Remembering Debbie Ford & Embracing Transition

This has been a powerful few weeks for me, and as we move into a new season with todays Vernal Equinox I am welcoming the energy as it shifts from darkness to light. I am feeling remnants of my old ways pealing away…the very transitions that are needed for me right now, are showing up. A ‘not always comfortable’ but welcome part of all new transition and emerging energies, a shift of perspective and opening to something brand new.

Cat & Debbie 2008Many of you know that I spent a number of my formative ‘second half of life & rebirthing years’ being in the company of Debbie Ford, learning how my shadows, life and light could be a moving force. Debbie made her final transition out of this life a few weeks ago, after the return of a rare cancer three years ago. The same weekend, my mother returned to the hospital where she had spent most of this year.

I was in relationship with shifting roles that weekend, the inevitable changes that come to us all, illness, challenge, fully expressed living, adjustments and how to meet the future. I faced a strong sense of my own mortality Monday morning hearing of Debbie’s death and feeling the weight of sensing that my mother was in the last year of her life as well. Although I did not know that Debbie was releasing her spirit Sunday night, I had sent out a class ebook that night, welcoming in a group with Debbie’s words offered in the first few pages. This is a true testament to the impact of her life on mine, how her strong seeking spirit lead her to the wisdom that she shared with me, that I share with others.

I have spent much time remembering the early days. The many moments embracing my own insecurities, longings and sorrow as I entered into my first shadow process and the developing structures to opening up to life. Over the years as I was reclaiming my own center, I was engaging the energy of seeking and finding, deepening my own understanding of patterns that were active in my life, integration of disowned shadow and unrealized light, all assisting me to become myself again.

I have a memory of Debbie standing in front of me saying that with a warm laugh, she intended to live her fullest & most brilliant life, to use it all up and wring it out, to be complete when she left this life…I wanted to feel that kind of passion for my own life and within a short time I caught a spark of possibility for what I could create by growing my life in a new direction, on purpose.

Debbie was a woman who was passionate, determined, focused – she loved deeply and made time for the important things in her life. I celebrate that she lived and loved and made such a profound impact on the world, and thank her for the gifts she offered to me. She did everything with moxie, love, courage, openness and deep connectedness….

For three pivotal years she was my mentor and teacher, I have woven much of what I learned into my own teaching process. As I leave town, to attend Debbie’s life celebration this weekend I find that I am experiencing a full circle moment, reconnecting with myself in a new way. She chose to live, gifting those around her with love and a strong unflagging desire for accessing ones own brilliance and wisdom, unraveling the stuck places to shine into the life that is waiting…that has become my path as well.

I developed my life work based on my own experiences, strengths, using my distinctive perspective and voice yet the purpose of my work is aligned in many ways. I am so grateful for the time I spent in her company, she has planned this event and I am sure it will be a true gift to all of us, whether we are there in person or not…it is likely to be another powerful wave of wisdom and love that will ripple into the world.

I welcome the light, the equinox of this moment that balances the shadows and darkness with light. Transition times are powerful, as I navigate this one I embrace the illumination it will bring. I offer this poem as a reminder of the gifts that find us within all transitions.

Love after Love

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door,
in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life,
whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
Peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

– Derek Walcott

And so it is…may your life’s journey be inspired and meet you well in this new season.
With abiding love, 

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