I asked Winalee to be the first person I interview for my "Living your purpose" interviews as she is shining so brightly while living her purpose so gracefully and effortlessly. Winalee lives in Lansing, Michigan US and runs her 'commUnity center' called Heartdance Studio there where meetings, conferences, churches, healing groups of all kinds and classes happen. She started her working life as a scuba diving instructor then changed fields and elements completely. She went from water to earth, from diving instructor to Nia teacher and trainer for 23 years now. Winalee is also a guest speaker and a soloist at the Unity Church in Lansing.
In my introduction to my interviews I talked about living your purpose by choosing to create a meaningful life from your own gifts and uniquely shining from within. I also mentioned the notion of the Saturnian higher purpose and being aligned with spiritual laws and the Plutonian soul purpose, the desire that pushes you to the next step of soul development. I talked to Winalee online, just before Easter, and here is how it all unfolded. She was in her studio and we talked about the current lockdown situation and started with a simple
How are you doing and coping now?
Her voice has a warm tone infused with strength and humility at the same time and with a big smile on her face she answers my first question and says "I am so grateful. Living moment to moment. Before all this happened we had a scuba diving trip and I had this knowing that something was happening. I was spending so much time with nature and I could feel nature's message around me saying 'thank you'. I felt like everything in nature knew what was coming and knew that it was important for all living things. The trees, the water, the air, the teeming marine life..everything was saying 'thank you' and I just was with it, back then, I didn't know why. Now I know we all get to participate in this change, raise the vibration and choose love. So that's what I am doing. I've been surfing the wave of feeling the journey and I am grateful to be able to spend more time at home which I had hoped for."
Then Winalee shared part of her daily ritual with me and the read of the day from Mark Nepo's book, The Book of Awakening: "Live loud enough in your heart and there is no need to speak!" And indeed, how so apt for this interview, right? Then the quote went on along the lines of "as you exhale feel without speaking and let it open up your heart, breathe out who you are." So my next question was inspired by this quote:
Who are you breathing out? Who is Winalee Zeeb?
She looked right into my eyes and after a 2-second pause the answer came with a big radiant smile: "Love." Then she continued "my earliest memory is that. Love. I have a very vivid memory from when I was a baby. I was on a kickboard in our pool and my mom, her name was Ginger, was cradling me in her arms. I felt the sun shining on my body and I was looking up at her giggling, feeling so much love from my mom, the water and the sun. I felt being permeated in every cell of my being with love, and I knew that was what I was here for and that's what I was, and we all are ~ Love! I know I am here to hold space, I know that's my role. I speak with my heart."
And how right she is! In the very core of our being that is all we are, love. However, there is an invisible bridge between knowing who we are in our hearts and having the courage to be aligned with this purpose rooted in love and living it in the world. I was curious and asked Winalee if there was a shift in her life when she realised that she wasn't living love and that she had to bridge this gap of lovelessness somehow?
"Yes, high school was painful, I didn't belong to any cliques, I didn't feel like I fit on the Earth. I didn't like all the inequality I saw so I hid. I did well in school but I didn't speak and didn't hold space. I contracted, and it hurt. Then I went to college and it continued, I didn't speak, I didn't hold space, I just did the dance and it hurt. Then I took a scuba diving class, met Ron (Winalee's husband) and that's when it all changed. During scuba diving I was under water where you cannot speak and that's when suddenly I opened. I felt like I am home, I am connected and this is where I belonged. I felt completely relaxed, connected, fearless, peaceful, calm, and deep inner knowing that the ocean was my home. It was a release for my body, my mind and my spirit. I cry, I laugh, I experience all the feelings without ant judgement. So yes, I started teaching scuba diving which meant that I had to speak to teach and I had to hold space. That's when my life changed."
Our soul indicates to us that it's time evolve through desire. It is an unexplainable strong pull that is very hard to silence. What is this desire that your soul pulls you towards?
"Service and to be of service. Whatever I do, I choose a path of consciousness to expand spirit and live in truth and love."
Living a heart-led life means having to feed our inner flame every day. How do you do keep your flame alive?
"Through all of my relationships. Like you and everybody..my local friends and family and people I connect with. I look at the faces on the Zoom calls and feel these beautiful people I love and my heart just goes boooom, it combusts with joy. And apart from people, it's nature too..she giggles..and this cat called Charlie that came into my life. Who knew? I said I was a dog person! I am learning so much from this fury wise cat that showed up in my life. He puts his paws on my face or on my body and grounds me. He also taught me to completely surrender everything."
And indeed, surrendering is a biggie as usually there comes a time in our lives when we get to face a situation when our individual needs and wants need to take second place to align with a higher purpose. Do you remember a time when you surrendered to a higher purpose?
"I was a business student in college doing lots of goal settings, plans and all that..my surrender was when I created 'Heartdance'. I had no idea where it was gonna take me. I surrendered to be open to what I can't see in the now. Heartdance can be anything and everything however I want to express my art. I am on a no-plan plan now. I am not looking at one year even, or 5 years? Are you kidding me? Nooo way! She giggles. I am noticing at the age of 62 that I am a no-plan planner. That's my surrender. I am talking to you right now and that's perfect. It feels really good and that's what matters."
What does it feel like when you are inspired by sprit and follow a higher calling?
"I hear an inner voice that continually guides me. It is not about me. I get to heal from it as a side gift but it is bigger than me. I feel like it is a sense of we. My routine 'Deep Dive' was total unplanned, I was grieving at that time. I was on a diving trip and the dive master did a film with Ron and me diving with sharks and he put Slow dive by Vargo in the background of the video. I wasn't there to be filmed that video, it was all spirit led. It happened like this, click click click. She clicks her fingers. The way it unfolded was clear and fast yet soft and flowing like water. No resistance. When I got home and freedanced to the music, I realised I was healing my own grief but it was not about me. This is a we. It was just clear, so clear. That one just flowed, uniquely flowed. There is plan and there is no plan. And there is bigger plans."
What does it feel like living your purpose?
"Expanded. Gratitude seems like a small word but it's the only word I can express it with. It's an exuberant gratitude for life. I feel like this when I swim with a pod dolphins"..she giggles. Yes, again. Winalee smiles, laughs and giggles a lot. There is an immense amount of joy radiating from her being. It's wonderful and it's uplifting and it's full of porpoise!
And last but not least I need to mention leaving a legacy. The culmination point of your lifework is leaving a legacy. What would you like your legacy to be?
I think by now most of us know the answer to this question, right? She looks at me, lifts her shoulders and with a big smile she says.."It's love, Lovey. Sharing love, being love, choosing love, expressing love, cultivating it. Connecting with others in that way. My father used to say to me 'Sugar you are just like your Auntie Cora' working with compassion, love and respect for those who have come before us and will come after us. Auntie Cora was my model of living purpose. She didn't question, nothing scared her, she did what she wanted with so much love, dedication and excitement. I feel like the ripple of that and my hope of hopes is that others choose to connect eye to eye and heart to heart and be with earth and the elements and choose love."
So here we are, bathing in the presence of universal love, it is is transformational. Winalee radiates love with her presence and that's enough to change the frequency of a room or any space. She holds this unconditionally loving, accepting and inviting space so effortlessly as if she was born to do it ~ undoubtedly she was indeed!
Winalee's Sun is in Pisces in the 12th house, her Pluto is in Virgo in the 5th house and her Saturn is in Sagittarius in the 9th house. The realm of Pisces and the 12th house refer to the state of oneness and unity. It represents the universal womb, where everything is connected and everything is birthed from. Once birthed into the world, this energy functions as the container of universal love, yes these people are our space and frequency holders indeed! It is a highly sensitive energy and its highest expression is to bring unity and love into the world. Throughout the interview it is palpable how much Winalee is connected to universal love. Pisces is a mutable water sign and it represents the energy of the vast oceans and even the etheric fields and it has the ability to influence the collective consciousness. There are truly endless possibilities how to do this and express Piscean array of gifts. Winalee has her connection to water, movement, singing and music to do all this with. The Pluto in Virgo generation is the generation of healers. Having Pluto in the 5th house communicates the desire of the soul to shine. To show off her gifts and to live as an example and role model for others. Why? As living a purpose-led, heart-based authentic life has the power to connect to another heart and wake up the same desire in it. It's like giving life to another human being by allowing them to shine as their authentic self. Virgo energy is about service..doing what you do in service to others and choosing a path that you do with joy and is healing for you as well. Saturn asks for authentic authority and alignment to higher purpose to leave a legacy to echo the creation of a lifetime. The 9th house is the place of expansion and the hero's journey to look for the truth while being acquainted with new ideologies and staying in the place of no "right" or "wrong". The perfect placement to be all 3 at once: the student, the teacher and the material itself. This is where the whole journey is the legacy, to uncompromisingly do what? Got it, "Sharing love, being love, choosing love, expressing love, cultivating it."