I was introduced to the Tao or the Tao Te Ching back in 2007 but didn’t really get serious about it until my life started to fall apart, once more. Although I had the nice things, the place in Santa Barbara and a very good relationship, I was not where I needed to be, and I knew it. My spiritual journey had not ‘just begun‘ by any means, but my personal life had taken so many twists and turns, I wasn’t quite sure what to think of things anymore. My little brother wasn’t talking to me, and hadn’t talked to me for quite some time. He was angry with some of my choices and life situations. Our estrangement was something I had attempted to resolve but was unable to, for what seemed to me like an eternity. There were many reasons, and we all find our justification in our decisions but that’s not what I want to write about here. I want to write about what happened to me when I first started really studying the Tao and how I strive to continue to live by its teachings everyday. This story is about the miracles that followed, how it has effected my life, my relationships, my overall balance and the healing work of Lifeline Healing.
After the end of a relationship in 2009, I met a woman while working in New York City who became very influential in my life. This was a work associate and we became very close friends. She had a strong nature about her, and a very thick Brazilian accent. The best way I could describe the relationship is simply, she was a ‘blessing.’ She didn’t hold back. As my friend, she kicked my *rss, but in a good way. This friend of mine knew me better than I knew myself at the time. She would constantly say,”OH MY GOD CINDY, P l e a s e. No more excuses!!” She most definitely was a ‘God send.’ She encouraged me to write my story, and she encouraged me to strengthen and heal all my relationships, without any rebuttal from me such as “Oh, I’ve tried that.” She simply wouldn’t hear it. She would say, “Cindy, you are the more developed one and it is your responsibility to do this, so just DO IT! Why are you waiting?! Do it NOW! No more talking about it!” I really didn’t know what hit me at times as her strength and character was somewhat overwhelming, but it was exactly what I needed at the time. I will always be grateful for her influence on my life.
I started reading and studying the Tao everyday. I was learning about living in a state of contentment rather then striving. The Tao was teaching me less was more and if I was to follow the teachings of Lao-Tzu, I would allow my life to unfold naturally, and not ‘do’ life, but rather learn how to let my life be ‘done’ by the Tao, or ‘The Way.’ I was learning to understand ‘there is a time for everything.’ I studied about the Sage and how the Sage is kind to the kind, and kind to the unkind, because kindness is all that he has within. The Tao taught me that nobility was rooted in humility and I started to practice what I now call ‘radical humility.’ Most of all, I learned that if I wanted to escape from my cage, or my life as I knew it, I must learn to die while I was alive. The Tao Te Ching is truly one of the most influential books in my life. These lessons have been so powerful and continue to teach me something every day. I remember reading how the Sage does not accumulate anything. The Tao teaches when your cup is full, stop pouring. It was verse 33 that stood out for me. Basically, it is all about knowing the self. This verse teaches that knowing the self gives wisdom but “mastering the self is true power.” I was beginning to learn that if I could realize I had enough, I would become “truly rich.” It was this verse that I was contemplating when I arrived at my parent’s home in Florence, Oregon shortly before Thanksgiving 2009. The moment I walked in, it was as if I heard someone say, “Give your car to your parents.” I had given many gifts to many people as this was mirrored for me from an early age at home with my mother. She was always giving something; her time, her talents, etc. So, I was doing the same kind of giving that I had been taught at home throughout my life. Some of these gifts were material gifts i.e. clothing, money, groceries and even cars. Some of the items were the gift of time and sharing a meal or cleaning someone’s home. Although I had given much, I had never given something away that I really cherished, even more then the newer and more expensive 2007 BMW Z4 I was driving. I have been listening to my intuition or ‘Spirit’ for a very long time, and I knew it wasn’t me talking. It was something much higher. But why would I give my car to my parents? Of course I owed them money, as we all owe our parents more than we could ever possibly repay, but there was something more here. Something I did not understand at the moment. I immediately said to myself, “I could do that!“ and it was as if a wave of peace gently splashed over me. This peace gave me a sense of contentment and clarity and I knew it was the ‘right thing’ to do. I immediately walked out of the house and into the garage where my car was stored. I disconnected my energy from this amazing little sports car that held so many memories, especially the amazing road trip from California to Oregon with my son Steven in May, 2008. As I walked back inside my parent’s home, my dad immediately wanted to discuss the car. He said, in a deep, stern tone that my father would use when he wanted immediate answers, “What are you going to do with that car?” I had planned to tell my parents ‘together,’ but decided to tell my dad after he asked. I simply said, “Well, I’m giving the car to you and mom for Christmas.” Somewhat stunned and in shock, my father’s tone changed completely and he said, in a very soft tone of voice, “That would be very nice of you.” I said, “Well, it’s yours! Merry Christmas!” My mom came into the kitchen where my dad and I were talking and wanted to know what all the conversation was about. You see, my dad was a man of very few words so she knew something was going on for the two of us to be sitting down and actually having a conversation like this. My dad simply said, “Cindy gave us her sports car…the little red Beamer, for Christmas!Isn’t that nice?” My mother smiled and said, “Wow!! That’s AMAZING! It sure IS NICE! Thank you!!!”
Upon my arrival to Oregon, my mom, who had planned on having two of my three brothers for Thanksgiving Dinner, announced to my brother Ace that I was going to stay and join the family for the holiday! Upon hearing the news, Ace told my parents he wasn’t going to come after all because I was going to be there. It literally split my mother and made her very sad. As if these brothers were on the same team, both Ace and my older brother Doug decided not to come for Thanksgiving. I offered to leave so that my brothers could come and follow through with their original plans, but my parents insisted that I stay. They had told me many times, that they were doing everything they could to heal the relationship between my brothers and I, and they stood up for me on many occasions. The next day, my father was talking to my little brother on the phone and told him about the ‘gift’ I gave them for Christmas. After the conversation, my father came to me and said, “I told Ace about your Christmas gift.” I said, “Oh you did, eh?” He said,”Yes.” I said, “Well, what did he have to say?” My dad smiled and said, “He said he’ll have to add you to Facebook!” I just shook my head and said, “Really? He’s going to talk to me now that I gave you a car?!” For a moment I wanted to get angry and that is exactly what I would have done if I wasn’t studying the Tao. Instead, I was filled with gratitude for the miracle that had just taken place. It was like an instant Visa commercial! “Amazing 1999 Red BMW Z3,low miles, excellent condition, Value: $22,000. Family Relationships Restored…..PRICELESS!
That Thanksgiving was the one of most incredible Thanksgiving memories in years. It’s as if 7 years of silence and non communication had all been undone in a single instant! Not only did my little brother Ace show up with his family, my brother Doug also came. Our family was together and we were able to “Skype” my brother Mike who was in Afghanistan working as a Electrical Contractor. This was the first time in over 20 years that our family took some photographs of everyone together, although we were missing Mike.
While I was there, I transferred the title and re-registered the Z3 to my parents. They took it for a drive a few times but mostly they would only drive it on rare occasions to ‘blow the smoke out of the engine and take it for a spin’ as my dad would say.
In July of 2012 my father, who had overcome many previous bouts with Cancer over the course of 30+ years, became very ill and was hospitalized. He was unable to eat or drink anything and had obstructions in his throat, most of it caused from years of radiation and chemo. My brother Ace drove to my parent’s home to help my mom make the daily trips to the hospital in North Bend, OR which is a little more than an hour’s drive from Florence. After about a week, my brother had to return to work and drove back home to Nevada and my older brother Doug was on his way from Seattle. My mom continued to see my father in the hospital, making the trip by herself, much of the time exhausted. On July 12, while driving home from the hospital, my mother,exhausted at the wheel fell asleep and drove her Mercury Crown Victoria right off the 101 freeway into Lake Takanitch. She missed a telephone pole by ten feet. She said, “I woke up as I hit the water! I turned off the engine, rolled down the window and took off my seatbelt…but I still couldn’t open the door!” Luckily for us, there was a vehicle traveling the opposite direction and the teenage daughter in the passenger seat told her mom “I think that car just went off the road. We need to go back!” The mom turned her car around and came to the rescue calling Fire & Paramedics. Although the driver and her daughter tried to reassure my mother that she would be okay, the car was sinking fast. She yelled, “I’ll drown before they get here!! I can’t get the door open!” At just that moment, the mother and daughter ran back up the embankment, flagged down the only other driver on the road and he pulled over. This good Samaritan quickly got out of his truck, ran into the lake, swimming out to reach my mother. He was able to help my mother get out of her vehicle and safely onto the shore. A few minutes later, Fire and Paramedics arrived. Had this man not been willing to stop, it would have been a much different story.
My mom’s vehicle was completely totaled. When the car was retrieved from the lake, there were two logs wedged in-between the front and rear axles on each side of the car that fit the length of the space between the wheels precisely, as if they were measured and custom fit. The Fire Chief told my mother if these logs were not there, the car would have sank much faster and my mother most likely would have had a much different outcome. I’m so grateful the Angels (and my dad) were there to help. Although my dad was still physically at the hospital at the time of my mom’s crash, from what I’ve learned in this healing work and from the many conversations I have had with my dad since he transitioned, I know he was there in Spirit helping her.
After the damage to my mom’s vehicle, her car was not worth enough to purchase a new vehicle,however with the trade in of the Red BMW Z3, that was given to my parents because of a ‘prompting’ three years earlier, my mom was able to purchase a used 2011 Crown Victoria with the insurance money and combined trade-in value of the BMW.
The Tao Te Ching is one of the most power books I have ever read and studied. The lessons are simple, clear and universal. For me, the study of the Tao has been a life altering process of self-transformation.
My favorite quote from Lao Tzu:“If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.” I invite all, if it resonates with you, to read The Tao Te Ching and to let go of one thing you truly treasure and value. Give it away! You just might be surprised like I was, and have that gift replaced with something that is priceless.
Much love and many blessings,
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