Yesterday was the second anniversary of Debbie Ford’s passing.
Two years have gone by already. It’s hard to believe.
I can’t really wrap my brain around her not being here anymore physically. She’s still in my “favorites” and “vip” lists on my iPhone. I still have our thread of text messages saved. There are days I’m utterly enraged that I can’t call her to laugh, cry, share an insight, report a breakthrough. I wear pieces of clothing that were hers, some she gave me, and others I retrieved after she was gone. Even washed, they all still carry her scent and I often lose myself in memory
How can the woman who was one of the most pivotal forces in my life – the very catalyst to me unconcealing my truth and living it – be gone.
And then, inside my heart I feel it. Her legacy and the invaluable gift she gave those of us who carry it.
Five years ago, on February 25, 2010 – my 45th birthday – I flew into her arms for an immersive weekend in her renowned Shadow Process. We had worked together and been friends for years, but when I revealed to her that my world was crumbling she immediately insisted on me being at the workshop as a participant, not producer. She also insisted that I stay with her to make the experience even more powerful. Julie, her assistant at that time, picked me up at the airport on that sunny San Diego day and we met Debbie for lunch. And later that night, after a birthday dinner – complete with cake, candles and a wish – standing on the steps in Debbie’s living room, I uttered the word divorce for the first time as it related to me.
While she led 112 of us through The Shadow Process, she secretly devoted herself to me. And even though I was sleeping at her house, we ritualistically upheld all the rules of the weekend together and only spoke when we were in session or processing my personal experience in the car on the way to or from the venue.
I spent the rest of that year bouncing between Debbie’s house, Cheryl Richardson’s house and my sister’s as I untangled my marriage, dealt with my divorce, and dreamed of life on my own terms.
It’s safe to say that I wouldn’t be who I am or doing the work in the world I am today if it weren’t for Debbie Ford. Her steadfast attention on me challenged me to cultivate courage, invite risk and embrace change for all the right reasons. Thanks to her, I was supported, loved and even pushed from time to time throughout my jump.
Debbie’s commitment to me inspired my commitment to be of service to you. She lives on in me, coaching me as I coach others.
As I write this, I’m enveloped in my favorite grey sweater of Debbie’s, with the yahrzeit candle burning beside me. Only, it’s actually one of those Mexican Guardian Angel candles since I couldn’t find a traditional Jewish yahrzeit candle at the grocery store yesterday. I know Debbie would understand – and get a kick out of it even – after all, she really is my Guardian Angel.
“Your life will be transformed when you make peace with your shadow. The caterpillar will become a breathtakingly beautiful butterfly. You will no longer have to pretend to be someone you’re not. You will no longer have to prove you’re good enough. When you embrace your shadow you will no longer have to life in fear. Find the gifts of your shadow and you will finally revel in all the glory of your true self. Then you will have the freedom to create the life you have always desired.”
? Debbie Ford
Today and every day I honor my beloved friend and mentor as her spirit soars and guides me still. Part of honoring her is sharing her legacy and the invaluable gift she gave those of us who carry it with others, which I do in part through my coaching. I am sharing that legacy through two complimentary coaching calls tomorrow, Thursday, February 19th (and future dates, as well). If you are interested in experiencing a little of Debbie Ford’s legacy right here with me, I invite you to join us and learn what it means to embrace your shadow and make your very own Jump! into your true self.