Remember Me

Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos) is a holiday that gives us the opportunity to celebrate the lives of our loved ones who have passed. Families honor their ancestors by creating “ofrendas” or offerings. These altars are decorated with candles, bright yellow marigolds, photos of the departed, and the favorite foods and drinks of the one being honored. Since this celebration happens today into tomorrow, November 1 & 2, it felt appropriate to share this expanded definition of ancestors and descendants again. Perhaps it will inspire you to light a candle, look at old photographs, or simply take a moment to remember all those who came before:

One of my most influential Family Constellations Teachers, Suzi Tucker, defines an ancestor as anyone who stands behind the people who stand behind us. Yes, this is our grandparents, great grandparents, and so on, but this definition does not limit an ancestor to those who pass down their DNA. It expands the definition to include teachers, mentors, therapists, counselors, and coaches. Truly anyone who has touched our lives in some significant way is an ancestor. 

By this definition, Michelle Blechner, Suzy Tucker, Mark Wolynn, and the many Constellations Mentors that have shaped my work, including the man who created Family Constellations, Bert Hellinger, are my ancestors. I also honor Helen Schucman, William Thetford, Ken Wapnick, Judy Skutch Whitson, and all those responsible for ushering  A Course in Miracles into the world. I acknowledge and thank Gary Renard and every ACIM Teacher and Facilitator who has helped me understand and apply these radical teachings to my life. I have tremendous respect and gratitude for all of my spiritual teachers along the way: Ministers from both Unity and Science of Mind, my Rose Quartz Family, and the staff at Educating Hands School of Massage in Miami. There are too many to name so I will just say thank you, ancestors!

Suzi also has an expanded definition of descendants. They are anyone whose life we touch that touches the lives of others. Of course, if you have children and grandchildren, they are your descendants. Nieces and nephews fall into this category, but so would any child whose life you have been a part of, regardless of blood relation. If you are a teacher, every student you have ever taught is a descendent. There are so many lives we touch every day whether from a formal mentoring or teaching role or just by the way we show up for them. 

By this definition, my Coaching Clients, Constellation Clients, and all those who have ever attended a Family Constellations Workshop or A Course in Miracles Study Group are my descendants. Take a moment to think about all the lives you have touched. It is extremely humbling to imagine how many people are in front of us. I am thrilled to know that a few members of my ACIM Study Groups have gone on to facilitate their own groups. Some who have attended my Constellations Training have begun to use the concepts and philosophy in their healing work. It brings me such joy to see these teachings being passed down and spreading out into the world.

An experience I had during a Constellations Conference gave me an even deeper appreciation of this concept. During an exercise, the facilitator put us into groups of 3 and instructed us to take turns representing ourselves while one person represented an ancestor and the other represented a descendant. I’ll never forget the feeling of immense gratitude that welled up in me while representing the descendant. As I looked at my teacher and my teacher’s teacher, I wondered how I could ever repay them for such a life-changing gift. And then it dawned on me. The best way to repay them was by sharing what I learned with others, thus allowing the gift to keep on giving.

If you’d like to experience some of the gifts I have been given, consider attending one or both of my weekly online A Course in Miracles Study Groups on Mondays and Fridays. Visit the Miracles page on my website for the times and information on how to join. 

For a one-of-a-kind opportunity to honor your ancestors while releasing unhealthy family patterns, join me for an upcoming Virtual Family Constellations Workshop. There are just two more scheduled in 2021. To prepare you for Thanksgiving, the first is “An Exploration of Belonging with Family Constellations” happening on Saturday, November 13 at 2PM Eastern,  1PM Central. Then, to help you navigate the holiday season, we will be “Balancing Giving and Receiving with Family Constellations” on Saturday, December 11 also at 2PM Eastern, 1PM Central. Visit the Upcoming Workshops page on my website for more information and to purchase your ticket. 

In the meantime, I trust you will find a way that has meaning to you to honor your ancestors, those that came before. Don’t forget to also take a moment to receive gratitude from your descendants, those that follow. I like to watch the Disney/Pixar film Coco at this time of year because it takes place in Mexico during El Dia de Los Muertos. Not only is it visually stunning, but the story will touch your heart. Please enjoy a little sample with the song “Remember Me” by clicking here.

Love must be extended. 

A Course in Miracles ~ T-28.II.2:2

Meet Your Ancestors and Descendants

This past weekend I attended a 3-Day Online Family Constellations Intensive. It was a virtual gathering of Constellations Facilitators from all over the globe who, like me, wanted to learn new skills and techniques for their practice. One of my first Constellations Teachers, Suzi Tucker, was one of the main presenters, which is why I registered for the event. Suzi is a master wordsmith as well as a skilled Constellations Facilitator. Her expanded yet simple definition of Ancestors and Descendants was one of my biggest takeaways from the weekend.

Suzi defined an Ancestor as anyone who stands behind the people who are standing behind us. Yes, this means our grandparents, great grandparents, and so on, but this definition does not limit an Ancestor to those who pass down their DNA. It expands the definition to include teachers, mentors, therapists, counselors, and coaches. Truly anyone who has touched our lives in some significant way is an Ancestor. 

This is not a new concept to me, but it was so nice to hear it expressed so clearly. Every year at the Big Sky Retreat we speak about all those who had a part in creating the first retreat 45 years ago. We honor the original President, Al Heard, who had an idea to create an event where people from different spiritual paths come together, share ideas, and meditate in a beautiful setting in nature. He and the other original Board Members are the Big Sky Retreat’s Ancestors. I am so grateful to all of them because this annual event has blessed my life in more ways than I can count. 

By this definition, Helen Schucman, William Thetford, Ken Wapnick, and all those responsible for ushering  A Course in Miracles into the world are my Ancestors. This is also true of every ACIM Teacher and Facilitator who has helped me understand and apply these life-changing teachings. I have tremendous respect and gratitude for all of my spiritual teachers along the way: Unity and Science of Mind Ministers, my rose quartz family, and the staff at Educating Hands School of Massage in Miami. I also honor the many Constellations Mentors that shaped my work, including the Father of Family Constellations, Bert Hellinger. Thank you, Ancestors!

Suzi also shared a beautiful definition of Descendants. They are anyone who’s lives we touch that touch the lives of others. If you have children and grandchildren, of course, they are your descendants, but this also includes any child you have parented regardless of blood relation. There are so many lives we touch every day whether we are in a formal mentoring or teaching role or just by the way we show up for them. By this definition, my clients are my Descendants. It is extremely gratifying when one sends me a photo of themself holding their first copy of A Course in Miracles. A few members of the circles I have facilitated have gone on to facilitate their own groups. Some who have attended Constellations Training with me have begun to use the concepts and philosophy in their healing work. It evokes such joy in me to see these teachings being passed down and spreading out into the world.

One of the exercises we did during the weekend intensive gave me an even deeper appreciation of this. We were put into groups of 3 and instructed to take turns representing ourselves while picking one person to represent an Ancestor and the other to represent a Descendant. I’ll never forget the feeling of immense gratitude that welled up in me while representing the Descendant as I looked at my teacher and my teacher’s teacher. I wondered how I could ever repay them for such a life-changing gift. And then it dawned on me. The best way to repay them was by sharing what I learned with others, thus allowing the gift to keep on giving. It gave me renewed inspiration to continue sharing the gifts I’ve been given.

Along those lines, another truth about Ancestors and Descendants became very clear this weekend. Ancestors don’t require anything from their Descendants. The love and support they give are completely free of charge. In fact, during that same exercise, another participant from Asia shared that when her Ancestors spoke to her, they were overjoyed to see how she lived. They were thrilled to see the opportunities available to her that were not available to them. She, in turn, was extremely excited to know she could bring her Ancestors so much joy simply by living a happy, healthy, and prosperous life! And you can too! Not only do you have your Ancestors permission, that’s what they desire for you!

If you could use some assistance connecting with the love and support of your Ancestors, please reach out. I would be honored to share the gifts my Ancestors have shared with me to help you live a happy, healthy, and prosperous life. Through the miracle of technology, I am still offering Life Coaching and Family Constellations sessions. Please send me an email for more information and to schedule a session. 

Until next time, may you receive the love and support of your Ancestors and continue to touch the lives of your Descendants in miraculous ways…

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

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

You Want Me To Do What?

Last week I was blessed to be on a cruise ship in the Western Caribbean Sea celebrating the 90th Anniversary of the Science of Mind Magazine. One of the best parts of that experience was being totally unplugged from social media, emails, and text messaging for six days. My phone remained in airplane mode the entire cruise. I only used it to take pictures and to tell time. It’s not that I don’t love being connected to my friends, my family, and all of you. I do. In fact, in the Oneness we are always connected. However, it felt very good to be fully present with the wonderful people I met on the ship without my phone to distract me. Like most things, our technological gadgets can be both a blessing and a curse. If you are able to give yourself this gift sometime I highly recommend it.



Over two hundred people came from around the country and the world to take part in this event. I was honored to be asked to lead a thirty minute guided meditation on our last day at sea as part of that day’s programming. I begin each of my Family Constellations workshops and A Course in Miracles study groups with a guided meditation, but they are usually between ten and fifteen minutes. What would I do for twice that amount of time? Could I play my crystal singing bowl that long and fill the space or should I bring some meditation music? Should I share the Ancestor Meditation I use for Family Constellations or would that be too weird out of context? Maybe I should just do one of the releasing or surrendering meditations I do with my Life Coaching clients. These were the questions bouncing around in my head prior to the cruise. 



I was so grateful not to be scheduled to lead the meditation on our first day together. That honor went to Dr. Michelle Medrano of the Mile Hi Church in Denver. As I sat there Monday morning listening to her gentle, soothing voice take us on a journey, those questions about my meditation started bouncing in my head again. As soon as I started thinking about the Ancestor Meditation those familiar tingles ran all through my body letting me know that was what I was supposed to share. Alright then. Spirit has been using that particular communication device long enough for me to know I need to pay attention to whatever I’m thinking about in that moment. I decided I would simply take my time and give them the deluxe version of that meditation allowing plenty of time for my crystal singing bowl to work its magic at the end. 



At 8:30 Friday morning I made my way to the front of the room and placed my crystal bowl on the table. I invited the attendees to close their eyes and get comfortable while I gave them a sample of the transformative power of connecting with their ancestors. I tapped the side of the bowl with my suede stick four times to honor each of the four directions and then began running the stick around the circumference to make it sing. As the bowl hummed, I did my best to get out of the way and let Spirit give me the words to connect us all with heart energy. Then, generation by generation, I invited our ancestors to take their place behind us, extending back beyond the horizon. Those first twenty-five minutes flew by. I only had an extra five minutes to let everyone marinate in the flow of love and light coming from behind and moving forward to their descendants and creations. At 9 o’clock I chimed the bowl three times. When the sound completely faded I put the bowl back in its case and sat down, trusting that what just happened was exactly what was supposed to happen. 



Well, I got my confirmation pretty quickly. A man sitting in the row behind me tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around to see tears in his eyes as he told me the experience felt like pure love. What higher compliment could one receive? On our next break, a few other attendees shared that they too had powerful experiences with their ancestors. I’m not sharing this to toot my own horn. I am very aware that it is not me but Spirit working through me that people responded to. My job is to listen for guidance, or in some cases “feel” that guidance, and then act on it, even if it seems weird or out of my comfort zone. When I do this, the results never cease to amaze me.



This experience reminded me of the time many years ago when my friend Kate asked me to deliver a blessing at her commitment ceremony, ironically held at the Science of Mind Church here in Fort Lauderdale. I told her it would be an honor. Shortly after I began pondering what I would say, I received the message to share a short guided meditation as the blessing. I quickly dismissed this idea and went back to my search for nice words to bless my friend, her partner, and this new chapter of their journey together. Despite my best efforts to suppress it, that silly idea kept popping back into my head, this time with images. Reluctantly, I called Kate to ask her how she felt about it. Kate had been a stage manager for many years. Her response was, “You’ve got five minutes. Do whatever you like but don’t go over!”



Once I got the green light from Kate, many more images for the meditation started flooding my brain. I surrendered and let them come. But, much like my deliberation before the cruise last week, many times prior to the ceremony I abandoned the idea of a guided meditation in favor of the safer option to just say some sweet things about my friends. Well, the day of the ceremony arrived and I still wasn’t sure which way to go. Luckily, I didn’t have much time to think about it. Seconds after the brides reached the altar and we all sat down the minister called me up to do the blessing. I was on!



I took a deep breath and let the congregation know I was going to take them on a short journey to honor the coming together of these two beautiful souls. I know I invited them to join hands, but I don’t remember much of what happened after that. The next thing I knew I was sitting back in my chair in the front row while the ceremony continued. This was very early in my spiritual journey. I had never done anything like that before. As I sat there I kept wondering what possessed me to do that and what must people be thinking! 



After the ceremony, my roommate told me that he felt electricity running through the whole sanctuary when everyone joined hands. Since he was my friend I thought he was just being nice. Then, at the reception, something miraculous happened. A woman I’ll call Mary approached me and asked if she could share her experience during the meditation. Uh oh. My mouth said “sure” but the rest of my body wanted to run and hide. 



Mary began by telling me she was a dancer, very energetic, and had a hard time focusing. A few years prior to this, a friend had gifted her a reading with a psychic medium for her birthday. Mary was skeptical, but because it was a gift, she made an appointment anyway. Apparently this psychic was the real deal because she knew things about Mary’s grandmother that no one could have known. Mary loved this grandmother dearly, so when the psychic told her Grandma recommended that she start meditating to calm down and focus, Mary took it seriously. 



After the reading, Mary tried many different meditation techniques. She went to workshops and read books on meditation. Nothing worked. No matter what she tried, Mary could not quiet her mind so she eventually gave up. So on that day in 2006, (which also happened to be my birthday) when I announced to the congregation that I was going to lead them in a short guided meditation, Mary rolled her eyes and prepared to be frustrated for the next five minutes.



To her surprise, when I invited everyone to open their eyes and become aware of the room again, Mary said she felt like she had been asleep for hours and had woken up refreshed and revitalized. She couldn’t believe it had only been five minutes. (Yes, Kate the stage manager was very happy.) Mary thanked me profusely and said she was going to give meditation another try now that she knew she could do it. That was one of the best birthday gifts I have ever received.



Is there something outside of your comfort zone that you have been avoiding? Is that still small voice inside urging you to try it anyway? Are you receiving some form of guidance from within that doesn’t seem to make sense? Yes, by definition it will feel uncomfortable! However, I will tell you that every time I have taken a step outside my comfort zone it has led to something magnificent and made a positive impact in ways beyond anything I could have imagined. Try it for yourself and see.



It would be my great honor to cheer you on as you step outside your comfort zone. I offer single Life Coaching sessions as well as four, six, and eight week packages at a discounted price. Maybe you’re ready to connect with your ancestors in a powerful way. Join me for an upcoming Family Constellations workshop or schedule a private session in person, by phone, or via Skype. You will be amazed by what is revealed and healed in these sessions. Please look around my website for more information about all of these opportunities. Send me an email with any questions or to schedule an appointment. 



Until next time, I invite you to unplug for a moment and listen. What is that still small voice trying to tell you?

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