Several years ago my life and business coach Bill Brakemeier asked attendees what we wanted to get out of his Embracing Your Potential seminar. I thought the other attendees were more evolved than I was because they all said they wanted to “be more present.” Puzzled, I didn’t know that being present was something I should aim for. I thought that some day I would understand and that I, too, would want to learn to be more present.In the time that has passed I’ve learned that being the last-born — along with the lucky benefits of wearing hand-me-downs, living up to my athletic and intelligent older sisters’ reputations, getting to do my own activities only when there was an opening on the already full family calendar, and getting the last 27 seconds in the bathroom before the yellow Chrysler station wagon left the driveway — being the last-born delivered with it the ability to be present.
Being present allowed me to love the time I would spend with my son Dominic putting together puzzles. It allowed me to find gratitude in the middle-of-the-night wakings. When my grandparents each died, I didn’t mourn their passing with sadness. I celebrated their liveliness. When my husband Gino was so, so, sick, being present allowed me to make each life-saving decision with clarity and certainty. Yes, presence has been quite a gift.
Healing and modern medicine
A gifted massage therapist enabled me to continue my new age normalcy. We called the massage room in her house “God’s Room.” When I broke a finger and the doctor told me I might have to have surgery to reattach my tendon, Suzanne spent night after night after night breaking up scar tissue in my injured finger. When we got the slightest movement out of that finger, she assured me that surgery wasn’t necessary. The doc confirmed her prognosis. This was when I made the jump from “believing” modern medicine wasn’t always the cure-all to “knowing” modern medicine isn’t always the cure-all.Hypnotherapy has helped me manage and alleviate pain. Hypnobirthing helped me bring Dominic into the world, and hypnosis meant the end of chewing tobacco for my husband (an “A-Ticket to Heaven” Catholic). Gino
‘s current use of hypnosis is to reconnect his memory to his legs, reintroducing him to the way he used to walk. To neither of us did hypnosis seem at all strange. Among other things, this fell into the category of “won’t hurt, might help.”
And indeed, it does.
The power within
When Gino and I became Body-for-LIFE Champions
, I learned the most about my own power. My Grandma (who died 3 years ago today) had always told me I could do anything that I decided to do. It took 12 weeks
to prove it to myself. After I lost 30 pounds, 7% body fat, and 7 dress sizes, I became one of those “before and after” stories that people view in disbelief. At the end of 12 weeks I realized that Grandma was right.
This revelation has gotten me through many, many tough situations.Last year when Gino
got Guillain-Barre Syndrome
was when I most needed to be aware of my inner strength. (It is also when I realized I am still grateful for modern medicine.)Everyday New Ager
I’ve been in the publishing industry for more than 10 years. Deciding what books we could and could not help market, there was always a stack of books on the night-stand. The ones that got read first, and most thoroughly, were on the spectrum of New Age / Self Help. Wine in hand, my business partner Kim and I
would enjoy in-depth, after work discussions about the juiciest books. The book industry brought me face-to-face with many New Age notables. I’ve shared a platform with Jay Abraham, Mark Victor Hansen
, and Jack Canfield
; held the hands of Louise Hay
, shared a prayer with Doreen Virtue
, and gotten a reading from Monte Farber
Unlike my sisters, I’m not sure I ever experienced that one eye-opening moment. And oddly enough I still find comfort in the same Lutheran church I attended when I was my son’s age. Does it deliver all of the answers to life and the after life? I’m not sure. But is a good place for my son to learn to believe in something bigger than himself, and how to treat others with love? You bet.
So here ends the story of how my inner beliefs were formed.
Naw. It was probably the time I drove Lori’s car before I had my license and prayed to each and every GOD ever exalted that I wouldn’t get caught. Yeah. That’s it.
OK, everyone. You can relax now. I’m out of sisters.
Wait a second…what was that about my car???
photo, l-r: Tami, Sheri, me. For a slightly older photo, click here.