Monday, November 5, 2007

A Prayer for Thanksgiving and Healing

I just received the monthly newsletter from LightSong School of Shamanic Studies. You will find a link to the School in the column to the left under “Links.” Jan, the school founder and director, tells of a shamanic prayer of thanksgiving that has come down from the Iroquois people through several sages. She offers a full version personalized by one of her associates on the LightSong website. Jan then offers her own version of the prayer for thanksgiving. I urge you all to read the prayer and relate it to your own life, your loved ones, and your world. I think you will experience, as did I, a wonderful healing energy and a cleansing of your soul. Following with the prayer through November should make it an incredible month of positive change.

You may also be interested in other classes and activities offered by Jan, whom I highlighted in the former Whole Life Development newsletter.

You can paste this URL in the address line of your browser to go directly to the LightSong website: The November newsletter may not be posted to her website at this time, but will shortly, so check back. The full text of the Thanksgiving Prayer by Deb Scrivens, Jan's associate is posted on this site.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Rising Tide

The other day a good friend forwarded an email item to me that was exactly what I needed at the time. As you who have email know, there is no lack of articles, jokes, opinions, and etc., which seem to arrive every few minutes in our mail. Most them I either delete quickly or scan to see if there is something unique or timely that interests me. What I received was “Has Anyone Told You . .?” I watched the video several times, each time feeling more connected to special people in my life.

Later, as I lay down for a brief nap, the video again came to mind and I thought about thanking the person who sent it to me for brightening my day as it did. One thought led to another and suddenly I found myself thinking about how many folks seem afraid or embarrassed to let someone know they have been particularly helpful. Somehow they may think that if they confess that they needed the uplift that the other person may think of them as weak or needy. As I continued to explore the thought the old saying came to mind: “A rising tide lifts all boats.” One thought tumbled after another and I realized that whenever we find a way to be helpful to someone we are raising the tide of consciousness that begins to lift the consciousness of everyone. Each time we accept the blessing someone sends our way, we are letting our boat of consciousness rise with the tide.

Another way of saying this is from Jesus: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” (John 12:32) We are social beings and we are meant to share with one another in a multiplicity of ways. Sometimes the sharing is comfort and strength. Sometimes we offer understanding or patience as a friend seeks a better way of living his/her life. Other times we may be the one who brings what appears to be a harsh presentation of the “cold facts.” Jesus acted in all of these roles. Essentially, He was always whatever the moment required. He fed the hungry, healed the sick, raised the dead, and forgave sins. Jesus stood as a prime example how a rising tide (uplifted spiritual consciousness) raised all boats (individual consciousness of Truth) to a greater expression of their potential.

So, when my friend helped lift my consciousness into a greater sense of all-encompassing love, it gave me the opportunity to continue the process for others. Now love is making the rounds to those who can receive it. There are no conditions. You either accept being loved or you don’t. You love others or you don’t. It seems to me that as we pass on the spirit of love we are like the rising tide lifting others. When we are so apparently bereft of feeling loved we are like the low tide that often leaves those around us feeling somewhat like a boat resting on the mud flats. A new tide will come inevitably, but will you rise to the occasion? Will you accept that you are loved? Will you dare to express that love to others?

I encourage you to view this video: (

Saturday, October 20, 2007


(This article originally appeared in the WLLC blog on January 26, 2006)

Eckhart Tolle wrote a marvelous little book that would make a powerful personal life manual for each of us—Practicing The Power of Now. (New World Library; ) The book is based on his best selling book, The Power of Now. As you might assume the focus of his writing is upon really being in the present moment. Often we think we are in the moment because we are doing something. The truth is we are only in the moment when we are free of anything that draws our attention to the past (remembering) or to the future (wanting to be somewhere other than where we are).

Major religions all teach the power of being in the NOW. Yet being free of time appears to be most difficult to do. Eckert Tolle says, When every cell of your body is so present that it feels vibrant with life, and when you can feel that life every moment as the joy of Being, then it can be said that you are free of time. To be free of time is to be free of the psychological need of the past for your identity and the future for your fulfillment. It represents the most profound transformation of consciousness that you can imagine. Being in the Now is thoroughly experiencing right now, free of the past in every sense and not depending upon some hoped-for future. It is only in this Now moment that reality, real living is experienced.

As important as the past may be in bringing you to this Now moment, in truth it is a series of Now moments. Full attention to where you are right now makes the fullest use of Now and will automatically become the next powerful Now moment..

Monday, October 15, 2007

It Would Be Good For You To Hear This

Remember that time you heard or read something that really struck you as important and you said to yourself, “I need to tell (so and so) about this”? I have had many times like that. Many of my books are so underlined and color highlighted that it is like looking at a rainbow to thumb through them. I have recorded lectures and workshops I attended because I was sure that some good friend or relative “really needed to hear this.”

I still feel that way when something particularly meaningful comes along. However, long ago I realized that when I had those thoughts the first person that really needed to hear them was me! Of course, that does not mean the thoughts would not be helpful to others I might have in mind, but the primary person had to be me. I am the one at the workshop. I am the one reading the book. Besides, how can I really know what the other person needs?

Mistakes can easily be made in communication with others if we operate under the assumption that they are needy and that their lives would be so much better if they would just listen to us! Even when we think we know absolutely that a friend or family member is heading down a path that will lead to disappointment, frustration or unhappiness, it is not our responsibility to “save” them. If it is not our job to share with others the information we think they must hear, then how do we help those whose paths are, for the time, paralleling ours?

Well, this lesson is so old and so familiar that it has probably lost its savor and therefore is easily passed over in our eagerness to help. That lesson is simply this:

What you do speaks so loud I cannot hear what you say.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Or “You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.” (Joel Goldsmith)

I know just how silly this may sound. However, as you examine what it means to set an example, you see immediately how much work is involved in that process! Think about the people who have impressed you throughout your life--your parents, teachers, mentors. More often than not it is not what they said, rather how they lived and who they were that sticks in your mind. There was an essence about the person that simply inspired you to want to be like him or her or apply yourself as they did.

I have had a number of people like that in my life. They are people who had a lot to say and I listened to be sure. But it is the totality of their lives that influenced me most. I don’t know that I ever left a workshop feeling like I wanted to emulate the facilitator, or read a book and decided I want to be like the author. There is so much more to be aware of if we are to teach and learn.

My mentors were not perfect specimens of humanity necessarily. Often they seemed like a flower surrounded by thorns! One particularly important person in my life was capable of expressing a terrible temper and a scathing verbal attack under certain circumstances. At the same time that person had a deeper sense of total love than I have known in most other persons. Now, in my later years, I am even more aware of that love than when I was younger and we had more interaction. He is no longer here physically and I miss him. The love he embodied and the powerful energy sometimes expressed in anger in order to get my attention will always be with me. Tears come to my eyes even now as I respect the tremendous gift he is to me by the life he lived.

Sure, maybe something we heard or experienced could be helpful to someone we care about. If we really care, we need to be certain that our life shows that caring and is not simply words. Seek to love freely and without conditions as much as possible. Remember to separate behavior from the person. It is the person you care about. Behaviors can and will change as better ways of living are recognized. A light in the darkness cannot beat a person into following it. Neither can it be put out by inattention. The light simply is what it is. Let your life be a light on the path for others, but remember, you cannot force them to walk in that light. Just being there provides an opportunity. It is up to you to love what is, to love the person and trust the Truth within that person. As you do this you have provided the best opportunity for change and success.

Monday, October 8, 2007

The “Conditions” of “Unconditional Love”

Let me state at the outset there really are no conditions, yet we consider time, place, person, merit and a variety of other things as important in deciding to love someone. Even to say “regardless” of such and such is a condition.

I have been examining the concept of unconditional love a great deal in the last several months. My immediate family is a complete dysfunctional disaster! Member by member it has broken apart. Under the supposed auspices of “tough love” or “unconditional love” (with conditions) children have been thrown out into the world, parents have been disparaged and maligned. A total lack of effort to understand another or consider a situation from the other person’s viewpoint, has led to fragmentation.

As I look at my “family” now I realize it really does not exist in any real form. It is not simply that geographically we are spread all over the country. It is more the gulfs of discontent and hurt feelings that separate us. I have pretty much determined that I no longer have any family. I do not expect a change from my daughter and it is highly unlikely that my son will feel any further connection with me. I realize that these negative attitudes can be self-fulfilling and am working on transforming them into something positive. I constantly try to “listen” to the suggestions by my therapist about only taking actions or saying things that best model appropriate parental behavior. In other words, what best exemplifies the way a parent can support his/her children without at the same time giving up any sense of drawing a line over which they cannot pass in their emotional abuse. To what degree can I exhibit positive behavior and still feel safe in relationship with them?

On numerous occasions—on a daily basis—I have attempted to find the words to tell my children how much I love them, but after only a few sentences I find myself relying on the “conditions” for loving them. I have not resolved this and that is part of why I cannot yet write the letter expressing my love for them. I am still acutely afraid of the rejection and the ridicule that most likely would be sent my way, whether actually or only in their own minds.

What are some of the conditions that I find myself expressing? I suspect I am not alone in recognizing some of these. The biggie for many of us is determining who is at fault. “I could forgive you if only you would admit what you did was wrong.” Or perhaps it goes like this, “If you would quit blaming your upbringing for your not feeling loved, you would see that you are loveable.” Maybe for you it is, “If you were just a little more patient you might understand me better. Or, “If you would just try to communicate without judging me.”

These are just a few of the conditions that may be limiting our ability to express love unconditionally. Loving someone is just THAT! Love IS. It is that feeling of connection that transcends reasons. The minute we love someone BECAUSE, we have placed a condition upon that love. If the cause for loving them changes, then what about the love based upon that cause? You can see immediately, I hope, how complex the issue of loving unconditionally can be. However, the complexity is not in the concept, but in the interpretations and conditions we place upon the expression of the concept.

In my heart I am clear about loving my children, for example, without any conditions. In my heart that is relatively easy. As I look at my experiences with my son and daughter I realize that much of the water that has gone under the bridge in our relationships has been murky, sometimes flowing freely and other times stuck in the endless eddies that just keep going around in circles. For one reason or another we seem to get stuck in some memory or frustration or unfulfilled hopes and dreams. Breaking free of these backwater eddies is not usually accomplished by pretending we are not stuck. Often it takes a flash flood of some kind to break us loose from those limiting conditions. Even then, if we do not take advantage of the new freedom by changing our outlook, seeking to improve our state of mind and being, we can easily fall back into the eddies of limitation before we know it.

I continue my effort to understand and fully express unconditional love in all of my relationships with others, but in particular with my children. I will continue my efforts to put into words the essence of my unconditional love so I can tangibly share it with them when the time is right. I will remind myself daily that there are no conditions for unconditional love.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Usefulness Vs. Uselessness

(This article originally appeared Monday, February 13, 2006 in the WLLC blog.)

I am not entirely sure where I am going with this thought, but it occurred to me while I was in a vulnerable space and it just hung onto my brain cells. The way it hit me was that many folks at times feel themselves to be “useless.” They may feel that way because they feel unappreciated, underutilized or simply out of step with whatever is going on in their lives at the time. It is a decidedly different feeling than one of usefulness, where you do feel appreciated and participatory in what is going on.

What I have come to realize is that both feelings are self-generated. They are not externally imposed upon us, even if we are awakened to those feelings by something someone has said or done “to” us. Each of us has a choice in the way we respond to situations and conditions in our lives. Too often, however, we feel put upon. We simply will not rise above feelings of uselessness or unworthiness as long as we place the control over those emotions in the hands of someone else.

It is difficult to face ourselves realistically at times. We may fear that to admit to a lack of understanding about an issue, or a difference of opinion will somehow make us a lesser person in the eyes of someone whose opinion we value. So, we begin to think that maybe, just maybe, we aren’t as up to snuff as we thought we were. This pattern of thought, if maintained, inevitably leads us to despair and self-deprecation—uselessness.

The truth is we are not useless. We are spiritual beings. We do have a purpose and we can discover that purpose and bring it into fruition. Take back the reigns that control the direction of your life. Recognize your positive traits and skills. Recognize your vision, your faith. When you begin this positive journey, you will feel support from all directions. Believe in yourself and others will believe in you as well.

Follow up: September 19, 2007

When I reviewed some of my past writings and came to the one above, I realized how appropriate it is to my current situation. The first thing I realized was that it shows that once we overcome some issue in our lives, or come to understand it better, we are not necessarily finished with it. Sometimes the same or very similar issues arise that remind us we still have work to do.

Such was the case for me when I recently met with my counselor. I was confronted with the realization that I had allowed myself to express a preemptive “dig” at someone in order to put up a “protective” shield against being hurt again by the person with whom I had been experiencing frustration and helplessness (a type of uselessness!).

This is an example of how we can let our fears lead us into actions that only exacerbate the original problem. Such fears seem so real to us that we actually believe we are unloved and undeserving of being valued as a person. When we feel that way, we try to “protect” ourselves from hurt through any means available. This is how we self-generate the feelings of uselessness.

No matter how much we think another person may feel we are undeserving, we must regain the true image of ourselves. Sometimes it may take the support of a friend or family member, or a counselor for us to remember we are spiritual beings. Our purpose is to express the highest and best that is within us; the love, understanding and forgiveness—of self and others—of which we are capable. The power of our spiritual self never leaves us, though we may, for a time, neglect it and fail to acknowledge it. It is like a darkened room suddenly exposed by the turning on of the light switch. Now everything that was already there is revealed. Our willingness to believe in ourselves is the switch that illumines our soul revealing our spiritual power and strength. I am reaching for that switch right now!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Between Darkness And Light

The magnificent hand of the Master now gently withdraws, and before your very eyes you are watching the disappearance of night and the silent transformation of the awakening day. A sparkling layer of morning dew now gently blankets the grass, the flower petals and leaves and glistens silently on the cars and the car windows.
These glistening droplets are displaying the magnificent sunlight playing upon the infinite amount of tiny iridescent crystal balls. Slowly, you walk through the dew-covered grass, feeling that rarefied gift of the night air that will soon evaporate in the full light of the sun. Inhaling slowly and consciously it is almost as if you are drinking in the magical elixir formed in the boundary between darkness and light.
Did you know that it is said that the morning dew is believed to be tears from heaven, and yet in another story we are told that the droplets are poured from the vessel of the goddess of dawn. When you see the earth draped with these shimmering drops, it is easy to imagine the tiny fairies bathing in the water, or a sky god weeping from a longing to be closer to his beloved earth goddess. Seeing the sparkling beauty of the earth emerging from the quiet darkness, you may better understand this longing in terms of your own gratitude; how blessed you are to be alive.
Perhaps heaven really does long to be recognized here on earth, and perhaps that is why you are here right now. . Be the conduit between the divine and the earthbound. Drink in the sweet morning dew with your eyes, your skin, your breath and imagine that it is really a magical potion, a gift from heaven, a reminder of your true purpose, and your daily opportunity to be transformed.
Filling all of the tiny crystal balls with love, watch as they now drift off into the unknown, filled with your love to reach out and bless the world all around you. You and God and the early morning dew have now kissed your entire planet, sharing your love, sharing your longing to feel the presence of oneness, of peace and serenity.
There is now no longer a space between the darkness and light, no duality, no separation. Breathing in gently this feeling be here now and accept this blessed gift of your true oneness with all creation. You never were and you never are separate. You are never alone. Your magnificence sparkles brighter than the glistening crystal balls that have filled your vision, freshened your skin with the kiss of the sweet dew drops and are now the twinkle alive in your eyes. You are now, as you always were created to be, perfect, whole and free . . .and so it is.

This article by Nomi Sweetfire is based on an idea first presented in “Daily Om,” a daily meditation web site. We have referenced the site under our “Links” in the left column.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Feeling The Funk

This article was originally posted on the Whole Life Learning Center Blog on Thursday, April 20, 2006

This is going to be one of those rambling moments. You know about them, don’t you? It is a time when you feel something stirring within you but it has not yet taken a form recognizable by distinct feelings or specific words of description. I know something is evolving within me, around me. I feel certain that it is positive. I feel, too, that there may be pain involved. I understand that in some ways growth is a painful prospect. Our muscles experience some pain as we stretch them and exercise them until they gain the next level of development. Then the path is smooth until the next surge of growth comes about. Growth in understanding seems to come that way as well. We may flounder around in our effort to understand what is going on in our lives. We experience the pain of frustration, rebuke, maybe even failure. Then as the “muscles” of our mind begin to get used to stretching to new considerations there is a kind of “Ah Ha!” that hits us. We now are in a better position to understand why we are where we are. We have a glimpse into our new realization of power over our lives at that moment. Things begin to feel better. It is easier to love and be loved. It is more comfortable to enter new social experiences. We may find a new thrust of enthusiasm about our work, whether it is a job we go to each day, or work in our garden designing a new flowerbed. I guess my point is that when we feel we are in a funk, that things are fuzzy and our path is unclear, we must find the will to press on. Flex the muscles of your mind and heart with faith and confidence that you are moving forward to new plateaus of satisfaction, understanding and success. Each effort will be easier than the prior one. The result inevitably is strength and accomplishment. So, press on I will. I hope you will as well.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Emotional History and God’s Timing

I came across two short, but meaningful, writings a while ago when I first began seeking to find a way to deal with emotional loss in a relationship. I hope you will find the ideas as helpful as I did in my effort to reframe the references of my mind and heart. I apologize for not having the author information of "God's Timing." If any of you recognize it and can provide the information, I will add it. Thanks!

Now You See It, Now You Don’t

God leads me to still waters
That restore my spirit – Psalm 23

It doesn’t take very long for each of us to accumulate an emotional history. A child burns her hand on a stove and a fear of fire begins; in a tender moment, a hand is slapped and a fear of love begins. Our emotional associations and reflexes run deep. Often, the heart breathes beneath all our associations like a soft, sandy bottom waiting underwater.

Thus, to see ourselves clearly, we must try to still our associations till we are as transparent as a calm lake. When still enough and clear enough, others can also see through to our bottom. It makes love possible again. But paradoxically, when someone is moved to reach for us, their fingers stir things up, sending ripples everywhere, and we and they can often lose sight of what matters.

All this affirms the need to stay with our feelings long enough for the emotional associations—the ripples—to settle. No one can escape this. No matter how young or old you may be, no matter how innocent or experienced you are, if you’ve been awake and alive and in any kind of relationship that has in any way been real, your waters will stir, your emotions will ripple. It seems the only way we can truly know our own depth is to wait for our associations and reflexes to subside, till we are clear as a lake again. Only when what gets stirred up settles can we see ourselves and each other clearly.

Breathe slowly, and allow your agitations of heart to come and go with each breath.
Breathe steadily, and try to outwait your reflexes to be angry or anxious or envious or resentful.
Breathe evenly, and with each exhalation try to feel the depth of heart that waits below.

-- From “Book of Awakening” by Mark Nepo

God’s Timing

When the lip is cut, no matter how, the need to heal makes us chew slower, and drink to one side. It makes us speak only when we have something to say. These are not bad things.

When the mind is cut, by a truth too sharp to hold, it makes us bleed the things we cling to. If lucky, we bleed the things that no longer work.

When the self others have sealed us in is cut, it lets us escape with only what we were given at birth.

While there are terrible ways to be opened, there is no such thing as a bad opening. It’s all about God’s timing. Not open enough and we fester. Open too long and we become a wound.

If you speed up how a flower blooms, it appears to be escaping. If you slow down the way a crisis explodes what we know, it appears we are transforming.

Hard as it is to embrace, crises are flowers opening what we refuse to open by ourselves.
- - 0 - -

Many thanks to a long-time friend who shared these insightful writings with me. How fortunate we are to have such friends. They walk with us free of judgment, filled with understanding, and supportive of the best within us that we may lose sight of in the rippled waters of our life.
-- Dan Perin

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Are We Children of Our Children?

I had one of those WOW moments the other day as I was talking with a long-time friend about our relationships with our children. She had just returned from visiting her daughter, who is a very successful professional. She had experienced a lack of clarity in her conversations with her daughter. The daughter seemed impatient and unwilling to talk about the unpleasantness both felt.

My friend called me, first to inquire about my well-being, since she was aware of the difficulty I was having with my own children, especially my son. Then she shared her own experience with her daughter and asked the question, rhetorically, “Why do they act this way toward us?”

As we mature and as our bodies change, becoming a little less agile, hearing a little less clearly, and our responses generally a little slower, we may be seen differently by our children. While we were raising them we may have been seen as all-powerful, all knowing and as a protecting refuge from the difficulties of life. Now, suddenly, our own vulnerabilities are exposed. Where we may have been seen as strong, now we appear weak. Where we appeared to be wise, we may now be seen as foolish. Our children may not be prepared for this. Unconsciously, most children realize the time will come when their parents begin to decline in some ways. I suspect, however, that there are few who are really ready for it when it happens.

As I look back on the last years of my mother’s life, especially after I had asked her to move in with me so I could better provide some care where she needed it, I now realize I was unprepared for the experience. My sense of who she was and how she had managed her life and provided for her children turned out to be quite different from who she was now. Or, was it that I just didn’t know her as I thought I did? Without attempting to judge her or myself it is clear that I was impatient because she could not seem to respond as I expected her to. She was not able to do or be at that late stage in her life the same as in younger years. I was not clear about these changes and I just did not manage well the effect that brought about in our relationship.

There is an inverse scale to the relationship between adult children and aging parents. As the child matures into his or her own life the parent is beginning to experience a decline. At the crossing point of these two lifelines everything is still copasetic. However, at the same time our experiences begin to grow apart and differences begin to appear. I do not think this is as fully understood by either the parent or the child as may be necessary if challenges in the relationship are to be successfully handled.

That WOW moment that I experienced was this realization: Our children suddenly feel they are “raising” us and they are impatient because we are no longer, in their minds, who they thought we were. We are not perfect. We are not invincible. Even though we may be functioning perfectly well for our own lives, we may not be seen that way by our children, who now have their own value system, their own priorities, and their own needs for fulfillment. These will inevitably be different from our own.

For me, it was a moment of enlightenment that helped me to understand not only my relationship to my mother, but also my relationship to my son. Though I cannot be certain as to what is going on in his own mind in this regard, it seems clear to me through our discussions (or lack of them), that the measure of his impatience and critical view of my behavior is largely influenced by the “sudden” realization that I am not who he thought I was. I am in some degree of natural decline, which he may not be prepared for or willing to accept. My own values and priorities may not be what he assumed they were. It is also true that his emerging values and priorities are not what I assumed they were. This changes the whole dynamic of a relationship. For the relationship to survive there must be a willingness to consider these possibilities and to find ways to communicate about them. As these differences develop without the benefit of conversations we may be getting farther apart than we realize until some strategic event explodes in our faces.

We need to understand the broader issue of individual growth and our growth as a society. If our children do not surpass us in their understanding, in compassion and in creativity, then our whole world experiences the beginning of a decline. As parents we must let our children be who they are becoming. The major period of our influence over them may well be past and they must build upon the foundation they have been given. At the same time our children must realize that we, as their parents, are now in the process of taking on the next phase of our lives—enjoying the fruits of our labors, seeking new freedoms to do things differently than we might have been able to do as we raised our children.

Just because we are 60, 70 or 80 years of age or older, we are not necessarily through learning or growing or enjoying life. We may simply be finding different ways of doing that. Certainly our relationship as children and parents can continue to develop positively into these new life conditions. It does require an awakening individually to who we are becoming and who our parents/children are becoming and a willingness to accept those changes.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

You Are Greater Than You Know!

Every aspect of creation inherently knows what it IS. It instinctively knows what its PURPOSE is. From the macrocosmic aspects of the universe—the stars, planets, galaxies—to the microcosmic aspects of the individual part—the atoms, molecules, sub-atomic particles—each aspect is an important, functional part of the WHOLE.

Because every aspect inherently knows what it IS and what its PURPOSE is there is an intelligent functioning that creates harmony and order, whether consciously known in total by the individual aspects or not. When any individual aspect of creation begins to become aware of its GREATER and LESSOR connections its function becomes more wholistic. That is, because it knows its relationship to all other aspects, it has “more” tools with which to express itself to greater degrees.

Likewise our function as human beings becomes more wholistic as we acknowledge our place in the midst of All That Is. This broader vision takes us out of feeling limited and offers us a whole universe of options.

In the movie, The Truman Show, Jim Carey as Truman lived his whole life on a movie set believing it to be his world. Yet outside the walls was an expanded reality waiting to be explored, new opportunities he had never imagined. At the same time there were new challenges, but they could be met with the new “tools” offered in that world. There are many metaphors for life in the movie and we can take from them lessons that help us to realize there is more to life than meets our limited view. When we finally discover we are not confined to the supposed walls of our world we also discover the “exit” door leading from the movie set into our new world of possibilities.

When we exit the world of limitation, we have the opportunity to understand more about who we are in the scheme of Creation and what our greater purpose is. Sometimes we tend to diminish the cog in the wheel, using it as a metaphor for not being very important. The truth is that without the cog, the wheel as a whole does not function properly. You are an important part of what makes the universe function properly. You can step outside the walls of limited perceptions. You are greater than you know!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I Have Broken My Own Rules!

I have broken my own rules! In previous articles I have suggested we should never part from our loved ones without a hug and “I love you.” I have suggested that our last words to someone or from someone should be positive (His Last Words to Me). Another opportunity may not come about.

I broke these rules recently when circumstances were such between my son and his wife and me that there was no opportunity or willingness to hug. There was no atmosphere in which the warmth of love could be expressed.

Under these circumstances the “I love you” would have sounded hollow and may even have been ridiculed by the person toward whom I would have directed them. It would have probably been seen as hypocritical.

Now I am faced, as many of us sometimes are, with attempting to understand what I could have, should have, done differently. The path of least resistance would dictate blaming the other person in some way. Even if I were able to absolutely know that what someone else did had set in motion the breakdown of the situation, SO WHAT? Is the situation somehow improved now that I have determined who is at fault? I don’t think so!

Let there be no misunderstanding about one thing: in a disagreement between two or more persons there are always at least two sides and those sides are not necessarily right and wrong. Placing blame makes someone appear wrong even if that is not the case. So if I want to move toward reconciliation, I must drop the blame game. I may not at this time be ready to reconcile with the other persons. Still, placing blame puts reconciliation farther from my reach than if I were simply to decide to take a breather. Cool down. Take whatever time I needed—an hour or a year. But I cannot consider it really resolved until peace between us is established. This peace may require that it be defined differently than the usual meaning. Peace, as the absence of turmoil, is not good enough, ultimately. Agreeing to disagree amicably is better, but still leaves a sense of dissatisfaction. Somehow I must love what is and remember that love is only love when it is unconditional. And that is true for all parties. It is only as I can accept another for who he/she is without requiring them to meet my arbitrary standards of behavior that the playing field is level. Hopefully, the other person can look at me in that same way, but whether he/she does or not is none of my business.

I know how difficult this is going to be! I am looking at a disagreement for which my only answer at this time is to get the hell out of the way! This is what I have done. Now I can examine the results of breaking my own rules with some degree of objectivity that can come from distance. Some might say this is a cop out, and that I am not really dealing with the problem, that I am running rather than facing the issues. That may be true. However, as I said, I am not ready to deal with it any other way.

There are two other persons who are part of this issue. On the surface it would appear I cannot reconcile with one without reconciling with the other. I am far from being able to see that happen.

Reaching this apparent impasse in my relationships reveals to me that I need assistance from a third party, an objective counselor, to help bring to light aspects of my behavior I may not have recognized. Walking the road alone can be fraught with pitfalls. Where is the mirror in which I can observe who I am and how well I may be handling the attempt at resolution? While we all have marvelous inner abilities and reserves to meet every challenge, sometimes those abilities are clouded by anger, frustration and blame. Still, within each of us exist the strength to hold on where necessary and the humility to let go of the ego that fears failure. Finally, there is the unbounded love capable of embracing the God-Spirit in others without conditions.

Again, let me repeat: sometimes we are just not ready to take any outer steps toward reconciliation and resolution. At this point, it is difficult for me. I know I have to get there sometime though. Getting there may mean letting go completely of someone I love, or someone for whom I just cannot break through to sufficiently understand. Love is not so much the question here for me as acceptance. When one does not feel accepted or accepting of others there is little basis for communication among “equals.”

Anyone who is in our life at any given time may not always be there. In fact, it is most likely that folks will come and go under a variety of circumstances. We have these “connections” with others because there are things to discover about ourselves and how we can best develop our potential or assist others develop theirs. We are not equally attracted to everyone or for the same reasons. How long a person remains in our circle of relationships is not the determinate of their value or ours nor do the kind of experiences we share make either of us “good” or “bad” persons. It simply recognizes the potential opportunity in our learning process. Share and learn what you can from these relationships and move on, friend!

Moving on with help is what I am going to do now. I am trusting that I will get to that place where my mind and heart can again be open, where I can give full expression to the unconditional love needed in my family relationships. Whether this is the correct course of action for me to take at this moment, only time will tell. I know that as I continue to create my personal reality I must be positive and loving and at the same time seek to express those qualities with increased discrimination, clarity, strength and trust.

You might ask why I share this challenge with you. Every article I have written has come out my personal experience. That is what I know something about. Sometimes I do well and do it quickly and sometimes it takes longer because I don’t do as well. In any case it may be helpful to others to follow along as I learn to process these experiences and come to understand how to bring about healing. Certainly, that is my hope.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Sometimes We Have To Be Scared Into Our Beliefs

This article originally appeared in the Whole Life Learning Center Blog on September 22, 2005.

Just three weeks from the destruction and chaos of hurricane Katrina we found ourselves facing yet another one. Hurricane Rita, the third most powerful hurricane on record for this country, was targeting Galveston, the southern Texas coast and Houston.

What a contrast between the preparations for Katrina and the preparations for Rita. Maybe we have to be scared into believing that there is real power in the force of nature. Maybe we have to see what happens when we are nonchalant as opposed to actively engaged in dealing with our lives. It will seem harsh perhaps to call the residents of New Orleans nonchalant or complacent in the face of warnings to evacuate. It was not simply the residents there who were not paying attention. Look what happened with our government’s response (or lack of it!) Maybe we give too much credit to the folks of the Texas coast for planning ahead, when it was simply facing the fear of what happened with Katrina. In any case maybe it isn’t our job at all to judge either of the situations, since we were probably not in the midst of the action. Bystanders and Monday morning quarterbacks seem to always consider themselves smarter than the rest of the crowd.

I happen to be one of those persons who believes sincerely that we create our own reality. Not just the good stuff. I believe we create all of the experiences of our lives. What! You might say. What are you talking about? Surely you can’t say all those folks in New Orleans brought this upon themselves. After all, those that suffered most were those who were poor, disadvantaged and had no means of getting out of the way. Yes, somehow and in some way each of those persons were where they were because of who they were and they are who they are because of their inner belief systems, whether they were aware of those beliefs or not. Wow! I can hear the judgments coming my way already!

I suggest a source for further consideration of the subject of creating our own reality. Go to Here you will find folks who have studied this subject intensely and have witnessed in their own lives how this principle of how we create reality has worked.

Obviously, there is much to consider with this subject. I have worked with this belief system for over 50 years. Sometimes the reality of it is clearer to me than at other times, but this I know (for me) if I create my reality, I have some control over my life. If I don’t create my reality, who does?

I would love to hear your thoughts about this. --Dan

When Love Fails

This article originally appeared in the Whole Life Learning Center Blog November 4, 2005.

The scripture assures us, “Love never fails.” (I Cor. 13.8) Yet so many times in our lives we definitely feel that love has vanished, that no matter how hard we have tried we cannot find love. Hurts and disappointments of the past seem to loom larger and larger until we are completely overwhelmed. At those times we are unable to take comfort in the fact that we have been loved, that there were those who cared—and perhaps still do even though we cannot feel it.
It is impossible to know exactly what brings a person to the point where his/her life appears totally bereft of love, yet surely we do know people who are suffering in that depth of despair. Often our attempts to be of help fall on deaf ears or are met with fear and mistrust incapacitating them from accepting that help. When this happens our best hope is to stand by, but stand back. Hold the person dear in your heart of love and trust that the working of Spirit will dislodge them from being locked in loss and hopelessness.
It may seem that our choice to stand back is no help at all. When someone we care for is hurting, we want to do whatever is possible to make things better for them. And yet if the person will not or cannot respond to our efforts we may only make things worse by outwardly pushing them to do something we believe is right for them. In these matters, we ourselves must return to our own trust and faith in Spirit to move in Its own mysterious ways to bring resolution. When we fully let go and trust, then we have done our best. It is then up to the other person to proceed in the best way he/she knows how. Our hearts may ache for them to choose differently. We may absolutely believe that we know what it will take for them to overcome their challenge. In fact, we cannot know. In truth each person chooses his/her path according to their specific needs and understanding of who they are and the powers they feel they have.
No matter the path a loved one may choose our steadfast trust in the nature of the universe as a place where truth will ultimately prevail is the best support we can offer. The “truth” may not appear to be the same for every person, but beyond personal truth there is eternal Truth the understanding of which we are all seeking and which when understood in growing degrees brings peace of mind and release and healing.
Love Never Fails!