Monday, March 23, 2020

Info Overload in a Pandemic (or Any Other Time)






Full disclosure…this is my first global pandemic. I’m trying to figure everything out, just like you. There’s TONS of information available through various outlets and while that’s amazing, it can also lead to overwhelm. What do you do to stay informed but not stuck in fear?

Today I wanted to share a few quick tips that I hope will help you now, and in the future:

  • ·         Seek guidance from appropriate sources: In our panic to get the latest information, we often fall victim to misinformation. Much of it well intended but probably more akin to gossip than fact. If you’re looking for specific health information, for example, consult your most trusted health source and organizations such as your state health department or the Centers for Disease Control. This is not the time to give a lot of attention to what your cousin read on Facebook. Go to the source you already trust.
  • ·         Limit the time when you consume news: In my opinion, I feel most confident when I check in both morning and night to get news updates. While our life situations are changing fast, I believe to keep mentally, spiritually and emotionally healthy we need a break from the constant barrage of news. I absolutely want you to be smart, be informed and take action when indicated. Just be mindful of when, and how much, news you choose to absorb each day.
  • ·         Take time to just BE: Go outside, if you can do so safely, and sit under a tree, watch the birds and experience nature. While many of us are in a panic, I notice the trees are starting to bloom, the rivers are flowing and I can feel the warmth of the sun on my face. Nature continues and so will we. The world will look vastly different after this pandemic passes, but it will find balance. We have an opportunity to do the same.
  • ·         Your true foundation is your spiritual practice: What gets you through this, and any crisis, is your connection to something bigger than yourself. God, Source, Universe…I call it Love. What helps you feel connected to the intelligent, creative, expansive energy that creates galaxies and makes the tides rise and fall? Connect to that. I do it through meditation, prayer, journaling, time in nature. Find what works for you and make this the cornerstone of your day. Every day. Not just in times of stress. Your spiritual practice is what you stand on in challenging times and in joyful ones.

I know the world is a scary place right now. And yet it’s the only home we have. We must find a way to love ourselves and each other through this and commit to become better because of our shared experience.

Here’s one more tip for you. Remember to find joy in each day. It’s a reminder to our human self that our divine self is only a thought away.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

I Hate When That Happens…




Ever know you need, should, could do something…and you don’t? You mean to, you really do, but other tasks pop up. In your mind you say, “I’ll get right to it after I finish this.” But you never do.

And you end up regretting it.

I hate when that happens.

Mostly I hate knowing I could have easily avoided an unpleasant situation. All I had to do was listen to that little voice within that I rely on for guidance, support and balance. The divine voice from my soul that speaks truth to my life and always guides me to my highest and best. It’s the part I teach my coaching clients to relax into, to trust, to follow above all else.

Now why wouldn’t I listen to THAT?

The same reason you don’t always listen. We’re human. We make mistakes and we don’t always follow through on the guidance we receive. Even when we know better. We think we don’t have time, we’ll “get to it later” or we come up with a million rational sounding reasons why the guided action can wait.

Nope. You get specific guidance at the perfect divine time for you. That’s how it works. Every. Single. Time.

And still we resist.

That’s what happened to me last month. I’ve had a beautifully busy few weeks and realized some days my schedule was so tight, I didn’t even have time to eat during the day. To make matters worse, I was so excited about new projects, that I was finding it hard to sleep. Very unlike me.

I kept hearing “schedule more meditation time,” “relax,” “eat clean foods,” and “no need to rush.” I was tired, not paying attention to the signals my body was sending or what I was feeding it. All the while my divine voice was doing its best to guide me.

But I didn’t listen. I received the message and didn’t take the action I was given. (Sound familiar?)

I got sick. Like had to “go to the doctor” sick. I came home to start my antibiotics and eat a slice of humble pie. (Not my favorite.)

I’ve learned – again – that no project, work schedule or even family obligations can have my full attention when I’m in the land of “busy.” Only my ego thinks I’m “too busy.” My soul trusts everything is happening at the perfect time and will guide me each step of the way.

I only have to listen…

Tuesday, February 4, 2020



The Secret to Life is in the Asking
What Does Love Look Like Here and How Does Love Move Me Forward?

           Life can be hard. We all deal with harsh situations like the pain of loneliness, a broken heart, deep grief, losing a job or serious health concerns.
           I’ve learned difficult life lessons over the years and remembering to ask myself a key question has been the secret to my sanity. Remembering to ask “What does Love look like here and how does Love move me forward?” has been one of my most challenging lessons. It’s certainly the most rewarding.
While I’ve actively used this query for many years, it took me being an observer to really understand the meaning of this practice.  I got to see firsthand what love looked like when my friend Jim passed away at home after a long illness. It was life changing.
           When she knew Jim’s time was short, his wife Linda asked me to come by the house. It was here I witnessed a pivotal lesson about what love looked like at work in the world. I arrived at their house and was greeted by the family, their faces red from crying. I went into the back room to see Jim lying in a hospital bed, surrounded by equipment. He was weak with labored breathing, but a dim light still shone from his eyes.
           I can tell you what love looked like that Wednesday afternoon at Linda and Jim’s house. I saw love in tear stained cheeks, in colorful posters made by the grandchildren, in the gentle stroking of Jim’s skin and in loving hands administering Reiki. I saw love in the fussing with the bed sheets, in the loving gestures toward Jim and each other, in the position of the bed so he could see the emerald green lawn and softly swaying trees in the back yard. I saw love in the medications and the essential oils, in the whispered “I love yous” and in Jim’s determination to hold on a little while longer. I saw love as patient, kind and resolved.
           As the grandchildren arrived from school, I witnessed love move the situation forward.
           We all gathered around Jim’s bed, gazing at his face, hands on him and each other. I heard his daughter whisper in his ear. “We’re here Dad. We love you, Dad. We’re all one. We’ll always be together.” Love moved forward with dignity, grace, respect, strength and surrender. And relief for physical suffering that would soon be over. Love moved with deep gratitude and appreciation to our Creator for a shared life and unique journey.
           Jim’s breathing became faint and we watched as he peacefully slipped from this world to the next, surrounded and supported by love. It was a beautiful experience. What a privilege to have seen love in action with this amazing family.
           This experience was profound. It brought home to me the value of recognizing what true, unconditional love for oneself and others looks like in any given situation. Love for yourself is not long-suffering sacrifice which always breeds resentment; it’s not always having to get your way or even putting yourself first.  Love asks us to recognize the Divine Spark within and treat it with the same respect that’s given to others.
           “What does Love look like here and how does Love move me forward?” I’m embarrassed to admit that I know how resentment, anger and jealousy move me forward. I’ve been shoved, prodded and pushed by those emotions many times and always with disastrous results. But how exactly does Love move you forward?
           While your head will never know the answer to that question, your heart already does. Go inside, into the quiet wisdom of your own heart, and ask. Listen. While I don’t know what your answer will be, I know it comes accompanied by a feeling of peace. And freedom.
           Following Love’s guidance from the heart allowed Jim and his family to gracefully move through one of life’s greatest challenges. Love will guide you as well in any situation big or small.
           You just have to ask.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

It Starts with YOU!


Oh, how I wish it wasn't true.

I wish I could take a magic pill and POOF! All the positive change I want in my life suddenly manifests. Yeah, I wish it worked like that.

After decades of searching, I am confident there is no magic pill. Bummer.

There is good news, however. What I discovered and have verified time after time, over nearly 30 years of studying mind, body and spirit, is that the power to make healthy change exists in each one of us. It's in me and it's in you. The message is clear. If you want to change anything in your life, it starts with you.

Want greater physical health? It starts with you. Financial stability? It starts with you. Want more joy and happiness in your life? It starts with you. Want better relationships? It starts with you.

This last realization was a real eye opener since I had held on to the belief that others in my life just needed to straighten up. Nope. The quality of my relationships, and everything else, start with how I think about them. My thoughts lead to my actions and how I interpret the actions of others.

That's right. The power to change starts with you and your willingness to think differently. I love this quote from Dr. Wayne Dyer:

"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."

So what are you willing to see differently? What change do you want to see in your life in the next year? Remember the good news...it starts with you.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Happy New Year! Welcome 2020 and How to Move Forward in Love

HAPPY NEW YEAR!   
                    
This is what I call the "twilight time." The week between Christmas and New Year's Eve. It's a great opportunity to reflect on the past twelve months and bring your best energy into the year ahead. Take a few minutes to try these three simple exercises to bless 2019 and welcome in 2020.

1)  Make a list of at least 10 people/events/ideas that you are truly grateful for from 2019. While many people will spend hours creating lists of what they want to release from the past year, few remember to note the amazing things they experienced individually, as a family or as a community. What would be on your list? New job? Did you read a life changing book? Did your sports team win a national championship? (GO NATS!) Did you meet a new friend or take a great day trip? Even when we experience trauma, there's always something to be grateful for. Start your 2019 gratitude list now.

2) Make a list of your major positive life lessons or shifts from 2019. This is different from your gratitude list. For example, I am deeply grateful I was introduced to the work of Lynne McTaggart last year. From that, I gained a major life lesson in the collective power of intention...and that's been life changing for me. (More about that in the new year!) Make sense? Life lessons could include understanding the grief process, realizing how to shift your thoughts to create your mood or anything else that helped you see your world with new understanding. It's those "aha!" moments. Take a few minutes to remember those now.

3) Reach out and thank people who helped, supported and loved you through last year.  Did an individual, organization or group make a difference for you in 2019? Send an email or text, write a letter (use a pen and paper and mail it the old fashioned way), post on social media or call and let them know their efforts were noted and appreciated. Whether it's a close family member or an author you never met, take the time to let them know they made a positive difference in your life.

I'm all for release rituals and other ways to close out the year AND I believe strongly in bringing the energy of gratitude and love into the next year. I hope you take a few minutes to think about your 2019 and do one or all of these exercises above to move forward in 2020 with love.
I deeply appreciate each of you! 

Friday, December 20, 2019


Buying Gifts, Being Present and Losing My Car in the Parking Lot

It happened. AGAIN.

Recently I rushed into a local store to grab one more gift, which I found quickly. “YES!” I thought as I ran out the door, ready to jump in my car and head to the office. Then it happened. Again.

I realized I had been so focused on maximizing my time and locating this last item, that I had completely forgotten where I parked! Yeah, it sounds funny. Come June I may be able to laugh about it, but as I aimlessly wandered the parking lot, it was a windy 25-degree day. Not. Fun.

Between my momentary panic and the chill, at least I was wide awake! (I figured that was a plus.)

Here’s what I learned, or I should say, remembered. As much as we all want to enjoy the holidays, we miss out when we’re not fully present. As I reached my car and started to drive away, I wondered who did I miss seeing because I was so preoccupied? Did I walk past an old friend or neighbor and miss my chance to offer a holiday hug? I know I missed fully connecting with the salesperson who cheerfully helped me. Then I began to wonder if, in my haste to check off one more thing from my “to do list,” did I even miss infusing real love, thought and meaning into the gift I purchased?

It was a lot to think about.

And a good reminder for me to be more present, even in the craziness of the holidays. When I do remember, I always enjoy a more meaningful celebration of family, friends and a happier experience of the season.

Now that really is a great present.

Monday, November 25, 2019

3 Reasons Why Gratitude Changes Everything


I firmly believe in the statement above! Why? Here's my take:

#1 - When you look for things in your life to be grateful for, the good seems to multiply.

Although I didn't understand it at the time, learning to be aware of what I was truly grateful for on a daily basis was a key element in turning my life around at a very dark time in my past. My friend and mentor, Dr. Robert Holden, expresses it this way:

"Before we practice gratitude, we appear to be in the dark with very little to be grateful for. Once we begin, a new light dawns, sometimes a brilliant light, a light as bright as heaven itself."

That's exactly how it happened for me. Deep in my heart I'd always believed Love ruled the world even though I wasn't allowing myself to experience that during this rough time. I had read a way to retrain your brain to see the "good" in life was to begin a gratitude practice. And so I began and the result was magic! The more I consciously decided to look for at least three things a day to be thankful for, I experienced - even in challenging times - an awareness of the love and goodness that surround me. All I had to do was open my eyes and heart!
#2 - Gratitude is a doorway to the divine. 

Nothing has been more humbling than an increased awareness of the divine force that coordinates all the good that is constantly available to me and everyone else. 

"Gratitude is a sacred space where you allow and know a force greater than your ego is always at work and always available." - Dr. Wayne Dyer

A thankful heart opens you up to accept the divine love that is always available, as Wayne Dyer says in the quote above. Why is that important? Because the energy of that divine love is intelligent, creative and expansive. If it can make the tide go in and out, the flowers bloom and create entire galaxies it can gracefully move you through any life challenge you'll ever experience. Trust that divine love is more powerful than your ego and allow it to guide your actions to experience real love in your life.
#3 - Gratitude makes life more fun and fulfilling. 
Deciding to live from a grateful heart just makes life more FUN! You feel more satisfied, playful, energized and creative in so many ways. Why? Because love expands all good in your life! This quote from author Melody Beattie explains is well:

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend."

Who doesn't want a happier life with more joy and fulfillment? A consistent daily gratitude practice does that and more. And it doesn't cost a thing. All you need is a willingness to begin.
Love does the rest.