Consider the Way of Nature

                                                Swallow Tailed Kite. My backyard. Dunedin, FL

Have you ever considered the ways of the birds or other creatures of this world?

                            Swallow Tailed Kite. My backyard. Dunedin, FL

Have you ever wondered how they know to migrate? Did you know that even birds who have been born in captivity know to migrate and in which direction to fly?

                              Bald Eagle. My backyard. Dunedin, FL

Have you ever considered how the acorn naturally, organically grows into an oak tree and how the birds innately know to nest there?

                                               Pileated Woodpecker. My backyard. Dunedin, FL

Have you ever thought about the natural and symbiotic relationship between the earth and her critters? How life naturally unfolds?

                                                                     Clearwater, FL

Have you always known that the setting sun would rise again?

                                                                      Clearwater, FL

And that the darkening skies would once again be clear and bright?

                                                             My backyard. Dunedin, FL

You've probably never questioned the moon's existence when it isn't visible.

                                                                      Clearwater, FL

Then, why, my friend, do you forget that the same life force that permeates and supports all of nature supports you, too? I understand. I forget at times, also. The truth is, we are not separate from all of nature. Life supports us. Life lives us. Like the birds, we know innately how to move through life, how to live.

                                                                        Dunedin, FL

Listen, we were born in well-being. We were born knowing how to be human. Yes, we get caught up in the clouds of our personal thinking and forget. But when our thinking settles, when we get quiet within, we find clarity, peace, and well-being again. This is our default setting. You don't have to take my word for it, you can experiment with it for yourself. 

I remember practically crawling out of my skin when I first tried to quiet myself. I didn't believe innate well-being, wisdom, and peace existed within me and, man, did I suffer.

                                                      Lotus. Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

It took many long walks in the woods for me to begin to quiet my mind. It was there that I discovered the long covered-over place in myself, my essence, that is just fine. That discovery has changed everything for me. And now I know that I'm only ever just a thought away from my true essence and well-being. So are you. So are you.

If you want to learn more about how thought works, read last week's post here

I would be delighted to hear your from you!

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Snakes! and the Power of Thought


I walk the Hammock almost every day. The Hammock is a 100-acre forest in the heart of Dunedin, FL. I feel perfectly at home there. I see roseate spoonbills, owls, hawks, egrets, herons, turtles, lizards, and the occasional snake, among other critters. I absolutely love walking the trails.


Today, Pedro and I wandered into the Hammock and something fast and small bit my leg scaring the bejeezus out of me! Snake! I looked down only to find that I had stepped on a small stick. I shook my head and then my whole body, releasing the surge of adrenaline and cortisol that filled me. Fifteen minutes later, it happened again! Snake! Of course, it, too, was nothing more than a stick. I shook my head once again and laughed at how ridiculous I was being.


I walk these trails every day, never afraid, even if sticks do pop up and hit me from time to time. What was different today? I had snakes on the mind because Pam and I had been talking about them the day before. I thought the stick was a snake. Even though it barely felt like much of anything, I almost jumped out of my skin! That, my friend, is the power of thought. I was experiencing my thinking in the moment, nothing more.

Additionally, I had a business meeting with a colleague today. The conversation didn't go as I had imagined. I hung up and began to feel a tad sorry for myself. That's when I got up and went into the woods, only to be bitten by two snakes! Of course, I've already established that there were no snakes. No snake bites and no snakes in the conversation. I realized that I thought the conversation was a snake, just as I thought the stick was a snake. I started to make up what was going to happen in the future as a result of the conversation. I decided it wasn't going to go well after all. I decided the call was bad news, yet, there was no bad news. Just different news than I had expected.

Once I realized that I was buying into these thoughts that were welling up in my mind, I began to relax, allowing them to move through me. I reminded myself that the future is an incomplete equation. I can't possibly know how the situation will unfold. When I started to believe that I did know and then the conversation didn't go as I imagined, I freaked out a bit, fearful that things wouldn't turn out well. Truth is, I have no idea how it will turn out and I had no idea before the conversation either. All of it was made up! I believed the thoughts to be real and that's why I felt I had been bitten by a snake. There was no snake. Only thought in the moment.


Can you relate? How many times have you seen a snake, whether in the woods or in a person or situation only to find that it was a stick? How many times have you made up an imagined future only to find that the future turns out completely differently? Probably more than you can count. And how much stress have you experienced as a result?

When we get caught up in an imagined future and in our exponential thinking, insight eludes us and we can become stressed, angry, disappointed, or fearful. When we recognize thought for what it is, we relax a bit and can begin to bring ourselves back to the present moment, allowing the thoughts to move through and opening to the insights we need to handle right now. We have all we need to deal with this moment. Even if it is a real snake.

night heron.jpg

I would be delighted to hear your thoughts.

I would appreciate you sharing my blog with your friends if you think they would enjoy it and please do subscribe if you want to be certain not to miss any posts. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog!

The Struggle to be Perfect

"I thought I had to become something... something more, something better, maybe even something different."


Since 1990, I have been in the business of helping people either as a psychotherapist or certified coach, except for the couple of years I worked as a horse farm caretaker and the couple of years I owned a fine art gallery. Even then, I always had a client or two. It's been an interesting, bumpy journey to say the least.

Against all odds, because I really hated school, I went back to university 30 years ago to earn my graduate degree in counseling. I trained. I got credentialed. I set up a practice. I struggled. I helped people. I struggled. I felt like a fraud because I struggled. I helped people despite my struggles. I felt inauthentic because I wrestled my own demons. I helped my clients. They said so. I felt I wasn't enough. I quit and worked on a horse farm. I knew the farm animals had no expectations of me.

After a couple of years on the farm, I decided to work with people again because that truly is my calling. I got more training and more credentials thinking that would prove my worth. For some reason, I thought I needed to be perfect in order to help people. Of course, I wasn't and I didn't have to be. In fact, since that time, I've learned that the struggle to be perfect actually interfered with the perfection that I am at my core already. We forget that our essence is perfectly whole. When we forget, we struggle and suffer, and boy did I suffer, almost to death (another story for another time).


Since then, I've learned that life (God, spirit, the intelligence behind all life, or whatever name you call it) is living me... just as life lives the oak tree that grows from an acorn... just as life lives the precious songbird who knows innately to wake up each morning and search for food... just as the flower effortlessly opens its petals. It took me quite a few years to learn this, and I still forget. Life continued living me, as it lives everyone, even though I didn't understand, even though I struggled against it. I thought I had to become something... something more, something better, maybe even something different. This thought took on a life of its own, as thought tends to do, and I suffered greatly. Perhaps you understand the struggle.


Perhaps you can feel the power of thought at work in you, how it takes on a life of its own and runs the show. Such and such happens, thoughts flood your mind racing into the future or reaching into the past. "Maybe, I'm not good enough, smart enough, brave enough. I'll never manage this. How will I ever get through this? Or, how dare they! How could they! Why me?" The story gets bigger and more powerful as it generates emotion. The story exponentially escalates as we feed the flame. It feels so real and compelling! Now it has become unmanageable, indeed.

Here's the thing, you and I can handle this present moment. We are built to handle the present moment. It's our default. When we get caught up in our personal thinking about what's happening, reaching into the past and future, we create suffering. Test it for yourself. See where this may be true in your life. Notice the stories you spin. The ones that keep you up at night and keep you from relaxing during the day. Notice how the stories themselves cause you to suffer rather than the situation at hand. It can be tricky to see at times so experiment with it and see what you see. You may be surprised.


You can handle the situation at hand. I promise. What feels so unmanageable is the exponential thinking you're having about the situation. When you let that exponential thinking fall away, the clouds eventually part and the sun of your well-being and clarity appear. You can count on it.


I would be delighted to hear your thoughts.