From my book “Living and Dying”

This newfound communication was different and much more emotional. It was felt! It was not unlike the experience I’d had with joy around the time of my sixtieth birthday, and it was good.

Sometime during that discovery period, my partner and I were having our annual business meeting and we had one of our infamous yelling matches. Our advisors had seen this before and were great at getting us through our personal reactions. After that meeting, I was moved to do something different. I invited my partner to join me for lunch and a round of golf to further discuss any issues or concerns he felt we needed to attend to. I really wanted to care and listen because I wanted to lead with my heart. We had a great lunch that went on too long to play golf, and as I was driving out of the parking lot on my way home I had a revelation. This was the first time in over thirty years as partners that I’d had lunch with “my cousin,” not my business partner. When I got home I found a picture with us and all our cousins on bicycles in the neighborhood.


This picture still hangs up in my home office. I can remember like yesterday all the years together as kids at the lake and the way his family had taken me in before my dad remarried. I remembered that we came from a place of connection, family first, and that whatever happened in business doesn’t change that. There’s no erasing family and the memories that are there. That’s what leading with your heart does! It reconnects you with what is important; it opens the channel to caring, loving, and realizing what is “really” important. It is what is available to our world today. Author Alan Cohen is quoted as saying “We attain freedom as we let go of whatever does not reflect our magnificence. A bird cannot fly high or far with a stone tied to its back. But release the impediment, and we are free to soar to unprecedented heights.”

”Blessings on your journey”

Have a heart

From my book “Living and Dying”

Another story, illustrating the value of connection, is more recent. As my age advances it is time to begin the process of transferring ownership to the next generation at the funeral home. My business partner (my cousin) and I have been together since the early 1980s when we bought the business and we wanted to create a plan to transition ownership. We hired a consultant to assist in that process. It became clear very early on that my partner and I had issues in both personality and management styles. We had never shared a history of connection even after our childhood together. Because of our inability to deal with that, we instead shared a history of disagreement and dysfunction (one that our fathers had created before us). The consultant who worked with us over a year’s time shared new ideas and offered suggestions to encourage mutual understanding and develop our relationship in a good and supportive way. During one of our meetings, she suggested to me that I needed to lead more with my heart and not my head.

You know when you have one of those moments in life where it all becomes clear? That was one of my big moments. I had always known about the connection between heart and head since I was a young boy, but now I was becoming an older man and it seemed to be the only thing that was important. I began practicing the art of leading with my heart. I would consider the person I was talking with to be the most important and interesting person in my life no matter where I was. I would consider that person to be the most interesting person in my life at that moment, and I would care. What I realized was that the head followed and was always present. Even though I might say the same things I would normally say, something was different. It felt different. People didn’t react or fight back, they weren’t afraid of me, and they would smile. They somehow felt and knew my heart was there.

“Blessings on your journey”

Making changes

Day 77

All transformational events involve change. Wether we choose or are forced into life’s changes they continue to happen and affect everything around us.

Underlying all change is a willingness to do something differently – and it’s that willingness that is life-affirming. Saying “yes” to living fully; that’s the essence of change. If you are one who doesn’t like change or one who looks forward to it, it is often helpful to practice change. What are you willing to do differently? Here are some possibilities:

Listen to a new type of music
Read new authors
Watch a different television channel or show Stop watching television. Give up the evening news – it can be so disheartening!
Read (or don’t read) the daily newspaper
Exercise in a different way
Change your diet
Wake up – or go to bed – at a different time

Can you see how small these things are? If and when your ready perhaps we can add more challenging changes in our life. Personally, I am one who really enjoys change in my world. I get excited to find new ways to see differently and learn new things. I have added a daily meditation practice and a daily writing practice and I want to change my exercise program. Even when I’m not feeling especially willing I am learning to let go of old ways and ideas that dont serve me any more. Although change can be transformational and a little scary, it can bring new meaning and purpose to living.

So, I’ll ask again, what change are you willing to make?

”Blessings on your journey”

Dreams come true

Day 76

In order to make our dreams come true, we must first have a dream and then we must take action rather than simply wishing for what we want.

There is a popular misconception that we might be able to just wish our dreams into being. For many years I tried that, and maybe on some other level of consciousness this is the case, but here on earth what we need to do is take action in our lives.  During that time I felt the universe owed me something, after all I was so accomplished and wonderful and deserving (lol).  I wished it for years and had some success but never really felt connected to it.

Today I practice connecting with my dreams and listening to my inner voice and guides.  In fact this morning in my meditation the message I received was having eyes to see, and I’m really excited to see how that plays out in my day. When we focus on what we want and ask for what we want, we are initiating a conversation with the universe. Our thoughts and desires, passionately defined and expressed, bring about valuable and relevant opportunities, which we then respond to by either taking or leaving them. Good luck with that!

”Blessings on your journey”

Inner child

From my book “Living and Dying”

My childhood memories include camping, summering at the lake, and playing in the neighborhood. My connection with my family was always strained by the memory of where I came from and the pain associated with it, but it was okay. I believe that somewhere around the age of five or six I found my direction in life. I took on the job of spiritual leader, or keeper, of my dad and the family as a whole. It felt like I was being offered the key to the kingdom. I felt true happiness, joy, and love. I can actually recall the peace and the feeling of connection I had at the age of five that has not changed over the years, but it has been clouded at times. In fact, if you look at a picture of me at five, you can physically see it.

A good exercise for all of us is to find a picture of us at the age of around five. Most likely you, too, will see yourself as you truly are, free of responsibility, fear, and judgment. We were all born into this. Wilma Rudolph (the Olympic athlete) is quoted as saying “Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.”

I had experienced this notion, but what eventually changed is what I did with it. I did the same thing that most of us do with it—we take it and make it our responsibility. We take it and try to manage it, control it, categorize and manipulate it. We take it and literally destroy its beauty, peace and joy. We make it our personal responsibility.

”Blessings on your journey”

Moving through pain

Day 74

I recently read a great article on the idea of pain, be it physical or emotional it resonates in a very big way.  Here’s a taste!

Pain comes and it goes. It is just one component to the grand cycle of life. And when experienced as such, pain can serve as an important teacher. It is when we get stuck in our pain that it becomes detrimental to our well-being and development. If you notice that you feel closed-off, resentful, heavy-hearted, or that you try very hard to avoid being hurt again, there may be a part of you that is still stuck in pain.

We can get stuck in our pain for many reasons. As children, it was natural for us to cry, throw a tantrum, and let the experience move through us. By fully feeling our pain in this way, our emotions would wash us clean, leaving us open and available to new experiences. With age, though, we might have determined that expressing emotion was no longer appropriate, and so we developed a variety of coping strategies to deal with our discomfort. We may have learned to stuff our feelings down or to run away from them. Perhaps we began thinking that staying closed and unwilling to try new things would keep us safe from heartbreak, safe from rejection, and safe from failure. We may have even gotten so used to being in pain that the thought of being without it scares us. But, if we continue to hold onto it longer than necessary, we are expending a lot of energy that could instead be channeled into making our life experiences more positive.

If you notice that you are continually connecting with the same familiar patterns of pain, consider embracing your feelings and letting go of your hurt. Whether your pain is from childhood or from an experience last week, see if you can give it room to move. When it does, you will reconnect with a wonderful source of your own vital energy.

”Blessings on your journey”

Dont forget!

Day 73

Yesterday I spent a delightful time with Barbara.  Barbara is an amazing and wonderful spirit who in her journey in life has come to be an integral part in our world.  Her spirit is full of love and compassion, insight and wisdom and wonder.  Wonder just for the wonder of it.  During our time together she had me connect with my inner child. That child for me is around 5-7 years old and although I’m very familiar with him, it is not often that I think of him.  During this time of reflection I was able to rekindle that relationship and more importantly that love.

As I sat there I could remember and feel the peace, love and wonder that was and is present in that little boy.  She had me tell him I loved him and that I forgive him.  For those few moments I was that little boy, I was that love and wonder, my eyes were open and I could see.  The only thing different toady from then is that I forgot, I forgot how beautiful and wonderful I am.

Too often in life we just close our eyes to the wonder and love that we are because of all the shit we accumulate on our journey.  It was good to go back.  Although I cannot actually go back to that place and time it is good to know it still exists.   There is this place in all of us, It does exist and it is real.

Don’t forget!!

“Blessings on your journey”