I was blessed on Friday, April 28th to REALLY learn - more deeply and again - my beliefs about 'not enough', no one will help me, and commitment.
The 28th is the day I was to travel to catch a ferry to Vancouver Island, BC. It was the start of the PTI weekend ( Personal Transformation Intensive ) that Lori Austein and I were co-facilitating. The first weekend of five.
I was ready. Up at 4:30 am to finish packing, I left at 5:30 to catch an 8:20 ferry, the Black Ball Ferry. All was well.
On the road, about half way there, I realized my car was overheating. So I pulled over and waited. Having an old car with lots of miles on it I was not overly concerned. This had happened before, just not in a long time.
As the car cooled and I kept pushing toward Port Angeles and the ferry...it was getting later and later. I began to panic: what to do? You can imagine the number of scenarios I came up with and none of them seemed workable. I was literally in the middle of nowhere. ( How many times in my life had I visited the same space, I thought? )
I HAD TO GET TO THE PTI. I had committed myself to Lori and five other people who were paying for me to be there and co-facilitate their healing.
At last, with white smoke billowing out the back and white smoke coming out under the hood of the car, I pulled over. The car would not start. No way. No way.
During the next hour I learned, again, about the kindness of strangers. Triple AAA listening kindly and helping me problem solve. The tow company that would pick me, and my car up, deliver us to a rental agency in Port Angeles, 30 miles away and then deliver my car to my super mechanic in Olympia - another 90 miles? The rental agency employee who was so kind after 3 calls, with her calm voice helping me to stay calm. Lori's solid commitment to the PTI participants and her truth about having me there as soon as possible.
I did get to the ferry. I was the last car on the ferry for the 2:00 pm sailing.
I did get to the PTI during dinner, having lovely people wave me into the most beautiful home and setting. Feeling their love and good energy and joy that I had arrived. Feeling welcomed!
Wow. The weekend was so amazing, the participants so brave to jump into their healing work, allowing Lori and I to assist them in resolving trauma that often began before birth.
Kindness. Abundance. Commitment. JOY!
Think today about the kindness of strangers. About true abundance. About commitment: what are you committed to?
The pictures below are of The Shire, where we stayed for the weekend, at Lake Cowichan, BC.
Are you a person who got started late? With...a meaningful job? family? children? travel? spirituality? There are many ways people consider themselves to be 'late bloomers'. ( And late can be ANY age: I have people in their 20's think it is 'too late to....'.)
I am a late bloomer. I wanted to go into the Peace Corps at a young age but I was too insecure, lacking confidence...maturity. Finally, at the age of 49 I had a nightmare in which I, at 49, was strangling a much younger me. I was startled into sitting up in bed and almost sensing the tightness around my neck!
A friend said to me: "What dreams did you have when you were young that you 'strangled'. The very first thing that came to mind was that I 'strangled' my dream of joining the Peace Corps.
That was December 1997. On March 1st of 1998 I sent in my Peace Corps application and after a long and arduous process, was accepted on Halloween, 1998. At the age of 50. In June of 1999 I traveled to join other Peace Corps volunteers going to work and live in Belize, Central America.
So...again: what dreams did you 'strangle'? What is your heart's desire? What is your soul calling you to do? How do you live a 'life of no regret'?
I am starting a class called It's Never Too Late to Bloom April 6th! Four weeks...working with other women who also have not....??? See the flyer below!
Did you know that I offer Skype and on-line sessions?
Did you know that I often make guided visualization recordings for my clients - at no extra cost - for issues that they are working with at home or away from my office?
Did you know that I do energy work? We are all vibration and much of what we 'think' we experience is energy: repressed, stuck, ambivalent...energy. And energy, once identified as such in the body by a tightness, a pain, an emptiness, a black hole, can be worked with. There are many easy methods and once a person experiences how much CONTROL they have over what has felt impossible, healing happens quickly and easily.
Did you know that I am one of the few counselors in Olympia who asks about the pre-and-peri-natal and birth experience? I have found, as have others in the field of pre-and-peri-natal trauma, that many, many of the beliefs, feelings, attitudes we have as adults actually started in the womb. For instance, years ago I had a person who came to me saying he felt 'stuck' in his life. That he had felt 'stuck' for years. As we talked and I asked about his pre-natal experience, he stated that he knew his parents had a very tumultuous time when his mother was pregnant. But then when I asked about his actual birth, he told me that when his mother started her labor, the nurses insisted that she 'stop' because the doctor was not present. They actually tied her legs together to impede the baby coming all the way down the birth canal. This was in the 1940's...but STILL!! And he wonders why he feels stuck: he was stuck in a birth canal that is supposed to be moved through at the rate of the baby. In this case his birth was totally impeded and he was literally 'stuck' in a tight place without a means of escape.
After we went through his history he understood why he had felt stuck all his life, without escape, and we began the work of healing this unfortunate birth. And to tell the truth...he is lucky he lived. Babies are not intended to 'hang out' in the birth canal and to do so can be life-threatening.
What else do you need to know about me?
I want you to know that I BELIEVE IN YOU. I BELIEVE IN YOUR ABILITY TO HEAL, TO USE NEW SKILLS, TO DRAW ON YOUR CREATIVITY, YOUR SOUL'S DESIRE TO LIVE FULLY AND WITH JOY.
I KNOW YOU ARE CAPABLE.
I SEE YOU.
STAND BY YOU.
I have many clients referred to me for anxiety issues.
Personally, I feel that in our hurried culture and 'busy' lives, we all experience some anxiety. We are all alive...hence, some anxiety.
It is only when that anxiety begins to get the better of us that we must reach out for help: racing thoughts that never seem to end; sleepless nights; can't think clearly; depression; the inability to truly experience joy, peace...even love. Connection.
I usually start with my sweet clients who suffer from tremendous anxiety by explaining the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). I suggest you research the ANS for a deeper understanding. My simplistic version is that most people alternate, depending on outside signals, to either a Sympathetic ( fight or flight ) response, or Parasympathetic ( freeze or play 'dead' ) response.
I explain to clients that the ANS is our bodies' 'first warning system' that danger is lurking: real, imagined or perceived danger. Again: real, imagined or perceived danger. It is the warning system that has been with us from the beginning.
In order to help clients begin to regulate this system within themselves...to find MIDDLE GROUND, it is important to know what it feels like to be at either end of the warning system...in high anxiety or deep numbness...and to also know what MIDDLE GROUND feels like. Literally...how does a body feel in any of the 3 positions? I don't often ask people to write this down, or draw it out, but I am going to begin. We can do this with some light hypnotherapy, to clearly experience, in the body, the sensations at either end and in the middle. Or clients can work on it at home.
I believe that making this information more concrete through writing or drawing...or whatever form creativity takes for a person...will help them find MIDDLE GROUND. And that is what we are aiming for, that is what 'mindfulness' is all about, being present.
So what is MIDDLE GROUND for you? How do you move from high activity, heart racing, palms sweaty...to calm? To an inner peace. Or from deep sadness, depression...to an inner sense of desire to connect? To create? To live?
I have been organizing, cleaning...letting go of stuff. AND getting ready to co-facilitate the "Letting Go" workshop on Vancouver Island starting this Friday, the 20th.
I came across this quote, from a former client while I was organizing and preparing.
"I worked with Zoe earlier this year on an issue that has plagued me for nearly 20 years. Her gentle, effective approach allowed me to work through it. Her hypnotherapy technique brings you to a more relaxed state and helps greatly with the therapeutic process." M.S.
Why do we wait to do our deepest healing work? I so admire many young people who jump in, uncover some of their deepest wounding and begin their healing process. A process that will last a lifetime. And, I know for myself, it took me many years to recognize the depth of the wounding and the current effects that wounding was still having on my life, my work, my relationships.
So why do we wait?
Fear is probably the first thing we think of. What will happen if I......?
Shame at what might be revealed: what if other people knew me at my deepest self? They would not like me.
Forgiveness: forgiveness of the self. Forgiveness for the times we hurt or wounded people, ignored what was in front of us. Acted out of meanness.
Worry about what others might think of me, if my outside persona or mask that I wear is not congruent with who I really am inside.
And sometimes although we are ready and willing, we are not met with the right combination of skills and intention so that we can really dig deep into our issues with a feeling of safety, the surety that whoever is guiding us will 'have our back', not judge, co-create the right container for healing to happen.
I started my deepest healing in my 50's, mostly because I had not found the right combination of safety, encouragement and skills which would allow me to really dig deeply into my wounds and heal. I found that with my teachers at The Wellness Institute and that is why I continue to train and study..and heal myself, with them. Twelve years later.
So...why are you waiting? What are you waiting for? Consider registering for the Letting Go Weekend February 10, 11 and 12th in Olympia - in my home! You will have a 100% chance of uncovering, healing, letting go in a safe, sacred container co-faciliated by myself and the amazing Lori Austein, a skilled and gentle gem!
Click here to read more, get curious and call me or to register!
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
Years ago...years ago a wise woman told me: be sure to always do something really 'nourishing' for yourself on your birthday and special days. A gift, an experience...a letter to someone you love. A new adventure down a road never traveled. A class...
Over the years I have taken that advice, sometimes in big ways, and sometimes small. This year I decided to purchase a dreambook/planner that I never would have even considered before. Or, maybe considered, maybe even bought something like it...but did not use it. Or only short-term and then it got piled with those things I don't use. And eventually thrown out.
This year I really wanted to gift myself with something that challenges me. Something that helps me look ahead and set goals...not one of my strong talents...and also helps me to remember, daily, to have small rituals of wakefulness, of gratitude. Not just crossing things off a list, but actually planning and noticing, ritualising the small things and saying thank you.
It has been a challenge. I have been reading and entering information since the beginning of this year. Listing goals for the year, 3 years, 10 years...lifetime. So far my only lifetime goal is to die consciously. I am not sure what that even means, really, but I know it is a goal.
So this morning I sit down to peruse my day...what I have planned and can look forward to. One of the things I have decided to do every day is to dance...one dance at least to say thank you to my body, to creativity...to movement.
What shall we dance to today? Aretha....