Posted by Karen Hadalski at 21 December 2012

Category: 2012

Well, we are still here!

Though I never believed the “end of the world” hype that some deduced from the Mayan calendar (which, by the way, present day Maya’s don’t believe, themselves) I do believe that our planet is experiencing “birthing pains” as we move from the age of Pisces to the age of Aquarius.

Many spiritual teachers & disciplines have stressed that this will be a time of transition and one of choices to be made, which will determine humanity’s next stage or age of evolution.  Will these choices lead to another Dark Age, another Renaissance, or to an even greater and more elevated Age of Enlightenment ?

Some teach that today, December 21st, 2012, through December 23rd IS an important time due to specific planetary alignments and force fields which will impact and influence fields of energy (“energetic bands”) on Earth. How we respond to these and what we learn while in this 3 day window can be important to us–personally and globally.

One of the most interesting teachings I’ve read about this is “The Cosmic Window: A Hathor Planetary Message Through Tom Kenyon”  You can access this and learn more about the Hathors–an ascended civilization with roots going back to Ancient Egypt–through .  If you do decide to check this out, I would suggest accessing, through his site’s “Archives,” these earlier messages, as well:  “Who Are the Hathors?” “Thoughts and Observations from the Channel,” and “The Aethos Sound Meditation.”

We are fortunate, indeed, to have so many Teachers–ascended and in the flesh–who are devoted to our upliftment and spiritual evolution.  I only wish more were as interested in these as they are in the latest news from entertainment, sports, and social network “channels.”

Posted by Karen Hadalski at 15 December 2012

Category: Uncategorized

What a strange Christmas season this has been: Doomsday- Sayers trying to convince us to prepare for the last day of the Mayan Calendar (Dec. 21st) and the last day of life on Earth; culture wars over whether or not towns should be allowed to display nativity scenes and Christmas trees and what the trees should be called: “Holiday Trees,” perhaps; retailers and parents determined to keep the traditional lightheartedness and expectation of Santa’s return, gifts, and holiday feasts; churches of varied denominations offering varied messages regarding where we are:  a new beginning, the “end times,” a New Age of enlightenment; and now, the horror of the slaughter of 20 young children and 8 adults–including the killer: a crazed 20 year old–yesterday.

Around the world wars and financial woes proliferate; and, at home, we hold our breath and pray that the people we’ve elected to make decisions on our behalf will make the right ones to keep us safe and solvent through one more year.

Add to all of this the personal pessimism of many due to job, home,  and investment losses; pension reductions; the ever-increasing high cost of living and–well–its just not the “Jolly Holly” Christmas season of years gone by.  It isn’t even the White Christmas many of us loved and could count on during our childhoods due to Climate Change!

So, what can we do to give ourselves hope, security, and inner peace and joy?

To me, there are only a few things of real value:  Our health and that of those we love; a vital spiritual life; contributing something of value to others through our work, our talents, our relationships; and being good and trustworthy custodians of that which is entrusted to us: our children, our pets, our land, our resources, our future.

By focusing on these truly valuable blessings, I’m sure we can all find something to be thankful for and hopeful about.  And, there is no better way to experience inner joy than by giving. Whether its visiting a nursing home or shut-in, singing in a choir, adopting an abandoned pet, volunteering at a soup kitchen, planting a tree, or making one child’s world a little brighter, I guarantee that (unless you are a self-centered, greedy, materialist) giving will do much to “make your spirits bright.”

My gift to self this year is sponsoring a little girl through Save the Children.  We’ve just “met” and her sweet, smiling face and hopeful plans for the future truly lift me up. “It is only through giving that we receive.”  What gift will you give your self this year?

Posted by Karen Hadalski at 8 December 2012

Category: Uncategorized

If you’ve never been a fan of classical music, I beg you to give it a chance.  And, there is no better season than now; nor a better introduction to the experience of beauty, harmony, and peace that orchestral music imparts, than Handel’s Messiah.

For decades, we have been fortunate to have lived in or near cities possessing first-class orchestras and choral groups by which we could , during the Season (September to April), enjoy magnificent music several times each month: Boston, Pittsburgh, New York, Philadelphia, and now, Virginia Beach–one of the cities in the Commonwealth where the Virginia Symphony Orchestra performs, in a state-of-the- art concert hall completed just before we moved to the area.

Last night we treated ourselves to the yearly delight of hearing Messiah, this time performed by the VSO, its Chorus, and four extraordinary soloists. When we recounted how many magnificent performances of Handel’s masterpiece we have enjoyed throughout the years, we marveled at the fact that we have never left a concert hall in anything but a state of bliss.  Each year it feels brand new.  Each year the experience transports.

JoAnn Falletta, Music Director and Conductor of the VSO (as well as the Buffalo Philharmonic and Ulster {Ireland} Orchestras) wrote the Foreword to my book, Ten Difficult Women.  In this, she shares how, from age eleven, when sitting in Carnegie Hall listening to a performance of Beethoven, she became fascinated with the symphony orchestra “as a microcosm of excellence, beauty, and wonder” and, from that age foreword, could not imagine herself  “not being at the center of that magical ensemble” as a conductor.

Even if you’ve never played a musical instrument, sung in a choir, or attended a symphony orchestra concert, I guarantee you will be enthralled–maybe even converted–if you buy a ticket to a professional performance of this sacred oratorio during the Christmas season.  (It is also performed by some orchestras during the Easter season). An amateur ensemble, or a local choir leading the audience in a Hallelujah Chorus sing-along, just can’t impart the same exquisite grandeur or do this brilliant composition justice.

Really, treat yourself!

Posted by Karen Hadalski at 29 November 2012

Category: Body-Mind-Spirit

I’ve always had the need to explore every issue thoroughly before making a decision or taking a stand on one or the other side of an issue.  This propensity usually drove/drives people crazy–especially Sunday school teachers, professors, and doctors.

But yesterday I received a different response from my new cardiologist–who is Indian.  A few weeks ago, after being given 3 options to correct a heart issue, he also gave me a lot of reading material and web information to research and think about.  Yesterday’s appointment was set-up to discuss my responses to these.

As I presented my thoughts, he listened intently to every question, concern, and comment; addressed each one thoroughly; and moved me to the next step–consulting with the specialist who will perform the procedure decided upon.

I  know I take more time than the usual 15 minutes allotted by most doctors for patient appointments; but, I can’t help myself!  Unless and until I understand something completely, I am unable to make a decision.

When I apologized for taking so much of his time, he responded: “No apology is necessary.  Until the mind accepts it, the body will not benefit from a treatment.  We were given a mind by our Creator to use.  This is what makes us human.”  We then discussed how unnatural it seems to both of us when people just leave decisions up to others; thoughtlessly go along with the majority point-of view; or avoid looking at or thinking about serious issues altogether because to do so makes them “nervous” or “upset.”

This man, like many from the East, exudes the calmness, centeredness, and clarity born of mental-spiritual congruity.  To use one’s human brain, then present its “findings” to the spiritual Mind for a kind of transcendental “review,” is what I view the “discernment process”– so valued by many faiths as the driving force behind free-will decision making– to be.

Since we are spirit, living in a physical form while in embodiment, we must work to integrate these two aspects of our Being in all areas.  To simply use the material brain is to overlook the higher dimensional state of consciousness by which you can experience your own non-dual nature outside the constraints of perceived time and space.

But, to use only this higher state of consciousness ignores the human nervous system–the minute biochemical and electrical events responsible for thought and mental/emotional impressions–not to mention the wall you are bound to walk into if you are not alert to physical realities!

In more advanced states of consciousness it is possible to operate in both relative sensory experience and non-dual experience simultaneously.  If you learn to attain this level of consciousness, you will be able to experience the sensory world at the same time as you experience the deep, calm centeredness of your non-dual nature.

The serious practice of a meditation technique that resonates with your personality type would be a good place to begin if the prospect of mastering such a skill is attractive to you.  We all have the innate ability to connect with the higher aspects of our Being which lie outside the constraints of perceived time and space.

This ability is both a natural, human capacity and, to many, a “New Frontier.”


Posted by Karen Hadalski at 17 November 2012

Category: Uncategorized

I like this time of year.  It  prompts me to think about what I am grateful for rather than focusing on things I don’t have and am dissatisfied with; or, even worse, take for granted.

Thanksgiving Day has always been my favorite holiday.  It is a quiet, peaceful, relaxing time focused on nothing more than gratitude and breaking bread with family and friends.  Other holidays are loud, frantic, crass and focused on things like buying and getting stuff, strutting around in new outfits, eating too much candy, loud fireworks, and parties where people are not themselves and drink too much–by comparison.

A close second for me is Valentines Day.  Again, a time of gratitude, expressions of love, and sharing a quiet dinner and intimate time with someone close.

One of the things that impresses me most about each of the subjects in Ten Difficult Women is their ability to enjoy and be grateful for life’s quiet, subtle, beautiful elements and moments:  Nature, the life of the mind, composing a perfect journal entry, leading musicians through an exquisite performance, throwing a perfect “knuckle-ball,” casting a first vote, children, conducting former slaves to freedom, producing a film or giving a speech or writing a law that leads to positive change, creating a beautiful dress, appreciating glistening raindrops and the sound of a Lark from an attic window, or playing and cuddling with a beloved pet.

These are things that are truly memorable and worth celebrating.  Happy Thanksgiving!


Posted by Karen Hadalski at 9 November 2012

Category: Uncategorized

Well, it is all over.  And, after months and months of being bombarded with vicious attack ads, too much junk mail, and incessant robo-calls; after months and months of spending millions of dollars and wasting millions of hours on campaigning instead of working to dig America out of the fiscal, social, and foreign affairs hole we find ourselves in, where have we ended up?  “RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED FROM”–same president, same divided congress, same ever-worsening problems.

A few other well-known sayings spring to mind:  “A DEMOCRACY ALWAYS ENDS UP WITH THE LEADER IT DESERVES.” Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America. (Except, in this case, only half of America gets what it deserves–for better or for worse.)


“A LEOPARD CAN’T CHANGE ITS SPOTS.”  An obvious observation.

All we can do now is try to figure out how and why we are where we are; learn from the past; and pray for the morality, sanity, wisdom, and competency of the officials 50% of our citizenry elected to lead us through the next four years.

One last saying:  “GOD BLESS US, EVERYONE.”  Tiny Tim, A Christmas Carol.

Posted by Karen Hadalski at 2 November 2012

Category: Uncategorized

I’m an Independent who has voted for Democrats, Republicans and third party candidates throughout the years.  I try to keep my blog posts non-political.  But—I Believe in Destiny.  I also believe that never in the history of America–since our Founding Fathers–has there been a man so profoundly destined to restore the principles and vision of those founders; lift us out of the fiscal, social, and foreign affairs abyss of the present; and lead us into a sane and solvent future than Mitt Romney.

He was born for this moment in history to a mother who was told she could have no more children; nurtured by the uniquely American religion of Mormonism; raised by two socially and politically involved parents; motivated by a morality of service and stewardship; and educated in both Business Administration and Law at Harvard University.

Though jealously denigrated for being “too rich”–primarily by those who have not been able to achieve the American Dream themselves or have come into their wealth in mysterious, dubious ways–Romney is, in fact, one of the finest examples of what “being American” is all about.

Yes, he was gifted with a stable, secure upbringing and a good education.  However, he attained his simultaneous degrees through self-discipline, focus, and hard work.  Yes, he has amassed millions–every dollar of which was earned, not inherited–and which has been invested and managed with sound judgement and prudence.

And, what has he done with these millions?  He has raised and prepared five outstanding sons to contribute to society in five uniquely individual fields of endeavor, is a devoted husband, and loving grandfather to eighteen grandchildren. He has served his Church as a Missionary, a Pastor, and tithes (gives 10% of his income to the church) religiously.  He also contributes approximately thirty percent of his wealth to a variety of charitable causes on a regular basis.

He has put his financial and business management skills to good use on behalf of many during his tenure with Bain Capital and by rescuing the 2002 Olympics from impending collapse.

He learned what it takes to govern in a cooperative, bi-partisan way through being elected Governor of one of the bluest of blue states in America and working across the aisle to eliminate Massachusetts’ billion-plus deficit and create both a surplus and a balanced budget for four consecutive years.  He created a state centered health care program which insures virtually every Massachusetts resident. He established a program to fully fund every high school senior in the top 25% of his or her graduating class to any state college or university of their choice.  He recruited 1,000 skilled math and science teachers; instituted a bonus program to reward top-performing educators; and established new interventions –including full-day Kindergarten classes–for failing schools and at risk children.  At the end of his term Massachusetts schools were ranked #1 in the nation, AND #10 world-wide in Math and English.

By the end of his single term as Governor (he didn’t run for a second term, opting to explore a run for the Presidency, instead) Massachusetts had risen 22 places:  from dead last to 28th in job growth.

Romney was also the first Governor in his state’s history to appoint a Secretary of Veteran Affairs to his Cabinet, and he increased benefits to National Guard members as well as to disabled veterans and families of missing and fallen soldiers.

Altogether, he is a candidate in possession of the personal qualities, experience, preparedness, maturity, clarity or vision, and integrity of purpose America so desperately needs–RIGHT NOW.

Romney isn’t running because he needs the money, is hungry for personal adulation and the spotlight, or is seeking to “fill in the blanks” where personal identity and self-esteem are concerned.  He is, already, a successful, complete, stable, self-fulfilled human being.  He is running for President because he knows he possesses a unique combination of experience, knowledge, and skills that can be usefully employed in the service of the country he loves.  Period.

Mitt Romney is the right person, for the right job, at the right time in America’s history.  It is both his destiny and ours that he becomes our 45th President.

Posted by Karen Hadalski at 18 October 2012

Category: Uncategorized

For most Americans it’s hard to think about anything but politics these days!  During every commercial break on television we are bombarded with ads extolling the virtues of– or, more commonly– demonizing one candidate over another. But,  I don’t think these tactics are working. In our case, we began to “mute” the chatter of candidates we will not be voting for this November quite a while ago and even turn our phone off to get a break from all the robo calls. We’ve heard more than enough, already.

Tensions and tempers are running high this year.  To a greater extent than during any other election cycle I can remember, our citizenry is split right down the middle, with each side as adamant and passionate about its choices as the other is about theirs.

I’ve been in Western Europe during election cycles and things are about the same there.  A relative just returned from a trip to Eastern Europe and they, too, are passionate about politics–even our upcoming election!

Wouldn’t it be refreshing (and healthy) to decide upon the direction we want to take, and the policies and leadership we need to take us there, through rational discussion, mutual respect, bi-partisan cooperation and unimpassioned discernment?

The only culture I’m familiar with that chose its leaders in this way was the Native American tribal system. This is how their “election process” went:

#1:  As a group, they took as long as was necessary to come up with and clearly articulate their felt needs and goals. These were decided and agreed upon by a majority through “pow-wows:” thoughtful, quiet, mutually respectful periods of rational discussion and discernment.

#2: Once goals were agreed upon, they simply surveyed/studied their population to discover who among them had already demonstrated the competency and successes necessary to assume a leadership position.  One or more people were then “invited” to take leadership responsibility in the area of their particular mastery. The “chosen” were afforded as much time as they needed to go off by themselves, reflect, pray, and decide whether or not they  perceived themselves as possessing the inner- strength and resolve necessary to successfully carry-out community expectations. There was no stigma associated with declining a leadership role.

#3:  Once the leadership position was assumed, the chief (or chiefs) had no contract, term of office, or additional criteria attached to his role.  So long as he exhibited competency, made progress in meeting the goals agreed upon, and retained strength and good health, he remained in his position.

If the one ( or several) chosen failed to move the community forward toward attaining agreed upon goals, he either self-relinquished his leadership role or acquiesced to his people’s request to step aside.  If his pride took over and he refused to step down, he was ostracised by the community and went off to form his own, new band of followers and establish another “tribe” in another “nation.”

To my mind, this “primitive” model is a far more sane and sensible model for choosing leaders than the one we currently suffer through every four years.





Posted by Karen Hadalski at 4 October 2012

Category: Writing

My new book, Ten Difficult Women: Their Impact and Legacy, is now available for pre-release sale and will be officially released on November 19.

While the new release of every book is exciting, I find myself wondering how many people actually read books these days?  My favorite chain bookseller, Borders, recently closed its last door and I’ve read that Barnes & Noble is struggling.  Though independent–especially specialty –bookstores seem to be holding on, I wonder how?  Those I frequent are almost always empty.

To me, there is no contest between the feeling one gets holding and reading a printed book vs. a metal reading device. Yet, a young family member tells me she is certain electronic books will be the only form around in the not too distant future. She went from printing to keyboard in elementary school, views cursive writing as an “archaic folk art” with no practical purpose,  and was totally unimpressed by ancient hieroglyphics and the Book of Kells when taken to see these. “Who cares how ideas are written out,” she questions? ” Only the stories and ideas are important.”

Those in the 20-something generation must view people in my generation as crazy.  Many of us (including Bill & Hillary Clinton) still write long-hand versions of our works on legal pads before entering them into the Word program.  I write everything out with a favorite (refillable) pen.  The ideas and words flow like a tangible current from my brain, through my arm, to my hand, and “exit” through my pen onto a soft, woody piece of paper.  This process feels organic to me and somehow works to make my ideas feel alive and personal. Once relegated to a documents file in my computer, those warm, pulsating words become nothing but cold, hard “copies” to me.

One of my fondest graduate school memories is of spending an afternoon in Harvard University’s Rare Book Room.  I was only allowed access because I was working as a Research Assistant to a professor writing a biography of Ralph Waldo Emerson, my favorite essayist. I was escorted to a small ” book closet” with a cage-like door and given a pair of white cotton gloves to wear. My assignment was to cross-check the accuracy of several handwritten journal entries and  notes he wrote in the margins of his own essays and the works of his favorite classical authors.

I had read every word this genius wrote and visited his home, personal library, and grave site in Concord, Massachusetts.  But nothing conveyed a more intimate, living-breathing “feel” for the man than holding and reading his handwritten journals, marginalia, and doodling. After allthese flowed directly from his mind, through his pen, to the pages I now turned.  Wow!

That experience could never have occurred had he typed his words with a keyboard, printed them out, and converted them to an electronic reading device.

Maybe the kids are right and books will cease to be printed before long.  Regardless, I will always be a bibliophile.  One of my favorite Emersonian quotes is:  “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” I agree–cracked leather, yellowing pages, musty smell and all.


Posted by Karen Hadalski at 29 September 2012

Category: Uncategorized

Why are religion and war so interconnected?  It has been that way forever–remember Christianity’s “Holy Wars?”  This latest bout of  hysteria, chaos, murders, and destruction just rips the scab off this festering sore spot in human history yet again.

What is religion, anyway?  In simple terms it is a way of life, or belief system, based upon mankind’s ultimate relation to the universe and God.  It is a communal faith and the community of believers binds itself to a particular pattern as its “rule of life.”

Though diverse, all formal Religions are comprised of a CREED: Faith in a revealed pattern and in the Divine intelligence that gives this to man.  A CODE:  A Divinely sanctioned and authorized system of laws and morals comprising the active participation in a particular community.  And a CULT:  the ritual of worship or symbolic acts through which a particular community brings its collective mind into accord with the mind of God.

By definition, then, institutionalized religion is ex-clusive and promotes a “them and us” mentality–each believing itself to be the “right way, “the only way,” and their members to be the “chosen ones” of God. How could such an exclusive world view ever hope to bring mankind into a peaceful, harmonious, mutually respectful and beneficial state of co-existence?

As anyone who has read KARMA knows, I have been preoccupied with this question for decades and have, after much thought and exploration, come to believe two things:  1:  Personal spirituality is far more valuable than affiliation with any organized religion.  And, 2: Hinduism and Buddhism have it right (not really “organized religions” in the Western sense of the term):

In Hinduism, Liberation is valued, not membership.  The world can be separated into independent things only in thought.  In Reality, the world is a non-duality and there is no “them and us.”  Buddhist teachings urge morality and compassion NOT as a command, but as a voluntary action to which the free man commits himself without hope of reward or fear of punishment.

“By their fruits you shall know them.”  What quality of “fruit” has organized religion produced throughout history?  What can be done to reverse this tide?  Two questions worth pondering…


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