Like many communities in the Unites States, my beloved Virginia has been rocked once again by multiple mass shootings this month.
Senseless. Devastating. Incomprehensible.
The reaction to such horrific events: public shock, the anguished cries of loved ones, stone faced politicians sending prayers to the affected families.
Our opportunity is to align to the Truth, not the tragedy. Let me explain.
While Americans love to say we’re guided by our ideals of freedom, I disagree. We’re thoroughly and consistently motivated by fear.
Fear of the “other” (those of opposing political views, country of origin, race, religious beliefs, gender identification, and thousands of other delineating factors).
Fear of lack or “not enough” (seen through our monstrous consumer appetite and tendency for hoarding as well as deep issues around self-love).
And the fear of aging, loneliness, fear of not making the “correct” choices around food,...
My coaching clients often ask me some version of the same question. How can I be happier? Happier in my marriage, happier with my body, happier with my life in general?
This time of year, many are thinking about upcoming celebrations and wonder “how can I have a happier holiday this year?”
The answer is forgiveness.
Lesson 121 in the spiritual text A Course in Miracles states “Forgiveness is the key to happiness.”
True forgiveness unchains us from the past and allows our full expression of life in the present. What does that mean?
Access to more love, compassion, and happiness for ourselves and all in our world.
Let me be clear. This isn’t the forgiveness of your youth when your mom made you forgive your little sister so you could get your Barbie doll back. (Maybe that was just me?) This forgiveness, authentic forgiveness, is life changing stuff.
How do you start? The Be Love Principles have been my process to shift from the constricted feelings...
I hear some of my friends and clients talk about “leaving a legacy.” Some make generous donations to beloved charities, help build schools in Africa, or create a financial trust for family members.
Many of my author friends are proud of the books they’ve written while others have spent countless hours producing video content in the hope it helps others shift their lives in positive ways. They love to talk about the legacy of their work.
Then there’s Ms. Carol.
I attended the funeral of Ms. Carol over the weekend. At 86, her already small frame had shrunk in the last few years as her ready smile and sparkling eyes also began to fade. Although her death wasn’t a shock to her loved ones, we all felt the sting.
As I walked into the brightly lit sanctuary of the funeral home, I saw Carol’s legacy.
It was evident on the stoic faces of her sons who stood tall, hugging friends and relatives as they arrived. And on the tear-stained faces of the adult...
We’re a week away from elections here in the United States and…I’m tired. Really. Tired.
I’m tired of hearing what people are against.
It’s hard to turn on TV, listen to the radio or check out YouTube without hearing advertising from candidates that basically say the same thing:
“The other candidate is wrong / evil / destructive / Satanic.
Save yourself and your family - vote for me!”
Now I don’t claim to have seen EVERY ad or candidate interview across the country, but I’ve seen quite a few. Many candidates I’ve seen whether running for local community posts, gubernatorial or federal elected offices campaign on fear. Period.
We’re told to fear rising prices, another pandemic, crime waves, and, of course, the “other guy.” Who is the “other guy?” Depending on who you’re talking to, it’s you.
I don’t pretend to be a politician or any type of political analyst. As an independent...
What does it mean to live a BIG life? What constitutes a small life?
The answer is entirely up to you…and the way you choose to think about it.
You don’t need to take lavish vacations, spend time in Vegas or pal around with international celebrities to enjoy a big life. You need only go within and get curious:
How could I be enjoying my life more right now?
What activities bring me pleasure and satisfaction?
Who do I love being around?
What sparks joy in my heart?
What do I love to learn about?
What do I love to share with others?
What makes me feel alive?
As the leaves shift from summer greens to the hues of autumn here in Virginia, it serves as a gentle reminder of the passing of time. As I embrace this season of my life, I recall a famous quote from American poet Mary Oliver:
“What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Am I content to live a small, limited life? What’s tugging at my heart right now? How is my soul calling me to...
I wish it was easy for me to choose love in every life situation. It’s not. Sometimes I want to avoid a difficult conversation or pretend I don’t get scared when I hear disturbing news. Even with a consistent spiritual practice, I can still get triggered by a harsh comment, chaotic world event or when faced with a difficult decision.
After practicing degrees of avoidance, dodging, pretending and the occasional “forgetting” for decades, I’ve remembered the truth. All these tactics are simply an ego dance that keep me feeling constrained, stressed, uncomfortable and in conflict.
The truth is equally simple.
Every time I go within and ask Love for guidance on a specific issue or ask for help to react from love instead of fear, something miraculous happens.
There’s a shift.
Sometimes subtle, sometimes more pronounced but a definite shift to a feeling of peace. The shift is physical, mental, and emotional. My shoulders relax, the knot in my stomach...
When is the last time you consciously looked at people, places, or situations in your daily life “anew?”
That’s the message I’ve been getting lately. “See all things anew.” Not from a different perspective, or with a different attitude. Look at everything anew.
I’ve been exploring this by asking questions.
How could I see my marriage anew? My business? My finances? My family? My body?
I’ve been asking these questions for a few weeks now and have been receiving amazing insights. By consciously looking at every aspect of my life with “new eyes” I’m seeing things I either haven’t seen or have taken for granted.
I looked at my husband anew and noticed the mischievous twinkle in his eyes. I am more aware of how kind and loving he is towards me. Had I really forgotten this? (I can easily remember every time he doesn’t act this way!) I recognize once something becomes expected, it can lose its sparkle. Time...
This past weekend, a true leader was honored in my town on his 100th birthday.
Rev. John R. Winter (known as “Rev. Dick Winter”) was surprised with a community celebration by the Warrenton Volunteer Fire Company at the fire house. Rev. Winter was the minister for the Warrenton Presbyterian Church from 1953 until his retirement in 1987. He baptized me as a child then my own daughter thirty years later.
He was in the Rotary Club with my dad and sat next to each of my parents’ hospital beds countless times over the decades. He did all the things a good minister does. He preached the gospel, taught Bible classes, officiated at weddings, baptisms, funerals, enjoyed church picnics, potlucks, and coffee hours, comforted the sick and offered counseling, kindness, and encouragement to all. But there was more.
Before we all had instant access to local news, he seemed to know where to go to offer support, comfort, and compassion in the community at large. He...
I used to know exactly what the “right thing” was. In my younger years, and in most every situation, I had my opinion and felt strongly it was the “right” one.
Then I lived a few more decades and got a tad wiser. Not a Yoda by any means, but I gained the type of insight that comes from living life and through societal changes.
When I was a very young girl, the “right” thing was to send children to specific schools based on their race alone. As I grew into a teenager and young adult, I was led to believe the “right” thing was to pay women a lower wage than their male colleagues doing the same job. Well into my adulthood, the “right” thing was to only recognize legal marriage between heterosexual couples.
A lot has changed over the last sixty years and thankfully so. I’ve come to recognize that prevailing opinions shift based on societal norms, customs, spiritual practices and developments in science and technology.
I was on a zoom call last week with two of my treasured “soul sister” friends. Among the giggles, questions, and loving comments we discovered a trend. Each of us were having up close experiences with…creatures. Whether it had fur, wings or was long legged and jumpy, we had all encountered signs from nature in the form of these nonhuman souls.
We discussed the spiritual meaning of each of the specific “visitors” and discovered how perfect each message was for the recipient. Coincidence? Not a chance.
One of my friends mentioned butterflies in her house. Many resources describe the butterfly as bringing a message of personal transformation, renewal, rebirth, and even elevation from earthly focus to a more spiritual one. According to Ted Andrews, author of “Animal Speak:”
“An important message carried by the spirit of the butterfly is about the ability to go through important changes with grace and lightness.”
I thought about...