Be Large- In Thought, In Word, In Deed

In October of 2004 I was living in St. Petersburg, FL and looking for an office to work out of. A series of hurricanes had caused too much water damage to our house and I could no longer use my healing room there. I was driving down the street one day and saw what looked like a residential building with a sign out front that said "Office for Rent." It was set back with a nice front yard, lots of shrubs and masses of azaleas in bloom.

I called the landlord and made an appointment to see it, thinking it was what the sign said- an office, one room. When I called him he told me the whole building was for rent- 6 rooms- a conference room, a small kitchenette, a large front room and 3 smaller rooms. I only needed one so I knew I would not be renting this place but I thought I should really get a feeling for what was available in my area so I went to see it and to meet him.

He and his wife, a lovely Peruvian couple, met me there. He was a retired doctor and she was a potter- of all things!  Clearly we had a connection. I had not been in the building more than 2 minutes when I suddenly realized it would be the perfect place for a sound healing center- which I had not, up til that moment, had any thought about starting. It was all perfect- a front room for gatherings, groups, meditations, classes, three treatment rooms for other sound healing practitioners, a reception/waiting room area, a kitchenette which would be available to all practitioners and to students when we had classes and workshops, plus a good-sized office away from the other treatment rooms with its own entrance for me and my clients.

Up to this point I had always worked out of my home- first as a potter and then for another 10 years as a sound therapist so this was really a stretch for me. The vision was so strong though that I couldn't turn my back on it. I immediately shared with Elias and Maria, the owners, my inspiration and vision and they loved the idea. A while later I left them and got in my car to go back home and think it over. When I drove away I burst out crying- not because I was upset but because the the vision and the excitement was so strong that I knew I couldn't walk away from it. I had no idea how I would make it happen as I had no working capital at all but I knew I had to do it.

There was no decision to make- only a commitment driven by intention. Up to this point I had been very good at staying under the radar. If I wanted this business to succeed that was not going to be an option. I was going to have to step up to the plate.

A few days later I made an another appointment to meet with Elias as I knew I would need three months to get the space ready to open. I told him there were some things I needed to discuss with him before I could sign the lease. I made a list of requests of what I needed from him in order to be able to move forward- changing out the carpet in some or all of the rooms, negotiating on the first 3 months rent since I wouldn't be opening til January 15, spreading out the payments for the security deposit, etc., etc. I don't remember what all was on the list but there were several other things and I was very nervous about presenting this it to him. Elias agreed to meet me and if we were in agreement I could sign the lease at the same time.

The morning of our meeting I was so nervous! I told Henry, my live-in boyfriend/partner of many years, how I was feeling. He said, "Why? Are you afraid he'll say no?" I said, "No- I'm afraid he'll say yes...[more tears] and then I'll really have to be big. I won't be able to hide. I will have to totally put myself out there to make this thing work."

On October 15, 2004 Elias left me a key so that I could go to the building before him. I told him I wanted to just sit in the space and feel it for a while so that I could be really sure that this was the right thing. This was a huge process for me. I decided before I went to the meeting to take a walk on the beach and clear my head. I had my list (of what I perceived to be unreasonable requests) with me. On the way to the beach I kept going over "The List" in my mind, having imaginary conversations with him, what I would say and how he would answer ("no, no and no"). I knew on some level that even if he said no to everything I would somehow find a way to do it anyway- because I had to. It wasn't about what I wanted- to hide and play safe. It was about something much bigger than me. It was simply the next right thing to do- or as Seth Godin would say, it was my turn.

So... I'm driving to the beach, nervous, projecting, tearful and suddenly I see a marquee in front of the Pass-A-Grille Women's League that says:

         BE LARGE
         IN THOUGHT
         IN WORD
         IN DEED

Whoa- doubletake! Did I really just see that? If ever there was a message that was meant for me... that was just crazy! I never saw that sign before and I have never seen it since.

I drove to the beach with an even greater sense of purpose, took a long walk, went to the building, sat down on the floor and started another list that was entitled "If I were queen..." Then I went into each room and envisioned what it would become, how it would be painted, decorated and used and put it on the list. After an hour or so Elias showed up by which time I was thoroughly inspired. I told him what I had been doing since I had gotten there and he loved it.

What kind of a man was this who thought it was simply brilliant that I had made a list with such a title? He said it reminded him of the Knights of the Round Table. How or why I am not exactly sure but we had a wonderful meeting that ranged from the Arthurian legend to the physics of sound. Then we discussed my other list- the scary one- and yes, he agreed to everything. We signed the lease on October 15, 2004 and on January 15, 2005, one week after my 50th birthday I opened the Sound Body Wholistic Health Center.

I ran the center for the next seven years. Elias and Maria were my angels. They believed in me and supported me through thick and thin. Sometimes I joked with them asking if their wings were hidden underneath their clothes. I believe they were. A huge community grew out of and around the center. It was an oasis of sacred sound and healing for that period of time. I gained many dear friends, met some amazing practitioners and had the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience of the healing power of sound with a great many people.

When something is meant to be there is just no getting around it.