I have been in the mental health field for a long time. I have always wanted to be a counselor, to help others. I was the kid in high school that knew exactly what I wanted to go to college for. I was the one that studied like crazy and cared about my classes (at least the psychology ones!). I had the plan to continue for graduate school so that I had the freedom to be the mental health professional in any capacity I chose.

Was it because I had a codependent relationship with my mother? Was it because I grew up surrounded by alcoholism? Was it because I was the peace maker among my siblings? Who knows, but the one thing I am certain of is that my experiences as well as my innate humanness has shaped me and guided me down this path.

Along this learning adventure I have written countless “I am” papers, explored my gifts and talents, as well as my short comings and fearful thinking. I feared turning out like my mother, then realized I was more like my father, and married my mother! I have had revelations where I felt I had learned all that I could possibly learn about myself. And then reality hit and I was faced with the fact that learning will not end until my physical presence on this earth has past.

I have several dozen books on my shelves (I actually have a book shelf in every room in my house)! I admit I have not read them all, but most of them, and some of them more than once. I have been motivated by most of them, left confused by others, and discouraged yet by another. I tell many of my clients that life is a puzzle and every learning experience is a piece to the whole. Some experiences are downright painful, desperately hoping to wake up from the nightmare. And some pieces fit together so nicely you are excited for the next experience! But every puzzle piece teaches you something about you, something deep and mysterious and exciting. It’s the willingness to pause and see the lesson in each experience so that you move down that path wiser, more peaceful, and grateful for every lesson learned.

I sat down to read today, a book that has become a part of me, May Cause Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein. This book is a 40 day guide to opening your heart, living more deeply in peace and gratitude and love, and expecting miracles in everything! I saw Gabby this past January with Kris Carr, doing a talk on Crazy Sexy Miracles in NYC. Any excuse to go to NYC is a good one, but this was the cream of the crop! I didn’t know of Gabby at this time, but I was a crazy sexy follower of Kris as she has guided me through the cancer maze that I was presented with. And what do I find other than my cancer mentor… a spirit junkie that would create a whole new puzzle for my life! And this is one picture that I felt so distant from until now. My learning of miracles has created miracles in my life. And this is a fantastic journey that I look forward to daily!

I teach my clients constantly about self talk and negative thinking, and ego and its fearful protective nature. And we explore tools to create a new language for ourselves, and the willingness to accept this new self-love. It all makes sense and I practice this philosophy or life style. But until I read and committed to the 40 days of Miracles, it did not sink in. It finally hit me, knocked the wind out of me. It became real. Is it Gabby and her book? Why was it not the book I read the week before? Or the meditation practice I had been doing? Or was it all of the above? Was it divine timing that I crossed paths with Gabrielle Bernstein? I was going to NYC for Kris and Crazy Sexy, and I got Gabby and Miracles!!

I believe there was something deep within me that allowed the pieces to my puzzle to shift into place. My journey has been long, with ups and downs, blessings and pains. But my path is really no different than yours or anyone else’s. We all have our insights and denials and hopes and dreams. I do believe that I know one true shining light in all my journeys that led me to here and now – my willingness to show up! As Gabby says, ‘I am willing to see it different. I am willing to choose something else.” That was a huge shift for me. So big that I have had a new word in my vocabulary – phenomenal- because that is how life has been feeling! I didn’t realize how phenomenal things were until my kids brought it to my attention “mom you say phenomenal a lot!” we all laughed, and agreed, yes life is phenomenal and I am loving every minute of it.

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