June 1, 2009 
 HealingHeartPower Newsletter
 Reclaiming the Power of the Heart
In This Issue

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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!

Heartfully, Linda

 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 of life.

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 productive.

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

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 Clean Desks, Sick Souls
 by Despina Moutsouris

April 6, 2009

10:00 am

Boston, MA

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 wrong individuals.

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 beings.

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 machines.

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 time!

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 Effortless Attraction and the Power of the Heart

Iraq Weedflower 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 dissuade me.

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 the universe.

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 universe's coffers!"

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.... 

 HealingHeartPower Calendar

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. Contact Linda if you are interested at LSMHEART@aol.com

Sunday, May 31, is the next Healing the Traumatized Heart Workshop, from 1 - 5 pm in Newton. Join us for an afternoon of heartful healing and community.

We will be doing another Healing the Traumatized 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 access 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 scarroll@nesa.edu. information,

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 for a couple new members)
  • On-going Sunday EKP Monthly Process Group (which also has room for a couple new members)
  • Apprenticing in EKP

If you would like a Healing the Traumatized Heart workshop near you, or have a group of people who you would like to bring EKP to, please contact LSMHEART@aol.com.

To find out more.... 

 About Linda

Me and Flora Linda Marks, MSM, is pioneer in body psychotherapy who has developed, taught and practiced Emotional-Kinesthetic Psychotherapy (EKP) for more than two decades. Author of LIVING WITH VISION and HEALING THE WAR BETWEEN THE GENDERS, she co-founded the Massachusetts Association of Body Psychotherapists and Counseling Bodyworkers and is the founder of the Boston Area Sexuality and Spirituality Network. She holds degrees from Yale and MIT, and has a vital 13-year-old son.

To find out more about Linda... 

 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....