Blanca Beyar Interview: Attributes of Mastery

Attributes of Mastery
I recently had an opportunity to interview Blanca Beyar about her new book Attributes of Mastery. I love that she provided detailed and thoughtful answers to questions concerning the origins of spirituality.

Read through and let me know you thoughts.

First a little about you and your philosophy.

You describe yourself as a seer, a medium and an empath. Can you describe the common usage of those terms, and more importantly, what the terms mean to you?

Leo, I love this question. I love it because it allows me to share both the dogmatic meaning of these labels and what they truly mean to me. A seer is an individual who possesses the ability to “see” into the matrix of a soul. By matrix, I mean that a seer can see the past, the present and even capture the “potential” of a soul’s future. I use the word potential because as creators, individuals can always create a shift in what their future matrix is. I always tell anyone that I am working with that a seer can only see the potential of an outcome, but as creators, everyone has the ability to create their future and to also change it.

A medium is an individual who can communicate with the afterlife. The word “medium” is typically used to define someone who exclusively dedicates themselves to sharing messages from the afterlife.

An Empath is someone who can tap into the emotional frequency of others and because of this sensitivity, can describe what an individual is feeling on an emotional, physical and spiritual level. Many Empaths can be affected by the energies of others because they are so sensitive. Learning how to harness the empath insight is key to working with it at an optimal level.

I love that you ask what these terms mean to me because in truth, they are labels that help define what I do as a vessel for the divine. I believe that we all possess the attributes of divinity and when we open ourselves to being of service, these gifts naturally develop. To me, these attributes represent being in touch with the God Force within.

How would you describe your philosophy boiled down to its utmost essence?

I humbly believe and teach that we all are luminous spiritual beings and that we all possess the ability to co-create with the God Force. I inspire people to recognize that it is their disbelief in this divine truth that limits them from experiencing life in its greatest potential. When we embrace our divinity, we step into the role of co-creation.

You talk about offering mind, body and spiritual healing to others. Is it the same healing you’ve gone through in your life? Do the same processes work for everyone? What is the connection between the three?

Great question! I believe that that we are a divine trilogy that is composed of the Mind/Body/Spirit. Each of these aspects allows us to experience and process life in a very unique way. Yet, when one of these aspects is out of alignment, it affects the other two. Discord in the body may indicate that there is disharmony in the mind and spirit, and conversely, if there is clutter in the mind, the body and spirit will only follow in the same energy response.

Although some may believe that disharmony of the body is due to environmental or genetic composition, I teach that the body was built like a machine, to work optimally, however, if there is emotional vulnerability in the mind or spirit, then, the body will simply reflect it in the form of illness.

I have observed and experienced this same process in my own spirituality and have also witnessed it in countless of individuals who I have worked with and this is why I take such a strong stance in the Mind/Body/Spirit connection.

Now about your angelic experiences.

Can you describe one of your angelic experiences?

There are so many beautiful experiences that I can share but one stands out in my heart. I remember asking my angel for assistance in helping me find a perfect location for my first office 13 years ago, and I immediately was shown a vision of me standing behind a mountain, greeting people to my office. I had seen several places but a few days after my vision, I received a call to go see a new location. When I arrived at the address, I noticed that the cross streets were Victory and Mountain View! I knew instantly that this was going to be the home for what became the “Spiritual Path.” The street, “Victory” was validating that I had been victorious in finding my sacred space and “Mountain View” was the beautiful Mountain top that my angel had shown me in my vision.

What or who are the angels?

There are many forms of angels. There are many physical angels that live their lives being of service to others…we see them in all walks of life; some are advocates for humanitarian causes and some are “whispers” that gently inspire and offer guidance. Then there is the angelic realm…God’s thought forms, I call them, who gently guide and love us and enter into our lives if we are willing to experience them. And finally, there are the spirits that have transcended to the afterlife, who are like angels, and who also provide direction, love and guidance when we are willing to acknowledge their presence in our lives.

When you talk about faith in a higher power, do you know of a specific higher power?

I have personally experienced a higher power in my spiritual life. To me, this higher power is not a person or entity, but rather, a limitless and boundless energy field that supports and sustains “All that Is.” To some, it may be more comfortable to call this higher power, “God, Universe or Mother Earth.”

This higher power has spoken to me and has revealed itself to me in so many ways that it is undeniable in my soul.

I am an advocate of “Validations” because when something is validated in the spiritual realm, it is not someone else’s truth or belief but more so, an individualized experience that speaks truth to you. I have complete faith in my higher power because it has validated itself in my life and in the lives of so many that I have been privileged to work with.

A little perspective for my readers

I’ve been looking into spiritualism from a physiological point of view, learning what various spiritual or religious experiences mean in terms of their impact on the brain, heart and nervous system. Have you studied the physiology of spiritualism? For instance, what does it mean to be in a particular state of being?

Does studying spiritualism from a scientific perspective cheapen or defame one’s experiences? An example would be tying a person’s chakras to specific glands, or defining meditative states by what frequency your brain waves are running at.

I love that this question follows the previous one where I speak of validations. I believe that reaching a “state of being” is an experience that can only be measured by one’s unique development and validation of certain experiences. I like to say, “You know, that know because you know.” At this level of being-ness, you no longer seek to have your experiences or truth to be validated by others but you know it in your heart that it is true because you have had a direct experience with the Divine within you.

I advocate and embrace the physiological aspects of spirituality and encourage people to recognize the connection between the Mind/Body/Spirit but to also expand it to the “invisible evidence” that resides within our makeup as spiritual beings. I work and introduce the chakra system to individuals who I work with and teach them to learn the relationship between the spiritual, emotional and physical bodies.

Although Science has come a long way in expanding the connection between spirituality and our existence, I feel that it still struggles to validate the most fundamental question…”Who are we?” This is why I am passionate about the direct experience of discovering who we are by have an intimate, internal exploration.

About your book.

What should readers of Attributes of Mastery expect when picking up your book? Do you teach through stories? Practical application? Other methods?
What makes this book different than others? What is unique or more effective about your message?

Attributes of Mastery presents 21 fundamental principles that create a foundation for readers to experience a whole new way of living and experiencing life. Each principle is like a piece of a divine puzzle; that practiced on its own, can introduce a shift in our internalization and perception of life. And yes, the attributes are a practical application because each one invites us to simply make a simple choice of how we are going to choose to process and respond to the arrival of life’s circumstances.

The uniqueness of Attributes of Mastery is that I offer a final chapter that illustrates my own spiritual journey and how each of the attributes assisted me through some of my most challenging experiences—and which helped me to prevail and to truly discover my life’s purpose. In sharing my own personal experience, I hope that readers are inspired and willing to explore the attributes that are presented in the book.

What impact on the world do you hope Attributes of Mastery will have?

My greatest endeavor is for readers to walk away with a great sense of empowerment and inspiration in knowing that even through life’s challenges we can rise above the obstacles and grow beyond the feelings of victimization, to a place of spiritual grace and mastery. My hope is that readers can see that it is the challenges of life that truly hold our greatest opportunities to expand our spirit and to persevere to a state of freedom and wholeness.

Is there anything else you want to say about your book? Anything we’ve missed? Anything some people seem to misunderstand?

Yes…that Attributes of Mastery is not a book that requires readers to reach a state of perfection, nor is it a book that promises that life will be perfect all the time, but rather, it is a book that will help readers to reach a state of grace and of acceptance on a spiritual level that will then allow them to experience “a state of inner-grace” that says, “all is perfect and divine!”

The final question.

The Story In is a blog about stories in life, word, art, music and film. What are some of your favorite stories in any of these domains? Are there any stories that have impacted your life?

It is wonderful when we can learn and hear inspiring stories about the arts and the individuals who passionately pursue their creative calling. I particularly love the “Life Stories” because they allow readers to step into the individualized experiences of one soul and it allows readers to savor an intimate account of a person’s vision of life. In this kind of sharing, we are invited to remember that there is no definitive way to live life; there is no right or wrong, but truly, a unique way to express and to experience! Thank you so much for gifting us with “The Story.”

Virtual Zombie Walk 2012 – King of the World

Virtual Zombie Walk 2012

It’s the mooossst wonderful tiiimmmme of the yeeeaar. That’s right. The Walking Dead is on, Halloween is coming up and it’s time for Virtual Zombie Walk 2012. So read my entry for Jezrie’s Nightmares Zombie Run contest, and check out the rest of the zombie walk linked below.

King of the World – by Leo Godin

Ain’t fair. Putting this in my hands, like I’m some sort of arbiter for humanity. Fuckin’ kill me, but don’t do this. Too much temptation. Too easy to let it all burn.

What am I trying to save? Got no job. Stuck-up bitch, whore took care of that. All I wanted was a date. That so hard? Never even touched her, but somehow talking to pretty girls goes against company policy on harassment at McDowells. Like no one’s supposed to talk while flipping burgers. Doesn’t Reynold’s know what goes on in his office after closing time?. Not like she hadn’t been in there, either. With Julio and Jim, both at the same time.

Just wanted my piece. No reason to get fired.

Who’s left? Not like my family wants me around. Not after the last time. Hate Thanksgiving. It’s all “Lost another job?” and “You smell like pot.” I give thanks. Thanks I don’t live there anymore. Thanks that I finally had the nerve to punch the old man right in the head. Knocked the fucker right to the ground. Not going’ back there.

Who is this prick? Locking me up in here with a key. Not just any ol’ key. The key. Yeah, I can get out. Easy. Only thing, so will they. Sick fuck’s watched Saw one too many times.

Do I really want to die here? No food, no water? Just to protect the world? What’s the world ever done for me? Did the world stop to help when my car died on 101 North? Hell no. Walked eighteen miles that night. Guess nobody’s gonna pick up a guy like me. Not with these scars.

Did the world keep me out of that fire? Did it save my face? I don’t owe it nothin’. Might just let these things out right now. Look at them. All mealy-mouthed. Maggots falling out of their faces. Fuckers stink to hell, too, and they’re hungry. Even dead eyes show hunger.

I can get behind that. I know what hungry feels like, and not just food either. Hungry for something you can’t define. Anything. Just to change what is. You know? Just a girl, or a friend, or something cool to happen. Yeah, I know that feeling. I’m closer to these dead things than any people.

Been two days, and man I’m thirsty. Gotta get out of here. Can I do it? Things look slow, all shambling around in there. I can get past them. But that door. It don’t close once it’s open. That’s what the guy said, and I believe him.

I seen the movies. Know what happens when these things get out. World goes to shit. Everyone dies. Well, most everyone. Not me. I can swing a bat. Forage for food. That world’s made for people like me. It’s that bitch and Mr. Reynolds who’ll die out there.

So, whoever’s on the other end of this camera, watch out, cuz I’m gonna be a king in the new world.

A plethora of zombie links

Zombies Everywhere
[Retro-Zombie]
Halloween Blues
The Southern Northerner
Martha’s Journey
Annie Walls
GingerRead Review
App’y Talk
Kweeny Todd
Jenny’s House of Horrors
Bubba’s Place
Fictional Candy
herding cats & burning soup
Author Sherry Soule Blog
Paranormal research Group Blog
Adult Urban Fantasy by Sherry Soule
Moonlight Publishing Blog
Candid Canine
Ghost Hunting Theories
Above the Norm
A Dust Bunny In The Wind
Faith McKay
Zombob’s Zombie News & Movie Reviews
Flesh From The Morgue
The Living Dark
Some One Else’s Cook
Stumptown Horror
Forget About TV, Grab a Book
Zombie Dating Guide
Strange State
The Paranormalist – Renae Rude
Idée Fixe
Random Game Crafts
WhiteRoseBud’s Tumblr
Gnostalgia
Book Me!
Carmen Jenner Author
Sarasota Zombie Pub Crawl
Not Now…Mommy’s Reading
Love is a Many Flavored Thing
Its On Random
Ellie Potts
Attention Earthlings!
Horror Shock LoliPOP
The Spooky Vegan
The Story In…
DarkSide Detectives Blog
Something wicKED this way comes….
Julie Jansen: science fiction and horror writer
Author/screenwriter James Schannep
The Zombie Lab
Creepy Glowbugg
Pickleope
Sharing Links and Wisdom
Midnyte Reader
This Blog Has A.D.D.
Carol’s Creations
Jeremy Bates
Vanessa Morgan

Looking For Black Woman – Must Have Good Critiquing Skills

black woman

I’m looking for a black woman, but not just any black woman. No, she needs to have a sense of humor and great critiquing skills. She must be empathetic, and forgiving. Oh yeah, she must be real. I already have a black, female character…

So I’m writing a story with a black protagonist. She’s not only black, but a college-educated Jazz singer who escaped a bad Chicago neighborhood with her poet boyfriend. It’s hard to imagine someone more different than I. For realism, she should probably be liberal, and a bit sassy. She would appreciate old-time Jazz and modern music. I suspect she would also be tough and have a quick wit, returning verbal fire with the best of them. In short, she’s the anti-me.

Here is my quandary: How do I write someone like that without using stereotypes. One commenter in my writing group told me I needed “more ghetto” in my story. Sadly, he must not know enough black people to realize most do not speak in “ghetto.” To people like him, the terms “college educated” and “Jazz singer” have less meaning than “black.” Apparently, black is all he needs to know.

It’s not only the ghetto stereotype we need to watch out for. There’s also the noble Negro typified by the great and truly noble Jackie Robinson. The noble Negro is the stereotype where a black character receives massive abuse and responds with only peace and good will. It’s great stuff in real life when that is what’s needed to integrate baseball. In fiction, it makes for one-dimensional characters, and sets unrealistic expectations. It’s just as unfair to cast the noble Negro as it is the ghetto.

In writing this story, I can see why so few white authors use black characters in anything other than secondary roles – it’s hard. Off the top of my head I can think of Randy Alcorn as the only white author I’ve read who really took the time to write a believable and relevant black protagonist. By the way, the book is Dominion and it’s fantastic.

Writing characters from cultures different than our own is difficult if we seek realism over stereotypes. It takes research, empathy, patience and a desire to learn. It takes the ability to suspend what you think you know to learn what really is. And while this has been an amateur pastime for me over the past five or so years, I still have a long way to go.

So that brings me back to my original thought. I need a black woman to read my story and comment on my dialog, logic and cultural elements. If anyone is interested, please contact me via Twitter, email, Facebook or in the comments section. I’d sure appreciate it.

Image from www.vectorportal.com

Writing Advice Sucks, Here’s Five Useful Resources

Free Advice

http://www.flickr.com/photos/swanksalot/6300958000/

A friend of mine asked what resources are out there for new writers. Seems like a simple question, doesn’t it? After all, writing advice flows from the mouths of great, good, mediocre and horrible writers alike. A literal plethora – even when using the word correctly, which most people don’t – of writing advice is at our fingertips. All we need to do is search, ask and read. I googled a few terms. Look what I found.

  • How to write a novel – 180,000,000 results
  • Writing advice – 470,000,000 results
  • Fiction writing advice – 198,000,000 results
  • Write better – 2,500,000,000 results

Over two billion results on write better. Two billion! Finding writing advice is easy. The problem lies with finding good and helpful writing advice. How many of these articles are anything more than simple lists like “Eleventeen Ways to Write Better.” I looked at one of the top results, and it gave fifteen practical tips in less than 1500 words. That’s about 100 words per tip, and these aren’t small tips. They are the big ones. Be concise. Revise. Use powerful sentences. It’s easy to tell us to do these things without showing how. Larry Brooks, author of Story Engineering, likens this type of advice to Nolan Ryan pitching a shutout and expecting other pitchers to do the same because he said so.

Telling us what better writing looks like without showing us how to achieve offers little help, and often hurts. In other words, a person with knowledge and skill may or may not be a good teacher. Coaching is a skill on its own, and not everyone has it. If we accept that statement as true, and consider how many average or even poor writers offer free advice, we can see why 470,000,000 search results on writing advice is not necessarily a good thing.

All right, enough of the lecture. We’re here to find good writing advice for new writers. We want useful tutorials, blogs and books. Well, this new and mediocre writer is here to provide free advice. Hey, what can I say. I’m a writer, I just have to give advice.

  • Writers groups. This one is tough. Writers groups can be great, and mine has been amazing. I believe every writer should find a good writers group that supports and challenges her. Unfortunately, writers groups usually include people, and where people are, human nature resides. Proceed with caution. Don’t settle for a group of people who just love everything you write, or spend their time telling you who to read. Find a group where the members show you how to write better. Meetup.com is where I found my group.

  • Blogs. This is another tough one. Many of the two billion articles on writing are blog posts. Most are not very useful. Reading blogs can be a huge waste of time – trust me, I know this from experience. Start out with a few well-known trusted blogs, and add a few lesser-known ones as you progress.

  • Books. There are tons of books, but I would start with Story Engineering by Larry Brooks. This book really breaks down the art of storytelling into its essential elements. He calls them the six core competencies of storytelling. Nothing I’ve read or heard has come close to teaching how to tell a story like Story Engineering.

I’ve spent a lot of time reading how-to-write books, articles and blogs. Most of the useful advice came from my writers group and the resources listed on this page. I hope this helps someone starting out. If so, let me know in the comments. Also, if anyone finds a good article on how to find a writers group, please share.

Great Story: The Last Question – Isaac Asimov

Image of cool stuff in space

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

Entropy and the second law of thermodynamics tell us the universe’s energy will eventually run out like a car burning its last gallon of fuel. Minds far greater than my own are needed to fully understand this concept. Isaac Asimov possessed such intellect. In The Last Question, he looks not two hundred, two thousand, or even two million years into the future. Instead, he looks ten trillion years out. I’m astounded by the sheer scope of his imagination.

In The Last Question, Asimov asks if entropy can be reversed? The answer is ingenious and mind-blowing. Take a few minutes to read or listen to the story. You will understand why this is Asimov’s favorite short story. If you want to learn more about the possible fates of the universe, check out this wiki. And as usual, let us know what you think in the comments section.

Where to read/listen:
Drabblecast podcast
Multivax.com

Youtube:

Book Review: SEED by Ania Ahlborn – Fantastic Horror!

Updated 2/17/12

Seed by Ania Ahlborn

SEED is the story of Jack Winter and his family in Louisiana. Jack is a musician with a dark past. When his daughter exhibits the same behaviors he did as a child, he must face his demons. Sounds like boilerplate stuff right? Wrong! SEED paints a wonderfully macabre picture of love and hopelessness.

The story opens with Jack driving his wife, Aimee, and his two daughters, Charlie and Abby, home from a birthday celebration. Right off the bat, Ania displays her aptitude for creating realism. We don’t just read about Jack’s circumstances, we experience his disappointments. Later on, we feel Aimee’s desperation. Ahlborn forces us to care about the characters. She does this with subtle hints instead of long descriptions. It’s the dull, yellow headlight of an old Saturn, Aimee pulling her fingers when she’s nervous, or even wicked smiles on little girls. It’s the little clues that accentuate mood and feeling that really make this book shine.

Not only is SEED well written and virtually flawless, but it is truly scary. As tension builds, so does the horror. SEED is not for the faint of heart, but neither is it a gross-out story. It plays with your emotions by giving you exactly what you don’t expect.

SEED rips your heart out, stomps on it, then places it back with nothing but duct tape and bubble gum holding it together.

Music and Horror – The Next Big Thing

ZombinaVampires are passé, werewolves are making a comeback, and zombies are peaking, but what is the next big thing? Witches and Wizards ran their course. Haunted houses are long past their prime.  There are always common tropes we horror lovers follow. In the 80s it was small town New England Horror. The 90s brought us end-of-the-world books like Left Behind and movies like End Of Days.  The 2000’s ushered in the decade of sparkly vampires, young wizards, and zombies—lots of zombies.

With 2011 just about midway through, it’s time to look at new trends. What can we expect from horror writers in this decade? I recently finished a short story about a man whose latent power manifests when he listens to music. I also recently read a story about a rock star who picks up a guitar in the bayou and it makes him famous. Though my story and something I read on the Dunesteef slush pile do not indicate a trend, these are not the only musical stories out there.

Lake Lopez (@LakeLopez) publishes an online novel about a lonely boy, an old guitar and the seductive power of music. The novel is called Sinister and can be read at lakelopezonline.com.

Tamworth Grice (@TamworthGrice) recently published a novel called Listening to Ian Magick. Read the synopsis:

Eighteen-year-old Chelsea O’Day is dealing with her father’s death, her mother’s remarriage, and a bratty new stepbrother as she struggles through summer school.

She finds solace in the songs of her favorite rock star, Goth-styled bad-boy Ian Magick.

Until he begins communicating with her through his music.

And asking her to kill.

Listening to Ian Magick book cover

Both Sinister and Listening to Ian Magick are self-published. When looking for trends in the industry, indie authors provide a great look ahead. Online sales start mere days from final product for indies. And since it takes up to two years for a traditionally published novel to reach store shelves, it stands to reason that indie authors provide the early view of what you can expect in books stores a couple years from now.

If authors like Lake and Tamworth are any indication, we should see music themed horror novels in a couple years, and I am psyched. Anyone who knows me understands how much I love music. In a genre intended to tweak emotions, music is the perfect backdrop for horror stories.

What do you expect the next big thing to be? What do you hope it to be? Or hope it not to be? Let’s talk about it in the comments, or better yet, write your own post and send me a link.

I Am First

This is my entry for Chuck Wendig’s “Doll Heads” flash fiction challenge. I strayed a bit from the prompt picture, but it was  a fun story to write and I’m happy with it.
A pile of doll heads
I Am First In Line
By Leo Godin
Soy la primera.”

“I’m sorry, no hablar,” I say, then realize nobody is near me.

Shaking my head, I look around. The shopkeeper and her only other customer stand in the front of this store outside Tlaquepaque, Mexico. It’s been a long trip, but it’s almost time to get back. I have to get something for Anna, my daughter, before I leave.

Seventeen dolls in a disorganized pile catch my eye. Various arms, legs, clumps of dark, synthetic hair poke through. One doll in particular sits atop them all. It is beautiful.  With skin the color of Sedona red rock and black hair, it appears out of place in the mostly Spanish-looking community. Its arms hold hands, slightly askew, in front of its chest. A black and red velvet dress adorns its torso while black shoes and red socks cover its feet.

Soy la primera.”

The shopkeeper is still up front with the same customer. I look around the rough, wooden shelf holding the dolls. A bin full of cut-rate candy and a shelf of wooden ornaments fill the space. Nobody is there. Damn, I got to lay off the tequila before I fly home.

I consider buying the doll, but something doesn’t seem right about it. It’s like, when I look at it directly it’s a normal doll, but when I look away it seems to move, to shimmer.

I walk towards a music set with bright maracas and a wooden flute.  These would more likely survive the flight home in my carry-on than a doll. I grab the set and start walking up front.

I hear the petulant voice again. “Soy la primera.”

Somehow, I can’t take another step. The shopkeeper looks at me then quickly looks away, crossing herself.

Soy la primera.”

I walk back to the dolls and pick up the one on top. As I lift it up, its eyes meet mine. Transfixed, I stare, unmoving.

I hear in a soft whisper. “Soy la primera.”

Hours pass, and I stand there.

Softer, I barely hear the wisp of a voice. “Soy la primera.”

The dolls eyes turn bright white.

Soy la primera.”

Its face fills my vision. Nothing exists but the doll.

Soy la primera.”

My view shifts. I can see the shopkeeper but a plastic leg cuts most of my view. I try to push it away. I can’t move. I look up and see my body walking away with the music set and a single thought fills my mind.

I am seventeenth.