The Moment by Moment Love Plan

Some of the steps along my path.

For the past 2 years, Dax Shepard and Monica Padman have kept me company on my morning walks with their lively conversations, thoughtful questions, and interesting guests.  They are the cohosts of a popular podcast called “Armchair Expert.” This week’s celebrity guest was Pamela Anderson. 

I will admit, I had some preconceived ideas about the blonde Baywatch lifeguard running in slow motion on the beach. Back in the 90s, it was hard not to see the many tabloid headlines in the check-out line at the grocery store about her tumultuous relationship with Tommy Lee. I never watched her show or paid much attention to those stories, so I knew very little about her life or career. 

One thing I love about the podcast is how Dax and Monica create a safe space for their guests to be vulnerable. Barely 5 minutes into the conversation, I learned Pamela experienced severe early childhood trauma. As she continued to share her story, it wasn’t difficult to see how unconscious family patterns repeated in her life. She said those early childhood experiences made her painfully shy, yet she grew into a larger-than-life Hollywood persona.

During the interview, Pamela shared that she never set out to be an actress or model. In 1989, while attending a Canadian football game, a camera operator captured her dancing on the Jumbotron. That day she happened to be wearing a Labatt’s Beer T-shirt. Someone at the Labatt’s Brewing Company took notice and offered her a job as a spokesperson for their beer. That led to other modeling jobs, and then, later that year, an invitation to be on the cover of Playboy magazine.

As she described how one thing led to another, it struck me how she didn’t plan or deliberately seek out any of it. In fact, she often made choices that could have derailed her career, like not showing up for the Baywatch audition the first 12 times it was scheduled. Pamela told Dax she thought Monterey Bay was too far to drive for an audition. Eventually, she went to the audition and landed the role that made her famous around the world. 

The more I heard her story, the more I admired this woman. She kept showing up joyfully for life no matter how many times she was knocked down. Seeing how poorly she was treated by the media and the court system, it’s a wonder she ever left her house. I love a good comeback story, and Pamela Anderson has one. 

In the spring of 2022, she wowed audiences with her portrayal of Roxie Hart in the Broadway production of Chicago. I think that was brilliant casting. However, Pamela was not a trained singer or dancer, so it’s amazing to me that she said yes when offered the part. She worked hard to prepare for the role, and it paid off. Who could have planned or plotted the course from Beer T-shirt to Broadway? It’s quite a testament to her resilience and her willingness to say yes to whatever opportunities come her way. 

The podcast hosts themselves exemplify this point. Both Dax and Monica had ambitions to be famous actors. They both had some success in Hollywood, but neither one had their sights set on becoming hosts of one of the most listened-to podcasts in the country with an exclusive contract on Spotify. Who knew having heated discussions in the kitchen with your former nanny (now best friend) could lead to so much success and happiness? Both say they love this job more than any acting job they’ve had. 

It may surprise you to learn that, at one time, I also wanted to be in television and movies. It would probably surprise you more to learn that I was painfully shy all through high school and college. After 2 years in the Visual and Performing Arts College at Syracuse University as an Ad Design major, somehow I found the courage to follow my dream and audition for the SU Drama Department. To my great surprise, I was accepted! I graduated from SU with a degree in Acting and a minor in Ad Design.

To help pay for school, I took a work/study job in the box office at Syracuse Stage, a regional theater affiliated with the SU Drama Department. That experience got me a job working in the box office at Arena Stage in Washington, DC after I graduated. That’s where I met a friend who eventually offered me a small role in a murder mystery show at a dinner theater in Rock Island, IL. While there, I met a group of friends who were also pursuing careers in entertainment, so we all decided to move to Orlando, FL together. 

After a few odd jobs, I auditioned to perform in parades and shows at Disney World where I stayed for 7 years. That experience helped me develop the confidence I needed to be in front of large groups while facilitating Family Constellations. There were other steps in between, but you can see how one thing led to the next in a way that I could never have planned!

There are a lot of coaches, teachers, and gurus out there who claim to know the best path for you. They have “5 Keys to Financial Freedom” or “7 Steps to the Life of Your Dreams,” but in truth, there’s no way anyone else could know the best path for you. By the way, that includes well-meaning friends and family members. 

Life is a series of choices, and I do my best to keep making them from love, not fear. I can’t recall a time when I was happy with the consequences after making a choice from fear, anger, or scarcity. It may be difficult, and I may disappoint people, but there is always peace and joy waiting for me when I ask Spirit for guidance and make decisions from my heart.

As we begin the second month of 2023, I hope you are being gentle with yourself around any New Year’s goals or intentions you set. I encourage you to keep showing up and saying yes to opportunities “Out Past Your Comfort Zone,” as I wrote about last week. Trust the path that is unfolding even when it doesn’t appear to make sense. It will make a lot more sense when you look back. It’s okay to have goals and dreams for the future, but I encourage you to hold them loosely. For me, the plan that works is the Moment by Moment Love Plan. 

It would be my great joy to help you peacefully navigate your winding path moment by moment with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. To learn more about both of these opportunities, please look around my website or send me an email. Thanks to Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime, we can connect no matter where you are in the world! Booking a session is easy with my automated scheduler which lets you see exactly when appointments are available. I look forward to working with you!

Until next time, I invite you to release the idea that there is anything wrong with where you are right now or how you got there, and trust that the road is always leading you to a happy dream. 

For they are all but aspects of the plan to change your dreams of fear to happy dreams…

A Course in Miracles ~ T-18.V.1:4

What Happens Out Past Our Comfort Zone?

I was having lunch with a friend this week when the subject of moving past our comfort zone came up. As I told him, experience has taught me that out past our comfort zone is where miracles happen. Leaving our comfort zone is rarely easy, but the rewards are so worth it! While searching for a “beyond the comfort zone story,” coincidentally I discovered one that happened exactly 3 years ago this week! I felt inspired to share it again here. 

At the end of January in 2020, an unexpected opportunity to move past my comfort zone presented itself. I had agreed to be the platform assistant for the Wednesday night service at Unity of Houston. This job is fairly simple. It required me to welcome everyone, read the announcements, and facilitate the love offering at the end. When I woke up on that particular Wednesday, I learned that the minister scheduled to give the talk wasn’t feeling well. She asked if I would be willing to share a message in her place. 

At that point, I had given a handful of talks at other spiritual centers, but this would be the first time speaking in front of a group this size. In addition to the larger audience, the service was simultaneously being live-streamed on social media. And it was being recorded for YouTube, meaning it would live on the internet for a long time. That was indeed past my comfort zone! As you can imagine, it brought up some fear.

That fear wanted me to say “no thank you” and let one of the Associate Ministers give the talk. Then, I remembered something that happened in 2014, right before my first Big Sky Retreat in Montana. I planned to attend with my friend and mentor, Dr. Charles Geddes, who has been on the Board of Directors since the retreat began in 1976. 

Two weeks before the event, Charles called to tell me there was a last-minute schedule change and asked if I would be willing to present a workshop. As any good friend and mentor who has faith in his friend and a slightly mischievous side would do, he told me that he had already sent my photo to the printer to be included in the program. Therefore, I’d better say yes and quickly come up with a title and description for my workshop.

Okay. That freaked me out a little bit, but I knew he was right. I also recognized what a gift and gracious opportunity I was being given. I’m so glad I said yes because that decision blessed me in more ways than I can count.

When I had to make a similar decision that Wednesday morning, I knew the only answer that would feel peaceful in the long run was yes. Fortunately, I had a yoga class in the morning and Spiritual Coaching and Family Constellations Sessions in the afternoon, so there was very little time to fret about it before it happened.

That also meant I didn’t have much time to prepare, so I decided to tell the story of my first experience with Family Constellations, share a little bit about its origins and philosophy, and then end with a very recent experience of inherited family trauma. This was a personal story I hadn’t shared publicly yet. 

In a quiet moment right before the service, I asked Spirit to give me the words that would be most beneficial to everyone listening. Then I read my go-to prayer from A Course in Miracles:

I am here only to be truly helpful. I am here to represent Him Who sent me. I do not have to worry about what to say or what to do, because He Who sent me will direct me. I am content to be wherever He wishes, knowing He goes there with me. I will be healed as I let Him teach me to heal.  T-2.V.A.18

I recite this prayer before every workshop, coaching session, constellation, or study group. It helps to get my “self” with a little “s” out of the way and let my Higher Self with a capital “S” lead the way. If you like this prayer, but the words “He” and “Him” don’t sit well with you for any reason, you can replace them with “Spirit,” “Love,” “She/Her,” or whatever words resonate with you. The words aren’t as important as the request to let a power greater than ourselves provide guidance and support in any situation that brings up fear.

Even though I was nervous, the stories and the information I shared seemed to flow and fit well together. Watching the video now, I would say a few things differently. But, I trust what I said then was exactly what was supposed to be shared and that it was helpful to someone. This experience was a great reminder to not let fear paralyze me and block a wonderful opportunity to talk about the two things that have helped me the most on my spiritual journey: A Course in Miracles and Family Constellations. For those interested in seeing the video on YouTube, click this link.

If you would like some support and encouragement to move out past your comfort zone, it would be my great honor to assist you with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. Please look around my website or send me an email for more information about both. With the help of Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime, we can connect no matter where you are in the world. Book a session now with my automated scheduler.

This week, may you find the courage to say yes to any opportunity to explore life beyond your comfort zone. While you’re there, enjoy the miracles!

The Great Human Tapestry of Love

Last weekend, I went to the Sarasota Art Museum for the first time. I knew it would be an enjoyable afternoon with new friends, but I was not expecting to be moved so deeply by the exhibit on the third floor. “Scrollathon” is both an art and community project imagined by two brothers in New York, Steven and William Ladd. I could try to describe it in words, but I think the 3-minute video they created does a much better job of capturing the heart and intention of this project. You can watch the video by clicking this link

What struck me most was the inherent collaborative element of this work. Communities come together to create something beautiful and meaningful. Each participant can see that not only does their bead or scroll contribute to the whole piece, but so does their intention. They are part of something larger. By recognizing that their part matters, perhaps they will recognize that THEY matter. 

A group of inmates on Riker’s Island created one of the most compelling pieces in the exhibit. As you can imagine, the Ladd Brothers had many challenges and obstacles to overcome to make this happen. While gazing at hundreds of scrolls and reading the comments from those who participated, it struck me how powerful it must have been for them to come together and share their stories while creating a piece of art that symbolized hope. To see what they created and read what happened click here.

Another piece that touched my heart was created by high school students and other community members affected by the school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. The artists and this project provided a safe space for this grieving community to come together to begin the long healing process while creating a lasting tribute to those who lost their lives on that tragic day. Click here to read their story and see what they created.

This project exemplifies one of the central teachings of A Course in Miracles and one of the main tenets of Family Constellations. Healing happens when we come together and recognize our common humanity. We are all connected, and everyone matters. Just like each scroll adds value to the artwork, you add value to the whole just by being you. So, whether you invest your time, talent, and resources to a specific cause, commit to being the presence of Peace and Joy wherever you go, or simply do your best to heal your own pain, rest assured you are doing an important part to create the Great Human Tapestry of Love. 

If you’d like to learn more about this project, you can visit their website at Scrollathon.com. And if I can assist you in your healing journey, please look around my website or send me an email for more information about Spiritual Coaching or a private Family Constellations Session. With the help of Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime, we can connect no matter where you are in the world. Book a session now with my automated scheduler.

Until next time, may you always remember that you are an important part of the Great Human Tapestry of Love right where you are and just as you are!

Together we shine with brightness so intense that none of us alone can even think of it.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-13.X.14:2

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

Moving into 2023 Gracefully

My word for 2023 danced right into my awareness on New Year’s Eve. Many of you are familiar with the tradition of picking a word that will be your touchstone and guiding light for the year. In years past, I have received this word at a White Stone Ceremony, a meditative service held during the first week of January at most Unity Churches. With soft music and moments of quiet contemplation, participants are invited to open their hearts and minds and simply allow a word to drop in. I had planned to attend the White Stone Ceremony on New Year’s Day at Unity of Sarasota, but this year my word arrived early. 

A new friend hosts and DJs an Ecstatic Dance every Saturday evening at a dance studio just a few miles from my home. It’s similar to going to a disco, but there’s no bar or alcohol. Just music and a dance floor. Colored lights placed around the perimeter of the dance floor provide illumination for the dancers. My friend, DJ Kat, plays mostly instrumental songs with different flavors of musical genres to take a small group of us on a musical journey. She starts gently with soft, soothing melodies and then gradually builds to faster songs with a tribal beat. After a series of energetic tracks, she brings the energy back down slowly, closing with gentle meditative songs. 

Dancers are encouraged to move however they feel comfortable, whether that’s sitting on the floor in a corner swaying back and forth, standing up waving their arms in the air, or leaping across the room. As long as everyone remains mindful of the other participants and respects their space, you are free to dance as the music moves you. It’s a very liberating experience to do as the well-known quote invites us to do, “Dance as if no one is watching”…even though you are among a small group of strangers.

My friend’s dances are usually 90 minutes long, but this was an extended New Year’s Eve session from 7-10 PM. For the record, it has been a long time since I have danced for 3 consecutive hours! In 2001, that was a typical Saturday night on South Beach, but that was over 20 years ago! I love to dance, and part of me misses those days, so I wanted to take advantage of this special opportunity. By pacing myself and taking 2-minute breaks a few times, I was able to hang in there for the whole thing. I’m so glad I did because it was during the last song of the evening that I received my word. 

Most of the dancers had surrendered to rest on the floor by 9:45, myself included. I continued to stretch and sway to the beat as DJ Kat wound down the music for the night. However, there was one woman who remained upright and dancing. Somehow I hadn’t noticed her before. While most of the participants wore yoga pants and t-shirts for ease of movement, this woman wore a beautiful flowing sapphire blue dress. I’m probably dating myself here, but the style reminded me of the dresses worn by the muses in the 1980 film Xanadu. (If that reference means nothing to you, click here to watch a video of the film’s opening musical number where the muses come alive.)

Something about the way she moved was soothing and hypnotic. None of her gestures were extreme or demanded attention. She subtly shifted her body weight from one foot to the other as her arms glided ever so slightly from front to back at her sides. It appeared as if the music was moving her like water currents would cause a blade of seagrass to sway at the bottom of the ocean. I marveled at how effortless she made it look as she continued to dance until the very last notes faded into silence. 

As I watched from a few feet away, it struck me that this woman was the picture of grace. Not only were her moves graceful, but the energy she exuded was full of peace. There was no sign of struggle or striving on her face. She seemed to be content to be exactly where she was doing exactly what she was doing in that moment. I wondered if I could move into and through the New Year with this same energy. With grace, I could. That’s when I knew my word for 2023. 

Grace is a powerful word. It is a quality that allows a dancer to beautifully move across a stage while making it look easy. I also understand it to be a benevolent energy from the Divine that we need do nothing to earn. It is given abundantly because we are worthy, whether we believe we are or not. As I look back on my life, I can see the presence of grace numerous times. In dark times when I couldn’t see a way forward, grace entered to illuminate a path I could not have imagined. I bet if you take a moment to ponder some of the hard times in your life, you will see that grace was there for you too, even if you were not aware of it at the time. 

Inspired by that sapphire muse, I am consciously choosing to allow more grace to move and work through me in 2023 and beyond. Whenever things get challenging and fear creeps in, I will picture her and do my best to be at peace no matter what appears to be happening. Fear blocks Divine Guidance. When I invite the quality of grace into my experience, miracles happen and love is revealed.

Since then, the word has shown up a few more times just to make sure I don’t miss it. Fellow A Course in Miracles student, Jacob Glass, writes in his article in the January 2023 edition of The Holy Encounter Magazine:

“Grace is my jam. Everything good in my life has come by Grace and not by my doing or scheming or fixing or planning.”

Yes! Grace is my jam too! We are only in the first week of 2023, and I have already seen the hand of grace open some unexpected doors for me. If you haven’t done so yet, I encourage you to carve out some time to be still and ask for your word for 2023. You might be surprised by the word you receive. In my experience, whatever it is will be perfect. And if it speaks to you, I’m happy to share my word. There’s plenty of grace to go around!

If I can assist you in experiencing more peace and contentment in the New Year, please don’t hesitate to schedule a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions or a private Family Constellations Session. You can book a session and find more information about both on my website. If you have questions, click here to send me a message

Until next time, may you remember that grace is freely given and is available to you in every moment.

By grace I live. By grace I am released.

By grace I give. By grace I will release.

A Course in Miracles ~ W-169.15:3-6

Elves, Miracles, and Pizza

Since I live alone, I don’t make the effort to put up a full-size Christmas Tree with all the trimmings. However, I do put out a special little Christmas Tree decoration that I received as a gift back in 2013. Longtime readers of my weekly stories may remember this one. I haven’t shared it in quite a while so I felt inspired to share it again this holiday season. It looks like it’s going to be a chilly weekend for many of you reading this, so I hope this story warms your heart as it did mine:

When I said “yes” to being an elf with Unity on the Bay I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Somehow I knew it would be me receiving the gift when a group of us from church donned elf hats and brought a holiday pizza party to the Emily C. Moises Day Training Center for adults with disabilities. I truly believe the beautiful souls I met that day are angels on earth sent to remind me what is truly important, and that’s exactly what they did. 

When we first arrived, we were greeted by a woman serenading us with the entire song “Stand By Me” followed by an assortment of Christmas carols. She also recited a few poems which, by the way, she made up on the spot. This woman did not miss a beat! It was quite impressive.

After her performance, the pizza arrived so we began passing out slices to all the guests. I called upon the Spirit of Christmas to help me resist my pizza addiction. I wanted to make sure there were plenty of slices for all the guests and hardworking staff members. 

One young man must have read my mind. When I sat down with his group to talk with them, he slid me a plate with a slice on it. Using hand motions and very persuasive facial expressions, he insisted I partake. Although he did not speak a word, it was very clear he was not taking “no” for an answer! I did not want to be rude, so we enjoyed our delicious slices together. 

Later, while I was talking to another guest, this same young man walked up to me, put his head on my shoulder for a moment, and then continued walking. No words were exchanged or needed. My heart melted from his simple act of trust and unconditional love. When I close my eyes, I can still remember the feeling of that holy instant. 

There was another sweet woman with whom I had a special connection. I believe she had CP which made it difficult for her to speak. When she did, I discovered that she only spoke Spanish! I took Spanish in high school, and I practice whenever I encounter other Spanish speakers, but by no means am I fluent in the language. Despite our communication challenges, we connected with our eyes and smiles while dancing together and singing “Feliz Navidad.” 

When we were done dancing, my new friend wanted to show me some photos from Halloween on her iPhone. Of course, I loved the photos of her dressed like a fairy princess. Then she insisted we have our picture taken together. One of the staff members did her best to take our picture, but she must have taken photography lessons from my mother. Our heads were cut off in every shot! We all had a good laugh over that. Eventually, she got the one you see below.

After our photo session, the staff member and my new friend took me on a walk through the art gallery. Let me tell you, there are some talented artists at that center! The paintings were gorgeous! In fact, Bacardi used one of the paintings as their holiday greeting card that year. As a thank you, Bacardi gave the center a nice check to buy more art supplies. That sounds like a win/win situation to me!

As the party wound down and my fellow elves were preparing to depart, the staff offered each of us a holiday decoration to take home. The students in the arts and crafts class had painted an assortment of beautiful Christmas Trees on wooden frames. Not surprisingly, the Christmas Tree with bright pink hearts and shiny sequins called to me so I selected that one.

When I asked who created it, the staff member tipped it upside down to see the name “Avigail” written on the bottom. I asked if she could point out Avigail so I could thank her personally. She looked around the large room and said, “There she is over there.” The woman she pointed to was my sweet Feliz Navidad dance partner! 

I was shocked and not surprised at the same time. Of all the trees I could have chosen, of course, I picked the one my new friend had created. It was a Christmas miracle that still touches my heart 9 years later. Every December, when I pull that Christmas tree out of its bubble wrap, I instantly feel the unconditional love I felt that day with Avigail and the young man who insisted I have a slice with him. What a precious holiday gift. It is one I will always cherish. 

You can give a gift of love this holiday season. It’s not too late to purchase a Gift Certificate for a private Family Constellations Session or a Spiritual Coaching Session for a friend or family member. You can send a digital version via email or I can print the certificate on card stock and send it to you or directly to your loved one. Just click this link or send me an email for more information. 

As we bring this year to a close, I want to express my immense gratitude to each and every one of you. I look forward to being in sacred space and sharing more miracles with you in 2023! 

Until next year, may your holiday season be filled with unconditional love, an abundance of joyful moments, and many many miracles!

A miracle contains the gift of grace, for it is given and received as one.

A Course in Miracles ~ W.13.2:1

Healing Nurturing Love

This week marks the tenth anniversary of the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. One of my “forgiveness heroes” is Scarlett Lewis, the mother of Jessie Lewis, who lost his life protecting fellow classmates on that sad day in December of 2012. I first learned about Scarlett and her work in 2016 when she was a guest on a radio show that I regularly listened to. She and the host were discussing how we constantly tell kids what not to do: 

“Stop squirming in your seat. Don’t hit your classmate. Say no to drugs.” 

But rarely do we tell them what they can do when they are feeling anxious, angry, or overwhelmed. Scarlett pointed out that young kids having a difficult time don’t raise their hands in class and say, “Excuse me, Ms. Johnson. I am experiencing a lot of strong emotions that I do not know how to process. Could I please schedule an appointment with you and the guidance counselor to discuss this at your earliest convenience?” No, but they do let us know in other ways if we are observant. When given some basic tools, kids can learn to navigate these feelings. Scarlett co-created such a tool kit, but I’ll come back to that in a minute.

After hearing that interview, I purchased Scarlett’s powerful book titled Nurturing Healing Love: A Mother’s Journey of Hope & Forgiveness. And what an inspiring journey it was and continues to be! The book is full of remarkable stories leading up to that awful day, as well as the many messages she has received from Jesse since his passing. The title came from three words Jesse wrote on a chalkboard just days before the shooting: nurturing healing love. Scarlett did not notice the chalkboard until after her son’s death. Because these words were not typical for him (or any first grader for that matter), she knew it was a special message from Jesse instructing her how to carry on after the tragedy. These words inspired her to start the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement to teach kids what they can do when they are anxious, angry, or overwhelmed. The following words are directly from her website.

  1. Nurturing means loving kindness and gratitude.
  2. Healing means forgiveness.
  3. Love is compassion in action.

The Choose Love Formula™ is based on the profound result of practicing the character values inherent in “Nurturing Healing Love,” which are:
Courage + Gratitude + Forgiveness + Compassion in Action.

These four character values are easy to learn. When practiced, they strengthen the health and resilience of individuals, improve the community and culture of groups and promote a safer, more peaceful and loving world. She realized that love, connection, and belonging are universal wants and needs that connect all of humanity, and that if the shooter had received more of them in his life, the tragedy might never have happened. Scarlett set out on a mission to teach as many people around the world about this message, beginning with children.

Rather than analyzing the details of this and other mass shootings and looking for someone to blame, Scarlett chose to focus her attention on a solution. The fact that she eventually found compassion for the young man who killed her son is indeed a miracle. While not condoning his actions or that of any other perpetrator of violent crimes, she realized that not choosing love would keep her stuck in the pain of that horrible December day. It really touched me when she said she believes there were 28 victims that day, not the usual 26 associated with the Sandy Hook tragedy. She includes the shooter and his mother who also died that day. This is the kind of compassion that can change the world to one where love and peace prevail.

I know it’s a heavy topic and may not be for everyone, but I highly recommend Scarlett’s book, Nurturing Healing Love. The overall message is one of hope, not despair. With honesty, tenderness, and courage, she shares what happened, her healing process, and the many miracles that have occurred through it all. In fact, I had my own little miracle while reading this book. I finished reading it on June 30, which I found out in one of the last chapters is Jesse’s birthday. When I made this connection, I got that tingling sensation all through my body. It felt like Jesse had just recruited me to help share his message of nurturing healing love. I can’t think of a better birthday or holiday gift to him than to choose love and help others do the same. 

If you’d like to learn more about Scarlett Lewis and the Jessie Lewis Choose Love Movement, click this link. And if I can be of assistance in helping you choose love during this often stressful and sometimes lonely holiday season, please don’t hesitate to reach out for a Spiritual Coaching Session or private Family Constellations Session. Except for December 24 & 25, I will be doing sessions through the end of the year. You can also join our weekly online A Course in Miracles study group every Tuesday at 7 PM Eastern / 4 PM Pacific. We will be sharing some holiday miracles on Tuesday, December 27 at our regular time so join us if you can!

This holiday season, no matter what appears to be happening in the world of form, may you find ways to choose nurturing healing love…especially for yourself!

What is kept apart from love cannot share its healing power, because it has been separated off and kept in darkness. 

A Course in Miracles ~ T-14.VI.2:4

Love, Friendship, & Magical Burritos

Last weekend I had the honor of officiating a wedding ceremony for two dear friends in Fort Lauderdale. I’ll be honest. Officiating weddings is not my favorite thing because it is such an important day for the couple and their friends and family. I feel a little pressure to deliver an experience that will resonate with everyone in attendance. 

This one, however, was different. I knew many of the faces that were staring at us under the arch of flowers. I felt so much love present at this gathering that there was absolutely no room for fear. So many of my Fort Lauderdale friends came together to make this event spectacular because Adrian and Jeff are so beloved in our spiritual community. Over the years, they have hosted numerous game nights and gatherings in their beautiful home. Anyone who has had the privilege to be invited into their space knows it’s a joy to bask in their love for each other and in the love they infuse into their home.

As you can imagine, an event like this upped the love factor exponentially. With the help of friends and family, their backyard was transformed into a tropical oasis with flowers and lights. I took the liberty of sprinkling tiny rose quartz crystals all around the perimeter of their backyard to radiate the love we shared out to the World through the rose quartz grid. Because most of the guests in attendance were as “woo woo” as us, I felt free to share that bit of information during the ceremony. I doubt there was a dry eye in the house after they exchanged spontaneous, heartfelt vows. We then paused for a moment of silence to allow the guests the opportunity to send loving intentions to the grooms. All 3 of us felt waves of loving energy coming towards us. It was powerful!

Yes, there’s the legality of becoming a married couple, but to me, weddings are really a Celebration of Love: the love the couple has for each other and the love all those who gather have for them. It’s also the recognition of the Divine Love that connects us all. Not only was their backyard transformed for the ceremony, but their neighbors offered their yard and pool area for the reception. Witnessing so many people come together from near and far to play a role in making the day special for Adrian and Jeff was truly a testament to the joining power of Love. I wouldn’t have missed this event for anything.

It was an added bonus to spend the weekend among friends I have known for 10 or more years. We talked about every topic under the sun, caught up on each other’s lives, and laughed about our many adventures together. All this gave my heart a huge infusion of love. Meanwhile, my stomach was grateful for not one but two visits to my favorite Tex-Mex restaurant in Fort Lauderdale that I affectionately call “The Magical Burrito Place.” I have many fond memories of meals with friends there as well as solo moments where I experienced more miracles than I can count. If you’re curious, the actual name of the restaurant is “The Whole Enchilada.” I highly recommend a visit if you find yourself in Fort Lauderdale. 

Pardon the pun, but I guess you could say I received “the whole enchilada” last weekend. Love, friendship, and magical burritos were nourishment for my soul. My holiday wish is that you also receive the whole enchilada. Wherever you go and whatever you do, I envision you immersed in so much love and light that there is no room for fear and darkness.

I know the holidays can be a time of sadness for many people. If I can assist you in opening your heart to receive more peace, love, and joy, please reach out for a Spiritual Coaching Session or join us for our weekly online A Course in Miracles study group every Tuesday evening at 7 PM Eastern. I would be honored to help you recognize and radiate the Divine Light that resides in you. Look around my website for more information and to book a session. You can also purchase Gift Certificates for all of my services by clicking this link and scrolling down the page. The gift of healing is a gift that keeps on giving for a lifetime. 

Until next time, may the Light of the Holiday season illuminate your heart for the rest of this year, into the New Year, and beyond. 

The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.

A Course in Miracles ~ T.in.1:8

T.E.A.M. Manatee

“T.E.A.M. Together Everyone Accomplishes More.” I first heard this slogan years ago during my 3-day orientation after being hired at Walt Disney World. It’s one of those things that got stuck in my brain like the theme song of Gilligan’s Island. (My apologies to those of you who are now hearing that tune in your head.) As cheesy as it is, that breakdown of the word “team” is also very true. This week I had a fun opportunity to see clearly just how true. 

On Sunday I facilitated a Family Constellations Workshop at the Center for Spiritual Living in Ocala. A big thank you to everyone who attended and made the event such a powerful healing experience. My friend Cindy, the senior minister at the Center, suggested we go kayaking at Silver Springs State Park on Monday morning before I returned home to Sarasota. I’m so glad we did. It was a perfect morning to enjoy that spectacular place!

As we paddled through the crystal clear water of this natural spring, we encountered a variety of wildlife. There were dozens of turtles sunning themselves on logs trying to get warm after the chilly evening temperatures. We watched a beautiful Great Blue Heron preen its feathers while standing in the golden sunlight. The highlight of our excursion occurred when we happened upon a family of manatees peacefully munching on the aquatic vegetation.  

It was exhilarating to be that close to a herd of manatees in their natural habitat. I loved seeing their gray snouts break the surface of the water to take a breath before gracefully diving back down to the depths, their paddle-like tails the last to disappear. It was also a little scary after my friends shared stories of these large and sometimes playful creatures capsizing kayaks by surfacing directly beneath them. Although I was thoroughly enjoying being on the water, I had no desire to be in the water.  

You may be wondering how “team” fits into this story. Well, there were six of us kayaking that morning. Two friends brought their own one-person kayaks, while the other four rented 2 two-person tandem kayaks. I was in a tandem kayak with my friend Katie. Despite our sibling-like teasing, I think we made a great team. It turned out to be quite an advantage to have two sets of arms powering one kayak. Our friends in the single kayaks had to do all the work to propel themselves upstream when we got to the last part of our adventure. Those of us in the tandem kayaks seemed to expend much less effort to get our boats moving in the right direction. In these divisive times, what a great reminder that we truly do accomplish more when we work together. And it’s more fun! Check out some of the photos below. 

Would you like to work together to accomplish more peace, love, and joy in your life? It would be my great honor to assist you with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions. Powerful shifts happen when we work together to identify blocks that are holding you back and then create new pathways to move forward. During our sessions, I will offer practical tools based on principles from A Course in Miracles and Family Constellations. As we wind down 2022, why not make next year your best year yet by giving yourself this gift? Look around my website or send me an email for more information and to book your first session. If you are looking for a meaningful gift for someone in your life who is struggling, gift certificates are available on my website for both Spiritual Coaching and Private Family Constellations Sessions. 

The next time life gets overwhelming and it feels like you are paddling upstream by yourself, choose the tandem kayak. Remember: “together everyone accomplishes more.”

Alone we are all lowly, but together we shine with brightness so intense that none of us alone can even think of it.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-13.X.14:2

A Da Vinci Coded Message

I had a wonderful time visiting beloved friends near Asheville, NC last week for Thanksgiving. On Tuesday, we took a fun day trip to the Biltmore Estate to see an exhibit called “Leonardo Da Vinci – 500 Years of Genius.” What an experience! 

The exhibit was comprised of two parts. The first was a large room filled with replicas of some of Da Vinci’s most famous paintings and life-sized models of some of the inventions he illustrated in his notebooks. After seeing so many visionary ideas on display in one place, it amazed me to learn that Da Vinci’s genius was not recognized during his lifetime. What a great reminder not to measure success or creativity based on the opinions of others!

The other part of the exhibit was a 32-minute immersive theatrical presentation. Guests walked into a large room as images of Da Vinci’s work danced across the walls and floor in every direction. Sweeping orchestral and chorale music accompanied the images while some of Da Vinci’s most famous quotes appeared on certain screens. It truly felt like we were transported inside his imagination. The experience was so captivating, we stayed and watched it a second time.

My favorite part was when a choir of angelic voices began singing as images of Da Vinci’s angel paintings floated around the room. The quote that appeared on the screen said, “I wish to work miracles.” The combination of this quote with ethereal images and music sent tingles through my body. It was one of those holy moments when my heart overflowed with gratitude to be exactly where I was with people I love. For those who live near or will be traveling to Asheville, I highly recommend this exhibit!

Having just celebrated Thanksgiving last week here in the United States, my wish for you is to experience many moments that fill your heart with gratitude for being right where you are. If you’d like some assistance in feeling more joy, gratitude, and contentment in your life, let’s work miracles together! Look around my website for information on Spiritual Coaching, Family Constellations, or my weekly online A Course in Miracles study group. While there, you can also book a session or purchase a gift certificate for someone you love. 

Until next time, may angels and miracles surround you each and every day this holiday season…

Gratitude goes hand in hand with love, and where one is the other must be found.

A Course in Miracles ~ W.195.10:2

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