Archives for the month of: December, 2012

I must be one of a select few that has never witnessed or watched the whole of Les Miserables until the day after Christmas this week in a warm, packed movie theater in Western N.Y. sitting in between a very good friend and her sister-in-law at the top row of a stadium style, modern theater.

I was struck by the scene where Jean Valjean was brought back to the church where he stole the silver from, head bloodied by the policeman’s baton, looking haggard and unsure of his fate.

The policeman says to the priest, who approaches them in his nightgown and night cap, something along the lines of, “This man stole your silver.  He even had the nerve to say that you gave it to him.”

The priest looks at Jean Valjean, who looks immersed in shame and fear at this point, and then at the police officer and says something like, “He was right.  I did give it to him.”

Jean Valjean looks astonished as do the policemen with incredulous expressions on their faces.  They did not believe him and protested.

The priest replies that he did in fact give him the silver, “But you forgot these,” he says as he walks over to the two large, ornate, silver candelabra’s on the table, “two of the most important pieces,” as he takes them off the table and hands them to Jean Valjean.

Jean Valjean look totally confused and surprised.

The priest says something like, “Put them to good use,” calling him “brother” and then holds his right hand above the left side of Jean Valjean’s forehead and blesses him.

I was touched by the grace the priest offered Jean Valjean in that moment.

Forgiveness was the first word that stood out from the scene described above.

Grace, Generosity, Love, are all words that surface for me when I think back on witnessing that scene.

I was touched by the forgiveness the priest offered Jean Valjean in that moment.

I was touched by the grace he stood in order to be a source of pure possibility for Jean Valjean.

I was struck with the priest’s fearlessness and courage inviting Jean Valjean into his church and offering him food and shelter not knowing the true nature of Jean Valjean.

And then in the Grace he offered Jean Valjean when he was returned with all of the silver.  And the selflessness.  It was not about him, the priest, it was about the possibilities that Jean Valjean offered to life and what if he was given a true chance, what could he be to life?

How does this strike you?

Where do you experience grace in your life?  Is there a moment when someone offered you incredible grace, or you offered it to yourself?

How can you show up as fearlessness and courage with Faith in one hand and Love and Forgiveness in the other to allow yourself, ourselves, an opportunity for something else to show up, something more attuned with life’s greater goodness?  A possibility for pure peace and grace to heal all wounds and provide that yellow brick road for us to follow to our own truths, wisdom and greatest contributions to serve all?

With love, inner space and peace, Sarah

My family and I sat together watching the animated version of Disney’s, A Christmas Carol, when I was struck by an awareness around giving and receiving love.

Upon walking into the house of his nephew, Scrooge hears his nephew telling the “joke” about him that he had seen in his nighttime experience of Christmas past, present and the possible future, if he were to keep his current “viewpoints” on life.

Walking in just before the punch line, where his nephew describes him as part “ass”, he was greeted with stunned faces.

His nephew says hello and Scrooge says something like, “I am here for dinner…if you will have me.”

His nephew jumps for joy and says, “Of course!”  Everyone jumps at him, warming up instantly with open hearts, arms and warm smiles.

What struck me as I watched this scene was that when I am not willing, able or conscious to receive love when it is being given to me, I actually stop the flow of love FROM being given to me.

When I open my heart to receive love, it is given to me freely and in LARGE, overflowing amounts.

So my question to myself tonight is: how can I open my heart more today?

And I ask you, dear reader, how can you open your heart today to receive love?

 

Love to you all on Christmas Eve, Sarah

There is something about peace and nature.

Last night, after I sat with my family watching and listening to the prayer service in Connecticut after the shooting, my niece noticed a group of deer walking through our yard to our neighbors.

“Look at all the deer walking into the neighbors yard,” she said.

“Oh,” as I looked back there.

The reflections on the windows were making it hard for me to see them clearly.

“There are like 8 deer walking through,” she said.

I got up to look and saw the last deer in the group walking through the pathway of bushes, in between the bright holidays lights, to the other side.

It stopped and looked over in my direction.

My heart was filled with peace.  It was as if I could feel the warmth of the deer and it’s heart.

I was reminded in that moment how important it is to be in nature.  To look at the natural world, to connect with animals.  To be in nature.

The deer then put it’s head down and continued to walk through the path of lights and bushes to the other side.

How important is it to be in nature?

What is it about nature that brings instant peace and solace?

I drove up the street lined with frosted cars.  Street lamps glowed yellow against the black sky and Christmas lights shone bright in flashes of color on this and that side of the street.

I pulled up slowly to the house, preparing to make the turn when I looked ahead of me and in the sky a bright light falling in an arch downward, shining hot white, then blue with some green, fizzled out quickly.

“Wow, that was a falling star.  How beautiful,” I thought.

I pulled into the driveway and got out of the car.  Walking into the middle of the street, I held my hands up wanting to receive that beautiful energy, that chance moment, reward it with my receiving, receive that reward it was giving me and anyone else who happened to see it.

It looked so close to earth, that star.  Not like the stars in the sky, as I looked up in the cold night, twinkling bright white, looking WAAAAY out there.  This was close, this was personal.

What do you think about chance encounters with falling stars?

Love IS Power

Love IS all around me

I AM all of love

Empathizing can be so powerful and definitely serves it’s purpose in times of need.  I realize now that I feel uncomfortable receiving empathy when it comes to the “Oh’s,” and “Awe’s,” I get when I tell my “stories” about my life.  I have this reaction where my  my body language seems to be saying, “Don’t feel sorry for me.  Don’t coerce with my story.  It’s not what’s ‘real’.”

When someone is showing me compassion, there seems to be a different quality to the “Oh’s,” and “Awe’s,”.  There is love there while not a “buying into” the story I am telling or portraying, not a coercion or enabling, but a love that wants to know more, that wants to be there for me to heal and realize my best self fully.

Through this kind of experience, I realize, what is more powerful than just empathizing is holding an open space for the possibilities of what is real in the present experience I or someone else is having.  What is the healing that wants to take place there?  What is the evolution of the story?

It is not being harsh, detached or judgmental like, “When are you going to get over that?”  It could be a strong, powerful and warrior-like stance: “Have you had enough of that yet?” or “What are you choosing in this moment?”, a question posed on day 4 of Deepak Chopra’s recent 21 Day Meditation Challenge on Abundance.

It is opening up a door of possibility by “holding space” that is clear and free of judgment and debris, listening intently, reflecting what we are hearing in ourselves or in someone else and bringing awareness to what holds or has a lot of energy in the conversation by noticing and communicating where the energy seems to be.  We can look for or notice this energy in the tone and volume of voice, body language and gestures, where the eyes are looking and focusing in each moment all connected to what is being said, felt, and expressed in the moment.

This is Coaching for Transformation: the ability to BE a space for clear Source to come through so that all can be in light.

It is a space, a space of pure possibility.

So I will ask us all, from Deepak Chopra’s 21 Day Meditation Challenge, “What are you choosing in this moment?”

And, from me, What stories are you ready to re-write from your own life?

The clave rhythm is an ancient rhythm that came to the Caribbean from Africa.

In Latin music, I have heard of the clave rhythm referred to as the “heartbeat” of the music.

When everything is in alignment with the clave and working within the clave, it all feels good and sounds right.  When things are out of whack with the clave or the clave is out of whack with everything else, things don’t feel good or sound right.

I liken this to our own hearts.  When our hearts are working well and everything is working well with our hearts, we feel good physically.  When things are not working well with our hearts or our hearts are not well, we feel off, or unwell.

The clave rhythm is like coming home to ourselves.

Much like the clave rhythm, we can come home to ourselves and work in alignment with our own “heartbeat”, that which makes us tick and tock, our passions, the gifts we are here to bring.  When we work in alignment and in “time” with our own sacred rhythm, everything feels good.  When we ignore our “heartbeat” or that which brings us alive, we can feel all kinds of things: rushed, sick, tired, angry, frustrated, anxious, inauthentic, out of synch, etc.

What does it feel like to be in alignment with your goals, your passions, that which truly brings you alive?

How does living your dream affect life?

What is your unique gift that you are here to bring?

Developmental feedback is great.  Supportive feedback is great.  I notice one feels different to receive then the other.  What is it about supportive feedback that is hard to receive?  What is it about developmental feedback that is hard to receive?  They are both the same: supportive feedback.  What is it about supportive feedback that is easy to receive, feels good to receive?  What is it about developmental feedback that feels easy to receive?

I know there is a deep desire within me to “do good”, to make a great impact on this world in a way that positively affects the whole for the greater good.  That sounds a little blah, blah, blah to me right now in this moment.

What is it really Sarah?  What do I really want to do?

I want to live in my Soul.  I want to express my truth.  I want to go where I want to go and be where I want to be.  I want to experience meaningful relationships and live a life fulfilling lifestyle that is full of abundance, love and generosity on all levels in all areas of life.  I want to dream big, I want to reach for the stars, I want to know, deep down at my core, that it is all good.

I know that now.  It is all good.

We are one.

There is no separation.

Love exists and is pure as rainfall in a faraway, pristine jungle in the…

Yah, so back to feedback.  It is SO powerful when someone tells me what they really thought, whether it was supportive or developmental.  It is great knowing how to improve.  It is also great knowing I am a part of a larger contribution than I can ever imagine possible.

Thank you Source.

Love, Sarah

I experienced lots of love today.  Giving love, receiving love, experiencing love.  I held space for myself several times.  (To hold space means to support myself through something that feels or occurs to me to be difficult in the moment.)  I do this through several different tools, some which stay the same and some which change and transform quickly into a new tool, something else.  It was a powerful day for love, connection, healing and growth.

I had a dream last night that a huge wave came right over Laura and I and some other women we were sitting with at the waters edge.  It didn’t do us any harm though, we just were washed over with it and then it was gone.  It deposited several large tires, like from large trucks and tractors plus huge, empty canisters from wars, like maybe old bombs or old containers for toxic waste.

The next time a wave came, my friend and I ran down this steep hill of white sand to this hotel or center thinking we would be safer there.  We waited for the water and when it came, it was in a solid shape that was molding to the road perfectly.  We watched it come around the bend: a solid molding of dark blue water with something in it, like debris.  The land was irrigated in a way that the water didn’t come down the hill.  We were fine, safe.

I woke up.

Love

I can be soft in love.

Love

I am soft in love.

Today I attended the Tedx Buffalo Women event at the Downtown Public Library.

What most struck me was the undeniable desire these women have for forward motion in their lives and forwarding the motion for all of life.  This seems to be indelible to women.  We want the best for everyone, even when we say we don’t.  We may be crying tears, saying, “I hate her,” “She doesn’t deserve this,” “Rot in hell scum.”  And we may even mean it.  But, I bet, when you dig down to the core, you see an unending river flowing over with Golden Love and the only desire there is to affirm and allow life to glow and flow and heal and be and expand in service to all.

Thank you beautiful women for speaking our words and sharing our gifts.  You truly amaze me and inspire the gifts and jewels to come a shinin’ in myself too.

Love, Sarah