"There is a certain line in life that requires vision to recognize and courage to step across. It may feel safe on one side of what if, but on the other is living deeply, by the heart's true intention. My work with Joelle took me across that line and I have never looked back."
A decade ago, I was a single mom attending art school. It was an especially difficult, lonely time in life. There was an assignment to an
alyze a specific artwork I could choose from the museum. A century-old Fauvist painting of a windy island rocky beach intrigued me. For hours I would study shape, color, and mood, all the while willing myself into the painting. I’ve never been, but If only I could be…
After graduation, I worked to expand my glass career. I had some successes and recognition, but then five years ago, my art studio and tools began gathering dust in a tough economy. I was uninspired, sad, and having such a difficult time establishing roots that could bring genuine satisfaction.
I met Coach Joelle, and she told me about her Make Your Life program. It became a priority so I scrimped a place for it in the budget.
I really paid attention to the details of what she meant. Week one of her coaching changed my perspective on how I had been defining myself by a "disability" incurred while in the Navy 30 years ago. A serious head injury certainly brought challenges, but I had recovered enough to where life was manageable with coping skills. Joelle’s program gave me tools for a positive focus, which brings amazingly more rewarding results.
Week two was to come up with a word that defined the life I want. I came up with Brimming, because it had a deep sense of everything overflowing. (I still wrote in parenthesis more words: Peaceful, Adventurous, Purposeful, Successful, Happy, Healthy, Wealthy, Fit, Courageous, Friendly) I also specifically defined how I wanted life to be- but in such a core sense it was more of an imagined experience. I was able to tap into that youthful fun feeling when life is a wonderful adventure.
My Inspired Two Month goals entailed a comfortable, affordable studio space with lots of light, a comfortable affordable place to live, more friends, more fit, and the Cleveland Velodrome project I had initiated a few years before to be successful.
I began to nurture those ideas, believing that they already exist. I took to heart her advice on what "fear" really is, and applied myself 100% to the program, or a "10" as she said it. Two Sundays into the program, I went online for job opportunities; one in Indianapolis and one in Seattle- why not Seattle? I love it there. I made the appointment for a job interview that week and flew out with my frequent flyer points.
I landed the job and started that day. Within two weeks I found a new three story townhouse with an attached storefront in a vibrant part of the city. Serendipity involves so much more than chance. I 100% trusted that challenges would be overcome, even financial and things really fell into place.
Even the first month was so adventurous! Epic mt biking, hiking, trapshooting, plus I re-established friendships from decades ago. Within two months the Velodrome made a number of milestones. Most important, I was inspired by one of Joelle’s experiences writing out what to look for in a relationship.
It didn’t take long to fill one page, purposefully making it so specific that I would absolutely know he was right. Reading it over, I immediately crunched up the page thinking I didn’t have time to date- I couldn't spread my emotional energy that thin. Yet four days later I met my guy- he is all that. We are compatible on so many levels with what we like to do and our goals in life. As the Dalai Lama advises – approach love and cooking with abandon. He proposed to me not long after we met, and we got married the day after thanksgiving. Had it been only three months since I had started Joelle’s class? It felt like a lifetime, which in essence it was a new life.
We celebrated our 5-year anniversary last month. I can
only say the journey has been magical, challenging, and heart-expanding. I had imagined traveling, adventure, and friendships; but visualizing it for the class had been two-dimensional. My inspirations were wistful pictures from a magazine:
an Italian café?
toes in the sand of a tropical beach?
an ad with three laughing friends on a bicycle?
Yet just the same, sometimes my life seems to play out like a book. The idea of the general experience was my choice off the shelf, but then life surprises with every rich detail. Saying Yes turns the pages.
I’ve learned no matter what direction, it is all a spiritual journey. We dance, and all else moves. Illusory time has always been one moment. One butterfly is all butterflies. Life can be approached from the pragmatic side, where one believes what is seen; or from the artistic side, where one sees what one believes. Either way, eventually, there comes an understanding that one is only able to see “outside” what is “inside.” This is an electric universe after all, with us perceiving different forms of energy. The scientific word Plasma that connects us all feels like compassion. Our heart’s strongest electromagnetic influence on our surroundings feels like joy, and God feels like love…
Before we married, my husband-soulmate said his goal in life was to put everything he owned into one box. The thought challenged me. As an artist, who was I without my tools, my studio? What was my worth if I wasn't producing something valuable? So, four years ago, I gave the entire studio away to an Indian reservation. They came with a truck and my 20-year career was gone in a day, with me left sweeping an empty floor. At first it felt like an amputation, but it has become the most rewarding experience. Now I feel I can never give enough stuff away. We even sold our house and bicycled halfway across the country carrying everything we needed.
A year ago, the Velodrome was successfully completed, and is now open to the public. Now we live out of a few suitcases and rent furnished places from Craigslist when we want to see someplace next. Tahoe, Colorado, California, Washington, Canada… I faced some deep fears, learned how to ride a motorcycle at age 45 and learned to surf at 48.
Two years ago we found Maui, and stayed. My husband’s Hawaiian grandmother had named him: Kawehiwehiokekuwahiwionauowaioku’uhome: The land of water and rainforest trees of the mountains, Hawaii, is always beloved home. He had left when he was young, and returned with me. Now our roots involve surfboards and bicycles, and Hawaiian friends I could have never have imagined. We discover deep and surprising things: genuine Aloha and ohana, the poetry in Hawaiian words, the connection with the ‘aina through the significance of wind, learning to read the messages from the Aumakua when they appear.
Not long ago we went reef swimming without masks, floating in the clear water above bright yellow and blue fish and dark multicolored coral. I felt so grateful to be experiencing this peace with my husband. 100 yards out, I turned around and caught my breath; the shore matched the painting in art school I had long forgotten.
The European sailors who found these islands were similar to modern people in some ways. They were guiding themselves by a construct of imaginary grid lines superimposed on reality. If the world didn’t match their expectations, they were lost. Their mind's expectations got in the way of the Heart's direction. The Polynesian voyagers, on the other hand, navigated by what they saw, by their actual experience: stars, waves, clouds, seabirds. They were never lost, and could sail with intention across thousands of miles of open sea to tiny dots of land and home.
Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii
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