Sunday, June 30, 2013


“Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul — and you answer.”   ~Terri Guillemets

There It is...knocking at the door of your heart, tapping at the thresh hold of your mind, silently screaming from the depths of your soul, pestering you to let It in...What is this?

This thing is simply your own splendor urging to express itself through you.  It is your divine nature attempting to make its contribution to the world, and when it is blocked or disregarded, it can show up in life as discontentment, anger, depression, etc...

The beautiful artwork you see above was created by artist, poet and graphic designer, Eric Hart Samuelson.  I met Eric for the first time in 2009 when we took an extensive 2+ year long class together.  In that class of 12 students, we all spent numerous hours together learning, growing, and really getting to know each other (a life-long bond we will all forever share and cherish).  But most importantly, we began to learn and unleash things about ourselves that were  buried beneath old beliefs and shaded by the expectations of others.  During one of our class projects, I got to see, first-hand and for the first time, the brilliance that was Eric's artwork.  Not that we were competing with each other, but his project totally blew everyone out of the water!

Why am I writing about this?  As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”  We all have a brilliance that is urging to express through us.  It may be deeply hidden away within ourselves or simply waiting to surface by means of our own receptivity to it.  Eric's calling laid dormant for a while and finally surfaced while doing some inner work.  Thank goodness he listened to his divine urges or we wouldn't be experiencing his exquisite artwork.  If you hear that knocking from your soul, open the door and see what's waiting to come through you.  The world deserves to see your gift!

Please check out the rest of Eric's artwork and let him know how much you appreciate his gifts:

Saturday, June 29, 2013

My Very First Experience of Transformation

Many years ago in the middle of summer vacation my life fell apart!. (It actually had not been truly together for several months, but I was in deep denial.) My "boyfriend" and I had just decided to move in together. I had given notice to vacate my apartment which I liked but he didn't and the management company had already rented it. Then he decided that he would go back to his old life which included a wife and family. My world felt shattered. My heart was broken. I hastily found a loft in the upper floor of a friend's home. I told him it was OVER, that I did not want any part of the life he was able to offer but I felt that my emotional world was irrevocably shattered. I felt that I could never trust myself again. My life was on the rocks.

Asilomar Beach
I noticed there was an ad in Science of Mind magazine for a spiritual retreat in California scheduled to take place the following week. It called to me. Somehow I knew I would find peace of mind there.

When I called to see if I could register, the woman told me that the conference was sold out but she asked me to hold. Evidently there had been a last-minute cancellation and I could take that spot, if I didn't mind rooming with two women I had never met before. I called the airlines and was able to book a flight from my home in Edmonton to Monterey, California. 

My accommodations

The whole conference seemed to have been planned with me in mind. Every speaker and every workshop pointed me in the direction of personal empowerment, self-validation, love and integrity. Even my roommates were part of my healing. We would talk about spiritual ideas and how we could apply them to our lives. They were beautiful women full of love and willing to share their knowledge with me. We even shared our personal stories and histories. This is part of the transformation.

Both women had been in long-term love relationships with married men. Both of them shared that they would gladly marry the man in question if and when he ever left his wife. These relationships had been going on for years -- five and fifteen! Both women had chronic, catastrophic illnesses although one of the women was in remission. My personal message could not have been clearer. This was a prophecy for my life, if I didn't grow  a backbone and stop  longing to be with a man who was not available, I too would ruin my health and live in sadness.

By Friday night I was still feeling uncertain about how I would cope when I got back home. It seemed so easy to be spiritual there in Asilomar, surrounded by like-minded people, feeling the Divine Presence, having released shame and guilt and moving steadfastly in the direction of my dreams. Would I be able to do what was in my best interests or would I cave  in to the lies the man would be spinning? 

That night our surroundings matched my consciousness. We were surrounded my a dense fog. My friend who was in remission suggested that I see her practitioner who was on duty in the Prayer Room. I made an appointment, poured out my heart to her, including the sordid story, and she saw the Truth of me for me. It was one of the most powerful prayers I had ever received. I was open and willing for a positive change. 

Remembering my oneness, I am empowered!

The next day, I was on the top of the world. I FELT the support of the Divine, in my surroundings and in my life. My new friends and I decided to go to the airport together. I misread my ticket and arrived 45 minutes after my plane had left for San Francisco. Because I was so centered in Truth and TRUST, I just asked the airline staff how I could get home. They arranged, AT NO EXTRA COST TO ME for an alternative flight out of San Francisco the next day. In the consciousness of transformation, fear and doubt had never crossed my mind. It was later that I realized how extraordinary that action was!

On that flight I met a very nice single man from Great Britain who was travelling North America for several weeks that summer. We exchanged phone numbers and even shared a ride to the airport. I invited him to come and see Canada while he was on vacation. Much to my surprise, he took me up on my invitation. He was willing on sleep on my couch. No sooner had I set up a make-shift bed on my couch when there was a knock on my door. Sure enough, it was Mr. Unavailable, begging me to let him come in  for a little while. When I told him that I had company, he jumped to conclusions and yelled hysterically, "How could you do such a thing to me!!" I stayed awake. It was an experience of inner awakening! God is good, 24-7-365!

Have you ever had an awakening that helped you see life more clearly?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Happiness is the Gift of Letting Go

Hummingbird at Feeder

"In the space of letting go, she let it all be."

She Let Go
Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of fear.
She let go of judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.
Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice.
She didn’t read a book on how to let go.
She just let go.
She let go of all the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go.
She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.
She made no public announcement.
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.
She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn’t utter one word.
She just let go.
No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good. It wasn’t bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.
Here’s to giving ourselves the gift of letting go…
There’s only one guru ~ you.

~ Dr. Ernest Holmes

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Instantly Answered Prayers are Possible!

Raise your hand if you believe in instantly answered prayers. Is your hand in the air? Mine is! To be honest, I didn't exactly believe it in my heart-of-hearts until this week. Let me clarify. I have enjoyed answered prayers often, but up until this week, I had not experienced an instant, right-in-the-moment-the prayer-is-spoken manifestation.

I pray daily, usually multiple times a day; little prayers and big prayers, but, occasionally, I'm so wrapped up in my doubts or justifications or negative beliefs, that I can't truly embody the truth for myself and I need to see a practitioner. A practitioner is someone so clear in his or her communion with Spirit that he or she can know the truth for you even when you can't know it for yourself.

So, back to my instant manifestation.

This past Sunday I walked into the Center with some anxiety about a photography session scheduled that day. I told the practitioner about the anxiety and the whole story as to why I was feeling anxious. I also told her that I knew I wanted to be confident, calm and peaceful during my photo shoot. Smiling, she said, "Ok."  I expected her to say more but she just listened and each time I said what I wanted she just said, "Ok." When I was done, we closed our eyes and my practitioner prayed out loud.

As she spoke, the feeling in my body changed. Instantly, I felt more grounded and centered. I didn't just think "confident" any more, I embodied confidence. My breathing became deep and smooth. When she was done, I knew it was done. My request instantly set in motion.

I felt wonderful all day. When I got to my photo session, the beach was crowded and parking was full, but I stayed calm and confident. Anytime a challenge came up, I responded easily with wisdom. When I got home, I uploaded my photos and was overwhelmed by the abundance of beautiful, well-focused, nicely composed, perfectly lit photos.

My request demonstrated and my life changed forever!

One thing I love about this teaching is that Ernest Holmes basically said (and I'm paraphrasing here) try it, test it, see it for yourself. We can study all about principle and prayer, but the real way to know it's power is to experience it for yourself.

Do you want to instantly release whatever is holding you back? Do you want to live your dream now? Come visit us at the Center and see a practitioner! Or visit our website ( for a list of practitioners and email one today!

Marriage Equality is a Basic Human Right

Rev. Dr. Kenn Gordon
Rev. Dr. Kenn Gordon
"Everyone is equal in the eyes of God"

Marriage equality is a basic human right,  says Dr. Kenn Gordon, spiritual leader to more than 250,000 adherents worldwide of the New Thought philosophy known as Religious Science.

"This is a spiritual question, not a political one. Today's U.S. Supreme Court decisions are important steps toward the ultimate goal of full marriage equality. It is inane for us to put laws  forward in our social contract like marriage and say it is OK for some but not for everyone. Everyone is equal in the eyes of God. We believe that love is the foundation of all major religious philosophies, and therefore we support the expression of love in same-sex couples and the right of same-sex couples to marry."
"Religious Science endeavors to get to the spiritual truth of the matter and through that lens we see that marriage equality is about human and civil rights.  It is not up to a court to deny basic human rights to anyone."

Begun in 1924 by Dr. Ernest Holmes, Religious Science, also known as Science of Mind,  was founded on the belief that all individuals deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.  Gordon notes that from the beginning, a large percentage of adherents and ministers within the Centers have identified as LGBT and that continues today.

ABOUT CENTERS FOR SPIRITUAL LIVING: Founded in 1924 by Dr. Ernest Holmes, there are now more than 250,000 adherents in over 400 centers and communities worldwide. Centers for Spiritual Living's vision is to awaken humanity to its spiritual magnificence and create a world that works for everyone.

Come join us!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Misery loves company

Last Sunday, at the Center for Spiritual Living, Capistrano Valley, Reverend Heather spoke about joining into an agreement of a misery mindset.  Some seem to constantly discuss sorrows and will gravitate towards others who will agree that those sorrows are rightfully justified.  Some live in those sorrows and are attached to them.  Some feel defined by those sorrows.  What if those sorrows were given up?  Granted, not all sorrows have the same gravity, knowing the difference can distinguish between a misery conversationalist and a true request for prayer.

It's not unusual to be held captive by a misery conversationalist.  They are the ones that seem to require a lot of your time, attention and don't get hints of your plan to escape.   What if you become stuck with an misery conversationalist?  What should you do?  If our first instinct is to correct them and try to help them find the errors of their ways, this may not be a very productive approach.  Remember they want you to be in agreement with them.  They are usually not there to be in agreement with you and usually don't want a lesson.  Correcting a behavior takes time, longer than just a casual conversation.  Also, they may not even recognize or want to recognize they are a misery conversationalist.  Another method is to walk away from the conversation, though this may appear rude, it is effective.  These two methods are ways to give the misery conversationalist fodder to discuss with other misery conversationalists about You.

Here's a new approach.  When Reverend Heather spoke last Sunday she used the phrase, "That's just awful."  What about changing the phrase to, "That's just awe full."  When you enter into a conversation with a misery conversationalist and they ask for an agreement, respond with," That is just awe full."  In your mind you can know and embrace the goodness of God is all around and is full of awe whatever you gaze your eyes on.  The person you are speaking with will think you are agreeing with misery, instead, you are in agreement in a different manner. You are in agreement with them in the aweness of God.  We'll all be the wiser.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Happy Little Accidents

There Are No Limits Here

You Start Out By Believing Here

This Is Your World

You Are The Creator

Find Freedom On This Canvas

Believe That You Can Do It

'Cause You Can Do It!
This Is Your World  You Are The Creator
Paint Your World As You Want To See It.
And So It Is! 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

My Journey from Head to Heart

This week I had an unplanned and unexpected adventure. I went on a journey that has changed my life forever and I didn't leave my office! I didn't plan for it or expect it and it only took about sixty minutes.

So, where did I go? I left my head and went to the ultimate destination - my heart. It is the ultimate journey for anyone on the path of awakening and self-discovery. That journey of moving from theory or concept to experience. I went to a new level of self-awareness that is sought and chased even coveted by many of us. My great journey took place during our Wednesday Wisdom Service where  twenty-something of us were gathered to celebrate the summer solstice, connect with Spirit and uplift our lives. We did those things that prepare our heart and mind for insight and inspiration. We chanted, we prayed and we listened to ourselves and to each other. The perfect starting point for self-discovery we were there on purpose and with purpose connected at the place of unity, wholeness and love. The great 'aha' occurred during the drumming time. Drumming circles are not new to me and I enjoy them so I joined in prepared for a "good time". As I was drumming and hearing the rhythm being created by the group I noticed my wanting to set myself apart, to make my own beat, to differentiate myself, to stand out. That is not an unusual attitude for me and I did that even as I noticed that I kept getting drawn into the 'groups rhythm' and that my drum was blending with the others to make the whole. Here is where the 'glimmer' occurred and the launch from head to heart was set in motion. It only lasted a few moments. This very real and visceral experience that my uniqueness, my individual gift was not because I set myself apart and played my own rhythm, but because I Am my own rhythm, I Am my own beat, and that which I Am is a part of the whole and cannot be separated from it. I had the experience of realizing what I tell others and myself often: we are all a part of this great experience of life and we are all here by right of consciousness to give our gift and to know our magnificence. 

How did I know I had taken the journey? Because I experienced in my being, that which I have known for decades in my head.  This was not a new idea, I had heard it before, I have passed it on to others as a truth, as a reminder, and as I shared with some friends later they reflected back to me the same thing I heard myself say: "I knew this". But, now it was different, now I Know this. My life has changed. The other clue that the journey was made is the difficulty in articulating to another person that which I now know in my heart - because it is so well known in the head. The journey is a personal one. I may have had travel companions with me at that Wednesday service, I was the only one who could take that journey for me.

So, I share with you some of the insights I have had the past few days as this realization anchored in my life. You never know who your traveling companions will be and regardless of who is there with you, the journey is completely personal. The suggested preparation for a journey of this type is spiritual practices that open your heart and mind, connect you with yourSelf.  Be prepared to depart at any time. Much of the journey occurs in the reflection back. I had the aha in the moment and then I continued to bring it into my life by reflecting on what that means to me. The exciting thing about discovery is that it is an adventure, and sometimes it seems to come out of nowhere. The only thing to pack is an open mind. Carry that with you wherever you go and you will have all you need to experience the truth that you know, the truth of you!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Regaining My Identity from "Mom" to Inspired, Beautiful, Nurtured Mom

School is out.

Summer is here.

Last Tuesday, I sent my two boys off to South Carolina with my mom for the next six weeks.

As I did so, I questioned that decision wondering what I would do with myself during the time they were gone.

I had a lot of friends who said, "Wow, how lucky you are!!  But, what are you going to DO for 6 weeks?"  I also had some who said they wouldn't know what to do with themselves without kids.

I have had a lot of emotions around it, but last night, I had a big breakthrough about it.

Last year, I wrote a book, S.O.U.L. Mama, and it is about creating a new paradigm of living, especially as a mom.  Part of the book was allowing myself to lose my identity to my kids, my job, my life, etc.  It took my life crashing down around me to realize what had happened and to find the tools and principles to create a new paradigm of living and re-learn who I was.

What I realized last night is how quickly it is to lose one's identity to their kids, even after the tumultuous journey I have been through.  I realized that the concern I was feeling about what I'd do with myself for six weeks, the guilt I felt when other moms said, "Wow, that's a long time! I couldn't do that," which made me feel like a bad mom, was all because I had gone back to an old paradigm of identifying myself as only a mom.

What I have come to realize is that I am more than that.  I am ME and I have a purpose and an identity outside of being a mom.

I realized in a moment how important it is in these next six weeks to take time for myself.  To get back in touch with who I am, what I am here to do, and do the things that make ME happy.

It's a time, that I believe, the Universe divinely set in front of me so that I was able to remember who I am.  How perfect that I have a mother who is young and spry enough to take on two young, active boys for six weeks.  How perfect that, at this time,  I have a new creative project that needs my attention and that brings me joy and now, I have the time to spend on it.  How perfect that I live in a place so filled with natural beauty that I can meditate, pray or just be at the beach, by the pool or in nature whenever and however long I need to be there.

I realized last night how divinely all of this has come to be.

I realized how supported I am by the Universe to live my life full out, which includes nurturing myself, bringing my creative gifts to the world, and doing so to be the best mom I can possibly be.

Last night, I let go of the guilt, the second-guessing and the feeling that maybe six weeks was too long.

Last night, I embraced the beauty of perfect timing, perfect alignment, and perfect nurturing, so when my boys return, I am even more energized, inspired, and totally, completely in love with them in an expanded way from when they left.

Today, I embrace these next six weeks.

I give thanks for them.  I show my gratitude by nurturing myself and being an even better mom at the end of them.  Thank you, Universe for this blessing!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Reaping Big Benefits From Little Adjustments

Are you looking for the secret to better sleep, increased creativity, better relationships, and improved immunity?  Most people are…
Would you believe me if I told you that this amazingly, transformative product could be yours for free?
Oh, and did I mention that you probably won’t have to break a sweat to reap its benefits? Can you guess what it is?
Yes, it all comes down to gratitude...
It turns out that your mother was right about the importance of saying “thank you,” but it goes much deeper than that. A quick Google search will reveal hundreds of pages of published research on the myriad health benefits of gratitude.
Actually, it makes perfect sense that people who express their appreciation would feel more connected with others. It also follows that showing gratitude would lower one’s levels of immune-suppressing stress hormones, causing the person to think clearer, sleep better, and catch fewer cold bugs; but it is nice to see the scientific community validate that thinking.
The best thing about gratitude is that it always seems to be followed by a little joy-chaser. That’s why it has so many positive health benefits. Think for just a moment about the last time you felt genuinely thankful for someone or something… Now, isn’t just a smidgen of happiness mixed in with those feelings of appreciation? Of course, the two go hand-in-hand.
Developing an attitude of gratitude is fairly straightforward, and you can start out small, if you need to. Begin by thanking the checker at the grocery store or the barista serving you coffee, for example. Just be sure the thank you is sincere.
You can also build the gratitude habit by taking a few minutes each day to appreciate yourself, your life, and those around you – perhaps record your thoughts in a journal.
As expressing thanks becomes a habit, it will become easier to show gratitude in less than ideal circumstances, such as when your kids are arguing, or not following directions. (That’s when you get to be grateful that you’re the parent, so you can bring some order.)
If you’re having trouble finding something to be grateful for in any given situation, take a few moments to get silent and pray about it. Sometimes, it’s simply a matter of allowing yourself to see it through new eyes.
Every situation, no matter how bleak it appears, offers its own opportunities. I know from experience that those possibilities might not be readily apparent, and it can be tempting to throw a great big pity party. (I’ve got to admit, I’ve hosted some pretty spectacular galas for myself…) Of course, if you are in crisis, you need to take stock of your situation, and acknowledge your feelings, but then you need to move on. Lingering over the issue doesn’t serve you. Now, open your eyes to the opportunity.
The key is to always remember that you are at choice: You choose how you will view each situation, and you choose how you will respond to it.

Aware and appreciative that it is unfolding exactly as it should, I am grateful for my life, and all of the people who are in it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Where’s the fun in that?

Last week on the Hay House World Summit 2013, I heard an interview with Deepak Chopra.  At one point in the conversation he spoke about fun.  He mentioned something in regards to the responsibility of bringing fun to relationships, entering into relationships that are fun, which will then lead to having a life of fun.  Fun + Fun = Fun.  With this I pondered about the fun in everyday life.  

In my day to day working environment, I have the opportunity to work face-to-face with the public.  Often times I ask for their email address for communication purposes.  On occasion, a pause will come, and look of embarrassment will wash over their face before actually speaking their address.  This happens, usually, because these addresses were created when they were much younger and carefree.  Some of the addresses are comical and funny.

In 2008 I chose to open a Twitter account.  I remember vividly making the choice to create my username.  At this stage in the game of life I was a full-fledged adult.  I was married with children and I was not young and carefree.  However, I looked at twitter as a fun site, not the informational carrier it is today.  I chose the username @funsep.  I remember thinking about wanting my life to be full of fun.  Flash forward to the present 2013 me in the world of twitter.  At times, I find myself in similar situations as the public I work with.  However, I created this username when I was an adult, I was fully aware of the choice.  Knowing that, I remind myself the reason I created it in the first place. I want my life to be full of fun.  Fully embracing my choice, I see my username as an affirmation and a proclamation.

Affirmation: Today I look for the fun in my everyday life.  I bring fun as me. The party starts as me.  I enter into conversations of laughter.  I am light-hearted with humor and fun!

And So It Is. Amen.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Now Be Aware That You Are A Creative Force

How many people does it take to change the world?

Say to the Universe; "Let it happen NOW, use Me.

Then get out of the way and watch it happen - @EkartTolle

How many people does it take to change the world?
How many people does it take to change the world?

Monday, June 17, 2013

I'm Kind of a Big Deal...

...and so are you.

It's taken me a long time to realize what a big deal I am...and what a big deal you are and you, and you, and you....

Well, a big deal we all are.

As my kids played in the pool today, my mind went on a magical journey of wonderment.

I started thinking about how blessed I was to have the two little boys that I do.  Then I started to think what a big deal they are to the world.

I don't know what they'll do in life, I just know they are a big deal.

Then I started thinking how we are ALL such a big deal to the world right now and how important it is for all of us to bring our individual gifts to the world.

It needs EACH of our gifts right now.  That's why we were born when we were, to whom we were born, and at the time in the Earth's evolution that we were born into.

Have you ever pondered this and then experience an overwhelming curiosity about how big the Universe is?  And then, dwindle down this bigness to yourself and realizing how there is no accident that you are here at this very time?

There is a precise reason.

There is a precise gift you have to help evolve our world.

Do not allow it to pass.  Do not ignore it.  WE need YOU.  YOU need ME.  I need YOU!

Allow me to experience your gift.  Allow me to reap the rewards of having your gift in the world.  Allow the Universe the gift it expected of you when it sent you here at this time.

Just grasp the greatness of who you are, cause like me, you're kind of a big deal!

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Just the other day, Rev. Pattie Mercado and I were having a conversation about Thomas Troward, who was one of the key influences on Dr. Ernest Holmes and the teachings of the Science of Mind, and it reminded me of one of my favorite quotes of his:

"You never get what you want just because you want it.  But you always get what you believe whether you want it or not."  

This is such a statement of freedom for me.  Why?   Have you ever prayed or pleaded for something like winning the lottery, getting the perfect, well-paying job, or finding the perfect mate even though you didn't feel deserving of it?  When you really go within yourself and examine those pleads or prayers, did you really believe that you were going to attain them or was it just hopeful (doubtful) thinking?  The freedom for me is knowing that believing is seeing, rather than seeing is believing. When everything in your heart and soul is telling you yes, that is believing.  When your head is messing with you, telling you why you should or why you shouldn't believe something or move forward with it, that is simply the ego or fear trying to make sense of whatever your dream is.

One of my all-time favorite movies is "Field of Dreams," not only because it involves baseball, but because of the profound leap of faith and belief Ray (played by Kevin Cosner) took to allow his dream to unfold at the risk of losing all of his and his family's material wealth.  Listen and watch the argument between his intuition and his ego...

"People will come."  BELIEVE in your dream, and watch it manifest!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

What is the Divine Masculine?

Sunday is Fathers Day. It is a day to honor our dads. My intention is to honor men -- God knows they have had their fair share of  ragging on, dismissing, distrust and jokes about their unworthiness, their lack of compassion or their brutality. Yes, there are some brutes out there! I will concede that point, but there are so many good men too. As I was researching the Divine Masculine (which is part of both women and men) I realized that even the men that scare me have redeeming qualities. And maybe being scared isn't all it's cracked up to be! The six archetypes of the Divine Masculine are God, King, Sage, Lover, Warrior, and Priest. We all can develop these qualities.  The Divine Masculine is the part of us that chooses, initiates, causes things to happen. It is a very important part of our spiritual make-up.

Lela & Gordon Clark, and Neil & Geraldine Burrell

What I really want to write about is my father, Gordon Douglas Clark. Most readers of this blog may not have met him.  He made his transition twenty years ago, but continues to influence my life today. It has been said that our parents' job is to develop both roots and wings in their children. Roots so they will remember what is important and wings so they can look after themselves. 

Dad was the youngest child in a family of three boys; the oldest became a geo-physicist, the second a dentist and my dad was a teacher. These men loved ideas and when they were together there would be  much laughter, not joke telling as much as story-telling about themselves and their friends. They all loved language and were always quipping and playing with concepts. 

Dad also loved to sing. One of the highlights of my childhood was family car  trips because the whole family would sing for hours. Later when I learned to play piano, I learned those old standards that the family loved to sing. Then finally, when dad's Alzheimers' had robbed him of his quick wit and logical thinking, I made a cassette tape for him that contained all the old standards that he loved to sing -- "Let me Call You Sweetheart," "Side by Side" and dozens of others. Although I lived nine hours away, I could participate in our family sing-alongs. My sister would take it to the care facility and they would enjoy an evening of singing.

He was a very good dancer, but I could never follow him!

Gordon & Lela dancing

I have many favorite memories of my dad but the one that is heaviest on my heart today, is getting a letter from him offering me support when I was nursing a broken heart; it seemed to me that I was often feeling abandoned and rejected by the ones I loved. Dad wrote the sweetest note, quoting Tennyson, "Tis better to have loved and lost/ Than never to have loved at all." I was in my thirties then and I had not expected that kind of kindness and love. I guess I had expected outer voices to match my inner tormenter, who was yelling at me for choosing such a scoundrel in the first place.

There are so many stories I could share about my dad. He passed twenty years ago this August. I miss him still. So much of who I am came from my dad.

What are your special memories about your father?
My family 1979

My family 1991
My family 1961

Friday, June 14, 2013

We Think That What We Do Doesn't Matter

“It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly's wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world” ~ Chaos Theory

When they say "God is expressing in you and through you" I always get a little concerned.

It feels like quite a responsibility.

If my thoughts, words and actions are the thoughts, words and actions of God (insert your fininte word for the Infinite with the least emotional baggage) expressing through me it seems as though I should take a little more care as to what is thought, said and done.

I've had a statement rolling around in my head the last few days. I just can't get it out of my mind.

We think that what we do doesn't matter. 

And I am just beginning to see how many ramifications there are to this untruth.

We can think we are too small to make change. We can think that there is nothing we can do in this big world to make it better.

We can think we don't have a contribution to make, a worthy gift to give.

We can think our children aren't watching are very moves, our very gestures, our words.

We can think our presence (or sometime our absense) will not matter, that we do not count, that nothing we could do would be worthy of making change.

But we would be wrong.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Trusting My Good Increases My Happiness!

This month at our center the theme is happiness. I find myself thinking about it a lot, talking about it with parents, youth and other students of life like myself. My belief about happiness is being happy comes naturally. It's natural to be happy. One idea presented during my happiness research this month is that we each have a "set point" like a default on the thermostat for our happiness. In this model, no matter what the outside circumstances spike at (the highs and the lows) eventually I will find myself once again at my own default. I can reflect back on my life and see this pattern which is not exactly "making me happy".  So my question becomes how do I really get happy and stay happy? How do I reset my happiness thermostat to default at a higher level, how do I increase my capacity? 

One thing I absolutely know and trust is that whenever there is a question the answer will be revealed. A solution to every problem exists. This morning as I walked through my house I saw the answer written on my wall. Literally, there it was in beautiful elegant writing, framed, hanging where I see it many times every day reminding me of my good. 

In this moment my good comes to me
enough and to spare, to give and to share.
It can never be exhausted, my good can never be depleted
because that Source from which my good comes is inexhaustible.

Today in this moment, the Law responds to my thought.
My word is one of affirmation, rising from the knowledge
that the Good, the Enduring and the True are Eternalities 
in my experience. I cannot be apart from that which is my good.

My good is assured me by God, that Indwelling Essence of my life.
                                         - Ernest Holmes

How am I incereasing my happiness? By trusting that indwelling source from which all good comes. How are you increasing your happiness?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fathering Happiness

Honoring the men in our lives, a focus on what we love most about them, is the question.

A dad that fathers humor.

A remembrance of the sweet moments of everyday life is one key to honoring our men.  It's easy to overlook the day-to-day operations as being of significance.  However, these are the memories that our children will reflect on in their future.  They will say, "Remember when..." or "I always loved it when you did..."  These sweet moments build to form a relationship that is strong, and paves the way for our children's own future relationships.

"I love that Darin brushes their hair.  I love that he instills skills of independence and self-confidence in the girls by teaching them how to do things.  His collections of movies and pictures remind me of our special moments and that time passes quickly.  Humor, fun and love fill our home.  No ideal is too idealistic.  And strangers are just friends we haven't met yet."
Lisa McClure

Upon having children, I continually read upon their development. I came to understand that mood swings weren't personal and their favoritism for one parent over another along their development was, just that, their development.  With that knowledge, other than a connection in God, I shared with my husband how his relationship with my daughter was the most important relationship she will ever have. His bond with her will provide her with the confidence in selecting a future relationship with a spouse.

My husband's relationship with my daughter is very close and laughter is their common bond.  It's not unusual to hear belly-aching laughter coming from a room in the house where they have connected. They call each other "dude" and are video game buds.  He is her mentor, her tutor and her confidant.

With my son, the relationship they've developed is also ripe with laughter.  Sometimes my son can laugh so hard, a reminder to take a breath is in order.  My husband's place in my son's life is one of honor.  The challenges of parenting a child on the autistic spectrum can be emotional and physically draining.  Being the parent responsible to accompany him during therapy sessions, has given him a plethora of skills on re-directing behaviors.  His role in my son's life has been so vital.  He's been there every step of the way in his development, milestones and set-backs.

With this honoring, it is interesting to ponder why we choose these men to be in our lives, and, more importantly, why did they choose us to be in theirs?  What is OUR responsibility to support these men in the next stage of evolution?  Truly ask the question, "How am I supporting the men in my life?"  Gratitude is an important answer to that question. When we are grateful we can open our hearts wide enough to allow the invisible to become visible.  Those little things our husbands do to father our children become significant.

"What I love most about my husband is his desire to raise our sons to be gentlemen.  He thinks about teaching our boys the very things that will make them amazing men themselves...i.e. taking your hat off at the dinner table, opening a door and allowing women to walk through first, remembering to do the little things for their mom, so one day, they'll do it for their significant others.  When I see my boys do polite things for women along our daily journey, it allows me to give gratitude for their dad recognizing the importance of being a kind, compassionate gentleman."
Vidette Vanderweide
Happy Father's Day

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I have been thinking about music

Hi neighbor I am glad we are together again today

I have been thinking about music

I guess you know I really love music 

It has been very very important to me since I was very little...

everything we do is music
And So It Is! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

A "Negative Nelly" Contaminates My Mind...Or Does She?

I was having a conversation the other day with a woman I didn't know.

I had just met her, but we struck up a conversation and before I knew it, I was bombarded with a barrage of "poor me's," "ain't it tough's," and "life is hard's."

I can remember, in the past, having those kinds of conversations and unknowingly, taking that energy with me and not understanding why I felt funky for the rest of the day.

On this day, however, I noticed, with great awareness, how far I'd come...

I have a time in my life that I can look back on and recognize a similar mindset like this lady.  My life was a mess, to be honest.  I focused in on what wasn't good in my life, which was my job, my car, my house, my bank account.  Nothing surrounding me was really anything I liked.

What I have come to learn is summed up so greatly by Ernest Holmes:

"Negative forces operating in our lives will die a natural death if we practice the habit of being disinterested in them."

As I fast-forward several years in my life, I no longer give attention to the things that frustrate or challenge me.  Emotions may surface around them, but I have a keen awareness of these emotions, and move past them quickly.

Interestingly enough, I no longer have the things in my circumstances that I don't like.  On the contrary, I have more things that overwhelm me with joy and push me to tears almost on a daily basis...


Because I choose to put my attention on the things that bring me joy and little attention on the things that frustrate me.

I realized, after watching a recent interview of, Buddhist Monk, That Nich Hahn, that I practiced the greatest gift of all to the woman I will call "Negative Nelly..."

...mindful listening.

I did not offer her advice of "focus on the positive!"  She wasn't in a space to receive that.

I simply listened to her.  I gave her my time.  I gave her an ear and I allowed her to vent her frustrations.

I left, free and clear without an ounce of negative energy from the conversation.  

As That Nich Hahn explained, when we practice mindful listening, for that time, be give someone the ability to release their pain.  Even for a second, we have made a difference in her life.

I knew I had done that for my new friend, however, with an awareness expanding in leaps in bounds because of my classes at CSLCV, I was able to walk away from it clear of any negative feelings, get into my car, and once again, be moved to tears at the overwhelming joy of finally driving a car I love! 

Sunday, June 9, 2013



On Wednesday night, Rick Dale and I had the blessed opportunity to share an inspiration talk entitled, Practice Makes The Master.  This title came from a quote I heard from author and Toltec teacher, Don Miguel Ruiz, which states, Practice makes the master. It's not about learning; it's about taking action and practicing your art (your art, meaning everything you create in your life).  As an artist, if you practice love and you keep practicing and practicing, the moment comes when everything you do is an expression of your love.  How will you know when you have mastered love?  When the story you tell yourself is an ongoing romance.”

I LOVE that...when the story you tell yourself is an ongoing romance!

So, we decided to share some simple daily practices which could be instrumental for just about anyone to experience an ongoing romance with life.  
  • Practice Love--Share your love through Love Lingual:  quality time, touch, words of affirmation, receiving gifts, or service to others.
  • Practice Silence--Get quiet, even if it's just for just a few minutes during the day to allow Infinite Wisdom and Infinite Peace to move through you.
  • Practice Gratitude--Ponder someone for whom you are truly grateful and write them a note to let them know how much they mean to you.
  • Practice Balance--Balance your life between work, rest and play.  Take the time to rest, even if it means missing out on something else.  Your body and mind with thank you.
  • Practice Saying "No!"--Say, "No" to what is not working in your life and say, "Yes!" to a greater idea that does serve you.
  • Practice Joy/Fun--Even if you're not feeling the joy, go out and find some fun to be had, even if you have to go to a playground and swing.  It can change your whole physiology and your attitude.
These are just a few basic ideas that can help you experience an ongoing romance with life and so easy to implement.  As Rick stated at the end, "Court life; light some candles; take Life out on a date; treat It with LOVE!"

PS.  I have to say that the pinnacle of the evening for me was watching my beloved 16 year old daughter get up in front of everyone and sing the song, "There Is Only Love".  Her raw (untrained) talent shone through and moved us all to tears.  Click on this link to hear the sweetness: 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Life is a Story

I just finished reading Life of Pi an amazing story about a young boy and a Bengal tiger surviving on a life raft for seven months. Months ago I saw the movie and was struck by how spiritual it was, but is wasn't until reading the book I truly understood how spiritual it is. It has helped me appreciate the Divine Mystery once more.

Near the beginning of the novel, an old man  tells the narrator that he had a story...

 "...that will make you believe in God.
I stopped waving my hand. But I was suspicious. Was this s Jehovah's Witness knocking at my door? "Does your story take place two thousand years ago in a remote corner of the Roman empire?" I asked.
Was he some sort of Muslim evangelist? "Does it take place in seventh century Arabia?"
"No. no. It starts right here in Pondicherry just a few years back..."

By the end of the novel, I was convinced that the nature of God, not as a magical Presence who interfered in the natural order of things, but of God as Love, Life and full self-expression. The Divine Mystery that is greater than the sum of its parts.

I believe in God. I believe that God is greater than any words can ever articulate, infinite in nature and scope
Last Sunday, Dr. Jim Lockard explored the question of the nature of God in his inspirational talk, Defining God. Truly we are reminded that the nature of God is not some old man who whimsically dishes out good or evil based on his changing whims or for no reason at all. Dr. Jim reminded us that the awe-inspiring nature of the Divine is Its activity through us, through our self-assessment, our beliefs, our passion. He also reminded us that our lives are the reflection of our own acceptance of the nature of God.

Now, the story of Pi, on a life raft with a Bengal tiger, did not bring me to the same conclusions. In this story, both in the movie and in the novel, I felt that Pi's Spiritual Experience, (he defined himself as a Hindu, Christian, Muslim), was one of feeling the Presence of Transcendent Love. His faith was based on a Deity, outside himself, who kept him alive  for seven months in a very dangerous situation. He believed in a transcendent God that was outside himself. He had faith in God. The story was about courage, choices, perceptions and love.

Ernest Holmes writes: " Why must we believe? Because God is belief. God is belief, and belief is Law, and Law produces form, in substance. When Jesus explained to his disciples that they had failed to heal because of a lack of faith, they protested that they did have faith in God. Jesus explained to them that this was insufficient; they must have the faith of God. The faith of God is very different from a faith in God. The faith of God IS God, and somewhere along the line of our spiritual evolution this transition will gradually take place, where we shall cease having faith IN and shall have faith OF.Always in such degree as this happens, a demonstration takes place." SOM 317

The charming story of Pi is also about how one perceives or discerns the circumstances and events of his or her life. It is a story of unbelievable courage living on a small life-raft with a dangerous Bengal tiger. Or it may be a story about a devout vegan Hindu boy whose life circumstances brought him in close proximity with bestial danger, and the choices he made to survive. At the end of the novel, people are questioning Pi about his story and asking him to tell what really happened. Pi responds,"Isn't telling about something --- using words, English or Japanese -- already something of an invention? Isn't just looking upon this world already something of an invention?" Then he went on to say, "The world isn't just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no? And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no"? Doesn't that make life a story?"

Yes. Indeed, it is our understanding OF life that determines our experience of it! I know that that understanding grows as we evolve spiritually. What is your understanding of Life? of God? 

I believe in Love, when I see the evidence of it. I see Love when my heart is full of Love.

How do you define God? Do you have faith IN God? or do you have the faith OF God?

Friday, June 7, 2013

The "Secret" to Affirmative Prayer

Last week in our "Essential Ernest" class, Dr. Heather shared a magical secret to make our affirmative prayers more effective when we may be challenged with feeling the emotion of having the very desire we are praying for in our lives.

Feeling what it is like to already have that (insert prayer request) in your life is extremely critical in saying an effective prayer.

The subconscious mind doesn't know a prayer from reality, but if you're happy about it, it goes into action to create more happiness, thus attracting that very thing into your life.

So, what's the secret?

If you finding yourself having difficulty connecting with the feeling of that prayer manifesting in your life, pray for something that you already have in your reality AND that you are so grateful to have!

When you do this, you already know you have it...your ego even knows it, so it cannot step in to whisper "sweet nothings...," and I do mean sweet NOTHINGS in your ear about how you don't have what you're praying for.

When you know you have something, you feel it.  You feel it to the core of your existence.

Take that feeling, then, into the prayer where you affirm what it is you want to see in your reality next!

When you're already in the feeling of it, you simply continue it and become a manifesting machine...because remember, that thing you wish to bring about, is already yours.

It's simply awaiting you to receive it with open arms and gratitude.

Want to learn more "golden nuggets" of manifesting everything you want in life?

Join us for "Prosperity Plus" June 24th...learn how to attract prosperity and abundance in all aspects of your life with this 10 week class!  Call our Center at 949-240-6463 for all the details and to get registered. See you there!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Let Gifts Guide You to Your Higher Purpose

My gift of photography captures my daughter's gift of dance,
and we both live our higher purpose.

I've come to discover that when a concept comes to me in many ways...I hear, see or read it in a number of different places... it's a message from the Universe to pay attention; to look more closely at the idea being offered. So lately, the Universe has brought "gifts" to my attention.

Our culture offers many opportunities throughout the year for gift giving. Birthdays, Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day, and graduation are just a few of the times each year we go online or to the store looking for the perfect gift for someone. For me, gift selection isn't my favorite part of the process. During a recent workshop regarding the Five Languages of Love, I discovered and came to terms with gift selection as a chore I would rather delegate to someone else who I deem more worthy because he or she has better taste or more creative ideas.

When I got home from the workshop, I told my husband about my discovery. And then, knowing me so well, he said, "You give lots of gifts." He went on to acknowledge the photographs I make and share on my personal blog and the joy and love those photographs bring my family and close friends. Aw man...he was right! My photography is a gift I give lovingly, joyfully and freely without worry about whether it will fit or if it will be appreciated. It is MY gift to give.

The concept of gifts continued to pop up in my experience and then the light bulb went on in my head when I was reading The Last Shaman by William Whitecloud. This fictional tale offers a highly imaginative and illuminating look at how we can open up to being guided along the path of our highest destiny. On page 95 the Last Shaman tells the main character the following:

"First, the being within: That means you are not just a carcass with some gray matter computing the most logical way to survive. There's a spirit inside, a pure creative spirit connected to everything through all time and space. This essence has a destiny, a purpose to fulfill, and many gifts and talents that support the expression of that nature. This is our greatness. The ability to own what we truly exist to serve, and the actualization of that, defines our personal sovereignty."

And then it dawned on me the message behind gifts. The gifts we give freely, joyfully and lovingly are the bread crumbs leading us to our higher purpose...our reason for being. It's not some great mystery but rather an invitation to do what we love, give it freely and live our highest calling on purpose.

What gifts of talent and treasure do you give joyfully and freely? Do that and live your highest destiny!

To download The Last Shaman visit Amazon with this link:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Come on, get happy

What is happiness?  Do we have it?  Do we want it?  If we get it, can we keep it?

These are questions we ask ourselves when we stop to reflect on our lives.

In this time and space, a planetary shift is occurring and it's heading toward the collective, the unselfish collective.  With our connections closer than ever, thanks to the internet and social media, we have access to some incredible thought-provoking authors and speakers.  Many of these speakers are focusing on happiness and how it's more than personal.

The Hay House Summit 2013, is the first-ever Global Online World Summit for Hay House.  Its 110 hour-long conversations with world-renowned experts from the personal-growth field.  The summit started on June 1st, ends on June 10th and each talk is FREE for the first 24 hours.

Dr. Robin L. Smith spoke on the first day of the summit.  Her topic was, Hungry for yourself: the diet you cannot afford to cheat on.  She speaks of being hungry as a calling for the nourishment of Soul.  In our everyday lives, what relationship is lacking in nourishment?  The Soul to Soul connection with others in our lives is what will satisfy this craving and lead us to relationships that sustain our Self.

On day 4, Sandra Anne Taylor talks about how we can make the first conscious shift to change by living in the emotion of happiness.  She says, "Happiness is the emotional signs of the mentality of appreciation.  One of the meanings of appreciate is to increase in value.  Live in appreciation, appreciate your life, your life will appreciate in value."

Also on day 4, Lynne McTaggart spoke on, How Understanding Our True Human Bond Can Lead to a Happier You and a Healthier Planet.  As vibrational beings we have a connection to each other.  If we change the way we look at the world, learn to relate to a larger definition of self, and realize we need to be the change, we'll see a change in ourselves allowing us to see a change in the world.

All these authors speak beyond a general happiness.  They go to straight to the heart of the matter, the collective Soul connection.  It's beyond self-help; it's a responsibility to the entire planet.  If we can visualize that we are made up of numerous cells all vibrating to create our one physical body, it's easier to see that each of our physical bodies are vibrating on this planet to make one collective whole.  We are connected to each other, sometimes in more ways than we think.  So, when we do our work individually to shift into happiness, it isn't just good for ourselves it is good for the planet.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Surprising Science of Happiness

Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness, challenges the idea that we'll be miserable if we don't get what we want. Our "psychological immune system" lets us feel truly happy even when things don't go as planned.

The Secret? Change your point of view. Change your world.

Don't Worry Be Happy
And So It Is.