MAY I TOUCH YOUR HEART?

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I ask every day, upon waking up and as I drift off to sleep, “Show me my place?  What is the part I can play in this time of global distress and awakening?”

One of my super powers, I often proudly claim, is that I make people cry.  I consider it the greatest confirmation and validation of the success of my facilitation sessions, retreats and ceremonies, when I see, hear and feel tears start to fall.  WHY you might ask? What kind of mean spirited person are you Ms Grace? 

Let me explain briefly and then allow the ever, so much more eloquent John O’Donohue to illuminate this odd calling.  I seem to have the gift of being able to sense the gesture, the words, the music or even the humor that easily reaches in past the barriers, masks, and numbness that so often armors people’s hearts.

I walk around in this world of ours, pretty much always looking for what touches my heart the most deeply.  So, so many things do.  Nature of course, the laughter of a baby, the kind gesture between strangers, a moment of profound, human vulnerability.   And what touches me the most deeply, that makes me cry every single time, is the visible sign of Invisible Grace.  The rainbow, the hummingbird, the seemingly magical synchronistic appearance of an answered prayer.  These visible signs that assure me, “You are not alone! You are held in the embrace of grace.  There is nothing you need to do to deserve the blessings of your life but simply to trust and open to them.”

This has become the “calling.”  To help people participate in the experience of being blessed.  To help people make themselves available for the grace that is always ready to be bestowed.   A blessing is an invocation.  A calling, a request for the benediction of the Divine upon our lives.  The moment the blessing comes alive, is the moment we have that sudden or gentle experience that our heart is being deeply, profoundly touched.  We know, without being able to explain it, that the presence of Invisible Grace has arrived, or perhaps more accurately, that we have opened to it.

As John O’Donohue wisely explains, we are most available for these moments of benediction in what he calls the “Threshold”  A moment when life changes, perhaps simply, like the arriving home and literally crossing through the doorway into our home, leaving the busyness of the day and world behind as we enter our sanctuary.  Perhaps we are welcomed home by our dog or cat, our family or even silence, leaving one world and entering another. Often the simple hug, wag of a tail, “Hi!” or turning on of a lamp becomes the gesture of blessing.   The bigger threshold, is of course, when life suddenly changes.  When the comfort of familiarity, predictability, sameness, shatters.  Suddenly life is not as we knew it and we stand in the threshold between the known and the unknown.  This is the moment when blessings are most needed.  What are the practices, the gestures, the words, the music, the emotions that send up our request for help, protection, and “help me Jesus! I ain’t a praying man, but help me Jesus!” prayers?   

If you are not sure, or want support in creating a blessing ceremony for yourself as you face this THRESHOLD that our entire world is crossing, please reach out.

Life as we have known it is changing.  We are not in control and we know not what is coming.  What we can be certain of, is that we are not alone and however vulnerable, anxious or terrified we may feel, we can also dare to trust that we are embraced by benevolence.    It is my greatest honor to help you to know this, not just as a thought or a concept but viscerally and in the depth of your being.  Together we can create a sweet, beautiful experience that will touch your heart, something we can do together over the magic of live streaming, or something you can take and create on your own.  The greatest visible sign of Invisible Grace that I know of.  May I touch your heart?  

Warning… you might cry.  🙂

Love and Blessings to each and every one of you.

Grace

 

John O’Donahue

“The time has come to cross.

To acknowledge and cross a new threshold is always a challenge. It demands courage and also a sense of trust in whatever is emerging. This becomes essential when a threshold opens suddenly in front of you, one for which you had no preparation. This could be illness, suffering or loss. Because we are so engaged with the world, we usually forget how fragile life can be and how vulnerable we always are.

It takes only a couple of seconds for a life to change irreversibly. Suddenly you stand on completely strange ground and a new course of life has to be embraced. Especially at such times we desperately need blessing and protection. You look back at the life you have lived up to a few hours before, and it suddenly seems so far away. Think for a moment how, across the world, someone’s life has just changed – irrevocably, permanently, and not necessarily for the better – and everything that was once so steady, so reliable, must now find a new way of unfolding.

Though we know one another’s names and recognize one another’s faces, we never know what destiny shapes each life. The script of individual destiny is secret; it is hidden behind and beneath the sequence of happenings that is continually unfolding for us. Each life is a mystery that is never finally available to the mind’s light or questions. That we are here is a huge affirmation; somehow life needed us and wanted us to be.

To sense and trust this primeval acceptance can open a vast spring of trust within the heart. It can free us into a natural courage that casts out fear and opens up our lives to become voyages of discovery, creativity, and compassion. No threshold need be a threat, but rather an invitation and a promise. Whatever comes, the great sacrament of life will remain faithful to us, blessing us always with visible signs of invisible grace.

We merely need to trust.”

How Do You Get An Entire World To Stop

For a very long long time, so many of us have been attempting to change our world… We know that things are so beyond out of balance that we have taken to the streets and begged our powerful institutions to pay attention… Not much response!!

UNTIL a tiny bug, a virus, shows up and spreads across the planet… WELL THEN  are you listening now?  I am touched and a bit bemused by the response.  Until it looks like a World War we seem to not know how to respond… but this time I pray we can respond differently… the message is to STOP… just slow down, stay at home and take care of your self and your loved ones… how incredibly brilliant… Do you know that I have been dancing and crying in my living rom?  How else could we create a global adjustment?As beloved Rumi is fond of saying, ” Out beyond the ideas of right doing and wrong doing, there is a field, I will meet you there”  Is is possible that this small invisible assistant might be the guide to that field?

All that is needed now is silence, stillness, quietude, kindness and a gentle return to that which makes you feel well.  How simple and brilliant and beautiful… Love your SELF and Love your immediate family.. that is all that is required… For those of us who are called to the front lines.. God Bless You and I hope in the after math you will know that you played a part in a global shift that we have been preparing for, for a very long time.

How ever we imagine such concepts of heaven.. we have an opportunity right now to create just that much right here on earth. Kindness, caring, inclusion, miracles and magic in the face of what seems impossible, breakthroughs and beginnings, the likes of which we could only dream of… sorry if this offends, but Hooray Virus, Hooray…you are changing our world and I say Hooray..

Valentine’s Day Vow Renewals

 

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What an absolute joy to officiate as eight couples renewed their wedding vows on Valentine’s Day on our local ferry.   I love celebrating love and give thanks to all the couples who are willing to declare their commitments to each other, and even re declare their vows, to LOVE HONOR AND CHERISH each other.    There is no more important life path we can walk than the path of LOVE! https://www.kitsapsun.com/videos/news/2020/02/16/video-valentines-day-ferry-puget-sound/4775458002/?fbclid=IwAR3rEHLgCtE0Pm1Dnm5X3AiD6ZpR

THE FLYING CHILDREN

 

Update:  I just discovered that the person who posted the precious video of the flying boy has deleted it.  It was a charming cartoon of a young Dad and his baby boy playing together when suddenly the little boy starts flying around the room.  As he grows and they go out in the world, other people are completely freaked out by the boy and his flying antics so the Dad puts rocks in his backpack to keep him earth bound. The boy becomes deeply depressed and doesn’t smile or play any more.  While he is hugging his sleeping little boy he finally comes to accept him for who he is and they go to the playground and “fly” on the swings together.  When the boy takes flight this time the Dad cheers him on…. now you know why I started this post with….  thank you to the person who created this tender beautiful video and I hope it will come back for more to see.images

OH MY! OH MY!! OH MY!!!

I have deeply vivid dreams/memories of being a Flying Child on other planets.  I knew to stand on the edge of the bluff and wait for the wind drafts and to simply open my arms and be carried aloft like a glorious kite. I even knew how to shape shift myself into different geometric patterns in order to transmit blessing energies to my community.  My string was held not by a parent but by a beloved bear… a guardian who was completely delighted by my flights and ready to embrace me upon my return to the “land” where we lived.  These memories of living in the Stars come, into my earth life dreams from time to time and I always awaken in a most intoxicated benevolent state that feels like I am finally HOME being my full self without restriction… How incredible to find this precious video shared on facebook, expressing exactly how I have felt as a flying child in this world… God Bless the parents who are learning to embrace their magical children and may our world be blessed by those who have come with invisible wings.

 

OOOZING WITH UNCRUISE JOY

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What an amazing week of Baja Bounty. Being in such pure nature and playing with the delightful sea, sky and land creatures was enchanting.  How fun to meet people from around the world, most of them seasoned adventure travelers… so laid back and eager for each and every expotition. 🙂
The cruise was excellent and definitely lived up to its claim… small ships, big adventures!
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Having the opportunity to share my passion for yoga, meditation and all things wellness in such glorious and fun settings was a blast. – sunrise yoga on the deck, floating kayak and beach meditations, starlight night-night guided relaxation, whale tail searching, boat rail stretching and after dinner classes – aka – happy guests receptive to anything and everything. 🙂
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What took me by complete surprise, and deeply touched my heart was being part of a truly present, genuine, fun, passionate and servant-centered work team. I kept finding my eyes filling up with tears as I witnessed and experienced the constant and consistent level of service provided. Not only the expedition leaders, but across the board in every department.
Having lived this life for more than a decade at my beloved Kripalu Center For Yoga and Health and having provided my own retreats for many many years, I have etched in my soul, the treasure of providing loving service and being part of a deeply bonded community.  This was the first time since beginning my path as a solo wanderer, teacher and retreat facilitator that I have experienced a match for my very high standards and deep memories of belonging to a kindred spirit tribe working together to serve not only our human guests but to care for the magical and precious places we were privileged to visit.
THANK YOU UNCRUISE and especially the crew of the Safari Endeavor.
p.s.  That is me and “Monkey Mind” –  my meditation instruction assistant waving good bye to our team mates.
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Uber Magic Rides Again!

For those of you who have followed my Uber driving adventures here is a REALLY fun installment.

As you know, I received the guidance to be an Uber driver to help manifest my intentions to serve the world and share light and love with my fellow humans.  I also was asking for ways to increase my profile in my local community and on the broader world stage and market my private practice of Graceful Living Coaching, Classes and Retreats.

It took some deep trusting and digesting a few slices of humble pie to accept and trust this guidance.  As I have shared previously, the connections, synchronicities and precious moments of deep heart felt connection that have happened in my wee, white Uber mobile have been amazing, affirming and joy filled.

It has been almost two years since I said YES to this guidance and I have given over two thousand rides.  2,000!  That is actually not that many in the ride share world, however being on a small, rural island that receives visitors from around the world keeps it interesting, all be it, a kind of slow mo gig most of the time.

Each day before going out to drive I pray and ask “please bring me those who are seeking me as I am seeking them in the service of fulfilling my life purpose. ”

Earlier this year, the magic really started to escalate when I gave a ride to a member of the Team Sail Like A Girl team.  The team were preparing to compete in the R2AK, a daunting race through the Inside Passage from Port Townsend Washington to Ketchikan Alaska with no motors and no outside assistance.  As soon as I heard of their mission, I KNEW I was to support them and carried their team card in my card for the next several weeks.

The Team captain posted on facebook that they were looking for someone to bless their boat before the race and I was right there ready and waiting to say: “please pick me!”

We had an extraordinary and beautiful boat blessing with big prayers, invocations of Father God and Divine Mother’s blessings and protection and visualized the entire race together, proclaiming a safe journey and race outcome beyond anyone’s wildest imagining.

Team Sail Like a Girl WON the entire race and I was on cloud nine for days and weeks feeling the joy of having gotten to fulfill a piece of my purpose by supporting these amazing women in fulfilling theirs.

Being involved with the Sailing Women re ignited a vision I had had twenty years ago of doing cruising leadership retreats through this same exquisite, Northwest Passage along the coast of British Columbia.  I even wrote to the esteemed David Suzuki, one of Canada’s champions of the environment and shared my vision of bringing the world leaders to this Sea of Silent Dreams to experience and be inspired by its beauty, peace and majesty.

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/oceans/projects/healthy-oceans/pacific-ocean-stories/sea-of-silent-dreams-an-invitation/

After the Sailing Girls won the race, I started meeting and networking with the sailing and racing community involved in the R2Ak and learned about a company called Uncruise.  A “small ship, big adventure” cruising enterprise that offers cruises up the Inside Passage and other amazing natural sanctuaries around the world.  I considered going on one of their cruises myself but never actually did as it was a busy Uber summer and I was intent on focusing on my Intentions and Visions more than vacationing.

I also discovered that one of our local sailors who offers day cruises in our area would be sailing in Mexico this winter and approached him to explore the idea of doing cruising retreats with him.  He was also having a busy summer so we never found a time to meet.

Fast forward to October and the surging seas of tourists have calmed.  The drizzle and mists of Autumn have arrived and the Uber requests are few and far between.  My inner voices are ranting at me:  “what are you wasting your time for on this ride share gig?”  “there is no money in this and it is not really going any where.”

PING!!!!!  off I go into the rain and fog to pick up a passenger.  Using GPS on our small, wooded island is quite the hilarious and sometimes infuriating experience.  It cannot tell the difference between one laneway completely shrouded in trees and another, so I am often roaming around like a lost gnome and have to call my rider to find out where they are.  This time I called, and the woman’s phone reception was horrible.  While cursing under my breath, “what a ridiculous waste of time! what am I doing out here?” I eventually found  my way to her and off we go.

GUESS WHO WAS IN MY CAR?   a captain of one of the Uncruise ships … the one that travels through the Inside Passage to Alaska.

I almost drove off the road.  I shared my story and my dream of doing retreats on these waters and also in warm sunny places.  She gave me her card and off she went.

I wrote to her and shared my article ” Sea of Silent Dreams”  She forwarded my message to the Sales and Marketing department and that woman contacted me within an hour.  She let me know that I could reserve the entire ship for a mere one hundred thousand dollars and bring thirty five to eighty of my clients on board for the whole cruise.

I explained that that was not a viable option for me and she forwarded me to another department that coordinates the staff for the cruises. I also heard from her within an hour.

We spoke by email that day and here is the message she sent me.

“It just so happens that there is a cruise in Baja Mexico in January of 2019 and I am looking for a Wellness host who specializes in yoga and meditation.  Would you be interested and are you available?”

Up went my hand again and I said “pick me! pick me!”

I was hired the next day for a seven day cruise in the warm, Mexico sunshine and all I have to do is offer a few yoga classes and workshops on meditation and wellness. I will have the opportunity to connect with eighty wonderful humans from around the globe and perhaps touch their hearts and inspire their souls.  THANK YOU UNIVERSE!!!

AND… I was also hired for another cruise along the Columbia and Snake Rivers next October 2109.

PRAYERS ANSWERED, INTENTIONS MANIFESTED, DREAMS MADE INTO REALITY.

My life is completely designed and directed by my deep belief and practice of these principles.   We create our reality by that which we hold in our hearts and minds to be already true, already happened.   Seeds planted in deep soulful, purpose inspired, inner moments, DO blossom and bloom in delightful, unexpected and magical ways.  Doubts are part of the process and do require persistent practice of clearing them.  Investing in the practices that move us into states of ONENESS and co creating with the Divine from there does bring forth the miracles of fulfillment.

The moral of the story?  When you get a message in meditation to be an Uber driver to help serve the world and share love and light with humanity.  DO IT!!!!

AND  you are all invited to join me in Baja- January 26- February 2nd 2019.

Sending blessings to one and all.

love Grace

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COME UNCRUISE WITH ME! BAJA FITNESS AND YOGA ADVENTURE CRUISE January 26-February 2nd 2019

 

800x428-eric-lindberg-mexico-fitness-yoga.jpgThrough a delightful set of magical connections and synchronicities, I am thrilled to let you know that I am going to be a Wellness Host on a eight day/seven night cruise in the Sea of Cortez, January 26 to February 2nd 2019.

AND!!!  I am inviting  you to join me!

Uncruise is a “Small ships, Big Adventure” cruising company that offers fantastic expeditions in some of the most glorious, natural settings available.

Please check out their full website and all the details about the cruise in Baja.

https://www.uncruise.com/destinations/mexico-cruises/bajas-bounty-fitness-yoga.

When you register for the cruise, please let them know you were referred by me, Grace MacLeod.

AND!!! I will also be Wellness Hosting for the Columbia and Snake River cruise October 26 to November 2nd 2019 so please consider joining me for a beautiful cruise along these gorgeous northwest rivers.

See you in the Sea of Cortez. 🙂