Let It Be Okay

Let it be okay. These words have been echoing in my mind for the past few days. Some of you may have noticed there was no email from me in your inbox last Friday. After a very full and rewarding five days of Family Constellations Workshops and Sessions in Virginia, I found myself needing a little more time to rest and rejuvenate last week. When Thursday rolled around, I had not started writing a rough draft, nor did I have a clear idea of what to write about. Although many miracles and a great deal of healing happened for me and for those I had the honor to work with, I felt I needed more time to integrate that experience.

Rather than force it and push past my tiredness, I decided to be gentle with myself and let it be okay to take a week off. As far as I know, the earth did not stop rotating last week. I’d be willing to bet most people who read my weekly stories did not notice the absence. And if you did, I imagine you were okay with one less email in your inbox while I practiced self-care.

Over the weekend, I had another chance to “let it be okay.” I intended to invest several hours answering emails and creating new marketing materials for upcoming Family Constellations Workshops. Instead, I found myself acquiescing to my need for more sleep and my desire to be at the beach for the sunset on both Saturday and Sunday. I answered the time-sensitive emails, but I felt no spark to design new marketing materials. 

Although not much work happened, my soul was soothed and recharged by the relaxing sound of the waves rolling into the shore on those evenings. While the sun dipped below the horizon, Mother Nature painted the sky with spectacular purple and orange hues. I’m always amazed by how different her artwork can be from night to night. And with my soul recharged, I found the inspiration to create those marketing materials the following day. 

Obviously, I’m not advocating avoiding work forever or abandoning our responsibilities. What I am advocating is stepping back to reassess the things we tell ourselves we have to do now. Is it true that they need to be done right away? Perhaps it is only a habit or the ego pressuring us to keep going and not take time to rest. It’s no secret that our culture places high value on doing and very little value on being. I am so grateful to have learned that both are necessary for a happy, healthy life.

Are you stuck in doing mode with little or no time for being? Perhaps today is the day you let it be okay to stop pushing and allow yourself some well-deserved time to rest and recharge. If I can assist you in breaking this cycle with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session, please don’t hesitate to contact me. You can learn more about these opportunities or book a session on my website. I look forward to being with you!  

By the way, I hope you can tell how much I enjoy sharing the lessons life is teaching me in these weekly stories. It makes my heart smile when I hear that something I wrote was precisely what someone needed to hear that week. Often, I forget anyone else reads these stories until I am out in the world and someone says something nice about them. It happens a lot when I travel to places where people have been on my email list for years. It’s hard to believe I have been writing these stories consistently since 2015! (They are all on the Blog Page of my website if you are curious to read some oldies.)

Whether you have been reading my stories for 9 years or 9 days, I thank you for inviting me along on your spiritual journey. Until next time, may you give yourself time to rest and recharge, and most importantly…let it be okay!

Yet there will always be this place of rest to which you can return. And you will be more aware of this quiet center of the storm than all its raging activity. This quiet center, in which you do nothing, will remain with you, giving you rest in the midst of every busy doing on which you are sent.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-18.VII.8:1-3

Music Makes the People Come Together

“Music makes the people come together” is a lyric from one of Madonna’s later dance hits. Her music certainly brought lots of people together at the Amalie Arena in Tampa last week when her Celebration Tour came to town. Madonna’s music has been the soundtrack to my life since she released her first album in 1983, so it was pure joy for me to experience this retrospective concert of her 40-year music career.

When her first album came out, I was in high school. My mom’s alcoholism was creating a lot of chaos and sadness at home during that time. Madonna’s invitation to leave your troubles behind and get up and dance was very appealing to that younger version of me. Truth be told it still is! Back then, I needed to escape my situation and Madonna’s bouncy pop music provided a way to do so. 

Madonna opened with some of the songs from that first album before pausing to explain the concept of the show. We would be taking a journey with her through the different decades of her career, but first, she wanted to introduce us to a younger version of herself. One of her dancers emerged wearing an opaque mask and clothes much like a 19-year-old Madonna would have worn in 1978. 

That was the year she arrived in New York City with just $37 in her pocket and a dream to be a professional dancer. She expressed her immense gratitude for this strong girl who kept going despite numerous rejections and many harsh life experiences. Madonna confessed that she would not be where she is today without her, and then she hugged her.

I love that she incorporated this powerful concept into the show! In my Family Constellations workshops, I often bring in someone to represent a younger version of the person I’m working with. We thank the younger version for finding a way to make it through and then show them how far they’ve come since those hardships. Understandably, we want to distance ourselves from those younger versions because they are associated with tremendous pain. However, when we acknowledge them and welcome them back into our hearts, we become whole again.  

At various times during the show, Madonna danced with younger versions of herself represented by dancers wearing costumes from her long career. Not only was it entertaining for longtime fans like me to revisit those iconic looks, but I’m guessing it was cathartic for her as well.

I was looking through the Family Constellations lens during another poignant moment of the show. Madonna sang a lesser-known song from her American Life CD called “Mother and Father.” It was a tribute to her mother who died when she was just 5 years old. During the song, she faced a photo of her mother projected on a large screen. Madonna’s adopted son, David, also lost his biological mother at a young age. He accompanied Madonna on guitar and sang with her while a photo of his biological mother appeared on another screen. It moved me to see mother and son share a moment of deep connection while honoring their biological mothers.

Of course, Madonna is best known for her dance songs, and the concert was filled with them! My favorite is “Vogue.” As soon as the base beats of that song began, tingles went through my body. It brought me back to my very first Madonna concert, the Blonde Ambition Tour. In 1990, that song and Madonna herself were at the height of their popularity. She was just a tiny blonde speck at the opposite end of the Capital Center in Washington, DC, but that didn’t matter. The vibration and the excitement of that song filled the gigantic stadium and I swear my heart beat in time with the music! It was a sensation of pure joy that I will never forget.

Throughout the concert, I reflected on the countless times Madonna’s music has evoked that feeling of pure joy in me whether I’m on the dance floor or driving my car. Or when one of her ballads helped me to cry. Or one of her anthems empowered me to make a change in my life. I felt such gratitude for this woman who has been part of my life for 40 years. It felt great to extend love and light to her and all the versions of her that helped all the versions of me through the years. I was glowing with joy and gratitude for days after the concert..  

Madonna has always been controversial, and you may not resonate with her at all. I haven’t always agreed with the decisions she has made over the years, but I have admired her courage to push the envelope and not be silenced by other people’s opinions. As someone who always strived to be a “good boy” and not make waves, she inspired me to follow my heart and stop caring so much about what others think.

There’s a great sound byte during the introduction to the show where Madonna says, “I think the most controversial thing I’ve ever done…is to stick around.” This fan is forever grateful that she has. 

Is there a singer or musical group that has provided the soundtrack to your life? Has it been a while since you listened to their music? Perhaps my story will inspire you to take a moment to listen and express gratitude for all the ways they helped you during tough times.

Maybe this story will inspire you to think about a younger version of yourself with compassion and gratitude. Acknowledge them for their perseverance and resilience, and invite them to see the life they helped create. When you welcome them home, you are empowered to connect more deeply with yourself and others, enhancing all of your relationships.

If you would like some assistance in this endeavor, consider giving yourself the gift of a private Family Constellations Session or a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions. Both can help you welcome these seemingly separated aspects of yourself back into your heart. Please visit my website for more information or to book a session. I look forward to helping you reintegrate all the versions of you!

Until next time, keep singing and dancing to your favorite music! It truly does bring people together! 

When I am healed I am not healed alone.

Workbook Lesson 137 ~ A Course in Miracles

Gratitude for the Drama

Recently, a friend casually mentioned she would be attending the ceremony at her son’s high school where he would be inducted into the National Honor Society. I was surprised when those words brought up a slightly uncomfortable feeling attached to a not-so-pleasant high school memory. I’m pretty sure I never made it to the ceremony where I was to be inducted into the National Honor Society. My mom had way too much to drink that evening, and I was adamant that she not embarrass me by showing up inebriated. 

We got into a huge fight that night. It was so emotionally charged that I don’t recall if I went without her or not at all. I think it was the latter. What I do remember is being extremely hurt by her “choice” to drink that night. Alas, I had much to learn about addiction. Whether she drank or not had nothing to do with me or what was happening later that day. It was just a way to numb her pain.

Interestingly enough, that incident ended up being a pivotal moment that helped me to pursue my secret dream of being an actor. After high school, I was accepted into the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University as an Ad Design major. I wasn’t even able to admit to myself that I wanted to be in theater. Looking back, it’s clear that I chose SU because it also had an excellent Drama Department.

During my sophomore year, I took an “acting for non-majors” class and loved it! My professor helped me turn the events of the Honor Society night into the monologue I used to audition for the Drama Department. Unlike now, the emotions attached to that evening were still pretty raw. They must have come through loud and clear because I was accepted! 

My training at SU helped me get a job in Entertainment at Disney World. Performing in those costumes in front of thousands of park guests helped me overcome my shyness. Without that experience, I doubt I would be able to be in front of people and do the work I do now. It all fits together like some cosmic plan that I could never have mapped out. 

I hadn’t thought about that Honor Society night in a very long time. Although I felt a twinge of sadness, it didn’t stir up the hurricane of feelings that helped me get into the Drama Department all those years ago! I’m certainly not done, but the spiritual journey I’ve been on for the last two decades has helped me process and release many of those emotions.

Today, I can look at that night with compassion and gratitude. It was exactly what needed to happen because it led me to where I am now. And where I am now is pretty sweet. 

The ability to take the charge out of a painful situation or memory and shift it into something beneficial is exactly what Spiritual Coaching and Family Constellations can help you do. Please look around my website to learn more about both of these miraculous opportunities or book a session with my automated scheduler. 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-4.1-A.4:5

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