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

What Would You Have Me Say?

Anyone who uses words for a living like I do, whether written or spoken, knows that they are very powerful things. They have the power to both inspire and injure, so I do my best to choose them carefully. However, even when being mindful, one never knows how they will be received or what impact they will have. The best I can do is set my intention to be only helpful and trust that whatever comes through me is exactly what is needed in the moment. I learned this lesson at my first Big Sky Retreat in 2014 and again at this year’s retreat.

The Big Sky Retreat is an empowering five-day event held every year for the past 43 years over Labor Day Weekend. I presented my first workshop on “Miracles and Forgiveness” at the 2014 Retreat on the last day of August. I hadn’t planned on sharing that I like to celebrate my birthday not just on August 5 but for the entire month of August. It just sort of came out when I began speaking. I told everyone how grateful I was to have started my “birthday month” playing at Disney World with great friends and now I was ending the month sharing something I love with all of them. It wasn’t until later that I discovered the impact of that little piece of information.

A woman who attended my workshop came up to me later that day to tell me what a gift I had given her. I assumed it was something I shared about my journey of forgiveness with my mother but it wasn’t. This woman told me that her birthday is September 11 and that her brother was a first responder in New York City on that horrible day in 2001. He inhaled too much smoke while rescuing people from the towers and eventually died a few days later. From that year forward, she felt it was inappropriate to celebrate her birthday. How could she have a “happy birthday” on a day that brought her and many others so much sadness? My suggestion to celebrate the entire month gave her permission to celebrate on the other days in September. I could see the relief and excitement on her face as she told me she was looking forward to having a happy birthday after 13 years of sad ones. I couldn’t wait to give her a greeting card the next day saying “Happy First Day of your Birthday Month!”

Something similar happened this year during the closing ceremony. We gave every attendee a rose quartz heart to take home with them as a reminder of all the love, joy, and healing we experienced during our 5 days together. For my closing prayer, I wanted to mention a whole list of places I have planted small rose quartz crystals with the intention of spreading love and peace across the planet. It’s a sweet little ritual I learned at my first spiritual gathering back in 2004, and I have been doing it ever since.

Of course, it wasn’t practical or possible to mention every place I have planted those tiny pink stones over the past 14 years, but I was very disappointed in myself for not mentioning the ones in Virginia at Serenity Farm and in the angel garden at Unity of Bon Air. I also forgot to mention the ones at the Satya Center in Utah and the ones in the Pyramid and the fountains at Unity of Houston. I had to trust that the locations and stories I did mention were the ones that needed to be shared.

I received confirmation of this the following morning after our farewell breakfast. I ran into a wonderful group of women from Utah who told me how healing it was to hear that I had planted rose quartz in and around Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Temple Square is the headquarters for the LDS Church. Although each of these women has left that tradition, they shared how powerful it was to have a way to connect to their Mormon heritage through the rose quartz energy of love and compassion.

Yes, words are very powerful indeed. When I surrender and trust that what needs to be shared will be shared and I let go of my ego’s need to judge and control every little detail, miracles happen! In order to keep my ego at bay, every day before I get out of bed I ask the Universe these inspiring and empowering questions from Lesson 71 in A Course in Miracles:

What would You have me do? Where would You have me go? What would You have me say, and to whom?

Try them for yourself and watch what happens. I know they have opened me up to receive more miracles than I can count.

Wishing you an inspired and empowered week!

Feeling Overwhelmed? Try This!

I have written before about a section in Chapter 18 of A Course in Miracles titled “I Need Do Nothing.” It feels like I need to be reminded of this so perhaps someone out there does too. With all of the traveling I have been doing lately, keeping up with the many tasks to keep my business running has been quite daunting. There are always emails to answer, phone calls to make, leads to follow up on, and flyers to create. These days staying active on social media is also very important. That can be a full time job in itself. On and on it goes, and with it my inner peace! At some point I have to surrender, wave the white flag, and remember this quote from the Course:

When peace comes at last to those who wrestle with temptation and fight against the giving in to sin; when the light comes at last into the mind given to contemplation; or when the goal is finally achieved by anyone, it always comes with just one happy realization; “I need do nothing.”

When I remember this, peace returns. However, please don’t confuse “I need do nothing” with “Don’t do anything.” They are not the same. I’m not suggesting you sit on your couch and watch Netflix all day. While we are having the experience of being in a body in this world, we have to do things like earn money, pay bills, exercise, answer emails, and do laundry. The difference in perception is simply the realization that we don’t need to do anything to be loved. We are loved beyond measure by the Source of all Creation. Some call that God. Others call that the Universe, Divine Presence, or Great Spirit. It doesn’t matter what we call it, it’s Love. And furthermore, so are you! That’s why you don’t need to do anything to be loved. You are Love.

The simple statement “I need do nothing” reminds me of something I read many years ago. The article pointed out that it doesn’t matter how many people are at the beach; the sun shines down equally on all of them. It doesn’t shine more on some people than others. The sun doesn’t care if you live under a palm tree or in a penthouse. It doesn’t care if you work at a church or a shopping mall. It doesn’t care if you do one thing or ten things today. If you are at the beach, and the sun is out, you will receive its light. Nobody has to earn sunshine, just like nobody has to earn God’s love. It’s just there for the basking. From that place of peace, I can choose loving thoughts about myself and chill out. Then I can decide to be still for a while and let myself rest, or I can choose to do what feels right in that moment without all the guilt, struggle, and striving to “get it all done.” It is tremendously freeing once I let go of those unrealistic and mostly self-imposed expectations.

If you are having trouble feeling worthy of that sunshine, or the sun seems to go behind the clouds every time you go to the beach, or you don’t even have time to think about going to the beach, maybe now is the time to do some inner exploration. I love sharing the tools and techniques that have worked for me in my Life Coaching programs based on the strong principles found in A Course in Miracles. We will discover together where those clouds are coming from or why there doesn’t seem to be time in your schedule for such frivolous activities. Another great cloud buster is Family Constellations. You will be amazed by what happens in these workshops and one-on-one sessions. Things you never would have imagined being related to your current struggles are revealed and healed. Please look around my website for more information about both of these opportunities.

Until next time, whenever you feel overwhelmed, take a deep breath and remember this one simple sentence. “I need do nothing.”

Five White Roses

I just returned from another wonderful trip to Virginia where I had the privilege of sharing sacred space with many people doing the work I love called Family Constellations. I am so grateful for the healing I witnessed and the healing I experienced at Serenity Farm and Unity of Bon Air. Just being in these two places is a blessing, but to facilitate and receive healing work there is even better. I feel refreshed, renewed, and ready to share some of that energy, and it didn’t take long for an opportunity to present itself.

I live in Fort Lauderdale, and this was the first time I have used the airport since the shooting on January 6. Five people lost their lives, six people were injured, and many, many more were left with emotional scars from the terror that ran rampant through the airport that day. When I flew out last week, I could feel the lingering heavy energy. I set the intention that when I returned, I would visit the baggage claim area where it all happened and spend some prayerful moments there. I also wanted to sprinkle some tiny rose quartz crystals around to help shift that fearful energy to love. At my first spiritual gathering in 2004, I learned that rose quartz holds the frequency of unconditional love and compassion. Placing it somewhere is a tangible way to reinforce your intention to bring loving energy. This ritual has been very meaningful to me, so I continue to do it.

At the airport I tried to be covert so as not to draw attention to myself. Understandably, security is still on high alert for any suspicious activity. Lurking in doorways and corners would certainly qualify. As nonchalantly as I could, I placed a few crystals outside the doors, in a few planters, and one near a trash can. Then I walked to the middle of the terminal to sit quietly on a bench to pray. When I opened my eyes, I was astonished to see a table covered in black cloth with five white roses in vases on it. I was so busy looking for security guards I hadn’t noticed the temporary memorial space that was set up to allow people to pay their respects to the victims.

I pulled out my bag of crystals again and dropped a small pink stone in each of the vases. It felt like the perfect way for me to honor those that had fallen. I sat down again on the bench to continue my prayers as I visualized a team of angels clearing the room of any heavy energy and then showering the premises with Love. That’s when two men who worked for the airport approached the table and began talking on their radios. They were asking someone where to put the vases once they took the table down. Apparently I had arrived in the nick of time to do my humble little ritual. Had my flight arrived an hour later, the temporary memorial would have been gone.

Tears well up in my eyes when I think about the timing of this whole experience. Timing played such a role in all of it. I extend love to the people that were there on January 6 as well as their families and friends. I happen to know several and I’m so grateful they are all okay. I extend love to the people that flew in or out of that airport just days before or after the incident, knowing they are also thinking about timing. I extend love to all of the airport and airline employees. I imagine it must be difficult to show up to work with the shadow of that experience still fresh in their minds. I can only hope that the prayers, intentions, and those little pink stones I planted will continue to do their work and continue to shift the energy back to love.

There’s something we all can do right now in this very moment with the power of our minds and hearts. I invite you to close your eyes and together let’s send loving energy to every airport around the globe. Let’s visualize the pink Light of Love blanketing every traveler, every ticketing agent, every baggage handler, every flight attendant, every pilot, and every person who might feel unsafe during these challenging times. Let’s not forget to extend this same Light of Love to anyone who feels so disconnected that they could fathom doing such violent acts. When everyone feels encompassed in the Light of Love, and we remember that there is no separation and we are all One, attack thoughts will simply fade away.

Until next time, may you feel encompassed in the Light of Love, because you most certainly are…

Soul Contracts: A Blessing or a Curse?

I have the feeling many would agree that Facebook can be both a blessing and a curse at times. This week it most definitely was a blessing for me. I was delighted when Facebook shared a photo of my mother and me taken six years ago at a surprise double birthday party my siblings threw for us. We were standing in front of a very old Olan Mills photo taken not long after my father died. I asked my mother if we could recreate the gaze from the old photo, and the result was very telling. When I saw the picture, it seemed to capture the essence of our “soul contract.” That’s what I call the agreement we make with our parents, siblings, and any other significant relationships in our lives before we show up here on Earth. It’s usually the people that push our buttons and challenge us the most that require us to get out the spiritual magnifying glass to make sure that’s really our signature on the dotted line. I know. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that we signed up for this!
 
I believe my mother and I signed up for an advanced class on unconditional love. To say we had a challenging journey would be an understatement, but we also had an enormous amount of love for each other. I think that’s evident in both pictures. We seem to be saying with our eyes, “Here we go again! Let’s get it right this time.” I can honestly say I think we did get it right before she made her transition just seven months after that picture was taken. It wasn’t easy, but eventually I got to a place where I was thankful for everything that happened; the good, the bad, and the ugly. For a time, I only understood  intellectually that it all happened exactly as it was supposed to so that I could be where I am today. However, I didn’t completely feel it in my heart.

One afternoon a few days before she passed, my mother was very agitated. She kept yelling “I want to go home! I want to go home!” I was fairly certain she did not mean Upstate New York. After I got my mom settled down for a nap in her hospital bed, I asked the hospice nurse to turn the volume down on her soap opera so I could share an experience with my mom. While holding her hand, I listened to a beautiful CD called “Graceful Passages : A Companion for Living and Dying.” The first track had barely begun when a rush of tears and sobs poured out of me. This continued for most of the hour and fifteen minute CD. During that time, an amazing thing happened. My heart opened to all of it. The residual anger and resentment had been washed away with my tears. Only love remained. I will forever be grateful to Gary Malkin and Michael Stillwater for creating that CD, and to my friend Jennifer for gifting me a copy as my mother neared the end of her life. I highly recommend this gift from Source to anyone who is taking that journey with a loved one. It might just be the key that unlocks your heart too.

Just for a moment, think about that person in your life that seems to be the most challenging. It might be a family member. It might be a former romantic or business partner. Whoever it is, what is the lesson he or she is teaching you? Maybe the lesson is how to love yourself more and not feel the need to get another’s approval. Perhaps it’s how to set clear and healthy boundaries. My mother did a great job of teaching me where the road of anger and resentment leads so I could choose a different road. Maybe there is part of yourself that you are not owning that this teacher is reflecting so you can take a different road too. Here’s the good news. Once you get the lesson, your contract may very well be complete with this person. You either won’t have them in your experience anymore, or at the very least, they won’t take away your peace when you are around them. Who knows? Maybe when Facebook shares a memory of them with you six years later, it will bring a smile to your face instead of a tear.

Are you having a hard time believing you signed one of those “soul contracts?” I would be honored to help you complete those contracts with Family Constellations and Life Coaching. Both are great ways to see things in a new light so you can experience more peace, love, and joy in your life. It really works! Please look around my website for more information and to sign up for a Family Constellations workshop, private session, or a  four, six, or eight week Life Coaching program.
 
Until next time, take another look at your soul contracts and turn a curse into a blessing!

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