Tag Archives: love
Today, I took a leap of faith and went for my big makeover! You can check out the video and see for yourself. I would love your comments!
Going through the process of quitting my hedge fund accounting job and devoting all of my “working” time to developing my spiritual blog has been an interesting journey. Given that my passion is learning about and participating with all different types of energy work I couldn’t be more happy with my decision. However, the practical side of this career change has had me asking a lot of tough questions of myself. Why would I leave a six figure income in order to devote my time to share my advice and knowledge with people that are looking for answers about the “spiritual” world?
I’ll tell you, what I’ve been telling myself, “Yes, Lisa, the money you made at the hedge fund would be extremely nice to have in the bank account, or to spend on more “stuff” for the house, or to put away for retirement or for the kids’ upcoming college funds. But the truth of the matter is you don’t NEED more money. You don’t NEED to spend more time helping a rich company help rich people become more rich. You do have a limited time here on earth and if you don’t start doing what you LOVE and what makes you HAPPY then what is the point or your life anyway!?”
After I hear myself say these words to me, a few times a week, I stop fretting over the lack of my bi-weekly check and start connecting with the wonderful souls that read my blog and I feel JOY and LOVE and know that my life is going to make a bigger impact and that at the end of the day I am HAPPY!
I’ve got another happy living story. I just told you about how I met my husband and how filled with gratitude I am to have him in my life. After we were married, David moved into the house that Ian and I had been living in, and in fact where Ian had died. In retrospect this must have been quite difficult for David, and I give him great credit for not asking us to move.
The kids were now twelve and ten and our house didn’t have a basement or any real place for them to just “hang out.” We also had three cars, as Ian had a convertible BMW which I traded in for an awesome MINI convertible, and of course I still had my car and David had his. We really needed a three car garage. Ultimately we decided to add on to our house by building a third garage and adding a bonus room above the entire garage area. We also put together a long list of other upgrades we wanted to have within the house: a wine fridge, an extra refrigerator in the garage, an upgrade to our master shower that included a ledge for me to prop my leg while shaving and gorgeous thick glass walls, and a new kitchen with granite counter tops – someday. No problem, right? Wrong!
We were told by our architect that it would take about 4 to 6 weeks to get the variance approval that we needed in order to start our building project. Apparently, we needed to build eighteen inches over our set back line on the property, and this needed town approval. We were ready to go. . . First the town forgot to put a notice in the paper about our project which added another 4 weeks. Then our architect filed the wrong papers – 6 more weeks. Then we had the hearing, and the committee agreed that they would have to view the site. Another hearing would be set in 4 weeks during which time the board members would all drive to our house to view the proposed variance. But wait! It was now vacation time, so the next hearing wouldnot be set for 8 weeks. After all of this waiting, we thought we were close. Oops! One of the committee members couldn’t remember what our property looked like; yes, he had viewed it along with other committe members, but he couldn’t get a clear picture in his head, and he wanted to postpone the vote until the next meeting. This went on for 9 months!
During our wait and even a year or so earlier, I often drove by a beautiful house on a lake. This home was across the street from the middle and high schools, so I saw it regularly when I dropped my daughter off at the middle school. I had watched as they tore down a small, nondescript cape and re-built the home into the most amazing, breath taking, glass covered, chalet. I even called my realtor and asked if the home owners were going to sell the house or if it was just for them. She said, “Just for them.”
One day as I was driving by, I noticed that the glass house was for sale. I again called my realtor, without any real intention of buying the house, but just to inquire about the cost and to ask why they were selling. The owners were being transferred to Texas. they were not happy about leaving, but they had to go in order to keep getting a paycheck. The price? Way more than was affordable for us. Oh well . . .
After the 9 month variance struggle, we finally received approval. It was time to move ahead with our plans. That same week, I drove by the lake house again on my way to school, and I noticed that the for sale sign in front of the house had changed company names. Curious, I gave my good friend,the realtor another call. The owner’s had tried to sell the house for six months without success, so they took a buyout from their company. Now the lake house was being sold by the relocation company, and they had drastically dropped the price in order to sell it fast.
I called my husband, and we all met at the lake house. David and I walked into the front room and without looking at the rest of the place I knew, then and there, that we would be living there very soon. Not only did this house have the three car garage, but it also had the extra refrigerator that we wanted. It had a walk out basement with a TV room, and a guest room with its own bathroom. The main floor had a brand new kitchen with granite counter tops and a huge wine fridge. The master bathroom had a beautifully tiled, tumbled-marble shower with a ledge for me to prop my leg while shaving, and the shower even had the thick glass walls we wanted! This is all in addition to the house having a killer view of the lake! And it was within walking distance to both of the schools our childen would be attending!
I feel so blessed, and I feel such gratitude for all of the events, especially the frustrating nine months of waiting for variance hearings because we would not be in the house that I love without going through those bumps in the road.
Part 4 – The Hate Story (2 of 2)
Ultimately, GE moved us back to Ridgefield in 2001. In 2002 Ian was re-diagnose and I knew intuitively that we were going to have a bad ending. Thankfully I was heavily involved at the Episcopalian church when the re-diagnosis came down. The community that surrounded me was uplifting, loving and very helpful. The parish organized a dinner drop off at our house and overall could not have been more supportive.
Unfortunately however, our community was undergoing a change in leadership. Our amazing assistant priest had moved on to lead her own church, so we had to hire a new junior minister. And our rock solid devoted senior priest of many, many years was on the verge of retiring – and did leave before Ian died. Needless to say there was a lot of turbulence within our church community during Ian’s final 18 months of life. Since my husband was not involved in the church – he was a skeptic until the end – these issues were not a problem for him, but for me they were of great concern.
Since the main priest was going on vacation, just after we got the dreadful news of Ian’s cancer returning, he encouraged me to set up some counseling sessions with our new assistant minister – I’ll refer to him as “D”. I gave D a call, and he suggested that we go out for lunch. I thought this was quite a strange place to have a therapy session, however; I was in no position to disagree – he was a priest, for God’s sake. I was also desperate for some guidance, advice and a spiritual connection. I stopped by the church on the appointed day and time. D told me I’d have to drive as he walked to work everyday – so his wife could have the car.
Before we even got into the car, things were feeling very strange for me. It only got worse from that point! We arrived at the restaurant, sat down for lunch and he ordered a bottle of wine! What? Really? A bottle of wine? Yes, a bottle of wine. In my gut I knew this was wrong. I felt uncomfortable and trapped and yet in shock. It was like I was stuck in that locker again, when I was six years old. (Check out my blog: Part 1 – The Love Story (1 of 2)) The lunch continued as he talked about all sorts of crazy things including; his drug use, past girlfriends, asking me about my husband’s and my sex life and that I was most likely using poor parenting techniques with my children. There was however, NO discussion of my husband being sick, and how I could best handle this really hard situation. Thinking back, maybe he was on drugs during that lunch. It was beyond bizarre. We drove back to the church and I dropped him off.
A few days later I stopped by the church to help the bookkeeper sort out some accounting issues. D was in his office. He called me in and asked when we could have another “session.” I told him that I didn’t know (I had no intention of meeting with him again, but with him being a priest and all, I didn’t want to be rude!) I started backing out of his office explaining that I had to run to the grocery store. I turned to go and he grabbed his coat and said, “I’ll join you.” The next thing you know he’s in my car and we’re driving to Stop and Shop.
Once again, he behaved very strangely, picking up the phone at the meat counter and pretending to talk to God and doing lewd things with the sausages in the deli department. We ran into a few people who attend the church, which was very awkward. I tried to get my shopping done as quickly as possible so I could get him back and get on with my life. We drove back to the church. As I pulled up to the door and said, “OK, bye.” He leaned over and planted a big kiss right on my lips! I was horrified and disgusted. And yet, because he was a minister and had “power” I squelched my feelings and pretended like nothing happened.
Over the next few weeks he began staring at me while he was giving his sermons. I thought I was going crazy. He also kept calling the house to set up more appointments. The whole experience was awful and I didn’t know what to do. I had a sick husband at home, and my priest was coming on to me. I finally told the rector what was happening – he dismissed it and told me I wasn’t thinking straight – ok. With the help of my therapist, I took the matter to the diocese and they were very helpful and validated that his behavior was inappropriate and out of line.
Ultimately “D” was sent to another church as it was discovered he was double billing his expense sheets. It’s not enough that he was trying to make out with one of the parishioners; it took the accounting department catching him with fraud before the church was willing to do anything… so what do they do? Move him to another church! I’m sure the new church wasn’t told about his indiscretions and that most likely this man tormented another poor, vulnerable, soul at his new place of employment. Once again, gotta love organized religion!!!
The nail in the coffin, for my organized religion days, was the morning that Ian died in our house. Our wonderful long-term rector had retired and moved to New Orleans just months prior to Ian’s death, so the interim pastor was sent over to my home to console me. In comes Pastor Joe, his first words to me were, “So sorry to hear about your husband.” The second words he said to me, “I’m retiring soon, where do you think I should donate my expansive library of books?” I was flabbergasted. Then he came in, sat down and told me that it was his birthday and all about his plans for the day. My husband had died eight hours earlier – right in that house that we were sitting in – and the priest that came to my door wanted to chit-chat! That was the final straw for the church and me.
The night my husband died I had an experience that opened my mind to knowing that you do not need to be involved with organized religion to have a close and personal relationship with God, the Creator, the Universe, Source Energy – whatever you want to call it. My relationship with the Creator is so much more bold and deep and precious than it ever was when I was attending an organized church. I would love to read your comments about your experiences with religion. I am certainly not claiming to have all the answers; I’m just trying to open your mind to viewing things in a different way and to let you know that your connection to God is ALWAYS there; it’s the connections with people that claim to be connected to God that you need to question.
Part 3 – The Love Story (2 of 2)
At the age of 19 I turned away from the church, as my father did earlier in my life. I didn’t need it anyway – I was a college student and having way too much fun. Going to church, attending services and having that community was just not my priority, especially after having the “Pastor Peter” episode in my life. I was on the go, attending classes at the University of Denver, working as a waitress at Pour la France and in my spare time hanging out at keg parties.
My thoughts on religion changed dramatically after the birth of my first child, Jenna , (I was 27) and she was born with severe internal birth defects. I’ll save those details for another time… Suddenly I felt that religion was a necessary foundation for my children’s upbringing. I started attending the Episcopal Church in Avon, CT in 1995.
I was drawn to the Episcopal Church, as Ian and I were married in one – not because we were Episcopalians but because it was the only venue available near Moraga, CA on the date we were married – June 21, 1992. My uncle, from Vermont, happened to be an Episcopalian priest so he flew to California to perform the ceremony – it was beautiful!
Two weeks after the wedding, Ian was transferred to Washington, DC. It was quite an adventure being newly weds in a brand new city! Ian’s father, Bob, came to visit us Labor Day weekend 1992. The three of us drove into DC from our rented house in Reston, VA. I walked to Ernst & Young for a job interview, Ian went to the Price Waterhouse office and Bob walked to the Washington Monument. He then boarded a tram to Arlington National Cemetery and swiftly had a massive heart attack. He was DOA at the hospital. I got the job at Ernst & Young and promptly requested a week off to help Ian bury his dad in California.
After 18 months of living in Virginia and working in Washington DC as well as the birth of our first born child, Ian was transferred to work for Price Waterhouse in the Hartford, CT office. We moved to Avon, CT (a suburb of Hartford) – where our second child, Robbie, was born in 1995.
In April of 1996 Ian took a job with GE, so we moved from Avon to Ridgefield, CT. I was eager to meet new friends so I jumped right in and got involved with the local Episcopalian church. I LOVED it!!! I even went so far as being received, which means I formerly left the Lutheran Church and declared my devotion to the Episcopalian church. Both of the children were baptized at St. Stephen’s. I taught Sunday school, volunteered my time on different committees, and eventually became the assistant treasurer on the vestry.
Everything was going quite well, until my husband became sick. Ian was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer in the spring of 1997. He had a bone marrow transplant, at Sloan-Kettering Hospital in NYC. While he was undergoing this month long procedure, GE promoted Ian to a company Tax Director, his life long ambition – the problem – the position was located in Cincinnati, Ohio! I didn’t know if he was going to live or die, and I had to put our home in Connecticut on the market and fly to Ohio to buy a new house. Ian lost 80 pounds and when he showed up for work in Cincinnati – they didn’t even recognize him.
Two weeks after we arrived, as I had just unpacked the final boxes and started to get Jenna (4) and Robbie (2) settled into a new routine – Ian came home and told me that the GE company he was working for was closing down! We had to move AGAIN in less than 8 months! We made the best of it and moved to Moorestown, NJ. We were there for less than 18 months when that GE company was shut down too! We had to move again – back to Ridgefield, CT.
At least I had my faith and my church to get through these terribly hard times!
Part 1 – The Love Story (1 of 2)
Religion is one of those topics that you aren’t supposed to bring up at the dinner table. I myself have had a love-hate relationship with religion throughout my life. As a baby I was baptized in the Lutheran Church on Christmas day in 1966. In my early years, we attended church quite regularly. One occasion that stands out in my mind occurred when I was about six years old. I attended a Sunday school event with my friend, Margaret, at her Baptist church. Margaret had long dark brown hair with bangs cut straight across her forehead and was one of my best friends in first grade. I remember being invited to attend with her by her parents and that it was a lot of fun – almost a carnival type atmosphere. The speaker, most likely the minister, told us that if we ever had any problems all we had to do was pray to God and he would be there to help us. Fortunately for me, this advice came in handy just a few weeks later.
My mom dropped me off at a YMCA day camp. While I was there one of the teenage boy camp counselors thought it would be fun to bounce a rubber ball, like a dodge ball, off the top of my head. He did this over, and over and over and I did not like it! I became very afraid of him, and went running into the YMCA building. He chased after me as I made a dash into the ladies locker room. I thought he was going to continue to follow me, so I did what any reasonable person would do and jumped into a locker and closed the door behind me. Originally I thought this was a fabulous hiding place, but soon realized that I couldn’t get out! I started to panic and then began kicking the door as best I could with my right foot. Eventually, I was able to push my foot out between the door and the side of the locker. Unfortunately however, the door at the top of the frame would not release – I was in a near panic. Then I recalled the magical words, which were told to us by the Baptist minister, “Whenever you are in trouble, pray to God and he will help you.” So I stopped screaming and crying, bowed my head, put my hands into a prayer position and asked God to, “please help me.” In that moment of calm I looked down and noticed a metal rod positioned at the bottom of the locker. I gently reached down with my left finger, and push the rod up. The door burst open. I was free. At that moment, I believed in God.
That was quite an event for six-year-old child. It made me a true believer out of me, and I started reading the Bible every night, as I was preparing to go to sleep, I would flip through my Bible and place my finger on a random Bible verse. I was convinced that every verse I read had true meaning for me for that day. Sometimes I wondered what it meant when my finger landed on the verses that referred to a whole litany of people begetting one another. I didn’t quite know how this related to my day, but somehow I always manage to make sense of it – or I would just randomly choose a new verse – I figured my finger just landed in the wrong spot…
A few years later my parents divorced. We stopped going to church altogether. My father turned his back on God – he was raised in a conservative Methodist family and decided he had had enough of religion – and has never looked back. I however, kept asking my mom to take me to church. I was 10 years old, and would be dropped off at the local community Church to sit in the Sunday service and go to Sunday school. I went as often as my mother would take me.