Posts Tagged With: miracles

After 48 years of abject fear, I finally learned to SWIM!!!

When I was six years old, I was spilled into the deep end of the Y pool intentionally during swim lessons. They wanted me to catch up to the other kids and tread water. It did not work. I had to be pulled from the water by my younger brother. As a teenager, I was taking a tippee test at Camp Tahepia on Georgetown Lake and was pulled from the water by our lifeguard. I was going down again.

Since then, I have not been in the water any higher than my chest and never when I could not touch the bottom of the pool or lake. I have always been afraid of the water.

Until today …



On Monday morning, I got into this water at the Grand Velas Resort in Puerto Vallarta and spent an hour learning to swim. I discovered that I was struggling, even when the water was able to hold me. I found that I stopped breathing which made me sink faster … which did not help me to swim. I learned how to stand without scrambling for the bottom of the pool. I floated on my back, breathing, eyes open, enjoying the sun’s rays and the last glimpses of the moon. And I swam. For the first time in my life, I swam. On Wednesday, I returned for a further lesson. I am thrilled to report that I swam! On my back! On my front! Alone! And I have played in the water a number of times since… and lived to tell of it.

What I discovered is that my six year old self’s brain patterns were very successful in helping me avoid shock and loss … when I was six. And I found that I could alter those brain patterns. By shifting my breathing and my actions, my brain followed suit.

I am so thankful formy friend Christine Arbor for her patience and compassion as I worked through all of it. It is so shocking to me that after all this time, I could overcome my fear. Thanks, my friend, for opening up 70% of the planet to me.

What fear shall I conquer next?

Categories: Health and Wellness, Landmark Worldwide, Risk, Transformation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The World is Your Stage ~ Results from a Workshop


Mary Poppin’s London


This photo was taken from the bridge near my hotel in London, the setting the last week of September for The World is Your Stage Workshop. Even though I knew from others who had attended before me that it would be an amazing weekend, I was unprepared for the depth, breadth, and reach of the transformation available.

To describe the contents of the course would have little effect on your view of the workshop. What I want to share with you is the daily impact the course has had on me, the difference this has made in the lives of those around me, and the opportunities that have unfolded from my having participated.

My wardrobe is completely new. I’ve purchased new clothes that are a match for my commitments. Each day, I dress for every scene, each act, according to the character in that setting. Instead of avoiding choosing an outfit for the day, I look forward to creating. I have organized what I have so that I can make use of accessories and shoes that I had forgotten I owned, those items having been buried in the bottom of the closet. As a result, people have not recognized me at galas, been surprised by me at events, and commented that I must have lost weight. Yep. I’ve done that too.

A major accomplishment is the completion of a case that had been stagnant for nearly three years. As counsel for the past two years, I was committed to getting it done before the holidays. Through September, nothing from mediation to motions to judge’s threats resulted in any forward motion in the matter. After returning from London, I took on being awe-struck, vital and vulnerable and had conversations with my client, the other attorney, and the court about how the case could be resolved. The court finalized the matter ten days ago and today, the final papers were completed. This was not a foreseeable future. The families involved in the case are clearly more at ease, looking forward to the holidays rather than dreading them for another year.

With regard to my space (from the car to the office to the home to the closets and drawers in the home) I took on creating a stage worth playing. In the past seven weeks, I have cleared the filing piles at home and office, listed items for sale and given other items away, organized books, movies, and music. The organizing of music was a miracle in and of itself as I had given up that I would ever find some 500 CDs that I had stored in a box in 2008, separate from their jewel boxes. Just yesterday, I found the box and all the CDs. As I write, all the media is sorted, organized, and in place. I can now find what I am looking for and last night, I slept peacefully, no attention on the missing discs.

During the course, I saw how I walked through the display of my understudy. It was a true blessing to be able to see what others had seen; I have long been told that I walk like my dad did, and I did not know what that meant. What I saw was a bit disturbing, as I saw someone who came at others full force, ready to pounce. Since the weekend, I have been more aware of how I carry myself, what I intend by my approach to a room or a space, and who the others in that space are. I have become softer, more approachable, and embodied my intentions of being vulnerable and available. Today, I had a conversations with a client, court attorney, and opposing counsel in a somewhat contentious situation. Previously, the opposing counsel and I had a conflict between us which required a mediator to resolve. Today, I was greeted with a calm, patient, and open person willing to work through things to their completion. I was amazed ~ and inspired by what could happen in many domains of life.

An initiative I took on after returning from the workshop was to do something every day that scares me. I have had a fitting for bras, taken on a cleanse/detox, been in communication with others that I had been avoiding, fulfilled my commitment to each and every client, worn a two-piece swimsuit, made unreasonable requests for support, and invited criticism from my biggest critics ~ all inside a commitment to be available, awe-struck, and of service.

Clearly, the stages where I get to play, the characters I have the privilege of becoming, and the shifting and transforming my life is a process. The scripts are new. The set is novel. And this life? Incredible!

The character I am playing is now living and being awe-struck, available, vulnerable, vivid, and vital. This was, by far, one of the very best weekends of my life.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg …


Categories: Actor's Workshop, Landmark Worldwide, Transformation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” ~ For 100 days?!


In honor of the beauty of the fall and after returning from London where I participated in “The World is Your Stage” I knew I had to take on something great! October 2, 2014, I took on a new challenge. In keeping with this Eleanor Roosevelt quote, I am seeking something to do each day that scares me. So far, it has been fairly simple to find those things.

Making unusual requests of people covered the first couple days. On the third day, we held our Board Summit, a first in some time for our Kiwanis club, and I asked questions and invited feedback that scared me. And we all lived ~ thrived, in fact!

The next few days, I invited my mom (then my sisters, then my brothers) to attend the annual dinner for the Silver Bow Butte Kiwanis where I would be installed as president. Used to be that I would do things and then tell my family, somehow embarrassed to tell them what I was doing. Mom and my sister came, bringing my nephew Thommy, a sweetheart and hugger! My niece said yes and came to be with us. My brothers were busy ~ and I may have had something to do with them not being there. I always worry what they think and what they might say ~ we can be a tad sarcastic in the family.

Thursday, the day of the dinner, I took a leap of faith and had my hair and makeup done. Now, makeup is a big dang deal for me as I rarely do more than a cursory blush of makeup. The makeup involved something I have never done before ~ additional eyelashes. While it was awkward to sit quietly for so long, I was happy that I tool the risk.


The weekend brought a new and highly anticipated risk. I travelled to Missoula for a volleyball tourney, not really a risk, and clearly an unplanned excursion. On Saturday, I took another leap ~ getting a proper fitting for a bra. I have been talking about doing this for a few months and have been embarrassed ~ and concerned that I would make a fool of myself. I could not have been more wrong.


The fitting was easy ~ and even though the shop was packed with shoppers, I was so cared for by the staff, getting right into a dressing room, making comments, making changes, changing my mind, changing it back, and ending up at the counter with a collection of products. Then, as if to endorse the risk, I got discounts, bonuses, and even a voucher for my next purchase. To my pleasant surprise, I now have proper undergarments that need no adjusting after I put them on in the morning!  (This will also be a relief for those who spend time with me during the days!)

Admitting mistakes publicly, acting even when I am unsure of my steps, and being willing to ask for support seem to be the underpinnings of my scary acts so far. Since I have some 80 days to go, I suspect I will learn much more about what scares me.

Perhaps you have a suggestion for something that may scare me. Perhaps I will take it on. Leave your suggestions here. Maybe it will bring me closer to you.

Who knows? Wanna play!?

Categories: Kiwanis, Risk, Transformation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Looking you in the eye

The past week was challenging. Energy was low; connections were crossed; items were incomplete. I checked to see if mercury was in retrograde. It wasn’t. I wondered if I got up on the wrong side of the bed. There is only one side to get up from my bed. I thought about moving to Australia. I would have been with myself in Australia as well.

Friday evening, I had a dinner of the Women’s Law Section of the Montana Bar to attend in Missoula. It’s a two-hour drive, and I usually look forward to it. On Friday afternoon, I wasn’t looking forward to anything. And guess what? It was raining ~ ugly nasty rain. For the first twenty miles, I was talking myself into and out of making the trip. I was tired. I was crabby. I didn’t want anyone to see me that way. And as the vice-chair of the WLS, I felt it my duty to be at the event. It was a long, long twenty miles.

During my drive, I grew weary of myself. Pouting, suffering, struggling … I was wasting my own life and time. So I got in communication. I called someone who could listen and started talking. I don’t really recall what I said. I do recall that it became clear that I was sacrificing my sense of humor, my energy, my relationships, and my love of people and life in exchange for the ‘opportunity’ to pout. And it also became clear that the price was far higher than I was willing to pay. I was suffering because I didn’t get to spend time with people. And the price I was paying was not spending time with people. Ironic, huh?

I took on being open, welcoming, and willing to look you in the eye. That gave me a new place to be for the remaining one hundred miles and the dinner that evening.

When I invent something new that works, a miracle occurs. At dinner, I stood at the welcoming table, visiting with women lawyer and law students. I looked at them ~ in the eye. And at dinner, I won the limerick contest, a gift of Aveda products ~ my favorites! While that was a miracle, it was not the biggest miracle. It was a bonus. The biggest miracle is I spoke with the dean of the UM Law School about Laughter Yoga and offered to do an in-service for the law school faculty. Guess what? She’s done Laughter Yoga!! She loves it! And she wants me to come to the law school and offer Laughter Yoga!!

On my drive home, I started to listen to Arianna Huffington’s latest book, “Thrive.” What a blessed coincidence that the book was suggested to me on Thursday ~ and that I listened. Much of what I heard in the first two hours of the book addresses directly the approach I have for life ~ to be driven by something beyond a thirst (may I say FORCE?) for power or money.

Saturday, the miracles continued. I officiated the pole vault for the high school track meet and got to watch 22 young men launch their dreams. And I looked each of them in the eyes when they checked in. As I was carrying my coat to the car, I felt something in the pocket. I reached in to find the $200 spare key to my Jeep ~ a key that has been missing for nearly a year ~ since the last track season! Miracles!

While I was eating lunch, I got a call from my friend Anne with whom I have not talked for a few months. We had a chance to share, laugh, cry a little, and catch up on each other. I felt like I was looking in her eyes as I talked with her.

Finally, today, I spoke with a friend who is gathering artwork for the ‘gallery’ at her offices in the Physical Therapy Center at St. James Hospital. She asked if I would be willing to show some of my icicle photos taken during February and March from the alley behind my apartment. Elated? Stunned? Giddy? Yes! All of the above. When I asked for suggestions on which photo to share, she asked if I would share several! And when I posted the news in my Facebook page, folks asked if the pieces were for sale. I can’t stop smiling!

How many miracles in 48 hours? Limerick winner, Aveda gift, laughing dean, Thrive, vaulters, found key, phone call, ‘acclaimed’ artist.  Eight, Not bad ~ not bad at all.

So here’s to being open, welcoming, and willing to look you in the eye!Image

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

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