Do You Want to Know a Secret?

I’m not a big fan of secrets. It’s not that I can’t keep one. In my younger years, I was a master at keeping secrets. No one at school had any idea there was so much chaos at home due to my mother’s alcoholism. That secret I fiercely protected. For many years I believe I was overlooked by the Academy for “best performance in a family drama.” All kidding aside, these days during my Family Constellations and Life Coaching sessions, I see very clearly how family secrets poison relationships and affect the entire family system. Once they are brought to light, they can be looked at and healed. While lurking in the darkness, secrets cause all kinds of problems.

Granted, not all secrets are bad. Keeping a secret about a surprise birthday party or a secret vacation getaway can be fun. However, even these secrets can cause stress because one has to remember who can know what information. This weekend I had a huge forgiveness opportunity around that kind of secret, and the person I needed to forgive was me. Unfortunately, this is often the hardest person to forgive.

A dear friend was presenting new material at a high profile spiritual workshop, and she told me that she was a little apprehensive about it. I felt inspired to do something nice to let her know how much she was loved and supported. When I pondered this, it occurred to me to create a picture with some of her favorite characters on it offering words of encouragement about her talk topic. My first thought was to send it directly to her phone in a text message. But instead of following my original guidance, I decided to post it on her personal FaceBook page so that other friends would see it and add their own encouraging words. Seemed like a good idea, right?

Well, right before I hit “post,” that little voice inside me questioned whether this was indeed a good idea. My friend had told me not many people knew her talk topic, but I overruled my doubt with the rationalization that only a few close friends would see the post. None of the people attending the workshop would see it. Besides, hadn’t she hinted at her topic in marketing videos? Surely it wasn’t that big of a secret. I soon learned I was wrong. It was a BIG secret, and the organizers of the event (the only ones who officially knew the topic) wanted to keep it that way. My friend sent me a sweet email early the next morning to thank me for my thoughtfulness, but she explained she had to take the post down before any more people saw it. My heart sank. I imagined how freaked out she must have been when she saw that post. It was intended to decrease her stress level, not add to it. I felt despicable, believing I had gotten her in trouble with the organizers and broken her trust. I allowed my ego to beat me up about it most of the day.

I reached out to a few trusted friends who knew the whole story. They did their best to reassure me that all was well. They reminded me that my intentions were pure and I meant no harm. Still, I felt like I had done harm because I hadn’t listened to that little voice. In the big picture, I knew it would be okay. This was just my ego finding yet another way to make me feel guilty. A Course in Miracles says:

“Love and guilt cannot coexist, and to accept one is to deny the other.”


Because I was accepting guilt for the wrong I thought I had done, love was not available to me in that moment. I didn’t remember to use one of my favorite prayers, “Holy Spirit, please help me to see this differently.” I always get an answer that makes me feel better when I make this request. But since I didn’t ask, I stayed in that sad place until later that day when I received another email from my friend. Not only did the audience give her a standing ovation, but the organizers had already invited her back next year. I cannot describe the feeling of relief that washed over me when I read those words. I only wish I could have allowed myself that feeling of relief much sooner. As is usually the case, all that suffering was self-made. The whole experience was a powerful lesson that reminded me of three things. One, listen to that little voice. Two, be gentle with yourself when you believe you have done something wrong. The eyes of Love still see you as innocent and whole because that is the Truth of who you are. And three, I really don’t like secrets!

Are you having a hard time forgiving yourself for something? Perhaps someone else? Is it difficult for you to hear that little voice? I’d love to assist you with Life Coaching and Family Constellations. Both will give you tools to help you forgive, find inner peace, and increase your ability to hear that little voice. You can find more information about both on my website, as well as dates for upcoming events.

Until next time, listen to that little voice, be gentle with yourself, and shine light on those secrets!

The Universe Has Your Back!

Do you believe that the Universe has your back? I certainly do. Over the years, I have seen an abundance of evidence to support this statement. I think one of my long-time friends might be more of a believer this week too. He’s been going through a challenging time lately. I do my best to just listen when he needs to vent, and offer encouragement when I feel it will be well received. As a Life Coach, sometimes it’s hard for me to keep my mouth shut when I see someone I care about suffering. However, I have learned (the hard way) that if someone is not open to seeing things from a different perspective, it only angers them when I offer it. I’m still learning this lesson.

This week my friend got a new job at a restaurant and needed to print the menu so he could study it. Unfortunately, his printer was out of ink, and he didn’t have time or the funds that day to replace it. He sent me a text message asking if he could stop by my apartment on his way to work Saturday to print the menu. I replied that I would be happy to print it for him, but I would be working from 10 AM to 10 PM on Saturday. Would Sunday be soon enough? Saturday morning I received another text message from him saying that he was able to print the menu on his printer. Only the colored ink had run out. He still had black ink to print the menu. My response was “The Universe has your back!”

Apparently he did not see my response until after his shift at the restaurant that day. As he was walking through the parking garage to his car, he looked down at his phone to read my message. That’s when he noticed a twenty dollar bill on the ground. That was more than enough to cover his parking fee for the day. I was smiling ear to ear when he shared this story with me. He said that if he hadn’t been looking down at his phone in that very moment, he would not have seen Andrew Jackson staring up at him on the twenty dollar bill. Yes indeed, the Universe has your back! And as A Course in Miracles says,

“Miracles are natural. When they do not occur something has gone wrong.”

Are you going through a challenging time right now? Do you believe the Universe has your back? Could you use a miracle? As your Life Coach, I would be honored to help you experience a miracle, which is merely a shift in perception from fear to love. Using the tools and techniques that have worked for me as a student of A Course in Miracles for almost ten years, I will help you find evidence that the Universe truly does have your back. You can move through this. Family Constellations is another great tool to help you move past challenging situations and recurring patterns. Miracles happen all the time in these workshops and private sessions. Please visit my website to learn more about the four, six, and eight week Life Coaching programs I offer, as well as private Family Constellations sessions by phone, Skype, or in person. You will also find information about upcoming Family Constellations events. When you register in advance online, you will receive a discounted rate. Hope to see you at one soon.

Until next time, be realistic. Expect a miracle.

The Light of Love

I wish I could write about something else this week, but as a member of the LGBT community, and someone who lived in Orlando from 1992 to 2001, the events that occurred there early Sunday morning hit really close to home. As fate would have it, I heard the news right before I was to share a teaching from A Course in Miracles at the Sunday Morning Heart Gathering at Bridges of Wellness. The topic was “Facing Fear.” Before reading a few pages from Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza, a book about another nightmare that occurred in Rwanda in 1994, I shared these three lines from the introduction to A Course in Miracles.

Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God. 

Now it was my turn to delve deeper into these words. I truly believe them, but at the same time, I understand I had to allow myself the human experience of shock, anger, grief, and sadness. I was stuck in the first one. It took me a while to really feel what happened. Not that long ago, and not far from there, it was me and my friends having fun and feeling safe on a dance floor just like that one. An incident like that was beyond my capacity to imagine. The next day I saw an emotional video of Anderson Cooper on CNN. He had a hard time reading the list of names of all those who died along with a short description of each person supplied by their friends and family. Putting names and faces on the event allowed it to drop from my head to my heart, and I was finally able to cry.

A Course in Miracles says over and over again in its 1,200 pages that there really is no separation, and that we are all children of God. Any attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. I think that became very clear to many people last weekend. If you’ve been exposed to any of the media, you know the outpouring of love and support has been remarkable. Throngs of people showed up to donate blood when local hospitals put out the call that it was desperately needed. Good samaritans distributed water, and restaurants donated food, as many blood donors waited in line for hours in the heat. The GoFundMe campaign set up by Equality Florida to help the victims of the shooting has raised over four and a half million dollars in 4 days. JetBlue offered free flights to family members of those involved in the shooting. Candlelight vigils have been held in cities all over the world. Landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and many, many others were lit up in rainbow colors on Sunday night to show support for Orlando and the LGBT community. At least for a moment, John Lennon’s immortal lyrics from “Imagine” came true. The world came together as one. This is evidence that the power of Love can transform any dark experience by evoking the light in each of us.

When something like this happens, there is a danger of slipping into the same darkness that caused the event in the first place. A Course in Miracles says this in the preface. 

Sin is defined as “lack of love.” Since love is all there is, sin in the sight of the Holy Spirit is a mistake to be corrected, rather than an evil to be punished.

Love is the balm that heals everything, and it feels good to share it. We as human beings are hardwired to work together and support one another. That’s one of the many things I love about Family Constellations. Participants come together to help each other heal. This Saturday, I felt inspired to dedicate the first hour of my regularly scheduled workshop at Bridges of Wellness to open a window to healing for anyone who is ready. We will constellate the event and see what wants to be revealed and healed. All love offerings will go directly to the GoFundMe campaign mentioned above. If you are in South Florida and feel called to be there, please see the flyer below and join us from 2-3 PM if you can. If you can’t be there, feel free to send your heart energy to support the healing at that time. If you’d like to support the healing with your financial energy, you can click HERE and donate directly. Bridges of Wellness is also hosting a Reiki Healing Circle with Rev. Scott Barton-Friedman this Friday evening at 7:15 PM. Let yourself be immersed in this beautiful healing energy. I am honored to be leading a crystal bowl meditation as part of the event. Dr. Charles Geddes will be sharing a heartfelt and inspiring closing message. All donations for this healing circle will also go to the families affected by the tragedy.  

My humanness also wanted to know why the shooting had to happen the same week as my debut on Hay House Radio. Today, June 16 at 5 PM, I will be a guest on “Magical Things with Radleigh Valentine.” I was so excited when I recorded the show last Tuesday. This week I allowed my sadness to throw a wet blanket on my excitement to share Family Constellations with a whole new audience. Of course, when I asked the voice of Love, the answer I received was obvious. Healing traumas from incidents like this is exactly why we do Family Constellations. If we stop the chain of pain from being passed down from generation to generation, tragedies like this don’t have to be repeated. As many of my fellow Family Constellations Facilitators often say, we are healing the world one constellation at a time. My hope is that anyone who listens to the show will find comfort from something Radleigh and I share.

Until next time, may the Light of Love fill your heart and cast out any darkness.

Did You Figure It Out Yet?

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The more I travel along the spiritual path, the more I understand that trying to “figure things out” is one of the biggest traps my mind can fall into. It’s like a deep pit covered with branches. If I’m not careful where I’m stepping, I fall right in. My mind will chew on the same problem, or churn the same decision over and over again, as if I’m stuck in a hole with no way out. I completely agree with that famous quote from Albert Einstein. “You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew.” It takes peace, stillness, and openness to allow wisdom from outside my egoic mind to drop in with the best solution. I hear people say all the time, “I just need to figure this out, and then I will take action.” They may never take action. Or, they might eventually come up with an answer, but will it lead them in the direction they want to go? Once they solve that problem, it won’t be long until Life gives them another one, and they are back in that pit!

Writing my first book has been a great opportunity to pause and do a life review. As I write about the miracles that have occurred in my life (both before and after I was conscious enough to notice them), I can clearly see how everything that has happened has led me to the next thing. In truth, I didn’t have to figure anything out. The River of Life was carrying me along. My part was to remove the fear surrounding any life choice so that I could hear the longings of my heart. Sometimes those heart-based decisions didn’t make sense to my logical mind. For example, it certainly didn’t make sense when I left a full-time job with benefits at Arena Stage in Washington, DC to perform in a traveling puppet show that I knew would only last two months during the busy holiday season. After January 1, I would be unemployed. I did it anyway because that’s what my heart wanted to do. It turned out to be a very wise choice. The puppet training I received helped me to get hired as a puppeteer at the Walt Disney World Resort two years later. That was nothing I could have figured out or planned at the time.

This week I had the honor of being a guest on “Magical Things with Radleigh Valentine” on Hay House Radio. We recorded the show on Tuesday, which will air for the first time on Thursday June 16 at 5 PM Eastern Time. I had no idea when I went to the “I Can Do It!” Conference in Orlando last year that I would meet a kindred spirit soul brother and end up becoming friends with Radleigh. In fact, if I had listened to my logical mind, I would not have gone to the conference at all. It was held only one week after my two week trip to Montana for the annual Big Sky Retreat. My ego said I really shouldn’t go, but my heart said that I was supposed to be there for some reason. So I went! I’m sure glad that I did. I made several new friends at that event, and it led to this opportunity to share Family Constellations with a whole new audience. To me, this is simply more evidence that there is a wisdom beyond my limited perspective that has my best interests, and the best interests of all of us, in Mind and Heart.

Sometimes we need a little assistance climbing out of that pit. Life Coaching can be that helping hand. I offer four, six, and eight week programs to meet your needs. If it seems like you are caught in a recurring pattern, Family Constellations might be just the thing to break the cycle. It can reveal things you had no idea were affecting your life today. Join me for an upcoming workshop, or schedule a private one-on-one session in person, by telephone, or via Skype. Don’t stay stuck in that trap any longer. Please visit my website for more information and to see a schedule of upcoming events.

Until next time, I invite you to get out of your head and into your heart. You don’t have to figure anything out. Your heart is the perfect vessel to carry you smoothly down the River of Life.

An Extreme Example of Forgiveness

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I barely left my apartment this weekend, but I feel like I took quite a journey. I knew I’d be sitting in a waiting room for a few hours on Friday while my friend had an endoscopy, so I downloaded a new book on my Kindle. I wish I hadn’t started reading it Thursday night because I couldn’t stop turning pages until 3 AM! Much of my weekend was spent reading Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust  by Immaculée Ilibagiza. It left me speechless.

I first heard about this remarkable young woman when she appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show many years ago. Immaculée survived the genocide in Rwanda by hiding with seven other women in a secret 3 foot by 4 foot bathroom for 91 days. One might say that was a miracle, but I would say the real miracle was how she was able to shift her fearful thoughts to loving thoughts in the middle of that horror. I can’t say this book is suitable for everyone. There are parts of it I wish I could “un-read.” What happened in Rwanda in 1994 can only be described as a nightmare. It is one of many extreme examples of the ego’s script of fear and separation being played out in the world today. Even after reading the book I have a hard time envisioning what happened.

What I can envision, however, is more people learning about the power of love and forgiveness through Immaculée’s example. When the crazed mob ransacked the house where she was hiding, the voice of fear gripped her and told her the killers were going to find her. By going within and connecting with the Presence of Love, which she understood as God, the fear went away. When gruesome stories of the murders reached her ears, thoughts of vengeance and hate filled her mind. She asked God to please remove those unloving thoughts and replace them with loving ones because she understood it was those same unloving thoughts that fueled the killers. She prayed for loving, merciful thoughts to reach their minds too so the violence could finally stop. Although Immaculée does not claim to be a student of A Course in Miracles, she certainly embodies its teachings.

In the powerful final chapter of the book, Immaculée returns to her village to visit the leader of the gang who killed her mother and brother. The jailer expects her to yell, scream, or spit on the decrepit old man when he drags him out of his cell to face her. Instead, Immaculée touches his hand and says, “I forgive you.”

Reading this book definitely changed me. It gave me a renewed sense of gratitude for all the daily freedoms I enjoy. But most importantly, it gave me an extreme example of the incredible power of forgiveness. If she could forgive that, I can certainly forgive the ladies who cut in front of me in the checkout line at Target. Holding on to anger and resentment can only harm me, no matter how extreme the “crime.” Most of us are not asked to forgive such extreme circumstances. Some of us are. However, the end result is always the same. When we open our hearts and finally let go of those poisonous grievances, love, peace, and joy will come rushing in to fill the space.

Sometimes this is easier said than done. If you need assistance, please visit my website to learn more about Life Coaching and Family Constellations. I base all of my work on the strong principles of A Course in Miracles. With a little help, you too can transform those fearful thoughts into loving ones.

Until next time, remember to keep your heart open and the love flowin’…