|I'm making a pilgrimage to see The Birth of Venus this summer|
And finally, if that's not enough, things do just simply FALL APART.
And most of the time our reaction is like this:
Oh, no, no, no, no, no! This isn't happening!
Why is this happening to me?
Think of it as an amazing blessing. Something has shook up your world to allow something more amazing to enter. This is the truth I have found. But if you would have told me that four years ago, I would have told you to f@%$ off! Because people always have words of wisdom when YOUR world is following apart.
But coming out the other end of that long tunnel, I can tell you that this is what I've experienced. Every single catastrophe has been an amazing opportunity in my life that I'm infinitely grateful for. Had I not experienced this chaos, I would not know the life I know now.
Shortly after my marriage fell apart, I decided to join Miss Indigo Blue's Academy of Burlesque in Seattle. I signed up for a month-long class. In that class, I created a new identity. I became Venus on Fire. I spent that month using all the raw material I felt on the inside to become Venus on Fire on the outside. I got my inspiration from Sandro Botecelli's painting The Birth of Venus. In this painting, Venus is full of purity and naivete inside a white shell for all to admire. She is an image of femininity and beauty. But that's not it. To me there is so much more.
So I began my act at Oddfellows Hall on Capital Hill, Seattle inside a shell, just like the painting. But The Birth of Venus became a death on stage. It was the end of something innocent and what I believed to be true and the beginning of something powerful and beyond my control. The lights went out and everything turned to RED. There was an explosion. I came out of the darkness hidden behind huge red isis wings that revealed a new life. I was fiery, sexy, powerful and wise. I was what Shocking Blue sang about. I was the "goddess on a mountain top, burning like a silver flame, the summit of beauty and love, and Venus was her name!"
I am Venus on Fire!
I was a phoenix rising from the ashes.
I represented all women who felt unpowerful or small or unsexy or under-appreciated.
That one act changed me. An image of me on stage was even painted by, not Sandro Botecelli, but a painter I admire. He captured my inner strength and beauty on canvas. The first picture is the actual photo from my performance and below that is the painting.
I thought, Great, not only did my marriage fall apart, but now I'm going to die.
In ER they wanted to do surgery. I sat right up in my hospital bed and said, "NO! I will not do that." It wasn't a plea. It was a command coming from deep within me. It was a waking up to life. Once I said it, everything in me shifted yet again. My inside said, "OK, you can choose to live, but if you do, there's a huge responsibility."
The responsibility wasn't about doing anything, it was about BE-ING. Being a spirit in a human body. Being HERE on the planet. Embodying who I am completely.
It was a shift from ticking off goals and becoming something, to being right where I am in this moment. And the next moment. And the next moment. One at a time.
It's hard for me to do that. I was used to just forging ahead with my agenda. I wasn't accustom to stepping back and letting go and seeing what happens. I wasn't used to letting the river chart it's own course and letting it carry me. I could still set intentions, but the realization that there were larger forces at play, that what I wanted didn't just include me, was huge. I am part of an intricate web of life that affects the entire whole. I am a co-creator of what happens to me. When I let go, there's so much more there. So much richness is there, even in the pain, chaos, unsettledness, and unknowing.
In April, I set an intention to make a pilgrimage to Italy to see Sandro Botecelli's The Birth of Venus painting in Florence. I set that intention and let it go. Now, 50 days before my 50th birthday, I will be there with like-minded seekers. They are healers, artists, writers, dancers and lovers of life. How fortunate to make this pilgrimage together with these beautiful people.
I will be in Italy and Europe for almost 6 weeks. I will work on my next book, Venus on Fire, there. I expect to finish editing the book and sending it off to be published in my 50th year on this EARTH.
I know I'm being guided. We all are. When life feels unbearable. When it feels like you can't take ONE MORE THING, lean into it. Slow down. Watch a bird on a tree sing, really smell a rose or sit on a bench and feel the wind. Life whispers to us all the time. It is only trying to get our attention. It just wants us to acknowledge it.
I have three more spots on my trip to Italy. I'd love it if you'd join me and the other seekers. Please see the link here https://us3.admin.mailchimp.com/campaigns/show?id=3487893. Sometimes we stumble upon things for a reason. It may not make any sense, but there's a point. Keep walking. Moment to moment to moment.
Grazie for reading...there will be much more!