Recently, I had an unpleasant interaction. The person, who I’ll call person A, posted something political to a private chat group, but that I felt was inappropriate, given the context of the other exchanges. Rather than challenging the post subject, I raised that very question in the chat group. The person responded by saying it was intended to bring levity and told me to shut up. I chose not respond, both for the group’s sake, and because I knew any response would lead to an escalation. The thing is, person A can be very generous and loving. But I must admit the incident bugged me.

The other day I was talking with someone, person B, who was also wrestling with an unpleasant interaction. Like me, it gnawed at him. During that talk, the image of a pebble in a shoe came to mind.

I don’t know about you, but if, while walking, I feel a pebble in my shoe, the first way I handle it is to shake my shoe so I don’t feel it and can continue walking. For a time, this works. But inevitably it comes back.

In my conversation with person B, I equated the pebble with our respective interactions. When the interaction comes to mind, sometimes we might shake our virtual foot to move it so we can forget it. But then, something jiggles it and we feel it all over again.

So, of course, the best solution is to remove it (aka let it go). But, for me that felt insufficient. Rather than simply dropping the pebble, I suggested that we might even visualize virtually giving it back to the person. Doing so, helped. This morning, I realized that I had a few other pebbles in my shoe that I need to address.

Have you found yourself in similar situations? None of us can make someone respond the way we would like. While the ideal is to talk to the person and hope to resolve the issue. Some issues are so loaded, even for both people, that talking would only increase the conflict. So, what about virtually giving the pebble back? Best wishes to all of you.

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They call me Tavi

One of my favorite fantasy series is “The Codex Alera” by Jim Butcher. The main character, Tavi, faces numerous challenges as he discovers his identity. One reason I like this series is that when Tavi encounters a situation that scares him sh**less, he proceeds anyway because he knows it’s for the good of all.  As he prepares to face another challenge, his partner tells Tavi, “Fear is the enemy. Respect it. But do not let it conquer you before the fight has begun” (Butcher, 2008, p. 334).

I resonated with this advice, and wrote about my own approach to it in my last blog, “Who is driving the bus?” Over the last few weeks, while traveling, further insights arose. The first is about shifting my direction. The second is about my call to serve.

In interacting with my Mindset Makeover group, one of my team used the word shift to describe the changes she is making. The word jumped out at me powerfully. For many years, I’ve worked to change some aspect of myself to increase my self-esteem. On hearing the term shift, I realized that I experienced that word as a gentle direction adjustment rather than an about face, which is how I have viewed change. Shift reflected that I was already on the right path and mostly aligned. So, it felt easier to implement.

During my recent travels, I found myself repeatedly applying this metaphor. For example, when I heard about many flight cancellations and anticipated having difficult conversations with family, I was able to shift my attention from the fear that arose to my intuition and let go. Time and again, as small or large fears surfaced, I applied this approach. It felt so right, even if there were times that the outcomes associated with my fears weren’t as perfect as I hoped.

The second realization was about service. Through the Mindset workshop, I realized that in my studies over the last year, I erroneously thought I had to learn more before really being of service. Embracing the shift metaphor enabled me to see and respond to opportunities to serve in the most simple ways.

Connecting and serving

One of the most profound opportunities was with my niece, Maureen. Maureen has Down syndrome, at a level that is considered profound. As a result, she has limited ways to communicate. For the last 25+ years that I’ve traveled to visit my husband’s family, including Maureen and her parents, while I have shown her love, given her hugs, and so on, I must admit that felt a little stiff. I was fearful of doing the wrong thing with her.  Both the shift metaphor and the reminder that the simplest way to serve is to love, enabled me to relax and trust my intuition. So, for this visit, I played with Maureen, held her hand, helped her move around her home, and just sat with her so her parents could attend to other things. It was delightful. Maureen was all smiles. It was such a treasured experience.

As you travel your own road to wholeness and service, perhaps the shift metaphor would be useful to you, and enable you to open up to opportunities that you might not have considered before.

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Butcher, J. (2008). Princeps’ Fury. London: Penguin Books, Ltd.

Who is driving your bus?

I’ve just finished the Mindset Makeover course. As mentioned in an earlier blog, the focus of this workshop was to identify and release one obstacle keeping you from doing what you want to achieve. My block was trusting my intuition.

Through the workshop, I discovered that my obstacle’s goal was to keep me safe. While that was important as a child, it only limited me as an adult. The overwhelming feeling associated with this obstacle was fear. As a result of the workshop, two realizations emerged.

The first was understanding that my obstacle was tied to spiritual perfectionism. This unconscious goal constantly reminded me that I was not ready to be a healer, because I didn’t have enough training. This built in me the desire to attend as much training as possible so that I would be “spiritually perfect.”

Who is driving your bus?

This awareness made me also realize that my fear of getting hurt or doing it right might not completely go away. So, I couldn’t just wait until it was gone before doing what I felt called to do. In other words, I could no longer allow my fear to drive my bus.

As part of my Certified Angel Guide training, I was asked to offer healing to another. Even though I felt fear, I knew I needed to finally offer it. Now, I had previously printed out the instructions for doing so to ensure that I “did it right.” But it was difficult to offer while attempting to read the instructions at the same time. At some point, I realized that I hadn’t followed the them exactly, and that’s when my intuition nudged my fear out of the driver’s seat and informed me that it didn’t matter because my intention was clear. Further along in the healing, my intuition called me to make further changes in how I did the healing. It felt right and very freeing. The next steps are for me to continue practicing this change of drivers.

I wonder if you have had experiences where you felt called to do something but hesitated or didn’t proceed because fear was driving your bus. I’d invite you to build up your trust in your intuition, so, if fear does arise and start driving your bus, you can ask your intuition to take over the driving.

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Transforming mental blocks

This week I attended an online workshop called “The Mindset Detox” given by Liz Dawn, of Celebrate Your Life, and Emily Manning. It centered on addressing one mindset block, that is a part of you that protected or served you in the past, but no longer does. I focused on my self-doubt of my healing gifts. I want to share two exercises that had a profound impact.

Transforming blocks

The first was about inquiry into the block. To start, we were asked to connect with our core self, that I call our divine self. This is the grounded and wise self that’s connected to the divine. Then, we were asked to imagine that that block had a physical form and is sitting or standing next to you. Next, we were asked to have a conversation, asking him what was going on in order to understand its role in my life. The goal was not to eliminate this part but uncover the gift it provided (that is how it protected), and ultimately tease out how it could serve today and thus integrate into my core self. As a result of the exercise, I realized that my self-doubt was simply trying to keep me safe, thus initiating for me a process of transformation.

The other exercise was focused on thoughts, feelings, and actions. We were asked to write the thoughts that arise from the block, the resultant feelings, and the associated actions taken. Then, we were asked to write their counter-parts, the thoughts, feelings, and actions coming out of this transformed “block” that would now serve. Finally, we were asked to visualize ourselves in a situation where this block might previously have been triggered, but, as a result of its transformation, results in a positive experience. Liz went on to explain that doing this exercise for at least 21-days creates new neural pathways in the brain to support this change. She also explained that it may also occur subtly, whereupon one day you might notice that you are responding differently.

The workshop was an amazing experience and I am so grateful to Liz and Emily for offering it. At the end, they mentioned that they are offering a more intensive 28-day workshop, called “The Mindset Makeover,” starting May 15. If you are interested, here’s a link to the Celebrate Your Life website that provides more details: The Mindset Makeover.

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Can’t see the forest for the trees

You can’t see the forest for the trees.

Have you ever felt so focused on project details or tasks that you forgot about the higher-level intent for them? In 1546, John Heywood documented the metaphor, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” That metaphor jumped out at me this morning as a result of messages I received from my spirit guides and angels.

As I’ve written before, I both am a spirit healer and becoming one. In the last few months, I’ve been taking a course on becoming an angel guide and a seminar on developing my spiritual gifts. But one thing I’d forgotten over those months is that I’ve been mostly functioning at the detail level and had not taken much time to step back from the tasks and view things from a higher perspective.

For the last twenty-some years, working in the documentation department of software companies, the software’s complexity required that I carefully document the details. However, when I became a manager, I was also responsible for translating company strategies so that writers could apply them to their daily work. So, I had to view my work from both the detail level and the higher level. By the end of my time with the company, I was able to balance them.

Now, as most of my time is dedicated to my calling, I was reminded today that I was imbalanced again. I was focusing on the details, in this case, the courses and my writing. The message to me was to step back to a higher view (the forest view from the metaphor), and simply attend to being connected to the divine realm, really feeling it moment by moment. That requires that I trust that my guides and angels let me know when the details need attending.

Looking at your own life, are you balanced between the details and a higher view? This could be about your work, but also your relationships, your finances, and even your own calling. Sometimes, taking the time to step back from the details and reflect gives you a chance to determine if your current direction and choices are in line with how you want to live.

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From a fear of God to a Divine connection

Growing up Catholic, I was taught about fearing God, often at the expense of teachings about a loving God.  From my theological studies, I know that the original Hebrew words, that were translated into fear, could also mean awe, reverence, and respect. The sad result of translating them as fear for me and so many others is that God and even Jesus became unreachable because our feelings of fear turned into feelings of unworthiness and separateness.

From my counseling studies, and from personal experience, I know that a fearful person closes down to protect him or herself from harm. When felt in relation to the divine, in effect, that person is protecting themself from God and thus limiting their ability to feel love and support.

Various spiritual teachers have talked about how fear can hinder our connection to the divine. In his book, Angels Whisper in My Ear, Kyle Gray writes about people pleading for help from angels but feeling like they are hitting a wall. I suspect that often desperation and fear underly that. And believe me, I know that from personal experience too. Now, you never want to imply someone’s feelings are wrong, because they aren’t. They just are. However, if you let the fear or desperation be in control, you are more limited because you are closed down. Kyle suggests that rather than pleading for help with angels, expect help from them, because that in fact is their role. I love that idea because it sort of turns things around – both recognizing your feelings but also acknowledging that you are more than your feelings.  This in turn, opens you up for a deeper connection with the divine, including feeling their support.

Recently, I became aware that I still have some walls up with the divine, even though I chat with God, guides, and angels, every day. I likely built those walls in response to childhood fears. While the walls served me as a child, as an adult they only limit my connection with the divine and my use of my spiritual gifts. I’m still puzzling through the nature of those walls with my divine teachers. But without a doubt, I know that as these walls start to crumble, my connection will deepen exponentially.

My wish and prayer for all of you who were taught to fear God is that you can release that limiting belief, and truly feel your innate connection with the divine and their support, enabling your gifts to more fully emerge.

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Your worthiness: Do you feel it?

I had a powerful experience last week that I hesitated to share with you because I was unsure whether it would be of value for your spiritual journey. But today, via Angel cards, the angels challenged me to share it.

As mentioned in my story, for many years I struggled with low self-esteem. I didn’t realize until recently, that even though I believe that I’m good and worthy in my mind, somewhere further down, I still felt unworthy. And I discovered that this also impacted my relationship with the divine.

As you know from my other blogs, I talk to my guides, God, and angels every day, seeking their guidance and support. When I receive it, I always thank them. But I just realized that I repeatedly thank them for the same guidance, as if I didn’t deserve it. In a way, I believed that helping me was taking them away from helping someone worthy.

Feeling worthy

Coming to this realization, I turned to my guides and God to help me work through this. Last Thursday, I also turned to my soul coach. He guided me through an exercise where I came upon my toddler self, curled up in a ball, trying to remain unnoticed and stay safe. During the exercise I was invited to speak to the toddler, telling him he was loved, good, and worthy. By the end of the exercise, as I hugged him tightly, I knew he felt it.

Later that day, I became aware that I felt worthy. I was surprised. In fact, for the next few days, I kept checking to see if I still felt it, as if I was afraid it was fleeting. But it was there and as strong as ever. With this feeling came the awareness that my fears of not being good enough or getting in trouble (to name two), which I have tried to heal for so long, lost their foundation when I no longer felt unworthy. What a relief!

Now, I’m not saying that my fears have vanished completely. However, when they arise, I tap into my worthiness and allow it to enfold the fear and help it dissipate.

I’ll end by hoping that this story reminds you of your innate worthiness. May it be the foundation upon which you thrive.

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Releasing Beliefs that Limit You

I release you.

It’s been about a month since I was laid off. Since then, I’ve been writing blogs, reading about spiritual guides, and enrolled in two webinars, one for clutter clearing (towards letting go of material things that limit me) and another about becoming an angel guide. All of this has been in service of growing as a healer of the spirit, aka spirit healer or spiritual coach, and expanding what I offer on this website.

As I do so, old beliefs still pop up. Some include: fear that I’m doing “it” wrong; fear that I’m not doing enough; fear of getting in trouble; not trusting my guides and God; falling into the fight or flight reaction when something new is thrown my way; jumping to a future moment (like what do I have to do in an hour) rather than being fully present in the moment; and finally over-thinking. That’s some list, huh. And of course, now I have to add feeling shame for such a long list.

Photo by Marek Piwnicki on

In the past, when those came up, I learned that denying them doesn’t make them go away but fester, like an untended wound. So, I’ve tried to acknowledge them and move past them. But I realized that I needed another way to handle them and turned to my guides. The phrase that they suggested I use is “I release you.” And when I say it, truly feel that I am releasing the limitation. When I do this, I do feel a release.

Does the limitation go away permanently? No, it doesn’t or it hasn’t so far. But like my intentions that I repeat every day during meditation, I believe that repeating the “I release you phrase” also reinforces my intention to move on from those things that limit my life and living my calling.

Do you have limitations or beliefs that keep popping up, even after having worked on removing them? If so, the next time they come up, give “I release you” a try and see what happens.

Addendum, 2/14/22: I had another thought about this. As mentioned I’ve done a lot of inner work on my fears and feelings of inadequacy. As a result, I understand how they came about and what triggers them. To ensure that I don’t fall into denying them and thus swallowing any of these feelings, I’ve added a phrase before “I release you.” Now I say, I understand you and I release you.” That way I acknowledge the feelings and then let them go.

Presents and Presence


In this season leading up to Christmas and the exchange of presents, I find it interesting that what’s been on my mind recently is presence, specifically, being fully present each moment of every day. For the last two months, this has been one of my intentions. Growing up as a trauma survivor, to ensure my safety, I always planned, trying to anticipate what might happen and how to respond. As a result, I was future focused. Yet, in my spiritual studies, time and again I heard about the importance of being present.

Over many years I tried to embrace that. While I was a religious, I asked God to help me be present with parishioners, and to those I ministered to and with. As a therapist-in-training, my intention was to walk with my clients as they sought healing. As a manager, a key goal was to listen to my employees’ hopes and challenges. And, of course, as a husband, I endeavor to be fully present with Michael, as he shares the events of his day, and his frustrations and successes.

This morning, while meditating, I realized that much of my intention was outwardly focused. With that awareness, came the awareness that in order to be fully present, I needed to be present with myself too. At first, I thought that meant being fully present in the tasks that I’m doing, whether I’m folding a blanket, washing the dishes, or doing some activity. But, I realized that to a degree those are outwardly focused too.

So, what does being fully present with myself look like? Might it be tuning into where I am physically, emotionally, and spiritually? Might it be taking time to sit quietly without doing anything, and just seeing what comes to mind or heart? Might it be just being with intention, noticing and noting things and people who I pass every day? I would say all of that, but somehow I know there’s more. What do you think?

My sense, though, is that as I and you become more fully present with ourselves, we can more easily be fully present with others. What a great present that would be during this Christmas season!

Cages or wings

Photo by James Lee on

My husband and I watched the movie Tik Tik… Boom last night, which is the story of Jonathan Larson, who wrote RENT. One line from a song profoundly moved me:  “Cages or wings? Which do you prefer? Ask the birds.” I imagined myself standing just over the threshold of a cage, facing outward, symbolically representing where I was and where I am now as I step into this next phase of my life.

As a child, I felt different from my family, other boys, and really everyone. In hopes of preventing further harm, I mentally enclosed myself in a cage of sorts to stay safe, endeavoring to be a happy and perfect son and student. Many years later, after therapy, I realized that not only did the cage not really keep me safe, it prevented me from truly being myself and discovering my calling. Today, as I launch myself into my calling as a healer of the spirit, I know that I still feel some fear and occasionally glance back into the safety of the cage. With some effort, I remind myself the safety was an illusion and remaining caged prevented me from flying.

I wonder if you are in a similar place, preparing to pursue a dream. One part of you may feel excited. But another part of you may feel fearful and glance back to your cage. Over the years, I’ve learned that I must honor the total experience, feeling it all, recommit to trusting my guides and God as I step further from that cage, even if those steps are a bit wobbly.

Thankfully, as I do so, I have received a couple messages. The first, via an Oracle card reading, told me that I am ready. It also challenged me to continue cutting the tethers of lingering inadequacy beliefs. The second, from a song by Calum Scott called Rise, speaks of what brought you to where you are now, finally coming out of the shadows, feeling some uncertainty, but also a strength that proclaims that you are ready and will rise or soar, going back to the bird metaphor in the movie song.

I pray that you who find yourself in similar place are able continue stepping away from your cage, and soar to new heights.