One woman’s journey to an extraordinary life — from addiction and disconnection to seizing life in all of its sacredness, opportunity and exquisite beauty
There is tremendous sacredness in the seemingly mundane. Ordinary life avails us ample opportunities to connect with a deeper appreciation and grounded sense of gratitude. From this place, ordinary life, I fully recognize that Source sources me.
Living in Hawaiʻi has granted me the opportunity to find the peaceful paradise within myself. Sure, the outside conditions are exquisite here in this tropical and abundant beauty.
Yet there is truth in the notion of no escape; wherever we go, there we are.
When we moved here we brought some things that remind me that we can manufacture our own suffering, wherever we happen to be (epic sunsets and all). Though I left my under-wire bras, nail polish and hair dye on the mainland, some pesky bad habits came along with me. The heavy baggage of impatience, lack of financial freedom and speediness have been unwelcome and fodder for further personal transformation.
We also brought my husband’s parents and the baggage of that reality.
We choose love and Aloha over drama and trouble and I committed to not having a typical mother-in-law relationship fraught with uneasiness. So we did this incredible jump across the ocean to an island in the middle of the mighty Pacifc, and along with our young boys, we all set the mighty Moonshot declaration of the “Grand ʻOhana” experiment.
We share our resources, we multiply our joys and divide our sorrows and we generate as much laughter in this challenging cohabitation as possible.
The benefits outweigh the costs. A few examples follow to illustrate this. We, as a family, are passionate about being good stewards of the earth. We don’t have to travel to visit each other. We collaborate as a team to eliminate single-use plastic at local events. We plant trees and learn Hawaiʻi lifeways with a local kumu, teacher. We each care for ourselves and we also tend to the space between us.
The level of self-sovereignty married with the undeniable reality of our interdependence is part of what makes living a journey of transformation so extraordinary.
If we see the world as messed up, guess what? Life feels pretty messed up. If we feel overly responsible or utterly apathetic, we are not right-sized and we feel overwhelmed. If we see the power of personal transformation, live with a tender heart of caring from a grounded grace of gratitude, we can ask ourselves, Are we showing up as the change we wish to see in the world? We can engage in self-inquiry on a regular basis.
Then, knowing if we are instrumental, detrimental or inconsequential to any interaction, and courageously willing to change in here to ignite out there, guess what? Life is extraordinary.
Life is extraordinary…
- When we operate from flexibility and forgiveness, two essentials of resilience — life is extraordinary.
- When we cultivate grace and kindness, two aspects of compassion — life is extraordinary.
- When we live a life of abundance and gratitude, two rewards of service — life is extraordinary.
Healing and transformation are possible. We shall explore these through the lens of Three Realms: Resilience, Compassion and Service and the 12 distinctions of an extraordinary life: trust, focus, repair, faith, clarity, openness, reactivation, energy, interdependence, responsibility, generosity and consciousness.
Numerous opportunities remind me that true peace stems from a deeper inner knowing of unconditional love and compassion, Aloha, in the sacred meaning of the word.
The quality of my life is not contingent upon external circumstances, and as my inner life transforms, so does my experience of reality.
I’ve had the great good fortune to pause and take the time to digest my life, write my transformational memoir and see the unconscious dictates of my mind give way to the power of conscious breath. I’ve stepped into command central of my nervous system through daily practice of both committed, intentional, high-performance activities as well as the sweet surrender to a higher grace through yoga, meditation and conscious breathwork. My experience of my higher Self is both driven and tender. From this foundation, I’m powerful, generous and magnify an extraordinary life.
If I could only share 3 things with the world:
- Recover from addictions that rob your soul of the beauty of the present moment. This includes substances such as alcohol and sugar, as well as technology and distraction.
- Heal your relationship with Self, Other, & Spirit, this is the SOS of our time. Heal one, heal them all. Our interconnectedness is staggering.
- Contemplate grace daily through yoga and meditation outside. Connect with a higher power daily, Natural Great Beauty is the ultimate Source.
My original Moonshot was to get sober from my decade of debauchery and inherited alcoholism. Next came relational healing with SOS. The foundation for these extraordinary experiences has been thirty plus years of contemplative practice, namely yoga, meditation and more recently, conscious breathwork.
Addictions Recovery, Relational Health, & Contemplative Practice, the ARC of connection
Addiction / ordinary definition: consumption of substance that brings temporary relief, short-term benefit, and then long-term pain, long-term consequences.
Addiction / extraordinary definition: activity resulting in avoidance of direct experience. Anything that robs your soul of the present moment.
Recovery / ordinary definition: a return to a normal state of health, mind or strength. The act of regaining something that is lost.
Recovery / extraordinary definition: a sense of integration and thriving that comes from spiritual awakening and resulting health-promoting activities.
After I got sober, I declared a Masters Degree in Psychology as a Moonshot, then the connection with my beloved (and I proposed marriage to him), then we declared to be responsible adults and create a loving atmosphere for two thriving young boys. There were lots of other extraordinary declarations over the last fifty years; those are just some highlights.
Examples of other Moonshots from my clients:
- Buy a mango farm on Kauai to get out of the Pacific Northwest in the winter
- Marry your beloved and end a succession of divorce and failed relations
- Write a graphic novel for kids about compassion and magic
- Get out of debt and enjoy financial freedom
- Put your needs at the top of your list, fill your reservoirs of energy so that you can give freely to family and friends and community
- Turn community fundraising events into Plastic-Free Events (end single-use plastic) and promote the health of our ocean ecosystem
- Skillfully express successes and sorrows with a supportive network
You might notice, as we scratch the surface of these desires, that each one of them has to do with some aspect of the health of relationships. In essence, we are choosing to declare optimal relational health, and this is a tall order. In general, we want better relations with Self, Others, and Spirit (SOS).
You matter. Your relationships matter.
Let’s take a look, with curiosity and tenderness, at what relationships in your life are working, and which aren’t. Again, this is the S.O.S. of our times. Let’s not be alarmed as if we are drowning, let’s do something about it. Let’s answer this signal of distress that our relationships are suffering. We live in a relational reality; everything in your life is a relationship, a connection that benefits from a clear energetic exchange… or not.
Let’s start with what matters most in terms of your relationship with yourself, your connection with your own breath.
This is a powerful technology from Kundalini Yoga tradition. Use this incredible breath tool regularly.
It gives you greater command of the central nervous system. From this place of empowerment comes greater compassion of self. From this arises more skillful means with others. In other words, it works to transform your relationship with yourself to one that is more tender, more compassionate. From this foundation of love, you enjoy better exchanges with others. This is guaranteed.
The Buddha told us this, too. If you are truly loving and kind with yourself, you can never harm another human being. We start by breathing like we love ourselves.
Alternate Nostril Breathing Exercise
- Exhale completely. Release what is no longer needed.
- Place right thumb over right nostril.
- Inhale through your left nostril. This is the body’s calming channel.
- Pause at the peak of the inhale.
- Close left nostril with right ring finger while releasing the right thumb.
- Exhale out the right nostril.
- Pause at the bottom of the exhale.
- Inhale the right nostril only. This is the energizing channel in your body.
- Pause at peak of inhalation.
- Close right nostril with right thumb while releasing the ring finger.
- Exhale out the left nostril.
- Pause at the bottom of exhalation.
- Inhale the left nostril only.
- Pause at the top of your inhale.
- And repeat for five minutes.
- Release both sides and inhale deeply, exhale slowly.
Now notice the balanced energy in your being. You may perhaps feel more awake if you were tired. You may feel calm if you were anxious. This is the state of balanced pulsation, relaxed joyfulness, calm abiding. You have energy when you need it and calm in your pocket. It is transformational. Do this while you wait for your hot water for tea to boil in the morning. Or before bed.
Be Still, Do Breathing Exercise, Have Ease.
Next, after connection with breathing, I invite you to sit down and connect with your heart through a weekly writing practice. Perhaps you can choose Sunday, which is a perfect day for your media-free day, and to give yourself a chance to connect with your inner landscape. Handwriting connects your heart and mind and helps integrate the wisdom of your inner guidance system. To fully enjoy your experience, start with alternate nostril breathing exercises, enjoy a cup of tea, and do the writing prompts that follow.
These sentence stems have been specifically selected to generate familiarity with the story you tell yourself about your life. Once we fully recognize that we are the author of our lives, we open up new possibilities of enlightenment.
These exercises are to (1) identify the present moment, (2) acknowledge the past, (3) declare your moonshot, (4) focus on one actionable step, (5) ensure you are operating out of your passionate purpose on this planet and (6) cultivate a culture of appreciation. Ready?
- As I’m sitting here, I’m experiencing…
- Where I’m from…
- Where I’d like to be…
- One thing I can do to get me there…
- What matters most…
- One thing I appreciate is…
Perhaps you might find it helpful to read a personal example:
- As I’m sitting here, I’m experiencing a fullness in my belly after a delicious lunch, a sense of focus and steadiness in completion of my project, and gratitude for a cool breeze on my neck.
- Where I’m from historically was a sense of indigestion; a combination of feeling too full from food or drink, and simultaneously empty from lack of fulfillment with my efforts.
- Where I’d like to be is experiencing satiation without consuming or striving more than necessary and feeling a rich fullness from my career efforts.
- One thing I can do to get me there is to eat until 80% full and work until 80% complete for the day and leave some appetite for life in general for the next day.
- What matters most is the trust I have in myself; I aspire to do what I say I’m going to do and give that 100% easeful effort and conscious commitment.
- One thing I appreciate is my recollection of the times I have given 100% without burnout or overextending myself. Examples include my trifecta of bliss: my continuous sobriety, my loving marriage, my deep connection with Natural Great Beauty. Next week I celebrate 25 years being alcohol-free. This is foundational for my spiritual growth. My marriage heals and nudges me to grow beyond my own selfish desires and invites great bliss. The cloud beings that glide across the sky, the ocean waves that grace the shore, the trees that give life-sustaining oxygen; these are a few of the marvels that comprise Natural Great Beauty.
And so… I rest my case… and this ends as it begins… There is tremendous sacredness in the seemingly mundane. Ordinary life avails us ample opportunities to connect with a deeper appreciation and grounded sense of gratitude. From this place, ordinary life, I fully recognize that Source sources me.
Moonshot: Aim High, Dive Deep And Live An Extraordinary Life is an invitation to approach the present moment with greater awareness, invite a moment of acceptance, and then act accordingly, from a place of tender, powerful generosity rooted in resilience. This transformational memoir is for you if you have severed contact with your inner guidance system, felt blamed and shamed, and then criticized others and compromised your morals.
Invitation to Moonshot Movement
Perhaps you suffer from the epidemic in our dominant culture of distraction and busyness. You are addicted to things that rob your soul of the beauty of the present moment. You avoid the direct experience of the moment by chronic ‘doing’ vs. ‘being’. And you rise, like a mighty wave, with other like-minded peeps. You are poised to transform. You recognize what you’ve been doing isn’t getting you where you want to be. You are empowered to change in here to ignite out there.
Let’s start with the end in mind. We are in the midst of a cultural revolution. My purpose-driven passion as a social pioneer is the Moonshot Movement; to transform the world one relationship at a time. Let’s embrace the mind-blowing capacity of love to heal heart dis-ease and end addiction, as we contemplate a new reality. We declare something extraordinary, take committed action and we surrender to a higher grace, as we find ease and enjoyment in the process of transformation.
Perhaps you are now willing to trust yourself to no longer abandon yourself. You are willing to own your super-sensitivity as a superpower. Assertive strength coupled with calm abiding makes for a potent divine feminine and sacred masculine. The world needs this energetic exchange. Join me and declare your Moonshot, that something extraordinary that wouldn’t otherwise happen. And let the Magic unfold. I’m launching a new guidebook and coaching program based upon this.
Moonshot: commitment to something extraordinary; declaring what, by when.
Magic: surrender to something greater than yourself; inviting ease, flow, and grace.
Moonshot Magic is for you if:
- You’re no longer willing to numb out. Period. You want to be awake, you have that desire and you are now, at this moment, ready to wake-up and basically get over yourself.
- You’re willing to abandon the ‘us’ and ‘them’ mentality. You operate from a higher consciousness, and as a social pioneer you desire even higher levels of awareness.
- You’ve had episodes of rage or have carried internalized shame of being a person of privilege. You are now willing to drop the stones of resentment from your heart. You see anger as a teacher and are ready to listen and step into your power; you won’t give up and you won’t back down. You truly understand that hate begets hate.
- You’ve severed contact with your inner guidance system, felt blamed and shamed, and then criticized others and compromised your morals. You are primed for realignment with your inner guides.
- You’re willing to be right-sized while simultaneously blowing the lid off mediocrity. Full stop.
- You’re willing to own your super-sensitive superpowers. You feel things deeply in your bones and your intuition responds fully to life. You are ready to hone this as a strength versus your Achille’s Heel.
- You’re willing to see there’s nothing to fix out there. There is no ‘out there’, out there. Change in here, to ignite out there.
- You recognize that we are in the midst of a cultural revolution and the power of the human heart can guide us. You love nature and recognize relational health is the way to heal the planet.
- You suffer from the epidemic in our dominant culture of addiction to distraction and busyness. ‘Exhausted’ and ‘overwhelmed’ are frequent complaints, up until now.
- You avoid direct experience of the moment by chronic ‘doing’ versus ‘being’. You crave more time in your life for what matters most and you are ready to see that time is the great equalizer, we all have the same amount of it in any given day.
If you’re still reading this, you are ready to quit manufacturing your own suffering, stop terrorizing yourself and start tenderizing your heart.
You are now willing and ready to trust yourself to no longer abandon yourself. Join the Moonshot Movement and declare your Moonshot; that something extraordinary that wouldn’t otherwise happen. And become fully empowered on this journey. Be. Do. Have.
Be empowered and prepared for miracles. Do the next right thing. Have the courage to surrender to success. The magic is around us to support us as we declare our Moonshot.
You may also enjoy reading Amazing Grace: Experiencing the extraordinary within the ordinary by Adyashanti