Several years ago I learned a powerful lesson about being with friends. I was living in Fort Lauderdale at the time when my dear friend Kelly came for a visit. Kelly is a mother of 3 young children, and this trip was a gift from her husband to give her a much-needed “mommy break” for a few days. Kelly and I met while working in the Entertainment Department at Disney World. We were both cast in the SpectroMagic Parade that first summer which meant we spent almost every day together. Oh, the fun and laughter we had that summer! Sadly for me, Kelly moved to Atlanta the following year, but our love for each other has only grown over the years. I couldn’t wait to introduce her to my Fort Lauderdale friends, so I planned a plethora of meals and outings while she was in town.
By the end of her visit, the poor thing was probably more exhausted than when she arrived. I dragged Kelly to restaurants all over South Florida to meet my friends when what she really wanted was some downtime with me by the ocean. It was too late by the time I realized I had overbooked our limited time together. When I look back, I still feel bad about the way I handled that weekend. Kelly was a good sport, but I vowed never to make that mistake again with another guest.
That’s why when my friend Ali came to visit this past weekend, I intentionally planned very little. I had a few ideas of favorite places I’d like to share with her, but overall it was a very fluid and spacious five days. We spent a lot of time walking on the beach, eating at some of my favorite restaurants, and talking on my sofa until well past our regular bedtimes. Gratefully, we had lots of time BEING together instead of DOING together. Since Ali and I usually see each other just once per year in Montana at the Big Sky Retreat (where we both served on the Board), having this much quality time with no busy agenda or responsibilities was a true gift.
The more relaxed one-on-one time allowed us to share things we didn’t know about each other. I heard stories about Ali’s high school days and her journey to ministry. I loved telling her about some of the mystical experiences I’ve had along the way and hearing about some of hers. We also had time to record a conversation about Friendship for the online spiritual community she leads called the Satya Center. You can watch that half-hour video on YouTube by clicking this link.
During our conversation, we explore some of the qualities and life experiences that have helped us create and maintain a strong friendship. Later, we answered questions about why we need friends and how to best support them. I trust that something we share in our discussion will be of benefit to you and perhaps inspire you to reach out to a friend. This deep dive into the subject of friendship helped me recognize how blessed I am to have so many amazing friends with whom I’ve shared endless hours of love, laughter, tears, and joy. That includes all of you who read my weekly stories!
If you could use some support in cultivating deeper friendships or moving through a difficult time, it would be my great honor to assist you with a series of Spiritual Coaching sessions. All of my sessions are based on the strong principles found in A Course in Miracles and Family Constellations. Once you see things from a different perspective, whatever situation was making you fearful or causing you stress won’t seem so powerful. Please look around my website for more information and to book a session.
I’m also happy to announce I will be starting a new Group Coaching experience on Sunday Evenings in May to help you “Stay Centered in Swirling Times.” With so much divisiveness and rapidly changing circumstances in the world, many of us are feeling stressed and anxious. Something truly magical occurs in a group setting, so I felt inspired to create a sacred space where we can gather to support one another, experience safety, and help each other return to peace. Based on what we discuss and what specific issues arise, I will facilitate spontaneous Family Constellations exercises and share helpful concepts and practices from A Course in Miracles and other spiritual teachings. We will close our time together each week with a guided meditation and prayer to anchor and weave together all that occurred.
This group will meet on Zoom for an hour and fifteen minutes each Sunday at 8 PM Eastern, 7 PM Central, 6 PM Mountain, and 5 PM Pacific on May 1, 8, 15, and 22. The cost is only $111 for the entire 4-week experience. If you feel a nudge to join us, please visit the Spiritual Coaching page my website for more information and to register. Space is limited to 20 participants. I’m so looking forward to seeing what miracles want to happen during our time together next month!
This week, I encourage you to take a moment to remember and bless all the friends you’ve encountered along the way, whether they came into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
I would see you as my friend, that I may remember you are part of me and come to know myself.
A Course in Miracles ~ W-68.6:3