Archive | December, 2012

You Can’t Take It With You

30 Dec


As we approach the new year, we approach a powerfully undeniable hope for change.  Many might write down actual resolutions, others might create vision boards, while some simply have in mind what they want to do differently in a new year and meditate on it quietly.  Change is walking through a new doorway, but it demands a tradeoff; we can’t take some of that old stuff with us.  Change requires manifestation and manifestation necessitates sacrifice.  Not taking some of that old stuff with you is the the agreement we must make to change.

I think all too often we yearn for a change in our lives and demand said change without doing the work first.  This is, after all, the literal definition of insanity –– doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.  When we call upon change, when we’re looking at the practicality of change, we often need to let some things go in order to make it a reality.  What do I mean by “things?”  I mean the Big Three: beliefs that no longer serve us, people who don’t have our best interests in mind and habits that sabotage the very thing we’re trying to accomplish in the first place.

As I walk through 2013’s doorway, I’m giving up a belief that no longer serves me – distrust.  I’ve adopted a general distrust of life all my life to deal with living in an uncertain world and more specifically, pursuing a career with an uncertain future.  Distrust as a belief and also a daily habit has been my number one coping mechanism and as a result, caused me great anguish and fear that’s not only manifested itself psychologically, but physically.  As I see the new year ahead and the new doorway I’m to walk through, it doesn’t involve distrust.  It involves feeling secure with where I am, confident that the people I meet are who I need to meet and knowing that life as it is is perfect in the present moment and can be no other way.  It’s time to leave distrust as a coping mechanism behind because it’s preventing me from who I’m meant to be.  Yes, the initial revelation is liberating, but then the reality sets in: How do we say goodbye to these beliefs, people and habits that have become so ingrained in our consciousness?

Iyanla Vanzant once said that when she was trying to forgive her ex-husband for wronging her – more specifically, for ending their 40-year relationship via a curt e-mail, she wrote “forgiveness” on a piece of paper and taped it over her heart.  And then when that wasn’t enough, she wrote it again on Post-It and taped it to her side.  And when that wasn’t enough, she wrote it again and again and taped “forgiveness” all over parts of her body, walking around with them underneath her clothing for months until she reached a moment in her car where she pulled over in rush hour traffic, frozen at the wheel, realizing that she truly, deep down, had reached that moment where she genuinely forgave him.

Iyanla knew she had to get rid of the crippling anger and bitterness that comes with not forgiving.  She knew she had to leave this man behind so she could walk through her next doorway, so she did what she had to do – with Post-Its, nonetheless, and over time she was healed.  When we sacrifice what’s not working in order to change, we have to devise a plan for that sacrifice that works for us; it’s very individual.  I’ve discovered daily affirmations help me, particularly when I have a moment of sheer panic where I refuse to trust the present moment – where I can attempt to smile or if I’ve had a drink, laugh, saying out loud, “This is crazy, but I trust it.”  When I’m in the shower in the morning, I find it helps to take four or five minutes to imagine distrust trickling off my body like water, going down the drain, far, far away, never to return and interfere with my life path again.  We each have to discover the tools to say goodbye to these things for ourselves; goodbyes are not universal, they are highly individual.

Knowing what to say goodbye to is the first step, then committing yourself to the process of parting ways with it is the second.  We cannot expect the other side of that doorway to be any different than the one we came from if we think we can just pack up and take all that old, destructive stuff with us.  We need room for new things – for new beliefs, new people, new habits that support us in our vision of ourselves.

Focusing on what you hope to gain out of change is powerful, but I’ve discovered as I’ve been letting go of distrust these past few months that focusing on what you hope to lose can also be just as powerful.   As wise teachers have often said, “It’s not enough to want, you must act.”  So, I encourage you to actively ask yourself: What am I leaving behind that is no longer serving me?  Begin to take the time to say goodbye to it, nonjudementally understand why it was with you for as long as it was, and then, with ease, with confidence, walk through that next doorway, knowing the room you’ve made is the room for change.

2013 With Astrologer Angel Lopez

20 Dec

photo1I had the pleasure of sitting down with Angel Lopez, an LA-based astrologer, to discuss what the planets were saying about 2013.  Geminis and Cancers you definitely wanna pay attention to this one!  Angel gives us the lowdown on the power of the new year according to the stars with his usual charm and unparalleled insight.

1) Astrologically speaking, what is going to happen on December 21st?

Hmm, what IS going to happen on December 21st?  Personally, I don’t think the world is coming to an end.  I don’t think the earth is going to crack open or the sky is going to open up.  In looking at it through a purely astrological lens, I think there are a lot of interesting planetary alignments occurring that day.  If you couple it with this ancient notion that we are triggering a new 3,000-year cycle, then I like to think we are on the verge of an era where the inner self gains more purpose than the external self.  This would be a huge shift for us, given that we have been a world obsessed with how to “get ahead” in the world by any means necessary.  And with this huge shift could come a huge challenge for humanity.  Change is difficult to embrace, especially when the drive for it is coming from the inside out.

So, what is going on that day “in the stars” that would give me the sense that we are heading towards this new internal rebirth?  Well, first off, the moon will be in Aries, which is the beginning of a new emotional cycle for everyone.  It is coupled with Uranus, the planet of inspiration.  Therefore, our emotional selves will feel inspired to manifest a new sense of being.  Mars will also be in Capricorn at this time, giving whatever we put into action an element of longevity.  We will understand that this necessary transformation takes time and there is a greater goal at the end of our work.  And this is all happening on the last day of Sagittarius, the truth-seeker.  The sun will be illuminating us with a mass amount of energy directed at uncovering our truest selves.  On December 21st, there will be no avoiding who you are, who you have been, and most importantly, who you are meant to be.  We all must pay keen attention to every minute of experience that day, so we can truly understand where we are in our lives and what is currently motivating our actions and decisions in life.

The most interesting piece of the puzzle concerns Venus and Jupiter, who will be directly opposing each other that day.  Jupiter is the planet of abundance, and he likes to teach us things.  Venus is all about relationships – both the people we are in them with and how we relate to them.  Therefore, an opposition between these two can be tricky.  If you’re operating at a basic level, you could find yourself at odds with someone you love and ending the day in a fight.  You may just feel like someone is trying to teach you a lesson when you just want to have a nice dinner and relax.  And that’s fine.  But this is DECEMBER 21ST, 2012.  We need to take advantage of this potentially life-changing energy.  And if you’re operating at a higher, spiritual level, you will probably be open to receiving any sort of insight and opportunity for growth coming your way, regardless of the messenger.  So all of us should look at any relationship challenges that day as a chance to see ourselves on a bigger level.  Engage in all high-minded conflict that comes you way.  If someone is upset with you on something, dig deeper and find out what it’s really about.  This will allow all of our relationships to step into the next level of being.  For this new cycle, we need to be aligned with those who share our light – who have aspirations for a better world and appreciate our truth.  As a side note, also a good day to reconnect with those we love who have fallen by the wayside.  Not just anyone, but those who help to define the core of you.  You need every piece of yourself going into 2013.


2) I was reading my monthly horoscope on Susan Miller’s site and she said January is going to be a wonderful time for Capricorns because of an alignment of the planets. Is this true for everyone? What does January mean?

Well, it is going to be a good time for Capricorns.  The Sun, Mercury, and Venus will all be traveling through your sign, and Mars will be in your money house.  So basically, buddy up to your Cap friends.  They can help you get some business done.

Now if we are speaking generally, a time when there is a lot of Capricorn in the air means we are just able to get some work done.  Progress is made.  We are able to see what we are doing for the bigger picture at hand, so it all doesn’t feel so mundane.  And that is a larger aspect to this whole 3,000- year-old energy shift too – we must stop getting caught up in the mundane so that we don’t lose sight of a larger plan.  Life is never and should never be about “working for the weekend”.  We must aim for something bigger than that.  And January should offer us some of that perspective.


3) Do you foresee an intensity of energy in 2013? If so, could that mean trying astrological times, such as Mercury Retrograde, will increase in intensity?

I think it has already intensified.  I think some of it has to do with the more distant planets, which govern us more as a collective body.  We have moved into some new signs: Saturn into Scorpio, Uranus into Aries, and Neptune into Pisces.  These are big for the collective consciousness.  So we are seeing this massive surge in people wanting to make a major transformation in their lives (Saturn) because they suddenly feel the need for an inspired change (Uranus) calling to them from the depths of their subconscious (Neptune).  And that is pretty much across the board.  Myself, my friends and family, and the strangers I have been doing readings for all respond to this on some level.  And it’s big.  It’s a feeling of, “I must do this NOW.”  That is intensity.  And will it only continue to grow?  Yes, but primarily if you don’t respond in some way.  Then it could get real ugly.


4) Alison Baughman, the numerologist, said on Joseph Tittel’s “Journey Into The Paranormal” radio show that next year is a Number 6 year in Numerology and there is going to be a focus on unhealthy relationships in our lives and the unhealthy aspects of those relationships will rise to the surface. Astrologically speaking, do you also see that? Will the planets push unhealthy relationships to the surface and force us to confront them?

I think it will have that effect on some, definitely.  This Scorpio in Saturn business will definitely have people evolving, so they may uncover a relationship or two that just doesn’t fit the new person they are becoming.  But I wouldn’t venture to say that is a general thing.  And for me, a 6 year is also about cementing the deeper relationships in your life and giving them greater meaning.  So it may force you to dispose of a friendship, or more so eliminate the less necessary ones.  Then, the stronger, more meaningful ones can take center stage.


5) What do you see as the paradigm shift for the next 3,000 years and what does astrology have to do with that?

I believe that we are moving toward a time of greater self-awareness, but in a more complex way than we are accustomed to.  This is a time when people are getting more deeply in touch with their subconscious.  I think that’s why we see more people gravitating to a new, more spiritual way of thinking.  They feel a connection to something more profound, it’s awakened in them, so now they are trying to understand how to communicate and utilize this deeper, more inherent knowledge.  This Neptune into Pisces shift has a lot to do with it.  Quietly, people are looking further and further within.  And as this new cycle begins to truly emerge, with the physical world around us getting crazier and crazier, more people will “come out” as spiritualists.

A seeker lies within us all.  It is just now that many of us are allowing ourselves to accept the mission of uncovering our truth.


6) Speaking really concretely (particularly for skeptics out there) what is happening with the planets in the coming year that will affect us? What proof do we have, via the planets, that there will be change?

Well, first off, it’s hard to turn a skeptic into an astrology believer without he or she having some first hand experience with it.  I have seen it happen, but having been a skeptic myself, it takes a real personal moment with the practice to open your hearts and minds to it.  That being said, I think this year is incredibly ripe for change.  And that’s for all of us.

As I have mentioned before, Saturn has moved into Scorpio, where it will stay for all of 2013.  Saturn is the planet that rules external change in our lives, and this change is usually a response to something we have either worked hard for or feared happening for some time.  It’s extreme.  Either we’re stoked or we’re petrified.  So how this transit affects you will depend on your mindset.  Are you open to a greater change for your life?  And are you willing to step back and recognize what this change could mean for your life, beyond the physical ramifications?

We must look beyond the details of our lives to gain our true meaning.  I was talking to a Scorpio friend last night who was concerned that she was on the brink of losing her job.  Being that she is aware and looking beyond those details, she is open to the idea that it’s time to see herself beyond the definition of her career.  She is more than her job.  That is Saturn in Scorpio.  We are all immersed in some form of major transformation work, and Saturn will ask us all to stop putting ourselves into little, restricted boxes.  That way, we can see the largeness of the work we are all capable of doing with this life.

For specifics, I am very excited for Geminis and Cancers this year.  They will have an opportunity to see some major personal growth this year thanks to how Jupiter and Pluto are affecting them.  Gemini’s should see that they are growing up a bit and taking more responsibility for the things they want to manifest in their lives.  Cancers will get a chance to blossom through their personal relationships more this year.  They will be able to get back in touch with important ones as well as make new, long-lasting ones.  Karma is in effect there, given Pluto’s influence.


7) In closing, any general words of wisdom or advice that we all need to know?

I am reiterating here, but it’s because I cannot stress it enough.  We MUST be open to change.  Whether you are in touch with it or not, dear reader, you are feeling some sense of deep internal shift going on.  And it is about this need to attach to your greater purpose.  It’s getting harder to wade through the mundane qualities of your life.  “There must be more to this”, you ask yourself.  And that’s because there is, and you can’t ignore that irksome feeling any longer.

I am not here to preach.  I am not here to judge.  I am just here to nudge.  And know that I am nudging myself every day.  We are all in this together.  Us spiritual warriors have got to have each other’s backs.


Angel is the author of ASTROLOGY REALNESS and also hosted the AOL astrology show ASTRO TALK WITH ANGEL. His interest in astrology started early, when at age 5, he found the daily horoscope in the back of his local newspaper. Years later, he was pulled more deeply into the world of mysticism when he began working at a metaphysical bookstore while at school in San Francisco. His passion for astrology and other forms of divinity quickly blossomed as he studied with a variety of teachers, and by age 23, he was working as a professional astrologer. Angel has since read for clients all over the country. He also works in film and digital media, and is an avid music lover. You can check out his website at

Sensitive People Need Tools

19 Dec

I started this website in honor of the monumental change we are embarking on with the December 21st arrival. While it’s the end of the Mayan calendar, it’s the beginning of a new age of thinking, a much-needed paradigm shift and perhaps one of the greatest opportunities for spiritual advancement many of us will ever get to experience on this planet.

Being a spiritual and sensitive person has many advantages. Your perception of the world is greatly enhanced; your interpersonal relationships are more conscious, more aware and more grounded; your sense of self is clearer and your view of humanity is one of great compassion and connectedness.  Yet as a result, you are profoundly more vulnerable to the insensitivity of others.  Living with a spiritual perspective opens positive doorways that are unimaginable to many, but it can come at a price.  The tradeoff is well worth the confusion and occasional chaos, but I believe it’s important to limit the negative effects as much as possible.

Sensitive people need tools. They need language for the profundity they experience; they need techniques to navigate the inevitable rough waters in an insensitive world; they need inspiration and community with others who, too, strive to live life enlightened and connected, free from a veil of limitation and ignorance. 

With Open Doorway Reflections, I hope to do just that. This website will feature bi-monthly articles on self-help, empowerment and spiritual law, in addition to interviews and podcasts with some of the nation’s foremost spiritual thinkers, spanning psychics to astrologers to past life therapists to scholars. 

If you are in need of a wrench or hammer in your spiritual toolkit, I hope this website will serve a practical and inspirational role in your life. I hope some of the wisdom it imparts will empower you to stand more firmly in your own light and to trust your inner guidance and intuition.  I know I, for one, am grateful for this opportunity to share my reflections and insights with you and perhaps, play a small role in your evolution as we approach this exciting time on Earth.  We are entering a new 3,000-year era and experiencing a Galactic Alignment that only comes once every 26,000 years. Folks, why wouldn’t you need an extra wrench or hammer?  

Please check out our premiere interview with Angel Lopez, one of the most talented astrologers I know, as he answers some of my questions about the end of the Mayan calendar and 2013 and the planets that will influence it.

Here’s to a new age and to this site, which I hope will find its way into your toolkit.

 –toolkit_red                        –Drew