Last week I was in Saint John, New Brunswick, a small city less than two hours away from my equally small city of Moncton. For those of you who don’t know, New Brunswick, Canada’s entire population is about 753,000. We are a small, but mighty group of people who live on 72,908 km² (about 45,300 square miles) of mostly forested land, speaking in English or French, and often both.
While in Saint John, I met with my coach, Elaine Shannon and we got to talking about the importance of creating courses, workshops, and blogs in my business, not because I want my readers and students to like them, but because they resonate with me. She challenged me to ask the question, “What would Kathy like to read and write about?”
Everything that I write about comes from my life. That’s how I know that what I write about, works and that the right people will be drawn to it. Just as the adage, “write what you know” works in fiction, so it seems it works when writing to heal.
I am the litmus test; the sum of all my experiences is what I offer to you. If my experiences resonate with you, you can take what I’ve learned as you apply it to your own experiences on your own path.
THE RIGHT MESSAGE ALWAYS COMES
Now, of course, not every experience in my life is going to match up in perfect detail with everything in your life; we’d be Stepford Wives and husbands, or part of the Borg Collective if that were the case. But, there must be some pull to being part of a whole, because we humans are drawn to each other and linked through our empathetic responses to each other.
We may not share the same experiences, but we take the emotions that come from others sharing their emotionally charged experiences and filter them through our own life experiences. This is how we have compassion and understanding for each other — we are empathic.
THE RIGHT MESSAGE SOMETIMES COMES IN UNEXPECTED FORM
It’s time to share my Great Blue Heron story with you… When I was on my Soul Journey with EagleSpirit in 2014, I had avoided my anger for 4 entire days, but it had to surface. Day 5 turned out to be my ‘hit the wall’ day. I couldn’t run from it, I had to bust through it, and the ensuing screaming into a pillow left me hoarse and drained.
Afterwards, we went for a walk in a state park in Sedona, which is famous for its Buddha Beach — where people leave stacked rock formations. I rather unspectacularly created my stack of stones, which quickly fell into a disgruntled heap.
I tried to let go of my anger, but it wasn’t until we crossed a tiny little brook and started up a path to the sacred Oak Creek, that things began to shift. EagleSpirit spotted a Great Blue Heron (which symbolizes independence, fluidity, and self-reliance). I started whispering to the heron, to calm and keep him in place while EagleSpirit took photos. Eventually, I moved on, wanting a few moments to myself.
Suddenly, EagleSpirit called to me that the Heron was following me. I could see it was true, because every time I stopped, he stopped, and he was moving his head up and down to make eye contact with me. I sat down and began speaking to the Heron again. I asked him to take my anger; he had wide and strong wings to take my anger up to the sky and let it fall off his wings. And then I thanked him for being there.
Not two seconds later, the Great Blue Heron flew up into the trees, and then soared gracefully along the winding creek, disappearing from view.
My anger was gone, and in its place, I felt humbled that this magnificent creature would be in exactly the right place at exactly the right time for me to see it. I also felt profoundly grateful that this King of the Marsh, with his wingspan of nearly seven feet, could effortlessly carry the weight my anger and disperse it in the wind.
THE RIGHT PEOPLE ALWAYS SHOW UP
Perhaps I should say, the ‘write people’! Just the other day, one of my students in my Writing Meetups marvelled, “The right people always come.” And it’s true. I needed to hear that at that moment, because I’ve come to the realization (once again) that I don’t fit the mold of how to do a business. My gift is in sharing my Self with vulnerability, making it safe for you to share your Self with vulnerability.
Each time we gather together in a Writing Meetup, even though I have people of different sexes, cultures, countries — and therefore experiences — we come together with respect for each other, kindness, and dare I say… love. We talk, we share; we write, we share. And although we may not necessarily agree on every point together, we respect each other’s right to have opinions that differ from our own. That’s how we learn from each other.
I can’t imagine these Writing Meetups ever being large groups of people who simply listen to me yammer on. Meetups aren’t one-way monologues; they’re conversations, based on sharing and finding commonalities, not differences. Everyone’s voice is heard — and everyone has the opportunity to share.
THE RIGHT PEOPLE SHOW UP IN OUR LIVES TOO
The other reason I was in Saint John, New Brunswick last week was to attend a holistic trade show. It certainly wasn’t a perfect experience, and I will admit that a few times I wondered why I was there. I don’t sell anything, I simply offer those who are drawn to my table the chance to take a load off, share a bit of their story with me, then do a relaxing meditation, and write whatever their hearts want them to hear. Of course, I hope they will want to take my video course or a live workshop, but I can’t make it an expectation.
Over the course of the day, I met at least 5 or 6 people who first looked at my table with its brightly flowered tablecloth and brightly coloured signage with suspicion and fear. And yet, they were drawn to me like a moth to a flame. Not all of these people even listened to the guided relaxation on the earphones, or picked up a pen to write, but they cracked open just a little, let down their wall just a bit, and we made a profound connection.
The right people come to me and feel heard. All I do is hold space for them by listening, which makes it safe for them to allow their lights to shine.
THE RIGHT PERSON CAN ALSO ANNOY THE CRAP OUT OF US
We all have people who have passed through our lives, or who stay in our lives, that no matter how much we don’t want to admit it, piss us off — royally. I say royally because one of my key personality archetypes is The Queen. For the most part, I am able to be the Benevolent Queen, but when I come across someone that annoys the crap out of me, I become The Queen of Hearts, from Alice in Wonderland. It’s “off with your ‘ead!” When I allow this shadow side of my personality to take over; it messes me up and leaves me churning with anger.
This, my friends, is something to learn from.
Everyone you meet in your life is a mirror. If you meet someone who makes you feel your best, that person is holding up the mirror of your beautiful qualities. If you meet someone who brings out the shadow side of you, that person is simply reflecting parts of your own consciousness back to you, giving you an opportunity to really see yourself and ultimately to grow.
The qualities we most admire in others are the same as our own. Paradoxically, this also happens with those qualities we dislike — it’s a two-way mirror. The challenge is to accept that we have both light and darkness inside of us, to work to bring the dark qualities to the light, and let them go. Otherwise, the same type of people will keep showing up. (Remember last week’s Autobiography in Five Short Chapters by Portia Nelson?)
HOW WE ATTRACT THE RIGHT STUFF
So how do we attract the right people and circumstances into our lives? Are you ready for this? Because it's both ridiculously easy and incredibly difficult to do.
All we need to do to attract the right people and circumstances in our lives is be authentically ourselves — all the time.
I’ve had many teachers over this past week, and one of them got me thinking how I believe at our very core we are light. That dark side we sometimes show is the negative beliefs we hold about ourselves that dim our light. If we bite our tongues and smile when talking to some people, neglect to mention the things that we really love for fear that we'll be judged, or criticized, or just to fit in, those are masks that prevent our light from shining.
I’m not suggesting that we all venture forth and tell everyone that we happen to disagree with that they are wrong. Not at all. But what if instead, when someone says something that does not mesh with our values, we simply say this: “I don’t agree with what you’re saying, but I do respect your right to your opinion.”
And then, let it go.
It’s like one of those nesting dolls, isn’t it? Every time we think we’ve got something figured out, a new layer of our crap shows up. Good thing then, that our crap gets smaller and smaller each time we uncover a layer of it.