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

Hurricane Giraffes, Peaceful Prayers, and Gratitude

First, I want to thank everyone who sent peaceful prayers and loving thoughts my way before, during, and after Hurricane Ian. I absolutely felt them. I am grateful to report I am safe and my home was not damaged. My heart goes out to so many of my Florida neighbors who were not so fortunate. As you have probably seen or heard, Hurricane Ian left a staggering amount of destruction in its path. This was the most powerful storm I have experienced and also one of the most powerful lessons in faith.

Meteorologists and Storm Trackers do their best to predict how powerful a storm will be and where it will make landfall. But with so many variables at play, there is no way to know for sure until it happens. My neighborhood is far enough inland that it is not in a mandatory evacuation zone. However, with a storm this big, I questioned whether or not to evacuate. As I mentioned in last week’s email, Calm Before the Storm, from a peaceful place, I asked Spirit if it was my highest choice to stay or leave. The guidance I received was to stay put. 

I will admit I questioned that guidance later that evening when my neighbor told me he and his mom decided to book a room in Orlando instead of riding out the storm as we had discussed. Fear tried to creep in. With them gone, I’d be on my own. Maybe I should also book a room in Orlando just to be safe? No, my guidance was clear. That night I facilitated our weekly online A Course in Miracles study group, composed and edited last week’s email until the wee hours, and then went to bed. 

The next morning, I woke up early to the sound of wind gusts whipping through tree branches and palm fronds outside my bedroom window. Maybe now it was time to go? Once again, I sat in the stillness and asked for guidance. I received the same answer. Stay put. That seemed like the wisest choice at that point. Many had to evacuate, so I imagined roads would be clogged with cars and gas would be scarce. With the storm’s path still unknown, home felt like the safest and most peaceful choice.

Since I was staying, and Ian was now a Category 4 (almost a Category 5) Hurricane, I made a few more preparations. I moved all of my furniture and belongings away from the windows and placed a chair and a little table in the center hallway of my apartment. This would be my safe zone to sit and read if things got intense. 

I purposely left the blinds closed and stopped watching YouTube videos from local news channels. Seeing things blow by my window or watching news coverage of the very worst devastation would only breed fearful thoughts. I was determined to keep my thoughts peaceful despite what was happening outside. A Course in Miracles teaches that we may not be able to control what is happening, but we can control our thoughts about what is happening. Over the last 15 years, it has given me lots of practice in choosing love over fear. I did my best to focus on the peaceful prayers I was feeling and the outcome I wished to have. 

It was now almost noon. Earlier, I watched a YouTube video reporting that Ian would be making landfall about that time, so I assumed the worst would be over in a few hours. Since I hadn’t slept much the night before, I decided to go back to bed and see if I could relax enough to take a nap. Thankfully, my body and mind surrendered to an hour of sleep.

When I woke up, I had no power or internet service, and the wind was howling outside. With only limited cellular service, I had to rely on text messages from friends in other locations to let me know what was going on. One close friend sent me a screenshot from CNN’s website. It  said my city would experience hurricane-force winds from 3 PM to 2 AM with the strongest gusts blowing from 6 PM to Midnight. WHAT? The worst conditions hadn’t even started yet? This was not what I wanted to hear, but it was very useful information to help me manage my time and expectations. Now I knew I had at least 12 more hours to keep choosing peace. 

My yoga practice always brings me back to center, no matter what is going on in my life or the world. So with the sofa between me and the window, I rolled out my yoga mat and began my practice. For two hours, my mind was focused on breathing and body alignment and not on what was happening outside. That is until I laid down on my mat in final resting pose. I could feel the wind shaking the entire building. That was an interesting sensation! Surprisingly, I still felt safe surrounded by the sturdy walls of my apartment and a bubble of peaceful prayers. Even on that day, my yoga practice left me feeling and knowing “all is well.” 

I would be lying if I said I remained 100% peaceful for the next 12 hours. Fear kept tempting me down the rabbit hole asking questions like: What if a tree limb crashes through my living room window? Was there a tree on top of my car in the parking lot? Would the wind tear off a piece of roof and let water pour into my apartment? 

When those thoughts entered, I reminded myself there was nothing I could do to prevent those things from happening. Why invest an ounce of energy thinking about them? It was better to keep my thoughts positive and peaceful so my experience would be positive and peaceful. Then I could go back to enjoying traveling West with Giraffes on my kindle. Ironically, that novel follows the story of 2 giraffes that survive a hurricane at sea during their journey from Africa to NYC in 1938 before continuing cross country to the San Diego Zoo. I also traveled to a galaxy far, far away with Andor on my iPad. Both were excellent adventures!

The storm finally passed around 1 AM. The silence outside was a welcome relief after 24 hours of wind and persistent rain. Thankfully, I drifted off to sleep quickly knowing the worst was over. The guidance I received turned out to be the best choice for me in this situation. Had the storm come any further north, I truly believe I would have been guided differently. This experience has strengthened my trust in Divine Guidance and shown me the power of choosing peaceful thoughts during extreme circumstances. 

I am extremely grateful for allof you who held the high watch with me. The Course teaches that all minds are joined, and after this experience, there is no doubt in my mind that it’s true. I felt your peaceful prayers and loving thoughts give me the boost I needed to stay calm even when rain and ferocious winds were swirling around me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! 

That being said, I don’t know if I would have been as successful choosing peaceful thoughts had the storm hit Sarasota directly. I am extremely grateful I didn’t have to find out…this time. Let’s continue to extend peaceful prayers and loving thoughts to my neighbors who experienced much more trauma and devastation from Hurricane Ian. May those who lost so much find a tranquil place to make the highest and best choices for themselves and their families.

If you would like to feel the peace and healing that comes when minds are joined, please consider giving yourself the gift of a Family Constellations Session. I offer private sessions as well as group sessions. The next online group session is Friday, October 21 from 1-3 PM Eastern, 12-2 PM Central, 11 AM -1 PM Mountain, and 10 AM to 12 PM Pacific. Whether you’ve been through an emotional or physical storm, let’s come together to support one another during this challenging time. Click here to purchase a ticket for this 2-hour miraculous experience on Zoom.

This week, may you find ways to choose peace even in the most challenging of circumstances.

There is no room in us for fear today, for we have welcomed love into our hearts.

A Course in Miracles ~ W-310.2:4

When Inspiration Turns to Obligation

My Spiritual Coaching clients often tell me one of the best tools I have given them is to question whether their choices come from inspiration, obligation, or desperation. We all make decisions from one of these three places, and how we feel after our decision is directly influenced by its origin. Ideally, we want to take action from a place of inspiration as often as possible. The other two categories bring unpleasant consequences starting with resentment and fatigue that escalate from there. I have opportunities to “practice what I preach” all the time, and recently I had the opportunity to take a look at this idea with deeper discernment.

Although it’s great for some, working out at a gym has never been my thing. I prefer exercising at home or going for brisk walks outside in nature. Over the years, a schedule has evolved that seems to work for me. Four mornings per week I walk for an hour at the beach or along the bay and two mornings per week I practice yoga for an hour and a half in my living room. That gives me one morning per week to rest. Here in Florida, rain clouds don’t usually roll in until the afternoon, so I can walk in the morning on “walk days.”

However, over the past few weeks, the rain clouds have not been cooperating with my walking schedule. On Monday, I was so ready for my walk. I had done a lot of driving, sitting, and eating over the weekend, so I really wanted to get my body moving and my heart pumping. Unfortunately, I woke up to a gray, drizzly morning. The rain wasn’t heavy, so I decided to attempt my walk, knowing I would get a little wet. As I drove toward the bay, the sky turned ominously dark, and soon sheets of water pelted my car. Despite these severe weather conditions, I remained hopeful the storm would pass quickly and kept driving.

When I arrived at the bay, I sat in my car for about 15 minutes as raindrops continued to assault my hood and roof with a steady barrage of thuds. As I peered through my windows, all I could see were gray clouds sprawling out in every direction above me. There wasn’t a hint of blue sky anywhere to indicate the rain might let up soon. For a brief moment, I considered putting on one of the Mickey Mouse rain ponchos from Disney World that I keep in the back of my car and doing my walk anyway. Not long ago, I probably would have chosen that option. Then I remembered to ask myself the question that I ask my clients. Would that choice come from inspiration, obligation, or desperation? 

Yes, the original impulse to walk next to the beautiful turquoise waters of the bay had come from inspiration, but it felt more like desperation to try it that day. Perhaps in the mix was a bit of obligation to burn calories after eating so much over the weekend. I felt no inspiration or joy when I imagined myself trodding along the pathway dodging puddles and trying to stay dry inside a giant piece of plastic. Once I examined the situation and my motives more closely, the decision was easy. I started my car and headed home. 

As I drove home, it occurred to me that this was a moment and a choice to remember. How many times have I continued doing something that once felt joyful long after the inspiration has faded? Perhaps there are activities in your life that once brought you joy that now feel more like chores or obligations. Today is a great day to take inventory of your daily, weekly, and monthly activities and see if there are some that snuck into another category without you noticing. If so, how might you shift things, or what could you do instead that would bring you true joy?  

If you would like an objective and compassionate companion to walk with you as you answer and unpack these questions, it would be my great honor to assist you with a series of Spiritual Coaching Sessions. I offer discounted packages of 4, 8, and 12 sessions to suit your needs and budget. A private Family Constellations Session can also help identify where these recurring patterns originate. Once you have a deeper awareness of what’s going on, you will indeed be able to live a life of inspiration that will also inspire others! Please look around my website for more information or to book a session

Until next time, may all your decisions be inspired ones! 

The result of genuine devotion is inspiration, a word which properly understood is the opposite of fatigue.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-4.in.1:5

No Longer Out of Reach

Something incredible happened this week! I was able to grab my left hand with my right hand behind my back during my yoga practice. Okay. This may not sound incredible to you, but since I injured my shoulder at the beginning of 2020, I have not come close to connecting my fingers behind my back in that pose. At first, I was barely able to rotate my left arm behind me, which forced me to find creative ways to wash my back for many months. Little by little, my range of motion has increased.

But this week, after two and a half years, I was finally able to rotate my shoulder far enough to allow my left hand to clasp the fingers of my right hand. It was a triumphant moment! It was also a testament to what is possible when I commit to showing up consistently. For the past two years, I have rolled out my yoga mat twice per week and stretched as far as I could without hurting myself. Over time, what once was out of reach became reachable.

This reminds me of an interview I heard on Brené Brown’s podcast with James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones. During that conversation, James shared a story about a client who started going to the gym for just 5 minutes a day to walk on the treadmill. It sounds silly to make the effort to drive to the gym to be inside for only 5 minutes. You might ask what changes could possibly occur in 5 minutes? A powerful one! The man transformed from a person who did not go to the gym to a person who went to the gym every day. Once it became a habit, he could slowly increase the amount of time on the treadmill and then start seeing results. The hard part was making it a routine. Instead of focusing on the goal, the focus was on the system that supported that goal.

How many times have you set very ambitious goals, only to get frustrated and give up soon after you begin? I know I have. The philosophy of shifting focus from goals to systems has many applications. When dining out, perhaps consistently ordering food off the menu that you imagine a healthy person eating would be more beneficial than setting a goal to lose 30 pounds in 30 days. Maybe current events have left you feeling hopeless. Maybe you have lost the belief that a world where kindness and love prevail is possible. Instead of desperately wishing for World Peace, what if we each commit to being a more peaceful person in our daily interactions with everyone we meet? The results might not be noticeable at first, but eventually, we would become the very thing for which we are reaching. 

If you would like assistance in becoming what you seek, it would be my great honor to walk with you and cheer you on during a series of Spiritual Coaching sessions or a Private Family Constellations session. Both will expand your perspective so you can not only reach that elusive hand behind your back if that is what you desire, but also that elusive state of peace and contentment. Please look around my website to book a session or send me an email with questions.

Until next time, may you find creative ways to shift your focus from getting to being. 

You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. 

James Clear – Author of Atomic Habits

Addicted to Joy!

Last week I had the unexpected joy of staying with two friends who also happen to be yoga instructors. In addition to the many fun adventures we had, one morning, while one friend was at the gym, the other offered to guide me through a private yoga class. Having done the same sequence of yoga poses at home for the past ten years, I welcomed the opportunity to try something new with a teacher I trust. The pandemic prevented my friend from teaching classes over the past year, so he was happy to have someone to guide. I love that it was a mutually beneficial situation. 

They practice Kriya Yoga, which I learned incorporates a lot of intentional breathing techniques (called pranayama) with intentional movements. Some of the breathing techniques I had done in past yoga classes. Some were brand new. There was one I found particularly challenging. After a minute or two of inhaling through one nostril and exhaling through the other using my thumb and index finger to hold the opposite nostril closed, I started to feel a slight burning sensation in my nasal passages. It was very uncomfortable to have that much air passing through my nose. I was surprised by how resistant I was to keep breathing that way. I knew I had to keep going if I wanted to reap the benefits of this ancient practice.

I reminded myself that I would not have to breathe this way forever. Many times throughout the practice, my friend offered encouraging words that helped me to push past my discomfort. Eventually, we moved on to other breathing techniques that were not as uncomfortable and quite fun. One required some left to right hand coordination as the time between inhales and exhales got shorter. When the tempo reached its fastest, I’ll admit I got a little discombobulated, but I did my best to keep up and not get frustrated. After the pranayama, we moved on to some poses that were exactly what my body was craving.

I’m so glad I took advantage of this opportunity and didn’t just do the same routine I always do. Although I had only gotten 4-5 hours of sleep the night before, I felt fantastic when we finished. I usually don’t function well with less than 7 hours of sleep, so I was sure I would need a nap at some point later that day. To my surprise, that was not the case. I had plenty of energy to do all the things I needed to do including my Friday evening online A Course in Miracles study group.

What a powerful lesson! How often do we resist the very thing that we know will help us feel better or move forward? I’ve noticed the same thing in my practice of the principles found in A Course in Miracles. Even though I have been studying the Course since 2006, I still find myself resistant to applying it in certain situations. If I release my resentment towards someone who appears to have wronged me I know I will feel better. If I stop focusing on an upsetting situation, I will inevitably return to peace. So why is it so hard to do? It’s like a popcorn kernel stuck between your teeth that your tongue simply can’t stop wrestling with. Try as we may, we keep going back there!

This subject came up during the “Afternoon of Miracles” workshop I facilitated in Dallas last month. We were speaking about addiction to substances when one participant pointed out there are many other types of addiction. In addition to substances and behaviors, we can be addicted to limiting beliefs, suffering, struggle, and drama. I believe these all fall under the domain of the ego because they keep us from experiencing what we truly want: peace, love, and joy. I heard Marianne Williamson once compare following the ego’s thought system to being addicted to heroin. You can only do it for so long. Eventually you either quit or you don’t survive. Throughout A Course in Miracles, we are reminded of the importance of choosing joy over pain. It seems so obvious, yet we don’t always do it. Why?

Brené Brown spoke about our resistance to fully experiencing joy in a recent episode of her podcast Unlocking Us. The conversation with her sisters was around being fearful of joy. We know it won’t last forever so we don’t fully welcome it. Many of us sabotage the expansive feeling of joy by imagining what bad thing is going to happen to take it away. Fear immediately obliterates joy. While researching her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené theorized that people who were able to throw their hands up and let joy completely wash over them were people that had a strong spiritual connection. The research did not prove that to be true. Instead, the common denominator was gratitude. People that expressed gratitude while they were experiencing joy were more likely to experience more joy more often. Those who were cautious of joy waiting for “the other shoe to drop” were not as successful at experiencing joy fully. 

This is really good news because the solution is quite simple, though not always easy. Can I find something (no matter how small) for which to be grateful about the person who appears to have wronged me? Is there another way of looking at the situation that upset me to discover a blessing in disguise? And when I am experiencing joy, can I take a moment to express my deep gratitude for it? In that same podcast, Brené apologized to her fellow 12-steppers who use the slogan “the attitude of gratitude.” She believes gratitude is not an attitude, it’s a practice. Why not share one thing you are grateful for as you sit down to every meal, not just on Thanksgiving? Perhaps you can start (or recommit to) a gratitude journal in which you write down 5 things you are grateful for every day. Whatever you do to express more gratitude, I believe Brené’s research that it will lead to more joy. I am so grateful for my family, my friends, A Course in Miracles, my yoga practice, and all of you who read these weekly stories! 

If you find it difficult to fully experience joy or suspect that some of those pesky ego addictions are lurking in your unconscious mind, maybe A Course in Miracles is calling you? The Course is a psychological mind training that teaches us how to choose joy over pain and love over fear. To learn more about this practice, please join us for one or both of my weekly ACIM online study groups. For one-on-one assistance, I would be honored to help you with a series of Life Coaching sessions. You can also join me for a very special online workshop on Saturday, July 17 from 2-5PM Eastern where we will be “Exploring Independence from Addiction with Family Constellations.” Last month’s workshop sold out, so if this topic is of interest, purchase your ticket soon! Please look around my website for more information about all of these joyful opportunities.

Until next time, may rain showers of joy and gratitude completely drench your soul…

Tolerance for pain may be high, but it is not without limit. Eventually everyone begins to recognize, however dimly, that there must be a better way. As this recognition becomes more firmly established, it becomes a turning point.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-2.III.3:5-7

A Recipe for Healing

Many of you know I injured my shoulder during my yoga practice at the beginning of this year. Before that, it had been at least four months since I practiced due to procedures I had to remove basal cell carcinomas at the end of 2019 and an ankle injury that occurred earlier that summer. Needless to say, it has been a long road of healing and surrender in many ways. Yoga has helped me stay grounded, peaceful, and feeling good in my body since 2005. To say I have missed not being able to move and stretch in that way for over a year, especially during this pandemic, would be a huge understatement.

Having been a massage therapist for over 15 years, I knew I had to allow my shoulder plenty of time to heal before rolling out my yoga mat again. I did not want to risk injuring it further. Despite consistently working on the trigger points in my shoulder muscles, it has taken a lot longer to heal than I anticipated. Recently, the Universe brought two skilled healers into my life: an amazing holistic chiropractor and an incredibly intuitive acupuncturist. With their help, my shoulder is back to at least 80% strength and range of motion. For that, I am truly grateful.

With this accelerated healing, I noticed my body craving more than just the simple stretches prior to my daily walk. I felt confident I could do a toned-down version of my yoga routine as long as I was careful and listened to what my body was telling me. One rainy, chilly day this week, my schedule miraculously opened up giving me an entire afternoon free. It was the perfect opportunity to roll out my yoga mat and give it a try, yet I noticed a surprising amount of resistance to doing it. After lunch, I found an assortment of other tasks to do, including opening a pile of mail that had been sitting on my desk for days. Why was I resisting something I knew would help me feel better? 

Rather than beat myself up, I simply observed what was happening. Then I imagined how I would feel if I didn’t practice that day, knowing I had no rational excuse not to. That thought did not feel peaceful, so I lit a candle, selected one of my favorite yoga playlists on iTunes, cleared a space on the floor, and unrolled my mat. As I rested in child’s pose on that aqua blue rectangle of squishy foam, the smell of whatever material they use to manufacture yoga mats filled my nose. The sound of Deva Premal chanting in Sanskrit filled my ears. Suddenly, I stretched my arms in front of my head like I hadn’t been able to do for months and began my practice. I felt like a child who had recently found a long lost favorite toy at the bottom of the toy chest. Before I knew it, an hour had passed. 

Just as I expected, I had to make a few modifications and skip a few poses that my shoulder could not support. And just as I expected, it felt fantastic to get my body and energy moving again in that way. I’ll admit I was a little sore the next day, but it was definitely the good kind of sore. Muscles that had not been used in months were beginning to wake up and strengthen. What a great lesson to remain mindful, acknowledge any resistance with as little judgment as possible, ask what feels most peaceful, and then take action. This seems like a good recipe for many kinds of healing.

Is there something you know will benefit you that you are resisting? Maybe you have been curious about doing a private or group Family Constellations session. It is quite natural for there to be unconscious resistance to doing this work, but once you set your intention to do it, miraculous events unfold. I have seen it happen more times than I can count. Perhaps you have been thinking about getting some assistance through Life Coaching to navigate a current challenge. I would be honored to give you some tools and techniques to help you get to the other side where peace resides. I offer 4, 8, and 12-week packages to suit your needs and budget. For more information or to schedule a session, take the first simple step. Send me an email or visit my website.

Until next time, why not give that recipe a try? Remain mindful. Observe your resistance without judgment. Ask what feels most peaceful in the long run. Then take appropriate action.

Healing is release from the fear of waking and the substitution of the decision to wake. The decision to wake is the reflection of the will to love, since all healing involves replacing fear with love.

A Course in Miracles ~ T-8.IX.5.1-2

Eagle Connection

It had been over 3 months since I last rolled out my yoga mat. My ankle injury in August and my dermatology journey this fall prevented me from doing my yoga practice. The thought of beginning again was a bit daunting. Would I remember what to do? How much flexibility had I lost? Would I be strong enough to do some of the poses? Would I be sore for days after I began again? These questions tried to prevent me from rolling out that mat. I took a deep breath and rolled it out anyway.

Some of those questions were answered fairly quickly. Yes, I remembered much of the routine I had been doing for years, but not all of it. No, I definitely wasn’t strong enough to hold some of the poses very long. And yes, it seemed like I lost quite a bit of my flexibility. I decided to be gentle with myself and practice for no more than an hour doing whatever I could remember. It felt like trying to start an old car that has been sitting in a barn for years. The engine sputters and resists the first few times you turn the ignition key, but eventually, with persistence and maybe a little tinkering, the car comes to life. That was my body that day.

By the time an hour passed, I was ready for my favorite yoga pose…Savasana, the corpse pose! There is something so rewarding and peaceful about simply being on my back with my arms at my sides after twisting and turning my body for an hour. Some of my best meditations have occurred during Savasana. Before Savasana, however, I do one last stretch for my lower back. Before dropping my knees to one side, I cross one leg in front of the other and hook that foot on the other side of the shin of the stationary leg. This leg configuration is called eagle pose. I managed to do this easily with my right leg, but when I attempted to hook my left foot on the other side of my right shin, my legs rebelled. I must have looked like a fish thrashing on a dock as I tried in vain to lock my foot in place! Eventually, I surrendered to the fact that it wasn’t going to happen, at least not that day. This was truly a blow to my ego, but there was nothing I could do but let my legs drop as they were and breathe.

Three days later I rolled out my yoga mat for the second time. I was a little more optimistic this time. My body was only slightly sore from Saturday’s practice, so I felt like I found the right balance between pushing myself past inertia but not far enough to injure myself. Indeed, my body felt just a little bit stronger. I also remembered a few more poses than I had the first day. When I felt complete, I prepared for Savasana with that final lower back stretch. Once again, my right leg clicked into place for eagle pose with very little effort. With a slow breath and not much expectation, I wrapped my left leg around my right and attempted to hook my foot on the other side of my right shin. To my surprise, it found a holding place there as I dropped over to the left. A wave of relief and gratitude washed over me. The old car engine was coming back to life little by little, and I would soon be able to enjoy the ride.

The significance of this being “eagle pose” occurred to me later. “Within the belief systems of Native American tribes, Eagle represents a state of grace achieved through hard work, understanding, and a completion of the tests of initiation which result in the taking of one’s personal power. It is only through the trial of experiencing the lows in life as well as the highs, and through the trial of trusting one’s connection to Great Spirit, that the right to use the essence of Eagle medicine is earned.” This quote from The Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson sums it up perfectly. I felt like I’d earned the right to the essence of eagle pose. I had to embrace all of my journey and find a place of acceptance for it all. This is possible only by remembering that we are always connected to Spirit. Thank you, Eagle, for this beautiful reminder.

If you find yourself experiencing one of those lows, it would be my great honor to remind you of your connection to Spirit through Life Coaching or Family Constellations sessions. Please visit my website for more information about both and to make an appointment.

Until next time, may the wings of Eagle lift you up and over any of life’s challenges!

Who would attempt to fly with the tiny wings of a sparrow when the mighty power of an eagle has been given him?

A Course in Miracles – M-4.I.2:2

A Yoga Mat Miracle

My mother made her transition over 7 years ago, but once in a while a wave of grief still sneaks up on me. That happened just the other day in the middle of my yoga practice. A memory of my mom flashed in my mind and tears started leaking from my eyes. It’s not uncommon for emotions to surface when I’m twisting on my yoga mat. I guess all that deep breathing creates the space for those residual feelings to break loose.

I started thinking about how much I missed that “shady ol’ lady” as we affectionately called her in her later years. At the age of 75, she bravely moved from Upstate New York where she had lived most of her life to make a fresh start near me in Florida. Unfortunately, she brought some of her old life with her. When she started drinking again I was devastated. Her struggle with alcoholism and aging made those last 6 years incredibly difficult for both of us.

Despite the challenges, those 6 years also provided some of my most precious memories with her. My mother and I spent a lot of time together and I learned many things about her life that I never knew. We laughed all the time and had more inside jokes than we could count. It was such a gift to have the opportunity to mend the broken bond her drinking had caused during my childhood. I certainly do not wish her back into her body that was failing her or her mind that was plagued with pain and regret, but that day on my yoga mat I felt myself longing for one more meal or conversation with her. No more suffering, but I wanted just a little more quality time with her.

No sooner had I thought that thought when I heard a voice inside my head say, “All we have now is quality time.” The truth of that statement really hit me. A few years prior to my mother’s passing a friend shared this pearl of wisdom with me based on her experience with her own mother. She told me, “Once your mother goes all the yucky stuff will go away and only love remains.” She was right. In that moment, all of the challenging stuff was gone and I felt my mother’s love all around me. My tears immediately stopped and I was able to finish my yoga practice with a smile. It truly was a yoga mat miracle.

Miracles can happen anywhere, not just on yoga mats. I would be honored to help you experience more miracles in your life and move through any challenging situation that is causing you stress. Through the miracle of technology, Life Coaching sessions or a Family Constellations session can be done from anywhere in the world. Please look around my website or send me an email for more information or to schedule a session. Gift certificates are also available in electronic or paper form.

Until next time, keep breathing and stretching whether you’re on or off a yoga mat. A miracle is waiting for you!

“Miracles are natural. When they do not occur something has gone wrong.”
Miracle Principle #6 from A Course in Miracles

You Had Fun Where?

Have you ever heard someone say, “I really enjoyed that call to Comcast!” Well, you will in a few moments if you keep reading. On Tuesday my internet service went down around 10 AM. For someone who works from home this is a big problem. I decided to call Comcast before starting my yoga practice to report the outage. A lovely automated voice told me that service was out in my area and technicians were working to restore it by 2:27 PM. While I appreciated her specificity, I needed service by 1 PM. I had a session scheduled that required WiFi for me to connect to that client. When that lovely automated voice asked me if I would like to have a text message sent to my phone when service was restored, I replied “yes.” Then I surrendered to my yoga mat, trusting there would be a text message announcing the restoration of my internet service by the time I finished. No such luck.

Still hopeful, I showered and ate lunch, expecting there to be blinking lights on my modem any minute. At 12:40 I reluctantly sent a text message to my client asking if we could reschedule our session. Still dead in the water at 3:15, I called Comcast to find out the latest information about the outage. For a moment I thought about how inconvenient this whole situation was and how this interruption was costing me money. I decided to forcefully let the customer service rep know this and demand a credit on my next bill. It occurred to me that being a little bit angry would give me strength to ask for what I wanted. The funny thing is, when I do my yoga practice and meditation, whatever was troubling me before I started doesn’t seem very important by the time I finish. In that moment I was feeling very Zen. Have you ever tried to be Zen and angry at the same time? It doesn’t work very well.

When I dialed Comcast again that lovely automated voice had no additional information for me so I asked to speak to a human. To my surprise, I was not put on hold for hours, but found myself almost immediately speaking to Santiago. After I explained my situation, Santiago promised to provide me with excellent customer service and to find out when my internet would be restored. He first sent a signal to my modem to get some information about what was going on. While we were waiting for the system to respond, he told me that a credit for this time without service would automatically appear on my next bill. How nice to know there was no need for indignant demands.

Suddenly I heard a lot of happy shouting on his end. He paused and then apologized for the interruption. I asked if it was someone’s birthday there at Comcast. He laughed and said, “No. They just announced that a few of my coworkers received a promotion and everyone is cheering and celebrating with cake.” I think I surprised him when I asked if he would please tell his coworkers that his customer said “Congratulations!” He giggled and said he would.

Apparently the computers were very slow that day. As we continued to wait for the system to respond to his inquiry, he started telling me about another internet package that I might like. For an additional four cents per month I could have three times the internet speed and also the ability to watch TV shows on my computer. This plan also included HBO. I thought, “Here we go again.” In the past, other agents have tried to convince me to upgrade my account, but there has always been a catch. Usually they want me to buy cable TV and rent a cable box, but since I choose not to have a television in my home, those wonderful plans end up not being available to me. However, Santiago assured me that I did not need a cable box, just the modem I currently have. He also said there would be no hidden installation or service fees, just those four extra pennies per month. All that sounded good to me so I said “yes.”

Finally his computer system responded, and Santiago let me know that about 32,000 other customers were currently without internet service. Wow. So it wasn’t the Universe conspiring against me personally. He told me that Comcast had a whole team working on this and they hoped to have it back up by 9:27 PM. That didn’t help me much in that moment, but Santiago reminded me that when it did come back up it would be three times faster. He asked if there was anything else he could do for me. When I replied that it would be really great if he could wash my car, he laughed and did his best to get back on his script by reviewing my questions and his answers. Before hanging up I told him to please go get a piece of that cake! The call ended with both of us laughing.

As I sat there after the call, I realized a miracle had just happened. What could have been a very unpleasant conversation and frustrating experience ended up being a lot of fun. I’m happy to report my internet came back on around 6 PM and it was indeed faster. I have to believe my experience was absolutely the result of my state of mind before dialing that number. From a place of peace, the result will be peace. From a place of joy, the result will be joy. This week, one participant at our Miracle Monday discussion group shared a similar experience at the impound lot after her car was towed. She believes her studies of A Course in Miracles allowed her to laugh and joke with the attendant at the lot as she paid him the $220 fee to get her car out of jail. Yes, it is possible to experience joy in the unlikeliest of situations if you set your intention to do so. I love Miracle Principle Number 9 in Chapter 1 of A Course in Miracles:

Miracles are a kind of exchange. Like all expressions of love, which are always miraculous in the true sense, the exchange reverses the physical laws. They bring more love to both the giver and the receiver.

I’d say my conversation with Santiago was a miracle. When I got off the phone I actually did say, “I really enjoyed that call to Comcast!”

Could you use a miracle right now? Is there a situation or circumstance in your life that feels like an unlikely place to experience peace, love, or joy? It would be my great honor to assist you with some tools and techniques that have helped me. I offer four, six, and eight week Life Coaching packages as well as individual sessions. All of my sessions are based on the strong principles of A Course in Miracles, Family Constellations, and other New Thought teachings. Miracles happen all the time during Family Constellations. You can attend a group session or schedule a private session in person, by telephone, or via Skype. Please visit my website for more information about all of these opportunities as well as the calendar of upcoming events.

This week I invite you to set your intention to have fun in the most unlikely of places and let me know what happens…

Lessons on a Yoga Mat

Some days it is very difficult to make myself roll out the yoga mat and begin my ninety minute practice. I try to do yoga at least two mornings per week, but lately my schedule has been so unusual that it has been challenging to find the time. When I have found time, I notice I am resistant to begin. There are some poses that use muscles that have enjoyed the extended vacation and they are quite happy to be left alone. When I think about committing to the entire hour and a half routine knowing that those challenging poses are coming, I’m tempted to stay on vacation with those muscles. However, when I give myself permission to skip a pose or hold it for only a few breaths if it feels like too much to do that day, I am able to roll out my mat and begin.

Once I do the movements to warm up my spine, the next pose seems to flow naturally. So does the one after that…and so on. When it’s time to do something challenging, I check in with my body and do what feels right in that moment. I’ve learned the hard way not to overdo it. Usually it feels so good to wake up those muscles I end up holding the pose longer than I thought I could. Before I know it, I’m in the home stretch (no pun intended) and doing the final cool down poses. When I finish those it’s time for my favorite part of the practice, laying on my back and breathing deeply until I slip into a blissful meditation. When I emerge from meditation my entire body feels alive, peaceful, and full of gratitude for making myself roll out that mat!

It occurred to me that this might be a helpful metaphor that can be applied to many other things. When you think of your life, is there a project that feels daunting or a goal that seems impossibly out of reach? Does thinking about all that needs to happen in order to complete that project or achieve that goal make you want to reach for the TV remote, a bag of potato chips or both? Is there an action step that feels like something you just aren’t capable of doing right now? What if you just think about the first step that feels manageable instead of thinking about all of them at once or that step that seems impossible. Turn on your computer and write for fifteen minutes. Get your passport photo taken. Walk around the block when you get home from work. You don’t have to write the entire book, plan the entire vacation, or transform your body in one day. You just need to take one little step. Once you experience how good it feels to take a step in the direction of your dream, you will want to take another. Yes, you have the goal in mind, but your attention is focused on the present moment where joy lives.

When that goal is in alignment with the greater good, an amazing thing happens. All kinds of opportunities present themselves and the perfect people to help you realize those goals come into your life. Suddenly those seemingly impossible steps become possible. Here’s what A Course in Miracles says about that in Section IV of Chapter 20:

He will go before you making straight your path, and leaving in your way no stones to trip on, and no obstacles to bar your way. Nothing you need will be denied you. Not one seeming difficulty but will melt away before you reach it.

Not only do I find these words incredibly comforting, I can attest to their Truth. Once I realized that my life’s purpose is to help others remember who they truly are (pure Love and Light), the Universe arranged for more miracles and “chance” meetings than I could ever have imagined. I invite you to align your goals with the greater good, take a breath, then a step in that direction. What follows will be nothing short of miraculous!

Perhaps that first step is giving yourself the gift of Life Coaching or a Family Constellations session. Maybe an even smaller, less overwhelming first step is to simply click HERE to learn more about both of these life changing opportunities. Then see how you are guided from there. I would be honored to be one of those “chance” meetings that helped you remember who you are and how to live a life full of peace, love, and joy.

Until next time, please remember that no matter how things appear, you are loved and supported with each step you take.

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