Connecting to the poetry and the mystery of life
Since I was a little girl, I’ve had the ability to listen deeply and use all my senses to be deeply present with others. I was blessed with the gift to connect with people in ways that make it easy for them to tell their stories and share their feelings. When I trained to be a palliative care volunteer, learning to be with death gave me the opportunity to see how rich our lives really are.
All my life I have been driven by a strong sense of purpose and a passion for meaning. My mother called me her ‘Quester’. It wasn’t really a surprise to anyone when I entered the Buddhist spiritual path over twenty years ago. Contemplative practice is the anchor of my life.
Yet I am not immune to emotional chaos
In my early 40’s I was buffeted by the collision of significant life transitions within just three short years. My wedding, the suicide of my most beloved friend, a family member’s addiction and recovery, job change, back to school, renovations, major surgery, and the deaths of both my cats… Yikes! I can tell you that it was a raw but defining period of my life.
I definitely had meaningful spiritual rituals to hold me up when I was going through all this ‘stuff’ but they simply weren’t enough. My operating mode is to seek the blessings in my obstacles. And so I allowed these painful experiences to lead me to new realizations. I clearly saw what a poor job our society does of teaching us how to mark the passage times of our lives, not to mention how to absorb and learn to embrace these monumental changes.
Weaving personal narrative with meaningful traditions and rites
What was missing for me was the personal narrative. So I got all fired up about learning to bring storytelling back into our ceremonies. I left a successful career and went back to school to become an interfaith Celebrant. In 2007, I became the first professionally certified Celebrant in BC and one of the only ceremonial writers in Canada. I am inspired to serve people of all faiths and cultural backgrounds — religious, spiritual, or not at all — to discover the rich currents of life through ceremony.
For me, being a Celebrant is all about helping others give voice to what is meaningful to them. To help them see and feel more deeply. It is this that brings grace to my life. It is the embodiment of the Buddhist principle of Right Livelihood. I feel so blessed to have found what I love to do and what I am good at in this life. Using it to serve others is the greatest gift of all.
Celebrant Michele Davidson