Tag Archives: ceremony

Creating Space for Love, Conclusion

In the summer of 2003, a journey began, creating space for love, initially without my awareness. Nine months later, on a beautiful Saturday in April, little did I suspect that I was about to give birth to my new life.

Tom was picking me up the evening of April 3rd to attend the birthday party my acupuncturist was having for her husband. It was an uneventful week, but when I woke up that Saturday morning, I felt very different! It was as if I was 16 again and had a special date to the prom! I was excited, anxious and nervous! I was excited for Tom to pick me up, I was excited to attend the party and I was most excited to have him and my older daughter meet! She had been asked to assist with kitchen duties, keeping food replenished, etc. I hadn’t introduced them prior to that, as I wasn’t planning on anything serious developing in Tom’s and my relationship.

FullMoonI don’t know if he noticed, but when I got into Tom’s car that evening, I felt giddy! I recall it was a gorgeous evening. As we were driving, I called his attention to the full moon that was coming up! Now, Tom is always aware of the moon and its stages. He told me it was not yet a full moon. “It looks full to me,” I said. He answered, “Well, it must be an Abrahamson full moon.” I loved that accommodation!

What a pleasure it was to observe Tom and my daughter meet for the first time upon our arrival. I stood back and watched the energy exchange. Warm in their greeting, Tom was ready to love Kira because she was my daughter; Kira wanting to make sure Tom was a good person for her mom. I felt like the teenage daughter introducing her date to her mother. It was an interesting and strange role reversal that transpired in the blink of an eye.

Shortly thereafter, I unexpectedly heard a whisper in my ear. “I love you,” it said. I froze and then experienced a bit of a panic attack. “Why are you saying that?” I asked. “Because it’s true,” I heard Tom’s voice respond. A flood of emotions rushed through me. Could I admit that I had also fallen in love with him? Could I trust the emotions, both his and mine?

I’m not sure how I got through the rest of the evening. I do know we had fun and I was very happy! I remember my daughter telling Tom as we left the party, “Take good care of my mom.” Who was the parent? It was a magical evening, if not a bit overwhelming!

 Everything was different from that evening on! We were in love! While I was ultimately able to connect with that emotion, I initially found myself very pragmatic. My concept of myself as a romantic was challenged! I know this was fear. I had been single for over 13 years and quite happy, I might reiterate, playing it safe! Now I was vulnerable. However, amazingly, in that vulnerability, I felt safe!

Over the next several months, we discussed his moving in with me. No small feat for, as you recall, I had filled every inch of my home. While I had cleared out a drawer and a section of my closet to create space for a partner, the reality of another person actually moving in was a bit mind-boggling, to say the least. But I began clearing in earnest and we made adjustments along the way. Before thatHouse01 transition, I communicated with my home about the energy shift to come with Tom joining the household. This is an important aspect of traditional Feng Shui thought: you treat your home as a separate entity and respect its energy and effect on your life. I could almost feel my home smiling in response and knew it was happy as well.

Tom and I were always in agreement about our commitment to one another and neither of us felt the need to get married. However, synchronicity was about to intervene again when, in May 2006, we traveled to China and Tibet on a Feng Shui-focused tour. And, it just so happened, three of my original four Feng Shui
GateGilrsLove Divas were a part of our group of 21 travelers. It started almost immediately. “Why don’t you and Tom get married on this trip?” At first we took it lightly, but as the tour progressed, the question continued to be lovingly asked. Everyone seemed to be conspiring to make it happen. After about a week of this persistence, Tom and I decided we should take the question seriously. After all, some of these same friends had encouraged me to set the intention back in 2003 to make room, emotionally and physically, for a life partner. Evidently, this journey wasn’t over!

Tom and I looked at each other one evening and, almost simultaneously, said, “Let’s do it!” My only request was that we marry in Tibet. I had traveled there previously and had fallen in love with the area and its people. Tom was definitely agreeable. The next day at lunch, we announced we were getting married in Tibet!

Mind you, we had no idea how this ceremony would take place, where it would take place or when! We had only four days in Tibet and every day was already planned out for us. But we set that intention and shared it with our fellow travelers. The excitement meter maxed out; the energy level was palpable!

PotolaSeveral days later, we entered Lhasa, Tibet. Located at the bottom of a small basin surrounded by the Himalaya Mountains, Lhasa has an elevation of over 14,000 feet and lies in the center of the Tibetan Plateau with the surrounding mountains rising to 18,000 feet. The air only contains 68% of the oxygen compared to sea level. It was impossible to determine the effects of thin air versus our over-the-top happiness?

Our intention was immediately shared with our Tibetan tour guide. He enthusiastically responded heTemple had been a Tibetan monk in the Jokhang Temple, the most sacred temple in Tibet. When his father died, Tibetan tradition required he return home to assist his mother and go to work to support the family. He left the monastery and became a tour guide. With his connection to the temple, our new friend could arrange for us to have our wedding ceremony in that sacred place!

Suddenly, our wedding was a reality and our fellow travelers excitedly took on the role of wedding party. Each had a job to do: finding a bottle of wine, buying wine cups, locating two long stem red roses, purchasing a wedding bowl for the rings, planning the wedding dinner! Tom and I shopped the market area to find something for me to wear. I purchased a beautiful brocade jacket from a vendor who took pride in being the one who sold me my wedding outfit. Our happiness and the excitement of our group’s energy were contagious. It seemed everyone there, tourist and vendor, knew about it!

Tom and I wrote our vows and Tom Hyder, an ordained minister, and his wife, Carole, one of my first Feng Shui teachers, wrote the wedding ceremony. On a beautiful afternoon, our wedding procession was led into an area of the Jokhang Temple where tourists were not allowed. Just prior to entering, each of us purchased a Tibetan Scarf called a ‘Khata’. It is usually made of white silk, symbolizing the pure heart of the giver. It is often given as a gift at special Tibetan ceremonies, such as weddings, funerals, births, and graduations.

 The Tibetan monks invited us to participate in a special blessing before escorting us to the beautiful Ceremonyceremonial room where our tour guide had arranged to have the monks chanting and drumming. During this 20-minute ceremony, our loving friends and colleagues came, one by one, to share well wishes and blessings as they each placed their Khata around our necks.

Following the chanting, Tom and I presented the monks with traditional red envelopes containing donations to the Temple. And then, with our friends standing as witnesses, Tom Hyder spoke of our spiritual union, blending East and West, ancient with modern. This amazing wedding ceremony, taking place over seven thousand miles from home and in one of the highest cities in the world, was stunningly rich with intention and love.

cake2Following our procession from the temple, a wedding feast awaited us at a traditional Tibetan restaurant. At its conclusion we were presented with a wedding cake – Tibetan style. While unsure how to decorate a wedding cake for westerners, they made it as festive and meaningful as possible with what they had. Our wonderful cake was decorated with frosting flowers, two cat figures, and a lotus candle that, when lighted, opened and spun around, playing “Happy Birthday.” It was perfect! And though Tibet is not a region not known for desserts, the cake was delicious!

Tom and I could not have dreamed of this day, let alone planned it! Our wedding was an inspiring example of the power of setting a pure and focused intention, then letting go of questioning how it might happen! From that moment on, the age-old process carried us along effortlessly as it evolved to culminate in our extraordinary wedding ceremony. This intentional journey was complete!

Monks

 “An intention synchronistically organizes its own fulfillment.” – Deepak Chopra

 

The Drawer of Life

I received a call from a potential client who attended one of my classes several years prior. So as not to lose my contact information, she placed it in her “Drawer of Life.”  She had been waiting for the right time to call me and it was now. Wait, she placed my information in her what?

She went on to explain that she has a special drawer in which she keeps information about things that she wants to do, topics she wants to learn about and changes she wants to make. She is both sensitive to what or who shows up in her life and realistic about her ability to respond to them, given her busy schedule. So she places notes to herself, articles, contact information etc. in her “Drawer of Life.” She goes to this drawer when “called” to do so and pays attention to what speaks to her when the drawer is opened.  Her agreement with herself is to act on it. Feng Shui called to her on that particular day and she phoned me. Needless to say, I was quite humbled and honored to learn I was in someone’s “Drawer of Life.”

Messy02I’ve since been reflecting about that drawer. Most of us, I suspect, have a similar drawer filled with things – unidentified keys, newspaper clippings, broken jewelry, miscellaneous odds and ends, you name it – stuff we, for some reason, are unable to let go of. We refer to it as our clutter drawer. And it is, in a way, a drawer of our life. A clutter drawer, however, requires no action; it can be easily dismissed, closed with a shrug and ignored. But, what if you intentionally cleared out that drawer and designated it your “Intention Drawer,” your own personal “Drawer of Life?”

House01It’s not unlike naming your car or your plants or your home. Naming something makes it more personal and something more personal requires a different kind of attention. There is an immediate energy shift. One of my Feng Shui colleagues named her home “Joy.” She and her family are always coming home to Joy. When a family member returns home after a difficult day, Joy greets them! You can imagine the positive effect that has on the family as well as every visitor to their home!

Many of us have so many things we want to do – both big and small. Take a class, finish a project, clean out a closet, learn a new language, paint a room – pursue, complete, shift, change, clear! What if we, like my client, placed representational reminders in an Intention Drawer: a class brochure, the review of a new restaurant to try, a paint sample, a special business card, the picture of a kitchen remodel. And then created an Intention Drawer “opening ceremony” once a month, on our birthday, every Tuesday, or what ever seems realistic. The discipline is that the act of opening it would require immediate action on one of the items inside. As our life path changes, some of the contents might be up for periodic review to determine if they remain viable intentions or not. Discarding as appropriate helps to prevent a clutter risk.

I have also given thought to what my Intention Drawer, might hold. Certainly Drawerthere is my intention to resume a regular exercise routine so it would hold my Snap membership card. I would include the names of books I want to read and some favorite meditation CDs I would like to get in the habit of listening to on a regular basis. A travel brochure to Bali would surely be tucked in. The names of people I’ve lost touch with and desire to contact would be there. Opening the drawer with the specific intention of activating any one of these items would have a dramatic impact on my life.

In Feng Shui, we are accustomed to creating ceremony around selecting and infusing a physical item to hold a specific intention – a promotion, a life partner, optimal health, increased financial gain. How intriguing to consider a holding place for future intentions and ceremoniously opening that designated holding place with the purpose of activating one of the intentions tucked inside. In our busy lives, intentions can easily be forgotten along the way. The idea of creating a “Drawer of Life” was one woman’s brilliant way of making sure that didn’t happen.Wordl02