Your Divine Lens is finally available in paperback!! Keep this book by your bedside for inspiration & guidance! Here’s the link: http://amzn.com/0976239337
Excerpt from Your Divine Lens:
There’s no joy without pain – no pain without joy – when all is said and done. We have to love the play for what it is – a textbook of mastery for our divine evolution.
Of course, like you, I long to step away from the pain and live in the bliss – meditating on my porch while a summer breeze stirs my heart and I cry from the beauty of a tree in the morning sun; the perfect dance of light and dark; the brilliance of a mourning dove’s sweet song; the song that wakes us up from the bliss of higher realms.
In a moment of sudden panic at the airport, I hold my daughter forever, kiss her lovely forehead and never let her go. I stop her from walking towards the gate away from me. Then, like mothers do, I blow her a kiss good-bye as she disappears from view. She too needs to see the beauty and the horror side by side.
We all must sip from this potent brew or there’s no need to be here. It’s the play and the play’s the thing. And when you take your final bow, it matters how honestly you spoke your lines, how bravely you faced the audience; if you played your role with every ounce of heart you could muster.
It matters how true your words rang out into the night – filling the audience with hope, sorrow and understanding; your poetry drifting into a moonlit sky.
But the play’s the thing. And it gets me out of bed. It’s the thing that holds us together waiting for the divine reveal. We hope for one word of unbroken truth to fall into our hearts and touch us so deeply that for a brief instant we remember who we are and leap to our feet shouting “Bravo!!”
For that one moment, we see the perfection of horror and beauty. We understand the play of light and shadow; and it illuminates us.
Only at the final curtain call can we say it was terrible and wonderful and that we’re glad we came – that the story was worth it. And the script was brilliant.
Be the player on the stage we can’t forget. Pull the naked truth from your heart and lay it on the stage for all to see. Speak your untarnished wisdom that wakes us up for a brief instant of shared illumination. Because you are divine and nothing can stop you.
My pain is the same as everyone’s. My fear is shared by all. There is no dark night of the soul I can have that you haven’t had.
We share this journey. We joined our souls long ago. We dove in. We agreed.
We swim beside each other now. Forgetting. Fighting the flow. Resisting wisdom. Why?
Because doubt is easy. Fear is ordinary. We give up. A million times. A billion times…
But here’s the thing. We hit the dirt but we always rise again. We reach for light after days of pacing in the dark. We long to feel love. We long to help. We want life. We breathe. We choose.
Never doubt that you have the gift. Never doubt that you walk in grace. Never doubt that every rising up and falling down is perfect – meant to be – fuel for the journey of your soul.
You’re right on schedule. Relax. Trust your gut. You’re learning what you must.
Someday when your heart is ripped open, your head thrown back in awe, and you’re gasping at the light – you’ll see the purpose of your whole crazy story.
You’ll know it was good. All good…
This exact moment is very good. All good. Trust it…
Choose love. Choose what you love.
Because doubt is easy. Fear is ordinary.
From my book: Your Divine Lens
In the spring of 1976, I was a 25-year-old Montessori pre-school teacher living in Missouri and looking for reinvention. My first love had moved out and broken my heart. I was drowning in self-doubt. When a friend mentioned that he’d once taken an Outward Bound survival course and it had changed his life, I was in.
After a few phone calls to O.B. headquarters in Hurricane Island, Maine I packed some clothes and drove my little Honda Civic across the country for a three-week-long June course on an open pulling boat off the foggy coast of Maine. I’d heard the stories of being dropped off alone on a tiny island for three days with only a tarp and some water. I knew about the required morning jumps from the edge of a 75-foot-cliff into the freezing Maine water where you could die of hypothermia in 20 minutes. I was terrified and elated.
I’d never done anything like this. I’d grown up in the 50s in the conservative south where girls behaved well and men created the rules. I’d found my posse of true friends when I’d dropped out of University of Missouri in 1970 to march against the Vietnam war and ultimately to launch a dream.
Mostly disowned by our conservative families because of our alternative beliefs, we worked menial jobs, opened “health-food restaurants,” bought land, grew our food, and lived organically before that was a thing. We discussed, debated and practiced new kinds of spiritual awareness such as meditation, metaphysics and living simply. I had completely loved that part of my journey.
But the “real” world beckoned as we each awoke to the realities of financial survival on untamed land in the center of Missouri. Most of us left the farm in pursuit of more meaningful careers and the training they required. I’d pursued and become a teacher.
I’d done okay as a Montessori preschool teacher, but it soon felt like it wasn’t enough, like I was starving for something more, never having taken my true path – whatever that was to be. And when my first love, Jeff, moved out, I became untethered, without boundaries, adrift. My soul was hungry for new direction; for rebirth. I felt I had nothing to lose.
From the first moment of arrival at Hurricane Island, we were treated like military grunts in basic training, given duffle bags to stuff our few pieces of clothing into, assigned to bunk beds, run through obstacle courses and taught basic nautical navigation with compass and sea charts.
We were required to run at least three miles around the island every morning at sunrise, culminating in the morning cliff jump. I’d never run before. I’d been a dancer. This was 1976 – long before the movie Rocky changed our culture, turning us into fist-pumping fitness addicts. I was winded and exhausted from the first step of every early morning run.
I’ll never forget my initiation into cliff jumping, as dozens of cold and terrified people just like me lined up to take our turns running and jumping off a cliff that clearly lead to a hideous death far below (either smashed against the rocky shore if we did not leap far enough or drowning in the tumbling waves of the deep blue sea). I was trembling and nauseous with fear as I got closer to the front of the line. But my wise instructor whispered: “Don’t think. Just run and jump. Feel the fear and do it anyway.”
In that moment, my life truly did begin to change. I took a deep breath, opened my heart and ran for it. I was suddenly soaring over the water screaming, laughing, then underwater fighting for the surface. When I immerged, I heard cheers and felt the most immense joy I’d ever known. Pure elation. I’d done a terrifying and impossible thing and loved it.
For the next three weeks, the hardest weeks of my life thus far, I found myself overcoming fear a thousand times a day. I’d been randomly assigned to a “mobile course” – meaning that after our initial basic training on Hurricane Island, 12 of us lived together on a wooden open pulling boat with two sails and 24 heavy oars – enough for everyone to row endlessly on the windless foggy sea.
Hypothermia was a constant threat as we slept in sleeping bags thrown on top of the oars laid crosswise across the boat. We sailed or rowed from island to island – sailing through storms that left us puking and rowing through windless days for back-breaking hours. When we arrived on an island, we hauled our gear to the beach and instantly went for long runs together.
Our instructors read to us every day and night; inspiring stories of famous adventurers who’d trekked into the unknown to discover new lands or climbed unclimbed peaks in impossible conditions. The message was simple: Human potential is immeasurable and its imagined limits are always being stretched. Step up to your untapped potential. Break through limitations. Fear is simply energy. Use it to move forward.
My instructor was bad-ass and wise all at once. When I lagged behind on a morning run, he would jog beside me whispering about finding my inner strength and not being wimpy. When we rowed around an island to discover a towering 100-foot rock cliff rising straight up from the open sea, he taught us to rock climb. I felt strong and smart on my first-ever climb, with the sea to my back and the promise of heaven above, I stretched and reached and pushed like a dancer on a vertical stage. When I reached the top, my instructor told me that I was a graceful and talented natural climber, and that I was stronger than I knew. I drank his words like water.
When I began that Outward Bound course, I believed my first love, Jeff, had left me because I wasn’t good enough – deeply flawed, too insecure. I was wrapped in self-doubt from childhood, raised by a mother who never knew how to love me, and shamed in a family where my kind of sensitivity, intuition and spiritual awareness was discarded. I was the oldest, and my role was to be perfect and to raise the younger siblings – which I did until the age of 18. That was my job – especially as my mother surrendered to miscarriages and depression. I swore I’d never be like her. But leaving home at 18, I didn’t know a single good thing about myself except that I could write.
Alone for three days on that tiny freezing island off the Maine coast, nestled under a flimsy tarp strung between evergreens, as storm after storm washed through, I was terrified at night by the howling wind and pounding waves, the deep black sky, the sense of utter isolation from the world. Left with nothing but my fear and my tears, I began to remember who I was. I found my radiant indestructible soul. I was reborn into someone strong and good. Fear was now my ally. Fear and doubt became my fuel for reinvention.
After that course was over, I returned to Missouri, became an avid rock climber, and worked my way through college to get a degree in psychology and to impossibly became a Colorado Outward Bound mountaineering instructor two years later – which led me on the journey to be who I am today.
When we bravely say yes to life, open our hearts, and jump into the deep blue sea of fear, we emerge stronger than we ever believed we could be, we awaken to our true selves. We shift from ego lens to divine lens, and everything changes for the better.
From my book: Your Divine Lens
Here’s an article I wrote about finding your meaningful work more than ten years ago. Still true…
Peter was a 40-year-old computer programmer who hated his job and had a passion for race-car driving. He spent so much time at the race track that his marriage was in trouble. His doctor prescribed anti-depressants and sent him to me for career counseling. Peter’s story was unforgettable.
One night when Peter was 13, his 16-year-old sister woke him up. “Mom and dad have gone out. Get in the back seat of the car and shut up,” she whispered. “We’re going for a ride.”
Peter followed her into the family car and fell asleep in the back seat. He woke up hours later in the darkness, in a ditch, unable to find his sister. She was pinned under the car and died instantly. That moment changed his life forever. His parents divorced, his father became an alcoholic, and “no one ever spoke about the accident. In fact, no one ever spoke at all,” he remembered. Peter became an outcast in high school and learned to bottle up his feelings. “Have a stiff upper lip and carry on,” was his father’s only advice.
As my client, he explored this memory and realized that each time he raced a car at 80 miles an hour around a race track he was healing a childhood wound. He was reliving and re-programming the event that had destroyed his childhood. He was taking control of his greatest pain – the loss of his sister and family. He also recognized that teaching someone else how to navigate a speeding car was a profoundly healing experience for him.
By facing his pain, Peter gave himself permission to pursue a career as a race car driving instructor and a race car service and repair shop owner. By honestly sharing his insights with his wife and daughter, he rallied their support for his new direction. He found renewed intimacy in his marriage, and gave himself permission to pursue work that he loved.
This brings me to the most powerful truth I know about meaningful work: Your pain is your greatest ally for finding work you love. Consider the possibility that you chose (consciously or unconsciously) every job you’ve had in your lifetime because it was healing you.
Hundreds of my clients have proven this to be true. From observing their experiences and studying the biographies of successful people, I am 100% SURE that our pain guides us to our true work; and that our true work heals our greatest pain.
How? Our work heals us by letting us offer to the world exactly what we need to heal ourselves. By facing our pain, we turn it into energy. It becomes our ally and moves us forward. Ask yourself what pain needs healing now? Let that answer guide you to work you love.
Here’s the secret: The more pain you feel, the more energy you have to launch your new career. See the pain as fuel – not as something that stops you from moving forward.
“There is no coming to consciousness without pain.” Carl Jung
In my 20s, I enjoyed a career as a mountaineering instructor for Colorado Outward Bound School. I loved empowering people and inspiring them to overcome their fears. Throughout my own childhood (as a woman growing up in the south in the 50s), I felt afraid and unempowered. This work of empowering others felt very meaningful to me; it was healing my childhood wounds. And I was having great fun!
I was married to a fellow mountaineer whom I adored, and our happy life was filled with climbing adventures and mountaineering trips.
My husband had stomach problems but was told by a couple doctors that it was nothing more than a nervous stomach or the beginnings of an ulcer. By the time we got a proper diagnosis of colon cancer, the doctors gave Paul two weeks to live. (This was in the late 70s before colonoscopies were used routinely.)
Paul died one year later. From that moment on, I couldn’t climb or teach mountaineering anymore. My life changed, and my work changed. I went back to school to study journalism and spent the next 15 years working as a newspaper reporter (health writer), magazine editor (writing about natural health), and a VP of Content for natural health websites. I was passionate about writing stories that helped people prevent disease and live healthy lives. I was healing my own pain with each story.
As my awareness evolved through spiritual work, I became passionate about helping everyone see their greatness, their indestructible soul, and the mission they came to accomplish. I allowed my intuition to flow through untethered and used it to help others. I learned to focus on the client’s luminous spirit, the great potential they came to fulfill in this lifetime, and the beauty of their pain story – so perfectly designed to help them evolve. This is the work I do today.
When you’re unhappy in your career, it’s time to face your greatest ally – your pain. The pain you’re feeling deep inside of you is like a beacon calling for your attention. It’s telling you what you need to know so your life can move forward.
Your pain needs to be recognized, listened to, and turned into fuel to move your life forward. How do you turn your pain into fuel? First by recognizing what your greatest pain is, and then by recognizing how to heal that pain through your work. Your career then becomes a powerful platform for healing you and healing others. Remember, the more pain you have, the more fuel you have. Consider your pain to be your greatest blessing and move forward.