MONEY, MEANING and MORE: A Guidebook For Sensitives, Empaths And Introverts To Find And/Or Create The Work You Were Born To Do

August 1, 2011

*** GET IT HERE. ***


Alberto Villoldo Presents: “Answering the Call to Your Shamanic Initiation.”

July 12, 2011










Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D., signing his book, “Illumination.”

That (blurry) pic was taken a little less than a year ago.  I was smitten.  Dr. Villoldo’s presence fills a room with power and gentleness.  A rare mix, and one he embodies fully.

If nature is a big part of your spirituality (as it is mine), or if you’ve been curious about or attracted to the shamanic path, you should check out his upcoming 5-part online class.  The description below is sourced from Evolver Intensives’ website:

“In this course, you will learn how your initiation is the doorway through which you can step onto an illumined path that leads to a life of passion, power, and grace.

  • Discover the 7 great initiations we all must undergo, and learn how to prepare for them.
  • Learn how to assist a client or a loved one to welcome their initiation, to help them embrace their symbolic death and resurrection.
  • Travel the shaman’s journey to the Spirit world, and learn how to practice it.
  • Understand how shamans can awaken your ability to ‘see’ the invisible world, and acquire the techniques yourself.
  • Pursue the Initiations of the Divine Feminine.

This course takes place on 5 consecutive Sundays, between July 24 and August 21, and you can participate from your laptop anywhere in the world with a broadband connection.”

Learn more, and watch an enlightening video with Dr. Villoldo and Daniel Pinchbeck, by clicking this (affiliate) link:  ANSWERING THE CALL TO YOUR SHAMANIC INITIATION

Hey, wanna see more sweetness in the world? Help me bring it!

June 21, 2011

Update:  The Quantum Creativity Radio Show is one of my online favorites.  Co-hosts Cezarina Trone and Santari Green interviewed me on June 28th, 2011 to discuss THE BULLY BOOK.  It’s thirty minutes, and was loads of fun. LISTEN HERE. 

Hay House is one of the world’s largest publishers of New Thought and Self-Help material.  Earlier this year I went on a cruise with them, essentially, so I could gain entrance into their publishing contest.  The deadline, for which, is June 28th — by which time I’ll have submitted my proposal to Reid Tracy and Cheryl Richardson.  The book I am proposing is:

A Peace Manual to Move Human Hearts
From A Culture of Cruelty

to an Era of Empathy

The premise is simple.  And surprising.

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘bully’?  Probably a long list of bad, unfavorable adjectives, right?  Things like:  antagonizer, browbeater, coercer, intimidator, oppressor, persecutor, tormenter.

A bully is a person who hurts, persecutes, or intimidates weaker people.

Regardless of your age or station in life, I’m pretty sure you know someone like this.  Maybe even a lot of someones.  Which shouldn’t be surprising as our current culture practically prepares you to be a cruel competitor very capable of taunting and general meanness.  The widely held belief is that cruelty is normal — just a part of our human nature.  Aren’t you tired of this lame cop-out?  I sure am.

Here’s my twist.  Ready?  To be twisted?

The word ‘bully’ originally meant “sweetheart.”  Derived from “lover, brother.”  But the word, like the culture, deteriorated.  Dropping to “harasser of the weak” in just a few centuries.
So what I’m talking about is restoring and reviving the real meaning of that word — bully.  And as we do, we will restore and revive the real meaning of ourselves.  We’ll put to sleep the trivial excuses we’ve used to protect our lower behaviors. As we restore that word, we will fully awaken and activate all that we are capable of.  Which is love — the zenith human achievement.  And in which, we are doing rather poorly (from a collective standpoint).  But I really believe this book can help us find our way back to our sweet, original essence.  If you are…
  • …a visionary who fantasizes about a kinder, gentler society;
  • …a student who is enduring bullying at school;
  • …an employee who is enduring bullying at work;
  • …a lover who is enduring bullying in your relationship;
  • …a citizen who is enduring bullying by their government;
  • …a parent or educator concerned that your child or students are involved with bullying; or
  • …a bystander who accidentally grew tolerant of abuse in any form, but now wants to change that.

then this book is for you. I’m writing it as a provocative conversation-starter that asks, “What would it look like if we stopped expecting cruelty from ourselves and others?”  “What if we allowed the evolution of our soul, that wants to show us how to feel safe at all times without the need for violence?”  “What if we became more verbal and visible about our ideals, rather than passive and quiet?”

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.” (Albert Einstein)

Please don’t lurk and leave.  Please do something:

  1. Please share this post; and
  2. Leave a comment below, letting Hay House know why you think the world is ready for this book and message.  Thank you for your help!

I see live people.

May 27, 2011

(Prefer to listen instead? Click the player below.)

“Look at me, Daddy!”  Mom, watch me!”  “Look at what I made!”

Kids are constantly asking for a witness.  It doesn’t take them many years to figure out how to get a lot of folks to affirm their bright and amazing existence. They are masters at gathering lush, orbital attention.

And as those children grow into adults, what happens to that soulful desire to be seen on the inside?  I’ve always got the sense that adults are expected to get over themselves, and realize exquisite, patient attention is reserved for those under fifteen.

Casting warm light on who you really are is such a courageous and mysterious act.  Like night-time hiking, it is pure discovery and bravery.  Lots of folks would rather avoid the frank admission that they want someone to see them and be genuinely amazed.  So, they seek lesser prizes.  Here are the four I see most often:

  • accepting a leak in your life that keeps you too sad and too tired to deal with root-stuff, so you keep wasting time and energy with symptom-stuff;
  • chasing social proof and flaky popularity at the expense of your authenticity;
  • addictive behaviors or substances that numb, sedate and intoxicate; and
  • obsessed collection of stuff and achievements.

These are not what we really want, so they are not going to really satisfy us on a soul level.  If you know that and still choose the facsimile, fine.  But treading water for a lifetime because you thought the false pursuit was the real thing, that is tragic.

Admit that what your soul wants is to be bathed in the warm, healing light of Love.  Admit that that is what you deeply want… from your work, your relationships, your possessions, your ambitions… you are really after a filling up that transcends all those things… you are really hankering to be exploded, and put back together again with lighter, faster parts!  Humpty Dumpty meets Lover-God.  And you can have that experience by honestly admitting you want that… that heat of Love Supreme that roasts your fears and hang-ups, and illumines your preciousness.  It is a Divine Encounter you seek.  A real experience of Eternity, Timelessness and Boundlessness.  Trinkets and drama can never provide enough altitude for anything truly interesting.  Your taste is changing, becoming more discerning.  Maybe you’ve been exploded, you’re being reassembled, and it hurts like hell.  I am here to help with that process.

Like it? Share it. Thank you!

Your dead flowers are a homemade diffuser wanting to happen.

May 15, 2011

(Prefer to listen instead? Click the player below.)

I live in wild celebration of my senses. When, to the best of my ability, I give my senses what they want they, in turn, make my life one festival of delights after another.  My nervous system wants to lead me to savory and stimulating experiences.  Why would I suppress that?  Living in utter gratitude for the lavish gifts of flavor, color, texture, breezes and caresses, harmonic sound and rhythmic movement, shocking color and mysterious shadow, comforting warmth, refreshing coolness, smells that flirt or warn — living in gratitude for these seemingly small things is a smooth road to sustained joy.  Your surroundings are constantly trying to seduce you, to carry you away bring you fully here now.  Oh, yeahhhhhhhh.

I let my surroundings have their way with my senses.  If I don’t like what’s surrounding me, I adjust or leave.  I am guardian of this torrid love affair between the world and my sense of it.

That said, several weeks ago I treated myself to a spring bouquet.  I kept them long after they died.  Even with no more life or water, they held on to their vivid Yellow, Red and Blue.  They didn’t let go (of their beauty); how could I?

So, I let them be.

Until this morning, when I was reminded that Nature has brilliantly designed all plants to defy gravity and draw liquid upwards… making them perfect to use as diffuser reeds.  Mhmmmm.  Nuthin’ like a Sunday DIY crafty-get-down!  Especially when it’s gray and chilly outside.  And it only takes about 15-minutes to gather and combine:

  • the dead bouquet;
  • a glass bottle (I have a thing for collecting glass bottles of all shapes and sizes. Probably because I was an alchemist in a previous life.);
  • Clove and Geranium essential oils (all essential oils are NOT created equally. I believe Young Living is the most superior brand of therapeutic-grade oils, and they’re the only ones I use.  If you’re in the market, or have questions, I highly recommend my friend Tally Hayden.); and
  • some water.

I pruned the stems, clipped the ends, added water and 15 drops of each oil.

Now, what you can’t tell from the picture below is that there are twice as many headless stems as there are flowers.  I figured snipping off the heads would more easily release the fragrance as it travels and diffuses upwards.  But I also wanted to retain the colors, and not just have a glass of sticks, so I used both.

Then I made a little saucer of potpourri with some leftover flower-heads and several drops of each oil.

How have you used dead floral arrangements, essential oils or both?

To our gorgeous + joyous evolution!
Love, Erika.

P.S. If you like this post, please share it, and leave a comment below. Thanks!

What looks like peanut butter, and makes me squeal like an 8-year old?

May 4, 2011

Peanut!  A Schwinn Voyageur 21 that’s called a comfort/hybrid.

Talk about hybrids.  Bob’s executive desk resembles a bike shop.  Sprockets, hubs and other bike parts hold down paper-stacked evidence of peoples’ inability to work out their differences.  Malpractice. Probably the third thing we do best in this country, with waste and prisons leading the way.  I worked with this lawyer-cyclist for six years.  He was a mentor to me in humor, family and discipline — foundational stuff you don’t expect to find lying around corporate workplaces, but I lucked out.

Something about Bob’s desk always triggered a mechanical curiosity in me.  Gadgets.  Thing-a-ma-jigs.  Whatcha-call-its.  Objects that make you want to pick them up and figure them out.  He has them scattered on his desk as paperweights.  For many years, those silver parts spoke to the Creatrix in me.  They reminded me of my personal must-haves:  freedom and alignment.  It’s strange to have an office desk so strongly associated with my new ventures into cycling but, really, it’s the person behind the desk.  Thanks, Bob.

And speaking of new ventures into cycling, the Ride to Recharge on May 22nd is what finally got me on two wheels (and caring about geometry, aerodynamics and road safety in a whole new way).  If you are inspired and able, please help me meet my fundraising goal.  CLICK HERE to help Climate Cycle fund solar installations and environmental solutions in Chicago public schools.  All amounts are very welcome.  Thank you.


P.S. Oh, and while I’m asking for things, please share this with anyone you think would care for the cause.  Learn more about Climate Cycle here.  Check out the Mindful Metropolis article I wrote about Climate Cycle here.

Everything is useful.

April 26, 2011

Yesterday, I had a simple but strong craving for fresh carrot-apple juice.  I pulled 5 carrots and 2 apples from the ‘fridge.  Juiced ’em, and chugged.  Mmmmm.  As I cleaned the juicer, I stared at the bright orange, red and ivory contents.  Honestly, the carrot-apple pulp seemed too useful to compost.

It looked like a tasty treat waiting to be made.  Whenever I juice, I have thought that about my left-over fruit and veggie fiber.  But this time, I actually followed-through.  I scooped out the the pulp, tossed it in a bowl…

Stirred in walnuts, shredded coconut, cinnamon, maple syrup, sea salt, cayenne pepper, spring water and flax seeds. (Sorry, I don’t measure! I just mix to taste.)

Spread out over 2 dehydrator trays…

pulled some bars with soft, muffin-like texture, and dried others longer for crunchy-cracker effect.

Voila! Enjoyed Spicy Carrot Bars!

It was satisfying to get +2 uses out of that original desire for juice.  (I also had a bonus functional-fantasy about “Carrot Stands” in every Chicago public school that makes fresh carrot juice available in the mornings, and mini carrot-cakes as afternoon snacks.  Any CPS collaborators out there?)

Well, all of this circular thinking reminded me of a foundational belief I have, which is that nothing is wasted.  Invert that into positive-speak, and you’ve got “everything is useful.”  I believe that.  I am helped by the idea that all experiences have some inherent value in them.  All heartbreak comes with a gift for your soul.  Or, perhaps, from your soul.  But a gift nonetheless.

Perspective is everything.  How do you:

  • repurpose
  • redesign
  • renew
  • restore


  • trash
  • loss
  • hurt
  • fear

How have you turned pain into a pearl?  Or, if you prefer, carrot pulp into snack bars? Domestic or dramatic, I’d love to learn what you do to experience Life’s fullness.


P.S.  If you enjoyed this post, please share it with the Facebook or Twitter buttons.  Thanks.

…there’s an entity out there with so many layers of raging benefits.

April 23, 2011

There are some things that are so appropriate and nourishing, they really should be done at all times.  Things like:

  • Giving thanks.
  • Giving gifts.
  • Creating great resolutions.
  • Being sweet and romantic.
  • Celebrating liberty and civil rights.
  • Being nice to your Mom, Dad, Partner, Boss, Secretary, etc.

But something about our nature likes to designate a single day to stuff like that.  Create a focal point, I guess.  A bright neon sign that says, “In commemoration of the vital person/thing that you are to me, I observe you. With my whole day!”  Maybe it’s not so much our human nature, as our commercial nature… that likes to create hoopla around which we can sell trinkets and cards and tokens of our love.  Tokens.  Hmmm.

Yesterday was a day like that.  It was Earth Day.  And I was aware of my awareness that it was Earth Day… in the same artificially imposed way that all of the officially declared days make me feel, which is: “Wow, a whole day for something I’m already devoted to!”  Fumbling redundancy.  But I get the point.  Reminders are good.

So, anyway. Yesterday on Earth Day, I meant to post this request for your support. It’s still just as relevant today.  If you are able, please donate.  Climate Cycle’s model is so sane, grounded and effective it actually makes you feel relieved and revived… just to know there’s an entity out there with so many layers of raging benefits.  Its founder, Joey Feinstein, so passionately embodies his vision, I was quickly converted from researcher/writer to participant. In more ways than one.  Please contribute to their prospering, so they can keep on funding solar installations and environmental solutions in Chicago public schools.

Thanks and love… every day,

P.S.  Here’s the link to the article I wrote about Climate Cycle.  Big thanks to Tim Winkler (Connector Extraordinaire) for introducing me to this awesome organization!

Is there an empath in the house? Well, yes there is. (The hanging of a shingle.)

March 27, 2011

Like Star Trek’s ship counselor, Deanna Troi in the video above, I have been providing empathic care and presence for, literally, all my life.  Skillfully, the past ten years.

I have claimed and developed my clairsentience, connected my dots, and this is what they look like all put together:  I am here to cultivate deeper and more empathic connections among all of life. My long-time efforts, interests and investments have been devoted to this purpose, and are now creating:

  • An empathic consultation + communication service: (Please share with others!)
  • A mashup of all my research, client-work and deep-sensory insights.
  • A monthly column in Mindful Metropolis: “Diversity in Green.” (I am not the Queen of Green, but I am the Queen of Hearts.  And who can’t use more heart?)
  • A co-drafting of a petition for the United Nations to designate October 2nd “World Empathy and Compassion Day” (Thanks to Edwin Rutsch for the invitation to do so!)

So, this is where my wandering and wondering has led me thus far.  I like it.  And there’s so much more brewing… I mean big, tasty alchemical delights!  Stay tuned by “Liking” the Empathic Writer Facebook Page.  Add your voice and vision, and co-create a more empathic culture with us!

With heartfelt love,
Erika ♥

The other side of the cosmic hymen.

March 18, 2011

A few minutes ago, I walked through… a cosmic hymen.

Half of the people who care I’m alive are:

  • far, far left;
  • floating on Planet Possibility; and
  • deeply understand what a cosmic hymen is, and have probably already journaled about their piercing of it (as I am doing now).

The other half who care I’m alive are:

  • traditionalists of all kinds;
  • grounded, sometimes in cement shoes; and
  • may now be second-guessing their association with me.

There are a handful of others who fall in between, but I digress.

Back to the cosmic hymen.  It’s a thin, membrane-like curtain that divides life as we have recently known it, from that other Emergent Life we’ve felt bubbling to the top, but haven’t unanimously agreed what to call it.  You’ve heard many names, theories and speculations, and even though you have not settled on one… you know something is changing.  Big time.

Whatever you choose to call it (a name is just a door — a means of entry), walking on that side is different.  Everything is buoyant.  Until you want otherwise.  It is a place of instantaneous experience.  Similar to our current life, but with far, far fewer buffers and interveners.  Snap.  Instantly.  Experienced.

Which is why so much emphasis has been placed on how we use our minds and hearts, and how we spend our thoughts and feelings.  Willy-nilly mind poop brings forth that very same poop.  Actually.  Instantly.

So, those of us with greater degrees of mind poop (ego-check!) or humor (haha!) are on this side of the hymen.

Q: How do you know which side you’re on?

A: If you still relate to “sides,” then you’re on this side.  Because the other side, has no sides.

I think we get peeks of sidelessness to share the view, and forecast the experience.

What’s been your view?  Your experience?

%d bloggers like this: