Radically Own Your Way

Sometimes it takes what it takes to trust our intuition and find our own ways.

August 2015 I found myself in the lovely and cheerful Brighton, England. Within days of my arrival I stumbled into a beauty salon inquiring about massage and next thing I knew I was renting an adorable treatment room in the basement offering Craniosacral Therapy treatments and Angel Card Readings. It kind of blew my mind.

My intuition was nudging me to approach it with gentleness, ease and to honor the wisdom of my own rhythm and timing. Yet there was this other part of me that felt pulled by what “other people” were doing – a sense of urgency, competition and hustle.

One afternoon, one of the gals at the salon asked me for help in handing out promotional fliers to passerby’s outside the salon. I reluctantly obliged. To my surprise, I felt my entire body freeze in terror and paralysis. And when I attempted it again the next day (this time with my own promotional fliers) I was in even more distress.

Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of helpful, lucrative suggestions from my salon-mates that did indeed work albeit feeling uncomfortable. Yet for whatever reason, something about that manner of promoting myself just incited this lock down of my entire system. I literally could not move forward with it.

So what did I do? I kept trying to push through. And then I took a step back and sought to forget about it for a while.

One morning something fresh arose within my consciousness. What if I continued to hand out promotional materials but rather with a bit of a different intention and spin? So, I gathered a stack of my business cards and got started with an idea.

I had bought some flowers and then collected various positive affirmations and kind statements. I then proceeded to write inspiring messages or affirmations on each of my cards and further attached a flower to it. Then I stood outside and handed these offerings to people walking by.

The sensation and response was incredibly different to say the least! People were attentive, appreciative and receptive. They were also touched and thankful. Often, it didn’t matter to rattle off a business spiel nor hard-sell them on my services. Whether or not they even followed through with an appointment was irrelevant. I just wanted them to feel good, hopeful and loved. And since that’s essentially what my business is about anyway, now they knew firsthand. And I barely even breathed a word.

Another time I arrived at the salon early in the morning to meet a new client for a Craniosacral Therapy session. The woman was already present and waiting when I arrived. I also noticed that my salon-mate in the room next to mine, a massage therapist, was already with a client herself. I could hear the soft, soothing music that accompanied her sessions drifting out from underneath the door.

I quietly brought my new client into my office. The walls of the room had a soft pink glow, nicely complementing the rosy shaded sheet covering my treatment table. There was a warm, comforting feeling present. My client and I exchanged some initial pleasantries about ourselves and eventually the subject shifted to what brought her in today.

Suddenly it dawned on us both that a mistake had been made. The woman in my office was actually meant to be the client of the massage therapist next door – a session she had prepaid for via Groupon. And the person in my colleagues’ office was of course meant to be my early morning client. We laughed in disbelief. Since my colleague was already well into her massage appointment, it didn’t feel appropriate to interrupt.

“Well, would you like to have a Craniosacral session anyway?” I asked the woman in my office.

Even though I had been earlier experiencing some stressful musings about my finances and building up my business, I knew in my heart I wanted to offer the session free of charge. The session proceeded beautifully and I shared with her tales of my recent travels and personal awakenings. She revealed some of her own recent brushes with spiritual growth and recommended a book I might like. When we concluded I graciously thanked her, offered a discounted future session and then briefly stepped out. Later when I returned, I saw she had left me an appreciative note and … had paid me anyway.

Never underestimate the wisdom of your own heart and way. It may not make sense nor look practical or even seem traditionally successful. BUT if you could dare to lean on my faith, I assure you there’s a gold mine just beckoning to be discovered. And regardless of riches or treasures, the best and most valuable part of that gold mine is You.

Advertisements

Let Go and Be Dazzled

February 2014

It was the night before I was to move to Bali. I arrived back to my tiny Los Angeles apartment after weeks (if not months) of donating, clearing out items, packing and putting the remainder in storage. Needless to say, I was exhausted.

Ideally, I would have wished to only have a few things left to do before getting a good nights sleep and being on my way. But the reality of my apartment was proving to be daunting and opposite.

Lingering boxes of memorabilia and paperwork were still in my closet, an old laptop computer was hanging around, home decor, clothing , the quilt my grandmother had bought for me … some things I was clearly struggling to part with. I could only stand there bewildered and at a loss.

My friend soon arrived only to witness me in this momentary paralysis and panic. She grabbed my hands and said, “Here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to say a prayer for these items and bless them, praying that they all end up in the right places and hands effortlessly. And then, we’re going to let it go. And take them out to the dumpster”.

And that’s exactly what we did.

Fifteen minutes after dragging things outside, this woman who lived across the alley way came over to us. She asked if I was getting rid of these items and then she literally said she’d “take them off my hands”. Apparently, she had quite the hobby of collecting things to donate or sell. Soon enough, she too was in my apartment helping carry things outside, only this time to her place.

It was nothing short of a miracle and deeply magical moment in my life. This profound lesson still resounds loudly in my awareness today when things start to feel overwhelming. I think to myself, “if THAT could unfold so effortlessly during such a pivotal time, it certainly could work again – no matter what the circumstances.”

Present Day

And I don’t always remember this example. But today, I did. ✨

I was at the gas station filling up my tank, swept up in some thoughts about recent life transitions. Do I stay in Cleveland? Where would I go? How would it look? How would it happen? How did I get here? How can I get back to certain dreams and passions? …

Then I remembered that night several years ago in Los Angeles. I paused for a moment and realized I could say this same blessing for my present day circumstances. So, I blessed myself, all the people, animals and situations I was concerned about. I prayed and affirmed that I/ they/we all get to the right places, spaces, people and opportunities we’re meant to be with. All with ease and grace.

And that’s it.

Who knows, maybe some neighbor lady will show up on my doorstep with the keys to the Universe 😉Regardless, just like before, something dazzling is unfolding. And I can just let go and let it reveal it’s magic…and maybe take some things out to the dumpster.

Stay tuned. And who knows, you might just try it out for yourself too!

The Long and Perfect Road Home 

It was August 2013 when my life took a dramatic, interesting turn. I missed passing my social work licensing exam by 1 point and I was then promptly let-go by my long time job – which I knew was not personal but policy of the company.

I had 2 days to clear out my office of almost 7 years. What’s more, I also had to wait another 6 months before I could retake the exam.

Needless to say, my self esteem took a bit of a hit. To say I doubted myself as a practioner and my abilities to contribute and succeed in the world would have been a grand understandment.

At that time I couldn’t foresee where or what I’d do for work next. I was a bit stunned by the seeming swift shift in my life. I remember spending the first few weeks taking lots of naps and lots of long walks with my dogs. A depression set in. I didn’t quite know who I was without my job as it had been my identity for over a decade.

Luckily, I had some savings in my pocket so I was granted the freedom to not have to rush into anything else right away. I knew something big was happening. Some sort of grace and quiet time had descended upon my life.

Eventually I began to enjoy the long stretch of days and unplanned events. I could sleep in, I could take countless yoga classes, I could go to the beach, I could write or engage in other creative activities, I could just SIT in a cafe and enjoy for hours. I remember exploring A LOT those first 2 months.

Then I planned a week long trip to Bali, Indonesia. I had never travelled that far before and certainly not alone. 1 week there merged into 2 as I felt this pull to stay longer. This trip began to reawaken creative and joyful aspects of myself that had been long forgotten. On the plane ride back to LA, I sat there in a whirlwind.

WHAT had just happened? Something big indeed was stirring within.

Well…you know the rest. I ended up moving myself to Bali – “permanently”. Well at least for an undefined period of time.

Many, MANY things took place during that journey which lasted about a year and a half. To try to sum it up in a couple paragraphs wouldn’t even do it much justice. I’ve written many articles about my time, adventures and awakening there and I welcome you warmly to read!

Today marked an interesting milestone. I have re-entered the counseling world after almost 4 long years of a hiatus. Sometimes it felt like I was “hiding” or perhaps “recovering”. I wasn’t quite ready yet to re-open myself in this way. It was a much needed rest and reflection.

I know I do not re-enter this profession as the same woman and practitioner as when I left. A lot has transpired in between to bring forth a new symphony within me. It is a deep and sacred offering of my authentic self and true gifts.

It has taken quite some time to get to this point of presenting myself exactly as I am and gently negotiating the environments, people and practices that feel right for me.  If it’s “right” for me …I know  it’ll be right for those who cross my path as well.

I sat in amazement and utter gratitude today as I realized how perfectly everything has been unfolding all along. And it felt as if I had finally arrived Home again to my true self.

They say that Michelangelo commented, after creating the Statue of David, that he but only removed the “unnecessary” parts from the block of stone. In fact, the glorious statue itself had been there waiting to be revealed all along.

This greatly resounds true for me as well. This long and perfect journey back “home” to myself has been but a beautiful, slow shedding of that which is not needed for the sculpture of Me and my intended life journey. It has also be a quiet yet profound Allowing of who I really am to courageously emerge. ✨

2nd Chances 🐶

Her Name Was Phoebe

I’m so grateful that Life presents 2nd chances. Actually, I could just call them “chances” because Life seems to supply infinite possibilities again and again to mend, flourish and make things right.

In November 2004, I met and eventually adopted a sweet dog named Phoebe. To even describe her that way (or in just few words) would be a tremendous understatement.

Phoebe came into my life on seeming “acccident”. I had never owned a dog before. I even used to be deathly afraid of dogs. Then one day I met a friends dog who opened my heart and…I was lovestruck.

From there on I started watching other people’s pets when they traveled and made many a many dog friends. And then one day an ad in the newspaper led me to Phoebe.

We spent almost a decade together. She was a sweet little sidekick and angel. Watching her morph from this terrified, timid and highly uncertain dog into a gorgeous, kind, assured & faithful companion was one of the most lovely things to witness. Phoebe taught me how to love and open my heart to life in ways I couldn’t quite ever access before. Phoebe left her paw prints on my heart and altered my destiny (beautifully) forever.

The long and the short of it is/was …one very difficult day, a friend came with me as I painfully dropped Phoebe off at a local rescue shelter to find her a new home. I had decided to move overseas and was soon leaving. The risks and uncertainties of bringing her with me…well, I ultimately felt it wasn’t safe nor fair given her age and tricky international policies related to pets.

The day we said goodbye, I literally felt my heart break and (gut ache)like never before. It was a tender spot within that I knew would take its time to heal. It was also evidence to me that I had deeply loved and had BEEN loved.

Three Years Later 

Recently, I had a phone conversation with my friend in which I was telling him I didn’t think I could ever adopt a dog again. He completely disagreed. As usual, Life presented an interesting twist to me.

I had been pet sitting for quite some time now and my name & services were becoming word-of-mouth. A friend of a friend asked if I could pet sit their dog while they traveled. I had never met them or their dog before but happily agreed to help.

The first time I met Dunkin, I stepped off the elevator in their apartment building and saw him standing all the way down the hall wagging his tail. There was this light around him and such a vibe of sweetness and joy. In some weird way, it was like we knew each other.

Watching him those few days brought back memories and pieces of myself that had been long forgotten. He reminded me of my time with Phoebe – in fact, I felt her same spirit right there with him. Unbeknownst to me, there was  tremendous healing taking place. I remember saying to myself, “If I were to ever get a dog again, it would be just like him”…

Spirits Reunited
Well, an interesting thing happened. About 2 weeks after I sat for him, his owner called me and said they were thinking of finding him a new home due to their busy schedules. But they wanted it to be someone they knew. He then asked if I’d like to take him.

I was so floored I didn’t even know what to say! It seemed like a dream. My rational brain had all sorts of concerns and worries, yet in my heart, it absolutely felt like the right thing to do. In fact, what it felt like was…coming home to Phoebe again.

It took around a month to get it all sorted and finally, the day arrived when I picked up Dunkin to bring him home. Oddly (or maybe not), It felt like the most natural thing in the world! It was just like putting on a pair of comfortable old shoes again. It was like he and I had been doing this co-life thing for a long, long time.

It actually has only been a few days since I’ve brought him to my home. Yet I find myself in these awestruck moments of gratitude for 2nd chances. I never thought I could “be” with Phoebe again. Yet in a very real way, I now AM.

And so the love story continues …❤️

Star Where You Are

Yes, I meant to say “Star”. ✨

There is a common expression of “start where you are” – you know, meaning to just make a start no matter how modest in the direction of your choosing. That’s how all big ideas get realized in my humble opinion.

Life isn’t always about climbing mountaintops and rescuing children from burning buildings and exotic travel and so forth. These things are well meaningful and important indeed. But we shouldn’t let them be the only indicator of success and purpose in our lives.

It’s the “small” things that count too. The day to day stuff is heroic and miraculous as well. Your smile to a stranger, a prayer to a loved one, a telephone call to a friend, reading to your children, a nap, even cleaning out some closet space in your home. This list is infinite and It’s ALL worthwhile and contributing.

So I say, STAR in your own life…where EVER you are. Enjoy a quiet moment. Relax knowing everything is well and OK. Follow your breaths in and out. Have a simple meal. Celebrate your accomplishments. Be in awe of the fact that Life is breathing itself through you, AS you. You don’t have to know any grand plans or schemes. You’re being here now is more than enough.

If you feel inspired…dance! Write! Play! Get out the markers and crayons and color. Listen to the birds. Or just thank yourself for all you’ve walked through and contributed to this world. You just don’t how many people, animals and/or places are breathing easier just because you once crossed paths.

You are the hero/heroine of your own story. Always. Don’t let the mind chatter convince you otherwise. Have faith. Rest easy. Know that something wonderful is happening. Actually…it’s YOU.

The Power of Love Given and Received

Watching a recent documentary series has profoundly touched my heart (shout out to Leon Logothetis and The Kindness Diaries on Netflix. Incredible. Please check it out!)

Like any other human being, I occasionally get caught in an inner struggle of “what am I supposed to be doing with my life?” Or “How can I get my business booming and career to take off?” Or “shouldn’t I be HERE by now?” Underneath it all it’s really about achieving and obtaining something in the eyes of the world.

Yet, life gently reveals to me that my greatest gifts aren’t so much in the things I am to achieve, build or even become. They exist right inside of me and in front of me just as I am.

Sometimes the only thing I can think of to “do” when life seem tough or confusing is to offer kindness and love to others. It is a simple yet profound medicine.

It can be an encouraging message to another. A quick reach out to say “Hello, how are you?” A prayer. A “thinking of you”. Perhaps it’s asking a stranger how their day is going. Maybe it’s tithing to an individual or charity. Or giving someone the benefit of the doubt and showing love. And the list goes on.

When I initiate the flow of this kind, loving energy, it often begets more in return. It shuts off the sometimes overactive “thinking” brain, brings me into the simplicity of the here and now and lo and behold … life starts to sort itself out. Without much meddling from me.

I often found this kindness and connection to be incredibly instrumental during my travels overseas. Sometimes it felt like a lonely journey. I was usually surrounded by many people and activities yet longed most for genuine connection.

And then it would happen. I’d offer to pull a few angels cards for someone seated next to me at a cafe and then they’d impart some words of love, truth and encouragement. All of which I just so happened to need in that moment.

I remember once in Bali, I took a long walk from a friend’s house back to my home. On the way, I passed by a school and some kids were out front playing ping pong. They spoke no English. I spoke very little Indonesian. My heart though guided me to join them. How receptive and kind they were! Despite our language and cultural barrier (and the fact that I was playing ping pong in my summer dress ;), which by the way I also joined soccer games on the beach with Indonesian kids … in my summer dress), they welcomed me in. And we understood one another through the language of the heart.

How that day and my sense of hope effortlessly transformed in that moment. We shared some laughs and high fives. Then I waved goodbye and headed home.

When I later arrived at my living quarters (I was staying with a kind, Balinese family in a room-for-rent situation), one of the staff members excitedly told me she saw me playing ping pong at the school. We both looked at each other and laughed. It had been quite silly but definitely worth it. And I’m glad someone else got to witness it and extract some joy as well.

Other times in Bali, I would take strolls with no real destination in mind. I’d just see where my heart & spirit would guide me. Sometimes it would lead to a small group of local musicians sitting outside a cafe. Someone would be strumming a guitar, someone else singing or drumming. I graciously was invited to sit down and sing with them. Time stood still in those moments.

Even today, this reminder inspires me. As the mind conjures up all sorts of stories of how my life “should” look, or how I’m not measuring up, I come back to the simple truth that Happiness and Divine Perfection are always right where I am… in any location in time and space. The details don’t necessarily matter – yet “I” and my heartfelt offerings on the other hand, DO matter.

So whether I share loving words with a friend or go above and beyond to connect with a client, or send good energy to people driving on the road or just spend quiet, loving time with my bunny Ruby – it ALL is valuable, divinely meaningful and So Right On.

Perhaps, there doesn’t have to be some grand extravagant thing happening in order to consider oneself worthwhile or on the right path. The simple day to day interactions and doings are just as profound and important. “Tend to the little things” , an old saying goes, “and then watch the big ones sort themselves out”.

So … Jump in the moment with enthusiasm or quiet kindness! Follow the daily simplicities of your heart. And Know that it is ALL purposeful ALWAYS …as are You.

500 Words 

Sometimes my mind makes writing more complicated than it needs to be. So today while breezing along on my scooter around the Bahamas (always fabulous inner processing happens for me on the scooter); I heard a voice say “”Just 500 words”. So here I am.

In fact, driving a scooter brings many realizations and life lessons for me. It has been a while since I rode…back last April in Bali. I felt confident getting on the road and then my mind starts to chatter, “Watch out for that bump!”, “Am I going the right way?”, “Why don’t these cars behind me pass me?!”…Not to mention the negative barrage of “what ifs”!

Dave and I had been efforting to follow this map and reach this suggested destination for most of the day. It JUST wasn’t working. First we turned the “wrong” way and ended up on this hectic highway. Then we found ourselves right back at our hotel. Then, his scooter broke down. The guys thankfully came out to swap our scooters. Then we made some other wacky turns and ended up in some desolate road going now where.

Finally I remembered my own precious past lesson learned of “put down the map and follow your heart”. I suggested this to him and off we went. You know what, our hearts knew exactly where we were going. We were never meant to reach that suggested-landmark-on-the-map. Instead, we paved our own way.

Our own way lead us to: a beautiful, quiet beach; a yummy restaurant; driving through quiet neighborhoods with massive, stunning homes and overall just enjoying the breeze, the sunshine and the freedom.

My nerves ceased and I remembered a beautiful lesson shared with me in Bali related to scooter driving. My friend then said to just keep my focus on my self and in own space of driving instead of constantly motioning the rear view mirror and worrying about the others cars and traffic. “They know what to do” he said. I was just to pleasantly and responsibly focus on my own ride and trust the rest to the Universe. What freedom and enjoyment this brings. Another reminder that I can’t and needn’t control every single aspect of the Universe and … I can relax and know that it’ll all be ok.

Due to the bike break down, the guys at the shop were so kind and offered us another day of riding for free. Maybe we will. Maybe we won’t. It was fun to hang out at the deserted beach until they came back with our bikes. To just lie in the sand, look up at the sky and trees, listen to the waves.

I was fondly reminiscent of my time in (and connection to) Bali while I’m here in the Bahamas. The quaint chill island feel. How nice it is to venture off the beaten path and enjoy the “local” energy and vibe. How kind people are. How things just work themselves out.

So I think Dave and I are getting a hang of this Bahamas- thing! Which is interestingly similar to this Life-thing. Just little by little. Trusting your gut and intuition. Being kind to others. Flowing with the moment. And it all works out ok.

And that’s 500 words. ❤️<<<<
gt;