Graduation is a few days away and classes are over for the year.
(Yup, this is a flashback. If Oprah ever asks if every word is true, I won’t be able to say for certain. Memories soften, get a little fuzzy, and are often sweeter in the re-telling.
Truth? Oprah scares me. I once saw her interview a memoirist and ask if every word was accurate. Accuracy and memory are, at best, fraternal twins.
But I digress…)
Lying prone on a hillside in the arboretum, the grass pokes through the cotton blanket, tickling my stomach. (This was before Lyme Disease became part of my consciousness, back when I laid on the ground with abandon, worrying only about an occasional ant.) The scent of barbecue, beer, and Johnson’s Baby Oil (yup, pre-SPF, too) overpowers the whispers of wild honeysuckle and pine from the woods below.
Conversation drifts round my circle of friends. We speculate on post-college life and who each of us will be when we “grow up.”
Before long we’ve identified two teachers, an accountant, a social worker, an advertising exec, and a P.T.A. mom. The tone is light with the sweet notes of women who know each other well, who see each other’s souls, and can fish gems of truth from the depths of self. As each truth emerges, sparkling, a bit of soul-light shines on us all. (more…)
This must be impossible, I thought. So I hit play and watched again.
For the seventeenth time, smoke billowed in a tawny cloud, a sunset glow lighting Notre Dame’s spire. It blackened, becoming skeletal, a tensile outline against the evening sky. For a heart wrenching moment, it seemed to become something indestructible… and so its collapse made no sense. In mere seconds the new and starkly drawn structure was completely erased.
I’ve never been to Notre Dame (or to Paris for that matter), but in architecture school I studied its revolutionary flying buttresses and drenched myself in images of its stained glass windows. In dreams, I’ve sat high on the turrets sharing a pizza with the gargoyles and prowled the crypts below the cathedral searching for the Roman ruins on which it was built.
Let’s talk a little bit about our brains.
While incredibly useful and adaptive, they can also be single-minded (no pun intended!) bullies.
A couple years back, I was doing a little number crunching for the business. It was one of those potentially annoying jobs that nobody else had enough time or desire to do. I had a bit of both, so I jumped into the breach.
The truth is, I love detail work. The intricate doodles in the margins of my notebooks would make a pointillist proud.
This was just more detail work, nothing particularly upsetting about it.
And yet, my brain was going to town.
What happens when you give yourself permission to change your life?
There’s a fascinating phenomenon I’ve observed with my students and, in the past, with clients: once someone signs up for a program, whether it’s for wellness or witchery, their life starts moving and shifting. It’s as if they’ve given the Universe the thumbs-up and the Universe responds with a resonant Hurrah! and gets to work.
While this sudden momentum can be uncomfortable, most folks who sign on to work with me are looking for knowledge, growth, change, and a deeper sense of authenticity. When I worked with clients, I’d ask six questions to ignite this inner-journey. These innocuous little questions would appear in a potential client’s inbox to start their energy moving in a different way:
“The result was like a huge weight being lifted off my shoulders and illumination of new and old spaces in my mind and spirit. I felt like I reconnected with past dreams and hopes and made some amount of peace with my current life transition. I cried as I read and since the reading I feel healed and energized in a very powerful way.”
Simply working with these questions is a journey in and of itself. If you’re feeling ready to shift and grow, read on! (more…)
When I arrived, she washed my feet in flowered water and dried them with her long red hair.
This is how my studies in Ireland begin.
(Admit it: you thought I was working on a sappy romance novel! Hmmm…..)
The trip to the farmette, where my teacher Gina lived, involved an overnight flight, a transfer at Gatwick, a couple hours of airport time, and then a bus ride which took four times longer than the same trip by car. As the driver had jovial reunions with aunts and cousins at seemingly every station stop. I arrived at Gina’s exhausted and a bit disoriented, like my soul hadn’t quite caught up with the adventures of my body.
Gina sat me down in the dining room with a cup of tea and disappeared into the kitchen. She returned with a basin of water swirling with petals. Rose and calendula, lemon balm and borage… the colors formed kaleidoscope designs as she set the basin at my feet. The scent of rose geranium essential oil wafted on the steam. My eyes welled up as Gina gently removed my low leather boots, slipped off my socks, and cradled my feet as she guided them into the basin. Relaxed and drifting, the experience felt dreamlike and surreal as she rubbed my feet with oil then tenderly dried them with the ends of her waist length hair.
What if you could feel what you feel… guilt free?
You could savor anger, lick up loneliness, and relish frustration. Roll it in your mouth and caress it with your tongue. What if you knew that tears cleanse the palette and bitter fuels the fire? What if no one ever again smiled and sweetly told you you’re “so sensitive”?
If you’re an emotional being, an out of the box thinker, or (oh, dear) both, people have probably tried to convince you that thoughts or feelings that weren’t sunshine and buttercups were not only character flaws, but a slap-down to the whole hierarchy of happiness. And we all want happiness, right?