Hi. My name is Cynthia McCormick. I’m 69. I’m divorced. I was married for 27 years and I have three children and three grandchildren. What was coming to my mind as we sat down right here, as I was thinking of the day when I was sitting in my house, I was married and I was sitting in in the little corner where that I had set up for me, where I had my spiritual books piled up, you know, and my my little tape recorder, so I could listen to some spiritual music, you know, and I would meditate. And that was Mom’s corner. Nobody sat in that chair, you know, and I was sitting there and my husband came in and he looked at me. I’m getting very emotional actually talking about this. 

But he looked at me and he said, You look so happy. He said, What happened? I’ve tried all my life to make you happy. You look so happy. What happened? I said, I have never felt so peaceful and happy and content in my entire life and it’s not a result of anything outside of me. It’s a result of of working deeply within myself and meditating. And I can remember the look on his face, you know, because he had he was a kind man and he had tried to make me happy and I wasn’t happy. And I was always looking for happiness. I was always looking for how can I not suffer, you know, in that moment I’ll never forget it. Because in that moment also I said to my I was not I wasn’t hadn’t entered the Buddhist path yet or anything. This was quite a few years before that. But I remember saying to myself, It stops here. I am no longer wish to suffer. I no longer wish to be unhappy. I will go to whatever length it’s going to take for me to pursue this because this is all there is in life.

 And it was actually shocking to have that realization in that moment because, of course, I had been pursuing all the things that I’d been told would make me happy if I got a wonderful husband, which I did. Checkmark kids Check. Mark had a career check. Mark lived in a beautiful house in Toronto. We had a cottage, we had a sailboat. We traveled, we did everything I was it was so amazing. And yet I found myself not happy. I was angry, actually. I had been sold a bill of goods that somehow, if I had acquired all of these things, that the magic moment would come and it never came. And fortunate for me, for some, maybe it’s karma. I didn’t turn that on myself and said, Well, you’re just a loser. You might as well pack it in, forget it. I didn’t. I thought, there’s got to be something else, you know? And that really took me on a deep dove into my spiritual path where I ended up, you know, in Buddhism. But prior to that, you know, if I go way back, I’d always been looking for something. I was the oldest of four children. And my my father grew up in an alcoholic home, a violent one, actually. And my mother grew up in a large family. And where alcohol was forbidden, which I often wondered, why was that? Maybe there was something there. And my mom and dad, you know, I can I can say they did the best they could. Of course they did, you know, with with the tools they had and the life they had. But I grew up in a very traumatic, violent, alcoholic home. And I was I was always especially on the weekend, sitting, waiting, do I have to call the police now or not? Do I have to jump in the middle of my parents? You know, is somebody going to die this weekend? What do I do with my younger brothers and sisters? There was always the threat. We might be taken away. My dad drank a lot of money away, so we were quite poor, but we were living in a middle to upper middle class area of Toronto. But we were hiding it. Nobody knew how we were living. We didn’t have money. It was like a can of Campbell’s soup among the six of us, you know? And so, you know, it was not it was not a pretty thing. And so I grew up realizing that somehow I’m different. Somehow, like our family was different. We weren’t living like everybody else. And and I and I remember the one night that I did phone the police on my parents, mainly because I was so terrified that everybody was going to die. And the police came in and they settled it down and he was walking at the door and remember holding on to him and saying, you know, I’m going to get in trouble because I called you. Please don’t go. Don’t leave me behind. You know, and and I remember that moment and he said, You, you’re going to be fine. Don’t worry. And I took his words and I often use those words, I’m going to be fine. 

On the fruit of practice

The clarity and the change in my life and how I lived my life and how I view life and how I interact with people. That’s the proof that it’s working. It’s not checking off boxes.

Like that police officer never knew how I needed just I needed something to hang on to. And so I started noticing friends of mine were happy, close friends of mine at my up at our cottage because we were at a cottage every summer was my, you know, the handing down the cottage from great grandfather to, you know, to us. And this family was a Catholic family, and they had huge numbers of kids and they and more kids would be coming up as all the cousins came up. And it was chaos, but it was happy chaos. It was loving chaos. And they would have the priest over for dinner. Who’s a priest? Like, I didn’t grow up in any kind of of religion or anything, you know, and I hang around and and so I thought, Oh, that’s the solution. I need to be Catholic. So I went to the local Catholic Church. I was probably ten with my girlfriend from that family, and we would do the Stations of the Cross. I didn’t know what the Stations of the Cross were. I said, What are we doing? Said, Archie, you just go through these and just pray. Just ask for something. I said, okay, you know, please don’t let my parents drink this weekend. Please don’t let my parents you know, I sort of had this common prayers and and I hung out with the family and and and it gave me hope that there was another way. But I didn’t know what that was. The age of 12, I got myself confirmed in the United Church because I also had some other friends going to the United Church. And I thought, Oh, their household is peaceful. Okay, maybe it’s the United Church I need to do. So I got myself confirmed, like what, 12 year old I don’t know about you if you have any kids, but my three kids, when they were 12, the last thing they wanted to do was be inside a church. Okay. No, not me. I went through all the classes, got myself confirmed, and became quite involved in the church. And and that was okay. I got once again, it did not satisfy me. I had to have some surgery. I had a growth on my knee when I was about 13, 14, and I had to have some surgery. And I was in the hospital. Every other person, it seemed in my room had a minister or somebody visit them and my minister didn’t come to see me. That was like it was like, why isn’t he coming to see me? What what? What’s wrong? So once again, my search again. Again, my best friend in high school was Catholic once again. And this is not from the college. This is from being in the city. And I hung out at her huge family, peaceful, loving. I loved them. I loved her mom. I loved being in. I spent so much time over there as much as I could because it was peaceful and it was loving. And I thought, well, it’s Catholicism for sure. You know, I mean, this has got to be my path. I never did. I married a Catholic. That’s what I ended up doing. I married a Catholic and went through the Catholic classes so I could marry a Catholic, you know, and promise that my kids would be raised in the Catholic Church and, you know, did it did all of that, that stuff. And so that was pretty interesting. But even in between that, when I went to university, I did my undergraduate at Western, I got a hold of Don Wong, I could Way of knowledge by Carlos Castaneda and I won’t want you to wait. They will give you a real. Yeah, yeah. I’m going to go to the Miami shoot straight. Yeah. Yes. Thanks for reminding me. Yeah, I don’t think it’s my kids because they know I’m doing this. So. So I was still searching for that happiness pill, right? To feel content and joyful. I read Carlos Castaneda books and went, All right, this is it. That’s the answer. And I was trying to figure out how I could quit university and I was going to go down and find them. I was that serious. And I got scared and I couldn’t I could not do it. The pressure to succeed be the first person graduating from university on my side of the family, my relationship with my mom, my boyfriend who became my husband, I felt like I couldn’t abandon any of that for my own happiness. I guess now that I say that out loud. And so I, I packed it in and I actually I married Steve. We got married in a Catholic church, but I really packed in the seeking. And I think it’s because also what I had said at the beginning, oh, here I was. I’ve got this wonderful husband, we’ve got a career. He’s he’s gone on and become a lawyer. I got my master’s degree in criminology. I was a clinical criminologist. You know, we we lived well. We had our kids. You know, we I mean, I I’m going to have happiness. You know, they told me this is it. And so I’m getting rid of that stuff and I’m just going to do what people tell me and and see. Okay. And so that became that journey. And that journey included drinking. And I vowed I would never become an alcoholic. I vowed that I would never drink like my my parents did. And I didn’t drink like them. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t have the problem. You know, we we we can fool ourselves. I’m not going to look like that. But no, I’ve got my version of what that’s going to look like. Right. And so what I discovered when my third child was born, James and he was born in June, and in August, I was sitting in my backyard of our beautiful home and, you know, I mean, everything in my life was perfect from the outside. If you walked into my life, you would go, Oh, my God, you and Steve are living the most perfect life in the world. And I was sitting there that afternoon breastfeeding my son and thinking to myself, If this is it, then I’m I want to die. And I and I seriously was thinking that. And once again, here’s another moment that brings tears to my eyes, because it became a turning point for me in in that moment, someone showed up at my door and it was a friend and she showed up and she said, I want you to get a babysitter for tomorrow. I’m taking you somewhere. And she took me the next day. I trust me. I got my mother in law and went with her. And I went to my first 12 step meeting, which was 12 steps for alcohol for adult children of alcoholics. And that actually started my spiritual path at that point. Again, re re getting back on the wagon, you know, which I had abandoned probably for about 18 years, 19 years at that point. And, and I can remember being walking out of that first meeting and going, oh, my God, this is this is it for me. And for the next I guess that was 1988. And that started me on a journey that I want to tell you. When you hear alcoholics or people who are in 12 step program say, it saved my life, it honestly saved my life because I don’t know if I’d be on the Buddhist path today if that hadn’t happened. I don’t know. I might be dead, actually. Good chance I would be dead and therefore would have missed the beauty and the wonder and the amazingness of of this path that I’m on and have been on and will be on. You know, I it’s just I feel so grateful for that moment. That moment changed my life. And I started with EARNEST in the 12 steps, and I, I did it around my kids and my my husband’s schedule. So mostly B, the day when I was at home, I would go to meetings or I would read books and I went to then I moved to Al-Anon, you know, and then in 1992, sorry, this is quite emotional for me emotionally in a good way. You know, in 1992, I had been at an Al-Anon meeting and a woman in the Al-Anon meeting who had the same name as my mother, believe it or not, was listening to me talk. And she came up to me, said, Oh, you might want to try an AA meeting. 

When you hear alcoholics or people who are in
12 step program i say,
it saved my life, it honestly saved my life
because I don’t know
if I’d be on the Buddhist path
itoday if that hadn’t happened

And I went, Why so? I don’t know. I just got a feeling you might want to try it. Well, if you’ve ever been to a 12 step meeting, you listen to the wisdom of the elders that trained me well for listening to the wisdom of Guru of my of Rinpoche, you know, my teacher, they really set me up. Well, for that is you listen to them and you do to do that. So I went to an AA meeting and, and cried through the whole meeting and I walked out of that meeting and ran into somebody from my other 12 step group. And, and he said, st, you know, Cynthia, why are you here? And I said, I have no idea because I control my drinking. And he said, You have to ask yourself why, why you need to control your drinking. And for me, that was the moment that turned everything around. I went home and I went, I’m an alcoholic. And that started my journey. And that a journey opened me to it, open to me. That’s really what it did. It it I, I didn’t have to hide anything. I didn’t have to pretend I didn’t have to try to to not be something, you know, in the in the Vajrayana path that I’m on, Rinpoche always tells us to relax to not reject anything, you know, allow everything, be with everything, learn to be with everything. And that moment that I was able to admit that I was I stopped having to fight it and pretend or do whatever I was doing and started the path of opening. And that path of opening included exposure to other paths and, and meditation step 11 says Sort through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God. As we understood him, I always stopped at sort of like prove our conscious contact that was good enough for me. And so I embarked on trying to figure out how to meditate and, and I a couple of things. I use technology in a book because I went to a meditation class and they said, Just empty your mind. And I went, Are you what? Empty my mind like, oh, what? Oh, just sit there. Just breathe and empty your mind. Honestly, I went crazy. I thought, you know, like, if this is the path to meditation, like, I quit. But I wasn’t going to quit at that point, you know, I was too now on the path I had quit way years back. I wasn’t going to repeat that one. So I kept looking. I got checking out hands, book pieces every step. And I followed his instructions in there and I started doing walking meditations every day with his with his mantra that he tells you to say when you breathe in and when you breathe out, I can’t even remember it at this moment is a so quite a long time ago, but I was transformed. I was transformed by that. And I went, oh, everything looked brighter, more vibrant. I felt more at peace. That’s that’s I had that’s what my husband walked into. My husband walked into that place of me having come back from doing a walking meditation. And he saw my happiness and my peacefulness. That was it that he saw. And and of course, unless you have the direct experience yourself, you have no idea what that means. I mean, I tried to explain it to him, but that it’s meaningless, you know, because you can’t get it with your head, you know, it’s it’s inexpressible, as they say. It’s something that has to be experienced. And I was experiencing something. I had never experienced it. And I didn’t know how to convey it, but it didn’t matter because I wasn’t going to stop now, you know? And so then that led me. I had to a to more experiences that got me hooked directly into, into, into the Buddhist path. One was a group of women from my age group. We we would get together a couple of times a year with this woman who led us in weekend workshop, you know, and this weekend workshop we were doing an open eye meditation. So I had a little bit of knowledge of meditation at this point. And I, we were listening to music and looking at flowers and I had my eyes wide open and the flowers were in front of me and all of these colors were coming out of the flowers in time to the music. Now, I never used drugs when I was younger, but I would imagine that that must be what a trip is like because it was unbelievable. And I thought, what the heck is going on here? You know, am I losing my mind like, what am I? What am I seeing? And at the end of it, I expressed to the group what I’d seen, and everybody went, Oh my God, you know, you’re seeing the energy field or whatever. I now discovered it’s not the energy field I was seeing. I now know I was seeing a layer consciousness. And so that was interesting because of course our mind’s always projecting, right? But anyway, it was interpreted that way and it needed to be interpreted that way for my journey. I got it. Didn’t know what the I did not know what energy fields were. I did not know what chakras were. None of that was mainstream back in those days. That was woo woo stuff. Now, remember, I’m a clinical criminologist. I’m married to a lawyer. I live in a conservative part of Toronto. And you’re now telling me that I’m seeing the energy field and I’m going to go home and tell somebody. One of my friends I saw the energy field. They’re going to think I’m crazy. And actually they did. They did, really. But I got curious because I had already started a spiritual path. The 12 steps of curiosity. It’s a it’s a path of curiosity of getting to know yourself. And I wanted to know this. And so I that was one piece. And then also that summer, I went to the Omega Holistic Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, with my girlfriend. And I went to a workshop called The Lover Within. And I really went because I wanted to learn how to open my heart up. And that’s, you know, to love more loving and kind to my husband and and that was my intention for going. And we got down there and it turns out the woman that led it had just returned from Tibet. She’d been there for ten years and she was doing all kinds of energy stuff with us. Can you feel the energy between your hands and can you feel the energy? And I was feeling old and I’m going, Woo! That is like really cool stuff, you know? And then she had us do this chant. I wrote it down, I was looking for it, but I couldn’t find it. But it was a chant that her teacher in Tibet had given her. And we sat in a circle and she had us chant this, and as we’re chanting, I’m getting hotter and hotter, and people are moving farther and farther away from me. And I realized at that point what was happening is my field was expanding, you know, and and there was so much energy in it. And while we were chanting, I had I had a few things happen. I heard a knock at the door and I turned around to see and there was no one there. It happened three times, actually, the knocking on the door and there was no one there. And then I heard the door open, no one. I didn’t see nobody. The door did not open physically, you know. But I heard the door open and I felt somebody walk up behind me. And so I thought, this is like I’m really losing my mind here. This is crazy. So at the end of it, she asked if anybody had an experiences and I put my hand up and told her what happened and she said, Oh wow, you met my teacher. And I went, but. And she said, You must have a really strong connection to Tibetan Buddhism. And I said, What’s Tibetan Buddhist? Never heard of anything at all. Like I took that horn, but he’s Vietnamese. Like, what’s Tibetan Buddhism? You know, like, what’s this? What is this weird stuff? Like what? You have ghosts coming, and that’s what that’s about it. I was like, I this is really weird. And she just she just reinforced it. And when I left that day, she said, You might want to do something with this. I mean, this is a strong connection. And I went, okay, right? So anyway, I didn’t. And when I got back to the city because of seeing me at the energy field with the other group, somebody had called me up and said, You need to read Barbara Brennan’s book Hands of Light. And I got that message three times and I never did anything with it, just like I never did anything with the recommendation that you should go and do something about Tibetan Buddhism. But the interesting thing is, and I really believe this is my karmic connection, there was I didn’t stand a chance of ignoring it, not a chance in the world of ever ignoring this stuff. And it’s got to be my karmic peace here, whatever. But I was I was getting ready to go to the cottage with the kids for the summer is a Friday night packing up and Ellen DeGeneres, the show is on the TV and her first sitcom was took place in a bookstore. And on the shelf behind her was Barbara, Brendan, Hands of Light. And I have to talk. I freaked out and I looked at my husband. I said, I’ve got to go down to the Omega Bookstore. And he said, It’s 10:00 at night. I said, I know it’s open till 11. I’ll be back. He said, What do you do? I ran down, bought the book, came home, took it to the cottage. And my kids, if you lined my kids up here right now, you would they’d have you in stitches because they would they would mimic me. I was on the dock reading the book, and this is how they describe watching me. And they would laugh, oh, my God, oh, god. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. The whole time I was reading it because I knew everything in the book, but I’d never read it before. It was one of those I know everything. Oh, I phoned the one 800 number in the back of the book which who does that anyway? I did it and found out that she only had one workshop left for the year and then she has a school that she teaches healing school. And if I wanted to go to a workshop with Barbara Brennan, I would have to sign up right now. I gave them my Visa card number. I signed up. It was in Rhode Island, New York. I’ve never been to Rhode Island, New York. I’m at the cottage. I’m doing this. I came down, told my husband, he said, Are you out of your mind? I mean, I have to feel for him, honestly, you know, that he hung in with me through through this stuff because it must have been so weird for him on the outside watching me. I mean, it’s weird for me to talk about that even now, but it’s like for him to be there and he said, You can’t do that. We can. And I said, Boys, it’s the only we can. We get to see the kids at camp. That’s our our parent. We can. I said, I have to go. And he said, What? And I said, Yeah, I have to do it. I don’t I was so compelled. I don’t even know I can’t even the the compulsion to go was so strong. I went and when I went that weekend, Barbara brought me up on stage and she had me read fields and she had me read people and she had and I was doing things. I’m going, How am I doing this? But you know what? I’d always done that. I always I always knew people. I always knew things. I always I, you know, I and I think it was partially, you know, if I was going to reflect right now about trauma, one of the gifts out of my trauma was that it made me actually very self-reflective. It actually turned me inward in lots of ways. And the only the only thing that I, I had to trust in lots of ways along the way was myself. And in that closeness to myself is actually what helped me to to be a healer. And so there’s a real a real connection there for that. They talk about the wounded healer is the best kind of healer, you know. And so they came up to me and said, look, we’re starting a another class in September. We’d love to have you in the class. Would you please consider coming? I came home and I said to my husband, I’ve got to go and do this training. He said, Our kids are too little. You can’t you can’t do this. It was going down to the States for four years, five times a year, a week at a time. And I said, okay, I won’t do it. And everything fell apart. Like literally everything fell apart. My joy left, but physically things started falling apart. And so I thought, Oh, I’m going to play with this. I’m going to make a decision to go. When I made a decision to go, my joy and happiness came back and I went, okay, this is going to cost a lot of money, which we don’t have. We’re on one salary right now because I’m home with the kids. What am I going to do? I got a call immediately after I said that from Corrections Canada asking me to do some community development for $40,000 that was going to pay for all my schooling. And I went, okay, accept it. I said to my husband, I’m going, I have the money. I will make sure everything’s set up for you and the kids when I go away, but I’m going. So then what happened was this would be Mara, you know, Buddha, I don’t want to equate myself with Buddha. We do have Buddha nature, but it would be sort of like my version of Mara at that moment, you know, sitting under the body tree, I was just so peaceful in my life’s little chair. I made the decision. I told him he was very upset. And then I got bombarded. All our friends started calling, You’re in a cult. You’re crazy. What’s wrong? You need some psychiatric help. You’re having a breakdown. You’re like, I got that. That was my mother coming at me. And I. I never budged. And I, I don’t I didn’t know at that moment why I never budged. But I now know two things. When I got to Barbara Brennan and started doing the healing, first of all, I loved it. I have never been it was just amazing to to go through that training. And I met Buddhists. I’ve never known anybody who had been a practicing Buddhist, like they had taken refuge, they had teachers, they were actually the teachers at the school and they would lead meditations. I learned John Glenn through them and and they would talk a bit about the path, you know, and I became really curious and I went, Oh, this is what that woman had said a number of years ago about Buddhism. And they were Tibetan Buddhists. And I thought, Oh, and then through a teacher that was at the school at that time who lived in Toronto, who was herself Buddhist and had been since she was 20 at this point, she was in her fifties probably follow me up and said, Rinpoche is coming to town. Who the heck is Garson? Rupe say, Oh, he’s a sweet monk. Who escaped from Tibet after being in prison for 20 years. And he’s just so sweet and he’s coming up to teach, you know, wanted to join us. And I went, I didn’t say no this time. I said, okay. And I walked into the room and it was all filled with Tibetans from Toronto. We’ve got quite a Tibetan community here and they were just so and I looked around at these people, oh, my God, another moment of tears here for me, you know, walking in that room, they had rented the metro Council Center. So the center where our Metro Council meets politically, and they’d rented that center and it was sort of a theater kind of thing. And there was the two monks, there’s three, but two of his two assistants were setting up the shrine table and it was filled with Tibetan people in their authentic costumes. And there was so much joy in the room. They were so happy. The smiles on their face, the welcoming, the the sent, extending love. There were 15 Caucasian people that walked in the room. I was one of them. And these people were inclusive and loving and kind and joyful. And I can remember standing there going, I want what you have. I want that I do. I have to become Tibetan. Like, do I have to move to Tibet? Like, how do we get this? You know, like I’m always looking, you know, like got to go outside myself to get right and and then darshan started to teach. And when he turned around and he and he looked up at us and the energy and that’s my energy training and I was so grateful I had it because I could feel it. I could feel the wave. I could feel just the energy from his heart coming out and all of our hearts opened and we were one big heart. That’s all we were. The room was nothing but a big, loving, kind heart. And I looked at this man and I thought, okay, I’m in. I’m all in here. And he came up twice a year and he would meet on Sunday night at the end of the weekend with us 15 Caucasians in a in a small house in Scarborough because of his translator lived there and I didn’t even I mean I just wanted to be with him. I didn’t understand anything. He just kept talking about loving kindness and compassion. Yeah. Yeah, I want that. And but I just want to be near you. I just want. And then he offered me refuge, and I didn’t understand what refuge was, so I turned it down, which was really upsetting. No, for me. I wish I’d done refuge with him. He was such a heart connection for him, for me, with him. But. But I’m grateful because that sent me seeking for Buddhism. Okay, I get it. I got to find. I’ve got to find my place here in Toronto. Where do it where do I fit in? Where is this? Where are those Tibetan people? You know, I don’t understand their language. I’ll learn the language. I don’t care. I’ll do anything. It’s that it’s the line that’s in in the 12 step program that they read at every meeting where they say, are you willing to go at any length to get what we have in that moment? I was willing to go to any length to get what Garson Shaye had when all those people in that room had. I wanted that so desperately, and I knew that it was nothing outside myself that was going to give that to me. I tried and tried to try to tried and experimented with a bang and it didn’t work. And so, once again, the woman who had connectome with Darshan said There’s a study group starting up in Toronto and you want to go? And I went, Yeah, and this at this point, my husband and I had had separated and which was also sad and but but actually when you think about it, good for him that he was in love with me and everything I was going through. He just I’ll never forget a line. He said to me, Sis, I’m just a simple person, you know? He said, I don’t really need much. And I thought, Well, yeah, I sort of want what you have to, you know, sit and I don’t know how you got there in that place, but, you know, that wasn’t the way my internal world was like. So we separated and on, on very good terms and I would say loving terms. And so I was living with two of my three kids at that point and, and started the study class. And it turns out that it was a Zen pilot. She had started it had developed these this study was developing a study path for Westerners. And he was also developing an accompanying practice path for Westerners. And because he saw the need that the way it was done in in Tibet or in any of the Asian countries, you know, that culture in that culture was not going to work for us here, you know, and so he he was putting together a program that was going to work for us. And so I started my my study there. And, and in 2005, I came to town. I’d never met him before, and we were just meeting in people’s houses. We didn’t have a center or anything like we were not. We were just a study group. We’re reading in a considered a sangha, although we were. But we we he did a teaching and he gave refuge that weekend when he came. And I took refuge with him and I and I’m emotional because also darshan I wanted you know, I was I was seeing darshan there with him, you know, it was just quite moving. And and I got the name. I I’m not I haven’t memorized my Tibetan names, but my, my refuge name was a glorious exertion. And I thought, what a perfect name for me. That’s me. My whole life’s been like that. And I thought, Oh my God, this is how perfect. I love that name, you know? And and so that started my, my, my real commitment to the Buddhist path and how do I fit it in? I’m a single mom. I got two kids. I’m running around a hockey game, soccer games, you know, and you name it. They’re teenagers and building, you know, at this point, I’m back at work and I’m building up psychotherapy practice with hands on healing. So I combined hands on healing with a psychotherapy practice and so self employed. So once again, here’s the 12 step program for me. The seventh tradition says to be self-supporting through our own contributions. That became my mantra. I wanted to be self-supporting through my own contributions. You know, I didn’t want I really you know, my my husband was obviously giving giving money and support, but I wanted to be self-supporting. I wanted to build myself to a place where I was. And so that became my journey of working, building my psychotherapy practice. And if you’ve ever talked to any of the psychotherapists and it’s hard for them to build practice, you know, private practice, they often go with clinics or they start out somewhere in a structured place and that wasn’t it for me. I had a full practice within a year. I, I, I am I felt so blessed. I remember the psychotherapists because we, I shared, I had my own office, but there were other psychotherapists who rented offices. And I remember this, my, my next door neighbor, psychotherapist, coming up to me, said, What are you doing? And I said, he said, Are you advertising somewhere? I said, No. And he said, I’ve never seen this before. It took me years to try and get up to this point and your your, your full what is it? And I said, I don’t know what it is, but I get I get what it is. I get a big part of it. It’s not that I’m special. I think it’s my spirituality. I think people are attracted to that because because I live it. It is not I’m not practicing techniques with my clients. I’m not I’m not trying to like of course, I trained them in tools. I mean, you know, and I and I help them see themselves. Of course, I’m doing all the things that a psychotherapist does. But but I, I live my spiritual practice and oftentimes were at some point working with my clients. What they will say to me is, you know, what do you do? What do you mean, what do I do? They start getting curious about my spiritual practice because what they’ll often say to me, and not everybody has said this to me, but it has been said and often enough, I really want what you have and I know what that is, because That’s what’s driven me. 



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