Someone asked me “What got me interested in doing what I do?” My response took some time as I needed to go through a few layers.
Right down at the bottom was that there was nothing here in Toronto that offered me what I was looking for. A safe place for me to gather with other men, to talk, touch and simply be myself without judgement and without having to become someone that I was not.
As a part of the story, I had travelled often to the United States to participate and assist in the events that offered what I was looking for. I wanted more of this and I wanted it with the people who are directly in my life on a day to day basis. I was tired of travelling. I was tired of making myself fit the corporate image that was demanded of me to be a part of these practices, for men coming together to be themselves as they related with other men. In my travels I had learned extensively about “holding space”, “creating a safe and uplifting environment” and ultimately I had learned that one of my strengths was that I could be myself, relaxed and loving as I welcomed men into the spaces and places of my dreams. I could find myself and be myself as I supported the men around me to be themselves.
The beginning of the Awaken Studio took place here in Toronto in March of 2012 as I prepared to offer this space for many events as a part of a very diverse program. The “NEW Beginning” really took place a few months later as I realized that I was totally and profoundly alone and on my own. I realized that my travelling days were behind me and that I simply needed to stand in my own ability to create, innovate and be exactly who I wanted to be. I had to give myself permission to cut the ties and simply be me and go for what I wanted and what I had dreamed of all of my life.
From the beginning, back in 2012 and even before that, for what seems to me to be all of time, I have grown and developed and found myself. I have explored and discovered the strength to stand on my own as I accept help, love and support from those around me. I have learned and found how to transform fear and uncertainty into permission to move forward fearlessly.
As an ongoing practice of my life I express gratitude on a daily basis. Today I find that I am profoundly grateful for the teachers that have brought me to this place. I can even say that I am profoundly grateful for those who have done their best to belittle me, tell me that I am irrelevant, that I will not succeed and that I am misguided for doing this on my own, I am actually able to be thankful to these bullies and miss guided souls. I am profoundly grateful for the men who I interact with daily for they are the reason that I live. I am profoundly grateful for my husband of over 40 years as he is the reason that I can love the way I do.
The Happy Ending is not nearly so fraught with angst and fear as the New Beginning. The Happy Ending is really an ongoing opening into the world as I become more and more myself, grateful everyday for the world around me and the LOVE and BEAUTY that supports me and nourishes me.
LOVE – LIGHT and Blessings to all.