Friday, April 9, 2010

Finding Meaning Through Dolphins

Two weeks until my workshop "Finding Meaning Through Cancer" which happens on April 24-25 here in Seattle. It's sponsored by the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Healing Journeys.

This has been a lot like putting on a wedding. There are a million details to which I must attend: getting the venue, thinking about the food, parking, getting out information.

But unlike a wedding I have to think about getting the word out so people will come (which is sort of the opposite of a wedding). I've been schmoozing with drug reps and restaurants owners and store managers to see if they will donate money, or lunches, or water or art supplies.

I talk with organizations and fill out applications for grants for scholarship money.

I've pitched myself to radio and television stations. I've been rejected and ignored and feel like a has-been prostitute when I find myself muttering, "But you don't know good I am!"

And then suddenly I'm amazed at the generosity of friends and family who are willing to donate money for scholarships. Willing to give money to strangers to help them find meaning in what is usually labeled just a big, fat, sucky experience.

Like a wedding, the reception gets all the attention, but it's the ceremony that really counts. So in-between all the whoring I work on content. Refining ways to help us get to our feelings and core beliefs.

At the workshop I'm doing some talking and we're doing some group sharing and some visual journaling and some completely original movement work and then of course, the spontaneous hilarity that occurs at workshops like this.

My head feels like a popcorn popper as ideas are constantly bursting forth. It's exciting. It's thrilling. It's nerve wracking.

Above is a painting I did on my birthday, March 27th. I went to a workshop called, "Painting From Within." I was just playing with the greens and the grays--just squishing and brushing and wiping the paint when I stepped back and suddenly saw the two dolphins. I was stunned. It was not my conscious intention.

I swear.

Dolphins have appeared in my Big Dreams and once when I was swimming in Tobago. A pod swam around us and they scared and thrilled me. They are big and very strong. The force of their bodies as they swam by pushed me through the water. I had thought that they were the size of German Shepherds. They are really the size of mini-vans.

I put my head under the water and could hear them talking. "Eee-eee!"

Even now, I can close my eyes and feel the warm, silky water and hear them. I am hearing them say that I can lighten up and trust. All is play now! No worrie-e-e-e-es!

Anyone reading this post and wanting to donate money for scholarships can go to, click on donate and put "Finding Meaning" in the comments box.

Or "Finding Me-e-e-e-e-eaning!"