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Begin Again – Turning the Corner to Embrace Change


It’s the middle of the night. I am wide awake, staring at the familiar night shadows painted by the street lights on my bedroom ceiling. It is comforting to stare at every detail of the projected window patterns that never change…something immutable to count on. In a world where nothing is predictable anymore, it gave me some small comfort.  As I lay there in the darkness, I noticed an insistent, familiar restlessness that would not let me sleep. It was as if something wanted out and was using this unguarded moment to escape. I heard the words over and over again:

“—- Begin Again —– Begin Again —–“

A surprising memory from years ago about a pivotal life ‘begin again’ moment screamed into my awareness. Back then, I was living in Florida and had made the gut-wrenching decision to make a solo move back to my native Canada. Things had been feeling off-balance in my life for some time and my intuition had been churning out a message that something had to change.  Also, I was well aware of feeling days of gut-wrenching sensations that were a crazy mix of dread and excitement.  In my fear and resistance to the inevitable move, I bargained with destiny and was willing to do anything – compromise anything, lie to myself and others, stay too long, run, hide, silence my own truth and ultimately suffer. No matter how painful and self-destructive my present circumstances were, I just wanted to stay put. Then, one day, something lightened up and beyond the heart-pounding fear of being consumed by those ‘monsters under the bed’, I was pulled into action. Not long after, I packed up my stuff, took the leap and drove north.

And on the other side of all that fear and dread, I found unbounded joy and a higher guidance that had set me free to grow!  From that point, my life changed in ways I could never have predicted.


The Story is the Way ….

There is always a story that leads you to the fork in the road where you are asked to choose. In the quiet stillness of this night, as I lay reliving that scary experience, I suddenly understood how my decisions big and small were the ones that caused me to choose which road to take.  In retrospect, I am wholly grateful to those individuals in my story who played their role perfectly and caused me to re-direct my focus. My joyful and vital life today bears no resemblance to the old structure that I let go of so long ago.  The further I move along in this new life, the more I embrace as truth that we are all each other’s teachers and prodders. I am deeply grateful for the change agents in my life and wonder how others experience their fateful nudges.

Turning Your Own Corners of Change

Have you ever noticed inner messages and urges that have guided your own life experience? All the winnings and losses, the endings and beginnings, relationships, health issues, financial struggles, career challenges, the chance meetings and the chance findings might map out a surprising at the similar patterns as events that have changed your trajectory too.

Without a doubt, inner guidance (soul, intuition, whatever you label it) is part of your life picture and it will unfailingly lead you out of the blind alleys where you can become trapped.

We are co-creative participants in an eternal evolutionary process that is all about our growth and our capacity to learn and grow and create in this vast universal playground.  If you listen carefully, your higher wisdom will clearly let you know when it is time to take action and when you are ready to move into another level of your growth to…begin again.

Sometimes you just have to take the leap and make your wings on the way down ~unknown


This is your life NOW – Grow Where You Are Planted

A  gift for a lifettime

A long long time ago in a far off place where I used to live, a man I was dating gave me a card that said “Grow Where You Are Planted”.   In addition to being somewhat insulted by the implication  that I was somehow proceeding wrongly in life , the words formed a solid iron chamber around me…I could not breathe or see…no door, no light, no oxygen, no way out…death.

At the time I was in my restless twenties and the prospect of being planted and stagnant suffocated the vitality right out of me.  That I should stop and grow in one place or that my destiny included such limitation was inconceivable.  “Never!!”

That relationship soon dissolved but today, some 40 years later, the message has stayed with me. When it wafts into consciousness, it causes both curiosity and that original rebellious and dismissive reaction of years ago.  This  morning, it drifted into view like an annoying floater as I made coffee and prepared to sit my butt down to focus on my neglected writing for a few hours.

... Grow Where-ever you are planted

What was different about its appearance this time? As I stirred my coffee, I was aware of a spacious thoughtlessness about its presence followed by a sort of mini-life review.  I acknowledged there had been plenty of ‘water under the bridge’ ( a by-product of 60 years of living)  …a long-term relationship that ended…

  …travel & many flying adventures including numerous cross-country trips that delivered a unique perspective of the   stunning character of America

…a spectacular stint as a formation pilot in a vintage warbird aircraft, an unforgettable career in aviation

…an undeniably spiritually expansive journey in psychotherapy (my own and then helping others)

the lighted path of the language of the Unvierse … relocation more times than I care to remember

…and – marriage to my beloved that is rich, abundant and the exact place that I have chosen to lovingly become planted!

Every adventure brought learning, awareness, expanded experience and an opportunity to stretch my personal envelope of restricted beliefs and capability… I was planted in every experience and I grew through having the experiences … in short, I grew wherever I was planted!

……..Every experience is both a choice and the fulfillment of spirit’s insatiable desire for growth

One little word “ever” bloomed the ‘truth flower’ that you are planted in the fertile soil of every life event. Being planted is anything but static or suffocating. It is the result of making a choice to stay and allowing soul’s evolutionary nudges.

As obscure as the choosing might seem sometimes (ie- why would I choose this?), as victimhood-ish as it might feel when something appears to be done to you, there is a higher wisdom at work weaving the subtle hues into life’s tapestry and on that level, every experience is both a choice and the fulfillment of a spirit’s insatiable desire for growth.

Putting it into today’s perspective

The sacred mystery of my husband’s health issues and my journey with him through daily challenges and trials, my sudden and inexplicable steps onto a writing path, the relentless questions and worries about where life leads and the inevitable need to have a prognosis for survival – all have the seeds of growth planted within them.

An external view of our life reflects – stagnant, stuck, stumped, imprisoned and mired in quicksand…It is the experience as viewed by the ‘me’ who was first handed that card so many years ago … Grow Where You Are Planted and it is tinged with threat and victimization. While there are definitely moments of that reality, -ie – we have no control or power here!- there is one other option to consider.

It blinks in and out of clarity  and suggests that,  in order to grow, you need to be planted in whatever is your present life and nowhere else! It is the only way growth and evolution can be nurtured.

Life inside a Pea

Life right now definitely has that ‘we are nowhere else‘ feel. Our collective focus has shrunk to the size of a small pea as evidenced by the rote questions and answers that are part of the endless morning ritual, the days that slide by without any outside contact save keeping medical appointments.  Yet so much else has taken place inside that pea! Release, awareness,  connection,  compassion, reaching out, reaching in, discovery of hidden strengths and weaknesses, life and death choices…

Right here, right now in this moment, in this square foot of life focus…it seems soul-evident that,  enfolded in every breath of this life is limitless spaciousness and access to our vast dimensional reality … that awareness comes only when…

You grow wherever you have chosen to be planted and nowhere else

The Art of Receiving in a Dishwasher Miracle

When you learn what this world is, how it works, you automatically start getting miracles….

what others will call miracles….Richard Bach

“breathe, pray and receive”…… this was a suggestion in the closing of an email received from J Tamar Stone .  Such wise directives were pretty much standard loving fare from this compassionate presence in our life but this time, something in the words and present life circumstances caused them to land with particular significance ….

Breathe, pray and receive….  deep inside, it sparked the sacred memory of a forgotten connection to life and exposed a path that had become overgrown and obscured.   In the din of ‘trying’ and fear-based effort lately –dealing with daily demands of life, sustenance, domicile, health and career – I had become focused on the linear world and lost access to this precious compass and to the wisdom of the heart.

receive….lay down your weapons, stop fighting, be quiet – listen, be at peace.

receive….infuse every moment with the possibility of inspiration – trust it.

receive -meditate – open -let its meaning and intelligence funnel through you – act on it.

All the rigidity of ‘doing’ dissolved into an alternate universe that was softer, more pliable and bendable.

Invoking receive was a falling into grace that was palpable, conscious and a welcome anointing.  As I invited it into my life, I noticed a growing ability to feel its presence – it was a subtle calm melting down my spine that formed into insight ….

Unexpected miracles followed:

The significance of the insignificant….

My morning ritual of coffee making, emptying the dishwasher, cleaning up the kitchen was rudely interrupted when the dishwasher door would not open. Damn!   my favorite coffee mug was imprisoned inside.  This cursed door had been a pain in the butt since the day I moved in 6 years ago but rather than even consider that it could be fixed, I had long ago adapted to the  annoying ‘tug and shove’ format required to open and close it.

But this was a significant intensification of the problem – it was impossible to open the door. Push, pull, get your feet on the cabinet and tug with all your might, try to pry it open, pull on the little ‘open’ lever till your fingertips hurt — no amount of effort or breaking into a frustrated sweat, cursing or kicking so much as made a dent toward resolution. The door seemed slammed shut forever!   I began to calculate the enormous cost to break the impinging counter top – all the mess, finding someone, replacement – maybe the whole countertop will have to be replaced.  Oh the places you go when your imagination creates drama and life happens in the physical only !!

Suddenly, amidst the fury of ‘trying’ I gave up in exhaustion and sat quietly on the floor before the fortressed dishwasher door.

“Be still with yourself until the object of your attention affirms your presence.”

Breathe, pray, receive….. I quieted down, then simply walked away for a while.  I silently pondered the predicament from a distance.  Suddenly I felt a clear intuition to go back and try again.

I simply stood before the appliance and just looked at it. I was no longer angry, frustrated or experiencing any emotion – I felt in a state of curiosity and surrender…that warm presence radiated in my spine.  My gaze fell on the bottom where it seemed to be protruding. I had not noticed this ever before.  Had it always been like that?   I got on the floor again, feet on the bottom part of it and pushed. …plink!… it slid fully into place. I tried the door and it magically opened with one finger gently applied to the lever…I tried again and again with the same miraculous results.

All this time…. 6 long years!!!! ….. I had wrestled with the door issue and all it took was with one simple, inspired  shove into place to solve the problem.     receiving….can happen anywhere, anytime and the miracle is still a miracle no matter what size package it comes wrapped in.   Now, every time I open the dishwasher door with ease, I smile with gratitude for that intuitive moment and am reminded to remain in receptive mode. Soul works through whatever avenue is available -there is no judgment.

You adjust your perceptions to a certain frequency, and call what you see ‘this world’.

You can tune yourself to other frequencies whenever you wish..Richard Bach


The Art of Receiving

With a global focus, it is not a stretch to see how this applies to the past few months of the struggle with Terry’s health situation.  Tugging, pulling and pushing at a solution yields little progress or relief. But sit quietly, in stillness and listen (thank you my dear friend, Sandra –this is your wisdom) and all manner of possibilities reveal themselves. The body will heal as it is ready in the peace and tranquility of gentle attention….the hard core approach leaves little room for natural repair.  As I encounter a block, slump in confidence, rise of emotions,  doubt or inner criticism in writing, I now sit quietly and receive. At some point, peace inevitably descends upon my inner landscape, an answer surfaces…sometimes in the form of next course to take, a writing job that pays, or inspiration about next steps.

It is a universal law of expansion that access is always granted and resolution is always present – but it cannot be heard unless there is quiet in the heart. Receptivity requires getting out of your own way, giving up control by letting go of trying and patiently waiting for and expecting the door of your heart to open…it is all about trusting the artistry of  soul  at work beyond our physical seeing.

Essence is emptiness

Everything else, accidental.

Emptiness brings peace to loving.

Everything else disease.

In this world of trickery


Is what your soul wants….Rumi

Spiritual Confidence – Your 2012 Gift To Yourself

    Gather wild flowers,



drink moonlight

                                                                                                        thank the stars

                                                     Pretend you have wings and use them …….   Soar

The Messages of Image and Metaphor

I am standing before a wall that stretches across my path. I have approached it at warp speed – feet ‘on-fire’ and heart filled with optimism and enthusiasm…anything and everything is possible.  Along the way, I have studied, reflected, synthesized, envisioned, tapped my creativity, planned and learned…. I have graduated and with diploma in hand am ready to conquer the world – prepared and undoubtedly confident in my ability and fueled by heartfelt inspiration.  

Yet —- here I am standing before this wall that is an all too familiar life place….all fired up and stalled out on the trajectory. The wall is electrified with overwhelm and possibilities gone rogue.  I am reaching out toward something that seems to be turned away from me and not in the least connected to my heart’s passion. I lose inspiration in the wave of self-doubt and bewilderment that washes over me and I stop. The fire goes out and I am profoundly sad and defeated.   It is a frustrating and debilitating place to be. It feels impossibly trapped with no way out….

This little scenario was just one of many that have emerged as ‘soul speak’ through a recent series of classes I have been taking from Rue Hass (www.intuitivementoring.com). It is entitled Bright Spirit, Blocked Path. As its name implies, this course seeks to emerge the bright spirit of our innate sovereignty when it becomes mired in the stuck places of our life experiences.  Rue’s approach is a brilliant blend of using image as metaphor, spiritual inquiry and EFT to uncover our own unique solutions to what stops us. Activating the wisdom of the soul from within the boundaries of our own bodies is a powerful return to, as Rue suggests, our Sovereign Self…the vessel of our creativity, vitality and connection to our divinity.

As the inquiry with the image continues and simmers over time, perspective begins to emerge… my reaching out is also reaching into others – seeking their nod of assent so I can feel assured. I become aware of the importance of staying within my own fire. When I look outside myself for approval or support, when I lose trust in the validity and divinity of my own desire and inspiration, when I allow myself to be overwhelmed by daily demands, too many choices and perceived lost opportunities…I create the wall and I kill my passion.  I have come to see that I am the one who douses my own fire.

Spiritual Confidence

I have choice and it is simple…..stay with the fire, don’t export it – tend it, nurture it, honor it and adjust it to a slow burn…its presence is eternal.  What emerges from this is  – Spiritual Confidence. It is a grace-filled space that realigns me with my creativity, vitality and my personal boundaries. It gives me strength and uprightness.

Take a breath, chart the course on the map and follow the ‘yellow brick road’ – be singularly focused without asking permission and the wall disappears.  Take the next step with Spiritual Confidence and freedom and spaciousness return.

It is in the domain of my own fire that my Spiritual Confidence flourishes…comfortable in possibility, not stirred away from challenge, and open and allowing possibility to flood magic, miracle and grace into life.

When Grace fills your life

Being in this grace has delivered surprises…suddenly, even dire moments are tinged with a perspective that sees a bigger context. It has become clear also that all this seeking approval to soothe self-doubt is in fact a sneaky kind of waging control over my environment. Spiritual Confidence unfurls the tight fist of control and opens to allow a spacious experience.  There is a crystal sense of relaxation from always trying so hard. The knot in my gut has untied allowing more room for intuitive choice to be heard. All this from one little metaphor….miraculous indeed!

2012 Focus and Purpose

As the auspicious 2012 begins, it is my hope for everyone that Spiritual Confidence leads the initiation of every step.  May that wisdom assist in creating trust in your ability to navigate and flow with the inevitable tides of change and challenge on your path and may we all come to fully comprehend that we are immortal travelers of sovereign lineage.

“We see more than we can tell and we understand more than we see….we are seeing with our inner eyes the spirit of life, with animal and human believing in life’s Magic, Mysteries and Miracles.” (taken from a coffee cup quote by Laurel Burch)

BeginAgain – Turning the Corner to Embrace Change

When Soul Speaks….

how to listen to soul

It’s  the middle of the night and I am wide awake staring at the familiar night shadows that the street lights paint on the ceiling of the bedroom. It is comforting to stare at every detail of the projected window patterns that never change…something immutable to count on…..something that is a predictable ‘always‘ in a world where nothing is predictable anymore.  As I let this ‘sameness’ flow comfort over me,  I begin to notice an insistent stirring within me that rails against my desire to go back to sleep. It is a familiar push – something wants out. I try to ignore this dissonance  and close my eyes but that apparently is not an option.  That something inside has used this unguarded time to lop its wisdom into my consciousness.  I keep noticing a constant repetition of  two words flashing in front of me, opening a cascade of significance…:

—- Begin Again —– Begin Again —–

something needs to be heard…I give up and open to its message:

As I ponder the words, I am bombarded with memories of pivotal moments -some ‘in your face’ whoppers and some small, pee wee’s – when I knew intuitively in my gut that ‘beginning again’ was just around the corner. There was a common thread in how I felt each time.  There had been both dread and joy.  The fearful part of me that resisted what was coming had put up the good fight by pushing against the change. In that role, I was willing to do anything (compromise anything, lie to myself and others, stay too long, move too much, run, hide, silence my own truth and ultimately suffer) to maintain the status quo no matter how painful and self destructive.  Each time, though, something had pulled me through that resistance into action even as my heart pounded and my thoughts convinced  me that there were monsters under the bed waiting to kill me….

And on the other side of all that fear and dread?

The unbounded joy in the wisdom of the change because it set me free to grow more….

The Truth Awareness

As I considered this, a blinding moment of sheer surprise torpedoed a specific memory from years ago. It pierced through the layers of time under which it was buried. All this time, this little nugget had lain in obscurity until this very moment.  I marveled at the magic at play that showed me how in this tiny moment I had initiated immense change. I realized I was being shown the precise second when I knew I had just stepped onto the irrevocable  new path. Who knew that such a monumental life change had its seeds in such a small story…?  apparently,  like crocuses flowering in spring,  ‘Beginning Again’ is planted in obscure gardens that mature much later…

It’s The Story that leads to The New….

There is always a story leading to the fork in the road that asks you to choose something else. In the quiet stillness of the night, I am shown how my decisions big or small were the ones that tipped the balance toward intuitively choosing for a new way that I knew I needed to choose. In retrospect, I am wholly grateful to those who were the change agents in my story and who played their role and moved me onto the path that I joyfully walk today. The further I move along this new life, the more I embrace that we are all each other’s change agents….and whatever our life theme, we have supporting players who interact with that blue print.

Change Masquerades as Loss

I watched a recent interview with Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly with the deepest of admiration. Their courage and optimism since her shooting experience has inspired a nation. The ‘before’ and ‘after’ of Gabby is heart-wrenchingly stark and is the penultimate example of beginning again through transiting the portal of loss.  What the outcomes of her future life path might illuminate are not clear at the moment but surely, her trajectory has been permanently altered.  As I watched, I acknowledged that change is never an easy path to travel yet it is so what we are about at our core.

I can’t think of one circumstance of change, happy or sad, that didn’t in retrospect happen as a navigational nudge from my soul…In the sacred silence of the night where I was awake and my thoughts raced, it became abundantly clear that no matter how hard or scary,  Beginning Again and turning a corner in life is all about getting bigger.

Turning Your Own Corners of Change

Take the time to notice the messages and urges of the soul in your guided life experience– all the leavings and arrivings – the endings and the ‘beginning again’s – in relationships, health issues that changed your perspective, chance meetings, chance findings.  Without a doubt, it is there and it will unfailingly lead you out of the blind alleys you can sometimes walk down and become trapped, or show you clearly when it is time to move into another moment of your existence and Begin Again to grow further.

It’s an Eternal Cycle

When he was a young child,  my step-son had a perfect explanation of what it was like for him: “Well, I leave one place and I am sad, I arrive at another and I am happy. Then I leave that place and I am sad again and when I get to the next place I am happy again”  It pretty much sums up the simple wisdom in  Beginning Again……

When the dread is done…. the joy moves in….we begin again to live the next iteration of our truth.  In the bigger picture, it is the cycle we embrace:  we begin, we do life, we end it, we assess and we begin again …….

We are  soul infused, growing, moving beings….who will always use change as the vehicle to traverse our soul’s path …who will always have the strength to start the next adventure … who will always know in the still, silent places within that we are co-creative participants in an eternal process that is infused with the Divine seeking to know itself …who will always play in this vast universe of experience …who will eventually see the surprising context within which we have built our playground and who will rejoice at all that we have the freedom to create.

The Value of Patience and an Invitation to Join CharityFocus.org

The following is an excerpt from an organization CharityFocus.org .  They provide daily inspiration through their blog (see link below). I highly recommend exploring this community. Its mission is about being of service to others and its inspiring feats speak loudly of love and compassion – two commodities urgently needed globally these days!

Consider this powerful quote by Lao Tzu: “Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles, and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself?”

We might think of “waiting” as taking time, but it’s actually less about clock time and more about inner space. Of course, there are moments when our immediate gut-level response to a situation is a flash of intuition that can be trusted, moments when it’s crystal clear what needs to be done. But at other times, an experience stirs up some of that inner mud, and at those times, patience engages us in the process of becoming still. An unclear mind, one in which right action isn’t obvious, isn’t a “bad” thing. Wisdom, after all, develops at the edges of our understanding.

Our fundamental questions can frustrate us, or create a positive sense of wonder and possibility.   The challenge is to develop enough stillness to allow the questions to pose themselves without judgment. This is where patience comes in. Needing answers isn’t the point — patience is in finding value in the questions, in and of themselves. The root word for question, after all, is “quest,” and so this spirit of adventure is embedded within true questioning.”  Read the whole post at   Daily Good. org

Invoking the Soul’s Eye

Things Aren’t Always What They Seem.

I recently received a link to a YouTube video  from a friend who is in the vintage aircraft restoration business.  It recorded the historic first flight of a restored, ex-military aircraft that took 12 years to complete. This type of aircraft was used as an air rescue service by USAF. The restoration was a way for aviation enthusiasts to honor the yeoman service these aircraft did in saving lives.  As the camera slowly panned  the cabin showing every nook and cranny, the voice-over was proudly documenting some of the painstaking efforts that went into returning this abandoned hulk to its original flight status. There were interviews with flight crew who were about to launch, and a spot with my friend and chief restorer, Chuck Wootan.

To an outsider watching this,  there was nothing to crow about. In fact, the aircraft was not painted yet and its nakedness revealed various sections on its exterior of different colors, giving it a patchwork look. Inside, it was clean and new looking but nothing flashy or attractive to the untrained eye…so….

Why, you might ask, was this such a big deal?

Well, it has something to do with the unseen element of the project. Imagine patiently and meticulously working on a project for 12 years! That is 12 x 365 days!!!!  and then have it flawlessly take to the skies and return to its intended purpose. In every word spoken, in every shot of the details of the restoration and in the exhuberance of the post flight interviews, there was a golden thread of spirit – of joy, of communal understanding about what lies inside every picture that was shown – it was pride, joy and the essence of passion.  Unless you were part of the experience or had one similar, it is hard to appreciate what is baked into the public final presentation.

The situation was similar with my flying experiences. It was so easy to say I was a formation pilot and flew a WWII warbird aircraft at airshows. What was not seen in the product was the years of blood, sweat and tears that forged every flight. It was the result of a dedication of others who had a vested interested in helping me achieve something I never thought I could aspire to and it was the heart of my own intense efforts and desire that produced the success.

Something much deeper than the product fuels the action…..

The Spiritual Essence of all things –

In relationship, it is similar – there is a story and a spiritual essence folded into the path of those whose lives come together. That path is the guidance of each soul intent on expansion of its experience and bound to its destiny. So, to say that you are married to another betrays the events and choices and sacrifices and joys and allowing and love that had to be part of that final decision.

Nothing is as it seems, is it?

When someone ends a relationship, the same path of destiny that played in the coming together, also is the essential ingredient of departure. It is the spiritual essence of soul truth that is at stake and soul will always win out in the end. …. no matter how painful or joy-filled the experience. It may look very different on the surface of it and often carry judgment and guilt and remorse with it but digging into its essence carries a much truer and clearer picture…find the engine that runs the show and you will find heart.

The outcomes source from spirit, no matter what they are – the essence of spirit is infused in every effort that is made in this life and it is expressed in how you feel, what you desire, what you respect and how dogged the pursuit of the focus.

The Heart in Everything

A friend of mine recently lost his wife to a tragic aircraft accident. Theirs was the consummately beautiful, soul-mated relationship. Ute was a beautiful being…her soul light shone through in every picture of her and in every endeavor she undertook. She was a flight attendant who lost her life in northern Canada just yesterday. Her husband’s announcement on Facebook stoically told a short story – the deeper essence of it -the loss, the sadness, the heart break would never be known unless you knew the whole story or were privy to even a snippet of it. Ute was a dedicated mother and wife. She and Jim were in my life for a very short time but long enough to know what a dynamic connection they shared.

Nothing is as it seems – perhaps the invitation here is to open up to what lies underneath the surface of our life. It is fueled by things hidden from our physical eyes, by the life giving story that mobilizes what happens on the outer layer – what you see always has more to it…no exceptions. What if we learned to see with our soul’s eye –  would it change a view, experience, opinion, direction, connection in our life?

“Where there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.”  ~Dorthea Lange

Taking Time in the NOW to Appreciate- A great story to share – pass it on!


In Washington , DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January  morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes.  During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.  After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing.  He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later: 

The violinist received his first dollar.  A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.

At 6 minutes:

A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

At 10 minutes:

A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly.  The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time.  This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent – without exception-forced their children to move on quickly.

At 45 minutes:

The musician played continuously.  Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while.  About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace.  The man collected a total of $32.

After 1 hour:

He finished playing and silence took over.  No one noticed and no one applauded.  There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world.  He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3 million dollars.  Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story.  Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people’s priorities.

This experiment raised several questions:

*In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?

*If so, do we stop to appreciate it?

*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made . . .. How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?

 Enjoy life NOW ….

” With the timeless dimension of the Now comes a different kind of knowing. A knowing that does not destroy the sacredness and mystery of life but contains a deep love and reverence for all that is”  Eckhart Tolle

A Glaring Error of Omission about Copywriting and Another AHA! moment

One of the most significant errors of omission in the latest post The Dance of Emergence was a very significant part that I had mistakenly edited out  about my copywriting experience. (move away from distractions when writing posts!!! lesson learned)

It needs added back in – right here, right now!

While I did begin the course with the negative perspective I described, I have (and I am only half way through) from the very beginning had many stunning reversals of belief as a result of both the facilitators and the curriculum. All my doubts and fears about integrity disappeared instantly as I listened to one of the first classes that stressed the necessity for honesty about and belief in the product or service.  As for alignment with my values – well, that dissolved in the very moment that I heard those words. As I have progressed through the course, I have enjoyed genuine enthusiasm and passion from the facilitators and through their eyes, I have realized what a vital role copywriters play in the success of any business – including businesses like this one!  I am discovering my own passion and desire to help others make a difference in their prosperity through learning these skills.

The AHA!

The obstacle that kept me avoiding jumping into this world was my negative perception. The unseen hand that moved me to take the course was a higher wisdom showing me how to surf instead of dog-paddle.

Obstacles can be obscure and very subtle. They can masquerade as beliefs that seem like our most sacred truths. It is not until we are willing to follow the gentle shoves of guidance that we discover in our hearts what our eyes could not see.

I am grateful and inspired by these dedicated and talented people with whom I have come in contact through this course. I am overwhelmed at the gifts it has delivered to me personally and professionally….and…..I had to express this to bring balance and perspective to another example of obstacles hiding the gold we seek in our lives….this has definitely been one of those experiences and promises even more…..

I am surfing this wave with the greatest of expectations and amazement and appreciation!

The Dance of Emergence – A Journey to Waking Up

If you ask

Some pretty inexplicable things have happened as a result of ‘asking’ lately.  At the beginning of this year  I asked for a shift to occur in the general direction things had been taking. I sincerely wanted change and wanted a new perspective. I was looking for proof that I could be my own leader, that I could successfully undertake a direction that personally resonated -that I was not condemned to following others’ opinions of  appropriate life choices.

The surprise initiation of my request began with being accepted to write for an online spiritual magazine. Then came the fun of editing and writing for said magazine and the thrill of doing  something I loved. Others had often said I was a good writer but through the filter of my own self-doubt, the message was fleeting and distorted. This experience started the shift……I was inspired by the feedback that seemed to be pointing to growth, expansion and the self-leadership I had requested…..

I  began to ask for focus and creativity during my meditations in support of this new direction…

‘dosado’ to the next step and the next and the next….

The latest event in this parade has delivered an online copywriting class to my door – something I had often condemned  as the ‘snake oil salesman’ approach that no one in their right mind would ever adopt as a profession. Irrespective of this bias,  ‘something’  propelled me to sign up anyway.  I would find a way to get around my personal objections.  My 2011 experiences so far had helped create a little flexibility, fluidity and trust in the impulses that felt like directive shoves by some unseen hand.

This copywriting course has been a love/hate relationship. I notice I  get pumped at  the possibility that “Yes, I can do this! I love this! Yes, this is my path!”  This pendulums back toward moments of being dashed against the obstacles of fear and doubt about the potential to excel, the shadow of wasted time and effort with nothing to show for it and no way to put my unique stamp on an industry whose underlying philosophy is not in alignment with my values. Hitting these blocks feels like running feet hitting quicksand and mud – suddenly all the momentum disappears and everything come to a screeching halt.

There is a pattern to this process –

The humanity in us creates these obstacles that stop us. However, looking more deeply, it becomes clear that their purpose is signalling the need to break down and identify WHAT stops us. Every time we are stopped by a perceived wall in front of our progression, we are called to discover the wisdom and power that are underneath.  In the case of the copywriting gig, I am called to grow my confidence and develop the leadership focus I requested.  In the encounter with blocks, we are invited to step outside the paradigm of constriction and accept the reality of limitless possibility.  Our awakened soul knows this and is anxiously awaiting to show us how to just dives into the experience and relish all of it.  It sees no experience as any different from another – its all about expansion which is its authentic mission.

What has this to do with Waking Up? 

I asked to know how all the divergent pieces of my experience fit together, to be shown the next steps, to have focus and creativity  at the fore of my life….and… pretty much everything has conspired to show me the way!

This year has been a series of steps toward something that is vague at the moment but feels like it is taking shape ahead. All this writing stuff – encouragements along the way from unsolicited sources -doubts and fears surmounted -power recovered -focus growing.   Life in its mystical unfolding and its glorious perfection  demands only a conviction that every obstacle cleared is recovering love under the fear and doubt  and moving  closer to awakening.       We have that capacity……and that desire

The Dance of Emergence

I am getting the hang of this …. starting to surf the wave rather than dog-paddle through it. The dog-paddle moments are just as visceral as always but they are shorter.  It is the dance of emergence : – poke your head out then draw it back to the familiar and the secure. Poke out again and take a deep breath of the sweet air and realize how invigorating it is. Back under into the old doubts that create obstacles to maintain that mundane,  secure prison.  Then choosing to body surf the wave again – feeling the immense power that lifts me up – beyond exhilarating.  This newly forged freedom from doubt and fear is what suddenly feels real and true.  Less in the undertow and more on top of the wave – learning to clear the obstacles with the adeptness of an Olympic athlete.

The latest in this growth?  ……an unsolicited invitation to do a show on VoiceAmerica radio – who knew where this came from?  Actually  I do know.  I requested this by asking the questions and expecting the answers – like every other experience and event of my entire life.

The dog-paddler would see it as ‘how is this VoiceAmerica invitation trying to get my money’ or ‘ this must be a mistake – can’t be me they are sending this to’ or ‘what’s the catch? ”  The surfer can marvel at the magnificent horizon of which this invitation is a part. No matter what it is about, it is put there by me and for my own awakening – I am my own greatest creator – no exceptions – period – full speed ahead.

Ask for what you want to create and allow the obstacles to free you-

What is in the way, IS the way…. to awakening