Love!

Love!

“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” The Buddha, Spiritual teacher and founder of Buddhism I hope that those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving did so with love, joy, and gratitude. So many blessings to acknowledge and embrace. I’m curious what stood out for you? What was the most surprising or amazing revelation that happened? I woke up with Tina Turner’s song playing in my head, “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” Perhaps it’s the time of life but for me I realized in a deeper way how love is at the center of everything – beyond romantic love. It’s been a time for re-prioritizing what’s important to me. I cherish and value my family, friendships and relationships more. Many years ago while meditating I heard, “Love is the greatest transformer of all!” And in that knowing I’ve come to feel it in deeper and more meaningful ways. This was the first time in three years that we’ve celebrated Thanksgiving together. Each of us has changed. Life circumstances changed for some in significant ways. We offered prayers of gratitude for our gathering and meal. We included blessings and prayers for those who couldn’t be with us. We laughed and enjoyed a wonderful meal with each other. I realized, once again, that we all are a part of the whole. Our essence is LOVE regardless of our beliefs and differences. Sharing this meal that was created with love we touched and appreciated each other. Differences were forgotten. Gratitude and...
An Attitude of Gratitude!

An Attitude of Gratitude!

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” Eckhart Tolle, Spiritual teacher and author How are you? I hope you aren’t stressing about the Thanksgiving holiday and any gatherings you might be planning. Take a deep breath! Maybe take a few of them until any anxiety or worry settles! For many of you this may be the first time you’re celebrating a holiday with family and friends. And for some of you it may be old news. In the past, we have always hosted Thanksgiving. With Covid that changed. Holidays can feel stressful for a variety of reasons whether you are hosting a gathering or not. In light of this I’ve been asking, “What’s the most important thing about this Thanksgiving holiday?” For me, it’s a perfect time to reflect, remember, and acknowledge the many blessings and abundance in my life! How about you? Many people have expressed concerns about rising food costs and in some cases lack of availability of some food favorites. Rather than dwell on what’s not available let’s focus on what is available. Perhaps it means offering some different dishes on our menus but let’s remember what’s important! Is it the food or the gathering of friends, family, and community? Of course the meal is comforting in its tradition and bounty; however, it’s the people who participate as you celebrate health, relationships, kindness, and love. The foundation of your abundant life becomes front and center. What if this year’s celebration is viewed through a new lens – a lens of gratitude, abundance, and love? Let go of...
Write Your Own Story!

Write Your Own Story!

“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.” Rumi, Persian poet, Islamic scholar and Sufi mystic What’s your story? How often do you feel warm and gooey about who you are? How often do you find yourself competing with or comparing yourself with someone else? How does it make you feel? Do you feel stuck or are you thriving? Are you unfolding your own myth as Rumi suggests or living someone else’s story? Take a few minutes and reflect on your life. Hindsight is wonderful isn’t it? I’ve looked back on my life and I understand that who I am is a result of choices I’ve made and experiences that I’ve had. Who I am today and becoming more of is also my choice! I don’t know about you but when I look back I don’t recognize me. It seems like a lifetime ago and I suppose it is. I know, now, that I’m unfolding my own myth consciously! In the past, especially in my professional life, I found that in order to be considered ‘successful’ I had to wear certain clothes and meet others’ expectations. The corporate environment I worked in supported a philosophy that ‘all glory is fleeting and what have you done for me lately!’ Comparing and competing was a way of life. I didn’t think about writing my own story then. I went along with what was viewed as acceptable in order to be viewed as ‘successful’. I began to see and experience things differently when my awakening journey began. Today I’m different. I accept that we are...
Open Your Heart!

Open Your Heart!

“Open your eyes to the beauty around you. Open your mind to the wonders of life. Open your heart to those who love you and always be true to yourself.” Maya Angelou, American poet and civil rights activist Hold onto your hats this week! Not only is Election Day on Tuesday, November 8th (please vote if you haven’t), but the final lunar eclipse of 2022 will take place in the early morning hours! Whew! Lots of change and chaotic energies will be swirling around. More than ever please practice good self care. With the Blood Moon resulting in the lunar eclipse you might feel like you’re in emotional overdrive. Problems and emotions that you’ve been avoiding may surface. This is a great week to practice introspection and reflection. What is it that you’re ready to let go of so that new opportunities have room to enter? Maya Angelou reminds us to open our eyes, minds, and hearts so that we can be true to ourselves. Beauty, wonder, love, and leaning into the magic of change and chaos can help navigate this emotional time. HH the Dalai Lama has said, “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow. Today is the right day to LOVE, BELIEVE, DO, and mostly LIVE.” We are reminded to live in the present moment for that is all there is. Yes, our past experiences have helped to shape who we have chosen to be. Our future has yet to be created. Today, our choice is what will determine what our...
Listen to Your Soul!

Listen to Your Soul!

“I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my soul.” Rumi, Persian poet, Islamic scholar, and Sufi mystic I, too, have been a seeker and still am as are many of you! I find what I’ve been seeking resides deep within me, my soul! For many years I searched for answers and guidance through reading books, attending church, going to theology school, meditating, praying, and exploring a variety of non-traditional healing methods. When my journey began I didn’t consciously know what I was seeking. I felt a yearning deep within me for something I couldn’t name. As the years have passed I now understand that this journey never ends. It is ever evolving. I’ve come to know and experience deep feelings of unconditional love, inner peace, joy, wonder, magic, beauty, and surprise! I’m someone who likes to know what’s going to happen and how! I guess you might say that I like to be in charge! I’m laughing now because I realize that the only thing I’m in charge of is me, my choices, and how I respond to the choices that others make. I’m learning to have more trust in myself and the process of awakening on this journey home. All of my choices and experiences, some more pleasant than others, have helped me to become more of who I am now and becoming more of! Although there is so much good and beauty in our world, there is also turmoil, uncertainty, and chaos. I remind myself that chaos precedes and...
You Are Enough!

You Are Enough!

“You have been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving yourself and see what happens.” Louise Hay, American author and founder of Hay House How do you feel when someone says, “You really look good or I love how you’re helping others or You are really patient with someone who is suffering?” There are many other personal compliments you can remember, I’m sure. Do you naturally accept the compliment with grace or do you try to minimize it? I love Louise Hay’s comment and wonder how many of you try to minimize compliments? I know that I have in the past. In fact, recently someone gave me a beautiful compliment and my first thought was to pick it apart! Weird, huh? I immediately recognized what I was doing and told that inner voice of doubt to be quiet! Then I took a deep breath, shook my head, and said, “Thank you!” Whew! It’s a reminder to be ever vigilant because our thoughts create things! I’m so done with self-doubt! Are you? Another way to replace the voice of self-doubt is to spend a few moments with positive reinforcing intentions. Take a few deep cleansing breaths and bring your awareness to your heart space. Imagine your eternal flame of love burning bright. Now create your positive intentions. For example, I deserve to be happy, I deserve to be loved, I deserve abundance in my life, I deserve a loving family and relationships, I deserve to be supported, I deserve to have fun, I deserve to be surrounded by beauty, I deserve to be accepted, I deserve to be...
An Expression of Gratitude!

An Expression of Gratitude!

“Keeping your body healthy is an expression of gratitude to the whole cosmos-the trees, the clouds, everything.” Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk I’m learning not to take my good health for granted! Every morning I express my gratitude for being mobile, clear of mind, happy, and overall healthy. Why is it important to me? Over the past 5 years I’ve experienced loss of family and friends to illness, injury, dementia and Alzheimer’s. I’m sure that many of you have as well. For many years I took my good health for granted. Some of you might think that I even abused it at times. Now, I apologize to my body for any mistreatment and thank it for still serving me well! Yes, I talk to my body! Doesn’t everyone? I’ve become more consciously aware of my body and as my awakening journey has deepened I have created a more conscious relationship with it. I understand that it is the home of my precious eternal essence which I call soul and keeping it healthy for as long as my journey on earth continues is important. It’s a choice each one of us is invited to make. The journey of maintaining good health is a holistic one in my opinion. It includes having a healthy mind, body, and spirit! If the focus is only physical then imagine how negative thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs can impact your body. What added stress is created consciously or unconsciously on your physical body and how does it affect your health? Canadian professional ice hockey player, Maxime Lagace, has said, “The more you understand yourself, the...
Joy is a Choice!

Joy is a Choice!

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” Omar Khayyam, Persian polymath and poet What does joy mean to you? I remember in the past asking a dear friend, “Why don’t I feel joy?” Hmmm. At the time I felt like it had to be an overwhelming and exhilarating feeling. I remember feeling happy but not feeling ‘bliss’ except when I meditated and an overwhelming feeling of unconditional love consumed me. It brought tears to my eyes. This is what I felt joy was. I felt happy a lot but to feel ‘joy’ meant to feel ‘bliss’ to me.  Does this mean that being happy and feeling joy are different? Some people think they’re the same. Most agree that they’re both emotions. They make you feel good! Others believe that joy is an inner feeling and happiness is stimulated from something outside of yourself! I laugh at myself sometimes because I want to figure things out and in the end I realize I can overcomplicate things. Does this happen to you?  Why am I bringing this up right now? I feel that the complexities of daily living and making daily choices can be overwhelming. How do we take care of ourselves; keep  our families safe and healthy; help others and still flourish and grow when there is so much happening globally that is out of our control? We feel a wide range of emotions and it can be overwhelming. It takes a great deal of inner strength to maintain balance and seek the inner calm within you when you are navigating the chaos that comes with a...
Being You Takes Courage!

Being You Takes Courage!

“It’s your road and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.” Rumi, Persian poet, Islamic scholar, and Sufi mystic Have you been following the destruction that hurricane Ian has caused along the East coast? My heart goes out to those who have suffered so much loss. It brings back memories of being evacuated for 3 days due to a fire in the Oakland Hills in 1991. Over 2800 homes were lost, 437 condominium and apartments were lost. At least 25 people lost their lives. The hurricane damage and loss is proving to be more severe and it’s unknown the toll that will be taken. This is true of so many natural disasters, isn’t it? So why am I sharing this? Although our home didn’t burn due to a late wind change we didn’t know for 3 days. I was amazed at the courage that so many people had choosing to rebuild after so much loss.  During this time we were able to walk a different journey with some of our neighbors – a journey of rebuilding. We see this happen when volunteers and communities rally after natural disasters. It reminds me of our own journey of spiritual awakening and remembering – a journey that’s uniquely ours. A journey that others may walk with us but can’t walk for us! For many this spiritual re-awakening may feel like a burning down or total destruction of old ways of being. Old habits, beliefs, perceptions and attitudes no longer fit. It takes courage to be willing to change and embrace you and who you...
A Way of Being!

A Way of Being!

“Compassion. It’s not just a word. It’s a way of being. It’s not just a concept. It’s love in action.” Jeff Brown, Author and teacher Can you imagine yourself as love in action? I like that image and believe that we are love at our core. No problem, then, right? Why, then, is it easier at times to lean more into self-judgment than be compassionate with oneself? Why is it easier to help someone than help ourself? Does it have something to do with feeling worthy of receiving even if it’s from ourself? Hmmm. What does it mean to be compassionate? Can you recall the times you have wanted to help someone who was suffering and you wanted to make things easier for them? Feelings of kindness, sympathy, and empathy emerged when you understood what they were going through. This is an example of being compassionate. Does this sound familiar? Being love in action is a more conscious way of living. Recently, I had an experience where I would have loved to feel compassion about a situation and the people involved first. Instead, I felt resistance and then self-judgment. I admitted to myself that I’m not being love in action 100% of the time. It took some self-reflection, conversation, and acceptance of myself and others before I shifted. Persian poet, Islamic scholar, and Sufi mystic, Rumi, has said “In this earth, in this soil, in this pure field let’s not plant any seed other than seeds of compassion and love.” I agree. Seeds of resistance, judgment, and criticism will not grow a beautiful garden. I don’t want to imagine...
Love Life!

Love Life!

“Be in love with your life. Every minute of it.” Jack Kerouac, American novelist and poet Have you ever found yourself dreading to get out of bed and start another day? There are times in my life that I have! As I’ve become more aware I find that this doesn’t happen any longer. Why? I know that I can create my day however I want it to be. I can look forward to experiencing every moment or I can complain about what’s not working. In fact, it’s my choice. Don’t get me wrong, looking back, there are things I think I would do differently. Then I remind myself that I’m who I am today because of my past experiences. NOW, this moment, is what’s important! “Why not love my life every moment?” I ask. It’s up to me to change it if I don’t. I can’t say that enough. It’s up to me to change it! American memoirist, poet, and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou, has said “Success is loving life and daring to live it.” Hmmm. Daring to live life. That’s an amazing concept. Yes, as I reflect on living life I can see where it takes courage to really live it. Why? Fear of changing and fear of the unknown can create a lot of resistance to change. Remaining with the status quo often is perceived as a safer choice; however, personal growth can be limited. Imagine waking up each morning and giving thanks for at least one thing in your life? Perhaps you also ask for courage to live the day to the fullest, being the...
Changing Myself!

Changing Myself!

“Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise so I am changing myself.” Rumi, Persian poet, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic Rumi reminds us that change begins within each one of us before change outside of us happens. I’ve been thinking about change and transitions with the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. I realize that life is a story of transitions always moving from one thing to another. Life is dynamic and never static even during the times we may feel stuck! How often have you experienced transitions in your life? Think about how you’ve changed while growing up from childhood to adulthood; your academic and professional experiences; relationships and beliefs. I know that there have been significant transitions in my life as I reflect and look back. The full moon visible on September 10th is another symbol of change. This moon is known as the Harvest Moon since it is the closest to the Autumnal Equinox this year. It represents a time when farmers know when the harvest season begins. For the spiritually minded it represents igniting hopes, dreams, living more consciously, and thinking out of the box. Its energy also offers an opportunity to embrace new possibilities! It’s an invitation to ask without limiting a response, “What’s possible? What am I willing to change in me?” The Greek philosopher, Socrates, has said “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”  How often does resistance play a part when we’re faced with stepping into new situations? I...
I’m Responsible!

I’m Responsible!

“Being responsible is an enormous privilege . . . It’s what marks anyone a fully grown human.” Barack Obama, 44th President of the U.S. Hmmm. I’ve never thought of being responsible as a privilege before. Have you? I’ve been reflecting on this. Usually I find myself feeling overly responsible. I’m the oldest of 4 children and for me feeling responsible began at an early age. Additional responsibilities followed throughout my parenting and professional life. Just like many of you. There have been times that I didn’t want to be the responsible one! Sound familiar? The more that I’ve looked at being responsible through a different lens I can embrace it as a privilege. Why? Because it’s all about having the freedom to make choices! And we have that, don’t we? Freedom to be responsible and make choices as well as be accountable for the choices we make is being fully grown as former President Barack Obama has said!  For me, having the freedom to choose is more important than giving my power to choose away to someone else even though I might feel like it would be easier at times. I know it’s not true. We have the ability to create the life we want to live! Living somewhere that I’m told what to do would be awful! American political figure, diplomat, and activist, Eleanor Roosevelt, has said “In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” So, I’m willing to look at being responsible in a more positive...
Choose Joy!

Choose Joy!

“Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.” Joseph Campbell, American writer Do you remember what feeling joy is like? Sometimes I don’t! I find that I remember when I’m centered in my heart space focused on receiving love. It’s a conscious choice and not automatic. I also remember when I spend time with my granddaughter who recently turned 1! She’s so fearless and seems to be a fantastic example of being in the moment. Her curiosity, sense of wonder, and laughter, sink deeply within my soul! I’m reminded that living in joy is a choice and it’s my responsibility to choose the life that I want to live. Will I focus on what’s broken and negative or focus on what’s working and positive? My soul resonates with what’s working and positive. How do you feel? There’s something about the innocence of a child that speaks to my inner child and I love letting her come out and play! When I do, everything feels lighter and brighter. I smile more and find that I feel more hopeful! Are there people or children in your life that make you smile and make you feel like you want to play? If not, perhaps think of someone or a child who has touched your life and made you feel happy and through your experience with them you felt joy. Author, Kurt Chambers, has said “The innocence of children is what makes them stand out as a shining example to the rest of the world.” Remember how free...
I Am Hopeful!

I Am Hopeful!

“Choose to be optimistic. It feels better.” Dalai Lama, Spiritual leader I agree, it does feel better to be optimistic about life rather than pessimistic or waiting for ‘the next shoe to drop’ as the saying goes. Some of you may think I’m naïve but I like to look on the bright side. I know that many of you do too. Don’t get me wrong. I have my moments of feeling heavy and dense energies. I also have moments when I wonder how things can get better when there are such extreme points of view in the world today. I find if I dwell on what isn’t working or make up stories about why I feel so heavy, down, and distracted, I can quickly go down the rabbit hole. Fortunately I have tools to use and an awareness when these feelings happen. I actually feel a difference in my body. How about you?  I realize that feeling optimistic is a choice that can be made. Fueling the inner flames of hope is so important to remaining an active participant in life. American self-help author and motivational speaker, Wayne W. Dyer, has said “What is hope but a feeling of optimism, a thought that says things will improve, it won’t always be bleak [and] there’s a way to rise above the present circumstances.” In the moment, the way to rise above the present circumstances may not be revealed; however, when hope and optimism are embraced you know that things can improve. Remember that when you feel like you’re going down a rabbit hole gather your toolbox. Look for the tools...
I Love Myself Enough!

I Love Myself Enough!

“What you think you become. What you feel you attract. What you imagine you create. Buddha, Spiritual teacher and founder of Buddhism Many of you are still feeling intense energies from the final super moon of 2022! There have been moments of release and illumination. In addition, heightened emotions, a strong desire to learn more about yourself, and a desire to change may still feel overwhelming. So, take a few deep breaths to ground and center yourself. This is temporary! Remember how powerful your thoughts, feelings and imagination are during this time as the Buddha reminds us. Many of you may feel that changes have to be made right away. Before significant life changes are made my hope is that you love yourself enough to wait until clarity comes however long it takes! Good self-care is important right now. Often when the desire to change feels so overwhelming we tend to look at where we live and work and who we love. If this is true for you right now please be patient with yourself. I encourage you to take your time and be clear about the kind of personal and professional relationships you want to create. Finding yourself, first, is the most important relationship to explore! American author, journalist and ghostwriter, Neil Strauss, has said that “Perhaps the biggest mistake I made in the past was that I believed love was about finding the right person. In reality, love is about becoming the right person. Don’t look for the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Become the person you want to spend the...
I’m Personally Responsible!

I’m Personally Responsible!

“Maturity includes the recognition that no one is going to see anything in us that we don’t see in ourselves. Stop waiting for a producer. Produce yourself.” Marianne Williamson, American author, spiritual leader, and political activist Many of you are feeling pretty intense energies right now. If you’ve been feeling anxious, restless, second guessing or overthinking don’t worry. These can be side effects of how intense these energies are. What’s going on? August 8th, Monday, is the activation of what is called the Lions Gate! Since the full moon appeared at the end of July preparation began to support the Gate activation. A cosmic alignment of the Sun in Leo, the star Sirius, Orien’s Belt constellation, and planet Earth have moved toward alignment.  While the universal energies of 2022 have emphasized harmony, balance, love, and family, the Lions Gate activation energies open possibilities for more change, passion, abundance, and transformation! It is said that DNA is affected and higher frequencies of consciousness are being downloaded along with codes of awakening. It’s time to reclaim any power that’s been given to others and recognize who we are and the power within us. We are now the guru, so to speak, who find answers within. Author and spiritual mentor, Aletheia Luna, has said that, “Self-responsibility is true wisdom; it is knowing that the only person you are accountable for is yourself.” It’s up to each one of us to create the life we want to live! Are you ready to more consciously acknowledge your divine nature – LOVE – and embrace the shining light within you while expressing love, kindness, and compassion...
Success is Individual and Unique!

Success is Individual and Unique!

“Stop comparing your blooper reel to everyone else’s highlight reels.” Lyn Christian, Coach, speaker, author and founder of SoulSalt, Inc. What does success mean to you? I’ve been reflecting on this lately since there seems to be so much light shown emphasizing the number of people who are focused on retaining power, acquiring wealth, and putting others down – ‘succeeding at any cost.’ I know this isn’t true for many of you but it has made me more aware of my own beliefs and how they’ve evolved through the years. I love Lyn Christian’s suggestion of not comparing our bloopers to someone else’s highlights. Really, it’s an unfair comparison isn’t it? How often do we do this to ourselves? I know I have and it only makes me feel worse. How about you? Looking back I remember my time spent in corporate America. I remember the culture and role models as well as the environment. Perhaps things have changed but then the  focus was on setting goals, objectives, achieving results and what have you done for me lately? Another common theme was ‘all glory is fleeting’. There weren’t many women in leadership roles then and I found I defined success by the results, recognition and awards I personally received as well as those of the team I represented. Profits, increased revenues, and reduced expenses were the focus. In today’s political environment we see a culture that supports winning at all cost. Is this your definition of success? I ask myself, “Where are truth, integrity, kindness, understanding, compromise, and compassion? Can’t they play a part in being successful?” I’ve evolved...
I Have Faith!

I Have Faith!

“There is no love without hope, no hope without love, and neither love nor hope without faith.” Saint Augustine, Theologian and philosopher  How are you? I hope you’re finding ways to stay cool! Climate change seems to be front and center all over the world with record breaking heatwaves right now. It seems that climate issues and solutions have become another way to create division among our politicians. I’ve found myself reflecting on the light that is shining brightly on everything that seems to be broken in our world. At times it feels overwhelming and I’m reminded that in order for change to occur what’s broken must first be revealed. What prevents solutions from being created to move forward? I wonder if the fear of losing power, prestige, and wealth play a part. How often does this kind of fear prevent each one of us from changing and moving forward? I take a deep a breath and focus on my heart space – the space where I feel the deep well of love within me. It’s here that love moves through me and the spark of hope ignites. I have faith that there are solutions to be found individually and for the world. I ask myself, “What’s mine to do?” I recognize that what’s being revealed is bigger than me! American poet and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou, has said that, “It is this belief in a power larger than myself and other than myself which allows me to venture into the unknown and even the unknowable.” This requires being willing to take a leap of faith, trust ourselves...
Being You Takes Courage!

It Takes Courage to Let Go!

“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” Brene Brown, Research professor and author Letting go of things that no longer serve you has been a pretty consistent theme this year especially as we experience intense lunar energies. For those of you who are sensitive to these energies we’ve just experienced another full moon and one that’s considered to be a super moon! How have you been feeling? Perhaps more emotional, tired, and out of balance? Have you felt that feeling safe, wanting comfort and security was important? These lunar energies have highlighted the desire to align with your goals and trust your instincts/intuition more. And yet, rest and reflection are the keys to help you move forward and be aligned. What does this have to do with being courageous and letting go? For me, the journey of spiritual awakening has offered so many opportunities for inner reflection and opportunities to ‘let go’ of old habits, beliefs, and perceptions. Through the years I’ve chosen to ‘let go’ of many layers of old stuff that had served its’ purpose. What I thought I knew is no longer true. I realize the more I travel this path the more I don’t know and although it was very unsettling in the beginning it no longer is. I’m learning to accept and lean more into the unknown and feel ok with it. Letting go of my old habits and ways of believing took trust and courage to be willing to be seen and heard; and to   leave behind what was known and comfortable. I have found that the more I...
Give and Receive More Love!

Give and Receive More Love!

“The more you are motivated by love, the more fearless and free your action will be.” Dalai Lama, Tibetan Spiritual Leader For many years I’ve believed that LOVE is the greatest transformer of all. LOVE is the core of who we are and part of our spiritual awakening is to remember! For the past couple of days a couple of musical tunes spontaneously kept playing in my mind. One was ‘What the World Needs Now is Love’ and the other was the Beatles’ song ‘Love is All There Is’. So, in spite of what’s been happening in the world I re-centered and reflected on LOVE. It’s so easy to lose sight of who we are and our deep desire, often unconscious, to receive love and give our love to others. How different would the world be if choices were motivated by love rather than power, greed, or fear?  Jamaican musician and philanthropist, Ziggy Marley, has said, “Love is cheering and sharing and compassion and giving and receiving. Love is an action thing more than a word thing, that brings comfort or joy or relief to anyone or anything.” Imagine a world that you co-create that is filled with cheering, sharing, being compassionate, giving and receiving love. Perhaps this is the world you live in already. Great! I like to think that the world I live in is pretty amazing and wonderful! As my reflection deepened I realized that I’m not always consciously aware of the impact my words and actions have on others. Have I brought comfort or joy to people? I know that sometimes I have but I...
Be Free Where You Are!

Be Free Where You Are!

“Stand for what’s right. Make your life meaningful.” Maxime Legace, Canadian professional ice hockey player We are living in historic times! Freedoms that have been taken for granted for decades are now changing. Regardless of personal beliefs many find this chilling while others are elated. When I think about voting rights and healthcare choices I find it ironic that these changes are happening as the 4th of July approaches – a day that symbolizes independence and freedom – the day that the Declaration of Independence was signed. Since then rights and freedoms have been clarified and expanded especially for women and minorities. In light of recent changes I’ve reflected on ‘choice’. “Do I really have a choice?” I wondered. After experiencing feelings of anger, sadness, grief, and fear I said, “Yes, of course I do. It’s up to me, now, how I respond to what’s right for me. That’s what I can control!” Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk has said, “Freedom is not given to us by anyone; we have to cultivate it ourselves. It is a daily practice . . . No one can prevent you from being aware of each step you take or each breath in and breath out.” This is how we, as a country, gained our independence. Almost 250 years ago a choice was made to be free and create a democracy. Each one of us makes numerous choices everyday. What happens when available choices change? We see people choose to express themselves through public peaceful protests, writing, speaking, volunteering, entering public service, and voting for example. Regardless of how we choose to...
I Choose to Thrive!

I Choose to Thrive!

“With the right mindset, you can survive; thrive and grow . . . Even in the midst of turbulence and change.” Tony Dovale, Spanish professional footballer I want to thank Charles for his timely and relevant articles for the last two weeks while I was out of town.  The past week has brought unsettling news from the Supreme Court for many people in the country and I thought about Charles’ article “Take a Side”.  I realize how easy it is to slide into taking sides when emotions are triggered. I found myself expressing my own passionate point of view to my husband and realized that I could spiral into a very negative place of depression and despair or choose how I respond to what’s happening in a more positive and constructive way. I could become more of an observer and witness instead. I found myself thinking, “I’m a survivor!” In reality I’m more than a survivor and how I choose to respond to any circumstance determines my experience. So, I chose to focus on what I can control. I found that I felt more neutral rather than so emotionally triggered. I agree with American poet and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou, who said, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” I choose to thrive as I have throughout my life allowing for the highs and lows but always choosing to create more positive experiences and choices within my control. It’s during these emotionally charged times that it’s helpful to dust...
Deep Dive

Deep Dive

The other day I happened to read a couple of articles on the environment and the economy.  I suppose the headlines did their trick and got me hooked.  Either way I was in the water up to my neck, seriously considering an even deeper dive with these stories, when I realized I was caught up in a swirling current of fear and worry. It was so shocking to realize how quickly I had moved emotionally from contentment and gratitude; to anxiousness and dread. Even though the only shift in my own reality was reading someone else’s perspective.., I was emotionally triggered and my imagination was running wild with scenarios of doom and gloom. I wish I could say I was able to let it go as quickly as it took over.  But that’s not the way it works for me.  It is more like getting the garden hose out to water plants.  The hose comes out a lot easier when I yank it toward my intended targets, than when I need to recoil it back into its tidy spool. However, it did give me an opportunity to observe how precariously I was holding my sense of stability and security.  Sure there are challenges that we face everyday that seem larger than us and frequently outside of our immediate control.  But it seems our own circumstances and situations need to have and hold more sway over our sense of dominion.  Our sense of who and where we are on this journey called life. As someone who feels like I signed-up to be here at this time, as we move toward...
Take a Side

Take a Side

What a difference a couple of years make.  Especially when they include a worldwide pandemic and the economic and the personal recoveries we’re are all going through. I have been reflecting on everything that is happening around us and have come to the conclusion it is healthier for me to be an observer, than it is to be in the midst of the chaos. For many years I have felt we are on the verge of the next evolution of humanity.  That many of the old systems, structures, philosophies, and ‘go-to’ solutions for how we address or approach a situation are prime for change. Personally I have believed, like many others, that our worldview of duality is destined for change.  The prevailing idea or default view that there is only good or bad, right or wrong, us or them, has been limiting and damaging for way to long. Humanity is complex. Yet most of the time, we are expected to boil down multilayered and multifaceted situations into simple yes/no or for/against decisions in a matter of seconds.  When the truth is there is very little we encounter that is actually “simple”. For me, it seems as if we are at the apex of “choose your side”.  Regardless of the topic or issue.  We are pitted against each other in so many ways.  It feels as if we are in the midst of the last, best effort of ‘duality’ trying to hold onto its position of power over humanity. Instead what I have been trying to do, is to not participate.  To not take a side. Instead to remain open. ...
You Deserve Your Love!

You Deserve Your Love!

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Buddha, Spiritual teacher What do you feel when someone says to you, “Love yourself!” When it comes to love how often do you think of loving others first? Do you save your love for them and then find that your well is too dry when it comes to yourself? Or, is finding the right person the focus of your love? It’s pretty common that people ‘looking for love’ view love more externally. For example, many people believe that if the ‘right person’ is found then happiness is guaranteed. What do you believe? What if you change the lens of how you view love and yourself? What if you switch from looking for the ‘right person’ and become the person you want to spend your life with? This doesn’t mean you won’t be in beautiful, fulfilling, and intimate relationships. You can. American poet and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou, has said that “The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself.” When you look through the lens of love, the love you already are, can you see and accept that you deserve to be loved and deserve your own love and affection? It’s not selfish. So many experiences and traumas from this time and others shape how we view ourselves. When I work with clients it’s pretty common that feeling unworthy or undeserving comes up. I’ve experienced these feelings myself through the years. The more willing you are to change what you believe and let go of old habits and stories helps. If you...
Faith-Hope-Kindness

Faith-Hope-Kindness

“Faith is unseen but felt, faith is strength when we feel we have none, faith is hope when all seems lost.” Catherine Pulsifer, Author The last couple of weeks have been heartbreaking. So many lives lost unnecessarily. Young and elderly. Families, communities, and many in our country grieve the loss of innocence and life. These losses are in addition to lives lost due to Covid, the war in Ukraine, illness, and other tragedies. In addition, this Memorial weekend recognizes the loss of military lives fighting to protect our freedom. I’ve tried to make sense of it all without losing hope. As I’ve reflected on these recent losses in Buffalo and Texas I realize I can’t explain them. What drives someone to take the life of another beyond the construct of war? Still no answer. Rather than dwell on it I asked, “What is mine to do? How can I help? What do I have to be grateful for?” When I changed my focus I began to see more possibilities.  American Baptist minister and activist, Martin Luther King, Jr. has said that “If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.” Yes, I still have a dream as well. I refuse to lose hope for more peace, love, kindness,  acceptance, and unity in our world. We see examples of people coming together to help one another. Offering financial support, food, lodging, friendship, peaceful protests, and being present to listen without judgment...
My Purpose Is . . . !

My Purpose Is . . . !

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” Dalai Lama, Spiritual leader Over 15 years ago, during meditation, I asked, “What’s my purpose? Why am I here?” The answer that I received was, “Love, gratitude, and service.” At the time I was surprised and didn’t really know what it meant. I’ve found that the more self-aware I’ve become I discover and remember deeper levels of understanding. As I reflected on the theme of ‘purpose’ this week these questions that I asked years ago are not unique. Many of you have spent your current lifetime exploring them. Some of you have found answers and others are still diving deep into the mystery of them.  This is true for most of the clients I’ve worked with through the years. I’m sure you’ve heard different answers from spiritual teachers, religious leaders, and friends. What I find fascinating is that the responses from many spiritual teachers vary. Beliefs include: we’re here to be happy; to experience a full range of emotions; to follow our passion; to love and be loved; or we’re here to help others, to name a few. Some people believe that there is only one reason they are here and their lifelong purpose is to figure out why! What do you believe?  As the Dalai Lama has said, “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others.” Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk has said that, “The purpose of the rose is to be the rose. Your purpose is to be yourself. You don’t have to...
Hello, Fearless Guardian of Divine Light!

Hello, Fearless Guardian of Divine Light!

“You are fearless guardian of Divine Light. So come, return to the root of the root of your own soul.” Rumi, Persian poet, Islamic scholar, and Sufi mystic How do you think of yourself? What do you believe? Are you more than your physical body and emotions? Most people think of themselves in physical terms – what can be understood with the 5 senses. What if you were to change your perspective and see yourself as a fearless guardian of Divine Light – a Soul warrior! Isn’t that what we are? We are more than our physical presence. Our soul is eternal and the source of our divinity and light. It is the part of us that connects us with all life and God/Goddess/All That Is, Source! Why not think of ourselves differently? Close your eyes for a moment and imagine how feeling fearless will change how you respond to people, situations and the environment. Hmmmm. Will you make different choices? Do you feel worthy of being more – being the best you that you can be? How often do we ‘buy in’ to what others expect of us? Are you ready to be seen and heard? It’s time, isn’t it? Steve Maraboli, Behavioral scientist, author, and speaker has said, “Don’t let psychological warfare from an advertisement campaign blind you from the truth of your beauty, possibility, worthiness, and purpose.” You are worthy and deserve to live your best life possible! Close your eyes, once again, and bring your awareness to your beautiful heart space and focus on your breath. In and out. Feel yourself relaxing. Imagine your heart...
You Are the Universe!

You Are the Universe!

“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.” Rumi, Persian poet, Islamic scholar and Sufi mystic Recently I’ve enjoyed being on the California coast and had daily opportunities to marvel at the vastness of the ocean and the many faces it wears. Some serene and others stormy and active. I also felt blessed to immerse myself in the beauty surrounding me. Taking in the sounds, smells, colors, breeze, squirrels, and ever shifting cloud formations as well as the many different kinds of birds. Birds flying in formation while others scurried in the surf and still others dove for food buried deep below the waves. So amazing and beautiful. It’s easy to find my happy place and inner peace while I’m here regardless of how many people are around me. Sedona’s majestic red rocks are another place that I feel this way. Do you have a happy place? To me, the ocean is a visual reminder of the universe in ecstatic motion. We are as well. Have you ever experienced yourself in this way? How much of acting small is a result of our external conditioning which leads to deeply ingrained beliefs about who we are and what we can do? Hmmmm. Imagine yourself without the boundaries of your physical body while you’re in your quiet moments and focused deep within your heart space. Imagine you are more than a physical body. You are the universe and the universe is you. Imagine feeling so much joy that it can’t be contained. As Golda Meir, Israeli politician and teacher has said, “Trust yourself. Create the kind of self...
A Way of Being!

Trust Yourself!

“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” Louise L. Hay, Motivational author and founder of Hay House How often do you hear that little inner voice criticizing you? I imagine mine looks like Jiminy Cricket. He represents my negative ego and all of my insecurities! Fortunately he isn’t so dominant or present as much these days. I’ve learned to recognize when he’s present. When I do, I invite him to go on a much needed vacation so that I can replace the critical and negative thoughts with more constructive and positive ones. I’ve found that the more aware I am when this happens I can change my attitude and actions. Have you experienced this? Trusting yourself is so important as your journey of personal growth continues. I find that the more I trust and accept myself others do too. This doesn’t mean that I don’t seek input or insights from others. I do. When I think about the challenges, achievements, experiences, and relationships that I’ve had through the years I feel so grateful. Even though, looking back, I like to think I would change some choices or decisions I made but I’m not sure if that’s true because I wouldn’t be who I am today if I did. Have you ever thought about it? Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk has said, “The whole cosmos has come together to create you. You carry the whole cosmos inside you. That is why, to accept yourself and to love yourself is an expression of gratitude.”  Imagine carrying the whole...
I Am Successful!

I Am Successful!

“What do you think success is?” Asked the boy. “To love,” said the mole. Charlie Mackesy, Author and painter Synchronicity! I love when it happens. I felt that this weeks’ writing would be about success and when I checked my FaceBook postings Charlie Mackesy’s quote appeared. Signs and signals are all around, aren’t they? When I talk to people about being successful usually things like, professional, personal, academic, competitive and financial achievements are expressed. As the mole says, “To love” is success as well. Have you ever thought of being successful in that way?  I wonder how different our world and choices would be if ‘to love’ becomes the measurement of success? Would there be division, hatred, and violence? Would there be deep feelings of separation? I don’t think so. Hmmm. A world filled with more love, kindness, peace, and compassion sounds pretty wonderful, doesn’t it? How would life change when the focus becomes to be more open to receive more love and be more loving? Change begins with each one of us, first, before others around us change. Change happens one person at a time. Alexander Smith, Scottish poet and essayist has said that, “Love is but the discovery of ourselves in others, and the delight in the recognition.” Many people believe that we are like mirrors – what we see in others is what we see in ourselves! Do you see others as successful? What qualities make them successful? If you change your view of what it means to be successful will your perception change?  LOVE is who we are at our very core, I believe. This...
Know Yourself!

Know Yourself!

“I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.” Hafiz, Persian lyric poet Do you realize how individual and unique you are? There is no one else like you is there? Think about it. You have your own experiences, accomplishments, skills, personality, values, likes and dislikes. And yet, deep within you there burns a light that shines so bright others might need to wear sunglasses so that they can interact with you! Wow!! It’s there all of the time and sometimes it shines brighter than others. This is the part of you that is a part of God/Goddess/All That Is – Source. This is the part that connects you to everything – to Oneness. Some call it soul. Others call it essence or life force. This is the eternal part of you! As you navigate the journey of awakening to your true nature please enjoy creating an intimate relationship with this part of you. How beautiful! How do you feel when you receive a compliment? Is it easy to accept or do you play it down? Do you feel worthy of praise or find it very uncomfortable? Often times others see us differently than we see ourselves. Sometimes it can be challenging to reconcile and accept the different perspective; however, Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk has said, “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” In your quiet moments can you reach deep within and accept the beauty that is you? Can you accept you?...
Restore Yourself!

Restore Yourself!

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, poet, and philosopher This is a holy time of year for many religious traditions and a time for reflection and nourishing your soul as well. When was the last time you did something for yourself? Growing up, were you encouraged to be who you are at your core – LOVE? Were you able to explore how to express your creative nature in the world? How often were choices of education, profession, and relationships made to please someone? Have you always put others first, sometimes to the detriment of your health? It took me many years to accept and be who I am and live a life filled with love, gratitude and wanting to help others instead of focusing on the next achievement and professional success. As I live and make choices more consciously I’ve learned to prioritize what’s important to me; create more intimate relationships; ask others for help; be present; and admit there are times I need to chill and restore my energies without feeling guilty! How about you? The Buddha, Religious leader and teacher has said, “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Nurturing and taking care of YOU is important and not selfish! Many of you are the glue that keeps your families together and if your well, so to speak, is depleted then you are unable to help others. You are unable to be present.  If you are celebrating this holy time of year...
Radiate the Light of Love!

Radiate the Light of Love!

“The most important principle of divine philosophy is the oneness of the world of humanity, the unity of mankind, the bond conjoining East and West, the tie of love which blends human hearts.” Abdu’l-Baha, Head of Baha’i Faith, 1892-1921 Many years ago during meditation I asked, “Why am I here?” I heard, “To help people remember!” I shared this with a close friend who asked, “What does it mean?” I thought about it and said, “I don’t know!” Sometime later, during an intensive weekend program, I asked again, “Why am I here?” My answer was LOVE! It took me awhile to connect the dots, as they say! When I looked back on these experiences and through many years of opening to and experiencing an amazing and surprising journey of spiritual awakening and personal growth I came to realize that we are the essence of Love at our core. Love is our divine nature. Love is our eternal self and connection with God/Goddess/All That Is – Source. Love is our bond with humanity whether we understand it consciously or not. Each one of us has a light that shines so bright and it’s eternal. Some call it soul, life force or essence. I call it love! Through the years I’ve learned that I help people remember who they really are – Love! My daily intention is to be the ‘best me I can be and help others’. Remaining open to be more loving, kind, compassionate, understanding, and accepting is key. It’s ok to be vulnerable as well! We aren’t alone. Albert Einstein, Theoretical physicist, said that, “A person experiences life...
Words Matter!

Words Matter!

“The way you speak to others can offer them joy, happiness, self-confidence, hope, trust, and enlightenment.” Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist Monk Have you ever thought about how your words affect others? Each word is imprinted with its’ own frequency or vibration. Can you remember how you felt when you  received harshly spoken words or words of encouragement? Did you feel hurt, angry, or happy? Sometimes harsh words can be received and felt so deep that your soul hurts. Other times positive and affirming words can create feelings of joy, self-confidence and happiness. Words can “tear down” or “build up” someone. For me, there have been times that I’ve regretted something I’ve said harshly; however, I realize that once the words have been said they can’t be unsaid so to speak. Has this ever happened to you? I prefer to encourage and build people up so being more conscious about what I want to say before speaking is important. Today, with so much information available throughout the world there are many examples of negative and positive communication to draw from. I wonder if others regret their spoken words when they seemingly use words to belittle, de-legitimize, or lessen someone. Hmmm. Just like our thoughts create reality, negative words can destroy when used. There is power to destroy or encourage isn’t there? What if someone sees you enjoying time in reflection, contemplation, resting, or reading a book? What if they ask, “Why are you wasting your time and not doing something? How would you feel? Do you feel like you have to justify taking time for yourself and nourishing your...
New Beginnings!

New Beginnings!

“Change can be scary, but you know what’s scarier? Allowing fear to stop you from growing, evolving, and progressing.” Mandy Hale, Author and speaker Happy Spring Equinox!! This wonderful time of year represents new life, hope, new beginnings, renewal, growth, and balance. Spiritually some people believe that this time represents a period of struggle between darkness and light, life and death. I see examples of these things as I look within myself and around the world. Take a few moments and quiet your thoughts, take a few deep breaths, and journey within to your safe and happy place. Are the seeds that you planted in the Fall beginning to sprout, grow and blossom? Are they beautiful? Mine are. I continue to change and evolve and I’m grateful. How about you? Have you released any old habits and fears that you may have been holding? If so, bravo!  Every moment presents an opportunity to change and begin anew. Life is dynamic and change is a constant and integral part. How we choose to participate, resist, and respond shapes our experiences. Socrates a Greek philosopher has said that “The secret of change is to focus all your energy. Not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” What’s happening in the world can be distracting; however, our own inner journey of re-discovery and remembering can be unaffected if we recognize what’s going on. It’s up to each one of us to choose whether we will create and build a new foundation or remain on the old one. In your quiet and introspective time focus on your heart space and draw...
Nourish Your Garden!

Nourish Your Garden!

“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly our whole life would change.” Buddha, Ascetic, religious leader and teacher How are you feeling? There’s so much going on in the world right now. Some people are feeling fatigued, dizzy, achy, and confused due to universal energy shifts and downloads. Others have felt discouraged, angry, and helpless as you have seen senseless suppression, oppression, and violence against humanity. For some of you it may have felt like a big emotional roller coaster ride. You may have felt sympathy, empathy, and compassion for others. You may have been inspired by the resilience and willingness of human beings helping one another! I know that I have. I hope you’re beginning to settle and find your center more easily as the new week begins. Coming back to center using deep breathing focus on your heart space while your thoughts and feelings calm. This is one way that helps me. Imagine, once again, that you are the master gardener of your life! It’s you and you alone that determines what you grow and how you nourish your garden. As you imagine its’ design can you see the miracle of a single flower growing from seed into a beautiful bloom? What color is it? How does it smell? Does it enhance the beauty of your garden? Perhaps it’s a symbol that represents the inner change you are going through. In spite of what’s going on around us in the world we still have control over our inner landscape, beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions. We have the opportunity and ability to ‘weed out’ what...
Courageously Free!

Courageously Free!

Freedom is not given to us by anyone; we have to cultivate it ourselves. It is a daily practice . . . No one can prevent you from being aware of each step you take or each breath in and out.” Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist Monk Being free has been on my mind this week! I’ve thought about freedom that is violently taken away or severely restricted. We see examples of this throughout the world. The freedom I’ve been contemplating is our individual freedom to make choices. It’s an inner freedom as well. Unless there are health restriction we are free to love, breathe, think, smell, hear, believe, and so much more. I agree with Thich Nhat Hanh when he says, “. . . We have to cultivate it ourselves.” To consciously make choices to BE free takes courage at times, doesn’t it? I’ve been thinking about the many opportunities I’ve had throughout my life. Before becoming more consciously awake, as I look back, it seems like I lived life on auto pilot at times. Now, I realize that living and making conscious choices are life giving and enriching. I’ve never thought about how much courage it took me to choose to change my beliefs and to choose to become more loving, compassionate, understanding, accepting and more. Hafiz, Persian lyric poet has said that, “We have come into this exquisite world to experience ever and ever more deeply our divine courage, freedom and light.” Just like peace and happiness, freedom and courage begin within each one of us. Our inner life reflects our outer life in many cases....
Allow Your Light to Shine Brighter!

Allow Your Light to Shine Brighter!

“You have the power to create light in the darkest days.” Shelley Hallmark, Author Have you imagined yourself as a beacon of light? I see within each one of us a beautiful light. Some shine brighter than others at times. Mine was a little dimmer than usual this week. My body has been in chaos and finally I’m recovering! Yaaayy. Then my compassionate heart saw what’s been happening in Ukraine and I cried. So, for a couple of days my light dimmed; however, I know that its’ brightness is up to me! I am responsible for the information I take in, how I interpret it, and the actions I take.  The Greek Philosopher, Aristotle, once said, “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” I’ve been inspired by the Ukrainian people and their spirit. Yes, they are afraid. Who wouldn’t be? Their desire to stand against tyranny and oppression is inspiring. I’m choosing to create more light! As I began to imagine my light shining outward as a lighthouse does to bring ships home, I imagined it shining outward to surround Ukraine and its’ people, then expanding outward to encompass the world. I imagined my light growing brighter and brighter and then I began to see other lighthouses connecting across the world through the grid and anchored in every country. Before I could do this, first, the chaos in my body had to calm and clarity return. Fortunately I have some great resources to call upon! Now, as I write this weeks’ newsletter I feel, more than ever, this is the time for...
Free to BE Abundant!

Free to BE Abundant!

“I know but one freedom and that is freedom of the mind.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery, French writer, poet, and journalist What does being free mean to you? Have you ever imagined what your life might be like with more and more restrictions? I feel fortunate living here in the United States where freedom to make choices has been a significant way of life. Yes, I realize that this can change at any time and life can be more restrictive. I’m also aware that there is suffering and poverty here. There are people who would like to restrict many of our external freedoms like voting and health choices for example. Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s quote reconfirms that freedom of the mind is one freedom that won’t change. What we believe and how we see the world is ours and ours alone. I choose to see the world through the lens of love and abundance! Abundance is more than financial wealth. I look around and see so much beauty; I see loving relationships with family and friends; I have shelter and food; I feel the sunshine on my face; I smell the amazing fragrance of flowers; I hear birds singing; I choose what I believe, write, and speak; I love and know that I’m loved; I’m open and willing to change; and I’m grateful. My life is abundant and I know that many of you feel the same way! Esther Hicks, American inspirational speaker and author reminds us that, “The fastest way to bring more wonderful examples of abundance into your personal experience is to take constant notice of the wonderful things...
Are You Enough for You?

Are You Enough for You?

“The whole cosmos has come together to create you. You carry the whole cosmos inside you. That is why, to accept yourself and to love yourself is an expression of gratitude.” Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist  Happy Valentine’s Day if you celebrate! It’s perfect given that 2022 is a year of relationships, love, and helping others among other things. I wonder why so many of us are so comfortable being critical of ourselves rather than embracing our value and worth! Do you seek validation from others or from yourself? Do you accept and love yourself? When I consider being in relationship with others self love and acceptance are so important! Mandy Hale, Author and speaker reminds us that, “If you don’t see your worth, you’ll always choose people who don’t see it either. When your self esteem rises, your life follows.” So true. As I look back on my own journey of awakening and personal growth I can see the times when I doubted myself and looked for validation and recognition through others,  my work and professional life. It took a long time for me to accept that there was more to me than my work accomplishments. With the help of my husband and sons I learned that they weren’t going to divorce me as I continued to become more self aware and live more consciously.  I didn’t realize that I was afraid I wouldn’t be enough for them and possibly lose their love! Wow, it was an awareness that came after some deep meditation and inner exploration. So worth it! Imagine how amazing you are as you carry...
I Am Spiritually Wealthy!

I Am Spiritually Wealthy!

“When we’re caught in a belief that happiness should take a particular form, we fail to see the opportunities for joy that are right in front of us.” Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist Monk What does being spiritually wealthy mean to you? I often hear, “I want more abundance in my life and am I blocking my ability to receive?” These questions open up a conversation of what abundance and wealth mean. Each person believes and perceives the answers to these questions differently as you might imagine; however, it is helpful to explore these answers for yourself. Some people hold deep beliefs that having more material goods, education, prestigious jobs, large homes, and nice cars are what will bring happiness to them. Thich Nhat Hanh points out that when we believe that being happy looks a certain way then the beauty and joy of everyday life is missed! Does this happen to you? Being spiritually wealthy is so much more than what you might believe. It includes wealth of honesty, integrity, kindness, compassion, understanding, love, relationships, helping others, acceptance, and so much more. This doesn’t mean that material and financial wealth can’t be included. They can! However, it means that the emphasis is centered on the wealth found within you – within your soul! Hmmm. What prevents us from accessing it? O.S. Marden, Author reminds us that, “Prosperity flows only through channels that are wide open to receive it. Doubt, fear and lack of confidence only work to close these channels.” How often do we limit ourselves through our beliefs, habits, insecurities, and perceptions? How often do we ask...
I Am Aware!

I Am Aware!

“Awareness is all about restoring your freedom to choose what you want instead of what your past imposes on you.” Deepak Chopra, Author, speaker, and alternative medicine advocate What does being aware mean to you? How often have you felt like you are moving through life on automatic pilot and then one day you are suddenly aware of who and where you are? Maybe it’s unclear but you are more conscious of your life and choices you are making. Does this make sense? We become self-aware at different times I feel. Some people continue merrily along in that state of auto pilot, so to speak. Deepak Chopra’s comment reminded me that freedom comes with the ability to choose and choose life experiences consciously! Yes, it’s through the choices we make that responsibility, accountability, and consequences arrive. It’s through these choices we create our experiences. How do you feel when I say, “Your past is done! Let go of it! Let go of the ties and in some case the shackles that keep you bound?” Is there any resistance or are you ready to write a new and exciting story for yourself? Abraham Maslow, American psychologist reminds us that, “What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.” It all begins with each one of us, doesn’t it? When we become more aware, willing to change, and make conscious choices we begin our journey of being and feeling free! Of course, the past may not be what influences you. There are other reasons; however, freedom to choose what you want your life to be is...
I Am Life!

I Am Life!

“The whole cosmos has come together to create you. You carry the whole cosmos inside you. That is why, to accept yourself and to love yourself is an expression of gratitude.” Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist Monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh passed today and I am saddened; however, I know that his wisdom and teachings will forever remain in my heart. He has offered so many beautiful insights about life and through his writings, many years ago, I was deeply touched. He said, “Peace begins within.” It was that simple and yet that complex. For me, it’s been a continual journey of remembering and re-discovery! To BE peace and to accept and love myself are concepts that I’ve found I embrace; however, to really BE them is a daily practice. Letting go of old habits and beliefs and being willing to change continues to be an ongoing choice to live more consciously. With his passing I also reflect on the many lives lost during the past two years. Other losses have occurred as well. For example, there have been losses of love, identity, jobs, lifestyle changes, comfort, and so much more. In many cases these losses have opened new opportunities of creativity, quality of life improvements, and freedom. It varies, doesn’t it? So, today I want to share Thich Nhat Hanh’s perspective on life. It’s titled Contemplation on No Coming, No Going: “This body is not me, I am not limited by this body. I am life without boundaries. I have never been born, and I have never died.  Look at the ocean and the sky filled...
Keep Being You!

Keep Being You!

“Whether you color the world or light it up blue, you are making a difference. So keep being you.” Dr. Seuss, American children’s author, illustrator, poet, and filmmaker How do you think of yourself? Do you know in the very core of your being or does it take someone else to remind you? Maybe it’s both. In my quiet moments I reflect on what it means to be both human and divine. Sometimes it’s hard to wrap my brain around it and then I hear, “Trust and have faith. You chose to be here to help others remember.” Being me is different than being you but we have some things in common. For example, courage, a desire to help others, experience emotions, make conscious choices, co-create new realities, and so much more. For me, these awarenesses happened later in life and for some others they happen earlier. Each one of us is individual and unique; however, we come from the same Source and are all connected. Until I believed in myself enough and let go of wanting to please everyone I couldn’t fully embrace, accept, and value me! How about you? E.E. Cummings, American poet, painter, author, and playwright has said that, “We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” Until I released the fear that my family would divorce me if I changed my beliefs and practices I couldn’t...
Open to Life!

Open to Life!

“Stop the words now. Open the window in the center of your chest and let the spirits fly in and out.” Rumi, Persian poet, Islamic scholar and Sufi mystic What is life? Hmmm. I’m sure it means different things to different people and as I’ve reflected on it I find that, for me, it means having the ability to grow. Sounds simple doesn’t it? What does life mean to you?  I feel Rumi’s words resonate deep within my heart. I imagine my heart space opening and bring my awareness there. I quiet my thoughts and feel! Ahhhh. When I’m in this space I feel that anything is possible and the sky is the limit. I realize that any limitation I feel is of my own making! Ugh! I remember the times I find wisdom and clarity when I’m in this place. I recognize that when I’m not in my heart space it’s easier to feel confused, conflicted, fearful, indecisive, resistant, and stuck! Why do I ever leave my heart space? LOL I agree with Vandana Shiva, Indian scholar, philosopher, author, and activist when she said, “I think what we owe each other is a celebration of life and to replace fear and hopelessness with fearlessness and joy.” Imagine fearlessly celebrating expansive personal growth rather than remaining fearful and stagnant? Why not let go of the past and worry about the future and fill the space with possibilities in the present? After all, the only time is really now, isn’t it?  When the movies from my past begin to run and I begin to second guess my choices and feel...
Hello 2022 and Happy New Year!

Hello 2022 and Happy New Year!

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Harriet Tubman, American abolitionist and activist Are you ready to embrace a new year and opportunity to dream? What dreams do you have for 2022? What are you willing to change in your life so that they can become more real? I agree with Harriet Tubman. Within each one of us is the power to create change but first we must change ourselves! Dreams can be delayed and set aside due to a variety of reasons; however, it’s never too late to dust them off of the shelf and see if they are still relevant. Perhaps it’s time to tweak them or create new ones. 2022 offers each one of us an opportunity to begin anew. Think of it like writing a book. We have 365 blank pages to use! How cool is that? As the author you create the story – beginning, middle, and end! The story that I’m creating includes more hope, peace, love, acceptance, health, acceptance, beauty, inclusion, and so much more. Now, I’m visiting my inner monastery during my reflective and introspective times to see what’s in me that will have to change. Then, I ask, “Am I willing to change it?” Sometimes the answer is yes and sometimes it’s no! As I do this exploration I remember what Judy Garland, American actress and singer has said, “. . . We have a whole new year ahead of us. And wouldn’t it be wonderful if we...
Open to Wonder!

Open to Wonder!

“Always be on the look out for the presence of wonder.” E.B. White, American writer As I write this newsletter on Christmas Eve I’m filled with wonder! I’m reflecting on the Christian tradition of what Christmas means. I imagine the wonder that must have been felt so many years ago. As I reflect I’m so grateful that 2021 has brought so many opportunities to immerse myself in beauty, be amazed and surprised! It’s also brought chaos, change, gratitude, and opportunities to grow personally – to BE more aware and live more consciously. I’ve noticed that when I accept situations rather than resist them and I’m more present and don’t worry about the future my life flows with ease and grace. I still imagine a world that I want to live in – a world full of love, peace, and beautiful and wondrous possibilities. When will my new world happen? I trust it’s happening now. Being comfortable in what I will call ‘the mystery’ is easier some days and not as easy on others. How about you? Energetically we’re moving from 2021, a year of individual change and transformation into 2022, a year to explore relationships with family, children, community and even pets! Also, there will be opportunities to trust your instincts, nurture yourself, find balance in your life, help others, and open to wonder! Let yourself feel the healing beauty of nature and love. Let go of the need to know how the experiences will appear. Allow for the surprise and wonder! Albert Einstein, Theoretical physicist reminds us that, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination...
Look Below the Surface!

Look Below the Surface!

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor and Stoic philosopher Most mornings I wake up feeling so grateful to be alive and here for another day! I get to spend time with the people I love and appreciate the beauty of life. I get to love and be loved! However, I’ve noticed that I’ve been feeling cranky and really old stuff from the past has been surfacing! Yuck! I’m still grateful to be here but I realize that we’re in the cycle of a new full moon and entering the Winter Solstice. As I noticed the forming moon through my bedroom window I felt the Lunar energy! Many of you are sensitive to these energies too.  This moon before the Winter Solstice is also known as the Cold Moon and is the longest of the year. Definitely the weather has shifted everywhere. Hello, Winter! More than the time of year, though, I realize the symbology represents frozen surfaces and yet there is a lot that happens below the surface. Seeds are dormant, animals hibernate, others are resting and preparing for Spring. This is a time for deep rest and stillness. It’s an introspective time and an invitation to grow in inner awareness. So I chose to sit and explore even though I didn’t know what would surface. Tony Schwartz, Journalist and author reminds us to “Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides....
Fill the World With Kindness!

Fill the World With Kindness!

“How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time.” Morgan Freeman, American actor, director, and narrator How do you feel about being kind and the effect that acts of kindness can have on the world? Kindness, compassion, and love are key elements in the world I envision. There are others too but these 3 are key. I wonder how much energy goes into hate filled words and acts? I would rather create a more positive world and ways to BE through my words and actions! How about you?  Have you noticed people around you being kind with their words and actions or do you notice more unkind and impatient words and actions? Please remember that how you respond to someone’s words or actions will create your experience! Your response is what you can control. In these times of significant change, holidays, and divisive points of view ‘words matter’ and often trigger responses. If you find yourself in this type of situation remember to find your center by taking a few deep breaths before you respond. Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk reminds us that, “If you are motivated by loving kindness and compassion, there are many ways to bring happiness to others right now, starting with kind speech.” In turn this also will bring happiness to you! When you find yourself on the receiving end of someone’s kindness please remain open to receive it. Say ‘thank you’ if it isn’t given anonymously. Some of you will even ‘pay it forward’ so to speak! Recently I learned that it’s still challenging, for me, to accept...
I Surrender!

I Surrender!

“ I surrender to it, and by surrendering, I control it.” Robert Jordan, American author I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful if you celebrate it! I find it hard to believe it’s December already and we’re looking at a New Year on the horizon. The invitation to ‘let go’ of things that no longer serve us is still here. Continue cleaning your inner closets!  My old friend, control, has seemed quiet. I’ve felt free! Since the middle of September I’ve been journeying with a healing process for a foot injury and I’ve experienced a lot of progress and feelings of optimism. A few days ago I had an MRI and just found out I have a stress fracture in one of the bones in my foot after all of this time! I have to say that receiving this unexpected news was disappointing and frustrating. I’m sharing this with you because my expectation was that my foot was completely healed! Expect the unexpected, right? A good lesson to remember. Well, it’s back to the beginning it seems. I’ll be wearing a walking boot for 6 weeks. Receiving this news has brought a few things into my awareness. Feeling out of control and losing freedom are big ones. Don’t get me wrong, please. I understand that both of these are illusions but nevertheless the feelings are real for me. Maybe you’ve had similar experiences. I understand that my experience of this is up to me! I can choose to invite my friends to a ‘pity party’ or I can accept what is and move forward creating the best experience I can...
See Through the Eyes of a Child!

See Through the Eyes of a Child!

“There’s joy and wonder everywhere when you see the world through the eyes of a child.” Katrina Mayer, Keynote speaker, workshop leader, and author I hope your holiday has been filled with love, laughter and joy! Mine was and I’m so grateful! This year was different for us. We welcomed a new granddaughter, Camille, in June and we’ve received lots of pictures and updates since then but we were able to spend Thanksgiving with our son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter in person! What a treat! How about you? After spending a few days with Camille I began to realize how much we can take for granted. I loved spending time with her as she smiled, laughed, and embraced everything around her. Curiosity, delight, discovery, wonder and joy were experienced through her eyes. This time with her reminded me how my inner child  yearns to play more! When it’s restricted so is our imagination. Curiosity fuels our imagination. What a great reminder to see through the eyes of a child! I found it hard not to engage with more delight and acceptance when I was sitting on the floor, at her level, exploring new textures, colors, shapes and sounds! Things I take for granted. With each new discovery she became more curious and excited. Stephanie DelTorchio, Blogger and writer, reminds us “To enjoy this life to the fullest, continue to see the world as fearlessly as a child sees it – in all its’ innocence and curiosity and wonder.” In fact, I think of Camille as a warrior now! She’s fearless and the light and love within her shines so bright! I...
Give Thanks!

Give Thanks!

“Give thanks for blessings every day. Every day. Embrace gratitude. Encourage others. It is impossible to be grateful and hateful at the same time.” Denzel Washington, American actor, director and producer Time seems to speeding by so fast! Have you felt the same? I can’t believe it’s almost Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving for those of you who celebrate! For me, giving thanks has become a dominant theme for me over the last couple of years especially. I loved Denzel Washington’s statement, “. . . It is impossible to be grateful and hateful at the same time.” So true.  Being kind, understanding, accepting, supportive, loving, compassionate, and grateful are new and different ways to BE for many people today. Let’s celebrate and give thanks. Let’s focus on the blessings in our life rather than what we don’t have. Isn’t love the most important thing to have? Think about it. Love can’t be taken away unless we allow it. Love is the essence of who we are! Give thanks! Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk has said, “When we live in the spirit of gratitude, there will be much happiness in our life. The one who is grateful is the one who has much happiness while the one who is ungrateful will not be able to have happiness.” Being happy can be an outcome of being grateful. For many of you, this holiday may be the first time in awhile to reunite with friends and family. Give thanks!  I’m grateful for the opportunity to spend time with our new granddaughter, son and his wife this year. I’m grateful that our other son...
I Imagine!

I Imagine!

“Imagine a new story for your life and start living it.” Paulo Coelho, Brazilian lyricist and novelist How often do you allow your imagination to come out and play? Has it become less as you’ve grown from being a child and become an adult? I wonder why that is? Recently I’ve been hearing John Lennon’s song Imagine playing over and over in my head. The words touch my soul and I feel goose bumps. As I listen to it I remember, once again, that we are creators of our reality. We are master gardeners, artists, and writers of our stories as well. No one else is in charge of our lives but each one of us unless we give our power to someone else. What if you imagined a new story for your life? What if you stand in your power and dive deep within and set your imagination free? Let it play and run wild for awhile. What do you have to lose? Albert Einstein, Theoretical physicist has said that “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” How often do we limit possibilities and our imagination based on our past experiences, perceptions and beliefs? I believe it happens too often!  Let’s play and color outside the lines for a change! Set aside a few moments to quiet your thoughts and release any perceived limitations. Imagine a lush and fertile garden that is flourishing. Imagine your creativity and artistry flowing freely. Don’t worry about it being perfect! Just play! Write, sing, draw, paint, plant some flowers, feel and immerse yourself in beauty –...
Unity

Unity

“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” Mother Teresa, Catholic nun, missionary, and saint With so much division and separation in our world today I’ve been reflecting more on unity and Oneness. When I imagine being in a state of Oneness or unity I remember the times I’ve felt Oneness during meditation. Words can’t describe how it feels effectively. Imagine your mind so quiet that you feel like you are not in your physical body. Imagine feeling like you are a part of everything – the earth, humanity, stars, planets, and beyond. Imagine returning to Source where you began. Remember who you are! I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences, yes? Thomas Merton, American Trappist monk, writer, theologian, mystic, poet, and social activist reminds us that, “We are already one, but we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.” We are both human and divine. We’ve come to remember that we’re not separated from Source and learn how to express our divine nature as human beings. Why not look at how great we can be together when we combine and use our differences? If we embrace unity rather than look for ways to create division how different would our world be? Imagine a world where peace, love, acceptance, compassion, kindness, caring, understanding, equality, and so much more prevail. We can create this kind of world if we want but first we must feel these ways to BE within ourselves....
Embrace Uncertainty!

Embrace Uncertainty!

“It is how we embrace the uncertainty in our lives that leads us to the great transformations of our souls.” Brandon A. Trean, Health educator and writer Recently I participated in a weekend retreat with Annie Bossingham and fellow Soul travelers. We explored our divine nature, heart-based living, making conscious choices; and embracing uncertainty as we continue evolving on our spiritual journeys among other things. Whew, it was amazing and timely. As the weekend came to a close I felt full. My soul felt happy and nourished. What a blessing!  As I’ve reflected on the weekend and some awarenesses have come to light. For example, I’ve considered how embracing uncertainty has played a role in my life. I must say it hasn’t always felt comfortable! I look back on the times I’ve chosen career moves, where to live, parenting choices, consciously choosing to spiritually awaken, and so much more. At times it’s felt like stepping into the unknown and taking a leap of faith. For someone who likes to ‘be in charge’ and wants to know the outcome it has presented many ‘growth opportunities’! LOL I’ve found that embracing uncertainty rather than resisting it due to fear makes a huge difference. Some of my best personal growth moments are a result. Gurudev Sri Ravi Shankar, Humanitarian and spiritual leader reminds us that, “Life has uncertainty and it’s the uncertainty which opens new dimensions in life.” I realize that if I hadn’t embraced uncertainty and took a leap of faith the many blessings I’ve experienced in my life wouldn’t have happened. I wouldn’t have taken the career risks, re-married, become...
I Speak My Truth!

I Speak My Truth!

“Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.” Oprah Winfrey, American talk show host, TV producer, actress, author, and philanthropist  Did you see the amazing full moon this week? This moon is known as the Hunter’s Moon. Imagine yourself hunting to prepare for Winter. The Harvest Moon in September left you harvesting the seeds that were planted in the Spring. Lunar cycles have helped farmers and different cultures for many years. Many people seem to be affected by lunar energies. This cycle you might find yourself experiencing intense emotions; wanting to stand up for yourself; and letting go of more things that don’t support you.  Think of these energies activating your inner warrior! Have you felt like you want to change your life lately but don’t know what or how? Let the warrior you are help. Take time to quiet your thoughts which are often quite busy and running in circles! Are you ready to live more authentically, make healthier choices and find inner peace? Practices like meditation, prayer, and/or immersing yourself in the beauty of nature can help you experience quieter thoughts and more clarity. What are you willing to change in your life? It’s up to you. In other words, this is a time to reclaim your power and speak your truth. Hunter Moon energies are incredibly supportive right now. Dr. Steve Maraboli, Consultant, speaker, author, and Behavioral Scientist encourages to “Start shaping your own day. Start walking your own walk. This journey is yours, take charge of it. Stop giving other people the power to shape your life.” Take back your power and...
Loss

Loss

“But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.” Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning, Austrian neurologist, philosopher, author and Holocaust survivor I was talking to a dear friend recently about loss. I realized that so many people have suffered losses of many things over the past couple of years. There’s been loss of loved ones and friends, relationships, jobs, daily routines and ways of being, health, self-image, changes in physical capabilities, and so much more. How often do we allow ourselves time to acknowledge and grieve the loss? I wonder, “How many of us hold in our feelings of sorrow or don’t even know we are missing the way things were before?” Depending on how you were raised releasing tears may not have been encouraged. Lately I’ve even thought about future losses and how they might affect me. Have you done the same? I believe that there are many futures so I don’t dwell here but I’ve reflected on what it means to ‘lose’ someone or something – even losing physical capabilities. Things like flexibility, balance, vision, diminished energy and stamina, and memory. I have family members, friends and acquaintances that are experiencing some of this right now. At one level I see all of this as part of the cycle of life. I’m blessed to see new life created and I’m encouraged to live everyday to the fullest and be the best me I can be. At another level, a deeper level, I wonder why the feelings of loss are...
My Cup Overflows!

My Cup Overflows!

“Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life.” Wayne Dyer, American self-help and spiritual author and motivational speaker How many times have you heard, “Let go of things that no longer serve you?” Quite a few probably. I’ve written about it in a variety of ways in past newsletters. Recently, someone asked, “How do you fill up the space that is left when you let go of things?” So I began to think about abundance and prosperity. Releasing things that no longer serve me – things like old habits, beliefs, vows, and perceptions – limiting things. Rather than feel limited why not feel abundant and prosperous? Can you imagine your life as an overflowing cup of abundance and prosperity instead of one that’s partially full or empty?  Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk reminds us that, “For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.” How often do we restrict possibilities by limiting our view of what outcomes can be? Why not hold a belief deeply embedded within that all things are possible and we deserve to live the best life possible, an abundant and prosperous life? For those of you who like to feel ‘in charge or control things’ this might present a challenge. Take it from me, I have always wanted to know the outcome and how things end. It’s been a lifelong journey of learning to allow what’s possible. In doing this, the outcome is always better than I imagined. What does a life filled with abundance and prosperity feel and look like...
Mirror, Mirror . . .

Mirror, Mirror . . .

“I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.” Lewis Carroll, Author, illustrator, poet, mathematician, photographer, teacher, and inventor Look in the mirror and what do you see? How comfortable are you spending time really looking at and seeing yourself? I realize that most of you look in the mirror everyday ‘doing’ things like brushing your teeth, applying makeup, and combing your hair. How often do you really look into your eyes and say, “I love you”? Do you feel the love for yourself deep within your very being? As Lewis Carroll reminds us we are changing in every moment. Who you see in the mirror when you first wake up will have many experiences during the day. These experiences will contribute to the changes within you, although some are subtle. When you get ready for bed and look in the mirror you may think you look the same but you will have changed during the days’ experiences. Make sense? Think about it. During the day you may have experienced disappointment, fear, anger, love, joy, and so much more. The mirror reflects who we are in the moment. Years ago Judith Manganiello, former owner of A Peace of the Universe and author shared her experience of looking in the mirror with me. I do it and at first saying, “I love you” to myself wasn’t comfortable. Through  the years I’m getting to the point where I can feel a difference and I know I mean it! Something that seems so simple can have a profound...
Learn to Dance in the Rain!

Learn to Dance in the Rain!

“Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass . . . It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”  Vivian Greene, Visionary, artist, author, and entrepreneur  With the Fall Equinox passing it brings to mind seasonal changes. Moving from summer into fall and preparing for winter. This equinox symbolizes balance, preparation and reflection. Many describe it as a time for balancing the struggle between light and dark within ourselves. Some see this as a struggle between life and death of our old habits and beliefs creating opportunities for new beginnings. In nature, what was planted in the spring has been harvested and the soil is being prepared for new plantings. Some animals have prepared by storing winter food and supplies and will hibernate waiting for spring once again. Vivian Greene’s quote reminds me that storms, both literally and figuratively, will always be a part of our lives. So, learning to dance in the rain is one way to weather them in a more positive way metaphorically. My intention isn’t to make light of the physical tragic storms, fires, and devastation that have affected many people in our country. Rather, it’s a reminder of how powerful our own inner strength is. Mahatma Gandhi, Lawyer, anti-colonialist, and political ethicist, reminds us that, “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” When we draw from that deep inner well of strength, the will to survive, we can be unstoppable. As I reflect and write today an image of an old movie starring Gene Kelly who dances in the rain comes to mind. He’s smiling, dancing,...
What Are You Thinking?

What Are You Thinking?

“Thoughts become things . . . So choose the good ones.” Mike Dooley, New York Times bestselling author, speaker and entrepreneur I love Mike Dooley’s thought provoking and inspirational Notes From the Universe messages. He, along with many other New Thought teachers, writers, speakers, and channels, reinforces how important thoughts and beliefs affect the realities that we create. How often do you notice that your thoughts are negative or you’re waiting for the next shoe to drop, so to speak? How often are your thoughts positive? When you notice negative thoughts or negative self talk are you able to stop and change to a more positive view? How is your life different when you dwell on the negative or the positive? How willing are you to change what you think or believe? After all, you are the co-creator of your reality and can change what you’re thinking, right? Greg Braden, New York Times bestselling author, researcher, and educator reminds us that, “The power of our beliefs can work in either direction to become life affirming or life denying.” Yikes! I choose to create a reality that is life affirming. How about you? I find that the more positive I feel and think about myself the better my attitude is and then I affect people around me in a more positive way. I also find that it affects my environment as well. I attract more positive people who I enjoy being around. I tend to have a pretty optimistic outlook on life and reality creation although I have my moments where I have negative self talk going on. When this...
Free to BE!

Free to BE!

“True freedom is always spiritual. It has something to do with your innermost being, which cannot be chained, handcuffed, or put into a jail.” OSHO, Mystic Recently a close friend asked, “Do you like your life?” I stopped for a moment and said, “Yes, I do!” We then began to talk about how I’ve created the life I want to live right now which gives me freedom to choose how I spend my time. Having the conversation also helped me to release some guilt I felt about not creating more business opportunities. I love having time to spend with my family, clients, meditating, writing, and reading. I love to BE free to practice BEing more kind, compassionate, loving, accepting, creative, and so much more. It was a beautiful awareness and the timing was perfect. I realize that priorities can be fluid. For now my priorities have shifted and yet after reading the words of wisdom from OSHO I recognize that I have felt the truth of them for many years. Inner freedom is something that can’t be taken away from anyone. We can choose to be free or be jailed. How about you? Do you like your life? Taking time for quiet introspection is essential for my own health and well being. If people want good health without addiction, they can check out contra costa rehab and get their help! Today, remaining free of distractions can be challenging with what’s going on in the world. Some of the distractions potentially present restrictions to our personal freedoms. The right/freedom to choose and vote are two that are front and center....
I Accept Me!

I Accept Me!

“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” Coco Chanel, French fashion designer and businesswoman  I can’t believe it’s already September! Time is moving so fast for me right now. How about you? Many of you are celebrating the Labor Day holiday so I wish you a safe and joyous celebration with your family and friends.  What is it about being ourselves that we struggle with? I look back on the many years I spent wanting to please my parents, family, friends, teachers, employers and employees. In retrospect I wonder how many personas I’ve assumed in order to please everyone. I don’t believe it was conscious but nevertheless it happened. Hindsight is wonderful isn’t it? Although it’s been many years, perhaps looking back and recognizing the contrast of how I was then and who I am now was part of my personal growth and awakening. I chose to become different! I stopped listening to the negative inner voice of self-doubt, second guessing, and wondering if I deserved to be different with the help of a supportive partner, meditation, and friends. I accept me now in ways I’ve never done in the past. I value me! I’m grateful! John Lennon, Singer, songwriter, and musician has said that, “There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to...
In Stillness!

In Stillness!

“Deep within my heart I hear the whispers, ‘Come to the desert and I will speak to your heart.’ Is the desert real or a metaphor? Can it be both? ‘Of course,’ I hear, ‘Your reality is yours to create.’ Then I remember it all begins with me. I take a deep breath, bring my awareness to my heart and enter the desert deep within me. Ahhhh, I am still.” ~Victoria Barna, Author, 2015 How are you feeling this week? Once again, there is a lot going on in the world as well as families. For those of you familiar with numerology I’ve recently begun a 7 personal year. It’s a year of introspection, mysticism, spiritual awareness, and in some cases solitude. It amplifies my natural introspective nature! So, I find that creating quiet time to enter my inner monastery is important! With so much going on in the world today it is easy to be distracted. Do you find this is the same for you? ‘Being still’ is one way that I find my soul feels nurtured and nourished. It’s my way of remaining centered and able to help others. Prayer and/or meditation are a couple of ways that help me quiet my thoughts. Being in nature, deep breathing with my eyes closed while entering my heart space are other ways. Herman Hesse, German-Swiss poet, novelist and painter reminds us that, “Within you there is a stillness and sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” Have you found the desert within you recently? I feel this sanctuary and retreat is needed as we...
You Are Amazing!

You Are Amazing!

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of wisdom.” ~Aristotle, Greek philosopher  When was the last time someone told you how amazing you are? Yes, in spite of chaos, turmoil, uncertainty, changed routines, not traveling, working from home, and wearing masks! You are amazing to have navigated the past year and a half and more! You’ve found new ways of being, new forms of creativity, new ways to create community, and so much more! You’ve even had new opportunities to know yourself more, in some cases simplify your life, and make personal and lifestyle changes. You are amazing! Do you feel any wiser? For me, I appreciate the beauty of my garden more, my relationships, and life! I’m grateful for my family, friends, and life in ways that feel deeper. Taking time to dive deep to understand and know myself more has been a gift! Oprah Winfrey, TV host, actress, producer, media executive, and author reminds us that, “It is confidence in our bodies, minds, and spirits that allows us to keep looking for new adventures.” I’ve found that the adventure to quiet my thoughts and enter my inner monastery has helped me to become more confident.  Rather than focus on what’s wrong with me I focus on what’s right! Yes, I have moments where I can be self critical but now instead of giving negative thoughts more power I stop, breathe, focus on my heart space and remember what unconditional love feels like. I remember this is who I am at my core and the negative energy dissipates. I remind myself that I’m amazing! How about you? If telling yourself, “I...
Courageously Love Yourself!

Courageously Love Yourself!

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr., American Baptist minister and activist Lately I’ve been imagining me as a part of all life! Really. I believe that I’m connected to everything and not separate. My reflection has been one of diving deeper though. I’ve imagined the universe is me as are the oceans, waves, sand, sea life, all life, etc. I recently read a perspective that pointed out that when we feel triggered about something or someone it’s an invitation to look within ourselves and discover that part that’s triggering us and waiting to heal. There it is again. We are all connected and yet how often do we negatively talk to ourselves focusing on what’s wrong rather than talk up how amazing we are? How often do you feel like there’s something to fix in you rather than accept who you are right now? How does what you feel about yourself affect others? I’ve believed for many years that love is the greatest transformer of all. Dr. King’s comment makes me wonder how much we are the enemy to our own health and well-being. What if we courageously make a conscious choice to love ourselves and treat ourselves as friends rather than enemies? What will change if we do? How we treat ourself will affect everyone around us I believe. You’ve probably noticed this to some extent already. The mystic OSHO reminds us that “Courage is a love affair with the unknown.” I feel like loving oneself takes courage because it takes a leap of faith to be...
My Life is Abundant!

My Life is Abundant!

“Be yourself. Life is precious as it is. All the elements for your happiness are already here. There is no need to run, strive, search, or struggle. Just be.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk  Are you familiar with the Lion’s Gate Portal that is said to activate August 8th? This is when the earth aligns with the star Sirius. Some say it opens July 28th through August 12th. So, you may have been feeling a little out of sorts right now. For those of you who are sensitive to shifts in energies you may even feel exhausted or have flu like symptoms. There’s an intense energy shift going on! If you can just ‘BE’!  New opportunities are unfolding. Choose to let go of old habits, beliefs, and perceptions. Abundance is fully supported now. Seeds that you’ve planted are ready to sprout and be harvested if you’re open. Abundance is so much more than money. What is abundant in your life? As I reflect on my life I am  abundant with love, family, friends, beauty, hope, possibilities, imagination, creativity, health, shelter, food, fun, choices, and so much more! Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor and philosopher has said, “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” How we view our life shifts our perception of whether it is abundant or lacking doesn’t it?  These energies that have been activated also include opportunities for accelerated internal and spiritual growth, new levels of consciousness, and healing. Encouragement to speak your truth from your heart and...
Reality – Wisdom – Hope!

Reality – Wisdom – Hope!

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”  Albert Einstein, Theoretical physicist Have you ever thought, “I’m living in a different reality than others?” More and more I find myself saying, “That’s not my reality!” As Albert Einstein reminds us, “Reality is merely and illusion. . .” Beliefs, thoughts and actions create the illusion. I realize that my reality is mine and most likely is different than yours. I’ve been wondering how peace can prevail when we live in so many different realities. I’m not saying my reality is the best nor do I have expectations that I can convince someone to accept mine. Each one of us is responsible for creating how we want to live and yet how do we come together in unity? Plato, an Athenian philosopher, has said, “Reality is created by mind, we can change our reality by changing our mind.” This makes sense to me. Thoughts, beliefs, and actions can be fluid and can be changed if we want to change. Imagination can play a role too. How do you imagine your reality changing? What in your life are you willing to change to make it different? Changing can be challenging because taking a leap into the unknown from a place of what’s known may feel scary. Being open to step out of our comfort zone is an important first step. Imagine, visualize, and dream! It may not be crystal clear at first but trust that clarity will come. Ask for help. Talk to trusted friends or family members.  Reality may be an illusion but in our daily lives it can...
Self-Love!

Self-Love!

“Rain. The cleansing tears of Mother Earth nourishing humanity.” Hameedat Muhammad, Writer I’ve been enjoying the rain! I intend and imagine it moving to the areas where drought prevails and fires burn. I imagine the rain cleansing and healing Mother Earth and all life! Have you noticed how good the air and earth smells when it rains? I imagine the rain is cleansing each one of us. I feel my soul sigh. Today, I realize that I love myself enough to enjoy each drop of rain nourishing and cleansing the earth, my garden, and me! I imagine each one of my plants and trees soaking in the healing properties of the rain. It feels like each one is wrapped in a blanket of love! My soul is happy and so am I! Miya Yamanouchi, Author, counselor, and therapist has said that “Our soul is like a soft and gentle flower, it needs to be nurtured, cared for, tended to, with sufficient sunlight, fresh air and freedom to bloom into its most precious and beautiful form. This my friend is self-love.” I love this imagery. I believe that our soul is eternal and has many adventurous experiences. Why not consciously nurture and care for it in the most beautiful ways? Why not practice cleansing negative thoughts, beliefs, and judgments as a way to love ourselves? Why not believe that we are unique and beautiful gifts created by God/Goddess/All That Is, Source? Why not nurture and love ourselves in ways that soul and each one of us bloom into our most precious and beautiful forms? What in your life are you willing...
A Compassionate Heart!

A Compassionate Heart!

“The antidote of hatred, of violence, is compassion – there is no other medicine. Unfortunately compassion is not available in the supermarket. You have to generate the nectar of compassion in your heart.” Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk  Lately I’ve been feeling more compassion for people. Rather than judge someone’s behavior I’m learning to seek to understand their pain first. I find that I want to help them lessen their pain but don’t know how. I realize that I don’t want to ‘fix’ them. I understand that each one of us has an individual and unique journey of growth and awakening; however, I want to understand and help ease their suffering if possible. Perhaps just listening without judging is helpful! I’ve been told that this is helpful. Have you had a similar experience? There are many reasons to react negatively to what’s happening in our environment today. Examples of hatred and violence can be found everywhere and yet I find many examples of kindness where neighbors are  helping neighbors. Seeds of compassion are being planted in many neighborhoods through human relationships and caring for one another. Prayer and meditation groups are gathering to offer healing and peace for humanity and the Earth. I ask myself, “Is the nectar of compassion flowing more consciously within hearts?” It’s a beginning isn’t it? Does being more compassionate bring more happiness? I believe it does. Without wanting to  understand someone’s pain and try to help lessen it I ask myself, “How can I be happy?” Albert Schweitzer, Doctor, missionary, philosopher and musician reminds us that, “The only ones among you who will be...
Forgive Yourself!

Forgive Yourself!

“Let go . . . How would your life be different if you learned to let go of things that have already let go of you? From relationships long gone to old grudges, to regrets, to all the ‘could’ve’ and ‘should’ve’, to the dead friendships you still hang on to . . . Free yourself from the burden of a past you cannot change.” Dr. Steve Maraboli, Speaker, author and Behavioral Scientist First, let me say that I’m so excited to see clients, once again, on Tuesdays at Storm Wisdom. Although I’ve connected with clients via phone and Zoom during ‘stay at home’ restrictions I’ve missed seeing clients in person! I hope to see some of you soon! Now, I wonder how often you find yourself replaying experiences from the past? I find that I do sometimes and when I do it feels like a song on replay over and over again. It’s not like replaying a favorite song. I find myself more in a space of judgment. I analyze and try to figure out why I responded in the way I did and then I focus on how I could have handled it better and then if I continue in that loop I judge myself more. This isn’t a fun place to be is it? So, I’ve wondered how to change this cycle. During my reflective time I recognize that it’s important for me to forgive myself for my part in the experience. Sounds easy, right? Yes, it can be but like that comfortable pair of shoes it can be hard to let go, right? Miguel Angel Ruiz...
I Am Free!

I Am Free!

“No one outside ourselves can rule us inwardly. When we know this, we become free.” The Buddha, Founder of Buddhism Freedom! What does it mean to you? There are many actions being taken that are outside of us right now. Actions intended to restrict some of our freedoms. I’m reminded how significant July 4th is. More than my birthday (LOL); more than picnics, barbecues, and fireworks! The final wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved on July 4, 1776! The United States of America was birthed gaining independence from Great Britain. I know we study this in school but this year it seems to carry even more significance. Restrictions can feel limiting but do they affect how we feel within ourselves? This is where true freedom resides! Think about the intent of the Declaration of Independence – equality, life, liberty, and justice for all! These are fundamental rights for each one of us and yet looking outward I wonder at those who would like to make them exclusive for some people. Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk, reminds us that “Freedom is not given to us by anyone; we have to cultivate it ourselves. It is a daily practice . . . No one can prevent you from being aware of each step you take or each breath in and breath out.” So true! As I think about what freedom means to me I realize the blessing of being free to breathe, wonder, imagine, and create a life that I choose. Further, I’m free to make choices, live where I want; have a family, food to eat, water...
A New Chapter Unfolds!

A New Chapter Unfolds!

“There is beauty to be found in the changing of the earth’s seasons, and an inner grace in honoring the cycles of life.” Jack Kornfield, American author and Vipassana meditation teacher We’ve just experienced the Summer Solstice – leaving Spring and welcoming summer. Seasons have changed, once again, and we have another opportunity for introspection, reflection, and opportunity to make life changes while the earth is preparing for her next season. We can enjoy the beauty of the flowers, nature, and fruits and vegetables that are ready to eat. A new seasonal chapter is unfolding. These seasonal changes remind me of the changing seasons in our professional and personal lives as well. Recently I’ve had the beautiful gift of welcoming a new granddaughter. Witnessing her innocence, strength and dependence has been amazing. We are grateful that we were able to spend time with her, our youngest son and daughter-in-law. Being with them reminds me of how relationships have their own seasonal changes. There’s a beautiful opportunity to begin a new chapter of life as a family. Honoring and celebrating this cycle of life is important as their new chapter and ours unfolds. C.S. Lewis, British author and lay theologian, reminds us that “Now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story no one on earth has ever read, which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.” Their new chapter and ours is one that hasn’t been read before. I’m excited to see what we create! We have blank pages! Another new chapter is unfolding for each one of us as...
Whispers.., not Shouts

Whispers.., not Shouts

Creating a healthy relationship with your body is hard when you don’t feel well.  I know, because this has been a rough week with allergies and then a sore sore throat.   I started to say I have been focused on creating a healthy relationship with my body for the last few months.  Yet, if I am being truthful, it is more like the last few decades.  Ebbing and flowing with success.  Ups and downs.   The part of me that demands perfection with the efforts I undertake, often feels like a failure when it comes to taking care of my body.  Because, similar to almost everyone I know, I have collected ideas, knowledge, and expectations about what it means to be healthy, fit, in shape, etc….  I’ve searched out and also been bombarded with articles, stories, promotions and advertisements about nutrition, weight loss, and self-care. We all have.., even when it is not our focus. Still with all the noise and expectations around being healthy, it has been many years since I’ve really “felt” healthy.  The older I get, the closer I get to understanding that being healthy doesn’t mean looking like the images in a magazine or whatever is going viral online.  In fact, it isn’t about “appearing” or “appearance” at all.  For the years in my life where I would have been described as physically fit.., I’m not sure I was actually healthy at all; even if I might have appeared otherwise. These days my focus is about being in harmony or balance with my body.  Being able to hear messages from my body in realtime...
Trusting My Beliefs

Trusting My Beliefs

“Everything happens for a reason” and “Things happen ‘for’ us and not ‘to’ us” are both beliefs that I hold dear.  They help me navigate day-to-day ups and downs.  And most of the time, this is easy for me! Then.., there are days when it’s not! I can always tell when I am invested in the outcome of a situation looking a particular way. Especially when it is not going the way I planned, or think it should.  There are visceral sensations in my body.  Tightening in my solar plexus, tensing in my jaw, nervous energy in general, etc. These are my cues that I am clutching to or trying to control an outcome that is not up to me.   I know these sensations well and the monkey-mind of trying to reframe, negotiate, or even begging and pleading to get my way.  I go from relatively sane to a tense mess and it seems all semblance of time becomes distorted.  Things are either happening too fast or time is standing still. And then I remind myself that “everything happens for a reason”.   I wish I could say that I am automatically restored to the enlightened being I aspire to be.  But usually by the time I am caught in one of these loops it takes more than one self-reminder to achieve normal operating mode again. But there’s a benefit to all of this too.  I am reminded of the journey of self-awareness I’ve been on.  I can recall the younger versions of me who would have been derailed or thrown-off for an extended period of time.  I...
Everything is Coming Up Roses

Everything is Coming Up Roses

Sometimes when life gives me roses, I still try to make lemonade.  At least that is how it has been feeling lately.  Let me explain.  Most of us try to look on the bright side.  To see the good in what is happening in our lives.., even when it’s something that seems a little sour. We look for ways to turn a sour situation into something more palatable.  As the old saying goes, we turn the lemons into lemonade. So what about when the things we’re experiencing are really juicy and sweet?  Do our minds still try to make them more palatable?  I am asking, because I notice that’s what I seem to be doing a lot of these days. And it goes against everything I intend. This year has been AWESOME.  Both my personal life and business are thriving.  By the way, THANK YOU for your ongoing support of Storm Wisdom.  You have made our recovery from 2020 so much more than we could have ever hoped for! What I have notice is that I am bracing myself for sudden change or shift.  And this is the problem.  Instead of just celebrating the success, I am simultaneously trying to figure out how to respond to or be prepared for another downturn or challenge. This takes the joy out of celebrating the good to make it more palatable if and when something goes wrong.  That does not feel like intentional living! There is a great Brene Brown special on Netflix called “The Call to Courage”.  In it she talks about how our brains are hard-wired to protect ourselves when...

Be Kind!

“Ah, kindness, what a simple way to tell another struggling soul that there is love to be found in the world.” A.A. Malee, Poet, artist, author, and performer  How are you feeling this week? We’ve had a lot of lunar activity and those of you who are sensitives may be feeling it. Downloads of higher frequencies are also occurring so please notice how you feel and nurture yourself – be kind to yourself as a beautiful expression of self-love! Begin with yourself first before focusing on others. Build your inner reservoir of kindness and compassion so it’s not depleted before giving it to others. I know that this may seem counter intuitive for those of you who are consciously committed to helping others. Once your reservoir is depleted you know how exhausted you become so remember it’s not selfish to be kind to you first! Many of you on this journey of awakening recognize the truth of why self-exploration, self-acceptance, self-love, and self-care are key to personal growth. It begins with each one of us first – a beautiful and wonderous inner journey where peace, understanding, and remembering begin. What about being happy? Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk, reminds us that, “The essence of loving kindness is being able to offer happiness. You can be the sunshine for another person. You can’t offer happiness until you have it yourself. So build a home inside by accepting yourself and learning to love and heal yourself.”  Once again, be kind to yourself first. Be your own sunshine! What does yours look like? Mine looks like a huge sunflower with hummingbirds...

Open to the Unknown!

“We do not have a fear of the unknown. What we fear is giving up the known.” Anthony de Mello, Spiritual teacher, writer and speaker Have you ever wanted to change something in your life but for some reason you didn’t? Have you ever wondered why? In spite of living a more conscious and intentional life it still can happen. I don’t know about you but when it’s happened to me I have tried to rationalize why it wasn’t the right time and I’ve even moved into self-judgment and asked, “Why am I procrastinating?” Then I feel guilty about beating myself up. It happens less now. I realize now that fear can create so much resistance to moving forward even if the change is positive. I’ve asked myself, “Am I really afraid of the unknown or am I afraid of moving out of my comfort zone and what I know?” Healers may also experience this phenomenon while working with clients. Why? Ultimately the client is in charge of their healing and willingness to accept being healed. I’m not suggesting these choices to change personally or to heal are always conscious. Fear of the unknown or changing what is known can play a part and create deep resistance to changing. Why? I suppose there are a variety of reasons but some include: feeling comfortable with the way things are and how people respond or fearing how people will respond if something changes. Perhaps through an individual’s experience and current situation others are inspired! Why change what’s comfortable? H.P. Lovecraft, American writer reminds us that, “The oldest and strongest emotion of...

Have You Changed?

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” Maya Angelou, American poet and civil rights activist  The image of butterflies seem to appear once again. As I write this, once again, Maya Angelou’s quote appears. Butterflies are beautiful, aren’t they? When you see one how often do you think about how they became so beautiful? I don’t until I stop and reflect. How about you? Why butterflies? As I think about their transformative journey I think about the life changes everyone has gone through for the past year and a half. In many cases these changes have been transformative. Have you considered them this way? Have you imagined your journey similar to the butterflies’? Change is constant and yet how often do we willingly accept it even though we are open to it? Henri-Louis Bergson, French philosopher has said, “To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” Yes!! Accepting oneself through the many changing  phases that occur in our life is essential. Much like the butterfly! We are creators and can transform ourselves whenever we choose. How easy is it to admit and accept that you’ve changed, your approach to life and business has changed, and perhaps your world view has changed? Can you accept these changes without feeling there is something wrong or something to fix? Are you willing to embrace the new you and let go of the old habits, behaviors and beliefs that no longer support you? Can you laugh, dance, sing, and...
A New Chapter Unfolds!

I Am a Storyteller!

“Silence is essential. We need silence, just as we need air, just as much as plants need light. If our minds are crowded with words and thoughts, there is no space for us.” Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk  Hmmm! How often are we able to clear our minds of thoughts and words? What stories do we continue to create, change, and continue? Does our ability to quiet our thoughts really help? I have to say, “Yes, it does!” I find that when my thoughts are quiet answers come more easily. When they aren’t I find that I second guess myself and play ‘what ifs’ until I drive myself crazy. Has this happened to you? So, I agree with Thich Nhat Hanh’s perspective that we need silence – a space for us. Without this space I experience ‘writers block’. It can be frustrating. How much does our ability to create and tell stories contribute to these blocks and affect our happiness? I’ve been reflecting on this lately. I think of the places that I feel happy in; the beach, the red rocks of Sedona, and my home for example. And yet, as I sit with it more I realize that my happiest place is found within me. It doesn’t matter where I am! My writers block can occur in any one of these places! “Is this block a story I tell myself?” I ask, “Is it why I don’t feel inspired to write?”  I realize that I am a storyteller! My best audience is me!! I’m not judging myself, rather, I’m accepting that this a  part of who I...
NOW is Real!

NOW is Real!

“Life is available only in the present. That is why we should walk in such a way that every step can bring us to the here and now.” Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk  How many times have you heard, “Be in the present moment or only NOW is real?” I’ve been reflecting on why it’s important to BE in the moment recently. Why, when so much of our lived experience is about planning for the future and, to some degree, the focus on the future is so intense that we lose sight of what’s in front of us in our daily lives? We don’t fully appreciate what’s right before us until life throws a curveball and the unexpected surprise confronts us! I’m sure that many of you have stories to tell about your own experiences.  These surprises can show up in many ways, can’t they? For example there might be an unexpected pandemic, illness, loss of a loved one, loss of job, relocation, or a financial windfall. The list is limitless, isn’t it? How we respond to these unexpected surprises creates our experience. We are responding in the NOW moment not the past or future. Although many people may ‘dwell’ on lived experiences from the past the only sure thing, so to speak, is what we choose to do in the present moment. Marcel Proust, French novelist, critic, and essayist reminds us, “Do not wait for life. Do not long for it. Be aware, always and at every moment, the the miracle is in the here and now.” I’ve learned how precious and short life is and I know...
We Are One!

We Are One!

“We are already one. But we imagine that we are not. And what we have to recover is our original unity. What we have to be is what we are.” Thomas Merton, American Trappist Monk, writer, theologian, mystic, and social activist  How many times have you heard people say, “We’re all connected or we are one?” Have you ever felt the connection to something greater or what I will call Oneness? In my experience I find that words can’t describe the feeling. Some of you may have experienced this feeling during prayer or meditation. You may have also felt it during a walk when you are immersed in beauty or the majesty of your surroundings. There are many ways to experience it; however, for me, it’s always a feeling that I experience when I’m intentional. I set aside my ‘to do’ list, quiet my thoughts, and lean into being still within. I use deep breathing to bring my awareness into my heart space and I find it becomes easier to quiet my thoughts. This is a technique that works for me. I also focus on my breathing when I’m walking in a beautiful area so that I am aware and appreciate my surroundings. Then I can feel the connection with my surroundings. Sometimes I call on my inner cosmic navigator to help. Mine wears a scarf, goggles, and a tight cap. My cosmic navigator leads me beyond my physical body, the planet, stars, and beyond when my thoughts are quiet. It’s amazing how far you can journey.  Our bodies hold our divine and eternal essence and our essence is limitless. You...
Butterflies are Beautiful!

Butterflies are Beautiful!

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” ~ Maya Angelou, American poet and civil rights activist Have you noticed the beauty around you? Birds singing, flowers blooming, new growth on trees; and seeds planted in the Fall are breaking through the soil! Spring, a time of hope, rebirth, and new beginnings. For many this is also a very sacred time – a time of rebirth of the soul! I feel so much optimism and new possibilities. How about you? The image of beautiful butterflies come into my awareness. They reflect the journey of change and transformation. A journey that transforms a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly. One, that, to me, symbolizes our own internal journey of remembering who we are. A journey that begins anew in our mother’s womb and continues throughout our life giving us an opportunity for personal growth and an opportunity to remember that we are not separated from God/Goddess/All That Is, Source. We are all connected and a part of Oneness. We experience so many adventures along the way, don’t we? Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk reminds us that “We have within us a miraculous power, and if we live our daily lives in mindfulness, if we take steps mindfully, with love and care, we can produce the miracle and transform our world into a miraculous place to live.” The energy of spring supports miracles and opportunities for change and transformation and we can witness it everyday if we open our eyes and “see” the beauty that abounds! It’s all around us.  What...
I Choose to Change!

I Choose to Change!

“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk  Thich Nhat Hanh’s perspective offered me an opportunity to look at myself and what I believe. I found myself judging some people in powerful positions  and then wondering why they seem to resist making changes that many people feel good about. I found myself seeking to understand more and realized that fear may play a big role. Why? In my experience and working with clients many people find change is challenging when they are comfortable with the way things are or they want to please someone.  In the case of someone in a powerful role they might perceive a loss of power and support from donors if they change. It’s a choice, isn’t it? In everyday life we are presented so many opportunities to make changes in how we live, evaluate our priorities and values don’t we? Have you ever wanted to make a change in your life and wondered, “What will people think of me if I change or who will I become?” Fear can present itself big time. Often, self-doubt and judgment show up too! Maybe you hear that inner voice that tells you all the reasons why it won’t work! Take a deep breath when you do and remember that it never tells you the truth! Dr. Steve Maraboli, Author and Behavioral Scientist, reminds us that “We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles and you...
Spring is Here!

Spring is Here!

“ Never allow waiting to become a habit. Live your dreams and take risks. Life is happening now.” Paul Coelho, Brazilian lyricist and novelist Spring is here! Do you feel it? I’ve been noticing the beauty that is so bountiful. Seeds, hopes and dreams that have been planted and lain dormant are now sprouting. Flowers are blooming and the colors are spectacular and vibrant. What about the hopes, dreams, and relationships  that you’ve held dear? Are they beginning to sprout and blossom too? Paul Coelho reminds us that “life is happening now.” So true! I know it’s been very challenging for many of you during the past year; however, I hope you can embrace feeling more hopeful and optimistic during this symbolic time of renewal and new beginnings.  Please take time to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature; the beauty and worthiness of you and your unfolding hopes and dreams. Breathe in the light that’s within you and increasing around you. Imagine, once again, you as the Master Gardener nourishing and nurturing what you’ve planted. Will you nourish and nurture your garden with thoughts of gratitude, love, acceptance, compassion, and so much more? Or, will you use toxic thoughts and sow seeds of doubt and division? Your results will be different, yes?  During this time of renewal and new beginnings imagine your relationships as a precious part of your garden. What will you choose to use to nurture them? Will you nurture and nourish them with love, understanding, acceptance, respect, honesty, and integrity? Will you choose something else? Relationships when nourished and nurtured with positive intentions and communication...
Live Life to the Fullest!

Live Life to the Fullest!

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.” Ashley Smith, www.iamfearlesssoul.com Have you ever arrived at your destination and didn’t remember how you got there? I don’t know about you but it sure has happened to me! Have you ever wondered how much of your life is lived on auto-pilot, so to speak? How often do you move through daily routines and by evening wonder where the day went? Too often, I’m sure. This isn’t living life consciously or with intention is it? That’s why Ashley Smith’s quote resonated with me. I realize there are times I still ‘zone out’ and navigate some days on auto-pilot. There are fewer of them I’m pleased to say; however, I still have some. How about you? When I think about how short our time on earth is I recognize the importance of being present more and more. The only moment we really have is the present one. Why not live it more consciously? Engage all of your senses. Notice everything because what you experience in that moment will not happen again. Enjoy and live life to the fullest! Hear, see, smell; taste the rain and feel the beauty that abounds. Cherish relationships and if there are some that have served their purpose view them with gratitude and let them go willingly!  Imagine, dream, laugh, love and live life consciously! It’s more fulfilling and fun! For some, there’s always the searching for something better...

Thrive or Survive?

“The whole cosmos has come together to create you. You carry the whole cosmos inside you. That is why, to accept yourself and to love yourself is an expression of gratitude.” Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk  Hmmm. How often have you or someone else you know said, “I’m not good enough or I don’t deserve that or . . . (Fill in the blank)?” How often does your inner voice confirm this negative self talk? Has it ever told you the truth? Really? How many self-created limitations and beliefs prevent being and becoming more of our magnificent, empowered, and unique selves? Wow!! Imagine carrying the whole cosmos inside you. Would God/Goddess/All That is, the Source of which you are a part, the One that created you with love and limitless possibilities, expect you to fail and not thrive? No!  Isn’t it time to break through these old limiting beliefs and barriers? How would life change for you if you accepted who you are right now and loved yourself enough to claim you? Are you thriving or surviving? It’s a choice. One that we can make consciously. A choice to change ourselves. Maya Angelou, American poet and civil rights activist has said, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” What a beautiful outlook on life. Do you have a mission to thrive or survive? Thriving is more fun and less limiting, isn’t it? Thriving can mean many different things to each one of us. Surviving can also be a part...

Being Happy!

“‘What day is it,?’ Asked Pooh. ‘It’s today,’ squeaked Piglet. ‘My favorite day,’ said Pooh.” ~Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne, Author I love Winnie the Pooh and friends! So much wisdom shared simply by A.A. Milne through these beloved characters! I feel such joy when Pooh says, “My favorite day.” As I write this newsletter I’m reminded of my morning feeling fully present in this morning. I was aware of how happy I felt as I drank my coffee that was pre-programmed by my husband. I noticed the yummy smell and taste. I also felt happy as I acknowledged that I ‘get’ to be here on Earth another day and I’m healthy; my family and friends are too. I noticed the beauty of flowers blooming in my backyard and I felt happy, grateful, and yes, I even felt lucky! All while I enjoyed my coffee! Ahhh! Do you remember the last time you truly felt happy? Why was this moment different than others? I felt present! My ‘to do’ list wasn’t running through my thoughts. Worry was absent. I was present in the moment being happy! Roy T. Bennett, Author, reminds us that, “If you want to be happy, do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present.” There are many other spiritual teachers who also remind us about ‘being’ and living fully in the present moment. It is wondrous to experience it! It’s happened before but for some reason I noticed it more consciously this time.  I wondered, “Where do we find happiness?” Being happy, for me, feels good...

Self-Forgiveness

“ Only your compassion and loving kindness are invincible and without limit.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk  Have you ever experienced what feels like a life review? Through the years and more recently at odd moments and sometimes in sleep it’s like revisiting a movie that I’ve watched. In reality it’s the life I’ve lived in this time. I’ve had moments where I have found myself dwelling on situations and the little voice, I’ll call my negative ego, sounds off, “I should have done. . . It could have been. . . Or, it would have been.” Yikes! Self-doubt, guilt, shame, and disappointment are heavy burdens to bear! This experience has given me an opportunity to reflect. I’ve wondered why it seems so hard to be compassionate, kind, and forgiving of me. This is what I often recommend to others after all! LOL Confucius, Chinese philosopher and politician reminds us that, “The more you know yourself, the more you forgive yourself.” How true. I’m aware that each one of us is invited to dive deep into understanding and knowing the truth of who we are while we are here. This includes who we are at our core, in relationships with family, friends, and community; as well as our relationship with God/Goddess/All That Is, and how we help one another. Compassion, kindness, love, and forgiveness can’t be destroyed. We can freely give them to ourselves and others. Accepting them; however, is up to each one of us. That’s conscious choice. Forgiveness is an act of self-love and truly a gift. Many people believe that when you forgive yourself, self-acceptance...

Be Confident!

“Optimism is the most important human trait, because it allows us to evolve our ideas, to improve our situation, and to hope for a better tomorrow.” ~ Seth Godin, Author and entrepreneur How are you? There’s a lot going on isn’t there? I’m amazed at how fast time seems to be passing and there are days I have to focus on what day it is before getting out of bed in the morning! New routines have been created and continue to change and evolve. New ways of BEing are emerging. Overcoming challenges and creating ways to thrive in families, relationships, communities and the world continue to be front and center everyday. 2021 invites us to change and transform. We are invited to explore and remember  who we are and what we value; and what we’re willing to change within us. We have opportunities to make choices in our lives more consciously. During this time of change being optimistic while hoping for something better helps to keep us moving forward. Knowing that things can get better and improve helps to fuel our forward movement. Yes, we may have days of self-doubt and self-judgment and when those days happen I allow them. I am learning to become more of the observer of these energies rather than believe in and fortify them. What helps? I find that acknowledging them helps. I quiet my thoughts, through deep breathing, and move into my heart space where I feel peace and love. I recognize that I’m being invited to explore why I feel this way. I ask, “Why am I doubting and judging myself? What...

Love Is In The Air!

“We are all people who need to love, because Love is the soul’s life. Love is simply creation’s greatest joy.” ~Hafez, Spiritual poet and mystic Love is! I’m feeling the energies of love all around. Maybe it’s because it’s close to Valentine’s Day or maybe it’s because Love is who we are! Basking in and feeling these energies within and around me are making me smile. Loving and being loved are a gift beyond measure. Signs and symbols of Love are appearing as swans, sea shells, hearts, roses, doves, and Cupid. The Universe continues to whisper and send signs. Listening, hearing and recognizing them are up to us. As I reflect upon my spiritual journey of awakening I remember meditating one day several years ago and all of a sudden I felt an overwhelming sense of unconditional love. It was so powerful I broke down in tears. Words aren’t adequate to describe how it felt though. I felt humbled and yet in that moment I knew that Love is who we are and it’s unconditional. This isn’t the romantic love that we experience. Romantic love, loving and being loved by someone, is special and important as we learn to be in relationship with others. These feelings are exciting and can run deep in different ways. The unconditional Love I experienced felt deeper and more profound. Have you felt it? I’ve felt it many times during meditation when I’m centered and my thoughts are quiet. This awareness, that Love is always there to bask in is reinforced by Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk who said, “Love is a living,...

Keep Going!

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” Albert Einstein, Theoretical physicist I find it hard to believe that January is already ending! We’ve even experienced a Full Moon also known as a Wolf Moon. There’s been so much energy, including this lunar energy, to support and encourage us to ‘let go’ of  our baggage – the things that no longer serve us. Albert Einstein’s quote really resonated with me as I thought of my old baggage as the stuff I’m learning from the past. In fact, many yesterdays! It’s a beautiful reminder that today is what’s real although having hope plays an important part for the future. We’re invited to continually question what’s working and not working for us in every moment. Then, consciously choose to let go of the old stuff or not! Some things are easier than others.  What about the fear of letting go of what’s known and comfortable? Are you ready? Do you think about being different if you clean your closet so to speak? Maybe create a new wardrobe! How fun! Do you wonder how your friends and family will respond to the change in you? Keep going. It’s ok to become more of who you are! Imagine how much lighter you will feel when you do this! Whew!  Being awake, aware, and accountable for you and your life with intention is a beautiful way to be and live. Why let someone else choose for you? Once you realize your own power and the gift of free will – the power to choose with...

BE!

“When day comes, we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid. The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.” ~ Amanda Gorman, Youth Poet Laureate My soul was touched during the Presidential Inauguration ceremony as I listened to Amanda Gorman’s powerful poem ‘The Hill We Climb’. She radiated beauty, light, and love as she delivered it. Goosebumps! It reminded me of how often the words ‘with light and love’ and ‘being vs doing’ are used as we spiritually awaken to greater remembering and depths of understanding who we are. For many years I’ve believed that our true essence, which some may call our eternal soul, is LOVE and the embodiment of light. However, the concept of ‘being and not doing’ has only made sense to me in recent years. Why did it take me so long to understand? I didn’t think that I wasn’t brave enough. As I journeyed I learned that I couldn’t intellectualize it. In fact, I had to give myself permission to unlearn some things. One of the big ones was to re-vision what success and reward meant to me after spending so many years in Corporate America where success meant producing results and answering ‘what have you done for me lately’? It’s amazing how much unlearning there is once a conscious decision to awaken is made. Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk said, “We have a tendency to think in terms of doing and not in terms of being. We think that when we...

Happiness is a Choice!

“When you think everything is someone else’s fault, you suffer a lot. When you realize everything springs only from yourself, you will learn both peace and joy.” ~Dalai Lama Do you realize how powerful you are? Not muscle strength but inner strength! It took me quite a few years before I accepted the truth that everything begins within me. In fact, this awareness and understanding continue to deepen all of the time. I look back and wonder why it took me so long to “get it” and now I recognize that when I “got it” was the time I chose! Imagine that! LOL  Each one of us has been entrusted with an inner power that is wondrous and limitless. How happy are you? Yes, being happy is a choice as the Dalai Lama reminds us. Is it that easy, especially now with all of the chaos in the world? Yes, I believe it is. What we think and believe as well as the choices we make and how we respond to the choices made by others create our reality! We are powerful aren’t we? Imagine! Are you feeling a little down or stuck right now or are you wondering when things will return to normal, whatever that means for you? Take a minute to stop and breathe deeply a few times with your eyes closed. On your in breath imagine only love, gratitude, and possibilities entering and on your out breath imagine your feelings of frustration and suffering leaving you. Do this a few more times. Focus on your breathing until you feel your body relax and center. Better?...

Starting Newly!

A New Year has arrived! 2021 is probably one of the most welcomed new years ever, with almost the entire planet ready to put 2020 behind them. As always we at Storm Wisdom are thrilled to have this time of transition to a new year – front and center. New years, like birthdays or anniversaries, for most of us subconsciously triggers an internal review or personal inventory. We contemplate what we are ready to create; what to let go of; what has priority; and what no longer seems to fit. In other words, we tend to use these events to become current. We internally update our story. I was taken by surprise to realize how much 2020 really meant to me. It was a tough year for sure.., but it was also an awakening. It felt almost like a year long workshop on intentional living. Part way though the year, I began to realize that my years of focusing on mindfully creating life was much more than some distant destination I was trying to reach. I was already living it. I remember writing at one point that I was aware of the storm around me, but felt like I was experiencing the calm in the middle of it. Yes it required sacrifice and upset many routines. But it was also something I could navigate without losing my sense of self or purpose. Everything around me came into focus and what wasn’t important slipped away. Everyone and everything that held meaning was drawn closer to my heart (even if I couldn’t see them). I could breath.., and I could feel...

Happy New Year!

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’” ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson, British poet 2021 has arrived and I’m feeling optimistic and hopeful! Holiday celebrations were very different for us and most of you this year. I took time to reflect on the difference and I realized that the holidays this year were just different – not good or bad! Opportunities for inner reflection and feelings of gratitude emerged and soared during this time. I guess, you might say, I leaned more into acceptance rather than resistance. Instead, I acknowledged the many blessings in my life and now that the energies of change and transformation are supporting us in 2021 I feel new levels of hope! How about you? I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions; however, I was struck by a reminder that was shared by Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist, “Every morning, when we wake up, we have twenty-four brand-new hours to live. What a precious gift! We have the capacity to live in a way that these twenty-four hours will bring peace, joy, and happiness to ourselves and others.” In fact, it reminds me of the intention I say when I wake up in the morning, “I get to be here another day with the people I love and help others. I get to become more of my truest self – LOVE!” Being here at this time is truly a gift! I am the author of my life and each day with twenty-four brand-new hours to live gives me an opportunity to write a...

Gifts From the Heart!

“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist Happy Holidays to each one of you! This year has presented many challenges as we celebrate traditions, holidays, and significant milestones in our lives and the lives of our families and friends. Re-imagining how to celebrate while staying healthy and safe has created sadness, disappointment and stress for many. I realize this. It’s affected me and my family too. I found that I had to remain open to and accept a new way of experiencing the holidays. I also had to let go of the past and “what was” before I could enjoy something different and new. Remaining healthy was key to each of my family members. In some ways I feel we had a deeper connection finding meaningful ways to be present to one another instead of meeting in person. I found so much acceptance, joy, and gratitude for the many blessings in my life on Christmas morning. In the past we’ve usually been hustling and bustling with gift opening and preparing food to take to a family gathering.  My husband and I began Christmas morning by sitting in front of the fireplace, enjoying the lights on our Christmas tree and we reflected on years past with gratitude. Being present to each other in this way touched both of our hearts! We’ve never enjoyed this time in the same way. Later we enjoyed a lovely meal together and connected with friends and family members through phone calls, texts, and FaceTime during the day. Technology can be wonderful! The...

Enjoy Every Minute!

“I promise myself that I will enjoy every minute of everyday that is given to me to live.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist What an amazing and powerful month of holiday celebrations! This week, Monday, December 21st is the Winter Solstice, the first day of Winter, and we find many cultures celebrate this event in a variety of ways. In addition, Jupiter becomes conjunct with Saturn and can be seen from Earth for the first time in over 800 years! This planetary alignment is also known by some as the Bethlehem/Christmas Star. In Christian traditions the Bethlehem Star is also associated with leading the three wise men to Bethlehem. Merry Christmas if you celebrate it and Happy Hanukkah for those of you who celebrated!  With the Solstice new directions and goals, opportunities, growth, and possibilities are supported. It feels, to me, like entering a time of hibernation where I can reflect on my old habits, perceptions, and behaviors that I want to release and then envision, imagine and dream about new possibilities for the coming year. It’s not a time to push and force something to happen! Rather, it’s an invitation to enjoy everyday that we’re alive and give ourselves permission to dream big! It’s not about resolutions for the New Year, rather a new way to BE and live. What a gift we’ve been given to live our lives intentionally and consciously. Now, with these supportive energies I feel like our inner canvas is clear. We are invited to use our inner artistry to create another masterpiece of our life intentionally. Jonathan Lockwood...

Reach Out!

“Faith is an oasis in the heart which will never be reached by the caravan of thinking.” ~Khalil Gibran, Writer, poet, visual artist, and philosopher  This week I’ve talked to several people who are feeling more isolated and alone than ever. 2020 has been a year of changes, trauma, and challenges. So many are suffering from what is becoming known as “Covid burnout.” Thanksgiving gatherings and other social activities have brought on an  increased number of people infected and hospitalized with the virus. In addition, more economic pressure on individuals and families without seeing any help in the near future has added more stress and feelings of isolation and desperation. I’m an optimist by nature and I find myself consciously looking for the light at the end of the tunnel and bright spots. I don’t want to dwell on what’s negative and wrong. I admit that some days are more challenging than others. To combat this, before I get out of bed, everyday I offer my gratitude for being alive and ask, “How can I help someone today?” When I feel down or discouraged I take time to go inward into my heart space to re-ignite the spark of hope within me. It’s here that my thoughts quiet and my faith in humanity is restored. It’s also here that I remember to reach out to my friends and family to see how they’re doing. I realize that I’m not alone and the feelings of separation and isolation go away. I remember that I am LOVE and we’re all connected. Through my reaching out to someone else my situation doesn’t...

Finding Yourself!

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk, author, and peace activist When I work with clients I’m often asked, “Who am I and what’s my purpose?” In fact, for many years I asked these same questions during my own meditations. Looking back there are 3 moments that stand out for me as I’ve traveled this journey of spiritual awakening. Several years ago while I attended Theology school, during a Spiritual Direction segment, I was enjoying a walking meditation and I asked, “What’s my purpose?” I heard, “To help people remember.” At the time I had no clue what this meant.  On another day during morning prayer I saw the words from Hosea written on the wall behind the altar, “Come to the desert and I will speak to your heart.” Tears rolled down my cheeks. Not long before I had relocated to Arizona from the Bay Area with my family. The third stand out moment, as I look back, came during an intense weekend retreat where, during one of the exercises, we were asked to shout out, “Who am I?” I shouted, “LOVE!” That’s who I am. Others participating shouted different things. We are all individual and unique! So are our journeys. These experiences felt like seeds that had been planted and brought into my consciousness. It’s taken many many years to nurture, reflect, and allow them to grow. Accepting and BEing myself without wanting to please others first has been quite a journey. How about you? Others believed in...

Take Care of You!

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserves your love and affection.” ~Buddha, Philosopher, spiritual teacher, and religious leader I hope your Thanksgiving was enjoyable. Mine was different, like many of you, and I was grateful I had energy enough to cook a few things while my husband barbecued turkey and sausages! I have to admit that once we ate I crashed and took a long nap! I’m also grateful that my COVID results came back negative. It seems like I had and I’m recovering from a nasty flu. I am on the road to recovery and feel better every day. Thanks so much for your wonderful healing wishes. I’ve had plenty of time for self-reflection during this recovery. I realize that taking care of me hasn’t always been a high priority. I find it’s easier to take care of others first. Even while I was sick I found my first concern was not to infect my husband. Fortunately, he helped me during my weakest moments. I remember one day, as I was reflecting, the image of me as superwoman appeared. Guess what? I could see how wanting to take care of others first became a habit throughout my life. I’ve always been strong and thought I could do anything. I learned, once again, I don’t have to do it all and I’m not a very good patient! I asked, “Why did I get sick? What’s mine to know about this experience?” One of my greatest awarenesses was “surrender”. For those of us who like to “be in charge or control things” I found it challenging...

Gratitude!

“Today, let us swim wildly, joyously in gratitude.” ~Rumi 2020 brings a different way of living and being. Most of this content I wrote in September 2019. I’m sick and I’m grateful for a partner who is here to help me. It began Tuesday and hit hard Wednesday. I’m grateful that I still have taste and smell. Hopefully I just have an ugly case of the flu. Just to be careful I’m being tested for COVID-19 tonight. I won’t go over the details though. Will keep you posted, however. We don’t go out often and when we do we wear masks. Mostly we’re home!It serves as a reminder to BE in each and every moment in gratitude. It doesn’t matter if one moment is challenging I’m reminded that the next one can be different. It’s a choice and one that is mine to make. Sometimes in a moment of challenge it is often difficult to see another way.  As I imagine swimming wildly and joyously in gratitude I close my eyes and allow myself to “feel” a greater sense of joy and freedom – a greater sense of peace. Yes, I even imagine a big smile on my face and a lightness in my heart. This has been a particularly challenging week for me personally –  loving, supporting, and being present for a loved one who was in the hospital. While there I experienced a full range of emotions that included love, impatience, fear, helplessness, hope, and gratitude to name a few. To be honest, I haven’t quite reached this state. Seems like all I do is sleep! When...

I just launched a new online course…

Hey there.., Charles here. I want to share some exciting news with you. I just launched a new online course called “The Magic of Crystals – Tools for Intentional Living”. You can find this course at https://courses.stormwisdom.com/courses/magicofcrystals But beyond announcing this, I want to share why this feels like such a personal celebration for me. So if you’re interested, here’s a bit of my story…. The first time I was introduced to crystals was in a Lucid Living workshop in 2004. Before that, I have no memory of ever seeing a crystal or ever thinking about them. Let’s face it, crystals are not likely to come up in conversation very often in the corporate world, which at the time, is very much were I was happily entrenched. The workshop wasn’t a crystal workshop per se, however they were talking about using them as a way to manifest and create shifts or changes in your life. The truth is, I blocked out most of what they were saying. It is not that I did not believe them, I just thought it wasn’t for me. To each his own. But when break time came, that did not stop me from marveling at their beauty and the wonder that these marvels came out of and from the earth. I was so drawn to them as a form of natural art that I ended up purchasing several of them for my home. Immediately my world began to shift and change. Even if it took me a while to figure out how and why. I began to absorb, explore, and study everything I could...

Wisdom is Available!

“All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word, freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.” ~ Winston Churchill, British statesman, army officer, writer, Prime Minister of the UK I hope all of you are doing well and not stressing too much about the upcoming holidays and what to do about them. My prayer is that you stay safe and enjoy them in a different and more creative way than usual. Allow them to be different! I’ve been reflecting a lot about wisdom this week. As I channel messages and information I often hear “wisdom, information, and guidance”. So I’ve been sitting with what wisdom means to me. In fact I would add the single word “wisdom” to Winston Churchill’s quote. Like many people, I think of wisdom as a virtue. Where does it come from? Well, for many it comes when you’re centered in your heart space and your thoughts are quiet. When a question is asked the answer comes without thinking about or analyzing it. Wisdom is innate and available to anyone. Others consider wisdom as an ability to think and act using experience, knowledge, and insight. How about you? Hmmm. More reflection to come. When I seek guidance and wisdom in my centered and quiet state I wonder how my own filters influence what I receive? Through my own practice I’ve learned that clarity comes as I surrender to God/Goddess/All That Is – Source. I’ve learned to trust and my thoughts quiet more easily. It’s taken practice though. Most of us strive to be the best versions of ourselves that we...

Breathe and Be Gentle!

“Our greatest strength lies in the gentleness and tenderness of our heart.” ~ Rumi, Persian poet, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic I realize that you may be feeling a wide range of emotions right now. Let’s take a moment to stop, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths. Bring your awareness into your heart space and imagine a flame burning brightly. Focus on the flame and feel your body begin to relax – every cell and fiber of your being is relaxing. Feel your thoughts begin to quiet. Now, feel the warmth of the flame that’s burning so bright and imagine it represents unconditional love. Take a moment and feel this love deep within you,  through you, and as you. Remember, this is who you are at your core and remember how much you are loved by God/Goddess/All That Is, Source. Ahhhhh!! Allow this moment to help rejuvenate and refuel your energy from your heart space and love. Feel your inner strength grow.  This has been a crazy week of emotional ups and downs so please let yourself be gentle with you, right now. You deserve it! L.R. Knots, Author, feminist, and social justice activist tells us,“Do not underestimate the power of gentleness. Gentleness is strength wrapped in peace, and therein lies the power to change the world.” Answers, perseverance, courage, intuition, wisdom, and so much more resides within each one of us. Quieting thoughts, quieting your mind, and moving into your heart space helps to access them. Being able to “hear” the answers is key and requires minimizing and/or removing all background noise and thought....

Voting is a Human Right!

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt, American politician and 32nd President of the USA This newsletter isn’t meant to be a political statement. My intention is to bring awareness so that you exercise your human right to vote! Some of you may be feeling like there’s a lot in your life that feels out of control. We’ve talked about these chaotic times in previous newsletters. It’s not surprising that you might also feel excited, elated, disappointed, disillusioned, and fearful all in the same day. Remember to stop, take some deep breaths, and bring your awareness into your heart space while you ride the wave of emotions that you feel. These are your feelings and you don’t have to hold onto or suppress them. Feel them and then let them go as you become more centered and calm. Focus on what you can do in each moment. We voted! Have you? Maybe you’ve felt excited and energized. Maybe some of you have felt afraid that your vote won’t be counted. You’re not alone. I found myself researching alternative ways to submit my ballot rather than mailing it for the first time. Wow!! Challenges, yes? There are also solutions. I found that I could deliver it to an official ballot DropBox in AZ and then track my ballot to make sure that it was verified and certified. It worked great! There are many websites with information; however, I found the AZ Secretary of State, AZSOS.gov and recorder.maricopa.gov to be very helpful. I’m sure that these options, as well as others, are available where you...

Faith – Hope – Love!

“There is no love without hope, no hope without love, and neither love nor hope without faith.” ~ St. Augustine, Theologian, philosopher, and Bishop of Hippo Regis in Namibia  There’s a lot going on right now, isn’t there? Two full moons this month, a pandemic, and elections to name a few things. The upcoming full moon which is also known as a blue moon or Harvest moon usually represents a time for hunters to prepare for the Winter and stockpiling food. How many of you believe you’ve already been stockpiling food with these “stay at home” times? LOL Regardless, this has also been a time to forgive and love ourselves and not lose faith in one another or humanity; a time to feel the sparks of hope within us ignite! I realize that at times this seems hard to do. We are resilient and can create amazing things in our lives in spite of what seems like insurmountable odds, at times – we persevere! Many of you can relate to this I’m sure. Faith, hope, and love help us continue moving forward. I believe that our true nature comes from love. We are human beings and deep within us our core essence is love. Part of our journey is to remember this! Love is the greatest transformer of all. When you feel uncertain, anxious, overwhelmed or are creating new ways of being for yourselves remember to close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Bring your awareness into your heart space and imagine tapping into the source and pool of love deep within you. Swim in it. Feel it....

Your Voice Counts!

“Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.” ~ Oprah Winfrey, TV host, actress, producer, media executive, author Have you ever held back the words that express your true feelings? Have you found yourself not wanting to disappoint someone if you did? Have you ever felt that you might lose someone’s love if you told them something you thought they didn’t want to hear? How did you feel afterward? How many times in life has this occurred? As I look back on my life I haven’t counted the times; however, I remember important moments when it’s happened to me. At that time in my life I lacked the courage to speak up and express my true feelings because I didn’t want to disappoint someone. In the end it was me that was disappointed. This has been part of my journey. I’m much better now about speaking my truth. My voice and yours counts! I look back on the times I didn’t vote because I didn’t think it was important. I didn’t feel like my vote mattered. Well, as I’ve become more aware and make conscious choices, through the years, I realize that this isn’t true. What if, everyone felt like I did? In fact, there’s a large percentage of our population who don’t vote for a variety of reasons. Voting is a part of speaking our truth and having our voices heard. The late John Lewis, U.S. House of Representatives for Georgia’s 5th Congressional District and civil rights leader reminds us that, “The vote is precious. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in...

Laugh – Sing – Dance!

“Laughter is the sound of the soul dancing.”  ~ Jarod Kintz, Author With all of the craziness and drama that’s going on in our country right now I realized that I can either enter the drama or not. So I’m choosing not!! Laughter and it’s impact on healing as well as singing and dancing to feel happy have emerged front and center for me this week. Does this sound weird? As I write this newsletter I hear Pharrell Williams singing his “Happy” song and imagine my soul dancing as I smile and feel good! So much better than joining in drama that I have no control over. How I respond to it is what I can control!  Don’t get me wrong. I realize there are serious things going on right now with significant impact and consequences for our country and each one of us. What I realize is that it’s important, more than ever, to focus on the choices I make and how I respond to choices made by others. I continue to remember who I am in my core and that is LOVE. I intend to become more loving, kind,  and compassionate for me and others.  Do you know who Ziggy Marley is? I love his father, Bob Marley’s, music. I saw Ziggy interviewed recently and learned that he’s also an amazing Jamaican musician and philanthropist. The lyrics of his song “Love is the Only Law” really resonated because I believe Love is the greatest transformer of all. Ziggy sings, “We only live to learn to love and no lesson is greater. Make it your gain, suffer no shame.” I...

Have Faith in You!

“The best way to take care of the future is take care of the present moment.” Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk, peace activist So much going on in the world and in our country! Chaos seems non-stop! Do you feel like you’re on a roller coaster at times? Are you holding on to your hats? Would you rather stay in bed and not face the day sometimes? In the midst of what feels overwhelming at times please remember that you can control how you respond to everything. That defines your experience.  I don’t know about you but when I feel like things are out of control it seems like there’s no way out. That’s when I remind myself to take deep breaths and remember that I create my reality; I’m not a victim or martyr; and I have choices that I can make. This is what I can control! Thich Nhat Hanh also tells us that, “We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.” It’s easy to lose sight of this when we feel out of control! I find when I’m in this state I begin to second guess my decisions and choices. My thoughts are going 90 miles an hour. I forget all of the times I’ve responded to situations, including chaotic ones, and the choice I’ve made has been great!  Hmmm. So why during unfamiliar or chaotic times does this happen? Why don’t I have faith in me any longer? It happens less and less. I understand that, for me, this is part of the journey of awakening. It’s one of reclaiming my power...

Be Authentic!

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ~Aristotle, Greek philosopher Knowing myself is one of the most amazing journeys I’ve undertaken. On the surface it sounds simple doesn’t it? What I’ve discovered is that, like a spiral, there are deeper and deeper levels of remembering and re-discovery. There are also many layers of letting go of old perceptions, habits, and beliefs. This has been a conscious journey of mine for over 30 years and it continues. In the beginning I believed that what I did and what others expected of me was who I was. A big part of becoming more of my authentic self has been remembering that I’m not what I do! I do and have done many things. I’m not what others want me to be or think of me either! The real, actual, genuine and authentic me is a foundation of love. I’m choosing to become more loving, kind, accepting, and compassionate with myself and others! Seeking to understand and speaking my truth rather than worry about pleasing someone else or wondering what they will think of me has also been a part of this journey. Along the way I realized that I feared “being seen as different” and could possibly lose the love of my family. My fear wasn’t real though; however, it played a big role in the story I created. This was something that I had to face and decide what changes I would make in my life to live more authentically. It felt like de-constructing me and who I thought I was after so many years of outside influences. It...

Where Do You Find Peace?

“If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else.” ~ Marvin Gaye, Singer, songwriter, record producer Chaos seems to be ever present right now with no sign of letting up any time soon. In addition to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis I was so sorry to hear about the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg this week. Her courage, perseverance and belief in fighting for women’s rights, civil rights, and equality for all is remarkable and she will be missed. I’m reminded that now, more than ever, is a time for each one of us to remain centered and focus on positive and peaceful outcomes.  I know at times you may feel overwhelmed and when you do please remember to take a few deep breaths and bring your awareness into your heart space. Imagine the spark of hope and unconditional love are yours to connect with from here. Feel it. Cherish it. Allow yourself to relax and let the calm move through your body. Remember, peace begins within.  Finding peace in the midst of chaos might seem challenging. Once you begin practicing it becomes easier and almost second nature. Being aware and conscious of when you aren’t centered and feeling peaceful is part of the practice. When you aren’t or feel overwhelmed ask yourself, “Is what I’m feeling mine or coming from somewhere else?” Many of you are sensitive to other energies and are empathic. Recognizing what’s yours and what’s not is important. If it isn’t yours then ask to release all that’s not yours! Imagine how much lighter you will feel. Do you feel...

Exercise Your Spiritual Muscles!

“The fruit of love is service, which is compassion in action.”  ~Mother Teresa, Consecrated Roman Catholic religious nun What are spiritual muscles? They might be different for each one of you; however, for me, the foundation of mine comes from faith – what do I believe? Then, hope, wisdom, love, and compassion follow. Why write about exercising your spiritual muscles in this way now? I feel it’s time to live more intentionally and consciously. This isn’t new or surprising coming from me, right? As we exercise to keep our physical bodies healthy it’s also necessary to exercise our spiritual muscles. If they aren’t used then they lose their tone and effectiveness much like our physical muscles.  So, I wondered during my quiet and reflective time, “How can I exercise my  spiritual muscles? What does this mean?” I realized that I’ve been exercising them but haven’t always been conscious of it. I also recognize that this is something I can control and change! WooHoo!! Like with physical exercise I’ve found that practice makes a difference. Think of it as creating muscle memory! Faith in yourself, hope, love, compassion, and wisdom will grow as you practice After so many months of continued chaos and uncertainty in our world with no end in sight I continue to ask, “How can I make a difference?” The answer always is, “BEcome more of your truest nature which is love! This is what you can control. This is what will make a difference to those around you! For when you are BEcoming more of your truest nature, love, this affects the resonance of all life!” ...

Jump – Leap – Arrive!

“Hope is passion for what is possible.” ~Soren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher, theologian, and author Lunar energy has been intense this week! Have you felt it? We’ve experienced a Full Corn Moon instead of a Harvest Moon. Why is it different? Typically, at this time, we’re ready to harvest the seeds of what ideas and visions that we planted during the Spring. In addition to this the energy of the Full Corn Moon brings up and accentuates sensitivities, emotions, and creates openings to new possibilities. It only appears once every 3 years so I hope you’ve been practicing good self care! You may have wondered why things seemed different given all that’s been going on this year with change and uncertainty. Your emotions may have felt like they were running wild!  I’ve been feeling more optimistic and hopeful in spite of the intensity. Kierkegaard tells us that hope is the fuel for what’s possible. It feels like the spark of hope within me has ignited and is stronger than ever. I’ve noticed that I don’t feel triggered as much considering the divisiveness, uncertainty, tension, and negativity that’s happening in the world right now.  Why? I’ve chosen to spend more time in my inner world accessing available insights and wisdom. I’ve chosen to take a leap of faith, so to speak, and focus on what I can change. Change begins with me. For me, love is the greatest transformer of all and I find myself returning to the source of my being which is love. St. Augustine of Hippo, Theologian, philosopher, and bishop has said, “ There is no love without hope,...

Why Am I Here?

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion, and the will to help others.” ~ Albert Schweitzer, Theologian, physician, humanitarian, philosopher, and writer Lately, it seems like I’m riding an emotional wave at unexpected times. How about you? One day this week I felt my heart breaking and my soul cried out, “Enough! It’s time to stop and treat one another as equals with compassion and kindness.” So much seems broken right now; however, I believe we are being shown things that have been broken for many many years and now is the time for them to come into the light. Many people believe that we are at a tipping point, a time to make changes. Instead of wallowing in despair and hopelessness I took a few deep breaths and moved into my heart space then focused on what I’m grateful for in my life. There are so many things including: I’m grateful for the awakening of more human beings and for the opportunity to BE more consciously responsible and accountable for my choices in ways I haven’t been in the past. There is a clarion call for change and each one of us can play a role. I wondered, “What if we treated one another as equals? What if we looked deeply within ourselves and noticed what we still hold separate? Are we courageous enough to claim and integrate them? Is change possible?” Yes, I believe it is and I’m hopeful. I recently was invited to listen to The Turning sung by Justin Michael Williams, Author, recording artist, and transformational speaker. The refrain reinforced...

You Are a Creator!

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I’m changing myself.” ~ Rumi, Persian poet, Islamic scholar, theologian and Sufi mystic So much change is going on in the world and everyday life! Things are not what we’re used to anymore. We’ve been experiencing a pandemic, fires in some areas, protests, staying at home more, wearing masks, worrying about family and friends, buying groceries online, traveling less, communicating via Zoom, and so much more. Whew, I hear so many of you saying, “I can’t wait until things return to normal!” I wonder what that really looks like, don’t you? During quiet moments we’ve had time for inner reflection and to imagine what the new normal might be. It’s different for each one of us. Once the seed of change begins to sprout and grow then we ask, “What in me and my life am I willing to change for my new normal to be created?” If this exploration isn’t challenging enough there have been intense universal energies encouraging us to let go of old stuff and open to new possibilities. Elkhart Tolle, Spiritual teacher and author has said, “When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life.” Amazing, isn’t it? Leaning into uncertainty isn’t always easy. For those of you who like to be in charge or control the outcome of your decisions this can be especially difficult. I always thought I loved change and then several years ago I realized that I only loved it when I thought I could control it! That was a big...

In Search of Wholeness!

“Love is the name for our pursuit of wholeness, for our desire to be complete.” ~ Plato, Athenian Philosopher Have you ever thought that you weren’t “complete” and that something was missing? Have you found yourself always looking for something outside of you to fulfill what you thought was missing? I’ve heard so many people say, “If only I could find a wonderful relationship or if only I lived somewhere else or if only I could find my perfect job then I would feel complete.” The common thread is that there is a belief that looking outside of oneself is how you feel complete or whole. I believe as Plato so simply stated that our search for wholeness is Love! Our essence is love and the journey to rediscover it is within us. That’s who we are. When I think about it aren’t we afraid to lose love or want to feel loved or feel like we don’t deserve it? “We are already love so how can it be lost?” I ask. This is part of our journey isn’t it? To remember. We are already whole and complete unless we believe we aren’t. I understand there are also parts of us that we have rejected through the years and it’s important to reclaim, accept, love, and integrate them back within us. I’ve been experiencing this myself recently. It feels good when it happens. For me, it’s been happening during my lucid dreaming where it seems like a life review happens and then I feel the emotion and reclaim and welcome the part(s) of me that I’ve rejected for many...

The Lion’s Gate Portal Opens!

“. . .the season of the sacred feminine is upon us, bringing with it a return to a simpler, natural, life-centered ethos that puts people and the environment above money and things.” ~Karen Clark-Shepard, American Grammy Award winning musician and songwriter The Lion’s Gate Portal opened once again on August 8, 2020. Why is this significant? I’ve heard from several people that they feel more emotional, tired, and have flu-like, non-COVID, symptoms. The universal energies are pretty intense right now and, in some cases, amplifying what’s being felt in the world. So what does it mean? This is a time when the rising star of Sirius aligns with the summer sun in Leo and Earth. Powerful and intense energy can be felt. It’s a time for illuminating our inner self, goals and ambitions. Courage is called upon to navigate these energies. Opportunities are opening for us to make changes if we choose and step into our personal power. Sirius, in Astrology, represents wealth, passion, honor, abundance, confidence, will power, and self-expression. According to cheap psychics, think about it as a super charged opportunity to raise consciousness! Whew! In addition, it’s also known as the “Stargate of the Goddess”. Hmmm. Divine feminine energy of harmony and balance are showering us too. Self-care is important! While psychics have traditionally profited from claiming to predict the future or communicating with deceased relatives, many are now working in the general field of wellness, calling themselves “intuitives” or “intuitive healers,” who channel “energy” that helps people discover what they want out of life, find them at https://www.heraldnet.com/national-marketplace/online-psychics-top-5-psychic-reading-sites-for-100-accurate-predictions/. I can’t think of a more perfect...

Accept and Love Yourself!

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist Monk How often do you find yourself trying to be what others think you should be? Have you ever felt like you don’t matter, aren’t seen or heard? If you’ve felt like any of these you aren’t alone. Through the years I’ve felt some of this too! It’s taken me many years of being willing to be introspective and dive deep within myself to seek understanding and reclaim my own power of being me. Accepting, owning, and loving me has become a daily adventure!  How do you feel about being beautiful? Judith Manganiello, Friend, author and founder of A Peace of the Universe recommended a practice many years ago and I still use and recommend it. Take a minute and look in the mirror and say, “I’m beautiful and I love you!” How does it feel? Comfortable or uncomfortable? Do you feel your inner beauty that shines through as you accept yourself? It may take time.   During this time of being more socially isolated the opportunity for self re-discovery has opened up for those who have been willing to experience more inner reflection and exploration. Rupi Kaur, Author, poet, artist, illustrator, and performer reminds us that, “How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you.” Like so many things, it all begins with us doesn’t it? I wonder why criticizing is easier than accepting and loving?  When I first began practicing looking in the mirror I was more focused on what...

Despair or Hope?

“Hope is the only thing that will keep you from despair.”  ~C.S. Lewis, British writer and theologian. There’s a lot going on, isn’t there? So many distractions in our external world make it more and more challenging to spend time in our inner world, yes? I’ve heard several people talk about how emotional they’ve been this week. One person described it as a change in barometric pressure that’s bringing up so much emotion. Another person said, “It feels like I’m cleaning out all of my old stuff including suppressed emotions.” And still others have described an emotional roller coaster experiencing highs and lows. How have you been feeling? I’ve found moments where I’ve asked, “What’s next? What else can happen now?” I’ve found myself feeling the collective pain and I’ve felt helpless at times. For those of you who are sensitive and feel energies of others this time presents great challenges. It’s important to know when the energies are yours or others. Now is a good time to practice, especially when you feel off, asking, “Is what I’m feeling mine or others?” If it’s not yours then ask for help from God, High Self or your guides to release them.  Currently there’s a wide range of emotion swirling around in the collective consciousness. The denser emotions can range from despair, hopelessness, rejection, sorrow, anxiety, anger, hate, and fear. Feelings of hope, love, understanding, acceptance, inner peace, kindness, compassion, and joy are also being felt in spite of what’s happening in the world. I’m encouraged and hopeful as I see people of all ages immersing themselves in beauty, helping others,...

You Are You!

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” ~Dr. Maya Angelou, American poet and Civil Rights Activist What is normal? How many times have you heard people say, “I can’t wait for things to return to normal?” Is that what we really want? Is it more that we want to feel more comfortable and in control of what’s going on around us? I love Dr. Maya Angelou’s quote as she brings up the possibility that we may never know how amazing we can be in doing so.  I’ve said this before, “I believe we’ve been given a great opportunity and in many ways a gift to create a new normal.” Whatever that means for each one of us. After all, we are all creators, aren’t we? More people are awakening to the fact that we have an opportunity to reclaim our power – the power that we’ve given to others for so many years. The canvas, gardens, or manuscripts are all blank. They are ours to fill. We are the Master Gardeners, Artists, Writers, and Musicians and can create more beauty, love, and stories with amazing outcomes. It’s our choice to survive or thrive! In other words, a new normal is ours to create. Dr. Angelou tells us, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, compassion, some humor and some style.” Our lives are ours to create and now more than ever is the time to let our voices be heard. We hear the cries of the oppressed,...

We’re In This Together!

“The adventure of life is to learn. The purpose of life is to grow. The nature of life is to change.” William Arthur Ward, Writer I don’t know about you but there are moments where I feel overwhelmed and I ask, “What in the heck is going on in the world? Why am I here? How can I make a difference when so much seems broken?” When I feel like this I know it’s time to take some deep cleansing breaths and move my awareness into my heart space and once again feel inner peace, love, and my connection to God/Goddess/All That Is, Source. In this space the spark of hope emerges and once again I realize I’m not alone. As I reflect on the quote by William Arthur Ward I remember that life is an adventure and I’ve always thought of it as an evolving journey that’s dynamic and not static. For me, it’s like a spiral. There’s no beginning or ending only ever deepening levels of understanding with abundant opportunities for personal growth and change. I know that change must first occur within me before anything in my outer world changes. I also realize that I don’t have to travel alone. So, it was timely to watch a new music video by Tim McGraw, Singer, actor, and record producer called “Here On Earth”. I felt uplifted and inspired after watching it. I loved the words and the refrain resonated as Tim McGraw sang, “It’s like we open our eyes for the very first time when we found out why we’re here on Earth.” I often meet clients...

Being Free!

“We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; . . .” ~ Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert R. Livingston, and Roger Sherman The above popular quote from the Declaration of Independence written by the Committee of 5 on July 4, 1776 and signed by 56 Congressional delegates on August 2, 1776 reflected a hard won independence and freedom for our country. Today, I realize how much I’ve taken my freedoms for granted. In fact, I feel like I’ve only just awakened to a deeper truth that not everyone enjoys the same freedoms that I do. If all men/women are created equal then why do we still treat people who we perceive are different from us with prejudice? Whether it’s the color of someone’s skin, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or gender – inequality persists. For too many years there has been a culture of domination, power over others, separation, and racism in our country. I know this is true and the inequities are coming into the light for all of us to see. Opportunities to change feel overwhelming at times and yet I am hopeful that there are ways of creating more freedom and equality for everyone. Buddha tells us, “No one outside ourselves can rule us inwardly. When we know this, we become free.” I’ve written before, that first, we must change within ourselves before things in our outer world can change. I believe this is more true than ever...

You Are a Healer!

“World peace begins with inner peace.” ~Dalai Lam How are you this week? With everything going on in the world do you find it more challenging to take time to focus on your inner world? Has it been more challenging to find your center and happy place? Does it seem like there are more distractions that prevent you from taking time for yourself and going within? If inner peace feels elusive then creating peace in the world isn’t possible. How can we begin? Have you thought of yourself as a healer? Hmmm. Close your eyes and feel how it resonates when you say, “I’m a healer.” Can you remember times when your physical body has healed either on its own or with help from practitioners? I believe we all are healers at some level. Some of you have chosen to enter healing professions, acquire healing techniques and tools, or create healing for others by listening. Have you created a healing and peaceful environment in your homes? Those of you who are drawn to the earth, think about how your touch or creation of beauty has helped heal the environment. What about looking within to become aware of the injured thoughts and beliefs that are often held deeply? This is one of the greatest healing experiences and gifts we can give to ourself as we acknowledge them and choose to let them go. Each one of us plays an important part in healing and creating peace through our words, beliefs, and actions. Through our individual growth, healing and peaceful feelings we contribute to the whole. We are One. The Dalai...

Let It Go!

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” ~Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher and writer Endings and beginnings! Wow, so many examples everyday. Systems, beliefs, biases, habits, routines, self-image and so much more. It’s amazing how synchronicity works. For example, my husband mentioned letting go might be a good topic to write about this week. Next, although I’ve never seen the movie Frozen, I kept hearing the song, “Let It Go” so I watched the animated YouTube version. Then, later as I listened to my Pandora playlist guess what song came up? “Let It Go” by James Bay! Synchronicity, I love it!! So, let it go, it is! How timely that we’re in the seasonal change represented by the Summer Solstice. As I reflected on “Letting Go” and how it applies to me I considered the energy of the Solstice which many feel represents new beginnings as well as an awakening and return to the light. Once again we’re invited to slow down, be patient and take time for self reflection. I think of this time as a gift and an opportunity to ask, “What do I believe? Am I aligned with my beliefs? What am I willing to change if I’m not. What am I willing to let go?” Brazilian lyricist and novelist, Paul Coelho has said, “If you’re brave enough to say goodby, life will reward you with a new hello.” In the moment it may not feel like it though. Remember, chaos precedes and follows change. There’s certainly lots of it around us right now. Are you ready to think about new beginnings and a new hello?...

Beauty is Felt With the Heart!

“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” ~ Helen Keller, American author, political activist, and lecturer In the midst of chaos, pandemic, staying home, political division, and protests this week I found myself seeking more and more beauty to find inner peace. I don’t mean to sound like a broken record but I believe that peace begins within me and so does beauty! I have felt my soul sigh with a deep heartfelt knowing that beauty, hope, peace, and love are possible regardless of what’s happening in the world. It’s ours to choose and experience. I’ve wondered, “How often do I take beauty for granted? Does beauty really reside within me?” Staying at home has provided time to become more aware of beauty in my life. It begins with the inner beauty I hold which can’t be seen or touched. It’s felt. In addition, there’s external beauty that includes: vibrant colors, fragrant flowers, birds singing, chalk art on the sidewalks, clouds in the sky, my home and health, and my relationships to name a few. How is this moment different? I feel beauty from my heart and soul in ways that seem deeper and more visceral. When I feel like this there is no room for fear, judgment, or self-doubt. It’s a conscious acknowledgment of feeling, seeing, hearing, accepting, and appreciating what’s within me as well as around me – not thinking or intellectualizing. The opportunity to BE more than constantly doing has contributed to these heightened awarenesses. Thich Nhat Hanh has said, “The mind can...

Be the Change!

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~Mahatma Gandhi, Lawyer, politician, activist and writer How are you feeling this week? It’s been another roller coaster ride of deep emotions for me. So much has been happening all around the world. First, a Pandemic then, 3 pivotal black lives killed triggering a peace movement, violence and looting. In addition, we’ve experienced a Lunar eclipse and a Strawberry full moon. Through these events I’ve seen how connected we are to one another throughout the world and seen long buried feelings of discrimination, inequality, and hatred come into the light of day once again. People have gathered in groups to demand change due to police brutality, inequality, and systems that are broken. I’ve also seen sparks of hope, courage, compassion, and a willingness to change during the chaos. For a moment I wondered if the significance of the Strawberry Moon was important. Considering so much chaos swirling I felt comforted that these lunar energies were supportive of self care, creating space to change our  lives as well as a time for us to step back and regroup. This is exactly where we are. Right now I hear singer, songwriter, peace activist, John Lennon’s words, “ . . . Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one. I hope some day you’ll join us and the world will be as one.” What kind of world do you imagine? We are all equal and no one is less or more than another truly. Unfortunately power over people...

Be a Warrior for Peace!

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops  of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”  Mahatma Gandhi, Lawyer, politician, activist and writer I was especially touched by Gandhi’s words this week. Although he is known for his activism I think of him as a warrior for peace. With so much chaos in the world due to the Pandemic and major life changes that have occurred we’ve seen, first hand, how inhumane some people can be. We’ve seen what appears to be little value for human life. We’ve seen black men, especially, singled out and killed by police. There is an underlying ongoing culture of discrimination that has reared it’s ugly head more publicly. In addition to being black there are biases against anyone that is perceived as “being different”. It feels like there’s a darkness and yet I believe that light and love will prevail. We have an opportunity to change these biases but first we must change our own. No one said it would be easy. Change and peace begin within! This week I’ve found myself riding a rollercoaster of emotions – disbelief, horror, anger, deep sorrow, grief, gratitude and hope. Whew! One minute up and the next one down. People are horrified and grieving after watching the brutal murder of George Floyd. This has triggered global protests demanding justice! Some are peaceful and others violent. Throughout history there have been cries for justice and equality for black people and some progress has been made but not enough. Their lives matter! Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so...

Forgive, Love, and Accept You!

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” `Gautama Buddha, Philosopher, Spiritual Teacher, & Religious Leader Staying home and being more physically isolated has created many opportunities for self reflection for me. How about you? Have you ever wondered if a decision you made in the past was the right one even though it may have been a few years ago? This has come up for me lately and kind of like an annoying gnat it doesn’t go away. It buzzes around and what I noticed is that self doubt, judgment, and second guessing became more dominant. In fact, I reached the point where I had to stop myself and sit with it for awhile. I found myself asking, “Why are these thoughts persisting? What is mine to know? How do I resolve this, stay present, and not dwell in the past?”  I know that I’m not the only one that does this. Hmmm. It seems that I have an old habit of judging myself. I guess it’s been a learned behavior through the years. After so many years self-judgment feels like my favorite pair of comfortable shoes. Yikes! “Why do I find it easier to judge me than accept and love me?” I wondered. Spiritual author, Don Miguel Ruiz has written, “Forgive yourself. The supreme act of forgiveness is when you can forgive yourself for all the wounds you’ve created in your own life. Forgiveness is an act of self-love. When you forgive yourself, self-acceptance begins and self-love grows.”  Why does forgiving oneself seem so hard? Have we learned that it’s...

We’re Only Human After All!

“The greatness of humanity is not being human, but in being humane.” ~Mahatma Gandhi, Lawyer, Politician, and Activist A couple of songs have been playing over and over in my head this week. First, “Rise Up” and “I’m Only Human After All” sung by Rag ‘n’ Bone Man. I couldn’t get the refrain out of my head today so I’ve been considering what’s mine to write about. Yes, I’m only human after all and I’m a spiritual being, as well, here to express my divine self as a human being so I began to think about what is happening around me. Change is a constant. Fear is all around if you choose to embrace it. Goodness and love are there to embrace as well. There are examples of humanity being humane and there is the contrast of human beings not being humane. Contrasts are very visible these days.  With so much going on I began to ask myself, “What do I believe? What is my truth? What do I value? How do I want to be remembered? How do I want to be treated? What choices will I make given many businesses are opening to more contact with customers?” I came to the conclusion that the answer to these questions is a personal and individual one. My intention is not to do harm to myself, loved ones or others. So I continue to hear Rag ‘n’ Bone Man sing, “Maybe I’m foolish. Maybe I’m blind. Thinking I can see through this and see what’s behind. Got no way to prove it so maybe I’m blind. But I’m only human...

Can You Love Yourself Too Much?

“How do you spell ‘love’?” – Piglet “You don’t spell it you feel it.” – Pooh Almost 20 years ago I participated in a weekend retreat that was designed to explore awakening the soul and why I was here. It was an intense weekend and I remember on the closing day one of the last experiences we had was asking our soul, “Why am I here?” Everyone was invited to shout it out. Although this was a group exercise each person’s answer was different. I heard shouts of courage, family, relationships and so much more. I shouted out, “Love.” Wow! I had no clue what it meant except what I will call a limited understanding of what it meant at that time. I realized that something deep within me had opened a door and I’ve been on a journey of remembering and rediscovering what love is since then. For many years I felt romantic love with my husband and love for my family. During meditation I felt, at times, an overwhelming sense of receiving love unconditionally. I’ve also accepted that my family loves me unconditionally even though what I believe has changed through the years. Intellectually I knew that there was a deeper love – a love of Source – a love that is me eternally. Last year when experiencing a family health crisis I became more vulnerable through the pain and fear of possibly losing love – love as I knew it. As Pooh said, “You don’t spell it you feel it.” This intense experience and the deep emotions I felt set into motion a feeling that love...

Out of the Darkness and Into the Light!

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr. It seems that daily I see more and more contrast and what is broken in our world and yet I also see more and more hope and inspiration emerging. There are days I say, “Enough! It’s time to begin fixing things!” Then I remember that really the only thing I can “fix” is me, the choices I make and how I respond to others’ choices! I realize that the more centered and peaceful I am the more around me changes. If I’m upset and angry or resentful then that’s what my reality reflects. I also hear many people wanting to return to “normal”. I ask myself, “What does normal mean in a new reality?” I don’t believe we can ever go back to how things were. In fact, I believe we are being offered an opportunity to create a new normal, so to speak. I feel like we’ve been given a gift if we choose to see it that way. For many of you this time is a crisis of identity. For others it can be a spiritual crisis or crisis of faith. Studying the mystics was one of my favorite subjects during Theology school. I remember reading Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross, a Spanish mystic and poet. For some of you this time may feel like a Dark Night of the Soul. A time to face fear and deeper truths about faith, self, expectations, beliefs, and dreams. I’ve...

What Are Your Super Powers?

“When we act from a space of love, we unleash our super powers.” ~ Nimesh Nimo Patel, Empty Hands Music Founder Hmmm. Super powers? Lately I’ve been so impressed with the selfless service of so many people throughout the world. To me they are fearless and yet fearful at the same time. Does this make sense? It makes me wonder about the courage it takes to be a health care worker, first responder, postal worker, sanitation worker, janitorial workers, grocery workers, warehouse workers, and so many other nameless professions and workers. What does it mean to be a hero? Is it something that one day you wake up and say, “Today I’m going to be a hero?” I don’t believe it. To me, a hero is someone who shows courage and in spite of a challenge they rise to the occasion in the moment. They step up to help others. I’m curious how you feel about what it means to be a hero. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if many of you are heroes and don’t think of what you do as anything special, right? I’ve followed Nimesh Nimo Patel for awhile and love his mission which is to spread seeds of goodness in the world through selfless service, music and love. His new song/video called SuperHeroes is worth listening to and watching. It reminds me of heroes in our daily lives who are doing extraordinary things as they show up helping others whether they are an adult or child that who were aided by powerful mythological beings like Angel Numbers that let them know how help people....

Into the Unknown!

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” ~ C.S. Lewis, British Novelist and Scholar How often have you heard the saying, “Now is all there is”? Does it resonate with you? Think about it. The past is gone except in memories. The future has many possibilities and is unknown. The present, NOW, is what’s real. The choices we make NOW will create the future! Make sense? So, the future is really unknown, isn’t it? Each one of us is being invited to take a huge leap of faith into the unknown. The choices we make today will create the future, yes? It sounds so easy doesn’t it? Well, I guess it can be once fear, anxiety, uncertainty, comfort, and the need or desire to control outcomes are released! Whew! How does that sound? For some, this can be challenging and for others I can hear the joy of leaping into the unknown with a loud shout of WooHoo!! In this moment, I feel that many people are overwhelmed with confusion, conflicting information, and yet a desire to stay safe and healthy. A desire to protect family, friends and loved ones but unable to in some cases with “stay at home and social distancing” guidelines. We see people experiencing these same things worldwide. In spite of the challenges we’ve also seen the resilience of the human spirit. People clapping while they recognize healthcare workers and first responders; a Romeo and Juliet story emerging after meeting on separate balconies; communities singing and helping one another as creative ways to...

A Time to Reflect!

“Don’t become too pre-occupied with what is happening around you. Pay more attention to what is going on within you.” ~ Mary-Frances Winters, Author I don’t know about you but “staying at home”, for me, has provided an incredible opportunity for inner and self-reflection. I find this type of reflection can be challenging. It’s so much easier when there are other things I can use to distract me! LOL In today’s environment it’s easy to focus on what’s going on around us through the media, friends, and the internet. Depending on the source you might find yourself immersed in fear and anxiety. When this happens it’s better to shut off the external influences! Remember there’s an invitation to take time for yourself – time to feel grateful, enjoy the beauty around you, immerse yourself in nature, and seek answers within. This requires quieting your racing thoughts and moving inward. I like to think of it as moving into my heart space or consciously meeting my soul! I find that when I do this I feel more calm and settled. Yes, there are many things going on in the outer world that I cannot control but when I’m in this space of calm I remember how blessed and loved I am. This I can control! Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher, has said, “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” Beautiful words of wisdom, yes? When I am immersed in fear and anxiety then I can choose to let it go and become more of what I might be – love, compassion, and...

Immerse Yourself In Beauty!

“And into the forest I go to lose my mind and find my soul.” John Muir, Naturalist and known as “Father of the National Parks”. I know it’s unrealistic for most people to “go into the forest” physically but using our imagination opens doors of possibilities. You can choose to enter any forest that you want! Beauty is what speaks to me this week in spite of what’s happening throughout the world. We are seeing the best and the worst manifest, aren’t we? We have a choice to make. I realize I can only control how I respond to everything since so much is out of my control. Whether you are “sheltering in place” or “staying at home” we have an opportunity to feed our souls and immerse ourselves in beauty! What does this mean to me? I find time each day to quiet my active thoughts and explore my inner world. My soul is happy when I focus on beauty. Sometimes it feels more real when I meditate sitting in the backyard or walking in the neighborhood and other times I use my imagination during meditation. I imagine beauty in a variety of forms. For example, I imagine my loved ones, nature, flowers, feeling loved, crystals, a piece of art, and so much more! I also feel my soul blossom. Does this make sense? For me, beauty abounds and is everywhere. It’s more than the physical. It resides within each one of us and when I immerse myself I can feel my soul doing a happy dance! I feel loved unconditionally. Khalil Gibran, writer, poet and philosopher has...

You Are The Artist!

“Replace fear with curiosity.” Steven Spielberg, American filmmaker How are you and your families doing/being this week? Life certainly has changed for most people, hasn’t it? This is definitely a time for experiencing the unknown in ways we never imagined. Being present, feeling, and enjoying every moment is what’s real. How we respond to what’s going on will create our experience, yes? This is an opportunity to dream, vision, and consider what new realities we want to create – what do we want to change, eliminate or add to our lives as we can – what is most important to us now? As I’ve moved through this week I’ve noticed how I feel more. Does this make sense? If you feel frustrated, sad, anxious, happy, or worried it’s ok. I hope you have a healthy way to express them! Maybe find a room or closet at home where you can take a few minutes to scream and let out your frustration! LOL If you are alone please look for ways to stay connected to someone. You are not alone and you are valued! How we respond to this crisis can be viewed as an opportunity to reset as well. I asked myself, “Do I focus on how awful things are or look for the magic and positive that’s happening?” I’m choosing the positive. We can choose to replace fear with curiosity and creativity. Maya Angelou, a great American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist, said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” I believe this is true. There is no limitation to...

A Season of Change

“Real change in the world will only come from a change of heart.” Dalai Lama Life as we’ve lived it has radically changed for most people in the world! How are you adjusting? As I talk to people I’ve found a variety of responses. Those who are working from home and have kids at home from schools closing find it challenging to keep young kids occupied while they work. Others with older children are enjoying online learning and are finding creative ways to have space for the privacy everyone needs. Families are scheduling lunch and dinner time together rather than shuttling kids to activities. Games are being dusted off and time is being set aside for the family to be together having fun. It’s also a great time to have conversations about what’s going on in the world and the individual dreams or concerns that are being held by each family member. Resist or embrace the coming together of family?  I know quite a few individuals who live alone. Some also work from home. It’s important to stay in touch to minimize the isolation that is felt. Knowing that someone cares is so important to overall health and well being. Please reach out via phone, text, e-mail or skype if you know someone who is alone! It can make a big difference. How are you adjusting your daily lives? I would love to hear from you. My husband and I are staying at home and only going out if it is essential. Fortunately the weather is cooperating and we can go for a walk in the neighborhood. I’ve noticed...

A Crystal Cocktail for the COVID-19

(Fluorite, Sunstone, and Amethyst) Covid-19 is a virus that affects specially older adults and people with a medical condition, so why not try here the steps and recommendation we are giving to the readers. First and most important to prevent this virus is crucial to keep your home and surfaces clean, which is why you should contact Eco Clean Solutions services so they can help you and ensure the cleaners can essentially work through a checklist of tasks that must be completed. This crystal cocktail is not offered as a way to eliminate or cure the Coronavirus (COVID-19). It is also not a replacement for taking care of yourself and does not eliminate the need for social distancing. Instead it offers a way to look at this pandemic through a personal lens of unification and Oneness. It is intended to share the perspective that this virus, along with the upheaval and chaos being created, offers us each a way to work with this situation as a means to facilitate personal growth and expand self-awareness. It allows us to choose conscious evolution and learning from this physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually challenging situation. While this is truly a pandemic that has real world consequences and realities, the truth is that when it is over, things will not be the same. Many everyday norms will have been altered, eliminated, or established. New ways of coexisting on the planet, including a much greater awareness of our interconnectedness, will emerge. This has the potential to shift our future in much needed ways. Including the need to support and work with one another. There...

I Choose Kindness!

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Dr. Seuss Right now there’s a lot of panic and fear in the world, right? Are you feeling it? I’ve seen crazy posts of empty shelves for food staples, water, toilet paper, and sanitizing products. Lines have been reported to wrap around Costco and other retailers. It’s amazing what gets stirred up when fear takes hold isn’t it? I’ve heard of people insisting they go to the front of the line when others have been waiting a longer time. I wonder what’s going through everyone’s mind. I know that in many cases these aren’t normal behaviors but in times of uncertainty fear can stimulate unusual behavior. Self preservation prevails. My intention this week isn’t to dwell on the fear, however. I would rather focus on being kind. Why? I’m reminded of something Zig Ziglar, a well known salesman, motivational speaker, and author has said, “ Life is an echo. What you send out, comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others, exists in you.” So true. In the metaphysical community we talk about being mirrors for one another – what we see in someone is a reflection of ourselves. Similar, yes? I totally agree that making sure we and our families are safe and cared for is critical but I also feel it’s time to take some deep breaths and imagine releasing the fear that is so heavily embedded in the collective consciousness right now. It’s ok to feel afraid of the unknown...

I Choose Love – Not Fear!

Can you still feel all of the Lunar energies? March has a Super Worm Moon and the Vernal Equinox happening. Energetically the signs of Spring, new opportunities and growth present themselves. Can you imagine the ideas, dreams, and visions you’ve been holding as seeds that were planted in the Fall and been dormant during the Winter? Now is the time they will begin sprouting and ready to grow. This is an opportunity for each one of us to choose to nurture these seeds so that they can flourish and grow. I’m asking myself right now, “Which of the seeds that are sprouting are the ones I’ve planted and which are ones that have been planted from the environment.” Sound strange? Think about how plants reseed on their own and with the help of our flying friends! I encourage some discernment during your centering, prayer and meditation practices. Be aware that the choices you make are yours! I’m bringing this up because there are so many external distractions right now. Current politics, elections, Coronavirus, and division among groups are front and center. Now, more than ever, is a time to be aware of the influences that affect the choices we make. As I was thinking about this the other day, once again, Andra Day singing “Rise Up” was on. Immediately I got goose bumps and felt a deep longing. What captured my attention was the verse she sang, “All we need, all we need is hope and for that we have each other. And for that we have each other. We will rise. We will rise. We will rise, oh...

Be Strong and Remain Open to Receive!

I’ve had a couple of very strong reminders recently that it’s ok and better for me to be open and receive help, love, and support from others. Sigmund Freud a Neurologist who is known for Psychoanalysis said, “Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.” As I meditated I asked myself, “What is it about being “vulnerable” that feels so uncomfortable even when it makes me feel better and stronger?” Can being vulnerable really be a super power? I’ve found that suppressing how I feel doesn’t work for me anymore. How about you? Control comes up for me during my reflection – feeling like I’m unable to control my emotions or how people will respond to me comes up. Wow! What is it about self image that gets in the way? Like many of you I consider myself a private person. I’ve also learned habits and behaviors from working in a corporate environment for many years where it was more acceptable to keep emotions buried, so to speak. I’m not sure if this is still true in businesses today but having been one of few women in leadership roles, at that time, expressing emotions wasn’t acceptable. Our role models were men! That’s been my story. As I’ve been sitting with the discomfort of allowing myself to feel vulnerable and I thought about what this means to me. Being vulnerable makes me feel exposed and open to being wounded physically or emotionally. Not a good feeling for me. Old habits and beliefs rear up and I wonder, “What will people think of me?” I’m getting better about letting this habit...

Dance and Celebrate!

Have you danced and celebrated life this week? If not, why not? Many of you are probably wondering why I’m asking, right? Well . . . I’ve heard several things this week that have offered me an opportunity to look at what I believe. For example, I’ve heard that Mercury is in retrograde again. Ok, for many this can mean something negative and that there might be lots of challenges during this time. For me, I’ve been told I was born during a Mercury retrograde so I don’t experience it the same way. And yet, I wonder if our experience during this time is really about what we believe! By the way, this retrograde is February 17th through March 10th. There will also be two more this year. One in June and another in October. So, if you believe that “bad” or “challenging” things happen during Mercury retrograde then you may not have felt like dancing or celebrating! What happens if you change what you believe? Another situation that you might relate to is that you, a friend or a family member have recently experienced or are experiencing health issues. I know of several friends and acquaintances who have been ill with the flu, other health issues or they have loved ones who are suffering with dementia or Alzheimers. All of these situations can be very stressful and exhausting. Days are spent caring for others or self and the energy to dance and celebrate is non-existent, right? Thoughts are more focused on how to “fix” and heal things and often we find it hard to move out of that...

Rise Up!

Can you feel the change in the air? Not only is Storm Wisdom changing we’ve had another full moon, a Super Snow Moon; and so much going on around the world and politically that it’s hard to keep track of and focus! Whew. I always thought I loved change until I realized that I only loved it when I thought I could control it! Oops! My reflections this week have centered around courage and being courageous. What does that mean to me? With so much change happening around us I asked, “Rather than feeling overwhelmed how do I cope and move forward in a positive and constructive way?” Andra Day singing “Rise Up” – the refrain began to play in my mind. “And I’ll rise up. I’ll rise like the day. I’ll rise up. I’ll rise unafraid. I’ll rise up. And I’ll do it a thousand times again . . .” Persevering is one thing but I continued to ask, “How do I thrive when there are so many possibilities to consider? How can I make a difference and continue to help people? What is important to me and makes me laugh and giggle while feeling energized? What do I GET to create and participate in?” Amazing, isn’t it? Remembering that we create our own reality can be forgotten when we feel overwhelmed! Maya Angelou said, “One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous or honest.” What do you think? I believe that we all have potential and...

Our Final Year! CLOSING IN APRIL 2021

Hi Everyone, it’s Charles. It has been almost 2 years since Victoria began writing our weekly Newsletter, so it has been awhile since I’ve written to you. AND writing this is bittersweet. I have decided that this will be Storm Wisdom’s last year. Our current lease is up on May 1, 2021 and I have decided not to renew. Mainly because when I really listen to my internal guidance, another 5 years feels longer than I can imagine or envision for myself. There is a part of me that wants to have a story about this. Something I could say to justify my choice or decision. A story that, when you lay it all out, makes perfect sense. A story that adds up. But I don’t have that. Instead I have to trust the energy and my own internal knowing. I know it is right for me. I feel complete. With that said, I know there is impact. First and foremost to the Storm Wisdom family; Gisela, Millie, Mary Helen, Paul, Victoria, and Stephanie. Most of us have been in this together since the beginning. This represents big changes for all of us. I have no doubt that they will miss their connections with all of you. They have been in service to this beautiful experiment, experience, and community for a long time. They are family to each other (and me!)… but also for many of you. There are amazing teachers, channels, mediums, leaders and inspirers who host their magical workshops, meditations and events here. They share their unique insights, gifts and messages. All in service of advancing the...

Thoughts Matter!

I can’t believe it’s February already! How are you feeling? There’s still a lot happening right now. Intense emotions. Strong words. More and more division and judgment of self and others being expressed. Also, I have heard many people engaging more and wondering how to change things. For me, it’s felt like riding a tidal wave of emotion that has included disappointment, bewilderment, hopelessness, beauty, compassion, love, and hope. What are you thinking and feeling right now? As I’ve meditated this week what’s become clearer is that each one of us creates our own reality. I’ve known this for many years but it is integrating at deeper levels. So, as I see what’s going on around me I often wonder if I’m in an alternate reality! Have you ever felt like that? Abraham, who is channeled by Esther Hicks has said, “We didn’t say you’re creating what you want. We’re saying that you’re the creator of your own reality. We’re saying that you create what you think about.” Hmmm. Thoughts matter. Words matter. Actions matter. Imagine that every thought you have creates a new and different reality. I’ve been told that our mind is so busy we have thousands of them during the day. Wow! Meditating helps me quiet my thoughts for awhile. It also helps me blend into the Oneness of All That Is. It’s where I feel inner peace, unconditional love and compassion for myself and others. It brings me back into my heart space and away from the drama that’s being created in the world. I feel so much better afterward and less “triggered” by what’s...

Looking for Love

So much chaos continues to swirl all around us. Everyone is trying to navigate it in the best way they can. In spite of this one of the common themes I find as I work with people is helping them learn how to love and accept oneself. Often the conversation begins with an expressed desire to find and be in an intimate romantic relationship. There’s nothing wrong with this is there? Not really. However, where do we begin to look for love? Is it outside ourself or within ourself? Rumi has said, “Your task is not to seek for Love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Some of the most challenging opportunities we have are those that remove old beliefs and habits. Releasing all that we are not so that we can lean more into accepting who we truly are – beautiful beings of light and love. Our challenge is to remember this and embrace it unapologetically! What do you think? Frequently quoted author, C. JoyBell C. eloquently states, “The most adventurous journey to embark on; is the journey to yourself, the most exciting thing to discover; is who you really are, the most treasured pieces you can find; are all pieces of you, the most special portrait you can recognize, is the portrait of your soul.” The journey to yourself is one of the greatest and magical journeys you can embark upon while you’re here on Earth. I often call it “The Journey Home” to your true self which is eternal and is LOVE. I know you’ve...

Choose Hope!

This week Martin Luther King, Jr. will be celebrated on Monday, January 20th. Many of you may enjoy a day off from work. I’ve been feeling hopeful in spite of everything going on in the world. Yes, I believe we create our reality and feeling hopeful is a choice. I admit that I’ve been called Pollyanna before! Nelson Mandela a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, philanthropist and former President of South Africa said, “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” He was courageous and chose hope even though he was in prison for 27 years! What do you believe? Do you find it easier to make choices from fear or hope? Hmmm. During one of my meditations I envisioned offering hope to those who were open to receive it, igniting the spark of hope within them. Have you ever tried it? It’s powerful and amazing. Here’s an approach that I use. It’s another way for me to be of service without physically traveling everywhere. After all, we’re all connected and One, aren’t we? Release all expectation of any outcome as you take some cleansing breaths. Focus on your heart space and allow your thoughts to quiet. Imagine energetically traveling into a refugee camp; visiting a sick friend or relative; journeying into the core of Mother Earth, a planet; or to a part of the world that has suffered a natural disaster. Imagine connecting with someone or thing energetically that is there. Once you make the connection then feel their suffering (remember their suffering isn’t yours to take on) and offer them, through your loving and compassionate heart, a...

Let’s Howl at the Moon!!

Have you felt like howling at the moon or felt more emotional than usual? This week we’ve been experiencing a lot of Lunar influences. The first full moon of 13 in 2020 occurred on Friday, January 10th and it is known as the Wolf Moon. Hmmm. Think about the symbology represented by wolves. Yes, they howl and express themselves vocally. They also are known for their loyalty, hierarchical structure, intelligence, family, and keen senses. Often they can be misrepresented in stories.  Typically the Wolf Moon represents freedom and encouragement to release things that no longer are working for you. It can often indicate spiritual awakening for some people and during this time you might feel more emotional and yearn for more intimacy in your life. Does anything resonate with how you’re feeling? It’s ok. It’s time to trust your instincts and release old stuff without creating new stories about what you’re experiencing. Can you feel yourself observing what’s happening rather than trying to figure out all of the details? Through the years I’ve found that I’m more sensitive to Lunar energies. I’ve  experienced many opportunities to release old physical and non-physical denser energies. 2020 will continue to present opportunities as well. As I think about wolves and their communities/packs I take a look at mine. I ask, “Are there relationships that have run their course? Do the relationships I choose to continue feed my soul? Do I feel that I can be me and free in these relationships?”  Now is the perfect time to reflect on your relationships and make choices to continue them or not – make your choices...

Give Peace a Chance!

2020 is here! Can you believe it? Energetically the number 4 can symbolize home, creating structure/foundation; or educating self or others. Does this make sense? At the universal level there’s a lot of movement going on. Each one of you has your own personal year energetically as well. I’ve been reflecting on the journey of awakening and how it relates to peace. 2020 is a perfect time to consider our current or new  foundation as we continue the journey of awakening and feeling more peaceful. I like to think of it as the journey of going home – home to our true nature which is a spark of God/Goddess/All That Is/Source or Oneness – LOVE! When we experience ourselves as LOVE then there is nothing else but feeling peaceful. So far, I have more frequent moments but it’s not a 24/7 feeling yet! What does “awakening and give peace a chance” mean to me? I believe that the journey of awakening brings about opportunities for more conscious awareness, living, and making conscious choices. This journey is individual and unique for everyone. For several years I didn’t know what I was experiencing. I only know that my soul yearned for something more and seemed to respond to music and prayer in the beginning. These were signs that meant something was happening within me but I had no words for it. Over time, as I began to follow my intuition, I found that I was attracted to classes, programs, and experiences I never imagined.  I began to meditate, journal, and eventually write channeled books, and co-created guided meditation CDs among other...

It’s the Journey!

As 2019 ends and 2020 emerges a new decade begins! I wonder what’s in store for us. There are so many possibilities, aren’t there? I’ve been reflecting on who I am now and who I’ve been. Also visioning who I want to become. My vision is to become more of my authentic self – LOVE – and let go of what’s not! It’s a journey isn’t it?  Have you heard the phrase “It’s the journey and not the destination”? I believe this. So many people want to know clearly what the end result or destination is. In fact, for many years, I did too. Many people ask, “What’s my purpose? Why am I here?” Now, I realize that there are many possible futures for each one of us that are determined by the choices we make on our journeys. It’s the journey that’s important. Does this make sense? Through the years I’ve thought about my journey being more important than a specific destination. Many of you may be familiar with Paulo Coelho, Brazilian lyricist and novelist who is well known for his novel, The Alchemist. Recently I saw a quote from him that really resonated. He said, “We are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpool of infinity! Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.” I’ve evolved and changed what I believe on my journey. I’ve learned to accept myself and others in ways that I didn’t before....

You Are The Gift!

How are you? This time of year can be stressful for many people. I was reminded recently that the Holidays can be a very happy and joyful time but it can also be a very lonely and depressing time for some people. This contrast of people feeling the “high highs” and/or the “low lows” during this time of year makes me feel grateful for the many blessings in my life. It also brings a greater awareness, once again, of the very different and unique journeys that each one of us are on. Yet, what we have in common is our core essence or what I feel is our eternal and divine nature sometimes referred to as God, Source, Soul, Life Force, Creator, Oneness, and other names in other cultures. That essence is LOVE. So why am I bringing this up right now? Please be aware of the different experiences we are having. When we interact with people with greater awareness we can offer words of kindness; listen to someone who wants to feel heard; be a sounding board without wanting to “fix” everything; offer a smile; or express gratitude to the server, cashier, customer service representative. Your kindness just might be the spark of hope and gift that was needed right then. You may never know your impact on another person’s life just by being you! The ways you can be a gift to someone is limitless and really up to you! Do you believe you are a gift? Why not? A gift is something that is freely given to another without compensation or strings attached. Why not think...

Shine Your Light!

On December 12th we experienced what is often called a Full Cold Moon! This is the last full moon of 2019. This moon emphasizes communication, trust, clarity, and slowing down before making decisions. This energy added to the upcoming Winter Solstice maybe stirring things up for you. There’s a lot going on energetically. How are you feeling? In addition to releasing the old and making room for new opportunities you’re invited to slow down and not make rash decisions while letting people know what you’re doing and how you feel! Whew! You may feel exhausted and think it’s due to holiday preparation but recognize there’s more going on than you think! LOL Now is a great time to listen to your body. If you’re tired then rest. Don’t fight it. It’s not a sign of weakness. When you feel refreshed the “to do” list will feel easier to tackle. Does this make sense? Take a few moments throughout the day and close your eyes while you enjoy some deep breathing to find your center. Breathe in through your nose as you imagine receiving love. As you breathe out imagine stress and what no longer serves you leaving! Don’t be surprised if you feel a little conflicted at times! What? Yes, it might show up when you feel overwhelmed with holiday preparations and your body wants you to rest or you may feel like you just want a little quiet time for you! What I’ve noticed is that this can be another invitation for some inner reflection. I know, some of you may feel like you don’t have time for...

‘Tis the Season

‘Tis the season to be jolly, fa la la la la la la la la! Remember this verse from the holiday song “Deck the Halls”? It’s that time of year isn’t it? How do feel about it right now? Are you excited with heightened anticipation or are you anxious and dreading it? For some of you and people you know the holidays aren’t easy to navigate. Feelings of sadness, struggle, suffering can be intensified as well as feelings of excitement, anticipation, joy, and love. Many traditions have celebrations during this time of year so I’ve been revisiting what does this season represent to me right now? Looking back through the years it continues to evolve. When our kids were young we celebrated in a different way. Decorating the tree, wrapping gifts, Christmas Eve with family, attending Mass, Christmas morning breakfast, opening gifts, and Christmas dinner with family and friends were key. Now that our kids are grown with families of their own our celebration is different. Throughout the years, though, we’ve always been mindful of reaching out to others who were alone or needed help to provide for their own families. To me, the act of helping someone else makes my heart sing and my soul happy! This time of year presents so many opportunities to help others and there are many organizations that you can contact if being of service appeals to you. Another celebration takes place this month too. It’s the Winter Solstice which occurs in Phoenix on December 21, 2019 at 9:19pm. Yes, I looked it up! In some areas it can also be celebrated on...

Let Go!

Wow! I can’t believe December is here and 2020 is near. Time seems to be progressing faster and faster! Does it seem that way to you too? I hope your holiday celebrations were wonderful and not too stressful. This month offers more opportunities for celebration. Please take the opportunity and take time for yourself periodically during this busy time. Find your center and “happy place” – the place where you feel safe, peaceful, and loved. Deep breathing, walking in nature, immersing yourself in beauty, prayer, or meditation can all work! I woke up this morning with the refrain of Aretha Franklin’s song “Think” looping through my head. It goes “‘Cause freedom (freedom) stands for freedom (freedom). Oh freedom. Yeah freedom, right now. Freedom (freedom) Oh oh freedom (freedom). Give me some freedom. Oh oh freedom right now.” Are you familiar with it? I wondered why the concept of freedom came into my awareness. So, I found my “happy place” where my thoughts quieted and waited to see what came up. At first I was reminded of Veterans Day and those who have given there lives and those who still serve to protect our freedom. Then I was reminded that we are free to make choices which determine our experiences and reality. Freedom has been fought for aeons of time and isn’t something to take for granted. Next, I realized that like a traveler who packs their luggage for a trip there are many of us who never unpack. In other words, I asked myself, “How much of my past – past lives, past slights or hurts, anger, resentment, betrayal,...

What Are You Thankful For!

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate it! This time of year brings to mind images of harvesting what has been sown – reaping the benefits of the seeds that have been planted, so to speak. It also brings opportunities for us to remember the many blessings in our lives. Yes, I realize that when we are in the throws of chaos and face challenges it’s not easy to remember the good times. For a few moments, this week, I invite you to take a few deep breaths and recall the good times and your blessings. Why? I recall what Willie Nelson has said, “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” Is there a moment in your life that you can recall when this has happened to you? For me, I recognize a moment when I stopped judging a family member and truly accepted them for who they were and not who I wanted them to be. There’s that desire to control again! LOL I have to be honest with you, though, it didn’t happen overnight and I had a few years of personal growth and self awareness happen before the relationship changed. The blessings and ease with this relationship that occurred have been amazing. Once again, once I changed then the relationship changed. Truly, my choice is the only thing I can control as well as how I react to others’ choices. I’m thankful for this awareness and my experience. Recently, some of you are aware that I’ve been supporting a family member through a health crisis. Looking back I can see that...

What Do You Desire?

Have you ever wanted something so much that you could feel it like it was already there? How did you feel in that moment? What emotions were involved? Was there a physical response? Was your imagination involved? How about all of your other senses? Did it eventually materialize? Was it what you imagined or was it something different or better than you imagined? Now, remember a time when you thought about wanting or hoping for something. This time you might have desired it but didn’t really feel it, imagine what it would be like to have it, or maybe it was just something nice to have, right? Did it materialize eventually? In both cases, most likely, the desire was for something material, right? Which way resulted in greater success for you? For me, it happens when my imagination, senses and emotions are involved. The best outcomes are when I let go of trying to control them! Actually, the results are usually better than I imagined. Is it easy to do? For me, not so much. I’m learning. How about you? So, what happens when you still feel a yearning, longing, or hope for something that you can’t name? For me, this has been a conscious journey of seeking for over 30 years. It began as tears unexpectedly appeared while I prayed or listened to music in church. I didn’t know why and couldn’t explain why it happened at first. This began an amazing adventure and expansive journey of self re-discovery! I call it the journey of the soul. Rumi says it this way, “The desire to know your own...

You Are the Author!

Have you ever had the urge to write a book, letter, newsletter, article, or blog? How about a screenplay or script? If you have, how did it feel when that idea came to you? Did you find it exciting, scary, ridiculous, or impossible to even imagine? How many of you embraced the idea and said, “Yes! I’m not sure how but I’m going to take a leap of faith and go for it?” What does it mean to be an author anyway? Is it really about being on a Best Seller List or writing a best seller? No, isn’t being an author about creating something? Think about it. Aren’t you an author of your life? You are the originator, creator, and storyteller. How do we do it? It’s up to each one of us, isn’t it? Our stories begin and end with the choices we make in our lives. Our stories can include many and diverse people and experiences! Do they remain static or are they dynamic? Dynamic, of course! Each day is different. In many cases throughout the day things change. Why? What you experience is determined by the choices you make for yourself as well as how you respond to the choices that others make! Our stories can also include experiencing a wide range of emotions. When we allow ourselves to experience them we can feel sad, grateful, angry, happy, loved, loving, scared, optimistic, hopeful, depressed, and on and on. I’m not sure how many emotions there actually are. Wow, aren’t we lucky? I don’t know about you but there are days when I feel overwhelmed and...

Celebrate Life!

How often do you celebrate your success? When was the last time you did? How did you feel? I’ve come to realize that for many years I didn’t celebrate. I felt that what was perceived to be my success by others was “no big deal” to me. I hope this doesn’t sound too strange. A few years ago a dear friend of mine asked me, “When do you take time to celebrate what you’ve created?” At the time I had written several books, created a few meditation CDs, and co-created classes that I was offering. I was stunned for a moment because I realized I really had never thought about celebrating the creation of these things! To me, it was “no big deal!” Does this sound familiar to any of you? I’m so grateful to my friend for bringing this into my awareness! Today, I’m more aware and take time to celebrate. How? I lean more and more into the energy of gratitude! Celebrating life isn’t limited to creating something. I find it means waking up everyday ready to celebrate being alive another day on the earth and being grateful that I get to do it! It means celebrating my loved ones and getting to spend more time with them that day. Offering my gratitude! I ask, “Show me ways to make a difference in someone’s life today!” All of this including offering a prayer of gratitude and healing for the earth and all life happens before I get out of bed. This is a little ritual I enjoy every morning. How about you? I’m sure you’ve heard people...

Claim Your Power!

Lately I’ve been thinking about how precious life is. I’ve reflected on my choice to be here at this time and I believe everyone else who is here on this earth has volunteered to be here as well. Each one of us came to assist one another in our personal growth and experiences and through our experiences we contribute to the overall growth of God/Goddess/All That Is -Source. At least that’s what I believe right now! What does power mean? Think about it! At one level power can mean being able to produce something. Another way to think about it might be influencing or having control over others. And yet power can reflect physical strength or politically controlling or influencing others. Wow!! We are truly powerful beings aren’t we? At our core this is true; however, some find inner power and others seek it externally from others. I wrote a book a few years ago called Reclaim Your Power a Journey of Change and Transformation. I don’t know about you but this has definitely been part of my own journey. For me, awakening to the realization that my divine nature and human nature aren’t separate made a difference. Letting go of who I’m not has been key. Remembering and accepting that I’m responsible for my choices and the only thing that I can control are the choices I make and how I respond to the ones others make has been freeing! I’m in charge of me!! What does claiming my power have to do with realizing how precious life is? In three words – life is short!! Our physical...

Beyond Limitation

I’ve just finished an Advanced Messengers of Light Healing program with Annie Bossingham and fellow healers. It was amazing and I highly recommend any program that Annie offers. They include: The Artistry of Channeling, The New Paradigm, Healing With the Messengers of Light, and a Contact Workshop to name a few. All of them are amazing, result in unexpected surprises, and stretch my consciousness and beliefs more than I could have imagined! Whew!! I’m grateful for Annie and her willingness to share her gifts with us. I’m also grateful for the opportunity to choose to change my reality and let go of old beliefs, habits, attitudes, and perceptions! How cool is that? I’ve been an Energy Healer for over 15 years and during that time I’ve evolved and expanded my toolbox and how I offer healing for others. Why? Because I’ve changed through the process. I’ve grown and expanded my consciousness and let go of limiting beliefs and practices. I’m still on the journey and so are many of you. Right? So, what was so special about this opportunity and invitation for me? Have you ever wondered how much more you can become and who you were meant to be? Well, I have. Part of the journey, however; has been accepting and owning the truth of who I am and who I’m becoming. Some of you might resonate with this, right? Well, what’s clear is that we all have a choice to move forward, remain stuck in place or live in the past. What are you choosing? One of the new awarenesses, for me, was to not only ask...

Random Acts of Kindness

How has your week been? Once again there seems to be so much going on in the world and in our personal lives. In the midst of chaos we have to choices to make, don’t we? Change precedes and follows chaos as we’ve talked about before. So, what ways can you rise above the fray so to speak? How can you keep positive and moving forward rather than become paralyzed – not knowing which way to turn in spite of the chaos? Staying centered is key. Creating a more conscious prayer or meditation practice helps as well as focusing on deep breathing to calm when you are anxious. Visualization and intention setting techniques also work. I have found that these practices are all helpful and beneficial. Some of you have also shared how much you benefit from them as well. As I’ve enjoyed my own practice this week the theme of “kindness” has come up. So I’ve been sitting with it. Co-incidentally I belong to a meditation/discussion group who joins in a remote meditation monthly. This month, one of the members suggested that during our meditation we would be sending a heart generated request to the heart of the world to feel a strong impulse towards random acts of kindness for 7 days! I love the idea and how synchronicity works. I’m so grateful to be aware when this happens. I realize how interconnected we all are through consciousness. Did you know that February 17th is National kindness day? I didn’t. I have heard how people do random acts of kindness. I’ve even done some myself and I’m sure...

Who’s In Charge?

Can acceptance lead to feeling more grateful? Hmmm…I’ve noticed a shift. It happens when I release the illusion of control and resistance! It changes how I feel. Rather than being upset, angry, depressed, or feeling helpless imagine the power you might feel when you let go of things that you can’t control! This doesn’t mean abdicating responsibility for your actions or the choices that are yours to make. Does this make sense? Let’s play for a moment, ok? Remember the last time you didn’t want to accept a situation that you found yourself in and you felt helpless, depressed, upset or angry. Remember how you felt. Perhaps you felt like you wanted to “take charge”, “hurry things along”, or “force a desired outcome”. You may have told yourself, “Let’s get this show on the road!” Oops! There’s that desire and need to control the outcome! LOL I’m sure you meant it in that moment. I’ve been there myself! How did you feel? What happened next? Were you able to hurry things along and get the desired outcome you wanted? Was it the best outcome that could have happened? Maybe? Maybe not. Let’s continue to play. Now, close yours eyes and take a deep breath and remember the same experience. . .imagine accepting what is yours to do and let go of what isn’t – what is out of your control? What can you control? Your choices! What are the choices that you want to make now? What are the choices that aren’t yours – the ones that others are responsible for making – the ones you have no control...

Do You Feel Whole?

How many of you feel whole and complete? For many, there is an ongoing search to feel complete from things found in the external environment. For others, feeling whole comes from within. I’ve been sitting with this and reflecting on my own journey. How I feel about being complete and whole has shifted through the years. I definitively feel it through every fiber of my being. How about you? I wondered why feeling complete and whole took so long for me. As I look back on my life I have learned that I chose to wake up later in life and chose to create a foundation from traditional experiences before I began to explore less traditional ones over 20 years ago. That’s when my journey of spiritually awakening began. Believe me it has been warp speed since then! LOL I’ve felt, for many years, that our journey home is going home to Source and LOVE! This doesn’t mean you have to physically leave the planet in order to be on this journey. Each one of us gets there in our own time and unique way through the choices we make as well as our commitment to personal growth. Plato, a 4th Century B.C.E. Greek philosopher, has said, “Love is the name for our pursuit to be complete.” Hmmm. There is something here don’t you think? If God/Goddess/All That Is – Source, is love then perhaps we don’t feel complete or whole until we remember this truth. What do you think? I like to think of us as sparks of Source. We are not separate from Source. I know I’ve...

Create Balance!

Happy Autumn Equinox! Wow, where does time go? Along with the equinox we had a gorgeous Harvest Moon. This is the full moon closest to the Autumn Equinox. It appeared huge and orange! Stunning! I’m told the size at this time of year is an illusion! In many parts of the country I’m sure that the shift from summer to autumn is felt more with weather changes than we often experience here in Arizona although there are different parts of the state where the season shift is strong. We are looking forward to double digit temperatures soon instead of triple digits! LOL Once this happens we can feel our season shift! As I’ve reflected on this time I was curious about what the significance and mythology of the Equinox is. I found it interesting. There is a seasonal shift in farming communities where harvesting of crops occur. Gardens begin to go dormant in some areas. There’s a shift from light to dark and I found that Japanese Buddhists celebrate deceased relatives. In some religions this celebration occurs on November 1st which is often referred to as “Day of the Dead”. This time of year also brings in the astrological sign of Libra which represents balance. Rumi has said, “Life is balance of holding on and letting go.” There are many opportunities throughout life when we are invited to let go of things that no longer serve us. Creating balance in life is a choice. The allure of being told we are “successful” through our work, education, titles, and accomplishments can feel intoxicating, can’t it? Have you ever taken your...

In Gratitude!

I’m reminded of a quote from Rumi, “Today, let us swim wildly, joyously in gratitude.” It serves as a reminder to BE in each and every moment in gratitude. It doesn’t matter if one moment is challenging I’m reminded that the next one can be different. It’s a choice and one that is mine to make. Sometimes in a moment of challenge it is often difficult to see another way. As I imagine swimming wildly and joyously in gratitude I close my eyes and allow myself to “feel” a greater sense of joy and freedom – a greater sense of peace. Yes, I even imagine a big smile on my face and a lightness in my heart. This has been a particularly challenging week for me personally – loving, supporting, and being present for a loved one who was in the hospital. While there I experienced a full range of emotions that included love, impatience, fear, helplessness, hope, and gratitude to name a few. For me, this has been a time of surrender; trusting others to do their part; and knowing and accepting what was mine to do. I developed a greater respect for caregivers and learned to practice better self-care. I realize that in order to support and help someone else I have to be the best I can be. It’s too easy to deny this. As I’ve talked to others who have experienced similar situations with loved ones recently they agree that there is a balance that’s needed. Once you become depleted helping someone else is difficult. This means checking in periodically to see how all of...

Lean Into Surrender and Trust More!

“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.” Thich Nhat Hanh Lately, it seems that my journey and growth opportunities have been all about surrender and trust. I mentioned last week that a family member has been experiencing a health issue for almost a month. During this time I’ve felt fear, uncertainty, helplessness, love, worry, frustration, and gratitude. In other words my emotions have had highs and lows! I’m sure that many of you have been through similar situations. Being unable to control the outcome of this situation has been challenging for me to say the least. I’ve had moments where I’ve said, “Let’s get this show on the road! It’s time!” It made me feel good to say it although it didn’t change things. LOL Of course, I recognize that I’m not in charge! Do you know what I mean? I’ve also had moments where I could laugh at myself, breathe deeply, move into my heart and feel grateful for the moment and presence of my loved one. Lean into surrender and trust more! I’ve been fortunate to have wonderful support from friends who care and who allow me to be me with full acceptance. My habit throughout life has been to take care of others and be “the strong one”! Sound familiar? I accept who I’ve been and who I’m becoming more of. I’m more comfortable these days with revealing more of me and what I’m feeling. It gets easier with practice! At least it has for me. At first, it just felt kind of weird. I’ve...

Who Ya Gonna Call?

I hope your long Labor Day holiday is safe and fun! I’m sitting here in Arizona with triple digit temperatures and find it hard to imagine the swirling hurricane named Dorian approaching the southeastern part of the country. If any of you are traveling to or have family and friends preparing for its impact I’m sending lots of love to you! So much has happened this week that seems unexpected. For me, one thing in particular stands out and it’s related to health. Why? I have a family member and friend who are addressing some health issues. When I heard that immigrants that are here seeking medical treatments not available in their own countries and are facing deportation regardless of their condition, I was stunned! Many of the people affected are children! I wonder, “Who’s in charge and who’s responsible for making decisions like these?” Who ya gonna call? Who’s responsible and accountable? Living more consciously, responsibly, and being accountable for our choices is key as we continue to grow personally and expand consciousness. What is happening here? For example, one young woman, now 24, is facing expulsion. She has been here since she was 7 years old and needs life saving treatments that aren’t available in her country. By the way, she was instrumental in the development of the treatments according to her doctor. Wow!! What are we creating? Can you imagine one of your family members being told they have 30 days to leave the country even though they were invited by our medical community to be here because of a rare disease? And, doctors agree that...

We Are Visitors!

My reflections this week have taken me in an interesting direction. I suppose it’s a result of seeing pictures of the melting ice in Greenland and the Arctic as well as the fires in the Amazon. Have you been affected as well? I asked myself, “Why have I felt the impact of these so strongly?” On the surface the answer seemed easy. I found the destruction unbelievable. The impact on the earth, environment, air quality, water, animals, nature, and humanity are far reaching for many years to come and many are irreversible. “It’s real”, I reminded myself. As I sat with this more I began to see my role in a deeper way – my role as a steward of these resources. After all, my time here on the earth is limited and so are the earth’s resources. We are all visitors. Yes, we may continue to return as we volunteer to assist in the evolution of consciousness but the present is now and what’s real! So, what can we do? I was struck by a quote from Wendell Berry, an American Novelist, poet, essayist, environmental activist, cultural critic, and farmer,“. . .the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.” I wondered, “How much do I take the earth for granted?” I felt his words deeply as I reflected on the destruction that’s occurring right now. Some is created by human beings and some is attributed to changes in our climate. In the...

The Power of Love!

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” ~ Jimi Hendrix After participating in a group conversation and meditation this week one of the members shared the above quote by Jimi Hendrix. It touched a chord within my heart and soul. Another person reminded us that the 50th anniversary of Woodstock is being celebrated right now. This brought back memories of the peace movement, hippies, and love that took place in the past. Am I dating myself? Some of you may remember! LOL Like many of you I continue to reflect upon what’s currently happening in our world. I’m reminded that there is a bigger picture and purpose. Yes, I realize that their is a lot going on. For me, some of it isn’t pleasant at all. I believe that the way we choose to respond to these experiences is what creates our own journey of personal growth. As I sit back and ask, “What’s the bigger picture?” I remember that each one of us is a  part of Source/God/the Universe/Creator – whatever you choose to name it is personal and beautiful. I will use Source for today’s article. The essence of Source is LOVE and our individual core essence is LOVE. This belief is found in many teachings. So why is there so much chaos in the world if that’s true? Hmmm. Now for some of you what I’m about to say may seem a little far out. Please take what resonates and let go of what doesn’t. Imagine that Source is without form and is nothing but consciousness. Yeah, just...

We Are Part of the Whole!

Words seem inadequate to describe the feelings I’ve experienced this week. Shock, horror, sorrow, anger, helplessness, judgment, hope, and yes even love! A wide range of emotions have been felt by me and others. The continued mass shootings in our country and harm by and to other human beings seems unreal and yet it is a reality. As I’ve reflected on how I’ve felt this week I’ve asked, “What’s mine to know or do about it?” At times I felt overwhelmed. Other times I just wanted to ignore it. And then, as I breathed and felt myself calming, I chose to lean more into Grace and be open and willing to receive guidance. Once I focused more inward I was reminded that our outer world is a reflection of our inner world. So what does this mean to me? An opportunity to look at and re-evaluate what I value and cherish has been presented. An opportunity to change and be willing to do what’s necessary to change has also been presented. For each one of us the answers will be different.  Peace and change must begin within me first before anything around me changes. I ask, “What prejudices, biases, hate, self-judgment do I continue to hold within me?” If any are revealed I ask for help to change and transform them so that I can become more loving, accepting, and compassionate of me and others. I find that often there are a few surprises when I do this. As I’ve become more aware and conscious in my personal growth for over 20 years I’ve learned that shedding of old...

What About Control?

Over the past couple of weeks I can’t believe how many people I’ve talked to that are having opportunities to recognize and address “control” stuff. Yes, this includes me too!! I keep thinking I’ve completely dealt with my need or desire to “control” things. What I realize is that “dealing” with it is still a form of wanting to “control” the outcome. Hmmm. “How did “control” show up for me this time”, you ask?  Imagine you’re on a road trip and riding as a passenger. Imagine you have total faith and trust in the driver. Now imagine your right foot starts applying the brake because you feel that you are too close to the car in front of you! Yes, and imagine this happening a number of times during the trip and wondering, “What in the heck is going on?” You tell the driver during a stop, “I’m sorry for applying the brake so often. I trust your driving completely. Is this something new?” They said, “No, it’s happened before but it’s ok!” Wow. I had a choice to make. I could relax, acknowledge, accept, and try not to dig a hole in the floor of the car or I could beat myself up and judge myself. Guess what I chose to do? LOL When we returned home and I had time to reflect on what happened I realized that this was an example of how uncomfortable I was because I wasn’t driving and feeling in “control”. Whew! We have so many opportunities to see layers of ourselves, don’t we? They can appear in a variety of ways. A...

In Silence

How has your week been? Lots of doing and being active? Have you had a chance to create a few moments of silence this week to experience and visit what I call “the inner monastery”? You might think of this as your heart space as well. I know that everyday living can be hectic and taking time for inner reflection often falls low on the list of priorities. However, I believe creating time for a few moments to BE silent is essential to our well being and personal growth. I find that it really doesn’t matter where silence can be created. For example, some find opportunities to BE in silence while in nature. Others find silence in church, during meditation, a quiet place at home, or even while driving! If you’re driving please don’t close your eyes! LOL  Seriously, driving can provide you moments of silence to help quiet your racing thoughts through deep breathing. This gives you an opportunity to clear your mind and gain clarity. There are many ways that opportunities to BE in silence and experience the benefits of entering your “inner monastery”.  Your imagination is endless so enjoy the opportunities to explore creating your own favorite place to BE in silence. Through the years I’ve noticed that every time I enter my inner monastery my experience is always different. Why? I’m always different! When I leave the silence of my inner monastery I feel better and sometimes, when I least expect it, I feel such an overwhelming feeling of unconditional love and gratitude! I experienced it again while traveling recently and spending time with my...

Enjoy – Now Dance!

I was recently reminded how serious, focused and intense I can be! My corporate training and background certainly reinforced this and I found this behavior was rewarded. Today, not so much. Today, I recognize that living a more balanced life is more important. This doesn’t mean you can’t live in a balanced way while working for corporations. At the time I worked for one I found it more challenging since I was rewarded and recognized for my work successes. My conscious awakening had not begun! I began to learn and choose living with more balance after marriage and having a child. The journey of balance, celebrating, and having fun has been an amazing and at times a challenging one for me. Changing behavior isn’t always easy but along the way I’ve learned to be more self-accepting instead of judging myself when I fall back on old habits! LOL. Let’s play for a minute. Imagine it’s the end of your work week. Close your eyes and engage your senses. First, bring your awareness into your heart space. Now, notice what you hear. Imagine hearing lively and uplifting music. Hear laughter and conversation all around you. People are sharing the joys and challenges of the work week. In fact, so are you! Imagine your friends or partner close by and feel the happiness and joy surrounding you. Maybe you’re at a restaurant, block party, or in your home. It doesn’t matter. Just notice how you feel as the tension of the long week melts away. Notice your body relaxing. Feel its’ sigh of contentment and happiness. Now, feel the beat of...

Explore Your Inner World!

So many images and words continue to be shown of physically imprisoned migrant children, men and women. My heart hurts! My soul cries out at such inhumane  treatment. Why are people used in such inhumane ways to further political gain? Why is this considered acceptable by some? This shouldn’t be a political decision. It’s a humanitarian one. Do we remain silent or let our voices be heard? I continue to ask myself, “What’s mine to do and how can I contribute to the change that needs to take place?” Does the color of someone’s skin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs justify persecution and inhumane treatment? No way! Obviously there are others that do. For me this isn’t about politics. It’s about treating others humanely! With my heart and soul feeling the suffering of so many this week I feel like I must share a few thoughts although I don’t have all of the answers. My intention is to shine some light on what we as individuals are being invited to explore beyond the obvious. I know that many of you are doing things to improve inhumane conditions that others are experiencing. Some of you volunteer, use your professional skills, vote, and make financial donations to name a few. There are things that we, as individuals, can do to affect change through our inner world as well. So much is coming into the light right now for change and transformation. Systems are broken and often things must de-construct before the new solutions can be created and put in place. Rather than feel paralyzed by what we are seeing and...

Choose Freedom!

Once again I find myself choosing to write about freedom! I know I’ve written on this topic in different ways before and yet it still feels appropriate to write about it again in light of the 4th of July celebrations this week. What an opportunity for each one of us to reflect and ask, “What does freedom or being free mean to me?” For me it’s kind of hard to forget since the 4th of July is my birthday! LOL Although I will say as a kid I looked forward to the fireworks, birthday cake, and my mom always calling me her little firecracker! Yes, regardless of my age I was always her little firecracker! As I’ve progressed on my journey of awakening I look at the 4th of July differently. I’m amazed at how many artists sing about freedom in a variety of ways. I’m reminded of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song; The Star Spangled Banner, our National Anthem; Freedom Songs by Beyonce, Jason Mraz, and Pharrell; Blackbird by the Beatles; Born in the USA by Bruce Springston; America the Beautiful; Freedom to Stay by Tina Turner; and Think by Aretha Franklin! These are just a few examples. Painters have also created paintings depicting victory and freedom. Our country gained independence and freedom through the sacrifice of many. Our founders created the framework for a Democratic government through the Constitution! Freedom is not to be taken for granted. Let go of complacency if you feel it. Freedom is a choice, isn’t it? For me, freedom to: choose, travel, vote, volunteer, work; believe what I want; live where I want;...

Hear Me Roar!

How do you think of yourself? Close your eyes for a moment and notice how you feel after you read these lyrics from Katy Perry, “‘Cause I’m a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar!” Hmmm. Sit with it for a moment. Notice the sensations you’re feeling. Do you feel good? Do you feel some resistance? Where do you feel the sensations in your body? I was reminded of how courageous many of you are when I had my channeling evening with Luminus this week. I notice it each and every month but for some reason it feels right to share it now. Luminus is a group of beings/consciousness without form who are filled with unconditional love. As a Trance Channel, I enter into a semi-trance and vocalize them. How often do you think about being courageous when you attend an event? Probably not very often, right? Why do I think of you as being courageous? You’re stepping into the unknown so to speak. There is never a theme for these evenings as they’ve evolved. The questions that are asked of Luminus are very personal. Some of you are there for the first time and yet you trust enough to be vulnerable and open to receive. I am grateful that such a safe environment is created that supports the courageous YOU! In the broader sense I feel that everyone who has made a conscious choice to keep going, exploring, and moving forward on their spiritual journey is courageous! I often think the journey of awakening isn’t for the faint of heart! LOL The desire to awaken and remember is...

Dream. Imagine. Vision

Dream. Imagine. Vision. Have you done it lately? Is there a right or wrong way to do it? Not really. When was the last time you let your imagination run wild? Yes, wild! Do you include fun, spontaneity, and/or limitless possibilities? Many of you may have celebrated the Summer Solstice this week on June 21st! It’s considered to be the longest day of the year and often the first day of summer. It’s a time of transition from one season to another and some of you may have created intentional rituals to acknowledge the new time. It can symbolize, for many, a letting go time and doors opening for new possibilities. It’s a great time to dream, imagine, and vision! Why not? It can be fun and easy if you take time to let your imagination out to play! Have you been holding it in check lately because you don’t see a way to have it be real? You don’t have to know how things will happen. The first step is to allow the dream and vision to emerge. Does this make sense? Get it out! You can speak it, draw it, write about it, or create a vision board to visually represent it with words and pictures for example. There are many ways to express it creatively. Maybe you want to sing it!! For it to work be conscious and intentional. Having hope, faith, and belief that it’s possible is key. Really “feel” it! Yes, notice how your body feels and responds when you imagine it becoming a reality. How will you celebrate? How will you “feel” when...

Meeting Soul!

The beauty deep within each and every sentient being yearns to awaken! This is Soul, the Divine Feminine, yearning to be acknowledged and connect more consciously with you. Soul may also be referred to as essence, life force, or your eternal self. Have you felt restless lately and don’t know why? Have you yearned for something more but don’t know what it is? Is there something you want to change in your life but it’s just out of your grasp? Have you listened to music or seen a beautiful piece of art and are so touched that your heart clenches or tears appear for no reason? These are indicators that Soul is awakening. Mine began awakening over 30 years ago while praying in church. The music touched me and tears rolled down my cheeks. I didn’t know until many years later what was going on. Why do I believe it’s important to engage Soul more consciously? In times of uncertainty and chaos, times like now, I feel that Soul can comfort and guide us. After thousands of years of suppressing women, people of color, LGBTQ, and those who believe differently Soul helps us to become more compassionate, kind, loving, lovable, unifying, and willing to listen to others. Soul also, along with High Self, holds a greater vision for each one of us. I know that I’ve mentioned this in earlier writings. What are ways to engage with Soul more consciously? I’m happy to share a couple of them with you. First, immerse yourself in beauty! Take a walk in nature. Notice the beauty around you. What colors, smells, or...

Be Free!

Have any of you thought about what being free or freedom means to you this week? I have. Throughout my life there have been times when I know that I’ve taken freedom for granted. More and more I’m grateful for being free to choose, vote; share my ideas and opinions; go to school, work, travel, help others, love, be loved; live where I want to live; and believe what I want to believe. These are some of the freedoms that are important to me. I’m grateful! I observed the honoring of Veterans who lost their lives during the Battle of Normandy this week and my heart and soul were touched at a deep level. I thought of my dad who wasn’t at Normandy but served on a Merchant Marine ship in the Pacific during World War II. Like some soldiers, during this war, he convinced his dad to lie about his age in order to serve. Protecting the country, our freedom, and helping our Allies was key. I was also reminded of several friends and acquaintances who were drafted or volunteered for the draft during the Vietnam war. Some returned and some did not. One of my brothers was stationed in South Korea while tensions rose with North Korea. I know that I’m not unique. Many of you have friends and family members who have served as well. The reasons behind these wars hasn’t always been clear. And yet, we continue to send troops around the world helping others protect their freedoms and ultimately ours. I thought about our founding fathers and those who fought for freedom as the...

Faith and Hope

Everyday seems to bring a new distraction. Government antics. International upsets. Personal tragedies. Community violence. Where does one turn to feel secure and safe? Truly, security and safety must be felt within each one of us first.  Hmmm. I ask, “How can I feel secure and safe within so much chaos?” The guidance I still receive is that security, safety, faith and hope must begin within me! If I hold that space and resonance it can change me and affect others. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Some days I feel like I’m living in an alternate reality and observing some really bizarre behaviors! Does this process still apply? Yes! So what’s the difference between faith and hope? Is it important to have both? To me, faith means believing in something without having any proof. Hope means that I have a desire and believe and expect something will happen. I suppose we can debate the nuances of both but let’s not! I believe that both can co-exist. For example, I believe that positive change will result from todays’ chaos. I’m hopeful! I trust it will be so. I have faith that things will change and be more positive in our world but don’t know how it will occur. Does this make sense? Faith and hope co-existing. Is it necessary for both to present at the same time? Maybe not. I’ll leave it up to you. What part do I play in all of this? Do I just wish, hope, and have faith that it will happen? No, this is only part of it. Taking personal time to be quiet and reflect...

Where Does Peace Begin?

Can you imagine living in a world where peace, kindness, caring, love and respect for one another prevail? For a few minutes let your imagination run wild! When was the last time you played with your imagination? Ready? Now close your eyes, take a few deep and cleansing breaths, bring your awareness into your heart space and imagine. What will change in your world? What does your world feel like? Engage your senses. Notice the smells, colors, and sounds. Notice what’s different in your surroundings. Notice how you feel. What will you have to change to live there? Each of our imagined worlds will most likely look different in some aspects. That’s ok! As I think about a more peaceful world I’m reflecting on Memorial Day. I know there will be many family gatherings during this long weekend. Along with celebrations there will be remembering. My Dad served during World War II. My brother served in South Korea and several people I know served in Vietnam. Some came home, some are still MIA, while others are memorialized in Washington, D.C. and in our hearts. We still have many loved ones deployed around the world today. I am grateful for their service. What if peace, kindness, caring, love and respect for one another prevail? How would we change? What will it take? Remember, peace must begin within each one of us first! Wait a minute! The world is huge, isn’t it? Isn’t there enough room for all of us to peacefully co-exist? What can I do to co-create and live in a peaceful world? It seems overwhelming at times when...

Choice is Mine!

What is it about having choices that feels so empowering? Hmmm. I’m reminded of a book that I wrote and published in 2007 entitled Choice, A Simple Way to Peace. I wrote it as Emily, a young teenager, who woke up one morning and began to ask questions like, “What will the world be like when I step into my future? Who can I turn to for answers?” Sound familiar? These questions have come up again, for me, as I listen to lawmake passing bills that, if upheld, take away women’s and human rights. I promise that this is not meant to be political. As a woman; however; I find it chilling that this is even on the table for consideration. I understand that a lot of underlying fear drives some of this restrictive behavior. For me, it triggers a feeling of dread. I understand that I can move through this dread, a perceived loss of personal freedom, and once I’m through it I will be able to see a new and more positive reality. When I wrote the book Choice over twelve years ago I noticed that many of the same concerns voiced by Emily are still prevalent now! She realized that the only way for things to change was for each person to change. “Peace begins within” as Thich Nhat Han reminds us. For something to change in our environment we must first change within ourselves! In other words, if I don’t change then how can I expect others around me to change? This brings me to the gift of choice that each one of us has....

The Gift of Flowers

I hope all of you who celebrate Mother’s Day enjoyed a beautiful day whether you’re considered a “traditional” or “un-traditional” mother! I applaud and celebrate all of you! As I think about Mother’s Day I remember my mom. Through the years we had our disagreements but I always knew she loved me and was there for me. She passed 2 years ago and I find myself thinking and remembering her when I least expect it. I miss her physical presence although she remains in my heart and memories. I also think about my role as a daughter and mom. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t find a “how to be a successful daughter or mom” book. LOL I looked to others and the maps they created to make it easier for me. There were times that I made my own. I realize that dwelling on the past looking at things that I would do differently is not realistic. Rather, learning from the past and being aware of the choices I make now is what’s important. As I talk to friends I realize that there are many ways that moms are celebrated! Sending and receiving flowers is one of them. To me, flowers have a language of their own. I love to receive flowers and when I receive them I feel happy! In fact, I like to receive them all year long and have them blooming in my garden as often as possible! There doesn’t have to be a special occasion! LOL I mentioned that I believe that flowers have their own language. What do I mean? When...

Think or Feel?

Are you a “thinker” or a “feeler”? Years ago I was asked to notice how many times I say, “I think and I feel”. It was an eye opener for me. I found that when I communicated I said, “I think more than I feel”. I was encouraged to begin to lean more into feeling. I’m not saying to stop thinking! For many of us it’s how we process. My journey of being more in touch with my emotions began at that point. So why am I sharing this with you now? Since then I’ve learned that emotions are what’s real and suppressing them can often create disharmony in our physical bodies. Having spent many years working for an international company I learned it was more acceptable to use logic and reason when expressing myself. My “thinking” self developed very large muscles, so to speak, and in turn carried over into how I always communicated! Until I was asked to notice how many times I said “I think” versus “I feel” I was unaware. Once again, I was reminded this week how important it is to express how I feel after reading a quote from Maya Angelou who said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I sometimes listen to Today’s Country on Pandora and it came up again when I heard Ed Sheeran singing about feelings through his lyrics, “How would you feel. . .?” I know there are many artists who sing and write about feelings and I’m sure...

Celebrate!

I’m reminded of Kool and the Gang’s song lyrics, “Celebrate good times, come on! It’s a celebration. . .” Storm Wisdom is celebrating 10 years of serving the community! WooHoo! As I sat with what to write this week I couldn’t ignore this beautiful celebration. What does this celebration mean to me? There are two things that come to mind. First, it brings back memories of meeting Charles, Storm Wisdom’s owner, before the store opened. 10 years ago Gisela and I were facilitating an Intenders Circle at Angel’s Serenity in Phoenix. Charles attended. After the event ended that evening Charles told us about his new store, Storm Wisdom a crystal gallery, that would soon be opening. He invited us to stop by and see the space. Both of us were in the process of leaving A Peace of the Universe at the time so we said, “Yes, we would love to see it.” A few days later I still remember looking at the vacant interior through the the glass door at Storm Wisdom. As Charles showed us inside and explained his vision for Storm Wisdom, including having practitioner spaces, I felt excited! It was that day that the journey with Charles and Storm Wisdom began for both Gisela and me. Charles asked us if we wanted to work there and without hesitation we both said, “Yes!” It’s hard to believe that we’ve journeyed together and evolved as Storm Wisdom has evolved over 10 years. Gisela and I were there when Charles opened the doors for business. Ruthie, Charles’ mom, was there too for awhile. Not long after Stephanie and...

Resurrection and Liberation!

This week, for many, has been one of celebrating resurrection and liberation in the Christian and Jewish traditions. I realize that other traditions may not celebrate in this way; however, this isn’t meant to be a religious discussion. Rather, the themes of resurrection and liberation have presented an opportunity for reflection. Why do these themes appeal to me right now? Several people I’ve spoken with recently have expressed feeling restless; wanting to change but not knowing what to do; unable to see things clearly; feeling unusually fatigued; as well as having other symptoms. Others are looking for reasons to feel hopeful and not hopeless. What is ready to be freed or brought to life? There seems to be a huge shift in energies happening right now. Universal energies in 2019 support creativity and creative expression. Lunar energies of the full moon this week bring optimism and a sense of new beginnings. I’ve noticed that I, too, have felt some of these energies. Recently I’ve begun to feel new inspiration and creativity percolating. I’m choosing to hold the energies of hope and what’s possible – not dwelling on the negative. My revised website, VictoriaBarna.com, has a new tag line of Ignite the Spark of Hope! How fun, yes? Although our individual journey of awakening and expansion of consciousness may be unique and different from our friends we often forget that we are not alone! Our connectedness through the greater field of consciousness is always available. We are all from the one Source, God/Goddess/All That Is. During my personal reflections I’ve asked, “What in me has died and is ready to...

Heart-Based Living

For several years I’ve used imagery of moving into the heart space or heart chakra as a way to quiet my thoughts. As I lead guided visualizations I also use this imagery. Recently, while working with a young woman who has been experiencing anxiety and panic attacks due to a physical trauma, I used this imagery. After her experience she said, “I feel so much calmer and better. I feel clearer and I don’t feel as anxious!” Personally, I’ve experienced inner peace and calming using this imagery. Some of you have probably heard people talk about heart-based living. This is something I’ve embraced but I didn’t learn how to do it from anyone. As I laughingly tell people, “Some travel from point A to Z in a straight line and others zig and zag!” Guess which way I do it? Yes, I zig and zag. For me, it’s all about experiencing things! LOL Whichever way you use you will get there eventually! So, things have been percolating and I’ve been sitting with this for a few days. I asked, “What is heart-based living and what does it mean to me?” For those of you who like to investigate and understand things and you aren’t familiar with HeartMath Institute I encourage you to take a look at their website. There have been lots of studies done looking at brain, heart and consciousness. Doc Childre, founder of HeartMath said, “Heart-based living is about including your heart’s intuition as you navigate through life’s relationships and events. This brings balance to your mind and emotions and unfolds your authentic self.” Amazing, isn’t it?...

A Time of Re-Birth!

Hello everyone! How have you been feeling lately? Some people that I’ve talked to recently are experiencing physical symptoms. They describe them as allergies, flu, or colds, to name a few. I know that I’ve had some sneezing fits, itchy eyes, and low energy on a couple of days. Allergies? Maybe. Can it be something else? Maybe. I’ve been checking in and have found myself saying “Yes” to allergies although I haven’t really been affected by them most of my life. The next time I check in I find myself feeling it’s more of an energy shift or what some may call a “resonance shakedown”! Hmmmm. Maybe both? As I reflect on what’s happened in the environment recently there has been a lot of conversation around climate change. Severe rain, snow, tornados, and hurricanes are happening more frequently and in ways that are new. Big shifts in barometric pressure as well. I know that the Earth is changing and at times I feel like precious Gaia is screaming in pain. For some of you sensitives I know that you can also feel her pain. This, too, can be felt in the physical body. How much of Mother Earth’s pain is affecting how we feel? I’m also reminded that the Spring Equinox recently occurred on March 20th. What impact might the Equinox have contributed to how we feel? The Spring Equinox, also known as the Vernal Equinox, heralds the first day of Spring which symbolizes new growth and re-birth. This one had a Full Worm Moon and Super Moon. The lunar energy has been very powerful for those of you...

Ignite the Spark of Hope!

Hi everyone! Some of you have asked whether my husband’s wallet was returned after losing it last weekend. I’m happy to say, “Yes, it’s in the mail as we speak. Thank you for asking!” We received a phone call a couple of days ago and found that it was returned by a kind soul to an art gallery close to where we were enjoying the weather and music. Although we took appropriate actions like freezing credit cards we still held space for hope! We were ok if it wasn’t returned, sad to lose irreplaceable photos; but we are very happy to have it back! Interestingly the person my husband spoke to at the art gallery mentioned there was good Karma involved! During my channeling evening with Luminus this week the theme also seemed to be “Hope”. No coincidence I believe. So what is it about “hope” that speaks to me? There are so many things everyday that can create doubt, complacency, and decision making paralysis. In fact, with so much distraction and chaos it can feel overwhelming most days. Have you felt like this recently? Have you wondered how or if there’s anything that you can do to make a difference? Have you felt powerless or wondered if anyone will hear your voice expressing your thoughts and opinions? If you have then maybe it feels easier to do nothing or continue seeking signs for what’s yours to do. I know, I’ve had moments like this. It doesn’t feel good when I’m in this place because I want to help and be of service to others. Reflecting on “Hope” this...

Ride the Wave of Emotions First!

Have you ever had an experience that when you looked back on it you wondered if the outcome would have been different if you had responded differently? Hmmm. . .yes, hindsight is wonderful isn’t it? In the moment I know it’s often hard to even think about how to respond especially when emotions are flying high! I’ve been reminded recently that riding the wave of emotion, if possible, is better than responding immediately. Take a deep breath first as the emotions pass. Then decide what actions need to be taken. Here’s an example that happened recently when my husband and I were out of town for a few days. We were sitting in a courtyard after a lovely lunch listening to a violinist play. We were enjoying the music and beauty of the day. The sun was out. The flowers were bright with color. The fountain nearby sounded lovely. People were all around and yet it seemed like we were in a private space. It was a moment filled with Grace! I asked, “Do you have some change for the musician?” My husband took his wallet out from his pocket and placed the money in her violin case along with her other tips and sat back down with me. Soon we decided to leave and walked around the plaza and suddenly my husband said, “Where’s my wallet? I can’t find it!” Were we concerned? Absolutely! However, we had a choice to make although it happened so fast I’m not sure we really were consciously thinking about it. We chose to remain calm and retrace our steps a couple of...

Reflections!

Have you ever received positive feedback from someone and downplayed it? This happened to me recently. I realized it’s a habit I’ve had for a very long time. I began to ask myself, “Why do I find it so hard to receive compliments? Why does it make me feel so uncomfortable and why do others see strengths in me that I don’t see?” Whew! I’ve been thinking about this and sitting with it for awhile and realized it was time to figure it out. It really doesn’t feel good when I downplay the compliments with a comment like, “Oh, it’s no big deal!” Can you feel me squirming in my seat? Yikes! Why is it so hard to accept the compliment and say thank you? Some new awarenesses have come to me so I thought I would share them with you and invite you to share any you may have with me too! Let’s support one another in our journey of personal growth. We aren’t alone but sometimes it’s easy to forget, isn’t it? I realize in a deeper way that there are many ways and many different messengers that bring us information. Often in unexpected ways. The people who compliment us are sharing information often from our High Self or Source. Why? Information that is brought into our conscious awareness often can be hidden deep within our Soul and it’s time to bring it out and claim it! This is my belief anyway. So why dishonor or diminish the messenger or message? Recently I had a conversation with a dear friend and we talked about our culture and...

I Am A Channel!

I’m often asked, “How did you learn to channel?” Others have said, “I would love to learn how to channel!” I’ve been thinking about their comments and would like to share a few thoughts regarding channeling this week. I will use my own experience as an example and encourage anyone who is interested to explore channeling. What is channeling? Annie Bossingham has said that, “Channeling is the process of receiving information or inspiration from realms beyond our physical reality. The source is not as important as the essence of what is brought through to this reality.” Does this make sense? This explanation works for me. Does it mean as a channel you are possessed or taken over by an entity? Absolutely not! Some channels relay information. Others are semi-conscious and vocalize the beings or levels of consciousness. And still others can be unconscious as they channel. I have been channeling for many years and some of you have been too! I relay information at times and have evolved to being a Trance Channel who vocalizes the beings and consciousness that I channel. I’ve been Trance Channeling almost 4 years now. In the beginning of my channeling journey I didn’t take classes. I didn’t really know what channeling was. Looking back I realize that my experience of channeling began as I meditated. During these times my thoughts would quiet and a beautiful feeling of inner peace occurred. There were times, and still are, that I feel a huge wave of unconditional love that brings tears to my eyes. At times it’s overwhelming and I feel such gratitude! Later, after meditating...

You Are Unique!

Have you ever wondered why you can easily “read” people; find meditating challenging; need a power nap during the day; find that channeling is part of your destiny; or why you take on energies/emotions from other people? These are just a few things that me and others have wondered about. I believe that each one of us is individual and unique. Recently I was invited to accompany a friend and join her in her Human Design session with Gisela. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Human Design I like to think of it as a tool that helps you understand how you are “hardwired”. I know that sounds simple but it’s the easiest way for me to explain it. More importantly, through the understanding of how you are “hardwired” it creates opportunities to know and accept yourself more deeply, respond to others differently, and understand why some of the things you do are innate. Is Human Design the only tool that can help? No, there are many tools that are available to us. Each one provides different perspectives and understanding. I found it exciting and amazing as I watched my friend. As I watched her face a range of feelings appeared as she received information from Gisela. Acceptance, understanding, relief, humor, and so much more appeared.Two “ah ha” moments were beautiful to watch as my friend began to digest what she was hearing. First, she began to understand why she feels and takes on other people’s emotions. She found that an underlying and unconscious desire to want to fix things and make everyone happy emerged. She began...

Imagine!

A few days ago I was surprised to hear the words to John Lennon’s song “Imagine” playing over and over in my head. Has that ever happened to you when out of the blue you can’t let go of a song? It happens to me occasionally. The part of the song that especially touched me was the refrain: “You may say I’m a dreamer But I’m not the only one I hope some day you’ll join us And the world will be as one.” When I listen to this song the words touch my soul. I wondered why I was remembering this particular song and what it was reflecting in my life. I thought about the words “people living for today; people living in peace; and people sharing all the world” as well. Wow!! This is a dream I hold too! 2019, using numerology, is supported by the 3 energy (2+0+1+9 = 1+2 = 3). I think of this energy as a creative one that supports creative expression, imagination, bringing people together, communication, passion, and surprise! Hmmm. I’ve felt a renewed sense of excitement and creativity bubbling inside of me lately. I’m not sure what it looks like yet. Have you felt this kind of energy lately? There are times I have felt like my imagination and desire to dream were lost! What happened? I remember how natural it was to imagine and dream when I was a child. As I grew up I found that dreaming and imagining weren’t always encouraged. Looking back I see that when I worked in a large corporation I chose to conform to...

Open to Possibilities!

I’ve spent this weekend with fellow adventurers and Annie Bossingham in the Advanced Artistry of Channeling class and WOW!! Although I’ve been a channel for many years “trance channeling” has opened possibilities to explore that I’ve never imagined. Whether you want to channel for others or not, for me, it has been the best personal growth experience I’ve ever had. How is that possible? When I began Annie’s Artistry of Channeling program almost 5 years ago I had no expectation of what the experience would be or what I would get out of it. Opening to possibilities and as Annie says, “Be willing to play the fool”, was key! As I look back I can see how much I wanted to control things. Truly, I know that the only thing I can control are my choices. In order to continue my personal growth I’ve had to release a lot of old and constrictive beliefs as well as an image of myself that I held closely for many years. Working in a corporate environment for many years solidified what I believed my image should be. Why? Certain attitudes and behaviors were considered acceptable and others weren’t. I flourished in that environment for many years and received lots of positive recognition as a result. I didn’t realize how much of my truer self was hidden until I began to spiritually awaken before I retired from corporate America. Then the “real” journey began! It’s been incredible and I’ve found I’ve opened more and more to what’s possible and continue to move into more expansive beliefs and experiences. For me, claiming and owning...

Love Yourself!

How do you feel about YOU? How often do you judge, criticize, or put yourself down? Sometimes when I get in that place I imagine Jiminy Cricket sitting on my shoulder whispering these things to me. In reality I’ve come to think of him as my negative ego – the one who’s never told me the truth! I’ve also learned that when this happens I know the things being said aren’t true so I take a deep breath, acknowledge Jiminy Cricket and then send him on a vacation! LOL Once Jiminy Cricket leaves I become more centered and see things more clearly. I find this behavior is more common than you might think. I’ve wondered if it’s because of our environment, social conditioning, past life interference, or current life experiences. I don’t believe it’s one or the other. In fact, it can be a combination of things that contribute to how we feel about ourselves. Many women that I know put themselves last. They feel that it’s easier to give than to receive or ask for help. It’s easier to find fault with themselves rather than look at a bigger picture. In years past I’ve found it challenging to “speak my truth”, wanting to please, and afraid of not living up to others’ expectations. Sound familiar? What has changed? I’ve changed! I live more consciously and make conscious choices. I believe I co-create my life! I’m the Author and Artist of my life! I love myself and believe I deserve love and that I’m loveable. I’m open to receive and “speak my truth” and I know that my family...

Holding Space

Have you ever found yourself creating an intention to “hold space” for someone? It could be a family member, friend, friend of a friend, sick pet, or someone you don’t even know except that you sense or may have been told about their need for support. I have told someone, “I’m holding space for you.” During the group healing evenings with the Messengers of Light I “hold space” for the group. During group meditations that I facilitate I also “hold space” for the participants. So, I’ve been reflecting on what “holding space” means to me this week. Have you used this intention or ever wondered about what it means to you? Hmmm. What I’ve found, for me, is that I generally use the intention to “hold space” when I’m creating a healing space for someone or a group. You might use it differently. What I find interesting is that I recognize I use it in situations when I personally have no control of the outcome. Yes, I realize that the only control I have are the choices I make and how I respond to others’ choices. Control is a figment of my imagination! LOL Through the years I’ve been able to release old beliefs around control and I know that many of you have too. I also realize that healing is up to the receiver of the healing. It requires an openness to receive and willingness to integrate the healing by each individual. There are many reasons why people choose not to heal and it isn’t always a conscious choice. It’s taken a long time for me to embrace...

What Are You Willing to Change?

Many people I talk to right now want to make changes in their life. Frequently I hear, “I don’t know what I want or how to go about it?” Seeing a path forward is often unclear. This is pretty common and yet there is an underlying anxious feeling that occurs when this happens. “Why can’t I figure this out?” I’m asked. There’s alot of self-judgment that happens. It’s important to stop beating yourself up! We always have a choice to change and a choice to change how we respond to others. That’s part of our super powers! It’s our choice! Through the years of working with many clients and drawing on my own personal experience I’ve found some common themes about why it’s challenging at times to make life changes. Let’s explore 2 of them. Fear of the unknown is a big one. When current routines are comfortable often fear creates blocks or resistance to creatively look outside of the box for answers, so to speak. It’s not always easy to change our habits and behaviors some of which we hold deeply in our sub-conscious or unconscious. Looking back I remember how frequently I’ve said, “I love change!” I’m now aware that I love change when I think I can control it! LOL Who doesn’t like to feel they’re in charge? How about playing it safe because you don’t want to disappoint someone? This can happen in relationships of all kinds; personal, professional, community, and others. Compromise is common for relationships to flourish isn’t it? Is it possible to successfully grow in a relationship without giving away your power?...

Find Your Happy Place!

How has your week been? How have you been impacted? There’s been a lot going on, right? Government shutdowns continue. Federal employees and women are marching. People are forced to work or have been furloughed and they aren’t getting paid. What else? Oh yeah, lots of finger pointing too! Wow! My heart goes out to the people who aren’t able to work and maintain their livelihoods. The hardships that many of them are enduring seem so unnecessary. I’m encouraged by many of the businesses who are open to provide some flexibility and support. I’m also encouraged by others who have been willing to provide services as a way of support. I’m also encouraged that some communities are pulling together to support families in the community. The spark of hope has ignited in many! Have you been able to remain centered during all of this? I know at times it’s easy to get caught in the drama. Even if that happens there are still ways to find your center. Why is it important? When you are able to free yourself from the drama and find your center it’s easier to see pathways forward. It’s easier to see things more clearly and not feel overwhelmed or wondering, “What can I do to help or how can I support my family, friends, neighbors, or community that are being affected?” Many people I’ve worked with through the years have expressed that they find it hard to meditate, quiet their thoughts, or find their center. I know that this can be challenging especially when beginning. One of the ways that I have found to...

Becoming More!

My journey of personal growth and expanding awareness has been amazing, exciting, and surprising at times. It’s been a journey of remembering, conscious awakening and choosing to keep going. I think of it as a journey of going Home! Home? Yes, a journey back to God/Goddess/All That Is or Source! Does that mean you have to leave the planet to go Home? I don’t believe so.  An image that comes to mind is an onion. There are layers and layers of illusion, habit, beliefs, promises, contracts, agreements, or vows that get shed as we live more consciously and remember who we are! As the layers are shed we draw closer and closer to our true nature – that which is Source and Love! I believe that our core essence, life force or some may call it Soul, is Source. Our physical bodies house our beautiful eternal essence/Soul which is a spark of Source! Our journey Home is remembering this. This awareness and feelings of what unconditional love feels like can occur during meditation or prayer while you are still here on Earth. Does this make sense? Many clients I see ask, “How do I become more spiritual?” My response is, “You are already spiritual and have chosen to be here enjoying a human experience.” People are often surprised when we have this conversation. How can we not be spiritual when our eternal Soul is from Source? We are both human and Divine! Not one or the other!  I’m also asked, “What’s my purpose?” BE the best you that you can be and help others! Have fun and do what...

An Invitation to BE or Not BE!

Happy 2019! I hope your holidays were beautiful and fun. It seems like every year seems to fly by faster and faster. Whew! How many of you have felt stuck, lacked clarity, or knew you were at a major change point in your life? I hear this often with clients that I see. I’ve experienced all of these at different times in my life. In fact, not too long ago I felt like I was having my 40 days and 40 nights in the desert but for me it lasted a couple of years! Recently I was talking to a very dear friend of mine about this who is going through his time in the desert. This experience happens in different ways for everyone as we journey into more and more personal growth, awareness, consciousness expansion and conscious living. For me, it wasn’t very comfortable. Why? I was so used to doing and creating things that when I felt my inspiration and creativity stop I didn’t know what to do.  During this time I took my website down because it no longer felt like an energetic match. I wanted to create a new one but I didn’t know what to create. Everything seemed wrong! I checked in with my astrologer periodically, who is wonderful by the way, and she would say, “It’s going to be awhile before it becomes clear and anything you create now you most likely will want to change later.” That really wasn’t what I wanted to hear!  This time truly was a gift in disguise even though I didn’t realize it at the time. In...

Expect the Unexpected

I hope your Holidays have been wonderful! I’m sure there are moments of joy, happiness, sadness, family gatherings and so much more. For some of you I’m sure that a full range of emotion has been experienced. Now we are on the Eve of moving from 2018 to 2019. Another New Year! Wow, I feel that the time goes by faster and faster each year. Do you find that to be true for you?  In numerology, generally speaking, 2018 has been a universal year of 2 which represents the energies of compassion, nurturing, balance, adaptability, and harmony. 2019 brings the universal energies of 3 which represents communication, optimism, creative expression, imagination, and surprise! You maybe feeling these shifts from one energy to another already. I know I have! For those of you who are familiar with Jach Pursel who has been channeling a non physical spark of consciousness called Lazaris since October, 1974, we are moving from a year of Acceptance into a year of Grace. I know that several clients I’ve met recently are exploring ways to BE more accepting and loving of self and others. Let me share something that happened to me and my family on Christmas Day! We had a beautiful family celebration on Christmas Eve. There was lots of food and fun. This is a family tradition and the host family rotates each year. On Christmas Day whoever is available joins at another family member’s home for a low key and delicious meal. As we waited for family members to join us we got a surprising phone call. Our niece who was joining us...

Happy Holidays!

Finding a sense of peace can seem illusive with all of the activity going on navigating day to day life and this doesn’t include what’s going on in the world. Focusing on what we can manage is easier. As I reflect on this holiday season I notice people rushing, more traffic, as well as stressed workers and shoppers. At times I feel my energy levels shifting and changing while I’m out and about which results in increased tension and stress in my body. As soon as I realize what’s going on I begin to take deep breaths even while I’m walking and shopping. I bring my awareness into my heart space and feel the tension and stress lower. Peace begins within! The holidays bring their own kinds of stress don’t they? Entertaining, working, decorating, shopping, traveling, and so much more. Don’t forget time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. During this hectic time remember to make time to consciously breathe and reflect on your good fortune. Why? This is one way to help keep things in perspective and remember what’s important during this time – family, friends, love, peace, health, and  community to name a few.  I’ve also noticed that we celebrate the holidays differently now that our kids live out of state and aren’t close. We used to go all out and decorate for each holiday and now we don’t. If we do it’s minimal. My husband and I were talking and both of us agree that it’s not the same without kids around. The joy, wonder and excitement is different, yes? Now we enjoy each other...

You Are Worthy!

I find that many people I see want to please others to the degree that they lose sight of their own needs. This is especially true for women. Wanting to please and take care of others can often result in stuffing feelings deep and not speaking what’s on their mind. I can relate to this myself. It’s taken me many years to feel comfortable in letting others know what I’m feeling.  Do you feel worthy? Do you feel like you deserve a happy and healthy life? Do you feel like you are cherished and admired by your partner, family, friends, or colleagues? Do you feel seen and heard? On the surface these questions may seem a little weird. However, in my practice I find that these themes come up frequently. Sometimes these feelings are deeply buried and it takes a commitment to get to the bottom of what the client is feeling and experiencing – putting words to what the client feels. First, it took me really getting in touch with what was important to me and what I desired in my life. For many years I feel like I put others first and I ignored what I needed. Fortunately I understand this now and I’m able to speak my truth so to speak. Once I got over the belief that my family would divorce me if I changed it became easier. It’s amazing the stories we make up and perpetuate in our minds, isn’t it? Today, I’m comfortable with being seen, heard, and more vulnerable. How did this happen? I realized that for things to change I had...

I Can’t Get No Satisfaction!

What? A Rolling Stones hit? What’s up with that? LOL Some of you might think my writing process is a bit weird! All I can say is, “It is what it is and seems to work for me!” There have been a few topics percolating within me all week and today this title came so I’ve sat with it this morning to see how it unfolded. The first layer that came was that satisfaction comes from within not from others or externally. I believe that’s true just as “Peace comes from within” (Thich Nhat Han). The journey of re-awakening is an inward one. A journey of shedding layers of illusion to the truths that are accessed deep within us. There really is nothing “out there”. It’s all within you and me! For change to happen in our lives we must first change within ourselves. We are the authors of our life, the artist of our canvas and the master gardener of our beautiful inner gardens so to speak. I was talking to my oldest son on the phone yesterday. He’s been in Georgia for a couple of months working on a disaster recovery and environmental clean up team due to the recent hurricanes. He’s on his way home back to his family in Northern California and may join the efforts in Paradise, CA that were devastated by the recent fires. As we talked we reflected on our past white collar jobs and choices we have made. I mentioned that hindsight was wonderful and there are choices that I’ve made through the years that I’ve regretted. We laughed. I realize...

Young People are Awakening

Recently I’ve had an opportunity to work with an 11 year old girl at the request of her mother. Her mother gifted her a session with me for her birthday at her daughter’s request. I was surprised and honored. I really didn’t know what to expect when we met. I asked if she wanted her mother to join us and her mom left the choice up to her. She asked her mom to stay. The session was beautiful and both mom and daughter seemed to get a lot out of it. Questions were asked and answers shared. I was impressed that this young girl had a clear vision of what she wanted to do with her life as well. I recorded the session and sent the recording to her mom for their reference. Opportunities for conversation between the two of them opened in different ways. Why am I bringing this up now? It was a beautiful reminder of how open many of our young people are today. They are having experiences that are different from most of their friends. They have questions and yet don’t know how to talk about their experiences with their friends or teachers. In some cases there is fear because they feel different. They know things but don’t have a language to talk about them. Sometimes their thought processes are so fast they get bored easily in school and their grades begin to slip. They feel different and often isolated. Fortunately, in the case of my client, her mom was very “tuned in” and supportive. I was asked if I offered programs for this age...

What Does Family Mean?

Celebrating and hosting Thanksgiving dinner this week has made me think a lot about who family is for me. We were blessed to have our youngest son and his wife here for a few days since they live out of state. It was really special. Unfortunately our oldest and his family couldn’t be with us. We enjoyed having many of my husband’s family, living in Arizona, join us as well. Other friends who are close to us joined in too. We even had a few new people join us. They fit in so well and engaged with everyone so easily that it felt like they were part of the family too! So, I asked myself, “Who is family for me?” Our family is multi-generational and ranges in age from 3 years to 80+. I know that we have our birth and adopted families. For some there are others who may be closer than our birth or adopted families. Then there are Soul Family members who have found one another to fulfill agreements made before entering this human experience. Does this make them any less a family member? Although I’m the oldest of four kids each of us moved to different states as we became adults and really weren’t close. We had different interests. We’ve reconnected though since my dad passed in 2013 and mom passed last year. We still live in different states but make a conscious effort now to stay in touch! I’ve seen how family relationships ebb and flow and how new extended members enter and leave. Another group that I think of as family is my...

Happy Thanksgiving!

How have you been this week? Every day is a new day, isn’t it? Looking ahead I realize Thanksgiving is here all of a sudden. I can’t believe how fast this year has flown. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and I love to share it with family and friends. As I think of menus, shopping, and guests for Thanksgiving my heart hurts and goes out to those who have lost their homes in California and in some cases their lives. There are so many still missing. I remember many years ago when I lived in Oakland, California, we lived through the Oakland Hills fire and were evacuated for 3 days. If the wind hadn’t changed late that day and the fire turned we would have lost our home too. Fortunately for us our home survived. 2500 other families weren’t as lucky. The community came together and helped the families that had to rebuild. I see that communities are coming together now as well. In times of crisis people come together. Differences are set aside. Compassion is felt and the question, “How can I help” prevails. So why bring this up now while getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving? I feel so thankful for everyday I’m here and for the health and well-being of my family. Our children and their families still live in Northern California and although they live far from the fire the air quality is bad. Schools have closed briefly. The kids and their families are ok though and I’m thankful! Our friends in Southern California are ok including a family living in Malibu! For 2...

Hold Space for Healing

Once again there is so much going on. Voting, shootings, protests, fires, division, smack talk and so much more. These are situations but what about the emotions? Anger, hope, joy, sadness, sorrow, loss and others. How have you managed through all of this?  There is a great opportunity for healing isn’t there? Healing for the Earth, families, individuals, communities, our country and the world. How can we, as individuals, hold space for healing? Are you wondering? What does it mean to heal? A healer is one who heals and to heal means to restore to a healthy condition according to Miriam Webster. Hmmm. Do you think of yourself as a healer? Does being a healer mean you must have a medical degree? For some types of healing a medical degree is necessary. For other types of healing you don’t. Think about your daily lives and the times you have helped someone that has resulted in healing either mentally, emotionally, physically, or spiritually. Healing can happen through your words, intentions, prayers, touch, beliefs and just by listening to someone share their joy, concerns or grief. Remember the times you’ve reached out to someone who has told you that they’ve felt better after being with you. If you’ve ever offered comfort to someone who has experienced trauma you have helped their healing process. It doesn’t mean that immediately results are apparent as much as we would like to see them. The receiver of healing is always in control. Their openness and willingness to receive healing makes a difference.  I realize that there are many people who are suffering right now in...

Hold a Greater Vision

THOUGHTS MATTER, WORDS MATTER,  AND ACTIONS MATTER! This has been a very emotional week for many people including me. I feel like I’ve experienced a wide range of emotions that go from being happy to being  disillusioned and then shocked by such hate and violence. With mid-term elections coming Tuesday, November 6th, it seems the frenzy continues to escalate! It’s so easy to get caught up in the frenzy, isn’t it? I’ve asked myself every day, “What’s mine to do? How do I feel about what’s going on? How do I remain hopeful in spite of all of the misdirection and untruths? How can I still make a difference with integrity and love?” That’s a lot to work through isn’t it? I would love to hear from you to see how you are handling it all. The way I’m dealing with it is to continue my daily practice of what’s worked for me for many years. Before I get out of bed I offer my gratitude for being alive, healthy, this Earth, my freedom to choose, and for my family and friends. Yep, I really do. Then I set my intention to make a difference in someone’s life that day! I never know how that will happen. Sometimes it comes by working with my clients in person or over the phone and sometimes it’s totally unexpected like being kind to a stranger. It really varies.  Next I envision a world filled with peace, acceptance, compassion, love, beauty, and so much more! I hold a greater vision than is taking place in the moment! This ritual, so to speak, starts...

Navigating Chaos

Hi there! I’m happy to be writing the blog again. I appreciate your support and love that Charles is honoring his personal journey right now. In last weeks’ blog Charles mentioned welcoming your thoughts about things you would like to hear about. I welcome your ideas and will do my best to respond. Another idea we are considering is having “guest bloggers” in the future. I will keep you posted as it unfolds. Please let me know if you are interested in being a “guest blogger”. So much is happening this week that I wonder how you’re feeling? Notice, I asked, “How are you feeling rather than how are you doing?” Most of us are very good at doing and not feeling! It’s taken me a long time to feel more comfortable with and express my feelings! Oh my, it’s felt so uncomfortable feeling vulnerable but I’ve found it’s healthier for me! Have you felt this way too?  The reason I ask is that with so much going on in the world right now chaos is everywhere. It seems that here, in the U.S., election passions have brought out weird behaviors. It’s easy to be affected by all of the energies that are swirling around us. Remember, we are all a part of the whole and come from the one Source! At our core we are all connected and not separate. So many have forgotten this. Everyday there seems to be a new distraction and I ask, “What more can there be?” There always seems to be more. I feel that I can get sucked into the chaos or...

In Awe of the Universe

I love how the Universe always seems to line up to support us! For the past couple of weeks, I have been trying to decide what direction to take this blog.  You see ever since I returned from doing the Spanish Immersion program in Mexico, I have not been in much of a mood for writing.  In fact, things have shifted so much for me that I am not sure what I am feeling…, other than a sense of “in-between”. On the one hand I am more grateful for my life than I have ever been, and feel very present.  On the other, I am not sure what I am doing or what is next.  This means things are great and awkward / uncomfortable at the same time. Part of me wants to figure out “what is next” as quickly as possible.  Then the logical me will be content because I have a plan!  Another part, the one that appears to be getting my attention, wants me to be patient and simply BE in and with the unknown.  To learn to be comfortable in the Void. At the same time.., Victoria is finding her voice anew.  She has been a writer, teacher, guide and healer for a long time.  Yet,  she is at a point of personal expansion that appears to be about greater visibility and shared intimacy.  The experience of writing weekly and sharing it with you over this past summer, has given her new insights into her own journey and the direction she wants to go! Change is happening for both of us.., in slightly different ways!...

Things That Didn’t Work Out

Do you ever wonder how or why things turn out the way they do? What turn, decision or detour changed the direction of your life? That is where my thoughts have been recently. For many years I felt like I was in charge of my destiny. That I could control the outcomes and circumstances of my life. There were even extended periods of time when, what I was ‘planning’ and what was actually happening seemed to be completely aligned. It reinforced my belief that I was in charge. But now when I reflect on the journey so far, I realize there is no way I could have predicted this outcome. It is so much more than I even knew to dream. Life is filled with challenges and obstacles. It is also filled with smooth sailing and fast lanes. There are just as many highways as there are deadend streets and off-road trails. Sometimes it feels like the road your on has a red light at every intersection. Then suddenly it is smooth sailing and every light turns green as you approach. It is easy to celebrate the journey when everything is flowing and aligned with ‘the plan’. Yet it is our reactions to the road blocks and rough patches that tend to define us. They can motivate us or strengthens our resolve, send us into a downward spiral, or anything in between. But how many of these rough patches or detours are the experiences that really shape the long term richness of our lives? A couple of weeks ago while I was writing one of these weekly blog posts,...

Changing Perceptions 

Perception is a powerful filter.  We all see the world through a personal series of overlays or transparencies that are so embedded in our daily existence, that most of the time, we forget (or don’t know) that they’re there. Our perceptions frame every experience and determine how we view the situations and events of our lives.  They become the lenses and gels from which we view every experience.  Focusing on and coloring the things we encounter and immediately aligning and defining them based on our beliefs. Our perceptions seem real.  So well-established, that oftentimes, they seem impermeable. Probably because they are forged from our past experiences, memories, relationship dynamics, culture, etc… Our beliefs, attitudes, values, all melded together to provide a world view that is unique to each one of us! We may feel as if we have found a tribe that seems to look through the same filters.  But if we really took the time to get into the specifics, we would find that there are always differences.  Sometimes subtle, sometimes stark.  We are all part of the same continuum… yet invariably unique. Think of when you have recalled a childhood experience that is vivid and tangible for you; yet the friend or sibling you shared it with can’t remember it or has a completely different memory or view of what happened.  Two different perceptions of the same event. Our perceptions are so much apart of us, they are almost impossible to experience as separate.  Almost. For those who choose to winnow the limiting layers of beliefs, patterns, and habits that influence our decision making.., we often find...

Someone’s Feeling Blessed

I turned 60 this week! If I’m completely honest, there’s apart of me that wonders how this is even possible! Wasn’t 40 just a few minutes ago? At the same time, turning 60 is much easier than I might have imagined at earlier times in my life. As I’ve thought about this, I realize this is because “I fit in my life”. The who, what, how, where and why all make sense and feel right. As aligned as everything feels right now, it hasn’t always been the case. There were times when my life didn’t make sense. I wanted something different than my own reality. I was either chasing the dime or trying to be something I wasn’t. I spent a lot of time wishing “things were different” than how they actually were… or pursuing someone or something that wasn’t really available or in hindsight just not right for me. All of these situations lead to wasted time regretting what wasn’t and not enough time appreciating what was. This doesn’t mean life wasn’t good… or even that these situations didn’t have their benefits at the time. It simply means I wasn’t really very present. I was too busy trying to navigate or maybe more accurately… manipulate and control the future. But at 60, those times of angst, struggle, perceived disappointment or trivial pursuit make sense now. They are part of the journey that lead me to this point in time. This moment when all feels right in my world. There is a beauty and wisdom that comes with the passing years. The lessons learned along the way begin to...

Something Seems Different

Last week I said “I’m not the same person I was when I left”. This week I continue to be aware of this as I re-enter and integrate back into day-to-day life. It makes me wonder how many times in the past have I either rushed into something new without ever being aware of the shifts or changes; or avoided the call to something new altogether, because letting go of what was known was harder than stepping into a new unknown. I find myself contemplating a situation or opportunity, only to realize I am having an internal dialog about what is present, and how I use to deal with or approach something. Not necessarily big things either. In fact many of them are small and mundane. The best or simplest example is the food I eat. Most of us get into a routine or pattern of eating. There is nothing wrong with that. We go to the same restaurants or prepare the same meals. It is our comfort zone. Since returning, I’ve noticed that many of the food choices that were staples, simply are not doing it for me! Some, when I think of them, I get this sinking feeling of resistance. They just don’t appeal to me. This is where the dialog comes in. I try to convince myself that it is a viable option, because it is a dish “I use to make”, or it is a restaurant where “I use to eat”. I try to justify that at least it is simple and doesn’t require time. Efficiency has always held sway for me!! But there is...

A Fresh Start

Starting to write is harder than I thought it would be.  I have enjoyed the cathartic process of writing this weekly blog for over 9 years.  But a three month break has been pretty awesome too!  It has offered a level of freedom that was unexpected.  I am so grateful that Victoria was at a point in her own journey, that she was ready to reveal and share more of herself AND do it in the form of this weekly share. Thank You Victoria! I’ve been home for a couple of weeks now.  3 months in San Miguel was awesome and amazing.  Studying Spanish and living with a Mexican family along with other students was just what I was hoping for in many ways.  But I also realize I went with some faulty expectations.  Expectations that I didn’t even realize I had. About half way through, one of the instructors indicated it would take about 6 months of schooling, practice and experience to really feel comfortable or fluid in a second language.  I realized when I heard him say it, that I was expecting that to happen in just 3 months! After returning home, it’s pretty obvious that outside of the structure and context of going to school.., understanding, hearing and speaking Spanish on a daily basis is much more challenging than in the comfort of a classroom.  The classroom offered a great foundation.., but there is still so much to learn!  Thankfully Fito is a patient partner… who happens to love Spanish and languages in general!   Stepping out of your life for three months is an amazing...

I Am Grateful By Victoria Barna

Hi everyone! I’m sure that many of you have heard that our beloved Charles is back from his adventure!! I’m very happy for him and can’t wait to hear about his wonderful experiences and see what insights he shares. Welcome back Charles!! So, this is my last Storm Wisdom Newsletter for now! I’m grateful to each one of you! Thank you for your love, feedback and support over the last three months. I’m grateful to Charles for trusting me to “fill in” for him, so to speak, although we all know that no one can take his place! LOL As I wondered what I would write about it seemed so fitting to write about gratitude. Not only am I grateful for Charles’ trust I’m also grateful for the opportunity to begin writing again. Some of you know that I’ve written a number of channeled books, co-created with Michelle Radomski Mandela coloring books, and co-created a Numerology workbook with Gisela Arenas along with some meditation CDS. Those of you who create art, music, books, or other things may understand when I say that I haven’t felt inspired to write for some time. I’ve been on an amazing “inward” journey of meeting, accepting and loving self more! Does this make sense? My journey has led me to destinations that included who I’ve been, who I was in the moment, and who I wanted to become more of! Of course I’m not finished. I continue to become more of my truer self. Allowing time to grieve the loss of my old self, integrate parts of me that were ready to be embraced,...

The Gift of Receiving By Victoria Barna

Why is it so hard to receive from or ask for help from others? What do I mean? For many years I’ve always found it more comfortable to be the one giving or offering help to others. I’ve found it uncomfortable receiving gifts, compliments, and help. How about you? For me, it’s always been easier to be the one giving. In my client practice; relationships with other practitioners, friends and caregivers giving seems to be much easier than receiving for many of them as well. It’s more common than you might think. Why is that? I feel like I’m much better these days about receiving but I notice there are times when receiving a compliment, for example, I’m still uncomfortable. In fact, I feel my body tighten up a little. Does this make sense? So I decided to do some inner reflection and see what insights would come up. What I found are words that came up first. Control, independence, obligation, being strong, and image to name a few. Whew! Let’s explore them a little bit because I know that holding on to these words and the energy behind them can get in the way of being authentic. Words have power! I asked myself, “What do these words mean to me? What power have I given them?” I believe that control can be an illusion. By that I mean that I have learned that the only thing I control are my choices and how I respond to the choices of others. I can’t control others. Through the years I’ve given a lot of power to “control”. So, I’ve chosen...

Freedom and Respect By Victoria Barna

I was saddened to hear of Aretha Franklin’s passing this week. What an amazing woman. I’ve always loved her music but I also realized that there was so much more to her than her music. Her artistry and voice have been seen and heard by millions. She’s won numerous Grammys and awards and received honorary degrees by esteemed colleges. She has shown us how to be an advocate for social justice and freedom often quietly and behind the scenes. Her Grace, beauty, and talent will touch many generations to come! As I’ve listened to her music throughout the years I realize it is timeless and has significance now. Songs like RESPECT, (You Make Me Feel Like) A NATURAL WOMAN, and FREEDOM have touched me deeply. So how does her experience affect me and you? Given that each one of us is individual and unique I know that our experiences will vary. However, I thought I would share my insights and invite you to explore your own. I would love to hear them as well! As I’ve reflected on freedom and respect I believe that some of the reasons we volunteer to be here on the Earth plane is to experience freedom, respect self and all life, help others, and be the best we can be – being more loving, accepting, kind, and compassionate. We also come to speak our truth and shed the many layers of illusion of who we aren’t! In other words, we come to become more of our truer nature which is our Divine self that which is Source and LOVE. How we live and express...

Lions’ Gate Opens By Victoria Barna

Have you felt different this week? Perhaps more stressed and doubting yourself more than usual? Have you felt a little brain fog or couldn’t see things clearly? A friend told me she was feeling a bit wonky! Since the full moon and lunar eclipse the energies have been swirling and shifting a lot. Why was this week even more intense and different? I remembered that an amazing energetic event happened on August 8th. It’s referred to as the Lion’s Gate and it opened. I really didn’t know what the significance of the Lion’s Gate was so I decided to check into it and see how the changes everyone was feeling are connected. Now that I know more about the Lion’s Gate I can see how its’ opening has significantly affected people. Especially those of you who are sensitive and feel energies. Major shifts that are meant to bring harmony and peace are here! What in your life isn’t harmonious and peaceful? Are there beliefs, habits, perceptions, or things to let go of? What are you willing to change? Did you know that on the physical plane the Lion’s Gate is a place? It’s located in the Old City Walls of Jerusalem, Israel and plays a significant role in traditional Christian history. Astrologists believe it opens a time of major shifts. It’s an opportunity for us to recharge – regain balance, confidence, and energy. When you look at the sky and see the brightest star, Sirius, there is also a belief held by many that accelerated awakening of new frequencies, possibilities, and higher consciousness have been released from Sirius. Numerologists...