Into the Mystic

whale

My husband shared an article with me about a whale “Varvara” who journeyed from Russia to Mexico and back again on a completely new migratory path – solo – setting a record for the longest migration ever for a mammal.

What made this she-whale venture into the watery deep,  without familiar landmarks or celestial navigation, creating a brand new migratory pattern, eschewing the ancient wisdom of her mother?  The article states: “she made her way from Russia to Alaska by swimming straight across the Bering Sea, an area with deep water and little in the way of landmarks to guide her. Instead of retracing her steps on the return journey, she swam a new path”.

“Varvara” I whisper to myself.  Something about this story touches a chord in my own mammal heart, and I can feel it beat faster as I shiver with wonder and awe at the enormity and solitude of this epic quest.  Something else, deeper still, thrums with recognition as I see my life unfold, making its own unique arc, separate from my mother’s path.  Forging my way into the deep, the dark, the uncharted.  I am sure there were many times that my mother wondered if I was lost, and sent prayers up to the starry sky that I would find my way.

I think of my own daughter, who has not taken any route I have painstakingly laid out for her.  She has stroked a new path – and I have wrung my hands and wept when I couldn’t see her, lost in the high seas of her choosing.  But I know, on a deep inner level, that my girl must be given the freedom to go her own way – trusting her own sonar, feeling the inner turnings of her compass.  And I must as well, setting out for more unknown, no manual, no familiar land mass, stepping into the mystery.  Re-birthing again and again and again.

On the eve of the new moon, Kelley Rosano has this to say about change:  “What happens when you have one foot in the boat (new life) and one foot on the dock (old life)? Yes, your butt ends up in the water. We do not have to know how the future will work out to move forward. You are being asked to have courage, faith and trust. You may begin a new life, a new career and a new relationship. These can be better than your wildest imagination.

The ego goes into fear because it can’t control what is happening. Control is an illusion. The only thing we can control is our response to what is happening. The ego is going into fear because you have never been here before. You are charting new territory. So, when the ego pulls up past occurrences that are fear based to understand your current experience. This too is an illusion.”

True Confessions – Part 2

Vunerability and Truth…two of the most potent spaces to be in – combined anything is possible.  It was in this spirit that my relationship with Nancy West McGuire was started.  On this day, at this cafe, it was the right time for us to connect.  Do you have any friends like that?  Where you know each other peripherally, or see each other around, but for some reason you finally connect and you wonder “Why did this take so long?”  Ahhh the mystery of life.  I love it.

One of my absolute joys in life, and a reason I believe I’m here in human form, is to deeply connect with other human beings – on a heart level.  Sitting down with a “stranger” and finding common ground with each other energizes me and makes me glad to be alive.  It fills me up on a soul level.  And guess what?  Nancy loves that too!  The more we shared, the more excited we got to recognize a kindred spirit in each other.  We both had been event planners in past lives, we had gone to high school within 7 miles of each other, for decades each of one us has been drawn to different trainings and teachings to improve ourselves.  We each have a reverence and curiosity for death and dying.  It was a such a treat to meet and spend hours (!) talking and enjoying myself.  The items to be discussed kept growing and tumbling out, it felt as natural and comfortable as seeing a friend after many years – a sister…a best friend from childhood…where had she been all my life?

The cherry on top of the sundae was that Nancy was passionate about India.  Not only had she traveled there solo and lived there, but she was familiar with the one city that has been calling to me – Varanasi.  The one city on the “Journey to India” itinerary that I haven’t been to, yet feel called to see.  Nancy told me story after story about her days in Varanasi, about impromptu dance parties with women in the slums, about chartering a boat to take families down the Ganges to a park for an afternoon of play, of paying for children to go to the dentist for the first time and have their teeth cleaned and filled.  To hear Nancy speak of Varanasi, is to see her come alive.  She’s a strong woman with a large heart and she exudes confidence, competence and gregariousness.  But the nectar is to watch Nancy soften when she speaks of Varanasi and the people there.  She looks like a young girl, delighted with life, and sweet with vulnerability and truth.  See for yourself:

Build It and They Will Come

So a couple months ago, I called Kirsten Boyer to see if she would be open to taking a photo of me for a flyer to use on the India trip.  I’d seen her work and thought she does lovely things with light and I was thinking possibly she could take a nice, professional head shot of me.  As we were brainstorming on the phone, Kirsten asked me if I had any interest in making a short informational video for my website – something for people to watch and get a better feel of who I am.   “Oh…like a virtual business card?” I asked.  “Yes!” Kirsten exclaimed.  “Sure, why not?” I answered.  And that’s how a phone call with Kirsten about a head shot for a flyer becomes an entire website with 5 (five!) videos and some of the best pictures I’ve ever seen of myself.

I’ve been wondering what is going to come of this…why a website?  Why now?  The noticing part of me is watching…observing…curious to see what will evolve.  Kirsten was my midwife.  She might be uncomfortable with that title, but I’ve thanked her all along for inching me along, seeing a bigger picture (no pun intended.)

Working with Kirsten is a special experience.  She has an amazing eye – she can take a cloudy day, a clump of weeds and a self-conscious model and get this:

One of the best parts of working together was getting to hang out with Kirsten.  I miss her now that the project is done.  I’m busy cooking up new ideas so we can hang out. Maybe I can carry her camera equipment 🙂

Don’t be fooled by her gentle demeanor.  It’s a tribute to Kirsten’s personality that she is as approachable and mellow as she is, but she knows what she is looking for in a picture and she’ll direct you.  Your best bet is to enjoy the ride and trust her eye.   It was creatively inspiring as well as heart opening to work together.  She modestly claims that we “co-created” this project.  Not so sure that’s how I would describe the long hours we spent with me blanking out in front of the camera and her coaching me to talk about why I’m so great. (aargh)  There were definitely edgy parts for me about being the subject matter of all of this – a website about Me, starring Me, all about Me!  Kirsten was just the right mix of support and heckler; reflecting my gifts and believing in them, and also helping me laugh at myself.

Kirsten put many hours into this project and I think the videos are amazing.  When I die, you can play them at my memorial as a tribute – they’re that good!  When I watch the “Spirit” one, I always cry and I have to remember that I’m still alive.

I really do feel like Kirsten saw a better ‘me’ – and captured it on film.  The Me that I want to be – that I’m striving to be.  She raised the bar and I want to be that person that I see in her photos.  I’m becoming…evolving…into a brighter self.  I am forever grateful that she was part of this unveiling in me.  It feels alchemical.

I wish I could gift everyone I know with a session with Kirsten.  She’ll take photos that will make you feel beautiful, she will put you at ease and you will get to banter with a fine, saucy wit.  I hope there are things in her life that make her feel as beautiful and radiant as she is.

Today, in The Morning Blessings, I read:  Life here is precious, for we are love and light evolving as beauty and joy each and every moment. Today you can begin to feel this divine Selfhood by being who you really are. Each time you look into the mirror, go beyond your personality and see the divinity that is within. Make it a point to see yourself as Spirit in all you think, say and do.

I feel divine