Fear, my old friend, I recognize you now when you come to me in the night, disguised as bills, illness, heartbreak, grief or disappointment.
I recognize you by the stirring in my gut as you approach, the quickening of my heart, the frantic pacing of my thoughts. Ah! It is only you! And you, fear, are not real!
You are the boogeyman I planted in my closet. The one I told to awaken me in the night so I would learn to dance with you instead of cry. So I would learn to use you as fuel to help me reach my next level. So I would see ultimately that you are my friend, my fertilizer, my divine companion on this journey to rediscover my soul.
I embrace you, fear, because without you I would be nowhere. I would never have jumped off my first cliff into the unknown. I would never have stepped into my first terrifying adventure that changed everything. I would never have found my voice. Because without you, fear, I would still be sleeping.
I embrace you fear because I know that when I turn away from you – I make my bravest choices; I take steps in a new career direction; I quit the job that isn’t working; I stand in my truth.
Because of you, fear, I can courageously move forward into the unknown – which is always the juicy spot, the sweet spot and the first step on my path to success.
My pain is the same as everyone’s. My fear is shared by all. There is no dark night of the soul I can have that you haven’t had.
We share this journey. We joined our souls long ago. We dove in. We agreed.
We swim beside each other now. Forgetting. Fighting the flow. Resisting wisdom. Why?
Because doubt is easy. Fear is ordinary. We give up. A million times. A billion times…
But here’s the thing. We hit the dirt but we always rise again. We reach for light after days of pacing in the dark. We long to feel love. We long to help. We want life. We breathe. We choose.
Never doubt that you have the gift. Never doubt that you walk in grace. Never doubt that every rising up and falling down is perfect – meant to be – fuel for the journey of your soul.
You’re right on schedule. Relax. Trust your gut. You’re learning what you must.
Someday when your heart is ripped open, your head thrown back in awe, and you’re gasping at the light – you’ll see the purpose of your whole crazy story.
You’ll know it was good. All good…
This exact moment is very good. All good. Trust it…
Choose love. Choose what you love.
Because doubt is easy. Fear is ordinary.
From my book: Your Divine Lens
When I stand in your presence, I’m taken with your beauty and genius! I feel your unlimited essence and the great intention you brought with you before fear weighed you down.
I’m certain that you came here on purpose to be the hero of your life. I’m certain that you outlined a plan for this journey–a road map with specific destinations highlighted for your visit.
Oh, did you say you were overweight? Did you mention your skin was a different color? I can’t remember. It’s so hard to focus on the physical form, the temporary costume. It’s so irrelevant when your vivid shining grace, your radiant essence, is blinding me. I forget if you said you were an engineer, a doctor, or a murderer. It’s all the same to me.
My only concern is that you remember you came here on purpose as an angel on a divine mission.
When your heart shatters, leaving remnants of you in pieces–a coat hanging from a tree branch, your favorite sweater wrapped around a pole, a strand of your golden hair spread across the sky–your small mind will open and you’ll see a different point of view. The paradox of human life will reveal itself. You’ll weep from its beauty. You’ll cry to try again.
You’ll beg the angels to let you stay and help your sister, your daughter, your friend to see everything this new way. You’ll forgive your enemy and your lover. The trick is doing this here and now.
I want to help you remember who you are now. When you tell me your date of birth, an intuitive gateway opens and through that gateway, I feel your soul’s intention and your pain. I see your gifts. I’m shown a vision of your sacred work and how you intend to help the world. I see you clearly as a divine being here on purpose.
When you speak, I’m always surprised that you don’t see this. When you cry, I know it’s because your soul is remembering something long forgotten. I watch you struggle to reconcile the vast gap between a fearless divine you and the you that you are today.
When you get angry, I know it’s because you’ve worked so hard and gotten nowhere. But, I remind you, it wasn’t your true work. It wasn’t who you came here to be.
Why don’t you see your own divine essence or remember the gifts you brought with you to save the world? You believed it once. Then you let it go, allowed it to slip away beyond your reach, buried under your pain.
Why do you believe the stories that belittle your beauty and diminish your power? Why have you wasted time fitting in when the world so desperately needs your great work? Why are you angry when divine order is always working in your favor? Why do you put so much energy into being ordinary when clearly you’re an angel with wings of genius?
As you hurry to the job that belittles you or the relationship that stifles you, I want to grab your arm and say, “Don’t be afraid. Your gifts can save you! Remember why you came here.”
From my book: I See Your Soul Mate
Fear, addiction, pain and despair occur when we lose the connection to our higher self, our divinity. Of course, we ALL experience moments of great pain and despair. It’s part of our human journey here.
Yet the moment we cry for help from our higher self everything changes. It’s as simple as saying: Please divine guides, God, or higher self help me shift into my soul’s wisdom to see the lesson in front of me. Quiet my ego mind and open my heart.
Take a breath and wait for the shift. Listen to the inner voice that speaks with love and not fear.
At that moment, you’re lifted into the divine view of life and reminded that you’re a powerful soul who came here on purpose to evolve and help others. Unexpectedly you see divinity in everything; the golden glow of love in each painful and joyful moment. You feel expanded, unafraid, open and clear on how to move forward. Your divine lens is activated.
The ego mind tells you you’re here to win, manipulate, accumulate, conquer, protect and defend. The divine lens shows you the grand view of your soul’s perspective. It reveals that you agreed to be born into this lifetime to face these exact moments of crisis and view them with love, gratitude and wisdom; to understand the pain of others who may be hurting you; to realize that everyone is doing exactly the best they can given their level of consciousness; and that all is forgiven in the end.
Your divine lens reveals that YOU are a highly evolved soul who intended to shine your wisdom on the painful dark moments of your life and to help others do the same. YOU came here to shine love on your fear; to pour light on your greatest pain.
Every single day of your lifetime has been perfectly designed to help you remember your divinity and shift out of the frightened ego view that’s rooted in our physical experience of being human.
In one moment of recognizing this, one heart-opening shift of perspective, your life changes, your soul speaks up, and your next step is revealed.
From my newest book: Your Divine Lens; The Secret to Finding Purpose, Healing Grief & Living in Alignment with your Soul
In the spring of 1976, I was a 25-year-old Montessori pre-school teacher living in Missouri and looking for reinvention. My first love had moved out and broken my heart. I was drowning in self-doubt. When a friend mentioned that he’d once taken an Outward Bound survival course and it had changed his life, I was in.
After a few phone calls to O.B. headquarters in Hurricane Island, Maine I packed some clothes and drove my little Honda Civic across the country for a three-week-long June course on an open pulling boat off the foggy coast of Maine. I’d heard the stories of being dropped off alone on a tiny island for three days with only a tarp and some water. I knew about the required morning jumps from the edge of a 75-foot-cliff into the freezing Maine water where you could die of hypothermia in 20 minutes. I was terrified and elated.
I’d never done anything like this. I’d grown up in the 50s in the conservative south where girls behaved well and men created the rules. I’d found my posse of true friends when I’d dropped out of University of Missouri in 1970 to march against the Vietnam war and ultimately to launch a dream.
Mostly disowned by our conservative families because of our alternative beliefs, we worked menial jobs, opened “health-food restaurants,” bought land, grew our food, and lived organically before that was a thing. We discussed, debated and practiced new kinds of spiritual awareness such as meditation, metaphysics and living simply. I had completely loved that part of my journey.
But the “real” world beckoned as we each awoke to the realities of financial survival on untamed land in the center of Missouri. Most of us left the farm in pursuit of more meaningful careers and the training they required. I’d pursued and become a teacher.
I’d done okay as a Montessori preschool teacher, but it soon felt like it wasn’t enough, like I was starving for something more, never having taken my true path – whatever that was to be. And when my first love, Jeff, moved out, I became untethered, without boundaries, adrift. My soul was hungry for new direction; for rebirth. I felt I had nothing to lose.
From the first moment of arrival at Hurricane Island, we were treated like military grunts in basic training, given duffle bags to stuff our few pieces of clothing into, assigned to bunk beds, run through obstacle courses and taught basic nautical navigation with compass and sea charts.
We were required to run at least three miles around the island every morning at sunrise, culminating in the morning cliff jump. I’d never run before. I’d been a dancer. This was 1976 – long before the movie Rocky changed our culture, turning us into fist-pumping fitness addicts. I was winded and exhausted from the first step of every early morning run.
I’ll never forget my initiation into cliff jumping, as dozens of cold and terrified people just like me lined up to take our turns running and jumping off a cliff that clearly lead to a hideous death far below (either smashed against the rocky shore if we did not leap far enough or drowning in the tumbling waves of the deep blue sea). I was trembling and nauseous with fear as I got closer to the front of the line. But my wise instructor whispered: “Don’t think. Just run and jump. Feel the fear and do it anyway.”
In that moment, my life truly did begin to change. I took a deep breath, opened my heart and ran for it. I was suddenly soaring over the water screaming, laughing, then underwater fighting for the surface. When I immerged, I heard cheers and felt the most immense joy I’d ever known. Pure elation. I’d done a terrifying and impossible thing and loved it.
For the next three weeks, the hardest weeks of my life thus far, I found myself overcoming fear a thousand times a day. I’d been randomly assigned to a “mobile course” – meaning that after our initial basic training on Hurricane Island, 12 of us lived together on a wooden open pulling boat with two sails and 24 heavy oars – enough for everyone to row endlessly on the windless foggy sea.
Hypothermia was a constant threat as we slept in sleeping bags thrown on top of the oars laid crosswise across the boat. We sailed or rowed from island to island – sailing through storms that left us puking and rowing through windless days for back-breaking hours. When we arrived on an island, we hauled our gear to the beach and instantly went for long runs together.
Our instructors read to us every day and night; inspiring stories of famous adventurers who’d trekked into the unknown to discover new lands or climbed unclimbed peaks in impossible conditions. The message was simple: Human potential is immeasurable and its imagined limits are always being stretched. Step up to your untapped potential. Break through limitations. Fear is simply energy. Use it to move forward.
My instructor was bad-ass and wise all at once. When I lagged behind on a morning run, he would jog beside me whispering about finding my inner strength and not being wimpy. When we rowed around an island to discover a towering 100-foot rock cliff rising straight up from the open sea, he taught us to rock climb. I felt strong and smart on my first-ever climb, with the sea to my back and the promise of heaven above, I stretched and reached and pushed like a dancer on a vertical stage. When I reached the top, my instructor told me that I was a graceful and talented natural climber, and that I was stronger than I knew. I drank his words like water.
When I began that Outward Bound course, I believed my first love, Jeff, had left me because I wasn’t good enough – deeply flawed, too insecure. I was wrapped in self-doubt from childhood, raised by a mother who never knew how to love me, and shamed in a family where my kind of sensitivity, intuition and spiritual awareness was discarded. I was the oldest, and my role was to be perfect and to raise the younger siblings – which I did until the age of 18. That was my job – especially as my mother surrendered to miscarriages and depression. I swore I’d never be like her. But leaving home at 18, I didn’t know a single good thing about myself except that I could write.
Alone for three days on that tiny freezing island off the Maine coast, nestled under a flimsy tarp strung between evergreens, as storm after storm washed through, I was terrified at night by the howling wind and pounding waves, the deep black sky, the sense of utter isolation from the world. Left with nothing but my fear and my tears, I began to remember who I was. I found my radiant indestructible soul. I was reborn into someone strong and good. Fear was now my ally. Fear and doubt became my fuel for reinvention.
After that course was over, I returned to Missouri, became an avid rock climber, and worked my way through college to get a degree in psychology and to impossibly became a Colorado Outward Bound mountaineering instructor two years later – which led me on the journey to be who I am today.
When we bravely say yes to life, open our hearts, and jump into the deep blue sea of fear, we emerge stronger than we ever believed we could be, we awaken to our true selves. We shift from ego lens to divine lens, and everything changes for the better.
From my book: Your Divine Lens