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

Listen to that Friend

I love the hopeful quote at the bottom of this page from A Course in Miracles. It was right around this time twelve years ago that my friend Gwyneth gifted me her copy of a book titled Disappearance of the Universe by Gary Renard. She had been telling me about this book for quite some time, but I already had a stack of books waiting to be read. Surely this one could wait a little while. When Gwyneth found out the author was scheduled to speak at my church at the end of January, she gave me her audiobook and basically insisted that I listen to the CDs before the event. Gwyneth and I were classmates in massage school. We had spent a lot of time together and I trusted her. She was absolutely convinced that I needed to listen to those CDs and go to that event. I did. She was right.

I had no idea the book was about A Course in Miracles, or that it would change the way I experienced life. At the time, I was a massage therapist living in Miami. In order to finish the audiobook before the event, I had to listen to the CDs in my car between massage clients. What I heard blew me away. Through frank and funny conversations between Gary and his teachers, Arten and Pursah, the principles of the Course are explained in a linear and easy to understand way. This book answered more questions than anything else I had studied thus far. Not only did it make sense, but the thought system it presents is also absolutely consistent. The principles felt true deep in my heart. After Gary’s workshop at Unity on the Bay, I knew this was the path for me, so I ordered my first copy of A Course in Miracles from The Foundation for Inner Peace. And so the year began in joy and freedom.

A dozen years later, these teachings still make sense, are 100% consistent, and ring true in my heart. For me, 2018 was full of big changes that came with some challenges, but the Course has helped me remember that what is true is changeless. As we begin this new year, I invite you to make it different by making it all the same. No, that doesn’t mean have the same thing for dinner every night or wear the same clothes every day. I interpret that to mean do your best to choose peaceful and loving thoughts no matter what appears to be happening in your life or in the world. True, it’s not always easy, but it is possible. I can tell you from experience, with practice, it gets easier.

When I get frustrated or overwhelmed, I ask myself questions like, “What would love do or say in this situation?” Sometimes the answer is “keep your mouth shut and don’t say anything!” Sometimes I ask for help to see things differently. That’s when ideas pop into my head that I don’t think would have if I hadn’t asked that question. Whatever the question, by asking love to guide the way fear naturally falls away. They are opposites.

If you would like to make this year different by making it all the same, maybe A Course in Miracles or one of Gary Renard’s books is calling you. I would be honored to help you begin this year in joy and freedom with a series of Life Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations session. Both can be done from anywhere in the world by telephone or computer. Please look around my website or send me an email for more information or to schedule a session.

Until next time, if a friend you trust keeps telling you about a book or class, or it keeps coming up in different conversations with different people, you might want to pay attention. It might just change your life in miraculous ways.

So will the year begin in joy and freedom. There is much to do, and we have been long delayed. Accept the holy instant as this year is born, and take your place, so long left unfulfilled, in the Great Awakening. Make this year different by making it all the same. And let all your relationships be made holy for you. A Course in Miracles – T-15:XI.11

Happy Different New Year!

So will the year begin in joy and freedom. There is much to do, and we have been long delayed. Accept the holy instant as this year is born, and take your place, so long left unfulfilled, in the Great Awakening. Make this year different by making it all the same. And let all your relationships be made holy for you. This is our will. Amen.  ACIM Text p. 329

I love this hopeful quote about beginning a new year from A Course in Miracles. It was right around New Year’s Day ten years ago that my friend Gwyneth gifted me her copy of a book titled Disappearance of the Universe on CD. I had no idea it was about A Course in Miracles, or that it would change the course of my life. The author, Gary Renard, was scheduled to speak at Unity on the Bay in Miami later that month, so in order to finish the audio book before the event, I listened to the CDs in my car between massage clients. What I heard blew me away. Through frank (and funny) conversations between Gary and his teachers, Arten and Pursah, the principles of the Course are explained in a linear and easy to understand way. This book answered more questions than anything else I had studied thus far. Not only did it make sense, but I felt the Truth of its words deep in my heart. After Gary’s workshop, I knew this path was for me, so I ordered my first copy of A Course in Miracles from The Foundation for Inner Peace. And so the year began in joy and freedom.

As New Year’s Eve approaches this year, I invite you to make this year different by making it all the same. No, that doesn’t mean have the same thing for dinner every night. I interpret that to mean do your best to choose peaceful and loving thoughts no matter what appears to be happening in your life. True, it’s not always easy, but it is possible. I can tell you from experience, with practice, it gets easier. 2016 has been a very peaceful and blessed year for me despite some very challenging situations in my career and personal life. By asking myself questions like, “What would love do or say in this situation?” and “What action feels peaceful?” I was able to navigate these challenges and not stay stuck in fear and hopelessness.

These questions also work well when unthinkable events happen in the world. The shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando last summer hit very close to home for me. As I shared then, I lived in Orlando for eight years. I went dancing in clubs just like that one many times. Not so long ago, that could very easily have been me and my friends experiencing that horror. When I asked the questions mentioned above, I received specific guidance. I had the idea to facilitate a special Family Constellations workshop with all proceeds going to the families of those affected by the tragedy. A few months later, I was guided to help shift the energy at the actual site of the incident with my own rose quartz ceremony. These thoughts and actions brought me back to peace.

Here’s some great news. The more time you spend feeling peaceful and loving, the more those kinds of situations will appear in your life. In Miracle Principle number 43, the Course says, “Miracles arise from a miraculous state of mind, or a state of miracle-readiness.” I believe I was ready for some miracles in 2016. It was an honor to be asked to speak and facilitate workshops at Unity of Bon Air near Richmond, VA and at the Rio Grande Center for Spiritual Living in Albuquerque, NM. Three of those four talks went better than I imagined possible. One was a huge learning opportunity, and as uncomfortable as it was, I am grateful for that one too. This year I was able to share Family Constellations with people all over the globe thanks to Radleigh Valentine’s invitation to be a guest on his Hay House Radio show. The annual Big Sky Retreat in Montana was full of unexpected blessings again this year, including snowfall during one of my workshops! Miracle Monday at 1PM at Bridges of Wellness celebrated its one year anniversary this month. This well-attended group is full of love, and it continues to be ninety of my favorite minutes of the week.

Just to be clear, I’m not saying that once you become A Course in Miracles student, or start following one of the other great spiritual traditions, your life will be all unicorns and rainbows. As I mentioned earlier, unpleasant things are still going to happen. However, they won’t be able to rob you of your peace for very long. You can indeed let all your relationships be made holy for you. This year can be different by making it all the same. Just keep choosing peace and love. Then watch the miracles pile up!

Does that sound like an impossible task? I would be honored to share some of the tools and techniques that I have used over the past ten years to help you experience more miracles in your life. I offer four, six, and eight week Life Coaching packages to help you start the year off in joy and freedom. Please look around my website for more information.

Wishing you a very Happy and Different New Year full of miracles!

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