10 Ways to Make Your Dreams Become Reality

What a beautiful vision!
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Thank you Sally Davis for giving me the perfect image for my vision.

Over the weekend, I had the awesome pleasure of hosting an extremely soulful and fulfilling event. The event was a combination of various artistic expressions entitled “Soothe”.  It featured dance, spoken word, and various forms of jazz and Neo Soul, followed by a serious after party of the old school type.

Everyone who attended agreed that it was worth every minute.  Most are also asking when the next one will be.  As I reflect on that evening my thoughts are incredibly lifted and I cannot help but feel warm and fuzzy inside.  Apart from the obvious success of the evening, what remains with me most ishow the individual who conceptualized it- Gemma Hazelwood – speaks about the execution of his dream. “It was practically as close to perfection in terms of how I pictured it in my mind”. Ah-haa!! Those are the words that have been speaking volumes to me for the last few days.  Those words have inspired this post.

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We have all heard of the necessary ingredients for creating success in our lives, for fulfilling potential, for achieving self actualization, and manifesting our heart’s desires.  Unfortunately most people acknowledge these ingredients theoretically and not practically.  Having listened carefully to Gemma’s enthusiastic chain of events leading up to the successful debut of “Soothe”, and paying attention to the serendipitous occurrences that have been happening in my own life, I am now taking this opportunity to share my beliefs on how you can make your dreams become a reality.

Hold that vision.  Never let it go!

See it.

See it.

You know that thought in your mind about the place you want to visit, the thing you want to do, the person you want to be?  Close your eyes and picture it.  That’s right, add some colour, add sounds, and touch something or someone in that vision. Give the vision some time to form lines, texture, colour, audio, a background, a setting.  Imagine how you would feel if you actually achieved that vision.   Feel those sentiments and emotions coming into being. Yes you can even get a little carried away.  Now STOP!  Hold that vision exactly the way you want it to be. Hold it, Hold it, Hold it… now don’t let it go.  You should be able to call on your vision exactly as you have imagined it at any time.  Gemma had this vision in mind for well over two years.  For other people their visions and dreams have been in a holding pattern for much longer.  Having and holding the vision is not enough BUT it is a first step.

Tell Somebody

I don’t mean ANY body!  Share your vision with someone who will encourage you and inspire you to work towards that dream.  Sometimes we share our dreams with the wrong people.  These people don’t recognize that their less than positive comments move us in a backward direction instead of forward.   Sometimes we don’t recognize that the person or people who we have chosen to share our dreams with bear no ill will.  We must recognize that they are simply working from their frame of mind which may have an overly negative outlook.  Choose wisely.

Believe

Regardless of what a person says, what circumstances say, what people say, what your Mom, Dad, Aunty or Cousin said, this dream has been given to YOU!  It is yours.  The burden or rather responsibility of birthing that dream is YOURS not anyone else’s.  Believe that you have what it takes, you can find or create what it takes, and you can take little steps to making YOUR dream a reality.  You must believe.

Assemble your Dream team.

The man with the dream and the vision.

The man with the dream and the vision.

One of my favourite quotes comes from a book that I first read many moons ago, The Alchemist. (You should really own a copy).  “When you want something, the entire universe conspires to help you achieve it.”   The quote itself is said to have been a variant of one by Ralph Waldo Emerson.  I really don’t care who wrote it first.  What I know is that my experience has shown me that this is so.  So now, you have shared your dream,  you believe with all your heart that you must make it a reality, and you are holding  fast to your vision. What now? “No man is an island”.

Who can you reach out to who may be able to lead you in the right direction? Who can help pull the pieces together? Do you need to get uncomfortable and do things you have never done before? Which individual is the one who will most likely take you down the golden brick road? Who? Where do you find this person or these people? This element of creating the reality is one that must be approached with care. Put a lot of thought into this equation as it will be the thing that makes or breaks the vision.

Take Action

A dream canbaby stepsnot be realized if you just dream!!! You MUST take action. “Vision without action is merely a dream” says Joel A. Barker and I agree with him.   I like to call them “baby steps”.

It may be writing your dream (it really should START with putting it on paper). It may include calls, visits, research, conversations ( not just TALK!), and budget planning.  Whatever it takes for your particular dream, you MUST TAKE ACTION!

Steer Clear of Naysayers, Nitpickers and Negative Nancy’s

They will drain your energy, kill your spirit and suck your soul.  Enough said! Run dreamer! Run!!!

Refine your vision

You have been doing a successful job of holding that vision in your mind for some time.  Pull it out of its holding cell and put it into focus again.  This time, take it apart.  Look at every part of that vision and put a mirror to it.  Look at the mirror image and then the original image.  How does it look?  Is anything missing?  Is there anything you might want to add based on the input you have gotten from trusted friends and your “dream team?”  Based on your research and current knowledge, is there anything that does not fit the vision ? How can you make that vision clearer? How can you make it more attractive? What else do you need to consider to work on making it a reality? Part of the meaning of the word “refine” is “to make pure” “to make precise to a fine degree”.  How precise is your vision? Again, finding the answers to this part takes time, effort and energy.  How important is your dream? Do you have the time?  Will you make the time?

Break Out Your Inner “Carlton”!

We all have an inner Carlton! Break it out.

We all have an inner Carlton! Break it out.

Celebrate small victories along the way to your milestones.  If you do not learn to celebrate even small victories, when the main victory arrives, you may very well not be able to celebrate the depth, significance and brilliance of your achievement.

 

 

 

 

Be a Part of Someone Else’s Dream Scene.

Do you know that oftentimes, in trying to fulfill your own dreams, you are inadvertently filling in a piece of another person’s dream puzzle?  This happens quite often without us even knowing it.  As a matter of fact, while you chart your course and opportunities are presented to collaborate with various people, a great question to ask is “How can I help YOU?”  “How can I serve YOU?”. Therein lies the greatest fulfillment that is second only to realizing your own vision.  It is helping someone else along the way.

Honour the Lessons and the Journey. Be Grateful.

Gratitude is a practice that has been a part of my life for many years.  It is a practice that extends to all things – negative and positive.  I firmly believe that being constantly in gratitude opens doors, lightens moods and creates a number of other positive outcomes in life.  So while you dream and work on your baby steps, realize  that each moment, each lesson, each mis-step, each piece added or subtracted to the vision requires a recognition, an honouring, of where you are now.  Where you hope to be will take care of itself if you continue to exist in a state of constant gratitude.  It’s easy to believe that there is nothing to be grateful for. Whenever you have those moments, reframe the situation. You will find a reason to be grateful.

Fellow dreamer. Here’s to you. Here’s to us. Let’s make it happen!  How can I serve YOU?

“If you have a dream, don’t just sit there. Gather courage to believe that you can succeed and leave no stone unturned to make it a reality.”

― Roopleen

Got to be true to myself…

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Music is my medicine.  For any ailment, music is one of my prescriptions.  It fills voids, answers the questions, asks the questions, brings the release, and clarifies the message.  Today I’m meditating on one of my favourites songs by Ziggy Marley while at the same time getting several “bitch slaps” from Erika Napoletano (more on her further down).  From the days of the melody makers to his solo career, Ziggy Marley is DA man.  His songs are so poignant even in their simplicity.  Whenever  I reached the point of ultimate frustration and lack of fulfillment in any J O B, and when “administration” became overbearing  “hand to mouth” offered release even for the moment.

I have a number of theme songs for my life that surface at different times to suit my mood and particular circumstance.   When I need to bring out my fighting spirit in the midst of difficult and challenging times, I call on Queen Ifrica’s  Lioness on the Rise.  In my imagination, I see myself putting on a brightly coloured and flowing Caribbean flavoured dress , one of my “bad girl” signature lipsticks in either Mac Red or Vino  that ressemble blood and wine, studded combat boots,  a tam to the side for the locks and last but not least – the shades. Just like that, I am ready “to face the darkest and hardest of times”.  YES in my long flowing dress, because that’s how I roll.  When I am loving myself, (get your mind out the gutter!!!) I pull out Jill Scott and India Arie.  When I want to marinate in my creole roots the Kadans, Compas and Zouk hits are too many to mention here but Kassav holds a special place in my heart. Some sentiments are better experienced in creole.

Going back to Ziggy though, all day I’ve been meditating on one of my favourites – “got to be true to myself”.  The idea of being true to yourself is one that has been heavily at the forefront of my mind for several months.  Really it has always been there but in the last few months I’ve been embracing the actual BEING true to myself as opposed to just thinking about it and succeeding sporadically.

What the heck does that mean anyway?  What is it to be true to yourself. At one point in my life, I used to think that living along this ideal suggested being selfish and uncaring of other people. With a Master’s degree in being untrue to myself in so many ways in the past, take it from me, the “selfish” idea is complete and utter bullshit! When you are true to yourself you are giving the world and others the greatest gift. That gift is allowing other people to be true to themselves as a result of your own courage to do the same. Being “true to yourself” means really and truly not wasting precious brain space and energy on what people think about you, what you do, why you do what you do, how you do it,  who you are, and other such questions that often only YOU know the answer to.  Isn’t  society plagued with “what would so and so think?” or “I don’t want them to think…fill in the blank.”  But really, who cares what the imaginary “THEY” think?  Did THEY wake up next to you this morning?  Did “THEY” pay your car note or mortgage? “Do THEY feed you regularly?  I mean seriously, do THEY buy your groceries? If the answer to any of those questions is NO, then truly they should not dictate your life.  Even if the answer is yes to any of those questions, THEY STILL should not dictate your life because Whose life is it anyway?  YOURS.  Decide who you want to run your life. Live your truth.  Any time you start thinking about what THEY are going to say, please call up Etana – “people talk

2-16-IMG-20131108-02079In the last few weeks, author, speaker and coach Erika  Napoletano has captured my undivided attention.  She is indeed a woman after my own heart.

In the true spirit of keeping it real,  I have to admit that I love her writing and I love her because she is so irreverent.  The picture to your left gives you an idea of what I mean.  This slide was among the first in her recent presentation at AFest that I attended in the Dominican Republic this November.  Self declared potty mouth, she does not give one rats ass about what you think.  She is living Erika large, loud and in living colour.  I gleefully imagine what it must be like for the more conservative types who happen to end up in an audience where she is a speaker audience while being totally unaware of her “brand”.  Can you read their thoughts and see their faces? *clutches pearls*

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I admit that there is a part of me that loves that she curses – because she wants to and because she can.  I am certainly no clean mouthed angel, but I know that her way with an audience is not and will not necessarily be my way and that’s O.K..  More than her special brand of humour and delivery though, what I absolutely love is that she keeps it realer than real.  As a straight talking scorpion myself, that’s the kind of truth I appreciate.  No holds barred, no sugar, no butter, NO CHASER. That’s the kind of truth that not enough of us have give to ourselves.

Who really likes to look in the mirror and acknowledge that there is a huge pimple right at the tip of their noses? Of course not. Instead, lets cover it up with some foundation, powder and maybe even a little bronzer so that it can remain blocked and become more infected. With a little luck, maybe no one will notice it’s there. Wash face, repeat. That’s how many people live their lives.  Act as if its not there.  That’s how I was raised. Today, with my adult glasses on, I can look back and see the many instances where we played “if I can’t see it, its not there.”

The Artistry of Orly Dominguez  from the Dominican Republic

The Artistry of Orly Dominguez from the Dominican Republic

The fundamental element that we need to remember when it comes to being true to oneself is that our truths do not, will not and cannot be the same.  It is for this reason that while you may not understand or like one person’s life approach to their truth, the space we occupy is always a more harmonic one when each person accepts without question that each individual is operating from their own set of perspectives, experiences and understandings.  One of the memorable takeaways from Erika’s presentation surrounded the obvious artwork on her arm. The story of why she decided to get that first tattoo was touching, sad, and so totally profound, I can hear her telling the story as I type this.  What was interesting though was of her also telling the story of overhearing in the park as she was passing, I cant remember now if it was a grandfather talking to his daughter but basically, the person concerned made some very derogatory remarks concerning what he would do to his child if she ever put that “trash” on her skin.  I wonder if knowing her story would have made a difference to his thoughts.  Maybe not, good thing Erika didn’t give a shit.

So, as we go head on into 2014 here’s my truth.  Late this year, I turn 40.  It used to be a daunting and agonizing thought – because of all the things I thought I should have done by now but really it was what OTHER people thought I should have done by now.  Turning 40 this year is now the greatest thing ever because by the time I get there (October 29th if you want to send gifts!!:-)) I will have done many things that according to my values and desires for this life will be EPIC.  Some of these things have been in my consciousness for the last 15 or so years of my life.  In addition to those things (which you will find out about as the year goes by), I will be paying attention to what I think instead of what YOU think, I will be looking at the pimple on my nose,(damn periods – cause them to come up in the darndest of places!!!) the stretch marks in too many places, the bags under my eyes, and loving them for what they tell me about me, about what I need and want to do and be for me.  I will be saying NO when I just don’t feel like doing some shit, instead of saying yes to make you, or whoever feel better.  In this chapter of my life, money making businesses DO NOT get my work for free or HOE cheap prices. In this chapter and continuing to “the end”, money is going to become my best friend and I will invest in myself so that I can be more of myself. My spiritual and physical temples need work and attention.  I know this and that is my first order of business. I intend to LIVE every day that I am here on this earth.  What about you?  What are you going to do?

Here’s to being true to yourself!!

Spirit-Life-Legacy- “None of us come to stay.”

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For almost 15 years, I have called on that quote “none of us come to stay” as a reminder and aid to my understanding and acceptance of life.  I remember well the first time I heard those words.  It was my second year in university, after a night of 10 cent wings fun, frolic and laughter (at a restaurant named “Your Father’s Moustache” no less), I returned to my dorm room full of the euphoria that comes from overdoing it with friends  for hours. Food, drink, great company – what could be better?

Well, the evening had been just too great to end on the light hearted and lightheaded note on which it had begun.

My mother can be somewhat of a speaker in parables.  So, when the phone rang with her voice on the other end asking “who was the oldest man in the bible,” I had no idea where she was goDaddying with this.  My brain was definitely not in deciphering mode.  Still she pressed on, “and how old did he live to be?” I made a guess.  “and even though he was the oldest man to have ever lived, he died right?” “err ….yes”.  I still did not know where this conversation was leading, and then she said “none of us come to stay ok, your father died”. Way to go mom! Break it to me gently why dontcha?

I don’t like funerals.  I don’t particularly want to go to a ceremony to say goodbye, because by the time I see that person’s physical encasing, their spirit and soul has already left its earthly building. What we see is but a hollow shell.  Still I understand why death hurts so much and why people feel the need to participate in this type of farewell.  It really is the knowledge that you will never again in your time on earth touch, see, feel, or hear that person again.  It is a feeling of loss.  I prefer to remember them as I knew them embodying whatever it was that made them stand out in my life.

There have been scores even hundreds of articles written about Nelson Mandela (Madiba) since his departure, and so while I too could speak about the lessons I have learned as a result of his sacrifices and choices, and about how his life has touched mine, I will not. Since the announcement of his death was made ten days ago, and even as today as Madiba’s body was finally laid to rest in his ancestral home I have found myself thinking not only about this man and his legacy but about the South African spirit, the spirit of a people, its culture and its practices that in some way were partly responsible for the person he was, and the person he eventually became. Many years ago, I was enamoured with Haiti. , years before I ever laid my feet on Haitian soil, my thoughts were consumed by the island and its people.  I was not disappointed when I got there.  It was like a homecoming.  So today as I think about the South African spirit, knowing that the day will come when my feet will touch soil there too, I am struck by a memory. Whenever I recall the moment I am about to describe to you, I still feel the chills and sense of awe I felt at that moment of surreal reality.

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The year is 2007.  Thanks to my extraordinary and entrepreneurial friend Lucy, my annual vacation has led me to Vancouver where I am surrounded for two weeks with the cast of the South African theatrical production “Umoja”.  At the time, and for a number of years Lucy had been the North American producer of that show and along with the cast, crew and management, they had been touring in different parts of Canada and the US.  So, I joined the tour on the Vancouver B3-Umoja2.C. leg.   For two weeks I witnessed their nightly performances, spoke with the cast and crew, hung out with them, observed their interactions with each other, appreciated their diligence and discipline, and I was sold on this intangible thing – their spirit. I wanted to be in it, a part of it, surrounded by it.  It really was that powerful.

On one lovely day off, the2-umoja3 entire team went on what was meant to be a fun excursion to Whistler. If you are a sports enthusiast, you may remember Whistler Blackcomb as being the venue of the 2010 Winter Olympics. There were two busses, the girls went on one, and the boys went on another.  I of course chose the bus with the boys.   I had been told that snow storms are a rare occurrence.  Yayy!!  How was it then that on this particular day, at this particular time, at a moment when I had chosen to visit, a snowstorm decides that this is the opportune moment to strike???  After the long, activity filled and exhausting day  and halfway back into Vancouver the snow said “no” and the bus said “oh Hell no!!”.  Imagine this if you can.   The bus with the girls had already disappeared. There we were, twenty or so people stuck in the middle of nowhere, visibility low, bus getting colder, snow still falling thick, fast, and with no indication of stopping,  AND…a driver who has no idea how we are going to get out of there – he had no snow tyres!!! HA! Incredible to say the least, I guess he wasn’t expecting snow.

umoja6So we are all sitting and waiting, lost in our own worries, wondering if the other bus made it through, wondering what’s going to happen next – who will come and save us?  There is silence.  Suddenly, it starts, the voices of South African men singing in unison, slowly they all join in and before I understand what’s happening, I am engulfed by the voices of this choir.  I get chills.  I cannot believe this is happening. I am hit with emotion, my eyes begin to water. Is this really happening?  Am I really sitting in a bus stuck in the snow, in the freezing cold and darkness, somewhere between Whistler and Vancouver witnessing, hearing, and experiencing this perfect South African male harmony.  I did pinch myself, and no I was not dreaming. It really was happening.  I don’t remember how long that moment lasted, it felt like a long moment in a dream.   The next thing I knew,  we were all getting off the bus and the guys started pushing until somehow the bus gained traction and was able to move again. Slowly we managed to make our way to a gas station where we sought assistance and eventually made it back to Vancouver on another bus.

umoja7The South African spirit is powerful.  It exists through this “umoja –  spirit of togetherness” that seems to manifest spontaneously. Don’t be mistaken though, like all human beings, in all cultures everywhere, their powerful spirit does not prevent imperfection.

madiba  So while some commentators and writers seemingly did not understand why at the death of their country’s leader, a world icon, South Africans around the country and around the world were singing and dancing,  I understood their celebration of life, their recognition of the moment, and the surrounding contexts. They sing not to be happy, but they are happy, they are vibrant, they are energy filled because they sing and because they dance.  You see, music, dance, it is an integral part of their lives and it should be a part of our lives life that elevates  and maintains our spirits.

I started writing this post last night. Ironically, I woke up this morning to the news that my aunt Gwen, my mother’s sister had passed away.  So again, “none of us come to stay.”  I choose to remember that she was an extremely emotional and affectionate being.  She laughed a lot, cried a lot, and hugged a lot. Among the many things that I choose to remember about Mandela is his determination to ensure that everyone should be allowed to live with a sense of Dignity. I am so grateful to be alive in a time such as this to have witnessed so much and learned so much.  I have always said and will continue to maintain that LIFE is not about the things, the perceptions, the stuff, the money.  Life is about people, love, and making a difference in a way that leaves a lasting memory especially once your physical body is no longer here .  How do you want to be remembered?  What difference do you want to make?   What are you waiting for?

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” — Nelson Mandela

Lisa, Lisa, Lisa!! YOU did that!!- Awesomely Awesome AFest 2013

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Even with the days approaching a week since leaving AFest, I’m still finding it difficult to convert the impact that Lisa Nichols had on me into words.  I still feel “uncomfortable” with what I discovered.  As the days pass by, and the energy from that trip continues to move me into action, I find my subconscious wandering to those moments when with just a few well place words, and sometimes a passing glance or fleeting eye moment of eye contact during her presentation caused me to feel convicted! Guilty.  Found out!  How could you Lisa????

The moment I told her "You brought me to AFest". (I see you Jen)

The moment I told her “You brought me to AFest”. (I see you Jen)

When she says she’s there to make you mild, to moderately, to SIGNIFICANTLY uncomfortable, That is a PROMISE! It’s no joke.

Before I tell you more though, I have to give you the background on how Universal Laws of Attraction and Divine intervention caused this AFest experience to become a reality for me.  To begin with – Lisa Called me!  Before I even discovered AFest, Lisa called me. I was looking for something and she appeared.

For the last six months I have been “unemployed”.  In May this year I made a choice to live a life that is designed by me and for me. Some people wait for a soft landing to leap, others like me, just leap!  And yet, I am still here….As the days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months, the loneliness of this entrepreneurial journey set in.  Some of my “friends” exhorted me to “get a job”.  They didn’t quite understand that my entire world view had changed and yet, it was clear to me and to them that my finances were up shit creek.   I had chosen to hire myself and ultimately work on the gift that I want to contribute to the world.  With that choice initially comes difficult consequences!   When people asked “how come I don’t hear you on radio anymore?”  I would say “I’m building my own empire”.

In order to prevent the blues of feeling lonely along my journey of entrepreneurship and to maintain a positive mental state, I had to find sources of motivation.  I had to constantly feed my mind with people who got it and who had done it! I can’t even remember how that first burst of inspiration appeared, but as I later discovered at Afest, like Lisa, the first person I stumbled upon was Les Brown.  He was soon followed by ET the Hip-hop preacher and in the You Tube lineup of similar videos – there she was Lisa Nichols. From that point, all the others faded into black.  I OD’d on her videos and believed and understood on a deep level every word she said.  To me she was the real deal.    Proof that a woman like me could move steadily forward towards her dreams and hopes, proof that just because I am, the world could be a better place through my contribution NO MATTER WHAT!

THANK YOU!!!!!

THANK YOU!!!!!

Pause for Gratitude: From May till now, I have been fortunate that my talents are many the skills I possess and are able to “sell” have caused me to keep a roof over my head, food in my fridge, and gas in my car.  For the times that I had no resources to maintain either of these things myself, for that – there is a husband, friends, and selected family.    I am sooooooooooo unbelievably grateful for these people in my life.

Two weeks later, what followed the discovery of that first Lisa video was a chain of serendipitous events that led to the following:

  • the FB encounter with a Trinidadian woman Karima, the person who led me  AFest

    My Roomie Karima! Caught by a photobomber unsuspectingly. Doing what she made me do all the time "laughing out loud"

    My Roomie Karima! Caught by a photobomber unsuspectingly. Doing what she made me do all the time “laughing out loud”

  • With Lisa as one of the Keynote presenters, and with a location only one hour away, I applied instantly.
  • Lara Berg called.  We talked.  I’m invited.  Tears of Joy. I join the tribe page.
  • heaven and earth are moved along with many other significant movements of money to Make It Happen!
  • Receive a message from Karima asking if I need a roomie.
  • Jen Kem posts a message on the tribe page inviting applications for #Team Lisa volunteers.
  • I apply. No response.
  • Arrive in Punta Cana turn on my phone.  Message from Jen Kem welcoming me to Lisa’s volunteer team!
Jen Kem.

Jen Kem.

And with that, here we are now at the two moments that Lisa hard hitting truth turned me into a weeping ball of emotions and surprising personal revelations.

TRANSFORMATION

TRANSFORMATION

We are all blessed and talented but we must admit that some people have been touched to the extent that using their gifts allows them to reach into a person’s soul and touch something there that no one else can or has been able to.  The touch comes gently, you see it coming, but like a left hook, you know it’s going to hurt. What’s worse is that there’s no way to stop the impact. And so you surrender. She did this.

I was blessed to have received the gift of Lisa’s messages 5 times throughout the event.  As a volunteer I attended both of her in suite sessions and also like many others, I stayed for the Lisa Workshop.  02-IMG-20131108-02094Though they were no less impactful, as a result of OD’ing on Lisa’s YouTube videos, I had pretty much heard and absorbed the messages in her first presentation on “Activating your World Class Brand”.  What I was not ready for was the closing activity “Whispers.”

Last year April, my brother, my husband and I were with my mother when she took her last breath.  I had no idea that I still had so much “stuff” haunting me. I thought that by now I was kinda ok.    I had no idea until that moment when Lisa asked us to think about words we wish someone had said to us, words that needed to be said but were never said, that I was carrying this painful baggage. The exact moment and accompanying thought appeared in my mind’s eye:  my brother whispering in her ear “it’s ok Mummy, you can go” giving her permission to leave, my husband observing me cautiously, waiting for the breakdown, and me blinded by tears and the emotion of so many unspoken things, moments away from a panic attack and still thinking of the things I wish she had said – that I wanted to hear. “I’m proud of you” was at the top of the list. As the only daughter and last child, I thought I should have heard that some time in my life but I never did.  Then guess what happened?  I lost track of how many people whispered to me.  Four different people placed tissue in my hands, and six said “I’m so proud of you!”.  I was in a “what the heck just happened” state for the rest of the day.  I have made peace with all that was and was not said or done.  I understand that she did what she knew how to do and behaved the way she was taught. I am grateful that she gave birth to me and I’m grateful for the lessons I learned.

The workshop session was also very illuminating and just as powerful. Unbeknownst to a few special souls, there was a special lesson just for us.  “Let this be the LAST time you put yourself LAST!!” Whoa!  Those of us who remained standing, we were indeed the last.  How did I end up there?  It was not my intention…or was it?  And what a mirror that was held up to my life. Always allowing other people to go first, waiting, giving people the benefit of the doubt, making myself small..accepting crumbs when I deserve the whole plate!  And it just occurred to me as I write this…could the “last child” syndrome have followed me through life subconsciously…anyway while I ponder that.. this is what I know for sure; I will NEVER put myself last again.  I know a few other people in the room were given the identical message and with just cause.  She called us out! She put our truth out there AGAIN.  Earth Angels, Nina, Oksana and Tim,  I see you and I thank you.

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Lisa, you brought the Awesomeness to AFest.  Jen Kem, Vasavi Kumaar, and the Awesomely Fantabulous Jea Taylor thanks for allowing me to be a part of your team.  I learned a lot and I know we will meet again!

I know there are books inside of me that need to be written, there are stories to be told, lives to transform, and  there are many more lessons to learn and to teach. Life, I am ready!  Bring it on!!

Awesomely Awesome Afest – Greg Habstritt/Terry Tillman

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Somehow, the days did not seem to go by this quickly in Punta Cana.  Time slowed down and every moment was a delightful and overflowing cup of energetic loving vibes. Remaining days stretched out ahead of you.

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It has been three days since returning to my pre AFest life and although I miss all of the love, new friends, and the exchange of ideas, I am not sad to continue living and moving towards new frontiers and discoveries!  The awesome adventure was another enriching moment for which I am extremely grateful.  As the days go by I continue to review my notes and ponder what I have learnt.  Each speaker left thoughts and perspectives worth remembering and referring to for the times we find ourselves drifting to the things that really turn out to be figments of our imagination comprised of limiting beliefs and fear.

We knew the likes of Vishen the sage
Would weave his saintly magic
Yet every brilliant speaker’s depart from stage
Also felt just as tragic

Online marketers matched global healers
Who taught us to live in virtual flow
While random punters chanting “I love myself”
Showed a big heart arises from no ego

(Excerpt)   Avesh Ratnanesan’s -“Journey to the Land of Awesomeness”

Choosing to blog about speakers separately solidifies the lessons in my mind.  Today I considered the gifts of Greg Habstritt and Terry Tillman.

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Painting a picture of the constant human search for happiness using the Horizon Effect was very clear.  I must admit that when I first heard his mention of the “Horizon Effect” my mind jumped immediately to chess, a game taught to me many years ago by an older friend who was at the time and still is an amazing computer programmer and a great philosopher.  Of course I had no idea what the heck he was talking about!!

From my basic understanding at that time it had to do with trying to find or make a move that was not visible or possible when playing against the computer.  Greg’s use of an actual sunset/horizon in the context of life really cleared things up.  I mean, though from our static viewpoint on the sand, the sun may seem attainable if you just take a trip to that spot, you know the reality.  Most people keep thinking that IF ONLY they could be this, be that, have this or have that – then and only then would their happiness ship come in but the reality is achieving that thing, having that thing – reaching the elusive horizon IF you ever reach it, will leave you happy for but a second, and then that thing becomes replaced with something else.  BE HAPPY NOW!  Be Content NOW.  Be Grateful NOW.  Focus on Gratitude not Gratification.

In addition to the Horizon effect, the other points that Greg made on the 3 things people say to kill their happiness were instructive especially “I’m doing it for my family”.  That is a belief that needs to be examined.  Ask yourself how much your family REALLY benefits.

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I think Kamal Ravikant summed up the way we should live  nicely by saying “Life should be lived as a full on expression of yourself!”  Yes I can dig it.

Terry Tillman is the epitome of that full on real expression.  For some reason when I think of him, the word “groovy” comes to mind. Image

He’s been there and done that.  The profound wisdom he shared really tells the story of so much of his experiences.  He was the first speaker to bring me to tears.  Thank you Denise Duffield-Thomas for “seeing” me and allowing me to share that.

As a result of the tradition he learned while in the Serengeti , Terry reminded us to  truly “see” each other exactly as who we are without the superficial layers, isms, material trappings, or titles, he made us ‘let go” and speak about the things we didn’t want anyone to know about us.  Those moments were powerful and moving for me.  We become used so much to living on autopilot that we no longer see each other.  Sometimes it is NOT being able to see the other that causes so many people to feel alone, lost, unloved and unworthy.

I see you.  ………I am here.