Linda McFarlin

I’ve been a traveler all my life, a Navy brat whose family moved every four years.  By the age of 8 I had crossed the Pacific twice---from Washington, the state of my birth, and California, then to Hawaii and back to Washington. Traveling is in my blood, which is a mix of Irish, Scottish, French and a dash of Cherokee, but I’d wager there is some gypsy in my veins, too!

Early on I learned to use traveling as a tool for self-revelation and personal growth.  On the road, I am able to live more in the moment and to trust that the right direction for me will reveal itself if I just pay attention.  Adventures show up and Mother Earth shows me her secret places.

Life is Full of Surprises

Having practiced this tool for most of my 60+ years, sharing my knowledge and discoveries with others brings me lots of satisfaction.  The world contains the most astonishing surprises at every turn if we know where to look and slow down enough to notice the wonders that life is constantly offering.

My life has been full of extremes, sudden turns and transformations.  So shy as a child that I had to whisper answers to questions in the teacher’s ear, I later became a public speaker and trained as a facilitator for Insight Seminars.  Growing up a middle-class American with Depression-era parents, by the age of 35 my life had been transformed into one of wealth and success.  

I’ve climbed 15,000-foot peaks in Nepal and dived deep into my inner world through meditation.  Owned a Mercedes and a Harley.  Lived in tents at the beach and manor houses in England.  Even though I’m a typical Taurus homebody with a love of luxury, I sold or gave away nearly everything I owned to become a wandering monk.

This last phase was precipitated by a family crisis while still in Texas raising my children.  Life appeared successful on the surface, but it started to unravel.  As a result, I took a closer look at what was driving me—my motivations, unconscious programming and negative beliefs.

Small Town / Big City

Trading small town life in Texas for the big city, the next 7 years were spent in the thrill-seeking environment of Los Angeles, continuing my inner journey.  With training as a master practitioner of NLP, transformational hypnotherapist and two masters’ degrees in psychology, there were lots of letters after my name. 

After completion of a self-esteem course with Jack Canfield and three and a half years studying “A Course in Miracles,” I enrolled in a ministerial program with the Reverend Michael Beckwith at Agape Church of Religious Science in Los Angeles, doing everything possible to find peace and happiness and to assist others to discover it as well.

During an internship working with schizophrenics as part of the requirements for licensing as an MFCC, it dawned on me that all this learning was still not enough to bring lasting well-being.  Once again I questioned my life and its purpose, became very depressed and spent two months in my bedroom, unable to rouse myself from my lethargy.

This period of depression was one of the most enlightening and important stages in my life!  As a result of just sitting in bed, deepening my spiritual practice and surrendering, I realized that the depression was trying to tell me that my life was out of balance.  I needed to play more!

What followed was salsa and stand-up comedy in L.A.  Then once again, I took to the road, spending 6 months in India and Asia with my two children.  Upon returning to the states, Ascension fortuitously appeared, the meditative practice that has been the focus of my life for more than a decade.

Teaching in 17 Countries

My present husband, Gary, and I have spent ten years living and teaching Ascension.  At last count we’ve taught in 17 countries and the U.S., often staying in the homes of students for extended periods of time.  We’ve experienced other countries and people in a way few are privileged to—joining in daily family life and being privy to not only the joys and celebrations, but to their unique challenges and different worldviews.

Teaching and practicing Ascension brought me the balance I’d been seeking for so long.  When the teaching phase ended in 2003, 4 years passed before a new direction appeared.  I was as surprised as anyone to find that it entailed a whole new career, a business and living in Ecuador!  All this at retirement age!

New Business and a New Life in Ecuador

As this business venture unfolded for me, I know that it means embracing the business world again and engaging fully in a new life in Ecuador, meeting the challenges that will bring while retaining my balance. 

 A source of joy for me is helping others realize that what they think are flaws or problems are really their greatest gifts and opportunities and inspiring them to use these gifts creatively.

I find life most rewarding when involved in creating transformations of all kinds, whether it's giving derelict buildings or businesses a new "lease" on life, making barren land blossom again or helping people turn their blocks and issues into stepping stones to success.  I look forward to using this gift here in Ecuador. 

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