What led you to be a celebrant?
Early in November, 2003, I returned home from an emergency hospital stay. On a rather mild Wisconsin autumn day, I ventured out to my backyard, and since I couldn’t bend to touch the ground with my hands, (or kiss it—which I would have preferred) I took off my shoes and simply felt the ground through the soles of my feet. It was all I could think to do to express how grateful I was to be alive.
Earlier that week, I had a heart attack , followed by coronary by-pass surgery. At age 58, my sense of myself as a healthy and health-conscious choice maker, young-at-heart and free of my family history of coronary artery disease was confronted and confounded.
In the ensuing recovery time, I healed from the surgery, and came to terms with coronary artery disease. More importantly, however, I began to consider that I did not pay nearly enough attention to my heart - not only my physical heart, but the emotional, relational energy dynamo at the center of my being. All too often, my head ruled my life, made my decisions, and over drove my heart. Longing to truly heal, I needed to learn to listen to my heart - and to welcome and express the gratitude, joy, and amazement I feel at being alive - the spontaneous need, at times, to kiss the ground.
Constructing a more heart centered life led me to become a celebrant. Being a celebrant flows, creatively, and easily, from my heart. Preparing and celebrating ceremonies combines the excellent communication, relationship, and literary skills I have from my years as a teacher and counselor with my life journey as a faith seeker and ritual maker. My heart’s expansiveness had already led me beyond my Polish heritage and the Catholic Church to multifaith and multicultural sharing. I had already assisted many relative and friends in creating ceremonies; I knew there was a need “out there” for skilled ceremonial leaders. Offering my services professionally to celebrate life through ceremony gave me an integrated direction and focus, with my heart in charge!