A Birthday Invitation

Guess what- it’s my birthday today!! I’m up in beautiful Mendocino visiting with family and have spent the past 4 days hanging out with their dogs, going on walks in nature, exploring the village, and attending concerts at the Mendocino Music Festival– if you’ve never been, you MUST go next year- truly amazing the artists they bring in and who wouldn’t love listening to world class musicians playing in a giant circus tent on the bluffs of Mendocino!

After last week’s email, the response has been so tremendous that my heart swells at all of your support. I’ve had a few Questions arise, which I have answered in the sidebar to the right. If you have any further questions, I am more than happy to answer them- just hit ‘reply’.

As I sat here this morning contemplating what to write, I heard a loud thump on the windows of my uncle’s house overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I looked down and saw a small bright green bird struggling to get up- she had flown right into the huge window and was in shock. My first reaction was jump in and help, try to save her or heal her in some way. But if I opened the door to the deck, the dogs would have run out to eat it. So I sat on the floor, just on the other side of the sliding glass door, and waited. For 20 minutes, I watched, and sent love to this bird that was in shock and releasing the adrenaline from the crash. I knew I couldn’t touch her, that the touch wasn’t necessary and she had to experience this release for herself. The healer in me really struggled, but the healer also knew that I was just there to WITNESS and HOLD SPACE. So I did. At first she looked dead, but then she twisted, then convulsed, then sat right up. Her breathing was heavy, her eyes closing in shock. But as I watched her body release the adrenaline and her bones realign themselves- in much the way many of you do while on the table- she came back to life. When I finally felt it was ok to break the moment 20 minutes in, I ran upstairs to get my camera to capture the experience. In those 30 seconds, she flew away- unharmed, free, healed and soaring through the skies once again.

This might have been one of the most special moments I’ve ever experienced, and it so mirrors how my philosophy of healing has changed and grown this year, and why I am making the changes I am. I love how the universe gives us these gifts right when we need them.

So as I sit here and think about what I want for my birthday this year, the answer is clear: all I want is to create more of these moments of witnessing and holding space for YOU, no matter what it is you are going through! To connect in a deeper way, to know your thoughts and dreams and who you really are– what you want to become and create in your life. Because really- that is why I am making the changes I am making. I want to see each of you SHINE and LOVE your life- and so, my gift and invitation to you on my birthday morning is this beautiful poem by one of my favorite writers, Oriah Mountain Dreamer:

The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me

what you do for a living.

I want to know

what you ache for

and if you dare to dream

of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me

how old you are.

I want to know

if you will risk

looking like a fool

for love

for your dream

for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me

what planets are

squaring your moon…

I want to know

if you have touched

the centre of your own sorrow

if you have been opened

by life’s betrayals

or have become shrivelled and closed

from fear of further pain.

I want to know

if you can sit with pain

mine or your own

without moving to hide it

or fade it

or fix it.

I want to know

if you can be with joy

mine or your own

if you can dance with wildness

and let the ecstasy fill you

to the tips of your fingers and toes

without cautioning us

to be careful

to be realistic

to remember the limitations

of being human.

It doesn’t interest me

if the story you are telling me

is true.

I want to know if you can

disappoint another

to be true to yourself.

If you can bear

the accusation of betrayal

and not betray your own soul.

If you can be faithless

and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty

even when it is not pretty

every day.

And if you can source your own life

from its presence.

I want to know

if you can live with failure

yours and mine

and still stand at the edge of the lake

and shout to the silver of the full moon,


It doesn’t interest me

to know where you live

or how much money you have.

I want to know if you can get up

after the night of grief and despair

weary and bruised to the bone

and do what needs to be done

to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me

who you know

or how you came to be here.

I want to know if you will stand

in the centre of the fire

with me

and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me

where or what or with whom

you have studied.

I want to know

what sustains you

from the inside

when all else falls away.

I want to know

if you can be alone

with yourself

and if you truly like

the company you keep

in the empty moments.

By Oriah © Mountain Dreaming

from the book The Invitation

Jennifer Blackstock