What a year of Extravagant Gifts this has been! There has been such a blossoming in my life and in my work - one has influenced and enhanced the other, and then the gifts return, like a constant figure-eight of energy flowing, from my work and back to me. I am, indeed, very grateful at this time of Thanksgiving.
The journey has lead me to share more of myself and more of my creativity with more people. YOU are one of those people, and your energy returns to me in just the act of your reading this letter!
I want to share a little of the story...
It all started in the dairy section at HEB in May 2016. I received a text from my close friend and colleague, Dana. (Yes, I am one of those people stopped in the middle of the aisle at the grocery store, texting!)
She was telling me that she had finally decided to go "all in" and apply for an intensive training in a modality that she had been studying on her own for 4 years - Internal Family Systems. It contained many of the elements from which I had drawn for many years.
She was asking if she could use me for a reference for the training that would take place in the Boston area over the course of a year. Every other month for a long weekend.
Maybe I wanted to do it with her, she asked. I said to myself - "Yeah, right! I can't see that happening!"
There had been a lot going on with me personally and professionally in the previous 2 years that I won't get into here...suffice it to say that I sure didn't even consider that I could spend money or time on training and travel. Not for a second!
Or did I??
When I returned home from the grocery store, I looked up the program. There was a level of curiosity - for what Dana was doing, and for myself as well. The first thing I noticed is that the training was to be held in Natick, outside of Boston.
I am very familiar with Natick, since I have traveled there for 20 years to visit my brother and his family! He no longer lives there, but my niece and nephew, both my Godchildren, still do. Maybe I should take another look??!
Needless to say, I applied for the training, for some financial aid, and was accepted, along with my friends, Dana and Connie. Between October 2016 and August 2017, we traveled to Natick, MA, outside of Boston, 6 times. We waited in airport restaurants and bars, laughed, told stories, cried, read Tarot cards, and created business plans. We stayed in AirBnB's and hotels. We ate good food. We had a layover in Baltimore due to a snowstorm, and so many synchronicities occurred that we had to pinch ourselves to see if it was real! We created friendships with New England IFS people that distance will not diminish.
And we learned. I learned. In order for me to learn, I had to come with "beginner's mind," which was challenging - it required letting go of my ego, and letting go of my fear of being judged. It required acknowledging and surrendering to some "deaths" that were happening with my business and in my life.
The ball started rolling and picked up steam in the winter months of 2017. Out of deeply inspired conversations, witnessing one another, and amazing encouragement and support from my IFS sisters, Dana and Connie, as well as from the intense inner work that was taking place throughout the year, was conceived a resurrected Eye of the Heart - what you can now find atwww.eye4heart.com.
I keep hearing myself say that I feel like I am in graduate school again. Only this time, I get to pick from the wide and vast offerings, not limited by a certain school, degree plan, or physical presence even, found through friends and intuition, on the internet!
I have been participating in a coaching program, Joanna Lindenbaum's Your Sacred Business and Soulful Leadership Intensive, to teach me what I never learned in Social Work school - how to market myself. With her tried and true, step by step guidance, I found a way to articulate what I have to share with you, and the way I want to share it. I also learned to see the value of what I offer, and to charge that, without apology!
All of this has enabled me to reflect on the journey that I have taken over the past 25 years with new eyes. I recognize that I didn't have anyone to show me the way. I had to find it myself. What an honor it is to share the wisdom I have gained and be able to point out a pathway for others to walk on.
The learning continues!! I have no doubt that this time next year, I will have participated in other expansive opportunities, and will have more "tricks" to share with you, in the service of your healing, transformation, and growth!
I have received an abundance of extravagant gifts this year! I am so grateful for the invitation I received from Dana in HEB in the middle of the dairy section; grateful for the synchronicities that showed me I could say "yes" to such valuable offers, as I have done throughout the year; and grateful to you for receiving, in whatever way you choose, the invitations I have offered, and will continue to offer to you.
I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving in 2017! Wherever you are along your path of healing and spiritual growth, I hope that my story helps you to listen and look for the invitations and opportunities that are making themselves known to you, and to imagine that you can also say "yes!"
Sacred Circles - Sunday December 3, 2:30CST. Come and see how Blessed are the Meekbecomes Blessed are the Empowered.
Sacred Circles - Sunday December 31, 2:30CST. We leave the Beatitudes for this Circle and take a sacred look at our 2017 year, considering what we desire to step into for 2018.
Look for (in the next week!) a brand new online offering for anyone who struggles with a high level of anxiety!!
peace, love and healing to you! Alisa
Eye of the Heart
Spiritual Director, LCSW, DreamWorker, and Contemplative