The Lives We Touch When We Live True to Our Souls
So, I went to Minnesota last weekend. I love Minnesota in the summertime. The trees….the trees! (I’m a big tree-hugger, in case you didn’t know/hadn’t guessed.) The water. The energy of the land. Yummy.
I was invited by my friend and colleague, Cathryn Taylor, on the occasion of her 70th birthday celebration. Cathryn and I met through the Edge magazine, where I was the monthly astrology columnist for a few years. She is a true pioneer in the healing community, author of The Inner Child Workbook and several other books. She’s also a generous, kind, honest, funny, and curious soul.
So when Cathryn asked me to come and call in the directions for her celebration…well, how could I refuse?
My initial plan was to do what I usually do – let people know I’m going to be in town and schedule readings around the main event. But this was one of those trips where almost nothing went as planned. I hadn’t visited the Twin Cities since 2011 — when my organizational skills were worse than they are now. So when I looked up my Minnesota contacts, I only found a handful of names.
Cathryn booked me at a hotel near the airport for my return flight on Monday because we both thought the flight was departing at 8 a.m. When, in fact, it was really scheduled for 8 p.m. (And, true to form, didn’t leave until much later because of thunderstorms in the area.)
Anyway, there was a lot of driving back and forth, uncertainty about hotels, general low-level chaos, no clients, and…IT WAS A GREAT TRIP!
I had thought I was only going to get to spend Saturday with Cathryn (and 40 other birthday party guests). Instead, I spent virtually the whole weekend with her and her family. And we had the best time. Going for walks, talking about life, driving around in circles while talking about life, swimming in Lake Minnetonka at sunset. I left Minnesota feeling like I’d gained another family.
I felt like I knew Cathryn pretty well before last week. We’ve done some deep work together and we’ve also shared at least one past lifetime as Native Americans in the Midwest, a lifetime that continues to resurface in our work. But this trip filled in a lot of gaps for me.
Listening to Cathryn talk openly and honestly about the challenges she’s faced over 70 years and how each of the challenges led her to a new level in her healing work (and usually resulted in a new book) was super inspiring. And getting to see her through the stories and reflections of other people whose lives she has touched was super cool.
And…I got to meet two of my new best friends, Cathryn’s twice-husband Arthur and her border collie, Avery.
Maybe my biggest takeaway from the trip was a deeper sense of gratitude for how blessed I am to be able to do what I do with the people I get to do it with. For those of us who are artists, counselors, bloggers, makers, and teachers — and moms, and dads, and young people who haven’t found their path yet but are living with courage and imagination — it’s easy to poo-poo the good we put into the world.
It’s easy to buy into the Big Lie that says that you must not be doing enough or be good enough or be spiritual enough because you still struggle with relationships or money or your weight. Or because hardly anyone outside of your circle of friends knows about your work.
It’s easy to forget that, just because that person whose life you touched never came back to say thank you or tell you how her entire life changed after meeting you, it doesn’t mean that the seed you planted with your kindness and heart didn’t eventually bear fruit.
You may never know about that person who was going to kill himself and then something in that song you wrote made him stop and see himself in a new light. You might not ever know how your courage as a single mom who chooses to feed her kids good food and invest in their emotional well-being rather than chase after fame or riches changed the life trajectory of the little girl your kids play with.
Every once in a while I’ll hear from a client who did one astrology reading with me, ten years ago. “DK,” they’ll say, “You probably don’t remember me, but…”
And then I hear this amazing story about how I happened to say just the thing they needed to hear at that moment. And how they’re certain they wouldn’t be living the amazing adventure of their life right now if it hadn’t been for that reading.
I’ve watched Cathryn go through her own ups and downs for the last decade. Seeing her on her 70th birthday, laughing harder than ever, still innovating, still touching people’s lives with her heart and her passion for rescuing lost inner children…
It reminded me that choosing to share our creativity and light and kindness day by day, while refusing to deny our humanity, our foibles, our struggles, that’s a big deal. That’s how, over the course of a lifetime, we change the world together.