Memorial Day

It is Memorial Day, a day when we mourn those we’ve lost. My most recent loss was that of my pet companion, Harvey Milk. Harvey came to me as an 8 week old kitten. He crawled onto to my arm while I was carving a pumpkin at a friend’s house, nestled in and fell asleep. It was like he was claiming me. I already had two cats I loved at the time, but Harvey stole my heart.

Harvey was a difficult cat. He was ornery and he had a maddening habit or urinating on everything and I mean everything. I can’t tell you how many of my coveted records and books I had to throw out, shoes, even a toaster oven.

But Harvey was wise. He taught me not to be too attached to things.
Some people who knew of Harvey’s penchant for pissing on things would tell me to get rid of him. But Harvey was my soulmate, my friend, my fur son, he was not something to get rid of. He taught me patience. Those of you who have human children know all about this.

Harvey was unconditionally loving and he showed me that I could love unconditionally. He was my safe space through life’s trials and tribulations. Those of you with animal companions know the greatest gift they give us is that total unconditional love they have for us.

Harvey was also the one being in my life who I could open my heart to completely. I didn’t need to be defended with him. We may find ourselves still holding back and protective of our hearts even with those people in our lives we love the most, but with animal companions we can love them with an open and undefended heart.

I miss Harvey. There’s a quiet absence in my home and in my heart. There’s even a bit of loss of direction and meaning in my life and a sadness for the loss of love that he gave me and that I got to give him.

My heart goes out to those of you who are grieving loved ones and feeling that loss of direction and meaning. I hope you find meaningful ways to honor the memory of your loved one. I also hope you find a way to honor your feelings of loss and care for yourself. Please let yourself feel the grief. There are 5 Stages of Grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Don’t judge or deny your feelings. Let your tears pour forth as reminders of the love and moments you shared together.

Travel is my pathway to freedom and nature is my spiritual temple.

Travel is my pathway to freedom and nature is my spiritual temple where I connect with the beauty of life. Breathtaking sunrises and sunsets thrilled me in Baja Mexico where I spent a long weekend in early March with my dad and step-mom. If you’d like to see more on the beauty click to my Instagram.

Laurel Bookstore Reading of Behind Barbed Eyes

We had a wonderful show out to the

reading of Behind Barbed Eyes
at the new Laurel Bookstore in Oakland, CA where I got to see many Bay Area friends and marriage equality activists who I’ve missed so much since I relocated to Los Angeles almost five years ago. People loved the readings, though I struggled to act out all the parts with a cast of one. LOL!

We also discussed how to provide more mental health and healing services to reduce incarceration.

Here’s the most recent 5 star review of Behind Barbed Eyes from a reader in Boulder, Co.

“This story took me by surprise… I loved the multiple story lines and how they were intertwined, I was impressed with how details were kept back until they could be unveiled in a real impactful way. This book is a really good read and while not autobiographical, it’s definitely based on experience and the reality of prison life.”

If you’ve read the book I’d love it if you’d review the book on Good Reads and/or Amazon. Every review counts. Thanks in advance!

You can still get a signed copy from me or you can get your copy of the novel from Amazon, B&N or IndieBound.

Convergence Healing Meets Courageous Heart

Last month I was the featured speaker on the Convergence Healing Podcast with Peter Bedard on Healing Shame and Being True to Yourself.

Peter says, “I’m so excited to share the work of the super cool Dr. Davina Kotulski! If you’ve ever wanted to heal shame, raise your vibration, and learn about Affirmative Prayer then listen up!”

Happy Summer Solstice! My California Summer Adventure

This is a powerful time to step into the light and out of the shadows. This is a perfect time for play, joy, personal transformation and self-love.

I love the summer. For me it’s a time to get out of my routine and connect with nature. I love to go to the beach, take hikes, go camping, and enjoy being alive.

That was not always the case. There were times in my life where my schedule belonged to everyone else. Those times were heartbreaking.  Literally, I felt my heart breaking because I was not being true to myself.

I don’t live that way anymore. Now, I follow my heart and let the Universe support me. It sounds corny. I know it does. It sounds corny to me too, yet it’s such a powerful and satisfying way to live.

Lao Tzu the ancient Chinese mystic who preceded Jesus and Buddha talked about The Way living life in harmony with nature and following the heart’s guidance. It’s called the Tao Te Ching. My mentor, Wayne Dyer, talks about the Tao in his book Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life.

Another way I understand this is that I am walking the path of the mystic. Walking the path of the mystic means that I am willing to get still and listen to my inner guidance. It means meditation is a part of my daily life to clear the clutter of the world from my brain. It means that I get to let everyone else’s ideas of what my life should look like go. I get to be free!

As you know, we’re constantly getting bombarded with other people’s agendas for us. We’re brainwashed on what to eat, what to buy, what soap to use, how to view our bodies, and more.  By tapping into our inner voice we can begin to get into the flow of life, into our natural, organic self-expression. When I do this my life is exponentially more satisfying. I am living more authentically, authoring my own life.

Walking the path of the mystic also means being in the present moment and allowing our actions to be directed from a place of centered, grounded inner knowing. I always make better choices from this place and my life works together in perfect synchronicity when I do. I get to trust that what I need will be there for me every day, rather than spending time worrying about the future or the past. It also means prioritizing my self-care, something we really lack in this fast paced, low touch, high tech world.

If this appeals to you I invite you to check out my upcoming speaking events and the LIVE workshops I’m co-facilitating with Dr. Rev. Joan Steadman, former Spiritual Leader of the Oakland Center for Spiritual Living.

Davina’s California Summer Speaking Events and Live Workshops:

Celebrating Our Diversity -LGBT Diversity Program

USP Atwater Atwater, CA

Friday June 25th, 2:00 PM

 

Meditation in the Salt Cave

The Salt Studio in Pasadena, CA

Sunday July 18th, 6:00 PM

Reserve your spot online: http://tinyurl.com/nmhut23

 

Past Life Group Regression Session

Salt Studio-Pasadena

Monday July 27th, 7:00 PM

Reserve your spot online: http://tinyurl.com/nmhut23

 

Tapping into You Inner Knowing!

The Launching Pad, Berkeley, CA

Friday July 31st, 7:00 PM

 

A Day of Self-Love: Honoring the Human and Divine Workshop

Oakland, CA

Saturday August 1st, 9:30-4:00 PM

More info below.

 

Metaphysics and Mysticism

Unity Ukiah,

Sunday August 2nd, 9: 30 AM

Walking the Path of the Mystic: Awaken Your Inner Mystic Workshop

Unity Ukiah,

August 2nd, 12: 30 PM-3:30 PM

 

Have a wonderful summer!

Much love to you,

Davina

 

A Day of Self-Love: Honoring the Human and Divine Workshop 
Treat yourself to a day of self-honoring exercises, visioning, meditation, fun and connection!
We have an exciting day lined up for you!
Join Rev. Joan Steadman and Dr. Davina Kotulski, Ph.D. Author and Life Coach for a day honoring mind/body/spirit.
  • Davina will lead a group past life regression.
  •  Rev. Joan will lead self-care and self-honoring exercises.
  •  We will meditate, do a visioning for your spiritual unfoldment, and discuss any current twists and turns on your spiritual path.
  •  You will have a wonder-filled day of delving deeper into you!

Click here to register now for Early Bird Special!

Early Bird Special Ends July 15th–Limited Space-Register Now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walking the Path of the Mystic: Awaken Your Inner Mystic Workshop 
Join Dr. Rev. Joan Steadman and Dr. Davina Kotulski for a 3 hour mystical workshop where you will: * Tap into your Divine knowing and learn how to awaken your inner mystic.
* Access the inner wisdom that guides us in our spiritual transformation.
*Explore the laws of manifestation from the metaphysical and the mystical perspectives.
–Early Bird Special $35
–Price $50 at the door.
Early Bird Special Ends July 16th–Limited Space-Register Now!
Davina Kotulski

Should you Seduce your Muse in Venice? by Sharon Irven

Should you Seduce your Muse in Venice?

by Sharon Irven

“Travel is like love: it cracks you open, and so pushes you over all the walls and low horizons that habits and defensiveness set up.” Pico Iyer

The answer to whether you should seduce your muse in Venice (or any other far away location) depends on why you would want to leave home and your cozy writing space in the first place. Are you feeling stuck in your work, forgotten why you launched such an ambitious writing project, in need of some new stimulation or just plain wanting to get away? For me, having the distinction of living in the second coldest capital city in the world, I felt that I had endured too many days of jaw dropping cold weather last January when I heard about Davina’s workshop.

Christmas was over and coincidentally, so was my marriage. I had spent the previous month talking to lawyers and other creatures from the dark side, so I desperately needed a change. Most of my friends had already escaped for warmer climes: Florida, Texas, even Goa, where can I go? It was too late to get reservations for a cheap trip to Cuba (half of Canada must already be there); a Caribbean escape felt way too decadent. Besides, I’m not much of a beach bunny, preferring to learn something new on holidays, and I don’t mean new places to shop. Now that I have more time on my hands, I wanted to get back to my writing.

I rounded up the usual suspects on-line, consulting trusted web sites and blogs for escape ideas. I knew about a writer’s retreat in Chile that is popular with Canadians (our winter is their summer, so handy) but the facilitator was a poet. Although I love poets and poetry, I don’t see myself writing it. In another blog, I found an intriguing reference to a ‘seduce your muse’ writers’ workshop. Following the links, the stunning pictures of Venice on Davina’s website seduced me, instantly. I had always thought of Venice as a tourist trap (it had not ranked high on my bucket list) but it did look gorgeous in those pictures. Besides, I had heard that Venice was sinking so it felt like I should experience it before it goes. And the price was right. The timing fit too – being in March allowed enough time to get my passport renewed.

I forwarded the url to three fellow scribes and there was a lot of interest; only Jacqueline could see her way clear to attend with me. OMG, cue the rockets; we are going to Venice! We did not realize then how useful this sojourn would be to support our writing aspirations.

Before we immersed ourselves into attracting our muses, we spent a day wandering about Venice acquainting ourselves with all its considerable charms.

We happily got lost amidst the narrow streets (some ending abruptly at canals with unprotected entrances: heads up!), we browsed in shops selling everything imaginable (shoes, gloves and handbags especially caught my eye) and noticed, on every street corner, a gelato shop. They are as popular as Tim Horton’s are back home in Ottawa.

The next day we checked into the comfortable apartment where our workshop was taking place. Did I mention spacious? It had a fully equipped kitchen, handy for making breakfasts (one of the participants created three lovely gourmet meals for us here), a living and dining room where most workshop sessions took place, two sparkling ceramic bathrooms and sleeping quarters for up to 5 people. A tiny balcony off the kitchen opened onto a canal: one day we watched a ‘near miss’ between two gondoliers heading in opposite directions around a tight corner. Thank goodness for skillful maneuvering! Compared to the cramped hotel rooms that one usually encounters in Europe, it felt like we were staying in the Taj Mahal. Jacqueline joked that one almost had time to eat lunch moving from the bedrooms to the living room.

As a way to launch the workshop, Davina guided us through the city on a full moon walk. Clearly she knows and loves this city: we loved seeing the full moon hovering over the centuries old buildings and shining on the canals. What a wonderful introduction to this magical kingdom. It was also an opportunity to invoke the spirits of other creative geniuses associated with Venice: Ezra Pound is buried at nearby San Michele Island; Browning wrote ‘O to be in England’ while living at the palatial Ca Rezzonico that overlooks the Grand Canal; Antonio Vivaldi was born and composed his fabulous music here, just to name a few. We invited our artistic muses to visit us here in this mystical city of shimmering canals and car-free streets.

So what did we do to nurture our writing muses during the seven days of the workshop? We shared our dreams as writers, responded to creative prompts, either from Davina’s imagination or from the majestic surroundings, we practiced writing different forms (I’m still not a poet) and, under Davina’s gentle prodding, set new writing intentions for ourselves. After we got home, Jacqueline successfully applied for (and secured) a spot in the coveted Banff Creative Writing Studio. She attributes her Venice experience for giving her the resolve to do so. I decided to break out a partially completed novel that was in hiding amongst the dust bunnies.

Davina had designed a workshop schedule that allowed for an agreeable mix of personal and group time. In between writing sessions, we toured the city, either as a group or alone, exploring all the traditional sights, like San Marco Basilica, the splendid museums and galleries, jewelers’ and artists studios. We went for two relaxing gondola rides, a bit like canoeing, only someone else is doing all the work (sometimes they sing too). We dined al fresco in the sunny campo; one evening we attended a classical music concert by candlelight at a lovely renaissance church filled with art. We had an amazing holiday.

There were tears when we said our good-byes at the vaporetto stop, en route to the train station. We were sad to see our group go our separate ways to Canada, California and Amsterdam. Hope we meet again, preferably near a canal and under Davina’s inspiring leadership.

To attend Seduce Your Muse or to learn more go to http://www.seduceyourmuse.com