Thursday, December 15, 2016


I did not grow up in a religious tradition in which Advent was observed. Christmas was certainly a major holiday, though in retrospect the lead up to the holiday was mostly obscured by the commercial and material chaos of the season. It was a whole lot more about Santa and Madison Avenue than it was about the birth of Jesus. I hold no judgment around that. And I am grateful to have been introduced to the full Advent season as a result of coming to the Unity teachings.

Advent literally means “coming to.” Advent is an invitation to not only acknowledge the birth of the historical Jesus but also to create a personal opening in which the Christ Presence may be born in me and in you. That birth is radical and transformative in scope. It requires that we step back from the busyness and center in an atmosphere of inner stillness. It requires a setting of priorities and even of boundaries. While the material and cultural aspects of Christmas are beautiful and potentially connecting they can also wreak havoc in our sense of peace. We can become so over stimulated and energy-drained that we lose any notion of the deeper meaning of the season.

I love this season of Light. I love the music, the decorations, the gathering together, and the child-like anticipation. And I love even more the introspection, the added internal focus and inquiry, the symbolic seeing and the contemplative birthing. I am all about celebrating the contributions of the historical man. And I am even more about allowing the same Christ Presence to be born in me.

That is my primary purpose this holiday season. It is my priority. I will not allow myself to be so distracted by the culture that I miss out on Christ. I am creating space in my within. I am ready.

Advent in me. Be born in me.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


“Be grateful in all things.”

So the scriptures say.

“Be grateful in all things."

Grateful in all things? Really? What about that pesky physical symptom? What about the annoying neighbor with the blasting music? And what about the inability to locate a human being to which you can speak to resolve the reoccurring banking issue? How about those sugar ants? The person who has fourteen items in the ten or less? You say I should be grateful in all things? ALL? Are you kidding?

I know from deep and personal experience that this is one of the most profound practices that we humans can ever engage in. While the surface mind and the personality self will go into a spasm of argument and contradiction there is no more transformative practice than that of gratitude. Gratitude in all things, my friends. Gratitude no matter what may be happening around you. Gratitude for everything that is happening within you. Gratitude for the pure experience of gratitude. Gratitude for the ability to choose gratitude. And it is indeed a choice. When we are spiritually awake we dwell in a spirit of thankfulness. When we are spiritually awake we can bless and thank all things from a contextual level. The astounding truth is that as soon as we choose to bless and thank all things from a contextual level a miraculous and mystical activity begins to occur within us. We begin to see a different and transcendent reality. With gratitude as the prescription in our perceptual lens we see God everywhere and in all things. And things literally then begin to change. For good.

The key is to be grateful contextually and unconditionally. This requires commitment and it requires practice. It comes in waves and unfolds in layers. We must fully and honestly acknowledge when we are not feeling grateful. We must own whatever resistance and defense are present. As we own these energy blocks we bring a sense of heart-based prayer to them. We pray the willingness to see differently. We pray the Grace to be grateful beyond preference. And then we open to the movement of Source-Blessing within us. Source-Blessing is the deep knowing that all is well regardless of appearances. To bless is to know the inherent Divinity in all things. And when Divinity is acknowledged as every-where present then what is not to be grateful for?

And so be grateful in all things. In all things, even that.

I, Taylor E. Stevens, being of somewhat sound mind and body, commit to being grateful in all things.

And so it is.

Saturday, November 5, 2016


I have always believed and espoused that in order to love someone you had to respect them.

That is a hypothesis that I have been questioning deep down in my being.

I guess in the broadest sense it is still true. It is most certainly more nuanced than it is has ever been before.

Our current political climate has been the primary container from which I have begun to question the inseparable relationship between love and respect. Social media has been the screen upon which the evidence has presented. I have read numerous ideological statements from people I love for which I have no respect. These statements and positions have deeply challenged some of my most preciously held values. I could barely believe that the name under which these repugnant opinions were bannered belonged to the same individuals I have known and loved. It really led me to question whether or not I had ever known these people at all. How could what they are saying be so out of alignment with the spiritual positions they share and claim to believe and operate from? How could they be so out of synch with Principle when it comes to stating policy? How can the denigration and defamation of any living being be a part of any authentic spirituality?

It is that last question that began to light my way to the connection between love and respect. If I am remaining in horror and judgment of these individuals I claim to love then I am the one with deeper work to do. I can well choose to respect the freedom of choice, position, ideology, and expression without respecting the position being taken. I can respect the deeper level of the person without also respecting the politics being espoused. I can love the person without loving what they may currently be representing.

While I still believe in an intrinsic connection between love and respect it has become more deeply explored and integrated due to what I have been observing lately. I have had to personally work with the feelings moving in me in response to what I am seeing and reading. I have had to massage my own level of relationship with these ideas and take a stand for the values I hold true and sacred. I will not let these issues cast asunder the love and essential respect I have for people, though I strongly disagree with what they are choosing to represent. And I am experiencing a deeper level of self respect for how I am showing up in this heated climate of hateful rhetoric, what I am choosing to and not to say.

So regardless of your position or politics I respect and love you as a fellow expression of the One Source. I will not agree with what you are saying but I will always ensure you have the right to say it. Your heart is far more important than some of the words that are coming out of your mouth. It is from my heart to yours that the bridge between love and respect is trod.

Thursday, October 27, 2016


You are enough.

Please take a breath. Let that it. Let it land. Feel it in your heart and in your gut.

You are enough.

You have always been enough. Yep. No matter what the culture, education, religion, society, others may tell you. You are already enough just as you are.

When you finally know the truth that you are enough you will see that everyone is enough.

And beyond that you will realize that there is enough.

There is always enough to go around. Scarcity is a scary, mind-generated perception. It feels real and it is not.

You are enough and there is enough.

Enough said.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Though it is somewhat embarrassing to me at this point in my life I admit that I paid little to no attention to anything political until I was in my mid to late thirties. There are concrete reasons behind that fact that are beyond the scope of this essay. As I have grown older, and I trust more mature, I have experienced an evolutionary relationship to local, national, and world affairs. The level of engagement has fixed and waned, as has what I allow it all to mean about me and my own level of consciousness.

I have never experienced as toxic or vitriolic a political climate as has been exuded the past sixteen to eighteen months. It truly has been incredible. I have remained mostly awake to the fact that the entire mess is reflecting what needs to be out pictured of the collective human shadow. I have used it as a personal exercise in what it is I need to see about me. Every trigger, charge, projection is a potential blessing. It is all potential internal growth. Each and every encounter is also a chance to make a conscious contribution. Please note that I said CONSCIOUS contribution. We as energetic beings are always contributing something to the Universal Field. If I believe and identify with my triggers and judgments of what I am seeing and hearing on the political stage I am literally amping up what it is I am in judgment of. If I scream at the TV or at social media I energetically add war to the world. If I instead bring a presencing awareness to the charges and the triggers in my own energy system, praying through the chaos and asking to be shown what needs to be integrated in me, I cast a vote for peace within me and in my world. It is a moment by moment choice. Increasing choice is a hallmark of spiritual maturity. And increasing choice and maturity are a result of persistent and dedicated practice.

I do have a strong preference in terms of the outcome of this election. And I have a stronger desire to hold to the underlying truth of all those involved, especially those with whom I disagree. I am committed to staying awake to the distinction between behavior and Beingness, between ideology and Source illumination. I have already cast my ballot as an American citizen, and I continue to cast a vote for Love in each and every interaction with what is unfolding. It isn’t always easy. I strongly and vehemently disagree with many of the ideas being shared. And I have used the Biblical admonition “cast the first stone” as a mantra. I have allowed my judgments to open the way for a clearing in me. I am personally more passionate and purposeful regarding liberty for all people. And that liberty is granted to those who hold opposing positions to what I hold personally dear.

I continue to pray “show me: me.” Let me see my own lovelessness. Let me see the places where perception and programming obscure presence. Let me see me, and let me be a continual vote for Love.

Thursday, October 6, 2016


We are hard wired for both protection and connection.

Reread that. Or allow me: we are hard wired for both protection and connection.

The relationship between those two hardwired systems is what could be termed awakening.

I write these words as a category four hurricane is moving toward where I live here in south Florida. I am riding the waves between protecting myself and those I love from what could be catastrophic effects of an enormous storm, and the moment by moment choice to connect to what is true, authentic, and constant within me. The former feels contracting, and the latter expanding. There is a definite rhythm. There is a birthing happening within me. I have worked far too long at authenticity to claim there is no fear. I am grateful to no longer shut that system down. Fear is a natural and healthy response to what is aiming its force at an area and at people I have grown to love these twenty one years here. I have felt the force of multiple hurricanes during that time, and I remember well the force, the fury, and the unpredictability.

I also remember and have witnessed already this storm cycle the way in which people can show up at their best during these times. There is an underlying vulnerability and powerlessness when facing these events. We come together to protect ourselves in ways that prudent, wise, and discerning. The beauty for me is that as opposed to what so often happens in day to day living is that these protective activities are done with a broader sense of connection. We help each other. We check on each other. We pray with each other. We know at a deeper level that we are truly in this together. There is only so much we can do when faced with 140 mile per hour winds. But the force of our caring, connection, and compassion is unstoppable. The sense of being vulnerable actually moves us from protection to connection. It is a bridge. Our armor is melted by the natural impulse to care about something greater than ourselves. If we do not shut down in the intensity of fear we are opened into an intimacy of love. Of belonging. Of connection.

I have received and I have made multiple calls simply for the sake of conscious connection. I am beaming my energy to all those who have been and are likely to be affected by this storm. I have taken the precautions I needed to take in the name of protection. And now my attention is zeroed in on connection. My attention is on being completely and authentically connected and embracing of everything that is arising in me. My attention is on embracing all those that I know I love, and all those I love by virtue of our shared humanity. I am committed to being a category five force of love, connection, and belonging. As the storm gets louder I will feel the instinctual protective reaction, and I will meet it with a loving response.

I am hardwired for both protection and connection. I am a moment by moment choice for connection.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


For all the religious and spiritual lip service paid to the notion that God is love there is much lovelessness on display, often in the very places that espouse this teaching. I am personally intent on that paradigm being my unequivocal felt-reality. I am committed to uncovering all lovelessness within me so that I may be a living breathing space of God-love.

And that necessitates that I love you.

If this Thing we call God truly is love and I am created and contained within It then love is what I am. Period. No compromise. No conditions. No excuses. I am the love that is God and my only God is love. To love God is literally to love love. In order to love love I must synch into the Isness of God-love and then let myself be lived and loved within It. Then I must love you as a part of that Great All-inclusive love. As soon as I judge or withhold from you I am out of synch with love and so am dissonant with the experience of God. And only I can bring myself back into harmonic resonance. Only I, as a being of free will, can choose to return to love’s frequency. For me that is ultimately the only choice there is to make. I will either vibrate at the frequency of love or I will languish in the unconsciousness of separation and fear.

It is simple yet it is radical. It is not up to me to get you to love me. It is not up to me to decide whether or not you are deserving of love in this behavioral realm. It is not up to me to work endlessly to make myself worthy of love. It is up to me to make loving love my constant practice and my highest priority.

However you choose to show up in my sphere my task is to maintain my sense of the Greater Love. I may not like you or your behaviors. I may disagree with your ideologies and agendas. I may not understand or resonate with your choices. That is all irrelevant in my choice to focus on the Absolute Love that is our shared Truth. I am committed to accessing a different lens than what is the standard optical of the critical mass. I am here to see the God in you which is indeed an undeniable love. Love isn’t variable at the level of the Absolute. It is Absolute love that I must stay aligned in. When I am awake within the God in me I will see and know the God in you. It is in the shared abiding place that we is one. IS. ONE. GOD. LOVE.

Loving you is what I am. Literally. In order to be what I am I choose to extend the love within my heart and let it surround the world. If I am out of synch I pray and I return to the One Reality which is Love. As I do this I live in the reality that God is indeed Love. And love is what I am.

Thursday, July 14, 2016


In these times of extreme darkness and massive pain the opportunity of personal contribution sends energy waves through my entire system. I have never been clearer that the way I show up matters. I have never been more certain that my chosen state of being matters on a moment to moment basis. My sense of purpose is heightened and my vision for a better way crystal clear.

What and who I am choosing to be is indeed why I am here.

My personal forgiveness work has cosmic ramifications. While some may perceive this as arrogant, it is profoundly humbling for me. What is occurring in my field of consciousness is emitted out to the greater whole. That is scientifically provable. Whatever energy I am sending forth is at some level felt by all. This is true for all of us. It can be a blessing or a curse depending on how we choose to court our individual vibration.

If I am down-spiraling in my separation story I am sending forth sluggish, dark energy. If I am praying and presencing the Truth that is within my heart then Light waves are emitting forth and my aura uplifts all who encounter me. This aura is my contribution. This choice in who I am being has a demonstrable effect on the field in which we all dwell. Moment by moment, thought by thought, feeling by feeling.

In these times of extreme darkness I am choosing to be the Light. I accept that there is both light and darkness in here. That is the nature of humanity. And prayer is the transformative power of accepting what is and allowing what seeks to be at the energetic level, right here within me. For this I was born.

Who I be matters. And I am grateful.

Thursday, July 7, 2016


With the number of mass killings reported in the media in just the last few months alone I am staying vigilant to my relationship with these statistical barrages. Forty-nine massacred. Twenty three killed. One hundred twenty lost. “The most deadly attack since…” There is often only a slightly more earnest inflection between these devastating numbers and the next day’s weather forecast.

We have become a culture that has forgotten how to grieve.

With the sheer number and rapidity of killings it is almost impossible to let land the enormity of our collective unconsciousness. We walk around in psychological denial and emotional pullback just as a way to survive our times. We lump the lives lost in these occurrences into a single re-portable number, a package we rarely ever choose to open. And yet it was not forty nine people gunned down. It was one person gunned down forty nine times. Each of these people were individuals with lives and loves and fears and aspirations. They had families and histories and accomplishments and failures. They were composed of darkness and light, soul and body, spirit and shadow. They were precious simply because they were.

How can we possibly grieve all these who have departed, and how can we possibly not? We become less human when we hear the statistics and surf onto happier media posts. We become less human when we see the images and simply order another latte. We become less human when we lose the capacity to stop and to feel, to honor and to pray.

I am sure at a certain level it is because we fear we may be next.

If it were soon to be my turn I do not want to leave this lifetime with a callous heart and a disengaged humanity. I have done numb. I have lived a life of gray. It is scarcely a life at all. It has taken me a long, long, time to re-access this heart. To relax the habitual recoil and to move toward what I for so long ran away from.

It hurts. God knows it hurts. I will take that. I will let that hurt in. I do so in solidarity to those who have left, and with those they have left. I did not know them. I will never know the details of their incarnations. But we are one by virtue of the fact of our shared humanity. This pain I feel for the one person who has died forty-nine, twenty-three, one hundred-twenty times is the evidence I am real, awake, alive. I do not want a spirituality that deadens me. I do not want a spirituality that makes me less human. I do not want a spirituality that cuts me off from my ability to grieve.

I grieve those that have been lost. I grieve them not en mass but as individuals. I know there is something beyond this realm. Please don’t disparage me with platitudes. But they are gone from this experience. They are violently, tragically, suddenly, irreparably gone. And I am grateful to be able to stop and to grieve and to feel and to cry. I need to. I need that level of connection. I want that level of connection.

I grieve because I need to grieve. And it lets me know that I am still alive.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Shoshana Bean and Adrian Hansel- Not my Fathers Son

The first time I heard this song it literally took my breath away. I am reminded of it as we approach another Father's Day observance. It's never been a favorite holiday for me. Not that I don't love my father. Not that at some level he didn't love me. He just never really knew me.

My father contracted presenile dementia and didn't know me by the time I was 15. When he was still healthy and I was quite young he was already grappling with this second child who was displaying obvious gender dysphoria. My father was a simple man from a country upbringing. He was a man of great integrity, but also of strong programming about what was right and what was wrong. There was no acceptable tribal program that explained how I was expressing. He wanted me to fit in. To buck up and to face the world as the example of the masculine power that he was demonstrating. He was a star athlete with a son who couldn't catch a ball if his life depended on it. He wanted me on the field or court while I longed to be at the barre or on the stage. I recall watching the inner battle between the love he felt and the aversion he barely concealed.

Scriptures tell us that the sins of the father are revisited on the son. Properly understood this means that the  tribal perceptions that are passed on generation to generation often cause enormous pain to those who come along and do not fit the mold. To most the tribal program is nothing less than survival. My father wanted me to in reality hide what he feared I was in order to survive in this world. That came from caring. That came from love. It also came from generational ignorance. Neither one of my parents fully accepted my expression. Neither one of them wanted for me the pain of how society would judge and revile me. I do not fault them for that. I know they did the best they could from the parental programming they themselves were reared.

I really am not the son my father wanted, though he did not live long enough to fully know the extent of that. I embrace today that I was not born to be the son my wanted. I was born to be the son I am. I was born to love and to accept my father the way he was. I was not born to fit in or to pass. This realization is giving me a Father's Day in which I celebrate the Dad I lost so long ago. To celebrate the step-father that embraces me and my husband exactly as we are. To celebrate the father energy in me which is known and actualized as I choose to show up authentically, honestly, radically as who I am.

This Father's Day I show up for myself, owning and embracing the perceptual system into which I was born, while also transcending its bigoted and ignorant  limitations. With neither parent left on earth I choose to hold for myself the very best that they had to offer me. I choose to focus on the level of love that they were able to express. And I choose to parent myself in ways that are nurturing, loving, compassionate, and wise.

I am not my father's son, and in embracing that fact, suddenly I am.

Thursday, June 16, 2016


My friend Kevin skillfully maneuvered his bright orange Corvette through the dark back allies of downtown Columbus. The city was largely deserted after business hours, so as we rounded a corner and saw a large number of parked automobiles I knew this must be the spot. I could feel my heart pounding down into my solar plexus and up into my throat. As we got out of the car I did a quick but complete scan of the surrounding area. There was no one else around, and I quickened my pace to keep up with Kevin who was clearly on task. I saw ahead of us a short brick staircase crowned with a small globe style porch light that bore an italic small inscription “Ty’s.” As I started up the stairs, with a twenty dollar bill and a fake ID in the pocket of my then stylish Jordache jeans, I couldn’t decide if I was more afraid to stay outside or to go on in.

This was the late 70’s and I was heading into my very first gay bar. Even from the landing I could feel the pulsating bass beat coming from within the club. Kevin opened the door and basically shoved me in. I landed face to face with a humorless bouncer who smirked as he looked at the ID photo that bore no resemblance to me at all. He stared at me knowingly for what seemed like an eternity and then nodded for me to go on in. The knot in the pit of my stomach began to almost instantly ease as I looked around in amazement at what I was seeing. The light scatterings of the mirror ball and the softened hues of the colored lights revealed rooms filled with mostly men who I knew immediately were members of my tribe. Some were alone, some were coupled, some were gathered in groups. But I knew I was finally in a place where it was safe to be me. Where I could express in a way that was authentic to whom I actually am. This was a place where if I chose to dance it could be with a partner matching my natural orientation. This was a place where it was safe to meet and to talk openly with others who were born like me. I could even dare to flirt without fear of violent rejection and retribution in this oasis of free expression.

Ty’s was a safe zone. It was a tiny slice of earth where it was okay to be fully me. I frequented it in my college years, and internally smile as I think back on those years. I recall heterosexual friends going to the club with me and watching as they struggled to find a way to fit into “our” world. I may have had to try and to “pass” most other days of the week but on a week-end evening or even two I could step out of a scary world and step into a place where what I am was what I was allowed to be. It was my safe space for me and it was a community for us. It was a place where we could be free for a few hours underneath that mirror ball of dancing light.

That was long, long ago. And yet I imagine the LGBT clubs of today are serving much the same purpose. They are safe zones for people who still are not safe in the world at large. But now one of those spaces has been violated to such a degree that the betrayal cannot be ignored. Over one hundred individuals were gunned down in what truly was their home away from home. The safety was shattered in a hail of gun fire, the security drowned in a pool of collective blood. Couples died together. A mother died who was there only to dance in loving acceptance with her son, a son who now lives to survive that loss. Friends huddled together as they breathed their last breaths in a place that had promised to protect them, to let them be themselves without fear of rejection or retribution.

I contemplate my dark alley experiences in long ago Columbus and realize it could have been me. And it wasn’t. Yet at a deep level all of us who have hidden in the shadows and danced in the darkness feel this violation, this devastating breach of security. These were indeed our tribe. We felt safe together. Free together. We protected and embraced each together. And though that was temporarily interrupted in a vile and unspeakable way the tribal strength and the collective whole have risen together to face this tragic time. Love has faced the depth of hatred and has not flinched. The Light that has shined through this atrocity is not from a mirror ball but is generated by countless caring and compassionate hearts.

I have struggled to write and to somehow complete this piece. I have moved in and out of vulnerability and authenticity. To those of you still reading I confess to tender feelings around how this is received and evaluated. This tenderness I know is a direct result of having lived a life outside the margins. I know that my human experience as a gay man is a relative experience. It is not what I am in Truth. I know that at a broader level I am part of a human fabric that transcends gender, orientation, and nationality. I also know that I was born this way for a direct and higher purpose. Part of that purpose is to come to embrace fully the totality of my humanity. Part of that purpose is to stand up and to freely express the fullness of me.

I will no longer hide in back allies or gain entrance with a fake ID. I stand in solidarity with my LGBT sisters and brothers even as I know I am part of the greater whole. I am speaking out today on behalf of those who can no longer be heard. You were gunned down but you are not gone. You are here in these words, here in this heart. I will carry the torch of Truth for the remainder of my days. My heart will remain open, and I will love regardless of what the world may say. In this heart is my place to be, and in here I am truly free.

Thursday, June 2, 2016


I recently addressed our four graduating high school seniors as a part of our regular Sunday service here at Unity. We as a congregation wanted to celebrate them and this important milestone. I must admit that at this point in my life it is difficult to remember exactly what was going on inside of me as I left the relative safety of school and set off on the journey of adulthood. It felt very important to me to be able to communicate to these youth in a way that would perhaps contribute to the trajectory that is lying before them. I felt totally humbled and yet intensely passionate. What could I say?

I decided to approach the message from the vantage point of what the current me would say to my own eighteen year old. From what I remember of my own young man, what wisdom could he have used that I now perhaps possess? What pitfalls could I potentially guide these youth around from the perspective of one who had fallen into them?

It was a rich and rewarding internal exercise for me for sure. I am so grateful to these youth for invoking so much love in me that I spent considerable time and energy in exploring within myself for what I might then say to them. I came up with a list of seven things to share with our youth that I now want to share with you blog readers. I do so not from a place of thinking these are things you do not know. I do so with a desire that it might evoke a similar process within you.

So, what would you say to your eighteen year old from where you are now?

Here is what I shared:

* Life Loves you! Life is for you!

* Worthiness is Essential and Intrinsic. It is independent of what you do.

* Loosen your grip on how you think life will turn out. It won’t. And that’s perfect.

* Don’t let dreams, goals, and aspirations ruin your life.

* Choose connection over protection, presence over pretense.

*Have the courage to be real, authentic, and vulnerable.

* Always and in all ways lead in life with a YES!

For the sake of brevity I will not elaborate on these points. I simply offer them to you as I did with our precious youth: with love and with a deep knowing that Life is always seeking the very highest for us. It always has been. We will all be offered curve balls and unexpected falls. We will also experience love and majesty beyond our wildest dreams.

Relax! Maybe that is what I would speak most of to my eighteen year old. Relax, Taylor. Let it be. Give it a rest. Cooperate. This One Life of which you are a part has your back and is your heart. Relax and let yourself be lived and loved.

I am not at all sure the graduates heard me. But I did. I am spending these days basking in my own intuited wisdom. What is good for the eighteen year old is even better for the man I am now.

Thursday, May 19, 2016


It is a truly frightening conclusion to realize that I cannot know the totality of my Source without including the totality of humanity.


While concepts of Oneness are energizing and uplifting to ponder the reality of it is confronting, chaotic, revelatory, and often exasperating. In a world of social media, instant information, political mania, and constant terrorism images of people grossly unlike me are parading through my consciousness with relentless frequency. It is at the surface level of our shared humanity that they are unlike me. This is not the level at which we are One. We are One at the level of Essence. We are One at the level of Spirit. We are One at the level of Principle, not of personality. We are forever One within our Source.

It is the remembrance of our Source and of our shared Oneness that is at the core of why we are here. If I choose to focus only on ways that we are different it will be a long and arduous road to the experience of Oneness. If I choose to allow and embrace the experience of what feels so different between us it will be a road of awakening. There are far more ways that we are alike than that we are different. We all have a deep and intrinsic need for connection, belonging, acceptance, and love. We may go about the pursuit of those in bizarre and even tragic ways. Levels of unconsciousness are always out-pictured in unskillfulness. If I really want to know Oneness I am called to look at my own unskillfulness as a way of discovering my unconsciousness. If I am sitting in judgment of you it is a reflection of MY limited perception. If I am only focusing on the ways I think you are wrong it is a reflection of my own mistaken identity. If I confuse behavior with what you are it is me that is fooled. I am the lens. You are what I am viewing in the mirror of my consciousness.

I lived in fear of letting others in almost my entire life. My early wounding left scars that shrouded my heart. I was hurt in relationship and it is in relationship that I will heal. It is in relationship that I will challenge the tendency to recoil and pullback. It is in relationship that I will come to know the depth of what I am. In choosing to love you I will come to know the One Source of Love. It really is an all or nothing proposition. To know an essential love I must love at the level of that Essence. I will love and compassion your unskillfulness as a way of knowing that I live in a field of ultimate love and compassion. My opinion of you will either open me or close me. And my opinion of you will often painfully reveal my hidden assessments of myself.

I am grateful to finally be courageous enough to acknowledge that I need you. I need all of you individually and collectively. I need you to awaken to a felt-truth that we are indeed One. Sometimes it is messy. Often it is painful. It is frightening indeed. And it is always necessary. To love you is to love God, which is really just loving Love. That is why I am here.

Saturday, May 7, 2016


A most chipper waitress yesterday asked me how I was going to celebrate Mother’s Day. An attempted smile was all I could muster.

This is the first Mother’s Day I will spend without a living mother. I feel a dull ache around not sending a card or ordering flowers. I feel an empty longing with no one to call. I am breathing open the wafting contractions that clench my chest. And I am profoundly grateful to be able to include all of this in my moment to moment experience. I appreciate beyond description the capacity to feel all of this without denying or becoming it. Since the death of my father in 1982 I have subtly dreaded the loss of my mother. In the early years following his passing I pondered whether or not I could survive her transition. And now it is here and I have and I am. And it leaves a void in my life that only my own enduring presence can heal.

My prayers regarding my mother over the past several years most often included the intention that before she left the planet she would see and realize that the way she felt about herself was at the root of the torment she so often felt. To say that she was plagued with low self esteem doesn’t begin to get at the level that it was true. It was an identity, and in many ways a badge of honor. Her own relentless self scrutiny was consuming. Her inner atmosphere permeated her self talk, and spilled over into the way she frequently interacted with her children and others. She had no idea that what amounted to a toxic self image would become a large part of her legacy. It was a blind spot of epic proportions.

My mother was a smart, attractive, witty, giving woman who took care of others both personally and professionally her entire life. And yet she had been imprinted with a belief that she was somehow faulty and undeserving, ugly and undesirable. It didn’t matter that she had two marriages to men who completely adored her. That was lost in the perceptual prescription she never quite transcended. Life did not turn out the way she wanted and it hardened her and confirmed her suspected unworthiness. She so wanted her children to have something better. Yet what she demonstrated spoke more loudly than what she tried to tangibly provide.

I took on the scrutiny and the unworthiness early in life. I do not fault my mother. I was in close relationship to her mother and so I know from whence the programming came. She fixated on not wanting to be like my grandmother. And yet in many ways she became just that. How could she not? That was the role model of mother she had to learn from. There were certainly ways in which she did better that example. I do not lose sight of her gifts. While ours was an imperfect relationship she was the perfect mother for me. I will love her until my last exhalation. And I am committed to transcending the inherited esteem by dedicating my days to allowing life to love me and then to extend that love as my way of being and as my contribution to the world.

I in no way intend to diminish my mother with my candid sharing. And I ask that you not disparage my mother either. I share this as a way of honoring her and as a request that you my readers look deeply within your own inner atmosphere for any ways you may diminish or dishonor your self. Our inner atmosphere is in reality an energetic mother womb. It is where we dwell and from where we express. We cannot earn worthiness by helping or giving to others. We cannot earn worthiness at all. We are worthy by Source. Though our behaviors, words, and actions so often miss the mark our inherent worthiness goes unscathed. Regardless of what we may have taken on early in life what we are is far more than we realize. Our inner atmosphere is our experience of God. God loves us via our own withinness. Low self esteem is forgetfulness of God. We are here to learn that and to become all we were born to be.

I know my mother loved me. And I know that at the level she could take it in she knew I loved her. I trust that as she has crossed the threshold of this great Mystery she moved into a place where a clearer vision and a broader perspective is soothing her heart and drying her tears. She is a part of me and a part of everything I do. She is a part of this writing. I can feel her Higher Self speaking to me and to you “Love your self and Love your life. Let this be the legacy you leave.”

Thanks, Mom. I am doing just that.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


Having just turned the page on another year of incarnation I feel a profound gratitude around the realization that I am finally content to be exactly where I am. I am certainly not devoid of intentionality, especially where Soul evolvement is concerned. I am finally at a place in consciousness where I realize that nothing out there has ultimate authority over what is happening in here. I am living at a level of self-regulation that is far more fulfilling than trying to get satisfaction from arranging the conditions of my life experience to suit my personality self. This does not mean that I don’t have preferences. This does not mean that in some cases my preferences are not strong. It simply means that they are no longer demands.

My contentment does not come from getting my own way. My fulfillment does not come from controlling externals or from getting you to treat me in the ways I think you should. My contentment comes from the inner atmosphere in which I choose to dwell. My fulfillment comes from showing up in ways that are true to my values and in alignment with my sacred purpose. I no longer live in the trap of the “when-then.” When this happens out there then I will be peaceful and content in here. Nope. When I am peaceful and content in here the likelihood is that the externals will fall into place without my manipulation. And even if they don’t I am already peaceful and content.

I have come to the conclusion that I am enough and so I know life is enough. In an expanding Universe there will always be more but for me enough is truly enough. This is radical compared to my former way of thinking. I was brought up to believe I was never enough. And so I saw a world that was never enough. No more. I am content to realize that there is a Presence within me that is the seat of my contentment and joyfulness. That Presence is my internal compass. Contentment is my barometer. And peacefulness is my power.

I am exactly where I am meant to be doing exactly what I am meant to be doing. How do I know? Because I am here in this present moment and I am doing this. Just this. And I am content that it is so.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


While I was not reared in a home or a church that observed the Lenten season it has become a rich and profound experience for me during my adult years. I find it amusing that it wasn’t until I was led to New Thought spirituality and the Unity movement that I began to observe Lent. During the early years I always made it a point to give up something as a way of heightening my focus. My mentor and teacher Eric Butterworth always stressed that it was about a fasting from limiting and hurtful perceptions that was foundational to the practice. Yet I liked including something material just the same. In retrospect I see that it was easier to focus on giving up something tangible than it was something perceptual.

My practice of Lent has evolved dramatically throughout these almost thirty years. It has grown more and more precious and meaningful to me. I never think of giving up anything material anymore. Nor do I focus my attention on thoughts or perceptions that I want to rid me of. It is clear to me that resistance is never effective. As soon as I decide that something needs to go it grasps on and holds tight. It commands more and more attention, and fills my thought stream as a rushing river.

I have found that it is only in letting be that transformation ever occurs. Until I can create an internal context of acceptance, compassion, and love I inadvertently make of myself a war zone that only intensifies the experience of what I am fighting against. Fasting can be a helpful practice I am sure. But feasting my attention in and on a desired condition has always proven to be much more effective for me. While fasting conjures a feeling of willfulness at least for me a letting be and a gentle feasting of my attention in Source opens a feeling of willingness and receptivity. And I always get more of what I am focusing on, never less.

What I cannot be with will never let me be. The much used adage of Let Go and Let God seems a bit overactive to me. I have proven countless times in my life that my thoughts of what needs to go or what needs to stay in my consciousness have carried a rather pitiful batting average in terms of accuracy. When I can simply choose to let be there is an automatic opening that then serves as a channel for Spirit to move and have Its way. When I let be I tap into a Divine Flow that then orchestrates the Unfoldment of my highest good every time. And my faithfulness in this fool-proof process also allows me to remain at peace.

So I guess I am saying that for me Lent is all about letting be. As the word implies as I “lent be” there is a lengthening of attention in acceptance, peacefulness, and love. And that can only result in a rising up within.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

A Perspective On Hell

“Religion is for people who don’t want to go to hell. Spirituality is for people who have been there.”

I heard this quote long before it landed. When it did it changed my life.

I have lived from both perspectives. I was blessed to have brought up in an evangelical church. I frequently am confronted by people who rigorously reject their religious upbringing. I compassion the fight for it is one I have lived. I went through a painful and in retrospect a necessary relationship with my religious upbringing. I remember at an early age feeling the shame and remorse of being what I was told was a sinful and faulty human being. By the tender age of seven I had already taken on a sense of self that believed I was responsible for the crucifixion of a perfect and only son of God. This haunted me. Even after I had taken the steps the church told me were necessary to redeem myself I lived in a sense of fear, guilt, and dread. I tried so hard to be perfect. To make up for what I truly and deeply felt was an abominable self. Though I heard descriptions of a loving God they were obliterated by vivid pictures of hell, fire, and damnation.

I now know it was my religion that created my internal hell. >br>
It was also the path that led me to freedom. I no longer live with a sense of blame. I know now that my religious upbringing was what led me beyond it. It led me to question more, to dig deeper, to open wider, and to detach from a thought system I was here to transcend.

It was my own faulty sense of self that became my living hell. Darkness and depression shrouded me. I became obsessed and absorbed in the story of me. I hung upon the cross of my own self aversion, and it finally led to my conversion. When I stopped blaming my religious past I finally saw that it was a representation of a journey my Soul was guiding me to take. Religion led me to a new God and so to an expanded sense of Self. To a spirituality that is now steeped in love, compassion, and inclusivity. When I realized I had already survived my own internal hell I no longer feared been sent there. That realization has become my doorway to heaven.

Hell is the belief and identification with my own separate self-story. Heaven is the recognition that there is no separate self. Heaven is the remembrance that I am Sourced in a Love so vast and all inclusive that it is beyond what my mind can even conceive. Yet it is the Livingness that my heart embraces and unfolds.

I sometimes still fall into the pit of my own forgetfulness. I do not stay there long. The fires of my misperceptions burn and awaken me to the fact that I have gone unconscious. I realize I have once again sent myself into hell. This realization is my choice point and my entryway into heaven. I can stew in the story or I can choose to be lifted up and out.

In a very real sense it is hell that has led me to heaven. And grateful, indeed, am I.

Saturday, February 20, 2016


“She’s in a better place.” “It really is a blessing.” “At least she’s not suffering.” “She isn’t really gone. She’s right here.”

Really? You don’t say.

I am continuing to surf the internal waves of my mother’s passing, and watching with great curiosity the things people say to me in reaction to the news. I am ever so grateful to be experiencing an awakened relationship to all that this profound occurrence is bringing with it. I am grateful to be anchored in the knowing that I am the one relating to the loss, to the emotions, to the concentric reactions and responses within myself. I am grateful to be able to listen to the things people are saying to me with a sense of compassion and spaciousness. I do not deny that most of them do not ring true for me. I am not residing in judgment of the fact that most of these words seem to me to be ways of conceptualizing and thus avoiding the depth of experience that this level of loss brings with it. I am in thanksgiving of the fact that this gifting lack of judgment is granting me the opportunity to reflect on what I might say to someone in a similar experience.

“She’s in a better place.” Really? And where might that be? So she’s in a better place than right here in this world communing in the deep love of mother and son? If you are eluding to the fact that she is now in a far off heaven I must say to you that we often shared a deep experience of heaven right here in this realm of relationship. That was the deep and true blessing that we were both able to revel in. Is there blessing in the experience of death? There is indeed blessing inherent in all things. And could you maybe just stay with me as I awkwardly and messily get to the place of knowing and experiencing that sense of blessing without ideas that suppress and exclude?

I am grateful indeed she is not suffering the physical maladies that took her from this bodily experience. I also suspect that the consciousness we are dwelling in while in the body continues on after a particular incarnation. I do not know that there isn’t some level of pain, suffering, remorse that supersedes this thing we call death. I also am deeply called to acknowledge and stay with the fact that though at some level her suffering has ended, mine is just beginning. Even as I did not want Mom to suffer I also know she also didn’t want that for me. Will I move through the pain? Absolutely. I will move THROUGH the pain. Not by acting like it isn’t here, but by intimately feeling my way through it, waft by waft, pang by pang.

As alive as her memory and her love is within me she is in fact not here. I cannot literally hear her voice, feel her touch, or experience the tangible one-on-one that is the hallmark of shared relationship. I miss her. I want to call her. I want to have more moments, more laughs, and more shares. I want to reach out and feel the familiar crinkling of her aging skin the coarseness of her silver hair. I want to smell the subtle aroma of her coffee tainted breath. Please don’t disparage my wanting. Let me have that. It is in fact what I have left.

I don’t need platitudes. I don’t need spiritual fixes. I don’t need or want words that deaden. I have enough death to deal with right now. I hear you. I really do. But right now, will you please stop and hear me? Will you let me simply have this experience of pain and loss, knowing with me that it is appropriate, human, responsive, and real? I know at a level she is right here. And I need the time, the space, the acceptance, and the compassion to shift the level of relationship to what and where she is now.

Perhaps you could stop and stay with the feelings that arise in you around the shared experience of my loss. Perhaps you could say less, and presence more. Perhaps we could sit, side by side, in the silence of deep communion. Perhaps you could ask me what my experience is instead of seeking to define it for me. Let me just feel your loving, silent presence that speaks volumes beyond what platitudes could ever offer.

When I feel your heart connected and sharing deeply with my heart, then and only then will I be able to authentically respond with “really, you don’t say…”

Monday, February 15, 2016


Her old brown recliner had become her world. It was as threadbare as was she. A folding tray table sat beside the chair, minimizing the number of times she would have to get up or call for something to be brought to her. Staying put had become a type of staying power. The less she had to move the less she realized that she no longer could.

The television remote control and the remote portable phone were the most valuable tools of trade in this micro-world of the brown recliner. They were both instruments of connection in a realm of increasing discomfort and disconnect. There was safety and stability in the usual TV line up. The infrequent calls were at once welcome interruptions and irritating inconveniences. Perhaps the inquiries shined a light on what she herself didn’t want to see; a life that was growing smaller and smaller by the day. A retrospective sense of health, activity, and vitality. A stagnant place in a culture demanding relevance by accomplishment. A place where the only remaining control was indeed the battery operated remote control.

She was growing more and more remote herself. The diminishing memory added to the sense of a shrinking world. There were palpable voids in conversations, times when I pondered and searched for where she had gone. There were forgotten stories retold and reformulated and retold. Yet there were also stunning moments of the razor sharp wit and the limitless sense of humor that were so much a hallmark of who she was. . She was always a woman of profound paradox, and the ever-dimming contrast let me know the end was growing near. Even the recliner chair and the folding table were becoming too big for her.

In the final months the brown recliner was forced to bow to the hospital beds and the inability to navigate the stairs that led to her favorite perch. My most frequent salutation in the final year of her life was to ask whether or not she was in her chair? When I found that she was I would assure her that knowing where she was let me know that all was well in the world. I meant it. I embraced that for her life was changing and minimizing and that a trajectory had been established that no amount of control or resistance could change.

And now the threadbare chair is empty and Mom is gone. Though I have faith that she has re-emerged into a realm of Limitlessness and Radiance in this moment my world is the world that has somehow grown smaller. Oh, I know that this statement may be met with truisms and well meaning concepts. But in this precious moment of honesty and grief I feel the place where only the sound of her voice and the physical touch of her hand could fill this aching void in my chest. I reflect on the ways her own often painful path had hardened her, making her less accessible and unavailable. And then the beginnings of dementia had actually softened her. She was losing control, and yet she was becoming in ways less remote. More connected and more in touch with love. Her last words to me continue to resound through my being. They were somehow profoundly unlike her and yet indicative of the very depths of her.

My last days with her were spent in the ICU and she was silenced by a ventilator. They were the most beautiful conversations we ever had. There were long periods of direct and deep eye contact which was not her usual style. I could feel my heart entrained with hers, and the love expanding and circling in ways I had never experienced with her. We had moved beyond a need for control or words, and the remoteness of the past months had dissipated until union was our state.

And so this is the beginning of a new and ever-evolving relationship with the woman who gave me life. She is both onto the next great adventure and stunningly intimate within my heart. I both miss her and intimately feel her here. The chair is now empty but not my heart. It was time for her to move on, and I am still in the process of opening to let her go. Or more exactly to let her be. To relish the place where she will always live inside of me, not unlike the way in which I was once carried inside of her.

Saturday, January 23, 2016


Researchers have determined that by this time in the month of January well over 90% of people who have set resolutions-intentions for the coming year have already abandoned those intentions.

January gets its name from the two faced god Janus that is both looking into the past and into the future. Sound familiar? Janus is a powerful representation of the ego-thought dynamic. It is the nature of the ego thought structure to constantly be looking back and projecting forward from that past focus. This is a hard wired reptilian dynamic that is designed to keep us safe. What it actually does is keep us from experiencing and accessing the only point of power we have at our disposal: the present moment.

Perhaps some of you are reading these words and determining that the solution to this dilemma is to not remain a Janus. By some act of mind-control the decision would be to not look back and to not project forward. Perhaps. May I offer what for me has been an easier and less stressful proposal?

Recognizing and remembering what the dynamic of the ego-mind is and how it operates is transformative in and of itself. Now that I know there is a Janus dynamic that I am plugged into I can choose to simply become friendly with it. If I give resistance to the tendency to look back and forward that resistant energy then feeds into and strengthens the dynamic that keeps me from the present moment power. Finding the middle point within my awareness allows me to recognize when in fact I am staring back in time. It offers me the ability to realize when I am projecting out into an imagined future that is based entirely on a past that I am either avoiding or seeking to recreate. When I know I am looking back, from the point of the present moment, I am more anchored in the now than I am in the past. I can feel the energy of the focus and work directly with the vibration from a present moment perspective. The same is true of projecting into the future. When I know I am doing it that awareness provides me with the possibility of choice. And choice is what staying spiritually awake is all about.

I believe that a key reason for the abandonment of so many New Years intentions this early in the year is that they are made almost exclusively from this Janus Dynamic. We look back at what we perceive is not working or is unavailable and then project a solution from that perception of lack. Often the inquiry is steeped in what is missing and how I can get it. This only serves to energize the lack. If we are not awake to the underpinnings of this dynamic we are stuck in the Janus mode. When we know it is happening the awakened relationship to it expands the potentiality of true change happening. When I am no longer defined by my past the possibility of something new opens within and before me. When I question my projections they no longer have the power to imprison me. I can take a breath and realize that I am not the memory or the projection. I am the one that is focusing my awareness. I am the one that is looking. Seeing the dynamic as a dynamic gives me dominion over it. In the friendly awareness of what is happening I am free. The Janus dynamic will either have me or my awareness will use it.

So if you have already ditched the intentions that you had for 2016, take heart. Be friendly with the Janus within you. Reclaim your year from a place of friendly, awakened, caring relationship. Give a wink to the part of your mind that tends to look back. Blow a kiss to the tendency to project the past into the future. It is not a problem. You are not a problem. You are an opportunity. The past is precious. Even the parts that weren’t preferred. And just because there has been a habitual way of showing up does not mean that the habit cannot be changed. Just be aware. From that awareness accept what has been. And know that awareness is everything. It is potential and it is power.

What you are choosing to experience in this moment is in reality the quality of your 2016. Right here and now. This. Yes, you will look back. You will project forward. It is just what the mind does. And you will always be doing it in and from the spaciousness of the present moment.

Friday, January 1, 2016


Happy 2016 to all of you! I have designated this year as my YEAR OF YES. I am committed to living in the energy of YES throughout this year. This means I will internally say YES even when my circumstances seem to be saying no. This means I will say YES even when my programming is screaming no. This means I will repeatedly come back to YES, regardless of what is happening in and around me. YES, YES, YES.

So though it is a New Year's holiday, and my body is somewhat tired from yesterday's activities, I am saying YES to the prompting to share an excerpt from an e-book I wrote a few years back. This is Day One of a forty day collection. I am saying YES to the desire to finally publish some of my writings during 2016. Until then, please enjoy a snippet from my heart. Though written a while back, it still rings true for me on this New Year's Day.

,br> Day One There is something unique, special, magical, and yet daunting about an individual or collective demarcation point in life. A common collective demarcation is the bringing in of a calendar New Year. Many people individually choose to observe a birthday in a conscious and intentional way.

There are myriad examples of these choice points,perhaps the most dramatic being that of a near death experience. These are often spoken of in hushed and hallowed tones. This is perhaps appropriate in that they may drastically alter the way in which we view and participate in our life experiences.

To realize at a felt sense level that we are finite beings can be a profound and miraculous wake up call. It invites us to really take a good, intimate look at how we have been living. What quality of attention have we been bringing not so much to the grander occasions of our lives, but especially to what is usually thought of as the more mundane and ordinary aspects of the day to day? How engaged are we in our moments? How congruent are our thoughts, feelings, activities, and interactions? How present are we when no demarcation is calling for heightened awareness? How present am I to my own Presence? How much of my surroundings am I actually cognizant of, and how curious am I about the astounding capabilities of my own inner workings?

Each moment is demarcation if we are paying attention. Perhaps that is the richest of all invitations. To pay attention to attention. To reside in a state of perpetual curiosity and awakened awareness. To be less intrigued by the near death, and more committed to the now life.

What is this moment of demarcation calling you to, my favored friend?