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Karen Barker discusses her passion projects “Sonnet in Your Pocket” and “The Love Project”
Rob Murray speaks with Karen Barker about why Shakespeare’s sonnets have been a constant source of inspiration for her, one she’d like to share with others through her “Sonnet in Your Pocket” passion project. They also discuss her desire to drive some spontaneous displays of love in the community with “The Love Project”, and how you can be a part of it!
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If you are interested please message me as details are unfolding
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Karen Barker, Massage Therapist and Actress
Karen Barker’s motto is ‘Live Your Brilliance’.
She is a professional actress and registered massage therapist. Barker moved from her home in Winnipeg to Canmore in 1998 with her daughter Aly.
“I was welcomed immediately by the community,” Barker said. “I opened the Canmore Theatre School, teaching classes for all ages and running my therapy practice in tandem. I am always open to weaving creativity in ways we can heal.”
Her love for the theatre and film started at a young age.
“I was a drama specialist in the parks and recreation department at 13,” Barker said. “I was accepted at Manitoba Theatre Centre in 1978 as an apprentice. After auditioning for the Vancouver Playhouse in 1979, I was accepted to train professionally and never looked back.”
Barker has been an actress in the TV series Heartland and she was recently in a Hallmark Channel movie called ‘Winter in Vail’.
“I was cast in Heartland season 10 as the head ER nurse,” Barker said. “The Hallmark movie was filmed in Bragg Creek and Turner Valley in the crazy snowstorms of November 2019. I white knuckled it to set. The film is about following your heart in life’s decisions. I felt that it was in perfect alignment to what I integrate in my practice and life. I play the real estate agent, Bev, who shows the star Lacey Chabert, a home she has inherited from a dead uncle in Vail. ”
She also had the experience of doing a Command Performance for the Queen.
“It was a Gala Performance of ‘Prairie Wind’ to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the opening of Saskatchewan legislature and the 1987 Royal Visit,” Barker said.
And she worked alongside Tennessee Williams in his play called ‘Red Devil Battery Sign’, at the Vancouver Playhouse.
In 2011, Barker was asked to head the ‘ArtsWell’ section of the Artspeak festival in Canmore.
“It introduced drumming, Qi Gong and walking the climbing rope Labyrinth, and presented Laura Schlessinger’s cello music at the RCMP Barracks.”
Barker was born with Necrotic femoral arteries at birth, which meant that her hips were deformed and she could not walk properly. She had hip replacement surgery in 1996 and then revisions to the surgeries from 2000 to 2011. At 14 years of age, she developed severe osteo arthritis.
“At 36 years of age, after I gave birth to my daughter Aly, I became cripple,” Barker said. “I could barely walk a block with two canes. Pain formed my understanding of what I do today. I became a practicing Buddhist in 1996 and explored Qi Gong to help train my mind to deal with the constant pain.”
Don Petersen of New World Samurai in Canmore tattooed Barker over her hip replacement scars. With Barker, they put together an ArtsWell exhibit called ‘Transformations, Scars Graced by Art’, with photos by Richard Alan Brown.
“The show was a story about four people who overcame a tragic incident which left them disfigured,” Barker said. “Their scars were transformed into beauty through tattoos.”
Barker was inspired by massage therapy because as a performer she used it to address her pain.
“I felt it was time to switch roles and be the therapist learning viscerally what constant pain does to ones heart and mind,” Barker said. “I trained with the Western College of Massage Therapy for a two year advanced course and never looked back. I took my portable table on the road as I performed, to treat company members.”
She discovered the work of osteopath Dr. Jean Pierre Barral in 1993.
“I knew in my heart it was calling me, so trusting the signs, I have been with him for 27 years on a yearly basis, as he shares his new research on the cranial sacral system, (visceral, neural and brain). These are gentle manipulations, which track external force trauma involving the emotions and mind,” she said.
“After 30 years with my basis in training massage therapy, I coin what I do to be called Integrated Osteopathy,” Barker said. “I assistant teach at the Barral Institute when I have the time. I am inspired when clients or therapists are relieved with gentle anatomical precision.”
Please visit her website karenbarker.ca for more information and to read her blog ‘Inspiring Health in the Human Spirit’.
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This pure heart meditation was inspired in the healing of Male/female relationship. If we live in this place all else falls away. The ego or energy of struggle we hold so tight to at times has nothing to take root in. In my heart I love and I act from there.
There is a great need in the healing of humanity the aspect of sexuality. So much hurt and old beliefs have been cultivated over millennia. My prayer in sharing this is that freedom and this purity take hold in all our hearts so we can be filled with the ease and grace of this joy filled celebration we call life.
Pure Heart Meditation
I invoke the pure Heart
I follow my breath
Listening to the beating of my heart
Sans voices in my head
The brilliant light fills every space suspended
I am pure of heart
I am pure heart
Let the frequency of truth resound within
In its peace
Lightness of peace
I breathe in
The gentleness is easy
Its beauty is soft
I am this light
I am the highest understanding of light in the universe
Where do I feel tension?
I feel tension in my shoulders
Send the light there
Let go of the holding in harmony with your breath
Release all old beliefs and hurt in all directions of time so you may live fully in this place
Pure of heart has no room in its expansiveness for thoughts or voices
It communicates using peace and love
Saturate yourself with this love
Its abundance and bounty supports the freedom of spirit on earth
Sans voices in my head
Be at peace in this nothingness
Fly into this abyss
Channeled Monday Jan 28, 2008
In Reflection: Meet me in the heart to share in the power of pleasure of the physical body, the power to heal, the power to anchor in together the highest understanding of love in the universe and have it radiate out to all humanity and the earth for re-balancing and healing.
Meet in the place of the pure Heart and set the intention that the generosity of come union will be abundant for all sentient beings.
The heart will guide you with unending oceans of light and creation.
I am your female. You are my male. Cherish the form.
Find the beauty in your heart to see, with love, the creation of form in the male and female. Hold it as your own completeness.
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The Daily 7, “To Do’s”
1) Morning Mantra- I offer this day in service so it may benefit the highest and greatest good of all sentient beings.
2) Spiritual Stretches “7 minute workout”. Tutorial available on Karbarker Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qgbGwCkHis video 4 mins.
3) Make eye contact and greet all who pass you by. Be it a stranger or a friend treat them with the same openness of love and compassion.
4) Take 5 minutes, sit, feel the beating of your glorious heart. Count the beats and cultivate an inner and outer smile.
5) Feel the sun, breathe in and feel its warmth. Reflect how it nourishes you. Hold gratitude.
6) Take 5 minutes to follow your breath in and out of your body. Its rise and fall. Be conscious how it moves you physically and emotionally.
7) Bless All in Love.
It is in the cultivation of love and compassion that joy is born. It is through the diligence of a daily practice that the practice becomes ones nature. This mergence creates the radiance of love and joy that is felt by all living beings. Therefore pain and negativity of thought is transformed or recycled into the positive. Having the consistency in practice, the mind will become retrained in love.
In Reflection: “Live your Brilliance”
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Many have terms that describe the state of Mindfulness, being present, taking “time out” to slow down, but I seem to have discovered a precise description for myself that encompasses simplicity of a state of being. “Being Presence” the expansive embrace of mindlessness….coining the phrase “Live you Divinity” , Just do it!” is a contradictory in terms that requires reflection… or should it be….”Live your Divinity, Just be it! ”
My time in Goa has been one of intense, intimate, honest and personal reflection, truly experiencing new “Spiritual Stretching“. It encompasses the intention to be open in a state of receiving from others in ways I have never done so before..in this lifetime. The key word is softening to a place of the feminine where I am open to be taken care of….on all levels. Sounds lovely, but not easy from my life experience of being a single mother…..self employed and the story goes on…..re programming on a 180 degree turn with life….. No permanent home to go back to….non attachment on so many levels and experiencing freedom in ways I never thought, it could be defined. Physically, emotionally mentally and now spiritually.. Trusting in a power bigger than myself to guide me, believing in my heart. Choosing to be devoted to the honest voice within myself. Those voices you and I hear….listen….it is easier than the struggle of disbelief.
With constant power outages, I write because the internet is down again…One of the many things, I think, us as Canadians, take for granted. We are looking for high speed….In India…you are lucky to get a connection. Another voice, release and let go…It is India…the lesson serves me in other ways to slow down, have acceptance of what is and glide easy with myself and thru life….If there are struggles… cut the cord of responsibility and see what happens….others step in….a new reality morphs into being….those responsibilities are an illusion….set the intention to release the responsibilities you have for a few days and see what happens….you can always step in again if those around did not pick up the ball.
This is my unfolding homework or research in India….it will hopefully enrich my life so I can bring the awareness home and share with others another depth of the journey of being a spiritual being in a physical reality. What I can cultivate here for myself I ask that it happens for the highest good of all sentient beings. Have great compassion with yourself and others….play the game of life with joy…as it is a game…and free yourself on all levels ……I am FREE.
In reflection: The Power of Self Love is Profound allow yourself the experience
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The joy full sun graces my gentle light.
Reaching, igniting a remembrance of radiance.
Forgotten over surgery, over pain, over grief
The sun, a reflection of my divinity lifts me into the white light consciousness where the Crystal light dances freely in “a bon danse”
The great dance
Giddiness bubbles in my heart
Infinite time slows down….
Suspends each moment
In a treasure of life
Grateful for this brilliant gem of celebration
Coolness coats my body in its healing
A gentle peace creates space for transformation
In this nothingness,
I am the experience of the vessel….Our physical form….
Sparkles of light show themselves reminding me I am not alone
Undulations of energy pulse thru me
My lightening rods anchoring energy into
The crystal heart of the mother earth to
The crystal heart of the cosmos
The anchoring point is my heart weaving infinity into time.
The confetti of Celebration lands Softly on the earth…
from the Earth…. It returns, Holding Gratitude in its Wake.
Free of attachment
Expanding Peace… Sharing from my heart
The Universal Heart…A river of wisdom flowing endlessly…. infinitely for all that are open to receive. A peace… compassion for all adversity The Illusion… The interacting that creates dynamics… Out of the projection an expansive moment…. out of time …within time …Breaking the illusion of time…. Death a crossing over from time
To be free,To go home, Our truth, reality.
In reflection: Allow the flow of spirit to live within your heart. Create!
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In this Audio Blog…..I am exploring the concept of freedom in our lives….What makes my heart sing? What are my basic needs to feel free? A Courageous path of Reflection as the layers become deeper as my self honesty and Truth reveals itself.
Emotional freedom….freedom of the mind…..How many of us can say “I am at peace, I am free.….any upheaval or trigger is a sign we need to be asking the question. How can I truly be free? A Simple yet profound exploration into the human condition.
In the George Bernard Shaw’s play,”Saint. Joan”, Joan of Arc 1430 ad. contemplates freedom. She trusts in the verdict to be freed when she tells the truth but sadly discovers she has been betrayed to a sentence of Life imprisonment. Is that living? What do I fear? “Do you think that life is nothing but not being Stone Dead?” Her resolve: LIGHT YOUR FIRE!
Every time, I recite this piece something profoundly moves me therefore I trust in sharing it with you.
In reflection: I discover a gentle nuance… when I do not share my feelings I feel a sense of unrest. I choose to imprison these thoughts in my heart. I am not free…..As I give them voice and can I step closer to inner peace……There should be a warning label when one begins the unveiling … “Am I free?”
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I am walking on the evening of the Full moon….As I make my way I am overcome by this wave of insight. I had to search within myself as to what it felt like……”Complacency” was the emotion I feel. I look around at all the homes that are lit from the inside I think….How many people are content with life? What is their level of passion, love and joy?…. Do people cross the street proverbially when the norm becomes a flat-line….uneventful and dull. When we desire to sleep in avoidance of making the changes we need because it would rock the boat or take too much energy. Is it too hard to step forward, claim our joy and make the necessary changes so that our lives can be balanced on all levels. We can experience the blissful ecstatic joy every day in every moment if that becomes our goal or intention. It may take shifting some neuro-plasticity in the brain….but it is well worth the effort.
I have come to know that we have chosen as a consciousness for some reason that we only can learn from pain and suffering…..that is an untruth…a seed that I will not tend in my garden any longer….I found I learn more from the choice to create my life from love and joy.
There is deep truth in the concept that if we have known pain we can cherish and respect the gift of choosing the power of love….there is a conscious choice in that….After the flood where loss and emotional pain filled my heart and mind I went within and made a vow to myself that I will make a choice to create my life from a place of love and joy in all I do. Yes it has takes effort and discipline but is well worth it.
When I ask the ? Do I feel alive or numb? I implore change…I attract individuals whose purpose is to shock me out of my complacent choices…..It is never comfortable when I am shocked but know it is temporary….and when I start to choose love and joy in all of my decisions…living life from the heart as my guide…..I transform my surroundings (maybe moving), releasing toxic people from my lives, (divorce, separation, new friends), change my job… creating a temporary uncertainty…it is all for a good cause. I see it as cleaning my garden ….carting out the old dirt and getting a whole new load of rich and nurturing soil , the foundation that supports all the new seeds of joy, love, bliss, fun, abundance, etc. to grow.
Dr. Bruce Lipton writes about the chemical change that happens when we begin to think positive from negative. Our brain actually makes different chemicals that we can go into withdrawal around causing physical pain and emotional upheaval…..procrastination…..lets think different next week I am toooo tired!! Sound familiar? You are wasting days of living life to its fullest. You can gift yourself with bliss and ecstasy in every moment….Wouldn’t that be a new goal to set in your life.
IN REFLECTION: Am I Complacent? Numb?….Do I feel the excitement of seeing everyday as a new present to open….Like Mary Poppin’s carpet bag…I keep discovering new gifts and you know what……it is Endless.
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