One year ago this week, my life changed forever. As I embarked my journey at Soul Luminous Radio at the start of last year, I was still in the “Dark Night.” All of the fear, the guilt, the judgment, and the pain that I stored throughout my entire life was beginning to come out. This, combined with the projection of the anxiety, fear, and guilt that others were projecting onto me made getting through a day extremely cumbersome. Simply put: I had virtually no idea what was happening. On the surface, I might have looked like I was three olives shy of a fruit salad or three McNuggets shy of a Happy Meal. Despite what my five senses were telling me, my soul was guiding me to be in Toronto, Ontario, Canada for the Hay House “I Can Do It” event at the Roy Thompson Hall.
Several months prior, I was given a copy of Anita Moorjani’s “Dying to Be Me” by my dear friend and Intuitive Healer, Jennifer Norton. After reading it, I realized that my path was similar to Anita’s in many ways, mainly in the fact that I was letting fear destroy my life, from the inside out. They say everything happens in divine timing, and I firmly believe I allowed myself to receive Anita’s book for a reason: It was a message from the Universe, one that showed me that I could begin to turn my life around, to choose love instead of fear. In an ironic twist, the Divine would present me the opportunity to interview Anita on Soul Luminous Radio just a few days prior to departing for Toronto. I was given the chance to thank Anita for speaking her truth, sharing her story, and for helping to save my life. Her response, which came from a place of unconditional love was that she would not be leaving Toronto without a hug from me.
The night before I left for Toronto, I did not know whether or not I was going to make it there. The way I was feeling cognitively, emotionally, and physically was quite interesting to say the least. I prayed to my grandmother that evening (who had passed away the previous summer)m asking her if she would be there for me in Toronto. I surrendered the outcome of what would happen that weekend to God and put everything in his hands.
I woke up the next morning still feeling about how I was the night before. I did manage to navigate myself up to Toronto and made it to the beginning of Day I of “I Can Do It” during Cheryl Richardson’s talk. Just about an hour later, Anita went on stage, and strangely enough, I actually began to feel better. Hearing her speak was so much more powerful than simply reading her book. The seeds were being planted in me, which would begin to sprout forth several months later, in that self-love is what would save me. Not any person, place, or thing.
Anita’s wonderful husband, Danny, was cordial enough to facilitate our meeting afterwards. I cannot even put into words how I felt in being able to say “Thank You” to Anita. She might not know to this day how much her words, her love, and sharing her vibrant heart meant to me during this time. Anita gave me the confidence to know that it was OK to be myself, no matter what others thought or felt, and that I should treasure my own magnificence. She looked through whatever “stuff” I was having some difficulties releasing and saw the love that was within me. That hug, that energy exchange of love, was a springboard for what was to unfold for me over the course of the next two days.
I then began noticing and feeling something about the energy in the building. Coincidence? That is a word that is not in my vocabulary. It was nothing like I ever experienced before. The kind of energy you want to scoop up, put inside several jars, and sprinkle when you return home. Energy of love. Energy of compassion. Energy of kindness. Energy of faith. Energy of forgiveness. Being able to see 2,000+ people sway their heads and sing together during Alex Woodard’s “Celebration,” to learn about the courageous, loving boy that is Jesse Lewis (who was tragically killed during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting), and to hear Robert Holden say the following words: “If someone asks you what is your religion, you say love. If someone asks you your blood time, you say love,” was beautiful sustenance for my mind. It was only fitting that I was in a concert hall taking all of this, because what I was hearing, the truth of life, the power of Spirit, was the music for my heart that was needed for my healing.
Through Doreen Virtue, I was able to learn that angels were truly present in my life, watching over me, and that nothing “bad” was going to be happening. Through Dr. Joe Dispenza, I was able to realize that I could successfully re-encode my DNA, and that the pain that my family had endured for generations did not have to go on any longer: I could rewire my brain. My thoughts created my words, which created my reality. Through Mira Kelley, I was able to learn that my soul had gone through some pretty interesting past life experiences, but that everything I was experiencing in my life was all happening all at once. “Time,” as I had known it, does not exist. Whatever gook from those experiences that needed to come out would indeed be released when the time was right.
Through Julie Daniluk, I was able to realize that realize the connection between the high levels of stress and the emotional eating that I experienced in the previous chapter of my life and how that impacted my mind and body. I saw firsthand that the physical issues I had could be and would be overcome. And through Gabby Bernstein, I learned that a higher love does exist, along with Kundalini Yoga. I was not “ready” at that time to fully understand her words and her message, but over time, even that too was revealed by the Universe.
Prior to departing Toronto, I passed by a church when I was walking outside of the Roy Thompson Hall. My friend at the time, who was accompanying me for the weekend, said something to the effect of “Hey John, look, there’s a church.” Now in the middle of a busy metropolis like Toronto, you would not expect to see a church, let alone if you are just walking outside for a few minutes. I looked up at the church to see it’s name: St. Andrews. Rewind back to the night before I left for Toronto, where I asked my grandmother to watch over me and be with me. The name of the church here in the Buffalo area (in Sloan, New York), where my grandmother and grandfather worshiped together for many years and where they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary was also called St. Andrews. Shortly after seeing that, I repeatedly heard in the back of my mind the words “Let Go,” which I know was my grandmother’s way of telling me to let go of how everything was going to turn out, to let go of the pain I was holding onto, and to let go of the feeling of needing to be loved by someone else for my own happiness. I believe that the only time you look back is to see how far you have come, and looking back one year later, Babcia (Polish for “grandmother”) was there for me, just as she still is now, but her message of love to me was something I was meant to hear at the time. Some limiting beliefs, emotions, people, and things from the past had to be released first before I was able to fully comprehend that her message from Heaven, but in the end, everything happens the way it’s meant to.
I came back from Toronto, knowing that I wanted to help and inspire people. Initially, I felt I wanted to work for a charity or a non-for-profit organization in Buffalo. Nearly 20+ resumes, inquiries, and toes in the water later, no response. On the surface, it looked like I was being “rejected.” I began, over time, to process this differently, thanks to a personal message that New York Times best-selling author Jack Canfield shared with me on Soul Luminous Radio: “Rejection is a myth that only exists in our heads.” I knew the Divine had something better in mind for me. Over the coming weeks and months, it was shown to me that through my skill sets of publicity, social media, networking, and consulting (which I was blessed to begin learning through my 12 years at Monday Night Mayhem), that I would be helping, inspiring, and serving others. Out of this weekend in Toronto and through the divine guidance from my grandmother, Empowered by John was born.
Throughout the weekend, I was introduced to several empowered souls along the way, people who would play instrumental parts in my life over the next year to this present moment. Some relationships were in person, some were from a distance, but they all presented me with opportunities for growth, which in turn allowed me to release and purge what was not serving my highest and greatest good. Some of those people are no longer in my life in the way that they were, which had me puzzled for some time. Take heed: There are two important things to learn from this: (1.) If someone is meant to meant to be in your life again, they’ll catch up and it will clearly be revealed by the Universe AND (2.) The life lesson you were meant to learn is complete between you and that other person. Be grateful for their presence, what they taught you. Wish them peace and love on their journey.
I am forever grateful for the Divine placing the weekend of March 15-16th, 2014 into my life. Those two days in Toronto strengthened me in ways I never thought possible. I got a glimpse into my future. I saw that I would be empowering others on their paths, but that, when the time was right, I also would be penning my story and would speak my truth, share my love, and inspire others on a stage in front of thousands of people.
Much has changed over the past 365 days. I am not the same person that I was back then. Now, I am the strongest I have ever been. I can not send unconditional love, forgiveness, and hugs to myself, knowing that I consciously made the decision to not let my candle be extinguished and to not let my music die inside of me (Thanks Serena Dyer).
So what does the “future” hold? Only my soul, God, and the Universe knows. Instead, I now remain committed to be in the present moment as often as possible, listen to my heart, continue to put in the energy and effort in my service to others, while also loving myself along this path.
From my heart, I am very thankful for all of you who have been placed on my journey since one year ago today. And yes, I am eternally grateful to those of those of you who have moved on from my life, as you who played the important parts you did very well. All of you have become a part of the tapestry that is my life here on Earth School. The next empowering chapter begins…and I embrace its awesomeness, its beauty, and its sunshine. Hugs and YAY’s to each and every one of you.