Tuesday, December 31, 2013

An Affirmative Prayer For 2014


This is what I know, there is but One Creative Intelligence, that has permeated all of our lives in 2013.

I Am one with this Great Spirit, and know that We all are made of this same Star Stuff.

I Declare that we shall see Great Declarations of this Creative Spirit in Our Lives and at Our Center, and I look forward knowing that we are all taking part in this creative action in 2014.

I Thank those Creative Spirits from around the world who have enjoyed these blog posts, and have resonated the message of Divine Truth to your circles of influence.

I Confidently release this Electronic Prayer into the Eternal Action of Law, Knowing That It Is So.

As together we say, AND SO IT IS! 

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Behold the Sentience

Dr. Masaru Emoto

As I contemplate the people, events, experiences and ideas of 2013 I would name this the year of Sentience. A year of recognizing something I never really believed in before, not really.

And now I know it to be true. I can feel it and that's why I use the world behold in my title.

1. “Thank you water for the bath.”

When the water drains from the bath Kate says “thank you water for the bath.”

It’s a direct result of a call from a friend and a July afternoon at the beach with a most extraordinary group of healers.

Included in this group of healers was Dr. Masaru Emoto, known best for his book "The Hidden Messages in Water."





Dr. Emoto used the Ho'oponopono blessing

Water, I am sorry.
Water, please forgive me.
Water, I love you.
Water, thank you.

And it is from this that we began to say as the water drains from the tub "Thank you water for the bath."

The blessings from the day of the Water Blessing at San Onofre stayed with us throughout the year. The teachers continued teaching and as I look back it has profoundly changed how I think about things and more importantly it has changed what I know to be true.

2. Recognizing Our Earth as a Sentient Being
At the Water Blessing was another healer named Ruben Saufkie. His message of unity was so powerful.

Following the Water Blessing I kept thinking about how disconnected many are and how people, myself included, don't think we matter in the large picture. We think we are too small. Then I found "The Blue Jewel."


You Matter.
That which you are matters.
It matters now.
It mattered before now.
It will matter more tomorrow.

3. Recognizing Our Fellow Sentient Beings
This year I attended the “Blessing of the Animals” put on by our Animal Ministries. It really moved me. The prayer Kathy Storey shared and the individual blessings of our pets by Toni Sparks were so real and true and full of love.

A most amazing example of sentience was found from another new friend from that Water Blessing. And I thank Gary Christmas for all the amazing shares of all the remarkable things going on in our world and beyond.


4. Grounding and Experiencing the Healing Properties of Our Earth
I’ve always giggled a little at the iconic treehugger but now I am ready to hug trees at will ... did you know it's great for your health?

My childhood friend Naisha Ahsian, director at Crystalis Institute, brought this amazingly interesting documentary called  "Grounded" to my attention. She always finds ultra groovy stuff and has a blend of cutting edge science and spirituality that I have come to adore.

Direct contact with the earth is a powerful healing modality. Walking barefoot at the beach is especially good for you as the salt water has conductive properties. So take off those rubber and plastic shoes and get grounded. We are going to be spending even more time outdoors and even more time playing in the dirt.

Even though the documentary is no longer posted at YouTube you can find more information here http://shiftfrequency.com/dr-mercola-documentary-grounded/.

It was truly a remarkable year and I thank all those who contributed to that remarkableness.

I thank my spiritual community for their love and support and I can't wait to see what this year brings.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Believing Is Seeing Sunday Service



Today, with the innocence of a child, I believe that all my dreams are at hand. 
I know that I am deserving and easily maintain an attitude of Divine expectancy.  



And So It Is!  
And So It Is!  

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Satisfying Way to Spend New Year's Eve



Christmas 2013 is but a happy memory. It was a day full of activity, but the activity was focused around people we love, making it one of the best days of the year.

Now, we are turning to another favorite holiday: New Year’s Eve. I love this day because it presents an opportunity to reflect on the past twelve months – what worked, what didn’t – and make changes as we enter the New Year... 

It’s like cleaning the slate to set our intention on what we really want to see happen in our lives.

Such powerful stuff – but only if you take the time to do it. Set the priority, do the homework, and see the results.

The Center for Spiritual Living Capistrano Valley is offering a really cool tool to help with that process of reflection and intention: a Burning Bowl and Labyrinth at the Center on Dec 31.

Here are the details from the Center’s Facebook page:
For many of us, New Year’s Eve is a time to turn inward and reflect. We examine our lives and explore those parts that no longer serve us — preparing to release them. At the same time, we look ahead to the New Year, allowing our ideas and thoughts to form a picture of our lives as we intend them to be — welcoming in the wonderful newness.
This year, the Center is hosting a Burning Bowl Ceremony and Labyrinth Walk to assist you in this spiritual practice. The sanctuary, with Labyrinth will open at 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve beginning with the Burning Bowl.
For this segment of the ritual, you will meditate at your own pace, and write on a piece of paper all of the things that no longer serve you. You release these thoughts, placing them in the Burning Bowl. As you then walk the Labyrinth, enter with the energy of surrender. As you approach the center, you approach illumination. As you walk out, you embrace your new life.
The sanctuary will remain open and available until midnight.

It starts at 7:00PM, so those of you who have other plans will still have time to go out and ring in the New Year. Alternatively, the sanctuary will be open until midnight. 

What better way to welcome 2014 than in the midst of spiritual practice?

Either way, I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas from Southern California

An 81 degree Christmas day affirmation. 



Today I celebrate the Christ Consciousness of Christmas.
The true Spirit of Christmas resides within my heart.
I see the beauty of nature that is all around me.
The warm sun radiates through my Body and Soul.
I am grateful for the loving gifts of my family and friends.
Collectively, the space of peace is called forth.
The energy of Southern California continues to Light the way.
   All is calm, and All is Bright.
And So It Is.
Amen.
Namaste.







Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Christmas Letter from Dr Ernest Holmes

A Christmas Letter from Dr Ernest Holmes

Christmas is for remembrance. The love manifesting through our gifts to each other typifies the offering of Life, the giving-ness of Spirit to its creation. The hands of the Eternal are outstretched through our hands, and the heart of the Infinite beats in the human breast. But the giver must give of himself, for "The gift without the giver is bare".

It is not, then, in lavish gifts that we find true giving but in the sweet simplicity of remembrance, in the kindly thought, the tolerant mind and the gentle act. Love alone can give love, sympathy alone can sympathize and only goodness can really do or be good.

The one who gives for reward does not give at all; he seeks to bargain; to trade for spiritual gifts, hence he senses loss on his own giving and finds no completion through the act. But he who gives half his meat to the hungry, feels justified and is warmed by a real sense of comradeship. He has established an actual unity between himself and other offspring of creation.

Great causes succeed when there is a giving of humanity. With the check must come the one who wrote it, his interest, his enthusiasm, his love. The check must be a symbol of his desire to impart himself ~ then shall it multiply its benefits and do good. Charity is cold but love is warm. When heart speaks to heart a divine conversation has taken place, a heavenly discourse.

Each of us has something to give. Let each see that he gives of his best. If we are bringing out gifts to the altar of love, nothing less than the best will be acceptable, nothing less than all is enough.

May the real spirit of Christmas ~ the giving of self to life enter and abide in you now and through all time.

And So It Is!

Dr Ernest Holmes

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Eve Service in San Clemente

Christmas Eve Service in San Clemente. 

Doors open at 4:30 and caroling begins at 4:45.

Come and join us to celebrate the beauty of the season with our annual candle lighting ceremony. Take time to find that place of peace, silence and beauty within. 

Where ever you are on your spiritual journey know that you are welcome here. Namaste.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

What If You Just Did Nothing?



Today I accept and embrace the possibility that inaction is the right action. With my intention set and my prayer released, I rest in faith and allow space for the Universe to respond.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Beautiful Holiday Celebrations

This Looks like the Cake We Shared 
Today we met as a staff to celebrate a birthday. It is one of my favorite things. We buy small gifts for the birthday "girl." Or perhaps we pick out a great card. Then we share the cards and gifts with each other.  We laughed together and had some delicious food. It was our newest employee's birthday. Several times she said that she loved working here; she said that it didn't feel like coming to work because it is such a positive place to work! I am thrilled! We have a cohesive, friendly staff.

The card I bought her read: 
"Here it comes... 
another year 
of laughter and tears, 
of wishes and wonders. 
Of being and becoming 
of living and loving. 
Another year 
of celebrating 
today's special moments 
and tomorrow's 
special dreams. 
So that this won't be 
just "another year--
It'll be your best year yet!
On the inside it said, 
"or it'll suck.
I\ts not like I'm psychic.
Let's just hope for the best."

We all howled with laughter.

Then one of the women made my day by saying, "But Dr. Heather, you are the best psychic I know!"

What I am filled with is the true joy of giving. As I have done  many other years, I left my Christmas shopping until this week. Stores have run out of boxes and I may not  have had the selection that you, "early-birds" had. But I am filled with peace and good will. I am filled with gratitude that I an buy things for people. I am filled with gratitude for the beautiful people in my life. Every gift I purchased, I imagine the recipient being delighted with it. I see their beautiful faces filled with love. Last week, I received a gift of home-made limoncello. The giver said, "The main ingredient is LOVE." I know that is true. 

And for all of you, whether or not you get a physical gift from me, please know that this blog is made with love! I am grateful for the gifts that each one of you brings by being in my life. 


May Your Christmas be Filled With Love Light

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Practice in Perfection Shows Who Really Is Perfect

A Sand Mandala measured out perfectly, meticulously created
by Buddhist Monks
photo courtesy Do512Family
What is perfection?

I have come to know that only God is perfection, however, when I saw a short blurb about the practice of Buddhist Monk's creating sand mandalas, I have to admit, I thought it was a creation of perfection!

Each Mandala is perfectly measured out.  A perfect mathematically-measured design.

Each section is meticulously created by shaking sand out of a metal wand so that the perfect amount of sand is dispersed.

The sand is colored with fruit and vegetable dye so it is created in the perfection of God.

The mandalas take three to four days to complete.

They are made as a practice in awareness and presence of the Monks.

Each Monk must be present to the design so as not to color in the incorrect color.

The Monks stay silent and are steeped in the perfect awareness of the creation.

And then, the impossible....

....only minutes after the mandala is finished, it is destroyed. 

Destroyed to learn and embody the practice of detachment.  

Not getting attached to anything that is not the Inner Presence of God.

This practice is a ritual that seems perfect, but really, it's a practice that there is only One that is perfect, and that is God.

No matter how hard we try, no matter how beautiful our physical creations are, no matter how organized our home is, no matter how good everything looks on the outside, the only perfection is found on the inside of each and every one of us.

On the flip side, no matter how disasterous things may be in our lives, no matter what chaos we have going on, none of it matters, because perfection is found from within.

Each of us is perfect.  

Each of us is a morsel of God and God is perfection.

When we realize that, nothing on the outside matters, just like each Monk that creates a sand mandala knows that the perfection of that beautiful creation is nothing like the perfection within.

Here's a short video about the creation of a sand mandala.  

I invite you to watch it.  It's a fascinating process and a practice that is sure to make you say, "wow..."

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Christmas Wish

It's Christmas time! I love the hustle and bustle of people being in stores looking for gifts, shopping and planning for family feasts and intimate gatherings of close friends. Collaborating and negotiating time with family and friends. The lights, music, traditions and sacred moments in prayer inspire me.



The movies, commercials and stories are all aimed to inspire us to remember the Spirit of Christmas, 'the reason for the season' with tales of forgiveness, redemption, the power of love and self-realization. Billboards, songs and blogs are all reminding us that it is Merry (joyful, happy) Christmas. And it is! I love it when a good commercial, movie or song brings me to tears of joy and awe. It doesn't really matter to me if they are "true" or not. It's how they make me feel. If I could, I would share all of my favorite Christmas movies right here with you,but since that is not practical I offer the most recent inspirational video I have seen this year.




You may be one of the 30,409,928 viewers who have seen this video of the power of Christmas spirit and the power of  your Christmas wish. This year I am asking for beautiful connections with my family and friends, I am asking for an even greater capacity of my heart to give and receive love, and I am asking for my senses to be enhanced so that I see, hear, feel, taste, smell and intuit the beauty and perfection that this One Life is in an even greater way. It is my wish to be uplifting and to see the good in all as all. 

There's One Power working through Santa, parents, friends and all of us. If you knew without a doubt that your Christmas wish would be granted what would you wish for?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Finding Peace in Christmas: Taking a moment to stop.

Take a moment to stop and reflect on the beauty all around. 

During the Holiday rush, it is easy to lose track of time. We hear about how time fly's from Thanksgiving through the New Year. This is the perfect opportunity to take a moment to completely stop. 

If we are finding ourselves overwhelmed with obligations during the holidays, remember that it is acceptable to replace some of those obligations for time to yourself. Taking a time to reflect is as important as all the obligations we place upon ourselves. 

When we fill ourselves up with face-paced holiday activities, a sadness can occur at the end of the holiday, when we are no longer in the frenzy of the season. If we stop during the season, we become familiar with those feelings associated with slowing down. At the end of the season the slowness will be a good friend. 

As this is the "time of giving," take some time to give yourself the gift of Peace. It may be one of the best presents you get all year. 

Have a Happy Christmas. 



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Parable of The Piano A True Story



As we near the end of 2013 it is the perfect time to think back on all the inspiring people, posts and services that we have experienced this year.  My favorite was a true story told by Fred Mercado on the Parable of The Piano, a rift on the Parable of Talents from Jesus.

In Fred's story our center needed a new piano, the cost was way beyond the meager means of our small center. So to that end everyone here was given a $10 bill, to do with as they pleased to grow that $10 into something more.  Did you know we turned those $10 bills into a $10,000 Piano? 

A 1000 to 1 increase, Miraculous! This is the kind of consciousness that has brought us the "Home That We Own" So In the Spirit of "The Parable of the Piano" I give you our New Center.

What will you grow our Center into in 2014? I am sure it will be perfect. 

Namaste.

Darin 

The Parable of The Piano
And So It Is! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

It Actually Was Perfect

Sometimes we get so caught up in crafting the perfect memories we don't see what is right in front of us.
Or "Christmas Television with Ella" or "How I Caught Myself Being A Holdiay Cynic" either way it's a reminder that sometimes things are just perfect as they are. This is a little memory I wrote at Christmas time when Ella was 6.
With Ella fed, bathed and in her pajamas we found what looked like a cute Christmas story. All three of us snuggled into the luvsac for some cuddle time.
I was looking forward to an old favorite, something along the lines of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, or the Snoopy/Charlie Brown Special (I always loved the way Snoopy skated).
The special was entitled "Nestor the Long-Earred Christmas Donkey" ... WHAT? WHO IS NESTOR?
I immediately sent Darin a text to his phone asking him if this was some kind of joke ... have you ever heard of Nestor?
As the show continued it was blantantly similar to Rudolph. Much like Rudolph with his disturbing red nose Nestor's troublesome feature was his incredibly long donkey ears. I was irrate by the templated story. As the story progressed I felt resentful of the emotional manipulation not to mention they ripped off Rudolph!!!
On a commercial break Darin did a little Googling and discovered that Nestor was from the late 70's. Ok, I know that they take stories and rework them to see what what will work. I will let this one pass. Maybe I just can't get into it because I don't have any history with Nestor so I am actually seeing it as a grownup.
 I am watching this show thinking ... this is so transparent and stupid. This is absurd. Why do they always have to just emotionally wreck you. They get the kids so wound up and filled with emotions.
I felt Ella's little body start to weep and a little sniffle is heard. Darin turns to her and asked "Ella why are you crying?" (It wasn't a sad part at all.)
 Ella's little voice "It's ... just ... so ... beautiful."
I think sometimes we get so driven to recreate the same holiday experiences of joy and wonder with our children we forget that we have to look anew and find joy and wonder just where we are.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

You're Not Perfect But I Am



Today I remind myself that there is only One and that One is reflected in every person and experience on my path. With faith, I trust the process and the journey, knowing I am always divinely supported... And so it is!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

You're Not Perfect But I Am

Have you ever heard a person say that they are perfect but those around them are not? I never have heard that but I have heard it implied many times.

In fact, if I am honest with myself in my twenties and even my thirties, I held the point of view that everything in my life would be great, if only my husband would change. The curious part of this is that it was with two different husbands and I still didn't get the obvious point that the only common denominator was me.

Being on a spiritual path requires self honesty and self awareness. Neither of which are easy nor natural. I had to pay attention to my thinking, to my deeply held convictions. What I started to realize is that by trying to "fix" the person closest to me, I could deflect my own challenges. At first I felt overwhelmed. I realized that my thinking had been negative for so long that it seemed impossible to change my mind. Then one of my teachers pointed out that I had been thinking a certain way for years, if it were a family belief then likely, I had had those beliefs since birth. She asked me if dedicating  a few months or years to changing those patterns would be a worthwhile pursuit. Of course, I knew it would be.

One of the things that I came to more fully understand was my need to have a perfect partner stemmed from my crippling, invisible belief that I was essentially unlovable. With that deep belief motivating all actions and reactions, I had a great need to hide, to be the least visible person in a relationship. 

I remember the first time I was called on this B.S. (Belief System.) I was taking a weekend intensive seminar called On Course, led by Michael and Paulette Sun. There was a time of sharing at which time Michael or Paulette would help the person process their mistaken beliefs to get to the Spiritual Truth. It was a deeply moving experience. You could actually see people become lighter and more beautiful as the evening progressed. 

Then it was my turn. Michael noticed that I had been able to see the precious goodness in each person. I agreed. He then said, "But you don't really believe that that God Presence is in you, do you?" Tearfully I admitted that he was right. Then he said the most shocking thing! He said, "Do you know how incredibly arrogant for you to believe that you have the ability to stop the Universe from being Itself in you even though it is in everyone else?" I stopped sobbing and listened. My shoulders relaxed and I awoke to my spiritual magnificence. Yes, I still more easily see it in other people, but truly it is in me too!

It is a damn lie to believe that you are perfect and another person is not. We are all perfect spiritual beings having a human experience and learning to live from an awareness of our perfection. We need to remember that we are each other's reflections. At least that's the way I see it.

Perfect Reflection

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Sound of Music - Perfectly Imperfect in San Clemente

As a little girl, I can remember watching the Sound of Music at my grandparent's house every year around Christmas time.

We lived in Pennsylvania and my grandparents lived on a dirt road in the middle of the woods.

I remember that house with nostalgia.

Cold wintry nights, cuddled up in their Lazy Boy while my parents, Gram and Gramps talked in the kitchen, as I watched the Sound of Music.

I haven't watched the musical in years and was very excited when I saw that Carrie Underwood would be the star of the show as it aired live on NBC.

Just like the old days, I got in my jammies, curled up in my favorite chair, and started it.

From the first song, my husband and boys put their hands over their ears as if the songs were painful to hear.

I thought the singing and songs were beautiful.

What I didn't like was the acting in between the songs and felt myself disappointed at the production.

For a little while, I even considered turning it off and tweeting my disappointment, but then the next song would come on and then a realization...

...the songs took me back.

Took me back to the little girl so excited about the holidays.

To the little girl who looked forward to the Sound of Music every year because of the feeling it brought.

Coziness.  Warmth.  Wintry  nights.  Hot chocolate.  Imagining what it would be like to walk across the mountains to Switzerland to stand in the Truth of one's beliefs. 

(OK, so maybe I didn't realize at the time what "standing in one's Truth meant," but I do remember thinking how incredible it was that they'd rather walk across mountains then succumb to Hitler's army).

I found myself singing along to EVERY song!

And, unlike that little girl years ago, I found myself crying to "Climb Every Mountain."

I cried at the message.  I cried at how true it was to Climb every mountain.  Ford every stream.  Follow every rainbow, until you find your dream.

So, even though the live production wasn't everything I wanted it to be, it was even more perfect than I could expect.

It gave me a chance to reconnect with my inner child.

It brought me joy to sing along and remember a time that is so special to me.

Even thought it wasn't wintry and I was in warm, San Clemente, I found that watching the Sound of Music was...

....perfectly imperfect.

So, here's a little reminder to you to Climb Every Mountain!



Thursday, December 12, 2013

Perfectly Imperfect

In the Navajo culture potters, weavers and artisans purposely leave slight imperfections in their work.

There is a magical idea that the Indian thinks is more important. Every enclosed blanket must have an outlet -- that is an outlet for the creative idea, a part of the mind which the weaver has put into it. The Navajo word for it is shih nih bi-teen' meaning "Mind my road." It is usually a mere thread of a different color, or a slight, apparently accidental, which looks like an imperfection. ~ from navajopeople.org

Isn't that great? A society that encourages it's people to embrace a mistake, in fact it was required. Later in the explanation of artistic imperfection the Navajo site says the flaw was needed to keep the artist from going crazy, like the quest for perfection is almost too much to bear.



As a photographer, I've spent a lot of time learning the rules of composition and contemplating the best way to communicate my idea, but then, in the moment when I push the shutter button, there becomes a moment of chance. Sometimes I achieve perfect focus...sometimes I don't. Sometimes a bird flies into the frame or a person closes their eyes. I've learned that for me, those imperfections enhance my personal style. Yes, I could choose to photograph people in a studio with perfect lighting, but I don't. I would rather photograph a person on the beach with the flaws of wind-blown hair and splashing waves. There is a carefree, human aspect to my art and I like that.



What would our world, our community, be like if we encouraged people to embrace their perceived flaws as a sign of perfect creation? I think we all might feel a tremendous sense of liberation and joy that only embracing our uniqueness can bring.








Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Internally Flawless: Maximizing your Brilliance

Shine bright like a diamond. 


Tiffany & Company is an American company founded in 1837. Known for the exquisite expertise in diamond cutting, the master craftsman cut each stone to a size which releases its brilliance. The brilliance is the way the diamond reflects and refracts light. The reflection is the ability for some of the lights rays to hit the surface of the stone and bounce back.  The refraction is the ability for the remaining rays of light to go into the center of the diamond and bounce off its internal walls to reflect back. At Tiffany & Company, releasing the brilliance of the stone may require cutting away up to 62 percent of the rough diamond.  This is the process Tiffany & Company uses to to produce a diamond product they deemed "The Best There Is." 

Similar to our lives, the brilliance is already within us. Over many years, we may have formed a rough exterior. The exterior can be from years of listening to societal voices stating our imperfection. Just knowing those hardened layers are an out picturing of our journey, can bring one to the understanding for a need to change. Seeking a master craftsman of our own, will aid us in the cutting away of that roughness. Imagine removing 62 percent of the thoughts which keep us from living a brilliant life. 

Though the highest grading of a diamond is Flawless, Internally Flawless describes a diamond which is near Flawless with only small blemishes on the surface.  Much like our lives, internally we ARE flawless, but we may still have a little bit of roughness around the edges.  Our charge is to know our own Light, and to allow that Light to reflect our brilliance.  Cut away those layers of stone to maximize our brilliance.  With our continued Spiritual work through meditation, prayer, journaling, and reading, our brilliance is able to shine without question.  No longer is it o.k. to be the diamond in the rough.  Polish those edges, maximize your brilliance, remember your Perfection, and reflect some of that Light that shine so brightly within you. 


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Progress Not Perfection Start From Where You Are


The Spectrum of Love by Alan Watts

We know that from time to time there arise among human beings people who seem to exude love as naturally as the sun gives out heat. These people, usually of enormous creative power, are the envy of us all, and, by and large, man’s religions are attempts to cultivate that same power in ordinary people. Unfortunately, they often go about this task as one would attempt to make the tail wag the dog. I remember that when I was a small boy in school, I was enormously interested in being able to do my schoolwork properly. Everyone told me that I did not work hard enough, that I ought to work harder, but when I asked, “How do you work?”

Come visit us any Sunday and see how we work it.

Progress Not Perfection Start from Where You Are
And So It Is. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Practically Perfect in Every Way

I am perfect, right here and right now. Every action, thought and feeling is Divinely guided, flawless and necessary for revealing my highest and best good.







Friday, December 6, 2013

Practically Perfect in Every Way

The most famous pronouncement of "Practically Perfect in every Way," come from the classic musical Mary Poppins. 

As you might remember, Mary poppins, a Nanny of extraordinary abilities applies for and receives the job of Nanny for the Banls' children.
This is the advertisement to which she responded:



Mary Poppins meets the children and below you will see what she said about measuring up.

It is a charming movie.  And spiritually we can learn a great deal from Mary Poppins.

She had a positive attitude! She was cheerful, confident, pretty and had a great knack of entertaining children. No matter what was going on, she knew there was a positive solution.

What would happen if we thought of ourselves as practically perfect in every way? Not our future selves, but rather the ones we are right now! We could think of ourselves as having some practical magic! When we understand that our deeply held beliefs become our experience, we are realize that we are practically magicians, consciously creating the lives that we do want.

Of course, the Creative Spirit left us alone to discover for ourselves our innate perfection. Having discovered it, we are also free to use it intelligently or to use that mighty moving Power in unintelligent ways. Today choose good thoughts to be passionate about. Start proving that you know the secret and practice the magic.

A Small Home With an Amazing View - What This Dream Really Meant

Live in that small, cozy home with the amazing
view, and your life will expand by leaps
and bounds. 
My home was very small, but as I showed it to friends, I was so proud of it.  

I would take them out to the outdoor deck and show them the breathtaking view.

It always inspired a breathless, "Wow."

The important part of this process was how I felt.

Proud.  At peace and very much in harmony with life.  

That was my dream, and being one who is an avid journaler, I write out my dreams and allow a stream of consciousness to help me interpret them.  The most important part of journaling dreams, I have found, is paying attention to the emotions that it evokes. 

What came in my journaling session was a whole new lesson on practicing the presence...being in the now.


Not a surprise since I am currently taking the Inner Journey class with Dr. Heather and our focus now is practicing the presence of God at every moment, of every day.

The way in which this lesson was communicated with me through this dream was interesting, however.

A small home that had an amazing view.  The peace and harmony I felt about it.

One might think it symbolized a home that I desired or maybe the desire for a nice view from my physical home. 

What came in my stream of consciousness was that this dream did not symbolize a physical home, but my inner home....

...That small space within, that when lived in, brings peace, pride and harmony.

The dream was a message from that One Power that lives within all of us to remember to be in that space, that home, at all times.

It was a reminder that when I find myself not feeling peace, pride and harmony to notice where "I'm living."  

When I have feelings outside of those three, I am living outside in the space of chaos and confusion. 

It's cold.

I'm homeless.

When I find myself homeless, I can easily step back into my warm, small cozy home with the amazing view.

I can change my perspective at any time.

This was a gentle reminder to me of the importance of the present moment.

As a result of this intense Inner Journey class, I am raising my awareness to the present moment.

As long as I am present, I am home.

When I am at home, I feel pride, peace and harmony.

There is never any reason to leave our true home...allow my dream to be a reminder to you to find your peaceful home with an amazing view.

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I would like to hear from you.  How do you interpret your dreams?  Do you ignore them when you awaken thinking they are figments of your imagination?  Or, do you recognize them as messages from God directing you in your life?  

Share in the comments below any dreams that have deeply impacted your life....when one leaves an impression, dreams will become a distinctive event in your daily life.  

They truly are your conversation with God. 


Thursday, December 5, 2013

How to Avoid Holiday Overload

It’s the first week of December and my calendar is full. We have school functions, water polo tournaments, church functions, family visits and myriad other holiday-related activities that seem to punctuate most people’s calendars this time of year. Adding anything else at this point will require some serious juggling, and possibly forms - filled out in triplicate, I suspect...

 There is always a lot going on at our house – and I like it that way. I do not, however, like the stress that comes with being over-scheduled. As we entered this month, I was already feeling a little over-committed. I knew that I needed to do something.

Fortunately, last month Dr. Heather’s focus was meditation, and I was inspired to develop the habit of starting my day with a morning meditation. What a difference a few minutes of daily meditation makes! (I’d like to tell you that I have consistently meditated every morning, but I have missed a few… which is how I can tell you that I notice the difference when I don’t do it.)

If you haven’t started meditating, I encourage you to start with Deepak Chopra’s guided meditations. You can find more information here.

The holiday season is considered by most people to be a time of joyous celebration. It’s a time for gathering together with those you love.
So what is it about the Holiday Season that causes some people to stress-out and go overboard?



National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is probably one of my favorite holiday movies. Who cannot relate, at least a little, to Clark Griswald’s desire to create the perfect Christmas for his family? We all sympathize as he carries on despite Fate throwing curve after curve at him. He finally snaps, but only when it appears that he has let his family down. He can shrug off disaster after disaster, but the thought of personally disappointing his family is more than he can bear, and he loses it. How many of us live under that type of self-imposed pressure during the holidays?

I could feel myself nearing the edge, and I did not want to go there. So, I set my attention on the intention of keeping this holiday season as stress-free as possible, despite the many activities my children, husband and I are involved in.

During my meditation, I posited the question: what needs to happen to keep this holiday season as happy, bright, joyful and connected as possible for me and my family?  

The answer that I received was to schedule “downtime” into my calendar each week. It’s not an answer I would naturally gravitate to, but I am going to trust the wisdom of my inner guidance. I know that the idea of scheduling downtime probably sounds obvious to some of you, but I am one of those can’t-just-sit-and-watch-TV types. I don't do downtime well, but I am really good at multi-tasking! I have blocked the Friday evenings as family/downtime (not all of my Fridays were open, so I used Sunday evening as an alternate). We have more Fridays open than Sundays this month, so it worked better, but I suspect Sunday will be the regular day if I decide to continue this beyond the holidays.

What will I do with my downtime? I hope to spend it with my family (or those family members who are available – I’m not going to increase my stress level by turning this into an attendance required activity). Maybe we will drive around to look at Christmas lights, or watch a holiday movie, or just take a walk. Maybe I’ll convince my children to put away their electronics and play Scrabble or Monopoly. Maybe we will bake some cookies… as long as it is fun! I do not intend to use the time to start a project – no cleaning out closets or reorganizing the garage.


There is no doubt that the holiday season brings its own special stress. Whether it’s the cantankerous, eccentric relatives, or the turkey that wouldn’t cooperate, there will likely be moments that threaten to push you to the limit. When that happens, actually, preferably before that happens, take some time to ask yourself what you need from this holiday season. The answer might be far simpler than you think. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What if EVERYTHING already was Perfect?

If you look closely, you'll know Perfection.
Carefully crafted bows, mud wars, an argument, and a sunset are all Perfect. 

When we hear the word perfect, do we think of things unfolding in a manner exactly according to our plan? Do we have an expectation of others to do exactly what we want them to do, in exactly the time they should do them, and in the order we think they should do them in? Do we set unreasonably high standards for ourselves and for those around us? When those standards are not met, do we become unglued, have a melt-down or become unruly?

In a high-end retail environment, we expect perfection. An item chosen for gifting, placed inside a blue box, surrounded by a carefully crafted bow "should" be perfect. What if something goes "wrong" in this scenario? Well, guess what? Though it may not have turned out perfect, it still was Perfect.  Here is where the understanding of perfect vs. Perfection comes in. 

Most every evening in Southern California we are witness to a spectacular display of awe, by way of the sunset. The golden, pink, sometimes purple hues painted across a strategically placed, clouded, sky is a sight of Perfection. Knowing that this moment will never be the same again, is a time to stop and reflect on its Perfection without judgment. Yes, it is easy to see Perfection in this sunset, what about the rest of life? 

"When Jesus said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect," he was telling us there is a Perfection at the center of all things, which, recognized, will spring into being. We must learn to identify ourselves with this Perfection to so accept it that it is real to us and to so live that it may be expressed through us. Every organ, action and function of our physical body is rooted in Spiritual Perfection, from which it draws life." -Ernest Holmes-

Seeing a child play in mud can cause cringe-worthy responses from moms. For in that moment, the mom may be predicting the future repercussions of this muddy moment. For the mom, this may be a far from perfect way to engage in social play. It, however, is Perfection in action when recognizing the benefits this type of play is providing to a child. Mud can actually lift one's mood because it increases the levels of serotonin in our brains. When moms recognize the Perfection, they may even want to join. 

Can there be a Perfect argument? When a child is diagnosed with autism, they sometimes are non-verbal, have limited speech or speech-delayed. Hoping, wishing, and praying for a breakthrough in verbal skills are heard around the world from parents of non-verbal children. How fortunate it is to hear a child argue with their sibling over anything. Though the high volume can be less that "perfect," the Spiritual Perfection of this communication can bring joy to a parent's ears. 

One does not have to look very far for Perfection, just look everywhere.  Even if it is not "perfect," according to our human standards, we must remember to look beyond our expectations to see the Spiritual Perfection of life. Just because something didn't come out "perfect" doesn't mean it isn't Perfection. It just means our limited beliefs are keeping us from seeing what true Perfection really is. Next time a less than perfect circumstance occurs, look deeper for the Perfection. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Oh Great Spirit Whose Voice I Hear In The Wind


Oh, Great Spirit whose voice I hear in the wind...
And whose breath gives life to the world...

Hear Me...

I come to you as one of your many children...
I am small and weak.
I need your strength and your wisdom.

May I walk in beauty.
Make my eyes ever behold
The red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect
The things that you have made,
And my ears sharp to hear your voice...

Make me wise
So that I may know the things
That you have taught your children...
The lessons you have hidden
In every leaf and rock.

Make me strong
So that not to be superior
To my brothers...
But to be able to fight
My greatest enemy...
Myself.

Make me ever ready to come to you...
With straight eyes,
So that when life fades as the fading sunset...
My spirit may come to you

Without shame...

Lakota Chief Yellow Lark - 1887

And So It Is!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thinking About Perfection and Practice

ella in the field
"Well, that sounds like courage" she said.
I remember when I first heard "it's yoga practice not yoga perfect."

It was such a revelation. It was releasing and demanding all at the same time.

It meant I could release the need to for perfection but I couldn't release being present. It meant that I might not be able to get into the pose and perfectly mimic the teacher but I could use each second to stay with my breath and be present with all of my attention.

I think that for many the drive for perfection is just a manifestation of the fear of criticism. Ironically perfection is no cure for criticism or the fear of criticism.

There is a misplaced drived for perfection as opposed to excellence. I do think that the quest for perfection has probably stopped more people in their tracks than any opposition they might find externally. When the goal is perfection there is a lot of work up and worry and very little launch.

I used to teach braille transcription. It's very detailed work and there are a lot of mistakes in the beginning. Many people loose their gumption around lesson 6 or 7 and it's because they feel they can't do the lessons perfectly.  I taught in a wide variety of settings from colleges, church basements and even prison and this was true with those with PhDs and those just earning their GEDs. Their likelihood of finishing the 20 lessons and completing their Library of Congress manuscript was solely their ability to not allow mistakes to discourage them.

I would post a sign:

It's far more important to be resilient than to be perfect.

One day Ella saw me packing my equipment up to teach and she asked what "resilient" meant. I said that it means "you continue to try with the same amount of enthusiasm."

The little 7 year old Ella turned to me and confidently said, "Well, that sounds like courage."

Yes, yes it does.




Sunday, December 1, 2013

Perfectionism Prescription


Today, I embrace the whole of me, knowing Spirit created my unique being on purpose. And, with compassion, I release any negative belief keeping me from fully loving the Self I AM.

And So It Is 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Black Friday or National Listening Day


One of our members called me on Thanksgiving to let me know that Black Friday is designated as National Listening Day. I don't know if there is an obvious connection but clearly the connection with inner Wisdom is unmistakable! We are being called to live an awakened life right now. Today!  Not in the future but today. What that means is that we trust that we live in abundant universe where no one and nothing can get what belongs to me in consciousness. Furthermore it means to listen to that inner Wisdom and spend what is in your budget and not a penny more.

In my past life, I wanted to please those I loved so much that I would often spend more than what I could afford to please them. I no longer do that. I know that the gifts that I give from the heart, no matter what their cost or form, are more than sufficient. It is difficult for anyone to set a budget with boundaries yet may be the very best thing to do.

I once knew a woman who was very good with her money although she did not earn a top salary. On payday she would cash her check, pay her rent and then put the rest of her money in baggies for the various other things she might buy in a month such as entertainment, gas, groceries and savings. She grew her savings intentionally.

I know another wise couple who have been practicing the 80-10-10 rule for years. They live on 80% of their income; they tithe 10% and they save 10%. I admire them so much for having this discipline.

Lately I have been listening to my inner wisdom regarding finances and looking after myself with love. For many years I thought that meant to buy whatever my whims guided me to. Now I see it differently. I see that self love is also about looking after your future self, too.

I did not participate in Black Friday shopping this year. I think the economy is fine without my dollars. I will be doing a lot of my Christmas shopping at the Holiday Boutique on Sunday afternoon. Living in the present moment includes bringing all your wisdom with you in every moment.

How do you look after yourself? 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Eve Service



For we walk by faith, not by sight. Corinthians 5.7


I Got Nothing: Getting nothing from Meditation


What if you got nothing from meditation?



When we think about meditation, we tend to think of getting something from it. Yes, it is true one may get something out of meditation. The real question to ask is if one is getting nothing from meditation.  After all, isn't meditation a practice where one is to silence one's mind/ thoughts to a space of nothingness?

Some meditations can take you on a journey, like in guided meditation. These are very helpful in uncovering a thought process, or receiving an answer from a long sought after yearning. 

We have meditations which use sound to center our thoughts. Mantras or chants can bring one to space of reverence with just the tone.  

We have walking meditation where we use the sense of sight to assist on our journey.  We walk in the Oneness of all living things. 

In silent meditation a mind can become completely still and enter into the nothingness of All Things. 

Close your eyes, start to remove yourself from all attachments to all senses. Start to imagine yourself deeper into the nothingness. Continue to imagine yourself in a deeper space of nothingness. Continue this process where your thoughts are no longer competing for attention. Feel the nothingness in the cells of the body.  Continue to imagine yourself even deeper into the nothingness. This is the space where one completely lets go of everything, a place where the Oneness of the Nothingness is sensed. Try to reside there for as much time as you feel pulled to. Know that after a certain amount of time your Self will guide you back to your body to come back to the present. 

Today I center myself in the Nothingness of life. I am completely immersed in the Nothingness, and I move from this space to experience Peace.