Thursday, August 24, 2017


From this sixty year old perspective I sometimes look wistfully back on what feel like a whole lot of lost opportunities. It feels as if there were so many wasted years in which I was lost in my own limiting story. I lived years with a closed, protected heart. I always felt like I was here on this planet to serve and to make a difference. But I was too fearful, too cut off, to hidden to really be effective. There was an internal battle being waged between what was seeking expression within me and how willing or capable I was to be seen and heard and really felt.

And so I hid. I medicated in countless ways, pretended, defended, and played small while acting big. I deadened in so many ways and then wondered why I couldn’t feel the Love I believed my Source to be. I tried to look as good as possible. I tried to sound good, make good, and pretend I was good, all the while covering over what did not in any way feel good to me.

Years ticked by and opportunities to love were lost. I lived stretched by a tension, by a deep and continuing call to release the shroud of protection and to then step up and out in what was essential and authentic inside of me. As much as I wanted to do just that the fear was often paralyzing.

And then one day a crack in the armor began what was to be my great unveiling. I began to deeply examine how I had been living. I began to be gifted with the courage needed to go into the interior places that most needed my caring attention. I began to reclaim all the disowned parts of myself. I took back my projections and got honest about the people and circumstances I blamed for my self-induced torment.

I asked bigger questions and my life got bigger. I re-evaluated my priorities and prayerfully sought the strength to live by what I discovered matters most. I fearfully yet consistently began to allow myself to be seen, heard, and felt. I risked exposure. I became less and less defended. I became willing to love first, to love beyond return or condition. I found hidden beneath all of the deadening a life that was seeking to serve as love. Beneath the pretense was the presence I had always longed to become and to serve.

I do not love perfectly, no, far from it. Yet I know it is what matters most. I know it is my purpose. Now when the fear arises I rarely reach for one of the old compensating reactions. I bring an acceptance to the fear that softens it without deadening it. My goal isn’t to never fear. My goal is to love beyond the fear. To not let fear prevent me from serving, giving, being the love I know I am meant to be. The ability to be with my own fear allows me to stay with and to compassion yours.

I guess this awareness and this increased capacity to love and to serve are the currency that turns those lost years into the price I paid to reopen. What feels lost is now a literal part of my spiritual gain. It took what it took. I look back with a tear and a smile. I look back with a determination to never hide in those ways again.

And I look forward with a stunning clarity about what matters most to me. I am here to love. I am here to open and yes, to close, and to reopen again and again in love. I am here to be imperfectly perfect in a state of essential, authentic love. To waste no more time in hiding or pretending or defending. Whatever time I may have left will be spent in service of love.

And that is what matters most.

Thursday, August 17, 2017


In an age of internet and social media the ability to join energies and co-create experience is profound. And it could well be my undoing.

With an increasing barrage of information and energy it is a full time job to stay awake and present. Chaotic forces are blurring the mind and shuttering the heart. This is happening at the macro level and has a direct effect within every living micro-being.

As dualistic humans we have an equal opportunity to generate either darkness or light. We are receivers and transmitters both. Everything in manifest creation is energy, and so energy is always moving and being transformed. This can happen as darkness being transformed to Light, and it also happens as Light being drawn to darkness. The current predominant force in collective human consciousness is fear and darkness. It is grief. It is disconnection. This is our suffering. And at the highest level it is my opportunity for choice.

I feel the waves of fear, darkness, grief, and disconnection moving within me. I see manifestations of them everywhere. I hear their voices all around me. I see them posting themselves, their veracity going viral. As I allow the free movement of these energies within me I move into conscious relationship with them. They are not what I am. They are not what you are. And there is an enormous identification with them for the masses. Some are fighting for them, and some are fighting against them. There is a ferocious level of fight.

It is seductive to join in the fight. And it is the fight impulse that is increasing the energy fed into the objects of attention. I become what I fight against. I join my energies into the fear and darkness. The greater potential is that I also become what I take a stand for. Same dynamic. Radically different outcome.

And so I feel these energies and I lean into the feel. I relate to the energy, and not to what I think is sourcing it. I attend to the places it tends to lock in me. I reclaim my transferences and projections. I become a conduit for these energies to be transmuted.

I am willing for this chaotic time in history to undo me. Yes, I am willing to be undone.

I am willing to see and feel the effects of my own programming. I am willing to take responsibility for the energy I am putting into the field. I am willing to have the True Source shine through me and to extend Its Light into all of this fear, darkness, grief, and disconnect. I am willing to allow my Being to be a beacon.

So every wave I feel, every post I read, every fight I see is a miraculous possibility for me to contribute peace. It is an opportunity for me to shine the Light and to spread the love. It is a chance for me to use my place within the One to generate and to give Sourced energy.

In so doing my sense of separation is diminished and my conscious doing is in actuality my ego-undoing. My autonomy becomes an opening to intimacy. My every moment becomes my contribution. I choose how I show up and what I transmit.

So unknot me, life. Undo me now. I am stand for Light, compassion, love, and peace. I am stand for what I ultimately am.

Thursday, August 10, 2017


The Academy Award winning song from the movie Frozen is looping through my consciousness today. While its singer Idina Menzel is one of my favorites I never saw the movie nor do I have a recording of the song Let It Go. And yet it is informing my inner environment today, and so I embrace that it is in some way a message meant for me.

Or is it?

To think in terms of trying to let something go indeed freezes me. It just isn’t a helpful admonition for me personally. It invokes a bit of the dear-in-headlights dynamic. Whenever my mind goes to the concept of letting go I immediately feel an increased level of stress regarding whatever the current stimulus is. Seeking to let something go is like tightening a vice grip while also turning up the resistance. For me letting go is yet another control device in an over packed psychic tool bag.

As I type these words I hear the faint serenade of Idina in the background of my awareness. “Let it go, let it go: can’t hold it back anymore…”

While letting go often feels futile for me I can most certainly let it be. I can bring an allowing and compassionate attention to what is before me. I can feel into the impulse of wanting to push away what is not preferred. I can choose to stay with that impulse, doing nothing to engage it. I can breathe into the resistance, allowing the energy to be and so to expand and soften. I can let go of the grip for sure, and I can let be the subsequent freeing relationship.

When I truly choose to let be a grace-filled activity always begins to move gently within me. I surrender the notion that I know what needs to be let go. I surrender the illusion that I am ever in control. As I surrender in faith I can let everything and anything simply be as it is. And the result is always peace. The result is always freedom. The result is always ease.

And so today I let it go by simply letting it be. I let go the idea that of myself I know what is best for me or anyone around me. I let go the concept that I know what I really even need to let go of. I let go of trying to let it go.

In letting be a whole new level of Power is revealed. And it is that Power that I will not hold back anymore.

I am letting be in peace, in calm, in faith. It thaws the frozen places of resistance, and I am grateful. And I think Idina just might agree.

Thursday, August 3, 2017


As much as social media can sometimes be off-putting it is also frequently a valuable source of information. Such was the case this week when I happened to see an obituary posted for my high school choral director Mr. Stillings. I am fully aware of his first name and yet forty two years after graduation it still doesn’t feel seemly to use it in reference to him. He is still and always my teacher and one of my first mentors; my Mr. Stillings.

I began singing at an early age, and had already recorded a gospel album by the time I was fifteen. When I got into high school I was a pre-college arts major, heavily involved in the schools vocal music programs. Though I had already been singing professionally for some time before my placement audition I froze when asked to sing for Mr. Stillings. It was only scales, but my pulse raced and my throat clutched. Mr. Stillings was polite and kind and placed me in the first tenor sections of the choir, men’s choir, and vocal ensemble.

My second year the school had selected Oklahoma as the spring musical production. The ensemble was singing through the score prior to auditions and I was apparently belting out the familiar tunes with more unreserved gusto than I realized. I barely noticed that Mr. Stillings was peering over the top of the spinet piano with a quizzical look on his face, even as he continued to perfectly play the score without missing a note.

After the session Mr. Stillings asked to speak to me. “Where did that come from?” I felt the creeping up of the internal freeze as he asked the question with an indeterminate intensity. “What,” I asked? “That voice” he said. “Where have you been hiding that beautiful voice?”

I can feel the question to this day. It wasn’t that anyone had never complimented my singing before. But I held Mr. Stillings in high musical regard and I had feared what his assessment might be of my musical capabilities.

“You need to stop hiding that voice and use it. You have it for a reason. And I will expect you to fully use it from here on out.”

I was then cast as the male lead of Oklahoma, a role I never got to play as the result of an emergency knee surgery. But the gift had been given and the lesson had been learned. It was the first time I realized that any talents I might possess are given to me to be fully given. Hiding and withholding my gifts dishonors the Great Creator and the very act of ongoing creation. I am here to shine forth with the radiance of God in whatever form that may take.

As a result of Mr. Stillings counsel I went on to sing out loud for many years. I had many wonderful directors, teachers, and coaches during that time. But it was his affirmation that propelled me forward into a musical and entertainment career. Modest as that career was, it reflected the admonition of my mentor who had the courage and wisdom to confront me in my hiding.

Even as I type these words I realize that when I left the entertainment industry to engage in full time ministry I have once again been mostly hiding my musical gifts. Hearing that Mr. Stillings is now gone from the earth re- ignites his advice within my heart. I can see and feel him looking over his spinet and into my soul. His question lands differently now. “Where did that come from?” The voice and the passion came from Source. The loving prod came from Mr. Stillings.

I will sing again, Mr. Stillings. With whatever voice I have left I will not hide. Music is a gift of the Creator, and I will sing for It and for you. I will sing to thank you and to honor you, to keep your teachings alive and active in me. I know your influence is singing in countless other grateful students.

And I know you sing on as well.