Time Travel Parenting

A friend told me a story this week that opened the door for some childhood memories to flood back into my mind. Not that I think I’m done, but I have invested a considerable amount of time into healing my relationship with my mother and the effects of her addiction to alcohol. When memories like these return, they rarely have emotions attached to them. For whatever reason, this time when I started thinking about little John growing up in all that chaos and uncertainty, tears welled up in my eyes. I felt a new level of compassion for him. Although I truly believe my mother and I reached a beautiful place of mutual understanding and unconditional love before she passed, apparently I had another layer of healing and releasing to do. 

As the tears flowed, I remembered a powerful dream I had on Saturday morning in that murky phase between sleeping and waking. In the dream, I opened a magical portal where adult John traveled back in time to the house where I grew up in Vestal, NY. This is not a place I would choose to go back to. Anyone who has experienced alcohol addiction in their family knows that alcoholism and cleanliness don’t usually go hand in hand. Without going into details, I’ll just say our house was usually pretty gross. I learned to clean and do laundry at a young age. Meals were often left half prepared on the stove, so dinner was often a bowl of cereal.

For the record, I’m sharing this information for context, not to elicit sympathy. It took over 40 years, but I came to understand that everything that happened between me and my mother, (the good, the bad, and the ugly) was exactly what was supposed to happen so that I could be where I am today. It was a pivotal moment in my healing journey when this understanding dropped from my head to my heart. Instead of just understanding it intellectually, I felt the truth of it in my whole being. A few days before she passed, I held my mother’s hand as she lay unconscious in her hospital bed while we listened to the CD set Graceful Passages: A Companion for Living and Dying. When it was done, and my eyes had no more tears to cry, I was able to thank her for all of it and tell her that she was the perfect mom for me. And I meant it.

Back in my dream, I searched the house and found little John crying in his bedroom. I told him who I was and that I had something amazing to show him. We traveled back through the portal emerging at the gorgeous sunset scene on Sarasota Bay that I described in last week’s blog. I told him that THIS is our life now. It’s filled with peace, love, joy, and beauty! We made it out of that chaos in Vestal. I reassured him that I would take care of him from now on. I also promised we would only live in places that light up our soul and allow our creative expression to flow freely. I added that I found us a beautiful, quiet place near the water to live. And finally, I promised that I would do my best to honor, respect, and value his needs from now on. It felt so good to tell him these things and share details of this exciting new chapter we are creating together! The conversation soothed both of us, and I felt our heart connection grow stronger. Then we sat back in the Adirondack chairs to watch Mother Nature put on a spectacular show with storm clouds, thunder, egrets, herons, and jumping fish as golden sunlight danced in the ripples of the water.

One of the cornerstones of the work I do called Family Constellations is the idea that eventually we all have to accept the love from our parents as they gave it, not as we wanted it. It may take a long time to get there, but it is possible. Then, we can parent ourselves and give ourselves  everything we need to thrive. If you’ve never thought about parenting yourself, I invite you to give it a try. It is one of the most freeing and empowering gifts I have ever given myself. If you would like some guidance on how specifically to do this, please contact me for a private Family Constellations session or a series of Life Coaching sessions. It would be my great honor to assist you. I continue to be amazed by what is revealed and healed in these sessions. For more information or to schedule a session, please look around my website or send me an email

Until next time, may your little one experience an abundance of love and support from the best parent she or he could ever have…YOU! 

You have so little faith in yourself because you are unwilling to accept the fact that perfect love is in you. And so you seek without for what you cannot find without.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-15.VI.2:1

The Many Faces of Joy

Last week I wrote about the unconscious resistance to fully experiencing joy. Since then, the concept of joy has been rumbling around in my mind. What exactly is joy, and how do we welcome it? This was a common theme in many of my Life Coaching sessions and in both of my weekly A Course in Miracles Study groups. In all of these conversations, I noticed that joy shows up in different ways for different people.

One of the most joyful times in my life was when I worked in the Entertainment Department at Walt Disney World. Some days I couldn’t believe I was getting paid (albeit not much) to have so much fun with my friends in those costumes. I worked there for seven years, so it would be hard to pin down one favorite role in a parade or show. 

However, one of my top five joyful moments at Disney was dancing in the Easter Parade as a Hoe Down Cowboy with the County Bear Jamboree. (Please don’t ask what bears and cowboys have to do with Easter because I have no idea!) Our high-energy dance routine was choreographed to the song “Rocky Top.” I’m not a country music fan, but I had so much fun dancing to that song I whooped and hollered like a crazy person all through the parade route. Being so full of joy helped me push myself to keep my energy high and dance full out until we passed the sightline. It was both exhausting and exhilarating. I had a great cowgirl partner who matched my energy which made it even more fun. I think the picture below captures the essence of the joy we were feeling.

But joy isn’t always loud and flashy. Sometimes it’s much more subtle and quiet. This past weekend I had an experience of silent, peaceful joy. After receiving some happy news in Sarasota, I decided to revisit a place that my friends had taken me to the week before. It is a tranquil spot off the beaten path overlooking Sarasota Bay. I arrived about an hour before sunset and was surprised to find very few people there. I plopped myself down in an empty Adirondack chair to enjoy Mother Nature’s show. 

The sun was still shining brightly in the sky, but the steady breeze coming off the water kept me nice and cool. The tide must have been out because I noticed a large sand bar in the middle of the bay. At least a half dozen herons and egrets took advantage of that shallow water to do some fishing for dinner. I was very entertained watching their slow, deliberate walk and their necks stretching back and forth as they searched for fish. Once they spotted one, they plunged their heads into the water and almost always emerged with a wiggling fish in their beaks. 

Those birds might have had even better luck closer to where I was sitting. Every few minutes, a fish jumped completely out of the water. I was amazed by their ability to launch their entire body several inches into the air before landing back in the bay with a splash. I’m not sure why they were doing that. Perhaps they were trying to escape from predators below. The constant leaping and splashing gave the whole scene a comical flavor as if I were in a cartoon. I laughed every time. In addition to comedy, it also provided a feeling of abundance. Fish were jumping everywhere and readily available for the hungry birds. It definitely seemed like there were “plenty of fish in the sea.” I had never experienced anything like it. 


As the bright orange orb gently lowered itself toward the water, golden sunlight danced on the ripples of the waves. Occasionally a sailboat drifted through the golden sparkles way across the bay. Dark clouds began to invade the sky, and thunder rumbled in the distance. The impending storm just added to the mystical quality of the experience. After the sun dipped below the horizon, I risked getting drenched to enjoy the sights and sounds a little while longer. Honestly, I didn’t want to leave! And something interesting occurred to me. Even though I was there by myself, I did not feel any sense of sadness or loneliness. My heart was full. There was nothing missing. All I felt was a sense of gratitude and contentment. Perhaps those are the only ingredients necessary in the recipe for joy in all its many forms. 


This week, may you find ways to experience a sense of gratitude and contentment for things that are already around you. It could be as simple as laughing at your favorite sitcom, dancing or singing along to your favorite song, or taking a moment to sit under a tree. If you could use some assistance in welcoming joy, please contact me. I would be honored to help you remove the blocks to the awareness of joy’s presence with a series of Life Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations session. Look around my website now for more information about these joyful opportunities or send me an email to schedule a session. 


Until next time, may joy sneak up and find you as it found me in moments of deep gratitude and contentment.

Be not content with future happiness.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-26.VIII.9:1

Addicted to Joy!

Last week I had the unexpected joy of staying with two friends who also happen to be yoga instructors. In addition to the many fun adventures we had, one morning, while one friend was at the gym, the other offered to guide me through a private yoga class. Having done the same sequence of yoga poses at home for the past ten years, I welcomed the opportunity to try something new with a teacher I trust. The pandemic prevented my friend from teaching classes over the past year, so he was happy to have someone to guide. I love that it was a mutually beneficial situation. 

They practice Kriya Yoga, which I learned incorporates a lot of intentional breathing techniques (called pranayama) with intentional movements. Some of the breathing techniques I had done in past yoga classes. Some were brand new. There was one I found particularly challenging. After a minute or two of inhaling through one nostril and exhaling through the other using my thumb and index finger to hold the opposite nostril closed, I started to feel a slight burning sensation in my nasal passages. It was very uncomfortable to have that much air passing through my nose. I was surprised by how resistant I was to keep breathing that way. I knew I had to keep going if I wanted to reap the benefits of this ancient practice.

I reminded myself that I would not have to breathe this way forever. Many times throughout the practice, my friend offered encouraging words that helped me to push past my discomfort. Eventually, we moved on to other breathing techniques that were not as uncomfortable and quite fun. One required some left to right hand coordination as the time between inhales and exhales got shorter. When the tempo reached its fastest, I’ll admit I got a little discombobulated, but I did my best to keep up and not get frustrated. After the pranayama, we moved on to some poses that were exactly what my body was craving.

I’m so glad I took advantage of this opportunity and didn’t just do the same routine I always do. Although I had only gotten 4-5 hours of sleep the night before, I felt fantastic when we finished. I usually don’t function well with less than 7 hours of sleep, so I was sure I would need a nap at some point later that day. To my surprise, that was not the case. I had plenty of energy to do all the things I needed to do including my Friday evening online A Course in Miracles study group.

What a powerful lesson! How often do we resist the very thing that we know will help us feel better or move forward? I’ve noticed the same thing in my practice of the principles found in A Course in Miracles. Even though I have been studying the Course since 2006, I still find myself resistant to applying it in certain situations. If I release my resentment towards someone who appears to have wronged me I know I will feel better. If I stop focusing on an upsetting situation, I will inevitably return to peace. So why is it so hard to do? It’s like a popcorn kernel stuck between your teeth that your tongue simply can’t stop wrestling with. Try as we may, we keep going back there!

This subject came up during the “Afternoon of Miracles” workshop I facilitated in Dallas last month. We were speaking about addiction to substances when one participant pointed out there are many other types of addiction. In addition to substances and behaviors, we can be addicted to limiting beliefs, suffering, struggle, and drama. I believe these all fall under the domain of the ego because they keep us from experiencing what we truly want: peace, love, and joy. I heard Marianne Williamson once compare following the ego’s thought system to being addicted to heroin. You can only do it for so long. Eventually you either quit or you don’t survive. Throughout A Course in Miracles, we are reminded of the importance of choosing joy over pain. It seems so obvious, yet we don’t always do it. Why?

Brené Brown spoke about our resistance to fully experiencing joy in a recent episode of her podcast Unlocking Us. The conversation with her sisters was around being fearful of joy. We know it won’t last forever so we don’t fully welcome it. Many of us sabotage the expansive feeling of joy by imagining what bad thing is going to happen to take it away. Fear immediately obliterates joy. While researching her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené theorized that people who were able to throw their hands up and let joy completely wash over them were people that had a strong spiritual connection. The research did not prove that to be true. Instead, the common denominator was gratitude. People that expressed gratitude while they were experiencing joy were more likely to experience more joy more often. Those who were cautious of joy waiting for “the other shoe to drop” were not as successful at experiencing joy fully. 

This is really good news because the solution is quite simple, though not always easy. Can I find something (no matter how small) for which to be grateful about the person who appears to have wronged me? Is there another way of looking at the situation that upset me to discover a blessing in disguise? And when I am experiencing joy, can I take a moment to express my deep gratitude for it? In that same podcast, Brené apologized to her fellow 12-steppers who use the slogan “the attitude of gratitude.” She believes gratitude is not an attitude, it’s a practice. Why not share one thing you are grateful for as you sit down to every meal, not just on Thanksgiving? Perhaps you can start (or recommit to) a gratitude journal in which you write down 5 things you are grateful for every day. Whatever you do to express more gratitude, I believe Brené’s research that it will lead to more joy. I am so grateful for my family, my friends, A Course in Miracles, my yoga practice, and all of you who read these weekly stories! 

If you find it difficult to fully experience joy or suspect that some of those pesky ego addictions are lurking in your unconscious mind, maybe A Course in Miracles is calling you? The Course is a psychological mind training that teaches us how to choose joy over pain and love over fear. To learn more about this practice, please join us for one or both of my weekly ACIM online study groups. For one-on-one assistance, I would be honored to help you with a series of Life Coaching sessions. You can also join me for a very special online workshop on Saturday, July 17 from 2-5PM Eastern where we will be “Exploring Independence from Addiction with Family Constellations.” Last month’s workshop sold out, so if this topic is of interest, purchase your ticket soon! Please look around my website for more information about all of these joyful opportunities.

Until next time, may rain showers of joy and gratitude completely drench your soul…

Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit. Eventually everyone begins to recognize, however dimly, that there must be a better way. As this recognition becomes more firmly established, it becomes a turning point.

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

Gold Star for Surrender

Many of you know I like to scatter tiny rose quartz crystals in lakes, streams, and flower beds as a way to infuse a location with the frequency of unconditional love and compassion. It’s a fun ritual I learned from one of my very first spiritual teachers back in 2004 and I have been doing it ever since. Not long after I started this practice, my teacher and I were in a beautiful spot by a stream having a deep conversation when it occurred to me that I did not have any rose quartz stones with me. My teacher agreed it would have been nice to drop a few in the stream, but he reminded me that we didn’t need little pink stones to make it a sacred spot. Just our being there and having that moment made it sacred. I never forgot that lesson. 

Last month, while I was taking one of my last walks in Hermann Park, I decided to toss a few rose quartz crystals around the path as a way to thank the park for being such a blessing during my time in Houston. I only had a handful left so I was being very intentional with where I placed them. Some went on either side of the path where I usually started my walk. A few went under a favorite prayer bench. The lake received a few as well as the spot where I almost walked in front of the train had it not been for a family on the other side of the train tracks! I saved the last piece for my favorite spot under a tree where I did my cool-down stretches and Donna Eden’s 5-Minute Daily Energy Medicine Routine

As I neared the end of my route, I took the last tiny pink stone out of my pocket ready to place it in what I considered the perfect place. Suddenly my hand bumped my thigh and the stone flew out from between my fingers. I couldn’t believe it! I was so close to my destination! I scanned the sidewalk for a minute but was not able to see where it landed. The crystals I use are pale pink and smaller than popcorn kernels so they are not always easy to spot. I could have spent a lot of time looking for it, but instead, I decided to surrender to what happened and trust that the crystal was supposed to be wherever it landed. Although I was disappointed, I remembered what my teacher said about not needing rose quartz to make a spot sacred. My healing experiences under that tree had already done that. 

When I arrived under the tree and bent over to stretch my back and quads, something shiny on the ground caught my eye. Right there on that very spot a gold star was sparkling in the sun. I’m pretty sure I laughed out loud when I saw it. It was a great reminder that I didn’t have to do anything to mark that spot as sacred. The Universe via some graduate celebrating with confetti and a photo op took care of that for me. And, by letting go of my attachment to what I thought was “supposed” to happen, I believe the Universe gave me a gold star in this lesson on surrender. I trust I will remember this experience the next time I find myself attached to a particular outcome, especially one that seems to have more significance. If I surrender to what wants to happen instead of insisting I know what should happen, perhaps I’ll earn another gold star! Of course, the only gold star worth earning is Inner Peace.

Are you having a hard time letting go of your attachment to a particular outcome? I would be honored to help you earn a gold star in surrender with a series of Life Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations session. Both can help you expand your capacity to see things from a different perspective allowing you to let go and trust the process. Please look around my website for more information about both or send me an email to book a session. 

Until next time, may you earn a gold star in all of life’s lessons whether they be large or small. 

If you realized that you do not perceive your own best interests, you could be taught what they are. But in the presence of your conviction that you do know what they are, you cannot learn. The idea for today is a step toward opening your mind so that learning can begin.

A Course in Miracles – W-24.2:1-3

Miracle in a Laundry Basket

When I moved to Houston three years ago I was “all in.” Before departing Fort Lauderdale, I sold a few things and donated all of my furniture and household items to an organization that helps women in recovery get back on their feet. A miracle named “Odalys” appeared at the eleventh hour to facilitate the bulk of my belongings finding a new home. I don’t know what I would have done if it weren’t for her! You can read all about that experience in my blog titled “Faith, Trust, and Moving Dust.”

Last month, as I prepared to leave Houston and head back to Florida, I made the executive decision that I would only bring what would fit in my car. Since I gave most everything away three years ago, I don’t own enough to make it cost-effective to rent a truck or hire a moving company. It felt like a clear and efficient boundary since I will most likely be moving again to a more permanent location later this summer.

As I packed up my car last week, I soon discovered there wouldn’t be room for a few things I was hoping to bring. I couldn’t find space for three of my large plants without crushing them, so I decided to leave them behind where they were growing happily. The other item was my laundry basket. While driving the first leg, it occurred to me that I could have put my hanging clothes inside the laundry basket, thus allowing it to come with me, but by then I was already in Louisiana. It was disappointing, but I knew these items could be easily replaced. I was amazed by how much did fit in my car. Had one of my favorite paintings been one inch wider it would not have slid into my hatchback like it was made for that space. With those few exceptions, everything else fit perfectly and I was incredibly grateful!

After a joyful two days of driving listening to dance music and A Course in Miracles podcasts, I arrived safely at my sister’s house in Florida. With her help, it took less than an hour to unload my car. I brought in my clothes from the passenger seat first. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I hung them. On the floor of my new closet was a bright blue laundry basket! My sister had placed it there without knowing that was one of the items I had to leave behind. What a beautiful reminder that the Universe has my back. When I don’t try to force things to fit and surrender to what wants to happen, my needs are met without having to speak them.

Could you use some assistance in surrendering and releasing the need to force things to happen in a specific way? I would be honored to help you see things from an expanded perspective with a series of Life Coaching Sessions or with Family Constellations. Both create space for miracles to happen in your life. Please look around my website for more information and to learn about upcoming events. If you’d like to book a session, simply send me an email.

Until next time, may you surrender to the many miracles that want to happen in your life. 

Miracles are natural. When they do not occur something has gone wrong.

Miracle Principle #6A Course in Miracles

Release with Love

Long-time readers of my weekly stories will not be surprised by the news I am about to share. I moved back to Florida this week! After 3 years of living in Houston, Texas, I heeded the call to return to the place that feels like home. Houston is a wonderful city with much to offer, it just wasn’t a good fit for me. My preference is to live in a much smaller city with a tropical climate near the ocean. During the 25 years I lived in Florida before moving to Texas, I would often remind myself, “I’m not on vacation, I live here!” And now with a smile in my heart, I can say that again with even deeper gratitude.

Before I drove east, I had the opportunity to practice what I preach and do something I often recommend to my Family Constellations clients. The night I officially made the decision to leave Texas, I went to my rooftop deck to get some fresh air and look out over the Houston skyline. As I stared at its twinkling lights against a gray, cloudy background, it occurred to me that the two of us needed to have a conversation. To be fair, I did most of the talking. I stood up, faced the city with my hands in prayer position, and said these words:

“Dear Houston. We have had an interesting 3 years together. You have been overwhelming at times. I have gotten lost in your streets and trapped in your traffic. Yes, in moments of sheer frustration, I have even cursed you! And I have also been richly blessed by you. I have met incredible people and made lifelong friends. I have experienced moments of joy and sorrow. I have received excellent health care from your skilled medical professionals. I have helped heal many hearts in Houston with Family Constellations and A Course in Miracles which has helped heal my heart in return. Houston, you have been a significant part of my journey and I am grateful for all of it. And now I release you with love.”

Then I bowed deeply and slowly to downtown Houston to show my respect and gratitude. When I stood up, I felt a shift in my body, as if some heaviness were being lifted up and out of my being. While this was happening I took a deep breath to help integrate this new feeling of lightness. It surprised me how viscerally I felt this in my body. That feeling of lightness has stayed with me. Once I released Houston with love and appreciation, I was free to turn around and walk away with my focus on what lies ahead, not on what has passed. 

This powerful practice can be adapted to any situation or experience that is coming to an end: a job, a relationship, an illness, an old way of being. Simply choose an object or person to represent that which is complete and express whatever is in your heart making sure to acknowledge the blessings and the challenges. Complete the ritual by bowing slowly to the representative. By releasing it with love, you are honoring the part it played in your life, thus dissolving any sticky chords that keep you stuck in the past and unable to turn around and move toward the future. I often compare this inability to walking backward through a room full of furniture. You can do it, but you will likely trip over chairs and bump into tables because your attention is on what is behind you, not what is in front of you.

To all the wonderful people in Houston who welcomed me so warmly into your community and your hearts, I say thank you! It was a gift to share this time with you. Since the pandemic, the majority of my work is now online so we can stay connected through my weekly A Course in Miracles study groups, monthly Virtual Family Constellations Sessions, and right here in this weekly email. My apologies if I didn’t get to say farewell in person. Please know that you will always have a place in my heart.

Speaking of virtual workshops, I will be facilitating a special online event on Saturday, June 19, the day before Father’s Day, where we will be “Exploring the Role of Dad with Family Constellations.” Half the tickets have already been sold so if this sounds like something you’d like to experience, purchase your ticket soon! 

Later in July, I will be facilitating another special online event where we will “Declare Our Independence from Addiction with Family Constellations.” Addiction is an insidious thread woven into many family systems, including my own. I will share what I’ve learned from personal experience with people suffering from addictions and what I’ve seen during 8 years of facilitating this work. My goal is to shed some light on this dark disruptor and put it in its proper place. I have not selected a date for this one yet, so watch future emails or check the calendar page on my website. As always, if you’d like more information about these events, scheduling a one-on-one session, or my Life Coaching programs based on A Course in Miracles, simply send me an email or look around my website

Until next time, may you find meaningful ways to release things from your past with love and make room for the blessings that await you!

Put yourself not in charge of this, for you cannot distinguish between advance and retreat. Some of your greatest advances you have judged as failures, and some of your deepest retreats you have evaluated as success.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-18.V.1:5-6

Love at the Dentist’s Office

You might be thinking I meant to write “Fear at the Dentist’s Office.” For many people that might be more accurate, but I meant to write “Love.” That’s what washed over me quite unexpectedly this week while I was at my dentist’s office. I’ve been going to the same dentist for more than ten years. As you might expect, I have gotten to know my dentist and the people who work in his office quite well and they have gotten to know me. During that time, there has been very little turnaround in the staff which I think says a lot about the people. The office manager has been there as long as I have been going. She is both extremely sweet and efficient, often going above and beyond to work with my schedule and my insurance plan.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it had been 15 months since my last visit. I was way overdue for a cleaning and three replacement fillings. Once again, the office manager worked her magic and moved things around so I could get everything taken care of in the same visit. I told the hygienist (who has been cleaning my teeth for the last several years) how glad I was to see her. We always make each other laugh while she’s scraping the gunk under my gums, although I’m very diligent about flossing so her job isn’t that hard. She admitted that she was happy to see my name on the schedule this week. This may sound strange, but as I lay there in the chair with the suction tube dangling from my open mouth as she started cleaning, it occurred to me that this was an expression of love. 

Unlike the suction tube, the love flows in both directions. My love expressed as gratitude for the work she does to keep my teeth and gums healthy. Her love expressed as making me laugh and putting me at ease while she did the not-so-pleasant job of deep cleaning my teeth. I didn’t share this thought with her. One, because my mouth was full of dental instruments, and two, because it might sound weird or mildly inappropriate. Instead, I simply  imagined gratitude radiating from my heart to hers and out into the rest of the office.

Later, as my dentist and his assistant worked together to fix my fillings, I felt that same wave of love and gratitude wash over me. Those two have been working together for as long as I’ve been going to that office, so they have developed quite the rapport. In addition to being very skilled at what they do, they also like to make me and each other laugh. During this visit, we talked about Dr. Brian Weiss’s first book, Many Lives Many Masters, past-life regressions, and some other books on spirituality they had recently read and shared with each other. And when I say “we talked” I mean they talked. Knowing what I do for a living, my dentist joked, “I bet you have a lot to say on this topic. Too bad your mouth is numb and full of cotton and dental instruments.” 

During a break in the action after my first filling, I mentioned that I felt like I was on the dance floor at a disco with all the flashing colored lights they were using. There was a green light above my face, and whatever device the assistant used after the dentist packed the filling flashed bright blue and made a beeping sound. Without missing a beat, the assistant said, “Those colored lights don’t do anything special. We just like the way they look.” The dentist added that the beeping sound was just one of them making the noise under their mask. That really amused me, and I couldn’t help laughing every time I heard the beep. Suddenly, I felt like I was in a Saturday Night Live skit. When I mentioned that to the dentist, he requested I not write that in a review on Yelp. 

When they were done fixing my teeth and making me laugh, I answered their questions about the work I do and shared with them my first mind-blowing experience of Family Constellations. Not only do I feel extremely well cared for when I’m there, but I also feel safe to be authentically me with my unusual profession and silly sense of humor. Would I want to be in the dentist’s chair more than twice per year? Not really. But when I’m there, I definitely feel Love, not fear, in the dentist’s office. That sure sounds like a miracle to me.

Is there a situation or circumstance in your life that brings up anxiety, anger, or fear? I would be honored to help you experience a miracle with a series of Life Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. Both are powerful ways to expand your capacity to see things differently, thus shifting your experience from fear to love. For more information or to make an appointment please look around my website or simply send me an email.

Until next time, may love and gratitude wash over you in unexpected situations…

With love in you, you have no need except to extend it.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-15.V.11:3

When a Wrong Turn is a Right Turn

An interesting thing happened during a conversation with a friend this week. We were catching up and having a milkshake outside Becks Prime Restaurant on Kirby Drive when a white plastic bag floated down from the sky and landed on the table right between us. I believe I had just finished saying something like, “I’m waiting for a sign or guidance on what my next steps should be.” Seconds later the bag arrived. I laughed and said, “This must be my sign!” Printed on the bag was the name of a restaurant two blocks away called Grace’s. It felt like Spirit reminding me that grace is everywhere and given freely including the situation we were discussing. I don’t have to beg or plead with the Universe. My job is to make it welcome, not make it happen. What a magical and timely message!

What makes this event even more interesting is the back story. You see, we picked the place and time for this milkshake rendezvous weeks ago, but then I had to postpone it by a day which my friend graciously accommodated. Here’s the embarrassing part. Becks Prime has three locations in Houston. Even though I’m the one that suggested we meet at the one on Kirby, I drove to the wrong location! As soon as I pulled into the parking lot and didn’t see my friend’s car I realized my mistake. Sheepishly, I called to tell him what happened and asked if he still had time to meet. I knew it would take a while for me to get to the correct location in rush hour traffic. He said he had time, so I hopped back in my car and headed that way.

During the drive, I grumbled to myself for not being more mindful. My error meant that much of our time together would be lost while I sat in traffic. My inner critic (aka the ego) was having a field day with this situation. Luckily, the friend I was meeting is also a student of A Course in Miracles, so I knew he would forgive me. More importantly, I knew I had to forgive myself. I did my best to surrender to the situation and listen to the voice of love which reminded me that all was well despite outward appearances. When I arrived 45 minutes later we had a good laugh at my silly mistake and then left it behind to enjoy a delightful conversation and a delicious milkshake.

Later, when I reflected on the situation, the perfection of it all became crystal clear. Had we met at the other location, we would not have been near Grace’s Restaurant. Had I driven to the correct location in the first place, we probably would not have been sitting there when the bag landed on the table. Either way, I would have missed that important message from Spirit. As frustrating as it was, it turned out to be a wonderful opportunity to release self-judgment and forgive myself. And isn’t that grace?

Are you having a difficult time forgiving yourself or someone else? I would be honored to offer you the gift of grace with a series of Life Coaching Sessions. In our weekly 60-minute telephone or Zoom sessions, we will discuss ways to see things from a different perspective. I will also provide tools to help you release anxiety, judgment, and fear. If you are ready to experience more peace in your life, please visit my website or send me an email for more information and to book a session.

Until next time, may the gift of grace arrive in unexpected and magical ways…

Spirit is in a state of grace forever. Your reality is only spirit. Therefore you are in a state of grace forever.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-1.III.5:4

Waves of Grief

I’ve learned a few things about grief on my journey so far. One, there is no statute of limitations on grief. It can show up for a surprise visit years after we think we’ve cried our last tears about whatever we lost. Waves of grief can sneak up on us during the holidays, an anniversary, a birthday, or just a Tuesday. We can’t always predict when they will come, but it is as futile to try and stop them as it would be to try and stop ocean waves from reaching the beach. And like ocean waves, we can be still and let the small ones roll past our ankles. But for the really big ones, it might be best to dive right in and go through them so they don’t knock us over. 

Speaking of waves and grief, this month marks three years since I left Fort Lauderdale. I’ve made some wonderful friends and met some amazing people here in Houston, many of whom read my weekly stories. (I love you, Houstonians!) I know the move was the right choice and I’m grateful for so much that has happened here. Yet, I wouldn’t be completely honest if I didn’t admit that I’m still grieving the loss of many things about my old life in Florida. 

I miss beloved friends, magical burritos, year-round tropical temperatures, and the proximity to Mother Ocean. I used to get my “cardio on” while walking along her beaches at least three times per week, often cooling off in her waves when I finished. Many times while floating in the sea, my heart would fill with gratitude knowing: “I’m not on vacation. I live here!” Whenever I had a hard day, I could jump in my car and be at the beach within ten minutes. The sound of the surf and seagulls. The feel of the steady ocean breeze on my face. The smell of the salt air. The changing colors of the rolling waves and the sky as the sun sank behind me. All of it was like balm for my soul. I’m taking a deep breath just thinking about it. 

The ten-year anniversary of my mother’s passing is also coming up in a few days. I’ve noticed some waves of sadness around that too. She told me that she was ready to go well before she actually did, so I was happy for her when she finally laid her body aside in April of 2011. The sadness comes when I think about not seeing her twinkling, mischievous eyes or hearing her laugh again, or the hilarious things that came out of her mouth. She had a sharp wit and could make a joke about anything. Once in a while, she would say something that was not meant to be funny, like this gem she spoke while I was waiting to pay the check at a restaurant: “Honey, I’m going outside to get some fresh air and have a cigarette.” When I remembered that comment earlier today I laughed out loud, and then I cried a little bit.

That’s another thing I’ve learned about grief. It’s actually an aspect of love. If we hadn’t loved deeply, we wouldn’t feel pain when that something or someone is gone. Somehow thinking of it that way comforts me. Whether it’s a person, a place, a pet, or a time in your life that you are missing, know that your grief is a sign of how much you allowed yourself to love and be loved. It’s a beautiful thing. If you can, allow yourself to feel it. Most of us live our lives trying to avoid anything uncomfortable. But when we shut off our feelings, we shut off the good ones too. It’s not comfortable to feel the sadness, but if we don’t block it, it can move through us. Today, the people walking by me in Hermann Park might have wondered why that man was laughing one second and crying the next. The crying only lasted a minute because I let the wave of emotion (energy in motion) move through me.

There’s one last thing that deserves mentioning. Happiness is indeed a choice and also an inside job, meaning it does not depend on outside circumstances. However, we often use this spiritual truth as a weapon to make ourselves feel worse when we aren’t effervescing with joy 24/7. It’s not only okay but necessary to acknowledge when you’re sad or experiencing grief. You have to feel it to heal it. We can try to think of something else or partake in our favorite distraction, but that will only work for so long. It’s like throwing a glittery blanket over a dusty old box of photos in the basement. We may not be able to see the box anymore, but it’s still there taking up space. Some days that’s the best we can do. If that’s the case, toss on that glittery blanket so you can get through the day. 

At some point, you’ll know when it’s time to take that old dusty box out of the basement (your subconscious mind) and bring it outside into the light. Open it up and take a look at what’s inside. Allow yourself to cry so the sadness isn’t stuck inside you. Here’s the best news. You don’t have to do this alone. Share your grief with a friend, family member, God, guardian angel, therapist, grief counselor, or spiritual coach. They can sit right by your side as you unpack that box and let those emotions flow. You might also try a grief support group. There’s a 5-week online “Journey Through Grief” Workshop starting on Sunday, May 2 led by Rev. Mindy Lawrence Curtiss of Unity of Houston. For more information and to join CLICK HERE

If you are feeling grief, large or small, please let someone know so you don’t have to carry it all by yourself. I would be honored to unpack that box with you if you’re ready. Family Constellations is an amazing unpacking tool. Please look around my website or reply to this email for more information about Life Coaching, a Private Constellation, or my next Online Group Session.

Until next time, may you find the courage to let the waves of grief roll in knowing that it’s a form of love, you’re not alone, and this too shall pass.

On this day is grief laid by, for sights and sounds that come from nearer than the world are clear to you…There is a silence into which the world can not intrude. There is an ancient peace you carry in your heart and have not lost. There is a sense of holiness in you the thought of sin has never touched.

Lesson 164 from A Course in Miracles