Regardless of whether he is your biological Dad, step or foster Dad, a family member or friend playing the role of "Dad", or a Mom doing double-duty, today is the day to honor that person in your life - or one that passed through your life.
Every Father's Day, I find it difficult to share the right words that express the depth and meaning of what's in my heart. This year, somehow, something I originally wrote over a year ago - for a completely different reason - came to me. What I'm sharing below, is a bit of a "rearview mirror" perspective and yet it seems very appropriate for today - Father's Day 2020. As the Chinese proverb says, "When the student is ready, the teacher appears." May the words I wrote last year, be a place of comfort, perspective and meaning for you on this day and always.
A Reiki Workshop: A Place to Gather Along Our Spiritual Path - and how tremendous joy can be a close neighbor to sudden sadness.
Many of you are reading this because you have decided to invest your valuable time to attend my workshop, Intro to Reiki and Energy Practices, at PEAC Health & Fitness (www.peachealthfitness.com) on Sunday, June 2nd, 2019. After months and months of getting over my own humility, deconstructing what I’ve learned along my path to becoming a Reiki Master Teacher over the last 20 years, and assembling the workshop with the help of a GREAT team, the workshop was set to be given on March 24th.
All of “this” is bigger than any of us. As with the new date, the workshop is designed to share with you, ways that you can take your health and fitness – and your overall quality of life – to another level. That IS, and will always be, my INTENT for this workshop. More importantly, I trust that this workshop, delivered in its own Diving Timing, becomes a moment in time where we ALL experience and feel that this “gathering of souls” is not a coincidence and is an opportunity to share in the love, fellowship, mutually-supportive growth, and grander purpose that we are all here on this journey to participate in – and with – each other.
So, you see, the Universe had different plans for me (and us) on March 24th, and as much as I/you/we like to feel as though we have control over our lives and can plan things out, at any given moment, “plans change” and our plans are subsumed into The Divine Plan. What was NOT changing on March 24th was based on a core aspect of the very simple intent I’d set in late 1999 when I embarked on a deeply-spiritual path, including a Reiki-centered life – I wanted to help people.
A Dad for The Ages…and an experience I’ll never forget. The moment that my thoughts went from “I need to cancel this workshop and get in touch with everyone” to “I need to be there for Dad…and everyone else” was the opposite side of the same thought, if that makes any sense. During my drive, I could only think about the last 33 years of my life with this man – my father-in-law – nearly twice the amount of time I’d spent with my own father. Knowing the imminent situation, I simply asked “What can I do in THIS MOMENT to thank this man for being in my life?” With that, I thought about how, in recent years, I was very focused on seeing him joyful and on me being a direct and indirect contributor to that joy.
As with all close families, there were challenging times, yet I just kept thinking about the joyous moments, that seemed so natural when they occurred, yet loomed so large right now: the day he knew, as his daughter’s future husband, that I would carry on a traditional religious upbringing and making a personal commitment of myself in that process; the moment, minutes after my son was born, that I handed over to him his first grandson; the day we decided to name our daughter after his Mom; his continuing, and largely non-judgmental, acceptance of who I was as an individual (which, BTW, he did with EVERYONE in our family, as well as anyone who he ever came in contact with); my acknowledgement of the “space” and “respect” he always give me in the most challenging times of my life (the passing of my sister and Mom in less than 3 years); and what he said to me after those challenges that assured me of, not only his love for me, yet also of the joy and thankfulness I brought to him, via his family: “(as he choked up), Joe, G-d bless your parents for bringing you up the right way”.
That was something I never forgot and in this moment of impending sadness, The Divine Plan was revealed to me, and I knew what to do – for me, for all of us – and for Dad. What was to be a day of sharing my Reiki Blessings with my growing Soul Tribe – friends, family and strangers, alike – I realized that I needed to share my Reiki Blessings with Dad and Dad only. As I struggled to approach the nurse, she openly encouraged me to “do Reiki” on Dad. Despite the circumstances, it felt good and peaceful and was the best “thank you” I could give this man. I experienced a feeling that it was simply him and I in a very crowded and chaotic room. I could feel his peacefulness, I could sense him being welcomed by his Angels, with open arms. I was experiencing his peaceful transition and somehow felt joy which, for a brief instant, made no sense to me. As I acknowledged that feeling to my “self”, I soon felt the presence of G-d and I could feel my own Dad, Mom and Sister with him as well – and simultaneously comforting me. March 24th, will always be a day of remembrance for me for so many reasons.
Where this all started…my Dad is with me always. Sometimes it’s hard to comprehend that my own Dad left his earthly journey over 37 years ago. I was just barely 19. It was devastating in so many ways. Yet over time, I simply invited him to be a bigger and bigger part of my life. No, I don’t believe that when someone dies/transitions/moves on, that they are simply gone. So much time has passed and yet it seems like yesterday. When I speak about my Dad, or people ask me about him, I always say the same thing: He gave me more – love, guidance, morals, insights, understanding – in 19 years than seems theoretically possible, or than other Dads could have in a single, long lifetime. Yet he did. I often think about writing a book about my 19 years with this man – the trials and tribulations – and the JOY from the moment I was born, until…well, now and forever.
Since my father-in-law’s transition, I’ve felt my Dad more and more (and my Mom and Sister, as well). More than ever, he’s in my dreams, he’s in my thoughts, I hear him, and I FEEL him. My Mom and Sister felt something special with my father-in-law and often told me, confidentially, just how much they enjoyed and loved him, and how they loved how he loved me. That feeling was who my father-in-law was, to all the people he interacted with.
In that moment of my father-in-law’s transition, and since, it has become more and more apparent that my Dad’s life and passing has all been a key thread in the beautifully woven tapestry of my own life – with my Mom and Sister (with/without my Dad), with my father-in-law, and in the time since my father-in-law’s transition. My Dad was on his own path – as we all are – and I’m 1,000,000% convinced that The Divine Plan included making sure that, after he transitioned, my Dad wanted a man to pick up where he left off, and integrate into my journey and help me grow along the way that he was not a part of.
My Dad was a tremendous man – flaws and all. He gave me 19 years of “amazingness” – and then he gave me more – another Dad, a father-in-law, for another 33 years. I often find myself sitting alone and shaking my head, in a juxtaposition of disbelief and awe and gratitude for these two men. I ask “Why, in my deepest sadness, am I SO LUCKY to have had these two men, when so many are unfortunate to not have any?” The answer is simply The Divine Plan, something that I will honor with the memory of these two guys – two guys who never met on their respective earthly journeys, yet forever together looking over me and the one’s I love.
“Be Here (there), Prepared to Be Nowhere Else” (1). I look forward to being with your wonderful soul on Sunday, June 2nd, 2019 at the Intro to Reiki and Energy Practices Workshop, at PEAC Health & Fitness (www.peachealthfitness.com) for learning, insights, self-improvement, and mostly for experiencing the beauty of, and grander purpose for, our growing soul tribe. Having you there supports how I would like to honor these two men and reflecting on how lovingly The Divine Plan gave me this new date to reschedule the workshop – the same date that my Dad transitioned in 1982 – and so began the series of events that introduced me to my “other” Dad, a family that I will love for eternity, and my Divine Purpose.
(1) Principle 3 (of 7): Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott