Ablaze: A personal story of igniting my heart aflame

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My second poetry collection, Ablaze, sheds an honest light on my raging desire and passion to consummate the dream that beckoned me to abandon my home and blaze a new trail here in Central America, amongst rural villagers in isolated tropical jungles, amidst a backdrop of ancient cultures enriched by traditional customs for which I have deep respect. Having been forged in the fire of my heart’s desire, I am now faced with the opportunity to make choices that could determine the course of my life for many years.

Parama sitting on couchThe flames are burning bright, and I cannot escape the heat.

Five years ago, before I first arrived in Belize, Central America (a tiny country just south of Mexico), I was living and working as a schoolteacher in the U.S., when I had a vivid dream in which my Buddhist master teacher, Geshe Michael, appeared to me and told me that it was time for me to leave my home country, that it was okay to go… “The same thing happened to me,” he declared in the dream, while I extended my hand to touch a slow-motion panorama of tropical plants, flowers, and coconuts….

When I woke up, I recalled the dream as if it had really happened, and I was emboldened: I resigned from my job, booked a plane ticket, and packed my bags. Waiting in the airport, I earnestly prayed and (heard God?) tell me, “You will almost die down there. But you will be saved. I am with you.” … While this may seem crazy to my readers, perhaps it is worth mentioning that I seem to be endowed with a gift of clairvoyance, whatever that means. I honestly can’t explain it, at least not scientifically. I don’t know whether to consider it a blessing or a quirky talent that comes from a rare genetic mutation… or both.

bird of paradise flowerForewarned by the somewhat alarming message that my life would be endangered, I forged ahead nonetheless, bolstered by the support of the man who was then my husband, mutually inspired by our shared vision to purchase a small parcel of fertile land in a rural area where we would build a small-scale permaculture farm and develop a vocational education center for the benefit of our local community.

In the U.S., I had established over ten years of a successful career in special education as a consultant in public and private schools; in addition to earning certification and practicing professionally as a Licensed Massage Therapist and yoga teacher. I earned a Master of Arts in Education and gained a wide range of experience working with children and adults who were diagnosed with developmental and learning disabilities. I enjoyed working in the field of education, but I felt deep dissatisfaction with what I deemed to be a restrictive, top-down model that limited my creativity and freedom to design my own curriculum.

Parama w studentsI became disillusioned with the public school system in the U.S. and envisioned an innovative approach that involved outdoor, experiential education on an organic farm. I wrote and published my first two books that became bestsellers in experimental methods in education. When my husband suggested that we move to Central America and purchase land for our own school, I was forced to choose: Do I stay with what is familiar, or do I take the risk of trying something completely new? . . .

I chose to leave behind the security and convenience of my comfortable, middle-class life in the U.S. I took my innovative ideas with me on the road – south of the border. As I was about to expose myself to an entirely new life in a foreign country, I felt a high degree of anxiety mixed with a deep inner conviction that I was doing the right thing, and everything would work out, somehow, eventually….

Parama hugging tree at Palenque copy

We arrived in Punta Gorda, a small agricultural and fishing town in Southern Belize, Central America, surrounded by Mayan villages and ancient cultural ruins. Instead of falling into the typical tourist routes, we … blazed our own trail. We immediately focused on establishing community liaisons and connecting with local people who were living the way we had envisioned: off-grid with minimal resource consumption and growing food on their own land.

Parama harvesting bamboo copyFinanced by our own meager savings, my partner and I knew that we needed to secure an ongoing income to support ourselves. We discovered that we could work locally as English teachers, earning a small but adequate salary. We traveled and found temporary work assignments in Guatemala, where we lived and volunteered on an organic farm while simultaneously purchasing one acre of our own land in Punta Gorda, Belize, beside other neighbors who shared our passion.

At that time, I did not expect that I would soon end up alone, following through on our project, after my partner became too ill to continue living in Central America. After many months of trying the best I could to help him recover, I determined that he required specialized therapy which was unavailable in Central America – impoverished, third-world countries with limited infrastructure and resources. He refused to seek adequate treatment and suddenly left me while we were living in the mountainous region of Chiapas, the southernmost district of Mexico.

sunset at Kiki's copy

Heartbroken, devastated and discouraged, I almost returned to the U.S. and my previous career as a schoolteacher. Instead, I chose to make Central America my new home and community. I resolved that I would continue what we’d started, because I did not want to let anything derail me from realizing my dreams….

Parama at KikimundoNow a young, single woman in a somewhat dire situation, I had unintentionally become a “woman at risk” and found myself desperately seeking a means to support myself while living in the third world, where job opportunities are limited and rarely offer any benefits beyond a small wage.

My persistence allowed me to support myself by establishing friendships within my local community as well as creating my own work opportunities wherever I traveled, looking for safety and security while still recovering from the loss of my partner’s companionship.

I discovered the importance of resourcefulness in order to survive as a single woman in Central America. Looking back, I realize how much courage and persistence it took for me at the time to continue seeking and finding opportunities, and now I can honestly claim that I am grateful to my beloved former partner for leaving me with no choice but to dig deep within myself to find my inner strength (Thank you!)…. While I wrote and published a series of books, I worked in many different communities as a massage therapist, yoga instructor, English teacher, and house-sitter. I lived for periods of time with host families in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. This proved to be an extremely challenging opportunity to grow and learn while immersing myself in the various cultural traditions of Central America.

door colorful copyEven though I do have the privilege of a broad educational background and qualifications, I learned first-hand what it must be like for local women who have little or no formal education to become caught in a “cycle of poverty”, to be taken advantage of, and, unfortunately, to be abused. Although I could speak fluent Spanish and interact with the locals in the marketplace and at work, I experienced many incidences in which local men, seeing that I was vulnerable and traveling alone, tried to take advantage of me in different ways.

I gained a deeper understanding for how “at-risk women” find themselves in precarious situations where they are endangered and oppressed. In spite of many dangers and challenges, I persisted and continued to pursue my dreams, relying on my own skills, faith, as well as the help and support of caring friends, near and far.

Parama crouching at pyramid copyYears later, I am proud to have stayed true to my own heart, despite countless moments in which I just wanted to give up. Now, I want to believe that I am “living my dream”…. Yet, something feels incomplete, like there is some surprise waiting right around the corner for me, if I could only muster the courage to be vulnerable and open my heart, even as it still heals from the pain of my past….

Since I arrived in Central America five years ago, I’ve been an intrepid solo traveler, exploring and living alone in many different places in Belize, Mexico, and Guatemala. I’ve learned a lot about myself and discovered my own inner strength….

Like the “locals”, I have worked hard and saved up enough money to recently break ground on the construction of my new home – an off-grid, thatch roof hut (in process!) – on my one acre of land in southern Belize, where I would like to expand my infrastructure and… eventually… open an innovative school and community center for the locals.

Parama's house

For many years I have persistently held the intention for The Farm School project in Central America to help women achieve their dreams and goals, whether they are single, have intact families, or are struggling, single mothers. The Farm School is a vocational, experiential training center that promotes health and wellness within the local community, especially for women, while supporting them to become more self-sufficient by learning practical skills.

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My heart burns with raging passion to create something that has never been done before. I hold fast to my vision to help at-risk women in need of support, encouragement, and opportunities to make their own dreams come true. Yet, I perceive that I have arrived at a crossroads. My vision may need to take shape in a different form, for now…. I wait and wonder and marvel at the mystery of the fire.

sunrise in AntiguaFive years later, after countless adventures, meeting new and interesting people along the way, nearly dying at the hands of those who would wish to do me harm, I have survived many dangers, overcome personal challenges, and learned what it means to be a warrior dedicated to a mission that can only come from touching the flames of burning passion within one’s heart, enlivened and inspired every day to keep blazing the trail….

Fire must be fed to stay alive. The strength of the flame is derived from a dynamic interplay of elements. Passion can be recognized and shared between two people who are uncontrollably drawn toward one another in a mutual desire to burn in the conflagration of hearts united and ignited. The flames burn and rage, transforming the landscape of the heart, regenerating the soil, making it fertile ground for new growth.

Please click here to download my second poetry collection, Ablaze

Limitless potential

heartbrokenDearest hearts — The spirit is yearning to soar in an endless sky of limitless potential.

This is a message for those of you whose hearts have been broken and have bled from wounds, whether self-inflicted or by others. Divine and sacred vessels, we extend our hands down to you with the fullness of love from the One God who knows and sees all and whose spirit gives you life. Do not be discouraged.

Lift up your hearts to God—the One who loves you unconditionally.

Indeed, many of you have become bitter and hardened your hearts toward one another. There is distrust, anger, shame, and fear. We recognize the suffering and wish to help you be freed from these limitations so that you can experience a fuller range of joy, peace, and love in your lives.

Parama w Sammie at Nancy'sLife is a journey of love.

We understand that the human condition is one of great suffering, for that is what you’ve chosen and created for yourselves, the most impressive and demanding challenge to learn, grow, and triumph, even though there may be a crisis happening, both internally and externally, as a human on earth.

Receptivity and openness are the central themes of our message to you now, brave hearts. You may wish to close your hearts in response to having been wounded, but a closed heart cannot receive the blessing of love. It can only feel pain… death, decay, poison.

We witness your struggles and honor your sincerest efforts to achieve greatness, even while your surrounding circumstances would give you many reasons to relinquish, to remain bitter, to wallow in misery. We remind you, dear hearts, to hold fast to your faith, hope, and love—for yourselves, for each other….

Click here to download the Ascended Master Readings

Music as a catalyst for the healing journey

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As a massage therapist and yoga teacher, I have discovered how playing carefully chosen music during a therapeutic session or yoga class can be a powerful catalyst for my clients’ and students’ experiences of connecting deeply within themselves, often eliciting a wide range of emotion: smiling, sobbing, shaking, or in some cases, deep belly laughs—all of which promote the healing process and support a journey of self-exploration….

Parama healingAfter all, what’s the point of getting a massage or taking a yoga class? It’s not just a physical “feel-good” frivolity, right? …Well, it’s never been that way for me. Not only am I seeking relief from muscular tension, but I’m also looking for a meaningful inner connection that can only be accessed in a context of stillness … and the loving presence of a skilled facilitator who truly cares about how I am feeling.

Being a massage therapist with over 15 years of professional experience in the U.S. and abroad, I seek out other well-trained therapists who can work on me regularly, so that I can be reminded of just how… f#@ing good it feels to be touched, rubbed, soothed, held, and … paid attention to, mindfully, in a professional context.

I believe we all need much, much more therapeutic, nurturing touch than we’ve probably ever had the opportunity to receive, for whatever reason.

I’ve recently discovered the joy of artfully crafting unique music playlists that can serve as audio backdrops for my yoga classes, workshops, and massage therapy sessions. I find that I have a strong preference for those masterful, maverick musical artists who challenge popularly held beliefs, push our boundaries, convey messages that are unconventional and provoke us to question our assumptions, to release the stranglehold we often have on ourselves, grasping too tightly to an old belief or identity that no longer serves us as we journey onward to better, brighter places….

Butterflies training

The mystique and alien-like nature of David Bowie has always captivated me…. For some reason I’ve always found something about the song “Let’s Dance” especially enchanting. I so love the way David Bowie sings the phrase “tremble like a flower” ….The music video has a poignant message about cultural inequality that resonates with me, since I live in Belize and interact with people from indigenous cultures, for whom the American lifestyle is mostly an alluring enigma.

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Here beside the Caribbean Sea in southern Belize, Central America, my neighbors Emmeth and Jill at the Maroon Creole Drum School teach the local youth how to make drums and play drums…. There I own a small plot of land and a thatch roof hut in the jungle. Emmeth enlivens the whole place with rhythmic African drumming almost every night: Come join us for a wellness retreat in the tropics! 

group pic at lunch - Maroon Creole Drum School

For anyone interested, here is a link to my YouTube playlists. (I’d love to share and hear your suggestions)… Let’s dance!

Faith, hope, and love

portal of time in clouds

You are all destined to live eternally in oneness with the Creator—with everything—all at once. No limitation. Only limitless creation and pure potential: eternal life.

This is a grace that each one of you has the opportunity in every moment of every day to receive through faith, hope, and love. To open your hearts to joy, love, goodness, forgiveness, charity, generosity, purity—the Christ consciousness.

meditation omYes, there have been many great teachers sent down to lead, guide, influence, and model a life of Christ consciousness. Consider their great works: Did they not emphasize unconditional love and forgiveness?—every one of these great teachers and masters throughout the ages, including the great, most esteemed Jesus Christ?

Who among you is really living—today—the way these great teachers taught us to live?

Stop wasting your time, precious hearts!

We can wait for eternity. There is no time. We have eternity; we have everything. We are everything. Who among you is living as if there was no time whatsoever to waste on anything but faith, hope, and love—in each moment?

Every one of you is each other’s opportunity. Don’t miss out!

cell phone towerReaders have written to me recently, asking me to provide a backdrop for the “Ascended Master Readings“—a description of the circumstances of my life at the time of channeling…. Okay, yes… I can do that for you, if it provides a context that gives deeper meaning and significance to the messages of the Ascended Masters. I am dedicated to acting as a channel for these “angels”, and my readership includes those of you for whom their messages are “beaming down” onto the planet at this time. I am honored, and I thank you!

I facetiously employ the term “beam down” (I have been watching quite a bit of Star Trek for the first time in my life), because that is how it feels to me now. As a channel and facilitator for the messages of the Ascended Masters, I not only “receive” the information clairvoyantly (seeing) and clairaudiently (hearing), but I also feel the essence of the messages on a visceral level. This intuitive sense always alerts me that the angels wish to communicate …through me. I think it is no coincidence that where I am currently living has a distinct feature: A tall cell phone satellite tower rises above the landscape and reminds me of my role as a kind of “antenna” to receive and transmit the messages of the Ascended Masters.

1 looking out to seaAs a resident of Belize, a small country just south of Mexico bordering the Caribbean Sea, I have the privilege of access to some of the most stunning, pristine nature on the planet. Belize is a third-world country that has not been pillaged by over-development. Much of the rainforest is still intact, the coastline features white-sand beaches, and the Maya Mountains are home to some of the most diverse flora and fauna on earth.

When I’m not facilitating a retreat at one of the tourist destinations, whether deep in the jungle or on a tropical beach, I am on my own retreat—a writing retreat—where my pen flies upon the paper day and night, at random hours, and I keep myself busy composing, transcribing, and capturing as much as I can into a permanent recorded form. I have friends and family who love and support me in my intention to be a “scribe”, a role that I take seriously and value above all else. At age 39, I have intentionally “abandoned husband, hearth, and home” (as a friend succinctly expressed). Why? To focus, uncompromisingly, on my mission: my service to humanity. Nothing else matters to me.

Sammie with coconutsSammie, a Jack Russell terrier, shares the beachside bungalow with me, where I wake before sunrise to watch as the morning glow brightens to a blaze over the Caribbean Sea right outside my window.

I share this, dear readers, because I want to emphasize that while it may seem that I live in a veritable paradise, it has taken me many years and much personal suffering to “arrive” at what seems like an ideal destination to write and publish the “Ascended Master Readings”. Mostly, it has been a great sacrifice, as I’ve conveyed in my recently published Poetry Collection I: Perspectives, illustrated with photos I took myself, in conjunction with heartfelt poems that tell the story of my life.

At sunset, after sitting all day in front of my computer or at a table writing by hand in my journal, I am ready for some physical movement. I have been jogging barefoot along the stretch of white-sand beach beside a pier that is reportedly over a hundred years old, where pirates arrived and docked on the shore of this tiny colony, previously under British rule, seeking their share of the spoils. As a foreigner in this strange land, I suppose I am not unlike the pirates, in search of something new and exciting and valuable.

cell phone tower 2Over the past week, the daily sunrise and sunset have featured phenomenal and rare cloud formations that have had me racing to retrieve my camera, sometimes just in time to capture the illumination of the sunlight reflecting on the clouds in just the right way to reveal the most unusual imagery.

The light shining through the clouds appears to me as a kind of “portal” – a door opening to a different world, perhaps to Heaven itself. I don’t suggest this jokingly. I believe that the portals are actually opening for humanity’s uplifting, for this is exactly what the Ascended Masters reveal in their readings, which I have the honor and privilege to receive and transmit to you at this time.

Click here to download the Ascended Master Readings.

Thank you.