Honoring the Ebb and Flow

This week, I have been keeping to myself, so I don’t have a fun story to share but I do have an observation. My inner critic, also known as the ego, wants to chastise me for not being very productive and not reaching out to more people. It would like me to think there is something wrong rather than trust this experience as simply part of the ebb and flow of life. In our culture, we place a high value on achieving and doing. We readily celebrate when things are flowing and we are busy. As soon as things slow down or get quiet, we are quick to think somehow we failed or there is something to fix. 

Imagine if Mother Ocean operated that way. If there was only flow and no ebb, our coasts would be underwater. We need the ebb, the time when the water recedes into the sea, before the flow when the waves roll back to shore. It’s a natural cycle that keeps things in balance.

In the past, you may have heard me use another analogy to describe this cycle. Here in the world of duality, every expansion is followed by some form of contraction. For example, when we breathe, our lungs fill with air, our rib cage expands, and then it contracts as we release the air. It’s a natural rhythm, and gratefully so! In other areas of life, however, we welcome the expansion but curse the contraction.

Most of us have had the feeling of sadness or perhaps depression upon returning home from a fabulous vacation. We are experiencing the contraction after the expansion. Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel good like taking a deep breath. We plan for weeks or months and look forward to special times with friends and family. While the vacation is happening, we are out of our everyday routine. New possibilities and choices are everywhere. We feel expanded and joyful. Then, once the trip is over, going back to our regular life can feel limiting and challenging.

But here’s the good news. Just like the breath, when the contraction is over, the expansion starts again. We simply have to be patient. It’s a cycle, just like the ebb and flow of the tides. There’s no need to panic when the ebb happens. The flow will return. But in the meantime, can we be present with the ebb and fully receive its unique gifts? Can we take some time for self-reflection? Are we making choices aligned with our hearts’ desires or simply doing things out of habit? The ebb is a perfect opportunity to ask these questions. 

This week, I gave myself permission to rest, reflect, and not do much work. And you know what? Despite what the ego says, everything is okay and I feel better! Eventually, I will feel like getting out there again and being more productive. But for now, I’m going to honor the ebb and invest a little more time in being. I hope you will allow yourself to do the same when the ebb visits you…and it will. 

Are you experiencing an ebb or contraction right now? It would be my great honor to walk you through it with a series of Spiritual Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations session. Both can give you a new perspective as well as tools to help navigate the ebb and flow of life. There is also an opportunity to go within and honor the ebb the weekend of October 22-24 from the comfort of your own home. I will be sharing an experience of Family Constellations as part of a 3-day Virtual Wellness Reset Retreat with other Mindfulness, Meditation, and Healing Practitioners. Visit the Upcoming Workshops page on my website for more information and to register.

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

…the ego is forced to shift ceaselessly from one goal to another, so that you will continue to hope it can yet offer you something. 

A Course in Miracles ~ T-8.VIII.2:7 

Dive Right In!

Now that I’m back in Florida, I love being able to jump into the Atlantic Ocean when I finish my morning cardio walk along the beach. After sweating for an hour, the cool water feels fantastic! The surf was exceptionally rough this past Monday. I had barely entered the water when a tall wave came barreling toward me. There was no time to avoid it or to prepare myself for total immersion. Ready or not, I had to dive through the wave or be knocked over. It happened so fast I couldn’t help but laugh when I emerged on the other side.

It occurred to me that life is like navigating waves in the ocean. There is an endless procession of experiences, some big, some small, some exciting, some painful that come toward us. Like the waves, it would be a lesson in futility to try to stop them. We can try to avoid them or run from them, but they eventually catch up with us. If we aren’t careful, the really big ones could knock us over. The best way to avoid getting knocked over by a big wave is to dive right into it. Yes, it may be scary for a moment, but by facing it head-on, we pass through it and it’s done. There is calm on the other side, at least until the next wave arrives!

This has been my experience with painful situations and life experiences. If I try to avoid them with a plethora of distractions, they eventually catch up with me. There really is no way around them. Only through them. Granted, it can be extremely uncomfortable to walk through these times, and we can only do it when we’re ready. However, it is important to remember that we don’t have to go through them alone. During these challenging times, it is such a blessing to be part of a spiritual community or to have trusted friends and family members to lean on for support. In some cases, we may need to seek the assistance of a professional counselor, therapist, or spiritual advisor to guide us. There’s no shame in asking for help when we need it. In fact, it’s a very courageous choice. 

Like diving into those big waves, when we face those challenging situations head-on rather than avoid them, we eventually come out on the other side where there is calm. Who knows? Perhaps when you emerge on the other side you will see things from a fresh perspective and be able to laugh about them.

Does it feel like there are a lot of big waves coming at you right now? It would be my great honor to help you dive into the experience and come out the other side with a series of Spiritual Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations session. Please look around my website or send me an email for more information and to schedule a session

Until next time, may you find the courage to dive into those big waves and let the water wash away anything that no longer serves.

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

Waves of Grief

I’ve learned a few things about grief on my journey so far. One, there is no statute of limitations on grief. It can show up for a surprise visit years after we think we’ve cried our last tears about whatever we lost. Waves of grief can sneak up on us during the holidays, an anniversary, a birthday, or just a Tuesday. We can’t always predict when they will come, but it is as futile to try and stop them as it would be to try and stop ocean waves from reaching the beach. And like ocean waves, we can be still and let the small ones roll past our ankles. But for the really big ones, it might be best to dive right in and go through them so they don’t knock us over. 

Speaking of waves and grief, this month marks three years since I left Fort Lauderdale. I’ve made some wonderful friends and met some amazing people here in Houston, many of whom read my weekly stories. (I love you, Houstonians!) I know the move was the right choice and I’m grateful for so much that has happened here. Yet, I wouldn’t be completely honest if I didn’t admit that I’m still grieving the loss of many things about my old life in Florida. 

I miss beloved friends, magical burritos, year-round tropical temperatures, and the proximity to Mother Ocean. I used to get my “cardio on” while walking along her beaches at least three times per week, often cooling off in her waves when I finished. Many times while floating in the sea, my heart would fill with gratitude knowing: “I’m not on vacation. I live here!” Whenever I had a hard day, I could jump in my car and be at the beach within ten minutes. The sound of the surf and seagulls. The feel of the steady ocean breeze on my face. The smell of the salt air. The changing colors of the rolling waves and the sky as the sun sank behind me. All of it was like balm for my soul. I’m taking a deep breath just thinking about it. 

The ten-year anniversary of my mother’s passing is also coming up in a few days. I’ve noticed some waves of sadness around that too. She told me that she was ready to go well before she actually did, so I was happy for her when she finally laid her body aside in April of 2011. The sadness comes when I think about not seeing her twinkling, mischievous eyes or hearing her laugh again, or the hilarious things that came out of her mouth. She had a sharp wit and could make a joke about anything. Once in a while, she would say something that was not meant to be funny, like this gem she spoke while I was waiting to pay the check at a restaurant: “Honey, I’m going outside to get some fresh air and have a cigarette.” When I remembered that comment earlier today I laughed out loud, and then I cried a little bit.

That’s another thing I’ve learned about grief. It’s actually an aspect of love. If we hadn’t loved deeply, we wouldn’t feel pain when that something or someone is gone. Somehow thinking of it that way comforts me. Whether it’s a person, a place, a pet, or a time in your life that you are missing, know that your grief is a sign of how much you allowed yourself to love and be loved. It’s a beautiful thing. If you can, allow yourself to feel it. Most of us live our lives trying to avoid anything uncomfortable. But when we shut off our feelings, we shut off the good ones too. It’s not comfortable to feel the sadness, but if we don’t block it, it can move through us. Today, the people walking by me in Hermann Park might have wondered why that man was laughing one second and crying the next. The crying only lasted a minute because I let the wave of emotion (energy in motion) move through me.

There’s one last thing that deserves mentioning. Happiness is indeed a choice and also an inside job, meaning it does not depend on outside circumstances. However, we often use this spiritual truth as a weapon to make ourselves feel worse when we aren’t effervescing with joy 24/7. It’s not only okay but necessary to acknowledge when you’re sad or experiencing grief. You have to feel it to heal it. We can try to think of something else or partake in our favorite distraction, but that will only work for so long. It’s like throwing a glittery blanket over a dusty old box of photos in the basement. We may not be able to see the box anymore, but it’s still there taking up space. Some days that’s the best we can do. If that’s the case, toss on that glittery blanket so you can get through the day. 

At some point, you’ll know when it’s time to take that old dusty box out of the basement (your subconscious mind) and bring it outside into the light. Open it up and take a look at what’s inside. Allow yourself to cry so the sadness isn’t stuck inside you. Here’s the best news. You don’t have to do this alone. Share your grief with a friend, family member, God, guardian angel, therapist, grief counselor, or spiritual coach. They can sit right by your side as you unpack that box and let those emotions flow. You might also try a grief support group. There’s a 5-week online “Journey Through Grief” Workshop starting on Sunday, May 2 led by Rev. Mindy Lawrence Curtiss of Unity of Houston. For more information and to join CLICK HERE

If you are feeling grief, large or small, please let someone know so you don’t have to carry it all by yourself. I would be honored to unpack that box with you if you’re ready. Family Constellations is an amazing unpacking tool. Please look around my website or reply to this email for more information about Life Coaching, a Private Constellation, or my next Online Group Session.

Until next time, may you find the courage to let the waves of grief roll in knowing that it’s a form of love, you’re not alone, and this too shall pass.

On this day is grief laid by, for sights and sounds that come from nearer than the world are clear to you…There is a silence into which the world can not intrude. There is an ancient peace you carry in your heart and have not lost. There is a sense of holiness in you the thought of sin has never touched.

Lesson 164 from A Course in Miracles

Be the Peaceful Rain Cloud

We all have causes that are near and dear to our hearts. It’s no secret how much I love the ocean, so in 2010 when the BP oil spill happened in the Gulf of Mexico, my peace was deeply disturbed. Thinking about all the marine life that would be impacted as gallons of oil gushed into the ocean was beyond upsetting. It didn’t take long before my thoughts turned to anger and blame. Luckily, I had been studying A Course in Miracles for a few years so I knew those thoughts were not helpful. But what could I do to help?

At that time, I hosted monthly full moon gatherings at the beach. Each of these gatherings had a unique intention, so that month I decided to ask the group to channel the power of our hearts and minds to send peace and love, not anger and fear, to the Gulf of Mexico. We visualized the whole area immersed in light and welcomed inspired ideas and creative solutions into the minds of all those working to cap the leak and clean up the water. I remember sharing with the group how sending angry, fearful energy to the situation would be like pouring gasoline on a wildfire. Those lower vibration thoughts would not be helpful, but sending peaceful, loving thoughts would be like cool rain falling from the sky on that fire. It took several months, but the leak was eventually capped and clean-up of the water and beaches continued for years.

Why am I sharing this? I believe this same principle can be applied to the events happening in the United States lately. Sending angry, hateful thoughts to an already volatile situation will not be helpful. Please do not confuse this message with apathy or a suggestion that it’s not okay to feel angry when we see large injustices. I’m simply suggesting that inspired solutions come from a place of love and peace, not fear and anger. Last Wednesday at the Capitol Building, we saw what happens when fear and anger lead the way.

To go back to my analogy of the ocean, every time I walk along the beach I pick up any plastic that I see. I don’t do this with anger in my heart toward thoughtless humans who don’t seem to care about the environment. I do it with love in my heart for the dolphins and sea turtles. I do it because I love sitting at the beach listening to the waves roll in, but not when I’m surrounded by litter. Because I love Mother Ocean and Mother Earth, I recycle as much as I can, avoid using plastic water bottles, and bring a reusable bag to the grocery store. I could choose the same actions while being angry at everyone who leaves plastic on the beach and doesn’t recycle, but it certainly wouldn’t feel as good with all that fear and judgment in my heart.

Yes, take action. Vote. Call or write a letter to your state representative. Join a peaceful protest. Create a prayer circle. Gather under the full moon. But whatever you do, do it with love. Love for your fellow human beings, your country, and the planet. You’ll find that the results will be much more effective and your experience will be much more enjoyable. If you could use some assistance shifting from fear to love, please contact me for Life Coaching or a private Family Constellations session. Look around my website for more information.

Until next time, I encourage you to be the peaceful rain cloud instead of the angry lightning bolt that creates more fires.

It will be given you to see your brother’s worth when all you want for him is peace. And what you want for him you will receive.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-20.V.3:6

Spiritual Algebra

During this time of Easter there is a lot of talk about sacrifice. I think it’s a good time to pull the plug on the idea that Love requires us to sacrifice something. If I truly love someone, why would I ask them to give up something that brings them joy? That doesn’t sound like a very loving request. Practically speaking, it wouldn’t be good for me either. If the person makes that sacrifice, it is very likely they will carry some kind of resentment toward me whether they are aware of it or not. That won’t foster a loving environment for our relationship to blossom. I know I would not be happy if someone asked me to give up something that brings me joy. Now if the something that brings me joy is ultimately harmful to my wellbeing, yes, it makes sense to give it up. But when it feels like I’m being asked to give up something for the sake of Love, you can be sure that resentment will be a factor in that equation.

I’ve been working on a Spiritual Algebra problem like this for about a year and a half now. If you’ve been reading my weekly stories for any length of time, you know that I love my time near Mother Ocean and that I live only three miles from the beach in Fort Lauderdale. That will change next month when I move to Houston, Texas to be with my partner. We’ve been maintaining a long distance relationship since October of 2016. Of the two of us, my work is much more portable. I do most of my Life Coaching and private Family Constellations sessions by phone or Skype, so I can work anywhere that has WiFi or cell phone service. I purposely set up my life like this so I could live in a warm climate near the ocean. Isn’t the Universe hilarious? The very thing I created made me the one easier to move!

I am so grateful to my partner for not putting pressure on me to give up something that I love. He is very aware how much being near Mother Ocean feeds my soul, and he has been nothing but supportive and understanding through this whole process. If I had made the move any sooner, it might have felt like I was sacrificing a lot in the name of Love. However, since neither one of us rushed the process, our relationship has flourished and more and more opportunities have revealed themselves in Houston. Now it does not feel like a sacrifice to leave Florida. Will I miss my spiritual family and that turquoise water? Of course! My intention is to come back and visit as often as I can. The point is, if I were leaving Florida while feeling like I was sacrificing something, I would be packing a lot more than just my clothes in my suitcase. I’d be packing some unconscious resentments too. 

A Course in Miracles has some powerful words on this subject in Section X of Chapter 15:

Your confusion of sacrifice and love is so profound that you cannot conceive of love without sacrifice. And it is this that you must look upon; sacrifice is attack, not love. If you would accept but this one idea, your fear of love would vanish. Guilt cannot last when the idea of sacrifice has been removed. For if there is sacrifice, someone must pay and someone must get. And the only question that remains is how much is the price, and for getting what.

Do you feel like you are sacrificing your happiness and peace of mind so everyone else can be happy? This can be exhausting and ultimately not beneficial to anyone. I invite you to practice Spiritual Algebra and take the word “sacrifice” out of the equation. I would be honored to assist you with some tools and techniques that have worked for me during a single session or series of Life Coaching sessions. Family Constellations is another powerful technique to help you release the pattern of self-sacrifice so you can live the happy, healthy life you were meant to live. Please look around my website for more information about these opportunities or send me an email to schedule a session.

Until next time, may you practice Spiritual Algebra and remove sacrifice from all of your Love Equations!

Love Knows No Limits

For those of you who have been reading my weekly stories for a while now, you know I am a big fan of miracles. I am both grateful and not surprised when they happen because I expect them! Well, another one happened last week. As I was preparing the material for my new online class “Create Miracles,” which is an introduction to A Course in Miracles, I ran across a video I shot at the beach about four years ago. As the waves rolled in I read the introduction to the Course. I used the ocean as a metaphor to explain the three lines contained in the introduction that are very familiar to most Course students. 

Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.

In a nutshell, I interpret those sentences to mean “only love is real.” In the video, I talked about my mother to illustrate this point. For the last six years of her life my mother lived in Florida near me. During that time it was challenging to watch her life force gradually dwindle and her physical body slowly shut down. When she finally laid her body aside in April of 2011 I was very sad, but I was also happy for her because she was no longer suffering. I was grateful that she was free of the body that was failing her and the mind that was beginning to fail her. 

From A Course in Miracles perspective, since the body can be threatened, it must not be real. That’s not to say that we aren’t having the experience that the body is real. It sure feels real. But what I know for sure that is real is the love my mother and I had for each other. That love can never be threatened. Even though her body is not physically here anymore, the love we shared is very much alive and well in my heart. In fact, I feel her presence often.

There was one time shortly after her passing that I very clearly felt her presence. I won’t go into too many details because I have already written about that experience. About three months after she died a friend and I were having lunch at a Chinese restaurant discussing our mothers. I was telling him about my mom’s last days and he was sharing about his own mother’s latest antics. I had grabbed three fortune cookies from the big bin at the front of the restaurant. We both agreed that the third fortune cookie was for my mother. When we opened it I couldn’t believe my eyes. The fortune read, “The one you love is closer than you think.” That most certainly felt true.

This past Sunday, the day of the first class of “Create Miracles,” I went to that same Chinese restaurant by myself for lunch. I was thinking about what I would share with everyone about the introduction to the Course and thinking about the video I made at the beach. When it came time to open my fortune cookie I had to laugh. You guessed it. I got the same fortune. “The one you love is closer than you think.” I felt those angel bumps all through my body. It sure seemed like my mother wanted me to talk about her and share our lesson of unconditional love with the class. Six years later, that love cannot be threatened, and she’s still sending me messages so I don’t forget.

Would you like to experience more miracles in your life? It’s not too late to ”Create Miracles” with me during our 5 week journey into A Course in Miracles every Sunday at 7PM Eastern Time. We had a great first class last Sunday. That class was recorded for those who could not attend live. You can still sign up for all 5 weeks for a special price of only $75. I will send you a link to watch the classes you missed. Something magical happens when we come together to discuss miracles, and it definitely happened last Sunday even though we gathered virtually from the comfort of our own homes. As my mother keeps reminding me, love knows no limits! Go to JohnHaroldMoore.com/miracles for more information and to register.

If you prefer to share miracles one on one, I also offer private Life Coaching and Family Constellations sessions in person, and by phone and computer. The miracle of technology can bring us together wherever you are in the world. Please look around my website for more information.

Whenever you are having a difficult time no matter what the circumstances, may you always remember that love knows no limits…

Harmless Waves

I received another lesson from Mother Nature this week. The Atlantic Ocean was particularly rough the other day when I jumped in to cool off after my beach walk. I came up for air just in time for a large wave to crash into my head. Another wave followed right behind the first, so I instinctively turned my head to avoid being hit directly in the face. That move allowed the wave to deliver a forceful smack to my right cheek. I started laughing when I realized that I just got slapped across the face by Mother Nature. Those aggressive waves continued to roll in one after the other, so to avoid further assault, I made the decision to dive head first into them.

As I continued to pierce the oncoming waves with my body, it occurred to me that these waves were just like fear. When I turn away from them or try to avoid them, they have the power to hurt me or even knock me down. When I face them head on and dive right in, I emerge on the other side unscathed. True, in some cases fear redirects us to keep us safe. If a tiger is coming at you, it is probably wise to turn around and go the other direction…quickly!
However, most fears are based on limiting beliefs and false perceptions of ourselves. For instance, if you aren’t confident that you have the skills necessary to do something else, you will think you won’t be able to pay your bills if you leave that unfulfilling job. If you don’t love yourself or feel worthy of love, you will wonder where you will get love if you leave that unhappy relationship. If you don’t believe you can always make another choice, you will think you made a big mistake if things don’t work out in that new city. These are good examples of F.E.A.R. – “False Evidence Appearing Real” or “Forgetting Everything’s All Right.”

Caution tells us to look both ways before crossing the street. Fear keeps us immobilized on the street corner. As long as I stood there trying to avoid those waves, they continued to pummel me. As soon as I became proactive and dove straight into them, they proved to be harmless. I am going to do my best to remember this lesson in the next few weeks and months. Currently there are some opportunities in my life and some decisions that need to be made that are bringing up some F.E.A.R. I wonder what will happen if I trust that everything will be all right and dive right into them?

Is fear keeping you from moving forward? Does it feel like the waves are pummeling you where you are? I would love to share some of the tools and techniques that have helped me dive in and come out the other side. Life Coaching and Family Constellations are great tools to help you move past fear and into the joyful life you were meant to live. Sessions can be done in person, by telephone, or via Skype. Please look around my website for more information about both. Perhaps that will be the first wave you pass through.

Until next time, may the love and light in your heart carry you safely through even the biggest of waves.