Skip to content

All around me people are announcing that mercury is in retrograde.  Admittedly, I'm not hearing  these announcements, I'm seeing them in print.  But the impression I am getting is that if they were saying this, it would be said with the same feeling tone as that old ditty:  "THE SKY IS FALLING!  THE SKY IS FALLING!"

I wasn't sure why, so I looked it up.  Now I know why I didn't know what it meant that mercury was in retrograde:  it's astrology.

Now, before you think this is going to be an attack on astrology, it isn't.  I think the human habit of attacking something we don't believe in or disagree with is abhorrent.  But that is the subject for another blog post.

I've never been a fan of astrology, even though I know a lot of people who are.  Here is why I've never been a fan of it:  because it is one more example of basing our decisions on something outside of ourselves.  I feel the same way about anything that tells us to ignore our own truth and instead follow the dictates of another.  Traditional religion as it is currently taught does this.  So does most of the New Age stuff.  I love New Thought because it teaches us to go within, know our own truth, and proceed accordingly.  And by the way, I love candles, scented oils, and even crystals and all sorts of other New Age gimmicks.  But I'm not going to base my decisions on them.  They are just nice things.  And sometimes excellent reminders of my own truth, which I discovered by going within.

Back to this current retrograde Mercury thing.  Instead of just ignoring it, I decided to ask, what is it all about?  And got this link for an answer:  https://www.astrologyzone.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-mercury-retrograde/

I read the article.  Seems we aren't supposed to make important decisions, sign contracts or have elective surgery during this time.

Sigh.  Really?  Ok.  Here's the deal about important decisions:  I know that I shouldn't be making them under duress.  In other words, don't make decisions when angry, grieving, sad or excited.  Settle down, go within, meditate, know your truth.  Then make the decision.

Here's the deal about contracts:  If it is time to sign a contract, I am certainly not going to tell the other person involved in the deal that I need to wait until mercury is out of retrograde to sign it.

And I don't believe in elective surgery, so that is a no brainer for me.

My point here is this:  We have an entire culture of people who seem to base who and what they are on outside things.  Everything from doing what your peers do to blindly  following religious dogma to allowing what the planets are doing to effect your life.   I love the empowering message of New Thought:  go within...find that part of yourself that knows...and be and do that.

Everything I do, from my ministry to my counseling, from workshops and retreats to my book (www.newthought12steps.com) is a variation on this one thing:  I teach people tools that they can then use to go within and find their own truth.

Bottom line:  I'm not going to base my life on someone else's interpretation of something outside myself, including whether or not mercury is in retrograde.  How about you?

0180e093c7393c0bb2ab2ab063c7d613ed592d65dbBusy...busy...busy.

Personally, I feel a call to slow down a bit when the weather cools and the storms begin to roll in.  It is a time when I want to meditate more, contemplate more, just BE...more.  It is a time when I wish to stop doing so much.

And yet, with the approach of the holidays, sometimes it seems an impossible task to stop doing so much.  So many parties....so little time!   Along with shopping, planning menus and meals and potlucks and what to get your 87 year old father for Christmas who has everything.

And more than ever, I want to slow down and BE.  I want to snuggle in with my kitties in my sunroom and enjoy watching the weather move across my field of vision in the skylights above me.  I want to settle in and read. ...continue reading "BE rather than DO"

image

I am a huge believer in the Law of Attraction.  This Law says basicallly that we attract what we put out there.  Like other Laws, this Law is no respecter of what we do, or what color we are, or any other outside appearances.  It doesn't say we attract what we wish for, or even what we affirm.  What it really does is bring to us in accordance with our beliefs.  And expectations, like thoughts and feelings and emotions, are very much based in our beliefs.

Some like to say that expectations are premeditated resentments.  Those who subscribe to this tend to lower their expectations so they don't get upset about things. ...continue reading "Expectations are NOT premeditated resentments!"

DSC_1141painted"You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety."  Abraham Maslow

One of the most heartbreaking things for me to see in my counseling practice is when people choose to step backwards into safety. ...continue reading "Are you stepping forward?"

DSC_4341I’m sure you’ve all heard the analogy of the caterpillar turning into a butterfly. It is a perfect analogy, a very good metaphor for us in our lives. The caterpillar goes about it’s business and then one day, change begins. It begins to build a cocoon, and then inside the cocoon, becomes literally mush, a messy gooey lump of mush. This process continues, until one day a beautiful butterfly bursts forth to fly and frolic in the breezes. The caterpillar does not fight the process, nor does it try to rush it. And if someone, in their misguided compassion, tries to help it, the caterpillar will die. It needs to be left alone to do the process it was meant to do. ...continue reading "5 Steps to Turn into a Butterfly"

image

 

I was having a chat yesterday with someone who asked me if I had any regrets in life. Actually, what she asked me was if I planned to go public with my regrets.

The question stopped me and I had to think a bit before I responded, because I wanted to respond truthfully.

The truth is, I have no regrets. She probed a bit: wasn't there anything that made me cringe when I looked back on it? ...continue reading "Got regrets?"

I found myself saying this today to someone, "Sometimes the best decisions are the most difficult ones to make."

Today I had a wedding scheduled.  I showed up at the appointed place and time and proceeded to wait for my couple.  A man drove up alone but he waved at me and so I knew it was my groom.  I greeted him with a smile and a question, "what did you do with your lovely bride to be?"

He responded, "We decided not to get married."

Oh.

Dear.

In almost 30 years of doing weddings, this has only happened to me one other time.  It does happen, but rarely.  I shared with this man the story of the other time it had happened, in the hopes that it would allow him to feel a bit better, knowing he wasn't the only one to experience this.  While he wasn't talking much, it was clear to me that he was upset. ...continue reading "Sometimes the Best Decisions are the Most Difficult"

imageThere is a balance between doing and being in our lives.  Another way to put that is that in order to be most effective with the stuff we do in our lives, we need to take time out for stillness.

Stillness doesn't have to mean doing nothing.  Many of the clients I work with cry out in dismay at the very thought of simply being still.   But I believe stillness is a very necessary component to a happy life.  When I begin counseling work with a client, one of the first things I do is find out what practices they use to be still.  Very often, implementing a practice such as journaling or meditation is all that is needed to restore a life filled with chaos to one filled with peace.

If we look to Mother Nature as an example, we will see that there are periods of calm, and periods of...well, not so calm.  We will see trees lying dormant in winter, looking almost dead, yet when spring comes all of a sudden there is a rush of activity on those same trees.  If we look to religion as an example, we are told that there is a time to tear down and a time to build.   Physically, we must rest every day, for about 8 hours, or risk reduced effectiveness in our doings.  Continue with a lack of sleep and eventually psychosis sets in.  Psychologically, we need a good, balanced combination of laughter and solemnity, play time and work time, or we risk a feeling of perhaps not fitting in, or feeling like something is missing from our lives.

Most of us, in our active lives, might tend to ignore the need for stillness and quiet.  Doing so prevents us from enjoying all the beauty and wonders that life has to offer.

We are approaching a new year.  It is a time of resolutions and a determined effort to begin anew for most of us.  And yet studies show that resolutions made at this time of year are rarely kept for very long.  Instead of making a resolution, make a committment.  Commit to spending a period of time, every day, in stillness.  Even if you are a mother with children who follow you to the bathroom, you can still find at least a couple of minutes during which you can breathe.....simply breathe.

How do you practice stillness in your life?

 

 

minicard_template_usLately I've had some clients that are extremely intelligent.  We're talking genius IQ level here.  Being smart has a lot of benefits, but sometimes we can be too smart for our own good.  Smart people tend to think....and think.....and think.....and many times the ways in which they think don't serve them too well. They are consumed with negativity, lack of confidence, doubt and all those other patterns of thinking that just don't contribute to a higher quality of life.

If you find yourself in the category of perhaps being too smart for  your own good, here are some things to try:

  • Remember that you can change the pattern of your thinking.  This isn't easy, it is like changing any other habit, it takes conscious effort at first.  You simply redirect your thinking, as you would the attention of a child who is misbehaving.  Every time you have a thought that doesn't really serve you, move the focus of your thoughts from negativity to something more positive.
  • Try not to be such a smarty pants.  In other words, try to move from the intellectual to the emotional or feeling tone.  Or, to put it another way, try to get out of your head and into your heart.  Again, this will take conscious effort at first.
  • Meditate.  Meditation is about focus, not about clearing your mind.  Repeated attempts to focus your mind will train the mind, so that it behaves better.  Focus on a word, such as the one in the photo above, or a mantra, or a phrase, or do a walking meditation where you remain totally mindful of your surroundings and the placement of your feet.

I'd love to hear about how you turn your thoughts from the negative to the positive!

I am a minister.

That statement has an air of unreality about it today.

I worked for nine years to get to this point.    When I began nine years ago I didn't think I would end up here.  Actually, that's a bit of an understatement. I ABSOLUTELY DID NOT have minister on my list of things to do.  I hated church, disrespected organized religion, and really thought that the entire system of religious authority and religion needed to be overhauled and revised.  I wanted no part of it.  When I began this journey nine year ago, I simply wanted to enlarge my spiritual life.  I was depressed, and not in a very good place.   I'd been sober for over 15 years and I felt a bit stuck.

So I decided to begin taking classes at my local Center for Spiritual Living (CSL).  I'd taken other classes, and they helped, but there was always something about them that ruffled my feathers.  One class was very valuable in teaching me a great form of meditation, but when they began talking about guarding ourselves from all the dangerous influences when we meditated, I was out of there.  I didn't want a lifestyle where I felt I had to be on guard.  CSL seemed to fit perfectly.  It was spirituality without the New Age woo woo trappings, and without the dogma of more traditional religions.  I loved it, and from the first class I knew that I was going to pursue becoming a Practitioner.

Being a Practitioner in CSL means being a type of coach.  The work interested me, and I knew it would help me.  It takes about two years of prerequisite classes to become eligible for Practitioner classes, which is a two year course of study.  That was the first four years of my journey.  I became a Practitoner and was happy as a clam.  I converted a room behind my photography studio into an area to meet clients and started a life coaching business.

Then the calling began.  They say being a minister is a calling, that no one would ever choose such a thing.  I know it's not like that for everyone, but it is for me.  But when the calling begins, that inner nudge that just won't go away, in fact it gets louder and louder, you have to heed it.  Then the outer nudges began.  People began asking me when I was going to begin ministerial school.  My grandmother came right out and told me I had to go, and offered to pay my tuition.  That's a big deal in a Masters Degree program.  So I heeded the inner and outer calls, and I went.

For almost 5 years, I studied, attended classes in person at the Holmes Institute campus in Santa Rosa, attended other classes via phone and video conference, studied a ton of books, wrote a ton of papers, did about 20 internships, went on student retreats, and immersed myself in my studies.  I used mentors and prayer partners and other Practitioners as my coaches, and opened myself up to all that the program had to offer.

It changed me the same way the 12 steps did back in the beginning of my recovery:  at a very deep profound level, from the inside out.

I got my Masters Degree in June, I successfully paneled and received my license as a CSL minister the first week in August, and yesterday, I was unanimously elected to be the new Spiritual Leader of the Center for Spiritual Living Carson City.

As one of my minister friends likes to say, "what a trip."

So off I go on this journey of being a minister.  I'm excited about my counseling practice, since I've graduated I've been blessed to have a whole new batch of wonderful clients.  And this part time job at CSL allows me to do the others things I love to do:  speak and teach.  So, I'm counseling, speaking and teaching, and life is pretty good!

Now, I'm in a position to help you.    Are you getting a nudge to do something different?  Perhaps it's more like a big push?  Or maybe you are ready for a change in your life?  Do you pay attention to those calls when they come?  Or do you simply push them aside?  What is up for you today?

 

%d bloggers like this: