DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC? (Oct 20, 2014)
I made a wish for my birthday last month which I announced on Facebook a week in advance. I wished for a connection with a film producer who could help get my screenplay made into the award winning movie I envisioned. Within days the magic began to happen.
An artist friend, Donna Oehmig who had been to my retreat center here in Peru 10 years ago, suggested I contact Narelle in LA. “She works in the film industry, has been a producer and is right up your alley. She is very spiritual and is in the business of helping creative people make their most cherished dreams come true.” Narelle and I had many serendipitous connections when we spoke, including her sister living down the road from me in Cusco. I knew she was the right person for me to work with when she told me she only took clients who 100% believe their project will happen.
On the morning of my birthday the magic continued. A film producer named Dennis showed up at my door! He told me about his arrival in Cusco the day before and how he was drawn into a shop where he discovered my book, Cusco: The Magic of the Munay-Ki and felt he had to meet me. He was struck by a few “magical” connections between my life and his. With tears in his eyes, he shared his story, then reached out to me saying, “I know you know about this kind of magic.”
Indeed I did. I told him it was my birthday and what I had wished for. Amazed, he happily agreed to read my script and do what he could to get it into the hands of the people I wanted as lead actors, including Shirley MacLaine, who I thought was perfect to play STAR, the mystical character who helped Diane and Christer write their soul contract before they came to Earth.
Although the film has a different focus than my book, Dennis already knew about my fairy-tale love story with my husband Christer and the shock I experienced when he died suddenly only four years after we met. I told Dennis the film was called The Fifth Year and focused on the connection I had with Christer during the year after his death.
True to his word, Dennis read my script on his flight back to LA a week after my birthday. I also put him in touch with Narelle as my official rep in Hollywood. A few days later, Dennis was listening to the radio and heard that Shirley MacLaine was appearing live in LA (a rare event) speaking about her 50 years in show business.
He promptly called the box office and bought the last two tickets for the show. He got a note to Shirley’s dressing room along with a copy of my book before the show and met Narelle early at the theatre. They liked each other instantly. After thoroughly enjoying Shirley’s performance, they slipped backstage. By some unexplainable means, they were not stopped; Shirley received them in a warm and friendly fashion. As Dennis shared highlights of his recent trip to Peru, Shirley recalled her life-changing experiences in Peru 30+ years before which prompted the writing of her book and production of the film Out on a Limb. Narelle handed Shirley a copy of my film script as the three of them posed for a photo together.
The following week in a conference call, the three of us discussed possible directors and other principal actors. Dennis said he knew Clint Eastwood’s camera man and could probably get him a copy of the script. I told them about a movie I’d seen that Eastwood directed called Hereafter starring Matt Damon about a man who’d had a near-death experience as a child and since then could communicate with spirits of people who had died.
Narelle said she had a dream that Ron Howard asked her to direct our film. I liked many movies that Ron Howard directed and checked on-line to recall them. There was a link to his daughter Bryce Howard who is also an actress and director. As I was reading her bio, I noted that she had been in the film Hereafter, directed by Eastwood. She was quoted as saying, “When I read the script, I was hooked because Matt Damon’s character spoke with the deceased which many people in my family do.”
My Swedish husband was a tall handsome man and I want a tall handsome actor to play him. I had suggested Liam Neeson and Tim Robbins as possibilities. Narelle had an old boyfriend in Ireland who was good friends with Neeson and her step-daughter’s best friend is currently sharing a house with Tim Robbins’ son. Then, I remembered Jeff Daniels. When Jeff started his career, he lived in NY and was in the same theatre company as my boyfriend back in the 80s. All night long as I tried to sleep, I kept getting messages to write to Jeff Daniels, which I did the next morning, via his Michigan theatre company.
The same day Narelle got a call from an old friend and former client, a renowned musician. He was having a birthday party that night and invited Narelle to come. He wanted to talk with her about his good friend Jeff Daniels, who in addition to being a wonderful award-winning actor is also a musician. He and Jeff are working on a project together with a young jazz musician from Peru. He wanted Narelle to meet Jeff. Narelle told him about my script and he promptly agreed to pass it along to Jeff.
At the same party, Narelle was talking with one of the singers providing entertainment for the party. Turns out the singer has an actress sister who just finished making a film with Shirley MacLaine who told her that she was interested in making another movie in Peru!
Three weeks after my birthday, I went to New York to visit my parents. I stayed with my good friend Tory who I’ve known since high school. We lived across the hall from each other for many years in Greenwich Village, during my theatre days in NY. Tory still lived in the building. At dinner with my actress friend Karen, we talked about Julianne Moore playing me. When I got back to the Village, Tory told me that Julianne Moore lived four blocks away. Her son went to the same high school as Tory’s daughter.
Because there had been so many magical connections happening with this project, I thought for sure I would run into her if I walked down the street. I decided instead to write her a note and drop it at her door. Tory said it was one of three brownstones on a specific block. I went over with my hand-written note using my intuition to pick the right building. I walked up the steps and rang the doorbell. A handsome young man answered the door. “I have this note for Julianne Moore. Is this the right house or is it the one next door?” Smiling sweetly, her son reached out to take my envelop. “I can give it to her for you.”
That same day on the west coast, Narelle was contacting a good friend of hers who is good friends with the director of The Kids Are Alright, Lisa Cholodenko. The movie starred Julianne Moore and Annette Benning (married to Warren Betty, Shirley MacLaine’s brother). Two days later I got a lovely email from Julianne’s assistant saying she was touched by my note but for legal reasons I needed to submit the script through her manager in LA. She gave me the contact which I gave to Narelle. At Dennis’ suggestion, I sent Julianne a copy of my book, which her assistant assured me Julianne would get if I sent it via her manager in LA.
When I got back to Peru, I watched again The Kids Are Alright which is a wonderful movie. The DVD included interviews with Lisa Cholodenko who mentioned “spirituality”. I liked her instantly. Narelle’s friend happily agreed to give Lisa the script. We await her response.
I also watched several episodes of The Newsroom, an HBO series starring Jeff Daniels who won an Emmy award for his performance in the show last year. So now the Dream Team I am envisioning for the film is Lisa directing, Julianne as me, Jeff as Christer, Annette Benning as my best friend Wendy and Shirley playing Star. And of course, me, Narelle and Dennis as part of the production staff, shooting at my center in Peru next June!
If you believe in magic, you gotta know by now, this thing is going to happen! Christer wouldn’t have it any other way. Let’s see what the next installment of magic might be. I’ll keep you posted.
P.S. (Oct 21, 2014) While reminiscing with a former colleague about the passing of Oscar de la Renta yesterday, Narelle discovered that she (the colleague) was good friends with Sandra Bullock and agreed to give my script to Sandra, who was my original first choice to play me! The magic continues.
I am a person who believes there is a force in this amazing divine creation that assists us to become our best selves. Sometimes I call that force “spirit”. For the past 20-something years I have learned to pay close attention to unbidden serendipitous connections and messages that have led me to new and life-changing opportunities.
A few months after my first book was published in 2006, a woman calling herself Imaya, appeared at my Peruvian retreat center in the Sacred Valley saying she had a message for me. She hadn’t seen my book nor was it clear how she found me. She told me she was a channel and a messenger she called Luz wanted her to tell me some things.
I knew from previous experiences that I probably should pay attention but I was still somewhat skeptical. We had a few sessions together which went a bit beyond my comfort zone but the main message I received was soon a new phase of my work would begin. It confirmed what I was already feeling so I was able to accept it graciously and thanked her for coming.
The next day, we drove into Cusco together. Our conversation seemed ordinary until out of the blue, she said “Your man may be close at hand.” “What man!” I almost shouted. It surprised me because for many years before moving to Peru, I had longed to meet my soul mate. But by then, I had found my calling and no longer felt I needed a partner to be fulfilled. What I felt was an odd mix of anger and fear. I defensively told her I wasn’t looking for a man. I was happy the way I was. She just smiled which irritated me even more.
My harsh reaction to her casual comment eventually led me to contemplate if in fact, I had really released my desire to find my soul mate. In my meditation time I sat down with spirit to discuss if I still had work to do in this area. I said, “If I can heal whatever it is on my own, great. I will make that my intention and we can get started. If I need a relationship to do that work, then you deliver the appropriate man to my doorstep!”
A few months later, Christer showed up at my center with a spiritual group from Sweden. Within six months he moved to Peru and six months after that we were married and of course, a new phase of my work began, together with Christer.
Many things have happened before and since that keep me convinced that it is always helpful to pay attention to surprising connections. This awareness has become second nature to me. But something happened yesterday that made me realize how much out of the mainstream this concept is. It made me wonder how many times we miss the opportunities the universe is giving us, to receive just what we need, even if it isn’t what we’re looking for. How many times do we miss opportunities that would enrich our lives?
Last week I was told in a healing session, the film idea I am developing about my life with Christer, was a key part to the new kind of work that will be unfolding for me. The advice I received was to reach out to make helpful connections to move that project along. Just after the session, I received an unexpected email from my friend Nick in NYC. We communicate rarely, and for that reason I paid attention.
I knew Nick to be a well connected artist and entrepreneur in New York so I decided to tell him about my idea and ask if he knew anyone in the film business who might be interested in working on the project with me. The film I envision is called The Fifth Year, about my relationship with Christer for the full year after he died. Both characters (Diane & Christer) have spirit guides who are characters in the film. I see the movie exploring not only the deeper meaning of love and relationship but also another perspective on life and death.
I told Nick I would like someone in the business (screen writer/director/producer) to help me develop a script, and of course, eventually to make the movie. He wrote back immediately with the name and email of a woman in NYC who he said was “a brilliant writer/director/producer, and may have the full skill set you need.”
I wrote her right away, without researching anything about her. My email was warm and friendly saying Nick had sent me. I told her how Christer and I met and how he died suddenly, only four years later. I told her other intimate details of our relationship as a way of introducing the film idea. I hoped she would find it all interesting enough to explore some ideas with me.
Her answer surprised me. After saying I had a compelling concept for a film, she went straight into what I would need to pay her to write the script for me. It’s not that I wouldn’t want to pay someone to work with me but I was surprised she did not share with me first, who she was, what she has done before and why we might be a good fit to work on this project together.
In response to my reply asking her to share some of her professional experience with me, she wrote back, “Got it. But I am afraid I have way too much going on to work free of charge.” I’m not sure what she “got” but what she didn’t get was the chance to discover that some connections might have an opportunity in them whose value could be worth more than money.
I travel the world teaching wonderful people about the magic in nature and life, if we only make time to connect, to tune in to other frequencies. People from all over the world come here as well, to discover more meaning and purpose in their lives. Most of the people I encounter on a regular basis, already know what Nick’s film contact did not, which is why I found her response so jarring. I‘ve grown accustomed to associating with people who share this way of being in the world, who connect on a personal level, discovering what’s valuable about the connection before discussing dollars and cents.
Perhaps “the way too much going on” in her life could increase in value, if she took it as a sign to slow down, taking time to relate on a human level prior to the financial. Maybe she could have used an R&R break at Paz y Luz in exchange for some professional guidance.
I thank her though, for the opportunity to remember what matters to me and to value connections that lead to new insight. It wasn’t the film connection I was looking for but certainly clarified what I’m not looking for. I am sure the perfect project partnership is still in the works up there in the great beyond. I’m tuning in for directions.
We just finished five wonderful days working with Francisco and Juanita to receive the lineage rites in the traditional way in four very special initiation sites. Great group, powerful energy. Come join us for the next one in August!
Gert, one of our guests from Holland, along with Nina, our co-manager, painted a beautiful sacred geometry symbol on the wall of one of our buildings at Paz y Luz. Then we invited Don Augustine to make a despacho for the occasion. (Augustine is Santos’ father, who took us to Q’eros)
Our 4-day trek to the Q’eros and back, was a profound experience with the elements, nature and our inner selves. We had hail, rain, sleet, snow, midst, fog, wind, freezing temps and enough brief sunshine each day to remind us that “Inti” was hearing our call while remaining elusive, until our last day when he came out shining in all his glory. We were cold, wet and snuggled up warm in our fleece, down jackets, sleeping bags, blankets and tents. The horses took us and our gear up to 5000 meters (16,000 ft.), over steep passes and down into valleys.
Santos, our local guide and chef extraordinary, from Qcocomoqo Q’eros, took excellent care of us, along with the two horsemen Juan and Herman (both from Qcocomoqo). We were tired and achy, uncomfortable yet contented. Without electricity or plumbing, computers, cell phones or anything more modern than tents and a gas stove, we luxuriated in the awesome energy of the mountains, lakes, rivers and streams. All that water raining down on us and all around, washed away any notion that we had control over anything.
We stayed present to each moment as it unfolded and found such peace in simple acceptance – being without judgment, emotion or attachment. As physically challenging as is was at times, we felt only contentment – that part for me was the most remarkable and rewarding. That profound aspect of the experience, I want to take out of the wilderness and into my everyday life.