A Promise andTribute to Olivia

This week, I’d like to pay tribute to a beautiful soul who made a huge impact on my life and the lives of many. As you may have heard, Olivia Newton-John made her transition on August 8 at the age of 73 after a long journey with cancer. She was a bright light on this planet, often using her music and fame to bring attention to causes that were important to her. Best known for her starring roles in movie musicals like Grease and Xanadu, Olivia’s career spanned over four decades. In addition to these movie soundtracks, Olivia recorded dozens of albums in a variety of genres. I had the privilege of seeing her in concert at the Jackie Gleason Theater in Miami Beach on a very fateful day, September 10, 2001. Little did any of us in that theater know the world would forever change the next day. 

Aside from the date, what I remember most about that concert was being surprised and delighted when Olivia sang a song she wrote about dolphins called “The Promise.” It was the last track on her 1981 double platinum album “Physical.” I have been enchanted with dolphins ever since I played catch with one at an ocean park near Niagara Falls when I was 10 years old. “The Promise” begins with the sound of ocean waves and dolphins vocalizing, so it’s not surprising that I fell in love with it before Olivia sang the first note! But when she did sing, the words touched me deeply. (Click this link to watch the video.)

The lyrics are about these gentle, playful creatures and their capacity to love even though they have suffered greatly at the hands of humans. She sings, “If I can only make one man aware, one person care, then I’ll have done what I promised you.” I couldn’t believe my ears when the beautiful melody began to play at the Jackie Gleason Theater that night. I imagine this song must have had a special place in her heart too. She had many hit songs that she could have sung instead of this obscure one that was never released as a single. During the song, she invites us to be like dolphins and choose love over fear. I was not a student of A Course in Miracles then, but my soul must have recognized this simple but powerful theme that appears throughout the Course. Her words combined with the dolphin vocalizations often made my eyes well up with tears as I listened to that vinyl record spinning on the stereo turntable in my bedroom. I know I cried when she sang it that night in Miami Beach.

That wouldn’t be the last time one of Olivia’s songs made my eyes leak. The tone of her music shifted after her public journey with breast cancer in the early 90s. In 2006, she recorded a transformational healing album called “Grace and Gratitude” that speaks to the heart and soul of the human experience. It was sold as part of a wellness campaign to raise money for breast cancer research. Calling it an album doesn’t quite do it justice. It would be more accurate to call it a sound bath of divine healing. Each song delivers a profound spiritual message before seamlessly blending into the next with a short musical interlude. It remains one of my all-time favorite CDs. Like “The Promise,” I still get tingles and tears when I listen to it. If you haven’t heard it, I highly recommend giving yourself this gift.

In addition to her musical legacy, Olivia’s commitment to health and wellness also lives on. She lent her name and support to the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre in Victoria, Australia. She wholeheartedly believed in the center’s philosophy of wellness and its vision to build a world-class hospital that supports patients in mind, body, and spirit. She also established the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, an independent charity sponsoring global research into plant medicine to educate patients and their caregivers about kinder options for treating cancer. Olivia dreamed that one day we will “realize a world beyond cancer.” That sounds like a happy dream to me. 

Thank you, Olivia, for blessing my life and the lives of many with your numerous contributions to music and wellness. You will always have a place in my heart and all of the hearts you touched. I am grateful for this opportunity to share what a remarkable human being she was, and to share some of the causes she believed in. Although I never met her in person, I will make the same promise she made to the dolphins. “If I can only make one man aware, one person care. Then I’ll have done what I promised you.” 

I would also be grateful for the opportunity to be part of your healing journey with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. Both can help you shift from fear to love no matter what is trying to take away your peace. Please look around my website for more information and to book a session. Stay tuned for some exciting news about the return of online Family Constellations Workshops in a new format!

Until next time, may you give yourself the gift of Grace and Gratitude in all areas of your life…

The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-in.1:8

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