SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 130: “It’s All OK”

“I’d look the whole world in the eye and say, It’s all OK.” – Today’s Friend, Heather

“I was living the corporate life, making lots of money for a company that was not that scrupulous, and I was not happy. One day a coworker came into my office and said, “You ought to be a counselor.”

“Her comment rolled off me at first, but she talked me into going with her to an open house at the University of Santa Monica to see their Spiritual Psychology Masters program. I went and I signed up at that moment.”

“I was a single mom with two kids (both under 5), but the way the course was set up it allowed me to manage my life and to graduate with my MA in 2001.”

Heather has never looked back.

In-tune would be an understatement in describing Heather; she is a true healer. I meet up with her this day through an introduction from another 365 friend (again, Michelle) who tells me, “You have to interview Heather, she has been through a lot.”

I catch up with her at her home where we settle in the appropriately named, “healing room.”

The moment I step into Heather’s home, I feel as if I am in hallowed space. The air is scented, the sound is calm, and there is brightness about the home. In easiest words, the home welcomes me, even before we exchange our hellos.

I know, it sounds so metaphysical, and I am not a metaphysical guy, but as a documentarian, I have to express it as I see it, and as I feel it.

Moving on… As we settle I instantly notice the grace and fluidity of Heather’s movement, observing her as she sits at her desk across from me. There is something magnificently relaxed about Heather, and I find it captivating as we casually talk about weighty subjects.

Heather is blessed to have survived two terrible auto accidents, with one occurring not so long ago. We talk about it. “I rolled my truck, and walked away with only a cut on my head.” She points to a small scar healing on her forehead.

“My baby (her sweet dog), was with me in the back.” Heather shows me a photo of her baby’s leg with pins in it. “He got trapped and his leg was crushed, but today he is coming back from his last procedure, having the pins removed from his rear leg.”

“He is my miracle baby. We could not afford his medical bills, but could not let him die, so we posted signs at pet stores and the veterinary clinic. People responded. One man even put $500 on his American Express card.”

Hearing this gives me hope for humanity, man-helping-man in small individual gestures. We should all take something from this.

Here is a funny thing… “They had to take skin from his belly to graft over the injury. Now he has nipples on back of his leg. He is my patched together baby.”

Heather’s children are grown and she is comfortably working on a new chapter in her life, accompanied by her boyfriend of nine years.

“He is a great Jewish boy. When he saw I was not happy in the corporate rat race, he helped me start my new life. I’m lucky.”

And about that new life… No longer playing the corporate game, Heather has comfortably found her place in helping others. Like I said, “Heather is a healer.”

I speak of Heather as being in-tune. After receiving her MA in Spiritual Psychology, and at the challenge of one of her friends, she went on to get her massage certification; a certification that catapulted her ability to bring comfort to others.

Heather is no sports or recreational massage therapist, she is, sorry to be redundant, a true healer.

“I’ve had clients come in with a pain complaint and as I start working on them I get impressions, many times I can help them identify with the emotional or spiritual cause of their pain. I can sense it as I touch them.”

May sound creepy to some, but for me, I get it. There is a magic in the air of Heather’s healing room and in her invitingly relaxed presence.

But there is more to Heather than her massage and therapy practice.

“Just today, I’ve had strong feelings of what I need to do. I researched it and it is needed in the Valley. A women’s shelter that accepts their pets. They have them all over the country, but none here.”

She continues, “There are so many battered women and children that will not leave for help because they are protecting their loved pets. So they stay and take it.”

This is a topic that truly angers me. I have no tolerance for abuse, so I do some research. Heather is right on, and her feelings are inspired. I call out to anyone who wishes to help her to email me and I’ll get you in touch with Heather. She is moving forward full steam in doing what she can to raise funds to start a shelter. A monumental undertaking, but one that I know she has the skill-set to do. “I think that perhaps this is the reason for her knowledge gained in her corporate years.”

For reference, here are a few links regarding shelters that allow pets.
http://www.stevedalepetworld.com/content/view/342/71
http://www.examiner.com/animal-rescue-in-boston/pets-and-women-s-shelters-paws-program

So what is the source of Heather’s spirituality?

She tells me, “’Every morning I wake up in prayer, asking God, ‘What can I do?’ And, I listen and follow.’”

“’I like the Mormons; they call it the Holy Ghost – that peaceful spirit that tells you, ‘’Things are right.’”

We chat about people in general and the importance of refraining from any judgment.

To quote Heather, “You know what? It’s all the same… We are all seeking, but in the end, it’s really back down to the same thing, the same God, the same universe, the same molecules.”

I give her credit for her perspective – an earned point-of-view after she tells me of her first traffic accident, the rolled truck was number two. Number one was an almost fatal motorcycle accident, an incident that she really should not have survived.

“’I was pronounced dead and it is as clear as day to me, even today.” Heather’s eyes well up, and mine do too – a warm spirit engulfs us. “I knew I was with Jesus, there were no words, but I knew what he was saying, ‘Come with me.’  I had no fear, but I said to myself, ‘I’m not done yet.’ I revived and my life was never the same, I had a greater purpose.”

More was said, but the above paraphrases her experience.

Again, Heather is in-tune. But, even more, she has a masterful way of existing in the moment.

I ask her my question of the future, “What would you like to see for the world in the next one, five, ten, fifteen, twenty or beyond years?”

Heather gives us a first: a spontaneous word or two for each year.
Year One: “Still Here”
Year Five: “Disarmed”
Year Ten: “At Peace”
Year Fifteen: Big Pause and Breath, “it’s so far away…Utopia”
Year Twenty: “Well, if you’ve got Utopia, what else do you need?”

It’s 6pm. Heather’s boyfriend has returned home and it’s family dinner night at the Radstone’s, I know it’s time to wrap.

But in finishing Heather give’s us all this exercise to do. It’s a sort of a dreamer’s drill and quite empowering. Here is how it works.

Find a close friend or family member. Stand close to each other, and looking eye-to-eye, ask this, “If I knew I could not fail, what would I do?”

Don’t think! Just answer… Interesting.

The next question to ponder, “What is stopping us?”

Looks like a great challenge for us dreamers.

Until tomorrow my friends.

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