The Great Human Tapestry of Love

Last weekend, I went to the Sarasota Art Museum for the first time. I knew it would be an enjoyable afternoon with new friends, but I was not expecting to be moved so deeply by the exhibit on the third floor. “Scrollathon” is both an art and community project imagined by two brothers in New York, Steven and William Ladd. I could try to describe it in words, but I think the 3-minute video they created does a much better job of capturing the heart and intention of this project. You can watch the video by clicking this link

What struck me most was the inherent collaborative element of this work. Communities come together to create something beautiful and meaningful. Each participant can see that not only does their bead or scroll contribute to the whole piece, but so does their intention. They are part of something larger. By recognizing that their part matters, perhaps they will recognize that THEY matter. 

A group of inmates on Riker’s Island created one of the most compelling pieces in the exhibit. As you can imagine, the Ladd Brothers had many challenges and obstacles to overcome to make this happen. While gazing at hundreds of scrolls and reading the comments from those who participated, it struck me how powerful it must have been for them to come together and share their stories while creating a piece of art that symbolized hope. To see what they created and read what happened click here.

Another piece that touched my heart was created by high school students and other community members affected by the school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. The artists and this project provided a safe space for this grieving community to come together to begin the long healing process while creating a lasting tribute to those who lost their lives on that tragic day. Click here to read their story and see what they created.

This project exemplifies one of the central teachings of A Course in Miracles and one of the main tenets of Family Constellations. Healing happens when we come together and recognize our common humanity. We are all connected, and everyone matters. Just like each scroll adds value to the artwork, you add value to the whole just by being you. So, whether you invest your time, talent, and resources to a specific cause, commit to being the presence of Peace and Joy wherever you go, or simply do your best to heal your own pain, rest assured you are doing an important part to create the Great Human Tapestry of Love. 

If you’d like to learn more about this project, you can visit their website at And if I can assist you in your healing journey, please look around my website or send me an email for more information about Spiritual Coaching or a private Family Constellations Session. With the help of Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime, we can connect no matter where you are in the world. Book a session now with my automated scheduler.

Until next time, may you always remember that you are an important part of the Great Human Tapestry of Love right where you are and just as you are!

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

Butterflies, Duck Parades, and the Calm After the Storm

For the past two weeks, I have written about my experience before and during Hurricane Ian. This week, I want to share the experience of the calm after the storm. This hurricane taught me so many lessons I have needed three weeks to process and share all of them. I promise this will be the conclusion of the “storm trilogy.” I hope that sharing these experiences will be helpful to you the next time you encounter one of life’s storms. 

As I mentioned last week, I kept my blinds closed the whole day on Wednesday as Hurricane Ian passed over my home on the west coast of Florida. I knew seeing severe winds battering trees and perhaps seeing objects flying by my window would not contribute to a peaceful state of mind. Thankfully, the last storm bands moved across my neighborhood at about 2 AM on Thursday morning, just an hour after I had fallen asleep.  

Later on Thursday morning, I awoke to the welcome sound of silence outside my window. When I lifted the blinds to let the light in, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Two yellow butterflies were flitting and dancing right in front of my window! How in the world did these delicate creatures survive hurricane-force winds? Where did they ride out the storm?

When my gaze shifted past the butterflies to the pond in the center of my apartment complex, I noticed two mallard ducks swimming along as if nothing had happened the previous day. A few minutes later, a family of ducks entered the pond creating a colorful parade of green and brown (with a dash of blue) feathers swimming by the fountain. On the far side of the pond, I spotted a bright white egret wading slowly into the water, intent on finding a fish. This beautiful scene outside my window gave me such hope! Somehow during the most adverse conditions, the butterflies and birds found a way to keep going. That continues to be my prayer for those who lost so much in the storm.

In addition to the return of nature, this new day brought blue skies, sunshine, and much cooler temperatures. After a hot summer and after being cooped up in my dark apartment for 24 hours, it was glorious to open all the windows and feel cool fresh air circulating through my home. It was like hitting a reset button, clearing out old energy, and welcoming the new. What a striking and welcome contrast from the day before.

It was such a gorgeous day that I decided to walk through my neighborhood to get some exercise and investigate what the storm had done. Without electricity or internet, I hadn’t seen any of the images or videos that my friends and family had described. On my walk, I expected to see  numerous trees and branches down, but I was shocked when I saw that winds had literally ripped the bark off tree trunks and peeled paint off street signs. I have experienced other hurricanes but never witnessed that before.

As I walked toward a major intersection, I passed more broken signs, fallen branches, and a traffic light that had been ripped from its wire and sent to the ground. That was sobering. When I arrived at the intersection, the traffic lights were still hanging, but apparently, no electricity was flowing to them. Four police officers were stationed there, directing traffic. It occurred to me how dangerous this job was with so many distracted drivers on the road these days. I felt a wave of gratitude for each officer as I watched from the corner. I wanted them to know how much I appreciated what they were doing, but obviously didn’t want to distract them. 

The female police officer must have felt my gaze and my intention because suddenly, she looked right at me. Without hesitating, I waved and yelled, “Thank you!” She gave me a smile and a nod before returning to her duties. It may sound silly, but my eyes filled with tears for the opportunity to express my gratitude. That’s what A Course in Miracles calls a “holy instant.” It’s the moment we deeply understand that separation is an illusion.

I know my tears weren’t specifically about the police officers directing traffic. It was their job, after all. It was more about recognizing how we humans come together in challenging times to do what’s needed to help each other. You can see evidence of this after every natural disaster. This holy instant inspired me. For the rest of my walk, I dragged large fallen branches out of the street so cars could pass freely. Yes, I waited until there were no cars approaching when it was safe to do so. In the grand scheme of things, this was a minor action. But it made me feel good to know that I had at least contributed something to make the situation better.

These are my last few takeaways from my experience with Hurricane Ian. First, no matter what storm is happening in life, remember this too shall pass. There willbe calm after the storm. Second, just like the yellow butterflies, the mallard ducks, and the egret, life will find a way to continue. And third, after any storm or tragedy people will come together to help each other. That’s what we do when we remember, in Truth, we are one human family.

If you are experiencing the aftermath of one of life’s storms, it would be my great honor to help you clear the path and find ways to move forward. I offer Spiritual Coaching Packages and Family Constellations Sessions to uncover what is preventing you from living the happy, healthy, prosperous life you were meant to live. Please look around my website for more information about these offerings and to schedule a session.  

Also, I am facilitating another 2-hour online Family Constellations Group Session this coming Friday, October 21 from 1-3 PM Eastern, 10 AM-12 PM Pacific. Click here for more details and to purchase a ticket.

In the holy instant there is no conflict of needs, for there is only one.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-15.V11:4

Remember You’re Dreaming

“Remember you’re dreaming.” It’s good advice and the name of the second CD recently released by one of my new favorite singers, Neda Boin. I was introduced to Neda’s beautiful music over a year ago when a friend sent me one of her videos. In the video, Neda put the words to my favorite A Course in Miracles prayer to music. (For my fellow ACIM students, it’s the “I am here only to be truly helpful” prayer.) These powerful words resonate deeply in my heart, so to hear them expressed musically accompanied by her angelic voice was a transcendental experience. I have been listening to and sharing her music ever since.

I’m not exaggerating when I say Neda’s music has given my experience of A Course in Miracles another dimension of healing. Last summer, while interviewing Gary Renard on her YouTube channel, Neda shared a story about forgiveness involving a longtime friend. As she spoke about the uncomfortable feeling in her heart when she thought of her friend, I felt the heaviness of some lingering grievances in my own heart. Although I had already done a lot of forgiveness work on this situation, hearing her vulnerable story and then feeling the energy of the song she sang about forgiveness helped my heart release those judgmental thoughts. I felt so much lighter afterward! A few of the friends I have introduced to Neda’s music have also reported profound moments of peace and spontaneous healing just listening to her music. 

Neda lives in the Netherlands, so when she announced in her newsletter that she would be coming to the US for a summer tour, I got very excited. I immediately had a vision of her performing at Unity of Sarasota. I had just been to a concert in the beautifully renovated sanctuary in January, so I knew it would be a perfect space for Neda’s inspirational music. When I reached out to the senior minister at Unity to ask if this was in the realm of possibilities, I found out that another ACIM student had already suggested it! Rev. Suzy took this as confirmation to move forward with an invitation to Neda, and to my delight, Neda kicked off her summer tour right here in Sarasota last weekend!

A dear friend from Houston flew to Sarasota to visit and attend the concert on Sunday. That morning, we had a glorious walk on the beach and then floated in the magnificent turquoise water chatting and chilling in the rolling waves for quite a while. In fact, it was so glorious that we lost track of time. By the time we walked back to my car, we had less than an hour to get cleaned up and to the concert by 1 PM. That meant driving to her hotel, driving to my apartment, then back to her hotel, and then to Unity. We did our best to hurry, but we were still a bit late. However, it felt very appropriate that we arrived at Unity at 1:11 PM. The digits were all “ones” and the Course says over and over again that we are all One. We checked in with our prepaid tickets and entered the sanctuary just as Neda began the opening meditation and intention setting. Thank you, Spirit. We hadn’t missed a note of the concert!

I will admit for at least the first 30 minutes of the concert, my eyes welled up with tears. I felt tremendous gratitude to be present while Neda played the piano and sang just a few feet away from me. I allowed the tears to flow as the vibration and the energy of the music washed over me. It was such a treat to hear Neda share a little background on each of the songs, and I was so happy when she sang the forgiveness song that was such a gift to me last summer. More tears of gratitude flowed with that one. What a happy dream that my vision of her concert in that space came true!

I had been communicating with Neda via email and WhatsApp in the weeks prior to her arrival in the US, trying to coordinate her concert with an ACIM event I was planning. Unfortunately, the dates did not work out, but I offered to take her and her travel companions to a weekly drumming circle after the concert on Sunday. I also mentioned the possibility of sharing a meal while she was in town. Understandably, the drumming circle at the beach with the Memorial Day Weekend crowds felt like a lot of energy to manage after their long flight and busy two days of events. But, I was thrilled when Neda accepted my invitation to have dinner and visit one of my favorite spots to watch the sunset on Monday. What a treat to have one-on-one time with her, and the opportunity to exchange miracle stories!

Mother Nature put on a brilliant show that evening. Thunderstorms rumbled in the distance, and dark clouds threatened to cover the luminous sun before it made its descent into Sarasota Bay. It was a dramatic race, but we were blessed to get a spectacular sunset with an array of pinks, purples, and oranges before the heavens opened up. Once the sun disappeared, we ran to my car laughing as huge raindrops began to fall. We made it to my car moments before the deluge! What a memorable ending to a wonderful evening of soul connection. It all happened because I had a vision, followed the inspiration to send a few emails, and then surrendered the results. It turned out to be a happier dream than I had envisioned!

What are you dreaming about that would bring you great joy? I would be honored to assist you in creating a happy dream with a series of Spiritual Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations session. Visit my website for more information and to schedule a session.

Also, check out Neda’s Summer Tour Schedule to see if she will be coming to a city near you. She will be all over the Sunshine State this month. When she posted her tour dates, I couldn’t believe that she “just happened” to be visiting two spiritual communities that are near and dear to my heart, Unity of Bon Air and Serenity Farm near Richmond, VA. For those of you who live in or near Richmond, please give yourself the gift of attending her workshop or concert on July 7 and 8! You can learn more about Neda, her music, her Voice Liberation Workshops, and other events by visiting her website

This week, whenever things feel heavy or overwhelming, remember you’re dreaming and know you can dream a happier dream by releasing judgments and grievances. 

All your time is spent in dreaming. Your sleeping and your waking dreams have different forms, and that is all. 

A Course in Miracles ~ T-18.II.5:12-13

My Toddler Teacher on a Train

My heart was heavy the morning after Election Day here in the U.S. I’m very aware that I fell right into the ego trap of duality by allowing my happiness to depend on a specific outcome. As I write this, the official winner has not been determined, yet I was saddened, shocked, and disappointed to see how divided we are and how many votes were cast for a candidate who in my perception propagates more fear and divisiveness. I know some of you reading this may perceive things differently, but my intention in sharing this story is not to create more divisiveness and conflict. It’s actually just the opposite.

That morning, I noticed there were fewer people out and about in the park where I do my daily walk. Perhaps many of the usual joggers and dog walkers had stayed up later than usual watching the election results. Despite Election Night fatigue, the train was still chugging along carrying kids and kids at heart for a two-mile trek around the park. As I made my way along the last mile of my walk, my thoughts about the election were interrupted when the engineer blew the train’s whistle announcing its presence on the track next to me. 

Having caught my attention, my eyes immediately went to the little girl in the middle of the train waving vigorously. I’d guess she was somewhere between one and two years old. This little one was clearly on a mission to get folks to wave at her, but with so few people in the park, it must have been challenging that day. Her enthusiasm was contagious, so I happily obliged and waved back to her. I don’t know how it was possible, but when she spotted me waving to her, she opened her mouth into an even bigger smile and her hand motion became a frenzied blur as she bounced excitedly on her mother’s lap. Her whole being exuded joy!

We continued to wave to each other until she was out of sight, the train carrying her onward to fulfill her mission to connect and spread happiness. As you might imagine, that one-minute encounter lifted my spirits and brought me back to center. That exuberant toddler reminded me that when I get stuck in separation thoughts, I feel bad. When I connect, I feel better. That doesn’t mean I don’t vote for the candidate I prefer or take appropriate action when there’s something I can do to improve a situation. That little girl on the train certainly took action. She was a wonderful teacher and example of what’s possible when we have joy in our hearts and our intention is to bring people together. I am still smiling just thinking about her.

I will be bringing a small group of people together online in less than three weeks for an afternoon of miracles and heart connection during another Virtual Family Constellations Workshop. If you’ve been feeling disconnected or sad, I hope you will join us on Sunday, November 29 from 1:30-4:30 PM Central Time. It is simply astounding to witness what happens when we come together to help ourselves and our brothers and sisters to heal. After 7 years of facilitating these workshops, I’m still in awe of how everything weaves together to create a powerful healing for everyone who attends. For more information or to purchase a ticket, please visit my website or click this link. You will find future events on the Calendar page on my website. 

Until next time, may you receive many opportunities to connect with child-like joy. 

The ego always seeks to divide and separate. The Holy Spirit always seeks to unify and heal. 

A Course in Miracles ~ T-7.IV.5:2-3

The Antidote to Fear and Isolation

If you’re reading this then you probably have experienced the miraculous process known as Family Constellations. For those who haven’t, Family Constellations is a powerful healing tool that reveals hidden dynamics in families and other groups using representatives to stand in for key people and elements in the system. I’ve been doing this work for almost 7 years and I’m still in awe of what happens every single time. The constellation we set up around the coronavirus while I was in Virginia last weekend was especially awe inspiring. If there was any doubt that something beyond what can be seen or defined is guiding constellation participants to move where they move and say what they say, this one absolutely put that doubt to rest.

We had a small, intimate group of 7 people on Saturday. I’m incredibly grateful that these courageous  participants were willing to explore the unprecedented situation occurring on planet earth right now. Drawing on my intuition and ideas that emerged in conversations prior to the workshop, I secretly assigned each of them a role. I wrote them down on 7 small pieces of paper, folded them up, and gave one to each person. Their only instructions were to not look at what was written on it, hold it to their heart for a moment, then stand up and find their place in the room wherever they felt guided. 

One of the participants recently had knee surgery and requested a role that did not require her to move around or stand a lot. I gave her the role of Health Care System. As I handed her the paper, I realized the significance of assigning the role to someone who was temporarily compromised after a recent experience with the very thing she was representing. The person representing Fear & Isolation stood up and immediately reported that she felt like she was “in the air” as if she were floating. Although she was not representing the coronavirus, her words could not have been more true. Fear is definitely in the air these days! 

The representative for Health & Vitality saw herself seated with her feet up next to a blazing fire in a fireplace inside a cozy cabin. She felt really good and wasn’t all that concerned with the other representatives. Once the representative for the Coronavirus stood up, Fear & Isolation immediately moved towards him and they began flowing together as a unit. They liked each other very much, and settled in a spot near the Health Care System. Remember, none of the participants knew what they were representing so it was both surprising and not surprising when these two gravitated towards each other so quickly.

As soon as the representative for Compassionate Leadership stood up she felt like she wanted to “get on top of” Fear & Isolation. She was not happy with her and kept saying she wanted to push her down. Eventually, Compassionate Leadership made her way over to the dancing duo, stood up on a chair, and hissed at them. Both the Coronavirus and Fear & Isolation were startled and quickly moved to the other side of the room. It is also interesting to note that Health Care System said she was not happy when Compassionate Leadership stood on the chair. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions there. 

Meanwhile, the representative for Humanity kept running around the house like a scared rabbit. She couldn’t stand still because nowhere felt safe. I couldn’t believe my eyes when Humanity finally stopped behind Compassionate Leadership once it stood on the chair and scared the Coronavirus and Fear & Isolation away. Humanity said she still wanted to run but reported she felt better behind the person standing on the chair.

The last piece of the puzzle came together when the representative for Oneness & Connection remained where she was sitting and reported that she felt like a turtle. She carried her shell on her back so she was at home everywhere. Like Health & Vitality, she was unaffected by the drama unfolding among the other representatives. However, as the constellation progressed, Health & Vitality said she sensed a storm coming and she wanted to fortify all the windows in her cabin. There was no sense of fear in her. She felt strong and safe but simply wanted to prepare. 

Finally, when I asked if any of the representatives wanted to move, the only one who took me up on the offer was Oneness & Connection. She placed her chair in the center of the room and sat calmly between the two opposing teams. Humanity and Compassionate Leadership were behind her and the Coronavirus and Fear & Isolation were in front of her. It felt like the perfect resolution. Oneness & Connection are indeed at the center of it all. 

One by one, I had each of the 7 representatives read what was written on their paper so we could reflect on what just occurred. Everyone was amazed when they found out who they were. The constellation clearly showed that Compassionate Leadership is needed now more than ever to calm Humanity. That’s all of us, not just our political leaders. We must all become compassionate leaders by making choices from love. We can comply with social distancing guidelines not out of fear of getting sick, but out of love for those who are most susceptible to the virus. We demonstrate compassion by only buying what we need at the grocery store so others can get what they need too. By focusing on Health & Vitality we can stay peaceful. To prepare for the storm, fortify the windows by making healthy choices that boost your immune system. When we stay grounded in the vibration of love, miracles happen!

The central role of Oneness & Connection was a powerful confirmation of what many people have been saying the past few weeks. If this virus has shown us anything, it’s how connected we are. The illusion of separation is fading. There is no “other.” This isn’t happening to other people on the other side of the globe. It’s affecting all of us. As we’ve seen during other crises, people are reaching out to help one another. Strangers are buying groceries for elderly people who are afraid to go into stores. People are buying gift certificates from their favorite local small businesses to keep them afloat while they remain closed. Countries are sending medical supplies to countries that need them. With this kind of altruism happening in so many ways on so many levels, it’s easy to see that we are hardwired for cooperation, not competition. We are all in this together. We are One Human Family. Oneness & Connection is the antidote to Fear & Isolation, even if we have to connect via technology or from six feet away!

To close the constellation, all of us spoke these words three times to the Coronavirus and to Fear & Isolation. “Thank you for showing us these truths so clearly. Thank you for teaching us these lessons. We see how connected we are. Your services are no longer needed. We surround you with grace and we release you with love.” Both representatives reported feeling peace and a lightness of being that allowed them to rise up and out of their roles. Everyone felt the energy in the room shift. Whether you believe there is significance in what happened or not, I trust this story will give you food for thought, perhaps some comfort, and inspiration to be a compassionate leader during these times of uncertainty.

Until next time, may you remember that we are always connected through love despite the appearance of Fear & Isolation.

Alone we are all lowly, but 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

You Want Me To Do What?

Last week I was blessed to be on a cruise ship in the Western Caribbean Sea celebrating the 90th Anniversary of the Science of Mind Magazine. One of the best parts of that experience was being totally unplugged from social media, emails, and text messaging for six days. My phone remained in airplane mode the entire cruise. I only used it to take pictures and to tell time. It’s not that I don’t love being connected to my friends, my family, and all of you. I do. In fact, in the Oneness we are always connected. However, it felt very good to be fully present with the wonderful people I met on the ship without my phone to distract me. Like most things, our technological gadgets can be both a blessing and a curse. If you are able to give yourself this gift sometime I highly recommend it.

Over two hundred people came from around the country and the world to take part in this event. I was honored to be asked to lead a thirty minute guided meditation on our last day at sea as part of that day’s programming. I begin each of my Family Constellations workshops and A Course in Miracles study groups with a guided meditation, but they are usually between ten and fifteen minutes. What would I do for twice that amount of time? Could I play my crystal singing bowl that long and fill the space or should I bring some meditation music? Should I share the Ancestor Meditation I use for Family Constellations or would that be too weird out of context? Maybe I should just do one of the releasing or surrendering meditations I do with my Life Coaching clients. These were the questions bouncing around in my head prior to the cruise. 

I was so grateful not to be scheduled to lead the meditation on our first day together. That honor went to Dr. Michelle Medrano of the Mile Hi Church in Denver. As I sat there Monday morning listening to her gentle, soothing voice take us on a journey, those questions about my meditation started bouncing in my head again. As soon as I started thinking about the Ancestor Meditation those familiar tingles ran all through my body letting me know that was what I was supposed to share. Alright then. Spirit has been using that particular communication device long enough for me to know I need to pay attention to whatever I’m thinking about in that moment. I decided I would simply take my time and give them the deluxe version of that meditation allowing plenty of time for my crystal singing bowl to work its magic at the end. 

At 8:30 Friday morning I made my way to the front of the room and placed my crystal bowl on the table. I invited the attendees to close their eyes and get comfortable while I gave them a sample of the transformative power of connecting with their ancestors. I tapped the side of the bowl with my suede stick four times to honor each of the four directions and then began running the stick around the circumference to make it sing. As the bowl hummed, I did my best to get out of the way and let Spirit give me the words to connect us all with heart energy. Then, generation by generation, I invited our ancestors to take their place behind us, extending back beyond the horizon. Those first twenty-five minutes flew by. I only had an extra five minutes to let everyone marinate in the flow of love and light coming from behind and moving forward to their descendants and creations. At 9 o’clock I chimed the bowl three times. When the sound completely faded I put the bowl back in its case and sat down, trusting that what just happened was exactly what was supposed to happen. 

Well, I got my confirmation pretty quickly. A man sitting in the row behind me tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around to see tears in his eyes as he told me the experience felt like pure love. What higher compliment could one receive? On our next break, a few other attendees shared that they too had powerful experiences with their ancestors. I’m not sharing this to toot my own horn. I am very aware that it is not me but Spirit working through me that people responded to. My job is to listen for guidance, or in some cases “feel” that guidance, and then act on it, even if it seems weird or out of my comfort zone. When I do this, the results never cease to amaze me.

This experience reminded me of the time many years ago when my friend Kate asked me to deliver a blessing at her commitment ceremony, ironically held at the Science of Mind Church here in Fort Lauderdale. I told her it would be an honor. Shortly after I began pondering what I would say, I received the message to share a short guided meditation as the blessing. I quickly dismissed this idea and went back to my search for nice words to bless my friend, her partner, and this new chapter of their journey together. Despite my best efforts to suppress it, that silly idea kept popping back into my head, this time with images. Reluctantly, I called Kate to ask her how she felt about it. Kate had been a stage manager for many years. Her response was, “You’ve got five minutes. Do whatever you like but don’t go over!”

Once I got the green light from Kate, many more images for the meditation started flooding my brain. I surrendered and let them come. But, much like my deliberation before the cruise last week, many times prior to the ceremony I abandoned the idea of a guided meditation in favor of the safer option to just say some sweet things about my friends. Well, the day of the ceremony arrived and I still wasn’t sure which way to go. Luckily, I didn’t have much time to think about it. Seconds after the brides reached the altar and we all sat down the minister called me up to do the blessing. I was on!

I took a deep breath and let the congregation know I was going to take them on a short journey to honor the coming together of these two beautiful souls. I know I invited them to join hands, but I don’t remember much of what happened after that. The next thing I knew I was sitting back in my chair in the front row while the ceremony continued. This was very early in my spiritual journey. I had never done anything like that before. As I sat there I kept wondering what possessed me to do that and what must people be thinking! 

After the ceremony, my roommate told me that he felt electricity running through the whole sanctuary when everyone joined hands. Since he was my friend I thought he was just being nice. Then, at the reception, something miraculous happened. A woman I’ll call Mary approached me and asked if she could share her experience during the meditation. Uh oh. My mouth said “sure” but the rest of my body wanted to run and hide. 

Mary began by telling me she was a dancer, very energetic, and had a hard time focusing. A few years prior to this, a friend had gifted her a reading with a psychic medium for her birthday. Mary was skeptical, but because it was a gift, she made an appointment anyway. Apparently this psychic was the real deal because she knew things about Mary’s grandmother that no one could have known. Mary loved this grandmother dearly, so when the psychic told her Grandma recommended that she start meditating to calm down and focus, Mary took it seriously. 

After the reading, Mary tried many different meditation techniques. She went to workshops and read books on meditation. Nothing worked. No matter what she tried, Mary could not quiet her mind so she eventually gave up. So on that day in 2006, (which also happened to be my birthday) when I announced to the congregation that I was going to lead them in a short guided meditation, Mary rolled her eyes and prepared to be frustrated for the next five minutes.

To her surprise, when I invited everyone to open their eyes and become aware of the room again, Mary said she felt like she had been asleep for hours and had woken up refreshed and revitalized. She couldn’t believe it had only been five minutes. (Yes, Kate the stage manager was very happy.) Mary thanked me profusely and said she was going to give meditation another try now that she knew she could do it. That was one of the best birthday gifts I have ever received.

Is there something outside of your comfort zone that you have been avoiding? Is that still small voice inside urging you to try it anyway? Are you receiving some form of guidance from within that doesn’t seem to make sense? Yes, by definition it will feel uncomfortable! However, I will tell you that every time I have taken a step outside my comfort zone it has led to something magnificent and made a positive impact in ways beyond anything I could have imagined. Try it for yourself and see.

It would be my great honor to cheer you on as you step outside your comfort zone. I offer single Life Coaching sessions as well as four, six, and eight week packages at a discounted price. Maybe you’re ready to connect with your ancestors in a powerful way. Join me for an upcoming Family Constellations workshop or schedule a private session in person, by phone, or via Skype. You will be amazed by what is revealed and healed in these sessions. Please look around my website for more information about all of these opportunities. Send me an email with any questions or to schedule an appointment. 

Until next time, I invite you to unplug for a moment and listen. What is that still small voice trying to tell you?

A Happy New Year Ritual

I love rituals and ceremony. There’s something very powerful about giving physical action to a thought or intention. It tells the unconscious mind, “Something is different now.” It’s why so many people rent tuxedos or wear big white dresses, and invite their friends and family to watch them make promises to each other while exchanging jewelry. Despite how some perceive them, weddings aren’t just big parties. They are cultural rituals that make a statement to our community and our unconscious minds that something is different from this day forward.

One of my favorite rituals is the Burning Bowl Ceremony done at most Unity Churches on or around New Year’s Eve. In this ceremony, participants are invited to write things they would like to release from the old year on a piece of paper and then burn that paper in a sacred fire. Most people write down things like unhealthy habits or self-sabotaging behaviors. Deeper reflection may reveal relationships or beliefs that are no longer serving that are ready to be released. The sacred fire will gladly transform anything you are willing to give it into mere dust. Seeing that paper go up in flames is a powerful visual showing the unconscious mind that those things are truly gone.

I had the privilege of attending both Burning Bowl Ceremonies at Unity of Houston on New Year’s Eve this year. It’s a big church so they do two services to accommodate all the people that want to participate. With over 600 people at the first service and about 300 at the second, I had plenty of time to observe people of all shapes, sizes, ages, and ethnic backgrounds approach the candles at the front of the sanctuary to burn their papers. As I watched person after person perform this sacred ritual, it occurred to me how very much alike we are. We may look different on the outside and have grown up with different cultures and traditions, but we all have struggles, unhealthy habits, and patterns we’d like to release before the new year. I imagine that many of the words written on those papers were exactly the same.

We all want to love and be loved. We want healthy bodies that allow us to do the things we want to do. We want fulfilling work that provides us with enough income to take care of ourselves and our families. We want opportunities to share our gifts and talents. In short, we want to experience more peace, love, and joy in our lives. A Course in Miracles calls this recognition that we are not different a Holy Instant:

Even at the level of the most casual encounter, it is possible for two people to lose sight of separate interests, if only for a moment. That moment will be enough.

When that moment comes, peace comes with it. I am always grateful when those peaceful moments arrive. Since I burned my personal “release list” at the first service, I felt inspired to burn three things at the second service that could benefit us all: fear, the illusion of separation, and suffering. It felt wonderful to toss those in the fire. May you feel the absence of all three in 2018!

It’s not too late to have your own Burning Bowl Ceremony if you haven’t done one already. Write down all of those things that you’re ready to release on a piece of paper and then find a safe place to burn it. It is incredibly liberating to see those old patterns and belief systems go up in smoke!

Out Past the Edges

This week I have been getting the message loud and clear to go out past the edges of my comfort zone. On Saturday I had the opportunity to share the magic of Family Constellations at Unity of Houston in Texas. In addition to setting up traditional constellations, I felt strongly guided to create an exercise around Hurricane Harvey. In the five years I have been doing this work I have seen over and over again that when an event of this magnitude happens emotions can get stuck. Those emotions need to be expressed. No matter what the cause of the trauma, there usually isn’t time to process the emotions surrounding it. We feel we have to toughen up and keep going in order to get through it. Family Constellations provides a safe space to finally express those emotions whether they’ve been trapped for forty days or forty years.
Many Houstonians whose homes were ravaged by the flood waters are experiencing frustration and depression as they wait for the resources to clean up and make repairs. Most of us felt helpless as we watched the events unfold on our television screens wishing there was something we could do. Some living in Houston who did not get flooded were carrying a form of “survivor’s guilt.” Why did this happen to them and not to me? What I know for sure is that everyone in that city and beyond was affected by Harvey whether flood waters reached them or not. I wanted to be sensitive to where each participant was in the healing process while creating an experience that would be meaningful and beneficial to all. In the days prior to the event I took the question of how to accomplish this into my meditation and prayer time. Spirit gave me some ideas, but I wasn’t clear how all the pieces would fit together.

On the day of the workshop I thought about skipping the exercise because I wasn’t exactly sure how to set it up. However the urge to offer an opportunity for healing was too great to stay in my comfort zone. As I do before every constellation, I asked Spirit to guide me step by step on what to do. Once I got out of the way, the exercise kind of created itself. I instructed participants to form two circles as a sort of living mandala in the center of the room. The inner circle was composed of those that experienced the flood waters in their homes or neighborhood. I asked these people to stand in the center facing outward. The larger outer circle was made up of the participants that the flood waters did not reach. I invited these people to stand facing inward looking at the inner circle. Then I had them speak to each other with sentences I provided. “I was scared. I didn’t think the water would ever stop. I felt helpless. I didn’t know what to do.” I also gave them time to say anything else that was in their heart about that event. Once the emotions from both circles had been expressed, I invited them to close the gap between them and physically connect by placing their hands on each other’s shoulders or arms. The participants reported immediately feeling relieved to no longer be separate. Next I asked them to say aloud together, “What happens to one of us happens to all of us.” I wanted them to feel the truth of this statement while they remained physically connected. 

While this was happening there were four participants I purposely left outside the mandala to be the observers. These were people who either evacuated or did not live in Houston at the time of the storm. Now it was time to assign each of them a role without them knowing who they were. I wrote down what they would represent on small pieces of paper, folded the papers up, and handed one to each of them. Once they had their roles I asked them to find their place in the mandala. At first they attached on the outside, and then I invited them to make their way into the center. I asked each participant to somehow connect to one of these four new unknown elements so that everyone was touching at least one of them. All reported feeling better with these four there intuitively knowing they were there to help. These feelings of relief and comfort increased as each of the four revealed who they were by reading what I had written on their paper: God’s Love, Human Kindness, Infinite Resources, and Compassion.
The positive feedback I received after that exercise from the participants made me so grateful to have listened to Spirit and stepped outside my comfort zone. As if I needed confirmation, the message that Rev. Michael Gott shared at Unity of Houston the next day was titled, “At the End of the Comfort Zone.” Message received!

Could you use some assistance getting out past the edges of your comfort zone? You don’t have to do it alone. I would be honored to assist you with one of my four, six, or eight week Life Coaching programs, or with a private Family Constellations session. We can work together in person, by phone, or via Skype. Please look around my website for more information about all of these opportunities.

Until next time, take a few steps out past the edges of your comfort zone. That’s where the miracles happen!

Mother Nature’s Symphony

I just returned from a wonderful five day trip to Serenity Farm in Virginia where I had the honor and privilege to facilitate many Family Constellations workshops and private sessions. Simply being on that land is a healing experience so to do the work I love there is a special treat. I had a very full schedule, but my Monday morning appointment had to cancel. That was okay with me because it gave me some extra free time to take a stroll down to the peaceful pond at the edge of the property. The pond is isolated from the rest of the farm by a small forest, so when I emerged from the trees into the clearing it felt like I was in another world. It was starting to get hot that day so I perched myself on a picnic table in the shade. From there I watched the sunlight glisten on the surface of the water as butterflies and dragonflies flitted and danced around everywhere. It truly was the picture of serenity.
Not only was this spot a feast for the eyes, it was also a feast for the ears. I decided to lie on my back and take in all of Mother Nature’s symphony. The cicada bugs were like the string section with their shrill humming sound rising and falling periodically. A woodpecker provided percussion from somewhere deep in the woods. Occasionally the wind blew through the trees causing the leaves to make a gentle rustling noise. There were several birds chirping, but one in particular had a unique call that stood out from the rest. She was the soloist of the concert. I could also hear the very faint sound of water trickling out of the pond by way of a tiny stream not far from me. I thought to myself, “For a peaceful little pond, there sure is a lot going on here!”

But something interesting happened as I lay there listening to this natural symphony. I suddenly realized the soloist bird had stopped singing. And then, little by little, the rest of the birds became quiet, and a hush fell upon the cicada bugs. The woodpecker quit pecking. Only the trickling water and the occasional leaves rustling remained. What had caused the silence? Where did the birds go? Why did the cicadas fall silent? Did the sun approaching its zenith let them know it was time to take a break for lunch?

Not that I wasn’t enjoying the multitude of sounds around me, but the stillness was also quite nice. That’s when it occurred to me that Mother Nature had just taught me another lesson. There are times when it sure seems like there’s a lot going on in my life. Different noises and voices are constantly trying to get my attention. What a great strategy to simply stop and become still. Become the observer. I wasn’t requiring those birds or bugs to be silent. I simply allowed them to be. Without me having to do a thing, the sounds eventually faded to nothingness all on their own. Instead of fighting against what is, or shouting back at those voices clamoring for my attention, what if I become still and simply observe what is happening? The best chance to hear the Voice of Love and my heart guiding me will be in the stillness. In the meantime, I sure do love that peace and quiet.

Would you like more peace and quiet in your life? Could you use some serenity? Why not walk the Pathway to Peace with me? You can find out more about this eight week Life Coaching program by visiting my website. Family Constellations is another great way to find peace by letting go of burdens you may be carrying for your ancestors. Please join me for an upcoming group session or schedule a private session in person, by phone, or via Skype.

Until next time, be still and enjoy the peace and quiet that your soul is craving…

P.S. Click HERE for a sample of Mother Nature’s Symphony.

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