At some point, we all feel like we don’t fit in. That we don’t belong. That everyone is laughing and we don’t get the joke.
Ironically, this is what unites us all as humans. The feeling that we’re ‘the other.”
My parents emigrated from Argentina to the United States. White culture saw me as the Other and let me know. Argentine culture saw me as Gringa and let me know.
I am dyslexic. I spent years testing high in comprehension but had an extremely low reading level. My teacher would be 4 steps ahead of me; I was still stuck on step one.
As a teenager, I read lesbian sci-fi novels and dreamed about being with women. As a feminine woman, I felt rejected by butch lesbian culture. I felt unattractive to women. I got the message that, if I didn’t have short hair, boots and flannel, I would never have a female partner. I liked high heels, lipstick and everything pink, so I was doomed.
Oh, and another thing… I am a psychic. A profession that certainly makes you the Other. How can a charlatan be respected when you are out in the world certainly duping people?
But when you spend your life feeling like you don’t fit in, you learn to recognize and help your fellow travelers.
In the early 2000’s I was a little, baby psychic and many LGBTQ humans sought out my services. They wanted to work on their emotions and process their identity but the world of psychology hadn’t caught up to their consciousness level yet. One night, I dreamed that my first client was a man named George, but he was also a woman. It was a really powerful and healing dream. I woke up the next morning, went to work and walked into a waiting room full of all men and one person who appeared to be a woman. I walked right up to the “woman” and said, “Are you George?” I cannot tell you the joy on George’s face when he was seen as he truly was for the first time.
I strongly identify with people who feel oppressed by our modern day neon culture. The things that make me weird and quirky are also the things that make me a great healer.
Nobody here at Lotus Lantern Healing Arts fits in. We are all The Other. So we’re a safe place for you to be who you truly are.
-Rev. Liliana Barzola
To those of you reading these and emailing me: Thank you for all the awesome support and feedback! I hope you are doing well. firstname.lastname@example.org
We rescued a puppy! Bri feels as though we are the caregivers of a soul brought to this earth by the people of Warm Springs, Oregon.
He has had a very dark beginning. The story of his rescue begins with a late night call to the shelter. A litter of puppies was born on the Warm Springs Reservation in the cold Central Oregon brush. The caller didn’t want the rescuers to come until the next morning. Sadly, that cold night swept most of his litter into the astral. Our puppy and one other were the only survivors by the time the rescuers arrived. When I hear stories like this it just makes me want to cry.
Instantly, I have a million questions:
“Why didn’t they let the animal shelter staff come right then?”
“Why didn’t the staff insist on coming to get the pups?”
“Why was such violence and ethically backwards practices wielded against such a powerful and magical group of people forced away from their land and “placed” onto “reservations”.
“Why did no-one see the repercussions of such a violation of the human spirit…”
“Why is such uninformed design still defended to this day?”
Questions like these do not find me complete, succinct answers. But it’s what my brain does (unhelpful, obsessive, problem-solving) when I feel traumatized. Don’t you want to go back in time with me to fix all the problems? Since we can’t do that; we attempt to go in reverse by looking forward. In essence we enter a twisted, unrealistic, convoluted circle track.
As I snuggle my puppy in the warmth of our home I soothe my heart a bit. I was terrified of dogs until I was 35 years old. My beautiful St. Bernard came into my life, quite on accident and this was my first understanding of dog medicine. 2018 is the Chinese Year of the Dog. The dog is the loyal protector of the heart.
One of the strengths in my relationship with my beloved is our ability to accept each other as we are. This also means we support each other’s outrageous and spontaneous: “Great Ideas”. For example: “Hey let’s create a class on dysfunction and how to manage yourself through the really tough, twisted moments of life, based on the Joan of Arc archetype!” Today is the last day to join this latest group! Click here to learn more.
ME: I need a puppy
BRI: Absolutely not. No way. Not ever.
But when Bri heard the call of the puppy she answered for us both.
He wasn’t at all what we wanted. But then we saw his name was North.
Like our true north, our direction. We needed this during a dark period of grief and loss.
Then, she brought him home. He is amazing. Also he refuses to pee or poop outside…
North has a magical relationship with his elder dog, Frye. Frye is Bri’s therapy dog. He has been to work with her in the field and in the office for 10 years and counting. We didn’t expect these two to become instant friends. Can you see the love in his big dog eyes?
Over this next week I am planning to send out a little bit of writing about the things that live in the shadows.
You know how you see all that gross sludge and slime when you replace a filter? I’m thinking about my human filter.
When my filter get so flooded by what I see and experience in the world (#trumpadministration #metoo) I stop being able to take any information in. I can’t even take in positive things because the permeable mechanism that separates good and evil is no longer functioning. In the name of self preservation there are times that I have opted for a total system shut-down.
Do you feel me?
Is your filter clogged with slime?
Has your health been contaminated by darkness?
If so, you are not alone. We can band together to keep from being re-programmed by darkness.
When the presidential reins pass to the next administration (whenever that happens) we need to be ready with our sparkling new filters, so we can navigate our way to open pasture. But we can’t wait for another administration to take over, right? We aren’t going to be saved. We can’t wait for equality, empowerment or diversity of thought. Saving ourselves means making our moves right now, by showing up locally, being present and vocal.
Begin where you begin. We need to build and harness collective momentum so that just as a cartoon character jumps and gets their legs going in mid- air to PREPARE for the all out sprint, we also can be free to take off in a moments notice when the time is right.
What does my Joan of Arc Series have to do with water filters, cartoon athletes, and the dysfunctional slime that has been running rampant in our everyday environments? See Figure J below:
Joan of Arc provides the filter.
LET THERE BE LIGHT
I live in a VERY conservative, religious, judgmental small town. And guess how much showing up I have to do as a woman of color in love with another woman? A lot!
Liliana at the bookstore: I’m listening to a teenage girl try in earnest to explain a Malcolm Gladwell podcast that she found enlightening to two teenage boys who are so indoctrinated in misogyny they can’t understand her experience. She is wildly more intelligent and mature beyond her years. It is painful watching what gets reflected back to her via these two bozos. She is unseen. I smiled at her knowingly. I see her. I know what she’s talking about. She smiles back, her mood changes. She knows I see her. On my way out I see another teenage girl wearing a hat that says, “Nasty Woman”. (Something that would make my friend Roxanne Jackson so proud.) She is sitting behind the counter and listening to music on her headphones. She is making a statement. Our eyes meet and she gets my second smile. She smiles back at me with full teeth and full pride. This is our movement and these are the simple ways we keep the momentum going. The kids out here are openly struggling to follow their hearts and I’m here to see them and encourage them, with my presence and my voice.
Liliana at the hardware store: They just re-opened the hardware stores. It’s been closed for a year. That is a really bad thing to not have access to in a sleepy, snowy mountain town. There I am walking hand in hand with my lover. Many people are staring nervously at us. My partner sees a man eyeing barbecues and starts to give him some advice, when another man comes into the conversation who most likely has never barbecued, cutting her off and taking over entirely. I watch as Bri is suddenly ignored, disrespected and unseen. She is such a big and powerful person to see her with these idiots makes my blood boil. I watch her strength elevated in her ability to walk away calmly, knowing she can cook better than both of them put together. Ha, Ha! We aren’t leaving. We shop here and we still make our presence seen and known to the bigoted shoppers. It takes daily courage to be here.
I know you are making a difference too. You are not alone. We out number them. We have power. They try to force. May the power of the force be with us.
On Nov 8th, in Vermont, I will be seeing clients for private sessions. That evening we teach a Joan of Arc micro-course. If you are in the area or have a friend who is, please pass the info along or sign up yourself! Learn more here.
I was visiting a friend for dinner when she lit her handmade New England oil lamp. I fell right in love. I came home and told my partner about it. Bri went to UNH and loved her time in New England. She tells me everything’s “cozy” there. My oil lamp crush was making me think she was right. When she got invited to speak in Montreal at the International Outdoor Adventure Conference, we got the idea to make our way down. It’s a New England tour I am very excited about. Hopefully I’m just in time to see the fall colors. I have sweet clients and friends who will be putting us up in Vermont and one of them, Dr. Sarah Wylie is hosting me at her clinic Red Blossom Medicine.
One of my amazing students recommended Clarissa Pinkola Estes’s lecture, Warming the Stone Child. Towards the end of Estes’s talk, she asks the listener: What was your favorite fairytale or story as a child? Did the story have a negative or positive ending? Consider this story is your own person myth. That it has in some way laid a foundation for what you believe about your life. It’s neither good nor bad, just acknowledge it has had some influence. This was such a profound moment for me. My own favorite story was Cinderella. I loved the glamor and the magic of this story. It has indeed been imprinted on my psyche. So I took it apart to see the different themes that ran thru my life. Then I began to rewrite the story as an affirmation. I don’t want to live outdated programming that is toxic. It has been a powerful exercise. I highly recommend it. It costs you nothing to ask yourself these questions and then to sit for a bit and re-write it.
As a child my story was Cinderella, as a teenager it was Pretty Woman. Imagine that! Same fucking story!
The positive, you are magical and beautiful despite what you have been through. You should fight for your place in the world and who says those hard working girls in poverty don’t deserve a fabulous night out! I could go on and on. I am looking at what this story taught me about my strength and power and also how did it limit me. Please try it. Maybe at your next dinner party? My partner does this thing where you tell her your favorite ice-cream and she “reads” it. Tells you all about your inner most thoughts via the ice cream flavor analysis. I make her do it at dinner parties for fun. Maybe you can do this one instead.
My deep Cinderella thoughts:
Cinderella endures loss, grief and there is plenty of misunderstanding of who she is. A total loss of loving parents and her identity. When faced with darkness she remains noble, hard working and humble. She endures oppression, scarcity and rises up eventually because the shoe fits. She has secret animal friends that love her and she’s good at finding joy and love wherever she can. Then she’s tricked into thinking she can attend the ball. It’s a cruel trick! I remember those cruel tricks played on me in childhood. Do you have those too? When I was all open-hearted, in my vulnerability and then it turned into feeling humiliated.
Cinderella lost her identity: Her name was changed because she had to sleep in the fireplace to keep warm and she was always dirty.
My name was so difficult for people to say as a kid I remember always feeling like my name was from another world.
I loved the fairy godmother part. In her darkest hour she has an angel that appears. When I was abandoned by my traveling companion in a foreign country because I wouldn’t have sex with him at the age of 19, I had my first experience with angelic help. It enabled me to tap into an inner strength, to hold my principles and self love in place as I navigated my way home to the US. I was scared. And when my mother died (I was 23), I asked a dear friend if she would be my GodMother. Her name is Maria and her home became a safe haven when I left my abusive husband at 26 years of age. Maria’s home, like the dress Cinderella wore that evening, had an expiration date and soon I needed to make my own place in the world. I had two wonderful women Marci and Theresa that both lent me money to pay for that divorce. This is my Cinderella story. My fairy Godmothers have been there for me.
The part about the shoe fitting? The glass slipper? That’s the incognito part of my life. People often think I am younger and not very wise when they meet me. I have a history of not being seen. (I bet you can relate.) This Cinderella story influenced my incognito part. She shows up at the ball and no one knows she’s really a total badass, they think she’s a “lady”.
When I was pregnant with my second child, two new acquaintances were chatting with me about being pregnant and being a mother. They offered unsolicited advice for about 45 minutes. All the while they have never asked me if this was my first child. People just see me and assume I don’t know who I am or what I’m doing. It happens to me ALL the time. (I’m almost 40 and it still happens.) I listened kindly and reflected back to them their own experiences, until they felt thoroughly seen and heard. Suddenly one of them realizes, they never asked me if this is my first child. I answered, “This is my second, I have a nine year old.” They were shocked as they both had one child under the age of mine. So if anything they should have been asking me questions. I have learned over the years to let people think whatever they need to think about me.
I know you might be reading this and thinking, ‘But you are Liliana Barzola, I come to you all the time for advice. How is it possible the world doesn’t see you?’
I refuse to fall into the game of proving myself. Aren’t you tired of this old trick? I am.
It used to make me sad. Now it makes me laugh. It’s funny to me. I embody the goddess and I know it. That’s all that matters at this point in my life.
Recently, my partner and I walked into a New Age shop full of crystals. A very arrogant woman at the counter treated me like I had no idea what I was doing there. She felt spiritually superior and made it known to me that she was full of intuition and magic and that I was a measly muggle. I said nothing and just let her feel her spiritual superiority over me. When we left my partner was furious. ‘She has no idea who you are! That’s like Michael Jackson walks into a music studio and some kid behind the counter starts giving him music tips. WFT!?!?’
I am a polar bear and she is a kitten. I don’t need to roar unless there is danger. People see my light and are threatened. I feel for them. That’s not for me to teach them. I’m off of work. If someone thinks I’m a boring and one dimensional that’s fine with me. They can make an appointment to work through their insecurity.
So what is your version of your favorite story? How has it influenced your life?If you want to play around with this project I made you a worksheet click here.
How do you get inspired? Sometimes inspiration strikes us, spontaneously occurring in unpredictable places; words scribbled on the back of a worn receipt you’ve been carrying around for months. Or is it a song lyric, a quote you heard on a Love: Requited Podcast episode? Maybe it’s an auditory memory during a rainstorm, or an echo of genuine laughter originating from the mouths of your dear ones, perhaps a savory meal.
Staying inspired does NOT need to feel like an accident or a burden but rather, with participation in our Joan of Arc Series. Staying inspired can re-claim it’s rightful place as after hours entertainment! Lotus Lantern Healing Arts invites you to expand your post 5 o’clock horizons, to go beyond mid-summer’s familiar outposts of netflix and romance novels. Click here to sign up now!
We want to give you a little taste with this video. We discuss the power of nature, ritual, love and pleasure. Get it while it’s hawt! Click here to watch!
One Participant Says:
I loved the blend of Liliana and Bri’s teaching styles, both of which are spiritual and thought provoking in different ways. The information, stories and meditations have helped me feel supported during a difficult work transition.
Who the heck is Bri Condon and why do I care? She’s an executive coach, entrepreneurial wizard and parent coach.
She has been a program director, operations manager and an executive director for a variety of agencies. Recently she broke ground in the State of Oregon. By creating opportunities for teens in foster care to surf the Oregon Coast. Bri Condon has worked inside and around DHS Child Welfare programming in Oregon since 2008. Bri holds a B.S in Outdoor Education focusing on struggling populations as well as a Masters Degree in Risk Management in Adventure Programming.
This 4-week session is wholeheartedly based on Joan of Arc. Allow us to guide you into the soul of this ancient archetype and you will draw strength in these times of overwhelm and confusion. Hence our subtitle, “Strength and Power in What Feels Like The Final Hour”. We really mean it, and she did too.
Join Bri & Liliana for this fun adventure series as we explore the time landscape of the 15th century, how dysfunction type casts health, the unapologetic and kick ass nature of Joan of Arc, and ultimately how you too can RIGHT THE LIGHT by leveraging the teachings of elders who are no longer among us.
Joan of Arc used her intuition, temperament, non-binary understanding of gender, her strategic mind, and courageous heart to overturn a disaster that was already upon her people, at the final moment of what could easily have been defeat.
Wanna listen in to a raw and vulnerable Saturday night at my house? In this video me and my sweetie discuss: Polarity, sex, how we define words differently, Del Taco and who’s wrong in an argument.
I was a little jealous of all the business consulting Bri was doing for my clients. So, I asked her for 12 hours of consulting. Her work blew my mind! She created solutions for problems I had been wrestling with for years. She did strategic planning, team building and executive coaching (supervision) for me. She challenged me and made me laugh a lot.
Bri’s work is for:
Entrepreneurs and Agencies
-Executive Coaching: Professional supervision and support for executives, managers or staff.
-Strategic Planning: Intentional program and business development, design, development, implementation and sustainability. Innovate current offerings or guidance for future endeavors.
-Training and workshop facilitation
Personal Development and Growth
Personal Coaching: For individuals looking to accelerate their own healing, growth and stability.
If you want to learn more about her services click here and scroll down to her bio.