I can still play out in my mind the lovestruck feelings and thoughts that would overtake me after each weekend I spent with Mara. There was such a feeling of the miraculous and the incredulous. There was so much celebration of life when we'd speak or write or sometimes just sit.
You've probably read some of the emails by now. Our in-person conversations weren't much different. We weren't bonding over past pains, we weren't commiserating about ways we perceived we'd been wronged. We weren't focusing on past, present, or future challenges as some kind of obstacle, but instead relishing in what had been or could be learned both in spite of those challenges, and because of them.
Every time I'd begin the 4 hour trek back to Boston from NYC, it would involve long phone calls to parents, siblings, or friends. When you feel that full of joy, when deep connection is happening despite previous loss, when healing is being experienced in the present moment in such a beautiful way...you want to talk about it. Better yet, you want to shout it from the rooftops.
That, my friends, is how Mara and I feel just about every time we get off one of these mentor calls, or when we finish with a retreat. You might think I'm overstating things...surely I don't mean that falling in love with Mara is comparable to speaking with near strangers!
But I do. In part because not much has changed. Each event, each mentor session over Skype, each walk in the park, and each email exchange we've had time for...my hope is that every time it is a celebration. Though there is often both sympathy and empathy for those we meet and the challenges they face, there is also excitement for what lies ahead.
One statement I've said many times is "I know this is going to sound a little weird, but I'm actually really excited for you. This may very well be a key turning point for you. What might be hard to see right in this moment, is this challenge you face is the very reason you're going to learn what healing really is, and that it comes in the face of the hardest things we come up against."
Why would I say that? Because I've seen it over and over again, in my own life, in Mara's life, and in the lives of countless people. So, yeah, I feel like celebrating.
In the past few months, we've mentored people who've lost a child to miscarriage, or who've discovered they were having a child they didn't expect and didn't feel ready for, or who've struggled knowing they'd not yet met the partner they wanted to have children with. We've spent hours with people in the middle of divorce, people wondering about the future of their marriage, and people wanting to make sure they are present to offer the best to their marriage.
And with so many of these wonderful human beings, we've had that session where they come back after a homework assignment, telling us stories of incredible triumph. The kind of stuff that makes you want to cry for joy, because somebody just caught a glimpse of what they are capable of. Somebody just experienced serenity in a moment they would have thought it impossible. Somebody discovered that serenity is actually a part of them, something they have control over. Somebody just discovered the power of aligning with Love, or Mercy, or Integrity, or Appreciation.
So what am I shouting from the rooftops today? The same thing I was 6 years ago when I was dating Mara. That peace can be felt right in the middle of your most difficult experiences. That love and compassion can be cultivated even when you feel you've been harmed. That both favorable and unfavorable experiences in life can help us understand who we really are, and what we are capable of.
I look forward to the coming weeks. These events we have planned are the best way I could ever imagine spending 10 hours of my day - knowing that someone is going to experience the paradigm shift they need to bring healing and strength and love back into their lives.
I hope to see you there!
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