in loving memory of Jim Hellam.

heartDear Jim,

The first time we interacted was at a New Era guest event in March of 2009. There must’ve been at least seventy people in attendance — or at least that’s how I remember it. When you asked the attendees of the guest event what they wanted more of in their lives, I nervously stood up and accepted a microphone to share. In all honesty, I don’t remember what I said. But I do remember how I felt…I felt deeply connected to you the moment you started asking me questions…as if we’d known each other forever. Despite being on opposite sides of the room, it seemed as though everyone between us had disappeared, and it was just you & me having a conversation.

When I walked into the seminar room for the Explore on the first night in April 2009, I was a ball of nervous excited energy. As you began to speak, I relaxed. There was something about your deep voice and your calm presence that I found comforting. Because of your thoughtful teachings, poignant questions, humorous interludes, and no-bullshit attitude, I can unhesitatingly say that my experience in the Explore was one of the biggest reasons why I am where I am today. With your support, I was able to see myself in a new and empowering way that I’d never seen myself before.

As I’ve continued on my path of personal development, I’ve often thought of the many lessons I learned from you, and have passed your words of wisdom on to many other people in my life. My two most memorable learnings from you were:

1)   I stood up and shared about “not being able to” trust my boyfriend at the time (who is, incidentally, now my husband). I told you about how my trust had been broken in previous relationships, and your response was, “SO?” I was taken aback by your bluntness. You went on to explain, “That was THOSE GUYS. Not Eric. Why are you letting toxic baggage from the past spill into your current relationship? What has Eric ever done to break your trust?” The answer was nothing, ever…and yet, as you pointed out, I was penalizing him for times when other people had betrayed my trust. Mind. Blown. That piece of feedback ended up being one of the biggest turning points in my relationship with Eric. After that, I finally decided to TRUST him…and it felt amazing.

2)   While discussing why it can be difficult to be 100% committed to a relationship with someone (intimate or otherwise), the conversation turned to “but what if I get hurt?” And your response was, “If your goal in this lifetime is to love & be loved by the MAXIMUM number of people possible…then it’s worth the risk of being hurt. You’ll get over it and you’ll move on as a stronger wiser person.” Succinct, impactful, and empowering.

Thank you for heeding the call to do the work you did. I may have only spent 5 days of my life with you, but that was enough for me to have a huge wake-up call regarding how I was showing up in my life that I wasn’t ok with, and how I could make better choices to create the life of my dreams.

Well, Jim, I’m living it. I’m living the life of my dreams. It doesn’t look the way I thought it would (and of course, the way it looks is ever-changing)…but it DEFINITELY feels the way I always hoped it would.

I’m so grateful to have been able to bask in the light that you shone on the world. Thank you, from the core of my being.

Love & Light,

Nicole Mehta Strack


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