When I was in my twenties I moved from the safe, comfortable city where I was raised to a place completely across the Atlantic Ocean. There were hardly two cities as different as Munich, Germany and New York City. In my teenage years I fell in love with the classic movie ‘The Great Gatsby’ and announced to my parents, “Papa one day I will be living like Mr. Gatsby making the American Dream come true. I will live in the Hamptons.” Papa was shaking his head in amusement at my declaration and mother reminding me I am going to study in Paris. I was born free to be myself to set out on the road that would soon lead me to a world of adventure.
Twenty-three years ago I arrived in the Land of Dreams. No immigrant could be as delighted as I was to drink deeply the ambiance of a sidewalk café, to shop on Park and Madison, to experience the Art Galleries, to be on the Trendsetter Lists, living the Uptown Girl lifestyle. It has been a journey and an adventure. In my mind’s eye, I can see myself, at 21, to gaze out upon the City atop of the Empire State Building and the words of Mark Twain dancing in my waking dreams: “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
In those twenty years, I have traveled to many places, and have met many rich and famous people. Sat with royalty at one table and ate with homeless people on the streets of New York. I have pulled a baby from a dumpster in Harlem, and have spent my free time volunteering and advocating for the less fortunate. I have been rich, and I have been poor. I was knocked down and chose to get up again. I had a successful business one day, and the next I was living a nightmare of poverty on the streets of NYC. I have touched lives in ways only I could, and have discovered that within the darkest depths of despair joy can be found.
I have entered into this life by rape of a woman without being asked to be born, without having made any effort to get here. A newborn does not know she is alive. There is no realization factor; for the infant is, as if it was, unconscious. An irresistible instinct impelled me as I became homeless; reflecting on my life filled with deep plunges felt by the indifferent blows of tragedy, such as starvation as a child, physical and emotional abuse, dying at the age of 20, financial ruin, and an automobile accident leaving me paralyzed for seven weeks, divorce and homelessness. The transformation journey of forgiveness, redemption, healing and restoration provides powerful insight and a catapult into a voyage of the True Self discovery, finding and then knowing the source of life is God. Inside each of our chests beats a heart that yearns for the chance to have a new beginning, a fresh start, to make everything we have dreamed about doing, being and achieving, come alive at this moment.
Five month on the streets taught me the greatest lessons; the immense will to triumph over and not being overcome by the circumstances. The door opened to me on my birthday in my expert field in a Hedge Fund in NYC and I was so glad to have the opportunity to start anew, with the promising hope that in a year I will be going to the Paris office. And in the meantime not knowing I will be transferred to the Southampton office. Five month later the financial market took a deep plunge in 2008 – once again out of a job. If someone would have told me die-hard globetrotter, city girl and later a homeless woman would love living in the country and start anew, I would have said you were crazy. The realization factor stepped in; I am where I am supposed to be unfolding the journey of my life. I have started from the bottom and now I am here in Southampton. I have moved from a space on the street to a place carrying my predestined zip code that shows the writing on the wall with God’s signature and seal of approval: 11968 – the day, month and year I was born. A town I call my little corner of heaven. My life has been full of good things, even through some of them brought hard times and suffering I have no regrets but gratitude. The words expressed as a teenager, “I will live in the Hamptons” a long forgotten statement, like velvet whispers was brought back into my remembrance as the remaking of ‘The Great Gatsby’ graced our theaters.
The East End affords a serene getaway with expansive views and culinary pleasures to delight the delicate taste buds. The Hamptons embraced by a proud history of the first English Settlers almost 400 years ago remains opulent with natural beauty by the passage of time. The unique culture that can be glimpsed in the local architecture and landscape design along shady lanes and beach style living, artsy in its vivid expression and vibrantly captured by the eye of the beholder, the grandeur of the East End. Vineyards and farm stands, ocean and nature – the brilliance of paradise – a well known and desired gem just to relax in total tranquility of time standing still and letting the senses delight in the thrill of just being alive – pure divine perfection and breathtaking throughout the year.
There is something magical about the Hamptons; it is the Côte d’Azur of the United States. Often it feels like endless summer, thoughts of days at the beach and never ending rendezvous with my pen and paper. Often as I walk along the beach the cool mist is rising at the Atlantic Ocean, so delicate as if I am being kissed and showered with unconditional love from God. Everything is at peace around you – the ocean humming a new song, framed by the sunrise kissing the night good bye, seagulls and little birds with big bodies and skinny long legs gracefully walking along the beach tweet their glorious praises of their deepest joy of seasonal sultriness. The world is awakening to a new day by the grace of God once again. The beauty of creation an
d the peace that takes us back to time without any technology. Precious moments of just Being stir up simple pleasures of leisure and calm – beauty unfolding in the early morning dawn, reconcile a sense of total balance, a sense of well-being. These are my treasured early morning momentum’s I cherish to the utmost. The past five years coming off the streets and being laid off, Coopers Beach has become my own sanctuary, like the St. Andrews Church at the beach for people of faith as they weather life’s storms as they sing their praises of gratitude to the Creator of all things. The beach reflects my secret garden within, after all the sun worshipers, beach combers and wave riders have returned to their homes. What a serene beauty to behold as the sun sets, this is life simplified. Thoughts are dancing on my mind filled with gratitude, while picking on some fresh fruits such as juicy watermelon, strawberries, mango and papaya and to seal the night off with thanksgiving to the same time as the banana pie crème melts on my tongue. Mankind at its core – is simply driven to want the best. For each of us the ‘best’ has a different definition. Some of us live life in High Definition others are still on their journey to upgrade to deep purpose living. Life is a privilege to live – no amount of money can give you the very breath of life you breathe.
I see possibilities explode like the 4th of July Fireworks, celebrating our American Independence Day. The sign of liberation, the sign of making all your dreams and desires come to pass. The present moment unfolds and paves the legacy to impact others life not to look back but to see what the future holds. Giving back to the community and impacting others for a life changing transformation into their victorious life. Life is not about finding yourself; it is about discovering who God created you to be. It is Divine Love that calls you to journey – a journey to Higher Altitudes, to show you Greatness, to raise your expectations, to bring clarity and heighten your experiences and truly bless you, to become a blessing to others.
Having a tough day? Place your hand on your heart. Feel that? It is called purpose. You are alive for a reason. Imagine the possibilities.