If I always put up a fight, no one gets to come in. If no one gets to come in, they cannot leave me.
"There is a dog tied to the stake, like a guard dog. And it's going around and around and around. It's anxious, afraid, panicked. And at the end of the clearing, up against the brush, sits a wolf...a serene wolf with big beautiful green eyes, that waits. I think the guard dog is you. And I think the wolf is also you. The wolf is waiting for your guard dog to relax."
I sat in a reading nook, looking out the window of her Brooklyn home. When she was ready for me I removed my shoes as instructed, opened the door and walked in. She was jovial, round, and kind, with long soft gray hair she wore in a haphazard bun on top of her head.
The positive strength I walked into the room with melted away as I sat down across from her. Immediately I began to cry.
"That's good," she said. "Let it out. I see poetry. You are a poet."
The tears came harder. I had been depressed as a child into my late twenties and wrote poetry for comfort. I hadn't written a poem in over a decade, but had previously written hundreds. The fact that she knew this brought down my apparent defenses, and I was again vulnerable.
"You come in here with this 'eff you' attitude," she said. "You're guarded."
"Really? But I'm open to listen to what you have to say."
"I'm going to tell you the vision I'm seeing," she said. "And this may be hard to hear."
"I see a big clearing, like a field, that butts up against some forest or brush. And in the middle of that clearing is a stake in the ground..."
My mind jumped for what she was going to tell me. Was I tied to a stake in a past life and raped and beaten? Actually no, but it wasn't good.
"You guard your heart. You need to open up. You are sweet," she said. "The words 'sweet' and 'adorable' keep coming to mind. It can hurt to be so open and innocent as a child. It was too heavy for you to hold so you gave it away."
"I feel like a sponge", I said, "absorbing people's energy. One sunny afternoon I was walking in my neighborhood and this bad feeling came over me. A moment later this woman planted her feet, glared right at me and demanded, 'Give me something to eat!' Another time I was on the subway and a woman was dancing, talking to herself and acting crazy. I felt uncomfortable so I tried not to look at her. She slowly made her way over to me, got right in my face and started cursing at me! I feel like having my guard up keeps me safe sometimes."
"You were scared," she said. "You create your own reality. It's the doubt that is the devil. By engaging it, you are creating negative energy. Being open is not going to get you hurt. It's not going to get you killed.
"Do you want to know why you're not out there holding hands sharing an icecream sundae with the love of your life?"
I wanted to know.
"You're always fighting. Put down the armor," she said. "It's time for you to work deeper, at the spiritual level. Do you like to read?"
"Read Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth. Read the chapter about the pain body."
I took out a pen and wrote it down.
"Do you know Mother Amma?"
"Is she the one who visits all over the world and people stand in line to hug her?"
"Yes!" She lit up and raised a gently clasped fist into the air. "I want you to go stand in line for four hours and get hugged by Mother Amma. You are like her," she said. "You have the same sweetness and spirituality. Do you believe in past lives?"
"You were a Lebonese woman. You used to sing. You would sing and carry your spirituality in all that you did, from mundane chores like laundry to washing the dead bodies of your relatives in the river."
I conjured up the image.
"You have an ancient feminine power that is spiritual and knowing," she said. "Kissing you is like the night sky. You are like the night sky.
"Do you know that you can cook? And figs, honey and olives are very good for you," she said.
I half smiled. I liked all of those things.
She closed her eyes for a moment and I could see a slight movement beneath her eyelids. She was getting a vision.
When she opened them again, she said "In another life you were a little girl, in Greenland, I think. And you loved the ice. When it would come you would travel far, you would sled and skate. It made you feel free."
"Not in this lifetime," I said. "I don't like the ice. I don't like falling down."
"What do you do for a living, Amy?"
"I recently transitioned from sales into recruiting so that I can work from home and have flexibility to concentrate on writing and acting. And I do stand up comedy," I said.
She lit up, raising her hand with a knowing pointed finger. "Good!" she said. "Do that! The poetry is a metaphor. This is your poetry. You have an innocence about you. You believe the world can be yours. It is part of your work to help others believe the same.
"Write about your guard dog and the wolf," she said. "That would make some good comedy! And read 'Women Who Run With the Wolves.'"
I wrote that down.
"I want to ask you a question," I said, "about a relationship."
"Good," she said. "What is his name?"
She wrote down his first and last name, then closed her eyes.
When she opened them again she said, "This is good here."
"It is?" I said. "Because he's driving me crazy."
"He's a hero," she said. "And a handful. What does he do for a living?"
"He's an actor and he does stunts."
"That's good! Stunts is good. The two of you have a spiritual contract. He wants to be a hero and gets to be a hero with you, because you want to be rescued. The two of you are like Clark Kent and Lois Lane, yes that would be a good metaphor. You can honor this contract by putting down the guard dog and being your wolf."
"But it hurts," I said. "Am I supposed to just let people stomp all over me?"
As the words left my mouth I knew they were foolish. Her stern gaze confirmed my awareness.
"Who do you think you're talking to?" she said.
I sat silent.
"He is trying to grab you and have you and all of your goodness before rising up and being the hero he is. You, essentially, are doing the same thing. You are trying to be rescued before letting your guard down and being open.
"You clean up your side of the street and let him clean his. Be open, but with discernment," she said. "I don't see you alone, Amy. I think you want to get married."
Deep down I really did, but I was too afraid to say it outloud. "I do want a relationship," I said.
"You want a monogamous relationship. I'm not saying it's going to be him. I'm just explaining the contract between the two of you."
The vulnerability I'd buried for years was again on the surface and I would have to work through it. There was nothing to fear, because I was not going to be alone. But I wanted to be with him, and I didn't know whether we could both change in time.
"We have to stop now," she said. "It would be interesting for you to find what that stake in the ground represents. I want you to mediate, and find a mantra...like, 'Let my openness bring me love...let my openness bring me peace...let my openness set me free."
"Thank you," I said. I stood up, feeling aware and enlightened. It was the beginning.
Until next time, "Dream Big!"