Showing posts from 2013

Toes in the Sand

I live near a mall. That usually isn’t important or relevant except now it’s Christmastime. Nearly every time I forget not to drive past the mall parking lot I say a choice expletive.

Holidays can be a stressful time. It seems that I have so many errands that I wonder how I ever got any of them done when I wasn’t on vacation from work. In addition to errands, there are the usual responsibilities like keeping my exercise routine going, maintaining my meditation practice, and keeping in touch with family and friends. The additional holiday responsibilities can put a lot of pressure on all of us and I have learned how important it is to do things to remain grounded.

So in the middle of all of my frantic running around the other day, I decided to stop at the beach. I only had fifteen minutes to spare and just enough change to feed the meter. I took off my shoes and walked across the sand. I stood near a lifeguard tower and watched the birds and the ocean waves. I watched the surfers ridi…

Open Your Hand

In a previous post I shared that I’ve experienced a lot of loss recently. In some cases friends have moved away and in other cases friends are no longer friends. Several people I know have made their transitions. As I talk to friends, they are experiencing much of the same thing.

When I try to hold on to what was, in the face of things changing, it causes me to suffer. I see that. I came up with an analogy to help myself understand why we have to release what was, in order to embrace what is.

I like to think about what I want to hold onto as being in my hand. I envision my fingers clasped tightly into a fist to keep it in my hand. What I have come to realize is that as long as my hand is closed around that past situation, event, or relationship, Spirit cannot place anything new into it.

So I am opening my hand and trusting that God will fill it again with situations that are more aligned with my highest good. Just like a closed mouth doesn't get fed, a closed fist doesn't get…
Every act is an act of self-definition. ~Neale Donald Walsch

Life seems crazy sometimes. On a daily basis, we are inundated by responsibilities that seem overwhelming. There are multiple roles that we fulfill: husband, wife, son, daughter, employee or employer, sister, brother, mom and dad. There are bills to pay and those vacations we desire to take but feel that we cannot afford. Sometimes our resources appear very lacking. Other times, our health can be less than optimal.

In addition to all of that, we are constantly subjected to prevailing thought forms in society that would convince us that all is definitely lost. The news brings us reports of school shootings, a discordant government, and economic collapse.

The question then becomes, how do we maintain a feeling of peacefulness and centeredness in the face of all of these responsibilities and all of this bad news?

One way to do this is to consciously and strategically expose ourselves to positivity in order to balance out the n…

Easy Does It

October has been an interesting month. Several seeming setbacks have occurred and relationships with some loved ones appear very fragile. Sometimes I've been tempted to "throw in the towel". Other times I've been tempted to perform a spiritual bypass.

What's spiritual bypass? It's when you are feeling really badly but you attempt to skip the grieving and anger and move straight to happiness because it just feels better.

And most of the time it doesn't work.

Why? Because underneath the "fake it til you make it", your true inner core is hurting. To loosely borrow Course in Miracles speaker Jacob Glass' expression, "It's like putting pink icing on a cake made of feces."

At times like these I remember that I am not my feelings. My feelings are human experiences that I cannot bypass. I can, however, be kind to myself and walk through these emotions. As Abraham Hicks advises, we cannot necessarily move from sad to happy, but we can …

Don't Take it Personally

Recently I had a friend unexpectedly stop returning my phone calls. That friend also de-friended me on Facebook. What's interesting is that I have no idea why. Any attempts to call and discuss whether there's a problem were met with silence.

I felt sad and confused. I was left to ponder what I had done wrong. After thinking for awhile, I could not come up with anything that would cause someone to stop speaking to me. I'm just not one to mistreat a friend. If I do something wrong, I apologize. Yet, I cannot make amends if I do not know what I did wrong.

Fortunately, I was encouraged by another friend to stop taking it personally and to allow myself to feel compassion for this uncommunicative friend.

A fundamental spiritual concept was made popular through the writings of Don Miguel Ruiz in his wonderful book The Four Agreements. In it, he discusses how much of the pain and suffering we endure is a result of taking things personally. The truth is that when people do things,…

State of the Unity

I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be. ~Albert Einstein

This past weekend a beloved high school voice teacher, Mr. Pressman, gathered former students and friends together for a day in the park. The occasion, from an outside perspective, was melancholy. Our former teacher has the appearance of terminal cancer and we were there to celebrate his life and give him hugs. Some of us may have even felt that we were there to say goodbye.

As we stood in line to greet him and caught up with old friends, the occasion almost seemed to transform itself. Instead of focusing on saying goodbye and what to say as we did in the beginning, we started focusing on the best way to get to him and avoid the line that was forming. Do we cut in with a friend or catch him as he walks to the facilities? Can we pull rank as "more mature" alumni?

Instead of crying we were laughing at the t-shirt he wore which read, "I'm not dead yet." Instead of mourning w…

Get Out of Your Own Way

I once saw a funny picture on Facebook that read, “The Five Symptoms of Laziness.” Beneath the title there was a list that had been started with a number one followed by NOTHING. No task, no number two or three—nothing!

The image really made me laugh. It also caused me to reflect on how many times I have promised myself that I would do something and found some reason not to do it, put it off, or found something else to do instead.

Sometimes it could be a small task like washing the dishes that gets postponed, but sometimes it’s an important task like writing a blog post that will inspire others. What is it that gets in the way of my taking a step toward my goals? ME! I do that.

How can one overcome the phenomenon of getting in one’s own way?

One strategy I have utilized successfully is making appointments with myself. I write down a step toward my goal in my daily planner, in this case spending more time sharing my gifts as a writer and inspiring others, and I hold that time sacred.…

Losing Control, Gaining Enlightenment

When I was really young the song “Control” by Janet Jackson was really enticing. The thought of being in control of every aspect of our lives can be intoxicating not only when we are children under the supervision of our parents, but also when we are adults facing all of the challenges that life offers.

As an international speaker, I often speak to audiences about stress management. One of the many things that can cause us increased stress is trying to be in control of all of the circumstances of our lives. At times this can extend to the people in our lives and their behaviors and choices.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if the people closest to us would just do what we think they should do then all of life would be in divine order. They’d be happier and, more importantly, we would be happier.

The cost of this thinking is a loss of the kind of intimacy that can exist between people who love each other. I’m not just speaking of romantic relationships, but all relatio…