Releasing Outside Validations

Do you look outside yourself for validation from others? Or, are you fully content to gauge your own successes and sense of worth?

While I’d love to say that this is not a problem for me and that I’ve graduated to not caring what others think, I’m not there yet.

But I want to be, so when something triggers me, I turn to Lia, the feminine ethereal voice of god who speaks with me and offers wise counsel.

If you struggle with this same issue perhaps, you’d like to hear the things she told me recently. Here are her words to me.

“All numbers (think grades, bank balances, job title, and other external measures of ‘success’) are outside validations which you presently use to rate yourself and your value. They were conceived as part of your cultural training, but none of these represent the truth which is that you came from heaven as a divine being and no number can make you any more or less perfect.”

That’s a huge statement for me to consider, but I understand the essence of it because I see my true worth is inside of me, planted there before I came here.

She continued, “Your cultural training is dedicated to localizing you, to keep you separate from all other entities here, so that you are seen as an individual. It does this through the collective ego (the sum total of all egos of those living on earth with you). The collective ego then stratifies all entities by means of ‘numbers and grades’ and other identifiers (skin color, IQ, skill sets…). The collective ego uses a great deal of energy to accomplish this, just as your personal ego does for you. The energy your ego uses is drawn from your other individual aspects (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual) and drains them of the energy they need in order to perform. The collective ego also does this, but on a much larger scale.”

I took a moment to absorb this, and Lia went on, “Both your ego and the collective ego pursue protection and expansion of you as their mission. They assess risks and take actions to protect their territories, both at rest and during expansion.”

“Your ego creates an external image of you, which it attempts to maintain and enhance, and it uses ‘numbers and grades’ as one of its main power sources. This is where outside validations come in. They are two-edged swords. If allowed, your ego will spend a great deal of time drawing power from what it sees as positive outside validations from others, but it will also expend much energy defending against criticisms it receives to its created image.”

This is making sense to me in a way I’d never considered before, and a question crystalizes for me.

What kind of life do I want to lead? Is my desire to live a joy-filled life? If so, I need to be aware of what drains my energy and what enhances it. If I allow myself to be subject to outside validations, I now more fully realize the kind of life this will create.

I realize too it would be wise for me to choose carefully and to pay attention to how and where I use my energy. Releasing any need or desire I have for outside validations will prevent any unnecessary energy drains.

I understand this may be easier said than done, but I know it’s important enough to try. As in the past, I recognize the value of shifting toward my aims. So, I consider, what are my aims?

What draws me forward, lights me up, gives me hope, and fills my heart? What feels divine to me and creates joy?

I spent time writing down answers to these questions and discovered a wonderful list of inside ‘validations’. Validations that are reflections of who I am, a divine being living an earth life. I found answers that touch my spirit and set me free.

My hope is that you create your own personal list and that it helps guide you toward experiencing your own sense of joy and best life.

Effective Affirmations

Is there a difference between types of affirmations? From my point of view there is a significant difference.

But before I explore this with you, I thought it might be helpful to start in the same place, with a workable definition of the word- affirmation.

According to one internet source there are two definitions of note. In the first case it is an action or process of affirming something. In the second case, it is a state of offering emotional support or encouragement.

From the beginning of my usage of dictionaries I’ve found it troublesome and annoying when the word you are looking to understand is used in the definition. It always makes me wonder what the dictionary writers were thinking?

Fortunately, in this case several synonyms were offered for the word affirmation; assertion, declaration, statement, guarantee, to name a few.

In popular culture there are many folks who use affirmations as a way of obtaining something in specific, an outcome they want to occur. It may be to improve their health, increase their money or investments, get a new or better job, find a spouse or friend, afford a new car or house or just about anything.

The focus becomes very directed toward a specific result. The process to achieve the desired outcome is generally to phrase an ‘affirmative statement’ in a way that confirms the wish, want or desire.

Inherent in the process is a conviction that whatever is the subject of the desire will in fact come about, so the language becomes an important part. In many cases that I am familiar with, the person making the affirmative statement does so in a way that states they already possess the desired outcome.

Here’s an example.

“I am wealthy, and money naturally and effortlessly comes to me.”

The expectation is that making this statement alone will produce the results the individual wants. There are of course different ways to phrase affirmations, but the idea remains that a definitive statement made to a perceived power source capable of granting the request, is expected to happen. The power source might be God, the universe, an angel, or something specific to the affirmer.

I do not subscribe to this style of affirmation and here’s why.

I do not believe we can deceive ourselves. We in fact know whether we are or are not wealthy and whether money ever comes naturally or effortlessly to us. We are eminently capable of detecting a lie, from others and from ourselves. If we are not wealthy, merely telling ourselves that we are does not make it true. This kind of affirmation to me is a deception and will rarely result in any type of success.

What do I propose instead?

I believe strongly that we are capable of creating and experiencing any kind of life we choose. We always know if we are leading the life we desire and cannot fool ourselves. What we can do is focus our attention and make statements of what we are willing to do in order to experience something specific.

For example, “I am becoming healthier daily by (insert the actions you are prepared to perform).”

Shifting from wishful thinking to an action-based affirmation contains real power. Identifying specific actions you are willing and prepared to take in support of your affirmation will create tangible results. As long as you take these actions consistently and modify (if necessary) you will experience your affirmation statement.

Using this kind of affirmation statement and taking action is a winning formula for success that you can rely on.

Different Skin Daily

The other day I was struck by a thought. I let the thought pull me toward itself without resistance, despite not clearly knowing its full impact.

I waited a moment for better clarity and there it was in the form of a question.

What if tomorrow I woke up with different skin?

It might be a different color or a different texture. It might be old wrinkly skin, or the smooth pinkish skin of a new baby. It might be that of a burn victim, or a leper or a model’s perfect air brushed skin.

It could be I open my eyes and see myself as black or white or brown or red or yellow or some shade in between. What if it was possible to wake up with green or blue or purple skin?

The idea twisted a bit, and the question became, what if I woke up every day with different skin? Would that change my outlook on life?

Would I become more tolerant and open-minded, or would it move me in another direction, one where I played favorites, treating one skin color better than another?

I wondered whether changing my skin every day would be enough time to form any lasting opinions or would I need more time, like a week or a month or maybe a year.

I also wondered whether I would like some skins and dislike others. If I constantly changed, would that provide me with a broader sense of feelings that would create genuine compassion.

If I changed skins daily, would I have any control over the next one to arrive? Would there be ones I would try to avoid?

These questions generated a great deal of contemplation.

Why did this question appear inside of me? Is there a message attached that I need to listen to? If there is, what does the message mean to me?

I asked myself, how many skin types are there? Would this constant changing go on for as long as I lived? If so, could I stand it, adjust to it, learn from it?

In this present moment it feels quite daunting to consider, so I sat back, closed my eyes, and slowed my breathing, hoping to gain some valuable perspective.

An impression appeared.

I sensed that whatever skin covered my body was not the issue. The issue was how I felt about it and what thoughts passed through my mind. Because I’ve already lived a long life, I have absorbed biases through my cultural training. Assuredly, many of these biases are not real and not based on facts. And yet, they exist inside of me.

Based on the idea of ever-changing skin, my focus sharpened, and it set me back on my heels. I immediately realized how easy it was for me to judge each skin and to choose an attitude to go along with each one.

I needed to take a step back…a big step back.

Some part of me searched for a sense of fairness and compassion. I sensed a desire to love each and every skin I wear. I began to look beneath the skin, to where every one of us is the same. A divine being, living an earth life, creating, and experiencing what it means to be human.

This skin experiment has offered me an opportunity to see to a greater depth and deepen my love for all beings, regardless of how they appear.

Was Buddha Worried About His Weight

I’ve only done this once before during the 2 ½ years I’ve been posting, but I want to repeat this post because it’s the most popular one to date. It seems important somehow to me to put this back out there…so, here it is.

One day I was wondering about all of the diets there are around, so I decided to investigate a little. A quick search of the internet produced thirty-nine diets, identifying their strong and weak points.

It was mind boggling.

How could anyone ever hope to understand all of the differences between them and conclude which would be the best to try, if in fact, you wanted to try one at all?

The specifics of each diet change depending on the emphasis of the plan. Many diets support the idea of increasing fruit, vegetables, fish and plant-based foods. Others capitalize on certain foods groups to counter physical conditions like, high blood pressure, diabetes, cardio concerns or to improve mental functioning. In all the cases I read about, nutrition and safety play a major role, but there seems to be a significant difference of opinion, depending on the expert who is providing the information.

Some diets are notoriously difficult to follow, while others make it too challenging to understand the differences between good and bad food items or some other key components.

In many cases there are supporting statements made to attempt to convince a potential dieter of the values or reasons for the individual plans. For instance, some report that the Paleo Diet says, “that if cavemen didn’t eat it, you probably shouldn’t either.”

It wasn’t until my mid 60’s that I felt the need for a diet. A gradual increase in my weight each year suggested I would be in trouble if I didn’t make some immediate changes.

So, off I went to Weight Watchers.

Their program stresses adherence to certain point goals (each food is assigned a point value) and highly recommends attendance at weekly meetings, to monitor weight and participate in conversations with other members, guided by an instructor.

I did, in fact, reach my goal and have been mostly successful in maintaining it, within a reasonable range.

What all of the instructors say is, that to be truly successful, you have to change your mind-set about your relationship with food. Merely altering what you eat for a short time, even though it might produce some results, will fail in the long run.

I believe they are correct.

I believe there is a lot more involved that allows a person to achieve their weight goals. Or, for that matter, any goals they might have.

This is where Buddha comes in.

Have you ever seen a picture of a slender, trim Buddha? I doubt it. Do you think Buddha spent any time concerned about his weight? I also doubt this.

Bear in mind here (BIG DISCLAIMER), I am not suggesting or recommending that you ignore the sound advice from your health professionals regarding any diet ideas they have, especially, if you have an obvious health concern.

What I do want to share is a thought about our ‘beliefs’, especially in relation to what we experience in life.

Considering all dieters, could the difference between those who are successful and those who are not, be their belief about the outcome they would experience, rather than the particular diet they were on?

If you substituted a different concept for dieting (academic, career, relationship, finances…), would it work the same way, meaning your outcome would be directly related to your belief about your outcome, rather than one of the individual steps you took?

It certainly feels to me like an important idea to consider, mostly because it alters the dynamic, shifting it from a conceptual form to one of belief, particularly if the belief is deep seated.

This idea is creating a shift in my mind-set about my food intake and maintaining my weight. What if I had a strong belief that it is not so much about what I eat, as it is about what I believe about what I eat?

That’s something I think Buddha would have something to say about.


I was sitting at my desk giving myself permission to follow any thought that came into my mind. I wasn’t reaching for a specific destination, just kind of waiting to see what would show up.

An image appeared. It was an old-fashioned typewriter, perhaps a Remington. For those unfamiliar with these, allow me to explain briefly. You have to insert a piece of paper, threading it carefully so that when you turn a knob, it the paper into view. Each time you hit the return arm, it advances the paper and returns its position to the far left. There are several rows of individual buttons with letters, numbers or characters and you have to depress them to print on the paper. As you depress a button a long metal arm raises up and strikes an inked cloth ribbon, which makes an impression on the piece of paper.

Using this kind of typewriter is more of an art than a science. If you happen to hit multiple buttons at the same time, the striker arms will lock together, forcing you to separate them and start over.

If you hit a wrong button, you have to correct your mistake, which would mean inserting a piece of ‘correct tape’ over the mistake and hitting the same button again to make the page white, ready for the correct letter.

Believe me, it was maddening if you were only a marginally capable typist like me. I remember needing quite a bit of correct type to fix my errors.

Recalling this, I discovered I was still in touch with how angry it sometimes made me.

The next image that came to me was somewhat bizarre. I imagined hitting a series of different buttons. Each time I hit a letter, I sensed a whole word appear and felt its depth.

H…helpless, F…frustrated, A…afraid, V…vulnerable, B…blamed, I…inconsiderate, D…danger.

What was happening? It took a moment to realize there was a pattern here. Each of these words represented a source of anger for me. I sat back to consider and saw more letters appear. I…insecure, O…oppressed, H…hopeless, M…mean, E…expectations.

Wow, the last one caught me off guard. It had more juice than the others. I wondered why?

To gain some clarity I decided to ask Lia, a divine feminine voice that offers me spiritual insight.

“What gives,” I asked, “can you help me understand my anger better?”

“Yes,” she responded adding, “anger is one of your egos most effective tools.”

“Really,” I questioned?

“Your ego’s chief role is to protect you. It’s important though to understand my use of the word ‘you’ here. Over the course of your life your ego has established firm boundaries. It does this to provide you with a sense of safety.”

“From whom,” I asked?

“From everything ‘not you’. To do this your ego builds what I’ll call ‘expectation models’. You create these models to determine what is acceptable to you. All things which do not fit within your expectation models are seen as ‘threats’ and will often manifest anger in you.”

“Are you saying that my sources of anger are triggers for me and that they arise because they’re identifying events outside my expectations of the way I think things should be?”

“Yes, exactly. All anger occurs when there is a gap between what you expect to happen (based on your expectation models) and what you think/believe you want to happen. The wider the gap, the greater the fear and consequently, the amount of anger that appears.”

“So, what I’m actually doing is protecting my self-image so that I feel safe, right?”

“Yes, although a part of you knows better. It senses there is a better way.”

“Which is,” I asked?

“If your aim is to live a joyful, contented, happy life, it would be wise to begin relaxing your expectation models. When a trigger arises, consciously recognize how you feel and decide if this feeling serves you in some way. Does it bring you joy? If it does not, make a conscious decision to release your anger, in favor of living a joy filled life.”

“Living a joy filled life is my greatest desire, so I’m going to do as you suggest. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with me.”


I’m willing to bet that something comes immediately to mind when you read this title…mourning. Perhaps it’s an intense feeling of sadness, or a gnawing pain of loss that can’t be recovered.

Likely, it arrived due to the death of someone or something you loved, leaving an emptiness inside you.

I have felt that many times in my life.

There was even a two year stretch where seven important people to me and a beloved dog all died. They were there one day and gone the next. Some of them left this earth quickly, with no warning. Others lingered on before fading out. Either way, it left a great deal of empty space in me.

Today I sensed being stalked by a different kind of mourning. It snuck up on me from behind and gently tapped me on the shoulder. I wasn’t ready for it.

The feelings it generated have been below the surface and out of view.

But one by one they approached me. None of them individually seemed significant, but collectively they dropped me to my knees.

Why, I wondered?

It’s as if they sat waiting for me, hovering almost within sight but not quite.

A favorite TV series that’s over and off the air. A bakery that has stopped making a glazed orange sweet roll I’ve loved for years. The absence of a service person to speak with on the phone, just a series of recorded voices running in an endless loop. Friends who fade away and are lost, disconnected or unavailable.

The list goes on in different directions.

An ice cream flavor I look forward to is discontinued. The fact that I never receive an actual letter in the mail. My knee not cooperating and allowing me to hike up and down hills. Folks I care about moving far away, eliminating our direct interactions.

I noticed something unusual about this process.

The more observant I became, the greater the sense of mourning mounted in me. When would it end, I wondered? Why had they all come today? Were they here to offer me a message?

Perhaps you know by now, if you’ve been with me on this journey, that I believe everything happens to benefit me. (I also believe this about you too) Adopting this attitude has radically altered my life for the better. It allows me to shift my view from thinking that things are happening TO me to knowing that all things happen THROUGH me.

I am not a victim. Mourning is not stalking me to punish me or create sadness or dejection. It is a messenger that offers me a way forward. It is reminding me that I have unfinished business that needs tending.

I can of course ignore this message if I choose. I am never made to do anything, but since I want to experience a wonderful life, I know I’m best served by paying attention.

So, I open up and breathe in the message. Here’s what ‘mourning’ told me.

“I am here to invite you to release each of these items. Let them go, for they do not serve you any longer. Recognize that in releasing them you are creating beautiful new space. Space that you can fill with anything you desire. All things change and shift if you let them.”

“These items that came to you today are waiting for you to decide if you are keeping them or letting them go. It is up to you to choose. Do you want open space for new adventures and to place precious new memories? Do you see the beauty of choice you have now that they have tapped you on your shoulder?”

I thought a moment.

Yes, I did see that. And yes, I do want that. So, I make a decision and consciously choose to free myself and release them, knowing there are better things waiting for me.

I am thankful for their appearance. I am even more thankful, that by making this decision, my period of mourning is over.

To Be Bold

What does the word bold mean to you?

One dictionary definition goes like this. Bold is an adjective that is used to describe something. It’s used in reference to a person, action, or idea, showing an ability to take risks, to be confident and courageous.

It can also mean that something, an object, or design, has a strong or vivid appearance.

As a noun, it can be used, as in ‘bold typeface’, where something is bolded.

Now that we have a working definition, would you say that you are bold? Do you stand out from the crowd? Are you confident, courageous, and willing to take risks?

It’s unlikely that anyone always acts the same way all the time, but it feels to me as though we have strong tendencies and lean in certain directions. I’m willing to bet that our childhood experiences shaped these directions and probably still does.

How often would you say you act ‘out of character’? Do you find yourself in certain situations that bring out a different side of your personality? Do you know what are the triggers?

Part of my cultural training centered on not standing out too far. I was coached to believe that it was not safe, and I would not be accepted by others, that I wouldn’t fit in. I don’t mean that someone sat me down and drummed these messages directly into me. No, it was far more subtle. Like most things, we absorb them. It seems to me we’re often not even aware we’re being trained, but opinions, biases, and beliefs creep in and become a part of us.

I’ve witnessed others who must have received a different set of ideas. Ideas that generated strong beliefs they use to work their way through this life. They seem comfortable in their own skins. They lead and stand out.

I wonder, why they are so at ease? How can they be so bold?

What occurs to me is that there is something INSIDE them that powers them. Something they rely on and that fuels them forward when others tend to stand still.

I want to know what it is. I want to be like that.

So, I go inside myself on a treasure hunt, looking for the good stuff that will allow me to be bold. I’m actually not surprised by what I find. I know it’s been there for a really long time. There is a host of words, thoughts, and beliefs that I discover.

I’m aware that it’s not that the bold ideas are not a part of me, they are, but they are waiting for me to acknowledge them and act on them.

It’s like the one more drop of water that breaks open the dam, sending forth a flood. I just need one more drop of water.

And it comes in the form of a truth I’ve heard many times. I’ve been told that I am divine, inherently valuable, and worthy. I’ve been told that how others see me or the way I see myself based on my outward appearance and actions, cannot and does not change this truth. I am a part of the whole, the holy, the one presence, source.

All that is left for me to do is to release my dependence on outside appearances and accept my inner knowing, to reveal and embrace the truth of my divinity and know I am whole and can be bold.

The further truth is, you are the same, you are part of the one, the whole, the holy, source. Accepting and embracing this truth can make you bold too.

Winning In The Margins

I will make this assessment about me, and you can see if it might apply to you also…

I take things for granted.

No matter how attuned I am, I recognize I overlook the significance of certain people and events in my life. I don’t mean to. There’s just so much going on all the time, I find it impossible to pay close enough attention to everything.

I even miss some of the big stuff.

I wonder, is there a way to focus better, to pay attention and appreciate all the beautiful things in my life?

Part of me realizes how overwhelming this would be. And how impractical.

Many years ago, I read a book by Richard Paul Evans titled, The Five Things A Millionaire Taught Me. It made a huge impression on me. Richard’s basic premise was that we’re not very observant about opportunities in our lives. We make assumptions about what we can and cannot do. And financially, we form beliefs about what we can and cannot have in our lives based on the amount of money we possess.

Through his association with a millionaire, Richard’s eyes were opened to a new way of observing the world and he expanded his beliefs about how he could experience his life, especially as it related to his finances. He called his system, Winning In The Margins.

Reading his book opened new avenues for me too. I decided to take small steps toward an audacious goal.

I began on August 15, 2014, with the idea that I would set aside amounts of money I otherwise would have spent without taking any notice. I collected the extra one-dollar bills stuffed into my wallet, set aside birthday and Christmas money given to me, saved the equivalent value of coupons for places like CVS pharmacy. (I would tell myself that I saved money by using the coupons, therefore I could put aside those funds for this project). I wrapped coin, redeemed my reward points, cashed in some US Savings Bonds, funneled garage sale earnings and lot of other saving methods.

I tracked everything and recorded it on a spreadsheet so that I always knew where I stood relative to my goal.

After one full year I’d saved over five thousand dollars, exceeding the aim I’d set for myself.

I learned that lots and lots of little thing amount to meaningful big things.

I’ve continued this practice and on occasion, with my wife’s consent have included some investment dividends into the mix. This would have allowed us to accumulate over thirteen thousand dollars in the past nine years.

I say ‘would have’ because we don’t have the money anymore. That’s because all the little things became big things. They amounted to something powerful and so we decided to give all the money away. We donated it, sending it back into the world.

There is no shortage of worthy causes in this world of ours and we felt a desire to use the funds to support others. There are so many that have so little.

I’m not sharing this to impress you or brag about what we’ve done. I’m sharing this because I want you to know how powerful YOU are. Anyone who wants to, can do the same thing or something similar.

I believe this is a fact and it feels good to think we can each change the world for the better. Maybe not the whole world, but at least some part of it.

What Are You Afraid Of

Okay, so what are you afraid of? You don’t have to tell me of course, but if you chose to write out a list, what would be on it?

I would be very curious to see how many of the items we had in common.

I’ll share some of mine with you:

spiders, snakes, heights, abandonment, rejection, others anger, some driving conditions, health concerns, epic failure, grand scale success, falling and getting hurt…

I’m sure there are a lot more. These are simply the ones that popped out the fastest.

Part of me wonders if there is something that ties them all together. Did I inherit them from my parents? Did they all happen early in my life when I didn’t have the defense mechanisms I have today?

I don’t immediately see any common threads.

Then I wonder, are my fears real or imagined? What I sense is that they FEEL real to me and that’s enough.

Another part of me asks, is there a distinction between being afraid versus not liking or preferring something? Could I substitute the word ‘uncomfortable’ for ‘afraid’?

I review my list to see and conclude that for most of the items, the answer could be YES, they make me uncomfortable, which begs the next question. Why?

Why, out of all of the things I experience in my life, do these items make my list? What is their source?

I wonder if I discovered their source, would it make a difference?

I scan my list again and determine that in most cases, YES, it would make a difference. If I knew WHY, I might be able to more easily release them. I could take back the power they hold over me.

That’s an appealing idea and it prompts a new question. What can I do to reveal the underlying cause or concern?

Here’s one thing that occurs to me. Most of the items on my list are NOT concerning from a distance. I can see a spider or a snake several feet away and not be scared. It’s only when I’m near enough for it to touch me that the fear kicks in.

Why is that? Does that same theory hold true if I substitute fear of failure or success for spiders and snakes? Is it true that from a distance failure and success pose no threat, but as they get closer, they produce fear?

Another question enters the picture. Is there an ‘edge’ involved here? Is it true for me that everything is okay until it reaches an ‘edge’, a point where it becomes more real to me?

I sit with this for a while then realize, yes, that feels true to me. So, now what? What resources are available to me? What decisions could I make so that I can feel better and be less fearful?

No doubt there are many self-help books which offer sound, practical, useful advice. And there are numerous professionals available to perform wonderful support and aid to those in need.

For me though, I want to see if I can solve my own challenges first, so I begin to look deeper within. I seek to move beyond the ‘edge’ and into previously uncharted territory. Did I adopt beliefs others in my life taught me? If they shared their reasons, do I still see any value in them? Is there real danger or are my concerns imaginary? Do I choose to release myself from their grasp or are they all worth keeping?

These are all important questions for me to answer.

I realize we each have our own lists and our own set of decisions to make about the items they contain.

I hope you end up choosing wisely and profit from your decisions.

Threat Assessment

Do you always feel safe?

Or are you constantly aware that a certain amount of danger always exists? Perhaps it comes and goes depending on your circumstances.

Recently I was considering this issue and as I thought my way through it, some interesting ideas surfaced. I offer them to you for your consideration.

Five Aspects: Physical, Emotional, Mental, Spiritual and Ego

We are each comprised of five aspects. Each of these aspects focuses on specific areas of our lives and each is important and contributes to the whole. Ideally, they work in harmony, but sometimes they don’t, and this creates imbalances regardless of which aspect is challenged.

Ego’s Role

The ego’s job is to protect us from whatever it believes might pose a threat to us, whether it is true or not. Sometimes the ego can’t tell the difference, so it needs help from the other aspects.

Ego Messages

When the ego believes something is a threat, it reacts by sending messages to the other aspects, When they receive the message(s) they respond creating all sorts of reactions, many of which disturb the normal harmony that exists. When this happens repeatedly patterns are formed so that the same reaction(s) happen automatically.

If the message is received with a high intensity, the risk response is perceived to be greater, and this contributes to a stronger automatic response pattern. Even messages that are similar can create the same type of patterned response. Without some reason to change the automatic response, there is a linking that occurs. You encounter a threat, an automatic message is sent and received, and the same physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual reaction occurs, which creates programmed patterns, which then become your default settings.

All of this is based on a PERCEIVED threat, which our ego has detected and believes could represent danger and harm to us. It becomes very important to evaluate whether the threat is TRUE or FALSE, rather than accepting it at face value. There is great benefit to asking whether there is any tangible evidence to support the threat?

So, we can offer ourselves the opportunity to determine whether the threat is valid or a misperception by exercising our free will. We can step back and consider, using the intelligence of each of our aspects; physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and ego.

I find I often learn best when I reflect on an example. Maybe you do too, so, here’s one of mine. I am always fascinated by how significant this one simple event has turned out to be. It shed a brilliant, bright light on how important it was for me to break the cycle of automatic programed responses that did not represent the truth. They were merely default settings. They were based on incorrect information either told to me by others or misperceived by me.

Earlier in my life I formed a belief (based on what others told me) that if I was physically cold, I would ‘catch a cold’. This played out over and over in my life and was an extremely strong default setting. That is until one day some part of me challenged this idea. A tiny voice inside asked, “Do you truly believe that all one billion people living on this earth catch colds when their physical bodies are cold?” A heard the voice say something like, “That’s rubbish and can’t possibly be true. Maybe it’s time to take another look at your threat assessment and automatic responses that lead to this default setting.”

I began to recognize that my physical body was experiencing a symptom (being cold) which did NOT necessarily need to lead to having a physical cold, so I started to tell myself a new story. A story where I was stronger than I’d previously thought and where I was healthy and resilient. I informed my ego that its threat assessment was inaccurate and then shifted my default setting from weak (catching a cold) to strong (moving on with my life as a healthy being).

What I realized was that I could do that with any default setting that I felt no longer served me. What a fabulous turn of events. Rather than allow automatic settings to rule my life, I now question my assumptions and seek valuable evidence in support of what is actually happening. What a liberation.

Out Of Your Mind

Has anyone ever asked you, “Are you out of your mind”, when you proposed an idea to them? If they discounted or criticized your idea, what was your reaction? Did you let your idea die or go ahead with it anyway?

Releasing my dreams, even if they are a little over the edge for someone else, always makes me feel sad. I’ve experienced this often enough that I rarely give in anymore.

When I was a kid, the phrase ‘are you out of your mind’ was very popular.

My friends and I would come up with stupid ideas and dare each other to do them. The common retort was, ‘are you out of your mind’, which would either end the debate or shift the direction to another dare.

Here’s one example.

“Hey, ride your bike down that path and jump the little creek to the other side…I dare you.”

Mind you the creek was NOT little, and it was really hard to get a bike into the air that far, so the usual response was, you guessed it, ‘are you out of your mind?”

The cleverest among us would figure out a counter-dare like, “I dare you to try to swing across from that tree branch”. They would say it louder to eliminate the energy from the first dare.

Fast forward to school age and more stupid ideas, then to college, where no one was looking over your shoulder and the sky was the limit on foolish and sometimes dangerous notions. One in particular is memorable to me. “I dare you to hop that freight train and jump off while it’s moving.” That’s one I accepted, even though I should have said, “what, are you out of your mind?”

Surprisingly, I made it through my college years without serious injury, got married and entered the work world, only to discover it was full of different kinds of danger. Navigating my way through learning my job, getting along with peers, and pleasing my bosses demanded my full attention.

If you haven’t observed this about me by now, I have some pretty strong opinions, which are based on my personal moral code. This put me at odds occasionally with different bosses. I felt there were better ways to accomplish tasks and said so. My friends looked at me, shook their heads, as if I were crazy and said, “are you out of your mind?”

Over the course of my life, I allowed, then encouraged, then embraced a very spiritual life. I have daily conversations with god. Conversations where I both speak to god and hear god speak to me. They are dialogues really; open, honest, direct, and heart centered. I feel listened to, supported, enlightened, and loved. During the past twenty-six years our conversations have become deeper, more grounding and divine. The best thing about them is I know they are not just for me, they’re available to anyone. I know this to be the truth and have such a deep commitment to this idea that I wrote a book about the process titled, talking with (god) which lays out ways anyone can initiate their own conversations and discover their own answers. (see below for details if you are interested)

Over the years I’ve shared this with many people. Some accept it and have discovered their own path to talk with god. Others have questioned me and asked, “are you out of your mind?”

To each of them I’ve responded, “Yes, I am out of my mind, because I’m fully in my heart.” To me, this is when being out of your mind is a divine thing.

I am unconcerned now whether someone believes me. I choose to let the question fall away and center in on what I feel to be the truth, that the best times in our lives are when we are out of our mind and inside of our hearts.

In case you’re interested in a copy of this book, it is available on Amazon in print and eBook versions. In your search bar enter Talking With God by Rob H Geyer and click on the Amazon site.

NOTE: Please ignore the ‘hardback’ option. Amazon has a few wires crossed because if you click on this option, you’re taken to an entirely different book with the same title.

What Is Worth Keeping

It’s spring-cleaning time and my daughter and I are preparing to have a joint garage sale at my house, which is much more accessible than hers for car and foot traffic.

It’s a time to declutter our houses. A big part of me thinks it’s also time to declutter my mind.

I want to focus on what is important in my life, what is worth keeping. I often refer to this as, embracing what serves me, or the corollary, releasing what no longer serves me. I want to keep all of the meaningful things and release the ones that weigh me down or take away my energy.

Every so often I’m torn, uncertain whether I can part with some of my things. I have an emotional bond with them. I wonder, is trading them for money worth it to me? And it matters what I answer.

Collecting my ‘stuff’ prompts another question. One that goes far beyond the items for the garage sale.

I wonder, what else am I attached to in my life?

Who am I connected to and how do we impact each other’s lives? What personal expectations do I have of myself and others? Am I attached to being who others want or need me to be?

Do these attachments serve me? Do they bring me closer to my aims and support my feeling good about myself? Do they assist me in experiencing my best life?

Or are they a source of more clutter? Things begging to be detached and released?

It’s clear I need to spend more time clarifying.

I also wonder, if I decide they served me at one time, but no longer do, how do I let them go? Is it as simple as studying each of them and seeing how they connect to me financially, emotionally, intellectually, physically, and spiritually?

Well, is there really anything simple about that?

Maybe, when all is said and done, it’s a matter of which weigh me down and which raise me up.

I wonder, which direction offers me the best chance at happiness and joy?

What feels important to me is to focus on those practices in my life that set me free, that recharge me, that connect me to the world. Rather than attempting to declutter a tangled mess, perhaps I can zero in on what opens me up and helps me soar.

I wonder what items you would put on a list if you created one?

I thought about mine and I’m happy to share it with you.

I love to go on day trips with my wife, to vacation with her and with the rest of our family, when they are available. I love to spend time with our family, no matter when it happens. I love to walk, swim, float, and spend time creek-walking. I love to read, write, and listen to interesting pod casts. I love artwork and other forms of creation. I love to talk with folks, especially those who want a depth of connection. And I love to be out in nature.

These are all worth keeping. They all raise me up.

They all nourish me and inspire me.

What works for you? How might you discover what feeds you, in order to know what is worth keeping?

I hope you are able to easily discover your path and hold on to all of the things that are most important to you.

Limited Words

I have a question for you. If you let it, it could be a really important question, because your answer may end up guiding your life.

Here it is.

If you could only speak one hundred words from now until the end of your life, what words would they be, when would you speak them and to whom would you say them?

I ask you to avoid the temptation to answer right away. Instead, pause a moment to reflect.

Sit still and let the essence of this question take hold of you. Breathe in and out a few times.

Give your mind some room to consider.

One hundred words is not very many, so you may need a few minutes or a few hours to decide which ones are the most important to you.

Not only which words to choose, but who to say them to and when.

Would you spread them out, speaking only a few now, in order to save some for the years to come?

Or would you gasp a little and spill some words carelessly?

Stepping back like this could provide enough distance to take full measure of the importance of the words you use.

A while ago, I asked a variation on this theme. I asked that if you only had seven words you could use, what would they be? This time I’ve shifted, but the intention is similar because there is a limit. Whenever I feel the weight of some heavy limit upon me, I find it forces me to go deeper. I sense a need to clarify who I am and what is important to me.

The idea that I could only speak one hundred more words in my life is incredibly challenging and feels overwhelming.

I don’t like it at all. But the truth is, I know there is value in my asking.

One idea hits me. Maybe I could be clever and find ways to save some words. I could learn sign language or develop my own shorthand of signs. That way, I could still communicate, just not using words.

Still, being limited to one hundred words would be very difficult for me. Maybe for you too. Especially considering that a fairly common sentence could easily be seven to ten words. That’s only 10-14 sentences for my life.

If this situation was real and I truly had this limit, I believe I would want my family and friends to know I love them and that I care about them and their future.

I would want others to know how important they were to me and how much I hoped they would succeed and experience their dreams as reality.

I think I would skip all gossip, judgements, expectations, and admonitions. I would let others live their lives without commenting or giving my opinions because I would want to conserve my words for the good stuff.

I’m pretty sure my facial expressions speak volumes for me. I could replace my words with a variety of smiles and my body language could assist with conveying messages.

Even so, I think I would parse my words very carefully, which I see now that I don’t do at present. I take them for granted. I think this is a mistake on my part.

I think I will keep this idea in mind and let it guide my words for the future.

Happiness and Joy

How do you measure your happiness?

Chances are if you are dieting, it is measured by whether you gain or lose weight. The changes may only be temporary, but they seem very important at the time. Of course, it’s possible to look deeper and evaluate according to the lifestyle changes you’ve made, even if they don’t directly impact your weight, but represent a healthier life plan for you.

Do you have other happiness measures?

Perhaps the size of your bank account, the funds in your investment portfolio, the car you drive, the number of friends you have, your athletic prowess or some other skill you possess?

Maybe your happiness is tied to something else entirely.

When I ponder this, I often land in the same place, asking myself whether my happiness is merely temporary? Is it easily stolen by someone else, based on their comments or opinions? Is my happiness too fragile or dependent on what happens to me?

These questions prompt me to reconsider the basis or source of my happiness. I confess I’ve struggled with this a lot.

I remember a time in college when my whole life seemed to be falling apart. My studies had stagnated, I had the absolute worst dorm room on campus, right next to the stairwell and common area lounge, facing the side of a hill so that little light penetrated and constantly being barraged by noise all day and all night.

Then my grandfather died. I was very close to him, and it hurt to think he was gone, and I didn’t even get to say goodbye. Not only that, but I also wasn’t invited home for the funeral. I guess my parents thought I’d miss too much school. Not one of their best decisions.

It’s likely you’ve had your own experiences of suffering, where happiness seemed a distant memory, if any memory at all.

Of course, life is balanced. There are up periods of happiness, and they are wonderful while they last, but some part of us knows they are temporary. There is an ebb and flow to happiness, and I believe everyone moves through its curve.

I wonder, what do we do when the unhappiness comes for us?

It took a long time for me to realize the problem I have with happiness is the source it arises from…my thoughts. I seem completely reliant on what I am thinking, placing my treasure there. Inside me, I know there must be a better way.

So, I do what I always do when my mind cannot solve a problem in my life, I drop into my heart to see what I am feeling, because my feelings shed light, guiding me forward.

I realize I have to wait, giving my mind a chance to release its hold and allowing my feelings to become clear. While I wait, I breathe in and out slowly, letting my heart open.

An awareness dawns on me. Happiness is fleeting because it is of the mind. It is my head telling me how I should feel. No wonder it comes and goes, because my mind wanders everywhere.

The awareness draws out a truth I have hidden inside. A truth that tells me happiness will always fluctuate.

It shares with me that what I want is…joy. Joy comes from the heart. It raises me up and cannot be stolen or destroyed.

I want to know more. I want to know the source of joy.

I am told, joy is the source. Joy and love are joined, forever in union, always available to me.

How, I ask?

I am told, remember that you are part of this joy, this love. Look outward into the world and see its reflection everywhere. Remember there is joy and love, even in those things you consider to be unhappy. Look past the surface. Look deeper and you will see the truth.

I want to believe this. I want to believe that I am a part of the joy and love that is my source. I want to remember.

For this moment, I understand I am being asked to trust this truth. It is up to me. And it is up to you too. What shall we do?

Your Real Name

Have you ever lived out in nature? I mean far away from ‘civilization’? Without electricity or running water? Growing your own food?

I haven’t. The closest I’ve come is canoe camping, where a buddy of mine and I went to a lake and skimmed across the water with only what our canoe could hold.

We set up camp on an island and as night fell the sky became inky black. That’s when the magic happened. Without any ambient light anywhere, we were treated to the most spectacular light show of my life. A million, million stars, shinning everywhere in the sky. Unforgettable.

It made me wonder what it must have been like before electricity and campfires.

A time when everything happened according to a rhythm nature was in charge of. Turning off the sun’s rays but leaving on a soft night light high up in the sky with just enough brightness to dream by.

I wonder if I would ever trade all of my conveniences for a life measured out by mother nature. A life where I lived in the present moment, in tune with my surroundings and aware of my small, yet special place in the world.

One of the questions that comes to me when I give myself permission is, what name would I choose to call myself?

If you were out there in a world where nature was queen, what would you ask her to call you?

This is no small thing.

A name means something. Without one, who are you? How are you distinguished from others that roam the earth?

And then I think, what name can say who I am? What name can connect me to others and to their worlds?

I search inside to find my true name. Not the one given to me at birth by my parents. That is the name they wished to call me. I accepted it as my own because I didn’t know I could name myself. No one ever told me I could.

But now I think it’s time to find my name. I feel a real need, a hunger.

I wonder, how does one go about this task?

I sense there is real significance here for me.

If you were sitting here next to me, I would ask you what you think. Are you drawn to wanting to choose a new name for yourself, even if no one else calls you this? Might it mean something to you to know in your own heart who you really are?

I can’t escape thinking about this.

Do I choose a name that describes my physical appearance, something like, Tall Standing Tree? Or maybe, a word that draws out one of my strengths, like Clear Seer? Perhaps, I could choose a name of something I want to be, but am not now, to give myself room to grow, like Great Light?

These names seem to miss the mark.

I know I have to leave my head to find my name. I know my real name lives inside my heart. It is the only place I will find it. So, I go there, in search of who I am to ME. I am not looking for anyone else but ME.

I sink inside and wait. If it’s time, I believe my name will find me.

I hear a sound. An absolutely delightful sound. It is the sound of my name. Not a word, as I expected. A sound I feel and remember. The sound of running water. That is who I am. No wonder I was attracted to nature. It’s where I live. I wonder if you can somehow feel your real name. I hope you do

Pause and Consider

Are you ever faced with a situation where there are a lot of factors to be considered or a quick decision needs to be made or there is heightened emotional feelings involved?

I find when that happens to me it’s very difficult not to get caught up and lose valuable perspective. It’s so easy to slip into worry, concern, or partial paralysis. To kind of stop dead in your tracks, like the proverbial deer in the headlights.

One of these situations occurred while my wife and I were on vacation recently. It wasn’t a huge deal. Nothing earth shaking. But it was troubling to me and under normal circumstances would have sent me into a tiny rage, in this case, directed at me.

Although we had plenty of time to pack for our trip and I didn’t leave anything to the end, nevertheless, I forgot to bring my backup prescription sunglasses. They’re the ones I wear when I swim in the ocean. I’m not going to risk my regular pair, so always include this backup pair, while packing.

Except, I didn’t.

Like I said, I’d normally freak out, wondering how I was going to be out in the sun and warm ocean while worrying I’d lose my only pair of glasses, which I need to drive.

But instead of freaking out, I was calm. I paused and sat considering my options. Obviously going back home for them was out of the question, so what could I do. I breathed in and out slowly, leaning into my sense of calmness. An answer came quickly.

I could go to the store and buy a reasonably inexpensive pair of sunglasses to use. Sure, they wouldn’t be prescription, but I could live with that. They would protect my eyes and I had a band that would keep them on my head. Even if they fell off, I could always buy another pair.

As I said, this isn’t a big deal, but I was very happy that I’d found a workable solution, had remained calm and had taken advantage of pausing to consider, rather than losing my composure and ranting.

I might have been tempted to move quickly on with my vacation life, but it felt there was something quite special about this event. I wanted to savor it and see if it had something to say to me that would be helpful for my future. So, I paused again and considered.

Sitting peacefully inside this situation felt promising and the reward was almost immediate. What if I applied this same ‘pause and consider’ practice to other situations and events in my life?

How beneficial could that be?

My answer was and is, very beneficial.

Being able to avoid my tendency toward some knee-jerk reactions gives me a sense of freedom and hope. I can use this one experience to build on and perhaps see it as a pattern I can repeat. Because it worked so well the first time, it provides me a framework to use over and over again in the future.

A curious question came to my mind…I wondered how long I’d have to wait for my next opportunity?

Silly question really, because since the sunglasses affair happened, there has been a constant stream of ‘practice sessions’ lining themselves up in my life, offering me opportunities to test out my new idea.

I’d like to say I’ve been gracefully able to pause and consider each time successfully, but since I’m still human, it hasn’t worked out that way. I still need more practice.

What has happened is I feel a new groove forming, laid by the foundation of that one singular event. A groove that will get stronger the more times I use it.

It’s interesting to me to consider, that had I not forgotten my backup sunglasses, I might not have learned a new skill that will benefit me for years to come. Very interesting indeed.

A Good Friday Performance Invitation

This is a different post from my normal.

There is a special reason for this. There is something unique and beautiful that will only happen tomorrow on Good Friday, April 7, 2023, at 7:00pm (EST).

That’s when there will be a live performance of the play, Nine, A Holy Week Story of Love. This play was inspired by the events experienced by Yeshiwa (Jesus) and those involved in his life during his last week on earth. Each of the nine stories (Acts) offer an intimate view of how deeply and profoundly we are all loved by God.

If you live near Albany, New York you can attend in person at Unity Church in Albany, 21 King Avenue, Albany, NY 12206, but if you’re far away, you can watch the performance, as it will be Live Streamed on Unity Church in Albany’s website.

Go to Unity Church in Albany’s website (, select Live Stream and click on the red button in the center of the graphic for the performance of Nine, A Holy Week Story of Love.

To be candid, this may not appeal to all mainstream Christian churchgoers, because there are a few significantly different interpretations of the events that occurred.

Let me offer you a little background.

I have always loved the Easter story and it touches my heart more deeply than any other story from the Bible. I feel connected to each person and sense their emotional and spiritual energy in ways my mind cannot comprehend.

On Good Friday in 2018, I spent three hours, from noon to 3:00pm, standing, sitting, and walking around the sanctuary of Unity Church in Albany (NY), with the hope that I would be able to connect spiritually and come to a greater understanding of the events surrounding Easter. I sensed a strength, peace and clarity and felt a ‘knowing’ arrive within me, as if I were present during that time. It felt intimate and real and I wanted very much to capture each of the stories so that they could be shared with the world. Over the next several weeks I received the words to this play.

But more than the words, I felt the beauty, grace, and loving heart of Yeshiwa (Jesus’s name in his native language of Aramaic) that was and is the center of each of these stories. I do not ask you to believe me. I ask only that you listen to the words and let them reveal to you what truth they have to share.

I cannot have any vested interest in the outcome of your decision. It is yours alone.

What I am vested in is making this available to you so that you can hear, feel, and know what incredible power and love is present and available for you. Every one of you, with no exceptions.

Each of the stories (Acts) focuses on Yeshiwa’s message, which is always about forgiveness, the power of redemption, and the divine intimacy of love.

My sole responsibility was to channel the words as I received them and to be true to their content. You might think that was an easy task. It was not. Imagine for a moment that you felt you had to relate a truth you knew could inflame others. Would you go ahead?

Despite how incredibly powerful these stories are, I agonized about placing them in front of others. Surrendering and trusting was extremely difficult for me. And yet, I knew in the deepest part of me that they belong to the world and so, along with other brave souls, we are offering them to you.

If you are curious to hear them for yourself, please join us. I know their power and I believe you will too.

Should you desire to have a copy for yourself, print and eBook versions are available on Amazon, which you can access on Amazon/Books, then enter, Nine, A Holy Week Story of Love, by Rob H Geyer. The blue background book contains the Cast Version and the sunburst yellow book is the full version.

Standing In Your Own Truth

Have you ever wondered how you can stand in your own truth and speak from your heart what feels real and genuine to you?

Each of us is surrounded by a culture that influences us every moment of our lives. Our own thoughts and beliefs can be easily overshadowed and when we do use our voice others may not hear us or accept us.  It can be even more challenging because cultures need for conformity may be too binding and restrict our freedom of expression.

I’ve felt the weight of this many times in my life, and I wondered what Lia, a feminine, ethereal voice of god that speaks with me, would say about this. So, I asked, “How can I come to stand in my own truth.”

She answered, “By consciously releasing yourself (your self) from whatever power holds you back, recognizing it was placed there by others (for their purposes). They only have power over you if you accept it and allow it. You are free to choose and do not have to give your power away to them.”

I responded, “So, I don’t have to accept what others have told me nor what they will tell me in the future?” I needed more reassurance.

Lia paused, then said, “No, not now and not ever. You came here to earth with an inner knowing that guides you to your truth. Whether you believe this and trust it is another thing.”

Continuing, she added, “All throughout your life you will be challenged to decide what and who to believe. You will need to consider what you know inside you to be the truth and then decide to follow this or accept what the world teaches you and expects you to believe. Part of your difficulty is that you are in ‘relationship’ with others, and this makes it challenging to stand in your own truth, because they want you to stand in theirs.”

I recognize my own temptation to concede, to take the easy way and comply with the world around me, except that when I do, a part of me feels shaken, unhappy, and angry, as if I’ve let myself down.

She heard me and responded, “Yes, that’s because a part of you always wants to stand in your own truth and your own light. Whenever you accept anything that does not feel true to you, a conflict arises. You know something is wrong and this generates these feelings you have …and more.”

I asked, “And the sole remedy for this is to stand in my own truth and light?” She nodded yes and I asked, “Given how deeply trained I am by my culture and how strong the demands and expectations are upon me, how do I do this?”

“By letting go of all resistance to anything. You may believe that if you recognize how culture is demanding something from you that you do not want to give, that fighting and resisting it will work to free you. It won’t because it is true what you’ve heard, ‘that which you resist, persists’. It’s like you have a ball and chain around your ankle. You think you are free, but it follows you everywhere.”

I was confused and asked, “Aren’t they the same thing said two different ways?”

She explained so that I could understand, “No, resist mothing means you do not fight against things (ideas, expectations, requirements). It means you see what is there, but don’t pick it up and hold it inside of you. You do not make it a part of you.”

Going on, Lia added, “Release means letting go of what is already within you which does not feel like your truth. All the ideas that a part of you knows do not agree with your truth. It means you see them and know they do not serve you, so you allow them to fall away from you.”

I responded, “So, resist nothing means recognizing what others outside of me believe, but not making it a part of me, unless it feels like a part of my truth. And releasing means seeing what is inside of me that no longer feels like my truth and letting it go.”

I could sense Lia smiling and hear her say, “Yes, it is a divine process. A cleansing and washing clean and what remains is YOUR truth. This is where you speak from. This is the light that shines within and through you into the world.”

I am so grateful for her presence in my life and her encouragement to stand in my own truth and light.

People You Meet

I am a big believer that there is something special and unique that I can learn from every single experience I encounter in my life.

What do you think?

We can probably agree that some experiences are stronger than others and seem much more important or powerful, but believing that every single experience has something to teach us, perhaps you might think that could be going too far.

I might have felt that way at one time in my life but when I slow down and shift my perspective to a moment-to-moment framework something else happens. I see a wealth of meaning and connection.

It would probably help if I offered an example.

My wife and I recently went to Florida for twelve days of sunny, warm vacation. We arrived at our local airport, got our boarding passes, checked our bags, made our way through TSA and were sitting at our designated gate, awaiting boarding. There were lots of people milling around and most seats were full. Some of the flights were delayed, causing some annoyance to several passengers.

My wife and I sat down, storing our carry-on items in the empty seat between us. When the man next to her got up and headed toward the gate where boarding was starting, I decided to change my seat and took over his vacated space.

Despite my belief that he was boarding the plane, he must have been throwing something out, because he returned a moment or two later. Once he observed that I had taken his seat, he leaned toward me and said, “that’s my seat, sport!”, in what I would term a somewhat threatening voice and posture, leaving no doubt in my mind that he expected me to get up and relocate, so that he could have ‘his’ seat back.

Without giving it any thought, I stood up and changed back to where I had been sitting. However…I confess to feeling stung by his words and gestures, especially his use of the term ‘sport’. It reeked of condescension.

Part of me immediately went into hostile mode and wanted to know what right he had to speak to me in that manner or to demand ‘his’ seat back. There was no sign on it. He hadn’t left an open magazine there to claim his spot. He didn’t say to us, “I’ll be right back, could you save my seat for me?”. Nothing.

Another part of me wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he was having a really bad day. Maybe his flights had been messed up and he’d had to sleep overnight in the airport. Maybe his use of the term ‘sport’ wasn’t intended to ruffle or irritate me.

A third part of me wished I’d stayed where I was and told him he had no claim to the seat. No ownership. No rights. And, by the way, “who are you calling ‘sport’, sport!?”

There was yet another part of me operating during this sequence. I’ll call it my ‘inner observer’. It’s the part of me that takes notice of my thoughts and actions. It invites me to step back for a moment to consider. It encourages me to see if there is a bigger picture operating. And it asks valuable questions like, why is this triggering you and is it necessary or helpful for you to take this personally?

When I allow my observer to take center stage I see, hear, sense, and understand more. My observer also aids me in releasing my initial thoughts and reactions. I can let go of my what does not serve or benefit me. I can release my ‘possession’ of the seat and allow his comment and tone to pass through me. I can set aside my personal reactions and ownership of being triggered by his manner or expectations.

This ten second ‘connection’ between us can inform my whole world and leave a lasting impact on me. The choice is mine to decide. Not his nor anyone else’s. Mine.

What I take away from this or any other single connection I form with another is entirely up to me. That’s a powerful thing and I can choose to carry with me all of the hurtful or all of the helpful feelings that go with it.

I believe everyone can do this.

Important ‘INGs’

I love words.

Sure, there are exceptions (like vomit or cancer) but on the whole I think words are magical, wonderful, and powerful.

Lately I’ve been drawn to words ending in the letters ‘ing’ and noticing how they impact my life. Maybe you have your own favorite ‘ing’ words.

I thought I’d share some of mine and see if they are already on your list, or perhaps they are words you’d like to add, because you see some value for yourself.

I’ll start with ‘sleeping’. Lately I’ve been paying much more attention to my physical being and realize now how dramatically important it is for me to get a decent amount of sleep and at the optimal time. Previously, I thought I could get by on 6 hours of sleep but have come to understand how this devalues and depletes me. Sleep sets the stage for everything else I experience in life, so I’ve decided to make it a priority.

‘Eating’ is my next word. For a long time, I’ve been wondering if there was a better way for me to eat. Not only how much, but when and what foods in specific. I suppose everyone shifts and changes over their life to some degree, but I feel I need to be more careful in the selection of what I eat. I’m not looking to stir up a wide-ranging conversation about what’s the best or most beneficial plan, just what’s best for me.

I’ve also been considering what forms of exercising are in my body’s best interest. I’m inviting my innate wisdom to help me decide. Is it stretching, strengthening or something else. Perhaps it is a combination of things. The important point seems to be, to do something to keep myself active and in shape. Fortunately, there are tons of people and resources to assist me.

Not everything I’m considering is about my physical body. I’m also aware of and interested in my feelings. Do I allow myself the freedom to feel or does my thinking mind take over everything? I don’t want to bypass my feelings because they are critically important to a holistic approach to my life. And they assist in guiding me and the directions I choose to take in life.

One of the most undervalued aspects of my life is resting. It’s a big challenge for me because I am such a ‘doer’. I seem to be in constant motion and often don’t balance that with replenishing rest. It needs to be more of a priority for me and I’d profit from allowing and encouraging myself to believe in the value of downtime and a good rest.

Dreaming is something I’m really good at. I have huge dreams and I’m capable and highly motivated to turn my dreams into my reality. I give myself permission to have creative dreams without limits, kind of a brainstorming approach where you allow everything to come forward without judgement or evaluation. This sets my dreams free and allows a birth to take place. What you are reading right now (this post and the website it comes from) came about as a result of one of my big dreams.

Of course, there are many, many more.

Working, thinking, writing, walking, believing, experiencing…the list goes on and on. Yours probably does too. Someday it would be fun to compare lists.

As I was writing this post I wondered if there was one ‘ing’ that tied things together for me and a beautiful word popped up…living.

It creates a host of thoughts and feelings. How long do I want to live? What sort of quality life do I want to live? What experiences do I want to have?

I don’t have answers to all of my questions…I’m still considering.

Fortunately, I don’t feel that I need to know everything. The day-to-day journey is so fantastic, I’m just happy to be along for the ride. I hope you enjoyed reading this

Spiritual Practices

Okay, I admit it. I’m a numbers geek. Maybe you’re one too, but probably not.

I’ve loved numbers for as long as I can remember. As a child I also loved sports and would have my own leagues throughout the year. Of course, I had to play for every team, so I got to experience winning and losing every game.

It taught me that what’s more important, is enjoying the opportunity of playing the game and not whether you win or lose. Part of this essential lesson carried over into my spiritual practices.

Sure, I’m still interested in the numbers, and I do keep track, but I recognize the value is hidden inside of what I gain from each of my practices.

I thought I’d share some of them and maybe one or two might spark something in you. Take good care with any that you choose.

Memories & Ambitions (52+ years and 278 entries)

Since high school I’ve recorded things I’ve wanted to experience in my life…think ‘bucket list’ and you’ll get the idea. Most of them have come true, some probably never will (own a castle on the Rhine).

Donations (43+ years and 1141 donations)

When given freely and generously, both the giver and receiver are blessed. I don’t subscribe to the idea of a tithe (specific percent of income be given, like 10%). Rather, I allow my heart to be my guide.

talking with god (25+ years and thousands of conversations)

I’ve mentioned this practice many times in my posts and the conversations are very real to me. It is a two-way dialogue and the most grounding and centering experience in my life. Thank you, Neal Donald Walsch, for getting me started.

Healing Touch (20+ years and hundreds of treatments)

Participating in an energy treatment and channeling healing to one who needs support is an amazing experience. I’ve seen many miracles occur and always feel a divine connection.

Feelings Journal (8+ years and 2981 daily entries)

Every day since February 20, 2015, I have connected with my feelings and written down some things of value to me. I have never missed one day since I began. That’s how important it is to me. Thank you, Jim Fuller, for helping me begin.

Permission Statements (6+ years and 125 entries)

There is an incredible liberation in writing down permission statements for yourself. Allowing freedom in what you do and how you see the world and deciding the changes you want to make is a truly beautiful thing. Thank you, Tama Kieves, for this practice.

Celebration Journal (5+ years and 26 entries)

I take any situation and find the ‘good’ in it no matter how difficult it might be. Interestingly, many of the entries have been the most challenging experiences in life (physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually). A shout out to John Pease for showing me the value of celebration.

Ask Journal (4+ years and 189 entries)

As of a given moment it became clear to me that I could ask for the help I needed (from god) and receive it. The vast majority of my life, I did not believe this and shifting my perspective has radically improved my life.

Website Posts (2+ years and 257 entries)

I love being able to share what feels real and important to me, in the hopes that it might be of value to someone who reads it, so I have made sure to stick with my original commitment of writing two Posts each week, even while on vacations.

Here are some others I’ve added during the last year or so.

Gratitude Journal (524 days and 3295 items)

Each morning I write down at least five things I am grateful for.

Thanks, Chris Gentry, for prompting me to engage in this.

Wouldn’t It Be Cool If…(Nov 2021 and intermittent entries)

Completing this statement with whatever comes to you is extremely enlightening and provides a great deal of clarity and freedom. Thanks, Marie Forleo, for this potent suggestion.

Cold Water Exposure (Dec 2022 and 86 days)

I offer myself an opportunity to dramatically enhance my immune system by ending my daily shower with 60 seconds of cold water, both front and back. Thanks, Chris Hemsworth, for this chilling recommendation.

Fasting (Feb 2023 and 5 times so far)

Allowing my body to rid itself of toxins by not eating for a period of 14-16 hours is wonderful for my physical body. I’m new to the practice and will increase the amount of time between meals but am taking it slow at the moment. I do feel the benefits and am happy about them. Another shout out to Chris Hewsworth.

For me, each one of these practices has a spiritual element to it and I’ve profited enormously from engaging in them. Maybe one of them will do the same for you.

Apology, Cost or Blessing

Have you ever considered that an apology could come at a cost to you or instead, be a huge blessing?

It’s interesting to me that the statement can be interpreted from several different directions. Perhaps the apology comes from you, but maybe the apology is offered to you.

Do you feel the same way in both circumstances?

Sometimes it depends on when the apology happens. If it’s too far into the future from the incident, it might lose its value. It also matters whether the apology is sincere or not, because without sincerity the words would not represent an expression of real sorrow or remorse, a kind of ‘non-apology’ apology.

So much goes into the act of an apology. It can be extremely difficult to know where you stand, as the one apologizing or the one being apologized to.

If you’ve seen my Facebook and Instagram posts, you’ll be familiar with the four-word questions I pose that have beautiful background art works created by my dear friend, Cheri Warren.

Together, we created a 52-card oracle deck which we hope to have available for folks who are interested. (More about that in the future- Self Discovery Cards, A 52 Card Deck that guides you to your true self).

What I wanted to share was that one way to use the cards is to shuffle the deck and choose one card at random, then answer the question posed.

I wanted to try the cards out for myself, so opened the pack, shuffled, chose one and flipped it over to reveal a card. It happened to be the one with this Post’s title, Apology, Cost or Blessing. I felt no connection to the card. It didn’t spark anything inside of me and I was a bit disappointed.

However, an hour or so later…wham! A string of meaningful thoughts arrived, seemingly out of nowhere. After the shock of recognition, a further question popped up.

‘To whom do I need to apologize?’

I sat with that, pondering. Then three words showed up…’Me, that’s who’.

I’d never considered that when the question came up. I’d immediately thought about what person I needed to apologize to or who had offended me enough that I’d expect an apology from them.

So, why me? Why would I need to apologize to myself?

A voice inside me spoke saying, “because you’ve released our power. You’ve let it leak out of us.” It was a somewhat angry voice and I realized it was my ego speaking. It was demanding to be heard saying, “you don’t stick up for us”.

I realized it was the truth and that there were many situations I allowed my power to ebb away. I felt truly sorry that my actions had caused myself pain and sorrow. I apologized and committed to make some important changes, ones that would hopefully keep this from happening again.

I recognize how this simple apology cost nothing but has created many blessings for me. I can be more honest in the moment, watching carefully what I do and say and making sure it is in harmony and alignment with my life plan, with who I am here to be. I am so happy that I chose that particular four-word question and look forward to the next one I choose, realizing it might take a moment or two before it reveals some deep truth to me

Whole Rather Than Perfect

I’ve thought a lot about the idea of perfection over the course of my life. I wonder if you have too. There is certainly a great deal of emphasis placed on it. Our cultural training seems to glorify perfection and encourages us to achieve it.

One of the main problems in my opinion is the state of perfection does not exist as a reality. It’s only an ideal. According to one internet source the definition of perfection is the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.

Consider that for a moment. Free of ALL flaws or defects. Not just some. Not almost all. Free from ALL.

Why would anyone be tempted to be perfect?

I know that for me, it never worked and that’s not for a lack of trying. There was always some aspect I could not accomplish, no matter how hard I tried. And I’ve seen so many others pursue their goals with the idea in mind that they could do it perfectly. They didn’t. They couldn’t.

At some point part of the mystery of perfection revealed itself to me. It may only be my personal revelation, but it might be something you would agree with.

Perfection is the ultimate challenge and cannot be achieved, or at least it cannot be sustained. Underneath the concept of perfection is a host of other demons. The feelings of unworthiness, and the overall sense of not being enough or of value. These all seem to me to go together, like a bunch of bullies that taunt you and try to put you down.

I believe that perfection is an earth word. Something dreamed up to separate us and create unhappiness. It invites us into a conditional world, where no one stands at the top, but folks can take satisfaction from being better than those below them.

I’m through with the word. I am releasing it from my vocabulary, along with the word, ‘should’. They are banned words now to me.

Part of me asked the question…is there an actual word that can replace perfection, something I can acknowledge and appreciate?

For me, one word stepped forward to fill the empty space…’wholeness’.

I need to explain my definition so you can see whether it fills in your empty space too.

Wholeness, for me, is a process, not an end result. I believe we all came to earth ‘whole’ and complete, inherently valuable, worthwhile, rare, and gifted, beautiful and loved. True, we’ve all fallen off the straight line of tracks, but it’s of no real consequence since we are still in the process.

There is no need for any comparison, feelings of lack, judgement, or criticism. Those all belong to perfection, so we can leave them by the side of the road.

Wholeness invites us forward, encouraging our dreams and opening our hearts. There is an unconditional love, peace and sense of joy attached.

Perfection yields sorrow, while wholeness creates soaring, drawing us upward into freedom.

Wholeness is a Heaven word. Wholeness is something we came here with and if we choose it consciously, consistently, open heartedly, it gets bigger. And the bigger it becomes the more joy there is, for us and all those around us.

I love the word, wholeness, and I am giving it a special place inside me to grow.

Going Wrong

You know by now if you’ve been reading my posts for a while that I constantly wonder about things.

Here’s my latest.

Is going ‘wrong’, only going ‘right in disguise’? Is it possible that I am misperceiving a situation and that I’m just not far enough down the road to realize the ‘rightness’ involved?

Maybe I would be served by standing back a bit and asking myself, “is it true or just my perception of the truth”?

Perhaps it would help if I took a brief inventory of the facts. Or recognized that what I might consider to be mistakes are just segways, not ends to themselves.

Another thought jumps in and joins the party.

How do I define wrong? From what point of view? From what chronological reference? Do I base it on my own thoughts or what I perceive to be my cultural training? Or am I starting from an ideal, so that any deviation becomes a problem?

The narrower my definition, the harder it is for me to consider things as being right and the easier for them to be wrong. Either way can be a slippery slope.

As is so often the case, I searched for an example or two, hoping to provide myself with some clarity. Fortunately, two good examples spring to mind that I thought I’d share with you. Perhaps they will spark some insight as you think about your own life.

The very first event in my life that felt ‘wrong’ in every way was when my parents told my sister and me that we were moving from Watertown to Delmar, New York. Immediately I realized my whole world would be tipped upside down. I wouldn’t get to see all of my friends, go to the same school, know how to get anywhere and a host of other upsetting things.

There was no way I was interested in changing my life. How could they just up and move us 185 miles away from where I wanted to be? More maddening still, I did not even have a vote. They decided and it was done.

I don’t know if you ever had to leave a place you wanted to stay, but it’s a hard thing and it felt truly ‘wrong’ to me.

But here’s where some time and distance becomes a key.

Were it not for moving, I would never have met my amazing, wonderful wife. And without her in my life, we would not have our two incredible, joyful children. And without our children, we would not have our delightful, gorgeous grandchildren.

And the list of blessings spirals out in all directions, other family members, friends, church life, our house. I would have none of these beautiful things in my life.

In light of this, how could I ever think my parents’ decision to move my sister and me was wrong?

My other example is also obvious to me, once I step away for a better view.

My job was eliminated. I had not planned on retiring for another couple of years and I wasn’t ready to leave, but I wasn’t given a choice. I was told I was done, no longer employed! It was a crushing blow, especially the way it was done. It felt ‘wrong’ to me.

But it opened doors for me. I had the opportunity to join my wife in babysitting our two local grandchildren. I consider this to be my favorite, most rewarding, best of all possible careers. To spend quality time with them has been a sheer delight and something I will remember forever.

Again, I had to ask myself, how could this event in my life have been ‘wrong’ when I have loved it so much? My answer is simple. The happenings to me were not wrong, they were just the right things wearing a disguise that took time to see through. I only needed to shift my perspective a little and see the clarity that was there all along

Heaven and Earth

I’d like to invite you to join me on a short journey. It won’t take long, unless you want it to.

I was having a conversation this morning with Lia, an ethereal feminine voice of god that speaks with me and answers questions I can’t answer for myself. This morning I asked her about heaven and earth and our experiences of each.

As with so many of our conversations, it stretched my human mind.

I try very hard to follow along, for me, but also for you, so that I can share what feels like the truth. Of course, what feels like the truth to me, may or may not feel like the truth to you and I honor that. I don’t believe anyone is served by accepting another’s words, unless they sense the truth in them for themselves.

Here is what Lia shared with me.

In heaven, you know everything there is to know BUT you don’t ‘experience’ it. From an earth perspective it would be the difference between the ‘idea’ of love versus being hugged by someone and ‘feeling’ loved.

In heaven you know earth is a place where duality exists (good/bad, right/wrong). And it is a place where you can choose what to experience. You can exercise your free will, which allows you to create and experience the outcomes that happen based on your choices, some of which you anticipate and others that you do not. Your life is shaped by what you conceive and believe and by the actions you take. You can live without any awareness of heaven or with a full remembering that you are a part of one essence, one pure unconditional love.

In heaven you know that your stay on earth is temporary and that you will always return to heaven once you are done with your earth experience.

Some who come to earth choose to remember their true nature, that they are a part of one essence. They come to experience their earth life, while also knowing the truth. Most of these earth essences are teachers, guides for others, offering insight about the truth.

In heaven, each essence is a unique energetic vibrational frequency and as such chooses certain life paths and events to be a part of their earth life plan (spiritual blueprint). They do this because they want to know what life feels like. There is a yearning to experience these things that earth life offer and that heaven does not.

No one requires this. It is a free will choice each essence makes.

In order to fully experiences parts of this plan, each essence consciously allows their awareness of the truth to be forgotten when they transition for heaven to earth.

Imagine playing a game here on earth but knowing the exact outcome before you start. Would that be a fun or meaningful way to play a game? Likely not.

This forgetting includes the events and the reasons for the events.

In heaven, each essence is able to choose any path, even and perhaps especially the ones that we as humans would not choose, because they are too painful in some way.

In heaven, one of the most beautiful knowings is that earth is temporary, and heaven is permanent. ALL essences who chose to experience earth, return to heaven, without exception.

Each essence is pure unconditional love, whether they appear that way on earth or not.

Each essence has free will, so can choose to experience earth in any way. Many essences choose to experience shattering events, which would seem an unlikely choice and yet many individuals involved say, they would not have it any other way because of what came out of the experience for them. Earth life is full of these examples.

To make sense of what seems senseless is not an easy shift. It may challenge earthly logic too much and more insight may be needed. All answers do not come at once. But once an essence returns to heaven and merges back into the one, all is once again known.

Write Your Own Story

Do you like to read stories? Do you have a favorite subject or style? Is there an author you’re especially fond of?

If you wrote your own story, what would the title be? And just for fun…what movie star would play your role?

I love to write. Even as a child I loved to write, as long as it was my own idea. I remember sitting in a small room at the front of our house that my mom used as a sewing room. When my grandmother came for a visit, I’d sleep in this room. It had the most comfortable bed in the world (what our family referred to as the ‘slab lounge’).

It was the site of my first story. I was perhaps 9 or 10 years old, and I was infatuated with the FBI, so of course my story was about them going after a bad guy by the name of Shootist Mc Rowan. It was about ten pages long, but it pleased me to be able to say I’d written something, even if the only person that knew about it was me.

Fast forward over fifty years, one wife, two children, two careers, three grandchildren and the freedom of retirement. If you’d asked me if I’d ever thought I would be a published author, I would have said it was ‘highly unlikely’.

But life has a way of contradicting us.

Currently I’m writing the fifth book in a spiritual fiction series titled. Little Buddha (Books One-Four). It may seem boastful, but I can’t help it, I am in love with the characters, each of whom ‘speak to me’. They guide the series wherever it goes, and I follow along. I get to be a contributor, but am mostly the scribe, enjoying the cast and learning from them. It’s an incredible dance and I couldn’t be happier that they’ve invited me into their world.

What if you could write your own story, not the kind I’m writing, but a story about you.

I suspect you already are. I suspect you’ve been writing it for a long time and that parts of it may feel like they are cast in stone, unmovable, unchangeable.

It feels to me that we all do this every day of our lives. We tell ourselves what we need, have to, or should do. We may alter our supporting cast by discontinuing some characters or search for new ones we believe will be better for us.

But the central core of the story is ours. What are you telling yourself? Are the words harsh, judgmental, untrue, indifferent? Or do you offer yourself congratulations, give yourself freedom to make mistakes, learn, grow, love?

What if you could re-write your story?

What would you change? If you took a few moments to consider this, what would you write down? If you’re feeling courageous, you could even do that right now.

I know it might be difficult but imagine the rewards you could reap.

When I turned seventy (still hard to believe I’m that old, since I still feel mentally like I’m 24) I had some intense feelings about my story. I’d been telling myself for years that my physical health was sliding. I couldn’t do all the things I’d been able to do, or at least not easily, and I worried that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy my ‘golden years’.

So, I decided it was time to change my story and tell myself a new one. I focused a tremendous amount of energy on my physical being. I changed several eating habits, increased my exercising and walking, altered my vitamin regime, began a weigh weights program, increased my chiropractor, massage and energy work therapies, and added a whole new element to my routine- cold water therapy, which if you’ve been with me, you read about recently.

What this tells me is that I am in charge of my own story. I don’t have to believe what others say about ‘older people’ nor what the news tells us.

I can believe what I tell me. I can write my own story.

And so can you. And you can do it about anything if you really want to. There is no shortage of folks who will help you if you need assistance. You just need to ask. I hope you do.

Heart Wide Open

What are your biggest dreams? The ones you would love to experience most in your life. Maybe you already have a list, one that you think about often.

If you stopped for a moment or two, what’s at the top of your list? It could be a to have a truly meaningful relationship with a spouse, parent, child, friend, or favorite animal. Perhaps it would be the perfect job, house, car, or vacation.

You might live in a place where there is war, oppression, violence, disease, or other traumatic events, in which case maybe your biggest, wildest dream is peace, health, harmony, caring or prosperity.

You might live with certain oppressions surrounding you and dream of a time where everyone lives in a safe, prosperous place where there is equity and opportunity.

There are so many situations we all face and sometimes we get an uneven mixture of the good and bad stuff, which can make it more difficult to remain calm and optimistic about our life.

One of my biggest dreams is to live with my heart wide open.

The world can seem like an incredibly difficult place to live and the idea of opening our hearts wide to it may feel frighteningly unsafe, especially if we’ve been hurt often, by others or through our own actions.

It’s easily understood why we might tend to cover our hearts or put-up barriers to protect ourselves. I have certainly done this on many occasions. The problem is that every time I do this, it shuts another part of me off from the rest of creation. It limits me and shrinks me. It draws me inward and disconnects me from the beautiful, majestic, magical world where we all live.

I have trained myself to step back whenever I sense a problem confronting me and to give it some distance. That’s what I’m doing right now. I’m giving myself a chance to capture an image that will help guide me to a better way to live.

And one appears, both surprising and delighting me. The vision is of a dreamcatcher, which is a hoop with a web stretching across it, creating connections and empty spaces. For many, the belief is that during the night’s sleep, the web let’s all of the good dreams through, but catches and traps all of the bad dreams, allowing the sleeper to have a wonderful, protected, restful sleep.

A dear friend of mine made one for me and it hangs over my bed, offering me peace and tranquility.

But what does this have to do with living with a heart wide open?

Actually, a lot.

What if I could apply the dreamcatcher idea here? What if I could live, aware of the world, but letting all of the bad stuff stop on the outside of me and only allowing the good stuff in?

A thought springs to mind. According to scientists, we are made up of millions of atoms. When an atom is examined, they find that it is composed of mostly space. In fact, there is a general agreement that the human body is roughly 99.999% empty space. That’s hard to believe. To think that a person we see with our eyes is actually mostly empty space.

What if the same is true of our hearts? What if we could shift our perception of the world and let what we consider to be the ‘bad stuff’ through the empty spaces inside our hearts so that we could focus on the ‘good stuff’? Could we give ourselves this precious permission?

I want to try. I want this because I sense the value and benefit it would offer me.

With my heart wide open, I would be able to hold on to the magnificence and the illuminating divine nature of life. And in that space, I could connect with others in ways I have not yet imagined.

Starting Over

If someone approached you and asked, would you like to start over, would you accept their invitation?

Would there be any hesitation on your part? Maybe you’d need to spend a moment considering what aspects of your life you’d want to change, to begin again.

If I gave you a few moments and invited you to do a little inventory, what do you suppose you’d come up with?

I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of weeks now. While it might have begun as a fun exercise, it’s turned into something much more engaging, and I find myself drawn toward it in a way I didn’t expect.

I started out wondering about things like, my eating habits, physical exercise routines, sleep patterns, and how I spend my leisure time. These things are important to me, and I have made numerous changes, and each change feels positive to me and gives me a sense of satisfaction, as long as I consider them ‘aims’ and not ‘objectives’ (see my post on this subject for more, if interested).

I found I needed to move beyond these. Something else was calling to me. It didn’t appear immediately, as if it might want to stay hidden.

What could it be?

As I often do, I sat back and gave myself a few moments of quiet to consider. I wanted to open up some space inside me to receive an answer. I’m tempted to move too quickly, as if I will run out of time, so I don’t always give myself a chance to listen. I have to temper that default setting, so I sat in silence and waited.

What filled the gap surprised me.

I felt an overwhelming sense of pressure on my chest, like a very heavy weight was laying across me, forcing me downward. I knew at once what it was.

It was the weight of all of my cultural training. All the things I’ve been taught to believe, regardless of whether they make any sense. It’s interesting to me that they are not all spoken things. Many have been absorbed from what I see modeled around me. I take them all in and they sort themselves into places inside me. They fit into file cabinets I can’t see but know are there and they come out whenever their name is called.

I know it’s going to be challenging to sort through them in order to know which to keep and which to release. So much so, that I’m not sure I’m equal to the task. That is until I realize how much the ones that don’t benefit me, weigh me down and hold me in place.

I am tired of this constant process. I am tired of living with these inconsistencies and untruths. And this becomes fuel for me. It propels me forward.

You might be wondering, what cultural trainings I am talking about. I am too. I don’t believe I know them all. But I do know enough of them to get started.

Here’s one.

Part of American culture is expressed in the statement, “All men are created equal.” I have so many problems with this. For one, it’s the use of the word, “men”, rather than “people”. I rail against the idea that my wife, daughter, granddaughter, mom, sister, and all other women would be immediately excluded. Some would say, give our forefathers some slack, they were only using the language of their time.

I can’t. I won’t. It would not have been any more ‘right’ then, than now.

Even if this word were changed, the idea itself is only given lip service in our culture. We are not treated equally. Anyone with eyes can see this any day of the week.

We are not equal, but I don’t believe that’s even the key. What feels right to me is that we are all unique, all worthy of love, all part of the divine. What separates us from seeing this is what our cultural training teaches us.

That’s one thing I aim to change while I start over.

Cold Water

Are there times when you receive the same message over and over again? It may come from different sources, but the intent seems clear.

This happens to me every once in a while, and I’ve learned to pay attention and let the messages soak in. I allow them to roll around in my mind and see what they have to offer me. Most of the time, they are full of surprises and run off in numerous directions, but they always end up feeling important.

The most recent instance of this occurred a couple months ago. It started with my son, Tommy, mentioning a Netflix series titled, Limitless, that he thought I might find interesting. It was a brief series about Chris Hemsworth’s (yes, Thor) pursuit of improving the quality of his life by engaging in several different endeavors. Although I found the entire series fascinating, and Chris’s conviction, strength, and endurance remarkable, what really spoke to me was his cold-water experience.

After some preparatory training he ended up swimming in a wet suit through frigid water for a significant distance to test his physical and mental abilities to withstand the torturous swim out to a buoy and back. I am amazed by his passionate pursuit and his desire to improve and extend the quality of his life.

At the end of each episode Chris shares some of his ‘take-aways’ and mentioned that a part of his plan was to end his showers with 30 seconds of cold water. He’d learned that cold water enhances our immune system and he wanted to capitalize on that advantage.

I thought about this and decided that I wanted to do the same thing.

Soon after making this decision, I received five more confirming messages about the cold-water experience and its value.

Okay, I got it!

So, I began ending every one of my showers with 30 seconds of cold water, not only while standing with my back to the water, but another 30 seconds while facing the icy stream. WOW! Incredibly bracing!

I wondered whether I could stand doing this day after day. Did I have the stamina and the drive it would require? Only time would tell.

Fortunately, what I did have was a sense of purpose. I wanted the positive effects this experience would create by improving my immune system. I really wanted this.

It’s now been 70 days since I began, and I haven’t missed once. In fact, I’ve extended my times of exposure from 30 to 60 seconds per side. It takes enormous disciple on my part to do this every day, but I immediately feel the benefits and sense they have a compounding positive effect on my body.

I’m not sure if I’ll extend the time further, but I am planning on participating in the next Polar Plunge. This is an annual event held in Lake George (NY) in January, where participants swim in the freezing cold lake water. I’ve had this on my bucket list for a long time but have never been serious enough to pursue, until now.

So, what’s the point of this post if you’re not interested in ruining showers for the rest of your life? Well, for me, it represents a major change in what I think I am capable of. If I can do this hard thing, what other hard things can I do?

I’m now focusing some attention on my sleeping patterns and my breathwork. I know they need a lot of fine tuning and it’s great to know that I will be the recipient of whatever benefits happen. To know I am able to make lifestyle adjustments gives me hope and reminds me that I am in charge of my own life.

What hard things might you be capable of? What benefits might happen in your life if you make some changes?

As I discovered with the cold-water experience, I’d only know if I tried.

Aims and Objectives

Do you have any aims and objectives in your life? If you were to list them, what would they be?

This question intrigued me, and I wanted to pursue it, but felt that first I needed to define both terms. Were they different or versions of the same idea?

After some thought I came up with the following.

Objectives felt like solid goals. They are definitive expectations which I pursue with the firm conviction of accomplishing them. They are measured by ‘completion’.

Aims felt more fluid. They are intentions that I set, with the hope of experiencing them. My aims are movements toward ‘progress’.

Once I sat back a bit, I could easily see how different these two concepts are. One is heavy and the other is light.

For me, aims and objectives set up a basic framework for my approach to life. What I have to share may connect with some of you, either because you feel the same way or because you know someone else who is like this.

When applying these concepts, I found that they have to become practical to mean anything to me. There has to be something specific to sink my teeth into.

I though back over my life and one truth became apparent to me.

In almost every case, objectives only felt valuable if I accomplished them all. Whenever there was something left undone, it plagued me and reduced my sense of self-worth.

In contrast, aims offered me flexibility, room to grow, and a way to alter my perspective about my pursuits. In short, they gave me freedom and allowed me the opportunity to enjoy the progress I experienced.

I thought I’d share an example with you from my life.

I used to be a White Knight.

A white knight is someone who feels the need to be a savior on some level. Although a white knight can be helpful to have around, they end up stealing other’s ability to stand on their own and only offer the white knight a sense of self-worth if they are rewarded by someone else.

As a white knight I felt it was my responsibility to save people, to please people, to right wrongs, and to protect the ‘little people’. These responsibilities created all of my objectives. And as you can probably guess, I was never wholly successful and as a consequence, I always experienced frustration and a continual depletion of my own worthiness.

It took many years for me to see clearly how this approach to life did not benefit me or anyone else. And yet, seeing something and doing something about it are two very different things.

I’m sure it wasn’t a change that happened in one singular moment, but that’s how it felt. There was a dawning and a major shift because at once, I knew that embracing ‘aims’ was my way forward. That, and being honest with myself, even if that meant moving into uncharted territory.

I realize my aims might sound unusual to you, but it’s truly what I feel, and it represents the light I aim to step into.

I aim to be a divine messenger. I aim to invite people to experience new thoughts and ideas. I aim to aid, encourage, and support folks during their earth walk. I aim to assist others with finding their own clarity and making choices which benefit them on their path through life. And I aim to experience JOY while in the flow of my own life.

Releasing objectives and embracing aims offers me a world of freedom and opens me fully.

My hope is that you find your own right path.

What If You Were God

It happens every so often.

An idea comes out of nowhere. It generates a spark that ignites my curiosity and off I go, following the trail.

Does this ever happen to you? Do you get carried away, sensing there is something mysterious and amazing that could happen?

One day I was sitting with no particular plan, and I began to wonder what it would be like to be god and set the whole world in motion. It brought up so many questions, I could barely keep track.

A sort of conversation arose, different from any others I’d ever had. I wondered, could I put myself into god’s loving heart, and once there, could I explain myself so that everyone would know me? If I were god, how would I show my love to all those who walked the planet?

I considered, would I set limits and create requirements for living? Would I keep track of everything that was said, everything that was thought, every feeling experienced? Would I establish conditions and rules and if I did, what would my response be if the conditions and rules were breached?

Would I require adherence, devotion, abstinence? Would I be tolerant, accepting, doting? Would I punish, demand, withhold? Would I be forever open to forgiveness and offer constant hope to all?

These were mind boggling questions to consider and it seemed so difficult for me to formulate any kind of plan that would be fair and equitable. The number of exceptions would be astounding.

I thought some more. I wondered, would I continue to give gifts to the world? Would I send messengers to remind everyone of how much I loved them? Would I give each person ‘free will’, allowing them to make their own choices? Would there be any bounds to my love? Would I always listen, forgive, care?

Since I am a human being trying to put myself into the mind and heart of god, I fully recognize the limits of my understanding. I also realize that the nature of my questions reflects my own sensitivities to the world because one of my next questions was, as god, would I be loved in return? If as god, I was faithful to people, would they be faithful to me?

It was incredibly challenging to come up with any answers I felt were fair for all. It left me a little woozy and I needed a new perspective.

So, I asked god for some guidance, and here is what I heard.

“I will need to explain my answers, so give me a chance before you take anything the wrong way.”

I prepared myself to be patient and listen.

“I want nothing for you and nothing from you. You see, I don’t work from a set of obligations or specific expectations. I offer you freedom to choose whatever you wish. That, and the ability for your wishes to become real, to become your truth. You have the same creative force I do. You create an idea, a picture, a dream, and you speak it and act it into your reality, just as I do. I do not ‘wish’ things into your life, because I’ve shared the gift of creation with you, so that you can bring about whatever you desire. But you see, that is your greatest gift and your greatest challenge, because the world cannot distinguish between your thoughts and your actions. It gives you exactly what you request. If you look clearly, you can see this in other’s lives and if you look deeper still, you can see it in your own. Before you arrived here, you had within your spirit essence, the gifts of creativity and freedom to choose from every possible choice. You have this still and always will, and this worlds experiences teach you how to use these gifts wisely.”


And god ended by saying, “I love you and will always co-create with you toward this awareness. Be at peace in this knowing.”

A Diet of Words

I want to choose to use good words every day. Why is that so hard for me? Why am I so tempted to use harmful words to say to others and to myself?

According to one source on the internet, we speak about 7,000 words a day. These are the ones we speak out loud, so that others can hear them.

It makes me wonder; how many words do we say to ourselves in a day? More importantly, what are the words? What do they convey to us? Are they helpful, neutral, or hurtful?

I also wonder; what is their relationship to our physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual life? Does each word have weight? I mean this both figuratively and literally. Do certain words weight more than others?

Are the words we choose to say defining us and our experience here on this earth?

Suppose we decide to speak, outwardly or inwardly, words that offer us support and reassurance, would they weigh less than words that condemn or shame us?

If we made a list, what words would offer us hope and set us free? Once created, would we be able to say them to ourselves, and mean them? What would enhance our ability to choose and embrace them?

To me, these are all important questions, because they prompt me to consider my choices, knowing full well that my answers create my experiences.

If I want to produce great results in my life, the words I choose to speak matter. What I say reinforces my actions and what I want to have happen in my life, whether it’s releasing weight from my body, my mind, my heart, or my spirit.

What I say can make it easier or impossible.

I sense the dawning of another question. I wonder what would happen if I released all of the words that don’t support me? I recognize there are so many of these. I’ve already shifted away from one of the cruelest words I know…’should’. I don’t use it anymore because it hurts too much. It hurts me and it hurts anyone I say it to. Its destructive power is immense.

So, if you are game to try something with me, let’s take a moment and write down some words that best support us and our grandest vision of who we want to be. I’m aiming for seven words to start with, but you can pick whatever number seems best to you.

Okay, here are my seven and why I chose them.

  1. Yes (an affirmation of life and a word to be used with other words to accomplish and enjoy things in my life)
  2. Love (the most affirming word in our language, love for others and love for myself)
  3. Gratitude (for what I am experiencing in my life)
  4. Possible (as in, everything is possible, within reach, offering a sense of hope)
  5. Faith (in both things seen and unseen)
  6. Trust (that I am loved, safe, able, connected)
  7. Belief (that I am in charge of what I believe and can make changes when I need to, reshaping my world)

Now I wonder, what would happen if I kept this list of words in places where I could see them. What would happen if I used these words more often than any others? And what would happen if I spoke these words out loud?

What I believe is that it would make an enormous difference, both to me and to those around me. I would be healthier, happier, and lighter. This is what I would like words to do for me.

Beyond Miracles

Do you think that miracles can apply to you? Do you believe that you can experience them personally in your present life?

I wonder how many of us seriously consider this. Sometimes miracles are thought to be grand scale things that only a few ever encounter. But what if this isn’t true? What if everyone can experience miracles?

In my last post I shared that I serve as a channel. Sometimes directly from divine source and other times, well, I’m not always exactly sure. I know there is depth and worth to what I receive, and I guess it doesn’t always matter if I know the source.

I do recognize there is something sacred happening. It is at once fascinating and difficult to believe. I wonder to myself, why me?

It is then that I receive the distinct awareness that it isn’t just me. It’s there and available for everyone. We’ve been culturally trained to ‘stay in our lane’ and believe in our limits. We’re taught that life is narrow, or at least the ‘safe’ life is. We receive constant reminders to reinforce this belief.

But what if we were meant to be spectacular beings of energy and light and do profoundly great things with our lives?

Well, that’s something I can believe in.

My last post told the story of a woman who was healed from a condition she’d suffered from for many years. She moved within a crowd, neared Yeshiwa (Jesus) and touched his cloak. Yeshiwa silently called to her to step forward, which she did, despite her fears. He told her that her act of faith had healed her. He did not say, “I have healed you”. Yeshiwa was very clear that ‘her faith’ had healed her.

What a hugely significant distinction this is. It tells us outright that she exercised her own power, and this act of willing faith was the source of her healing. Amazing!

Do you believe you have this same choice to make? Do you believe that claiming your own healing is possible?

I think we both know what our cultural training would say. An unequivocal, ‘NO’. It would tell us this was not and is not possible. It defies too much logic. It isn’t scientific enough to be believed.

It might say, you’re misunderstanding the story. It might suggest that no healing is ever possible, except through direct divine intervention.

One of the most beautiful things about our lives is that WE get to choose what to believe. We can, of course, relinquish our choices to others and give them our power. In many ways, this is exactly what our culture teaches us to do.

If you are someone who seeks another way, please know that YOU have the free will to make your own choices. You can experience the life you claim.

I’d like to share some mechanics of faith with you. Imagine for a moment that there is far more than meets the eye here on this earth. Imagine that everything already exists. There is a pathway for every experience already laid out. Not chosen, just laid out and available for the choosing. Another grand distinction.

You do not have to create the path; you merely choose it. And in the choosing, your language changes to a more powerful word. You claim it. You claim it over and over again, until it becomes your personal experience of the world. You exercise your faith in what you claim.

This is what the woman in the story did. At first, she was fearful, both about what others would think about her or what they might do to her. She was hesitant, not knowing if Yeshiwa would allow her to touch his cloak and afraid of what he might do in response. She had a big decision to make. She chose to act on faith, that all would be well, that she would be healed, released from her physical pain. She ignored others and acknowledged her own power. She acted with faith, and she was healed.

And once healed, she told others, so that they might experience their own power of being healed by faith.


Do you believe in miracles?

If asked to define a miracle, what would your answer be? It might be harder than you think or maybe everything in life is some sort of miracle to you.

One miracle I experience occasionally is that I serve as a channel. It could be as a conduit for a message to someone living from someone who has passed. It might be an insight about life worth offering to someone in need. Or it could be receiving divine words in the form of a story, offered to enlighten and guide us, if we are open to receiving.

I’d like to share one of these stories with you. It’s one I received from Yeshiwa (Jesus’s name in Aramaic, his native language).

Although it’s told in the bible, the version I received is much deeper and richer emotionally and spiritually.

Before I share the story, I’d like to say that I have no vested interest in you believing that I channeled this story directly from Yeshiwa. I am entirely comfortable with you deciding for yourself and not taking my word for it. What is important to me is that I act courageously and offer this to you, because I feel its truth to my core. I also realize that I cannot offer any proof, so all that matters to me is that you lean into this story and see whether it feels true to you.

The story is about a woman in desperate need of healing, and it is told from Yeshiwa’s perspective.

“I walk among you. The same and not. I know what power I hold. I feel it as my blood and know when it has been touched, even among a crowd. Some touch me, some touch my heart. This is a faith touch, and it can change anything, can change everything.

A woman nears me. I know her heart and I know what holds her body and grips it in a way that will not let go. Not by its own choice. It is subject to me and the power of love. She walks in my shadow, tortured by her awareness that all but me will revile her for her thoughts, because she wants to touch my garment. Others would not allow this, not understand this. They believe I become the same unclean they believe she is. This is not my way, and it is not my father’s way. It is not her way and so I call her to me, not with words but with my heart. Her timidity is exceeded by her pain, and she reaches out to touch my cloak. The moment she does her whole world changes, and she will never be the same. She has chosen a new way and seen me for who I am. She sees the face of god. She sees her own in its reflection. Her heart becomes still. I ask the crowd who touched me. I do not ask because I do not know, for I do. I ask so that she may choose to step forward and realize the magnitude of the change to her life. It is not the healed physical body that is important- to her or to me. It is her spirit, which now can be at peace. It is her spirit which knows me and rests with me. She will speak often of this and change many lives. This is how faith works. It enters the heart and seeks other open hearts, moving freely. This is how all actions of faith happen.”

At the beginning, the woman in the story knows her faith can set her free. But for her, she feels her healing is dependent on a confirmation from Yeshiwa. Her faith is conditional. Not only that, but she also understands that the opinions of others stand in her way.

Through his heart, Yeshiwa calls her to him, and she responds. She overcomes the messages that life has sent her and touches his cloak, believing that as soon as she does, she will be well.

And her whole world changes.

She steps forward and says she is the one who touched his cloak. She realizes that this simple act of faith is what has changed her life. That Yeshiwa offered her the chance to demonstrate and declare that her healing has come from this act of faith.

And her life becomes a living act of faith, as she spreads this message wherever she goes.

I have more thoughts about this miracle and how it might apply to you and me and I encourage you to read my next post.

Inner Voices

My last post raised a few questions and I’d like to move deeper and share some possible answers with you. Ones that may be worth considering.

For those who may not have had a chance to read my last post, it centered on why we might choose experiences that are challenging for us, rather than ones that are easier and more comfortable. It also offered a new way of gaining insight into our lives by listening to our inner voices.

I shared my belief that each of us has a physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and ego voice which wants to be heard. And, that these voices all have something of value to add to our lives, but that when one overshadows the others, some chaos can ensue.

Does this make any sense to you? Does it dovetail with any of your experiences?

I’ve been thinking a lot about how my inner voices react to the cultural training I’ve received throughout my life. What seems true for me is that each voice is strongly influenced but not uniformly. It also seems to depend on the situation.

What has shifted into focus is that I sense inadequacies in my cultural training. I am questioning all those things which have entered my consciousness and become a part of me. Rather than allowing them to continue, I feel a need to reconsider whether they are still true for me.

I sense that my most of my cultural training (all the things I’ve been taught to believe by those of influence in my life) are distortions of what is, in fact, true.

Hints of the original messages offered to me are surfacing. A part of me needs to understand what they have to share with me. I need to look beyond the default settings I have established and beyond the automatic responses they create in my life.

Lately I’ve begun to realize that my ego voice, in its effort to protect me, uses my cultural training to establish a threat assessment for everything I encounter. Based on its assessment it sends what it considers to be important messages to my other voices. Most of the time the messages are fear based. Whereas the effect can be beneficial because it generates action on my part, I sense there is a much more gentle and effective method to accomplish this.

That’s where something I call my ‘translation table’ comes into play. Simply put, this is an idea, a process, where I evaluate whether my cultural training makes sense, rather than reflexively accepting it as true.

My translation table seeks more information and asks important questions. What do I sense in my physical body? How do I feel emotionally about what I am encountering? What do I think about it and whether it is logical, factual, or reasonable?  Does it connect in any way with my spiritual blueprint? What am I protecting and is there a better way?

Often, I find that examples help flesh things out and provide useful insights, so I’d like to share one of mine with you.

One message I’ve received through my cultural training is that I don’t ‘deserve’ (fill in the blank). That I am not inherently deserving. Instead, I must earn everything and even then, I am not safe. It can easily be taken away from me. If I think about it, the origin of this becomes clear. Mostly it is schooling and church, but also the comments of others; parents, friends, and those in the workplace.

I step back a moment and allow my inner voices freedom. I have an immediate physical reaction. It makes me feel weak and sluggish, sure signs it does not support me, nor speak my truth. Emotionally this belief drains me, sapping my energy. As I think about it, it becomes obvious that it only represents a story I’ve been told and is not factual. My ego weighs in, indicating that this claim of not deserving creates more work, because it broadens the need for protection.

And finally, my spiritual voice speaks. It tells me this idea; this concept and cultural belief is not a part of MY spiritual blueprint. It reminds me that every choice and decision is MINE to make, and I am not forced to accept anything which does not feel ‘right’ to me. I can safely release any cultural training which does not support or benefit me. Simply let them go. This frees up an enormous amount of space inside me, space now available for what does feel true. Space I can use to embrace beliefs that improve my life and offer me freedom. Allowing my inner voices the opportunity to share with me is a true gift and brings me abundant peace and clarity. I hope yours will do the same for you

Ego and Spirit

Suppose you were offered a choice between a beautiful, delicate, finely braided gold chain bracelet or a twisted, knotted, tangled bracelet.

If you don’t like bracelets, imagine you can give it to someone else who loves them, so the decision about your choice is still worth making.

Which would you choose?

I suspect that unless you love the challenge of untangling things, for the joy of success you feel afterwards, you’d probably choose the first option.

Changing directions a little…

Suppose you were offered a choice between living a life of freedom and ease, or a life full of unmanageable tangles and knots that complicate everything for you.

Which would you choose?

Again, I suspect that unless you thrive on facing challenges and difficulties, you’d pick a life of freedom, one lived fully in the present rather than one with heavy baggage that would weigh you down.

As I sat back and thought about these two options it seemed clear that the first one was far superior to the second. And yet I realized that I often choose the more difficult route through life. Perhaps at times you do as well.

I could not avoid the obvious question…why? Why would I choose to complicate my life in this way?

It didn’t make any sense to me.

That is, until I allowed myself to move deeper into the question. It was then that a beautiful clarity appeared in the form of individual voices representing my physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and ego selves. Each one speaks to me and offers insight about the whole of me.

I know this may sound a little over the edge, but give me a chance to explain, then decide what you think.

I believe that each part of me contributes something to the whole. Sometimes those contributions are helpful and sometimes they are harmful, in the sense that they affect the amount of joy I experience in this life.

When one part is overwhelmed, it tends to adversely affect the other parts and the whole of me suffers. This happens most frequently when my cultural training kicks in. Throughout my life I’ve been influenced by those around me to believe certain things. In effect, I’ve allowed myself to be programmed, that what I’ve been taught is correct. During some of my rebellious phases I’ve railed against some of this programming, but much of it still persists.

I realize my ego plays a key role in my life. Its primary function is to protect me, and it does this by performing threat assessments and taking what it believes are necessary actions. Over time, ego has created numerous default settings, which lead to automatic responses to the same or similar events. Unfortunately, my ego may treat all threats in the same way, and not see any distinctions. The truth is that some threats are real (encountering a bear in the wilderness), and some threats are false (I will catch a cold simply by being cold).

If I want to experience an untangled life, some interpretation is necessary. I have to be able to see beyond my ego’s misperceptions.  

I need to hear from my spiritual voice. So, I invite it to come and share its profound insights with me. I want to know how I can tell the difference between what is real and what is false.

Spirits appearance comforts me deeply. My breathing changes, slowing down, calming. A soothing feeling pours over me, and my ego relaxes and patiently awaits guidance.

Spirits voice is clear as it speaks to ego saying, “I love you and treasure that you try to protect me. I want you to know that you are precious and necessary. You can relax now. Together, we can share the load you carry. The truth is that our protection needs are few because we are safe. I see that there are other things you need to know, and I will tell you. For now, be patient and rest easy.”

Ego kicks back a bit, letting go of the gas pedal. It knows answers are coming and it believes all will be well.

More will follow in the next post.


What do expectations do?

It’s been an intriguing question for me, and I’ve spent a great deal of time considering it. Considering, but not coming to any real conclusions…until today.

Expectations appear to jeopardize my success. They block my progress forward, making it harder to experience what I am hopeful about. They are harmful things because they are projections of an uncertain future and are not easily controllable.

When I create expectations there is a tendency to generalize them, which makes any evaluation of their success difficult. Worse still, I tend to attach my sense of happiness to them.

Expectations also create fear for me. Fear of not experiencing them exactly as I would like.

Often, I have a sense of what my expectations are, but I don’t write them down and recognize them. I don’t take specific actions steps to make them happen. I just expect them to occur on their own because that’s what I want. Truly, a recipe for failure.

I will be the facilitator of a retreat soon and I’m sensing an inner concern about meeting both the groups and my own expectations.

While considering this I feel guided to write down what I expect will happen. I come up with nine items and upon review, I notice that I have absolutely no control over the outcomes for five of the items and only limited control over the other four. I might be able to enhance the chances of meeting some expectations, but this seems entirely uncertain.

I also notice that if I allow my happiness to be conditional on successfully meeting my own and others’ expectations, I will be doomed to failure.

It becomes apparent that there are two key elements involved here. First, my setting any expectations, even if they are specific enough to be recognizable, creates a certain degree of fear. And second, it is evident that I have no real control over what will happen for any participant or for myself, which produces even more fear in me.

That’s when a beautiful thing happened.

I realize that in all cases, fear serves as a divine messenger for me. In this case it creates legitimate clarity because it brings home the message that neither setting expectations nor controlling outcomes is where I want to focus my attention.

Recognizing my fear allows me to widen my view, to take notice and to shift my awareness from what I can’t do to what I can do.

I can’t meet all of my own expectations nor those of others because I don’t have control over any outcomes. Life is too complex and fluid for that. And I can’t guarantee my happiness when it is tied to achieving all of my expectations. My vested interest if just too strong.

I can however release my perceived need for setting or accomplishing any expectations. I can embrace being present in each moment, realizing there is inherent value in simply loving myself and others and going with the flow of life.

When I am ‘in the moment’ and fully engaged I can be vested in the creation of depth of connection with and for others and myself. That’s when I experience joy and for me that’s what this world is all about.

Three Words That Matter

Imagine this for a moment. Suppose that we were going to play a game that would last one whole day and you could only use three words. What words would you pick?

I know it seems like a crazy idea and when I thought about my answer it took me a while to decide. I considered whether they would useful or descriptive or questioning words. I wondered what might I need and who would I be ‘talking’ with?

Maybe you want to stop right here and pick your three words before I continue, so mine don’t influence yours.

If you’re back or don’t want to choose at the moment, but still want to see my choices, here they are…

I chose; 1) hi, 2) yes and 3) no.

I am fascinated by words. Three specific words are having a profound impact on my life, so much so that I felt a strong desire to share them with you.

They are want, choose and claim.

I recently had a conversation with Lia (an ethereal feminine voice of god that I often talk with) where I asked if she could provide some insight and clarity about the differences between these three words.

She said, “wanting expresses a desire, but what is missing are the actions necessary to make the experience real to me.” She went on to say, “wanting does not create anything but the sense of itself- wanting. Without action, there will never be a sense of having.”

I told her I understood now how little power there was in the word and concept of ‘wanting’ and that I needed to shift away from using this word unless I was prepared to take action.

I then asked about ‘choosing’ and Lia responded immediately by saying, “choosing is an action word, ordinarily making a decision between different choices, but sometimes between either doing or not doing something.” Lia went on to add, “choosing means you are consciously setting your direction and will experience results based on your choices. If you are unsatisfied with the outcomes, you have the power to choose differently.”

So far, so good. I sensed the next word was going to take me in a new direction. I asked what ‘claiming’ meant.

Lia didn’t hesitate, telling me, “Claiming is a very powerful word. It implies a deeper understanding about life, including the realization that every pathway of choice already exists. No pathway must be created, they simply can be claimed. Claiming also implies an awareness of your masterplan and is the most direct avenue to experiencing the object of your claiming.”

I sat in stunned silence. I’d never understood the relationship between these three words nor the magnificence of their progression.

After regaining my attention, Lia went on by saying, “Claiming contains conviction, while choosing is often tentative.”

I wanted a little more confirmation and posed this to her, “so, my wanting something is okay, but is only the beginning of the process. It provides some clarity and direction, but if I truly expect to experience the object of my wanting, I have to take action.”

She agreed and I continued, “so, I can change wanting into choosing by taking action and I can change choosing into claiming by recognizing that all pathways already exist and that they are available to me to claim as my own.”

Lia agreed, then shared this insight, “the idea of claiming your best life demands that you identify, know, or clarify what that looks and feels like to you. Once you have this awareness deeply inside you, you will be able to claim and experience anything.”

I am extremely grateful for this conversation because I now understand the difference between these three words that matter to me and how to shift my perspective so that I can claim my best life.

Paradox to Paradise

If I asked you, could you define or give me an example of a ‘paradox’?

It’s interesting to me that we can often recognize a paradox when we hear it but aren’t able to explain why it’s a paradox. According to one internet source, a paradox has three key elements or aspects. First, it is a statement that contradicts itself. Second, it seems absurd and third, it points out the absurdity of life.

My post title begins with paradox but implies a movement to paradise. We may all have our own definitions for the word ‘paradise’ but I’m going to suggest we start from a common point, that paradise represents an ideal place or state of being.

So, you may be wondering, how do these connect and why would I spend time writing a post about them. Good question.

I’d like to share two examples and hopefully they will provide the answer.

When I mention the word, ‘failure’, what comes to mind? Perhaps it’s something you’ve experienced in your life, in the past or something happening right now.

A common understanding of failure is that we don’t reach our objective, however we’ve defined it. Or maybe it’s how someone else has defined it. They may have placed demands on us, and we were unable to meet their expectations. Often, failure is challenging because there are so many potential opportunities for it to occur and it may become overwhelming to continue our pursuit of success.

I’d like to invite you to consider shifting your attention and your view of ‘failure’. What if you altered your concept and embraced the idea that failure, is the absence of trying? That failure has nothing to do with any outcome, so that you are free from any expectations of success.

What if you gave yourself permission to TRY, recognizing that it may or may not work out exactly as you plan, and accept whatever outcome occurs? In this way, ‘failure’ has a built-in freedom.

Seems like a paradox to me which leads to a paradise of freedom.

The other example I’d like to offer is, ‘fear’.

I’m quite sure I needn’t provide you with any illustrations of fear. I believe we all know intimately about fear and its impact on us.

One of fears hallmarks is that it prevents us from living our lives to the fullest. It can overshadow, overwhelm, intimidate, riddle us with intense feelings and stop us in our tracks. Fear disguises itself, masquerading as seeming logical statements, but its intent is always the same…to prevent us from moving forward and living a satisfying life.

There is another way to view fear. We can shift our perspective and claim a new concept, one that can dramatically alter our outcomes.


By seeing fear as a source of power. I suspect that each of us has felt the enormous power fear manifests. If we shift our understanding, we can harness fear’s power and use it to our advantage. I’d like to suggest that we consider that fear exists to provide us with a valuable message. If we allow it, the message can show us how we would benefit by changing direction. Fear can serve as an energetic motivation to give us the drive we may need to improve our lives.

Seen in this way, fear becomes a divine messenger, offered to us to assist in moving the direction we most cherish.

Feels like another paradox to me and one which can certainly lead to paradise, if that is what we choose.

Changing an Attitude

Are you task focused, or can you go with the flow?

I recognize that many times I become very task oriented as I’m sure folks who know me best would confirm. They’d probably tell you about my To Do lists, several of which are color coded. That should give you a pretty clear picture.

Fortunately for my peace of mind and sanity, I’ve altered my views about my lists. I now use them more as guides, rather than as mandatory self-assignments. They currently stand as reminders of things I need to attend to (doctor and dentist appointments) or people I’m getting together with or meetings I have. Things I don’t want to forget.

To be completely open, I do have other lists too, the kind that can become overwhelming and oppressive, if I let them. Maybe you have a few of these too.

Over the course of time an antidote arrived in the form of a complete sentence.

“Aim for progress, rather than completion.”

What an incredible freedom this offers. It allows me to keep an item on my list and make strides with it, but without the burden of feeling like I have to finish it (or else). It helps let me off the hook.

I also discovered a companion to accompany this antidote.

“There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way.”

For me, this one takes a lot of getting used to, especially considering the amount of cultural training I’ve received. My entire educational and work experience demanded and rewarded the completion of tasks be done in the ‘correct’ way. Thinking outside the box was often punished and there were only rewards for compliance with the ‘right’ way. It took an abundance of years for me to understand there are other possibilities and more than ONE right answer.

Then I was struck with a novel question. What if there was no such thing as a ‘right or wrong’ way, only the way I chose? This idea encouraged me to reexamine my entire thinking process and question the underlying assumption of there being ‘one right way’. I came to discover that in many cases, perhaps in all cases, I’d never know until I experienced the final outcome. There are just too many connections along the way to know the truth about any of my choices.

Then came another idea to join the group, a helpful suggestion designed to shift my attitude and attention.

“Focus on feelings, rather than on accomplishments.”

I love this one because it reorders my world and focuses my awareness on what’s most important to me…my feelings.

It’s entirely likely I will not accomplish every one of my aims. For whatever reason, I might get only so far and have to stop or redirect my attention elsewhere. However, the progress I did make and how I felt along the way, I get to keep and savor.

As it turns out, my feelings are the truest barometer of my satisfaction with life. They connect me with my source (divine nature) and with others, all those I love and whom I want to share my life with.

One final idea came along, and it enhances all the others before it.

“Come to a place of peace and joy with everything.”

And, I think to myself, isn’t this what I am really after? And my answer is YES.

Things Worth Considering

Random thoughts run through my mind all the time. Does this happen to you too? Do you wish that you could keep them around a little while longer, so you could take advantage of what they might offer you?

Many years ago, I decided that I would buy a few small notebooks and place them in spots where they would be easily accessible to me, that way when a thought popped into my head, I could capture it.

I’ve filled several of the notebooks and recently paused to scan some of them to see what I’d written. What I discovered was fascinating to me and I have the feeling that it might make an interesting book, even if its distribution is limited.

I thought I’d share some of my ideas and observations with you and see what you thought.

So here goes…

** What is the first question I ask myself in the morning when I wake up? Responses included the following: how do I feel physically, what time is it, is it too early to get up, did I get enough sleep, what is happening today, will I be able to get the necessary things done today, how important is it that I do my exercises?

I pretty much know my answers to these questions and although I want to be happy about them, sometimes I find they bend me in a ‘negative’ direction, one I have to dig myself out of. Maybe I need to ask better questions.

** How many good years do we have to travel and where do we want to go…Banff in the Canadian Rockies, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Paris, Hawaii?

There are so many places that interest us. Of course, we could stay close to home and enjoy our own fantastic scenery. But what’s really important about this question is the state of our health and whether we are doing things to promote it and improve it, so the focus shifts in that direction. Travel can take care of itself.

** In one moment of insight an idea came to me that I (anyone) can CLAIM (intentionally choose) to experience anything or move in any direction, because ‘everything already exists’. We do not need to create it or manage it or maintain it. There is already an infinite web of creation, far beyond what we are capable of presently conceiving or understanding. This web stretches infinitely in all directions and everything is a part of it. What we believe are detours in our lives are only alternate paths headed toward the same destination.

** In a moment of clarity, a quote came to me (or is it ‘through me’) that feels true to me…” worrying about unpleasant outcomes in my life makes me an immediate victim.” I wondered, what is the sense of doing that?

** I have long felt and believed that heaven is an ocean of bliss, and that love is its expression on earth. I feel this way because I have memories from heaven, not what it looked like, but how it felt. And it feels wonderful, and it belongs to each of us. We all came from there and return to there. What a beautiful awareness.

** I sat wondering why I am here, on this earth, at this time. It seems to me that I wanted to experience ‘separation’ and an incredibly strong sense of abandonment. Separation from my home in heaven and a feeling that I was abandoned here, left to fend for myself. And yet, shadows have shifted, leaving me in the light and I realize those intense feelings gave me direction and ‘forced’ me to open up. And once I did, I began to remember, to awaken to the truth that we are all divine beings, seeking a depth of connection (like the one we experienced in heaven). And now that I see more clearly, I want to share, to speak my truth and encourage others to do the same.

There are so many more musing. What strikes me is that everyone probably has passing thoughts that are important to them, they only need to offer themselves the chance to capture them and sit with them. If they do, I believe wonderful treasures await them.


Do you think there is a difference between happiness and joy? Or do they seem like the same thing to you?

I admit that in the past I was confused about the difference between the two terms, or I used them interchangeably, until one conversation occurred with a friend of mine. He shared that, for him, joy was a much deeper feeling. It gave me pause and inspired me to reconsider my views.

While I love both feelings and enjoy their power, I believe one is far more important to me than the other.

Happiness seems to come from the outside, while joy comes from the inside. Happiness is triggered by all sorts of things I encounter in the world, while joy feels like an overflowing of love from my heart.

There are things and events which create and produce both feelings. Personally, I find happiness is short lived when compared with joy. Sometimes happiness feels like a present I’ve dreamed about but once I have it, its power fades, and I’m looking for the next thing to make me happy.

When joy arrives, its power remains with me, and I feel its love radiate through me. Although my life moves on, the memories of the joy linger and will easily return, if I bring them to mind.

So, what about you? Do moments of joy visit you and stay with you? Would you like there to be more moments of joy in your life?

If I answered my own question, my response would be, ‘yes, absolutely I want as many moments of joy as possible.’

You can probably guess my next question.

What would bring about more moments of joy?

Part of me is always pragmatic, searching for an approach that supports me and brings into my life that which I most treasure. In this case that would be to create and experience more and more moments of joy.

I sat back one day and let a calmness wash over me. I opened my heart and encouraged myself to allow my love to overflow. I did this because I know that joy responds to this call. It lives within me but wants to be unleashed into my world.

I believe that joy lives inside each of us, ever present no matter what our outward experience of life is. And perhaps it wants to spark and ignite into existence when we are down and need it the most. But we have to allow this. We have to open the pipeline, and the wider the better. We are the ones in charge of clearing the way.

I wanted to know if there was something specific I could do to enhance joy’s presence in my life. As soon as I asked the question, the answer appeared…give yourself the gift of illumination…and create a memory list of moments of joy.

I thought…what a phenomenal idea. And what started out as a simple list, expanded into thoughts of a joy journal or a joy scrapbook.

Something inside me caught fire.

One recollection ran into the next and then cascaded, filling page after page. It was as if I had opened a treasure chest of joy. What a sensational feeling.

One of the best parts of this experience is that I can share it with you. I am absolutely convinced that we all have the power to overflow joy into our lives and into the lives of those who surround us. We are connected to each other, both here and beyond and joy is one of our most intimate languages.

I hope you call forth the joy that lives in your heart and let it overflow into your life.

New Year Love

I’ve chosen to repeat my post from the end of 2020 because I still believe it represents the truth and I wanted to remind you about it. So, here it is.

I wonder what you want from this life. If you were given a notebook or a journal or a clean slate, what would you write on it?

Here’s a choice…you can stop reading this post for a few minutes and write down the first things that come to you or you can keep reading and perhaps, if you’re interested, do this later (although I may spoil it a little with the rest of this post).

This isn’t the typical New Year’s resolutions, nor a list of challenging items to attempt to accomplish. Rather, it’s a wish list of the experiences you most want to have this time around.

Now, what would happen if I asked you to narrow your list down to only one thing. Would that be difficult for you?

I think it is often the case that we have so many options it becomes challenging to sort through them and choose only the ones that we think will make us happy.

Years ago, Maureen and I were in San Diego and went to brunch at the Hotel Del Coronado. It was incredible. I think they boasted that they had over 130 selections to choose from. It was overwhelming and almost everything looked delicious. I seriously doubt whether anyone left there without a massive stomach ache. They should have handed out Tums as folks walked out the door.

That’s how it can be when we’re given too many choices. Often, we want more things than we can manage. That’s my reason for asking you to narrow your list to only one item. To gain some clarity and focus.

I want to share with you what I chose.

I want to feel loved and that it makes a difference that I’m here on this earth.

I am profoundly grateful that there are those in my life who tell me that they love me and that I make a difference in their lives.

But sometimes, I only hear long after the fact that what I did or said, reached someone. I long to be a part of others’ lives, connecting deeply them. I want them to know that I love them.

From time to time, there is an aloneness that comes to join me. When this happens, it is hard to feel others love for me.

In one of those moments, I asked Lia (a feminine part of god I know as Love In Action) about this and was surprised by her answer.

She said, “YOU are always free to do this…to offer love to yourself and to others. And you can always talk with me and I will tell you the truth…you are made from pure love.  You needn’t be troubled by your own misperception that you are anything else but love. The truth remains the truth, that you and I are ONE. One pure love.”

I don’t know about you, but for some reason it’s hard for me to tell myself that I love me. It’s only on my wisest days, that I can hold still, take a calming breathe and tell myself that I love me and that I know it matters that I’m here. That I have a purpose and a mission.

Lia offers this reminder, “It is the same for every one of you. You all want to know and feel love. I ask that you believe me, that you are love.”

My hope for you, heading into this new year, is that you know love and feel loved. It’s truly the reason why I write these posts.

Thank you for allowing me to repeat this. My next post will be new, I promise.

How to Be Bigger Than You Are

I want to see if you are interested in being bigger than you are at present. Are you game?

Maybe you want to know what I’m really asking before you commit. Okay, fair enough.

I’m wondering if you’d like to challenge yourself with a new experience. It might be something on the wild side or simply different from what you are used to.

Here’s one example of a choice I made.

Recently I was offered an opportunity to write a haiku and submit it to a contest site. In the event you’re unfamiliar with what a haiku is, it’s a very short poem with a specific structure. It takes the form of three lines, the first and third lines are five syllables and the second (middle line) is seven syllables. It is a style created in Japan and has a fabled history dating back to at least the sixteenth century.

I could have ignored the prompt to create using this unique style but something about it grabbed me. The contest was very specific that you must use the word ‘blue’ somewhere in the haiku.

The very first image that formed in my head was the brilliant blue ice of a glacier my wife and I saw while in Alaska. Simply gorgeous!

Conforming to the 5/7/5 syllable format presented quite a problem for me. It limited my freedom and I think that’s a big part of any new challenge. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is always difficult, but if you never do, you’ll never know what you are truly capable of.

So, I spent time creating and recreating. Finally, something came together, and I liked how it felt. The image really stood out for me and gave me a sense of inner satisfaction, which was the whole point to me. Although it would be fun to ‘win’ the contest, I’ve already experienced enough value and enjoyment that it doesn’t really matter if I do.

In case you’d like to read the haiku, here it is.

shafts of midnight blue

silhouetting moon lit ice

dreaming of heaven

I’m not suggesting that this is a way for YOU to be ‘bigger’, just that it was one way I chose.

Are there ways that occur to you? Things you’ve always wanted to try but never got around to?

Do you know what’s stopping you? Can you imagine it being fun to try something brand new and see where it leads you?

Obviously, safety plays a part in this adventure. My wife has exempted me from skydiving, hang gliding, even rollerblading, but that’s not really very limiting. And I can think of lots of ways to explore the world.

I don’t want to stay the same size that I am right now. I want to be bigger and to expand, learn new things, meet new people, experience new journeys. How about you?

I’d like to encourage you to follow your dreams. You can start small and work your way up if that feels more comfortable to you.

The idea here is to release a bit of the rope that keeps you tethered close to the ground. If it feels right to you, let go a bit and explore. There are literally thousands of ideas out there in the world, many of which require no money, travel, or a dependence on others to try. They only require your willingness and excitement and participation.

I end with this hopefully encouraging haiku:

it is up to you

to explore your dreams or not

i suggest you do

A New Context for Disappointments

How good are you at dealing with disappointments? Does it make a difference about the size of the disappointment, or do they all effect you the same way?

It’s a topic that’s on my mind at the moment because I’m experiencing a significant disappointment. There isn’t anything I can do about it practically speaking, and of course, that’s also part of the problem. If there were things I could do, then at least I could take some action, even if it didn’t entirely fix everything.

Maybe you’re experiencing some disappointments of your own. They may be the temporary versions or perhaps, ones that repeat themselves over and over.

I decided I needed to have a chat with Lia (an ethereal feminine voice of god who loves and cares for me and who is always willing to talk with me about anything).

I brought up my issue and asked for some guidance.

Lia responded by saying, “Your attitude about your disappointment is completely under your control. You can be disappointed and feel your feelings BUT then exercise great care with your next choice. You can allow this disappointment to manifest into intense feelings of it being ‘unfair’, but you need to realize this is a subjective judgement based on limited information.”

One thing I immediately realize is that Lia will never allow me to consider myself a ‘victim’ in any circumstance, since I am in complete control over the attitudes I choose in my life.

The next thing I realize is that Lia is challenging me and offering me something valuable to consider…that I am taking the ‘short view’ (limited information) and I would be wise to reconsider this.

I’m not sure how though and she already knows this.

Lia continues, “Whenever you choose to view life solely from the short view, you miss the full story. Everything is not revealed in one single moment (or event). It takes time to become aware of the fullness of life.”

Admittedly, I’m still a little confused. I get the essence of what she’s saying but need more.

As always, she understands and adds to her explanation with a magnificent illustration.

“Imagine there is a string of dominos set up in a line, so that once the first domino is tipped over, it creates a chain reaction…a sequence of falling dominos.”

It’s a great picture for me because I’ve done this hundreds of times in my life.

I can feel Lia smiling at me as she continues, “This is your life, a constant sequence of events, which may appear unrelated, but which are intimated connected. If you judge the whole solely by the first domino, you ignore the end result of the chain reaction. Try to remember, everything is connected.”

And although I get what she’s saying, I still wonder how I can release my disappointments and shift my attitude.

“The shift I’m suggesting is for you to develop an awareness, to pay attention, and to carefully observe your life. When you encounter a disappointment, feel it fully, then make a wise choice based on knowing the disappointment is a part of something much larger in your life. It is connected to the events that preceded it and the events that follows it. Watch carefully for how marvelously everything is organized and how everything serves you (in the long run). Cultivate a level of trust in the process so that you can sit back and watch how, what you at first thought was a disappointment, turns out to be a significant part of something much larger and wonderful.”

I recognize this is going to take practice, but I already sense the incredible value it will bring me. Now I think I’m ready to put my disappointments in a new context.

The Upside of Physical Pain

Do you believe it is possible that physical pain could provide you with any benefits?

This may seem like a trick question at first. It’s not. I really want to know what you think and what you believe.

Sure, some physical pains might make you want to see your doctor, so they can diagnose your condition and offer you some appropriate remedies. Remedies that help you recover from the physical pain before it becomes a more significant problem. But what about all the lesser pains, the ones you’re tempted to ignore or try to cover over? Is there possibly a message in any of them for you? And if so, how do you discover what the messages are?

I feel as though one of my approaches to this dilemma is somewhat unique. I haven’t talked about it a lot, so I don’t know if others do something similar.

Let me explain and you can see for yourself and then decide if it might make sense for you to try.

Many years ago, I had an insight that there are several different aspects within me, and they each have a voice. The aspects are physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and ego. I found it possible to isolate their individual points of view and was able to listen to their individual voices. I was also able to moderate their conversations so that I could gain firsthand insights.

As with so many things, it’s much better to share an example, rather than continue to try to explain how it works.

Recently the moderator (‘me’) began by saying that it was very difficult to trust my body because when aches and pains started to arrive, I felt betrayed by my body, especially if I’d done all of the things that my cultural trainers had told me to do (exercise, eat healthy, stay hydrated…you get the picture).

My physical ‘self’ responded immediately by saying, “It’s a curious thing that you should feel betrayed, because it is you who stopped caring about me and just assumed I would provide you with constant good health.”

It continued, “The choices you make have a profound impact on my ability to maintain good health. You’ve done some of the things your cultural trainers have recommended but you have ignored the most potent and important ally you have…ME. I ought to be the first one contacted to discuss any physical issues.”

I felt reprimanded by my physical voice.

I also heard the truth.

This IS what I have done throughout most of my life. For as long as I can remember, I have expected my body to maintain my health no matter what the circumstance. And when I get sick, am injured, or need medical attention, I feel my body has let me down.

So here is my physical ‘self’ speaking to me about ‘my’ being a large part of the problem. And I realize that I have allowed the pain I encounter to be blamed on my physical ‘self’, which clearly creates additional problems.

The conversation takes a dramatic turn when my physical body poses a question to me, “When was the last time you asked me what I need?”

I have no good answer. I haven’t been paying attention. I’m feeling apologetic and I want to know how to fix this.

My physical ‘self’ responds. “Trust is a two-way street. We both have to trust the other. We have to listen and then take action.”

I think I’m ready for this. I wonder if the presence of physical pain in my life is an attempt to grab my attention, like waving a big red flag, one I can’t possibly miss. I wonder if continuing this conversation will yield clarity and direction. That would certainly create an upside for me.

As with all things, it matters most what you ‘do’. I could continue to ignore my physical ‘self’ and assume it will provide constant good health or I can listen for the truth and take whatever actions it suggests.

I want clarity and I want a relationship with my physical ‘self’, so I am going to shift and pay better attention. I am going to check in with my body, both when I feel well and when I sense a need for healing.


What do you allow into your life?

This word may mean several different things to you since ‘allow’ is an open word. Allow, as in, let happen. Or allow, as in, give your permission to. Allow could mean to authorize or admit or even, to accept and believe in.

And depending on which meaning you choose; it alters the way your life proceeds.

When I considered this topic, one of my first thoughts is how the things I allow into my life might not work in my favor. They might not go right or to a place I am comfortable.

Why would I think this?

It could just as easily be the opposite, that things I allow into my life will benefit me and even bring me happiness.

My simple answer is that I have a default setting that points toward imagining that things I allow into my life will create challenges for me or work against me, instead of for me.

Where did this concept come from?

The first thing that occurs to me is that I learned it from someone. That it was a part of my cultural training. And although this may be entirely true, it doesn’t help me. In fact, it can become another part of the problem because it may trap me into thinking there is someone else to blame or that I am a victim. Neither of these things work for my greater good.

I certainly recognize how unfortunate a default this is for me, and I have tried to reprogram myself. I’ve tried to let go of what my cultural training has taught me and shifted toward a smarter, more beneficial approach.

When I encounter something new, I envision the positive outcomes it could bring into my life and then consciously allow them into my world.

I train my inner being to recognize the lies I tell myself, that allowing things into my life is dangerous. It’s only dangerous if that is what I believe.

It takes constant reminding to live with the truth that all things can work to my benefit, even and sometimes especially, the ones that at first appear challenging or difficult.

As with so many other things in my life, I feel I need an example to help me shift my consciousness. I want to see how the whole idea of ‘allowing’ will open my world and bring me joy.

So, I sit back and allow myself to breathe into a state of relaxation and see what comes to fill the open space.

An awesome thought pops in.

Allowing opens a door. As I keep breathing, the door swings wider. I begin to feel the presence of possibilities. I have no conscious opinion about whether they are positive or negative and am at peace believing they are just open possibilities, available to me to experience, if I choose to allow them in.

I sense the presence of faith and trust, which feel like very necessary ingredients in the process, because without them, it feels as if nothing will happen.

A part of me wonders, faith and trust in who, in what?

But I know the answer to that. Faith and trust in me and in my inner divine nature.

The more I breathe, the deeper the resonance with knowing that what I choose to allow, will serve me. There is a knowingness and I sense that this same essence exists in everyone. We are all divine, and we all have a choice what to allow in.


What are you holding on to that weighs you down or causes you pain and suffering?

What would your life be like if you let them go?

I have a pretty long list as it turns out. It sparks me to wonder why I hold so tightly to ideas and opinions that clearly no longer serve me, if they ever did.

How about you, can you say the same thing? Can you feel how wonderful it would be to loosen your grip and release things that clutter your life?

Perhaps right now you might want to take a moment and join me by creating a list of thoughts and observations. And once created, explore the idea of letting them go.

Here are some of mine to help you get started. If something ignites your own awareness, please feel free to follow it and see where it leads you. Remember there are never any ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers.

I believe I would be well served by releasing the following:

** my need to be, feel or think that I am ‘right’ (about anything).

** my idea that I need to be ready to say the next thing when I am in a dialogue with someone (rather than just being present with them).

** the idea I have about all of my past ‘mistakes’ (especially since I cannot possibly know what was or wasn’t a mistake).

** the inner need I feel about ‘my’ team having to win in order for me to be happy.

** anything that I am holding inside my body which causes pain, suffering or discomfort (because I cannot feel safe, whole, or complete without letting go).

** any need I have to make comparisons (which hurt all parties).

** any value judgements I make (because they lock in the notion that I am ‘right’ and that others are ‘wrong’ and I don’t/can’t see far enough or wide enough to know the truth).

** the inner desire I feel for more food than my body needs (which can feel like a competition and one that profoundly impacts me).

** any restriction I place on experiencing JOY (there are times I feel I have to ‘earn’ joy, rather than knowing it is a part of my spiritual essence, always yearning to be freely felt).

I’m sure I could go on, but I bet you get the idea.

Now for the hard part…how do I make this happen? How do I effectively release all these things I seem to realize are not helpful for me?

It strikes me I’m not starting in the most beneficial place, because I used the phrase, “now for the hard part”. Maybe you were quick and picked right up on this. To begin any process with the thought that it will be difficult or challenging or ‘hard’, prejudices you and sets the stage for self-fulfilling prophecies to come true.

So, now for the easy part. I know it might sound simple, but I believe it is also quite true. YOU CHOOSE. If it’s obvious to you that your thoughts are complicating your life in any way, you simple choose new thoughts. You replace the ones that restrict you or run contrary to what serves you (makes you happy, fulfilled or joyful).

As soon as you recognize the appearance of conflicts or judgements entering your life, you make a conscious choice to release them, knowing it is you who profits from this. You place your sense of self-worth above what you imagine others expect or demand of you.

And, you keep doing this, decision after decision after decision. The constancy of choosing to release that which does not serve you, will create new patterns in your life, ones that do serve you.

Choosing is always up to you. I hope you choose well.

The Greatest Reward

I sat at my desk, ready to write whatever came to me. Not surprisingly, it was a question rather than a statement. It’s often this way for me. I find that questions are creative sparks that generate the heat of discovery.

Here’s the question that arose.

What are the things I’ve done which have returned the greatest pleasure?

For the purpose of this post, I changed the last word from pleasure to reward.


Well, mostly because I’ve learned so much from unpleasurable events in my life. They’ve led to significant rewards, despite what my initial thoughts were about them.

If you came from the financial world like I did, you might be tempted to think in terms of ‘return on investment’. The notion that there is an important relationship between the amount of time, energy, and resources you expend and the resultant benefits, usually stated in dollars and cents, that you receive.

Fortunately for me, I left the business world a long time ago and have shifted away from this kind of thinking. So, when the question placed itself before me, I was able to allow it the full freedom of expression.

What a gift, to be able to sit back and see what fills the empty space.

Can you take a moment to relax, breathe in and out gently, perhaps close your eyes, and I know it might feel strange, but give yourself permission to smile. Feel for your own empty space and drift along, allowing your memories the chance to come and be with you.

I promise, it can be incredibly fun.

As a way of helping you get started, I’d like to share a small sampling of the ‘greatest rewards’ that came to me. One or two may even surprise you.

Saying “I do” to my wife and joining our lives together. Sharing our living dreams and knowing we are there for each other. And even after over forty-eight years of marriage, we still hold hands on our afternoon walks.

The births of our children. No other single thing has created more pleasure for my wife and me than the births and lives of our two beautiful children. And of course, by extensions, the births of our grandchildren.

Stopping in traffic to hand a folded twenty-dollar bill to someone in need by the side of the road, knowing they now have options and perhaps, a bit more hope.

The cold I am currently getting over because it reminds me that my body is an amazing thing and is capable of healing and restoration, far beyond what I give it credit for.

Making a paper ‘Best Waitress Award Certificate’ while at lunch and handing it to our waitress along with a generous tip, because she did such a great job.

Writing a series of books (Little Buddha, Books One-Four, so far) because they absolutely elevate my level of joy, since I love the characters so much. Then being able to share the stories with others during a book study group and discovering the characters are as important to them as they are to me.

Going for a nature walk and breathing in the fresh air, allowing it to spread throughout my body and fill me with happiness.

My morning meditation after my shower because it offers me depth and disappearance. I can fade from this world for a short time and reconnect with the divine.

There were so many others and there will be more because this is a practice that yields rich dividends for me.

I hope it offers you the same.

Problem Solving

Are you a good problem solver? Does it depend on the problem or set of problems that you face?

Maybe you’re good at puzzles or crosswords but feel challenged by issues you face in life. Or maybe you’re fairly skilled at dealing with difficult people but not financial or medical situations.

One of the obstacles I’ve encountered while trying to solve problems is that I hit a ‘wall’. I seem to be making great progress and then something comes up and stops me in my tracks. I try to figure out what went wrong and am forced to restart the process over again.

The funny thing is I get to the same point and hit the same ‘wall’. I’ve explored some options and thought through some potential challenges but haven’t been able to reach any solid conclusions.

And the whole process can become even more difficult if I’m interrupted, which increases my inability to make any progress.

Time for a break.

I sit back and wonder about this whole thing. Don’t I want to arrive at a conclusion? I think I do, but perhaps there’s some reason or reasons I don’t.  Maybe I’m afraid of the unknown. Maybe I’m afraid of failure. Maybe I’m even afraid of success. Or could it be I don’t think there is an answer and that’s why I keep hitting the same wall?

I’d like to float an idea for your consideration.

Often it feels as though we get bogged down with problems because we feel we have to create their solutions from scratch.

What if this is not true. What if, what IS true, is that every solution to every problem ALREADY exists? If we accepted this, then problem solving would merely be a matter of claiming the solution, not creating it.

But you say, how can I claim a solution I cannot see?

A very good question indeed.

So, here’s a three-step process I’d like to propose.

Step One is to open your mind and conceive that the solution to your problem already exists, despite it not being immediately obvious.

Step Two is to believe you have the power to find the answer, either by yourself or with the help of others.

Step Three is to take action, to move beyond the wall by releasing any attachment you have to the idea that an answer does not exist. Let that go and instead, embrace the idea that an answer not only DOES exist but that you are capable of finding it and claiming it.

Here’s a quick case in point. Imagine you’re on an explorer ship leaving Europe and sailing eastward across the ocean, headed to the ‘New World’, which no one knows about yet. You’ve made preparations (conceived of the New World’s existence, stretched into beliefs that it must be there) and are now taking action, sailing with the wind. Day after day you continue and after several months, land ho, you arrive!

I think to myself, what if those sailors believed as others did, that they would sail off the edge of the world? Talk about a problem solving ‘wall’ (or rather no wall, since they’ve already fallen off the edge).

Somehow, they found a way to trust they would be successful. After they conceived and believed, they took action.

In the same manner, I’m suggesting each of us can discover (and claim) answers for any and all problem(s) we encounter. I’m not suggesting that every answer will come immediately, certainly not. But what I am suggesting is that our attitudes and beliefs play a vital role in all of our life’s successes.