Archive | August 2015

That’s so Awesome!

I was, once again, inspired after spending Saturday afternoon in nature with a beautiful group of friends who share a belief in the law of attraction and strive to consciously create amazingness in our lives by the power of our positive intentions, thoughts, and feelings. As we are human, we do experience some of the contrast to this amazingness, life’s lessons, occasional general sucky-ness.

The power in positive thinking and a positive attitude is not denying that crappy things sometimes happen. Even great manifestors who seem to lead charmed lives have crappy days sometimes. The difference is in how you react to the crap, how you learn from it and turn it into something positive.

Granted, some things are easier to turn around than others. Some life events need to be fully experienced and will not be turned around in an afternoon. Some experiences can be turned around in an afternoon or a moment, and that’s what I’m talking about now.

What is inspiring me now is a practice of one in our group of responding to those unexpected, last minute changes in our plans that we have no control over and can really suck, like having your flight canceled when you have a meeting scheduled, with “that’s so awesome!” How many of us sit at the airport with a delay or dealing with a canceled flight think, that’s so awesome? Probably not many. I know when my plans change unexpectedly, my thoughts often go right to what a pain it’s going to be to get everything on track again, and that is exactly what happens. But what if I could change my attitude?

“That’s so awesome!” is about having faith in a Universe or Higher Power that wants the best for us and is willing to change things up and maybe even cause some chaos to bring in something even BETTER than what we had planned. Indeed, “that’s so awesome” has brought about upgrades to first class, synchronous meetings, NOT being in an accident one could have been in, being in a position where we could help somebody. “That’s so awesome” changes our grouchiness to a smile and that changes everything.

My invitation to you: next time you miss the bus, your flight is canceled, the new job falls through, the project wasn’t what you thought it would be, next time your plans unexpectedly change in a way that appears to suck, say to yourself: “That’s so awesome!” and wonder what amazing thing the Universe has in store for you instead.

Fear and Surrender

It’s a dark night. A man dressed in black walks confidently down the street, heading path toward a shining, yellow light. The path is lit right in front of him. He’s following the light, on step at a time, as it’s revealed to him. The Hermit, IX The Path in the Book of Shadows Tarot, Book 1, As Above. My inspiration for writing this week.

The literal meaning of the card was unhelpful for my present situation. But what I saw was somebody following the path one step at a time. Stepping in faith. And I heard “surrender.” A call for me to stop trying to control things and have faith in a higher power and my own intuitive guidance.

I thought writing my weekly blog post would get easier the more I wrote and it’s actually gotten harder. I procrastinate and face writer’s block. Not a single bit of inspiration all week.

So I started the Tibetan singing bowl music, G# for the throat chakra, and meditated.

In my meditation, I was faced with dinosaurs, dragons, and humongous, scary bug creatures. And I stood and faced each fear until it faded away.

The writer’s block, procrastination, it’s all about fear. Because I’ve made a commitment to write every week, I stand face-to-face with the bug creature until it melts away and I keep writing.

What is the fear about? The fear is about writing what the fear is about.

The fear is about coming out of the spiritual closet. The fear is about moving from the logical and safe world of a corporate job, technology, programming, project management and moving into more of myself as an intuitive, energy healer, coach/counselor, writer, speaker, teacher, spiritual leader.

  • what if I can’t make a living
  • what if the intuitive guidance I’m receiving and sharing is total crap
  • what if reiki doesn’t really do anything
  • what if people think I’m a whack job

This fear is not trusting in the journey that I have embarked upon. So I am being called to surrender, to follow the path as it is shown to me one step at a time. And the guidance I keep receiving is to keep writing. The evidence is in front of me, that surrender and faith is the way to go. A Higher Power and the wisdom of my own higher self have my back.

Here is what I know for sure:

  • The more I speak and live from my heart, as my authentic self, the more like-minded people I meet, and communities I find in which I can thrive. What people think matters less and less.
  • When I follow my own intuitive guidance, I make the best decisions. My mind alone gets me in trouble. I can cite examples of making decisions I felt excited about, against all logic, that turned out awesome.
  • Meditation, positive thinking, faith, and surrender have made me a kinder, more patient, less reactive, more compassionate person.
  • I’ve felt the healing power of various kinds of energy healing and witnessed the positive effects on my own clients.

Most importantly: wherever I end up, I know that, since I’ve been on this particular journey, following my path to being my most authentic self and where I am guided to be of service in the world, I have been happier on a more regular basis than I have in my life. For that, I will walk in faith.

And so I Dance

It’s a dark night in the heat of summer. The humidity of August clings to your hair. The music is loud, the dance floor is full. Salsa, bachata, cha cha, merengue. Maybe you don’t understand the words but your soul feels the music. Your feet hurt and you’re dripping with sweat as you dance with the next partner. Your feet connect with the ground, your body connects with the music, your spirit connects with the heavens. Joy. Desire. Hunger. Pain. Sorrow. Hope. The energy moves through you, out into the night.

You experience your wildness, your human nature. You come to experience the glory of your human body: the grace, the power, the sweat, the pain, the music flowing through you. You come to experience the glory of your divinity: joy, connection, the music flowing through you. You come to remember who you really are. Beautifully, messily human. Beautifully divine spirit.

We all have our own reasons for being here.

When I was going through some career counseling several years ago, it was suggested that I ask my parents what I wanted to be when I grew up as a child. I remember my mother’s answer: “you only wanted to dance.”

What I actually did was go for what society was telling me I ought to be: a successful career woman in the corporate world. I went to college and my degree in Psychology got me administrative assistant jobs. I went back to school and a degree in computer science and embraced my career as a programmer and then manager in an orderly, logical, and safe world. My anxiety was soothed by the logic of communicating with computers. My security ensured by my corporate employer. My career has served me well.

Until the soul of the little girl who wanted to dance cried out for something more. The little girl who remembered that my true self is not orderly or logical. She knew that my true self is messy and chaotic, emotional and intuitive, creative. I had embraced a definition of success that was not my own. I had embraced the masculine part of myself and left behind my divine feminine self.

I’ve done a lot of healing work, embracing the wisdom of the child who remembered who I really am. And in that process, I’ve come back to the dance. Salsa and latin dancing found me and has been a vehicle for embracing my wild spirit. I dance to connect with my humanity and my divinity, to experience joy, and, in those perfect moments, to be who I really am, my most authentic self, who I want to present to the world.

I’m still trying to figure out exactly what I want to be when I grow up, the perfect marriage of masculine and feminine power, embracing the creative, intuitive as well as logical parts of my being.

And so I dance.

The Rainbow in the Clouds

Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray. ~Lord Byron

Life got a bit stormy this past week, starting last weekend. Following news of my aunt’s passing, there was grief and chaos as the family gathered from various states on Long Island to say goodbye and to be together to support one another. Today, it’s not the grief that I focus on, it’s the gathering together and the rainbow in the clouds.

I have dealt, poorly, with the death of loved ones before, and I certainly wasn’t ready this time. Life and death rarely wait until we are ready. At a point in my journey where I felt like I couldn’t afford distractions, I was forced to step off the path. In so doing, I found peace and love and the energy and inspiration to keep going with my life.

Once again, inspired by a particular meditation from Oprah & Deepak, I listened to Oprah’s story about a difficult time in her life and advice from Maya Angelou to look for the rainbows in the clouds. To focus on gratitude to manifest grace.

Chaos, phone calls, texts, travel, work on Sunday, make up the guest bed, clean the house. My parents arrived from Kentucky on Sunday and I picked my nephew up from the airport on Monday. Relatives from all sides of the family traveled from here and there. Rooms were found at neighbors’ and friends’ houses. Meals were planned, arrangements made.

The family gathered.

And that’s where I found my rainbows.

The family gathered and we shared our stories. So many of us have the same memories of Audrey: her laugh, she smiled a lot, family was important, she accepted us and loved us the way we are, she kept us connected. I realized that the values of family, love and acceptance, keeping connected are values that are passed down, one generation to the next. As I’ve grown older, I also have learned that not all families get along. So, I am grateful that I actually enjoy spending time with my family. Family is where I know I’ll always find love and acceptance. That’s the big one, the big reminder, the rainbow in the clouds.

There were many other rainbows, and as I write this, I realize they are also mostly about family.

  • I spent time with my 18-year-old nephew, Drew, time I didn’t expect to have with him. Driving in traffic on the Van Wyck from LaGuardia airport to Wantagh was more pleasant because he was with me.
  • Staying overnight with Audrey’s best friend, Barbara, so I didn’t have to drive back to Connecticut on Monday night.
  • Arts and crafts and sweet conversation with 4-year-old Ava:
    Girls in the City

    Artisanal Bistro, NYC. Left to right: Joan (aka Mom), Aunt Audrey, Maddy, Julie, Kim

    • Ava: Do you have children
    • Me: no
    • Ava: Well, you do now… we’re here
  • Girls in the City: remembering those times when my mother, my aunt, my cousins and I met in New York for lunch, dessert and some walking. Chinatown, Little Italy, Central Park. The time at Serendipity when a lady at a nearby table, looking at all of the desserts we were sharing, said: “Oh, are you guys here just for dessert?” Uh, no we had lunch.
  • Friends
  • That I actually like my family and want to spend time with them.

I came home and life goes on. Tears shed, grief spent (for now) and rainbows spotted. It was a cloudy week, but it is the rainbows that stay with me.

Gratitude, Grief, and Grace

This won’t be the post I expected to be writing this weekend. I had intended to wax poetic on finding grace through gratitude and how consciously and consistently focusing on gratitude has changed my life, bringing more moments of grace. To share in detail my stories of gratitude lists and bringing more of what I’m grateful for into my life. In short, like attracts like, so focusing on what you are grateful for attracts more for you to be grateful for, which makes you even more grateful, which attracts more, good stuff, and so on, and so on. And life is very, very good.

During the time I thought I’d be doing all of this awesome writing about gratitude and grace, grief walked in the door. This weekend, my Aunt Audrey was called home to God, back to the Light, and I’ve been feeling more grief than gratitude.

This happens in life. Despite our best intentions, despite getting closer and closer to light, having positive thoughts, doing our affirmations and daily gratitude lists, sometimes grief drops in for a visit. And we ask why. Why now? Why this person? Why this way? We never have time for grief in our busy lives. But grief demands time. Grief disrupts your busy-ness and makes you pay attention. It stops you in your tracks.

From an aerial view, this is just another curve on the map, a bump in the path. Closer up, it looks pretty bumpy, with a lot of rocks, extending over mountains and into valleys. But we continue walking. And even though the road is tough, we still see the stars at night and an occasional pretty rock. The sun keeps shining and the moon casts a mysterious light.

I do not walk this particular path alone. I am blessed with dear friends who walking beside me, a comfort by their presence. I walk this road with my family and friends of my aunt and uncle, as we all gather over the next couple of days to say goodbye. As we walk together, we share stories. Remember the time when, remember how she used to, …

I remember her laugh and that she curled my hair for my brother’s wedding. I remember the times I spent with just Aunt Audrey and my Mom – the trip to Mexico, the outlets in Maine. I remember the many, many holiday and other celebrations that she hosted. I remember she is easy to talk to and accepts people the way they are.

The memories bring back gratitude. Gratitude for the times we shared, gratitude for her presence in my life. As the focus shifts, the tears dry and smiles appear. The road is still rocky, but we start to notice the sparkly rocks, the deer in the distance, the sun and moon. We feel gratitude for these things and there is more. We are on this journey together, enjoying our time together, enjoying our shared memories. Grace is in those moments, the shiny rocks and the sun, each smile, and the memories. In these perfect moments of grace, we are all together in paradise. She is with us.

This will be the first gathering in a long time that Aunt Audrey will not be hosting and we will miss her in her human form. But she will be with us, an honored guest.