I didn't always know I could be happy...

I recall crying in such a way that the sobbing would be the only way I could feel my body …. in some twisted way, at least I could feel sorrow, at least….

At least I could feel the sadness….

For years I thought that the depression was me.  Honestly, I thought depression was a descriptor of me, like she has brown hair, hazel eyes, and depression.  It was just a part of who I was. For that matter, that was what the doctors told me, too. I’m sick, I have an illness of the mind. Here take these drugs, they’ll change your chemical make up, you’ll feel better. You know what’s scarier, is when you do change your chemical make up via an intense pill and you’re still freaking depressed. 

I remember the first time I finally succumbed to taking an antidepressant and the chemical fog lifted almost immediately from my brain and somewhere around the three day mark I remember laughing. I heard myself laugh.  My God, what a strange sound, but what was harder to grasp was how long had it been since I’d laughed? Jesus. I didn’t even recognize the sound of my own laughter.


Fast forward many years later, many many sessions in talk therapy, and many many experiments in self-help and self development. I arrived at a point where I had become so God damn contented by following all the rules and doing all the right things, that I didn’t know who I was, what I liked, or even if anything made me happy.  

And then it got even worse.

My life situation started to feel so unbearable that it became impossible for me to image a way out.

This is defined as hopelessness and desperation.

So not only did I have a depressed nature, I was hopeless and desperate too. Wow, what a sexy combination for a less than notable life.

So what then you ask? Would you dare give up everything you've ever known to find yourself and the one thing that has eluded you, your entire life?

Happiness.

I whispered the fragile secrets cradled deep within my heart, I spoke them in confidence to the ones I trusted, the ones who claimed to love me and support me, only to have my own secrets used against me.  The throat clutching fearful advice, the screaming, the threats, how could I not listen to their fears?

But how could I go on living a half life? I was dead inside and even more frightening was that I wished I was dead.

I remember, stone faced and emotionless, repeating to my mother, as we stood in the driveway arguing, “This is not a life. This is not a way to live. I'm not alive. This is no way to live. This is not a life I am living.”

"What will you do”, she asked?  “I don’t know.” I replied. "But I can't go on like this. I’m going to leave.”

Must I risk everything? Could I relinquish all safety and security for the unknown?

Must I leave everything I've ever identified myself with, to, and from in order to find myself?

There was security in the mundane, taking risks and leaps of faith were fine for others, but I had always been smart with a plan. The thing was, none of my plans had worked out very well.  And yet, I was determined to feel something other than low grade disappointment of all that I had accomplished.  I decided that if I must risk everything for the one thing that had become more precious than life, the desire to live, then that was what I would do.

I wanted to know love. I wanted to have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. I longed for freedom.

And as the story goes, from there I jumped from the cliff, took the leap of faith, risked everything, lost everything, fell through every safety net, dove into the deepest darkness of the abyss, and then entered into the complete unknown.

Only then, after I had lost everything, including every shred of my precious self identity, only then did the light find me.  

Only then did I enter into the land of miracles.

"Once you get over the fear, then its a cinch." she said. And then she leaped into a mountainous and unexplored region of her heart.

Today I had a conversation with my true self. She asked me why I had abandoned her, why I had ignored all her constant advice. And then she reminded me of all the things I had forgotten. And never once did she say ‘I told you so’.

“On Tuesday, She woke up and realized she had forgotten the definition of the word ‘impossible.’ She decided it must not have been that important.” -  Monique Duval

 

Lofoten Islands, Norway. My first real big leap of faith, travel to the Arctic Circle 2010.

Lofoten Islands, Norway. My first real big leap of faith, travel to the Arctic Circle 2010.

Lofoten Islands, Norway. I can't row a boat to save my life, but I did come alive on this trip. Afterward my personal revolution began.

Lofoten Islands, Norway. I can't row a boat to save my life, but I did come alive on this trip. Afterward my personal revolution began.

I didn't always know that I could be happy.

I didn't always know that I could heal my depression, and it wasn't through doctors, talk therapy, or medication...

I healed my depression and anxiety, by risking everything that was safe and known, following my heart, losing everything, finding myself, and being broken open to love, and connecting to the infinite source of creation within, my heart.

If following your heart and making your dreams come true was easy almost everyone would have done it along time ago.

I'm going to invite you to take my hand as I lead you to a direct path to your DREAMS. You see, we are hardwired for fear, doubt, and negativity, AND we also possess the most powerful creation tool that exists in the Universe.  Are you ready to open to greater potential and allow something great to happen to you? Register for my upcoming free course:  http://eepurl.com/XezXT What I am going to teach you is not how to MAKE your dreams come true, but rather how you become the person that allows and makes welcome that which is your destiny.

This is when simplicity and being yourself becomes the greatest luxury of your life experience.

Do you want to accomplish what you so deeply desire in your heart? Do you want to feel the freedom to get over your lifelong limitations? Do you want to feel successful and like the world is wide open to you? Join me for a special discussion, Register here: http://eepurl.com/XezXT

What if your greatest wealth was freedom from your personal baggage?

Perhaps you are frustrated because you've tried everything including programs, self help books, meditation, journaling…. and maybe even investing in personal coaching with expensive mentors living their dream lives and found yourself just as stuck and disenchanted as before.

If you are ready to attain your own vision of happiness, personal freedom, financial freedom, and stop looking outside of yourself to receive the answers, you do not want to miss this conversation. Register here: http://eepurl.com/XezXT

Course starts June 25th, Free registration



In Pursuit of the Divine: And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make

MY NEW INSPIRATIONAL BOOK ANTHOLOGY BECOMES AVAILABLE ON AMAZON THIS FRIDAY, JUNE 6TH!

In just 3 days, I will be releasing my second internationally published anthology, In Pursuit of the Divine, 30 written stories to empower a woman's soul.  

The purpose of the book is to inspire and empower women all over the globe with transformational true life stories. Every Woman has experienced some form of disempowerment in her life leaving behind traces of her true essence.  She may decide to hide her true self from the world. Our purpose is to expand your awareness, acknowledge you and provide a sanctuary to reclaim your own Feminine Power. Women now more than ever are being called upon to come together as a collective entity. With our unique offerings, we have a desire to support you and guide you in activating your own inner wisdom so you can align yourself with the greatest expression of who you are and know your purpose in the world. 

Each co-author invites you to witness their own Transformational Journey, one that empowered them to be who they are today as the Feminine Rising.  Each chapter reveals the truth, what they discovered on their path to cultivate healing within themselves. Each story reveals the beauty already inherent in each one of us, a unique journey where a time of darkness initiated deep feminine wisdom of spectacular threads woven together in a tapestry of courage, bravery, trust and triumph In Pursuit of the Divine.

in-pursuit-of-the-divine-written-stories-to-empower-a-woman's-soul

MEET THE CO-AUTHORS!
I joined forces with 29 other healers, coaches, visionaries and thought leaders from around North America and the U.K.  

I was invited to participate in this incredible, inspiring and impactful collaboration by my friend and the book's compiler, Krista Gustavson who asked that each of the book's 30 co-authors share our stories of empowerment and transformation more truthfully, vulnerably and courageously than ever before.  The result is a collection of stories that is incredibly real, totally inspirational and packed with tools to empower women around the globe.  This is our time. This is YOUR time.  To be utterly and gloriously YOU and to shine your light fully for your sake, the sake of your loved ones and the sake of our world.  This book will empower you to do so.  Stay tuned for the Amazon link which will become available on Friday so that you can purchase the book for yourself and all the other women who are important to you!

Each co-author will touch your heart and speak to your soul, giving you greater awareness, clarity and inspiration. You will learn that losing yourself in the midst of pain, grief and loss can be a portal to strengthen and empower ourselves. I invite you to step into your own story so that your true purpose can be revealed. When we are completely aligned with our Purpose, we are the greatest contribution to the world.


Buy the book this Friday and I will be offering a special free gift to everyone who sends me their Amazon receipt.

AMAZON link to purchase http://amzn.to/1hBiG5f!

smile.

WATCH THIS VIDEO ABOUT MY CHAPTER TITLED "RISKING EVERYTHING".


Create a Life Worth Living

"Satisfaction"  

by Chloë Rain

I want to be wanted.

I want to be missed.

I want to be made love to.

I want to see love in your eyes when you desire me.

I want your desire to run so deep, that satisfying it will take a lifetime or two

Photograph: Chloë Rain at Doe Bay Resort, Orcas Island

Photograph: Chloë Rain at Doe Bay Resort, Orcas Island


Maya Angelou has inspired me about zillion times over the past two days.  I wasn't exactly a fanatical fan, but her voice and words always carried power and respect that made me pause to listen to her every syllable.  She was a force to be reckoned with and as far as I felt she was and will remain to be a tremendous force of good in the world.

I didn't even know most of her story, though I vaguely recall reading "I know why the caged Bird Sings" about racism, child rape, and incest.  Maya Angelou's platform wasn't based solely on overcoming adversity.  She had, she did, and she thrived, spreading deep wisdom through her presence, her voice, and her words, not through her suffering.

Do you know this lady used to be a fry cook and a stripper and then went on to become good friends with Nelson Mandela, published her first book at age 40, because her mentor said writing an autobiography as literature couldn't be done??? !!!  So she set out to prove him wrong. It took her two years but then she went on to kick ass in essentially every artistic medium known to creative humankind. This fry cook, turned Oprah's mentor, turned poet laureate, turned friend of past Presidents.... made a life that was worth living when all the odds were against her.  

I'm betting that she was listening to the voice of Inner Authority as she navigated the pains of heartbreak and turned them into the precious gems of a truly wealthy woman, not rich, but wealthy.

I think I love best about this woman, is she was TOTALLY REAL. Like her, dislike her, don't care, there's no denying her authenticity and integrity.

What I've been witnessing a good deal of is what happens when you don't connect to the voice of your own Inner Authority and you go searching for the answer out there?

You arrive in a "different" place still feeling much the same way you had before, lost, shocked, unhappy because you thought that you could figure it out by yourself, and that "bright shiny object" was going to be the answer to all that ails you. 

The answer lies with in you, all the resources, all the answers you are seeking are within. Your Inner Authority is the most priceless and precise decision making tool and inner compass that will always lead you to the most direct way of reaching your true north.

But this can be totally scary because our subconscious minds have been wired, in our youth and inherited from the people around us, with fear and emotional responses that keep us stuck, confused, and prevent us from having a different life experience.

Many times we are running on patterns that aren't even our own. We don't have a clue who is running the show. It sounds simple but when you are blind to what's keeping you stuck this is tough work to do by yourself. You must find your inner voice and learn to trust yourself!  

You can hear me talk more about the science of the brain chemistry that creates chemical chaos and brain fog here: chloerain.com/shameless

When I was changing my life, I worked with 4 (sometimes more) healers, coaches, and mentors each and every week. This is how serious I take my healing. I still continuously invest in my mental, physical, and emotional health and have an international support system! This is the basis of my work with individuals who are seriously committed to transforming their lives.

I fiercely take a stand for You.  What the world needs now is YOU.

To wake up and come alive in your life, and find the courage and receive the support you need to birth your special gift into the world!

This is of utmost importance, there could not be a greater investment in your future.

I guarantee that learning to trust your Inner Authority will make you happier than a new pair of shoes and a fancy bag. Trust me, been there done that, got the credit card bill to show for it. 

I dove into my own journal seeking some inspiration of my own making....

a brief passage was the only thing that spoke to me:

"I want to wake up to the truth of Myself."

"What the world needs now, is YOU. And me."

Words are like sunbeams, the more condensed, the deeper they burn.

Bad things will happen and good things too. Your life will be full of surprises. Miracles happen only where there has been suffering. So taste your grief to the fullest. Don’t try and press it down. Don’t hide from it. Don’t escape. It is life too. It is truth. But it will pass and time will put a strange honey in the bitterness. That’s the way life goes.
— Ben Okri

Follow your Heart, find your Courage, go for your Dreams, tell LOVE stories, go Exploring

May you be inspired to create a life worth living on your own terms!


We plan our lives according to a dream that came to us in our childhood, and we find that life alters our plans. And yet, at the end, from a rare height, we also see that our dream was our fate. It’s just that providence had other ideas as to how we would get there. Destiny plans a different route, or turns the dream around, as if it were a riddle, and fulfills the dream in ways we couldn’t have expected.
— Ben Okri



I want to live simple

I want to live simple

i-just-want-to-live-a-simple-life-and-sit-by-the-window-when-it-rains

I want to sit by the window when it rains and read books I’ll never be tested on.

I want to paint because I want to, not because I’ve got something to prove.

I want to listen to my body, fall asleep when the moon is high and wake up slowly, with no place to  rush off to.

I want not to be governed  by money or clocks or any of the artificial restraints that humanity imposed on itself.

I just want to be, boundless and infinite.

3 Months to a Perfect Yoga Body

New Years Eve, Paris France photograph by Chloé Le Drezen

New Years Eve, Paris France photograph by Chloé Le Drezen

Smoking

Drinking

Shame, fear, depression

Suicide

Promiscuity

Death and yoga

Helped me to be a better person

You wanna know how I got a perfect yoga body in JUST 3 months?  

I'm gonna share with you what I've learned about smoking, drinking, cheese, shame, self sabotage, self discovery, and how friendship saved my life. I'm gonna tell you how shame has served me, and how you can face your version of shame in order to change your life permanently so that you may receive the things you so desperately desire.


I feel trapped inside my own body. I feel trapped by a life of my own making and I'm dying inside, but on the outside I so desperately want to hold it together for everyone around me. I don't want anyone to know. I'm hiding my secret behaviors.  

I drank two bottles of wine the day I found out my X was having a child with a woman he had fallen in love with. At the time, I was sleeping with a man who was engaged to be married and not to me. I had been trying to quit smoking for three years.  But the truth was, I enjoyed smoking. And I had so little enjoyment in my life, I felt less lonely when I was smoking, even if I was alone.

On the outside I was holding it all together. I was putting on a smiling face.  I even fooled myself for awhile. I kept going. I kept smoking. I kept drinking.  I hoped my life would change one day, some day, soon, hopefully. I had always been seeking a greater meaning in life, but had been told too many times that I was just too intense. So I hid my spiritual quest too.

I hid my depression as well as I could, but it was such a constant in my life, I wouldn't have known who I was without it. My friends tolerated my drunken outbursts of anger, occasionally a night of going out would end with me in a pile on the floor, sobbing about how much I hated my life.  I was conflicted, going to the gym regularly, but drinking purple stuff to keep my energy high while I toned my arms throwing kettlebells. Meanwhile, being called "gym girl", gave me a false pride as I skipped regular meals and drank my daily calories in blueberry vodka sodas.  I remember, running into my X on the street with his soon to be wife, and I went home and popped an antidepressant pill to subdue the inevitable tidal wave of despair that was coming for me.  I kept some pills in my drawer in case of emergencies. Once sitting in my favorite coffee shop where I ate breakfast and lunch almost daily,  SHE came into the shop, and parked the baby stoller and the baby feet from my table.  As she talked on the phone of their pending wedding plans,  and discussed the details of the house they were building together, I wanted to melt into oblivion. I was sure she hadn't seen me and wouldn't know me, if she did, but I wished with all of my being that my life would change. I sat there frozen listening and praying, God, please get me the fuck out of here, and I don't just mean the coffee shop.  There were a couple of times, I remember going for the drawer with my antidepressants to pop a pill. Then once going home with the thought, "I need  to take one of those pills so this wont affect me" and almost simultaneously, a soft clarity washed over me, "no fucking pill was going to solve the problems I had in my life, in fact it was almost silly to think that a pill was going to change anything about my life at all."

I had been in therapy for over ten years (secretly), and at this point I could say that, you know, I was ok. Completely functioning and in many ways, successful, skinny, with good credit and making good money. But something was terribly wrong, inside. I never slept an entire night through. 

God, or life, did get me the fuck out of there.... but I still needed help.

When does shit get bad enough to take said shit seriously?  I can't say I had some great epiphany.  I knew that I "should" quit smoking, and I'd talked about it for almost 3 years.  I had quit smoking before and I could do it again, if I wanted, or so I thought.  I didn't think I had a real issue, you know, I just didn't feel like quitting, yet. Until someone asked the question, "if I didn't have a plan to quit smoking, how exactly did I intend to quit smoking?" She suggested an acupuncturist who had a lot of success with smoking cessation. I dunno, I'd never gone to an acupuncturist, but I had considered hypnotherapy (secretly), and since I could partially write off my medical expenses I decided to give it a try. 

It took me 8 months to quit. At first, I went 3 times a week! 3 TIMES A WEEK!!! to acupuncture. And guess what? For smoking cessation you get needles stuck in your ears, and holy crap! it doesn't feel good. Not like when you get needles in your back and it makes you giggle like a circus clown (true story for another time.)

God, only knows why I kept going. But what was revealed and uncovered in 8 months was such priceless healing and therapy and love and self care and receiving. What would come out of my acupuncture sessions was more powerful than any therapy or self-help book. I kept going back, looking back on it now, because Dennis was maybe the first person I'd ever been truly honest with, and he treated me each week with such deep care and kindness and intelligence and because of his gentle non judging ways, my life began to transform.  

But guess what? I still didn't want to quit smoking. I got really clear on what my triggers were and why I was addicted to smoking and I still did it. Every week  Dennis would ask how was I doing with the smoking? You know I wasn't smoking in public and I was hiding it as much as possible, but with him, I'd be honest. "You know I'm going to light up a cigarette as soon as I walk out of your office." I'd say to him.

"I'd be lying if I told you I want to quit smoking. I enjoy it. I know its bad for me. But I don't care. I don't want to quit." I was being honest.

And every week Dennis would say, "You're going to quit."

"You keep showing up, and one day you're going to want to quit. I believe in you."  I remember him saying those words to me, and I had thought, "well Thank God one of us believes in me. "

Then one day after months of treatment, when many things had improved, except I still liked to smoke my cigarettes even if I was hiding it from strangers I would pass on the street....

One day I didn't want to smoke anymore. I almost forced myself to light up, but when I did, I couldn't inhale. I didn't enjoy smoking anymore. WTF? How the fuck did that happen?

I went and I told Dennis, OMFG, I don't want to smoke anymore! 

A month later, I was home visiting my girlfriends for the holidays, and like old times we sat and drank and smoked cigarettes till the sun came up, like we were 25 again.  When I saw Dennis, I told him, I've been smoking again, after I quit for a month! And its worse than before. Its like I never quit for a moment. I like smoking more than I ever have before, and I don't think I'm capable of quitting. I think that was just a fluke that I quit. I'm going to be one of those people who just smoke until they die.

He responded, "Oh this is perfectly fine. This happens all the time. You're going to be ok. You'll quit for good. I believe in you. You keep showing up."  

Are you crazy? Have you lost your mind??? Didn't you hear me? I started smoking again, and its like I never quit. I may as well succumb to dying of lung cancer, I mean who are we kidding? I'm going to smoke myself to a lonely death.  

And he said, "Not to worry. This happens, you'll quit again and permanently."

And I did. I quit. And now I don't fear that I'll start again (I do have to be conscious, but its so foreign that I almost don't believe it myself.)

Insert first lesson here:

Being honest about my shameful secret habits and having a kind non judging witness to my life who was engaged in helping me heal and supported my efforts to change my life, made all the difference.

The good news is that as I started to heal one area of my life, the medicine started seeping into all areas of my life.  I wanted to quit smoking, and I did. But what I uncovered and healed was so much more, priceless really. I saw with open eyes, why I smoked, why I liked it, how it had served me for years.... and when I came to be "so healthy" that I didn't need this crutch in my life, it just fell away. It still pops up here and there, but it doesn't run my life, smoking is no longer an integral part of my self sabotage plan.

Cheese and wine , well they're another story, but not so much smoking anymore. Smile......

So how did I manage to get a perfect yoga body in just three months?

Welp. I didn't. I mean, with all the eating cheese and drinking wine how was I going to to expect yoga was going to "fix" me???!

For the last six or more months I've been showing up every week, 3 times a week for yoga practice. I had to set up my schedule to make myself accountable to show up every week, 3 times a week. This, I knew was a crucial piece. I can make a lot of excuses for not getting out of bed in the morning. I'll be honest.

Guess what? I don't like showing up every week, 3 times a week, but I do. I keep showing up. I keep practicing. At first yoga would make me cry, I didn't understand why. I mean, my wrists cry with pain all day everyday, but this was different. I cried during yoga. 

Then, on the occasion that I could actually pull myself together for a head stand (up against the wall completely supported!!) I would be faced with rolls of blubber not used to experiencing gravity in the opposite direction, and I was just as shocked because, fat rolls look ten times larger when seeing them upside down and close to your face.

Maybe that just my boob.

I hoped.

I kept showing up. Once, I left class because I was crying so much, and the next time I saw my yoga instructor she spoke straight to my heart, she said, there's no reason to leave class when you're in that state. You stay and you cry and there's no shame it that. This is a safe place to be when you're feeling what you're feeling. That's yoga, to be just where you are at, and meet yourself with no judgement.

Mind blowing. Really.

Just showing up every week. Not with bells on, just showing up and going through the motions. If I didn't witness how my yoga instructor could bend and strongly compel her body to do things and stretch in ways that were inconceivable to me, I wouldn't have known it was possible for me.

And within 3 months, I found myself internally joking, how I'd managed to get a "perfect yoga body" in just 3 MONTHS!!?? The reality is and was, I had new muscles that I'd never felt before. And I could actually touch my toes again, I had been a ballerina for twelve years, and I couldn't understand how far my toes had grown away from my fingertips. But such is life.

My life had changed. My body had changed. Life would never be the same again. Once you know the things you know you can't unlearn them.

Here's the thing: if you want things to change in your life, you have to show up differently, even if *you don't feel like it*. You make a different choice and then you show up.  Its that easy and it's that difficult. Work with someone who can hold the vision for you, even when you can't see it for yourself, until you can.

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Art that Heals, Photography that changes lives

Lynne  Bernay-Roman : Human Experience Artist

Art: Lynne Bernay-Roman  

Art that heals, photography that changes lives

Lynne Bernay-Roman: Artist, Photographer, Psychotherapist, and Divine Being

Meet Lynne, a beautiful human expression of the healing we bring to the world when we allow our gifts to become our work in the world, and we follow our heart's calling to create new vessels of transformation for ourselves and for the people we touch.

"My stories are in my art. When I begin I don't begin with much of an idea. I just start. The color speaks loudest to me and I let it take the lead until some sense of design begins to form. Then the relationship between the elements begins to form, and that is when the story takes over. What surprises me is how people translate what they see and feel via my art.  

My photography is about focus and light. It allows me to stare and ogle and zoom in and out of life's wonders, artistically involved and engaged in life's stories.

My paintings are about color and relationships. The relationship of me to all the elements of art and how we tell the story. Relating inspires me; relating with my family, the people around me, nature, animals, with myself, my work and my art. 

I love to travel, in the world, in my inner scapes and through my art.

As in my life, so in my art, things appear a wee bit strange, vibrant, magical and definitely divine, with lots of rough prickly edges to add rich texture."

- Lynne Bernay-Roman : Artist, Photographer, and Psychotherapist

I met Lynne in a spiritual group where we were exploring our beliefs around wealth consciousness and life purpose. As I got to know more about Lynne's work in the world I felt she is a beautiful living example of how our many natural born talents, gifts, inclinations, and creative desires can come together in a beautifully orchestrated way that brings not only beauty but also healing to the world in our own uniquely individual way that only You can.

"Plight of the Bee" Lynne Bernay-Roman  : click on the image to enlarge

You = a unique expression of humanity 

Your life = a unique expression of the human experience

Your purpose = to allow your gifts to come into the world in such a unique way that only you can express, only you can design, in the way that only you can

In 2000, Lynne created a program for at risk kids called "Finding Focus through Photography". A program of self discovery, beyond the boundaries of traditional talk therapy, Lynne wanted to touch the hearts of at risk children through photography and exploration of self. 

"We use art as a metaphor for life. There is the background, we look at the patterns, we see the foreground, the background, and the total picture. My only encouragement is 'To find what lights you up.' They have permission to fail, the goal is to investigate.  And through the process we're able to reframe criticism and critique.

When we started the program the kids were at risk of dropping out, and they put my class as the last class on Friday, but it didn't take long before I had great attendance.  

In the beginning the kids couldn't find anything to be excited about. At the end of the program, everything was a [photograph]. Everything had something they could get excited about, every moment, every element. A crack in the sidewalk, a basketball.

At first its just photography, but it takes just a little bit of nudging to get them to go into the the depths and put words to their different perspectives.  They get to talk about their feelings, they bond over their experiences, and see things in different ways because of the difference in perspectives through the camera lens."

Check out some of the students art work here : http://www.visualvoicesunlimited.com/  Where a blade of grass inpsires "Surviving the Cracks" and a football becomes "The balls are waiting for a challenge, like me". A photograph of a school hallway becomes a way to express a difficult emotion "A Lonely Walk.... into the unknown"  and a homework assignment becomes an outlet to communicate "I feel trapped in my life sometimes".

You can learn more about Lynne's "Finding Focus through Photography" program including purchase the Teachers Manual here: http://www.visualvoicesunlimited.com/manual.html

THE TEACHER’S MANUAL presents all the rich details needed to conduct a dynamic and creative class. It’s all structured for you: outlines, homework, topics for discussion, in-class exercises. The companion CD contains the manual in pdf format supplemented with many added photo examples. It also contains an in-depth, step-by-step guide and slide presentation for each class. Both manual and CD overflow with tools to inspire and stimulate creativity in a totally non-intimidating way. No previous art or photography experience is necessary for either the students or the teacher.

Lynne Bernay-Roman : Human Experience Artist

Lynne Bernay-Roman : Human Experience Artist

Lynne is a multifaceted, multitalented, beautiful expression of unique creation energy : Painting to psychotherapy; photography to storytelling; disconnect to self discovery; the full human experience through full self expression.

Repeat after me:

I AM ONE-OF-A-KIND, UNREPEATABLE, AND HAVE COME INTO EXISTENCE AT THIS INTERSECTION OF TIME, SPACE, AND PHYSICAL REALITY TO FULFILL THAT WHICH ONLY I CAN FULFILL. I SWEAR THAT I WILL NEVER ADOPT ANOTHER'S STANDARD FOR LIFE AND PERSONAL EXPRESSION, AS I DEFINE MY OWN STANDARD OF SUCCESS, AND LIVE LIFE ON MY OWN TERMS, AS THE UNIQUE EXPRESSION THAT I AM.  

See more of Lynne's artwork here : https://www.flickr.com/photos/l-bernay-roman/

and here: www.gallery.jupiterphoto.com 

read more about Lynne : http://www.gallery.jupiterphoto.com/about.html

Please like and share this article with friends, spread the love, spread the healing!

Risking Everything- Radio Interview

Popular Health Internet Radio with LuciaGabriela on BlogTalkRadio with Liberating Inner Beauty Revolution on BlogTalkRadio

Inspiring you to take epic chances!

Risking EVERYTHING doesn't have to be as scary as it sounds, in fact, ITS TRULY LIBERATING!!!!! check out this short and to the point interview- on my upcoming book chapter : "Risking Everything - In Pursuit of the Divine".

If you've been struggling with depression, anxiety, or utter dissatisfaction with life, NOW is the time to put your ass on the line and make some changes. xxxooxxxx Please share this link with someone who may need to hear this message.

Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway

Life is what you make it. You only have one life to live. I'm not fearless, I feel the fear and do it anyway. If something scares me, it most likely means I have to give it a try. I commit, I feel the fear, and I do it anyway. Life certainly is more fun these days. Wake up and come alive in your life! Now is the time. IN-JOY. (warning: I scream, squeal, and curse a little or a lot at the end of the video. Partially because of the adrenaline partially because of the JOY.)

she's turning her life into something sacred

She's turning her life into something sacred: Each breath, a new birth. Each moment, a new chance. She bows her head, gathers her dreams from a pure, deep stream and stretches her arms towards the sky. - Monique Duval

photograph : Chloë Rain Cusco, Peru 2013

photograph : Chloë Rain Cusco, Peru 2013

Oddjob, a Bull Terrier by Derek Walcott

Oddjob, a Bull Terrier
seeking a spiritual answer


You prepare for one sorrow,
but another comes.
It is not like the weather,
you cannot brace yourself,
the unreadiness is all.
Your companion, the woman,
the friend next to you,
the child at your side,
and the dog,
we tremble for them,
we look seaward and muse
it will rain.
We shall get ready for rain;
you do not connect
the sunlight altering
the darkening oleanders
in the sea-garden,
the gold going out of the palms.
You do not connect this,
the fleck of the drizzle
on your flesh,
with the dog’s whimper,
the thunder doesn’t frighten,
the readiness is all;
what follows at your feet
is trying to tell you
the silence is all:
it is deeper than the readiness,
it is sea-deep,
earth-deep,
love-deep.

The silence
is stronger than thunder,
we are stricken dumb and deep
as the animals who never utter love
as we do, except
it becomes unutterable
and must be said,
in a whimper,
in tears,
in the drizzle that comes to our eyes
not uttering the loved thing’s name,
the silence of the dead,
the silence of the deepest buried love is
the one silence,
and whether we bear it for beast,
for child, for woman, or friend,
it is the one love, it is the same,
and it is blest
deepest by loss
it is blest, it is blest.

Rose ceremony, Golden Gardens, Seattle, Wa.  All photographs by Chloë Rain, rights reserved.

Rose ceremony, Golden Gardens, Seattle, Wa.  All photographs by Chloë Rain, rights reserved.

sometimes you just have to trust that the medicine is working

Sometimes you just have to trust that the medicine is working

My father and I, circa my birth Day, 1977.

My father and I, circa my birth Day, 1977.

I didn't wear mascara to Kirtan

"Because the One I love lives inside of you, I lean as close to you as I can..... Because the One I love lives inside of you, I lean as close to you as I can. I love you. I love you. I love you." -   Gina Salá

May we see as love sees, may we hear as love hears, may we speak as love speaks....

I didn't wear mascara to Kirtan, and its a good thing, cause I was crying on the first Om.  How come the sound of Om makes me cry these days? Every time, I feel the resonance of peoples voices around me and I feel connected to them and I cry.

I did my hair, put my face on, foundation, blush, wore my big gaudy sparkly flower necklace, my favorite red poncho with the matching red and grey striped shirt underneath, matched my socks to my outfit, and wore heeled boots.

I'd never been to Kirtan before, but it was Friday night and I was going out, so I got dressed. Mascara takes so long to perfect these days and then having to take it off at the end of the night.... well I've lost patience with this ritual. But without drawing in my eye brows and putting on mascara, my light hair features tend to wash out and disappear, you know its only been in the last few years that I began raising my eyes to into the faces of other people.  I never had an awareness that I avoided face to face contact; eye connection had become too dangerous some time long ago... but I didn't consciously know this, until I did. Until I stopped isolating myself, and began looking for connection. Looking someone in the eyes remains one of the scariest and most vulnerable things I practice daily, and I'm still learning.... most times, looking someone in the eyes creates a sensation in me like a frightened deer caught in the cross hairs of a rifle, aimed right at my heart.

I want to run.

Friday morning at yoga, Michael mentioned that Om Culture was hosting Kirtan that evening. Before I even asked what is "Kirtan"? and heard the answer, I knew I was going.... Kirtan : Sanskrit for "praise; eulogy"; also sankirtan ) is call-and-response chanting performed in India's bhakti devotional traditions.

I arrived at Kirtan, took off my heeled boots and set myself up crossed legged on my rolled blanket toward the front of the room close enough to really get a good look and participate, but not so close as to have to really participate. I was curious, but keeping my distance.  Looking around, what "I" saw were a lot of grey haired hippies, wearing earth tone tshirts and wool socks, reminded me of a gathering of my parents and their friends.  I wasn't uncomfortable, but my "I'm too cool to be seen in this crowd" alter ego had taken front seat in the judgment bus and was firmly planted, crossed legged on my right shoulder, spewing judgements and calling out imperfections of everyone around me.  And so the night began. 

Judgy-mc-judgerson Alter Ego, I'm Too Cool for School Kid, and "What am I doing here with all these Hippies?" Internal Voice were all having a good time inside my head, pushing and prodding, like bullies on the school ground at recess. 

Gina Salá, dressed in a beautiful sari and face sparkling with jewels, sat in front of us with her harmonium, flanked on both sides with her band and surrounded by vases and vases of spring daffodils. She began, in her sweet voice making jokes about going deeper tonight then our credit card debt and facebook posts.

She had my attention.

She spoke, she sang, she chanted.  She said: 

"That pattern you've been living for decades- it can change in an instant."

She invited us to join her as she was swaying her body in rhythm like she was riding an elephant, because it made her feel grounded.  Internal voices start heckling me "WTF, you're riding elephants now? You've never been on an elephant. What'd you think you're in India on safari, now? Dude, ha ha ha, you think you're riding an elephant? OMG, you're so lame, riding a pretend elephant."

But there I was, swaying with the rhythm of the room, riding my elephant and singing.  Then things started to really get going.... I'm sitting next to "That GUY" with his short hair cut, could be a yuppie, could be a hippie, earth toned tshirt, rolled khakis, and bare feet. He's flailing around with tremendous intensity, his eyes are closed, and he's sitting less than a few inches away from my side. His arms are waving in the air, fists clenched, then fingers bursting open, repeatedly, clenching his fists then bursting them open, arms waving around his head and mine.

"I guess this is the Kirtan Hippie Fist Pump." internal voice.

His legs thrashing about on the floor like a 3 year old having a tantrum, and OMG he's signing at the top of his lungs.  All the bullies inside my head were laughing and preparing to pounce on him if he miscalculated his fist pumping and happen to hit me in the head. "Watch yourself man, I know we're all kumbaya and shit, but you're in my personal space!" internal voice.

Oh my, we're only two songs in, am I really going to be able to sit through 2 hours of chanting and kumbaya shit???  And then I started reflecting, and then thoughts began to pour out of me and I grabbed my pen from my purse and started writing thoughts on the sheet of paper they gave us at the door with the words of the chants....  I remembered the first time I ever sat for 2 hours in meditation with a guru from the Netherlands, that was years ago? How many years? How many years had gone by? 5? 7? 10?  And then the next time I sat in meditation for hours at a time was years later, on Thanksgiving, the day after I resigned from my career. I went in to ten days of silence, where 12 hours a day were dedicated to sitting in meditation.  That was one of the most delicious times of my human experience. Don't get me wrong! I wrote myself notes on the bathroom paper towels while in silence (you weren't allowed to write), and it was horrendously painful while I was there... but the memories I have of that time are so freaking juicy. At first, you think you might pluck your own eye balls out of your head with the spoon at lunch if you have to listen to the voices inside your head any longer.... then some where around day six, I started thinking I was the most funniest creative person I'd ever met.... a real Disney land for the brain, I thought.

One of my favorite memories is the feeling I had at night time after our last three hour meditation sitting, it ended at 9:00pm, and by 9:06 each night I would have my teeth brushed and lights out in bed. I've never fallen asleep so quickly and slept so soundly, so comfortably, I've never enjoyed falling asleep so much. Pure bliss.

Pure bliss.

So back to Kirtan, with the fist pumping barefoot leg flailing guy and all the other odd souls that found ourselves at home here on a Friday night.... I decided I'm going to stay till the very end, till the last song is sung. I realize whether I spend 2 hours or 3 hours or 12 hours, I really don't have anything more important or better to do.... and I wonder what if the last few moments are my favorite moments of the entire experience?

Isn't this what its all about? If you bother to show up, why not bother to follow through? All the way to the end?  Even if you don't like it. Cause maybe, just the following through is all that is needed. Trust that the medicine is working. Even if it doesn't feel totally blissful in the moment. Trust that the medicine is working. You don't have to work the medicine. Let the medicine work you.

And wow, I haven't wanted to write so much in weeks, maybe months, so that in and of itself is medicine. I'm going to stay till every last chant is chanted, even if I have to sit next to fist pump guy.

Towards the end of the concert... that lasts over three hours btw (sigh, smile).... Gina sings one of her favorite songs "Because the One I love lives inside of you, I lean as close to you as I can..... Because the One I love lives inside of you, I lean as close to you as I can. I love you. I love you. I love you." (see video)

Because the One I love lives inside of you, I lean as close to you as I can

And everyone draws close to the persons beside them and they wrap their arms around their neighbors and start swaying to the song...... Because the One I love lives inside of you, I lean as close to you as I can..... Because the One I love lives inside of you, I lean as close to you as I can. I love you. I love you. I love you.

Internal voices are SCREAMING!!!! " OMG, we REALLY are singing Kumbaya and holding hands. JESUS!!!" 

And I guess this is where I give up, or give in. I believe the saying goes.... If you can't beat'em, join'em.

Repeat after me:

That pattern I've been living for decades- it can change in an instant.

Repeat after me:

Sometimes I just have to trust that the medicine is working.

The medicine is working. I trust. 

J&M Cunningham0009.jpg

Sometime around Christmas this year, my parents had sent me a CD of old pictures from my childhood. They asked multiple times, had I opened the CD? Had I looked at the pictures? No, I said, each time. I don't have a disk drive for my MacBook, and though it seemed important to them, I didn't have any energetic pull or need to see pictures, you know, I've seen all the pictures in the old albums before, I had other things on my mind.... And then I moved, and I packed the CD and found it when I unpacked, but I still hadn't bothered to find a disk drive to view the pictures on the CD.  

This weekend my aunt sent me a dropbox of the pictures on the CD that I hadn't bothered to open. I sat there at the kitchen table shuffling through each frame, crying, balling.... feeling really alive.

My young parents, with me. I looked like a happy child. The pictures showed a happy childhood with loving parents.

Wow, I'd spent a lot of time being an unhappy adult, what had happened? Who freaking cares! I'm not spending anymore time being so freaking unhappy.

Repeat after me:

That pattern I've been living for decades- it has changed in an instant.

Repeat after me:

Sometimes I just needed to trust that the medicine is working.

The medicine is working. I trust. 

Because the One I love lives inside of you, I lean as close to you as I can.

I love you. I love you. I love you. 

With so much love in my heart for all of you.

May 16-19 in Seattle!

Our lives are a mystery to ourselves as much as they are to everyone else.  We may be seeking life purpose, but LIFE PURPOSE, after all is not a goal. Lets have fun while we're seeking!

This is a one of a kind vacation retreat on which you will be sure to lose your baggage! But I promise you wont miss it at all. 

WHEN YOU CREATE SPACES FOR YOUR YOUR INNER ARTIST TO SHOW UP, YOU OPEN UP THE PART OF YOUR BRAIN THAT HOLDS YOUR MOST MAGNIFICENT IDEAS.

  • Ignite new fires within you
  • Tap your creative energy source
  • Hone your intuitive wisdom
  • Produce mind blowing new solutions from old patterns
  • Learn to alchemize toxic emotions into precious jewels 
  • Build mutual trust and explore new friendships
  • Experience more joy and heightened creative stimulation
  • Reclaim your personal desires
  • Raise your frequency and vibration

On retreat you will strengthen connection to your own true essence and ignite your unique creative energies and from this place you will experience more of what life has to offer. 

RETREAT ACTIVITIES INCLUDE:

  • Making new friendships!
  • Intimate group coaching and healing with Chloë
  • Restorative Yoga
  • Nature Walks
  • Painting, Photography, Creative Writing FUN EXERCISES
  • Private live Music Performances by some of Seattle's top Musicians
  • Exclusive Poetry Readings
  • StandUP Paddleboarding and Kayaking
  • Beach Bonfires
  • Singing & Dancing
  • Foodie Tours
  • Great Sunsets

and LOTS LOTS MORE!!!

Only 5 SPOTS AVAILABLE on this retreat!

Retreat pricing includes: Private room in a fabulous modern home in one of Seattle's most beautiful neighborhoods, Private musical performance by one of Seattle's singer-song writers, Private yoga instruction and meditation, Intimate small group coaching and healing with Chloë; Guided creative exercises and meditations; 2 Inspired Excursions to get the juices flowing and inspiration popping; Celebratory end of retreat dinner; amazing, yummy, and healthy vegetarian meals : breakfast, snacks, and dinner included (excluding lunches while on field trip excursion, where you are encouraged to explore on your own and seek out what ever your heart desires)

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Included in the retreat:

  • 3 nights accommodations in private room
  • most meals, including dinner at one of Seattle's best restaurants (excluding lunches while on field trip excursion, where you are encouraged to explore on your own and seek out what ever your heart desires)
  • organized activities and outings (including transportation)

NOT INCLUDED: Airfare (transportation to and from Seattle), Transportation to and from airport;  taxis to non-scheduled events; extra snacks; or souvenirs; any medical or hospital costs.

I want to join the Creative Vacation Retreat in Seattle May 16-19! Please tell me how I can reserve my spot!

Chloë will contact you within 24 hours of receiving your email.

Friday, May 16, 2014 3:00pm – Monday, May 19, 2014 11:00am