Where’s the burning bush when you need one??

Ever found yourself with a grand plan and no clear way to get there? For many years I had felt the desire to create a healing practice in a rural environment. I wanted to work in a place where nature could be incorporated into the healing process- whether it meant walking in the woods with a client or sitting around an open fire.

In 1995, I had set in motion a plan to leave a holistic healing center I had helped create 10 years earlier. I had worked out a deal so that my wife at that time and one of the psychotherapists practicing there would take over management responsibilities so I could head to the “country”. I would rent back from them for a period of time until I figured out just where to go. Shortly after we had all agreed to these changes, the psychologist was found dead in his office from an apparent heart attack. The shock from the sudden loss of my good friend and the need to step back into an administrative role put my plans on the back burner for awhile.

Fast forward about 8 more years with the Healing Arts Center a bit more financially stable and me with the same desire to create a practice smack dab in the woods. I had even given a stint to practicing out of a friend’s cabin in the Cactoctin mountains one day a week just to see if clients were serious about taking more time for themselves and linking a treatment session with some retreat time. Well, the long and the short of it was that it was just too far away, and when push came to shove, people weren’t willing to take the extra time.

It was actually a relief for me as it was a long drive and a damp practice space; beautiful and inspiring but a little soggy, as were my spirits at that time. I felt as if I was all dressed up with no place to go.

Now, not too much longer after the cabin experience I was working out in my garden doing some insignificant doodling. I suddenly had this feeling in me, a certainty that I needed to build a small center here on my home property. In a brief moment I “knew” that’s what I wanted to do. Those of you that have had this type of experience know of the difficulty: that is, the certainty that appears can quickly vanish in the face of the practical questions.

How do I pay for it? Will anyone drive the additional distance from my current office? The normal arousal of doubts is often enough to extinguish any fiery vision. Unfortunately my “certainty” message was not delivered by an angel or even a commanding voice emanating from an adjacent burning blueberry bush. These things I could have latched onto and marched confidently into the future never looking back. No, my message arrived in more of a Quaker style, from that still small voice within. And, I knew as I sat there for a minute that I would have to make a commitment here and now to this process no matter what else I felt down the road, because this clarity does fade. I would at times need to move forward from a vague memory of something that in the past was substantial and palpable but now was merely a whisper. The moment I took was a moment to make a promise to myself based on this feeling now, and to let that feeling gel in my body. I had to remember.

Six years after that moment in the garden with an immense amount of planning, late nights behind a paint brush and the contributions and support of many creative people, Samara is open. I have acted out of my little window of certainty and created a beautiful, healing space. And, people are coming!! It all springs from an invisible inspiration. Even with the struggle of holding onto that original knowing, things are born. Expect a shout but act on the whisper.

  1. So glad that you kept the whisper alive–you have created a beautiful space and I am enjoying the warmth (literally and figuratively) that I feel there.

  2. I am impressed with your attention to detail–the space has so many thoughtful touches. I am guessing that you heard whisper after whisper….congratulations on making a healing space.

  3. Jim, having you and Samara within scooter distance is a gift from the universe. I consider you my teacher, my accupunturist, my healer, my grounder, my friend, my musical consultant, … my “family”. Watching Samara rise from the earth, and your attention to so many whispers, is heartwarming. And let us not forget to mention the unconditional positive regard provided by Sparky!! Namaste.

  4. After reading about the genesis of Samara and seeing the project rise from the yard grasses, I am very proud of you. I am glad that you know how to take listening to a new and bold level. I am eager to see the finished product. Nice, nice work

  5. It’s just so beautiful and represents so many more layers of who you are as a being and as a Medicine Man, and the shifts that have taken place along your own journey. If any one was going to be able to heed the whisper it would be you. You are such a wonderful inspiration and gift to the world, as is Samara!!

Leave a Reply