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Afternoons with Alma

July, 2000

Alma Daniel, co-author of the book "Ask Your Angels", has been my spiritual mentor and/or spiritual mother for the past 10 years. I was her personal assistant and attended her workshops and meditation evenings whenever I could. Now in "retirement" from public work, Alma and I usually spend an afternoon together 3 or 4 times a month. We talk about our lives, what’s going on and what she calls the "spiritual weather report."

"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost." –Martha Graham

My acting teacher read this quote to us in class last Monday, in order to inspire us not to block our creative expression, lest it be lost forever. On Tuesday, Alma faxed me an article for us to read and discuss in our weekly afternoon meeting. As I skimmed the page, my eye was immediately drawn to the third paragraph, which began with Martha Graham’s inspirational quote.

It never ceases to amaze me how connected we are. It had been 2 weeks since I even spoke to Alma, and here we were "humming on the same string."

The article, "The Inconvenient Interior Summons," by Marsha Sinetar, spoke plainly about the difficulty in following your inner call. It is often easier to do go with the crowd, do what is expected, not make a wave. As Alma and I talked, I realized it’s nearly impossible to follow your inner call if you’ve created a life so busy you can’t even hear it.

My life has been so crowded with responsibilities recently that to stop and take time for myself seems not only inconvenient but a down right nuisance. Alma said I was spending a lot of time doing and very little time "being". We talked about the importance of balance and how to merge the doing with the "being" aspect of my life. I could see the more time I spend truly experiencing even the everyday business of my life, the more meaning and richness I will undoubtedly discover. We both recognized how easy it is to "get it" in your head, but how sometimes it takes a long time to really experience or feel the transformation in your soul. Sometimes the longest distance in life is between your heart and your head.

We exchanged borrowed materials; I returned one book and asked for another. Alma issued another article. I vowed to take time, however small, for myself each day. Alma suggested one way to start was with gratitude. "Take 5-10 minutes and give thanks," she said. "This act invites more grace or the awareness of grace into your life."

Since both Alma and I spend or have spent a lot of energy being good in our lives, we decided to make our next afternoon a playdate out of the immediate city. Then with a kiss and a hug we said goodbye and I was off again on my spiritual path.

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