Update from a Grieving Mother (My Radical Life Reboot)

Arch rock.FBIt’s been a year and a half since my daughter Teal dropped dead suddenly from an unexplainable cardiac arrest. And not only has my life radically changed, I am better for it.

This is where I’ve been delivered — to a place of radical rediscovery. Of life, of love, and most directly, of myself.

Most of the time these days I am raw. Unfiltered emotions well up and fade away. All of my old veils are gone. I can no longer pretend to be the scheister who appears to be really clever and capable, but secretly thinks she’s getting one by on the world.

In the past, I suffered from something called the Imposter Syndrome. I believed that despite my elite education and natural talents, at any moment I would be exposed to be the fake I actually was. In my wounded heart, I assumed I was no good. And that no one would truly benefit from knowing me or my work – which was, of course, an illusion.

Plenty of people benefitted and everyone knew it but me. But now I’m starting to catch the drift.

In the past, I was also a harsh workaholic; harsh in my treatment of the dedicated people who served me. (No weekend was ever sacred if I needed answers and I needed them now.) And I was harsh with myself, continually driving myself past the edge of reason as if success could never just naturally come to me.

I mistakenly believed I had to work like a dog to even begin to deserve success. My coach, Maya, calls this “an act of violence to the Self.” Yeah, but … sputters my old way of thinking. Because that eternal sense of shame is always around the corner, lurking, looking for the way back in.

The illusion: I won’t get anywhere unless I drag this smoldering junk heap inch by inch up the mountain.

The truth: When I am ready, my destiny will be delivered to me, whole, perfect, effortless. My work is to prepare.

These days I know the sanctity of life and I understand how blessed I am to have one at all. And I know my two big jobs are exquisite self- care and following God’s instructions.

For instance, I write this to you from a beach on the Sonoma Coast called Arched Rock. I needed to hear, see, and smell the waves as I wrote these words. I needed to see the cascade of California poppies tumble down the cliffs and watch mist dissolve the coastline out to nothingness. I knew they would inspire me. And I needed to write, as ever, making sense of my discoveries one by one as I put them into words.

Which is not to say there aren’t things to do.

For the last six weeks I have been radically rebuilding my Joy Facilitator’s Training, turning what was once a generous license with a pretty good home study course into something truly beautiful. As I craft each piece of this new model of how to run a workshop business – and discover how completely that world has changed in the last two years – I feel inspired. And I’m taking my sweet time to do so.

Originally I thought I could rework the product in a week. That stretched into a month. Now we are nearing the seven-week mark and the April launch date may get pushed out again. But that’s okay. Now I know that this is a damn good product I can be truly proud of, because I’m building it right.

I no longer have to hide in the bulky overcoat of my shame. It’s safe to come out, play naked in the sunlight and take the time to create something truly excellent.

And I no longer need to prove a damn thing to anyone. I’m good with my little corner of the world; I have pretty much everything I need to get by (save for a love relationship and she will show in perfect time.)

I no longer need to listen to that tinny drum that beat in my head through my twenties, thirties and forties, driving me to ‘become a household name.’

Of course, that is no longer the point. Hell, I could die tomorrow and that would be okay, too. Only one thing matters any more: taking care of blessed little old me. Only then can I show up and move the world as originally intended, because only then can I truly hear God.

It’s funny about that. The other morning I woke to hear Spirit whispering these words to me: You are a spiritual leader to millions. There was a quiet insistence to it, as if God was waiting for me to finally get the joke. And it seemed surreal but I got it.

It was only by losing everything that I, too, had to die and be reborn. And so I get to live again – this time with Grace. And maybe just enough humility to finally make a difference.

Managing Anger

Lately I’ve been writing letters to people I’ve had anger towards, and cialis getting all those gnarly old feelings out on paper. Then I burn them up, only for me to see. Every time I do my anger lifts and I can feel my heart again. Can you relate?

 Anger flow through you.FB

The Value of a Walk in the Rain

walk,perspective.FBYesterday I was having a hard day. So I decided to take a long walk in some wet, rainy fields and, since no one was around, have here a good talk with myself. Out loud.

I began shyly at first — but soon I was ranting, expounding, crying and then laughing as I felt my burdens lift. It felt so good!


When’s the last site time you had a good walk and talk with yourself?


The Delicious, Unavoidable Path of Expansion

wind-of-change FBHave you noticed? Our lives are almost always, continually shifting and expanding.

We fall in love and fall out of it. Or we fall in love – and just keep falling deeper. We grow fat, then we grow thin, then we move back towards fat. We reach one level of success only to realize it’s another level we long to be at.

Matthew McConaghey acknowledged this in his recent Oscar acceptance speech. “My hero’s always 10 years away,” he remarked, referring to the man he wanted to become. “I’m never going to attain that. That keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing.”

So in other words, we must continually move on – no matter what.

It is the way of all things.

My late daughter, Teal, put it to me this way from her perch in the afterlife: “Mom, it is all about separation. My death is just another phase of the separation that began when I was born, moving out of your body. Then I moved out into the world as a child, then out into adulthood when I went to college. Then out into the universe at the end.”

Teal was moved to explain this to me one afternoon recently when I was grieving. So she added this just for further emphasis:

“When you cry and grieve, Mom, you are trying to hold on and to make me stop … but I can’t stop. I am being pulled forth by a power much bigger than yours or even mine. I am not gone but simply expanded. And you are not only alive, you are expanded by my death, as well.”

So very, very true.

Because I am not the same person I was before her death. Nor am I the same person I was even a few months ago. Nor are you. You know it’s true by your relative level of contentment.

When you have shifted but the world around you has not, you feel out of sorts. Suddenly you are bothered by your job, or your body, or your relationship. You become full of longing for what you haven’t got in this moment, and so you are moved to make changes. If you don’t, things get cranky and uncomfortable.

I keep getting the comment that I seem so much more grounded and content since I returned from two months in France. Really I cannot say that ‘something big’ happened while I was in Paris. I just know that I longed to be there, I went, and I came back with a deep sense of abiding peace that has endured.

That sense of peace caused me to change my living situation and dive more fully into my work. And so I expanded out and up once again – ever on the path.

The key here is surrendering to desire. Teal puts it so well from the afterlife: we are pulled along by a power far greater than our own. And that power is completely connected to our heart and our soul.

When we surrender again and again to our truest desires – which is what that expansion always pulls us towards – life becomes peaceful, whole and happy again.

Don’t be afraid of your own critical expansion. It is simply here to deliver you exactly where you need to go.