Friday, December 26, 2014

Peace on Earth

We are just about at the end of the year. Can it really be that a whole year has gone by?!
Another one bites the dust.
Or does it?

In reality, every day is the beginning of a new year.

Our calendar is just an arbitrary assignment of numbers.

Of course, our global agreement says that it is the end of a year, and the beginning of a new one. After all, we need a way of dividing time and knowing to show up at meetings, appointments, and other rendez-vous.

Reflection Time

The end of the year is typically a time to reflect on the past 365 days, and where we were at the start of it.

Perhaps looking a what hopes and dreams we had for the year. Perhaps measuring ourselves against those hopes or expectations.

Perhaps partying because we made it through another year.

Perhaps vowing once again, with New Year's resolutions, to do better or more.

International Peace Day

It is also the international day of Peace. Around the globe, people are simultaneously meditating for world Peace. In California, our time was 4:00 am this morning.

But if you missed it, no worries! Many places of worship are holding all-day peace vigils.
If you happen to be in Santa Rosa, there's a Peace Vigil from 6:00 am to6:00 pm.

If you are not in the area, then look for a Peace Vigil in your area.

Also check Facebook and Twitter for #aworldthatworksforeveryone

Friday, December 19, 2014

Happy Holidaze

Holidays can be holidaze if we get too caught up in them.

I've been back in school, studying music, and so December has been intense with final projects and final exams. It can feel a little crazy-making at times.

What to Do?


Ah! That's better!

Have a Beautiful Holiday

Here's hoping that your December is beautiful and filled with love. No matter what holidays you do or don't celebrate.

Let it be so.

And if you are in Sonoma County, CA, please join us for a beautiful Christmas Eve Candle-Lighting ceremony where you can give thanks or set an intention. There will be music, sing-along, and a message from our Rev. Dr. Edward Viljoen.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Return of the Light

We are nearing the Winter Solstice. A time of the return of the light, when days will get longer.

But right now, we are in the dark. And on the West Coast, it is raining, raining, raining. The shortest day of the year for those of us in the Northern hemisphere is December 21st. For another week, we are in the darkest time of the year here.

Winter Blues - Winter Blahs

We are literally in the dark more hours each day than in the light. And that affects many of. Some people get SADS: Seasonal Affected Disorder, also known as the wintertime blues. Some people want to stay home and hibernate. Some people feel less verve and zest for life. And some people are completely unaffected by the hours in the day.

And for some, it can bring up a dark night of the soul. Even if not plunged into depression from the lack of light, many people are right now remembering loved ones lost who are not here for the holidays. Thinking back on the year and perhaps not being kind enough with ourselves about what we did or did not accomplish. Perhaps being alone at a cold, dark time of year when others are celebrating.

If you are in Santa Rosa, CA, and need support during this hectic time, there is drop-in a Holiday Season Prayer Support circle every Tuesday. If you are not in this area, there's probably one near you at a Center, church, or place of worship.

Have you ever felt completely lost in the dark?

If you are human, chances are, you have.

Everyone has. It's part of the human experience. If we were happy all the time, we probably wouldn't appreciate the good times because it would be the background normal, and could easily be taken for granted. Part of being alive is having experiences that we name good and bad, happy and sad.

When you have lost your internal compass, what can you do?

Getting a Higher Perspective Helps.

Remembering that this lost feeling is temporary helps.
Remembering that you are more than the situation.
Remembering that you have overcome obstacles in the past.
Remembering that there are unseen forces conspiring for your success and your highest Good.
Remembering that, thank Goodness, darkness cannot last forever.

Any time I get really down, I remind myself that I survived my teens, so I can survive this!

The light is returning

And with it, hope.
And with it, joy.
And with it, a new perspective.
May it be a beautiful return for you!


The caterpillar turns to complete mush in the cocoon in order to become the butterfly. You wings are waiting for you!

I Can See Clearly Now

In the meantime, to look forward to that Light and Joy, here's a link to I Can See Clearly Now!  Note: I don't know the person who posted this, but I like the video. You will probably see an ad before the video.

How About You?

How do you lift yourself up when you feel in the dark?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Don’t Believe Everything You Think

Don’t Believe Everything You Think.

That’s the subtitle of this blog. It’s not just a quip or a smart remark.

It means that we have a choice about what we do when we think something. We can follow our thoughts or let our attention be on the more essential self. I was reminded of this again recently in Rev Kim’s Buddhism class.

What does that mean?

Most of the time, most of us follow our thoughts. We believe them. We let them shape and run our lives. But do I ever stop to wonder where those thoughts came from? I often heard it quoted that some high percentage of our thoughts every day are a repeat of the day before. I don’t know how that figure was derived. I mean, thoughts are notoriously slippery things. So how do I notice that?

Well, true or not, we do tend to have a predominant thought process or way of seeing the world. And where did that come from? Some comes from our family of origin, some from the media, some from friends, peers, schoolmates, coworkers. And some are actually original thoughts we come up with on our own.

So how do I not follow my thoughts?

Well, first I need to notice that I’m having a particular thought. So I can set an intention to notice my
thoughts in general. Or I can pick an area I would like to change or experiment with. Perhaps I want to feel better about my appearance or my work or a family member. Life provides endless opportunities and choices for our attention. Just pick one area or subject. And intend to practice noticing what you think about it.

Let's say that I want to change how I think about my weight. I could stand to lose a few pounds. So today I will notice... What do I say to myself about that? When I look in the mirror in the morning, can I catch the thoughts? How am I speaking to myself about that? When I choose something to wear, what are my thoughts? Oh, I can't wear that, it's too tight for me now. Or do I slip into criticizing myself? When I sit down and feel a roll in my waist where there was none for most of my life, can I catch my thoughts about it?

If at first you don't succeed

If you don't succeed at catching your thoughts, that's OK. They are slipperier that an eel. Just intend to notice them, and you will catch them sooner and sooner.

I've noticed that even the thought of going on a diet sends me straight for the junk food. So I simply watch what I do, and notice. And I thank myself when I make a healthy choice, and when I walk away from the potato chips.

The real fun

And the really fun part is when you catch a thought in time to realize that you can choose a different thought. You can decide what to think. You don't need to be on auto-pilot. Now the possibilities expand exponentially. I get to notice whether that thought works for me. And I get to choose another thought to take its place.

I love practicing awareness. Especially with my thoughts. Join me?

What About You?

What helps you catch your thoughts?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up

You remember that old commercial? I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up!
As youngsters, we laughed. Because we didn't know how it can be to get older.

What do you do when you fall in your life?
Sure, for a physical fall, you can go to the doctor.

Falling in the Mind

And when you have fallen into a dark place in your mind, then what?
That's what Prayer is for.
Some inspirational reading to remind you of the Truth of who you are may help.

Here Come the Holidaze

With the holidays coming, it can be a difficult time for some people.
Perhaps they have lost loved ones, and this time of year reminds them how much they miss someone.
Or perhaps a family visit is planned, and that brings up apprehension, or any number of feelings. We can revert right back to our 8 year old selves when our family of origin is in the room.
Has that ever happened to you?

Get Under the Hood with a Prayer Practitioner

Prayer Practitioners can give you a hand up when you have fallen in a mental/emotional quagmire.
We can help you look at what is happening. At what you are thinking.
And then know for you that you are more than that.

Just like it's easier for you to know that a friend's trouble is temporary, a Practitioner can know the same for you. You CAN get up.

More Than a Band-aid

An affirmation is just slapping on a band-aid. It's more effective to get under the hood so to speak, and find out the thinking underneath that makes it so hard. Or like digging up the root of a dandelion in your garden so it cannot grow back. Not that it will never try. But if you dig deep enough, the issue loses its charge. It loses its hold on you. It becomes something that just is, or was.

What About You?

Do you have a favorite way of getting on top of things that seem difficult?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Welcome Home

Welcome home.

It is time to come home now.
You have been out all day.
You have been out for years.
It is time to come home.

Like the Prodigal Son.
Spirit has been waiting for you.
Calling you.
With the table set and a warm smile.

In the same joyful, warm way you would welcome
your pet or child home after they were out for the day,
welcome yourself home into your own heart.

Invite yourself to come in from the cold,
to have a seat by the fire.
Here kitty kitty.
Here self, self.

There is warmth and comfort here.
There is Peace and Joy here.
You are cared for and loved beyond your imagining.

When you come home to the God within,
you are fed.
You are cared for.
You are held.
You are safe.
You are well.
You are welcome.

You have waited long enough.
With glad tears in your eyes,
throw open the door to your own heart.
And make yourself at home there.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Giving Receiving Taking

With Thanksgiving coming, I started thinking... what's the difference between giving, receiving, taking, and waiting?


For me, if someone takes something from me, they have also taken my ability to give it freely.

Since it was not my choice. It was either taken without asking, or without permission. That doesn't feel good to the one taken from.

And for me, it doesn't feel good when I have taken something from someone. Even their time.

If I am feel that not able to say "no" in a situation, then it is impossible to say a clear "yes" to giving something I am asked for. This applies not just to physical things, but to our interactions as well.


To give freely, it must come from the heart. I must make the choice in my heart and mind that I want to give this time, talent or treasure to someone or some place. That feels great. It is my choice, my timing, my gift. I give from my overflow, and choose when, where and how I will give. When it comes from the heart, freely, without expectation, then, to me, it is true giving.


Receiving also feels great when I receive with gratitude, and am free of any sense of obligation. If I feel obligated when receiving, I need to look closer at where that comes from. Is the expectation in me or coming from the giver? If I'm sure that it is coming from the giver, then it isn't a gift, but a trade or bargain. That doesn't feel good. Just accept it and say "thank you."


Waiting, to me, is hoping to receive. It looks for my Good outside of myself. It believes in lack. It believes I will not receive freely.

I need to look closer here as well to make sure that I am not blocking my own ability to receive. Do I feel guilty? Unworthy? Do I think it means that someone else will not also receive? Am I still waiting my turn? Am I expecting it to look a certain way?

Have trouble receiving?

If you have trouble receiving, remember how good it feels to give to someone. If you refuse to accept, you are depriving someone else of having that great feeling by giving something to you.

Create a Thanktuary

So in getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday, start preparing your Thanktuary. A safe place in your heart and mind to feel grateful for all that you have received, all that you have given, and all the good that is yet to come.

How About You?

What's the difference for you? What feels best to you?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Wow of the Bow

Wow. In Asian cultures, bowing is a form of acknowledging and showing reverence for someone or something. What would it be like to live every moment in that reverence?

I am taking another class with Rev Kim Kaiser, who, in addition to being a Science of Mind minister, is also an ordained Buddhist Priest. This one is on Buddhism. And that was our assignment for the 2 weeks between our first and second class meeting. Practice bowing, either physically or mentally, to everything. Try it for a minute, and hour, a day. Whatever you can.

What would it be like to remember that every moment?

Einstein said that that there are two ways of live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other as if everything is a miracle.
Like most people, my default way of living is so caught up in my responsibilities and endless to do list, that I can forget to pause and remember that it is a miracle that I exist at all. That this life is a gift, and I get to choose how to use my time here.

I appreciate my life so much more when I remember to take a moment every now and then, to
mentally bow to the present moment. To remember that it is amazing that I live in a culture where I can turn on the faucet and get clean water. That I have air to breathe and that my lungs and heart work all day every day to support all that I want to do.

Appreciating What I Have

This has been brought to my attention recently because I have several friends and acquaintances going through health challenges. One of them quite serious. When I visit someone in hospital or read a prayer request, I say a prayer for that person’s wholeness. And I also spend a moment gratitude that I enjoy health and vitality right now. I am bowing to that moment. That reality. That gift.

I think it was A Course In Miracles that Rev Kim quoted in class, saying “Your attention is God’s treasure.” The only power you have is attention.

So where will I put my attention today?

The holidays are upon us. Are you giving the gift of you? The gift of your attention?
Are you caught up in the planning, preparations, shopping, flight schedules, and so on?
Or are you pausing in awareness to give the gift of Presence to yourself and those around you?
Your attention is a gift to yourself, and it is a gift to everyone you are present with. 

Will I revere the simple fact that this moment is?

When I get in my car, do I take a moment to appreciate that I have a mode of transportation? That someone designed it and others built it? That someone engineered the roads and traffic lights and thought up yellow and white lines to keep us relatively safe while traveling? That someone thought of safety belts and air bags and crumple zones? That most people most of the time obey the traffic laws and drive safely?

Am I present and bowing to my meals?

When I eat a meal or a snack, do I notice whether I am hungry or eating for another reason? Do I watch TV or read while I am eating?

Do I notice the color, smell, texture of the food before I take a bite? Remembering that many someones planted it, grew it, tended it, harvested it, packaged it, transported it, stocked it on the shelves, and rang it up for me at the cash register? Or do I wolf it down without even really tasting it?

OK, So It's a Practice

Of course I cannot do this for every single thing even for a whole day. But I can take 1 minute right now to notice, appreciate and acknowledge someone or something. And I can choose to do that several times today. And I can notice if I am a little more patient, a little more grateful, a little more content, a little more peaceful, a little lighter inside. I like the way that feels. So I think I will take a moment to do that right now.

You May Also Like:

The Wow of the Tao
Don’t Believe Everything You Think

Will you join me?

Monday, November 3, 2014

When Did You Come From?

Just a little fun as we enter the cold months of the year.
When did you come from?

I'm an October baby. I have a lot of friends with birthdays in the first two weeks of October. So I counted 12 weeks ahead to see when we came from... when we were conceived.

Turns out it's right around New Year's Eve! I had to laugh at that.

I imagine there are lots more babies born in cold climates in Spring and Summer.

I've also read that babies born in the autumn tend to have more anxiety than those born in the summer. Something to do with the amount of sunlight out mothers were exposed to during their first trimester. I wonder if it holds true for families living near the equator.

So you might be a Thanksgiving conception if your birthday is in the first week of February.

If Valentine's Day was that first spark of your life, then your birthday is around May 9.

If your creation was at Christmas, your birthday is around March 20.

If your birthday is near the end of January, you might have been conceived at Halloween!

And Easter, well that changes so much you would have to look it up for the year you were born. Could be if your birthday is in or near July.

And if you were born in the last week of September, you just may have had your start on the 4th of July.

Someone recently told me that they always expect a mini-baby boom 9 months after a natural disaster like Super Storm Sandy. People are stuck indoors together, and 9 months later, babies!

Just another way to think of where - or when - you came from.

Monday, October 27, 2014

What's Under Your Halloween Mask?

Do you enjoy dressing up or wearing a mask for Halloween?
Letting your alter-ego shine?

Do you wear a mask at other times in your life?

How About at Work?

Perhaps you need to conceal at least some of who you are at work, or in certain situations. Or with certain people.

Halloween is coming. Will you be wearing a mask? Do you wear a mask even when it isn't Halloween?

Early in my work life/ career, I worked for a corporation. In that world, you need to look a certain way. It went deeper than wearing professional clothing. It meant behaving a certain way, following the unwritten rules. I wasn't going to get very far in the company because I drive an import. I could fit into that world, but it never fit me. I was me at home, and another version of me at work. I appreciated it, but eventually I left.

What's Under the Mask?

We often mask fear with anger or confusion. Or grief with other emotions. We may mask almost any emotion that we don't want to feel.

I grew up with several brothers, and saw the social taboo against showing emotion in public, or at all. I adopted that survival technique, feigning indifference, or simply isolating myself to avoid conflict.

As adults, we are often expected to have a public persona. Even if you had the most idyllic upbringing, many workplaces have a culture of stoicism or formality. Who we are to ourselves may or may not be how other people perceive us.

And if you wear a mask too long, you may start to believe that that’s who you really are. Underneath all the roles, responsibilities, and stuff, who’re we really?

Do I remember who I am without all that?

Sitting with My Unmasked Self

I find meditation a wonderful way to remember who I really am. As I breathe deeply and feel the
Presence within, I feel more of who I am at a core level.

There is the impersonal side of that: the felt sense of the bigger I Am from which I appeared and
continue to manifest each day.

And then there’s the personality of me. Kind of the prism through which Spirit shines Its Light.
As I sit in silence with this Presence, I cannot help but feel more in tune with that prism. With the felt sense of I Am.

Without labels. Without roles. Without responsibilities. Without rules, without ideas, without politics, without any of the layers I have learned over the years. Just the Is-ness of Being alive.


After all, I am living with me for my whole life. I may as well give myself the gift of attention, and learn who I really am inside.

Sometimes three deep breaths is enough to center and come home to myself. It’s the best possible mini-vacation, and all it costs is a few minutes of my time.

Ahhh... that's better.

Monday, October 20, 2014

You Live in Infinity

I live in Infinity. In an Infinite Oneness.

If I ever doubt that, I can always look at the word. The letter or word "I" appears in "Infinity"3 times.

I Am Made of the Infinite

I am part of that One Infinite Being in which all things appear. A vast ocean of invisible Presence. I am a sparkle on the surface of that infinite Ocean.

That Infinity is all around me. It is inside me. It is what I am made of, and what created the stars that exploded millennia ago and came to this planet to create my physical body.

I breathe in and feel that Life Force. Where does it end and I begin?

It is the Force that holds this form together. It holds the planets in their orbits. It holds the physical world in its shape. It created the laws of physics when it created this world.

I Am Not Really Solid

When science examines subatomic particles, they are found to be fast-moving energy. There is no
actual physical substance in our physical world. Imagine that for a moment.

And all that energy and illusory form is held together by invisible forces. Life itself animates us and clothes our energetic body in our physical form.

We think with our portion of the Mind of the Infinite, as though we were a radio receiver and transmitter, in constant communication with the One Mind that created and creates every thing.

That's why we can create with our minds. We are created in the likeness of our creator, and have Its attributes, including creativity.

We can pretend that we are separate. And we certainly learn that growing up. We learn it from others who learned it from others, down through the generations. We simply forgot who we are.

So take a moment to feel that you are made of the one infinite Being. Enjoy it. You have been given the gift of life. You have been given the gift of awareness.

How cool is that?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Feeling Without? Look Within

Like everyone, I've had moments when I have felt without.

My entire adolescence for example.

Whether it's a feeling of being without friends, without cash, without understanding, or without a clue, there is hope for change.

Luckily these days, those times are few and far between. But when I was stuck in that deep hole in my mind, it wasn't easy to find a way out. After all, staying in that rut is only going to keep producing the same thoughts and same emotions, and so the same results.

A Mental Shift Gets Things Moving

If I mentally change empty hands into receptive hands or giving hands, that changes everything.

At those times, I have found it helpful to reach out to others. Do some volunteering. Go out for a walk in the woods, or go to the ocean and breathe the fresh air while looking at that vast horizon. That reminds me that there is so much more to life than whatever put me in that mental hole. It takes my mind off myself, and with any luck, I'll start to change my thinking.

Another helpful thing is to go within. It's great when I need clarity about something, or when I need to make a decision.

Here's one way to go within and get clarity:

  1. Find a quiet place and get comfy.
  2. Close your eyes and breathe deeply at least three times. Listen to your breath going in. And out.
  3. Think of something that makes you happy. I like to think of hearing my cat purring or snoring. That always puts a smile on my face.
  4. If you want, invoke the help of your inner guidance or higher knowing.
  5. Bring your question to mind. Gently. No worries. No push. Just let it sit in your lap a moment.
  6. Then ask yourself, "What would I feel if this were solved?" or "What would the perfect outcome look like?" or "What if I knew the perfect response?" Something like that.
  7. And listen. Inside. Imagine your heart to speak to you. What would it say?
  8. If you need to make a choice, it might be helpful to put the choices side by side and sense which one feels right. Or lit up. Or try holding one option in your right hand and the other in your left hand. Which one feels better or lighter?
  9. If you still don't have an answer, affirm that you will wake up easily & clearly knowing what you need to know for the situation.
  10. Thank your inner knowing, your heart, or whatever you touched to get the answer, even if you didn't get one yet.
  11. Breathe a nice sigh of relief, and off you go.


How About You?

Let me know how it works for you, or if you have another favorite way to get clarity in your mind.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Slippery Slope of Holidays

I need to be extra aware of how I eat this time of year. It's a slippery slope of food and parties from my October birthday through the winter holidays.

It Starts With Birthday Cake

Oh, it's your birthday. Have a slice., Indulge. It's a special occassion.

And it's hard to imagine saying no to chocolate decadance, multi-layer with fudge icing.
Even though the sugar rush will make my eyelids sweat.

And It's All Downhill From There

If I'm not careful, it's all downhill from there. The Halloween candy comes out right about that time. And even though I usually eat very healthy, organic, mostly vegetarian diet, I have my guilty pleasures. If they were occasional, that would be fine. But I have this little problem with sugar. It really is a legal drug. Not as bad as narcotics, of course, but it affects the same places in the brain.

Then comes Thanksgiving. With so many opportunities to overdo it.

Then Christmas, with its special candy and treats everywhere for weeks. If I'm not careful, I can easily add 10 pounds in those three months. Can't say it's without noticing, because my clothes don't fit if I do that.

Then there's a brief respite until the Valentine's Day candy comes out. Then Easter. Well, you get the picture.

A Lot Easier

It's easier to avoid these sugary treats now that I am not working in an office every day. When I worked, there were treats everywhere. People brought them in frequently. And if I got started on them I could go for weeks eating way too many every day. I never kept them in my house, so now it's easier to avoid them.

Redefining Treats

Since I feel physically awful after I eat that way, I cannot call them treats any more. And I was pre-diabetic last year and had to get a handle on it. So even though these sugary delights were treats as a kid - rewards really, for eating the stuff I didn't want to eat - I have learned to see them as pretty decorations that really are not a treat at all. The real treat is eating healthy, nutritious food that supports my health and well-being.

And as I avoid sugar, I don't even really like it much when I eat it. I have found that raw cacao mixed with honey tastes infinitely better than any dark chocolate bar.

When I get off-track, I join my friend's e-cleanse program, where she sends a daily email about healthy eating. It's fun and easy.

I'm not saying I always eat healthy, but when I do indulge, it's at a more sensible level and amount. And I feel better physically and emotionally for it.

How About You?

What do you do to help yourself get through the holidays?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Spirit Is Calling Are You Busy?

Spirit is always calling. Each one of us. Every day.

And sometimes I am tying up the phone line with my busy-ness.

After all, there's work, the pet, the dishes, the laundry, keeping my checkbook balanced, the family. And then there's all that entertainment on social media, Netflix, TV/Hulu, concerts, not to mention a social life.

And if I let myself get caught up in all that, am I allowing any opening for the still small voice within?

Stress Reduction

That is why meditation is suggested as a great method of stress reduction.

If you don't like sitting on a cushion or sofa, then maybe your form of meditation is walking, running, or sitting at the coast watching the immensity and power of the ocean.

Whatever it is, it definitely helps recharge a tired mind. It helps put things in perspective. It helps keep us sane, And healthy.

My Path Began

When I was 17, living in the Midwest in the early 70s, I took a class in Eastern Philosophy. I loved it. There were no classes at that time in that area, so I got a book on yoga, and another on meditation. As I sat for the first time, I heard a clear message, "You cannot go further in until you go out in the world." I had been quite a little recluse for the previous few years. So I did just that. Dropped the meditation and started to venture out into the scary social world.

I meditated off and on during the ensuing decades, and now make it a regular practice. When I get busy and skip it for a week, I notice a huge difference in how I approach my day. I feel not quite balanced. I don't sleep as well. I don't focus as well.

So if you aren't a regular meditator, give it a try. See if it makes a difference in your perspective, patience, and emotional keel.

How Do I Get Started?

Don't know how? You could start with this book: The Power of Meditation.

There are classes too. Check in your area to see what's available.

Monday, September 22, 2014

In the Stillness

Sitting in the silence of the sanctuary on Sunday morning, I feel the stillness. I hear the intermittent coughs, babies, creaking seats as pelople shift their weight.

And all of this appears in the quiet. The Peace. The Stillness.

Have you ever stopped to notice that?

The things that we hear, we hear in the ocean of stillness and quiet.

The things we see, we see in the spaciousness of the invisible presence. Think that's woo-woo? Well, if there was no empty space, we could not exist. Everything would be one big lump of stuff.

Of course, sometimes when life feels overwhelming, it can feel like it is all one big lump.

Return to the Silence

That's why times of silence are so helpful. It's a time to remember that we exist in an ocean of stillness, and that all that happens inside us and around us happens in that field of Being. If you have trouble picturing this, remember the last time you stood at the shore of the ocean. The pounding or quiet surf, the seagulls, the wind, the sky, any boats or wildlife you may see. All of that happens in the space and the silence and the invisible Presence of the All-That-Is.

Or remember the last time you walked through a woodland that was undisturbed by humans. The sounds of the birds, the leaves in the breeze, the smell of the woods. All that happens in the stillness that holds the life in the woods.

What am I bringing to the world?

Sitting in that stillness, the quiet and Peace of my source, my focus is drawn to this Truth. What am I bringing into the space that we call the world? How am I appearing in that space that holds me, that supports me with oxygen and freedom of movement? Am I adding clarity and Joy to my immediate environment? Or am I polluting it with anger or fear or worry? Am I driving my vehicle mindfully, aware of those around me, combining my trips to save gas and not pollute the air? Am I bringing a presence to my world that enhances it or detracts from it?

I have that choice every day. Every moment. I can bring kindness, remembering as Rev. John Watson said, that everyone is fighting a hard battle.

Am I allowing the endless to-do list to get the best of me? Have I recharged my batteries enough to be civil and even kind in public?

Am I appreciating the people I meet in my day? The cashier who stands on their feet all day, remembering all those codes for the produce, and patiently waits as we fumble for our wallet. The person ahead of us in traffic who may be late for an important appointment, or may have just lost a loved one.

Regularly recharging my mental-emotional-energetic batteries helps me bring this awareness to my world. And I enjoy my days much more that way too!

How About You?
How do you recharge your batteries?
What do you like to focus on to bring awareness to your day?

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Raspberry Seed

My morning protein shake includes frozen raspberries and blackberries. And when I wash the food processor, I often find raspberry seeds stuck to the sides.

Tenacious Little Seeds - Tenacious Little Thoughts

Sometimes they rinse out easily. Sometimes they are amazingly tenacious, requiring quite a concerted effort to remove them.

So I had to wonder... are they reflecting some of my more tenacious thoughts? Thoughts that, like the raspberry seeds, serve no useful purpose any more? Thoughts that are actually getting in the way of what I want?

In the case of the food processor, what I want at that point is a clean container.
In the case of my mind, I want the same thing. A clean container of mind and heart. Free of negative emotions like frustration (like with the raspberry seeds!). Free of emotions about past events that only live in my memory. Free of wishing things were different, or that I were thinner, richer, fill-in-the-blank.

Thoughts of if-only. Ever have any of those?

The Gift of Time and Attention

So much is clear in hind-sight. So I sit on my meditation cushion. It happens to be on the sofa, but it works. I put on music or my favorite gong that allows me to breathe very slowly. And by sitting there for 20 minutes, I wash my mind of nagging thoughts and worries. I can always pick them up later if I still want them.

But for now, I take the time to sit with myself. To give myself the gift of time with myself. No distractions. No electronic devices. No status updates. No housework. No schoolwork. No errands. Just Being.

Its like a mini-vacation.

And I miss it when I skip it. I notice a huge difference when I take time to do a little yoga and sit  in the morning. It's a chance to break the habit of worry, of stress. And clear out those sticky mental raspberry seeds so I have a nice clean container with which to start my day.

And I am grateful to have the trifecta of time, health, and financial support.

How About You?

Do you take time with yourself in meditation? Dose it make a difference in your life?

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Highest most Amazing Being

Visioning or meditating on the Highest

I invite you to sit quietly.

Close your eyes.

Imagine in your mind the most radiant, beautiful, amazing person you can imagine.
You might be looking at a man or a woman, or you might go beyond gender to pure radiant Beingness. Whatever you choose.

Really see this person. Their energy, their radiance. Their brilliance. That they have so much to give. That they give from their sense of overflow. That they are Love and Joy and Light and Power.

Take your time and enjoy it.

Now realize that this person is you. You are looking in a mirror at your true essence.

That is who you truly are.

You were made in perfect Radiance and Love.
You have a gift to give.
You are unique.

And you are not alone.

Accept this image into your body as deeply as you are ready.

And when you feel complete, open your eyes.

You are made of stardust.
You are steeped in the Essence that created you.
You are unique in all the universe.
You have a gift in you longing to be expressed.
You are welcome in this world.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day

Labor Day.  What does it mean to you?

The end of summer? The kids returning to school? A day off from work? The last barbecue of the summer?  Working even though others have the day off? The first day you are able to go outdoors during the day without getting a sunburn? The 24 hours you spent delivering your child? (They don't call it "labor" for nothing!

Here's To All the Full-Time Job-Holders

Full time work is not for wimps. At least not for most of us, who are working for someone else, and not in our dream vocation. Then work is labor, as in struggle, dreariness, tedium.

When I was working full time people would ask, "What are you doing on the three-day weekend?" I was so caught up in the day to day tedium, trying to keep my nose above the water, that those three-day weekends nearly always snuck up on me. So my answer was usually, "Stay home and rest." But really I would be catching up on things that hadn't been done: laundry, reducing the population of the dust bunnies on the living room floor, balancing my checkbook. It just meant I had a day to catch up on all the things I didn't have time for. Maybe even have the chance to meditate without having to watch the clock. Pure luxury.

Vacations As Three-Day Holidays

So I started to schedule vacation days on Fridays to get a three-day weekend in any month that didn't already have a holiday. That was wonderful.
And during the slow time of year, I took every Friday off. Much better than the stress of packing, traveling, and then paying for a vacation. I had stay-cations.
Really they were mental health breaks. I still love stay-cations.

Semi-Retired - A Leap of Faith

I am recently retired. Semi-retired. As of a year ago. And I LOVE it. In fact, I don't know how I ever had time to work! But taking that retirement package was a leap of Faith. My pension included health benefits, or I would not have taken it. It doesn't fully support me, but I am so grateful that I took that leap, knowing that Spirit would support me.

I still work part-time at a few different things. And I am so grateful that I no longer need to go to an office for 40 hours a week. And there has always been a source of support - virtual assistant, clients, temp agencies. Because Spirit is my Source and my Supply. And these things are how that Supply flows into my life to support me.

Now I am so excited to finally be studying music! The classes are all during the day, so now I have the chance! I am finally doing what I want to do! So stay tuned for more tunes from me during the coming year!

And have a wonderful Labor Day!

How About You?

Have you ever taken a leap of Faith?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Turning Upset Into Acceptance

Have you ever paid attention to what upsets you?

Do you notice a pattern?

Have you ever looked underneath the upset and the reasons to see why you are upset?

I Don't Like It!

For me, it always boils down to this: I'm upset when something happens that I don't agree with.

I don't like it. I don't want it. It shouldn't have happened.

Basically, I don't agree with it. Basically, I'm having a little temper tantrum about it. And I'm not accepting what is.

Traffic - Doesn't It Make You Nuts?

Let's say I need to drive somewhere I've been many times. And I forget that the timing of my trip will out me smack dab in the middle of in commute traffic. So I didn't allot enough time for that. Now every traffic light could become an annoyance. Every time a driver does something stupid in front of me, or when I am unable to change lanes because there's so many cars on the road, I could be frustrated.

What's Happening Here? 

I want the situation to be other than it is. Better. By my definition. (Well, light traffic would be better by most people's definition. Including the umpteen drivers on the road with me.)

As long as I am arguing mentally with what is -- in this case heavy traffic and a longer than anticipated trip -- there's the option to get upset about it. About the drivers, the lights, or with myself for not planning better.

Whether it's trouble with technology, in traffic, or an interaction, I am upset because it didn't happen the way I think it should have.

That may sound simple, but it's what a former teacher used to call a cosmic pea. In other words: little but pervasive. Here's what I mean.

 What's the Bigger Truth?

But there's a bigger truth here. In most cases, it's not the end of the world if I get there a little bit later. And, whether it is or isn't, it is going to take as much time as it takes to get there. Whether I am upset or happy. So why not choose happy and have fun during the drive?

And when I choose happy, I can turn on the radio or my playlist, and enjoy the ride. And while I'm at it, I am a safer driver, more aware of what is happening around me instead of arguing with the present moment.

It's More Fun

And I usually find it so much more fun to choose to be happy instead of arguing with the present moment.

Although I'm not a big fan of the phrase "It is what it is.", that's one way of saying this. To me, it's not resignation, but acceptance. It means that I accept the fact that this is the current situation. And I make a choice what to do next.

I can choose acceptance in every situation. If I don't like what's happening, the first step (assuming there's no physical danger) is to really look at what's happening. And accept the fact that this is what's happening. Then look at your options based on that.

How About You?

What upsets your canoe? What do you do about it?

Related Posts

The Search for the Black Skirt

Monday, August 18, 2014


I’ve been doing the Course in Miracles for a few months now, and so have some of my friends. A lot of the work is about forgiveness. And we've been hearing about it on Sundays lately.

Did I hear a groan? A scream “No!” from somebody?

Forgiveness is Not Condoning Bad Behavior

If you’ve done forgiveness work before, you probably know that forgiveness does NOT mean condoning bad behavior or staying in a bad situation such as domestic abuse. If you are in that situation, get help. If you don’t know where, in the USA, dial 211 on your phone for resources.

You Mean I'm Still Not Done?

When doing a forgiveness practice recently, I found myself forgiving my x-husband and myself - for the umpteenth time - for it not working out. And I found myself asking “Really? Still?! It’s been more than 20 years! WHEN will I be done with this?”

And then I had an image of that resentment as a ball and chain around my ankle. A weight I had been dragging around. Even though it doesn’t weigh a fraction of what it did 20 years ago, it’s still there: invisible, weighty, dragging me down from time to time. Really? Still? After all the work I’ve done on this? Can I just be done with it?

I felt the full truth of it: For me, forgiveness is the opposite of holding on. It’s the opposite of holding a grudge. It’s giving up the idea that the past can be better than it was.

Wow. What do I do with that?

It happened. It was not fun. I was miserable. I was unable to communicate, no matter how many ways I tried, in any way to make things better. At one point I told a friend that it was as though we sat across from one another, but I was blind and he was deaf. He could not hear a word I said. I could not see that he was using sign language. And for whatever reason, touch was not used as an alternative.

So that’s how it was. I cannot go back and change that. I cannot use the tools I have learned since then to go back and fix anything or make it right. I can’t do a thing about it. That’s the way it happened. That’s the first step - acceptance. What happened, happened. It’s done.

The next step for me: What do I want to do about it?

If you’re lucky, you sit down with yourself, by yourself, and ask yourself that question. And if you can’t answer it, you talk to someone who can help you get clarity. I didn’t do that. My inner voice kept telling me to go spend a month away. Had I done that, I might have gained some much-needed perspective. And I might have seen another way. At the least, I would know more clearly what I wanted.

The third step for me is the hardest - letting go

Somewhere, someone explained an easy way to let go. Imagine that you are holding a pen in your hand. If I ask you to drop it, you need to open your hand and let it go. Gravity will take it from your hand. Of course, some things seem to be stuck to me with Velcro.

So here’s another way to do it is this: Hold your hand, palm up, with the  pen in your fist. Now open your hand. That is also letting go. It’s still there. But having looked at it, accepted that it is there in my palm, I am no longer holding on to it. It rests there. And when I am ready, I can turn my hand over and let it drop. Or I can set it down gently. The pen doesn’t go away, but it’s no longer occupying my fist, making my hand unavailable for anything else. That is how forgiving someone frees myself.

And if I find that pen in my hand again later, it’s easier each time to open my hand and set it down.
I like that.

How Do You Know When You've Forgiven Someone?

Our Rev. Edward says you know you've forgiven someone when you grant them safe passage through your mind. Check his blog article on Kindness Is My Religion.

To me, it feels like floating on the river's current instead of fighting it. I have more energy, and I have a much better time while I'm there! I trust that the river knows what it's doing.


 Can't Forgive Yourself?

If you have trouble forgiving yourself, here’s an article and clip from Good Will Hunting that you might enjoy.

How About You?

Have you forgiven and moved on from something that held you back?