Thursday, January 1, 2015

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Authentically Yours,


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Simply Authentic...Your Soul Voice is Calling. Receiving Assistance: An Earthly Angel

Receiving Assistance: An Earthly Angel

My last blog post was about requesting guidance. This one is about receiving assistance. Remember how I wrote in that last post about the scary 4 ½ month period I went through in-between jobs? Well…I haven’t told you about this one particular earthly angel who came to me when I badly needed one.

Early in the summer of 2010 I had needed to call companies like Portland General Electric to let them know my payment would be late. PGE was very accommodating as I had a 20 year history of never having a late payment, much less a missed one. Yet that was not a fun call to make, trust me. And I had to make four of them. Perhaps some of you have been there. I never had before.

Each person on the other end of the phone was respectful, kind and professional. This was a first for me, but it certainly wasn’t for them with the high unemployment rate in Oregon at the time. I was certainly not alone in my predicament.

The lowest point in all of this, and it pains me to remember it, came the Saturday morning of my moving sale.

When I moved to the Portland area from Salem in September of 2007, I had a knowing the next time I moved – it would be with a lot less “stuff.” I’d been carrying around furniture and other belongings from when I was married for over 12 years, things I needed to release.

That knowing didn’t make it any easier that Saturday at 8:00 am. I’m not going to share what I wrote in my journal that morning other than the last line, which was “I ask for my heart to be healed and for peace to come in.” I’ve never felt more low. All of my stuff was out there for strangers to look at and see if they wanted to give me a dollar for it. I was relying on the sale to pay the first month’s rent in my temporary residence. Talk about being in a precarious situation!

The weird thing is, within about an hour, this woman showed up. I don’t even remember her name. I gave her my card, asked her to keep in touch, and never heard back from her. She was probably somebody’s grandmother. I will guess early to mid 60’s, somewhat heavy-set, shorter, wavy graying hair. Warm eyes and a kind smile. Once she showed up (she ultimately stayed with me for about four hours, and also came back later in the afternoon to purchase an expensive bracelet), I suddenly started having fun. It was like being in retail again, and this woman was shepherding people around my place. When someone walked in, she would say things like, “Make sure and see the lovely jewelry in the back room! There are all kinds of wonderful home décor items and canning goods in the side room!” Etc. She became my co-pilot, my sales clerk. My angel of an unremembered name.

I had almost $260 in cash by the end of the first day, and the rest of the rent money was there by the end of the following day. I donated nearly everything that didn’t sell to the Union Gospel Mission. This was an incredibly freeing feeling – knowing I had the means to donate, when I had felt so low and powerless just the morning before. And what I took with me was just what I needed.

I asked for a sign before I resigned from a horrible job and ran into the man who would become my next manager a half a block later. On the prize-winning lowest day of my life, I asked for my heart to be healed and for peace to come in…and this earthly angel in a grandma’s body walked into my moving sale and completely reframed my experience.

I couldn’t make up stuff this good if I wrote fiction!

Assistance and guidance are available to us at all times, if only we ask and pay attention. And I know from my own experience angels come in all shapes, sizes and forms.

Don’t hesitate to reach out.  

Authentically Yours,


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Simply Authentic...Your Soul Voice is Calling. Requesting Guidance

Requesting Guidance

My last post was about listening to the IVIN (Inner Voice/Intuitive Nature), and I gave a specific example, one involving dear friends, from my own life. 

Here’s another personal example illustrating how it’s wise to not only listen to the IVIN, but to ask for guidance.

In early 2010, I was working at a claims job I had grown to hate, while going through voice teacher apprenticeship training with the Transformational Voice Institute, which I loved. I was using my PTO time to attend the weekly apprenticeship meeting on Friday afternoons, and was in the studio two other evenings a week after work – for my personal voice lesson and to co-teach or assist with a voice class. The job I had at the time couldn’t be accomplished in 40 or 50 hours a week, much less 36. There were times I worked from my home computer at midnight, trying to catch up.

Push came to shove, and I needed to make a choice. My work product was suffering to the point where my PTO would be revoked and I couldn’t attend the TVI meetings anymore. I asked myself, “Why would I give up something I love to save a job I hate?” I knew I would regret that decision for the rest of my life.

But the idea of quitting my job without having another income source filled me with fear. Terror. How could I possibly be so financially irresponsible? I had obligations and commitments; I couldn’t just quit!

When it became very clear that choice was upon me, I took a deep breath and went for a Godwalk, my usual walking route around the office. I prayed. I asked for guidance as to what I should do now, what I should apply for, what my next steps were. While waiting at a stoplight, I literally said (I don’t recall if aloud or silently in my head), “If I’m going to quit my job, in this economy, without having another one, I want a sign.”

The light turned green, I crossed the street, and halfway down the block I saw Paul, whom I worked with in the 1990’s at the same quasi-public insurance company I mentioned in my last post. He runs, I walk, and our paths would occasionally cross. But for the first time, that day, he stopped running and asked me where I worked. I said I was seriously considering resigning, and he suggested I send my resume as Matrix had some new business coming on board which would mean new hires. I had to memorize his email address in my head as neither of us had business cards, anything to write with, or phones on us.

If that’s not an immediate answer to a prayer, I don’t know what is.

So, I put in my notice – a long term notice – with that company, and kept up with my voice training.

I was unemployed for four and a half months—applying and interviewing with other companies and signing up for temp work all the while—before the job with Matrix materialized. I went through some scary times, times when I wasn’t even sure how I would put gas in my car. But somehow money always mysteriously showed up when I needed it, even a room to rent for 60 days; then when the job did materialize, I was hired at a substantially higher annual income than I was making at that shitty job I left.

That was a happy day.

And during that uncertain period, I learned how to trust. How to believe if I only listen to what is true in my heart, and take a step…even if seemingly off a cliff…I will be provided for.

And now, over four years later... This job has been great (if certainly challenging and frustrating at times – that’s the nature of a claims job) and Paul one of the best managers I have ever had. I’ve also known for over a year it’s time to make a change. I have workshops to facilitate (I’ve already written and taken a “test drive” of one full two day Authentic Expression workshop), classes to create, at least two more books to write, acting to do, and authentic performance to teach.  My first voice student in about three years recently signed up for her first lesson. I can’t do all of this and continue to work a full time job at the same time.

Writing my resignation letter (at home) wasn’t easy. In fact, I’m surprised how difficult it was, considering how ready I have been to leave, and for how long. Tears trickled down my face while I was typing it and I kept having to stop to blow my nose. It took me two and a half hours to work up the courage (at the office) to send Paul a simple e-mail…”Do you have time to chat for a few minutes at some point today?” I’ve given ample flexibility for my notice period as it would be nice to see a new examiner hired and trained before I leave. So at this point I don’t know exactly when my last day will be.

I do know it’s time to move on and more fully embrace my heart callings. This time I’m more financially prepared, and it is not such a dramatic need for change…yet I’m still stepping out into the unknown, ready to take another risk. Nothing great comes without risk and challenge. There are times we simply must leave the security of the safety net to embrace our full potential.

In fact, I would say we must continuously do so.

I will see you there…where the sea-watery essence of our colliding dreams meets the open waves and sandy ground of the sun-warmed beach.

Authentically Yours,


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Simply Authentic...Your Soul Voice is Calling. The Inner Voice/Intuitive Nature at Work

The Inner Voice/Intuitive Nature at Work

Anyone who knows my writing and facilitation work knows I often use the term IVIN (Inner Voice/Intuitive Nature) in describing the importance of intuition for authentic guidance and direction.

It occurs to me I’ve never before written about one specific example of my own IVIN at work, in a rather bizarre and unexpected manner. And this prompting wasn’t even for me personally; it was about my friends Stella and Rob.

I worked with both Stella and Rob at a quasi-public insurance company in the 1990’s. I knew both of them, but they didn’t know each other except in passing. At the same company, I was assigned to Marcia as her claims mentor, and we became friends and made music together.

Years later, when none of us were working for that company, I met Marcia for coffee. She was now employed with the State, and so was Rob. Shortly before my coffee date with Marcia, I had reached out to Rob for feedback on my burgeoning website or a flyer - something like that - after re-connecting with him in an acting class. Stella was working for a different company as a claims professional, and we often walked together or batted a tennis ball around.

Marcia and I met at a café right there in the State office building, had a wonderful conversation, and – as we were walking out – Rob walked in. We exchanged a hug and a few pleasantries. Marcia remembered Rob from our quasi-public insurance company days.

Marcia and I left the café and headed into the hall. And the strangest thing happened. I “heard” these words in my head: “Rob is for Stella.”

Not, Rob and Stella should hang out. Or Stella might like Rob. Or any other linguistic combination you might hit on while you’re getting the sense you should hook one person up with another.  Nope. It was “Rob is for Stella.”

Thankfully, I’ve learned to listen to these inner promptings no matter how bizarrely they come worded, or if in wordless feelings, so I turned to Marcia and asked, “Do you remember Stella?” She did.  I asked, “Can you see her with Rob?” She absolutely could.

Rob sent me his feedback that evening in an email, and when I thanked him for his input, I asked if he remembered Stella. He did and had always thought she seemed interesting and sexy, but he had just become un-entangled from a complicated relationship and had absolutely no interest in dating. He was single, and that was the end of that story.

So I certainly did not expect to hear from Rob again the following evening, with a message that I would not BELIEVE what had happened in the past 24 hours.

After getting my email mentioning Stella the preceding evening, Rob had a breakfast appointment with an investigator who used to work at the same company we all met at. The investigator asked if he remembered Stella, saying she was single now.

After the breakfast appointment, Rob had a scheduled haircut. His stylist wondered if he might want to meet another client of hers (you know where this is going, right?) named…Stella.

Talk about getting hit on the head with a virtual 2 x 4. Three times within a 24 hour period!

I called Stella for permission to share her contact information and sent them both an email with contact information, making it clear that was the end of my part!

Stella later told me when she opened the door for their first date and saw Rob standing there on the landing…that was it. They both knew. They have been happily married now for over eight years, and came to our house-warming party after George and I rented a home together.

I share this story because: 1) It’s just such a cool story. 2) I’m so happy my two friends found lasting love together, and that I was one of THREE people who set them up – in one day!!! 3) It’s a reminder that your IVIN isn’t just for you…it will help all those in your circle, and even people you don’t know yet.

So listen already, right? J

Authentically Yours,


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Simply Authentic...Your Soul Voice is Calling. Stormtroopers in the Office

Stormtroopers in the Office

This last week at my day job (as a Sr. Claims Examiner with a third party administrator—TPA—handling workers’ compensation claims for self-insured employers) I ran across the name of an attorney firm I hadn’t seen in a while. This firm shall remain nameless, but I used to deal with them quite a bit when I worked at my first insurance employer back in the 1990’s, and – in fact – my ex-husband knew some of the partners personally as he sold them their office equipment. The firm specializes in cases like personal injury and, of course, workers’ compensation.

I was curious as I hadn’t seen the firm name in several years, so I checked out their website. There I found…and I quote verbatim…

*Insurance companies are multi-billion dollar Deathstars with buildings full of lawyers and experts, all bearing down on you with bad intentions.

*Beware the Nice Insurance Person (This was the title of a blog post).

*Your initial contact with insurance claims representatives may frequently be pleasant. Their goal is to make you comfortable and gain your trust. However, when dealing with your own insurance company or the insurance company that caused the accident, this friendly attitude will inevitably change.

*Remember that insurance claims people are evaluated, receive pay increases, and receive promotions based upon the amounts that they do not pay. It is in their interest to not pay you everything you are entitled to receive.

Uh, wow.

When I mentioned this to my fiancé after getting home from work, he said that smacked of “ambulance chaser” to him.  Which may actually be a nicer term than “Deathstar”; I haven’t decided yet.

I’ve never worked in auto or personal injury claims, so I can’t speak to that. But I can say it is my job to ENSURE injured workers receive the benefits they are entitled to under the law, and if I didn’t make that happen I wouldn’t have a job for very long. And I really do try to be nice to everyone…workers, employers, medical providers…attorneys, legal assistants…wookiees…

Fortunately, I am a big Star Wars (original trilogy) fan and…the older I get, the more I find humor in things. So I found the Deathstar analogy quite amusing.

A play I worked on in my last acting class, STEEL MAGNOLIAS, was beautifully translated to the big screen by the playwright, Robert Harling. You’ve probably seen it. And it may be time to see it again. George ordered the DVD and we watched this exquisite film again after acting class was over for the term. Every time I see it (the play or the movie), I laugh and laugh and cry and cry. It’s SO good.

There is a scene in the movie (that isn’t in the play – there are no male characters in the play) the night before M’Lynn and Shelby are headed to the hospital for the kidney transplant. (I can’t believe anyone reading this doesn’t know the storyline, but just in case – M’Lynn, the mother, donates a kidney to her daughter, Shelby, who is severely diabetic and having a baby did a number on her kidneys.) The family is playing cards and one of Shelby’s brothers says, “Give me…all of your internal organs!” Everyone laughs hysterically (except for the father, who is clearly worried sick about the health and well being of his wife and daughter). And then there’s a reference to “A Tale of Two Kidneys,” which illicits the laughter all over again.

In no way do I mean to compare needing an organ transplant to having the industry you work in likened to arguably the most destructive space station ever created in the history of science fiction…I’m just saying that sometimes humor in the best place to go in a tense or uncomfortable situation. And sometimes you just kinda can’t help it.

So…I said loudly enough that anybody in the accompanying cubicles could hear…”Did you all know that insurance companies are multi-billion dollar Deathstars with evil intentions?”

A colleague chirped back, “Does that make us all stormtroopers?”

This is how our cubicles looked when I left the office on Friday.

May The Force (of humor) Be With You.

Authentically Yours,


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Simply Authentic...Your Soul Voice is Calling. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway: Part 2

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway: Part 2

If you’ve been tempted to completely give up on your dream…remember fears, doubts, lack of self-confidence…all these pieces of internal resistance are completely and absolutely normal. We’ve all experienced the same thoughts and emotions.

So, how do we move forward in spite of the fears, doubts and other “alligators” snapping at our heads, as my acting teacher Jo liked to say?

I have learned from acting classes and being on stage, embodying a character who isn’t you, from a script, takes a good deal of courage. I’m not talking about stage fright, but about allowing yourself to become emotionally vulnerable. As I mentioned in a previous post, if the actor doesn’t feel anything, the audience won’t either. That’s what I mean by becoming vulnerable.

Fear of becoming emotionally vulnerable on stage is no different than the fear of realizing your dreams. A few common worries are:

*They’re not going to like me

*I’m going to mess up

*I don’t have the skills or ability to do this

*Why am I even doing this? Who do I think I am?

*I’m going to fail

I am here to tell you, with everything I have learned from my acting classes and experiences on stage – this kind of thinking is all about “me, me, me.” When you are focused on your insecurities and fears, you can’t possibly be focused on being of service and living in your Divine Direction at the same time. Many wise teachers have said over the ages fear and love cannot exist simultaneously.

Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. No one was there. –Herbert V. Prochnow

You have something remarkable to share with the world that noone else has, just like your unique fingerprints or the patterns of the irises in your eyes. When you are getting up on stage or pursuing your dreams while moving through the fear, you are sharing the gift of your unique self with other people. You are living in your Divine Direction.

You may be good, but what are you good for? You’ve got to be good for something. You’ve got to be about some project, some task that requires you to be humble and obedient to the universal principles of service. –Stephen R. Covey

Authentically Yours,


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Simply Authentic...Your Soul Voice is Calling. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway: Part 1

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway: Part 1

Did you know it took Thomas Edison over 10,000 tries before he created the incandescent lamp? I love Edison’s story, a man who never gave up.

I have not failed. I have successfully discovered over 1200 ideas that do not work.

 –Thomas Edison

If you feel like you’re the only person who doesn’t have a clue how to realize your dreams, if you suffer from self-doubt, want to give up, feel like a failure…trust me—you’re not alone.

Barbara Stanny interviewed hundreds of women in writing her books Secrets of Six Figure Women and Overcoming Underearning and found a consistent theme for high earners, ranging in income from $100,000 to over seven million dollars annually. Every single one of them experienced fear and self-doubt.

The moral of the story? Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Authentically Yours,