Don’t Be THAT Sandpiper

It seems my teachers have been showing up a lot at the beach lately. A few weeks ago, I learned a powerful lesson from a huge wave that almost knocked me over. This week my teacher was a feisty little sandpiper. While doing Donna Eden’s 5-minute Daily Energy Routine, I watched a small group of sandpipers dodging waves while digging for whatever it is they eat in the sand. I noticed one sandpiper got very irate any time another bird got too close to him. He puffed himself up and charged at the intruders to scare them away. He was relentless!

Although his strategy was effective, it occurred to me that he was investing a whole lot of time chasing away other sandpipers when he could be using that time to find food. It’s a big beach with enough critters to feed all of the sandpipers. Why was he so concerned about other birds getting close to him? None of the other sandpipers seemed to have an issue with sharing the beach.

As I continued to watch the show, it occurred to me how many times I have acted similarly to that sandpiper. Instead of focusing on what I need to do, I’ve let myself be distracted by what others are doing. When I hold onto resentments toward someone for what they did or did not do, I’m just like that sandpiper. If I simply stop thinking about the person or situation that is upsetting, I return to peace. Anytime I judge someone for making a choice that I would not make, I’m that sandpiper. When I compare myself to others on social media or anywhere, I’m that sandpiper. 

What a magnificent teacher (and unpleasant reflection) that feisty little sandpiper turned out to be. Whenever I catch myself being more concerned with what someone else is doing rather than focusing on what I need to do, I will picture that puffed-up little guy charging at his “enemies.” Hopefully, this image will make me laugh and help me bring the focus back where it belongs. As my wise friend, Dr. Charles Geddes, often says, “MYOB. Mind Your Own Becoming!” (He recently started a new organization with that name. If you’d like to learn more, click this link.)

Do you often find yourself being like that little sandpiper? It would be my great honor to help you put the focus back on you and return to peace with a series of Spiritual Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. For more information about both, please look around my website. To schedule a session, simply click this link

Until next time, I encourage you to be a peaceful little sandpiper minding your own becoming. 

He who would not forgive must judge, for he must justify his failure to forgive.

A Course in Miracles ~ W.pII.1.4:4

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

Just Smile and Wave

We can learn so much from kids. I love when I pass the train at Hermann Park and dozens of little hands wave at me. They don’t know me. Our paths will probably never cross again, yet they still reach for that fleeting moment of human connection. Of course, I’m one of those guys who waves back at them. I remember the joy of getting a response when I was a kid. Most adults seemed too busy to notice my attempt at connection.

Now that I’m an adult, (although some would argue that point) I still look for ways to connect with my fellow human beings. While walking in the park, I like to smile or nod at the strangers I pass. About 90% of the time I get a smile or a nod back. Yesterday, a man sitting on a bench while his kids played in the grass noticed me watching them as I walked by. He gave me a friendly wave which I returned in kind. We all just want to be seen, and it takes so little effort to produce that instant of human connection and happiness.

Earlier in the week, a family of four walked by me while I was under a tree doing the Donna Eden 5-Minute Daily Energy Routine. The parents didn’t seem to notice me tapping my fingertips on various parts of my torso, but the small boy and his little sister stared at me like there were 3 alien heads sprouting above my shoulders. The little girl, who couldn’t have been more than 2 or 3 years old, continued to watch me with the most troubled look on her face long after she passed. What was that crazy man doing under that tree?

When I finished tapping, I decided to wave at her. The troubled look that had been frozen on her face melted into a huge grin and she began vigorously waving her tiny hand at me. Just like that, her curiosity and concern turned into joy and connection. That crazy man under the tree wasn’t so bad after all. It was such a sweet moment. I laughed as she wobbled on her merry little way while her mother pulled her along to other adventures. What a gift she gave me. 

This week, I encourage you to follow the example of children. Smile more at your fellow human beings. Maybe even wave when appropriate. You might make someone’s day, and that someone could be you!

Are you having a difficult time making connections or experiencing joy? It would be my great honor to assist you with a series of Life Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations session. Both can help you identify and move past the obstacles that keep you from the happy, healthy life you were meant to live. If you are ready to have a different experience of life, look around my website or send me an email for more information and to schedule a session.

Until next time, just smile and wave!

When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. As you see him you will see yourself. As you treat him you will treat yourself. As you think of him you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself.

A Course in Miracles – T-8:III.4

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