I heard it in her voice when I told her I had embarked upon the program. She didn't say it out loud but I knew what she was thinking:
"I've been doing A Course in Miracles and talking to you about it for 17 years. You find a program with the same stuff and NOW you're in love with it!?"
They say when the student is ready the teacher appears but Kristen has been my teacher for years!
I got the book years ago myself, went to some meetings and wrote some songs following a few of the teachings back in the early 90s. Reading the book from cover to cover was impossible for me. My dyslexic tendencies wouldn't let me go beyond the first paragraph of a new lesson if I didn't understand it. Needless to say, the second third and fourth paragraph helped illustrate the first, But the book seemed so verbose that I couldn't wrap my mind around it let alone get it into my heart.
But my sister was relentless. Loving me through my unwillingness and resistance, she shared with me just what I was ready for at any given moment. I learned from her to ask to see things differently. That one lesson allowed me to shift and change my whole cAnswer dance experience from traumatic to thrilling!
She taught me how to go within and ask Holy Spirit for guidance and answers to questions. I got really good at that but even better at listening to the directives from Spirit. How else could I have heard "Have fun with it all!" and "Sing your way through it. You have all the tools you need." I don't think I could've heard those life-affirming messages had I not had Kristen's guidance.
She tried to impress upon me that I am not my body, but being in a body that was suffering, that was a bit much to hear. I believed her ability to see that for me though, enabling me to heal more fully more quickly.
She taught me deeper meanings of "Oneness" and of the Christ Spirit within all beings. She lives the principles more than anyone I know and can catch herself when she's not.
When I found this 40-day journey within, thanks to Kristen, I was ready, Never a more transformational experience has occurred. I'm on Day 21 and we are NOT supposed to share yet but I just can't keep it to myself! Sorry, Lisa Natoli, but you just rock the Course so beautifully! I will post this on the proper Facebook page to "come clean" and to say out loud that I will never be the same!
Thank you, Kristen, for being my first teacher in so many things, but especially for loving me through A Course in Miracles!
Birthdays have always been a really big deal in my family. My mother was famous for throwing colorful parties filled with laughter and song. My earliest birthdays were "frocked with frills." In my pre-teens they evolved into glorious slumber parties complete with séances and dancing in the dark in front of posters of David Cassidy and Donny Osmond.
My teens brought high school friends to our house to play charades, be stuffed into a small closet, and singing around the piano until the wee hours of the morning. My mother orchestrated all of this every year.
I naturally picked up her love of laughter and gathering together in song. When I moved to Florida at 20, what I missed most was being there for my mother's birthday. So from Sarasota, I organized, sent invitations and created a surprise party for my mom's 45th birthday! My sister was involved and lead mom into her apartment which was filled with people who loved her. I was on the phone and could hear the expression on her face. Although I was the only one not in attendance, I was pleased that I pulled it off and that she had a wonderful time without me.
In 2011 it was my stepmom, Mary Ann, who threw my 50th birthday party. My mother, of course, was there as were many of my old high school friends as well as current friends from my church community and singing groups. It was the last party before the cAnswer Dance which began six months later.
The celebrations now have taken on a whole new meaning. Last year, I threw myself a party/concert at Unity Bloomington, Indiana. My 55th birthday was the first one in my life without my mother. She made her transition in April 2015. In April 2016, Daddy crossed over. I realized early on that the older I grew the more people I would lose, but nothing prepared me for being on this planet without both of them at the same time!
But I am still on this planet and that alone is worth celebrating. So I do! Sometimes with friends and sometimes by myself but always with music. Having survived the cAnswer Dance three times now, I celebrate every day. When I reach a milestone like another birthday, the thrill of still being alive is inexplicable. Not only do I get to celebrate my life and my survival, but I get to celebrate the two people who brought me into the world and who treated me with the love and encouragement to be able to dance with cAnswer in the first place! So many blessings!
Celebrate with me the birthing of a new day everyday.
And Happy Birthday to YOU!
I have never liked the statement "It is what it is". To me it sounds pat, like the oh too familiar, "Whatever." "It is what it is" sounds like there's only one way "it" is. That is never the case. Every situation has multiple facets in many colors and an infinite number of ways to look at it. Perception changes everything does it not?
I learned about perception when I recognized that my sister had a happy childhood and I did not! We came from the same famn damily! That's when I started to notice the different stories she and I told. When I started telling better stories, I had a happier childhood! Imagine that! Not that things in the past have changed, but seeing it all from a different perspective, shifts not only my memories of it but the way it feels.
This was an incredible awakening in my life -- to know that even my past can feel better when I consciously focus on what's good about it. Focusing on the good in whatever happened within and around me became a daily practice when I "took it on the road" in 99. I toured the country for 12 1/2 years. It felt like a lifetime of conscious practice in positive perception. So when I was diagnosed with stage 3C ovarian cancer in 2012, I got to REALLY practice this.
I talk at length about how I had fun with cancer and how having fun helped me heal from three cAnswer (my way of spelling cancer) occurrences and 36 chemotherapy treatments in my new book, Holy Shift! Everything's a Gift! Suffice it to say that I have come to know that how I see something changes it dramatically.
A shift of perspective is indeed a Holy shift as it is up to me to choose to see it differently in the first place. I use a sentence from A Course in Miracles, "Show me a different way to see this." Then I breathe, open, listen and allow. It's amazing how, by reframing and renaming what most people think of as terrible, traumatic, poison and deadly, even cAnswer and Chemo/Dreamo can be filled with love, laughter, sweetness and fun and that it matters!
This sentence "It is what it is" had just become a popular cultural declaration when my sister and I had an opportunity to drive together to a singing engagement. I brought it up in conversation. "You know I really don't like the sentence "It is what it is" and told her what I described above.
She asked "What would you rather we say?"
"It is what I make it." The window was open and she didn't hear me correctly.
"What did you say?" she asked.
I repeated myself. She still didn't hear me. I told her to roll up her window. When I repeated it a third time, she started laughing. "What did you think I said?" I asked incredulously.
She replied, "I thought you said, 'It is when I'm naked,' both times! I was trying to figure out that if it IS when I'm naked, then it's NOT when I am clothed?"
By then I was in hysterics too. Laughter is such a wonderful thing! It helps me shift my perspective as does singing, dancing and meditating.
It IS what I MAKE it! What a great thing to know!
New Thought Advocate and well-known musician and workshop facilitator, Lauren Lane Powell, discovered she had Stage 3C Ovarian Cancer in the prime of her life. She offers wisdom gained from a lifetime of learning to live in love.
"We met on www.blogtalkradio.com/ ggmradio, on my show Namaste Nutrition. Lauren,you are such a wonderful inspiration, and to this day remain one of my favorite radio guests. Your magic, ethereal beauty, and journey was such an inspiration to me and to my audience."
-- Host of radio show “Namaste Nutrition”
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