who wrote the classic book, On Death and Dying. She says there are five stages people go through as they face death: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. She says most people are unable to ‘work through’ their depression to find the peace they so desire.

Scott Peck suggests that to get through a depression, we must go through a kind of death, a letting go of our ego so that change can affect us. Feelings of irritability are our body’s way of saying it wants time alone so it can talk with us. If this does not happen, the body has no choice but to increase the ante, and soon we have migraines or weight gain. If we sedate the messenger and use drugs, we will feel better but the body will stay unheard: we become unbalanced, our ‘dis-ease’ get louder, and the need for medications become stronger. Christiane Northrup in her book The Wisdom of Menopause, a must-read for people who wish to understand why hormones create moodiness, describes emotions as containing the word ‘motion’ and says our feelings are meant to move us.

In yet another book entitled Journeying East, Conversations on Aging and Dying, Victoria Jean Dimidjian interviews Michael Eigen, who talks about the need to strengthen our emotional muscles. He does not believe that people’s feelings have enough time to get digested. Instead, we allow powerful drugs so that our feelings can be used for gain by the powers that be, including the media. He continues to explain that the children he sees in his professional capacity as a psychologist are given medications much too quickly. He says, “If we are to evolve, our feelings for ourselves and for each other will evolve, but first we have to learn to use our internal resources so that as a world group process, we gradually correct and add to each other’s knowledge. It’s part of the paradox of living that keeping the long view in mind enables one to be in the here and now. “

May this New Year bring moments of celebration as you discover the wonder that you are. If you need help discovering this, please join us at the Spring Festival of Awareness or attend a workshop at our Retreat Center in Johnson’s Landing, visit one of the many Holistic Health Shows that happen every spring or contact an advertiser that resonates with you.