Monthly Archives: November 2010

Major Breakthrough to be Revealed in Unveiling!

Unveiling: An Inner Journey Links Major Archetypes with Myers-Briggs Types

If you followed the course of Robert Langdon, Dan Brown’s heroic “Professor of Symbology” in his most recent adventures, you’d have seen him tracking down the most revered and esoteric secret hidden within a Freemason pyramid’s special “magic square” code. Cracking this code gave insight into one of the major hidden “inner truths,” known only to an elect few within the highest ranks of Freemasonry.

The truth is, we don’t need to do Dan Brown-style continent-crossing adventures in order to “crack the code.” What we DO need is some painstaking research, piecing together the insights that we obtain when we find the lost (or perhaps deliberately mislaid) real meanings of one of our well-known esoteric teachings. These teachings themselves have been available for all to study, over the past several hundreds of years.

Why this timeframe?

Actually, the “secrets” themselves go back much, much farther in time. They very likely were developed at a time when the Hebrew people were living in Egypt, and there was not only prosperity (for both Hebrews and Egyptians), but likely significant cross-cultural intellectual fertilization. The best minds, of both cultures, were – for a brief period of time – living amicably and in close quarters.

It is likely that from this timeframe, when there was both prosperity and intellectual stimulation, that the greatest “esoteric secrets” of our Judeo-Christian world were discerned and codified. They were also very likely taught in what we have now come to think of as the “Mystery Schools.”

What happened to these secrets?

In short order: The Hebrew people were cast into slavery, and then thrust out of Egypt. They claimed a new land, and solidified their culture. The “esoteric secrets” continued to be developed, and taught in an oral tradition. Over the next several hundred years, various elements were put down in writing, although the primary interpretation was still done in the time-honored oral tradition; master to disciple.

But at a certain point, the continuity was broken. The Grand Masters feared – with good reason – that their “secrets” could be lost for all time.


Plain and simple: The Inquisition.

The Crusades began just before 1100 AD, and lasted until the latter part of the 1200’s.

The Inquisistion began in the early 1200’s, and continued through the 1600’s. Most importantly, significant Papal Bulls, giving authority and direction for the Inquisition, were drafted in the 1200’s – while the leading nobility were away from their lands, the European power centers, and access to the Vatican. (“While the cat’s away, …”)

The Inquisition was a power and money grab on behalf of the Catholic Church, which was then (and possibly still is) the most powerful and wealthy organization in the world. In fact, the Inquisition was largely what made “Holy Mother Church” so powerful, wealthy, and influential.

In Europe, the practice of primogeniture – handing down a lord’s full estate, and his title, to his eldest son – made for some very unhappy second-eldest sons. The “typical assignments” of duties for a lord’s sons were: The eldest received the title and the lands. The second eldest, regardless of “vocation,” was destined for the priesthood. The third (and any remaining) sons became warrior-knights; they performed military service in the land of either their eldest brother or the king.

The eldest son could – and would – marry and have children. The second eldest son, becoming a priest, was not allowed to marry. (Of course, he had mistresses. The church history is replete with the various offices and honors given to the “nephews” of various high-ranking churchmen.) Even though a nobly-born priest could use his influence to improve the lot of his “nephews,” he did not personally own property. He could not bequeath property. This would make for some serious envy!

The solution?

Send the eldest sons, and many of the younger ones, off to fight a war in a foreign land. This left a power vacuum.

The lands themselves, of course, were being managed by the lord’s wife and his stewards. The solution to that little conundrum? Find heresy.

Thus, the Inquisition. A useful tool, which is why it was continued for four hundred very active years. In the course of this time, many, many women (and a few good men – most notably scientists, “heretics,” and other free thinkers) were burned at the stake. Also, of course, a good many Jews.

The Church, of course, laid claim to the estates of all these “heretics.” Over four hundred years, Church coffers swelled considerably, as estates, gold, valuable artworks, and jewels were all consumed by the overarching maw of the Inquisition’s venerable activities.

During this time, the last vestiges of a “woman’s pathway” disappeared – as did the women who possessed healing knowledge. (Is it any surprise that the Black Plague broke out in the mid-1300’s, and consumed approximately 50% of Europe’s population?)

Likewise, the population of Jewish peoples living in Europe was hugely diminished, as a combination of both the order of expulsion from Catholic Spain (mid-1400’s), the attempts (by many) to convert to Catholicism, and then the following pursuit by members of the Inquisition, which then had authority over the converted Jews (since they had turned Catholic, and thus were under the rule of the Church).

Clearly, during this time, it was unsafe to be a Jewish person, living in Europe. The masters of the great esoteric traditions had to find a way to communicate their knowledge.

In fact, they had to do so – with the thought in mind that not only they, but all their living disciples – their entire lineage – would be destroyed. They had to find a way to safeguard their knowledge, so that wise and discerning people of future generations would find it, and re-discover their esoteric teachings.

The great masters did precisely this – by hiding their “secret knowledge” in plain sight!

What these great thought-leaders knew honored women as much as men. Their “secrets” – once properly deciphered – show an even-handed balance of masculine and feminine perspectives.

However, as their “secret knowledge” began to be copied, morphed, and disseminated by those who did not know the inner meanings, the “symbolism” used to encode the original “secrets” was distorted over time. And without the Grand Masters to correct the course, and bring the insights back, the true meanings were lost.

To be continued.

Unveiling: A Guide-Book for Your "Life Make-Over"

Unveiling: The Inner Journey: Transforming Your Life, From the Inside Out!

Dear Ones —

Yesterday, I shared that our first official Unveiling “layout” maxed out at over a whopping 600-plus pages!

Too much.

So Travis Craine, my CreateSpace Publishing Consultant, and I had a little chat. And we decided to reduce the font size (just a smidge), reduce the between-line spacing (just a smidge), and increase the actual trim size (the physical book dimensions, again, by just smidge).

The result? Unveiling will be easier to carry, and to hold in your lap.

At the same time, though, I am enormously grateful of this time as a full-book editing moment. I’m reading Unveiling through – from the Dedication and the Acknowledgements to the very last reference – yet once again.

Usually, by this time, authors have grown very tired of reading their own words. But last night, while editing Chapter 10, on “Shifting State,” something inside myself was nodding agreement.

Because it’s been a few weeks since I first uploaded the manuscript, Unveiling was coming through in a new and fresh way. Reading it right now, I’m still in “edit” mode – still looking for those tiny little glitches, or those miniscule changes in wording that will make it “flow” a little better.

But as I read and edited in the wee hours of the morning, something else started to “kick in.”

Sixteen years ago, I realized that if I really wanted to read the kind of life-guide that I really wanted to read (yes, this sounds convoluted, I know you’ll understand), then I would have to write the book myself. And now, Unveiling is the result.

Now that I’ve “written the book,” I can settle down and read it. And I can actually do the exercises, or Personal Pathworking steps, at the end of each chapter.

Unveiling is really a personal guide-book, meant to help each of us bring about the “life transformation” that many of us desire.

We are always interestd in make-overs, ranging from a short article in one of our favorite magazines, to the subject of a full-fledged “reality TV” show. We like making over everything from our wardrobes, to our kitchens, to ourselves.

In particular, we are interested – at certain times in our lives – in “making over” ourselves.

But since this is a psychological, or internal process, we know that it is more than just throwing out the old appliances (or wardrobe), and ordering in the new. The “cleaning out” stage is HUGE, because it’s various beliefs about ourselves, and habits (both thought-habits and lifestyle-habits) that we need to reassess and sometimes toss.

For an internal “make-over,” we need to go through our own lives.

This is where having a guidebook comes in handy.

On the TV shows, and even in the magazines, the person never does it all by herself. Instead, she has a team of experts coaching her for every step. These people are “facilitators.” They are each experts in a very specific and useful area.

Also, each “make-over” has a plan. The interior designer sits down and does a sketch, and goes over it with the prospective client. The wardrobe or lifestyle coach presents a “vignette” or a small “showcase collection” of what the new look will be like. They make their plan, and THEN, with consensus from their client, everyone goes into action!

Unveiling is designed to similarly bring a team of experts into our own lives.

The people that I write about in Unveiling are those who have helped me in my own journey. The stories that I write about them (with their review and consent) are the “pivotal moments” – those where I had some sort of “aha!” realization. Those are moments that changed my life forever, in very specific and useful ways.

If it took me sizteen years to write this book (and it did; my first drafts are from 1996), it was because it took me sixteen years – every single one of them – to get the “life lessons” and the “pivot points” that I share with you in Unveiling. Indirectly, these people now become your teachers. And if you want to, you can study with them directly – they are all still very much alive, well, and professionally active – they run schools or studios, hold regular workshops, and are very accessible. They have websites, and when my Unveiling website goes up, I’ll link to each of them directly.

There was “theoretical” study as well; I’ve read a great number of books and research articles as part of gaining the requisite background. I cite them in the endnotes. And once the Unveiling website is up, I’ll link directly to the books in their Amazon pages, and to the articles whenever they are published online. These books became my another group of my teachers and guides, and you’ll be able to access these as well.

But also (and this is the most important thing), I had to put all of what I was learning into order, and devise a set of “steps” that a person could undertake, in simple and successive order, in order to create her own, unique-unto-herself, personal unveiling.

Reading and editing my way through Chapter 10: “Shifting State” this morning around 3AM, my thought was, “Yes! I want to do these steps myself!” (That was even though I had done them, in one sense or another, over the years.)

So it will be a few more weeks until Unveiling is fully under way to you. You should be able to have your own copy in time for that very precious little “downtime” that we all get, post-Christmas, and post-New Year’s parties. That time in late January and early February where we clean out our files, our closets, and our lives.

I’ll be doing the Unveiling Pathworking steps then, myself.

May I invite you to join me?

Yours in dance – Alay’nya

P.S. – While reducing the “physical weight” of Unveiling so that it takes fewer pages, I’m also increasing its weight in another dimension — the knowledge that is being embedded within its pages. I’ve found some valuable new books and references that I’m adding in. Their worth is significant. This feels as though I’m broadening the “circle of friendship” that I’m introducing to you via Unveiling; it is like adding in one or two more “special experts” to the “on-call life makeover team” that Unveiling presents to you. I am so excited about this! This is actually worth the delay in getting the book to you – ALL of our lives are benefitting!

Unveiling: The Final Journey of Completion

Unveiling: An Inner Journey in Final Edit Stages

After discussion with Travis Craine, my Publishing Consultant with CreateSpace, we’ve decided on some reformatting to reduce page count, and still maintain readability. We’re also going to go with a slightly larger standard trim size.

In the meantime, I have my full galleys in front of me. Earlier, when I was working with CreateSpace on the “Interior Design Layout” – the first stage of getting the book actually published – the material that they used to illustrate the “layout” was up through the first page of Chapter 2. Exciting to see it all “look” like a “real book” – but I could only proof that material as far as it went.

CreateSpace got the full book laid out Thursday, which was when I realized that (Oi!) the page count was more than 600 – with an Index still to be developed and included. That caused me to rethink my “readability” priorities. Now it’s balancing “readability” with “page count.” All these things that we authors get to think about nowadays, in this realm of small-press and do-it-yourself publishing!

I got the crucial Chapter 7 reworked yesterday, along with the much easier (on you, and on me) Chapter 8. Chapter 7 is one of the big “theory” chapters in the book; it lays out our core archetypes. I wanted to rework the references a bit, so it took extra time. This morning, up since about 2:30 AM, I’ve finally finished editing the chapters up through Chapter 7.

We won’t have this book physically available before Christmas. I keep working with a “best case” scenario – and right now, even “best case” – the current proofing/editing round will extend the timeframe.

But – “worst case” scenario – the book is complete. My edits are of a largely superficial nature; minor reference tweaking, word-smithing, and the (still finding a few) grammatical checks. If something were to happen to me, the book would still go forward. Crucial people are in the loop, and are empowered to make this happen, no matter what. So – Unveiling is on its way!

Stay tuned for further developments.

yours in dance – Alay’nya

P.S. – I didn’t blog at all while in the final book rewrite/edit stages; before submitting the manuscript to CreateSpace. Now, I’m sharing the “what it’s like” story to produce a book. One of the strongest recommendations that I’m making, to all of my friends and colleagues who are seeking to “recreate” their lives, is to leverage their knowledge and expertise by putting out some sort of a “product.” It might be a book; it might be a program, a DVD, or a music CD. (All of these, of course, can be online versions.) The point is that I’m urging all of them towards the goal of mixing in a little “product” together with their “service” offerings (which may be teaching, consulting, or working at a full-time job – or even a series of part-time gigs).

That said – and I’ll stick with my advice to become a “product company” (even if this means being a “company of one”) – I’ll have to tell everyone to never, EVER underestimate the time involved for product launch. It is significantly more time-consuming than can EVER be imagined. This is a time-commitment that is NOT producing an active income, and yet requires huge amounts of the highest-quality time that a person can give.

Moving on from that point, my goal right now is to share the “details” of the product production process; to let people “look over my shoulder” (so to speak) as we go from finished (or nearly-finished) product (the completed manuscript) to actually making it available to you.

I haven’t talked openly about CreateSpace, or my relationship with them, up until yesterday’s blog, mostly because I was very new to working with them. Now, we’ve gone through a few rounds together. The Coordination/Production Team that I’ve been working with has been sweet, and as time-responsive as they could possibly be. My Publishing Consultant, Travis Craine, has both given me consistently good advice, and has stepped in for me when I’ve needed help bringing some matters to the Team’s attention. (Largely, this has been a matter of “artistic fuss” at my end, and I’m thankful that they’re used to working with temperamental writers — and I try to get over my “stuff” as fast as possible so we can all get on with getting the job done.)

We are, all things considered, moving ahead fast.

You should be able to get your copy of Unveiling soon. Maybe not for Christmas, but certainly early in the new year.

And for those of you who are thinking about perhaps doing a book or some other creative product of your own someday — well, it’s always interesting to see someone else get the project through to completion!

"Unveiling" is Big! (Really, It’s HUGE!)

Unveiling: An Inner Journey Exceeds Expectations

What I expected, dear one, was that Unveiling: An Inner Journey – as a 315 page manuscript (sans index) would turn into a 310 page book.

I was shocked to find, yesterday, when I downloaded the full interior text layout, that it ran to more than 600 pages. 600 6×9 inch (standard “trim” size for a trade book) pages. Yes, I asked for (and got) a fairly big font size – 13 pitch Garamond 3 (normal is 12), and generous between-line and between-paragraph spacings.

We – the likely corps of Unveiling readers – are often women “of a certain age.” We’re most likely going to read this book as a private little “treat” for ourselves. We’ll dip into this when we want to be nurturing – for ourselves, rather than for others. And when we’re in this state, the last thing we need is a book printed in micro-font. We’re likely enough to be reaching for reading glasses as it is; there’s no need to make it more difficult.

So Unveiling is formatted for easy readability. The result is that we’ll be toting a BIG book!

The plus side of all of this is that Travis Craine, my Publishing Consultant from CreateSpace (who is doing the actual book layout and production set-up), assures me that we can have a Kindle version right on the heels of the print one. That will be a boon to all of us who want to read on a long plane flight, or on the train to and from work. Thank God that increasing filesize does not add physical weight!

Ch’i Circulation and the "Fountain of Youth"

Learning Ch’i Circulation Patterns

One question that my students always ask about learning and doing ch’i circulation patterns – especially in the early stages – is, “What if I’m not feeling my ch’i (internal energy) just yet? Does it still make sense to practice these patterns?”

The answer, of course, is yes. Do the “patterns,” even if you don’t consciously “feel” the energy flow just yet. You can use the dance patterns that I teach in my Level 3 and Advanced Level 2 training, or use ch’i kung, T’ai Chi Ch’uan, or “circulating the body of light” – whatever patterns you have been been taught or discovered in your own studies.

When I took Elena Lentini’s October workshop in NYC last month, she opened the class with ch’i kung patterns, and used those (exclusively!) as a warm-up.

There are times that we “feel” our internal energy, or ch’i, and times that we don’t. Both are okay. When we don’t “feel” the energy quite so much, we can use the energy patterns to both help develop and bring our energy up a bit, and also to practice both our energy-sensitivity and our visualization abilities. We always need practice in these areas, so this is good.

Think of the energy circulation patterns as creating – with intention – a rivercourse. The more that the water flows through the rivercourse, the more well-defined it becomes. Sometimes there’s a lot of water, sometimes not. Either way, our first task is to help define the direction of its flow. That’s why we have the various “practice patterns.”

The "Fountain of Youth" – It Really Is Real!

The Fountain of Youth

Is it simply a myth, or a fairytale? Or is there something fairly real and realistic behind this notion? Moreover, if it really IS real, then how does a normal, ordinary, working woman (like you and like me) get access to this wonderful Fountain?

The Fountain of Youth – in Unveiling: An Inner Journey

What I personally believe to be the fabled (and very beneficial) Fountain of Youth really does exist – at least according to both my research and personal experience.

The Fountain of Youth is not some external thing. It is not something you can buy in a bottle, or get as a “treatment” in a salon or a doctor’s office. What it is, however, is a process. It’s also something that each of us can learn to do.

Here’s a working definition: The Fountain of Youth is the process by which a person accesses and gathers up her (or his) “internal energy” or ch’i, draws it into their central core (called tan tien in Chinese martial arts), brings it up her spine (the first part of the Macrocosmic Orbit described by Mantak Chia), and then “circulates” or “flows” the energy down her front. (You can “flow” it down around your entire body, or do other directional patterns.) This “flowing” aspect is what gives it the sense of being a Fountain.

Ch’i circulation is well-known in esoteric Taoist teachings. Mantak Chia has been writing about this for decades, and there are similar (and much older) writings within this Taoist tradition. There are similar energy-pattern teachings that are within both martial arts and yogic traditions. There are also similar teachings – or portions thereof – throughout the Western esoteric schools. Throughout history, and across multiple disparate cultures, those persons who have paid attention to “energy work” have discovered and used pretty much the same thing.

The reason that this Fountain can be interpreted and understood the Fountain of Youth is that ch’i circulation both feels good (very good), and has (traditionally, and in my personal experience as well) beneficial qualities for our overall health and well-being.

And no, I can’t cite scientific evidence to support this. And I’m not about to go into the “scientific” aspects; we don’t have either sufficient measurement ability or an adequate quantifiable theory to support work in this area. (I might be wrong here, I’ve heard of some research being done in China on these themes, simply have not sought it out so far.) Thus, most of us who are willing to take on this investigation have to work in a much more subjective realm, and trust our growing abilities to “sense” this kind of energy, as well as corrolate it with written and verbally communicated experiences from those who are students and even masters of this art. (And yes, thie really is – right now – more of an “art” than a “science,” if we want to make the definition of a “scientific” approach to be based on objectively quantifiable results.)

All that said, this has been studied and practiced for millenia, by those who have extraordinary self-discipline and keen, well-balanced powers of observation.

This Fountain of Youth has become one of the major themes of Unveiling, which will be available (through by the end of the end of the year. The reason that I’m writing about it this morning, though, is that the first question that women would have about this is: What’s it like? And very early this morning, I was playing with this energy, and it’s always best to answer a question such as “What’s it like?” by sharing a recent experience.

Besides, this recent experience had something different about it.

I woke up (as often happens) ultra-early, and decided to stay in bed and do some energy work rather than get up and putter about. After going through my usual preliminaries to “gather” and “bring in” the energy, and to start the circulation (more about that in another blog, and of course, in Unveiling), I was well into it when I noticed my body responding in a different way; something that I had never observed before.

“Langour in the Lips”

In this morning’s energy practice, I had already used a combination of energy work and visualization to enter into a very relaxed state. This is not at all unusual; it is actually par for the course. What happened next was a bit unusual, however.

As background and context, I have been hugely in Amazon mode for months now – really, for almost two years. Writing Unveiling, although it has been about the topic of accessing our “other” modes (intuitive and contemplative High Priestess, warm and nurturing Isis, and playful and pleasure-seeking Hathor), has very much kept me in my inner Amazon – task-focused and priorities-driven. (Most women find themselves in this state, far, far too often! That’s why we’ve all needed a book like Unveiling – myself included!)

In this ultra-relaxed state, one that I’d been trying to reach all weekend (and had not really succeeded in so doing), all of a sudden – spontaneously – the muscles across my forehead relaxed. I hadn’t known that my forehead was tight – but the muscles that pull us into a “furrowed brow” suddenly let go, and I could feel the tension in that area seep away. Then, the muscles around my lips started to relax. Once again, I hadn’t even known that they were tight! But one by one, they let go.

I lay there, just letting this happen, and recalled the famous (or infamous) incident when Diane Vreeland, then Editor-in-Chief of Vogue magazine, rejected a very expensive, exotically-located photo shoot because there was no “langour in the lips” of the models. They were all stressed and tight from the strain of their travels, and it showed – of all places – in their lips!

Think about it. How often does the phrase “tight-lipped” describe someone who is either angry or emotionally restrained? And aren’t full lips much more kissable? After this morning’s experience, I’m willing to bet that we humans – with our exquisite sensitivity to nuance in facial expression and gesture – are very attuned to how tight the muscles are around someone’s lips, whether we consciously attend to it or not.

Over recent years, some of us have even had collagen injections into our lips to give ourselves that “full, pouty” look. All this to make ourselves more kissable!

What if, instead of relying on surgery, we did a little energy work, and a little deep relaxation, and let the muscles on our face relax and release? We’d then much more look like a Buddha – calm and serene – with our lips naturally in that very slightest of smiles that comes with calm repose. Think about how much more comfortably we could handle all sorts of stresses, if we could start out with and (at least to some extent) maintain this relaxed state! Besides, it would cost less, and be renewable at will.

Ch’i circulation, my darlings! It’s the Fountain of Youth, and it makes us much more kissable!

Cover Art for "Unveiling: An Inner Journey"

“Unveiling: An Inner Journey” getting fabulous cover art by Katerina Merezhinsky!

Katerina Merezhinsky, whose graphic arts and web design abilities I’ve loved for years, and I had our first meeting yesterday to rough out the cover art for Unveiling: An Inner Journey. I’m so excited! We roughed out the design concept; I have a list of to-do’s, she has design work to do, we’ll meet again next week – and shortly after that, we’ll be able to share the cover art with you!

Hmmm – thought just occured to me – signed posters? We might have a limited run – available only for those who are invited to our Book Release Party, or to those who order the first hundred or so … that’s a thought for the future.

Kat’s artwork already captures the core Unveiling concept – that every woman is indeed the jewel in the heart of the lotus – she is the jewel, and her life is the lotus. It’s exciting to see an artistic interpretation of this come into being!

New Video Book Trailer for "Unveiling: An Inner Journey"!

I’m so excited – kirene – our videographer – will be here in a few short hours to show us the “raw footage” that we’ll use to build our new digital Video Book Trailer for Unveiling: An Inner Journey. I’d love to get a still image from her shoot so we can share something with you right away!

Our new Facebook page is: Unveiling: An Inner Journey. Please visit us, and “like” our page!

Unveiling: An Inner Journey: Success Breeds Success

Unveiling Already Emerging as a “Success Story”

Success Has Leading Indicators

After yesterday’s absolutely magnificent digital video shoot for Unveiling: An Inner Journey(beautifully done by videographer kirene from Aurora Vision Quest), I’ve been basking the warm, soft afterglow of success — a feeling that might last another few hours. It will last until the next big challenge pulls me from the warm, soft post-glorious production of yesterday in to the compelling “to-do’s” and “must-do’s” of today and this coming week.

Yet I have to say – and absolutely must share – that yesterday’s experience was a high point.

What I realized this morning is not only the old saying, “Success breeds success,” but also something even more germane: “Success has leading indicators.” Those of us who know what a successful venture is like – whether it’s a company or a product – know to look for certain “early warning signs” that the new venture or product will be successful.

There are certain “key early success indicators”:

  • A clear guiding and unifying vision.
  • A clear “go-forward” plan, with well-defined target outcomes and well-defined process steps.
  • A great team, where everyone knows both their roles and their strengths, knows the objective of any given task, and stays mission-focused througout.

We have this on tbe overall for Unveiling: An Inner Journey, the book itself. We also had these same factors in play yesterday, as we pulled off an excellent video shoot of four different scenes (different stage set, lighting and costumes) within four hours. We knew our vision: We were going to create the raw video footage that would express the four core Unveiling “archetypes.”