We saw him running toward us, his head hanging forward at almost a 90 degree angle from his collar bones. This structural imbalance a stark contrast to his strong muscle defined legs and calves, blue running shorts and taut body. Each step a deliberate measured cadence, without discussion or hesitation, my husband, I and our dog, crossed the street so he would not have to alter his running path to remain socially distant.  

His body screamed volumes of both his personality strengths and weaknesses: excessive determination, forward focused perseverance and deliberate action.  I believed he was someone you could count on getting something accomplished at all costs!  Regardless of the apparent strength and stamina, his head of white hair was not a top his shoulders!  Energetically speaking his head was not aligned with his heart!

Today was not the first time we saw him running in our neighborhood.  However, today in addition to admiring his perseverance, I noticed how each step was carefully placed and how his right hand occasionally reached to his right hip. Based on the wobble that followed this hand movement, I’m guessing he was experiencing some (if not severe) hip pain.

Given his advanced age and the physical shape of his muscles/body it was apparent his running was serving him in several ways. Yet part of me wanted to scream, “Please, stop running! Please lay your tired body on the floor, grab a strap and relieve some of the stress of your repeated motion that is causing your tight muscles to pull your head forward.  Breathe, breathe into your whole body, breathe into your heart! Feel the earth behind your shoulder blades, understand the earth does support your ability to stand upright and straight!”  “Reach out to each side, lengthen and find more than just forward motion!”

As I continued to watch him run 100 yards in front of us, I recalled, “You can only see in others that which exists in you!”

This thought radically shifted my mental conversation.  How does seeing him now, serve me? What message is he giving me? In this time where so many of our societal imbalances are ‘in our face’, how does this advice I want to give, pertain to me individually? and/or collectively as a culture?

I found myself wondering, “in what ways does my body scream to others, of imbalances that my determination and one-pointed focus have created?”  In what ways, would I be better served to shift my attention? In what ways could I shift to allow for more balance?”

These are not new questions. I have been asking myself these questions for years! I have been rigorously dedicated to a lifetime of self-improvement and healing. Not exactly clear what has been ‘mastered’ in exchange for all of my efforts and attention but a great deal has been learned!

For me, COVID quarantine (and all that has come with it) has helped create a container to make a few needed shifts.  I’m walking more (up to an average of 15K steps/day), eating a lot less, giving to others in a very different way, resting more and prioritizing my projects instead of living in a deficit of energy and time to get things done. The outcome (so far) is mixed, I have lost 25 pounds and completed many personal and household projects. BUT I continue to long for the connection, community, social interaction and pace of life that clearly was not serving me.

I wonder which shifts will be sustainable? Which shifts will be lost to former habits?

Either way, I will continue to regularly ask myself, “Is this serving me in a healthy way today? Tomorrow? In the long-run? Is this ultimately serving my goals? Is this something, I want to choose today or am I doing this purely out of habit?” I know deeply that the only way, the collective community/culture will change is when we each take rigorous responsibility to ask ourselves these tough questions and begin making our own changes. Because our community is merely a reflection of each of us individually!

Thoughts on Healing

Please accept this as an offering of a process that is helping me, I share it because something in here may help you…
I’m watching the comments on FB, news etc expressions of feelings ranging spectrum from disbelief, fear, anger, grief to rejoicing, shaming and jubilation. I invite you to with as little self-indulgence as possible, quickly and fully release these feelings and move into a state of acceptance and personal responsibility for the state of our internal and external world.

This is healing! We are being called to the highest form of healing…we are prepared for it!

I believe that healing myself allows others permission to do the same and while the healing process is not going to look identical for any 2 beings, there are steps that scientific process has demonstrated we are all going to go through.

As I reflect on the thoughts I am having…I ponder:

  • Did I go through my grieving steps too quickly?
  • Did I go through my steps before the election results ever came out?
  • Am I still in denial?
  • Have I transcended the whole grief process and taken a ‘spiritual bypass’?
  • Have I been triggered into an old survival pattern that mirrors hero/martyr archetype where I deny my feelings to function ‘in service’ of others?

I seriously don’t know the answer to these questions and maybe one, more or none of these are true. MAYBE I just see the world differently (graced by a divine guidance system that protects me).

The external circumstance causing so much pain is that Trump won the election and Hillary lost the election. EVERYTHING else being said is a speculation, projection and most of it can be whittled down to fear, grief or anger SO back to what I KNOW, whichever candidate won the other would lose and whoever is on the ‘other-side’ of the winner is culturally expected to grieve.

But is that really true? I’m not convinced…the same is true for sports and other competitions. I ask myself, ‘What does good sportsmanship look like and how can we display that…in this circumstance?’ How can we create shared meaning and work together?

SO the next thought that is travels through my mind, AND I fully recognize that this thought is driven and fueled by my identification of myself, as a person who has dedicated so many of years to spiritual practice and healing my life with the intention of shining radiantly in this world in service to others.

Oftentimes, I have put in effort, done faithful and arduous work towards a goal and the things that come as the fruit of my effort surprised and sometimes even shocked me…

I’ve so many times stood ready for ‘victory’ (e.g. the fulfillment of my preferences) and instead was faced with “seriously, this is what I signed up for…? …Holy shit my sub/un conscious mind must be a f’ing mess!”

It’s true more times than I care to re-count…but the repeated experience has taught me a few things I’d like to share about a process (series of actions and thoughts) that has created as many miracles as times I’ve found myself in a state of dis-belief:

  1. Breathe – start immediately!! smooth out your breath (inhale same length as the exhale)
  2. Put all of your energy to focus on this present moment — not what you thought or expected this moment to be; not what the cultural norm tells you this moment will be”…but seriously fully WHAT is happening in this moment for you
  3. Accept and realize that whatever is in front of you is EXACTLY what is supposed to be happening (arguing will waste precious energy and resources)
  4. Be a witness and ride the wave of whatever is present in this moment as skill-fully as you can (I’ve never surfed an ocean wave BUT I can imagine that is a perfect analogy). Consider, What does it take for me to be on this board and stable and flowing? ‘SHOWBOATING’ causes crashing so it is best to avoid that behavior…
  5. I also remind myself: I’m not in control of this, but my intuition has prepped me to be ready for this; and it’s all about the skill in balancing and keeping steady whilst surrendered to faith in goodness and my safety. A prayer that I often cling to is: “This is perfect, that is perfect, when the perfect is taken from the perfect all that remains is the perfect”…

PLEASE hear me, because I offer this as a perspective that may help you navigate this time…I have experience being in places others would judge as precarious, dangerous, devastating, abusive and unbearable. I AM TELLING YOU that regardless of the truth of how ‘horrible’ the external situation appears…focusing or even stating this negative perspective, IS NOT HELPFUL! Instead what helps and where I’ve found that the magic happens is at the edge of the cliff…

Dearest friends one might say we are sitting on the edge of cliff and I beeseech you to get steady and hold in your heart higher values, be careful to take actions consistent with your higher values.

  • Be compassionate to those seemingly most unworthy of your compassion;
  • serve and protect those more vulnerable who are within your reach;
  • BUT utmost keep your center and keep the faith that goodness exists in all of us…
  • do not engage with lower vibration actions (engagement continues and fuels the infinity loop of action/reaction)…
  • call into as gently, compassionately and skillfully the ‘higher vibration’ infinity loop…the one that matches our goodness and divine potential…
  • whatever and wherever you can…hold the belief that everything is as it should be and
  • be an open channel for healing to occur!

WE DON’T KNOW, but I suggest we must be open to living our lives aligned with values of goodness and faith or we merely repeat the pattern of the lower vibration from a place of righteous indignation and judgement!

More to follow on a different perspective on compassion…be well and be gentle with yourself and others!
In loving service! Christine


CHRISTINE’S THOUGHTS ON PERSPECTIVE: Just as a prism reflects light into a spectrum of colors (the rainbow) and we know that there is no value in asking ‘which is the correct or right color?’  They all exist, some of us have favorite colors and some of us are going to take a few of the colors that appear and create new blended colors. The bottom-line is that the colors we see, create, or prefer…are merely reflections of the SAME LIGHT.

Just as we are reflections of the same light…we have something to contribute and some people are going to prefer some of those contributions more than others.

HOWEVER, the question that stands foremost in my mind is, “what about my preferences are in direct competition or conflict to your preferences?”. Can my preferences exist at the same time as yours? Can we share a common space while holding onto our preferences?  I definitely prefer my preferences…as you do yours!

I do my best from “the spiritual perspective” to remember there is only one light and everything is a reflection of that one light.  In this physically manifest world however, there are so many societal rules, cultural mores and traditions that have the potential to “divide us”…BUT THIS DIVISION IS NOT LOVE, these are perspectives and I challenge myself to hold a space for those that I do not prefer. For those, in this moment from this perspective, that I CANNOT see or imagine the benefit of their existing at all.

As I pause to send my mind back to the fundamentals (I remind myself 1) everything we see is a reflection of something within ourselves, 2) we can only control and influence our own reaction and 3) making conscious versus unconscious choice can be a powerful determinant of whether our preferences are honored.  Finally, I ask and wonder, ‘In what space and under what conditions, can all of these exist in harmony?”.

I begin by looking inside myself to identify where what I am seeing reflected on the outside exists within me, I can then accept, love and heal within myself (depending on what this is, it may take a while and I may need external assistance) but by doing so I will have a more complete understanding and therefore compassion for what is happening on the outside.  This is where the magic happens…compassion and LOVE HEAL.  SO basically, to keep it simple…if you see it ‘out there’, it’s in you, so sit down, get quiet, and understand yourself better.  This is the greatest action you can take.  THEN go into the world and reverently LOVE EVERYONE. Understand your human preferences, honor them, be comfortable and steady and take responsibility for your actions and words…

My perennial garden is a recent example.  Missouri Pink Primrose, paper-thin petals opening and facing the sun…you are beautiful and bring a radiant smile to my face.  Within a month left unattended you have multiplied by 20 fold…you cover a nice patch of the garden…you filled in that blank spot beautifully.  Within 3 months I realize you are a little too enthusiastic and I begin plucking you from the roots to keep you from crowding out the other Monarda, Coreopsis and the Echinacea….Things seem under control until next spring when I realize I didn’t pull the whole root and there are runners throughout the whole garden.  So I let you bloom and enjoy your pink petals, but then I give you away by the shovel-full…and yet you return again and again (even before the summer’s end). For a while I get aggressive pull and remove you completely, yet everytime I see your leaf or your pretty pink petals, I feel appreciation for your beauty.  Whenever, I share you I warn others plant this in full sun, where you do not want ANYTHING else to grow…this one is invasive and WILL take over.  I have come to accept that for me, I don’t have the space for you to spread in my yard, I don’t have the desire to give the time needed to keep you in the ground and yet contained from taking over…so at my house you must live in a container, a decorative pot. You look great, I enjoy your pink blossoms and there is space for the rest of everything else!

What’s your Pink Primrose?



GARY’S THOUGHTS ON PERSPECTIVE: There is perspective shift that occurs for all of us when our life is shaken. If the person I believe that I am is at risk, if my dreams and purpose in life are challenged, if the things that are really important to me go away, or when my goal falls apart and the things I give energy to daily are destroyed – what is the perspective then? Suffering, mistakes, pain, and my personal failures in life cause me to see everything different. Winning in life getting all that I hope for also shifts my perspective. These are the teachers in my life to help me seek a new truth.
Think about it – how many of us have visited the homes we grew up in and thought how small that place seems now? When I drive by the house I grew up in it is amazing how huge that lawn on the corner where my siblings and all the neighborhood kids played football. End-zone to end-zone a whopping 30 yards! It is all about the perspective of that 4-foot-tall little boy’s view that became my reality and stuck with me for years.

Life is like this for me. The problems and concerns that consumed me with the whole big world ahead of me as a 20 year old college student – the mindset and goals I established for myself at 25 years old young man “before children” – all that I wanted and dreamed for as a 35 year old man with 5 children with fears and concerns of college educations and how many square feet of living space were needed to live comfortably. The kind of cars I drove, the people I maintained relationships with, the desires for my marriage and relationship with my bride, and the work I wanted to devote myself to. Am I not the same guy I have always been? Isn’t Christine the same person she has always been?
I THINK NOT! Everything was driven by my perspective in the moment!

We all must continually evaluate and adjust our perspectives. I believe a daily personal practice in our lives to seek the next best move for us is critical. We have to have values that matter to us and help us along the way – and even these shift with time. Sometimes in a moment! Love, acceptance, listening to spirit, and controlling behaviors and habits that enslave and blind me are my roadmap.

I have learned that it takes discipline and diligence to fill my mind with healthy content, gain some humility, and deflate my oversized ego. Non-duality in my thinking to accept others and see that each person has a different path, and all people have the same access to Source and their inner guidance. Judgement creates pain and neurotic relationships. When I allow myself to judge others – or worse yet get locked up in self-judgement – there is no helpful result.

Today I trust only a perspective that comes from the higher power of my own understanding. The Source that created all that exist which also lives within and sustains me. If my perspective in the moment is full of love for self and all others – it has the seed to grow into something lovely. I have learned that if I am the only one that gets a reward from an action, or if I have to justify a way that others my benefit from an action, it serves as a warning for me.   How can I do this gracefully? What can I do to see more clearly? Is there a way to gain a healthier perspective?

For me today this takes a willingness and effort to slow down and quiet my mind. A practice of stilling the mental chatter, habitual chaos, and turbulent waters of my thoughts. Only in these moments can I become the observer for myself to choose more skillfully, and see clearly how to be. This is my prayer for you, me, and all humanity. To sit with awareness that everything is a matter of perspective. If we all were to do this consistently what could be the result of this? I cannot even figure this out for myself – though I would love to project the outcome.  Join me on a journey filled with a mindful practice of listening to your own inner guidance while remembering you are worth it.

Outer is ALWAYS a reflection of the Inner

This morning, I had several outrageously disproportionate emotional outbursts of loss and grief. Hours later, I would discover that the trigger was merely a miscommunication and not a real circumstance at all, confirming once again, that everything we experience is a reflection of our “inner condition”.

The emotional pressure had been building for days (almost a week) and I was doing my best to “let it flow and go”. I had used every tool I could think of (e.g. my own practice, Reiki healing, systematic relaxation, visualization, reached out to friends, gone to a yoga class, journaled, gave to others, taken Epsom salt bath, attempted just spacing/vegging out, ate sugar (1st time in 75 days which made me sick), buried myself in busy-ness, talk therapy, sat in steam room and a hot tub, etc) BUT in reality all I could do was “hold on”…until finally at 3:45AM, I interpreted a text from my daughter (away at college) that she had let her cat out in the cold overnight “because he was ready”…upon reading this text, grief bellowed and roared out my mouth, my body shook…thoughts raced through my mind “he was going to die, his transition would be needlessly painful and full of suffering, I grieved that he was going to be gone and lost without any celebration of the gifts he had shared with me/us over the past 15 years”. Finally, the waves of grief passed through me and I prayed. I sent him love and light using every Reiki, Tantric and Shamanic symbol and healing mantra I knew to transmit so much power to him and give thanks for all he offered to me. Then cleared, I settled into a lovely practice filled with many inspirations and creative thoughts about my business goals and action steps.

At about 6:30AM, I concluded my practice and decided to cuddle and spend some time with my husband. He also had gotten up early for practice but by the time I came downstairs, he was back resting in bed…we made love, it was nice. Then as I walked into the bathroom to shower, another strong wave of grief and sadness washed over me and I was howling in grief that our “beloved Shadow” was gone [as I write this, the fantastic irony of our cat’s name is NOT lost on me]. Howling in the shower, water and tears mixing down my face.

My husband comes in the bathroom so calm and caring says, “You can take my car to Columbia today and be with Rachel and Shadow so you can help him with the transition”.

I breathe and think to myself, “He seriously doesn’t understand what’s happening”.  My mind races (thankfully, my mouth is closed, as I stand sobbing and continuing to wash my hair in the shower), “she left him outside in the cold, he’s already gone besides I can send healing from here, there is no need to go to Columbia…plus, I already did that hours ago”…allowing the thoughts about the cat gave opening to the next wave of intense frustration, targeted at my husband…“why don’t you see this is not really about a cat!”

When he sees no change in my outward expression of grief, he continues rambling explaining that “it won’t cost any gas $ because that is paid for already, it’s a company car…”. He just keeps repeating himself…

My mind hollers at him, “none of this unsolicited advice is practical, and proves how clueless you are to what is energetically happening…”. Finally, finished ranting, my mind, softened from my husband’s desperate and generous attempts to understand and soothe my despair, allows my heart to be touched by his compassion. This touch cracks the drama and my heart just enough to allow my inside smile and a laugh to escape, washing me in a shower of spontaneous gratitude.

By the time I climb out of the shower, I look at my phone and see a message from my daughter, “He came back…love you and I’ll call you later”.

So I sit in wonderment…mentally examining this whole process. What “Shadow” was I grieving for as I thought: “he will die, his transition would be needlessly painful and full of suffering, he is gone and lost without any celebration of the gifts he shared with me/us over the past 15 years”?

Was this loss and grief about:
…a cat?
…the role my husband was playing to mirror, the things I failed to face and embrace about myself?
…my own unexpressed gifts?

Were the prayers, I instinctively sent to my beloved ‘Shadow’ really meant for my benefit (because the sender of a prayer/practice is ALWAYS the first recipient)?

Is all healing, therefore, really only for oneSelf?
Is there actually an ‘inner and outer’?

Past experience informs me that this is how I process deep emotional pain that needs to be released before it starts or further impacts present reality. I acknowledge the truth in that BUT reflect that my usual processing is done alone behind a closed door in my practice room; or alone out in nature, my back resting on the earth; or on the pages of my private journal. However, this particular wave of emotions, apparently needs an audience and an external circumstance to trigger their full release.

Grateful at how open I feel, grateful for the easeful release. Not completely clear on the magnitude of what just happened but do I or anyone really need to understand (I think not) so smiling at the irony of the glimpse that was shared with me…I sit in gratitude for yet another clearing and comfortable to move forward with “my practice”, one step at a time!