Please Fence Me In

A Course in Miracles teaches that separation of any kind is an illusion. It says that, in truth, we are One with our Source and each other. This feels absolutely true in my heart. However, here in the world of form where we experience duality, there are certain situations where separation can actually be helpful. These days, the most obvious example is avoiding large gatherings and staying home to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. As challenging as this can be, for now, it’s still the best way to keep more people from getting sick.

While stuck at home, many people are taking on big projects. Separating them into smaller parts can help make large tasks feel more manageable. Where do you start when cleaning out your basement or garage? There’s so much stuff! Give yourself a goal to organize one shelf or go through one box per day. If you feel like doing more once you get started, great! Knowing that you only have to complete one shelf or box makes it easier to get started. With persistence and commitment, after a few days (or weeks) that space will be clutter free!

Maybe you’ve decided to finally write that book. Sitting down at a computer to write an entire book seems like a daunting task. So daunting that it may keep you from ever starting. Creating an outline is a great way to break it down into smaller parts. Once you have more clarity about what will be in each chapter, pick one and write one story, one scene, or share one concept to illustrate your point. Do this twenty to thirty times and your book is written!

Earlier this year before things started shutting down, I had the opportunity to visit one of my favorite places on Earth, Serenity Farm in Virginia. During that visit, my dear friend and hostess Gail, asked her groundskeeper to place some fencing around her garden. Something magical and unexpected happened once the wooden barrier was in place. Now that it was clearly delineated from the rest of the property, Gail found herself working in the garden more often and loving it! The visual separation helped tending the garden feel more manageable now that her eyes could see where the garden stopped.

Is there is a large task or project looming over you that feels intimidating? Perhaps it’s time to separate it into smaller chunks and work on one piece at a time. Completing each small part will be a satisfying step toward finishing the entire project. If I can be of assistance with a series of Life Coaching sessions, please look around my website or send me an email for more information. 

Until next time, remember these comical yet wise words from respected human rights activist, author, and Nobel Prize winner, Desmond Tutu:

“There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.”

Creating New Pathways

Recently, I watched a video of a conversation between an author and A Course in Miracles teacher. They were discussing ways to experience the feeling of inner peace, gratitude, and joy more often using a very simple technique. Whenever you notice that you are feeling peaceful, grateful, or joyful, however briefly, take a few moments to savor it. Look around and absorb all the details of your surroundings. Take three or more deep breaths to anchor in this feeling before your mind moves on to the next thought, which it inevitably will.

By doing this, you have just created a new pathway to peace based on the science of neuroplasticity. That’s a fancy word for our brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections. Our lives are often filled with worry and stress, so the neural pathways to those feelings are well worn. It takes a little effort and a strong intention, but it is possible to create new pathways with this simple technique. I have been practicing it this week with great results. 

In fact, just before sitting down to write this email, I decided to take a little break on our balcony to get some fresh air after a full day of meetings and coaching sessions. As I pondered this topic, I realized I was feeling a sense of peace and gratitude right then! Before doing anything else, I took three deep breaths and then intentionally scanned my surroundings. The first thing I noticed was how blue the sky appeared to be behind the brilliant pink flowers bursting out of my neighbor’s crepe myrtle tree. The air was warm, but comfortable with an occasional soft breeze moving past me. For this time of day, the neighborhood was unusually quiet. Only the sound of a chirping bird broke the silence. That magical moment is now etched in my mind.

This practice may be instinctive for some of you. For those who keep a gratitude journal, this technique works in a similar way. Both practices redirect our thoughts into a more beneficial place. From there, we will be much more open to receive inspiration on what’s ours to do and what steps to take to create more moments of peace, gratitude, and joy. With a little practice, you can turn a vicious cycle into a victorious cycle! Why not give it a try?

Family Constellations is another practice that uses the science of neuroplasticity. In a safe and sacred space, we create a new experience of a situation or story that has been living in your mind for years, possibly decades. Once you have a new experience, you can create a new pathway leading past the block or out of the pain. The results are nothing short of miraculous. I invite you to join me online for my next Virtual Family Constellations Workshop or to schedule a private session. Please visit the Constellations page on my website or send me an email for more information.

Until next time, may you experience more moments of peace, gratitude, and joy than you can count!

If your miracle working inclinations are not functioning properly, it is always because fear has intruded on your right-mindedness and has turned it upside down.

A Course in Miracles – T-2.V.4:3

Inspiration from a Brave Little Branch

We all have to start somewhere. The other day, this little sprout caught my attention growing on the side of a giant live oak tree in Hermann Park. At first, it looked kind of silly poking out of the 4- foot diameter trunk. Then it occurred to me that this tiny new branch was not wasting its time comparing itself to the huge branches that already grow high above on this beautiful old tree. If it did, it might never have started its journey. 

How many times have you not risked starting something new because you compared yourself to someone who has been doing it for years? I know I have. My ego thinks I should be proficient at it before I put myself out there. Of course, this doesn’t make any sense. How could I be proficient when I begin something new? Excellence takes time. This little sprout was an inspiring reminder that right where you are and how you are is enough. I encourage you to be brave like that little branch. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Just start. The world needs your gifts even if they aren’t perfect. They will be perfect for someone. Most importantly, it will be a gift to yourself when you keep growing.

Speaking of growing, recently I had the opportunity to speak with my dear friend, Rev. Alison Benjamin as part of her Growing Edge Live Interviews. I have included a link to the video here if you have some time to watch. Ali asked me some great questions that led to me sharing some of my greatest and most challenging life lessons. I hope you enjoy the interview and will follow Growing Edge on Facebook for more inspiring, spiritual conversations.

If you feel stuck, it would be my great honor to encourage and support you in your growth with a series of Life Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations session. Both can be done by phone, or with Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom. Please look around my website or send me an email for more information and to schedule a session. 

Until next time, may you continue to grow past your comfort zone because that’s where miracles happen!

Every blade of grass has its Angel that bends over it and whispers, “Grow, grow.” 

The Talmud