At the end of 2013 I was asked to give a talk at a spiritual service (My Unitarian Universalist church community) centered around change. Since I had so many changes in my life I was asked if I wanted to share my story. So I gave the talk and I had it video-recorded to be able to share later. Unfortunately the sound is not so great, which I just realized because I didn’t want to watch myself (I am now okay with hearing my recorded voice…and working on seeing my recorded self). Anyway I am working hard doing the heart muscle healing exercises that are helping me to do this challenging empathy work. Some dedicated healing time was needed for the new post I am working on now. This is also leaving space for mind mapping and brainstorming for the 30+ topic ideas which will become “Lead with Empathy” posts. I just wanted those who read regularly to know that there is more to come! The beginning of summer is creating lots of new opportunities and filled with fun events, live music and soon I’ll have carved out hours to be my sacred writing time. I don’t want my empathy work/service writing to be so challenging, because I want it to come from a heart centered place where I am connected to my innate human compassion. However I still have triggers, or reactions to seeing certain kinds of human behavior that alarms and concerns me, and my reactions can be fear based and angry. I recently released a lot of that through dance, physical exertion, self-empathy and meditation and am now really feeling a loving flow of energy in my life… its awesome! This creates a more conducive heart/mental space to recognize and consider more perspectives and sense the common shared values and feelings between humans more naturally, even easily! So while I heal and brainstorm and write, I thought I would share the words I wrote to deliver in a speech on change. So anyone reading his will get to know me a little better. 🙂 And you can check out video if you want and even visit my you tube channel, if you want to see me dance, even with just my face…seriously I can face dance;) I have an eclectic resume of gifted blessings to share!
When asked if I was interested in giving a talk on change, I had a rush of panic.. can I get up in front of people and talk again? My decision to be up here now is because I am ready to step outside of my comfort zone, where big and amazing change happens.
So this is me doing something..a bit uncomfortable.
This opportunity arrived right on divine time. I have been having such a difficult time answering these questions from people in my life “what’s up, what’s new, what are you doing these days?” Because I have so much change going on I found it hard to condense my response to fit a casual conversation, which was creating anxiety!
Soooo I am having this recorded so I can share it virtually for anyone curious as to ‘what I am up to?
And I am up to something!:) Running Down my Dream
Imagine I am a tree, a tree who was so interested in so many different things that I branched out in many directions, each direction was reaching for a new hew of light…Each of those branches ev..entu..ally became their own circle of community representing my passions.
Three years ago I was dancing in a parenting circle, with an overlapping home school circle, I was twirling around here with my UU community, I served hard in my compassionate communication community, I was also blessed with a band of friends fanatical about local music who loved to dance. There were my massage clients/friends, who were all dear to …AND of course… my family, especially my son Chase.
I was running a business, planning, teaching, preparing, organizing, dancing, massaging…and my tree was drying up and beginning to wilt! WHY??? Because I was not rooted! I was giving and giving and my roots were not lapping up proper nourishment. And… I was an unsatisfied tree! I knew I had reservoirs of rich sap that had yet to be tapped. Embedded deep beneath my bark, was a deep desire drawn towards contributing towards creating peace, clearing away misunderstandings through careful compassionate consideration and articulating myself with an em..pa..the..tic expression. My many circled life gifted me with access to so many perspectives and I wanted use this experience to help me unite people through shared human values.
While kneading knots in massage, my mind often contemplated how to gently and effectively knead the world’s knots of conflict, anger, righteousness and our past pain.
I wanted to share ALL this Pondering and make it something tangible, share able and actually…write it down, which I was not able to carve out time to do.
So the Universe decided to send me a message and within ONE YEAR, I lost three cars, (radiator, deer, engine). It is my truth the Universal/my Goddess…sends us helpful signs and messages and I heard this one… Time to go within, burrow down into a cave and give attention to my deepest desires.
And to do this properly and effectively…
… a BIG CHANGE was in DUE! Why because this, my life..was NOT working. I was not showing up in each of these circles as the highest vision of myself that I know I can be.
My ultimate goal can easily be summed up as “Be the change I wish to see in the world.”
The way I am going about it is to first embody the BE-ing-ness that supports and sustains the DO-ING-ness. So I wish to see peace in the world, so I need to BE peace myself to bring that out into the world.
And my life was NOT the epitome of peace! Nor was my family life. All the circle dancing was exhausting and STRESSFULL! And My son was going through his own massive transition, which is his change story to tell not mine. I needed to be his ROCK..solid support, his change coach, and MOTHERLY comfort through intense emotions.
…Where to get start…hmm inner pea…it is NOT a breeze!!! It takes some super serious inner spiritual work. For me it meant I needed a quieter life, more alone time and to simplify. To really CARVE out this time…I downsized….relinquished roles, hung up lots of hats and sadly bowed out of many of my circles.
That help…it was not enough! And a year and half ago I ended my massage and oil business. I was shocked myself, although it was the answer I received loud clear after a dedicated night spent meditating in the woods, opening myself to guidance. The intuited insight was this… to LIVE OUT MY PURPOSE and make the contribution to the world I am here to give…I had to completely let go of a life that was not serving me.
After 10 years I had not created a sustainable business to support myself and my child independently as we live with my Mom. I had simultaneously become a single parent and began my massage career. OY! There are a lot of contributing factors I won’t elaborate …but I do not see it as a failed business. I was in service to healing and what I did receive was PRICELESS. The glazed over look on people’s faces that says…” I feel relaxed, good, I have honored my body, I love myself” AND the satisfaction from being able to provide that for people is incredibly fulfilling.
And all that time I was giving advice, like ..”be careful how your muscles automatically tense when you are stressed, causing tension and pain.” I encouraged people to try getting regular massage to get healthy blood to your muscles and to stretch consistently. So do you think I took this advice for myself? NO. I was just like the mechanic with the clunker, I was a masseuse with a bad back. Even after a roller-skating accident that threw my legs our from under me and landed me on my backside…did I take the time to really heal myself, NO I kept going, Lugging my massage table to client’s homes, doing my holistic hustle…hurting myself while helping heal others!
Once I was free of that..Oh yeah..of course way less money, that is probably the obstacle that keeps so many from really running down their dreams. I was determined to jump that hurdle. I did receive some child support, I had a roof over my head and a mother who still feeds me, I do not bite her hand, I cook her healthy nourishing meals, I clean and make us a HOME to live our lives. I know I am blessed to have this support. Let me be clear, it is not the most ideal situation for me by a long shot, however it is what is, AND I am NOT a stereotype.An adult child moocher, that I get paranoid people think I am, I also know I will be able to reciprocate all her support and I promised the universe to return the favor and pay it forward when I am in a position to help another dream chaser.
Still I simplified, I wanted so much to have this time for myself and the loving presence to give my child, it was not that hard to let go of the desire to acquire more material stuff. Situations like this bring out my German gusto and my resourceful spirit!
I could not afford to travel to India, to find myself, but I could simplify my life enough to create my own spiritual sanctuary.
So chase and I together spruced up our nest and got cozy in our cocoons.
We completely reorganized our living spaces… purging, organizing, and created a home that allows us to flow
NOW what I was doing last year for myself, I am doing now for others, and am being paid to use my organizing skills to helping 2 families create flow in their home…And these opportunities presented themselves right before the holidays…Divine Design, right on time.
And Now I am taking the advice I gave to clients, which was hard to ignore given that in the past year I have been coping with Sciatic in my back, Exrreme anemia, low blood pressure and a sprained foot (and chase broke 2 bones this year)
I needed to Honor My life BOAT! And NOW I actually do yoga regularly on my own, I’m healing my emotional eating, still dancing through life and enjoying the culinary creative rush from making healthy delicious food from scratch!
NOW I am using my healing skills as a means of barter to get receive services that support my goals. So one of my draw backs to writing was my phonetically incorrect spelling and run on sentences.. that reflected my rambling oral musings. So I made some offers to friends and they agreed to edit my writing pieces and offer feedback. So they come over, I make them dinner, we go over my writing and then I give them a massage!! And because of all this help… I am very proud of the body of work I have shared so far on my blog, http://www.musings4peace.com
And I am also proud of my precious children’s book that I wrote to encourage a fun and imaginative search for truth and love. I believe I was given this seed of an idea to germinate, grow and share, so I feel reassured that I will find an illustrator and a way to publish it that’s called faith, not limited logical thinking !
And now I have cultivated much more inner peace. I found this process required an OWNING of my shadow, my dark side and how I contribute to our collective shadow when fueled on fear, defense, and deprecation. I also needed to give healing attention to old hurts and refuse to allow my pain to limit my life. All of my triggers were identified and I learned to nip them in the bud before they exploded with anger and judgment. I am standing up to my insecurities and choosing to see our shared humanity. And When I am operating at my optimal soul level performance I am continuously within myself offering empathetic counseling for myself and others .
I am not easily defined by a predetermined Job description, If I lived a few thousand years ago I’d be a muse and a shaman, well I still am those things, although with a 21st century reinvention. So I am carving out the role I have in OUR whole.
A Mystical medicinal muse in motion, a mediating masseuse with an addiction to alliteration to aid my articulation… I also have made a pledge to playfulness.
All of us have something unique only to us to contribute to the world and not everyone’s contributions are easily categorized. I hope through my example to offer empowerment to anyone on the verge of making big leaps, let go of what is not serving you, cut the confines of cultural restrictions, and create the Life that would allow the highest vision you’ve had of yourself to shine out into the world.