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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)

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

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

Cirque du Soleil – A Passion for the Impossible

I joined the crowd walking down the Santa Monica Pier on the way to my very first Cirque du Soleil performance. At the suggestion of the Voice Dialogue facilitator with whom I had been working all week, I decided to take in the  evening show.  My visit to the area had revealed spectacular personal discoveries that offered new life and direction so I was expectant that my evening adventure would deliver more of the same. It seemed to be the succulent path upon which I now traveled

In a prophetic bit of serendipity, I purchased the very last ticket to the performance. My seat was just two rows back from the front and dead center stage – the best in the house.  As I settled into my place, I was both grateful for this diversion and immensely appreciative for the opportunity. It was a timely, refreshing pause.

The Show

I was about to see Dralion – a metaphoric story of East meets West expressed in music and dance. I had read about Cirque du Soleil and knew a bit about the spectacular poetic and daring feats that were the hallmark of every performance. The performers spent hours of practice to painstakingly perfect every choreographed movement of their art that the website had declared was an “ode to human effort”.  The evening held the promise of a great experience and I was prepared to be inspired.

From beginning to end, the production was a riveting, breathtaking extravaganza. I was transported into imaginary worlds through the skillfully woven tale that was unfolding before me. The profusion of brilliant color and costumes, dramatic music and unbelievable acrobatics offered a rich feast for the senses. As I observed the grace and dexterity of the performers I couldn’t help but think that their contortions were simply not humanly possible to achieve. Yet the impossible was the reality I saw before me. How could anyone do that with their bodies? This stunning spectacle was testament to the indomitable presence of passion and the fuel it provides in any life undertaking. I was flooded with a deep knowing that what I was witness to here carried the message that anything was possible – anything.

I left the performance knowing that I was forever changed by what I had just witnessed. The founder’s passionate mission to “develop an international laboratory of creativity, audacity, imagination so as to ensure limitless possibilities” (www.cirquedusoleil.com) had infused me with inspiration and “sacred fire”.   My visit to Santa Monica had indeed been a portal to a new life and this experience had been its exclamation. As witness to the impossible made possible in that performance, I was filled with the knowing that any obstacle was surmountable.


The Queen in response to Alice in Wonderland’s lament that there is no use in trying to believe impossible things, “I dare say, you haven’t had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast” … Lewis Carroll

Just Take The Leap – Risk and Reward and the Launch of Passion Test Daily

My heart is pounding so it seems I have reached yet another opportunity in my life and I have to choose.  Like so many other similar moments, the questions fly through my consciousness in a whirling tempest of conflict. Do I stay or go? Do I say yes or no? What if I do? What if I don’t? What is best? What is right?

My relationship of the past 20+ years has come to an end. I am in my mid-forties. I can no longer stay where I spent the past half of my life and where I thought I would be forever.  The moving truck is packed with all my possessions and I am about to embark on a new path. It begins with a 1400 mile trek north to a new city and a new career.

So here I stand, staring into the abyss of fear, doubt and uncertainty. As I raise my gaze to the horizon, I see my goal beyond the gap and I can imagine with great clarity how it will be, the celebration of success, the sense of fulfillment that comes from achieving a dream, the new career that shimmers ahead. Yet I am fixated on the amorphous chasm that separates me from my vision.

Some part of me just wants to find my mattress in the truck and fall asleep in hopes that when I wake up it will all be a bad dream and everything will have returned to its former state.

Another part just wants to stand there, frozen in time, adapting to the in-between that doesn’t require anything of me other than to  stand and stare with no compulsion or propulsion. I could adapt. It wouldn’t be the greatest life but it would be predictable and safe.

And then, there is the small voice that rumbles into my awareness. Beyond the insecurities, worry and the fear of the unknown there is that voice of excitement that is pushing me into the driver’s seat of the truck. This voice is tired of me waiting and hesitating at the wrong side of the divide in my life. This voice embraces change as a necessary aspect of growth. This voice has pushed me so many times before – into the cockpit of the airplane for my first solo, out of bed to begin my first solo flight from Florida to Canada, onto the tarmac to join other war-birds for my first formation flight at a national air-show, through training in Voice Dialogue that ultimately lead me to this place where I now stand.

I simultaneously hate and love this voice of my adventurer.  I hate and love the demands its presence elicits from me. I know I have no choice but to collapse into its insistence because I know its wisdom is a clear pointer to the next destination and to the ultimate unfolding of who I am and what I am soul-inspired to do.

And then I remember – the exquisite sense of accomplishment and right action that followed every scary step I took up to this point in time.

Before I know it, I am on the road, my old life in the rearview mirror and my adventurer wildly celebrating a victory. This moment of choice became the most pivotal direction change of my life. As I listened to my heart,  I  simply stopped staring into the abyss and jumped into it. As the saying goes, ‘I took the leap and made my wings on the way down’.

Today, life is beyond anything I could have conjured up in my conscious reality. The journeys from that moment ten years ago to now have had my adventurer sitting on my shoulder in utter ecstasy.  And it continues…. the challenges are met with a dexterity that has grown since that fledgling trip into the unknown.  Somehow there is less hesitation in making choices and a lot more self-reliance evident in life today.  If it is possible to feel bigger while not actually changing size, then that is what has evolved. The child who hesitated at the truck door a lifetime ago has been replaced by the adult driver who is clearly in possession of the map and the route and the journey is made abundantly richer by sharing it with a loving fellow traveler – my husband, Terry.

I have recently begun a new adventure into writing and editing with an online magazine entitled:  Passion Test Daily .   It is an inspiring collection of writings about living your life stoked by passion and purpose. I entered into this endeavor with the usual trepidation but have found a definitive shift in my internal chatter. It is quieter and a more allowing…perhaps because I have made a commitment to finally take a leap and see where I land.

Your life: when you hold back, it holds back; when you hesitate, it stands there staring, hands in its pockets. But when you commit, it comes on like blazes …from Crossroads Dispatches