The Call: Part 2

If Over-Thinking Everything is anything like karate, I’m totally a black belt by now. I’ve literally spent years turning tentative answers into infinite questions, and every time I seem to settle on ‘a solution’ to the mystery of my life’s calling, hi-ya! I judo kick open the door to irksome follow-up questions, namely “How?”, “How?”, “How?”, and “How?”

If it isn't obvious, I'm approaching the camera with the stealth and cunning of a ninja, ready to side kick my intuition to the curb and be an Over-Thinking Wizard for eternity!

If it isn’t obvious from this photo, I’m approaching the camera with the stealth and cunning of a ninja, ready to side kick my intuition to the curb and be an Over-Thinking Wizard for eternity!

Occasionally, I surprise myself by declaring “I’ll do this with my life!”, jolting myself into the unfamiliar territory of quiet certainty. Seconds later, though: Hi-ya! With the deftness and skill of a martial arts sensei, I return to the realm of interrogation and blast the Left Brain Soundtrack again, “How?”, “How?”, “How?”, and “How?”

The mystery that has dogged me for years is this:

I believe I am meant to be in the healing and helping professions… but how? 

Please, seagull on the beach. Teach me the answers to the mysteries of life...

Please, seagull on the beach. Teach me the answers to the mysteries of life…

Sigh. I’ve tried calculating the number of hours I’ll need to invest in further training, the number of dollars I’ll need in my bank account to fund said further training, and the number of certificates I’ll need in frames on my wall before I feel confident enough to just… do something helpful and healing with my life. (I know– cool and classy, right?)

Thankfully, I only had to run in circles for 32.5 years of my life before the Universe finally took pity on my harried self. Stellar report cards aside, it probably mused to itself, This Dana girl sure is a Slow Learner. I suppose that instead of telling her the same “healing and helping professions” message– which she is clearly not getting– we’re going to have to make things a little more simple for her.

This is when I came across Juliet*, a supremely amazing woman in Australia who offers palm reading, astrological chart reading, tarot card spreads, and generous intuitive wisdom. I’ve never met her in person before, but I stumbled across a thread of hers in the world wide web, let her know my date and time of birth on a whim, sent her some photos of my palms and fingertips, and soon received a recording of her intuitive reading in my inbox.

My astrological chart! SO COOL!

Plus my own, honest-to-god astrological chart! SO COOL!

The recording itself was about an hour long (and it totally made me cry, just so you know. Tears of being ‘seen’ and understood by someone I had never met, who lives halfway across the globe from me.) Anyway, here’s what came up a whole lot in the session:

You are a healer.

Not, You belong in the healing and helping professions.

Not, You should train to become something healing and/or helping in the near or distant future.

Not, You should become a Psychologist.

Not, You should get a degree in Clinical Counseling.

Not, You need to earn another certificate to put on your wall.

No: You are a healer. Now! Today! Right at this very moment!

Yes, you near the church bulletin board dressed in all black: YOU ARE A HEALER!

Yes, you near the bulletin board dressed in all black: YOU ARE A HEALER! (Be angry about it if you must, but do not sin.)

Wowza. I’d like to say that I listened to Juliet’s recording, snapped to my senses immediately, and promptly hung a “Healer: Open For Business” shingle on my door. But… I obviously didn’t. Instead, my eyes widened in alarm at the sheer magnitude of that word: healer. It felt too big for me– and I felt too awkward and clumsy for it– like trying to clomp around in my mom’s high heels when I was five years old. A recipe for disaster and twisted ankles!

Nonetheless, something inside of me shifted.

I stopped thinking about becoming a Psychiatrist or getting a Ph.D. in Metaphysics. (Granted, I did start a loose apprenticeship under an incredible EFT Wizard and Energetic Magician– not his real title, obviously– and I did enroll in a beta coaching training program, but at least I was no longer waiting around for some higher-sanctioned being to mysteriously grant me a degree in Good Enough. Baby steps, right?)

Anyway. I teetered on the edge of getting my shit together and diving into the world of Being A Healer for several months. I contemplated. I hesitated. But… I still didn’t ‘get’ it. I didn’t understand what it meant to Be A Healer or– more importantly– how on god’s green earth could do that. On days when I was feeling particularly confused and fragile, my mean-spirited side would imagine printing up business cards– “Dana M., Healer” typed on the front in a matter-of-fact font– and then I’d dissolve into a puddle of shame and mortification. Who the hell am I to be a healer?, I’d ask myself. That’s too big and I’m too small.

(At this point, I’m sure the Universe was shaking its head in disbelief at me. Woman! Are you serious? Gah. We’ll try this one more time…)

One. More. Time.

Angel wing shells: One. More. Time.

So, in the spirit of lifelong learning, I was sent yet another amazing teacher and mentor– fingers crossed for actual understanding of the message this time! Ha. This time around, universal insights and nourishing droplets of soul nectar came to me in the form of Dr. Divi Chandna– my mom’s GP as well as a bonafide Medical Intuitive. We had a session over Skype, and here’s what she said to me (in bold-faced caps, of course):

You. Are. A. Healer.

And when I spluttered, Me?! But how?!, Dr. Divi reiterated:

Not ‘How’. Let me spell this out for you: You ARE! ALREADY!! A Healer!

[dramatic pause for insights to sink in... followed by yet another instance of me not understanding] But no, seriously– how?? What kind of healer? What does that even mean?

(At this point, I’m sure Dr. Divi was connecting psychically to The Universe in mild exasperation, saying, Still nothing! She’s not getting it! Um, how else can we put this?)

Then, finally, words that clicked:

Don’t restrict the form. Let everything you do or say be healing.

Oohhhhhh….

This is me opening up like a dahlia...

This is me opening up like a dahlia to healing…

To be continued once more…

 

*I so, totally wish that Juliet had a website set up, because I would send everyone I know to her in droves. Alas… this is not the case just yet.

 

The Call: Part 1

I’ve known from a young age that I belonged in the healing and helping professions. How did I know this? Well, it started out with the countless horoscopes that pegged me as a champion “nurturer”. I’d read about my inborn maternal instincts in the zodiac section of the newspaper and think to my (twelve year old) self, “Sure, that sounds like me.” At the time, I was an ace babysitter (!), sometimes caring for seven (!!) children at the same time (!!!) and practically peeing my pants at the thought of making a combined NINE DOLLARS AN HOUR (!!!!). “Helping professions– no prob”, I thought, “I’ve totally got this.”

Image sourced from cafepress.com

Image sourced from cafepress.com. It’s like they know me!

Fast forward a few years, and I still had confidence that I belonged in the healing and helping professions. By then, I was working as an intake counselor at a sexual health center in Calgary, guiding women warmly through sensitive experiences like pregnancy tests and answering delicate questions about birth control methods, fertility, and pregnancy options. I. Loved. This. Job. I started at the center as an unpaid volunteer and practically peed my pants when I was offered a paid contract to cover a year-long maternity leave. “You mean I’m going to make actual MONEY doing this job?”, I screeched in the Program Manager’s ear when she told me the good news, unable to conceal my sheer delight and using all of my restraint not to kiss her square on the lips. “Helping professions, no prob!! I’ve seriously got this!”

Plus I got to meet my BFF, Gloria Steinem. Perfection in a career path!

Plus I got to meet my BFF, Gloria Steinem. Perfection in a career path!

Shortly after finishing up the mat leave contract, I went back to university and completed a Master’s Degree in Communication Studies. There, my very foundations were shaken. My core beliefs disintegrated– replaced with GPAs and a thesis advisory committee– and leaving me standing in ashes of confusion and uncertainty. Suddenly, I wasn’t sure what even qualified as a “healing or helping” profession anymore, but one thing was now certain: I didn’t have the right credentials to be that sort of professional or to do that sort of work. What good was an MA in COMS, after all? I couldn’t graduate and become a Professional Communicator. (And even if I could, how lame would that be?) I wasn’t a Psychologist. I wasn’t a Clinical Counselor. I wasn’t even a Coach or a Registered Anything of Importance. Basically, I determined, my degree was worthless and I had just wasted two years of my life. Healing and helping professions, so long…

... but I know y'all are dying to read the riveting thesis I wrote, right? My Supervisor: What's the title of your thesis going to be? Me: Can I call it "Who gives a sh*t"?

… but I know y’all are dying to read the riveting thesis I wrote, right? My Supervisor: What’s the title of your thesis going to be? Me: Can I call it “Who gives a sh*t?” No? Okay, then I’ll call it the next lamest thing: “Communicating About Contraceptives”. Ugh…

*     *     *     *     *

Around that time, I started getting cozier with psychics, palm readers, and astrologists. (And, on a related note, I practically peed my pants when my favorite astrologist, Georgia Nicols, started following me on Twitter. Not that I’m ever actually on Twitter, mind you, but just having her follow me was a thrill!)

Anyway. Psychics and palm readers. Yes.

Dana LH 1

I had my palms read for the first time in the mall in 2008. (Don’t judge). Sandra talked at length about me belonging in the helping professions, and I was all, “Does working at a non-profit organization count as helpful? If not, should I go back to school and invest four more years and fifty thousand more dollars into further education? Should I become a psychologist?” (At that point, I’m pretty sure Sandra just took her fifteen bucks and sealed her lips forevermore). The Era of Over-Thinking Things had begun.

Do you want to work at the Harbour like me? Come on, I know you do...

Do you want to work at the Harbour like me? Come on, I know you do…

In 2010, when I decided to leave the world of non-profits and work full time with my Beloved at our now infamous art booth, I consulted with my trusted psychic medium to make sure that I was heading in the right direction. I certainly was, she said, and then I proceeded to riddle her with tangential questions about getting other training, degrees, certifications, or Officially Sanctioned Skills under my belt so I could legitimately work in the healing and helping professions at some point again. Poor psychic medium. She told me (nicely) to stop over-thinking things, and I interpreted this as “Yes. Training. Get more.” Heh.

So I decided in 2013 that I was going to become a Holistic Nutritionist. (Remember that? Hahaha.) An interview was scheduled. A tuition deposit was even paid. And suddenly? It didn’t feel right anymore. A quick call to my trusted psychic confirmed the intuitive ‘no to Holistic Nutrition School’ hit and also yielded a now familiar nugget of advice: “Healing and helping professions. Stop over-thinking things.

Me: Stop over-thinking things? What does that even mean? I wonder if it means I should get certified as an EFT Practitioner. Or maybe I should take a coaching course! Should I get coaching done for myself? I should probably get more online business training, that’s for sure. Maybe I should take that Crystal Healing qualification course, too? Or wait until I’ve got some Transcendental Meditation experience under my belt. Maybe I should try yoga finally? And then get certified as a yoga teacher, yes! I wonder how long it takes to become a Reiki Master. Or an intuitive healer! Can you get a degree in intuition? Maybe I should get a Ph.D. in Metaphysics. And then write a book!

Not over-thinking things– no prob! I’ve totally got this. ;) 

To be continued…

DSCN1757

 

 

 

 

Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt

In case it isn’t obvious, I haven’t posted here in months. And months. (And months!) It’s not that I didn’t have anything to say– I did. It’s not that I couldn’t find the time to post– I could.

The thing is… I was being bullied into keeping my mouth shut. Yes, bullied! SHE told me that my ideas weren’t original, profound, or immaculate enough to merit a push of the publish button. SHE said that I could either be humorous or helpful, sarcastic or spiritual, but that I could never, ever, EVER be an offbeat mixture of the two. (After all, that would be blasphemous!)

Don't even try to pose for a romantic photo with your beloved husband, only to be photobombed by a hairless Sphynx cat. That just isn't done!

Don’t even think about posing for a romantic photo with your beloved husband in poor lighting, only to be photo-bombed by a hairless Sphynx cat. Things like that just aren’t done!

SHE is Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt, and for a while– up until this very moment, in fact– I believed everything she said. And so the writing stopped. My voice dried up like a California raisin, dusty and uncertain, and Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt stood watch, ensuring that nothing suspect (i.e. helpful and entertaining) got posted here “accidentally” in the meantime.

Yes.

Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt, retro glasses and bindi intact (gauzy head scarf optional.)

Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt, retro glasses and bindi intact (gauzy head scarf optional.)

Spoiler alert: Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt is technically still me, only she’s the version of me who insists that everything self help-related be delivered in syrupy packets, swirling cursive, and/or sanitized affirmations.

“Reach for the stars!”, she will sing, her voice vanilla-scented and tinkling like the most delicate of bells. “Dream big and stay in school!”

Regular Me resists this flowery, woo-woo voodoo– fiercely. Pointedly. Aggressively. Still, though– Regular Me is drawn inexplicably towards things like crystals, tarot cards, and universal magic, and yet equally, viciously terrified of being sucked into a vortex of patchouli and tie-dye, never to return.

I say affirmations to myself in the mirror and worry that Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt is peering over my shoulder, secretly setting a honey-kissed trap and plotting to steal my sense of humor forever. I complete a morning energy medicine routine and fear that she will swallow me whole! “Do you like the Law of Attraction?”, I imagine her coaxing me, her inquiry deceptively innocuous. “If so, pay the toll: NOTHING FUNNY CAN BE WRITTEN FROM THIS DAY FORWARD, FOREVER AND EVER, SO HELP YOU GODDESS.” Yeesh!

Only serious and serene starfish photos allowed!

Only serious and serene starfish photos allowed from now on! (PS: Those aren’t my hands.)

want to talk about how awesome my abundance altar is, but not if I have to weave daisy chains through my peasant-inspired pleats to do so. (Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt would love that.)

I’m practically itching to tell you everything I’ve learned about tapping and energy medicine lately, but certainly not if I have to deliver my words in a solemn, earnest tone, delicately touching my heart chakra (you know, to keep the channels open.)

There’s so, so much to show and so, so much to tell, but honestly? I can’t bear to share any of it if I have to do it, Magick Faery Goddess Wind Chimes-style. That’s just not my style… most of the time, anyway. Heh.

So here’s what I propose:

I’m going to learn, and I’m going to share what I’ve learned here.

Sometimes, you might have to refrain from guffawing at your computer screen while you are at the office, reading my posts while you are supposed to be working. (That’s how outrageous and hilarious they might be!)

At other times, Sister Flowing Goddess Skirt might have her way with me, and I’ll serenely impart some nuggets of universal wisdom to you, perhaps causing you to touch your heart chakra involuntarily (you know, to keep the channels open).

Word to the wise: green is the color of the heart chakra. In case you were wondering...

Word to the wise: green is the color of the heart chakra. In case you were wondering…

Either way, I’m tired of not writing and tired of not saying all of the things that need to be said. Sound cool? Excellent.

I’ve missed you!

How you been since February?

 

 

The Empress of Ease

Affirmation 11 Ease

You might recall that I declared 2014 the Year of Ease. You might also recall that I err on the side of Over-Achievement and that I have an unfortunate tendency to make things way more complicated than they need to be.

Well. As it turns out, Ease plus Achievement is a remarkably counterproductive concoction. Recipe fail! It’s like mixing caffeine with melatonin and praying for sleep. It’s like pairing white cats with black velvet and hoping that one of those things won’t rub off on the other thing. Wishful thinking, my friend! It ain’t gonna happen!

Try pairing spaghetti sauce for dinner with wearing a white shirt. Recipe for disaster, no?

Or try pairing spaghetti sauce for dinner with wearing a white shirt that day. Recipe for disaster, no?

January was a short-lived but powerful experiment in Ease Gone Wrong. On one hand, I was yearning for the warm waves of Ease to wash over my existence like a soothing, amniotic balm. Passively sinking into Ease. Letting Ease embrace me gently like an angel. On the other hand, I wanted to Excel at Ease and to be the bestest, ease-iest* woman on the face of the planet (and in the history of the Universe). Lifting up the Trophy of Ease! Competing for the Blue Ribbon in Ease! No pressure, though. Ease into Ease, right?

Accepting the Ease Award with a starfish jump!

Accepting the coveted Ease Award with a starfish jump!

Ha. I started off with good intentions. At the beginning of each new week, I would think to myself, “What can I incorporate into my days that would feel dreamy and ease-filled?” Each Monday morning, I would sit and ponder this question with the most earnest of hearts and, after a few minutes of relaxed contemplation, would write down a handful of things that would feel like silky and luxurious pockets in my otherwise frazzled schedule.

  • Drink my morning elixir before breakfast
  • 10 minutes of divine decluttering!
  • Get together with girlfriends over tea
  • Attend a group EFT session
  • Phone my mom and sisters

The first week of January felt Ease-filled, indeed. Granted, I was recovering from a terrible flu at the time, so I didn’t have the strength to be Empress of Ease just yet. “Luckily”, by Week 2, I had enough gusto in me again to ramp up the Ease and to start packing my schedule with a plethora of Ease-y Things To Do. In between inputting expense receipts and calculating sales tax remittances for our art business, I would barrel through items on my Ease List, feeling adrenaline and whatever hormone makes Over-Achievement feel so dang good chorus through my veins.

Yes! I just read a chapter in that Numerology book. CHECK!

Oh ho ho! I can put a big ‘X’ through that “walk outside for 10 minutes” item, NOT TO MENTION I WALKED OUTSIDE FOR 30 MINUTES. I AM AWESOME AND I WIN!!! [insert graceless and over-exuberant End Zone Dance here, made all the more awkward by the fact that I don't even watch football]

Like this. Only awkwarder.

Like this. Only awkwarder.

Sadly, whenever I would “run out” of things to do from my Ease List, I would add more items.

By the end of January, I was so flush with Ease Accomplishments that… I was exhausted. (Slow. Learner. Strikes. Again.)

At least I was able to recognize my Defeating the Purpose-ness early this time (or at least earlier than usual). So, together with my coach and dear friend, Kathy, I set a new standard for February. This month, Ease will mean carving out tiny chunks of time each day (even if it’s 5 minutes to start) and literally doing nothing. Because as much as I enjoy reading, writing, knitting, tapping, tea-drinking, cooking, brainstorming, walking, hiking, cycling, hanging out with friends, staying connected with my family, and taking the odd photograph– SERIOUSLY, WOMAN: SIT. DAMN. STILL. DO EET. FOR REAL. LIKE, NOW.  (Nothing says “Ease” quite like BOLD-FACED CAPS, right? I thought so.**)

It’s taking awhile, but I’m learning. At least there are still close to 11 months left in this Year of Ease, right? Maybe by November or December, I’ll have “achieved” Ease… in the non-achievement sense of the term, of course. ;) In the meantime, I’d love to know:

Are you a slow learner, too?

What life lessons do you need to ‘learn’ over and over again?

How do you incorporate Ease into your lives?

*Ease-iest: Not to be confused with Easiest. If you know me at all– and I assume you do if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time– you should be certain by now that I’m as far from loose as one can get. This here lady is wound tighter than a top!

** Tangential anecdote: I took piano lessons for about 3 or 4 years when I was in grade school. My shoulders were always tensed right up to my ears during my lessons, and my piano teacher would ream on them during warm-up. “RELAX. YOUR. SHOULDERS!” she would bark, while heaving her entire body weight onto my shoulders and yanking them down, presumably to detach them from my neck altogether. Surprisingly, I never became a concert pianist, nor did my shoulders ever learn to loosen up. What gives?