Foul Balls & Blessings Along Memory Lane

It’s hard to believe it was just a year ago that I was wrapping up loose ends in Houston and preparing to move back to Florida. So much has happened since then! As I look back, one specific morning in May of 2021 comes to mind. I had to go to the DMV in Houston to retrieve some paperwork that had gotten lost in the mail. Even though it wasn’t far, my sense of direction is terrible, so I put the address for the DMV into my phone. Little did I know the navigation app would take me down Memory Lane past some of the most memorable moments of my 3 years there.

First, it took me by Hermann Park, where I did my morning walks under a canopy of live oak trees around a beautiful pond. That peaceful green space in the middle of the sprawling city became my sanctuary. Then I passed the medical building where an exceptional dermatologist removed the basal cells from under my left eye, and another removed a spot from my neck. Those were very unpleasant visits, yet I am extremely thankful for the excellent care I received. As I drove by the building, I gave a small nod of gratitude to all the medical professionals that took such good care of me. 

Before I reached the exit for the DMV, the app took me past Minute Maid Park where I had enjoyed a few baseball games. Not that I was ever invested in which team won, but it was fun to be there with friends and family. One particular game stands out when a batter hit a foul ball that rocketed into the stands near us and rolled along the seat backs directly into my hand! No one was more surprised than I! Of the thousands of fans at the game that night, I was probably the one who cared the least about catching a fly ball, and yet there it was in my hand. It was a memorable moment, for sure. 

Although Houston ended up not being a match for me, I am grateful for so much that happened there and for meeting so many wonderful people. Many of them are reading these words right now! I am blessed to have crossed paths with you. So as the anniversary of my return to Florida approaches, I say thank you to Houston and its residents for being part of my journey and helping me get to where I am now.

Is there a place, a job, or a situation that ultimately did not work out for you? I encourage you to take a moment to think of the blessings that came from it. And how it led you to a different place, job, or situation that is right for you. I have learned from A Course in Miracles and my work with Family Constellations that when we see our past from a different perspective, it allows us to feel more peace, love, and joy in our present. If you could use some assistance in shifting your perspective, please reach out for a private Family Constellations session or for Spiritual Coaching. You can find more information and book a session on my website.

Until next time, may you find ways to be grateful for it all. 

“…love cannot be far behind a grateful heart and thankful mind.”

A Course in Miracles ~ M-23.4:6

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

Are All Those Ducks in a Row?

A few weeks ago, I noticed a goose swimming behind three ducks in the lake at Hermann Park. Everywhere the ducks swam, the goose followed. This intrigued me so I took a quick photo of the happy little foursome. Now, every time I walk by that corner of the lake, I see the same three ducks followed by the same goose. True, I can’t be sure it’s the same four birds because they aren’t wearing name tags, but I find it very sweet that a goose has been accepted into this little duck group. They don’t seem to mind that they look very different from each other. Some humans might learn a lesson from those waterfowl.

Many people are more concerned with what makes us different than what we have in common. I learned a valuable lesson about this many years ago while visiting a friend on Long Island. My friend was an Interfaith Minister, and when two Mormon missionaries showed up at her door a few days before my arrival, she invited them to come back at the end of the week for lunch. She felt compassion for these teenage boys who were far from home and most likely missing home-cooked meals. Knowing our diverse spiritual backgrounds, my friend thought the four of us would have an interesting conversation. She was right! 

When they first arrived, we exchanged pleasantries and then they jumped right into the Book of Mormon to share their beliefs. At the time, I had only been studying A Course in Miracles for about a year and a half so I was quite eager to bring out my big blue book and share my beliefs with them. As you can imagine, the conversation became awkward and uncomfortable very quickly. Luckily, lunch was ready soon.

 We adjourned to the dining room and sat around the table for a nice bowl of chicken soup. Before we ate, my friend spoke a beautiful blessing over our food and our time together. Her loving invocation shifted something. We started talking about the things we had in common, where our beliefs intersected, and how tasty the chicken soup was! The tension from the previous conversation dissipated, and the four of us enjoyed a wonderful lunch. I will never forget that powerful lesson. When we try to convince someone that our beliefs are correct, things will inevitably get tense. But when we share from the heart instead of the head, love connects us all. 

It is often said that it’s best to avoid talking about religion and politics with those who have different opinions. However, if we want to be more like those ducks, perhaps we should be discussing them more often, but with an open heart and an open mind. We might discover that we have more in common than just webbed feet. We also might agree to disagree, but at least there is an opening for understanding when we listen to another point of view. 

Are you having a hard time seeing a relationship or situation from a different perspective? I would be honored to assist you with a series of Life Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations session using Skype or Zoom. I am also offering single 45-minute Life Coaching calls on a donation basis to help anyone having a hard time finding peace during this stressful and unprecedented time. There is another opportunity to experience a Virtual Family Constellations group session on Saturday, May 9. Please click this link for more details or to purchase your ticket at a special price of only $25. There are only a few spaces left, so buy your tickets soon!  

Until next time, may you swim in harmony with all of your brothers and sisters in the lake. 

Peace is the state where love abides, and seeks to share itself. Conflict and peace are opposites. Where one abides the other cannot be; where either goes the other disappears.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-23.I.12.5

It Started with a Bottle Cap

We all have days when we wake up feeling a little blue. This past Monday was one of those days for me. It had been a busy weekend and I could feel that my happy energy was not flowing. I knew my mood would be elevated at our weekly A Course in Miracles study group at Unity of Houston, but I didn’t want to wait until 7:30 PM to feel better. 

Due to my ankle injury, I hadn’t been able to walk in Hermann Park for weeks. I knew part of my lethargy was my body wanting to get moving again. Monday felt like the day, so I did my best to overcome inertia, laced up my tennis shoes and got out there. I didn’t realize how much I missed those beautiful live oak trees draped with Spanish moss until I was underneath their graceful arched branches. It felt good to be there. 

Normally when I walk through Hermann Park I pick up assorted pieces of plastic and trash as I go. This particular morning I noticed that I wasn’t feeling very altruistic. However, I know from experience that one of the best ways to feel better is to be of service. With that in mind, I decided I could at least pick up the next plastic water bottle cap I saw on the ground. Sadly there is usually no shortage of them in the park. It didn’t take long before I spotted one. As predicted, when I bent down to pick it up and toss it in a nearby trash can I felt a little better. The shift in my energy was noticeable so I picked up a few more. My happy energy began to trickle again.

When I got home, I decided to watch a recording of the Ellen Degeneres Show while eating lunch. It’s no secret that watching, reading, or listening to something that makes you laugh is another great way to lift your spirits. Ellen’s monologues always amuse me. She has a gift for making something ordinary into something hilarious. My mood continued to improve.

Later in the show, Ellen shared a story about two high school football players who demonstrated an act of extreme kindness to another student who had been bullied his whole life. Their friend captured the incident on video and it went viral on social media, gaining the attention of other celebrities like Will Smith. Seeing their act of kindness be recognized and the resulting miracles that occurred for their entire school filled my heart with joy. You can watch the video by clicking this link. You might want to have a tissue handy. My eyes leak every time I watch it.

Needless to say, by the time Miracle Monday happened at Unity my happy was flowing. It must have been contagious because our group was full of laughter that night. At one point, my friend Joey was laughing so hard I thought he was going to bounce right out of his chair. The evening was also full of powerful miracle stories shared by the participants. I left there buzzing with even more happy, peaceful energy than usual. And to think it all started with a bottle cap.

Is your happy energy not flowing well lately? I invite you to try some of the things I did on Monday. Get outside in nature. Move your body. Watch, read, or listen to something that makes you laugh. Be of service in some way. Perhaps you will have an opportunity to demonstrate an extreme act of kindness. If you live in Houston, join us for Miracle Monday whenever you can at 7:30 PM in Grace Hall. You can also reach out for one-on-one assistance with one of my Life Coaching programs based on A Course in Miracles. For more information look around my website or send me an email with specific questions. It brings me great joy to help others get their happy energy flowing again!

Until next time, may your happy energy flow like Niagara Falls. And if it isn’t, try picking up just a small plastic bottle cap and see what happens. 

Yet even the little spark in your mind is enough to lighten it. Bring this light fearlessly with you, and bravely hold it up to the foundation of the ego’s thought system.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-11.In.3.6

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

Duck, Duck, Human

About twenty years ago, my typical Saturday night would have included working the door at a nightclub in Miami Beach from 10 PM until 3 or 4 in the morning. Once my shift ended I would often join the fun under the flashing lights on the dance floor until the wee hours. How things have changed! Last Saturday evening I found myself in a park sitting quietly with some ducks watching the light show provided by Mother Nature.

One of the blessings of where I currently live in Houston is the ability to walk to Hermann Park, a beautiful, 445-acre green space located on the southern end of the Museum District. I love to sit on the tree-shaded benches next to McGovern Lake watching the fountain spray water high into the air as a variety of ducks, geese, and other birds swim or fly by. This particular Saturday evening I decided to take a stroll to my sacred spot to have a chat and prayer by phone with one of my dear friends in California. When I arrived, there was a duck sitting on one side of my favorite bench.

She didn’t seem to mind when I sat down next to her to continue my conversation. Together we watched the sun dip below the horizon as twilight illuminated the sky and the buildings of the Medical Center across the lake. A turtle poked its head above the reflective surface of the water to look at me, perhaps hoping for a morsel of food. A little dog frightened the turtle back into the water and disturbed two ducks resting behind our bench. They hurriedly waddled in front of the bench where the dog’s leash couldn’t reach. Once the dog passed, each duck found a soft spot in the grass, nestled their little heads into their bodies, and returned to duck dreamtime. With two in front of me and one sleeping next to me on the bench, I shared with my friend that I was now the fourth corner of a sleeping duck square.

After a delightful conversation and a centering prayer, I hung up the phone and sat there in the dark for several more minutes basking in the energy. Night had fallen. The colored lights of the Medical Center were now illuminated as was the fountain in the middle of the lake. I was soothed by the gentle whooshing sound of the fountain interrupted by the occasional goose honking or child laughing. The peaceful stillness was palpable in that moment. It felt like such an honor to have gained the trust of those three sleeping ducks. I’m guessing they sensed they were safe with this human sitting among them. It struck me how this would not be what most would call a “hot Saturday night,” and yet I felt completely content and grateful for all of the elements that came together to create that unique experience.

Are you having a hard time finding peace and stillness in your current situation? Maybe it’s time to give yourself the gift of Life Coaching or Family Constellations so you can break the cycle or pattern and do things differently. It would be my great honor to assist you through whatever you are going through and growing through. Please look around my website or send me an email for more information and to schedule your first session. An experience of peace and stillness might be just a phone call away.

Until next time, I wish you an experience of peace and stillness wherever and however it may find you.

Now is there silence all around the world. Now is there stillness where before there was a frantic rush of thoughts that made no sense. Now is there tranquil light across the face of earth, made quiet in a dreamless sleep. ~ from Lesson 198 in A Course in Miracles

A Family of Angels

Sometimes you only need one angel. Sometimes you need a whole family of them. Last week I went for my walk in Hermann Park a little later than usual. It was a bit hotter at noon, but that didn’t deter me. I put my earbuds in and let the dance music fill my ears to give me inspiration and energy to walk in the heat.

Since it was lunchtime, I noticed there were a few more people in the park. One family in particular caught my attention. It was a mom, a dad, their two elementary school-aged children, and a baby in a stroller. They were standing on the path about ten feet in front of me when all of a sudden each one put their hand out in front of them like a traffic cop signaling me to stop! (Okay, the baby didn’t, but everyone else did.) It seemed like an odd gesture to make to a stranger, but the frightened expressions on their faces told me it would be in my best interest to stop. I looked around for a snake or a rabid raccoon just as the little train that takes guests on a scenic tour of the park came out from behind the bushes right in front of me. Had I taken one or two more steps onto the railroad tracks that separated me from that family, I would have walked right into the train.

Now in my defense, that train usually isn’t running yet when I take my morning walk. I didn’t hear the whistle because I was listening to my music. After the train had passed and my heart resumed a normal rate, I thanked the family for saving my life. They laughed. True, I probably wouldn’t have died that day, but I could have been badly hurt had they not been there at that exact moment. Indeed, they were a family of angels.

That incident left me feeling unsettled but grateful. It reminded me that I am protected and guided in every moment, even when I’m not paying attention. Not that this is an excuse to be careless, but it feels good to know that no matter where I am or what’s going on, there is a Presence watching over me. I know the same is true for you, and you will feel much more peaceful if you know it too. Here is a beautiful suggestion from Lesson 183 in A Course in Miracles:

“Invite the angels to surround the ground on which you stand, and sing to you as they spread out their wings to keep you safe, and shelter you from every worldly thought that would intrude upon your holiness.”

If you need some assistance in getting in touch with your angels or a sense of safety and peace, consider signing up for my Life Coaching program called “The Pathway to Peace.” By the end of our 8-week journey together, you will have acquired an entire toolbox of spiritual tools with which to use whenever you feel unsafe or stressed. Please look around my website for more information and to register for this or other Life Coaching programs.

Until next time, may you feel the presence of angels guiding and watching over you in every moment.

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