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Andra Gale Goodman

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  The Boothbay Register
 
Nov. 6th, 2008
Andrea Goodman’s book a gateway to divine guidance

By SUE MELLO
Staff Reporter

    Andrea Goodman’s new book, “Lightning Holds My Hand,” chronicles her personal journey through crisis and recounts the divine guidance that sustained her through her darkest hours. The book is as original as the woman, and like Goodman, it explores the intuitive, creative, and spiritual side of human existence.
    Goodman, who has lived on Barters Island for the past 20 years, is a gifted musician, singer, voice teacher, sound healer, dancer, composer, mythic astrologer, and minister in a ministry steeped in Egyptian mysteries and the divine feminine. Her body of work is by no means mainstream and for some, the ground travelled by Goodman and her book may seem strange. Since moving to Maine in 1989 from New York City, where she was a performer and voice teacher, Goodman’s work has increasingly delved into the intuitive and spiritual. Of her work now, she says, “I prefer it to be in a sacred context. That seems to make sense of all the things I do.” A soft spoken woman with flowing hair and clothes, the power of her voice and her teachings can only be truly appreciated by direct experience.
    With this book, Goodman shares another important aspect of her life - her writing. Like all she does, this work is firmly grounded in spirit.  Goodman has kept journals since high school, and when her marriage began to founder, she turned, once again, to writing. However, this time in the midst of her grief and fear, she asked for help and was answered. Goodman says that before this period all of her journals were “just me talking to myself.” However, now her journaling entered a whole new phase. She would ask for help, listen, and then literally hear a reply. Although difficult to explain fully, Goodman describes the experience as “feeling another presence that is with me … like a gathering.” She acknowledges that this concept is not something that “we can hold in our rational minds” but that ‘it” was “comforting beyond what any friend could provide.”
    “Lightning Holds My Hand” chronicles 15 months in Goodman’s life journey, a deeply personal time, yet also one that evokes a universal experience. Who among us hasn’t known a time when fear and grief have forced us inward? For many of us, these periods in our lives have returned us to our source, to what matters most. Goodman notes that it is often these difficult times that “stop us in our tracks” and allow us to “listen to something deeper, which is spirit.” “When things fall apart, we stop and are in the present. In the present, we are available to the other dimensions of ourselves,” she explains.
    For Goodman, her life crisis not only was the catalyst for a new method of accessing spiritual counsel, it also fostered spiritual, emotional, and professional growth.  She says that when she began to realize the gifts that flowed from her tremendous sorrow, it transformed her attitude about her entire life. “I am so grateful to the sorrow, grateful to the disaster, grateful to the broken heart.  I don’t know how I would have opened without it,” she says. “Then, you can begin to see that, if that is a gift, everything is a gift. It changes your whole attitude about your life.” Goodman says the guidance she received ultimately allowed her to let go of her fixed image of herself and her life.
    What makes the journey told in this book unique is Goodman’s ability to tap into a divine source of wisdom that sustains her. Goodman acknowledges that deep pain can sometimes facilitate spiritual connection, but stresses that this connection to the divine is “always available to everyone.”  
    “Every individual has spiritual authority. It is up to you to decide what you believe and up to you how you experience the divine,” she affirms. “I really think it’s a message for everyone . . . I asked so they answered and they are talking to me because I am listening.”
    Goodman notes that in the myths of the underworld there are always guides available to the traveler. In “Lightning Holds My Hand,” she shares her story in the belief that her experience of those guides will be beneficial to other seekers, “I’m offering it because I believe it can help other people . . .  It’s the guidance, not my personal story, that I’m sharing,” concludes Goodman.
    The last section of “Lightning Holds My Hand” is entitled, “Trust.” Goodman is a skilled practitioner in trusting her own personal experience and in embracing the unknown. With this book, she encourages others to discover and follow their own path to the divine.
    For more information on Goodman’s work, visit her Web site at www.rubythroatedspirit.com