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

Shelter from the Storm

An interesting thing happened on my morning walk with my sister this week. We set out on my normal route along Sarasota Bay under clear blue skies with a few clouds floating overhead. About 20 minutes into our walk, we both noticed a very dark, ominous-looking storm cloud in the distance. And it was heading our way!

Since we were already quite a distance from where I parked my car, we decided to keep going and take a chance that we might get wet. No big deal. We have both walked in the rain before. A little water wouldn’t hurt us.

Well, things got ugly very quickly. The gray storm cloud got bigger and began releasing a few raindrops on us just as we crossed a large bridge. As soon as we walked underneath that bridge, the skies opened up and sheets of water pummeled the ground. Other walkers and joggers on the bridge scrambled to take cover, but we were already safely sheltered from the storm. 

As we watched Mother Nature’s show, we commented on how lucky we were to be under the bridge at the precise moment when the torrential downpour began. Had we started our walk five minutes earlier or five minutes later we would have been drenched! I mentioned to my sister that this experience felt significant.

We have been waiting for some things to fall into place this week, but everything is moving slower than the sloths in Disney’s Zootopia. (If you don’t know this reference, click here to see the video for a laugh.) This occurrence under the bridge was a powerful reminder to trust that everything is falling into place exactly as it should. Events were timed perfectly so that we are protected from the storm.

Yes, we can do our part to keep things moving along, but once we’ve done our due diligence, it’s best to surrender and stop trying to push the river. Experience has taught me that there is a benevolent force in the Universe that is orchestrating every detail for our highest good and the highest good of everyone. When I remember that I return to peace.

After a few minutes, the storm cloud passed, the rain stopped, and the sun began to peek out from behind the clouds.  We resumed our walk in the sunshine with a bit more pep in our step, grateful for the shelter and the message.

Perhaps some of you reading this are in a similar situation. Do things seem to be moving at a sloth’s pace when you’d prefer them to be sprinting through the savannah like a cheetah? As frustrating as that is, maybe my experience and message under the bridge will help you trust that everything is unfolding in Divine Time. I’ve certainly had to remind myself of this truth as we hit more roadblocks later in the week! 

I would be honored to help you discern what’s yours to do and what’s yours to release with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. Both are excellent ways to see the bigger picture and return to peace. Please look around my website to learn more or to book a session with my automated scheduler. No matter where you live, we can meet online to do this healing work using Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime. I look forward to working with you! 

Your passage through time and space is not at random. You cannot but be in the right place at the right time.

A Course in Miracles ~ W-42.2:3-4

Time Travel Parenting

A friend told me a story this week that opened the door for some childhood memories to flood back into my mind. Not that I think I’m done, but I have invested a considerable amount of time into healing my relationship with my mother and the effects of her addiction to alcohol. When memories like these return, they rarely have emotions attached to them. For whatever reason, this time when I started thinking about little John growing up in all that chaos and uncertainty, tears welled up in my eyes. I felt a new level of compassion for him. Although I truly believe my mother and I reached a beautiful place of mutual understanding and unconditional love before she passed, apparently I had another layer of healing and releasing to do. 

As the tears flowed, I remembered a powerful dream I had on Saturday morning in that murky phase between sleeping and waking. In the dream, I opened a magical portal where adult John traveled back in time to the house where I grew up in Vestal, NY. This is not a place I would choose to go back to. Anyone who has experienced alcohol addiction in their family knows that alcoholism and cleanliness don’t usually go hand in hand. Without going into details, I’ll just say our house was usually pretty gross. I learned to clean and do laundry at a young age. Meals were often left half prepared on the stove, so dinner was often a bowl of cereal.

For the record, I’m sharing this information for context, not to elicit sympathy. It took over 40 years, but I came to understand that everything that happened between me and my mother, (the good, the bad, and the ugly) was exactly what was supposed to happen so that I could be where I am today. It was a pivotal moment in my healing journey when this understanding dropped from my head to my heart. Instead of just understanding it intellectually, I felt the truth of it in my whole being. A few days before she passed, I held my mother’s hand as she lay unconscious in her hospital bed while we listened to the CD set Graceful Passages: A Companion for Living and Dying. When it was done, and my eyes had no more tears to cry, I was able to thank her for all of it and tell her that she was the perfect mom for me. And I meant it.

Back in my dream, I searched the house and found little John crying in his bedroom. I told him who I was and that I had something amazing to show him. We traveled back through the portal emerging at the gorgeous sunset scene on Sarasota Bay that I described in last week’s blog. I told him that THIS is our life now. It’s filled with peace, love, joy, and beauty! We made it out of that chaos in Vestal. I reassured him that I would take care of him from now on. I also promised we would only live in places that light up our soul and allow our creative expression to flow freely. I added that I found us a beautiful, quiet place near the water to live. And finally, I promised that I would do my best to honor, respect, and value his needs from now on. It felt so good to tell him these things and share details of this exciting new chapter we are creating together! The conversation soothed both of us, and I felt our heart connection grow stronger. Then we sat back in the Adirondack chairs to watch Mother Nature put on a spectacular show with storm clouds, thunder, egrets, herons, and jumping fish as golden sunlight danced in the ripples of the water.

One of the cornerstones of the work I do called Family Constellations is the idea that eventually we all have to accept the love from our parents as they gave it, not as we wanted it. It may take a long time to get there, but it is possible. Then, we can parent ourselves and give ourselves  everything we need to thrive. If you’ve never thought about parenting yourself, I invite you to give it a try. It is one of the most freeing and empowering gifts I have ever given myself. If you would like some guidance on how specifically to do this, please contact me for a private Family Constellations session or a series of Life Coaching sessions. It would be my great honor to assist you. I continue to be amazed by what is revealed and healed in these sessions. For more information or to schedule a session, please look around my website or send me an email

Until next time, may your little one experience an abundance of love and support from the best parent she or he could ever have…YOU! 

You have so little faith in yourself because you are unwilling to accept the fact that perfect love is in you. And so you seek without for what you cannot find without.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-15.VI.2:1

The Many Faces of Joy

Last week I wrote about the unconscious resistance to fully experiencing joy. Since then, the concept of joy has been rumbling around in my mind. What exactly is joy, and how do we welcome it? This was a common theme in many of my Life Coaching sessions and in both of my weekly A Course in Miracles Study groups. In all of these conversations, I noticed that joy shows up in different ways for different people.

One of the most joyful times in my life was when I worked in the Entertainment Department at Walt Disney World. Some days I couldn’t believe I was getting paid (albeit not much) to have so much fun with my friends in those costumes. I worked there for seven years, so it would be hard to pin down one favorite role in a parade or show. 

However, one of my top five joyful moments at Disney was dancing in the Easter Parade as a Hoe Down Cowboy with the County Bear Jamboree. (Please don’t ask what bears and cowboys have to do with Easter because I have no idea!) Our high-energy dance routine was choreographed to the song “Rocky Top.” I’m not a country music fan, but I had so much fun dancing to that song I whooped and hollered like a crazy person all through the parade route. Being so full of joy helped me push myself to keep my energy high and dance full out until we passed the sightline. It was both exhausting and exhilarating. I had a great cowgirl partner who matched my energy which made it even more fun. I think the picture below captures the essence of the joy we were feeling.

But joy isn’t always loud and flashy. Sometimes it’s much more subtle and quiet. This past weekend I had an experience of silent, peaceful joy. After receiving some happy news in Sarasota, I decided to revisit a place that my friends had taken me to the week before. It is a tranquil spot off the beaten path overlooking Sarasota Bay. I arrived about an hour before sunset and was surprised to find very few people there. I plopped myself down in an empty Adirondack chair to enjoy Mother Nature’s show. 

The sun was still shining brightly in the sky, but the steady breeze coming off the water kept me nice and cool. The tide must have been out because I noticed a large sand bar in the middle of the bay. At least a half dozen herons and egrets took advantage of that shallow water to do some fishing for dinner. I was very entertained watching their slow, deliberate walk and their necks stretching back and forth as they searched for fish. Once they spotted one, they plunged their heads into the water and almost always emerged with a wiggling fish in their beaks. 

Those birds might have had even better luck closer to where I was sitting. Every few minutes, a fish jumped completely out of the water. I was amazed by their ability to launch their entire body several inches into the air before landing back in the bay with a splash. I’m not sure why they were doing that. Perhaps they were trying to escape from predators below. The constant leaping and splashing gave the whole scene a comical flavor as if I were in a cartoon. I laughed every time. In addition to comedy, it also provided a feeling of abundance. Fish were jumping everywhere and readily available for the hungry birds. It definitely seemed like there were “plenty of fish in the sea.” I had never experienced anything like it. 


As the bright orange orb gently lowered itself toward the water, golden sunlight danced on the ripples of the waves. Occasionally a sailboat drifted through the golden sparkles way across the bay. Dark clouds began to invade the sky, and thunder rumbled in the distance. The impending storm just added to the mystical quality of the experience. After the sun dipped below the horizon, I risked getting drenched to enjoy the sights and sounds a little while longer. Honestly, I didn’t want to leave! And something interesting occurred to me. Even though I was there by myself, I did not feel any sense of sadness or loneliness. My heart was full. There was nothing missing. All I felt was a sense of gratitude and contentment. Perhaps those are the only ingredients necessary in the recipe for joy in all its many forms. 


This week, may you find ways to experience a sense of gratitude and contentment for things that are already around you. It could be as simple as laughing at your favorite sitcom, dancing or singing along to your favorite song, or taking a moment to sit under a tree. If you could use some assistance in welcoming joy, please contact me. I would be honored to help you remove the blocks to the awareness of joy’s presence with a series of Life Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations session. Look around my website now for more information about these joyful opportunities or send me an email to schedule a session. 


Until next time, may joy sneak up and find you as it found me in moments of deep gratitude and contentment.

Be not content with future happiness.

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

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