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Lost our cat for 2 days and now I understand what COME HOME means

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May 02, 2017

This past Saturday one of our indoor cats got outside (the white Calico one, in the photo above)

I didn’t actually notice she was gone until possibly 6 or 7 hours later. I’m not sure exactly when she got outside but I had seen her around 9am in the morning and around 4pm, I began to think: “I haven’t seen Vanna today, that’s weird.”

Usually she stays pretty close by and almost aways comes when called by name.

Bill and I found a hole in the screened-in porch and knew she was outside. We called her name and nothing. We searched through the woods, calling her name. Nothing. Drove around the neighborhood, calling her name out the window. Nothing.

She still hadn’t returned by 11pm at night so we did another drive-through the neighborhood, calling her name.VAH-NA!!!! VAH-NA !!!! Nothing.

In the morning, still no sign of her. More walks through the woods. More standing in the yard calling her name. A trip to our neighbor’s house to see if they had seen her. Nothing.

Then I had a thought: “That cat comes home when you come home.”

HA!! This thought took me completely by surprise. It was a quiet ah-ha thought, that came out of nowhere.

“That cat comes home when you come home.”

I got pretty excited. It was a sudden realization that in the same way we had been calling Vanna to come home – VAH-NA! VAH-NA! – God is CALLING US HOME continually and constantly. LISA! LISA!

And what typically happens when God calls our name? NOTHING.

We are so lost in the wilderness of our own thoughts and fears that we are very far from home and cannot hear the Voice that calls to us.

On Saturday afternoon, I did a 2-hour free webinar online (available to view until tonight May 2nd at midnight) and even though it got incredibly great feedback and comments from many participants and there were hundreds of people expressing gratitude, a lot of people crying having break-through moments, people saying it was the best workshop they had ever seen, I was still critically judgmental when it ended. I thought I could have done better. The main place I was beating myself up was that I forgot some major key parts that were promised and advertised in the promotional material. So I got off the webinar and instead of celebrating and being grateful, I spent the next 2 hours feelings stupid, full of judgment and criticism towards myself, like I had failed to do the homework correctly and I was standing there a failure in front of the whole classroom. I feel like I’m not polished like other teachers. I’m sometimes all over the map. My teaching often doesn’t fit into a nice tidy little box that looks pretty and professional. I know that I have a way of teaching that has touched thousands of people lives and changes them forever – so there are incredible results which I am grateful for – but there is still THE INNER CRITIC going: You look like a disorganized mess. 

I could see that 1000 people had viewed the workshop and that just made it worse to me that people would see my mistakes.

LISA! COME HOME!

I was lost in the wilderness of my own thinking, out there in the woods of my own self-attack, just like Vanna. And all the while our Father was calling me home to peace, joy and gratitude.

I couldn’t hear this Voice in the noise of my own judgments.

So Vanna missing turned out to be a great gift. I know there was no accidents. I did have a brief tiny moment when I thought I could have done things differently and she wouldn’t have gotten outside. But I remembered: I couldn’t have done anything differently or I WOULD HAVE done it differently! There are no accidents. I have chosen in my life to see every situation as an opportunity for healing and sometimes it takes a moment to get to this place of remembering to see everything as a gift from God.

“That cat comes home when you come home.” 

HA!

The cat was a mirror reflection of ME being lost in the wilderness, far from home. 

A Course in Miracles has several workbook lessons that talk about coming home.

Workbook Lesson 182: I will be still an instant and go home. 
Workbook Lesson 188: The peace of God is shining in me now. 
Workbook Lesson 200: There is no peace except the peace of God. 

I read all these lessons, laughing in joy … remembering … this world I seem to live in – of fear and judgment and attack – is not my home. 

“This world you seem to live in is not home to you. And somewhere in your mind you know that this is true.” -A Course in Miracles 

I realize that it was time for me to COME HOME, to leave the darkness of judgment, criticism and shame and come on home. I spent Sunday afternoon making what I called A Birthday Board (today May 2nd is my birthday) and it felt like a board to end all vision board. I put a big picture of Jesus on one side and then on the other side I wrote a letter, declaring that I belong to God.

Live or Die, God I’m all yours.

These past few years I have been experiencing physical symptoms of what the doctors call auto-immune disease and there is no worldly cure. And so there has been a lot of doubt around that, like why am I still experiencing sickness.

This weekend, I could hear God’s Voice calling me home loud and clear as I called Vanna home.

I heard! COME. HOME.

I got it. It’s a decision to be completely dependent on God, with no attachment to outcome and no more identification with the body or symptoms. I got it. Total 100% identification with Spirit, the Light of Christ. I’m not a body!

For 24-hours while Vanna was missing, I was praying “Please God” and “Please Jesus” and I was making bargains (lol) even though I teach “don’t bargain with God” but there I was, bargaining with God saying: All I want for my birthday is Vanna to come home.

HAHA. In a moment of clarity, I saw that insanity. I thought “Please God? Are you kidding me Lisa? You know better. You know that true prayer is “Thank you God” and NOT “Please God”

And what I realized is that more than I wanted Vanna home (even though I SUPER wanted her home, I missed her like crazy) was that I was concerned with her safety and protection. I didn’t want her to feel afraid. I wanted her to be happy. It was raining and I was thinking: I hope she’s okay. I wonder where she is sleeping? She’s probably hungry. She might be dead. There’s a lot of animals in these woods. She’s probably scared. Come home.

And with the memory of “Thank you God” as true prayer, I released Vanna completely. I said THANK YOU GOD THAT YOU KNOW WHERE SHE IS AND THAT SHE IS PERFECTLY SAFE AND HAPPY.

I thought: I may never see her again and I’m okay with that because I BELONG TO GOD.

I thanked God for bringing me into a state of peace and joy.

I thanked God that I was never going to beat myself up anymore with self-criticism, judgment and attack.

I thanked Jesus for sending out a search team for me, and calling me home.

I’m laughing as I write this, how seemingly bad situations can turn into the greatest gifts.

And guess what: Vanna did NOT come home right then and there. This is not a Disney movie. But I felt changed, alive, grateful and happy.

I felt like: Okay, this is the moment that I come home. This world of fear and worrying and caring what other people think about me is NOT my home. It’s not my home to think I’m a failure. It’s not my home to beat myself up in condemnation. The voice of my name was growing louder: LISA !!

I heard it. Our Father calling me home.

And I stopped in the woods, in the space where I was lost and confused and I saw that the Voice was coming from a direction different that the direction I was going. I stopped in my tracks. Heard the Voice of Love calling me and I turned and followed the Voice until i was home, safe and sound.

No sign of Vnnna as Bill and I went to bed on Sunday night around 11pm. But then at 2:30am, Monday morning, Bill was standing over me saying: Lisa, wake up.

I had no idea what was happening. I didn’t remember that Vanna was missing. I was totally out of it. I looked over to the clock and it said: 2:30. I said: What? Do I need to get up?

And Bill said: Yes. You need to get up.

I thought maybe the house was on fire.

Bill said: Vanna is outside.

HA! I was awake then!! We went outside in the yard and she was nowhere to be found. She’d bolted again. We tried calling her name for 20 minutes but nothing. Finally I thought, “I’m going to set up the futon couch into a bed near the open door and I will sleep there all night.” It was freezing cold but I thought: “People have slept outside in colder conditions and I’ll be fine. She will eventually come inside.” This was my thought She loves to walk all over us while we are sleeping.

As I lay in the bed, I did have the thought: “This is crazy” The door was wide-open. It might not be safe.

Then I remembered: Live or Die, God I am all yours.

I was listening. I was trusting. I felt surrounded by God’s Love.

And within less than 5 minutes, Vanna was walking all over me, purring, rolling, getting under the covers, happy as can be to be home.

I wanted to share this story with you.

Your name is being called to come home.

Our Father is calling us all home, to a place of safety and peace.

COME HOME.

We can’t always hear the voice when we are so lost in the darkness of our own stories. But if you stand still an instant. If you pause and rest. Just listen. Be still. You will hear God calling your name, calling you home.

I love you. This is my favorite birthday EVER.

Thank you for joining with me. Thank you for being part of the search team, shining the flashlight of your love onto others who are lost, onto me when I go down the rabbit-hole in overwhelm, as the light of Christ is shining on us in our own confusion, doubt and moments of fear.

Love,

Lisa

Recording/Replay of Webinar Available until Tuesday, May 2 at midnight: http://www.teachersofgod.org/abundant

ACIM 365 for $147: This is $100 off regular price until Tuesday, May 2 at midnight:http://www.teachersofgod.org/acimdiscount

 

 

32 Responses to “Lost our cat for 2 days and now I understand what COME HOME means”

  1. Maryanne Mesple says:

    What a beautiful reminder – “I love you, come home.” Thank you for sharing 🙂

  2. Nina Rahima says:

    Lisa –
    We lost our cat for 3 weeks. I SAW her inside a tube, and God told me she was trying to get out. I felt so trapped those weeks, and at that time I was not practicing like now – I just allowed the trapped feeling and trusted as much as I could. Then, after 3 weeks I heard the cat-door slam and she ran through the door and I stood at the floor and she jumped from 2 meters away right into my arms and we both made all kind of loud noises and kisses – and then, straight to the kitchen with her. What amazed me was, she had to be without food for all that time to loos enough weight to get out. There must have been some moistness there thought . and still food was NOT her first priority after she came home. Joining was. celebration was. LOVING was.
    Its one of this life’s biggest moments for me

  3. Peggy DiDonato says:

    Lisa-
    I was moved to tears with your story. Not about Vanna (sorry) but with your realization. I, too, Think I need to listen more closely to hear my name being called to come home. There have been timed I thought I heard my name being called. whwn I looked around… Nothing! Next time, what would be the best course of action? I love you!

  4. Tess Wierzbicki says:

    First, Happy Birthday, Lisa! This came at the perfect time for two reasons. I have two little dogs and I could totally relate to what you felt like during the time Vanna was gone and second I am just beginning my 4th week of Living in Purpose and have been having a self critical attack that I’m not doing things well enough. I can do better than that. What’s the point! The calling home was just what I needed to hear.

  5. jane marie says:

    Hi Lisa,
    Thank you for sharing this. Interesting timing as we are considering getting a cat and were literally just expressing our fears of all the things that could happen OUTSIDE!

    A few years ago I kept hearing guidance in my mind: STAY HOME. It seemed to be in response to my questioning at the time about whether to extend yoga teaching to other studios. Learning that guidance is not necessarily related to form or outcome, it took me a while to understand that Spirit was asking me to stay HOME – wherever I go – whatever is decided. I am reminded of this ALL THE TIME. So much of what I read in the Course seems to translate to “STAY HOME”. One problem, one solution!

    Following a prompt to share something that came on our path – Wim Hof is an interesting character who is bringing his gift and discovery of the healing effects of deep breathing on the auto-immune system. We are in an experimental month of seeing what the effects are for us. You can google him, he’s on youtube. There is also a free pdf that explains his method.

    Love you Lisa!!!
    Jane Marie

  6. La Tanya says:

    I think of all of the blog post I have read and needed to see this was it because I haven’t read your post for quite some time. For some reason, I decided to open this email and read this one. What you have said here touched my soul very deeply on multiple levels and I thank you. I thank you for being so open and willing to share parts of yourself that you did not have to. You are an amazing person Lisa and I am so grateful to have had you cross my path. Funny, I always see everything you do as perfect without any mistakes and wish I could be just like you. I always tell my husband Bill that I wish I could speak as powerfully as Lisa Natoli. To me, you have it all together. You helped me to see that we all have the same thoughts about ourselves and that is okay, just keep showing up. I am so happy that your furry friend returned home. I appreciate how you likened your experience to God calling us home. I’ve heard that voice of being called home this morning and I resisted to sit quietly with God. I don’t know why. I suppose I was feeling a little lazy today. Then like you I criticize or judge myself for not being perfect. I realize that this need not be and grateful to know that God still loves me anyway and will continue to be there for me calling me home. Thank you for sharing your experience. It was beautiful!

  7. Diane Denomme says:

    Hi Lisa…. I’m so glad you found your cat…. what a wonderful story. I feel for you and it’s comforting to all of us to see you still have fears and doubts once in a while. I’m so thankful to you by showing us your light and your shadow… this song is playing in my head: I’m only human after all, don’t put the blame on me…. That’s what the ego want to do… Ha! Ha!…. I love you and I send you Love & Light…. Diane D.

  8. Thanks for gifting us with the birthday present of YOUR birthday! 🙂 Perfect timing in my world to read this story.

  9. Cynthia says:

    Beautiful reminder! Thank you, Lisa! Thank you, God!

  10. Your criticism of yourself “not being a polished teacher” and “looking like a disorganized mess” cracked me up! All during the Webinar I kept thinking, “Wow, Lisa has make-up on and a gorgeous blouse and she looks so polished” and “She really explains everything so clearly compared to other teachers and makes it so accessible and understandable.” Glad Vanna found her way home to you!

  11. Bruno says:

    Beautiful. Thank-you. I love you. PS. You’re a great teacher.

  12. Jillian says:

    Funny that you should think you fell short with the webinar ………. I “felt” that it was perfect. I think it was the way it was supposed to be HOMELY ……. you bring people HOME. xxxx

  13. Linda MacKay says:

    When I saw that you were experiencing autoimmune systems. I was struck. I have had severe symptoms since I was a teen. 22 years ago I had Lupus and healed from it in about 10 months, after getting clear with God about my life and my intentions. Since then I have had Chronic Fatigue. While I was healing from Lupus I got in touch with a book,” The 12 Stages of Healing” by Donald Epstein. This book is a guide to the stages one goes through while healing a disease naturally, from a spiritual/emotional perspective.
    While leading an ACIM Course another member of the group told me about a book that I should read, it is all about mystery illnesses. It is “Medical Medium” by Anthony William. This guy had been a medical medium since age 4 and was instructed to write about all this.. I read the book and am following the program he suggests. The Disease is the Epstein-Barr virus. MD’s don’t have a clue about this. The program includes diet and supplements. I have seen myself progress in the stages of healing as I follow the program. The last stages are an experience of God. I’ve been there once for months, and it was amazing. When I decided to heal the Lupus I chose a goal to assist to in bring “HS” Holy Spirit, Higher Self, Guidance to the consciousness of the people of the world. The Chronic Fatigue has slowed things down, but my process and the process of the world is to get rid of those pesky veils of illusion.
    I just ordered “Healing and Recovery”
    I hope this helps, I love your information, blessings to you for all you do.

  14. Judy says:

    Lisa,
    I got more out of the story of Vanna than the wevbinar on Saturday. God is calling us home to rest in Him as his child and let Him show us the way that we have lost. To let him direct us and guide us into His Love.
    Wonderful message from Vanna.
    Love, Judy

  15. Rebecca Johnson says:

    Lisa,
    Yo Girl you sure know how to bring it to the front and let it not be ignored..I Love love love this blog I can say it is one of the best I have read from anyone ever. I am not saying that because I love you but I want to shout this from the rooftops, share it with everyone and memorize it for my Mantra. God is calling and I am not listening, but I will be more mindful…glad Vanna is alright, cats are crazy little creatures and kind of do what they want…I love their independence. I agree with all the comments too….you are very brave opening up to all of us but it goes to sow we are having that human experience and sometimes just forget. I love you
    Love
    Becky

  16. Bonnie Kimball says:

    Lisa! thank you for your wonderful experiences. You make this whole process so real for everyone. We always want to put someone like you on a pedestal and you remind us quickly, that we are all the same and in this together. What love you have for us! i LOVE YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH! I’m glad Vanna is safe and sound <3

  17. Karen Parker says:

    Thanks, Lisa.

  18. Martine says:

    Lisa, you are so dear to me. I love your candor, teaching Truth from the Course and making spiritual connections with real life experiences as you did with Vanna’s disappearance. I missed the webinar, but relate well to the idea of an Inner Critic. Great lesson we all share in our human experience as spiritual beings. You’re awesome, you beautiful child of God, and Light of the World!

    Happy birthday, with love and appreciation,
    Martine

  19. Jennifer Wise says:

    Thank you for your honesty, knowledge and your heart. Knowing that you still forget who you are shows me that I am okay as long as I always come home too! I love you so very much and am glad to be on this journey with you! I am glad Vanna is home safe too!

  20. Tina L. Stevens says:

    I love this Lisa. I love your honesty, your humbleness and most of all your honesty. We are all traveling on this beautiful path together. Oftentimes I don’t listen. I am learning more and more about the listening part. I did not ask for help today and I impulsively asked the wrong person about my salary. I got an answer that I did not expect, then I felt a little panic as I envisioned myself as homeless for a few minutes. Then, I had to teach kids and act okay, while I was so very worried. Later I got an email, that my salary was all set for the summer. I realized it was a lesson for me. First, ask Holy Spirit, second, be grateful for what I have. Love you Lisa.

  21. Antoinette says:

    Dear Lisa, Happy Birthday and welcome home! Thank you for being so authentic. You are a great teacher, I loved this story, will share it with my ACIM group. I met you all these years ago in Spain with Greta at Finca de Milagros, and since then you have always inspired me. Glad Vanna is back and that you gave us all a chance to validate you. Love from Costa Rica xx

  22. Robert says:

    I ‘Vanna’ go Home too! ….Ahhh… what a beautiful parable. I love you, Lisa.

  23. Frances James says:

    Most beautiful, powerful sharing EVER, and one which won’t quickly be forgotten. This message/reminder pierced deep into my heart, transporting me Home in an instant. THANK YOU, Lisa!!!

  24. Haya says:

    Happy birthday Lisa, As I read your “story”, I felt that God was speaking to me personally and he calling me home. Through your understanding, you have brought awareness to me.
    Thank you for sharing it with us.
    Love
    Haya

  25. Pam Nichols says:

    Happiest of birthdays to you, Lisa! I love you. THIS story – on your birthday – and the news that Vanna ‘came home’ are just all so perfect. I’m so grateful that I have been guided to you and Bill (and Cate Grieves). Thanks for all that you do… and your book!! OMG! I LOVE your book… I feel like you are talking to me!! Or that I could be you talking … or you could be me. Or you are me and I am you….or we are joined… Yeah, I think it’s something like that- I love you.

  26. Jenny says:

    Oh man- you just made my day!!! Just what I needed to hear. I will read this over and over until it really sink in deep into my cells, like sweet comforting honey. Thank you Lisa for your courage to be so honest and naked- it is so heart warming and comforting. I love you! Big hug from Sweden.

  27. yukari says:

    I love this story. I really love animals so that it’s related to me. Thank you for reminding me important thing! I always love to read your teaching. Happy Birthday!

  28. Lori says:

    Lisa – you’re an incredible reflection of all of us – perfectly imperfect. Bless you for all you do as a Teacher of God. Thank you for keeping it REAL. Nothing real can be threatened, nothing unreal exists, herein lies the peace of God. Amen!! Love you soooo much!

  29. Todd Schmidt says:

    Tears! Thank you and I love you

  30. Carol says:

    Lisa, thank you for this wonderful message. Something that I needed to hear and be reminded of. I’m glad Vanna came back home too !

  31. maria says:

    Happy Birthday Lisa. Thanks for your honesty and your humbleness. You help me a lot with that.. Love from Mexico

  32. Margaret "Ellen" Butler says:

    I’m so glad you’re not polished.
    Authenticity, courage and being the real deal are why I love you so!
    Happy Birthday too, Lisa.

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