Don’t Cry Over Spilled Oatmeal

I should have known better than to grab the container of oatmeal by the lid. Moments after it left the shelf the lid popped off and gravity pulled the container to the floor scattering oats in all directions. I will admit that a few angry expletives may have left my mouth.

Luckily, half the contents remained in the cardboard cylinder, so I only had to sweep up about a cup or two of oats. I was able to sweep most of them in the dustpan, but the flakes that fell in the groove of the pantry door track were a bit more stubborn. Unfortunately, I did not have time to haul out the vacuum and fiddle with the hose attachments, so the remaining oats would have to wait until later.

The following day, I got my vacuum out to address the spill. I had never used the hose attachment on this vacuum, but it turned out to be quite easy. With just a press of an orange button, the regular floor vacuum piece popped out and I replaced it with the hose attachment. I held the hose over the oats in the track, clicked the trigger to start the vacuum, and waited for the oats to disappear into the tube. The engine was whirring along but the oats didn’t budge.

When I put my hand over the end of the nozzle, I felt no suction at all. Perhaps I attached the hose to the wrong spot. Another orange button let me snap off the long handle and put the hose attachment closer to the machine like a dust buster. Still no suction. Everything looked and sounded like it was running smoothly, so where was the problem?

Although the collection bin was less than half full, I decided to empty it and check the filters. A small amount of dirt fell into the trash bin, but I soon discovered both filters were blanketed in dust-saturated carpet fuzz. Since my new apartment has mostly vinyl floors, I have been using my Swiffer more than the vacuum. Out of sight. Out of mind. It simply hadn’t occurred to me that it was past time to clean those filters. 

Once I brushed those off, I snapped everything back together and returned to the scene of the crime. In just a few minutes, the remaining oats had been sucked up and out of the pantry door track. Problem solved.

But how long had I been running that vacuum over my bedroom carpet thinking something was happening? I never thought to check for suction. The bin did not look full, so I incorrectly assumed everything was working properly. Had I not dropped the oatmeal, it may have taken me another few months to discover the vacuum wasn’t working!

Obviously, I was not happy about the spill when it happened, but it ended up being for my highest good. What a great reminder that all things work together for good, even when those events are not what I desire.

I know this is a trivial example, and many of you have much more significant challenges than spilled oatmeal. However, if it feels appropriate, I invite you to consider the possibility that this is still true. One of my most daunting health issues yielded more blessings than I could have imagined. It took time and a willingness to see it differently, but eventually, I was able to recognize the tremendous amount of love and positive change it brought into my life. For that, I am truly grateful. 

On the other hand, if you have recently experienced a great loss, it is probably not helpful to think along these lines. Please be gentle with yourself, seek loving support and guidance from those who have walked that path, and allow the full gamut of emotions to pass through you. What I’m writing about here applies to those setbacks and challenges that prevent us from getting or doing what we think we want or need.

Sometimes, what appears to be a roadblock is actually a detour that leads us to a more desirable destination. Although I have experienced this many times in my life, I still needed the reminder!

Are you experiencing a significant challenge right now? It would be my great honor to assist you with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. Both can help reveal the blessings in disguise while you gain tools and insights to help you move through them. Please look around my website for more information or to book a session. I look forward to working with you.

All things work together for good. There are no exceptions except in the ego’s judgment.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-4.V:1-2

Breathe In. Breath Out.

So grateful to experience the magnificent Amy Steinberg LIVE in concert!

What a wonderful weekend I had in Ocala, Florida! A big thank you to everyone who attended the Sunday morning service and/or the afternoon Family Constellations workshop at the Center for Spiritual Living

What a treat to end the day with a phenomenally fun concert featuring the one-and-only Amy Steinberg! If you don’t know her music, I encourage you to check it out on YouTube or Spotify. Her lyrics and joyful energy will uplift you! My heart was full after spending the entire day in that loving, healing energy.

But the next day, I wasn’t feeling very well. I didn’t drink much water on Sunday, so in addition to being tired, I was probably dehydrated. Gratefully, I did not have any appointments on Monday, so I was able to rest and rehydrate. 

My ego, however, was not happy that I didn’t get anything crossed off my To-Do list that day. Say what you will, ego. I have learned to be gentle with myself after expending lots of energy on a busy day or after a trip. I honor the natural cycle of expansion and contraction. Just like breathing. 

When we take a deep breath, our lungs fill with air causing our rib cage to expand. As we release that air, our rib cage contracts. It’s a natural rhythm, and one we don’t question or judge. I don’t recall ever berating myself for exhaling!

So, why in other areas of our lives do we welcome the expansion, but curse the contraction? I think it’s because the contraction is often uncomfortable. (Mothers, please forgive me. I’m not talking about those contractions. I realize they are more than uncomfortable, and I have no business even talking about them. I’m grateful to my mom for experiencing those contractions so I could be here.)

In a less intense example, most of us have felt sad or even depressed after returning from a fabulous vacation. We plan for weeks or months, looking forward to a change of scenery and a break from our everyday routines. We experience new adventures and create special memories whether we are traveling solo or with friends and family. 

While the vacation is happening, new choices and possibilities surround us. We feel expanded, joyful, and free. But once the trip is over, going back to our regular life can feel limiting and dull.

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, like the ebb and flow of the tides. There’s no need to panic when the ebb happens. The flow of the sea will return. But in the meantime, can we be present with the ebb and fully receive its gifts? 

During the ebb, can we take time for self-reflection? What do we need? How do we want to move forward? Are we making choices aligned with our hearts’ desires or simply doing things the way we’ve always done them? The ebb is a perfect opportunity to ask these questions. 

This week, I gave myself permission to rest and reflect. And I feel much better for it! Despite the ego’s ranting, all is well, and I’m already feeling the next expansion.

Are you experiencing an ebb or contraction right now? It would be my great honor to support 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. Please look around my website for more information or to book a session. I look forward to walking with you!

Until next time, I trust you will find ways to honor both the ebb and flow of life whenever they occur.

Some of your greatest advances you have judged as failures, and some of your deepest retreats you have evaluated as success.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-18.V.1:6 

Just Walk Away!

This week, I learned once again that sometimes the best course of action is to just walk away! I wasn’t having great luck finding an affordable hotel room with the app I normally use, so my sister recommended a rewards program she likes. She said it’s free to create an account, so I decided to give it a try.

After the last software update, something weird must have happened with my Apple password. I had to create a new password and circumvent a very old email address before the new app would download. The challenge seemed to be worth it. When it finally downloaded, I created an account and discovered a better rate on the same room, so I began the process of booking it. 

When I got to the payment screen, a credit card offer popped up. It promised a $150 statement credit after my first purchase and no annual fee. Last fall, a similar credit card deal popped up while I was purchasing an airline ticket. I applied, and it was approved in seconds. The whole process happened seamlessly and saved me quite a bit of money. Since that deal worked out so well, I decided to take advantage of this one.

Unfortunately, the process was not so smooth this time. My credit application was approved, but the new card was not added automatically to my account. The payment screen was asking for the 16-digit number and the rest of the pertinent information. Of course, I did not have this information because the account was brand new. I visited the bank’s website, but I could only see the last 4 digits of the number. No matter what link I clicked, it would not display any more information.

Meanwhile, the clock was ticking. My sister was waiting for me to finish so we could go for our morning walk before her husband arrived for lunch. What I thought would be a quick and easy task was turning out to be a lengthy, digital obstacle course. I could feel myself getting more and more frustrated with each tap on my keyboard that led to a dead end.

Thankfully, I had the good sense to abandon this pursuit. The next logical step would be to call the bank, but I knew I was not in the right frame of mind for that. I had neither the patience nor the time to jump through all those hoops before speaking to a human. I took a deep breath, then closed both my laptop and the app on my phone. Booking the hotel room could wait.

I knew peace would return once I got outside and started moving my body. There is truth in the saying, “Move a muscle. Change a thought.” It definitely works for me. I always feel better after a morning walk or my yoga practice. 

And it was a gorgeous day for a walk! The sun was peaking through the clouds while its rays danced and sparkled on the surface of Sarasota Bay. Getting to share the experience with my sister made it even more enjoyable. It didn’t take long for the frustration of the previous hour to leave my mind completely. 

When we returned to my apartment, I was in a peaceful state of mind and ready to revisit the situation. Rather than call the bank, I decided to open the hotel app to see if anything had changed. Lo and behold it had! My newly opened credit card had been added to my account, and I booked the room in less than a minute!

It truly was a miracle, but not because something on the outside changed. Miracles happen when something on the inside changes. Thank you, Spirit, for the wisdom to step away from the problem and not try to force a solution. Had I continued along the path of frustration and anger, there was little to no room for a miracle.

Would you like some assistance in returning to a peaceful state of mind where peaceful solutions are possible? Now is the perfect time to give yourself the gift of Spiritual Coaching or a private Family Constellations Session. Both will help you step back and see things from another perspective so you can move forward with ease and grace. Please look around my website for more information or to book a session. I look forward to welcoming peaceful solutions with you!

And the next time a situation has you feeling frustrated or stuck, perhaps you’ll remember that the best course of action might be to just walk away!

It must begin with your own thoughts, and then extend outward. It is from your peace of mind that a peaceful perception of the world arises.

A Course in Miracles ~ W-34.1:3-4

Ushering in 2024 with Peace and Whales

Do you have your “word” for 2024? Last year, “Grace” danced into my awareness while observing the flowing and seemingly effortless movements of a dancer at a New Year’s Eve event. I wrote about it in my blog titled “Moving into 2023 Gracefully.” At the time, I had no idea how much grace I would receive in the following months. It truly was the perfect touchstone word to help me through all the unexpected twists and turns of 2023.

If you are not familiar with this practice, your word for the year is not usually one you actively choose. It finds its way to you in moments of stillness and contemplation. But you don’t have to be sitting in the lotus position on a meditation cushion to receive a word. It could pop out at you while listening to a song in the car on the way to the grocery store. Perhaps a word on a billboard or a bumper sticker will speak to you. There’s no right or wrong way to receive your word. 

Many of you already practice this, but if it is new to you and it strikes a chord, simply open your heart and mind to receive a word in whatever way it wants to arrive. There are just two guidelines that I recommend. Don’t force it, and don’t judge or resist a word if it doesn’t seem to make sense in the moment. It’s often in hindsight that the word reveals its significance and relevance, as it did in my case last year. The word may have a completely different meaning than your first instinct.

This year, I really wanted to be around other humans on New Year’s Eve. Alas, it was not meant to be. I’m not much of a planner, so by the time I started asking local friends how they would ring in the new year, I discovered all of them were staying home. I surrendered to the fact that I’d be staying home, too, which turned out to be a blessing.

Instead of being around other humans, I spent New Year’s Eve with Greek gods, goddesses, and monsters while watching Percy Jackson and the Olympians on Disney+. There’s a good reason for the buzz it’s getting. It’s a very fun show!

In the middle of episode 2, I got a nudge to set down my iPad and check the time. There were just 7 minutes left in 2023. Outside, the fireworks had been exploding relentlessly since about 7 PM. They weren’t bothering me that much, but I decided to pop in my AirPods to drown out the sound and listen to one of my favorite meditation tracks, “Song of the Deep” by Kamal. That felt like a nice way to spend the last moments of 2023.

Interestingly enough, that track is just over 7 minutes, so the humpback whales ushered me into 2024 with their beautiful calls set to soft, graceful melodies. When I imagine these gentle giants elegantly moving through the water and diving into the depths of the ocean, it always gives me a deep sense of peace. I love this metaphor. No matter what storms are raging on the surface, when we dive deep, it is calm.

Suddenly I knew my word for 2024…Peace. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that before Percy Jackson, I watched a video on YouTube by Jacob Glass, a fellow A Course in Miracles student. He was talking about one of the Course’s core teachings in Lesson 185. To say you want peace is nothing, but to mean it is everything.

I am grateful to Jacob Glass and the humpback whales for revealing my word for the year. I truly want Peace and I am going to do my best to choose it in every moment! Like Grace, I look forward to all the miraculous ways Peace will guide and support me in 2024.

Would you like to experience more Peace this year? I would be honored to assist you in that endeavor with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. Both can help you see things differently while giving you tools to navigate those storms when they arise. For more information or to book a session, please look around my website. I look forward to exploring the depths with you where peace is always present. 

Until next time, keep doing your best to choose peace!

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.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-15.XI.10:10-11

Counting Blessings Before They Are Hatched

I don’t know about you, but I am feeling very optimistic about 2024. Just last week, I received another hopeful sign. While walking from my car to my front door, I noticed a large round object next to the sidewalk. At first, I thought someone had left a rock in the grass, but when I got closer, I could see a geometric pattern on the surface. It was a little turtle that had completely retreated into its shell.

When I stood still for a moment, her head poked out and she continued with her task at hand. I couldn’t believe my luck. This is the second time this year I’ve been in the right place at the right time to witness a mama turtle laying eggs!

You may recall I wrote about this in April on the 12th anniversary of my mother’s passing. (Click here if you missed that story.) Over the years, I’ve had several connections involving my mother and turtles, so I took this as her sign that she was with me. That day in April was the start of what became a very challenging spring, and it gave me great comfort to feel my mother’s presence. What are the odds that mama turtle would lay her eggs on that day at the exact moment I looked out my window?

And now, as we approach the end of 2023, it happened again! I was returning home from my morning walk right when another mama turtle chose to lay her eggs mere steps from my front door. You may call it a coincidence, but I choose to see it as another message from my mom.

It seems significant that this happened on the Tuesday after Christmas. Had this been any other Tuesday, the landscaping crew would have been on the property wielding noisy lawnmowers and leaf blowers. That certainly would have scared the turtle away, but since Monday was a holiday, they adjusted their schedule and came on Wednesday instead.

It’s also odd that no one else was around during this time. On days when school is out, kids are usually running or riding bikes along that sidewalk. On this day, it was eerily quiet. As far as I know, I’m the only one who passed by. It’s as if the stars aligned perfectly so that she would not be disturbed and I would encounter her. 

After taking a few photos and a short video of this divinely timed miracle, I went inside to take a shower. When I returned, the mama turtle had finished laying her eggs and was now covering them up with her back flippers. How she managed to do this without looking, I’ll never know. Her work was impeccable!

When I returned from lunch about an hour later, she was gone leaving no evidence that she had ever been there. Had I not seen her earlier, I would not have noticed the small patch of mud where she laid her eggs. It was packed perfectly flush with the rest of the terrain. The next day, I felt inspired to place a few small rose quartz crystals around the perimeter of her nest and say a prayer of protection over those little eggs.  

Neither the timing nor the metaphor of this experience was lost on me. Thanks for this hopeful message, Mom! You’re not supposed to count chickens before they hatch, but I’m counting these blessings before the turtle eggs hatch. I believe our dreams and desires have been incubating like those turtle eggs, and I affirm that many blessings will hatch in 2024 for all of us! 

If you would like to start the new year off with a blessing, please consider giving yourself the gift of Spiritual Coaching or a Private Family Constellations Session. You can learn more about these healing opportunities or book a session on my website

Or perhaps you feel inspired to join me for my first online Family Constellations workshop of 2024. On Sunday, January 7, we will “Welcome the New Year with Family Constellations.” Click here to learn more and to purchase a ticket. There are just a few spots left! I look forward to sharing more miracles with you in the coming year! 

Communication is not limited to the small range of channels the world recognizes.

A Course in Miracle ~ M-25.2:2

Harmony’s New Shoes

I started writing about something else this week, but then I experienced a little holiday miracle that really wanted to be shared. I hope it opens your mind to the possibility that there are more holiday miracles wanting to happen through you, too!

Harmony is the name I gave my Honda HRV when I leased her in January 2018. Let’s just say my experience was not very harmonious at the dealership, so I purposely chose a name that would help shift that energy. Well, it must have worked because 6 years later we are still together. But after driving her for 49,000 miles, it was time to get her some new shoes.

During my last oil change, the service adviser at the local Honda dealer told me my car would definitely need new tires the next time I came in. He did some quick calculations to give me an idea of what it would cost. My jaw dropped when he showed me the number on his calculator. The amount was over $1,000! That number has been looming in my mind ever since. 

My friend’s sweet husband did some research for me when I shared with her the outrageous price he quoted. He found some much better deals online at a tire store not far from my apartment. Coincidentally, the tire store he found was right next to the supermarket where I shop, so I had already been thinking that’s where I would go when it was time. 

Before another drive across the state to see my sister and her family for Christmas, it felt wise to get those new shoes for Harmony. I went to that tire store’s website, selected a relatively affordable set of tires, and scheduled an appointment for the next morning. That first step went rather smoothly.

During my morning meditation the next day, I imagined sending love and peaceful energy to the tire store filling it with light before I arrived. An hour later, when I walked in, there was just one customer before me. When the service adviser finished with him, he told me his co-worker would be right with me. Darn! He seemed nice. I was hoping he would help me. 

A moment later, his co-worker walked in from the work area and asked if he could help me at the next counter. I told him I had made an appointment online, which he found quickly on his computer. Without saying many words, he used the hunt-and-peck method on his keyboard to enter my address before going out to my car to record the mileage. When he returned, still mostly silent, I got a nudge to ask him if I was eligible for any rebates or perhaps a “Merry Christmas Gift” of $50 off. Without skipping a beat or looking away from his computer screen, he replied, ”Sure. I’ll give you $50 off.” 

At first, I wasn’t sure I heard him correctly, but I decided not to question it. I would trust the process and see what appeared on the final bill. In just over an hour, the mechanics gave Harmony four new “Blackhawk” tires before lowering her to the ground. When I approached the counter to pay, the same man of few words presented me the bill. He had indeed taken an additional $50 off. In fact, the final bill was less than half of what the Honda dealer quoted and also less than the price my friend’s husband found. It was a Christmas miracle! 

By the way, you may recall the “Angel To-Do” list I wrote about last week. Purchasing new tires with ease and grace was on that list. After months of putting it off, the angels took care of it in just a few weeks. Yes, I had to do my part. But it went more smoothly, quickly, and for less money than I had imagined possible. Thank you, angels! 

I’d like to share one last fun detail. I have no idea if “Blackhawk” is a good brand of tires, but I love the name. Longtime readers of my weekly stories know I am always looking for signs. In Native American teachings, Hawk is a messenger. Hawk invites us to pay attention to our surroundings because life is always sending us signals.

You know who else are considered to be messengers? Angels! I like to think “Blackhawk” was yet another wink from them to remind me that they are on the job. I look forward to seeing how they handle the rest of that list in 2024 and beyond! 

Are you in the middle of a challenging time? It would be my great honor to assist you through it with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. Both can help unlock old patterns that no longer serve, thus allowing more peace and joy to flow into your life. There’s no better time to give yourself a gift than right now. Sessions can be done from anywhere in the world thanks to the Internet. For more information or to book a session, please look around my website. I would love to share the gifts I have received with you!

As we bring this year to a close, I invite you to look for signs wherever you go. They show up in unexpected ways, and they sure make life more interesting and joyful!

Nothing you undertake with certain purpose and high resolve and happy confidence, holding your brother’s hand and keeping step to Heaven’s song, is difficult to do. 

A Course in Miracles ~ T-26.V.2:5

A Wink from the Angels

For the past few weeks, I’ve been reading a book called The Crabby Angels Chronicles by Jacob Glass. It’s a fun book that offers spiritual guidance on everyday matters based on the teachings of A Course in Miracles. I’m finding it very enjoyable and helpful, but I should let you know one thing if you are considering buying the book. Once in a while, the author uses the “f-word,” and I’m not talking about “forgiveness.”

That language doesn’t bother me, but it may offend some readers. I think that’s why the author dubbed them “crabby angels.” They don’t shy away from the occasional use of profanity or being direct. I must admit it is effective in getting the reader’s attention! Occasional profanity aside, the book is loaded with practical tools and helpful suggestions to assist the reader on this journey called Life.

For example, the crabby angels offer a great suggestion in Chapter 133 titled “Give It to the Staff to Handle.” I’m guessing most of us have a “to-do” list. And if you’re like me, there may be things that have been on that list for weeks, or even months. These are tasks that seem difficult, tedious, or simply too much to take on right now. 

The angels invite us to create a separate “to-do” list for them. These less enjoyable items go on the angel to-do list so they can start working behind the scenes to get them done. 

They also recommend putting things over which we simply have no control on their list. (In truth, that’s pretty much everything, but that’s a discussion for another day!) Why not turn those over to them so we can free ourselves from worrying about them? The mind thinks worrying is a form of action, but it’s actually a distraction. It’s not helpful to invest precious time and mental energy thinking about an outcome we do not desire.

By the way, it doesn’t have to be an angel to-do list. You can imagine this list is for the Universe, God, your ancestors, or anything that feels right for you. The important thing is to separate the tasks that light you up from the ones that don’t.

It’s not that we don’t ever take action steps toward these items, but we release the heaviness of them by placing them on the other list. Then we simply watch what happens. That sounded good to me, so I created my angel to-do list that very morning. 

I dug out a small blank notebook from my desk drawer and wrote “Angel To-Do List” across the top of the first page. It didn’t take me long to jot down at least a dozen items. Looking at my to-do lists, I saw a few items that had been staring at me for quite a while! I actually have two to-do lists: one for my personal life and one for my work life. I gratefully gave the angels a few items from each!  

It may sound silly, but I started feeling lighter almost immediately after composing the angel to-do list. But wait. It got better.  

After breakfast, I went out to my car to drive to Sarasota Bay for my morning walk. Something caught my attention as I opened the driver’s side door. There, right in front of my face, was a delicate white feather stuck to the roof of my car! 

You can explain it away as a random feather from a passing bird, but this is the first time I’ve seen a feather stuck to my roof like that. I prefer to see it as a not-so-subtle wink from my angels letting me know they received their assignments and they are on the job! 

And to make sure I got the message, that feather stuck to my roof all the way from the parking lot to the gas station a few miles away. I couldn’t believe it was still there when I filled my fuel tank. My angels really wanted me to know they weren’t going anywhere!

That was a few days ago, and I am still feeling lighter. Plus, I have had some breakthroughs. Delegating the bigger, more challenging things to the angels apparently unlocked something in me. I found the time and the inspiration to tackle a few of the items that had been lingering on my to-do list for months. What an unexpected blessing during this busy time of year!  

As for the items I placed on the angel to-do list, I have faith that energy has been set in motion. My only job is to stay present and follow guidance that feels loving and peaceful. I look forward to watching things unfold in miraculous ways. When I get out of the way, they usually do. 

Are you feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list? Are there things on that list that have been taunting you for weeks or months? Maybe it’s time to create a to-do list for your angelic staff. What do you have to lose except stress and worry?

I would be honored to help you in that endeavor with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. There’s no better time than now to give yourself the gift of peace. Both Spiritual Coaching and Family Constellations Sessions allow you to see things from a different perspective, thus allowing you to release that which no longer serves. For more information or to book a session, please look around my website. I look forward to working with you.

During this Season of Light, may you remember that your angels and ancestors are cheering you on to experience more peace, love, and joy!

Angels light the way, so that all darkness vanishes, and you are standing in a light so bright and clear that you can understand all things you see.

A Course in Miracles ~ W-131.13:2

Wishes & Stardust

On the day after Thanksgiving, my sister and I went to see Disney’s latest animated film, Wish. It received mixed reviews from critics, but we both loved it. The music was inspiring and fun, blending perfectly with the empowering and hopeful story. Wish uses light as a metaphor to infuse the story withspiritual themes like the power of connection and truth of our oneness. 

As a longtime student of A Course in Miracles, I can’t help but smile when I see its teachings sneak into mainstream movies. For example, Disney’s mega-hit Frozen was, in my opinion, “The Course for Kids.” Ana and Elsa’s story demonstrated what’s possible when we choose love over fear. Without spoiling any major plot points in Wish, I’d like to share a few scenes that really touched on spiritual truth. 

When Asha, the main character, wishes upon a star, a burst of light emanates from that star and completely envelopes her before sweeping across the land. She later discovers that light touched every person on her island and delivered a moment of joy and hope to all. No one understood what happened, but they all felt it. Connection to something greater than ourselves usually has that effect on us. This aligns beautifully with one of the best and simplest definitions of spirituality I have ever read from Cindy Wigglesworth, author of SQ21: The Twenty-One Skills of Spiritual Intelligence.

Spirituality is an innate human need to be connected with something larger than ourselves.

Shortly after that burst of light, the forest comes alive to sing “I’m a Star” to our heroine. The lyrics are actually quite deep for a children’s movie, but like most Disney films, they are not just for kids and the messages will meet you where you are. The plants and animals invite Asha to see that we are all stars. No, not movie stars, but actual twinkling stars like the ones we see at night. At one point they sing, “We are our own origin story.” But they add, “That might not sink in ’til the morning!” Click here to have a listen.

My dear friend and mentor, Dr. Charles Geddes, often says that we are made of stardust. I love this because he means it both literally and poetically. Science tells us that the same elements and molecules that comprise gasses in a star also make up our physical bodies. Planetary scientist and stardust expert Dr. Ashley King explains. “It is totally 100% true: nearly all the elements in the human body were made in a star and many have come through several supernovas.”

Meanwhile, many spiritual traditions speak of the light within and encourage us to shine our light, just like the stars. What a beautiful concept to celebrate in song!

Speaking of interesting concepts to sing about, imagine my surprise when I heard those furry forest critters ask, “What’s passed down generationally…to you and me?” Are they doing Family Constellations in the woods? 

Many of you have experienced the ancestor meditation I guide during a Family Constellation group or individual session. At the beginning of that meditation, I invite participants to breathe into their heart space where that divine spark lives in each of us. Without giving too much away, there’s a scene toward the end of the movie where this heart light begins to glow in all of the islanders. When they reclaim their power and work together, amazing things happen. To see this image depicted on the silver screen made my own heart glow! 

If you enjoy animated films, don’t miss the opportunity to see this one in the theater. For longtime fans of Disney movies, Wish is also chock full of subtle and not-so-subtle nods and tributes to the past 100 years of Disney animation. I plan to see it again so I can catch the ones I missed! Click here for a sneak peak of the powerful theme song, “This Wish.”

Whether you see the movie or not, I encourage you to remember that YOU are a star! If I can help you reveal more of your inner light and experience more peace, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I know this time of year can be especially challenging for many. It would be my great honor to support you with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. Both can be done on Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime from anywhere in the world. For more information or to book a session, please look around my website. I look forward to shining with you!

Together we shine with brightness so intense that none of us alone can even think of it.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-13.X.14:2

A Foggy Mystical Metaphor

It was a foggy, mystical morning as I set out for my daily walk along Sarasota Bay last week. Typically, the view is expansive and joyful when I traverse the bridge over the turquoise water sparkling in the sunlight. On this day, the bay was shrouded in gray clouds, and I could see only a short distance in any direction. It was eerie that the city skyline was not visible until I was more than halfway across the bridge. This limited, somber view made me introspective and pensive.

Heading back across the bridge for the second part of my walk, I watched joggers pass me and then disappear into the fog. Of course, I knew they were still jogging along the path, but from my vantage point, I could no longer see them or where the bridge ended. Given my introspective and pensive mood, it is not surprising that my mind concocted a metaphor connecting the joggers and the fog to the approaching year and life in general. 

I’m sending this story out on the first day of the last month of 2023. We don’t know what the next 31 days will bring, let alone what will happen in 2024. In truth, we don’t know what will happen in the next moment. And yet, we continue moving forward.

This year was full of surprises for me. Had I known what was coming, I might have done things differently. But since I didn’t know, I simply made the best choices I could as situations and events presented themselves. With each new piece of information, I took another step. Even though we may not be able to see what’s ahead, like the joggers in the fog, as we continue along the path, the way forward will become clear. 

Life continues to teach me that even when I can’t see a way out of a situation, if I keep putting one foot in front of the other, a way forward will be revealed. My job is not to “figure it out” but to do my best to return to a peaceful state of mind. In my experience, great solutions don’t come when I am immersed in fear or continue to think about the problem. Inspired ideas and guidance have a much better chance of reaching me when I am calm and centered. 

I know. Easier said than done sometimes! But it gets easier with practice. And you can be sure there will be plenty of opportunities to practice during this journey called life. 

I’ve also learned to reach out for assistance when I feel stuck or overwhelmed. The ego doesn’t like to ask, but my heart is grateful for all the love and support I’ve received. If you are struggling, there is no shame in asking for help.

It would be my great honor and joy to guide you through a foggy patch with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. Both can be done virtually anywhere thanks to the Internet. Please look around my website for more information or to book a session. I look forward to helping you return to peace where guidance and inspiration thrive.  

If you knew Who walks beside you on the way that you have chosen, fear would be impossible.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-18.III.3:2

Dance Like Nobody’s Watching (or an Ostrich)

You’ve probably heard some version of the saying “Dance like nobody’s watching.” This week, I experienced something similar. I got to “dance while wearing someone else’s name tag.” It was incredibly fun and freeing! I highly recommend it if you have the opportunity to try it. Let me explain this unusual circumstance. 

Two of my friends spend their winter in Florida in a community not far from where I live. Every year, this community has a “Welcome Back” dinner party for the returning snowbirds. That party was this week, but one of my friends had to go out of town for work unexpectedly. Rather than waste one of the tickets, his partner asked if I’d like to join him for the event.

Here’s where it got interesting. Since this event was for community members only, I had to wear his partner’s name tag. (Let’s just say his name is Joe.) I felt funny doing this at first, but another friend is on their HOA board. The meal was already paid for, so he said it was fine for me to attend. Once I heard this, I felt better about going. 

When we arrived, I clipped Joe’s name tag to my shirt and introduced myself as Joe all night. Of course, their friends who live in the community were in on the joke. They got very creative with this game. Some of them made up stories about Joe to see if I would play along. I did. Sometimes I introduced myself as Joe’s stunt double or stand-in. I found this highly amusing since Joe and I don’t resemble each other much at all. 

There was also dancing at this event. At first, I was reluctant to get on the dance floor, but then I remembered I was not John that night. I could be as silly as I wanted to be and no one would know who I am. As for Joe’s partner and friends, they were a hoot on the dance floor, so I had no reservations about shaking my groove thing with them. We danced like there was no one watching. 

After the party, I thanked my friend (Joe’s partner) for inviting me. It would have been a fun party as John, but the added element of pretending to be Joe made it even more enjoyable. It certainly was a memorable way to make new friends and not be self-conscious.

This experience reminded me of the joy and freedom I felt performing in character costumes at Disney World. Believe it or not, I was painfully shy all through grade school, high school, and college. I started emerging from my shell when I auditioned and got accepted into the Drama Department at Syracuse University

But it was my job in the Character Department at the Magic Kingdom that truly helped me overcome my shyness. When I first got hired, there was no way I could have performed in parades as John in front of thousands of park guests. But concealed in elaborate costumes, I felt comfortable to act as silly and outrageous as I wanted! 

One of my favorite roles was the dancing ostriches on the Fantasia float in the SpectorMagic Parade. An ostrich dancing in pink ballet slippers is ridiculous to begin with, so we were not only allowed but encouraged to be as flamboyant and over the top as possible. Sometimes I would shake my head inside that crazy costume and think, “I can’t believe I’m getting paid for this!” (Granted, it wasn’t much!) 

When I look back, I can see how Spirit orchestrated the process of me overcoming my shyness step by step. First, I was hidden in fur and feathers. Later, I was cast in roles where my face was showing. Little by little, I became more comfortable with being seen by large crowds. I’m still a work in progress, but I am grateful for these experiences that helped me be able to do the work I do now.

I think this is true for all of us. The more trips we take around the sun, the less concerned we are with what other people think of us. I have witnessed this to be true of some of my favorite teachers, mentors, and people in general from previous generations. They seem happier because they are doing what they truly want to do. This ties in with last week’s theme about inspiration, obligation, and desperation. They are showing us that it is much easier to live an inspired and joyful life when we free ourselves from the judgments and expectations of others.  

So wear an ostrich costume or someone else’s name tag if it helps. But this week, I encourage you to embody the famous quote below from William Purkey, author, school teacher, and Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro:

“You’ve got to dance like there’s nobody watching, love like you’ll never be hurt, sing like there’s nobody listening, and live like it’s heaven on earth.”

If I can assist you in living a more inspired and joyful life, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I would be honored to share some of the teachings and practices that have helped me release the ego’s fears and embrace the path of Love with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. Both can be done from anywhere in the world using Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime. For more information or to book a session, visit my website or send me an email.

Know yourself in the One Light where the miracle that is you is perfectly clear.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-3.V.10:9

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