What’s Next?

Boats

Do you ever get caught up in “destination preoccupation?” I know I do. I notice my mind is on where I need to be rather than where I am right now. On a bigger scale, I might be focusing on the life I imagine for myself in the future instead of the life I am living right here in the present. My “to do” list sometimes overshadows my “to be” list. The other day I had an opportunity to realize just how silly this is. Many times after my morning beach walk, I take a few extra minutes to jump into the turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean. I often tell myself I really don’t have time for this, and some days when I have an early appointment, this is true. On this particular day, however, my first appointment wasn’t until later that afternoon. Even so, my ego reminded me that there were plenty of items on my “to do” list, and if I ever wanted to be happy in the future, I had better get to them right away!  But the water was unusually calm that day. The sun was shining. A breeze was blowing. The conditions were too enticing to resist, so I didn’t.

I’m so glad I allowed myself that ten minutes to just be in the ocean. The water was so tranquil I was able to float on my back and watch the birds and the clouds drift by in the sky overhead. I let the gentle waves carry away my worries about the future and those items on my “to do” list. I was right there in that moment. Gratitude filled my heart. As I emerged from the water, my mind started thinking about what’s next. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a living space that overlooks that magnificent ocean? I imagined how wonderful it would be to see and hear the waves rolling in each morning when I awoke and again each evening before I fell asleep. It would be wonderful to be able to step outside right there at the beach for my walk without having to drive anywhere or look for parking. Then it occurred to me. “John, you’re here now enjoying that ocean! You don’t have to wait for some day in the future. Don’t you get it? Enjoy it NOW!” So I did. I plunked myself down under a palm tree and basked in that feeling of peace and contentment for a few more minutes.

The events of that day reminded me of the story of the Mexican fisherman from “The 4-Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferris. Click HERE to watch a two minute video that tells the story. It demonstrates one of the ego’s favorite mantras, “Seek and do not find.” The ego wants to keep you in the pursuit of happiness, but it doesn’t actually want you to be happy. It wants to keep you away from the present moment where peace, love, and joy reside. If you found them, the ego could not survive. Therefore, the ego keeps you consumed with the past and worried about the future so you skip right over the present moment. This ensures that your future will be just like your past, the pursuit will continue, and the ego can stay firmly in place. 

It’s a clever plan, but it only works until you discover it. You can foil the ego’s plan by simply pausing to take a slow, deep breath whenever you feel that you are spinning out of control. This reconnects you with Spirit and re-calibrates you with the presence of peace. In that moment, perhaps you can also find one thing to be grateful for, even if the only thing you can think of is the air you just breathed. That’s fine. Oxygen is indeed something to be grateful for. The more you practice, the more things you will find right there in your present moment. Who knows? You might discover that you already have what you are seeking. 

Do you find yourself living for future happiness, and suffering in the now? Are you stuck in the past or worried about the future? Give yourself the opportunity to be in the now where peace, love, and joy reside. I base all of my Life Coaching programs on the strong principles from A Course in Miracles. I know they work because they have worked for me. I will share some of the practical applications I use that help me shift from fear to love whenever I start worrying about the future or thinking about the past. Family Constellations is another great way to let go of old limiting beliefs that prevent you from the happy life you were meant to live now. Please visit my website for more information about Life Coaching programs, private Family Constellations sessions (in person, over the phone, or via Skype), and upcoming group sessions

Until next time, remember that there really is no next time. There is only now, so don’t forget to enjoy where you are in this moment.  And breathe…

Look Before You Leap!

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Last Saturday I had another wonderful forgiveness opportunity. I usually do my power walk during the week when there aren’t as many people using the sidewalk next to the beach. I wasn’t able to walk on Friday, so I decided to go on Saturday morning, knowing there would be more people out and about on a weekend. It wasn’t quite as crowded as I had anticipated, but a few times I had to jump up on the two foot sea wall to avoid groups of pedestrians or strollers. The last time I jumped down from the sea wall to the sidewalk, I unknowingly jumped right in front of a roller blader.

“OUCH! That really hurt!” was my first thought. It took me a minute to process what had happened. I was not expecting an impact other than my feet hitting the sidewalk. Anger rose up in me towards the person who hit me. My outrage subsided for a moment when I turned and saw him take a tumble on the sidewalk. I thought he might be hurt. When I asked if he was okay, he did not answer. He simply got up, gave me a dirty look, and skated off. My outrage returned quickly and I yelled, “You ran into me, ya know!” That quip came directly from my ego.

When something takes away my peace, I do my best to look within to find the cause. Lesson 5 in A Course in Miracles says “I am never upset for the reason I think.” It’s always some situation where I forgot to love, either myself or another. My ego gave me all kinds of reasons why I shouldn’t love that guy because he was wrong and I was right. He should not be roller blading on the sidewalk. He should be using the bike lane. He should not be going that fast where people are walking. Then I began attacking myself. I should know better than to go to the beach on a Saturday. From now on, I will never go to the beach on a weekend. That will solve the problem.

That last extreme statement made me laugh at myself. Was a permanent weekend beach ban really the solution? That’s when I remembered to ask Holy Spirit to help me see this differently. How would Love see this situation? What came to me was the idea that the roller blader and I had a date with destiny.  A lot had to happen for the two of us to literally be in the same spot at that exact moment. Had either of us arrived at the beach one minute later, that collision would not have happened. Maybe the lesson was simply for me to look behind me when jumping down from the sea wall. My ego felt attacked, but that guy did not intentionally crash into me. Maybe there was a lesson for him too. He could slow down when roller blading near pedestrians. Whether he got that lesson or not is none of my business. My only concern is what I will do differently in the future. That’s all I can control. Will I blame others or take responsibility for my part? Will I look with the eyes of fear and separation (the ego) or the eyes of Love and Oneness (Spirit)? Whether we are talking about a bump on the head or one of life’s bigger challenges, Rafiki summed it up nicely for Simba in The Lion King

“Yes, the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.”

Are you ready to learn from the past instead of run from it? There really is no place to run (or roller blade). The only way to heal is to look at it with the eyes of Love. Family Constellations is an excellent way to help you see things from a broader perspective. You will discover connections between things you never knew were connected. It’s a miraculous process and it’s all about Love. Life Coaching is another great tool to help you heal the past and move forward. Sign up for a four, six, or eight week program to give yourself the boost you need to get moving again. Please visit my website for more information about Family Constellations and Life Coaching

Until next time, remember to look with the eyes of Love, especially before you leap!

Less is Moore

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With the last name Moore, I’m sure it’s no surprise that I have heard plenty of “more or less” jokes my entire life (more or less). A few friends from my Disney days still call me John Less. Lately, I have had several different opportunities to learn on a deeper level that less really can be more. The more my work calls for me to share the written and spoken word, the more I learn that not everything needs to be shared. The most difficult part of my job is discerning what NOT to include. For example, if I had written about all of the miracles that occurred while I was in Virginia, the email I sent two weeks ago might have been five pages long! I understand very few of us have time to read a five page email, so I had to decide what to leave in and what to take out so the essence of the message remained intact.

I remember when I attended my first spiritual gathering back in 2004, I was so excited and amazed by what happened I felt like I had to document every detail in my journal and tell the entire story to anyone who would listen. (My apologies if you were one of those people.) Thankfully, now I understand that not everyone needs to know every last detail of my spiritual journey. Nor is it necessary! Yes, the way things line up and come together can be incredible. However, if the details are interesting but not relevant to why I’m telling a story, they don’t need to be shared.

I have also learned that sometimes a lesson or a message is just for me. Last Saturday after another fun and healing JourneyDance at Urban Namaste, I received a beautiful message from one of the other participants. I had never met this woman before, but I really took in what she said. It was very powerful and very kind. Her message was also a missing puzzle piece that helped me understand something an intuitive counselor told me years ago. Later, when I told some trusted friends about this message, I noticed it felt weird to share it. That was a clear indication that this was one of those messages that need not be shared. 

When I first started speaking about the lessons of unconditional love and forgiveness I learned with my mother, it was in a two hour presentation called “My Mother My Master Teacher.” Two weeks ago, I shared key elements of that story and a few principles of Family Constellations in a twenty minute talk at Unity of Bon Air. This past Sunday in honor of Mother’s Day, Dr. Charles Geddes asked me to share a few words about my mother and our journey to forgiveness as part of the first “Heart Gathering” at Bridges of Wellness. He also requested I keep it to about five minutes. Five minutes to share what took me two hours to present two years ago? I really was not worried. In each case, I decided to let Spirit direct my words, and in each case, I believe the essence of our story landed in the hearts of the listeners. Despite what the voice of fear may say, when words come from love, fewer may actually be more powerful.

In fact, sometimes words themselves are not necessary. Just a smile or a hug can speak volumes. Words can’t take the place of an experience. I see this all the time in Family Constellations. Years of talking about what did or did not happen melt away when a participant is embraced by someone representing their mother or father. As a facilitator of this miraculous modality, I have learned when to keep my mouth shut and let love take the place of words. I invite you to join me for an upcoming group session, or schedule a private session in person, by phone, or via Skype. You will have the opportunity to see for yourself how less talking and more loving can be transformational. Please visit my website for more information about Family Constellations and Life Coaching.

Until next time, consider the power of these three little words. 

I love you.

Metaphysical Meteorology

rectangle.above.the.clouds

Have you ever planned an outdoor event and then obsessively watched the weather forecast every day for the five days preceding your event? Have you ever noticed that the only day rain is in the forecast is the day of your event? When that happens, what do you do? Do you believe the forecast and cancel your event, or do you ignore the forecast and hope for the best? After all, it’s possible the meteorologist on your local news or the weather app on your iPhone is wrong. We say here in Florida, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” That’s how quickly a rain shower or storm can pass. However, if we are talking about a tropical storm or a hurricane, that’s a little different. 

Last year, at the end of August, a tropical storm was heading right for South Florida as I prepared to depart for the annual Big Sky Retreat in Montana. Many of my friends told me I wasn’t going anywhere that Monday because the airport would be closed due to severe weather. I was fortunate to be traveling with my friend, mentor, and fellow Big Sky Retreat Board Member, Dr. Charles Geddes. We both chose to believe that our flight would leave as scheduled. We also affirmed that, if the storm did hit, we would simply get a later flight and still arrive in plenty of time to prepare for the retreat. We felt at peace knowing all would be well no matter what happened. Lo and behold, that storm never hit Florida. As we soared above Fort Lauderdale on our way to Salt Lake City, we saw blue skies and sunshine out the airplane window.

A similar situation occurred last month while I was in Virginia. Before the weekend workshops, speaking engagements, and private sessions began, I planned to spend my first day visiting both Historic Jamestowne and Colonial Williamsburg with a dear friend. Neither of us gave any energy to the rain in the forecast that day, knowing we would have a great time whether it rained or not. We both felt peace, not fear. I’m happy to report that the rain held off until late in the afternoon when we were under cover having lunch. We had a magical day learning some history and planting rose quartz where so many lost their lives attempting to start a new life. Jamestown also happens to be where Captain John Smith met Pocahontas. It was a special treat for me to be there since I portrayed the Disney version of John Smith for many years. After lunch, the rain subsided, allowing us to have a leisurely (and only slightly damp) stroll through Colonial Williamsburg. It was perfect!

Just to be clear, I am not saying that we can control the weather, although I know some spiritual teachers who say that we can. I believe the only thing we can control is how we react to a situation or circumstance, not what actually happens. But, I also believe that what we experience on the outside is a reflection of what’s happening on the inside. If I have a lot of clutter in my mind, most likely there will be clutter in my living space. If I have an abundance of conflicting or chaotic thoughts, then I will experience a lot of conflict and chaos in my world. Most importantly, I believe if I choose peaceful thoughts more consistently, I will experience a peaceful world. A Course in Miracles says:

The world you see is what you gave it, nothing more than that. But though it is no more than that, it is not less. Therefore, to you it is important. It is the witness to your state of mind, the outside picture of an inward condition. (Text p. 445)

So the next time bad weather threatens your plans, why not practice some metaphysical meteorology? Don’t give energy or thought to the outcome you don’t want. Instead, stay peaceful and focus on the outcome you prefer, knowing that whatever happens, it will all work out.

Is there a storm brewing in your world? Are you having trouble choosing peaceful thoughts? If so, now is the time to ask for some assistance before that storm turns into a hurricane. In my four, six, and eight week Life Coaching programs, you will receive practical tools to help you calm the storm, no matter how heavy the rains or how strong the winds. I base all of my Life Coaching programs on the sound principles of A Course in Miracles, the spiritual teaching that has given me more peace than any other. Family Constellations is another great tool to help you calm the storm. Join me for an upcoming group session, or schedule a private session in person, via Skype, or by telephone. You will be amazed to discover what lies hidden in your family dynamics that could be causing the storm. Please visit my website for more information and specific dates.

Until next time, keep those sunshine thoughts in your mind, but bring an umbrella just in case!