When the Human Story is Tragic – What Then?

The human tragedy story can be so overwhelming that it obliterates the soul journey story that is also present and far more powerful. Discovering it through my mother’s journey with dementia makes my own spirit more joyful.

screen-shot-2016-09-24-at-8-23-34-amOn Sunday, September 18, 2016 I had the distinct honour of attending the Gift of the Hit book launch and, invited by Peter Davison, reading an excerpt from my Chapter in the book. The video is 5 minutes. There is the version that Peter Davison recorded and edited here and the one my son took, which is less steady, here. My voice stays remarkably strong as I relay the minute we left my mother behind in long term care, her confusion, what it was like to walk the corridors to get to her room, the tragedy of rapid deterioration and the soul story that began to fully show up when I reached her consciousness in a meditative state.

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Dementia and Death Illuminates Choice to Tell Stories Through Soul Journey Lens

My mother with the beauty of youth.

My mother with the beauty of youth.

My mother with her mother in 1990 (the year my first son was born)

My mother with her mother in 1990 (the year my first son was born)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We make meaning of our lives through the stories we tell. We can tell those stories through the lens of human tragedy or the lens of soul journey. I learned what this means through my mother’s journey with dementia and in long term care. I share a bit about that in this 2014 interview with Terry Choyce: 

Compelling Journey: Responding to the Call of Life

Gold Lake, Colorado

Gold Lake, Colorado

Sometimes, things are so compelling we have no choice but to respond, for not responding is akin to crazy making. In 2009, I had my most convincing experience of acting on my intuitive knowing when I decided to go to Gold Lake, Colorado, ostensibly for an Art of Hosting training, hosted by beloved colleagues, but really to deepen into my journey to openheartedness in ways I couldn’t possibly have comprehended.

In this interview clip I connect the dots between several points in my journey, including a period of intense conflict that was also a time of healing, a compelling urge to travel to Gold Lake, Colorado for reasons beyond rational sense and a growing awareness of the power of storytelling to make sense of our lives.

The clip is about seven minutes. Enjoy.

Drumming and the Soul

In 2000, I experienced my first drumming circle. At the time, it was a brief, but profound experience and even then I couldn’t imagine how profound it was, would be, as it reverberated through the next decade of my journey and beyond. It was so profound that my book, Embracing the Stranger in Me: A Journey to Openheartedness, begins with a description of the drumming circle.

I did not deliberately seek out the depth of spiritual journey that showed up – at least not all the time – although the spiritual journey was persistent in seeking me out. At times it felt like I had no choice but to respond, to follow the nudges and to give in to what kept wanting to show up. This journey for me was an opening to gifts and talents I did not think possible for me or available to me. I had imagined only “special”, “deeply gifted” and “powerful” people would have access to these kinds of gifts. The realization over time is that we all have access, we all have gifts. Most of us just need to find our way through the persistent story telling that tells us otherwise, that tells us that these experiences are not real, that we are making them up. The mind does not know the difference between what we imagine and what is real – which is why visualization is so powerful.

In this audio clip from an interview I did with Terry Paul Choyce, she asks great questions about my soul journey and I share snippets of my experiences and understandings that have emerged through this part of my life journey.

My favourite picture from when my son and I made our own drums in 2009.

My favourite picture from when my son and I made our own drums in 2009.

The Revelation of a Family Secret

In 2008, at the age of 46, I found out I had been adopted. Other than when I was a teenager and wished from time to time that I had been adopted (didn’t most of us have fantasies about that?), I had no idea. It was one of the most incomprehensible moments in my life and a glimpse into the stranger in me. In this 5 minute interview clip with Terry Paul Choyce, I share what it was like to have this family secret revealed to me.

Gratitudes to Spencer Dwyer who created the musical intro especially for the interview clips and who also edited the original interview to produce bite size chunks. Gratitude also to Terry Paul Choyce for the interview itself on her Interconnections radio show ast CKDU.

Story at work