It’s Crunch Time!

It’s crunch time. You know that time right before you leave for a long vacation and there are about 1.2 million things to do before you go? Stop the mail. Pay bills that are due while you’re gone. Find someone to water your plants or take care of your pets. Buy things you need for the trip. Laundry. Pack. The list goes on. I found myself between the proverbial rock and hard place this week. The rock being my departure date and the hard place being my towering “to do” list.
In addition, since I will be gone for two weeks, I have been doing my best to accommodate as many requests for sessions as I can before I leave. One day in particular this week felt extremely overwhelming. I said yes to an evening appointment on a day that was already full of sessions. My head wanted more spaciousness in my already overpacked schedule, but for some reason my mouth said yes to this request. Why did I say that?

On the day of the appointment I thought about texting my client (who is also a friend) to cancel, but I just couldn’t do it. That still small voice inside was telling me to honor my commitment, even though my outer voice was screaming for more time to get things done and a night off. I’m so glad I listened to the still small voice. Somehow it always knows best even when it appears to make no sense. 
When I arrived, my friend asked me how my day was. I didn’t want to burden him with the details of my overwhelming day, but I also didn’t want to lie and say it was great. I simply said, “I’ve had better” and told him I had a full day of sessions. He proceeded to tell me a story about a pastor who helped him many years ago during one of the most challenging periods of his life. That pastor confided in him that sometimes after hearing so much of other people’s “stuff,” he needed his own counselor. My friend then directly asked me, “So who do you go to, John?”

Gratefully, I have many peers with whom I reflect and seek counsel. However, when he asked me that, I realized what I truly needed that night was some energetic clearing and prayer. I have a trusted friend who does this sort of work, so I reached out to him when I got home later that evening. He called me back and guided me through a beautiful clearing meditation and prayer. How wonderful to simply listen and receive! It was just what the metaphysical doctor ordered. I felt so much better and slept quite soundly and peacefully that night.

It’s so important to take care of ourselves! This is especially true if you happen to be someone else’s caregiver or in a profession where people come to you for care. Take time to get the nurturing you need. It’s not selfish, it’s smart. There’s a reason people say, “You can’t pour from an empty pitcher.” If you don’t fill yourself up first, you’ve got nothing to give anyone else.
I will be traveling the next two weeks to facilitate a workshop in Utah, and then two more workshops at the annual Big Sky Retreat in Montana. Now in its 41st year, this is the longest running metaphysical retreat in the world. This will be my third year facilitating workshops at this retreat, and I couldn’t be happier to be going again. There is a reason this retreat has been around so long. It is a heart-opening, life-changing experience like no other. My pitcher not only gets filled every year, but it expands into a bigger vessel. That bigger pitcher also gets filled, and then it spills over into every area of my life. I strongly encourage you to check out the website and join us from September 3-8 if you can. If you can’t, set your intention to join us next year over Labor Day Weekend. It is one of the best gifts you will ever give yourself. When I return, I will be overflowing with love and light, so that will be a great time to sign up for Life Coaching, attend a Family Constellations Workshop, or schedule a private Family Constellations Session by phone, Skype, or in person. Look around my website for more details.

Until I return, I invite you to allow those crunch times and contractions to move through you quickly, knowing that the glorious expansions are coming next!

P.S. The friend I reached out to is Garrett Jackson, Intuitive Consultant. Please visit Garrett’s website to see all of the great services he offers. Don’t let his youthful appearance fool you. There is insight and wisdom well beyond his years coming through this young man. Thank you, Garrett!

Garbage Truck Miracle

One of my favorite quotes from A Course in Miracles states that “Miracles are natural.  When they do not occur something has gone wrong.” That something is merely our choice not to look for them. When I look for miracles, they show up all over the place. While enjoying my beach walk the other day, I passed a crew from the Broward County Sanitation Department. A wave of gratitude washed over me for them. Because of their hard (and not so glamorous) work, the trash cans get emptied and litter doesn’t end up strewn all over the sidewalk and beach where I walk. I wanted to acknowledge them in some way to show my appreciation, maybe with just a smile, a head nod, or a thumbs up. Unfortunately as I passed by them we never made eye contact. I was kind of sad that the opportunity slipped by without me being able to say thank you.

Then I remembered that all minds are connected. I could just think my thank you, and on some level they would receive it. So that’s what I did. I thought of them with gratitude a few more times during the rest of my walk, but as it does, my mind wandered to other things. While doing cool down stretches in my usual spot under a trio of palm trees, wouldn’t you know that same garbage truck pulled up right behind me! As I turned to look, one of the guys literally hopped off the truck and then made a spectacular flying leap OVER the garbage can near me before lifting it out of the holder and dumping it into the truck. We definitely made eye contact after that stunt, and I gave him an enthusiastic double thumbs up! He probably thought my gesture was for his acrobatics, but I knew I was appreciating him not only for his hard work, but for finding a way to bring JOY to it. What an inspiration!

I am blessed that I don’t have to look for a way to bring joy to what I do. It is a natural by-product. Nothing makes my heart smile bigger than when a client tells me the tools I shared during a Life Coaching session helped them feel peaceful  during a stressful situation, or their life was changed by the Family Constellations workshop I facilitated. I am extremely honored and grateful to be doing the work I do. Thank you to all of you who read these words, come to workshops, and allow me to share what I have learned in Life Coaching sessions and A Course in Miracles groups. You are a blessing in my life.

Until next time, keep your eyes open for miracles. They might jump right out in front of you!

Grace is Everywhere!

This past weekend I took a trip to Orlando. One of the things I wanted to do was visit the Pulse Nightclub where the tragic shooting happened earlier this summer. My intention was to sprinkle rose quartz crystals all around the perimeter to shift some of that fear energy to love. Rose quartz is said to hold the frequency of unconditional love and compassion. If any place could use some of that energy, it’s there. I planned to visit Lake Eola Park first, and then go to Pulse to begin my “medicine walk,” but the Universe had other ideas. Traffic was beginning to back up on I-4, so my iPhone suggested I take an earlier exit. All of a sudden I found myself at the intersection of Kaley and Orange Avenue, right next to the sign for Pulse. That was a pretty clear sign to me that the Universe wanted this to be my first stop in Orlando.

I found a place close by to park and made my way towards the club. As I began my ceremony to honor all those who lost their lives that Sunday morning, I glanced up to see the clouds forming what looked like a host of heavenly angels overhead. I smiled, held the first handful of stones to my heart, then tossed them into the mulch on the corner. As I made my way towards the front of the club, I was overwhelmed with feelings of sadness. The club was surrounded by a chain link fence covered in black material that many had decorated with pictures of loved ones, posters, signs, messages, flowers, and stuffed animals. Candles were strewn everywhere as mourners paid their respects to those that perished. I placed rose quartz among many of the offerings, read some of the messages, then continued my journey around the block.

It was a bright, sunny day in that quiet neighborhood. It seemed hard to believe such horror and chaos took place less than two months ago in that very location. I continued walking around the block tossing the little pink crystals in bushes, flower beds, and under trees as I went. I imagined people must have been hiding in some of those bushes that morning wondering what in the world was happening. When I reached the corner where I began, I paused to say a prayer to activate the stones, letting the power of love transform any energy that was not serving the greater good. Then I walked back to the make shift memorial in front of the club to spend a few more moments in stillness and prayer, allowing a few cleansing tears to roll down my cheek. It may seem silly to some, but this ritual felt like my part to help transform the ego’s nightmarish script of fear into Spirit’s vision of love.

My friend Carrie met me there a few minutes later, and we did the entire medicine walk around the perimeter again together. After that powerful yet heavy experience, a visit to beautiful Lake Eola Park felt like the perfect place to release some of that energy. Of the many places I lived during my eight years in Orlando, the apartment overlooking the magnificent fountain in the middle of Lake Eola was by far my favorite. As soon as we approached the lake, that fountain greeted me like an old friend, shooting water high in the sky as water cascaded over its green dome. I took a deep breath as two white swans swam gracefully in front of the fountain. It was wonderful to share that moment with Carrie who had never been to the park before.

We decided to take a leisurely stroll around the lake to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature as we processed the magnitude of what we just experienced. I had one final rose quartz stone to release. It was the one I held during the Reiki Healing Ceremony at Bridges of Wellness benefitting the families of those affected by the tragedy. The shiny, silver sculpture of birds taking flight from the lake seemed like the perfect place to toss the final stone. As we made our way to the red gazebo, we noticed several more swans resting under the trees just off the path. That’s when I remembered swans represent “grace” in Native American teachings. A white feather lay by one of the sleeping swans, so I thought I would quietly sneak around the shrubs to retrieve that feather as a nice remembrance of the afternoon. When I got to the other side of the shrubs I couldn’t believe my eyes. The grass was covered with hundreds of white swan feathers! Grace was everywhere! Thank you, Spirit. Message received.

Do you believe that grace is everywhere? Is it hard to see it from where you are now? I would be honored to help you recognize it through Life Coaching or Family Constellations. Both are powerful tools to help you see past the illusion of fear to the love on the other side. Please look around my website for more information about both, and to register in advance for an upcoming Family Constellations workshop.

Until next time, remember…when you choose love over fear, grace will appear.

Soul Contracts: A Blessing or a Curse?

I have the feeling many would agree that Facebook can be both a blessing and a curse at times. This week it most definitely was a blessing for me. I was delighted when Facebook shared a photo of my mother and me taken six years ago at a surprise double birthday party my siblings threw for us. We were standing in front of a very old Olan Mills photo taken not long after my father died. I asked my mother if we could recreate the gaze from the old photo, and the result was very telling. When I saw the picture, it seemed to capture the essence of our “soul contract.” That’s what I call the agreement we make with our parents, siblings, and any other significant relationships in our lives before we show up here on Earth. It’s usually the people that push our buttons and challenge us the most that require us to get out the spiritual magnifying glass to make sure that’s really our signature on the dotted line. I know. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that we signed up for this!
I believe my mother and I signed up for an advanced class on unconditional love. To say we had a challenging journey would be an understatement, but we also had an enormous amount of love for each other. I think that’s evident in both pictures. We seem to be saying with our eyes, “Here we go again! Let’s get it right this time.” I can honestly say I think we did get it right before she made her transition just seven months after that picture was taken. It wasn’t easy, but eventually I got to a place where I was thankful for everything that happened; the good, the bad, and the ugly. For a time, I only understood  intellectually that it all happened exactly as it was supposed to so that I could be where I am today. However, I didn’t completely feel it in my heart.

One afternoon a few days before she passed, my mother was very agitated. She kept yelling “I want to go home! I want to go home!” I was fairly certain she did not mean Upstate New York. After I got my mom settled down for a nap in her hospital bed, I asked the hospice nurse to turn the volume down on her soap opera so I could share an experience with my mom. While holding her hand, I listened to a beautiful CD called “Graceful Passages : A Companion for Living and Dying.” The first track had barely begun when a rush of tears and sobs poured out of me. This continued for most of the hour and fifteen minute CD. During that time, an amazing thing happened. My heart opened to all of it. The residual anger and resentment had been washed away with my tears. Only love remained. I will forever be grateful to Gary Malkin and Michael Stillwater for creating that CD, and to my friend Jennifer for gifting me a copy as my mother neared the end of her life. I highly recommend this gift from Source to anyone who is taking that journey with a loved one. It might just be the key that unlocks your heart too.

Just for a moment, think about that person in your life that seems to be the most challenging. It might be a family member. It might be a former romantic or business partner. Whoever it is, what is the lesson he or she is teaching you? Maybe the lesson is how to love yourself more and not feel the need to get another’s approval. Perhaps it’s how to set clear and healthy boundaries. My mother did a great job of teaching me where the road of anger and resentment leads so I could choose a different road. Maybe there is part of yourself that you are not owning that this teacher is reflecting so you can take a different road too. Here’s the good news. Once you get the lesson, your contract may very well be complete with this person. You either won’t have them in your experience anymore, or at the very least, they won’t take away your peace when you are around them. Who knows? Maybe when Facebook shares a memory of them with you six years later, it will bring a smile to your face instead of a tear.

Are you having a hard time believing you signed one of those “soul contracts?” I would be honored to help you complete those contracts with Family Constellations and Life Coaching. Both are great ways to see things in a new light so you can experience more peace, love, and joy in your life. It really works! Please look around my website for more information and to sign up for a Family Constellations workshop, private session, or a  four, six, or eight week Life Coaching program.
Until next time, take another look at your soul contracts and turn a curse into a blessing!