Take Control of Your Personal Evolution through Boosting


Table of Contents

Original Version for Learning

Current Version for Veterans

The Background of Boosting

Please Don’t Believe Me!

This page will guide you into a practice that means a great deal to me. My experience is that I feel I was given this practice. By an elf. I felt so grateful for receiving this gift that I’ve been avoiding writing about this practice that because it’s both too important and too strange. I don’t want people to discredit it because I got it from an elf.

The worst part is that I’m talking about something that I just can’t prove. I’ll never be able to prove it. Talking about my experience opens me up to being hassled or even just dismissed (as in, not being taken seriously), neither of which would be pleasant.

So I’ve decided to begin by acknowledging that Álfur, the elf that gave me this gift, could easily be considered just a fictional character in my mind. I have no arguments with you if that’s what you think. I get it, and I won’t argue with you about it.

I would like you to try Boosting, but I don’t want you to believe anything anything I say about it. I just want you to experience it. I want to give you enough tools to get the full value of it and all the pleasure that it has to offer. If you experience that pleasure at the right level, you’ll just keep doing it.

Most people don’t need a to-do list to drink coffee or eat chocolate or ice cream. (Or whatever your thing is.) If I can help you feel its pleasure at a potent enough level, you won’t need a to-do list to do it, either.

My own experience is that Boosting really feels pleasurable to do. It’s a way that you can procrastinate that helps, that feeds your soul and ultimately, helps you to move ahead. It’s the basis for me losing 35 lbs. After being seriously blocked in writing my novel, I’m working on it again because of Boosting. I began playing the piano again because of Boosting. I’m getting much more physical exercise because of Boosting.

Other people I’ve introduced Boosting to also feel how pleasurable it is. In our Joyful Wisdom Groups, for instance, I’ve noticed that people ask for Boosting even when we have already run out of time. (However, I do perceive differences in individual reactions to the practice.)

So please, don’t believe what I write. You will understand more of my concerns about this point when you read the section called Where Did Boosting Come From? It’s Elf Magic from my novel!

If you could investigate the practice of Boosting from my mystical mindset, you’d be amazed how logical it is. But it might not be logical according to your mindset. Therefore, my intention is to give you enough information and understanding that you will try it without having a mystical mindset like mine and that you will practice it enough to get to the pleasurable part of the practice.

One of my long-term goals for the Joyful Wisdom Community is that scientific testing gets added to the system that will eventually teach you how to do all this stuff. I want our curriculum to eventually be useful to the most skeptical rationalist who hasn’t a mystical bone in his or her body.

But I’m not going to lie. I did some woo-woo things. I went into trance, I talked to Álfur, I asked for elf magic for my novel, I started practicing the thing he gave me, I introduced it in our Joyful Wisdom Groups, and after years, I continue to use it every single day of my life. That’s what happened, and it’s what I do. I’m not going to pretend that I am not who I am. I’m pretty woo-woo.

And now I have enough experience to want to share it. And I have enough tools that it’s easier to integrate into life.
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The Basics of Boosting

What we’ve found in our Joyful Wisdom Groups is that when you’ve learned to activate your chi energy—for instance, by activating your heart chakra—the energy that you’ve generated will act as a general tonic, improving your mood, improving your health, and improving your connections to your community. You’ll experience similar results by using the Fundamental Skills Routine.

Both the Joyful Wisdom Groups and the Fundamental Skills Routine include a step that makes use of this free energy for personal evolution. This step is Boosting.

Although Boosting is not as addictive as chocolate or whatever your poison is, it is pleasurable in a mild, gentle manner. If you give it enough of a chance, it will motivate you to keep coming back for more. This is not going to be another chore or discipline. No, this is going to be chocolate.

The general technique is:

  1. Generate additional chi energy.
  2. Identify a quality or skill that already exists inside of you.
  3. Send the energy into that quality or skill to nurture it.

There is another step that is useful most of the time, but it is not essential, and as you become proficient in this technique, there will be times when you skip it. I hate to skip it altogether, because it’s part of all of our history, even though we’ve moved on. So I’m going to give you all that I know, and you can skip and rearrange these steps yourself.

4. Intensify the energy transmission by extending it for a longer period, by regularly repeating the Boosting, by using a script that invokes different aspects, or by group collaboration.

This fourth step is part of our Boosting app, the Cliff Notes version, the script originally used in our groups, and the collaborative Boosting technique currently used in our groups.

The Boosting app will guide you step-by-step through the process, guiding you with enough alternative ways of conceptualizing it to allow you to stay focused on the transfer of chi into the quality you’re developing.

After getting the generally feeling of Boosting using the original methods, you may want to come to one of our groups to learn the current methods. Our groups always end with this meditation.

You can also master the Boosting technique by using the following supplementary methods, which I will hopefully add to this website in the near future. (For faster action, please Boost my writing!)

  1. Wield Both Chi & Intuition Using GPS Mind.
  2. Enhance your Boosting by Gently Growing a Large Boosting List.
  3. Dive Deeper Many Layers Using the Nested Russian Dolls Meditation

Please use the following sections as a guideline only; boosting works best if you alter the method intuitively.
(Back to Start)

The Cliff Notes Version of the Introductory Boosting Formula

If you’re already comfortable with sending energy from your palms for healing or blessing someone, use the following formula. Start by identifying a quality that already exists within you that you want to boost.

If you need more assistance, use the our Boosting app, which follows the same outline, but teaches you more about each step and provides a variety of additional methods.

I especially recommend that you simply use the more explicit and verbose script in the following section. (Script of Boosting Originally Used at the End of Joyful Wisdom Groups)

Choose an existing quality that you’d like to encourage within you.
Breathe energy into your Heart Chakra until it is charged up with energy.
Turn your palms toward yourself and imagine that they are like flashlights.
Beam energy into the quality inside you that you’ve chosen.
Send energy into that quality to bless it and to embrace it with gratitude.
Send energy into that quality to support it and to nurture it.
Send energy into it to activate it in that situation.
Send energy into it to enhance and strengthen it.
With your energy, boost it and help it to grow.
Until you achieve your highest levels of clarity, effectiveness, elegance, and mastery.
And so it is.
(Back to Start)

Script of Boosting Originally Used at the End of Joyful Wisdom Groups

A rough approximation of what we used to say at the end of every group. Reading this aloud or silently can still be an excellent way of teaching yourself to Boost. Please note that it’s not going to be easy to use our current group method of Boosting if you’re alone. So although we no longer use it in our groups, it’s still a recommended way to learn Boosting.

As you think about what we’ve discussed today or the acknowledgements you’ve received, think of one quality or skill that is already part of you that you’d like to expand on. Choose one, and give it a short name to help you stay focused on it.

(Four breaths)

Now remember the energy that we generated in the Heart Chakra Meditation, and breathe deeply to bring it back.

(Four breaths)

Turn your palms toward yourself and and imagine that they are like flashlights.
Beam energy into the quality inside you that you’ve chosen.

(Four breaths)

Send energy into that quality to bless it and to embrace it with gratitude. Be glad that you have quality.

(Four breaths)

Send energy into that quality to support it and to nurture it. It’s like fertilizing a plant in your garden.

(Four breaths)

Now think of a single situation in the future in which you might use this quality or skill. Be as specific as you can be.

(Two breaths)

Now imagine yourself in that situation, and send energy into that quality in you—in that situation. Send energy into it to activate it in that situation.

(Four breaths)

Send energy into it to enhance and strengthen it.

(Four breaths)

With your energy, boost it and help it to grow.

(Four breaths)

Imagine that this energy is growing. Continue breathing energy into it as you do so. And imagine that the energy is helping you to achieve your highest levels of clarity…

(Two breaths)


(Two breaths)

…elegance in the way you’re living your life.

(Two breaths)

…and mastery… over the challenges you’ve identified in this session.

(Four or more breaths)

And so it is. Thank you.
(Back to Start)

Collaborative Boosting Now Used in Our Joyful Wisdom Groups

A rough approximation of the way we now Boost at the end of every group. Please note that it’s not going to be easy to use our current group method of Boosting if you’re alone.

What would each of you like to be Boosted for today?

(Each person verbally identifies a quality they want Boosted, speaking to the group as a whole.)

Now remember the energy that we generated in the Heart Chakra Meditation, and breathe deeply to bring it back.

(Four breaths)

Turn your palms toward yourself and begin to send energy into the quality or skill you have chosen.

(Eight to twelve breaths)

Turn your palms toward one of the other members of our group and begin to send energy into the quality they want to have Boosted.

(Eight to twelve breaths)

Now Boost the quality in another person that they have requested energy for.

(Continue repeating this step until everyone has Boosted each of the other people.)

(Eight to twelve breaths for each one)

Turn your palms back toward yourself. Once again boost the quality in yourself, but consciously include the blessings that each of the other people has sent you.

(Twelve to twenty breaths)

This new form of Boosting extends the period of sending energy for a significant time without the verbal script or formula in the previous methods. It’s really important not to rush any step in the process, because it takes time to start your chi energy flowing at any target you choose.
(Back to Start)

Where Did Boosting Come From? It’s Elf Magic from my novel!

There are a lot of good reasons that the first section of this page is called Please Don’t Believe Me! I’m not very good at self-hypnosis, but self-hypnosis is one part of how I learned Boosting. But I’m giving you enough information to try it out and to figure out from your own experience that it’s a valuable technique, which is what I believe with all of my heart.

Using trance to obtain the Boosting technique was also part of my writing process for my novel, and I also can’t prove to you that I’m a good fiction writer. For instance, I don’t have a book for you to buy. Because of this fact, I also can’t even prove to myself that I’m a good fiction writer.

On the other hand, I have a book that’s almost written. There are excerpts in the next section. I’m publishing enough for you to determine that you want to buy my book when it comes out. With creative projects, you can’t always predict the ETA, but you can at least read a set of excerpts from the novel: The Viking Elf Cult Conspiracy in the following section.

Please send me an email through the contact form to be notified when the book is published.

When I started talking about this project, we talked about it in a group one Tuesday afternoon.

Ursula Maierl lives in Japan and has traveled to Iceland for spiritual workshops with Lazaris (who is channeled through Jach Pursel of Sonoma, California). Ursula recommended that I investigate Iceland because of the significant percentage of people there that believe to one degree or other in elves, also know as the Huldufólk or Hidden People—spiritual beings who live in the land. This made Iceland interesting to me for the first time. Before then, I knew nothing about it.

When I started looking into elves in Iceland, I found that there were many references to them, but that in English, many of them were gee whiz accounts, which could be considered slightly less than respectful. When I reached out to Icelanders, most of them didn’t want to talk about the huldufólk, and I quickly grew to understand that this was a difficult part of their culture to discuss because of the patronizing attitudes of some útlendingum (outsiders).

I needed elf magic for my novel, and no matter how many searches online I did, books by Icelanders I read, or emails I wrote, I couldn’t find a source of information. So I began walking in the woods near my home and identifying boulders that would be likely homes for Canadian huldafólk, and I would go to these boulders and talk to the local huldafólk population. This felt natural to me, because in my life, I’ve played in a wide variety of spiritual sandboxes, some of which honor nature spirits of various types.

Eventually, I decided to use self-hypnosis to go into trance and ask around for an elf to talk to. So when I first met Álfur in trance, I wasn’t sure he wanted to talk to me. I had left offerings by the boulder in the woods, and I was showing as much respect as I knew how to show, so maybe that made a difference. Icelandic elves don’t like arrogant people, so it was important for me to operate with a sense of reverence.

I also didn’t know exactly what I wanted. In my novel, I knew that Elfa was a Icelandic psychic who talked to elves, I knew that she needed magic to help her boyfriend Ilya (a student from St. Petersburg) with his chess game, and I knew that she had to teach this magic to Eric (a visitor from Ohio). But I had no idea what the magic was going to be or how it would work.

When Álfur showed up in trance, what he provided me combined things that I already knew. For instance, I had been given the role of Priest of Helios in a Pagan festival series of four weekend festivals that spanned two years called the Eleusinian Mysteries. For that role, I also went into trance, and in that case, I interviewed the Greek god Helios to ask what I should be doing.

He also gave me something that I already knew, though it was a much smaller part of my spiritual practice. He said that my role as Helios (and as his priest) was to stand apart from all the festivals and simply radiate heart chakra energy to the group for the entire series of three-day festivals.

So for the entire twelve days of the Eleusinian Mysteries, I stood on hills, ladders, and in lofts and I held my palms up and radiated heart energy from morning to night for the 12 days. Other participants told me that my actions had a palpable effect on the tone and results of the Eleusinian Mysteries for many people that were there.

Álfur capitalized on that experience in giving me Boosting. Boosting used what I learned from my experience as the priest of Helios, from twelve days of continuous activation of the heart chakra and sending it to others, by redirecting the energy towards selected parts of myself.

Even though I’ve never before run into anything like Boosting in any of the metaphysical studies that I’ve engaged in, there’s nothing new here. Just something very old that’s used in a new way: to generate and direct personal evolution.

This is a way of directly intervening in your own personal growth. This is not like managing your habits or developing a success mentality, though it can lead to that. This is a method of reaching inside and rearranging your innards.

It’s not always easy. To master this process, you’re going to need the supplementary methods mentioned in the section The Basics of Boosting,
and at this time, they haven’t been written yet.
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Excerpts from my Novel: The Viking Elf Cult Conspiracy

Please note: This is a draft. I’ve already planned a great many changes. But it’s an interesting piece of fiction in its own right.

Excerpt from Chapter 3: The Fight

“But you don’t know Iceland,” said Elfa. “You’ve heard of Alcoa, right?” I nodded. “When they wanted to build a smelter near Fjarðaál in East Iceland, they had to get a government permit to prove that they were not displacing any elves.” She paused and waited for my reaction, which was stunned. I was too tired to actually think anything about it.

“That’s not what happened, and it didn’t even save our environment,” said Freyja. “It was just appeasement for some of the old-timers in the area. Now they’re destroying everything—rivers, fish populations, the landscape. The various aluminum companies have destroyed over 4% of Iceland already. We’re having a protest about the aluminum industry on Sunday, and I want you to come. These other guys just sit around and argue about elves and music and don’t actually do anything. Will you come?”

I shrugged, looked around, and nodded. “I guess I could. But I don’t even live here. I won’t get arrested, will I?”

Elfa ignored her and continued. “You came by bus, right” I nodded. “You came along Álfhólsvegur, right? Did you notice that just before you got off the bus on Álfhólsvegur, the road got really narrow? Just before you started walking north on Þverbrekka.”

“Uh, uh… I guess so.” I shrugged. “I can’t remember—or even say—any of the street names. Do you mean the long road just before I driver told me to get off? I saw the road get narrow, but I didn’t see any construction. I remember seeing a little park. I just thought it was like a speed bump or something.”

“No. Think back. Can you remember a pile of rocks in the park?” she asked, and continued after I nodded. “The road was rerouted around those rocks, which are a known elf village.”

I stared at her. “An elf village? The road construction agency, whatever you call it, makes adjustments for elves?!”

“Yeah,” said Elfa. “You can even see it on Google satellite.” (Note: Google 64°6′40.62″N 21°52′12.66″W in Maps. Look at the park with Google Street View to see how they’ve adjusted the road to accommodate the elves.)

“The Iceland Road Authority just doesn’t want to offend the superstitious people,” said Freyja. “There’s a cottage industry of psychics working in construction here. It’s appeasement.”

“So the next thing you’re going to do,” I said, wanting to make light of my increasing bewilderment, “is to tell me that you invited me because you’re all vampires and you need fresh blood.” I immediately regretted saying this. This elf thing was like a religion, and I just offended one of the believers.

Ilya snorted. “See, Elfa. That’s how stupid all this sounds to someone from another country.”

Elfa was getting pissed. “Listen, assholes. You guys are all putting down our heritage, and you’re driving away our new visitor. So just screw yourselves.”

She turned to me and sized me up for a moment. Then she continued. “I’m going to teach Eric how to help me boost your chess game tomorrow, Ilya, using the method I got from Algiva. You’re going to win, and Eric’s going to be able to form his own opinion of elf magic. Is that okay with you, Ilya?”

Ilya rolled his eyes, and then he said, “I thought you tried it already, and it didn’t work, or if it did work, it only worked a little. Okay. Whatever. If it’ll help me win.”

“Well, maybe he’ll do better than me. I keep telling you that I’m not that good a psychic, yet. Eric, you want to learn how to boost? It’s elf magic.”

“Boost? What the hell!?! I can’t do anything like that! Besides, if this is something like faith healing…”

“No, it’s not,” she answered. “Why would you think that?”

“You’re absolutely right,” said Ilya. “It’s just like faith healing. People who believe things always find a way to keep believing them.”

Elfa ignored him. “Would you please let me teach you how to do it? You don’t have to change your religion or even have any. You just have to be open to trying something out.”

“Okay,” I said. “But the minute it begins to feel like you’re trying to save my soul or something…”

“No, of course not!” she answered. “Besides, Algiva says you’ll do an excellent job. And I’ll be teaching you. You’ll like it.”

“Okay,” I said, feeling dubious—very, very dubious. Yet, no way was I going to say “No.”  No bloody way. Still, was I letting sex appeal overcome my good sense, and was I getting caught in the trap of this strange Icelandic religion?

“And you know what else I’m going to do?” Obviously, I didn’t. She continued. “I’m going to buy you a class from the Reykjavík Elf School. It’s a great way for tourists to learn about our culture. It’s got some really good information about Iceland.”

“Yeah, and Magnus will give you pancakes, too,” said Ilya, good-naturedly. “He’s the teacher, and he thinks pancakes are actually more important than elves for visitors. Which is the truth, by the way. You’ll at least get some authentic Icelandic pancakes out of the deal.”

I looked at the smiling faces around me. Somehow, the anger in the room had dissipated instantly. Apparently, these were friends who regularly fought like this without hating each other. Plus, if Elf School was like going to church, wouldn’t everyone be antagonistic about the idea?

“Besides,” said Jón. “It’s not fair that we all have to go to university and you don’t.” This was apparently meant as a joke—several of them chuckled.

It still sounded too much like they were asking me to go to Bible study Sunday School—except for the pancakes. It made me feel very weird, but I decided to be polite. “Okay, I’ll go,” I said.

So were these just play fights?! Weird! The conversation moved on, and I was enjoying it. Everyone wanted to tell me something else about Iceland, and mostly, they were genuinely proud. They were proud of the beauty of the environment, the art, and the music scene, all of which sounded amazing when they talked about it. Elfa promised to give me some URLs for tourists that would get me up to date.

“But you’ll have more fun learning that stuff from us,” said Jón. “Especially the music scene. What kind of music do you want to hear?”

I shrugged. “You’re the experts here.”

Excerpt from Chapter 4: Exposed

“And if you haven’t figured it out already, you’ll learn very soon that I’m not a very good psychic.”

“So you keep saying,” I continued. “I don’t do magic—I don’t even believe in it—and I’m as psychic as… as…” I looked around for something to use as a metaphor. “…as those rocks out the back there.” I pointed through the sliding door at a rock pile in the back yard.

“Huh,” said Elfa. “Interesting example. Those rocks are where Algiva lives.”

“Your elf lives in a pile of rocks?”

“Why don’t you just wait until I’ve taught you what I learned from Algiva before making your mind up about anything?” she said. “And after I teach you, you’ll be able to help Ilya in a way that I can’t. If it works, he’s going to be lobbying you to stay in Iceland for as long as possible.”

Just at that moment, I heard the drums, bass, and guitar doing a short riff from the garage. It sounded very, very good. Elfa shrugged, smiled, and pointed at the breakfast. As I started to eat, I realized just how hungry I still was and how good this strange food actually tasted.

“The pictures in your mind aren’t real—you know that, right?” she said. “And the elves in your dreams are not the elves I talk to. They’re just in your mind. You just made up a whole bunch of crap.”

I didn’t answer. I just scowled at her as unpleasantly as possible and finished my blóðmör—which was so much better than rye bread back home—a sweeter taste, smoother.

“Okay,” Elfa said as she put my plate into the dishwasher. “It’s way too noisy here to learn the magic. Come along.” She led me up the spiral staircase and then down the hall to her room. Warily, I sat in the only chair in her room, which was by her desk. Elfa sat on the bed, ignoring my hostility.

“Look,” she said. “I don’t know if this is going to work. I’ve never taught this technique to someone else before. It’ll be like a scientific experiment.”

“So you were bullshitting me about how it’s going to help?”

Besides, I reflected to myself, privately, I didn’t really agree with the whole point of the exercise—which was helping Ilya. Even though I was only in Iceland for a short time, I was thinking about Ilya a rival, and so, I obviously couldn’t like him. I didn’t want to help him with his chess game. I felt I was forced to go along with it, because Elfa wanted me to. I felt a little resentful about this.

“You’re going to need to learn four skills,” she said, ignoring my grumpiness. “Just try them out. They might be useful to you, even if you don’t use them for Ilya. They’re so helpful that I think you should practice them and try to find other ways to use them. You’re going to like them.”

She waited, watching my face—probably for a sign of actual willingness to proceed. I resisted showing anything positive.

“And what if I don’t like them?” I said, feeling even more averse to even trying to help Ilya—which was strange, since I didn’t think I could help anyway.

She shrugged and waited for a sign of willingness from me. I gave her no sign. So eventually, she gave up and began, “First, you need to be able to breathe energy into your own brain.” She showed me how to place my hands and how to breathe slowly, making a sound at the back of my tongue. “Just do that for a minute or two.”

“Holy shit! It’s like there’s a cloud of fuzzy light in my head.”

“Good. That’s ‘Energy Breathing.’ You see, it’s not like going to church.”

“Yeah, but people claim to feel the Holy Spirit,” I answered. “This actually feels a little bit like that…”

“Interesting,” she answered. “Except that you don’t have to believe anything to do this. Just hold your hands the way I showed you and do the breathing I taught you—which is, by the way, a yoga technique called Ujjayi Breathing. You don’t have a problem with yoga, do you?”

I shook my head ‘No.’

“Okay. Try it again.”

I tried it again, and once again felt the fuzzy light in my head. I nodded to Elfa.

“Good,” she said. “The second skill is ‘Tuning In.’ Close your eyes. No, no, no. Keep the breathing going.

“Now in your mind, picture Ilya’s face, and just hold it… Hold it… Hold it… Notice that it’s starting to fade.

“Now grab hold of the inner feeling you have when Ilya’s face fades. That’s the second level. Just hold onto that second level feeling. Hold it… Hold it… Hold it… Notice when it starts to fade…, and watch for the new inner feeling that comes up. That’s level three. Keep the breathing going. Just keep repeating those….”

I wondered if I understood. “So each time I go deeper one level,” I guessed aloud, “It’s like one of those wooden Russian dolls, where you open up the big one to find a littler one inside. And the littler doll has an even littler doll inside it, too.”

“Don’t worry about understanding it,” she said. “Just focus on going deeper. Yeah, I guess it’s like the Russian dolls. And that’s not because Ilya’s from Russia. Though of course, he uses the Russian word: Matryoshka dolls. And some other time, you should see the amazing set he brought me that illustrates a Russian folk tale.”

Her eyes sparkled with pleasure, and then become very serious again. “But we’re getting distracted. Focus in for some more layers.”

I didn’t really care. Of course. But I tried to co-operate, to look deeper into Ilya for a couple more layers. Suddenly, something shifted. “Wow!” I said. “I can almost look out of his eyes!”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah!” Her voice was excited. “That’s called ‘Shape-Shifting,’ and it’s the third skill. Imagine yourself inside of Ilya’s head and body, looking out from his eyes, and hold that feeling in your mind until it fades… Hold it… Hold it… Go to the second level… Like those Russian dolls, again.”

This was getting very unpleasant and very confusing. Looking out from Ilya’s eyes, I could feel how he loved and trusted Elfa, and suddenly, my feelings of attraction toward her didn’t feel so good. They felt sort of… sleazy. (Previously, it had always felt good to be sleazy. Why did it feel different today?)

“Third level, keep going…” she said, “You’ve got almost all of it. Keep going in further to the next level.”

I kept looking deeper, but I didn’t’ want to. I hated the fact that I now understood Ilya so well that I cared. Yuck. I cared. As far as I was concerned, that made me… vulnerable or weaker in some way?

“We’re just going to jump ahead to the last skill,” said Elfa, “and then we’ll go down to the practice room.”

“That’s it? That’s all there is to it?” I opened my eyes to see her excitement, which I didn’t share. My tidbit of empathy for Ilya made me all confused. I felt as if I had been slimed.

She nodded her head and motioned for me to close them again.

“Keep them closed. You’re learning this stuff faster than I hoped. The fourth skill is ‘Transmission.’ Imagine that you are Ilya playing chess—like the shape-shifting skill.”

“But I don’t play chess. I don’t even know what all the pieces are called.”

“Don’t worry. You play other games. Take that same feeling—the game-playing feeling—and shape-shift to being Ilya. Imagine playing chess with that same game-playing feeling that you already know.”

I tried. This time I didn’t resist it, though it still bothered me to actually like him, even if it was just a little bit. So long as I left the chess part a little blurry, I could do it.

“Imagine you’re playing chess,” she continued, “and pretend that you know all the possible moves. Imagine that no matter what the opponent does, and you just know in your gut which moves to choose. Then wrap that skill up in the fuzzy light Energy Breathing from before. Drop the energy and the skill into Ilya’s brain. While you’re shape-shifting, if you can.”

Once again, this step made it harder to hate Ilya. It felt as if he were innocent and vulnerable, and that if I was truly evil, I could hurt him from this place. But then it became clear to me that I’m not evil. Weird. I had never thought I was evil, but I never thought I was good, either.

I started when Elfa touched my hands. “Keep your eyes closed,” she said, lifting both of them to point the palms forward.

“Good. Now imagine Ilya’s in this room, hold up your hands, and point your palms at Ilya. Imagine that you’re beaming light from your palms as if they were flashlights. Send Ilya the fuzzy light. Good! Keep going. Keep going. Two more breaths.”

She took a deep breath. “You can open your eyes, now,” she said. “Let’s go down to the practice room. See? I didn’t attack you.”

“A major disappointment.” I felt confused and uncertain. “Is that all there is too it? The way you talked about it, I thought it was some sort of superpower.”

“Well, maybe it sort of is a superpower,” she said. “It’s the power to influence Ilya’s chess game—if you’re any good at it.”

“So the skill of boosting someone else is sort of a superpower,” I responded.

“Not the comic book or movie version, but the real version,” she replied.

“Superpowers? Huh!” I shrugged. “I doubt that I’ll be any good at it.”

“Who knows?” she said. “You might be exactly what I need. Ilya resists me because we’re lovers, which makes a weird energy thing happen between us. Or maybe it’s because I’m a girl—and Russians seem to be a little sexist. But he might not resist you.” She chuckled.

“Keep your grubby mitts off of him, and he won’t resist you.”

She laughed again, as I inwardly retched. “Anyway,” she said, “what I’m going to do is boost you while you boost him. Like a chain of energy. Don’t worry. Even if it doesn’t work, there’s no harm done. Just treat this as a scientific experiment.”

Excerpt from Chapter 1: Narrow Escape

Waterfall Haiku

A tiny trickle:
Downstream, roars over a cliff,
Powering wonder.

Riding behind Elfa on the almost soundless electric motorcycle continued to feel special as we headed back to the paved side road and then back to Highway 1. However, as we rode, Elfa’s intercom was silent, and I felt her withdraw emotionally. But maybe I was making it up?

A few minutes later, we passed the tiny village of Hvolsvöllur, and the cloud cover finally lifted, revealing blue sky at long last.

“Do you see the snow capped mountain ahead of us—at 10 o’clock?” I moved my head to look ahead over her left shoulder. “That’s Eyjafjallajökull, which is the volcano where I’m taking you,” she continued. “The eruption in 2010 was spectacular.

“So the wages of sin are… getting fried.” After a silent beat for humorous effect, she continued. “It’s not going to erupt. Even if it did, it’s easy to get back to Skógar to be evacuated. I’ll show you.”

“You’re going to need to teach me how to say that word,” I said, “so that if I get fried, I’ll know what killed me.”

There was still virtually no traffic in this area, which was more beautiful than anything else I had seen. If only I didn’t feel madly in love with Elfa, the thought of which made me feel sad and alone, even now. Especially as the minutes of near silence stretched on and on and on.

The peak of the volcano disappeared behind the clouds again as we approached it. Driving along the south edge of Eyjafjallajökull, we entered a broad agricultural plain that stretched from the sea—which was occasionally visible—to a series of bluffs that were always visible: bluffs that were too high and steep to be called foothills. The land between the two was incredibly flat and entirely covered with pasture or fields of hay and grains.

The sun came out again for about 10 minutes just before we passed a rocky bluff that came almost to the road to see a massive waterfall to the left, two to three miles from the road, framed by a beautiful rainbow. Elfa pointed towards it. “Skógafoss,” she said. “Can you see the steps that go up the hill to the right of it?”

She felt me nod my head. “That’s the end of the Skóga – Þórsmörk Path. We’ll be joining it further upstream. When you go down to the little stream in front of your cave, think about the fact that in just a few minutes, that water will become part of this waterfall. Write a poem about that.”

“Clichés. I love them!” I answered. “I’m sure my mom would like it.” But in spite of my sarcasm, I secretly decided to take it on like a challenge. Maybe. Maybe I could even make it truly romantic or something without making it too schmaltzy. The thought made me freeze up again.
(Back to Start)