Last summer’s Tour de France winner, Floyd Landis, finished his doping hearing in Malibu yesterday. Whether he is ultimately found guilty or not of doping during last summer’s ride, it has brought the subject of truth-telling to the front page.

Cycling legend’s Greg Lemond’s testimony got everybody’s attention. Greg, a three-time Tour winner, said he had talked to Floyd about his doping charge last summer and Floyd had implicitly admitted it. Greg urged him to “come clean” and not deny the truth. He told Landis that he had learned firsthand that hiding the truth is damaging, citing sexual abuse he’d endured during childhood. “It destroyed me to keep that secret,” Lemond told Landis. “I believe you to be a good person in a bad sport that needs some cleaning up.” Lemond went on to advise: “for your own health and future, not to keep any such secret bottled up.”

Lemond had another bombshell: he said he received a phone call the night before he was scheduled to testify from Landis’ business manager, threatening to “out” Lemond about the sexual abuse if he implicated Landis in the investigation. Lemond reported the threat to authorities; Landis fired his business manager the next day.

The effects of the Malibu hearings and Greg’s stand were felt in Germany yesterday, where a doping admission by the popular rider Zabel,“Mr. Clean,” was front-page news. And this morning, Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme called for more cyclists to speak out. He said “the law of silence is not totally broken, but the wall is crumbling.”

Landis continues to deny using illicit drugs despite incriminating samples. Upon cross-examination, experts testified that drug tests are not “perfect.” This type of legalistic posturing flies in the face of what people like Lemond know in the marrow of their bones: that truth heals all.

Greg Lemond acted in accord with this basic principle. Life has shown him the cost of living a lie and the boon that comes with telling the truth, no matter how painful it may be. His stand with fellow athlete and champion Landis reflects this commitment, as did his refusal to be blackmailed.

If Landis were to demonstrate this kind of courage and admit to breaking the rules, he would be in a unique position to speak a larger truth: drug use is rampant in the cycling world as it is in many competitive sports. So prevalent is the use of performance-enhancing illicit substances, it is nearly impossible to compete without the superhuman boost they provide. When one athlete takes a stand, the whole sporting world will take notice and one day soon that truth will provide the impetus to turn the tide.


Owen Wilson’s Attempted Suicide

We look up to our celebs, hoping that they escape all the problems that the rest of us face, such as loss of love relationships and career dissatisfaction, but they don’t. In Owen’s case, we can speculate that his recent break-up with Kate Hudson, followed by her publicized new romance, could have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.
 In fact, these depressing life events are even more stressful for celebs because they are in the public eye, and that in and of itself causes tremendous stress. It’s one thing to have your girlfriend break up with you, and quite another to have it happen in front of millions of curious onlookers.

Suicide is the 11th most common cause of death in the U.S. One of the best antidotes to thoughts that can lead to suicidal impulses is to find out what we really think. We all lie to ourselves all the time and band-aid over our real feelings so much of the time we don’t even really know how we feel. I travel the country putting on Truth Heals™ seminars, where people can come and really express themselves. There they find a safe place to get in touch with their real feelings. Feelings like jealousy or resentment, if not addressed, can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts.

Other possible causes of suicidal thoughts are side effects from both street and prescription drugs. (Paradoxically, suicidal impulses are a side effect to some major anti-depressive drugs!) The drugs can leave someone very imbalanced from any major stress, from divorce to job loss to a death in the family. Any trauma can cause significant clinical depression that can lead to suicidal thoughts. I worked with a man at a seminar in NY who had become suicidal after a bout with heat stroke. It can be something that simple.

Another celeb hazard lies, oddly enough, in their very talent. Owen is actually a very talented writer; he was nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay,“The Royal Tennebaums.” It’s a fact that the more talent a person has, the more likely they will have complex and troubling emotions. Think Virginia Woolf and Hunter Thompson, Halle Berry and Rosie O’Donnell—all have been wracked by depression.

Then there’s that special comedic talent – unfortunately,just below laughter, there are always tears. It takes someone who can feel deeply to make us laugh. Owen is the clown archetype in modern dress. Chances are, he’s been creating laughs because he may tend toward depression. Think John Belushi and Robin Williams. The clown archetype, throughout history, has always been, underneath, a really sad, troubled figure; he makes us laugh to take himself away from his own deeply felt pain. As both a gifted writer and talented actor, it’s no wonder Owen Wilson has had such a hard time staying balanced.

What about fact that his family is famous? This could very well be another factor for Owen. When we think of a safe haven, many of us think of home. But if home involves a lot of competition, expressed or not, it won’t feel safe. It will be just another pressure cooker.

With Owen Wilson, underlying his sporadic reported drug use is depression, and below that festers his real problems, admittedly rooted in self-esteem issues. Owen’s habit of “disappearing” when he is troubled is the worst thing any of us can do to avoid depression; that can lead us to drugs and alcohol.

I urge those who feel depressed or hopeless to talk, whether with a therapist or with family or friends or in a 12-step program – or even by calling 911. Just don’t stop talking. Our fear can really run away with us when we clam up. Don’t feel any shame about it either – there’s no shame in feeling down or lost. If someone you know threatens suicide, always take it seriously and get them help immediately. You won’t be violating their confidence. Those who contemplate suicide aren’t thinking clearly at that moment and will thank you later, when their thinking improves.

In addition to talking about your feelings, another antidote to suicidal thoughts is physical movement, preferably outside. I hold events across the country and work with a lot of very depressed people – depressed about their lives, their health, their lack of prosperity. I help them find that connection back to nature – it can be as small as watching a sunset or petting your dog. Pets are one of the best ways to stay emotionally balanced.

Know that deep depression and suicidal thoughts can happen to anyone, even someone as apparently successful and happy as Owen Wilson. Our thoughts are with him today.



More on John of God

May 17, 2007

Two weeks in Brazil at Casa de Dom Ignacio with John of God and I am deeply moved and changed. Upon first stepping into the long room where the Christian healer performs daily miracles, I felt the energy in the room like a gust of strong wind that almost knocked me off my feet. The room held over a hundred people, sitting in silent meditation and prayer to support the healing work.

I inched closer and closer to the front of the line. As I grew near, what I saw took my breath away. I could see and feel the Christ Light arching out from Joao. I observed him look at each person on multiple levels—physical, emotional, spiritual and genetic—and initiate whatever change would best support the desire of that person’s soul. I knew from my own work that healing aligned with the soul’s purpose does not always involve the cessation of symptoms or “cure” desired by the personality.

When I stepped forward to greet John of God, the state of unconditional love in which he resides while “in entity” enveloped me. I thought: I never want to leave this place. The energy was tangible and electric, full of radiant Light straight from the Source.

While he spoke to me in a foreign tongue, I could see recognition in his eyes – I felt like I knew him from long ago. I was told he had named me a “daughter of the Casa.” The interpreter said this was a great honor and whisked me off to another room where I was given a badge so that I could work in the healer’s room.

Later that day, I received a healing from Joao. Addressing a ski injury that had plagued me for years, he did invisible surgery on my shoulder. No scalpel, no anesthetic, no blood. The injury was healed. Watching him work was among the most exciting and yet deeply humbling experiences of my life.

John of God leaves his body and allows spiritual entities to enter and do the work of healing. These “entities”—the spirits of deceased saints and physicians—are many of the same entities that assist me in my work. However, I do not lose consciousness, and teach my students to remain conscious, as this more modern method is safer.

Joao’s method is a very traditional one that is supported by the culture in which he lives. It is important to understand that what suits one culture may not suit or be supported in another. The visible surgeries Joao performs are a good example of a practice that would not be appropriate here in the U.S.

In Brazil , where such things are consistent with the culture and worldview, the entity working through Joao literally cuts and sews on people while they stand at the front of the room! The anesthetic is a powerful, albeit spiritual, one. There is never a case of infection, although he uses his bare hands and reaches right into the body where he has opened it with a knife. I had the sense that this form of visible surgery is done for those whose faith will only allow them to believe what they can see.

I had occasion to speak with many, many people who had come to Casa do Dom Ignacio for treatment. Although some were suffering terribly from bodily injury or disease, and many were wheelchair bound, all felt happy to be there. Among the saddest cases were the many parents whose children had birth defects. Rarely treatable on the physical level, these children and their parents were nonetheless blessed with healing for the soul. Most everyone I spoke with reported being positively changed by the visit. Many emphasized spiritual changes over physical ones.

I can attest to the authenticity of John of God’s work with a sure and grateful heart and plan to return to the Casa to work with him again


John of God

John of God

May 10, 2007

I am here in South America working with John of God, the renowned Christian healer. I came to Brazil to experience his work and connect more deeply with Source.

Modern life presents us with quite a challenge to stay connected with our innermost self. If I’m not aware and attentive, a few months of long hours a day at work can leave me feeling out of sync and disconnected from Nature. The constant electronic and cyber interfaces pull me out of the natural realm, and I must be intentional about spending time outdoors to replenish and restore my vital energy.

Life in this small South American village reveals a whole different pace and way of life. Dirt roads, a sparse automobile here and there, a pay phone that I have to walk ten minutes to find. Children and dogs playing in the street. Roosters crowing at dawn. People riding their rickety old bikes into the village in the morning to get to work. Life here is slow and lazy. One woman sweeps out her shop and chats with a neighbor. Everything slows down as the sun crosses high overhead. Work horses pull carts full of bricks and boards or freely stroll the streets alongside their human friends, stopping to nibble the grass or wander into an nearby field. At 5 in the afternoon, everyone stops to sit on the front stoop and chat their way through the long soft evening. These people spend their evenings mesmerized by the sunset and the moonrise rather than the TV.

As I fall into this rhythm, every cell in my body seems to slow down. My meditations deepen, as does my breathing. I sleep as soundly as I have in a decade. I realize how little I really need: a few pieces of clothing, a small shard of soap, a pair of sandals, a prayer book.

With a little effort, we can achieve this same state of peace in the middle of a hectic city. Take a moment right now to take a deep breath and look out the window at the sky. Feel your feet on the floor and imagine that they are rooted in the warm, soft earth beneath you. Take a few moments later today and go out into your yard or a nearby park. Stand with your bare feet on the ground and simply admire the beauty of nature. Do a few stretches and feel how your own body fits into Nature with seamless perfection. Take a moment and chat with your neighbors or smile and greet a passerby.

We tend to lose touch with our natural rhythms when life requires a fast and furious pace. Something as simple as noticing the feel of the air or the sound of a bird’s call can help you get back in sync. Once in a while, we would all do well to give ourselves the gift of a weekend away. So go ahead–visit a small town or take a camping trip and slow your life down. You will be delighted with the benefits.