About 12 years ago or so, I was consulting Peter Roth, an intuitive consultant, healer, and the founder and director of Heart River Center for Intuitive Healing, about how to improve my life. Peter, whom I’ve known for many years, gave me a good look and said: “You know, your spiritual bank account is empty.” I was flummoxed. “What do you mean?” I stammered. He proceeded to explain that our spiritual bank account keeps track of what we do for others for their benefit, without recompense. If you have a full account, you have something to draw on in times of trouble. “It’s about service,” he said. I replied, but my work benefits others all the time! He pointed out that it was work, I was getting paid – well, sort of. But I gave money to worthy causes! Not enough. Giving money is easy. I had not put myself into it – I had not given back to the community, contributed to society at large, been of service via charity. Thus, the empty account. This meant a lack of spiritual support from the Universe. Or some such thing.

I found this irritating. Here I was, working really hard 60 hours a week, taking care of my children, running a business, trying to make sure people learned how to take care of their health with good food and natural remedies, and this was not enough?

With some more thought, I realized that yes, something was missing. Everything seemed to be a huge struggle — life was like walking uphill through molasses. There was some support from the Universe, but little. How to set it up so that more support flowed naturally? I remembered someone telling me once, “Don’t be needy. Nobody likes needy. They are needy too, why should they give to you? Be instead like the fountain, where everyone can come and drink. Give first, and then you will be given to.” Ugh. It sounded pretty unfair. But the fountain metaphor stayed with me.

I thought I’d give it a try. How to “give back”? I had no clue. But I remembered advice I had myself given to clients who seemed a bit too self-absorbed (shoemaker, fix your own shoes!) – I suggested they go read to blind people. So I went to The Lighthouse for the Blind, to see if I could be useful. I was given a variety of chores, like reading people their bills and such. Then they put me to work for a partially sighted person who needed office help. I did that for about a year. Then I began to realize I found this really boring. If I was going to work for free as a way to give back to the community, I might as well do something I believed in and enjoyed. I didn’t think it was obligatory to do something I really didn’t want to do.

One non-profit organization I was involved with at the time was the Roundtable for Women in Foodservice. This was a really nice group of women, and some men, involved in the food world. They had given me an award in 1987, the Pacesetter Award in Education, that I was very proud of. I wanted to support this organization, so I started volunteering for the Board. I worked with them for quite a few years, and eventually became president. This felt very satisfying for a while, and I really enjoyed the women I was working with. Eventually, after about five or six years, I realized that my interests had changed – they didn’t lie so much with food anymore, but with healing and spiritual issues. I looked for a different organization to serve.

In the early ‘90’s I had joined an organization called IONS –the Institute of Noetic Sciences – This is a group started by former astronaut Edgar Mitchell, after he had a spiritual vision when coming back to Earth from the moon As the website mentions in the “History” section, “He was engulfed by a profound sense of universal connectedness.” Dr Mitchell started this group, upon his return to Earth, dedicated to exploring the frontiers of consciousness and the variety of ‘ways of knowing’ (“noetic” comes from the Greek nous, or ‘intuitive ways of knowing’). This all sounded very interesting to me, and certainly was the kind of thing I wanted to support. Then I found out that there was a NY group loosely associated with them, or FIONS (Friends of the Institute of Noetic Sciences). I joined both, and started attending some of the NY events.

When I decided to look for an organization to serve that was aligned with my evolving interests, FIONS came up strong and clear. I began to show up at more meetings and events. Eventually, in 2001, I was invited to join the programming committee, then I became treasurer, and as of March this year I became president.

I love being part of this organization. I have met the most fascinating people that I could meet, interested in many of the things that I’m interested in. FIONS sponsors a number of group studies for its members. For a long time I’ve been curious about physics – I included quantum physics in my theoretical model about nutrition when I wrote my dissertation – and there is a group in FIONS exploring “New Physics.” There is a group exploring “Ultimate Issues,” (what is life, death, goodness, evil, and so on), several groups exploring Dreams (that I’m not so interested in, but many people are), and others on books and the material in the journal published by IONS, Shift.

In addition, we sponsor a number of events or talks about subjects of interest. For example, in the fall of 2006 we expect to present Russell Targ, who spent years doing remote viewing experiments for the US Government – he will do a remote viewing experiment with the people who come to his lecture. IONS has published a new book by physicist Dean Radin, called Entangled Minds, and we expect that Dr Radin will be a speaker in the near future as well. For more information, and to get the newsletter every 2 months or so, you can visit

I am spending a lot of my time with FIONS. Peter told me recently that my “spiritual bank account” is doing OK. Support from the Universe is flowing nicely, that is, my life is going well and easy. What it all means I’m not totally sure, but I’m enjoying myself greatly. What more could I ask for?

What you can do to fill your spiritual bank account:

1. Identify one or more causes, or organizations, that you would like to support because they work for things you’d like to see more of. For example, if you want to see more greenery and a healthy environment on earth, you could look into the NY Green Guerrillas (, or the NY Restoration Project ( If you want to see more organic food, check out the Organic Consumers Association (

2. Spend a percentage of your time – 5% is good, 10% is better – in an activity that benefits society / other people, without being paid for it. You can join one or more of the organizations you have identified, or start your own to support a cause you believe in. Every organization can use more help! Excuses that you can’t do this because you’re too busy keep emptying your account further.

3. Enjoy this unpaid work! If you stop enjoying it, find something else. There is a lot to be done to help improve this world we live in! Doing your part feels really good.