What To Do?

Today, May 31, 2020, there are people protesting in the streets throughout this country, and in the midst of this, a global pandemic is taking  place. The news is being broadcast at this time, too much to take in, too much to witness and yet there are times I am compelled.

On this day, Sunday, as my grief has taken hold, when my sadness is deep and my outrage feels unparalleled, I long to be comforted. There is something in me, the presence of God, that assures me, and I am comforted by this awareness, that is alive here and now. And yet, I still feel all that I feel as this country erupts. I must trust that this too shall pass and there is no way and actually no need for me to know when and how and all those questions that sometimes haunt me. I must have faith. 

Then there is the meantime, in the midst of, what do I need to do to move from one moment to another. Today is Sunday, I watched my beloved Rev. Michael Gott deliver his sermon from the Unity of Houston. He continues to meet me in my feeling state and support me in the consciousness that I hold to be true. 

I virtually prayed for someone after my church service, which always reminds me of the truth as I saw someone confronting their own discomfort and sense of isolation and separation. It is always healing to pray for someone else, how blessed I am to do this. 

After that I attended a meeting on zoom and had an opportunity to answer a question that was posed by the leader. The question was “What is it that you don’t want anyone to know about you”? I was put in a room with another Practitioner and gave her my response, which took  courage and yet it felt powerful and liberating. I give thanks for her willingness to listen with an open and compassionate heart. Everything that happened after that had little consequence for me.

When I got off this machine, fixed some lunch, I realized that I was overtaken again by my sadness, grief, rage and anger which was now being fueled by what took place in the meeting. Many memories had emerged, old wounds surfaced  and here I was, on a Sunday afternoon, what to do?

I chose one of the things that feeds, delights, invigorates and brings me joy… SPORTS. So I watched a show I had recorded about Steph Curry, which made me smile for 30 minutes. I love him so. 

Then I engaged in an activity that I often do, I watched a movie, “Secretariat”, which was made in 2010. I remember going to the theater in Santa Rosa to see it and crying before it even began as I recalled that day I was at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., when Secretariat won the 1973 Kentucky Derby. 

I lived in Louisville at the time, I was a social worker and during racing season in the spring, I sold hot dogs at the track. That day, those of us working our hot dog stand, drew straws to see who had to stay and who got to go see the race, I won. I went into the grandstand and watched this horse run. It was astounding breathtaking, it was magic! It took my breath away. It is said that the Derby is the most exciting 2 minutes in sport. It’s true. 

When I watched this movie today, and I have seen it many times, I was completely immersed in the story as I remembered that time in my life and at the same time I was aware of my feelings I woke up with. I felt gratitude that I knew how and what would comfort me. I am blessed to have the freedom to feel what I feel without explanation or a need to defend, explain or make sense of it. I watched as I experienced a soothing of my feeling intensity. 

My post movie activity consisted of making an appt. with my therapist for the next day and eating ice cream with fresh strawberries. My friend Molly had sent me a poem she had written in honor of George Floyd. I felt met when I read it and proceeded to write this blog. I am blessed.

Invitation:  I invite you to consider the possibility that feeling, even when it hurts, is a gateway to a deeper awareness to what is going  on within you, what is calling to be healed, to be revealed. 

Quote: Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Once Upon a Time … The Night Rob Laughed

It was mid October 1975, my son Rob had been in the burn unit of St. Francis Hospital in San Francisco for about 6 weeks, having been burned over 73% of his body in a house fire in September. He is doing remarkably well at this stage of his healing. Some patients, with less injury had already died within that 6 weeks.

On this particular night, I was allowed to touch him in places I hadn’t up until then. For the most part, I was touching the places on him, however small, which had not been burned, the right side of his face, his right arm and shoulder. As the surgeries accelerated, more and more skin was taken from the unburned areas to graft to the severely injured parts of his body, so there were less and less available places for me to access. Touch can be so incredibly healing, for all of us, no matter the situation.

Rob had experienced a surgery on his chest only a day before and as usual he was experiencing pain and an itching that is indicative of healing, which is always a good thing. This sensation was also something that really aggravated the burn patients. Rob was no exception. 

On this particular night, I’d gone out for a couple of hours, to get a break and have dinner. When I returned to the burn unit, I came into Rob’s room. It was dimly lit, he was awake and watching Star Trek. He was a great fan and remained so for many years, attending Trekkie conventions in Oakland from time to time as he grew up. 

He was on his back and a material of some kind had been put on his chest, which covered the normal dressings placed on a surgical area. This allowed him to be touched and it did not subject him to discomfort or infection. 

The nurse was standing over him and summoned to me, letting me take her place. She said I could touch his chest ever so lightly, as it was relieving the itching. I gowned and gloved myself and began to stroke his sweet body and felt so happy to be able to comfort him in this way. He was busy watching TV, I didn’t want to disturb or distract him, I began to silently weep with joy, hoping he wasn’t going to notice. After all I didn’t want to take away from what was really important to him at that moment, watching his show. 

In the midst of all this, a commercial came on about some cat food. Rob has a wonderful, quirky sense of humor and he began to laugh, ever so softly. As his body moved, I was startled, thinking something was wrong, maybe I had touched him in a vulnerable place. 

Soon, I realized he was actually laughing out loud, one of those laughs where your body gives way to the joy that has been stimulated by something pleasurable. As this laughter became audible in the room, the nurses heard it and came to the door. The nurses loved Rob, he had captured their hearts. 

As they came into the room, there was on every face, a smile and wet eyes. There wasn’t a lot of laughter in this place. I remember Rob brought and continued to bring it into this space, of such pain, during his stay there. 

I will never forget the feeling of exuberant joy, relief, tears, release and the realization that, up until that moment, I had truly thought I would never hear that sound emerge from him, his infectious laughter. In this moment, right here and now, as I read these words, the memory of this resonates in me as if it were happening now. I am truly grateful for the healing that has taken place in my life so I may remember with gratitude what happened on that magical night.

I don’t know if this is true for others, it was certainly my experience, that there is no time or space or inclination to think about the past or future, when one is captured by trauma. I was completely consumed by what was going on in each second of this process. In the moments inside my own soul when I was alone, the night Rob was burned haunted me to the point of exhaustion, annihilation and thoughts of escape through suicide. When I was with Rob, my attention was fully given to the moment, fully absorbed and it kept me alive. I didn’t really learn about being in the moment until much later and yet God graced me in this experience when I needed it most. 

There will be many stories about Rob, about me, about us and this journey we are traveling. My gratitude is boundless. My cup runneth over. 


I invite you to consider that there is purpose in everything, no matter the evidence. I also invite you to entertain the possibility that healing is available in every moment. Are you willing to say yes to it, welcome and receive it, and let it have its way with you? Oh yes, one more invitation. Before you move on the the following quotes, I invite you to stop, breath and come to the present, the now. Isn’t it grand?


“What a load is dropped from the shoulders of personal responsibility, when we realize that the Eternal Mind holds nothing against anyone!” Ernest Holmes

“Letting go of our suffering is the hardest work we will ever do. It is also the most fruitful. To heal means to meet ourselves in a new way – in the newness of each moment where all is possible, and nothing is limited to the old.”  Stephen Levine

“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart”…

On Sunday, August 4th, I facilitated the Sunday Evening service, the theme was Gratitude, which is the theme of the month at CSLSR. Since the mass shootings had taken place that weekend, I decided to do a dialogue, which is a process that lets everyone speak, without discussion, so they can share whatever they like. It was astounding and gratifying that so many spoke of gratitude in the midst of all the feelings they had been experiencing. 

I arrived home about 9:00pm and there was a car in front of my house and people talking on the sidewalk. I assumed it was kids, and they would eventually move on. I continued to do my thing, check on my kitty Veronica, change clothes, go to the bathroom, etc. then I heard a noise coming from the kitchen. As I came to the doorway, I saw my son Rob, who very rarely comes to Santa Rosa, breaking through the faux screen I had at the backdoor. I was shocked, surprised, delighted and overcome with joy. It was glorious to see him, so soon after I had visited with him in San Francisco just 2 weeks before.

He had been to a friends birthday party and decided to spend the night, reserving a room at the La Rose hotel downtown, a very nice place. He came by to see me before he bedded down for the night. I was beside myself, I was jumping up and down, inside anyway, as my days of physically jumping up and down have been subsiding for some time. I was ecstatic, the unbounded joy kept coming, filling me up. I felt like a kid at Christmas. No, it was even more than that. It wasn’t the present I was awaiting, it was the realized gift of what I have always wanted, it was happening to me, in front of me, the gift that keeps on giving, Rob came to see Mom. I kept hugging him, smiling, laughing out loud and saying “I’m so fucking happy”. I don’t know when I have felt so incredibly joyful. I loved every single second of it. I am recalling it as I write these words and a smile comes to my face as the tears roll down my cheeks. 

I often use 2 phrases when I pray, “unbounded joy” and “the deep wellspring of joy”. This is an attempt to describe what I feel when the presence of God is recognized and realized within me. I have the profound privilege of experiencing this when I make myself available to it. What a blessing. Isn’t is wonderful to be conscious of such a blessing? I realize this joy is always here, always present and I really want to invite it to show itself more and more often. Rob’s presence ignited it, he didn’t implant it. 

Rob was tired, as he had been up all day and night before. He often does this. I was flying high and wanted to talk, to be with him. He just wanted to get to his hotel and sleep, so I reluctantly let him go, following him out to the driveway, hugging him good bye again and again while repeating, “I’m so fucking happy”. 

Before he left, we talked about the possibility of connecting the next day, possibly going to a movie in the afternoon. Rob showed up around 2:00pm on Monday. We talked about movie times, food choices, whether we wanted to walk or ride to the theatre. I was gathering my things, to walk to the theatre when he came in with a somber look on his face and 2 chicken sandwiches he had gotten for us. He asked if I was willing to do him a favor, and would I be disappointed if we didn’t go to the movies. That was fine with me, I loved having the opportunity to hang with him, for any reason. 

He asked if I was willing take him to our old neighborhood. He wanted to drive around and visit Larkfield, where we first lived after he was burned and where he grew up. He wanted to see the devastation of the fires from 2 years ago. I was a bit surprised and yet honored that he would ask me to do this with him. 

We drove down Old Redwood highway, commenting on what used to be when we lived there. We went to his elementary schools, walked around while he told me where his classrooms were, what had changed and what was still the same. We actually went inside a classroom and spoke with people while they were preparing the rooms for the beginning of the fall term. 

Rob spoke of the way he felt when the kids would scream when they saw him, the repeated bullying, the ones who freaked out when they saw him, it was years of this. I would like to describe what I felt inside and yet, it was too big, too overwhelming, too heartbreaking, to hear it from him as he didn’t share this with me when it was happening. I knew it had taken place, and yet now it was coming from him, recalling his childhood, he was 7 years old, then 8 and 9 and 10 and on and on and on.

We went to the Larkfield Market and bought some crab and cocktail sauce. We also visited the liquor store where he purchased Reese’s pieces for himself and a Milky Way Midnight for me. I love my MWM. I’d never been in that store in all the years we lived there. He also told me, and the clerk in the store, that when we was in elementary school, he’d steal candy, take it to school and give it to different people who would like him at least for a while, then they would disappear. This was also new to me. When we picked out our candy, he told the clerk he was going to pay for it this time. 

Then we went to the site of our house on Ramsgate Court, half of the houses on the street were lost during the fire, the other duplexes were saved. Ours was gone, the lot was vacant and overgrown with plant life. In the middle of our lot, there were extremely tall plants like green towers, some over 10 feet tall, standing were our living room used to be. These plants were nowhere else in the vacant lots, just in ours. We walked around noting where his room was, where mine was, the garage, the back porch. The wonderful tree in the front yard was only evident by the stump left after it had been completely cut down, we loved that tree. 

We were sharing a day that I don’t think I would have ever imagined. He told me that if he had owned a car, when the fires happened, he would have been here the day after the fires. I didn’t know that. I feel bad that I didn’t ask and yet, I didn’t realize until that day how much this time and place meant to him. I was thinking that it was all so painful, evidently not all of it. 

Again, I wish I had language, some way of describing what this meant and means to me, it was a revelation, it was a blessing, an anointing of some kind. You see, words continue to fail.

We were winding down our afternoon while we drove to the place where K-Mart used to be, parked in the lot, talking about nonsensical stuff, like the fact that Carls Jr. was still there, while I basked in the gratitude of sharing time with my beloved son. We drove back to town, where he was catching the train to San Rafael and then the bus home. 

Sitting at the train station, we ate our crab and talked about our day. I asked him if I had expressed how wonderful it all had been and he said, “you mean how fucking happy you are”. Yes, that. As the trained arrived, we hugged each other and he rolled away.

I watched “A Beautiful Mind” this week. I love this movie. It has one of my favorite movie quotes which certainly describes my feeling as I experienced this event with Rob. It is my quote today.


“I need to believe that something extraordinary is possible.”


I invite you to consider that whatever is going on in your life, that the possibility of something extraordinary happening, something fabulous and good, something unexpected, something that brings you joy is not only possible, it is here and now going on within you. Tap into it dear ones and feel the deep wellspring, the unbounded joy that is resident in you, in all of us. I promise.


This past weekend I attended an Education Ministry workshop, From Inclusivity to Belonging, facilitated by Diane Tapogna, RScP and long time teacher and educator, Krista McAtee. The presentation was full, rich, deep and at times challenging.

Early on, we were asked to share a time when we felt like we didn’t belong. A memory from several years ago surfaced almost immediately. In a dyad, I briefly shared my experience, while being listened to. It is a wonderful thing to feel like the person you are speaking with is interested and listening. This time it came as an exercise in a workshop and yet when I have the glorious pleasure of someone displaying interest in me, what I have to say, what I bring, what I am feeling, it is a beautiful and glorious thing. Jane Fonda said this, when she was being honored by the American Film Institute, “ it is more important to be interested than interesting. Stay curious”.

On my birthday last week, I received an unexpected call from my son Rob. I say unexpected as it was a Thursday, and he had a radio show that night. He had texted me the night before wishing me “Happy Birthday tomorrow”. Also, I am familiar with the density of his preparation for his shows.  When I saw his name on the phone, I celebrated and knew that whatever came from that day that this was enough, to receive a call from my beloved son. 

I answered and he said “What does it feel like to be 79 years old”. I asked if he had a microphone handy as I recalled all the sports announcers interviewing athletes immediately following a win or loss, asking “how does it feel”. It is always so awkward as the athletes are caught up in that moment and haven’t had a chance to be with what has just happened to them. 

Turning 79 wasn’t like that. In response to Rob’s inquiry, I told him that I’d been engaging in the process of assessing my life, reflecting on the old days and the current ones, etc and he replied, “turning 79 is a good time to start doing that”. We both laughed out loud. He has a such a natural way of bringing me to much joy and laughter. I confessed that I’ve been doing this process for years and years. Of course, he wasn’t surprised. 

After almost 2 hours, when our conversation ended, (as I had a scheduled call with Pastor Gott), I recalled Rob’s opening statement of interest, that gave me the opportunity to say what I feeling in that moment. It brought me to tears, to joy, to elation that what I desired most was beautifully given and bestowed on me. I am incredibly blessed.

In the workshop, through the various exercises and conversations, there were many times I felt that those present were interested in what I was offering. I felt valued, seen and heard. It is lovely. It is my joy to witness. It fills me up and being in the company of these ministers and practitioners gave me that precious opportunity.

I also had the experience of doubting that I was not up to the final exercise, mainly because of the language being used. The words “lesson plan” for example. This was something that professional teachers and educators do, I am not one of those people, I let ideas come to me, I nurture them and then the plan, the  presentation, the talk presents itself. I don’t do lesson plans. Krista came to my rescue. 

She reminded me that I do this all the time. As she spoke to me, I too was reminded that I have wisdom, guidance, inspiration and confidence that is resident within me. It is always and forever present when it is wanted, desired, needed to move through the next moment of my life. When I trust it, have faith in it, it never fails me. Thank you Krista for your support, guidance, kindness and love for being this living affirmation for me in that moment. 

God is always speaking to us, in a myriad of ways. I have had moments in my life that I remember delivering wisdom beyond my knowing, when it was called for, when it was needed, when it was vital. God always provides. 

I began this with a workshop experience. I shared a birthday gift that brought me blessed joy. I exposed myself and what is important to me. Thank you for listening. 


I invite you to consider the possibility that in your life, God is offering all that it is and all it has to give to you here and now. I invite you to open in faith and say yes, receiving it and glorifying God in the midst of it. 

Quote: “Where Do I Belong…”  by Maggie Cole

God has brought me here – I belong 

Right where I am – I belong 

All the places I have been – I belong 

All the places I am – I belong 

The spaces I occupy from this moment on – I belong 

You and me – I belong 

Me and they – I belong 

Us and them – I belong 

We and thee – I belong 

It is here and now – I belong 

Since before I entered by Mother’s womb – I belong 

Until eternity – I belong 

Let me state it clearly – I belong 

This declaration sets me free

Wherever I go, I get to be me 

I belong – I am – I belong – I am, I belong

Watch… Look… Listen

I love being a witness. I’ve always enjoyed watching people and in my later life watching myself, often without agenda and with a sense of delight in what it brings.

Rev. Michael Beckwith, whom I often quote, talked about being in public places and having the realization of our Oneness with God, saying that he felt connected to all those people and delighted in it. I remember being in the Oakland airport some years ago and having that same sensation, it affirmed what he had said, I loved it.

Last Sunday evening, Sherry Vierra, a Practitioner and member of our Sunday Evening Explorations team, facilitated a conversation about the stories that we have and held on to, about our lives, about others and the world. I know I have carefully crafted a few of those stories in my day. Of course I am exaggerating when I say a few. 

I recently watched “The Secret Life of Bees”. It was full of stories of pain and struggle along with an overwhelming display of the power of goodness, faith, love, transformation and redemption. 

In the movie, a white teenage girl runs away from her abusive father and taking along her black housekeeper, who had just been beaten up by an apparent racist.

They travel some distance and find a house that is occupied by a family of black women, who are sisters, who take them in, give them food and shelter, along with jobs for them to do and a sense of belonging. As time goes by, the stories of these characters come to the fore and in particular, the teenage girl known as Lili. 

Lili accidentally shot her mother when she was 4 years old and the story, that was generated by her abusive father, was that her Mother didn’t love her. Not only was Lili carrying a massive amount of guilt and shame around the accident, she was convinced that she was not loved or lovable. I won’t share the reveal, I invite you to watch the movie. 

As I watched this story unfold, I cried, which is common for me, as there was heartbreak here. I remembered all the past stories I have had about not being loved or lovable. My decades of guilt and shame around my son Rob’s accident. In the midst of the remembrance, in the midst of witnessing the pain in the lives of these characters, I realized that my tears were not about identifying these stories in me now, it was about my empathy for all those who are locked in their stories of not being loved, not being worthy of love, not being lovable. The many people who are carrying crippling guilt and shame from their past.

As I witnessed my feelings, I noticed something different going on inside my mind, a feeling in my awareness. I realized I was no longer dredging up my old wounds, not identifying with the women on the screen. I was realizing that those old stories didn’t apply to me anymore, they had no power. From time to time, I’ve had thoughts and memories that take me back and yet, the power of the old story does not bring me to the painful experience again, it no longer brings me to my knees, it has stopped imprisoning me. It brings me to the present, where the power, that the story used to have on and over me, is absent. Glory be to God.

I used to ask myself, how much evidence do I need to show me that I am free, that I’m loved, that I’ve been forgiven. As I now find myself basking in this experience from time to time, I also continue to welcome and receive tons of evidence of all this right here, right now, My new story is that my liberation has always been available, I had to release the story. Choice is a wonderful thing, I invite you to exercise it in your own life.

Invitation: I invite you to entertain the possibility that the liberation of your heart, mind, body and soul is available to you here and now. My experience is that it is a process. Trust me, it’s worth it. 


“As we come to surrender all littleness, and all fear and doubt, the great river of life flowing from the Mind of God will renew our vigor, remake our strength, ennoble our being, heal our bodies, and bring peace to our hearts.” Ernest Holmes

“Every human has four endowments – self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.”

  Stephen Covey

Have you noticed…

I’ve been noticing my thoughts in response to what I witness my fellow human beings doing in the world to make it a better place. As I’ve watched 60 Minutes this week and a series on ESPN called E-60, that speaks to sports and the ways it which it influences peoples lives, I am continually moved, touched, inspired and fulfilled by these stories, these people that I don’t even know, who somehow take residence in my heart by what they are offering to me and the world of the possibilities of wholeness and healing here and now.

 Of course I see this in my spiritual community in the way that we support the non-profits in Sonoma County and the power of our vision in the Centers for Spiritual Living, that we hold fast to creating “a world that works for everyone”.*

I look at these kind, courageous, committed people and ideas, while I sit, and from my point of view, do very little. I brought this up with Lisa, my therapist the last time we met. She lovingly reminded me that people can be lifted up, inspired, transformed by a gentle word, a smile, an act of kindness, even from a stranger in every day life. I confessed I am aware that I have, at times been the person that has offered this and of course have been touched and uplifted by receiving it from others. 

In my Practitioner circle last month, I learned of a man who had gone to the Golden Gate bridge to commit suicide. He was on a bus, on the way to the bridge and thought to himself, if someone shows me a kindness, smiles at me, or anything like that, I will not jump. They didn’t and he jumped. 

I learned his name this past weekend, Kevin Hines. He survived the fall and
he shared that his first thought as he left the bridge was regret. I was told that for a time he would go to the bridge, engaging in random acts of kindness to his fellow beings. No telling how many lives he touched and maybe even saved. It affirms something I have always believed, that we all want to be seen and heard and valued. He has also been instrumental in the construction of netting that is to be placed under the bridge in the coming year or so to again save lives.

When I step back, viewing these circumstances, I realize that if someone had reached out to Kevin that day, he may not have jumped, he may not have touched peoples lives on the bridge, and there may not have been a life saving netting around it. God only knows what direction his life would have taken. I guess we can all relate to pivotal moments in our lives where our choices have taken us in a multitude of directions. Now there is a series of blogs for me to chronicle!

In my facilitation of our Sunday Evening Exploration conversation last Sunday, I spoke to connection. I feel that what is being offered in these gatherings is the opportunity to connect, to witness, to be seen, heard and valued. Through the experiential exercise, the sharing one to one and in the large group, I witnessed, as often happens, people exposing their hearts, connecting and being supported no matter where they are in their conscious and in their lives. As one of our group quoted Ghandi, “Be the change you want to see”. It always begins within, it always begins with me.


I invite you to consider the possibility of touching someones life today or sometime soon, maybe even your own, by offering a random act of kindness, by smiling inside and out, by showing interest in another, be your authentic self by engaging in the feeling of joy and gratitude for what you already have and see what happens. It is all so contagious. 


“Be kind to one another” – Ellen Degeneres

  • The Global Vision is available on the cslsr.org website: cslsr.org Global Vision Statement


For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be free, having no idea of how this would or could be accomplished. I recall a feeble attempt to run away from home before I was 5 years old, by hiding in a friend’s trailer. I hid under their kitchen table, thinking no one would find me. Of course I was found and when my Mother brought me home to our tiny trailer, my thought was, I’m trapped. I was returned to what I perceived as my prison, being stuck in this tiny place having no freedom whatsoever.

Freedom for me has many facets. Ernest Holmes, who gave us the Science of Mind Philosophy, said, “The Divine plan is one of freedom. The inherent nature of man is ever seeking to express itself in terms of freedom, because freedom is the birthright of every living soul”

In the beginning of my conscious spiritual journey, I read or heard this powerful quotation. I asked myself this question. Is it possible to truly find what I have been seeking my whole life? I was inspired. Something opened up in me, reminding me that what I was looking for was close at hand. At that time, I didn’t know that freedom lived inside me and had always been there, I thought it was something I had to do, to accomplish, to pass the test in order to earn or deserve to experience it in life.

There is something I have learned over these travels of spiritual evolution, inspiration is everywhere. I used to think it all had to come out of church, the Holy God, spiritual practice, classes, workshop, retreats, the so called spiritual venues. All of that works and I now notice where inspiration shows up in the unlikely and most delightful of ways.

Recently I watched 60 Minutes, as I almost always do, and there was a story about a young man, who is now playing basketball in a college in Maine. The previous year , he was in a Connecticut prison, a place called The Rock, where up until a year or so ago, all the inmates were in their cells 22 hours a day. They were let out twice, an hour in the morning and afternoon. 

The Governor of Connecticut went to Germany and brought a program back to implement it in The Rock. Prisoners needed to apply for the T.R.U.E. Program, which stood for Truth, Respect, Understanding, Elevation to success.

As I watched this piece, I was continually struck by the incredible wisdom that was revealed by those in the program, doing what most of us are familiar with or at least want to experience, which is to be seen and heard, treated like a human being. There were conversations about love and compassion that came from the lifers who were mentors for the young men. Each one in this program has discovered they have value and purpose. Isn’t that what we all want. Most of these men remain in jail and yet there was a sense of freedom and belonging, that had never been experienced before. It is true, freedom is the birthright of every living soul.

I was inspired, encouraged, impressed and I opened my mind and heart even more to the idea of infinite possibilities that are always and forever presenting themselves to us. 


I invite you to entertain the possibility that what you are seeking is actual available and attainable to you, it is your birthright.


“The power and freedom God freely gives us allows us to express greatness, to build magnificent dreams and to call forth the good in our lives, but we must claim that freedom.” Mary Morrissey

“Keep fresh before me the moments of my high resolve” Howard Thurman

More often than not I am moved, inspired, brought to laughter and tears by the movies I watch, many of them over and over. I am opened to memory or possibility, movement and reflection. Along with music, movies got me through this life.

Today, I was struck by thoughts of family and friends  when I heard the following quote from “A River Runs Through It”. I had a realization that it was the culmination of the years of work I have done with making peace with family, realizing who they are and my relationships with them. 

“Each one of us here today will, at one time in our lives, look upon a loved one with a need and ask the same question. We are willing to help Lord, but what, if anything is needed? For it is true we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don’t know what part of ourselves to give and more often than not, the part we have to give is not wanted. So it is those we live with and should know, who elude us, but we can still love them. We can love completely without complete understanding.”

I have seen this movie at least 15 times and yet today, as is often my experience, I heard these words spoken in a way not previously experienced. They brought me to the realization of a moment of high resolve. It brought me to a place of a circle completed. It brought to a place of pure acceptance of what is, in regards to members of my family and other relationships as well. 

For years, I wanted them to be different. Anybody else? For decades I have been disappointed again and again, even heart broken, as my expectations and attachments were rarely met. I didn’t feel seen, heard or valued. I wanted them to not only love me, I wanted them to be interested in me, to inquire, to listen. Many times I wanted them to help and wanted to help them in times when I thought I could share what I have learned over the years. 

Last night at our Sunday Evening Service at the Center for Spiritual Living in Santa Rosa, CA, we talked about listening. Practitioner Diane Tapogna led the evening as we had various opportunities to exercise our listening muscles. I was reminded of my most recent experience visiting some of my relatives last month in Kentucky. 

I had made up my mind before I left, and felt I could do it, which was to release any and all expectations as I had decided to listen instead of wanting to be listened to. I succeeded, in that I heard a myriad of things that let me know what was in their hearts and on their minds. No, no one asked about me, what I was up to, what I was doing and being in my life and it was OK, I learned about them. Even when I had the urge to “jump in and respond” in some way, I continued to listen, trusting that whatever was needed or wanted would be revealed to them in just the right way and in the right time. 

This morning I rediscovered, through this movie quote, that I too can “love completely without complete understanding”. My gratitude to my therapist, Lisa for guiding me in this process. I am forever grateful for all those who continue to participate in my healing. 

An Invitation: I invite you to be willing to entertain the possibility of your own healing with family and friends, in this very moment. I trust that the timing and communication is perfect for all of us. 

Quote for the day:  “Keep fresh before me the moments of my high resolve” Howard Thurman

John Moore is AWESOME

You may all wonder, who the hell is John Moore. Well he is many things, all those wonderful and awesome things, like kind, considerate, loving, affectionate, bright and beautiful. And yet, I recently heard he has a mischievous side, I am learning about this a bit and look forward to more of that.

I am moved to speak of him as he is now sitting beside me and has brought me to this adventure of blogging. Thank you John Moore for your kindness, patience and should I say tolerance of my technological ignorance. You have been of great assistance and support to me.

One more thing, he gives his hand to me when I get out of Pastor Gott’s Eternal Blue Mazda SUV. I am living the life, this weekend, in Houston.