This interview with professional Intuitive and Clinical Hypnotherapist Carmen Spagnola launches my BLISS interview series, an ongoing exploration into the lives of the amazing people I meet as I journey through this life.

What do you BELIEVE in?  I believe in Spirit. I believe we each have a secret doorway inside that leads us right to the centre of the universe, ourselves. I believe we each, in our own way, grapple with the paradox and responsibility of being at one with a Source energy, yet also being separate. I believe even those of us who don’t believe in anything spiritual still experience the spiritual every day, but call it something else like “nature” or “the mind” or “silence”. I believe we get lots of chances. I believe in accepting reality. I believe in redemption. I believe in the outright beauty and ratifying power of grief. I believe in standing against as much as standing for, so that an even higher power can emerge. I believe my purpose is to become a wise old woman one day or die trying.

How does LOVE show up/present itself in your life?  My husband, in a thousand tiny acts before breakfast. My daughter, in a mere thought of her that makes me spill over with uncontainable emotion. My earth, that is the sacred witness and container for my every experience. My angels, seen and unseen, who champion my efforts to be more whole.

Who or what INSPIREs you?  I’m inspired by powerful women who stand at lecterns and hold court through storytelling, who make new myths, who bravely stand outside the collective in doing so, (like Dr.Jean Shinoda Bolen). Especially the crotchety ones who speak truth and don’t care what you think (like Caroline Myss). I’m inspired by strong men, like my husband, who have the courage to transform themselves, who transcend gender stereotypes by vocally and actively supporting strength and leadership in women while demonstrating sensitivity and vulnerability as a man.

How do you SERVE your community?  I’m not sure how I serve my community…I suppose I give people a space for spiritual exploration that keeps them well tethered to the demands of modern life. I provide a forum to talk about brushes with the sacred in the midst of the secular. I think that restoration of the sacred in everyday life brings us closer to being a whole human, which of course has tremendous implications for the whole planet and all of its inhabitants. So that seems like as good a way to serve as any.

What does it mean to you to SURRENDER?  It means to know the hidden beauty of the dark. It means to drop your guard and all resistance to feeling like shit and all the shitty feelings that come with that: anger, futility, frustration, resentment, fear, rage, hostility, whatever. when I think of “SURRENDER”, I think of the part in the book “Black Elk Speaks” where he is wishing he’d never had a spiritual vision in the first place. But then he says something like, “But when the Thunder Beings bring a vision, it comes with terror like a storm. But when the storm of vision passes, the world is greener and happier than before the storm. Wherever the truth of vision comes, it falls upon the world like rain. The world, you see, is happier after the terror of the storm.”

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