Saturday, June 25, 2016

All Shall Be Well

Dear Circle Friend,
It's been another full day in the middle of another full week. After struggling through a couple of false starts on writing some "meaningful prose" for this space  (whatever that means!), I decided to share the following words and music of a song I've been working on recently. Singing it helps me ease up a little bit; maybe you'll find it helpful, too. In any case, here's wishing you a healthy, happy and hopefully relaxing weekend. 

Click here to listen to All Shall be Well

With joy,

PS: In the spirit of having a relaxing, enjoyable weekend, I STRONGLY urge you to attend this week's Sunday Circle, and enjoy the work of puppeteer, Justin Cornett-Olsson, who tours nationally with the Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre Co. Justin and his wife, Rachel moved to San Antonio and quickly became part of our Circle community. We're fortunate to catch him between tours, and hope you'll be able to join us for this special performance (see more information below).

lyrics for 
The dogs have been walked and our child has been fed
The dishes are washed and the emails all read
The laundry's been folded and stored away too
And yet there's still more that I feel I should do
'Cause the yard still needs mowing, its been growing so fast
The gutters need cleaning, now that winter's long passed
The windows need washing and the floors are a mess
Someone's gotta do it, and that's me, I guess      
But I've gotta face facts, I'll never get it all done
So why not relax, and forget comparisons
Rest in the Presence and bid my worries farewell
Simply simmer in silence, trusting all shall be well
All shall be well...  all is well
It's been a full day at work and a full night at home
And it looks like tomorrow will have the same tone
This morning's To Do List has hardly been touched
And as bedtime approaches it all feels like too much 
(Repeat CHORUS, and... remember to breathe and relax into the last line!)

Saturday, June 18, 2016


     For the past week, many of our conversations, personal and public, have once again been overshadowed by deep grief, speculations and concerns about the latest mass shooting. This time it's the name of that city in Florida, previously best known for making millions of people smile with its vast amusement parks, which has joined Boston, San Bernadino and Ground Zero on the growing list of places that have become synonymous with a swirling vortex of violence, hatred and fears of the unknown.
     Depending on who you are and where you stand, this is the most compelling tragedy yet because it reflects a perfect storm of forces for and against a whole range of issues in one ball of wax: gay rights, gun control, anti-Muslim sentiments, enhanced surveillance techniques and the divisiveness of the presidential election campaign. It's quite likely that you, too, have a strong opinion and deep-seated feelings around this event, and the only thing I know for sure is that you're absolutely right. Really.
     Because, if there's anything I've learned over the many years I've been actively engaged in public discourse of all shapes and sizes, it's that every person involved in a discussion is right. Regardless of the facts and opinions involved, there is no one Truth to be found at the level of political, social, legal or economic action, reaction or discussion. There's always plenty of urgency, passion, conviction and data that can be readily summoned. But Truth? As far as I can tell, that dwells only in the spiritual realm, in that place beyond discussion, within that ineffable mystery we call "Love."
     Do you disagree with me? That's fine, too, because it just underscores my point. I'm not writing this to argue, much less explain or explore what happened in Orlando. Plenty of others have already done that. I'm here to bear witness to the power of Love. To remember that whenever we find ourselves feeling grief, anger or fear in the face of an event - however near or far, large or small, violent or silent - what we are being called to do is Love.
     And yes, there are many pressing, concrete actions that need be taken, injustices to address, regulations to be written, security systems to be built. And yes, it's entirely possible that I'd feel differently if my son or daughter had died in that nightclub. But those are largely theoretical constructs, more perfectly good reasons to stay stuck in my Monkey Mind, rather than heeding the invitation to Love. So, instead, I choose to focus my energy on heeding that invitation, as an artist, a father and Spiritual Director of Celebration Circle. That's my prayer, that's my song, that's my story - and I'm sticking to it.
In the spirit of peace,

Saturday, June 11, 2016


     Imagine this: you're busy running errands, driving through the summer heat, steering wheel in one hand, fiddling with the stereo with the other, trying to find a tune to suit your mood, which isn't particularly good at the moment. Up ahead, you see the traffic light turn yellow. With pulse racing, you mash your foot down on the accelerator in order to beat the red light and keep zooming right on through the busy day ahead, hoping there isn't a traffic cop nearby to witness the fact that you probably didn't make it.
     Now imagine the same scenario, only this time, you make a different choice. When you see the light turn yellow, you decide to take this as a friendly reminder from your Higher Self to take a break. As your right foot eases off the accelerator and on onto the brake pedal, you take a slow, deep breath, observing your belly rise and fall as the car coasts to a halt. Tuning into your heart, feeling it open softly, you reach over and turn the music all the way down, and sit in silence, letting your mind go blank, and simply feeling what it's like to do absolutely nothing for a minute, while watching the world zoom by the busy intersection. Ahh... 
     Soon enough the light turns green, and someone behind you honks. Instead of getting mad, you glance into the rear view mirror and smile gently at the frowning driver behind you. Knowing that she is merely reflecting your own impatience, you send her a brief blessing, while simultaneously directing that same smile inward to yourSelf, too.
     Easing your foot back onto the accelerator, you continue on your way. The world around you has stayed more or less the same, but inside everything's changed. Your mood has lifted, and you've shifted into a quieter, gentler space. Simply because you chose to embrace a one-minute, mini-meditation by turning inward while sitting at this intersection, rather than hurtling mindlessly toward your next destination.
     Or not. The choice is yours (and mine) to make, one stoplight, one phone call, one "interruption" of our plans at a time...

With blessings and wishes for a relaxing summer,

Monday, June 6, 2016


      As I wake up, I begin the day as usual, with a brief prayer of gratitude and a few moments of savoring the many blessings of my life. But those moments of bliss are quickly shoved aside by thoughts of the long list of things I need to do today, due to a particularly full week ahead of us. Not even fully awake, and already part of me is up and running before my feet have even touched the floor.
     Fortunately, that semi-panicked feeling is an old acquaintance of mine, and this time, instead of letting him throw me for a loop, I simply acknowledge it's presence, then chose to focus on getting calm, centered and focused on my purpose, which is "to experience, explore and express the free flow of Love."
     From this space, it's easier to remember what I am really here to do today: to Love and be loved. And that I lack nothing, for there is nothing more I need to know, do or have in order to fulfill my purpose.
     All I am being asked to do is to show up with an open mind, an open heart and a willingness to recognize each person and situation I encounter along the way as a potential teacher, here to help me become more present and less resistant to the free flow of Love.
     And, yes, I still have a long list of things to do but I might as well do them from a place of peace. At least until my Monkey Mind kicks in again... Which will just give me another chance to remember again, too.  

With gratitude and blessings,