Awoke this morning and gazed out the window to an unexpected scene. Not in my own bed (that was expected), as I am in Arizona for the first time; at the home of my friend Dianne Evans who moved out here fromVirginia a few years ago. What I am experiencing is something that I left behind in Philly last week…white flakes dancing downward, melting against the stucco and tile patio that face the Red Rocks. I drove the two hours or so from Phoenix where I had just attended the Celebrate Your Life Conference created by Mishka Productions. It was a personal growth party, a transformational tete’ a tete’, a sonic shindig, a solar soireee and a feast for all the senses. Liz Dawn Donahue is the seemingly tireless force of nature that gathered together people from all around the world and also facilitated a heart and soul stirring workshop. The movers and shakers who offered seriously grounded skills along with lofty concepts included: Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, Sonia Choquette, Dan Millman, Elizabeth Lesser, Harville Hendricks, Gary Zukav, Judith Orloff, Karen Drucker, Alan Cohen, Andrew Weil, Barry Goldstein, Cynthia James, Sunny Dawn Johnston, John Holland, KC Miller, Lisa Williams, Jill Bolte Taylor, Linda Francis, Penache Desai, Denise Linn, Michael Tamura, Jeff Donahue, Greg Peterson, Michael and Deborah Traub, James Van Praagh. Immersed in love soup for an entire weekend, I am now allowing the experiences to marinate me.
For those who are unfamiliar, there is a winding road called Rte 179 that connects the two cities and at night, it is difficult to determine which way the road will turn. On some stretches, the only illumination is from headlights. On each side of the highway loom hulking mountains, creature-like and towering, sage brush and cactus; almost otherworldly images for this East Coast girl, accustomed to pine and oak trees. These were fitting metaphors for my experience at the conference as well.
Having been part of the transformational field for about 25 years, I have attended many conferences and expos and when I was publisher of Visions Magazine, sponsored the Conscious Living Expo, so I had some idea of what it takes to put on an event like this one. I thought I was coming to the expo for one reason, but ended up recognizing that it went way beyond my initial intention to be there as a journalist/participant. Like most things in my life, I found that the experience ‘worked me’. Having not had a vacation in several years, this felt like the ideal opportunity to combine my work and play. My son reminded me that I was on vacation and shouldn’t work. I shared with him that none of this feels like work. You know how it is when your right livelihood feels that way much of the time. If you do, then you know you are on the right track and if you don’t, then perhaps it is is time to change tracks.
Arriving in Phoenix in the midst of a sandstorm that turned later into a rainstorm; another fitting metaphor for my life of late, I rode, with a few others to the beyond gorgeous Marriott Desert Ridge resort. I felt a sense of ahhhh wash over me and although prior to flying out, I reminded myself to get out of my social worker-feeling-out-of-my-element-who-me-I-don’t-belong-at-a-place-like-that and enter into the certainty that I do indeed get to experience that type of luxury. After washing off the travel grit, I joined a huge crowd of anticipatory energy awaiting the appearance of Wayne Dyer. Having followed his work since the early 1980’s when I read Your Erroneous Zones, and having interviewed him a few times over the past 20-some years, I was delighted to see him in person, rather than simply on a tv screen while doing a PBS special. This time, he spoke about one of my favorite subjects: extraordinary awareness, in his presentation called Mastering the Art of Manifestation. As on who has seen proof positive that this is an art form to be mastered, I found myself nodding in recognition at the messages shared. One of the most powerful concepts he offered was in the use of the words I AM. These were the same words spoken from the burning bush that Moses stood before and he asked who it was that was sending him to his people with a message. Ehyeh asher ehyeh in Hebrew as the name of God. Wayne’s contention is that anytime we use those words, we are identifying ourselves as God. Now, I know that there may be some readers who feel that is not in keeping with their own religious training or beliefs, but I am coming to accept it as truth for myself. So when you say “I am poor.” or “I am ill.”, you are taking the name of God in vain. Why would God disempower Him/Herself in that way? Wouldn’t it be better to claim boldly “I am abundant.” or “I am well.” ? He suggested that prior to drifting off into sleep, we make it a practice to affirm all it is that truly are and truly desire to bring into our lives and then we have all of those hours of sleep to marinate in the thoughts, I AM (fill in the blank), THAT, I AM which seals it in.
The next morning, I was in the beginnings of what I refer to as a spiritual colonic, an all out detox of the systems of my body-mind-spirit. Tears came regularly and I also found myself clearing out in other ways that may be TMI for this venue. Over and over throughout the day, the message that kept coming through loud and clear was I was enough as is, no need to fix anything, my emotions were acceptable regardless of what they were. I could live in the world more completely and also be of greater service if I remembered that. One of the things I teach is self love. Feeling rather hypocritical at times, I don’t always live the message. As if often does, opportunities were right in my face, to take a stand for self love. I could choose to ignore them or go nose to nose with them. In the past, I would have ignored the gifts inherent in the delivered messages; ‘return to sender, address unknown’. Instead, I embraced them and moved through the lessons with relative ease and grace.
As I am writing this, the snow has melted, the sun is peeking through the clouds and the mist that obscured the mountains has dissipated and I can see clearly.
http://youtu.be/gIqLsGT2wbQ I Can See Clearly by Jimmy Cliff