Hello Dolly!

Last year was a busy year for Dolly Parton. She compiled a coffee table book called Songteller, My Life in Lyrics, recorded a new CD of Christmas songs titled A Holly Dolly Christmas, created a musical special of the same name for CBS, and filmed a holiday movie for Netflix titled Christmas on the Square. There was a media blitz to promote these offerings. Dolly was interviewed on dozens of talk shows and podcasts. She was everywhere! Everywhere that is, except my local Barnes & Noble Bookseller and the Amazon.com warehouse.

My partner is a singer and songwriter, and to say he is a huge Dolly Parton fan would be an understatement. He was in heaven when the airwaves were saturated with Dolly over the holidays. I was planning to put a copy of Songteller under the Christmas tree for him way before Oprah mentioned that it would make a great holiday gift during her conversation with Dolly on Apple TV +. The look he gave me when she said it was confirmation, so I forbid him to purchase it when it came out.

The book was released the week before Thanksgiving. Shortly thereafter, I searched for it on Amazon, saw that it was on sale for $30, put it in my cart, and decided to purchase it later. Big mistake! When I went back a week later, I discovered the book was out of stock. I checked every day for the next few days, but nothing changed except the price of the book from private sellers. The law of supply and demand was in full effect and the price kept going up and up. Needless to say, I was kicking myself for not clicking “purchase now” the week before. 

I remembered there was a Barnes & Noble not far from our house, so I decided to drop by to see if they had any copies. The nice woman behind the information desk confirmed the book was a hot item this year and was flying off the shelves. With a few taps on her keyboard, she discovered there was one copy in the store, but it was at the checkout counter being held for another customer. I’ll admit the thought crossed my mind to ask if she’d be willing to sell that copy to me instead, but my conscience helped me keep that thought to myself. While I was having my mini moral crisis, she continued searching the inventory of other local stores with no luck. That’s when she offered to special order a copy for me. She said when the book arrives someone will call me. Problem solved, right? Wrong.

The very next day I received a call from someone at Barnes & Noble informing me that my order had been canceled. Apparently, the warehouse received way more orders than they could fulfill so they simply canceled all of them. I was back to square one. Checking on Amazon and calling Barnes & Noble became a daily ritual. I tried a few other stores that sell books to no avail. I even thought about asking my sisters to look in their area but decided that was too much to ask during the holidays. One day about two weeks before Christmas, I asked the person who answered the phone at Barnes & Noble to tell me honestly if he thought there was any chance the book would arrive before December 25. I am grateful he told the truth and said no, try again after the New Year.

By this point, I had invested a lot of time and energy into getting this book before Christmas. I allowed my ego to tell me that I was not a very good partner if I couldn’t make it happen. Beating myself up for not purchasing the book when I had the chance certainly wasn’t helpful. Purchasing the book from a private seller for a lot more money and praying it would arrive on time did not feel peaceful either. That left only one option…surrender. I let myself off the hook and stopped calling the store and checking online. Instead, I printed a copy of the book cover with a funny little note saying that Dolly was so busy with her other projects that she didn’t print enough books. I taped it to a piece of cardboard, wrapped it up in a big box, and put it under the tree. My partner was very surprised when he opened the box on Christmas Day. It was so light he did not expect it to be the book. He laughed when he read the note and assured me that he didn’t mind waiting until Dolly printed more books. 

There are a few miracles in this story. The first miracle happened when I shifted from fear to love and surrendered the false belief that it was not okay for the book to arrive after December 25. Peace returned once I let that go. But Dolly wasn’t done working miracles yet. Ten days into the New Year, I called Barnes & Noble to inquire about the book’s availability. I had to smile when the customer service representative told me they had one copy, but it was on hold for another customer. No, I didn’t ask for that one, but I did ask her to order a copy for me now that the demand was less. The second miracle happened when I got a call from Barnes & Noble nine days later. My book had arrived. (And yes, it was being held behind the counter for me.) Why was that a miracle? That day, January 19, just happened to be Dolly Parton’s 75th birthday, so I was able to surprise my partner with a special gift from Dolly on her birthday. Looking back, I see that it could not have unfolded more perfectly!

Are things unfolding for you in a way that feels peaceful? If not, could you use some assistance with that scary word “surrender?” I would be honored to help you experience more peace with a series of Life Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations session. Both can help you see things from a different perspective and release false beliefs that keep you stuck. For more information and to schedule a session, please look around my website or send me an email.

Until next time, I invite you to examine your beliefs and release the ones that take away your peace. 

I could see peace instead of this. 

Lesson 34 from A Course in Miracles

Just Say Uncle

The temperature has been dropping into the 30s and 40s at night here in Houston lately, so I have been feeling extra grateful for the warm home I share with my partner, Michael. I have also been feeling gratitude for Michael’s great-uncle, whose generosity made it possible for us to purchase this home. Sadly, I only met Uncle David once before he made his transition, but he certainly made an impression on me. Here’s what I wrote about that visit to California in April of 2017:

One of the most unexpected blessings of our trip was the look of sheer delight on the face of Michael’s ninety-five-year-old great-uncle David when I played my crystal singing bowl for him. He was mesmerized by the sound and asked me to play it for him several times over the course of the weekend. He would say, “Hey, John. Will you play me another song?” My bowl only plays one note, so I only knew one song, but I was happy to oblige. With the first chime of the bowl, his eyes lit up. He sat there with a smile, listening for as long as I was willing to play.

We stayed in Uncle David’s home and shared many meals with him. It was so beautiful to witness how much he loved Michael and how much Michael loved him. I have four nephews, one niece, one great-niece, and one great-nephew, so I know how much I love being an uncle. However, I never had the experience of having an uncle. Both of my parents had only one sister and no brothers. I shared this observation with Uncle David one evening after finishing a “song.” Without missing a beat, he placed his hand over mine, looked me in the eyes, and said, “John, I’ll be your uncle if you like.” I’m tearing up now just thinking of that sweet moment. Thank you, Uncle David. I would like that very much.

If you have ever attended one of my Family Constellations workshops or A Course in Miracles study groups in person, then I have probably played a “song” for you to on my crystal singing bowl. Although we currently cannot gather in person, we can still gather virtually. I would be honored to have you join me for miracles, healing, and connection during my next Virtual Family Constellations Workshop or one of my weekly A Course in Miracles online study groups. Please look around my website or send me an email for more information.

Until next time, may beautiful moments of connection and gratitude give you strength during these challenging times.

 Gratitude goes hand in hand with love, and where one is the other must be found.

A Course in Miracles ~ WB-195.10:2

Be the Peaceful Rain Cloud

We all have causes that are near and dear to our hearts. It’s no secret how much I love the ocean, so in 2010 when the BP oil spill happened in the Gulf of Mexico, my peace was deeply disturbed. Thinking about all the marine life that would be impacted as gallons of oil gushed into the ocean was beyond upsetting. It didn’t take long before my thoughts turned to anger and blame. Luckily, I had been studying A Course in Miracles for a few years so I knew those thoughts were not helpful. But what could I do to help?

At that time, I hosted monthly full moon gatherings at the beach. Each of these gatherings had a unique intention, so that month I decided to ask the group to channel the power of our hearts and minds to send peace and love, not anger and fear, to the Gulf of Mexico. We visualized the whole area immersed in light and welcomed inspired ideas and creative solutions into the minds of all those working to cap the leak and clean up the water. I remember sharing with the group how sending angry, fearful energy to the situation would be like pouring gasoline on a wildfire. Those lower vibration thoughts would not be helpful, but sending peaceful, loving thoughts would be like cool rain falling from the sky on that fire. It took several months, but the leak was eventually capped and clean-up of the water and beaches continued for years.

Why am I sharing this? I believe this same principle can be applied to the events happening in the United States lately. Sending angry, hateful thoughts to an already volatile situation will not be helpful. Please do not confuse this message with apathy or a suggestion that it’s not okay to feel angry when we see large injustices. I’m simply suggesting that inspired solutions come from a place of love and peace, not fear and anger. Last Wednesday at the Capitol Building, we saw what happens when fear and anger lead the way.

To go back to my analogy of the ocean, every time I walk along the beach I pick up any plastic that I see. I don’t do this with anger in my heart toward thoughtless humans who don’t seem to care about the environment. I do it with love in my heart for the dolphins and sea turtles. I do it because I love sitting at the beach listening to the waves roll in, but not when I’m surrounded by litter. Because I love Mother Ocean and Mother Earth, I recycle as much as I can, avoid using plastic water bottles, and bring a reusable bag to the grocery store. I could choose the same actions while being angry at everyone who leaves plastic on the beach and doesn’t recycle, but it certainly wouldn’t feel as good with all that fear and judgment in my heart.

Yes, take action. Vote. Call or write a letter to your state representative. Join a peaceful protest. Create a prayer circle. Gather under the full moon. But whatever you do, do it with love. Love for your fellow human beings, your country, and the planet. You’ll find that the results will be much more effective and your experience will be much more enjoyable. If you could use some assistance shifting from fear to love, please contact me for Life Coaching or a private Family Constellations session. Look around my website for more information.

Until next time, I encourage you to be the peaceful rain cloud instead of the angry lightning bolt that creates more fires.

It will be given you to see your brother’s worth when all you want for him is peace. And what you want for him you will receive.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-20.V.3:6

Releasing 2020 with Love

One of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned during my 8 years facilitating Family Constellations is the importance of acknowledging and honoring everything, even the things that have caused me pain or that I don’t like. During both group and private sessions, I often ask my clients to face the person or object representing a past relationship, former job, or place where they have lived. Then I invite them to say, “Thank you for all the good times, the love, the laughter, the support, and also the not so good times, the challenges, the tears, and the lessons learned. I honor and acknowledge all of it. And I release you with love.” Then I ask the client to bow to the representative before turning around and walking into the future. 

Admittedly, it is not always easy to do this, but it is so important and beneficial. If I continue to hold on to resentments or grievances toward something in my past, it is difficult if not impossible to turn around and walk away. My gaze is still focused on what was. It’s like trying to walk down the street backward. I’m bound to stumble over something or not end up where I want to go if I’m still looking behind me. Once I make peace with the past, I can turn around and walk forward.

This week a dear friend shared one of her New Year’s rituals with me. She makes one list of all the things that she is grateful for over the past year. Then she makes another list of what was challenging or didn’t work well. It’s kind of a “year in review” on paper to help visualize and recognize what areas of your life are flowing well and which ones are not. I decided to adopt that practice and add a Family Constellations component to it. 

Honestly, I was amazed at how quickly I filled up an entire page with things I am grateful for this year. Yes, even in 2020! Then I turned the page over to write down the things that were challenging. Most of the things I wrote down were the big challenges that affected all of us this year, but there were some tough personal ones as well. Even so, I filled less than half a page and didn’t spend much time dwelling on them. I had already spent enough time dwelling on them last year. Then I placed a candle next to my lists and said the words I invite my clients to say:

“Dear 2020. Thank you for all the good times, the love, the laughter, and also the not so good times, the tears, and the lessons learned. I honor and acknowledge all of it. And I release you with love.”

Then I bowed to it and walked away. It may seem silly, but this exercise felt very freeing and empowering. Maybe it will for you too. If you’d like some assistance in releasing 2020 with love and welcoming 2021 with cheerful expectancy, I would be honored to help you with a series of  Life Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations session. Thanks to today’s technology, both can be done from anywhere in the world. You can look around my website for more information and send me an email to schedule an appointment. 

Until next time, may you find a way to honor and acknowledge everything to usher in a happy and miraculous New Year!

So will the year begin in joy and freedom. There is much to do, and we have been long delayed. Accept the holy instant as this year is born, and take your place, so long left unfulfilled, in the Great Awakening.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-15.XI.10:8

Gather With Intention!

Sometimes I run across something too good not to share. That happened this week when I listened to a Brené Brown podcast recommended by my friend, Rev. Cindy Grimes of the Center for Spiritual Living in Ocala. Brené’s guest for this particular episode was Priya Parker, an expert on gatherings and the author of a book titled The Art of Gathering. Having hosted spiritual gatherings for over a decade now, Cindy knew I would enjoy this fascinating conversation between these two very bright and insightful women. She was right! I was happy to hear that many of the things I already do like opening rituals help to make my gatherings a more powerful experience for the participants. I was also happy to get some new ideas to make them even better. 

This information isn’t just for workshop facilitators or party planners. It’s for everyone. Brené and Priya discuss all kinds of gatherings: birthday parties, board meetings, weddings, baby showers, memorial services, dinner parties, spiritual conferences, and even podcasts! If I had to distill the conversation down to one nugget of wisdom it would be this. Have a clear intention for why you are coming together and then make sure all elements of the gathering are in service to that intention. When the purpose seems obvious like a birthday party, Priya says we need to be even more intentional with our choices. Without inquiry, we end up doing things the way they’ve always been done which may not serve our intention or anyone in the group. 

There is so much great information in this podcast, I couldn’t possibly cover it all here. That’s why I decided to share the link for the podcast here for those interested in learning more. It sure seems like great timing since many of us are rethinking how we will gather for the holidays this year. I trust you will get some great ideas on how to gather creatively during COVID times and in person once we can do so safely.

If you are interested in A Course in Miracles, we gather online twice per week with the strong intention to share miracles and extend love to one another while we discuss this life-changing spiritual teaching. These online study groups are open to all, regardless of your experience with the Course or where in the world you live. If you have been curious about this big blue book, visit the Miracles page on my website for more information on how and when to join. 

I’m also sharing the link to the recording of my conversation with Rev. Cindy from CSL Ocala. We talk about a lot of things including my rocky childhood, A Course in Miracles, Family Constellations, and embracing the shadow. My hope is that something we discuss will be of comfort to you during these challenging times. 

Until next time, keep gathering safely and gather with intention!

All those you brought with you will shine on you, and you will shine on them in gratitude because they brought you here. Your light will join with theirs in power so compelling, that it will draw the others out of darkness as you look on them.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-13.VI.11:9-10

“Gathering matters because it is through each other that we figure out what we believe.”

– Priya Parker

A Recipe for Healing

Many of you know I injured my shoulder during my yoga practice at the beginning of this year. Before that, it had been at least four months since I practiced due to procedures I had to remove basal cell carcinomas at the end of 2019 and an ankle injury that occurred earlier that summer. Needless to say, it has been a long road of healing and surrender in many ways. Yoga has helped me stay grounded, peaceful, and feeling good in my body since 2005. To say I have missed not being able to move and stretch in that way for over a year, especially during this pandemic, would be a huge understatement.

Having been a massage therapist for over 15 years, I knew I had to allow my shoulder plenty of time to heal before rolling out my yoga mat again. I did not want to risk injuring it further. Despite consistently working on the trigger points in my shoulder muscles, it has taken a lot longer to heal than I anticipated. Recently, the Universe brought two skilled healers into my life: an amazing holistic chiropractor and an incredibly intuitive acupuncturist. With their help, my shoulder is back to at least 80% strength and range of motion. For that, I am truly grateful.

With this accelerated healing, I noticed my body craving more than just the simple stretches prior to my daily walk. I felt confident I could do a toned-down version of my yoga routine as long as I was careful and listened to what my body was telling me. One rainy, chilly day this week, my schedule miraculously opened up giving me an entire afternoon free. It was the perfect opportunity to roll out my yoga mat and give it a try, yet I noticed a surprising amount of resistance to doing it. After lunch, I found an assortment of other tasks to do, including opening a pile of mail that had been sitting on my desk for days. Why was I resisting something I knew would help me feel better? 

Rather than beat myself up, I simply observed what was happening. Then I imagined how I would feel if I didn’t practice that day, knowing I had no rational excuse not to. That thought did not feel peaceful, so I lit a candle, selected one of my favorite yoga playlists on iTunes, cleared a space on the floor, and unrolled my mat. As I rested in child’s pose on that aqua blue rectangle of squishy foam, the smell of whatever material they use to manufacture yoga mats filled my nose. The sound of Deva Premal chanting in Sanskrit filled my ears. Suddenly, I stretched my arms in front of my head like I hadn’t been able to do for months and began my practice. I felt like a child who had recently found a long lost favorite toy at the bottom of the toy chest. Before I knew it, an hour had passed. 

Just as I expected, I had to make a few modifications and skip a few poses that my shoulder could not support. And just as I expected, it felt fantastic to get my body and energy moving again in that way. I’ll admit I was a little sore the next day, but it was definitely the good kind of sore. Muscles that had not been used in months were beginning to wake up and strengthen. What a great lesson to remain mindful, acknowledge any resistance with as little judgment as possible, ask what feels most peaceful, and then take action. This seems like a good recipe for many kinds of healing.

Is there something you know will benefit you that you are resisting? Maybe you have been curious about doing a private or group Family Constellations session. It is quite natural for there to be unconscious resistance to doing this work, but once you set your intention to do it, miraculous events unfold. I have seen it happen more times than I can count. Perhaps you have been thinking about getting some assistance through Life Coaching to navigate a current challenge. I would be honored to give you some tools and techniques to help you get to the other side where peace resides. I offer 4, 8, and 12-week packages to suit your needs and budget. For more information or to schedule a session, take the first simple step. Send me an email or visit my website.

Until next time, why not give that recipe a try? Remain mindful. Observe your resistance without judgment. Ask what feels most peaceful in the long run. Then take appropriate action.

Healing is release from the fear of waking and the substitution of the decision to wake. The decision to wake is the reflection of the will to love, since all healing involves replacing fear with love.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-8.IX.5.1-2

Movie Villain or Bus Ride Hero?

With Thanksgiving less than a week away and the country feeling so divided, I felt inspired to share this sweet story from my Thanksgiving trip last year. It’s about people helping people on a crowded bus the day after Thanksgiving. It still warms my heart to think about it. Enjoy!

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family in Hawley, Pennsylvania. Since Hawley is only about 100 miles west of New York City, my partner and I decided to hop on a bus to spend the following weekend in the city. I’ve taken this bus before, but never with a cast of characters like the ones riding the day after Thanksgiving. When we got on, there was only a handful of people on the bus, including a young man with long hair across the aisle from us. He looked a lot like Adam Driver from the recent Star Wars movies so for the rest of this story, I’ll call him Adam. 

Adam was sound asleep wearing noise-canceling headphones so he missed the comedy when a bickering husband and wife with strong New York accents boarded the bus two stops later. They were both carrying multiple shopping bags overflowing with wrapped holiday gifts. Once the bus started moving, the woman began fretting about leaving a bag at the bus stop. They went back and forth, blaming each other for about ten minutes until the woman realized she was carrying the bag in question. I felt like I was watching a Saturday Night Live skit!

The next stop would be our last before Port Authority. There was a crowd of about thirty people waiting to board. Our driver had to count empty seats before letting anyone else get on the bus. It looked like those folks had been waiting out in the cold for a while so I can only imagine their frustration when they discovered not all of them would get on. One of the last to board was a very determined African American grandmother with two wide-eyed grandchildren. The little boy looked to be about one, and the little girl was probably no more than five. She walked past us, kids in tow, but eventually made her way back to the front of the bus to wake Adam. His backpack was in the only remaining empty seat.

Once he moved his bag to an overhead compartment, the grandmother plopped down in the seat and grabbed her bundled up grandson, placing him on her lap. She then pulled her granddaughter closer to her and loudly proclaimed that she was not getting off the bus. Meanwhile, the bus driver was outside sharing the unfortunate news that the bus was now full. Even though the kids were small, I wondered how this woman was going to cram three bodies into that small space for the remaining two and a half hours of the ride.

Adam must have been wondering the same thing. I couldn’t hear their conversation due to the loud mumbling and grumbling of the new passengers, but the next thing I knew, the grandmother was passing her grandson to Adam and then pulling her granddaughter out of the aisle and onto her lap. Not more than a minute had passed when I noticed the little boy was fast asleep on Adam’s lap. He must have felt safe because his eyes remained closed for the rest of the trip. 

Watching the little boy sleeping in a stranger’s arms for the next two and a half hours touched my heart. It confirmed what I believe to be true. Despite most stories reported on the evening news, it is much more natural for us to help one another than to harm one another. People are inherently kind. We sometimes forget that we are more alike than we are different, but I am encouraged when I see people remembering this truth more and more often. 

As we head into the holiday season after a particularly challenging year, let’s follow the example of the young man on the bus. You don’t have to hold a baby on your lap for two and a half hours to be kind. Wearing a mask when you go out in public may be the kindest thing you can do this year. Wishing others peace, love, and joy no matter who they voted for is another way. Each one of us can create miracles when we get in touch with our true nature. 

If you could use some help creating miracles, please consider giving yourself the gift of Life Coaching or a private Family Constellations session. Both help you see things from a different perspective and allow love to flow more freely. For more information and to schedule a session, please visit my website or send me an email. Gift certificates are also available on my website.

Until next time, may this miracle story inspire you to be open to unexpected possibilities and the kindness of a so-called stranger.

Each day a thousand treasures come to me with every passing moment. A brother smiles upon another, and my heart is gladdened. Someone speaks a word of gratitude or mercy, and my mind receives the gift and takes it as its own.

A Course in Miracles – Workbook Lesson 315

Something Old, Something New

I’m definitely a creature of habit. When I find a meal at a restaurant that I love, I usually order it every time. I’ve been using the same laundry detergent for years. On my morning walk, I’ve been listening to the same songs for over a year now. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? There’s truth in that old saying, but this approach also prevents me from discovering new things.

Earlier this month, I realized I was bored with my walking music. None of my regular playlists felt like they would inspire or sustain me for the entire four-mile trek, but I hadn’t purchased any new music lately. Then I remembered my partner added me to his Spotify account. For those who don’t know Spotify, it’s an app with a monthly fee that lets you stream (play) almost any song on your device. I rarely use it because I forget I have it. I’m so grateful I remembered it that day because I desperately needed some new musical inspiration.

When I opened the app, I entered the title of a song a friend recommended in the search field. The song popped up, I hit play, and off I went on my walk. I played a few other songs that my friend recommended, and when they finished, Spotify continued playing similar songs it thought I would enjoy. Those algorithms must be pretty good because I enjoyed most of them very much! The next day I discovered how to ask Spotify to create a playlist of similar songs based on a particular artist. Then I learned that feature can also create a playlist of songs from a particular DJ or remixer. How cool is that? It’s like hiring a DJ to play a set for my private walking dance party, albeit without the seamless mixes from one song to another.

The next day I asked Spotify to play songs from one of my favorites, an Israeli DJ and record producer who infuses a Middle Eastern vibe into many of his remixes. I absolutely love his sound, and Spotify introduced me to a plethora of his songs I had never heard. Before I knew it, I had walked/danced my way around the circumference of the park. It was so much fun! I continue to hear new music every day while also replaying some that have become new favorites. Remember, I’m still a creature of habit. These new songs have reinvigorated my morning cardio routine and inspired me to add another day of walking to my schedule. I received many unexpected benefits by allowing myself to try something new!

There’s truth in this quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson. “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” Is there something you’d like to have that continues to elude you? Perhaps now is the time to try something you’ve never done. Family Constellations is a miraculous process that gives you an experience of re-writing your story so you can free yourself from unconscious limits. I continue to be amazed and humbled by what happens in both group and private sessions online. Visit the Family Constellations page on my website for more information about this life-changing opportunity and visit the Calendar page to see when the next Virtual Family Constellations Workshops are happening. To schedule a private session, please send me an email.

Until next time, keep enjoying your favorite things, but don’t forget to make space for wonderful new opportunities for joy to emerge!

Nothing you undertake with certain purpose and high resolve and happy confidence, holding your brother’s hand and keeping step to Heaven’s song, is difficult to do.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-26.V.2:5

My Toddler Teacher on a Train

My heart was heavy the morning after Election Day here in the U.S. I’m very aware that I fell right into the ego trap of duality by allowing my happiness to depend on a specific outcome. As I write this, the official winner has not been determined, yet I was saddened, shocked, and disappointed to see how divided we are and how many votes were cast for a candidate who in my perception propagates more fear and divisiveness. I know some of you reading this may perceive things differently, but my intention in sharing this story is not to create more divisiveness and conflict. It’s actually just the opposite.

That morning, I noticed there were fewer people out and about in the park where I do my daily walk. Perhaps many of the usual joggers and dog walkers had stayed up later than usual watching the election results. Despite Election Night fatigue, the train was still chugging along carrying kids and kids at heart for a two-mile trek around the park. As I made my way along the last mile of my walk, my thoughts about the election were interrupted when the engineer blew the train’s whistle announcing its presence on the track next to me. 

Having caught my attention, my eyes immediately went to the little girl in the middle of the train waving vigorously. I’d guess she was somewhere between one and two years old. This little one was clearly on a mission to get folks to wave at her, but with so few people in the park, it must have been challenging that day. Her enthusiasm was contagious, so I happily obliged and waved back to her. I don’t know how it was possible, but when she spotted me waving to her, she opened her mouth into an even bigger smile and her hand motion became a frenzied blur as she bounced excitedly on her mother’s lap. Her whole being exuded joy!

We continued to wave to each other until she was out of sight, the train carrying her onward to fulfill her mission to connect and spread happiness. As you might imagine, that one-minute encounter lifted my spirits and brought me back to center. That exuberant toddler reminded me that when I get stuck in separation thoughts, I feel bad. When I connect, I feel better. That doesn’t mean I don’t vote for the candidate I prefer or take appropriate action when there’s something I can do to improve a situation. That little girl on the train certainly took action. She was a wonderful teacher and example of what’s possible when we have joy in our hearts and our intention is to bring people together. I am still smiling just thinking about her.

I will be bringing a small group of people together online in less than three weeks for an afternoon of miracles and heart connection during another Virtual Family Constellations Workshop. If you’ve been feeling disconnected or sad, I hope you will join us on Sunday, November 29 from 1:30-4:30 PM Central Time. It is simply astounding to witness what happens when we come together to help ourselves and our brothers and sisters to heal. After 7 years of facilitating these workshops, I’m still in awe of how everything weaves together to create a powerful healing for everyone who attends. For more information or to purchase a ticket, please visit my website or click this link. You will find future events on the Calendar page on my website. 

Until next time, may you receive many opportunities to connect with child-like joy. 

The ego always seeks to divide and separate. The Holy Spirit always seeks to unify and heal. 

A Course in Miracles ~ T-7.IV.5:2-3

Crack it Open!

For the past two months I’ve been seeing a chiropractor to help me release the pain in my neck and shoulder and also to restore the range of motion in both. I am so grateful to report it has helped me tremendously. The pain is practically gone and my range of motion has returned to about 80-90% of what it was before my injury. During my first visit, the chiropractor noticed that some of my cervical vertebrae were out of alignment. He did many things that helped relieve my pain that day, but because my muscles were so tight, he did not feel comfortable adjusting those cervical vertebrae. That was also the case for the following two visits. He knew I needed the adjustment, but my body and his intuition told him it was not the right time. He quickly gained my trust with his knowledge, sensitivity, and skill as a healer. 

That being said, I had a feeling the message would be different at my most recent visit. When I checked in with my internal guidance system, the answer was “yes, allow him to do the neck adjustment.” I didn’t have a chance to share any of this internal dialogue with the chiropractor. After his initial assessment, he began palpating my neck and moving my head around. When he asked for my permission to do a little “impulse,” I replied yes. Before I knew what was happening, I heard a steady series of cracking noises all down my neck like a toppling stack of dominos. Wow! I was so relieved when it was done. All the nervousness around today being “the day” was gone and replaced by waves of uncontrollable laughter. I may be dating myself here, but I felt like Mary Tyler Moore in the classic “Chuckles the Clown” episode where she couldn’t stop laughing during his funeral. 

I apologized to the woman on the table across the room, but she and my chiropractor both encouraged me to keep laughing. It was helping her to relax and soon all three of us were giggling. After finishing her session, my chiropractor escorted her to the outer office. I stayed put and let my body integrate this new feeling while the laughter gradually subsided. When he returned, my chiropractor explained that the adjustment opened up the path from my head to my heart. He said clients often laugh or cry when these vertebrae shift back into place after being out of alignment for so long. That made sense to me. Little did I know I would do both. Once I got to the safety of my car, a gentle cry bubbled up and out of me while tears streamed down my cheeks. It felt like more newly freed energy moving through me. 

I have been feeling much lighter and more compassionate since that energetic pathway was cracked open last Saturday. My beloved friend and mentor, Dr. Charles Geddes, says we are all on a journey back to the heart and I agree. Our culture places so much emphasis on mental activity and problem-solving. They have their place, but I believe true power and wisdom lie in the heart-center. It’s there that lasting transformation occurs. I see it over and over again in Family Constellations. Clients may have an intellectual understanding of what caused their pain, but through this experiential work, it drops into their heart where it can finally be healed and released. It’s powerful and liberating. Many of you know the story of my miraculous healing with my mother when this drop happened. If you don’t know the story, you can read about it in a blog I wrote a few months ago titled “Still Spring Cleaning with my Mom.” It was one of the most profound experiences on my spiritual journey to date.

This week I encourage you to continue walking on the path from your head to your heart. If you could use some assistance, my next Virtual Family Constellations Workshop is happening Saturday, November 7 on Zoom. You will be amazed at how quickly the energy of the group allows you to drop into your heart-space. I’m still in awe of what happens during these workshops after 7 years of facilitating them! The same magic happens during private Family Constellations sessions, which can also be done online from anywhere in the world. If you’re ready for a heart-opening experience, please look around my website or send me an email for more information and to book a session. 

Until next time, may your awareness be firmly centered in your heart where miracles reside.

 It is a journey without distance to a goal that has never changed. Truth can only be experienced. It cannot be described and it cannot be explained.

A Couse in Miracles ~ T-8.VI.9:7-8