Saturday, August 31, 2013

What is Essential to the Heart





Today my sister called me for comfort; her seventeen year old grandson had been killed in a car accident the night before. I was shocked at the news and felt inadequately prepared to be of service to her. I heard myself saying -- words meant to comfort and yet meaningless really.

Avery was a handsome young man, just preparing to start University this autumn. I prayed with her and continue to pray for her but truly words are not enough in a case like this. 

I know that life is eternal and that Avery's life continues but the fact that he will no longer show up on his grandma's doorstep (in a recognizable form that she can see and hug),  is a cold, hard  fact! I listened to my sister's heart-breaking, sobs of grief. And I cried too.

When I called my mom to let her know, she just kept repeating, "I don't know what to say." Sometimes we feel inadequate and don't extend our heartfelt condolences. Sometimes we tell ourselves that we cannot help make a difference. Yet our very being makes the difference.

It is true of the human condition that we will have times when we don't know what to say. Perhaps there are no right words to say. Perhaps we had never imagined being in such an experience. 

Antoine de Saint Exupery, in The Little Prince wrote: "Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."

I love this little book and included a portion of it in the video above. Everything that we have taken the time to love, we have tamed and are responsible for. When my sister was a newborn, I remember promising that I would love her and always protect her from life's thorns. I haven't really been able to do that. It wasn't really mine to do. What has always been mine to do is to love her. 

Every guru, spiritual master, minister, rabbi or teacher has taught that everything begins and ends in love. When we are filled with love we are not filled with worry. When we are filled with love, we compassionately care for ourselves and each other. What is essential to the heart is inaudible to the ears as well. We hear with the inner ear.

Come to those moments when your friends or loved ones are suffering,with love, a shoulder to cry on and a listening heart. That will be enough.

When something unthinkable happens, what do you do? How do you handle it?

Friday, August 30, 2013

To Hell with Extraordinary, I'm Settling for Ordinary

Nature brings on pretty major revelations for me.

So, it's no surprise I had another one, but this one was so pivotal.

So pivotal, in fact, that I wanted to share it on this blog because I think there are many who could gain an awareness from my experience.

 I spent the day in Lewiston, CA…yeah, I didn't know where it was either, up until about a week ago.

 My mom and stepdad decided to throw their "balls in the air," sell everything, move from South Carolina to Northern California to live in an RV and see what life was really all about…in their early 60's, I might add!

I went on a 12 hour road trip from Southern California to Northern with my two boys to check out my mom's new digs.

It was COUN-TRY!

Up a mountain, 30 miles from the nearest town, BLACK as black gets at night, but the sounds of nature roaring outside.

Born and raised in the country, I spent a majority of my adult years living in cities to escape the past and be "born again" in city living.

That said, the minute I passed through Redding, CA and started up the mountain to Lewiston, I knew I was back to my roots….my innards just expanded with joy.

As I spent the last couple of days painting with deer grazing 20 yards away, journaling
The "she-Buddha" painted in nature with deer grazing 20 yards away.

and meditating by a river so crisp and clear, I forgot that rivers existed like that, I started to "download" some pretty clear messages.

 First, I realized how nice it is to be disconnected from technology.  I have no cell phone service and no wifi.

I am fully dependent on my own natural abilities to entertain myself and kids….who knew I had it in me without technology?!?

So, we painted. Searched for acorns then planted them. We waded in the crisp Trinity River.

We explored by driving up and down mountain roads to see deer, horses, sheep and other creatures living their own "ordinary" lives….hell, we even saw a rattlesnake basking in the afternoon sun totally freaking me out.

An "ordinary" deer that was breath-taking in it's natural environment.

Here was the realization that came to me…. Everything around me is so….well, ordinary.

 Every redwood tree looks like the next.

Every river, lake and/or tributary looks the same.

The deer grazing in the yard all look the same.

Hell, even the stars that cover the night sky, just like my MacBook desktop, look the same.

Why, then, are they so damned extraordinary?

Why, then, do they make me feel so alive?

Why, then, does my soul expand every time I change eye direction?

I find myself so consumed with the "ordinary" beauty around me. You see one mountain in California, you've seen them all. You see one deer, you see them all...right?

One would think.

 But, I am so moved, almost to tears, every time I see another mountain expanding into the sky around a bend in the road. I've seen the same doe with her twin fawns multiple times a day since we arrived here three days ago, yet, they take my breath away every time I see them again.

When did "ordinary" become so extraordinary?

My contradiction? I've been blogging, tweeting, and creating programs teaching people to go from "ordinary to extraordinary," yet, my realization in the last couple of hours was… …that ordinary is, in fact, perfect.

 It's exactly what we are supposed to be because ordinary is perfection.

The tree is perfect.

The deer is perfect.

The Trinity river is perfect.

All of them "ordinary" to many, yet so freaking extraordinary if you really see it.

My life is ordinary, yet so freaking extraordinary….because I saw it for the first time today....in a different light.

 The clincher for this realization was today's reading in Science of Mind magazine:

"…we release the obsession with being extraordinary to the extent that we realize that we are already Godlike."

Shazam! 

The idea that was brewing in my mind over the last couple of days hit me like a ton of bricks.

I AM extraordinary just by being ordinary me because ordinary me is part of that Infinite Universe that mesmerizes me with all it's natural creation.

 I work my ass off to "be extraordinary," and it's been so darn exhausting!

And, how do I know when I've gotten there…to extraordinary, that is?

I am here now….at extraordinary.

 …And so are you.

 I take back all the "forget ordinary, be extraordinary's" I've ever put out to the Universe…

 I don't make any apologies for misleading you or anyone else if I did because our "job," if you want to call it that, in this lifetime is to evolve our thinking, and that's just what I've done in the mountains of California.

 What an amazing realization!

Instead of busting our asses to be extraordinary, one of the easiest ways to be happier in life is simply to embrace or ordinary-dom! I have spent some time, back in my roots in the country, and have allowed the "real me" to stand up and exclaim…

"Forget extraordinary, be ordinary!"

...and I'll add, "...and be DAMN proud of it!"

Because ordinary is where it's at.

Let's rock out some ordinary and walk proud knowing we are Divine perfection!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Words Have Power



At Rev. Bruce's recent workshop, Turbocharging the Law of Attraction, he explained that "no" is the most powerful word in the English language. As children, we were trained by our parents using the word "no." Our brain learned that "no" meant "you can't have that" or "you did something wrong." We internalized the feelings associated with hearing "no" and, as a result, when we hear it our body turns on the fight-or-flight response. The brain releases cortisol which attacks the emotional center of the brain and causes us to feel sad, stressed or depressed.

But here is the beautiful thing to know...there are other powerful words in the English language. Love, peace, joy, beauty, prosperity, freedom and abundance are just a few.

Bruce said it takes 3 to 5 positives to counteract the effects of one "no."

  1. For two minutes repeat your favorite positive power word in your mind (love, joy, freedom, beauty, etc.)
  2. Hug someone (friend, family member) or a pet and tell them you love them. Receive their love.
  3. Make a gratitude list.
  4. Recite a positive affirmation, like: I am all right, right now. 
  5. Meditate for 10 minutes.
  6. Say an affirmative prayer or call someone to pray with you.

These are just a few ideas. I bet you can think of a bunch more. Now incorporate those ideas into your daily activities. Create a strong list of powerful practices with power words that take the sting out of no.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

We need to talk-Ending a relationship



Breaking up is hard to do. Breaking up with your small self so your True Self can shine.
When we hear the phrase, “We need to talk.”  What is the first thought that comes into our mind?  Is it a thought of fear, anger, anxiety, or relief?  This is a phrase that is commonly said in a relationship, when one party in the relationship is ready to release the relationship.  Or, when a problem in a relationship arises, that hasn’t been addressed promptly, and has led to layers of resentment.  This post has nothing to do with ending a relationship with another person.  This post has everything to do with ending a relationship with self.

In Spiritual unfoldment an understanding of certain terms come into view. Defining self is how we are in the world in our “humanly” behaviors or ways of being.  Understanding Self (capital S) is to align completely with the
understanding of Spirit, Truth, and Universal Principles.  Each one of us are made up of the same Truth, we are connected in Spirit, this is Self.

With this understanding, there may come a time, along the Spiritual Awareness path, where your old self doesn’t recognize itSelf.  One starts to see things differently, hear things in a new way, and think in a more evolved manner,
all the while still connected to some of the habits and ways of being of the old self. This is the time to consider “breaking up” with one’s self.

To completely understand Self-Worth, one must understand that change is possible.  We hear the saying, “People don’t change.”  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  People can and do change, those who haven’t may not have
been shown the way, or have been told they are destined to this life of jailed behaviors. We hear, “I always do that. That’s just me.” The thought of “that’s the way it’s always been” may have us stuck in a behavior, keeping us from living our highest good.

Once recognition of an evolved being exists as one’s Self, change is inevitable, thinking differently results, leading to a new understanding of Mindfulness.  Speaking has a new responsibility in comments spoken; they may start
to become intentional.  Words have meaning and purpose, choosing them wisely becomes a new habit.  Actions start to become different, old behaviors may fall away, change happens.

Break up with your old self, you can still be friends. Your Self is worth it.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What Does Self Worth Look Like?

gold coins found in the sand
Steeped in my new awareness of Self Worth and I found some buried treasure this week.
After this month of "Self Worth" being the theme of talks and blog posts and meditation how do I peel all this off the page and actually put it into my life.

Where are the moments I need to take a breath and make a new choice?

So I brainstormed throughout the week, when opportunities arose I thought about the ramifications of my choices. So this is my list, feel free to add yours in the comments below.

Self Worth Is
Self worth means making sure I'm eating right with good food choices eatten in the right atmosphere and attitude. 

Self Worth Is Not
Feeding the kids but skipping my meals and relying on coffee and erratic snacking to take care of my nutritional needs. Yes it matters, even for Mom.

Self Worth Is
Taking active means to adjust my thoughts, the seeds of my self talk, with affirmations and techniques. Taking time to be grateful can shift energy quickly and profoundly. There is so much to be grateful for. 

Self Worth Is Not
Snarky and self depreicating humor is not the benign, insignificant thing I thought it once was. Would I want my daughters to adopt these comments as their self talk? See the humor in our daily mistakes, losing the car keys, leaving the coffee on the car roof and driving away, walking away from a toddler with a Sharpie marker within reach, yes these moments are ripe for humor but it doesn't have to be self-depricating humor.

Self Worth Is
The practice of meditation, daily free writing, taking time outdoors (perferably barefoot) feeds me. Taking time to connect empowers me to be my best for myself and others. There is time.

Self Worth Is Not
There is no prize for being the most harried, the most run down, the one with the most impossible schedule or expectations. No prizes here ... move on.

Self Worth Is
Self worth is taking time to unearth those false beliefs we have about ourselves and getting rid of them. Self worth knows the truth of our infinite potential.

Self Worth Is Not
Self worth does not harbor limiting beliefs about itself. Self worth doesn't say "I can't." It may say "I choose not to at this time." Self worth knows that we are worthy of our greatest desires. 

Self Worth Is
Self worth knows it's connection to all things and knows that we are perfect and loved in our current state. 

Self Worth Is Not
Self worth does not feel disconnection, It is the illustion of separatedness which makes us feel pain. Invest your attention in the connection of all things, the wonders of the world and know that you are one and the same.

Self Worth Is
Self worth is teachable. Taking time to be teachable and not fall for the illusions of the ego. To soften and let the world teach you something new with a open and receptive heart.

Self Worth Is Not
Self worth is not rigid or fragile. Self worth does not feel personally rejected if others do not want to do things exactly how you want to do them. Self worth doesn't have to be a know it all. Self worth can learn from others without feeling threatened.

How do you experience Self Worth?


Monday, August 26, 2013

"Exuberance is beauty." ~ William Blake




My week has been filled with youthful exuberance; visiting a brand new Icelandic horse and spending time with my beautiful granddaughter!  What a blessing and a beautiful reminder of the vitality of life.

I invite you to see the beauty this week in the lavish vigor that is all around you.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Soaring with Confidence

Today, the stories of the past fall away. 
I am released from regret, mistakes and fear; set free to soar to great heights. 
Confidence supports my rise. 
Faith leads the way.




Saturday, August 24, 2013

What To Do When You Are Filled With Gratitude



After class on Tuesday night I was filled with gratitude, joy and awe and stepped out into the parking lot to view this full moon peeking behind the scattered clouds. It was so beautiful, I just wanted to take it in, to experience its magnificence. I was filled with gratitude and I wanted to share it. My Teaching Assistant, Kathy Storey,. saw me standing in front of our building to see what I was doing. She rolled down her window and howled. We all show our appreciation in different ways.

The truth is that we simply can not take, take, take, even something like beauty. The Law of Life calls us to give back.

In this moment take a deep breath in and hold it. Hold it for as long as you can. The oxygen that is renewing your vitality is vital to your health yet nature will not allow you to just take in. You also are required to exhale, to give back.

There is a law of circulation, that if followed, assists you in living a full, creative, prosperous life. If not followed, you will become stagnant and start to die.

The exact law is a law of returning ten percent to the source of your spiritual well-being. It is the law of tithing. What tithing helps us remember is that we are more than our bodies or our big brains, we are spiritual beings, living in a spiritual universe governed by spiritual laws. the Law of Circulation is one of those laws. We return the money to the place or places of our spiritual inspiration. We soon learn that ninety percent of our income goes further than the hundred percent used to.

Not only are we required to give back a portion of our financial good, but also we are required to also tithe our time and talent. Tithing our time means the time you invest in your spiritual growth. Tithing your talent means giving your service. This giving can be to a friend, a neighbor and institution. It can range from making a pot of coffee for a group to welcoming people to your spiritual home.

I have been committed to the full practice of tithing for over 25 years. My life is full because of it. I live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, I love the work I do, I have many friends and I have enough money to do what i want to do when I want to do it. Life is good.

Where do you circulate your good?

If this blog has inspired you, I invite you to share with this Center. You can do so by going to the donate button below.

Friday, August 23, 2013

What's Up With Buddha Anyway?

My days were getting chaotic.

The kids have been out of school.

They are bored with beaches, the pool and bike riding.

I was getting impatient.

What's a girl to do?

Paint!

Just as the Dalai Lama has said, the busier he is the more he meditates.

Painting has become a kind of meditation for me.

I turn on some classical music, and I allow my intuition to guide me to what to paint, what colors to use and for how long.

I let go of any frustration.  Any distractions and simply allow myself the calming energy of just being in that moment.

Maybe it's because I secretly wished I could spend 40 days under a tree meditating to find some peace, I decided to paint Buddha.

It is my first attempt at it, however, I contemplated Buddha's life as I did it.

Leaving his life of privilege, his wife and son, he set out on a journey to find the meaning of life and, well, as we know, he found it and thousands of years later, we are learning to incorporate his teachings in a life very different from the one he knew.

As I contemplated further, I became aware of the peace within me.

My boys were still playing trains on the floor.  The weedwackers were still running outside.  My phone was still buzzing and vibrating as text messages and emails rolled in, however, as I honed in on my painting and the next color I'd choose, I found myself at peace....

...the very God quality I have been affirming for myself for weeks now...


...and there I was....in peace.  I mean, really in  peace.


What I came to realize is that, although I wouldn't choose to leave my family and sit under a Bodhi tree choose to meditate...
for 40 days to find the meaning of life, it comes to me in those moments when I do

....my meditations might be traditional in the early morning hours of the day, or they may be painting, or taking a walk, or driving in my car to the grocery store in utter silence. 

The meaning of life, to me, is inner peace.

I experienced it while channeling and painting my inner Buddha....it's not a perfect rendition of Buddha's face, nor does it reflect that talents of many artists who have painted his face prior to me...

....but what it does reflect is a brief glimpse into his ultimate realization that changed the world for thousands of years and will continue to change it for thousands more....so it got me wondering...

....what magic can I make in this world because of my realization amidst the "chaos" of 21st Century living?

Here's what I came up with...

I'm pretty sure I can make magic happen in this world.  I'm pretty sure I can make a mark in the world as big as Buddha's and I'm pretty sure you can to...

Mark your calendars for October because we're about to announce a magical month that will enlighten you to the magic you can make happen in this world!


Yes, you, my dear....your magic is needed as badly as Buddha's has been needed and CSLCV is gonna rock out YOUR magic in October!  Stay tuned....

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dreams or Fears? You choose!



What are you thinking? Does it support your dreams or your fears? That's what Bruce Fredenburg asked me a few weeks ago. 

In the moment he asked I didn't really know what I was thinking. It was just that same old self talk. But after he brought it to my attention, I discovered that much of my self talk supported my fears.

"What if they don't like it?" 
         "I can't believe I said that. What a stupid thing to say." 
                   "How could you miss that photo? What were you thinking?"
                            "Oh she is definitely a better photographer than me. I will never be that good."

That voice in my head just chattered on with commentary. 

Not once did I hear: 

"Wow, that was really awesome!" 
          "Beautiful photo! I can't wait to share that one!"
                     "I am such a great photographer."

Since Bruce said, "What are you thinking? Does it support your dreams or your fears?" I think about what I think about. When I catch myself feeling defeated or sad, I notice that inner commentary. And, by simply noticing, I can change it.

"Don't make yourself bad or wrong, just notice," Bruce encouraged me. And so I notice. With awareness, I can choose a thought that supports my dreams. So, now, I find myself changing my thoughts. I'm supporting my dreams more and more. 

I've come a long way in three short weeks since my coaching session with Bruce. His wisdom, insight and effective coaching has launched me on a path toward success and fulfillment. Could I have gotten here without his help? Maybe, but definitely not as quickly. 

You get to choose to support your fears or your dreams every moment, every day. Do you want to make better choices? Join Rev. BruceFredenburg for his workshop, Turbocharging the Law of Attraction, for easy-to-use, practical exercises to live the life of your dreams. It's this Saturday and you don't want to miss it!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A prayer to be Aware.

A prayer to be Aware.
Awareness that sweet rewards may come with a challenge.

The Power and Presence of God is in each and every moment of life.  I know that God is truly everywhere and everything.  Right here, right now, always, and forever, God is.

I am One in God.  Wherever I go, I go with the Love and Grace of God.  The air I breathe is God, the Love I know is God.  God moves in, through, and all over me.

I speak this word for the understanding of the Awareness of God in every aspect of life.  I know Spirit moves throughout this entire Universe.  In the mountains, Spirit is moving.  In the valleys, Spirit is moving.  In the desert, Spirit is moving.  In the oceans, Spirit is moving.  In all beings on this planet, Spirit is moving.  And though I may not humanly understand the actions of certain events or actions, I am still trusting that God is right there.  Although I may not completely agree with something, I know that Spirit is moving through.  Although I may not have all the answers to the questions I seek, I am rest assured, and can be at peace in the I don't know.  I know God is in every circumstance, situation, and conversation.  I am completely Aware that everything works for the highest good and this includes my life.

I am very grateful to know God, to know prayer.  I am grateful for my entire life, each and every aspect of it.  I am grateful for the ability to communicate in Spirit through prayer.  Right down to the cellular level, I am grateful for all. I am grateful to be in the Awareness of Spirit.

So I release this word in the Law of the Universe.  I know all is well.  I Let it all go and Let God.  I know, see, taste, touch, and smell the Love and the Power of Spirit in each and every moment.  And So It Is, and So I Am. Amen.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Leaving a Legacy of Self Worth

Leaving a Legacy of Self Worth

Recently a friend shared an article entitled "When Your Mother Says She's Fat."

And I started to think about the power of our words, especially the words our children hear us say about ourselves.

What if everything I said about myself became my daughter's internal dialogue?

Self worth is our theme this month and at our Sunday's services the work of social worker-researcher Brene Brown, PhD, LMSW has been referenced multiple times. It's not surprising as she has devoted over a decade to studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame.

Brene's Ted Talk "The Power of Vulnerability" is one of the most watched talks on Ted.com. One of her major findings has been on my mind as we discuss the different facets of self worth.
“There was only one variable which separated the people who had a strong sense of love and belonging and the people who really struggle for it. The people who had a strong sense of love and belonging believe they are worthy of love and belonging. That's it.” ~Brene Brown
Worthiness was the only difference.

The more I take time to examine self worth and it's ramifications the more I want to do all I can to instill it in my daughters. The conclusion I am coming to is that the most powerful variable we have control over as parents is to model self worth.

I want them to see their magnificence. I want them to know they are loved. I want them to know that who they are is the greatest gift they can give to the world.

I cried as I read "When Your Mother Says She's Fat" because I saw my Mom struggle with self worth issues. It was so confusing because I saw her as the most beautiful, kind, loving, capable woman I had ever know. I couldn't understand why she could be so upset with herself.
Let us honour and respect our bodies for what they do instead of despising them for how they appear. Focus on living healthy and active lives, let our weight fall where it may, and consign our body hatred in the past where it belongs. When I looked at that photo of you in the white bathing suit all those years ago, my innocent young eyes saw the truth. I saw unconditional love, beauty and wisdom. I saw my Mum.
It’s always a moment of clarity when I ask myself “what would I want for my daughters?”

I am leaving a legacy of self-worth.



Monday, August 19, 2013

Will The Real Me Please Stand Up



Today, I allow myself to be seen, loved and acknowledged for all that I am. 
I release any need to hide and welcome all parts of me into the light. 
With God lighting the way, I see all the magnificence I am. 
And So It Is!

Will The Real Me Please Stand Up
And So It Is! 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

WISDOM FROM THE BEATLES?


WISDOM FROM THE BEATLES?


The Beatles are unarguably one of the greatest rock bands of all time. Their music has infused the ears and minds of our planet for longer than I have been alive. But, how many times have you really listened to the music and contemplated its spiritual essence?

On Wednesday night, August 14, 2013, at the Center for Spiritual Living Capistrano Valley I, along with fellow musicians Rick Dale and Dave Friedman presented a unique concert at our weekly Wednesday’s Wisdom service entitled, “The Greatest Metaphysical Hits of the Beatles: An Evening of Music and Inspiration.” The hour consisted of several Beatles hits, some very well-known and others somewhat more obscure, including a discussion of the metaphysical meanings behind each song. The enthusiastic audience not only enjoyed reminiscing and singing along with the music; they also were given a new awareness about each piece’s lesson on living a more expansive and satisfying life.

The evening opened with the profound “Blackbird.” Although Paul McCartney wrote this song about the civil rights struggle for African-American freedom after reading about the race riots in the US, we can take this song and apply it to our own lives today. The struggles we experience in life (and we all do) actually teach and strengthen us so we are able to move forward and realize our dreams. The lyrics “take these broken wings and learn to fly…” say that no matter how broken we may believe ourselves to be, we can still learn to fly, and when we fly, we shine light upon that darkness that once held us back; “Blackbird fly, into the light of the dark black night.” The musical journey continued into the evening, travelling the long and winding road through laughter and tears.

The evening concluded with a rousing rendition of “Hey Jude.” Paul McCartney wrote this song as “Hey Jules,” intended to comfort John Lennon’s 5-year-old son Julian as his parents were divorcing. (The change to “Jude” was inspired by the character Judd in the musical Oklahoma.) For us, the meaning at depth is that of the human condition, both at its bleakest and at its most exalted. We indeed can take a sad song, or a sad life, and make it better by calling upon the divine power of love.

And as a very wise man once said, all you need is love.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Listen to the Stirrings of Your Heart

Self Worth: Steeped in Awareness
Self Worth: Steeped in Awareness 

Have you ever loved something and left it? I am not referring to people but that might it applicable too!

I have been basking in the glow of love and gratitude from Wednesday night's Metaphysical Interpretation of the Beatles! How blessed we are to have such talent and consciousness at our Center! Rev. Karyn Allen, Rick Dale and Dave Friedman did an outstanding job in providing both the music and the interpretation. The room was buzzing with the sounds of a happy community for quite awhile after their performances.

Today I had a conversation about my musical background which reminded me of what an important part of my life music has been. My piano sits unplayed, month after month. At one time I could just sit and play for hours, it was a way of feeling my deep feelings, and an expression of my creativity. Then I made a decision, maybe consciously maybe subjectively, that my ability was not good enough. I compared myself to the wonderful musicians in our Center and I came up lacking. So I stopped playing. I stopped doing something in my own home which brings me pleasure because I judged it as inferior to others. This was quite crazy!

Can you relate? Have you ever stopped doing something you like to do because you thought you were not good enough? Over the years I have paid for music lessons with the intention not only of learning a new skill but also I improving that skill. I really have not been successful with music lessons since I was 17 years old. I wouldn't practice enough to improve my skill. When I was a kid singing and playing piano were favorite pastimes. My parents encouraged me to learn to play piano. I used to hide behind it in social settings when it would be more comfortable to play and sing than to socialize with an extended family that I didn't know that well.

What I remembered today was that when I volunteered 30 years ago to be the accompanist for the music in the new Center I was attending, I wasn't that good. But I volunteered because the poor guy who had been trying to accompany on an accordion was really terrible! I knew I could provide something better. Besides it only involved learning two songs, and one of them was the Peace Song and would be sung every week. Also the Center was in its infancy -- and at most there were only 15 people in attendance. I knew I could do that! Five years later I was playing every Sunday, had a choir that I rehearsed with. (Honestly it was probably one of the worst choirs in history, but we had fun!) But the Center had grown and so had my confidence and skill.




Why is this story relevant to my life and maybe yours today? Whatever is going on, I remember that if I start with small, and commit to daily practice I can improve anything. I am going to listen to the stirrings of my heart and let creative expression flow! All the desires of our hearts were placed there by the Creator.

Are you listening to your desires?

Friday, August 16, 2013

I Am Peace...or Am I?

I am peace.

I am because I just affirmed it.

I affirm it 50 - 100 times a day.

I affirm it when my kids are driving me crazy.

I affirm it when I make the poor decision to go to Costco on a Sunday afternoon.

I affirm it when I am, in fact, in peace.

I affirm it so much that I spent some creative time today drawing this image to remind me that I am peace whenever I walk by my in-home altar.

Why do I affirm this instead of I am rich, I am successful, I am happy, etc?

Because being in peace encompasses all of that.

If all I affirm all day is I am peace, than I will naturally embody everything else.

Last week at a Leadership meeting, Dr. Heather walked us through an exercise that allowed us to dwindle down to the one God quality that we felt when thinking of a joyous memory.

My memory occurred the night before during a late-night swim session with my boys.  We were swimming under the stars.  I could still hear the echo of my boys' laughter in my ears as they played on their own.

I was so full of joy at hearing their laughter.

Yes, because a child's laughter is so intoxicating, but mostly, because it showed the deep love they have for each other.

They play so well together, they love each other, they go beyond brothers...they are "bros."

As I remembered the evening, I noticed my physical body.

I was calm, tingly all over noticing the electric energy that I felt.  I noticed the feeling of love expanding from my body...not the love of a mother for her sons, but even more vast than that....

...it was a love of life.

It was a love of all.  It was a love beyond what I can type out on this minimalistic keyboard.

It was love that left me almost paralyzed in peace. 

What I realized, was peace to me was this all-encompassing emotion that embraced love, gratitude, beauty, abundance, prosperity, joy, heath....

...all the qualities of God.

As I sat there reminiscing on this overwhelmingly intoxicating feeling of peace, I realized, that it was all I had to affirm in my life.

Plus, it's one of the easiest affirmations to say when life gets crazy, or when life is at peace...

...like God, it truly is, all there is....

....and that is what I am....try it with me:

I am peace. 

How'd that feel?

If you haven't done so already, join Rev. Bruce Fredenberg for more insights on attracting peace, and everything else you want in life....and quickly, at his Turbocharge the Law of Attraction workshop.  

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Gratitude List and the Law of Attraction

Looking for things to be grateful for retrains the brain and lifts our vibration to live the good life.
Keeping a gratitude list is not a new idea. For years, I heard about it from a variety of sources.  Most commonly, the prescribed gratitude list included 5 items or occurrences each day. I would keep a list for a time and then get out of the habit. Honestly, I seemed to put the same things on the list: my family, my health, our home, etc. and never really noticed a profound change in my life. So, when Rev. Bruce suggested I keep a gratitude list I nearly objected. Just so you know, Bruce doesn't simply suggest a list of 5 things but rather a list of 50 to 100 things. Fifty to 100 things!!! He sympathized, "I know that sounds like a lot, but here is why."

He said, the brain is bombarded with input and hardwired to look for danger. It's designed to keep us safe. The problem is focusing on danger creates a life lived from fear. You can train your brain to see the good that's going on in your life which lifts your vibration and attracts more good. By suggesting I keep a daily list of 50 to 100 things that made my day better, he explained, I would start looking for things to be grateful for throughout the day.The simple act of looking for things to be grateful for is one way to retrain the brain to live the good life.

That evening, right before bed, I found a tablet with 25 lines and made two columns so I didn't have to count my items and started listing. It didn't take too long to come up with 50 items, but it did require me to look a little deeper. I gave thanks for clean air and water; for a warm shower and cozy bed; and for my health and the health of each family member. After about 3 days of the same process, I noticed that I was sleeping better.

Now, about two weeks into this evening ritual, I notice that I am feeling happier throughout the day. When things go sideways, I'm calmer. In traffic the other day, I found myself lost in thought with gratitude for the sunny day and my purring car motor rather than focusing on panic thoughts and the rush to get somewhere. I smiled.

I feel more energized during the day and as a result I'm working on things that get me closer to accomplishing my dreams. I've taken steps to establishing a website for my photography business and have some new personal projects in the works. It's exciting!

Join Rev.Bruce Fredenburg for his workshop, Turbocharging the Law of Attraction, to learn more simple and effective ways to retrain your brain to focus on the good.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Meet the Beatles- Spirituality in lyrics


While My Guitar Gently Weeps- The Spirituality of the Beatles music.

The Beatles Love- Cirque Du Soleil runs at The Mirage in Las Vegas.  Two nights ago, I was fortunate to attend. Knowing the music very well, I found it deeply moving and was enthralled with the wonderful theatrical interpretation.

Always sensing spirituality to many of the Beatles lyrics, I was drawn to the particular audio and visual performance of While My Guitar Gently Weeps.  This version is very melodic, haunting and emotionally charged.

"I wrote "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" at my mother's house in Warrington.  I was thinking about the Chinese I Ching, the Book of Changes... The Eastern concept is that whatever happens is all meant to be, and that there's no such thing as coincidence - every little item that's going down has a purpose.  "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" was a simple study based on that theory.  I decided to write a song based on the first thing I saw upon opening any book - as it would be relative to that moment, at that time.  I picked up a book at random, opened it, saw 'gently weeps', then laid the book down again and started the song."
Beatles, The (2000). The Beatles anthology. Michigan: Chronicle Books. 

The particular recording was an acoustic version, originally a demo, recorded by George.  Concerned that it would not sustain in a large theater, Olivia Harrison (George Harrison’s widow), put her faith and trust in George Martin (a long time Beatle producer and friend), who remixed the track from the master, to include an original score produced for the Cirque Du Soleil show.  The results give a truly magnificent product that creates a beautifully moving piece.

Along with this touching performance, the following songs and lyrics graced the show.  How profound the Beatles evolution before a worldly audience.

There's nothing you can know that isn't known
Nothing you can see that isn't shown
There's nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be
It's easy
Beatles - All You Need Is Love Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Love is old, love is new
Love is all, love is you
Beatles - Because Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Dear Prudence, open up your eyes
Dear Prudence, see the sunny skies
The wind is low the birds will sing
That you are part of everything
Dear Prudence, won't you open up your eyes?
Beatles - Dear Prudence Lyrics | MetroLyrics

I don't know why nobody told you
How to unfold your love
I don't know how someone controlled you
They bought and sold you
Beatles - While My Guitar Gently Weeps Lyrics | MetroLyrics

In the continuation of the honoring of the Spirituality of Beatles music, Center of Spiritual Living, Capistrano Valley's Wednesday wisdom will be graced with:

Reverend Karyn & Rick Dale: The Greatest Metaphysical Hits of the Beatles. 
Tonight, Wednesday, August 14th
7 pm


Watch the following video (to the 6:00 mark) regarding the composing of While My Guitar Gently Sleeps for the Cirque du Soleil show.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I Am Because We Are





In Africa there is a concept known as ‪Ubuntu‬, based upon the recognition that we are only people because of other people.


I receive each blessing with a smile and every obstacle with open hands.
I am a Being of Light and accept the responsibilities set before me.
I challenge myself to ALWAYS become more illuminated in the darkness of doubt around me.
The world knows that I am me by how I interact with those whose worlds I touch.
I am because we are.

I Am Because We Are
I Am Because We Are



Sunday, August 11, 2013

Affirmation: Gifts of Imperfection



Today, I declare great love for all that I am. 
Anything once seen as a flaw, I now view as Divine perfection uniquely expressing as me. 
I am a gift given to this world by the Great Creator,  
who makes no mistakes.

Affirmation: Gifts of Imperfection
And So It Is! 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Gifts of Imperfection


What is real self worth? I am thinking about real self worth and how sometimes we don't feel very good about ourselves. Usually when I don't feel good about myself it is because I have judged myself harshly for making a mistake. Our Prosperity Plus Class is small and we all know each other since we have been together for seven weeks. This week I spent the whole evening calling one of the women students by the wrong name! We even had a lovely conversation about her family during our break. At the end of the class, when we said goodnight, both her boyfriend and another student corrected me. I felt really bad about myself. That evening and for the next few days the inner critic was berating me harshly. It was nonstop. What kind of teacher was I? What kind of person was I? The message I was giving myself was I am not enough. This is a spiritual lie. I made a mistake. People make mistakes dozens of times a day, especially if they are living in creativity and spontaneity.

Brene Brown says we are hard-wired to experience love and connection. I agree. It is the Spiritual Truth. The essence that we are is Love. Love seeks love and nothing else.

Yet when we seek to perform, perfect and please, we will do the opposite of connect. We will keep our distance. It is hard for a minister to give up trying to please everyone because the nature of our jobs is to provide spiritual resources to everyone who seeks them. However, trying to please everyone is a self-defeating, impossible task. My colleagues and I need to be true to ourselves so we can model for our members and friends the true grace and love that flows when we realize that we cannot please everyone, and begin to make choices that please ourselves.

One of my close friends says when there is a situation that might be uncomfortable, she puts on her mental and emotional armor and off she goes. I imagine, with head held high and heart and mind well-protected, like a knight from King Arthur's court. It has been a strategy that she has used successfully in the corporate environment. Another one of my friends says he has no armor. It is REALLY TRUE. His heart is open and he is vulnerable at all times. Often he is the first to weep in times of grief but also in times of joy and celebration. With him, I always feel comfortable telling the whole truth.

When I truly accept my imperfection or mistakes, go a step further and share that with someone, then I begin to feel joy and freedom, instead of feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.

One of the ways you can check to see if you are choosing perfectionism, pleasing and performing over authenticity, check how often you say "yes" to something when you would rather have said "no." Too often we say "yes" when we mean "no" and we say "no" to things that would really make our hearts sing with a resounding "yes."

Here is something we can practice together. When you are asked to do something, take your time and ask yourself do I really want to do this? Or am I going to say "yes" out of a sense of obligation? Brown says: "Choose discomfort over resentment."

The gifts of imperfection are many and include more joy, more freedom, vibrant health, felling vitally alive and connection to the ones you love.

The Gifts of Imperfection
And So It Is! 

Friday, August 9, 2013

A Universal Principle to Achieving Your Biggest Dream

A Universal Principle to Achieving Your Biggest Dream
Just a small reminder today that whatever dreams pop into your head while you are daydreaming, sleeping, or wishing for are all possible because they are your dream.

Do not downplay them.  Do not negate them...

...most importantly....

Don't ignore them.

They are there for a reason.

Guiding you.

Inspiring you.

Motivating you.

You have these dreams because they are your ideal life right now.

They may change as you walk the path towards them, but right now, in this moment, that very thing that is calling to you, that is captivating your mind, that is making your heart beat a little faster...

...is the very thing that you are meant to follow.

Not sure how to do it?

Answer this:

What is the smallest, seemingly insignificant step you can take TODAY towards it?

Remember, walking the path of your dreams is one, seemingly insignificant step towards it every day.

You do not have to quit the job, leave the family behind, or go all "Eat, Pray Love."

Just like compounded interest, small, seemingly insignificant steps compound over time.

They add up until one day, you look and you realize, that your dream has appeared into your life.

You ask, "How did that happen?"

It isn't a big-bang, lottery-winning kind of explosion into your life.

It appears a little each day, and when you diligently take a daily step, it comes a lot faster.

So, what is that longing you have deep in your heart?  How can you take a step today?

Could you buy a book about it?  Invite someone to lunch who is already doing it? Take a class? Could you simply pray asking for guidance?  Could you find mentors on Twitter or Facebook to follow and learn from?

All of these are SMALL, easy steps.  YOU can do any one of them...today.  They aren't scary.  They aren't intimidating.

Do ONE today, and tomorrow, you will be one step closer to that dream.

Do you get how easy it can be to live the life of your dreams?


It's as easy as one step....what will that step be for you today?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Self Talk and the Law of Attraction

The focus on the vacuum speaks to me about the chore to be done. Then your eye follows the vacuum hose back to the person vacuuming and, to her, vacuuming isn't a chore at all. It is a wonderful opportunity to play.
This photo tells the story of childhood from the child's perspective.

Photography is my passion and past-time. Every day I photograph someone or something. And each time I push the shutter button I intend to make art. Sometimes, I succeed. Other times, I just do and allow the act of intention to be good enough.

Recently, I received an invitation for a private photography Facebook group. Initially, I questioned my invitation, thinking they must have mistaken me for someone with more skill. Ha! I was assured that it was no mistake. As I looked at all the other women's work, I wondered how I would ever live up to their artistry. 

Almost in the same week, I was gifted a 30-minute consultation with Bruce Fredenburg. He asked me what I wanted to work on. I told him courage and photographic artistry. I explained about this creative group and how I felt unworthy. I wanted to change that and, not only live up to the invitation, but exceed my wildest expectations. He said, "We can work with that."

Our 30-minute consultation turned into about an hour and a half. He not only gave me easy-to-do exercises, but also the brain research behind why doing them would release my fears and expand my possibilities.

My favorite exercise is called, "Wouldn't it be nice..." He told me that before I photograph anything, before I process my photos or before I work with this group of photographers to say to myself, "Wouldn't it be nice if  ____________ turned out better than my wildest expectations." Easy, right?!?

So, about four hours later, I found my preschooler spontaneously vacuuming the house. I grabbed my camera and initially captured photos I judged as poor. I started beating myself up saying in my head, "No! That's no good....Ugh!" Then, I remembered. I took a breath and in my mind repeated, "Wouldn't it be nice if these photos of my daughter vacuuming the house turned out better than my wildest expectations!" Instantly, I started looking for the light and removing unwanted objects from the frame. I told her that the dining room (where the beautiful light streamed in from the windows) was very dirty and needed vacuuming. She moved into the room. I got down low. She started dancing. I began photographing. Then it happened. I got the photo that exceeded my wildest expectations.

Bruce explained it this way, by saying, "Wouldn't it be nice...," you move your mind from the paralysis of negative thoughts to the ease of possibilities. I relaxed. And all the information I needed to remember and do came flowing into my consciousness. I was calmly able to react and take advantage of the opportunity in front of me. 

This is only one example of the many exercises and ideas Bruce has in store for participants at his upcoming workshop Turbocharging the Law of Attraction. Join me and move from paralyzed to possibility! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Just breathe


Take a moment to listen.  Can you hear it?  It’s your very own breath.

Take a moment to listen.  Can you hear it?  It’s your very own breath.

Typically, we don’t listen to our breath, we take it for granted.  It’s our body’s mechanistic way of working.  However, the breath is so much more than the oxygen it brings in to our lungs to make our bodies function.  The breath is something that we use to calm ourselves, to release stress; to bring ourselves back down to center after a strong emotion has been experienced.  We can train ourselves to utilize our breath, as if a tool, when we decide to join a sport or become a trained vocal musician. We can hold it when we go swimming or when we want to deeply inhale something especially delectable.  Our breath can be taken away and we can also catch our breath.  Now, consider this, our breath is also our basic common denominator to each and every other human on this planet.

The connection we have with each other can be categorized, intellectualized and rationalized, but the one thing that truly connects us all is the fact that we each breathe the same breath.   The air we breathe has been expelled by another, that is used by the environment and sent back to us.  If you look at it in this simplistic form, we do seem to be breathing the same breath.  We know there is more to it than that in the way of chemical compositions, however, to know that we are all connected through our breath is an interesting way to observe life. 

What if we went about our day noticing the breathing patterns of others.  Then noticing our own breathing pattern.  What would happen if you tried to synch up your breath to theirs?   How would you feel, would they noticed?  

Do As One is an organization with the goal of getting one billion people to breathe together each November 11th.  Their goal is, “To serve and connect humanity by establishing a legacy of healthy, conscious breathing.”   A visit to their website invites visitors to join a daily variety of breathing rooms.  Here you can see how many people are joining in this collective breath.  Not only does it have a counter of participants, it also has a map to show where the participants are located in the world.  In these rooms an intention can also be set.  It has 13 Grand Intentions which are: Unconditional Love, Nourishment, Peace, Health, Oneness, Harmony, Compassion, Joy, Beauty, Conscious Breathing, Abundance, Gratitude and Forgiveness.  Visit the website, http://www.doasone.com, download the app or utilize this widget below. Just Breathe.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

One Simple Idea Love Has No Boundaries


Why is it that religions are dividing and not uniting? 30 children from different religious are cast together with Tina Turner to lay the foundation for a new generation that is planting the seeds and nurturing unconditional love, like what is taught right here at our center.

Teach the children well and feed them on your dreams.

Find out more at www.beyondsinging.com

And So It Is! 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Unconscious Beliefs and the Law of Attraction

Rampart! Rampart! Someone's gotten into my subconscious and I can't get them out!


"You are going to end up being a garbage man!" my father yelled at the top of his voice. "Now sit down and focus! You won't get into college if you can't do the math. You will never be able to do what you want!"

He started again, "Imagine you have a pie and you take one slice out ..."

Math homework for my brother was a nightmare. It probably didn't have to be that way but that is the way it was.

He's been a garbage man now for about 25 years.

And there is nothing wrong with that. But it's not his dream and it never was.

He probably doesn't remember that moment at the dining room table, but I do. I remember watching and wishing I could save him from the humiliation and even felt ashamed that math came easily for me.

He wanted to be outdoors. He loved hunting and fishing and the show Emergency. Do you remember that show? Well he LOVED it. He watched every episode.

It was such a calling for him that he later took EMT classes, trained as an underwater scuba rescue person and now volunteers at the local fire department. He has saved numerous lives. He dives under the frozen ice into freezing cold water to save people. He has two awesome sons, one a fireman and another studying to be a doctor.

That's what I see. But it's not what he sees.

So when Rev. Bruce gave us a little preview his workshop coming up on Saturday August 24 I couldn't help but think of my brother and that moment at the dining room table.

What are the unconscious limiting beliefs that you have about yourself? 

What are the limitations that you have bought into? You may not even remember the moment but we all have them. Sometimes they come from something we have observed. Sometimes they come from the poorly chosen words of a frustrated parent. Sometimes they come from our own negative self talk repeated through the years.

But the point that Rev. Bruce made is that this limiting beliefs must be erradicated if we are going to live truly inspired, authentic lives. No Law of Attraction stuff is going to work if we are harboring these untruths in the deep recesses of our mind.

Here is a clip from Sunday's service of Rev. Bruce talking about these "unconscious beliefs."

Join us on Saturday August 24 for the workshop with Rev. Bruce Fredenburg one of the lessons will be how to find and irradicate these unconscious beliefs one and for all!

And if you sign up before August 7th you will receive the additional bonus of some one-on-one follow up time with Rev. Bruce Fredenburg, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, to help put these principles into practice.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

'Self-Worth, Self-Love, Self-ish'


Being in love with yourself isn't selfish - is it? Join us as we steep ourselves in all that we love and experience the transformation of self-love! 

"Today, I recognize my soul's longing to be nurtured and loved.  I open my heart and allow myself to receive kindness, love and compassion, acknowledging I am worthy of all good things.  And so it is."    -Juli Isola


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Who's Your Boss?

Back in the early 2000s, I began to experience a symptom I now know as air hunger. I should say, re-experienced, because I’d had the same problem when I was in my early 20s. “It’s just nerves,” the doctor said. “Relax and it will go away.” And indeed within a year it was a distant memory. When it happened again, my doctor said, “nerves” and handed me a prescription for Xanax. But this time it wasn't going away, in fact it was getting worse.

When I was young, I believed doctors knew best…better than I did. After all, they were highly educated, trained professionals, right? So when my body didn't do what it's supposed to do, the doctor could fix it. And if the doctor couldn't fix it, then it was either unfixable, or all in my head.

But I've learned a lot in the intervening years. I learned that if I was in a relationship where my partner treated me badly, that I could choose to leave – or stay. I learned that if my employer was taking advantage of me, I could choose to leave. In fact, I learned that it was I who chose that disparaging partner, that disappointing job and if I’d listened to my own inner wisdom, I might have taken a different path.

My inner wisdom was telling me this breathing problem was not “all in my head”. It wasn't just stress. And when my tests came back normal, I trusted my inner wisdom. I kept searching. Specifically, I refined my perception of the issue and discovered “air hunger”. Once I could clearly name it, I could find the condition – Babesia, a malaria-like infection that often comes with Lyme disease, which I also have.

I’d like to say I did this all on my own. And while taking total responsibility for my health was all me, I had invaluable help. I tapped into the vast well of knowledge and experience of other Lyme patients. There’s not one symptom; one reaction to medication, one painful procedure I experienced, that someone else in my Lyme community hadn't been through. There was always someone ready and willing to share, guide and support me.


Inner wisdom, what some call intuition, is simply the Universe speaking. Sometimes It speaks so softly you have to lean in. Sometimes the inner chatterbox drowns It out, but you can learn Its voice. Inner wisdom never fails.

--Pamela Rocke

Friday, August 2, 2013

How Evolved Are You? Visit Your Family - Part 2

Last week I posted a blog about the anticipation of visiting my drama-ridden family in Pennsylvania.

I had mentioned a saying I once heard, "If you want to know how evolved you are, visit your family for three days."

So, after almost eight years of being away from my family, I set off for a 12 hour drive with my kids and my mom to visit our family in Pennsylvania...the family I had left at the age of 18 and rarely visited since.

I was worried about the drama.  I was worried about the lower energy.  I was worried about what would happen.

Well, contrary to everything I know, my worry was simply worrying about something that hadn't happened....

....and, to my surprise, it didn't.

After traveling so far, I took time to reconnect with my cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. and sat up night after night reminiscing about old times.

We had a picnic in the very spot in the yard of my grandmother's house that we had spent so many summers in the past.

My kids saw lightening bugs for the first time.
Catching Lightening Bugs

They experienced my crazy uncle throwing boxes of firecrackers into the fire scaring the sh*t out of all of us as he did EVERY summer that we picnicked in that same spot.

We went horseback riding.

We laughed, we hugged, and we remembered good memories....forgetting to bring up the old, not-so-memorable ones.

Was there drama going on around us?  

Of course.

Did I notice it?

Not really?

What I noticed were the family members who wanted to catch up.

What I noticed was the quiet beauty all around me that I took for granted all those years growing up in Pottstown....the rolling farmland, the blackest black of night, the lightening bugs, the deafening sound of crickets.

I noticed the kids of my cousins laughing with my own boys.

I noticed the love that our family has for each other that sometimes is blinded by the arguing that goes on.

Mostly, I noticed how far I have come in my own mind.

I could have gotten involved in the gossip or drama going on, but I chose to notice the beautiful love deeply embedded in my family.

As I returned back to South Carolina in another 12 hour drive, I noticed how well-behaved my kids were.

The worry I had going into this trip was all for naught.

Another reminder that worry is all about something that hasn't happened, and if we are aware enough of our thinking, probably won't happen.

Thank you, Universe for this amazing reminder, this amazing family I have, and this amazing life I am living!

I am truly grateful.