I recently returned to my home in Northern California after traveling for several weeks, visiting family, friends and clients, working along the way. There were so many highlights from my travels; warm holiday celebrations with family, the engagement of my daughter to a man I adore, long savory meals with dear friends, celebrating my birthday with a lively dance party, and laughter galore. It was also deeply nourishing to enjoy city life and all it has to offer — the stimulation of new art, concerts, and fabulous meals; and to appreciate the beauty and serenity of nature during beach walks, hikes in the coastal hills, and hot air ballooning over wine country at sunrise.
As I savor the afterglow of my trip, a Danish word comes to mind — hygge (pronounced ‘hooga’), which loosely translates as a mental state of “togetherness” and “coziness.” According to Denmark’s official tourism site: “The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Enjoying family and friends is hygge too. And let’s not forget eating and drinking — preferably sitting around the table for hours on end discussing the big and the small things of life.” Appreciating and cultivating hygge explains why the Danish people consistently rank among the happiest people in the world.
When you think of hygge, think warm, fuzzy, happy heart; think of everyone you really, really love, laughing in a puppy pile on a soft fluffy cloud drinking hot cocoa.
Awe, hygge…. that cozy feeling that emerges in the warmth of loving connection.
One day towards the end of my trip, I had the sweet revelation that a fuller experience of hygge had become my new normal. Rather then hygge being a momentary experience sparked by warm and loving encounters, it was pulsing through me in a new way — as a sweet, silent offering, gently enriching every moment.
Each person I visited had been a catalyst for the fuller expression of hygge that spontaneously emerged within me.
I am home now, sitting alone on this rainy winter morning, yet hygge reigns in my head and heart, and even down to my toes. Hygge is holding steady as a whole being lovefest within and all around me. Even during the moments when I feel frustration, or fear, or disconnection, an undercurrent of hygge remains. I have a new understanding of this state, which transcends and yet includes momentary feelings of warmth, coziness and safety.
Hygge is the natural state of our hearts and souls, embodied and felt as loving unity with all life.
In this delicious connected state, so many day-to-day concerns and problems seem to drop away. In a state of hygge, every encounter and sensory experience takes on a new richness as warmth prevails.
Cultivating this deeply connected and satisfying inner sense so that it blossoms into a whole-being sustainable experience is an opportunity that lies before us all. Doing the inner work of healing and awakening is a vital part of this process because it helps create a fertile field where hygge is likely to emerge and expand. Doing your inner work is like putting compost on your garden. When you enrich the soil, you know whatever grows there will be more resilient, fruitful and beautiful.
The really exciting part of this hygge process is that when this inner cozy state emerges in new ways, it naturally enhances our relationships.
Our inner condition sets the tone for our relationships. Integrated Energy Psychology has proven to be a powerful catalyst for growth and healing, which creates a fertile field for authentic loving connection to naturally arise and expand in relationships.
If you are intrigued by the possibility of deepening your experience of hygge, I would love to support you in this process.
With big love and warm blessings,
Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year in the Western Hemisphere, celebrated by humanity since time immemorial. As the outer sunlight fades, the Solstice period offers us a rich opportunity to turn inward to connect with and strengthen our inner light -- that pure radiant spark within.
That inner spark was here long before we were born and will be here long after we die. It always has been and always will be. It is the true point of cause in our lives, the catalyst for all loving acts and creative labors. This inner spark is essentially the light of Love.
The inner light is celebrated by cultures around the world through many different Winter festivals and rich seasonal traditions. Winter Solstice is a sacred time when humanity's quest to live in greater light converges with the cycles of nature to create an opportunity for great insight, inspiration and spiritual renewal. The Solstice represents the end of one cycle, and the beginning of the next.
How do we prepare for and make the most of this powerful cyclic opportunity?
We can learn much about how to live a harmonious life by observing the natural world. Many plants and trees shed their leaves in the late Fall. In the process of letting go and releasing what they no longer need, they enrich the soil and provide nourishment for the many lives all around them. By the time Solstice comes, many trees and plants stand naked and unadorned, quietly turning their life force inward to gather strength for the next cycle of outward growth that is sure to come in the Spring.
A powerful question to ask around the time of the Solstice is: "What can I shed in order to more fully nourish all life around and within me?"
Asking this question daily can be a wonderful preparatory practice which opens the way for your inner light to be kindled in new ways. For me, living that question for the last month has been a powerful catalyst for many great moments of inspiration, joyous celebration, and heartfelt connection with others.
It is also powerful to carve out some time for silent reflection and stillness each day during the Solstice week.
There is a window of opportunity that opens during Solstice week that allows us to touch into the light within more naturally and easily than at other times of the years. Many people are so busy with outer holiday preparations this opportunity for deep spiritual renewal is missed.
In light of this, I invite you to join me in silent (sitting or moving) meditation at the exact time of the Solstice, December 21, 2014 at 3:03 pm PST.
May you find great joy and loving communion with all life as the light of the Sun nourishes us more fully with each passing day!
Are you letting lingering pain and disappointment from your previous love relationships get in the way of experiencing deep love and connection in your life right now?
Have you grieved your last relationship breakup so you can fully and joyfully open to new love and deeper intimacy?
Divorce or relationship breakups can leave you feeling hurt, sad, disappointed, and angry. Yet when you face these painful emotions and uncover the hidden lessons and wisdom within them, you quite naturally open to love and connection again.
When the natural grieving process related to ending a relationship is interrupted or incomplete, new love rarely blossoms. Unresolved emotions block your heart and keep you from opening to love again. In the aftermath of unresolved relationship grief, many people experience years of intermittent emotional pain and/or numbness, subsequent unfulfilling relationships, and deep loneliness.
Fortunately, there is a way to heal and resolve painful relationship wounds so you can be truly free to love again, more fully than ever before.
Integrated Energy Psychology and Relationship Coaching provides a proven pathway to heals the wounds that are keeping you from having the love and connection you want in your life now – in romantic partnership and in all of your relationships.
Through a powerful seven step process, we can work together to heal and dramatically expand your capacity to love anew – whether in your current love relationship, or by attracting a new partner.
This individualized clearing process works to clear pain from past relationships whether you recently ended a love relationship, or if the breakup or divorce happened years ago.
Periodically I offer a limited number of free introductory Energy Psychology and Relationship Coaching session to those in my cyber community. This is an opportunity to experience first hand how this leading edge process can support you in moving forward and opening to greater love and connection.
If you would like to explore how this work can give you the psychospiritual tools, support, and guidance you need to heal the pain of the past and step into new love, deeper intimacy, and partnership, please don't hesitate to send me an email.
Because we all deserve to generously love and be loved.
With big love,
Two years ago the love of my life unexpectedly passed way. He was an extraordinary man of great wisdom, depth, character, lightness and laughter. He was one of those amazing people everyone loves. His death was sudden and completely unexpected.
This was the most devastating experience of my life.
The first couple of months after he passed were filled with loving people and constant activity as we collectively said good by to a brave and beautiful man. Friends and family were immensely supportive and loving during those really hard times right after he passed.
Months later I fell into deep despair and depression, feeling as if the pain would never go away. The shock and pain of holding my beloved in my arms as he made his transition wracked my body. I was stuck in a deep, dark place I had never experienced before.
At times I didn’t want to go on without him. This was a totally new feeling for me, as I am optimistic and forward thinking by nature. This was the greatest challenge I ever faced.
I was afraid I may get caught in this intense grief and never feel joy again.
The thought of never recovering from this devastating loss haunted me. I could feel my life and interests getting smaller and more contracted as each day passed by. Most of the time I simply noticed this happening, but part of me knew I had to turn it around. I knew I had a whole lot more living to do. Yet I was so stuck in the sadness I didn’t know how to turn it around. There was no way to avoid this intense pain and loneliness. Instinctively I knew that the only way out of the suffering was to go through it.
In light of this, I decided to embrace the grieving process in every way I possibly could. I created a daily grieving practice for myself, utilizing many of the healing and transformational tools I have used with my clients for many years as an energy therapist, relationship coach and healer.
Deeply committed to moving forward and healing, I took a deep dive into loss and grief.
The shift was immediate and profound.
As soon as I started doing these grieving processes, my depression lightened. Peaceful spaces began to be interspersed with the deep longing to hold my beloved, to see his beautiful smile, and to hear his laughter again.
As my healing progressed, previously painful memories began to be accompanied by deep gratitude and joy for the love we shared. I began to feel the profound gifts within his death, for myself and for others in his life. Eventually I began to feel acceptance for what had happen.
As I continued on with these grieving processes, deep love and appreciation filled the raw places where loss and anger once thrived.
Most significant of all, instead of feeling like a victim of his death, I knew that sharing my beloved’s life and death were the greatest gifts I have ever received.
The more I accepted his death, the more I felt his love and presence still with me. I came to deeply and irrefutably know he would always be in my heart and always be my beloved companion, yet in a different way than I had imagined. With that realization, my grief turned to gratitude for having the opportunity to love and be loved by him.
As I more fully embraced my grief, my heart continued to open and expand.
As I lifted out of these dark times, I became keenly aware that many other people have experienced deep relationship losses, yet have not fully grieved and healed.
Most people have multiple significant unresolved relationship losses in their lives.
These losses can come from the death of a loved one, a divorce or break up, or even an experience of abandonment (emotional or physical) as a child. Sadly, our culture does not fully honor or create space for deep grieving. We often pay a very high price for not accepting and healing our relationship losses, individually and collectively.
Depression and the inability to create new healthy, supportive and loving relationships are common results of unresolved relationship loss.
As I healed, I knew I had to share the journey I had been through, and support others in grieving and healing so they could experience greater acceptance, peace, love and connection. Deep grief can be transformed into an infinite source of love and gratitude, yet we sometimes get stuck in our healing journey.
In light of this, I am offer a Love and Loss Healing Intensive to help those who have experienced relationship losses.
This six session intensive is designed to be a catalyst in the healing process so you can move forward, rapidly and gracefully, with the one-to-one support you need, without feeling retraumatized by your loss.
In the Love and Loss Healing Intensive, you will be guided through leading edge energy psychology techniques that have helped millions of people all over the world.
For a limited time, I’m offering a complimentary phone session to those interested in healing their relationship losses, whether those losses are brand new, raw and tender; or they happen years ago.
This introductory consultation is an opportunity to discover if the Love and Loss Healing Intensive is right for you. It can be done by phone from anywhere in the world, or in person in Northern California. It can be done over the course of a weekend, or in weekly or bi-weekly sessions.
If you are interested in transforming the pain around your relationship losses and expanding your capacity to live and love more fully, please contact me via return email to schedule an introductory session.
We all know someone who is broken hearted about a relationship loss. Please pass this message on to friends or family members who are grieving a relationship loss (or avoiding grieving). This simple act could be the catalyst that is needed to help alleviate their pain and suffering.
With love and deep gratitude,
It was more magical than I had ever imagined; a paradise with lush green vegetation, rock outcroppings forming a natural amphitheater, a meadow graced by wild flowers and fruit trees, a sunny spot for a vegetable garden, a large deck, and best of all, there was a vigorous year round creek flowing through the back yard! As I stepped inside the house and was greeted by a wall of windows that looked out upon the garden and the lush forest beyond, I knew I could be happy in this place.
This house was exactly what I had been looking for. There was a great room with high beamed ceilings, three bedrooms, two baths, and even a loft for doing yoga and meditation. The land was private and quiet, with no other houses in sight, yet it was close to downtown. After months of looking at houses for sale, there it was, and even in my price range!
Built in the 70s, the house needed updating, yet this seemed to be a small price to pay for this slice of heaven. I felt a great big “YES” ripple through me as I continued to marvel at the possibilities that could emerge if this property became my home.
This house had the potential to be all I imagined: a cozy home, a place of joyful connection with friends, family, and community, a serene sanctuary of transformation and inspiration; and a haven for living harmoniously with the nature spirits of the land.
I sat in the meadow beside the stream, meditated and asked inwardly if this was the right place for me to live. I felt the land and the life all around me responding with another great big “YES”. It felt like the land was embracing me and inviting me to be there. With “YES” rippling through me inside and all around, I hastily put in a full price offer and crossed my fingers.
I soon discovered four other eager buyers had put in offers as well. I wondered how I could set myself apart and increase my chances of getting the property. I was inspired to write to the owner of the property. In the letter I let her know why I wanted to live in her home. From the deepest, most authentic heartfelt place I could find, I wrote about how much I loved the property and how I wanted to bring the garden back to its full glory. I shared how I needed a healing and inspiring environment for myself and my clients, and how I imagined my yet to be born grandchildren playing in the creek on warm summer days.
As I sent off the letter, I realized I have never loved or wanted a home as much as this one. At this point I had given it my best shot and there was nothing more to do but trust that if this was indeed the house for me, all of the details would work out.
Over the next few days a ferocious bidding war with five eager buyers ensued. There were multiple offers and counter offers. I was anxious and excited all at once. Finally, my realtor called to say that even though there was an offer for $5,000 more than mine, the owner had excepted my offer!
As the dust settled and we opened escrow, I felt intense gratitude and awe. With four other eager buyers, one who offered a higher price than I had, how did this house become my home?
It was the authentic heartfelt connection with the owner that made the difference and set my offer apart from the others.
In my letter to the owner I wrote straight from my heart. My realtor later told me that when she read the letter there wasn’t a dry eye in the room, and the owner immediately said she wanted me to have her house. Having someone who would love her property meant more to the owner than the extra money.
Whether it is in personal relationships or business transactions, bringing your most authentic and heartfelt truth to the table elevates every human interaction.
This takes courage and the willingness to be vulnerable. This is risky business for us humans. Yet the rewards are great when we really allow our deepest heartfelt truths and desires to be known.
This week I’m celebrating and remembering, a year after opening escrow on my house. It is now in the final stages of being remodeled (that’s another story!), and I am more grateful than ever for the opportunity to live in a beautiful, magical place. This is a lifetime dream come true.
As I write and remember this powerful experience, I am reminded that the journey into deeper connection and heartfelt communion with others can continue each day if we choose to be our own catalyst by asking:
What heartfelt truth do I need to share today?
And then courageously and authentically communicate whatever it is. This is not always easy, yet it is so very liberating, no matter what response we get. And who knows, we may even get exactly what we want and need. :-)
With love and gratitude,
I feel deeply humble these days after coming through a challenging time. A few weeks ago I was brought to my knees by a nasty winter bug. After wrestling with this illness for over two weeks, I finally emerged triumphant and healthy. Yet the healing process was not easy.
I am usually the one who doesn't get sick.
When everyone around me is dropping like flies, I keep on flying. I once went 15+ years without a cold or flu. When I start to feel sick, I simply shift into healing high gear. Out comes the elderberry syrup, echinacea tea, and vitamin C. I go to bed early, do energy healing on myself, and by morning all is usually well.
Well, not this year. I was absolutely miserable for over two weeks with headaches, fatigue, body aches, interrupted sleep, a nasty cough, and endless congestion. This doesn't sound so bad, does it? Just an ordinary winter bug, right?
To get an idea of just how bad I felt, tune in to day six. As I tossed and turned in the middle of a very long sleepless night, I actually had the thought, "Am I ever going to feel better? This is as bad as childbirth!" I was stuck in that place where you feel like the pain and misery is never going to end. If you have ever been in labor or stood by someone giving birth, you know exactly what I mean.
What made this ordinary illness so miserable that it was reminiscent of child birth?
Drum roll here……. ISOLATION. I have lived alone since my beloved passed away over a year ago. Though I am normally very social and have many loving people in my life, when I was ill I stayed in bed for over ten days. Alone. My only contact was with my acupuncturist and a friend who brought over chicken broth and tissues. When the phone rang, I had little energy to answer it. My emails stacked up. I felt utterly alone in my misery.
This was definitely self imposed isolation. I have friends and family who would have come in an instant if I had reached out. Yet I didn't have the energy to do so. And I certainly didn't want to expose anyone to this nasty bug.
So I stayed home…. alone, alone, alone.
Coughing. Blowing. Sneezing. Sniffing. Alone, alone, alone.
We've all been sick and somehow made it through. Of course, I made it through and now feel good again. Looking back I see that the despite the misery and the days in bed, there was a great gift in this experience.
This illness reminded me that the most powerful healing force is loving connection with others.
When a friend dropped off groceries, my pain eased. When I saw my acupuncturist, my pain eased. When a friend came to walk my dog, my pain eased.
The moment we reach out and share our pain with others, light rushes into the raw and tender parts within us that are in need of healing.
This is true with different kinds of pain -- physical, emotional, or mental. As I write, this seems rather obvious. Yet it is worth shouting from the rooftops.
Even though we may know the most powerful healing force is loving connection, our competitive, consumer-oriented culture encourages and celebrates the lone-wolf mentality. The accomplishments of the ones who are in the limelight are often honored more than the team that stands behind them. We often feel like we have to tough it out on our own, rather than humbly ask for the support we need. This is slowly changing as humanity evolves, yet we have all been conditioned by the lone-wolf mentality, which often inhibits our capacity to reach out when we are in pain.
We all have pockets of pain and suffering that are seldom, if ever, shared.
Yet there can be tremendous liberation in sharing these tender parts with a compassionate listener. Today, I invite you to bring light to those painful places within that need love and compassion by embracing the process of inquiry and asking a few simple questions….
In what areas of life do I need to reach out for empathy and support?
What feelings am I suffering alone with?
Who can I call upon to hold a loving space for my pain, without trying to fix it?
By facing our own tender painful parts and opening to the care and compassion that is all around us, we create a loving, compassionate healing space for ourselves that is much bigger than our isolated pain.
And don't forget to ask these questions as well…
Who around me is suffering alone?
Who needs my attention, love and compassion?
How can I be there to help ease their pain and suffering?
By extending loving attention and empathy to others, we become a mighty healing force, sending waves of love around the planet. So let's use all this vibrant Spring energy to reach out and do this for each other, bigger and bolder than ever before.
Shining big love,
P.S. I'm here for you.
On Valentine's Day this year numerous people expressed displeasure about how silly it is to have just one day to celebrate love.
I'm sure you are all for 365 days of noncommercial love, just like I am.
So we can all remember the beautiful essence of this day, I offer you the "real" story of Valentine's Day, which is filled with love, courage and selfless giving. Enjoy, and keep on loving!
The Story of St. Valentine
St. Valentine lived in Rome during the third century. At that time, Rome was ruled by an emperor named Claudius. He was not well liked, Emperor Claudius.
Claudius wanted to have a big army. He expected men to volunteer to join. Many men just did not want to fight in wars. They did not want to leave their wives and families. As you might have guessed, not many men signed up. This made Claudius furious. So what happened? He had a crazy idea. He thought that if men were not married, they would not mind joining the army. So Claudius decided not to allow any more marriages. Young people thought his new law was cruel. St. Valentine openly rejected this law.
As a priest, St Valentine felt one of the most sacred acts he could perform was to marry couples. Even after Emperor Claudius passed his law, Valentine continued performing marriage ceremonies -- secretly - in the true spirit of holy matrimony. They would whisper the words of the ceremony, listening all the while for the steps of soldiers.
One night, they heard footsteps. Valentine helped the couple he was marrying escape before soldiers arrived, but he was captured, thrown in jail and told that his punishment was death.
Many young people came to the jail to visit Valentine. They threw flowers and notes up to his window. They wanted him to know that they, too, believed in love, not war.
One of these young people was the daughter of the prison guard. Her father allowed her to visit Valentine in the cell. Sometimes they would sit and talk for hours. She helped to keep Valentine's spirits up. She felt he had done a brave service by ignoring the Emperor, honoring the love between people and going ahead with the secret marriages. On the day he was to die, Valentine left a note to the daughter of the prison guard, thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. He signed it, "Love from your Valentine"
This event and note started the custom of exchanging love messages on Valentine's Day. It was written on the day St. Valentine was executed, February 14, 269 A.D. Now, every year on this day, people remember. But most importantly, they think about love and friendship. And remember too, the so-called "powers that be" often try to stand in the way of love. St. Valentine is the hero of love against all odds, knowing that love cannot be beaten!
Shining Big Love,
A fresh start…
I feel brighter just writing these powerful words. Rich images come to mind. The soft smooth skin of a newborn baby; the first daffodils that raise their tender green leaves in early spring; the warm feeling of reconciliation after a disagreement with your beloved; a crisp clean piece of watercolor paper eager to be filled with your inspiration.
A fresh start is so juicy because for just a moment we stand in a powerful place where anything is possible, where our inner inspiration can be expressed in new ways upon the fresh canvas of our lives.
Imagine living every day in this fresh clear place of infinite possibility.
Close your eyes, take a deep full breath and really do this…
Imagine a day with no unfinished business, no painful memories, no projections about the people around you, and best of all, no preconceived ideas about who you are and what you can accomplish. Imagine leaving behind your old dysfunctional patterns of behavior, and replacing them with fuller presence, love, and expanded creative potential.
Take a moment and savor this possibility for your life, not just as a random experience, but as a way of life. We touch upon this rich fresh quality now and then, but imagine it being part of every single day. Pretty awesome to think about, isn’t it?
This is the gift of Energy Psychology. This emerging new field offers leading edge transformational technology that is changing millions of lives for the better.
Energy Psychology is based upon the premise that negative emotions and behavior patterns are the result of blockages in a person’s energy system. As energy blockages are cleared, the natural healing force within is activated. You then experience a “clean slate”, and a renewed capacity to step gracefully out of the old patterns and emotions that no longer serve you.
Some techniques of Energy Psychology include stimulating pressure points in the body’s meridian system with gentle pressure. Acupuncturists have been stimulating points in the meridian system to restore health and well being to the physical body for thousands of years. It is now possible to use acupressure points to restore emotional and psychological health and well being as well.
Clearing these energy blockages is often a rapid and graceful process that can be attained without doing years of therapy or feeling re-traumatized by the past.
You can’t change the past, but you can change the imprint it has left on you.
Energy Psychology offers proven techniques to heal and release negative emotions and imprints that hinder your capacity to create healthy, fulfilling relationships in your life right now.
The really good news is that these innovative techniques are being tried and tested through a multitude of scientific studies. There is now solid research to prove the effectiveness of these innovative EP techniques. Energy Psychology professional skills courses are now accepted for continuing education credits for PhD psychologists by the American Psychological Association! This is fabulous news because the APA has incredibly high standards. Research is proving that Energy Psychology is valid and highly effective.
Leading edge Energy Psychology techniques are a vital part of my practice as a relationship coach and energy therapist. I use them to help clients heal and transform the issues that get in the way of experiencing fulfilling, loving relationships with all of the people in their lives.
In a relatively short time, you can even learn to do some of the Energy Psychology techniques yourself so you can clear challenging emotions that arise in day to day life.
Remember that clean slate you imagined a few minutes ago?
Now close your eyes again and imagine having a clean slate in every one of your relationships…
Imagine… all of your past expectations and grievances gone.
Imagine… any sadness or guilt, regrets or mistakes related to your relationships completely healed and transformed. You still remember the past, yet you have forgiven and released old grievances, learned from them, and are willing to start anew…
Imagine… gracefully transforming or releasing those relationships that no longer serve you….
Imagine… being able to create new kinds of relationships based upon the present, and who you are now…
And best of all, imagine love and compassion quite naturally flowing onto your fresh blank canvas!
This month I am offering a limited number of introductory energy psychology phone sessions at no charge. This is an opportunity for you to explore this innovative new way to create lasting and profound change for the better. If you are interested in trying this powerfully transformative process, simply send me an email to schedule an appointment.
With love and gratitude,
Winter Solstice is my favorite day of the year.
It is the shortest day of the year, often filled with dark, crisp wonder. It is the turning point when the light of the Sun begins its return to fullness. At the Solstice I often gather with friends, light candles, do simple rituals and sing out in the stillness. There is a depth to this time of the year that seems to give every word, image, and action deep meaning and significance.
At the Solstice, we complete one cycle and are given an opportunity to consciously begin anew. During the Winter Solstice, as well as the days before and after, inner silence often comes more easily than at other times of the year. Some years I bask in the silence. Other years inner silence remains elusive, more like a faint whisper than true silence.
This year the deep silence of Solstice came early and decided to stay a while.
Two weeks ago, I heard a snow storm would soon arrive in my hometown in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. This is my first winter in this quaint town among the evergreens. Being born and raised in Southern California, I have lived most of my life close to the Pacific Ocean. A full blown snow storm would be a totally new experience. As soon as I heard about the storm, I drove around town, bought chains for my tires, stocked up on groceries and water, and even bought an oil lantern in case the power went out. I asked a friend to wrap my pipes and I pulled out my warmest clothes. By the end of the day I felt like I was ready for anything. Bring on the snow!
Around dusk the next afternoon, white flakes began to fall silently from the sky. As I watched the powdery snow cover my yard, I felt absolutely giddy. I sat mesmerized for hours, basking in delight as my deck and the garden beyond were completely cover in white. Late in the night I finally turned out the lights and went to bed feeling more peaceful than I had in months.
The magic continued the next morning as more snow fell until everything was covered with sparkly white snow. That afternoon when the snow stopped falling, I ventured out for a walk with my dog, Bosco. As we walked across the meadow and down towards the creek that flows through my back yard, I was immediately enveloped in awe and wonder at the utter silence.
I had never before experienced such profound and extended inner and outer silence.
The euphoria induced by this white powder was like none other. Paradoxically, in this profound silence, it felt like every part of my being, and every other being in my sphere, was humming this peaceful message in unison, "all is well".
In the midst of this powdery white stillness I touched something so deep and pure it could not be denied, discounted, or lightly skipped over. I touched upon the deep silence of my essence.
Touching this deep presence is always possible, yet in my experience it is more likely to happen during the days around the Winter Solstice. In the doorway between seasons, between light and dark, past and present, the old and the new; fresh possibilities to experience that which transcends all duality quite naturally emerge.
Unfortunately, in the busyness of the holiday season we sometimes miss the silence and the accompanying "all is well" choir sweetly humming within and around us. Yet these experiences of "silent humming" strengthen us for what lies ahead. Those moments of silence in the snow left me knowing anything is possible. Literally.
Over the next few days, I invite you to be on the look out for those moments of "silent humming", and to bask in them. These experiences of deep presence often sneak up on us when we least expect them.
May these precious moments be a delightful reminder that even though the Sun waxes and wanes, there is a deep radiant within you that ALWAYS SHINES.
Shining Big Love,
To read about how to make the most of this time of year, click here.
As promised, I am sending you messages of love this holiday season. The first one I sent, 360 Degrees of Love, struck a cord with so many people.
Today, I offer you an opportunity to be steeped in a vast love that transcends time and space and the sometimes narrow confines of how we often conceive of love.
This video is short, intense and amazing. It left me speechless and unsettled in a way that only deep truth can do. It shouts of 360 degree love; of a love shared by two that is so big it blesses the entire universe.
If you have ever loved... watch it.
If you have ever lost someone you love... watch it.
If you have ever yearned to define or touch Spirit... watch it.
With bright starry love,
This has been an amazing week, filled with many different experiences; with great highs and lows. Tonight I feel compelled to share my Thanksgiving experience with you.
I opted to stay home last week rather than travel. On Thanksgiving Day I feasted with dear friends, had Face time gatherings with family members who were miles away, and joyfully communed with the magnificent evergreens in my neighborhood. It was all rich and deeply satisfying. Gratitude pulsed through me, getting stronger as the day unfolded.
Feeling full and warm all over, that evening I snuggled down to watch a DVD with a Native American theme, thinking this would be fitting for Thanksgiving night viewing. After a few minutes of watching I was quickly carried away by the beauty and peacefulness of the native way of life so beautifully portrayed. The characters soon made their way into my grateful heart. All was well until the tribe was suddenly brutally slaughtered. I felt shock go through my entire being. It was all so wrong! Sobs wracked my body as I continued to watch and grieve.
I gently reminded myself that the Natives Americans were simply actors who hadn’t really been slaughtered, yet this theme was hitting too close to home. Last year, my beloved partner suddenly passed away. Since then, I have deeply grieved. Several months ago the oppressive sadness began to lift as gratitude and acceptance settled into my heart and mind.
Suddenly there I was in full blown grief again, dealing with it all alone on a holiday. As hard as it was to feel this depth of pain yet again, I knew this was right where I needed to be. I had come a long way, yet there was more grieving to do. Amidst the sadness, overwhelming waves of love for my beloved partner engulfed me. These were intense moments of feeling both the depth and height of human love all at once. Love and loss, all in one breath.
As I sobbed and breathed, I remembered an experience that happen shortly after my beloved died. In the weeks following his death, I felt overwhelming love for him, sometimes even more powerfully then I felt when he was alive. I often felt his presence encircling and comforting me. At times I could hear and feel him communicating from afar.
On one particularly hard afternoon I felt so much love for him I thought my heart would burst. Although I believe he received my love on some level, it felt like my intense love didn’t have a place to land. I was silently asking about what to do with all these feelings when I heard my beloved’s voice say, “Let go of the “you” in “I love you”. Live in “I love”.
As I heard these words I felt like a lightening bolt went right through me. I knew exactly what he meant. Living in “I love” meant letting go of my narrow focus on him, a singular object of love, and instead, expanding to love all. Of course! Instead of focussing my love on my partner like a magnifying glass, I was to be a vibrant ball of love radiating in all directions. He was calling me to be a vibrant sun, shining upon all life within and around me, shining 360 degrees of love!
My crying stopped and I began to get excited about living 360 degrees of love more fully than ever. As I paused and breathed, I also understood a deeper meaning to his words of wisdom. “I love” was not just about love as an expansive way of being. Living as “I love” was about more fully identifying as love, as in “I am love”.
To live fully in that mode would demand letting go of my illusions about who I think I am, which all negate my identity as pure love. All of the moments when I think I am: a woman, a therapist, a coach, a mother, a lover, an American, aging, sad, angry, and on and on, negate the truth that I am essentially love.
I am love, temporarily manifesting as a woman, a mother, a therapist, and so forth.
On Thanksgiving night, as I remembered this experience from months before, I was filled again with gratitude and peace. In this moment of sacred remembrance, I felt love flowing more freely within and around me. This expansive awareness was yet another precious parting gift from my beloved.
If you are on the path of growth and awakening, the idea of being love is definitely not new. Maybe is isn’t even very interesting any more. We aren’t often interested in the ideas we think we already know about.
Yet I believe there is no more noble or worthy pursuit than living and embodying 360 degrees of love.
Understanding this idea is very different from actualizing it as a way of life. We embrace the ways of love and then we forget them, again and again. I have dedicated myself to the embodiment of love; to living 360 degrees of love as fully as I am capable. Maybe you have done so as well. If not, I invite you to join me.
This is a group effort that cannot be done alone. As each of us endeavors to shine love into all the dark places within and arounds us, we spark each other in ways unimaginable.
I feel compelled to share my journey of embodied love, as well as tools and practices to inspire our collective radiance, which is what “I love” is really all about. This season of gratitude and giving is an ideal time to go deeper into living 360 degrees of love. In the coming weeks I’ll be sending you “gifts” to spark the embodiment of love. I invite you to savor these gifts and freely pass them on.
I also invite you to send me your stories and insights about living 360 degrees of love. I’ll be passing on the juiciest ones.
I believe that we all made a commitment to live 360 degrees of love when we came into these physical bodies. Yet it is so easy to forget this sacred promise. During this holiday season, let’s gently, lovingly remind each other of what we are really here for…. to live 360 degrees of love!
here is a particular flavor of love that grabs you firmly, lifts you up, and takes you for a wild, tumultuous ride.
When you touch the earth again you realize all the bumps and bruises and otherwise painful moments of your entire life were all part of love’s caress. Every touch was kneading the fear and sadness from deep within; leaving you open and tender like never before so you could, at last, truly know big, bold love.
After this kind of love has its way with you, your whole being feels soft and supple like babies’ skin; free from the inevitable weathering and scaring that used to tell your story. This kind of love writes a new tale on every cell of your body.
When it ripples through me I want to shout out my delight and tell everyone I meet the good news about how totally freakin' amazing life can be. This super charged kind of love reminds me of my favorite flavor of ice cream, Mint Chip. Refreshing, sweet and creamy, interspersed with the stimulating promise and richness of dark chocolate. Yum.
Being deliciously cherished doesn't mean you wake up one day to discover the ideal mate or the perfect relationship; or that the inevitable challenges and flaws that take you away from love's deepest pulse aren't regular visitors in your home. It simply means that everything that transpires in the relationship is held within a particularly rich and satisfying context.
Imagine having a warm cup of cocoa on a cool winter night. Are you savoring it? :-) Well, now imagine that same cup of cocoa with a dollop of whipped cream on top. Assuming you love whipped cream (and doesn't just about everyone?), that cup of cocoa is going to rise from being really good to being magnificent. That is what being deliciously cherished feels like. Love with whipped cream on top!
I first experienced being deliciously cherished when I was a young woman. At that tender point in life I didn't recognize this kind of love for the rare and precious gift it was. In my ignorance, I let it go. To be more accurate, I repeatedly stomped on it, and then ran far, far away. Years later I came to know this kind of deeply penetrating love in a more mature and enduring package.
My deepest wish is for all women (and all men!) to know this kind of bold love, and to be liberated by it potent force. This is the most profound and enduring kind of Women’s Liberation, having nothing to do with equal pay or equal opportunity. For once a woman is deliciously cherished, she inevitably becomes a liberating force for others, magically opening doors to greater love and kindness and creativity wherever she travels. And the man who cherishes her becomes the recipient of gifts unimaginable as her particular flavor of feminine magic is sparked and set free.
Deep love between men and women is quietly accomplishing what our political and educational systems have not been able to do with much success. It is ever so slowly and quietly changing our world for the better.
I say to men everywhere: if you want a better life, if you want to make a difference, if you want to experience all the riches of this world.... then love a woman like she has never been loved before.
When you discover a woman who is ready to be cherished and is longing for You, and only you (and only you can know if this is so), soften the protection around your heart and love her with “no pads on”. Silently lay down your defenses, and risk to love with everything you've got. Love her as if this is the most profound and significant action you could ever take.
When you love her wholeheartedly, despite her particular flavor of “craziness”, her love handles, or her neediness; your world will be rocked and enriched like never before. And so will mine and every other creature on this planet. The ripples really are that big.
Shining Big Love,
An energy therapist, relationship and spiritual life coach, Ariana is a lover of love in all of its many delicious forms; self love, couples love, family love, community love and ultimately, the universal love that pervades all.