The Sweet Eyes of Christmas – A Little Girl

My partner and I arrived at Leonardo’s Pizza last Friday worn out from our tiresome week. I had another eye injection in my right eye and had powered through a 36-hour migraine working at St. Thomas’ Church. She, on the other hand, was working another grueling week as a Civil Engineer. Sewers and waste water.

It was early in the evening – 5:00-ish. We ordered apps and our waitress was wearing a shirt that said, “Love” on it. I remarked to her that I liked it. She was kind and the banter was light.

Heather (my partner) and I were in a deep discussion about the ego’s mis-creations – some of the ultimate ones – like the crucifixion. More like Easter talk than Christmas. Ironically, we were enjoying the diversion into our burgeoning spirituality through A Course in Miracles when I heard a lady yell from across the restaurant.

Time stopped. Dead in its tracks. Floating through the ether were the words: “Does someone know CPR? My granddaughter is choking!” It was a pressed call for help.

From where I was sitting, I looked to see that trouble was indeed looming. Hurriedly, I scrambled to the grandmother and the little girl. By the time I got there, the girl was standing next to the booth. I wrapped my arms around her from behind and placed my hands in a ball beneath her small ribs. She was tiny. On my first thrust, I lifted her off the floor. Nothing. I did it again. Nothing. Another thrust. Nothing. Right before the fourth thrust, I do not know why, but I bent my lips close to her ear and said very calmly, “It’s okay to throw up.” I lifted her and hit hard a fourth time, the projectile of a hard green candy flew from her mouth onto the floor. She breathed.

I looked around and saw that no one in the restaurant had moved. The little girl sidled next to her grandmother and I walked back to my booth and sat down. By this time, the waitress – the one with the “Love” shirt – was there in tears. I hugged her and told her that the little girl was okay. I think by the end we must have hugged at least three times.

I looked at Heather and she looked at me. Time was still locked. I finally intimated – calmly – that I could not eat the dinner. After all of that, it seemed right to leave.

We asked for boxes for the spaghetti. Later, Heather would tell me that the little girl’s mother entered the restaurant and witnessed the whole thing. She paid for our dinner.

Before we left, I had to see the little girl. I had only been behind her and then had simply walked away. Heather and I walked over to the booth and met her mother and her grandmother. I looked at the small, I think four-year-old child, and asked her what her name was.

“Hayden,” she said. She smiled at me and I looked into her eyes and witnessed the most angelic vision I think I have ever seen.

I asked her what she was getting for Christmas. She replied with a shrug, “I don’t know.” I then said to her that I hoped she would get everything she wanted. She smiled and nuzzled next to her grandmother.

At my study group on Monday night this week, I told them the story. I’ve told several people this week. The first person I told was my mom. I tell her just about everything.

What struck me this week were two things. The timing of our “grueling” week last week navigated us right to that restaurant. The other thing was that I was glad – elated really – that during my three “dark nights of the soul” in this lifetime, I did not choose suicide over the love of life.


Merry Christmas, Hayden. I hope that is how you spell your name. If not, forgive my error. I hope your life is as precious as your family and the sweetness you showed me in those minutes last Friday.

The sweet eyes of a child. A blessing indeed. Christmas is coming and Hayden is here.

All my love,


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Whole Minds: The Bittersweet Lessons of Love

As an avid reader of our newest Bible on earth, A Course in Miracles, I must stop withholding what the light continues to shed on all of us – we are forgiven for all that we thought we were guilty of. All of it…yep. Even that crazy angry thought you had in 1998. That extra bad one.

Guilt comes in various forms because that’s what the ego likes to do. The ego feeds on guilt. The ego feeds on anger. The ego feeds on shame. The ego, my friend, is insane. Even that time when I hit my dog over the head for doing something wrong is included in this insanity. I thought about her this morning and am reminded of her now. She was and still is one of the sweetest gifts God gave me. While I stroked her and loved on her and helped her through cancer and picked chicken for her and told her she was the best therapy dog on the planet, I still come to that one time – sometimes – when I hit her on the head for something I can’t even remember why. I think she was snapping at my sister’s dog. It doesn’t matter.

She, River, forgave me for that time and for the several other times she plucked my last nerve. Dogs are our great animal forgivers. Without words on their lips, they say it in their eyes because they continue to show up. They wag their tails and love us without reserve, without judgment, without the projection of guilt.

I have yelled at God and Jesus and cussed at them more times than I can remember in my life. I yelled at them for the crushed ankle. I yelled at them for my deteriorating eyes. I yelled at them for not putting enough digits in my bank account even though I’d worked harder than most millionaires I’d met. I yelled when I wasn’t getting enough sex. I yelled internally and externally.

Funny thing about God. He/She/It holds no grievances against you. God is love. God has all the answers. The ego will be glad to give you doubt, levels, a million unanswerable questions. But, when you look in the eyes of a dog (or cat), you can be sure where God is.

Undoing the ego through forgiveness and love releases us into the arms of the Holy Spirit and then into the arms of God. According to ACIM, we have three steps.

1. To have, give all to all.
2. To have peace, teach peace to learn it.
3. Be vigilant only for God and His Kingdom. (Vigilance is not necessary for the truth, but it IS necessary against illusions). And, my friend, illusions are all of the ego’s miscreations. That crazy messed up thought system in your large noodle.

Furthermore, ACIM teaches us that all the Holy Spirit wants to do is engender joy. The first thought we have (typically) is always of the ego – doubt, worry, shame, guilt, anger. Our second thought is always of LOVE.

When we hurt each other – regardless of who or what – then just help yourself by forgiving your past misdoings. Forgive your friend, forgive your father and mother, forgive your brother and sister. Forgive your animals. By doing this, you are blessing them and yourself.

“Light does not attack darkness (ego), but it does shine it away.”

I love this quote. And, I also know in my whole mind it is so true. The light of forgiveness and love purifies our past of all its mistakes we THOUGHT we made. Our kindnesses and gentle loving thoughts and actions are saved. You are saved.

River’s picture is here on my desk as I write this. It is of her licking an ice cream cone the day she passed her therapy dog test in Charlottesville, Virginia. She went on to assuage many lonely hearts in the halls of the Virginia Home. She made it to PBS as local star for doing what was in her heart all the time. I was her guide person.

Lastly, in ACIM it states, “The light becomes ours, and you cannot abide in darkness any more than darkness can abide wherever you go. The remembrance of me (Jesus) is the remembrance of yourself, and of Him (God) Who sent me to you.”

We aren’t bad at all, my friend. We are actually pretty cool. We are the light and that is one of the coolest things EVER!



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Whole Minds – The Intersection of Love and Love

No more secrets.

I am not a theologian nor am I a Bible scholar. I have never been very Jesusy. Thank God, I am not a politician. Equivocating is not my goal in life. Confrontation, I have learned, too, is never the answer. Confrontation breeds conflict and, as A Course in Miracles will teach you, conflict is asleep. Conflict is the biggest snore of them all. I mean a snooze-a-rama. Where is the birthplace of this snooze-fest? Your mind, my friend. Mine, too. We are no different in any corner of the world.

When we attack with our minds it is akin to a sword or a pistol or a knife to your own head or throat. Your mind only murders you – over and over and over and over again. People in A.A. understand this as those resentments against your own family. Your still upset about what your brother or mother or father or sister DID or DID NOT do back in 1997 and you carry that silent knife of anger thoughts with you through your victim story. Everyone is wrong but you. We project our “stuff” onto someone or some idea and then we defend our own attack (waiting in the bushes for it) by looking for allies. Hmmm. Sound familiar? We attack people for not thinking like we think. We live in the world of illusions where these thoughts are our biggest wake-up call.

It is the split-mind we are tasked to deal with that is burdened by this sleepiness. So, it is here – our minds – where we must learn to heal and undo the part that believes it is guilty. The ego mind that attacks. The ego mind that is front and center. The ego mind that doesn’t even exist. As A Course in Miracles tells us:

“Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.”

Let’s define two words in the above quote:
Real = love, joy, truth, God’s creations
Unreal = guilt, anger, separation, loss, ego’s miscreations

I won’t lie. A Course in Miracles is a hard read. It is not meant to be read in a weekend at the beach. Frankly, I almost stopped reading it because the language is so ABSTRACT. You have to attend to it like a gardener tends to his watering and weeding. You have to find a study group and you have to be willing to understand why a shared universal experience of forgiveness is necessary for us to find inner peace. When we find inner peace, then all the media will be a tad upset because there will, my friend, be nothing to report. Only the good news.

After reading some of ACIM, I have decided that there should be a store like Whole Foods. Instead, we can call it Whole Minds. On your way to the store to get eggs and milk, you can stop off at Whole Minds and get your Mind back. On the menu at Whole Minds is the book: A Course in Miracles. Duh;) Any book by Kenneth Wapnick. I suggest Absence from Felicity first. Any book by Gary Renard because he tells us the “love has forgotten no one” and I like that. You can pick up some love and tenderness. I imagine Whole Minds might have puppies and bunnies and ice cream and lots of people singing. My friends are there recounting how our past was nothing but beauty and a blessing! J (Jesus) has “saved all your kindnesses and every loving thought you ever had.” And, [He] has “purified them of the errors that hid their light, and kept them for you in their own perfect radiance. They are beyond destruction and beyond guilt.” *

Heavenly, wouldn’t you say? Every kind and loving thought (THOUGHT) you have is SAVED. I am completely on board with this idea of Whole Minds. Like Walgreens, it can be at the corner of happy and healthy. Instead, I think Whole Minds is at the intersection of “Love and Love.” The big “O” for Oneness in the middle of the road.

Branding, anyone?

All my love,

p.s. My sixth book Spirit Home is at the intersection of the universal shared experience “Love and Love.” Amazon and Barnes and Noble are selling it now.

*(p. 83 of Chapter 5, “Healing and Wholeness” text, ACIM)

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Gary Renard and St. Thomas’ (my church)…

Last night, I was reading Love has Forgotten No One by Gary Renard. I have an eye issue, so I was reading my kindle with my sunglasses on in the dark. It was like the 19th century – no TV, no smartphone, no lights except for the device that I held. We were in the fog of darkness except for the light behind the black font of his words.

And, what a font those words are.

Gary and his books never fail to transport me. My girlfriend sat there listening as I read aloud from his text and we were and are amazed at how grounded he can be as he dispels many myths of this world through his interaction with ascended masters and with his own experience.

I won’t lie to you. It will make your toes curl when you read his work because your belief system will have to be utterly suspended and then you will have to – eventually – cut the umbilicus to that belief system and recognize that this man is – literally – on to something. My first recommendation is that you read his first book, The Disappearance of the Universe. After you read that toe curler, you can go onto his next two. Reading them in succession is helpful as you get to know him and his spiritual awakening through a visitation from two ascended masters: Pursah and Arten. For those of you who might not want to “go there” with this type of forwardness from the universe, then I recommend you to stick to whatever spiritual path or religious path you are on. It’s really up to you. Regardless, we are all on the right path. However, it is my opinion that his teachings as well as A Course in Miracles and A Course in Love will lead you to a better grapple of why we are here a tad faster than other approaches. But, that is my opinion and that’s that.

After reading Gary Renard’s first book, I was really happy to be working at my new favorite job as parish administrator at St. Thomas’ Church in Ginter Park here in Richmond, Virginia. It was as if Gary led me directly there and now I am happy to be working at a place that exudes so much love and so much forgiveness each day. It is frenetic and busy and we meet with the many challenges of a church trying to support the miracles of everyday living.

Yesterday, a woman showed up. She was confused and went on and on about a list of terrible things that were happening to her. She’d come from Wisconsin and her Medicaid wasn’t working because of the move. She had no meds for her mental condition and she was hungry and needed bus fare to figure out what her next step was. Our Rector helped her. She gave her a bag of food from the food pantry. She gave her a number to call for crisis intervention and she gave her money for bus fare.  Most of all, she gave her a bit of her precious time.

The woman asked me where the next church was she could go to. I started to give her directions to one down the street but she was confused. I then walked her to the corner of Walton and Hawthorne and pointed her in the right direction. I told her things were looking up. She had food. She had a bit of money and she was going to the next church. I also told her that I would pray for her.

As I read Gary’s book last night, I realized he had led me to the next right place in my life. Thank you, St. Thomas!

I hope that is enough to get you on your way…

Many blessings and love,

p.s. My sixth book, Spirit Home, is now available in both ebook and paperback from all the regular sources: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. It is a stepping stone to A Course in Miracles – what Gary’s first book is all

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Spirit Home

This book is written for you. It may be the biggest step you ever take in helping you and others stop the incessant searching for why we have come to planet earth and how we go home.

Spirit Home is a new spiritual compass that leads readers to the destination we have ALL searched for. It provides us the joy in knowing we finally have an answer to life’s biggest question: Why are we here?

If you are a spiritual being (and we all are) and have a strong desire to understand how forgiveness and love are the tickets to your train home, then this book is the answer. Through easy-to-understand language, Spirit Home will help clear the way for you. The veil between life and death is lifted and your lens on it will not be obscured anymore.

The ancient key to the doorway is here—Spirit

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Forgiveness, Love, and the Way to Home…

For most of my forty-eight years, I have been searching for the answers to the same questions we all ask. It has been a crippling journey for me as I have moved from religion to religion, spirituality to spirituality.

Recently, on my seventh eye injection to keep my left eye from going blind, I decided I was giving up and becoming an atheist or the “kinder gentler” agnostic. If God or the Holy Spirit or Source or place your word here, _____ , was going to give up on me then to hell with it. I was giving up prayer and all the things I thought were true in the ever-loving presence. I cursed God over and over again (said the “F” word a lot) for not showing up for me as I thought I had shown up for him for forty-eight years. How dare you, God, for forgetting me? How dare you continue with this so-called life of struggle after struggle? It’s a vortex!

I lasted about thirty-six hours.

I found it was harder to give it all up – hope – than it was to keep holding on to it. Bottomline: I stink at giving up on God and the Holy Spirit.

Which brings me to this universal piece of apple pie. As a student of A Course in Miracles, (even though I almost tossed the book out), I have come to find that there are certain things about this world that are, well, just not true.

Drum roll…(short list of questions and answers)

1. How could a beneficent God create a world that allows for the 24/7 suffering we see? Take a look at the airline disasters, Israel and Palestine, the Holocaust, 9-11, Stalin’s regime, tornadoes, tsunamis, mental illness, mass school shootings, political corruption, murder, rape, rage, and crippling fear.

Answer: He did not. See A Course in Miracles for further clarification.

2. If God did not create this world? Who did?

Answer: You and me buddy. We did. (see above reference to ACIM – it ‘splains it all)

3. How then do we get out of this illusion of an awful world and get to the real one?

Answer: Forgiveness (first yourself – you did nothing wrong). Forgiveness of yourself and each other is the bridge to our real home. (See A Course in Miracles for more on that).

The Course teaches that conflict and confrontation (inside your thoughts/mind and “out”) is always asleep (even if you use your fear to kill that spider). Peace is always awake. Look at your brother with kindness and forgiveness and the rest will take care of itself.

Prayer is part of the ladder home. Remember, again, none of us did anything wrong – we are all going home. We just have to completely (split my infinitive) reverse our thought system which has gotten us here in the first place.

Here’s a mind blower: time and space do not exist. We live in our minds outside of it. (See the reference for more info).

There are many paths to One. A Course in Miracles is one. Confrontation is never right on any level – especially in your thoughts. Allow the anger to pass away…(it all starts with you).

I will not be judgy – as best I can. Even when things don’t go my way. I look at my brothers and sisters in their cars, at CVS, at the grocery store, at the eye doctor’s office and silently say, “I forgive you. I love you.” Then I leave the rest to the Holy Spirit – our link to God.

I taught over a thousand students in Henrico County Schools over the course of ten years. I taught in the prison system for a short stint. I trained people at a telecom giant. Now, I am working at St. Thomas’s church in Ginter Park and was proud to find out that the founder of the church, Grace Evelyn Arents, was a big old lesbian. I think for fear of being found out, she hid from the public eye. But, much of the 20 million dollars Lewis Ginter gave her went to building many of the churches in Richmond today. Her “companion” Mary Garland Smith outlived her by 42 years. They did wonderful things for the conservative town of Richmond. See Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens for more information on that. I forgive them for hiding but understand.

Fear of being who you are is never the right answer. See Harvey Milk for more on that one. I hid, too. But enough is enough.

I digress as usual. What I am trying to say is that we need to practice compassionate self-forgiveness. Fear is the opposite of love. And, love, of course, holds no grievances.

It bears repeating: Love holds no grievances.

Today, I will stay at home with my cold. But I will not turn on the TV much and watch the sadness. Instead I will forgive and love all the people I have ever met in my heart. This is the place where my soul abides. And, where my soul abides – so do you.



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Tag: I’m it…Susan X Meagher is next…

Bev Prescott is playing with me. I love it when we girls get together for a game of tag. This weekend, I’m it – more on that in a bit.

First, a few words on Bev. An environmental lawyer by day and a novelist by night (and when she rides the train), Bev is a charmer. She has that certain je ne sais quoi quality like Mary Stuart Masterson did when she played Idgie in Fried Green Tomatoes: smart, funny, and endearing. She is the author of two books, Step Into the Wind and My Soldier Too, which are available all over the planet: google her and you’ll see. Or, you can go to Her latest enterprise is a book called, Blowback , and it is coming this summer. We became friends this past year and, meow, Bev has a cat named, Lilliput. I love it.

Okay, drum roll…now to what we “blog tag” tour bus people are doing. Imagine we are talking heads on the Writing Channel. Here are some questions Bev posed and here are my answers.

Numero Uno:
What are you working on? (As in writing)

Right now, I am taking a break. My sixth book, Spirit Home, is in the hands of a cogent editor at Bedazzled Ink and it will be published, I think, in June. I have had some eye issues which has forced me to take a break from editing and writing. So, I picked up the guitar and am trying to learn three songs:
“Country Roads” by John Denver (the chords are easy).
“Romeo and Juliet” as sung and played by Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls. (Hard – but what a song, right?).
“Me and Bobby McGee” by Janis Joplin (chords are easy but you don’t want to hear me sing this one…see my dogs for details on this one).

Numero Duo:
How does my writing differ from others of its genre?

Well, this is my first nonfiction spiritual book. How does it differ…hmmm. It doesn’t really. I write as if I am adding my voice to the arsenal of knowledge and pontification that already exists. Nothing separates me from anyone else. It’s just my word choice and the way I say it.

Numero Three-o:
Why do I write what I do?

The same reason a painter paints, a bricklayer lays bricks, a carpenter builds, the seamstress seams (is that a verb?), a singer sings – it’s just a part of you that wants to evolve and you have to answer the call – otherwise, you die a slow and painful death from doing all the other crap you don’t have any interest in doing. Mine is vacuuming.

Numero Four-o:
How does my writing process work?

It works when I do as the great Ray Bradbury once wrote to do:
Relax. Don’t think. Write.

That, my friends, is it.

So, those are the questions and answers on the “tag you’re it” blog tour bus. Next up is my friend, Susan X Meagher. She has written a hundred books, okay, maybe a few less than that. I swear she must type at the speed of sound. It comes through her like she channeling Sappho herself. Maybe…hmmm…maybe Susan has a little of the Sappho in her. She lives in New York with her spouse, Carrie. I bet she knows:)

I love Susan and consider her quite the force in our writing world. She is on deck. Check out how she answers the four writing questions next week. Here’s her site in the meantime:



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