What if people aren’t put here to teach us lessons?

26 09 2013

As I work though A Course In Miracles now for the second time, I find myself having some thoughts that conflict with ‘traditional’ personal growth philosophies.

Today in a meeting with a number of folks devoted to ‘personal growth’, a term I find increasingly uncomfortable, a theme kept reoccurring. My peers were discussing personal challenges and, more to the point, people in their lives who are presenting them with challenges.

And the answer was ‘everyone is put here to teach us something. What was the lesson you needed to learn from that person?

But what if that isn’t true?
What if it’s not ‘all about us’?
What if that thinking is just another form of us trying to ‘get’ something from someone else?
What if we just stopped for a moment. Stopped always searching for what we can get, get, get?

Enlightenment is not about getting. And yet, even as we ‘grow’, as we become ‘enlightened’, still we are searching for what others have to offer us.

Our normal human reaction to someone who we feel challenges us is ‘you don’t give me what I need’.

After some ‘personal growth’ we learn to say ‘there must be some reason you’re not giving me what I need…there must be some lesson that I need to learn from you’.

I ask you…what’s the difference? There’s still an expectation. There’s a need to receive, to be provided with something. Whether it’s an emotional need, a material need or a lesson are we still not just projecting our needs onto someone else?

True enlightenment is about being enough. It’s about being one with each other, with the universe, with god. It’s about not needing anything. Ever. Not materials, not emotional support, not lessons.

So what if, rather than others being placed in our path, we perceive ourselves as the ones being placed?

And what if we are being placed to give something rather than to get something?

To teach not to learn.
To love not to justify.
To forgive not to judge.

I don’t know who said this: ‘any time you feel the need to change anything you are out of alignment with spirit’. Anything… that means another person, a circumstance, yourself… Anything.

So what if I started looking at other people in my life as people who need something from me rather than as people who I need something from?

And what if all they needed from me was to just ‘be’ with them. Not judgement. Just acceptance. To forgive them, to love them and to let them know that they are perfect just the way they are.

What if I could just help them believe they are enough?
With no expectation of getting or learning anything in return?

What if everyone and everything in my life is here for me to serve, rather than be served by?


5 04 2013

Stolen from Brian Johnson’s ‘Philosopher’s Notes’. “So we end up with what the Buddha taught in his first teaching, which is called the Eightfold Path, when he said, ‘have Right View.’ Right View is having no particular, fixed view, which means seeing that all views are limited, that no particular view is the only view. They’re all restricted, they’re all limited, they’re all fragmented. Actually the right view is no view.” ~ Zen Master Dennis Genpo Merzel from Big Mind • Big Heart
Right View.
Reminds me of a story S.N. Goenka (well, a recording of him anyway 🙂 shared during the 10-day Vipassana course I attended.
Imagine six blind guys. They’ve never seen an elephant before and are each touching a different part of the big ol’ animal describing what an elephant is.
The first blind man grabs the tail and says the elephant is like a rope. The second one grabs the leg and is certain the elephant is like a pillar while the third touches the trunk and thinks the elephant is like a tree branch. The others go for different parts and have different perspectives (the back is like a throne; the tusk is like a spear; the ear is like a hand fan).
Now, what’s fascinating is that they’re all *100%* sure they’re *100%* right and can’t understand how someone else can have such a wildly different understanding of something that is SO obvious to them!
Enter: the limitation of thinking your perspective is the absolute truth. 🙂
We get in trouble when we think our perspective is 100% right.
Genpo tells us: “That is why from the beginning it’s really important that you learn to shift perspectives. That alone is going to help tremendously in your life. Just imagine the next time you get into an argument with your partner or spouse, and you are able to let go of your view and open up to the possibility that there might just be another perspective on the situation — her view, or his view. The moment you do that, it sets you free.”

What My Son’s Disabilities Taught Me About ‘Having It All’ – The Atlantic

14 08 2012

What My Son’s Disabilities Taught Me About ‘Having It All’ – The Atlantic.

A Memo From God

14 08 2012


Reference: LIFE

I am God.

Today I will be handling all of your problems. Please remember that I do not need your help.

If life happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, do not attempt to resolve it. Kindly put it in the SFGTD (something for God to do) box. All situations will be resolved… but in My time, not yours.

Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold onto it by worrying about it. Instead, focus on all the wonderful things that are present in your life now

If you find yourself stuck in traffic; Don’t despair. There are people in this world for whom driving is an unheard of privilege.

Should you have a bad day at work; Think of the man who has been out of work for years.

Should you despair over a relationship gone bad; Think of the person who has never known what it’s like to love and be loved in return.

Should you grieve the passing of another weekend; Think of the woman in dire straits, working twelve hours a day, seven days a week to feed her children.

Should your car break down, leaving you miles away from assistance; Think of the paraplegic who would love the opportunity to take that walk.

Should you notice a new gray hair in the mirror; Think of the cancer patient in chemo who wishes she had hair to examine.

Should you find yourself at a loss and pondering what is life all about, asking what is my purpose? Be thankful. There are those who didn’t live long enough to get the opportunity.

Should you find yourself the victim of other people’s bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities; Remember, things could be worse. You could be one of them!



7 08 2012

“Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime,
Therefore, we are saved by hope.
Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history;
Therefore, we are saved by faith.
Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone.
Therefore, we are saved by love.
No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own;
Therefore, we are saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.”

Reinhold Niebuhr, was an American theologian.


7 08 2012

“Everything you take for granted is a blessing. Everything you fear is a friend in disguise. Everything you want is a part of you. Everything you hate you hate about yourself. Everything you own does not define you. Everything you feel is the only Truth there is to know.

Everything you wish for is already on its way to you. Everything you think creates your life. Everything you seek for you will find. Everything you resist will stick around. Everything you let go of stays if it’s supposed to. Everything you need is right where you are.

Every time you bless another your bless yourself. Every time you blame another you lose your power. Every time you think you can, you can. Every time you fall you must get up and try again. Every time you cry you’re one tear closer to joy. Every time you ask for forgiveness, all you have to do is forgive yourself.

Everyone you see is your reflection. Everyone you know mirrors you. Everyone wants to be happy. Everyone wants to live in joy. Everyone seeks a higher purpose. Everyone breathes the same breath. Everyone needs love to survive. Everyone has a purpose to fulfill.

Everyone’s the same as everyone else. We just get caught up in labels, names, skin color and religion. Everyone’s the same as everyone else. No one wants to feel the pain. Everyone’s the same as everyone else. Everyone is dying for love to remain.”

– Jackson Kiddard, author and polymath

Messages From Within

31 07 2012

Dearest Steve,

In case you forgot, my love, The Universe doesn’t need you to be in control.

I swear. It’s handled. All is well. You can relax now.

Stop wrangling your life like it’s an unruly animal. Life doesn’t have to be that hard. Instead, set goals but release attachment to outcomes.

Trust the process. Let go of the handle. Surrender to the river of life. Watch for signs. Let yourself be guided.

Know that everything is a gift, every crossroads is divinely placed in your path, and the way will be made apparent, if only you pay attention.

Letting go of the handle,

Your Inner Pilot Light

Dear Steve,

It’s not only okay to receive love and blessings, it’s all The Universe wants for you.

Please, darling, stop resisting.

Let love in. Allow abundance to flow.

Say yes when your dreams want to come true.

I know it’s often easier to give than receive, but this is your time.

Take a deep breath. Relax. Don’t worry about reciprocity or whether or not you’re worthy (you are!) Simply accept what is coming your way.

Then, my love, don’t forget to say thank you.

Full of blessings,

Your Inner Pilot Light

Dear Steve,

Is it time to take a leap? Are you terrified? Do you doubt what you need to do? Is it the right time yet?

Let me give you one tip.

You will know it’s time to take a leap of faith when the pain of staying put exceeds the fear of the unknown.

Are you ready? I’m here to support you. Not there yet? That’s okay too.

Either way, the answers lie within me. Tap in.

Ready with a parachute whenever the time is right,

Your Inner Pilot Light

Dear Steve,

You know that situation you don’t quite like – the one where someone didn’t read your mind and isn’t behaving how you wished?

Let me offer you one loving word of caution.

In situations like this, it’s so easy to blame others, to make them wrong, to feel superior, to get upset. It’s easy to fancy yourself the victim. But there’s no power in these stances, and there’s certainly no compassion.

What if, instead, you took ownership for your part in it, withheld judgment, kept your heart open, and unfolded into the opportunity this situation is bringing to you, the opportunity to grow, stretch, and wake up?

The Universe is funny that way, and everything – yes, everything – is a gift.


Your Inner Pilot Light 


Dear Steve,

Let me teach you one simple trick for forgiving yourself over choices you wish you hadn’t made.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I swear to you, darling, it’s always true. At every moment of every day, you are doing what seems like a good idea at the time.

Afterwards, it might not seem so, but I promise, it’s true.

Remember, there are always gifts in those things that seemed like a good idea at the time.

There’s nothing to be ashamed of.

The only tragedy comes when you fail to find the gold in the choices you make, no matter how disastrous the outcome.

Want to optimize how you make your choices?

Just ask me.

Like a magic 8 ball,

Your Inner Pilot Light 


If you’re looking for fulfillment anywhere outside of yourself, I’m afraid you’ll ultimately wind up disappointed.

You won’t find it in a lover.

You won’t find it in a child.

You won’t find it in your friends or family.

You won’t find it on the New York Times Bestseller’s List.

You won’t find it in your bank account.

The only lasting fulfillment comes from within, where your spirit communes with Source and your soul comes back home.

When you find it there, you can access it anywhere, anytime, no matter how dark or chaotic the storm.

Where will you find it?

I’m here, raising my hand,

Your Inner Pilot Light

My dear Steve,

You are enough – just as you are.

I’ve got your back, 24/7.

You already have all that you need to have all that you want.

I understand that you’re hesitant about the uncertainty that comes with having big dreams.

I understand that you’re nervous about your greatness, afraid of shining my light, tempted to dim yourself down so you can stay in your comfort zone.
But please, don’t be afraid to take the risk. Go for it. Be willing to get your heart ripped open.

Be willing to roll with it, no matter what happens. I promise you’ll never be sorry for following your heart.
Holding your hand,

Your Inner Pilot Light


Dear Steve,

There’s something I don’t talk about much with you, not because I’m ashamed of it, but because you sometimes have a hard time hearing it.

But it’s time to break my silence.

You know I am your Inner Pilot Light, that always radiant, ever-sparkling, never-extinguished glow of spirit, love, and compassion within you. But did you also know I am your darkness?

I live in shadows. I reside in your mistakes and imperfections. I burn brighter when you enter my darkness and learn from it.

As souls, we are both light and darkness, radiance and shadow. When we pretend the darkness is evil, we fail to fully illuminate our light.

Don’t be afraid to go to the darkness, darling, and don’t judge it either. I will hold your hand. I will ensure you don’t get lost.

If you fall down the rabbit hole, I will send you a lifeline. I will always illuminate you back, only this time, you will hold the holy grail – the gift from the darkness – the full spectrum of non-dualistic reality, the dark and light embodied, the truth revealed.

Here with a flashlight,

Your Inner Pilot Light


Dear Steve,

I know some days you feel like you’re on target with your purpose here on earth.

Others, you feel adrift, lost at sea, confused and purposeless.

But don’t you realize, darling, that every great soul who has left a legendary legacy has felt exactly the same way?

Trust me, my love, you’re right on track.

Tap in. Listen to me.

As long as you do, you’ll stay on your path, following the signs from The Universe, guided by your intuition, always knowing you’re on the right path, even if you don’t know where you’re going.


Your Inner Pilot Light


Dearest Steve,

It’s all okay.

I promise.

It may not look the way you anticipated it would look, but I swear to you, it’s all going right according to plan.

Soon you will see the method to The Universe’s madness.

You will find the gifts in the uncertainty and disappointment.

You will understand why it’s taking so long to get where you’re trying to get.

Be patient, love. All this – and more – is coming your way.

Speaking the truth,

Your Inner Pilot Light


Darling Steve,

Why is it you have such a hard time seeing the gifts you bring to the world?

Why are you so gifted at seeing the beauty in others, when you can sometimes be so blind to your own value and worth?

Oh honey, can’t you see that you are as worthy of love, compassion, affection, affirmation, validation, success, and abundance as all those other beautiful souls out there?

It’s all right there – yours for the asking, if only you’ll believe it’s possible.

Feeling wary on your beliefs? That’s what I’m here for, sweet one.

Never forgetting how precious you are,

Your Inner Pilot Light


Dear Steve,

I know you’ve been led to believe that you have to do more, work hard, and make it happen in order to succeed in business, love, health, and life.

But darling, I’m afraid you’ve been sorely misled.

While there’s certainly a time and place for taking action and doing something, very often, such action leaves no room for mystery, for magic, and for the bountiful serendipity The Universe loves to spring upon you when you’re not trying so hard.

Remember, The Universe doesn’t need you to be in charge.

Instead, let me handle it, my dear.

Will you come for the ride of your life with me?

Letting go and trusting,

Your Inner Pilot Light


Dearest Steve,

I’m so sorry it didn’t go as you planned. I know how hard you worked to make it happen and how much you risked to follow your heart and your dream.

Please, don’t blame me.

I want nothing more than for you to succeed, for your heart to be fulfilled, for your dreams to come true.

But I can’t control what happens. You have free will. Things will go wrong.  I don’t make that happen. But I let it…

Because you have lessons to learn, and I want you to learn them.

I know you’ll be disappointed. You’ll get frustrated. You’ll feel sad and lonely and scared.

Your growth is inevitable, and I’m here to love and support you as you learn your lessons.

Just trust in me. I’m here for you.

With infinite love,

Your Inner Pilot Light


Dear Steve,I know you worry about what you can’t control.I know you wish you could snap your fingers like a genie and make your wishes come true.I know it’s stressful when you try to let go, turn the reins over to me, and surrender.But please, darling. Trust me. I promise, I’ll take care of you, and whatever happens when I’m in charge will steer you closer to your ultimate destiny.Will you let me take the wheel?I’ll never let you down.

With you all the way,

Your Inner Pilot Light



I hear those Gremlins, and jeez – they’re some mean little suckers.

I’m sorry. I can’t make them go away. They think they’re there to protect you, and no matter how I try, they just won’t skedaddle.

But I promise you this. If you listen to me, you will no longer make decisions based on those voices of fear anymore.

More so than Gremlins, I will always protect you, I will always keep you safe, and I will never lead you astray.

So take my hand, precious. Silence those Gremlins. Hear my voice. Know my truth. Choose with me.

Outwhispering the Gremlins,

Your Inner Pilot Light

Dear Steve,

You know how you sometimes worry that you will grow bored?

I have good news.

When you tap into me, we can sit together on a meditation pillow and it feels like we’re raving at the hottest club in New York City.

When you tap into me, we can be strolling along a country lane and it feels like we’re plunging down a rollercoaster at the world’s sexiest amusement park.

When you tap into me, the simple act of watching a child sleep can transport us to the moon.

Which means you’ll never get bored. Because I’m always within you, and you no longer need to seek thrills without

The life of the party,

Your Inner Pilot Light




You gave. And you gave. And you gave some more.

And while that may feel noble to you, I hope you realize the consequences of what you’ve done.

When you do that, I wind up a feeble, exhausted little pilot light yearning for air and fuel.

I think a little radical self-care is in order.

This time, will you give to me?

Ready to receive,

Your Inner Pilot Light