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Carol's Column
Keep On Truckin'

June 2009
Carol Adrienne

“I’ve been a collector for almost thirty years, says, Gary McAvoy, a good friend of mine who lives in Seattle, Washington.  We were recently talking on the phone, and he was showing me around his new Web site on the Internet, as we chatted about his new/old passion.  Gary has a knack for magnetizing new opportunities by simply following his nose—or his curiosity.  Several times his so-called interest or hobby has been turned into either a lucrative career or certainly the next step in his creative evolution.  Gary is a front-runner.  He thrives on finding ideas or trends before they become mainstream. 

The aphorism, Know Thyself, reminds us that we have a natural bent towards how we see and live life.  Some Native American philosophy describes a community as needing four types of people—(these are not necessarily the terms they would use, but the ideas are similar): Those Who Look to the Future—thinkers and planners concerned with long-term affects.  Those Who Nurture and Support—people who care for the community by providing food, child care, shelter, comfort, or mediation.  Those Who Honor the Past—people who tend to turn to history for answers, and who remember traditions that have proved useful and keep knowledge alive.  Those Who Take Action—people who act for the good of the community by creating viable structures and processes of all kinds, such as houses, schools, infrastructure, or solar panels.

My friend, Gary says, “I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I love the start-up part of business. I’ve always been just a little ahead of the market.  However, when I started my search-engine optimization business in 1997, that turned out to be extremely timely.”

I first met Gary in 1999 when I went up to Seattle on a book tour for my book, When Life Changes or You Wish It Would.  Gary picked me up at the airport and we didn’t stop talking all day long.  I was fascinated to learn that Gary had chosen to work part-time in his friend’s media escorting business for one reason: to meet authors.   “At the time, I was working on a novel about the Vatican,” Gary says. “I decided to help out my friend by escorting authors for her company as a way to immerse myself in the publishing field.  I was able to meet dozens of best-selling authors, and talk with their agents and publicists.  It was really fun to be able to sit in the car and have a famous author all to myself for a few hours!  When Salman Rushdie came to town, for example, I even got a chance to talk with his Secret Service people.  They gave me some great security tips for my novel!”  Some of the other authors Gary met were Sebastian Junger (The Perfect Storm), forensic anthropologist, Kathy Reichs, (right before she became famous for her crime mysteries,) and primatologist and anthropologist, Jane Goodall.

One thing led to another.

Gary remembers, “After I started escorting authors in 1997, I got the idea to put together a Web site, (, featuring all the authors I had met—some of whom did not yet have their own Web site.   Since I wanted to get the authors to the top of the search engines, I had to learn how to optimize Web sites.  That knowledge led me to starting my business, even though that had not been my original intent.”

Gary’s decision to work as a part-time media escort paid off with many unexpected benefits and opportunities.  In addition to his Web site business, Gary also co-authored a book, Harvest for Hope with Jane Goodall, after serving as her West Coast base camp leader in Seattle for the Jane Goodall Institute. 

“I think where I shine best is in building a business from nothing,” Gary says, “I like to be at the beginning of a trend, where I’m discovering something that is not yet mainstream.  Once it gets going, then I feel an urge to move on.  However, I’m not always sure when the building phase is over and the maintaining part begins!  Eventually, though, something seems to find me that I can’t resist.”

Gary has just done it again—built a whole new business in the field of memorabilia collecting. “I’ve just turned sixty, but I feel more like I’m still thirty-five—because I’m always looking ahead to what the future might bring.  His new Web site, is well-conceived and stunningly beautiful.

“I’ve had this interest in collecting memorabilia since the mid-eighties.  I’ve bought and sold letters, first editions, personal effects, and photographs belonging to such famous people as Hemingway, Abraham Lincoln, and Walt Whitman to name a few.  I love the thrill of the hunt.  I see myself as a temporary custodian of these mementos of history.
In fact that was the advice of my mentor, Leon Becker, who was a major dealer in the world, maybe one of the top ten.  He was Albert Einstein’s roommate at Princeton.  Leon had a fabulous gallery/museum in Rancho La Costa.  I wandered in there one time and my jaw dropped at the thousands of framed pieces of history that he had.  The gallery had the feel of an old library, like an old study with chairs and tables and lamps.

“For example, I remember Leon had one of the copies of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Abraham Lincoln.  I’ll also never forget looking at a little map of Mt. Vernon showing all the properties that George Washington owned.  Washington had signed his name eight times around the map to indicate what he owned.  Leon also had a confidential letter from Thomas Jefferson ordering blankets for his slaves, at a time when he was not known to have slaves. When I walked into Leon’s gallery, it was like overload, looking at all this history.  It really brought me to tears on my first visit.”

One of the things Gary coveted the most during that period was a black and white photograph of Thomas Edison, showing him in front of an electric power station.  On the photograph he had inscribed, “Dear Friend Murray, in 1879 I invented the incandescent lamp”  with his signature.  “It was priced at $750, which was a lot of money then, and I couldn’t afford it,” says Gary, “But years later that same photo was sold at auction for $9,500.”

This passion for history lay like a seed for many years, waiting for the right time to blossom.

Gary began to collect items in earnest about three years ago. “I started to buy more things at auctions, especially as people were forced to sell because of the economy.  As I picked up more inventory, I decided to build a Web site to show my collection.  I get several hundred hits a day now, and sales are starting to pick up. (I suggest you visit his site just to see how beautifully the objects move into view, and how you can see details up close—like a cross belonging to Russian mystic, Grigori Rasputin, often called the Mad Monk.)

In talking about life purpose and such things, Gary said to me, “I’ve never felt like I had a purpose in my life, so to speak.  But, as I look back it probably has to do with starting things, wanting to take a raw idea and make something of it.  That’s what always lures me on.  I’m beginning to think that maybe this need for discovery is the purpose of my life.  And it’s just not myself who has benefited from my ventures.  I can look back and see that all the people I’ve been involved with have also benefited-- from my colleagues, my investors, to my customers.  It’s very important to me that it be good for all concerned.  Then when I feel it’s time to go, I can let go knowing that they can carry on without me.

“There’s been a lot of times when it looked like I didn’t know what I was doing, or where I was going,” says Gary, “But something always keeps showing up.  In a way, my life could be summed by five words—‘One thing led to another.’”

As I listened to Gary’s emphasis on his life of discovering things, being a pioneer, and starting independent business I couldn’t help wondering if he had a number One prominent in his numerology chart.  Before we got off the phone, I quickly calculated his numbers.  Indeed, Gary does have a One Destiny!  The One Destiny indicates the path of an entrepreneur, sole proprietor, idea person, or possibly a writer or inventor.  No wonder he loves the beginning of projects, when things feel new, untried, and challenging.  His Heart’s Desire number is Eight.  An Eight Heart’s Desire tends to gravitate to business.  It is not happy unless it has turned ideas into a profit-making venture.  Another indicator of a very strong focus on materializing ideas is found in his Line of Focus, which is called the Line of Fundamentals or, sometimes, the Line of Foundation.  And where does Gary get his joie de vivre, optimism, and ability to sell refrigerators to Eskimos—why, from his charming Three Birth Path, of course!

So if you don’t feel you have found your life purpose yet, it’s out there if you just keep following your curiosity about life.  Just remember the image created by cartoonist Robert Crumb in 1968--and “Keep on Truckin.”

Happy June!
Carol Adrienne

Carol Adrienne, Ph.D. is an intuitive counselor and life coach who has helped thousands of people work through doubt, procrastination, and obstacles to create the life they want to live. Private consultations and coaching available. Contact her at
Please email Carol with a story or question about your own life for consideration for her monthly column.


Your Life Cycle Number and Purpose

Recently I was talking with a friend about the craft day I had with my four grandchildren, and went on to tell her about the meal I had cooked for my son and daughter-in-law and their two boys, who live across the street from “Nana.”  I was obviously speaking with enthusiasm and happiness. 

My friend has known me for over thirty-five years, and is like an aunt to my grown son and daughter.  “You seem to really have the family thing down now,” she commented. “Were you this happy and into parenting when your kids were young?”  This made me think! No, actually it was very different in the days when I was a parent.

I had had my daughter, Sigrid, at age twenty-three and my son, Gunther, at twenty-five.  I had divorced at age twenty-eight.  To be honest, my family life was something of a mess! 

During my early life, I was driven by the idea of wanting to “see life,” to experience new things and meet new people.  Restless, I moved several times during that period, and pursued a career in painting.  I wanted to be different. While I deeply loved my kids, I have to admit that being a mom and making time for their needs did feel at times like a burden.  There were lots of moments when all I wanted was to be free to do my own thing (I know this sounds awfully selfish—but hey, it was also the early seventies!)

For the past ten years, I have lived in a quiet neighborhood with my family close by.  I see them virtually every day.  I also fly down regularly to Studio City, California, to spend weekends with my daughter and her husband, Jim, and their kids, Trevor and Chloe.  I like to be there for birthdays and holidays whenever I can.  During the week here, I watch seven-year-old Anders and four-year-old Auggie at my house twice a week while their mom, Eliza goes to college classes.  I am a working grandmother.

As I considered the two very different periods of my life, it came to me that the explanation could be accounted for by looking at my numerological Cycle numbers. 

You Have Three Distinct Cycles with a Mini-purpose for Each Period

The three Cycle numbers are found in the numbers of your month, day, and year of birth. The Cycle numbers determine the influence under which you will be in the early, middle, and late phases of your life.  They point to the qualities you must develop and use in order to fulfill your life purpose.

The Cycle number from your month of birth (e.g., January = 1 Cycle; February = 2 Cycle; October = 1 + 0 = 1 Cycle) is in effect from birth to roughly age 28 to 36.

The number of your day of birth (e.g., the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.) If your birth date consists of two digits, add them together to end up with only one digit (e.g., the 22nd becomes 2 + 2 = 4). This Cycle number is in effect in the middle part of your adult life, from approximately age 36 to 54.

The number of your year of birth (e.g., 1941 should likewise be added together—1+9+4+1 = 6 Cycle) indicates the general circumstances and lessons during the last phase of your life, starting around age 56 to 61. 

My first Cycle was a One!  Under the One, I was being asked to develop my independence (e.g., I divorced, lived on my own, and became a single mother.) I was required to learn how to make my own decisions (lots of them!)  I was supposed to develop original ideas, not lean on others, and perhaps be self-employed  (e.g., I was working hard at painting and trying to establish a career.) 

In this last Cycle of my life, I am now under the influence of Six.  Six indicates a life filled with family responsibilities, security, and domestic comforts!  Need I say more?

Below is a description of the meanings of the nine Cycle Numbers, if you’d like to discover what your influence is (or was, or will be.)

One Cycle
The years of courage, originality, exploration,
and independent thinking

An early One Cycle demands that you develop individuality to the highest point.  This challenging influence conditions you to think of yourself as independent, different and adventurous—which could define your personality throughout life.  You enjoy mental activities of all kinds, such as writing, designing, or inventing.  You like the idea of having your own business, or find that you excel at something.   You enjoy thinking outside the box. It’s important to you to feel that you are not going to live a conventional or boring life.

A One Cycle occurring in the mature period from age 36 to 54 indicates some form of outstanding accomplishment.  For example, you may run your own business or find yourself in leadership roles.  Your field of endeavor usually involves the possibility of a high-profile career, innovation, or competition, rather than one that is traditional or where you become lost in the crowd.  You must make your way to the top through your own efforts.

A late One Cycle from age 54 onwards, while it offers great opportunity for outstanding achievement, could be difficult as you face the need to re-invent yourself. After retirement from one field, you may start over in a completely new career. This could also be the time when you break away from restrictions, and are finally able to establish your own business. Since the One demands continued effort and growth, you may very likely change your entire life-style during this period, making it, perhaps, the most exciting time of your life.  Even if committed in a romantic relationship, you deeply desire to maintain your individuality and freedom.

Two Cycle
The years of association, relationship, and balance

An early Two Cycle from birth to age 28-35 conditions you to be sensitive and understanding, but somewhat timid or shy.  During this period you crave affection, and may have been either spoiled or overlooked as a child. Strong connections develop with your mother or other women. Circumstances require you to be keenly aware of the feelings of others and listen to your intuition; you learn how to keep the peace and get along. Relationships—while sometimes providing the path to new experiences--can be somewhat frustrating, especially if you feel you must subordinate yourself to the demands of stronger personalities.  You are more likely to accept life as it is, rather than strike out on your own. 

In maturity, the Two Cycle allows you to accumulate knowledge, build friendships and partnerships, and develop artistic or psychological skills. This influence gives you the focus and patience to take care of important details and do things well. Obstacles, while at first seeming to be distractions, turn out to give you time to come up with workable and elegant solutions.  Opportunities tend to show up at the right time; you accept rather than assertively push

As a late Cycle, Two highlights an interest in the areas of art, music, crafts, and drama.  You enjoy good friendships as well as a loving partnership.  You have a chance to work in a patient manner with those who look to you for support. Money is sufficient to cover necessities and even a few personal luxuries (e.g., a collection of china, a deluxe camera, a laptop, or a drum set.)  You may retire early, living quietly in pleasant surroundings with a dear companion.

Three Cycle
The years of creativity, pleasure, social life,
and spontaneity

An early Three Cycle (birth to age 28) usually indicates a desire to explore different areas of life, especially the more social and pleasurable areas (which could result in scattered energies or false starts.)  You are attracted to stimulation—looking for activities where music, the arts, performing, or travel are prominent.  You tend to take short-term jobs such as bartending and waiting tables, or jobs requiring imagination such as marketing, sales, or teaching. While finances may go from one extreme to another, you feel that life flows towards you, moving easily from one thing to another.  You are not inclined to serious, intellectual learning, but to the expression of what you already know.

During a mature phase, the Three Cycle sometimes indicates a tendency to drift into several different type of jobs—as you seek something that sustains your interest. Your greatest help comes through social contacts. Your attitude may be humorous, youthful, easy come easy go. Since the Three encourages creativity of any kind, you may be involved in parenting, as well as in artistic pursuits.  Money usually appears when you need it, but it’s important not to sabotage yourself by with an extravagant life-style beyond your means. Self-employment or commission work is usually favored over a nine-to-five job.

In a late Three Cycle, you come to realize that life works better when you maintain a positive attitude.  You may even be surprised at how easily things come when you spend a little time using your imagination to affirm your goals. Despite a few challenges (usually of your own making) life tends to feel good; you are able to find joy in little things. As a last Cycle, you can look forward to a possible early retirement, ease from financial worry, and the opportunity to travel.  If you are the creative type, you may have time to write a best-seller or take up painting!  You will most certainly be surrounded by a circle of friends who are youthful, supportive, and enthusiastic.

Four Cycle
The years of consistent effort, practicality,
and building a strong foundation

A first Four Cycle, (starting from birth to between age 28-36,)conditions you to take a realist's view of life. Tradition, family, and social pressures heavily influence your thinking toward the practical. Four tends to encourage you to take service jobs, marry early, and happily take on family responsibilities. Attraction to discipline may encourage some to join the military. This is a productive time, and economy and perseverance are your key words for success.

In the mature phase of life between ages 28 to 56, a Four Cycle you are given opportunities to build.  Your success comes from careers involving construction, energy conservation, business administration, transportation systems, food, agriculture, accounting, or government. A reliable and dedicated manager, you are the backbone of any organization. While you instinctively understand the power of saving money, investing, or buying property, you must never become too overly frugal, miserly, or pessimistic. You generally enjoy the demands of your work without grumbling too much. Even though you tend to keep your thoughts to yourself, recognition for your efforts brings a great deal of satisfaction. 

A late phase Four Cycle (starting approximately age 56-61) helps you maintain strong family ties and responsibilities; it rewards you with a sense of belonging.  Long-time friends are very important. If looking ahead to a last Cycle of Four, don’t fear this practical number.  Start now to build for security; you may choose to keep working past retirement age as a way to not only pay the bills, but to stay connected to a sense of purpose.

Five Cycle
The years of exploration and enthusiasm

As a first Cycle, Five encourages you to live life by your own rules and values (even if you come from a traditional background). Whether you are overtly rebellious or just restless for adventure, you want to explore and experiment.  Outgoing and magnetic, you have a wide variety of friends.  You deeply enjoy the feeling of freedom and unknown possibilities whenever you travel, move, or change jobs. In youth and young adulthood, your purpose is to experience life in a broad way, rather than settling into a narrow or routine path. You may marry early, but your craving for independence may eventually end the relationship.

A mid-life Five Cycle throws constant change your way.  You develop resourcefulness as you handle changing or uncertain circumstances.  You learn a little about a lot of things.  It’s likely that you will be self-employed or that your work involves public contact. For example, you may work in communications, news media, retails sales, advertising, transportation, performing, or travel. Domestic responsibilities may prove challenging during the active Five Cycle.  Life can seem to have turned out very differently from what you had originally envisioned when younger!

A last Five Cycle suggests that you will be active, healthy, and busy, unburdened by financial or domestic worries. You may finally have the free time you craved in earlier times to pursue various interests or travel.

Six Pinnacle
The years of responsibility, family life,
and security

An early Six Cycle conditions you to take care of others.  You develop reliability and excel at teaching or service work as well as handling domestic responsibilities. While having strong opinions of your own, you unconsciously adopt the values of your family and social milieu. Enthusiastic and dedicated--but not necessarily a free thinker-- you tend towards the tried and true and are slightly repelled by those who seem irresponsible. While your role in your original family tends to remain a strong focus, it’s likely that you will enter into an early, long-lasting marriage of your own.

A mature phase Six Cycle tends to surround you with close friendships, marriage, and family ties.  You have many opportunities to teach, advise, or care for others. Generally, you avoid the untried in favor of familiarity and security.

A last Six Cycle brings the rewards of family, security, and comfort. In teaching others, you will find yourself giving back the experience you gained in youth.  Life  generally provides you with what makes you feel happy, harmonious, and comfortable.  It’s important to remember to take time to nurture your own needs as well as attend to the demands of circumstances. It’s possible you must care for elderly family members.

Seven Cycle
The years of spiritual and intellectual development

A first Seven Cyle can sometimes be a difficult on a young person because you may not feel that you fit in with “the norm.” Circumstances may prevent you from feeling close to your family, or they may not be the people you wish they were.  Religion (if thrust upon you by religious parents) can sometimes bring limitations or a narrow upbringing.  Despite whatever spiritual orientation your parents have, however, you yourself naturally ponder the deep questions of life from an early age. Discovery of family secrets may alter your sense of identity.. Unusual circumstances, however, bring the opportunity for deeper understanding and awareness of life's mysteries (if not resisted or denied). Intuitive, observant, and sensitive, you may see things others miss. Because of your need to understand and know, you may develop eccentricities or special abilities in artistic, mathematical, technical, or scientific fields.

In mature phase Seven Cycle encourages you to focus.  You become known for something you do well—such as research, analysis, or intellectual pursuits. You attract people with specialized knowledge.  Selective in both your activities and your friends, you may live an unconventional lifestyle—or even choose to live in a foreign country.

A late Seven Cycle encourages soul development.  You care less about what others think, and crave time for reflection.  You may choose to live more simply and be closer to nature. You enjoy time to study, meditate, write, and think. While guarding your time for solitary pursuits, you also enjoy good conversations with off-beat, but intelligent people from all walks of life. Your best domestic relationship will either be with someone who has similar core values, or with someone who is very self-sufficient people who respects your privacy and time as well.  If you have a niche or specialty, people will come to you for what you know without your having to do much to market yourself.  Finances earned in your career tend to be there for your retirement; you also prefer to live inexpensively and simply, with a few well-chosen items.

Eight Cycle
The years of power, striving, achievement,
and material success

As a first Cycle Eight encourages you to be realistic, hardworking, and to make your way up the ladder.  Self-esteem and natural leadership mark your early years, and you are often recognized as a “go-getter.”  The quest for a good lifestyle, money, and professional status give you the energy to work hard for what you want. Your natural habitat tends to be in a corporation, government, the military, or a financial institution.  A first Cycle of Eight conditions you to be always on the alert for how to “work the system.” 

During a mid-life Eight Cycle (approximately between ages 28 to 56), opportunities for  supervisory roles, such as an executive or professional (or being married to one) are extremely likely. Social and financial pressures encourage a rational and business-type way of thinking, rather than an emotional response.  The stresses of an Eight Cycle can be so intense that your find it hard to get enough sleep or exercise, and may interfere with family relationships if you are rarely home!  Worried about losing ground, you feel you must always be making progress, and usually do create substantial material wealth.

A last Eight Cycle may mean that you prefer to delay retirement for many years.  When you do retire, your natural problem-solving ability and the need to keep busy are likely to develop a hobby into a highly lucrative business! At any time, the Eight brings productivity, business interests, respect, and power, but especially so in the years when your expertise has been well-developed. 

Nine Cycle
The years of understanding, compassion,
service, and wealth

As a first Cycle Nine (starting at birth to approximately ages 28-36) often indicates a striking maturity in an individual. Since the Nine is always interested in a broad range of subjects, you may find it hard to choose a career path.  Naturally passionate and usually liberal in perspective, you may gravitate to working for the good of others in humanitarian causes. Under this expansive and universal vibration, you tend to learn new things easily—from life experience as well as books. Good fortune or synchronistic opportunities seem to drop from the sky.  This period is developing your emotional side, and even crises are later seen to be avenues for growth. Your early adult task is to develop a philosophical attitude—accepting what life brings you (and listening to your intuition before making decisions.)

In mid-life a Nine Cycle (roughly age 36 to 56) you tend to be interested in the arts, drama, higher education, paths of healing, or spiritual activity. A desire to work for the benefit of others (especially on a volunteer basis) is very likely.  Advocacy and fund-raising for disadvantaged people can bring a great sense of purpose and fulfillment.  For some, long-distance travel and work with foreigners is highly indicated.  You tend to have both wealthy friends in high places, as well as humble people about whom you deeply care.

A late Nine Cycle (starting about age 56 and influencing you the rest of your life) provides many opportunities for sharing your experience and wisdom.  By this time, you feel comfortable with who you have become, and have understood some of life’s questions by what you have learned through hard experience. You feel like giving back to the world.  With a feeling of gratitude, you don’t worry about small things, and take life in stride.  Sometimes you quietly make personal sacrifices if you can help another.  As a last Cycle, Nine promises a sense of fulfillment, in both a spiritual and material sense. You may greatly enjoy being a mentor, involved grandparent, or philanthropist.

Happy May!
Carol Adrienne
                    Copyright 2009, Carol Adrienne

Carol Adrienne, Ph.D. is an intuitive counselor and life coach who has helped thousands of people work through doubt, procrastination, and obstacles to create the life they want to live. Private consultations and coaching available. Contact her at
Please email Carol with a story or question about your own life for consideration for her monthly column.


Getting Past Fear to a Happier Place

April 2009
Carol Adrienne, Ph.D.

If we practice the art of mindful living, when unexpected changes happen, we have a more stable ground from which to face our fears and regain balance.  When things happen to shift our world, we need to know how to come back to our center.

Everywhere we turn, people are talking about the economy.  There is a toxic level of fear and uncertainty that makes it hard for us to relax.  Many people are getting laid off from their jobs or experiencing a down turn.  Many people have lost half or more of their retirement money.  We are going through an unraveling period that is shared by everyone.  While it’s not such a happy place, we realize once again that we are all in this boat together.  It’s important to remember how to regain our balance.  Once a shock has been absorbed, we begin to get back to a happier place.

Be Gentle with Yourself

If you just got laid off, for example, the temptation is to blame yourself, or to regret something you did or didn’t do.  The sudden shock—even if you were expecting the news—renders you helpless for a little while.  Because you are not yet clear about how you are going to handle this change, it’s natural to experience immediate fear about paying your bills and taking care of yourself and your family.  You have to go through the shock, recognize the challenge, and--trust that what you need will eventually appear.

What’s important is that you work with your fear or with your uncertainty in a positive way—to bring you back into wholeness.  In the past, when I lost a job (I was forever getting laid off in those days) it felt like losing a body part.  It was as if a black hole opened up and I had fallen inside.  I felt as if I had disappeared.

In a new situation, it’s important to start with gentleness—to yourself, first, and then to those around you.  Slowly, as you adjust to this new level, you’ll find a second wind.  Your instinct may be to get back into the harness and frantically start looking for another job.  However, this is one of your life’s opportunities to step back a bit, run your mind over your past few years, and reassess where you are and what you want now.  It’s natural to try to reinstate the past as quickly as possible, and yet, for every change there is a purpose.  When we find ourselves arguing with circumstances, blaming, rationalizing, or getting depressed, we are lost in the chatter of our own ego.  I love what Joseph Campbell, the great mythologist, says in his book, The Power of Myth:

“What is important in each of us is the seed of consciousness which is released in changes and transformation.  As long as we hang on to our ego, our personal problems, we can’t hear the voice of the universe.”

In my seminars on fear, change, and life purpose, I have people answer a few questions and then discuss them with a partner in the class.  I originally learned the following technique from Angeles Arrien, an author and cross-cultural anthropologist.

If you are feeling fearful, stuck, or uncertain about the future, you may want to jot down some answers to the following questions.  Notice if any ‘seeds’ of intuition come to you now or even over the next few days.  You may want to save this exercise for a time when you are not going to be interrupted by outside activities.

What’s My Story? 

Write down your answers to each question in the two sections below before scrolling down further.  (Write your answers on a blank sheet of paper.) When you are finished scroll down to the section marked KEYS.

My Understanding of my Current Situation. Describe your situation in five statements. 

My Current Top Fears. Describe five fears you have right now.


My Understanding of my Current Situation

  1. 1. Your first response reflects how you might communicate your story to a friend or colleague. It’s likely to be, however, a superficial insight.  It’s your unexamined, obvious, generally accepted understanding.  This is the story you generally feel comfortable telling to others, but it is not the whole story.  This is the safe and expected story or explanation that limits you to a fixed position.
  2. 2. Your response in this second position represents an insight that reveals a part of yourself that is strong enough to handle the situation, despite your fears about it.
  3. 3. This third point is the real thing or issue that you  need to work on.
  4. 4. This answer reveals a part of your situation that may provide an unexpected benefit that motivates you to move in a positive direction.  Take a further look at this point and write down any thoughts that arise, even ones that sound crazy.  Look for the germ of truth or creative spark.
  5. 5. This last answer indicates an area that you are not yet ready to handle, so don’t worry about it just yet.  At a later time, you may even receive unexpected help that will surprise you.

My Current Top Fears

  1. 1. This is a commonly expressed fear, but is not your deepest fear. You know this fear very well.  This fear may have originated early in your life— instilled by your parents out of their fear.  Many people share this fear.
  2. 2. This fear is not going to hold you back. You have a special way of dealing with this fear.  You cannot be easily defeated once you start becoming creative, and once you remember a special area of strength or expertise that you may have forgotten you have.
  3. 3. This is the place to start.  Trust your first instinct for handling this fear.  Ask yourself, What one step could I take to work around or through this fear?  What are you willing to do now about it?  Write down all the options you can think of for handling this fear, even crazy-sounding ones.  Look for the germ of inspiration in each one—even the crazy-sounding ones-- that could produce positive results.
  4. 4. This fear could prompt you to extend your comfort zone. Working on this fear might help you learn something new that gives unexpected benefits.
  5. 5. You may not want to start with this fear, as you instinctively realize there is more here than you are ready to deal with right now.  However, when you feel better and see some progress, this fear could be easily handled.

Writing a List of What You Want or Need--on Paper--Creates a Powerful Intention

As you go forward, remember to write down exactly what you want now.  If you are looking for work, start by describing on paper an ideal situation—as if you were writing your own ideal job description.  Write down the type of ideal duties or services you would provide, the kind of people you like to work with, a minimum figure + for your ideal wages, and the ideal location.  Read it over once a day for a few seconds, and then forget about it. 

Follow any hunches you have over the next few weeks.  Keep yourself relaxed and active by walking, taking time to chat with people, and enjoying life.   You may even come to see the silver lining!  When you do, shoot me an email and share your insights.

Happy Spring!
Carol Adrienne

Carol Adrienne, Ph.D. is an intuitive counselor and life coach who has helped thousands of people work through doubt, procrastination, and obstacles to create the life they want to live. Private consultations and coaching available. Contact her at

Please email Carol with a story or question about your own life for consideration for her monthly column.


Must Career Passion Last Forever?

Carol Adrienne, Ph.D.                        March, 2009

Forty-eight-year-old Barb knows about job searches and she knows about leaving the corporate world to start her own business.  Surprisingly, her career path has offered major spiritual insights as well as a roller-coaster ride of success and down-turns.  She agreed to share her insights about going down the path of starting one’s own business.

Hobbies may Bloom into Entrepreneurial Passions
Barb lives in Florida, and had worked in human resources for many years when she began to work with me as a coach a few years ago.  At that time, she was eager to leave her job behind.  She was thinking of  starting a gift basket business—something that she had been doing as a hobby.  “So many of my friends loved the baskets I did for them for birthdays and anniversaries, and they kept telling me that  I should be doing this for a living.  I finally, thought, ‘Why not give it a go?’” 

Business Experience is Transferable
Barb says, “Before I decided to quit, I had always loved every moment of my corporate career. I was vice president of human resources in a large, public company, and I loved the work.”  What did she like about her work, I asked?  “Mostly it was about helping keep turnover low, and helping employees get a life.  Our department got many awards for our level of employee satisfaction and work environment.  I loved helping make that happen.  I also liked helping people with their career path and even some of their personal problems.  It was almost like owning my own business, but still getting a paycheck.  However, after fifteen years, I felt it was becoming too political at the top.  There were a lot of power struggles.  I found that I wasn’t doing the part of the work I loved anymore.  I was looking for freedom, and that’s when I decided to start my own business. Being part of the growth of the corporation paid off financially, as it allowed me the financial freedom to walk away.

“In the beginning,” says Barb, “all I knew was that I wanted change.  I wanted to travel and to rest and to do my own thing.  I really didn’t know that I was going to have a basket business.” 

Barb started on a small scale, but the business grew fast.  Within a few months, she had to decide whether or not to take it to the next level. 

Following a Passion Could Provoke Unexpected Consequences

“I got a commercial location, which might not have been the smartest move, but I think I had to do it.  I had several people work for me, but they gave me a lot of trouble.  For example, two so-called friends took my ideas and became competitors.  Another set of friends didn’t like my feedback on their work and they started their own business. 

“After my partner, who was putting in sweat equity, left my mom and stepfather got involved.  This development turned out to be really fun! Having this unexpected turn in our family relationship was a really great part of the business.  Looking back, it all seemed destined to happen.”

Barb was in the business for four years.  During that summer she got the opportunity to work again in human resources with another company.  “My business was very slow during the summer, and the economy was starting to go down.  I got a call from a client who had found me out of the yellow pages.  He was a really nice person and we started chatting.  It turned out that he is in the staffing business, and he knew my old boss and my old company.  He became a good client for my gift baskets.  At one point he mentioned that he was looking to fill a position.  I offered to help him find someone, but instead he kept tempting me to come and work for him.  Since business was so slow, I decided I could help him a couple of days a week until my holiday season started.  Ironically, this man was the only client I ever got out of the Yellow Pages.”

That was Then, This is Now
Barb closed her basket business last year and is back full-time at the corporate job. With endearing frankness and humor, she says, “You think you want something and you believe you can make it happen.  But I found out that doesn’t mean I have to keep doing it!  These passions we have are sometimes about being in a moment of time.  I used to think that if you found your passion, that meant you just kept on doing it.  But that didn’t turn out to be the case with my own business, and I am totally okay with that!” 

Currently, she’s eager to find new vistas.  “I love my work, but it’s time to see and do something else, or live in another place.”  She confided, however, that as she began to look for a new job, she started to feel anxious, contracted, and a little fearful. Every night after work she felt she had to comb through the job listings, and apply for positions that she knew were not right for her   We did a coaching session on the fears and insecurities that she had about finding the right job. 

Your Life has a Natural Ebb and Flow
One thing we did was to review her previous jobs and look at how she had found each one.  It was then that she had an epiphany.  “I realized that that in the past, jobs have always come to me.  Every single job I have gotten came to me because of my contacts and of being in the right place at the right time.  I have never had to ‘beat the bushes.’  There’s no reason to think that this won’t happen again with the right intention and practical follow-up.”

Barb emailed a few days after our session to say that the sense of foreboding and fear had gone.  “I feel excited again and adventurous. Luckily, I’m  working now, so I’m not going to struggle about finding a new job.  I’m going to keep looking, but let it come to me.  This realization has really helped me live in the moment.   I know I have a passion for art and beauty, but I don’t think we have to always know what our purpose is to live a happy life, or to know how those talents are going to be used.

“I’ve traveled, I’ve had my own business, and I’ve developed an art business in faux painting for interiors.  I’ve worked with my best friend, my family, and even landed in another great job. I still want to explore all the future blessings I think are ahead of me.

“I’ve learned that, even though you may do your passion as a livelihood, it may or may not last forever or be the final thing. This was a huge thing for me to learn.  Stopping doesn’t mean you were not committed or were a failure.  That took me forty-eight years to understand.”

Change can Stimulate Fear or a Sense of Adventure
Barb continues, “If you don’t embrace the idea of change, life feels unpredictable and scary.  I am so looking forward to whatever the next phase of my life brings.  I just applied for a job in Switzerland, and I really hope I get it!  It’s funny that my numerology chart says I might have something to do with international work, but this is the first time I considered looking into it.   I’m resolved to only apply for jobs that fit me. This one  involves international travel, and ironically, the company manufactures flavors and fragrances—which is just the kind of products I love!   If it doesn’t happen it won’t be the end of the world, but I’m just so drawn to it.”

I applaud Barb’s honesty and courage.  I invite any readers to please feel free to email
me with any of your own career change experiences that might inspire others!

Happy March!
Carol Adrienne

Carol Adrienne, Ph.D. is an intuitive counselor and life coach who has helped thousands of people work through doubt, procrastination, and obstacles to create the life they want to live. Private consultations and coaching available. Contact her at

Please email Carol with a story or question about your own life for consideration for her monthly column.

The Adventure of Synchronicity

Carol Adrienne, Ph.D.
February, 2009

How much does synchronicity assist us in fulfilling our life purpose? 

Synchronicity is typically thought of as an unusual event that surprises us by answering a question, bringing someone unexpectedly into our life, or opening a new door. Sometimes we don’t always see the hand of fate at work because we might associate synchronicity with a “big” surprise or astonishing moment, or deciding something is a mistake or wrong—when it could be part of the plan.   Many people choose to see the events occurring in their life as somewhat random.  When they hear of someone else’s inspiring or helpful experience, they generally write it off as a lucky chance.  They fail to see that every thing happens for a reason, and synchronicities are a response to some unconscious need or conscious goal. 

I have come to the opinion that each of us does have a life plan, and that this path is sometimes assisted by an invisible hand, helping us, for example, to find a job, get married, or develop our gifts and passions.  Our part is to listen intuitively for the signs and signals of where we are needed next.

Intuition is the Navigator

Sherri Lee Devereau’s  life offers a good example of how following intuition and being in the right place at the right time has guided her to each new step in her life purpose.

Sherri and I talked recently during my appearance as a guest on her radio show, Opening Your Intuitive Eyes.  After the show, I wanted to know more about her, since I was tantalized by some of the things she had mentioned. 

Sherri is the author of Shadows on my Shift—Real Life Stories of a Psychic EMT, and the host of her own show. (  Highly intuitive, she is also a meditation teacher, qigong energy healer, and cold case psychic for law enforcement agencies across the country.

How did this path unfold?  Sherri began by saying, “Many years ago I was at a kind of low point.  I had just lost a temporary office job, and got into a car accident.  This injury took some months to heal.  During that time I was going to a chiropractor, and he suggested I get a massage as part of my treatment.  However, I couldn’t really find anyone in the area.  Since I was looking for work again, the doctor encouraged me to think about becoming a massage therapist myself.  It sounded good to me, so I went looking for a school, which I found in Milwaukee. 

What You Need is Provided
The day I called happened to be the next to last day before registration closed. The admissions office told me that I had to come up with half of the tuition money by the next day. Of course, I didn’t have that kind of money and had no idea how to get it.  That afternoon I went to the grocery store in my small town, and the lady who worked in the bank happened to be shopping there.  I said jokingly to her, ‘Hey how about giving me a loan to go to massage school?’  I was astonished when she responded by saying, ‘Come in tomorrow morning, and we’ll work out the details.’  So this is how I found myself in massage school.

However, the school was in Milwaukee, and I lived two and a half hours drive away. The first week, I was sitting in class one day, trying to figure out how I could afford to stay near the campus and not have to commute.  A former graduate from the school happened to come into the classroom to drop something off.  Since this woman was a graduate, a few of us in the class wanted to talk with her about how she was making a living doing massage.  She talked with us for awhile and then she said, ‘By the way, I’m living in Lavender House, and we have a few extra rooms.  If anyone is looking for a place to stay, let me know.’ The rent on the room was five dollars a night, and for another five dollars a day I could get all the meals and snacks I could eat—all for about $300 a month! 

Follow Your Passion
After graduating, I found I really liked doing massage.  I was always looking for places to do it. My son was a senior in high school, and sometimes he would come into my office complaining about his sore muscles after basketball practice, so I would give him a massage.  Some of his friends came in, too, so I also worked on them.  I got the idea to call their coach. I offered to volunteer my time if he would send a note to the parents to let them know about my services.  The next year, I got a call from the football coach who wanted the same deal.”

Sherri’s volunteering started to take on a life of its own.  Things began to move in a new direction.  During one of the school training sessions, some of the team members from the Green Bay Packers came to her son’s school.  One of the players saw her massaging one of the high school boys.  She remembers, “He literally tossed the boy off the table and lay down and asked if I’d work on him.  This player continued to come to my office, and later, some of his teammates began to come.”

Out of the Blue
Another big step forward happened when Sherri began to do massage therapy for major-league baseball player, Alex Rodriguez.  Around the same time, she began to volunteer with the Olympic kayak team.  She says, “Two weeks after I started volunteering with the kayak team, I got a letter in the mail from the Chinese government.  They were inviting me to participate in a six-week training in a massage technique called twaina at the Olympic Training Center in Beijing.  The letter requested me to call a number and confirm my reservation.  Well, I thought it was just another one of the marketing letters I had been receiving since finishing my national massage certification. I put it in the pile with the rest of the junk mail.

A few days later I got a call from the Chinese embassy wanting to know if I was going to  go on the trip.  I was confused about what they were offering.  I had just gotten out of school and was pretty broke.  I told them I had no money to go, but they said, ‘Don’t worry. All expenses are being paid.  All you need is a passport!’

Twenty of us had been invited.  Everyone was a massage therapist, but that was all we had in common.  So there we were in China for a month and a half, training in this technique. 

Stay the Course
On the fifth week Master Wong, a qigong master, came into the class.  He announced that he was going to teach us how to keep our energy healthy.  He offered us a choice of staying for the class or going on the shopping trip that was planned.  Wow, at the time, that was a tough choice for me!  I really wanted to go shopping before I left China.  Most of the students left to go shopping, but I thought to myself, “Well, I came here to learn. I’d better stay.  However, I secretly thought that I’d cry if the others found good shopping deals! 

Master Wong taught us a special meditation technique that day.  For some reason, he seemed to see something in me, and I was invited to stay on. This was the sixth week, and our group was going to see the terra cotta statues in Xian.  For some reason, I really didn’t want to go.  The bus broke down and it was raining.  Unexpectedly, just before leaving for Xian, my travel papers came back.  I found out that I was scheduled to stay for three more months!  The communication had never been really clear, and apparently I had agreed to do this.  It was probably good that I didn’t understand the communication because I would not have thought to stay for such a long time.

So I stayed on, and the other nineteen people left.  It was an interesting period, and I spent long hours training.  I didn’t realize it until I got back home, but I had changed a lot.  Something felt different.  For one thing, I found that I had the ability to assist people with their injuries in less than half the time, using the chi energy. 

Less than six months after returning from China, my practice expanded as I made connections to the Seattle Mariners through my work with Alex Rodriguez.   After that I went to work with major-league teams in Phoenix. Everything happened fast.  By this time I was living in Scottsdale, Arizona and making a very good living.  However, I began to realize that I was starting to get caught up in the process of making money, meeting famous people, and that whole lifestyle.  I had originally gotten into massage because I wanted to heal people, and I here I was getting caught up chasing money and prestige” 

Synchronicities Can Sometimes Appear As An Obstacle
Sherri reflects on this period. “Life begins to let you know when you are off-track.  At first I would get a few back pains from working harder than was good for me.   But that other voice (the ego) says, ‘No, just keep going.  Make money.  Meet interesting people.’  For me it happened one day when a client almost rolled off the table. I reached out to keep him from falling, and the weight of his body literally tore out my shoulder joint. Within the next five years, I had two shoulder surgeries and my shoulder still doesn’t work very well.”

Sometimes You Have To Stop To Listen
Sherri was forced to give up her massage practice, and had to decide what to do next.  “I started feeling depressed.  I decided to go back to school. Ironically, one of the required courses was writing, which I didn’t think I would ever use. However, that knowledge came in very handy later on when I wanted to write my book.  You never know what is going to turn out to be useful.

Volunteering Provides Opportunities for Connection
Sherri’s passion for volunteering surfaced again as she realized that it had always seemed to have the power to connect her to the right path before.  She says, “I wanted to see what would come up this time—almost like an adventure waiting to happen.  I started with hospice and found that I was really good in working with people n trauma, people who have a matter of weeks left to live.  This work opened a door for me to volunteer at the Phoenix Fire Department as a crisis counselor.  From there I decided to get training as an emergency medical technician.  I have to laugh because my childhood heroes were Johnny Gage and Roy De Soto who were the guys on the television show Emergency, which was about a paramedic team.  Here I was doing the same kind of thing!”

Timing is Everything
Sherri remembers the time in 1976 when it was career day at her high school.   She had told the visiting fire captain that she wanted to be on the force.  “He told me that they would never have females in the fire department.  Ironically, thirty years later, I wound up being on one of the top fire departments in the country.  When I returned to my home town, the fire department even invited me to tell them all the things I had learned.

Since then, I have written a book about my experiences on the Phoenix Fire Department’s Crisis Response Team. (Which got me the name ‘The Psychic EMT’) The book helped me get my radio show, and it’s also opened the door for getting me chosen by Sheriff Joe as his psychic on his new Cold Case Posse in Maricopa County in Arizona.  I was trained along with other volunteer investigators, was sworn in and carried a badge. It was taxing work, and I tried not to get very emotionally involved with cases.

These days I am concentrating on my radio show, and writing a couple more books on my cold case work and arson investigations.  I also teach classes on how to develop and use your intuition.  If I hadn’t listened to my intuition over the years, I wouldn’t be where I am now.  I’m glad now that I took those writing classes! You just have to stay open to what comes your way.  It’s there for a reason.”

Thank you, Sherri for sharing your ever-changing and fascinating journey!

A wonderful February to everyone, and stay in love with your life,
Carol Adrienne


Carol Adrienne, Ph.D. is an intuitive counselor and life coach who has helped thousands of people work through doubt, procrastination, and obstacles to create the life they want to live. Private consultations and coaching available. Contact her at

Please email Carol with a story or question about your own life for consideration for her monthly column.



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