Good Grief

Sometimes I feel like exclaiming, Good grief!, When will this pandemic end?

What I have noticed in my clients, though, is that the pandemic has afforded them the time to be on their own, reflect and grieve.

Good grieving is something that we have time to do during the pandemic. It’s one of the pluses of being at home.

Memories from the past resurge and we have the time to process them, something that was less likely before.

We may feel a tinge in our heart, followed by sadness, followed by letting go.

It’s important to let these memories surface and then leave our system energetically as well as verbally when we tell someone.

In his book, Modern Man in Search of a Soul, the renown psychiatrist Carl G. Jung discusses the concept of confession as being the first step in a psychic process that, ultimately, leads to transformation.

When we, for example, reveal our secrets to our analyst, we are confessing (expressing verbally) that which was previously concealed.

According to Jung, that which remains concealed—remains secret—leads to illness. In his own words, ‘To cherish secrets and to restrain emotions are psychic misdemeanours for which nature finally visits us with sickness ….’[1]

As a chaplain, I see physical illnesses that are manifestations of unresolved spiritual issues. I find that when the person shares their story with me (a kind of confession) and we pray together, they feel better and are able to release anger or sadness or perplexity.

It starts with ‘confession’ and all comes out.

To tell your truth to another human being is not easy and involves trust.

Tears may flow after which comes a release like no other.

We cannot move from one level to the next without having fully worked through our issues at the level we presently find ourselves.

We must confess before moving to Jung’s next steps of explanation, education, and transformation.

The model that I use in Take it to the Next Level, ‘Listen Recognize and Create’ (or Co-create) is similar to, but different from, the psychic process defined above.

Take it to the Next Level is all about you finding the knowledgeable, qualified person (mentor or spiritual coach) you’ve always been looking for to really listen to you, recognize the issue that is blocking you from advancing, and (together) create a plan to move forward.

In order to move up a level, we need to let go of our past. When we let go, we can ‘climb out and climb up’ a level.

The pandemic has forced us to let go of many things: we can’t go places we used to go; meet people we used to see; or engage in the distractions we used to engage in.

The pandemic has forced us to stay home and spend time with ourselves. This is a plus because it is only when we look at ourselves that we realize that we are no longer satisfied with the status quo. We realize that we want to change, want to move up a level.

We may have all the material things we could ever want, but our soul is crying out, telling us something is missing.

Let’s Take it to the Next Level together. Book your appointment today here,


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[1] C.G. Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul (New York: Harcourt, 1933), 34.

Dark Times, Open Heaven

I feel saturated, bombarded by Covid-19 news. What about you?

Dr. Neil Levitsky, a Toronto, Ontario psychiatrist, says we should be aware of pandemic news but limit how much we watch.[1] I agree.

We recently celebrated the First Sunday of Advent whose first candle represents hope. For Christians, this hope exemplifies both the Nativity and Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Christian theologian John Piper thinks that Christ should be the rock on which we lean in the midst of the pandemic, a pandemic which is opening a way for transformation.[2] I believe that this transformation is both personal and societal.

You may wonder, ‘Luba, how on earth can I take my life to the Next Level in the middle of so much insecurity, division and change?’ ‘Luba’, you may say, ‘people are dying, and you expect me to believe that there is a God and that this God cares about me?’

Yes, I do.

God works best in dark times because God’s light shines most then. These are precisely the times we’re living in.

Dark Times, Open Heaven

Many believe that, in spite of the dark times we’re in, we are also living under an open heaven which means that communication is actively happening between heaven and earth.[3]  

As bleak as things appear around us in the physical realm, as dark as the situation seems to be, as uncertain as our circumstances are, there is an ‘openness’ that covers us through which blessings come. This is the hope that I refer to in this piece.

God has a plan for each and every one of us. God’s plan for me was to leave Bulgaria, come to Canada and become a chaplain in war time.[4] Although we are not in a traditional war, we seem to be involved in a new kind of warfare, an invisible war with an invisible enemy, Covid-19.

God’s blessings will pour on us when—in the midst of this warlike atmosphere, a kind of protracted lent from pre-Covid-19 activities we took for granted—we remember God.

What is impossible—Next Level thinking—suddenly becomes possible in a step-by-step, day-by-day reliance on the knowledge that we are living under an open heaven that is ready to pour out its gifts on us so long as we accept the transformation that is required of us now.

‘You mean, Luba, that more is required of me than being careful and wearing a mask?’

Yes, I do.

I think that we’ve been given this time of ‘straightening’ as a reprieve. You can think of it as grace or a grace period that’s been given to us to get rid of all the extraneous things and relationships in our lives that are preventing us from rising in life, being the person we were always meant to be.

Open Heaven

An open heaven is clear, bright, gracious, and freeing. It accepts us with our foibles and is ever ready to provide and guide, caress and bless, help, and support, acknowledge and rebuke and love us. An open heaven is uncomplicated and balanced, ruled yet tolerant, and fundamentally good. An open heaven is filled with goodness. It is ready to cover you in an abundance of beauty and goodness in the midst of your pain and suffering.

Feeling a little anxious because of the pandemic? Unsure of what to do next? Perhaps you’ve just retired and don’t know what to do with the rest of your life? As an experienced chaplain in a first class retirement home and psychotherapy intern at the University of Toronto, I can help you.

Let’s Take it to the Next Level together. Book your appointment today,


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[1] Neil Levitsky, ‘COVID 19 coping strategies,’ YouTube, accessed online on December 1, 2020,

[2] John Piper, ‘COVID-19,’ YouTube, accessed online on December 1, 2020,

[3] Dr. James W. Goll, ‘What Really Happens in an Open Heaven?,’ Charisma, accessed online on December 1, 2020,

[4] Read the description on my website’s home page,

Are You Focused or Other?

It used to be that when we opened our e-mail, there was one, monolithic column of e-mails to go through.

Now, there are two: Focused and Other.

It’s interesting and worth keeping an eye on because, in the future, perhaps there will be more columns or perhaps we, the so-called end users, will be given the ability to create columns of our own.

Whatever the case, if you want to Take it to the Next Level, you must be focused and nothing other.

To be focused means ruthlessly cutting out of your life anything that is a stopper toward growth, fulfilment, and joy. This kind of behavior will rub people the wrong way, but in the final analysis, it’s your life. We live in order to achieve a certain amount of success that is couched in quality of life.

The pandemic has forced us to focus more. In order to survive, we find ourselves prioritizing more. Do I go to the grocery store now or do I wait until tomorrow? What task is more important, blogging for my business or writing a reflection for class? In the end, we can do it all, but the key is to pace ourselves within a structured framework and not allow current circumstances to overwhelm us.

A steady pace

A structured framework and a steady pace are important  in maintaining balance these days. Keep your chin up, don’t despair, organize your affairs, and maintain your focus. Everything will be alright!

You must develop the ability to immediately separate the ‘wheat from the chaff,’ so to speak. Put aside—perhaps into the other column—that which does not merit your immediate attention, or never will.

The amount of junk mail that I find myself flooded with is amazing. Not a day goes by that someone isn’t trying to sell me something or promote an idea that is more fanciful than anything else. This is the bombardment of falseness that must be weeded out. In the end, the truth—represented by everything that is valid and true for us—prevails. Always.

Keep it simple

In our focused state—the only state that leads to attaining our goals—simplicity works best. When we do this, everything becomes clear—instantly.

Are you retired and perhaps feeling anxious or a little disconnected because of the pandemic? Unsure of what to do next? As an experienced chaplain in a first class retirement home and psychotherapy intern at the University of Toronto, I can help you.

Let’s Take it to the Next Level together. Book your appointment today,


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The Power of Imagination: How to Use Your Imagination to Get Through the Pandemic

The pandemic has forever changed the way that we live our lives.

Perhaps we should coin new abbreviations: B.P. (before pandemic) and A.P. (after pandemic).

Life B.P. seemed easier and more free-flowing. Obtaining goods and services happened relatively seamlessly, as did moving through dynamic processes involving multiple individuals and going places.

This is no longer the case.

When we can’t obtain what we desire in the expected but no longer extant B.P. modus operandi, what can we do?

In Freudian theory, there is something call the primary process. This process involves forming a mental image (imagining) an object that we desire (but cannot immediately obtain) in order to satisfy our desire for said object.

Beach Scenario

Let’s say that you’re dreaming of being on a favorite beach but that this isn’t possible right now in the A.P. world.

Close your eyes and imagine it. See the beach in your mind’s eye. Remember the time you were there. Feel the hot sand under your bare feet. Feel the soft, cool breeze that blows a slight ocean spray onto your body as you enter the water and slowly move deeper and deeper into the sea.

Can you hear the voice of the children playing on the beach? They suddenly scream for joy!

You’re in the water now, moving your arms rhythmically in order to stay afloat. You’re a ways off from the beach and can see the umbrellas lining the sand—blue and yellow blobs. The cicadas on the hanging vines that climb the surrounding cliff are loud and their ‘song’ reaches you intermittently, in cycles.

‘Ouch,’ you exclaim as you jerk your leg. A little fish bit you! But it’s alright. You’re here, at the beach, in the water, swimming and letting all your cares slip away.

This is an example of how you can imagine a favorite place and de-stress during these strange times.

The idea is that ideas, known in psychological terms as imagoes (idealized mental images of persons, the self or objects), can be willed in order to satisfy unmet needs.

Comparing Worlds

Lately, I’ve been wondering how children born A.P. will experience the world. For them, the B.P. world will be unknown. It was a world that was more carefree, less ecologically minded, less thoughtful, and perhaps more ‘real and physical.’

Perhaps A.P. kids will be more spiritual, less impulsive, more thoughtful, and prone to discover new inventions to help us adapt to the new, A.P. world. Perhaps these children will lead us into a new era.

No Regrets

Facebook came up with a new design. It’s sleek and elegant and we have until September to accept it. When September comes, we won’t have a choice; we’ll just have to accept it—or learn to live without Facebook.

It’s the same way now. Everything seems new. I deliberately use the word ‘seems’ because in many ways nothing has changed. Like Facebook, we can only repackage something so many ways—but it’s essentially still the same.

Spiritual Authenticity

Spiritual authenticity is what will enable us to move through the changes. In many ways, we can obtain this by replacing physical things with spiritual ones. It’s not as hard as you may think. With a little stretch of the imagination, even food can be obtained in this manner as the ancient Israelites were fed heavenly bread called manna.[1]

The pandemic is elevating us to higher thought and belief levels. We may feel as if we’re being pushed beyond our ability to cope, but this isn’t the case. There is a primary process that we can use to satisfy our needs.

Let’s Take it to the Next Level together. Book your appointment today.


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[1] Exodus 16:4.

The Bridge

Lately, my mind has been generating images of bridges as I consider the pandemic[1] we are in.

The virus has created ‘bridges’ of opportunity between people, things, ideas and even worlds.

The virus has caused bridgeable physical divisions through physical distancing; and bridgeable spiritual divisions through the ether—the airwaves.

The point of a bridge is that it can either be crossed, or not. The space—depicted by what the bridge spans, whether physical space or mental/etheric space—represents the divisions generated by the virus. There are many such divisions and the virus appears to crystallize them acting like a kind of magnifying glass that enlarges our defects, our weaknesses.

Although it is easier to see and lament the physical divisions that ensue from the virus, spiritual divisions are harder to see, yet equally real.

Bridges act as facilitators that offer opportunities to ‘cross over’ and unite. They also act as separators.[2] And they can be dangerous, too, because you can fall off a bridge and get hurt and even die.[3]

To prematurely cross a bridge of physical distancing at this writing could, potentially, lead to death by catching the virus. Wisdom and discernment, therefore, are in order before crossing such a bridge. A certain amount of preparation is called for (i.e., wearing a mask and washing our hands), although sometimes, no matter how much we prepare, the consequences of crossing a bridge that we are not meant to, not ready to, or should never cross could be deadly.

The pandemic, therefore, presents us with choices within our quarantine. Having been involuntarily thrust into a kind of ‘survival mode,’ we consciously debate in an ongoing fashion what action is essential versus what is merely desirable.

Do I call that person or not?

Do I write a blog post or do I food shop?

Do I spend time with myself or get busy with an activity?

The questions will vary from person to person, as will the answers, though essential human needs remain the same.

As we journey through ‘Pandemic Land,’ it is important to remember that the ‘bridges’ we encounter on a daily basis also connect the known to the unknown.[4] We do not know what the consequences of crossing a particular bridge may be. We are not sure what is on the other side.


Life is risky and life in Pandemic Land particularly so. Nevertheless, without risk there is no gain. Remaining in lockdown minimizes risk; but without pushing forward—step by careful step with the utmost precaution—we shall never leave home. Without recognizing favourable opportunities, we will never venture out. Without allowing ourselves to feel the unseen spiritual forces of protection working toward the greater good, we will fall into paralysing fear.

The pandemic has forced most of us back into a psychosocial ‘womb’—a cozy and comfortable environment that feels risk free. But we need to emerge to see the cues.


Good decisions can only be made when we are thinking clearly, when our minds are free and clear like a sunny day. Walking across a bridge may involve a balancing act. This is because some bridges, like the Sword Bridge, are narrower and more precarious than others.[5]


When we perceive that an opportunity has been afforded us to safely cross a bridge, then we must courageously commit to doing so.

What bridges are you facing during the pandemic? What moves should you be making?

Let’s ‘Take it to the Next Level,’ book your appointment today,



 Badescu, Sanda. From One Shore to Another: Reflections on the Symbolism of the Bridge. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009.


[1] I refer to the COVID-19 pandemic declared as such by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020.

[2] Badescu, From One Shore to Another, 2.

[3] Badescu, 2-3.

[4] Badescu, 3.

[5] Badescu, 2–3.