Blossom is a fresh column to feature our Contributors. Finally! Our first featured Contributor is Linda Isbell.
I met Linda, some 20 + years ago. Soon afterwards, she became Spiritual Leader for our Unity Study Group, here in Florence, AL. She ended one of her inspirational messages with, “We are all different flowers from the same garden.” Upon trying to come up with a name for this magazine, Linda’s words emerged in my spirit, and I thought, “Garden Spices!” Thank you, Linda.
From the moment we met, it was all about our spiritual journey, humor and a close friendship along the way. (When my husband transitioned, she and her husband, Terry, sat Shiva with our family.) When I asked Linda to talk about growing up in St. Louis, her family’s spiritual makeup is where she began. –Victorine
St. Louis Upbringing
“I came from a pretty unusual family.” Linda’s dad was agnostic and her mother’s family was Episcopalian and Lutheran. So, her parents decided to raise Linda and her brother outside of their own family beliefs. I had an “eclectic background in terms of my spirituality.” From ages 0 to 7, when imprinting takes place, Linda did not have a religion shoved at her. Consequently, she was free to choose her spiritual path. “My parents were very open.” By the time she was 12, Linda started reading Edgar Cayce, who was a psychic from the 40’s. From there, she took an astrology class and “all kinds of other classes in unusual subjects..”
Linda’s brother and she have “gone (their) separate ways.” Linda indicates, “We are very different people.” She is married to Terry and has no children. “I was late getting married,” says Linda, “I never thought about it, until I wanted to.” Six months later, Linda wrote “a list” and “a guy showed up (to do an audit at her job) that had pretty much what was on (her) list.” Linda and Terry (the “guy”) got married and decided they did not want to live in either St. Louis or Alabama, his home. They both quit their jobs, and at age 34, Linda with Terry picked up and moved to Jackson, Mississippi. I asked Linda her initial impressions of the South.
She felt the cultural differences were huge. She landed a job with Hughes Aircraft and one of her first days working there, the KKK was on the street corner to collect money. “It was a huge shock,” Linda indicated, “I had always thought of Southerners as genteel, friendly, and nice people.” When she worked for Hughes, she became friends with a black purchasing agent from Chicago. When she left Hughes, Linda said he was “afraid to take me to lunch.” She was stunned because her upbringing was quite diverse.
Her mother worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield, and they always had people of color within their home. “We had parties; we went out to dinner in an integrated fashion with black and Hispanic folks.” Linda expressed, “(The South) was all new to me.” She indicated she had never heard the “N” word growing up, and there she heard it “quite frequently.” She found it “shocking.” Her friend from Texas tried to warn her, but Linda did not believe how bad it was.
Culturally, Linda found the South to be drastically different. She attributed the norms to be regional. Although Jackson was a city, it was still a smaller community, which could tend to be “more clannish.” In St. Louis Linda had her “group,” but there were always opportunities outside that group to expand her horizons. Her spiritual foundation readied Linda for her empowering role as a woman in the workforce in the South.
This Woman’s Work
Initially, Linda had taken classes and worked in fashion merchandising to “cure (her) awkwardness.” She also took classes in metaphysics and Astrology, including guided imagerv. She ended up working for Reynolds as a secretary. When her manager asked her what she would like to do next in her work, she had decided she wanted to work in inside sales services. The only problem was there were no women in that position and a college degree was required. She held no predisposition about doing that job, so she began to “imagine” herself in that position.
Within 6 months she was the first woman within the entire national company working in inside sales; she also became an administration manager and she did not have a degree! Linda contends that, “If you can get past your belief about something negative being absolutely true and open up to possibility, you can do just about anything. It’s your beliefs that can hold you back.” Linda says, “Whatever you focus on, you get more of.” Due to her extensive traveling with Terry, Linda eventually quit her position with Reynolds and the corporate world. Eventually, Linda earned a degree in Psychology and has become certified in numerous healing modalities.
Health and Wellness
Linda began her quest to “empower” people to become whole through her own experience. “I was a smoker,” Linda admits, “and Terry was not.” She went to see hypnotist. Along with 750 people, Linda was hypnotized. She never picked up another cigarette. “I did not gain weight, no emotional problems, and I have not smoked in over 20 years.” Linda embarked upon a journey to heal others through “self-empowerment.”
Linda is certified in Eden Energy Medicine, Hypnosis, Neuro-Linquistic Programming, Quantum Touch, Emotional Freedom Technique and has studied the following energy modalities – Psych K, Matrix Energetics, Reconnective Healing, Access Consciousness, QiGong and Tai Chi. Through her business, New Directions, she offers diverse healing modalities, she hopes that people will “recognize how much healing they can do internally.”
Linda observed that people may go through a 20-year duration of psychology without resolving their issues. She felt “there ha(d) to be a better way.” Linda did not discount other modes of therapy, but her own personal experience led her to Energy Medicine. Now, Linda is focusing on Astrology and Numerology, offering intuitive counseling. She may do an Astrology reading, but her intuition will take her to the specific need of a client.
Currently, Linda realizes it is important that she does her own internal work. “My chart says I must focus on me and make sure I do my work.” A Reader told her she is here to “finish up her business.” The reader also indicated Linda’s color is violet. “The violet turns into purple as I become more grounded.” The violet is now turning into purple. She is surrendering to “focusing on taking care of (herself.)”
Surprisingly, Linda is “shy” and has to “force herself to do things.” She has done plenty. Linda previously volunteered for Salvation Army for 15 years. Currently, Linda and Terry volunteer for Make-A-Wish and have helped numerous kids through this process. They both volunteer for Shoals Theater and are now a part of the Stanley Committee.
What does Linda celebrate? She is “moved by joyousness and love.” She married Terry partly for his sense of humor. “It’s refreshing to see joyful productions and good hearts.
GARDEN SPICES MAGAZINE