• Emerging Soul

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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

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

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

Lake Superior – The Eternal Presence of Now

Superior Silence

The waves wash rhythmically onto the rocky shore. The wind surges through the pine trees and speaks to me in soft whispers that play in my hair and tiptoe past my ears. The earthy scent of nearby blueberries and wild vegetation warmed by the afternoon sun wafts over me and I am comforted by the perpetuity of summers past and summers to come. All is still and sacred. I feel the presence of the ancients who walked this very shore and whose spirit embraces this revered land.

I grew up in the embrace of this world wonder. I carry it with me always.

Its spiritual essence and legacy are in my bones and in my soul.

Everyone who has lived in the shadow of Lake Superior knows and respects its power and majesty:  the largest fresh water body in the world; 32000 sq miles of crystal clear fresh water, its glacial beginnings,  its ancient native spirituality- Gitchigumi –…. its power lies not in its fame but in its heart…

Lately life’s reality dims this memory. The challenges mount and the call to action, leadership and choosing the right path conspire to fill every moment and demand undivided focus. They crowd out peace. They feed fear, grief and despair. I feel abandoned by the safety that I used to take for granted as a child.

I should be over that longing for security. I should know what to do and know how to do it. I should know my own heart’s messages and trust them.

Why can’t I hear, trust or know this?

The crumbling vessel of childhood belief that life was simple , happy and reciprocal dissolves in the  harsh reality of adulthood….it is as rocky and unpredictable as the shore upon which I walked as a child.

You never miss it until it is gone.

Then I realize that I am no longer that child, I am almost 60 years old and I am many lifetimes removed from my beloved Lake.

Some part of me that is a frozen time-bound life fragment is shocked by this truth. For that part, life is always about quiet serenity and flowing with what is ….

  • It is about remembering the cadence of every conversation held at the shore. Words are subdued in the presence of nature’s embrace….suspended, measured and reverent…whispering secrets in the cathedral of Gitchigumi.
  • It is about feeling the deep connection to the heart of what matters in those moments of letting go of all care and allowing yourself to be held, nurtured and lulled into reverie by the eternal rhythm of the elements.
  •  It is about combing the shore for driftwood for the evening fire ….
  •  It is about spending a day with family and friends who know this same experience and share in its expansive dimensionality

In the remembering, something is stirred within….

That time bound fragment makes its presence known again. It is invited into the now, bearing gifts and refreshing the memories – delivering the irrefutable message that memories are just energy and cannot be destroyed.

Suddenly I am filled with gratitude for my memory keeper and realize that she has kept possibility alive all these years. She has been the one who pulls me toward dreams, and vision every time life darkens and constricts. She is the peace Keeper within and without her life will not flow.

She is my ally and I have opened once again to her child-like wisdom and I am nourished. Peace returns and the Lake begins it rhythmical lapping on the shore, the smells of ripening vegetation fill my nostrils again, the flow of the wind through my being refreshes me.  I am in the stillness, at peace, at rest…..

Lake Superior …. eternal presence….


Why are you so afraid of silence?

Silence is the root of everything.
If you spiral into its void,
a hundred voices will thunder messages you long to hear.   ….Rumi

The YELLING UNIVERSE – Conscious Actions of the Heart

Do you understand what I am saying?

Have you ever noticed how your voice gets louder when you are trying to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak your language? It’s as if speaking louder is akin to speaking in tongues… as if getting louder somehow transcends the language barrier and forcefully deliver the desired message in a format that the other person will magically comprehend!

The level of loud is directly proportional to the level of desire to communicate and the urgency of the message.

the language of the Universe in healing

As absurd as this sounds, we have all had this experience or witnessed it.

Seeking the Language of the Universe in Healing

Recently, I had the distinct displeasure of engaging a similar behavior while trying to enact ‘instant health’ onto Terry by YELLING all the health inducing actions that were required. It wasn’t exactly yelling but it was urgent enough to feel like it and be received as such. I admit my action was the result of feeling squeezed and constricted with no choice as I watched his health deteriorate.

It seemed there was no other way to cut through the fortress of pain that had rendered any other type of communication impossible. But, I was speaking the language of health to the consciousness of someone who was lost in the language of illness.  Like trying to connect with someone whose language was not mine, I was YELLING HEALTH.

The YELLING erupted from somewhere deep in my solar plexus. It was unedited, insistent and inspired by a heartfelt desire to create an awakened state that opened a new course of action. I was pushing an outcome and unconsciously lighting a way out of the status quo. It felt like I had tapped into a Divine conduit that gushed a message of healing through me. It insinuated itself rudely because, just as we get frustrated trying to get our message across to someone who does not speak our language, the yell for well-being was trying desperately to convey the direction out of the suffering.

Conscious inspiration for healing from the Universe

The Divine Language of  the Universe

Life circumstances often conspire to interject transformation. Sometimes we hear its subtle whispers and sometimes, we are in another realm of reality unable to open to the guidance that would show us the elegant, grace-filled path of our heart and truth. It is always available to us but we operate in the language of the physical universe and the communication is offered in Universe-speak.

True to the formula, things need to get louder, and so, our accommodating Universe obliges. As our lives get more constricted and difficult, we struggle. “Sorry, I am busy struggling here, I have no idea what you are yelling at me!”  The guidance gets louder. We struggle some more and the volume increases by a factor of the urgency of the message. Finally, something breaks through and by some fated experience, the light shines into the endarkened cave of our misery. Suddenly, the communication is clear and we hear what we are being told….. the way out opens up.

In Terry’s case, his health issues have conspired to consistently create suffering and less and less capability to run/ escape or otherwise ignore the life choices in support of old habits and ways of living that need to shift. His physical struggle collided with the Universe YELLING to be heard.  On the inside of the wall of confinement, the message seeped in, forcing important questions – What really matters? What is my passion? What is my vision? How do I emerge from this impossible situation?   In quick response, the answers are flooding into consciousness.

the lighted path of the language of the Unvierse

Comprehending your Truth

When you are finally ready to listen, finally ready to move – things start to respond to your heart’s blueprint and change occurs. In the case of speaking to someone whose language is not yours, the clear indication of success is evidenced by a nod or some action that complies with your communication.

For our story, there is a sense of peace and focus and freedom to choose that seeps in with the perverbial Universal Yell.  What was fear and despair is now effort, action and spiritual realignment with your own personal mission in this physical reality.

So, if you are overwhelmed by the circumstances of your life, become aware of the infinite patience of Universal communication.  It comes in the form of urges, invitations, impulses to act. Watch your emails. Look at what pops up in your daily noticings. Meditate. Breathe into possibility.

We are here to navigate according to the map that our heart holds….it is not so much about purpose as it is about what gives us a clear connection to Divine tranquility and we can trust the Universe to point the way in the language of that Divinity. Like our attempts to speak to those whose language is not ours, the Universe  finds a way to get our message to us  even if it means exaggerated gestures, increased vocal volume and just a plain “in your face” stance. Trust that there is always a way!

What’s all this ‘life purpose’ jazz about anyway?

Life Purpose Lingo

Lately, it is easy for me to get all cynical about the avalanche of self-growth material that insists the road to happiness is the singular path of discovering and following your life purpose. I find myself  bristling as I read yet another ad or promise from a group or coach who has the absolute solution to happiness and all the trimmings, usually in anywhere from 3 – 10 steps. It is all about simply finding what it is you are meant to do in this life.  It is always that DO focus as if you are a meaningless hunk of protoplasm unless you have a DOING title attached to your being. The next thing, of course, once you discover your purpose, is to break the achievement of it into a series of goals.  It is vital to linearly view your progress to a perceived ‘nirvana producing’ successful completion. The well-dressed website beams smiles and exudes success  ..”ahhh nothing like living your life purpose …. don’t be like all those other lost folk who wander through their life blindly and randomly falling into this or that work or relationship…get conscious, take charge of your life and wake up to all that you can be!”

The Formula

Most of the time, what beams back is  hollow.  The one-size fits all formula for the life of your dreams is patterned on the success of the person offering their path as what works for everyone. It goes something like this:

(a) find something to do + (b) work hard and be dedicated to the vision you have created as your goal = (c) joy, fulfillment, wealth, abundance and security.

It all sounds plausible. You are impassioned to pursue the path…you take the course or read the book. You drink the kool-aid and perhaps succeed in the physical world sense but something is still missing…or… it doesn’t work at all, you are out a boatload of money and you end up feeling even worse than when  you started because you have compounded a sense of failure with yet another botched attempt at happiness.

The Lost Message about Life Purpose

Yet, like my belief about the truth that love must be everlasting else why are there songs about just such a thing, there is some truth about life purpose that seeps out around all the empty rhetoric – else why would the subject be so popular these days? What are we trying to link up with that has been lost in translation?

In his latest book, Fate and Destiny, Michael Meade  speaks about that deeper truth from which all our linear efforts source. In his inimitable way, his words shimmer the heart of what all this life purpose jazz is about.

“Each person is a body wrapped around a soul imbued with a dream trying to awaken from within.”

Meade suggests that we each carry a unique message which we are intended to deliver to the waking world. This message is imprinted in our soul and was the original urge that began our physical life. Through our  dreams, longings, moments of emotional catharsis, heart connections with places, people and things, we are shown the path of our soul’s direction and the path of our life purpose.  Our soul works out the original dream we arrived into earth life to follow through the discovery of what holds meaning, and encourages growth and movement in the physical world.

There is a persistence to the fulfillment our soul’s work. Throughout our life, we are repeatedly offered the opportunity to follow our soul’s bidding. If we look and listen, we will often see the thread of the life theme we brought with us into this earth incarnation.  It is our life’s work to discover that thread as it connects us to the divinity from which we source. The answer resides in repeating experiences, patterns of attraction, heart desires. It is never about what we choose from external urgings of the culture, human conditioning or what we do to please others.

The Spiritual Conspiracy

Our life experiences conspire to help us identify the essence of our unique sacred mission:

“Inside each soul the life-seed waits to be watered with attention and the life-dream waits to awaken fully. Regardless of outer appearances and contrary notions, each soul has its inner imagination that tries to return to full awareness through dreams, visions, through sudden insights,  and strange revelations.”  Meade.    I would add also- from peak experiences, ‘aha’ moments  and occurrences of inspired flow where our focus is so intense that we literally lose track of time.

Recently, I have discovered that throughout my life, I have had a passion for clarity – in both expression and understanding. When used as my life’s backdrop, it is easy to see the spiritual conspiracy at work in unfolding my personal life purpose.  From my school days, writing was the medium that offered a sacred space for reflection, inner counsel and the safety to develop inspiration from spark to flame so that whatever made it to paper was indeed a hologram of what resided internally.  Writing was both comfort and companion as I was growing up.  It survived tragedies, setbacks, broken hearts, fear events, successes,  joy-filled moments of accomplishment and times of enduring love. Every life experience was archived by my inner scribe in painstaking detail so that the events were truthfully nuanced and the expression was a clear and perfect representation of the reality.  The hindsight of my life so far provides a very clear track upon which my feet were set early on but it has taken until the past few years for that truth to come to fruition.

The unfolding has been accompanied by serendipity, ‘aha’ moments, and universal coincidence. It has been a lifetime of coherent, progressive events from the seemingly insignificant (my penchant for doing jigsaw puzzles and creating clarity and order out of  the chaos of hundreds of small pieces) to the enormous (loss and grief that spanned many years and drove me to write as therapy). My need for clarity has been the backdrop for the pursuit of my training to help others discover lucidity in their personal journeys.  Recently, my inner writer has begun to express publicly on this blog and in my work as a contributor to an online magazine.

Apparently, all the jazz about ‘fulfilling life purpose’ is really about looking for the hints and urges that are delivered in whispers to the core of our being throughout our life.  If you look for those themes, their golden cords will lead you straight to the authentic focus you were meant to remember.

“Some dream brought us here and only it knows the way we are supposed to walk in this world”  Michael Meade