Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Though I was reared within the Christian tradition, our particular non-denominational sect did not observe the four weeks known as Advent. The spiritual preparation began just prior to the actual holiday, so the bulk of the season seemed steeped more in the cultural and material than it did in the internal. It wasn’t until I was an adult and had been led to New Thought spirituality in general and the Unity movement in particular that Advent became a precious and vital part of my inner unfoldment. Each year I spend added time in silent meditation and heartful contemplation during these weeks, and I pray to see the Christ message as it applies directly to me. I embrace personally the symbols of the season, and lean into what they evoke within me. While I certainly affirm the celebration of the historical Jesus and the impact he had on human consciousness, I am frankly more interested in what Christ is calling me to open to at this time. Jesus and the Christ are not synonymous. Jesus was a Jew that fully embodied the Christ Presence during his incarnation here on earth. I believe he then ascended into the Realm of the Cosmic Christ, which makes him fully available to assist all who ask in making the same demonstration that he did. He does need a great big commercially based birthday bash. It is we who need to open to and allow the experience of the sweet still message of his birth into the Christ, as it applies to our own journey in consciousness.

The word Advent literally means “to come” or “coming to.” I love that because it feels so accurate. In this season of celestial Light we are called to “come to” our own indwelling Divine nature. The trance of the human condition is the amnesia of our True and Essential nature. That amnesia is the literal darkness so integral to this story. It is into the pervasive darkness of human unconsciousness that the Light of Christ comes. It is in the contrast of this Light to the predominate darkness that it is recognized. It is within the dark and hidden place of the internal womb of consciousness that Christ is being born. This is not a comfortable process anymore than actual childbirth is. There is pain. There is contraction. There is messiness and fearfulness. We like Jesus are called to remember that all of that chaos is in service of something far greater than the preferred comfort of the personality self. The pain of awakening is in service of Christ being born within us, and until we are willing to open to and to stay with this pain, we will remain ensconced and identified with the ego self story. But be assured of this; no matter how long we remain embroiled in resistance and unconsciousness Christ will indeed be born. This is not in any way to be mistaken for a Christian message. Christ is one term for the place of inherent Divinity present in all beings. We will each awaken to a Truth that is larger than any one theology. There is One Light regardless of how many fractals may display It. The history of Jesus is the destiny of us all. The Mass of Christ is all inclusive.

And so like Mary this is a time of humble and faithful waiting. You can’t make Christ be born. You cannot control the Infinite. Your demand for comfort does nothing but congest the process. You can only stay centered, open, and available to the stirring Presence that is within you. It is relentless I can assure you. Breathe. Breathe and relax into the awareness that this is your season. The contractions that you feel are in service of your own birthing process. In the bigger picture we are each called to literally birth ourselves.

Let each birth pang open you further. Surrender open. Let be. Let in the Light. The time of Christ is now. The birth of Christ is you.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


As we enter the final days of Hanukkah I feel more profoundly than ever the simple yet revolutionary message of this ancient festival of Lights. Though I was not born into the Jewish tradition I have come to respect and love many of the observances of this faith. I often joke that I have become an observant non-Jew. I am grateful to be open to finding inspiration in whatever form it takes, and it is resplendent in this eight day celebration of miracles and overcoming.

Central to this holiday is the decree that is spelled out by the Hebrew letters on the spinning top called a dreidel. The abbreviations stands for “a great miracle happened there.” The miracle being referred to wasn’t the incredible achievements of the Macabee army or the reclaiming of the grossly defiled temple. It wasn’t that the Syrians had been defeated though they greatly outnumbered the tiny band of Jews. The miracle that is celebrated during this wondrous observance is that with only an amount of oil that could logistically keep the menorah burning for one night it kept the Eternal Flame glowing for eight consecutive days and evenings. One vial of sacred oil seemed to multiply itself as the faithful Jews of the day used what they had to keep the Sabbath holy. The forces of the Universe honored their dedication and faith and matched it with a transcendent demonstration of what Source Illumination is capable of.

Hear that with me. What Source Illumination is capable of. I love lighting my candles each evening and recalling the miracle of that time. But more powerful yet is directly connecting to the presence of Source Illumination that is within me here and now. Miracles are not only for history. They are the destiny of each and every one of us that approach our days and moments with faithfulness in a power that is far, far greater than we are. This is a Power that is within us and not of us. It is allowable and yet not controllable. We can’t make miracles happen. They are beyond our conscious control. And yet they are the birthright of all of humanity. When we are tuned into and in synch with Source Illumination there is a Light that guides and directs us much more surely than any GPS ever invented. This Light is in every cell of our being. It is the composition of our photons, and is quite literally the Light of Source animating and operating within us. To say that we are Light is not figurative. It is literal. We are here to be the shining miracles of Light that Source has intended and created us to be.

We all have times when we think we just can’t do it. These are the very times when Source Illumination can best be demonstrated. When I step aside and get out of the way, miracles happen through me that astound and delight me. Since my recent health crisis I have come to reaffirm my total reliance on the Source Power within me. There are many things I just can’t do yet. Being back in front of a congregation each Sunday is quite frankly impossible for me the person. But that feeling of personal powerlessness is the very opening Source needs to then empower, sustain, and shine through me. I am honoring of my physical limitations, while remaining reliant on the Source that is moving through me. I pray “light me up, shine through me!” And then I trust my prayer. I trust the Power that takes that prayer and turns it into a Light that just keeps burning in and as me.

A great miracle happened there for sure. I celebrate that each night as I light the candles. But a great miracle is happening here as well. In me and all around me. It is the same miraculous Source Light that has continued to burn brightly throughout creation. Go ahead, surrender to it. Let it move within you. Follow Its leadings. Trust in It. Place your faith in it. And then watch the Light that keeps on burning illuminate and shine through you.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


This past Sunday, after a medically induced hiatus, I was back to doing what I most love to do: allowing the Inspiration of Source to flow through me in the form of conducting a Sunday service. If there is one area of my life in which the infallible Power of Spirit is demonstrated clearly it is in my Dharmic expression. Though I physically didn't yet feel up to expending the amount of energy it requires to stand before a group of people and emit that much Light, I also clearly recognized that the Light that was seeking to shine through me was and is so far beyond the constraints of my personality self. Doing what I am called to do is a perfect act of what I like to term Soulful Co-creation. I do my part. I show up and I open up. I stand up and I surrender In. I watch the personality preferences and I let the One Presence shine beyond them. After lecturing on Spiritual themes for almost eighteen years, I never doubt the Power of Illumination to become usable Inspiration in and through me. The mind may go into some interpretation of the quality of the work after the fact, but that is just what the mind does. It is just ground clutter. I continue to place my Faith in the Power that inspires me to keep doing what I am called to do. And I relish the experience of Union that occurs every time I stand up to speak. It truly is Source as verb.

The talk that I presented on Sunday was entitled THANKS FOR NOTHING. Though I will not try and recreate that content for the purposes of this blog, I do feel led to share the essence of what came through me.

I have for many years kept a Gratitude journal, and it is a treasured practice that I engage in each and every morning. Throughout the years, there are days when the awareness of blessings is acute and overflowing, and there are occasionally days when the mind comes up fairly blank. In retrospect, these are the days that have taught me the most about the deeper levels of gratitude. While I endorse and celebrate the practice of acknowledging and writing down what we are grateful for, I am even more empowered by shifting the focus to a state of being grateful FROM. Spiritual maturity is being in synch with sacredness and blessing when there seems to be little to be grateful for. Gratitude and thanksgiving are contextual and not dependent on content. True thanksgiving is being grateful at an empty table. And when you can feel that, the feast is truly on its way.

Gratitude is causal. Gratitude is primary. Gratitude is formless. And from this state of causal, primal, formless gratitude the blessings miraculously flow forth. We are admonished to be grateful IN ALL THINGS. Not when we have what we think we want and things seem to be going our way. IN ALL THINGS. When you can truly say thank you to the heartbreak, the meltdown, the diagnosis, the divorce, the foreclosure, the death; then you get a sense of being grateful from. This type of thanksgiving is transformational. When you are able to thank the challenge the miracle is on its way. This is spiritual discernment. This is spiritual awakening. This is faith. And for most us it is a process.

So I hear occasionally the somewhat caustic quip “thanks for nothing.” Beyond the sarcasm there is actually a seed of deep truth. When you can say wholeheartedly to the Universe “thanks for nothing,” everything is on its way. “I need absolutely nothing to be grateful this day. You, my Source, are enough.” This humility is the aperture for uncommon abundance. It is the valve that opens the floodgate. It takes our focus off of form and places it in Formless Spirit. It is here that we experientially learn that the moment is always enough for we are always enough. When we are In Synch within our Source, we have access to all of creation. It is holographically already ours. Gratitude opens us to let in the fullness of all that already is. This deeper gratefulness is unchangeable. It is in alignment with the Impulse of Creation Itself: Let there be, and it is good!

And so I hold you in my grateful heart, and I vibrationally know for you a deep, spacious, profound Thanks-Living holiday. Thanks for nothing, my friend. You are everything to me.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I have had a lifelong aversion to needles.

I can't stand the sight of them, let alone the felt-experience. A doctor friend tells me that it is totally psychological. I beg to differ. I am indeed aware of the scary stories my mind tells about these instruments of terror, but it is my body that feels the effects of metal meeting nerve. I shudder once again even as I type those words.

Did I mention I have had a lifelong aversion to needles?

They say that if you want to transform a fear you must face it head on. If you want to get beyond your fear of flying you must take a ride within a plane, a hot air balloon, a parasail. If you want to want to go beyond your fear of heights you must rise above that fear into a high and lofty place. Fear of public speaking? Join Toastmasters. Fear of dating? Meet up with a meet up group. You get the idea.

And so 2013 has been my year of facing my fear of needles. Beginning in January of this year I have had more encounters with needles than I ever thought was possible.

It all began when I decided to re-enroll in health coverage. Part of the stipulation for my policy was that I go to see an appointed primary care physician and have a physical exam. Driving to the office I had a serious yet caring talk with myself regarding the inevitable date with a needle that I knew was about to occur. Forms, personal histories, interactional niceties, stethoscopes, and the blood pressure cuff passed and the moment finally came when the nurse sweetly asked me to roll up my sleeve. I heard my self respond in a voice several decibels higher than is my norm;” please don’t let me see the...”

And then she said it. “A little pinch.”

I guess I thought at the time that the words were somehow unique to her. “A little pinch.” First off, it wasn’t true. It was most definitely not a little pinch. It was a fairly good size bite and informing me that was going to be little was not in the least bit helpful. I struggled to remember the identity beneath the personality. And I sat with the barely concealed desire to return the favor.

And so it began. I have heard the words “a little pinch” countless times in the past calendar year. I could count on one hand the times it was an accurate descriptive. From phlebotomy to intravenous to aspirations the little pinch has never lost its impact to make me wince and tighten. And yet my relationship to the wince and to the tightening has been transformed dramatically.

Life is full of little pinches. That is just the way it is. It is our relationship to those pinches that make all the difference in our internal atmosphere. It is never helpful to pretend that there are not things that invoke fear within us. Fear is a part of the human experience and, contrary to what we so often hear, fear is not an enemy. If there has been one over-riding lesson from this year filled with nurses, needles and little pinches it is to relax open with those fears and embrace what instinctually triggers resistance. The life long aversion to needles has not gone away. Facing the fear over and over again has not resulted in a lack of fear. What I have learned this year, more intimately than ever, is to be friendly with the fear, the aversion, and the pain. Now when I hear the words “a little pinch” I bring presence to the part of me that resists needles and physical pain. I allow the contraction to occur, even as I invite a feeling and relaxation and openness to embrace the contraction. I watch the mind story about needle aversion without trying to layer over it with a better story of how I do not fear needles. That would only be a lie. I do fear needles, and I can relax open with that fear. It softens the entire experience, and leaves me feeling more expanded and peaceful as a result.

And so while needles are still far from being my friends, they have taught me a most friendly message. When I face the little pinches of life, as I do each and every day, I begin by consciously taking a breath. I acknowledge the pinch, and the fear that may be triggered. I allow fully for the entire experience of my experience, and I invite a full bodied sense of relaxed openness. I compassion the pinch, the seeming trigger, and I celebrate the ability to choose openness in my circumstances. And I recognize that without the fear and aversion I would not have learned this lesson.

So maybe needles are my friends after all.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I suspect I may be literally dying to live.

My friend and spiritual companion Raphael Cushnir wrote a stunning book several years ago entitled SETTING YOUR HEART ON FIRE. The book contains seven invitations that entice the reader to engage more fully with the heart space and so with life. The fourth invitation is “Live like you are dying.” Far from being as morose as it may sound to some, this invitation beckons us to a more authentic and actualized human experience. It invites us to be more conscious within the present moment. It asks us to evaluate our values, and how aligned we are with them. It holds a mirror up to us, and invokes within us the courageous decision to look squarely at them. Resistance and numbing are investigated, and the possibility is entertained that when we live as if we are dying we are actually and literally more alive than ever before.

I read and deeply enjoyed this book several years ago. The invitations have risen in my awareness countless times, and they have informed more moments than I could ever guesstimate. And the fourth invitation in particular has come more fully alive in me since I have come face to face with the possibility of actually dying.

This coming Friday a surgeon and a team of medical personnel will handle the technical aspects of my letting go of the dance I have been doing with cancer. I have been advised and can readily accept the fact that, as I will be henceforth monitored on a regular basis, I will now have an ongoing relationship with this disease that so often causes such fear and suffering in people the world over. I must say to you my readers that it truly hasn't been that for me. It has been unpleasant and uncomfortable at times. But I have not resided in an atmosphere of intense fear since my diagnosis. I have not experienced prolonged resistance to it, so it has not created an internal sense of suffering. My choice to accept and fully embrace the temporal reality of the condition has resulted in many insights and epiphanies, and it has been far more friend than foe. I will continue to dance with this partner known as cancer, but I will not let it lead. I am more awake and alive since this dance began, so I am filled with much more appreciation than I am angst. To live like I am dying isn't resignation. It is a reminder that every day of physicality is a gift to be relished. It is a juice to be sipped and even gulped. The appeal of suppression and numbing is gone as I bring a more passionate attention to every single aspect of this wild and wondrous human experience.

I have every expectation that the surgery will successfully address the immediate physical challenge, and that the prayer support with which I am surrounded will activate the genius both in the medical team and in my body temple. I anticipate many more years upon this planet, and I know that I will be far more alive during the ensuing years as a result of staring disease and death right in the not-so-scary face. I know that from here on out I will spend my moments and my days living like I am dying. I believe that the adoption and activation of that perspective is a major part of the gift that this experience has come to give to me. I have long sought to be more radically and radiantly alive in my body and in my moments, and if it takes a brush with death to ignite that, so be it. I have been dying to be more and more alive, and I guess that got reflected in a way I couldn't miss.

I have lately pondered more intensely the gifts and the message that I came here to give to the world. I want to be completely used up when the time comes to leave this earth. This contemplation reminded me of an exercise that I gave to a workshop in the not so distant past. The assignment was to intuit and to write a seven word autobiography. As I always complete before hand everything that I ask others to do, I relished watching the felt-dawning of a new perspective as it rose instantaneously in my awareness. “AND YET HE CHOSE TO GIVE LOVE.”

And yet he chose to give love. Yep. That’s it. After all the trauma, struggle, abuse, addiction, loss, darkness, pullback, fear, pain, and disease, I still am choosing to give my love. I am here in service of love. Let me be clear that giving love has led me to face deeply ingrained primal fears and grievous emotional imprints. Giving love has forced me to face and cross the boundaries of my comfort zones and the barriers of my woundedness. Giving love has been counter-intuitive and continually frightening. And yet I choose to give love. And yet I choose to live like I am dying, and to drink deeply of the well of this human experience with every moment that I have left. I don’t want to miss one bit of this exhilarating and often exasperating life. And someday, when it really is time to exhale back into infinity, I pray that those who may remember me will say “and yet he chose to give love.”

And now I go about the business of living like I am dying, and choosing in each moment to give the Love I am.

Monday, September 23, 2013


It just occurred to me that I do not have a best if used by date.

This has been a year filled with doctors, tests, medical procedures, and surgeries. And it isn’t over yet. The “big one” has yet to occur. Many people around me have interpreted these physical happenings as a bi-product of my advancing age.


Alright, there may be some truth to that. The pervasive tribal belief is that the older we get the more ailments we endure. But it is for sure a relative truth. If there has ever been a person that has aged with a minimum of physical maladies then the potential is there for us all. Yes, I know about genetics and all of that. And I repeat that the potential is there for all of us. And despite current appearances that potential is here for me.

I do not view this year of repetitive challenge as a necessary effect of age or as some kind of metaphysical punishment. I am grateful to dwell for the most part in a peaceful internal relationship to what has been going on. It has awakened me to a more vital awareness of what I still feel compelled to accomplish during this particular sojourn in time and space reality. I have gotten a clearer glimpse of an impending expiration date, and that has proven to be a blessing and not a curse. Procrastination takes on a different tenor when viewed against a life threatening diagnosis. I actually feel more vitality and aliveness as a result of cancer, not less. If I viewed something such as a bucket list with incredulity before I find it far more appealing and relatable now. In my youth I couldn’t conceive of time as a limitation. I never entertained the possibility that my body wouldn’t keep up with what my inner-adventurer wanted to pursue. And now a different side of my humanity is presenting itself, and I am forced by circumstance to review and reframe my former and less inclusive paradigm.

I guess I am indeed aging. I have no need to deny that. I cannot physically do everything I was once able to do. Gravity has rearranged things, and things that once did one thing, now do something quite differently, if they are doing anything at all. Hmm.

And, I do not have a best if used by date.

I sometimes find my mind drifting to what I haven’t achieved or accomplished, and I ponder listlessly if many of my dreams have passed me by. It is a rich and revealing inquiry when I have the courage to face it and not shut it down in self preservation and defense. It is fairly certain at this point that I will never dance on Broadway or win an Academy Award. I will not naturally father a child, and will most likely not parent at all. My twenty-eight inch waist is probably history, and I have made friends with the spectacles that now sit upon my nose. Gray is the new brown, and craggy is the new smooth. I no longer grab opportunities to check myself in reflective surfaces, and am far less concerned with physical appearance and the current fashion trends.

But for everything lost there are multiples to be gained. I am more patient, compassionate, expansive, and tender than at any time during my lean and more flexible years. Though my eyesight is waning, my insight is sharpening and my vision is ever more spacious and clear. I have moments when true wisdom seems to be replacing my once urgent ingenuity, and when maturity is trumping my past eagerness and ambition.

And yet I know I am far from over. I realize that I have much more to offer life than I ever have before. My hunger to be of authentic service is stronger and more passionate than when I was in a more self-fulfilling career. While I thought I would be at a certain stature by this point in my incarnation, I am certain that I am in the flow of a far greater Intelligence that is moving me forward and setting me free to truly be what I came to this earth to be.

It’s not too late. It really is never too late. I am not out to pasture, and I have no best if used by date. My current medical challenges are proving to be great spiritual opportunities. They have temporarily slowed me down, and I am allowing that loss of velocity to center and to ground me. To clarify what is most essential and authentic to me. I am opening and flowering, even at this ripe old age. There are still dreams to be dreamed and to be fulfilled, and they are now more germane to who I am and to what I came here to express. They are different dreams for sure. They are less self-centered and much more Soulful in their origin. And they are mostly dreams that are fulfilled within my now awakened moments. They are not time or physically dependent. They are states of being that synch with my purpose and vibrate with my passion.

I have no best if used by date. In fact, I am best used when I detach from time and mind and expectation and evaluation all together. I really am at my best now. Slower, wiser, scarred, be-speckled, gray haired and all.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


As I begin to type these words I feel a pressure in my chest that I can easily identify. It is the impulse, the desire, the need, the pressure of the pent up passion of fully giving expression to what is most precious, vital, and sacred within me. I have had a deep and quenchless thirst for the Beloved my entire life. Though I have been sidetracked and hoodwinked countless times, life has for me always come back to this same wanting. It is indeed a tireless longing for the direct experience of my Source.

My late spiritual director once told me I expect too much from my spirituality. I will always love and respect her and yet that it is a point we never did agree on. While I thought I was here on this planet to do and to accomplish many things, my top priority has always come back to the mystical merging I know I am meant for. I spent too many years expecting not too much but far too little. Stories of long dead avatars are informative and fine, but I want my own inter-relationship. Way-showers are great for pointing the way, but no other person or intellectual map can replace the intimate encounter I know is my birthright. Rilke invited his students to find their “I must” in life, and then to pursue it relentlessly. I know what “my must” is. I have always known what my I must is. It is a life rooted in my Source, and a subsequent expression that shines forth into all my encounters and activities. My I must is not a thing I do, but neither is it devoid of it. Awakened activity is a powerful force. It is a calling When I do from my True sense of Being I am unstoppable.

And so we are collectively stepping through an enormous energetic portal at this time in our collective evolution. I feel it. I think we all feel it. An old age has ended, and a new one is being birthed. Some of us will go through this birth consciously, and some will remain yet longer in the trance. I know I was born for this time. I know I was born to be freed from the story of unworthiness, shame, addiction, depression, and self-aversion. I know my transcendence is up to me yet it is not for me alone. Self aversion is very self absorbing. Fearful withholding only seems to be the effect of depression. It is actually the cause. Being a prisoner in my own programming was the real hell, though I was taught hell was a God-ordered punishment after death. Being locked in my own limiting beliefs, unable to give freely the love I was meant to give, WAS hell. It was the real punishment. It had nothing to do with a God sentence. It was completely self-induced. I was not living on purpose and the result was a level of suffering that could not be denied or endured. I have a strong human threshold for pain, but the drive of my Soul is far stronger.

The gig is up. I know I can no longer hide in fear. I can no longer stay in that old sad story of the powerless and pitiful separate me. I can no longer pretend to be less than I incarnated to be. I am here to shine, to serve, to let my life be a story of overcoming and transcendence. And I am here to uplift you as well. As I come to know more fully my own Sourced splendor I come to know yours as well. And when you forget who and what you are I am here to be a loving reminder. I am here to shine my Light into your temporary darkness. I will compassionately listen to your habitual self-stories, but I will not for a moment believe them. You and I have suffered long enough. The world has suffered long enough. And it’s beyond time to stop billing suffering as the will of God. Source could never will us to suffer or it would be suicidal. Source is the end of suffering. The end of suffering is Its I Must.

I am done playing small for fear of being somehow exposed or misunderstood. My Source is greater than any ego story. This is the time for a mass spiritual awakening, and I am devoted to playing my part in this great myth of illumination. I feel myself typing faster and faster and I feel the pressure in my chest becoming words and ideas and creative expression and inspiration. The velocity of “my I must” is moving me forward filling me up. Whatever else I may actively do during this incarnation I devote myself first to enlightened Beingness. I dedicate myself to being a force for peace and compassion. If I begin to slide back into the old habitual story I will stop and I will reconnect to my Soul’s purpose here on earth. I will remember that I am here for something much bigger than myself. I will synch back into my I must, and I know my vision will clear and my mission will sharpen. I must be who and what I came here to be. I must shine the Light of awareness and the frequency of love into all of my moments, into all of my interactions, into all my doingness.

The time has come to fully become my I must. And there is no turning back.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


To call me anal retentive is truly like calling the pope Catholic.

I was reared in an extremely orderly and tidy home environment. Cleanliness was not only a virtue, it was a law. It is not uncommon for people that are brought up in such strictures to become the exact opposite when they are finally free to do so. That was not and is not the case with me. I long ago let go of the self judgment relative to my desire for cleanliness and order. Though I am still frequently criticized for it, it has served me in ways that I am truly grateful for. I create a pleasing and inviting home for myself, my husband, and those who visit us. I pay attention to my personal appearance and consciously cultivate my sense of the esthetic. My sometimes rampant creativity is balanced by my need for order and what I perceive as rightness.

It took me a long time and a lot of internal work to realize that my need for external order would not serve me in terms of my emotional landscape. I exhausted myself in trying to apply the same standards to my withinness that I so capably used for my external environment. The admonition “as within so without” became a living reality that first had to be examined and then appropriately reversed. The programming of my upbringing became stunningly clear; if the homestead needed to be orderly and tidy the emotional landscape had to be immaculate and at all times controllable. This led to years of suppression and active addiction. The woundedness kept calling for attention while I continued fighting to keep it all under control. I tried to look good at any cost. It was like cleaning house by throwing everything into a closet and then slamming the door. I stuffed my internal closet so full that when one a day a tiny crack was opened, years of unintegrated feeling come gushing out. It was time to finally face what I so feared to face.

There is nothing tidy about emotional healing.

There is nothing orderly about spiritual awakening.

Trying to look perfect, stable, and oh-so spiritual on the outside does nothing to authenticate the internal experience of being fully human.

We are not meant to be tidy, orderly, and in control. We are meant to be whole. Painting yourself with pretty pink paint does nothing to answer and integrate the stifled cries of your hurting heart. The blessing isn’t in the suppression. It’s in the mess. It’s deep in the closet that you have been consistently slamming the door shut on. It’s in the center of the feelings you have tried so hard not to feel. It’s beneath the persona that only thinly veils what is going on underneath. It is so often only we who are fooled.

Cancer has come screaming out of the closet and there is nothing I can do to control it. No matter how much I scrub the floors and polish the mirrors I still have cancer. No matter how many well meaning people throw pink paint upon me the diagnosis is still there. There is nothing orderly or tidy about cancer. And there is nothing tidy or orderly about the way I am moving through it.

And so messiness is the order of the day. I am vigilant about what is arising and moving within me, and I am releasing the need to categorize or to make sense out of it. I am committed to staying present with every aspect of this adventure. I am rejecting none of it. I am giving myself space from those that just can’t bare the messiness of my present condition. I am holding to the Truth that is larger than my diagnosis, and I am also allowing the Source of that Truth to contain both the relative and the absolute of this situation. It is within the both/and that more of me will be revealed.

I am not going to miss one iota of the blessing that I know is contained within this experience. I know the blessing is not to be found in denial or suppression. It isn’t for me only a matter of making this medically go away. My blessing is deep within the messiness of this experience, and I am wading in and feeling about within it. It is from the depth of the fear, the uncertainty, the emotional chaos, and the internal messiness that I know an enormous blessing is being born. And so for once I am letting the disorder simply be. No denial. No suppression. No pink paint. No dissociative truisms. Just the wholeness of letting myself be fully and freely and sometimes messily me.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


“This will teach you who your friends really are.”

Some sage advice received since my recent cancer diagnosis. It landed heavily in my solar plexus as I heard it. I immediately recognized it as a well-worn perception that I suppose contains a relative truth. The message was that I will learn as a result of this life challenging condition which of my friends is in it for the long and sometimes tumultuous haul, and which are only here for me when the seas are calm and the sailing smooth. I have indeed witnessed some surprising reactions from people that have been in my life for a considerable length of time. I have experienced and felt some sadness and disappointment as a result of non-response from individuals I would have expected to be supportive in this difficult time. There is a key word contained in that preceding sentence that awakens me from a potentially prolonged contraction: expected. It is my expectations of people that have always led to my relational suffering. It is demanding that people show up in a certain way that sends me right into recoil. If others do not meet my demands and expectations does that mean that they do not care about me? Doesn’t my reaction say much more about me than about them? Perhaps if I had bestowed upon my friends a copy of the “How To Treat Taylor” manual they would better comply with my rules. The truth of the matter is, I am not even clear yet about how I might be best supported through this sometimes scary and chaotic journey through cancer. How can I expect others to be present and clear? And there it is again. Expect.

I am not in any way diminishing the need for support and loving attention during this more than challenging time. And I have received some astoundingly beautiful sentiments from people I barely know. But while the advice given by my friend points to a deeper potential for intimacy at this time ( or not), it is for me a calling to a more rooted and unwavering sense of autonomy. Autonomy must always precede true intimacy. At a certain level we go through these deeper valley’s alone. Please don’t disparage me with spiritual correction. I know ultimately I am not alone and separate from my Source, and I relish deep connections with both family and choice family. And yet I am the one that has this messenger in my body. I am the one that will undergo often painful treatments and procedures. While others may walk with me to an impending portal, I will make the passage alone and on my own. I am the one that is deciding how I will show up in this most profound experience. I am the one that is choosing how to see it and how to relate to it. While I would prefer to have the company and the spiritual energy of those I love and am in relationship with, I do not choose to categorize others based on their ability to be with something so frightening and evocative.

If this experience is truly teaching me who my friends are it is doing so by revealing deeper levels of what goes on in individuals when they are faced with their own mortality. Because that is what unconsciously gets triggered when others are looking at me. Looking into the mirror of my experience reveals things most people don’t want to see. My chosen transparency can be daunting. I am more than willing to own that. I will not define or exclude people from my heart based on how they are able to relate to my honest communication regarding this challenge. I will not use someone’s fear-based projection to measure a relationship and then deem it lacking. In fact, I will not lead myself into story telling about any aspect of how others choose to show up or not show up for me at this time. The gift of autonomy is maintaining my capacity to love those around me even if it appears that they are not actively bringing love to me. I choose to compassion the pain and fear that my current situation has invoked in others. I welcome those who choose to stand beside me, but I will not withdraw from those that don’t. This is a time for me to open and to deepen, not to shut down and pullback. I will not deaden myself to my own need for compassion and care. But neither will I kill off a connection based on my own expectation and demand.

So in a way cancer is indeed teaching me who my friends really are. It is giving me insight I didn’t have before and that I didn’t need to have before. It is allowing me to steady my autonomy and deepen my intimacy. My compassion for those around me is more acute and engaged than ever before. To those who seem to be keeping a silent distance, I love you exactly where you are. To those who replace themselves with detaching advice, I hold you in just how you are being. To those who invite me to call when I am in need, I must say thanks but probably not. It is much harder for the vulnerable to make the call. But I will know that you are there in the way that you can be there. And I know you are here. You are always here within me. My friends are not what they do or don’t do. They are the felt-sense love I have deep within my heart. And that is present even in those times when I need to walk this path alone.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


On July 3 I heard the three words that will forever change a life: you have cancer.

There remains just a slight waft of disbelief as I type those words these four weeks later. The “c-word” has moved from being a scary concept about someone else to a living reality in my daily experience. I have committed myself to both not identifying with this diagnosis and not letting myself fall into the trance of disassociation. I am most appreciative to already be dwelling in the peacefulness of a heartful “both and.”

I am profoundly aware as I compose this missive that the majority of people who will read these words are fellow sojourners on a similar spiritual quest. I am also aware that this information is being received and processed by as many perceptual lenses as there are readers. I have been surprised and even shocked at the myriad reactions I have received by the relatively few people with whom I have shared this news. It has reaffirmed for me the painfully low threshold we as human beings have for the capacity to simply be with pain. I have been dealt reactions ranging from “it’s no big deal” to the subtle but arrogant hints of arm chair metaphysics to silent non-response to suggestions of everything from immediate radical surgery to ingesting fields of wheat grass and endlessly chanting ohm. While many of these suggestions have certainly made waves in the field of my highly sensitized consciousness I also feel profoundly grateful to possess the capacity to simply be with how others are choosing to be (or not to be) with this, and also for my willingness to own all of this as gift.

You really cannot know the felt-impact of those three words until you have heard them for yourself. Until they apply to something that is happening in your body. It is all theory until the pathology report is bearing your name. I have sat with countless people as they received their own diagnosis. I have held many a hand as the finishing breath exhaled and the final heartbeat ceased. I have stood beside hundreds of hospital beds and have been honored to deliver many a eulogy and memorial. I empathically and intimately participated in all of these scenarios. I have been at varying levels of consciousness throughout this wondrous journey of sickness and death. And yet these past few weeks have expanded me far beyond anything my clinical or seminary training prepared me for. Now I am in my own journey of contextually exploring my mortality, and it has opened me to a level of felt-sense Source that perhaps no other adventure could lead me to.

Cancer truly is the gift I have often heard it described to be. I realize even as I say those words that the blessings of this gift have only begun to express. And I am very aware that it is a gift that no one would consciously choose to invite in. But here it is. And I know that it is a visitor that comes in service of my most High sacred emergence. I know that down to the very marrow of my bones. As difficult as this has been for many of those around me I know that I currently reside in a perfect place in consciousness to allow this so called disease to awaken, open, and expand me. I do not choose to see this as something that is wrong or in need of fixing. I do not see this as an indication of my spiritual failings. I do not choose to resist this or to reject this. I am certain that the only way for me to glean the good from this is to remain open to it.

This does not mean that I will not choose to seek treatment of it. I may very well have the surgery and eat the recommended wheat grass. But even while I take the practical steps I am led to take I will do so in a containment of gratitude and faithfulness. I will do so knowing that this is the next right place in my Soulful unfoldment. I will take action from a place of tenderness, loving-kindness, and compassion for myself and for those who share this journey with me. I am committed to standing between the polarities of awfulizing and minimizing. And I am keeping my heart open to those who simply are not able to be with this experience exactly as it is.

It has taken much prayer and contemplation to come to the decision to share this news with my readers and with my audiences. I do so against the advice of some well meaning friends. I do not feel called to make this a new type of platform for my teaching, but neither do I sense that it is something to be hidden. There is no shame for me in having cancer. Authenticity and transparency are compelling values for me, and I am committed to living in and teaching from a place of humility and honesty. I want to let my life be an example of both an engaged spirituality and a fully embraced humanity. I want to give voice to how we each will face challenges that will try us to our very core. The spiritually dedicated life is not a life in which no challenges happen. The spiritually dedicated life is a life in which we choose to face whatever we are called to face knowing that we do so within the Embrace of our ever-present Source. I have never felt as spiritually centered and as lovingly held. I do not know how all of this is going to unfold but I do know that I will move wakefully through the process. I know that I am going to allow for all that arises within me and around me. I know that I will emerge as more of What I am on the other side of this adventure.

On July 3 I said three words that have indelibly changed my life: I have cancer.

It is not the whole of who I am, yet it is an experience that is awakening me to more of what I am. It is a guest that has come to visit and so I welcome it for what it has come to share with me. I listen to it, and I smile at the wisdom it comes to teach. I suspect it will not be here for long, so I bring a sustained and loving attention to it. I know I will endure long after it has left, and so I lovingly and gratefully open the gift that it has come to bring:

More and more of me.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Crying can be a most intimate form of prayer.

I gave myself the gift of a four day prayer retreat last week, and it was much needed and profoundly appreciated. I spent the majority of those days in rapt attention to my interior beingness, and my experience of my Source and was again deepened and expanded. I am grateful to be at a place in my spiritual emergence where I am mostly cooperative with my authentic urges. When I feel the call to take added time within, I arrange to do that as quickly as I can. The benefits of this cooperation are immeasurable. Something(s) was calling to be attended to, and giving myself the time and space to do that resulted in clarity, spaciousness, insight, and a couple of good old fashioned snotty cries.

I feel blessed to have a friendly relationship with tears. That wasn’t always the case. The big boys don’t cry syndrome had me in its vice for awhile, and it was a contributing factor to an extended period of emotional paralysis that thankfully has passed. My ability to freely feel has been augmented by a lessening of the dualistic logic of many New Thought teachings. The “if I’m doing it right I will always feel peaceful, joyful, and filled with love and light” perception. That tripped me up for longer than I care to admit. Now I embrace the fact that an actualized spirituality is in alignment with a healthy psychology. It isn’t about always feeling good. It is about being really good at allowing myself to feel. I don’t identify with my feelings anymore than I do my thoughts. But I am an open space for both to pass through without resistance.

And so knowing that I had given myself the gift to tuck away within my Beloved for a few days brought forth both tears of relief and joy, and some of grief and remorse. I sometimes feel when I have extended meditation and prayer time that I am leaning into the enormous breasts of a Divine mother, and that she is tenderly holding me throughout whatever I will allow myself to experience. She is wondrously intuitive, and she either holds me gently or tightly, depending on which is most appropriate to the moment. She never shuts me down, no matter what the velocity of the tears or even sobbing may be. She understands that tears are an enormously intimate and healing form of prayer. She knows that tears are Holy water that flow from a heart that is open enough to allow the flow. She hears the silent scream that has been suppressed, and is finally liquefying and taking stream. She knows that tears are real and vital and authentic. They are so often stifled behind stories of defense and deadening logic. When I tap into the beginnings of an erupting cry and I choose to allow those tears to flow and fall, I know I have honored something that needed expression. Whether it be grievous or joyful, I have gotten real with myself and with my Source. I have chosen not to withhold or withdraw. My prayer has filled my heart and fallen from my eyes. And I know I have been heard, felt, and supremely comforted.

Crying can be a most intimate and profound form of prayer. It can’t and needn’t be forced. But it also won’t be suppressed indefinitely. In the world in which we live there is much to grieve both individually and collectively. There is also an astounding array of beauty and transcendence. The fullness of the human condition is only experienced in a heart that is open to feel the entire spectrum. Truth is often accompanied by tissues. I am grateful to be able to cry my losses and also the lessons they reveal. Gratitude will often be accompanied by as many tears as is grief. They are both movements within my heart, and they both translate to activity within and from my eyes. And so I let them fall. I pray the tears and they are a baptism from my Soul. A beautiful flowing baptism occurring within my Source Beloved. And for that recognition, I may surely weep.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


It seems like other people have wanted to define and/or change me my entire life.

I allowed that fact to torture me for many years. The suffering began to ease when I could clearly see that, for starters, the dynamic has little to do with those around me and everything to do with an engaged factor in the agenda of my own Soul. It is also an indication that I am an open enough individual for people to feel comfortable sharing what they want to share without fear of reaction or repercussion. That is a mixed blessing for sure.

These awareness’s have brought me to peace with the repetitive dynamic and yet they have also invited me into a deeper level of self-definition and referral. When I say self-definition let me be clear that I am not speaking of the personality self. I live within a consistent prayer that seeks to align within a Source-definition and a Soulful self-referral. It is clearly the personality self that those around me have sought to define, fix, and rearrange. It is my personality self that for so many years took this personally and unconsciously chose the path of the chameleon. I thought I had to be what you wanted me to be and do what you wanted me to do in order to have the much needed love and acceptance I craved. I was an actor on stage and in life. I agreed with you in order for you to stay, though it often was to the detriment of my own authenticity. I guess at a deep level I was so confused about who I was I hoped you would have the answer. Little did I know then that I was being defined by people just as clueless as to their identity as was I. If that were not the case, they certainly wouldn’t have wasted their projections on trying to reconfigure me.

In this age of mass information and social media autonomy is more crucial than ever. We have been given by our Creator the gift of free will and choice. We get to choose who we are going to be in any given moment, and we get to choose how we are going to show up. This looks simple and obvious as words on a page, but free will and choice are always related to where we currently are in consciousness. Our sense of self is meant to always enlarge and expand. But it is meant to expand from the inside out. We were not born to constantly react to external stimuli. Awakened consciousness spirals out from center to circumference. To consciously co-create that center must be in synch within our Source. We are called to be governed by our Souls, not by our programming. Not by current cultural trends. Not by those around us, no matter how well intentioned they may be. The path of the Soul is the path of autonomy, and THEN intimacy. It is the path of Soulful self-referral. It is the path of conscious choice and deliberate contribution. You will know you are aligned with your Soul-definition by the peace in your gut and the lack of reactivity in your interactions. I can smile now when others try to define and change me, though quite honestly it rarely happens anymore. My own inner strength radiates out, and it is strength of certainty and purpose. It is not as open to interpretation as my former sense of self was.

What you think of me is none of my business. And who I am choosing to be is quite frankly none of yours. My choice of how I behold and interact with you is definitely central to how I choose to show up here. I am more committed than ever to caring and compassioning the often painful ways that people navigate this world. I am committed to staying present to the story and yet ever vigilant to what lies beneath it. I will not identify you by a momentary place in an always evolving consciousness. I will not allow others to identify me with what is currently out picturing either. My autonomous presence is my authentic power. I am not yet all that I know I am called to be, but I celebrate that I am miles ahead of where I was. I live within both a deep internal knowingness and a fluid state of uncertainty regarding who and what I am. I am peaceful in the awareness that I am evolving to who I am by exploring and releasing what I am not. And that is just the way consciousness works to free us from the bondage of personality-self identification. Autonomy is the home of my connections. And that is the choice that I am making today.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


I must confess that a part of me never thought I would live to see this day. I certainly did hold hope in my heart. I have enthusiastically celebrated the multiple wins in our quest for equal rights, and have watched in awe as leader after leader changed their position in favor of full civil liberties for all. I will never forget the feeling in my heart of hearing the first African-American president speak in favor of full martial equality for lesbian and gay Americans. It was stunning! And yet the contrast for this mid-fifties year old man is profound. I remember well the days when I was still a religious abomination and a psychological aberration. I painfully remember being bullied and maligned, rejected and displaced. To be marginalized for being what you are leaves scars that perhaps only other marginalized people can understand. And yet while I know I have a place in broadening the scope of human acceptance by speaking up and speaking out, I also embrace the truth that my being born in a precarious expression also provided for me the cocoon against which I could beat my strengthening wings. I am here on earth not to garner outer affirmation, but to establish an inner autonomy based on my spiritual Authority/ identity and thus my justified human liberty. I will continue to be a torch for full human equality, but I will not wait for higher courts to approve and validate my existence.

A myriad of emotions continue to flow through me as I try and assimilate the fact that as a gay US citizen my marriage will now be federally recognized. Though the state of my residency still fails to offer my husband and I the full liberties of our heterosexual contemporaries, the striking down of D.O.M.A. assures that we are soon to be entitled to the 1100+ benefits that male/female couples have long enjoyed. We will soon be able to file joint tax returns, be eligible for spousal benefits and automatic health surrogacy, and be assured that we are recognized as a legal union at the federal level. For someone that had to travel from Florida to Massachusetts to even marry this feels like a major victory. It feels like a huge leap forward for civil rights and for expanded consciousness. I know that there are a vast number of people that are far from celebratory of this win. There will always be an anti-freedom agenda, and I work to hold a space of openness and compassion for those that still oppose me. I must stay awake and centered to not take it personally. I believe in the principle and the practice of democracy. I am also vigilant for when the democratic process steals liberties and unalienable rights from equal citizens with unequal opportunities’. Evolution will right these wrongs, we can be sure of that. We are seeing this in action. The seeming blow to the Voting Rights Act must be rectified by those elected to ensure equal rights. My personal celebration today is indeed tarnished by knowing that a vast number of other Americans have been temporarily limited by the very system that is here to protect them. We cannot go back. Not at the individual or at the collective level. We are each responsible for not only our personal freedom but also for the freedoms of those around us.

So while I confess that there was a part of me that that never thought I would live to see this day, I am seeing it and feeling it and relishing it deeply. I am so grateful to the countless known and unknown heroes’ that have worked tirelessly and risked courageously for the freedoms I now enjoy. As illogical as it sounds, I feel somehow more married than I did yesterday. I know deeply that you cannot legalize love, and yet this decision has broken down a wall that kept countless couples from fully making the commitment that we felt drawn to make. Marriage is a powerful institution that makes a powerful statement. While my love cannot be legislated it has at a level been invalidated. And now, at least at the federal level, my husband and I can open fully to the benefits and statutes of the institution we entered into more than three years ago. We have always been equal in the eyes of our Source, and now we are closing in on equality in the eyes of our judicial system.

Love cannot be imprisoned. Love cannot be held back. There is nothing stronger than a commitment of the heart. And now I can even take that to court.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


I am forever grateful to have been reared in what would today be called an Evangelical Christian Church. Because of that background, I can do Bible with the best of them. While that ability may not appeal to many or any on my blog list, it has provided me with an expanded perspective in my work as an interfaith minister. It is easy for me to understand why people take certain stances in life based on their literal interpretation of sacred writings. I am mostly able to compassion even those that use Biblical writings to malign my own human expression as a gay man. While there are many who think my orientation is a choice that will send me to hell, I know that their identification with that perspective is already a type of hell within my accusers. None of us escapes the pain of our own judgments. Sacred writings of most faiths were not written at a time where literal interpretation was the genre. The juice that comes from the teachings is derived as we read, contemplate, digest, and integrate the symbolic messages at a personal level. Even then there are scriptures that will resonate within us at a deep level, and perhaps even more of them with land flatly within the solar plexus. These are inspired writings of fallible human beings. The inspiration has to come through perceptual filters and programs. Cultural influences are always present, and knowing these factors, at least to some level, provides us with a clearer lens through which we are able to then glean the good.

One scriptural admonition that touched me deeply even in childhood was the commandment to “be perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” This notion is one of the key components in a religious prescription that instigated an internal war that still results in periodic battles. My religious formation was framed in the tension between the need to be perfect and my painfully obvious imperfection. I could never measure up to what I thought I had to be. This gave muscle to the tendency to suppress what might authentically arise in my humanity in service of what amounted to a fallacy of spirituality. I thought I had to become perfect in order to “get to God.” I didn’t know that the path home WAS a path of embraced imperfection. I was so busy denigrating myself that I couldn’t hear the whisper within my heart of my own Essential perfection. My legalistic self opinion, aversion, and resistance were what were blocking my experience of my Source. Suppression and denial are not healing. They are suppression and denial.

Central to the illumination of this scripture for me was when I learned that the word perfect in the Aramaic actually meant inclusive. Inclusive! “Be INCLUSIVE even as your Father in heaven is inclusive.” (I will leave the rest of the re-framing for those who choose to look more closely i.e. “Father, heaven.”) Being inclusive doesn’t mean to bring a tenacious scrutiny to all that I thought was unspiritual about myself. Inclusivity did away forever with the leering and punitive God-image of my Evangelical heritage. It invited me to give up my self-assessments and to accept that in my human condition there would be imperfection. It is a given. I am imperfect and that is perfect! Spirituality that is steeped in scrutiny and suppression will never lead to an intimate and transformative sacred experience. My attempts to be perfect only led me to division and denial. When I choose to include all of the parts of my human self the result is spaciousness and a felt-wholeness. I have found that inclusivity is a moment by moment practice, and it is one that leads to increased serenity and self-compassion. With my background it is not always easy. And the rewards of giving into the Inclusivity of my Source are nothing less than monumental.

If I could wave a magic wand over the human race and cast one spell upon the whole it would be for all of us to know the Inclusivity of our Source and the inherent worthiness of our Souls. Theology has inadvertently created a chasm between us and what it is supposed to be pointing to. At a level the mind will never comprehend that we are perfect within our imperfection. We don’t have to strive and struggle and seek for that. It is already so. It is for us to relax into. Be inclusive this day. Embrace it all by surrendering it all. Let go the self-commentary and turn up the self-compassion. Be humble enough to accept both your perfection and your imperfection. Be inclusive even as the One Source is inclusive. And that is just about as perfect as it gets.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


I wish I had been born with a pause button.

There is nothing more transformational in my experience right now than the power of the pause. There is also nothing quite as confrontive. Every morning I pray to be given the ability to pause. I pray that I may have the degree of awakened awareness that recognizes that pause is a predecessor to choice. Pause is the difference between reaction and response. It is the difference between observation and evaluation. It is the difference between witness and identification. It is the difference between staying in a triggered trance and opening to a beholding recognition. It is the difference between who I think I am and what I truly am. It is confrontive in that there are still times when I am awake enough to consciously pause, observe the options, and still make the reactive choice. Ouch.

I wish I had been born with a pause button.

But if I had, would I always choose to use it?

I have ample evidence that when I pause and make the choice to lead with my heart, an awakened response is always the result. I also have ample evidence that within the awakened response my person may not get his way. The response will be one that serves a higher, more unified goal than me being right or me controlling outcomes. The heartful pause will always push the ego envelope. It will always shine a Light upon the choice between an ego personality reaction and a Soulful-self response. It will always act in service of my sacred emergence and not my personal agenda.

I may not have been born with a pause button, but I have found the ability to initiate pause in most every situation. My ability to pause is directly related to my awareness of my breath and to the sensations that are moving in my body. When I consciously breathe and feel the energy that is moving within me I also realize that I am the one that is breathing and feeling. That awareness alone IS my point of pause. I am the one experiencing the field of energy known as me. I am the one choosing to pause. I am the one that is choosing how to respond to the content of the moment. I am the one that can choose to turn every pause into a prayer. And in turning every pause into a prayer I allow each moment to be a reflection of the Highest version of myself. In pausing I create a context for the miraculous. I pause, I choose Source, and I soar within the highest reaches of my Soulful-self.

Presence and Beholding are my pause buttons.

Pausing and opening into Presence and Beholding let me see through the lens of Source. And as I look through the lens of Source my world is transformed one pause at a time.

Monday, May 6, 2013


I recently had surgery for the first time in over thirty years. While not the most pleasant thing physically to go through, I was and remain grateful for the deep feeling of peace that permeated my being throughout the entire experience. I felt an unshakable connection within Source, and from that, a heartful connection with all those that so beautifully and lovingly took care of me at the hospital. There was some question as to the severity of the situation, and yet a calm engulfed me and centered me from the beginning to the end. I am now experiencing some complications, and they are providing me with additional invitations as to how to relate to what is occurring. And the invitation to awakened relationship with what is occurring is what an engaged and actualized spirituality is all about.

When I was a New Thought newbie many years ago I thought I had found a way of controlling what happened to me in this crazy and mostly unpredictable world. I didn’t realize that at the time, of course. Ideas like manifesting and creating my own reality were foreign yet magical concepts that filled me with wonder and also with the notion that I had finally found a way of managing my world and the often out of the blue occurrences that frequently knocked me for a loop. I thought that if I said enough affirmations and kept discomfort and negativity mostly at bay I would lead a predictable, safe, and controllable life.

I do not need to tell most of you that things did not turn out that way. Even as I have deepened into an intimate, incredible, felt-sense experience of my Source and of my Soul there have been losses, deaths, illnesses, financial gains-losses, betrayals, fears, and situations that once again came totally out of the blue. There have also been wins, transcendences, miracles, healings, and more love than I ever dreamed possible. The surface mind would want to categorize those into evidences of right and wrong manifestations. The mind will always perceive dualistically. The truth is that life is life, and all sorts of situations, circumstances, relationships, and happenings fill our days and sometimes disturb our nights. It isn’t about never having hard times. It is more about what I like to call relate-ability.

Relate-ability begins with staying spiritually awake and also with staying centered in the present moment regardless of what is happening. Source may only be experienced in the Now, and so coming back to a space of present moment awareness is essential. Source may only be experienced in an open heart, and will never be found in a spinning mind. Source is not a concept to be thought but a reality to be felt. A concept has no power when the chips are down. You need an experience. You need a vibrational home base. This home is established and fortified with consistent practice and devotion. You need to literally move into this Home. Taking up residence within this heartful, Soulful place you are where you need to be when the economy tanks, the diagnosis comes, the lover leaves, or the pink slip is delivered. When you breathe consciously into your Holy Home, relate-ability is the natural bi-product. It is the state of being and the sure way of connecting. You know who and what you are and so you know you are capable of relating wakefully to what is occurring. Life may still throw curves but you are flexible and spacious enough to either make a graceful catch or to easily step aside.

I have heard it said that you do not know the quality of an orange until it is squeezed. I have found that to be very true, and it has little to do with citrus. I believe that our Souls prepare tests that assist us in building, focusing, and strengthening our faith muscles. Even in the middle of these health challenges I feel stronger and more centered than ever. My relate-ability feels keen and sure. Not that there haven’t been waves. There have. But my surfing skills have never been better. I don’t currently know how all of this is going to play out. And I have a deep conviction that whatever occurs it will be for my highest good. It will be in service of my sacred emergence, and that is my highest priority. I am staying prayerfully focused and non-attached to the outcomes. The old impulse to control is remarkable weakened. And at this point in my journey that feels like incredible strength.

And so I am celebrating this day the evolution of relate-ability, and the peace that it brings to my heart. There is a strong current within my center, and I am relaxing into the flow of Life as it carries me along. I am cooperating where I once tried to control, and it is a far more serene place to reside. I trust Life. I trust how things are unfolding. I trust that in relate-ability I will be shown exactly what I need to see and will have all that I need to cope with what is occurring. Relate-ability is not about trying to control externals. It is about wakefully relating to them. That is authentic power. And in authentic power there is indeed incredible peace.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


It is an interesting cultural dynamic that when people have the very most to offer they are often escorted off the dance floor of life and into a gallery for those who are no longer relevant.

With another birthday rapidly approaching I suppose I am more sensitive to my age than usual. Having had a career that was particularly and practically governed by age and aging I watch with growing fascination the physical changes that seem to be occurring with increasing rapidity. What once was there is now mysteriously done here. The New York race-pace has slowed to a Florida careful-crawl. There is one thing I now know for sure: I will not die young.

Oh yes, I know. I can here the meta-chatter of many that are on my list. “Age is simply a state of mind.” “Your thoughts can change your physical reality.” “You are as young as you feel. “

Well yes, and no. Do our thoughts, feelings, and perceptions play a role in our state of being and in how we age? I believe this to be so. I also believe that there is a richness that comes from embracing and experiencing fully what it is like to be in an aging body with all of its creaks, leaks, and ever fascinating changes. I thought when I was younger that by this time in my incarnation I would be actively involved in dying, nipping-tucking, and seeking in every way to appear years younger than my actual digit. I am relieved to no longer live under the weight of that pressure. There is great freedom for me in allowing nature to cycle through me in a non-resisted and honest way. I don’t have to identify with my age or with the maladies that are currently visiting me. Neither do I have to pretend they shouldn’t be happening. Due to family circumstances I missed part of what being a child and adolescent is all about. Even in early adulthood I struggled to maintain a frozen youthfulness that was mandatory in my chosen field at the time. That struggle only amped up as I approached and then entered into my thirties. Such an exhausting and futile fight! All that trying to be young only left me feeling tired and old. I find now that I finally want to be all that I already am. That includes the majesty of my Divine heritage and the unpredictability of this human adventure. I want to stay present to my periodic symptoms and what it is like to see my father staring back at me from the mirror. The pretense and posturing of false youth is frankly boring compared to the authentic presence that comes from easy and embraced aging. As cliché as it may sound I have earned every gray hair on my head, and I have no intention of hiding it under hard to maintain L’Oreal.

So it is true that I no longer glide effortlessly over a dance floor, and my Grande jetes are surely over. I am also clear, however, that I have more to offer than at any other point in my life. I will not be escorted off to the geriatric observation deck. I am still very much in the arena. My reverence for every aspect of life is what makes me relevant. My body may droop a bit but my Divinity is still very much in place. I guess I am just becoming a geezer for G-awed, and I am quite content to be just what I am.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Though I am not of the Jewish tradition, I have been attending Passover Seders for many, many years. While I have shared the table with some families that prefer to skip rapidly through the Exodus just to get to the brisket, I have also had the pleasure of being with groups for whom the tradition and symbols are supremely sacred and important. Donald and I have enjoyed the company and hospitality of the same families Seder for the past five years, and they are definitely in the category of the latter. The story of Moses, the Israelites, the visiting of the plagues, the miraculous parting of the Red Sea, the struggles in the desert and the long awaited Promise Land are all precious elements of this ancient yet relevant festival. And just as important in this home are the family lineage and the heritage of being born Jewish. And yet I felt so completely welcomed into this beautiful family feast, not only by those around the table but also by those who had long gone before but were oh so very present.

As I prepared in my consciousness for attending last evenings Seder celebration I asked into my Guidance for the message I needed to glean from this now so familiar tale. The answer came rapidly and without ambiguity. While the answer wasn’t comfortable it did contain a message of potential and perhaps even inevitable liberation.

The message of the Passover story is a profound message of freedom and of liberation. It is the story of being released of the tyranny of outer domination and oppression. It is a tale of the end of slavery and the beginning of liberty. While the traditional story tells how G_d freed the Israelites from the enslavement of the Egyptians the message for me is one of continued personal slavery to past fearful perceptions and erroneous self images. Egypt metaphysically represents the bondage that occurs when we are identified with ego misperceptions and emotionally imprinted wounds that obscure the experience of what we are in Truth. These misperceptions lead us to repeated emotional “plagues;” forms of suffering that often appear to be coming at us from without but are really being generated and mirrored back from within. The plagues of grief, rage, resentment, shame, isolation, resistance, self-rejection, disconnection, attachment-aversion, and control-manipulation are re-visited again and again until we have the capacity to both own and surrender that these are chains with which we have unintentionally bound ourselves. Freedom is an internal matter. Liberty is in coming to know that we are beings of free will, and that we are in fact bound because we are free. Slavery and freedom are states of consciousness. We are often as stubborn as were the Egyptians at enduring the pains of the plagues that are seemingly brought upon us. We will suffer and suffer and still not release the bondage of the painful stories we tell. And so we continue to wander in the desert of our own unconsciousness, until we are willing to come to believe that there is in fact a better way.

And so the beginning of our personal exodus is the same for us as it was for the Israelites of long ago. If we continue to rely on our personality selves we will remain enslaved. The chains of our misperceptions will continue to keep us bound in the same old limiting tales. We will continue to wander aimlessly in the desert of our own erroneous ideas. When we finally become willing to be free and to be freed, the miraculous begins to have Its way with us. This will not include a Divine dispensing of plagues upon those we believe have wronged us. There will be no oceanic swallowing up of the leagues of those we have judged, resented, and blamed for our misery. Our freedom is partly dependent on our own decision to allow others to be free. We must reclaim our projections and unravel our resentments. Internal freedom is never reliant on the other. Our liberation is about our own forgiveness and its subsequent deliverance. It is about surrendering completely and relying totally on our Source, and listening and following that and only that Guidance. It will always lead us to the recognition that we have always been free, no matter how enslaved we have believed ourselves to be.

My Passover message is about really letting the past be over. It is about relinquishing the internal bondage of whom I thought I was and what I thought was holding me in chains. Freedom is mine when I finally allow myself to be freed. In a prayerful moment of awakened awareness, I am out of Egypt and in the Promise Land of my own open, radiant heart-light. I am no longer a prisoner of my own misperception. I am free. And that is the best celebration of them all.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Ode To Josette and Frank

I must admit that as much as I love writing, I have been consciously avoiding creating a blog post for what seems like several weeks. The last time I wrote it was in honor of my mentor Debbie Ford, who made her transition February 17th. Since that time I have learned of the deaths of two more friends, in addition to a couple of fond acquaintances. I watch my mind tell me that I can’t continue to write about death, even as my heart wants nothing more than to honor and give voice to the love I feel for those who are no longer here.

As I attended the funeral of my friend Josette I heard an eloquent speaker say that she had really loved our mutual friend. There is nothing past tense about my love for her. Her body is indeed gone but our love is just as clear and vital and intimate as it was during our last embrace. I was to meet with her the day she passed away, a fact that makes the vacancy all the more profound. She left an indelible mark on the world and in my heart. Her civic and environmental contributions will touch generations to come.

My friend Frank left a subtler impress upon the world, but none-the-less significant. He took up ball room dancing in his eighties, and waltzed his way into countless hearts. His courage and tenacity after losing the love of his life was beyond inspirational. He danced until he could dance no longer, and now he is gone.

Both of these friends were humble beings that didn’t speak much, yet their quiet ways spoke volumes. They had no need to be the center of attention, even when they were front and center. They carried a dignity and grace that made them so very attractive. When either of them looked at me I felt seen. That is a rare and precious commodity.

My friends Frank and Josette were both gone before I had a chance to say goodbye. They both leave behind an ache in my heart, yet also a deep knowing that our love will go on. Our friendships will continue as long as I remain alive. I will remember them and in those remembrances they will live again in me. Their departures have taught me not to put off getting together while we still have the chance. Not to delay saying all that you want to say. I know more profoundly that I cannot be too busy for love, and I am re-prioritizing how I schedule my days. I am blessed to have so many loves, on both sides of the veil. Each one is precious beyond words. Each one has made such a contribution to my life, and I am better because they have lived and we have loved.

So as I write I feel Frank on one side and Josette on the other. They will always be with me, though I long to look into their eyes one more time. I thank them both for what they were and what they currently are. My heart is full even if my eyes are moist. I am richly blessed to have two more angels on my team.

I love you Frank. Dance on. And now you dance with Arlyne.

I love you Josette. I am planting a tree for you and know you hover above it quietly coaxing “grow.”

Thursday, February 21, 2013


I have never been someone that has been drawn to being a devotee to any one person or spiritual philosophy. While I have been repeatedly blessed to recognize the right teacher/teaching at the right time in my sacred emergence, I have always made the distinction between the messengers and the message being delivered. I fully embrace that while I might be drawn to the delivery of a certain teacher, it is up to me to won and to integrate the teaching. I do have a deep and abiding appreciation for those beings that have made the choice to stand up and to boldly share the insights that they have been given to them to share with the world. I seem to be particularly drawn to “unlikely candidates” as ambassadors of Truth. I relate strongly to the hero archetype, and so the voices I most readily hear are from those who have known the darkness, and have come to embody the Light. These teachers have “a past.” They are not mountain sitters or navel gazers. They have known the depths of hell and have climbed steadily and often clumsily from there to the heights of heaven.

One such teacher left the planet this week and left behind her a profound wake of liberating and integrative truth. I met Debbie Ford for the first time a number of years ago, and in her words I found a way to frame the feelings that had been stirring inarticulately within me. In her teachings I discovered a missing link that had left me confused and bereft and divided against myself. Debbie was considered by many to be the premier teacher of shadow work for our generation. She was stunning in her authenticity and transparency, and that was what for me made her teachings so accessible. She didn’t teach theory. She used her own painful and addictive past to map the way out for thousands of other seekers. She didn’t pretend to be perfect. She didn’t lead from pretense. She courageously shared her stories and her Truth and she relentlessly stood with others as they scaled the depths of their own forbidden internal landscapes.

Debbie was not afraid of the dark, her own or anyone else’s. She did not deny the darkness in this world or the unconsciousness and unskillfulness of the human condition. She was unshakable, however, in her thesis that there is an inherent gift in any and every aspect of our personality self. By reclaiming and embracing what we have suppressed and projected we will find the way to freedom and unspeakable joy. Our greatest darkness will be the ground of our greatest gifts. Debbie Ford not only taught this, she lived it. Her books shared fearlessly of how by coming to know the parts of herself she least wanted to see she became available to be a voice of Light and Truth in this country and around the world. Her Shadow Workshops were attended by literally thousands, and I can tell you from personal experience that it was nothing short of life changing. Debbie’s transcendence of her own past has made an immeasurable contribution to my life. While I am supremely sad that she is gone, I know her voice will continue to speak in me and to countless others as her legacy continues to uplift all that are drawn to her work.

I feel within my own relationship to Debbie’s death a call to step forward and to give my own greatest gifts with more passion and less reserve. I honor the transparency in her because it is a core value within me. I feel even more determined to let my past be used in service of something greater than just the story of my woundedness. As a teacher I know that my greatest example of Truth is what it has done in my own life. I have been there too. I have known a darkness so profound that the only way out was through. I know what hell is like, and I have an uncanny ability to describe it while sitting in the consciousness of heaven. I feel driven to be authentic and whole rather than good and pristine. I am fully human even as I am freely Divine. I have a shadow and I am the Light. And I am saying yes to the call to spend the remainder of my days being a voice that is loud and strong enough that those in need of its message can find their way to me. In order to accomplish that I need all of me: ALL OF ME. I am embracing the totality of my experience in order that my life may be a beacon to those still lost in mire of the ego trance.

And so I celebrate this day the legacy of Debbie Ford. I thank her for all she contributed to my life, and for being the voice I needed to hear at the time I needed to hear it. And I gladly accept the torch of those who have gone before me, and yet continue to be my own unique voice for Truth. It humbles me to think that I may have a fraction of the impact Debbie had simply by showing up as my transparent and authentic self.

Thanks, Debbie. You indeed defied gravity.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Is it really a change of heart or a redirection of the mind?

I am sure we have all heard others say and perhaps even described for ourselves what is often termed a change of heart. I have personally found it to be a curious phrase. I do recall times in my life when I was so locked in a mental position that the pain of it prompted me to seek a way out of my self-inflicted angst. In reflecting on some of these occurrences it would seem to me to be more of a change of mind than a change of heart. There is something enduring and unchangeable about the spiritual heart that cannot be changed but can only be revealed. For a vast majority of the population the mind is the primary navigation tool and thinking the incessant activity. The mind, being dualistic, has the maddening capability of literally arguing with itself. It can concurrently build a case for one proposition while at the same time delivering an equally compelling but opposite agenda. Humans are engaged in this chaos most of the time. It is what the mind does. It need not be an enemy. Awareness is the key. When you know that this is what the mind does, and can catch yourself in the activity of it, liberation is at hand.

Mind identity is hell. Believing your own thoughts creates a self imposed prison of misperception. Our stories of separation and disconnection torment us regardless of their illusory roots. The mind will always tell stories. The mind will always argue. The mind will always seek to hold dominion over the inner-state, and will feed itself on its own perpetuated drama. You will never have an authentic change of heart while you are locked in the mind.

Heart-centeredness could indeed be called heaven. Relating to the mind from the spaciousness of the heart dispels the drama by wakefully containing it. The heart is an instrument of Oneness and will always embrace and behold the dualistic stories of the mind. The heart never argues. It doesn’t need to. It is the center-point between Reality and the relative. It is the portal of the Soul and is privy to a Truth that is beyond debate. When the inner-atmosphere is in heart coherence there is peace and poise within the inner being. This takes vigilance and discipline. The mind will try and recapture its position as lord of the castle. This isn’t a problem to be solved but an opportunity to be opened to. Fighting the mind only increases the velocity of the thinking. A new default is required, a new “go-to/come from” place. The transformative choice is to live literally within the heart and to allow its natural genius to illumine the mind. This is what sets us free to be all that we are meant to be. This is the foundation of all sacred emergence.

What I am describing here is not a change OF heart, but rather a change TO heart. With a change to heart comes a natural redirection of the mind. The Light that streams from the heart-center shines into the mental field and brilliance is the call of the day. You can’t think this into happening. That throws us back into mind-referral. A change to heart is felt sense and Source directed. The heart doesn’t believe the lies of the mind but neither does it fight them. It watches. It beholds. It is curious and wakeful and always open.

So if you have a sense that a change of heart is in order, surrender into a change TO heart. Allow the energy-temple in the center of your being to be your GPS this day. It is never faulty. It will Light the way and lead you to places the mind could never conceive. Breathe heartfully in this moment, and watch the changes happen.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Spiritual awakening isn’t a one time event, and enlightenment isn’t about getting rid of the self.

I sought for so many years to have what I thought would occur as an inner seismic event in which I would be struck enlightened and consequently freed of all of the uncomfortable parts of me. It was I guess the adult version of my childhood prayers in which I would get on my knees, squeeze my eyes painfully shut, and then beg for some unwanted condition to magically disappear. More often than not, those unwanted conditions were rejected parts of my personality self. The more I prayed the more virulent those unwanted states of being became. I would end up with tired eyes, sore knees, and an amped up version of what I didn’t want. In retrospect I think I had a notion of a Holy Spirit much like Glinda the Good. I wanted some Divine Force to touch me with a golden wand and turn me into the sanitized self I so longed to be. I was sure that in a twinkling of an eye I would be turned into a glowing avatar that could float through this life with nary a negative thought or human frailty.

Spiritual awakening isn’t a one time event, and enlightenment isn’t about getting rid of the self.

It is now liberating for me to report that as soon as I stopped waiting for Glinda to appear or for a one time seismic event to turn me into something I unconsciously feared I was not life began to open up and awakened moments became more the norm than an exception. There is great freedom in realizing that enlightenment isn’t about a cleaned up personality or a neutralized emotional life. It isn’t about a magical wand or a genie in a bottle granting insolvency from unwanted character defects. It isn’t about being struck Godly. If enlightenment involves time at all it is about a lightened up relationship to the content of the present moment. It is seeing clearly the loveless parts of the personality self and bringing a loving acceptance to those places in need. It is a clear and felt sense realization that it is only the ego self that seeks to be rid of the ego self. The Inner Presence within us all doesn’t seek to be rid of anything. It watches compassionately the struggle and the aversion, the pleading on the bended knee. It knows and knows that it knows that awakening is only as good as the moment It is in. Awakening happens by inclusion, and enlightenment by witnessing simply what is without commentary or interpretation. Looking to the example of someone else’s supposed instant transformation and comparing ourselves to that tale does nothing but create stress and added self-rejection. Self opinion is a slippery slope of willfulness and perceptual misalignment. We do not and cannot know enough in our current state of consciousness to reject any part of ourselves. We are not privy at the personality level to know what good these unwanted aspects bring to the emergence of the whole. Remaining awake to that fact alone goes a long way to a life of humility and serenity.

Spiritual awakening isn’t a one time event, and enlightenment isn’t about getting rid of the self.

If I find that I have slipped back into the “God fix me once and for all” kind of mentality I gratefully bring myself back into the awareness that what I have fallen into is enough to deliver me back to where my reality truly is: here and now, just as I am. When I am spiritually awake I bring lightness to the present moment. I am not absorbed in what I perceive is in need of fixing. I am alive in the witnessing of life as it is unfolding, and I am faithful that things are just as they are meant to be in this moment. There is nothing to be rid of and in that spaciousness there is peace. In the schemata of sacred emergence it is all good. When I am awake it is all good. When I am accepting myself just as I am it is all good. Gee, maybe Glinda visited me after all.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Maybe it was all of the potent energy and subsequent dynamics surrounding 2012’s prophesies and cosmic rebirthing, of which I was an active and highly engaged participant. For whatever reason, 2013 is certainly not starting out as an “out of the gate” kind of year for me. I felt no compelling drive to ritualize the changing of the calendar, and still feel no strong desire to set specific intentions for the year that is already unfolding before me. It at once feels strange and also liberating. I have for so many years used the beginning of a new year as a time to carefully evaluate where I am in my life and most specifically my sacred emergence, and then to prayerfully allow inspired intentions to come to me and to then inform my actions and decisions for the ensuing months. I don’t recall a December 31st prior to this one that I did not participate in and usually lead a Burning Bowl ceremony. It quite honestly would have felt forced or at best mindless to do so coming into 2013. I have finally and fully embraced the reality that just because something has been meaningful in the past does not mean that I need to continue to engage in it within this present.

I am finding that though much of my life has been about acquiring new awareness’s, knowledge, practices, and skills, I am now at the juncture where I am letting go of more and more that at this point feels only extraneous. I crave quietude and simplicity. I want less of what weighs me down and tends to wear me out. I tire easily of head games and too much information. If it is complicated I will take a pass. Old rituals and practices that once felt nourishing now feel only distracting. No new concepts, please. Let’s just open to the direct experience of what cannot be conceptualized, described, or even ritualized. I am allowing breathing to be my primary sacrament and Presence to be my primary goal. Simple. Now. Intimate. Here. That is my intention. That is my resolution.

I have climbed enough mountains, set enough goals, and thrown enough aspects of myself into the New Year’s fire. I sought until this seeker is quite simply “seeked-out.” If there is something left to achieve in this lifetime it will happen as an organic out picturing of Who I am choosing to be and not as a result of what I am trying to do. There is certainly a place for intention and for action. For me it originates naturally from the authenticity that underlies all the mental plans and schemes. Guidance is in the breath. It is in the heartbeat. It is in the moment that is fully felt and embraced. So if I am not off and running into this year of 2013 it is because there is a deeper knowing within me that the slower pace is the way to flow for now. If there is something else to be known or something to be done it will arise easily within the heightened awareness that comes from open internal space. The only way to be new is to be fully available to the now. And that is what feels most important for the beginning days and weeks of this new calendar year.

To be fully new, available, and open within the now.