San Diego and Jasmine…jasmine… oh how I love jasmine!!!
(cue song from “dirty dancing: I had the time of my life…”)
Last week, as a 50th birthday gift to myself, I took a trip to San Diego to participate in Dr Robert Holden’s Coaching Happiness training program. I had been feeling unraveled by my three years with nerve pain, the surgery this winter, and with the challenges I’d been facing in fulfilling the demands of my business. I went in hopes to learn a few things I might share, and, if I was lucky, to be restored to an inner sense of well-being. I received all of this, and so much more. Friend, if you ever have the chance:go!
I have always admired Robert Holden’s work and enjoyed his books. Dr Holden has a deeply spiritual, intelligent, generous and poetic clarity that shines through his being, his teaching, and his writing. As an island-dweller, I never expected to have the delight of meeting him someday, or any of the 150 beautiful souls I met last week.
Over the course of five intensive days, Robert shared training and tools which led us on a journey first to the walls of judgment we often build against ourselves, and then through to the other side of judgment- where the joy of oneness, love and deep happiness is the most natural, delightful and relaxed way of being and of living.
The look on my face is asking, “can you believe how much this poem echoes all we’ve just been saying?!”
Oh my goodness, my soul felt so at home! I felt the way Emily Dickinson might have felt, if she’d left her room and discovered herself in front of over a hundred loving soul friends. There were moments when my poems contributed in an uncanny way to the lessons at hand- it was like a dream, a divinely orchestrated dream. In the past, I’d written poems as if they were messages in bottles I tossed shyly from the shore into the ocean of oneness, in hopes someone might wander by, discover them, and feel nourished. Last week, through sharing poems with 150 loving souls all at once, I felt as if I’d arrived in heaven. I felt as if I’d entered the ocean of oneness, and even moved beyond the awareness that we are all waves in this ocean into the full experience of it. This is a bliss that is difficult to describe. I still feel it inside me, and pouring through me. I am in a place of gratitude beyond words. Oh I long for this for everyone!
I will end by sharing this poem, which fit so well with Robert’s discussion of the “Real More”- that what we all really deeply long for (rather than more home shopping network cooking sets and stuff) is to show up fully and joyfully as our authentic, honest, essential selves; to relax into being, and to know that everything we truly seek is within us.
On Prosperity and Saucepans
To live quietly, in Love,
is this enough?
If I cannot save this world,
at least to love it ~
honestly, with ardor,
and at the risk of
playing the fool.
Sometimes my ego will say,
“You need a prettier saucepan.”
But then my heart,
which is also God’s heart,
“Sweet idiot, don’t listen.”
It’s the things money can’t buy
I have plenty and want more of.
If prosperity means
to live in hope,
then certainly I prosper.
~Ingrid Goff-Maidoff, from What Holds Us