Tuesday, December 31, 2013

For you and me...

He loves me, I know. When he gets mad at how someone else attempts to mistreat me, I know it is because he cares. From a spiritual perspective, he understands the way I love–even those who don't treat me well, who look at me with a crooked eye, who speak ill, who don't love me back, who do not like me. Yet from a human being perspective, he gets defensive on my behalf. I understand. I, too, sometimes get sad, confused, annoyed and angry at them as well. And then I come back to the place where I know I am the other and they are me.

So for this turn of the year I am making a conscious effort to want for you and for those I don't like, don't care for and don't love what I want for myself and for those I love. I do want you to be happy, healthy, prosperous and full of joy. I want you to feel complete, at peace, confident and happy. May you see your path, know your purpose and courageously fulfill it. May forgiveness, laughter and love flow abundantly for you and yours. May true friendship, true love, harmony, success, collaboration and camaraderie be your gifts this coming year.

May you recognize the innocence in others and be free of the heavy burden of judgment. And may we meet, over and over, in that place where Love overcomes conflict, misunderstanding and separation. Here's to a fun, light-filled year for you and me...

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas present

I meditate daily. Sometimes I meditate more than once in a day. Some days are like that. This is one of those days. It's Christmas Day. I have so much and I am so thankful. Yet I feel a sadness, a nostalgia that I can't understand. I don't know where it is coming from.

My sister, her husband and their twin boys came over. Such joy filled the house. It was now brimming with laughter, leaps and affection. Yet I still felt this sentimentality I couldn't master.

We opened gifts. My sister went all out. She gave me this beautiful notebook. It's an enlightenment journal, she said. It says so on the back. She knows me well.

I got it.

Enlightenment is not something I decide on and get. There is a path to it and this is why enlightenment journals exist. This melancholy I am carrying today is part of the pebbles in my path. I'd like to think of it as one of those soft, rounded stones that fit in the heart of our hands and we hold as if trying to learn a secret from it. My pebble has not revealed any secrets to me today. But I am aware, an effect of my sister's gift, that I am on my way and that I don't have all the answers. My journals help me meditate and reflect. They serve as travel journals. The lessons, awareness and wisdom come as I travel, as I write, as I meditate. Sometimes I understand right away, yet many times I do further along the path.

In the middle of the flying gift-wrapping paper and the joyous squealing of surprised children, I remembered to hold on to nothing, to breathe the moment, to smile, to feel the holiness of the day in the love around me, to enjoy the present moment, to receive all the gifts that make my life abundant, to give the best of me which I can only do in the moment. Today is a good day to be a present to others by being present, by offering our full attention and participating in the moment. Everything else can be dealt with later. Whatever feelings lurk that interfere with enjoying the moment, acknowledge them and let them go. Be present.

©2013 The Soulcerer's Apprentice

Monday, December 23, 2013

Do you hear what I hear?

It's 11:18 at night as I start to write this. A few minutes ago, my twelve-year old son knocked on my door. I heard his door open a few moments before and a rustling. I'm too tired to get up and see what's going on, I stay in bed. Come in, I say. Christmas came early, he whispers. He has a small bundle in his hand...white construction paper wrapped around a small object. Cover your eyes, he considerately says before turning my lamp on. The letters carefully drawn on the construction paper read To Cusy, From Santa. Inside the wrapping paper is a small, white vinyl pouch with a handmade rosary. It is made out of rope. It's beautiful, I light up. It's for your meditation. It's your favorite color. It is indigo. Can I stay and meditate with you? He asks while my mind drifts just a little bit. In the last few days I have paid attention to a few religious turns in conversation...and today my son, who knows I am a mystic, gifts me a rosary. I am listening.

I do not know what Spirit is trying to tell me, what the Universe is hinting to, but I am paying attention. There are no coincidences. This is synchronicity. It kicks in when I listen with an open mind, an open heart and a willing spirit. Quantum shifts happen this way, in the most subtle of forms and it takes a dismissing of disbelief for them to happen. We don't make them happen, we allow them to.

Today is a good day to give your ego a break. See everything with fresh eyes and don't dismiss the synchronicities. Don't try to figure them out or explain them either. That would be interference. This is the time of the year for shifts to happen. Allow them to. Start by paying attention without expectations or judgments. Start by listening. Do you hear what I hear?

Joy to the world

I am overwhelmed. I have a deadline of 9 am this morning to turn in a book I am ghost-writing, I have two appointments in two different government offices to finish business we have finished several times already, I have to go to two banks to run errands, I have to return a few calls, plan what my son and I will do for Christmas and I have to go Christmas shopping...all in a day. Oh boy.

I am sipping my coffee, I am shutting down for a few minutes. The last few weeks have been hectic. I just realized that somewhere in the struggle I forgot that I don't struggle. That when I go with the flow, I accomplish everything. I am not flowing, so I am recharging my spiritual chops that as this day goes by I don't move at the pace of the world, that I remember what falls within my purpose and what I can let go of, that I enjoy everything I do and appreciate everyone I meet today.

One breath in, one breath out and I am centered. Try it with me. One breath in, one breath out. Try it with a little smile. It makes it easier. A few more breaths. Just for a moment. This will be our meditation. Today is a good day to remember that life's annoyances and pressures are on one side of the coin. Whatever it is that is overwhelming us has another side to it. Today I make a conscious effort to remember how much I love my work, how blessed I am, how much I love and am loved back and how excited I am to spend time with family and friends over the next few days. Today is a good day to be cheerful in the face of our responsibilities and to-do lists. Today is a good day to spread some joy...

Friday, December 20, 2013


I have a new car. She's a beauty. When we ride, we float. I love the smooth drive, the sound system, the comfort, the overall feel. There's a lot to get used to. She and I don't know each other very well, yet. My old car and I understood each other. I especially understood her shortcomings and her blind spots. This new car and I have a little acquainting to do. As I was driving in the morning sun, I went to change lanes, but I had not tweaked the mirrors exactly right. I turned my right signal light on and started to move over for I couldn't see a car coming...oh, wait! ...there was a shadow moving fast in my direction. There was a car coming.

It wasn't looking directly at the road, or seeing a reflection in the mirror that told me a car was coming. It was the shadow. Sometimes it is the shadow that foretells that something is looming, that there is an issue within ourselves we need to tend to. Just as one side of the car is lit up by beautiful morning sunlight and the other side of the car is chilled in lightlessness we, too, have an umbra. When we pay attention to the shadow, we can predict what could happen next, and we can prevent being blindsided by our own shadow forces. What are the shadow traits that come up for us? Dishonesty, anger, compulsive behavior, addictive conduct, impulsiveness, reflex reactions, impatience, hostility, guilty feelings, bad habits we had given up, judgment, moodiness and corruption are some of the traits that can tell us that we are afraid of something. Acting out of that fear, we are likely to sabotage ourselves, to harm those we love and to hurt our relationships.

Today is a good day to pay attention to your own shadow. What is it telling you? How can you bring light to it?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

December tree

©2013 The Soulcerer's Apprentice
Last weekend I went to what is becoming my new sanctuary. It is a beautiful beach on the other side of the island I live in. It is quiet and full of peace.

I laid on the sand under this beautiful almond tree with a plan to finish a second reading of a book. That was not going to happen. What happened next was the kind of thing that we read about, but hardly experience. The breeze swept by, swirling leaves up off the ground, swaying palm trees into song in the background, cooling the waves...yet the tree remained still. I felt the December air stroke my skin and my hair, but the tree didn't budge. It wasn't rustled by the breathing of the beach.

As if shielding me from my own thoughts, from my own worries, the tree, strong and beautiful, let just enough streams of sun trickle through. I let go of the book. I let go of every thought. I laid there awakening. I felt alive and rested. I felt guided and held. I had no miracle thought. I had no light show experience. I just had a lifting of impediments to this quiet and mighty place within. Nothing changed without. I just had a different awareness.

When I returned to the city, I returned to my pace of life, to the list of pending issues, to my to-do list. This morning my body was feeling the pain of a few days without yoga, without proper rest and without nutritious food. My mind was feeling the pain of not sleeping well and ego fears and pressures. My heart was feeling the pain of disconnection from Spirit, from love, from goodness. I felt pain all over until, during meditation, I saw my December tree and it's warmth washed over me.

My to-do list is still here. Life's issues remain pending. Yet I am back to center where strength and  beauty reign, where stillness recharges my spirit, where silence whispers the truth: the wind blows, but we remain...strong, loved, protected, guided and inspired.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fast...to slow

I am breaking my fast. A little over a week ago I started fasting on my consumption of Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo! updates, online news and most email. I didn't start my fast on purpose. I had one of those moments in which I felt I had had it. Paul Walker died. Then Nelson Mandela... and we wouldn't let them go! The news and messages went from the somber to the ridiculous. The silly part is that as I was reading updates and news bits and thinking how much of what we read is so absurd, an hour went by. An hour of unproductive head-shaking. Typical. I took a fast and went about writing, working, home-making.

The first day of my media-fast was ok. I was resolute, yet that determination waned on the second day. Old habits die hard. But then, late on the third day, I could breathe better. This fast allowed me to slow down. With extra time, I didn't rush as much. If I wanted to connect with a friend, I called. If I wanted to know what was going on, well, I ignored the feeling. Of course we need to know what is going on, but this is a fast and, frankly, much of what we read in the headlines makes no difference in our immediate life. The weather? I checked it on an app on my phone. Events? My week was already planned. I wouldn't have been able to make it to another affair. The photos of what people are eating for lunch? I didn't miss those. Ignoring those cute, red notification bubbles that pop-up on my phone, iPad and computer did not affect me or anyone else adversely.

Today, ten days later, I return to the online world. This ten-day abstinence worked more as a detox than anything else. I am clearer, less mentally-congested by the sensory overload created by the opinions and news bits shared in status updates and tweets. I am not giving up completely. I just needed a jump-start to cut back. I don't need to know everything that is happening in my social network. I am enjoying having conversations, laughing and connecting with those around me, reading books, walking on the beach hand-in-hand. A few minutes ago I read a few postings and had a good laugh. Then I logged out. I feel good.

Today I encourage you to fast from anything that you feel is taking you away from what matters to you.  What is it that you could cut back on? What disconnects you from what you want to do, from those you love? Today is a good day to fast in order to slow down to truly enjoy your life.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

You're grounded!

My son was only kidding, of course, when he started walking out of my room and said "You're grounded!" This meant no tv, no iPad, no iPod, no phone, no friends over. Ha! I instinctively started to pretend-pout, but, instead, I smiled. I'm sure I confused him. I would love to really be grounded, not as a punishment, but as a blessing.

I would really enjoy a decrease of electronic stimulation, to moderate the noise, to cut back on instant information, to have an obligatory reason to detach. I find myself reflexively checking my email at red lights, reading the latest posts when in line at a store, and replying to every notification that pings my phone. I see parents attaching tablets to the headrests of their cars so the kids can watch a movie on their way to school. I also see groups of friends at restaurants all on their electronic-somethings checking Facebook, not enjoying their meals or each other.

Wouldn't it be great if today we could ground ourselves voluntarily? Let's try to breathe without information, to have a chat with the people around us, to read a book while we wait. Let's get bored for a moment and in that moment imagine great things. Let's not add more data to our brains, but release our minds to receive new inspiration. Let's put away our toys to connect to the life around us. Let's ground ourselves to be grounded in the people, the nature, the love, the Spirit around us. To be grounded is to be calm, centered, connected to what matters, conscious, emotionally still, aligned with our soul's purpose, conscious, aware and fully present. Let's be grounded to be grounded.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Seeing red

Just as fear does not protect us from danger, anger does not avenge us, does not right perceived wrongs, does not make others agree with us, does not make others understand us, does not make us understand ourselves, does not justify us and it does not make us right. Anger increases the space between, the ill-will, blurs our minds, impacts our actions harmfully, it makes us unkind and takes over our hearts for in our hearts there cannot be two opposing emotions. Anger, because of its weight and loudness, overpowers.

I am angry. Believe me when I say that I am not beyond anger. I am so angry that I am blind. I feel violent inside–I want to throw this pen across the room. I have a few choice words too...in two languages. I feel like grabbing my car keys and screeching out of here, but I won't. That would be congruent with my old ways of acting. I am so angry that all I can do is pray and meditate. It's what I have learned. It's what has helped me become peaceful, calm and nonviolent. It's what has helped me cope with triggers. I have friends who wouldn't believe how angry I get. They laugh. But it's true. I get angry. I just do not become enraged.

So how do we turn the tables on anger? I will share with you what works for me. Be thankful for something. Being grateful has this unbelievable effect that takes over your heart allowing for air and love to pop in. What else works for me? Let the other person be right. It's ok. This will only matter if your ego is more important than being at peace. Then, of course, there's meditation. When I am angry I use a tibetan bell meditation. The sound of a bell awakens a part of me that just wants to be happy and peaceable. It has this ancient sound that joins me to life. There are other types of meditation that work just as well. Sometimes I meditate focusing on the color blue. It keeps me from seeing red. But the one thing that I do that absolutely works miracles is prayer. When I am angry, I pray for whoever I am mad at–that I may see them, hear them, understand them, that my anger does not affect their field of energy in a negative way. This works miracles. Every time. Beware that the miracle may not be what you are thinking, but it is a miracle nonetheless.

Today is a good day to release your anger. Let it go to be alchemized into something beautiful. Do not act from your fear and pain. Do not try to justify it. Make a choice between being angry and being kind...to yourself, to others, to the air between all of us.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Living proof

Merriam-Webster defines a coincidence as a situation in which events happen at the same time in a way that is not planned or expected. I respect Merriam-Webster, but I disagree. I am more Jungian. I believe in synchronicity–occurrences not explained by conventionalism but with a meaningful and undeniable connection. I am living proof.

After trying, and failing, to catch-up on my writing projects over a long weekend, I gave up. I did so in the best disposition remembering that life should not be a struggle and that all is well when I flow. So I flowed. I played, I laughed, I loved. I let go. The following morning, instead of my usual meditation, I did a guided meditation in which the focus was resting, playing and rejuvenating in order to create. I knew then that all would be well. Sure enough, I am creating. There is no coincidence here. I needed this mediation as reassurance that I would create in time. I needed it in order not to fall back into stress and pressure. I needed it in order to spend the rest of the weekend relaxing, having fun, letting go.

As a student of the Tao Te Ching, I often go back to its verses, yet it has been a while since I have revisited the text. I had not gone back to it because I have been so busy with several projects. A few days ago, I was looking for a particular book in my library when I came across I book I did not know I had, The Tao of Writing. Then, as I waited for breakfast at a restaurant a few days later, the couple in front of me and I started a conversation about something I can't remember. What I do remember is that we ended up talking about the Tao Te Ching. In this synchronistic line, that very day, I received an email from YouTube with an update on my subscriptions. Sure enough, there was a video listed at the top on the Tao Te Ching. I tuned in and pulled my old copy of the book. I flipped through it for a moment and found that it is what I needed to review to work on one of my projects. Coincidence? Of course not.

A coincidence as a situation in which events happen at the same time in a way that is not planned cannot explain these events for they were planned. The Universe planned them.

Even those circumstances in which we cannot immediately find a meaningful connection have a meaningful connection. We are either open to it or not. The Universe organizes what we need, when we need it. We just need to pay attention, listen, be open, be receptive.

I share this with you as living proof that we are loved, protected and taken care of. Pay attention, Listen. Be open. Allow. Receive. You too are living proof of the magnificent engineering that the Universe orchestrates on our behalf.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Blurred vision

To draw a straight line we need a good eye. Our hand follows what we see. To draw, we need to see well. To see well, we need a clear vision. To have a clear vision, we need to go within.

Many times we begin a new journey, a new goal or new resolutions, but then we get lost along the way. We start off with a clear vision for what we want, yet it gets blurred by our pace of life, the speed at which we feel we have to make decisions, the opinion of those we love, our expectations, our feelings, set-backs, our interpretation of others' actions, our thoughts of how things should be, our fears, peer pressure, our insecurities, our stress, our critical view of ourselves and our perception of our current circumstances. We try to follow a straight line, but we can't see it because it is clouded by all of these thoughts, emotions, feelings and loud voices. How do we get clear again? We go within.

We go within in meditation. We go within to where it is quiet and still, where we only hear the voice of our highest Self, where our intuition leads the way guided by our inner compass. In this place, we find the clarity and the perspective that will help us see our present situation and our path better.

Today is a good day to stop for a few minutes, get still, get quiet and listen to our inner voice. Then we need to get our favorites colors out and start drawing our vision. Once we start trusting our inner wisdom, we stop second guessing ourselves and seeing more precisely. We draw our maps, our lines and what we envision for ourselves more accurately because our mind's eye is not obscured, our vision is not blurred.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fear of failure

I sat down to write about a particular subject when I impulsively picked up a book and started reading. My morning has gone like that, impulsively. I brewed tea when I wanted coffee. I flipped back and forth through pages of my notebook expanding on different subjects instead of finishing the one at hand. I stopped yoga right in the middle of it. In short, I have not finished one thing this morning. I have jumped from one activity to the next in the most unproductive way. As I write this, I notice that my heart is beating fast, that my mind is wandering and that my body feels restless. I am anxious. About what? I don't know. I only remember feeling this way when I have been afraid of failing.

Fear of failure holds us back, keeps us from trying to reach our goals and paralyzes us keeping us stuck in our current condition. Fear of failure keeps us angry, frustrated and unfulfilled. It's terrible. The worst part of fear of failure is that it is born within us. We entertain thoughts of embarrassment, ridicule and rejection in the face of failure. We fail to see the rewards, what we can learn in the process, what we can enjoy and the growth we experience. Fear of failure keeps us mediocre. How do we act when we fear failure? We don't decide, we procrastinate, we don't complete projects, we start to list excuses for why we can't do something, we jump from one thing to the next without a plan, we make up stories in our minds about negative outcomes, we believe we are victims of circumstance.

Our fear of failure may kick into high gear when we are on the verge of succeeding. Today is a good day to switch thoughts of What if I fail? to thoughts of I am moving forward on my path. Live today from a place of passion, enjoyment and lightheartedness. Try, learn, grow, enjoy, laugh, help and release thoughts that keep you inert. Remember that you are loved, protected and supported no matter what the end result of anything you intend is. Whatever the outcome, everything will be well. You will know what to do then. There is nothing to fear.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


A few years ago I had to make frequent business trips to a city that was 400 miles away from where I lived. This was right after 911 and new travel regulations and airline price increases made driving much more. So I bought a GPS and hit the road.

My GPS was a girl. I called her Carmen. We disagreed frequently. I yelled at her when she wasn't clear (she was, I just did not understand), but she kept her cool. Every time I made a mistake, she would dispassionately say "Recalculating." She wouldn't yell. She wouldn't condemn me. She wouldn't hate me. She would just point me again in the right direction...every time I asked.

There is no sin. God does not punish us for our wrong choices. We make mistakes and we live the effects of those mistakes. We either learn, atone and grow or we make mistakes again until we get it, until we learn our lesson. In other words, we punish ourselves by our mistakes and we free ourselves by our choice to get back on our path of right action and love.

Carmen was a lot like Spirit. Spirit does not condemn, hate or damn us. Spirit allows us to be and to make our own choices. We connect to it or take our own way. When we are ready to get back on our path, all we have to do is realign with our Source. Recalculation ensues. After every wrong turn, we can reassess where we are and start moving in another direction. After every wrongdoing, mistaken choice or offense to another, we can ask for direction and Spirit will lovingly guide us back.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

What's love got to do with it?

Everything. Of course, you knew I would say that.

The love I write about can include romantic love, yet what I want you to consider is a more encompassing love. Love has everything to do with everything. We do things with love or as a demand for love. In either case, we affect the energy with which we do things and we have an immediate effect in our spirits and the spirit of those around us.

We do things with love when we show consideration, understanding, joy, gratitude and genuine appreciation. We have an opportunity to love in our work, in our homes, in our families, in our relationships and in our communities. When we do things with love, we foster trust, inspiration and cooperation. When we imbue what we do with love, love returns to us over and over again.

We don't have to like everyone we interact with, but we can love them. We love them by not judging, showing respect, allowing individual creativity and thought to flow, cultivating politeness, courtesy, acceptance and patience, forgiving the little annoyances and being willing to understand. We see them as one with us, not separate from us. When we act in love, we are loving ourselves. Of course, the inverse is also true.

©2013 The Soulcerer's Apprentice
Today is a good day to love. Love those you don't particularly care for. Be kind, gracious and good-humored. Your life will be more pleasant. What's love got to do with it? Everything.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

To love when it is difficult

Loving others is easy...when they agree with us, when they make us laugh, when what they do pleases us. Loving others when we disagree...not so much. In our daily lives, it is our interaction with who we love that affects us the most. It is those closest to us whose words and actions weigh heavier on our hearts. We react stronger, more passionately, when we disagree with someone we love and it is in these disagreements that love–in action–becomes difficult.

Disagreements do not have to escalate to an argument. Yet many times they do because of how we handle the disagreement. Sometimes we judge, point fingers, criticize, defend ourselves, attack and blame. In those moments, we should act in such a way that we infuse the disagreement with love rather than with antagonism and disaffection. 

If you are disagreeing with someone you love, transcend common attitudes and beliefs by seeing through the eyes of love rather than the veil of ego. Many times, it is not the issue that divides us, but how we see and treat the issue. Remember in the moments of conflict why you love each other. We cannot have love and hold a grudge in our heart at the same time. Love comes before understanding. Bringing love to the forefront begets understanding and understanding brings about better communication which helps diffuse anger and discord. Today is a good day to listen more intently, to speak a little softer, to love a little harder when we disagree...to love when it is difficult. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

To dive like a pelican

The ocean is a source of life for many. The water, the fish, the tide itself, the sway of the water, the hiss of the mist, the salt, the vastness... are all part of the life cycle for animal life, human life, our ecosystem and our spirits. When life becomes hectic and our minds are polluted with the residues of busyness, one full breath of ocean–it's smell, it's expansiveness, it's welcoming nature, brings life back into our lives. It regenerates, recharges, enlivens us.

Over the weekend I sat on the most beautiful beach taking in everything it was giving me. We had the beach to ourselves when beautiful pelicans flew in. Majestic, self-assured and confident, these pelicans flew, dove and ate gracefully before us. They were elegant and smooth as they glided in our sky teaching us a lesson in being.

There was no struggle and no competition in nor between these pelicans. They behaved like pelicans. Every move was effortless and precise. Today is a good day to be assertive in our ways. To do so, we must be aware of who we are and what our purpose is. Then every action will be guided and supported, much like the flight of the pelican. Every choice will be sure for it is aligned with our being. When we dive like a pelican, we have no doubt. We dive for what we want, for what is ours. Focused on being who we are meant to be, we don't waste time in doing, we just are. This propels our wings into the direction we want to go. When we focus on what we are, we are lifted and held up, there's an ease in what we do and a nonchalantness in our attitude that is very natural. When we direct our attention to being, synchronicities accumulate and our being becomes sharper, more defined. We become skilled, masterful, experts. Today, we dive like pelicans...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Building blocks

When I was a little girl I wanted to be an architect. There's something fascinating about structures. If they're old, there's a story. If they're new, there's progress. In both there's creativity, collaboration and hope. I used to draw buildings, homes, schools and bridges. More than lone-standing edifices, I drew communities with one building coexisting with the next one. One structure gave me the idea for the next. At one point my parents allowed me to draw an entire imagined mixed-use neighborhood on a wall in our house, in permanent colors! I covered the wall. This was not just any wall. This was the longest wall in the house–the one in the hallway, the one that made them think twice before selling the house. These were my building blocks. I thought everything was possible. That everything imagined could become. It did for me.

I never studied architecture. Yet I still thought in terms of space and composition and of their possible uses. I learned that everything I wanted to build began with a thought. Then there was a plan. Then there was  a design. My building blocks were those thoughts and what I built were stories for the future. I was a writer who, nonetheless, constructed.

Buildings have a special meaning to me. I reflect on parts of their construction and know that one element builds on another and that the stability, safety, beauty, durability and usefulness of each building is contingent on each component being built right.

I imagined this life. As I write, I see my life as a reconstructed and restructured building. There's a story. It's art that I share in the hopes that others, that you, can gain strength from and then be strong for the next person that they may be strong for the next one. Today is a good day to think that which will build the future you want to have. Focusing on the now, have thoughts you can build on. Have thoughts that build you up, your loved ones, your community. One positive thought today, builds tomorrow in hope, in love, in good-will.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Cleaning up the mess

There's a puddle of water in your room. There's a mop. You mop the puddle up. You have cleaned up the mess.

It rains. There's a puddle. You mop. You have cleaned up the mess.

It rains again...

Cleaning up the puddle, but not attending to the cause, does not make sense. Yet this is what we do when we try to solve a problem by trying to fix the effect. In every case, we must address the causes, the underlying thoughts that cause a situation.

Our thoughts have tangible effects on our circumstances. We cannot change our circumstances without first changing the way we think for everything begins with a thought. Today is a good day to stop cleaning up the mess and start dealing with what causes the mess. If you find yourself constantly fixing conflict in your relationships, turning work in late, in persistent financial difficulty in spite of a steady source of income, in a defensive frame of mind, overweight, ill or in a recurrent bad mood, take a look at the way you think. What thoughts keep you in those conditions? What thoughts could move you into a better state? What thoughts could help you fix the leak?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

You suck

You don't really suck, but that's what others think. They do because of the way you present yourself. Listen to yourself complain, criticize, blame and gossip. You are sucking the air out of the room. You are repeating the diatribe of those who have lost hope, the ability to imagine a better life experience and who are dissatisfied with themselves. You repeat the discourse to partake in common conversation. And now you have become a contagion bringing low energy, negativity, pessimism and antagonism with you everywhere you go. Who wants to be with someone like that?

Today is a good day to let your True Self shine through. Dare to see something beautiful. Bring your highest level energy with you. Uplift others. Listen. Smile. Enjoy the moment. Let annoyances pass. Allow yourself to laugh. Share. Collaborate. Love. Be that person you would like to be with.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My lying eyes

With eyes wide open, I am clumsy. I am not clumsy all the time, but I am clumsy, especially when I think I know what I am looking at. Our eyes are our first access to the world. We trust them, yet, many times, what we see is not exactly the truth and, in many cases, even though we see what is in front of us, we still tumble on, trip on and bump into it.

When we think we know what we see, we are not as careful. This has become evident to me as part of my meditation practice. Since I began meditating, I have become quite good at seeing in the dark. I am trying to translate that into an emotional, mental and psychic ability, because it is there where I am still heavy-handed and graceless. After my morning meditation, I stay in my darkened room for a few minutes to rest between the stillness and the movement about to begin, to help with the transition between silence and the stirring of the day. In the dark, I breathe, I move, I am careful. I take it easy as I turn the music off, put away my meditation cushions, move my incense, turn the ceiling fan on, gather my research notebook, my book, my highlighter, my pen, me cell phone and my laptop before I head out the door. I do all of this in the dark never dropping anything, never hitting my shins on the edge of the bed, never burning anything with the incense. It is when I don't trust my eyes that my senses become acute, that my intuition amplifies. It is then that I pay attention.

Today is a good day to move in the dark. Not relying on our eyes, we will be more alert, we will listen better, we will be more elegant in our gestures, fall less. Today is a good day not to trust our physical eyes so much as our spiritual vision. Let's see our day, our life, our loved ones, our blessings, our difficulties, our jobs, our dreams, our inconveniences, our pain, our joy and our goodness through our hearts because it is what we see that we stumble on when we rely on what we think we see. When we see with our heart's attention, we take less for granted, we appreciate more, we see the truth, we see the beauty in our everyday.

Monday, November 4, 2013


Last week I took some time off everything that I could–writing, laundry, assignments, chores, planning. I didn't do it on purpose. I didn't schedule it in my planner. I just did it. It felt almost like resignation, a resignation to first level feelings of fatigue, lack of inspiration and low spirits. I was off-center.

During this time, I went about like a zombie. I ate, I interacted with others, read, worked and brushed my teeth, but there was no intention behind anything I was doing. Yet, there was no resistance either. Behind my apparent disengagement, there was a higher purpose, a nobler objective meant to restore me. What I felt was a disconnection from life was really a disconnection from life's distractions, mindless habits, complacency and ordinary routines. In my numbness, my thoughts became slower, I released judgment and relaxed a bit about almost everything. As a result, my mind became clearer, my heart became lightweight. 

There is a time for everything, and this seems to be a time to let go, to release those mental patterns that bind me, the sense of obligation, the thoughts of how things should be. This time is a gift to reconnect with Spirit. It is not something I initiate, but something I allow and in this allowing I receive awareness, new breath, inspiration, guidance and joy. This short bout of detoxification is letting me appreciate life's blessings, recognize my inner strength, lean on my inner knowing, clue in to my higher purpose and follow my inner compass. These few days of rest have renewed my spirit. 

As we begin a new month, a new lunar cycle and a new season, I invite you to release and allow. Let go of the thoughts that are polluting your mind, clouding your vision and weighing you down. Open your heart, rest your mind, relax your body. In turn, receive clarity, peace, enlivenment. Return to center where your true Self abides, where you naturally flow in goodness, where your intention guides you to your happiest and most fulfilled self. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

We at The Soulcerer's Apprentice have taken a time to regroup, refocus, reconnect and reflect. As we enjoy Sunday, we eagerly prepare to return to you with shared wisdom for personal enlightenment...that together we may illumine brighter. As always, thank you for reading and sharing. Love and light—The Soulcerer's Apprentice

Monday, October 28, 2013


Siri, Apple's personal assistant and knowledge navigator app, and I are starting to understand each other. Well, the truth is that I am starting to understand Siri. This is fun. Yet it has taken me a while to get the hang of it. I have had to learn how to ask properly so that I receive the answers I seek and the help I need. I was resistant to use Siri it at first, so I didn't use it until my son taught me how. What a great tool to have. It reminds me of my intuition. 

We all come equipped with an intuitive app within us. Our intuition is always there, yet we don't always tap into it. We go about insisting on what we seem to know, on our misinformation, on our being right. We forget that we do have the instrumentation to guide us built in. We don't access it with a button or the swipe of a screen, but in a simpler way: in silence. 

Just as it took me a while to learn how to access and use Siri, it takes a while to access and learn to trust our intuition. With practice we learn to ask the right questions, to listen and to rely confidently on our inner guide. Today is a good day to start activating our instinct based on wisdom and understanding. Empty your mind of what you think you know and ask your Self those questions for which you seek answers. Remain silent for a few moments and wait. You may have to do this a few more times before you understand. In time, answers, clarity and solutions will reveal themselves to you. In time, your intuitive Self will be your go-to system for direction, clarification and assistance. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

No, thank you

Even the most peaceful of us get frustrated in the midsts of daily events. When the pace of life quickens  as part of special events, travel, living with others and daily errands, we sometimes forget our manners, our consideration, our good spirits. We snap, we raise our tones of voice, we act rudely. Sometimes we realize it and sometimes we don't, but we always know when we are not receiving the best treatment from someone else. Although we are accepting of others, we don't have to accept unkind behavior. When others react rather than respond, we don't have to take it. I know I don't take it. I respond with no, thank you.

There may be situations in which tempers run high and drama ensues making some irritable, emotionally disjointed and angry. When this happens and the gruff conduct is directed at us, we have a perfect opportunity for growth. We have an opportunity to return the bad attitude with love. In not reacting in the same tone and sentiment we change the energy, not only for ourselves and the person we're in conflict with, but for those around us.

Today is a good day to take a deep breath when conflict arises. In that moment, remember that we all have different ways of reacting to environmental and societal stimuli. Remember that we can choose our response. You don't have to retort in kind. Don't take it and don't pay it back. Just be an agent of change by saying, with a smile and your gracious attitude, no, thank you.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Christmas came early...

Imagine a skinny little kid who's just opened up all her gifts– it's Christmas, a birthday, Hanukkah, a visit from grandma or any other occasion for presents. All the wrappers and boxes lay about while the kid, in all her excitement, picks up every gift and stumbles trying to balance everything between a smile and her hands.

That's the feeling we get when everything goes right. We receive our gifts and happily tote them around. But then, we hope we don't drop one. We start to feel the weight of our blessings. We struggle to balance all the good stuff. We introduce doubt and fear (I hope I don't screw this up. What if someone takes this away? What if this is not for me?), when what we have to bring in is gratitude. When we do, everything falls into place. 

Our blessings come with responsibilities. Today is a good day to give thanks for the goodness in our lives. We do this by taking care of what we have, by doing our part. We do this by sharing our joy. We have attracted these gifts, whatever they are, and they are ours for as long as we appreciate them. When everything goes right and you feel that Christmas came early, know that you are loved and supported. Know that the beauty, the love, the gifts, the bounty are meant for you and inherent in you is the ability to keep them all. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Vampires, those mythical creatures who suck blood, are very popular in literature and have been popularized even more so in tv and film. There's no credible scientific proof that these vampires exist, but there are real vampires in our lives. Folklore made Orlok, Dracula and Lestat de Lioncourt cool. But real-life vampires are no fun. Who are these vampires? They are the victim, the all-eyes-on-me friend, the hypochondriac, the drama-queen, the blamer, mr. bossy-pants, the manipulator and everyone else who feeds off our prana, our energy.

Vampires are detrimental to our emotional, physical and psychic health. When we interact with a vampire, we feel headaches, tension, tightness in our chest. We feel tired after speaking with them. We want to be good friends, we want to listen and help, but when the other person persists in a state of self-detriment, lack of awareness or just doesn't want to come out of a negative thought process, it is time to release them.

Today is a good day to breathe and visualize a positive shield of energy around us. Let's set boundaries. Let's set them in love. Do not react. Do not be sucked into the negativity. Be a light. Vampires have an aversion to it.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I would be happy if...

We left the house a few minutes later than usual and found heavier traffic than we are used to. We sat at red lights longer than anyone likes to. My son, still half asleep, was not up for conversation, so I just looked around at the cars around me. It's Monday morning, not yet 8 am, and drivers are already frustrated. They show their frustration with unpleasant gestures, honking horns and aggressive driving. As I am observing this, the DJ on the radio starts taking calls from other listeners. They are calling to complain. One call in particular caught my attention. The caller said that she would be happy if only traffic were not so heavy. Really? Is that all it would take? I doubt it. If only...

Many of us have a list of what it would take to make us happy: a better job, a bigger house, a nicer body, winning the lottery, extra time during the day, quieter neighbors, compliant children, a vacation home, more friends, an understanding wife, a French accent. We cross items off the list and add others, making happiness unattainable. We make happiness dependent on outside circumstances. When we do, our happiness is fleeting...and it is not real happiness.

Happiness is a state of being. We are born happy. With time, as we experience our live conditions, we add on worry, comparison to others, thoughts of scarcity, distrust, doubt, suspicion, prejudice, defensiveness, dishonesty, faultfinding, guilt, rejection, resentment, hostility and a slew of other negative ideas that separate us from each other and from our original state of bliss. At any moment we can choose to go back to our primordial state. In other words, at any moment we can choose to be happy.

Today is a good day to focus on our oneness, on the thought that we are loved and protected, that we were all sourced from the same Spirit and that everything that bothers us, saddens us, angers us or makes us anxious cannot upset our happiness. When we remember who we are, happiness overcomes. Our built-in spiritual muscles are changeless and everlasting and, so, our happiness is permanent. We just have to get in touch with that place within where the ephemeral notions of the world do not matter.

I would be happy if...oh, wait, I already am.

Monday, October 21, 2013


I read a study a few years ago that found that children who grow up in messy environments tend to think fragmentally, in disorder, in chaos. On the other hand, children who grow up in organized living conditions can focus better and think more clearly. As an adult, I can relate. Before I write or work, I organize my space–I make my bed, I put things where they go, I set out what I need for my task and arrange it in a way that helps me produce. Visually, I can see what needs to be done. Yet, in daily life, this is not the clutter that is more seriously affecting our thinking.

Clutter can be anything that creates a mess, a state of disorder. Clutter gets in the way of our creativity and our ability to produce. It also gets in the way of love. Much like the echoes that confuse the signals in radar, clutter prevents us from understanding, listening, seeing and loving others. What clutters the space between? Thoughts of fear, prejudgments, inflexibility, set ideas about right and wrong, expectations, selfishness, a sense of entitlement, feeling superior and feeling inferior. This clutter creates a state of disorder for the right order of things between us is understanding, compassion, acceptance, kindness and joy.

Today is a good day to start clearing the clutter. Let's start cleaning out the thoughts that keep us from reaching each other. Let's start emptying the mess in our minds and our hearts to see clearly through, to hear each other, to receive each other with nothing in the way.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Report card

My son received his report card today. He has A's & B's. I should be very happy about that. A few years ago, despite his hard work and excellent behavior, he had C's, D's and F's. We finally figured out that, in spite of higher levels of intelligence in several areas, he had a processing problem that affected his reading comprehension. Now that we are aware and have taken steps to work with this condition, his grades are better and so is his self-esteem.

When it comes to my son's schooling, I have a different approach that many people around me. His report card does not mean that much to me. Because we live in this society, we follow this society's rules and so, he goes to school, he wears his uniform, he turns in homework, he follows the rules. Yet, I don't push for the best grades and he doesn't have perfect attendance. When his dad comes from overseas to visit him, he skips a day. When grandma wants to fly him to a Broadway show, he skips another. When a new exhibit hits a museum, off we go to see it. There are lessons to be learned outside of the norm.

I am happy that he has good grades, but I am happiest that he is happy. I am happy that he is healthy and well. I am happy that we talk, we laugh, we dance. I am happy that he has questions for me, that he is curious about the world, that he is considerate, funny, intelligent, grateful, able, kind, and not gullible. I am happy that he is in touch with who he is. I am happy that he know how important and valuable he is. I am happy that he knows how important and valuable others are.

Today is a good day to measure ourselves against something bigger. What if the measure of our success were the relationships we formed, how happy we are, how thankful we feel, how we relate to others, how much we enjoy the world we live in, how we contribute, how much we laugh, how free we feel, how much beauty we see around us, how we uplift each other, how much we share, how connected we are to Spirit, how much inspiration we find, how we inspire each other, how much we learn outside of the establishment? What would our report card look like?

Monday, October 7, 2013

California, baby!

Stuck, unmotivated, unproductive, uninspired...the days go by for some in a rut. A friend of mine recently told me she is moving to California, thousands of miles away from where we live. That's what I am talking about! Sometimes that feeling of being stuck, unmotivated, unproductive and uninspired is the message. That feeling is telling you that you need to move. Your environment has become stale. You need to look in a new direction.

What about those who cannot move, those who cannot pick up and start over geographically? There are other types of moves. Your feeling could be telling you that you need to forgive, to be brave, to trust, to let go, to try something new, to quit a bad habit, to leave a relationship or to start a new one. Any move on your part gets cooperation from the Universe. Move and the Universe will move with you. Do it fearlessly and miracles start to happen.

Today is a good day to stop focusing on the daily grind. Imagine where you could go. Imagine what you could do. Move in that direction and start to feel creative, motivated, productive and inspired. Move and see your life situation change for the better. Move...choose your California, baby.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


As The Police say, we are spirits in the material world. We are not bodies with spirits, but spirits with bodies. The body, mind and spirit are not completely separate. Take making love, for example. When two people join in caressing, kissing and touching, leading up to and including sex, there is a joyous and ecstatic rush of feeling (body), happiness (mind), and an exchange of energy (spirit). We don't make love at a distance. The body is essential.

In this age of amazing technology our brains are responding to the way we interact with it and each other. We have many ways in which to stay in contact with friends, family and lovers. Yet nothing connects us as a physical touch. Nothing calms us down as that exchange of energy. Nothing alleviates anxiety, anger, apprehension as a comforting embrace from another. Nothing needs to be said.

I saw a couple today standing in line at a restaurant. She kept her hand around him. He had his arms crossed. They were both engaged in conversation. You could tell from their body language that the connection was not complete. Touch completes a relationship. Touch connects the dots between thoughts, words and feelings and is linked to well-being.

Today is a good day to hold your daughter's hand, to hug your brother, to caress your love's cheek, to shake your neighbors hand firmly while holding eye contact, to hold a hug a bit longer, to cuddle with your baby, to complete a connection with touch.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Sigh. Big sigh. I had a tough day yesterday, yet it wasn't as bad as others experienced it. It is no consolation that others have a worse day than I do, but it does help me put things in perspective. Today I am already receiving gifts–the day is beautiful, my family is well, my beloved is happy, I have health, I am blessed beyond measure. Yet I feel this general sadness wrap over me. Among other issues, the news of the federal government shutdown takes a toll on our spirit. It feels like a bit much right now, much like the straw of hay that breaks the camel's back.

I gave in to this feeling this morning, on purpose. I gave in then gave it up. I decided that this is a perfect opportunity to open up to receive the pain of others, the sadness, the uncertainty, the fear, the doubt and the anxiety–to be a conduit for it all. I receive it, acknowledge it, then let it go. As a vessel for these emotions, I am allowing a purging of them. Cleansed of negativity, positivity can enter.

As the government and businesses shut down, we open up. The circumstances out there are big and out of our immediate control. But in here, within, we find our center, our stability and our comfort. Positivity will not change what is happening out there, but it allows us to change our condition. Empty of the mass hysteria, the drama, the doomsday rambling and open in our hearts and minds, we receive wisdom, guidance, intuition, clarity, new ideas, creative solutions, encouragement and help.

Today is a good day to feel what you will feel, to recognize those emotions and then release them. Open up to the blessings that hide behind all bad news. Love, understanding, tranquility, peace of mind, assistance, direction and light cannot enter into a closed spirit. Open your heart. Open your mind. Receive. Know that nothing is insurmountable.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Love comes softly

I rarely watch television. Every now and then though, I tune into something. I was recently in a hotel room by myself and turned the tv on while I took a shower. I listened to a Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes commercial. First of all, wow!, I didn't know they still existed. Second, it got me thinking about how winning something like this could impact a life. A sudden windfall can pack a punch, much like an unexpected job promotion, a new career opportunity, an impromptu move in the direction of your dreams. Good things like this come with a bang. Good things like this are loud, exciting, electrifying. Yet love, real love... comes softly. Even if unexpected, love comes with no resistance, pressure or weight. It doesn't force itself or demand. It pours over like a tender warm rain. Real love seduces, stirs the soul, feathers over your spirit, invites you to love and expands over time. Unlike the good material things in life, love bears long-term effects, blessings that cannot be taken away.

Real love enters oh-so-softly. It will not come announcing itself with balloons, loudspeakers, a crowd and tv cameras in tow. Love will come subtly. Today is a good day to look around. The love you may be longing for may already be there. Welcome it. Allow it. Give it. Receive it. Expect it, softly.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

That was good...now let go.

I still feel the sway of the ocean. I lay on my bed and feel the waves playing with me. My body rocks to sleep. What a wonderful feeling. This is my experience after I go in the ocean. Hours after being in the water, I still feel it.

Just the same, hours after an experience, we sometimes feel because of it. We go to the fair, and our cheeks hurt from all the laughing and fun we had. We go to the museum, and our hearts are still amazed at the beauty of art. We go to the theater and we replay scenes in our minds. These are the good ones. Then there are the effects of a fright, of an argument, of unwelcome news. We feel these as stress, illness, discomfort, anger and anguish. We need to let go.

We need to let go of our identification with our experiences–good or bad. Feelings of joy are wonderful even when experienced later, but we need to be careful of believing that that is our life, our worth for when we no longer experience those feelings, we get lost. The anger we feel at any moment, as well as the fear, insecurity and sadness are not who we are. Feeling anger does not make us angry people, but continuously acting out of anger or any other emotion does have long-term effects in our bodies, our concept of ourselves and our relationships.

Today is a good day to enjoy each moment in the moment, to temper our emotions and remember that our condition in life is not our life. Today is a good day to let go of feelings we have that belong to a moment in the past. Bring into today only the wisdom and the love gained.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

We're good...thanks.

It's been a few days since I have written here. I got off track. All is well, I know, yet there is a longing I am filling that took me off course. I am paying attention. I am not adjusting my direction just yet. This may be the path to take. 

Just when everything is going right, something unexpected happens. When it is good, this may be a result of relaxing our insistence, our worry, our frustration and our fear. It may be our spirit opening up to the love and good karma others want to share. This is the crossroad that is difficult for many, where new doubt enters, where indecision comes in. We question, we wonder, we mistrust. Everything was going so well. Why now? Why this? And when we start doubting we deflect away what blessings were on their way. 

What if we don't? What if we don't question it and see where this detour takes us? What if we enjoy the alternate path? What if in doing so we find a new way altogether? Today is a good day to be thankful for how good everything was going and how it brought us to this point, to be open to the unexpected, to trust Spirit and the gifts we receive. Today is a good day to accept more good into our lives. 

Friday, September 20, 2013


Come. Let's find a spot away from the noise. Sit with me. Let's just breathe. For a moment, close your eyes. Breathe.

Put your hands on your waist and breathe deeply. Expand your chest forward as you squeeze your elbows back without moving your hands. As you exhale, relax. Breathe deeply again, taking your elbows back once more. Breathe out, relax. Let's do it one more time.

Jiggle your body a bit so that it relaxes comfortably. Lay your hands on your lap or on your knees, palms up or palms down. They will fall naturally into one of those expressions. Breathe. Scan your body for any tension. Breathe into that space. Blow the tension out. Inhale with your eyes closed, exhale with your eyes open and a smile. Inhale, exhale, smile. Inhale, exhale, smile.

With each inhale, let your body be heavy. With each exhale, float. Let go of any toxic thoughts. Inhale with your eyes closed, exhale with your eyes open and a smile. Inhale, exhale heaviness. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale.

Put your right hand on your left shoulder. Put your left hand on your right shoulder. Breathe deeply with your eyes closed. Keep them closed as you exhale. No hurry. Repeat four more times. S l o w l y. Return to your normal breathing rhythm. After a few moments, open your eyes. Smile. Walk back to your day a little lighter, relaxed, calm and at ease.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Don't look down

I bet that if we were on a high wire or on a balcony off a 50-story building and I said don't look down, you would. It's our habit. We have a habit of thinking and speaking about that which we don't want in our lives. We worry about being paid on time and we think I bet they won't have my check ready. We want to get to work on time and we think about morning traffic. We want to enjoy the movies, but we think about the long line at the ticket counter. We want prosperity, but we grumble about the cost of everything. We want to be healthy, yet me complain about our bodies. 

When my son is in a bad mood, I tell him not to think about surfing. Sure enough, he does. He imagines himself at the beach, riding waves. Soon after he has a new outlook on whatever he was bothered by. This gives him a chance to reframe his thoughts and affect his attitude. We create our experiences through the thoughts we hold. This is why companies spend so much money on advertising. They want us to keep them in the forefront of our minds. Don't think Coca-Cola. You just did. 

If we want to change our daily experience, we need to change the way we express ourselves. What we focus on is what we create, what we endure, what we enjoy or suffer through. Instead of thinking about the nasty weather, the rudeness of customer service personnel, our bad luck, the price of gas and other complaints we have throughout our day, let's focus on what we can bring. Let's bring a positive energy everywhere we go, let's conceive that we receive what we need, let's express our gratitude, let's change the tone of our rhetoric. 

The Universe is listening and expands on what we focus on. If we complain, it will continue to give us reasons to complain. If we are thankful, it will continue to give us reasons to be thankful. We are loved and protected, if we think so. 

Today, don't think about how lucky you are, don't be thankful for your abilities, don't appreciate your friends, don't enjoy abundance. More importantly, whatever you do, don't look up and smile. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Drop it

I admit it. I was struggling. I was struggling to write. I have deadlines for four different projects and I was struggling. I wanted to do it. I was determined. I was focused. I put the pressure on. I must do this! I brewed coffee, sat my butt down, logged out of Facebook, ignored my phone. The clock pushed forward and I made no headway. I still struggled. So I dropped it. 

I went for a walk. I decided not to write. I walked, then I meditated, then I picked up a book to read. After yoga I took a long shower and then watched a show online. I finally went to bed. I dropped the whole deal–the outlines, the word counts, the rewrites, the synopses, the 500-words due. I also dropped my sense of urgency, my doubt, my worry, my self-imposed pressure. 

Dropping it allowed me to reconnect to the reasons I write, to the gratitude in my heart for the life I have, to the fun waiting to be played with. I got a renewed sense of direction, a reignited creative spirit and fresh insight. All is well. I flow. 

Today is a new day and my deadlines still loom, but I am confident...and I am writing. Today there's no struggle. The obstacles, the pessimism, the worry, the doubt and the anxiety were only my thoughts. Dropping it meant dropping those thoughts, distancing myself from them enough to receive guidance, wisdom and inspiration. Today is a good day for you to drop it too. Drop the struggle. Flow.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Against the wall

Being pinned against the wall doesn't feel good. Pressure, indecision, confusion, resentment and anger, among other emotions, swell up within paralyzing us or raging us on to react. Being pinned against the wall doesn't feel good, yet it is not necessarily a bad place to be in. 

Stand against a wall. Go ahead. Stand and feel your back flat against that surface that will not budge. Close your eyes and change your thoughts about the wall. Feel it support your entire body. Pinned against that wall–much like moments when you don't know which path to choose, which choice to make, whether to remain in a situation, when you are being pressured into something–can be a moment of pause in which you take survey of your options while being supported. Nothing is behind you, except that wall. Everything is before you. Every choice, every piece of information, every person and resource who can help is before you. Focus on what is now before you rather than focusing on being pinned against the wall. Against it, you can rest for a moment, gather strength and knowledge and think clearly. 

Being pinned against the wall can work in your favor. This is one of the ways in which the Universe encourages you to make a decision and move in a certain direction. Today is a good day to connect to Spirit to recharge your intuition. You will know what choice to make. Meanwhile, you are supported...fully supported against a wall that holds and lifts you up. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Tainted Love

I have a beautiful set of brushes that are, in themselves, very inspiring to me. The long handles and precise hair bristles allow me to create, to project what I am feeling in color and texture. Every now and then, though, a different color than what I intended to comes through. That bit of color I didn't completely wash off changes what I intended to create. Such is life. 

Sometimes we begin a new stage in our lives with old color in our fibers. We bring our insecurities, our fears, our suspicions, our unsatisfied needs, our anger, our immaturity, our selfishness, our assumptions, and our unresolved issues into new relationships, new jobs and new ventures. It is very difficult to separate what our past experiences have shaped in us from the contamination leftover. Yet it is necessary that we become aware of what are old thoughts and behaviors bleeding through to our new experience in order not to pollute it. 

Our new life events are primed for new color, textures and flavors. Our creations reflect that which we have within. Today is a good day to let go of everything that is tainting your days, your relationships, your health, your existence, your creativity. Come clean. Enjoy the freshness of a genesis uncorrupted by the past. Enjoy life the way you would color it. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

What do you see?

I was driving along a narrow with cars parked on either side of it. From the other direction came another car, well, a big, wide SUV. The conditions of the street–crowded with cars, holes in the pavement, pedestrians peering out between parked vehicles–called for careful driving. The SUV barreled through. I swerved to get out of its way and watched on my rearview mirror as it kept on going without apparent regard to people and property. Close your eyes and imagine it is you in the car. What do you see in the oncoming SUV? What is your reaction?

A few years ago I would have taught the driver a lesson. My reaction would have consumed me mentally and physically. I would have confused my sense of what is right with my ego. I would have seen a driver who intended to bully me with her bigger vehicle, who had no respect for others, who probably thought she was more important. I would have had some choice names for her, the kind I would have to bleep out here. I would have seen a contender, a competitor, someone who imposed themselves on me, my property and my time. This reaction would have affected me physically with a bump up in blood pressure among other body reactions. I would have carried this angry feeling with me for part of the day affecting my mood, energy level and productivity throughout the day. This would have affected those around me too.

Today I see something different. I see a person who feels pressed for time, who may be going through a difficult moment, who is possibly stressed, unaware of the impact of her actions. She and I have the same purpose of getting to where we intend to go. There's no competition. At that moment, I have an opportunity to share my space and kindness allowing her to process whatever it is she is dealing without added aggravation. I see an opportunity to help another. Stepping out of the way did not take away anything from me.

This anecdote is one example of the many we could choose from what we encounter in any particular day. Things happen. They can be good, bad or indifferent. It will depend on how we choose to see them. We can see arrogance, competition, disregard or we can see fear, insecurity and a call for understanding. Today, be aware of how you react to others. Respond kindly. It is not about you–even when it appears to be. See with new eyes. This will not change what happened or change others, but it will change your experience for the better.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

For the world to change...

I woke up at 3 am this morning. I had a fantastic night sleep. Of course, that's because I went to bed at 6 pm last night. It is so peaceful at this time of morning... quiet and still. As I pour my coffee I realize it's September 11. I breathe deeply to feel the date. It's been twelve years since that devastating day and it's been years since that day has become Nineeleven in our speech. This quiet and peaceful morning has become a somber moment of reflection. In the twelve years since the attacks that changed so many people's lives, many things have changed. We have tightened security in all ports of travel, we have instituted government regulations to identify people by their nationality or potential links to organizations the government is suspect of, we have attacked nations, we are subject to government intrusion in our personal communications, we have censored journalists and others, we have increased military spending, murdered murderers, deepened our anti-islam sentiment and raged in wars, among other changes. None of these changes, however, have changed us for the better. These have only intensified our isolation, our separation, our suspicion of others, our prejudice, our discomfort, our hatred. None of these changes have brought us closer to peace.

As I write this, birds outside my window are welcoming the morning. They do not know it's Nineeleven. They do what birds do, bring us song. As birds unaware of the date, we are go about unaware with increased indifference towards each other. We let those in power rule at the pace and beat of weapons. We allow innocence to die in the crossfire between national egos.

For the world to change, we need to change. We need to stop contributing to the hateful discourses of the day, to stop judging, to open our hearts to peaceful solutions, to demand that our leaders find alternate ways. We need to come together, not wedge further apart, each with our heavy and discouraged hearts. For the world to change, we need to be the peaceful solution we seek. We need to do this is small, daily ways that our children will remember and emulate, that others will be inspired by and imitate. For the world to change, we need to remember the lessons of Nineeleven. For the world to change, we need to stop attacking to obtain peace. Peace has never been attained through war.

There is not one answer to get to a better place, no roadmap to peace. As AJ Must said, there's no way to peace, peace is the way.

My heart goes out prayerfully to all the victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001 and to the victims of all the events stemming from that day. May Love comfort and heal all hearts.