A week ago my mentor, teacher and friend, Debbie Ford, made her final transition into the light after a long journey with cancer. Though I knew that this day comes for each of us and I knew Debbie was gravely ill, I prayed for a miracle and I was stunned.
I rationalize her passing. She was complete. Her worldly work was done. She was in pain. Her body could no longer support her spirit. In 14 years she published 10 books, produced a film, made countless live and TV appearances, had a radio show, led workshops, and trained coaches – all with a vision and mission that never wavered. She enjoyed life to the fullest and declared on her final call on Hay House Radio in December that 2012 was the best year of her life.
Through the roller coaster ride of this past week, I have barely been able to articulate what my 9-year experience with Debbie means to me. I have been raw, cry at the strangest times and laugh, too. [Last night in my dreams Debbie was helping me shop for shoes. If you knew her you understand the humor.]
Now as I read what colleagues and friends are writing, my own feelings of deep gratitude are bubbling up and taking form. I believe that meeting and studying with Debbie and her staff of The Ford Institute was no accident and was meant to help me fulfill my life’s purpose. I can admit wholeheartedly that most days I don’t have a clue about my life’s purpose. And I’m okay with that, because Debbie taught me that the minute I “think” know who I am, I shut out possibilities and I’ve lost connection from my heart and divine spirit.
Dearest Debbie, Words can barely express my gratitude, but I will try anyway. Thank you for teaching me to love my fear as a path to faith. Thank you for showing me that there is always another perspective, especially when I think I’m right. Thank you for encouraging me to love all my flaws and find the gifts in the darkest of my experiences. Thank you for teaching me that the greatest journey to the light is through the dark. Thank you for supporting me with a personal phone call when I was in one of my darkest moments, for simply listening with love and reminding me that I am a precious soul. Thank you for training coaches; I am grateful every moment that these courageous warriors of love have become my family. Thank you for your willingness to believe in the divine, in God’s plan, even when it was painful for you to do so. Thank you for allowing yourself to be vulnerable; this more than anything gave me permission to share from my heart. Thank you for challenging me, kicking my ass and forcing me to tell the truth until it hurt and then learn that in doing so it wouldn’t hurt anymore. Thank you for sharing that every person who comes into my life is my teacher; that those who most push my buttons, with whom I experience the most conflict, are my greatest teachers. Thank you, Debbie, for pushing all my buttons at one time or another, so that I could learn to love myself and you in the process. Thank you for teaching that my outer world is a reflection of my inner world; that no matter how I try to change what’s out there, there will always be a struggle if I don’t rearrange my inner landscape. Thank you for encouraging me to stand in my power, to say NO when I mean NO and YES to me a lot more often. Thank you for teaching me that even the smallest choices matter. Thank you for cracking me open to finally realize that I am worthy of love and that every aspect of my life is important. For this and so much more I am grateful, Debbie.
Finally — thank you God, Goddess, Universe, all the powers that be, thank you for the synchronicity, plan, divine contract, fate or luck brought this powerful and courageous woman into my life. I am forever grateful.
My only regret is that I never had a picture taken with Debbie. My fantasy was that we would be together at Omega Institute every summer, well past our 90th birthdays, on this ongoing journey of life and love. And we’d wear great shoes.
I love you and miss you, Debbie Ford.
In San Diego, 2009, great excitement, with Debbie, staff, colleagues and friends at the debut of her film THE SHADOW EFFECT.