As I witnessed the death of my pool pump today, I couldn’t help but reflect on 2010: the year of births and deaths. Truly, a year with such magnificence, aliveness, heartache and brilliance deserves a year-end reflection to bookmark it.
My dear friend and business partner, Laura Pitari, and I kicked off 2010 at a party that would truly set the tone for the year: a year to be remembered (for better or worse). As I gazed around the Chateau Marmont and partied with people like Tom Cruise, I had to ponder…How does a girl from the bluegrass of Kentucky wind up surrounded by actors at a Golden Globes party sponsored by Dom Perignon? It certainly was a surreal experience, and I am grateful for the memory.
From February to June, I would mostly sit by my Mother’s bedside as I watched her suffer and die from Stage IV cancer that had spread from her lungs to her brain and everywhere else. While this experience was easily the most heart-wrenching one of my life, it was also the most meaningful, if not, beautiful. As I sat holding her hand the moment she died on Wednesday, June 2 at 4:20 a.m. (9 days before my 40th birthday), I came to understand the importance of two things: presence and moments. Being present with someone, I mean truly present as in giving him or her your undivided attention, is a gift. During that last night with my Mom, each moment became precious, full, an eternity. We take so much for granted in life. Each individual breath is a gift. And we are rarely even aware of our breath—let alone the plethora of blessings and miracles that surround us everyday.
With every death comes a new beginning. This year, my friend Ann Marie, gave birth to a sweet son, Luc, whose name means “light.” And a publishing company was born in 2010. I am full of gratitude to be part of a powerful new Santa Barbara-based publishing company, Publishing by the Seas, Inc. who publishes the works of people making a difference in our world. A country was also born this year: The island of Curacao became an independent nation.
Another new beginning: my 53-year old brother got married to his high school sweetheart. This gives me hope and inspiration that anything is possible. It reminds me of a quote from Saint Teresa of Avila that my friend Sarah keeps on her kitchen counter…Love is always stirring and thinking about what it will do. It cannot contain itself…
As Laura, Lisa, and I were in the trenches of running our PR firm, LightBox, with offices in Los Angeles and Scottsdale, we got to experience The Oprah Effect, when one of our clients, DOCS (Doctors Offering Charitable Services), wound up on The Oprah Winfrey Show. This was yet another of those defining moments that brings out the best and worst in each of us.
The highest highs and lowest lows are all the same – moments — fleeting moments to be savored and then released. In Buddhism, it’s called “suchness.” Moments are just moments, or energy flowing…this is the true nature of reality. It’s our human perception that clouds experience and deems these moments as good or bad and tries to hold onto them, attach to them, accumulate them. My friend, Marty, quotes one of his wise teachers who said, “It’s all energy, movement. We just think we have something to do with it.” Life is certainly good when we go with the flow and do not tamper with what emerges.
My affinity for Santa Barbara kept pulling me back, and we were blessed to spend the summer there at Nancy and Isaac’s lovely abode. Daniel does so love the Santa Barbara Zoo Camp! And Mommy loves the Goleta beach, hikes to Inspiration Point, Saturday morning farmer’s markets, Central Coast wine and olive oil. (Okay and Jill Frandsen’s flower essences, and Lazy Acres and Nancy’s salmon, Butterfly Park and San Ysidro Ranch…)
My dear friend and meditation instructor, Sarah McLean, starred in her first movie, Tapping the Source, this Fall. And I was most honored and grateful to be able to attend the premiere with her and Marty in Los Angeles. Sarah has been a true teacher and mentor in my life. I highly recommend her work to anyone who is looking to experience brilliance and personal transformation: sedonameditation.com.
And Q4 brought me an amazing opportunity to work for an exceptional firm whose talent, knowledge and reach I have yet to fully comprehend. As I embark on my latest adventure of marketing for a (as one of our clients put it), “world class and cutting edge technology consultant,” I could not be more grateful. While on the surface, The Sextant Group, Inc. is an innovative technology firm, the depth and soul of their people is awe-inspiring. As I have always said, anyone can do good business; but it’s the heart and soul of the people that make a company truly extraordinary. And this group has it all figured out: thesextantgroup.com.
I was blessed to spend a week in Sedona at the Enchantment Resort for Deepak Chopra’s Seduction of Spirit course. This is one of the utterly cool parts of getting my yoga certification. I get to attend these courses that are so personally transforming.
Looking ahead to the new year, my friend and client, Patricia Selbert’s, amazing book, The House of Six Doors, launches February 22 in Santa Barbara. Inspired by her incredible life’s journey, the book has gotten fabulous early reviews and has already caught the attention of the BBC and MORE Magazine. I am truly honored to be a part of this amazing team of esteemed professionals and friends. Check it out here: http://thehouseofsixdoors.com/.
And three more people (and things) I just love and have to share before the year ends. For those of you into energy healing, I highly recommend my new favorite energy healer. Check him out. John of God has nothing on this Tibetan monk: http://www.buddhawalk.net/. And Deepak Chopra’s new book is out this week. It is based on the leadership course he teaches at Kellogg School of Management called The Soul of Leadership. Get it here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/030740806X/deepakchcom07-20. And finally, I give many kudos and thanks to the most amazing photographer on the planet. His work inspires me to be a better person and learn more about ways we can all help save our planet: isaachernandez.com.
All in all, 2010 was a brilliant journey. The end of many dear people and things and the beginning of even more. The cycle of life. I leave you with a quote from my friend Isaac’s Facebook page: In the end, only three things matter: how fully you have lived, how deeply you have loved, and how well you have learned to let go of the things not meant for you. ~Buddhist proverb.
Here’s to a new year full of spectacular moments. My wish is for wellbeing, peace, joy and love for all of us.