What Are You Willing To Receive?


What are you willing to receive?

That’s a shift in consciousness from what we’re used to. I always talk about manifesting this, manifesting that, creating this, creating that. But recently I’ve come to realize that shifting to receiving is a way of shifting from doing to being.

Who am I willing to be, and what am I willing to receive? If I want to be in the “flow,” what flow do I want to be in?

I wrote about this in my Morning Pages, and I must say it was challenging. I started out rather primly and sparsely, because I’m not used to thinking like that. But then I hit the money thing, and I started to put a dollar amount on it. What am I willing to receive money-wise?


Ten dollars, twenty dollars, fifty dollars, 100 dollars? And each time I pictured receiving it. Not doing anything, just receiving it. It’s pretty revolutionary. I stopped at $300,000. Not a year, not in exchange for something, not in my career, not in my business, just receiving. And $300,000 was where I stopped.

Not good or bad, right or wrong, just that’s where I stopped.

What else was I willing to receive this morning? A lifetime supply of Sweet Love Blend coffee, clean water for the rest of my life, locally grown oats, cranberries, blueberries, almonds, walnuts, milk, lamb, beef, bread, butter, juice, yogurt, muffins. Good, happy dental care that’s close by and reasonably priced. Hugs, kisses, rides, compliments, birthday cards, cake, candles, frosting. A great designer to help us remodel our home and make it better. A wardrobe update. Ease and flow with my business, Shamanic journeys with healing and teachings. Readership that forms a community where readers and writers come together and share and support and feel part-of. A new website that does cool stuff like plays my music, creates a mood and a wonderful place to visit. A professional identity that is right for me, that is easy and fun to talk about, that bridges traditional and mainstream and is in demand and that makes a difference. More stories from people I have touched in some way and helped that I have not been aware of. A musical existence that has me composing, playing, learning and sharing music publicly in a groove that is wonderful and, well, groovy….


And interestingly, the biggest thing that I am willing to receive now is…space. Space in my physical world, space in my calendar, space in my being, space in my heart, space in my creative life. I am willing to receive less of what is overwhelming, so that I can stretch into my life and exhale. The space to feed my soul well.

What happened last night was a fitting prelude to this morning’s musings about receiving.


I was minding my own business, taking some downtown, coloring. And while I was coloring I had this thing going on in my head, this niggling thing, this discontent, and eventually I was able to name it: I was judging. I was sitting there judging my partner, this other person, this situation, that remark. In my head, ticking them off: Yep. Nope. OK. Not OK.

PippaloudogfrisbeeOnce I named it, I let it go, and then I colored. Totally, whole-heartedly and contentedly. The way I see it now is I fully received my judgments, then I was able to fully let them go, which released me from the unending polarity my mind is great at, and that opened up the space within where I could consciously choose. I chose coloring. With a quiet mind, I could do that. Then this morning, I chose to consciously consider other choices, like ways I would like to be.

MaenaStrawberryoohlalaYou can say that I’m a touchy-feely, ungrounded, magical thinking kind of person. What this is about is a shift in consciousness, and that is admittedly not concrete. But if it’s a true shift, it will show up in the concrete 3-D world somehow, perhaps with greater ease, perhaps with greater enjoyment, satisfaction, fun. Perhaps with more connection and meaning. Maybe even with dollar signs attached. Ooh-la-la!

I invite you to just try it on. I invite you to just ask yourself one question:  What are you willing to receive?  I’m curious to know what you come up with.


The S-Word

Universe Designs

The Universe designs the perfect circumstances to support your success.

If the first thing that jumps to your mind when you read this assertion is your most recent flop, read on. And keep in mind the corollary: “If at first you don’t succeed, there’s more to the story.”

I’ve decided to jump into the topic of success, because it is such a loaded one for me, and, I suspect, others. Even the word is distasteful and alarming, as in gets my cortisol levels up. It can’t be success I’m talking about, can it? That illusive yet over-worked topic that people either pay thousands to master or give themselves energetic whiplash pretending they don’t care about?

I thought I didn’t care. Until I learned about someone else’s success. Someone in my own field of touchy-feely personal growth and healing. Someone I did not regard as a writer. Someone who seemed to just jump in and voila! Success! Even though I understand the mechanics and manipulation that go with claiming bestseller status on Amazon, I was still stung by her book’s success. 

Even though, even though, even though. I still felt humiliated, hopeless and terrible. As in terror. Yes, I would fail. It’s written in the stars. I am hopeless. It will never happen for me.

Some good news: I knew what to do. I wrote down, in excruciatingly detailed and honest language everything that was going on in that mind of mine, all the reasons why I was a failure, all the reasons why being a failure meant I was also useless as a person, all the reasons why being a useless person was who I always had been and always would be.

Then I turned them around into affirmations. Well, not right then. First I spent at least an entire summer’s day in Maine (which means I wasted the equivalent of a week anywhere else) feeling as though I were dying, trying to convince my partner that I was dying, and losing all interest in any of the things I usually enjoy. Yes, it was that bad.

My depression lasted for a couple of weeks. I started calling it what it was, and I started talking about it in safe places. I started to ask myself why I cared so much what happened for someone else. And most importantly, I started to ask why I wanted what I wanted, and how did I define success.

The most obvious lesson gleaned from my plunge is that my ideas of success were based, at least partly, on competing with and coming out ahead of others, and on getting validated and legitimized by others’ recognition of my work. I also had success tied in with self-esteem and worthiness. As in, I had to prove that I deserved to exist, and the way that I would prove that would be to become a bestselling author.

My depression actually helped me by bringing these beliefs to the surface where I could see, examine and question them. No wonder I had been holding my fledging business at bay and felt estranged from its heart and soul. I didn’t actually have a handle on its heart and soul. I was in it for the wrong reasons. Yet I knew that I was called to reach beyond writing just for myself. I knew I had something of value to share.

My Mastermind group helped, my friends in similar fledging endeavors helped. They helped mostly by doing an enormous amount of listening as I talked myself through the process of discovering what mattered most to me as a writer of healing works.

Eventually, I sat down with my trusty yellow legal pad and took each one of those damning beliefs and turned them into affirmations, and from there developed a new list of Soul Messages, all related to the topic of success.

I also wrote down some guidelines for how to turn affirmations into Soul Messages, essentially turning I-messages into ah-messages by using the word “you,” as if someone were telling you about yourself and about life, as they do when we are young sponges absorbing everything the big people tell us.

I still don’t like the word success, and I’m open to suggestions. I don’t like it because anyone like me, who has all this emotional charge around the concept, will look the other way when they see the word, and these are the very people who might benefit from the messages. Maybe I need to find words that a child might use in talking about success. Maybe the entire concept is something we only develop as part of a mindset we adopt because we think we have to, in order to be legitimate adults.

I don’t know. You tell me: Is success a valid topic for the Soul Messages lady?

Love you lots,


To sign up for my newsletter, please follow this link: http://mad.ly/signups/102366/join by Phyllis Capanna © 2015 joyreport All content is the sole property of Phyllis Capanna and joyreport. If you are reading this content on another site, it has been reposted without the author’s permission and is in violation of the DMCA.  © 2015 joyreport

Madame Transformational Happiness Saves Us From the Scary Thought Monster

walking-shadowI don’t know why I thought I’d never encounter the Shadow again. I guess it’s possible to believe you’ve seen the worst, lived through it, and now, what? Smooth sailing? Endless chai lattes? Bagels with cream cheese that don’t cause instant weight gain? Yeah, something like that. But just because my darker half showed up again doesn’t mean I haven’t acquired some impressive chops in facing down my demons. I might have found myself in some of the same places, but this time I had different equipment: a better map, a brighter headlamp.

You know the Shadow, right? That dark part of you that wants to trip little old ladies and steal a pack of gum in the check-out line? Most of us have our Shadow under control, so we don’t act on those impulses. In fact, they usually go unnoticed. They just stream by in the never ending river of internal experience, bumping up against other impulses, thoughts, feelings, impressions and memories, as we process input from outside ourselves and navigate each moment.

But the Shadow shows up on a regular basis in a much more palpable and troublesome way: It generates those pesky thoughts that keep us stuck, make us feel bad about ourselves, sap our self-confidence and stand in relentless judgment of everything around us. We may not trip the little old lady, but we are mean to ourselves regularly.

We can do something to change and heal that process. Like anything else in personal growth, awareness is the first step. I remember reaching a juncture in early recovery where I was clearly miserable and for no reason that I could discern from analyzing my circumstances. Then one day I heard the thoughts that were in my head and realized what was meant by “beating up on myself.” My thoughts were brutal and relentless. I couldn’t do anything right.

It didn’t take me long to realize that I was simply perpetuating the thought forms and beliefs I had learned growing up. And that isn’t code for blaming my parents. These thoughts and beliefs are everywhere in our culture. Beliefs about our worthiness to receive the love of our Creator; expectations we are to conform to, based on barely articulated sets of conditions we are never quite perfect enough to meet; conditional okay-ness in every sphere: physical, emotional, and behavioral; attacks on our worthiness and value as people.

As I began to recognize the effects of that voice, I began to work with ways of healing the thoughts it wanted me to buy into. I wrote them down to examine the beliefs and world view more closely. I began to see what the New Thought movement (what is manifest starts in thought) was talking about. As we believe so shall we receive. How could I have a wonderful, fulfilling life with thoughts like that?

Fast forward almost ten years. I am offering empowerment workshops, as I have done since graduate school, on various topics all focused on creating a good life. I get totally hooked on the idea of incorporating principles of quantum physics into the empowerment work. After all, if the butterfly wing really can trigger a thunderstorm, then maybe our thoughts can affect our reality.

"How do I work this thing?"
“How do I work this thing?”

In that model, I decided not to pay too much attention to obstacles and stuckness, except to acknowledge that our outer world reflects back to us what we believe is possible. That which we focus on becomes our reality, which correlates with the Observer Effect in physics. No point in doing battle with stuckness, just heal the perception of lack and limitation, and the situation transforms.

Then I received a request to develop a workshop all about dealing with obstacles and stuck places. I revisited my transpersonal psychology notes from the Program In Spiritual Psychology. Right there with the other sub-personalities I encountered the Shadow. My notes say, “Don’t confront the Shadow.” Check. They go on, “Treat as if no big deal. Don’t do battle. Just ignore it.” Then a little later on, “Best way to treat the Shadow is with humor, even mocking.” I flashed on Eckart Tolle’s brilliant work in A New Earth where he talks about how the one thing the ego hates the most is being laughed at.

Bingo. So, in the workshop, in the midst of our very intense work on obstacles, we came face to face with our Shadow or Adversary. I could see people start to tense up, like you do when the bully is approaching from the other side of the school yard. How is Madame Transformational Happiness going to pull us out of this one and save us from the Scary Thought Monster???

And if you, too,  know all too well the tyranny of the Inner Wet Blanket, who seems to hold sway over one or more sticky aspects of your life that just don’t want to change or get better, I suggest you do what my workshop participants did:

  • Give your shadow a silly name

    Don’t let that pompous meanie ruin your life one more second. My shadow’s name is Silly Poopy Banana Pants. No lie. Yesterday I caught the witch trying to ruin my successful writing workshop by telling me I would not be equal to creating something of value for five more sessions. So, I said, “Silly Poopy Banana Pants, Na-na na-na na-na!” and IT SHUT UP.

  • download my free guide

    My Kick-Ass Guide: Getting Unstuck not only contains instructions for crafting utterly luminous affirmations, it is also a step-by-step approach to ferreting out those unconscious beliefs that your silly Shadow wants to scare you into believing. Your affirmations can then address these beliefs directly. This guide is basically that entire workshop, organized like a workbook.

    Armed with these tools and the appropriate moniker for your Inner Naysayer, you should be ready to silence that demon without breaking a sweat.

Not poopy, but you didn’t need to see that.

© 2015 Phyllis Capanna. All contents property of Phyllis Capanna and phyllomania.

Calling All Self-Help Nerds and Geeks

I really didn’t know which was the correct term, so I used both. No offense intended, nerds and geeks. I think I must be both, because they seem equally apt, to describe someone who buys self-help books, then does the exercises.

My friends take advantage of this, trying to use me as a surrogate for their own self-help. That’s twisted, isn’t it? “Did you get anything out of that book? Because I didn’t. Oh. You did the exercises? Wow. You’re so…”

And here, they pause as if looking for the right compliment, when actually they are reminding themselves that judging is bad and taking a moment to heroically reframe my obvious sickness into something positive.

Don’t look to me to remember which synonym for “virtuous” they usually choose. I have usually already stopped listening. Back when they let on that they read the book, but didn’t do the book.

Yeah, about that problem? I can’t help you. I can only do my own footwork.

But you, on the other had, you with the pencil stuck in your plastic spiral-bound yearly Planner for the Souped Up Soul? Yeah, you. You might be interested in what I’ve spent the last few couple of irrelevant-because-time-is-an-illusion time measuring units putting together:

I’ve got your interest, don’t I? Okay, okay, I’ll tell you. It’s my new workbook, Kick-Ass Guide to Getting Unstuck, which is a workbook for discovering and disarming limiting beliefs in all areas of your life. It includes How To Craft Affirmations and tells you how to transform your I-statements into Ah-statements.

I know what you’re thinking, because you, like I, have read – and done – a bazillion workbooks on using affirmations to heal everything. But have you ever found a powerful tool that guides you through a thorough process of  rooting out the peskiest of unconscious negative beliefs, the ones that are keeping you stuck? Has there ever graced your conscientiously self-disciplined personal growth area a clear guide to the anatomy of a kick-ass affirmation?

Most importantly, do your affirmations kick ass?

I thought not. Even if they do, or did, who couldn’t use a refresher? Especially a free one? Well, that’s exactly what I have created for you, my fellow self-help junkie. So look right up there on the upper right, where it says, A Gift For You. Something new and juicy to sink your teeth into.

And look out, you’re about to leave your lazy friends in the dust. Again.


© 2015 Phyllis Capanna. All contents the sole property of Phyllis Capanna, phyllomania and the Joy Report.

Everything You Need You Already Have

Hey there, it’s been a while. I thought I’d include my blogosphere buds in my holiday happ’nin’s. It really is a double – no, make that triple – life sometimes. What got me writing today is that I just realized my whole process here has totally been mirroring the one core belief I love living by the most.

Here it is:

Everything You Need You Already Have

What’s that got to do with holidays? Two things: First, the kinds of gifts that I like to give are ones that meet a spiritual, soul or heart need, not a physical one. (Except for how soulful certain scarves and foods can be!)

Second, I decided/was guided to offer a holiday special this year, in the interest of achieving my primary business goal of connecting with my tribe. So, I am offering a two-fer (which you can read about and take advantage of here.)

Next, I went about preparing for the orders to come in. This gave me a great excuse to visit some of my favorite art and craft supply stores and take advantage of some of their sales. I got some luscious, rich papers, and really couldn’t find much else that floated my boat, so I stuck with the colored paper and went home to root around.

At home I found:

The remains of beautiful marbleized paper I’d made about 30 years ago
A small pile of handmade papers I’d bought from a local artist
Some sheets of paper I’d made myself, about 10 years ago
The remainders of origami papers I’d purchased over the years
Sharpies in all colors including gold and silver, plus about 10 other gold, silver and white paint markers, plus a whole set of fine point Sharpies in about 8 colors
A stash of fabric, grosgrain and wired ribbons
Glitter paper, glitter, sequins, tacky glue, rolling cutter and cutting board
2 pads of black art paper
Tons of colored, holiday and non-, tissue paper

Are you getting my drift?

Everything I needed I already had. For my project. My brand-new-I’ve-never-done-this-before-I-wonder-how-I’ll-pull-it-off project.

I believe this about everything. (I can be so literal sometimes.) I believe that what I am seeking from the world I have inside. I believe that what I most want from life comes when I am able to receive it. I believe that as a group, we humans already have world peace and enough for everyone. I believe that the only thing that’s going to have changed, when these things come to pass, is people’s mindsets. We’re not going to invent ourselves out of poverty and war. We are going to heal ourselves out of those conditions.

This is what I see is possible: We can heal. What do my holiday special have to do with that? It’s a tiny contribution to personal healing. The Soul Messages are small reminders that we are beautiful and deserving, wise leaders, and that this is a benevolent universe. Once enough of us know that and live that, we will have the critical consciousness shift that will bring about healing for all of humanity.

Question: What contribution of yours have you been telling yourself is too small and insignificant to matter?

Grateful as always, to have this space and community.


And here’s the link again, in case you are interested in taking advantage of my holiday specials and helping me use up my wonderful treasures, or just want to see what I’ve been making.

by Phyllis Capanna © 2014 joyreport

All content is the sole property of Phyllis Capanna and joyreport. If you are reading this content on another site, it has been reposted without the author’s permission and is in violation of the DMCA.  © 2014 joyreport

Yay, I failed!

© Phyllis Capanna
© Phyllis Capanna

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett

I’m happy to report that I have failed the 21 day challenge! Each and every day.

I can totally hold up my hand, walk away from, and avoid gossip. I passed up opportunities to share juicy tidbits on a fairly regular basis. I’d even go so far as to say it’s a strength of mine, not gossiping.

Criticizing is a skill, too, I’m afriad. Maybe I could put it to good use, somehow? No, I think it’s something I would like to soften and transform into tolerance, curiosity and openness. It’s a solitary, hard place, criticism. It’s a scared, tense place. The jaw is set. The lips are firm and frowny. The moment is squeezed out, and in its place, an agenda.

Complaining and criticism, now that I think of it, go hand in hand, and I am a champion. One graced day, I was able to catch myself and realize that lack of trust is often at the root of my complaining. Therefore, those moments are an opportunity to practice trust. I was practically chanting the word “trust!” out loud in that moment to keep something critical and complaining from coming out of my mouth.

There have been times I’ve done that very thing to keep intrusive thoughts from taking hold and polluting my mental space. But then I learned that what the ego hates more than anything is to be laughed at. So, toward the end of the challenge, I went around chanting, “judge, judging, judgey, oh, judgeroo person, you’re at it again! La la la!!”

So, here’s what the Soul Messages have to say about failure, and then, as usual, I’d like hear from you. What was your experience during the 21 Day Challenge?

“The Universe wants you to re-frame your idea of failure. It is not the end of the world to fall short, to not make a goal, to have something break down or misfire. Failure is as much a part of life on Earth as when projects are completed, goals are met, and plants bear fruit. Failure is not wrong, it just is. Use the opportunity to gather more data, make adjustments, and try again. 

What’s more, the Universe is on your side. The Universe does not abandon you because you screw up or don’t succeed at something. The Universe and its laws are eternal, unconditional and impartial.

Every time you begin anew, you have the opportunity to breathe life and energy into something you are trying to create. Every time. Universal law is not “three strikes and you’re out.” It is not even, “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.” The Universe is still on your side even if after a few trials you decide to abandon a goal and go for something else.

Life is a creative process, which means it is messy, chaotic and stagnant – as well as predictable, orderly, symmetrical, abundant, and crazy. Stop being so hard on yourself. While you’re at it, try being a little less rational, too. Think of this as an experience that is giving you the opportunity to learn as much as you can about the laws of life that are at play.”

Excerpted from Soul Messages by Phyllis Capanna, © 2014. All Rights Reserved.

21 Day Challenge: Quick Check-in. Where has it taken you?

A quick check-in here on the 21 day challenge to abstain from complaining, criticizing and gossipping:

Wow. The first thing that happened over here is I encountered what can only be described as a shitstorm of resistance and some doozie circumstances that really tested my resolve. (Nothing like attempting a communication overhaul during a Mercury retrograde!) It is so satisfying, in a short term kind of way, to complain!

One of my conflicts around this is, I am an expresser. After spending years not saying things that needed to be said, I almost cannot stand to not say something that I feel strongly about. Which caused me to wonder how discerning have I been about the things I feel I need to express? Do they need to be said to relieve my frustration that circumstances aren’t going my way? Or do they need to be said because of the value they will have in resolving something? Big difference.

Take away number one: Think first. What is my motivation for speaking?

Second, what else can I do to tolerate frustration? All too often the thing that feels best is to tear someone else down, usually not in their presence, but to myself in my private reality, where everyone else is at fault and I am an innocent bystander to their unskilled behaviors. “The world according to Phyllis” syndrome. It’s their fault this is happening. If only they’d (fill in the blank.) Everything was going along fine until that stupid thing they did.

Wait a minute, that sounds a lot like… blaming. And, again, wow! I am a blamer! Oh, ouch, ouch, ouch!!!

Picture it: It’s a hot afternoon. I am sewing 5 sets of cafe curtains. I am ironing the hems before sewing. I am thinking of all this, watching my swirl of thoughts around how everything is someone else’s fault, the crazy mixed up communications that have been happening, the scheduling glitches, my life…and realizing I am a blamer. I am putting my hands to my face and groaning. Yes, that’s how it was for me on Day 5.

And then, because I have angels, and because I retain what I’ve read when I am devouring something that is filling a need, Edwene’s words float up into consciousness: “Happiness is a choice. Inner peace is a choice.” Of course she’s not the first one to say this, and it isn’t the first time I’ve heard it, but it’s somehow never hit home quite so deeply that I can choose happiness myself in this most shitty of moments, like right now. In other words, I can stop making other people responsible for my happiness. Recovery from Victimhood 101.

Which harkens me back to a seminal event in the evolution of my consciousness, which I have come back to again and again, a koan for Phyllis: Long ago, while in an intensive on transpersonal psychology with Tom Yeomans at the Concord Institute, I did a meditation in which I was to ask my Inner Wise Person the purpose of my life. My Inner Wise Person obliged my request by writing it out for me: “En-joy-ment.” Just like that. I didn’t see that one coming, at all! I, like most of us, have been trained to believe that life purposes are big and important, weighty and profound.

It turns out that it has been profound, for me, because it’s taken me until now to actually get that I can do that regardless of circumstances. And if I can do that, then nobody can take that away from me, except me.

This sounds annoyingly simplistic and gratuitously New Agey, but there’s no question that enjoying life has not come easily to me. So, my practice has been to find something to enjoy in each moment. (Because as with any new skill that challenges your sense of who you are and what is reality, moment by moment is the only way for it to take hold.) The first thing I noticed was that enjoyment is not a mental thing, like appreciation. It is an immediate, visceral thing. Watching the lush green maples sway in the breeze. Savoring the taste of a stick of gum when I first start chewing it. Feeling I am up in the sky while gazing at cloud formations. The play of sun and shadow on a wall that I mistake for a living thing, which then becomes one, to me.

And as I have switched into enjoyment mode, which feels like something I stopped doing when I was about 5, I have also begun to sit to eat, to watch moths and butterflies, and to miss my Honey-Bear, who died about a year ago. The simplest things are enjoyable. Even grief that springs from great love.

So, that’s me. How about you? Where has the 21 day challenge brought you so far?

Abstaining From Negative Talk – Are You In?

Ouch. That’s all I’ve got to say. And I’m not being negative, just real. I’ve decided to go a little deeper in my understanding of the power that words have, something I believe in deeply. Something I am about mastering, or at least getting really good at. Words.

I’m reading, devouring actually, The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity by Edwene Gaines, in which she relates a powerful story of how she accessed a new reserve of personal power by abstaining from negative talk for 21 days. Negative talk means complaining, criticizing, dissing, using sarcasm, and gossiping. Whoa.

I thought I had this one. Really. I’m Ms. Positive, right?  Well, no. I didn’t and I’m not. After all, I am a J in the Myers-Briggs personality type system. Although they kindly say it doesn’t stand for judgmental, in my case, it does. You could say discerning, and I am. I can parse a bundle of sticks. I can see so clearly how it is and how it could be oh-so-much better. And when the world does not see it and do it my way, it irks me.

All of which is okay. What’s not okay, and I’m not sure why, because I haven’t experienced it yet, is bitching about it.

But I’m willing to try, because it’s something I suck at so far. I seem to have come up against an inner wall, and I’d like to dismantle it. I’d like to have a more spacious inner room where air and light (that is, ideas and spirit) can flow and expand freely.

Can I be a bigger person, and learn to use my powerful words even more powerfully? Especially not in the blog, not online, not in any of my promotional guises, but in the personal realms where I am in relationship with actual people and have to tolerate imperfection and disappointment?

I hope so. So far, I’ve had to start over three times in three days. That’s how ingrained the habit of criticizing is, and that’s how unconsciously I indulge in it.

© Phyllis Capanna
© Phyllis Capanna

So, I like company. Are you willing to take the challenge with me? No criticizing, complaining or gossiping for 21 days. If you lapse, you start the count over. Make a calendar for your fridge and mark off the days. Comment below if you’re in!

Feel the Love

Am I the only one who has these seminal moments, when I wake up wherever I am and “get” something that was staring me in the face the whole time, such that I become consciously aware that it’s a meaningful thing to me? The Universe seems to present me with these moments as a way of tugging on my sleeve. Hey! Pay attention!

When I attended the Mind Body Spirit Festival, organized by Alice King and Cheryl Bean-Moody, the first time, it had been a long time since I’d attended a “psychic fair,” long ago and far away in Cambridge, MA. That long-ago psychic fair had left a kind of off taste in my memory. I’d received a  warning about something I thought was bull, and I’d felt surrounded by folks who seemed more interested in passing themselves off as special and weird than in being of service and making a human connection. (Or maybe that was me. It was decades ago, and there is a theory that it’s all a projection. But let’s just say.)

I enjoyed the first MBS Festival, had had a wonderful reading and had walked away with a personalized aromatherapy scent. (The way to my heart is through my nose. Well, one of the ways.)  So I went back a second time. I remember standing in the doorway as I was leaving, turning around and looking back at the room, abuzz with a joyous and loving energy, and saying, “These are my people. This is where I want to be.”

It was the love that I felt bubbling up out of all those conversations that got me. It’s that’s simple. I don’t have that much more to say about it. My advice: Find the love, feel the love, go where the love is.

Here’s a link to the program for this weekend’s festival, which will be a the Hutchinson Center at U. Maine in Belfast, from 10-4: MBS Fest -Belfast Spring 2014

Okay, I do have a little more to say about it. What’s all this about psychic readings, crystals, aromatherapy, animal communication, tarot cards, and angels? All I can say is, if you’re curious, come and stroll around. It’s a $5 admission fee that goes to a worthy cause, Habitat For Humanity. Use your gut, and if something strikes you, ask about it. The cool thing about fairs like this is that it’s full of practitioners who love what they do and are eager to talk with you about it, regardless of whether you are there to spend any money or simply to learn. And sometimes the other attendees are just as interesting and inspiring to be with as the exhibitors.

Soul Messages ©Phyllis Capanna

The people who have tables at this event have a common interest, not only in metaphysics and the occult, but also in alternative paths to health and wellness.  The human being is a multi-layered creature, with both subtle and gross energies, strengths and vulnerabilities, and the ways in which the whole of us is woven together reminds me of a beautifully knotted fisherman’s net. Lots of tiny places in perfect tension makes a cohesive and sturdy whole. If you’re feeling like you need a different perspective on where you’re at in life, or have a health issue that your curious about, try tugging on a knot. It can surprise and empower you to discover those connections within.  Attend to one part, and another falls into balance. I love that.

© Phyllis Capanna
Soul Messages © Phyllis Capanna

But to be honest, some of the stuff we do is weird even to us sometimes, but that’s also part of the attraction. When you make it your mode of operation to follow the guidance you seem to be receiving from something wise, loving, and powerful, something undeniable, you tend to find yourself unable to explain but firmly trusting in the rightness of where you stand. And curiously uninterested in proving anything.

I’ve already gushed about how much I enjoy meeting with people and talking about the Soul Messages, witnessing people experiencing them for the first time, and sending them off with folks who are embarking on new directions and life adventures and taking the cards with them. But on a personal note, as part of my spiritual path, it is empowering to rent a table, put up a sign and tell the world, albeit the very small world of Belfast, Maine, hey, I’m into this stuff.

I’m into this stuff and I want to connect with you, because I think together we could be on to something wonderful for humanity. And because this is where I feel the love.

Soul Messages ©PhyllisCapanna
Soul Messages ©PhyllisCapanna


by Phyllis Capanna © 2014 joyreport

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What If You Ignored Yourself and Did It Anyway?

© Phyllis Capanna


“The Force that through the green fuse drives the flower…”

It hasn’t been as warm as we would like, but as soon as the light changed at the vernal equinox, everything began to shift. It’s how our earth is made to work. A tiny shift in the angle of the sun creates a season change. So, what’s kept it cold? Basically, the atmosphere, that ecosystem of air, moisture and movement that creates our weather. In non-Western cultural and spiritual traditions, each of the elements (as in building blocks) that makes up our physical world corresponds with certain universal qualities or states of consciousness. Air corresponds with thought and what used to be called ether, or life force. Often referred to as chi or ki, the life force is that unseen energy that is vitality itself. Water corresponds to emotions and the unconscious.

About to Burst Open
© Phyllis Capanna

It occurred to me today that this is exactly how our thoughts and feelings influence our internal weather. We are given the light. With our thoughts and mental orientation we either allow it to warm us or we keep ourselves out in the cold, suffering from past hurts and false ideas about who we are and how love is doled out. When we are in that state, the chi, or life force, cannot flow.

“A bucket turned over even in a rainstorm remains empty.”

When we find ourselves in a place like that, where all around is sustenance and we cannot partake, it is a spiritual emergency. We are cut off from source. What we need are tools to bring us from emergency to emergence. We need to allow something greater to come forth from within us, so that we can transcend the polarities that threaten to pull us apart. (These are the either/ors that eventually drive us crazy, so that, if we’re lucky, we “crack.” This, too, lets the light in. Eckart Tolle’s and Byron Katie’s stories are illustrations of this.)

Sky From Bangor on the Interstate
© Phyllis Capanna

Today I found myself saying to a client (those readings again!) that sometimes the best way to transcend a crippling personal mental environment is to give up trying to solve it and focus on taking meaningful actions. Do good work, nurture relationships that matter, learn how to love better.

Mental weather patterns that won’t give demand only one thing: Stop waiting for the weather to change to live your happy life! Have your parade in the rain. Wear a parka to your picnic. Plant daffodils in your snow banks.

Instead of referencing your sore spots (Nobody believes in me, I don’t have enough credentials, I’m afraid to ask for what I need) shift your focus to a larger goal, the one that would motivate you to get out of bed in the morning if you let yourself live it, if only in your own head. (Which is where it has to start its life anyway.)

Here’s the really startling truth about stopping picking at your scabs and focusing elsewhere: It requires giving up hope. That’s right, we have to give up the hope that by constantly attending to them, we will somehow manage to heal our wounds instead of re-opening them again and again.

Of course, it doesn’t really mean giving up all hope. It means letting go of misplaced hope. Maybe, just maybe, it’s not within our power to heals ourselves, just this once. Maybe we have to place our trust in something greater, impossibly mysterious, and endlessly unfathomable, but as dependable, not as the weather, but as the light. It might take something that big to heal that one intractable wound. That one.

This is essentially how I came to writing, readings, making little cards, doing workshops, and everything else I have done: By paying attention to the drive to translate what I care about into actions that connect me to people, to life itself. It’s my desire to be out on the dance floor despite the things that might trip me up.

Ultimately, it is love that got me here. In spite of my deepest insecurities and lack of credentials, this is my act of love to myself and to the world.

Do you hold yourself back from your act of love to the world? What if you ignored yourself and did it anyway?

© Phyllis Capanna
© Phyllis Capanna