Is it time to hit the RESET button?

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Have you ever been playing a video game that starts going very badly or working on your computer when it suddenly freezes?  Sometimes the only option is to hit the reset button and start fresh.  In life we need to do this too.  Over the past few months I found myself caught in a pattern of going to bed later and then sleeping later than I liked.  I had also been scheduling too much in a day so there was not much breathing room in between appointments.  Thankfully this pattern was broken this weekend. It started with an early morning flight on Friday forcing my sleeping schedule to shift.

I was invited to a place in Virginia called Serenity Farm to facilitate two Family Constellations workshops.  To say this farm lived up to its name would be an understatement.  It had endless fields of green grass, swaying trees, plenty of shaded benches for conversation or contemplation, a meditation garden with all sorts of colorful flowers and an angel statue, a path cutting through tall pine trees leading down to the peaceful pond you see in the picture, a magnificent main house with a library and sunlit breakfast nook, and an adorable smaller house with a healing room and screened in porch.

That porch served as the perfect place to do Family Constellations. Many gathered to be healed by that sacred land and to break free of patterns that were no longer serving them. Birds chirped in the background and cool spring breezes wafted through the screens as if on cue carrying away old belief systems.  Both sessions were unique and magical.  As with all constellations, there is more healing going on than meets the eye, and looking back I see this was also true for me the moment I landed in Virginia.

My hostess was unable to pick me up at the airport as planned, so she sent a dear friend (who happened to be another massage therapist) in her place.  She described her friend and the vehicle she would be driving, and also let me know her friend would arrive about 15 minutes after I landed.  She apologized for not being able to meet me herself and I told her not to worry.  It would all be just fine.  That was more true than I realized.  I literally whisked my bag off the baggage claim conveyor belt, pulled off the sticker, and walked through one of the exit doors just as the vehicle my hostess described pulled up to that very exit!  No need to call or text.  We found each other by Divine Appointment.

Engaged in a delightful conversation, the hour ride from the airport to Serenity Farm flew by.  When we arrived we were greeted by another of my hostess’s friends who was there to show me around and welcome me to the farm.  It turns out she is a healer as well.  Over the next 24 hours we discovered how very much alike we are despite our very different backgrounds.  I knew we were soul siblings when we hopped in her car to drive to Whole Foods and the soothing voice of Krishna Das began chanting out of her car speakers.  Later that evening the woman who picked me up returned and the 3 of us had the most amazing time in the healing room taking turns playing my crystal singing bowl on each other and administering some healing touch.  After being crunched in an airplane, my whole upper spine surrendered with several loud cracks back into alignment.  All three of us floated out of that little house.  Another Divine Appointment.

My eldest sister drove down to see me from Maryland on Saturday, and we had some wonderful one-on-one time after the workshop.  We chatted on the dock by the pond as the sun went down, and shared stories in the library until we were all caught up before going to bed.  Another Divine Appointment. I awoke the next morning to the sound of geese flying home after a long winter.  What a wonderful alarm clock!  Like the geese, my sister had to return home that morning, so after Sunday’s workshop, I found myself alone in that breathtaking beauty.  

Due to unforeseen circumstances, my hostess was not able to return home that day.  Mother Nature was my companion for the evening. I walked around barefoot in the grass, and then reclined in it to watch the clouds roll by overhead.  I visited the pond one last time to hear the frog symphony.  As I returned to the house I was treated to a light show of twinkling fireflies in the meadow as night fell.  And yes, at one point I even stopped to smell the roses by the swimming pool.  When I think of all the things that had to line up in order for my reset button to be hit in such a profound way, I know there must be a plan greater than mine at work.  And for that I am grateful.

Do you need to hit the reset button? Make time today to just BE in Mother Nature.  Five minutes will do if that’s all you have.  Apparently my case was a little more extreme.  Another great way to hit the reset button is with Family Constellations and Life Coaching.  Please visit my website for more information about both.  Perhaps we have a Divine Appointment?

Wishing you blessings of Serenity today and every day…

Are You Willing To Continue Carrying Someone Else’s Pain?

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Forgiveness is one of the key components of A Course in Miracles and living a peaceful life.  I heard a great definition of forgiveness on the Oprah Winfrey Show years ago.  Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past will be different than it was.  That one really struck me and I use it often with my coaching clients.  This past week I heard another great perspective on forgiveness while listening to the HayHouse World Summit online.  In his talk about forgiveness, Kyle Gray asked this question. “Are you willing to continue carrying someone else’s pain?”

It reminded me of that old exercise where one is asked to carry a stone for every person with whom they have a grievance.  The more grievances you have, the heavier that satchel is to carry around.  And that is exactly what we are doing.  When someone hurts us, it is because they are in pain and making choices from fear.  So if we continue to think about what they did or didn’t do, we are actually perpetuating that pain. Now we are the ones carrying the burden and feeling the pain, not them.  All we need to do is set them down, and sometimes ask a higher power to help lift them from us.

Kyle’s question struck me so profoundly, that of course, life gave me an opportunity to ask it right away.  I travel to Miami every Monday afternoon for work. On my way home I often visit the Busy Bee Carwash in North Miami for a $5 “quickwash.” Last week the carwash broke while I was inside.  It spit some suds on my car, but none of the twirling brushes or swaying strips of fabric were moving.  Even the conveyor belt stopped so I eventually had to drive out. It was closing time and the attendants told me there was nothing they could do except rinse the suds off with a hose.  The managers had gone home for the day and attendants were not authorized to give refunds.  I accepted this as my only option in the moment, thanked the attendant for rinsing off my car, and set my intention to speak to a manager the following week when I was back in Miami.

That was this Monday, and things did not go well.  Apparently the managers leave at 6 pm every day, two hours before the carwash closes.  I arrived at 7:30.  But when I saw the two attendants who were there last week, I felt certain they would remember what happened and let me get the carwash I never received.  No.  They were convinced I was trying to scam them because a whole week had passed.  My explanation of living in Fort Lauderdale and only being in Miami on Mondays was not sufficient.  Again they told me there was nothing they could do since the managers had gone home.  It honestly never occurred to me that they wouldn’t practice good customer service and allow me to get my car washed.  I left the Busy Bee mad as a hornet and ready to sting someone!

My first thought was to call and leave an angry message on their voice mail or write a bad review on Yelp. Then I remembered Kyle’s question.  Was I willing to carry their pain?  Their choice came from fear.  Was I willing to perpetuate it?  More importantly, wasn’t my inner peace worth more than $5?  I answered “no” to all of these questions.  Continuing to think about how wrong the attendants were and how right I was would never allow me to feel peaceful.  I imagined myself laying down the stones my ego wanted me to throw at them.  I asked for divine help to see the situation differently.  Eventually I was able to send them peaceful thoughts. The chain of pain stopped with me.  I will simply find another place to wash my car!

Yes, I understand some events have cut much deeper wounds than a $5 carwash.  The good news is the forgiveness process outlined in A Course in Miracles works no matter how big or small the “offense.”   The very first miracle principle states, “There is no order of difficulty in miracles.”  I would be honored to assist you in finding that peaceful place again no matter what has happened in your life.  I base both my Life Coaching and Family Constellations on the principles of A Course in Miracles.  Visit my website for more information.  Until next time, I invite you to stop the chain of pain, set down those stones, and feel how much lighter you feel!

Judgy Judgerson

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Do you know Judgy Judgerson, someone who is constantly criticizing or making fun of other people?  We have all done it, myself included.  Recently I was at a small gathering  at a friend’s house where one of the guests was flipping through People Magazine.  Each celebrity in the pages became the topic of conversation and everyone discussed what they did or didn’t like about that person.  Most of it wasn’t nice and it made me uncomfortable. However, this is a very subtle trap.  If I started to judge them for judging others, then I am no different.  Interestingly enough, my daily lesson in A Course in Miracles the next day was all about judgment.  In Lesson 151 the Course says, “No one can judge on partial evidence.  That is not judgment.  It is merely an opinion based on ignorance and doubt.”  Later in that same lesson it says, “You have often been urged to refrain from judging, not because it is a right to be withheld from you. You cannot judge.”

What that says to me is we do not have all of the information necessary to make a judgment about someone else’s life.  We don’t know what the future holds.  We don’t know what someone has experienced in their life to influence their decisions.  We don’t know what they are thinking.  We couldn’t possibly know all of the factors involved from our limited perspective.  We only have “partial evidence.”  Haven’t we have all made mistakes or done things we aren’t proud of?  Luckily most of us do not have them photographed and written about in People Magazine.  

I will never forget an incident that happened when I was in high school.  My best friend and I would drive around in his car a lot just to get out of the house.  I needed to escape my mother’s drinking and he needed to escape his parents’ judging.  One night there was a van stopped in the middle of a residential street blocking our way.  I rolled my window down to yell something like, “Hellooooo!  This is a street, not a parking lot!”  The van still didn’t move so we eventually drove around it.  That’s when we saw why the van was stopped.  Someone was lying on the ground in front of it.  I don’t know how that person ended up there, but whatever the case I felt despicable for yelling that out the window.  I certainly didn’t have all the facts before making my judgment of the van driver.  It was definitely a powerful lesson because I still remember it 30 years later!

One of my biggest challenges is not judging people who repeatedly choose to drink a lot of alcohol.  I understand why this challenges me given my tumultuous upbringing in an alcoholic household, yet I have learned a lot since then.  I couldn’t possibly know what is best for someone else’s soul journey.  I do not know what pain they might be trying to numb.  And just to be clear, it’s not like I have never had too much to drink.  There have been plenty of times, some of them in the not too distant past.  I do know all of us are looking for peace and joy.  Getting drunk is one way to find them, albeit a temporary one.  

But there is someone who does know what is best, someone who has all of the information necessary to make a judgment.  A Course in MIracles calls this someone Holy Spirit or the Voice of Love.  Other’s call it God, the Universe, their Higher Self or Inner Guide.  Whatever you call it, I trust it.  I trust that everyone is doing exactly what is best for him or her in that moment, regardless of my opinion.  So the next time you are tempted to judge with partial evidence, maybe you will remember my van story and leave the judging to Judge Judy.  She gets paid for it.

If there is a person or situation you are having a difficult time not judging, perhaps now is a good time to attend a Family Constellation or schedule a Life Coaching session.  Both will help you see things from a higher perspective so you can find peace again. I love sharing what I have learned from A Course in Miracles because it really works!  Please visit my website for more information and to register for a session or group.

Until next time, remember that the True Last Judgment is that you are Pure Spirit, innocent and whole.  All is forgiven and released…