1975 when I was 14 years old I attended my first personal growth workshop called “Micro-cosm”. My progressive Methodist minister used it as the basis for our confirmation class. The first exercise was to write a story about a bird. I still remember my story: There was a bird which lived in a cage in a pet store window. She would not sing. Every day a little boy came by the window and talked to the bird. One day he came inside, bought the bird, and took her home. When he let the bird out of her cage, she began to sing the most beautiful song. I am that bird of course. I am out of my cage and here is my song….
For the past 16 years I have been working as a non-denominational spiritual teacher and healer. The numerous tools in my tool bag are supplemented by an accumulation of a lifetime of spiritual seeking mixed with my well-developed intuition. I am a medium. I am clairvoyant, clairaudient, clairsentient, and a knowing sensitive. I am a rebirther, Reiki Master, and facilitator of past life and inner child regressions. I teach intuitive development, personal power, and meditation based on creative visualizations. I have helped thousands in the United States and abroad on the path to enlightenment. My best work is with a box of Kleenex; it’s my most powerful tool. Tears flow as the result of the deepest compassion and love in my heart when someone heals with joy or from sadness.
The dance of my life is about making magic. Through process work, counseling, and play, I have been a catalyst for others seeking to understand the ‘why’s’ of their lives. This part I have played in the cosmic drama has come from my own investigation of my own ‘why’s.’ I have found the answers are most profound when they are sourced from within. Forgiveness is a constant theme in my healing practice and I have developed a process that I call “The Five Steps of Forgiveness.” I believe as Desmond Tutu says, “Without forgiveness these is no future.” Not only do my clients and I discover together the nature of their problems, we discover their solutions.
People have always been my interest and curiosity, especially, in relationship to self-esteem and self-actualization. I moved to California in 1983 after receiving my undergraduate degree in Anthropology with minors in Women’s Studies and Sociology. My logical intention was to continue with my Anthropology studies at Berkeley. At that time women’s concepts of personal power in modern culture would have been my focus. My intuitive intention was to follow my heart. I knew my destiny was in San Francisco from a vision I had at Fisherman’s Wharf the summer of 1975. Once here, then Life showed me a very indirect path to Graduate School.
The Buddha said, “when the student is ready the teacher appears.” I have always seen and recognized my teachers. The quotation can also be changed to “when the teacher is ready, the students appear.” I have always felt the best teachers are those that never stop being students. In September of 1998 I had an Acoustic Neuroma tumor removed from my head. The brain tumor has been the greatest teacher yet for me about the ways of healing. When we think we know something we get an opportunity to find out if we do. My practice still continues, however, I am inspired to learn more ways to teach social justice, personal empowerment, and creating cultural change.
When my life was threatened by the surgery and during the subsequent recovery, my full tilt boogie pace came to a fast stop. I had always been in healing but physical illness was very different. My compassion has grown 10,000 fold for those physically challenged. In my holding and caring for my body, and child-of-wonder within, I remembered that I moved to California 18 years ago to go to Graduate School. I think the brakes came on to finally do it. Since I am also a party to evolution, instead of Berkeley a more appropriate school was in my path.
In May I graduated from The University of Creation Spirituality/Naropa University with a Master of Liberal Arts Degree in Creation Spirituality. This program was my medicine. UCS/Naropa connected me again with my vision, my talent, my hope, and my passion for transformation. My belief is the same as what Gloria Steinham talked about in Revolution from Within, that the revolution begins with each one of us. I needed to be in a structured system, which supported and inspired my spiritual teaching, to know I could function in the world again. I have had to practice what I preach. I believe that it has substantiated my theories; as only living them can.
Though most of the students come to UCS/Naropa because of Matthew Fox, he was not my reason to be there. Though I deeply appreciate his work, his vision, and the wonderful program that he directs, I was there to be in an environment that was of like mind while I healed. Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry’s book The Universe Story was the great love affair of my Master’s program. It was my favorite book, and continues to be my favorite, that I have read in the past 2 years. I studied anthropology as an undergraduate there were not cosmologists…now I understand that I am one!
My spiritual path began as I mentioned with being raised Methodist. Even today I still belong to Glide Memorial Methodist Church in San Francisco. However, the reality of my spiritual truth is the tradition is not what makes us spiritual. It is not the ritual that makes us spiritual. It is not whom we know or whom we serve that makes us spiritual. It is not how we pray or meditate that makes us spiritual. The only thing that makes us spiritual is our relationship to God and that relationship is between the individual and God.
For me it is easier to use the word God because it is what I was raised with. I could also use a variety of other words that mean the same thing to me: love, Divine Intelligence, All-That-Is, the Source, the Force, Universe, Fred, The Creator, My Creator, Goddess, the Great Mystery…. In its essence is its knowing, and in its knowing is truth, and in its truth there is simply is-ness. God really just is. I defined God as such before I learned in my Master’s program that Meister Eckhart said the same thing! Sweat lodges to me are as wonderful cathedrals. Rock music is as wonderfilled as silence. New York City, or small town USA, are sacred sites to me as much as Sedona, Arizona or Glastonbury, England. I find God in buildings as I find God in the trees. Nature to me, like God, is everywhere all the time. I do not need to go to a vortex. I am a vortex.
I will pray anywhere at any time with anyone. I learned an important lesson at a meditation retreat with the Dalai Lama in France in 1997. The Dalai Lama said, “You must first study the tradition you were born into before you seek elsewhere to find your God. We must know what we are rejecting.” This fueled my passion to teach forgiveness from the same perspective, knowing what we are letting go. The title of my Master’s Thesis is “Forgiveness: A Path of Peace.” At this retreat, organized by the Karma Ling Dharma Center, there were 4 days of Buddhist teaching followed by a day of prayer facilitated by representatives from 13 religious traditions from all around the world. This day was my dream come true. For me, as I said, God just is. People are the ones that separate, categorize, create hierarchy, and measure what has no measure, limit, or definition. What a beautiful moment of claiming all ways to God as good.
If I had to choose turning points of my spiritual path it would be a challenge. My mother says what I am doing now is nothing different than what I have been doing all my life. I really taught my first self-development workshop in high school. As a senior I was the student council district president of the state student council organization with 44 schools in my district. To attend the annual convention in Chicago I had to contribute. I chose to lead a discussion group and was very excited when I was selected to do so by the state board. When I got to the convention and looked in the program to find my time slot, reading the roster was a clue to what I am doing today. There, listed with topics like: “Fundraising Tips”, “Updating Your Constitution”, “Homecoming Themes”, was my discussion group….”You: Where It All Begins.”
My discussion group included a guided meditation, communication exercises, and creating a symbolic shield drawing. After the group, one of the high school students was putting her shoes on and asked me, “Sally, what are you going to study in college?” I replied that I didn’t know. Her response was, “You should do this…you’re good at it!” The road of life is not a straight path. It took me several years and thousands of miles to live my purpose. I proud to know that 18 year-old is inside of me and carried me forward to 40. I love opening up others to the possibilities within. I am committed to helping others do what they love too. This world would be such a different place if we just instituted this one change!
In the years between undergraduate school and when I began working as a healer full time with no other income source, I worked as a Realtor. Even in this occupation my spiritual teacher was present as my boss and mentor. This is a part of what I think is the key to understanding the mystery of life…there is no separation on any level other than by perception. Real estate was just another way for me to be in service. I wish we all realized that was the bottom line behind all job descriptions. Again, a change in perception that would revolutionize the world!
When I left my real estate practice in 1990 it was after the Universe had given me a coming out party and shown me my destiny. I was a speaker at the 2nd World Congress of Healers for Peace. Though I had just been teaching small intuitive development circles in San Francisco, somehow (hah) I was invited to be one of 66 speakers from all over the planet that gathered at Waikato University in Hamiltion, New Zealand. It was impossible to go back to my old life after this experience. Just like I can not go back to traipsing around the planet as the wandering mystic after my brain surgery. The call to change comes in many forms. Sometimes they are hard, sometimes fun, and sometimes frightening, but always change is certain.
The greatest thing I have learned in this time is that I have never been with out love, support, and the care of my family, friends, and clients, worldwide. Our presence in life is the most infinitely valuable thing we have. I may not have much material wealth but I know what I have acquired that is far more valuable to me, my intimacy with others. I have invested in relationships with time, attention, and the greatest gift of my participation in life with them. Brain surgery rocked my universe and slowly, with the help of my treasured circle, I returned to my right rhythm. I am blessed, grateful, and thriving again.
The week after I attended a Science and Spirituality conference hosted by UCS/Naropa in August of 2000, featuring Brian Swimme and Matt Fox, I received a book in the mail from Fred Frohock, Ph.D. Fred is a public policy expert who had just published another book, called The Lives of Psychics: The Shared Worlds of Science and Mysticism. This was serendipity. I am featured on pages 204-207. I am mending the separation everyday by just being. My Master’s affirmed my Mystic now I want my writings to affirm my Scientist!
My own healing, though I can tell stories of many whom I have served, has been the most awe-filled affirmation of faith that I could imagine. My life has been incredibly rich. When I woke up in ICU my first lucid thought was, “I have this body to teach people about God.” Sometimes I am uncertain of ‘how?’ I am going to do God’s work. Yet, I know that I will always be shown a good way. My ‘why?’ has been clearly answered. Through my intellect, my intuition, my creativity, and my courage, I will figure out the how?, what?, when?, and where?! Trust in the Great Mystery is all I really need.