Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

I was fortunate to share a friendship with an enigmatic young man named Thomas during a very special period of my life.

It was a time of change, growth, and overcoming challenges for me.

Thomas taught me many things during our days together, and this time of year reminds me of one particular interaction we had.

"Now that you are becoming more aware," Thomas said, "you need to begin to set goals for yourself so you don't lose the momentum you have built."

"Like New Year's resolutions?" I asked.

"That's an interesting idea," he smirked. "Let's do that."

By then I was used to his cryptic responses, so I knew something was up because of the way his eyes sparkled as he let out an impish laugh.

"Tonight, make two lists," Thomas continued. "The first is a list of all the New Year's resolutions you WANT to keep, and the second is a list of all the New Year's resolutions you WILL keep.

Write the WANT List first, and when you have exhausted all of your ideas, then write the second list on another sheet of paper."

I went home and spent several days working on the two lists. The WANT List felt overwhelming at first, but after a while I got into writing all the things I had always wanted to do if the burdens of life hadn't come in the way. After nearly an hour, the list swelled to fill the entire page and contained nearly all of my ideas of an ideal life.

The second list was much easier, and I was able to quickly commit to ten practical resolutions that I felt would be both realistic and helpful.

The next time I saw Thomas, he said "Tell me about your two lists" as the familiar smirk crept onto his face.

I replied "The first list contains all the things I SHOULD do if I completely changed my life to be the person I always wanted to be. The second list contains all the things I COULD do by accepting my current life, and taking realistic steps towards the life I want to lead."

"Let me see the second list" he said.

I handed him the second list, and without even looking at it, he ripped the paper into tiny pieces and threw it in the nearby trash. His disregard for the effort I had put into the list annoyed me at first, but I quickly calmed down I began to think about the first list in a different light.

In my heart, I knew the second list was a cop out, and the first list was the only one that really mattered.

"Now let me see the first list" he ordered.

I handed him the first list and held his gaze for several seconds, waiting for him to begin reading the page. After an unusually long silence, he began to crumple the paper into a ball and once again tossed it into the trash without looking at it.

"What did you do that for?!" I couldn't hide my annoyance or frustration any longer.

Thomas began to speak in a quiet and assured voice. "What you SHOULD or COULD do with your life no longer matters. The only thing that matters, from this day forward, is what you MUST do."

He then drew a folded piece of paper from his back pocket and handed it to me.

I opened it carefully, and found a single word floating in the middle of the white page:


I still have that piece of paper.

And so, I offer you my love and I wish for the new year to bring you a loving life of quiet balance as you encounter each new day.

As for me, I'll be looking back at this past year with fondness and gratitude for having you in my life.

With love & light,


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Throw Away Your Scale !

I weigh myself every morning. The weight doesn't change.

Some days I'm happy that I haven't gained. Other days I'm upset that I haven't lost.
Either way, it is not an accurate barometer of our general health and it serves as a tool toward obsession.
No matter what our weight, we can use the cues from our physical and mental selves to judge how healthy we are.

I've always said that "age is a man-made concept and we are only as old as we believe."
In the same manner, health is not a numerical concept and cannot be defined using statistics. 
Human beings, however, tend to want to quantify well-being into easily understandable figures. 
We feel compelled to ascribe numbers to every aspect of wellness, from the qualities of our food to our fitness levels to the physical space we occupy. 
As a consequence of social pressures, we turn our attention away from health and focus instead on the most contentious of these figures ... weight.
We check our scales daily to see how we measure up to our peers and role models. Yet each of us is equipped to gauge our relative healthfulness without any equipment whatsoever. 
When we have achieved a state of wellness, we feel buoyant and energetic. 
Some of us are naturally slim, while others will always be curvy. No matter what our weight, we can use the cues we receive from our physical and mental selves to judge how healthy we really are. 
When we throw away our scales, we commit to a lifestyle that honors the innate wisdom that comes from within our bodies and within our minds. 
It is logical to examine how we feel while considering our health. A strong, fit, and well-nourished individual will seldom feel heavy, bloated, or fatigued. 
If we have concerns regarding our weight, we need to remind ourselves that at its proper weight, our body will feel buoyant and agile. 
Movement becomes a source of joy. Sitting, standing, walking, and bending are all easy to do because our joints and organs are functioning as they were meant to. 
When we are physically healthy, our minds will also occupy a place of well-being.
Mental clarity and an ability to focus are two natural traits of whole-self health. 
Surprisingly, promoting this type of wellness within ourselves takes no special effort outside of satisfying our hunger with nourishing, wholesome foods and moving our bodies.

The numbers we see on the scale, while nominally informative, can prevent us from reaching our healthful eating goals by giving us a false indicator of health.
We will know when we have achieved true health because every fiber of our being will send us signals of wellness. 
When we choose to listen to these signals instead of relying on the scale, our definition of well-being will be uniquely adapted to the needs of our bodies and of our minds.

Live love & love life,


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Who Am I ?

The question of who we are is a seed that can bear much fruit if given the chance to unfold and grow.

At some point in our lives, or perhaps at many points in our lives, we ask the question, “Who am I?”

It is at such times that we are looking beyond the obvious. We look beyond our names and the names of the cities and states from which we came or from where we call home. We begin to look into the layers beneath our surface identities.

We may feel the need for a deeper sense of purpose in our lives, or we may be ready to accommodate a more complex understanding of the situations in which we find ourselves.

Whatever the case, the question of who we are is a seed that can bear much fruit.

It can send us on an exploration of our ancestry, or the past lives of our souls.

It can bring us to our calling in our spiritual life or it can call us to take up writing in a journal in order to discover and uncover that voice deep within us that seems to know the answers to a multitude of questions.


That voice can draw our attention so deeply inward that we find the spark of the spirit that connects us to every living thing in the universe.

One Hindu tradition counsels its practitioners to ask the question over and over, using it as a mantra to lead one inevitably into the heart of the divine.

While there are people who seem to come into the world knowing who they are and why they are here, for the most part the human journey appears to be very much about asking this question and allowing its answers to guide us on our paths.

So when we find ourselves in the heart of unknowing, we can have faith that we are in a very human place, as well as a very divine one.

“Who am I?” is a timeless mantra.

The internal question of "Who am I?" leads us home. It leads us into the part of our minds that finally lets go of questions and answers and finds instead the ability to simply be.

With love & light,


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Finding Freedom in No

I have trouble saying "No" to anyone.

Even when I want to say no, I say it in a way that people understand it as a yes.

"I'll think about that."

"That sounds like a good idea, I'll see."
"I'll get back to you."
Granted, those are very weak ways to say no, but that's just me. This causes endless days of anguish for me as I try to work my way out of an invitation or a request and it drains me of positive energy.
My partner Frank takes a different approach. He simply says "NO!" and then goes on with what he's doing - or not doing!
I must admit that I find it amusing when he says it the way he does - even when it's directed at me - but he looks you directly in the eye and says it with a smile. I know that the response comes from his heart and brings peaceful settlement to him.
Saying no to somebody when we are used to saying yes can be challenging as we fear we will be rejected.
Many of us, from childhood on, are taught that saying yes is right and saying no is wrong. We learn that acceding to demands allows us to avoid conflict and criticism, please people, earn praise, and prove that we care for the important people in our lives. Yet the right to say no is indelibly intertwined with the ability to make choices. 
When we sense we are limited in our options, compelled to say yes even when doing so is not in our interests, we are effectively robbed of our ability to choose. 
Growing out of this tendency to say yes even when we desperately want to say no can be challenging because we suspect that others will reject us for our assertiveness. 
However, the reward we receive upon facing this challenge is true freedom of choice.
When others ask us to take on work or do favors, consider their requests carefully.
If we feel pressed to say yes, we need to consider whether we are acquiescing out of a desire for approval or to stave off disapproval. We need to remind ourselves often that the ability to say no is an important aspect of well-being, as it is an indication that we understand the true value of our energy, talents, and time. 
As we learn to articulate our personal power by saying no, we may feel compelled to explore the myriad consequences of the word by responding negatively to many or most of the requests put to us. The word “no” may even become our default response for some time. 
Once we see that life moves forward without interruption, however, we will grow more comfortable saying no and will resume making decisions from a point of balance.

There is nothing inherently wrong with acceding to the requests others make of us, provided these requests do not infringe upon our health or our happiness.
It is only when we believe we have the legitimate right to say no that we can say yes with utmost certainty, sincerity, and enthusiasm. 
While saying yes almost always has a cost, we can feel good about offering our agreement when our reasons for doing so are rooted in our individual values and your appreciation for the appeal before us.

With love & light,


Monday, October 10, 2011

It's A Beautiful Morning !

Before you read this, please view the following youtube:

The weather has been just beautiful these past days after several weeks of rain as summer reached her end.

There is something about the beauty of a beautiful day that reaches forth from within us and outward toward others.

Frank and I stopped by the supermarket on our way home the other day. I chose to wait in the car, but the morning was so perfect I decided to stand outside and enjoy the clear sky and the fresh air as I waited for him.

A young gentleman returned to his vehicle and began loading a large cart filled with groceries. As he did so, he sang out "It's A Beautiful Morning!", which is a song by The Rascals from 1968.

He continued to load his groceries, perhaps humming the tune to himself. He then changed from his heavy sweatshirt to his t-shirt beneath, and sang out again "It's A Beautiful Morning!" as he proceeded to load more groceries. Once he completed his task at hand, he sang out one more time "It's A Beautiful Morning!" as he raised his arms and looked to the sky.

I could not resist, so I sang out to him "I think I'll go outside for a while!" as I pointed to him.

This was a rather brave act for me to commit toward a muscular young man in a pickup truck, but I had my car keys at hand!

He responded by pointing back at me and singing "and just smile!" before looking up at the sky one more time and heading home, his car filled with sustenace for his household in order for all who enter his home to be able to enjoy the beautiful day which awaited his loved ones, as well as him.

It was interesting to share that experience, and I wonder if he shares this story as well.

We can send love ahead to our day, into our lives, and into the world.

Upon waking, many of us approach our day with trepidation as I did that day as well as many other days recently.

Because of the natural human tendency to focus on what we fear or dislike, it is easy to unwittingly send a message of unease into the future that negatively impacts the quality of our day. However, while our lives are busy and frequently replete with challenges, they are also rich with joy and experiences worth savoring.

This is something I have learned from Frank as he wakes each morning, cheerfully singing, and often dancing, no matter what the day has in store. For Frank, it is always "A Beautiful Morning".

Because of Frank's approach, each of mine is beautiful as well.

We can attract this natural bliss into our lives by starting each day with a message of love and appreciation.

When we send love ahead to our day, that love will manifest itself in our interpersonal interactions, our professional endeavors, and our domestic duties.

Tasks and circumstances which challenge us through our own anxieties can become transformed by our love, and we can find ourselves approaching life’s subtle nuances with great affection.

Each morning, once we have cast off the fog of sleep, we can take several deep, grounding breaths and reaffirm the love we have for ourselves and the beauty which surrounds us.

Speaking or singing a loving blessing aloud enables us to access and awaken the reservoir of tenderness in our souls.

That can simply be done by saying or singing "It's a beautiful morning". This is a prayer of thanksgiving as well as hope for the day ahead.

Before we leave the comfortable warmth of our beds, we might like to tell the universe that we are eager and ready to receive the blessings that have been set aside for us this day. Then as we prepare to embrace the day, we can visualize ourselves first saturated by and then surrounded with a warm and soft loving light.

As we gradually embrace this light, we can then widen this circle of light until we are able to send it ahead into our future and share with others.

If we are commuting to work, we can send love to the roads upon which we will drive, our fellow commuters, and the place will our vehicle will rest and wait for us.

If we have colleagues who arrive at our workplace before us, we can send them love in advance.
For those who arrive after us, we can greet them with warmth and love.

Likewise, a day spent being a home-maker and addressing household chores, one can benefit from the sentiment that precedes us as preparations are tended to in order to provide comfort for our family.

With this approach, we can rest assured that everyone we meet and everything we do ensures us that our day is suffused with grace.

There are times when life can be trying and we may have difficulty sending love to those situations and individuals we deem particularly frustrating. It is then that we need to understand and accept that the warmth and tenderness we project can change our life for the better.

By sending and sharing this love each morning, each afternoon, and each evening, we exercise our power to control the ambiance of our existence and to color our day with positivity.

Wishing you the realization of every beautiful morning,


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Grumpy People & Darkness

Grumpy people can only affect our mood if we allow them to. The sun and stars can still shine in their presence.

When we're in a good mood, we shine like the sun. But if we find ourselves in the presence of a person, or people, in a grumpy mood, it can feel like a dark cloud approaching to dim our radiance and block our positive way of seeing the world. We can remind ourselves that clouds pass, while the sun and stars continue to shine above.

It is then easier to think of these "grumps" affectionately, knowing that they only have the power to affect our mood if we allow it.

With the power of change firmly in our hands, we can choose how to respond to a grumpy person, or a grumbling group of people, with confidence and understanding.

Like a lighthouse, we can continue to shine through the darkness, offering our light to help others find their way back to their own.

We can send them a silent prayer of peace or a sympathetic smile. We may sense that reaching out to offer a comforting touch or hug can ease their frustrations and cause the clouds to dissipate.

If they need understanding, we can sympathize without reinforcing the negativity they may be experiencing by directing their attention someplace more positive.

Helping them find the humor in their situation might be appropriate and is a great way to lift spirits, or a logical approach may help them see all the good in the situation, in their lives and in the world.

We might find that someone we encounter often seems to be in a perpetual state of gloom, rather like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. Our tendency in such cases may be to try to avoid them, but instead we can make the choice to offer support that comes from the heart.

We may be inspired to ask if they would like some help or to offer suggestions that have helped us in the past. We can include thoughts of their health and happiness in our times of prayer and meditation.

When we lend our energy to uplift another in any way, we improve our own lives while making the world a better place for all of us.

Perhaps the grumpy person is our self.

When darkness falls upon us in the evening, we know that the sun is still shining at this very moment somewhere not too far away.

There are times when gloom or darkness causes us to momentarily lose sight of the light. Although it is at these times when the thought of the sun can help us.

Its warm, glowing rays brighten even our thoughts, and it’s good to remember that despite appearances the sun is shining right now.

We may not be able to see it at this very moment, but if clouds block our view, they are only filtering the sun’s light temporarily.

If darkness has fallen, we know that the sun is still shining at this very moment somewhere not too far away, and it’s only a matter of time before it will shine on us again.

When we remember that the sun is still shining, we know that things are still in motion in the universe. Even if life feels like it is at a standstill, sometimes all we need to do is have faith and wait for the time when everything is in its perfect place.

We can also choose to follow the cues of the sun and continue doing our work and shining our light, even when we can’t yet see results.

In doing so we exercise our patience, making sure we are prepared when opportunity knocks and all other elements are in their right and perfect places.

The sun also reminds us that our own shining truth is never extinguished. Our light shines within us at all times, no matter what else occurs around us.

Though the sun gives us daily proof of its existence, sometimes our belief in our own light requires more time. If we think back, however, we can find moments when it showed itself and trust that we will see it again.

Like the sun, our light is the energy that connects us to the movements of the universe and the cycles of life and is present at all times, whether we feel its glow or not.

With love & light,


P.S. I discovered that Spell Check acknowledges "Eeyore". Perhaps that would cheer him up!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Self Worth

In these very difficult times of unemployment, underemployment, foreclosures, and financial crises, it is not uncommon for us to suffer from a failed perception of our individual self worth.

Our worth is not a product of our intelligence, our talent, our looks, our homes, or how much we have accomplished. Though much of who and what we are changes as we journey through life, our inherent worth remains constant.

While the term self-worth is often used interchangeably with self-esteem, the two qualities are inherently different. Self-esteem is the measure of how we feel about ourselves at a given moment in time.

Our worth, however, is not a product of our intelligence, our talent, our looks, our worldly goods, how much we have accomplished. Rather it is an immeasurable and unchanging manifestation of our eternal and infinite oneness with the universe.

It represents the cornerstone of the dual foundations of optimism and self-belief.

Our worth can neither be taken from us nor damaged by life’s rigors, yet it can easily be forgotten or actively ignored.

By regularly acknowledging our self-worth, we can ensure that we never forget what an important, beloved, and special part of the universe we are. We are born worthy.

Our worth is intertwined with our very existence. Therefore, our concept of our own self-worth is reinforced by our actions. Each time we endeavor to appreciate ourselves, we need to treat ourselves kindly.

We need to define our personal boundaries, be proactive in seeing that our needs are met, and broaden our horizons. It is then that we recognize our innate value.

During those periods when we lose sight of our worth, we will likely feel mired in depression, insecurity, and a lack of confidence. Often we will pursue a counterfeit worth based on judgment rather than the beauty that resides within us.

However, when we feel worthy, we accept ourselves without hesitation.

It is our worth as individuals that is simultaneously interconnected with all living beings that allows us to be happy, confident, and motivated.

Once we embrace the fact that our worth is not based upon the fulfillment of expectations, we can begin to see our mistakes and failures as just another part of life’s journey.

Human beings are very much like drops of water in an endless ocean.

Our worth comes from our role as distinct individuals as well as our role as an integral part of something larger than ourselves.

Simply awakening to this concept can help us to rediscover the copious and awe-inspiring worth within each and every one of us.

With love and light,


Saturday, August 13, 2011

On a Clear Day, We Can See Forever.

I sometimes wonder if we want to see forever.

I've spent these past few weeks finalizing the details of my first book, working toward closing an important real estate deal, and drowning in worry about my own future as well as that of my household.

I emailed briefly with a friend who is at her beach house on Cape Cod and noted that, while the skies there were clear and the moon was bright, there was quite a bit of rain here in Mount Pocono.

I replied that we had some heavy rain and uproarious thunder, but that subsided and the tree frogs were singing away in promise of a beautiful day ahead and a fine summer morning.

Moments later the rain began to pour down again.

Life is often like this.

When we refer to a "beautiful day," we are often describing a day that is sunny, clear, and without a cloud in sight to mar a sky that is brilliant, bright, clear, and blue.

We find ourselves bouncing along, light in spirit, free from worries, and enjoying the moment. That is, until the clouds begin to form.

The sky may turn grey, or a fog may roll in. Puffs of white take on whimsical, darker shades, and our beautiful day disappears along with the sunshine ... or so it seems.

In the same way, we may be enjoying a beautiful day in life until some bad news rolls our way, or until a distressing realization crosses our path.

A clear blue sky often inspires in us good cheer, bringing on a lighter, more carefree day, allowing our troubles and worries to lay by the wayside while we enjoy our moment in nature's glory as we find ourselves spending time outdoors, breathing in the fresh air, and basking in the warmth of the sun.

However, once our clouds appear, be they in our skies or in our minds, their shadows may lead us to allow them to decrease our energy and enthusiasm, pulling us into our own cloudy funk.

We all have difficult and trying times in our lives, and sometimes our future seems bleak and dark.

However, the reality is that darker days are just as much a part of life as are the days graced with sunshine. They show us a different perspective of our world, while helping us appreciate the moments of illumination that inevitably follow. Therefore we should never allow our dark and gloomy thoughts, or whatever lies in wait for us, to rob us of the moment we have.

A rainy day with clouds helps to clear the air and washes away stagnation.

Still, it's hard not to feel gloomy or think that the day has been ruined when there are clouds hanging over us.

However, when we acknowledge that these shades of grey won't last forever, and that hidden behind the clouds is the blue sky, we realize that the beauty of our life is merely playing a game of hide and go seek with us.

In the same manner that the trials and tribulations which occasionally block the brilliance that is our own lives from shining through, clouds eventually clear away so we can open up to a brighter horizon.

So, the next time we wake to a cloudy day or have our sunny day turn dark, we need to remember that these shades of grey in life are there just for the moment and that the sun burns them away. Our own light burns these away as well.

No matter how hard the rain falls or how dense and damp the fog is, it will all soon go away, the sun will break through, and we will be able to see the sky that has always and forever will be a beautiful and brilliant blue.

Interestingly enough, as I completed this the rain has ceased and the tree frogs have resumed their love song.


With love & blues skies of light,


Saturday, July 9, 2011

The State of Panic & Worry

Worry is an extension of fear and can also set us up for attracting situations which we do not want in our lives.

We have all had the experience of worrying about something at some point in our lives.

Some of us have a habitual tendency to worry, and most of us have known someone who is a chronic worrier.

Worry is an extension of fear and can be a very draining experience.

In order for worry to exist, we have to believe that something bad might happen.

That translates to a lack of faith.

Typically, what we worry about is something that has not yet occurred, and we focus our energy upon that rather than focusing on the positivity which lives within us.

Therefore, what we worry about is simply, in effect and by definition, a useless fantasy which deteriorates our future.

However, it is a fear which we can conquer.

Once we embrace this reality, we can understand that worry is in and of itself a self-created state of needless fear and panic.

Still, most of us do worry, and that is not entirely without merit.

One reason we worry is because we feel as though we are not in control of our life or the situations we find ourselves in.

For example, we might worry about a loved one travelling in bad weather. There is nothing we can do to guarantee their safe passage, but we worry until we know they have reached their destination unharmed.

This travel could be a road trip home or a journey through life with illness.

In such an instance, our worry is an attempt to feel useful and in control.

In a case like this, worrying does nothing to ensure a positive outcome and it has an unpleasant effect on our body, mind, and spirit.

However, there is a positive spin to place on this.

We can transform this kind of worry so that it has a healing effect.

Just as worry uses the imagination, so does the antidote use the worry.

When we find ourselves in such a state of panic or worry, we need to envision the best possible outcome rather than the worst outcome.

We can prayerfully envision our loved ones’ path in life bathed in white light and clearly see in our mind’s eye their safe arrival.

We can envision angels or guides watching over them as they make their way to their destination.

We can generate positive energy, peace, and well-being inside of ourselves and send that peaceful faith into our universe rather than nervousness and unease.

Once we acknowledge that we are worried and that taking positive action is the best solution, we can confront the situation at hand within our power to change it, we no longer have any reason to worry.

With love, light, and peace-filled relaxation,


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Marriage Equality

New York has just passed their Marriage Equality Act.

I'm not certain exactly what the terms are or the title is, but I do believe that it is important that we continue with the term "Marriage Equality" and not "Gay Marriage", and that we do not cease until the Federal Government enacts this into law just as we did for interracial marriages in 1967.

However, the intention of this blog and my writings is not to be political, but rather to be reflective and prayerful.

I have many friends in New York who have expressed their desire to marry.

I'm thankful, and tearful, that they have this opportunity to stand before God.

I'm sad for my friends in other states where this is not recognized, but to those I remind you ... God sees you, recognizes you, and loves you deeply, so those of us who are in committed relationships are in the same position as those of us who can marry.

Relationships and marriage requires a lot of commitment and a lot of work.

Throughout the course of a successful marriage or long-term commitment, the two people in the relationship may shift in and out of various roles.

For example, one person within the couple may need to support the other person going back to school, shifting careers, or enduring a hardship, be it physical, emotional, or financial.

In order to do this, he or she steps into a supporting role, setting aside certain goals or aspirations in order to provide a stable base from which his or her partner can launch in a new direction.

There are many gifts of learning inherent in this role—from having the opportunity to embody a nurturing stance to feeling the pleasure of seeing a loved one thrive.

When our partner expands his or her horizons, our vision also expands and we become enlightened with a view to a world that would otherwise would remain obscured from our vision.

However, there is a possibility that we may be the one stepping outside our own parameters; perhaps taking time to attend to our personal healing, spiritual pursuits, or other interests or needs.

In order to maintain balance within our relationships, it’s important that we address these issues each time one person steps into a supporting role so the other can try something new.

When we are conscious and acknowledge that one person is bearing a bit more of a burden so that the other can grow, we stand a better chance of making sure the ebb and flow in the relationship remains fair and equal.

The most important part of this process is open communication in which each of us has the opportunity to share our feelings and express our concerns as we come to understand and embrace the roles that which we know and agree to live in order for our relationship -- our Marriage -- to begin and grow.

Marriages require work.

Work means change.

Each time a dynamic shift occurs, a ceremony of acknowledgment can lend an air of distinction to the moment, and these are the times that we need to sit with our partner to celebrate or resolve.

This can be a simple dinner date or an elaborate ritual, depending upon what works best for us at the time.

The key here is intimacy and communication.

Perhaps the most important thing is expressing gratitude to the person in our supporting role and encouragement to him or her moving in a new direction along with us.

It is important that we understand that we are not alone, but also that our spouse understands fully that he or she is not alone and that we stand before God in that promise.

This is what Marriage Equality is all about, so get ready Guys & Dolls.

When the flow of emotion and communication is open, we invite a garden of growth in which each of us provides the air and opportunity for the other to embrace the absolute and truly unconditional love we offer.

We are all feeling a sense of joy and celebration, however, with this accomplishment comes a great responsibility which we must uphold.

Those of us who choose to marry must understand the laws, implications, and responsibilities of such a statement.

We need to stand tall in affirmation and faith, and commit to a lifetime together with our partners.

We need to show the world a new path; a path of celebrating every day; living life to the fullest, building familiesand raising children who see the world without bigotry, hatred or malice.

Most importantly, we have the opportunity to show the world in which we live that we have the Unconditional Love of God within us and that we are worthy and capable of sharing this with the world today as well as instituting it in our children for the future of Creation

With love, light & pride,


Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Life Can Be Overwhelming.

No matter how brave, strong, or levelheaded we are, sometimes we all become frightened, afraid, and uncertain of ourselves and our future.

Life can take us on a roller coaster ride full of highs and lows and twists and turns. Even for those of us who typically enjoy unexpected thrills and challenges, it’s frightening to suddenly find ourselves heading for a deep plunge. Yet, it happens to all of us, and on many different levels.

It is during these moments that it is imperative that we recognize the fact that we are not alone in our life's experiences. No matter how brave, strong, or levelheaded we are, sometimes, we all become afraid and feel lost, alone, and desperate.

Our fears may revolve around our physical safety, particularly if we are not feeling well, living under difficult circumstances, or doing work that exposes us to hazardous conditions. Or, we may be experiencing financial woes that are causing us to be fearful about making ends meet and living day by day, not knowing if we can continue to support our life.

We may also fear the loss of a loved one who is suffering from an illness, or we may be fearful that we might never have someone special to spend our life with.

We may be intimidated to to start at a new school or class, begin a different job or career, move to a new town or state, or approach any change in life.
Whatever our fears are, they are valid, and we need to accept them, approach them, and confront them.

However, we do not need to feel ashamed or embarrassed that we are, at times, afraid. We need to share that with those around us who love and care for us.
We are a community and a family.

It may be comforting to know that everyone becomes frightened, scared, panicked ... and in the words of a great friend -- "That's Okay".
Sometimes just acknowledging our fears is enough to make us feel better.

Now, while it sometimes takes a lot more to ease our mind, we can console ourselves with the knowledge that life can be scary at times, but it can be worse and it does get better once we allow it to.

Giving ourselves permission to be frightened, intimidated or scared allows us the opportunity to move through beyond our fears so we can let them go. It also allows us to share our fears with others, therefor sharing another story of the building block of our lives and perhaps providing mortar for a fellow life to be built with strength and courage.
Sharing our apprehensions with other people does not make us appear weak or less in strength or character. Sharing our realities and fears can make our fears less overwhelming because we are not letting them grow inside of us as pent up emotions.

Sharing our fears and realities allows us to lighten our burdens because we are not carrying our worries all by ourselves.

Remember that we are not alone.

With love, light, and a shoulder to bear your burden,


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dropping Into Still Waters

The Ripple Effect.

I sat for a little while and stared at our pond today. The waterfalls were stopped in order that the fish could feed, and there was a clear reflection to the skies above.

Thunder rolled in the distance and soon a few drops of rain began to fall, one at a time. One by one they rippled in the pond and were quite fascinating and beautiful. However, one ripple interrupted another as the rain increased and soon no ripples could be seen independently.

I know that each drop of rain carries oxygen with it which serves the pond and her inhabitants well, but soon the reflection was gone as was the beauty of a single ripple.

In a world of over six billion people, it's easy to believe that the only way to initiate profound transformation is to take extreme action, such as the increasingly heavy rainfall. Each of us, however, carries within us the capacity to change the world, and our own lives, in small ways for better or worse.

Everything we do and think affects our own selves and our situations, both present and future, as well as the people in our lives around us. In turn, their reactions affect others and the ripple effect continues.

As the effect of a seemingly insignificant word, emotion, or reaction passes from person to person, its impact grows and can become a source of great joy, inspiration, anxiety, or pain.

Therefore, we need to be fully aware of our actions and reactions, specifically those which are negative. When we speak of doom and gloom and when we react negatively to the situations in our lives, it affects those around us and our negativity returns to us.

Our thoughts and actions are like raindrops or stones dropped into still waters, causing ripples to spread and expand as they move outward. The impact we have on the world is greater than we could ever imagine. The choices we make and the words we speak can have far-reaching consequences. far more than we can imagine.

However, we can use the ripple effect to make a positive difference and spread waves of kindness that will wash over the world as well as return to us.

Should the opportunity arise, the recipient of a good deed or thought will likely feel compelled to do a good deed for someone else or send a positive thought forward. On the opposite, someone feeling the effects of negative energy will be more likely to pass on that negative energy. One act of charity, one thoughtful deed, or even one positive expressions is likely to pass from individual to individual, snowballing until it becomes a group movement or the ray of hope that can perhaps even save someone's life.

Every transformation, just like every ripple, has a point of origin, be it a raindrop from above or a stone tossed by one of us. We must believe in the reality of each raindrop which carries oxygen as well as our ability to to toss a stone and be that point of origin if we want to use the ripples we create to spread goodness, knowing that the ripple returns to us.

When we consider the effects of our expressions and actions, and when we act with the graciousness which has been granted us as much as possible, we create a positive effect in the world which can only continue to move and affect, and this is the effect we have for our own lives and situations.

A smile directed at a stranger, a compliment given to a friend, an attitude of laughter, or a thoughtful gesture can send ripples that spread among our loved ones and associates, out into our communities, and finally throughout the world.

We have the power to touch the lives of everyone we come into contact with, including ourselves, and everyone those people come into contact with.

The momentum of our influence will grow as our ripples move onward and outward. One of those ripples could become a tidal wave of love, kindness, and change for the better.

With a stone of love dropping into your still waters,


Friday, June 10, 2011

What Lies Beneath

We Lash Out.

Theses are difficult times and we often feel lost, alone, and angry.

It is human nature to sometimes lash out at others during moments of frustration, but we can learn to navigate our feelings without losing our center.

Each one of us has experienced situations where we have found ourselves lashing out at someone without meaning to. We later berate ourselves for losing control and feel guilty for treating the other person badly.

While it is human nature that our emotions and moods will get the better of us from time to time, we can learn to navigate our feelings and negotiate difficult situations without losing our center.

Often, when we lash out, it is because we are having a difficult time containing the emotions that are coming up inside of us. We may be feeling overwhelmed, afraid, frustrated, stressed out, or angry.

Having these feelings boiling up inside of us can be very uncomfortable, and it is natural to want to release them. However, when we release our feelings from our body by directing them outward and toward someone else, they inevitably impact the “innocent bystander” to whom we are directing this energy.

They not only receive the brunt of our anger, frustration, or stress, but also they can actually experience this energy as a physical force hitting their bodies.

When we find ourselves in a situation where we are about to lash out at the person in front of us, we need to try to center yourselves -- perhaps by breathing slowly and deeply and in prayer.

A few moments in reflective prayer, listening to God, can help us to be rid of our feelings before they escape us and become a part of our world.

Once we are able to sit and find yourselves in a more reflective state, we can take a moment to recall the feelings in our bodies just before and during our outburst.

We can note where we feel sensations coming up in wihin us and we can ask ourselves if they are connected to any core issue or experience from our lives.

If nothing comes to mind, we can then revisit the situation, exaggerating the details of what happened by indulging in outlandish “what if” fantasies.

Exaggerating events after the fact can help expose the unconscious subtext behind your heated response. Understanding the motivation behind our reactions can help us to avoid lashing out again when a similar situation comes up.

In learning to navigate around our emotions, we are giving ourselves the tools needed in order to become better the next time our emotions begin to boil.

In doing so, we can take care of ourselves by alleviating your own uncomfortable feelings while respecting and protecting those around us and those whom we love and care for.

With love, light, balance, and a sense for stability,


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Evolving From Within

Life can be very challenging.

I just spent most of my day listening to a friend and colleague tell me the story of his life over the past five years, which he kept hidden from all.

Why do we hide our story?

We each have a story to share, and we all have our trials and tribulations, be they major or minor.

I've suffered a period of mounting financial concerns, upsetting business conflicts, an uncertain future, as well as a pinched nerve in my shoulder which even prednisone does not seem to heal.

What I've uncovered is that, in my mind, there is only one true healing, and that comes from within.

I've also discovered that ignoring the pain in my shoulder, and focusing upon positive energy, seems to work better than the medication.

Change Yourself First.

These are extremely challenging times, and we know not where we will be in life at any given moment. The world calls out for improvement and, more often than not, we are ready and willing to offer advice for how things could be done better, place blame on others who were before us, or admonish those who serve us now. More often, rather than not, this means us ... ourselves. We hold the blame for whatever life hands us.

This is not to say that we are at blame for our hardships, but rather it is to say that we are accountable for standing up against our adversities and refusing to lay ourselves down in its path.

It is our duty to pull ourselves through.

Now, each of us possesses the power to effect a positive shift in energy within ourselves and within those around us. Just as purification of the soul leads to purification of the world, change within leads to change without.

Conflicts can be resolved without words. Peace lives awake within us and awaits our beckoned call.

The key is changing ourselves and freeing our minds and our spirits. When someone or something bothers us, it helps to begin by asking ourselves if we also possess that negative quality or if we are allowing ourselves to be overly affected by it.

We only have control over our own selves, but our influence reaches much farther than you can ever realize. A positive change on our individual part often leads to positive change around us.

When I respond negatively to my situation in life, that has an effect upon my partner, who is typically bright and positive. Once my negativity effects him, it reverts back to me and only serves to feed my own negative feelings.

When I respond to him in a positive manner, there is a fuel of love of life and an energy which cannot be extinguished.

This is what God wants for us. We are called to celebrate life and to deny negativity.

We are called to embrace each and every moment and to seek the beauty of the world given to us, not that of which we've created, and this is what we are called to inspire in others,in those around us who we either know or don't know, but who we love as sisters and brothers in life. This is why friends from long ago may call upon us when in need for prayer and support, and we can make a difference ... we can effect a change.

This seemingly passive inspiration of change not only stems from our example to others, it may also change our behavior or we may simply to adopt a change in perspective.

However, in doing so, we set into motion a series of positive consequences that, bring balance.

The more we grow in virtue and the more centered we become, the more we perceive virtue and centeredness and the more we project it outward, enacting that ripple theory in our pond of life.

We hold the ability to effect positive change within ourselves and within each and every person with whom we enact.

As we act in ways beneficial to ourselves and others, so do we inspire others to do so in similar fashion. And, when we have achieved control over our minds and souls, we can no longer be negatively affected by anything outside of ourselves.

When we wish others to change, criticism and condemnation often fail.

Recognizing that none of us is perfect and that we all need to change can be the best way of overcoming conflict.

In Aikido it is said, "Change yourself first, before looking to change your opponent, and in the process, you might find that your opponent has changed himself."

Actions, good thoughts, and positive energy speak louder than judgmental words and are the most powerful tools we can use when working toward a better world.

With love & light, and a prayer for peaceful balance within and out,


Monday, May 23, 2011

A Serious Note on the Failure of The Rapture

Today we emerged from this weekend with a little bit of a "Rapture Hangover".

Many, if not most of us, of us have spent a good portion of this weekend reading emails and facebook posts, as well as viewing media clips and comedy routines with regard
to the prediction of the Rapture this past Saturday evening and its subsequent failure.

All around New York, and other cities across the globe, there were "Rapture Parties" mocking the preaching of Harold Camping.

In Times Square, believers and skeptics gathered in the afternoon to await the End of Days at 6:00 pm. The believers read their Bibles and the skeptics dressed in funny outfits
and taunted the believers at the end of a New Year's Eve-like countdown when they discovered they were misled by a false prophet.

What to Do Next

Today there are thousands of people around the world who woke up for a second time feeling confused and let-down.

Harold Camping promised them the end of the world, but all that was actually finished on Saturday was the last shred of credibility for Mr. Camping as a serious Bible teacher.
Now his followers, many of whom trust Jesus but have been misled by the End Times teaching of Family Radio, will be feeling hurt and bewildered. Lots of them will be
struggling with emotions of shame and embarrassment and many may even believe they have been abandoned by a God who would let this situation happen to them.

Far too many of them have quit their jobs, removed their children from school, donated their life savings to Family Radio, and lost their homes.

These people will all need jobs, homes, money, and a sense of self respect as well as acceptance back into community.

What all these people need is grace and mercy.

They need to know that God is much bigger than Harold Camping and that he is also much bigger then any of their own individual or corporate failures. He is waiting to heal
and restore those who have been wounded and broken by these events, and we need to be the agents of that healing and restoration.

The first thing we can do is pray.

A website called RaptureFail is calling all people to stop for a minute at 6pm, wherever you are in the world, and lift all these people to God.

Ask for God’s mercy, grace and love to be given to those who believed in this false teaching and ask for His Holy Spirit to come into their lives and show them the truth about
a God who has dealt with our mistakes by laying the punishment for us on His Son Jesus.

Let’s pray for the real supernatural activity of God. Not a false prophecy of Rapture and Armageddon, but a true proclamation of forgiveness and restoration.

In particular, let's pray for God’s mercy on Harold Camping. Mr. Camping has misrepresented God and His purposes and has led many astray.

God, however, is in the business of taking the worst of sinners and using them for his glory.

Though Mr. Camping is an aged man, there is still time for him to realize the error of his ways and repent of his false teaching. Even tonight he will be hosting a new episode of
“Open Forum” on Family Radio where this all began.

Let’s all pray that he uses this opportunity to repent and express his regret.

Please take a minute out of your day at 6pm tonight and every evening this week, wherever you are in the world, and ask for God to move in the lives of those affected by these events.

With love & light for all,

(with appreciation to RaptureFail for their sincere efforts in this)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Letting Our Voice Be Heard

I attended a Church Workshop recently in which we worked on sharing our stories.

As chair of the Evangelism Leadership Team in my parish, we have done lots of work over the past several years on doing just this.

In these difficult times we need to share our stories with one another and stand together.

This is what we're called to do and this is the the way we support one another and survive ... unity, compassion, understanding, love & support.

We need to stand together and support one another in faith & love. This is done through sharing our life stories and opening up ourselves to one another.

We each have a story to tell, and most of our stories have to do with our faith.

It might be a story of how our faith affects our lives, or how our lives affect our faith. Either way, faith is an integral part of our life's stories.

Sharing our own story can provide an outlet which can help purge any frustration, anxiety, or long-dormant feelings.

Everyone, at one time or another, has wanted to express his or her story.

Writing a memoir to read privately, share with family or friends, or publish publicly is an emotionally satisfying way to gain perspective on our experiences and to share our unique voice.

We've all experienced feelings and events in our lives that we long to document.

While in my process to ordination, I wrote my own Spiritual Autobiography, and I find it very helpful to return to it as I navigate the waters of my life.

Giving into the urge to journal our lives can also provide an outlet which can help purge any frustration, anxiety, or long-dormant feelings.

No one else has to read it.

We might even want to write our story without reading it afterward and put it away to read in the future. Satisfying the need to tell our story is not predicated upon our writing ability. It does, however take effort to write down the truth in detail.

Our memories, captured on paper as descriptive scenes, sights, sounds, and scents, may at first seem disconnected or incomplete. However, rest assured that we possess the ability to shape our recollections into stories which we can share with others to help build lives of faith and fellowship.

Writing our story, however, is different from writing a journal.

On the one hand, writing a journal is a private and personal matter.

On the other, everyone wants to be heard and know that we matter and that our life story can possibly make a difference.

Reading our story to others meets the human need to be heard. Writing our story helps validate our life.

We all want to know that what we have to say matters.

Once we finish writing, we might even be surprised at what we have accomplished.

Our story can encompass as much or as little of our life as we prefer or as in needed to be told for a purpose.

We might even be surprised with what we learn about ourselves as we prepare this story to share.

There are new insights, ways of finding ourselves, exploring our roots, our identity, and our future through our words.

There is an amazing peace and balance which comes from reviewing our lives and sharing our stories.

There is a peace which ensues.

We need to allow our writing to guide us and write as truthfully as possible.

We can't worry about what others will think of our personal journey, our style of writing, or our words.

Research has shown that writing a narrative filled with feelings and perceptions can create long-term health benefits.

As we write, we need to remember to express compassion and understanding toward ourselves, particularly when writing about traumatic events.

If you are a young person, you can add to your life story as you grow older.

If you are an older person, you can do the same as well as add memories as your story telling will encourage and enhance that.

Your writing may even help family members know you better or understand themselves more.

Most importantly, in writing our personal story, we express ourselves in a permanent way, giving a gift not only to our future selves, but to the world by letting our voice be heard.

With love, light & volume,


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Anxiety About Change

In these trying times, we know not what life will offer us with regard to change.

My life changes every day, and I regret that I will never have the life which I've longed for, but I am blessed for the life that I have.

My life has changed, and I accept that. I wished, hoped and prayed for better, but I embrace the life I have with all of its realities and challenges and changes.

Change will occur in almost every aspect of our lives.

We can learn to embrace change while releasing the past with grace.

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

We may not even notice that we have braced ourselves against a shift until we recognize the anxiety, mood swings, or general worried feeling toward the unknown that usually results.

However, there are positive ways to move through change without pushing it away, or attempting to deny that change is happening.

Since change will occur in almost every aspect of our lives, we can learn to make our response to it an affirmative one of anticipation, welcoming the new while releasing the past with grace.

One thing we can do is change our perspective by changing the labels we use to identify our feelings.

We can reinterpret feelings of anxiety as the anxious butterflies in our bellies that come with eager expectation.

That nervous feeling, called "butterflies" also tells us something ... butterflies are signs of change and new life ... transformation.

With this transformation, we begin to look for the good that is on its way to us.

Though we may only be able to imagine the possibilities, when we acknowledge that good is there for us to find, we focus our energy on joyful anticipation and bring it into our experience while allowing the feelings to carry us forward.

We can also choose to do a ceremony to allow our emotions to process.

Every culture has created ceremonies to help people make the transition from one phase of life to the next.

We can always create a ceremony too, perhaps by burning written thoughts to watch the smoke carry them away, thereby releasing them, writing our transgressions onto the shoreline, or placing our intentions on parchment to be planted beneath flowers or trees.

Some ceremonial activities such as a farewell send-off or housewarming party, we may do automatically.

Society also has built-in ceremonies, like graduations and weddings, which may satisfy the need we feel.

Sometimes the shift from denial to acceptance is all that is needed to ease our anxiety, allowing us to bring our memories with us as we move through nervousness to joyful excitement about the good to come.

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 tend to think that if God loves us we will experience that love in the form of positive circumstances.

However, we are like children, and God is our wise Mother who knows what our souls need in order to thrive better than we do.

God is as much as a Mother as God is a Father ... there is no difference or separation.

Just as a young child does not benefit from getting everything that child wants, we also 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 things are hard, it helps us bear the difficult time with grace.

We are suffering through very difficult times.

Our world is changing every day, and we are each experiencing change in income, family, and society.

This period of time in history is full of difficulty for a lot of us, and we may feel less alone knowing we are not being singled out.

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

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

Once again ... "This Too Shall pass."

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

At the same time, when we truly feel that nothing is going right for us, it’s never a bad idea to examine our life and see if there are some changes we can make to alleviate some of the difficulty.

Gently and compassionately exploring the areas giving you the most trouble may reveal things you are holding onto and need to release: unprocessed emotions, unresolved transitions, or negative ways of looking at 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.

With love & embracing care,


Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Newness of Spring


I love Snoopy. He is generally happy with life, he is a dreamer, and he cares about others.

Even when he is annoyed, his discontent only lasts until his senses are enlivened by something that makes him smile and his happiness is resurrected.

Look at how pleased and content Woodstock is.

Look at the way Snoopy sees and tends to Woodstock in the above cartoon, and how content Woodstock is knowing that Snoopy has provided a flower for his nest as he rests.

Isn't that what we strive to do?

We deliver daffodils, tulips, lilies and candies in hopes of externalizing the magic of the Season.

We share the celebration of the arrival of Spring and all of the newness and renewal it offers to us.

Now, I may be jumping ahead a little bit here for someone who lives in the Northeast of Pennsylvania. We've enjoyed a few scattered days of 70F at the top of the mountain, yet we are still facing the probability of a dusting of snow and impending frost.

Spring doesn't really "happen" here until June, when most others are embracing Summer.

However, when Spring does make her earthly appearance, it is when when the earth is enticed by lengthening days and warmer temperatures and she begins to awaken from her Winter slumber.

She stretches open and reaches forth to receive the rain that gives drink to flower buds and seedlings. She takes a deep breath, and on her exhale the leaves on trees unfurl like tiny flags heralding her revival as baby animals tumble forth, trumpeting the good news to all who will listen.

Rebirth and repopulation fill the void of winter with flurry and fury as what appeared to be gone forever comes into being once again.

Even though it happens this way every year, we stand in awe, our insides trembling sweetly like the legs of a new foal as we too are reborn.

Does this not seem to happen overnight?

Aren't we also called to awaken from our Winter slumber, stretch forth and receive what those around us have to offer in order for us to be nurtured and grow?

Aren't we also called to allow the warmth of the Season to melt away our ice and snow in order to replenish and supplement others?

Spring is when we fall in love again, speak without thinking, say "yes" to things we would normally refuse. However, all in a good way.

It becomes more difficult to say "no" when the whole world around us appears to be an astounding affirmation of the resilience, richness, and plain, perfect beauty of life.

We may find ourselves feeling several years younger and 10 pounds lighter without having changed a thing. We may feel the urge to cleanse our bodies with a new pattern of eating, clearing our cupboards of cold-weather comfort foods and filling them instead with lighter fare and fresh fruits and vegetables. We may clear our closets of old clothes or cut our hair to express a new facet of who we are, and who we might become.

Springtime inspires us to believe that, along with the earth, we too can change, releasing the past, and giving birth to new ideas, new prospects, new friendships, and new perspectives.

In honor of Spring, we could make a list of the many possibilities we envision for the future and plant it in the earth, surrendering the fertile seeds of our imaginations to the nurturing soil. In tune with the season, we can then watch in wonder as the last of the snow dissolves into the rich brown earth, and stark winter gives way to green possibility.

We might take a sheet of paper, compose our dreams, desires and prayers upon it, and bury it beneath a new annual plant before we embed it to the earth, knowing that for as long as earth permits, that plant will blossom and bloom along with our prayers.

As the last vestiges of Winter depart, all of nature enters into a lively and animated state of renewal.

In the Springtime, Earth’s life energy is awakened from dormancy, and the cycle of life begins anew.

We have the ability to sense this change taking place even before the seasonal flora around us blooms before our eyes. It is natural, therefore, that during Spring many of us begin to feel the urge to clear away the clutter that has accumulated while we've enjoyed being sequestered in our Winter nests.

Now is the time to let the fresh breezes cleanse the energy in our homes.

Interestingly, it is near the same temperature that in Autumn we shutter up and light a fire for warmth, that is Spring we open our windows and invite that same temperature air inside to enliven us.

Spring cleaning is traditionally a way to welcome a new season—one in which we open our doors and windows to let visitors and the sunshine in.

It is also a way to remove stagnant energy from our homes in order to prepare our personal space for the positive, verdant energy of Spring and Summer.

As we sweep away the dust and clutter that has blocked the flow of energy in our homes, we inevitably sweep away some of the issues that may have been blocking us in our lives.

Intention is important, so before cleaning, we might ask ourselves what needs to be cleansed, what can be discarded, and how we can make our homes a reflection of our best selves.

Also, we need to ask how what we cleanse and discard will allow us to reflect not only upon ourselves, but how we can shine forth in brilliance upon the world around us.

Then, we gather our tools and supplies around us, and we begin the cleaning process, much as we do when we work toward brightening, polishing, and shining up the world around us.

Once we've begun Spring Cleaning, we may find that with each piece of clutter we discard and each item that we clean, we begin to feel increasingly energized.

Divesting ourselves of unnecessary possessions can help us to regain clarity of mind while cleaning our windows can help us not only to refocus our vision, but allow others to see us more clearly.

As we clean, we invite healing and vital energy not only into our homes and our hearts, but also into the homes and hearts of all those with whom we know or meet.

Wishing you a brilliant Spring with sunshine surrounding you for all to see,


Monday, April 11, 2011

Stuck in the Mud

Staying in Depression

Depression comes and goes, and returns.

It is one of the most unavoidable aspects of our lives, yet we somehow embrace it and invite it into our lives once it rears its ugly head.

We try hard to release ourselves from its grasp. but sometimes it's as though we are stuck in the mud, or the quicksand, of depression.

It is when we become stuck in our depression that our own lives become detrimental to our well-being and development.

Depression comes and it goes, ebbs and flows ... just as the ocean. However, it is merely one component to the cycle of life.

Once we understand and embrace that reality, depression can actually serve as a teacher.

It is when we allow ourselves to become trapped by or get stuck in our depression that it becomes detrimental to our well-being and development.

If we notice that we feel closed-off, resentful, heavy-hearted, or that we try very hard to avoid being hurt again, or lose again, there may be a part of us that is still stuck in depression, often shutting ourselves off and staying away from the loving embrace of our friends and partners in life. Perhaps even giving up on faith and hope.

We can become trapped by depression for many reasons.

As children, it was natural for us to cry, throw a tantrum, and allow the experience to move through us. By fully feeling our pain in this way, our emotions would wash us clean, leaving us open and available to new experiences.

As with the ocean, the salty water of our tears would cleanse us.

However, with age we might determine that expressing emotion is no longer appropriate. So we develop a variety of coping strategies to deal with our discomfort.

We may teach ourselves to pack away our feelings down or to run away from them.

Perhaps we begin to believe that tightening up our shells and staying closed and unwilling to try new things will keep us safe from heartbreak, clear of rejection, and free from failure.

We might even become so accustomed to pain, rejection, and failure that the thought of being without it scares us.

However, if we continue to hold onto our issues longer than necessary, we are expending a lot of energy that could instead be channeled into making our life experiences more positive.

It is when we notice that we are continually connecting with the same familiar patterns of pain that we need to consider embracing our feelings and letting go of our hurt.

Whether our pain is from childhood or from an experience last week or today, whether it is loss of health, loss of income, or loss of home -- or fear of such a loss, we need to give the situation and experience room to move. Once it does, we can then connect with the source of our vital energy, the spirit that exists within us and can lead us through our darkness and into the life we are meant to love in, laugh in, and live in.

With love & light,


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Baby Steps

I have a sign on my desk. It reads "Baby Steps".

Its purpose is to remind me that life if to taken one step at a time.

When we walk through the woods, or across a river or stream, we look for little stepping stones to assure us of sure footing and safe passage.

Sometimes these stepping stones are close together.

Sometimes we need to make a rather large stride to reach the next stepping stone.

This is also true of our day to day life.

Our lives are made of stepping stones, one experience after another in perfect and divine order.

The years of our life do not arrive all at once, they greet us day by day.

With the descent of each setting sun, we are able to rest our heads and allow the world to take care of itself for a while.

Although we worry, we may rest assured throughout the night, knowing that the dawn will bring with it a chance to meet our lives anew, donning fresh perspectives and dream-inspired hopes and ambitions.

Within the hours that follow, before we return to sleep once more, there exists time for us to decide how we want to live and learn, laugh and grow, and love once again.

Our lives are sweeter and more manageable for each day we live and love, because we must experience them this way ... one day at a time ... Baby Steps.

Imagine the future stretching out before us and try to notice any tension or feeling of being overwhelmed at the prospect of the journey still to come.

Perhaps we have recently made a lifestyle change, like beginning a new diet or retiring an old habit, beginning a new career or ending a life-long one, embarking upon a new romance or losing the one we love.

The very idea of this new reality can seem daunting.

Maybe we have started a new job, have embarked upon a new relationship, or uprooted our life and moved to a new community far away from our comfort zone.

In one manner or another, we feel an undercurrent of anxiety about our ability to succeed and we worry about our existence and our future.

This is not what is meant for us.

When we shift our focus from what may happen years down the line and return our focus to the day that is before us right now, we may find a measure of calmness and renewed confidence in our abilities.

We may also discover an inner faith that the future will take care of itself.

The way that we show up for our lives today and tomorrow has an enormous affect on who we will be and what we will be experiencing years from now.

My partner has taught me that if we remain fully engaged in the day at hand, enjoying all it has to offer and putting our energy into making the most of it, we will find that we are perfectly ready and able to handle anything the future holds in store for us once it arrives.

There exists a balance in our day to day life which we often fail to see.

Wake each morning with a smile and embrace the opportunities and the challenges ahead.

Give thanks for the new day and life itself.

Embrace nature and what it has to offer, be it a bright and sunny day, or one complete with snow or rain or wind.

We have one life to live. Live it!

With love & light,


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Make & Take Time To Play

Taking A Snow Day.

After a very long Winter of record snowfalls, with more snow falling daily, and grey skies, Spring has finally come to Mount Pocono.

One week ago, we had reached the temperature of 74 F for one day.

Monday was the first full day of Spring.

We were greeted with 8 inches of snow and grey skies again.

Today, two days later, we have over 12 additional inches of snow and await the sleet and ice that nature will deliver over the evening.

At this time of year, we anticipate beautiful Spring mornings with bright skies and birds singing, wishing away the Winter.

When we awoke this morning, there was a beautiful, soft snowfall. The ground was covered once again in soft whiteness and the trees were blanketed with the same beautiful comfort of nature.

It was the perfect day to sleep in late with the curtains open, gazing upon this beautiful gift of snow that so many others have complained about.

For us, it was as though God gave us one last beautiful day of Winter.

We never know when our last day will be, or if we will see the season which is ebbing away again. So, we take each day, and each type of weather, as a gift of nature.

With so much to do all the time in our lives, it can be difficult to find time to simply breathe, think, and explore our landscapes, be they out of doors or within us.

However, it is possible to feed our souls and to briefly separate ourselves from life's frenetic pace by taking a "Snow Day".

Personal Snow Days are best taken when we feel as though we are running on empty with no chance of respite in sight or when we begin to resent the life we once loved because of illness, depression, or stress.

Our Snow Day can go a long way toward dispelling built up stress, provided we give ourselves full permission to indulge in nurturing activities.

It is not a day to worry about what we've missing, what is lingering on our to do list, or fret about the future which inevitably lies ahead of us. Rather, it is a day to accept the opportunity to give ourselves a break from our responsibilities in order that we may return to them in full alertness and awareness. Today's Snow Day, here in the Northeast, was a gift from God.

One last chance to appreciate the beauty of Winter and take a day for ourselves.

One last chance to be trapped inside with our loved ones and reinvest in ourselves.

Not everyone lives in a region where snow falls to the levels we enjoy here.

However, we can create a "Snow Day" whenever our inner spirit tells us we need one, and no matter where we live. I used to refer to these as "me days". Days that I would tend to myself and enjoy the company and fun times with those I love.

Now, through the beauty of God's nature, I prefer the term "Snow Day" as it reminds me of when I was a child and my Mom would leave a large note on the dresser reading "No School Today; Snow Day!" allowing us to sleep in and wake on our own time.

Once we schedule our snow day, we need to to commit to ignoring our chores, not tending to issues at our place of work, and doing only the activities we enjoy, while giving thanks for the opportunity God has granted us. Relax, take a nap in the afternoon, play with pets or children, meditate, pray, work in the garden, watch a film or read a novel.

Take a long walk in the fading afternoon sunshine and then cook a special dinner.

Our Snow Day should be as languid and as lazy as we need it to be.

If necessary, we can prepare for our Snow Day by having whatever we think we will want or need ahead of time.

Clean up or pay the bills the day before the planned Snow Day so that work is not at hand. Disconnect from the telephone and internet. If possible, turn off all electricity.

Once our Snow Day is over, we have a memory to hold on to and reflect upon when needed. We can harvest the joy and peacefulness we felt whenever we need it and keep it close to our hearts.

Understanding that we are a society that values overtime and hard work, we deserve a Snow Day every now and then.

So, the next time that we wake to discover that Nature dropped a foot or more of snow when we hoped for warm and sunny weather, take into consideration that God might have something else in mind for us.

And for those of us in warmer regions ... use your imagination.

Live every season, every day, every moment, as though it's the last.

Wishing you days of snow & love,


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Otto's Run

Learning from Water

Off to the side of our home, is a bridge that leads over the railroad tracks onto a road which is bordered by deep woods.

When we first moved here, over two decades ago, the bridge was closed and there was no traffic on that road. The bridge has since opened, but the traffic remains very light.

We would walk back into the woods for miles, but only a few miles away is a large stream named "Indian Run", where Frank & I used to go for an escape with a packed lunch.

It is also where I used to take our first dog, Otto, for walks to relax after a good day of work, or to recoup after a bad day. We refer to it as "Otto's Run" as we seem to be the only people to visit there and Otto loved to play in the water.

Today, I took our dog Fritz for his first visit to "Otto's Run".

This beautiful stream just seems to wash everything away. The roadway can neither be seen nor heard from it, the walk there is fresh and never tread upon, and the tranquil privacy is particularly peaceful.

There is something about the sound of water that draws us to it. This stream can be heard from the road as it call out, yet the road cannot be heard from the stream.

There is something about water that drowns out the busy-ness of life and washes away all of our worries.

The journey of water as it flows upon the earth can be a mirror of our own paths through life.

Water begins its residence on earth as it falls from the sky or melts from ice and streams down a mountain into a stream.

We come into the world and begin our lives on earth the same way. Like a river that flows within the confines of its banks, we are born with certain defining characteristics that govern our identity.

We are born in a specific time and place, within a specific family, and with certain gifts and challenges. Within these parameters, we move through life, encountering many twists, turns, and obstacles along the way just as a river flows through twisting banks and over rocks and fallen limbs.

Water is a great teacher that shows us how to move through the world with grace, ease, determination, and humility.

When a river breaks at a waterfall, it gains energy and moves on to seek a level at which it comes to rest in a tranquil sea.

In our lives we encounter our own waterfalls. We may fall hard but we always keep moving on, seeking our own level and eager to rest in stillness.

Water can inspire us to not become rigid with fear or cling to what’s familiar.

Water is peaceful.

Water takes the course that nature deals it, goes along its path, and does not waste time clinging to its past, but flows onward without looking back.

Water is brave.

When there is a hole to be filled, water does not run away from it in fear of the dark. But rather, water humbly and bravely fills the empty space.

In the same way, we can use our energy to pass the obstacle in out paths, and we can face the dark moments of our lives rather than run away from them.

Eventually, a river will empty into the sea. Water does not hold back from joining with a larger body, nor does it fear a loss of identity or control.

It gracefully and humbly tumbles into the vastness by contributing its energy and merging without resistance, leaving only cleansing results behind.

When we are able to move beyond our individual egos and become part of something bigger, when we utilize our energy to mute the sound of the traffic going by, when we work to seek our peaceful stillness, that is when we will find our place and we can glisten in the light.

With love & light,