Tag Archives: community

Feeling God When You Feel So Alone

One of the downfalls of being a “spiritual” person (we are all spiritual – but that is a misnomer I sometimes give myself and others who are dedicated to the path of enlightenment/ truth/ spirituality/ authenticity/ love), is that I don’t often give myself permission to fail or fall.  Or is that perfectionism? My article on Spiritual Perfectionism deals with that topic. But here, I want to go a little deeper.

One of the most difficult things for me and perhaps others to do, and one of the things I do the best when I do it, is to be real and raw when something is bothering me. To tell the truth. When I do it I sometimes say too much and risk disapproval or abandonment. (The worst abandonment, though, is self-abandonment, and so given the opportunity I will choose the former). And when I don’t risk it, I bury it under a deep dark place because, after all, ‘I am the light’. The danger of knowing I am the light, and yet I feel darkness, is that I may pretend it is not there, hide it, or worse, give in to it. Alone, I may be tempted to believe that there is no hope, that no one hears me, and that my darkness is the truth about me. This is not the truth, and yet when I FEEL that way, it is the most challenging time to reach for light.

So what do I do when I feel so alone, struggling with something seemingly on my own, and yet not alone? Even surrounded at times by well-meaning family and loved ones, I can feel as if no one understands, I can feel judged or wounded, even if no one says anything against me – it is a thought I have about myself, that hasn’t yet found its way into the light to be healed. How can I find my way through that darkness and reach for the light within?

person and golden sun spiritual direction


One of my friends said something profoundly wise the other day as she listened with compassion – a rare gift. Knowing me as she does, that I am one to hide away when the going gets tough, she coaxed me out and provided a safe cushion to lean on while I unloaded myself. She said, “What if going within is not something we have to do by ourselves? What if going within just means going into your heart, and that means reaching out to other people, soul connection? Maybe connection isn’t just a solitary thing, maybe it can be done together because we are all connected?”

As a channel, I have learned, rather reluctantly because I have never been a good meditator, to go into a deep trance (hypnosis) and access my spiritual essence, and even talk to guides and angels. You would think, given this incredible gift, that I would never feel alone. “You can talk to Heaven? My God! Lucky you! I wish I had a direct line to God!” Well… I do. So do you, but I STILL feel alone. I don’t say this to give you no hope, I say this because the deeper message here, is that maybe God can’t be found by myself.

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Maybe God is a two-way street – or better yet, an intersection – or a busy square where many souls greet. Maybe God cannot be found locked away in a solitary cave or room (though some have found him there, too). Maybe God greets us most when we are in love, when we are forlorn and being picked up by a friend, when our husband hugs us after we feel broken and fragile, when we listen to children playing in the pool, walk barefoot on the dewy grass, or let the dog lick our face.

Maybe God is in the details. In the laughter and tears, in the rolling hills, in the depressing days of sadness where we feel so lost, and the miraculous times of healing when our hearts receive the love and hope we so desperately need from just the right person – or another unlikely place.  

Maybe love is not just in our pleas to God, but in the listening and receiving.

As a ‘spiritual person’ (I will say it only one more time, I promise), I can also be tempted to think that it is OK to give love, to extend myself beyond my own limits for others so they feel loved, but it is not OK for me to receive it, to need it, to want it, to grab for it, and even to lose it. It is not OK for me to fail or fall down. To feel alone. To feel small. It is not OK for me to be a human being who talks to angels, and sometimes would rather be with a flesh-and-bones friend whom I can see, touch and feel.

Maybe it’s OK to admit that God isn’t up there, all alone in his high cloud without me – maybe it’s OK to greet God right here, in my own world, no matter how lonely or messed up I feel. Maybe God is right here, right now, with me and you as we read and write these things, together. And in the illumination that comes from finally letting the dark cloud out of my head, and letting my heart reach out one more time – to God only knows who. Because in that moment of truth, that moment of connection, wisdom comes, and communion.

And isn’t that what God and love is all about? 


Let me know how you reach God when times are tough. Write a comment or email your private share here. Thank you for sharing.


The Power of Community

One of the most powerful challenges and blessings of my life is foregoing my self-confessed inclination towards “artistic solitude” for the greater power and purpose of community.  The inward gives meaning and identity; but the outer shoulders the deepest burdens, and carries the greatest visions of the individual and the whole forward.  Greater still, community creates something neither one, in his solitude, could have ever created or imagined alone.

Anything I have ever done worth anything at all has been done in partnership or community.  Anything I ever imagined or dreamed was only ever accomplished by the connection and commitment to and with others for a greater purpose beyond my individual identity.

buddhist monk walkingIn the Shamanistic or Native traditions, there is the wisdom gained through the sole venturer’s “Vision Quest”, a rite of passage to gain spiritual insight or understanding. The wanderer, as in The Man on the Road, ventures out to discover himself, and more importantly, his vision, mission or purpose on earth.  Oftentimes, this time of solitude in nature or on an open road is a testing ground for his or her strength and commitment to the quest.  It also asks to dispel the idea of “failure” of all other mechanisms of survival and success the wanderer had hitherto employed. In other words, his world temporarily falls apart, and what he is left with are the truths and treasures buried deep within.  These he carries forward for the good of all.

As a writer, I am deeply drawn within. On my spiritual quest(s), which never seem to end!, I coil into the heart of the matter, encountering both darkness and light, possibility and failure.  The true test is whether I can bring what I learn to higher ground, to share with my fellow travelers.  At some point, I am joined by those who are walking this path with me, who either need my services, or who provide support to uphold mine in truth.  Each becomes a net for the other, on the deep dive of the soul.  Knowing that we are not alone, we can let go.

Wisdom alone is no wisdom at all. If we are to grow, we must share it and vet it with one another.

I was deeply challenged by the I AM Discourses of Saint Germain received in 1932, which I read on the plane coming to and fro from Boston.  My heart and soul were lifted by the declarations of strength and power emanating from those words of the saints and masters.  “I AM the Beloved. I AM the Resurrection and the Life.”  To say these words, is to declare your freedom.  But to seek truth without extending it, sharing it, living it in relation to others, is not worth the trek.  I know Saint Germain was not intending for us to be sole vision questers declaring our omnipotent power over ourselves and our world.  He was suggesting we claim the power of God within, and not seek it elsewhere.  Brilliant words and wisdom which are certainly based on love of self, God and others, though more from compassion and mental discipline, than a wider sense of true inter-dependence, community and sharing.

What I have learned on my journey is that every ounce of wisdom I have gained has been born of and given in relationship with God and others, as an expression of Union, or overcoming the separation of the self.  To keep it to myself would be very difficult indeed.

Community is to COMMUNE with others.  To identify the unity of our spirits, our sameness, and the truth that is our home.  Once we have entered the cave of our own awareness, we must build a cabin large enough to contain the whole, if we are to live in love, wisdom and harmony in this world.

As I emerge from my soul ventures, I long to share with others. I long to hear the conviction and courage that is incited by conversation, and sometimes by wordless understanding.  That is communion, or community at its most sacred.  Just as Tibetan monks or initiates challenge and question each other or their teachers, we too can hold our truths or solitary flames to the light of greater community.

Sometimes I walk my own way sure of my solitary path; other times I am honed and convicted, made clearer by the connection.

Community may come from a church, a synagogue, a sports team, or a mountain top with the birds.  I have found community in partnerships with loved ones, perfect strangers and online self-forming groups who gather of like mind.  I have also found it in yoga studios, and in circles I have formed out of sheer intention and will.

However you find community, I encourage you to reach out.  And if you have not yet begun your vision quest, or found your true purpose, community is one way to enter in and discover what yours may be all about.

toronto labyrinth community

Toronto Labyrinth Community

Like a giant circle or labyrinth, we may walk to the centre in a circuitous path, and we may spend some time alone receiving our answers before we venture back out.  But if we notice as we go, others are walking the same path. Their discoveries may differ, but the path leads to the same goal.  And if we fall back, someone will be walking behind us to give us strength, or ahead of us to spur us on.

In Jesus’ words in A Course in Miracles, “Salvation is in your brother,” meaning in our ability to love and forgive, and to receive from others.  As I say, “Love is a shared reality. You cannot love alone. It must be shared if you are to know anything at all.”

Thank you for sharing and venturing with me!










Join us for 30 Days of Miracles 2012

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Join me this summer, for the next 30 days, on a transformative ride of life, love and Miracles! We will marvel at the little things and the big things.  We will go deep and far, together.

 Read more or sign-up here.

Universal Language

I felt inspired tonight to write about a not-so-big moment that had a big impact on me and  my daughter.  After a long and wonderful weekend with family, I was walking my daughter and dog to a local park up north where we were staying. It so happened that an Eastern European community of families was picnicking in the park, though it was still open to everybody.

My dog was pulling like a madman to smell all the sights and sounds. My daughter was riding her bike precariously over the bumpy grass, weaving in and out of late afternoon lunchers with blankets, the late day sun shining on their faces. An old Eastern European woman looked up at me curiously.  Her eyes squinted in the sun, her hair tied behind a brown kerchief.  I smiled, but wasn’t sure if she smiled back. I continued on, transplanted in another timezone, hearing the brushings and sweepings of a foreign tongue all around me, shaking my usual sensibilities.

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I watched the people’s at-ease body language, admired their communal play, and heard their spontaneous song.

A very pretty young woman with a baby jammed a melody while her cohorts softly played guitar. Her voice sent a high anthem across the park. Stunning. I wanted to say something, but was shy at first, remember?  I felt like we were unexpected guests at an intimate party.

But, something in me spoke:  this was an opportunity to teach my daughter, and me, something important.

I sat at a bench near the playground, controlling my wayward dog. A young man and his mother-in-law sat beside me. His wife was off with three lovely daughters on the swings and monkey-bars.  My daughter eyed them uncomfortably but with longing. The other little girl eyed my daughter with a similar stance and a silent invite to play.

I finally spoke to my daughter, “Go, Play”.  She held back, waited. “No,” she said worried, “she speaks a different language.” Inspired, I told her, no…

“You speak a universal language:  smiling, saying Hi, and laughter.”

She seemed to take that in, but still didn’t move.  The mother-in-law admired my daughter and in a secret language seemed to encourage her to go.  The other little girl came closer, holding herself shyly with the sweetest of smiles.

“OK, that’s it” I said sternly to my stubborn one, “Now GO.”  She finally gave in and went. We watched them slowly come together and play.

Before we knew it they were jumping and swinging together on a shared landscape.

I slowly approached the group of musicians.  I smiled a couple of times to no effect. They were completely absorbed in what they were doing. I wanted to join in, or say, “Wow, you are so good. Can I listen in?”  But I seemed to lack the language, and the nerve.

I went out of view for a moment. I said internally to myself, and to the universe…

We are all one. We belong together. One day we will all know it. You hear my intent. You know what I am saying.  All is well here.

Although they didn’t seem to respond to my “words”, I felt a calm acceptance of what-is. As I walked back to get my daughter, I watched a grandfather pushing his grandson wildly on a swing. The little one squealed in delight. And the grandfather laughed, too.

“See.”  I said to myself and them. “I understand you perfectly.”  In that moment, there was no war, and all was happy.

P.S. As my daughter climbed back on her bike, she told me how she met a girl today who speaks a different language, but they became friends. She said it matter-of- factly, and with hidden sadness, that they would likely never see each other again.  I told her you never know. She told me of other friends she had met for only one day whom she later forgot about. I reminded her, “But you do remember them. You are still friends. You are remembering them now.”

It seemed she had not only met a foreign friend she could understand, but remember too, and maybe even love. (But that is for another day). She smiled, satisfied with herself, and rode away.

Day 21: The Miracle is You

I mean that literally. The Miracle is You. I’m not being generic or metaphoric or universal in any way. For the first time, I really get it.

I sang through the weekend doing the birthday thing, kids running amok, appreciating my family, getting uptight and nervous about the quantity of young guests, the unanticipated sleepover, the never-ending hangover of more guests on Sunday. The joy of an unusual full family dinner.

Now, as I swing back to my beloved friends of this blogging world, I get this sudden feeling of  connectivity, reciprocity, understanding…

This is not just about me. This is about You. The miracle that happens to me is the same miracle that happens to you. What I write, you also live. What you live, I somehow write. How does this happen? How does this miracle happen to us both at the same time, echoing each other? You may think, How did you know that? How did you say exactly how I was feeling at this moment in time? How did you say it just like that so that it sung to my heart, spoke from my true understanding, something I hadn’t even put into words before? This is all new to me too.

All I know is, I am doing this with you

It is a chorus, a harmony, an absolute symphony. I love to write, and you hear my voice. But you don’t just hear me, you hear You! This is bizarre. Amazing. I am singing your song as much as I am singing mine. Maybe we are singing the same song!

I am honoured to be the one putting down the words because it is easy for  me. As Lady GaGa says, “I was born this way!” But maybe for the one who is tongue-tied or whose heart is torn apart, and can’t even begin to know how to express ‘that’, I am their God-send. Literally. That is not arrogant. As Marianne Williamson says echoing A Course in Miracles, it is not arrogant to recognize your God-given talents and use them. It is humble to witness their impact, to see God’s work at hand. To fall down on your knees and say, Thank you for using me at last!

Thank you.

Thank You for being here, for listening, for understanding, for being, for responding. Thank you for singing your chorus, your harmony. Your wave of passion, happiness, devotion.  I love our evolving collaboration, our co-witnessing each other, our evolutionary striving for something greater. An awakening of seismic proportions. Beyond Katerina, Beyond tragedy. This is the response to all of that. This is the Hope. The Dream. The Great Call to Freedom at last! This isn’t about race, sex, age or religion. This transcends all borders and boundaries we ever thought we had. This is Love itself calling to our own Selves. We are recognizing ourselves in each other’s greatness. We are witnessing the possibility of what we can be together.  Supporting each other in the Climb that has  nothing to do with ceilings or enemies or friends. This is wider, deeper, faster and more incredible than anything we ever thought we were or had. This is the mountain without peak, the river without end…

Dear God, make us Great. Make us tall. Make us realize our own potential in each other’s eyes. Let us witness and make a pact: Never again will we act small, pretend we don’t know anything. Hide in the branches of our own greatness, only to swing when we are alone. Let us join our hands. Clasp on for dear life. Let’s sing our hearts out in this, our Collective Song.

There’s no denying when you’ve heard the Call.

There’s no denying when a Miracle is born.

Thank you, God for hearing mine.


Day 13: Commitment


I write in order to learn. I am writing this because I need to be. Because I want to be. If I don’t write, I am lost and listless. I become distracted by countless interventions that are not needed. My Voice is my paralysis and my sanctuary. If it is not working, I am not working.  When it opens up, all Life pours through. This has been the greatest God-send of all.

Until recently (like today), I was not truly committed to any one thing. I would float around from day to day like a butterfly (nice enough) smelling the flowers of possibility (Mmm, smell that?). Nothing wrong with that – for a year, or two…  But Now, I feel the call of committing to something – not just anything – something worthy of my time and effort.

My Call.

There are a few things I am committed to:  A daily spiritual practice, a dynamic relationship, building a community of collaborative partners, and courageous creative expression. And through these, Helping the women – and men, if they really need it (they do); but women especially because, well, I’m one of them, and I understand their plight and their power.

Enough is enough. We are here to speak, are we not? To sing, in fact! To show up!… With all of our  hearts, with all of our understandings.  That is why I am here. In whatever platform suits. I am here for you, for me. In this, I am free.

What are you most committed too? Have you any idea? Don’t worry if you don’t. I didn’t either until recently (like today). And even then, it changes from time to time. It has to. Because some things are not worth committing to. And our egos love to commit to things that will lead us to the promised land of nowhere: disappointment, competition, lack and heart-ache. Enough, please.

I am committed to giving the best my life has to offer. But like I suggested, it’s reciprocal. Whether you realize it or not, when you give, you receive. When you give of your heart, your true  heart’s calling and longing and knowing, you are free. You don’t feel like you are giving at all. You feel like you are just being. That is not a cliché. It is true. I know, because it feels so good – I feel so happy when I am writing or singing or speaking with you! I am not just doing it for myself anymore; now, there is a purpose, a feeling: of commitment, of communion. I love this! I love everything I am discovering through this. I love you. Yes, it’s true.

Thank you to all who have responded with love and excitement to my new found words and Voice. Thank you for writing to me and confirming what I already knew, but now know more deeply:

This is the way for me to find my way.

Thank you.

May your true heart’s calling call to you.

Day 9: The Pleasant Ever-After

I’m not sure why, but I’m so happy lately. A year ago I was suffering from a recurring case of depression, or what one expert called “a constant state of discontent”. It had taken its toll on my health and every area of my life. I didn’t know what I wanted to do and it felt like the end of the world.

Now, as I sit here in my backyard, looking at the chickadees and robins hanging out in the trees, feeling the cool damp breeze and my fingers tracing their story on the keys, I feel at ease… I feel a deep sense of peace unknown to me before…

Where did this come from? This pleasant ever-after? The long-awaited prize after years of grueling internal effort and uncertainty? It came from a combination of things, all brought on by my intention – no, my Determination – to be well, to be More than well: to BE HAPPY.

I deserve a life of happiness. So do you. There is no need to struggle and worry about everything. I’ve done plenty of that. I’ve been through lots of things – death, loss, but I haven’t suffered much. I have everything, I admit.  But that discontent underlying our lives can eat away at the most blessed of lives, including my own. I admit, I was spoiled. I didn’t know how lucky I am.  I am more than lucky – I worked for this, chose this, in fact. But when you don’t recognize what you have, you are impoverished indeed.

Sometimes it takes a crisis to get down on your knees.

Since then I have done many things:  Prayed and meditated, number one. Got the help I need.  Took some courses that elevated my spirits and connected me to a broader social community. Healed body, mind and soul. Did the work. Wrote it out. Talked it out. Cried it out! I found my voice. And now I am freed. I feel better today than I have felt in, well – ever!


This is the story of my life, unfolding one day at a time. May it be blessed, always with the recognition of what I have, and the good that is to come. This is my happily ever after. It’s not perfect. It’s not what I planned when I first started out (whose is?). I don’t live in Hollywood (thank God!), and in some ways, it is much, much better. Because you know what? I’ve only just begun!  And that makes me really smile…

I wish the same for you.

Day 6: New

There are some things I am still afraid of. Some people think being an actress makes me immune – instant courage. Not so. I admit I have a larger heaping teaspoonful of it, but sometimes I am not who I say I am. I’m…  shy.

When I was born my mother said I was a big crier – not for no reason – for the most part I was a very happy baby, and I have the ‘toothless grin’ photos to prove it.  (Hmm.. I’ll have to dig them up.)  I loved to eat anything my mother put in front of me, and once my mom and Aunt Jane took turns shoving teaspoonfuls of jam into my mouth (yum!), between which I would cry bloody murder if they were just a little too slow. I was, and still am, voraciously in love with life. This is fairly new. Although I started out that way, life got in the way. Moving. Loss. Failure, disappointment.  It’s called the 20s. My 30s were all about change. Huge transformative never-looking-back change. Phenomenal. And now that I’ve just entered my 40s, I’m on a new path – again.  Instead of the baby crying out for another huge heaping teaspoonful, I sometimes hold back. I wait. I wonder. I question. I ponder.

Where does this hesitance for life come from? Fear. Lack of experience – and too much experience.

This past week we were introduced to our new neighbours. For the past 12 years we’ve been hanging with our ‘old neighbours’, who had really become family. I was sad to see them go (even though they’re only 12 minutes away).  I also knew that change was good – for them and for us. They needed to grow as much as we did.  We still visit them in their new digs, and they are just like newlyweds fighting over paint chips (after 45 years of marriage).

For us, we are like new as well. Our ‘new neighbours’ are younger and have a baby. That old house where our old neighbours used to sing and burn sticks outside and host boxing day parties is slowly changing into a new time, a new shape.  Funny how perspective changes everything.

My shyness came in introducing myself, wanting to hang back and “give them some space”. I did that for about 3 weeks – well, almost 2 months.  Once we emerged from our dwelling places into the sun of our first summer day we noticed each other out back, waved hands, joked about the leaves and the pile-ups, everything home-owners lack.  The husband popped his head over the fence finally and asked, “Is it too early to ask Steve to have a beer?”  I laughed and said, “No, he’s about ready” as my husband came climbing down a ladder with eaves-trough goo in his hands.

men on a break

That night the young couple came over with their baby and his mother. We sat on our deck and had a few. Talked and talked, laughed and shared stories. It was grand. I felt so lucky to be there with these new people, welcoming them in, and them too. I felt just as new as they did. It opened up a new era in our lives, a new possibility for sharing, for being a couple who can go out for dinner and leave the kids behind (we’re lucky, ours are 8 and 14).  And of course, for our kids, babysitting. New days open up, sparkle and give new life, new energy, changes, comings and goings.

And – Ooh – Food!  Lots and lots of food. My inner child was very, very happy. We feasted that night, broke bread together, shared the wine and the beer, and sat over an open fire.

This is a life worth talking about. Worth sharing. Always and forever, New.

P.S. I have such great pictures to share – I’ll hunt them down and insert them later. Love.