We Did It! (Saved the World, That Is … Musings from Atlantis at the End-of-This-Blog)

I wake at precisely 11:11 to crazy alien vibrations and pulsing lights streaming into my beachside cottage.  Here I am, just four days before the purported “End-of-the-World” all alone in the middle of the Atlantis Energy Vortex in the Bermuda Triangle.

And I’m Shitty Scared.

Why didn’t I bring Hubby on this trip?  The wind seemingly comes from nowhere, rattling the broken Venetian blinds in my room and immediately transporting me back to childhood alien abduction fantasies of the Whitley Strieber genre.

Communion by Whitley Strieber

Could this finally be the UFO nightmare that’s been haunting me since 1987?

It doesn’t help matters that all these New Age types I’ve been hanging with here do nothing but talk about past lives and all the strange mystical shit that transpires here regularly on this tiny island of Bimini, Bahamas.  Here is what the daytime view looks like:

Bimini tree

Gorgeous, right?  But also desolate.  And somewhat scary.  (Like, how is that tree actually growing on that rock with its roots attached to nothing?)

The spacecraft gets closer and louder. 

Its lights now shine directly into my room and I have no idea what I should do.  I have no cell service, and the others in my group are staying several miles away.  The “resort” I’m trying to sleep at is deserted; I haven’t seen another guest or even a staff member since checking in two days ago. Plus, I’m not dressed and have no make-up on.  I’m hardly in a presentable state for my first alien encounter.

Nevertheless, I brace myself and crawl over to the window.

But by the time I’m brave enough to peek out, there is nothing left to see.  Why did I elect to spend my last days here, of all places?

It’s been six months since I started this blog on the Summer Solstice in Barcelona.  At the time, even though I knew the world wouldn’t actually end on my 45th birthday (12/21/12), I wanted to examine how I would live my life if I truly did have just six months left.  In those six months, I’ve slept in twenty-four cities.  And even though many of these places were relatively close to home, both I and my travel budget are now truly exhausted.

I so want this grand finale to pay off.

So what did I hope to find here in Bimini?  A large part of my quest this year has been related to rediscovering my life purpose.  To this end I’ve studied with a Zen priestess, let horses whisper my truth back to me, journeyed to some gorgeous new places, revisited some past favorites, bought some art, drunk too much wine, read too many books, spent too much money, fought with Hubby a few too many times, and even paid a guru or two to give me their version of my best path forward.  And while I’ve certainly gained something from each experience, I’m no longer certain that I’ve even been asking the right question.

Maybe there is no such thing as a single Life Purpose?

In other words, perhaps our purpose evolves and grows just as we do.  According to ostensible prophet Edgar Cayce, those who journey to the Atlantis Energy Vortex near Bimini with a good heart will be rewarded by gaining knowledge of their spiritual goal in this incarnation.  If there’s even a chance of this being true, I still want it.

Plus, this trip promises wisdom from another source:

spotted dolphins in Bimini, Bahamas

If the wild dolphins are anything like the incredible horses I worked with in September, they have plenty to teach us.  But just like my alien encounter, things with the dolphins don’t go exactly as planned.

But before I get to the dolphins, I need to explain a little about the “energy work” our group is engaged in.  We start each day with yoga, we’re being trained in Reiki, and we eat nothing but gourmet raw vegan meals:

raw vegan salad

raw vegan cuisine

I feel light, clean, and healthier than I’ve felt for a long time.  But even so, I don’t feel so different that I would hallucinate.  At least I don’t think I would.  But here is what happens when we’re hunting for seashells at the beach:

Bimini ascension beam

Beam me up, Scotty?

The leader of our group tells us the photo shows an example of pure energy.  She reminds us that we are the holy grail; when we open our minds and hearts to fully receive, we become the chalice for the universe to fill.

My smart atheist friends say the photo is just an example of “lens flare.”  

But I didn’t show them what the beam of light left behind in the water:

The Thing that ascended in Bimii

What do you think that weird blob hovering on the right side of this photo is?  (I wish I could tell you; I have no idea.)

Strange things happen here.

But back to the dolphins.  We have no trouble finding them on our very first outing:

first dolphins we see in Bimini

But our captain is puzzled that they’re in the wrong place.  He’s been leading dolphin expeditions for fifteen years, but has never found them heading South like they were when we met them.  They are clearly in a hurry going somewhere, and take little time to play with us.

The next day, we find a single dolphin — again, very unusual, as they swim in pods — who swims directly beneath me at the bow and lets me take several pictures.  Unfortunately, right after this, my new camera is whisked off its strap and falls into the ocean.  It seems weird that the camera strap would  break so easily, and I can’t believe my bad luck.

Until one of my fellow travelers shows me this shot she captured of the same dolphin:

face of underwater goddess with dolphin

What the heck is that underwater face in the upper left corner?  (And please don’t tell me it’s lens flare ...)   My friends think whoever/whatever it is also stole my camera.

We don’t see any more dolphins after my camera goes missing, despite three more attempts.  We are hoping to travel forty miles offshore on 12/21/12 to the middle of the vortex, but the weather doesn’t cooperate and we have to be content sending positive energy to Atlantis from the shore.  So here is what we manifested — my birthday sunrise at the End-of-the-World:

Atlantis energy grid

And to me, it really doesn’t matter whether this photo is lens flare, or if we activated the ruby rays of the energy vortex and thereby helped the planet move on to the next level in its evolution.  One of my women in my group “channeled” a message from the dolphins.  Apparently they were too busy doing their own energy work with the grid beneath the sea to spend time playing with us.

Do I believe her?  Do you?

At this point, it no longer matters to me.  I have found new friendships and true beauty on this trip.  (There is much more to add, but not in a lighthearted blog such as this.)

Does this mean I’ve also found my life purpose during the course of this blog?  At least I know my purpose was NOT to go missing in the Bermuda Triangle.  I feel like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, because all my travels over the past six months have just made me realize there’s no place like home.

Bimini flight home

Leaving Bimini … There’s no place like home!

I’m now forty-five.  And I’m okay with this.  Mostly.  Well, sort of. (Okay, the Botox budget will probably just keep rising from here.)  And even if I didn’t save the planet, I am here for a reason.

And so are you.  Remember, No Journey is Wasted.

——–

THANK YOU for journeying with me on this blog!  I’m not done traveling (Tibet, Norway, and Easter Island hover near the top of my list for 2013/14), but this blog is resting for now.  If you wish to be notified of future projects (including my upcoming book and new screenplays!), please SUBSCRIBE with your email address at the top right side of the home page on this blog.

Feeding My Inner Rockstar in Hollywood (or, Loosey-Goosey Magic, Roars, and Becoming a Celebrity with Christina Morassi)

“Tomorrow I will be reborn,” I say to myself as I set my iPhone alarm for 6:04 a.m. — the exact time of my birth nearly 45 years ago.  I am not in the habit of making such proclamations, nor can I remember ever having set my wakeup call for this time before.

Little did I know what was in store.

That was Monday night, and it’s just one more example of the psychic incidents I keep trying to squelch — such premonitions had no place in my previous legal life, and it’s hard to talk about them even now as an unemployed OC Housewife.  Yet it’s getting more difficult to deny the odd coincidences that happen all the time now.

Is this just a 2012 thing?

In any case, practically the first thing we did on Tuesday morning the day after my intuitive declaration was an intense “re-birthing” exercise.  Who would have expected to be born again at a business seminar?

Welcome to the world of Christina Morassi.

Christina Morassi's "Ecstatic Wealth" event in Hollywood, 2012

It’s true; despite my misgivings, I couldn’t quite manage to stay away from her “Orgasmic Money” Ecstatic Wealth event in Hollywood this week after all.  It was at The W, a kinda hip hotel at the not-so-hip intersection of Hollywood and Vine:

The W in Hollywood

Christina is hardly a typical businesswoman.  By her own account, she specializes in “loosey-goosey magic, celebrity, and ROARS” (as in lion sounds).  She related these five words (loosey and goosey must count as separate words?) were the result of an exercise she conducted to distill her iconic essence.  (Try it: quickly write a list of 100 words about you, cut it to 25, then just 5.  These are your essential traits. Mine are: Wanderlust, Chiron, hummingbird, sunshine, and imagination.)

But back to my “rebirth.” 

According to Christina, one of the many things that can hold us back from achieving our goals in life is we have never cleared our essential wounds.  In many cases, these happen during or around the time of our physical birth.  Since Christina is interested in helping women make money as quickly as possible, she wanted us to work on clearing our emotional obstacles.  To this end, she led us in a visualization where we sent healing energy and love back in time to our own births.  We were to give ourselves any and all good that was missing from the original experience.

Well and good, but based on the level of outright wailing in the room, some of my peers truly must have hated being born.  I shed a couple of tears myself, mostly because I still hold some guilt over my immaculate conception and possibly (likely) holding my mother back in life.  But Christina really wanted to stir things up.  According to her, in addition to coping with my existential angst over being born in the first place, I might also have had a “vanishing twin” – that is, my conception originally resulted in twin embryos, but only one (ME) survived.  Apparently, this is not at all uncommon: one in eight of us started out as potential twins.

I probably ate my twin.

I do share my 12/21 birthday with Josef Stalin, after all.  Plus, Mom always tells the story of how I tried to suffocate my younger brother with a pillow when I was two.  (He’s just 18 months younger, but apparently I LOVED being an only child.)  Oy veh.

Can we please just move on to the making money part?

I don’t mean to sound glib.  Or sarcastic.  (Well, maybe just a little.)  But I seem to have trouble processing some of these New Age exercises.  I DO believe we can all benefit from introspection, healing old wounds, and from trying to transform limiting or negative beliefs.  What I have a problem with is gurus manipulating people’s emotions simply to get at their money.

These three days were a pretty intense emotional rollercoaster.

Divas. Dancing. Dressing Up. Find Your Ecstatic Brand. Charge What You’re Worth.  Laser Coaching. Become a Rock Star.  See the Proof of Your Purpose in Your Own Palms.  Become Wealthy So You Can Change the World.  ROAR because it FEELS SO GREAT!   YOU ARE THE NEW CELEBRITIES.  Listen to Powerful Testimonials from Successful Business Divas Just Like You.  Invest Large Sums So You Can Do It Too.  YOU ARE WORTH IT.  YOU NEED A MENTOR.  You Cannot Do It Alone.  We are your friends.

It’s captivating and persuasive content.

Most of it felt empowering.  They even took glam photos of us to help us visualise our ecstatic futures:

Kate, becoming escstatically wealthy at the W in Hollywood

During the “Wealth Consciousness” evening, one of the ostensible Seven-Figure Divas transmitted money manifesting energy to us all in a weird shamanic dance that quite resembled going into labor.  And while no one was actually having epileptic fits on the floor, at times it was pretty darn close — almost like those writhing “saved” souls at charismatic churches.  (Meanwhile, I felt like Rod Tidwell in Jerry Maguire, wanting to just shout: “Show Me Da Money!” already …)

The maddening thing is that it worked.

Or at least it appeared to.  By now you know I love to poke holes in and make fun of things, but Hubby actually texted me in the middle of the above ritual to tell me he’d just received a very large bonus from his company … coincidence?  Hubby would surely say so.  Or maybe it was just good Feng Shui.  I did cover our garden in moneywort several months ago:

moneywort in our garden creates wealth?

More likely it was simply due to all of Hubby’s very hard work, but that’s an awfully boring explanation.  (Hey, I’ll take the money however it comes; we need it to pay for all my frivolities of the past six months)

As for me, I haven’t been able to do anything but sleep ever since Christina’s seminar.  Seriously.  I couldn’t even make it through the entire three days.  I came home on Wednesday morning (because I couldn’t process any more guru stuff?) and took a nap at 4:00, fell asleep on the couch again at 8:00, then slept a full ten hours before our cat got impatient and pounced on my back.

I guess I’m just not destined to be a Business Diva.

Or am I just sad that I’ve decided not to continue on with this particular Goddess sect?   (Excuse me — they’re called “Business Divas” this time, not the goddesses, queens, or sensual sisters of other programs.)  I‘m not sure yet.  Part of me really loved and admired all the ambitious women I met there; I can see my younger entrepreneurial self so clearly in them.

I understand loving and coveting money.  I truly do.  I live in Newport Beach, after all.  I’m also probably one of the earliest students of “The Secret” — long before the movie came out, I was involved in a personal development program where I personally “manifested” six figures in six weeks.  It seemed like I would never need to worry about money again. 

Until everything collapsed.

The thing is, even if you’re a megawatt shining business diva like Christina, only a very small percentage of people have the star power to replicate your success when you’re not actually selling a product with high inherent value. 

Eventually someone points out that the Empress is naked.

Please do not mistake this as criticism of Christina.  I’m actually really drawn to her, and admire what she has built.  But I also happen to know a fair number of wealthy people; several are family members.  None of them would ever DREAM of handing over thousands of dollars to a “guru” like Christina.  And I’m finally starting to listen to people who actually have some of the financial sense I lack.

But Christina is not targeting people who already know how to make money.  She’s after the rest of us: those of us with a dream.  And a desire to change the world that is so big it keeps us up at night.

I completely understand that.

And some of her students (YOU?) will no doubt succeed.  Brava for that!

But others will fail.

And that’s what everyone who invests in these types of programs needs to fully understand.  There are many ways to start a business.  Some people need a cheerleader and supportive community; people who buy for this reason will likely be extremely happy with this program, even if their businesses fail.  Others with a more practical bent prefer investing their money in building a great website or securing a solid inventory source.

Both methods can work.  It’s not an either/or process.  Personally, I loved Christina’s energy and enthusiasm; I would love to have her as a friend and mentor.  And frankly, I came very VERY close to signing up for her “diamond” level program because let’s face it:   I’m still searching.

But at the end of the day, Hubby’s voice was stronger.  (“That money could be half of your kitchen remodel.” Or even more persuasively, “That’s enough to pay for our Easter Island trip.”)

So did I lose my courage in saying no to Ecstatic Wealth?  Or am I finally learning that part of having a “wealth mindset” is learning to hang on to some of our money?

Now THAT would be a real re-birth!

I’m still not entirely sure that dropping out of this program was the right decision, and I do hope I’ll at least retain connections with some of the powerful women I met this week.  I really do believe we can all “Rock Our Purpose” and “Change the World” … just perhaps not all on the same path or in the same way.

—–

I would love to hear your thoughts about mentors and gurus in general.  Have you ever paid more than you felt comfortable with for a coaching program?  Were you satisfied with the results?

I want a divorce!

Time is running out until 12/21/12, and I’m forcing myself to face some pretty large issues I’ve been in denial about for a very long time.  The truth is, things just aren’t working the way they used to.

I want a divorce.

I want a divorce! 

But not from my husband.  I hate to admit this, but I think it’s high time to divorce …

MYSELF.

I wish I meant this figuratively, but I’m afraid it’s literal this time.  You see, back in 2008 at one of the many personal development seminars I got caught up in, we all participated in a wedding ceremony where we actually married ourselves.  Of course this event was no different from most — 99% of the participants were single women looking to find themselves.  I suppose that’s why no one bothered to ask me if I objected to polygamy.  (Hubby was raised Mormon, so I guess he had this coming.)

But I’m tired of me.

And I want a divorce.  Today is Thanksgiving, and as I reflect on all of my many blessings I wonder what is truly going on in the personal development world.  Why all the constant striving to be, do, and have more?  Can’t we just be happy with and truly appreciate what we already have?

As Joan Ocean writes in Dolphin Connection, “So often we no longer see the planet’s beauty … the absence of gratitude in our world results in the demise of our planet.  Expressing heartfelt gratitude is one of our intrinsic purposes, a sacred responsibility.”  Speaking of which, I am extremely grateful to be where I am today, surrounded by beauty near my in-laws’ home in Rancho Mirage:

Rancho Las Palmas with Scotty and Tasha

Rancho Las Palmas with Scotty and Tasha

We even enjoyed smoked salmon and mimosas on the golf course this morning:

Mimosa and smoked salmon on the golf course

Life is good.

Darn good.

So why do I keep striving for more?  I’ve even committed to attending a workshop in Hollywood next month called Orgasmic Wealth.  (Ok, that’s not the real name, but it’s awfully close.  Just don’t want to defame anyone here.)  It’s one of those self-actualized woman things.  You know the pitch: just use your feminine powers and the Law of Attraction.  Relax, learn to receive, delegate more, work less, and the money will magically flow into your life.  Rock your purpose. Change the world.

And we’ll all be Wealthy, Wonderful, and Wise

As long as you pay $50,000 for a high vibrational mentor to “coach” you.  (Non-refundable.  Because of course if you fail, this is your fault.) 

(Shoot, there’s that pesky sarcasm again ...)

According to Debbie Lachusa we’ve become a culture of success addicts, and  narcissism rates are exploding about as fast as the obesity epidemic.  Just look at FakeBook and the proliferation of self-absorbed blogs like this one.

ME. ME. ME. ME. ME. ME. ME. ME. ME. ME. ME. ME. ME. ME. ME. ME. ME.

Even typing that last line felt icky.

So I’m off to spend time with others.  My family.  And I hope you are appreciating yours.  Yes, I’ll be back to blog about my travels soon, and maybe even give you the inside scoop on the orgasmic wealth event, but today I would really rather hear about YOU.

—–

What are doing today to celebrate Thanksgiving?  And what are you grateful for?  Do you ever feel like I do, that you just want to relax and stop trying to improve everything all the time?

What to Do When Your Guru Wants You to Scratch Her Butt (or, What Living YOUR TRUTH Might Look Like?)

Despite all the sarcasm I’ve been guilty of on this blog, it appears I’ve finally met a Guru I have complete faith in …

Vista - my guru is a horse!

The only problem?  She wants me to scratch her butt:

Horse butt

I’ve been away from blogging this week because I’ve been too busy attending an Equine Therapy retreat with my Mother at a dude ranch in Tucson, Arizona.

Kate with Horses at Tucson's White Stallion Ranch

The trip was titled Reconnecting to Truth Through Horse Wisdom.  Before attending, I had little idea of what this meant, as I’ve never owned a horse and have ridden only a handful of times in my life.  I came into the week with few expectations, but the brochure promised to “compel [me] to reconnect with the truth of who [I am] through the mirror of the horse” and that the horse would “[provide] instant, non-judgmental feedback, reflecting back to [me my] inner-landscape and how [I move] through the world.”

In other words, the horse would definitely see through all my BS and give it to me straight.

Shit.

So I came prepared, armed with pockets full of sugar cubes and big bags of organic carrots and apples.  (Surely horses are amenable to bribery too?)  

I should have known better.

Even getting to the ranch should have alerted me to the fact that my usual way of being in the world was not going to work here.  As usual, I got a little lost trying to find the White Stallion Ranch.  I had driven six hours to be here, and somehow managed to make at least three wrong turns in the last ten minutes of the drive.  We were going to be late, and I was just a tad frustrated.

Fortunately, a friendly Arizona guy on a motorcycle offered to help. 

In exchange for giving me directions, he invited me to either: 1) donate $206 to the Grand Canyon State coffers, or 2) attend traffic school (a bargain at $185).  He claimed I was driving 47 in a 35 zone.  (But can’t you see I’m lost?  I didn’t see the sign.  Everyone else is going the same speed …)  But for the first time since I was twenty-two,

There was no way to sweet talk my way out.

But what does getting a speeding ticket have to do with horses?  There is a saying that the way a person does one thing is the way she does everything.  Perhaps if I could use this week to improve my communication with the horses, my communication with people would improve as well?

Kate & Pallomino - we blondes have to stick together!

We blondes need to stick together …

The first horse I gave a sugar cube to nearly knocked me over later begging for more, and the second spit it out in disgust at my feet.

So much for bribes. 

And the horses didn’t appear to like excuses or prolonged explanations either.  They just wanted us to be real.  Without giving away too much of what happened at the retreat or breaking any confidences, I can say it was a week full of physical, spiritual, and emotional breakthroughs for all nine of us who came together from across the country.  Here are just a few of the healings I witnessed:

We saw a horse come running to a woman who feared she would be less lovable by setting healthy boundaries, a horse roll in the dirt in pure ecstasy at the feet of a woman who expressed her desire to live in the moment, a horse walk away to test the faith of a man who strongly wanted to believe he is a child of God, a horse comfort a grieving woman by nuzzling her heart and head, a horse stand between another woman and her observers to block their opinions from harming her, several horses neigh in unity to confirm a man’s desire to collaborate more with others, a horse show another woman how to gracefully accept acknowledgement and applause, a horse help a woman express who she is by only coming close when she stated her real truth.

And my horse?  She made clear she wanted me to scratch her butt right after I confided to her my aspirations to become a writer.  It would be SO easy to just laugh this off (my normal way of being in the world), but as another participant pointed out:

If you’ve got an itch, scratch it.

In fact, the horse seemed perplexed when I asked her for permission to write about her.  It was as if she were saying, “Why do you need to ask?  If you want to write about me, go ahead.”  It seems to me that we spend an awful lot of agony asking the world for permission to pursue the desires we keep safely hidden away in our hearts.

A horse would never do this.

Here are a few more things I learned from the horses:

  • If your mind, heart, and spirit are not aligned, a horse knows it.
  • A horse isn’t interested in excuses.
  • Horses live in the present moment.
  • Horses are incapable of lying.
  • A horse won’t pay any heed to your inner critic.
  • A horse knows you can do a lot more than you think you can.
  • Horses do not understand why we ever do anything that isn’t living our truth.

And there’s plenty more.  (To be continued, soon …)

—-

Question:  What lessons have you learned from the animals in your life?  How much do you think animals understand?  Do they know things we do not?

Further Proof I’m a Goddess, the Meaning of Life, plus a Rather Disturbing Discovery …

As if being born on the shortest day of the year and turning 45 at the putative end-of-the-world in 2012 weren’t enough, I do have further evidence of my possibly divine status/birthright to guru-dom.

Namely, my immaculate conception.

Even having been born in the late 60’s and being a child of the 70’s, I wasn’t the brightest bulb in the box when it came to sex.  When it finally dawned on me one day as a tween sitting in the kitchen staring at the date on my parents’ rosemaling embellished anniversary plate, it took me a couple of hours to get up the nerve to ask: “Mom, how many months does a pregnancy last?”

Because even counting three times, I was quite certain there were only six months between my parents’ wedding date and my own birth.

My parents were high school sweethearts and I was born during Dad’s final year of college.  Hardly scandalous material even back then. And I certainly don’t mean to disparage my parents in any way, as their generation shows far more loyalty, resilience, and just plain decency than my own.  My parents lived through Dad’s service in the Vietnam War and went on to have three more kids after me.  They have been married forever now, and from what I can gather, Dad still thinks Mom is groovier than Marcia Brady and foxier than any Bond girl of any decade.

Raquel Welch & Ursula Andress

how I imagine Dad must view Mom …

Which is why I still have just a wee bit of trouble believing Mom’s story:

“We just must have been hyper fertile.  I swear we didn’t even have sex.  Your father just got a little too close one night … of course we waited until after we were married to try it again.”

Did I mention my parents were born the same year Bill Clinton was? (Maybe their generation has a slightly more narrow view of what constitutes sex?  And if two decades make that much difference, I wonder how the meaning of “virgin” might have evolved over 2000+ years?)

But on second thought, I do believe Mom.

It wasn’t my parents’ fault.

I simply wanted to be born too badly.   I was in a hurry.

And now that I have just 135 days left until the End-of-the-World, I feel more panicked than ever to squeeze everything I possibly can into life.

Which reminds me that I promised to reveal nothing less than the Meaning of Life in this post.  Being the immaculately conceived Guru-Goddess that I am, I am unabashed by this challenge and will simply do what all the other gurus do. 

I will borrow someone else’s thoughts on this.  Here goes …

The purpose of life is:

“To be the eyes and ears and conscience of the Creator of the Universe, you fool.”

— Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions.

I don’t remember much about Vonnegut’s novel (apart from loving everything the man has ever written), but find his theory amazingly comforting.  The longer I go without working a “real” job, the more material I need to rationalize my hope that writing (“being the eyes and ears of the universe”) may, in fact, be all that is required of us.

But if simply observing the world is what we’re here for, I just realized I will never meet a guru who possesses more wisdom than my cat:

Boris the Buddha

Boris the Buddha …

I don’t know about you, but I find this slightly disturbing … my cat charges less than $2 per day (two cans of Fancy Feast plus all the premium kibble he can eat).  How will I ever make a living as a Goddess?

————-

What about you?  What are your experiences with Gurus?  Spill everything: the good, the bad, and the ugly … maybe I can even convince Boris to impart some of his wisdom in a reply if you have Pounce treats.