Living What You Are Meant to Teach

I was once told, by a charming psychic from Australia, that I didn’t come to this earth to live comfortably or amass wealth. Instead, he told me, I came here to complete all my karma! I don’t even know if this is possible. But looking back on the 74 years I have now been on this planet, I can’t argue that I have worked on (and, thankfully, completed) a LOT! 

For 45 years I was a privately-practicing Marriage and Family Counselor and Psychotherapist. How many times I drew from my own learning in order to help my clients! It was as if I went through challenges, in order  to help others. This trend seems to be on-going. Let me give you examples, just from the last 18 months of my life.

My dear husband, Bob, a neurosurgeon who saved the lives of so many people in his lifetime, died of complications of prostate cancer in January of 2016. He had been ill for more than 5 years. He chose to end his life because of his immense pain, bravely entering Hospice and giving up all efforts to keep himself alive. Our 6 children (his, mine and ours) supported us both through this process. It was amazing; akin to having a 10-day pajama party, during which we reminisced, told stories, looked at photographs, sang, played games, and took care of Bob. We worked with a team to help Bob accomplish his new goal. He had long told me he wanted his daughters to be gathered around when he died. He did!

After he died, it was my intention to sit in my home for a year and contemplate my navel. I felt I needed the rest. For some strange reason, a month before Bob became ill, a medium and friend of mine (who had made very accurate life predictions in my past), informed me that Bob would not be living “for too much longer.” I didn’t tell Bob, or his daughters, because I didn’t want to influence their journey. “Why,” I wondered, was I told about his impending death, and then be in the position of going on with life, as if death were not looming? Over time, I realized I will be helping others through similar processes, because we are all becoming more conscious. We will all be in the position of knowing something about how life will be unfolding, yet needing to go forward with life, as if things are not unfolding in the way we know: conscious of the future, yet needing to stay focused on the present.

I didn’t sit still, not at all. First, I traveled to Ecuador for two weeks! Our daughter, Robin, had been working in Ecuador over 7 years, running a Maternal Health program (Jungle Mamas) for the nonprofit, Pachamama. Neither Bob nor I had gone in support of her, to see her world and what she was doing. In a few months, she was planning to return to the States to attend graduate school in Berkeley, California. It was right then, or never! I needed to take a parent-support trip to visit Robin’s world and work. This trip was the best thing I could have done for myself. Between Robin and her friends and colleagues, and the magic of the country, itself, I felt like my heart was opened and loved while I was visiting!

When I returned, my son, Jon, pointed out to me that my best financial move was to sell our family home, invest the proceeds, and live less expensively. It made sense to me. I cast around for what I wanted to do, instead, coming up with the idea that I’d like to travel in an RV, bringing my message about emotions to others through speaking, writing and teaching. For nearly 9 months, I cleaned out a 3-bedroom home that held the “remains” of 6 marriages–three for Bob, and three for me (including ours). A seemingly endless task, I was amazed to find my children, my neighbors and friends, and even my realtors helping me with this work. At the same time, I continued working with my psychotherapy clients, and broadcasting Full Power Living, the Internet radio program I’d been creating and hosting for nearly 13 years that focused on “awakening the world to the power and importance of human emotions.” I came to treasure the days on which I’d sit on my back deck, surrounded by the container garden I started there so I could stay close to Bob, listening to the wind whistle in the tall trees, watch the deer and wild turkeys stroll through the yard, and hear the peace in my heart.

That was the key. Though this was all stressful and challenging, I was peaceful in my heart. I could see that despite all that was happening in my life, what I had been teaching about emotions actually worked! I was following my own advice, and despite all, I was peaceful, positive, and ready to step out into new experiences.

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