In November 1987, I attended Awakening the Heart (Insight I) at a hotel ballroom in downtown Chicago. I’d heard about it through Pam’s Shaklee upline, The five-day seminar involved three evenings after work and the full weekend. With two hundred people attending, I met some wonderful people and took one phrase home, “Take care of yourself before taking care of others.”
I didn’t think I’d been affected by the seminar but Mary, a good friend, said, “You’re softer.”
I planned to attend the next one on Opening the Heart (Insight II), but waited almost a year, October 1988.
The size of the group was small, only twenty people. I took their information to heart. “Wear comfortable clothes,” their pre-seminar material said. I wore red sweats with red shoes. Not going to miss me…
I’d moved into a large apartment and had a bedroom available for someone to stay with me. I wanted to share this adventure of five full days with someone. One of the first people I met was a mother attending the seminar with her daughter. Sally and I agreed that she and her daughter would stay with me.
“Which one is your daughter?” I asked. She pointed at Susan, a young woman. I walked over to let her know that she was staying with me. I hadn’t taken into account the effect of my red clothes. I scared her.
She got to know and love me through the process of developing an affirmation and performing a “stretch” illustrating what we affirmed. I wore a peignoir of teal and black, walking through the group while the song “Doing a Strong Woman Number” from the musical I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking it on the Road by Gretchen Cryer played.
I enjoyed learning details about the participants during the sharing during our one on ones. We ended most interactions by saying, “Thank you for caring enough to share that with me.”
In August 1989, I went the next seminar, Centering the Heart (Insight III) at a retreat center with Susan, the young lady who I’d frightened on the first night of the second seminar. We had become great friends and were going to be roommates during this five day adventure. This seminar included long periods of silence and learning the power of not having to respond.
The test came on my return to my apartment. I had some apartments that needed to be rented and I found a lot of messages waiting for me. I walked in and the phone rang… and I didn’t answer it. I wanted peace and dealing with a prospective renter would not have been conducive to that end.
The major components of the course had been: listen, observe, question, neutrality, and acceptance.
I knew for a long time that I needed to return to my birth name. I’d kept my first husband’s last name out of a distorted concern that those at work would have trouble finding me. I observed that when someone would say, “Do you know Joe Stahl in Podunk?” that I would always say, “It’s not my name, it’s my ex-husband’s name.” I finally heard what I’d been saying and accepted the truth, I needed to change my name. I also accepted that my name Patricia Smith might be a common name, but I was not.
I started to learn about numerology, the science of using one’s full name and date of birth to learn what we are here to do. I started doing mine and some friends and family members.
I found that in April 1989 at a Playing the Light event, a channeler said that I was to do “healing and writing.”