Jan. 20, 2011, Vol. 10 Issue 1
We’re well into the new year. How are you doing? I have high hopes and expectations for this year (and the rest of my life) — more-so than in awhile as life has its twists and turns. This could have something to do with starting the new year with a Wings Seminar called NAMASTE between Christmas and New Year’s. After five days of immersing ourselves in the richness and energy of this spiritually driven program, my friend Linda and I laughed uproariously all the way home from Eugene to Portland, Oregon. We were high on Spirit — yakking and laughing all the way into the house and throughout dinner. My husband got to be entertained and entranced with our good humor. More about the seminar at the end of this e-news.
This new year feels like a great time to invite you to “Open the Gate” with the program by that very name, that my friend Holly Stiel created to delight and inspire audiences. With her creativity, adventuresome spirit, inquisitiveness, and appreciation for life, Holly has been an inspiration to me since I met her in the mid-1990’s. Holly is a world renowned concierge and customer service expert. She has written four books, been a spokesperson for the Visa Signature card, and traveled the globe delivering her inspirational, informative keynotes and workshops. Her roster of clients includes some of the world’s largest companies. Her concierge concepts have been applied in healthcare settings. She has shared her uplifting Spirit in Service program with hospital staffs and doctor’s offices bringing the hospitality mindset to healthcare. She recently spent three days at an upscale assisted living community in Connecticut working with their managers and presenting a special program for the CNA’s.
This background should establish that Holly ventures far afield from her successful professional persona in the talk that I’m about to describe for you here. In fact, in this new keynote address she leads your audience members into an enchanted forest with fairies and elves and even a Wizard. I have walked this magical path physically in Gualala, California, and since I also edited the accompanying book, The Wisdom of the Wizard, I think I’m qualified to assure you that if you suspend your professional persona for a few moments and join us in play as if with your children or grandchildren, or, most importantly, your inner child, you will be glad you did.
OPEN THE GATE, I’ll Show You The Way
When Holly and her husband, Bill, bought a home in the woods along the Northern coast of California in 2002, she was amazed to discover a small white gate at the edge of the forest that led to a path overgrown with wild mushrooms, the hulks of ancient redwoods, scotch broom, and alive with the motion of dragonflies. She felt an enchantment there in the silence, the fog, and red orchids, that she had not known since childhood.
When they moved in, the house was empty except for two curious items — a fairy chime bell and a sign that said “Unicorn Crossing.” A bell was definitely going off in Holly’s head. “I believe that those things were not left there by accident. They were left as an invitation – an invitation to play.” She followed the clues and that led her to the previous owner and her 6-year-old daughter, Tessa.
Tessa knew that path well, and she began revealing the secrets of the forest and a secret world to Holly. After teaching all over the world, Holly became the student. She received instruction in the flights of fairies, the customs of pixies, secret passages, sacred practices, and listening to the wisdom of the earth. Together they created woodsy shrines decorated with crystals, treasures from her world travels, and gifts from friends and family. By being willing to play and enter the world of fantasy, Holly discovered that the imagined world can become real and the real world what you can imagine.
As the building of the path progressed — and we are talking building here with contract help to do the heavy lifting — Holly realized that the stations held lessons for both of her worlds — the fantasy one and the business one. “My path is a place,” she says, “but most importantly, it’s a practice. Embracing a sense of play and childlike wonder creates room for appreciation, places for wisdom to take root, openings for relationships to flourish, and the space for imaginations to take flight.”
Eager to share this powerful message, Holly created a mystical walking tour through the grottos, groves, ferns and creeks of her property on a path of self-discovery. And now she’s transformed the actual physical tour into her “Open the Gate” keynotes and workshops where she will entertain your audience with stories about the humorous processes of enlisting local artists, day laborers, and working with indigenous materials in the creation of the real fairy path. With photographs, exercises and a little fairy dust, Holly will bring that path to your audience, guiding them through an inspiring practice of manifestation. Your audience will visit actual locations on the path: The Gratitude Circle, Overcoming Obstacles, Listening to Your Heart, and the Crystal Path of Friendship, among them.
One of the many aspects of this program that inspires audiences is the example she provides as a highly established and accomplished professional woman, in touch with her playful creative spirit, and sharing her deep wisdom about walking an enchanted path in her own life. I can guarantee you that this is unique and will sear an inspiring image into people’s psyches. The preview of the program can be viewed here.
If you’re at all interested, I suggest you watch the whole keynote to really understand it. Ask me for a DVD and I’ll send you one.
Namaste is a no-holds-barred exploration of spirituality, truly a spiritual renewal seminar. I cannot begin to describe how transformational, and FUN, this was for me. While it’s called a seminar, it felt like a retreat. Staying at a lovely B & B, The Oval Door, may have had something to do with that. That, and being in the silence each night (no talking with my roommate or anyone from the time we left at night to the time we started again the next day). For 5 days, we got to to chant, meditate, play, dance, open our chakras, listen to stories and guest speakers, interact with other seekers, evaluate, question, draw, self-reflect, socialize and be silent, explore, share, be in service, experiment and experience. Some of the joy, I realized, as the days developed, was the wonder of not knowing what was going to happen next. It was all planned for us. What a treat. I felt so privileged — and responsible to spread the joy. I’ve come home with new practices to enrich my daily life.
Losing a Friend…
Our brave little kitty, Cinderella, also known as Drella, died after 18 1/2 years. This last year she had a very rough time – diabetes, kidney failure, a tumor in her abdomen and a couple of trips to emergency, and lots of at-home care. On the morning of Jan. 12, we found that she could not walk. We suspected a stroke. We took her to our wonderful vet, my sister-in-law, who has given her loving and expert care all of these years, and she told us it was time to let her go if we were willing. So, with great sadness, we did.
What a trooper she was. She had such a strong will to live — obviously, from the January in 1994 when she followed me and my dog, P.C., home on a sub-zero snowy, windy Michigan night. Now she’s followed P.C. over the Rainbow Bridge, and we miss her very much.
Until next time, take care of yourself for your well being and those you love.
PLEASE NOTE: The information shared in this e-news is designed to help you make informed decisions about speakers and the programs they offer. It is not intended as a substitute for any treatment prescribed by a doctor. If you suspect you have a medical problem, seek competent medical help.