Tuesday, August 9, 2011


"Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy."

Leo F. Buscaglia

The stock market has fallen again. The U.S. has dropped a grade on the S&P and timid stockholders are pulling their money out of the market. Fear and worry are flexing their powerful muscles while wreaking havoc with the emotions of investors. Once again worriers are having a field day.

Worry emerges from the deepest of places within us, a vulnerable place devoid of trust and full of skepticism, a place where the world is ugly and mean and the good always finish last. 

Worry takes many forms and one of the most acute is the worry about our well-being. Will we have enough? Will we be taken care of? Will we lose it all? Another extremely powerful worry focuses on those we love and care for. We worry that they won't make the right decisions, that life will be too hard for them, that they will be hurt or miss out on an opportunity. Sometimes our worry reflects a  deeper fear that a client once put so well; "I worry that what I have given them will not be enough."

Then there is the worry that we won't get what we want. This worry stems from a belief that we actually know what is best for us to begin with. Many times a client has sat with me wanting reassurance that life will work out the way he or she wants. They want a "prediction" of the future that guarantees a positive result. What would happen if we began to believe in our ability to excel in life precisely because the unexpected happened? What if we began to turn  the act of worrying on its head by trusting in our own ability to cope with the ups and downs of life and find ways to create a world we love while doing so.

Worry lives in yesterday and tomorrow. Worry takes our minds onto the hamster wheel of mistrust and fear. Worry robs us of our health and our spirit if we let it. Haven't you seen in your own life that when times get hard and people we love are hurting or needing or we are feeling lost or broken the result is often that people rise to the occasion and find ways to love and heal in heroic proportions? Pain and suffering can open the door  for some of the noblest of actions.

I am not suggesting that you invite tragedy into your life but what I might ask is to turn worry into action. By being in action we feel empowered. Some actions are the simple act of meditation or prayer. Another may be to go for a walk, a run or ride, or to reach out and help another. Through these means worry may abate.

Over the past years of economic stress and loss I have had sessions with many people who have had plenty of changes thrust upon them. The ones who have not only survived but thrived are the people who have focused on what really matters to them; the people who have been able to see what is truly valuable in their day-to-day life. A question to ask yourself when worry is spinning out of control is "Can I do anything about this issue at this time?"  You have the power to choose how you react to life, to the stockmarket, to a loss or a fear, to disappointment and to the ever-present unexpected challenges this earthly life is fraught with.

Claim that power and use it, as you have so well in the not so distant past and free your mind from a vision of a sad and scary tomorrow and relish the potential of today.

Love and light,

I expand my thoughts and free my mind releasing fear and worry with every breath.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What Have I Done?

Have you ever made a choice and then watched helplessly while a myriad of problems arose from the simple act of opting for one direction rather than another? The sense of loss of control, and the roller coaster ride of emotions can be overwhelming.

I am wiping my brow and taking a deep breath after just such an experience and I want to share with you the lessons I have been reacquainted with through the chain reaction of a choice gone awry.

When life seems to be spinning out of control:
Get a grip on your emotions. I did not say bury your feelings or deny them, I did say don't let them rule you. In my case if I had fueled my initial burst of anger and frustration, I doubt I would be able to speak of the positive outcome which eventually ensued. Letting anger take over isolates and can blind us to alternative solutions to our challenge.

Remember "No man is an island." Ask for help. My error in choice lead to a number of people opting to help rectify the problem. Some people embraced helping with gusto and concern. I found compassionate listening at the other end of the phone. I found people doing more than just their jobs to educate me on various options which might solve my problem.  

Request that someone go the extra mile -- but ask with love. When speaking with a representative I asked her to "Put on her halo and make a miracle." Suggesting that she go beyond the norm triggered something in her that engaged her in my issue in a more personal way. And help me she did.

Don't give up; follow your gut. If something is not working and you really feel there "has to be a way" don't stop asking for what you want. As I hit one wall and then another I momentarily lost momentum and almost gave up my quest for a solution to my problem, but after a restless night's sleep a voice in my head said "Give it another try." So I did.

Pray for guidance. I found myself asking; "What am I to learn from this? What do I need to know?" Instead of staying in the impotence of victim energy I searched within for what knowledge I could gain from the experience.

Be in gratitude. After the mess was cleaned up I took the time to call and thank the people who had helped me. I think we all felt a great sense of victory.

My issue was minor in the scheme of life but the lessons brought back to me are not. My initial choice caused a domino effect of "Murphy's Law" my second and third and fourth choices created a pathway of connectivity and flow, reminding me that life is an adventure and that I am part of a vibrant community populated by people who will go the extra mile and embrace an extraordinary challenge in order to lend a hand to another and by doing so feel a sense of connection and perhaps a little glow in their heart.  

Love and light,

As I bend and stretch to accommodate life's ebbs and flows I connect with my world in a life altering way. 

Nora Hooper - Intuitive

For an appointment

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Helpers -- April, 2011

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping."
Fred Rogers

Fred Rogers was an amazing man and I have quoted him before in my writing. I turned to him once again over these past several weeks to reflect on the meaning of the above quote. Its message gives me hope and helps me focus on positive action rather than fear and helplessness. I have thought about the viewpoint of "looking for helpers" when a catastrophe occurs and found great comfort in the perspective. I have speculated on how impacting being a helper is. Helping is not only being at the site of a disaster it is also doing whatever you can from right were you are.

Helping can constitute many actions. The first and very powerful action to help is immediate prayer and mediation. Pray for understanding, pray for healing and pray for enlightenment.  Another obvious action is to contribute money and time. Yet another way to be a "helper" is to elevate your own expectations of how you interact with your immediate world. Be kinder, laugh more, give more and expect less. Give in whatever way you can. Learn from your mistakes. As we each begin to do so we will create a conscious vibration of leaving behind the past errors and creating a new world where we grow in wisdom through experience rather than just repeating the same old thing over and over again. A gentler, kinder world could begin to flourish.

When I first read the quote by Fred Rogers I remembered my early childhood Catholic upbringing. In the Roman Catholic catechism, the theological booklet given to all young Catholics, we were asked: "Where is God?" The answer: "God is everywhere." I struggled with that answer as I matured and began to question the rote response. How can that be? How could God be in ugly places like war zones and death camps and earth disasters. In reading Fred Roger's recollection of solace from his mother I saw the answer to "Where is God?" in a novel way. God is in the helpers rushing to bring aid when the unexplained, the devastating and the horrible occur. And they are everywhere even in the most awful places and awful times.

We live in a world of Ying and Yang. Nothing exists without its opposite. So just as the world seems to be shearing apart it is also being put back together. Just as life seems to be spinning out of control people are joining together to bring healing and repair.

Acting as a helper takes the courage to remain centered in the belief that love will triumph over evil, that good will win over bad. But rather than spending time in that philosophical debate I prefer to focus on my world and what I can shift and alter. I aspire to stretch farther than I have ever thought possible in order to claim the role as "helper."

Love and light,

I reach out to others with love and kindness, what I do matters.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Train Ride

I am traveling north from NYC on the noon train and if we keep to schedule in just a little over 2 hours I will arrive in my hometown. Looking out the window there are times when it seems that just the tiniest sliver of land separates the train car from the ice laden river alongside me. It thrills me. I have prepared for this, dashing onto the train to ensure a seat on the left hand side, the window seat with the Hudson River view.

A Canadian goose, frightened into flight, flies parallel to my window slowly losing ground falling back, back and away but not before I watch it's wings gracefully beat against the winter wind.

I contemplate the river. The January ice is multicolored, patches of wavy aqua marine stretch into navy and mushy gray. I imagine walking across the ice to reach the opposite riverbank but notice places where channels have been cut by river barges. The water is choppy and a steely black.

I watch from the window as we chug past a cookie-cutter park with a jogging trail snaking along the river side. A parka-clad woman throws a frisbee into the air. Her border collie leaps capturing the spinning disk with sheer joy oblivious to wind or temperature. Their breath makes little clouds of moist air. A walker walks, heaving himself into the wind with great strides on the charcoal path of concrete slicing through the still-white snow.

I pass gingerbread houses from Victorian times with puffing chimneys and streets bathed in winter sunshine. Giant maples reach their bare branched fingertips up to touch the sky in what seems to me like praise. Or are they pleading for something? I wonder.

West Point sits on the edge of a cliff like a fortress impenetrable in sand-blasted stone holding the secrets of lost decades.

We follow the river as ancient mountain ranges rise up in their wintry majesty. The Catskills home of lore and legend and in the distance the Adirondacks soar misty blue and mysterious.

Croton on the Hudson, Garrison, towns fly by with names plucked out of a Norman Rockwell painting. We blink past Wappingers and Poughkeepsie, towns christened after the native Indian tribes who for so long held a peaceful pact with the land they roamed.

Even though I now live among palm trees and gulf breezes the Hudson River landscape resides within me. It stirs my heart with something much deeper than nostalgia. I still believe that something magic lies hidden in the foggy mist that rises from the river in early morning, that the steepled, old graying towns, the winding roads and the arching railroad trestles hold secrets yet undiscovered. It seems to me that something mysterious and altering resides there waiting for me to discover it. These visions and vistas whisper that I am not alone; that I belong, that I am a part of something ancient and holy and that it is a part of me.

As the train slides into the depot I watch a hawk soar into the slanting afternoon light. I breathe a sigh from deep within. I am home.

Nora Hooper