“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

~Nelson Mandela

One of the intentions of this website has always been to establish a virtual community of Lovers to witness each other’s journeys, engaging in reflective, respectful conversation that recognizes there is no single path in expressing ourselves as ever-evolving, always ascending manifestations of Love. We all have stories to tell.

With this in mind, you will find posts here from contributors of all ages and walks of life who desire to share their unique experiences in the way that is truest for them. Some will inform, some will inspire and most certainly some will challenge our perception of how we think the world is. Ultimately, I hope each post will show you that we are never walking alone as we courageously create the highest, most authentic version of the individual and collective Love Story we came to tell.

CONTRIBUTORS

CHRIS WILLIS

Although one of the intentions of the Love Matters site has always been to initiate an inner and inter-conversation within a community forum, Chris Willis was most certainly the catalyst to expedite the “Other Lovers” blog sooner than later. The fact that he is the first person to post here is no accident, having been instrumental in the extraordinary leaps my inner and outer life has taken since I met him two years ago. He is a lover in every sense of the word and I have eternal gratitude that we are on this adventure together. I have met few people in this lifetime who are as open and honest (not to mention entertaining) as Chris. He is highly motivated to share and inspire others to be massively interested in their own journeys, effortlessly taking people to the edge of their current level of consciousness with his extraordinary life experiences and unique take on life. Chris, in his article “Learning How to Sail His Ship,” writes about a profoundly transformative time he had during twelve days in Ecuador in a shamanic retreat earlier this year. It’s a beautiful read about an incredible experience and I’m appreciative that he has decided to share this journey with all of us.

MARIKA REID HALL

We are all on an enormous journey—the remembrance of our True Selves as creators and lovers both. We are Love at our essence and the story of reclamation of the Divine Self that we are continually writing and editing in this lifetime has to reflect the struggles as well as the victories. It is within sharing the pain and the lessons, we get to stand arm in arm and walk each other Home in True Love.

Marika’s article candidly and intimately speaks to this journey in “A Story of Coming Home to Self.” There is no sugar-coating with Marika about the details of her life—and I am so grateful for her honesty. She has lived a colourful life and her willingness and courage to transform the stories of her past based on a desire to serve allows her to be the powerful divine light and the potent healer that she is.

This is a story of self-love.

CINDY PARSLEY

Serendipity was most certainly afoot when Cindy Parsley came into my life. Looking for the perfect picture to complement Marika Hall’s March post in the OTHER LOVERS blog, I typed in Marika’s handle DIVINE LIGHT DANCER in Google Images to see if something would come even close to capturing Marika’s radiant essence. At the top of the search, my eye was drawn to a rich, luscious acrylic painting entitled “Dancer in the Light.” I immediately contacted the artist—Cindy Parsley– and wrote to ask her permission to use the image. She wrote back in a timely fashion and since that email a friendship has most certainly been born. Although nothing would delight me more than to list the numerous connections that Cindy and I have uncovered in the two months we have known each other and to explain the absolute knowing Cindy, her husband Kirk, my partner Chris, and me were supposed to meet at this point in our journeys, this post is not about that.

I am here to introduce Cindy’s heartfelt blog to the LOVE MATTERS community. Cindy is an artist who stands for truth, beauty and love, powerfully expressing herself through her light-filled paintings and her heartfelt writing. I am honored to share her story of what her process has taught her as an emerging artist and know that it will be a source of inspiration and encouragement for the Artist in all of us to live our passion and our purpose no matter what obstacles arise.

Juli Cady Ryan

I used to bypass the tough stuff so that people’s perception of me was that I was happy and positive. However, as a child and a young adult, I experienced a lot of anxiety and had thoughts as a child about ending my life on more than one occasion—dark times for sure. I have discovered though that these experiences are more common than some people might suspect. However, a Wiser part of my Self knew my Life Plan was not going to end by my own hands or by paralyzing myself in an emotional straitjacket. The journey in being more vulnerable to love and feeling my feelings—even the challenging ones—has been liberating. In fact, it is our responsibility and our work to do, realigning ourselves to love or joy or whatever the higher vibration will be so that we do the Work we came here to do.

When I first heard of artist Juli Cady Ryan, I was searching for a picture to accompany the new love story between me and my mom, which I wrote about in Love Letter 8. While the timing was seemingly off between posting the blog and getting Juli’s permission to publish her gorgeous painting “Mother-Daughter Magic,” it was no accident I was there on her site. You see Juli’s life has been transformed by her children’s mental health challenges and so did the focus and purpose of her art. I read her blog and began to realize how Juli’s Work changed as she decided not to give up or emotionally bypass her own feelings while watching her children go through their own challenges. I asked her to write a little about her journey with her children and the lessons she has learned along the way and I am so pleased she agreed.

IRENE FITZPATRICK

The first time I met Irene Fitzpatrick I was taken aback by her cheeky Australian accent that accompanied her beautiful, warm face. I have been fortunate enough to call her my friend for over six years now and I do not use that word lightly. Irene has taught me about integrity and loyalty in a way that no other friend has.

 When Irene lost her dear mother after suffering a stroke last September, I felt Irene’s heart break, calling me to express my own heart opening to the experience of loss and the gift of support in a Love Letter that would go on to reach thousands of people worldwide on Facebook, some of whom wrote me personally to tell me about their own losses.

 Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, renowned author of On Death and Dying and On Life after Death, writes, “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” This is Irene and her poem in all of their brilliant light, the briefest of glimpses into her journey in grieving the death of a parent. Those of us who have lost loved ones I’m sure can relate to the sentiments she has blessed us with here.

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