A Tribute to My Teacher

canstockphoto2761854A few weeks ago, my first teacher, who became a beloved friend, made her transition. Her death was unexpected. It appears that she died while meditating one evening. She often told us to pray for a happy death and hers, it seems, was just that.

Barbara was a minister and teacher in the Esoteric Christian lineage. It was she who opened a window into my root tradition that allowed me to see the wisdom and beauty of a path I’d left behind when I went to college. I met her 25 years ago, when she was about the age I am now. Over the years, she supported me in ways too numerous to mention. She was my “go to” person whenever something of note happened in my life. It was to her cozy apartment that I fled whenever I was in crisis. She often stayed with me while teaching at my center in the Midwest. And she was the joyful officiate at my marriage.

My colleague Claire  Molinard and I are often asked to describe what it means to live as a Unique Self. Since I received the news of Barbara’s passing, so many memories of my beloved friend have tumbled through my mind. As they do, I see how she epitomized one who lives fully as her Unique Self. Grounded in the knowledge of Oneness, she saw herself as a unique expression of the Love Intelligence that lives in us, as us, and through us. Her gifts were extraordinary and she knew it, carrying them humbly, and offering them to the world with such grace and generosity.

Simply being in her presence was uplifting. She was wise and had a remarkably ordinary way of imparting it. She listened with deep caring to whoever needed her. Once, when I was bemoaning how often I was crying on her shoulder, she said, “I will listen to you until you don’t need to be listened to anymore.” Those words continued to be a balm to my soul, years after they were said.

Barbara was a great teacher. We would quite literally sit at her feet, appreciating the depth of her love and wisdom. Those who study or work with me have heard me quote her, time and again. And she could hold one’s feet to the fire, when necessary. When Barbara corrected you, you knew it, but it was always done with genuine respect and care.

So much of who I’ve become as a coach and teacher is due to her guidance. Through the eyes of her own uniqueness, she saw mine, and encouraged me to become more than I imagined possible. This was her greatest gift, and the fortunate recipients number in the hundreds. What a legacy she has left! What an inspiration! As I mourn her passing, the words of one of my favorite mystic/artists, Brian Andreas, express my thanks . . .

“I carry you with me into the world, into the smell of the rain and the words that dance between people and for me it will always be this way, walking in the light and remembering being alive together.

May we each be fortunate enough to have someone who sees us through the eyes of this kind of love and guides us to know better who we really are!

 

 

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