Tag Archives: spirit

Miracles – Dream On

An important dream

Early on a Saturday morning in January of 2012, I abruptly awoke from an intense and vivid dream. In the dream my mother was showing me my father’s will. My father had passed away nearly 18 years earlier, so it was an odd dream to have at that time. My mother was trying to keep my attention on the top part of the will, but I had noticed that further down the page was a name I didn’t know: Lorie – spelled L-O-R-I-E.  My name is Laura, and I have never been called Laurie, always Laura. And certainly, even if I was nicknamed Laurie, it wouldn’t have been spelled that way given that my name is spelled L-A-U-R-A.

The thought instantly came to me that my father had another family. My mother trying to keep my attention away from that part of the will, told me it was a secret. I immediately got up and went to the computer to search on Ancestry.com.

Some background: my father was 15 years older than my mother, and nearly 35 when they married. Given his age at the time he married my mother, there had been occasional questions by extended relations and friends as to whether he had been married before, and the answer was always “no.” However, somehow in the back of my mind, I had always continued to wonder.

Additionally, I worked with someone about 10 years earlier who had discovered when she was in her 40’s that her mother had a child she had given up for adoption before marrying my co-worker’s father. After hearing her story, I always had this feeling that I had an older half-sibling. Just a feeling. No evidence or proof. But still the feeling had remained.

Discovering my father’s first family

Within an hour of beginning my search on Ancestry.com, I found my father married to a woman who was not my mother on someone else’s family tree. I wasn’t shocked, because it confirmed something I had already known at some level. I then tried to discover if they had had any children but did not find any evidence.

Part of the problem is that census results are not released until 70 years after they are taken to protect the privacy of people who are still living. The 1940 census was the latest that was available and given that my father had married his first wife late in 1937, it was quite possible any children would not have been born before 1940.

My father’s first wife’s name was Lois, which could have been distorted as Lorie in my dream, but I felt sure that there was a child from that marriage, named Lorie, who was my sibling.

After exhausting my online search options, I called my father’s sister, my Aunt Nancy. My father was born and raised in Oklahoma and had 8 brothers and sisters. He left Oklahoma in the early 40’s, and had eventually settled in the Seattle area, after marrying my mother in Kodiak, Alaska in 1949. Our family had never visited our Oklahoma relatives, and so I had met few of my aunts and uncles. My Aunt Nancy, however, had moved to Tacoma in 1967, so I knew her rather well. I was born on her 30th birthday, so we had that special bond, too.

I began the conversation with my aunt with, “I was searching online and found that my dad was married to someone else before my mother.” She said, “Oh Lord. I don’t know if your mother even knows.”

Do I have a sister?

She told me the story of how my father left Oklahoma abruptly in 1942 or 1943 without any sort of farewell, and that the family didn’t hear from him again for 20 years. I asked her if my father and his first wife had any children, and she said, “No.” But I didn’t believe her. I knew in my heart that I had a half-sister. Somehow, I knew it was a sister, not a brother. I suppose, the same way I knew that she even existed.

Given that the marriage was this big secret, it wasn’t too far-fetched that a child would be a secret as well. Additionally, my Aunt Nancy would have only been 10 when my father married, and they lived in another part of the state, so it was possible that she wouldn’t know of a child, especially if the child had been stillborn or died as a baby.

I wasn’t sure what to do next. I didn’t want to talk to my mother about it, given that she might not even know my father had been married before. I decided to consult a woman I met at a business marketing function, who was a psychic and medium.

She told me that there had been a child that was born with severe birth defects and institutionalized. It made sense that my Aunt Nancy might not know this. The psychic also told me that this situation is what broke up my father’s marriage. That also fit with what I knew about him leaving Oklahoma abruptly, and for a reason no one seemed to know.

But I still wanted definitive proof. I looked for institutions in the Tulsa area, where my father last lived, and found nothing.

Connecting with family 

In the meantime, I had connected with some of my Oklahoma cousins on Facebook in the preceding years, and in the spring my cousin Joyce contacted me. She told me she had come across some pictures of our fathers (her father, Tom, was my father’s brother), and wondered if I would like copies. I emphatically responded with, “Yes!”

It took several months for her to get the copies of the pictures to me, and in July I received a packet in the mail. She had identified who all the people in the pictures were, and to my surprise there were photos of my father and Lois! I had not discussed my discovery of my father’s first marriage with Joyce, so she didn’t know I had only recently learned of it. I guess 2012 was when I was meant to find out about this marriage – whether through a dream or through these photos shared by my cousin.

It turns out my Uncle Tom, Joyce’s father, was married to Lois’ cousin at the same time my father was married to Lois. Tom and his first wife had no children and soon divorced. Obviously, these two marriages were no secret in the family, since Joyce knew all about them. So why was my dad’s marriage a secret in our family?

The photos prompted me to search again on Ancestry.com, and I found a woman who was searching for anyone who knew my father. I contacted her, and it turned out she was Lois’ granddaughter through her second marriage. I was so excited! Here was a direct connection who could tell me about my half-sister! She shared what she knew of Lois’ marriage to my father but was unaware of any children from the marriage. Her mother, Lois’ daughter from her second marriage, was mentally ill, and it was impossible for her to communicate clearly, so she would not be a source of information for me. I had reached another dead end.

More unconventional evidence of my sister

In November I spent a month in Edinburgh, Scotland, and became friends with a Scottish woman who was a psychic and medium. Without giving her any information other than that my father had been married prior to marrying my mother, I decided to ask her if there were any children from that marriage. She told me a very similar story to the one the psychic I had first contacted told me, about a child – a girl – born with severe birth defects and institutionalized. Although I had no proof that would stand up in a court of law, hearing the same story again gave me the certain knowledge that I did have a sister, and that my feeling had been correct. I also feel certain that her name was Lorie.

Why now?

So why was 2012 the time I was meant to learn of my father’s first family? I don’t know the answer to that for sure, but I can say that it set me on a path of growth in several ways. Maybe I was just ready to do the work that it led me to do.

First, I had to process the anger that I felt. I was angry that the secret kept me from knowing my aunts and uncles and cousins in Oklahoma. I had a huge extended family that I had never met because (I imagine) my father was afraid his secret would be exposed.

I also had to deal with a shift in my perception of who my father was. My father was a wonderful dad to me and my (full) sister. A model of unconditional love. How could such a man abandon his child? This was not the father I adored.

Finally – and I think this is the primary reason for my discovery at that particular time – the timing was such that I was ready to help my father. In early 2013 I began doing some work with an energy healer. My focus was not related to my father directly, yet he kept appearing. It turns out that he was so ashamed and full of self-recrimination, that he had not moved on from this world. With the guidance of the energy healer, I quit judging him and let go of my anger and resentment towards him. Together we were able to help him to let go of his own fear and self-judgement and finally complete his transition.

A visit from my father

A few months later I was at Sunrise on Mount Rainier – a favorite place of my father’s. I have wonderful memories of Sunrise from my childhood, and as an adult have made a yearly pilgrimage there. It was the day before the 19th anniversary of my father’s death, although I didn’t realize that until later. I had gone for a short hike and was returning to the lodge. There was a spot along the trail with a magical, up-close view of the mountain. I stopped and stood taking it in. I felt intense gratitude for all my father had given me, including this connection to Mount Rainier, and began to speak out loud to him, thanking him.

The trail ran along the steep side of a mountain. I heard a rustling below me and stopped speaking to better hear. I heard some noises like wood breaking, such as when you step on a log and part of it breaks off. I stood still for a few moments and listened, then looked where I heard the sound come from and saw a flash of brown in a small group of evergreen trees: it was a black bear.

He was about 50 yards down the hill from where I was standing. He ambled along the meadow and didn’t pay a bit of attention to me, although he had been close enough that I‘m sure he must have heard me when I was talking out loud.

I knew almost immediately that this was a message from my dad. He had heard me and was thanking me in return, letting me know that he was with me in spirit at this place where we had spent so much time together, and that meant so much to both of us.

Miracles – Finding a Job

It was the spring of 2014, and I was desperate to find a job. Specifically, a job in my previous career of software development. In 2006, based on an a-ha moment, I had returned to school, and in 2008 began my new career as a psychotherapist. But that’s another story.

Since then, much had occurred both internally and externally (more stories), and now I was largely without work and living on the proceeds from the sale of my house – yes, yet another story. I was beginning to feel panicky about what I would do when that money ran out. But I didn’t want to get a job. I even consulted a psychic who told me that if I did not get a job I would be bankrupt by the end of the year.

So, letting fear run me as it had so many times in the past, I embarked on the process of finding a software development job. I figured I could make a lot more money going back to my previous career than I could working in community mental health. And since I didn’t really want to do either of these jobs, why not choose the one where I’d be paid well?

Can’t get hired to save my life 

Little did I know that in a high-tech city like Seattle, an absence of six years from the field in which I had worked for more than 25 meant that most potential employers viewed me as having no value. This brought back to me all the times I had felt judged and found lacking while working in software. This was one of the reasons that I had sworn I would never go back. But fear told me I needed a job.

I was discouraged and scared. Then I got a phone call from a consulting firm who was interested, even though I had been away from the field for a while. We scheduled an interview for the following day. And that night I came down with food poisoning.

If you’ve ever had food poisoning, you’ll know that it was physically impossible for me to attend the interview the next day. If I had been paying attention, I would have realized this was a sign that this consultant position was not right for me. But since fear was running the show, I rescheduled the interview for a few days later.

My experience with this firm was not a good one. They sent me on interviews with two different clients who did not select me. Both times the feedback I received from the consulting firm was critical and harsh. After the second interview it was made clear by them that I was not a fit for their company. It felt horrible, and again brought back unhappy memories of previous jobs.

If I had been paying attention, I would have realized that I didn’t want to work in this type of judgmental environment, and therefore did not want either of these positions anyway. But instead fear told me that I would never get a job and maybe I didn’t even deserve one.

Not even by a clerical temp agency

By the summer I became so desperate that I signed up with a temp agency to do clerical work. I had good computer and people skills, so it should have been a slam-dunk, right? Wrong. The person who interviewed me was fired shortly afterwards and I never received a single call for a job. More signs that I really wasn’t supposed to get a job.

I was running out of money and didn’t know what I was going to do. If I couldn’t even get a low-paying clerical position, what would happen to me? Then a miracle occurred, and in the fall I received enough money, pretty much out of the blue, to keep going for another year. Ha-ha psychic who told me I’d be bankrupt! But that’s another story.

Fast forward to the summer of 2015. I had completely given up on looking for a job. The thought hadn’t even crossed my mind for nearly a year. I knew at some level that the miraculous money I had received would be running out soon, but I hadn’t really thought that much about it.

Noticing the signs

Then I got a call from the temp agency. Yes, the same one that I had signed up with almost exactly a year earlier. They had several positions they wanted to speak with me about. I had been clear with myself and with them that I only wanted to work part time, and I wasn’t willing to commute more than 30 minutes. I had become accustomed to being self-employed and making my own schedule over the past several years.

The first job was a customer service rep at a local raw pet food company. It was part time and paid $15 / hour. The location was only 15 minutes from my home. That sounded pretty good. The next job was a project manager for a construction company. My last 10 years in software had been managing projects and I was even certified by the Project Management Institute, which is a pretty big deal. So, even though I wasn’t familiar with the construction industry, I had the right skill set.

The woman from the temp agency was really excited about the PM position. I imagine they didn’t get too many people with experience as project managers, and it would be a coup to offer up a candidate with my background.

Even though the job did not fit my criteria – it was not part time, and the commute was longer than the first job – her enthusiasm, along with the fact that it paid double what the first position paid, started me getting excited, too.

The more we talked about the PM job, I noticed a feeling in the pit of my stomach that I associate with anxiety. I give myself credit for noticing, but still I chose to ignore it. I told her to go ahead and submit me for both jobs, while secretly feeling very unsure about the PM job.

And a miracle occurs

After the phone call ended, I went to my computer and logged in to Facebook. As I was reading items in the news feed, I noticed an ad in the right sidebar for raw pet food. When I saw the same ad a second time, I said to myself, “that’s funny, we were just talking about raw pet food.” When the ad came up for a third time, I figuratively slapped my forehead – these ads were a sign that I was meant to pursue only the customer service position at the raw pet food company.

Since I had ignored the anxious feeling I got about the PM job, the Universe found another way to get my attention. I called the woman from the agency and told her I didn’t want to be submitted for the PM position after all.

I got the customer service job at the pet food company, and it ultimately (and fairly quickly) led to my re-entry into the software world. Who would’ve thought? I had been trying in various ways to accomplish that for more than a year with no success. The circuitous path to that goal is one I could never have imagined or planned for myself.

It was a lesson in learning to trust the Universe, while paying attention to signs and allowing life to unfold as it is meant to.

There are many ways in which the delay of a year in getting a job was of benefit to me. But, as they say, that’s another story.

Video

I Don’t Have to Blame Others to Choose What is Right for Me

Sometimes (okay, many times) in order to justify my choices, I have made others “wrong.” I am discovering that I can choose what is right for me independent of others. I don’t have to rationalize or justify my choice intellectually. Feeling its rightness is all that is required.

The Election Outcome – Fostering Love and Kindness

This post is written in the format of a letter to my son.

The presidential election was two days ago. I was heart-broken over the outcome, although I was not surprised by it. I’m going to share my Facebook posts from yesterday with the intention of letting you see how I was feeling and the impact it had on me.

“I am heartsick.”

My heart literally hurt. I felt nauseous. I had feared for quite some time that this would be the outcome of the election, but continued to hope I was wrong. It was inconceivable to me that there are so many people in our country that think the bigotry, misogyny and bullying displayed by our president-elect is okay. That still floors me, but I am gaining another perspective on it as well.

“The only path forward is love. Love is what heals the hurt and fear that has created the world we live in. There is power in intention, so intentionally send your love and healing to our nation. There is power in numbers, so join together in sending your love and healing energy. I will join you there.”

I felt an overwhelming need to do something. And using my energy and intention in a positive way was the only thing I could do at that moment. Going forward there will be opportunities to do something in the physical world, while continuing to hold an attitude of love.

“The election is over, the people have spoken. I will not contribute to greater division by criticizing the new president-elect, or those who voted for him. Something is seriously wrong in this country when the majority of people feel so much fear that they feel the need to choose a leader who traffics in fear.

We need to look deep and see that those people have real fears that are not being addressed. I have no tolerance for bigotry in any form, yet I understand that it comes from a place of fear. We need to understand and address those fears so that we can all come together.”

Like so many others, I was on overload from all the negativity surrounding the election. I wasn’t going to perpetuate that personally, and I wasn’t going to immerse myself in other people’s negativity. Again, I wanted to focus on the path forward, and it is essential to acknowledge and address that there is a reason half the nation voted the way they did. We need to accept that reality and then do something to shift it if we don’t like it.

“I am reminding myself that the US government was designed with checks and balances. The presidency is only one component. There are so many prominent Republicans that spoke out against Trump. My hope is that as Senators and Representatives they are strong enough to continue to stand up for what is right as we go forward.”

Yes, I am still scared about what the outcome of this election will bring. And at the same time, I don’t want to catastrophize. Remembering that our nation’s government was structured in a way to prevent the abuse of power by one individual has helped me a lot. A friend commented on this post that her hope was that the Republicans and Democrats could come together because of this, and that is one of my hopes as well. There has been so much divisiveness in the past eight years, and perhaps this president will be the catalyst for the two parties to band together in the country’s best interest.

“So many people are posting what is in my heart, too. Let’s actively make America kind again, by actively being kind to everyone we meet. Lead by example and we will change the world.”

Late on election night someone added me to a secret Facebook group supporting Hillary. Although my vote was more about voting against Trump than voting for Hillary, seeing the posts in this group gave me a lot of hope. There were millions of others who feel like I do, who are devastated and scared for our country, who want to protect the rights of women and minorities, who want to take action from a place of love and kindness.

“Allow yourself to grieve. I am grieving the loss of illusion. Our world is not (yet) the way I hoped for or wanted it to be. After grieving, then it will be time to deal with reality and the actions I can take to be part of the shift towards my dream of how our world can be.”

Many people in the secret group, as well as my friends, were posting that they couldn’t stop crying. I had not allowed myself to go there yet, because my fallback position is always to buck up and take action. I tried writing a blog post, but I couldn’t do it, and I knew it was because it was too soon. I needed to grieve. I needed to allow myself to feel (beyond the physical heart and stomach ache).

And so I cried. And cried. And cried some more. Crying is not something that has come easily to me in the past, and although I am getting more comfortable with it, it still sometimes takes me a while to allow those feelings to surface. I know that it is a healthy thing to do, to allow emotions to process through rather than suppressing them. And so I cried.

“Many people are expressing that they are scared because of the outcome of the election. Yes. It is a scary thing. And, I still believe that we don’t have to allow this election to define us. In our own lives we can be revolutionaries that will not allow hatred to go unchallenged.

I have been scared for the past year; I could see the writing on the wall, the parallels to Nazi Germany. We do not have to allow that to happen to our country.

Yes, there are steps we can take through the political process. But what I’m asking us to do is to take action personally. Every single day. To approach every interaction with love and kindness. To stand up for our brothers and sisters whose voices are not heard. To challenge every single thing you witness that does not come from love and kindness.

Don’t be afraid to confront. Don’t be afraid to cause a scene. Approach with good intent, but don’t be bullied into silence. Stand up and be heard. It’s easy to say, and very hard to do. But I’m going to do my best to make this my personal mission.

Because I’m scared and I don’t want to be. Because I will not be made to feel powerless. Because I don’t want to live in a world of hate and discrimination.

We can each make a difference. Every single one of us. Please, please, please do whatever you can.”

Yes, I have feared this outcome for the past year, even as I worked to avert it. It began when there was so much controversy over the Syrian refugees, and I was confronted with the fear many other people were feeling. I began seeing then the parallels with Nazi Germany. Only in this case instead of the Jews, it was the Muslims.

I am fearful for all minorities, whether minority by race, religion or sexual identification. And, of course, I am fearful for women. But I don’t want my fear to turn into anger and hatred. Instead I want to use it to fuel actions that will affect positive change with or without the buy-in of our president-elect.

I have often thought of the brave Germans who hid and protected Jews during that awful time. Would I have the courage to do the same? I have truly wondered about this many times. Do I have the strength to stand up for others when my very life may be threatened in doing so?

I have never been sure, have always feared I would be too cowardly. The opportunity to prove differently is here, and I intend to take it. I am not going to be quiet. I am not going to go along to get along. I am going to do whatever is in my power to protect myself and others from bullying and discrimination, and to preserve human rights for everyone.

Letter 2: What I Believe

This post is written in the format of a letter to my son.

I think it’s important to share my beliefs with you, because that is a very quick and easy way to gain a lot of understanding about who I am. We have not talked about these things, except in passing. Partly because as I became more clear on what I believed and my spirituality became a priority in my life, you were becoming a teenager, and I was afraid of being judged by you.

I realize now it was a big mistake not to share the path I was on, what I was learning, who I was becoming. Even though I believe that we each have our own path and our own beliefs, and yours may not look anything like mine, I let go of the chance for the discussion, and for you to see that it’s okay to talk about what you believe even when others may disagree.

My beliefs have been developed and honed over many years of both internal and external exploration. However, I also believe that I have always had a knowingness of their truth, and the journey has been more one of remembering than learning or discovering. Many people speak of this remembering, and it rings true for me, as each of my beliefs is something that resonates deeply within me whether I have had experiences that validate the belief (for me – not external validation), or not.

In this letter, I’ll briefly share what I believe. In a later letter, I may dive deeper into one or more of these topics. This is a varied list, and in no particular order:

  1. I believe that my path may or may not be like anyone else’s. We each have a right to take our own experiences and decide for ourselves what we believe. Even though I may not have the same beliefs as you do, I respect your right to believe as you do – if what you believe (and the actions those beliefs may fuel) does not harm anyone. It is not my right, nor anyone else’s, to impose their beliefs on someone else. Period.
  2. I believe that we are each divine. We each have a soul that is eternal, and that soul is divine.
  3. I believe in reincarnation. We come here (or somewhere else other than Earth) many times. The purpose of these lives is to learn. I believe that prior to each life we choose what it is we want to experience and to learn in that lifetime. Though we always have free will, opportunities will present themselves throughout our lives to facilitate what we have come here to learn.
  4. I believe we are all connected. Each of our divine souls are part of a divine whole. We are separate yet all one at the same time. It’s like each soul is a drop of water in the ocean. When in the ocean, the drop is indistinguishable from the ocean itself. Yet the drop continues to exist, as its own thing.
  5. I believe an internal shift in me affects the whole. Because we are all connected, if something shifts in me, then something shifts for every soul.
  6. I believe in surrender. Surrender is having faith that what shows up in my life is there for my benefit and accepting it rather than fighting it. It’s not about being passive, but rather going with the flow rather than trying to swim upstream. I accept that I don’t know the big picture, but trust that whatever is in my life is ultimately for my learning and growth.
  7. I believe in the power of intention. My thoughts create my reality, and I can direct those thoughts to create a better reality, or I can choose to be a victim by not accepting responsibility for my life.
  8. I believe that peace, both internal and in the world, is a product of surrender.
  9. I believe in taking inspired action.
  10. I believe that everything happens for a reason.
  11. I believe that love is the core of our divine souls. There is no such thing as evil. People take actions that are not loving for several reasons. One may be that it is their role in this life, in order to facilitate the growth of others. Another common reason is that they are in tremendous pain and don’t know that surrender is the only path through that pain, so they lash out.
  12. I believe that as humans, we each have an ego. This is part of the human experience and is not part of our divine soul. The ego is necessary for the human experience, and facilitates our learning and growth as we work to transcend it.
  13. I believe in intuition and psychic abilities. Through accessing my higher self – the divine soul – I can have access to information that is not learned through traditional methods.
  14. I believe it is possible to communicate with souls who are not currently in a body. We all have this ability, but most of us have not developed it.
  15. I believe that dreams contain information and messages, either from my higher self, or from the collective we are each part of.
  16. I believe the material world, including our human bodies, is made of energy. We can shift our experience by shifting energy in our bodies and around us through energy medicine like acupuncture and EFT, or simply through intention.
  17. I believe in astral travel.
  18. I believe that we reincarnate in soul groups, and have had many lifetimes, in different roles, with the primary people in our lives.
  19. I believe in synchronicity.
  20. I believe in the validity of many metaphysical tools such as astrology, numerology and handprint analysis.
  21. I believe that, ultimately, we each are on a journey of enlightenment that takes place over many, many lifetimes. We each have the same goal in the end, to reach the place of unconditional love and peace.

I realize this list is a bit of a hodge-podge, but I hope it gives you a bit of a view into who I am and how I approach being in the world.

The Power of Letting Go

Since I moved to Massachusetts I have been complaining about how difficult it is to figure out how to be “legal” about things like my business and my car registration. In particular my car registration.

The day after I first arrived, I received a phone call from my insurance company telling me about all the hoops I would need to jump through to get my car registered. And, within 20 days of my move. Since I am someone who has had a long-standing fear of getting in trouble (even though I am typically a goody-two-shoes), this created some anxiety for me.

Over the next several weeks and multiple calls to the insurance company, emails from the insurance company, calls to the leasing company, an in-person visit to the state licensing agency (only to be told “we don’t do that here”) and finally a call to the state titling agency, I was completely and totally confused, and no closer to getting my car registered and licensed.

During the call to the state titling agency, at which time they told me that I had to get the car title and bring it in person – while the leasing company told me they would only send it to the state agency – I finally gave up. I surrendered. Since this whole process seemed impossible anyway, what else could I do? I said to the representative on the phone, “Fine, then I just won’t register it.” And that was what I decided.

I made one finally call to my insurance company, and they said they would try again to get the title from the leasing company, but that it would take 30 days. Whatever. I wasn’t going to put any more energy into figuring this out, or worrying about the consequences of not registering my car in Massachusetts.

Three days later I received a letter in the mail from the leasing company telling me they had sent the title to the insurance company. Three days! Not 30 days, not never. Three days! After five weeks of fear, anxiety, frustration and anger, all it took was to say “I give up.”

I realized that my anxious energy was holding this entire process hostage. As soon as I surrendered, the process could flow and complete itself.

The reality is that all my fear and worry could not control what was happening, so why not let go and surrender to whatever unfolds?

Now, I didn’t surrender in order to try and control the process (i.e. “if I let go then this will all work out”); that would actually not be surrender at all, but manipulation. True surrender is letting go of attachment to the outcome, and that is exactly what I did. If everything worked out and my car got registered, great! If my car never got registered, great! I reached a point where it didn’t matter to me.

This is the key to inner peace, letting go of attachment to the outcome.

What are you holding on to that would be better served by letting go?

Gratitude for Validation

Almost five years ago, Blue Heron showed up in my life as my totem (hence the name of this blog). Over the past several years, I have rarely seen him. The sense I have made of this is that I’ve reached a point in my journey of trusting myself and Spirit, where I don’t need constant validation that I am on the right path. It’s true that for the most part, I have an inner knowingness that I truly trust.

However, there’s still something to be said for receiving signs that I am on the right path, especially with the big changes I have recently made in my life. Adjusting has not happened over night, and although I trust my choices, I am grateful for the validation I have received recently.

Since my move, I have been using my Tarot for guidance again more frequently. I used to do this on a daily basis, but over the past few years have not felt the need – again being able to trust my intuition and internal guidance without asking for external guidance.

Last week I had a specific question where I was looking for some guidance, and the answer that came back to me through the cards was that I was moving forward, was at peace with my thoughts (no longer resisting or forcing), and finding strength through Spirit. Since then I have been much more at peace in general and more trusting that I am on the right path. I am grateful for that validation.

When energy is moving, or shifting, in my body, I yawn. I love this physical sign that something has shifted. I am grateful for that validation.

I also receive guidance through dreams, and I have had several significant ones this week. I love that as I work through the meaning of the dream (I like to talk about it out loud), a yawn will come to signify that yes, I got it!

My new apartment faces a marsh. I had hoped that there would be blue herons, but after living here for a month, I have not seen any. In fact, there have been no wading birds at all. I have been able to see large white birds in the marsh a mile away from me, but none in the area that is my back yard.

Then yesterday, I saw one big white bird in the marsh. It was too far away to really see it well, but as I continued to watch, it flew up into a tree right outside my window! I could easily see that it was a large wading bird, and after searching online determined it was a Great Egret – also known as a Great White Heron! My totem had returned to me for validation. Gratitude!

This morning I went out to run some errands, and on my way home was processing a dream from last night by talking out loud about it. As I reached home, I summarized the message I had received, and yawned (my sign that yes, I got it.) When I opened the door to my apartment, in the marsh, right outside was the Great Egret! Talk about double validation – yawning and the egret!

Within a moment, he had flown away. I was meant to see him, then his job was done.

As I am finishing writing this, he flew by one last time.

I am grateful for all the validation I continue to receive.

Taking a Leap of Faith – and the Accompanying Terror

I awoke early this morning and was filled with terror. My mind began running rampant, cataloging all the things I had to be fearful about. At the top of the list, as always, was not having enough money.

I recently took a leap of faith and moved across the country from Seattle to Salisbury, Massachusetts. I didn’t know what I would do for work, but had been fortunate enough for two part-time opportunities (one with my Seattle employer) to present themselves. In the 10 days since I’ve been in my new home I have been overwhelmed with trying to make sure that I am working enough to make as much money as I was making full-time. Yesterday, both jobs had less work for me to do, and I became fearful about the future prospects with each of them.

When I awoke this morning, I panicked. My mind was whirling with figuring out what I could do to get some more work / money, either with these two opportunities, or in some other way.

I cried for about 5 minutes, and cried out to God to help me. I had a few big yawns (a sign for me that energy is moving) and fell into a deep dream-filled sleep for an hour.

When I next awoke, I was conscious of a change in perspective. I have taken leaps of faith in the past: starting my private counseling practice during a recession, choosing to stop doing work that didn’t resonate with me, choosing not to work for several years to focus on my internal growth, and too many more to mention here. And, it has always worked out for me.

Not always in the way I would have said I wanted in the beginning, or in a way I could have predicted. But it has always worked out for my benefit.

So, with that foundation, I thought about how holding on to the past with my current jobs may be preventing me from moving into my future.

It is terrifying to consider letting go of the only source(s) of income that I currently have. And, the truth is, I’ve known for some time that neither of these jobs is in my future. I need to let go of the idea that this is how I will make my living in the future in order to open the door for other possibilities to show up. And I’m scared.

A few days ago I was shuffling Tarot cards to do a 3-card spread for myself. The Fool literally leapt out of the deck and fell into my lap. A coincidence? I think not. The Fool is about new beginnings and letting go of the past. He also represents bringing a child-like innocence to the unlimited possibilities of the Universe.

I keep coming back to the letting go of the past part. I am still hanging on to certain aspects of the past, not just with my jobs. I see that it is my work now to cut those cords so that I can be free to move forward.

This is not an easy task, but I know it is the right path.

Wish me luck, and I will keep you posted!

Follow Your Heart – It Knows the Way

I have been in New England for about a week, exploring and deciding where I want to move. I knew that part of the draw was that many of my ancestors came from England and Scotland and settled in this area in the 17 and 18th centuries. I also realized before beginning the trip, that beyond discovering what felt like home to me, there was work to be done in healing myself and ancestors, and releasing shared grief. I didn’t know exactly the cause of this grief, or the form the healing would take, but was open to what showed up.

Two days ago, I started out in a lovely frame of mind. I had spent the night near Portsmouth, NH and was exploring that area. I had discovered the day before that I really want to be near the ocean, so I decided I would explore down the coast between Portsmouth and Boston. I wasn’t feeling great physically because I had a bit of a headache, but I was in a great mood. Until…

After lunch in Gloucester, MA, I decided to see what Salem was like. Whoa!

As I got closer to Salem I began to feel nauseous, to the point where I felt I might throw up. I am very sensitive to the energy of those around me, and the energy of this place was making me physically ill. Given the history, this is not surprising. And, it is sad that nearly 400 years later that energy of grief and guilt and shame has not yet dissipated.

Needless to say, I didn’t stop, but chose to drive on to Boston.

I reached Boston, where I would be staying at the apartment of a friend who is out of town. I struggled a bit finding a place to park, but ultimately it all worked out, although I was left feeling pretty grumpy.

I had begun to feel a bit confused about where I wanted to settle. I had brought along my pendulum to help me sort out how I really felt. Using a pendulum is a way of doing muscle testing. Our bodies have wisdom that it is sometimes difficult to access through our minds and thinking.

So, later that evening I got out my pendulum with the intent of asking about some of the places I had visited, and were they the right place for me. I immediately felt overwhelmed with grief and loneliness. I cried for a while – a hard cry that led to rapid breathing and yawning and an urge to vomit. Yawning for me is a physical sign of energy being released. Intellectually I realized that this grief was not mine, but that of my ancestors, and this process still was difficult to go through.

At one point, when the crying had slowed down, I thought again to use the pendulum, which had been in my hand the entire time. I had been walking around the apartment as I was releasing all this grief, and I was in the bedroom. I stopped walking and took out the pendulum and attempted to calibrate it by using standard statements like “My name is Laura” (true) and “My name is Sam” (untrue), but the pendulum did not move at all. So I tried the straight-forward use of the words yes (true) and no (untrue). But still the pendulum did not move at all.

I was upset and frustrated, and even a little pissed off. At that moment I looked up and noticed a wooden block with a saying imprinted on it: “Follow Your Heart ~ It Knows the Way.” Ah… I didn’t need the pendulum, all I needed was to feel what my heart told me.

The day before I had been at Cape Elizabeth, Maine, right on the Atlantic Ocean and my heart held a warmth that I had not experienced anywhere else on my journey. I noticed it at the time, and paid attention to it. I didn’t need the pendulum.

I don’t know for sure that this means I will settle in Cape Elizabeth – although I have had a couple of people, one of whom I didn’t even know until a couple of days ago, offer to talk with me about that area.

What it does mean, for sure, though, is that I can trust my heart. I got this message loud and clear, with actual written words!

So, I will follow my heart.

Excited and Terrified

On Wednesday I took the first step towards what I’m being called to do, by telling my boss I want to go to half-time at work, and that I was planning to move out of state in a couple of months.

So exciting and terrifying at the same time! Or perhaps excitement and terror are just two sides of the same coin.

I posted on Facebook about this first step, without saying much as to where this path is leading, and, of course, I got tons of questions. Answering the questions has led me to be more committed to the path I am on – at least the part that is about moving from Seattle to upstate New York. Because now I have told everyone that is what I plan to do. Not that I couldn’t change my mind, but it feels like by telling people I am affirming that this is my next step.

And once again, it is exciting and terrifying at the same time!

The other thing about making my intentions known publicly, is that many people just don’t understand. They want to know why I’m moving – did a I get a new job, do I have relatives there, did I grow up there? They want to have a logical and rational reason, and there isn’t one.

Their questions have been really good for me, to be able to simply say that I’m following my heart. I don’t need a concrete reason; I just know that it is right for me. I know that those who need that rational reason are not ready yet to understand, so I don’t try to convince them. That’s not my job, anyway.

I have also gotten a lot of support from people who “get it.” I am grateful for their cheerleading, and grateful especially for the cheerleaders who have surprised me.

So, excited and terrified (although less and less terrified), on I go!