by Nancy Mills
She is a writer and a workshop leader. She has taught the popular Spirited Woman Workshop in cities all across the country. Prior to teaching the workshop, Nancy published the "Travelin' Woman," newsletter and ran empowerment seminars for over 3,000 women. Nancy has been interviewed by such publications as USA TODAY and appeared on THE TODAY SHOW.
SPIRITED WOMAN Q & A WITH HELEN KRITZLER
Helen Kritzler is a fixture on Maui. She is one of those colorful, charismatic, endearing people that you want to wrap your arms around and hug.
Better known as Haiku Helen, a name she bestowed upon herself when someone asked her to name her website business, Helen, age 61, is also an intuitive, palm reader, aspiring actress, mother of a 14-year-old-son, artist, and oh yes her popular Haiku Helen e-mail blasts alert thousands on the island about all types of spiritual happenings - from workshops to events.
I had heard about Helen through the locals, and I was very pleased when she said yes, sure to an interview and invited me over to her tiny cottage in Makawao. Amidst an array of artwork, with the breeze blowing through the open window, we talked over a cup of coffee. I must say it was a real treat to find out more about the fabric of this fascinating woman's life.
Helen gives intuitive readings over the phone and she welcomes you calling her at 808-573-6343 or 808-276-4859 to set up an appointment. Helen would love to hear from you. E-mail her at email@example.com
Funny, gutsy, and definitely not afraid to take a risk, Helen's life has been filled with exciting chapters, and I find her to be an inspiration to all of us who are interested in making a change, but are too afraid to act. Helen just goes for it!
Q. Helen, what propelled you to come to Maui?
A. I was on my way to Mexico and I was raising my son in the Bronx and it wasn't going right with my husband, so I said to myself by the year 2000, you've got to get out of here. I looked at various places like Arizona and Mexico, and somebody told me about Maui. I came here to check it out for three weeks, threw a couple of things in my bag, and took my son.
Q. What was it like adjusting from the Bronx to Maui?
A. No problem. Zip. Zap. I was a little bit scared, I had wanted to go to a more protective environment, because again, I was coming out of a difficult marriage - I had met my husband in Nicaragua - and the move was hard only because I had to re-find myself. You have to re-find yourself when you are breaking up with somebody, going through a divorce, and my child was traumatized by the move - so it took me a while to heal. I don't think it was because of Maui and the Bronx. It was because of what was going on in my life at the time. I've lived in many places in my life. I didn't only live in New York. I've lived in England, Mexico, and California. I adjust pretty easily to new places.
Q. Travel has been really important in your life hasn't it?
A. I think that basically the way I see myself is that there is an inner spirit in me and I just happen to be born in this body. I just happen to be female. I just happen to be Helen, and it just happens to be this period of history, but I could have been born anything. What's interesting about traveling is that you get to re-invent yourself to a certain extent. In Mexico, suddenly I'm speaking Spanish and what it does, it opens possibilities. It's a balance between us ever growing and becoming, and the roles society allows. The woman's movement broke through that and said you we can be whatever. But how can you be whatever? Well, you have to be in a situation that asks you to be that - for me that is travel.
Q. Helen, tell us about your role in the woman's movement?
A. In 1968, just when the woman's liberation movement began, I had just broken up with my boyfriend. Anyway, it was my first heavy break-up and I was nutso, and I came back to New York. It was during the time of the Viet Nam War demonstrations. I saw this group of women walking down the street howling, End the War, and I was sold by them, because they weren't just saying bullshit, they were hitting it on the head. I said, Who are you? And it was a group that was just forming and I became very involved. I was in the perfect place having just come out of a very heavy relationship, having just gone through and seen what it was like to be a silenced woman and really understanding and having compassion for other women. It was really beautiful. I was involved with the woman's movement from the very beginning. And, I was the first woman ever to speak publicly about my abortions. Before that it was not spoken out loud. It was in a church in New York - every woman testified about what they had to go through and that was the beginning of the abortion movement.
Q. Do you think your mother influenced your feminism?
A. My mother was a Lucy Stoner, a group of women in the 1920s who believed strongly in civil rights and refused to change their names when they married. The Lucy Stoner League was named for a 19th-century Massachusetts woman who advocated suffrage, civil rights and the abolition of slavery. My mother did not change her last name when she married and she also refused to wear a wedding ring because she said it was a symbol of slavery. My mother received her intuitive nature through my grandfather, a rabbi who was a healer and a student of the cabala, a Jewish mystical movement.
Q. Did your mother teach you to read palms?
A. I watched her. My mother wasn't a professional palmist - people came over to the house and she read everybody' palm. She was very charming, a character, very loving, big-hearted, and a little critical. Interesting, when she would read my palm, you know how mother's are - she didn't directly read it because I think there was too much stuff going on. But I watched her and she taught me about palms and she gave me a lot of books, too. She was totally supportive of me being a palm reader. I've done it since I was 18. It's wonderful to hold someone's hand. There are a lot of things going on - from the heart, from the head, and from the psychic.
Q. Is there any kind of advice you would like to give us for 2006?
A. Everything that happens in life is important and is a gift. Every feeling - upset, depressed, angry, sad, in joy, in peace, in ecstasy, in nervousness - all of those things. We're always learning from everything, it's a natural part of the human condition. I think the most important thing is to always know you are always becoming and whatever was in your history was in your history, and there's always a release to move on, but accept it and don't reject it and feel all of those things because that's what makes you rich, a rich being of red velvet and purple velvet-all those layers that make you up. I think the way to move on, if you want to move on is to find your own path - we are all different beings. You are your own diamond.
Q. Why do feel you are a spirited woman?
A. I just feel that I am cognizant of a spirit within me. Once, after a particularly spiritual workshop experience, I stood on a hill overlooking the river and I saw the birds flying in the sky and somehow there was a feeling of flying within me, and then I remember going back to my apartment and looking in the mirror and seeing the body I was born in and saying it's not bad, I can dress it up, I can make it cute. So let me play with it.
THANK YOU HELEN. YOU ARE RICH RAINBOW OF COLORS.
Helen would love to hear from you. E-mail her directly at
Helen gives intuitive readings over the phone .
She welcomes you calling her at 808-573-6343 to set up an appointment.
Spirited Woman Newsletter. Copyright Nancy Mills. See thespiritedwoman.com for more WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF SPIRITED WOMANHOOD December 2004. All rights reserved.