Honoring the Ebb and Flow

This week, I have been keeping to myself, so I don’t have a fun story to share but I do have an observation. My inner critic, also known as the ego, wants to chastise me for not being very productive and not reaching out to more people. It would like me to think there is something wrong rather than trust this experience as simply part of the ebb and flow of life. In our culture, we place a high value on achieving and doing. We readily celebrate when things are flowing and we are busy. As soon as things slow down or get quiet, we are quick to think somehow we failed or there is something to fix. 

Imagine if Mother Ocean operated that way. If there was only flow and no ebb, our coasts would be underwater. We need the ebb, the time when the water recedes into the sea, before the flow when the waves roll back to shore. It’s a natural cycle that keeps things in balance.

In the past, you may have heard me use another analogy to describe this cycle. Here in the world of duality, every expansion is followed by some form of contraction. For example, when we breathe, our lungs fill with air, our rib cage expands, and then it contracts as we release the air. It’s a natural rhythm, and gratefully so! In other areas of life, however, we welcome the expansion but curse the contraction.

Most of us have had the feeling of sadness or perhaps depression upon returning home from a fabulous vacation. We are experiencing the contraction after the expansion. Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel good like taking a deep breath. We plan for weeks or months and look forward to special times with friends and family. While the vacation is happening, we are out of our everyday routine. New possibilities and choices are everywhere. We feel expanded and joyful. Then, once the trip is over, going back to our regular life can feel limiting and challenging.

But here’s the good news. Just like the breath, when the contraction is over, the expansion starts again. We simply have to be patient. It’s a cycle, just like the ebb and flow of the tides. There’s no need to panic when the ebb happens. The flow will return. But in the meantime, can we be present with the ebb and fully receive its unique gifts? Can we take some time for self-reflection? Are we making choices aligned with our hearts’ desires or simply doing things out of habit? The ebb is a perfect opportunity to ask these questions. 

This week, I gave myself permission to rest, reflect, and not do much work. And you know what? Despite what the ego says, everything is okay and I feel better! Eventually, I will feel like getting out there again and being more productive. But for now, I’m going to honor the ebb and invest a little more time in being. I hope you will allow yourself to do the same when the ebb visits you…and it will. 

Are you experiencing an ebb or contraction right now? It would be my great honor to walk you through it with a series of Spiritual Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations session. Both can give you a new perspective as well as tools to help navigate the ebb and flow of life. There is also an opportunity to go within and honor the ebb the weekend of October 22-24 from the comfort of your own home. I will be sharing an experience of Family Constellations as part of a 3-day Virtual Wellness Reset Retreat with other Mindfulness, Meditation, and Healing Practitioners. Visit the Upcoming Workshops page on my website for more information and to register.

Until next time, I trust you will find ways to honor both the ebb and flow of life whenever they visit.

…the ego is forced to shift ceaselessly from one goal to another, so that you will continue to hope it can yet offer you something. 

A Course in Miracles ~ T-8.VIII.2:7 

A Yoga Mat Miracle

My mother made her transition over 7 years ago, but once in a while a wave of grief still sneaks up on me. That happened just the other day in the middle of my yoga practice. A memory of my mom flashed in my mind and tears started leaking from my eyes. It’s not uncommon for emotions to surface when I’m twisting on my yoga mat. I guess all that deep breathing creates the space for those residual feelings to break loose.

I started thinking about how much I missed that “shady ol’ lady” as we affectionately called her in her later years. At the age of 75, she bravely moved from Upstate New York where she had lived most of her life to make a fresh start near me in Florida. Unfortunately, she brought some of her old life with her. When she started drinking again I was devastated. Her struggle with alcoholism and aging made those last 6 years incredibly difficult for both of us.

Despite the challenges, those 6 years also provided some of my most precious memories with her. My mother and I spent a lot of time together and I learned many things about her life that I never knew. We laughed all the time and had more inside jokes than we could count. It was such a gift to have the opportunity to mend the broken bond her drinking had caused during my childhood. I certainly do not wish her back into her body that was failing her or her mind that was plagued with pain and regret, but that day on my yoga mat I felt myself longing for one more meal or conversation with her. No more suffering, but I wanted just a little more quality time with her.

No sooner had I thought that thought when I heard a voice inside my head say, “All we have now is quality time.” The truth of that statement really hit me. A few years prior to my mother’s passing a friend shared this pearl of wisdom with me based on her experience with her own mother. She told me, “Once your mother goes all the yucky stuff will go away and only love remains.” She was right. In that moment, all of the challenging stuff was gone and I felt my mother’s love all around me. My tears immediately stopped and I was able to finish my yoga practice with a smile. It truly was a yoga mat miracle.

Miracles can happen anywhere, not just on yoga mats. I would be honored to help you experience more miracles in your life and move through any challenging situation that is causing you stress. Through the miracle of technology, Life Coaching sessions or a Family Constellations session can be done from anywhere in the world. Please look around my website or send me an email for more information or to schedule a session. Gift certificates are also available in electronic or paper form.

Until next time, keep breathing and stretching whether you’re on or off a yoga mat. A miracle is waiting for you!

“Miracles are natural. When they do not occur something has gone wrong.”
Miracle Principle #6 from A Course in Miracles

Feeling Overwhelmed? Try This!

I have written before about a section in Chapter 18 of A Course in Miracles titled “I Need Do Nothing.” It feels like I need to be reminded of this so perhaps someone out there does too. With all of the traveling I have been doing lately, keeping up with the many tasks to keep my business running has been quite daunting. There are always emails to answer, phone calls to make, leads to follow up on, and flyers to create. These days staying active on social media is also very important. That can be a full time job in itself. On and on it goes, and with it my inner peace! At some point I have to surrender, wave the white flag, and remember this quote from the Course:

When peace comes at last to those who wrestle with temptation and fight against the giving in to sin; when the light comes at last into the mind given to contemplation; or when the goal is finally achieved by anyone, it always comes with just one happy realization; “I need do nothing.”

When I remember this, peace returns. However, please don’t confuse “I need do nothing” with “Don’t do anything.” They are not the same. I’m not suggesting you sit on your couch and watch Netflix all day. While we are having the experience of being in a body in this world, we have to do things like earn money, pay bills, exercise, answer emails, and do laundry. The difference in perception is simply the realization that we don’t need to do anything to be loved. We are loved beyond measure by the Source of all Creation. Some call that God. Others call that the Universe, Divine Presence, or Great Spirit. It doesn’t matter what we call it, it’s Love. And furthermore, so are you! That’s why you don’t need to do anything to be loved. You are Love.

The simple statement “I need do nothing” reminds me of something I read many years ago. The article pointed out that it doesn’t matter how many people are at the beach; the sun shines down equally on all of them. It doesn’t shine more on some people than others. The sun doesn’t care if you live under a palm tree or in a penthouse. It doesn’t care if you work at a church or a shopping mall. It doesn’t care if you do one thing or ten things today. If you are at the beach, and the sun is out, you will receive its light. Nobody has to earn sunshine, just like nobody has to earn God’s love. It’s just there for the basking. From that place of peace, I can choose loving thoughts about myself and chill out. Then I can decide to be still for a while and let myself rest, or I can choose to do what feels right in that moment without all the guilt, struggle, and striving to “get it all done.” It is tremendously freeing once I let go of those unrealistic and mostly self-imposed expectations.

If you are having trouble feeling worthy of that sunshine, or the sun seems to go behind the clouds every time you go to the beach, or you don’t even have time to think about going to the beach, maybe now is the time to do some inner exploration. I love sharing the tools and techniques that have worked for me in my Life Coaching programs based on the strong principles found in A Course in Miracles. We will discover together where those clouds are coming from or why there doesn’t seem to be time in your schedule for such frivolous activities. Another great cloud buster is Family Constellations. You will be amazed by what happens in these workshops and one-on-one sessions. Things you never would have imagined being related to your current struggles are revealed and healed. Please look around my website for more information about both of these opportunities.

Until next time, whenever you feel overwhelmed, take a deep breath and remember this one simple sentence. “I need do nothing.”