Its November 1st – that means its All Souls Day today 🙂

Traditionally, it’s time to pray for all the departed souls you have known, I know its taboo….taking about people who have died….but it’ll happen to us all…..so it seems kind of important to talk about, right ?

Today, reminds me about the importance of meaningful connection. Staying connected. But mostly it reminds me of the importance of nurturing your soul – it is after all – ‘ALL’ SOULS DAY Right ?!

One thing I know for sure is nurturing your soul happens best when you put yourself around what I call ‘sparkley’ people…these people are the ones you feel a sense of – HECK YES  -when you are in their company !! When you think about speaking with them, or catching up with them – you are like HECK YES !!

They are the precious treasures in this world – the ones to look after, listen to and make the time to take the time to spend with them.

But I wonder if you have some HECK YES people who have ‘departed’ from this world ? I know I do – so I wanted to tell you about 2 of my HECK YES people…

Cos by telling their stories…. you are still nurturing your soul ! Even after they have gone.

I’m going to tell you two stories of two very different but both very special HECK YES men in my life :

The first I knew for only 7 days….

azriel cohen

His name was Azriel Cohen.

I only spent 10 hours with him, but he had one of the biggest impacts on my life.

The first 4 hours started at The Happy Smoothie Shop, in Chiang Mai, around the corner from the apartment I had been living in for the last 6 months. For 2 months Azirel and I had both been hearing about each other through our mutual friends who frequented that same smoothie shop.

The Happy Smoothie shop was run by Addy, (whose Smoothies ROCK btw…and who makes a mean Coconut Water and Spirulina with fresh Lime juice blend – I called it my Green Blood hit and I had it every day). Anyway, all our friends said – you have to meet each other.

And today was the day it would finally happen.

Anyone who knows me knows I usually book everything in advance like weeks, sometimes months in advance….but when I lived in Chiang Mai – I had thrown my diary out for the year….so it was all open….and completely left to chance.

That day I walked into Addy’s and there stood Azriel. We were introduced and there we stood, literally in one spot, for 4 hours in what felt like a bubble from the rest of the world….talking, talking, talking….no one and no thing interrupted us or if it did we did not even notice. It was clear there was no stopping the communication and connection that we were in.

His heart was huge. His mind was diverse, acrobatic & expansive. His insight was profound.

His kindness, joy and care was inspiring. As we talked, it became clear there was overlap in our passions. He had explored aspects I had not, having spent much time in war zones. I had explored aspect he had not, having spent decades working intensely with switching feeling back on in peoples bodies.

We discovered, as we spoke, that in middle, the essence of what we had discovered was the same….. how you can tap into your body and its instincts and have them be your compass for your life.

We wanted to do some work together. But he was about to get on a fly to Bali in 2 days and then back to New York for 2 weeks before returning to Chaing Mai where we were both living.

We agreed to meet the next day. Which we did. The conversation continued as intensely as last time, but this time for 6 hours and thankfully sitting down in a Tea Shop.

He then flew to Bali and on to New York, where very unexpectedly he went to bed one night and never woke up.

The experience of meeting Azriel,  how we shared so much in such a short amount of time, reminds me how precious life is, how every opportunity of HECK YES needs to be seized.

There were tears and a deep sadness when I heard the news about Azriels passing…….. but mostly I felt and still do feel so deeply grateful to have met him.

Grateful for the hours we shared.

Grateful for the conversations that nourished our souls.

Grateful because our interaction focused me, offering me the reminder I will now have for life, which is to treasure each moment.

I became curious and wanted to know more about Azriel so I looked up an article about him and his life  (<<< you can read that here ) who elses life had he touched ?

Here is a video Azriel made before me passed away.

My second story is more personal and someone I knew for 7 years.

sebastiao carreira

It was 1998, I walked into work, a Pub in a little English Village called Sonning-on-Thames, a tiny place but well known for its fancy food and for being the home of Uri Geller, the famous magician who could bend spoons with his mind.

I had just finished college and I was ready for a summer of freedom and fun before starting to think about what I wanted to do for ‘work’. But what happened next was the last thing I expected, for the first time in my life I saw someone who literally took my breath away. I was only 18years old and that had never happened to me before. I went to the bathroom to ‘calm myself down.’ When I returned he asked me out. That is the day our 7 year romance began.

7 years – which were amazing – but I’m going to be honest with you and anyone who has been in a relationship for 7 years knows that with that ‘time’ comes a fair share of ups and downs…and our relationship was no different.

There was a large age difference between Sebastiao and I – about 13 years difference. This cause friction in a few areas.

Sebastiao was a little crazy and impulsive…which whilst mostly fun, was also sometime very dangerous.

I was very young and whilst very mature for my age I did not see the signs of drug abuse or his wanderings into other beds….

Ironically, Sebastiao was also highly jealous and suspicious of other men around me. Even though to be honest I only he had eyes for him. None the less it was difficult to remain friends with any of the male friends I had or form any new male friendships. Having grown up with two brothers I get on great with men as friends.

Our time together was fun, it was freeing, it was unusual, it was unexpected and full of adventure. Sebastiao was the life and soul of any party.

During our time together me taught me :

Boundaries in relationships and in finances.

To be wild and daring.

To search for an answer.

To question everything.

To live by what I am most passionate about.

There is no article written about him, except this one.

Me here and now saying Thank you to this crazy, passionate being whose goal in life was celebration, celebration, celebration. Thank you Sebastiao for this great lesson – a sparkling* habit I now have for life.

6 years into our relationships he was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, Lymphatic TB and AIDS. 3 things that within the year would lead to his death. And 3 things I am grateful to say I am completely clear of. One of the many little miracles in my life.

What surprised me most was not that he died, although I was of course incredible sad as I had thought we would spend the rest of our lives together. What surprised me most was that on our first date he told me, ‘I am going to die young.’ and so he did.

That 7 year journey was what I now call my degree in Life. One that I have no piece of paper for, other than my slip of bankruptcy in 2006. No certificate to show, but what I know for sure is, no book or lecture could have transmitted the lessons I learnt in those 7 years. And I am grateful for every second and for listening to what felt right.

Knowing these men reminds me to stay forever grateful for all the amazing people in my life.

And to those amazing people in my life I now say :

Thank you 🙂 Thank you 🙂 Thank you 🙂

To All of You, your words, our interactions, bring me so much laughter and joy. I feel like the luckiest person alive to share this journey of life with you 🙂

So now over to you..I’d love to hear your stories, who inspired you and why where they a HECK YES for you ?

Who do you know who has passed away and whose story you would like to tell ? What things did they do that nourished your soul?

Share in the comments below.

If you know anyone who you feel could benefit from this post then go ahead and share it with them, they will be so grateful you did 🙂

Take care and Talk soon 🙂

With love,

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