Last-minute Changes

Last-minute changes can sometimes be stressful and are rarely welcome. We are much happier when things go as planned. However, last-minute changes can also be blessings in disguise. At big events like weddings or birthday parties where many people and elements come together, there are bound to be at least a few hiccups. I did not expect to be chasing giant beach balls across a lawn last weekend when I agreed to help set up a combination ordination and birthday party for a dear friend in Denver. In addition to being a big milestone birthday party, the ceremony before the party officially honored and acknowledged her as an ordained minister with the Centers for Spiritual Living. The giant beach balls were to help entertain her grandchildren during the party, but strong winds were determined to steal the fun. Trapping the beach balls on the patio with heavy chairs was just one of the last-minute changes to this well thought out party.

In addition to a “candy bar” and a photo booth stocked with silly props, my friend also hired a video production company to film the entire ceremony. They were also instructed to set up a mini studio in a side room where they would interview party guests on camera. Just a few hours before the event was to begin, one of the organizers let us know that the original team of videographers had to cancel but had arranged to send another crew in their place. We all agreed that it was best not to add undue stress to the birthday girl by sharing this piece of information. We simply decided to trust that it was all going to go well despite the fact that she had never met this replacement crew.

I am happy to report it all went very well. In fact, I heard a wonderful story after the event from another friend who was stationed in the studio with the replacement crew. Apparently she learned that the two camera operators both grew up in a conservative Christian church and found themselves no longer welcome in their community when they came out as gay men. To say that the LGBT community was well represented at this party might be an understatement. The Centers for Spiritual Living is an inclusive organization that welcomes people from all walks of life. From what I understand, these two camera operators were both shocked and thrilled to witness a loving church community that would accept them just as they are.

I choose to believe that it was not an accident that the original crew had to cancel. Whether you call it fate, the Universe, Divine Intervention, or chance, those two men left that event knowing there is a place called the Mile Hi Church right there in Denver where they can go to connect with Spirit and other like-minded spiritual seekers without fear of being judged for who they are. Now that’s what I call a miracle!

Has a last-minute change stolen your peace like a giant beach ball in the wind? I would be honored to help you reclaim your peace with a Family Constellations or Life Coaching session or series of sessions. Both can help you make lasting changes that will allow you to experience more peace, love, and joy in your life. Please look around my website or send me an email for more information or to schedule a session.

Until next time, I invite you to roll with those last-minute changes. You might just experience a miracle!

“There are no accidents in salvation. Those who are to meet will meet, because together they have the potential for a holy relationship.”

A Course in Miracles – MT-3.1

No Stone Too Heavy

Many years ago, one of my first spiritual teachers shared a powerful story with me about a young Native American girl who was having nightmares. Her father, the Chief, was away leading a hunting expedition for many days. Fearful dreams that something terrible had happened to him haunted her every night. After a few days, the village medicine woman noticed the young girl sitting by herself looking exceptionally tired. She asked if anything was wrong, but the young girl told her she was fine. The medicine woman knew better and shared this wisdom with the young girl. “Little one, there is no need to keep what is troubling you to yourself. A burden shared is a burden lessened.”

The young girl softened momentarily, but then stoically replied, “I am the chief’s daughter. I am strong.” With outstretched arms, the medicine woman beckoned the young girl to come sit on her lap. Reluctantly, the sleep-deprived girl acquiesced and crawled over to the safety of the medicine woman’s embrace. After a few moments, she felt the young girl take a deep breath and relax deeper into her lap. That’s when the medicine woman pointed to a large stone across the way.

“Do you see that large stone over there? You are strong, but that stone would be too heavy for you to lift by yourself. However, if you asked two or three of your friends to help you, all of you together could easily carry it. The same is true of our burdens. Alone they are heavy. Shared, they become much lighter and easier to carry.”

The young girl pondered this for a moment and then began sharing her troubling dreams with the medicine woman. It was true. Once she spoke them out loud she felt lighter. The medicine woman reminded her how many times her father had gone away on hunting expeditions just like this one, and how each time he returned home with an abundance of food for the whole village. This remembrance brought a smile to the young girl’s face. She was able to replace her fearful thoughts with this joyful image of her father’s homecoming. That night her dreams were happy ones and she slept peacefully.

I was reminded of this story last week when two of my dearest friends experienced a devastating and unexpected loss in their family. Ever since I heard the news I have been doing my best to let them know I am right there holding this heavy stone with them. I am so grateful to know they also have a loving spiritual community to help them carry this stone. I couldn’t imagine them trying to carry this burden by themselves. When tragedy strikes, it’s so important to lean on the strength of people who love us. That’s just one of the many benefits of having a spiritual community. I know there are many of us who continue to send them love and prayers.

Is there a burden you are carrying that could be lessened by sharing it? I encourage you to reach out to those who love you. Choose ones who can hold the high watch without adding more weight to the load. I would be honored to assist you with one of my Life Coaching or Family Constellations sessions. Both can help you release whatever is weighing you down. Please send me an email or visit my website for more information or to schedule a session or sessions.

Until next time, may you always remember that there is no stone too heavy when you invite the power of love to help.

“…together we shine with brightness so intense that none of us alone can even think of it.”
~ A Course in Miracles – T-13.X.14

Highest and Best for All

To say that I was reluctant to leave my home in Fort Lauderdale last April might be a bit of an understatement. Florida had been my home for 25 years, and my love of the ocean is no secret to anyone who knows me. Saying “goodbye for now” was difficult. As hard as it was, it felt like moving to Houston was the highest and best choice for many reasons, some personal and some professional. I will admit starting fresh in a new, much larger city has been challenging at times. During the past three months I have done my best to remember the many reasons for the move. I am so grateful for the miracle I experienced this weekend that let me know I am on the right path.

On my way to Unity of Houston last Sunday, it occurred to me that this day was one of those reasons I felt guided to make the move. Last spring, Rev. Jeanmarie Eck asked if I would be interested in presenting “An Afternoon with A Course in Miracles” as part of the Summer Education Series. I immediately said “yes!” One of my greatest joys is sharing the Course and making it less intimidating and more approachable. Here was an opportunity to do that with a whole new audience. I was expecting maybe 30 people to attend, but on Thursday I found out that almost 60 tickets had already been sold.

As I sat at a traffic light pondering how many people would be at the workshop, what passages from the Course I would share, and how challenging it’s been adjusting to a new city, I decided to practice what I preach and surrender all of it to a Higher Power. That’s when I felt the presence of grace descend upon me. That presence reminded me that love is not about sacrifice. A Course in Miracles is very clear that the only real win is one where no one loses and everyone benefits. This would have to include my decision to leave Mother Ocean and my comfort zone in Fort Lauderdale. In that moment, I understood on a deeper level that my “yes” to doing this workshop and moving to Houston was part of a bigger picture that would not only serve others but also bring me countless blessings in the process. I instantly felt less nervous about the workshop and more centered and confident that this was where I was supposed to be. That was a miracle, a shift in perception from fear to love.

Well, I didn’t have to wait long to see evidence of that shift in perception. Imagine my surprise when I found out minutes before the workshop started that the volunteers gave away all 120 of the handouts and more had to be printed! I am grateful to every single person who made the choice to spend “An Afternoon with A Course in Miracles” (and me) on Sunday. I loved every minute of our time together and feel richly blessed by the experience.

Are you ready for a miracle? I would be honored to help you shift your perception from fear to love around any situation that is trying to take away your peace. I offer four, six, and eight week Life Coaching packages based on the strong principles found in A Course in Miracles and other New Thought teachings. You will also experience miracles during the life-changing process known as Family Constellations. Sessions can be done in person, by telephone, or video conferencing from anywhere in the world! Please look around my website for more information or to book a session.

Until next time, may you remember to make choices for the highest and best for all, and that includes YOU!

“No one loses; nothing is taken away from anyone; everyone gains through your holy vision. It signifies the end of sacrifice because it offers everyone his full due.”

A Course in Miracles – Lesson 37

Pirates, Mermaids, and Llamas

Have you ever been on a boat with an assortment of pirates and mermaids, waiting for a llama to get authorization to board before you set sail? After last Saturday, I can honestly say I have. I know this might sound like a scene from a Disney animated film, but sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and we find ourselves in situations so preposterous the only thing to do is laugh.

Last week I was in Southern California having a wonderful time with friends. On Saturday, we decided to have lunch at a restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean where we could eat outside and enjoy the warm sun and cool sea breeze. When one member of our group suggested we take a boat ride after lunch, our host remembered a public water taxi called the Aqualink that carries passengers from Alamitos Bay to the Long Beach Aquarium. That sounded like a wonderful idea to all of us!

The Aqualink dock was conveniently just steps from the restaurant. At the dock, we were greeted by a woman dressed as a pirate and her friend Cusco, a bandana-wearing pirate llama with a fishing net laced with seashells draped over his back. That’s when we discovered a “Pirate Invasion” was happening in Long Beach that weekend. It’s California’s largest Pirate and Mermaid Festival held in Shoreline Village right next to the aquarium. As we pet Cusco’s furry neck and waited for the next boat, more people dressed as pirates and mermaids arrived at the dock. It was quite a colorful scene.

When the boat arrived, we were amused by the look the two crew members gave each other upon seeing the pirate llama. Cusco’s keeper assured them that she had called the Aqualink office in advance and was told Cusco was allowed to board as long as he was contained. She believed his leash was sufficient containment, but the crew did not share her belief. They called and left a message for their supervisor while the rest of us boarded.

We found a sweet spot on the upper deck and told bad pirate jokes to our costumed fellow passengers while waiting to set sail. Five minutes turned to ten minutes. Ten turned to fifteen. Eventually it became clear that Cusco was the reason we were still there. The absurdity of the situation was not lost on any of us. There we sat while the crew waited for a return phone call from their supervisor letting them know whether or not the llama could board. The general consensus among the passengers was to let him on. No one seemed to mind sharing the boat with a furry, four-legged pirate. I thought it was important to let the crew know how we felt so I began chanting, “CUSCO! CUSCO! CUSCO!” I was thrilled when the pirates, mermaids, and other passengers joined the chant immediately showing their solidarity.

Alas, it was to no avail. After at least thirty minutes of waiting, the supervisor finally called with a decision: no llamas allowed. We later found out Cusco’s keeper had failed to mention when she called earlier that her pet was a full grown llama. Details. As we left the dock and headed out to sea I felt inspired to yell, “We love you Cusco!” As you can see in the picture, I think he heard me. I wanted him to know we were all a little sad about the way things turned out. However, I’m pretty sure the pirates and mermaids were more upset that the llama drama prevented the bar from opening while we were waiting. When the bartender called “last call” as soon as we left the dock I thought for sure they were going to make him walk the plank.

Yes, this situation and the reason for our delay were both quite comical, but what if we were able to laugh no matter what the reason or circumstance when things don’t go as planned? Wouldn’t life feel lighter? I’m not suggesting that you bring a llama to work or wear a mermaid costume to a funeral. There are times it’s best to be practical and appropriate. I am suggesting, whenever possible, find humor in any difficult situation in which you find yourself. Laughter will immediately help you pull the plug on anger and frustration before they get the best of you. Peace will return, and problem-solving inspirations will have space to enter.

Could you use some assistance pulling the plug on anger and frustration on a difficult situation in your life? Try one of my four, six, or eight-week Life Coaching packages to help you do just that. During our weekly one hour sessions in person, by phone or computer, I will share tools and techniques to help you return to peace. Look around my website or send me an email for more information or to book your first session.

Until next time, may you always remember that laughter really is the best medicine.

Into eternity, where all is one, there crept a tiny, mad idea, at which the Son of God remembered not to laugh. ~ A Course in Miracles – T-27.VIII.6