Peace in the Darkness (Part 2)

Last week, I shared Part 1 of this story. There were so many miracles I had to break it up into two parts! If you missed it, click here. In a nutshell, my laptop went dark on a Saturday night. I decided to let it charge overnight and try to power it up again in the morning. I had a restless sleep, but my furry feline friend, Cleo from my childhood, appeared in a dream to comfort me. It felt like a sign that everything would be okay. 

The next morning, I opened my computer and hit the power key with cheerful expectancy, hoping to hear that famous MacBook chime. No such luck. Still nothing. Oh well. Knowing I’d want to be as centered as possible before a visit to the Apple Store, I decided to roll out my yoga mat and do my practice. 

Focusing my mind was like trying to walk a Doberman in a forest of squirrels. My thoughts ran in multiple directions trying to envision what might happen with my laptop situation. I had to keep bringing my attention back to my breath. It was quite comical to observe, yet I was still remarkably calm.

When I finished my practice, something told me to give the keyboard one more tap before packing up the laptop. To my surprise, the screen lit up right away! I was stunned and grateful! Now, I could complete a time-sensitive task, and then back up my hard drive.

I found the external hard drive in my desk, but the cord that connected it to my laptop was not with it. I consider myself to be a very organized and detail-oriented person, so the cord not being in the same drawer was highly unusual. I found several other cords, but none of them had the correct connectors. It was frustrating, but I had to laugh. The one cord I needed was MIA. There was no reason to panic. I simply needed to go to Best Buy to purchase that cord. 

Since one of my favorite Mexican restaurants is near Best Buy, I decided to go there for lunch before buying the cord. While waiting for my burrito, I did a little more laptop research on my phone and narrowed it down to my top choice. That’s when I remembered Best Buy sells Apple products. I could check out that laptop while I was there. If I liked it, once I had the right cord, I could complete the backup and then go to the Apple Store the following day to make the purchase. This seemed like a great plan! 

It was quite the scavenger hunt searching for the cord I needed among boxes and boxes of different cables and connectors, but perseverance paid off! With my prize in hand, I triumphantly walked over to the Apple computer section. There it was. The 15” MacBook Air that I had been eying online.

I stood in front of it and began tapping the keyboard. I liked how it felt. The screen and the touchpad were much larger and easier to navigate than my current laptop. I tested the built-in camera because I use Zoom a lot. The video was sharp and clear. When I looked at the specs on the tag next to the computer, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was on sale for $300 off! 

Not having the right cord turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I would never have known about this sale had I not gone to Best Buy. When I went to the front to purchase the cord, I asked the cashier how long the sale was running and he said it ended that day! Well wasn’t that interesting timing?

The cashier put me in a cue to speak with a sales associate, so I had another 15 minutes to play with the laptop. I really liked it! Everything about this felt right…until the sales associate arrived. He was a nice enough young man, but he talked very quickly. I told him what I use my computer for most often, and asked him which one would be best for my business. He quickly steered me away from the MacBook Air over to a MacBook Pro. 

I don’t doubt that the Pro is a better machine, but he was rambling on about screen definition and processing power, all of which are not high priorities for me. I just need a computer to host Zoom calls, answer emails, and write these stories. He went on about how the MacBook Air was less sturdy and might overheat because it didn’t have a fan. 

He also told me that I would need an external camera because the built-in camera was not great on the MacBook Air. It looked fine to me when I was playing around with it earlier. The more he talked, the less peaceful I felt. This young man claimed he didn’t work on commission, and that he was only trying to help me buy the best computer.

That may have been true, but I was still feeling pressured into something that did not feel right. The MacBook Pro had a significantly higher price, and it was not on sale, so there was no advantage to purchasing it right then and there. Thankfully, I have learned to trust my intuition when something feels off. I thanked him for his time and left the store.

I will admit, once I was in my car driving home, I asked Siri if Best Buy employees work on commission. Siri confirmed he was telling the truth, but I still did not resonate with his energy. Even though the sale ended that day and the store closed in an hour, I was not going to rush into a big decision like this from a place of scarcity or fear. 

As I tell my coaching clients all the time, there is no urgency in Spirit. No part of the river rushes past another to get to the ocean. Each droplet of water gets there at the perfect time. 

After that yucky experience, I called a dear friend to share what had happened. She asked if I wanted to talk with her husband because he buys computers for his job quite often. Speaking with him was so helpful. He had not heard of any issues with the MacBook Air overheating. In his opinion, the Air was a better choice for my business needs. 

I did a little more research online and saw only excellent reviews for this machine. The only thing left to do was to take the question into prayer and ask what would be the highest choice. Of all the options, including “wait,” the only answer that felt peaceful was purchasing the MacBook Air on Best Buy’s website before midnight so I could take advantage of the sale. 

Once I had that clarity, everything went smoothly. From the comfort of my own home with no fast-talking salesperson, I purchased the computer for $300 off and was approved for the Best Buy credit card. Like the last one, I will be paying off this computer a little at a time for the next 12 months with no interest. 

Picking up the computer at a different Best Buy location the next morning was so easy. All I had to do was show the cashier my photo ID and the email saying my new laptop was ready for pickup. He stepped away for a moment and returned with a box with my name on it. The whole process took less than 10 minutes.

My heart is filled with gratitude for all of the events that led to me typing this story on a brand-new MacBook Air. Although I love it, the miracle isn’t that I have a new laptop. The real miracle was my ability to remain (mostly) peaceful while navigating the obstacles that popped up. By remaining calm, I was able to receive clear guidance on what to do next. I trusted that everything would be okay, just as Cleo promised when she appeared in my dream.

If you are having a difficult time navigating a stressful situation, it would be my great joy to assist you with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. Both can help you return to peace where miracles are waiting to happen. And I will be able to see you even more clearly on my larger screen! Look around my website for more information and to book a session. I look forward to working with you.

A tranquil mind is not a little gift.

A Course in Miracles ~ M-20.4:8

Peace in the Darkness (Part 1)

Our family cat, Cleo, comforted me during some tough times.

Last weekend, I had another opportunity to witness what’s possible when I keep choosing peace despite the presence of obstacles. The screen on my laptop went dark while I was talking on the phone Saturday night. When I tapped the space bar to bring it out of idle mode, nothing happened. I clicked the touchpad a few times. Still no response. 

The screen had been sluggish the last few weeks. Sometimes it took up to 30 seconds, but it eventually came back on. This was an unusually long lag time. I waited and then tapped a few more keys. Still nothing. “Uh oh,” I thought. This might be it.

My laptop had been giving me signs that the end was near for quite a while. In addition to the sluggish screen, it was taking longer and longer to open an app or a document. The speakers blew out 2 years ago, making the sound so scratchy and tinny that I had to use my AirPods for Zoom calls.

A few months later, my computer stopped connecting to my AirPods or any Bluetooth device for that matter. If I wanted to Zoom, listen to music, or watch videos, I had to use earbuds that connected with a cord. It was not ideal, but it worked.

Perhaps the most telling sign that it was time to retire the laptop was the rattling noise it made when it had been running for a while. Sometimes when the rattling got very loud, I gave the base a loving thump to get the noise to stop. I felt like Fonzie from the TV show “Happy Days!”

Yes, I knew I would be investing in a new computer soon. I just wasn’t expecting it to be last weekend! In the past, I might have had a “freakout” moment thinking about lost data and the hefty price tag of a new computer. I was concerned, but I never had the freakout moment. Almost two decades of studying and practicing A Course in Miracles helped make that possible. Since I remained peaceful, I was able to follow guidance on what to do and where to go. 

My screen was still dark, so I could not go back to what I was working on. The guidance I received was to let the computer charge overnight and try again in the morning. Now that I had some unexpected free time, I grabbed my phone to research which Apple computer would best suit my needs if I had to buy a new one. The new 15“ MacBook Air looked like the best choice given everything I read online. Even though they are expensive, I knew I wanted to stick with an Apple product. 

The last time I bought a computer, I opened an Apple credit card with 0% interest for the first 12 months. That allowed me to pay for it gradually over the next year. It looked like I might be able to do this again since I closed that account two years ago. This possibility made buying a new laptop feel more doable. There was nothing else I could do that night, so I turned off my phone, spoke a prayer for guidance, and went to bed. 

I will admit I did not have the most restful sleep that night. I woke up before 4 AM and could not fall back to sleep. My mind kept working out scenarios of what might happen the next day. After reading a few chapters in my book, I was able to return to the land of dreams. 

And what sweet dreams they were! For the first time in I don’t know how long, I dreamt of our family cat, Cleo. In the dream, she curled up on the pillow next to me and began purring. Cleo often kept me company during times of chaos in my childhood. The sound of her purring and her presence was very comforting. It felt like she was telling me everything would be okay. Call it a miracle, a gift of Grace, a visit from Cleo, or a function of my unconscious mind. Whatever it was, I woke up with a peaceful smile on my face. 

After reading my ACIM lesson for the day, I reluctantly got out of bed and prepared a bowl of oatmeal and fresh strawberries. I intentionally avoided my laptop to enjoy that peaceful feeling as long as possible. Alas, I couldn’t avoid it forever. I opened my computer and hit the power key with cheerful expectancy, hoping to hear that famous MacBook chime…

Did it power up? You’ll have to wait for Part 2 next week to find out. This story was too long to share in one email. All I will say for now is miracles kept happening, and I am so grateful for the outcome.

Are you in the middle of a challenging time or perhaps having a “freakout” moment? It would be my great honor to assist you with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. Both can help you return to peace where your higher self resides. It will direct you to the best choices and action steps leading to the best possible outcome. Please look around my website for more information and to book a session. I look forward to walking the path of peace with you!

Until next time, keep choosing peace and allow Grace to enter in all its many forms.

Spirit is in a state of grace forever.

Your reality is only spirit.

Therefore you are in a state of grace forever. 

A Course in Miracles ~ T.1.III.5:4-6

Honoring a Miraculous Friend

I love this photo of Jan and me at a spiritual conference in 2011.

I rarely visit Facebook these days unless I have a specific reason. This weekend, I went on briefly to watch a video that a friend recommended. When I opened up the app on my phone, the first thing that popped up was a post announcing the passing of my beloved friend, Jan, who celebrated her 92nd birthday in November. Her son wrote a beautiful tribute to his mom accompanied by a video taken a few years ago on Christmas morning.

In the video, Jan’s children surprised her with a giant teddy bear that she had seen at Walmart. Apparently, Jan had commented on how adorable and huggable this big stuffed bear looked, never expecting her children to purchase one for her. Well, they did. And the look of sheer delight and surprise on her face followed by a burst of uncontrollable laughter was a delight to watch. What a perfect video to convey the joyful essence of this beautiful soul who touched so many lives. 

Jan and I met in 2011 when the leader of my A Course in Miracles study group asked if I would be willing to give her a ride to our meeting. At 80, Jan was still full of life and spunk, but she wasn’t comfortable driving from her home in North Miami to an unfamiliar neighborhood in Miami Beach. Her house wasn’t far from where I lived, so I happily agreed to take her to our meeting. Looking back, I have no doubt this was a divinely orchestrated meeting. 

I enjoyed my conversations with Jan during our drive as much as the meeting itself. Not only had she been studying the Course for quite a long time, but she also had lived a very interesting life. I loved listening to her stories and her insights. Eventually, we both realized the study group wasn’t a good fit for either of us, so Jan suggested we meet in her living room on Monday afternoons instead. 

What a gift those Monday afternoons turned out to be! I learned so much from her. And I had the honor of introducing Jan to Gary Renard’s book, The Disappearance of the Universe. That’s the book that introduced me to A Course in Miracles. Many Course students credit Gary’s book with helping them simplify and comprehend its often challenging language and concepts. I know I would have been intimidated by the Course had I not read that book first.

Even though Jan was a longtime student, she said Disappearance of the Universe helped her practice the Course on an even deeper level. While sharing something she read that expanded her mind and understanding exponentially, Jan would often say, “John. That really blew my cookie!” I’m smiling as I type these words because I can hear Jan’s voice in my head right now. To this day, I have never heard anyone else use that phrase.

Over a decade later, I still share things I learned from this remarkable woman in my ACIM study groups and with my coaching clients. One of my favorite stories she told was about a time her husband said something that hurt her feelings. Because she was hurt, Jan decided to give him the silent treatment. She went about her business that morning while intentionally avoiding her husband who was reading in the living room. 

A few hours passed, and Jan started to feel badly about her decision to disconnect from her husband. She knew it wasn’t the loving choice, so she walked into the living room to apologize. To her surprise, he had no idea what she was talking about. He was so engrossed in his book, that he hadn’t even noticed she was giving him the silent treatment! 

They both had a good laugh over this silly misunderstanding. Jan quickly realized the only person suffering that morning was her. It’s one of the ego’s greatest tricks. As the famous Buddhist saying goes: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” I love Jan’s story because it demonstrates that so perfectly and humorously.

Life took us in different directions in 2012 when I moved to California, but I will always cherish our time together. I also celebrate Jan’s life and legacy. She touched countless souls during her career as a school teacher, during the years she and her husband volunteered with hospice, and by simply being the presence of joy and peace in the world. I envision a glorious Homecoming Celebration happening in the Light now that Jan is free from her body and reunited with her beloved husband in Spirit.

Blessings of grace and gratitude to you, my miraculous friend. I know our meeting was not an accident. I trust you know your wisdom and light really blew my cookie! 

If you’d like to learn more about the unique spiritual thought system that brought Jan and me together, join me any Tuesday evening for our A Course in Miracles study group on Zoom. We have an equal mix of brand-new and longtime students, and, like Jan, we love to laugh while we learn. Please visit the Miracles page on my website for more information.

For a more personal approach on how to use these teachings to create miracles in your life, consider gifting yourself a series of Spiritual Coaching sessions on my website. I love sharing this life-changing path with others. As Oprah Winfrey used to say when introducing Marianne Williamson’s radio show, “A Course in Miracles isn’t for everyone, but it might be for you!”

Until next time, may your days be filled with miracles, blessings, and wonderful friends…

There are no accidents in salvation. Those who are to meet will meet, because together they have the potential for a holy relationship.

A Course in Miracles ~ M-3.1:6-7

Just Walk Away!

This week, I learned once again that sometimes the best course of action is to just walk away! I wasn’t having great luck finding an affordable hotel room with the app I normally use, so my sister recommended a rewards program she likes. She said it’s free to create an account, so I decided to give it a try.

After the last software update, something weird must have happened with my Apple password. I had to create a new password and circumvent a very old email address before the new app would download. The challenge seemed to be worth it. When it finally downloaded, I created an account and discovered a better rate on the same room, so I began the process of booking it. 

When I got to the payment screen, a credit card offer popped up. It promised a $150 statement credit after my first purchase and no annual fee. Last fall, a similar credit card deal popped up while I was purchasing an airline ticket. I applied, and it was approved in seconds. The whole process happened seamlessly and saved me quite a bit of money. Since that deal worked out so well, I decided to take advantage of this one.

Unfortunately, the process was not so smooth this time. My credit application was approved, but the new card was not added automatically to my account. The payment screen was asking for the 16-digit number and the rest of the pertinent information. Of course, I did not have this information because the account was brand new. I visited the bank’s website, but I could only see the last 4 digits of the number. No matter what link I clicked, it would not display any more information.

Meanwhile, the clock was ticking. My sister was waiting for me to finish so we could go for our morning walk before her husband arrived for lunch. What I thought would be a quick and easy task was turning out to be a lengthy, digital obstacle course. I could feel myself getting more and more frustrated with each tap on my keyboard that led to a dead end.

Thankfully, I had the good sense to abandon this pursuit. The next logical step would be to call the bank, but I knew I was not in the right frame of mind for that. I had neither the patience nor the time to jump through all those hoops before speaking to a human. I took a deep breath, then closed both my laptop and the app on my phone. Booking the hotel room could wait.

I knew peace would return once I got outside and started moving my body. There is truth in the saying, “Move a muscle. Change a thought.” It definitely works for me. I always feel better after a morning walk or my yoga practice. 

And it was a gorgeous day for a walk! The sun was peaking through the clouds while its rays danced and sparkled on the surface of Sarasota Bay. Getting to share the experience with my sister made it even more enjoyable. It didn’t take long for the frustration of the previous hour to leave my mind completely. 

When we returned to my apartment, I was in a peaceful state of mind and ready to revisit the situation. Rather than call the bank, I decided to open the hotel app to see if anything had changed. Lo and behold it had! My newly opened credit card had been added to my account, and I booked the room in less than a minute!

It truly was a miracle, but not because something on the outside changed. Miracles happen when something on the inside changes. Thank you, Spirit, for the wisdom to step away from the problem and not try to force a solution. Had I continued along the path of frustration and anger, there was little to no room for a miracle.

Would you like some assistance in returning to a peaceful state of mind where peaceful solutions are possible? Now is the perfect time to give yourself the gift of Spiritual Coaching or a private Family Constellations Session. Both will help you step back and see things from another perspective so you can move forward with ease and grace. Please look around my website for more information or to book a session. I look forward to welcoming peaceful solutions with you!

And the next time a situation has you feeling frustrated or stuck, perhaps you’ll remember that the best course of action might be to just walk away!

It must begin with your own thoughts, and then extend outward. It is from your peace of mind that a peaceful perception of the world arises.

A Course in Miracles ~ W-34.1:3-4

Ushering in 2024 with Peace and Whales

Do you have your “word” for 2024? Last year, “Grace” danced into my awareness while observing the flowing and seemingly effortless movements of a dancer at a New Year’s Eve event. I wrote about it in my blog titled “Moving into 2023 Gracefully.” At the time, I had no idea how much grace I would receive in the following months. It truly was the perfect touchstone word to help me through all the unexpected twists and turns of 2023.

If you are not familiar with this practice, your word for the year is not usually one you actively choose. It finds its way to you in moments of stillness and contemplation. But you don’t have to be sitting in the lotus position on a meditation cushion to receive a word. It could pop out at you while listening to a song in the car on the way to the grocery store. Perhaps a word on a billboard or a bumper sticker will speak to you. There’s no right or wrong way to receive your word. 

Many of you already practice this, but if it is new to you and it strikes a chord, simply open your heart and mind to receive a word in whatever way it wants to arrive. There are just two guidelines that I recommend. Don’t force it, and don’t judge or resist a word if it doesn’t seem to make sense in the moment. It’s often in hindsight that the word reveals its significance and relevance, as it did in my case last year. The word may have a completely different meaning than your first instinct.

This year, I really wanted to be around other humans on New Year’s Eve. Alas, it was not meant to be. I’m not much of a planner, so by the time I started asking local friends how they would ring in the new year, I discovered all of them were staying home. I surrendered to the fact that I’d be staying home, too, which turned out to be a blessing.

Instead of being around other humans, I spent New Year’s Eve with Greek gods, goddesses, and monsters while watching Percy Jackson and the Olympians on Disney+. There’s a good reason for the buzz it’s getting. It’s a very fun show!

In the middle of episode 2, I got a nudge to set down my iPad and check the time. There were just 7 minutes left in 2023. Outside, the fireworks had been exploding relentlessly since about 7 PM. They weren’t bothering me that much, but I decided to pop in my AirPods to drown out the sound and listen to one of my favorite meditation tracks, “Song of the Deep” by Kamal. That felt like a nice way to spend the last moments of 2023.

Interestingly enough, that track is just over 7 minutes, so the humpback whales ushered me into 2024 with their beautiful calls set to soft, graceful melodies. When I imagine these gentle giants elegantly moving through the water and diving into the depths of the ocean, it always gives me a deep sense of peace. I love this metaphor. No matter what storms are raging on the surface, when we dive deep, it is calm.

Suddenly I knew my word for 2024…Peace. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that before Percy Jackson, I watched a video on YouTube by Jacob Glass, a fellow A Course in Miracles student. He was talking about one of the Course’s core teachings in Lesson 185. To say you want peace is nothing, but to mean it is everything.

I am grateful to Jacob Glass and the humpback whales for revealing my word for the year. I truly want Peace and I am going to do my best to choose it in every moment! Like Grace, I look forward to all the miraculous ways Peace will guide and support me in 2024.

Would you like to experience more Peace this year? I would be honored to assist you in that endeavor with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. Both can help you see things differently while giving you tools to navigate those storms when they arise. For more information or to book a session, please look around my website. I look forward to exploring the depths with you where peace is always present. 

Until next time, keep doing your best to choose peace!

Accept the holy instant as this year is born, and take your place, so long left unfulfilled, in the Great Awakening. Make this year different by making it all the same.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-15.XI.10:10-11

Inspired Choices

This photo was taken during an inspired trip to Disney World with my mom not long before she passed in 2011.

One of my favorite questions about inspiration, obligation, and desperation came up this week while working with a client. Since we are approaching the holiday season when an unusually large number of tasks and events will compete for our time and energy, it felt appropriate to share this helpful tool again. I know it will benefit me to talk about it again! 

I first heard this question many years ago after attending a screening of a documentary at Unity on the Bay in Miami. One of the producers shared this breakdown during the post-film Q & A session. He observed that we always make choices from one of three places: Inspiration, Obligation, or Desperation. None of them are wrong. His invitation was simply to notice where we come from and notice the results of our choices from each place.

When I choose from desperation, I’m rarely satisfied with the outcome. Fear is a very narrow place from which to make a decision. Obligation may seem like a noble origin for a decision, but upon closer inspection, is anyone truly happy with the results? Often resentment is lurking in the background and felt by everyone involved, whether it is spoken aloud or not. But when I make inspired choices, peace is the prevalent feeling, and it’s usually accompanied by contentment or joy! 

Not long after this screening, I was encouraged to attend a fundraising event at a local spiritual center. On the same night, I was also invited to attend a spiritual concert with one of my dearest friends whom I had not seen in over a month. I loved the center and happily made a donation, but my heart just wasn’t longing to go to that fundraiser. However, my heart was screaming YES to spending time with my spiritual brother and sharing the experience of the concert! So I listened to my heart and went to the concert. And I’m so happy I did!

Yes, I could have chosen to attend the fundraiser, but is lukewarm energy really what I want to bring to a space? Is that truly helpful? I might have been able to put on a happy face, but on some level, the other attendees would feel that I did not want to be there. Sometimes others will be disappointed with our choices, but ultimately, inspired choices are the only choices that benefit everyone.

I had this experience many times when my mother was still alive. We always had fun when I was inspired to spend time with her. However, if my visit was out of obligation, she felt it, I felt it, and it usually ended up being an unpleasant experience for us both. That’s certainly not beneficial for anyone, even when it appears to be “the right thing.”

Now I know you may be thinking that there are times when we have to do things we don’t want to do. Yes. This is true. For example, I am never thrilled to prepare my income taxes. It requires me to sift through receipts, spreadsheets, and ridiculously long forms. I know many of you relish the idea of diving into a good spreadsheet. My sisters and I often tease my brother about his love of creating spreadsheets. For me, this kind of work makes my eyes cross.  

So, when tax season approaches, I don’t force myself to do this on any specific day. I wait for inspiration. Every year, there comes a morning when I wake up and say, “Yes. I can tackle that project today.” In my experience, when the action is inspired, the task is never as difficult as I imagined it would be.

Maybe you’re feeling inspired to let go of something you have been carrying for a long time. Or maybe you’ve been doing things out of obligation or desperation for so long that it feels like those are your only two options. If you are at the point where you know something has to change, perhaps it’s time to give Family Constellations or Spiritual Coaching a try. Both are great ways to take a step back and look at things from a fresh perspective. Assisting others with these modalities brings me great joy, and I would be honored and inspired to work with you. Please look around my website for more information and to book a session.  

This holiday season, may all of your choices be inspired ones!

Be certain any answer to a problem the Holy Spirit solves will always be one in which no one loses.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-25.IX.3:1

The Wolf of Hope

I had prepared another story to share with you this week, but given the recent tragic events in the Middle East, I felt this Cherokee legend might be more helpful. 

An elderly Cherokee brave told his grandson, 

“My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, and truth.”

The boy thought about it and asked, “Grandfather, which one wins?”

The old man quietly replied, “The one you feed.”

I first heard this story during the summer of 2008. A Cherokee elder named Mom Feather shared it at a Native American ceremony I had the privilege to attend in South Carolina. At the time, I had only been studying A Course in Miracles for about a year and a half. This story blew me away because it captures the essence of The Course in just a few sentences. It taught me that Truth rings loud and clear no matter where it appears or in which spiritual tradition. 

It’s easy to lose hope when we see and hear stories describing the horrors and injustices humans inflict upon each other at home and around the planet. Let’s feed the “Wolf of Hope” in our minds and extend peace and light to anyone suffering from hate and violence throughout the world. May our combined light cast out all darkness.

For in grace you see a light that covers all the world in love, and watch fear disappear from every face as hearts rise up and claim the light as theirs. 

A Course in Miracles – W-168.4:3

Things Change

A peaceful view of Sarasota Bay.

It was a gray, drizzly day last Wednesday when I awoke. The weather app on my phone predicted a 100% chance of rain in the next hour. That didn’t leave much hope for a morning walk along Sarasota Bay. I surrendered to the fact that I’d be rolling out my yoga mat instead of lacing up my walking shoes that day.

As much as I love my yoga practice, on this particular day, my body was craving some brisk movement outdoors more than focused breathing and stretching. There were just too many thoughts bouncing around in my head. Lacking sufficient motivation to start my practice, I let myself stay in bed a little longer thinking about life and listening to the rain falling on the roof. 

To my surprise and delight, by the time I got out of bed 30 minutes later, the rain had stopped and the sun was starting to peek through the clouds. When I checked the weather app on my phone, somehow 100% rain had dropped to just 20%. I don’t know how or why this happened. Perhaps strong winds moved the storm out to the Gulf of Mexico more quickly than predicted. 

Whatever the reason, I was grateful for this unexpected shift in the weather. I decided to risk the 20% chance of getting wet for the opportunity to be outside in nature. That risk paid off! The rain clouds dissipated and it turned out to be perfect walking weather. Obviously, the moral of this story is “when you stay in bed longer your life gets better.” I’m kidding! 

But you might be wondering why am I sharing this story. It occurred to me that this minor event was a metaphor for life’s bigger rainstorms. When life is really challenging, part of our mind gets stuck thinking it will always be this way. Despair sets in. The dictionary defines despair as the complete loss or absence of hope. From this mindset, it seems we will always be struggling or stressed out. 

However, that’s just not true. Things do change. In fact, the one thing that is certain about life here on Planet Earth is that everything changes. And typically without any assistance from us! One unexpected opportunity can change the course of your life. 

A family moves into your neighborhood and you make a new best friend. Someone retires or changes careers and an exciting job opportunity opens up. You learn about a new healing modality while attending a book group that becomes a rewarding career. A dear friend gifts you a book that introduces you to a provocative spiritual teaching that brings you more peace than anything you have previously encountered. 

Those familiar with my story know those last 2 examples are how I found Family Constellations and A Course in Miracles. Both have changed my life in unimaginably beautiful ways. But this is my point. I wasn’t looking for either of them. I was just living my life and they found me! I see this as evidence that Life is always conspiring for our good in a multitude of ways. I still forget this all the time, so I’m grateful when an unexpected change in the weather reminds me of this truth.

No matter what you’re going through and growing through, I hope this little story reminds you that things can change quickly and unexpectedly. I encourage you to keep your eyes, ears, and most importantly, your heart open. Eventually, the sun will break through the clouds. Trust that a miracle wants to happen!  

Could you use some assistance in maintaining peace while things are challenging? Would you like some support and guidance as you initiate positive changes in your life? I would be honored to walk the path with you a while with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. Send me an email for more information or book a session on my website. It might be just the change you are waiting for. I look forward to working with you!

Miracles are natural. When they do not occur something has gone wrong.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-1.I.6:1-2

Rainbow Time

A few weeks ago, the apartment community where I live installed a new fountain in the pond outside my window. This was a welcome addition because the old one rarely worked. Now I get to enjoy the relaxing sound of falling water all the time. I’ve noticed that the turtles in the pond seem to enjoy swimming under the cascading water droplets as well.

This new fountain brought an added bonus. At a certain time in late afternoon, sunlight hits the fountain spray at just the right angle, causing the white light to refract into the brilliant, beautiful colors of the rainbow. It only lasts for a little while, but whenever I happen to be looking out my window at that time, it always makes me smile. 

The other day it happened while I was on a call with my prayer partner. We were wrapping up the sharing of our life situations in preparation to pray when the rainbow colors began to reveal themselves in the water droplets outside. It seemed like such a clear message from Spirit to trust in divine timing, I felt inspired to include it in our prayer.

Even during challenging situations, when I relax and trust that things are falling into place at exactly the right moment, just like the rainbow in the fountain, peace returns. When I try to force events to happen according to my schedule, that’s when I become stressed and anxious. However, trusting the process is something that takes practice. 

One way I build that trust is to look back on my life and observe how every experience led to the next. There is no way I could have planned all those “chance” meetings, events, and circumstances. Taking time to reflect on this truth helps me trust the unfoldment of life, even when I hit those unpleasant bumps in the road. Those bumps often redirected my path toward opportunities I would never have imagined. 

That beautiful rainbow was a timely reminder. Perhaps the thing I desire isn’t happening yet because it is not the right time. I know this can be a frustrating or infuriating perspective when we have been waiting for something for a long time or when conditions are extremely poor. Consider this:

Maybe the perfect home for you is not currently available because the current owners have yet to put it on the market or the current tenants have yet to move out. Perhaps a fulfilling job opportunity is about to open up when someone is promoted or decides to pursue another career. Maybe that romantic partner hasn’t moved to your city yet and you’ll meet when that happens. I invite you to look back at your life and notice how much of it depended on timing. It’s astounding!

No amount of wishing will make the sunlight hit those water droplets at the right angle sooner. It will happen at just the right moment to produce the rainbow of colors. This week, whatever you’re dreaming of, I encourage you to trust that “rainbow time” will happen. And before it does, do your best to return to a place of peace so when those colors begin to appear, you’ll know exactly what inspired action to take!

If I can be of assistance in helping you return to peace while opening your heart to what’s possible, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I offer Spiritual Coaching Packages as well as one-on-one Family Constellations Sessions to help you move forward with joy and grace. For more information or to book a session or sessions, check out my website. Thanks to technology, we can meet no matter where in the world you are. I look forward to working with you!

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

When Anger Knocks

Late one evening a few weeks ago, I opened my front door to look for the moon and check on the weather outside. To my surprise, I discovered a package from Amazon sitting on my doormat. I hadn’t ordered anything, but my sisters have been sending unexpected gifts lately, so I assumed this box was from one of them. Since I was tired, I set the box on the bench inside my apartment to open in the morning.

Around 8:30 the next morning, while putting in my contact lenses, I was startled by a loud, persistent banging at my front door. This wasn’t the courtesy knock of a delivery person or maintenance worker from my apartment community. This person was clearly angry and wanted to get my attention. It worked! 

My hands were full of saline solution and contact lenses, so I couldn’t get to the door right away, not that I was eager to given the intensity of the banging. While finishing the task at hand, I heard a man’s voice yelling something about a package along with a stream of curse words and expletives. That’s when my brain pieced together what had happened. 

I surmised that the Amazon driver left a package for my new neighbors at the wrong door last night. This young couple only recently moved in, but I have heard them fighting and shouting at each other on more than one occasion. I was fairly certain they were the ones pounding on my door.

Once I was dressed, I looked at the package more closely. Sure enough, the address was one digit different than mine. I had brought in my neighbor’s Amazon purchase by mistake. “No big deal,” I thought to myself. I will simply bring the package to them and apologize for my error. 

Suddenly, the vigorous pounding on my door began again, and I practically jumped out of my skin. Why so much rage around an understandable mistake? I grabbed the package, took a deep breath, and opened my door. Both of my new neighbors were standing there. The young man began shouting at me immediately as I handed him the package.

Before I had a chance to say anything, he angrily hurled a barrage of accusatory questions at me. Why would I take his package? Couldn’t I see it was not addressed to me? He claimed he had received packages for me in the past few weeks and he placed them at my door. Why couldn’t I do the same? What was wrong with me? As you might imagine, I am leaving out a number of words that were mixed in with these questions. 

In the middle of his rant, I apologized. I admitted that I had made a mistake and said I would be much more careful in the future. I tried to explain that I had been receiving many unexpected packages lately, but he just continued yelling. As he walked away, I apologized one more time, and assured him it wouldn’t happen again. Meanwhile, his girlfriend just stood there looking embarrassed and bewildered. She thanked me for not opening their package before we both retreated to our respective apartments. 

My heart was racing as I shut the door. What the heck just happened? I was in shock at the intensity of the encounter. Of course, I knew this young man’s anger was not really about a misplaced package. I do not know what has happened in his life, but my experience with Family Constellations has taught me that this anger didn’t start with him. I imagine he has been on the receiving end of intense rage and he’s most likely carrying a lot of pain. Not having the tools to move through or release this pain in a healthy way, it exploded at me.

A Course in Miracles teaches that every action can be broken down into two categories: an “expression of love” or a “call for love.” It goes on to say, when you see things this way, the appropriate response is always love. This young man was clearly calling for love, but that doesn’t mean I should knock on his door and ask to give him a hug! No. That would probably not be wise. However, from the safety of my own home, I can imagine him surrounded by love and light. 

I wish I could tell you that’s what I did immediately. It has been many, many years since I’ve been on the receiving end of that kind of rage, and I was extremely shaken up. I felt unjustly attacked and extremely vulnerable. However, I also knew that seeing him as the villain and myself as the victim would only perpetuate that story and the conflict. So I laid down on my bed for a few minutes and asked Spirit for help to see him at peace and surrounded by love. 

It felt forced at first, but I knew the sooner I tried the sooner I would feel better. I only had a few minutes to practice this before an early morning appointment that day. After the appointment, my walk along Sarasota Bay definitely helped bring me back to center. But I was a bit rattled for the rest of the day. 

Since then, I have done my best to extend love and peace to that young man whenever he crosses my mind. That was a few weeks ago, and I have not seen either of my neighbors since then…until last night. 

As I scurried down the stairs to the parking lot, I suddenly noticed a young man and a big white dog approaching from below. We made eye contact briefly, but I was so focused on getting to my car before the rain started, my mind didn’t register who it was. With no initial greeting or pleasantries, this young man launched into a quiet apology for overreacting about the package the other day. To say I was stunned would be an understatement!

Neither of us stopped walking, but as I passed him I said something like, “It’s ok. These things happen. Have a nice night.”  He replied, “You too,” as he continued up the stairs with his dog. The whole exchange took less than 30 seconds. But in those 30 seconds, something shifted. 

Any residual fear or resentment from the incident melted away and more compassion for my new neighbor filled my heart. All I can say is, the teachings of A Course in Miracles work! Never in a million years would I have guessed that I’d receive an apology from him, but I doubt it would have happened had I not done my part. I am beyond grateful for this shift from conflict to peace, a true miracle.

Are you in a challenging situation with a neighbor, co-worker, friend, or family member? It would be my great honor to help facilitate a miracle with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. Both can help you release fear and judgments, thus allowing peace to return. And thanks to technology, we can meet no matter where in the world you are. Send me an email or look around my website for more information. You can also book a session directly on my website with my automated scheduler. Give yourself the gift of peace. I look forward to working with you! 

Forgiveness takes away what stands between your brother and yourself.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-26.VII.9:1

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