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 Visit from an Old “Friend”

This week I had a visit from an old friend…Scarcity Consciousness. I have been trying to distance myself from him for years, but every once in a while he comes back to teach me something. He and I started having a conversation after another friend asked me to lunch on Tuesday. This friend was heading north for the summer so this would be my last opportunity to see her before she left. After I read her text message, Scarcity started saying things like, “You really shouldn’t eat out again. You’ve been spending a lot of money lately. Besides, you just bought groceries. That salad will go bad if you don’t eat it right away.” Scarcity was making a very strong case for declining the invitation. Thankfully I had the wisdom to ask another friend, the Voice of Love, to weigh in on the conversation. She reminded me that my potential lunch date was a dear friend that I most likely will not see for a while. She also reminded me that I am connected to an Infinite Source of Good, so why not make the choice from my heart?

Once I dropped into my heart space, the answer was easy. I told my friend I would love to have a farewell lunch with her. When we arrived at the restaurant there was no one at the counter to take our order. We must have been very quiet when we entered because the woman working on a computer a few feet behind the cash register didn’t notice us. When she finally realized we were there she jumped up and ran over to the counter. Apparently this woman was the manager. She apologized profusely telling us she was caught up working on next week’s schedule. We told her that we didn’t mind waiting because we were jamming out to the fun music playing in the restaurant. This was true!

While my friend was placing her order, she noticed a bowl in front of the register. Next to it was a sign that invited patrons to drop their business card in for a chance to win a free lunch. She asked if I had a business card on me, and as I was digging one out of my wallet the manager said, “I have a better idea. What do you want for lunch?” I handed her my business card and told her what I wanted. When she was done punching in my order on the screen she yelled, “Congratulations! You won!” Both my friend and I received a free lunch!
 
Wow! I am so grateful I didn’t continue the conversation with my old friend Scarcity that morning and began listening to the Voice of Love instead. Had I not shifted my attention I would have missed out on some quality time with my dear friend AND the miracle of a free lunch. What a beautiful demonstration of what’s possible when I listen to the right voice.

Do you know my old friend Scarcity Consciousness? You might because he knows a lot of people! I would be honored to give you some tools and techniques that have helped me listen more consistently to the Voice of Love. I offer four, six, and eight week Life Coaching packages based on the loving principles of A Course in Miracles. I have been studying the Course for over ten years and the way my life is unfolding is truly a miracle. Yours can feel like a miracle too! Please look around my website for more information. There you will also find free coaching videos with tips to help you live a more peaceful life.

Until next time, watch out for my old friend Scarcity Consciousness. He will sneak up on you and start talking trash when you least expect it!

It’s Crunch Time!

It’s crunch time. You know that time right before you leave for a long vacation and there are about 1.2 million things to do before you go? Stop the mail. Pay bills that are due while you’re gone. Find someone to water your plants or take care of your pets. Buy things you need for the trip. Laundry. Pack. The list goes on. I found myself between the proverbial rock and hard place this week. The rock being my departure date and the hard place being my towering “to do” list.
 
In addition, since I will be gone for two weeks, I have been doing my best to accommodate as many requests for sessions as I can before I leave. One day in particular this week felt extremely overwhelming. I said yes to an evening appointment on a day that was already full of sessions. My head wanted more spaciousness in my already overpacked schedule, but for some reason my mouth said yes to this request. Why did I say that?

On the day of the appointment I thought about texting my client (who is also a friend) to cancel, but I just couldn’t do it. That still small voice inside was telling me to honor my commitment, even though my outer voice was screaming for more time to get things done and a night off. I’m so glad I listened to the still small voice. Somehow it always knows best even when it appears to make no sense. 
When I arrived, my friend asked me how my day was. I didn’t want to burden him with the details of my overwhelming day, but I also didn’t want to lie and say it was great. I simply said, “I’ve had better” and told him I had a full day of sessions. He proceeded to tell me a story about a pastor who helped him many years ago during one of the most challenging periods of his life. That pastor confided in him that sometimes after hearing so much of other people’s “stuff,” he needed his own counselor. My friend then directly asked me, “So who do you go to, John?”

Gratefully, I have many peers with whom I reflect and seek counsel. However, when he asked me that, I realized what I truly needed that night was some energetic clearing and prayer. I have a trusted friend who does this sort of work, so I reached out to him when I got home later that evening. He called me back and guided me through a beautiful clearing meditation and prayer. How wonderful to simply listen and receive! It was just what the metaphysical doctor ordered. I felt so much better and slept quite soundly and peacefully that night.

It’s so important to take care of ourselves! This is especially true if you happen to be someone else’s caregiver or in a profession where people come to you for care. Take time to get the nurturing you need. It’s not selfish, it’s smart. There’s a reason people say, “You can’t pour from an empty pitcher.” If you don’t fill yourself up first, you’ve got nothing to give anyone else.
 
I will be traveling the next two weeks to facilitate a workshop in Utah, and then two more workshops at the annual Big Sky Retreat in Montana. Now in its 41st year, this is the longest running metaphysical retreat in the world. This will be my third year facilitating workshops at this retreat, and I couldn’t be happier to be going again. There is a reason this retreat has been around so long. It is a heart-opening, life-changing experience like no other. My pitcher not only gets filled every year, but it expands into a bigger vessel. That bigger pitcher also gets filled, and then it spills over into every area of my life. I strongly encourage you to check out the website and join us from September 3-8 if you can. If you can’t, set your intention to join us next year over Labor Day Weekend. It is one of the best gifts you will ever give yourself. When I return, I will be overflowing with love and light, so that will be a great time to sign up for Life Coaching, attend a Family Constellations Workshop, or schedule a private Family Constellations Session by phone, Skype, or in person. Look around my website for more details.

Until I return, I invite you to allow those crunch times and contractions to move through you quickly, knowing that the glorious expansions are coming next!

P.S. The friend I reached out to is Garrett Jackson, Intuitive Consultant. Please visit Garrett’s website to see all of the great services he offers. Don’t let his youthful appearance fool you. There is insight and wisdom well beyond his years coming through this young man. Thank you, Garrett!