Summer of Joy!

It’s officially summer! I know many people prefer the cooler temperatures of spring and fall, but my favorite season is summer, and not just because my birthday is in August. There seems to be a certain freedom around this time of year. School is out and many people get out of their everyday routines by taking vacations and traveling far from home.

One of the best gifts I have ever given myself happened during the summer of 2007 when I drove my car from Miami to San Francisco and back. Along the way, I visited friends, family, and many of the beautiful national parks across the country. Reconnecting with loved ones and many breathtaking hikes in nature’s beauty recharged my soul battery in the middle of those very challenging last 6 years of my mother’s life. It was definitely a spiritual experience!

I love how my friend, Cindy Wigglesworth, defines spirituality in her PBS special on “Conscious Evolution.” She says, “Spirituality is an innate human need to be connected with something larger than ourselves.” Stripped of any religious dogma or need to believe anything in particular, this simple yet profound definition allows all of us to be spiritual in our own way.

This summer, I invite you to get out there and have a spiritual experience. Your soul will thank you. If for some reason you can’t leave right away, you can join my friends, Ali and Michael Benjamin, as they take “God on a Joy Ride.” They began the first leg of the tour last week in their “Om Shanti Home” camper leaving Big Bear, CA heading to Montana. Their intention is to experience more joy in their lives while exploring beautiful places and meeting others who have that “joy factor.” You can follow their adventures through pictures and videos on Facebook and Instagram by searching for #godonajoyride. These two are quite the comical couple, as you will see in their second video where they take a detour with God for a cup of coffee and a visit to a hardware store. Travel blessings to you, my joyful friends!

Another great way to connect to something larger than yourself is by attending a Family Constellations workshop. You can’t deny there is something bigger than us going on when you experience this miraculous process. Visit the calendar page on my website to see details of upcoming events. 

During these summer months, may the extended daylight hours bring you many opportunities to experience joy!

The world you see but shows you how much joy you have allowed yourself to see in you, and to accept as yours. And, if this is its meaning, then the power to give it joy must lie within you.

A Course in Miracles – T-21.Intro.2

Understanding Life’s Upsy Downsies

“I’d be more okay with it than you think.” The person representing my father spoke these words during my very first Family Constellations Workshop back in 2012. All of a sudden, memories of tiny toys that my dad used to buy for me when I was 4 or 5 years old popped into my head. They were colorful little dolls called Upsy Downsies with fluffy rainbow hair and matching whimsical vehicles. I hadn’t thought about them in over 30 years. It occurred to me that these toys were clearly marketed to little girls rather than little boys, but that didn’t stop my father from buying them for me. But why did I remember them at that precise moment? Could it be true? Maybe my dad would be okay with the fact that his youngest son is gay. Would he have bought me those toys if he wasn’t?

My father died after a long journey with cancer when I was 7. Throughout my adult life, when the topic came up, my mother and older siblings would tell me that if he were alive today he probably would not be okay with me being gay. They were simply basing this on what they had heard him say while he was alive. But here was “dad” in my constellation almost 40 years later saying just the opposite. The memories of those toys seemed to support that statement. Meanwhile, I had no idea that “it’s not okay to be gay” was still lurking in my unconscious mind. I thought I had dealt with that long ago when I came out in college. It didn’t seem to be an issue for me then. Still, I remember feeling slightly uncomfortable when two of my male friends displayed affection for each other on a trip to Disneyland  a month before that workshop. That’s one of the many magical aspects of Family Constellations. When something is ready to be healed it will be revealed.

Through my experience with this work, I have learned that our loyalty to our family system can be so strong that we often make choices to the detriment of our own well-being just to belong. We are not aware of this, of course. When these unconscious loyalties are brought into the light, we can make different choices. In my case, I did not realize that I had an unconscious loyalty to my father. There was a false belief buried deep in my unconscious that said being in a romantic relationship with another man was unacceptable and could result in me being excluded from my family. Without knowing it, I sabotaged my relationships or chose partners who were emotionally unavailable. This pattern seemed to keep me safe from exclusion, but it also kept me single.

Thankfully, that day I was given a new point of view. I heard my father say he approves of who I am. His love for me is unconditional, and he only wants me to be happy. Under the guidance of the insightful facilitator, Michelle Blechner (who later became my teacher), I was able to physically experience the support of my parents and all of my ancestors behind me. They were cheering me on to have a happy, healthy relationship.  I want you to know your ancestors are cheering you on to go past their limitations too!

Since then, I have been amazed by how comfortable I am sharing that aspect of my life with new people. Before, I would have kept that to myself for fear of upsetting someone or being rejected. Not that I walk around waving a gay pride flag, but I certainly would not be writing about this in a public forum like this if it hadn’t been for that first constellation. And in case you were wondering, I’ve been in a happy relationship with a wonderful man for almost three years now.

Are you ready for a breakthrough? Family Constellations is a powerful healing tool that allows you to break free from unconscious, recurring patterns that are keeping you from a happy, fulfilling life. These patterns can show up as challenges in your relationships, health, career, finances, or all of the above! If you’d like to discover and release any unresolved issues that you might be carrying for your ancestors, please join me at an upcoming workshop or schedule a private session. For more information, look around my website or simply send me an email. 

To all of my brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ Community, Happy Pride Month! And a big thank you to all of our friends, family, and allies who understand that “love is love.” Together, in the spirit of Family Constellations, let’s honor those brave souls who stood up for equality 50 years ago this month during the Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village. It’s because of their courage that we have come so far. 

Understanding is appreciation, because what you understand you can identify with, and by making it part of you, you have accepted it with love.  ~ A Course in Miracles – T-7.V.9

Amazing Grace

One of the best parts of my job is getting to share the miracle of Family Constellations all over the country. The downside of that is I’m on a lot of airplanes, which isn’t always fun. However, on a recent flight home from Kansas City, I experienced the presence of grace…literally. She was a Southwest flight attendant who introduced herself as “Grace…as in Amazing Grace.” Wow, did she live up to that name!

Grace greeted, smiled, and made eye contact with each one of us as we boarded the airplane for our 7 PM flight. There was nothing phony or forced about her greeting. I honestly felt like she was glad I was there. Before the door closed, Grace made her way up and down the aisle offering assistance or a kind word wherever needed like a conscientious butterfly visiting every flower in the garden. She spent a few extra moments two rows in front of me to gush over a cute baby before returning to her duties. 

Her sweet demeanor never wavered, even while looking for the passengers who brought checked bags on board instead of surrendering them to the gate agent. Grace didn’t scold or shame them. Instead, she jokingly told them they couldn’t sneak those tagged bags past her eagle eye. Because of her light-hearted nature, the guilty passengers quickly confessed the location of their checked bags. I did not detect any malice in Grace as she yanked those tags off the bags and carried them to the front of the plane to deliver to the baggage handlers. It was just another task she needed to take care of before we were on our way.

Even her safety announcements were full of grace and joy. Somehow she made information she had probably shared more than a thousand times sound interesting. I especially loved when she instructed us to fasten our seatbelts around our tiny little waists. I wish I could remember more of the amusing things she said, but I do remember taking out my earbuds to listen to her and laughing several times. I’ve heard that safety spiel more times than I can count, and like most people, I usually tune it out. Something tells me I wasn’t the only one paying close attention to Grace’s creative version.

I have several friends who are flight attendants, and I know it’s not an easy job. Imagine being trapped in a flying tube at 30,000 feet with people who are nervous, tired, frustrated, or some combination of all three. I’m sure Grace has her off days, but that evening her loving, peaceful presence filled the entire airplane. It would be difficult for me to imagine anything going wrong or disturbing my serenity with Grace onboard. It was indeed amazing to witness the powerful effect one person’s positive energy had on an airplane full of people, and I was grateful for the opportunity to tell this to Amazing Grace as I exited the airplane.

Would you like to have more energy like Amazing Grace? It would be my great honor to help you shift from fear and anxiety to peace and joy with a series of Life Coaching sessions. All of my sessions are based on the strong principles found in A Course in Miracles and other New Thought teachings.  If you would like more miracles in your life, please visit my website or send me an email to schedule your first session. I have created new packages and pricing to meet your needs. 

Until next time, may you discover numerous opportunities to receive and be the presence of grace in the world. 

Grace becomes inevitable instantly in those who have prepared a table where it can be gently laid and willingly received…

~ from Lesson 169 in A Course in Miracles

What’s the Good News?

It would be easy to become hopeless if I watched all the ways people harm each other on the evening news. That’s why I choose to focus more on the ways people help each other in the world. Ellen Degeneres often spotlights these earth angels on her talk show. Once we hear their stories and how they have gone the extra mile to be of service, Ellen usually surprises them with a big check from one of her sponsors. I usually get tears in my eyes when those guests are overcome with gratitude for this unexpected blessing. 

Despite evidence to the contrary in the news, I truly believe people are hard-wired to be good to one another. We intuitively understand that our humanity connects us. We don’t like to see others suffering. Recently, I saw a wonderful example of this while watching the Ellen Degeneres Show, but surprisingly Ellen had nothing to do with it. 

The local news broke in with a live story about the police chasing a stolen Lexus through the streets of Houston. Suddenly, I realized the aerial images on my TV screen were of my neighborhood and I could hear the helicopters outside. The chase didn’t last long as the driver of the Lexus swerved and crashed into a bank of construction safety barriers two blocks from my home. Without going into detail, it was clear that the driver was badly injured. I turned off the TV and said a prayer for everyone involved before heading to Unity of Houston to facilitate our weekly A Course in Miracles group.

I’m not usually one to follow such stories, but due to the proximity of the incident, I checked the internet later that evening to see if the driver was okay. I was grateful to find an interview with the owner of the stolen Lexus. He shared with the reporter that he had been shopping at a nearby Home Depot when he came out of the store to find his car missing. He activated the car’s GPS locator and informed the police of its location. When his locator told him the car had stopped, he had someone drive him to the scene where he discovered the crash.

The reporter asked the man how he was feeling as they showed images of his crumpled car being loaded onto a flatbed truck. Instead of being angry about his situation, the man showed compassion for the injured driver. He said he hoped the man would be okay because the damage to his car looked pretty bad. “All that for a piece of metal. It’s not worth it,” he said. “I hope he’s feeling better.” I don’t remember his name, but I applaud that car owner for his ability to shift from fear to love and be more concerned about the human being than the car. It strengthens my belief that people are definitely hard-wired to be compassionate. It’s only when we forget the truth that we act differently. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to share this good news with all of you. 

Would you like to experience more miracles in your life? I invite you to join me for an upcoming Family Constellations workshop or schedule a private session. Sessions can be done in person, by telephone, or computer from anywhere in the world. You will be amazed by what happens during this remarkable process as we reveal and heal hidden blocks in your family dynamics that may be keeping you from the happy life you were meant to live. For more information on upcoming events or to schedule a session, send me an email or look around my website.

Until next time, I invite you to be on the lookout for evidence of the goodness in people. You will certainly see whatever it is you are looking for, so choose wisely!

 No longer is the world our enemy, for we have chosen that we be its friend. 

~from Lesson 194 in A Course in Miracles