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Present Tense

You know things are dire when you are hoping for a root canal. If the antibiotics kick in by tomorrow afternoon (fingers crossed tightly), Tessa might be able to keep the tooth stub for a few more years. The goal is to hold on to it until she’s a dental adult. Please continue to think toothy thoughts for us (and thanks for the ones you’ve already sent).

After my middle sister, Sheri, guest posted for me, I also blackmailed asked politely asked my youngest sister to tell how she became a New Age Republican. Well, that’s half-right. Her Republican part was the same as Sheri’s and mine. But her New Age path was not.

From Tami:

So my sisters both speak of life-altering moments when their chakras expanded, their minds enlightened and their 3rd eyes opened wide. So when was the moment I became “one of those” New Age people? What if there wasn’t one? 

Being present
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 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.

Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page, and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

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6 Responses

  1. I’m so glad she’s got the antibiotics and codeine. Ron Paul’s a doctor. Too bad he didn’t see the incident – he could have written you guys a prescription immediately. 🙂

  2. Tami – the part of your story that I most relate to is how you balance your new-agey-ness with the faith you grew up with. Actually, it would be wrong to say I relate, but it really intersts me. I wasn’t raised in the church, but my parents are now both very involved in church life, and I’m feeling more and more of a call to go to church. I haven’t quite negotiated all of this yet in myself spiritually, and I’m still working out what I believe. But I really agree that there are some gifts that come with being part of a church or a faith community that are very hard or impossible to get anywhere else. So hearing that you manage to find meaning and sustenance on both paths is inspiring to me. Thanks for posting about this!

  3. Tami, I loved hearing your story. Having been with you on many steps of this path, I loved hearing how your faith has grown each step of the way. You really do have the power to do anything you set your mind to. I’ve seen you do it time and time again. You are amazing!

  4. Dear Tami —I am surprised you still believe in any God….because as I recall, you did get caught driving Lori’s car. You know, Mom’s know everything! How did I figure it out? Well, it might have been because you were about 5’2″ and Lori was much taller. Why was that seat moved up so close to the steering wheel? I wonder!You do have many amazing gifts, including being present, no matter what. Maybe you live in the present because you have no past. As the baby there was no time for pictures or scrap books. Talking and walking was old hat, so we told you to shut up and sit down a lot. But look at the amazing person you turned out to be. I almost don’t feel guilty anymore. You truly live each moment to the fullest and I couldn’t be prouder. LOVE, Mom

  5. Antigone — duh! Why didn’t I think of that at the time!?Anna — BTW, Tami is more familiar with your era. She’s not 21 either ;-).Mom — you crack me up. On a daily basis. You rock, for so many reasons, but mostly for giving me my sisters.

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