Lessons From The Fire Conclusion

Here’s Kat’s story, start to finish, on this episode of her Mercury Broadcasting radio show, Reverend Kat.

The Story Continues… and the Lessons Kept Coming!

#6: Taking Care of Business

After I rested, restored, fell apart and then came back with renewed energy, I went back  to work. I took care of my business. I got back to people. I led my Alchemy Coaching Circles, taught my classes for the Coaches Training Institute and I even did a consultation.

I found that self-care includes taking care of the practical things. Keeping my business going, even at half-mast, was important to me. Being transparent with everyone about my situation. Letting go of much but doing enough to keep my business afloat felt good.

I help people for a living so doing my work also meant I got to engage with people from the heart. My heart needed that!

Roadside Fire

Curtis was close enough to Ventura, where he drove to see some clients. He made it through the smoke… there and back just in time, as the fire had spread west to the ocean and north toward our evacuation hotel spot. He saw the flames on both sides of the highway as he returned. They closed the highway soon after. 

Lesson Number Six: Self-care requires us to take care of business.

Taking care of our money, our resources and our things. Taking great care of the physical aspects of our lives from the mundane to the sublime. We do ourselves a great disservice if we allow a special circumstance, such as a wildfire, to take us away from what matters most.

How we do anything is how we do everything.

How we do anything is how we do everything… no matter what is happening in our world. This is the true ground we stand on. This is what brings us joy and peace. We do not have control of the outer world of fire and ice but we do have control over how we approach each minute of each day.

 

#7: It’s What We Do Next That Counts  

I noticed how Curtis and I kept threading the eye of the needle as our situation changed. Somehow, our timing seemed perfect. We did the right thing at just the right time. That’s the power of trusting guidance. 

On the second morning in our hotel, I was startled by an emergency alert on my cell phone directing me to evacuate! The fire had followed us up the coast.

Ash on My Mini!!

The air was full of smoke and our car was covered in ash, so we once again packed up to leave the refuge we had found.

It was shocking and there were moments I felt truly helpless. WTF!!! Why is this happening to me? Haven’t I gone through enough? I had just regained my strength and was settling in to our little hotel room. The lessons I had just learned, though, were fresh in my heart.

My linear mind couldn’t take this one in very clearly, so I tuned into my guidance system and asked for help once again. Listening to my heart, feeling the right thing in my gut, I began calling hotels a couple hours north of the fire.

One had been recommended by a person I trusted and I got that “gut feeling”that told me to book it. The hotel gave us a discount, made an exception to their no-pet policy and didn’t charge for the cat. We had a suite complete with a little kitchenette. We were both able to do our work there for two days!

Lesson Number Seven: It’s not just what you do, it’s what you do next that counts.

Our circumstance reminded me of this lesson which has guided me all my life. I remembered to keep on trusting in my guidance system! It wasn’t a “one-walk-dog”.

I could easily have given up and gone back to a more linear way of problem-solving. I could have lost hope and courted despair. I could easily have slipped into making choices from a low vibration, keeping my creativity under cover.

Coco trusting her guidance system

Instead, I found that I was building my muscle of listening and acting from guidance, no matter the circumstance, and it was paying off!

 

#8: The End of the Story… Miracles Really Do Happen!

This lesson may be the most spectacular one of all and it started a couple of weeks before the fire broke out.

Curtis and I had begun to plan our upcoming holiday festivities. We usually go away around New Years to celebrate our anniversary and do our New Year’s visioning. We had been in the planning process for a few weeks when we learned that a lucrative contract of Curtis’s was abruptly terminated.

We needed to be mindful of costs and it was important that we celebrate in a meaningful way. Celebration and visioning are both very high values of ours.

When I was exploring all the options before the income-slashing happened, one idea stood high above the rest. I knew in my heart that this experience would bring me joy and feel like an appropriate celebration. It was an unusual place we had stayed with all our kids one Christmas a few years ago. We had enjoyed a magical time.

It’s called the Madonna Inn and is truly indescribable. Their dining room has about a million Christmas trees in every nook and cranny and is over-the-top spectacularly festive. Their architecture can only be experienced to know how unusual and beautiful it is.

Equally important is the Thursday night Farmers Market held just across the way from the Madonna Inn. The market has music, great food and holiday goodies for sale. The Inn was a bit pricey for our budget this year so I had booked another hotel right by the market and we had planned a little trip to visit the Inn and enjoy the Farmers Market the week after Christmas.

The weird thing is that, after booking the hotel, I had continually been getting flashes of us enjoying it before Christmas. I checked in with my intuition a couple of times on this. Why was I getting this picture? Should I change our reservations? No answers came… just the flashes of intuition.

Lesson Number Eight: Trust the Mystery!

The mind doesn’t understand this one at all. It falls within the territory of the soul. This is where Spirit teaches us to trust, keep the faith, believe in things that are beyond our understanding. There is a mystery in how things unfold in life. There is a mystery to how miracles and magic occur. It is rarely how I imagine it will be!

As we checked into our second “evacuation hotel”, it occurred to me that the Madonna Inn was just 20 minutes away and the Farmers Market was happening that night! I imagined a two-weeks-before-Christmas Madonna Inn done up in all its glory! I imagined the Farmers Market on this night would be  complete with a holiday band and Christmas goodies and cheer.

This lesson includes all the other lessons and it is the best! Trust in the Mystery. After a day of being evacuated for the second time, driving into the unknown once again, settling into a strange place, getting our work done and cat settled… we let go and opened to the mystery.

I can’t even describe to you the joy I felt opening the doors of the Madonna Inn. Memories of spending the Holiday there with our kids a few years ago flooded back. Curtis, who had been in a dark place that day, suddenly started laughing. His face lit up in a way I hadn’t seen for days.

We both felt a goofy kind of joy seeing all the ridiculously extravagant decorations, taking pictures and laughing at the sheer wonder of life. Curtis sat and relaxed by a huge fire while I walked around the place and engaged with very kind people. Something in me was freed up to just chat with people about my situation.

I felt the connection that had begun when I asked for help.

People really are kind. After the Inn, we walked through the farmers market, ate yummy food, listened to holiday music and felt the kind of joy that comes when a miracle has occurred.

Later that night we found out another miracle had happened. The fires surrounding our home and town had been prevented from sweeping through the center! It was declared a “miracle” by the LA times. How could this little town survive when it had been surrounded by fire for three days and strong winds had been predicted for that night?

The winds didn’t come and the firefighters were able to limit the damage. A miracle brought about by the Mystery. I returned home after 4 nights away with a grateful heart that my home and town had survived… and for all the lessons I was learning!

The destruction this fire has brought is real and there is much to grieve. It will take time to recover and heal. For some, the pain will be felt for a long time: financial, physical or psychological. Yet, when I look at the map of the fire’s course and see that “donut hole” in the middle of the burn areas, knowing that within that space is our town and home… my heart quietly says “thank you” for the mystery and the miracles, large and small.

As I look around town, I see signs – literally – that I am not alone. Our healing has begun.   

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