Monthly Archives: July 2013

You Gotta Be

Des Ree“Listen as your day unfolds…” That’s the first line from the song “You Gotta Be,” by Des’Ree. There’s so much wisdom in just that first line of this song. Do you listen or are you too numb to notice how your day is unfolding?

That’s not the only nugget of wisdom in this soulful tune:

Listen as your day unfolds, challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky
Lovers, they may cause you tears
Go ahead release your fears, stand up and be counted
Don’t be ashamed to cry

You gotta be
You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know, all I know, love will save the day

Herald what your mother said
Reading the books your father read
Try to solve the puzzles in your own sweet time
Some may have more cash than you
Others take a different view, my oh my, heh, hey


According to Wikipedia, Des’Ree said that the song was “about having the inner strength to figure out who you are.” Wow! Crank up this tune and let your SOUL send you the guidance to find out who you gotta be.

The Inside Out Revolution: The Only Thing You Need to Know to Change Your Life Forever

I was intrigued when I read the title of Michael Neill’s new book “The Inside Out Revolution:  The Only Thing You Need to Know to Change Your Life Forever.”  I like to listen to Michael on his weekly talk show on Hay House Radio, Supercoach.  I find Michael to have a straight forward, gentle yet pragmatic coaching style when he is working with the callers on the show.  It’s fun to hear the “a-ha” moments the callers have when they are on the phone with Michael.  So what is this thing that Michael thought was so important to write a whole book about?

It turns out the thing is a concept and a person too.  Let’s start with person.  Syd Banks.  Syd was a normal guy just trying to make it through his day until he had what he describes on his website, “…a profound spiritual experience that revealed to me three, long lost, divine principles that are the foundation of all human experience.”  Teaching the three principles of Divine Mind, Divine Consciousness and Divine Thought was Syd’s mission.  Upon his own research, Michael realized how Syd’s work influenced many others and decided to learn more about it.

Michael explains that the Mind, Consciousness and Thought principle can be broken down to “three spiritual facts:  we are alive, we are aware and we think.”  Throughout the book Michael provides insights and stories to further connect the reader to the power of these three simple principles.  Michael does a great job building the teaching he presents by breaking the book into three parts:  Part 1:  Shifting Foundations, Part 2:  Expanding Possibilities and Part 3:  Living the Dream.

Most people feel that it is the outside world that creates their experience of life.  I used to work with this person who would have a scowl on their face all day if they experienced traffic delays on the way to work.  This foul mood would even permeate into our afternoon meetings.  If called out on this, the person would say, “Well, I had a bad morning.”  I wanted to shake this person and say “OK, but now you’re in this meeting with us and there is no traffic.  Be here with us now.”  Maybe I should send this person Michael’s book.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.


Kumare_promotional_posterAs I was getting ready to visit my first SoulMate, Cuky Choquette Harvey, a few weeks ago I was very nervous.  I felt as if I was going to see my guru wondering if she would approve of my SOUL journey.    Suddenly I remembered a great documentary about the power of guru’s, Kumare.


In this documentary, filmmaker Vikram Gandhi, a regular guy from New Jersey, transforms himself into “an enlightened guru from the east.”  He goes to Phoenix, Arizona and develops a following of devoted students.  His main teaching to his devotees is that they don’t need him or any guru, that inside of each and every one us is the most powerful guru of all.


At the start of this spiritual experiment, Vikram’s intention was to reveal to his students his true identity, but once he sees that his students are making progress towards their goals and living a happier life he is torn.  Should he reveal his true identity and risk deflating their dreams and the relationships he has made with these people?  What’s a “guru” to do?  You’re going to have to watch Kumare to find out.

SOUL Beginnings – Part 2

Cicero Development CorpAfter my first day of lomi, I slept for 15 hours!  It was the deepest most relaxing sleep I had ever experienced.  I felt ready.  Like something big was going to happen.  I had no idea what, but I felt real excited and couldn’t wait to get to Cuky’s house.


After my second day of lomi, I couldn’t feel my head.  I literally was touching my head to see if it was still there.  Everything felt bigger.  For the first time in my life it felt like my chatty mind wasn’t running the show (for a great description of how I felt check out Jill Bolte Taylor’s “stoke of insight” on TED).  Cuky smiled at me like she had seen this before and told me she wanted to give me something before I left for the day.


I was in a daze for most of that day.  A beautiful daze.  Everything seemed prettier.  All the food I ate tasted especially good.  I really noticed nature and all its colors, creatures and rich abundance that is with us everyday.  I remembered why I got into the environmental field in the first place.  It was blissful.  So blissful I forgot about the gift Cuky gave me.


The gift was a rolled up certificate with this poem:


Master in the Art of Living

I draw no distinction between

My work and my play,

My mind and my body,

My education and my recreation.

I simply pursue my vision of excellence

Through whatever I am doing

And leave others to determine

Whether I am working or playing.

To myself, I am always doing both.


After I was done reading the poem.  I thought that’s how I want to live my life.  But is that possible?  Who lives their life like this?  Cuky.  Cuky lives her life like this.  And then it happened.  The vision for SOUL was presented to me clear as day.


I quickly wrote down my idea.  My vision of excellence would be to find people who live their lives like the poem.  I would interview them and share their stories with others to inspire them to live their vision of excellence.   I was so excited to tell Cuky about my vision.


The next morning, I could feel my head again and it was in a chatty mood.  “This sounds like one of your crazy ideas again, Karen.”  “You’re not a writer.  Remember you hated your freshman writing class in college.”  OK.  I thought.  This could be a pipe dream.  Maybe I shouldn’t say anything to Cuky until I figured this whole thing out.  But that just didn’t feel right either.


Driving to Cuky’s house for my last day of lomi, I questioned if this vision was something real or not.  I thought how I could learn a lot from people who were living their vision because I sure wanted to live mine. Sharing their stories could really help people. But would anyone care?  Stuck at red light and feeling a little dejected, I asked for a sign.


Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed this van a few lanes over from me.  I quickly grabbed my purse and pulled out my camera because I thought no one would believe me.  “Cicero Development Corp.”  Cicero is my maiden name.  I’ve been working on SOUL ever since.

SOUL Beginnings – Part 1

September 2007.  It’s about 3:00am and I’m stuck in an elevator at hotel in Kansas.  I’m in the elevator at 3:00am because I just made a run to Walmart to find some migraine medicine.  The alarms are blaring in the elevator, which is making my head feel worse.  I’m on the verge of throwing up.  I’m holding my head thinking, “What the hell am I doing in Kansas?”


I’m in Kansas for a 3-day retreat.  The retreat is with a woman, Cuky Choquette Harvey.  Cuky is a certified massage therapist, intuitive and practitioner of an ancient Hawaiian healing art called lomi lomi.  The promise of the retreat was to bring my spirit home, back into my body.  I knew my spirit had left my body because I felt flat.


At the time I was running my own environmental consulting business.  A very profitable consulting business and I was miserable.  The work was monotonous and my clients were all unhappy people.  I was emotionally drained.  At the urging of my husband, I decided to go see Cuky.


After 45 minutes of torture, I get out of the elevator.  I crashed on my bed and thought, “How am I supposed to lay on a massage table when I feel like I have to puke?”  I closed my eyes and said if I wake up in time to get ready, then I’ll go.  I didn’t sleep at all.  I paced in my room. Even though my head still was pounding, my brain would not stop.   Do I go or not go?  Do I go or not go?  Over and over again.  Finally a little wise voice emerged.  “Cuky is a healer,” it said.  “You’re here to feel better.  So go.”


When I arrived at Cuky’s house I was greeted with a welcoming smile and hug.  I immediately started crying.  I told Cuky about how horrible I felt and my elevator experience.  Cuky smiled and said, “Well you sure are stuck.  We better get to work,” and she whisked me off to begin our first session.


Check in tomorrow for  SOUL Beginnings – Part 2.