A few years ago I spent my birthday in the magical vortex called Maui at the Grand Wailea Resort were I attended an Entrepreneur conference. I was thrilled about my upcoming B-day adventure and all the possibilities that would come along with the experience.

Just days before leaving on my trip…

I received a message from a friend about a powerful healing ritual that would benefit my family and me around the passing of my brother Gavin G. I had been suffering over his sudden death for 13 years.

The ceremony seemed relatively simple, it involved a letter, a beautiful bottle, some Maui sand, and the “perfect” place to throw the bottle into the ocean.
I was assured that this simple but symbolic ceremony would greatly help me heal and energetically help my family heal as well.
The conference was packed with amazing speakers such as Lisa Nichols, Lynne Twist and many more. It was a transformational experience but the whole time I kept thinking about finding the perfect bottle, writing the perfect letter, and finding the most amazing spot on the island for the ritual.

I imagined that I would purchase the most beautiful adorned bottle with jewels, glitter, and covered with flowers. In between the conference speakers I combed the resort gift shops looking for the bottle. It didn’t occur to me that at a five star resort, the Grand Wailea, this would be a TALL order.
On the last day of my trip I had no choice but to purchase a cheap bottle of wine and borrow an oversized black permanent marker from the front desk to decorate the bottle.

I imagined myself sitting on the beach and writing an eloquent letter to my brother that poetically described all the pain and loss that I had felt over the years.

Instead the only sentence that I was able to write over and over again was “ I miss you.”
I imagined myself under a large and beautiful waterfall where I would whisper a few words and place the bottle under the falls to rest for eternity.
The closest waterfall was on the other side, of the island, I did not have transportation, and I was running out of time. I decided to take my message in the bottle to the highest point on the scenic trail overlooking the ocean a couple miles away from the resort.

I packed the bottle to the rim with Maui sand that made the bottle very HEAVY.

I walked and walked on the twisted scenic trail looking for the perfect spot so that I could be alone. I finally decided on this one particular spot because frankly it was hot.
The edge of the cliff was about fifteen feet away from the trail. The cliff was fenced in with wire so us tourist wouldn’t go down with our bottles.

Doubt starting to creep in about whether the bottle was going to clear the cliff and actually hit the water. After all I was a dancer as a child and never cared to play baseball or football. I told myself to BELIEVE and Go for it!

I said a few words honoring my brother and my family. I took one last look around to make sure I was alone and with all my might I threw the bottle. I watched it soar over the cliff and my heart leaped with joy. I was so proud of myself.

As I eagerly listened for the splash ten stories below…

I heard an abrupt PLUNK and my heart skipped a beat.
At that exact moment a beautiful women jogging by with her Chihuahua stopped and said, “I don’t think it made it” and her Chihuahua looked up at me shaking his head.
I was mortified.

As I watched the duo jog away I heard my internal voice SCREAM:

“You failed. If you can’t do something right then don’t bother doing it at all.

That wasn’t perfect, that was the farthest thing from perfect.
Why did you insist on taking dance lessons? If you had only played catch with your dad like he wanted. You have let everyone down. Now Gavin will never cross over.”

And then I STOPPED.
“First of all Gavin passed over 13 years ago. I loved dance class and frankly sports didn’t interest me. And I don’t think my dad ever asked me to play catch.” I LAUGHED so
hard I cried.

It occurred to me that my “critical self “who always has to be perfect had been hogging my spotlight and she no longer served me. It was never about the message in the bottle it was about celebrating the journey. And if I wasn’t going to be my biggest cheerleader then how could I expect others to honor and love me. And the only way I was going to be able to be Free of the pain and suffering is to forgive myself first.

At that moment I forgave myself and I gently spoke to my “critical self” and asked her to take a seat. The authentic loving ME stepped into the spotlight and it felt AMAZING.

I began walking down the path back towards the resort, a beautiful BUTTERFLY flew right up to me and as I gazed upon it’s beauty I heard my brother’s LAUGH as if he was standing right next to me. We laughed together as I continued down the path. He escorted me all the way back to my room.

That night I met up with some of my new tribe members at the Grand Wailea bar under the Maui Vortex sky. As I told them all about my message in the bottle, and hearing the plunk, my friend stopped me and she asked, “How many bottles do you think are down there?” I answered, “Easily a couple hundred thousand, after all this is a very popular ritual” LOL.

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