Pssst. Do you remember what you’re made of?

As you know, the news of the day can get pretty dark and dense. Yes, it’s important to be aware of what’s going on in the world around us. It’s equally vital to remember that at your core, you are made up of the same energy as the brightest star. Just in case you forgot, your soul is here to remind you that you’re made of love and light.

Most of us have experience in the role of event planner. Whether you’ve planned personal celebrations for loved ones, were volunteered to plan the holiday party at work or are the go to person for planning a fun weekend with friends, you are an event planner. Guys, even if you planned a lovely night out with your partner to celebrate Valentines Day or your Anniversary, you too have event planning experience. In fact, if you’ve ever created an experience for someone you love, please read on.

As event planners, we’re artists of the human experience. Our medium is energy (chi, life force, Prana, spirit, etc.). When we care about someone, we want to bring joy to their life. The more we know about our loved ones preferences and passions, the easier it is to use our instincts to incorporate authentic creative elements that are genuinely appreciated.

You are my guest of honor for this blog. And because you know what brings you joy, I here by anoint you as lead event planner and co-creator of the event of your lifetime. Congratulations. Now, let’s get to it. I’d like to share a few of my trade secrets with you.

Every experience I design has three basic elements within a 9 step process.

Element 1. Either a guest of honor or an altruistic mission bring people together to unite around a common purpose. The primary intention of any event planner is to capture the essence of the guest of honor and bring it into the experience.

Whether its gratitude, support, or congratulations we intend to communicate, events help us share what we feel in our hearts for family, friends, co-workers and organizations supporting our altruistic pursuits.

Expressing our sentiments to a guest of honor by planning an event on their behalf is one of the most meaningful ways to show someone they’re valued. If you’ve had the privilege of being a guest of honor, you most likely have a genuine appreciation of how good it felt to be celebrated.

If you haven’t had the good fortune of being a guest of honor yet, consider a loved one investing the most precious resources they have available, time, money, creative energy and loving intentions to celebrate all that makes you, you.

Element 2. Fun is integrated into the overall design to ensure that the experience is enjoyable for the guest of honor and the attendees. People are far more likely to show up to and enjoy themselves at an event where they feel at ease in a playful, nurturing environment.

 Element 3. Every design includes the opportunity for attendees to learn something and share something of value while they’re present at an event. Attendees may learn something about themselves as a result of a personal story shared by the host, guest of honor or fellow attendee. Or maybe some creative element (video, a written message, story, gift) of the event offers a new perspective that shifts an attendee into a new way of seeing themselves, others or life in general.

Imagine that this blog is an experience that was created for you to discover just how much there is to celebrate about you and your life. As my guest of honor, I will provide guidance as we take Step One, in The Discovery Process. Here we will gather pertinent information about your preferences and passions so we can apply what we learn into the design phase.

Remember how I referred to you earlier as a Co-Creator? You have tons of help available at the inner gig being hosted by your soul. In fact, you are granted an all access pass to our Divine Host’s Cosmic Gig, a celebration uniting ALL souls of the past, present and future. The inner celebration of your soul (spirit) and the physical experience (mind-body) happens simultaneously in the eternal HERE & NOW. So you never have to worry about not being invited or missing the party because your soul celebrates you whether you show up to the inner event of your life or not.

Of course, the constant barrage of enticing distractions dangled in front of us by the material world often captures our attention and distract us from tending to the details of our own life. In fact, many of us avoid showing up to the inner gig our soul is hosting for fear of what we’ll have to face. So, we focus our attention externally on television, working, eating, drinking, drugs, sex & rock n roll, until one day we feel like we have nowhere else to turn, but inward.

Then we realize, yea there’s some stuff our soul wants us to deal with that may not be all that fun or feel like a party. But the blessing of feeling at home with ONE self, and the natural world is worth doing whatever it takes to get past our insecurities, poor self-esteem, feelings of unworthiness and past that bouncer of fear.

You’ve received invitations from your soul to show up to our inner gig before. I know I have. If we’re too focused on someone else’s life, are numbing out, having thoughts of checking out, aren’t taking responsibility for the consequences of our actions, are making high-risk choices or living on autopilot, you can be sure you’ve heard from your soul. It might have started out as an intuitive message or thought that tugged at you. Then you may have experience synchronistic events with repeated or over lapping messages.

Maybe you had a close call or actually got in an accident of some kind that slowed you down and got you quiet enough to hear the inner voice. Your soul never gives up on you. It wants you to learn so you can grow, evolve and expand your consciousness.

But mostly, your soul, our Divine Host, the angelic escorts and I as your earthly hostess want you to discover all that there is celebrated about you in this moment so you can share the gifts only your brought to the event of this lifetime to share.

You can have the world’s most beautiful venue, complete with hip guests, an amazing colorful and flavorful menu, exciting entertainment, and big budget, but without a sense of WHO you are in the gift of the present moment, it will all mean very little to you. Happiness is realize when we discover our purpose in being here and are able to share our gifts in service to others.

We know happiness isn’t guaranteed by money, fame, beauty, success or power. But it’s so easy to get caught up in that perpetual strive-to-thrive mentality. This is when we take our eyes off the prize of the present moment, which ironically is the one place we we are assured, that when we show up, we will feel the love.

When we made our debut in that sweet little birthday suit, our parental hosts assigned us with a name. Usually, the first order of business at most events is to write your name on a name tag.

HELLO MY NAME IS

     Maureen

Maureen was my birth name. My dad wanted me to be a tennis player, so he named me after the famous professional tennis player of the 1950’s, Little Mo Connelly and my moms youngest sister Maureen. My parents hadn’t agreed on what to name me. My mom wanted to name me Erin, but my dad won out with Maureen. I was never fond of my real or nick name. I think it’s a lovely name, but it just never felt right to me. I felt like it was too formal for me. But the kids of my childhood had a heyday with my nickname.

“Mo Mo suck your toe all the way to Mexico.”

“Mo, where’s Larry and Curly?”

The one nick name I was fond of was “Moser” This was my mom’s nickname for me.

My dad, on occasion referred to me as “Mighty Mo” or “Mo Mo the dog face girl.” I believe this was his misguided attempt at being playful. However, it was received with feelings of hurt and shame.

No need to feel sad for me. That little girl in me has healed. I forgave my dad prior to his death in 2010. I know he loved me, but because he hated himself, he caused a lot of pain that I know he deeply regretted.

My full name as a child was Maureen Ann Day, so my initials were unfortunately MAD. I believe at this point I’ve made it clear how a birth name can cause embarrassment, shame and all kinds of angst. Or if you’re lucky, you your name may carry with it feelings of pride, confidence and connectedness.

On the morning of my 42nd birthday, April 3, 2005, I woke up and two things happened. First, I realized I could no longer read the phone book and would need to use reading glasses. Second, apparently when everyone else’s name was blurred to me, it was clear that I no longer wanted to settle for a name that didn’t feel true for me. So, I began to consider the possibility of changing it. Just the thought of a new name felt like the perfect birthday gift.

And where I’m from, changing your name isn’t all that common. So of course I would have to seek validation for this idea. At that time, I was reading a book called Sacred Signs: Hear, See & Believe Messages from the Universe by Adrian Calabrese.

I decided to follow the author’s guidance and ask the universe (wise mind, any reference to God, soul) if my desire to change my name was in my highest good? The answer came back yes. Then I asked for another sign to let me know what name would be the best one for me.

That evening I rented a movie called, Something’s Gotta Give, written by Nancy Meyers, starring Diane Keaton. In the movie, Keaton’s daughter was named Maren. I really liked that name and it was so fun that I had just asked for assistance from the angels! With Maren all I had to do was drop a U and an E from Maureen.

Simple right? Not so much. Who was I to think I could just up and change my name? I wasn’t a movie star or an author. This was going to draw attention to me in a way I wasn’t comfortable. I wanted to get feedback. So the next night I told my mom that I was considering changing my name. She thought it was a wonderful idea and said she knew a lot of people in Minneapolis who had changed their names and were happy they did. That’s when she informed me that she wanted to name me Erin. I conveyed to her that Erin would have been a better choice. I asked her what she thought would be a good name for me and she said without any hesitation, “how about Marin?”

I asked, “What did you say?!” She repeated, “Marin,” and spelled it for me. “That’s the name I used for a character in my book that was inspired by you.” Again, I laughed at how playful life is when you’re paying attention enough to appreciate all the miracles that happen. It feels so good when serendipity happens; it shows that we are in the flow of life.

I then communicated to Karen, the woman I worked for at the time that I was going to change my name from Maureen to Maren. A few days later, I surprised to find a box of new business cards on my desk with the name Maren Day Woods on them.

Yikes, what I had done?! I hadn’t even talked to my sons yet. When I did, they thankfully said, “Mom, Maureen doesn’t even fit you anyway. We like Maren way better!” My dad, an old friend of my moms and my former spouse were all perplexed as to way I would want to do such a thing. I even got a few insulting snickers from people. The biggest surprise was my own reaction to the change. Instead of feeling elated with the change, I felt very uneasy for quite a while. I loved the name, but it took me about a year to really own it.

What I most appreciate about my maiden name Day and my married name Woods, is that together they represent light and dark, Yin and Yang. A name doesn’t define who you are. But there is energy and feelings associated with this identifier that we are assigned. So how you feel about your name is important. I hope you love your name. If not, it’s just one of many things you can change as the event planner and co-creator of your life.

The more information we gather about what YOU as the guest of honor of your life loves, from a multi-sensory perspective, the more genuinely delightful your experience has the potential to become.

When I first started writing this book back in 2003, I felt hopeful and confident that I had something of value to share. Then I would flip-flop into self-doubt about my ability to walk my talk. I’d ask myself, “How can I help anyone else celebrate who they are if I still have some reservations about celebrating who I am? After this on again off again debate between my ego and soul, it became difficult for me to know when the  time was right to share my story. I’m living proof that when you plan to live your life as the celebration of you it was intended, with a focus on the gift of the present moment, your life becomes magical.

A wise Chiropractor once asked me when I was filled with self-doubt, “What do you value most in someone you are in a relationship with?” I said, “That they feel worthy of being loved.” I was thinking about how the people I knew who did not feel worthy of love caused the most pain. He looked at me and said, “Our greatest value is our biggest need.”

Over the past 14 years of working, raising my kids, this book project has stubbornly remained a force of nature in my life. After the initial realization that self-love was a prerequisite to writing this book, I can honestly say there were times I decided to abandon this project. Fast forward to the 2016 Presidential election. In order to maintain a positive focus and counter balance my disappointment with the outcome of the election, it was clear I needed to have a creative focus. So, I decided to start a blog with the hope that once I started writing, I would find my way to completing this project.

I hope you will show up again to my blog. Next you will be invited to, Come to Your Senses, so we can discover all that your soul wants to reveal to you through your 7 Senses… taste, hearing, smell, touch, sight, intuition and humor.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog posts. This post is Chapter 3. Chapter 1 is blog post, My Road Trip through the HEARTland and Chapter 2 is blog post, Treasure Map to Joy.

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