The Power of Making Hard Decisions

In life we are called sometimes to do seemingly impossible things, like leave an old life that no longer fits. People will be hurt. We could be hurt. We will have to give things up that have long been a comfort. So we figure we just can’t do it.

And yet, if we don’t proceed we know we will get stuck on life’s path – unable to move forward or backward until we do that unthinkable thing.

I made exactly such a move two years ago, leaving behind my 23 year marriage and my teenage son, moving across the country to San Francisco, ending an old business, starting a new one and coming out as a lesbian. Along the way I also gave up sugar, gluten, caffeine and cut back my alcohol consumption to 3-4 glasses of wine per month.

It was basically every transition you could make all packed into one tidy package.

And it was anything but ‘tidy’, believe me. Mistakes were made, hearts were broken, and a hell of a lot of tears were shed. And yet, I know I moved as consciously as possible.

There just isn’t any pain-free way to do these hard things. And yet, I was being called – as we all are sooner or later – to honor the striving of my soul, pulling me forth. My soul had been waiting for the right time to grow and expand … even if it meant giving up everything in my life that was trusted and comfortable.

At the time I had a dream in which my long deceased father showed me a street in San Francisco, near the home of my new business partner, Jeffrey. I suddenly said, ‘I’m going to live there!’ and he nodded, smiling.

Then he showed me the destruction of the World Trade Center and in that moment I experienced a wave of intense grief – all the suffering in the world. That was when I knew I was meant to move forward and heal people … no matter what the cost would be.

Yet — could I really trust the Universe to protect me, guide me and keep me safe as I changed my life? What if my new business partnership didn’t work? What if I wasn’t really gay – or couldn’t ever find true love again? What if Larry and I couldn’t come to a peaceable agreement around the divorce? What if my son became distant and angry with me?

If I let them, thoughts of my imminent destruction and the end of happiness as I knew it could engulf me. And yet, there was a truth here for this was the end of happiness as I knew it. Since then it has been replaced by a deep understanding that I’m in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.

Not all of this path has been easy and joyful. But every piece of it has been right.

That is what this alignment is all about. Your soul gets to the point of expansion where it simply can’t live in the life you’ve set up for yourself anymore. Something has to give – whether it is your work, your relationship, your environment, or how you treat your body. And so you surrender to this calling, potentially fighting it all the way.

Yet once you surrender completely life starts to really click along. You become lighter, more nimble, and better able to weather the storms that arise. You can now maximize each challenge as an opportunity – and your emotional grounding becomes strong and stable.

If I were still the chocolate-hoarding, wine-drinking, uber-controller that I was in my marriage, Teal’s death would have sent me over the edge. In that life and body I had no capacity for grief, let alone the trauma of losing a child.

Yet if we have no capacity for grief, we have capacity for life, itself. We are cut off, truncated and compacted in what we allow ourselves to be, think and feel. And so our zest for life simply gets drained away.

I want to live life absolutely – to know the zeal of an excellent day, the importance of deep friendships and the white fire of great love. I want to be consumed by my life — to get out of the way and let Spirit pour through me. I long to become an invisible, empty vessel … simply a container for deep joy and love.

And this is exactly what is happening now in my grief over Teal’s death. I am starting to feel better and better, more and more connected to the divinity in Teal and in all of us. And more alive to the extraordinary presence – the God — in her death and afterlife.

If you are holding on to something too tightly, ask yourself if fear will be your master. Or will love?

Will acceptance and support for your own desires be the rule of the day?

Or will you drag a life or a body that no longer fits around behind you, allowing the weight of old baggage to hold you back?

For your life is whispering to you, dear friend, telling you the truth … and so will you listen?

 

 

 

 

Are You a Spiritual Hitchhiker?

Recently I had a dream in which I was hitchhiking … thumb out, I was letting the Universe carry me along a country road. I was confident someone would show up at just the right time. Or, alternatively, I was terrified no one would come and I would walk the miles and miles to the nearest place of comfort.

This dream taught me that the choice was entirely up to me – not in that I was depending on others to get my ride. In fact, I could actually get there either way; reaching the destination was almost incidental. The quality of the journey was the point.

When I was happy and confident, I could attract a ride and easily reach my goal. And when I was worried and anxious, help was nowhere to be seen and I slipped into that dark, dank place of Victimhood.

Then I imagined myself trudging along in the dark for hours. I saw myself as universally rejected by mankind – a loser, a tagalong, a wannabe unworthy of any kind of support. In this scenario, I would have to suffer and effort mightily to get anywhere because of my innate inadequacy. And so I was instantly filled with fear, because the Universe was no longer my benevolent protector.

Enter the Victim.

I so don’t want to be a Victim in this short life of mine – nor do I want to spend my time laying my needs at the feet of others as if I, myself, cannot meet them. What I do want is to move confidently — to be a universal traveler who can skip the drama and just get where I am going with infinite trust.

What feels good and right is to know that all will be well. That I will reach my goal; that I am taken care of by a benevolent Universe. That sticking out my thumb and asking for help is not only fine … sometimes it is of great benefit to not only me but the person supporting me.

My late daughter Teal taught me about hitchhiking, which she did all over Europe. She relied entirely on her gut and so traveled from country to country, sometimes alone and sometimes with others, via her thumb. I hated that she did this at the time, because I didn’t believe she could trust her intuition.

And yet ….

Hitchhiking taught Teal to trust her gut and her consciousness. She was a student of mindset and worked to overcome her own inner Victim. And why shouldn’t she? In her brief life, everything had to be speeded up – lessons learned in quantum time, as if she knew on some level she would die at 22.

What we both wish to stress here is that you become a ‘spiritual hitchhiker’ when you surrender to the idea that you will be carried, supported and loved by the Universe. When you let yourself feel your desire for a goal or destination, support will arrive.

You will be taken there straight away to the degree that you can willingly let that support arrive. And then getting the ride is simply fun, again and again. All you have to do is tune in.
In Teal’s journals, she writes about the experience of sizing up this or that driver who stopped to pick her up along the way. Sometimes she said no and sometimes she said yes – the decision was made entirely in the moment based on the feeling that ran through her body.

Not only did Teal ever make a wrong move, she got where she was going by implicitly learning how to say yes to herself. By being willing to put her own fears, sense of lack or her Victim politely to the side, and listening instead to her great inner protector.

Not all rides are a good fit for us, and not all results are expected. Instead, we are given both the sweet and the bitter side by side as experiences to steer us through life as we continue to hone our sense of self-trust.

Do you trust yourself implicitly enough to get in a car with a ‘stranger’ –- driven by Spirit and the Universe – and be delivered to where you need to go? Even if you don’t know exactly in your conscious mind how it will unfold?

Can you let go of the plan long enough to let right action flow through you on your karmic, destined path?

You can, dear friend. You are infinitely capable of bringing in that sense of rightness for yourself right here and right now. What do you wish to create that is just waiting for your healthy dose of self-trust? Where do you need to suspend the ‘how’ and instead tune into the feelings in your body?

A final note: This is actually the interface to the Diet component of The Spiritual Diet. For when you remove the food and drink that complicate and clog the system, it is infinitely easier to access that place of surrender.

And so this is what I mean when I say this work is really about ‘spiritual weightloss’. Because, of course, it’s about so much more …

It’s about you tuning in once again to your infinite power, and the wise investment of love for yourself. And so, along the way, the beautiful instruments of your body and soul shall be honed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Somebody Somewhere Loves You

One of the things that has been waking me in the night lately is an incredible feeling of aloneness. It haunts me – bringing me back to an empty desert of tears again and again.

In that desert, I believe I have lost my family. That when my 22-year-old daughter Teal died in August, I also lost my connection to my beautiful son and my beloved former husband who live 3000 miles away.

When I have these thoughts, I decide I am totally alone … and it breaks my heart.

These people are carved into my heart as family always is – there is something indelible, lasting, and forever in our connection. Just as there continues to be with Teal.

So when I calm down and tell the truth about it, I realize that despite our circumstances … a divorce, a death, and my relocation to California from upstate New York … all of us, including Teal, are still together. We are ineluctably merged, no matter where we are or how our paths unfold.

As a mother I know my children’s hearts better than anyone. I can feel their shyness and their tender ambitions; I know their fears, their obstacles and their deepest desires. It’s not a conscious ‘knowing’ but more of a feeling — I just do, somehow.

This is the terrain of a mother, the life link we are given when our children are born. And in a similar way we are always linked to the co-creator of this child, our other, our spouse. That history of lessons, decisions, projects, gains, losses, transgressions and forgiveness is huge.

Without it, who would we be? For in this way we are all connected intrinsically. We are handed the keys to heaven in every relationship, and our ability to honor the path, and the rightness of our dynamics in each moment, is our salvation.

We can’t ‘get love right’ any more than we can control how another will move through life. But control is not the point, dear friend – genuine love and understanding is.

If we can approach each person we love and feel close to as our teacher and guide, we can begin to become present to the heaven in that relationship. Then no one has to be any way other than they are … and so both can grow together.

Then we actually have the opportunity to learn from our other. For who are they really? Do we even know? Or do we see them from behind our own fine screen of illusion, formed through all our years of emotional ups and downs.

We are solidly parked in the ‘reality’ of life – a place of hopelessness, despair, dissatisfaction and unrest. We believe that our lot is limited, and we let logic dictate our dreams. And yet … there is a thread of magic that connects us all, and invites us deeper into the mystery of life.

When I remember this, I feel as one again with my son and my former husband. I know that energetically they are right here with me, just as Teal always is as well. I can transcend the restrictions of my thinking mind, and even have rich and delicious telepathic chats with them. As can we all with those we love.

Two years ago when I left my former life, my son took off for a year as an exchange student in Taiwan. We all had a tearful goodbye at the gate at the airport, knowing we would never again be just this kind of family again. And yet …

A month later my boy visited me in a dream. He came to me, smiling, as if to say, ‘It’s OK, mom. I’m happy and so are you. Everything is going to be fine.’ Wordlessly, we could feel each other deeply in our embrace.

My former husband had a similar encounter with Teal as she lay dying in the hospital. In his vision, she stood outside the hospital, dressed in very simple clothing and smiling radiantly. ‘I’m OK, dad. And everything is going to be fine,” her wordless smile told him.

And so it is … we are not so alone. We are all just fine, no matter what the complexity of life has thrown our way.

For whoever you are, and no matter what your circumstances, someone somewhere loves you. They may be long gone or be by your side right now … that is hardly relevant.

What matters is your ability to tune in and let that abundant love straight into your heart. For, dear soul, that is where your healing is to be found, first and foremost.

Close your eyes for a moment and ask for that radiant love to visit you … and know that how it manifests is not as important as that it DOES.

You are loved, rest assured. And so the rest of life is all beautifully up to you.

 

 

 

 

 

A Few Good Places to Look for Joy

The other day a woman on call I was leading spoke about how hard it was for her to experience genuine joy. She knew calm and even peace pretty well … but that deep-in-the-belly Joy was elusive. She could not quite grasp it somehow.

But oh, how she wanted it. The desire was fairly burning in her.

What is interesting is the paradox of the situation – for as long as you grasp, and long, and feel the barricades of your mind drop down, and know that hopelessness of being human … joy is illusive.

You cannot force genuine happiness any more than you can force a butterfly to land upon you. All you really can do is become present to what is … and start to melt into the very truth of what is happening here and now.

There is something beautiful in that truth, for in the feeling and savoring of it we are reborn. Mind you, I’m not talking about anything more complex than feeling into what is just in front of you, right here and right now.

Try this with me for a moment. Pick a situation where you find a lot of personal resistance. And then, just allow yourself to feel it.

For me, I’m thinking about the fact that I feel very vulnerable right now. This morning I got a California Driver’s License – the first I’ve had in 25 years that didn’t have my married name on it. I’m Suzanne Falter again … and this feels tender and kind of scary.

It’s symbolic of the fact that I am really alone now. My daughter is gone, having died a few months ago, I am 3000 miles from my son, and I am divorced and single. I am carving out an entirely new life for myself. So now it is up to me to pull on my own ‘big girl pants’, make decisions for myself, and create a new life.

I can feel my resistance to this concept – Can I trust myself to make the right decisions? Do I have what it takes to be a truly powerful adult?

Can’t somebody do all of this for me?

Please?

My mind spins and reels with wreckage from the past, proof that I can’t think my way out of a paper bag. Long mental diatribes ensue; I am toast.

Then I stop for a moment and just breathe. I feel the inevitability of growing up and my pain increases. I feel the fear come pouring into my lungs, worry creases my brow, and tension knits my shoulder blades together. How will I ever get through this? I feel compressed into a tight little iron box.

And yet … as I continue to breathe into the pain, something opens up. The invisible shield cracks and a ray of hope slips in. By letting myself go so deeply into that feeling of despair, I give myself a chance. Ironically … something good starts to shift and stir.

Maybe growing up isn’t so bad Maybe being ‘just me’ with my old name and the scratchings of a new life isn’t so terrible after all. A sudden realization sneaks up on me: I can create it any old way I want.

I feel relief. And so I begin to get back to joy.

This is what is available to all of us in each an every moment we are alive. For in fact we are creativity machines, constantly generating new cells, new life and a passel of new possibilities with each breath.

And, of course, we forget. For why should we remember? We are too busy filling our heads with complexity to tap into this simpler, easier view of life. And so … this is how we can return to joy.

Just by breathing into what is, and letting it crack us open again and again and again.  There is no shame to this journey, dear friend; it’s the human condition and we can actually hold it as the miracle it is. In each moment, we can be reborn and so return to joy.

We simply have to recognize that whatever is upon us is like a sheep in wolf’s clothing. It is a surprise gift disguised as a worry or a problem. And to unwrap it, we must simply savor that package and accept it with all we have.

This is the truest path back to joy – removing our innate resistance to what is. In doing so we relax, once again, into the sweet embrace of God.

Are You a Drama Junkie?

Perhaps the title of this article caught your attention.

I know it struck me when I thought of it. Because in truth, I have observed that so many of us ARE drama junkies – including me.

See if you can relate: you are busy just ‘trying to get along’. You do your best to show up fully for your family or friends. You meditate when you can bash your way through to an open spot in your schedule. You honestly do your best to wade through the stuff of life to a little peace. Life is hard.

And … somehow … you never feel fully in control; everything keeps happening a little too fast. The wild and unexpected seems to keep showing up, derailing everything. You are used to just getting your feet under you … and then all hell breaks loose again. And again. And again.

It’s hell, isn’t it?

When my 22-year-old daughter died unexpectedly a few months ago, it ripped the lid off my pretentions about myself. At the time I was a ‘too busy’ entrepreneur, ‘trying’ to get a new business started and doing my best to recover from a tortured, messy break up rife with drama.

A lot of my thoughts were consumed with how injured I was, and how I was going to move forward. I was living out of a suitcase (my partner remained in our home), and thoughtfully licking my wounds. I had a REALLY good story about why others should take pity on me and give me a soft shoulder to cry on. Lo the drama!

Then the unthinkable happened and my beautiful girl died. And as my mother used to put it, now I REALLY had something to cry about. But here is the truly remarkable thing. Suddenly, I no longer felt like a sad pitiful victim.

Yes, I have done my work over the years … and my propensity for drama was certainly waning. But in this radical situation, the worst thing that can possibly happen to a mother became my salvation.

Teal’s death showed me how vastly unimportant my own little stories are … and how profound, rich and abundant my life can be when shared in true service.  Now I could see there is only one thing that matters: serving as much transformation as possible to as many women as I can reach.

In the days following Teal’s unexplainable heart failure, before we had to take her off of life support, my former partner stepped in with support. Quickly we dismissed what had been months of anxiety, upset, ‘unfairness’ and hurt feelings because now only one thing mattered … Teal and her impending death.

Life was snapped up tight before us, no longer the loose, blowsy meandering path that demanded little of us. Instead, things were tight and intense. The Truth had arrived, white light blazing, and we could see what small, insignificant creatures we are in its scheme.

All of your drama and mine is nothing more than the mechanics of a childish mind – one that has not yet seen the vast opportunity of this life we have been given.

Did you know that you are brilliant, gifted and profound … but only if you quiet down and tune into that brilliance?

Did you know that you can solve all problems handed to you … but only if you accept that vast, soaring power of yours?

Did you know that you are a sensitive and supreme being who only has to claim your sweet supremacy? For we are ALL born innately supreme – every last one of us. We simply forget to cash in that chip in  life,  and so we suffer.

Ask yourself this: Is your need to sweat and struggle actually about wanting others to care deeply for you? Is it to prove that you deserve sweet, caring love that seems so hard to give yourself?

To stop the drama, you have to surrender to your own intrinsic ability to heal. And nothing starts that process faster than the admission that you are not your big, tortured story … and that you really can give yourself a break and move on.

Life can be hard at times, it’s true. Yet the bigger truth is simple: you are loved and you are Love. That’s really all you need to know. So can you bring it forward in your own heart first? Can you redirect those impulses that want see each problem as a terrible, life or death Problem …. and instead, see yourself as the Solution?

Can you begin to see the vast opportunity inherent in every left turn? What belief would you have to give up to do exactly that?

What I know now is that my tortured break up was my path back to self-love. Now I see I was not actually the victim of that messy break up, but the willing co-creator of the drama. I chose that big, fat learning experience 100%, hoping someone else would pick up my sadly broken pieces.

Instead, a beautiful thing happened … I learned to pick up my own pieces! Teal’s death was such an extreme yank back to reality that there simply wasn’t any other choice.

And so I have become a woman who can take care of herself … without obsessing over  her sorry lot. And this is possibly for all of us drama junkies.

Perhaps you, too, can dissolve into all that love and joy. When you do, your self-care is deeper, more tender – less about how wounded you are and more about being of service. And your circumstances no longer matter that much. So you can focus gorgeously on each new gift you have to share.

Take a look at where life is rubbing you the wrong way right now. Is it really that critical? Or is there some way to shake loose the perception of failure, fear or impending disaster?

For I promise you, you are infinitely capable of dissolving back to the big joy that is your birthright. Right here and right now. All you have to do is allow it in.

And nothing, my friend, will make God happier.

How to Connect to Souls on The Other Side

This is written for every one of us who wishes a more complete connection with the loved ones they have known who departed.
First of all, it is possible. Not only is it possible … it’s necessary once in a while, for here you will naturally shift up your vibration in a beautiful, whole and rounded way. Connecting to the other side is literally good for your well-being. Here you can access the knowing that knows only God, and so your resistance to joy, light and abundance can naturally dissolve.
Kind of a large thought, isn’t it? Yet, it happens every day, dear friend.
Sightings of spiritual entities, doors flying open, orbs showing up in photographs or moving through walls, flashes of light, untraceable celestial music, vivid dreams or waking visions of the departed … it’s all the same. As are the quiet, less dramatic feelings we get when we sense a departed one is with us. And it is all part of the human experience.
Your loved ones wish to share themselves with you if you have a need … or if they have a message you would find helpful. And by ‘loved ones’, here I refer to not only family, friends and pets who have died, but celestial entities, angels, spirits, and the like who are here to support you.
So who am I to advise you on such matters? Only a mother who lost her daughter not too long ago, and tasted enough of the sweet nectar of the afterlife to feel it eternally.
Teal’s entry into the Divine was accompanied by archangels and heavenly hosts singing, and I assure you I heard that music in my soul. I could feel it pouring through her lifeless hand into mine on one particular afternoon I keep returning to in my mind.
There we were, alone amidst ten different quietly beeping and whirring monitors, when the peace that passes all understanding began to creep from her body into mine. She had ‘died’ three days earlier, only to regain her heartbeat after 30 lifeless minutes. Yet, she was no longer there – Teal had ascended the minute she was struck.
Now this divine energy seeped into my consciousness like a very tranquil river of peace. My stress and worry – so much a part of that time – suddenly melted away. God was present, perhaps Jesus, too. I couldn’t see or hear them, but I could feel their other worldly joy and calm pour into my body.
Suddenly I felt more solid in my chair, more alive in the world. And I could feel the extraordinary responsibility of this life I had been given.
This one short life – just like yours – must be put to excellent use, dear friend. Hence our access all that gorgeous and deep otherworldly support. And there is no trick to finding your way to the other side.
Instead, there is only one rule: You must know it is possible. For when the time is right, you will connect. It’s this simple. When you question awareness, you disturb the connection.
Perhaps the best way to accomplish this is just to let go and relax, and enter the slip-stream of life done effortlessly. Try to loosen the monkey-grip your mind has on Making Things Happen … and instead, begin to feel into the divine perfection of each moment.
Start living each day as a series of check-ins with self, ever asking, ‘What do I want to do now … and now … and now?’ Accept that there is a perfect, divine rhythm to each day. And that each moment is pregnant with all sorts of possibilities.
This is simply being Present.
So when you wake up, instead of cranking through a pre-determined routine, you become present to what you want and need. And then you feel the subtle energy of that longing. And perhaps you don’t move right into meditation, say, but take some time to look out the window instead.
And then in looking out the window, perhaps you notice an unexpected rainbow. Your glimpse of life beyond which you might have missed if you hadn’t tuned into yourself.
You are a radio. A vibrant receiver of God’s love who, when tuned appropriately, can pick up all sorts of incredible information. The key is getting rid of the static … and that simply happens by returning again and again, tirelessly, to your joy. And by living in total right alignment. Until this natural ebullience becomes a habit that fills your lungs, your heart, your body and your life.
Then you wake up eager to be alive, and you go to sleep grateful for the day you have been given. That is all that God has ever wanted for us. And so it is our privilege – yes, our privilege – to simply dissolve into the joy potential in each moment.
Some years ago I wrote a book called ‘How Much Joy Can You Stand?’ … But now I have a more immediate question, for we are conscious and capable than we were then.
Now what I’d ask is this – ‘Are you ready to surrender to Joy?’ Because, dear friend, that is just what is waiting for you …