Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Archive for February, 2015

Beyond Silence There Is Communication

Many of you have emailed me after reading my book, ‘Just Behind The Door,’ to tell me how the book affected your life. For that I am grateful. My intent was to share the experience of losing a loved one – my son- and what I learned from the subsequent decade of communication that has followed. The most important goal in writing it was to offer hope to others that our loved ones may be gone physically but their energy – their spirit – lives on and WE CAN reconnect with them – of that I am certain.

In another email received this week Linda writes, ‘ my mind was open (but since my son’s death) I have closed myself off from the other side. In the last year I have been thinking about opening up that door of belief but I’m a little scared. But because of your book I’m willing to try to open the door again. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.’

Losing a loved takes our breath away. Life no longer holds meaning as we become lost in our grief. Yet, we are expected to heal and go on. Our minds know this but we can’t seem to communicate it to our broken hearts. I understand – I have walked the walk.

When we read about how others have attempted to cope with their grief in can give us hope that we will eventually make it through what is truly the most devastating experience possible. If you know of anyone who might need help in dealing with their grief please consider giving them my book, ‘Just Behind The Door.’ It might just serve as a lifeline for them when they need it most. This poem says it all…

If you look with your head and heart you will see:
Beyond chaos, there is reason
Beyond darkness, there is light
Beyond absence, there is presence
Beyond nothingness, there are infinite possibilities
Beyond pain, there is healing
Beyond brokenness, there is wholeness
Beyond anger, there is peace
Beyond indifference, there is connection
Beyond boxes, there is infinity
Beyond questions, there are answers
Beyond silence, there is communication
With communication, there is love, light and peace.

In gratitude to Linda and all of you who have taken the time to email me – I thank you.

Have a great few days!

You Can Do It!

We all experience some days that are just easier than others. Those days when everything goes as planned energizes us. When we take a couple of minutes as we are falling asleep to reflect on the things that we were able to accomplish we say, ‘Yes!’ ‘Today was a good day!’ But when things seem to go awry and our Plan A has had to be changed to Plan B, C or even D how do we respond? Do we allow ourselves to be overcome with fear or thoughts that life just isn’t fair? Do we allow ourselves to get into a negative mindset of expecting more and more problems to surface? We all know how effective that mindset is – right? It can stop us in our tracks! What can we do to shake us out of a negative mindset? After all, we know deep down that what we think about most often will be delivered right back to us from the Universe with bells on. When the going gets tough it’s time to evaluate our thinking and remember the power we have had in the past to overcome.

We would all like to live a life of peace, comfort and joy but the reality is that we are, in fact, a work in progress. The challenges we have in life allow us to grow in confidence and appreciation of our own strength. We learn that we can face whatever comes along and learn from it once we decide to keep our grip on the present issues and not generalize them to encompass our entire being. In other words keeping perspective and not allowing ourselves to perseverate on the issues is so important. Just make a plan – an approach – on how to get through the latest issue and do it! Mulling over and over in our minds what seems to be going wrong is not healthy or productive. Let’s look at a more productive approach.

The first step is to take a moment to reflect on what we have to be grateful for – there are many things we have been able to do with our lives to date. We have had many more moments of success and happiness than challenges. If it doesn’t seem so at the moment, just check your own track record. It stands for itself. Remember the times when you didn’t think you could take any more and almost magically things seemed to turn around? You demonstrated the strength to persevere against all odds and won! Remember those times. They will give you the strength to carry on. The latest challenges at hand are something you will get through – one step at a time – when you keep your eyes straight ahead on your goals.

Clarity about what you do want (NOT about what you DON’T WANT) is the critical next step. What do you really want to accomplish? What do you want to become? Where do you want to be in the next year or in the next five years? Write 3 to 5 goals down and read them daily. By doing so you are actually attracting the positive energy to make your dreams happen. When you discipline yourself to take the time to write these goals down it gives you the energy, the fuel, to overcome even the most difficult situations that occur along the way because you will remember your vision or purpose for your life. Many people have heard about writing their goals down but sadly very few actually do so. Less than 10% of people take the time to write their goals out -they are the winners in life because they have discovered the secret of manifesting what they want. They use the fuel of the Universe to help them get there. You can join this group – all it takes is a piece of paper and 15 minutes of your time.

You are capable of overcoming any obstacle in life. Just remember any obstacle is a temporary condition. Don’t let it define you or stop you from achieving your goals. You are living proof that you have the strength and tenacity to get through even the most difficult situation. The adage, ‘If it’s going to be it’s up to me,’ is true. Remember your heritage. You have examples of loved ones or friends in your life who persevered against all odds and won. They would expect nothing less of you.

The beauty of our lives is that no one – absolutely no one – can rob us of a belief in ourselves and our ability to create the life we truly want to have – we are too powerful! Regardless of how many challenges we face we will make it through – of that I am certain.

Have a great few days!

Are You a ‘Fixer in Charge?’

Lending a hand, occasionally, to help others in time of need is important. After all, we find joy and reward in knowing that we have been instrumental in helping someone through a crisis. As with everything in life the ultimate issue is one of balance. At some point we might have to evaluate our efforts and decide how much time or emotional and financial support we are offering. Is it still enabling them to grow and become all they can be or has our involvement become so frequent that they now rely on us to solve their next problem or guide their next step. It’s so hard for givers to accept the reality that it may be time to back off and let someone that they care for experience the stress and challenge of their own circumstance. But when we are strong enough to stop ‘fixing’ we’ll see them experience the ultimate pride and self confidence that comes from wrestling with and overcoming their latest issue.

Life is tough and each of us has had to face a boat load of challenges and uncertainties. Some may have temporarily stopped us in our tracks. What caused us to persevere and learn resiliency in the process? Could it have been that help was no longer available or we chose to work it out ourselves by thinking ‘if it’s going to be it’s up to me?’

As givers we feel good inside when we see relief spread over the face of an individual we care about. Yet, we really do know intuitively when we are contributing to a person’s growth and when we have morphed into the role of an emotional or financial crutch. When we are brutally honest with ourselves we can admit when our ‘hand up’ has become a pattern or been reduced to simply a ‘hand out.’ It may be easier to say ‘Yes’ yet much more powerful to accept it when it is time to say ‘Enough.’

Maybe the lesson in all of this is actually ours. After all you can’t blame someone for continuing to ask or rely on you if you have established the pattern of being the ‘fixer in charge.’ We may even try to trick ourselves into believing that ‘they didn’t actually ask but we simply offered.’ Really? There are a multitude of ways to ask without verbalizing it. Taken to an extreme we may even justify our help by saying we have more or we can work harder to help ‘this time.’ But maybe – just maybe – we are unwittingly eroding their belief in themselves and causing them to become dependent on us.

Could it be that true love and caring for another is shown when we recognize if a defeating behavioral habit has been established and are strong enough to stop being complicit? It’s hard to break this habit of being there, continual giving or even rescuing someone we care about yet don’t we owe it to them?

Ultimate caring results when we are presented with an issue by someone we care about and rather than jumping in to fix it we ask them, simply and gently, ‘What is your plan?’ We show them that we have confidence in their ability to overcome. That’s heady stuff! Don’t expect to be able to do this the first time without feeling guilty. Breaking the habit of being the ‘fixer in charge’ is difficult. We may even wonder if they will ultimately hold it against us. That’s always a risk but if you love them – truly love them – set them free to experience their own trials and tribulations in life. If they come back to you it will be with a new found pride of accomplishment and resiliency in themselves that will last a lifetime.

Letting go of the fixing habit is hard but holding on past an expiration date is not healthy for anyone concerned.

Have a great few days!

Appreciate the Challenges!

The feeling of appreciation and gratitude is the highest vibration we can give out to the Universe. Knowing that what we give out we get back double fold can you just imagine how our own happiness level would skyrocket if we made it a point to practice those feelings daily? Sometimes it takes work to put ourselves in a higher vibrational state. Challenges occur for all of us on a daily basis. Yet, some people can look at an issue confronting them and keep it in perspective by remembering all the other things they have for which to be grateful. What causes a person to be able to view life from such a positive position of gratitude? Did they just have an easier life?

Believe it or not, the research is clear, the folks that constantly offer a more positive take on things have not had an easy life. They did not have all the money, comfort or opportunities that we might first assume. They are the people who have endured loss, disappointment and other major life challenges yet realize, deep down that they will overcome. They intuitively know that everything happens for a purpose and it’s usually for the lesson. This belief empowers them to have faith in tomorrow and their own ability to handle whatever comes along. Overcoming the many challenges they’ve had in life has caused them to develop more confidence – a stronger sense of self. They have learned the power to endure – against all odds- which an easier life simply would not have provided.

Conversely when we read about the children of wealthy or famous people who have all the money and opportunities possible we often see individuals who are unhappy, depressed and unproductive. Why? They have never had to face the trials and tribulations in life that would have caused them to develop greater personal strength. Often these individuals look for ways to escape reality through artificial means and the longer they live the more they up the ante for more elaborate escape mechanisms. If we were to able to have an honest discussion with them and ask them how happy they are in their own skin their response would be so sad it would stop us in our tracks. We would wonder to ourselves how they could possibly feel badly given everything that has been given to them. Ah… and there’s the crux of the matter… the more we are given the less we appreciate it and the less we believe in our own personal strength and abilities.

We have the ability – right here right now – to change our lives by changing our perspective. Life is fair regardless of how difficult it is at times. We can become more confident, positive individuals when we grab whatever is thrown at us and believe that we will make it through – maybe a bit bruised but none-the-less whole and ultimately better than ever!

Have a great few days!

Have a great few days!

Achieve Greater Happiness in Life!

If you were to rank how happy you are with your life right now on a scale of 1-10 (with 1 being totally unhappy and 10 being very happy) what would be your number? Really think about it before you assign a number. We may say we want greater happiness in our life but then the question surfaces – what are we are doing to achieve it? As simple as it may sound it really is in the way we choose to view life. When we decide to focus on the positives in our life it helps us achieve a belief system of possibilities. It causes us to see in color rather than black and white. Positive energy is like the Energizer Bunny because it attracts more of the same to us and just doesn’t seem to run out.

Some may delude themselves into thinking they need something else – a person, place or thing to achieve greater happiness in their life. As intriguing as a new car, house, or relationship may sound they are not the answer. Happiness is not a result of acquiring more but recognizing how fortunate we are every day to be alive and able to make our little place in the world a bit better. By practicing gratitude for what we have on a daily basis we become happier, better adjusted individuals. The truth is that at this moment you have everything you will ever need to be your happiest self because it really is an inside job.

Think about the topic of happiness a different way by trying this one on for size, ‘being happy is simple, being unhappy is complicated.’ It really does take more energy and effort to perseverate on something that caused us unhappiness. Some of us let our negative emotions persist longer than is necessary or certainly healthy. To stay angry, resentful or unhappy about anything in our life takes emotional effort. In this state our bodies actually produce chemicals in our brains that match our emotions which can effect our health long term. Is it worth it? To make matters worse often our memories may even add implications to the situations that never even existed! That is what’s meant by making a mountain out of a molehill. When we stop resurrecting the incident it is impossible to stay angry or negative for more than a few minutes.

Think about the last time you were really bothered about something. It was exhausting right? When our minds work overtime to remember an unhappy situation we are actually stealing time away from living today. Each of us has a finite amount of time on this earth. Does it make sense to waste even a moment remembering something that caused us stress or unhappiness? It happened, it’s over and time to move on. You are too important to this world to waste a moment of your time in what was – better to move on to a place of what could be in the future.

When we decide to develop a habit of positive thinking both our physical and mental health improves and just think… it all starts when we start to practice gratitude.

Have a great few days!

Are You Happy in Your Own Skin?

Have you ever met someone who just seemed to be happy in their own skin? It’s a wonderful thing to see isn’t it? What do they think or do differently that causes this level of confidence and happiness? I have noticed a few common traits among them that are worth considering. I’m sure you could add to this list.

These folks:

realize that life is not supposed to make them happy – that’s their job

understand that they are the genuine article – individual and special in every way

seem aware of the importance of ongoing growth of body, mind and spirit

breathe in each moment – observing and feeling more deeply then processing it all for the betterment of self and others

have learned to let let go of the ‘should haves, could haves and if onlys’ in life

realize that there is something much more powerful than themselves

never give up and are willing to regroup, rethink and redo when necessary

refuse to blame others for situations or issues and quickly accept their part in making it better

are willing to lend a hand up but not simply a hand out to others

realize the powerful difference between sympathy and empathy

find joy in the accomplishments of others

understand that ‘if happiness is to be it’s up to me!’

don’t seek applause for a job well done but with a deep seated confidence realize what they are capable of and just go about doing it

motivate us by their presence and celebrate with us as we live our life

are a joy to be around and quick to encourage us to stretch ourselves at ever juncture

remember the importance of gratitude for who they are and what they can do to make this world a little better place

We can practice these attributes and become happier in our skins. The amazing thing is that we have the power to join this unique club at any time in our lives. It’s something to think about!

Have a great few days!

It’s All About the Energy!

Constantly expanding our comfort zone is important since it keeps our blood pumping and gives us a richer, more interesting perspective on life. Following this thought I watched my first Super Bowl game ever – and was astounded to watch how the energy of both the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots changed throughout the game. You could practically feel the energy radiating from the T.V. screen as first one team led and then the other. Since I am not an avid sports enthusiast and would have preferred to have both teams win I was really more interested in the energy thing than the actually score. I found myself talking to each team throughout the game and telling them to ‘buck up’ and ‘make it happen!’ It caused me to think about how obvious our energy is to others. People can actually feel it, regardless of what our face is saying and they act accordingly by either moving toward or away from us. Just think, it all starts by the energy we are choosing to give off.

When things are going well the positive energy just seems to flow. It seems that good things just keep happening as the Universe sends back to us more of what we are giving out. Likewise when we are down things seem to happen, one after another, that overwhelm us. If we find ourselves falling into catastrophic thinking or creating mini dramas tomorrow will surely be the same as today.

Obviously none of us are Super Bowl players but we constantly have our own challenges and opportunities to handle in our own game of life. How do we learn to look for the bright side, the probability of future success when our own energy seems to be at a low ebb.

When we inhale deeply and remember that everything happens for a purpose, that we will get through this and that there really are no mistakes in life it’s a good start. Regardless of our challenges when if we calm down and realize that we can either admit defeat or look for the silver lining behind every cloud that surrounds us it goes a long way in giving us the energy to face our tomorrows. Whatever we do to help keep perspective and realize any setback we experience is really temporary it helps us dig deeper and regain a more positive attitude.

Life is not a walk in the park. Each of us has chosen unique life lessons to overcome. Some of us might even wonder, from time to time, why we wrote so many challenges in our script and may look at others and think to ourselves that their life seems to be so much easier. Caution is advised here because when we look more closely it becomes obvious that all of us experience our fair amount of challenges and disappointments- albeit in different forms.

Life is a huge balancing act. But the good news is that each of us can create our own safety net which will give us greater security and confidence along the way. Those safety nets are created from individual threads which are formed each time we overcome a life challenge. Before we know we have learned to smile with confidence as we overcome another challenge because we realize that ‘All is as it Should Be.’

Have a great few days!