Monday, September 29, 2008

30th Birthday Sarah-mony

I recently turned 30, and I wanted the celebration to be a reflection of my life, as I saw it in the beginning as a small child, how it has evolved through the years, and how I am now stepping forward with all of this experience into my future.

For several years, I have worked with a shamanic practitioner and intuitive healer named Joe Monkman. I first met Joe after years of trying mainstream and alternative solutions to the discomforts I was left with physically and emotionally after a car accident. It is hard to explain, but Joe somehow allows me the capacity to look deep within myself and make large perspective shifts within myself - things I've seen people take years to do in therapy, sometimes in one single session! Joe has all kinds of training in various healing modalities, including shamanic traditions from Peru. When I first met Joe, he invited me to a ceremony he did for his 40th birthday, and that's where I got the idea. He is a natural leader, and hilarious, warm, and embracing, so I thought, "Who better to lead my birthday ceremony?"

My friend Jordan Rosenberg (screenwriter) in LA, caught wind of this, and said, "Are you marrying yourself, or something?" I said, "Something like that." He said, "You're having a SARAHmony!"

And the name stuck.

I had called Joe six or seven months before my birthday to ask him if he'd be willing to help me. He was, of course. Part of the preparation I did was to face my stagefright. I took a public speaking class this summer and everything! At the time when I first called Joe, I couldn't imagine myself get up in front of a room full of people (albeit people I love) and speaking.

But I did it. First my yoga teacher, Leigh Evans, led us all in a beautiful chant. Then I gave gifts (ceramics I made) to my parents, acknowledging them for their role in the beginning of my life's journey. Joe spoke a little bit, and I walked through a mandala I made on the floor (out of glass pebbles - a circle, divided into quadrants), representing the first three decades of my life, and stepping into the next. It was kind of a whirlwind for me! I was full of excitement, and tried to speak clearly, and tell the stories of my youth, my teens, and my twenties in ways that people would find amusing, and still convey the significance of that time period on my perception of the world. (People laughed and cried in all of the appropriate places, so it seemed to work!)

As, I stepped into the forth quadrant, I declared my wishes for the future: the production of my new book through a lucrative book deal, to inspire millions of people all over the world, and to be open to giving and receiving more love.

There is tremendous power in having made those declarations. I now have a mission, to live up to my own dreams, and a community of witnesses to uphold me to that.

And, I am sharing it here, to extend that community even further.

I would like to thank Joe for his amazing role in all of this - particularly for guiding me in terms of how to create the ceremony, and the importance of stating my wishes for the future. Joe has a very cool website
(featuring photos by me!) all about the way he inspires people to live their "Rich Vision," at

And I am now using the glass from the Sarah-mony as part of glazing experiments on my ceramics projects. You can put glass in the bottom of your piece and it will melt and do all kinds of interesting things in the kiln (examples to come soon!). I love that the energy from that special moment in my life will now be imbued into more creations, and so shared with the world in different ways.

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