A Magical Interruption

Last week, I had a magical interruption of my routine when I took an unexpected trip to the Magic Kingdom at Disney World. A longtime friend invited me to be his “plus one” for a party celebrating his 30-year anniversary with the Walt Disney Company. They closed the park early that day and reopened it later in the evening for just invited guests to this celebration. And what a celebration it was!

There were cast members waiting to welcome us when we got off the ferry boat clapping and yelling congratulations to those celebrating milestone anniversaries. There was a red carpet on Main Street, USA with more cast members clapping and cheering on each side. Food and beverages were complimentary all night. There was a live band on the stage in front of Cinderella’s Castle, as well as in Frontierland, Tomorrowland, and Adventureland. Tables and chairs were set up throughout the park so guests could sit and talk with each other. And all of the attractions were open with no wait times. We literally walked on every ride. The gift of the whole experience was almost too much to take in. 

As if that weren’t enough, they also presented a special edition of the new 50th Anniversary fireworks spectacular, Disney Enchantment. This version had a pre-show with new projections on Cinderella’s Castle and featured music from the parades and shows of the early decades of the park. Some of those parades and shows I had the joy of performing in once upon a time during my 7 years as an entertainment cast member. What a wonderful tribute to all the cast members who have been creating magical memories for park guests for decades. I felt so blessed to be there.

Here’s the craziest part of the whole experience. I almost declined the invitation when I found out the date. It was the same night that I planned to start our new weekly online A Course in Miracles study group. It didn’t feel right to ask someone to facilitate for me on day one, but I knew my heart truly wanted to say yes to this unbelievable invitation. Thankfully, the Course has taught me not to make any decision by myself, so I asked my friend if I could give him an answer the following day after I took this dilemma into prayer.

Some of you have probably already thought of the simple solution that I received when I asked the still small voice about what to do. “John, just postpone the start of the new group and go to the party!” And that is exactly what I did. Not only was it a great reminder to ask for guidance in every situation, but it also reminded me that many of our limitations are self-imposed. I am the one who set the start date. I hadn’t officially announced it yet, so there was no reason not to change it. 

Sometimes we get stuck in our heads or our routines without ever considering that there may be another option. Our heart always knows. That’s why it is so important to practice self-inquiry. When we bump against something that takes away our peace or prevents us from experiencing joy, we can put our hand on our heart and ask, “Is it true? Might there be another way to look at this?” When we do, a magical world can open up for us. 

Would you like some assistance in seeing things differently to experience more joy in your life? A series of Spiritual Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations session might be just the thing to help with that. Look around my website for more information about both or send me an email if you have a specific question. Sessions can be done online from anywhere in the world and you can now schedule a session directly on my website. It would be my great honor to assist you so please reach out. 

This week, when joy knocks on your door or calls you on the phone with an invitation, make sure you ask your heart and your Divine Guidance before you answer. 

The world you see but shows you how much joy you have allowed yourself to see in you, and to accept as yours.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-21.in.2:7

A Miracle Mom Story

Sunday was Mother’s Day, and as some of you know, I had quite a challenging journey of healing with mine. This photo of us was taken at her 80th birthday party in front of an old Olan Mills photo taken when I was ten years old. I see our soul contract in the knowing look we gave each other as if we are saying, “Here we go again! Let’s get it right this time and choose unconditional love.” I’m happy to say I think we did it!.

Rather than write about it, I thought it might be more helpful to hear me talk about it with the hosts of the Miracle Voices podcast. In February, I was a guest on this podcast which features stories of forgiveness from the perspective of A Course in Miracles. If you’d like to hear how we came to a place of understanding and peace before she passed in 2011, check out Miracle Voices Episode 43 – “Seeing All Relationships as Perfect.” 

You can listen on Apple Podcasts, YouTube, Spotify, or at MiracleVoices.org. Let me know if you can relate to the stories I shared. After almost 9 years of facilitating Family Constellations, I have learned that our stories are much more similar than they are different. If you’d like some assistance healing the relationship with your mom, I’d be honored to assist you with a Private Family Constellations session or a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions. Look around my website for more information or click here to book a session.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms reading this and to all those who have taken on the role of mom in some capacity. I honor and bless you for all the ways you extend love.

With love in you, you have no need except to extend it.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-15.V.11:3

A Humbling Miracle

As some of you know, I have been facilitating A Course in Miracles study groups on Mondays for many years now. “Miracle Monday” started on Monday afternoons at Bridges of Wellness in Fort Lauderdale in 2015 and then moved to Monday evenings at Unity of Houston in 2018. When COVID-19 shut everything down in 2020, we shifted our group online and have been gathering virtually on Monday evenings ever since. 

During those rapidly changing and unprecedented times, our virtual meetings were a safe harbor in the storm for me and many of the weekly attendees. That’s why I felt inspired to start a second weekly study group on Friday evenings shortly after our Monday group began meeting on Zoom. I am so grateful for Miracle Mondays and Forgiveness Fridays. They have been a soul-anchoring way to begin and end my week for the past 2 years.

As things began to open up again this year and people started to venture out more, it became clear that our meeting times were no longer ideal. Rather than discontinue one, I felt a nudge to combine the two groups into one and begin a new tradition on Tuesdays. “Transformational Tuesdays” will start on May 10. That meant this Monday was the last “Miracle Monday” after hosting them for 7 years. Imagine my frustration when I discovered that my internet service cut out around 4 PM on Monday with no information as to when it would be restored!

After two hours and several failed attempts to get in touch with Comcast, I still was unable to access the internet. With just an hour until our start time, I realized I needed a backup plan. I sent a text message to my friend Marina in Houston who has facilitated for me many times in the past. I explained the situation and asked if there was any chance she could cover for me if my internet did not come back online. To my surprise, she replied almost immediately that she could do it! What a relief!

I stayed hopeful that Comcast would resolve the issue by 7 PM and I would be able to get on Zoom to facilitate. No such luck. At 6:45, I surrendered and texted Marina that I still had no internet service. As much as I wanted to be there for the last meeting, I had to trust that it was not meant to be. It occurred to me later that I could have asked my friend who lives only 10 minutes away if I could have used her office for a few hours that night. I have since found out the Xfinity outage also affected her neighborhood and reached as far as Venice, FL which is 20 miles south of me. Whatever happened was big!

You might be asking, where was the miracle in all this, John? You missed the last meeting. You could say the miracle was the fact that Marina was available at such short notice. And that was a miracle. But A Course in Miracles defines a miracle simply as a shift in perception from fear to love. That does not mean things always happen how we think they should. The miracle happens when we are able to remain peaceful even when they don’t. I was not able to be online for the last Miracle Monday, but I was able to relax knowing the group was in good hands with Marina. Despite my absence, there was still a space for people to gather, connect, and share miracles. This is why I created these groups, so there was nothing to be upset about. Although I wasn’t able to change the situation, I was able to change my thoughts about the situation. That’s the real miracle.

Speaking of miracles, if you are having a difficult time as a mom or with a mom and would like to experience a shift from fear to love, please join me on Saturday, May 7, (the day before Mother’s Day) for “Examining the Role of Mom with Family Constellations.” Something truly magical happens when we meet in the Knowing Field to help each other heal from inherited family trauma. Click this link for more information and to purchase a ticket.

This week, may you experience many miraculous shifts from fear to love no matter what appears to  happen.

Miracles are expressions of love, but they may not always have observable effects.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-1.I.35:1

Kind Not Creepy

This week my story is short and sweet. I went to one of my favorite spots to watch the sun set on Saturday, and the colors were absolutely breathtaking. It was the night before Easter, and it looked like Mother Nature was painting a giant pastel Easter egg in the sky. I could not stop snapping photos because the hues in the clouds were getting more beautiful with each passing minute.

As the colors began to fade, a woman sheepishly approached me from behind and commented on the spectacular sunset we had just witnessed. Then she showed me a photo she had taken with her phone and pointed to a silhouette at the bottom. “That’s you,” she said. I could tell by her body language that she was very uncomfortable talking to me. She apologized for bothering me, but said she felt compelled to ask if I wanted a copy of the photo since it was such a unique image. I reassured her that she was not bothering me, nor did I think it was weird that she took the photo. I thanked her and said that I would love a copy.

It got a little awkward again when she didn’t know how to share it with me. I asked if she had an iPhone. If so, she could “air drop” the photo to me. She giggled nervously and said I might as well be speaking Sanskrit because she had no idea what that meant. She admitted that technology was not her strong suit, followed by a comment about having good intentions but often not knowing how to follow through.

When she was hesitant to take my phone number to text the photo to me, I suggested she simply send it to my email address. She questioned whether I was comfortable sharing my email, and I told her I was a Spiritual Coach and Family Counselor, so my email address was out there for clients to contact me. That seemed to soothe her, so she typed my email address in her phone and promised to send the picture later. As she walked away, I thanked her again and reassured her that her actions were kind, not creepy. 

As promised, she sent the above photo to my email address less than 15 minutes later with a brief note, “Have a nice day.” I was very touched by this act of generosity from a stranger. My heart was overflowing with gratitude to be gifted both a magnificent sunset and the kindness of a stranger. It was more evidence of what I truly believe. Human beings are intrinsically good and hardwired for connection. It also reminded me of a quote I heard years ago that has stayed with me. “Never suppress a generous thought.” (This quote is attributed to Camilla E. Kimball.) I am very grateful that woman pushed past her discomfort and did not suppress her generous thought. If she had, I would not be able to share the photo that accompanies this blog.

If you are ready to experience more peace and connection, I invite you to join me online for my first Group Coaching program. I’m calling it: “Stay Centered in Swirling Times.” This 4-week program starts on Sunday, May 1, and finishes on Sunday, May 22. With so much divisiveness and rapidly changing circumstances in the world, I felt inspired to create a sacred space where we can gather to support one another, experience safety, and help each other return to peace. Click here for more information and to register.

If you are having a difficult time as a mom or with a mom, please join me on Saturday, May 7, (the day before Mother’s Day) for my next online Family Constellations workshop. We will be “Examining the Role of Mom with Family Constellations.” Something truly magical happens when we meet in the Knowing Field to help each other heal from inherited family trauma. Click here for more information and to purchase a ticket.

Until next time, may you follow your heart and never suppress a generous thought. You just might make someone’s day!

A miracle is never lost. It may touch many people you have not even met, and produce undreamed of changes in situations of which you are not even aware.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-1.I.45:1-2

BEING with Friends

Several years ago I learned a powerful lesson about being with friends. I was living in Fort Lauderdale at the time when my dear friend Kelly came for a visit. Kelly is a mother of 3 young children, and this trip was a gift from her husband to give her a much-needed “mommy break” for a few days. Kelly and I met while working in the Entertainment Department at Disney World. We were both cast in the SpectroMagic Parade that first summer which meant we spent almost every day together. Oh, the fun and laughter we had that summer! Sadly for me, Kelly moved to Atlanta the following year, but our love for each other has only grown over the years. I couldn’t wait to introduce her to my Fort Lauderdale friends, so I planned a plethora of meals and outings while she was in town. 

By the end of her visit, the poor thing was probably more exhausted than when she arrived. I dragged Kelly to restaurants all over South Florida to meet my friends when what she really wanted was some downtime with me by the ocean. It was too late by the time I realized I had overbooked our limited time together. When I look back, I still feel bad about the way I handled that weekend. Kelly was a good sport, but I vowed never to make that mistake again with another guest.

That’s why when my friend Ali came to visit this past weekend, I intentionally planned very little. I had a few ideas of favorite places I’d like to share with her, but overall it was a very fluid and spacious five days. We spent a lot of time walking on the beach, eating at some of my favorite restaurants, and talking on my sofa until well past our regular bedtimes. Gratefully, we had lots of time BEING together instead of DOING together. Since Ali and I usually see each other just once per year in Montana at the Big Sky Retreat (where we both served on the Board), having this much quality time with no busy agenda or responsibilities was a true gift.

The more relaxed one-on-one time allowed us to share things we didn’t know about each other. I heard stories about Ali’s high school days and her journey to ministry. I loved telling her about some of the mystical experiences I’ve had along the way and hearing about some of hers. We also had time to record a conversation about Friendship for the online spiritual community she leads called the Satya Center. You can watch that half-hour video on YouTube by clicking this link.

During our conversation, we explore some of the qualities and life experiences that have helped us create and maintain a strong friendship. Later, we answered questions about why we need friends and how to best support them. I trust that something we share in our discussion will be of benefit to you and perhaps inspire you to reach out to a friend. This deep dive into the subject of friendship helped me recognize how blessed I am to have so many amazing friends with whom I’ve shared endless hours of love, laughter, tears, and joy. That includes all of you who read my weekly stories!

If you could use some support in cultivating deeper friendships or moving through a difficult time, it would be my great honor to assist you with a series of Spiritual Coaching sessions. All of my sessions are based on the strong principles found in A Course in Miracles and Family Constellations. Once you see things from a different perspective, whatever situation was making you fearful or causing you stress won’t seem so powerful. Please look around my website for more information and to book a session

I’m also happy to announce I will be starting a new Group Coaching experience on Sunday Evenings in May to help you “Stay Centered in Swirling Times.” With so much divisiveness and rapidly changing circumstances in the world, many of us are feeling stressed and anxious. Something truly magical occurs in a group setting, so I felt inspired to create a sacred space where we can gather to support one another, experience safety, and help each other return to peace. Based on what we discuss and what specific issues arise, I will facilitate spontaneous Family Constellations exercises and share helpful concepts and practices from A Course in Miracles and other spiritual teachings. We will close our time together each week with a guided meditation and prayer to anchor and weave together all that occurred. 

This group will meet on Zoom for an hour and fifteen minutes each Sunday at 8 PM Eastern, 7 PM Central, 6 PM Mountain, and 5 PM Pacific on May 1, 8, 15, and 22. The cost is only $111 for the entire 4-week experience. If you feel a nudge to join us, please visit the Spiritual Coaching page my website for more information and to register. Space is limited to 20 participants. I’m so looking forward to seeing what miracles want to happen during our time together next month! 

This week, I encourage you to take a moment to remember and bless all the friends you’ve encountered along the way, whether they came into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. 

I would see you as my friend, that I may remember you are part of me and come to know myself. 

A Course in Miracles ~ W-68.6:3

Don’t Forget to Charge Your Soulphone

Recently a generous friend gifted me a copy of Rob Bell’s audiobook, Handling Your Fire: Passion, Burnout, Routines, and Resilience. I’ve been listening to it on my morning walks, and I’m finding many pearls of wisdom in it. There’s one pearl in particular that I’d like to share with you here. It has to do with honoring the ebb and flow that I wrote about a few weeks ago.

Lately, I have heard many of my coaching clients and peers talk about feeling fatigued and lacking energy to do things, even things they usually enjoy. Perhaps you’re feeling this too. In the audiobook, Rob talks about the need for rest and rejuvenation as part of our natural cycle. Of course, this is not a new concept, but he dives a little deeper into the ebb stage by using a Biblical analogy to describe this rhythm. While his description was very helpful, it was also a bit graphic. As I pondered this concept, another metaphor dropped into my mind that is more gentle, but I trust will be just as helpful.

Most of us carry little electronic devices called smartphones that do amazing things to help us throughout the day. At the end of the day, we know we have to plug them into a charger so they are powered up and ready to go the following day. Obviously, you can’t just turn off the phone when the battery gets low or dies and expect it to be functional the next day. It needs to receive energy so it can recharge. We are the same.

Many of us believe we can simply take a day off to sleep or a week’s vacation when we feel depleted and expect to jump back into our busy routine the next day. Yes, sleep and vacations are beautiful things, and I’m a huge fan of both! But like our phones, when we run out of juice, simply shutting down won’t necessarily restore us. We also need to recharge our batteries. Ask yourself, “What feeds my soul?” Is it music? Dancing? Creating art? Writing? Lunch with a friend? Watching a funny movie? Meditation? Swimming? Hiking in nature? What are the activities that light you up? Another important question to ask is, “Do I feel more energized when I’m alone or with others?” Once you identify what lights you up and with whom, give yourself permission to do that or something similar as soon as possible.

This point was so obvious it hit me like a ton of bricks when I heard it. It’s especially important for those who are prone to give and give, yet find it difficult to receive or ask for help. That’s when burnout happens. You cannot give from an empty pitcher. I learned this during my 15 years as a licensed massage therapist. If I wanted to give the best massage to my clients, I had to receive a massage regularly to take care of my own body. This is true of any profession where you provide physical, mental, or emotional support for others. Caregivers of any kind often let their own well-being take a back seat to the needs of those they care for. It can feel selfish to take precious time for yourself, but it’s actually the kindest and most compassionate thing you can do for everyone involved. 

I experienced the truth of this principle last Friday when I attended a kirtan at Unity of Sarasota. Due to the pandemic, it was the first time I’d been to one in over 2 years. For those unfamiliar with the word kirtan, it’s kind of like singing around a campfire with a group of friends and a guitar, but participants chant ancient Sanskrit mantras in a call and response fashion, usually to the sounds of various Eastern instruments. Something about the sound of the words and the harmonium, the typical instrument played by a kirtan leader, zaps my soul. I often feel waves of joyful energy moving through my body throughout the experience. I didn’t realize how much I missed that feeling until I was immersed in it again on Friday. I was so grateful for the opportunity to recharge my soul battery with the energy of these sacred chants!

Whatever that thing is that feeds your soul, I encourage you to do more of it. Once you  replenish your soul battery, you can go back out into the world to share your gifts and talents with vim and vigor. It’s a win/win for everyone!

Two things that feed my soul are Spiritual Coaching and Family Constellations. It brings me great joy to help people discover what is keeping them from a happy, healthy, prosperous life. To find out more or to schedule an appointment, please look around my website.

This week, may you give yourself the rest you need and don’t forget to charge your soul phone!

You who are tired will find this is more restful than sleep.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-14.IV.6:7

Forgiveness Sets Me Free

It’s no secret that I love the spiritual document known as A Course in Miracles. One of its foundational principles is forgiveness, and it has indeed set me free from many painful experiences. The Course frames the concept of forgiveness in similar yet very different ways from other spiritual traditions. It would be impossible to fully explain the nuances here, but if you are curious, please join one of our weekly online A Course in Miracles Study Groups! One aspect of the Course’s version of forgiveness is described in the passage below from Chapter 27 in the text:  

Dream of your brother’s kindnesses instead of dwelling in your dreams on his mistakes. Select his thoughtfulness to dream about instead of counting up the hurts he gave. Forgive him his illusions, and give thanks to him for all the helpfulness he gave. And do not brush aside his many gifts because he is not perfect in your dreams. T-27.VII.15:3-6

As with many of the concepts in the Course, it’s simple but not always easy. If there is a great deal of trauma around an incident or something occurred very recently, it may not be possible to think about the kindnesses of the person or persons we believe harmed us. And that’s okay. Healing is a process that can only begin when the time is right. You will know when that time comes when you think or say something like “there has to be a better way” or “I don’t want to feel like this anymore.”

When you are ready, that passage is inviting us to stop thinking about and retelling the story of the terrible thing that someone did or did not do. Instead, call to mind something kind they once did or some good quality about this person, no matter how small. When we shift our focus and release the unforgiving thoughts, we are the ones who feel better. 

Perhaps you have heard some version of the quote: “Holding on to resentments is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die.” We know poison doesn’t work that way. Like poison, my resentments and judgments only harm me. I will not be able to experience peace as long as I hold onto unforgiving thoughts. 

This doesn’t mean I condone harmful actions or suggest you let others abuse or take advantage of you. If you are in a situation where you are being harmed in any way, please make the most loving choice for yourself and leave that situation as soon as possible. If you find yourself in a situation where you are the one causing harm, I encourage you to seek professional help or spiritual counsel so you can uncover and release your own pain.

Why am I sharing all this in my email this week? Like many of you, I was shocked by the incident that happened between Will Smith and Chris Rock at the Academy Awards Ceremony on Sunday night. It has been the topic of much discussion this week, and there are a lot of different opinions and viewpoints out there. I’m assuming you have access to the internet if you’re reading this so you know what happened. If not, you might be better off keeping it that way. 

Personally, I do not think violence is ever an appropriate or beneficial choice when dealing with conflict. I also believe making jokes at another person’s expense is not kind. A Course in Miracles teaches that attack thoughts, whether we act on them or not, are always harmful. And when we express them with words or fists, they never produce loving, harmonious, or peaceful results. Though in the grand scheme of things it was a minor incident, the ripples of disharmony and pain from that small act extended well beyond the walls of the Dolby Theatre and out into the world. I trust the conversations that are happening will be learning opportunities for us all. 

Like many, I was very upset by what I saw, but I have learned that it is not for me to judge who is right, who is wrong, or what “should” have happened. No matter what the situation, my job is always to forgive and extend love. I’m so grateful to have remembered the above passage from  A Course in Miracles. It helped me remember the time that Will Smith appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show in 2019 to surprise and commend two high school football players for making the loving choice to stop bullying a classmate and collect new clothes for him instead. You can watch the whole story about the high school students by clicking this link.

It may seem ironic to hear Will Smith’s words to the boys now, but I choose to believe this is the true version of him. It’s indicative of “the man he wants to be” as he wrote in his apology to Chris Rock on Instagram. Again, I do not condone his actions on that night. However, I know there have been plenty of times when I acted from ego and made choices that I’m not proud of. I pray when it happens again (and it inevitably will!) that I’m not on live TV in front of millions of people. May we all hold our judgment of right and wrong for just a moment and extend love to everyone that has been affected by this incident. And while we are at it, let’s do the same for anyone who is currently experiencing pain, suffering, anger, or fear anywhere in the world.

Family Constellations and Spiritual Coaching based on A Course in Miracles are both excellent ways to help you free yourself from the past and move forward with clarity and grace. If you would like to experience more peace and harmony in your life, please look around my website to book a session or get more information. 

The next online Family Constellations Workshop is happening next Saturday, April 9 from 2-5 PM Eastern. We will be “Releasing Patterns Under the Full Moon” to prepare you for your own Full Moon Release Ceremony the following weekend. There are only a few spaces left, so click this link to purchase your ticket today.  

This week, if you’re ready, I encourage you to try releasing a hurt and remember a kindness, even if it’s a tiny one. That small act will be a big step toward your freedom! 

Powerful Power Washing!

This week an interesting “coincidence” happened as I was about to start a private Family Constellations Session on Zoom. Right before the start time, the maintenance crew at my apartment complex began power washing the outside of my building. Thanks to the audio filters on Zoom, my client couldn’t hear the sound even as they blasted my front door, but we both agreed it was not an accident this was occurring at the same time. The Knowing Field wanted to make sure we understood that deep cleaning was happening both inside and out!

This experience reminded me that I often compare Family Constellations to spring cleaning for the unconscious mind. Just like clutter clearing a closet or a garage, we often find things we didn’t know were hiding in there. Many of us keep things in our home that we don’t use, don’t love, and don’t even like. We can site a variety of sentimental reasons why we are unable to let go of these items. That necklace belonged to my mother. My dad played golf every Saturday with those clubs. Those dishes have been in my family for generations. We cherish the memory of the loved one to whom those items belonged, but what about the actual item that is collecting dust on the shelf or taking up space in the garage? Do we really need to keep them? 

It might seem disrespectful to release those items, but what if we found a different way to stay connected? My dear friend, Dorena, the Space Doula, often recommends taking a photo of the item and then donating or recycling it. That way you still have something to spark your fond memories, but you don’t have the item taking up space in your home. But what if the item conjures up unpleasant memories? Why would you keep it? Keep reading. The explanation might surprise you.

Jewelry, golf clubs, and dishes aren’t the only things that are passed down from generation to generation. You can also inherit non-physical things like pain, sorrow, trauma, and anxiety. Even though these things are detrimental to our well-being, just like those material items, we unconsciously hold on to them as a way to stay connected to our ancestors.

For example, if we have a break in the bond with our mother or father, we can unknowingly recreate similar situations in our lives as a way to be connected. Despite vowing to do it differently, children of alcoholics often become alcoholics themselves or choose a partner with a drinking problem. If one of our parents was unfaithful in the marriage or was swindled by a business partner, we might repeatedly experience betrayal in our personal or business relationships. We may suddenly and inexplicably start feeling anxious at the same age an ancestor experienced a trauma that drastically changed their life. Our unconscious mind says, “See how much I love you? I will repeat the pattern. Then we can be close.”

Once I started learning more about Family Constellations, it was pretty clear that I inherited some of my mother’s deep sadness and pain. Her father died in a swimming accident one month before she was born. Her first child, my oldest brother, was born very prematurely, and only lived a few days. Her husband, my father, died from cancer at age 45. That is a lot of loss in one person’s lifetime. It’s no wonder she turned to alcohol to numb her pain.

Out of a sense of love and duty to his mother, little John unconsciously took on some of her pain thinking it would lessen her burden. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. It only keeps the chain of pain going. However, in a strange way, the pain and sadness kept us connected for many years when it wasn’t possible to connect through love. Here’s the good news. Once you see it, it’s not unconscious anymore, and you can choose differently. You can consciously connect in a healthy way.

I’m so grateful for A Course in Miracles and Family Constellations for helping me to see things from a different perspective. Now I choose to connect to my mom through beneficial qualities like her resilience, her ability to lighten any situation with humor, and most importantly, through the unconditional love that we eventually achieved during the last years of her life. What a blessing and a relief to be free of the other stuff!  

By the way, in the final moments of the constellation with my client on Zoom, another extraordinary thing happened. All of a sudden, a ladder appeared at my window, followed by a wall of water. As if on cue, the power washer cleared away anything on the glass that was obscuring the view. Now there was clarity to move forward! I have no doubt my client and I will remember the powerful symbolism in that session for a long time! 

If anything I have shared here has stirred something in you, perhaps it’s time for some spring cleaning of your unconscious mind. I offer private Family Constellations Sessions via Zoom as well as monthly Group Sessions. The next Group Session is Saturday, April 9 from 2-5 PM Eastern. Check out the flyer below for details. For more information about Family Constellations, Spiritual Coaching, or to book a session, please look around my website

For intuitive assistance in your home, I highly recommend a “House Whispering” Session with Dorena, the Space Doula. She is incredibly gifted at locating areas in your space where the energy is stuck or not supporting your intentions. Then she offers fun and creative ways to shift it. You can find her at SpaceDoula.com

This week, may you have the courage to do some deep spring cleaning to release unhealthy connections and reconnect with love!

It is so beautiful and so clean and free of guilt that nothing but happiness is there.

A Course in Miracles – T-15.I.8:6

Do You Trust the Tree?

I’m a little embarrassed to share this story, but it was a good reminder to trust, so here it is. If you’ve been reading my weekly stories lately, you know I am enjoying the assortment of birds and other wildlife in the tree and pond right outside my window. Earlier this month, I started to get concerned about the tree. Bright red buds began bursting out the tips of the branches that had been bare all winter. It didn’t take long for word to get out in Squirrel World that a new all-you-can-eat buffet had opened. Soon there was a whole crew of squirrels in that tree daily devouring its buds.

I know it sounds silly, but I was legitimately concerned that the squirrels would eat all the buds and the tree would die. How could it survive if it didn’t have enough leaves to capture the sunlight? All I could do was watch from the other side of the glass as those voracious little varmints stripped branch after branch clean. As you can see in the picture above, I was face to face with one little culprit and managed to get photographic evidence of his crime. I think he was taunting me saying, “Yeah. I’m eating these delicious buds. What are you going to do about it, Mr. Human?”

I did the only thing I could do. I surrendered and trusted. Mother Nature must know what she’s doing because that tree was here long before I moved into this apartment last summer. I know I am odd, but I did not want to be known as the crazy neighbor chasing squirrels out of a tree! < Insert squirrel or nut joke here. >

Then something miraculous happened. Little sprouts of green began emerging underneath some of the red clumps of what I thought were new leave buds. With each passing day, there were more of them. As most of you probably already know, those squirrels were not killing the tree by eating its new leaves. They were feasting on the little helicopter seeds that twirl to the ground. Upon realizing this, I felt relieved and ridiculous at the same time.

Now before you judge me too harshly, remember, I was not here to witness this transformation last spring. I didn’t know the helicopter seeds were red. We had similar maple trees in the front yard of my childhood home in Upstate New York, but the helicopter seeds of those trees started out green and then turned a golden tan color. They were never red.

In any case, as you can see in the second photo, I was concerned for no reason. That tree is now full of bright green leaves and doing just fine without the slightest intervention needed from me. The squirrels had a peaceful feast without this silly human trying to “save the tree.” What a great reminder to trust the process of life even when things don’t appear to be going the way I think they should. This reminder was very timely for me. I hope it is for you too. 

Facilitating Family Constellations for the past 9 years has been one of my best teachers for learning to trust the process. Even when seemingly random or extraneous things come up in a constellation, I have found they usually provide meaningful information if I am open to seeing it that way. Along those lines, A Course in Miracles has taught me that Spirit can find a way to express love and light in even the darkest of situations. A small crack in the door is all that’s required to let in the light.

If I can assist you in cracking the door to let some love and light into a challenging situation, please reach out for a private Family Constellations Session or perhaps a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions based on A Course in Miracles. To learn more or to book a session, please explore my website

Until next time, may you remember to trust that life will continue to grow in miraculous ways if you allow it to.

Showers of Peace

I know many of us are feeling helpless and fearful as innocent people in Ukraine are suffering from the Russian invasion. The ego wants us to react with anger and judgment, but the only way to create peace in the world is to cultivate inner peace. Once we feel peace in our minds, we can extend peaceful energy to Ukraine and anywhere there is conflict. When we remain angry and fearful, we send that energy to situations that are already filled with fear and anger. That’s like pouring gasoline on a raging fire and expecting it to go out. It only fuels the fire.

Understandably, if you consume the images and video footage coming out of Ukraine, the temptation to send angry, fearful energy to the aggressors is very strong. I encourage you to limit your intake of those images and find healthy ways to diffuse that energy and come back to a place of peace. Turn off the news and go outside and get some fresh air. Take ten intentional, deep, cleansing breaths. If it’s too cold outside, observe nature from your window. Meditate. Spend time with a good friend, your spouse, your children, or a beloved pet. Play soothing music and paint, write, or engage in another creative endeavor. Watch something that makes you laugh. Play uplifting music and dance around or clean your space. Do whatever works for you to come back to center.

Then, imagine blessings of peace and love falling down on Ukraine like gentle rain on a dry, scorched patch of earth. Let’s use the power of our minds and hearts to drench any situation where there is fear and conflict with showers of love and harmony. That includes situations closer to home. I’m doing my best to extend peace to my neighbors on the other side of the wall when they have occasional “heated discussions” at 3 AM. As A Course in Miracles teaches, everything is either an “expression of love” or a “call for love,” and the appropriate response is always love in some form. It’s simple, but not always easy. 

Let me be clear. This is not an invitation to ignore what is happening in Ukraine, or anywhere there is conflict and injustice. This also does not mean we condone the choices or behaviors of individuals causing harm to others. It does mean we want to be part of the solution, not the problem. Once we create the experience of peace internally, we will be more open to receive clear guidance as to what, if anything, we can do in the world of form. We might feel inspired to attend or organize a candlelight vigil or prayer circle. We might donate money to one of the organizations helping Ukrainian refugees fleeing cities under attack. Combined with our peaceful prayers, these actions will be much more beneficial than yelling at our screens or letting fearful thoughts paralyze us.

I trust something I shared here will help empower you to return to peace. If you would like more opportunities to experience peace, please join us on Monday or Friday evenings for our weekly online A Course in Miracles study groups. For one-on-one assistance, please consider giving yourself the gift of a series of Spiritual Coaching sessions or a Private Family Constellations Session. Information about both can be found on my website

Until next time, please be gentle with yourself and find ways to return to peace so you can extend blessings of love and harmony wherever they are needed.

Miracles fall like drops of healing rain from Heaven on a dry and dusty world…

A Course in Miracles ~ W-pII.13.5:1

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