Were it not for you Kim, my favorite book of all time (and the catalyst for providing the bridge between who I was and who I desperately wanted to be) … The Dark Side of the Light Chasers …. would have been just another really good book written by Debbie Ford. It would have been another great conversation, another meaningful exchange about deeply spiritual things … about dreams and goals …about kindling our internal flames … about living life with no regrets … about how to make the very most of this journey. We had those conversations all the time. It is one of the things I have always cherished about our friendship.
But, here is the thing. Without you, I might have understood the concepts of my very favorite book cognitively, but never really lived them experientially! But you were not content with merely reading the book and philosophizing about the content. You figured there needed to be a workshop… so we could translate what we understood into our lived experiences. And you searched it out!
And you discovered a life-altering event called The Shadow Process. And we wanted to go!! But we feared we had absolutely no way of making THAT big, bold dream come true. There were far too many responsibilities and realities in our world to keep us from getting to San Diego to attend. But, we had done enough spiritual homework that we dared ourselves to TRUST the possibility that:And so we did. We decided to ‘put it out there’. We opted to live ‘as if’ we would be attending that workshop! And we laughed as we told family and colleagues that we had to schedule around our trip … because we would be “out of town”. And … we literally did experience several of those acts of providence that Murray spoke of. It felt like such a miracle. Somehow … despite all the things that should have stopped us, we DID get on an aircraft (just weeks after the horrific events of 9/11) …and … we made that dream a reality.
And little did I know at that time, but because of your passionate desire to get more out of that book, the most spectacular part of my life’s journey was about to unfold …and take me to places and possibilities that I had only ever dreamed about. Little did I realize … but I was on the cusp of making many more dreams become realities!! And, of course, so were you …
And we stretched ourselves. We spent countless hours excavating our inner worlds. We didn’t always like what we found … but … we brought it all to light and turned our wounds into wisdom. And we laughed … and we learned …and … we laughed as we learned. And we cried some too.
And then there was Chapter 7. Remember sitting in the airport, flying back to San Diego for one of our coaches trainings, and co-incidentally (or not) , we both happened to be reading Chapter 7 of The Secret of the Shadow . I’ll never forget the sheer terror sparked in our hearts as we loaded the plane, anxiously anticipating what it would be like to clean up our pasts and make amends for any choices, regrets, mistakes, grudges, heartaches, secrets … or anything that compromised our capacity to stand in clear conscience and complete integrity. And we knew we had to do it if we wanted to become Certified Integrative Coaches ourselves … because Debbie Ford required that level of impeccability from her coaches. And so we got really brave. Oh how it challenged us … but we cleaned it all up.
For me, that even included redeeming my integrity around the case of disposable diapers that I didn’t get charged for about 25 years earlier … and … the Juicy Fruit gum that I stole when I was about 10 years old after I opted to run for my bus rather than continue waiting for the store clerk who was chatting incessantly with someone else and simply ignoring my presence and effort to pay. In order to make amends for such ancient regrets, I bought a case of Pampers and delivered them to the Food Bank … along with … a carton of Juicy Fruit. I was shocked at the lightness I felt in righting those seemingly innocuous wrongs. I honestly had no idea I had been carrying so much guilt (just for a quarter of a century!) for those choices that I could have continued to justify and excuse by blaming them on another person’s error.
And because we were doing these hard things together … I had the strength to continue, even when I thought I’d rather quit than face my own shame. And we shared these beautiful but often brutal moments with each other … and … we were such great stewards of each others souls during those hard climbs. And you taught me that the power of 1+1 is not equal to 2 but is equal to 11. And I needed that shift in perspective to foster my resolve to continue to challenge myself …
And we grew so much ourselves. And we laughed. And we got really real. And we got triggered. And we owned our projections. And we embraced our light. And we learned to welcome the dark … trusting in the gifts of the shadow. And we grew some more. And people noticed the changes in us. And people began asking how they could get some of ‘whatever it was that we had’ …so we facilitated study groups and, once we were certified, we coached people. But, most importantly for me personally, we encouraged each other to become the next best expression of who we could be in the world. And we helped each other when we stumbled. And we believed in Miracles … because we had seen how our own shifts in perception helped us better resist our patterns of fear-based living in favor of dwelling in an energy of love.
And, despite all the shifts we were experiencing, we kept going to our day jobs. And the days we spent at the office were always better because of you. And meetings were so much better because of you … with your undeniable verve, vigor and vitality! And, of course …your spectacular sense of humor! You brightened the moments for so many of us with your knack for telling a story and your capacity to find the blessing in the darkest moments. Your light could not to be denied … only treasured. And it was …
And we built our vision boards. And we pursued more of our dreams. And then, so many of our passionate pursuits actually came true that they took us in different directions. And we no longer got to see each other every day. But I want you to know, I carried all those memories in my heart. And I still do. I have always loved your light.
So … I want you to know, Kim, that I will never be the same … because of you. I am forever altered because of your brilliant, bold and bright presence in my world. I owe so much of my spiritual growth to the times we have shared as we dared ourselves to stretch into the next best expression of who we could be in the world.
And we are still growing. And we still laugh when we see each other. Thank you for lighting up the path and sharing that most remarkable part of my journey with me. I am deeply, truly, and most very gratefully so much better because of you …
Love ya, K
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