I learned a long time ago that we all have the power to bless. That word may have special meaning or be off-putting to some, but according to the internet, bless can simply mean “express or feel gratitude to; thank.” That’s why I take time to bless every meal before I eat it. Yes, I’m that weird guy who closes his eyes and holds his hands over his rice bowl at Chipotle for about ten seconds before my first bite. This has become a habit no matter where I am. It’s not a religious thing. It’s simply a way to show respect and gratitude for what’s before me. Having an attitude of gratitude is a sure way to attract more good into my life. It also gives me a moment to set the intention that this food will nourish me and keep me healthy before I wolf it down! I’m working on slowing down and being more mindful while I eat. 

With the extensive traveling I’ve done over the past few years, I’ve been on more than a few airplanes. It’s become another habit to place my hand on the side of the aircraft before I step in to silently bless the plane and all those traveling and working inside it. I imagine light and protection around the plane and all of its passengers and crew, as well as all those who have ever been on that plane in the past and all those who will be on it in the future. I also imagine that there are angels assigned to each wing to carry us safely to our destination. It feels especially significant to place my hand on the heart logo painted on Southwest airplanes. Does it do anything? I don’t know, but it’s fun! It also makes me smile to know I am using the power of my heart and mind to think positive thoughts and bless people whom I will never meet. What would happen if everyone reading this started secretly blessing airplanes? Will it make a difference? Like everything, if you believe it to be true then it will be true for you!

I love that this year the staff, musicians, and speakers of the Big Sky Retreat gathered in front of the stage before the retreat began to bless the main room, our attendees and everything that would occur over the next five days. It felt very empowering to speak words of gratitude in advance for the healings, transformations, love, and joy that would happen there. I trust on some level everyone felt it. It sure felt good to me and once again we heard that it was the best Big Sky Retreat yet!

If any of these practices speak to you, I encourage you to adopt them or adapt them to fit your own belief system. Take a moment to bless your food or your airplane. Bless your car for getting you safely from Point A to Point B. Bless your new home before you move in. Bless your old home after you move out. Thank it for providing shelter and a safe space for all those happy memories. Bless whatever you feel inspired to bless. Will it make a difference? If you believe it will…it will!

It would be a blessing for me to assist you in experiencing more miracles and an attitude of gratitude no matter what is going on in your life. Please visit my website or send me an email to learn more about Life Coaching and Family Constellations. Both have been blessings in my life and I trust they will be in yours too. 

Until next time, keep those blessings flowing…

What Would You Have Me Say?

Anyone who uses words for a living like I do, whether written or spoken, knows that they are very powerful things. They have the power to both inspire and injure, so I do my best to choose them carefully. However, even when being mindful, one never knows how they will be received or what impact they will have. The best I can do is set my intention to be only helpful and trust that whatever comes through me is exactly what is needed in the moment. I learned this lesson at my first Big Sky Retreat in 2014 and again at this year’s retreat.

The Big Sky Retreat is an empowering five-day event held every year for the past 43 years over Labor Day Weekend. I presented my first workshop on “Miracles and Forgiveness” at the 2014 Retreat on the last day of August. I hadn’t planned on sharing that I like to celebrate my birthday not just on August 5 but for the entire month of August. It just sort of came out when I began speaking. I told everyone how grateful I was to have started my “birthday month” playing at Disney World with great friends and now I was ending the month sharing something I love with all of them. It wasn’t until later that I discovered the impact of that little piece of information.

A woman who attended my workshop came up to me later that day to tell me what a gift I had given her. I assumed it was something I shared about my journey of forgiveness with my mother but it wasn’t. This woman told me that her birthday is September 11 and that her brother was a first responder in New York City on that horrible day in 2001. He inhaled too much smoke while rescuing people from the towers and eventually died a few days later. From that year forward, she felt it was inappropriate to celebrate her birthday. How could she have a “happy birthday” on a day that brought her and many others so much sadness? My suggestion to celebrate the entire month gave her permission to celebrate on the other days in September. I could see the relief and excitement on her face as she told me she was looking forward to having a happy birthday after 13 years of sad ones. I couldn’t wait to give her a greeting card the next day saying “Happy First Day of your Birthday Month!”

Something similar happened this year during the closing ceremony. We gave every attendee a rose quartz heart to take home with them as a reminder of all the love, joy, and healing we experienced during our 5 days together. For my closing prayer, I wanted to mention a whole list of places I have planted small rose quartz crystals with the intention of spreading love and peace across the planet. It’s a sweet little ritual I learned at my first spiritual gathering back in 2004, and I have been doing it ever since.

Of course, it wasn’t practical or possible to mention every place I have planted those tiny pink stones over the past 14 years, but I was very disappointed in myself for not mentioning the ones in Virginia at Serenity Farm and in the angel garden at Unity of Bon Air. I also forgot to mention the ones at the Satya Center in Utah and the ones in the Pyramid and the fountains at Unity of Houston. I had to trust that the locations and stories I did mention were the ones that needed to be shared.

I received confirmation of this the following morning after our farewell breakfast. I ran into a wonderful group of women from Utah who told me how healing it was to hear that I had planted rose quartz in and around Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Temple Square is the headquarters for the LDS Church. Although each of these women has left that tradition, they shared how powerful it was to have a way to connect to their Mormon heritage through the rose quartz energy of love and compassion.

Yes, words are very powerful indeed. When I surrender and trust that what needs to be shared will be shared and I let go of my ego’s need to judge and control every little detail, miracles happen! In order to keep my ego at bay, every day before I get out of bed I ask the Universe these inspiring and empowering questions from Lesson 71 in A Course in Miracles:

What would You have me do? Where would You have me go? What would You have me say, and to whom?

Try them for yourself and watch what happens. I know they have opened me up to receive more miracles than I can count.

Wishing you an inspired and empowered week!

What Kind of Day Are You Having?

This week I am at the 43rd Annual Big Sky Retreat in Big Sky, Montana. This will be the fifth year I have been a part of this retreat and my first as President of the Board. To commemorate this milestone, I thought I would share something with you that I wrote when I returned from my very first one back in September of 2014. It’s still one of the most memorable moments I’ve had in that gorgeous part of the country. Enjoy!

“Think about the kind of day you want, and tell yourself there is a way in which this very day can happen just like that.”

This practical advice comes from the first section of Chapter 30 in the text of A Course in Miracles. I highly recommend taking a look at this whole section because it has been a game changer for me. From recent personal experience, I can say wholeheartedly that it works!

I just returned from an incredible journey with Dr. Charles Geddes, the Founder and Spiritual Director of Bridges Spiritual Centers. Each morning before we started our day, we took a few moments to pray. We “pre-prayed” the way of our journey by clearly stating our intentions. We wanted to experience and share peace, love, and joy wherever we went. We asked to be that Presence. We also stated our desire for Presence to be revealed as Mother Nature’s beauty all along the drive through the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park as we made our way to Big Sky, Montana for the annual Big Sky Retreat. I am happy to report that it worked!

Mother Nature did indeed reveal her beauty along the way, especially at Yellowstone.  After a magnificent day of hiking, close encounters with buffalo, and breathtaking vistas, Charles and I decided to call it a day. The sun was setting as we drove out of the park, yet we remained vigilant for more beauty. Just a few miles from the west exit we noticed a large number of cars parked along the road and hundreds of people gazing across a large open field. We couldn’t tell what they were looking at, but judging by the crowd, it had to be good.

We parked our car and crossed the street to an area where there were fewer people. There, in the distance, on the other side of Snake River in a golden sunlit meadow, two elk were locking antlers. Charles and I had been guided to the perfect spot, for as the elk continued their show they gradually moved closer and closer to where we were standing. Their sparring was very gentle as if they were playing or perhaps just practicing. Occasionally they would stop to eat and drink peacefully together before lowering their heads once again to lock antlers. This continued for at least 30 minutes.

At one point the elk apparently decided they had given us enough of a show. To our amazement, they paused in the golden sunlight directly across the river from us just long enough for me to snap this picture. Then these majestic animals entered the water and waded down the river together into the sunset. What an exit!

Our journey was filled with many beautiful moments like this and the Big Sky Retreat was one big “WOW!” I felt that Presence more times than I could count. My eyes filled with tears of joy as we sang songs of remembrance together. My heart was filled with peace during quiet moments and I feel immense gratitude for all the wonderful people I met. Those are the kind of days I’d like to have more of.

Until next time, I encourage you to consciously decide what kind of day you’d like to have each morning. Then as you go about your daily activities look for evidence of only that!