Tag archive for "doug ellis ojai"

Just for Fun, Life Coaching

Perfectly Broken: Following Your Voice Home

2 Comments 19 August 2011

What if…
we all just stopped, looked up, and let Life ring through, as clear as a birdsong or a bell?
“Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”—Leonard Cohen
What if…
Instead of becoming infatuated again with all the bluster and footwork of passion and will, we remembered that..
Life is designed to support full expression and growth.
Our mammal bodies are 2.5 million years in the making and we can trust their innate wisdom.
As spiritual beings we are eternal and can never get it wrong because we are never really done.
What a blessed relief, to be out of the how and what business, all those beginnings and middles.  All that self-loathing disguised as self-help. All that crack patching.
What a blessed relief to love yourself because you are that way.
“You do not have to be good.  You do not have to walk on your knees through the desert for a hundred miles repenting.  You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.”—Mary Oliver
If expression has any point, it is that.  Just the soft animal of your body giving its grief cry or joy cry, or maybe its particular flavor of silence.

Denying the soft animal of your body makes it sad and can also make it sick.As Carolyn Myss says, “if you don’t have passion you do have symptoms.”

The main reason I love helping people fully express themselves is because I know how much it hurts not to.What a painful lie it is to feel invisible, voiceless, separate.

As a spiritual life coach and photographer, I give space to what is already there and let it shine forth.  It is a simple and healing thing.  Really the most natural thing.  There is nothing to fix.  Makeovers to the soul are a form of violence.
Looking back I can see how all the emphasis I put on my “Hero’s Journey”, my evolution and growth, my specialness and sensitivities, only made the illusion of separation stronger.
22 years of following the Western rabbit trail of freedom later, I have realized I didn’t need to be a ragged individual, didn’t need to create unique gyrations of style to be someone, didn’t need to improve, or even lead, my life.
In fact there is no such thing as “My life”.  Just life.  Just One with Life.
I had followed my voice back home.
In hindsight I see that even my inner resistances and apparent “hitch in my gitalong” was perfectly orchestrated.  All the things that didn’t happen were grace too.

What hasn’t happened lately that you are grateful for?

What is the simplest or most outrageous thing you can be, do, or say now in service of what you love most?

Share your comments and insights below.

Doug Ellis is a professional light-bringer, photographer, and spiritual/somatic life coach. His life is dedicated to heart-centered expression and the healing power of being deeply seen. 

Just for Fun

Why Ojai–One Year Later

1 Comment 16 January 2010

Downtown Ojai in Fall

Fall Maple and Victorian House In Ojai

If you missed my original missive describing the events surrounding my pre-emptive strike on a midlife crisis, you may want to click here to get oriented.

Or just read on to learn what 14 months in my spiritual vortex/washing machine here has shaken out.

My overarching intent in moving was to count on and not repeat myself–a full-time and expensive endeavor. Financing my faith, not my fear, and doubling down, I spent a third of my net worth on personal and professional development in 2009.

People are shaking the Etch-A-Sketch and having it shaken for them willingly and unwillingly all over the US now, alone and with families. I was fortunate to be able to do it somewhat on purpose and alone. By mid-year the reinvention experiment definitely got out of the laboratory, but by then I was relaxed enough that I could tell my new life was unfolding according to some larger plan.

The Ojai valley is healing, powerful tribal land. Wise, no nonsense grandmother medicine.  I feel it most in the sparkling, dazzling dark silence.  It’s rich and hazy..steeping in it too long might make me unfit for life anywhere else. I found myself wondering if “healing” might sometimes be a socially condoned substitute for “escaping” or “resisting” in the same way that “trying” is wanting approval for something that one has no intention of doing.

The energy of “The Nest” is slow but strong, and shook my creative tree in the best possible way last year. I was gone at least a week every month in 2009, spending almost 80 full days actively immersed in retreat, educational and workshop settings, including The Sedona Method, The Work, Awakening Coaching Training, Soul Purpose Institute, Transformational Leadership Council, University of Santa Monica, and silent meditation retreats with Adyashanti.

These are a few improbable but possible truths, breadcrumbs really, that I have followed down the rabbit hole during these quasi times.  I can’t say that I found myself so much as lost parts of the old me I don’t even miss.  Other parts came to life to take their place, and I am definitely not the same person I was even six months ago.

One of the side effects of living in the vortex is the certainty that you are missing something–including certainty.

Random Musings

I have realized that I am unabashedly aligned toward beauty. And the underdog. And nature. And silence.

Without frogs, stars and crickets you got nothin.

It is clear that no one really knows what they are doing and there is no such thing as a grownup.

Because it was so close to my way of seeing and being, it was a real ah-hah to realize I was building websites and making pictures as an act of healing—creating favorable conditions for someone to clarify and express their Essential Nature with light. I was basically doing energy healing with congealed energy in the form of pixels..it still surprises me, even now, to write it..

The deepest addiction is to I—but quitting it cold turkey—well, not for everyone. Two words. Park Bench.

Ojai is supposed to be the cult capital of California (possibly the world) but I haven’t been recruited, likely because I have now become too open minded and spiritually polyamorous to drink any one flavor of Kool-Aid.

I have eaten an incredible number of avocados, oranges, and coconut bars but my main staple is Nick and Rob’s Power Burrito.

If you are thinking of making the leap..know that you will never feel quite ready. Conditions are never favorable enough. Never. And there is no perfect place. But the good news is that the universe and everyone in it genuinely wants you to succeed, especially if you are authentically expressing your soul’s purpose And, grace often comes in the form of all the things that don’t happen..as my friend Steve D’Annunzio says, “Rejection is God’s protection.”

I see now how I imposed my own ceilings and limits based only on what I believe I can handle. It was completely made up and I see that now.

So is any moral or pattern or directional conclusion you may draw from any of this.

Until next time, safe journeys,


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