About Michael

Welcome.

Many ancient teachings suggest that we choose to be born, have free will, and a purpose for being here. Their philosophy holds that a progression of lifetimes have resulted in who we are today. For example, Taoists, Buddhists and Hindus believe that the life we are living now. . .how happy, tormented, peaceful, or spiritually aware we are. . .is the outcome of what we nurtured prior to this incarnation. Likewise, our present thoughts and decisions are determining our future.

Plato wrote of a similar philosophy, saying that we choose our destiny according to the experiences of our former lives.

No matter how we sense the call of a hidden order, the end result is usually the same. . .we change directions. In the process we must give up our former self, lose our identity, in order to find out who we really are. This can be particularly difficult for men. Just as there is still an underlying expectation that a woman will marry and raise a family. . .any career she has is secondary to that. . .a man is expected to be ‘somebody’. He must choose a profession, one that society approves of, stick with it, and make “something” of himself. When I met Michael (my future husband), he was in the process of leaving a prominent position in the corporate world. Although he lacked a clear vision as to where he was headed, he knew that he was not being fulfilled in the way he was investing his time and energy.

“I took a job on the Gulf oil rigs to repay my college loans, but gave it up in favor of a brief, inharmonious marriage. When the marriage ended, eleven months later, I loaded the totality of my possessions into a tolerably dented, 1972 Pinto and drove to Maine where my parents lived. During a brief telephone call my father had sensed my lack of direction and offered me refuge. I accepted, less out of relief than not knowing where else to go. Later, I learned that aside from helping me in a time of need, he had recognized an opportunity to mend what had, at times been a trying relationship between us.

“An acquaintance of my parents offered me part-time work at the local Coca~Cola plant. I gratefully accepted. Intoxicated with activity and reinforced by increasing monetary rewards, I set my sights on doing what was necessary to climb this corporate ladder. Although my starting salary was below the lowest paid secretary, it wasn’t long before I worked my way to becoming Director of Marketing. Enamored with the title and position, and subsequent recognition bestowed upon me by family and friends, Coca~Cola became my mistress. Outwardly, I went from relative obscurity to someone with a respectable image. I felt vibrant. . .alive. My life was going somewhere. I had purpose.

“Ever so slowly, almost imperceptibly, something began to stir just below my awareness. Even though I was surrounded by individuals of financial and political “success,” something was missing. I had to know what it was. I began to question the path I was on. Is this what life was all about?

The business world did not seem to have the answers I was looking for. My interests wandered beyond the boundaries of accepted business indoctrination. I was drawn to obscure subjects such as the workings of the mind, dreams, consciousness, alchemy and subtle energy. Emerging was a burning desire to understand what we are doing here; the meaning of life beyond personal gratification.

“During this time a leveraged buy-out of our company was orchestrated by its principals and I was offered a small “piece of the action.” This buy-out was scheduled to last five years. (Enormous profits can be generated in these types of financial schemes so I was part of a “once in a life time” event.)

My emerging passion didn’t seen to regard this potential windfall as significant. Somehow I knew I would not be with the company another five years and I confided this to a friend (and co-worker.) He knew that a large chunk of money awaited me at the end of five years so his disbelief was understandable. Yet, I was so confident in my “prediction” that I made a (rather large) bet with him based on my conviction.

Unexpectedly, the largest stock-market drop in Wall Street history, Black Monday, occurred soon afterward. The Dow’s fall triggered panic selling. A buyer, willing to pay the five year projected value of the company, emerged and the principals sold for enormous profits. Eleven months into the leveraged buy-out I was sitting on a windfall that could sustain my current lifestyle for three years. What a gift. . .time to contemplate what I was going to do with the rest of my life.

“My fellow co-workers expected that I would continue my climb through marketing and sales management in the “new” corporation, but I knew differently. My time with Coca~Cola was nearing completion. . .something compelled me to step out of the cocoon of security.

“Innocently, I shared my desire to take reflective time with selected friends and associates. Reception of my idea ranged from the subtle shaking of heads in pity, to those who stridently said it was an act of political suicide to leave a prestigious position without a net (another job). To most, refusing a respectable position in the new company was an act of heresy. They didn’t realize I had already left.

“Searching for something that has no identity is difficult to understand, let alone explain to others in social circles. This is a real confidence shaker. It was years before I quit introducing myself as, “I was Director of Marketing for Coca~Cola.” Reinventing my self-image beyond what I did or didn’t do was a creative challenge.

Now for the part of my story that is most difficult to convey. It’s one of those things that you know with certainty, but understanding why or how you know it remains elusive. Why did I choose the path I did? In reviewing significant events in my life I now see the synchronicity. Even distressful events have their place in my present understanding of reality. I “see” things differently. Decisions I made in the past that were considered “productive” I now see as somewhat shallow and limited.

How did I get from “there” to “here?” It’s not as if one day I suddenly decided to become a more aware human being and voila! Instead, I believe it was my soul whispering through the din of my chattering mind that finally got my attention. This whisper was not in the form of words; rather I was being presented with an unspoken question; a yearning for something more. I began to listen and in so doing, my perspective began to change dramatically.

It became apparent that we are standing on the edge of a major shift in how we view (and live in) the world. Our consumptive economy began to feel outdated. I wondered why we don’t make the connection that all man-made products originate from natural resources. . . which we are rapidly depleting?

Chief Seattle is said to have said “This we know. All Things are connected like the blood which unites one family . . .Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the sons and daughters of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”

How can we take these words to heart?

My guess is that a shift in consciousness is happening through us rather as opposed to something we initiate. If we are open to this change, this shift in consciousness, we are open to a greater aspect of humanness; one that is beyond the limitations of the physical self.

This consciousness, I believe, is the source of all creativity and innovation. We are an indelible part of this creative flow. We can ignore it, but it won’t go away.

I see my role as a catalyst of change: working with others as we intend and allow new visions of what is possible to come forth; then translating this vision into a living system that not only embodies the new, but embeds new ways of thinking and acting in such a way that it is self sustaining.
Michael’s winter solstice thoughts

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Marc Decelles April 5, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Michael,

I am going to speak to you directly in ancient terms so you can understand ME better….

Of all the one’s in your family
Who amongst you had that Tiger in their eye
Don’t you know it’s for a reason
You’ll need to get by………… the crazies

These oh so crazy times we are in
All suffering at once for a reason
Wanting to live up to such high expectations
by accepting … limitations… at the same time?

Are you kidding me?

This is a school we are in
Learning began a long time ago

I say class dismissed….
let’s have some fun!

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