Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Stay Stress-Free During the Holidays
    The holidays are a time of tradition and family, giving thanks and grand meals. But for many of us, these ideal notions fade in the midst of the frenzy that accompanies the holiday season. As we know all too well, the holiday season can produce some very stressful situations: How can I afford to buy everyone gifts on a tight budget? I can't stand my brother-in-law, how am I supposed to get along with him this year? How can I enjoy the holidays going through this divorce? Indeed, some of us dread the added stress of the holidays so much that we choose to spend this special time alone rather than with our loved ones. But it doesn't have to be this way. We don't have to struggle through the holiday season or settle to spend it by ourselves.
    Take my advice to stay healthy, balanced, and stress-free this holiday season:
1.) Don’t Binge or Overdrink: It’s perfectly fine to indulge a little during family gatherings. In fact, it’s impossible not to give in when you're surrounded by delicious food! But a little does mean a little. Have one piece of pie, not three. And if you've already devoured your one piece, don’t dive into the second dessert course. There is no reason to do damage to yourself by feasting limitlessly; that people binge on food during the holidays is an excuse to eat excessively, not a reason. Apart from it being unhealthy for your body, you will feel guilty afterwards. More so, try to compensate for your hearty holiday dinners by eating healthy meals in preparation during the week prior, not the week after. Limit also your alcohol intake. It might seem like a good idea to stifle your seesawing emotions by drinking the whole bottle of wine. But alcohol will only intensify already-existing emotions and will lead to a crash in energy after its effects wear off. By eating and drinking in moderation, you can remain in control of your emotions and feel more comfortable with your surroundings.
2.) Be Realistic: If you're on a tight budget but have to buy gifts for tons of people, understand that you won't be able to accommodate everyone. Better yet, get creative and create gifts for your loved ones, such as a hand-made card or a hand-crafted item. If you're supposed to be in ten different places in one day, accept the fact that you'll only make it to one or two. Don’t put yourself in difficult positions by promising too much just because you feel the need to please everyone. Trust me, if they love you they'll understand!
3.) Don’t Succumb to Pressure: If someone is asking you for too much, politely tell them you won't be able to do as they ask. Be nice but firm with those who try to take advantage of you during this time. If a particularly rude relative continuously makes comments to your dislike, stand up for yourself and end their commentary. You can say something like, “I know you'll respect my decision to not speak about this right now.” Don’t let the extra pressure affect you. Affirm to yourself: “I'll do as much as I can, and that’s good enough. I won't bring stress to myself by trying to do too much.”
4.) It’s Okay to be Blue: The holidays come complete with feelings of nostalgia and melancholy. These emotions are normal and typically fade on their own once you bounce back into your daily routine. Distract yourself if you find hurtful memories of “Christmas past” resurfacing. What is important, however, is to be able to identify when you're experiencing the holiday blues versus when you're suffering from depression. A clinical depression is much more severe than just feeling sad; sadness due to the holidays springs up right around that time of the year, while depression is persistent, lasts year-round, and can be powerful enough to affect your everyday life. Know the difference and, if you believe you have symptoms of clinical depression, seek the help of a professional.
5.) Have Mercy on Yourself: You're only one person, so stop thinking you can conquer your entire holiday to-do list in one day. It’s you who you have to please first this holiday season. Whenever you're feeling overwhelmed, take a breather: sit down and enjoy a hot beverage, clear your mind of anything holiday-related, and focus instead on setting up positive New Year’s Resolutions for yourself.
6.) Make Amends: There is no better time than this time of the year to forgive and forget. As much as you might not want to, you have to forgive those who have hurt you in any way. It only hurts you to keep grudges against others. Whether it’s an immediate family member of a long lost friend, reach out to them this holiday season and both ask for their forgiveness and tell them you forgive them for whatever happened. Don't make this a novel or the speech of your life; a quick and simple email will suffice.
7.) Diffuse Tension: Whenever tension arises, instead of engaging in it, replace it with something productive. If the conversation around the dinner table is becoming too intense, don’t be afraid to speak up and put an end to it. Or, if you feel this is something you can't do, simply walk away from the discussion and make yourself busy in the kitchen or outside. Spending some quality time with the children in the family is also a great way to temporarily escape the madness.
We all need to reevaluate the true meaning of this time of the year and reintegrate a little fun into the holidays! Follow my seven simple steps to relieve stress and regain your inner strength during your holiday season.
With Love and Blessings,
Dr. Carmen Harra

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11 Tribute
Dear friends,

     Ten years ago on this day, in the early hours of the morning, I was crossing over the bridge into Manhattan when I suddenly heard my late mother's voice: "Do not go into the city. Go home, put on the TV." Being accustomed to hearing the voices of spirits who had passed on, I knew better than to defy my mother's advice from the other side. At the first opportunity, I turned the car around and crossed the bridge back towards my home. I rushed to turn on the TV and my husband, who was heading out to work, could not understand why I had come back home. I asked him to sit with me on the couch and watch the news, insisting that I felt something was going to happen. A few minutes later, my jaws dropped as the words "Breaking News" flashed across the screen and announced that a plane had just crashed into one of Manhattan's twin towers.    

     Ten years later today, we remember those who were senselessly murdered, those who died rescuing others, and the families they left behind. Let's honor them by remembering the power of unity which brought us healing and strength during such painful times and the flood of love that poured forth following the horrific attacks of 9/11. We demonstrated the greatest abilities of the human heart following the greatest tragedy to hit our nation, and that ever-powerful sense of unity got us through it all.

     Watching disaster strike on that faithful day of September, I felt as if I was... as if I was living a nightmare. Everything felt so surreal. I was going through the motions in sheer disbelief of what I was seeing and hearing. What truly impressed me was the love and unity that arose from the ashes of that gruesome day. It proved to me once again that we can conquer any troubles on our shoes by showing endless compassion for others in need.

     It was through comforting and healing others that we found comfort within us and were able to heal ourselves. It was through our hearts being broken that we expanded our love. The greatest lesson out of 9/11 was the danger of separation. We suddenly became aware of the danger of teaching any religion that does not promote love, unity, and acceptance, the danger of seeing others as less than ourselves, and what can come out of failing to realize that we are one. It is by dehumanizing another person that someone can commit a hideous crime without empathy such as murdering one person or, in the case of 9/11, thousands of human beings. This is the danger when any human being feels superior to another, feels entitled to more than another, feels that his or her way is better than any other and the only way to live by. This mentality pushes for conflict among us and will never allow us to gather in the commonalities we all share. If we continue to see only the differences among us, we will never reach the universal harmony we are meant to reach as a whole people. As I describe in my new book, Wholeliness, we can only change our future by bridging the gaps between us right now.

     Let's truly honor those whose lives were taken by continuing to spread that love and unity, not only on this day but every day! Let us celebrate every moment with which we were blessed and capture every opportunity to do good for our world. We must continue to persevere and evolve together by always remembering that WE ARE ONE. 

     Today, I will remember September 11 by lighting candles in my home to give light to the souls who passed on. I ask that you remember September 11 in your own special way and perform a random act of kindness for someone else.

May the Divine Bless You All,
Carmen Harra

Thursday, September 08, 2011


 I want to teach you what addiction is, what is considered to be an addiction, and, most importantly, I want to help you break free of your addiction. If you or anyone you know is battling an addiction of any kind, be it physical, emotional, mental, or any other type, I want you to stay tuned and listen to this show.  
          As a clinical psychologist of more than 20 years, I’ve witnessed my fair share of clients who suffer from addiction. But what I’ve also witnessed is that addiction can apply to just about anything which creates an over-dependency. When we think of addiction, we mostly think of a dependency on drugs or alcohol. But addiction can take many different shapes: sure, we can become addicted to cigarettes, but did you know we can become addicted to food, certain TV programs, or even a person? If this is true, then we must all be addicted to reality TV!
          By definition, an addiction is: “the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming to such an extent that stopping it causes severe trauma.” As a nation, we are undoubtedly addicted to food, especially the processed king. As individuals, we can become addicted to a love interest to the point that we suffer psychological trauma if we remove ourselves from that person. Unfortunately, we as individuals tend to mimic what we see being done on a larger scale (clothing trends are an example of this). If America as a whole is overly-dependent on something, the individual people are likely to follow suit in their own personal lives.
          Addiction is the contradiction of moderation. Addiction removes our minds, bodies, and souls from complete balance and harmony and it indulges us completely into one dependency. When we are addicted, we fall out of alignment with the universe, with each other, and with ourselves. The worst part of addiction is that it has nothing to do with discipline: lack of will-power is not to be blamed for addiction. People who are alcoholics or cigarette smokers are often blamed for being too easily tempted or too weak to quit. But addiction transcends the power of our free will and begins to interfere with our brain function, causing us to literally “need” more and more of the substance because, our brain tells us, if we don’t receive what we need, we will suffer great harm.
How Addiction Works:
Especially in the case of drugs, addiction is the result of our brain functions. Drugs are chemicals. They work in the brain by tapping into the brain's communication system and interfering with the way nerve cells normally send, receive, and process information. Some drugs, such as marijuana and heroin, can activate neurons because their chemical structure mimics that of a natural neurotransmitter. This similarity in structure "fools" receptors and allows the drugs to lock onto and activate the nerve cells, leading to abnormal messages being transmitted through the network.
Other drugs, such as amphetamine or cocaine, can cause the nerve cells to release abnormally large amounts of natural neurotransmitters or prevent the normal recycling of these brain chemicals. This disruption produces a greatly amplified message, ultimately disrupting communication channels. The difference in effect is similar to the difference between someone whispering into your ear and someone shouting into a microphone.
Our brains categorize anything which brings us pleasure into the “reward” compartment. This means that our brains send messages to our bodies of wanting more and more of this pleasurable feeing. Hello, this is what we call food cravings! Someone who is addicted to sexual intercourse doesn’t just want to have sex, they need it or they will begin to feel horrible withdrawal symptoms.
But what leads to an addiction in the first place? Often, an addiction arises as the opportunity to fill a subconscious void. An addict has something, somewhere, missing. Take the example of a teenager growing up without a father who turns to smoking marijuana occasionally. Soon, she becomes addicted to it.  Though she may not realize it and may not believe this is the cause of her problem, the missing father figure and its ill effects on her life have become the perfect breeding ground for an addiction to form. To some extent, we all have a void somewhere in the deeper levels of our minds and it’s caused by outside factors which are out of our control (like negative events in life). Very few people are completely whole. It is crucial that we each identify our voids, understand what effects these “empty spaces” within ourselves have had on us, and what the voids have been filled with.
          So how do you distinguish between normal tendencies and addictions? At what point does something become an “addiction” and no longer a habit or feeling? A tendency has turned into an addiction when withdrawing from the tendency causes great pain and frustration. We should never become so tied to anything in life that having to live without it causes us to suffer. If your dependency on something is impairing your day-to-day life, such as affecting your job performance or your social skills, it may have turned into an addiction.
Types of Addiction: I’ve classified all forms of addiction into five general types:
Substance abuse: Substance abuse includes addiction to alcohol and drugs, including prescription drugs. This addiction affects the chemistry of the brain and easily causes dependence because the brain begins to crave the substance being ingested. Although thought to be the most common addiction in America, my theory is that substance abuse is second to emotional addictions.
Nicotine addiction: I put nicotine addiction into its own separate category because an addiction to this substance might just be the worst type of all addictions. It also hits close to home because my husband passed away of lung cancer after being addicted to cigarettes for more than 40 years. 
Behavioral addiction: Behavioral addictions include being addicted to risky behavior, compulsive and constant shopping, hoarding goods, hoarding animals, etc. Your external behavior becomes out of control, and addicted to something, because it’s trying to meet your chemical needs on the inside.
Emotional addiction: EMOTIONAL ADDICTION IS THE MOST UNNOTICED ADDICTION WE ALL HAVE. Emotional addiction most frequently means being addicted to another person. I have so many female clients who suffer endlessly if they are separated from their “love addiction.” They cannot live without their love interest, they cannot function, and they cannot stop thinking about the person. Emotional addictions can also range from wishing constant ill on others, self-pity, self-loathing, constantly criticizing others, and so on. Have you ever worked with someone who criticized you nonstop? I sure have, and I’ve recognized their behavior as an emotional addiction to critiquing. As a general rule of thumb: if you’re not in control of your emotional state, you’re addicted to it.
Mental addiction: A mental addiction can mean being addicted to a state of mind. People can be addicted to being depressed, addicted to a specific philosophy, or have “delusions of grandeur.” To a certain degree, all addictions are mental because they are driven primarily by a psychological need for something.
Do you or anyone you know fit into these categories of addiction? Feel free to call me and seek my opinion.

Breaking Free of Addiction:
In order to break free of addiction, we have to literally rewire the nerve cells in our brain. Addiction is caused essentially by a pattern in the brain: a group of nerve cells interacting with another group of nerve cells over and over again. When this happens, the two groups of nerve cells create a bond and are very likely to continue interacting. Over time, this pattern of the same interaction manifests itself in our repeated actions. Our behavior is created through this mental pattern. If you want to put an end to your addiction, you have to put an end to the pattern in your brain. By behaving differently, you will give these two groups of nerve cells less and less reason to interact together. It’s like causing them to lose interest in their conversation. Once these two nerve cell groups break away from each other and are no longer interacting, it will become so much easier to also break away of your addiction. Let’s take a look at how to control behavior and make this happen.
I’ve compiled five easy steps you or your loved one can begin today to gain control over an addiction:
1.) Acknowledge and Desire: The first step to breaking free of addiction is to acknowledge that an addiction is present in your life. Confess to yourself that addiction is harming your life in more ways than one, that it’s impairing you from living freely, and that you don’t deserve to live trapped in the debilitating state of addiction. You have to belittle the role of addiction: no longer call it by the title “addiction,” call it an “impediment,” and treat it like one. If you begin to see your addiction as a hindrance to your life, you will have the desire to break free of addiction. You have to want to leave that life behind you more than anything else.

2.) Regain Trust in Yourself: Often when someone is addicted to something, they lose trust in themselves and experience feelings of self-disappointment. They begin to believe that they are stuck in a perpetual cycle of dependency and lack the confidence to believe that they can overcome addiction. You must rediscover your trust in yourself. If needed, write out a contract between you and yourself in which you state that you WILL conquer your addiction and will be true to yourself every step of the way. Even sign it at the bottom!

3.) Replace and Rearrange: Replace your addiction with a new and healthy habit. Rearrange your life so that there is no place for the addiction! If your addiction is shopping, steer clear of shopping centers. If it’s alcohol, don’t attend gatherings where you know you’ll be pressured to drink. Create your own circumstances and make your life an addiction-free zone.

4.) Find Support: There is nothing wrong with joining a support group. Seek the comfort of your loved ones who will encourage you unconditionally and give you strength during this tough time. You should rely on them.

5.) Maintain and Balance: The most important part of breaking through addiction is maintenance. You have to be able to maintain your results over time—for the rest of your life. Every day that you can enjoy without giving in to your addiction is an amazing accomplishment. Remember, NOTHING HAS POWER OVER YOU UNLESS YOU ALLOW IT!
Addictions signal a body, mind, or spirit that is out of balance, out of touch with reality, and out of alignment with the universe. As the greatest teachers of all time including Jesus, Buddha, and Gandhi believed: “everything in moderation.” This is one teaching we should adopt as our daily mantra.

The Reality Shows

The reality show spectrum has taken over television, and, by extent, our lives. The Real Housewives of every city in America have become household names and the Kardashians have become idols of international success. Given this recent and  undeniable “reality frenzy,” we can't help but ask ourselves: why are we so obsessed with reality TV?

    Is it that reality TV portrays real life, and we can't help but be drawn to something we sympathize with? The equation can't be that simple. It is that these sorts of shows carefully combine reality with fantasy to set up a lifestyle which we envy yet relate to. 
    What we the viewers want to see in reality TV are essentially two elements: characters and progress. We want to watch someone who is truly a character: someone funny, someone who deals with the same issues that we do, only in an exaggerated way or under unusual circumstances. Take the Kardashians again as an example: sure, any mother of multiple children can relate to Kris Jenner on raising kids and making sure they turn out right, but how many mothers can relate to having world-famous children who fly on their own private jets or go to photo shoots every other day? Then, we want to see progress. As the seasons go on, we want to see the characters mature, better themselves, and learn from their past mistakes. On Dancing with the Stars, we want to see the performers come up with more and more creative moves and challenge themselves further. These two elements are crucial in keeping us glued to the tube.
    But the effects of reality TV have certainly not all been positive. Having your life publicly displayed to the nation is bound to receive plenty of harsh criticism. We have witnessed reality TV stars who haven't been able to handle such pressure. Take Russell Armstrong as an example: already suffering from personal and marital problems before the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills hit the air, Armstrong couldn't tolerate the national exposure and the consequences which come with it and sadly took his own life as a result. As a clinical psychologist, I am led to believe by Armstrong’s behavior that he was already suffering from depression and perhaps a hint of bipolar disorder before the show aired and amplified his unbalanced emotional state. 
    Reality show characters reflect a lifestyle that we want yet don't want, the drama that we hate to encounter in our own lives yet can't wait to witness in the lives of others, and the opportunity to voice our opinions. Have you noticed that social networks and reality TV have risen hand-in-hand? Many reality TV shows have become quite interactive through social media, forums, and, of course, viewer voting. 
    You identify yourself with the characters in these shows. You see yourself in the character and even see the possibility of becoming well-known, just like them. It opens a door in your mind and makes you think: “hey, if she can become famous, so can I!” This is a status which, in the past, we used to think was impossible to reach. Reality TV makes fame and the wealth that come with it accessible to the minds of millions. 
    On another token, reality TV takes the focus off of your own reality. It makes you dream and forget your own problems for the time being. It allows you to become involved in that drama and as you watch it unfold in front of you, you are captivated by it and disconnect from the drama in your own life. You can literally plug into another source of drama. This is why gossip and tabloids have forever lived with fervent popularity in the American culture. We temporarily embed ourselves in the story of another. 
    As for the future of television, there is no saying whether reality TV will stick around for the years to come or if it will be replaced by a different genre which will become the new American favorite. What is safe to say, however, is that reality TV has left quite the mark on the history of American television, and I, for one, will be tuning in to watch what comes next. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

As an intuitive counselor and clinical psychologist myself, I was overjoyed that the mainstream media has finally turned its attention to the “paranormal” side of life. In Nightline’s Beyond Belief: Revealing Intuitive Ability or Causing More Harm Than Good? hosted by Cynthia McFadden, people like best-selling author James Van Praagh were put to the test, while correspondent David Wright turned from a skeptic into a believer after meeting two gifted moms. Though the show covered many areas—from the street psychic (which I do not believe in either, truthfully) and a psychic school in Berkley, to two moms (which I most identify with), one of whom, Alison Dubois, the television show “Medium” was inspired by—as a whole, may have served only to project further society’s notion of psychics as frauds.
Despite Beyond Belief’s extraordinary potential to broaden the perception of a large audience on delicate subjects, it failed miserably at explaining the truth of the intuitive mind. Beginning with doubting correspondents such as Josh Elliot and Juju Chang, the only one who appeared to be open to believing in the possibility of our mind’s ability to access information beyond the five senses was David Wright—largely because of his experiences with best-selling authors and mediums Rebecca Rosen and Alison Dubois.
Though the show may have had the best of intentions, I feel it made a mockery out of what I, and others like me, do by sensationalizing it. One segment with notorious debunker and mentalist Banachek turned into a full-on game show with a prize of a million dollars going to the best psychic. Firstly, the word psychic itself is cringe-worthy because of the stereotypes attached to the term. Secondly, real intuitives do not need to use props like tarot cards or palm-reading techniques to tap into another person’s field of energy. Media interpretations like Beyond Belief are, if anything, a blockage to elevating our awareness on this subject.
For me, Rebecca Rosen truly made the program. She knew that the correspondent's mother would give him a rainbow, and when the two walked outside, multicolored rays reaffirmed that the message was received correctly by Rebecca. She helped to turn the episode around and by being one of the only factors, which proved the true ability of the mind. I perhaps relate to her the most. I too am a mother. I have four children. I was born in Romania and had a near death experience that awoke my senses and gave me certain abilities to “see.” My children grew up with me telling people things that would happen before they did, and at times it seemed as if my children would also grow up with the same strong intuitive ability that I had, which for whatever reason grew with me as I grew older.
Over the years, I’ve not only foretold other people’s futures, but made countless world predictions which came true and are verifiable on tape such as a recent appearance on WNBC Weekend Today in New York when on air, live, I shockingly told the weekend host, Pat Battle that her mother had just passed, and it had happened three days before and she hadn’t even told anyone yet. She was visibly reduced to tears. I felt terrible about breaking the news on live television, but was also happy to show that these were not “guesses that could be Googled,” as one of the correspondents said during his interview with James Van Praagh on Beyond Belief. In my field, it isn’t always easy to give information and sometimes the client does not want to hear it, but it only takes turning one skeptic into a believer. That starts the chain of wonderment that continues to grow, and in my hope start to open the world up to knowing and seeing that being connected to the universe can help you achieve all you wish for in your life.
As The Berkeley School said, and doctors on the show, it is also my firm belief that we all possess a sense of intuition, and that most of us would deem it the hazy and distant voice from within. I also believe—and know from my own experience—that our intuition must not be cast aside as unreliable. It must be considered the “gut instinct” that will always lead you to the right direction. Some call it Faith, some call it Divine Spirit, I call it what it is, scientifically from my research as Science of the Mind. And we, if left unattended and not well-developed, we are more likely to dismiss its potential and power. As with anything else in life, intuition becomes clearer and more accessible through practice and open-mindedness. Channeling and using our intuition, and our trust of what we see like James Van Praagh, or John Edward or Rebecca Rosen, equals using a larger capacity of our minds and bridging the left and right sides of the brain. From my clinical research into the mind, I’ve found that intuition has a lot to do with going beyond the cognitive, conscious mind and entering the subconscious mind where all of our problems exist submerged. It has been my personal experience working with clients, well beyond the psychological perspective and into my intuitive gifts, that if well-utilized, our intuition can become a constructive way to resolve issues in everyday life.
With Beyond Belief, the viewers were not able to see that scientific side about the brain, how it works, or does not work if not exercised, like one of the experts on the show said. There is definitely a difference from being a piano player and a world renowned concert pianist. As a result, some of these self-proclaimed psychics featured on Beyond Belief had no knowledge on the subject and therefore could not stand up to the harsh criticism of the interviewers (with the exception of James Van Praagh, whom they discredited entirely too quickly). Surely, there exist both intuitives with real talent, and also those who are scams, as in any other profession, but it seemed all too clear that this show purposely targeted the scam-psychics as guests.
However, as Cynthia said, there is a true fascination with this content and I am thrilled that as long as there are people willing to open their mind, there is hope for all of us. Watching a growth in the number of shows with a paranormal focus demonstrates that, skeptic or not, our curiosity of the higher dimension is increasing. Is this to say that the factual existence of the paranormal is becoming harder and harder to ignore?
As a Ph.D. and intuitive counselor, I've witnessed my fair share of paranormal experiences. In my practice, I don’t rely on just my intuitive powers to help me guide my clients towards fulfillment, inner peace, and success; I combine my knowledge of cognitive therapy with my keen abilities and sprinkle in a dash of ancient wisdom to reach the root of my clients’ problems. I have helped save marriages, predicted world events and the potential crash of the world financial system, and political outcomes. It has always been my quest to combine the real with the seemingly unreal, the tangible with the intangible, and to show the undeniable connection between the two realms, which dominate our lives. And I continually strive to show others that we were not meant to operate on only that which is certifiable through the scientific method; the paranormal transcends into our normal world every day. It hints at its own existence in our daily lives through dreams, inexplicable experiences, or that feeling of knowing. The two realms merge and are inseparable, yet we only allow ourselves to live on one dimension. As James Van Praagh said in Beyond Belief: this is much easier to do than to open our minds to the possibility of something more.
It is exactly that mindset of cynicism and narrow-mindedness, which keeps us from finding resolutions to our problems during this crucial time of transformation. If we were to base the ordinary person’s understanding of the “psychic phenomenon” on a show like Beyond Belief, then it would be safe to assume that we still haven’t come to comprehend the true meaning of intuition and the expansion of the mind. It is my sincere hope that we can collectively acknowledge the realm, which transcends our own, and embrace it as the ever-powerful force it is. If we don’t get this together by 2012, we are in for a huge awakening.
Carmen Harra, Ph.D. is a best-selling author and intuitive, who has served as an advisor for the likes of Hillary Clinton, Barbara Walters, Jennifer Lopez and Courtney Cox. Her latest book Wholieness is on sale now. For more on her, visit www.carmenharra.com

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Death We See All Too Often: Amy Winehouse
    We may not understand that we can't control addiction- it controls us.
    Simply put, we live in a world of addiction: addiction to drugs, alcohol, sex, money, food, people, dangerous behavior, etc. It seems that we have forsaken a lifestyle of moderation as we spiral further out of balance. We see cases like Amy's everyday. We are drawn to people like Amy Winehouse because addiction is an epidemic: good or bad, it has become a part of our society. Amy's death is like a tragic car accident on the side of the road: we know it's wrong to look but can't stop staring. In many ways, when something happens to someone else, it takes the focus off of us and our responsibilities to ourselves.
    Amy suffered from a substance abuse disorder since she was a teenager. Although the exact cause of her death has not yet been specified, I believe Amy died of a toxic combination of alcohol with amphetamine or cocaine. Though she had just gotten out of rehab, Amy's reintegration into the normal world was premature because she was still psychologically dependent on various substances. Amy was still at serious risk for relapse into abuse and subsequent physical dependence: her time in rehab was insufficient for her to beat her dependence. Psychological dependence does not have to be limited only to substances; Amy's behavioral patterns can be considered "addictions" if they become uncontrollable: self-injury by compulsive drinking and taking drugs in the same time can become incredibly harmful.
    But what does Amy's death, in turn, say about us as a nation? We have become accustomed to witnessing younger and younger celebrities dying before their time due to addiction. What we fail to realize is that as our attitude towards such tragedies becomes more careless, we subconsciously allow such senseless tragedies to occur more frequently. This is not normal or right. We have to reclaim our sense of balance and inner harmony to finally stop the cycle of substance abuse and self-destruction.

Friday, April 29, 2011

On The Marriage of Prince William and Kate
            Today’s the big day! Seems like every TV station’s focusing on the prim and proper royal d├ęcor, the tens of thousands in attendance, and the elegance of the new princess’ wedding dress (thank goodness she didn’t pick red!). This wedding looks out of this world in splendor and lavishness. But is anyone asking themselves the real question: will it last?
            Numerologically speaking, they certainly picked the right year to get married. Prince William’s a number 11 and Kate Middleton’s a number 3. His divine life code makes Prince William incredibly enlightened, evolved, grounded, and a natural born-leader. In fact, the majority of the world’s leaders and influential figures are a number 11: Jesus, Buddha, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, Al Gore, and Prince Charles all share the life code of 11! There’s a lot of interest in Prince William, especially being the son of Diana. He is meant to bring much enlightenment and evolution to others. William knows his role and would portray a king superbly. He will actually replace the Queen very soon! Kate, on the other hand, is on a different level of perception than William: as a number 3, she is charming, creative, sweet, and wise. She is capable of bringing much stability and the idea of a family into William’s life, so the combination is complimentary. William and Kate do love each other a lot and there’s an extreme compatibility between them. Theirs is a marriage founded on the right morals and I believe they will soon have a child, who will have a very interesting link to Princess Diana in terms of the day, month, and year she will be born. A bit further in the future, William and Kate will have a son, too.
But the royal house of England, unfortunately, has racked up its fair share of negative karma over the centuries: from Henry VIII’s notoriously promiscuous reign, to the lonely years of Queen Victoria after her husband’s premature death, to the tragic love scandal and death of Princess Diana, it seems that the members of the British monarchy cannot be used as examples of everlasting marriage. The ancient family karma which has been passed down from king to king or queen to queen will cause this marriage to last for five to twelve years. Neither of them will do anything “wrong” to cause the split, but there is tremendous pressure on and a negative family karma hovering over this marriage. Outside influences and energies might take this marriage, which is beautiful in essence, out of balance in the future. In addition, the world is undergoing so many major changes at the moment, and these will translate into marital burdens for the couple. I actually believe that Prince William will be the very last king of England and that, after him, the long succession of British monarchs will finally see its end.
            This is because humanity is destined to change its long-standing conventions in the near future. Institutions which have been around for hundreds or even thousands of years (the government, forms of leadership, banks, large companies, etc.) will all crumble in the coming years. Regarding the big changes to the royal house, Prince William will understand and accept them. And these changes are for our own good! Over hundreds of years, our views, opinions, and ways of doing things have all changed dramatically. Yet the institutions have all remained the same; there is something very wrong with that! It’s time we wipe out that which was established in antiquity and start on a clean slate, drawing on inspiration from not just the past, but the future. We are a race of incredible resilience, brimming every day with new ideas. We’re capable of achieving anything and everything! So why cling to the “old systems” so desperately? The OLD ways of the world are jaded in thought and, most importantly, simply don’t work for us anymore. So brace yourself: within the next decade, we’ll adopt the motto “out with the old and in with the new,” and everything happening in our world will reflect this mentality…including the system of the British monarchy.
            This is wonderful news for us all. Although it may seem overwhelming, we’re coming together to embrace the new patterns as a whole. And together, there is nothing we can’t do. Do you agree? Then you might want to check out my new book, Wholeliness: Embracing the Sacred Unity That Heals Our World, available everywhere books are sold. In it, I delve into the collapse of our current (old) system, the birth of a new world, the need for unity now more than ever, and, of course, I make quite a lot of exciting predictions for our future. And yes, this long list of predictions includes Prince William’s reign and the end of the British monarchy!
Check out Wholeliness here: www.Wholeliness.com
Much Love,
Dr. Carmen Harra

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Shaky World Politics Signal the Beginning of a New Era

    At the end of 2009, I predicted that 2010 would be a year of physical earthquakes. And I felt that earthquakes would continue throughout 2011, only not the kind you may be thinking: this year will be the year of earthquakes of the system, or “political earthquakes.”
    As I accurately predicted on Positively Incorrect! with Scott Cluthe and in Ring magazine in December of 2010, this year will begin with substantial turmoil of the political kind, including the collapse of multiple forms of government and the resignation of leaders from various parts of the world. What we see in Egypt right now is only the beginning of an ever-spreading epidemic of political eruptions. As an analogy, it took the Berlin wall to fall for communist countries to become freed from the regime. Today, we find ourselves in a similar do-or-die situation; this time in our history is the end of an era and the beginning of a new system. What we see may seem like chaos, and I can understand why our leaders are scared for the future. But there is neither a reason to be afraid, nor does fear bring about any good.
    On the contrary, we cannot step into a new world still clinging to the old ways of things. This is the time of change and reform, and what we have known for hundreds of years is no longer valid in our evolving world. The uprisings which we will continually witness are actually necessary in order to drive forth change: something must always pass through a stage of chaos in order to emerge as something new. All of this unrest is part of the process of change, real change, change in which people have the right to create a better life for themselves.
    It’s becoming evident that billions of people around the globe want to take matters into their own hands. People are becoming skeptics to their leaders standing at a podium, smiling and promising change and good things to come. They see that their leaders are not keeping their guarantees of a better tomorrow. Realistically speaking, our leaders cannot enact change if we do not participate in it and do our part.
    Opposing change, choosing to be in denial of it and insisting on keeping the old world order in place are not going to work any longer. Rather, this stubborn mentality will only deepen our problems. Throughout 2011, we will see institutions, forms of government, and the old ways “going out of business.” We will also see the beginning of an era of leaders who promote cooperation, unity and peace.
    It is becoming obvious through the actions of people all over the world that humanity has to come together as one. People know what they want, and they all want the same thing. They don't want dictatorships, they don't want the same form of government, and they don't want the same failing economic system and cruel injustices. Our world changes are coming sooner than we think, and we have to stop fighting them and start accepting them.
Love Always,
Dr. Carmen Harra