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Archive for the ‘Celebrations of Life & Memorials’ Category

“I’ll be there in Spirit” . . . do you really mean it?

You make plans with girlfriends for a fun night out. Something comes up so you have to cancel, and in your text you also say, “but I’ll be there in Spirit!”

Does that mean, for the duration of the event you’re missing, that you will be in prayer or meditation, thinking about your friends and their fun night out?

Or, do you say it just to soften the blow? I get it, you don’t want to offend or dismay your host, and somehow this phrase indicates you’re REALLY sorry.
But, in my view, it’s a cop-out. What is wrong with simply saying, “I won’t be able to attend. I’m so sorry. Hope you have a great time.”
Period.

Why do I think this is such a big deal?
Because, tossing this phrase around cheapens it for when you really DO mean it.

spiritFor example, I recently gave a reiki healing to a client on the other side of the country. A long-distance reiki session.
This involved instructing the client to lie down at a specific time, eyes closed, focusing on their issue.
This involved setting up my reiki room and getting into a deep meditative state, intending that the reiki energy was becoming activated in my client.
In this case, I really WAS there in spirit. Focusing completely on engaging on a spiritual level at a long distance. It’s quite powerful. I did some work with reiki on her solar plexus. After the session she told me she experienced a lot of sensation around her stomach area. I didn’t tell her that’s what I was working on.

OR, during ceremony, when someone has passed and is there in spirit.
I’ve had this experience particularly at baby blessings: when a grandparent has passed, and we invoke their name during the baby blessing. For example, the parents of the baby have experienced a hummingbird buzzing by at the moment the grandparent is mentioned.

During a memorial service, at a sacred moment, something goes a little screwy with the A/V equipment. The client experiences that as the one who’s passed is sending a little ‘hello’ – especially if that person had generally been a fun trickster in their lifetime, too.

Words are powerful. Remember that the next time you catch yourself saying “I’ll be there in spirit!”
The truth is, you really do have the power within you to be there in spirit, whether you experience that through prayer, meditation, or simply spending time focusing  good wishes on another person or situation – it’s an incredible feeling, and can actually be experienced by the other person or have a positive impact.

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Recently I’ve been binge-watching Queer Eye (I’ve never seen it before! – came across it on Netflix), and yes admittedly weeping occasionally :-).

At the heart of the show, the Fab 5 are helping people reconnect with who they really are, that bright unique light inside, remembering their own story, and then taking that story forward in a new way.

I realize in many ways that is what my goal is when working with clients. With a wedding couple, my favorite part of the process is hearing their story, how they met, what made them fall in love. Then incorporating their love story in an authentic way into their wedding ceremony.

aquarium

At Birch Aquarium. Photo by ABM Photography

An opportunity to tell the story of their relationship, and then just imagine it forward into the adventure of their marriage.

When we really connect with who we are, what brings us joy, what brings us purpose – it becomes the essence of any relationship as well.

Even officiating memorial services – maybe especially so – talking with someone about their loved one who has passed is an opportunity to incorporate all the very special qualities of their beloved deceased, the special gifts they brought to the world. Their story of the impact they and their life had on others is the most important aspect of the service.

Rather than just go through the motions of a ritual or tradition, it’s so important to really connect with that part of ourselves, that light, and then have the courage to express it.

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Two weeks ago I had the privilege of performing the memorial service for an extraordinary lady. She had lived an incredible life – she was a seeker, teacher, and healer. And a writer of children’s books.

mothergooseNot just any children’s books. She re-imagined classic childhood tales and brought to them a new awakening for the next generation.

What an incredible legacy she leaves – her books will continue to touch and awaken generations to come.

 

 

 

 

At the service, her son read this beautiful piece from Wake Up Mother Goose:

love poem - matt-illustrated

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2017 marks my 10th anniversary as a ceremony officiant!

kent-and-christine-weddingAnd here is evidence of my very first wedding ceremony (yes, I was a blonde back then!) at the Kona Kai on Shelter Island.

Kent and Christine were so gracious. They knew it was my first gig and they were patient and kind and we all got through it together.
The ceremony was chock full, with several selected poems, unity ceremony, rose presentation, a guest reader, and even a dove release!

I was lucky to have many years’ experience as a wedding planner under my belt at that time, so at least I was familiar with the whole process.

Dale Gottschalk (San Diego DJ) handled ceremony system and music. I’m sure he doesn’t remember it, but his calm professionalism really helped me through (bless you Dale!).

It was thanks to a 6-month training program by veteran Minister Gail Smith that I got my start, learning the ins and outs and sacred elements of officiating a ceremony. A path I had never before envisioned for myself, but one that became my true calling.
Since that first wedding, I have since added baby blessings, memorial services, and home blessings to my umbrella of services.

It has been my joy and privilege to serve couples and families through important and sacred moments in their life, and I greatly look forward to 10 more years (at least!).

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Each time I meet with a couple to discuss their vision for their wedding ceremony, I ask them, “Why is this the one? Why is this the person you want to spend the rest of your life with?”
Some are able to articulate in detail the reasons why they want to marry each other. Others find it a bit more challenging, but often respond, “I just know.”

When people ask me why I do what I do, “why is this the profession I want to spend my life with,” I have a similar response: I just know.

And I can point to one very important reason: Connection

I love helping people connect. What do I mean by that?
In everything I do, it means something different:

Leslies heart

Richard Barlow Photography

WEDDINGS: Connecting with each other. At some point in every wedding ceremony I officiate, there is a moment I witness the couple truly connecting, in a profound way they might not have thought possible. It might last only a few seconds – but it’s there, and powerful. The sacred quality of a wedding ceremony allows for this connection to happen.

 

 

BABY BLESSINGS: Connecting with the profound responsibility and privilege that is parenting. While you are getting this parenting thing down and loving your newborn, a baby blessing ceremony elicits promises you make as parents, the kind of parents you want to be, and what you hope for your child.
Thinking about it, writing it down, and speaking it out loud in front of community is so very powerful in a way that the ‘doing’ of parenting might not quite reveal.

 

HouseHealimageHOME and BUSINESS ENERGY CLEARINGS: Connecting to the impact your environment has on your daily life and psyche. This includes receiving validation {“I KNEW there was a reason I didn’t like to spend time in that room“} or {“It’s such a simple project and I couldn’t figure out why I just kept avoiding it!“} as well as motivation. After an energy clearing you can reconnect with the feeling of sanctuary that is home or inspiration of your business.

 

MEMORIAL SERVICES: Connecting with the fragility of life; the Divine; and the depth of relationship. A memorial service creates an opportunity to feel deeply. In the midst of pain and loss, there is a true connection to life.

 

reiki stone

Jade stone with Reiki energy symbol

REIKI HEALINGS: Connecting with your higher self, inner strength, intuitive wisdom, and the potential of all that you are.

 

All of these in some way create a connection to your possibilities and potential. ‘Potential’ can imply the promise of perfection, which, for us humans, is rarely achievable. But that connection points you in a direction. And the very best thing we can do for ourselves is move, in a positive direction.

Whatever your Love Connections, may you celebrate them in style this season.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Weddings   Baby Blessings     Reiki Healings    Memorial Services     Home & Business Clearings

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