Updated: Aug 18, 2019
In recent months, all aspects of my life have undergone an overhaul. A brand new me is emerging, which is reflected in the brand of my astrology practice.
I want to share with you my journey to the launch of Liv By Design:
For the past 8 years, I consistently created monthly newsletters. After the March 2019 Newsletter, I found myself in a period of hibernation and germination with the commitment to monthly newsletters temporarily falling away. Returning now, I bring added depth, compassion and clarity to the services I offer and am re-inspired to dedicate myself even more fully to Liv by Design and to empower others to do the same
2018 was a big year as I joined my mother on her journey through the dying process. The year before, I had put my cats in the car and driven 2980 miles to the northern most point of Washington State to take care of her and give her the ability to remain in her home. What I thought would be 6-8 months became 2 1/2 years. Now on the other side of this decision, I could not be more pleased to have taken the time I did to be with my Mom as now all opportunities to look into her eyes, share a laugh or hold her hand, are gone.
After she passed Thanksgiving weekend 2018, I made all funeral arrangements and communications between her friends and family. After welcoming and hosting 16 family members who flew in to celebrate my Mother’s life, it was time to sell my parent’s home. The next weeks were spent getting the house ready to show and touring multiple senior living facilities for my 90-year old father. And it was a several month process to sort through decades and generations of family treasures, deciding what to take and what to say goodbye to.
The end of February when the house sold, the pace quickened as we selected an apartment in an independent living facility that Dad would call home. I proceeded to then pack him, pack me, and find an estate liquidator who would carry everything else away. The end of March when the house closed, Dad moved into his new home and I undertook an 8-day trek to drive 40 feet of vehicle (rental truck towing my car) the 2980 miles back to Asheville to begin my life anew.
As the last year unfolded, I could not help but recognize the impeccable timing of each step as events unfolded. I could not have designed it better. Frankly, I don’t know that it would have even been possible to design all that needed to happen without having a nervous breakdown. It was if it had already been designed and orchestrated and I simply needed to live it and give myself to it. This is when the concept of a new brand for my astrology practice was seeded.
The astrological transits and the sky’s movements reflected the movements in my own life, and I found vitality and grace when I aligned with what was unfolding naturally and organically. It didn’t mean there was not a tremendous amount of effort involved. When the river of life brings me to the rapids, every ounce of courage, focus and physical stamina is needed for safe passage through.
Through all the big events of the last year, I remained committed to the creation and sending of the monthly newsletter. It wasn’t until after it was all over, until I had arrived back in Asheville, did I feel everything go to seed. I thought I would charge forth to lay the groundwork to start my new life, but instead found myself needing a break, needing to slow down and be quiet.
After being at my Mother’s side for three years dedicating myself to her care and needs, I realized that I had not been there just for her. The experience had also been for me and it had changed me. I am not the same person. I don’t look at myself or the world in quite the same way. I have needed these last months to germinate and feel into who I have become.
Many years ago I heard a theory that stated there are two kinds of women: those that nurture others and those that inspire others, and I had placed myself firmly in the latter category. I always puzzled about the nursing profession and those that chose to day in and year out compassionately serve others in pain, and while I admire and am grateful for those who are called to nursing, I concluded that I was simply been wired for some other purpose. And yet, I found myself willingly, lovingly and wholeheartedly embracing a full-time 24/7 role as caregiver for my Mother.
While I could do little to ease her pain or her inner struggles with the dying process, I could have her feel loved and cared for. I could be her witness. I discovered that being a witness is a powerful service to provide for another. When there is nothing else to do, and doing more will only agitate or distract, simply being with another and having them not feel alone is an immeasurable gift.
There is something profound in being the arms and legs and mind for another. For Mom, to surrender control of her life and all she used to do without thinking was a mighty thing. It was an immense privilege to have been given total trust to make decisions on her behalf and to do what she could no longer do for herself. With this trust came an intimacy, a vulnerability and a tenderness between us that was unexpected, and which I will forever cherish.
When she could not remember my name or my relation to her, she did know that she loved me and I loved her. She also knew that she trusted me with her life as she trusted no other. I always thought I would feel devastated if she did not remember my name or that I was her daughter, but I discovered that it didn’t matter. What mattered was that I loved her and she loved me and we both knew it. Why we loved each other or the story we might tell to explain it became irrelevant. This intimate connection is what we had been striving to achieve in the nearly six decades of our relationship and suddenly it was there: pure, sweet and unmistakable – the love.
To be given the chance to be in an intimate relationship with the dying process puts life and all other concerns in a new perspective. To have set my own needs and life aside to be with my parents in theirs, has me experience life differently as I have picked my life back up again. I am not motivated by the same desires, and what I want out of life has changed. There is a new clarity about the human journey, about what is essential and what is not, and a newfound boldness to put matters of the heart first. In the process, I have also softened, become kinder, and find added pleasure in the beauty of what life brings with each day.
What I thought caring for my Mother would be about turned into something much different and gifted me in ways I could never have imagined. The dying process was a sacred time that brought me present to the movements of a universal force that I experienced as orchestrating the movements and time frame of my Mom’s passing. There was something larger than me and larger than her at play. This is where I came into contact with The Design.
There is a design encoded in all of creation that is unfolding moment by moment. Through three decades of practicing astrology I have come to know the birthchart as holding the key to understanding the design at play in each person and I have dedicated thirty years to being able to read the symbols and message hidden in plain sight. We all create our lives. We all make plans and set goals. When we do it in concert with our soul design, then there is grace, beauty and a flowering of our heart’s desire. I am now committed to Liv By Design and look forward to empowering others in doing the same.