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Friday, June 6, 2014

There are moments in our life when we take stock. We look back on where we came from and perhaps forward to where we are going. This past month presented two such moments for me. The first was the transitioning of my dear friend Shaun. She was 45 years old and in the final months of her life she inspired a community that spanned the continent. She brought us together under the guise of supporting her. In fact she brought us together to support and inspire each other. This community was and still is, an example of humanity at its best. We rallied to support Shaun and each other. Each of us willingly stepped up and shared our most vulnerable self. We showed up in our raw humanity and held Shaun in love as she shared her journey to the other side.

We watched Shaun suffer, and then rise again. In the midst of her suffering, we watched as she reached out to others, to comfort, to inspire, to offer hope. We watched in disbelief as life slipped slowly through Shaun’s fingertips and she slipped from our lives. And in the midst of the sadness we were inspired by the best in Shaun, by the best in all of us. In the last days of Shaun’s life, she offered a parting inspiration. She was sitting with a friend and caregiver Susie. Susie thought she was sleeping soundly until she started to speak.

“Start living now. Go for it boldly and bravely. Do not be afraid. Don’t hold back. Let your voice be heard. The world hungers for your message.  Be vulnerable now, because you are supported. You have all that it takes within you to step into your Power NOW! No more playing small. Ask and it is given.  Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door is already open.  Step up in LOVE….. Unconditional, divine love.  You do not have to do it alone.  Stop being afraid to ask for help. Together we are stronger.”  After Shaun finished speaking, a piece of hospital equipment started beeping.

“What’s that?” asked Susie.

“Confirmation!” replied Shaun. 

Shaun left her body on May 18th. When she was alive, she showed up for me in the most beautiful and profound ways. She continues to do that from the other side. One week later, and with Shaun very much with me, I married my beloved.

On May 24th, Lucas and I were married. It was a beautiful ceremony. We celebrated our love, and the bringing together of our two families - our five sons, their wives and partners and three grandchildren. It was a glorious day that I will always remember. It was also a day to look back at where I came from and to look forward to a future spent in the company of my best friend.

With Shaun’s words ringing in my ears and a heart filled with gratitude for the life I share with Lucas in the embrace of our amazing family, I took stock of the past 56 years.  How did I get here? I am living the life I dreamt of. It is a life full of gratitude, where I recognize the miracle in the smallest of things. It is a life full of love. I have fallen in love with myself! I know who I am and I no longer spend anytime trying to be anything else. I accept all aspects of me and I am learning to love all of it. I am surrounded by, loving, caring, supportive, friends and family. Every day is an adventure. Sometimes it is self-discovery, and sometimes it is discovering the world around me.

In the midst of all of this I opened a journal I wrote in 1998, three years after my marriage ended. I was a single mom, raising three sons. I was working full time and rebuilding my life. It was a hard time and I was desolate. I was a woman, steeped in pain, grieving for lost dreams and uncertain how to create new ones. I was desperately alone, and feeling overwhelmed and hopeless. I wept for the woman I was, for her broken and battered heart. I few months later, in the same journal I shared a vision of the life I wanted. As I read through this vision, I was moved to read much of the same language I had shared in my marriage vows. In that vision, I recognized the life I am currently living!

This is not an advertisement for the law of attraction, though there is an element of that. This is about recognizing what I did in the last 20 years that allowed this life to unfold. It begins with conscious choices. I chose happiness over despair, I chose peace over stress, I chose to take responsibility for the life and the choices I made. I chose a better life and was willing to do the inner work necessary to get there. The inner work is where the rubber hits the road. It is the willingness to look at your self and know your self. Every book I read, every teacher I sat with, every story that inspired me, shaped me and prepared me for this life I am living.

I realized that Ocean Resort is an invitation for others to do the same. We offer an environment for inner reflection. We provide the venue for conscious teachers and we hold the space to choose love, health and happiness. I am honoured to hold that space for you in the same way that life held that space for me.  Life offers each of us a banquet of opportunities to grow and live well. We are in this together! You are not alone! Your work is my work, your choices are my choices and together we are stronger.

Choose well my friend! Choose you!