“Compare and despair.” You may remember hearing this famous catchphrase on “Daily Affirmations with Stuart Smalley,” a comical skit on Saturday Night Live back in the 90’s. Although it was very funny when Al Franken said it to poke a little fun at the self-help movement, it also happens to be true. Comparing does indeed lead to despair. Recently I have heard several people talk about their first time at a yoga class. They can’t help but look at the human origami around them and ask, “Will I ever be able to fold myself up like that?” I know I wondered the same thing when I began 8 years ago. Eventually I learned to ignore what was happening on the mat next to me and focus more on what my own body was doing. It wasn’t always easy!
Compare and despair snuck up on me again the other night while I was watching the TV show “Shark Tank.” The “sharks” began wheeling and dealing with a contestant whose idea they all liked very much. The negotiations got heated and they began throwing around numbers and financial jargon which I did not understand. I allowed my lack of understanding to make me feel bad for a moment. Then I remembered Stuart. There was no need to feel bad for not knowing those terms and concepts. If I were to read a passage from A Course in Miracles to the sharks, I’m guessing it would not make much sense to them unless they had been studying it too. The point is, this does not make them better than me or me better than them. We are just different people with different interests and different specialties. I most likely would not ask one of them to give me an example of how they applied the 3 components of True Forgiveness as outlined in the Course, and they most likely would not ask me to give them investment advice.
I will never forget the time I was with a group of friends swimming with wild, spotted dolphins in the Bahamas back in 2006. One of the many lessons I learned on that trip was about comparison. I found myself a bit jealous of my friends who could dive deeper and stay under water longer with the dolphins. I was even envious of the dolphins themselves! They could glide through the water so quickly and effortlessly while it was such a struggle for me. Each night the captain would turn the boat’s underwater lights on after dinner and the cook would toss the food scraps into the water for the fish. The abundance of fish attracted the dolphins who circled the boat to have their own dinner. One of these nights my friend Ryan and I decided to sync up our iPods and have our own private dance party under the stars as we watched the dolphins feed. As we danced and laughed on the observation deck, I wondered if the dolphins noticed us up there. Did they wish they had arms, legs, and iPods so they could dance around too? Silly, right? That’s the nature of comparison.
One of the things I know I’m good at is creating a safe space for people to share the challenges in their lives, whether it be during a Coaching Session or a Family Constellation. Please visit my website for more information about both. I love sharing the tools and techniques that have worked for me with others having similar struggles. Until we meet again, remember that you are the best you that ever was and no one else can compare!
This weekend I had the opportunity to join my god daughter and her family to celebrate her 9th birthday at Disney World. The day was full of love, laughter, parades, and rides. It was wonderful to spend time with friends I hadn’t seen in a very long time, one of them almost 20 years! When I returned on Monday, I also noticed how wonderful it felt to be home. I love the view of palm trees from my living room window. I love my morning beach walks. I feel blessed to be part of an amazing spiritual community here in South Florida and to be doing work I love.
Have you heard people say upon retuning home from a great vacation, “Oh boy. Back to reality.” By reality they mean their everyday life that is often stressful and not very joyful. When I hear this, I usually say, “You mean back to the illusion, don’t you?” I believe Love is the only reality. Anything that takes away our joy or keeps us feeling separate is an illusion. Vacations offer us the chance to slow down and consciously choose what we want to do on a moment by moment basis. What many don’t realize (and I forget this too!) is that we are always choosing what we want to do moment by moment, but most of the time we do it unconsciously. The ego wants nothing more than to ensure the future is just like the past by skipping over the place of stillness in the present moment. Stillness is where the inspired choices come from, the choices that bring us peace, love, and joy. I invite you to take a moment today and pretend like you are on vacation. Notice something beautiful outside your window or in the room with you right now. Allow yourself to consciously choose one thing that will bring you joy, even if that one thing is to take a 15 minute nap! Once you give yourself permission to do this, it gets easier. Pretty soon you’ll be experiencing every day as if you’re on vacation because it’s full of things you love to do!
If there are too many things making your life feel like anything BUT a vacation, maybe it’s time to try the life-changing experience of Family Constellation, either in a group or a one-on-one session by phone or in person. Family Constellations allow you to break limiting patterns so you can live a more fulfilled life. Or maybe it’s time to get assistance from a fresh perspective? I’d love to share some of the tools and techniques that have worked for me to help you feel like every day is a holiday! Visit my website for details on the different Coaching Programs I offer and to learn more about Family Constellation.
I will close with these words from one of my favorite spiritual teachers…
“If we took a holiday. Took some time to celebrate. Just one day out of life. It would be… It would be so nice! Holiday! Celebration! Come together in every nation!” – Madonna
What makes you special? A colleague asked me that question last week as I prepared to make a short video about Family Constellation. It was a difficult question for me to answer as a student of A Course in Miracles because the Course says no one is special because we are all special. I believe that, yet I also understand that here in the world of form, we each have unique gifts and talents to share with the world. No one does things exactly the way you do, even if they are in the same profession or participating in the same activity.
When I pondered this question later, it occurred to me that my presence creates a safe environment where people allow themselves to be vulnerable. I didn’t face the same challenges as many male massage therapists when it came to female clients. Many women who thought they would never let a man give them a massage ended up on my massage table. It was very flattering. At the time I thought it was because I grew up in a household of women, which gave me a more gentle energy. That may be part of it. Now I realize it probably has a lot to do with my studies of the Course, which can be summed up with these 3 statements from the introduction. “Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.” Since I feel safe, people feel safe in my presence. Somehow they know I’m not going to judge them or make them wrong no matter what they share. Quite frequently people will tell me very personal things about their life soon after I meet them.
One memorable example of this happened last year while I was out and about in Wilton Manors with one of my best friends. We met a couple visiting from California, and to say that they were a bit flirtatious is an understatement. Things got very uncomfortable when the older gentleman started yelling at my friend for getting too close to his partner on the dance floor. The angry partner confessed this happens a lot and he wanted to know why? This lead to a deep conversation about how fear sometimes masquerades as love. I never expected to be doing a coaching session with two strangers at a bar, but they were very grateful for the talk and I felt like that was the reason I was there that night. I used to wonder why this kind of thing happened to me all the time, but now I consider it a blessing. It certainly makes my job as a Life Coach and Family Constellation Facilitator much easier.
So I will ask again, “What makes you special?” Is there something about you that you used to think was a curse and now you see as a gift? Don’t worry about being arrogant while answering this question. We all need to own our gifts and talents because we were given them to be a force of Love on the planet. When we own them and share them, we give others permission to do the same. Can you imagine how amazing the world would be if EVERYONE was owning and sharing their gifts and talents instead of hiding them or feeling like theirs weren’t worth a bag of beans? Please shine that special light of yours. The world needs you!
Until next time, remember you are special so keep shining like only you can!
Are you in harmony with life? Sometimes we spend a lot of energy fighting against “what is.” It doesn’t do much good because in that moment, it is! The only thing we can change is our thoughts about the situation, and then what happens next can change dramatically. Byron Katie, author of the book Loving What Is, spoke about this at Unity on the Bay on Saturday. I highly recommend her book and The Work she does.
I had an amusing example of putting this into practice the next day on Super Bowl Sunday. Anyone who knows me knows that sports aren’t really my thing (to say the least), but when my friend George invited me to go to a sports bar with him to watch “the game,” something in me said yes. Honestly, since I don’t own a TV, that something was an opportunity to watch Katy Perry in the halftime show and spend some time with my friend.
I arrived a little before halftime, so the game was still happening. Even though I was not invested in either team, I decided to yell, scream, and cheer along with the crowd whenever they did. It amused me greatly because I really had no idea what was going on. I just went with the energy. Instead of judging or wondering why people were getting so excited about a game, I joined their excitement. I suppose many of them would wonder why I would go to the American Airlines Arena when the Miami Heat weren’t playing. Why would I be so excited about a Madonna concert or Oprah’s “The Life You Want Weekend?” Different things excite different people, but joy is a divine energy no matter what form it takes. Sunday night unfolded in unexpected ways, and I ended up having one of the most fun evenings I’ve had in a long time. I know it’s because I decided to be in harmony with life.
Sometimes that’s easier said than done. Luckily there are tools to help us. One of the best tools I’ve come across is Family Constellation. It gives participants the actual experience of restoring harmony among the different aspects of their lives. It’s simply amazing what happens in these workshops, but words fall short of describing it. Come see for yourself this month and “Transform Your Relationship with Love.”
Wishing you Peace, Love, Joy, and Harmony in all of your relationships…
As I sat in my car last Monday, trapped in gridlock traffic due to an accident that closed I-95 South, I was anything but peaceful when I saw smoke swirling out from under my hood. That’s when I noticed the needle on my temperature gauge was way past the red H. I surrounded by a sea of cars inching along the highway preventing me from getting to an off ramp. Even if I could somehow get to the side of the road, due to construction, there was no shoulder to pull off onto. I felt trapped and helpless.
That’s when I started repeating my lesson for the day from A Course in Miracles over and over again, “God is the light in which I see.” (Lesson 44) After a few minutes of chanting this, I had the thought to reach out for prayer support from some friends via text message. During the next seconds, minutes, hours, and days, guidance on what to do next kept showing up in many different forms. The first one was a text message from my friend Sara saying “TURN ON YOUR HEAT.” Apparently that draws heat into your car and away from your engine so it can cool off. I’m happy to share this tidbit with all of you in case you’re ever in a similar situation. It works!
As the needle on my temperature gauge started to go down, so did my anxiety level. I felt protected and watched over. Little by little I was able to let go of fearful thoughts about my situation and began choosing loving ones instead. I remembered that everything is always happening for my greatest good, despite outward appearances. Even this! For months I had been feeling like it was time to stop investing money into a 10 year old car with 170,000 miles, but I did not see how or when I could get a new one. That was my limited perspective. In 6 days I went from needing $1,200 to repair my car, to driving a brand new car with a check for $2,000 on its way to me from the dealership.
I want to emphasize that the miracle is NOT the fact that I got a new car, although I am incredibly grateful and appreciative. The real miracle is when I shifted my perspective from fear to Love. When I did that, my nightmare started turning into a happy dream. It would take another 2 pages to tell you all the synchronicities and signs that showed up leading me to a happy outcome. However, what happened in the outside world didn’t really matter because I had already found the ultimate reward… Inner Peace.
Is there something in your life that’s trying to take away your inner peace? Maybe now is the time to sign up for one of my Life Coaching programs, which are based on the principles found in A Course in Miracles. Or maybe you’ll decide to join me for one of my Family Constellation workshops.
Until next time, may you see the blessings in every event of your life..
The picture above is of the gorgeous stained glass window at the Unity Church in Pompano Beach. This Sunday was my third time there, and for the third time I got those tingly God bumps all through my body. That’s my sign that I’m in the right place at the right time. The music is great. The message is great. But most importantly, the people that I am meeting are great. It just feels good to be there, you know what I mean? Do you go places like that?
The beginning of the year is a great time to reassess where you are spending your time and with whom. Not as an opportunity to judge them, but just to be aware of whether or not they are still a good fit for you. Time passes and we change. And that means our social and relationship needs change too. Maybe the groups you belong to no longer support your highest good? Maybe you’ve noticed you feel drained or tired after spending time with certain people instead of happy and invigorated? Maybe you keep going to the same organizations or activities out of habit or obligation instead of a true desire to be there? How do you feel when you’re there? These are just questions I invite you to ponder as you go about your days this month. You might be surprised at your answers, and how good it feels to let some of them go!
A great way to let things go is with Family Constellation. Please visit my website for more information about this amazing healing experience.
Until we meet again, may every spot you find yourself fill your heart with Peace, Love, and Joy…