When is the last time you can remember having that butterflies dancing in your belly feel? You know, first kiss status? Or right before you’re about to jump out of a plane for the first time? Or just about anything where you can’t distinguish the intersection of jitters and pure bliss…
Mine is now, in this moment as I’m typing this. In just an hour, I will do two things. First, I will print out boarding passes to take my youngest child on a mom/son senior trip to Canada tomorrow, an adventure to celebrate his high school graduation and launch out of the nest to University life. Just after, I will drive to my local Center for Spiritual Living and take my professional practitioner licensing exam which will launch me on a new journey out of the familiar into foreign territory as well.
Getting to this point for me, to this moment when I take this exam, has been a four year journey and one I’ve done on the down low. It started with an intuitive hit when I was driving down Hartnell Avenue in Redding, California and had a wheel take-over turn me into a parking lot with a clear message attached: You will teach here. I walked around the property trying to process that message, but was turned off when I started speaking with the person who was in charge at that time. I had a stern talking with my intuition, got in my car, and hightailed it out of there.
A year later my husband and I were at the Cascade Theater, a lovely historically preserved remodel of what had been a questionable discount movie theater in the once red-light district of Redding. We had just watched TedX and were discussing the final talk as we worked our way out to the street with the crowd. I spotted my friend Katie and she said, “I’m teaching a class tomorrow. You’d love it. You should come.”
“The Center for Spiritual Living on Hartnell.”
Well, of course it is. The next day I headed to the Center to take Katie’s class. I took one after another, for weeks, for months, for years. Today I sit here four years later. The Center has many classes, but I was drawn to the certified ones without ever understanding why exactly. At some level, I understood I was to reach where I stand now. It was a step by step thing where I asked, I listened, I caved early when I heard the answer. Two years ago, when I taught a film class (which came as another clear intuitive hit during meditation), I could almost hear my intuition saying, “See. I told you so.”
But it was so much more than just a scolding from my intuition. As I sit here today, I understand that this journey into foreign lands is one I was born to take. It took me less time to get two degrees from UCLA than to finish my practitioner training. And God knows, it was emotionally easier. I’ve quietly chipped away at this at a slow pace forced by the program and counterintuitive to my Mach 1 behavior. I’ve been forced to go slow and deep, processing all sorts of threads through my life. I’ve had to look at my own shit with binoculars—which is about as nasty as that sounds at times. I’ve learned the crucial step of daily spiritual practices and how those flavor the entire scope of time and space. I spend a lot of time reading, listening, soaking up consciousness in all its forms. I’ve come to know that relationships (both enjoyable ones and unenjoyable ones) are my best spiritual teachers. I’ve learned not to have parking lot debates with my intuition, but rather to trust it implicitly as it’s ALWAYS correct. I’ve developed a fascination, and love for, all paths to God…and truly embrace the beauties in each.
Mostly, though, I’ve become more clear that my reason for being on this planet is service to my global family. One of the ways I feel like I do that best is one on one. It’s always been my preference. It turns out—and I was not clear on this when I started, but my intuition certainly was—that one key function of a licensed practitioner is to sit with another being with the goal of partnering and assisting that being in opening up to their own glorious perfection. I’ve fallen in love with humanity. To see that part of a person that is the truth and not the misunderstanding manifesting because of formed beliefs that suggest otherwise. When I explained this to my son (the one who I’m taking to Canada), he said, “Sounds complicated.”
Here’s a great description that makes it not complicated from the Center of Spiritual Living in Seattle, Washington:
A Prayer Practitioner is a trained and licensed spiritual support person, trained to apply affirmative prayer to life’s challenges.
Through the use of compassionate inquiry and affirmative prayer, Practitioners support you when you go through difficult times, or when you want sustained support for your spiritual growth. They facilitate mental and spiritual healing, knowing all healing is done in consciousness and is reflected in the physical body and the body of one’s affairs.
Prayer Practitioners can help you to uncover unconscious limiting beliefs and clarify your heart’s desire. Practitioners begin with the idea that you are already perfect, and then assist you to reveal that perfection! Prayer support can be provided in the moment, or through longer, private, individual sessions.
Affirmative Prayer brings our thinking and feeling into alignment with the truth that infinite Good surrounds us always in the form of love, harmony, peace, wellness, abundance, prosperity, and any Good we can imagine.
In one way, it’s not much different than what I do now. I try to leave each person I interact with in a higher energy than when I met them. I try to listen to what they say, what they don’t say, and how they say it. I remember to forgive myself when I miss the mark. But in another way, it’s very different. It’s listening to the subtext. It’s intuiting the whole scene. And it’s holding space and faith for a person who is struggling to do that for herself.
Through all this, the butterflies dance, those beautiful metaphors of life change and transformation. All a flutter, I head to my exam for a chance to share what I’ve learned and celebrate with a bonus date night with my husband: Mary’s Pizza Shack and Guardians of the Galaxy if you want to know. To romp into a new era of the unknown like a child in a field of daffodils. Or a raccoon named Rocket flying through space. To jet off to a country unknown, with different money and different measurements, and soak it all up with joy, so deeply grateful for this playground.