Wednesday, December 23, 2015

New Year, New Oz Horizons

The first week of 2016 is upon us and the dust of the holiday season has begun to settle. Your gift list was completed and your home was infused with the aromas of garland, gravy and pies. Your spirit was enriched with several Thanksgiving...Winter Solstice…Christmas...New Years…Hanukkah…Kwanzaa… and/or Diwali festivities. What a fine holiday season.  And it's called a “season" for a reason. 

While the beauty and majesty of this season glows on our calendars each year, the energy it takes to materialize these meaningful moments is tremendous. We need a full "season” to enjoy and delight in these special activities, otherwise our bodies, sanity and spirit would collapse with exhaustion trying to celebrate them all. 

This has been a tremendous season of Oz in the life of Dorothy, and I treasure the memories, lessons, connections, and relationships of each Oz experience I have enjoyed this year. I was the Grand Marshall of an Oz-themed community parade in my hometown of Lakeside, I spoke about my great-grandfather at an Oz weekend celebration on Coronado where Baum spent so many winters writing, and I went to Pennsylvania, Los Angeles and Taiwan where I led seminars about The Wisdom of Oz and the challenges of Dorothy’s return to Kansas. My time in Oz has been action-packed with ceremonious appeal, and my spirit has enjoyed returning to the quiet solitude of my home and life with Gita. 

The holiday season is like a treasure chest full of nostalgic memories, heartfelt connections, family feasts, new friends, and fun-filled entertainment. 

It provides the nourishment we need to enter into the New Year…to imagine our hopes and dreams, and declare our intentions for the coming months ahead. 

In a way it mirrors Dorothy's experiences in Oz with friends and celebrations …. and new challenges and adventures. 

This year, when you find yourself reminiscing about the joys of the season and setting your intentions for New Year, you might remember your connection with Oz. Think about the lessons
you have learned in that magical kingdom, and what you might need to develop as you continue your adventure. The yellow brick road take you where it will, and your intentions will shape the your experiences and stimulate your inner growth and development. 

As your companion in this journey, my wish for you is a brain filled with inspiring and creative thoughts, a heart filled with tender moments of love and affection, an infusion of courage to explore new horizons, and a deeper sense of the home that lies within. 

May these gifts surround you with joy and shower you with blessings throughout the coming year.  


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Take a Walk Through Your Haunted Forrest

The season of Halloween is upon us. Its a time to dress our hidden selves in costume and explore the dark and scary places we often avoid.  Haunted houses, overgrown trails into forbidding forestsmonsters and witches and demonsoh my! What funwhat terrorwhat a journey into the unknown.

And think about the most scary place in Ozthe castle of the Wicked Witch of the West hidden deep in the forest of No Return. It's like a dark, thick, mysterious shroud of spooky illusions surrounding a fortress of tempered solitude.

From my psychological  perspective, I imagine the haunted forrest as a manifestation of the Witchs wounded psyche. It holds parts of herself she cannot acceptparts she masks and hides to scare away intruders. Each spooky character in her domain is like an unknown force inside her, creating a visual display of her negative thoughts and beliefs.  Her threatening feelings and disturbing desires seem to haunt her, as well as those who dare get too close. 

We can all relate to the Wicked Witch in one way or another. We often create intimidating facades to scare away dangers and keep all "outsiders" at a safe distance. Hidden behind veils of illusion, we protect our vulnerability and keep possible pain at bay. Or perhaps we hide our bad sides as best we can, and hope that others do not shun us when our inner monsters appear. These inner demons live in our shadowhiding from the light and emerging only when we sense danger.

In the Oz story Dorothy penetrates the Witchs shadowy forrest in order to satisfy the Wizards request for her magical broomstick. Dorothy tries to reason with the Witch with no success, and when the Witch trips her to get the coveted silver slippers, Dorothy reaches into her own shadowy forest to hurl a pail of water at her. Of course we know what happens next..ding dong the witch is dead!  Dorothys spontaneous action melts the Witch and frees the entire kingdom from her slavery. The haunted forest is no longer in the shadows and later the Tin Woodman rules the kingdom bringing his heartfelt energy of love and compassion to the people who live there. 

So what is the lesson in all this for us? Perhaps we need to visit our own haunted forests from time to time, and explore the shadowy demons that reside there. What we find may be helpful, as Dorothys anger was for her when she confronted the Wicked Witch, or harmful, as the ruthless bees, wolves and monkeys when they attacked the travelers during their travels into the west. 

When we are familiar with what resides in those nether regions we are able to make choices about how these energies will manifest. Remember, the monkeys were one of the most threatening and scary of creatures, but when Dorothy put on the witches magic cap she could direct them to do her bidding. The monkeys were not the problem, it was the Witch who controlled them. Isnt it interesting that these scary energies can be used in positive or negative ways, depending on whos in charge?

Visiting your own haunted forrest can be scary and uncomfortable at first, but with support, care and guidance, this journey of awakening can develop a healthy self-concept and authentic self-expression.

Here's to Halloween and its various traditions. Just as we turn a holiday that glorifies fear into fun costumes and candy drenched festivities, we can also transform our own fears to celebrate connection and the beauty of the human spirit.  


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Healing Hand of Oz

As I recover from a recent a hip replacement, I am filled with awe for our miraculous world and all the healing possibilities offered within its many corridors. I am not one to mentally or physically be stagnant for long periods of time, so this period of immobilization (one month and counting) has created many moments for reflection and healing on all levels.

Accepting the distressed status of my physical body and consenting to surgery has allowed me to recognize other areas within myself that have been overworked, stretched and in need of mending. During this recovery process I’ve experienced the healing that comes with lovingly exposing and embracing these uncomfortable aspects and realigning my mind-body-spirit. I imagine my life rearranging itself now, just as my bones are realigning to adapt to my new titanium hip. Isn’t it interesting how the outer body effects the inner world, and vice versa?

As I reflect on my experience of the last few weeks, I’m reminded of how our friends in The Wizard of Oz obtained inner healing as they traveled through Oz.

In the presence of Dorothy, the Scarecrow saw his self doubt, the Tin Woodman saw his closed heart, and the Cowardly Lion saw his obsessive fears. Dorothy’s presence provided a climate of unconditional love and acceptance for them, which in turn stimulated their personal growth and development.

Dorothy’s gentle manner, heartfelt responsiveness and persistent focus is a wonderful model for us to follow during our own times of pain and distress. Perhaps we can become our own “Dorothy” and create an internal space where the insecure and uncomfortable aspects of ourselves can be surrounded with love and acceptance, and guided into experiences that bring healing and integration.

And we cannot forget Dorothy’s supportive ally, Toto. Whether she was in the plains of Kansas or the emerald glow of Oz, Toto provided a safe emotional landing-pad for Dorothy to expose and mend her cares and troubles. Toto’s unconditional love and companionship remind us of the power of our own intuitive energies, and the fundamental importance of unconditional love and taking care of our own physical bodies. 

The climate of healing would not be complete without mention of all the friends and family who provide physical, emotional and energetic support. Their loving presence is a great blessing and an essential ingredient for healing…both in Oz and in Kansas!

Thank you all for being here and contributing to my healing in such a strong and personal way. Your healing energy is greatly appreciated.

Enjoy your adventures in Oz!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Oz and Independence

As we approach the 4th of July, we are reminded of the core values of liberation and freedom. Just as our ancestors settled freely into a new land, we too are pilgrims in a new land of freedom.  We fly a flag of independence in our hearts every day, choosing our beliefs, actions, traditions, experiences and commitments in a land that allows “for liberty for all.”

Traditionally we celebrate the beauty of our freedom by relaxing with family and friends, and letting our appreciation soar freely into the sky with the colorful explosion of fireworks and sparklers.

On a more internal level, we celebrate our personal freedom by choosing how we live our lives. We choose what values to live by, and what influences we experience. We choose our partners and our beliefs, and live in a country that supports our decisions in its very constitution. As long as we do not harm others and take care of our basic needs, we live freely without interference.  We are a nation that values freedom and the right to be our unique and individual selves.  

In America’s quintessential fairy tale, Dorothy is a strong and independent heroine. Her journey through the land of Oz awakens her to realization of who she is, and creates a bridge between life in Oz and life in Kansas. She peels through the outer layers of her personality during her Oz tribulations, and in the process develops her own personal “Constitution”. Essentially, she liberates herself by separating from what no longer serves her, and realigning with what is most important.

Finding her independence in Oz and being open to the struggles of her journey there,  allows Dorothy to return home. Metaphorically, in the free land of Oz  she experiences her internal beauty and sense of self, and this is what allows her to move freely between the external world of Kansas and the internal world of Oz. Finding her personal power in Oz leads her into a deeper realization of her independence,  freedom and celebration of life.

Think about it...Think about Dorothy…yourself…and freedom.

Think about your freedom to express what is important to you.
Think about your freedom to express who you are.. 
Think about your personal experience of freedom in this land of the free.
Think about celebrating your SELF with a bright display of color and light.
May you enjoy a sense of personal emancipation during these 4th of July festivities, and give thanks for living in this "land of the free and home of the brave".


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Fatherhood & Oz

Father's Day marks an distinctive day of celebration, and this year it happens on the Summer Solstice, a powerful day to celebrate the men in our lives.

On the Summer Solstice, the Sun reaches it's highest potential in the sky to create the longest days of the year. It evokes a strong masculine energy that penetrates the darkness and dissolves the shadows. Just as our own inner light elevates our thoughts and exposes the hidden recesses of our inner world, the solstice awakens and realigns us with the light.

Whether you are a father yourself or simply pay homage to your own father or the men who have supported you, Father’s Day is a time to honor the support of the masculine.

As we approach Father's Day and the Summer Solstice, think of Dorothy and her relationship with Uncle Henry. He took on the role of provider, working hard around the farm and protecting the family from danger. Like many fathers, his responsibilities occupied most of his time. In his quiet and steady way he focused on supporting his family and creating a safe place for Dorothy to grow and develop.

Later in the Oz series, Henry is encouraged to take a vacation from the Kansas farm. He decides to travel with Dorothy to visit his family in Australia, which pleases her tremendously. Her reaction reminds us that time with our fathers is precious and important.

Perhaps you can relate to Dorothy's delightful response to Henry when he invites her to spend time with him......and perhaps now as an adult you can appreciate his constant dedication to being a responsible provider.

Father’s Day is a time to reflect on this powerful and important relationship, and to give thanks to the father’s who have established solid foundations for us. 

May you enjoy the light of the Summer Solstice and may that light warm your heart for the fathers in our lives and the fatherly energy we embody for others.