I bet you think no one is looking…while you are tapping into a deep reservoir of strength to bolster your resolve…speaking with courageous clarity rather than letting corrosive comments slide…choosing integrity over comfort, painfully aware that your voice speaks for all those who cannot be heard.
I am grateful every day for the thousand ways you show up in our world, quietly choosing again…and again…to bring compassion and understanding into conversations rife with peril. Telling the truth, sharing creative ideas, asking for that which will work better while refusing to attack the character of the people around you. After all, it is the tiny, consistent choices that build the foundation of our lives…and have the power to transform the mightiest structures in society.
I offer you the gift of gratitude, the knowledge that you are seen with love, and this alchemical video from Brandi Carlile. Nominated for 6 Grammy Awards, it appears Brandi burst into stardom out of nowhere. In reality, this powerhouse been writing and playing her heart out for twenty years. Hailing from a town of less than 1,000 souls, she’s held fast to her spirit, refusing to be swayed by the opinions of the masses…and now we are privileged to witness her song, “The Joke”, vibrating the sinews of courage and faith throughout our world.
May your spirit be bouyed…and your faith in humanity…as you watch, listen, and perhaps, if you are like me, weep with gratitude.
Her big eyes searching my face, I couldn’t hold her gaze.
Head down, I was ashamed I couldn’t answer her question.
“Mom, can we have a whole day together to just do fun things? We can eat our favorite goodies and not have you do any work at all?”
My head spun.
I was recovering from the flu and exhausted after a long day tending beloved clients with enormous stressors. I’d pushed too hard, but my heart was determined to serve.
Now my daughter needed me, but all I could think was “An entire day off? How on Earth can I do that?” It’s not practical! There’s too much to do!
And then she threw in the clincher….”Mom? This is what I want for Christmas.”
This should have been easy.
She is 13 years old.
She still wants to spend time with me.
It really doesn’t get any better than that.
I am blessed beyond measure, but Goddess help me, I STILL couldn’t give her an unequivocal yes.
Instead of looking into her eyes and assuring her I would ABSOLUTELY grant her wish, all I could manage was to say “Honey, I hear you, I know this matters and I’ll work on it.”
Not a proud moment….but a human one.
TIME and attention are our most precious commodities.
We are so damn busy whilst starving for human connection.
I know this.
I teach the importance of being truly present with each other.
And yet I couldn’t walk my talk.
So I asked myself how I would feel about this years from now.
Would I regret not being able to give this incredible daughter a simple day together? Teaching through my actions that she didn’t matter as much as all the other things that needed tending?
The answer was a resounding YES.
I resolved to get some sleep, clear my head, and choose with wisdom.
Now I’m writing you this embarrassing but absolutely true love letter.
Because I suspect I’m not the only one in need of this lesson.
In 20 short minutes, I’ll be picking her up from school, where I will thank her for making the request. I will assure her that not only will I follow through on this for Christmas, but REGULARLY, if she desires.
Because I get a second chance to choose again.
And Dearheart, so do you.
As long as you are breathing, you get to re-decide. And choosing again is one of our most potent tools for change.
I write through tears today, grieving the sudden loss of a loved one. Preparing to navigate this day, a healing by a wild thing earlier this year jumps forefront to my mind. Knowing you have much on your mind and heart as well, I offer this to buoy your spirits and encourage your journey.
At the end of two fulfilling but exhausting mid-summerweeks, I longed to curl up in a puddle for a brief lunch break. I headed for the sofa, but my breath caught as my daughter’s insistent voice sounded up the stairs.
“Mom, we have an issue.”
Sighing, I gathered the few remaining tendrils of strength to tend the “issue” before my world changed.
A hawk with golden eyes was staring directly at me, held in my daughter’s arms.
The hawk (likely a Cooper’s) had run into a window and stunned itself. To the best of my knowledge, no bird has EVER heretofore run into our basement windows. There are no feeders nearby and no other birds frequent this underdeck area.
We went outside to a safe space overlooking the river. Settling weary bones onto the wooden deck, I expected to wait quietly a few feet away while hawk recovered. Hawk had something entirely different in mind…and hopped right into my lap! Talons pierced deeply into my skin, drawing blood, but hawk clearly meant no harm – only desiring companionship. Hawk placed her head over my heart, angling under my left arm while I stroked her marvelous feathers.
Grateful but in pain, I gently detached her talons and set hawk down, returning with jeans on to protect tender flesh. My exhaustion eased as we took comfort in each other, this wild, magical creature and I.
I transferred her to my daughter and gathered a bit of venison for hawk’s nourishment (for which she was most grateful!). Regaining strength, she lifted onto the railing, silently looking at me for a few minutes before flying away.
I thought that was the end of the story, but she landed on my van a few hours later before roosting on a branch outside our window overnight.
I offer this as a gift – the first in a series of true-life stories. May they bring the inspiring breath of life more deeply through your mind and body, helping to energize all that you wish to co-create in the world.
Please let me know how this resonates – I love hearing from you!
With Love, Christy
The inspiration arrived like a thunderbolt.
Celebrating my husband’s birthday with a fishing expedition off Vancouver Island, British Columbia, I’d made the unusual request to be dropped off on a tiny, sparsely inhabited island. My husband and his friend were venturing into rough, open waters, and I’d had more than my share of this form of “character building” the previous day.
I surveyed the terrain and set off exploring the island’s interior. The trees welcomed me, so I lingered with them a bit, but the beautiful cove on the opposite shoreline spoke to my heart. Making my way to the sandy beach, I settled gratefully into its warm embrace.
Nourishing myself with a light lunch, I found the sun-dappled waters irresistibly drawing me forward.
Assuring myself of privacy with a quick look around, I stripped off my clothes to accept their invitation.
Swimming into the cove, I could imagine no more perfect way to commune with the elements, allowing their wisdom to literally wash over me.
Schools of fish darted past, roiling just under the surface.
Alert to the presence of sea mammals hunting below, I marveled at my lack of fear. The ocean demands respect, and I was unaccustomed to diving in alone. I simply knew in my bones that I was most welcome, and at that moment, no harm would befall me.
Taking my fill of communion and giving thanks, I returned to shore, eagerly anticipating a sun-kissed nap.
Nestling into the sand, I gave myself over to the earth, relaxing my body completely.
I had hoped for sleep, but that was not to come. Receiving the incredible support of the energies surrounding me, I considered the question burning in my soul.
The tug to be of greater service had become unrelenting in recent months. Books I’d not yet authored appeared in completed form within my dreams, vanishing as I awoke. Potent allies I’d not yet met collaborated with me, round-table style, names eluding my waking consciousness. The time had arrived to expand beyond my comfortable local counseling and coaching practice. There was something I needed to do, but what?
“The call is strong. I know the time is now. What is the next right step to move forward and serve the larger purpose of my soul?”
A website flashed before my eyes.
Hesitating, a painful memory brushed my mind of an earlier website. I had poured love into it but it fell apart after my life had disintegrated and I’d barely found the courage to rise from the ashes.
Fortunately, I’ve never been one to shy away from messages of the spirit.
“All right, what form shall this take?”
Listening intently, I noted my steady heartbeat.
“I recognize you as a true friend. I’ve patched you with band-aids and bailing twine, and you keep showing up. In doing so, you allow me to be present for other people. I’ve been called a healer, but I’m not. People heal through their own connection with the Divine. I simply hold sacred space to help them tap into that connection to begin transforming their lives. At heart, I’m not a healer, I’m an alchemist.”
The shock of this truth coursed through my body. Breath catching, I sat bolt upright.
“That’s it! The heart of an alchemist. The Alchemist’s Heart.”