Finding Value in the Valley

Recently I came in collision with some beliefs that stem from my childhood. No matter how much spiritual growth I have obtained in this lifetime, I am always a little surprised by the remembering, re-telling and reliving of these old ideas. About a year ago, I heard a gentleman say, “It’s not about never getting triggered- it’s about what we do when it happens.” This was and is an important reminder. I used to often feel when these old wounds presented themselves, I had done something “wrong.” An old belief was I was being punished by the Universe in some way, the Law of Karma revealing itself for some misdeeds long forgotten. I see this differently thanks to that off-the-cuff remark by that gentleman. This is why I find it is so important to be present in conversation- you never know when those important kernels of wisdom are revealed that will later save you untold angst and suffering. Thinking back to my youth, I often would ask, “Why? Why is this happening to me?” A beloved mentor had shared with me once that the Universe operates on a need to know basis. It was pointless, she told me, to ask why. Indeed, I have found it is only when I am spiritually ready that the proverbial light bulb comes on and the Divine Appointment, often referred to as an “a-ha!” moment occurs.

I understand today there is a little girl inside of me that just wants to be loved and to feel safe. These are the times it is so important that I practice self-care. It is crucial that I become quiet and still, softly and gently asking that small, wounded part of me what I can do to make it better. It is important that at times like these I do not unconsciously slip back into that old learned behavior called self-recrimination.

Self-care for me is often about contrary action- to simply take it easy, to be gentle with self through thought, word and action. To remind myself that no decision needs to be made in that moment. Knowing and accepting this is huge because I often find when triggered that a sense of urgency comes with it. The idea “I must take action NOW!” Actually, I have come to find based on vast experiences with this, this is one of the WORST times to make a decision. I am reminded of the acronym WAIT. (Why Am I Thinking?) The most loving action I can take for myself is to enter into that inner sanctum that resides deep at the center of my being. To simply breathe. It is in this place of peace where I eternally know that all is well with my soul. That was has occurred is simply an appearance- and that I do not have full information yet. It is this place where I recognize that which I have always longed for, to simply feel loved and know I am safe, is ever-present. How good it is to know that everything I need I already possess.

Until next time.



Spiritual Progress

What happens if “it” is not perfect? I’m being serious here. Really, what happens? I ask this question right now because it has just now occurred to me that on a sub-conscious level, I really do believe the no perfection thing is just not okay. It surprises me again as I write this because certainly I have been here before and you know what? I will be here again. How disheartening it is though in the moment when you are completely sure, THIS IS IT.

This thing (and you know as well as I do the “thing” changes) this thing, is the game changer, I think- certainly I didn’t think is consciously but there it is, waiting in my subconscious for just this moment. Said moment arrives with eager anticipation, great excitement, abundant fanfare- sort of like how I used to feel as a small child on Christmas eve.

This reminds me of a story I heard once from a friend who received an unexpected, very thoughtful gift from a former student of his. It was so extraordinary to him that it could only be reciprocated by unparalleled grandiosity on his part. The problem was, there was nothing grandiose enough in his mind to warrant this gift. So, what did he do? Nothing. This bothered him so much that eventually he sent a thank you card that simply said, “Thank you.”

In this anti-climactic moment, I sit here at my desk. I realize that it’s not so much about the “it” as it is the pattern of thought that precedes it. Self-inventory is not for the faint-hearted but it is only with the spiritual practice of self-examination that I truly do slowly and incrementally become the woman I was created to express.

Where Attention Goes, Energy Flows

I find myself thinking of a gentleman I met once a long time ago. He had a story bigger than he was that entered the room before him-  it was this story that drew me to him at that night. He was a sweet, little old man who gifted me with his attention. Knowing what a gift I had been given, I made the most of it. I didn’t squander the gift by asking a lot of questions, we merely sat together and he talked while I listened. With this memory comes the knowing that to simply be present in the moment with another is enough.

A second chance at life

Today marks my 27th year of continuous sobriety. Also, when I got sober I had just turned twenty-seven. So the significance of this anniversary has not been lost on me. I woke up this morning grateful. My first thought wasn’t of this day, I simply had a soft smile on my lips and in my heart. This certainly wasn’t the case twenty-seven years ago. The beautiful life I live today stems from that moment when I woke as I did most mornings back then. Shame-filled, remorseful, hung-over. I felt such fear that morning, an overwhelming sense of impending doom as well. This was a part of me that knew this couldn’t continue, not just the drinking but all of the self-defeating actions that came with it. There was another part of me that couldn’t imagine life without ever drinking again. A catch-22 to be sure or what I would now call a divine paradox.

I have made a lot of mistakes in the past twenty-seven years- I remember in early sobriety how I always wanted to “get it right.” I felt I had wasted so much time already and I knew that sobriety was truly my second chance at life. The opportunity was now present to be the woman I authentically was, not the girl who I felt I needed to be to fit in, to be loved, to feel accepted. So in my effort to continually “get it right” I often did nothing. I was in fear of getting it wrong and that immobilized me a lot of the time. One day I came across a writing by a philosopher by the name of Ernest Holmes. He wrote, “There are no mistakes in the mind of God.” How that spoke to me! It soothed my soul in such a way that it freed me to go ahead and make mistakes because the “mistakes” weren’t truly mistakes at all. Those actions had been needed to find out what I wanted and what I didn’t want. I also found that my desire for instant gratification was the old paradigm. Now I was becoming much more mindful, more thoughtful of what I wanted- what worked for ME.  All of this was an important part of my learning, growing, evolving.

My charge today is to truly be of maximum benefit to my fellows. This means being vulnerable, authentic, showing you the good and the seemingly bad (There is that place within me that has come to know by my experience that even the seemingly bad is nothing but good). So this is where I am today, excited and honestly, a little apprehensive as well. It’s all part of life, and I am excited to share mine with you.

Until next time,



“Transit umbra, lux permanet.”

“Transit umbra, lux permanet” (The shadow passes; the light remains)

I found this quote in latin the other day on Pinterest. Of course, not knowing latin it didn’t have any meaning for me. That is until I read the English translation. “The shadow passes, the light remains.” I loved it. It reminds me of the saying, “This too shall pass” which I always pretty much attributed to one of the trite sayings you hear repeatedly in the rooms of recovery. It wasn’t until many, many years of recovery and experiencing a true dark night of the soul that I became aware of how much peace this statement brought to me and the deep spiritual reality of it. Of course, just saying the statement brings a momentary comfort and not much else- it is only the deep soul work that I engage in that brings the healing through a psychic change (paradigm shift). However, it is so important to have these little reminders show up in their own perfect time.











When the Un-Natural becomes Natural

I am a seeker. Once many years ago a gentleman who was like a second father to me said, “I knew as a little boy I wasn’t big enough for this world.” How I related to that statement. At the time I remember relating to it from a place of overwhelm. In retrospect I see how I related to that statement from a victim mentality. What I have come to see is that everything, every-thing, comes down to perspective. I can take that statement and be a victim- let it define me if I choose. (As self awareness grows, so does my knowing that life is a series of choices). OR… I can choose to think of that statement and with an attitude of gratitude, know that it was because of those feelings of inadequacy that I became a seeker.

I see now that I wanted to know what it was about the world that felt so big, so terrifying, so apart from me. So I went in hot pursuit of the answer, thinking that somehow finding out WHY would give me some sense of power. Me, who had from a very young age, always felt so powerless. Certainly I was unaware this is what I was doing much of the time. Today, however, I see it so clearly. I see how as a small girl, I had this incredible sense of separation. Believing that I was somehow different and in that difference, inherently flawed. In my imagined differences I felt inadequate. As if I was enough nor ever would be. This idea of not enoughness led me to isolate- I dare not show myself in any deep or meaningful way. This way of living life was not truly living for me and in time I saw the fallacy of my thinking.

I began to see our differences as gifts, what I bring to this world is something that is uniquely of me, what I bring can only be brought by me and as this is so with me, so it is with you. With this realization, the differences can now be celebrated rather than mourned. I settle once more into this place where I live, move and have my being. This place that once seemed so un-natural that has now become natural. This place I call peace.

Until next time,