Sunday, August 29, 2010

Friendship and Gratitude

The mystic poet Hafiz reminds me of my dear friend Elaine. Elaine was an artist, a poet and a woman who lived life fully and with so much love, light and spirit ... cancer took her from this earthly existence but her soul and her spirit continues to live on in the hearts of so many people whose hearts she forever touched. Elaine introduced me to the poet Hafiz, and through Hafiz I found my way to Rumi. I met Elaine at a Discovery writing workshop ... a workshop where we were asked to "listen deeply. Write your truths. See new possibilities, and Come Alive in your own way."

I can still remember vividly standing at the bottom of the steps of the building in St. Paul after our second Saturday class, and somehow something drew us together and we began a conversation, a connection ... and 2 hours later we were still standing at the bottom of the steps, talking. It's been hard for me to open my heart to true, authentic, deep friendship connections. I guess you can say it's old hurts, old fears ... a way to protect that little girl in me who has always felt like when she finally loves with all her heart, that she will lose what she loves, through death or abandonment. I know now that the loss of my father at the age of 4 is so deep-rooted. So Elaine challenged me to love again, to build a deep, authentic friendship. And so we had incredible times of sharing and connection but the truth is, I was scared and without realizing it I withdrew into the safety of my shell and threw myself into work and volunteerism. Yet somehow Elaine, always knew ... she could see right through me and she loved me regardless. Unconditional love. She was giving me the most precious gift and I wasn't even aware of it. Elaine died on Friday, April 17, 2009, 17 months after her initial diagnosis of cancer. She had a headache .. a headache that wouldn't go away and kept getting worse.... cancer had spread to the lining of her brain. I was in San Diego for business and wanted so desperately to make it back in time to say goodbye. As I was waiting to get on my plane early that Friday morning I learned my dear friend Elaine had passed away. She continues to appear in my dreams and to be in my heart. Even up in heaven she's reassuring me that I'm okay and that she knows I love her. And she's telling me I need to open up my heart and that there's no reason to be afraid.

And so I have ... and I believe God led me to the wild dolphins in Bimini. While there I could feel Elaine's presence. She appeared to me, along with my father, during one of our quantum light breath meditations which put me in a trance like state that I had never experienced in my life before. Her loving presence is always with me. And I believe the dolphins led me to my friend Michele, who in so many ways reminds me of Elaine - pure light and love. I've been given another chance to learn to love deeply in friendship and so we have begun a beautiful, soul-like friendship like the one I had with Elaine. This time, I feel Elaine by my side. She's holding my hand as she teaches me that loving deeply is the only way to live! I love you Elaine and I still miss you. And Michele, I love you too and I am grateful beyond words for the gift of your friendship ... thank you for seeing me and thank you especially for seeing the little girl in me and enticing her and creating a safe environment for her to come out and play!

With Elaine by my side, I commit to walking and venturing into territory that once terrified me ... true friendship! Thank you Elaine!

Where Dolphins Dance

The work starts
As soon as you open your eyes in the

Hopefully you got
Some good rest last night.

Why go into the city or the fields
Without first kissing
The Friend

Who always stands at your door?
It takes only a second.

Habits are human nature -
Why not create some that will mint

Your arms are violin bows
Always moving.

I have become very conscious upon
Whom we all play.

Thus my eyes have filled with warm
Soft oceans of divine music

Where jeweled dolphins dance
Then leap into this

~ Hafiz ~

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