Sunday, October 2, 2016

HOME!!!

So as many of you know, I moved to Detroit the end of August.  I moved because I felt it was the right thing for me. In fact, I had no doubt about it. I left a life that was really great. I left my home, the Enchanted Cottage, that always felt like a soulmate. I was in love with the views of the mountains, all the trees, deer, birds and other critters that I fed religiously. I had the best friends here that most people would envy. Not just acquaintances, though I had many of those, but true, deep, tribe/family kind of friends. I also left several teaching/training positions and clients that i absolutely adored as well. I left it all without regret, with total gratitude for everything that I had here. I left with no back door—nobody sub-leasing my place, no stuff stored to come back to in case things didn’t work out. I gave everything away and left willingly and joyfully to embrace the next step on my journey. 

On September 21st I moved back. Yup. I’ve had some people ask me if I were embarrassed or did I feel like I came back with my ‘tail between my legs’, like “wow, I sure mis-judged this one”. The fact of the matter is, no. Not for a minute do I feel bad or regret my choice.  I listened to my heart and I followed. I had no doubt  about what i was doing and I went willingly. I am proud of mySelf for having the courage to make such a bold move. I am proud of mySelf for being willing to leave and let go of everything I held/hold dear. I am happy with myself for how I behaved, how willing I was to merge my life with another, and though most would say, “oh, it didn’t work out,” I say that it worked out perfectly. I don’t feel like I could have done anything differently or better. I feel like I gave it my total attention, made adjustments without compromising or complaint and remained true to myself. 

Even though I lived at the zoo, the one room I claimed and spent most of my time in, over looked the freeway, and I would occasionally see a turkey vulture fly overhead. I didn’t have the same kind of views and there was very little space for me and the few things I didn’t give away, which consisted of my books and a portion of my clothes. I did put out one of my Buddha statues and the other 25 sat on top of a single shelf in the one room I called my own. I was ok with that because that’s not why I went there. I went to experience partnership. I did my best to immersed myself in that. I told myself, it is the person that I am with that is most important, not the space or the location. While there is truth to that, I’m quite clear that for myself, my personal physical space inside and what I see out my windows are really important to my highest happiness. I got even more clear about some of my preferences when I moved. 

Although I have always made any space I have work for me, to really thrive and be creative, I much prefer to be immersed in nature. Being the homebody that I am, I do much better with trees and wildlife out of every window. While I’m doing life, writing, cooking, cleaning, showering, meeting with clients, etc I want to be surrounded by nature. I prefer to not be near a lot of traffic or high density population. I prefer to have nature’s beauty within my eye’s reach. You all know I’m that person that says, “Squirrell!!!” only every time I see one :)  

As nice as it is to have a partner, I kinda prefer to be the boss of me. I prefer working (which is my passion and dharma) to staying home cooking and playing house. I prefer having a few good friends around. I prefer living close to my kids. No matter what anyone else says, I actually like/love my free-spirited, strong-willed, free-thinking, non-conservative, smart, savvy, sometimes messy Self just the way I am :)) Thank-you very much. 

I’m grateful for my experience, I’m grateful for what I learned about me. I would do it all over again for all that I have gained because of it. I will continue to follow my heart, even when it doesn’t look very wise to others. I will continue to open my heart to whatever life brings next. I learned that I’m ok with whatever happens in my life. I’ve learned that I can let everything and anything go in my life and still be ok. I am not defined by my things, or my stuff.  I’ve learned on a deeper level how brave, courageous, and accepting of ‘all that is’ that I am. I trust mySelf on a whole new level. And though I may not be every body’s ‘cup of tea’, I’m quite happy with who I am and who I’ve become in this incarnation thus far. I feel like my life is just getting started…funny… it’s how I always feel. There is always a new beginning in any given now moment. Perfect timing to come back on the Fall Equinox, with Navaratri beginning last night and Rosh Hashanah at sundown tonight!! Very auspicious if you ask me. 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Announcement!

I have an announcement to make…alert the media…I’m moving 1492 miles away to Michigan—SOON!!! I moved to Utah from Cambridge, MA in August of 1989. I have now been here for over half of my life, the past 11 of which I have absolutely loved and embraced. I have developed an amazing community of friends and acquaintances, loved all the work I’ve been able to do from personal coaching, to public speaking, to teaching in offices and rehabs all over the Wasatch Front, to my Moon Show Community, youth group and the Jung Society. My life here has been sooo full. 

I have also been sooo blessed to live in my own little paradise for 8 of the past 11 years in what I have dubbed “The Enchanted Cottage” from the moment I laid eyes on it. It  has truly become sacred ground for me, also affectionately known as simply, “The Cottage” to all of its intimate inhabitants. I have often referred to it as ‘my Soul Mate’—kind of strong for a place, but if you know me, you know it’s true for me. How does one leave such a place/love? "How will Laurie leave her beloved cottage?", you may wonder (or not)? 
What I know, is that in the 8 years that I have been fortunate to live here, there has never been a single day that I have woken up here (no matter what was going on in my life), that the view out my bedroom window (in EVERY season), has not simply taken my breath away, and that I have not been in total gratitude for it, and loved it with all my heart. Not been a day that I have just walked by it, not noticed its magnificence and majesty, or taken it for granted. I have been completely in-love, en-grossed, en-raptured and captivated, like a lover with her beloved on a daily, often hourly basis. 

I have spent literally thousands of dollars feeding birds, deer, squirrels, skunks, raccoons and inadvertently mice and a few rats on this property (which then served to feed all the hawks, falcons, fox and coyotes). I have been a great steward over the almost acre of land, and with countless helpers, have beautified, transformed and improved the landscape immeasurably for a mere ‘renter’. I have shared this beautiful space with family, friends, roommates and those seeking refuge in a peaceful place at various times in their lives. I have offered this healing space to numerous events, moon shows, spiritual activities, girls’ nights, meditations, yoga, annual Winter/Summer Solstice parties, and an occasional Blue Moon party or two. I’ve met with clients for tea and sessions on the fort, patio and library. I have literally opened my magical space to hundreds, if not thousands of people in the time I have been here (even after being robbed more than once). I have truly loved, honored, and revered this place at a level that most will never know or appreciate. 
Because of the above, and many more experiences too sacred to even share that occurred here, I feel like I can go, with joy in my heart.  A favorite quote since my mid-teens comes to mind:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

I feel like I’ve embodied this quote at the Enchanted Cottage. I’ve ‘sucked the marrow out of life’ here, and as this chapter comes to a close, I discover that I have lived deliberately and  fully and because of that, have no regrets. 

I leave nothing, because the spirit of love, peace, balance, abundance, fertility, creativity, and magic I've experienced here, lives within me. I take it wherever I go. It lives on. 

I often say it is because everything is so temporary, that it is so fucking beautiful. I have learned to live my life with this awareness—realizing that nothing lasts forever, so I get to appreciate it, all of it, while it lasts. To ‘suck the marrow’ if you will, out of every sunset, butterfly sighting, flower, friendship, season, and relationship…especially those rare ones that something within you, tells you to ‘pay attention to, this is special’, those once-in-a-lifetime chance occurrences, that if you’re smart enough not to miss or fuck-up, can change your life forever. 

“Love is the way messengers from the mystery tell us things.~Rumi”  “Messengers from the mystery” is such a great way to describe that inner-voice that I just know when I hear it. It’s undeniable. It has never failed me. It is clear as a bell. When I hear/feel it, I am compelled. 


So for me, I lose/leave nothing. I just walk innocently, openly— trusting and following a greater yes within me—a pull that is so strong it’s palpable, into the arms of my destiny, named Ron. 
I think it's interesting that it's 1492 miles from SLC to Detroit. All you good history students will remember the song, "In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue..."  It feels like there is 'new territory' for me to explore, meaning relationship, partnership, and co-creation not Detroit. I feel a little bit like Columbus, not knowing what he will discover, but excited and brimming with possibility. 
It's with a light and joyful heart that I share this major 5.0 life transition. So grateful for all the love and friendships that I have been so abundantly blessed with here. 

I have learned sooo much already in making this choice, following my heart, letting go, choosing love, etc. When I'm not packing, I'll be writing (also my destiny). 



Saturday, April 9, 2016

On Turning Fifty, Staying Young & Laurie 5.0



In a couple of days, I will have arrived at the door of my fiftieth birthday. I completely embrace it, the way I would an exciting, new love. I have ALWAYS approached each passing decade with the same passion and enthusiasm. Another decade, another lifetime of experience, growth and wisdom. 

People are often shocked by my age and ask what I do to look/feel at least a decade younger (I FEEL 25 btw, not 40)!!  Let me answer that first by sharing what I feel makes one look and feel OLD. 

What makes you old? Having no purpose in life, holding a grudge, being stuck in a religion or marriage that you don't love—that you aren't completely devoted to or excited about, wishing you were somewhere else (with somebody else), not exercising your body and giving it the movement and flexibility it needs, and eating processed, unhealthy food, to name a few of the obvious. Lacking compassion, being mean, needing a controlled (or any) chemical substance to get you through the day i.e. addiction, denying yourself the things that you love, negative thinking and self-talk, limiting false beliefs, endless drama, toxic relationships, expectations, needing to be right, carrying heavy emotions of shame, guilt, fear, apathy, anger etc. make you age.

Being a whiny victim and blaming everyone else including the government, your ex, society, religion, for why your life is the way it is, and not taking accountability for yourself and your actions, makes you old and makes you feel powerless. Not to mention the fact that nobody wants to be around you—which has you feeling lonely, which translates into depression and aging. Stop it already. These things are all so heavy.  Feeling heavy and over-burdened not only has you feeling old, but also has you lacking energy, vitality, health and well-being. It also creates a lack of enthusiasm, irritability, emotional reactivity and cynicism. Are you feeling it? What if you could let go of all that?!? Would you feel young again? Exactly!!  

What keeps me young?
Loving what I do, feeding the birds and the wildlife in my yard, not taking everything personally, letting go of anger and grudges quickly, being with people that I love and adore, getting out side and appreciating nature, being grateful for everything that I have, being grateful and learning from all of my challenges, eating wholesome, healthy food that I love, enjoying a guilty pleasure on occasion, doing exercise that is fun for me, yoga, meditation, meditation, meditation, drinking lots and lots of good clean water every single day, using natural, organic products on my skin, climbing trees, swinging on swings, communing with trees and animals, talking to the sun, moon and stars (and hearing them speak back), believing I have a Divine Team made up of deities, angels, archangels, ascended masters and ancestors that are all rooting for me and assisting me in my highest good, believing the world is a friendly place and that I am always safe and never alone, being in a state of awe, wonder and gratitude more often than not, allowing mySelf to feel my feelings, seeing and creating a magical quality to my life, decorating my home with sacred objects form around the world, creating spaces that are inviting and peaceful, yummy kisses from that special someone, honoring the change of seasons, celebrating holy-days, sharing wisdom, having an amazing circle of friends and acquaintances. This is a short list of the things I love and the things that keep me young.  

What occurs to me writing this, is that allowing mySelf to fill my life with things that I love on a daily and momentary basis, decade after decade, has kept me youthful and happy to be alive. Having and knowing my life’s purpose, being able to earn a living doing it, having it be so varied and interesting, feeling like I am making a difference in the lives of many every day, bursting with new ideas and projects, has me want to live, at the very least another 50 years, if not 100!! 

What can you do to start feeling younger?  You can start by loving your self, making nourishing choices for yourself, creating an environment of friendliness within yourself to yourself, allowing yourself to love what you love, allowing your self to be happy, allowing yourself to do something nice for you, knowing yourself, what you need and what works for you, taking care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  

What's awesome, when you get to be my age ladies (and gents), if you have done a lot of letting go, un-learning, and personal transformation, you feel beautiful on the inside.  When you have used your life to create a masterpiece (whatever that looks like for you), and are simply happy with you, if your looks or youth start to dissipate, it seems negligible, because you feel so beautiful from within, you really couldn't care less about a new wrinkle or a few gray hairs. You will laugh in the face of aging and pity the 20 and 30-somethings that are already injecting their young selves with botox to preserve (with un-natural preservatives/poison) to remedy their lack of self-worth. No amount of outer cosmetic change, will compensate for a poor inner self-image. (And before I get a bunch of flack for this, I realize this isn’t the case for everyone, and I’m not completely opposed. Someday I may choose something…but it won’t be from a space of lack or not-enoughness, or because anyone else thinks I ‘need’ some kind of enhancement.)

So what can you look forward to turning 50? Turning the big 5-0 is when most people are thinking their lives are all downhill now, when most people believe it’s time to get fat and bald, lose your eyesight, hearing and start wearing granny pants, when most people are ready to retire and park themselves in front of their tv’s I’m calling it Laurie 5.0. The latest and greatest iteration of mySelf. 

The highest version of mySelf has been unfolding. Over the past year, I have just felt so much more grounded and settled in, in such a deep and profound way. 

Settled into making peace with my body, settled into feeling my emotions and not fearing them, settled into a deep knowing of who I am. knowing what's important to me, what nourishes me and feeds my Soul, and frankly what JusT doesn't. 

I have become more patient, tolerant and accepting. I’m less attached to my beliefs, being right or even needing to be understood. I’m choosing peace over drama, love over attachment, letting go over holding-on, and addressing issues rather than sweeping them under the rug. I speak my truth, honor my preferences, and say no when I feel like it, with no excuses or explanation. The people in my life are here because I want them to be, not because I need them to be. Life is good…even when it isn’t.  Hello Fifty…I welcome you with open arms and an open heart. It feels like my life is just beginning. Magic awaits and excitement is underfoot. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

New Beginnings


New beginnings arise when the old is finished. Even though the Winter Solstice is the darkest point of the whole year, it is the birth of the Light that we celebrate. Take courage that when you are at your darkest hour, the Light is not far behind. Know that when you clear out the old— ineffective, worn-out, (ego-based) ways of being and behavior, relationships that are not feeding your soul, jobs that are not in alignment with your higher purpose, harmful addictions, etc (none of which are easy, and all of which may be concurrently terrifying), you are saying YES to you, and therefore yes to the Universe, and therefore yes to the Light to come. You are clearing sacred space on your sacred path, for a new road to arise. It is always the road less traveled by you. It is always unknown. Only brave souls dare tread in foreign lands as this. 

There are some pre-requisites to this undertaking. Clarity of heart, courage to trust, and a love of Self so big that nothing can shake. Blessings on your journey fellow travelers. May the Light we encounter be so bright, the likes of which we have never known. Arriving one step closer to the truth of us, standing a lil taller for giving ourSelves an extra vote, stronger in conviction and more deeply in love with ourSelves. Shine on. Shine on, beautiful warriors. It is your deep Light and fire within you that illuminates your path.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Winter Solstice Musings....


Good Morning, Winter and your beautiful snowy accompanist.  I want to apologize and request your forgiveness for being such a hater in my youth.  I grew up in Maine, and it was extra cold there.  I had to walk to school often before my hair was dried, and by the time I got to school my wet hair would be frozen. It would start getting dark soon after I got home.  I could see my breath in my room growing-up.  I hated you sooo much.  I really didn’t think there was anything to like about you, except for an occasional snow-day off from school.  I was never big on winter sports or activities because my cold-Vata-self just couldn’t take it.  You chilled me to the bone, and I could not wait for you to depart so my beautiful Sunny could show up as your replacement.  

I have learned to love you, your chill and your darkness as I have learned to love my own.  I see you now.  I see your beauty. I see your magic.  I see you twinkle.  

I used to hate my own darkness too, so how could I possibly love yours.  I projected my Ice Queen self onto you.  You were the one that was cold and frigid.  You were the one that got dark and distant. 

As I learned to embrace those cold and dark places within myself and began to see that they too, had beauty, I became more loving not only to myself, but of others and their shadowy-Selves.  

If we can only love the Light and the shine-y parts of ourselves, we will only allow the shine-y in others.  We will reject the cold, dark places in others, as we have ourselves.  We will cut off friendships, romantic partnerships, and business opportunities at the first sign of any chill and miss out on true intimacy, depth and growth.  Authenticity only exists in both.  To truly love ourSelves and then others, we must embrace ourSelves in our totality, Light and Dark, Cold and Warm.  Real relationships and real people have range.  We are neither all Shine-y, nor all Darkness.  


Let us remember this, at this the longest night and shortest day of the year.  As we celebrate the return of the Light, let us allow that Light to warm some of our own dark places of unkindness, smallness, bitterness, hostility, insecurities, etc.  Let us remember that we are all just walking each other home.  May we have space in our imperfections, for others in theirs.  May we drop the masks of perfection and embrace authenticity.  May we afford the compassion and acceptance to others as we would wish upon ourSelves.  


May we truly see with new eyes, the beauty and the magic, not only in the blustery season called winter, but in the cold and dark places within ourselves and fellow travelers. May we shine our Light for those in the shadows, that they may find their way a little easier and be grateful for those who have done so for us. We are One.  We are duality.  We are Light and we are Dark.  We are all just lil humans awakening to our own Truth. Om Shanti.