Leave Your Phone at Home Day!

Most of us have heard of “bring your child to work day.” I would like to start a similar tradition called “leave your phone at home day.” I inadvertently did this last Sunday and it was so incredibly freeing! I was up at 5 AM on Sunday so I could drive across the state to support my fellow Big Sky Retreat Board member and friend, Rev. Michael Gott, who was speaking at Unity of Naples. Those who know me know that this is not my preferred time of day. My mind was a little foggy when I left at 6:45, and I did not realize my phone was sitting on my dresser until I was halfway across Alligator Alley. Oops!
Surprisingly, I was not upset by this realization. My biggest concern was that I would not be able to communicate with my sister if she needed to reach me. She and her husband are vacationing near St. Petersburg, and we planned to meet at church and then have lunch together. It was about a two and a half hour drive for them, and they are not familiar with the area, but I decided to choose peace and trust that their GPS or the map apps on their smart phones would get them there just fine. They did.

Smart phones are wonderful helpers. Mine helps me to do my job in a number of ways. However, I admit it can also be a huge distraction. Text messaging, picture taking, Facebook surfing, and Instagram posting all have the ability to divert my attention from what is taking place around me. Not having my phone on Sunday forced me to be totally present to the experience, and what an experience it was. Let me just say that if you have never been to Unity of Naples, do yourself a favor and go!

Rev. Diane Scribner Clevenger is a delight. I loved her welcoming energy and powerful opening prayer. The grounds of this spiritual center are simply breathtaking. There is lush, tropical vegetation everywhere including colorful orchids nesting in some of the trees. The large sanctuary has floor to ceiling windows so you can see all of it from inside. Butterflies and dragonflies float around the campus, and a few joined me on the meditation path before the service. As I walked through the thicket of tall trees, it felt like I was in a mystical realm. The wind was strong that day. It made a wonderful sound through the leaves and trees as well as helped the wind chimes clink and clunk their happy wooden tunes. When I emerged from the trees, I casually made my way to a little white gazebo overlooking the lake behind the sanctuary. As I walked, I could hear the heavenly voice of Michael Gott as he rehearsed the songs he was going to sing that morning. As I stood in the gazebo, I was filled with gratitude for that moment, soaking in all the sights, sounds, and sensations around me. What a gift to be fully present for that.

Yes, part of me was wishing I had my phone to snap a few pictures or record a video of this magical place. There were a few more times during the service that I wished I had my phone to record a snippet of Rev. Michael singing or speaking. I wanted to post them on social media to bring awareness to this wonderful spiritual community. I considered asking my sister if I could borrow her phone, but instead allowed myself the gift of simply being present. If you would like to hear Rev. Michael’s inspiring message on Faith, you can click HERE. I had Faith that my phone was not lost but indeed sitting on my dresser waiting for me to get home later that day. It was. And I had a magical day without it!

Would you like to experience more magic and miracles in your life? Join me for an upcoming Family Constellations Workshop, or give yourself the gift of a four, six, or eight week Life Coaching Program. It would be my great honor to give you some tools to help you let go of whatever is preventing you from being in the present moment where magic and miracles live. Please look around my website for more information about both.

Until next time, try giving your phone the day off, or at least a few hours. Yes, I know we all like to be connected, but the truth is, you always are…

Five White Roses

I just returned from another wonderful trip to Virginia where I had the privilege of sharing sacred space with many people doing the work I love called Family Constellations. I am so grateful for the healing I witnessed and the healing I experienced at Serenity Farm and Unity of Bon Air. Just being in these two places is a blessing, but to facilitate and receive healing work there is even better. I feel refreshed, renewed, and ready to share some of that energy, and it didn’t take long for an opportunity to present itself.

I live in Fort Lauderdale, and this was the first time I have used the airport since the shooting on January 6. Five people lost their lives, six people were injured, and many, many more were left with emotional scars from the terror that ran rampant through the airport that day. When I flew out last week, I could feel the lingering heavy energy. I set the intention that when I returned, I would visit the baggage claim area where it all happened and spend some prayerful moments there. I also wanted to sprinkle some tiny rose quartz crystals around to help shift that fearful energy to love. At my first spiritual gathering in 2004, I learned that rose quartz holds the frequency of unconditional love and compassion. Placing it somewhere is a tangible way to reinforce your intention to bring loving energy. This ritual has been very meaningful to me, so I continue to do it.

At the airport I tried to be covert so as not to draw attention to myself. Understandably, security is still on high alert for any suspicious activity. Lurking in doorways and corners would certainly qualify. As nonchalantly as I could, I placed a few crystals outside the doors, in a few planters, and one near a trash can. Then I walked to the middle of the terminal to sit quietly on a bench to pray. When I opened my eyes, I was astonished to see a table covered in black cloth with five white roses in vases on it. I was so busy looking for security guards I hadn’t noticed the temporary memorial space that was set up to allow people to pay their respects to the victims.

I pulled out my bag of crystals again and dropped a small pink stone in each of the vases. It felt like the perfect way for me to honor those that had fallen. I sat down again on the bench to continue my prayers as I visualized a team of angels clearing the room of any heavy energy and then showering the premises with Love. That’s when two men who worked for the airport approached the table and began talking on their radios. They were asking someone where to put the vases once they took the table down. Apparently I had arrived in the nick of time to do my humble little ritual. Had my flight arrived an hour later, the temporary memorial would have been gone.

Tears well up in my eyes when I think about the timing of this whole experience. Timing played such a role in all of it. I extend love to the people that were there on January 6 as well as their families and friends. I happen to know several and I’m so grateful they are all okay. I extend love to the people that flew in or out of that airport just days before or after the incident, knowing they are also thinking about timing. I extend love to all of the airport and airline employees. I imagine it must be difficult to show up to work with the shadow of that experience still fresh in their minds. I can only hope that the prayers, intentions, and those little pink stones I planted will continue to do their work and continue to shift the energy back to love.

There’s something we all can do right now in this very moment with the power of our minds and hearts. I invite you to close your eyes and together let’s send loving energy to every airport around the globe. Let’s visualize the pink Light of Love blanketing every traveler, every ticketing agent, every baggage handler, every flight attendant, every pilot, and every person who might feel unsafe during these challenging times. Let’s not forget to extend this same Light of Love to anyone who feels so disconnected that they could fathom doing such violent acts. When everyone feels encompassed in the Light of Love, and we remember that there is no separation and we are all One, attack thoughts will simply fade away.

Until next time, may you feel encompassed in the Light of Love, because you most certainly are…

What’s Your Word?

Years ago I facilitated an Organizational Constellation for a nonprofit center. It works the same as a Family Constellation, but instead of having representatives for family members, we use people to represent key elements of the organization. The final image in this constellation was a triangle with a representative for “the vision” at the point and representatives for the founder, board of directors, programming, participants, and donors behind it. Once the vision was clear and put in its proper place, the representatives felt good about getting behind it to support it. However, I have witnessed first hand what happens when the vision is not clear.
In 2011 I moved to California to open a spiritual retreat center with a dear friend. We had been talking about and visioning this center for years and it finally felt like the time was right. She found a gorgeous piece of land on a ridge top overlooking the Ojai Valley. It was perfect! We had a plan, financial backers, implicit trust, and lots of enthusiasm. However, with each new person that joined the team, the vision changed a little bit. The center had many incarnations, and what we presented to the investors was very different from the center I envisioned before moving there. Long story short, without a clear vision, the investors never invested and the project never got off the ground. It was a very confusing time for me because I truly thought it was going to happen. Don’t get me wrong. I do not regret one moment of my “California Adventure,” as I like to call it. I met some amazing people, witnessed incredible things, and learned some powerful lessons. Of course, one of those lessons is the importance of having a clear vision.

Two years ago, when I was looking for a place to live, I had a sense of what qualities were important to me. My friend and mentor, Dr. Charles Geddes, suggested that I pick a word that best captured the feel of the qualities I wanted in my new home. The word that came forth was “sanctuary.” That word became my metaphoric measuring stick as I visited each new possible living space. One apartment I saw was on the second floor overlooking the pool area in a large rental community. Screaming children, multiple conversations and loud music outside my window on a regular basis did not feel very “sanctuary-like” to me. It was not a match, so I kept looking. With a clear vision, it didn’t take long for the perfect apartment to reveal itself, and it has indeed been my sanctuary ever since. I offered the same technique to a client a few weeks later. His word was “resort.” The next day he signed a lease at a brand new rental complex with a pool area, huge fountain pouring into a jacuzzi, fitness center, business suite to entertain clients, and a community room with a kitchen and a flat screen HDTV. I’d say this was a match!

Do you have a clear vision of what you would like to experience? Is it HD? Yes we want our vision to be high definition, but we also want it to be “Heaven Directed.” That’s the subtle difference between Visualizing and Visioning. In week two of my “Pathway to Peace” Life Coaching Program, we talk about this difference and I guide you through a visioning process. If that sounds intriguing, you can learn more about it and sign up on my website. Family Constellations can also help your vision become HD as you take a broader look at old stories. Please join me for an upcoming group session or schedule a private session in person, by phone, or via Skype.

Until next time, ask your heart what word or words best represent how you want to feel. Then hold that feeling like a measuring stick up against everything that comes your way. You’ll know very quickly if it’s a match!

Be Gentle with the Baby New Year

“Above all else I want to see things differently.” This is Lesson 28 from A Course in Miracles. It sure came in handy last week as I was sitting in a chilly dermatologist’s office wearing only my underwear and a paper hospital gown waiting to be examined by a person I had never met before. I was feeling cold, vulnerable, alone, and a little fearful. That’s when I remembered my lesson for the day. I did not want to feel like that, so I closed my eyes and started repeating the lesson over and over again in my mind.

As I did so, a slight warmness washed over me. I started to feel a little bit better. Then a thought occurred to me. This doesn’t have to feel like a punishment. What if this was a form of love and self care? In that moment I felt the presence of both of my parents in that examination room. I didn’t feel alone anymore. Wow. My experience was changing because above all else I wanted to see things differently. It was working.
I wish I could say I remained peaceful for the rest of my time there. No. I wasn’t able to maintain that feeling, but I had experienced a shift, so I knew it was possible to go back there. I won’t go into details of what happened next, but I will say that it was not fun. When I left, I was feeling overwhelmed by the experience. My ego chimed in to tell me that I was being a baby. I should be stronger and not let this affect me so much. It’s not like I was being treated for something life threatening. There are people facing much more serious health challenges than having some bumps cut and frozen off their skin.

Thank goodness for my wonderful friends and prayer partners. They reminded me that it was okay to feel what I was feeling and above all else to be gentle with myself. I stayed in most of the weekend and kept to myself. I chose not to partake in any New Year’s festivities this year, preferring the company of my Kindle to my kindred spirits. I had my own private burning bowl ceremony on New Year’s Eve. I wrote down a few things I wanted to release from 2016 on a small piece of paper and burned it in a sacred fire behind my apartment building. After staying in all day, it felt wonderful to be outside. It was a beautiful, breezy Florida evening, so after I finished burning my paper I felt inspired to go to the beach. To my delight, I had the beach all to myself. It was just me sitting by the ocean listening to the waves crash in. My only companions were the wind swirling around me and the stars shining above me. I was grateful for their company. I allowed myself to just be with them for a while before setting some intentions for 2017. Along with some rose quartz, I surrendered those intentions to Mother Ocean and let her take them wherever she wanted to. It felt like the perfect way to wrap up 2016 given my introspective mood.
This week, I invite you to be gentle with yourself, no matter what you are going through or growing through, whether it seems large or small. I believe our challenges are tailor made for each of us, so there is no point in comparing your troubles to someone else’s. None are worse or better than others. Each are simply opportunities to see things with the eyes of love. Honor what feels right for you in this moment. If you want to be with a friend, reach out to one. If you prefer to take some quiet time by yourself somewhere in nature, do that. Just know that peace will return. Say to yourself, “Above all else I want to see things differently.” Then be open to a new perspective. You might be surprised what comes in.

Sometimes we get stuck in one particular way of seeing things. That’s when we need assistance to see another point of view. Life Coaching and Family Constellations are both great tools to help you see things from a different perspective. Perhaps now is the time to give one or both of them a try. Please look around my website for more information about both or join me for an upcoming Family Constellations workshop near you. It would be my great honor to help you make this a Happy New Year!

Until next time, be gentle with yourself. Pretend that you are a newborn baby child. In many ways, you are…