Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘near death experience’

Courage and Jason Collins

Jason Collins, the basketball powerhouse, announced recently that, ‘I’m a 34- year-old NBA center. I’m black and I’m gay.” As quoted in the DailyBeast.com, he is “one of the biggest trailblazers in sports history.” Jason is the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American sport. I applaud his willingness to go where others have feared to tread.

He said he was tired of living in fear and denying his sexuality. He is strong, honest and human. His announcement will help all of us see that humans come in all shapes, sizes and sexual preferences. He went on to say that, “I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, I’m different.” Since no other pro athlete has done it, he said, “I’m raising my hand.” He has received immense support from other NBA players. My hat goes off to him.

Some countries are more accepting of people in general. They see the person, the heart and not the label. We are making slow progress in the U.S. on the topic of gay rights. We now have 10 states that recognize gay marriage. The progress has been painfully slow. One of these days we will see the rest of our country rise to the occasion and accept a human being for who they are and what they do. May it happen sooner rather than later.

As a country, may we lose the fear, the diatribe of wrongness that is too often promoted when someone doesn’t understand an issue or walk in another person’s shoes. Ignorance is simply that…ignorance. You may not be able to fix stupid but you can fix ignorance.

I thank Jason Collins for his strength and willingness to be an example for the rest of the world. Change often happens slowly, painfully one person at a time.
Los Angles Lakers star Kobe Bryant tweeted to Jason, “Don’t suffocate who u r” and fellow Laker star Steve Nash said, “Maximum respect.” That response says a lot. No one should ever have to hide who they are for fear of not being accepted.

The Universal Energy/God doesn’t make mistakes. We would all be better off if we would talk truth, accept others with love, and live by the golden rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Judgment on this topic has no place in a civilized, enlighten world.

Have a great few days!

Permission to say No

If I could give you anything I’d give you back yourself. What does that mean? Many of us are so busy meeting the needs of others that we forget the importance of taking care of ourselves. We put ourselves second, third or even in last place and then wonder why we become resentful and exhausted. To add insult to injury, then we start feeling guilty about these feelings! I have a question for you to consider to illustrate this point. What have you done lately that was simply fun to do? When was the last time you felt like you were smiling from the inside out because you were just simply enjoying the moment?

It is not easy to say no to someone who continually relies on you. It makes you feel needed and important. Over time being the ‘go to’ person results in a feeling of being taken advantage of – and you are right. Once the habit is established it is difficult, but not impossible, to pull back and change. However, it is so important to allow others to meet their own personal and family needs. It helps them grow and realize that they are capable of so much more. Greater self confidence is a result of meeting challenges and learning that you can overcome them. Would you want to rob someone of achieving greater confidence? Of course you wouldn’t but by trying to meet everyone’s needs that’s what happens.

Giving to others is a good thing. We were taught that from childhood. What many of us were not taught, however, was to value ourselves enough to be able to say no to a request or expectation from someone when you really want or need to do so. Why is it so hard to say no? Basically, we are afraid ‘they’ won’t like, appreciate or need us in the future. So rather than facing our own insecurities we just put our needs on hold so that we won’t let someone down. By doing so we let ourselves down in the process.

We all want to feel loved, needed and safe. These emotional needs can be a gift or a burden. It’s all a matter of perspective and moderation . It is so important to love ourselves enough to calmly yet firmly refuse to be the person that everyone else relies on. There are no blue ribbons or 1st in show awards given out to us when we are always available, always meeting the needs of others. In fact, just the opposite is true. We become less respected and our lives become more chaotic when we are in a cycle of continually helping others and placing ourselves and our needs on the bottom of the list.

If you have been feeling overwhelmed or burdened by meeting the never ending needs of others maybe it’s time to reassess your own behavior. It is never too late to learn the art of gracefully saying no to someone. Just like everything else in life, it is not what you say but how you say it that makes all the difference. Consider practicing how to say no to someone with positive, loving energy. Remember you will be allowing them to grow into the confident, capable human being that they are meant to be in the process.

Have a great few days!

Dreams for Tomorrow

Remember the song, ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’? The line in the lyrics that especially moves me is, ‘the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.’ What are your dreams? What do you want more than anything in the world? Do you have a dream for tomorrow?

Are you into possibility thinking or limitation thinking? For instance, if you want something to happen in your life but you are saying to yourself, I am too young, too old, too inexperienced too WHATEVER .. stop and listen to yourself. You are limiting yourself by what you are thinking. There is no magic age or situation that is the pivotal point that finally allows you to be happy. It is a daily thought process that allows you to evolve into possibility thinking! Happiness really is a state of mind not a state of circumstance.

If you find yourself thinking, I don’t have enough money to .. (fill in the blank) or I am not smart enough to … (again, fill in the blank) or I have to wait until … just stop… why are you placing limits on yourself? When we hear the statement that we are our own worst enemy it sort of fits in this context. The Universe will only deliver to you what you truly desire – no more no less. That sort of puts everything into perspective don’t you think?

I would recommend that you look at tomorrow as the first day of the rest of your life. No kidding, let’s look at tomorrow as a clean slate – let’s forget about what didn’t happen in your past and think about what you want and desire for the rest of your life and actually make it happen. You are, after all, the grand designer of all that you are and all that you will be in this lifetime.

Everything in the Universe is perfectly aligned to deliver whatever is foremost in your thinking. So let’s make our thinking one of possibilities not limitations. Make tomorrow the best day of your life!

Have a great few days!

Turn Your Kaleidoscope!

Tomorrow really is the first day of the rest of your life. It is a day that will be as open to opportunities and as resilient as you are – no more no less. When you think about it there will never be another day just like it. Relish in both the big and small things of tomorrow and they will give you greater strength and confidence as you create memories to last a lifetime. Waste the day thinking about the ‘whys’ and ‘if onlys’ and it will be gone forever. Just another day marked off the calendar of your life.

Many of the issues that affect the way we look at our lives began so early – even before we had the verbal skills to understand them – that we may just think it is natural to look at life from a perspective of fear, dissatisfaction, or lack. As we experience further trials and tribulations our life challenges begin to weigh us down and we may start believing that life is unfair, unjust or simply a burden to get through. Look at the faces of those you come in contact with and you will clearly see their perspective on life. Look in the mirror and you will know what you are telling others about your perspective on life.

If you think of your life as the pieces of glass inside a kaleidoscope, you simply need to turn the cylinder, ever so slightly, to let in more light energy. To see more colors in the spectrum. Positive thought and intentions are the light, the reflectors of your tomorrows.

All of us have lived through times in our lives that have stopped us in our tracks. Death, divorce, separation, basically any kind of loss can cause us to become fearful or anxious about what might – the operative word here is MIGHT- happen tomorrow. In reality, however, we all get our share of challenges and hurts. The test in life is how we allow those things to color our tomorrows. Are you ready to turn the kaleidoscope and put your past hurts behind you and see a more positive tomorrow?

Once you consciously choose to turn the kaleidoscope, slightly, allowing you to see the vibrant colors of possibilities and abundance, the Universe will deliver – of that I am sure. The choice is always up to you. Will you decide to simply get through another day or will you give it all you’ve got for the tomorrow that will only come around once in your life? As we know, the choice is always up to us.

Have a great few days!

Showing You Care

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our own needs, our own world, that it helps to stop once in a while to think about what we have done lately to make a moment better for a fellow traveler. Recently, I received a heartfelt card from a friend and it reminded me how important it is to let others know you care. When we make the effort, it’s a win-win for you as well. The thoughtfulness you show others is positive energy and as it goes out to the Universe it’s like a boomerang and magnet combined. It returns to you with even more positive energy to brightened your life. I’ll bet someone out there would like to hear your voice, receive a card or read an email from you. Who knows, you just might make their day a little better.

There is a poem by Margaret E. Sangster entitled, The Sin of Omission that puts the topic of thoughtfulness in perspective.

It isn’t the thing you do;
It’s the thing you leave undone,
Which gives you a bit of heartache
At the setting sun.

The tender word forgotten,
The letter you did not write,
The flower you might have sent,
Are your haunting ghosts tonight.

The stone you might have lifted
Out of a brother’s way
The bit of heartsome counsel
You were hurried too much to say.

The loving touch of the hand,
The gentle and winsome tone,
That you had no time or thought for
With troubles enough of your own.

The little acts of kindness,
So easily out of mind;
Those chances to be helpful
Which everyone may find –

No, it’s not the thing you do,
It’s the thing you leave undone,
Which gives you the bit of heartache
At the setting of the sun.

Have a great few days!

Building on Your Strength

If I asked you to take a few minutes to list your five most important attributes , what would they be? Many of us may struggle with this task. It just seems rather off-putting somehow to write on paper. So often we can see the goodness in others but rush, embarrassingly, to dismiss any compliments or comments about our own strengths when we hear them . We don’t want to appear ‘full of ourselves’ thinking humility is next to perfection – or Godliness – as the nuns repeated many times to us in school.

I bought that decades ago but now realize that we really don’t have to work at being humble. I think the world just has a way of reminding us of our humanness as we face the challenges and opportunities in our tomorrows. Just when we think we have all the answers, somehow, life changes and we are no longer even sure of the questions. Reality and humility combine into a powerful force that causes us to draw from that inner reserve of our authentic self to move through the latest challenge we are facing.

What I do think important and life sustaining is to actually name our strengths and realize how fortunate we are to be able to recognize and be grateful for them. It adds to our inner reserve as we decide what to do, become or develop next in ourselves. Change comes in all forms, self improvement frequently seems the most difficult.

Show me the person who does not do a little self evaluation for the purpose of clarity and improvement, from time to time, and I will show you a person that has little joy and even less excitement in their life. I actually met a person, once, who said she did not have anything she wanted to improve. I thought she was joking, then realized she was serious. Wow! Rather than thinking this was a person with a super dose of self confidence, I simply felt sad because I realized what a tremendous burden it must be to carry around that amount of fear. Fear (false expectations about future reality) can paralyze us and cause us to build a ‘protective wall’ around us to keep keep others out and ourselves chained to our yesterdays. This ‘wall’ is made up of the negative energy in fear and people, do indeed, run from it.

The challenge, it seems, is to refuse to be cowered by fear and to be authentically honest with yourself. Seeing your strengths as building blocks for a better tomorrow.

You are the one and only you in the Universe. The genuine article! At the cell level you are a part of the Universal Energy. The same energy that we know cannot be created nor destroyed only changed in form. When you are the same inside and out you can see yourself as others see you and a greater depth in the fabric of your being begins to emerge. Being authentic allows us to be grateful for our strengths and also willing to see new ways that we can become even more peaceful, loving, accepting and confident. We become happy in our own skin and draw others to us because of our positive energy.

Free will, the gift from the Universe allows us choice and the choice we make today will be the life we live out tomorrow! Make it a great one!

Visualize Your Tomorrows!

There are people that make things happen and those that wait for things to happen in their lives. Which one are you? The secret to making things happen in your life is to form a detailed mental picture of what you want and repeatedly visualize it in your mind AND feel it in your heart. The emotional component is what really makes the visualization become a reality. It goes beyond simply wishing or hoping for something. With visualization you see it in your mind and mentally try it on for size, adjusting slightly until it’s a perfect fit. Sound easy? It can be once you believe that you are entitled to all the happiness in life you desire.

An example of how to make creative visualization work for you could be to ‘pretend’ you are looking for a different car. What do you want it to look like, drive like? How many miles on the odometer are you willing to accept? How does it feel when you get behind the wheel to drive? How much are you willing to pay for it? See yourself signing the contract for the amount you are willing to pay and driving it with a big smile on your face. Visualize and FEEL it day after day. Know that it will happen. Keep experiencing the ‘feel’ of the car and sooner than you realize it will happen.

After achieving whatever initial visualization you have put out to the Universe, you may want to apply this process to other parts of your life. What, for example, would your life look like if you felt whole, perfect and complete? That is a much deeper thought but it is so important to realize the process of visualizing is the same. Can you actually see in your mind and feel in your heart how things would be different for you than they are now? The first step is to think about those differences and recognize them. What you have versus what you want takes mental and emotional work. It is hard work at first because it is repetitive and you have to suspend any disbelief you have that the process will work. Just like everything we do in life it takes work. This is just a different kind of work from what you might be used to doing. The phrase, ‘fake it ’till you make it’ applies in visualization.

At our core, we are all made up of energy. Remember the phrase, ‘like attracts like?’ So it is with the energy of the Universe. There is negative or positive energy in our thinking, being, doing. What are you drawing into your own energy field? You can harness positive energy to make your dreams a reality through the practice of visualization or simply wait, passively, and let things happen to you. The choice is always up to you. The Universe provides to us whatever is foremost in our thinking.

Even with the lessons that we have agreed to learn in our prebirth agreements, we still have the power of free will in the how’ we learn those lessons. It’s rather like the choice of pulling or pushing a wagon. One way is easier than the other and yet the wagon still is moved. I believe the power in the Universe can be harnessed through our ability to visualize what we want to have, achieve, and be in our lives.

When things challenge us, hurt us or loss happens there is a point at which we may see it and wonder why, demanding that this not be happening, or we can look it straight in the eye and refuse to be altered in our belief that things happen for a reason. We can use the power of visualization and get through it and learn from it, ultimately becoming stronger in the process or not. Our viewpoint is a critically important part of our gift of free will. We can harness the power of positive energy through visualization. The choice is always up to us.

The phrase s… happens, is true for all of us. Also true is the thought, ‘ what I do about it is totally up to me.’ What a gift we have been given with free will! Give visualization a chance. What do you have to lose?

Death, Taxes and Change

Death and taxes are said to be the only absolutes in life. I think we need to add change to this list since facing change is also an absolute. Change involves both endings and beginnings. Both have a great deal in common – losses and gains. The steps involved are consistent and predictable. As we face the new year let us embrace the changes ahead. By knowing about the emotional process of change it gives us greater confidence, a knowing that we can handle whatever life has in store. I find the following framework helpful in processing changes in my life. Hopefully, you will find it valuable as well.

Level 0 – We are not interested, prepared or expecting a change to happen. At first we may find ourselves in denial, anger or at least uncertainty. Is this really happening? Should I, must I – the what if’s begin to flood into our mind. Expanding our comfort zone can be unnerving.

Level 1 – The realization hits us that the change is likely. We may think we are not ready for it and fear enters our thinking. We think of all the downsides of the change, forgetting that ‘all is as it should be.’ We momentarily forget that the Universe doesn’t make mistakes.

Level 2 – Now the change is eminent. We ask ourself, ‘how will this DIRECTLY affect ME? ‘ We may worry, ‘can I really do this, cope with this and make it work?’ We go into survival mode, momentarily, wishing it would just go away. Gradually, sticking our toe in the water, we begin thinking more about the change and mentally ‘trying it on for size.’

Level 3 – At this step we accept the change and quickly want to know what and how to manage it. ‘What should I do first, second, and so on,’ we think to ourself, quickly trying to gain a sense of control. We may have moments of regret or worry but in our hearts we again strive to remember that ‘all is as it should be.’

Level 4 – Now we begin wondering or worrying about how the change will affect OTHERS in our life. We wonder what we can do to help them. Often, only time helps. They may not be experiencing any excitement or seeming advantage by the change so time is needed to let them get used to the idea and process through these steps.

Level 5 – We are now fully engage in the change and want to work with others to celebrate it. We are living with the benefits and challenges and gaining a sense of comfort with the process. It is exciting for us but others may still not be there yet. It’s okay. Loving support and the gift of time will continue to help. Everyone processes change in their own ‘right’ time.

Level 6 – Acceptance of the changes in our lives have become the new norm. We begin to gain more confidence in our ability to handle the next change that is inevitable in our life. We want to help others realize that they can also handle changes in their lives with patience, love and understanding.

Death, taxes and change are absolutes for all of us. They are part of the script we wrote before birth. There is a peace in knowing that!

Have a great few days and remember to embrace change in 2013!

Listen and You Will Hear…

Often we receive advance notice when our loved ones are about to pass on. They seem to be trying to prepare us for the change that is inevitable. At the time, we frequently miss the message or refuse to accept it as a way to protect ourselves. We don’t want to say ‘good-bye’ or even ‘see you later.’ After our loss we remember the hundreds of wonderful moments in the lives of our loved ones and we inevitably come to relive the moment when the particular message was given to us from them. It hits you like a ton of bricks and you realize they really were trying to help you cope with their exit by giving you a message that ‘all is as it should be.’

These messages can be subtle (and not so subtle). In part of my book, I wrote about these type of messages from both my son and mom. Their ‘notice’ which I chose not to hear at the time, has served many times to remind me that there is a reason, season and life plan behind everything. How long is a life plan? Exactly as long as it is supposed to be.

As my mom pointed to a particular tree on my property she said, “When the last leaf is gone from that tree I will be gone.” Late evening on November 18, 1999, I was at her bedside vigil and took a break to walk outside, the leaf was still on the tree. Three hours later she took her last breath. As my sisters went in to spend time alone with the woman who had given her all as a mother and to wish her well on her journey, I walked outside. The leaf was gone from the branch above but still present, laying gently on the grass at the base of the tree. Its life force had changed but the form was still evident. I have the leaf encased in plastic as a reminder that messages are given to us for a reason. They help us to accept the seemingly unacceptable as all part of a plan greater than ourselves.

Loss and grief are something we all live through in our lifetime. We learn lessons about unconditional love, energy and the importance of being fully engaged in the moment.

May 2013 be all you wish it to be!

Letting Go Takes Love

Letting go of our loved ones for any reason takes time, courage and love. Letting go is a form of loss and it can’t be hurried or rationalized away. It takes time for your head and your heart to be in sync. In my book, Just Behind the Door, I have a poem that speaks to the issue of letting go which was written by Creators Syndicate, Inc. I hope it speaks to you, helps to heal your heart and gives you peace.

To Let Go Takes Love

To let go does not mean to stop caring,
It means I can’t do it for someone else.
To let go is not to enable, but to allow learning
from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness,
which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to care for, but to care about.
To let go is not to judge, but to allow another
to be him or her self.
To let go is not to be in the middle
arranging all the outcomes but to allow
others to determine their own destinies.
To let go is not to be less protective, it is to permit
another to face their reality.
To let go is not to dominate, but to be willing
to let things happen.
To let go is not to betray the past, but to
have faith in the future.
To let go means to FEAR less and LOVE more.

When we love and have faith that ‘all is as it should be’ we allow the Universe to deliver all the positive energy necessary for our loved ones as well as ourselves to not only survive but thrive. It takes courage to let go but it is necessary for the growth of everyone concerned. It allows each of us to follow our own unique path and learn the lessons we have chosen to learn this time around.

Have a great few days!