The Power Hungry Games

Peace, Bernie Sanders, Consciousness, Santa Barbara Healing, Transformative Healing Arts, Love, Community

by Romi Cumes MA, MFTI


“I am who I am, and what I believe in and what my spirituality is about, is that we’re all in this together”

-Bernie Sanders


Battles against humankind are as old as time, yet never before has science fiction so symbolically depicted the absolute insanity of American politics and its media-driven counterparts. Being mammals, we have experienced or thought about mythological, allegorical, or literal power themes more than once in the course of a lifetime. Such tales of good vs. evil and light vs. dark have pervaded indigenous knowledge systems, history, literature, and fiction for as long as humans have been guided to transcribe them, and possibly long before that. These stories represent a human experience that is still being lived today: A hero confronts corrupt leadership, or a heroine speaks out against an icy queen; poor civilians become refugees, threatened by political violence; mythical dark forces attempt to overtake peacemakers and shamans; religious or social extremists prostrate to their belief systems and their cause means more than life; world leaders go to war with ‘evil doers’ and ecosystems, driven by power and oil; obstreperous dictators commit genocide and build palaces with funds that could feed starving children; a disheartened populace revolt against the brutality of their government… You get the idea.

Within each of these power-driven stories, life depicts myth and myth depicts life and it is as if there is always a new, yet similar story to tell.  Although tales of struggle and darkness seem to be woven into the fabric of the individual and collective psyche, consciousness also prevails, and many of us are ready to experience a more compassionate and broad-minded way of being.

Currently, a next-level power battle exists within American politics, and nefarious characters disguise themselves with personality disorder-driven antics perfectly suited for mainstream cinema. Reality television stars are somehow allowed to become presidential candidates and Ivy League trained attorneys are on deck to promulgate religious extremism. Well-vetted politicians have dibs on delegates, as if their influence is predicated upon a superficial popularity contest.  These men and women demonstratively parade narcissistic personality disorder and xenophobia like a boy scout badge, while many of us sit back and wonder what the hell is happening. How did we get here and did we actually go back in time?

“We are going to have to build a wall to keep people in the country if one of these radical candidates is elected”

     -Professor Jennifer Holt Ph.D, University of California, Santa Barbara

Each century, complicit acts of power and dominance create a repetitious cycle, and it is as if we are at war with an apparition because the battle appears endless.  It is no wonder why science fiction, albeit frivolous with it’s computer generated exaltation, is depicting what is happening in politics and mainstream media today. And it gets really frightening when we realize how sneaky modern-day villains and villainess’ can be. Strewn across this nation is a bunched up, tangled mess of power, and with mythological and historical roots this deep, we will need to collectively pull proverbial all-nighters to change the story-line.

The 2016 United States presidential race is not unlike the movie, The Hunger Games. Our current media displays are reminiscent of the scene where the lead competitors of the games are brought on stage to be showcased by the powers that be, otherwise known as the “Capitol”. The main character Katniss – a fearless and morally-driven heroine archetype – becomes enraged by the media-infused insanity she is trying to abscond. Within the confines of the Capitol’s pretentious display, the heroine walks among troglodytes, victims, and narcissists; all of whom are prompted by inauthentic media. Sound familiar? The heroine is forced to play a part in a production that is cruel, flagrant, and detrimental to the individual and collective psyche – that is, until she fights back.

We do not yet know what will transpire politically in November, but collectively, many of us understand that the misuse of power, and choosing structures that dominate, rather than unify, is ineffective for the growth of humanity, consciousness, and the environment. And we can look to the theoretical and practical aspects of social, physical, and biological science to shed light on the idea that we, as a society, are capable of shifting consciousness. Here are just a few examples:

~ When observing the biology of microorganisms, we can view the unique presence of the microscopic world and how it directly connects with macro-expression. In essence, what exists internally is instrumental in the creation of the external world.

~ Somatic and relational psychology is based on the belief that human beings are the most authentic and conscious (with self and other), when we tap into the lived experience of the body, also known as the “felt sense”. From a space of somatic intelligence, we are more capable of being kind, showing up interpersonally, and rewiring neuropathways associated with ego, pain and trauma.

~ Quantum physics has revealed theories about the holographic mind-body or mind-matter interface; how infinite pure potential becomes actualized as human consciousness. In other words, mind becomes matter.

~ From a depth psychology perspective, the darkness or shadow we experience is an unconscious aspect of the personality and the more we can embody and consciously express our shadows, the less negatively dominant they become. In other words, greater harmony can be achieved when one confronts their inner darkness, gets acquainted with it, and expresses it in a way that does not harm others.

The above ideas elucidate a general theme present in nature and consciousness: how we choose to embody our inner experience and the world around us is profoundly associated to what manifests outside of us, particularly for those of us who believe in interconnection and are committed to creating positive change for the Whole. Just as the immune system has the ability to thwart off disease, we have the ability to transmute the negativity we experience. We can choose to operate from a place of presence, love and connection, rather than one of fear and control, and the impact of that choice is far more potent than most people realize.

Out beyond glittering lights, fake political smiles, and pretense, exists authentic human beings who wish to make the world a better place. Love and harmony can be felt in the presence of solidarity and we are able to rest when embodying the power of inner sanctum. Perhaps ask yourself today what you plan on doing to contribute to the well-being of one person, or a group of people.  When we are lit up with compassion and service, every gesture, no matter how small or how funded, is meaningful and noticed by the collective spirit of humanity.  What is your cause? When this question arises within you, check in with your body.  For example, what makes your heart feel full and warm, and what acts of kindness and service support you to feel alive and at ease in your solar plexus or core? And at the root of passionate service exists a stable human being. How are you taking care of yourself?  Can you integrate nourishing self-care practices into your daily routine? And finally, are the individuals in your life making you more or less of who you are?  Take a few moments each day to envision and participate in a peaceful, meaningful life. And on this journey, may we all connect with people who fuel inner vibrancy and inspire creativity, service, and compassion.

“What the American people want to see in their president is somebody who not necessarily can win every fight, but they want to see him stand up and fight for what he believes, take his case to the American people”.

-Bernie Sanders

Lucidity Festival Workshop ~ Relational & Somatic Psychology

Santa Barbara Psychotherapy, Santa Barbara Healing, Santa Barbara Yoga, Yoga with Romi, Healing with Romi, Healing in Santa Barbara, Holistic Health Practioner in Santa Barbara, Mindfulness, Psychology , Somatic and Relational Psychology, Psychotherapy in Santa Barbara

We had a beautiful time at the Lucidity Festival this year. This is the kind of gathering where people come together not only to have a good time and to express themselves, but to serve their fellow man and woman with love, important information/technology, and creativity. Anyone who has experienced this kind of festival would agree that the environment sets a tone for social and environmental change.

In the meantime and ’till the next Lucidity (or Lightning in a Bottle or Burning Man), keep finding the sparks that make you come live and awaken your inner creativity and life purpose. There is so much to draw from in this life to make the world, and your life, a better place to exist in. Keep stoking those sparks and being you. And remember: Dressing up a little crazy is fun and necessary 🙂

– Romi


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Giddy Up, Welcome Year of the Horse! Also: Musings, Workshops & $40 off Bodywork

Hello Friends,
There seem to be myriad practical and celestial events colluding in our favor right now. Be them occult, financial, interpersonal, or otherwise, such aspects are here to support us, and the most important way to embrace their innate wisdom is to slow down and pay attention.
Today marks the second new moon in January, also called the “Black Supermoon”, or “Perigree full/Perigree new” moon. This means the moon will appear as much as 14% larger and 30% brighter than a normal day.  We must snack on metaphorical food here because you are not going to actually see this moon 🙂 For example, there is RAPID growth and transformation available to all of us right now. There is a bold newness to the times we are living in, and like a divine waiter, the universe is handing us a savory plate and asking us to take a bite. The wave-like aberrations of 2013 are starting to settle, and the tide is pulling back for us to see what is really necessary for the Path. If you are brave and willing to be real with yourself and those around you, the sky is the limit, albeit frightening at times. If you decide to go with business-as-usual methodologies and avoid your soul’s calling…. well…. good luck with that. You will be able to for a a short while, but I recommend pragmatically seizing this energetic cycle. Dive mindfully into whatever vision, creative recipe, or love connection that serves your highest good right now.

And Then Comes the Horse…

The Chinese believe that this new cycle commences the year of the Wood Horse (during the second new moon, after the winter solstice, which is today). This year offers us the opportunity to run with the passion of a wild horse in a glorious field. The energy can be impulsive, so it’s important to keep up mindfulness-based practices and quiet time, as not to get lost in the race. Impulsive purchases, business decisions, and erratic romantic choices are probably not a good idea. Horses also offer us the ability to be strong and act with steadfast conviction, so this is a great year to get shit done. We are being faced with real and honest truth right now. Hiding behind the antiquated, habitual behavior of 2013 will no longer serve us. If you are called to do something more profound, and more infused with love and service, this is an era where the proverbial solicitor of your Destiny will be selling you girl scout cookies, and you will like the flavor.
Here are some phrases that may sound familiar. If they do, I have offered some reframes.
“I’m just going to go with the flow even though this flow doesn’t quite feel right”
 Reframe: “I acknowledge that this situation does not feel right. I am going to choose a better way that feels good”
“I cannot be myself around ____,  but I feel stuck with him or her and don’t know how to move away”
Reframe: “My energy is sacred. I am conscious about who I share it with and choose to surround myself with people   who inspire me, and support me to be more of who I am”
“This work situation does not serve my highest good, nor make me happy”   
Reframe: “I am going to continue to explore options that support me to do what I am meant to do in this lifetime”
Reframe: “I commit to small steps each week that support my purpose, creativity, and authentic Self”
I hope some of these words will help you realize your full potential and just how amazing you are. Wishing you all the best in 2014 and Beyond…
Bodywork & Exercise
Re: Healing Arts & Bodywork, mention this post to receive $40 off your next session! I am running this special through the entire month of February just to say thank you, and also give you all a little more incentive to take care of yourself this year. $60/hour instead of $100.
You are also welcome to use this promotion for GIFT CERTIFICATES for your loved ones, for Valentines day or beyond. Please note* This promotion applies to in-office sessions only. Special February outcall (in-home) rate is $100/hour (instead of $130). Like us on Facebook
Yoga Intro
Yoga Intro
Next Introduction to Yoga Weekend Course & Yoga Immersion 
February 21, 22, 23
Friday 7-9pm
Sat/Sun 2-4pm  $50

Offered as a three-week or one-weekend course, the Introduction to Yoga Course is the perfect place to begin the exploration of Yoga. This course is also perfect for those of you with yoga experience wishing to reawaken your interest and resume your practice.A short series of slower paced, informative classes will provide you with a strong foundation in the practice of Yoga and prepare you for ongoing beginning and mixed level classes.

  • A brief discussion of the historical and philosophical background of Yoga
  • The study and practice of the fundamental Yoga postures including correct body positioning and alignment
  • detailed instruction on how to combine breath and movement

More info? Click Here 

And please write a Yelp Review of Transformative Healing Arts if you are a Yelp user. Many Thanks! -Romi
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Special Retreat Offering: Journey to the Sacred Valley of Peru

& Machu Picchu – May 8-17 2014

This May, join Romi Cumes for a transformational retreat to the Sacred Valley of Peru. This top-quality, ten day package beings and ends in the beautiful city of Cusco. Guests stay at the exquisite Willka T’ika Garden Retreat Center in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Inca.
Beauty & Sacred Sites
Each day, enjoy the rich scenery of Machu Picchu, Cusco and other incredible Incan sites, before returning home to Willka T’ika’s spectacular Chakra Gardens, luxury accommodations, and home-grown organic cuisine. Founder of Willka T’ika, Carol Cumes, will be offering a special garden tour to introduce guests to the gardens and Incan medicinal plants. Guests receive first-class guide service to sacred Incan sites, villages, and ruines in Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Overnight accommodations while in Cusco and Machu Picchu are also included in this package, as well as a day trip to an isolated Quechua mountain school, sponsored by the Willka T’ika Children’s Fund.
Healing & Cultural Enrichment
The rich cultural and cosmological landscape of Peru will guide you on a journey of deep healing and transformation. Romi draws from fifteen years of healing arts, yoga, movement, and counseling training to effusively inspire people to live up to their highest potential. Her light-hearted approach encourages participants to experience joy and ease during the radical ride of self-discovery. While staying at Willka T’ika, guests are given the option to deepen their healing journey via private intuitive bodywork, or somatic therapy sessions with Romi. These sessions greatly enhance each individual’s journey. Group yoga, breath-work, meditation, and nature-awareness sessions will be facilitated daily.All Inclusive Ten day, Nine night Retreat: $3100
(excludes airfare)
About your Leader
Romi Cumes MA, MFTI, LMT, is a Psychotherapist intern, Bodyworker, Yoga Instructor, and Performance Artist with over fifteen years of experience. She assists people to embody their most authentic state of Being, so they may live in a more full and balanced way. Drawing from a background in somatic psychology, Romi integrates clinical training with intuitive capabilities to proactively work with physical/emotional distress, trauma, and psycho-spiritual blockages. Romi has been traveling to Peru for over twenty years to offer healing arts, yoga, and visit her mother Carol, the founder of Willka T’ika and the travel company Magical Journey. Romi founded Transformative Healing Arts in 2004 and is currently in private practice in Santa Barbara, California. For more info visit or like her page for updates

Like us on Facebook  Facebook Page “Transformative Healing Arts”

For more information about this retreat, including detailed itinerary
please email  Romi Cumes
romicumes at gmail dot com

or call (805) 448-4111

For Testimonials about Romi’s work Click Here

For Video & Info About Willka T’ika Click Here

Transformative Performance Art Video Click Here