I can remember so many years heading into the winter solstice, with the days getting consistently shorter. My birthday, the holidays, and the winter itself, would bring a certain kind of feeling similar to PTSD for what I’d experienced in the past.
I used to go into the holidays EXPECTING to be disappointed. I used to anticipate that I’d be revisiting the same painful hurts and memories as previous years.
I would look for the offenses and upsets that matched my experience in the past so, I could reinvigorate the painful meaning I’d made of things in the past. And then, I’d get to be right all over again.
Not happy , but right.
Can you relate?
I’ve found this is a common theme for people, and for those of us in the northern hemisphere it starts now. In the USA, we have Thanksgiving at the end of November, and this year it’s on my birthday. Thanksgiving is the biggest family holiday we have. The day before is always the biggest single travel day in the USA all year long.
So many triggers, so little time.
But, I have a different experience now.
First of all, it’s been years since there was pain and upsets at the holidays in my life.
I used to visit family, and after 3 days I’d start to feel sad and depressed.
What was wrong with me?
Why did I keep doing this to myself?
Why did I keep thinking that I could stay for a week, when I would start to feel depressed after just a few days?
Why did I keep repeating the same madness, expecting a new experience?
And on and on.
Here’s what changed everything for me: Taking responsibility.
As part of my deciding not to be focused on judging, complaining, constantly criticizing, and looking for problems, I began to start to look for ways to extend compassion and kindness.
When offense was taken, I committed to being the one who would go first and make amends.
I stopped taking everything personally, because I started to see all my attacks on others were more about me than about them.
And then, as my mind started becoming more kind and loving, I began to see that none of my attacks were about them, and ALL of them were about me.
None of this happened over night.
It was slow and gradual change, over years.
But the super cool thing is, that I realized every change I made rippled out to my family and friends. I could be the one who decided whether or not I was pissed off and hurt. The upset couldn’t happen without my agreement!
It was me. I was the one I had to forgive for having made my life into a portal to hell.
I studied spirituality for nearly 20 years, feeling that truth  was an ever-illusive mystery that I just couldn’t get to. For me, truth was just beyond one more door that I was trying to pry open. I was looking outside myself for insight, thinking that an intellectual approach would bring me what I was looking for, because my intellect had always (or so I thought!) helped me in the past.
I’d figured out my problems in the past.
I could figure out how to get connected to Spirit.
I didn’t know that the intellect is a tool of the ego.
But, through my deep desire of the heart to truly know Spirit, and to truly break free of pain and suffering, I was led and guided. It was ONLY my willingness that helped me to see through the bushes and brambles of ego blocks and subterfuge.
I now LOVE this time of year, for a whole new set of reasons! Check this out:
From September into January, I get to have 1-on-1 appointments with all the folks who are in my year-long Masterful Living  Course. When we talk early in the year, things are challenging. It’s not so easy. People are looking deeply into their patterns and habits to eliminate the causes of suffering. Some people experience it with a lot of Joy and Freedom, but not all. Some begin having many miracles all at once. But, that’s not true for everyone. Some folks find it super challenging, and they are heroic in their not giving up.
I’ve been having 1-on-1’s with the folks in this community for weeks now, and it’s such a pleasure. By now, most people are telling me their successes in how this year has been so life-changing for them. They’re telling me how differently they feel about themselves and their life. They tell me stories of marriages that are experiencing a rebirth of Love, and relationships with family that are getting better every day. They’re looking forward to doing the holidays differently.
And, because we have people who continue doing the work together with me and the community for years, I get to celebrate the long term AMAZING transformation of their lives, careers, families, finances and more.
When someone is absolutely convinced that they are unlovable,
and now they know it’s not true,
that changes every minute
of every day
of the rest of their lives –
and for those around them as well.
I love listening to someone share how they made a decision to do something differently in their workplace, because they just wanted to be nicer to the people in their lives. Over the course of a year, their shifts change the entire culture of their workplace. Then, their co-workers take home a different attitude, and they share that with their family. Their children take that with them to school, and then the other kids in their class take that home to their family, and that’s how the world changes.
ACIM says: Seek not to change the world, but to change your mind about the world.
That’s why I’m committed to proving it.
I absolutely LOVE the last third of the year. It’s four months of reaping the rewards and celebrating the benefits. They aren’t dark months, anymore. There’s nothing to fear, anymore. It’s win-win all the way!
Yesterday, I got this idea, and I’d like to share it with you and see what you think.
I feel guided to propose that this Power of Love community create a community newsletter or digital bulletin board where people share their challenges and their successes.
In Masterful Living, we hear the most AMAZING miracles and transformations on a regular basis, but we keep it pretty contained because we have strong confidentiality in order to support a sense of feeling really safe within the community.
If you’re not in class with me, would you like to hear what people are doing, and learn from them and their stories?
If you’re in class, would you be willing to share your experiences and stories?
In this day and age, we can make audios, videos, poems, collages and all kinds of ways to express our stories of healing and victory of Spirit. Fun!
No matter how it looks on the surface, and in the news, Love IS being revealed, and we can put more focus  on celebrating that, especially now as we’re heading to the holidays.
What do you feel you’d like?
Retreats start next weekend!
In my retreats, people have consistently experienced healing of relationships that were believed beyond repair. I’ve witnessed healing of chronic physical and emotional issues because of the deep healing work we do together.
I’ve only been doing these retreats once per year. It’s a small group. We go deep. Now’s the time to rise and shine. Let us be the fulcrum point of healing in our family and in our workplace. We have all that we need within us – let’s do it this year and set ourselves up for the holidays and for our new year. It’s not too early to get the healing ball rolling!
If you’d like to really let go of the past, consider joining with me and other like-minded souls to have fun doing it together. I’m offering my Forgive & Be Free Retreat  and my Spiritual Counseling Training Intensive  in October. You’re invited to our healing party!
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