Catching Up!

I’m sending this out as an update on activities at the Center, but this is also an apology for the way my Blog has "disappeared". So....I'm sorry about the blog! Several people have told me they've missed the blog (appreciated!) and I promise to be more consistent with that in the future. 'Nuff said?

I've spent a tremendous amount of time recently getting ready for the opening of the Center this month. You'd think that after 20 years in some form of ministry and 25 years as a massage therapist this would be a piece of cake, simply moving what I have been doing out of my home all this time across the river into a new office suite. It isn't!

There seems to be an ongoing and endless list of items to move into or purchase for the Center. I've had donations of furniture that I've not been able to obtain due to a large enough vehicle. Getting our schedules together to get the furniture I do have has not happened...yet! So the look of the Center is evolving rather than being a "POP - It's CREATED!" event - hmmm....kinda like life, huh?

New business cards for the Center and my various types of work have been received or on order, press releases were sent in March, and advertising is beginning to be seen throughout the community. Tuesday classes in April have concluded and produced lively discussions! I have no classes planned for May or June, but I’ve been asked to consider starting an ongoing Wednesday evening group. This would be a time to check in, a short talk on a current topic and then a guided meditation. Let me know if that’s something in which you might be interested!

This month has seen an increase in counseling and massage clients, a local magazine has expressed interest in running an article on the Center and my work, and I've been humbled by referrals, often from channels I'd not even considered. April begins a busy six-month period of weddings to perform. I have the joy of working with a diverse and exciting group of couples from many religious and spiritual backgrounds. We'll be breaking glasses, lighting candles, tying knots, reciting vows and jumping a broom or two.

The foundation that keeps me centered is my wonderful family, Paul and Kevin, who support me through all my crazy, eclectic life, all the while running their own successful careers and interests. I thank my guys often, but probably not nearly enough I'm sure. Who supports you? Have you thanked them recently? Take a moment today to do that today!

I hope my experience of life and the way I use the principles of New Thought can help you in your life. I've screwed up a lot in my life, continue to do things I know don't work, but I love the process of life (most of the time....) and hope that both my successes AND foibles can be of help to you. I care very much about what's going on in your life, so please let me hear back from you. If you contact me for support I will know the Truth about you: That you are the only person like you that gets to express God or Universal Power the way you do. Be yourself. Be authentic. And be unique. To do any less, robs us of your gift.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

I Can’t Wait For Monday!

How many times do we hear THAT?!? Not often. It seems the majority of the people around us, or perhaps we ourselves, are not happy with what we do for a living. Are you?

It is possible to expand the “love month” scope of February from romantic involvements to include the love we have in other areas of our life, such as career. Some people are happy with what they do for a living, but many are not. The latter refer to their jobs as “the grind” or a prison. Most of the time there is one major reason why people are dissatisfied with their work: It doesn’t express who they are.

Before the industrial revolution our careers more aptly placed us in a category that not only described what people did but also situated them in a sector of society. It defined what socioeconomic circles in which people moved and lived. The other side of that system is that it forced young people into what was expected of them, not into a career that expressed who they were. Girls did not have many options at all. Boys had more opportunities, but can you imagine being the son of the village accountant with no interest or aptitude in math? In America today, it seems to be less about what we do and more about how much money we make doing it, regardless of the cost to our health, our families or our spirit.

You may fall into the category as do so many and dread going to work. Or, perhaps you have developed your heart’s desire or a hobby into a prosperous career. You may, like me, have multiple careers that fulfill your need for self expression and financial support. One way to look at a job we don’t like is to recognize that the money we receive from it may allow us to pursue other activities out of which we reap a myriad of benefits. In other words, your job may not be what you really want to do in life, but it gives you the means to pursue a hobby or leisure activity you enjoy. That can make a monotonous job more palatable.

There is a law in metaphysics called the Law of Reciprocity. It speaks to the principle that for every action there is a reciprocal reaction. In the case of the person who hates their job, the more s/he curses the position the worse the situation will get. If you are not blessed with the career of your dreams, why not try “blessing yourself out” of it, rather than have an ongoing litany of why it’s so awful? You will get results – so be cautious of what you ask for!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

The Love Month

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Thanks to mass marketing wanting us to believe everyone should be in a fairy tale relationship, February 14 can mean expectations from those in relationships and gloom for singles.

Someone told me that Valentine’s Day doesn’t matter because “it is just a made-up holiday”. Actually, that can be said for all holidays. Our cultures have decided we need to acknowledge significant times in our lives so we make up a special day for it. The word “holiday” comes from a root term meaning of “holy day”. If we truly want to honor our relationships (romantic or otherwise) every day should be a holy day/holiday.

Valentine’s Day, made up, commercial or otherwise, is a fact that seems here to stay. We can choose to celebrate it, ignore it, or allow it to ruin our day, week or month. “It” doesn’t do anything to us. As with everything else in life, we have a choice whether to affect our experience through empowered thinking or be at the effect of the situation.

If we are single this is not the time to run out and find the flavor of the month date to try to make some poor sod into the romantic valentine about which we dream. If our committed relationship is not where we want it to be, then take action now to clarify the union. Celebrating a love holiday as if all is wonderful when the partners are not happy is like whipped cream on top of garbage. The outer appearance looks fine for a day, but once the glare of reality and heat of conflict returns the whipped cream sours and melts into the strife we had before February 14.

All of our relationships are sacred, though we often fail to treat them that way. In the movie Same Time Next Year the woman says that she stays married to her husband because of so many shared memories. She says it’s comfortable. We never hear if her husband feels the same way. Are they really in love, or just too lazy or apathetic to create the life they really want?

Communication is the most important factor in any relationship because everything else follows in line after concise and clear communication. “He should know what I’m thinking” is ridiculous. Half the time we don’t seem to know what we want ourselves. How the heck are others supposed to figure it out! An Ashleigh Brilliant card I love says, “I need a map of your mind with the dangerous areas noted in red.” Wouldn’t THAT be helpful!

Resolve to have the happiest Valentine’s Day ever. It might be with the one you love more than anyone. It might be with the family unit you’ve come to call your own. It might be with the relationship you have with yourself, Nature or your Higher Power. Whatever it is for you, rejoice in it, love it and commit to that kind of deep and enduring integrity all year long.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Beauty or Danger – It’s Our Choice

It’s 5:45am on Tuesday, February 2, and I just walked outside onto our front porch after finishing my meditation. Rain is lightly falling on the half-inch of ice covering about three inches of snow in our front yard. The mini-dozer that removes snow across the street in the parking lot is gone and the only sound is the tinkling of invisible raindrops dancing on the ice-covered snow.

The tree in the front yard looks like an ice sculpture, with each bare branch weighed down by the frozen water, icicles soundlessly dripping down toward the garden. There is no other noise except the soft rain. No cars. No trains. No voices. Peace.

I grew up in a trailer park. It was not a “mobile home estate”. It was just a trailer park. We lived in a two-bedroom, 50 foot long by 10 foot wide Nashua, about ten or twelve feet from our neighbors. One of my most comforting childhood memories is lying there in bed listening to the rain on the metal roof. It didn’t rain often in southern California, but even the slightest rain sounded like ball bearings being dropped on the top of the trailer. It never frightened me; it was if the Universe was lulling me to sleep, soothing me.

I was reminded of that this morning as I looked out from the porch, two cats just inside the storm door wondering what this human was doing outside in the cold wearing only his pajamas and house slippers. The peace. The comfort. The quiet.

That’s when I notice the asphalt, which was so shiny. Soon neighbors would be getting ready to leave for work, school busses would be on the road in spite of a delayed start to the school day, and inevitably someone driving would have his or her mind on something other than slippery roads. Such beauty, yet such danger. Or was it?

When I moved to the northeast United States I was given one word of advice about driving on ice: DON’T! Life is like that, too. There are some things in life we really have no business doing. It’s not the same for each of us. I can have a glass of wine with dinner if I choose; a person who is a newly-recovering alcoholic may not be able to be in the same room with an unopened bottle. It is a different experience of danger brought about through our circumstances.

Where is there danger in your life that you could eliminate? Dieting with a full bowl of M’n’Ms in the living room by the chair your sit in to watch TV? Probably not a wise move. Trying to establish a more intimate relationship with your spouse or lover, but spending more time watching porn online than cuddling together? Not so much. Wanting to look our best, but haven’t flossed in weeks? You get the picture.

The Universe is not a dangerous place. It is a place of love, peace and wonderment, just like the ice portrait outside our house right now. We set ourselves up for danger by placing ourselves in situations in which we should not, and often need not, be. Choose just one thing this week that you feel is dangerous to you – just one. We don’t need danger for excitement. We can find excitement in the fullness of Life, the beauty of Nature, and the touch of a loved one.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

What Resolution?

So did you make any New Year’s resolutions? How’s that working out for you?

I avoid the gym every year for the first three weeks of January. I work out most of the time at home anyway so it’s no big deal, but gyms are notoriously crowded for during this time of the year because everyone is going hog wild to absolve themselves of their guilt-ridden epicurean conduct over the previous month. A resolution to get back to the gym is usually in that mix. Never lasts more than a couple of weeks for those folks.

In fact, I seldom see many people following through on their New Year’s resolutions. It’s probably because people make them because they think they “should.” Doing something only because we think we “should” isn’t much of a motivator and it usually feels pretty crappy. I no longer make New Year’s resolutions. I haven’t for a number of years. There are a couple of reasons for that.

I believe strongly in goal-setting, so that’s not one of the reasons. I work on at least ten goals at a time – ten top things or conditions I want to manifest in my life. Each time I achieve one I replace it with one I have yet to attain. I just don’t believe the guilt of the holidays or remorse over what I didn’t accomplish over the past year is any motivating force for change.

I do aspire to better my life and myself as a person – not just once a year, but every day. January 1 really isn’t all that significant to me as a turning point. A new calendar, sure; a need to make sure I’m careful when I write a check because of the new year, but other than that what’s the big deal? Is there really much difference between December 31 and January 1? Not really.

I celebrate change “officially” twice a year: May 23 and October 31/November 1. May 23 is my birthday, so I take the time to reflect on my life, take stock of myself, see where I can improve and celebrate my achievements. October 31/November 1 is the end/beginning of the earth or pagan year. It is the time of the year when the world is becoming darker, a time for reflection, release and preparing for the rebirth of spring. I like aligning myself with the earth and nature. It makes me feel more a part of our planet.

I don’t care if you create a goal every day or just make a resolution on New Years. If you did make some resolutions, well, good for you! It shows you care enough about yourself to affect a change in your life. That’s excellent. I have found, however, that making decisions to change based on information and decisiveness tend to last a lot longer than those based on reaction, fear and group pressure.

Take time at least once a day to take stock of your life. What’s working and what’s not? What do you want to get rid of and what do you want to acknowledge as a blessing? By doing this, resolutions will not be a once- or twice-a-year event – it will be the ongoing change that will help you create a life worth living.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Freedom in Darkness

Hope you missed not having a blog the last couple of weeks - my computer system and I had a "minor" issue. The system (Vista - and don't start with me!) froze, the system had to be re-installed, and the external backup drive failed. The result is that I lost all files from September through the first part of December.

Now, having said that, it wasn't such a bad thing. Yes, yes, I do go to look for something (like the template for my counseling intake client form or wedding planning sheet for a bride) and discover it's missing. And I have to recreate the whole thing. Meaning that I have to spend hours...again...creating it. But I digress...I want to convince you that this is not a bad thing. Grrrr....

Which, actually, it isn't. Loss is loss, but we often think of it as a negative. Another way of looking at it is that it is very freeing. Granted, it is annoying as well, but most annoying things have a delightful message for me if I'll just stop whining or screaming long enough to hear it.

I've discovered what's important through this experience. I miss not having the pictures I took at the FAB Gala of the three of us, but no one can take the memory from me. I am annoyed to have to re-design all my forms I just created for my new center, but they were based on previous ministries/businesses. Perhaps I really am creating something brand new.

I also lost all my email and addresses. Fortunately, I still had my blog eList on the old Gmail account for the center, so you're getting this! But all those cherished emails I had saved, love letters, evidentials (when someone tells you that you're worth something or they really appreciate you!) and information I was going to read "someday" are gone into cyber hell or heaven. Now my "in-box" is fairly sparse. I rather like it that way. Information that's important is being made into a document or scanned...and IS being backed up now!

Today is the winter solstice, then time when it is the darkest on our part of the planet and the time when, after 6:38pm EST today, the days get longer and the nights get shorter. Yule, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are all festivals of light - life becoming brighter as we exit the darkness on our way to the birth of spring and new creation. As I come out of my cyber darkness, I hope you will take time to find what is important in your life, enjoy it, cherish it and celebrate it. Chances are, it's not going to be your computer, your Droid, your car or anything else that's mechanical.

May your holidays and the new calendar year be filled with love, joy and prosperity!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Are You Reactive or Responsive?

A flight attendant colleague of mine asked me to write about avoiding negative energy from some of her customers. Her request reminded me of how different it is to “respond” to a situation instead of “reacting” to it. I began to think about how much energy we give to people and situations that challenge us.

Staying positive and upbeat around people who are constantly complaining can be difficult at best. Often we are just doing our job and people act as if we are trying to take their first born, e.g., when flight attendants have to repeatedly remind people to turn off electronic devices or stay seated when it’s too turbulent for even the crew to be up out of their jumpseats.

Part of the issue is allowing others to have their own experience while we are having ours. A passenger on an aircraft might be totally wigged out because the flight attendant doesn’t have complimentary pillows and blankets. Fine. That’s their experience. But does it have to be the same experience for the flight attendant? It can be, if s/he chooses to take responsibility for the upset.

The Universe reflects back to us that which we need to address in our own lives. If I take a deep breath and step back from uncomfortable or annoying situations (in spite of my initial human reaction to someone who is being plain ugly to me!), I usually find that Spirit is nudging me in a direction of acceptance, understanding or to just slow down. We often do not want to identify with the “Nellie Negatives” in our lives, but if we are honest we may be able to see some of the same attitude in us, just in some other circumstance.

The other issue is how much power we are giving that other person or situation. If we give others the power to “make us upset” then we have only ourselves to thank for the experience. The Universe does not require us to be victims or martyrs. However … and here’s the “Truth you love to hate”… if we choose to play the part of a victim or the martyr then the Universe (which only says “Yes!” through the Law of Cause and Effect) is obliged to provide the circumstance for us to play our part.

If we react to uncomfortable and annoying situations we will perpetuate the energy. It will feed on our upset and grow, just like oxygen feeds a fire. On the other hand, if we respond appropriately to our experience and in line with who we are then we can be at peace with what may have previously thrown us off course.

If someone chooses to be miserable and doesn’t want to change, let them be. S/he can only affect us if we let it. We do not need the approval of others to be happy. Of course, conversely, if you are a flight attendant dealing with a customer who is uncooperative, s/he can gently be informed that they need your approval to stay on board!

The people in your life who insist on being ugly, negative or nasty around you can be gently, but firmly, informed that they can take their attitude out of your space. After all, you’ve suffered long enough with crap like that. Aren’t you ready to try something else?!? The Universe awaits your command – order up something or someone you want, not something or someone that will make your life miserable! Life is too long to be lived in misery.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

Affected or Effective?

Those of you who are old enough will remember the peace slogan, “What if they had a war and nobody came?” The same is true of anything negative, like what we continue to hear about our economy. What would happen if we all just decided not to participate in the recession, or whatever economists choose to call it this week?

People of all political persuasions were stunned at the results of the elections last Tuesday. Some were elated. A few were humbled. Several said they were terrified. In spite of the polls and predictions, few people expected an outcome that could affect our lives in the next two, four or six years in ways we began to immediately hear about in the media. The Patriot-News here in Harrisburg is filled this morning with stories on how a change in state government will affect our taxes, and how we as a country should prepare for a two-year-long period of uncertainty because of the gridlock predicted in Congress.

It’s easy to run from the problem – we’ve all done it and I’m no exception – or just ignore it, decide to be a victim of it, or become depressed because of the seemingly hopelessness of the situation. I’ve run from jobs, only to find the same boss. I’ve fled relationships and ended up with the same issues. I’m still trying to figure out why I’m on my third Catholic husband when that religion is not a part of my spiritual path! I’m guessing it has something with acceptance of others or flashbacks to that past life I led as a cloistered monk in the eight century … but I digress – sorry, ADHD moment.

We can’t always change our circumstances, but we can change how we think about what is presented to us. Will you be “affected” by the change in the political climate, or be the “effective” change you feel is necessary? The media helps us all become well-versed in what is wrong with our society and our planet. We know what we don’t like, but often have difficulty in articulating what it is we really want. Understanding our needs, wants and desires help us to plot a course that will get us to our destination. Use the recent change in local and national politics to review the ideals for which you stand. Then, take action that is in harmony with the life you want to live.

Change around us can give us the courage to forge ahead or provide the excuse for pulling back. You probably know people who blame their financial woes on which party is in power. Yet there are plenty of people who, year after year, are still happy, have not lost everything and do not seem to be so affected. The latter have found the answer: It’s a choice to be at the affect of our circumstances or to be the effective force of change in our lives. Which will you choose?

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Terry

National Forgiveness Day

October 30 is National Forgiveness Day. I didn’t even know we had a “National Forgiveness Day” until yesterday, but I’m glad we do.

In truth, every day should be a forgiveness day. Holding onto grudges, hurts and pain is not healthy physically, mentally or spirituality. Letting go of the past, however, is not always an easy thing to do.

Take being a victim of child abuse. I once heard about a woman in her 40s whose life was a mess. She was unable to maintain an intimate relationship, couldn’t hold a job and seemed constantly angry at the world. She blamed all her problems on her child abuse. When questioned further about it, however, it came to light that she had not endured years of sexual or physical torment from adults. What she referred to as the reason for her life of misery amounted to being touched inappropriately on her thigh by an uncle while fully clothed…once…when she was four years old.

While admittedly a traumatic event, she had built a life of failure and disappointment on this one incident. When it was suggested she forgive her uncle, now long dead, she refused saying she could never forgive that horrible act and it would be the reason her life was miserable. As we know, the Universe only says “yes” to our words and beliefs. Given that she was unwilling to change her thinking there was little to do.

The woman refused forgiveness because she didn’t believe her uncle deserved it. That’s not the point. The point is that she deserved the forgiveness. Holding onto hate and disappointment with others only creates a psychic link between them and us. It doesn’t punish the other person one bit. The only person suffering is usually us.

Learn to “forgive as you go”, just as it is the habit of many of us to “pray as we go”. No matter how bad the situation looks, consider the possibility that everyone involved in the situation in question did the very best s/he could at the time. Could things have been different? Probably. Instead of fretting about the past, think about changing the future by altering our response or participation in what happened so that it doesn’t happen again. Then, let it go. If you feel you can’t, then write that person’s name on a piece of paper and place it on hold (in your freezer), or in a “God box” (somewhere you consider sacred that you can give it to God to handle). If we give it away, it’s no longer ours.

Make it a goal to forgive at least one person today. You don’t have to tell them, unless it’s appropriate. We are One, so on some level there will be a change in your relationship with them anyway. Can’t think of anyone? No problem. Starting with ourselves is a great place to begin!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Dr. Terry

Big Girl Panties

Our challenges are unique and very personal. What may be appear to be a huge obstacle in my mind, may be mere trifle to you. However, having said that, I am brought to the reason for the title of this blog, Big Girl Panties, as in “Put on your big girl panties and deal with it!”

Challenges can be opportunities for growth or they can be just the reason we are looking for to stop us from moving forward. Most people are far more afraid of succeeding than they are of failing. Most of us know really well how to fail at something. How will we deal with success? What will change? Will we lose our friends? Staying stuck can actually be comfortable.

At times like this – and understand that you are the only one that can determine if the time is right – we have to grow out of Pampers® and put on our big girl or boy panties. How will you know? My answer to that is that if you have to ask you’re probably not ready. Just stay where you are for now – when you’re ready you’ll know it, so don’t force the issue.

For me, I know when I have to suck it up. It is when I start to lament to people about my latest challenge and halfway through the story I start getting bored! There’s that still, small voice inside my head going, “Really? Seriously?”

Take a moment today to ask yourself what “little” irritation has been going on long enough in your life. Determine that it has outlived its usefulness and make the necessary changes to move forward. Reach out for help if needed, but decide today to blast through one problem child this week. Let me know how that turns out for you!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Dr. Terry