“T.E.A.M. Together Everyone Accomplishes More.” I first heard this slogan years ago during my 3-day orientation after being hired at Walt Disney World. It’s one of those things that got stuck in my brain like the theme song of Gilligan’s Island. (My apologies to those of you who are now hearing that tune in your head.) As cheesy as it is, that breakdown of the word “team” is also very true. This week I had a fun opportunity to see clearly just how true.
On Sunday I facilitated a Family Constellations Workshop at the Center for Spiritual Living in Ocala. A big thank you to everyone who attended and made the event such a powerful healing experience. My friend Cindy, the senior minister at the Center, suggested we go kayaking at Silver Springs State Park on Monday morning before I returned home to Sarasota. I’m so glad we did. It was a perfect morning to enjoy that spectacular place!
As we paddled through the crystal clear water of this natural spring, we encountered a variety of wildlife. There were dozens of turtles sunning themselves on logs trying to get warm after the chilly evening temperatures. We watched a beautiful Great Blue Heron preen its feathers while standing in the golden sunlight. The highlight of our excursion occurred when we happened upon a family of manatees peacefully munching on the aquatic vegetation.
It was exhilarating to be that close to a herd of manatees in their natural habitat. I loved seeing their gray snouts break the surface of the water to take a breath before gracefully diving back down to the depths, their paddle-like tails the last to disappear. It was also a little scary after my friends shared stories of these large and sometimes playful creatures capsizing kayaks by surfacing directly beneath them. Although I was thoroughly enjoying being on the water, I had no desire to be in the water.
You may be wondering how “team” fits into this story. Well, there were six of us kayaking that morning. Two friends brought their own one-person kayaks, while the other four rented 2 two-person tandem kayaks. I was in a tandem kayak with my friend Katie. Despite our sibling-like teasing, I think we made a great team. It turned out to be quite an advantage to have two sets of arms powering one kayak. Our friends in the single kayaks had to do all the work to propel themselves upstream when we got to the last part of our adventure. Those of us in the tandem kayaks seemed to expend much less effort to get our boats moving in the right direction. In these divisive times, what a great reminder that we truly do accomplish more when we work together. And it’s more fun! Check out some of the photos below.
Would you like to work together to accomplish more peace, love, and joy in your life? It would be my great honor to assist you with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions. Powerful shifts happen when we work together to identify blocks that are holding you back and then create new pathways to move forward. During our sessions, I will offer practical tools based on principles from A Course in Miraclesand Family Constellations. As we wind down 2022, why not make next year your best year yet by giving yourself this gift? Look around my website or send me an email for more information and to book your first session. If you are looking for a meaningful gift for someone in your life who is struggling, gift certificates are available on my website for both Spiritual Coaching and Private Family Constellations Sessions.
The next time life gets overwhelming and it feels like you are paddling upstream by yourself, choose the tandem kayak. Remember: “together everyone accomplishes more.”
Alone we are all lowly, but together we shine with brightness so intense that none of us alone can even think of it.
I had a wonderful time visiting beloved friends near Asheville, NC last week for Thanksgiving. On Tuesday, we took a fun day trip to the Biltmore Estate to see an exhibit called “Leonardo Da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius.” What an experience!
The exhibit was comprised of two parts. The first was a large room filled with replicas of some of Da Vinci’s most famous paintings and life-sized models of some of the inventions he illustrated in his notebooks. After seeing so many visionary ideas on display in one place, it amazed me to learn that Da Vinci’s genius was not recognized during his lifetime. What a great reminder not to measure success or creativity based on the opinions of others!
The other part of the exhibit was a 32-minute immersive theatrical presentation. Guests walked into a large room as images of Da Vinci’s work danced across the walls and floor in every direction. Sweeping orchestral and chorale music accompanied the images while some of Da Vinci’s most famous quotes appeared on certain screens. It truly felt like we were transported inside his imagination. The experience was so captivating, we stayed and watched it a second time.
My favorite part was when a choir of angelic voices began singing as images of Da Vinci’s angel paintings floated around the room. The quote that appeared on the screen said, “I wish to work miracles.” The combination of this quote with ethereal images and music sent tingles through my body. It was one of those holy moments when my heart overflowed with gratitude to be exactly where I was with people I love. For those who live near or will be traveling to Asheville, I highly recommend this exhibit!
Having just celebrated Thanksgiving last week here in the United States, my wish for you is to experience many moments that fill your heart with gratitude for being right where you are. If you’d like some assistance in feeling more joy, gratitude, and contentment in your life, let’s work miracles together! Look around my website for information on Spiritual Coaching, Family Constellations, or my weekly online A Course in Miracles study group. While there, you can also book a session or purchase a gift certificate for someone you love.
Until next time, may angels and miracles surround you each and every day this holiday season…
Gratitude goes hand in hand with love, and where one is the other must be found.
My Sunday morning beach walks truly feed my soul. I love the expansiveness I feel while strolling along the sparkling turquoise water that extends past the horizon as sea breezes swirl around me. It’s also very grounding to feel my feet sink into the soft, wet sand as the waves roll in and out.
Lately, I’ve been listening to the Miracle Voices podcast while I walk. During this hour-long podcast, other A Course in Miracles students share their journey with the Course and their stories of forgiveness. It’s a perfect combo because it enhances my expansive experience by expanding my mind. The last two episodes (#64 and #65) have been particularly inspiring.
But the lessons I learn from the podcast aren’t the only ones I receive on the beach. Last summer, while walking along Ormond Beach, I watched a small group of sandpipers dodging waves while digging for small crustaceans in the sand. I noticed one sandpiper got very irate any time another bird got within 3 feet of him. He puffed himself up and charged at the intruders aggressively to scare them away. He was relentless!
Although his strategy was effective at scaring them away, it occurred to me that he was investing a lot of time chasing away other sandpipers when he could be using that time to find food. It’s a big beach with enough crustaceans to feed all of the sandpipers. Why was he so concerned about other birds getting close to him? None of the other sandpipers seemed to have an issue with sharing their part of the beach.
As I continued to watch the show, it occurred to me how many times I have acted similarly to that sandpiper. Instead of focusing on what I need to do, I’ve let myself be distracted by what others are doing. Anytime I judge someone for making a choice that I would not make, I’m just like that sandpiper. When I hold onto resentments toward someone for what they did or did not do, I’m like that sandpiper. Even when I compare myself to others, I’m like that sandpiper. If I stop thinking about the person or situation that I find upsetting, I will return to peace. It may sound overly simple, but it works. Try it for yourself.
Yes, sometimes there is an action step being asked of me before I can move forward. But most of the time, it’s all in my mind. What a magnificent teacher (and unpleasant reflection) that feisty little sandpiper turned out to be. Since then, whenever I catch myself being more concerned with what someone else is doing rather than focusing on what I need to do, I picture that puffed-up little guy charging at his “enemies” but barely enjoying breakfast. Hopefully, this image will make me laugh and help me bring the focus back to where it belongs.
As I mentioned last week, I am so grateful to my friend Radleigh Valentine for asking me to come help with his Certified Angelic Advisor Course in Tampa. In addition to some overdue time with Radleigh, I feel like I made some new lifelong friends. Not surprisingly, the team members and students that gathered for the event were kind, heart-centered, and fun-loving just like Radleigh. It was a joy to be with them for 5 days.
Since I drove up on the day the event started, everyone else on the team had arrived by the time I got there. I decided to check in and drop off my suitcase in my room before texting them. I rode the elevator up from the parking garage to the lobby, and when the doors opened with a “ding,” there was Radleigh standing right in front of me. It surprised us both and we burst into laughter before giving each other a hug. What a magical way to reconnect after not seeing each other for 3 years! And everything aligned magically like that for the rest of the event.
In the first session, Radleigh guided a beautiful meditation to create a sacred container where all the week’s activities would take place. He called in the support of Archangel Michael to place a seal of protection around us and Archangel Raphael to infuse the room with love and healing light. Every time Radleigh said the phrase “guardian angels” I felt tingles move through my body like bubbles rising to the top of a swimming pool after jumping in. The presence of love and protection was palpable. In case we needed a physical reminder, Radleigh pointed out that the oval-shaped conference room had lighting fixtures that cast light in the shape of angel wings all around us. It could not have been a more perfect room for the event.
Radleigh guided several powerful and creative angel meditations throughout the week. He surprised himself with some of them because they contained images and intentions he had not facilitated before. There were lots of miracles, “aha” moments, laughs, and some tears as the class learned how to open up to love, guidance, and support from the Divine in a variety of ways. During one archangel meditation, I received a hopeful message that connected some dots that I had not connected before. Each day we went a little deeper and opened our hearts even wider to receive. Something truly magical was happening with the alchemy of this group.
I was also deeply grateful for the opportunity to introduce Family Constellations to the group in a special bonus presentation on Friday evening. Since this group already had their hearts and minds wide open to receive support from angels, it was not a stretch to consider receiving support from their ancestors as well. I guided the Ancestor Meditation I share before all of my workshops. I also set up a basic constellation to give them a small sample of the healing power of the work. Everything flowed from one moment to the next, and I couldn’t be happier with how well it was received. A big thank you to everyone in attendance who stood in for the ancestors and to those who shared their stories and experiences with such vulnerability.
The conference ended with another synchronistic event just like it began. As many of you know, I read a section of A Course in Miracles every morning to start my day. Before I drove home the day after the event, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read this quote:
Around you angels hover lovingly, to keep away all darkened thoughts of sin, and keep the light where it has entered in. Your footprints lighten up the world, for where you walk forgiveness gladly goes with you.
A Course in Miracles ~ T-26.IX.7:1-2
The Course uses the word “angels” just 11 times in its 1300 pages, so it felt like a wink from Spirit that it was in the section I read after spending 5 days talking about them! What a perfect message to sum up the event. I returned home with new insights, new ways to communicate with Spirit, and a full heart. In my mind’s eye, I see the illuminated footprints of everyone who was blessed by that event lighting up the world as they share messages of peace and love.
There is another online Family Constellation workshop happening after Thanksgiving on Wednesday, November 30. Visit the Upcoming Workshops page on my website for more information and to purchase a ticket.
Finally, if the subject of angels, archangels, angel numbers, or tarot cards interests you, I highly recommend checking out Radleigh Valentine’s website. From card decks to classes, Radleigh infuses peace, love, joy, and authenticity into everything he creates.
Until next time, may you feel the support of your angels and ancestors cheering you on to a happy, healthy, prosperous life.
“It’s back to the real world tomorrow.” Have you ever said these words on the last day of a wonderful vacation or at the end of a fantastic event? I find it interesting (and a little sad) that somehow we’ve gotten the message that feeling rested and being in a state of peace and joy is not the “real” world. I would argue what most people consider “real” is actually the illusion of separation. Conflict, competition, and stress might be common, but I don’t believe they are our natural state. A Course in Miracles teaches that our natural state is one of peace, love, and oneness. When we act otherwise, we simply have forgotten the truth.
Last week, I had the gift of being in a bubble of peace and love in Tampa, Florida. My friend, Radleigh Valentine, invited me to help out with his Certified Angelic Advisors event, and what a joy it was to share the experience with a group of heart-centered people from around the globe. (I’ll share more about that next week.) I was home just one day and then drove back to Tampa to pick up my sister from the airport. Hurricane Ian postponed our sibling getaway to Disney World last month, so we rescheduled it for this week.
I’m still in the real world (aka Disney World) creating magical memories with my sister, returning home to the illusion this weekend. That being said, I’ll keep it brief this week and trust you will enjoy a few photos from the real world while you ponder which world is real and which is not. Perhaps on the last day of your next vacation you will say, “Back to the illusion tomorrow!”
If you would like assistance in experiencing more peace, love, and joy in your life, it would be my great honor to spend some time in the real world with you. Visit my website to learn more about Spiritual Coaching packages and private Family Constellations sessions. There are also two online Family Constellations workshops happening later this month. Tickets are available now on my website. As the holiday season approaches, consider giving yourself or a loved one the gift of healing. Gift certificates are available for all of my services.
Until next time, may you find yourself in the real world more often feeling loved, peaceful, and happy.
When you perceive yourself without deceit, you will accept the real world in place of the false one you have made.
Today is October 31, and I know some of you will be celebrating Halloween by carving pumpkins and dressing up in costumes. I have to be honest. This holiday isn’t one of my favorites. Maybe it’s because I don’t enjoy being scared, or maybe the appeal of dressing up has faded after wearing amazing costumes daily during my 7 years in the Entertainment Department at Walt Disney World. Although it has many fun traditions, I prefer the autumn holiday that follows Halloween on November 1 and 2, El Dia De Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead.)
El Dia De Los Muertos originated in Mexico, but I’m sure many of you are familiar with this holiday now that it is spreading into other countries, including the U.S. If you are not familiar with it, the name may sound creepy. But unlike Halloween, it is not about ghosts or zombies. El Dia de Los Muertos is a holiday that gives us the opportunity to celebrate the lives of our loved ones who have passed. Families honor their ancestors by creating “ofrendas” or offerings. These altars are decorated with candles, bright yellow marigolds, photos of the departed, and the favorite foods and drinks of the ones being honored. It’s meant to be a joyful celebration, not somber or scary.
The creators of the Disney/Pixar animated film, Coco, did an amazing job of capturing the spirit and essence of El Dia De Los Muertos. Beautiful music and stunning visuals provide the backdrop for this touching story about an ancestor who doesn’t want to be forgotten and a young boy who longs to connect with his great great grandfather through music. As I often do this time of year, I highly recommend watching Cocoto celebrate El Dia De Los Muertos, but make sure you have some tissues handy when you do!
Like Coco, my work with Family Constellations has given me a deep appreciation for the importance of honoring those who have come before. When we acknowledge and give everyone their place in the family, we have access to a tremendous amount of support. It also helps release inherited family trauma and other unconscious connections that keep us stuck. I have seen more miracles than I can count since I was introduced to this work in 2012. To learn more about this one-of-a-kind healing experience, please visit the Family Constellations Page on my website. If you feel inspired to give it a try, you can book a private session or attend a group session. I have two online group sessions coming up in November.
If you celebrate Halloween, have fun dressing up, going to parties, taking the kids trick-or-treating, and all your favorite traditions. When October has passed, perhaps on November 1 and 2, you will take a moment to think of your ancestors with gratitude for all the challenges they met and overcame to give you a chance at a better life. Flip through an old family photo album or peruse old photos on your computer. Light a candle to honor them. Prepare a favorite family meal or listen to music that reminds you of them. Whatever way feels best to establish a heart connection, know that your ancestors will be grateful to be remembered.
And most importantly, the best way to honor your ancestors is to live a happy, healthy, and prosperous life.
Determine, then, to be not as you were. Use no relationship to hold you to the past, but with each one each day be born again.
We humans are social creatures who crave connection. Granted, some prefer more than others, but we all require some type of connection. COVID has taught us how challenging life can be when we can’t connect. As someone who lives alone and works from home, I interact with relatively few people on a daily basis. Most of those interactions are online, not in person, so I enjoy opportunities to be in the presence of other humans.
Technology has especially helped us stay connected over the past few years. Can you imagine what 2020 would have been like without the internet, smartphones, and video conferencing? I’m grateful to be able to facilitate a weekly online A Course in Miraclesstudy group with Course students from all over the country. I am also thankful for the ability to do Spiritual Coaching and Family Constellations sessions virtually. In this regard, technology has truly been a blessing.
Technology has also made many things incredibly convenient. Now you can have groceries delivered to your home with a few taps on a computer keyboard or touch screen. You can deposit a check without visiting a bank using banking apps and the camera on your smartphone. There are countless ways innovative technology has changed our daily lives.
However, many of these innovations have significantly decreased our opportunity for human connection. ATMs are very convenient if you need to withdraw cash when your bank is closed. But if I’m out running errands during the day, I prefer to go inside the bank to complete my transactions. I really enjoy talking with the fun tellers at my new bank as well as checking in with the kind Branch Manager who helped me open my accounts. Sometimes I just wave at her through the glass walls of her office while waiting in line.
Although they are casual conversations, there’s something comforting about asking someone, “How are you doing today?” and “How did you fare during the storm?” Looking into another human being’s eyes to thank them and wish them a good day is much more enjoyable to me than simply responding to the beeps and prompts from a machine. The human connection gives me a little boost of energy. It may take a little more time, but it’s worth it.
The same is true at the grocery store. Self-checkout lanes can be very enticing, especially if the other lines are long. But when I scan my own items, I deprive myself of another opportunity for human connection. A few months ago, one cashier at my neighborhood grocery store asked me if I live in “The Meadows,” a nearby community with lots of trees, walking trails, and a golf course. I told her no, but I have friends who live there. It’s beautiful. She replied, “You look like someone who lives there. I think that’s a compliment but I’m not sure.”
I don’t see her often, but whenever I’m in her line, she always asks, “You’re the guy I think lives in the Meadows, aren’t you?” I laugh and say yes, and then we talk about something else. I don’t know if she inquires about other customers living in the Meadows, but this exchange always amuses me. Who knows? Maybe she is seeing the future? I’d be okay with that. It’s a lovely community. Lately, when I grocery shop, I purposely pass the self-checkout area and stand in a regular line. I look forward to the brief interaction with the cashier and bagger and a possible glimpse into my future.
I know many of you don’t have time to go inside a bank or a grocery store. Perhaps you deal with a multitude of humans daily, so by the end of the day, you’ve had your fill! To you, I say order, swipe, and scan in solitude so you can recharge! This invitation might not apply to you.
But for those feeling a little lonely and isolated, I encourage you to take advantage of these small opportunities to connect, even if it takes a little more time. A joyful life is made up of small joyful moments. Go inside the bank. Talk to a teller. Stand in line at the grocery store. If you notice a name tag, thank the cashier or bagger by name. If you already do this, are there other opportunities you might have missed? The best part is each encounter has the potential to brighten both your day and theirs.
If you are looking for an opportunity for connection, perhaps you will consider joining us on Tuesday evenings at 7PM Eastern for our weekly A Course in Miracles online study group. All are welcome whether you are a long-time student or are brand new to this powerful teaching. For more information about the Course and our group, click here.
This week, may you savor every opportunity for joyful connection!
When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. As you see him you will see yourself. As you treat him you will treat yourself. As you think of him you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself.
For the past two weeks, I have written about my experience before and during Hurricane Ian. This week, I want to share the experience of the calm after the storm. This hurricane taught me so many lessons I have needed three weeks to process and share all of them. I promise this will be the conclusion of the “storm trilogy.” I hope that sharing these experiences will be helpful to you the next time you encounter one of life’s storms.
As I mentioned last week, I kept my blinds closed the whole day on Wednesday as Hurricane Ian passed over my home on the west coast of Florida. I knew seeing severe winds battering trees and perhaps seeing objects flying by my window would not contribute to a peaceful state of mind. Thankfully, the last storm bands moved across my neighborhood at about 2 AM on Thursday morning, just an hour after I had fallen asleep.
Later on Thursday morning, I awoke to the welcome sound of silence outside my window. When I lifted the blinds to let the light in, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Two yellow butterflies were flitting and dancing right in front of my window! How in the world did these delicate creatures survive hurricane-force winds? Where did they ride out the storm?
When my gaze shifted past the butterflies to the pond in the center of my apartment complex, I noticed two mallard ducks swimming along as if nothing had happened the previous day. A few minutes later, a family of ducks entered the pond creating a colorful parade of green and brown (with a dash of blue) feathers swimming by the fountain. On the far side of the pond, I spotted a bright white egret wading slowly into the water, intent on finding a fish. This beautiful scene outside my window gave me such hope! Somehow during the most adverse conditions, the butterflies and birds found a way to keep going. That continues to be my prayer for those who lost so much in the storm.
In addition to the return of nature, this new day brought blue skies, sunshine, and much cooler temperatures. After a hot summer and after being cooped up in my dark apartment for 24 hours, it was glorious to open all the windows and feel cool fresh air circulating through my home. It was like hitting a reset button, clearing out old energy, and welcoming the new. What a striking and welcome contrast from the day before.
It was such a gorgeous day that I decided to walk through my neighborhood to get some exercise and investigate what the storm had done. Without electricity or internet, I hadn’t seen any of the images or videos that my friends and family had described. On my walk, I expected to see numerous trees and branches down, but I was shocked when I saw that winds had literally ripped the bark off tree trunks and peeled paint off street signs. I have experienced other hurricanes but never witnessed that before.
As I walked toward a major intersection, I passed more broken signs, fallen branches, and a traffic light that had been ripped from its wire and sent to the ground. That was sobering. When I arrived at the intersection, the traffic lights were still hanging, but apparently, no electricity was flowing to them. Four police officers were stationed there, directing traffic. It occurred to me how dangerous this job was with so many distracted drivers on the road these days. I felt a wave of gratitude for each officer as I watched from the corner. I wanted them to know how much I appreciated what they were doing, but obviously didn’t want to distract them.
The female police officer must have felt my gaze and my intention because suddenly, she looked right at me. Without hesitating, I waved and yelled, “Thank you!” She gave me a smile and a nod before returning to her duties. It may sound silly, but my eyes filled with tears for the opportunity to express my gratitude. That’s what A Course in Miracles calls a “holy instant.” It’s the moment we deeply understand that separation is an illusion.
I know my tears weren’t specifically about the police officers directing traffic. It was their job, after all. It was more about recognizing how we humans come together in challenging times to do what’s needed to help each other. You can see evidence of this after every natural disaster. This holy instant inspired me. For the rest of my walk, I dragged large fallen branches out of the street so cars could pass freely. Yes, I waited until there were no cars approaching when it was safe to do so. In the grand scheme of things, this was a minor action. But it made me feel good to know that I had at least contributed something to make the situation better.
These are my last few takeaways from my experience with Hurricane Ian. First, no matter what storm is happening in life, remember this too shall pass. There willbe calm after the storm. Second, just like the yellow butterflies, the mallard ducks, and the egret, life will find a way to continue. And third, after any storm or tragedy people will come together to help each other. That’s what we do when we remember, in Truth, we are one human family.
If you are experiencing the aftermath of one of life’s storms, it would be my great honor to help you clear the path and find ways to move forward. I offer Spiritual Coaching Packages and Family Constellations Sessions to uncover what is preventing you from living the happy, healthy, prosperous life you were meant to live. Please look around my website for more information about these offerings and to schedule a session.
Also, I am facilitating another 2-hour online Family Constellations Group Session this coming Friday, October 21 from 1-3 PM Eastern, 10 AM-12 PM Pacific. Click here for more details and to purchase a ticket.
In the holy instant there is no conflict of needs, for there is only one.
First, I want to thank everyone who sent peaceful prayers and loving thoughts my way before, during, and after Hurricane Ian. I absolutely felt them. I am grateful to report I am safe and my home was not damaged. My heart goes out to so many of my Florida neighbors who were not so fortunate. As you have probably seen or heard, Hurricane Ian left a staggering amount of destruction in its path. This was the most powerful storm I have experienced and also one of the most powerful lessons in faith.
Meteorologists and Storm Trackers do their best to predict how powerful a storm will be and where it will make landfall. But with so many variables at play, there is no way to know for sure until it happens. My neighborhood is far enough inland that it is not in a mandatory evacuation zone. However, with a storm this big, I questioned whether or not to evacuate. As I mentioned in last week’s email, Calm Before the Storm, from a peaceful place, I asked Spirit if it was my highest choice to stay or leave. The guidance I received was to stay put.
I will admit I questioned that guidance later that evening when my neighbor told me he and his mom decided to book a room in Orlando instead of riding out the storm as we had discussed. Fear tried to creep in. With them gone, I’d be on my own. Maybe I should also book a room in Orlando just to be safe? No, my guidance was clear. That night I facilitated our weekly online A Course in Miracles study group, composed and edited last week’s email until the wee hours, and then went to bed.
The next morning, I woke up early to the sound of wind gusts whipping through tree branches and palm fronds outside my bedroom window. Maybe now it was time to go? Once again, I sat in the stillness and asked for guidance. I received the same answer. Stay put. That seemed like the wisest choice at that point. Many had to evacuate, so I imagined roads would be clogged with cars and gas would be scarce. With the storm’s path still unknown, home felt like the safest and most peaceful choice.
Since I was staying, and Ian was now a Category 4 (almost a Category 5) Hurricane, I made a few more preparations. I moved all of my furniture and belongings away from the windows and placed a chair and a little table in the center hallway of my apartment. This would be my safe zone to sit and read if things got intense.
I purposely left the blinds closed and stopped watching YouTube videos from local news channels. Seeing things blow by my window or watching news coverage of the very worst devastation would only breed fearful thoughts. I was determined to keep my thoughts peaceful despite what was happening outside. A Course in Miraclesteaches that we may not be able to control what is happening, but we can control our thoughts about what is happening. Over the last 15 years, it has given me lots of practice in choosing love over fear. I did my best to focus on the peaceful prayers I was feeling and the outcome I wished to have.
It was now almost noon. Earlier, I watched a YouTube video reporting that Ian would be making landfall about that time, so I assumed the worst would be over in a few hours. Since I hadn’t slept much the night before, I decided to go back to bed and see if I could relax enough to take a nap. Thankfully, my body and mind surrendered to an hour of sleep.
When I woke up, I had no power or internet service, and the wind was howling outside. With only limited cellular service, I had to rely on text messages from friends in other locations to let me know what was going on. One close friend sent me a screenshot from CNN’s website. It said my city would experience hurricane-force winds from 3 PM to 2 AM with the strongest gusts blowing from 6 PM to Midnight. WHAT? The worst conditions hadn’t even started yet? This was not what I wanted to hear, but it was very useful information to help me manage my time and expectations. Now I knew I had at least 12 more hours to keep choosing peace.
My yoga practice always brings me back to center, no matter what is going on in my life or the world. So with the sofa between me and the window, I rolled out my yoga mat and began my practice. For two hours, my mind was focused on breathing and body alignment and not on what was happening outside. That is until I laid down on my mat in final resting pose. I could feel the wind shaking the entire building. That was an interesting sensation! Surprisingly, I still felt safe surrounded by the sturdy walls of my apartment and a bubble of peaceful prayers. Even on that day, my yoga practice left me feeling and knowing “all is well.”
I would be lying if I said I remained 100% peaceful for the next 12 hours. Fear kept tempting me down the rabbit hole asking questions like: What if a tree limb crashes through my living room window? Was there a tree on top of my car in the parking lot? Would the wind tear off a piece of roof and let water pour into my apartment?
When those thoughts entered, I reminded myself there was nothing I could do to prevent those things from happening. Why invest an ounce of energy thinking about them? It was better to keep my thoughts positive and peaceful so my experience would be positive and peaceful. Then I could go back to enjoying traveling West with Giraffes on my kindle. Ironically, that novel follows the story of 2 giraffes that survive a hurricane at sea during their journey from Africa to NYC in 1938 before continuing cross country to the San Diego Zoo. I also traveled to a galaxy far, far away with Andor on my iPad. Both were excellent adventures!
The storm finally passed around 1 AM. The silence outside was a welcome relief after 24 hours of wind and persistent rain. Thankfully, I drifted off to sleep quickly knowing the worst was over. The guidance I received turned out to be the best choice for me in this situation. Had the storm come any further north, I truly believe I would have been guided differently. This experience has strengthened my trust in Divine Guidance and shown me the power of choosing peaceful thoughts during extreme circumstances.
I am extremely grateful for allof you who held the high watch with me. The Course teaches that all minds are joined, and after this experience, there is no doubt in my mind that it’s true. I felt your peaceful prayers and loving thoughts give me the boost I needed to stay calm even when rain and ferocious winds were swirling around me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!
That being said, I don’t know if I would have been as successful choosing peaceful thoughts had the storm hit Sarasota directly. I am extremely grateful I didn’t have to find out…this time. Let’s continue to extend peaceful prayers and loving thoughts to my neighbors who experienced much more trauma and devastation from Hurricane Ian. May those who lost so much find a tranquil place to make the highest and best choices for themselves and their families.
If you would like to feel the peace and healing that comes when minds are joined, please consider giving yourself the gift of a Family Constellations Session. I offer private sessions as well as group sessions. The next online group session is Friday, October 21 from 1-3 PM Eastern, 12-2 PM Central, 11 AM -1 PM Mountain, and 10 AM to 12 PM Pacific. Whether you’ve been through an emotional or physical storm, let’s come together to support one another during this challenging time. Click here to purchase a ticket for this 2-hour miraculous experience on Zoom.
This week, may you find ways to choose peace even in the most challenging of circumstances.
There is no room in us for fear today, for we have welcomed love into our hearts.
We often talk about the calm before the storm. Not only is it a condition we can observe, but it’s also good advice. I’m writing these words the night before a major hurricane is supposed to make landfall very close to my home on the west coast of Florida. Having lived in different areas of Florida since 1992, I’m no stranger to this experience. Over the last 30 years, I’ve learned a few things about living in places vulnerable to hurricanes.
One, it’s best to get extra water and other necessary supplies as soon as hurricane season begins. You don’t want to be rushing around trying to gather supplies at the last minute when shelves are bare and people are panicked. It can be very stressful.
Two, although meteorologists and computer models do their best to predict a storm’s path, we never truly know where they are going until they actually arrive. Hurricanes can change direction suddenly and without warning, just like life!
The most important thing I have learned is applicable to any of life’s storms, whether they are weather-related or not. We make the best decisions when we are calm and centered. If my head is crammed with fearful chaotic thoughts, there’s no way I can hear the voice for love guiding me to the highest and best solution. In my experience, making choices from fear rarely leads to a pleasant outcome.
Tuesday, when I woke up, I was very tempted to open my laptop right away and check the storm’s location. Instead, I decided to sit quietly on my meditation chair. In the stillness, I asked Spirit, my higher self, the voice for love, my guardian angels, whatever you want to call that presence, what action would be the highest choice. Was it best to stay home and weather the storm or pack my car and drive to the other side of the state? I was open to either answer, but surprisingly, the one that felt most peaceful was to stay. So that’s what I’m doing.
In addition to having supplies, I’ve done all the things I can think of to prepare. I brought patio chairs, doormats, and wind chimes inside. My electronic devices and backup batteries are fully charged. I placed candles and a flashlight on my countertop where they are easy to find. I made extra ice by filling food storage containers with water and placing them in the freezer. I’ve downloaded two new books to my kindle and a few movies to my iPad. My car has gas in the tank. And I’m getting this story written in advance, knowing a power outage is more than a good possibility.
Many of the preparations I’ve made have only occurred to me because I am staying as calm as possible. If I had been running around in fear or glued to the Weather Channel, I don’t think I would be as prepared or as peaceful. Am I a little apprehensive about the strength of the storm approaching? Of course! But our weekly online A Course in Miracles study group helped bring me back to center on Tuesday night.
I am also grateful to the many friends who have reached out to check on me and to let me know they are holding the high watch with me and all those in the storm’s path. What will happen? I don’t know for sure. But I do know staying calm before the storm has been incredibly helpful.
Are you experiencing rough weather in one or more areas of your life? Relationships, Health, Finances, Career, or Family? It would be my great honor to give you tools to stay calm in the storm and help you release those chaotic, fearful thoughts so you can tap into your own guidance system. Consider giving yourself the gift of a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a Private Family Constellations Session. You can learn more about both or schedule a session by exploring my website.
Until next time, may you remember to ask for guidance to release fear and stay calm no matter how big the storm.
A tranquil mind is not a little gift.
A Course in Miracles ~ M-20.4:8
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