Peace in the Darkness (Part 2)

Last week, I shared Part 1 of this story. There were so many miracles I had to break it up into two parts! If you missed it, click here. In a nutshell, my laptop went dark on a Saturday night. I decided to let it charge overnight and try to power it up again in the morning. I had a restless sleep, but my furry feline friend, Cleo from my childhood, appeared in a dream to comfort me. It felt like a sign that everything would be okay. 

The next morning, I opened my computer and hit the power key with cheerful expectancy, hoping to hear that famous MacBook chime. No such luck. Still nothing. Oh well. Knowing I’d want to be as centered as possible before a visit to the Apple Store, I decided to roll out my yoga mat and do my practice. 

Focusing my mind was like trying to walk a Doberman in a forest of squirrels. My thoughts ran in multiple directions trying to envision what might happen with my laptop situation. I had to keep bringing my attention back to my breath. It was quite comical to observe, yet I was still remarkably calm.

When I finished my practice, something told me to give the keyboard one more tap before packing up the laptop. To my surprise, the screen lit up right away! I was stunned and grateful! Now, I could complete a time-sensitive task, and then back up my hard drive.

I found the external hard drive in my desk, but the cord that connected it to my laptop was not with it. I consider myself to be a very organized and detail-oriented person, so the cord not being in the same drawer was highly unusual. I found several other cords, but none of them had the correct connectors. It was frustrating, but I had to laugh. The one cord I needed was MIA. There was no reason to panic. I simply needed to go to Best Buy to purchase that cord. 

Since one of my favorite Mexican restaurants is near Best Buy, I decided to go there for lunch before buying the cord. While waiting for my burrito, I did a little more laptop research on my phone and narrowed it down to my top choice. That’s when I remembered Best Buy sells Apple products. I could check out that laptop while I was there. If I liked it, once I had the right cord, I could complete the backup and then go to the Apple Store the following day to make the purchase. This seemed like a great plan! 

It was quite the scavenger hunt searching for the cord I needed among boxes and boxes of different cables and connectors, but perseverance paid off! With my prize in hand, I triumphantly walked over to the Apple computer section. There it was. The 15” MacBook Air that I had been eying online.

I stood in front of it and began tapping the keyboard. I liked how it felt. The screen and the touchpad were much larger and easier to navigate than my current laptop. I tested the built-in camera because I use Zoom a lot. The video was sharp and clear. When I looked at the specs on the tag next to the computer, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was on sale for $300 off! 

Not having the right cord turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I would never have known about this sale had I not gone to Best Buy. When I went to the front to purchase the cord, I asked the cashier how long the sale was running and he said it ended that day! Well wasn’t that interesting timing?

The cashier put me in a cue to speak with a sales associate, so I had another 15 minutes to play with the laptop. I really liked it! Everything about this felt right…until the sales associate arrived. He was a nice enough young man, but he talked very quickly. I told him what I use my computer for most often, and asked him which one would be best for my business. He quickly steered me away from the MacBook Air over to a MacBook Pro. 

I don’t doubt that the Pro is a better machine, but he was rambling on about screen definition and processing power, all of which are not high priorities for me. I just need a computer to host Zoom calls, answer emails, and write these stories. He went on about how the MacBook Air was less sturdy and might overheat because it didn’t have a fan. 

He also told me that I would need an external camera because the built-in camera was not great on the MacBook Air. It looked fine to me when I was playing around with it earlier. The more he talked, the less peaceful I felt. This young man claimed he didn’t work on commission, and that he was only trying to help me buy the best computer.

That may have been true, but I was still feeling pressured into something that did not feel right. The MacBook Pro had a significantly higher price, and it was not on sale, so there was no advantage to purchasing it right then and there. Thankfully, I have learned to trust my intuition when something feels off. I thanked him for his time and left the store.

I will admit, once I was in my car driving home, I asked Siri if Best Buy employees work on commission. Siri confirmed he was telling the truth, but I still did not resonate with his energy. Even though the sale ended that day and the store closed in an hour, I was not going to rush into a big decision like this from a place of scarcity or fear. 

As I tell my coaching clients all the time, there is no urgency in Spirit. No part of the river rushes past another to get to the ocean. Each droplet of water gets there at the perfect time. 

After that yucky experience, I called a dear friend to share what had happened. She asked if I wanted to talk with her husband because he buys computers for his job quite often. Speaking with him was so helpful. He had not heard of any issues with the MacBook Air overheating. In his opinion, the Air was a better choice for my business needs. 

I did a little more research online and saw only excellent reviews for this machine. The only thing left to do was to take the question into prayer and ask what would be the highest choice. Of all the options, including “wait,” the only answer that felt peaceful was purchasing the MacBook Air on Best Buy’s website before midnight so I could take advantage of the sale. 

Once I had that clarity, everything went smoothly. From the comfort of my own home with no fast-talking salesperson, I purchased the computer for $300 off and was approved for the Best Buy credit card. Like the last one, I will be paying off this computer a little at a time for the next 12 months with no interest. 

Picking up the computer at a different Best Buy location the next morning was so easy. All I had to do was show the cashier my photo ID and the email saying my new laptop was ready for pickup. He stepped away for a moment and returned with a box with my name on it. The whole process took less than 10 minutes.

My heart is filled with gratitude for all of the events that led to me typing this story on a brand-new MacBook Air. Although I love it, the miracle isn’t that I have a new laptop. The real miracle was my ability to remain (mostly) peaceful while navigating the obstacles that popped up. By remaining calm, I was able to receive clear guidance on what to do next. I trusted that everything would be okay, just as Cleo promised when she appeared in my dream.

If you are having a difficult time navigating a stressful situation, it would be my great joy to assist you with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. Both can help you return to peace where miracles are waiting to happen. And I will be able to see you even more clearly on my larger screen! Look around my website for more information and to book a session. I look forward to working with you.

A tranquil mind is not a little gift.

A Course in Miracles ~ M-20.4:8

Peace in the Darkness (Part 1)

Our family cat, Cleo, comforted me during some tough times.

Last weekend, I had another opportunity to witness what’s possible when I keep choosing peace despite the presence of obstacles. The screen on my laptop went dark while I was talking on the phone Saturday night. When I tapped the space bar to bring it out of idle mode, nothing happened. I clicked the touchpad a few times. Still no response. 

The screen had been sluggish the last few weeks. Sometimes it took up to 30 seconds, but it eventually came back on. This was an unusually long lag time. I waited and then tapped a few more keys. Still nothing. “Uh oh,” I thought. This might be it.

My laptop had been giving me signs that the end was near for quite a while. In addition to the sluggish screen, it was taking longer and longer to open an app or a document. The speakers blew out 2 years ago, making the sound so scratchy and tinny that I had to use my AirPods for Zoom calls.

A few months later, my computer stopped connecting to my AirPods or any Bluetooth device for that matter. If I wanted to Zoom, listen to music, or watch videos, I had to use earbuds that connected with a cord. It was not ideal, but it worked.

Perhaps the most telling sign that it was time to retire the laptop was the rattling noise it made when it had been running for a while. Sometimes when the rattling got very loud, I gave the base a loving thump to get the noise to stop. I felt like Fonzie from the TV show “Happy Days!”

Yes, I knew I would be investing in a new computer soon. I just wasn’t expecting it to be last weekend! In the past, I might have had a “freakout” moment thinking about lost data and the hefty price tag of a new computer. I was concerned, but I never had the freakout moment. Almost two decades of studying and practicing A Course in Miracles helped make that possible. Since I remained peaceful, I was able to follow guidance on what to do and where to go. 

My screen was still dark, so I could not go back to what I was working on. The guidance I received was to let the computer charge overnight and try again in the morning. Now that I had some unexpected free time, I grabbed my phone to research which Apple computer would best suit my needs if I had to buy a new one. The new 15“ MacBook Air looked like the best choice given everything I read online. Even though they are expensive, I knew I wanted to stick with an Apple product. 

The last time I bought a computer, I opened an Apple credit card with 0% interest for the first 12 months. That allowed me to pay for it gradually over the next year. It looked like I might be able to do this again since I closed that account two years ago. This possibility made buying a new laptop feel more doable. There was nothing else I could do that night, so I turned off my phone, spoke a prayer for guidance, and went to bed. 

I will admit I did not have the most restful sleep that night. I woke up before 4 AM and could not fall back to sleep. My mind kept working out scenarios of what might happen the next day. After reading a few chapters in my book, I was able to return to the land of dreams. 

And what sweet dreams they were! For the first time in I don’t know how long, I dreamt of our family cat, Cleo. In the dream, she curled up on the pillow next to me and began purring. Cleo often kept me company during times of chaos in my childhood. The sound of her purring and her presence was very comforting. It felt like she was telling me everything would be okay. Call it a miracle, a gift of Grace, a visit from Cleo, or a function of my unconscious mind. Whatever it was, I woke up with a peaceful smile on my face. 

After reading my ACIM lesson for the day, I reluctantly got out of bed and prepared a bowl of oatmeal and fresh strawberries. I intentionally avoided my laptop to enjoy that peaceful feeling as long as possible. Alas, I couldn’t avoid it forever. I opened my computer and hit the power key with cheerful expectancy, hoping to hear that famous MacBook chime…

Did it power up? You’ll have to wait for Part 2 next week to find out. This story was too long to share in one email. All I will say for now is miracles kept happening, and I am so grateful for the outcome.

Are you in the middle of a challenging time or perhaps having a “freakout” moment? 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 you return to peace where your higher self resides. It will direct you to the best choices and action steps leading to the best possible outcome. Please look around my website for more information and to book a session. I look forward to walking the path of peace with you!

Until next time, keep choosing peace and allow Grace to enter in all its many forms.

Spirit is in a state of grace forever.

Your reality is only spirit.

Therefore you are in a state of grace forever. 

A Course in Miracles ~ T.1.III.5:4-6

Honoring a Miraculous Friend

I love this photo of Jan and me at a spiritual conference in 2011.

I rarely visit Facebook these days unless I have a specific reason. This weekend, I went on briefly to watch a video that a friend recommended. When I opened up the app on my phone, the first thing that popped up was a post announcing the passing of my beloved friend, Jan, who celebrated her 92nd birthday in November. Her son wrote a beautiful tribute to his mom accompanied by a video taken a few years ago on Christmas morning.

In the video, Jan’s children surprised her with a giant teddy bear that she had seen at Walmart. Apparently, Jan had commented on how adorable and huggable this big stuffed bear looked, never expecting her children to purchase one for her. Well, they did. And the look of sheer delight and surprise on her face followed by a burst of uncontrollable laughter was a delight to watch. What a perfect video to convey the joyful essence of this beautiful soul who touched so many lives. 

Jan and I met in 2011 when the leader of my A Course in Miracles study group asked if I would be willing to give her a ride to our meeting. At 80, Jan was still full of life and spunk, but she wasn’t comfortable driving from her home in North Miami to an unfamiliar neighborhood in Miami Beach. Her house wasn’t far from where I lived, so I happily agreed to take her to our meeting. Looking back, I have no doubt this was a divinely orchestrated meeting. 

I enjoyed my conversations with Jan during our drive as much as the meeting itself. Not only had she been studying the Course for quite a long time, but she also had lived a very interesting life. I loved listening to her stories and her insights. Eventually, we both realized the study group wasn’t a good fit for either of us, so Jan suggested we meet in her living room on Monday afternoons instead. 

What a gift those Monday afternoons turned out to be! I learned so much from her. And I had the honor of introducing Jan to Gary Renard’s book, The Disappearance of the Universe. That’s the book that introduced me to A Course in Miracles. Many Course students credit Gary’s book with helping them simplify and comprehend its often challenging language and concepts. I know I would have been intimidated by the Course had I not read that book first.

Even though Jan was a longtime student, she said Disappearance of the Universe helped her practice the Course on an even deeper level. While sharing something she read that expanded her mind and understanding exponentially, Jan would often say, “John. That really blew my cookie!” I’m smiling as I type these words because I can hear Jan’s voice in my head right now. To this day, I have never heard anyone else use that phrase.

Over a decade later, I still share things I learned from this remarkable woman in my ACIM study groups and with my coaching clients. One of my favorite stories she told was about a time her husband said something that hurt her feelings. Because she was hurt, Jan decided to give him the silent treatment. She went about her business that morning while intentionally avoiding her husband who was reading in the living room. 

A few hours passed, and Jan started to feel badly about her decision to disconnect from her husband. She knew it wasn’t the loving choice, so she walked into the living room to apologize. To her surprise, he had no idea what she was talking about. He was so engrossed in his book, that he hadn’t even noticed she was giving him the silent treatment! 

They both had a good laugh over this silly misunderstanding. Jan quickly realized the only person suffering that morning was her. It’s one of the ego’s greatest tricks. As the famous Buddhist saying goes: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” I love Jan’s story because it demonstrates that so perfectly and humorously.

Life took us in different directions in 2012 when I moved to California, but I will always cherish our time together. I also celebrate Jan’s life and legacy. She touched countless souls during her career as a school teacher, during the years she and her husband volunteered with hospice, and by simply being the presence of joy and peace in the world. I envision a glorious Homecoming Celebration happening in the Light now that Jan is free from her body and reunited with her beloved husband in Spirit.

Blessings of grace and gratitude to you, my miraculous friend. I know our meeting was not an accident. I trust you know your wisdom and light really blew my cookie! 

If you’d like to learn more about the unique spiritual thought system that brought Jan and me together, join me any Tuesday evening for our A Course in Miracles study group on Zoom. We have an equal mix of brand-new and longtime students, and, like Jan, we love to laugh while we learn. Please visit the Miracles page on my website for more information.

For a more personal approach on how to use these teachings to create miracles in your life, consider gifting yourself a series of Spiritual Coaching sessions on my website. I love sharing this life-changing path with others. As Oprah Winfrey used to say when introducing Marianne Williamson’s radio show, “A Course in Miracles isn’t for everyone, but it might be for you!”

Until next time, may your days be filled with miracles, blessings, and wonderful friends…

There are no accidents in salvation. Those who are to meet will meet, because together they have the potential for a holy relationship.

A Course in Miracles ~ M-3.1:6-7

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

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