When did I first realize that I had my own path — not my “life’s purpose” mind you — but my path? This path which helps me to know there is more to life than just the daily grind — a path full of hints and clues, each one leading me to a new book or a new seminar or a new acquaintance. It didn’t happen overnight, that’s for sure! For me the realization took what seemed to be, looking back, forever.I, like most of us in our early twenties, insisted on learning the hard way. I was the walking dead for many years. Days passed into weeks, weeks passed into decades. It was all about surviving, muddling through, and gritting my teeth, hoping for the best, yet expecting the worst. I wasn’t living with any kind of awareness. Deepak Chopra who? All I knew was that life was hard and unfair. I felt put upon, criticized, bullied. It was a daily pity party and I was going to cry if I wanted to. I now know that I had everything to do with the way my life was going — I was creating it! But back then no one could convince me of THAT. Oh no! I was a victim thank you very much and nothing was going to change that. The crazy fact is that I was comfortable playing the victim. It’s what I knew, what I was good at. I stubbornly stuck to this crappy, yet familiar, way of living. Of course, this wasn’t always the case…
As a child I lived an existence where the animals (including my stuffed toys) and trees spoke to me. I named all the trees in the yard and hugged them and talked with them on a regular basis. George, a young maple tree, was my favorite. It never occurred to me that hugging a tree was not something everyone did. What’s more, I didn’t care. I was fascinated by flowers, insects, birds and animals. I explored, I jumped, I ran, and I used my imagination with abandon. I took long walks by myself, literally stopping to smell the flowers or examine an acorn or run my fingers over a carpet of spongy green moss. I played in puddles without fear of getting wet or dirty; I sat next to trees, nestled into the roots, daydreaming. I looked at clouds and saw shapes. On rainy days I could spend hours in my room making important discoveries (I distinctly remember doing an experiment in which I placed small bits of construction paper in water and watched it get fuzzy. I believed without a doubt that I had invented velvet.) I appreciated everything around me. Life was magical. So, what happened?
When I was six years old, my parents divorced. It’s an all-too-common story, but I believe that one event sent my life on a new trajectory. I developed asthma and soon after started to steadily gain weight. Because of my breathing issues I became less active and more self-conscious. I lost confidence in myself. It didn’t help that my Great-Aunt insisted on saying things at the dinner table like “Do you really need that piece of bread?” I was mortified and didn’t have the cojones to come up with a smart remark. So instead, I’d go to my room and cry. At that time (circa the mid-70’s), doctors were slow to diagnose asthma and the treatment was limited. Or maybe we just never found the right doctor. It certainly wasn’t from a lack of trying on the part of my parents. I saw an endless parade of doctors, one who insisted I was allergic to chocolate. I was convinced he was just mean to fat girls (I later found that I was not allergic to chocolate… quack!). In any case, I started to withdraw more and more. I developed a victim mentality and over the years, negative thoughts and worries took over my life. I attracted an endless parade of undesirable experiences. I still spent a good deal of time daydreaming only now I didn’t believe that my daydreams could come true. The magic was gone.
I don’t want to go into the detail on the rivers of crap I went through to get to the other side. I’d rather not give life to that. But I can tell you this: I have made peace with those experiences and have even learned to thank them. Without that cheating boyfriend, bad marriage, horrible boss or whatever it was, I wouldn’t have been able to clarify what I wanted in life. I’ll tell you something else: it never ends. You never reach the top because there will always be a new “top.” We as human beings are wired to keep desiring more. To be clear “more” does not only mean material items (although it can). For me “more” meant not only a higher salary, a nicer car, more money in my saving account, but also more experiences, more knowledge, more interaction with like-minded people. But at the time I couldn’t articulate that — I couldn’t pinpoint what was missing from my life. Then I received what I now refer to as a “Divine Breadcrumb” - that little clue that leads you to the next step on your life’s journey.
You know how they say that the Universe will send you signs — soft at first and then louder and louder if you don’t pay attention? Then if you don’t pay attention to the louder signs the Universe sends you a brick in the form of an accident, an illness a break-up or any other number of life-altering events. I was always a “brick person.” I stayed in a horrible relationship for DECADES. Granted, it was off and on over the years, but for some reason I just wouldn’t take the multitude of hints. I couldn’t let go of this awful, chaotic relationship. But then, one day, I did. Call in the last straw, or the grain of rice that tipped the scales, but all of a sudden, my on-again off-again relationship had ended. This time a switch went off. I just didn’t want to do this anymore. Surprisingly I didn’t do much crying. I did however do a lot of sleeping and venting to my best friend. But then I started to heal. I started to feel alive again. I spent the summer with my daughter and my friends, laughing, swimming, and soaking up the sun. Then one day, during that life-changing summer, my mother handed me a book. It was called “Eat, Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert.
This was the summer of 2012 and the book had been out for awhile. I was just late to the party. To say I loved the book would be a gross understatement. I devoured that book in the same way Liz Gilbert devoured her pasta and gelato in Italy. I read it and re-read it. I felt so envious of Liz, but not in a petty or jealous way. I just relished every moment of her experience, living vicariously through her amazing journey. Something in me just longed to get out — out of my house, out of the state, out of the country, out of my own head! My thoughts began to shift from “I wish I could do that” to “I wonder what I can do?” It was exciting and terrifying all at the same time. I had never allowed myself to think about having adventures. That was something that happened only in the movies (or to Liz Gilbert). Something in the book — I can’t remember what part — led me to Wayne Dyer. Wayne Dyer led me to Louise Hay, who then led me to Hay House where I learned about all these other amazing people. It was a trail of Divine Bread Crumbs, each one opening my mind a little further.
I learned about Guides from Sonia Choquette. I never knew we had Guides, let alone that I could actually communicate with them! I read three of her books and signed up for several of her online classes. I couldn’t get enough. I read books by Debra King on healing and shamanism. I took Debra’s online class on Chakra healing and watch people “initiate” to a higher level of consciousness. Prior to the class I barely knew what a Chakra was and now I was learning to chant to activate the Chakras! Next up I started reading various books on Angels, Jesus and Mary. I had long separated myself from anything that felt “churchy“ but I realized I was throwing out the baby with the bath water. I came to love learning about Jesus the man, the healer. I reconnected with Mary. When I was little I was so sure she was watching over me. Over the years I had let that all go. Now I was reading books about how to invoke Mary. It was all so fascinating and also so comforting!
I ordered my first deck of Angel Tarot cards, the Archangel Michael deck. I came to rely on those cards like a best friend. In fact, I truly felt that Archangel Michael was my friend (and still do!!). He got me through some rough times in the early days of my new single life. There were times when I would pull a card that was so “on the money“ that it would literally take my breath away and I’d start to cry. I just knew that I wasn’t alone. I soon ordered other decks. I took an online class on how to do a reading. Mainly I did readings for myself, but the idea of reading for other people was very appealing to me. Little by little my world was expanding. The funny thing is, I never had to look for the next bread crumb. They just kept appearing — seemingly out of nowhere. Each time I would finish a book or a class I’d think “I wonder what to do next?“ Within days the answer would come. In the summer of 2013, I received a Divine bread crumb that would open my mind even more. I had dinner with a friend from high school and she told me about a woman who did Reiki. I didn’t know much about Reiki at the time so my friend explained, saying that it was such a wonderful experience and that I should try it. Before I left, she gave me the woman’s name and contact information. Her name is Mary Ann.
Mary Ann is probably one of the nicest people I have ever met. The moment I arrived at her small ranch house I felt at ease. She led me through her living room and then into the kitchen. As we entered the kitchen, a small calico cat scurried out of the room. “Oh, that’s Six. She’s very friendly“ said Mary Ann. Off the kitchen there was a small room — a sacred space if there ever was one. The room was dim, with the only light coming from numerous candles and small, soft lights placed around the room. A bookshelf displayed a multitude of books on every “New Age“ subject you could imagine. There were statuettes of Ganesh, Buddha, Mary and Kwan Yin. The room smelled like burnt sage. I was entranced. Mary Ann and I talked for awhile and I explained a little about what had been going on in my life and how I had felt depleted of energy and wanted to clear out my chakras but also get grounded.
Mary Ann had me get comfortable on the table — a table that looks much like a massage table. She covered me with a blanket and had me close my eyes. For about 40 minutes she went around the table and would lay her hands gently on different parts of my body, starting with my head. I was so relaxed that I almost fell asleep. When the session was over she told me that I had a lot of “fairy energy.“ I didn’t know what meant but it sounded pretty darned awesome. She talked about how at the beginning of the session she could feel sadness in me. She said my heart and throat chakras were fairly blocked, as was my sacral chakra (a little below the belly-button) and root chakra (located at the tail bone). It all made sense to me. I had always stifled my opinions, my “voice“ and that showed up as a block in my throat chakra. Because of all the drama and chaos with my ex-husband my finances were a mess and I had felt unsafe for a very long time. This manifested as a block in my root chakra. The more we talked, the more it was all making sense. Even though I had taken a class on chakras, actually having someone confirm the things that I had felt a “knowing“ about was pretty cool. Not only that, but Mary Ann was so fun to talk to. She was so knowledgeable but more than that, she was on the same page. She GOT it.
I ended up having few more Reiki sessions with Mary Ann. At one of the sessions Mary Ann asked if I would be interested in learning about Reiki and becoming certified. Would I! Mary Ann said she had a few other people in mind to join the class. She told me she would be in contact once she firmed up dates and attendees. The class was scheduled in the Fall of 2013. I couldn’t wait. When the day finally came I was excited, but also nervous. This was out of my comfort zone on so many levels. I was meeting new people and learning something totally new. But instead of my usual “flight or fight mode“ I remained fully committed. I’m so glad I did because the class proved to be another Divine Breadcrumb. Here I met more kindred spirits, including a woman named Denise.
Denise is one of Mary-Ann’s best friends. Denise had lost her adult son unexpectedly a few years before. Amazingly, out of this horrific event, Denise developed mediumship abilities. At the time of our first meeting she was attending classes to hone her new-found skills. During the first Reiki class, after a quick break for lunch, all the attendees sat around the room chatting. Denise looked at me and told me that I had an older woman with me. After providing some details about the woman’s appearance, I determined it was my maternal Grandmother. But what really got me was when Denise mentioned a ring. My Grandmother had left me her wedding ring! It was an incredible experience and so unexpected. What a gift!
A few weeks later Mary Ann held the second half of the class at her house and I officially became certified to practice Reiki. It was a wonderful experience on so many levels. Meeting like-minded people is not something that I take for granted and we all exchanged emails, added each other on Facebook and promised to get together again soon. As it turns out I didn’t get together with the other students in the class, but I did develop a close friendship with both Mary Ann and Denise. Over the last 5 years we’ve had a lot of fun and some great conversations.
Since 2012 I have been to numerous workshops and seminars, attended several online classes and read countless books on everything I could get my hands on — Law of Attraction, Angels, remote healing, raising one’s vibration, channeling guides, heart coherence — the list goes on and on. My studies have brought me to new places from Mexico to New Mexico. I have had profound experiences as well as experiences so ridiculous that I had to leave the venue, stifling giggles as I went (not proud of that). Through it all, I never had to look too far or strain to figure out what to do next. The Divine Breadcrumbs kept coming (and keep coming today). In my future blogs I will share more stories of what I learned and how much I still need to learn. I welcome you to share your own Divine Breadcrumbs with me and others who have found this community. There is so much good in the Universe. Just follow the trail…