Letting Go For Lent

Letting Go For Lent

Speaking at Unity of Ventura

Sunday, February 23, 2020
Topic:  Letting Go For Lent
Service Time: 10am – 11am
Location: Unity of Ventura at the Rubicon Theater
1000 E Main Street, Ventura, CA 93001

The season of Lent begins on Wednesday, and Spring is right around the corner! What will you be fasting from and feasting on for the next 40 days? What can you let go of that will lighten your load, and welcome the freshness that is the promise of Spring into your life? Join me online, in person, and in consciousness this coming Sunday as we begin Spring cleaning from within!


For those out of the area, please join us on Unity of Ventura’s Facebook page, where the service will be streamed live, and also archived for later viewing.

Unity of Ventura

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Talkin’ About The Sweet Spot!


Speaking at Unity of Ventura

Sunday, January 5th, 2020
Topic:  The Sweet Spot: That Which Remains Unbreakable
Service Time: 10am – 11am
Location: Unity of Ventura at the Rubicon Theater
1000 E Main Street, Ventura, CA 93001

It’s the New Year and everyone is putting up a new calendar and turning to a fresh page. Beyond resolutions set in January that are blown off or forgotten by February, what can we commit to that is unbreakable and Eternal in nature? What tools are already present within us that can turn our intentions from wishes into long lasting changes in our daily lives?


For those out of the area, please join us on Unity of Ventura’s Facebook page, where the service will be streamed live, and also archived for later viewing.

Unity of Ventura

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Plug In & Power Up!

What Will You Commit To This Week?
Power Supply
When I decided to do the Integrity challenge again, I did a few scheduling things to support my intention to be of service. But the one thing that’s been bugging me for literally over a year now that I hadn’t done anything about involves a simple power supply…
I have an external hard drive that I used to back up all the data on my laptop. A long time ago, I couldn’t even say when, one of the prongs on the plug of the power supply broke and since it’s an older piece of tech, nothing else I had laying around worked to power it up. So for over a year I’ve been annoyed that I can’t access all the data that the old hard drive contains.
Today I went online and Googled my head off until I found a replacement plug for this old hard drive. Turns out it’s coming to me from Switzerland, but… I ordered it, I paid for it and it’ll be here by this coming Friday.
It feels GREAT to have finally done something about it, especially after all the time I spent being annoyed that I couldn’t find another work around! Now I’ll have access to all the pictures, videos, and important documents I’ve been needing and I can back up all the work that I’ve done in the meantime. YAY!
What one thing can you do for yourself this week to make your life easier?
If you’d like to join My Word Is Law:  The Integrity Challenge, you can join the group by clicking on the link in the name.  It’s fun and it’s FREE!
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My Word Is Law: The Integrity Challenge II

IntegrityThe Integrity Challenge is BACK!

I originally started this challenge in August of 2014, created a group on Facebook to support those participating in it and the challenge itself ran for a solid year.

In this go-round we’re going to focus on the next three months, October – December.  What can you set your hand to and accomplish in your life in the next three months?  What changes can you make, big or small, that would make your life more organized, more productive, or just more FUN?

Let’s break it down.  Here’s how the challenge works:

1) Set a strong Intention – Why are you doing this?

I am committed to keeping a promise a week to strengthen my awareness of my own Integrity.  I am doing this challenge to support myself and others in upping our awareness of our own personal power.  I am also loving that doing this challenge from October to the end of December means we’ll be celebrating the holidays together!

2) Write out your Promises.
You can make your first promise the first week to come up with all 12 or 13 of them straight out of the gate,  or you can write them as you go, it’s your choice.

To help you  choose your promises, use the SMART acronym:

Specific – “I will clean out the hall closet” as opposed to, “I will clean the house.”
Measurable – I have a pretty small hall closet!
Assignable – I’m responsible for completing them, but I can ask for, or hire, help if I need to.
Realistic – Can I really get this done in a week?
Time-related – One promise a week from October through December 2019

Note:  The “A” in SMART is Assignable, but it could also stand for Accountable.  Remember this challenge is for YOU.  When choosing your promises it’s great to work or play with others, but don’t make someone else’s schedule responsible for whether or not you complete your promise that week.

One of my promises to myself is to visit a labyrinth that I’ve not walked before.  My friend, Sarah loves labyrinths, so naturally I would love to invite her to join me that week.   So as part of my promise I can call and invite her to join me, but even if we can’t work out our schedules to go together, I will still plan to go.

Plan to succeed by choosing promises that are do-able, enjoyable and/or will give you a sense of satisfaction or accomplishment once you’ve completed them.

3) Chose a Promise per week.
Part of the challenge for me is to lean into trust.  Trusting myself, and trusting the Divine Right Order of the Universe.  So in the previous challenge to strengthen that muscle and make it more fun, I drew a promise card at random from a bowl, but you are welcome to do this any way that it works best for you.

What this challenge can be for you:

An opportunity to deepen in self-trust.
A way to discover what you really want in your life and what you are willing to commit to.
A chance to break down a larger goal that seems daunting into bite sized pieces that you can realistically accomplish in a week.
An opportunity to do nice things for yourself, for those you love or even for complete strangers.
A chance to have fun!

What this challenge isn’t:

Goal setting on steroids.
Yet another reason to beat yourself up!

Be gentle with yourself.  Don’t overthink it.  You don’t have to impress anyone but yourself.

The challenge is to choose one promise a week and to honor yourself by seeing it through.  That’s it!

The challenge starts Tuesday, October 1st, but you are welcome to join us and participate at any time during the next three months.

To join the challenge and be added to the Facebook group, click here:
My Word Is Law:  The Integrity Challenge

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Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count

lahsa homeless count 2019

Last night I volunteered a few hours of my time to participate in the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count.  Basically what this entails is walking, or driving in an assigned grid with a small team of people to simply view and count the number of people or shelters you encounter on the street while wearing a bright yellow vest with reflective tape all over it, looking as stylish and as inconspicuous as a walking traffic cone.


All questionable fashion attire aside, it was a beautiful night to be out walking the mean streets of No Ho.  It was chilly, but not bitingly cold and I was grateful it wasn’t pouring rain as it had been all last week.

We. the volunteers, met in the Senior Center at a local park where we were briefed on what to look for, how to do the count, and how to report our findings accurately.  I was especially impressed with the level of respect the organization stressed.  Respect was undergirding every bit of language and instruction we were given.  We were advised not to engage or intrude upon the privacy of the individuals we encountered.  The people we were counting were referred to as “individuals experiencing homelessness” not “homeless people” or the even more dehumanizing term “the homeless” – as if “they” were all one big teeming mass of human driftwood cluttering up the shores of our lovely city.

We were told to look for people who may be living in RV’s on the street, to check parking lots for individuals who may be sleeping in their cars, those who may be in tents or those who may be sheltering in doorways.

After the orientation, the paperwork of signing release forms and grabbing our vests, we split up into groups of four and got our grid assignments for the night.  One of our team volunteered to drive, one to navigate, one to record and I was there to be awake, aware and to count.

We walked and also slowly drove through the residential areas and walked on foot down the brightly lit main streets.  We also walked all the alleyways on foot and I was surprised at how clean they were and how quiet the residential neighborhoods were considering the area we were in was between a main street and the freeway.

As we walked we talked and joked.  We noted all the sights and particularly the smells around us as we passed burger joints, outdoor taco vendors, laundromats and, my favorite fragrance of the evening, an Indian food restaurant.  The funniest part was that all of us became instantly aware when there was a marijuana dispensary ahead of us because even with the doors closed, that smell was more pungent than a thousand garlic naans!

But as a group, whenever we spotted a car, a tent, an RV or a person sleeping on the street, all conversation ceased.  We would simply observe and our recorder would make a notation on her clipboard.  Every time the reality of one person experiencing homelessness was before us, we became silent and sober and no one would talk for a long while afterwards.

At the end of the night, when we had gone down every alley and driven down every street our tally ended up being three RVs, one tent, one person living in a car and one man curled up in a doorway – hard to spot, but there – surrounded by cast off Goodwill donations.

At the end of the night, our mission completed, we all got signed certificates of appreciation for our time.  We got in our nice cars and went back to our cozy homes, with our full refrigerators and our warm beds, our counting done.

For me, I see people experiencing homelessness every day as the area behind my home has been turned into a jogging path and there are a few guys living right behind my house who I see often.  Even still, now that I have been trained to spot people “living rough”, as they say in England, I can’t unsee the tents, the tarps, the abandoned couches, the dirty feet sticking out from behind dumpsters.  On the way home I was still counting… there were four tents clumped together on the freeway underpass.  One block from my house there was a dude sleeping in a sleeping bag in another doorway on the street.  And the women who are experiencing homelessness.  I know they are out there, but where are they?  Even further hidden away, I suspect.

Homelessness is such a huge problem and it appears to be getting worse, not better.  The purpose of our counting last night was to get some hard numbers to determine funding and provide resources for these folks. Actually seeing how some people are barely surviving in our country, one of the richest on earth, is sobering, and so are the stats:

People in Los Angeles County are experiencing homelessness

Increase in people aged 62 and older who are experiencing homelessness

3 out of 4
People experiencing homelessness remain unsheltered

Of people experiencing homelessness are currently fleeing violence

People over the past year are experiencing homelessness for the first time

I’d like to end this blog post on a more uplifting note, but it is what it is. For me, I do what I can and I take what I can into my daily prayer. But after last night I do want to say this: If you are experiencing homelessness? I see you and you do count.


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Forgiveness: The Gift of the Peach 🍑

Rumi Field

I had an entirely new experience with forgiveness recently which was so effortless and blissful, I feel compelled to share.

I was talking on the phone with an old friend who has been, at different times in my life, a lover, a teacher, a mentor, a hero and/or a burr in my butt. Over time our relationship has mellowed into something that is delicious and precious. Years go by and we don’t speak, but I’ve just decided on a new nickname for him: Peach. No word back on how he feels about the nickname, but there it is. The man is a peach of a human being. He has no choice in the matter.

The forgiveness isn’t about him, it came through him. We were talking about various friends, practitioners and ministers we have known, about the subject of working with clients, and about healing. I was sharing with him where I am currently on my path in ministry and we talked about what it’s like to work with someone who can “go there” with you.

The conversation created such a deep, vast, wide field of unconditional love that words became irrelevant, and although I was listening to him, something else was happening. I was being fed by what was moving behind and between his words. I didn’t even know what was happening, but I downshifted into this space and I told him. “Whoa. I have to get off the phone and sit with this.”

I tried to write then, but I couldn’t find the words. The closest I can come is that I’m feeling my way into a new way of being. As a practitioner, as a minister, as a woman, as a friend, as a lover, as a conscious being on the planet.

As a result of what was fed to me through that conversation, shift has happened in almost every area of my life. I had a few old resentments that seemed huge to me, but I watched them wash away like tiny specks of dirt in this ocean of limitless love.

This is the promise of healing made manifest. Effortless forgiveness. Boundless love. A field of Infinite Possibilities.

Are you willing to go there? Because this is the only place I want to play now. This is where I will build my new home, my new life.

I invite you to meet me there.   ❤

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💥 Happy Independence Day! 💥

Liberty Bell

On this day as I contemplate my bittersweet feelings about this place called America, I remember how painful becoming conscious can be.

32 years ago today I threw in the towel on drinking and drug use and decided to give this thing called sobriety a try. It’s been a long and rocky road and I’ve slipped a few times along the way, but I have no regrets.

Today as I contemplate the original bold intentions of the founding fathers I know that declaring an intention is only the first step of the journey. We’ve come a long way, but there is still obviously a long way to go when it comes to “liberty and justice for all.”

In 12 Step programs, Step 4 involves taking a “fearless and through moral inventory” where we review those we have harmed and become willing to make amends to them all. This is the leg of the journey where we pick up the stones and discover all the creepy crawlies that lie beneath the surface that we haven’t been willing to acknowledge or deal with before. It’s a time of reckoning. A process of facing what is there before us and becoming willing to do the work to stand in integrity, once again, or perhaps for the first time. It is not a process for the faint of heart, but it is most definitely a journey worth taking.

This is my prayer for myself and for America this 4th of July, that we become willing to do the work to not only stay awake and aware, but that we stand in strong integrity with the original intention that brought us here.

For myself I celebrate this day and my personal freedoms. I am grateful to have come this far knowing I still have a long way to go.

As the usual rockets red glare and the bombs bursting in air begins, please take a moment with me to be grateful for the freedoms we enjoy, and let us set our intention anew to remain conscious and compassionate with ourselves and all others on this journey.

Let freedom ring! 🔔

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