Category Archives: wedding officiant

Where are you supposed to be?

 

Last June I was walking along the Edmonds Beach in Washington as I frequently did during the 16 years I lived close to the Puget Sound.

As I walked, I was reflecting about the fact that four Nia studios had closed behind me in the past six months and I was clearly feeling like God was trying to tell me something but I wasn’t quite sure what!

I was praying quite fervently as I stepped off the little footbridge on the dock by the marina. With tears in my eyes, I looked up and was mentally pleading with the Divine as I asked, “Where am I supposed to be????”

Five steps later (literally) I looked over to my right and spotted the map I’ve walked by hundreds of times. The red dot in the center leapt out at me as my eyes were drawn to the words, “You are here.” I laughed out loud.

Okay, okay, I can take a hint! Live in the present moment and all that stuff I’d been practicing began to pour over me. “You are here.” How simple. I guess that’s where I was supposed to be.

My pondering angst melted as my steps got perky again and I kept moving forward. And, I kept moving forward. SO forward that in December I ended up moving back to the Charlottesville, Virginia area where we raised our kids in the 80s and 90s. The children are no longer here and have children of their own and live pretty far away. So I didn’t move back here for family, I guess I moved back here for me.

Some of you may know that I had felt “called” out to Seattle. I moved there from Charlottesville in 2000, leaving so many people I loved, and a position at the University of Virginia that I was passionate about and thriving in–but I followed the nudging of my soul and packed all the memories and shipped them out to the other coast.

I loved my 16 years in Seattle! I thought I’d live there forever, whatever forever is. So I was a bit surprised that pretty soon after that walk on the beach, I “got the calling” to move back (or forward?) to Virginia.

I love it here (again)! But the transition hasn’t always been easy. The many facets of my work seem to have been tossed into the air. It feels like I’m starting over here, but I brought my 46 years of work experiences and my passions with me.

I miss my friends in Seattle. And I am blessed to be re-connecting with old friends here, while making new friends here too.

I miss my children and grandchildren W A Y more here than I did in Seattle so that part kinda sucks. What is THAT about? Could it be that as I sit on my deck looking out at the Blue Ridge Mountains, if I look left a bit, I can see Buck Mountain in Free Union. We lived just across the field from the base of that mountain many years ago. Memories abound.

A quick note – When I moved here, I had temporary housing in a sweet furnished “med student apartment” on the terrace level in the home of some dear friends. They lived in a beautiful house in the woods. I loved it there for so many reasons. But, I missed having my own “stuff” around me and I need more room and my own place.

After being second in line for four very cool little cottages in the country, I happened upon the place where I live now. Somehow, every time I didn’t get the place I thought I wanted, I stayed quite present to it all and didn’t fret. Okay, I did fret a bit here and there, but truly, I had such a belief that I would find just the right place—and I did. I am now renting a beautiful, light-filled, very sweet carriage house on a 100 acre farm not too far from town. There is much love and kindness all around me. I am truly here.

When I take walks or drive through the countryside, I find I am appreciating the surrounding beauty even more than when I lived here before. Maybe because I have more time to be present to it?

It feels like a new, poignant chapter in life has begun. Many of my friends here have already retired or are about to do so. “Retirement” just isn’t in my vocabulary. “Rejuvenation” is. I plan to do my wellness work until well into my 90s. It feels like I’m just getting started. I’m not talking about working a 40 hour week, but I’m planning to continue doing what I’ve done since I started my own wellness business after I moved to the Seattle. I want to teach Nia until I’m 90 and then renegotiate and maybe go to 100 if I feel like it. I want to present and share and inspire wellness through presentations and life coaching and I want to write more books. I want to sell vitamins to those who are a good match for the ones I offer through my product partner, USANA Health Sciences. I want to continue to hold a loving space for people to “marry themselves” as I support them in planning their ceremony and being their wedding officiant.

I want to, as Ram Dass stated so purely, “Be here now.”

So when I ask myself, “Where am I supposed to be?” I am here.

Where are you?

 

Making the Four Agreements Your Energy Allies

the.four_.agreements.ruiz_

I was introduced to Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements, in 1999 at my very first Nia intensive training. In Nia, we are encouraged to use these agreements as “Energy Allies,” not only our practice–but in our daily lives.* They have worked so well for me over the years so I thought I would share them here for you! And, oh yes, I actually think there are FIVE agreements — you’ll find I’ve added one.

*The day I posted this (6/29/15) I received a lovely email response to this piece from Nia co-creator, Debbie Rosas. She reminded me that these agreements spring from the ancient wisdom of shamans. She wrote, “The origin of these came to Carlos and I before the book was written. They are ancient made modern.” Thank you, Debbie, for wrapping Nia in the sacred cloak of these principles! They have added so much peace to my life.

The Four Agreements (+1!)

1.  Be Impeccable with Your Word

Your word is powerful and sacred. Impeccable is defined as “in accordance with the highest standards of propriety; faultless.” I think of this concept as being honest, kind, and succinct way to speak. Choosing to be impeccable with your word is a mindful choice.

Think and speak loving words. I understand this agreement includes our self-talk and how we keep the agreements we make with ourselves. My self-talk no longer includes things like, “Oh, Susan, you are so stupid!” My body/mind would hear that and respond accordingly!

What part of your professional or personal life would be energized if you decided to shine more light on the power and impeccability of your words? See the resource section below for Tate’s 10 Tips for Being Impeccable With the Word.

2.  Don’t Take Anything Personally

Release any sense of self-pity or self-importance. Somewhere I heard that an unexpected “NO” to a request might result in NO = New Opportunity. Ruiz says, “Nothing other people do is because of YOU. It is because of themselves.”  Oh, how I have found this to be true! Clearly, sometimes it’s quite a challenge to not take something personally. In the times I have found myself starting to feel hurt or offended by someone’s words or actions,  I have been able to shift the painful energy immediately into peace if I am aware enough to remember this agreement. It’s such a choice, but we have to remember to make it!

3. Make No Assumptions

Making assumptions, especially if you assume the worst, can sometimes dim your light and deplete your energy. If you can note and then minimize your inner dialogue you will probably feel better.

Honoring this agreement helped me to stop making up unsettling stories about what people might be thinking about me or something I did. Years ago, after I shared a concern about “what will people think?” to one of my dear friends, her pragmatic and loving reply stopped me in my tracks.  “Susan, people don’t really think about you that much!”  I laughed so hard and felt such relief!

Can you recall the last time you made an assumption and spent all that time in your head and it wasn’t fun at all? Next time you can make up a better story!   

4. Always Do Your Best

Do the best you can at the time with what you have to work with.  A year from now, your best will look different than today, and that’s okay! Lovingly observe yourself to assess whether you are doing your best. In Nia we call this the “Loving Witness.” My friend calls it being an “Observette!”

Trust yourself and take action.

Changes that are forced into being
are always temporary.
But changes that are loved into being are permanent.

~Louise Hay

5.  Be the Place Where Love Shows Up

This is the agreement I added to Ruiz’s list and I must admit, it’s my favorite. This energy ally is the connective tissue that holds a sacred container for all the others.

When your actions are motivated by love,
your energy multiplies and accumulates.
~Deepak Chopra

Amen to that, Deepak! Now doesn’t that make you want to be the place where love shows up?

In your work life, love what you do as you provide any kind of service. I have met people who cleaned the floors where I worked who offered a loving light and kindness while they pushed the mop. They might appear to be from the maintenance department, but to me, they were sparks of love making our work place look and feel more beautiful.

One of the best quotes I’ve ever read about love (I have shared this at the wedding ceremonies I have been honored to officiate) sums up this fifth agreement:

LOVE
You are not meant to search for it,
You are not meant to wait for it,
You are meant to generate it.
~Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith

Whatever task is ours to do at the time, we can choose to do it with loving kindness and service. When in doubt, ask: What would love do now?

Thank you for creating time to read this post. I’d love to hear how these energy allies light up your life!

 

RESOURCE LINKS

Tate’s 10 Tips for Being Impeccable With the Word

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom