Process of Illumination

Riding The Waves Of The Soul

For the past few weeks, I’ve been riding a whirlwind of uplifting, forward-moving energy. I feel that there has been so much happening that it is hard to keep track of it all. At the same time, each experience has held such special meaning for me that I want to write it all down, just so I don’t miss out on the enjoyment and the feelings of appreciation that each of them are worthy of.

So, if you’ll indulge me, I want to share some of the more significantly wonderful things that have been going on for me during the past little while. 

As I mentioned last week, I started sailing classes at Queen’s City Yacht Club on Toronto Island, which is proving to be an incredible experience so far. I’m doing the class with a good friend and we’ve met some fun and interesting new people in the class, including our amazing sailing instructor, Jamie. Due to high winds on our sailing nights so far, we haven’t actually had much time on the water yet but I’m still enjoying every moment, learning how to rig and de-rig, tie knots, the various ways to approach the wind and, of course, the sailing terms. All of this while laughing and sharing beers with the group and enjoying the beautiful backdrop of the Toronto skyline at sunset.

In addition to beginning my new sailing adventure, I also drove up to Bracebridge on Friday and had a brief visit with my son, at camp, and then spent a gorgeous weekend on the Muskoka River with some friends from the Puerto Vallarta Meditation Retreat. While there, we enjoyed incredibly delicious and healthy meals; played music and sang; sunbathed; kept track of the many duck families who visited us regularly; shared stories, ideas and laughter; went for a long boat-ride to Port Carling and drank Mojitos on the patio while listening to the nearby cheers of the people inside watching the final game of the World Cup; soaked in the hot tub followed by a jump in the river (I did this repeatedly); kayaked and learned stand-up paddle-boarding, which I LOVED!  And, at the end of each night, the four of us crowded into one, oversized lounger on the dock, while the Supermoon beamed down upon us…

The previous weekend, I went camping with 6 other people to Presqu’ile Provincial Park. Of those in the group, I knew one person well but the others were people I barely knew or had never met before. We were an interesting mix of varying ages, interests and cultural backgrounds but, somehow, we felt like kindred spirits from the moment we all came together on that campsite. I hadn’t been camping in over 20 years, so I thought it would be a bit outside my comfort zone, but my true “camper” nature took over, and I felt so at home and “myself” in that environment and amongst my fellow campers.

Then, this past Monday night, my new colleague/friend/fitness trainer/camping buddy, Barry H Samuel (of Insideout Fitness Studio) and I hosted our first Meditation & Mindfulness Workshop together. It was a truly inspirational evening, attended by some wonderful souls. Barry and I were both so honored to have been able to facilitate a group who are, most certainly, on a very powerful journey… both individually and collectively. I think Barry and I are a pretty good team and we are excited to be offering a follow-up outdoor Meditation & Mindfulness workshop on July 28th at Serena Gundy Park, a weekend retreat on September 26/27/28 at Swallow’s Bridge Retreat Centre in Alton, ON, near Orangeville and a 5-7 day retreat at Spectrum Healing Arts Centre in Bobcaygeon, ON, later in the fall.

Let me see… what else…?

Oh! I took possession of my new property @ 973 Broadview Avenue – which I am now calling “StudioBe…@973” – and, last night, I hosted an impromptu gathering there. The idea was sparked when a good friend suggested we meet there and share a toast to the new space so, quite spontaneously, I posted an invitation on Facebook for friends and supporters to come and share in the toast and blessing.

The place is still unfurnished, but I managed to find a great, red, Laughing Buddha at Homesense, grabbed some pillows, candles, incense and a few bottles of bubbly and left the rest up to the universe.

What unfolded was a beautiful, organic gathering of some special people in my life who honored me by taking the time to come and share the experience with me. One of the Self-Love Sisters brought fragrant “smudge-powder”, a singing bowl and divination cards, and we created our own little ceremony to bless and welcome the space. It was perfect.

The amazing this was that, each time I decided to count how many people people were in the room, at any given time (to try and gauge how many people could fit comfortably in a workshop), I always counted 11. If one person left, another would soon arrive to bring it back up to 11. If you don’t know this about me already, I’m very into numerology and 11 is not only a master number but also a number that shows up a lot for me in my chart and in my life. It made perfect sense… and was very comforting to know… that the universe was communicating to me that everything about the new space is in harmonious alignment with my higher purpose.

And… oh my god… I haven’t even mentioned the panel discussion I’ve been invited to speak on! On August 14th, I’ll be flying to NYC to film a panel discussion with 4 other therapists, including… drumroll… Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt... the founders of Imago Relationship Therapy! I am incredibly honored to have been chosen to be among the panelists and, yet, I’m also scared shitless!!! This is BIG, folks. Harville has been on Oprah!!!! But, I’m ready to do this. Scared, but ready.

The other, pretty amazing, thing is that I’ve also started training with Barry at his gym 2-3 times a week and, I can’t believe I’m saying this but… I LOVE that, too! I have never been one who has liked working out in a gym… in fact, I have tried to avoid it… so it’s a welcome surprise for me that I actually look forward to my training sessions with Barry. I think, partly, it’s due to the fact that the intimate, casual and friendly atmosphere at Insideout is very appealing to me and Barry’s nature and approach are a great fit for my personality.

I also think it has a LOT to do with the Self-Love I’ve been cultivating for almost two years now.

Let me explain…

I’ve noticed I’ve been taking some risks lately, in all kinds of arenas… financial, professional, emotional and physical… and discovering that I actually like, and have a natural talent for, things that used to scare me. Let’s see… I bought a new building… I went camping with strangers… I started doing workshops with a new collaborator… I’m exploring new relationships, dating, intimacy and all that goes with it… I’m writing this blog… I’m sailing… I’m doing the televised panel discussion with Harville & Helen… I mastered stand-up paddle boarding in 10 minutes…I’m training at the gym… I’m (going to be) riding a bike…

In short, I’m giving myself permission to do all kinds of things that I “stopped” myself from doing for a very long time, for various reasons… shame, fear of failure; fear of success; fear of not being in control; fear of looking stupid; fear of not being liked; fear of becoming overwhelmed, not feeling legitimate or worthy…

There is something different about how I feel when I come close to having the kinds of experiences I used to “stop” myself from having. I still feel those butterflies and hear that voice of my protective ego that says “don’t do it”, for all the reasons I listed above, but it only lasts for a moment. And then, there is another voice… the voice of my soul… that comes in and says “You have set the intention to Show Up, Be Seen and Live Brave. Don’t let fear or shame or doubt be the reason that you abandon yourself, like you have chosen to do in the past. Nobody else can do this for you. You are the one you must learn to trust before you can begin to trust anyone else. Nobody can keep you safe unless you teach them how, by your own example. To really practice Self-Love, you must keep the promises you make to yourself and not let yourself down.”

And then, through the fear, I begin to feel something on the other side of it… the exhilaration of knowing that, what I’m about to embark on, will take me forward to places I’ve only dreamed of going. The next thing I know, I’m doing it… my soul is driving and my ego has taken a back seat… and it’s BLISS! Sheer and utter BLISS!

I must honestly say that I’m pretty much in constant gratitude lately… I just look around and say “Wow… this is my life! How lucky am I?”

But, deep down, I know that “luck” really has nothing to do with it.