Each February we see a heightened focus on Valentines Day and romantic love. While I’m all for beautiful romantic relationships, I’d love to see the Love Month concentrate on ways to expand love within ourselves, our families, our communities, and our world.
Might sound like a tall order, but not really. Very doable.
How could we “expand love” within ourselves? Here’s a few ideas:
This month we're looking at LOVE. Not the Hallmark Valentine’s Day card or sappy romantic movie kind of love. The real Love. Divine Love. The intelligent, creative, expansive energy that creates galaxies and beats your heart and mine.
The BIG Love.
Miracles happen when you consciously tap into your own inner divine wisdom. Most people use a type of contemplative practice such as meditation, prayer, or silent time in nature. I have received some of my most profound guidance through daily journaling.
My beloved mentor, Dr. Robert Holden, often shares a profound exercise using a writing prompt. He invites his students to settle into a quiet space, connect to their heart and write this prompt to begin a journal entry, “Love, what do you most want me to know today?”
I’ve written that question hundreds, if not over a thousand, times in the last years. Sometimes I get short sentences addressing a general life issue,...
Dirty dishes, an out of sorts spouse, or a maddening series of red lights when you’re already late for an important appointment…Thich Nhat Hanh taught me these are all invitations to come back to the peace that dwells in my own heart.
And my choice is to accept that invitation.
I began to explore his work more intently as my interest in ways to live love started to blossom. I’ve particularly enjoyed the simple message in his books “Teachings on Love” and “Peace is Every Step” although there are many titles to choose from. His work has given me a deeper understanding of the power of mindfulness, deep listening, and the sacredness of each and every moment of the day.
I found his teachings on healing relationships particularly powerful. In essence, the secret is to be totally present with others. Really. Present. Not the “I’m listening to you while I just check my phone” kind of present.
Insightful. Simple. True.
In a world that appears to be divided on so many fronts, I’ve been thinking a lot about the “Beloved Community” that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke about.
The idea was first coined by philosopher Josiah Royce and refers to “an ideal community… a society of justice, peace and harmony which can be achieved through nonviolence.” In 1957 during a sermon to Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama Dr. King said, “The aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community.”
We live in the information age. More books, more blogs, more TV programs, more news outlets than ever before and we often suffer from feeling like we don’t know who or what to believe.
I do. Here’s my tip: check your source.
No, this isn’t a blog about the validity of international government agencies, specific news channels or your favorite talking head. It’s bigger than that.
Check your source, or more to the point, check with your Source.
Many of my clients are quick to check with Source (God, Universe, Love or whatever term you prefer) when loved ones are ill, they’re up for a raise or having relationship issues. Great! You know I always direct you to check with your own inner divine guidance for challenges such as these.
I find folks often forget this “hotline” is always open. For everything.
Going to a restaurant or ordering in? Want to know what would be the best choice? Sure, you can ask your partner or best friend AND check in with...
It’s that time of year when we once again seek clarity around our intentions and goals for the New Year.
Where do you want to be in 12 months? In a new home? A new job? Will you learn a new skill? Maybe travel?
What do you want your family life to look like? Relationships? Your health?
In the past, it was easy for me to come up with a list of “to do’s” and create my intentions but it didn’t always work so well. I’d use my head, my intellect, to figure out my best plan going forward. That’s when the trouble would start.
In retrospect, I realize my goals often weren’t aligned with my values. For example, a core value for me is listening to the Divine within and leading a guided life. If I have an intention to grow my business, and I consistently get up and start work without doing my daily spiritual practice, I’m out of alignment. I may feel “too busy” for my practice and my ego could come up with a multitude of reasons...
If you haven't yet, click on the button above and listen to the "Hello Mr. Turkey Song"....it's an impromptu solo 12 second performance by my grandson.
Excuse the proud grandmother moment, but that kid makes me laugh. And think. And remember the joy of learning a new song. I'm blessed to have this little guy help me see the wonder of the world again.
I'm grateful for that. And I recognize this is one of a hundred ways I'm already abundant. Maybe it's one way I allow myself to recognize I'm blessed.
Every time I turn on the news I'm reminded of the many ways our world is not working and doesn't feel abundant. Or at least I hear the opinions of people who believe that. They're passionate about their views...and often very loud.
But so are we.
We (I'm hoping you're with me on this) can be passionate about recognizing the world we know is possible. One of compassion, respect, inclusion, and collaboration. A world where we...
Recently I was at my daughter’s house discussing an upcoming statewide election with her and her husband. My four-year-old grandson was playing on the floor nearby.
Well aware the little guy is always listening; I chose my words carefully as I expressed my disappointment over the campaign rhetoric. I naively thought name calling, fear tactics and inuendo were over after our last presidential election.
I was wrong.
As the adults shared our frustration and disgust, we suddenly heard Emory’s voice.
His head popped up from playing as he said, “I know what to do.”
“What’s that, honey?” I asked.
“Vote for God,” he calmly answered. He put his head down and quickly became absorbed with his toys.
My daughter and I looked at each other in amazement. My son-in-law tried not to laugh.
As I cast my ballot a few days later in early voting, I didn’t see God’s name on the ballot. But I did realize this was yet another opportunity to...
My heart is full today as I think of the blessings that have come into my life thanks to the life and work of Louise Hay, writer, teacher, and founder of Hay House.
My basic understanding of how my world worked was challenged by her groundbreaking book, “You Can Heal Your Life” which led to studying her work and discovering the power of affirmations. I spent hours in the car listening to my “Louise tapes” (remember cassettes?) to hear her soothing voice tell me how to love myself. I knew I was supposed to love everyone else, but love myself? I’d never heard of anything like that before.
Exploring her “mirror work,” use of affirmations, and understanding the power of my thoughts deepened my knowledge of myself and the world I’d created. My life was forever changed by her teachings and the authors I was introduced to through her Hay House publishing company.
In April 2012, my sister and I traveled to Atlanta for what would be...
There have been many tributes this week to the TV broadcasting legend that was Willard Scott, who passed away over the weekend in his Virginia farm not far from my house. He had an unconventional career and worked for 65 years with NBC, over 30 of those years as the weatherman for the TODAY Show.
I saw him for the first time as a young child and remember sitting on his lap when he was working as Bozo the Clown. He was also the original TV Ronald McDonald. He’s co-hosted the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, traveled the world on assignment for NBC, once delivered the weather dressed as Carmen Miranda (known as the Brazilian Bombshell), was the White House Santa for multiple Presidents, and kissed a pig on camera. People loved him. President George W. Bush even named his cat after him.
I told you his career was unconventional.
So was he.
In the early 1990’s while working at the Fauquier County Public Library in Community Relations, I created a comic...