I’m so excited this Tedx talk is now available on YouTube from Dewitt Jones. You may recall that we got to see this talk in person here in South Lake Tahoe at the Lake Tahoe Community College – a sold out event of 250 people. Dewitt was my favorite speaker of the evening, moving me to tears as a man of my own heart. He was the only speaker who got a standing ovation for the evening, which speaks to how he must have hit a chord in others’ hearts as well. Perhaps you’ll find yourself moved into a different way of seeing life too. I hope so!
Photographer, director and Zephyr Cove resident (a Tahoe neighbor!), Dewitt Jones, has photographed stories around the world for 20 years with National Geographic, published nine books, and directed two Academy Award-nominated documentaries.
In his talk, you can watch and listen to below, he so beautifully expresses the perspective of my own life and I felt the deep love in that reflection and mirroring, once again experiencing that full circle and collective connection.
Dewitt’s talk explores a mindset that he learned while working for National Geographic, and being out in nature, of celebrating what’s right with the world and not just focusing on what’s wrong with life, although not denying or ignoring any aspect of it, but rather seeing from a different perspective and the wholeness inherent in it all.
Synchronously, I had received a sweet reflection this morning that went along perfectly with this theme, and that touched me so much. A new and dear friend of mine wrote to me saying he felt I looked so happy and added, “your happiness is contagious – a much needed thing.”
That’s the message I want to leave you with, which is one of the foundations of my own life.
Celebrate What’s Right With the World and your life will be enriched.
It’s been a very challenging, intense, and volatile period for the collective. We’ve been experiencing the passing of many beautiful souls, both in human and animal bodies that are making their transition. Things are shifting in ways that have immense impact and hopefully create the impetus for immense change.
Like many of you, I have also experienced the passing of dear ones, and have been supporting others going through the same. As you may know, my sweet Russian Tortoise, Gaia, recently moved on into her cosmic self, and just Friday a very dear friend of mine moved into the peace and expanse of his soul.
It is he that I wish to honor and remember today, after just learning of his passing yesterday.
Some of you may know him as well, so if this is your first time learning of this, I hold you in love as you integrate the news.
The beautiful soul I speak of is Cliff Durfee.
You may remember my post about his wonderful book, Stories for the Inner Ear, which includes my thoughts on it, as well as a bio of Cliff for anyone interested in knowing more about the life he led and other books he’s authored.
As his bio shares, Cliff spent the last thirty years + “devoted to personal and spiritual growth, developing intuition, and supporting people in aliveness, love, and laughter.” And this truly is who he IS at heart – always giving, always open to deepening his experience, gratitude, and understanding of the mysteries of life.
He often told me of the stories from his past where he had opportunity to meet and engage with people like Shakti Gawain, before her books became popular (an author that was important along my journey), as well as Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, and others. He had such a wealth of knowledge and richness of experience to share. And in recent years had become devoted to educating people on chemtrails, and shared with me his passions of projects he was wanting to create to support others.
If you haven’t read “Stories for the Inner Ear”, I highly recommend it for the reasons you’ll find at the link. Plus, it will really give you a glimpse of the heart and soul of Cliff.
There’s so much I could say about Cliff, but really want mostly to remember the beauty of who he is and always will be, as his soul lives on in every way and in every one of the people he touched with his immense heart.
Cliff and I became good friends online via Facebook maybe 6 years ago, and we then continued a friendship outside of that forum, on Skype messaging and calls, as well as emails. The world wide web certainly has made it possible to enjoy wonderful connections and bridge the space between physical distance, even if it does create other issues to be mindful of.
We always shared a special and mutually admiring friendship, but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that we finally had the chance to meet in person, even though we lived about an hour to an hour and a half apart. Divine timing is always at work.
This would be the only time we connected in the physical, but it was so perfect and reflective of who we each are in essence and the beauty of our friendship. I’m so grateful for it.
On that day, I went down to visit him in Encinitas and we spent a lovely day together, as he showed me his world and we shared many a hug, smile, and laughter.
I got to see the wonderful place he called home and the trees, flowers, and plants outside his place that he often told me about that were dear to him and that he could see out his window from where he worked and talked to me (including stories on how he saved many of them and some trees he stopped the tree cutters from cutting down).
I had the chance to meet the lovely little parakeet that adopted him (Sweety Bird) and shared some tea, as he showed me some of his life treasures, including an angel I’d sent him, which he said was so dear to him.
I also had the chance to visit some of his favorite spots including exploring the Self Realization Fellowship Hermitage and Meditation Gardens above the ocean, his favorite lunch spot – Lotus Cafe and Juice Bar – for a vegan lunch and shared dessert, and then a long walk and continued meaningful conversation on his favorite Moonlight Beach.
How grateful I was and am that I got to see all these reflections of him that he held so dear, as well as share stories and hear of the wonderful experiences he’d had in his life and the stories behind his lovely book.
And even though we physically met only once, our connection was one that extended well beyond, as a soul friendship running very deep and dear.
Cliff was to me such a pure soul that exuded love, gentleness, compassion, and innocence. While he was such a wise man, that was all embodied in an incredibly sweet child.
It is this place that he and I met so beautifully and the thing we both respected and admired in one another.
Cliff often wrote the sweetest messages and comments on my posts that truly touched me, and he daily extended his gratitude in deep ways for who I was. He told me I’d inspired him to be vegan, and often sent me vegan recipes he found, knowing how much I liked to make things. He always commented on my posts when I shared a vegan dish I’d made, saying how he wished to be my next door neighbor so we could share in the yummyness.
I wished we could have too. And yet now we are in a way. I’ll smile every time I make something in the kitchen, knowing he is right beside me enjoying the process and now able to be with me to enjoy them as he wanted.
He often made mention that that one day we shared as friends, meeting in a timeless sacred space, changed and infused him with a new outlook on life, by his being able to experience seeing life through my eyes that day.
And yet, it is I who felt most gratitude and honor FOR HIM, as it was the reflection of who he is that drew out the essence of who I am. I often told him in each of our exchanges, how dear he was, and how much I so appreciated him.
Never did either of us take for granted any conversation or connecting time, no matter how small or short it may seem.
He often called me his angel, and yet he is now mine living in the expansive freedom, joy, purity, and love that he is in my heart and in all of the hearts of those who hold him dear and the many he has, and will continue to touch with his soul, and through his beautiful work he gifts us.
Cliff is one of those very special souls that you are truly blessed in life to be graced with their presence. I did and always will adore him.
I did not have the chance to be with him in his last days, but I did have the opportunity to talk to him, which I’m so grateful for. My connection with him, kept me intuitively in tune, and when I felt something and hadn’t heard from him, it made me check in with him. That is how I found out about his sudden turn of events with his health, which was completely out of the blue.
We then were able to have a beautiful and positive conversation, which was to be the last, as he called me from the hospital, the day before being released to hospice at home. We shared some tears, and some laughs (he still had his lovely humor despite the prognosis), and he told me the peace he was in, and that he truly was okay with whatever was to be. He asked if I could send him some Reiki for the pain, which I continued to do each day, and we planned that when he was settled back home, I was going to go visit him, but this did not come to be.
Friday, something told me to check in with him. So I messaged him, but no answer. I felt something, yet it wasn’t until yesterday that I discovered it was the morning of that very day I checked in with him (8:15 am) that he passed.
However, that conversation that we last shared was perfect and lingers with me. We were both able to say from our hearts (several times) the most important thing, which is how we left the conversation upon hanging up, “I love you so much”.
And that is the message I hope to leave with each of you, and which he impressed upon me so much, as I was reflecting yesterday about him at the beach.
To live each moment fully. To embrace what is most important in life and of lasting value. And to always say, share, and be all the things that you are, would always wish to say to or wish to hear from others, even if you aren’t receiving it, and to not waste a single moment.
I honor and celebrate you Cliff in the expansive freedom and grace of who you are now and always. I’m so grateful to have been touched by the love you so generously share. We are all so gifted by your presence.
Reflecting the love and joy that you are and celebrating you in every breath of life.
I remember how much I dreaded school when I was young. It literally made me feel sick every morning and when my mom would come wake me up for school, the first word I would utter with dread and anguish was, “no.”
I was definitely not saying “yes” to life and I can only imagine how the negative outlook and feeling I had, not to mention the way I strongly said that word, was contributing to my sick feeling. That’s not to say I didn’t know what I wanted or did not want, but at that age, I didn’t have a choice about school. I only had a choice as to how I wanted to approach it. And while I was a very good student, I likely was creating a lot of extra work for myself, working against the energy I was adding to the mix, just by that “no” every day.
People are becoming more mindful these days about the words they use, their perspectives, and approaches, but there are many who still do not and times when we forget.
How many times do we say things that we wouldn’t otherwise say if we realized the power and magnitude of the words we choose in each moment? Living consciously is challenging, yet can truly change your life.
Every word you speak and every thought you focus on, sets the stage for the energy and experience of the day and, ultimately, of your life experiences.
There’s more to it than merely changing a word or perspective, however we have to start somewhere and that’s one simple way you can effectively and instantly start to transform your experiences and become more conscious and present of what you are feeling and choosing in each moment. Gratitude, presence, being in your heart, staying unconditionally compassionate with yourself and others, patience, and embracing everything as perfect for your journey, are ways you can go even further.
Then of course the stillness of going within and feeling what is there messaging us creates greater empowerment and wholeness of experience.
If you have the desire to experience life in this way and to truly make the changes you desire to experience, then you are half way there.
Part of the journey with all of this is to continually encourage yourself to go a little further each day. Stretch yourself into something that pushes a little more at your comfort zones to reach that one extra step, no matter how small. It’s not always easy, but it can make a world of difference when you take the step to commit yourself to the process, your path, the journey, and ultimately to you.
Gratitude is a wonderful starting point and when you come to understand the power of this and how it can change things drastically, amazing things begin to shift and take form from a simple perspective change that sees how perfect every situation is to your growth. You are more than you give yourself credit for and there is more waiting for you than you are aware.
The world is a playground of possibilities and a canvas of diverse colors you have yet to discover. We become comfortable in our own worlds of existence, never realizing that across the globe millions of people and sentient beings are sharing in this experience of life with us, right here and now, that are beautiful in every way and share a common thread of the pursuit of love and fulfillment. We take different journeys to get there and there is a lot clouding the path, but this stems from misunderstanding, being misinformed, not realizing our true innate power, and fear.
Expanding your horizons in whatever way relative to your experience and abilities, is truly vital. Lessening up on mass information intake and opening up more to your own personal experience, inner gauge, and the beauty of the this Earth and this Universe is helpful.
Saying “yes” to life and to your right to experience it to the level of your personal fulfillment is key. Doors will open when you start to make changes and support and believe in your dreams.
It starts with you.
Whatever your dream may be, have the courage to follow it and support it. It’s a dream for a reason. Not merely to just stuff it all away to subdue your blues. We’re alive for a reason. Not to just be in the physical, but to integrate it with the spiritual for an all-encompassing totality of chosen experience we can each create.
Some of the steps are breaking out of your comfort zone more, facing your fears, being mindful of your thoughts and beliefs that keep you stuck, making more courageous decisions not based on fear, nurturing and building belief in yourself and your confidence, listening to and supporting your real feelings, and starting to say “yes” more to things with the knowledge that you are capable of handling anything that comes your way and there’s really nothing to lose.
There is much out there to explore and if you have the desire, there is a way.
Do you value and voice who you really are? If not, what could you do to nurture the child within to feel safe enough to do so?
Where there is fear, you are only asking of yourself to love yourself more. Where others are fearful and act out, they are only asking of themselves to love themselves more and we can help both them and us by expressing that love in the moment.
The more you let your energy out, the more fully you will naturally flow in the essence of who you are and more consistently feel peace and calm in your life no matter what is around you.
I celebrate and see who you really are…that’s all that really matters to me. Not the stories or the temporary “stuff” that is winning your attention. All of that can be a thing of yesterday if you love yourself today.
Are you ready to say “yes” to you and to life?