Stabbed in the back by a “frenemy”

Stabbed in the back

Unfortunately, many of us have had this experience. Someone you thought was a friend turned around and betrayed you. Maybe she started a cyber-bullying campaign against you. Maybe he slandered you to the boss. Maybe she seduced your boyfriend.

Whatever happened, you can still feel the knife in your back. And it hurts. You lost more than just a friendship. You lost trust in that person, and you may have also lost trust in your ability to choose friends wisely.

Other than indulging in revenge fantasies, what can you do so you don’t have to carry around that painful connection to a “frenemy?”

There is a shamanic technique I learned long ago that can recover your energy lost in the encounter and disconnect you from that person. It’s a simple but powerful technique.

Go to my blog on the Huffington Post atGo to my blog on the Huffington Post at to read about how to remo to read about how to remove that virtual knife from your back; and while you’re on HuffPo, drop me a note – I ‘d love to see your comment there about your own knife-in-the-back experience!


Celebrating the Journey to Freedom

Journey to freedom

Throughout the ages and across every tradition, there are symbols and metaphors for the journey we all take from bondage to liberation.

We can look at that journey as the rising of kundalini from the first chakra at the base of the spine, where our concern is basic survival of the individual self, up through the crown of the head, the seventh chakra where we merge back into Oneness with All That Is. We can see it as the Hero’s Journey, the Arthurian quest of the Knights of the Round Table, the story of Demeter getting free of her imprisonment in the Earth, Osiris rising from the dead, the climb to the mountaintop.

In two of the main Western religions, Christianity and Judaism, their liberation journey stories take place in the spring, when life is renewing itself after the dead cold of winter.

At sundown on Monday, April 18th, the first night of Passover is celebrated with a “Seder”—that classic Jewish meal centered around the biblical story of Moses leading the Hebrews out of slavery to the Pharaoh in Egypt. The book that is used during the meal, the Haggadah, exhorts everyone at the table to look at the story of liberation as more than just a tale of what happened way back then, but as a personal experience—the way that you, too, are being led to your own liberation.

The main ritual question of the night is asked by the children at the table: Why is this night different from all other nights? And the answer is “Because we were slaves” and this is what G-d did for us: from the Angel of Death passing over our homes to the waters parting in the Red Sea to let our people go.

We are, indeed, all slaves to our egos, to our antiquated beliefs, to the relentless tyranny of our minds, to the destructive emotions we harbor. Now imagine having the power of Moses to open a clear-cut path through the obstacles that block your escape from slavery so eventually you, too, can get to the Promised Land. The power wielded by Moses sprang from his deep connection to God, to Source. Although it may take 40 years of wandering in the desert, and the testing of faith when confronted with a seductive Golden Calf or two along the way, the path to liberation—for an individual or a people or a civilization—is through connection to Source.

The end of this week brings us to the Last Supper celebrated by Jesus and his disciples, undoubtedly also a Passover Seder, that set into motion the events of Good Friday, leading to the Passion of Christ and the resurrection—another perfect metaphor for the journey to freedom from bondage. We all carry our crosses, bear the burdens of human suffering. We all seek resurrection into the Light.

It pains me that differences in religions have been used to divide people, when at their heart, all religions are based on the same mystic journey from bondage to liberation. Let’s dedicate this week to celebrating that journey of evolution of consciousness. As we gather together in rituals around the table at home or in places of worship, let us remember and reflect upon how far we have come, and acknowledge that we’re all walking the same road to redemption.


My Irish eyes are smiling . . . and sober


May God, Mary, and Patrick bless you.

I greet you with this Irish salutation in honor of St. Patrick’s holy-day and my (half) Irish ancestry. Along with the other 36.9 million U.S. residents with Irish roots (eight times the population of Ireland itself!), I’ll wear something green in celebration of a man whose life was guided by his inner voice and visions. But I will also refrain from indulging the other part of my Irish heritage—addiction to alcohol.

First, St. Patrick, who wasn’t Irish himself. He was born in Britain near the end of the fourth century into a wealthy family, but when he was sixteen, Irish raiders attacked his family estate and took him prisoner. Captive in a pagan land, a frightened and lonely shepherd, he became a devout Christian.

According to his own writings, after six years Patrick believed he heard God’s voice in a dream, telling him to leave Ireland. He walked 200 miles to the Irish coast and managed to escape to back to Britain. Again, he experienced a revelatory dream in which an angel told him to return to Ireland as a missionary. He spent more than 15 years as a monk in Marmoutier Abbey in France and, after Pope Celestine ordained him a Bishop, he was sent back to Ireland—both to minister to Christians who were living there and to convert the Irish. And no, he didn’t chase actual snakes out of Ireland; snakes at that time were a symbol of Paganism.

Now for the second part of my Irish ancestry—drinking. St. Patrick’s Day comes during the Christian season of Lent (March 17th is the anniversary of his death), but prohibitions were waived and, after attending church in the morning, the Irish would eat meat, dance, and drink. And drink, and drink, and drink. Not only on St. Patty’s Day, but every other day as well.

I fell into alcohol as if I were born knowing how to swim in it. It was my rightful heritage.

If it hadn’t been for my diagnosis of cancer in my mid-twenties, who knows how long I would have continued my reckless romance with alcohol. How many more times would I wake after blackouts, not knowing what had happened. How many years of life would have been lost to liver damage. How many relationships would I have ruined.

Here are 10 signs that you, or someone you love, might be an alcoholic; be concerned if one of them fits:

  1. Your family is worried about your drinking.
  2. You sometimes drink alone.
  3. You drink even though you’ve told yourself you wouldn’t.
  4. You are sometimes late for work due to drinking.
  5. You feel guilty about your drinking.
  6. You sometimes get headaches or hangovers after drinking.
  7. You have had a drink when you wake up in the morning to “cure” a hangover.
  8. You get annoyed when people comment on your drinking.
  9. You feel like maybe you should cut down on your drinking.
  10. You have had a blackout.

If you have a problem with alcohol, get yourself to Alcoholics Anonymous ( and learn how this classic 12-step program will help you. You’ll never regret it. I quit cold turkey after my first meeting, and haven’t had a drink since.  You can do it, too.

Do I miss drinking? No, not even on St. Patrick’s Day.




Oscar Gold Gives Women a Positive Role Model

It was very exciting to see Barbara Streisand open the envelope for Best Director at the 82nd Academy Awards, and hear her say, “The time has come . . .” And Kathryn Bigelow walked off clutching her golden Oscar as the first woman to ever win the honor. She also snagged a second Oscar when her film, “The Hurt Locker,” won for Best Picture.

Every accomplishment—and this was a big one—for a woman increases the potential for all women to eventually hold equal rights and enjoy equal opportunities with men.