Keeping it “More Real” in the Labyrinth of Life

I recently led a group of older elementary school students through the experience of walking a labyrinth as a symbolic pilgrimage. Beforehand, I encouraged them to become aware of three different parts of themselves: 1) Who they really are, or their Spirit essence, 2) Who they think they are, or their beliefs, and, 3) Who they want everyone else to think they are, or their façade. We talked about the difference and about a pilgrimage as a spiritually focused journey. Finally, I sent them into the Chartres Cathedral-style labyrinth with the instructions of seeing if they could mindfully walk as their authentic “spirit-selves.” When one boy emerged he shared this: “I got to the center and I heard my Spirit talking to me. Then, when I was walking back out, my thoughts tried to ambush me and my Spirit had to fight them off.” A girl added, “When I reached the center, I could feel all my anger wash away.” All of the students agreed that when they felt most like themselves, they felt more connected to others. – Read Full...
Starting Again—with You

Starting Again—with You

Often when a couple with a long history together comes to me in an attempt to save their relationship, I find myself recommending that they ritualistically end the old relationship—even if they want to stay together. It is a bit akin to having the right ingredients for a meal, but the wrong recipe. It is okay to say goodbye to that recipe, but that doesn’t mean that you need to throw out the ingredients. When two people love each other, but haven’t been able to sustain a harmonious relationship, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they need to find a different partner. Perhaps they just need a new means of relating to each other. This requires new skills and new tools. If you are thinking that your partner is the problem in the relationship, you will likely have a problem no matter who you are with. When you take responsibility for what you are doing, thinking and saying in the relationship, you have the ability to make some major changes. – See more at:...

How You Know It’s Over

When I “hit the wall” in my own marriage years ago, my ego saw only two options. One was that he change, the other was that I leave. When I realized that I was trying to solve the problem the same way I created it—with my ego-mind, I asked my Spirit for help instead. I dropped the hardness of my ego-guard and looked into my heart. There, instead of blame, I found responsibility. I knew I could not leave in good conscience until I had 100% shown up and taken responsibility for my words, thoughts and actions. I realized that if I left the relationship from blame and victimhood, or left because I was seeking outside of myself something I could only find inside of myself, that I would be full of regrets down the road. It was then that I dove head first into taking responsibility for every thing I said, did and thought in an effort to align with creating a healthy relationship. Had it not worked, I would have then known that it was time to move into a state of acceptance that this relationship was not meant to continue. How do we decide when to stay and when to go? There are so many variables involved in this question—not the least of which is children, finances, safety, already married or not married, that it’s hard to give a “one-size fits all” answer. However, there are a couple of questions that may help you with the decision. – See more at:...

Three Mistakes People in Transition Make

Life is full of 180 degree turns. Just when we think we have things figured out, life throws us for a loop with both “good” things and “bad.” Falling in love turns our world around. Having children, moving to a new place, getting married, getting divorced, getting a new job, retirement, deaths, accidents, births, accomplishments, graduations— all have the potential to destabilize our worlds. Every one of these transitions puts us into a state of flux so none of us are a stranger to the phenomenon. Unfortunately, no matter how common transitional funks and confusion may be, what is also common are mistakes we make when trying to deal with them. Here are three of the errors we tend to make when facing a change—and what we might do instead: 1. We suffer alone. We think, “I’m the only one…” Time and time again I have seen people from teenagers on up think that they are the only one who felt a certain way or they were the only one who suffered from a change or tragedy. Sometimes guilt keeps us silent, feeling like we shouldn’t feel the way we do. When, instead, we open up about what we are experiencing and tell the truth, we often discover that others have had similar experiences and feelings and we truly aren’t alone. In fact, others who have been through similar events are often able to help us to heal and move forward by sharing their hard-earned wisdom. We also have the immense opportunity to learn to be make our alone time our most insightful time….. 2. We get stuck on...

The Inward Journey: How well do you know yourself?

We spend 100% of our time in our own company, and yet many of us may be surprised to realize that we don’t know or trust ourselves very well. In fact, many of us are quite gifted about making sure that “who we really are” never has a chance to be heard. We turn on background noise—television, radio, the Internet, or the telephone—every time we have a quiet moment during which the inner voice could be heard.  We seek outside of ourselves for our answers, instead of taking the time to go within and listen, inquire, and explore our own truth. While we may be quite knowledgeable about the world outside of us—the world we have studied, trained in, or practiced—what about the inner world? I remember once when I was young and on a date when the man asked me if I liked a certain painting in an art exhibit. I didn’t know how to answer. Not only was I afraid of saying the wrong thing (an opinion that didn’t match his), I truly didn’t know myself well enough to know whether I liked it or not. I didn’t trust myself enough to hold my opinion in the event that he didn’t feel the same way. I simply played the “I don’t know” card and asked what he thought. I offered nothing of myself in that exchange. – See more at:...