The month of May seems to be one of endings
and beginnings. My semester at UMass Boston
ended, with tears and appreciation. The
group of students I worked with this semester
was a true delight. The group bonded deeply,
and our time together was precious and enriching.
On the other hand, my beloved pink dogwood
tree, which is situated right in front of the
window I look out at when I am in my therapy
office, burst into bloom. I spend 11 months
each year yearning for its flowers and 30
days each year taking in its beauty during
its flowering time.
Alex had his cast removed, moved to a splint,
and has finally been able to play soccer, his
favorite sport! Last month I wrote about the
spirituality of time. This month, I've seen
the spirituality of time in action!
On May 31, we are doing a Healing the
Traumatized Heart workshop in Newton from
1 - 5 pm. These workshops provide a safe and
sacred space for deep heart healing work for
all. When anyone takes a turn, we all have a
turn! Join us!
If you are interested in Apprenticing in
EKP, I am starting to take applications
for the next apprenticeship group beginning
in January 2010. For more
information, read the programs section in
this month's newsletter.
Articles in this issue include: "The
Vacuum and the Void," having spent time
in both kinds of "black hole" space, and
having pondered what is different about each,
"Clean Desks, Sick Souls," by 4th year
apprentice Despina Moutsouris, and
"Effortless Attraction and the Power of
the Heart", a reflection on the creative
power that comes with setting an intention
and making a commitment to live it. There is
also an article about "Oleta Adams: Queen
of Heart and Soul." Oleta is an amazing
singer and a extraordinary person!
Your comments and feedback are always welcome!
The Vacuum and the Void
In high school Science class, I remember
hearing the line, "no life grows in a
vacuum." I found myself contemplating what
that meant even back then. More recently, I
have found myself reflecting on what the
difference is between a "void" and a
"vacuum," especially this past year when
things that mattered to me changed or ended,
with nothing there to replace what I had lost
Both "the void" and "the vacuum" can feel
like an endless black hole when you are
facing it. I don't know many people who look
forward to that "black hole" feeling. It is
scary. It is lonely. There is a lot of
unknown. One can feel powerless while
looking into the black hole. I know I often
feel a knot in my stomach as I anticipate my
descent into the black hole. Things feel out
of control. And I don't know if there will
be a light at the end of the tunnel or if
things are really going to be okay when I am
in the middle of the void.
I guess one benefit of having sat in the void
quite a lot, not only this past year, but
periodically over the course of my life, is I
have learned to distinguish the difference
between how I feel when I am actually in the
void rather than in a vacuum. The void,
while dark and full of unknowns, is actually
a creative space. In time, there are
flickers of new possibility, and a growing
sense of vision of what is next. With faith,
and a balance of allowing and acting,
whatever is next does emerge and take form.
I have come to believe the void is a lot like
a womb--a chamber where new life can grow.
It needs to be empty in order for new life to
emerge and evolve.
A vacuum, on the other hand, is sterile.
Over time, when I have sat in a vacuum, my
energy has felt drained, my heart has felt
heaviness and pain, and it doesn't seem to
get better. In fact, if I find myself
sitting in a vacuum long enough, my pain can
become unbearable, and eventually, I start to
feel numb. Rather than creating new life,
like the void, the vacuum sucks the juice out
I've thought a lot about "the void" and "the
vacuum" as they apply to relationships.
There are times when a friend, colleague or
loved one distances and we are left in a
"relational black hole," having to just wait
and let as the other person chooses to
re-engage or not. If a person is in a place
of sincere not knowing, but keeps their cards
on the table with you, so you know exactly
where they stand--including the not knowing,
a creative void space is set up. In time, if
the person keeps doing their inner work and
their relational work with you, they will
become more clear and move to a "knowing"
place. The process may be uncomfortable, but
ultimately, it is fruitful, respectful and
On the other hand, if a person abruptly cuts
off from another person, be it by blowing up
the relationship with an angry gesture,
suddenly pulling away or abandoning a loved
one, or leaves someone hanging, the person
"left behind" feels the pull of the vacuum.
When a person does not "show up" and "do
their work," and leaves a loved one "holding
the emotional and psychic bag," they are
actually "littering" emotionally and
psychically. The person who "cuts and bails"
or leaves a loved one hanging leaves a mess
or a weight the person left behind has to
clean up or move through on their own. The
leaver may "vaporize," but there is an
energetic trail of both the
emotional/spiritual/physical connection and
pain left behind in the wake of the sudden
break of this connection.
When I have been abruptly "left" or "left
hanging" with no space for my voice or for
relational process work, I have often
wondered how the other person can just
"leave" so abruptly, and seem not to be
bothered by their actions. Does the other
person not realize we are all interconnected
energetically, and that while they can
physically leave and not talk to another
person, they actually still leave an
emotional and energetic gap? Does the person
not realize that they matter or does the
person forget that the other person, at least
once a loved one, also matters? Many times
in groups, when someone has been absent, they
didn't realize the impact of their absence.
I often tell people "your presence makes a
difference and your absence leaves a gap."
I have been in relationships that needed to
end where there has been a mutually
respectful transition or ending process
between the two people. At the end there may
have still be a death to be mourned, however,
there was still a spirit of love, respect and
gratitude, and appreciation for the good that
was shared over the course of the
relationship. There is different energy in a
murder and a slower, conscious death. The
murder is shocking and violent. The slower,
conscious death is sad, but easier to
integrate and grieve through.
We really do a disservice to one another if
instead of being able to face and work
through whatever challenges and changes life
brings, we leave another hanging or just cut
and bail, never to be seen again. When
people DO realize they need to "finish" old
business, and DO engage with the necessary
parties to do "safe and respectful
completion," there is more peace and more of
a sense of respectful resolution--even a kind
of healing. If someone who left returns to
make amends and allow healing with the person
they left behind, a powerful energy shift
takes place, including within the heart.
I truly wish people were more emotionally and
relationally conscious, and realized that if
we must leave or change an important
relationship, it is actually much more loving
and respectful to work through a transition
with a friend, colleague or loved one than to
abruptly cut things off. Why create a vacuum
instead of a void? Even hard transitions can
be done in a spirit of love and mutual respect!
©2009 Linda Marks
Please share your thoughts...
Clean Desks, Sick Souls
by Despina Moutsouris
April 6, 2009
I walked into my workplace relaxed and
rejuvenated after three eventful weeks
visiting friends and family in the country of
my birth. As I approached my desk, I was
startled by the stark, sterile and minimalist
look of my cubicle. Although I had cleared
off my personal items, and emptied my drawers
of all reading material prior to leaving for
Greece, I was not prepared for the revulsion
that washed over me as I put away my bag, and
prepared to start my work day.
According to the new Clean Desk policy of the
corporation I work for (whose name will
remain nameless to protect the innocent and
the guilty), items such as paper, pencils,
pens, magazines, books and even plants (!!)
are treated as "contraband." The stated
purpose of this peculiar policy is to protect
customers and associates, and to prohibit
unauthorized dissemination of customers'
private information (social security numbers,
bank account numbers, business documentation
and so forth). In a recent memo from the VP
of my division, he proudly states:
Most people think cash is the most
valuable asset a bank has. But in today's
environment, to fraudsters, our most valuable
asset is our customers' information. The
preferred method to obtain customer
information is with the assistance of a bank
associate. Over the past years, the bank has
experienced over $18MM in losses due to
customers' information being given to the
While I don't dispute the fact that customer
information has been lost by associates
improperly giving key information to the
wrong people, the reality is that customer
information can also be compromised "on-line"
without the aid of paper, pen, pencil or even
a human being. Identity theft,
unfortunately, runs rampant on the Internet!
In peeling away the deeper layers of this
"Clean Desk" policy, the motives for this
change appear to be less than pure, and the
consequences to associates analogous to a
deadening of one's soul. This is especially
true if you consider that we are expected to
adhere to rules and guidelines that we never
had a voice in crafting.
To make matters worse, our work site is
subject to a monthly inspection by the "Clean
Desk" police, who walk through our cubicles
checking if our managers enforce the new
policy. On a recent visit, one of these
officers commented to a colleague of mine
that her plant was "problematic." At first,
I was puzzled by this comment. However, when
I took a moment to reflect on the comment, I
realized that any plant would be considered a
problem. After all, plants are living,
breathing organisms. Plants symbolize life,
and how can life survive in such a sterile
and antiseptic environment? Moreover, how
can people come into such a workplace, day in
day out, without any consequences to their
physical, emotional and spiritual health?
The feeling of powerlessness permeates
everything we do and the inability to control
(or at least to affect) our immediate
surroundings lowers our self esteem as human
Our desks may indeed be clean, but our souls
are sick! It's also doubly ironic that we
are asked in a favorite motto of the bank,
"to know, care and act for the customer," yet
we are not given the same capacity to
experience our own creativity, by controlling
the contours of our immediate working
environment. In an effort to control our
behavior, the corporation reduces what could
be a creative void into a vacuum that sucks
up all of our individuality, and diversity.
Men and women essentially become homogenous
Becoming aware of the spirituality of time
can ground us in how life really works. We
are co-creators with the larger life force,
and are most effective when we dance with it,
rather than fight it or try to control it.
Efficiency, in my mind, is being able to
prioritize what is important, and then to go
do those very things. This is a kind of
grounding that lets us well use our time.
Thankfully, however, the human spirit is not
easily vanquished! Everywhere I turn, there
are small signs of resistance to the new
status quo! Every picture, every trinket,
and every colorful calendar that catches my
eye becomes a reason to hope that change can
come from the bottom up. Like the flower
that sprouts through the concrete pavement,
our hearts and minds refuse to consent to
what we know is supremely unhealthy for us.
In fact, on my desk, I have many oases of
sanity that I gaze at throughout the day.
These oases are the pictures of my son, my
daughter, and a young boy I met in India over
three years ago on a special trip. I also
take strength from the small crystal clock
that my 94 year old friend from France,
Marie, gave to me several months ago, as a
token of our friendship.
The irony is that on my desk, I also have the
"Customer Connection" award that I won last
September. I chuckled yesterday as the
thought crossed my mind that the word
"connection" seems so antithetical to the
working environment that is fostered by this
new policy. Disconnection and isolation seem
to be more appropriate terms to describe this
type of situation! At the end of the day,
I'd highly prefer to go home knowing that I
have a clear and pure soul, a calm mind, and
a serene heart, even if my desk is cluttered.
While protecting customer information is our
primary responsibility, and a laudable
ongoing goal and challenge, this protection
should not be sought after, or achieved, at
the expense of our hearts, minds and souls!
©2009 Despina Moutsouris
Despina Moutsouris is married, and
the mother of two vibrant teenagers. Aside
from her day job, she has been training as an
apprentice in EKP (Emotional-Kinesthetic
Psychotherapy) with Linda Marks for the last
four years. In an act of creative
resistance, this article was written at her
desk at work to prove once and for all, that
people have always mattered, still matter,
and will continue to do so until the end of
Share your thoughts on this article...
Effortless Attraction and the Power of the Heart
This spring, I took a class called
MindPowers, based on the work of John Kehoe,
and taught by my friends and colleagues,
Penny Goldmuntz, Michael Trachtman and Lee
Weinstein. One of the qualities I was
working on developing within myself and in my
life was "effortless attraction." What this
means to me, is being able at any time to
attract whatever it is I really need, larger
or small, just by showing up.
I enrolled in my friends' class as a result
of a phone call that "just showed up" this
past February. I was sitting at my desk
writing, as I spend so much time doing, and
the phone rang. Out of the blue, a woman
from New Jersey, Lucy Quinto, who was a
psychic counselor called me. She had seen my
name on the United States Association for
Body Psychotherapy (my national professional
association) website, and called to offer me
a free taste of her work.
Having learned to embrace little gifts,
wherever they appear, when she offered me a
free 30 minute session then and there, since
I happened to have the time, I said, "yes."
The core take away message from the session
was that I am pretty in tune with my
intuition, but having spent so much of my
life focusing on my heart and body wisdom, my
brain energy was in need of more attention.
I needed to reintegrate my "head" into the
balance of my life processing.
She advised me to find a class on psychic
development. When I searched the internet
for all available options in the greater
Boston area, none of the options I found
seemed to resonate. When I realized Penny,
Michael and Lee were doing their MindPowers
class, that seemed to fit the bill, and
enroll I did!
As with all spiritual journeys, the path is
full of twists and turns. When one is
working on effortless attraction, there is
the period of simply working to instill the
message--both within my own being and to the
larger universe--where little shows up.
Then, things begin to show up in flickers,
before I had the privilege of returning to
the quiet of the void. Eventually, the
pattern starts to appear more consistently.
Recently, I've had some very humorous
opportunities to see how effortless
attraction is operating in my life.
Recently, I had lunch with my friend of more
than 20 years, Joe. We met at Amarin in
Newton Corner on a very rainy Tuesday. The
parking lot behind the restaurant, that I
usually park in was full. I drove around
several times, and could not find parking on
the street. On the verge of being late, and
I am always on time, I decided to just park
in the Bertucci's parking lot across the
street from Amarin. As I was getting out of
my car into the downpour, there was an old
Winston Flowers truck that emanated a really
creepy vibe. I got the sense I was under
surveillance, but with the time ticking away,
just crossed the street to meet Joe for lunch.
An hour later, I emerged from the restaurant,
about to pick up my son from school, and
discovered my car was not where I had left
it! I immediately realized that the creepy
vibe had been accurate, and that my car had
been towed. I got the phone number to call
the tow lot, and learned the location of my
car. I then looked across the street, and
Joe was just about to get into his car. I
called to him through the rain, and started
running over towards him. I got his
attention, and was able to tell him what had
happened before he had driven off. It turned
out he had time to drive me to my son's
school to pick him up, then drop Alex off at
home, where I could grab the necessary money
to bail out my car from tow jail. Joe
dropped me off at the tow lot, and I realized
effortless attraction had taken care of me in
what could have been far worse circumstances!
I asked the tow lot staff why they had chosen
my car. I had only been there for an hour.
They told me that someone had been watching
me, and saw me cross the street away from
Bertucci's. Bingo! My intuition had been
right. I just had not let it guide me. I
should know better, because I have found my
intuition is correct 100% of the time, even
though my brain might at times try to
Effortless attraction came to my rescue the
next morning when I was driving my son to
school. I felt the sensation and heard the
sound of what turned out to be a flat time on
the front driver's side of my car. After
dropping off Alex, I slowed steered my way to
the car shop, a mile down the road, and
discovered there were gauge marks on both
sides of the rim on that tire. I intuited
that when my car was towed, that was the
little added bonus I received. Rather than
sweating the small stuff, I was grateful that
I discovered the flat tire one mile from my
shop, rather than driving at 60 mph on the
highway! I was safe. My car could be fixed.
I had gotten my son to school safely. And I
even was able to get back to my first morning
client on time!
I have continued to notice moments of
effortless attraction, be they large or
small. And each time I notice, I thank God
and also smile. This is fun! One of the
highlights of this journey happened at the
Post Office this morning. I was paying cash
to mail two pieces, and when I was searching
for my change, a penny fell out of my wallet
behind the postal scale. Rather than having
the clerk dig to get it, I told him to just
keep it, and consider it a small gift from
No sooner had I done that, he announced,
"well, I have a dime here, and you can use it
for the five cents left on your total." How
sweet! So, he gave me change for my $20
bill, including an extra nickel. I gave it
back to him and said, "Thanks! The universe
has already given me what I need. I'll put
this back in the pot for whoever needs it!"
The postal clerk laughed and said, "I've
never seen someone get such a quick return on
their investment from the universe! You
dropped a penny, and moments later, had
yielded a dime!" I laughed, and said, "Then
all the better I return the nickel to the
I walked out of the Post Office with a smile
on my face, realizing this was effortless
attraction at its full power. How much fun
it is to commit to a spiritual goal and
infuse it with the power of the heart!
Share your thoughts....
Would you like to learn how to do EKP?
Applications are being accepted for the
2010 EKP Apprenticeship Program. The
apprenticeship group meets once a month for a
weekend training session. For more
information, contact LSMHEART@aol.com or call
Linda at (617)965-7846.
The Thursday night EKP Therapy Group has
openings for a couple new members. An interview
and one EKP session are required to apply.
Linda if you are interested at LSMHEART@aol.com
May 31, is the next Healing the
Traumatized Heart Workshop, from 1 - 5 pm in
Newton. Join us for an afternoon of heartful
We will be doing another Healing the
Heart Workshop on Sunday, June 14
from 1 - 5
pm at Kim's house in Bedford. We are
bringing the heartwork into the
living room of someone who is unable to gain
to most of our regular venues. Our March
workshop was very poignant, so we are returning!
On Tuesday, June 23, Linda Marks and
Alan Krentzel will be leading a Stress
Management: Pressing Your Reset
Buttonworkshop at the New England School
of Acupuncture from 7:30 - 9 pm. Enrollment
in this workshop provides a voucher for a
free session the NESA clinic. For more
information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
EKP opportunities in Newton include:
- Being a guest client in the Student Clinic
- On-going Thursday night EKP Body
Psychotherapy Group (which currently has room
couple new members)
- On-going Sunday EKP Monthly Process
Group (which also has room for a couple new
- Apprenticing in EKP
If you would like a Healing the
workshop near you, or have a group of people
who you would like to bring EKP to, please
To find out more....
Oleta Adams: Queen of Heart and Soul
As a singer, I am well aware of "great songs
to sing" and the singers that bring songs to
life. When I first heard "Get Here" in the
early 1990's, how could I not give notice to
the depth and talent I heard in the voice of
Oleta Adams. Oprah noticed her too, and
after years of making her way from child
prodigy to professional, landing in Kansas
City, Oleta's star began to rise in the often
fickle music world.
I took my son to see her perform at Scullers
in the spring of 2008, and found myself moved
to tears by many of her beautiful,
heart-rendering songs. A song called "Safe
and Sound," touched my mother's heart,
focusing on the ways we need to care for and
protect our children. "No Way to Love
Me," was a song Oleta wrote for a friend of
hers, who in spite of being a high profile
personality, was in an abusive relationship.
Both of those songs, and many others
summoned a great well of tears of compassion
and recognition for what we put ourselves
through in this human condition.
Alex and I were lucky enough to see Oleta
again May 8 at Scullers, returning with her
husband, John, who is her drummer, and her
wonderful lead guitarist/ vocalist and bass
guitarist. Again, I was touched beyond words
and moved deeply to tears. This time, Oleta
brought with her a new CD--her first in 9
years. I can relate. There are large spans
between my books! When you are engaged in
your work every day and you write deep and
long-lasting material, it takes a long time
to get out "the new edition." Not the quick
and dirty. Something that will be just as
poignant 20 years from now as it was the day
it was released.
That is so for Oleta's new CD, "Let's Stay
Here." It contains "No Way to Love Me,"
which you will hear in upcoming EKP retreats,
as well as another heartfull song, "Picture
You the Way That I Do," which acknowledges
that with all our voices of self-criticism
and self-judgment, we often don't see all the
beauty within us that those we love see so
clearly. The title song, "Let's Stay Here,"
is a song Oleta wrote for her husband John
when they were on a precious vacation "far
away from people," as Oleta said with a bit
of ironic truth.
If you want songs that will touch your heart
and stir your soul, take a listen! I look
forward to sharing some of Oleta's music with
you in upcoming EKP programs.
I welcome your thoughts....