Me & Kate

I think that everything is meant to be.  There are no coincidences.

I think that Kate giving me up for adoption was meant to be – I know that my Soul had work to do with my family who raised me and It wanted to learn certain things from them that I could not have learned had Kate raised me.

I think that finding Kate again was also meant to be – it’s time for us now to do our Soul’s work with each other as well.  Knowing her has given me the opportunity to mend wounds, fix damaged pathways in my brain, shine a light on what was otherwise a serious blind spot.  Simply, to heal.

That healing process has been deeply important for me and I know that none of it could have ever been made possible if it were not for the practice and path that I have found.  I really have to extend my deepest thanks to Dahn Yoga, Brain Education, my teacher Ilchi Lee, as well as many practitioners who trained me along the way,. Through them, I have received an amazing tool set to face myself and overcome myself again and again.  I heard a statistic once that 70% of adopted children become drug & alcohol addicts at some point in their lives.   I am certainly not quoting that – a student of mine once told me that’s what he heard – but I was really amazed when I was given that information. “Wow, I have done a good job!” I thought.  I have worked so hard these last 15 years on an inner journey that has been both extremely turbulent as well as extremely rewarding.  There is no doubt in my mind that it is truly not a coincidence that I found the Dahn Center less than two years after my meeting with Kate.  If I hadn’t, this would have all been a far messier journey.

What I am most grateful for is that I have been able to find the courage to get over myself enough (if even just a tiny bit) to build a real relationship with Kate and to have the chance to love her in this lifetime.  That has been a truly beautiful thing!

As beautiful as it is, still it’s so hard to write about.  It’s hard to explain.  It’s like sticky and numb synapses in my brain are still waking up slowly, uncovering a world of feelings that were lying beneath, unbeknownst to me.  But as I continue to grow and evolve, I uncover more and more, and I feel my heart becoming more free, more alive and more rich.

As my heart changes, so does my relationship with Kate.  I think I can say that our relationship too has become more free, more alive and more rich, and this makes me genuinely happy.  Can it be possible that healing one relationship cleans lifetimes of karma and brightens the past as well as the future?  I have no idea.  But it kind of feels that big ~ 🙂

I remember one visit with Kate.  We were in New York, having a late night dinner at a diner near her house.  I wanted to communicate something with her but I was having a hard time. I felt so stuck and mad and sad and needy and nervous – it was an amalgam of like every feeling tangled into one giant seething ball.  I told her, “There’s a volcano at the bottom of my heart.  It’s hard to express myself because of it.”

To which she replied, “Fuck the volcano and just tell me what you’re trying to say.”

Her bold directness has always been quite refreshing 🙂

Nonetheless, it was all easier said than done.  Sorting through that volcano has been a great effort but I have risen to the challenge.  Still rising.

As I have gotten to know Kate, I believe that I have inherited a certain kind of fortitude and fighting spirit from her, which has certainly helped me along the way.  My fight is the fight for truth, purity, true love, forgiveness, healing and a better world.  It all started the moment I met with my pure Soul and I continue with it every day.

There is so much more that I want to say and in time I will.  But for now I just want to express my gratitude to Kate – who gave me life and suffered a great deal because of me – and for the last 16 years of our heroic journey together.  As she always says, “there is so much more to come, and it will be GOOD.”

 

 

 

 

The Journey Begins

Three months after meeting with my Soul, and one week before I was supposed to head out to New Mexico with Dan,  I asked my center manager if I could staff at the next Finding My True Self workshop.  I wanted to support other people on their journey.  It was this time around when I received a very powerful message that would change the direction of my life.

Mostly, my role at the workshop was to stand outside, greet people, run errands, prepare food for the trainers and staff and support the students with a a friendly smile and hug.  However, during the main portion of the training, the most intense part, the door opened and I was allowed into the room with the other ‘ouside staff.’   I was standing in the back of the classroom, sending my love and energy to all of the participants, and suddenly I felt a bright column of light come down to me and surround me.  Inside of that illuminated space, my perception was intensified and I had an a-ha moment. Oh, I see, sometimes it feels like we are in hell, but hell is not something outside of us.  We are each living inside of our own personal hells, trying to break free.  Then I heard a voice inside of my heart so clearly.  It was a loud voice.  It was my own voice actually, and it told me, “I came to the Earth to awaken Souls.”

That was it.  In a moment, my purpose was clear.  So clear.  My heart felt certain that this was what I needed to do.  In fact, this was all that I wanted to do.  I wanted to heal this darkened world by awakening the light of the Soul in people’s hearts.  I wanted to turn on so many lights until the brightness of humanity was restored. I didn’t want anything more than this.

But I was supposed to leave for New Mexico in one week!!!   We had the tent, we had the train tickets, we were all set and ready to go.  But at the mere thought of going now, my heart was heavy.  Every morning for one week I woke up feeling like I had a brick on my chest.  I heard my Soul saying to me, “You found what you were looking for…why are we leaving now?” So after one week of crying my eyes out in confusion, I made a decision.  I sat my family down.

“Mom, dad, Dan, I need to tell you something.  I decided that I’m not going to New Mexico.  Dan, I will travel with you, set up the tent, and explain my choice to the farmers, but then I’m coming back.  I have found what I wanted here.  If you don’t want to go then you can stay here with me. It is your choice.  But my mind is clear.”

My parents, who are too beautiful and too kind to describe in words, made their first courageous choice to trust me.  They accepted my decision and stood behind me in support, as they always had, and always would.  Dan, of course, was quite shaken up.  He tried hard, in all of his goodness, to take it in stride.  He told me that he was going to go to New Mexico anyway, do the internship on the farm, and he would return in 8 months when it was over.

I was grateful for all of their love and support.  It was probably one of the most difficult decisions that I have ever made, as I am a very loyal and responsible person and I do not break my commitments easily.  However, I had never been so sure of something in my entire life.  I knew what I wanted to do and what I wanted to live for.  I felt a far deeper responsibility and commitment to my Soul, who I had been ignoring my entire life.  Finally we had reconnected and I needed to follow the path that was unfolding before me – a path that was so bright and hopeful and included everything that I had always wanted.  It provided me with a way to grow the light of truth inside of me, a way to heal the wounds of my life that were limiting me, and a way to help the suffering world.  It supported my deepest dream – to see a healthy and peaceful Earth, an Earth that could only change when people’s consciousness changed.  Finally it made sense how it could really make it happen, and what I could do.  I could turn on the lights. I wanted this more than I ever wanted anything else, and my heart lept with the prospect that this could be my life.

As promised, I saw Dan off and two weeks later returned to the center to dedicate myself to my practice.  I spent so much time there, that in a few months I was offered a part time job.  Three years and a whole lot of training, practicing and growing later, I became a certified instructor and healer.  The great journey of my life, which promised a future of limitless possibilities, had begun.

Coming Home

When I returned to Boston, I was frazzled.

Not frazzled because I was running around with many things to do, but deeply frazzled on the inside.  I was filled with anxiety about the state of the world. I was emotionally shot from all I went through after meeting Kate. I was unsatisfied with my relationship, the prospect of my future, and life itself.  I worried constantly, a neurotic sort of nonsensical worry.  When people talked to me I listened with about 30% of my attention and the other 70% of me was perseverating about who knows what.  You name it.  I felt as if the hairs around my hairline were actually frayed wires sticking out in all directions.  I was fried.

“Mom, I need yoga.”

“Well honey, I saw a place just down the street on my way home from Target the other day.  There’s a big yellow sign outside that says Yoga, Tai-Chi, Meditation.”

“Sounds perfect.”

So it was my mother, my angel, who actually spotted the Dahn Center first.  I don’t know if I ever would have seen it myself .  It was in such a remote spot – behind a gas station, above a dry cleaners, in a small parking lot.  Fortunately, that big yellow sign was facing the street where my mother often waited at a red light on her way home from her frequent shopping expeditions. It must have been Divine Providence 🙂

The first thing that I fell in love with during my initial week of classes at the center was the instructors.  They seemed Heavenly, and I was intrigued.  From Korea, neither one of them were excellent at speaking English, although the head master, Park, was better than her assistant, Goo.  Park had a yoda-like magic about her. I always felt deeply honored to receive the tid-bits of wisdom that she would deliver during our post class “tea time” and sharing sessions, where we all sat on the floor and gathered around an asian-style table in a ceremonial sort of way, sipping on freshly brewed healing tea.   Goo said little, although he taught many of the classes, and I always giggled to myself when I would hear him say the cutest things with his utmost sincerity, such as “peel your pinger tips and toe tips.”

They were the most authentic and beautiful people I had ever met.  They were far more ‘true’ then anyone that I had encountered in college.  They were supple and soft and gave warm, welcoming hugs whenever I arrived at the center.  They had an aura of peace and light around them and I found myself wanting to just sit and talk and be with them for long periods of time.

After about 2 weeks of practicing, I started noticing that there was something very different about this yoga from the Kripalu yoga that I had taken when I was in Iowa City.  Of course, I loved those yoga classes too, and always left feeling refreshed, calm and happier, but by the time I had gone over the bridge and crossed campus, passed through downtown and arrived at my apartment, I would be in a bad mood all over again.  However, Dahn Yoga was different.  First of all, through softening my intestines with ‘intestine exercises’ I quickly resolved the chronic constipation problem that I had been having for the previous 6 months, which would not go away despite all of the prunes, “Smooth Move” tea and Malox that I ingested.  But even more importantly, the happiness effect of Dahn yoga was lasting longer.  I would have a lingering sense of relaxation in my body and mind, a lightness of being, for several days. I remember waking up one day thinking, “I’m not mad at the world today.  I haven’t been so negative lately. Wow, something’s changing.”

I think that this notable result was coming from the energy meditation that we would do in every class.  In sitting posture, we would raise our hands to face each other, move them in and out, and try to feel sensation between our palms.  From the beginning, I was amazed by the magnetic force between my hands that was palpable.  I came to learn that this exercise was called ‘ji-gam’, which simply meant, “to stop your thoughts and emotions.”  And that was exactly what was happening while I was feeling that push and pull sensation. My mind would get quiet, deeply still.  And when we would stop, I would feel clear and bright.

Enjoying these positive changes, I began to attend classes everyday.  In the third week, Park approached me after tea-time.  She sat me down, looked into my eyes and asked me, “Do you want to find your true self?”

I felt as if she had seen into the bottom of my heart!  I felt as if she had read my mind!  I felt as if I had been waiting for someone to ask me this question for my entire life!  And I expressed all of it with my desperately eager reply, “Yes! Yes, that’s what I want more than anything! I have to find it!  Can you help me find it?”

To which, of course, she just smiled gently and nodded, with that yoda-sparkle in her eye, as if to say “Yes, young padawon, yes I can.”

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I attended the “Finding True Self” workshop at the end of January, 2000.  It is difficult to describe in any words what I experienced there.  Transformative and life-changing would be the simple way to put it. I participated in the workshop with such a sincere desire to find some sort of peace inside of me.  As I shared, I was tired and quite lost.  I was only 22 years old but somehow I felt that there was nothing that this life had to offer that could bring any fulfillment unless I found peace and truth inside of me first.  I was desperate to find that peace.  I believe that it was that pure and powerful intention alone that created such an amazing experience for me at this workshop.  I dug deep into my heart through sweat and tears and traveled inward, through layers of judgements and emotions, wounds and memories. In the most challenging moments I pushed forward, and forward once more, believing that there must be something beyond all of this suffering.  And finally, at last, I discovered THE MOST AMAZING jewel waiting for me at the bottom of it all.

It was not something that I came to understand in my mind, or something that I learned from someone else. It was something that I felt in my body. An unforgettable feeling that happened in a moment and lasted for many weeks.  With a loud crack that seemed to happen on the inside, I felt something shift in the center of my chest.  It was like the wall of a dam broke open and a warm, soft river of love, peace and total bliss flowed through my heart, and through my entire being.  I felt silent. Deeply silent.  And all that I wanted to do was smile.

Finally, I had met with my Soul.

I had found the light inside of me.  I had found the place where I felt God residing, where I felt the essence of the Tao inside of me. I had found the purest, deepest, truest me that was buried underneath a lifetime of fear and insecurity, anger, sadness and confusion.  The most beautiful me.  It was precious, so precious, that I wished that I could hold it tenderly and carefully in my hands as to both admire it’s magnificence, as well as to protect it from the chaotic world.  It was my most beloved friend and guide. It was all of the love and peace in creation.  It was more, much more, than I ever could have dreamed of.

On the way home from the training I stopped off at a grocery store to get some cough drops, as I had used my voice quite a bit.  The man standing in front of me in line turned to look at me with his eyes widening and said, “You don’t look sick. You’re glowing.”  I was very surprised to receive such a compliment, then realized Ah, now I must have the aura that I always see around the others! Now I understand what that is…It’s the glow of the Soul!

When I arrived to my parents house my mother, who was worried that I had ran off with a cult for the weekend, swung open the door and said “You’re alive!”  Then she paused as she looked at me and said, “And you look so……happy.”

This was just the beginning.  For weeks I was in a magical state of existence.  I would be walking down the street and find tears of gratitude flowing down my face.  Gratitude for the amazing life that I felt inside.  Another time I wept thinking about Jesus.  This is what he must have been trying to share with the world! I thought.  And he only had 12 disciples…how sad… I felt like I could somehow feel his agony and I altogether stopped resisting him.  From then on, at family gatherings, I whole-heartedly prayed along side of everyone else.  And one day I was sitting on my front steps, looking at the sunset with my father, and I felt such a distinct knowing in my heart, “I’m falling in love with myself.”

I had found my place, my home, and it had been right there inside of me all along.  It was a beautiful time. And although it did not last forever, it changed me forever.

I am posting a song here that I have been introduced to recently.  It reminds me of that time of awakening, of who I really am, of what lies within me ~ within all of us.  I hope that you too will enjoy it with your  Soul 🙂