I wasn’t sure what to write about this week, but life has a way of providing material when I need it. Monday after my beach walk I witnessed something very startling just a few feet away from where I was doing my cool down stretches. A man and a woman were taking pictures of each other on the beach when suddenly another man walked up to them and began shouting incredibly rude things. At first I thought it was a joke because no one really yells things like “Go back to Russia or whatever country you came from! Why don’t you speak English?!” Eventually I realized this was no joke and the man was really angry about something. I guess he didn’t like the fact that they were right next to the lifeguard station laying in the shade it created. True, you are supposed to stay outside the cones around the station, but this particular lifeguard did not set up any cones. Even so, the venom coming from this man was way out of proportion. I don’t know why he said Russia as the couple spoke with Spanish accents. I heard the woman say she was from South America and the man say he was from Panama. As things escalated, I was shocked to hear the angry man start shouting the word “faggot.” Not that it matters, but it sure seemed to me this was a heterosexual couple on vacation together by the way they were interacting. In any case, I allowed that word to push my buttons and I almost spoke up. Then I remembered this quote from A Course in Miracles.
There is no safety in a battleground. You can look down on it in safety from above and not be touched. But from within it you can find no safety. Text p. 496
Getting involved in the drama was not going to help the situation, it would only have made it worse. I needed to rise above the battleground and see it from a different perspective. The Course would call the angry man’s actions “a call for love.” He was obviously in a lot of pain. I can only assume he had experienced much cruelty in his life to make him capable of acting that way. He had to learn it from somewhere. Family Constellation has shown me over and over again that it certainly didn’t start with him. Who knows what his childhood was like or what his current situation is like. Instead of judging him and adding more negative energy to the situation, I chose to see him surrounded by love and light. In fact, I chose to see all 3 of them surrounded by love and light. The lifeguard had gotten involved by this point and eventually the man stormed off.
This was another subtle lesson for me to apply what I am learning in the Course. It sure seemed like a very clear case of right and wrong. The angry man was wrong and he should be punished for his actions in some way. That’s exactly what my ego wanted me to think to keep conflict going and to keep peace and love out. Today as I finished my beach walk, I was pondering how to put this story into words. At that moment I noticed the same couple walking by me on the sidewalk. I acknowledged them and the synchronicity. Again, I sent thoughts of peace to everyone involved in the situation on Monday. It felt good. Then I looked up through the trees where it all happened and saw the most dazzling rainbow colored halo around the sun. What a beautiful sight above the battleground!
If you’d like some assistance in choosing peace over judgement in a particularly challenging area of your life, Coaching and Constellations can help! Visit my website for more information and to sign up for either. Until next time, I see you surrounded by love and dazzling light. and may you remember that peace is always just a choice away.
Life does not have to be a struggle and we don’t have to force anything to happen. It feels much better to just go with the flow. Recently I had not one, but two reminders of this important lesson. Over the last few months I have been giving away or selling many items that I no longer use or that don’t fit in my new apartment. None of my friends wanted the little IKEA table I used in my old apartment for extra counter space, so I posted it on Craigslist. No one called about the table for many days so I decided to just keep it and delete the post. Several days later while I was out of town, I received a phone call from a woman who really wanted that table and hoped I still had it. With just a few text messages upon my return, she came, gave me the money, and I put the table in her car. We had the nicest conversation about how she came to own her own antique business and how I found Family Constellation. We hugged and I felt like I had made a new friend. Compared to the other things I posted and re-posted for weeks on Craigslist, not only was this experience effortless but extremely enjoyable!
Lately I have been looking for other venues to do more Family Constellation workshops. I’ve gone to networking events, talked about it at other spiritual centers, and invited people that run other facilities to workshops as my guest. I know once they experience how life-changing this work can be, they will want to bring it to their centers. Many times they expressed interest, but then not much happened. Last week I felt inspired to inquire about doing Family Constellation at a Meditation Center where I attend a monthly kirtan. After the event, I asked the owner if I could post a flyer on her bulletin board for my upcoming workshop this Saturday at Bridges of Wellness. She asked what kind of workshop, and when I showed her the flyer she said, “Family Constellation. I’ve done that in India. I love it. Why don’t you do them here?”
You see? It can be that easy. I’m not saying you should just sit on your couch and wait for things to happen. I had to follow my inspiration and take some action steps, but it doesn’t have to feel like exhausting work. These two stories reminded me to trust the flow of life and to let go of my attachment to a specific outcome. The water droplets flowing over a waterfall are not worrying about where they are going, how they are going to get there, or if they will get there before the other water droplets. They just go with the flow!
That’s what we do in Family Constellation. As a facilitator, I have an idea what may be going on under the surface that prevents you from moving forward in a particular area of your life. The Knowing Field may reveal something very different and I go with that. The beautiful thing is, it’s always about love and how to keep it flowing. If you want to let go of something like the water droplets, try it for yourself. Attend a group session or schedule a private session in person or over the phone. Please visit the Family Constellation page on my website for more information or to register for an event. I’m also thrilled to be doing 2 Family Constellation Workshops at the Big Sky Retreat in September. This year’s theme is “Love Prevails.” The retreat itself is a testament to that. It’s all about love, and this is it’s 40th year, making it the longest running spiritual retreat of it’s kind. Don’t miss it. Register today! And until next time, keep going with the flow…
“Compare and despair.” You may remember hearing this famous catchphrase on “Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley,” a comical skit on Saturday Night Live back in the 90’s. Although it was very funny when Al Franken said it to poke a little fun at the self-help movement, it also happens to be true. Comparing does indeed lead to despair. Recently I have heard several people talk about their first time at a yoga class. They can’t help but look at the human origami around them and ask, “Will I ever be able to fold myself up like that?” I know I wondered the same thing when I began 8 years ago. Eventually I learned to ignore what was happening on the mat next to me and focus more on what my own body was doing. It wasn’t always easy!
Compare and despair snuck up on me again the other night while I was watching the TV show “Shark Tank.” The “sharks” began wheeling and dealing with a contestant whose idea they all liked very much. The negotiations got heated and they began throwing around numbers and financial jargon which I did not understand. I allowed my lack of understanding to make me feel bad for a moment. Then I remembered Stuart. There was no need to feel bad for not knowing those terms and concepts. If I were to read a passage from A Course in Miracles to the sharks, I’m guessing it would not make much sense to them unless they had been studying it too. The point is, this does not make them better than me or me better than them. We are just different people with different interests and different specialties. I most likely would not ask one of them to give me an example of how they applied the 3 components of True Forgiveness as outlined in the Course, and they most likely would not ask me to give them investment advice.
I will never forget the time I was with a group of friends swimming with wild, spotted dolphins in the Bahamas back in 2006. One of the many lessons I learned on that trip was about comparison. I found myself a bit jealous of my friends who could dive deeper and stay under water longer with the dolphins. I was even envious of the dolphins themselves! They could glide through the water so quickly and effortlessly while it was such a struggle for me. Each night the captain would turn the boat’s underwater lights on after dinner and the cook would toss the food scraps into the water for the fish. The abundance of fish attracted the dolphins who circled the boat to have their own dinner. One of these nights my friend Ryan and I decided to sync up our iPods and have our own private dance party under the stars as we watched the dolphins feed. As we danced and laughed on the observation deck, I wondered if the dolphins noticed us up there. Did they wish they had arms, legs, and iPods so they could dance around too? Silly, right? That’s the nature of comparison.
One of the things I know I’m good at is creating a safe space for people to share the challenges in their lives, whether it be during a Coaching Session or a Family Constellation. Please visit my website for more information about both. I love sharing the tools and techniques that have worked for me with others having similar struggles. Until we meet again, remember that you are the best you that ever was and no one else can compare!
This weekend I had the opportunity to join my god daughter and her family to celebrate her 9th birthday at Disney World. The day was full of love, laughter, parades, and rides. It was wonderful to spend time with friends I hadn’t seen in a very long time, one of them almost 20 years! When I returned on Monday, I also noticed how wonderful it felt to be home. I love the view of palm trees from my living room window. I love my morning beach walks. I feel blessed to be part of an amazing spiritual community here in South Florida and to be doing work I love.
Have you heard people say upon retuning home from a great vacation, “Oh boy. Back to reality.” By reality they mean their everyday life that is often stressful and not very joyful. When I hear this, I usually say, “You mean back to the illusion, don’t you?” I believe Love is the only reality. Anything that takes away our joy or keeps us feeling separate is an illusion. Vacations offer us the chance to slow down and consciously choose what we want to do on a moment by moment basis. What many don’t realize (and I forget this too!) is that we are always choosing what we want to do moment by moment, but most of the time we do it unconsciously. The ego wants nothing more than to ensure the future is just like the past by skipping over the place of stillness in the present moment. Stillness is where the inspired choices come from, the choices that bring us peace, love, and joy. I invite you to take a moment today and pretend like you are on vacation. Notice something beautiful outside your window or in the room with you right now. Allow yourself to consciously choose one thing that will bring you joy, even if that one thing is to take a 15 minute nap! Once you give yourself permission to do this, it gets easier. Pretty soon you’ll be experiencing every day as if you’re on vacation because it’s full of things you love to do!
If there are too many things making your life feel like anything BUT a vacation, maybe it’s time to try the life-changing experience of Family Constellation, either in a group or a one-on-one session by phone or in person. Family Constellations allow you to break limiting patterns so you can live a more fulfilled life. Or maybe it’s time to get assistance from a fresh perspective? I’d love to share some of the tools and techniques that have worked for me to help you feel like every day is a holiday! Visit my website for details on the different Coaching Programs I offer and to learn more about Family Constellation.
I will close with these words from one of my favorite spiritual teachers…
“If we took a holiday. Took some time to celebrate. Just one day out of life. It would be… It would be so nice! Holiday! Celebration! Come together in every nation!” – Madonna