An angel, a devil, and two Dorothys walked into a meditation center…
“She’s an Angel.” Is what my mom said as she held me in front of our little Lutheran church, water scooped over my head as I was baptized early one Sunday morning. The baby powder she’d sprinkled all over me hours earlier caught the light streaming through the stained glass windows so I was literally sparkling.
“She’s a Devil”. Is what she’d say about 17 years later waiting for me to come home night after night of not calling and not caring. And then many times later as I dropped out of college, got divorced, quit my coveted corporate gig. On and on for the foreseeable future, you’d think I didn’t have a clue how to play by the rules of life. You’d be right.
Somewhere in between Angel and Devil, I was dubbed Dorothy by my grandfather who really appreciated my Dorothy Hammil haircut. THE haircut to have at the time.
Grandpa was onto something because Dorothy (as in Wizard of Oz Dorothy) became the metaphor for me finding my way back to myself when I was oh so lost in the valley of despair. If you’d have walked into my house in January 2011, you’d have found me sitting in an empty bathtub, naked, not able to get out or fill it up. That’s where meditation found me ten years ago — in the middle of a breakdown. That’s when I learned how to “click my heels together” meditating day after day and began my journey home.
There are 2 things I wish I’d known back then as a baby meditator. First thing:
Meditation isn’t a pill, it’s a very subtle skill
Meditation requires a great teacher to learn how to do it so you’re not making it so hard that it’s nothing more than an exercise in frustration. I was lucky, I had a great teacher from the get-go. I didn’t know how lucky I was until I myself became a teacher a few years later and saw the meditation experience anew, from my student’s eyes, who showed me where they struggled most and how I could help them. It’s true, good teachers are made, not born. A good teacher makes all the difference when you’re learning to meditate.
But it’s not the only thing you need. If you really want to put meditation to work and see changes in your life you also need to:
Embody the practice (it’s faster/easier when you work with the right people)
Embody the practice is the fancy way of saying change the way you think and act. In short, become YOU. The Real You. To do that, it’s very helpful (I’d even say, necessary) to have a guide, a coach, a mentor. Someone who’s been-there-done-that to help you navigate the messy and mysterious process of transformation. In my experience, learning to meditate and becoming the Real You is the best way to “win at life,” but it’s not the world’s way so it can feel daunting.
Early on in my journey, I relied heavily on books to help me navigate. I was definitely a DIYer! I had a few brief encounters with coaches who helped me when I needed it the most (I’m so grateful to this day for them!). However, I didn’t realize until much later how much I’d benefit from that kind of help. Plus, it wasn’t easy for me to ask for help, clearly! (Sitting naked in an empty bathtub being case in point). So, as I journeyed along mostly alone, life continued to have its way with me. I was growing but it was painful and slow. I finally figured out that going it alone is the hard way and completely unnecessary. Books are fine (they are like friends to me) but when I started working with the right people – I quickly flourished.
That’s why I’m here. To be your friend and guide on YOUR path. To help you along the way so you don’t have to go it alone like I did.