Remember You’re Dreaming

“Remember you’re dreaming.” It’s good advice and the name of the second CD recently released by one of my new favorite singers, Neda Boin. I was introduced to Neda’s beautiful music over a year ago when a friend sent me one of her videos. In the video, Neda put the words to my favorite A Course in Miracles prayer to music. (For my fellow ACIM students, it’s the “I am here only to be truly helpful” prayer.) These powerful words resonate deeply in my heart, so to hear them expressed musically accompanied by her angelic voice was a transcendental experience. I have been listening to and sharing her music ever since.

I’m not exaggerating when I say Neda’s music has given my experience of A Course in Miracles another dimension of healing. Last summer, while interviewing Gary Renard on her YouTube channel, Neda shared a story about forgiveness involving a longtime friend. As she spoke about the uncomfortable feeling in her heart when she thought of her friend, I felt the heaviness of some lingering grievances in my own heart. Although I had already done a lot of forgiveness work on this situation, hearing her vulnerable story and then feeling the energy of the song she sang about forgiveness helped my heart release those judgmental thoughts. I felt so much lighter afterward! A few of the friends I have introduced to Neda’s music have also reported profound moments of peace and spontaneous healing just listening to her music. 

Neda lives in the Netherlands, so when she announced in her newsletter that she would be coming to the US for a summer tour, I got very excited. I immediately had a vision of her performing at Unity of Sarasota. I had just been to a concert in the beautifully renovated sanctuary in January, so I knew it would be a perfect space for Neda’s inspirational music. When I reached out to the senior minister at Unity to ask if this was in the realm of possibilities, I found out that another ACIM student had already suggested it! Rev. Suzy took this as confirmation to move forward with an invitation to Neda, and to my delight, Neda kicked off her summer tour right here in Sarasota last weekend!

A dear friend from Houston flew to Sarasota to visit and attend the concert on Sunday. That morning, we had a glorious walk on the beach and then floated in the magnificent turquoise water chatting and chilling in the rolling waves for quite a while. In fact, it was so glorious that we lost track of time. By the time we walked back to my car, we had less than an hour to get cleaned up and to the concert by 1 PM. That meant driving to her hotel, driving to my apartment, then back to her hotel, and then to Unity. We did our best to hurry, but we were still a bit late. However, it felt very appropriate that we arrived at Unity at 1:11 PM. The digits were all “ones” and the Course says over and over again that we are all One. We checked in with our prepaid tickets and entered the sanctuary just as Neda began the opening meditation and intention setting. Thank you, Spirit. We hadn’t missed a note of the concert!

I will admit for at least the first 30 minutes of the concert, my eyes welled up with tears. I felt tremendous gratitude to be present while Neda played the piano and sang just a few feet away from me. I allowed the tears to flow as the vibration and the energy of the music washed over me. It was such a treat to hear Neda share a little background on each of the songs, and I was so happy when she sang the forgiveness song that was such a gift to me last summer. More tears of gratitude flowed with that one. What a happy dream that my vision of her concert in that space came true!

I had been communicating with Neda via email and WhatsApp in the weeks prior to her arrival in the US, trying to coordinate her concert with an ACIM event I was planning. Unfortunately, the dates did not work out, but I offered to take her and her travel companions to a weekly drumming circle after the concert on Sunday. I also mentioned the possibility of sharing a meal while she was in town. Understandably, the drumming circle at the beach with the Memorial Day Weekend crowds felt like a lot of energy to manage after their long flight and busy two days of events. But, I was thrilled when Neda accepted my invitation to have dinner and visit one of my favorite spots to watch the sunset on Monday. What a treat to have one-on-one time with her, and the opportunity to exchange miracle stories!

Mother Nature put on a brilliant show that evening. Thunderstorms rumbled in the distance, and dark clouds threatened to cover the luminous sun before it made its descent into Sarasota Bay. It was a dramatic race, but we were blessed to get a spectacular sunset with an array of pinks, purples, and oranges before the heavens opened up. Once the sun disappeared, we ran to my car laughing as huge raindrops began to fall. We made it to my car moments before the deluge! What a memorable ending to a wonderful evening of soul connection. It all happened because I had a vision, followed the inspiration to send a few emails, and then surrendered the results. It turned out to be a happier dream than I had envisioned!

What are you dreaming about that would bring you great joy? I would be honored to assist you in creating a happy dream with a series of Spiritual Coaching sessions or a private Family Constellations session. Visit my website for more information and to schedule a session.

Also, check out Neda’s Summer Tour Schedule to see if she will be coming to a city near you. She will be all over the Sunshine State this month. When she posted her tour dates, I couldn’t believe that she “just happened” to be visiting two spiritual communities that are near and dear to my heart, Unity of Bon Air and Serenity Farm near Richmond, VA. For those of you who live in or near Richmond, please give yourself the gift of attending her workshop or concert on July 7 and 8! You can learn more about Neda, her music, her Voice Liberation Workshops, and other events by visiting her website

This week, whenever things feel heavy or overwhelming, remember you’re dreaming and know you can dream a happier dream by releasing judgments and grievances. 

All your time is spent in dreaming. Your sleeping and your waking dreams have different forms, and that is all. 

A Course in Miracles ~ T-18.II.5:12-13

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

The Should Shed

Are you trapped in the “Should Shed?” It’s that headspace where we tell ourselves all the things we should be doing instead of what we really want to be doing. Yes, we all have responsibilities and commitments that require our attention, but how often do we examine which of those things are truly necessary and which ones can wait or be released?

Just the other day, I escaped from the Should Shed. I was telling myself that I should sit at my desk for a few hours and create a new online Family Constellations event for February. There are quite a few steps involved in creating an event, so I should at least start the process. I also should answer a few emails before going to visit my sister, Gail.

Then I asked what love wanted to do that afternoon. Love wanted me to take advantage of the fact that, for a limited time, Gail is just 60 miles north of where I live. For the past several years, she and her husband have spent the month of January in Florida to get a break from the cold upstate New York winters. My plan was to drive up after lunch to see them. Unfortunately, my morning activities took longer than I anticipated, so no work happened before lunch.

It really was not a difficult decision. I did not want to sacrifice a few hours of quality time with Gail to do something that was not absolutely necessary in that moment. The workshop and emails could wait another day, so I hopped in my car and drove north. I got there in time to join her and her husband for a peaceful late afternoon walk along the beach. We walked and talked up the coast to a little shopping district and returned just in time to enjoy the gorgeous sunset from the back deck of their building. It never ceases to amaze me how the pinks, purples, oranges, and blues dance between the sky and sea as the bright yellow orb dips below the horizon. This one was no exception, as you can see by the photo above.

When Mother Nature finished showing off, we went up to their condo to prepare and eat a delicious pasta dinner followed by two sweet treats. I brought brownies, not knowing Gail had made blueberry angel food cake for dessert. By this time I had been out of the Should Shed for a few hours, so there was no question whether or not I should have some of each. 

We ended our visit watching one of our favorite TV shows: This is Us. Gail and I have been fans of the show for years but never had the opportunity to watch it together. In the past, we would text each other during or after the show when something unexpected happened or when the writers did an exceptionally good job at tugging our heartstrings. If you watch the show, you know it’s best to have a box of tissues nearby. I rarely get through an episode without my eyes leaking at least a little bit. Sometimes, when we knew the other hadn’t seen the latest episode yet, we would threaten to share what happened or make up something that didn’t happen just to throw each other off the trail. That’s just one of many silly games that we have created over the years.

Much like the siblings on the show, Gail and I have been through a lot together. I truly don’t know what I would have done without her during some of those dark periods of my childhood. What a gift to watch the stories of 3 siblings who love each other deeply while sitting next to one of my siblings who I love deeply. I don’t regret my decision to postpone work one bit. It was a great reminder that sometimes the things I think I should be doing are not really the things I should be doing if I want to live a joyful, peaceful life.

Are you trapped in the Should Shed? It would be my great honor to help you reevaluate your options and make choices that bring you joy. Please look around my website for more information about my Spiritual Coaching Sessions and private Family Constellations Sessions. Both can help you break free from the Should Shed. Give yourself the gift of freedom and send me an email to book an appointment

Until next time, I encourage you to examine your “shoulds” and see if they might unnecessarily  be keeping you from joy.

Be not content with future happiness. It has no meaning, and is not your just reward. For you have cause for freedom now

A Course in Miracles ~ T-26.VIII.9:1-3

The Many Faces of Joy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be not content with future happiness.

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

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