Release with Love

Long-time readers of my weekly stories will not be surprised by the news I am about to share. I moved back to Florida this week! After 3 years of living in Houston, Texas, I heeded the call to return to the place that feels like home. Houston is a wonderful city with much to offer, it just wasn’t a good fit for me. My preference is to live in a much smaller city with a tropical climate near the ocean. During the 25 years I lived in Florida before moving to Texas, I would often remind myself, “I’m not on vacation, I live here!” And now with a smile in my heart, I can say that again with even deeper gratitude.

Before I drove east, I had the opportunity to practice what I preach and do something I often recommend to my Family Constellations clients. The night I officially made the decision to leave Texas, I went to my rooftop deck to get some fresh air and look out over the Houston skyline. As I stared at its twinkling lights against a gray, cloudy background, it occurred to me that the two of us needed to have a conversation. To be fair, I did most of the talking. I stood up, faced the city with my hands in prayer position, and said these words:

“Dear Houston. We have had an interesting 3 years together. You have been overwhelming at times. I have gotten lost in your streets and trapped in your traffic. Yes, in moments of sheer frustration, I have even cursed you! And I have also been richly blessed by you. I have met incredible people and made lifelong friends. I have experienced moments of joy and sorrow. I have received excellent health care from your skilled medical professionals. I have helped heal many hearts in Houston with Family Constellations and A Course in Miracles which has helped heal my heart in return. Houston, you have been a significant part of my journey and I am grateful for all of it. And now I release you with love.”

Then I bowed deeply and slowly to downtown Houston to show my respect and gratitude. When I stood up, I felt a shift in my body, as if some heaviness were being lifted up and out of my being. While this was happening I took a deep breath to help integrate this new feeling of lightness. It surprised me how viscerally I felt this in my body. That feeling of lightness has stayed with me. Once I released Houston with love and appreciation, I was free to turn around and walk away with my focus on what lies ahead, not on what has passed. 

This powerful practice can be adapted to any situation or experience that is coming to an end: a job, a relationship, an illness, an old way of being. Simply choose an object or person to represent that which is complete and express whatever is in your heart making sure to acknowledge the blessings and the challenges. Complete the ritual by bowing slowly to the representative. By releasing it with love, you are honoring the part it played in your life, thus dissolving any sticky chords that keep you stuck in the past and unable to turn around and move toward the future. I often compare this inability to walking backward through a room full of furniture. You can do it, but you will likely trip over chairs and bump into tables because your attention is on what is behind you, not what is in front of you.

To all the wonderful people in Houston who welcomed me so warmly into your community and your hearts, I say thank you! It was a gift to share this time with you. Since the pandemic, the majority of my work is now online so we can stay connected through my weekly A Course in Miracles study groups, monthly Virtual Family Constellations Sessions, and right here in this weekly email. My apologies if I didn’t get to say farewell in person. Please know that you will always have a place in my heart.

Speaking of virtual workshops, I will be facilitating a special online event on Saturday, June 19, the day before Father’s Day, where we will be “Exploring the Role of Dad with Family Constellations.” Half the tickets have already been sold so if this sounds like something you’d like to experience, purchase your ticket soon! 

Later in July, I will be facilitating another special online event where we will “Declare Our Independence from Addiction with Family Constellations.” Addiction is an insidious thread woven into many family systems, including my own. I will share what I’ve learned from personal experience with people suffering from addictions and what I’ve seen during 8 years of facilitating this work. My goal is to shed some light on this dark disruptor and put it in its proper place. I have not selected a date for this one yet, so watch future emails or check the calendar page on my website. As always, if you’d like more information about these events, scheduling a one-on-one session, or my Life Coaching programs based on A Course in Miracles, simply send me an email or look around my website

Until next time, may you find meaningful ways to release things from your past with love and make room for the blessings that await you!

Put yourself not in charge of this, for you cannot distinguish between advance and retreat. 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.1:5-6

Fatih, Trust, and Moving Dust

I arrived in Houston last Thursday evening after weeks of preparations and two and a half days of driving. Honestly, I can’t believe everything that needed doing before my move got done. Since I was moving into a furnished home, I decided to donate most of my belongings to an organization that helps people in recovery get back on their feet. A lot of my furniture was given to me when I started over five years ago, so it felt like the right thing to do. The pickup was scheduled for Monday morning, but around 11 AM I got a call from Stacey, the woman I had made arrangements with, telling me some challenges had come up on her end. She wasn’t able to make it that morning but was going to try to make arrangements to come later in the day.

In the meantime, I was trying to sell the few things this organization wouldn’t or couldn’t take on the LetGo and OfferUp apps. My phone was making all kinds of dinging and pinging noises while I was finishing up laundry and packing. People were making inquiries about my old iMac computer and my bedroom furniture but no one was following through with a commitment to buy them. One woman really wanted my iMac for her kids so we made arrangements for her to drop by my apartment later that evening to pick it up. While at a goodbye dinner with my brother later that evening I received two disappointing text messages. One was from the computer lady saying something came up and she couldn’t make it. The other was from Stacey saying she was going to try again for a furniture pickup the next day. Try? That didn’t sound hopeful. Sadly, by the end of the day Monday, the only two things I had let go was my floor lamp and my faith that everything else would find a home in twenty-four hours. I was very frustrated with the whole process.

On Tuesday morning, my partner and I took a moment to pray that everything in my apartment that wasn’t going to Texas would find the perfect home. In that prayer we also surrendered to the possibility that we might have to delay our departure knowing that whenever we left would be perfect. Looking around my still very full apartment with not a lot of faith, I decided to call Faith Farm to see if they would be able to come pick up my furniture. Friday was the earliest day available. That wasn’t great news, but at least it was an option. I told the nice woman on the phone that I would have to call her back when I knew exactly what I had for them to pick up. Moments after I hung up the phone it chimed again. It was a text message from Stacey telling me she was on her way with a minivan. Seriously? There was no way all of that furniture would fit in a minivan!

But then a miracle arrived, and her name was Odalys. She was part of the crew Stacey brought to pick up the furniture. Odalys was a no-nonsense kind of gal with a leather cap, a heart of gold, and a determination of steel. Once she saw the quality of what I was donating, she insisted they take everything we were letting go no matter how many trips it took. She was definitely the answer to a prayer. Within two hours most everything that wasn’t nailed down or going to Houston was gone. She literally would have taken my welcome mat too if I didn’t insist she leave it because it belonged to the apartment complex! By 6 PM my apartment was empty and clean and we were on the road.

The final act of grace came when I received a message from the woman who wanted to buy my iMac. She was still interested but had no way to get it. That’s when it dawned on me. According to the app, she lived in the same town as one of my best friends who we were going to stop and say goodbye to on our way out of town. I told her if she was still interested we could bring it to her. She was thrilled! After a tearful goodbye with my friend, we delivered the computer to a very appreciative mom. Thus, the final object found a home just as we had envisioned in our prayer.

I reminded myself that the real miracle was not that everything found a home. The miracle was the shift from fear to love that happened when I remembered the Truth during that prayer. Everything would work out well despite all the evidence that it wasn’t. I just needed “faith, trust, and a little pixie dust” as Peter Pan told Wendy, John, and Michael when he was teaching them to fly.

Is there something going on in your life where you could use a little faith and trust? I would be honored to help you through this situation and help you see the miracle with a Life Coaching or Family Constellations session. Both can be done in person, over the phone, or via Skype. Please look around my website or send me an email for more information or to schedule a session.

Until next time, no matter how heavy the situation feels, remember with a little faith, trust, and perhaps some pixie dust you too can fly!