Hi! My name is Katherine, but I am also known as Ravenlea here in cyberspace. I am a writer/poet and a Reiki Master. When I first created this site, I was 52 years old and living in New York City. I was profoundly agoraphobic, a virtual prisoner in my apartment. It is now eight years later. I am 60 and as I revise this introduction (finally - it has been 2 years since I last made revisions), worlds of change have taken place. I should probably change the picture but I don't have another one that I like that much, so for the moment I'll keep that one, though if you click on it, I now have a picture of what I actually look like in real time. Can't help it. I don't have that much to be vain about and I still like that old picture best of any ever taken of me after the age of 7. The eight years during which this website has existed have seen me through a lot of adventures for a profound agoraphobic. First, I left my NYC apartment of 33 years to spend 18 months in Arizona with my niece and her family. Then I came back east to settle in upstate New York. It has been quite an adventure with some wonderful aspects and some pretty dreadful ones. Upstate New York is not a renter's paradise. There is little respect for the renter and virtually no legal protection. I went through three genuinely crazy/mean landlords before, with the help of my younger niece and New York State's HOYO program, I have been able to buy a sweet little house of my very own. My adventures on the way to that house have made me stronger and have brought some wonderful new friends (more like family really) into my life.
My niece in Arizona now has two amazing children. My nephew has graduated from the Culinary Institute and moved to Portland where he hopes to open his own restaurant, and my other niece has moved from Texas to Seattle and now to North Carolina where she seems to be very happy. She and her friend John have created an amazing new website called Foodscout.org which is really worth visiting. Abigail, the Ancient One, died 4 years ago and I am now parenting two rescued kitties - Angel (so misnamed) and Tara Grace. In the next few weeks I will try to update the kitty pages and other aspects of the site.
My agoraphobia column, which I wrote for almost on Suite101.com for 5 years, is history. I still miss it terribly but have recently started a blog and am having great fun writing every day. Yikes. As for other things: I am still agoraphobic. I did better for a while but have slid backward in the last few years. I finally recognized that my walking difficulties were not a personal failure or lack of character on my part, but a physical condition called ataxia. Three years I qualified for SSD disability, which makes life a little less scary in terms of surviving.
As of October, 2007 this website has been in existence for 9 years. It has been a wonderful part of my life, though I have kind of neglected it recently. Creating it was healing and fun. It has brought some wonderful people into my life. And much to my joy and delight, it has touched the hearts and lives of a few people along the way. I hope that it will continue to do so and I hope that those who read these pages get as much pleasure and healing from reading and exploring them as I have gotten in the process of creating them. Thank you so much for visiting. If you have the time and the inclination, please stop and sign my guestbook. I just LOVE getting signatures in my guestbook. I used to have an annoying little pop-up inviting signatures. I've taken it down and if people humor me and sign my book, I promise never to put it back.
Reiki is awesome, wonderful, magical and a central part of my life and being. It is a form of energetic healing touch. I believe that all of us have an inherent ability to channel healing energy through our touch, Reiki is simply a specialized system for doing so. Reiki energy can be offered either in person or long distance (aka absent or remote healing). Animals love Reiki and are particularly responsive to long distance healing. I have created a separate site for my reiki information which you can access through this link.
I actually borrowed this idea from another website - Circle of Light - but it is something I have seen in other forms elsewhere and today, I thought I would try creating my own version, so.... just click here and help yourself to a little healing reiki energy. Many blessings.
I'm going to try blogging. I don't have a real plan yet. This blog will probably be about agoraphobia in part, but also about live, living, faith, hope, dreams... and probably politics too... I guess I'll find out.
This past October (2001), I recorded a CD of the channeled sound I use as part of my healing reiki work. I usually talk myself out of such bold adventures but for some reason I took the leap of faith with this one. It was a great experience creating this CD and (is this me talking?) I'm very proud of it and I hope that it will bring healing and peace to all who listen to it.
At 6:00 pm on October 2nd, I invite everyone in his or her own time zone to connect in Spirit and join in my peace and love visualization. I chose October 2nd for two reasons. It is the anniversary of the murder of my older sister, Carole, and it is Ghandi's birthday. My hope is that this will not be a one time event, but that each and all of you will make it a daily practice, that you will stop once or twice or three times a day - just for a few minutes - and add your Love and Light to this chain of healing. If you want to gather in groups, that would be lovely too, just as long as we build and strengthen and deepen the visualization until it become totally real in our hearts and our minds and our bodies - and in the world. That's my hope and my prayer.
One other thought. A wise teacher once told me about channelling healing energy, that we don't need to direct it. The energy has its own wisdom and knows what to do without our guidance. Our guidance in fact can get in the way. We just need to let the Love flow and It will take care of the rest.
I have loved words and writing since early childhood. Recently I have been fortunate enough to have a couple of my poems published and I would like to share them with you here. I am also working on a workbook about writing called HOW THE HOWLING CAT AND THE TEDDYBEAR WOUND UP TOGETHER ON THE MOON.
Agoraphobics are people who have a fear of leaving their homes, some to the point where they are unable to leave at all. I have been struggling with severe agoraphobia for a number of years now and am (hopefully) in a process of recovery. I hope to share a bit about what it feels like to be agoraphobic and also some of the healing systems like EMDR and Holographic Repatterning which are working to cure me.
More than you probably want to know about my cats in words and pictures.
This page is about loss and, ultimately, if I have done it right, about hope. I hope it will be a healing place for those who have suffered profound loss and a cyber chapel of sorts for the renewal of hope. Please visit my prayer wheel and offer up your prayers and hopes to the universe.
A photographic chronicle of sorts of my move from New York to Arizona. For the very bored... I should alert you that these pages are very photo intensive and therefore VERY slow to load. You might want to have some other form of entertainment handy while you wait for them to load.
Special Places in Cyberspace. I apologize if some of these are out of date. Things have a tendency to come and go in cyberspace. There are so many wonderful sites that need to be added and some that need to be taken away that I've been avoiding the task. I'm hoping to slowly develop and improve this section, but even as it is now, there are some cool sites to explore.
Quotes, Crystals, Recommended Reading, Abundance and Reincarnation and other things.
This is a 30-day free (one of my favorite words) seminar on effortless (another good word) prosperity (3 good words in one seminar). This page provides additional information about the seminar as well as a direct link to the daily sessions. And while we are on the subject of abundance, I highly recommend The Science of Getting Rich. It's a small book with great wisdom which was written in the early 1900s. And it's free.
This site was buried in my links page, but I think it is worth making it easier to find. Visit here once each day and with a single mouse click, you can help feed hungry and starving people all over the world. It is so easy and so rewarding. Please check it out. The Hunger Site also has links to one click sites for Breast Cancer, another Rain Forest Site and an Animal Rescue Site.
Sponsored by Care2.com, the first two "races" to save the rain forest were so successful the that they have decided to have a third 100 day race, so keep on clicking. Click each day (and get your friends to click) and money is donated to the Nature Consevancy to buy up and save precious acres of the Rain Forest. And after you've clicked for the Rain Forest, you might want to glance at the top of that page and take a second to click on the Race to Save the Big Cats (tigers, jaguars and snow leopards) and now they have added pages for the Oceans and Breast Cancer too... A friend of mine recently told me about a couple of other "one click" sites which seem quite worthwhile. Rather than making separate headings for each of them, I will add them here. They are The Ecology Fund and One Click at a Time.
Found another one. This more a game than a one-click, but it's fun and it helps feed people: Free Rice
Each week I'm going to select a different website for you to explore. But I won't say what it is; you will have to click here to find out.
So glad you came by. Please stop and sign my NEW new guestbook.
Sign My Guestbook
View My Guestbook
My friend Shannon (aka Ginz) adopted this little ferret but needed a home for him so he's staying here for the moment. Please say a kind word to him as you pass by. Thanks.
There are lots of other lovely dragons available for adoption through the Adopt a Dragon Foundation. And if you like dragons, my friend Orea has a Spirit companion who is a dragon, affectionately known as BD (for Black Dragon). It may sound strange, but I have felt BD's presence. He is quite wonderul and so are his essences. Do visit her website Orea's Essences
See Recommended Reading on Miscellaneous Topics Page
Thanks and love to the following people for helping to make this website a reality:
To Chris Douglas for persuading me to do it and for getting me started,
to my niece Cynthia Wines for creating the Ravenlea's Place banner and for her support,
to my niece Diana for policing for HTML errors and for her enthusiasm and encouragement,
and to Sandy Bowker who also helped me with HTML, encouragement, and great clip art sources.
Thank you also to all who visit here. I hope these pages will be a source of healing and enrichment for all of you and that your lives will be blessed with love, light and an abundance of all good things.
Visits since this site's creation in October, 1999: