The Power of Goodbye

I believe how we say goodbye is just as important as how we say hello. The lease on my Toyota expired this month so last week I said goodbye to a trusted friend who had been with me for three years. True, I didn’t have the same emotional attachment to this car that I did with the Honda Element I drove for ten years. Still, I am very grateful to the Toyota for all the times it got me back and forth to Orlando or Ocala or wherever else I needed to go. When I first sat in it three years ago I had a feeling it was the car for me. It felt comfortable and I loved the metallic blue stripe that encircled the interior. When I took it for a test drive I liked the way it handled. During that test drive, I happened to look at the clock at exactly 4:44 PM. According to some who work with numerology and the angelic realm, 444 is a sign that angels are around you everywhere and you have nothing to fear. That’s when I knew for sure this was the car for me.

Last week, after I signed the paperwork for my new car, I took a moment to step outside and say goodbye to my Toyota. I put my hands out to bless the car and thank it for beings so reliable and affordable. I blessed it to find a new owner who would enjoy it as much as I had. Then I released it with love. As I did so I felt those familiar tingles run through my body reminding me to pay attention to this moment and that I was connected to Spirit.

You may find it silly to perform such a ritual or take time to say goodbye to an inanimate object, but I assure you from my five years experience with Family Constellations, it is a meaningful practice to release things with love. Whether you are leaving a car, a job, a home, a city, or a relationship, if you walk away with any kind of resentment or attachment, you are looking backwards not forwards. How can you walk away peacefully and confidently not to mention see what’s ahead if you are still looking back at what was?

Yes, it can be difficult to let go of something that we love or to walk away from a place or home where we created wonderful memories. Letting go of a physical object or leaving a physical space doesn’t mean we have to discard the memories or lose the love. We can thank the object or place for being the catalyst for that love and those memories, and then trust the memories and love will go with us in our hearts. It is a trick of the ego to make us believe we have given up or lost something. In Truth, love is the only thing of value and it is eternal. It is not dependent on anything in the physical world because it lives in each of us. Therefore, we can find it wherever we go in every situation. And, as A Course in Miracles says clearly and simply in Section V of Chapter 15: There is no substitute for love.

Sometimes we let go of or walk away from something that feels like anything but love. However, no matter how challenging the experience or relationship, it taught us something. That something might simply be the clarity to know what we don’t want. We may not be grateful for the pain or frustration of that experience, but we can at least be grateful for the lessons learned. In most cases, there was something good about that situation or person or we wouldn’t have been there in the first place. Blessing the person, place, or thing with gratitude and releasing it with love frees us to turn around and walk away fully present to what’s in front of us.

This week I encourage you to search your heart for anything you might have said goodbye to in a less than loving way. The remnants of that painful ending may be preventing you from finding a new job, home, or partner that fills your heart with joy. If you find an unhappy ending hiding in the shadows, I recommend finding some quiet time to close your eyes and envision a different ending surrounded by love. I would be honored to guide you through this process with a Life Coaching session or a private Family Constellations session. Both can dissolve those unseen entanglements to the past and allow you to turn around and embrace the future with open arms and an open heart. Please look around my website for more information or send me an email with questions and to set up an appointment.

Until next time, may you embrace the power of a good goodbye…

Running with a Mouse

Well, 2018 is off to a running start for me, both literally and figuratively. I was thrilled to see so many people at my first Family Constellations Workshop of the year this past Saturday. Thanks to everyone who made the event so spectacular. It never ceases to amaze me how powerful and transformative these circles can be. After the workshop, I cleaned and cleared the space, went home, grabbed my little suitcase that was already packed, tossed it in my trunk, and drove directly to Orlando. One of my longest and dearest friends was running the Disney Marathon the next day and I wanted to cheer her on. Participating in this event has been a longtime goal of hers, and this was the year she trained and made it happen. I’m so proud of her!

The one and only Carrie Stiers met me in Orlando that night because this marathon runner is a mutual friend. We got up early the next day to join the throngs of spectators gathered at the Walt Disney World Resort to watch more than 25,000 runners from around the world take part in the 25th anniversary of this event. Neither of us had been to the event before so we had no idea what to expect. Traffic was crawling as we approached our first cheering spot at the parking lot of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We ended up adjacent to the race route on Osceola Parkway and what a sight it was to behold! A sea of runners ran by us in all shapes, sizes, ages, and fitness levels. It was truly a beautiful cross-section of humanity. To make things even more interesting, many of the runners were dressed as their favorite Disney character or wore running attire inspired by them. We crept along the road as various versions of Mickey and Minnie, Donald and Daisy, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Aladdin, the Incredibles, Mary Poppins, Snow White, Dopey, Yoda, BB8, Elsa, Ana, Olaf, and countless others passed us. Who knew runners were so creative? I guess I should have expected it at “the most magical race on Earth!”

Sadly, due to the traffic delays and detours, we missed seeing our friend emerge from the Animal Kingdom by just minutes! To avoid this happening again, Carrie brilliantly suggested we get someplace very early and wait for her to come to us. After perusing the map, we decided to go to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at mile marker 23 and wait for her there. Once we arrived, we immediately noticed the difference in the energy of the runners we encountered. A mere fifteen minute drive for us was a ten mile run for them. With just a little over three miles to the finish line, they were in the home stretch, but many were struggling. It occurred to us that we were exactly where we needed to be to offer a final boost of energy to our beloved friend.

There were lots of friends and family gathered here, as well as park guests that stopped to watch the unofficial parade of characters. I was moved by the amount of support everyone was giving these dedicated runners, whether they knew them or not. The woman next to us rang a cowbell as she consistently shouted things like, “Looking good runners! You got this! Nice job!” In fact, many people were doing the same thing. Carrie and I joined them by clapping and shouting words of encouragement as runner after runner passed by. My heart hurt for the ones that were limping and grimacing, determined to make it to the finish line despite their obvious pain. I hope our smiling faces and cheers of support were just the thing they needed to infuse them with enough energy to make it the rest of the way.

After the first hour of clapping, we understood why people brought cowbells. Our hands were stinging and our voices were getting gravelly, but we were just as determined to keep cheering as the runners were to keep running. We definitely had the easier job! So many of the runners thanked us for being there. Some simply smiled or gave us the thumbs up. Whether we exchanged words, a smile, or just a knowing glance, each connection I made with a fellow human being (whom I may never see again) added a little more joy to my heart until it was so full my eyes got watery. Being immersed in that supportive energy for two hours was an incredible feeling. If you are feeling blue, I highly recommend cheering on a complete stranger to fulfill a dream. It’s one of the best antidepressants ever!

In fact, that experience gave me the same feeling of Oneness I experienced on New Year’s Eve at the Burning Bowl Ceremony. It reminded me once again of the quote from A Course in Miracles that I shared last week:

Even at the level of the most casual encounter, it is possible for two people to lose sight of separate interests, if only for a moment. That moment will be enough.

It was more than enough! By the time our friend came jogging around the Sorcerer Mickey topiary outside the park entrance we were completely full of joy. Seeing her in the middle of all those runners manifesting this dream she had talked about for years started my tears flowing again. We were able to snap a few photos of her and with her before she trotted off to the finish line. What an honor it was to love and support not only our friend but all of our brothers and sisters in this marathon called life. I shall never forget that experience, or how inspiring it was to witness our friend accomplish this goal. She did it! She set her intention, took the required action steps, made the necessary preparations, and during the race stayed in the present moment and finished by simply putting one foot in front of the other.

Are you ready to accomplish a longtime goal this year too? Maybe this is the year you give yourself the gift of Life Coaching and get the support and encouragement you need to do it! I offer single sessions as well as four, six, and eight week packages. I would be honored to be your personal cheering section to help you get past whatever is keeping you from the happy, healthy, prosperous life you were meant to live. Please visit my website for more information or to purchase a session or sessions. If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email.

Until next time, keep putting one foot in front of the other and know that the Universe is cheering you on every step of the way!

A Happy New Year Ritual

I love rituals and ceremony. There’s something very powerful about giving physical action to a thought or intention. It tells the unconscious mind, “Something is different now.” It’s why so many people rent tuxedos or wear big white dresses, and invite their friends and family to watch them make promises to each other while exchanging jewelry. Despite how some perceive them, weddings aren’t just big parties. They are cultural rituals that make a statement to our community and our unconscious minds that something is different from this day forward.

One of my favorite rituals is the Burning Bowl Ceremony done at most Unity Churches on or around New Year’s Eve. In this ceremony, participants are invited to write things they would like to release from the old year on a piece of paper and then burn that paper in a sacred fire. Most people write down things like unhealthy habits or self-sabotaging behaviors. Deeper reflection may reveal relationships or beliefs that are no longer serving that are ready to be released. The sacred fire will gladly transform anything you are willing to give it into mere dust. Seeing that paper go up in flames is a powerful visual showing the unconscious mind that those things are truly gone.

I had the privilege of attending both Burning Bowl Ceremonies at Unity of Houston on New Year’s Eve this year. It’s a big church so they do two services to accommodate all the people that want to participate. With over 600 people at the first service and about 300 at the second, I had plenty of time to observe people of all shapes, sizes, ages, and ethnic backgrounds approach the candles at the front of the sanctuary to burn their papers. As I watched person after person perform this sacred ritual, it occurred to me how very much alike we are. We may look different on the outside and have grown up with different cultures and traditions, but we all have struggles, unhealthy habits, and patterns we’d like to release before the new year. I imagine that many of the words written on those papers were exactly the same.

We all want to love and be loved. We want healthy bodies that allow us to do the things we want to do. We want fulfilling work that provides us with enough income to take care of ourselves and our families. We want opportunities to share our gifts and talents. In short, we want to experience more peace, love, and joy in our lives. A Course in Miracles calls this recognition that we are not different a Holy Instant:

Even at the level of the most casual encounter, it is possible for two people to lose sight of separate interests, if only for a moment. That moment will be enough.

When that moment comes, peace comes with it. I am always grateful when those peaceful moments arrive. Since I burned my personal “release list” at the first service, I felt inspired to burn three things at the second service that could benefit us all: fear, the illusion of separation, and suffering. It felt wonderful to toss those in the fire. May you feel the absence of all three in 2018!

It’s not too late to have your own Burning Bowl Ceremony if you haven’t done one already. Write down all of those things that you’re ready to release on a piece of paper and then find a safe place to burn it. It is incredibly liberating to see those old patterns and belief systems go up in smoke!