I am still integrating the many blessings I received at Serenity Farm last weekend. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I felt inspired to let these photos from my visit tell the story and give you a touch of serenity.
A huge thank you to all who attended the live workshops and came to hear my Sunday message at Unity of Bon Air. I know we sent a powerful wave of healing energy out in all directions to our ancestors, descendants, and family members.
Last week I wrote about some of the “Buried Treasure” I found while going through a trunk filled with memorabilia. It had been a long time since I put my hands and eyes on everything contained in that box. Some of the cards and letters I discovered were associated with hard times in my life or old agreements. It was time to let those go.
I built a sacred fire in a safe place and allowed the flickering orange flames to transform those paper reminders into something new. As part of my ceremony, I also sprinkled a dash of dried sage leaves into the fire to help clear the energy. The next day I felt lighter, but something was still off.
Whenever I have an impulse to make changes in my home, I check in with my dear friend, Dorena, the Space Doula. This is her area of expertise, and one of her superpowers is asking simple but profound questions. While discussing my journey down memory lane, she dropped this bombshell: How would it feel to release the trunk itself?
As I mentioned last week, I’ve had that trunk for almost 20 years. I was thrilled to find it for a low price at HomeGoods when I was starting a whole new chapter of my life. After massage school and finding Unity on the Bay in Miami, my spiritual journey accelerated quickly. As my inner world changed, my outer world had to follow.
After 3 years, I was leaving the party energy of Miami Beach to live with two dear friends in a residential neighborhood north of Fort Lauderdale. Their new house was not far from a spa where I was hired as a licensed massage therapist. New home. New career. Everything was lining up, and that trunk fit the “Pier 1” style vibe I wanted to create in my new space.
I have moved dozens of times since then, and each time that trunk has come with me. It went all the way to California at the end of 2011 when I moved there to help a friend open a spiritual retreat center. It came back to Florida later in 2012 when things didn’t work out as I hoped.
When I moved to Texas in 2018, I gave almost everything I had away. That trunk was one of the few pieces of furniture I kept and the only piece of furniture that returned to Florida with me in 2021.
As Dorena insightfully pointed out, that trunk has been a stable, familiar presence through it all. In a way, it also represented the core of me as it stored and protected all those memories. But how do I feel about it currently?
While pondering this question, I was surprised to discover I wasn’t attached to keeping it. It’s great for storage, but the trunk is heavy and clunky. It has been quite cumbersome to move it so many times. It also has very sharp corners which I have had the distinct displeasure of bumping into many times over the years.
As I looked around my space, it became apparent that my taste has changed. It now leans toward contemporary patterns and lighter colors. Simply put, the dark, heavy trunk no longer matches my vibe. The answer to Dorena’s question seemed obvious. In the immortal words of Elsa from Disney’s Frozen, it was time to “Let it go!”
Once again, I pulled everything out of the trunk, but this time I found new homes for all the contents. Most of the items now reside in two clear plastic bins from Target. Wow, are they light and easy to carry!
Then I pulled the empty trunk out onto my balcony where I used sage to clear the energy of the past 20 years. As fate would have it, we had a full moon this week. I felt inspirited to leave the trunk open and outside that night to release any lingering energy to Grandmother Moon. Then it would be ready for a new home.
The following morning, I carried that heavy beast one last time from the balcony, through my home, down the stairs, and into the back of my car. As if I needed any more convincing, the metal handle painfully pressed two fingers on my right hand into the side of the trunk as I lugged it down the stairs. Oh, yes. I was ready to release that trunk!
The woman working at the Goodwill Donation Center raved about how beautiful the trunk was and asked why I was getting rid of it. Without going into detail, I told her the trunk had been with me for 20 years, and I was ready to release it. I had to laugh when she yelled, “That’s a long time. You should keep it!” It’s like the Universe was making sure I was truly ready to let it go. I was.
When the woman went back inside to get a receipt, I placed my hand on the trunk, closed my eyes, and thanked it for all the years it stored and protected my memories. I blessed it to find a new home and a new owner who would be just as thrilled to find it as I was 20 years ago. Then I released it with love. I look forward to seeing the blessings and miracles that fill the space made available by releasing that heavy piece of my past.
If you could use some “sage advice” (pun intended) on clearing and shifting the energy in your home and your life, I highly recommend working with my friend and colleague, Dorena Kohrs, the Space Doula. Her intuition and on-point questions have helped me connect dots I never would have connected. I am continually blown away by her knowledge, experience, and insights. Look for her on social media @Space_Doula or visit her website at https://spacedoula.com/.
And if there are thoughts, beliefs, or family patterns that you are ready to release, I would be honored to assist you with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. Both can help you see things from another perspective to allow more peace, love, and joy in your life. Thanks to Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime, we can connect no matter where you are in the world. Look around my website for more information or to schedule an appointment with my automated scheduler. If you have questions, please send me a message. I look forward to working with you!
This past weekend, I felt inspired to open the large wooden trunk I’ve had for over 20 years to examine and sort through what’s in there. The chest contains a few Christmas decorations and ornaments, blankets, old journals, my high school yearbook, and a plastic shoebox filled with memorabilia. Oh, the treasures I found inside that little shoebox.
Things like newspaper clippings reviewing shows I performed in at college. Ticket stubs from memorable concerts including Madonna’s Blonde Ambition Tour in 1990. I was shocked to see the price for a ticket was under $30! I laughed at what my coworkers wrote in the farewell card I received when I left the Arena Stage Box Office. At the time, it seemed like a crazy idea to leave a full-time job with benefits for a temporary position with Bob Brown Puppet Productions for just 5 weeks. It turned out to be Divine Guidance when that experience led to a full-time job at Disney World as a puppeteer a few years later.
Speaking of Disney, I also found my Disney name tags and a few sweet letters written by kids I met as a character performer. One little girl colored a picture of Pluto with yellow crayons letting him know he was her favorite. There was also a letter from a grateful mom whom I met at a Disneyana Convention. Apparently, I had sent her son a personal note with a photo of me as the prince from Sleeping Beauty because Prince Phillip was his hero. She thanked me for taking so much time to talk with her and for the note to her son, Garrett. Inside the envelope was a photo of Garrett dressed in his own Prince Phillip costume. It was an adorable photo, but also strange to think that little prince is now almost 30!
Another little boy wrote to Captain John Smith (from Pocahontas) asking if I’d like to play video games later in the game room at the Wilderness Lodge. It was accompanied by a second note saying he was sorry I didn’t show up, but if I still wanted to play video games, I could call him before 8:30. I had no way to contact him, nor would I have been able to join him as John Smith even if I had received his letter in time. But I do remember having a very long conversation with him at the Pocahontas character breakfast. He definitely touched my heart, because reading his note all these years later still made me smile.
Long after I left the Walt Disney Company, I had one of my best birthday celebrations there with 3 friends who also transform into big kids upon entering the theme parks. It brought back an abundance of joyful memories when I saw the mouse-eared “Happy Birthday” button I wore during our weekend visit. Any time one of the cast members or guests noticed the button and said “Happy Birthday,” the four of us screamed “HAPPY BIRTHDAY,” threw our arms high in the air, and spun around like idiots. I’m sure it will not surprise you that it happened quite frequently and, yes, we did it every single time.
I discovered many fond memories in that trunk, but the biggest treasure was a handwritten letter from my mother. She wrote it before her move to Florida during one of the brief periods where she was able to keep her alcohol addiction at bay. In the letter, my mom described how much she loved working as a hostess at the Red Lobster. I can only imagine how much the customers and servers loved her. It was the perfect job for her. My mother was truly a people person. She had a way of making everyone around her feel comfortable, and she could lighten any situation with her quick wit and that mischievous twinkle in her eyes.
Even though she was writing about everyday things, the letter was filled with her humor, and I somehow found myself laughing out loud while tears streamed down my face. I originally received this letter shortly after I left Orlando and moved to Miami Beach. She commended my courage for starting over in a new city. I must have inherited that courage from her because just a few years later, at the age of 75, my mom left the house in Upstate New York where she raised her children and had lived for over 40 years to start a new life in Florida. To me, that’s courage!
Toward the end of the letter, she admitted she wished she could spend more time with her children and grandchildren, but she was happy. She hoped I wouldn’t mind how much she bragged about me to her co-workers because she was so proud of me. As you can imagine, the tears were flowing pretty heavily by the time I got to that part. It was a well-timed message of love and encouragement from my biggest fan on the other side.
Even with all the struggles and chaos that accompanied her alcoholism, I feel incredibly blessed to have had the mom I had. I knew she loved me without question. It’s one of the reasons I can do the work I do now. Over time, I was able to find a way to receive the love as she gave it, not as I wanted it. It was a long journey, and I am grateful for the help of A Course in Miracles and Family Constellations.
It would be my great honor to help you uncover buried treasure and come to a place of peace with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. Both can help you remove the obstacles to the awareness of love’s presence, no matter what appears to have happened or is currently happening in your life.
Thanks to Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime, we can connect no matter where you are in the world. If you’re feeling a nudge to start the process or kick it up a notch, please look around my website to learn more or click here to book a session with my automated scheduler. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. I look forward to working with you!
Until next time, perhaps there are some buried treasures waiting for you to uncover that will awaken joy and remind you that you are loved.
It was 2007. I had been studying A Course in Miracles for about a year when life handed me one of my biggest forgiveness opportunities. It was a dramatic ending to a four-and-a-half-year romantic relationship. The details aren’t important. All you need to know is I was hurt and felt like a victim.
Thank goodness I had the Course and a good Spiritual Coach at the time. Both helped me not to project all of the blame onto my partner and to remember that relationships are mirrors. What upsets me is never anything “out there.” It always starts within. Who was I really mad at?
I can’t say that I was able to stay out of victim mode 100% of the time or that I never made my former partner the villain. I can say that I didn’t stay in that disempowered space too long. After much self-reflection and self-inquiry, I was able to see and own my part in what happened in our relationship.
Through mutual friends, I knew he had moved from Florida to Alabama, but for a few years we had little to no communication other than the occasional birthday or holiday text message. During that time, my study of the Course deepened and I was able to release any residual anger toward him and the situation. As painful as it was, I came to understand that everything unfolded perfectly so I could learn true forgiveness and some powerful life lessons.
Quite unexpectedly, my former partner reached out to me when he moved back to the Sunshine State. There was no emotional charge when I heard the message. Honestly, it was nice to hear his voice. I was curious to hear what was happening in his life and the lives of his family since I was quite close with them during our time together. We made plans to walk along Fort Lauderdale Beach the next morning.
Not only did we catch up, but we also talked openly about our relationship and what we would do differently. There was no blame or anger in our discussion, but there was a lot of laughter. That in itself is a miracle! And by miracle, I mean the definition given in the Course, a shift in perception from a fearful way of looking at a situation to a loving way.
Later, I showed him pictures on my phone of a chair and end tables that I was considering purchasing for my new apartment. He noticed that the chair I wanted was very similar to a chair we bought together 10 years ago. I replied “YES! That’s exactly the kind of chair I’m looking for.” I loved that chair. It was incredibly comfortable and a great spot for meditation.
He surprised me again by saying, “Do you want that chair? A friend of mine is keeping it for me and he doesn’t live far from you. Actually, he just texted me today asking if I needed any of my furniture back.” What?!?! His friend brought it to my apartment less than 24 hours later and I was reunited with my beloved chair! It was another miracle that would never have happened if I hadn’t released my grievances. To me, that was powerful evidence that A Course in Miracles works!
I’m not recommending you plan a beach walk with all of your exes, but I do encourage you to release any residual pain or anger you might be carrying toward them. It would be my great honor to assist you with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions where I’ll share some of the tools and insights I have learned from A Course in Miracles and my Spiritual Coach. You can book your first session now using the automated scheduler on my website.
To reveal and heal unhealthy familial patterns that repeat from generation to generation, consider scheduling a private Family Constellations Session or join me for an Upcoming Workshop. I look forward to being in sacred space with you!
Until next time, may you give yourself the gift of releasing unforgiving thoughts about any past or current relationships. Who knows? You might end up with some new furniture!
We’ve all heard and perhaps used the saying “it’s the little things” when referring to the ability to appreciate seemingly small details, good fortunes, or joyful experiences in life. Sure, it might seem like a cliché, but sayings don’t become clichés unless they contain some grain of lasting truth. With all the daily challenges we face, I think it’s more important than ever to appreciate the little things. They can tip the scales to a more joyful life.
Just this week, one of those little things surprised me and left me feeling extremely grateful. My preferred store for items like toothpaste and laundry detergent is Target. Every time I check out, a prompt appears on the credit card screen asking for my phone number as part of the Target Circle Club. At some point, a cashier must have convinced me to join, although now I have no idea what the benefits are of being in this club.
I seem to recall receiving an email near my birthday offering to save a percentage off of my next purchase. I never quite figured out how to redeem that offer. Still, every time that screen pops up, I dutifully enter my phone number. Surely, there must be some advantage. Over the past few visits, I’ve questioned why I continue to give Target information about my shopping habits.
During this most recent visit, I almost ignored that little screen, but something nudged me to type in my phone number once again. To my surprise, once I hit “enter” another message popped up on that screen inquiring if I’d like to apply the $17.15 credit I had earned toward today’s purchase. Of course! Why wouldn’t I?
I’m not sure why this message popped up for the first time that day, but I was grateful for the significant and unexpected savings on my purchases. It was a nice confirmation that we don’t always know the reasons why we do things. However, when we follow those nudges, life may give us sweet little surprises.
In the big scheme of things, this event was quite inconsequential. But it reminded me of an episode of one of my favorite TV shows from the early 2000s, Joan of Arcadia. The show only lasted 2 seasons, but I loved the premise. God would appear in different forms (ie. cute boy on the bus, school cafeteria server, sanitation worker) to a teenage girl who was struggling to fit in at her new school.
At first, Joan thought she was going crazy, but with time and experience, she began to trust her new relationship with the Divine. Each week, God gave Joan an assignment that she initially resisted but eventually would do. It was God, after all. By the end of the episode, Joan would learn a life lesson or understand the bigger picture of why she was asked to do things like join the chess team or get a job at a bookstore.
The show never hit you over the head with a lesson, nor did it feel preachy or biased toward any particular faith tradition. It simply presented situations and choices through the eyes of an awkward teenager, and then let viewers draw their own conclusions. The particular episode that came to mind did this masterfully.
In this episode, God asked Joan to spend her weekend volunteering for an organization similar to Habitat for Humanity. But Joan had big plans with her boyfriend that weekend and was not interested in changing them to pound nails with a bunch of strangers. To say she was angry at God for this request would be an understatement, but reluctantly, she complied.
By the end of the episode, the viewer is privy to a whole chain of events that Joan changing her plans set off. Multiple connections were made that greatly benefited people close to her, but Joan never saw any of the results. She remained mad and frustrated in her room as the credits rolled.
I thought the writers did a brilliant job of presenting a profound truth without feeling the need to give our protagonist an explanation for why her plans were not the highest and best for all. In life, we don’t always see how the choices we make impact our lives and the lives of others. But rest assured, if we follow our guidance and make choices from the heart, ripples of love will start in us and then expand in all directions, positively affecting people and situations we may never know.
So go ahead and do those little things you feel guided to do, even when they don’t appear to make sense. You never know when life will pull back the curtain and reveal a joyful surprise.
If I can assist you in following guidance and listening to your heart more consistently, please consider giving yourself the gift of a Spiritual Coaching Session or private Family Constellations Session. Both can help pull back the curtain and reveal a life more joyful than you thought possible. And thanks to Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime, we can connect no matter where you are in the world. Book a session with my automated scheduler or send me an email with questions. I look forward to creating miracles with you!
Until next time, I encourage you to trust your guidance and keep noticing the little things that bring you joy. They will add up quickly!
A miracle is never lost. It may touch many people you have not even met, and produce undreamed of changes in situations of which you are not even aware.
Miracle Principle #45 from A Course in Miracles ~ T-1.I.45:1-2
I’m a big fan of routines. When I get off track with my morning walk or yoga practice for too long, I feel a bit out of sorts. I’ve fallen into a rhythm of four days of walking, two days of yoga, and one day off each week. There’s something comforting about having a set schedule to help create a sense of stability in my life.
But I’ve noticed when I get too rigid with my routines, what once felt like scaffolding feels more like a cage. Over the past few months, I’ve been more flexible with my routines. Thankfully, I’m remembering to ask Spirit for guidance more often. This past Saturday, I had one of the most joyful afternoons I’ve had in a long time. Had I stuck to my routines, I would have deprived myself of this experience.
It started last December when some new friends invited me to brunch at their home. I really wanted to go so I could get to know them better and meet some of their friends. But the date they chose was a day I had already scheduled an online Family Constellations Workshop at 2 PM. Brunch was at 10:30 AM, so technically there wasn’t a conflict.
However, I have fallen into a nice routine on workshop days that seems to serve me well. I don’t schedule other appointments on those days. Instead, I set aside the morning to be quiet, practice yoga, and allow ideas and insights to flow into my mind for the event. I also need to be available to answer last-minute questions or share the Zoom link with anyone who bought a ticket but didn’t receive the registration email. (They sometimes get flagged as spam.)
Gratefully, I have been practicing A Course in Miracles long enough to know whenever I have a difficult decision to make, large or small, I can ask for guidance on what is the highest and best choice for all. In this case, my guidance was to let the hosts know about my commitment in the afternoon and ask if it would be rude for me to leave by 12:30. They responded that would be no problem, so I graciously accepted.
Even though I was a bit uncomfortable breaking my routine, I’m so glad I did! Not only was brunch delicious, but I also loved our conversation and made some new local friends. Two of which I have gotten to know quite well since then. We have gone on several other outings, including the Scrollathon exhibit I wrote about a few weeks ago.
This leads me to the joyous experience I had last Saturday. It was “yoga day,” and I was just about to roll out my mat when my phone rang. It was one of my new friends asking if I’d be interested in going boating with them that afternoon.
Wow! There aren’t many things that light up my soul more than being on a boat. It doesn’t matter if it’s a kayak, a cruise ship, or any size boat in between. My love for being on the water might be a way to connect with my dad, who served in the Navy before I was born. Whatever the reason, I’m like a happy dog with its head out a car window whenever I’m on a boat. (For proof, look at the photo above. The only thing missing is my tongue hanging out!)
With that in mind, here’s the ridiculous thing. I almost declined the invitation because it meant I’d have to skip yoga and not work on my website later that afternoon. Seriously, John? In my defense, there was one other consideration. I was on day 6 of the lemonade cleanse, so I’d have to bring my homemade lemonade and explain to my new friends why I wouldn’t be snacking with them.
I checked in with Spirit, and it shouldn’t surprise you that the answer was an overwhelming YES. It was a gorgeous sunny Florida day with temperatures in the mid-70s. Perfect for boating. I only knew 3 of the 7 other boaters, but everyone got along wonderfully. One of the highlights of the day was when 2 playful dolphins surfaced just a few feet from our boat! Another highlight was when we dropped anchor in a little inlet. For at least 30 minutes, we just enjoyed the breeze and each other’s company as the boat gently rocked with the waves. It was pure magic!
I could not have asked for a more perfect afternoon. When I returned home, I sat on my sofa for a while and just reveled in gratitude. Had I stuck to my routine on several different occasions, I would have missed that joyous afternoon. It was such a good reminder to hold my routines loosely. Yes, they are helpful to keep me on track, but if I hold them too tightly, they can keep me from experiencing life’s greatest joys.
If you’d like some assistance in creating some healthy routines or breaking free of some that have you stuck, please reach out. I would be honored to help you experience more joy in your life with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. Both can be done from anywhere in the world using Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime. Look around my website or send me an email for more information. You can also book a session using my automated scheduler so you’ll know exactly when appointments are available. I look forward to working with you!
Until next time, let your routines keep you on track, but don’t be afraid to break them. It’s fun to shake things up once in a while!
Routines as such are dangerous, because they easily become gods in their own right, threatening the very goals for which they were set up.
For the past 2 years, Dax Shepard and Monica Padman have kept me company on my morning walks with their lively conversations, thoughtful questions, and interesting guests. They are the cohosts of a popular podcast called “Armchair Expert.” This week’s celebrity guest was Pamela Anderson.
I will admit, I had some preconceived ideas about the blonde Baywatch lifeguard running in slow motion on the beach. Back in the 90s, it was hard not to see the many tabloid headlines in the check-out line at the grocery store about her tumultuous relationship with Tommy Lee. I never watched her show or paid much attention to those stories, so I knew very little about her life or career.
One thing I love about the podcast is how Dax and Monica create a safe space for their guests to be vulnerable. Barely 5 minutes into the conversation, I learned Pamela experienced severe early childhood trauma. As she continued to share her story, it wasn’t difficult to see how unconscious family patterns repeated in her life. She said those early childhood experiences made her painfully shy, yet she grew into a larger-than-life Hollywood persona.
During the interview, Pamela shared that she never set out to be an actress or model. In 1989, while attending a Canadian football game, a camera operator captured her dancing on the Jumbotron. That day she happened to be wearing a Labatt’s Beer T-shirt. Someone at the Labatt’s Brewing Company took notice and offered her a job as a spokesperson for their beer. That led to other modeling jobs, and then, later that year, an invitation to be on the cover of Playboy magazine.
As she described how one thing led to another, it struck me how she didn’t plan or deliberately seek out any of it. In fact, she often made choices that could have derailed her career, like not showing up for the Baywatch audition the first 12 times it was scheduled. Pamela told Dax she thought Monterey Bay was too far to drive for an audition. Eventually, she went to the audition and landed the role that made her famous around the world.
The more I heard her story, the more I admired this woman. She kept showing up joyfully for life no matter how many times she was knocked down. Seeing how poorly she was treated by the media and the court system, it’s a wonder she ever left her house. I love a good comeback story, and Pamela Anderson has one.
In the spring of 2022, she wowed audiences with her portrayal of Roxie Hart in the Broadway production of Chicago. I think that was brilliant casting. However, Pamela was not a trained singer or dancer, so it’s amazing to me that she said yes when offered the part. She worked hard to prepare for the role, and it paid off. Who could have planned or plotted the course from Beer T-shirt to Broadway? It’s quite a testament to her resilience and her willingness to say yes to whatever opportunities come her way.
The podcast hosts themselves exemplify this point. Both Dax and Monica had ambitions to be famous actors. They both had some success in Hollywood, but neither one had their sights set on becoming hosts of one of the most listened-to podcasts in the country with an exclusive contract on Spotify. Who knew having heated discussions in the kitchen with your former nanny (now best friend) could lead to so much success and happiness? Both say they love this job more than any acting job they’ve had.
It may surprise you to learn that, at one time, I also wanted to be in television and movies. It would probably surprise you more to learn that I was painfully shy all through high school and college. After 2 years in the Visual and Performing Arts College at Syracuse University as an Ad Design major, somehow I found the courage to follow my dream and audition for the SU Drama Department. To my great surprise, I was accepted! I graduated from SU with a degree in Acting and a minor in Ad Design.
To help pay for school, I took a work/study job in the box office at Syracuse Stage, a regional theater affiliated with the SU Drama Department. That experience got me a job working in the box office at Arena Stage in Washington, DC after I graduated. That’s where I met a friend who eventually offered me a small role in a murder mystery show at a dinner theater in Rock Island, IL. While there, I met a group of friends who were also pursuing careers in entertainment, so we all decided to move to Orlando, FL together.
After a few odd jobs, I auditioned to perform in parades and shows at Disney World where I stayed for 7 years. That experience helped me develop the confidence I needed to be in front of large groups while facilitating Family Constellations. There were other steps in between, but you can see how one thing led to the next in a way that I could never have planned!
There are a lot of coaches, teachers, and gurus out there who claim to know the best path for you. They have “5 Keys to Financial Freedom” or “7 Steps to the Life of Your Dreams,” but in truth, there’s no way anyone else could know the best path for you. By the way, that includes well-meaning friends and family members.
Life is a series of choices, and I do my best to keep making them from love, not fear. I can’t recall a time when I was happy with the consequences after making a choice from fear, anger, or scarcity. It may be difficult, and I may disappoint people, but there is always peace and joy waiting for me when I ask Spirit for guidance and make decisions from my heart.
As we begin the second month of 2023, I hope you are being gentle with yourself around any New Year’s goals or intentions you set. I encourage you to keep showing up and saying yes to opportunities “Out Past Your Comfort Zone,” as I wrote about last week. Trust the path that is unfolding even when it doesn’t appear to make sense. It will make a lot more sense when you look back. It’s okay to have goals and dreams for the future, but I encourage you to hold them loosely. For me, the plan that works is the Moment by Moment Love Plan.
It would be my great joy to help you peacefully navigate your winding path moment by moment with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. To learn more about both of these opportunities, please look around my website or send me an email. Thanks to Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime, we can connect no matter where you are in the world! Booking a session is easy with my automated scheduler which lets you see exactly when appointments are available. I look forward to working with you!
Until next time, I invite you to release the idea that there is anything wrong with where you are right now or how you got there, and trust that the road is always leading you to a happy dream.
For they are all but aspects of the plan to change your dreams of fear to happy dreams…
I was having lunch with a friend this week when the subject of moving past our comfort zone came up. As I told him, experience has taught me that out past our comfort zone is where miracles happen. Leaving our comfort zone is rarely easy, but the rewards are so worth it! While searching for a “beyond the comfort zone story,” coincidentally I discovered one that happened exactly 3 years ago this week! I felt inspired to share it again here.
At the end of January in 2020, an unexpected opportunity to move past my comfort zone presented itself. I had agreed to be the platform assistant for the Wednesday night service at Unity of Houston. This job is fairly simple. It required me to welcome everyone, read the announcements, and facilitate the love offering at the end. When I woke up on that particular Wednesday, I learned that the minister scheduled to give the talk wasn’t feeling well. She asked if I would be willing to share a message in her place.
At that point, I had given a handful of talks at other spiritual centers, but this would be the first time speaking in front of a group this size. In addition to the larger audience, the service was simultaneously being live-streamed on social media. And it was being recorded for YouTube, meaning it would live on the internet for a long time. That was indeed past my comfort zone! As you can imagine, it brought up some fear.
That fear wanted me to say “no thank you” and let one of the Associate Ministers give the talk. Then, I remembered something that happened in 2014, right before my first Big Sky Retreat in Montana. I planned to attend with my friend and mentor, Dr. Charles Geddes, who has been on the Board of Directors since the retreat began in 1976.
Two weeks before the event, Charles called to tell me there was a last-minute schedule change and asked if I would be willing to present a workshop. As any good friend and mentor who has faith in his friend and a slightly mischievous side would do, he told me that he had already sent my photo to the printer to be included in the program. Therefore, I’d better say yes and quickly come up with a title and description for my workshop.
Okay. That freaked me out a little bit, but I knew he was right. I also recognized what a gift and gracious opportunity I was being given. I’m so glad I said yes because that decision blessed me in more ways than I can count.
When I had to make a similar decision that Wednesday morning, I knew the only answer that would feel peaceful in the long run was yes. Fortunately, I had a yoga class in the morning and Spiritual Coaching and Family Constellations Sessions in the afternoon, so there was very little time to fret about it before it happened.
That also meant I didn’t have much time to prepare, so I decided to tell the story of my first experience with Family Constellations, share a little bit about its origins and philosophy, and then end with a very recent experience of inherited family trauma. This was a personal story I hadn’t shared publicly yet.
In a quiet moment right before the service, I asked Spirit to give me the words that would be most beneficial to everyone listening. Then I read my go-to prayer from A Course in Miracles:
I am here only to be truly helpful.I am here to represent Him Who sent me.I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do, because He Who sent me will direct me.I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing He goes there with me.I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.T-2.V.A.18
I recite this prayer before every workshop, coaching session, constellation, or study group. It helps to get my “self” with a little “s” out of the way and let my Higher Self with a capital “S” lead the way. If you like this prayer, but the words “He” and “Him” don’t sit well with you for any reason, you can replace them with “Spirit,” “Love,” “She/Her,” or whatever words resonate with you. The words aren’t as important as the request to let a power greater than ourselves provide guidance and support in any situation that brings up fear.
Even though I was nervous, the stories and the information I shared seemed to flow and fit well together. Watching the video now, I would say a few things differently. But, I trust what I said then was exactly what was supposed to be shared and that it was helpful to someone. This experience was a great reminder to not let fear paralyze me and block a wonderful opportunity to talk about the two things that have helped me the most on my spiritual journey: A Course in Miracles and Family Constellations. For those interested in seeing the video on YouTube, click this link.
If you would like some support and encouragement to move out past your comfort zone, it would be my great honor to assist you 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 about both. 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.
This week, may you find the courage to say yes to any opportunity to explore life beyond your comfort zone. While you’re there, enjoy the miracles!
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 Miraclesand 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.
Recently, I shared how “grace” revealed itself to me as my word for 2023. It has already proven to be a powerful companion in the first weeks of January. The fact that I am able to type these words on my laptop is a demonstration of grace’s presence. Why, you may ask? Well, there was an unfortunate incident involving a glass of water. And before you try to discern whether I’m a pessimist or an optimist, the glass was neither half full nor half empty. It was completely full!
While working on my computer one afternoon last week, my prayer partner phoned for a New Year’s check-in and intention-setting call. Just a few minutes into our call, I very ungracefully bumped the glass sitting on my desk and sent the entire 16 ounces of water onto my keyboard. Surprisingly, just a mild yelp came out of my mouth before I told my friend what had happened.
We continued our conversation as I grabbed a dish towel to soak up the water on the computer before powering it down. As we chatted, I removed the wet items from my desk and finished mopping up the remaining water with the towel. Because we had such a lovely prayer call, I didn’t think much more about the incident before rushing out the door to meet friends for dinner.
When I returned home later that evening, I decided to power up my laptop and answer a few emails. To my surprise and slight horror, nothing happened when I pushed the power button. I held it down for another 30 seconds. No response. That’s when I knew the seemingly insignificant incident from earlier that day was not so insignificant.
I know it was my conscious decision to move through 2023 with grace that prevented me from panicking. After a deep breath, I asked Spirit to guide me on who to contact. Who would know what to do in this situation? The answer I received was not a who but a what. Of course! The Internet would know what to do when a glass of water meets a laptop!
I typed the question into the Chrome search field on my iPhone and an answer popped right up. The first thing it said to do was power down the computer immediately. Wow! That must have been more grace because that is exactly what I did when the spill first happened. Next, it said to remove the battery if possible, but skip this step if the battery is built into the machine. Mine is built-in, so I went to the next step. Open the laptop and place it like an upside-down “V” on a tabletop. This allows any remaining water to drip out of the keyboard. Let it air dry like this for 24 hours. (FYI- No hair dryers. No leaving it out in the sun. These methods can cause damage to the delicate circuitry.)
What followed was the most challenging step. Wait and trust. I will admit that night I didn’t sleep well. The possibility of a large, unexpected expense haunted my dreamtime. Almost every aspect of my job requires a computer. Not having one is really not an option. I knew the day was coming when I would need to invest in a new laptop, but I was not prepared for it to be that day!
The next morning, I considered skipping yoga and taking my laptop to the Genius Bar at my local Apple Store to have them look at it. I had shared my predicament with my sister who recommended I make an appointment rather than just show up at the store. When I got online, I discovered that the next available appointment was 3 days away. I scheduled an appointment, but I knew I would need a computer before then.
As I pondered what might be an all-day visit to the Apple store, I remembered my word “grace” and that woman dancing on New Year’s Eve. How could I handle this situation with ease and grace? I asked Spirit to help me see this situation differently. The immediate answer I received was, “Do you really think I would leave you comfortless and without the resources to do your work? Stop worrying. Everything is going to work out.”
A wave of peace washed over me. Of course, this was true. In my experience, there has always been a solution to every problem. When I get out of the way and stop trying to figure it out, a way forward is revealed. Why would this be any different?
Knowing yoga would help me stay in that peaceful state, I rolled out my mat and started my practice. Not only would this help me stay calm, but it would also give my laptop more time to air dry!
After a delicious 2-hour practice and post-yoga meditation, I summoned the courage to flip my laptop right side up and touch the power button. After a slight delay, the familiar Macintosh “BING” chimed and the Apple logo appeared on my screen. It was the happiest sound I have heard in a long time!
As A Course in Miracles teaches, the miracle is not that my laptop was not damaged, although I am extremely grateful for that. The miracle happened when peace returned after I asked for help in seeing the situation differently. I knew that no matter what happened, somehow some way, it would be okay. What a blessing to be able to walk through that experience with grace.
I would be honored to assist you in walking through any challenging situation, large or small, with grace. Please look around my website or send me an email for more information about Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. With the help of Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime, we can meet virtually no matter where you are in the world. Book a session now with my automated scheduler.
Join me for a virtual workshop on Saturday, January 28 as we “Welcome the New Year with Family Constellations.” Click here for more information and to purchase a ticket.
Until next time, may you feel the presence of peace and grace in every moment…
Love surrounds you, and of this be sure; that I will never leave you comfortless.
A Course in Miracles ~ W.ep.6:8
Subscribe and receive a FREE GIFT!
Join our mailing list to receive weekly inspiration, news about upcoming events, and a link to a FREE GUIDED MEDITATION.