My heart is happy, dancing, and I just feel like smiling most of the time. I have been with my family in Illinois non-stop until Wednesday night this week. I have been ruminating on some of the insights from these past few weeks in the Heartland. My tagline since 1985 has been “As we heal ourselves, we heal the world.” Today seems to be a good day to share about some of my recent self-healing as I journey forward through time and space. These are interesting times for sure!
The way my life is organized right now I have options as to where I want to sleep. To give you a better picture, here are some terms I use to describe the last 28 months of my life. I usually respond to the question about my home with something like:
“Well, currently I am – then I use one of these terms –
3. without-residence – one of my favorites!
5. welcomed guest
6. a wandering mystic
7. couch surfing.
All of these terms are a positive spin on the word HOMELESS. I prefer to look at the world from the half-full side of my glass. I think these are clever, creative descriptives that are happy, not sad, about this state of my Being.
My home is totally where my heart is, so it goes with me where ever I go. However, my furniture, dishes, household goods, most of my clothing, shoes, and accessories, my keepsakes, my camping equipment, and my fine art, all live in storage in my beloved San Francisco. I, on the other hand, live where I am. This arrangement seems to keep working. It will cease to be this way, when it changes. I do not know when, how, or why it will change. So, until those things are apparent, I am surrendering to What Is. In more common terms, I am going with the flow.
Last week, it was supposed to be the final days with my parents before flying back to San Francisco. That is not what happened. It is not what I had planned in July to happen when my client bought my airline ticket bringing me to Chicago to perform her daughter’s wedding. However, this happening is just fine with me. Two weeks ago, I learned that the condo I had been a guest in for the last 7 months has been rented. I would be returning to stay at another friend’s who generously shared her home with me in 2010. Within 10 minutes of this news, I was given an opportunity to house-sit for a friend of a friend in Chicago who was going on a trip to Europe. Kismet! So, my flow has kept me here in Illinois to continue to revisit my past, contemplate and create my present, and embrace my future.
Because I was with my parents, I had the privilege to be their designated driver as they did their lives. My Mom is 74 and my Dad is 84 and they are known for the miles they put on their car. I came by my wandering ways – honestly! On their schedule was The Potluck Group meeting. This is an institution from my youth that was the core of my parent’s social life for all of the 54 years they have been married.
My parents, as newlyweds, moved to a town 276 miles north of where they were born. In 1958, that was a big adventure for people from towns of 1000 and 250 to move to a town of 3200 people so far from their home. My Dad had been hired to work in the small farm bank of a typical Midwestern community. Several of a group of high school friends that had grown up in the town worked in the bank with Dad. They were now also young married couples like my parents. To socialize, they got together for potluck dinners and invited Mom and Dad to join.
As a child, Potluck night was always fun because we had a babysitter, got to stay up late, and always got to sample the new recipe that Mom was taking that night to the party. The rules were very clear and defined. There were six couples and six courses: Appetizers, Bread, Salad, Vegetable, Desert, and then the Main Course of which the Hosts were to provide. They would rotate around the courses and when you got Appetizers, you knew the next party you were hosting at your house.
After dinner, the wives would retreat to the kitchen to do dishes and dish, and the men would play poker. It was a fun night without spending a lot of money and that they created on their own. I love this! And, I loved that my timing, and The Potluck Group’s schedule, and The Universe’s timing, gave me the blessing to be a part of this gathering of old friends. It did not feel like a ‘random event’ that I had a chance to see The Potluck Gang once again. Having lunch with these special people of my past I could bring them current to my present not just through my parent’s stories but by my own presence.
Sometimes, we do not ‘get it’ what blessings we have in our lives until we see what others do not have. My parents have slowly lost half of the members of the original group. They now are the only couple still remaining of sound body and mind…and still married! There was only one divorce of the group in all of those years and the man, not the woman, got The Potluck Group in the property settlement. He went on to marry a younger woman who has preceded him now in leaving the Earth. It hit home to me again, that still having my parents alive, and actively participating in my life, is one of the greatest gifts I have today.
As my life is buffered, as everyone’s is, by the winds of change, I am here in the Midwest now till the end of September. Illinois, is the land of my birth, the Heartland, and for some reason, a place I get to do my passion. It just feels right for every part of my being. I can only imagine this is where God, my innate wisdom, and the Universe want me to be. Why go sleep on a friend’s futon, when I have a chance to do what I love, have some privacy of someone’s empty home, and be able to pay some bills? So in the quiet comfort of my housesitting gig, I am writing and reflecting on what got me to here, what I am going to do here, and where am I going from here.
As a Healer and Spiritual Teacher, I am not immune to the responsibilities of modern life: insurance bills for my health and car, my cell phone bill, food, gas, entertainment, repairs for my two assets – my computer and my car, my graduate school loans, tolls, birthday or wedding or hospitality gifts and cards, credit card debt, taxes, and all the other miscellaneous things that people spend money on to live. I am being practical to be here in Illinois because people here want my healing work more than in any other geographic location currently on the Earth.
My trip home to the Midwest this time was sponsored by clients who were marrying and wanted me to have the privilege to bless their union. It would also be a chance to see family and clients so I flew in a few days in advance of the Labor Day wedding festivities and planned to stay after. Weddings are one of the greatest privileged tasks of my job. I am to the focused witness to the commitment to love. However, it is in my story also the perfect storm to bring up my own aching heart. In the pain of being without children or a husband of my own, it becomes my opportunity to forgive myself for what I have not yet manifested in my life. My way to self-healing when I come to the land of my Siblings, Nieces, Nephews and my aging parents, is: I make sure I play, see old friends, and create absolutely new experiences. I follow the fun factor!
My healing practice, and client base, has never faltered in Chicago in the decade and a half since my brain surgery. This year in February, I made a goal to post a Blog item once a week. The past few months I am behind in my goal. It has been tough without my own computer. (Read back a few posts to see that story.) However, with the blessing of my Brother’s Mac to use, a bit of separation from my Chicago community with my house sitting gig, my muse is alive and well. I have been on a roller coaster of my own feelings since the wedding and I need this time to myself to process. Writing is the best way for me to affirm and integrate what I have learned.
It feels so good to stretch these wordsmith muscles to create something worth reading, not just for you, but for me too. A Blog can be a very, very public diary. However, my goal is that it is not just my opinionated self that writes these words to pontificate on the human condition nor complain about my own woes, or to boast about my blessings. My hope always is to leave you with some kind of inspiration for you to go out and make the world better for yourself, and us who share it with you. I am compelled to share this perfect storm in a way that you to can smile at the synchronicity and perhaps begin to embrace your own kismet experiences, in the flow of life both from good or bad things happening along the way.
When you work for God ~ The Universe, the Infinity Mystery ~ what ever you want to call the passion that lives through me to share my gifts to help people, you are basically on duty all the time. This means I need to be having fun or adventure or playing all the time too. This does not mean I am happy all the time. It means I thrive when I am learning. I like not living in a routine. It allows me to bring new perspectives, experiences, and relationships into my life everyday. For me, it also means I must be authentic and walk my talk, no matter what. Currently I am facing my shame and self judgement that I am not ‘successful’ when it comes to having a house, a husband, and my own children take care of and love. However, I am very successful at learning to live and love who is in my life, no matter what is going on around me.
During this trip I also reached a milestone in my own consciousness evolution and my ability to forgive. Forgiveness, being my thing (download the essence of my Master’s thesis on the subject for free), is noteworthy as I move through space and time. To forgive means to let go of the emotions not the lesson of an experience. I totally FORGOT the 14th anniversary of my brain surgery! To forget also means to let go. It did not even cross my mind until two days later when my Mom mentioned it. For me, it was a happy moment. I felt like I had moved to another level of acceptance that this is my life story, whether I liked it or not. The fact that I forgot, meant to me, that I had gone to a new level of integration and my own wholeness.
On September 8th of this year, the 14th anniversary and demarcation of life BBS-Before Brain Surgery and ABS-After Brain Surgery, I was teaching an Intuitive Development Workshop in Chicago. I even used my own handout mentioned above and talked about the fact we just do not forgive other people. The hardest thing to forgive is ourselves for our own lessons, mistakes, failures, and pain we created. When we do not WIN, in our culture, it is seen as less than. Winning to me is not being the top of the roster, better than anyone else, or what should be valued more than losing. Even when we lose, we win, if we are willing to learn from the experience. My brain surgery was an experience that I did not come out without many challenges to my body and psyche. Yet, it has been the greatest teacher of love, faith, intuition, friendship, wisdom and self-awareness than I could have possibly imagined. For me, my recovery make me feel like a champion!
In my sessions with people I hear myself saying the same things over and over. One of those statements is:
We do not get to where we are, if we have not been where we have been.
Last week, the same day I was with The Potluck Gang, I brought something new, Jon Kuhn’s glass sculptures, into my life. I regularly, no matter were on the planet I am, take myself on an Art date. This is how I embrace the future and inspire myself at the same time. I experience something that is new to be current in my consciousness.
Jon Kuhn gave me a visual of how it feels to be trapped in shame. The box is the illusion but the prism inside is created by fracturing the light. Then the beauty of the rainbow can be seen. All of the flaws of my humanity, are the fissures that allow my own radiance to be revealed. Accepting my brokenness is what allows my wholeness, my perfect imperfection is who I am.
So today, I am forgiving myself for expecting me to be someplace other than where I am. I am remembering to use the tools that I have to let go of what does not work, to pay attention to what is around me right now, and to be willing to walk forward into the unknown future. Surrender is my medicine to heal me. I know forgiveness is my path of peace. I will enjoy these last few hours of summer as tomorrow autumn begins. This world just keeps spinning forward around the sun. There is no other direction the Earth can go, and neither can I.