“All that counts in life is intention.” Andrea Bocelli
How did I think that I was guided through life? Drifting aimlessly or holding rigidly to a plan? Was it my intention to be conscious or not this past year?
As I look back over my year of magical thinking, I see the dreams set out, I crafted a plan, and I even took bold steps to make it unfold exactly the way I believed was best for me. The question arises then as the year nears its calendar end, a temporal check on the pulse of how I am doing, why do I feel more lost now than ever before? As writing has in the past for me, it releases from within that which give guidance. So as before, I decide to write my way out of this conundrum.
If you look at any of my vision boards, my creative approach to setting a strategic path for my life, I throw out everything on it but the kitchen sink to see what sticks. It may seem as I look back that I am hedging my bets so that the universe responds to the “ask, believe, receive” concept and will not disappoint. And while I feel lost now, any objective person may look at my life from the outside in and think with everything that has transpired, how could she ever be even remotely let down by what has unfolded over the past year. Reviewing what has appeared on the stage of my life, in October 2015, with the tremendous support of family and friends, I published my first book The Magical Guide to Bliss and launched S.H.I.N.E. Miami, an incredible opportunity to network with amazing people in our community. With authors and creators like Pam Grout, Amy Butler, and Janet Woods providing uplifting words of inspiration, my journey as a published author began. In December, after two incredibly successful book launches at the fabulous Neiman Marcus in Miami and at Vanbarry’s Public House in Orlando, Todd Schnick graciously hosted me for my first radio interview on his insightful podcast Intrepid. In January, after I received my first review from Kirkus that praised it as a successful, progressive daily handbook about awareness, creativity, gratitude and fulfillment, I delighted in discussing my book on A to Zen radio with Simone Gers. In February, my first televised interview aired on CNN Espanol in Spanish with the estimable Ismael Cala introducing myself to an expanded market in the Americas. Thanks to amazing neighbors, I did not have dream that one up on my own. In March, I was invited to speak to the Women’s Leadership Committee led by Pamela Kohl with the Florida International Business Association (FIBA) chats introducing my approach to bliss with the business community in Miami expanding my own network. In April, I headlined m y bookstore debut with the artist Hector Prado, musician Valerie Prado and the Columbus Avenue Band, and Stela Rudd at Books & Books. It was an incredible collaboration of creativity expressed through words, music, painting, aromatherapy and sweet wine and dessert called La Dolce Vita. I was subsequently interviewed for The Famous Touch on how the written word mixes with spirituality. In May, I traveled to Tampa to participate in the Oxford Exchange Book Fair where I was able to mingle with the literary community and met some incredible fellow authors. In June, the Magical Guide to Bliss got me an invitation to tour the East Wing of the Obama White House with my family. In July, I participated in the American Library Association Conference in Orlando. In August, I had a great radio interview on the Pete Oshea show prior to participating and speaking in September in Tampa at the 2016 On Pointe Book Fair.
With an incredible team, I chaired S.H.I.N.E. Miami 2016, Spirit.Hope.Insight.Networking.Event, in October presenting a day filled with inspirational speakers, workshops and an opportunity to network, reunite with friends and meet new people connecting in a positive way to collaborate and make a difference in our little corner of the world. This year we were able to make an impact on future generations by providing two educational scholarships called S.H.I.N.E. Ambassadors Award to two young innovative leaders in our community who have already and will continue to make a positive mark on this world. And, in November, I will end the year showcasing The Magical Guide to Bliss at the incredibly popular and exciting Miami International Book Fair alongside some of my favorite writers and personalities, Trevor Noah, Maureen Dowd and Broadway actor extraordinaire Alan Cummings.
In addition to getting a personally signed letter from the Tony Award winning Lin Manuel Miranda praising my book, I received the Gold award from the Nonfiction Author’s Association, a Five Star review from Readers’ Favorites and an Honorable Mention from The Hollywood Book Festival. In addition to Kirkus Reviews, I have received excellent reviews featured in the Midwest Book Review and PW Select, a subsidiary of Publishers Weekly. Even the Senior Director of Communications from the OWN Network wrote to me thanking me for sharing my continued journey in this world and for being a beacon of light and hope and positive energy to all those I interact with. She reflected that is was a pleasure to meet people like me and it is our honor to see me flourish. Not to mention, most importantly, the incredible emails, texts and letters I get from those readers and now friends who believe in me and invested in my book. Their words continue to inspire me as they share with me how my guide changed their lives for the better. So for a first effort, you would think I could only be walking on Cloud Nine with gratitude.
So as I look back on all of this, with so much accomplished while working a day job, taking care of young kids and balancing the responsibilities of life, why do I feel lost?
What was my intention this past year anyway?
Then, I am reminded of the wise words I know my mother must have said over and over again, everything you go through has a reason, you just need to be patient as you slowly discover what that is. I know that there is great transformation going on in my life, perhaps your life too. Perhaps my ultimate intention was to figure out which direction I take my professional and personal career so that I may fully live my purpose and calling. This is and can be very scary if it is a less than conventional turn of events. It may be time to let go of those dreams that I have clearly outgrown. Perhaps those dreams were too small for what God has waiting for you. Your imagination just needs to think bigger, create bolder, and dream something up that befits your more incredible self. Last week, after 18 years of working in my agency, I was informed that I did not get a promotion for a position in my office. What is worse for my ego, I was informed that while my soft skills and emotional intelligence was off the charts, I was technically not the best qualified for the position. This is after doing what was tantamount to the same job with praise and recognition for the past 16 years. That evening, I sat with the rest of my fellow Americans watching the hope for the first Women President of the United States of America slip away, only to be replaced by a far less qualified man who clearly showed that he lacked the character to do the job. Anger and disappointed set in. The feeling of grief overwhelmed me. My body, that lacked ample sleep to combat germs, succumbed to a cold that is still with me almost one week later.
Where does that leave me today? With incredible awareness that everything happens for a reason I just don’t know what that reason is right now. As I keep sending mixed messages out into the universe, my soul requesting the guidance to direct my next step receives answers that my ego sometimes does not wish to accept. As long as I am in the space of the ego, my intention for magic and miracles can be thwarted by feelings of disappointment, anger and pain. Allowing for the grace and humility to heal those wounds, I will be able to let go and get grateful for answers that will actually free me to explore an alternate and even more amazing reality. Like a well worn pair of shoes, it is time to acknowledged the gifts received for the protection that they offered on my journey and yet find a new pair that will meet the new demands this new path has to offer.
I wonder to myself was this the lesson I intended to learn this past year? It is a year of magical thinking. It must be for life is about manifesting what you want. It does appear to be time to rise up with awareness to finally go past the things that have hampered my growth for so long. This journey is not about competing with others to have a determination as to who is better than the other. That will only mislead you to continue to go to a place that no longer provides what you need to sustain you in your future. Look to the magical synchronicity and be grateful for closed doors as they will force you to turn around and with courage not waste another moment waiting to cross into the ones that are wide open. Even my sister has asked me on numerous occasions, when will you feel that you are a success on this new part of your journey? I know now that it is when I truly make the decision to start to BELIEVE IN MYSELF, that would be my answer today. I think the first moment that you and I actually believe in ourselves and with confidence embrace the path and all that life offers to you, that is when the feeling of being lost will set aside replaced by an excitement and passion for that something that is about to enter your world. That is neither drifting aimlessly or holding rigid to a plan. That is me responding to the delightful cues given to me lovingly by a universe of abundance, going consciously with the flow, open to all the beauty that it has to offer. I suppose that is really what I intended all along! Look what happens when you write a little book and get courageous to what is in store. Cannot wait to see what happens next! And then hope returns and it is time to ask the question anew, what is your intention now?