Elves, Miracles, and Pizza

Since I live alone, I don’t make the effort to put up a full-size Christmas Tree with all the trimmings. However, I do put out a special little Christmas Tree decoration that I received as a gift back in 2013. Longtime readers of my weekly stories may remember this one. I haven’t shared it in quite a while so I felt inspired to share it again this holiday season. It looks like it’s going to be a chilly weekend for many of you reading this, so I hope this story warms your heart as it did mine:

When I said “yes” to being an elf with Unity on the Bay I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Somehow I knew it would be me receiving the gift when a group of us from church donned elf hats and brought a holiday pizza party to the Emily C. Moises Day Training Center for adults with disabilities. I truly believe the beautiful souls I met that day are angels on earth sent to remind me what is truly important, and that’s exactly what they did. 

When we first arrived, we were greeted by a woman serenading us with the entire song “Stand By Me” followed by an assortment of Christmas carols. She also recited a few poems which, by the way, she made up on the spot. This woman did not miss a beat! It was quite impressive.

After her performance, the pizza arrived so we began passing out slices to all the guests. I called upon the Spirit of Christmas to help me resist my pizza addiction. I wanted to make sure there were plenty of slices for all the guests and hardworking staff members. 

One young man must have read my mind. When I sat down with his group to talk with them, he slid me a plate with a slice on it. Using hand motions and very persuasive facial expressions, he insisted I partake. Although he did not speak a word, it was very clear he was not taking “no” for an answer! I did not want to be rude, so we enjoyed our delicious slices together. 

Later, while I was talking to another guest, this same young man walked up to me, put his head on my shoulder for a moment, and then continued walking. No words were exchanged or needed. My heart melted from his simple act of trust and unconditional love. When I close my eyes, I can still remember the feeling of that holy instant. 

There was another sweet woman with whom I had a special connection. I believe she had CP which made it difficult for her to speak. When she did, I discovered that she only spoke Spanish! I took Spanish in high school, and I practice whenever I encounter other Spanish speakers, but by no means am I fluent in the language. Despite our communication challenges, we connected with our eyes and smiles while dancing together and singing “Feliz Navidad.” 

When we were done dancing, my new friend wanted to show me some photos from Halloween on her iPhone. Of course, I loved the photos of her dressed like a fairy princess. Then she insisted we have our picture taken together. One of the staff members did her best to take our picture, but she must have taken photography lessons from my mother. Our heads were cut off in every shot! We all had a good laugh over that. Eventually, she got the one you see below.

After our photo session, the staff member and my new friend took me on a walk through the art gallery. Let me tell you, there are some talented artists at that center! The paintings were gorgeous! In fact, Bacardi used one of the paintings as their holiday greeting card that year. As a thank you, Bacardi gave the center a nice check to buy more art supplies. That sounds like a win/win situation to me!

As the party wound down and my fellow elves were preparing to depart, the staff offered each of us a holiday decoration to take home. The students in the arts and crafts class had painted an assortment of beautiful Christmas Trees on wooden frames. Not surprisingly, the Christmas Tree with bright pink hearts and shiny sequins called to me so I selected that one.

When I asked who created it, the staff member tipped it upside down to see the name “Avigail” written on the bottom. I asked if she could point out Avigail so I could thank her personally. She looked around the large room and said, “There she is over there.” The woman she pointed to was my sweet Feliz Navidad dance partner! 

I was shocked and not surprised at the same time. Of all the trees I could have chosen, of course, I picked the one my new friend had created. It was a Christmas miracle that still touches my heart 9 years later. Every December, when I pull that Christmas tree out of its bubble wrap, I instantly feel the unconditional love I felt that day with Avigail and the young man who insisted I have a slice with him. What a precious holiday gift. It is one I will always cherish. 

You can give a gift of love this holiday season. It’s not too late to purchase a Gift Certificate for a private Family Constellations Session or a Spiritual Coaching Session for a friend or family member. You can send a digital version via email or I can print the certificate on card stock and send it to you or directly to your loved one. Just click this link or send me an email for more information. 

As we bring this year to a close, I want to express my immense gratitude to each and every one of you. I look forward to being in sacred space and sharing more miracles with you in 2023! 

Until next year, may your holiday season be filled with unconditional love, an abundance of joyful moments, and many many miracles!

A miracle contains the gift of grace, for it is given and received as one.

A Course in Miracles ~ W.13.2:1

An Early Christmas Miracle

I had an early Christmas miracle this week on my way to the Honda dealership in Sarasota. There was nothing wrong with my car. It was just a routine 25K maintenance appointment to get the oil changed, tires rotated, and fluids topped off. Halfway there, fearful questions started creeping into my mind:

What if they tell me I need new tires? Am I ready to make that investment right now? Will they find anything else that needs fixing? What if I have another shady experience like the one in January at the Honda dealership in Houston? What if the service advisor tries to sell me things I don’t need? What if they are rude? The voice of fear was on a roll!

Luckily, I remembered one of my favorite teachings from A Course in Miracles. The Course recommends using the power of the mind to decide what you want to experience before an event happens. Thus, you will be looking for evidence of that intention and more able to dismiss anything unlike that intention. Most of us use our mind to ask why something happened the way it did after the fact. If you’d like to learn more, this process is explained beautifully in Chapter 17, Section VI titled “Setting the Goal.” In this section, the Course advises: 

In any situation in which you are uncertain, the first thing to consider, very simply, is “What do I want to come of this?”

My answer was simple. I want the entire experience to feel peaceful, harmonious, and easy. Once I got clear on what I wanted, I envisioned a stream of pink hearts flowing from my heart to my destination. That way a loving field of energy would be waiting for me when I arrived. In that moment, I had experienced the miracle, a shift from fear to love. What happened next reflected that shift.

My service advisor, Beverly, was incredibly friendly and helpful. After gathering some basic information, she scanned the VIN on my vehicle to check on her computer what services the last dealership had performed. Her exact words were, “Let me see what they did so I don’t charge you for something you don’t need.” What a refreshing sentence! It took me a few seconds to absorb what she said before I could thank her. I signed the necessary form and then found a seat outside to do a little work and make some phone calls.  

While the mechanics were working on my car, I asked Beverly if they had a carwash, and if so, could they run my car through it before returning it to me. She said they do, but it’s a hand carwash. She’d be happy to have them wash my car if I didn’t mind waiting an extra 30 minutes. Since I had blocked off the whole afternoon for this appointment, I said, “Sure!” That’s how long it would take me to go to a carwash later, so why not? 

It turns out, the only thing my car needed was the oil change and tire rotation. The inspection revealed everything else was fine. Not only did I leave in less than 2 hours with a bill under $50, but my car was squeaky clean too! The whole experience was exactly as I had asked for…peaceful, harmonious, and easy. I am incredibly grateful for that teaching from the Course that helped me shift from fear to love on the way there. 

So, before you head out to that holiday gathering or even just to the grocery store, take a moment to ask what you’d like to experience. Then send a little love on ahead of you. You just might experience an early Christmas miracle.

There’s still time to give a miracle to yourself or someone you love this holiday season. You can purchase Gift Certificates for Spiritual Coaching or Family Constellations sessions by clicking this link. Gift Certificates can be sent electronically or by mail. Now is a great time to purchase them before some of my prices increase in 2022. Please look around my website or send me an email for more information.

Extending waves of love from my heart to yours for a peaceful, harmonious, and grace-filled holiday season…

The value of deciding in advance what you want to happen is simply that you will perceive the situation as a means to make it happen.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-17.VI.4:1

Joy in the Sky!

It’s no secret that one of my favorite places to experience joy is Walt Disney World. I recently took a quick trip to Orlando to attend Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. If you want to get in the Christmas Spirit, there’s nothing quite like being on Main Street, USA all decked out for the holidays while “snowflakes” fall all around you. Even though it has been over 16 years since I worked there, lots of fond memories drift back into my mind like those Disney snowflakes whenever I visit. Being a Toy Soldier in the Christmas Parade during my very first year is definitely one of them. Their gleaming red plastic bodies and the sound of their heavy black boots stomping in time down the street were always a crowd favorite. I have to say the Toy Soldiers in the parade this year had a much tougher routine than the one we learned in 1993. Nice job, “Toy Boys,” as they were affectionately called in the Parades Department.
 
Since I have been on the spiritual path, I have added another dimension to my joyful experiences at Disney Theme Parks and elsewhere. Before I go, I set the intention that all of the joy I personally experience will be radiated out to the collective consciousness. It may sound silly, but I truly believe it has increased the amount of joy I experience wherever I go, not to mention the number of miracles that happen. Planting rose quartz crystals all around the four theme parks has been a fun ritual to help with that intention. I love thinking about all the joy and laughter that gets added to the web of love on a daily basis.
 
I’ll let you in on another one of my secrets to experiencing more joy while visiting a Disney Theme Park. Whenever I watch fireworks, I imagine that each burst of color in the sky lights up the heart of someone somewhere on the planet who is experiencing some form of darkness or sadness. I invite you to try it for yourself this New Year’s Eve or whenever you see fireworks, and notice how much more you enjoy them. It’s a beautiful visual that often makes my eyes leak a little bit. This past weekend, however, my eyes leaked more than a little bit.
 
In December, EPCOT adds a special holiday section to their nightly fireworks spectacular. The song “Let There Be Peace on Earth” plays as red, green, and gold fireworks burst in the sky above World Showcase Lagoon. I first heard this song not in a New Thought church, but at Disney World in 1993. It was the closing song in a Christmas Show that used to be performed every year at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. The entire cast (well… those with hands instead of paws or hooves) learned the lyrics in American Sign Language and would sign the words to the song as they sang them. The Toy Soldiers were in this show, so I learned it too. I distinctly remember how deeply those words touched me, and how good it felt to sing them with my friends and fellow cast members as we lined the perimeter of that huge ballroom. I was surprised the first time I heard the song at Unity on the Bay in Miami years later. My first thought was, “How did they get this Disney song?” Now, just like the ending of that Christmas Show, it’s one of my favorite parts of any Unity or Center for Spiritual Living service. It makes my heart smile to see all those people of diverse ethnic backgrounds holding hands while singing about Peace on Earth.

As I watched the kaleidoscope of color in the sky, the power and intention of that beautiful song, magnified by thousands who were at EPCOT that night, washed over me. I continued to hold the vision that each burst of color lit the heart of someone who was suffering. The music built steadily to a crescendo, and the fireworks shooters went crazy! There were more bursts of light in the sky than I had seen in any fireworks finale previously. The entire night sky seemed to be illuminated with dots of light that joined into one gigantic flash of light. In that moment there was only one light, one mind, one heart, and all was well. Needless to say, this experience left me speechless and teary eyed. With the final thunderous booms and a cheering crowd, the message was literally loud and clear. When we align our intentions with the greater good, Spirit delivers a joyful experience beyond our wildest imaginings. (Click HERE to watch a video of the finale.)

Are you or someone you love having a difficult time this holiday season? With all the energy and activity swirling around, it’s not unusual for the holidays to be a dark time for some. Give the gift of Light. Treat yourself or a loved one to a Life Coaching session or series of sessions. You can experience more joy and more miracles in your life every day. I base all of my Life Coaching on the strong principles found in A Course in Miracles. It is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Family Constellations is a gift you give to yourself and your entire family. You will be amazed by what happens in these sessions. Private sessions are available in person, via Skype and telephone, or set your intention to attend one of my workshops in January. Gift certificates are available for all Life Coaching and Family Constellations sessions. Simply purchase a service on my website and then send an email to john@PeaceThroughOneness.com with the recipient’s name, email or mailing address, and what you are celebrating.

Until next time, let the light of the holiday season shine away any darkness in your heart so the joy that lives there can come out and play.

Happy Holidays!

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