Into the deep end:
Towards the end of my month-long stay on the island of Kauai I had checked into a cute little single bunkhouse at a sprawling B&B on the outskirts of Kapa’a. Each evening after dinner I would sit on my small patio which looked out onto the lush gardens and the Pacific undulating on the far horizon. The innkeeper stopped by nightly for a chat while his Border Collie, Max would try to catch the evening toads that came out after the tropical rains.
One evening I headed to bed early after a day of kayaking the Na Pali Coastline. I climbed up into the bunk and drifted off to sleep. Lying on my back, I began to have the mystical experience of my mind’s eye opening to a vision of where I was in a crystal blue lagoon being guided by two dolphins who led me farther out into the calm, pristine ocean. When I awoke the next morning I knew I had to practice some sort of healing work.
I’d been having mystical experiences over the course of two years since my journey into yoga, which was the gateway to meditation. In that time I’d experienced a variety of sensations, visions and “downloads” of wisdom from a higher guidance. Now two crafty dolphin guides had sealed the deal for me to venture forth and be some kind of healer.
It was 2001 and I found myself in Kauai after waves of corporate layoffs blazed through Silicon Valley where thousands of people (me included) lost their jobs in the dot-com bomb. While many of my friends were pouring themselves into job searches by day and pink-slip parties at the bars by night, I decided to get off the mainland and out of the fear spiral for a while.
Returning home, I had no idea how to embark as a “healer”, particularly since I still thought acupuncture was a little woo-woo. I followed my passion of design and gardening into designing healing gardens, I went to massage school, but neither felt right.
While my spiritual side opened more, I noticed my intuitive senses opened along with it. I began to know things about people, I began to sense energy from passersby on the street. My hands were like divining rods leading me into the unknown.
Then a friend of mine gave me a book about Reiki. Something in this book resonated with me. It sounded true, it somehow made sense, while making no sense. Yet more than what the book offered was this knowing, this nudging that I had to do this.
It’s going on sixteen years since I began my private practice in Reiki healing. I began this career at a time when nobody had even really heard of Reiki. The first seven years of building a practice and making a livelihood on something that was so intangible to people was definitely challenging.
I stood on downtown street corners and handed out flyers at morning rush hour. I hoofed it around San Francisco to accommodate clients at three different locations from the Marina, to Fi-Di, to Noe Valley. I went back to an old standby skillset of waiting tables at night to keep my days free for clients until I got fired from five restaurants in one year. On top of everything, my family back east thought I had joined a cult.
I was in my early thirties living in a tiny Mission District studio. I was far from the marriage and kids track and had absolutely no financial security. And there were countless times when I thought, “Geez, maybe I should get my resume together.”
Yet even though it was scary to live on the fray of what societal norms dictated as “stable”, I was happy, totally at peace. And it wasn’t even because I necessarily thought I was living my purpose, it was because when I saw a stressed-out client leave my office in a restored, relaxed, state of being, I felt joyful.
We are spirits having a human experience. There is a plan for all of us, a purpose for us to fulfill. And the path of that purpose is... let’s just say, well-curated. It’s loopy and dynamic and textured and thrilling.
As we embark on the path with our spirit, we do so with an inherent knowing that “this is the way”. When we are connected to source, that path is always well-lit. It’s our ego which makes it dark, murky and scary.
No one knows your purpose better than you. No one will ever knock on your door and say, “Good morning, ready to embark on your purpose-driven journey today?”
What will begin to happen is that you’ll feel lackluster. You’ll keep hitting obstacles. Those obstacles will feel like dead-ends because you just don’t have the drive to navigate them anymore.
When this begins to happen it’s spirit signaling that time at your current role is up. It doesn’t mean you’ve been wasting time at what you’re doing. It means that you’ve received everything you need from that role and it’s now time for more growth and evolution.
We are spirits having a human experience. There is a plan for all of us, a purpose for us to fulfill. And the path of that purpose is... let’s just say, well-curated. It’s loopy and dynamic and textured and thrilling. And yes, ego will scream, “this is f@&king scary as sh&t!” But, I encourage you to keep going. Get quiet and find what brings you joy. See how that joy begins to inform how you show up in the world and allow space for that to unfold.