Tuesday, December 29, 2015


It feels to me as though we are continually force fed the notion that we must forgive others for their trespasses. It has earned a place on the list of "shoulds" in our society. Forgiveness is placed upon the pedestal as one of the most holy acts we can achieve, a state for the most virtuous among us and one that remains elusive for many.

Of course there are a myriad of issues that might require forgiveness on our part, some very minor and easy to put to rest, but it is the big ones that we wrestle with many times over. In that struggle to reach forgiveness many are left to feel a great degree of self judgment and less than the most pious among us.

As we sit in that seat of shame a bizarre thing occurs, we hold on tighter to our resentment. Why? It's pretty simple actually, because we are being denied; denied our feelings surrounding the offender and the offense. We long to be validated. The unspoken message is that a loving person would not feel anger, hurt or vengeful. I have met plenty of people who have felt all those emotions, and more; each one of them kind, compassionate and loving in their own way. When we refuse to allow another or ourselves to own those emotions deemed unkind, we actually fuse the bond to those feelings even deeper. Giving another or ourselves the time and space to give voice to the experience creates an opportunity for the process of forgiveness to begin as the emotions are allowed the opportunity to release.

Notice that I used the words "the process of forgiveness to begin". That is because forgiveness is many times not a one time act for those whoppers in our life, but is instead a series of steps we take over time as we continue to peel away the layers that keep us invested in not forgiving. You ask yourself, "Did she just say invested in not forgiving?" Yes, I think we can all relate to the common notion that by refusing to forgive another we believe we are punishing them and that is where we become invested instead. We believe that clinging to our righteous anger makes another writhe in pain and discomfort, a penance for perceived sins. The animosity permits us a false sense of power, and power is what we often feel has been taken from us in these moments of conflict.

Do you have to forgive? I would say no, you can make the choice not to forgive another. Is it a healthy choice to forgive? Probably. Because while we think we are holding another emotionally hostage with our grudge, really we are holding ourselves in an energetic prison that remains tied and bound to them and whatever situation that has come to pass. Unwittingly, we continue to give them the power. When we were three we stomped our foot and emphatically stated, "I hate you!" in our efforts to make others suffer for the pain we believe they caused. Today, all grown up, we say such things as, "I don't forgive him and he'll have to live with that." Different words in each scenario but each one is vengeful in nature and requires us to remain continually engaged on many levels with a state of hostility, day after day and sometimes, year after year.

That leads me to the next point, which I know you've heard somewhere before, forgiveness isn't for the other person. We don't offer our forgiveness so that they might feel better about themselves and what they have done, we do it so that we might feel lighter. Let's imagine our unwillingness to forgive is like the shirt you pull out of the closet that fits more snugly than the rest. You can get through the day wearing it but it's truly constricting, irritating and uncomfortable. So, you grab another shirt. This new shirt allows for more freedom of movement, is softer and doesn't feel binding in any way - that is forgiveness. When we forgive we are simply giving ourselves the permission to go about our days in greater internal comfort as we pick a new emotional ensemble to don.

Forgiveness is not always a matter of will and can not be forced by the "victim" nor the "perpetrator". Offering words of apology doesn't automatically entitle us to the golden certificate of forgiveness but instead is about personal ownership, end of story. What the receiver does or doesn't do with the apology is completely up to them, both consciously and unconsciously. It is the unconscious that often digs its heels in, holding us steadily in the state of an unforgiving mode. With time and self compassion the unconscious will make itself known and it is there that we have the freedom to heal and potentially step into forgiveness if we explore the gifts and intentions of personal awareness. Time and attention to self, not a rigid moral dogma or a denial of our pain, is what can lead us into the freedom of forgiveness for the deepest of our wounds.

It's important to examine your personal definition of forgiveness. Many of us believe that offering another forgiveness somehow exonerates them from the harm they have caused. With that belief structure we tend to cling to our sense of indignation. Personally, in those instances where I've reached a point of forgiveness for some major betrayals, I view it in the context of, "What you did is not okay but I no longer hold onto my hurt and anger towards you." It's not that I'm releasing them, instead I am releasing myself.

The act of forgiveness can be a complicated venture, but I suggest if approached with awareness of its complexity and with self compassion we might stand more fully and ever closer to our truth.

Be well and happy.

My personal journey of forgiveness via Kindle: Relentless: A Journey of Forgiveness https://smile.amazon.com/Relentless-Journey-Forgiveness-Kellie-Springer-ebook/dp/B01LQFBEWU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1473261339&sr=1-1&keywords=relentless%3A+A+Journey+of+Forgiveness

Monday, December 21, 2015

Self-Reflecting Pool

You know the spiritual truth that gets bantered about, the one that says those that we struggle with the most are often a mirror for something unhealed within ourselves? I hate that one. In my own mind the lesson plan for that truth goes something like this: They're such an ass (Roll of the eyes). I am nothing like them (Arms crossed in defense). Alright maybe one time I did something similar but that was because… (Shrug of the shoulders). But I don’t want to make this about me. Can’t we just stick with idea that there’s something wrong with them? (Whiny voice) Uncle! Okay, what is the frickin’ lesson I’m meant to learn here? (Deep sigh of resignation) And so it goes. Over and, many more times, over. Until the day we die, I’m pretty sure.

Anyone that has done some degree of personal growth knows what I’m referring to, and has heard it shared and experienced it to the ‘Nth’ degree as well. But today folks, is your lucky day because we are going to look at the opposite end of that spectrum. What lies there, you ask? I’m so glad you did because that side of things gets very little coverage in the grand scope of self-awareness.

So, it goes something like this- If all those things that drive us batty about another are truly an aspect of ourselves that is seeking resolve of some sort (e.g. My judgement of you as controlling is in fact a reflection of that in me which is the ultimate control freak.) then…the opposite is true a well. This means that in those moments when we admire a quality or action in another human, we are seeing an aspect of ourselves reflecting back. We could not recognize it in someone else if we did not first know of its existence within us.

For example, when we are deeply moved by witnessing acts of courage, compassion, acceptance, kindness, honesty and integrity we are being asked to know that all of those things are part us as well. We, you, are just as beautiful as what has been observed and felt. Isn’t that fantabulous? The universe doesn’t just offer us reflections of those kinda shitty things about our personalities and life, we are also surrounded by our glory.

This is what I ask of you: When your heart is opened or you feel inspired by a quality of someone else, stop for a moment, hell take two, and own that trait as part of your truth as well. Pause to think when you have lived and shared that same energy, no matter how brief or infrequently. Why? Because sometimes we get so caught up in trying to fix what is wrong with us, that we forget there are many spectacular things as well. This part of the lesson plan is just as necessary and important as the other extreme. Please, own your flaws but own your greatness as well.

Be well and happy. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

When Knowing Better Doesn't Make Us Feel Better

I was recently having a discussion with someone that shared that they had read many of the books published by our spiritual sages. You know the genre, authored by the likes of Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle and Tony Robbins. Their teachings, and those of many others, have been studied by untold numbers on our planet. Yet there are those that have devoured their writings, including the individual I was having the conversation with, that are still struggling. Why?

It's not that their contributions offer no truth or value. It's certainly not a reflection of the populus' ability to understand the offerings or the words that have been printed upon the pages. People "get it" but continue to have a hard time "making it stick".

And so, they pick up yet another book, authored by another guru of our times; all in hopes that this will be the one to help them turn the corner as they continue to turn the pages. Again, the author's words ring true for the reader and they see the sense in what is being presented. Once more, the teachings get them so far in their desired process of growth and self discovery, only to hit the proverbial brick wall one more time.

At this phase, many begin to feel hopeless, confused and experience a profound state of frustration with themselves. "What am I doing wrong?" they wonder. The answer, nothing. It's essential to practice the gifts bestowed upon us by our spiritual leaders and guides. So, by all means, put into action the practices they recommend.

The real question to ponder is, "What's missing?" The understanding of these teachings that have been bestowed upon us is based on the use of our intellectual abilities. The missing piece for many individuals is the emotional awareness. I've witnessed over and over while supporting others on their own journeys of self discovery, that it's not about knowing something, but is instead about making the emotional connection to feeling it.

Our emotions are the kingpin to a majority of our thoughts, actions and interactions. So, when we are straining to apply a concept that we know would benefit us, it behooves us to explore what emotions are throwing up a roadblock. Once we are able to identify the emotion we can reflect on the source of the belief surrounding that feeling. That is where our work begins, and change and growth prosper.

After having some clarity on how the emotional state came to be part of our existence, we have the choice to create a healing around its origins. As the healing gains momentum, the old is gradually released, making room for the newly discovered tools we've all read about.  As you discard your old operator's manual you can create a new one with the knowledge gained through the wise souls of our world.

Just the mention of emotions tends to send people running for the hills; people become instantly overwhelmed at the prospect of exploring their feelings. It is my belief, that emotions are simply another tool available to us to utilize on our path of self-awareness. The key isn't to avoid a feeling, but instead we can welcome it, asking what it is meant to teach us.

What I suggest, is that our feelings deserve just as much consideration and attention as the words of those that have come to guide us. In learning about yourself, you may well be better equipped to apply all that you've learned from another.

Be well and happy.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Consciously Uncaring

There seems to be a movement about to herald in John Wayne as an iconic symbol for the holidays. I find it shocking and not all pleasing. The mantra of those channeling the voice of the classic American cowboy is, “I don’t care who I offend…” They then follow that statement with whatever phrase or belief deemed fit to fire at the enemy, and proceed to ride off into the sunset on their high horse. Giddy up.

Perhaps I’m mistaken, but I’ve always envisioned the holidays as our chance at unity. The catchphrase I mentioned above does nothing but cause division. I wonder why this is necessary. The only thing I can conclude, is that it is not. There are as many beliefs and belief systems as there are people, some ever-changing and others steeped in tradition. None, to my knowledge, has been deemed more worthy than the rest. I beg of you, lay down your weapons and stop beating others over the head with your self-righteousness. It has no place during the holidays, or any day for that matter.

If you have something you want to say or wish to share, because it is an expression of you or a truth you hold, then share from your heart and not the almighty ego. You no doubt will offend someone even then, because you know it takes all kinds, but that does not give anyone of us the right to intentionally offend others. And let’s be clear, when you start a sentence off with, “I don’t care who I offend…” you have already made a decision to do just that. Is that the method with which you hope to share your message?

Not only is it offensive, but it is defensive as well. As if someone can rip your belief, and your right to hold it, out of your hands. Even if faced with another’s hostility or challenging response, we need not engage in the battle. Their disbelief cannot lessen what it is you hold dear, so lay down your guns, partner.

Having said all of that, I do believe there is a time and a place for not caring when we might raise a few hackles. But, its source is fueled by a desire to help the greater good no matter who stands in the way. A few instances that come to mind are the protection and welfare of animals, children and our Earth. If any of them are in jeopardy, then please speak your mind and be their voice. That energy seeks to heal and protect, not harm.

And of course, I need not remind you that we must never be consumed with what others might think of us and all that defines us because there will always be someone to stand in direct opposition. That is when we must call on conscious uncaring, that which stems from a place of acceptance and allowance, not animosity and defiance.

What I’ve written above falls into that category. I accept and am fully aware that some may be offended by what I shared but I am not consumed with angst and concern because all I’m really trying to say is, “For the sake of all of us, play nice.” How can you argue with that? There is no malice attached to my intentions. And if that ticks you off, the only thing that tells me is that you have no interest in being kind. 

I’ll be a team player, and call on John Wayne this holiday season to sum up what it is I’ve hoped to convey to those wielding their words as firearms, “Whoa, take ‘er easy there, Pilgrim.” (From his role as Tom Doniphon in the 1962 movie The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.)

Be well and happy.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Doing vs. Flowing

I woke this morning the way many of us begin our days, with a to-do list. My brain began to whirl with the tasks I needed to accomplish; the arms of time constraining the flexibility which I had to reach my various goals.

Which to tackle first? Internally, I created a very clear vision of how my day would progress and the order in which my list would gradually dwindle. I envisioned my sense of accomplishment growing as I checked off one completed duty after another. I instantly met with a roadblock, I didn't want to start with that which I deemed to be priority number one on my master list. Something else on that list felt more intriguing and appealing to me.

It was then I made the decision to not listen to my inner taskmaster, but to my heart and soul instead. Tackling was not the approach I needed, off with the helmet and shoulder pads, instead I needed to allow myself to feel.

My heart's approach was a whisper in my ear, not the barking of a drill sergeant. It was through my heart that my soul gently lead me through my projects, and my day, with delight. I flowed from one thing to the next, allowing myself to feel the gentle pull of what might bring me pleasure. I sensed the ebb and flow of each undertaking. As the energy of one project gently slipped away, I permitted myself to be carried into the next.

This wasn't a rigid schedule that enslaved me, but instead an allowing of myself. I still had the same list of things I'd hoped to put to rest, and the same time constraints, but instead of controlling the process, I took the time to ask myself a question as the energy of each job began to fade; what will bring me joy now? The next step was just as important, I listened, or rather felt, the response to that question.

My mind continued to interject, full of suggestions and justifications as to what could and should be next on my agenda. Its frenetic energy was fraught with pressure. My inner voice, however, hummed peacefully in the background and had only one goal in mind, bringing me happiness; and with that came an ease and lightness.

Obviously, we all have responsibilities to attend to in our daily comings and goings. I'm not suggesting we disregard our duties, only that as we analyze our list of goals we allow our spirit to draw us to that which will bring us pleasure and a sense of connection in that instant.

Having said all that, please don't pressure yourself to now incorporate the practice into your every day right off the bat. Again, pressure plays no part in this practice. Instead, perhaps you can allow yourself to play with the approach on a weekend or during a period of time when you might have more leisure. After a period of exploration, and understanding the voice of your mind versus that of your soul, brave a new frontier and attempt to gradually add it into your work day, or at least a portion of it.

If you get a moment, let me know how this practice is working for you, but only if and when you feel that gentle tug in my direction...

Be well and happy.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Self Compassion

This term is bantered about in what seems to be every healing modality. In this very blog I touch on its extreme importance to our growth and self awareness. But as I look out into the world I see so many of us struggling with the concept over and over again. I began to wonder why self compassion remains a foreign idea to most and a poorly utilized teaching of those whose path the phrase has crossed.

Certainly the easiest answer is that we have never been taught of its significance and more often then not, have not been outwardly shown unwavering compassion from those who were most meaningful in our childhood; and on and on the pattern goes the further we look back in our history. That lead me to the next question, "Why not?"

I came to the realization that self compassion has been confused with self pity. The two truly are worlds apart. Self compassion is not comparable to a permanent seat on the ole pity pot. How so?

Well, we've all taken some time in our lives to hang out on the pity pot and so we all know the beliefs and thoughts that can be found there: "Poor me." "Why does this kinda stuff always happen to me?" "Why can't I catch a break?" "Here we go again...." "Things never work out for me." "It's not fair." As we sit perched on that hard, unyielding seat our world appears to be cast in hues of the most dull and dingy gray, while our mind sees others' lives projected in technicolor. It's a lonely place to be because very few of us have the desire or tolerance to remain too long beside another that has taken up long term residence there, the air seemingly too thick and the energy oppressive. The pity pot is like a bus stop to nowhere.

Self compassion on the other hand, asks questions as well but in contrast to self pity, it is truly looking and waiting for an answer: "What do I need?" "How can I support myself or be supported by another?" The phrases offered are meant to be comforting and validating, "Yes, this is hard right now but I will take one step at  time." When we allow ourselves to fall into the space of self compassion it is like lying supported on a bed of the softest comforters. When we look from this place we may not see all the answers but we might catch a glimpse of hope and possibilities. Interestingly, when we open our heart to ourselves we find less isolation and greater connection to the world at large, the air about us no longer a sinking abyss of darkness and suffocation but is instead saturated with acceptance. The bus stop of self compassion is a nonstop ticket into the wonders and depths of our lives and our soul.

So you see, self pity invites despair, hopelessness and helplessness as we become the consummate victim to the world at large. In contrast, self compassion is empowering, pulsing with love and new found discoveries and understandings as we remain in charge of our inner world. One pulls us down while the other lifts us up. When viewed with this level of clarity we can begin to know and understand the value of self compassion and proceed with an air of caution lest we turn the pity potty in our personal throne. There is no shame or impotent self indulgence to be found in self compassion. Instead, if you open its doors you will find deeper self acceptance and a healing path laid before you. The invitation to explore awaits you.

Be well and happy.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Fruits of Our Labor

You won’t be hard pressed to find the pain and horror in our world, most especially if you tune into the news. Humanity as a whole has a rap sheet to span the centuries of the atrocities we’ve committed. It can feel heavy and overwhelming at times to take note of the destruction that lay in our path. But there’s more, more beauty and camaraderie than hate.

I felt as though I was blessed to witness just that as I visited New York, a microcosm of our world at large, over the holiday weekend. The streets that I explored bore the scars of what it means to be a human being, but what shone brighter than that was the diversity, creation, imagination and acceptance that an untold number of strangers joined together to manifest and experience.

It moved me to be a part of a whole that was far from our ideal, what we would call perfect. I’ve no doubt if you stopped anyone on the street they could well have shared with you the ugly truths that were scattered all about, but it was an air of peace and acceptance that permeated the air- not judgement or fear. We were there to inhale and embrace the wonders of life that humanity played a hand in as well.

Magic doesn’t only happen in Disney World. It’s in your everyday life and it’s sprinkled like fairy dust in all the corners of our Earth. I invite you to step outside of your routine, your social circle and norms and take note of the splendor that we as a whole have brought into form. It’s a wonderland to behold that you need only grant yourself permission to enjoy.

I implore you, please pause to tune out the animosity, struggle and strain and dial into moments of enchantment. For your sake, and that of the world, I invite you to open your heart to the gifts that stand before you, and every one of us, with each breath that is taken.

This is my holiday wish for you all.

Be well and happy.  

Monday, November 23, 2015

Human Anatomy

I’ve been listening to a little bit of this and that this past week and I’ve concluded that there are mass numbers of our population that are in need of an anatomy lesson. Don’t worry, I shall keep it quite simple for those that have no interest in said topic, but do trust that it will be applicable to us all.

We have this structure known as a brain, folks. It sits squarely on your shoulders, housed inside a very thick skull. Human beings boast the largest brain on the planet. Here’s where some might want to pay attention, it’s meant to be used. By that I mean its purpose isn’t to sit idle, like an old car in the junkyard that no longer holds any value. Nope, it’s here to be ridden, and hard.

You see our brain model is a souped-up version compared to that of the majority of our fellow earthly inhabitants. Our frontal cortex, aka the front of our brain, allows us the luxury of more abstract thought and reasoning, among other things. For example, when a dog is presented with two bones it does not proceed to pose questions in its own mind- Which one am I in the mood for tonight? Is one healthier than the other? If I chew on this bone now will it ruin my appetite for supper?  But our brains would allow us to do just that if presented with the same scenario, or any other one.

This is a beautiful feature because with that option we can, buckle your seat belts, ask questions! And when we ask questions we just might find ourselves thinking outside the box, or many boxes depending on your storage situation and how often you dare to visit the attic of old beliefs.

Those boxes of things we were told or taught to believe aren’t to sit untouched in the dark recesses of our brain. Fling ‘em open and re-examine the contents. Unless you’ve suffered a lobotomy, you possess a miraculous ability to question, there’s that word again, what once was or currently is being shared with you. You don’t have to foolishly accept the words that fly out of another’s mouth simply because they jive with something you heard twenty years ago or touch on your fear(s).  I’m not suggesting hostile challenge, but that you only pause to ask or research.

Do yourself and the world a favor and use the brain you’ve been given. Question what you believed when you were a child. Question what you believed last year. And question the validity of what you believed yesterday. Question not only the amateur but the expert as well. Question what he, she and they said. Question what might lie on the other side of everything you think you know to be true. Question until the day you die, and your brain ceases to fire.

Any more questions?

Be well and happy.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Never Say Never

Unfortunately we have all said on more than one occasion, “I would never…” As we rise above our fellow man with the buoyancy of our inflated egos, there may well be truth in that statement. You would never fall so far based on your sex, age, ethnicity, culture, wealth, intelligence, family history, health, education or the myriad of life experiences you have traveled. You wouldn’t, but perhaps another might and that’s where we are shortsighted as we stand atop the moral high ground.

I feel a surge of egos rise in defense as the concepts of that last paragraph float into the ethers of awareness. None among us likes to believe that we too might be capable of depraved acts if we were to walk in the shoes of the person we stand wagging our judgmental finger at. But if we’re honest with ourselves long enough, we would realize we could never completely grasp what took that individual to the place where they now stand condemned or criticized, most especially when looking through the lens of intentional shaming. It’s quite simple really, we could never know because we aren’t them and can never understand the cumulative effects of the multiple factors that come into play with whatever action they took. We can assume with an air of authority that we are all knowing, but of course you are fully aware of the clever saying – that only makes an ass out of you and me.

We may never fully know but we can wonder. Perhaps we might better serve ourselves and others if, instead of making grand and noble declarations, we asked questions with an open heart and curious mind. What must that person have endured before they came to that action or decision? What fearful belief or message was the impetus for what they just did? What did they hope to accomplish? What lessons can I learn?

Does it change what has come to pass? No, but neither does our judgment and shaming. Attempting to grasp an understanding of another and their choices is not about blind acceptance but is a simple act of compassion that holds more potential for healing in ourselves, others  and is most surely a key ingredient necessary for the world as a whole.  

I’m not asking you to deny your natural human reactions of outrage, pain and disbelief; what I am suggesting is that you not continue to dwell there and then hide behind the comforting shield of superiority because each one of us may have failed the same test if we were capable of understanding what it is like to be “them”. Surely you would want and do deserve the same the next time you stumble and fall.

Be well and happy.

Monday, November 9, 2015


We are a society of swingers. No, not that kind but the type that rides the pendulum of life and all its issues. Republican or Democrat. Gorge on fast food or fast on the latest cleanse. Give our power away or greedily consume the power of those that surround us. Beat children into submission of authority or hand them all the authority. Give all, or nothing, in everything we do or don’t.

Back and forth is the tempo we keep in life and debates. It must be this way. No, that. “It’s my way or the highway,” rings the underlying message that is not discernible to our ears, only our psyche. On and on we go about the glory days of the past, all the while knowing just how far we have come. Without the wonders of modern day we would not be as progressive, nor as regressive we bemoan.

All of this leads me to wonder if we’re missing the point, the one that seems to lie somewhere in between all these extremes. As a pendulum comes to rest it is in a place of balance. It has found the middle ground and perhaps that is the higher ground we all seek. Would we be better served as individuals and a society to ask, “What is betwixt and between point A and B? Do both views have redeeming qualities that can be melded into something anew?”

Of course the comings and goings of life will create a movement that might cause us to go to and fro once more but coming back to center within ourselves and our lives seems as though that might be our greatest test, and possible reward.

This week I leave you with a challenge to identify your role as a swinger on both a personal and global level. Next, the step that requires courage and growth, allow yourself to unearth the virgin middle ground and dare to walk its path for a change of perspective. Who knows, you might just blaze a new trail - if not in the life of others, at least your very own.

Be well and happy.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Perfect Prayer

Most of us understand prayer as a religious practice. While that is obviously true there are many among us that utilize prayer but follow no organized religion, and this is the prayer to which I refer- that which is not linked to a certain religious belief or system. In fact, even the wanderings of our mind and the thoughts we replay are a form of prayer, although often from a place of unconsciousness, as they too are a signal broadcast to the universe.

So many times when humans pause to pray they are very specific about what it is they hope to impact or change. Often it is during moments of deep desperation as we try to influence the outcome of a particular situation….please heal my brother and give him back the use of his arm or help me meet the love of my life, for example. Of course there as many types of prayers said as there are people but more often than not we have our own idea of the perfect ending for the scenarios we choose to pray about.

But here’s the thing folks, our humanity limits our ability to truly know the best way for things to turn out. Our hopes blind us to the bigger picture of what is best for all involved. There are a vast degree of layers and possibilities that may lead to lessons, people, experiences and places that we could never imagine but the soul seeks. I know this flies in the face of convention, but our prayers are best left as generalities.

As ‘Aunt Liza’ sits in the hospital its best to ask that love and comfort find her versus requesting that she find the bone marrow donor she needs. I imagine that some might think this approach cold but in reality it is extremely loving because it is saying in effect, I relinquish control of this situation and trust that the powers greater than me understand best what is for ‘Aunt Liza’s’ highest good, including ‘Aunt Liza’s’ higher self.

“No!” say our fears, “I don’t want ‘Aunt Liza’ to die. I have to pray for her to live!” Yes, this is tough to wrap our brains around, but ultimately we don’t know the whys of ‘Aunt Liza’s’ purpose in this life or who and what she has come to change, influence or experience.

When our prayer is simply for peace, love, comfort and support the potential for how and when that might manifest is endless. It is the ultimate display of blind faith and why many find its concept so very frightening.

I shall push the boundaries even further, I know, with my next insight. Most have no resistance to praying for another in pain or dealing with hardship, but very few are willing to pray for the others that might have caused it. How many are willing to pray for murderers, rapists or terrorists and not just their victims? In those instances I see the numbers on the prayer chain dwindling, but are they not in need as well? The extreme nature of their actions suggest that might just be the case.

I know I’m discussing a mind bending concept for a lot of you, as anger and hatred are not unnatural feelings towards those who have committed such atrocities, but no one who feels love and connection to their fellow man could go to such extremes with ease. Are they not in dire need of love, or at the very least a lifting of the veil that seems to have separated them from us?  Prayers of this nature test our mettle but are again trusting that there are wheels in motion and parts at play that we cannot fathom.

My last thought is to ask that each and every one of you find peace, love comfort and support- no matter your situation or standing. Ultimately prayer’s greatest power, and ours, comes when it is wielded with awareness and love.

Be well and happy.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Mirror, Mirror

When you gaze into your looking glass what or who is it you see? Do you gaze upon yourself with judgment and shame, or compassion and glory? Of course the mirror is symbolic in that it reflects to us that which we feel or believe about ourselves, no matter if there is truth to it. Many try avoid the image looking back at them in the physical mirror as often as possible, and most absolutely refuse to do any internal self-reflection. Why is that I wonder?

I’ve had moments in time when that question baffled me. I personally can’t seem to stop trying to understand myself and grow personally, which some might define as an issue but to me it feels as natural as breathing. Why was I the odd man out?

Naturally, fear could be the only answer. But fear of what? Fear of what one might discover, I suppose. So then, what is the worst discovery imaginable? Universally the answer seems to be, “That I’m not loveable.” On the surface that does seem to make a lot of sense. By definition the process of self-awareness suggests that we are to own and embrace all aspects of ourselves. You know- the good, the bad and the ugly. The majority of us have been taught that the less than favorable parts of our makeup are to be hidden away or denied, and hold far more weight when calculating our “lovability factor” than our sometimes stellar displays.

Yeah, so it all looks like a plausible theory on the surface. If I go digging around and honestly dare to look at all parts of me, then I might get the affirmation that scares me the most- that I’m a worthless piece-o-shit. Or will I? If I don’t, than what is left to be discovered? Good question, no?

Beneath the obvious premise we discussed above regarding peoples’ fear of looking within, lies a find with the power to terrorize. Shall I tell you? Are you ready to take in this truth, do you dare to feel it? Well it’s quite simple, that you are lovable – even more than our limited minds can conceptualize. Doesn’t sound scary as you read the words, I’m sure, but to actively and actually feel and live this concept strips us of all that we’ve known.

The reality is that the goal of going inward is to foster self-love. Never have I watched another take the deep plunge of personal growth and walk away saying, “Well, now I feel worse about myself!” Instead self-compassion and acceptance begin to bloom, and with them comes the heavenly aroma of knowing you are always nothing but remarkable. This is where the shock comes in, because with the dawning of this realization comes the challenge to let go of who and what we thought and were taught we are. As we bask in self-acceptance and claim our splendor we can no longer play small or the role of victim.

No, no, no. We have been called to claim our power, our divinity. What?! Yes, once we catch a glimpse of how truly spectacular we are we can no longer crawl up like a pillbug in an effort to squelch the radiant light that is us. And that, is what I believe stops others from going inward- that they are far more magnificent than they could have imagined and with that, comes the responsibility to shine. The universe put out a casting call, and we each have been given the starring role, no longer to hide in the shadows but instead to step out from behind the stage curtain of life and allow ourselves and our truth to be seen and shared with the world.

I do declare, nothing could be scarier…nor more sublime.

Be well and happy.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Married to Martyrdom

Well, I know we discussed the corruption of kindness just a couple of weeks ago and you might notice a similar message in this week’s post. I see these two posts as close cousins, just bearing a different title that made an appearance in my world once more- and now yours too. So, I ask that you indulge me for a few brief minutes as we peruse the ego and another costume of this sly trickster.

Donning the crown of martyr is hailed in our society. We are fed the notion that unrewarded sacrifice and toil are the makings of a noble soul. Many choose to dine on that message and eventually find themselves emotionally starving as they sit in the squalor of self-pity.

I suppose the truth is to some it is an attractive place because so many relish the false belief that their suffering puts them in line with the imperial rankings. The cries of those in martyrdom calling for attention, “Yes, I will be the one to suffer… No, no let’s just do what you want… I have to do everything all by myself… It’s okay, I don’t need help (deep sigh).” In all honesty we’ve all at least tried on the martyr headdress more than once, some choosing to outfit themselves daily in full regalia, but I can find no redeeming qualities of playing the role of martyr, unless painting yourself as a victim is appealing to you.

From where I stand, the portrait of a martyr looks on the surface to be acts of selflessness, but in truth it too is a very self-centered dynamic, one that is utilized to feed the egos need to believe we are superior to our fellow man. Our ego spouts thoughts of, “It’s all up to me. Ah yes, look at me and all that I must endure. Poor me.” Add in another deep sigh.

Sometimes martyrdom is masking a deep need to control our environment. It feeds a false belief that if we micromanage all aspects and details of our lives and others’, at our expense, then everything will be safe and predictable. I hate to send anyone running for cover, but that is a big ole lie my friends, as very little is under our direct control. Surely you know by now the only thing you truly have authority over is yourself.

I’m hoping at this point I’ve made being a martyr look quite unattractive, because it is. It is not an act of nobility to begrudgingly continue to perform duties and roles and then not so casually shine the light on your hardship for doing so. What it is, is annoying and draining.

If you want to bear the burden of some project alone, deny support from others and allow yourself to be a human doormat- have at it! But, don’t then bemoan the choices you made as an adult. You can say no. You can say yes. You can say maybe. You can ask for help. You can let others take the wheel as you take a back seat. Whatever it is you wish to do, then do it because it speaks to your truth and not as a campaign for personal aggrandizement.

The next time you find yourself about to slink your way into your martyr mask remember its defining acronym that drives it all home- a martyr is:

Be well and happy.

Monday, October 12, 2015

No More Invertebrates

I got a little hot this week, folks. I’d like to share with you the impetus for the foul taste that was left in my mouth, and this week’s blog.

I came across a picture of what appeared to be a monstrous black lump of coal being transported on an 18-wheeler truck bed. The caption for the post read: “I-90 will be closed tomorrow across South Dakota. They are hauling a 200 ton lump of coal so they can add Obama to Mount Rushmore. They couldn't find a 200 ton piece of shit.”

First, let me say that I am not here to defend President Obama or his politics and policies. This is obviously not a political blog nor am I a political activist in any way, shape or form. I am fully aware that the president did not receive the post and proceed to weep inconsolably at the desk of the Oval Office. What I am here to champion is common decency and more importantly, our need to stand up for its existence in our world.

I found the post to be offensive on many levels and I was itching to respond with a message that said just that. I was encouraged to just let it go so that I didn’t cause any unnecessary conflict. Lord knows I didn’t want to offend the offender, right?! Yes, initially I must admit that in my state of anger I did want to spit a bit of venom in the direction of the person responsible but I knew that would only leave me standing in the same hateful place as them. After a bit of thought and contemplation I found that I did not, and in fact could not, let this one slide. It felt uncomfortable and made my insides cringe when I envisioned a complaisant stance.

I set my temper aside and I crafted a very simple response that did not attack the attacker but called into question the necessity of their actions. Verbatim I said, “Really? Whether you like him or not, is something like this necessary?” My goal was not to change that person in any way but instead I chose to be the voice that challenged an act of childish cruelty. I made the decision to stand out from the crowd, the many others that found the post hilarious, and risk that I might be seen in a less than favorable light by the masses. That was okay with me because that felt much more tolerable than how I would see myself if I said nothing.

In school I learned that we humans are vertebrates and I believe that sometimes we need to use the backbone we’ve been given. It’s not always an easy or comfortable thing to call out an injustice, no matter its size, but we each must stand for something. When we choose to remain on the sidelines we are not innocent bystanders but instead become silent supporters of malice. I feel confident that each and every heart and soul on this planet calls us to rise to the occasion, somewhere at some time, and speak from our truth and not sit idle in fear.

While answering a call to action may not always get us friends, it most certainly will leave us with some semblance of self-respect.

Be well and happy.

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Corruption of Kindness

I would never suggest that we shouldn’t be kind. Obviously, our world could use a tad more kindness, on both a personal and global level. But several Facebook postings by others this week made me realize that many are misusing the notion of being kind.

The postings went something like this: “It doesn’t pay to be kind. People just use you,” and, “Being so nice always bites you in the ass! I should just start being a bitch!” or, “People are so mean. They just walk all over you when you’re a good person.” Their remarks inspired others to commiserate with them. My response is a big ole, “Ugh!” Each one of those statements is loaded with victimization and expectations.

It leaves me to wonder what the motivation is behind their supposed kindness. Is the issue with the receiver or the energy which they approach the situation? I’m leaning towards the latter and it makes think that a refresher course on acts of good will might be in order.

There are two distinct and very different forms of giving, whatever it is we wish to share. While both are about “doing” for another on the surface, one is actually selfish in motivation. Yes, being kind can actually be rooted in selfishness if one’s motivating factor is to hear our praises sung by another. If we perform what we perceive to be altruistic deeds in the hopes of hearing how wonderfully generous and loving we are, well then that’s not very loving at all. Our acts are not meant to boost our self-esteem but are an outward expression of what we already know to be true about ourselves. If we expect another to return the favor, as though we now have some unbreakable bond with them, we have engaged someone else in a contract that they have entered unaware but are now seemingly beholden to fulfill. 

Of course as human beings we enjoy appreciation and acknowledgement from our fellow man, but this should not be the impetus for our behaviors. If it is what fuels us, we will often be left unfulfilled and bitter, as are the people I mentioned above. The others in the Facebook post have forgotten one very important truth, they have a choice! If someone continually takes advantage of our generosity it’s because we allow it. If through their behaviors they are saying. “I don’t value what you do or have done for me,” then we should believe them and make our next choice accordingly, which might be to stop being so charitable with that individual. If we continue to give, give, give without limits or boundaries we aren’t being kind, what we are is foolish and lacking in self-love.

Now that we now what kindness is not, let’s discuss a conscious, healthy and truly loving approach.

The second form of kindness originates from the heart, not a wounded ego. The reward in this type of kindness is not in the accolades but the pleasure is derived in the act itself. Simply put, it feels good to do it just for the sake of sharing or giving to another. There is a benevolence in the energy and the action when it comes from the space of an open heart. With this energy we don’t crave recognition, only the joy we receive in knowing that we came from an authentic space. This approach is not some school yard version of an I.O.U. system where we hold others emotionally captive until they’ve paid their supposed debt.

Of course another may still choose to greedily consume this type of giving as well, but it doesn’t sting because we were not looking for a kickback. Even more importantly, when coming from this point of reference, we will and can more easily make the shift to pull out of those interactions in which we are not respected because an open heart allows us to tend to ourselves as well.

So by all means, spread the love- but leave the neediness behind.

Be well and happy.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Peaceful Practice

In my mind I keep hearing the Eagles singing the title of their song, Peaceful Easy Feeling. My assignment this week? Cultivate that feeling despite what might be going on around me. Have you heard of the spiritual saying, “Do not allow the behavior of others to steal your inner peace?” Yeah, well me too and I gotta tell you, it’s a slippery bastard to master.

Conflict and animosity seemed to be hiding around every corner since last we met, jumping out at me in an effort to through me off balance. Sometimes I fell for its trickery, my ego hopping aboard the “I Am Going to Prove I’m Right Express”, but as I found my inner peace waning I chose to make a conscious and concerted effort to exit at the next platform where my heart was openly waiting to embrace me and those that seemed to be intent on manifesting misery.

Just as soon as I had disembarked the crazy train, strolling through the land of acceptance and calm, I was met once again, and again, and yet again by the hostile natives. They wanted to go to war, clawing and shredding my newly donned monastic robes, not sing John Lennon’s rendition of Give Peace a Chance. It seemed as though any old trigger within my psyche that had the slightest spark remaining was intentionally set aflame by the locals, their joy in direct proportion to the degree of agony and discomfort they might cause me. For my part, I appeared to perform my own unique tap dance as I jumped about stomping out those fires.

I must say, it was exhausting. Many times I had to pause to catch my breath, breathing in the tranquility and out the drama. The only thing that kept me tentatively tethered to serenity was repeatedly hearing the phrase, from some wiser part of me or the universe, “Don’t let another steal your inner peace.” “Right!” was my soul’s response as I made yet another shift back to center.

So, how did it all end? (And yes, thankfully it did end.) Well, I wouldn’t say I am a sensei of the art I explored this week, but if grades were to be handed out I would give myself an ‘A’ for my efforts. Simply put, I tried. Truthfully that is all that can be asked of us- to try. We are not here to ace each and every obstacle that might stand in our path, we are only encouraged to break away from unconsciousness so that we might remember once again that we are the masters of our own universe.

Be well and happy. 

Monday, September 21, 2015


I’ve come to confess, each one of you my witness. I’ve a few flaws. Shocked, I’m sure you’re not because I stand in good company. Let’s have a show of hands, anybody else out there bear any blemishes? Anybody? Don’t be shy, we all come with a less than pristine rap sheet. Perhaps if I share with you what I know to be true about myself you might find it easier to bring to light that which you have been trying to keep in the shadows.

Anger and I share a close bond. I tend to hold onto it long past its expiration date, some part of me believing it is necessary for my very survival.

I have a tendency towards self-centeredness. While on my personal growth journey I can become so self-absorbed, focusing on what is going on inside of me, that I forget that there is a larger world that exists outside of my head.

Selfish I can be. I am not the congenial person on the road that waves you ahead of them in the construction zone. Okay, I might let you in but my natural proclivity is to speed up so you can’t get in front of me, as though I was once again standing in line in my elementary school days. And if you do happen to sneak your way into line before me, I fantasize about ramming my truck into you. True story.

Stubborn is part of my DNA. It takes monumental effort to sway my thought and opinions, however erroneous they might be. After all, I think very highly of those opinions.

When tired, the only thing I have to give is hostility. Waves of malice permeate the air to keep all at bay and if that’s not enough, I call in the daggers which will shoot from my eyes.

I have all the patience in the world, until I don’t. It is then that I must make monumental efforts to not say the unkind thoughts racing through my brain. Sometimes, the thoughts win that battle.

In my unconscious moments I am judgmental of others I deem to be less conscious than me. Ironic?

Is that enough for you to understand that I have my faults? I’m sure there might be some other qualities that can caste me even further in a less than tolerable light. But the point I’m trying to make, is that I own all of those behaviors. I could give various explanations for how all these traits came to be, and they might hold some weight, but the fact remains they still exist. I’m not necessarily proud of my list of failings but neither am I ashamed.

We are not the sum of our “sins”, instead they are but momentary expressions of part of us. In truth I, and you I’m sure, have just as many stellar and loving traits. It is when we openly admit our personality quirks that they begin to lose their power over us and are less likely to make surprise guest appearances. In addition, they can no longer be used as ammunition for those moments that another decides to shine the spotlight on our personal warts because we have already seen them in all their glory.

Denial has no place on this leg of the journey, but acceptance should be relied upon heavily. Acceptance doesn’t mean, “That’s just how I am, so deal with it.” No, no, no. It simply implies the acknowledgement that we are not perfect, ahhh, and while striving to not inflict harm upon others with our weaponry, well, we sometimes have a misfire. Perhaps a fitting title is “Embracing Your Inner Ass”, the goal being that we cease to judge ourselves and instead hold ourselves. After all, it is our Inner Ass that requires the most understanding, transforming ever so slightly when met with a loving and compassionate heart.

Be well and happy.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Popularity Contest

Today’s world of social media has afforded us with the opportunity to reach far and wide. Never before in history have we been able to “touch” and connect with others the way we do today. Certainly this technology has spread valuable and important information to many that before may have been limited in its reach. This of course is an amazing feat but with it there can come a price.

There seems to be a non-stop and rapidly expanding arsenal of the latest tools for us to reach out into the ethers. Every time we turn around someone somewhere is telling us of the importance of gaining new followers and growing our numbers. The equation seems to be that the larger your audience number the more likable and important you are, sort of like the popular kids in school. Didn’t it always seem the poplar kids were the ones in the know and the ones to know that were held in higher regard by the masses? Today we label the masses “friends” and “followers” and the popularity contest is still going strong.

Surely you know it was a lie then and it still is. At any given moment you can click on your Facebook or Twitter page, for example, and see a continual flux in your approval rate. I know because I’ve watched mine wax and wane. Certainly no one would call my stats impressive but after each high or low finding, for an instant, my mind believes the message I’ve been fed. If my numbers go up, well then I did something “right” and if someone unfriends me or ceases to follow me then the first question is, “What did I do wrong?”

This continual drive to for an endorsement is exhausting. In answer to the question of, “What did I do right or wrong?” the answer is, “Probably nothing,” on both accounts. We are bombarded with the notion that if we post a gripping photo, most inspirational quote or profound educational link we will somehow be rewarded with a greater audience as a means of measuring the value of our content and us. We invest our mental energies in the magic formula. I find it to be a lie perpetrated by our egos.

The truth is that how people treat and react to us, whether in cyberspace or face-to-face, has far less to do with us and is more directly linked to them. What is going on, or not, in their inner and outer world has far greater impact on how they respond to us than our efforts at tossing out the most ideal elements. We would be better served to shift our focus to authenticity.

Share and convey what is true for you and that which speaks of the gifts and insights you can offer, it will resonate with people or it won’t. You are no less important or relevant if you have 100 followers or 30 million. You will reach and touch those you are meant to serve, let that be your inspiration and cease playing the numbers game. Know that your worth can only be found in your own heart, not social media, and all that is required is the number 1- and that would be you.

Be well and happy.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Easy Street

I've been working on project that is of significant importance and size for me personally. I've made conscious efforts to keep it low key, telling very few people what I am possibly formulating. I have my reasons, mostly that continually talking about it to a multitude of others seems to leak some of the energy required to create my vision. But now I've come to a stage of the process where I am in need of more external and professional guidance.
You see I initially approached this venture intentionally not seeking any expert advice or coaching. I wanted it to be authentic, for me it felt as though if I weighed my mind down with all the "shoulds" and "musts" I would lose my voice. At this stage I stand holding that which I've been shaping and molding and know I am in need of some additional and qualified input so that I might represent myself and my work in its best and true light. Now comes the fine tuning and I require another pair of eyes to to help me with the refining touches. I knew this stage was coming but nevertheless I did not welcome it.
"Ugh," was my mind's response to to what I was about to do. All I could see and feel was more work coming my way and pressure to get it right as someone else began to shine a light on matters that I had overlooked. "Why am I doing this to myself?" I wondered. Of course when I posed that question I was referring to embarking on this adventure as a whole. But, what soon became clear to me was that I should be asking this same question about the mindset I had approaching this next level. "Yes, why am I doing this to myself- preceding as if all that follows will be fraught with stress, strain and toil?" All that created for me was misery and the feelings of an insurmountable task.
Every day I set the intention to live with love, ease and compassion. While all three are applicable for any area of our lives, it was the word "ease" that was attempting to guide me. The light bulb that had begun to dim in my unconsciousness began to flicker back once more, reminding me that the universe was not hellbent on creating misery for me. When I received the feedback that I was asking for on my project I could be consumed with an overwhelming exasperation at the task that was before me or I could permit myself to believe the truth that none of this has to be hard. Of course I could continue with ease. That's not to say I could turn on Netflix, sit on my couch and watch season after season of some TV series that peaked my interest. The universe could not perform my tasks for me, but it would willingly make the road a smooth one if I allowed it. Inching closer to my goal would require effort on my part but it did not have to be work. Those two words hold a very different energy and I chose to see the path before as a gentle and joyous unfolding, not one comparable to the drudgery of a state mandated hard labor sentencing.
Another layer in embracing the ease factor was to not get caught up into how I was going to accomplish all that lay before me. My mind saw the mountain I had to climb and said, "How the hell am I ever going to get to the top of that?" I felt as though I wanted to abandon this ridiculous and grandiose trek and save myself the hassle. The answer to my question was, "I don't know." But here's the twist, I could drown in the feelings of ineptness or I could give myself permission to not have all the answers mapped out. On the heels of, 'I don't know' was the next key phrase on easy street, "...and that's okay."
All that was truly being asked of me was to take one step, not the entire journey in one fell swoop, and allow it to be fun and inviting. And so I began, letting go of the big picture and instead giving my time and focus to one key factor, being sure to ask for the universe's support as I embarked on the next stage. That was also key for me to ask for guidance and support as it released the notion that this was all up to me to figure out. "Nah," the universal beings seemed to be saying to me. "We've got your back and this is a team effort." And so I began with an air of lightness and excitement on this next leg of my adventure.
Our society not so subtly implies that any goal we set or strive to meet requires blood, sweat and tears and if none of that is present as we make our way through life and towards our dreams, well then we're not giving it our all. I challenge that. We can give our all an expect it to be buoyed in an idyllic easiness as the helping hands of the universe reach out to us and say, "Let's begin."
Be well and happy.


Monday, August 31, 2015

New Perspective

I return from my time away with an updated prescription for my internal vision. For the moment I see things with a fresher angle. Stepping out of my day to day routine while on vacation reminded me that it's a big world out there, and mine is just a minuscule fraction of its enormity.

There's so many lifestyles to observe and personalities to behold. Even the landscape holds and presents a  unique energy and message. I was immersed in a world where others appeared only to be focused on moving from one external distraction to the next, and I have to say I found it a refreshing reprieve from my normal mental and emotional analysis and pondering. I too found myself letting go of my need to know and understand the significance of each and every moment that presented itself to me. I simply didn't care, not in a cold and removed way but from a place of acceptance and flow.

As the blinders fell away, taking me from tunnel vision to panavision, I sensed my very limited ability and knowledge in understanding this complex universe. Mine is but one simplistic take on an expansive and limitless experience, and my ego was okay with that. Actually, there was a relief of sorts as the internal burden I have placed upon myself to uncover the answers simply fell away, allowing my spirit an enormous sigh.

In truth, I must admit that I originally had plans to take just one week off from my usual blog posts but I felt I was being pushed to extend my break. I fought what I was being asked to do, or more accurately not do. I felt a compulsive sense of responsibility to my duty, to reach out to all of you and provide a moment of insight and connection. What could possibly happen if I let two weeks pass before posting instead of one I can not say, all I do know is that it seemed as though I was not fulfilling my commitment.

This wasn't an egoic energy, but was nevertheless an over inflated mode of importance. Somewhere long ago I had learned that I was responsible for others' feelings and healing and I became a self-appointed shepherd leading them out of the darkness. The universe was encouraging me to take a back seat, watch the show as it unfolded and know I do not have to be the director and tour guide for everyone that might cross my path. Life will move on without me, and people will find their way. I simply wasn't that important.

The message was not that I held no value, I understood I am indeed invaluable, but that the burden doesn't rest squarely on my shoulders. The cosmos are chock full of beings and opportunities, many much wiser and more impactful than me, that can pick up where I might have left off. I was being put in my very humble place. It felt refreshing as I sensed and knew the universal orchestrations for myself and others. I was reminded that I was not running a one man show but am in truth a microcosm of something far greater than my human mind can comprehend.

The same can be said for each and every one of you. Perhaps it manifests in your life each time you find yourself saying "Yes" to the next committee, meeting or chairperson role when what you really mean is "No". Are you still performing household chores and duties for your family long past the time they are capable of pitching in with a helping hand? Let it go. Let the pieces fall where they may. Somehow, someway they will be picked up. Perhaps not in the fashion that you deem fit, but one that might serve another by offering a valuable lesson or an improved insight. Yours, and mine, is not the only way nor are we held solely accountable for how things do turn out.

Take a vacation, if not to a foreign land or new destination take the time to travel to an area close to your home where you have yet to explore. Take a different route to your typical destinations or eat at a new restaurant and simply observe the vast possibilities, experiences and people that are at play outside of the four metaphoric walls of your life. Know that none of us has all the answers, or responsibility. It's okay to say, "I don't know," or, "I'm not going to fix that" and, "I'm taking a break." There is a great freedom in those words, one that I hope will find their way into your world and your heart.

Be well and happy.

Monday, August 17, 2015


As I embark on vacation I share these wise words from another in hopes that you too may have a moment (or two) to implement them as well. We all deserve a break...

Be well and happy.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Change is in Order

In a recent conversation I had with another they continued to reference the personal work they've been undertaking as "trying to be a better person". It got me to thinking that for many that is the motivating factor behind their efforts to heal and grow, and I'm here to tell you that it is the worst kind.
The phrase "being a better person" implies that there is something lacking about you, that somehow you don't measure up. And if that is so, ask yourself, "When will I know when I've reached my goal? When will I be good enough?" For most the answer is "Never." How so?
The notion of a "better person" is so very judgmental and subjective, open to numerous interpretations that can change with any given situation, time or place. It also implies that at any point you might be inferior or superior. It's a trap that is fraught with pressure. In short, it's a mental mirage that will leave you unsatisfied, disgruntled and playing the puppet to your own ego as you try to reach some invisible target.
I suggest that perhaps simply setting one's sight's on change might be healthier and more productive. With change blossoms opportunities to heal, know and understand oneself more fully. Change is suggestive of something new to behold, a birthing of one thing to the next. Any small step towards change is progress indeed and need not be evaluated for its value or worthiness, and there is no ultimate goal to attain or tension to endure. With intentions set towards change we offer ourselves an unlimited space and potential to flourish and cultivate that which inspires us and brings us greater joy.
Be well and happy.

Monday, August 3, 2015


I'm feeling quite unsettled. Things around me do not seem to be progressing with an ease and predictability. I'm not the only one, many people I've spoken to are in a state of flux. I enjoy order, or at least the illusion of such, and these seemingly random occurrences and sidebars have left me floundering. I feel exhausted and agitated, confused as to the meaning of it all.

Even this week's post feels disjointed and lacking clarity and purpose in my mind but I do what I do each and every week, I share with my reader's what is present in my awareness. This week, that happens to be a sea of confusion. I trust that each and every one of you has moments that have felt the same.
I can't figure out the point of any of it and the best I can conclude is that is the point, stop trying to figure it out and trust that what is brewing and causing me to stew will eventually make sense. Eventually, I've just realized I hate that word. Eventually requires blind faith but all this chaos makes me want to rip off the blinders so that I might know now what it is the universe is formulating. But the more I struggle, the deeper I sink into the quicksand of frustration. It's best to relax and bob along the surface to where it is I am being lead.
As I relinquish the struggle I see myself floating along on the lazy river, buoyed by a purple swim noodle. "Oh, so there is support," I hear my mind state with a sigh of relief. I relax and stop my mental ping pong match, no longer attempting to follow each and every volley or event and connect it to some importance or path. Instead, I simply glide through all that seems to whiz by me and accept that sometimes the answers are not initially available.
Resignation sets in, not in the form of defeat but in the shape of release and acceptance. Yes, things are happening and right now I know not the reason why, only that there is a reason, one that I will be privy to when the time is right. Until then, there is nothing I need do but flow, allowing myself passage through all the confetti that is being tossed about in my day. Ultimately I trust that as it all settles what will lie before me will be a new and vibrant mosaic, the newest stepping stone on my walk of life. 
Be well and happy.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Merry Go Round

That title is a double entendre because it seems as though the universe has placed me on a ride of sorts this week, taking me to places I had no conscious intention of going, and it's been a continual round of the same lesson again and again - acceptance. Each time I think I've embraced acceptance another situation presents itself and I am faced with the same choice once again, fight the derailment or accept it. Ultimately, I am left with the choice of accepting acceptance. Someone appears to be saying I need the practice.
They might have a point because my strong will, sometimes defined as stubbornness, can leave little variance for distractions that are not part of my initial plan. I often have a clear vision and focus and when something arises that veers me from my intended course, my initial reaction is to be irked. The step that comes immediately after that knee jerk response is to try to figure out how I can force and bend my world to the plans I foresaw. This method has worked to my benefit many times in my youth, it was a fine coping skill that allowed me to survive my abusive upbringing, but times have changed and so must I. To my credit, I have much more flexibility today than in days gone by but I was been asked to adapt and accept in real time versus a delayed response. Thus, the season pass to my personal amusement ride.
So what does acceptance look like from where I stand? The first step is awareness of the resistance that arises as I face a roadblock. I feel an internal clenching as I fight to hold my ground and I hear a mental boycott of what is being asked of me. The pivotal choice comes right after the internal observation, am I going to sit mired in defiance or willing proceed down the path I am being lead?
In theory, it really is a quite simple choice: If the interruption does not cause any major harm or catastrophe, or I am not being asked to shirk my responsibility, then I take a deep breath and accept where it is I am being guided. Basically, if no one is going to lose a life, then what's the harm? There is none, and that is what I need to remind my ego when things aren't going my way.
Next, I make the commitment to be fully present for the latest interference. I consciously choose to open my heart and get out of my head, where I will only find further complications. The step that follows is to set the intention to engage willing and not with an air of concession or victimhood.

Lastly, I trust that the forces at large are guiding me to a place and time that best serves me and perhaps others. After all, I have limited vision of the big picture and am open to the idea that I just may be being guided to bigger and better things that I could not have imagined.

So this is how I spent my week, again and again. It leads me to wonder how many of my readers are being encouraged to do the same, practice acceptance. I'll take a wild guess and say quite a few, as it does seem to be a human affliction that acceptance of any given circumstance that we don't deem desirable is at the very bottom of our list. I'm about to hop off this ride and encourage you to climb aboard for a spin. As for me, I'll continue to explore the carnival of life. I just hope the roller coaster is not in my foreseeable future...
Be well and happy.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Kripa Hum

I learned this Sanskrit phrase this week, repeated as a mantra, while practicing the free meditation program offered by Oprah and Deepak. It's translation is "I am divine grace" and it has created a freeing and comforting awakening within me.

I have always understood grace to be something granted to me, a sacred gift if you will that was handed to me. But as I listened to Deepak's words and embodied the mantra I was filled with a sense of wonder that me, I am divine grace! It sits differently for me than the teachings that offer the understanding that we are all an individual expression of Spirit. Kripa Hum suggests to me that all that I am is a divine gift bestowed upon the world, not something external which I receive. For reasons I can't explain, this blows me away.

Without any thought or effort on my part my mind released the long list of things I am not, my human "flaws". Even when not in meditation I kept hearing myself repeat, "I am divine grace." I was free of personal judgment and self analysis. That I am divine grace suggests to me that I am enough and complete, concepts which I've always sought to fully embrace and now suddenly found myself knowing, and more importantly feeling, as truth.

Joy and an inner calm fill me as I envision myself walking about my day to day existence, my mere presence divine grace amongst others. This comes not from my ego, but my heart. There is nothing I need to do other than be all that I am, most especially no pressure to do more or be better.

I share this with you so that you too might know and embody this about yourself. Allow your heart to feel this truth. We are all divine grace, a gift to one another in this time and space. Who and what you are is enough and I thank you for sharing your version of grace with me and our world.
Be well and happy.

(One business note: Per Google you will now be required to have a Google account to read/follow this blog. I hope you consider doing so!)