Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Forgiving Ourselves By Releasing Guilt

We all know what it is like to feel guilty about something, and many of us struggle with feeling guilty all of the time

We all have made mistakes in our lives and we know that.

Ultimately, we must pay for them.

Sometimes we pay for our mistakes here on Earth, other times we pay for them elsewhere.

Either way, we pay our time and our ultimate reward still remains in existence for us.

However, there lies a difficult reality for those of us who sin and that is the havoc it wreaks through the disturbances in our home lives, which creates a tremendous reality of guilt.

Guilt is a reality, not a feeling.

Guilt exists within us, can consume us and devour us.

Only if we allow it to.

We generally believe that guilt makes us feel that we are somehow unforgivable.

While this experience is common, it is detrimental to our overall well being.

Feeling guilty generally promotes a sense of powerlessness; an anguished agonizing over a past action that can neither be changed nor corrected.

An opportunity lost in time, forever.

The problem here is that our emotion over this is not conducive to self forgiveness, or the forgiveness of God; nor does it inspire us to forgive others, make amends for mistakes, or move forward free of desperate emotion.

Originally, but not traditionally, (perhaps I have that intro reversed, and I pray you to consider that) --- either originally or traditionally, guilt referred to a fine paid for proven wrongdoing. A punishment made public through financial or physical loss.

Once we made the payment, either through time, money or harm, for what we had done, we were free.

We were free of the fine and free of the sentence, but we have never been free of the guilt.

This is where forgiveness and acceptance of forgiveness comes into play.

Jesus said "Forgive them, Father, for they do not know what they do"

I would choose to believe that the words of Jesus held a begging question mark;
" Forgive them, Father ? "

For me, that holds the key.

Anyway, the issue with guilt, as it is often experienced now, is that it often becomes a permanent state of mind.

It can become a neurotic preoccupation rather than a fair assessment of our wrongdoing followed by courses of action that lead to reparation.

It is part of the human experience to make mistakes and unintentionally cause harm to others.

It is also part of the human nature to be influenced to become intentional about these.

There is no way to avoid this entirely, and wallowing in guilt will not help us or anyone else when we create a slight in life.

We do need to allow forgiveness to ourselves for our misdoings and wrongdoings.

Not doing so will not prevent future suffering.

Understanding this is the first step towards liberating ourselves from guilt.

When we hang onto guilt about something, the first thing we need to do is practice compassion for ourselves; we are human and we make mistakes.

We also commit sin, which is why God teaches us forgiveness.

Compassion and forgiveness are much more effective than the weight of guilt in helping us to determine a course of action.

We may need to make an apology, we may need to may reparations, we may need to spend some time in repentance.

Ultimately, we need to make some changes in ourselves.

Knowing that, with each action, we create healing for ourselves and those whom we have harmed.

With hope and finality, we learn from our mistakes.

However, it is best that we never beat ourselves up for our wrongdoings.

Inherently, through God, we are good people.

Therefore, it is our duty to do good, love each other and ourselves, and always do our best.

At that point, there will be no place for guilt in our lives.

We can change, and we can lead by example.

Typically, the best way to create change is not to try to convince others to change, but to change ourselves and lead by example.

We all know from experience that we can’t change other people, yet most of us have a tendency to try to do so.

Perhaps we naturally feel the need to do something to change situations that we find troubling.

However, it does not often occur to us that the best way to create change is not to enforce change, but rather to encourage and enhance change through our own selves.

When we make adjustments from within, we become role models for others, even if we've erred in our lives and have sought forgiveness.

And leading by example is much more inspiring than a lecture or an argument.

We sometimes look outside ourselves for what’s wrong with the world so that we can find excuses or blame for our own faults and foibles.

However, we exist inside of ourselves and our lives. We are our individual selves, made complete by our own society.

The outside world is merely just a mirror reflecting us back to us.

When we encounter negativity, anger, depression, fear, repression, aggression, hostility, ignorance, bias, hate -- even love -- we empower ourselves by looking for its roots inside of ourselves.

For example, if we have a friend who is unreliable, we might like to note our responses and see how, in turn, we are unreliable.

I have a very dear friend who invites another friend for a Holiday dinner. In turn, this other friend always returns the invitation. However, neither attends and each are ultimately, and annually, offended.


Well, I believe that this year they have come to accept this, as several others have.

Is it healthy for us to accept the reality that so many of us just do not have the ability to to commit to a time and a date? Or is it is healthy for us to observe ourselves and note if there are ways in which we are unreliable?

Unreliability is a large factor in these present days of depression and worry.

We might not choose to be invited to a gathering of happy people while we wallow in our woes.

We might not have the physical or psychological strength to join.

We might like just to be alone and reminisce of fonder days gone by.

We might be surprised to discover that we each do have our own struggles with these issues in ways we just did not see.

Once we own our issues for ourselves, we can begin to work for change within us.

This will enable us to have more compassion for one another. To strive to become more reliable, and come to grow into the persons we want to be.

To be an inspiration to others, seeking forgiveness through our selves, and offering forgiveness to one another.

What a beautiful circle of true life that will be.

With much love & much light ...

With much forgiveness & much acceptance of your forgiveness,
and all the blessings for a bright & light New Year ...

I love you,


Friday, December 17, 2010

The Advent of Our Lives

In the Christian tradition, we are about to enter the 4th and final week of Advent this coming Sunday.

The week of Advent 4 marks a week of hope filled anticipation before the day of the birth of our Saviour, Jesus the Christ.

For those of us who are Christian, this is a very important Season.

For those of us who are not, this is also a very important Season.

It is by no coincidence that all faiths are called together at this time of year to celebrate God.

The 4 weeks of Advent lead us not only to Christmas Day, but to the Season of Christmas, which continues past Christmas Day to Epiphany, which is 2 weeks later at 06 January.

Christmas begins on Christmas Day and lasts the Season.

Advent (from the Latin word adventus meaning "coming") is a Season of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity at the birth of Jesus at Christmas Day.

In the Latin, "adventus" is the translation of the Greek word "parousia", commonly used in reference to the Second Coming of Christ.

For Christians, the Season of Advent serves a reminder both of the original waiting that was held by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah as well as the waiting of Christians for Christ's return.

Unity in kind.

This is also a time at which, as Jesus would have it, we look to the heavens toward our Heavenly Father.

We see and we learn of the real coalition in our varied comprehension of our individual faiths, knowing that God will have us all as one.

However, that is probably enough ecclesiastical chat for now ... or not.

So, Advent is a time of waiting, expectation, preparation, anticipation, meditation, wonder ... and hope.

I believe that we have gone through most of these this past year, if not all, and we are now in a season of having nothing left than hope.

Not a bad thing.

Hope is a form of prayer, and prayer is something that is too often reserved as a last resort.

How sad, given the gifts of life and the wonders of this planet.

I mean, really?

God, who gives us manatees, giraffes, dolphins, and elephants to look at when we feel sad, is an awesome God in my book!

Anyway, back to Advent.

I would say that life is more about the time spent waiting for something to happen than it is about something actually happening.


A dear friend of mine is about to take one of her grandchildren to see Mary Poppins on Broadway. It's a magical performance, and she hoped to allow for at least six weeks of anticipation.


The timing didn't work out, so the anticipation will be abbreviated, but my friend knows that her grandchild will be thrilled none the less.


They will be seated in the theatre soon after New Year's Day, so the anticipation will be short lived.

Isn't that just the way our lives are these days?

However, I believe that the anticipation will manifest itself in the magical way that it does, and in the words of another dear friend, they will have "an experience to mine forever".

There's a quote that I learned as a child; "'Tis often better to to travel in anticipation than to arrive."

Essentially, what this means is that the big events in our lives are preceded by many days and nights of dreaming, planning, wishing, waiting, trusting, hoping, and praying.


The times of anticipation in between the big events of our lives actually constitute the majority of our lives.

These in-between times are anything but uneventful.

In fact, they are rich with possibilities and ripe with opportunities for reflection and preparation.

Now that's a gift!

Like an expectant woman awaiting the birth of her child, we have a finite period of time in which to prepare internally and externally for the upcoming event that will define a new chapter in our lives.

Such is the Advent of Christmas.

So, we can apply the gift of Advent and anticipation to whatever situation might lay in wait ahead of us, be this a beneficial event or one of concern.

We might anticipate a great event, or we may be fearful of the result of our own wrongdoings.

Either way, we graciously accept our time of wait and anticipation.

Once again, "This too shall pass" ... for better or for worse.

When we find ourselves at an in-between time, we often can't help but become impatient for the impending event.

After all, we were born as children, we live our private lives as children, we die as children, and we return to eternal life as children.

So impatience is, perhaps, our own little birth right

All too often, we just want to get to the future and have the new baby, the new job, the new house, the bigger car, the new promotion, the busier life, the new challenges, the trials, the tribulations, the realities, the struggles, the hardships, the consequences ...

How often do we wish for an event to happen?

We wish that we will become old enough to drive, we wish to graduate college, we wish to achieve that job.

We wish to marry, we wish for children (who will too soon graduate), we wish for that promotion.

We wish for the traffic to flow and for the line at the supermarket to move more quickly so we can hurry home. Why are there so many cars ahead at the ATM?

We wish for seasons to change, we wish for holidays to be done with, we wish for relatives to go home, we wish for time to be alone.

We wish for time to slow down or to return to the days of our youth.

We wish for restoration and a sensible recollection of our days and times.

We wish for a peaceful rest and a recollection of our middle years.

We wish we could recall the conversations with our relatives.

We wish we had someone to share a meal with.

We wish we were back in 1st Grade wishing for the 3:00 Bell to ring.

Ultimately, we wish we didn't wish our lives away.

Do we ever wish for what exists ahead in our faith?

There is a reason a pregnancy takes nine months to fulfill itself.

Nature provides the expectant parents with this time so that they can prepare the nest.

This preparation plays out on many levels.

Materially, a space must be created in the home and resources must be set aside for the child's future.

Psychologically, a shift must occur in which the psyches of both parents agree to be responsible for the commitment of a new life in the world.

Emotionally, the heart must open wider to embrace and fulfill a new and unconditional love complete with care, concern, worry, and an eternal co-existence that none other than a parent could ever understand.

If one ever seeks to experience God's earthly love, I would suggest experiencing the love between Mother and child.

Parents have a wonderful manner of patiently waiting as we grow; albeit often impatiently!

Whenever we find ourselves in a time of waiting, we might prosper to spend time exploring our material, psychological, and emotional readiness.

For example, if we are preparing to move to a new city, we could make a list of things we might like to do in the city we will be leaving behind, go to our favorite places and spend time with old friends.

This way, we remain fully engaged in the present as we await our future, savoring the in-between time as a vital experience in itself.

How do we accept the material, psychological, and emotional realities of change in our lives?

How do we accept Advent, knowing that Lent awaits so soon ahead?

While many of the diverse festivals and feasts we celebrate are designed to be times for celebrating life, new beginnings, traditions, and landmark occasions, those sentiments can be swept away by the stress of overloaded to-do lists and seemingly never-ending holiday obligations.

Yet there are many unique and satisfying ways to celebrate the holidays without spending too much money or becoming exhausted in the process.

Of course the media, and possibly even loved ones, may encourage us to do and buy more. However, concentrating on the spirit of faith, giving, love, and hope during these holy days may help us do more with less.

We can create, or recreate, holiday traditions that help us focus on what we find important.

Christmas, and its surrounding holidays, can be a wonderful time for taking stock of what matters most to us.

This can include family, community, helping those less fortunate, and loving the earth as well as ourselves. These are trying and troubling times, and we do need to love ourselves.

When we feel driven to give tangible gifts to the people in our lives, perhaps we can consider gifts that encourage positive living or gifts whose impact will continue to be felt long after the holidays.

We can consider donating our effort to making someone else's life better by hosting a party for seniors or volunteering at a homeless shelter.

We can also make a charitable donation or plant a seedling tree in a loved one's name.

Instead of giving our friends and family material goods, we can choose to give them the gift of our time.

We can teach our younger generation to value time and life, to spend time listening to the elders of the family and to try to return to a more simple, slower paced, greatly appreciated life.

We can do this for ourselves as well.

We can organize get-togethers that include relatives or acquaintances whom we seldom see and emphasize togetherness, fun, and celebration.

Time spent making homemade gifts offer us the opportunity to ruminate on what we treasure about our loved ones.

Such gifts are also unto ourselves.

When exploring the true meaning of Christmas and its surrounding holidays, we are offered the spiritual gift of getting back to the true spirit of the season, allowing ourselves to alter existing traditions and experience life and tradition in new and fascinating ways.

A simple blessing over our food before a meal, giving thanks to the earth, it's farmers, and those who prepare the gifts we are given, or even a walk under the moon and stars after a shared meal helps to connect us to the chain and the flow which is our gift here upon this planet and in our life.

What a gift!

When we celebrate what fulfills us and then stop before our celebration becomes more of a hassle than a happy occasion, we return to the basics of generosity and good will, and our holidays will always be rewarding.

Wishing you the wonder-filled Season of Faith, Hope, Trust and Anticipation with all the blessings of this miraculous Season, along with my love & light.




Thursday, November 25, 2010

Beyond Counting Blessings

Being Truly Thankful

When we are in the state of thankfulness, we are in a higher state of awareness, and spirituality with gratitude at our doorstep.

Often when we practice being thankful, we go through the process of counting our blessings, acknowledging the wonderful people, things and places that make up our reality.

While it is fine to be grateful for the good fortune we have accumulated, true thankfulness stems from a powerful comprehension of the gift of simply being alive, and when we feel it, we feel it regardless of our circumstances.

In this deep state of gratitude, we recognize the purity of the experience of being, in and of itself, and our thankfulness is part and parcel of our awareness that we are one with this great mystery that is life.

It is difficult for most of us to access this level of consciousness as we are very caught up in the ups and downs of our individual experiences in the world.

There are times in our lives when we feel overwhelmed by circumstances that come our way, particularly in these times of instability on so many different levels; the global economy, our personal economies, political strife, two active wars with more brewing, unemployment, challenges in our personal lives, and general uncertainty of where we will be one year from now.

The thing to remember about our world, however, is that it ebbs and flows, expands and contracts, gives and takes, and is by its very nature somewhat unreliable.

If we only feel gratitude when it serves our desires, this is not true thankfulness.

No one is exempt from the twists and turns of fate, which may, at any time, take the possessions, situations, and people we love away from us. Ironically, it is sometimes this kind of loss that awakens us to a thankfulness that goes deeper than just being grateful when things go our way.

Illness and near-miss accidents can also serve as wake-up calls to the deeper realization that we are truly lucky to be alive.

We do not have to wait to have our lives shaken apart to experience this state of being truly thankful for our lives. Tuning in to our breath and making an effort to be fully present for a set period of time each day can do wonders for our ability to connect with true gratitude.

We can also awaken ourselves with the intention to be more aware of the unconditional generosity and love of the Spirit that flows through us regardless of our circumstances.

With love & thankfulness,


Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Really Strange Story Behind Today's Blue Moon

With thanks to JOE RAO

The full moon of November arrives on Sunday and will bring with it a cosmic addition: It will also be a so-called "blue moon".

"But wait a minute," you might ask. "Isn't a 'blue moon' defined as the second full moon that occurs during a calendar month? Sunday's full moon falls on 21 November and it will be the only full moon in November 2010. So how can it be a 'blue' moon?"

Indeed, November's full moon is blue moon – but only if we follow a rule that's now somewhat obscure.

In fact, the current "two- full moons in one month" rule has superseded an older rule that would allow us to call Sunday's moon "blue." To be clear, the moon does not actually appear a blue color during a blue moon, it has to do with lunar mechanics.

Confused yet?

Well, as the late Paul Harvey used to say — here now, is the rest of the story:

Back in the July 1943 issue of Sky & Telescope magazine, in a question and answer column written by Lawrence J. Lafleur, there was a reference made to the term "blue moon."

Lafleur cited the unusual term from a copy of the 1937 edition of the now-defunct Maine Farmers' Almanac (NOT to be confused with The Farmers' Almanac of Lewiston, Maine, which is still in business).

On the almanac page for August 1937, the calendrical meaning for the term "blue moon" was given.

That explanation said that the moon "... usually comes full twelve times in a year, three times for each season."

Occasionally, however, there will come a year when there are 13 full moons during a year, not the usual 12. The almanac explanation continued:

"This was considered a very unfortunate circumstance, especially by the monks who had charge of the calendar of thirteen months for that year, and it upset the regular arrangement of church festivals. For this reason thirteen came to be considered an unlucky number."

And with that extra full moon, it also meant that one of the four seasons would contain four full moons instead of the usual three.

"There are seven Blue Moons in a Lunar Cycle of nineteen years," continued the almanac, ending on the comment that, "In olden times the almanac makers had much difficulty calculating the occurrence of the Blue Moon and this uncertainty gave rise to the expression 'Once in a Blue Moon.'"

But while LaFleur quoted the almanac's account, he made one very important omission: He never specified the date for this particular blue moon.

As it turned out, in 1937, it occurred on 21 August. That was the third full moon in the summer of 1937, a summer season that would see a total of four full moons.

Names were assigned to each moon in a season: For example, the first moon of summer was called the early summer moon, the second was the midsummer moon, and the last was called the late summer moon.

But when a particular season has four moons, the third was apparently called a blue moon so that the fourth and final one can continue to be called the late moon.

So where did we get the "two full moons in a month rule" that is so popular today?

Once again, we must turn to the pages of Sky & Telescope.

This time, on page 3 of the March 1946 issue, James Hugh Pruett wrote an article, "Once in a Blue Moon," in which he made a reference to the term "blue moon" and referenced LaFleur's article from 1943.

But because Pruett had no specific full moon date for 1937 to fall back on, his interpretation of the ruling given by the Maine Farmers' Almanac was highly subjective. Pruett ultimately came to this conclusion:

"Seven times in 19 years there were – and still are – 13 full moons in a year. This gives 11 months with one full moon each and one with two. This second in a month, so I interpret it, was called Blue Moon."

How unfortunate that Pruett did not have a copy of that 1937 almanac at hand, or else he would have almost certainly noticed that his "two full moons in a single month assumption" would have been totally wrong.

For the blue moon date of 21 August was most definitely not the second full moon that month!

Pruett's 1946 explanation was, of course, the wrong interpretation and it might have been completely forgotten were it not for Deborah Byrd who used it on her popular National Public Radio program, "StarDate" on 31 January, 1980.

We could almost say that in the aftermath of her radio show, the incorrect blue moon rule "went viral" — or at least the '80s equivalent of it.

Over the next decade, this new blue moon definition started appearing in diverse places, such as the World Almanac for Kids and the board game Trivial Pursuit.

By 1988, the new definition started receiving international press coverage.

Today, Pruett's misinterpreted "two full moons in a month rule" is recognized worldwide. Indeed, Sky & Telescope turned a literary lemon into lemonade, proclaiming later that – however unintentional – it changed pop culture and the English language in unexpected ways.

Meanwhile, the original Maine Farmers' Almanac rule had been all but forgotten.

Now, let's come back to this Sunday's full moon.

Under the old Almanac rule, this would technically be a blue moon. In the autumn season of 2010, there are four full moons:

23 September
22 October
21 November
21 December

"But wait," you might say. "21 December is the first day of Winter."

And you would be correct, but only if you live north of the equator in the Northern Hemisphere. South of the equator it's the first day of summer.

In 2010, the solstice comes at 6:38 p.m. EST.

But the moon turns full at 3:13 a.m. EST.

That's 15 hours and 25 minutes before the solstice occurs.

So the 21 December full moon occurs during the waning hours of fall and qualifies as the fourth full moon of the season.

This means that under the original Maine Almanac rule – the one promoted by Lafleur and later misinterpreted by Pruett – the third full moon of the 2010 fall season on 21 November would be a blue moon.

So what Blue Moon definition tickles your fancy? Is it the second full moon in a calendar month, or (as is the case on Sunday) the third full moon in a season with four?

Maybe it's both. The final decision is solely up to you.

Sunday's full moon will look no different than any other full moon. But the moon can change color in certain conditions.

After forest fires or volcanic eruptions, the moon can appear to take on a bluish or even lavender hue. Soot and ash particles, deposited high in the Earth's atmosphere, can sometimes make the moon appear bluish.

In the aftermath of the massive eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in June 1991, there were reports of blue moons (and even blue suns) worldwide.

We could even call the next full moon (on 21 December) a "red moon," but for a different reason: On that day there will be a total eclipse of the moon and, for a short while, the moon will actually glow with a ruddy reddish hue.

At any rate, enjoy the moon.

With love & moonlight,


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Growing Pains

We have decided to tear up our front yard and enlarge the pond which lies in front of us.

This has been a plan of mine for a couple of years now, and I have decided to proceed with this project. Despite some serious financial concerns, I believe it will be an improvement to our lives, providing us with space for reflection and appreciation of nature.

Also, much to Frank's chagrin, I can't sit still. I need change and growth.

The original pond suffered some difficulties and truly needed to adapt to its changing environment. So, we cut down a bunch of trees and tomorrow morning the big trucks arrive to make this little pond a different community.

This comes during some very frightening times. Finances are tight here at home, throughout the nation, and even more across the world.

We worry about our own future and we are torn apart when we look at the situation here in the U.S. as well as globally.

The greater picture is truly heartbreaking.

Where is Mother Theresa now that we need her most?

I imagine that she is asking a similar question;
"Where are you now that you need you most?"

Times are uncertain politically and there is even a presence of revolution, at whatever level, in our own nation.

It can be very challenging to maintain a positive attitude and a measure of faith when we are in the midst of difficult times.

This is partly because we believe that if God loves us we will experience that love in the form of positive circumstances.

However, we are children of God, our wise Mother, who knows what our souls need to thrive much more so than we do.

That is how God created Moms, in their beautiful and nurturing ways, and certainly in God's own image, so God is our Mother just as much, if not differently more, than our Father.

God is each of these, but God is also our Teacher.

Teachers are also gifts from God, as they are recreated in God's image as mentors. care-givers, and tender leaders.

Within the Holy Trinity exists another; Mother, Father, Teacher.

I'm willing to bet that many of of have witnessed that with one or more parents, or others in our lives.

I know that I have witnessed that with my mom, my partner, my family, and my friends.

However, just as a young child does not benefit from getting everything she or he wants, we also do benefit from times of constriction and difficulty to help us grow and learn.

If we keep this in mind, and continue to trust that we are loved, even when times are difficult and trying, it helps us to bear the difficult times with grace.

This period of time in history is full of difficulty for a lot of human beings, and many of us may feel less alone knowing that we are not being singled out, but rather that we are victims of our own times.

There are extreme energy changes pulsing through the universe at every level and, of course, we are all part of the growing process and therefore the growing pains.

It helps when we remember that life is one phase after another and that this difficult times will inevitably give way to something new and different.

When we feel overwhelmed, we can comfort ourselves with the wise saying: This too shall pass.

Now, this writing will fall well into the category of "Wandering Thoughts" or perhaps "Ramblings Thoughts" (which was the first title I intended for this blog back in the day)

Anyway ... "This too shall pass".

The Celebration of Sukkot has just passed, and so I celebrate my good fortune daily, yet I worry about my own future and that of my household.

However, I seek the wisdom of Scripture and of own own human history.

One day King Solomon decided to humble Benaiah ben Yehoyada, his most trusted minister. He said to him, “Benaiah, there is a certain ring that I want you to bring to me. I wish to wear it for Sukkot, which gives you six months to find it.”

“If it exists anywhere on earth, your majesty,” replied Benaiah, “I will find it and bring it to you, but what makes the ring so special?”

“It has magic powers,” answered the king. “If a happy man looks at it, he becomes sad, and if a sad man looks at it, he becomes happy.”

Solomon knew that no such ring existed in the world, but he wished to give his minister a little taste of humility.

Spring passed and then Summer, and still Benaiah had no idea where he could find the ring.

On the night before Sukkot, he decided to take a walk in one of the poorest quarters of Jerusalem. He passed by a merchant who had begun to set out the day’s wares on a shabby carpet.

“Have you by any chance heard of a magic ring that makes the happy wearer forget his joy and the broken-hearted wearer forget his sorrows?” asked Benaiah.

He watched the old man take a plain gold ring from his carpet and engrave something on it.

When Benaiah read the words on the ring, his face broke out in a wide smile.

That night the entire city welcomed in the holiday of Sukkot with great festivity.

“Well, my friend,” said Solomon, “have you found what I sent you after?”

All the ministers laughed and Solomon himself smiled.

To everyone’s surprise, Benaiah held up a small gold ring and declared, “Here it is, your majesty!”

As soon as Solomon read the inscription, the smile vanished from his face.

The jeweler had written three Hebrew letters on the gold band:

Gam zeh ya'avor ...

This too shall pass.

At that moment Solomon realized that all his wisdom and fabulous wealth and tremendous power were but fleeting things, for one day he too would be nothing but dust.

Those who have wealth shall one day lose it all.

Those who have nothing, shall one day gain it all.

Equality in the unconditional love of God.

As for these things on earth?

These things shall pass, with the exceptiom of the Unconditional love of God.

That does not pass.

Our good times are fleeting, and our bad times will soon matter no more.

God's unconditional love is eternal.

If we truly feel that nothing is going right for us, it’s never a bad idea to examine our lives and see if there are some changes we can make to alleviate some of the difficulty, or to accept our realities and give thanks to God that we are able to do so.

It is when we gently and compassionately explore the areas which give us the most trouble that we may see the things we hold onto and need to release: unprocessed emotions, unresolved transitions, or negative ways of looking at ourselves or reality.

As we take responsibility for the things we can change, we can more easily surrender to the things we can’t, remembering all the while that this phase will, without doubt, give way to another.

This too shall pass.

Now, once we realize that it’s time for big changes in our lives, it is wise to ease into them by starting small.

Small changes allow us to grow into a new habit and make it a permanent part of our lives, where sudden changes may cause a sense of failure that makes it difficult to go on.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I talk about a change for at least two years before taking those steps toward change.

Thus my new pond.

I prefer to move slowly and take time to appreciate change as much as I do what was.

I took time time afternoon to walk the pond with a glass of wine and give thanks fot its being, before anticipating the morning when the big trucks come in.

When we see that we might need to contemplate the choice to start over again, to change, to grow; we can decide to take it slowly, think things through, plan intelligently, budget, monitor, and move forward; sometimes the goals we set for ourselves are merely indicators of the need for change and are useful in getting us moving in the right direction.

It is possible that once we try out what seemed so ideal, we may find that it does not actually suit us, or make us feel the way we had hoped or could afford.

This is similar to the way I planned my pond to have a stream passing the Wine Patio. However, after two years, I understood that the pump from the crawlspace would only flood the stream and return the water to the crawlspace, whereby deteriorating the foundation to our home.

Do you see now?

By embarking on our paths slowly, we have the chance to look around and consider other options as we learn and grow.

We have time to examine the underlying values of the desire for change and find ways to manifest those feelings, whether it looks exactly like our initial goal or not.

Taking small. baby steps forward gives us time to adjust and find secure footing on our new path.

Okay, life does not always give us the opportunity to anticipate or prepare for a big change, and we may find ourselves overwhelmed by what is in front of us, but by choosing one thing to work on at a time, and focusing our attention on something manageable, eventually we will look up to see that we have accomplished quite a bit.

Forcing change, without serious thoughtful prayer, meditation, or consideration, is in essence, a sign that we do not trust in God's wisdom.

Instead, we can listen to our inner guidance and make changes at a pace that is right for us, right for our earthly domain, and right for the future of this existence, ensuring that we do so in alignment with the rhythm of the universe of God's Will.

Wow, that was quite a bit.

With prayer for balance and much love & light,


Friday, October 15, 2010

The Hatred of Anger is evil

Have you ever been "wronged" by someone?

Have you ever worked hard for what you truly believe in, only to have it take away at the hands of an evil, truly evil, evil person?

This happened to me today and I was consumed with rage, anger, hatred, and the hunger of revenge.

What would that accomplish?

It nearly destroyed my Friday evening, could have destroyed my weekend, and almost dented my relationship at home.

Thanks be to God our relationship, and my own sense of being, is stronger than such vindictiveness could ever dare to achieve.

The hatred of anger can be irrational, and it has a greater impact on the individual who hates than the person or object being hated.

Overcoming such hatred is difficult because hatred reinforces itself and causes greater enmity to come into being. Therefore, the most powerful tool one can use to combat hatred is love.

I must confess that I do have difficulty loving the person who is trying to destroy my career, and therefore my ability to provide for my homestead.

This person holds multi-millions. Me? I'm happy to give what we have to those who need or those who spread the saving Grace we've been granted.

I have spent some time this evening telling my loved ones how I do hate this man, always preceded by the quintessential "God forgive me, but ..."

Do I regret my anger?

Yes. I do.

This person holds no right to disturb my peace-filled existence.

I sat at my desk today and took time to watch 8 deer frolic and graze outside my office patio door.

A gentleman walked the road and the deer did not move.

They understood that no threat existed.

Deciding to love what we hate, be it a person, situation, or even a part of ourselves, can create a profound change in our feelings and our life experience.

There is little room for anger, dislike, bitterness, or resentment when we become busy loving what we hate.

The practice of loving what we hate can transform and shift our emotions from hatred to love, because there is no room for hatred in a space occupied by love.

You see?

When we understand what we believe to be what we hate or what angers us, we understand what it is that we love about our own selves and our own love in this world.

Granted, it is difficult to forgo judging someone, love our enemy, and seek the good in situations that seem orchestrated to cause us pain or anger; but in deciding to love what we hate, we become one less person adding negativity to the universe.

We understand the wrongs in the universe and we become a part of the solution.

On a simple level, loving what we hate can help you enjoy your life more, as it offers insight to who we are and the way we offer positivity and unconditional love into this world.

On a more complex level, loving what we hate sets us free because we disengage ourselves from the hatred that can weigh down the soul, never allowing us to soar free from the bitterness of others.

Responding with love to people radiating hatred transmutes their negative energy.
We also empower ourselves by not letting their negativity enter our personal space, into our soul.

Rather than lowering ourselves to their level of hatred, we give the other person an opportunity to rise above their feelings and meet us on the field of love.

Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Loving what we hate sends a positive, beautiful energy to people while spreading peace and harmony throughout the planet.

Instead of reinforcing hatred, we can become an advocate for love.

Hatred responds to hate by causing anguish.

However, hatred responds to love by transforming into blissful peace.

I wish you peaceful happiness and understanding.

Resist anger, and always seek the peace with which we have been blessed.

With love & light,


Saturday, October 9, 2010

What Is Love?

A hat tip here to "Davey Wavey".

hate is conditional

hate is weak

hate obligates

hate binds

hate is deceitful

hate suspects

hate dictates

hate resists

hate blames

hate avoids

hate pities

hate incites

hate is afraid

hate is afraid

hate saps

hate repudiates

hate is a poison

hate negates

hate worries

hate hurts

hate joneses

hate is nervous

hate rejects

hate schemes

hate is pressured

hate needs to be in control

hate is judgemental

hate deceives

hate imprisons

hate disregards


Create a beautiful day,


Thursday, August 19, 2010

As Summer Ebbs To The Past

Yesterday, I woke to the sound of acorns loudly falling upon the skylights in our bedroom.

The acorns are dropping early because of the dry weather we have had this Summer.

Today, I woke to the sound of our geese beginning to migrate for the winter.

As I walked to my office, enjoying the beauty of the day, I felt an internal acceptance of the reality that Summer is nearing its end, but promises to return, with or without us.

This was a particularly blessed Summer for me, complete with new and wonder filled memories.

Our memories of Summer are often intense because it is a season blessed with a vividness unsurpassed by any other time of year. Our senses are delighted by bright colors, fresh scents, vibrant flavors, brilliant sunlight, and the warm caress of the Summer Sun.

There is a particular sumptuousness about Summertime, as both flora and fauna come into their own, regaling us with natural beauty.

Our day-to-day circumstances may not change as seasons change, yet we nonetheless feel refreshed.

Particularly during Summer, our burdens seem lighter, and we feel compelled to play, to travel, to relax, and to experience all of life's joys to their full extent during our extended sunlit hours.

Frank & I did all of that this Summer, and this has probably been the best Summer of our lives, but there is so much more that we would like to have done.

Rituals specific to the Summer season empower us to attune ourselves to the changes that take place in nature as well as within ourselves as the weather grows warmer.

They prepare us for what lies ahead and, if we allow ourselves, we can absorb the beauties that each season holds and bask in those moments, as well as look forward to the next season with fond memories of the past season, and anticipation of the next.

Some Summertime rituals are remnants of past traditions we have unconsciously preserved through practice as children. There are barbecues, tomato picking, swimming, laying out in the sun, afternoon naps, listening to the chirping of crickets and tree frogs, picnics, slow evening walks gazing at the heavens above and many others we can add and smile warmly as we recall them.

Some of these rituals can be incorporated into our lives whenever we feel the need to experience Summer's significance. As a dear friend of mine taught me, we can store these times and mine them as we require their resources.

I have a favorite photo of me barbecuing outside in 2 feet of snow and another of the indoor pool, where my office is, where the windows had 4 foot tall snowdrifts one year.

My Summer never really ends ... at least not in my heart.

Summer is, at its core, a season of light.

God grants us long days of sunshine and great warmth, allowing the beauties of Creation to flourish, thrive, and put forth their fruits.

By opening ourselves and our spaces to this light, we honor all the joy associated with the season.

As Summer approached, we unbolted our windows and doors, arranged bright-golden blooms in planter pots and vases, furnished our patios with comfortable and conversational seatings, prepared places for birds to feed, and soaked in as much of the warmth as possible while turning our faces toward the sun, all of which is a prayer of celebration when done with intent.

Summer is a wonderful time to practice focused listening, as the air is filled with beautiful sounds particular to the season, the buzzing of bees, children's laughter, birdsongs, or the gentle sound of a breeze lifting the leaves of our trees.

Those beautiful sounds stay with us throughout the cold, harsh months of Winter.

Thoughts of Summer evoke numerous pleasant images in our minds. However, if what we envision seems little more than a piece of our distant past once the season has changed, we can reacquaint ourselves with the joys of Summertime by immersing ourselves in its pleasures.

Wake up with the sunrise, take a day trip to the beach, indulge in an ice cream cone, or simply sit quietly in nature's embrace.

Many years ago, we held a beach party in our loft at home in the dead of Winter.

We cranked up the wood stove, furnished the loft with beach chairs, dressed in swim suits, and invited our friends to join us in their beachwear.

Seasons pass quickly, but while we cling to the final embraces of Summer, we can revel in the richness of life and renew ourselves in the wonder of the light.

With love, light, and a Summer breeze in your heart,


Sunday, August 15, 2010


It rained the other day.

This may not seem to be an event worthy of reflecting upon, but we have had very little rain this Summer.

So, much of our time is spent tending to our tomato plants, watering them early in the morning before the scorching Sun hits and in the evening once the heat has ebbed.

It's fascinating to see what the results are the following day.

We water the gardens and while we sleep the thankfully reward us with delicious tomatos.

Last Summer we had too much rain and our little tomato crop suffered greatly.

So did we.

This year, there has been an abundance of tomatos, allowing us the gift of being able to share our tasty blessings with others and to brew up lots of sauce for the freezer, giving us the comfort of Summer memories during the harsh Winter months which lie in wait ahead.

Walking past the gardens, the little cherry and grape tomatos are like candy, rich with freshness.

I needed to harvest these little candies on the day it was raining before we went away for the weekend.

I love the rain.

There are times when we might feel the need to wash away all of our troubles and call forth freshness into our lives.

Since the most cleansing substance on this earth is probably water, we can think of the joy rain brings as an energetic bath, rejuvenating our minds, bodies, and souls.

Just being able to spend a few moments every time it rains to become aware of the healing powers water brings to us can renew us in so many ways.

As we do this we will find that the more we appreciate God's gift to us in the form of rain.

We can then see that a gentle rain shower is a strong reflective tool that has the ability to cleanse our entire being.

The next time it rains might be a good chance for us to experience the rain through all of our senses, allowing us to truly understand the importance of each and every drop of water.

Take a few minutes to look outside and notice how each individual raindrop seems to come down in a continual stream.

By noticing this we can contemplate how it takes many small accomplishments to create the whole of our existence, for nothing exists in isolation.

We might wish to focus our attention on the sound of the rainfall, letting the sounds of drops penetrate into the innermost recesses of our selves.

Listening in this way may bring us a greater sense of connection with nature and the world around us, knowing that the sounds we hear are an integral part of not just the physical sustenance we require but that they also nourish our spirit.

Consciously using our senses to feel nature’s healing energy as it comes to us in the form of rain is an act of internal cleansing.

Just as the rain physically washes over the earth and rinses out any impurities and imperfections, it also bathes our spirit in the joy that comes from knowing that we are one with the world around us.

With love, and wishing you rainbows,


Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Dance of Intimacy

Coming Back to Center in a Relationship

Frank & I joined a friend today in celebration of his union in marriage to the love of his life.

We were welcomed by family & friends, and we enjoyed an afternoon of hospitality and wonder-filled conversation with not even one moment of quiet lapse.

Graciousness abounded, and we were quite content with the beautiful energy that surrounded us.

So now we send this couple off to begin a new stage in their intimate relationship, but I must take this as an opportunity to build upon our own 22 year relationship.

Twenty-two years .. almost half of my earthly existence.

How blessed am I?!

Relationships are challenging, but the rewards outstay the trials ... if we are lucky.

I am lucky.

However I appreciate the realities and difficulties of life and growth.

I believe that growth, as in the growth of a tree, is a valuable key in a relationship.

Anyone in a long-term relationship knows that the dance of intimacy involves coming together and moving apart.

Early in a relationship, intense periods of closeness are important in order to establish the ground of a new union.

Just as a sapling needs more attention than a fully grown tree, budding relationships demand time and attention if they are to fully take root.

Once our relationships become more established, the individuals in the union begin to turn our attention outward again, to the other parts of our lives that also matter, such as work, family, and friendships.

This is natural and healthy.

However, if a long-term relationship is to last, turning towards one another recurrently, with the same curiosity, attention, and nurturing of earlier times, is essential.

In a busy and demanding world full of obligations and opportunities, we sometimes lose track of our primary relationships, thinking they will tend to themselves, and that is a mistake and neglect of the love that we have for our partners.

We may have the best intentions when we think about how nice it would be to surprise our partner with a gift or establish a weekly date night, yet somehow, life gets in the way.

We may think that our love is strong enough to survive without attention.

Even mature trees need water and care if they are to thrive.

One of the best ways to nourish a relationship is through communication.

If we feel that a distance has grown between us and our partners, we might be able to bridge the gap by sharing how we feel.

We tend to tell our friends how much we love them, but we often neglect expressing our feelings and emotions to our partners.

This is not to say that we need to accept blame or regret.

However, this is a call for us to focus instead on the positive, which is the fact that we want to grow closer together.

Sometimes, just acknowledging that there is distance between us has the effect of bringing our relationship into balance.

In some cases, more intense effort and attention might be required.

We may want to set aside some time to talk with our partner and come up with solutions together.

At any rate, we must remember to have compassion for each other.

We are in the same boat together and we try to maintain the ballast, the right balance of space and togetherness to keep our relationships healthy and thriving.

It is when we express faith and confidence in our partner that we can enjoy the slow dance of intimacy.

Love is a gift from God which is meant to be shared, and no one can take that away from us.

There are many people we love ... friends, spouses, family ...

We need to give thanks with every heartbeat for those we love, and accept their love in return.

Lastly, you know what?

I love you.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Gazing Upon Goodness

The Importance of Seeing the Good in All

Sometimes, adversity and bad times happen to us.

On a recent trip, I had my wallet stolen.

I responed in anger, but only as an affect of the violation I felt.

The anger did nothing for me and only served to almost lose an important day and special time with good friends.

It is important to see that there is good in all we experience and there are blessings in every aspect of our reality.

The potential for grace exists in all beings, even those who offend or hurt us through deception.

Our perception shapes the lives we lead because the universe adjusts itself almost instantly to our expectations.

When we look for negativity, we are bound to come across it in abundance.

Conversely, we create positive energy when we endeavor to see the goodness around us.

As easy as it is to criticize the people and situations that frustrate or hurt us, we do ourselves a disservice in the process.

It is important to see the good in all as there are blessings hiding in every aspect of our outer-world reality, and the potential for grace exists in all human beings.

When our lives are flooded with challenges, grief, and pain, we may be tempted to believe that some individuals or incidents are simply bad.

However, if we look for the good in all, good reveals itself to us, easing our doubts and reminding us that the universe is a place of balance, and we rise above the situation, denying negativity to grab a hold of us.

There is a perceptible energetic shift that takes place when we choose to see the good in all.

The unnecessary tension that comes into being when we dwell on negativity then fades away and is replaced by sympathetic tolerance and understanding.

We can forgive those who have wronged us because we recognize in them traits we admire, and we may even discover that we can bring out the good in one another as forgiveness is offered.

This requires a spiritual strength which can seem daunting, yet enriches our own being.

Though loss still grieves us, we recognize the beginning of a new phase of existence that abounds with fresh opportunities.

Each new challenge becomes another chance to prove ourselves, and we learn to show great patience in the face of difficulty.

There are few pleasures greater than gazing outward and seeing beauty, wisdom, and harmony.

These are the attributes of the universe that help us to cope when we encounter their opposing forces.

Since we create our own reality, we make our world a better place each time we acknowledge the good in our circumstances and in the people we encounter.

As we draw attention to the positive aspects of the world around us, our understanding of the affirmative nature of all existence will grow.

There are few lessons we will learn in this life that will prove as instrumental to our happiness and satisfaction.

In appreciating the all pervasive goodness that exists in the universe, we internalize it, making it a lasting part of our life.

So, it is important and crucial that we let go of the negative happenings that occur to us and we focus on the positive side of each experience.

Perhaps we do have a third eye within us, and perhaps we can use that to seek a balance of peaceful tranquility when adversity and happenstance affects us in order for us to maintain a peaceful existence.

Perhaps that third eye exists in order for us to look within ourselves.

Wishing you peaceful insight and balance,


Sunday, July 11, 2010

I'm tired

I'm sorry, but perhaps I'm not.

You might also feel the same.

I am just tired of trying.

Dead tired ... exhausted.

My life used to be so easy, so steady, so constant.

What ever happened to turn this all upside down and over and out?

I know that it is not only me ... let's look at our own lives.

There are times in our lives when it seems our bodies are running on empty.

We become tired, useless, literally sick within our own bodies.

We may or may not be sick, nor are we necessarily pushing ourselves to the limit—rather, the energy we typical enjoy has mysteriously dissipated, leaving only fatigue.

Many of us grow into feeling this way because we might not know that it is possible to exist in any other state.

However, deep inside of us exists a spiritual self, our own body’s natural state.

However, once again, there exists a balance of energy, clarity, and calm.

That balance is our spirituality and our faith.

Once we discover, or rather realize, these realities as our own life sustaining virtues, we can move forward in healing.

Cultivating these virtues in our own bodies so that we can combat feelings of depletion is a matter of developing a refined awareness of our situation or condition, and then make changes based upon our observations.

Typically I end these Wandering Thoughts with optimism for our own growth and an optimism for our spirit.

However, this Wandering Thought comes from loneliness, so I do not know where this will lead us.

This Wandering thought comes from a loneliness that is so deep, it cuts through the bone, and it terrifies me.

I was alone in New York the other day, and I missed my partner.

Now, I understand that we all need time alone, however, I don't do that well.

I do understand though, that even those of us who are social butterflies need some time for ourselves in order to tend to the colors of our wings which help to make us unique to the pleasure of others.

Solitude is necessary for meditation and quiet reflection, as well as appreciation of those whom we love.

Often, it is the solitude from our relationships which helps us to appreciate our love for others.

I speak with my own Mom more often when she is thousands of miles away than I do when she is about the corner.

I miss my partner terribly when I am less than one mile from home.

I have friends who I can't bare to be one email away from, and I have family who can pick up a conversation three months in, as well as others who are concerned if I miss my weekly cocktail with them.

Life is a gift; family and friends are the wrapping that you just don't want to tear open without saving for later use.

Back to topic, we sometimes choose to isolate ourselves when we are busy and need to meet a deadline, or when we have a heavy burden.

One friend of mine has finally learned that "radio silence" from me means a time for prayerful meditation.

When we choose such "radio silence", we may cherish the time to be alone while we give ourselves over to art or music, lose ourselves into a good book, or delve into a personal project.

Sometimes we need to be alone to simply do nothing but enjoy the sounds of silence,
and listen to the whispers of which I wrote in my last post of quiet whispers.

Regardless of what we choose to do, our alone time revitalizes and replenishes us, grounding us into our own company, thereby solidifying us within ourselves.

I have a very dear friend in New York who always reminds me to take "Rob Time".

I also have an equally dear friend nearby who reminds me to "seize the moment".

Easier stated than done.

Typically, I tend to withdraw when my feathers hit the fan.

However, too much isolation, especially when our intention is to hide, withdraw, or not deal with the realities of our lives is not physically, mentally, or spiritually healthy.

As we grow into our lives, we age and are presented with challenges.

Some of us deny them and others embrace them.

My belief is that it is those of us who strongly embrace our challenges with faith, survive.

That might sound to be a strong statement from someone like me, and I typically do not write in this manner.

However, it is during moments similar to mine, when being in isolation takes us away from our lives, rather than enhancing it.

If anything, too much isolation can create a buffer whereby we believe we do not have to deal with our problems, and so we neglect them.

On the other hand, dealing with our issues and allowing others into our lives who care about us, rather than isolating ourselves,is one of the best gifts we can give to ourselves as well as accept from others.

We have been granted the gift of friends and family, which truly are one in the same.

Now, granted, it is important for us to have our "alone" time; however, we need to remember that as human beings, we are by nature social creatures who on human contact.

Our lives cannot occur in a vacuum, and we cannot fully live in this world without interacting with others.

That was not God's plan.

However, we may consider using the times we might feel the need for isolation in the form of a spiritual retreat in silence, in order to rest, transform, and grow.

With prayers for insight, silence, and use of our daily lives,

and with so much love,


Monday, July 5, 2010

Beneath The Noise, Peace Awaits Us

I don't seem to hear as well these days.

I used to pride myself on being able to hear several conversations at a time in a crowded and noisy setting, and I used that to my advantage in my career. However, lately I seem to have to ask for many conversations to be repeated.

I thought of a friend of mine who wears a hearing aid, and probably enjoys the opportunity to lower it and peacefully reflect as chatter increases in an active room.

There is a quiet whisper that reassures us that everything is okay and it delivers its message with quiet confidence.

We may have noticed that if we want to speak to someone in a noisy, crowded room, the best thing to do is lean close and whisper.

In the 1970s, there was a television commercial to that effect for Nuance perfume ... "If you want to capture someones attention, whisper".

We live in such a busy world of loud noises.

At any time, one can tune in to any one of several news programs, only to hear up to eight people on a split television screen yelling over one another in disagreement.

Yelling in an attempt to be louder than the noise in a room generally only hurts our throat and adds to the subsequent chaotic atmosphere that abounds within the noise.

Similarly, however, there is a strong yet very quiet voice within us that does not even try to compete with the mental chatter that exists on the surface of our minds, nor does it attempt to overpower the volume of the raucous world outside.

It simply waits in silence for us to listen, and is often ignored and neglected.

However, despite its subtle nature, it holds more power that all of the loud and angry voices combined.

It is only when we want to hear it that we need to choose to tune in to that soft, soothing voice that holds so many answers and so much peace for us.

Generally, the more insistent voices in our heads deliver messages that deliver feelings of panic or fear, and are also of questionable authority as they strip us of our faith and meditation.

These voices may generate from childhood fear, or from societal culture.

As such, they barely represent half truths and their urgency is disconnected from our center and balance, which is what catches our attention.

The soft, soothing whisper inside of us -- which is our faith -- reassures us that there is a calmness within the tempest, and that everything is actually okay and offers us a quiet confidence.

Once we hear this, we know it speaks the truth, and we we allow it to capture our attention, the other voices and sounds, previously dominant and negative, fade into the distance and no longer have control over us.

We may even find that our own communications in this world can begin to be influenced by the quiet certainty of this peaceful whisper.

Perhaps we will be less inclined to participate in idle chatter as we become more interested and in tune to the whisper of truth that broadcasts its message like the sound of the wind shaking the leaves of a tree.

As we align ourselves more and more with this quiet whisper, we become an extension of that whisper, and we penetrate the noise of the world, generating a peacefulness with truth and confidence in our faith.

Wishing you peaceful quiet,


Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Anxiety Of Change & Making It Work For Us

Changes in our lives can be daunting, frightening, and intimidating.

When we find ourselves going through any type of change, our natural response may be to tense up on the physical, mental or emotional level.

We might not even take note that we have braced ourselves against a shift in our being until we recognize the anxiety, mood swings, or worried concern about the unknown which lies before us.

However, there are positive ways to traverse through change without resisting the change in a negative way, or denying that it is happening.

Change will always occur in almost every aspect of our lives, and we can learn to respond to it in an affirmative manner of anticipation, welcoming the new while releasing the past with grace, similar to the way a butterfly might be anxious about its change to beauty from larva.

We can only imagine what beauty lies ahead for us.

We can achieve such perspective by changing the labels we use to identify our feelings about change.

We can reinterpret feelings of anxiety as do the anxious butterflies that come with eager expectation and look for the good that lies ahead for us in the faith which will carry us forward.

Change is at the root of all growth, and we need to allow it to work for us, not against us.

Transformation is a universal constant that is with us in every breathing moment from birth until we leave this earthly existence behind us and move forward.

Sometimes, change and the circumstances leading to it are a source of great joy and celebration.

However, the reality is that most changes are a source of fear, discomfort, and sometimes pain.

Change is unavoidable.

We should never believe that we are subject to the whims of God and the unpredictable universe and forces of nature. However, it is in our response to these circumstances that dictate the outcome of our experiences.

At the heart of every change, each transformation, exists substance.

It is when we no longer fear change, and accept it as an opportunity to evolve, we find that we are far from helpless.

When we choose to make change work in or favor, we can internalize its power, accepting that we cannot hide from the changes that take place in and around us every day.

Existence, as we know it here, will come to an end at one or more points in our lives.

However, those ends makes way for new and exciting opportunities of being.

Such transformation might not take place at our choosing, but it is up to us to decide if we will open our eyes to the blessings which are hidden beneath disorder or if we close ourselves off from the opportunities which lie ahead.

So, to make change work for us, we need to look constructively at our situation. and ask ourselves how we can benefit from the transformation that has taken place.

As threatening as this might seem, it is often a sign that a new era of our life has begun, and so we should embrace it.

If we reevaluate our plans and goals in the days and weeks following a major change, we will discover that we can adapt our ambitions and our trust to the circumstances.

Optimism, enthusiasm, and faith aid us greatly here.

There is nothing to be gained by dwelling on what might have been.

Change can hurt in the short term, but if we embrace it proactively, its lasting impact will be intellectually, physically, and transform us spiritually.

With love & light,


Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Weight of The Past

A friend of mine recently grappled with some regrets of her past with respect to the way she feels she could have done more for someone who has since died, as well as other concerns.

It can be very difficult to let go of our regrets when we look back, and it is so clear to see what we could have done better in retrospect as well.

However, holding on to regret is like dragging the past along with us wherever we go.

It drains our energy and prevents us from living our lives at the moment as we continue to feed the residual feelings of an old issue.

This sort of attachment to feeling can breed illness in the same way that watering a dead plant causes decay of the soil.

When we lose a plant, we know that something new and beautiful can grow in that same soil, if we prepare the soil properly and plant the right seeds.

We also know that we create our lives through our thoughts and minds, so dwelling on our past might actually create or recreate a situation in our lives where we are forced to make a choice or perform an action time and again.

We can choose, however, to move forward right now by applying what we have learned to our present situations, perhaps even sharing our learning with others, therefore transforming a negative element into something that is constructive, positive, and helpful to ourselves as well as others.

Forgiveness is the soothing balm that heals the painful wounds of regret.

Through prayerful meditation, we can imagine discussing the issue at hand with the self of our past, and offer forgiveness in return through what we have learned from our experiences.

In return, we can also ask ourselves for forgiveness for allowing our selves to be inhibited by feelings of regret.

We may also ask forgiveness from anyone else who might have been affected by our actions or take this opportunity to offer our own forgiveness.

If we replay the event which concerns us in our minds, we can choose a new ending through imaginative reflection, using what we have learned.

This will allow us to virtually return to the event, make the changes we need in order to right it, and then say goodbye to it in comfort that we know what we did wrong, what we would do to correct it, and what we will do in the future.

Once done, we can return to the present and release our former self with a hug and bring forgiveness and love back to the present.

We are typically our harshest critics, and it is amazing how powerfully healing it can be to offer love to oue own selves.

By keeping our minds and our energy entirely in the present, we allow ourselves to fuel our physical and emotional healing and well being in the present day.

It is then that we free our energy to create our own dreams for the future, taking responsibility and action in order in the present in order to release the past.

With love & light,


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Finding Deep Strength

We all have times in our lives when we truly believe we don't have the strength to carry on.

However, we do have that strength, and we can carry on.

We have all faced moments in our lives when the pressures of our various commitments and situations mount far beyond what we feel we can handle, and we find ourselves believing that we just no longer have the strength to carry on and continue.

Perhaps we overcame a major obstacle or illness, only to find another one waiting for us; as though that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is just another train wreck headed straight for us.

Catching our breath between these trials seem to only allow us to drown.

At times we suffer one loss after another, and we wonder if we will ever enjoy a respite from life's travails.

It never seems fair or right that life should push us harder and demand more of us when we believe we have given all we can.

This, however, is life.

When we look back upon our lives, we see that we have in fact survived many trials and tribulations and we have surmounted many obstacles; quite often to our own amazement.

In each instance, we broke through our concepts of how much we could handle and we delved deeper into our own reserves.

We have no concept of what our faith and stamina provides us.

At times, when we feel we do not have the strength to handle the situations that life has dealt us, it is as though we are against the hard type of surface of a frozen lake.

Our obstacle, or challenges as they are, appear as an impenetrable, hard, cold fact.

However, once we break through it, we find that a deep reservoir of energy and inspiration was trapped beneath that hard, cold surface.

Sometimes we break through this ice by cutting a hole into our resistance with our willpower.

Other times we melt away the ice with the warmth of compassion.

Either way, we endure and we walk away with a renewed realization of our values and strength in our confidence of the faith which keeps us alive; the Spirit that exists within us.

When we find ourselves breathless and against that frozen between us and our faith and the very oxygen it provides, and we think we cannot handle the situation we are presented with, we may just find it best to choose to love ourselves as well as the resistance we face.

We can simply accept that we are overwhelmed, exhausted, and tried, and we can allow ourselves to accept our internal loving kindness and compassion, giving our situation into the loving warmth our our Creator's care.

If we can channel the unconditional warmth of God's love, before we know it the ice will melt away and turn to a warm and refreshing spring.

With love & warm waters,


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Balance and Prayer in Everyday Life

I've had the most blessed past two years.

Those of you who know me might wrinkle a forehead and raise an eyebrow at that statement and say "what?"

As my life became more challenged, I sought a center of peace and balance.

So, I began collecting flat river stones and stacking them in strategic areas throughout the house, as well as my office in New York and my office in Pennsylvania.

One stone stack was outside where I shower and prepare for the day.

Another was on my desk in New York.

If I rushed past the doorway leading from the bath to the main part of the house, my vibration would cause he stones to fall out of balance and tumble.

The same would happen at my office if I were to be harsh with closing a drawer or reacting upon the desk when annoyed with a situation.

The ensuing reality was that I would have to take the time to delicately balance the stones again, which allowed some private time for me to concentrate, or meditate ... otherwise, to be in prayer.

"Please God, teach me that anger and haste only creates a delay in your plan."

If you were to visit my office in Mount Pocono, you would find an area filled with "Cairns" or "Prayer Stones". One is even a fountain from which water flows.

There is much to be said about water in our lives.

Stone has played a role in spirituality from the very moment humanity externalized its sacred vision.

As early humans, we gave form to our devotion by scratching images of our impression of our deities into rock faces, carving holy statuary, and building stone shrines.

The earliest of these were nothing more than simple piles of rocks that honored sacred places, revelations, people, and events.

Following in the footsteps of this ancient tradition provides us with an simple and beautiful way to externalize our own spirituality.

In our travels, we may have encountered on the sides of roads, trails, or pathways stacks of stones that look like random sculpture.

Add a stone blessed with a prayer to such a mound, and our intentions merge with those who have left stones before us, empowering us all.

Associating a prayer with a particular stone alters the substance of both, and the formation of a prayer mound can balance and intensify the energy of a site.

The mere act of choosing a stone can inspire mindfulness, as we lose ourselves in the moment seeking a pebble that speaks to our souls. And placing a prayer stone on a towering cairn is a meditation in patience and slowness as stillness allows us to find our stone's center of gravity so the delicate ceremonial structure before us remains intact.

We must be cautious, however, when when we feel guided to place a prayer rock upon stone mounds we see intermittently alongside well-worn but unmarked hiking paths. Hikers often use small cairns as guide markers to ensure that those who follow in their footsteps will not lose the trail.

When in doubt, begin a new prayer pile slightly further away from the path itself and consider adding a relic of some kind to help others understand its purpose.

When we mindfully place a prayer by beginning a stone heap or adding to an existing mound, our thoughts and intentions are left in the care of faith itself.

The cairn of which our prayer was one part may be unintentionally knocked down or destroyed by Mother Nature's own hand. We need not let this weigh heavily upon our spirit.

The potent energy of our prayer would be released by this destruction, ensuring that the purpose underlying that prayer will spread outward in the direction of the furthest reaches of the universe.

So, walk through natures path, utilizing the most solid of God's creation to find a moment to seek balance and prayer.

With love, light, and a prayer for the balance of your rock,


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Why Not Now?

Waiting for Someday

If today is the day we choose to take our destiny into our own hands, we may discover that we hold the keys of fate.

The time we are blessed with is limited and tends to be used up all too quickly.

How we utilize our time is consequently one of the most important decisions we make.

However, it is far too easy to put off until tomorrow what we are dreaming of today.

The hectic pace of modern existence affords us an easy out; we shelve our aspirations so we can cope more effectively with the challenges of the present, ostensibly to have more time and leisure to realize our purpose in the future. Or we tell ourselves that we will chase our dreams someday once we have accomplished other lesser goals.

In truth, it is our fear that keeps us from seeking fulfillment in the here and now because we view failure as a possibility, so our reasons for delaying our inevitable success seem sound and rational.

If we ask ourselves what we are really waiting for, however, we discover that there is no truly compelling reason why we should put off the pursuit of the dreams that sustain us.

When regarded as a question, "Why not now?" drains us of our power to realize our ambitions.

We are so concerned with the notion that we are somehow undeserving of happiness that we cannot see that there is much we can do in the present to begin courting it. Yet when we look decisively at our existence and state, "Why not now, indeed!" we are empowered to begin changing our lives this very moment.

We procrastinate for many reasons, from a perceived lack of time to a legitimate
lack of self-belief, but the truth of the matter is that there is no time like the present and no time but the present.

Whatever we aim to accomplish, we will achieve it more quickly and with a greater degree of efficiency when we seize the day and make the most of the resources we have at our disposal presently.

All the joy, passion, and contentment we can envision can be ours right now, rather than in some far-flung point in time.

We need only remind ourselves that there is nothing standing between us and fulfillment.

If today is the day we choose to take our destiny into our own hands, we will discover that we hold the keys of fate.

Why not now?

With love & light,


Monday, May 10, 2010

Magical Wishes

We often wish.

From blowing Dandelion seeds into the air, to tossing a coin into a fountain, we have all felt inspired to make a wish ... to whisper into the ears of the universe and release our desires to the powers that be and wait for signs that they have been heard.

Some wishes do come true, and others are left to the ethereal life where they remain as visions that either stay with us or fade as a star in the light of the morning.

No matter if our wishes come true or not, wishes are important missives, expressing our hearts desire as well as our intention to create something new in our lives.

When we wish for something, our consciousness opens us to be receptive, like a flower unfolding its petals to receeive a bee.

There is something innocent and magical about making a wish, something that recalls the energy of childhood.

Wishing is not about formulating a plan and following it step by step to obtain a goal, which is more aligned with adulthood, and it is not the same as prayer.

Rather, wishing is more similar to a playful volley.

Waiting and hoping for the response we wish for is an integral part of the process.

When we wish, we feel something lift in the center of our chest ... possibly where our actual spirit exists.

Wishing inspires an innocent opening to the possibility of "magic" to happen.

This opening is beauty in and of itself, regardless of the outcome.

When we wish, we place ourselves in a magical mindeset, and that mindset is as wonderful as the wish itself.

In the straightforward, action oriented society in whieh we live, we may tend to dismiss the power of this seemingly passive process,. However, the power of a wish is well known, hence the popular phrase (especially by me) "be careful what you wish for".

When we realize that we have given up the childhood beauty of wishing in favor of more adult pursuits, we might like to bring its magic back into our life.

So, the next time you see the first star in the evening sky, cast away the seedlings of a Dandelion, flip a coin into a fountain, or find yourself in front of a birthday cake complete with flaming candles, give yourself the gift of the magical wonder we knew so well as children.

Close your eyes, open your mind to fantasy, and make your wish.

Wishing you the magic of childhood dreams,


Monday, April 19, 2010

Hold my place?


Perhaps we can recall a time in our childhood when we asked a friend, or one we did not yet know, to "hold our place" in a line.

Some of us recall this while in line for lunch as a young child in school, while we retrieved a notebook left behind ... or while we left someone alone while we sought a more familiar friend.

Some of us recall this while in line for concert tickets as a young adult while we fetched coffee to keep us awake and safe while camping out on an overnight line.

However, each of us will one day experience this as a moment when one of us will ask the other to hold on to us as we move on through a challenging time ... or as we die.

At some point, we will be asked to "just be there".

One of the greatest gifts we can give another human being is to act as their guardian ... their caregiver.

Whether this gift is related to a specific situation or is representative of an ongoing commitment, we each benefit from the association.

We are given a family to love and be loved by, and we meet friends and partners with whom to share the same.

In love, there is an absolute and eternal protection and projection of the spirit within us.

To protect someone is to walk with that person in challenging times and see them through safely to the other side of it.

In doing so, we grow with them, regardless of where their journey is calling them ... or us.

Those within our care derive confidence from our support and assistance, enabling them to persevere through almost any condition.

There are many reasons we feel inspired to serve as caregivers to those for whom we so do.

Sometimes just holding the place for somebody allows them to do what is necessary to grow or heal.

Sometimes, just holding that place for somebody can be very lonely and worrisome.

We may simply want to see that our friend or loved one is taken care of and equipped to prevail over difficult circumstances.

We may also sense that we are in possession of knowledge our loved ones are lacking yet need in their current stage of development.

Our offer to serve as a caregiver may also be both unsolicited and unrelated to any one situation.

Instead of helping someone we care about to cope with a specific challenge, we may find ourselves providing them with a more general form of emotional sustenance that prepares and strengthens them for challenges yet to come.

Perhaps even our own energy can absorb the ills from within those for whom we tend to, and even bring about healing, be it physical or spiritual.

Our ability to empathize with those under our guardianship is our greatest asset, because our comprehension of their needs allows us to determine how we can best serve them.

Even when this comprehension is limited, however, the loving intentions with which we enter into our role as guardians and caregivers ensure that our care and protection help others grow as individuals while living their lives with grace.

This is also true in the case of guardianship of our unknown friends ... strangers.

That is what is known as being graceful.

Of course, we understand that this comes from a Spiritual Grace, with which we are blessed.

Grace is always with us.

It flows like a river through our lives, artfully reminding us that there is magic and power beyond what our eyes can see.

At times we catch its subtle beauty, such as during chance meetings, near misses, and insights that seem to come from nowhere.

Other times we experience Grace in all its powerful surety, certainty, and security, such as when a job comes to an end.

Though we may forget that this is Grace at work too, it is indeed influencing our lives, helping us to move forward and take the next step.

Grace exists in all situations, and in every moment. Yet all too often we may overlook its presence.

Imagine how it might feel to live an entire day in absolute Grace, to fully appreciate that our day is unfolding in absolute perfection. Whereas usually we might miss the mystical spirituality in ordinary events and interactions.

Perhaps, on such a particular day, we would recognize each and every blessing that we are granted as miracles.

Perhaps we would begin with our first deep breaths in the morning, becoming aware that there is an abundant supply of air for us to breathe.

That is Grace.

Our lungs know just how to carry oxygen to our blood, and our blood knows where to carry it from there.

This too is Grace.

We might appreciate the pleasant warmth of Spring, the brilliant sunshine of Summer, the enriching colors of Autumn, or the dazzling display of snow and ice that Winter offers us, and appreciate that they greet us at every turn; never knowing if we will return there again.

We might notice the ease with which we do our job or laugh with a close friend.

These things are all Grace.

Even when we lay our heads down at the end of this day, and every day right through the final one, we rest rest in the stillness of night, and that is Grace.

With each opportunity we give ourselves, we empower ourselves to the energetic current of benevolence, which consists of the connection between one of us and another as we hold each other's places in Grace, that we may discover a deeper peace.

We might begin to wonder if struggle is really all that necessary after all.

That last statement is truly one of Grace.

By living just one day in Grace, we might open the door to many more.

So, I must ask you ....

Will you hold my place?

With love, light, and an outstretched palm of hand for you to lead me,


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Burdensome Feelings

Burdensome Feelings ...

Blaming Others.

During my Education for Ministry class this past Sunday, we discussed "letting go". More specifically, letting go of "blame".

Such a silly word.

If you say it a few times, it just begins to sound ridiculous.

Blaming sets up a situation in which it becomes difficult to move forward and puts resolution in the hands of others.

As we begin to truly understand that the world outside of us is a reflection of the world inside of us, we may feel confused about who is to blame for the problems in our lives.

If we had a difficult childhood, we may wonder how we can take responsibility for that, and in our current relationships, the same question arises.

We all know that blaming others is the opposite of taking responsibility, but we may not understand how to take responsibility for things that we don’t truly feel responsible for.

We may blame our parents, teachers, and elders for our low self-esteem, and we may blame our current partner for exacerbating it with their unconscious behavior.

Objectively, this seems to make sense. After all, it is not our fault if others were irresponsible or unkind, and we are not to blame for our partner’s bad behavior.

Perhaps the problem lies with the activity of blaming.

Whether we blame others or blame ourselves, there is something aggressive and unkind about it.

It sets up a situation in which it becomes difficult to move forward under the burdensome feelings of shame and guilt that arise. It also puts the resolution of our pain in the hands of someone other than us.

Ultimately, we cannot insist that someone else take responsibility for their actions; only they can make that choice when they are ready.

In the meantime, if we want to move forward with our lives instead of waiting around for something that may or may not happen, we begin to see the wisdom of taking the situation into our own hands.

We do this by forgiving others, even if they have not asked for our forgiveness, so that we can be free. We end our abusive relationships with those who may never admit to any wrongdoing, because we are willing to take responsibility for how we are treated.

In short, we love ourselves as we want to be loved and create the life we know we deserve. We leave the resolution of the wrongs committed against us in the hands of God, releasing ourselves to live a life free of blame, allow ourselves the gift of forgiveness.

With love, light, and forgiveness,


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Shake Your Tail Feathers

"Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt, and live like it's heaven on Earth." — Mark Twain

Most of us express our distinctiveness in many ways throughout our lives.

We proudly share our offbeat traits and preferences with the world. However, we take great pains to downplay those eccentricities that we ourselves deem odd. Instead of living lives colored by these quirky impulses, we seek out socially acceptable outlets for our peculiarities.

We may not realize that we are editing ourselves in this way because our individual societal awareness is unintentionally attuned to the attitudes of the people we encounter each day.

Over time, we have learned to suppress some of the most fun aspects of individuality.

To rediscover and embrace these buried traits, we need only ask ourselves what we would do if we knew for certain that no one would judge our choices.

Visualizing this can help us to better understand the idiosyncrasies that are an important part of who we are, but seldom manifest in our existence. Perhaps we secretly dream of replacing grown-up, conservative clothing and behavior in favor of a varying array of frivolity.

Our imagination takes us in unexpectedly simple directions. In our musings, we may see ourselves doing things which tend to the nature of our suppressed peculiarities. We may ask what is really stopping us from making them a part of our lives, and then resolve to incorporate at least one into our everyday existence.

We can become our own muse, our own Calliope.

Life as we know it is so short.

Making the most of years we are granted is a matter of being ourselves even though we know that we will inevitably encounter people who disapprove of our choices.

When we shake our tail feathers like no one is watching, we discover that there are many others who appreciate us because we are willing to let go of social inhibition.

By doing this, we help others to know it is okay to do the same.

No two people in the world are precisely alike, and each time we revel in this simple fact, we rededicate ourselves to the celebration of individuality.

Often, the societal nonacceptance of individuality prevents us of certain simple pleasures, and we put off what we would like to do for enjoyment in pursuit of more basic duties and responsibilities.

Procrastination is almost a universal human habit and one that infiltrates nearly every aspect of our lives.

Modern existence is so complex, and much of what we long to do is left by the wayside. We know what is important to our individuality and our happiness, but we tend to let the weight of worldly pressures lead us astray.

To get back on track, however, we need only take a moment to consider where our thoughts will be as we take our last breath on this earth.

More likely than not, at that instant, disagreements, bills, petty annoyances, and other frustrating elements of our lives will no longer seem as significant as they once did.

Remembrances of loved ones and the positive impact we had on the world would no doubt occupy our remaining thoughts. Whatever we imagine ourselves musing upon during our last breath will almost always be representative of what truly matters to us.

This simple exercise introduces us to a new way of thinking.

While our attention is drawn momentarily to the end of life, our contemplations serve to point out that we are masters of our own perspective and, consequently, our own existence.

We can choose to spend more of our time and energy on what gives our lives meaning. We can spend more time with loved ones and do more of what we enjoy. We can learn to allow our inner muse to tend to who we are.

Doing so may not always prove easy, and there will inevitably be times when circumstances interfere with our resolution, yet we do not have to regard this as an indication that our priorities are not in alignment with who we really are. Sometimes the only way we can see the beauty of life is to remind ourselves that it is finite.

Gandhi said, "Live as if you were to die tomorrow."

His words are a potent reminder that living life more fully is not about pushing ourselves harder or shouldering more burdens, but about experiencing all the wonderful richness life has to offer.

So, perhaps this Easter, we will each allow our inner spirit, our childhood, to re-emerge and live within us once again, bringing laughter and fun to the world around us.

After all, our life is a gift that was given for us to enjoy and share; and Life is Heaven on Earth.

With love & light,