Monday, March 31, 2014

Are Your Choices Magical or Mundane?

Clear the mists around your Avalon.
I remember reading "The Mists of Avalon" over winter break. My roomates were home with their families and I had the apartment to myself. While the snow fell outside I was warm and toasty eating bread smeared with butter and honey just like in my book on the mystical and magical court of King Arthur.

The mists shrouding the Isle Avalon grew and thickened as the beliefs in the old ways were abandoned. The magic was becoming lost and forgotten as the isle slipped deeper and deeper into the fog.

How we long for the magic and "supernatural" in our daily lives. We love to exchange our stories of dreams and experiences with psychics, healers, and shamans, to recount the butterfly that flew by just when we were thinking of a loved one we have lost. We long to have that undeniable, authentic experience to prove to us beyond a shadow of a doubt that Spirit exists and is alive and well in our daily lives. We can't get enough reassurance that those we have lost continue on and are somehow still connected to us in consciousness. We long for magic.

I do. We all do.

I want my dreams to be vivid, even lucid.
I want my experiences to be intense and authentic.
I want to feel close to those I have lost.
I want to feel that my ancestors are here with me.
I want to know that I live in a supportive living conscious universe that accepts and loves me unconditionally.

But what I learned this week is that Spirit is a two way street.

You have to sing out and with all your heart.
You must dig deep and be true in the most seemingly mundane of ways.
You have to get your ego out of the way.

You are called to be present.
You are called to fully participate in life.
You are called to recognize the magic and potentcy of all that is around you.

My daily life is more filled with tupperware dishes than abalone shells, but it's just as profound.
I probably won't find my animal totem from a Facebook quiz but I will find Spirit if I choose to recognize and participate in Life itself.

I choose to take time to listen.
I choose quiet mindfullness over mindless internal chatter.
I choose to reprioritize my day and spend time connecting and being grateful for the gifts of Mother Earth.
I choose to put down the digital devices and be in the moment.
I choose to clear the fog.

I meet people who are such bright lights that just being around them makes me exuberantly happy.
I find myself wanting to be more prepared, more present, more thankful, more true.

I know that every moment is precious.
Every moment is a Divine gift.
That not everything can be explained with words.
Not every answer can be found in Google.

Some things you just have to sit with and revel in their very existence.
To know that magic abounds.
To clear the mists around your Avalon.

Be quiet.
Be true.
Send your prayers.
Sing your songs.
Listen with your heart.
Be grateful.
Hold your vision.

And know.


There is no question in my mind about the healing power of music.  Whether I'm listening to it, writing it, playing it, or singing it, there is an inner healing occurring both at the cellular level and at the soul level. Although I haven't had any recent physical challenges to overcome, I have certainly felt my own emotional healing occur from music.

A few months ago, I was experiencing a challenging time in my life.  It felt like life was coming at me from all directions and I could barely breathe, let a lone cry! All along, listening to calm, meditative music on a regular basis kept me sane but I was still far from healed. Because I am a musician, one of my responsibilities is to sing on a regular basis, and this definitely brings my spirits up each time, but there was still a huge hole.

As days and weeks went by, and daily I passed those 88 keys on the way in and out of my house, never sitting down in front of them to caress their beautiful ivories, it finally came to me in the shower (where most of my revelations happen) like a ton of bricks! The question screamed to me in my mind, "When was the last time you sat down at the piano and played?!" Immediately after drying off and getting dressed, I sat down on the hard wood bench, blew the dust off of some of my old pieces of sheet music, and finally moved those rusty ol' fingers. I must admit, the fingers were not dancing off the keys at first, but thus the journey back home began.

Music did its healing work and now I will always remember the power it has to make the world a better place.

As a way to give back and share this healing experience with others, I will be co-facilitating a music event at the Center for Spiritual Living Capistrano Valley on Wednesday, April 2, 2014. The evening will begin with a community potluck at 5:45pm (bring your favorite dish to share), and then will commence with a "Community Hootenanny" from 7:00-8:00pm. We are asking everyone to bring an acoustic instrument or percussion to play (there will be a limited amount of extra percussion instruments available for those who do not bring one.) This is an evening for the whole family, so come down, bring the kids and some of your friends for an evening of fun, food, fellowship and music!

“Where words leave off, music begins.”   -Heinrich Heine

Sunday, March 30, 2014

You! Center For Spiritual Living Sunday Service

Today I expect more and even more for myself than I previously did. I deserve to give, to receive and to create with all the abundance of Spirit to support me.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Camp: Here I go again.

Gearing up for camp

Of course it is no coincidence that the day before my new camping adventure, now with my son as a boy scout, "The Joyous Living Journal" has the entry named, "Buzzards, Bats and Bumblebees.  This reminds me that circumstances may occur and all I have to equip myself with is myself, and my limited thinking. I use all of my human self to reference past experiences to know what to do in this moment.  What I want to realize is how to use all of my Self and know that I am unlimited and can not be contained in this human body.  I expect a miracle to happen and I look for them. I seek them out knowing that whatever fears or doubts I may have in regards to life, these thoughts are only contained in my small mind. The unlimited mind is so much more vast and ready to accept all of what life has in store. Getting out of my own way as I face the space of nature, I am now in action, not just in a place of thinking or dreaming of what it looks like. I am living what is. Each time I experience myself in nature, I become more and more comfortable with my true Self and my place in this world. Thank you Earth, thank you Sun, thank you Moon, thank you all creatures who make me realize that I have a place in nature. I am mustering up the courage to Be Prepared (as is the Boy Scout Motto). As always, prayer is welcome, as my son told me this past week, "I hope I survive March 29th." This is definitely the prayer for both of us. And So It Is. Amen. Namaste.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Balance Found

Yoga is one of my favorite exercises. I love how my body feels after a series of poses: relaxed, energized, free.

Last year, I committed to a regular practice, going to class a few times a week. Then life got busy and yoga seemed an expensive luxury so I stopped going. I missed it, but my excuses won over.

A few weeks ago, I attended a single yoga class at the Center led by a friend of mine. The flow was gentle but afterwards my body felt sore; my muscles needed to move. I realized that no one and nothing was stopping me from rolling out my mat and moving through some poses at home. A few Sun Salutations would do me a world of good. So I started.

I thought, "what would my body and life look like if I practiced yoga daily?" I challenged myself to find a few moments every day to roll out my mat and step on it. I decided to release my attachment to the amount of dedicated time. Five, 10, or 30 minutes would qualify.

After making the commitment, the Universe jumped in to support me. A parent at my daughter's preschool, who is a yoga instructor, offered me suggestions for my practice and helped me create a wonderfully balanced flow. My husband helped me uncover ways to access the internet on my TV so I could support my practice online. And, time seems to open up when I need it the most. Often, I get a good uninterrupted 30 minutes.

Today, I'm on day 10. I feel stronger, centered and relaxed. My body moves with ease throughout the day. I breathe deeper in stressful situations and my mind is calm more often than cluttered.

I'm learning about balance, surrender and flexibility, both physically and mentally. And, mostly, I'm reminding myself that it's a practice rather than a goal or a destination.

What could you commit to today that will bring more balance to your life? What might you need to surrender in order to make room? For me, surrendering my limiting belief that yoga benefits only happen at a studio with an instructor opened up possibilities for greater physical and mental health and balance.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Our journal topic today is persistence. What helps you to persist toward your goals?

Every generation has music that motivates them to persist toward their goals, to stay the course, to carry on. One of my favorite current singers is Nate Ruess  from the band, Fun. These lyrics say it all. 
"When you're lost and alone, 
or you're sinking like a stone,
carry on.
May your past be the sound, 
of your feet upon the ground
carry on."

In order for us to experience personal or spiritual growth, we must persist in our spiritual practices. When we do not see the thing we long to see, many of us change course, pray for something else, or say "God didn't want me to have it."

The idea that God would not want the best possible life for you, is preposterous! You are the living, breathing expression of the most high God.  God put that dream in your heart in the first place. Carry on with your prayers and meditation. Carry on by surrounding yourself with like-minded people, the ones who see your the infinite nature. Surround yourself with people who won't let you quit until you have achieved your goals or something better. The Center for Spiritual Living Capistrano Valley is such a place.

When I was a child, the motivational song for persistence was Frank Sinatra's "High Hopes."  Whether you relate to being lost and alone or you feel like an ant trying to move a rubber tree plant, you are moving with persistence toward a more abundant life.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Anton Mizerak and Laura Berryhill Perform for Wednesday Wisdom

Anton Mizerak and Laura Berryhill Perform in San Clemente
Performing at the Center for Spiritual Living in San Clemente
Wednesday, March 26 from 7:00-8:00.
The Inward Journey: midweek service of transformational Healing Music, Celtic Songs and Sacred Chants from around the World this Wednesday.

Anton Mizerak lives in Mount Shasta and writes his music in nature, believing that our organic experience of sun, wind, water, snow and earth, transmitted through music, can be a valuable nurturing and healing experience. Anton plays keyboards and harmonica. Anton has been a featured performer at many of the Mount Shasta Wesak Celebrations, and has performed at events with Deepak Chopra, Gary Zukav, Jean Houston, Michael Beckwith and Neale Donald Walsh. His music has been featured on the nationally syndicated radio show “Echoes” and the digital New Age Music formats “Soundscapes” and "Spa Channel." His highly acclaimed CD series “When Angels Dream” is a top seller with healers and massage therapists. Anton has been playing meditation music at the Asilomar gatherings since 2001. Anton was the recepient of the 2009 Hazel Holmes award.

Laura Berryhill, also from Mount Shasta, has a masters degree in music history from the University of Oregon, where she focused on early 17th-century Italian sacred music. As a vocalist she works in a variety of musical styles, from early European music, to folk music of the Celtic cultures, to new age and jazz. She has appeared at Faerieworlds, the Willamette Valley Folk Festival, Oregon Country Fair, the Yachats Celtic Music Festival, and the Festival of Harps in Oakland.

Anton and Laura have toured together extensively performing to acclaim at over 400 venues throughout the 10 Western states. The concert will feature Anton’s original music, Laura's Celtic songs and chants from around the world along with mythological storytelling from the Hindu, Buddhist and Celtic traditions.

For more information and a complete tour schedule and free MP3 downloads:

Could Ernest, would Ernest dance and sing?

Ernest Holmes reminds us to honor the
Divine spark of creativity that is found within each of us.

I'm in class again. Currently taking "The Essential Ernest" with Pattie Mercado and a group of seriously fantastic individuals. We read, we write, we think and then we get together on Monday nights to discuss it.

I've come to appreciate the teachings of Ernest Holmes on a whole new level. This philosophy he is associated with was not initially intending to be "a religion" but rather to supplement and support the teachings of your chosen faith.

I now view Ernest as a master curator of religious thought, drawing out and articulating the truth and principles of the ages and sages. I like to reflect on the unity found in all religious and the unity and principles I see represented in different faiths astounds me and gives me even more to appreciate in the unity of creative diversity found in this world.

And while we share thoughts and principles of truth with many many paths to God I have started to consider also the songs, the dances, the rituals, the artwork, the symbols and the dreams.

My comfort zone tends to be in the reading, writing, and discussion of ideas. Experiencing spirit from the neck up, it's a very cerebral experience. Looking ahead at our calendar of events I am thrilled to see some fantastic musicians and opportunities to play and dance on our Wednesday Wisdom schedule.

This Wednesday we are going to be very blessed to experience the transformational healing music of Anton Mizerak and Laura Berryhill. Read more about these fantastic musicians who will be sharing their gift of music at the Wednesday Wisdom service from 7-8.

The following Wednesday is our monthly potluck starting at 5:45. Bring a dish to share and enjoy fellowship before our "Community Hootenanny" from 7:00-8:00. This will be a great evening for the whole family. Bring an acoustic instrument or percussion instrument. (Kate, my three year old, will be so excited to share her drumming with you all.)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Chaos = Crisis + Opportunity Sunday Service

Today I reflect on past crisis and recognize the gift of opportunity that came of it.
I recognize any current chaos in my life and its gift to be made manifest.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Contentment: Knowing Gratitude in Being in this moment.

Contentment is to just Be. 

Being content with one's life is the title of today's installment in the "Joyous Living Journal."

What does it mean to be content?  Is it being ok with everything?  Does it have a tone of surrendering to what is?  Is it a settling?

In the busy, media-driven, high-tech world that we made our life, our thoughts seem to move at the pace of the internet.  As humans, we are supposed to be productive, yet we are also meant to come up to the surface for a breath.  If we are constantly swimming in the sea of thoughts, it can feel as if we are surrounded by a field of energy that has us constantly in the mode of go.

There is a new Cadillac commercial in circulation on television. It depicts Americans as the go, go, go country, all the while justifying why we don't take our much needed breath.  It has a sense of superiority and the "American" ability to stretch oneself to the brink of insanity.

The "Joyous Living Journal" states, "While learning from the past and dreaming about the future, it's important to actually live in the present.  See what has already manifested in your life.  Enjoy the great and small ways that Life, Love, and Joy are already showing up.  Be content with what you have, where you are, and how far you've come."

If we are constantly in the mode of go, contentment may not have room in our vocabulary.  However, not reflecting on our What Is may have us reaching for something "out there" and never really being satisfied with our life.

Being content is actually a discipline.  It really is taking a look at life, right now, in this moment, and being grateful.  It is living in the Now, Being Present, just Being.  This practice will take us out of our need to constantly be in go mode, and enjoy our life in Peace.  There is always a time to go, but we should constantly be in gratitude for the Present moment.  Remember the saying, "Yesterday is History. Tomorrow is a mystery.  Today is a gift.  That's why it's called the Present." -Alice Morse Earle

Try This: Grateful in this moment: Today take 5 mins out of your day to bombard yourself with Gratitude. Repeat over and over in your head or aloud, "In this moment I'm grateful." Look at your surroundings while repeating the statement, really embody what your eyes are gazing upon, really feel grateful for whatever it is.

And So It Is.

Thanks to for the snoppy image.

Friday, March 21, 2014

I Love You.

I love you.

A simple statement.  Most of us reserve these words for those nearest and dearest to our hearts - family, loved ones, very close friends.  We'll often say "I love this" or "I love that" about stuff or situations that we like... but think about how often you hear the words "I love YOU."  We know by now it is not only romantic love.  The power and energy of LOVE is something much greater.

This past weekend I picked up a book that was sitting on my shelf staring at me as I sat on the couch, for some reason it caught my eye.  I really felt the need to pick this book up and start reading it, even though I had purchased this book over a year ago, was already in the middle of two other books and had plenty on my to do list.  Following my intuition, I picked up the book and started reading it Saturday afternoon and by Tuesday I had finished it!

The book is called Zero Limits by Joe Vitale.  It tells the story of Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len who cleared a ward of the criminally insane using only the Ho'oponopono prayer and never actually seeing any patients in a therapeutic setting.  The ideas shared in the book are quite simple and amazing.  The suggestion is to take 100% responsibility for our life, and everything we encounter in it, and constantly "clean" our life experience and what we encounter by repeating the words of the prayer, addressing it to the Divine, or God. The words are simple but strong...

I love you.
I'm sorry.
Please forgive me.
Thank you.

So simple!  The power in these words is that they speak to the Divine in each of us, in everything really.  If each and every one of us were to take 100% responsibility for our life, bless everything and everyone with love and forgiveness, live life treating each other as the Divine expressions that we each are, imagine what a beautiful world we would live in - a world that truly works for everyone!

Now I find myself saying "I love you" to absolutely everything.  EVERYTHING!  People, places, things, situations, conditions, circumstances.  I choose LOVE.  I choose to be love, give love, recognize love, love love.  I am not even sure what that means sometimes but that doesn't matter.  When I simply repeat "I love you" quietly in my mind I am changing my consciousness, slowly but surely change is taking place.

Why bother doing this?  Maybe there are some things going on in your life that you don't like... doesn't matter what it is.  It could be your job, where you live, your body-perception, your relationships... we all have something that bothers us or we don't like.  My new practice is to simply repeat "I love you", quietly in my own mind, when I see or think of these things I don't like or don't want in my life.  I've heard it said that when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.  Miracles happen!

Peace begins with me...  With you...  With each and every one of us...

I love you.
(Repeat often for an improved life experience!)

(collage created by my cousin Nicole and her two lovely daughters, Tegan and Maslyn)

For more information on the prayer, the book, or the author... Google it!!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Welcome Spring! Come Join Our Relay Team!

So today is the first day of Spring! I didn't know the date when I woke this morning, but everything was still just a little brighter, a little better, and I didn't know why. (Though I probably did subconsciously, but let's not spoil the moment.)

I love all of those days that we use to mark the passing of the seasons: Vernal Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumnal Equinox and Winter Solstice. Their very names sound magical, don't they? Here in Southern California, a calender is just about the only way to tell we've changed seasons sometimes.

Except that the days grow longer...

During the spring and summer, we have more hours of daylight to spend with those we love. I am thrilled to know that we are one day closer to the warm, sunny days of summer, but there is something extra special about today...

The first day of Spring, is also known as the vernal equinox. For those of you who are a little rusty on your Latin, vernal means "pertaining to spring or sunshine," and equinox is Latin for "equal night," meaning that the day and night are both equal in length. From here on out, the days will be longer and sunnier (June gloom not withstanding).

Today is a new beginning - a perfect day to start or join something new. I know I have a ton of projects I'd like to do around my house. As I think of the home improvement projects I want to start, and for a moment, I think of my two brothers who were felled by cancer in the prime of their lives. They were both so handy with tools - quite the opposite of my beloved husband, who is more skilled with a keyboard.

This horrid disease robbed them from their families far too soon, and after all these years, it's still hard for me to see the "good." I must confess, that to this day, their absence leaves me with a gaping, sucking hole in my heart.

Sadly, I know that I am not alone in that ache. Each day in the United States, approximately 1,600 people will say goodbye for the last time to their families because of cancer - 1,660,290 new cases will be diagnosed this year, and the disease is expected to claim 580,530 lives in 2013.

It doesn't have to be this way.

Research has shown that many forms of cancer can be prevented by simple lifestyle changes.That research was funded in part by the Relay For Life, which is the American Cancer Society's signature fundraiser. It is a 24-hour event in which volunteer teams take turns walking the track. Symbolically, in some cases literally, staying up all night in recognition of the fact that cancer never sleeps. In over 25 years of Relaying, participants have raised millions help fund research for lifesaving treatments, patient education and awareness. The goal is to remove cancer as a major health threat.

This year, the Center is pleased to have a team at the Relay. 
Join us in this new beginning - it's as easy as walking.

We will participate in the San Clemente Relay For Life on July 26-27, 2014 at the San Clemente High School Track, and we would love for you to join us! Your consciousness would be the perfect addition. In fact, we are contemplating asking people sign up to hold a prayer vigil at our campsite (to hold consciousness) as well as walking the track.

It's really easy to sign up. Just click here to register for our team: Center for Spiritual Living Capo Valley: Centered For Life.

So save the date! July 26-27 at San Clemente High School. The fun starts at 9:00 AM Saturday, but bring your sleeping bag, cuz we'll be there until 9:00 AM Sunday - unless you really can't stay... it won't be the same without you, but we understand. It's a team effort, and you're a blessing whether you do a little or a lot!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

God Can't Crumble and Die and Neither Can I

"Seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world. What you see reflects your thinking. And your thinking but reflects your choice of what you want to see." A Course in Miracles
This is a powerful spiritual practice and one we all could benefit from incorporating into our lives.

Let's take a look at the current events in the Crimea. How could we change our minds about the Russian occupation of the Crimea? What if the people of the Crimea wanted to be Russian as they once were? What if they voted overwhelmingly to unite with Russia? What if over half of the people in Crimea considered themselves Russian? What if the highest idea of peace is to know human rights for everyone, all cultures, all beings?  What if we KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt that the highest and best was always evolving? 

Ernest Holmes wrote: "We are in the world and of it and it is good that it is so. The world is all right when we view it correctly. Who knows what would transpire if all men would speak  the truth? It has never been tried, but let not the mouth of the profane hinder those who would enter, thereby keeping them from entering." 
The Science of Mind

What  Ernest Holmes meant is when we resolutely see Love everywhere, see every person as capable and able, we start to see the Creative Process unfolding. Then we see Peace and Prosperity as the desired outcomes even in war and stealth. When people know better they will do better.

I have earned this about myself through the Co-Creation process. There will be things in my life that I have done repeatedly, looking for something good and the opposite happens. For instance I might want Joy in my life but if I am planting the seed of death and the strategy of hiding, I will experience sadness or chaos, the opposite to what I do want. Once I release my belief in death and my need to hide, I can be grateful for the Joy I Am.  I plant the seed of death every time I accept the belief that something won't work out, that some part of my life could crumble apart and die. It is untrue that God could ever crumble apart and die. Therefore it is true for me and you because we are made in the image and likeness of the Divine.

Who is God?

"I Believe in God" by Rev. Judee Chapman
Every Sunday morning, we read the Declaration of Principles together as a congregation and ......... every time I repeat those words, my faith is restored. To me, the first statement of Truth, "I believe in God", is the most powerful and makes me think...... 'hmmmmm' Who is God? This Wednesday we will explore what 'God' is and why we believe it is 'The Thing Itself'.

The next declaration is " the One Creative Intelligence"... etc. It appears to me that this Intelligence is within us and that we can create what we put our attention on in our life. We will discuss the 'creative process' and how we create our experiences through these dynamic spiritual laws.

Declaration of Principles

I believe in God, the one Creative Intelligence operating through the Universe and operating throughout my entire being now and always. I believe this perfect Creative Intelligence can be used by me and by every other person, to produce health, abundance and love, in mind, body and total life experience. I use it now, and I rejoice in it. And so it is!

Who is God?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spirit Prevails In San Clemente

Spirit Prevails In San Clemente
Remembering Fukushima
We send loving blessings to our Japanese friends and all those
suffering from Fukushima.  We honor their suffering as sacred fuel to
stop the nuclear insanity worldwide. ~ Mary Beth Brangan
In today's entry in our "Joyous Living Journal" it states,
Some of the issues facing humanity today are beyond human means for solution. They are beyond the grasp of political leaders and their "think tanks"  If there were solutions, they would have been implemented by now. These are the times that challenge one's beliefs, and one can give way to doubt and fear. Is your faith in God bigger than your faith in the world's challenges?
It goes on to say that does not mean you should bury your head in the sand and stop taking part however, you should still stay informed on the issues, and vote for the person who you feel represents the wisest form of leadership.

To that end I hope that you all will join me at the first public meeting of the new So Cal Edison Community Engagement Panel on the Decommissioning of The San Onofre Nuke Site, in support of one of our very own members who is on this panel, Gene Stone. The meeting will be held at the San Clemente Community Center on Tuesday, March 25 from 6 to 9 p.m. and you will have a 3 minute comment period at some point in this meeting.
"Don't underestimate the importance of your coming to events like these, there is something about everyone coming together that makes something happen in the universe here that we don't quite understand." ~ Ray Lutz 
Reflection: Is your faith in God bigger than your faith in the worlds's challenges? When have you been caught in the trials and tribulations of the human world, thinking there is no human answer, and then touched that spiritual place where you saw with new eyes and your world was transformed?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Making Peace with the Troublemakers

raging against the troublemakers
Have you ever felt this way?
"I was feeling all this oneness and peace and then you had to go and ruin it all!"

Have you ever felt this way?

I never have. Just kidding, it happens more than I care to admit.

It's all well and good when I am in my happy place, all spiritual and centered and inspired, reading from my "Essential Ernest Holmes" preparing for class. It's all happy happy happy when I am setting my iPhone's "Insight Timer" to a prescribed amount of time to meditate and everyone knows to "leave Mommy alone."

But my path is not to meditate all day nor is it to read wisdom literature in a secluded room. At some point the rubber has to meet the road and I am called to apply these lessons when I am not in that quiet, inspired, peaceful place.

So today in the "Joyous Living Journal" we are gifted with a lovely thought that helped me so I will pass it along. "Learn to disagree with ideas, not people."

When we find people "disagreeable" or when they appear to be the catalyst to a strong negative reaction it's not them, it's an idea. What is the idea they are triggering? Is it judgement, fear, anger? If we can honestly identify the idea this person triggers we can heal it.

We can read all the theory we want but until we internalize the truth till it cannot be shaken we still have work to do. These "troublemakers" as Pema Chodron calls them, point us to our work. Until we are no longer "hookable" by this person, who is just an idea carrier, we still have healing to do.

Where are you hookable? Come join me in some heightened neurosis.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Third Way

Today I am consciously aware that I create everything in my life; both the good and the perceived bad. I consciously choose to co-create with Spirit only experiences and relationships that are in my highest and best good.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Because I'm Happy!

Making the choice to be happy. 
On Thursday, March 20th the United Nations has deemed this day as International Day of Happiness.  In a quest to seek Happiness in our own lives, we must take a real look at what we're looking for in this world.  We see some who are genuinely Happy people.  Sometimes we ask, "What makes you so Happy?"  Sometimes we try to spread our stories of heartache to bring others to a sympathetic space.  While it is important to express emotions, not to suppress them, this is not a state that we should constantly stay in.  If we continue to stay in a state of unhappiness, we tend to produce more states of unhappiness in our lives.  Our mission is to seek out happiness and practice it every day.  Our mission is to be creative. Being creative means that we CREATE our own Happiness. Happiness is infectious. When we are Happy, we bring Happiness to others, the reciprocal Universe begins its natural rotation and Happiness is spread.

Today, make it a point to document your Happiness and share it. 
Go to

Friday, March 14, 2014

Choosing to Live...Intuitively

Choosing to live intuitively is a big commitment.
In this Reinvention Channel show, I share an
example of a friend who was led by her intuition... a not-so-logical direction, but it led to her purpose
in life!
This month's theme at the Center for Spiritual Living - Capistrano Valley is "Choosing to Live."

This is something I am very passionate about as the Creative Process of living an abundant life is something I put to the test everyday.

Let me be frank, I don't "test" it to prove to myself that I have the ability to co-create an amazing life with Spirit, I say I test it to see what I can create everyday!

Choosing to live is choosing to use the Law of the Creative Process to it's fullest extent...why not?  It's there for us to use or not....either way, it's working for us.

My definition of "choosing to live" goes beyond daily decisions and settles deeply in "choosing to live intuitively."

As humans, we are all intuitive.  It's a gift we were all embedded with.

However, very few humans utilize it.

They may get hints of it, and some even recognize their "intuitive"gifts...

...but do they LIVE intuitively?

I haven't always lived intuitively, in fact, I have only recently chosen to live intuitively, but have been very intuitive for majority of my life.

Choosing to live intuitively is knowing that our intuitive messages aren't always logical.  They don't make sense, and many times, we have NO idea where they lead.

It's scary to follow a path that is not's not safe...

...but, it's the most sacred path we can following because Spirit is guiding us.

So, I have dedicated my personal life AND my career to living intuitively, and teaching others how to do just that...

Last year, I launched an online, self-empowerment show called, "Life Reinvented."

It's a show that share principles to live life...reinvented.

I'd like to share the show we created around intuition.

It is my hope that it inspires you to follow that "whisper," and to choose to live....intuitively!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

My Gratitude Tree

This morning my husband and I were taking our regular 5K walk that is a part of our health insurance plan. Every month or so, it will be "Walk Week" and sometime during the week the 1500+ employees of this company head out in singles, couples, and groups to walk the required distance. While there are specific paths that have been pre-approved we can walk any path that we desire as long as we document the distance and time that we did it in.

Our walk this morning took us to our newest favorite path that passes by nursery fields, a skate park, offices, and through what I like to call a rural wilderness area - this is that place where you feel miles away from everything, but it is really just a block away from the hustle and bustle of industrial and commercial business. Even though we often walk on this path each time is a different experience. Nature changes the path from hot and dry to cool and dark, sometimes we find it muddy with puddles to avoid, or like this morning caked dirt with piles of leaves and debris from the recent storm. It's fun to head out on the path that we know and see what will be different and what will be the same. Kind of like life!  The landmarks are the point of reference for where we are, how far we have left to go and where to turn around. This morning as we made reached the first big landmark a very old tree that I particularly enjoy I saw that there was something - a lot of somethings hanging from it's branches. As we approached the tree and were close enough to make it out we saw 25-30 tags hanging in what appeared to be a random pattern. Of course my curiosity drew me closer and I paused the program on my phone recording our walk time to find out what was going on with "my tree".

The tags on the tree were from people saying what they were grateful for! All different, all with wonderful statements of appreciation for individuals, events, life experiences - right there on our path was a real life Gratitude Tree.

I was astounded and thrilled! Over the years, with the kids we have made gratitude trees and wreathes that we have displayed in our home, but never before have I seen a public tree so proudly and beautifully displayed and shared! Immediately our minds were uplifted, our hearts were filled and we touched the place that connects all of us. Someone had the brilliant idea of sharing their good, just putting it out there to share with anyone who walked by.

When I arrived at the office and shared about the gratitude tree our office administrator, Diane asked if there was a bucket of tags there for others to add theirs. I had not looked for one so I did not know, but inspiration occurred and I am now planning my own public gratitude tree where a ripple of good can begin.

In the meantime, I begin with declaring what I am grateful for here. I am grateful for the amazing people who I know and don't know who inspire me and remind me of the magnificent life I am living!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What to Do When What We See Is Not Welcome

In yesterday's Joyous Living Journal we read: "The Journey to Cosmic Consciousness starts with an ability to see what is.Take a good long look at your life.Where are you taking the material world as Reality and finding yourself stuck with conditions you don't like?  By first seeing what is, you can discover what you believe."
I am much better now that I truly know that life is lived from the inside out. What I used to believe was that I was my body, my job, my roles. No matter how many roles you play -- daughter, sister, friend, mother, minister, care-giver, worker -- you are not your roles. Your life is not your bank balance or your travel plans. You are not your past. 

The symbol above shows the Creative Process. We have an idea, which we plant in subconscious medium and it becomes our experience. Since all forms are caused by an idea, then you see that we are all more than we can see.

When I was a younger woman, I was certain I would be happy if only my husband would be a certain way. If he would not drink too much, he would not embarrass me. If he would get a University education, I would be more comfortable when he was talking with my friends. If he would get a more prestigious job, I would have more of the money I made to spend on myself. All of these ideas are spiritually untrue. No one can make me happy but myself. It was my own insecurity that was raising its ugly head, it had nothing to do with him. 

The truth is I didn't learn to accept responsibility for my life until much later. Now I know that no one can embarrass me but myself. And furthermore embarrassment is a belief that something is not as it should be. No one can make me happy except me. No one can increase my prosperity except myself.

Now  that I know the nature of life is to respond to my cherished beliefs, I have  a tool for spiritual living which can help me live more harmoniously. I can change my deeply held beliefs through affirmative prayer. In fact I use this tool constantly to expand my awareness of the limitless potential in which I live.

For anyone who may be clinging to blame of others or of circumstances, I offer this prayer. Read it daily with feeling and your life will change.

Deep in the Center of Life is First Cause, the Creative Process, the Presence of God. This One loves Its creation unreasonably, constantly, unconditionally. This one is everywhere present, all-knowing, all-powerful. 
Turning to It now, I speak my word for myself. I know that Divine Life flows through me now. I see with the perception of the Divine Mind. Everything is connected and everything is good. I know that my word is powerful because i am one with the all-powerful.
Here and now, I choose to accept greater joy in my life than ever before. I choose to expand my awareness of the Presence of God within me. I know that this Presence guides me to new, healthy-minded ideas about myself, others and life.The pure waters of Spirit wash clean my subjective mind of old, out-worn beliefs of insufficiency, lack, unhappiness or blame. No longer do I blame others or circumstances for my experiences. I know causation is invisible to the eye and felt with the heart. I love myself and honor myself by filling my awareness with the good that is at hand. My life is so good for i am the beloved of God.
I give great thanks for this awareness. I am grateful for the perfect Presence that always guides me and the perfect Law that fulfills my intentions.
With peace of mind, I release my word into the Law of Mind. It is complete. And so it is. 

Travel To Israel this Wednesday in San Clemente

Travel With Spirit Wherever You Are
A recent journey to Israel was a powerful experience. I visited places that are considered holy to Christians, Muslims and Jews. I stood in places where Jesus lived and taught in Jerusalem and Nazareth, walked the Via Dolorosa where he carried his cross on the way to his crucifixion and entered the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where many think he was prepared, buried and rose again.

This experience led me back to reading and reflecting on some of the teachings of the Master Teacher Jesus, one of the most important figures that has ever appeared in the history of mankind.

This Wednesday, I'll share some photos from my trip and a few stories from a metaphysical viewpoint about Jesus' teachings that may surprise you. I welcome dialogue and will invite you to try on a new thought and apply it to your life so that you can travel with spirit wherever you are!

Rev Ann

Wednesday Wisdom Service begins at 7 p.m. Come enjoy our new format which encourages more sharing, participation and fellowship. See you tonight.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

See What Is In San Clemente

See What Is In San Clemente
VR Green Farms PhotoWalk

Today our Joyous Living Journal reminds us to "See What Is" I love that especially after the great photowalk we had last Saturday.  It was originally scheduled for the prior weekend, but after the heavy rains on Friday, and the forecast for even more on Saturday, We saw what was coming and put it off for seven days. And are we were lucky we did.  When we got to VR Green Farms, located just up the hill and right out in front of the Center For Spiritual Living Capistrano Valley, we were greeted with temps in the mid 70's, and the greenness that only follows a rainy day here in Southern California. Our featured photographer was our very own Ella McClure, who may be short on stature but is tall on spirit and has a good eye for capturing what is.

Click Here to pick thru everyone's shots from the day and thumb up your favorites.

PhotoWalking, A Great Way To See & Share What Is.
Hope to see you at the next one!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Life is Like a Box of Crayons

the infinite possibilities found in a box of crayons
Enter into the joy of creating.
Do you remember the excitement and joy of a brand new box of crayons?

Whether it was the box of 8 or the mongo 64 count with the sharpener in the back of the box, I sure remember the thrill.

The thrill came from the infinite promise, the possibilities, oh the possibilities.

Now sometimes that thrill was dampened by the fear of making a mistake or worry that your perfect box would no longer be perfect after you used them. Maybe you had a hard time deciding what you would create or that your creation would pale in comparison to what the kid next to you was doing.

I actually remember gettting an F on a drawing project because I colored a snowman light blue and pink. And no I am not scarred from that experience as the parental uproar was both swift and furious (thank you Mom and Dad.)

Now I am in that happy place where I just love the act of coloring (or painting or drawing or whatever). It's a treat for me. I find joy in just watching the pigment meet the paper and I know that participating in the act is pleasure enough.

Maybe that's all we need to do in life.

"We must all become artists in living. 
To live by inspiration means to sense the divine touch in everything; 
to enter into the joy of living."
 ~ Ernest Holmes

And don't underestimate the "lowly crayon."

Now check out the work of Don Marco, Master Crayola Crayons Artist. Enjoy

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Garden of Thought Sunday Service

Today I sow the seeds of my end result, I see, feel, and think about this result being my reality right now knowing that the garden of Spirit's Universal Law says yes to all my thoughts.

photos by Arpad Petras
And So It Is

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Final Draft is not final: Revising your story.

Your life: What a story to tell. 

In the Joyous Living Journal, March 8 is titled, The Script of your Life.  Rewriting your life story can be quite an undertaking, especially if not ready for it.  Imagine everything that you are, everything that you thought you knew, all being completely topsy-turvy.  How would you be in the world if everything was turned upside down?  When you are living with remnants of thoughts that do not serve you, seeking out a change to living may start to look alluring.  It can take on a life of its own, when you decide that it's time for a change. Once you make that decision, your world starts to come into a different view.  When you begin to come from a different reference point, your peripheral vision begins to expand and you start to look at life as you have never seen before.

A shift in perception occurred in my own life recently.  I attended a one-day event as a guest from a friend's invitation.  I wasn't really sure what to expect, I went with an open heart and willingness to experience whatever happens.  It was a group of about 16 people.  As the introductions of each participant occurred, I felt at ease.  Then, as the facilitator, from the Academy of Intuition, Ghazaleh Lowe, began to question the participants, I felt the stirring occur.

As the day went on I was in a lot of physical pain.  My headache was huge and all my cells felt on fire.  It was an uncomfortable experience to say the least, however I knew that something was really happening, something was really changing.  All these years living with an unresolved emotion were pouring out of my body, and pain was the by-product of suppression.  The emotion revolving around the judgment I have on myself as a special needs parent, and regarding the label of Autism was the subject of my stirrings. The past suppression felt necessary so they wouldn't get in the way of my advocacy.  However, this was the time I choose to release them.  At the end of the day I was physically exhausted, and I needed rest.

Over the course of the days following, I was in an interesting place, moving through life in a more profound contemplation and introspection.  Did I really change?  This is the question I am left with when in contemplation.  What I have found is that the question has to stop being asked, and at some point the answer has to take over, embodied and acted upon.  The really interesting part of it all is that the real answer is two-sided.  Did I really change?  "Yes" and "No."  "Yes," in regards to thoughts, "No," in regards to the true nature of who I am as a Spiritual Being.  All the thoughts in my head can be a distraction from knowing Self, yet Self is always Known.  The action is to remain connected throughout the entire day, not just during meditation or in prayer, in every moment of life, training myself to continually come back to center.  I do not have to remind myself to breathe, my body automatically functions without me having to think about it.  This is the call to action of this training, constantly come back to the Awareness of Now.  Be in a state of constant connection, so the thoughts floating in my mind can be tamed, or become non-existent.

And the end of the group, Ghazaleh asked me, "Are you ready for this?" My answer, "Yes." her response, "Are you sure?" my response, "No."  Being open to the Yes, I am ready to revise my story because this is not my Final Draft.

Friday, March 7, 2014

CSLCV 2013 Year in Review

Last Sunday was our General Annual Meeting for the members of Center for Spiritual Living Capistrano Valley. One of the highlights of this meeting is to watch the presentation of last years pictorial year in review.

For those of you who were not there to see the debut last Sunday, I wanted to share it with you (and the world!) here on our blog.  It is a sampling of the beautiful celebrations of Life that are always taking place at our Center... the music is by the fabulous AllenDale (who are the lovely Karyn Allen and the dashing Rick Dale).


And join us as we create wonderful new memories in 2014 enjoying the unfolding of this beautiful experience we call Life!  Remember...

No matter where you are on your spiritual journey, 
know that you are welcome here.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

San Clemente Experiment: An Affirmation for Gracious Driving

The Joyous Living Journal entry for yesterday was titled Hurry, Busy, Rush, but I didn't actually see it until today because I was too busy. Ha! And that was right action, because it caused me to stop and think about that.

 I drive carpool most mornings. Do you drive carpool??

The journey to school quite often reminds me of driving the Mario Cart video game. It's almost comical when I think about it. People jump out of no where. Construction crews set up cones and funnel traffic for seemingly never-ending construction (have you driven Vista Hermosa lately??). Drivers blow through stop signs and red lights. And, while I'm keeping a watchful eye out for obstacles and driving the car to the best of my ability, I keep thinking to myself, "Hurry, hurry, we are going to be late!!"

Maybe most drivers on the road between 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. are thinking the same thing. "Hurry, hurry, I'm going to be late...for school, for work, for a meeting, etc." And because we all believe, or at least tell ourselves over and over, that we are going to be late we attract these obstacles to fulfill our wish. we know...the Universe always responds to our thoughts; whether we like it or not!

 The writers in the Joyous Living journal suggest an affirmation:

 I have all the time I need because there is an infinite eternity in God.

 Another great affirmation to try (from my good friend Melissa Echelberger):

 I always arrive at the perfect right time.

 How would my morning carpool experience be different if I changed my thinking? Instead of "Hurry, hurry, we're going to be late!", I might try:
Relax. Be present. I always arrive at the perfect right time.

That feels better already!

Okay San Clemente...If you find yourself on the road between 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. on a week day morning, let's all try "Relax. Be present. I always arrive at the perfect right time." Followed by a deep satisfying breath.

We can do this! We can change our morning experience from one of rushing and anxiety to one of peace, generosity and gracious driving.

I will report back any changes I notice and I encourage you to add your experience with this new affirmation in the comments.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Seeing God Everywhere

Last night in Foundations class we were talking about the spiritual practices of Oneness and Forgiveness. Very easy concepts to understand and often difficult to apply to our lives. Starting a discussion seemed impossible. Then one man courageously said that the topics were difficult to talk about. His courageous disclosure gave the others permission to speak about their difficulties seeing oneness everywhere and in forgiving (especially themselves.) That kind of sharing is sacred and profound. Voices hushed and people spoke honestly about their experiences.

Each student was asked to bring a news story, one positive and one negative. then we read them and chose one about a couple who abandoned their three children in the woods and were later arrested for possession of crystal meth. The children , who like Hansel and Gretel, found their way out of the woods safely, were placed in protective custody. were found a couple of hours later. We then looked at how God showed up as all the characters in the story. The last part of the exercise was to brainstorm ways that this story could be something that was the best thing for our world. Ideas such as the children, now living in loving, safe homes, could become advocates for drug abstinence. the couple could get sober in the penitentiary and change their ways forever advocating better choices. Then we looked at our own biases and how they influenced our interpretation of the story. It was a great exercise which helped people see when they are judgmental about something it narrows their perception. 

One of the women, who has worked with the Zen Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hahn, was moved by the loving, respectful energy in the room. She said our process reminded her of being in a similar circle with him.
When we truly see God everywhere and in everyone, our lives are lived in peace.

The following is his poem, entitled, "Call Me By My True Names."

Call Me by My True Names
Do not say that I'll depart tomorrow because even today I still arrive.

Look deeply: I arrive in every second to be a bud on a spring branch, 

to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile, learning to sing in my new nest, 
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower, to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry, in order to fear and to hope. 
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death of all that are alive.
I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river,

and I am the bird which, when spring comes, arrives in time 
to eat the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily in the clear pond, 

and I am also the grass-snake who, approaching in silence, 
feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones, my legs as thin as bamboo sticks, 

and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat,

who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea pirate,
and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my hands,

and I am the man who has to pay his "debt of blood" to, mypeople,
dying slowly in a forced labor camp.

My joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in allwalks of life.

My pain if like a river of tears, so full it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names, 

so I can hear all my cries and laughs at once, 
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names, 

so I can wake up, 
and so the door of my heart can be left open, 
the door of compassion.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Our Universal Reflections & Wednesday Wisdom Potluck

universal reflections of love and joy
Join us Wednesday night and bring Joy to the world and a dish to share!  
Our reality is determined by how we perceive and relate to our self perception and other people.

Our physical perception of reality is based upon temporal circumstances that are constantly changing. It often creates feelings of fear, worry and stress that leads to illness and depression.

Our spiritual perception is based on our universal reflection of divine love and joy.

It is a perception of Oneness with everyone and being in harmony with the universe.

Every day we can be in harmony with universal reflections by bringing joy into our life and sharing joy with others.

Join us Wednesday night and bring Joy to the world and a dish to share!
Rev, Geoff Layng

A cancer survivor of more than 20 years, Rev. Geoff is dedicated to inspiring people to find their wellness. He has facilitated many support groups at the Wellness Community, area hospitals, North County Oncology Associates in Vista, and a support group at our Center. Also an international speaker, he founded the San Diego Chapter of National Speakers Assn. in 1982. He has been a student of Quantum Physics and Metaphysics for over 40 years. Revs. Geoff and Madi live in San Clemente and have eleven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

Starting this month, March 5th, the first Wednesday of each month we will have a potluck and social time starting at 5:45 pm. in the multipurpose room. 

 Bring your favorite dish to share with others. The service will start at 7:00 PM.

"On the Pulse of Morning" ~ Maya Angelou

Lift up your eyes upon / this day breaking for you. / Give birth again / to the dream--