When a Glass of Water Meets a Laptop

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

Hurricane Giraffes, Peaceful Prayers, and Gratitude

First, I want to thank everyone who sent peaceful prayers and loving thoughts my way before, during, and after Hurricane Ian. I absolutely felt them. I am grateful to report I am safe and my home was not damaged. My heart goes out to so many of my Florida neighbors who were not so fortunate. As you have probably seen or heard, Hurricane Ian left a staggering amount of destruction in its path. This was the most powerful storm I have experienced and also one of the most powerful lessons in faith.

Meteorologists and Storm Trackers do their best to predict how powerful a storm will be and where it will make landfall. But with so many variables at play, there is no way to know for sure until it happens. My neighborhood is far enough inland that it is not in a mandatory evacuation zone. However, with a storm this big, I questioned whether or not to evacuate. As I mentioned in last week’s email, Calm Before the Storm, from a peaceful place, I asked Spirit if it was my highest choice to stay or leave. The guidance I received was to stay put. 

I will admit I questioned that guidance later that evening when my neighbor told me he and his mom decided to book a room in Orlando instead of riding out the storm as we had discussed. Fear tried to creep in. With them gone, I’d be on my own. Maybe I should also book a room in Orlando just to be safe? No, my guidance was clear. That night I facilitated our weekly online A Course in Miracles study group, composed and edited last week’s email until the wee hours, and then went to bed. 

The next morning, I woke up early to the sound of wind gusts whipping through tree branches and palm fronds outside my bedroom window. Maybe now it was time to go? Once again, I sat in the stillness and asked for guidance. I received the same answer. Stay put. That seemed like the wisest choice at that point. Many had to evacuate, so I imagined roads would be clogged with cars and gas would be scarce. With the storm’s path still unknown, home felt like the safest and most peaceful choice.

Since I was staying, and Ian was now a Category 4 (almost a Category 5) Hurricane, I made a few more preparations. I moved all of my furniture and belongings away from the windows and placed a chair and a little table in the center hallway of my apartment. This would be my safe zone to sit and read if things got intense. 

I purposely left the blinds closed and stopped watching YouTube videos from local news channels. Seeing things blow by my window or watching news coverage of the very worst devastation would only breed fearful thoughts. I was determined to keep my thoughts peaceful despite what was happening outside. A Course in Miracles teaches that we may not be able to control what is happening, but we can control our thoughts about what is happening. Over the last 15 years, it has given me lots of practice in choosing love over fear. I did my best to focus on the peaceful prayers I was feeling and the outcome I wished to have. 

It was now almost noon. Earlier, I watched a YouTube video reporting that Ian would be making landfall about that time, so I assumed the worst would be over in a few hours. Since I hadn’t slept much the night before, I decided to go back to bed and see if I could relax enough to take a nap. Thankfully, my body and mind surrendered to an hour of sleep.

When I woke up, I had no power or internet service, and the wind was howling outside. With only limited cellular service, I had to rely on text messages from friends in other locations to let me know what was going on. One close friend sent me a screenshot from CNN’s website. It  said my city would experience hurricane-force winds from 3 PM to 2 AM with the strongest gusts blowing from 6 PM to Midnight. WHAT? The worst conditions hadn’t even started yet? This was not what I wanted to hear, but it was very useful information to help me manage my time and expectations. Now I knew I had at least 12 more hours to keep choosing peace. 

My yoga practice always brings me back to center, no matter what is going on in my life or the world. So with the sofa between me and the window, I rolled out my yoga mat and began my practice. For two hours, my mind was focused on breathing and body alignment and not on what was happening outside. That is until I laid down on my mat in final resting pose. I could feel the wind shaking the entire building. That was an interesting sensation! Surprisingly, I still felt safe surrounded by the sturdy walls of my apartment and a bubble of peaceful prayers. Even on that day, my yoga practice left me feeling and knowing “all is well.” 

I would be lying if I said I remained 100% peaceful for the next 12 hours. Fear kept tempting me down the rabbit hole asking questions like: What if a tree limb crashes through my living room window? Was there a tree on top of my car in the parking lot? Would the wind tear off a piece of roof and let water pour into my apartment? 

When those thoughts entered, I reminded myself there was nothing I could do to prevent those things from happening. Why invest an ounce of energy thinking about them? It was better to keep my thoughts positive and peaceful so my experience would be positive and peaceful. Then I could go back to enjoying traveling West with Giraffes on my kindle. Ironically, that novel follows the story of 2 giraffes that survive a hurricane at sea during their journey from Africa to NYC in 1938 before continuing cross country to the San Diego Zoo. I also traveled to a galaxy far, far away with Andor on my iPad. Both were excellent adventures!

The storm finally passed around 1 AM. The silence outside was a welcome relief after 24 hours of wind and persistent rain. Thankfully, I drifted off to sleep quickly knowing the worst was over. The guidance I received turned out to be the best choice for me in this situation. Had the storm come any further north, I truly believe I would have been guided differently. This experience has strengthened my trust in Divine Guidance and shown me the power of choosing peaceful thoughts during extreme circumstances. 

I am extremely grateful for allof you who held the high watch with me. The Course teaches that all minds are joined, and after this experience, there is no doubt in my mind that it’s true. I felt your peaceful prayers and loving thoughts give me the boost I needed to stay calm even when rain and ferocious winds were swirling around me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! 

That being said, I don’t know if I would have been as successful choosing peaceful thoughts had the storm hit Sarasota directly. I am extremely grateful I didn’t have to find out…this time. Let’s continue to extend peaceful prayers and loving thoughts to my neighbors who experienced much more trauma and devastation from Hurricane Ian. May those who lost so much find a tranquil place to make the highest and best choices for themselves and their families.

If you would like to feel the peace and healing that comes when minds are joined, please consider giving yourself the gift of a Family Constellations Session. I offer private sessions as well as group sessions. The next online group session is Friday, October 21 from 1-3 PM Eastern, 12-2 PM Central, 11 AM -1 PM Mountain, and 10 AM to 12 PM Pacific. Whether you’ve been through an emotional or physical storm, let’s come together to support one another during this challenging time. Click here to purchase a ticket for this 2-hour miraculous experience on Zoom.

This week, may you find ways to choose peace even in the most challenging of circumstances.

There is no room in us for fear today, for we have welcomed love into our hearts.

A Course in Miracles ~ W-310.2:4

Calm Before the Storm

We often talk about the calm before the storm. Not only is it a condition we can observe, but it’s also good advice. I’m writing these words the night before a major hurricane is supposed to make landfall very close to my home on the west coast of Florida. Having lived in different areas of Florida since 1992, I’m no stranger to this experience. Over the last 30 years, I’ve learned a few things about living in places vulnerable to hurricanes. 

One, it’s best to get extra water and other necessary supplies as soon as hurricane season begins. You don’t want to be rushing around trying to gather supplies at the last minute when shelves are bare and people are panicked. It can be very stressful.

Two, although meteorologists and computer models do their best to predict a storm’s path, we never truly know where they are going until they actually arrive. Hurricanes can change direction suddenly and without warning, just like life!

The most important thing I have learned is applicable to any of life’s storms, whether they are weather-related or not. We make the best decisions when we are calm and centered. If my head is crammed with fearful chaotic thoughts, there’s no way I can hear the voice for love guiding me to the highest and best solution. In my experience, making choices from fear rarely leads to a pleasant outcome. 

Tuesday, when I woke up, I was very tempted to open my laptop right away and check the storm’s location. Instead, I decided to sit quietly on my meditation chair. In the stillness, I asked Spirit, my higher self, the voice for love, my guardian angels, whatever you want to call that presence, what action would be the highest choice. Was it best to stay home and weather the storm or pack my car and drive to the other side of the state? I was open to either answer, but surprisingly, the one that felt most peaceful was to stay. So that’s what I’m doing.

In addition to having supplies, I’ve done all the things I can think of to prepare. I brought patio chairs, doormats, and wind chimes inside. My electronic devices and backup batteries are fully charged. I placed candles and a flashlight on my countertop where they are easy to find. I made extra ice by filling food storage containers with water and placing them in the freezer. I’ve downloaded two new books to my kindle and a few movies to my iPad. My car has gas in the tank. And I’m getting this story written in advance, knowing a power outage is more than a good possibility. 

Many of the preparations I’ve made have only occurred to me because I am staying as calm as possible. If I had been running around in fear or glued to the Weather Channel, I don’t think I would be as prepared or as peaceful. Am I a little apprehensive about the strength of the storm approaching? Of course! But our weekly online A Course in Miracles study group helped bring me back to center on Tuesday night. 

I am also grateful to the many friends who have reached out to check on me and to let me know they are holding the high watch with me and all those in the storm’s path. What will happen? I don’t know for sure. But I do know staying calm before the storm has been incredibly helpful. 

Are you experiencing rough weather in one or more areas of your life? Relationships, Health, Finances, Career, or Family? It would be my great honor to give you tools to stay calm in the storm and help you release those chaotic, fearful thoughts so you can tap into your own guidance system. Consider giving yourself the gift of a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a Private Family Constellations Session. You can learn more about both or schedule a session by exploring my website

Until next time, may you remember to ask for guidance to release fear and stay calm no matter how big the storm. 

A tranquil mind is not a little gift.

A Course in Miracles ~ M-20.4:8

A Discerning Friendship

Last weekend, I had a wonderful visit from a dear friend who I met while working at Disney in 1993. Our lives have gone in different directions since the summer we performed together in the SpectroMagic Parade, so we don’t get to see each other often. However, she and I always pick up where we left off no matter how much time has passed. We have the same silly sense of humor, so whenever we get together there’s always an abundance of antics and comedy. This weekend was no different. 

My favorite role in the SpectroMagic Parade – 1993

In addition to making each other laugh hysterically, we also have deep conversations about spirituality and faith. Since it was just the two of us this visit, I had the opportunity to tell her more about the work I facilitate called Family Constellations. I also shared some of the miraculous experiences I’ve witnessed over the past 10 years. She was on board with a lot of it, but at one point she let me know she didn’t quite understand the ancestral connections I was describing. I spoke a little bit more about it, but to no avail. In fact, when I shared a quote from Bert Hellinger, the man who created Family Constellations, it actually confused her more. 

That’s when I realized I had said enough about this subject. There was no need to go on, nor would it be beneficial. I simply expressed my gratitude to her for listening to me go on so long about something I am obviously very passionate about. Then I gently shifted the conversation in another direction and we continued talking about other things.

Granted, mutual understanding is sometimes required before we can move forward in a close relationship. Avoiding certain topics only works for so long if our values are not aligned. But this didn’t feel like avoidance. It felt like knowing when to let go and choose peace. This level of discernment takes practice, and I am definitely still practicing! 

In the not-so-distant past, I might have kept talking, using different examples to get my point across. But it wasn’t necessary. I do not need her to share my belief system in order for us to be friends. Through my study of A Course in Miracles, I have learned that it’s only the ego that demands agreement to be happy. My friend and I have so many other things in common, including a deep love and respect for each other. That is much more valuable to me.

Are you stuck at an impasse trying to convince a friend or family member to see things your way? Perhaps it’s time to step back and ask yourself the famous question below. It would be my great honor to assist you in that endeavor with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. Both can help you find peace and freedom from situations that keep you stuck in anger and dissatisfaction. You can also explore these themes in my next online Family Constellations Workshop happening on Saturday, September 24. (Click here for details.) Please look around my website to book a private session or to purchase a ticket for the online workshop.

Until next time, may you remember to choose peace more and more frequently… 

Do you prefer that you be right or happy?

A Course in Miracles ~ T-29.VII.1:9

On a Leash

This week, I thought I’d share a great nugget of wisdom I heard at A Course in Miracles meeting a few years ago. We were talking about the false but prevalent idea that to be happy, we need others to act a certain way. The ego tells us if only they would change, then we can be at peace. I don’t know about your experience, but this has never worked out very well for me.

The insightful woman sitting next to me shared that her dog has been a wonderful teacher on this subject. Sometimes this spirited little dog is not interested in going in the direction she wants her to go. During walks when other dogs are present, she often finds herself struggling with the leash trying to control her dog. 

It occurred to her that there were many people in her life that she also has “on a leash,” trying to make them do what she wants them to do. With so many leashes going in so many directions, it’s easy to get tangled. Her solution was simple. Drop the leashes. Let those people go their own way and live their own lives. That’s how she gets untangled and returns to peace. I thought this was a brilliant analogy!

I know this is sometimes easier said than done, especially when someone we love is making choices we feel are unhealthy. I struggled with this most of my life as I watched my mother’s addiction wreak havoc in her life (and thus mine.) It took me many years to learn how to set healthy boundaries with her, like simply choosing not to be around her when she was drinking alcohol. Once I stopped trying to change her, our relationship improved, peace returned, and I was untangled!

If you are currently in a similar situation, I highly recommend Al-Anon Family Groups. They have a long history of providing support and hope for families and friends of people suffering from addiction. Al-Anon groups were part of my healing journey, and I still use the tools I learned there. If you would like some one-on-one assistance, I would be honored to help you with a series of Spiritual Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations session. Both will help you let go of those leashes and set strong, healthy boundaries. Please look around my website for more information or to book a session. Send me an email if you have questions or would like to schedule a 15-minute introductory Zoom Session to see which service would be best for you. 

Until next time, may you experience the peace that comes from dropping those leashes!

As you release, so will you be released. Forget this not, or love will be unable to find you and comfort you.

A Course in Miracles – T-16:VI.2

Peace After the Shock

If you have been reading my weekly stories over the past year, you know how fond I have become of the tree outside my living room window. I have written about its different phases through the seasons and about how I enjoy watching the variety of birds that frequent its branches. It has been a comforting companion to me since I moved into this apartment last summer. 

Well, one thing that is certain in this world of duality is that things change, sometimes unexpectedly. I returned from my walk on Monday morning to the sound of a chainsaw coming from behind my building. My first thought was the landscaping team was doing some routine maintenance. Then I saw a man carrying a huge tree branch through the breezeway. As I climbed the stairs to my apartment, I was shocked to see that most of my beloved tree had been cut down. Once I wrapped my head around what was happening, I entered my apartment to get a closer look. 

From the same window where I used to gaze at the birds perched in the tree, I saw a man with a chainsaw perched there cutting away the last remaining top branches. Seconds later, the largest branch fell to the ground with a thud. Deep sorrow washed over me, and tears welled up in my eyes. It was hard to watch my friend being removed so unceremoniously and without warning. Since the tree was right outside my window, it felt like the office should have given me some advanced notice.

Thankfully, I have been studying A Course in Miracles long enough to know what to do in situations like these. I gave myself permission to be sad, and then I asked Spirit to help me see it differently. The first thought that popped into my head was now I would have a much better view of the pond and fountain outside my window. I have to admit, my current view is much more expansive. Then I remembered my friend, Dorena, the Space Doula, telling me that moving water in front of one’s home is good Feng Shui. The windows are in the career area of my home, so now perhaps more light and good chi can enter. Maybe it’s a coincidence, but I find it interesting that I have booked a few extra sessions since Monday.

Then another thought occurred to me. Here in the Southeast, we officially began hurricane season on June 1. Recently, I noticed a large dead branch had fallen into the other branches. A strong hurricane-force wind could have sent that branch hurtling through my living room window. In fact, there must have been several dead branches in that tree because numerous woodpeckers flocked to it pecking for insects every morning. Perhaps when the fire marshals were here last week to inspect the property they flagged that tree as a fire hazard and hurricane risk. As much as I loved it, I wouldn’t want to risk it catching on fire or ending up in someone’s apartment during a tropical storm.

Little by little, I am adjusting to this new experience of my apartment. There certainly is a lot more light coming in through the window. Another bonus, without the woodpeckers converging in that tree for breakfast, it is a lot quieter in the morning. On the downside, I have to be much more mindful of what I’m wearing when I walk past that window at night! There is a whole row of apartment buildings that used to be blocked by that tree. 

This experience is just another reminder that there will always be unexpected changes and losses in our lives. Some big. Some small. When they happen, we absolutely must allow ourselves time to adjust, grieve and feel the sadness. For the big ones, there is no shame in reaching out for support from trained professionals and others who have experienced something similar. For the smaller ones, and when you feel ready after the big ones, ask Spirit, your angels, or your higher self for help to see the situation differently. Whenever I ask this question, no matter what is trying to take away my peace, large or small, a new thought drops into my mind that would not have occurred to me otherwise. When we look for the blessings in disguise or ways to use our experience to assist others, it can help us return to peace and give us the strength to move forward. I hope my story about the tree is helpful to someone out there who is experiencing an unexpected change. 

It would be my great honor to walk with you and provide support and comfort if you have experienced one of life’s unexpected changes. I offer Spiritual Coaching sessions based on the strong principles found in A Course in Miracles. These teachings came into my life just as a tumultuous relationship was ending and during the roller coaster years before my mother made her transition. I am extremely grateful for the peace I was able to experience during these challenging times thanks to the Course. Maybe now they can assist you. Please look around my website for more information and to book a session or series of sessions. 

When unexpected life events happen, may you remember to ask Spirit to help you see things differently. It has been one of the most powerful healing tools for me. 

It takes great learning to understand that all things, events, encounters and circumstances are helpful. 

A Course in Miracles ~ M-4.I-A.4:5

Choose Discomfort Over Resentment Brownies

“Choose discomfort over resentment.” I recently heard bestselling author, Brené Brown, share this advice in a podcast. When confronted with an unpleasant situation or choice, she reminds herself to choose discomfort for a few moments rather than make a decision that will produce lingering resentments. She used the example of being asked to prepare baked goods for her children’s school fundraiser. Knowing she truly did not have time to bake a batch of brownies before Saturday, she had a choice to make. She could respectfully decline the request and risk the discomfort of knowing the teacher might judge her to be a snob or a bad mother. Or she could begrudgingly say “yes” and bake the brownies, adding as much resentment as cocoa powder to the batter. Later, when delivering those resentment-filled brownies to the teacher, she might not be able to stop herself from uttering, “Here’s your damn brownies! I hope you choke on one!”

I think she added that last comment to be funny for the podcast, but the point was made. If we say yes to something we can not or do not wish to do, we might very well be thinking those words even if we don’t say them. She offered that a better answer might be, “You know. I’m really swamped right now. I won’t have time to bake anything before Saturday. Can you ask me again next time?” That left an opening for the possibility of a future commitment without her saying yes to something that she would regret (and resent) later.

There are opportunities to choose discomfort over resentment every day. Sometimes they are minor situations like asking people to take their shoes off before entering your home. (I’m getting better at that one.) Sometimes they require risking more discomfort, like letting a friend, partner, or family member know how much something they said or did hurt your feelings.

I remember an incident with a former partner where I reluctantly chose discomfort over resentment. After listening to him share his frustrations about a work situation for several minutes during dinner, I began sharing a frustrating situation I was dealing with as we cleared the table. As I was talking, he began fiddling with his new AirPods that had arrived earlier that day. I could tell he was no longer listening to me and totally focused on syncing them to his iPhone. I felt hurt and unimportant. 

I stopped talking and walked away for a few minutes to let the sting subside. When I calmed down, I asked myself if I wanted to stay mad and silent or let him know how I felt. I chose the latter. When he heard me share what I experienced, he admitted that he had checked out of our conversation and apologized profusely. Although it was an uncomfortable confrontation, my choice to communicate how I felt diffused the situation before it became a very chilly evening of unspoken resentment. For a happier more peaceful life, I highly recommend adopting this mantra for yourself. Choose discomfort over resentment.

If you could use some assistance identifying situations where you can make a different choice, I would be honored to walk you through them with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. Both can help you uncover more choices than you currently see. Look around my website or send me an email to book a session or to ask a question.

Discomfort is aroused only to bring the need for correction into awareness. 

A Course in Miracles ~ T-2.V.7:8

First Time For Everything!

With all that needed my attention, I didn’t have time to write this week’s story before leaving for my annual trip to the Big Sky Retreat in Montana. I had some ideas on what to write about, but the experience I just had on the airplane felt like it wanted to be shared. I’m actually typing these words 30,000 feet in the air between Tampa and Denver. 

When we boarded the plane, I was happy to hear the flight crew say there would be 60 empty seats on our flight. That meant plenty of room so we could spread out. I picked a row and sat in a window seat while my sister took the aisle seat. We were grateful that no one sat between us. I was also grateful when two families with babies kept walking past us, but I was a little sad when two women, most likely sisters, chose the two seats directly in front of us. Something told me they would be chatting loudly the entire flight. Oh well. I’ll take chatty sisters over crying babies any day. I trusted there must be a reason they chose those seats when so many others were still empty. I soon discovered the reason. 

During the pre-departure announcements, one of the women in front of us waved at the flight attendant standing near us to get her attention. When she came over, the woman shared that this was her sister’s very first flight and that she was extremely nervous. As the flight attendant continued to demonstrate how to put on an oxygen mask, she said a few words like, “Don’t worry. It might be a little bumpy, but you’ll be fine.” I’m not sure these words did much to soothe the anxious woman. As soon as I heard this exchange, I knew exactly why they chose the seats in front of us.

I had already started playing music in my AirPods to help get my mind in a peaceful place for a peaceful flight. One of my favorite tracks to listen to while meditating is “Saltwater” by Chicane. This song always takes me back to my first time swimming with wild dolphins in the Bahamas. The captain played this beautiful CD as we sailed through the turquoise waters on a 30-foot catamaran. My heart expands every time I hear it. As our plane taxied down the runway for takeoff, I imagined the joy and peace I was feeling extending from my heart to the woman directly in front of me.

I became acutely aware of how dramatic all the sights and sounds on an airplane before takeoff must be to someone who has never flown before. The engines get louder. The overhead lights go out. And then we taxi and wait on the runway for what must feel like an eternity! The rainstorm over Tampa only added to the drama. Air traffic controllers put extra space between takeoffs when visibility is poor, so we sat there for a very long time. I can only imagine how fast her heart was beating when it was finally our turn. 

It was sweet to see the sisters clutching each other arm in arm as the engines revved up even louder before the plane sped down the runway finally taking off into the wild gray yonder. By now, “Song of the Deep” by Kamal, another of my favorite meditation tracks was playing. As the humpback whales sang I sent peaceful, loving vibes forward. Due to the storm, there was quite a bit of turbulence once we were airborne. The plane did a few sudden dips and jerks as the pilot flew us above the clouds as quickly as possible. What a first take-off for this woman! After my initial judgment, (which I’m not proud of) I was extremely grateful to be sitting behind them to be the presence of peace. We never know when we will be called upon to be of service to our sisters and brothers without them ever knowing it.

This is one of my favorite aspects of Family Constellations. Strangers show up in person and online to assist each other in letting go of unconscious patterns and behaviors that no longer serve them. Through our collective intention and soul connection, we all experience healing. Please visit the Upcoming Events page on my website to find out how and when you can participate in one. I also offer private Family Constellations sessions as well as Spiritual Coaching to help you return to a place of peace. Please look around my website to learn more about all of these opportunities or send me an email to schedule a session

Until next time, may you discover many opportunities to be the presence of peace wherever you go, and remember that there are always forces seen and unseen supporting you.

You cannot but be in the right place at the right time.

A Course in Miracles ~ W-42.2:4

Be the Peaceful Rain Cloud

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing

Have you heard the phrase “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing?” It expresses the notion that a small amount of knowledge can mislead people into thinking that they are more expert than they actually are, which can lead to errors being made. After my experience last week, I can vouch for the truth of that possibility. 

Back in 2010, I created a website for my business using a simple template. When I was ready to add a blog in 2016, a friend helped me set up a new website. In addition to showing me how to add pages and plugins, she also helped me point the old website to the new one. Anyone who types in the old web address will automatically be brought to the new website. With a little assistance, I’ve been able to maintain my own website for years.

This past Sunday, I felt inspired to start exploring how to give my website a facelift. I found a new template that I liked and a blog with step-by-step instructions on how to set it up. To avoid disrupting traffic to my current site, I decided to experiment using the old web address. That meant I had to stop the old address from pointing to the new one. That part was easy. Then I attempted to connect the new template to the old website. About two hours passed before I finally surrendered. I simply did not know how to accomplish this. I was frustrated to have invested so much time in this project only to end up back where I started.

It wasn’t until the next morning when I tried to post my weekly blog that I realized I had done more damage. When I tried to log in, I received an error message and a warning that my site was not secure. The warning advised me that an unauthorized person may be tampering with my website. How funny. That unauthorized person was me! With my next online workshop just days away, you can imagine I was not thrilled to discover this error!

Thankfully, I had just finished my morning spiritual practice which consists of reading a section in A Course in Miracles followed by a 15-20 minute meditation. I tell my Life Coaching clients all the time that the best decisions are made from a peaceful place. Luckily, I was already in one. If you are not feeling peaceful, do whatever you need to do to return to center. Take a few deep breaths. Go for a walk or a run outside. Take a shower or bath. Dance. Paint. Sing. Chant. Meditate. Pray. Do whatever helps you and take as long as you need. Then, from that peaceful place, ask for guidance on what to do next. 

I received clear guidance to go down to my office, turn on my laptop, and see if I could undo whatever I did. If it wasn’t obvious in a few minutes, I would send an email explaining my predicament to the web designer for the Big Sky Retreat with whom I have worked with for years. He had helped me in the past, so I had faith he could do so again if we was available. If I didn’t hear back from him, I had a few other friends in mind who might have more than my little bit of dangerous knowledge on the subject. Once I sent the email, I let it go and went for my walk in the park.

The weather in Houston was beautiful that morning. I’m so glad I didn’t deprive myself of the opportunity to be outside getting fresh air and exercise among the trees. When I finished, I looked at my phone and saw that the web designer had responded to my email. Based on my description and the screenshots I sent him, he was pretty sure he knew what had happened. After giving him access to my account, he was able to repair the damage I had done by the end of the day. 

To say that I was grateful would be an understatement. To be clear, I wasn’t just grateful that my website was fixed. I was grateful for the awareness that this situation didn’t have to ruin my day. I could have stayed in my office trying to figure it out instead of enjoying the sights and sounds of the park. I also could have spent a lot more time beating myself up for creating the problem in the first place. The real miracle was my choice to not judge myself harshly and to experience peace despite the unwanted circumstances. I won’t say I did it perfectly, but I certainly did it better than I would have five, ten, or even one year ago. That’s the power of having a spiritual practice. You can choose peace!

Is there a situation in your life where you could use some assistance in choosing peace? I would be honored to help you with a series of weekly Life Coaching sessions. All of my sessions are based on the strong principles found in A Course in Miracles and the philosophy of Family Constellations. Sessions can be done from anywhere in the world by telephone, Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime. Look around my website or send me an email for more information or to schedule your first session.

Until next time, may you remember that a little knowledge can also be a peaceful thing!

I could see peace in this situation instead of what I now see in it.

Workbook Lesson 34 from A Course in Miracles

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