Thursday, February 23, 2017


There are so many things that they don’t dare tell you in seminary.

I will soon celebrate twenty-one years as an ordained minister. I have been blessed to be ministering full time for all of these years, doing what I truly know I am meant to be doing. It is not a job or a career for me. It is my vocation. It is my life’s purpose that I happen to be paid to do. Though it was a circuitous route to the ministry I have never doubted the intuition that brought me here. I can clearly see that everything that I have been through in my life experience has helped prepare me for this form of service. Things that never made sense at the time they were happening have been necessary puzzle pieces in the vision that I am now living. I know that as long as I am on this planet a minister I will be.

While I have always been grateful for the seminary training I received, leading to my ordination, it didn’t prepare me for many of the things I have faced within this twenty one year time frame. As an independent contractor and an unaffiliated servant for much of that time I have had to feel my way through this journey, one prayer at a time. There is no effective manual or class for the myriad kinds of situations, circumstances, predicaments, personalities, traumas, and detours that need to be faced. It has proven to be the best kind of spiritual work out, demanding that I build an internal musculature that would allow me to navigate what needed to be handled.

There are so many things they don’t dare tell you in seminary. They don’t dare tell you that every single loveless perception within you will most certainly be revealed and highlighted. They don’t tell you that people will seek counsel from you on precisely the issues that you yourself are painfully struggling with. They don’t highlight the fact that while it is a blessing to be continually soaked in the oceanic presence of spirit that same soaking can frequently feel like drowning. No one mentions the dangers of over-identifying with the position, with the size and stamina of the congregation, with the financial solvency of an often fluctuating group commitment. Oh, there may be passing mentions of some of these issues. I later suspected that there was a calculated omitting of details that would send most seminarians shrieking for the hills.

Ministry has been both glorious and painful. It has refined me in ways that I never imagined. It has pushed every button and highlighted every deficiency. It has presented me on a daily basis with choices that often felt so trying to make. It has confronted me repeatedly with the choice between personal preference and what I knew to be best thing for the greater good. It has been a day to day decision to love. To love even when people seemed so unlovable, indeed, especially when people seemed so unlovable. To love those who opposed me and those who sought to sabotage me. To love when I was triggered and to love those who helped reveal the most hidden parts of me.

To love. That is what ministry is to me. I am an administrator of love. I am here to give and to serve love. It isn’t always easy or comfortable. But it is exactly what I am meant to be and do.

Thursday, February 16, 2017


I was gifted today by a chance encounter with someone who doesn’t like me.


I am profoundly grateful to be dwelling in a place in consciousness that has realized that what others may think of me is truly none of my business. As a human being with an open and highly sensitive heart the preference is always to enjoy a loving connection with other inhabitants of this human experience. I am purposeful in how I approach and treat others. My spirituality is one of embodying loving-kindness to the best of my ability. In my personality self I certainly don’t like everyone. But I am committed to accepting, compassioning, and embracing others in a prayerful place that is imbued with my spiritual nature. That spiritual nature is indeed Love.

So when I encounter someone who interacts with me in a way that I simply know by intuition isn’t embracing I also know I have a choice to make. I can go with the reptilian recoil and withhold, or I can maintain my spiritual composure and not make what the other is experiencing about me. It truly isn’t ultimately about me. When someone treats me with indifference or even hostility it is an opportunity for my growth. It doesn’t feel good. In fact it often feels down right painful. And it is a gift in that I get to stay awake, know that another’s reaction is none of my business, and it is a chance for me to come from my highest nature and intended values.

We are hardwired for both connection and protection. It’s the way of life. The fact that someone else may be defended against me does not preclude my choice for connection. They may not engage. But I still can choose to hold them in my heart and I get to stay open. Or at least choose to reopen. And that for me is liberation.

And so I was gifted today by a chance encounter with someone who doesn’t like me. There was in actuality nothing chance about it. It was a Divine appointment. I felt the pullback in the other, and I stayed present. I engaged respectfully, and I didn’t force too much deliberate interaction. I stayed with the genuine affection I hold this person in, and I didn’t waver. I felt a softening in them, and I internally smiled at that moment. But that was not the goal. My goal was to personally stay open and connected and true to what is most precious in my heart. Their choices are none of my business. My business is to love them as is.

Thursday, February 9, 2017


Though growing older is often associated with limitation and a shrinking sphere of experience I am not personally finding that to be the case at all. There are certainly things that I used to be able to do physically that I can no longer do. There were a number of years when I averaged seven to ten dance classes per week while also hoofing it in eight performances of a musical. That seems a long time ago now for sure. My pace may have slowed but I am gratefully more present to what I am choosing to do, and the decreased speed has heightened my attention to the wonders I am sure I used to race right by.

I have found that rather than contracting into a shrinking world my interior experience in particular has become deepened, broadened, and heightened. I recall my late mother lamenting how her world had become mostly the world of her recliner and her television set. Part of that was her declining health for sure. As I have aged I have lost the desire to constantly be doing something or going somewhere, and that has little to do with the capabilities of my body. I tire from too much constant stimulation, not physical exertion. I relish opportunities to sit and to simply stare. To contemplate life from the sweet vantage point of my open, engaged heart and my very vital attention and imagination. I can now watch a bird bathing or a butterfly flower dancing for as long as they remain in my line of vision. I can now experience far more from the chair in my Florida room than I ever did in my high speed New York lifestyle.

My interior experience is growing more intimate, more curious, more fascinating with each passing day. I have found something I didn’t even know I was looking for; I have found a friendly inner environment in and from which to live. I really like being in here. I am at home in myself. I am coming to know myself better and to love myself more. My world is expanding because the experience in here is expanding. I am welcoming what is occurring. I have finally come to peace with what is. I have little to prove anymore. I am no longer compelled to run around achieving. Whether I am traveling afar or at home in my favorite chair the primary experience is an internal one.

I am still quite active for sure. But I no longer need to be. There is nothing to outrun anymore. My ever-expanding world is the world within. And I am so grateful to be happy here in now.

Thursday, February 2, 2017


It is only in retrospect that I recognize the incredible threshold for pain I seem to have been born with. Or at least so it seems. From this perspective in consciousness I marvel at the decades I spent living in a self-inflicted and agonizing story of diminishment and unworthiness. I literally lived inside of a just out of awareness container of self-reproach and self-loathing. Oddly enough it was so pervasive that it has given me a firm and deep knowing of the power of Grace. The fact that I still managed to have some level of happiness and success is only a God-thing. Of course there is also the issue of heavy self-medicating which is beyond the scope of this reflection.

The ability to tolerate great levels of physic pain resulted in the fact that it took longer for me to be brought to my knees than perhaps it would have without this threshold. I finally did crumble, and it was the most important day of my life. The pain finally broke me open. I deeply considered suicide but realized that it would devastate those who loved me and for me it would at a level be redundant. And so the breaking open was liberation day for me. Or it was at least the beginning of my liberation. It was the start of a great deal of inner work and spiritual devotion. I had a lot to move through and to unknot. A lot to look deeply into and a lot to reclaim as I realized they were my own issues projected out. It was far from easy. Here the expansive pain threshold served me well. But here I didn’t deaden, deny, or avoid any of it. Or at least not for very long. I was committed to going deep. It was my highest priority. And it has resulted in leading me to my greatest joy.

So as I look at the deep level of individual and collective pain being so profoundly displayed within our world and I know that it is a result of the collective pain threshold finally crumbling and caving in. I know something powerful is afoot. I know it is time for people to take back the personal power that is the God-given right of every living being. I know that just as it happened in my own life a transformation is in process. I know that the pain will give way to meaning, the suffering to greater purpose. I am lending my knowing to that which I am witnessing. I am holding a space for all of this pain. I can do that because I am on the other side of what happened for me. I am not pain free by any means. But my threshold has softened and my capacity to be what is increased. And I know deeply that pain is not an enemy. It is a doorway through which we are invited to pass into greater expressions of freedom and liberty.

I know this because freedom and liberty are where I largely live today. And so I look out from that place within me and bless the pain I see and feel as a force that is leading to a demonstration of what is seeking to be.

It’s time. The pain is telling us so.