Paradise Found – My Day as Guest Reader!

Hi all!

It was a really great day today, with sessions all afternoon.  I was at the premier “good vibes” store in Santa Barbara: Paradise Found.  You may find them here. Today I saw a variety of clients, some returning and some new! I had a blast, and walked out of their really zoned.  There is much beauty in being a witness to people’s transformation.  Being present for people who are in their own personal transition from one state to another is remarkably rewarding.  We all have experiences that seem very real, and very immediate.  These can be emotional, mental, relational – they could involve jobs, significant others, family, friends.  But mostly it is all about how we look at ourselves.  It is our own perspective about our jobs, family, friends, etc., that controls our feelings, and determines whether we are happy or filled with anxiety.  Stuff happens and it is our reaction to that stuff that determines our fate.

And I like to think that the fate of the precious people that showed up today at Paradise Found were impacted for the better.  So to those whose change I was privileged to witness, thank you!! It was an honor to be in the presence of such wonderful souls. I thank each of you for your trust and your belief.  Many blessings…

The Weight of the Situation

USA Today posted an article about dieting in America. Here is a link: USA Today Diet Article.

It says that not as many people in America are dieting anymore. Hmm. How many of you reading this think about what you eat? Calories? Fat? Cholesterol? Pounds? Health? BMI? Carbs? If any of these words enter your thoughts when you eat or when you think about eating then you are probably dieting in one way or another. The article suggests that the percentage of those saying they are dieting may be reduced because:

“Dieting has negative connotations, so it’s possible that people were trying to lose weight but didn’t call it a diet…”

Well, I have been doing that for years! I never liked the meme associated with the word dieting, so a long time ago I started a “voluntarily reduced calorie intake plan.” That is not a diet.

However, the magic of those words has seemed to wane for me as well, and recently, I’ve just been saying that I am dieting. Whatever I call it, I have been a slave to the meme for most of my adult life. I only know a very few people that don’t watch what they eat in some way.

But once again, that is changing for me. Interestingly, this survey analyzed 51,000 people and determined that being overweight is healthier than being underweight. This survey pooled 97 studies and 3 million people to conclude that being “overweight” does not shorten life expectancy. I also remember reading a book called “Big Fat Lies” by Glenn A. Gaesser that explains clearly through scientific review of many previous surveys the same thought: dieting to lose weight does not increase life expectancy. Dr. Gaesser also concluded that it does not increase quality of life! Wow!! Continue reading “The Weight of the Situation”

Rabbi Solomon Installation Speech

We are all dreamers. Aside from the occasional nightmare, we dream of happiness and of success. We dream of money and food and running through green meadows and scoring the winning touchdown and finding our soul mates. We strategize and plan, and we daydream and we muse.

I believe that whatever it is we dream about, whatever it is we focus on, we bring about in some way. The trick is to hold an intent close to your heart: to dream it and vision it so clearly that you are at one with your dream. And then, when you have your goal firmly placed within your being, to somehow let go of needing to plan the details. Instead, focus on love for yourself, and love for God. And focus on the certainty that God loves you.

When your faith in this process is well underway, it is then time to notice what happens. Opportunities start to show up in your life. You end up finding yourself closer to your dreams than you could have ever imagined, and you discover despite your best planning, the path to your dream was beyond your imagining.

One example from my life is here today. Continue reading “Rabbi Solomon Installation Speech”

Every Act is Done When it is Conceived

Today, I woke up knowing that I would later in the day do a soul retrieval. I intended to do ceremony and journey with the specific purpose of gaining back the fragmented pieces of self that were lost along the way. I knew in my heart where these pieces were. Some were lost as long ago as when I was three years old. Some were lost a month ago when I underwent painful surgery and recovery.

For the past several months, and specifically for the last month, my story has been one of suffering and woe. Almost for 15 years, this physical pain has defined me in many ways. I have been in someway, in part or in whole, to varying degrees, in victim mode. The pain has drained me emotionally, spiritually and physically.

In the few weeks since the surgery, I have felt violated,cast aside and traumatized. Continue reading “Every Act is Done When it is Conceived”

Rosh Hashannah 2009

Shannah Tovah!

As I think about the last year, I recall feeling a mix of emotions ranging from love to loneliness, gratefulness to thanklessness, humility to arrogance. I suppose that I am no different from any of us. one particularly challenging time for me occurred just last month when I was hospitalized for pain management following surgery. In those solitary moments when I was left alone, wondering my fate, I asked if I could find purpose in the agony of recovery. Now, as I am in the final stages of physical healing from that ordeal, I reflect upon the meaning of my dark night of the soul. And I find that what carried me through were the moments in which I felt connected: to my wife, to my mom, to my clergy, to my therapist, to my patient advocate, and to my dog. I also noticed a profound shift from the moment that I asked to be put on the Mi Sheberach list.

Sometimes I get so caught up in my own stuff that I forget that I am part of a community. Continue reading “Rosh Hashannah 2009”

Getting Ready to Get Ready…


It takes a surgery to get me back to my blog. Actually, it takes Twitter to do it! As I face a day of preparation, and then a day of surgery, and then some days of recovery, I am filled with awe. Mainly, I am awed at the power I have to decide how I feel about the upcoming days. If I allow it, then I experience fear. My hands shake and my body trembles with the prospects of what “could” go wrong.

And equally as easy, I can remain calm and secure, knowing that I am on my path and can handle anything ahead of me.

In acting classes, I was taught “getting ready to get ready.” We had exercises to get us ready to act. These rituals and routines prepared us by honing us to the task; they focused us and created purpose for our next moves. But we also had exercises that helped us get ready to get ready. These practices emptied us of expectation, cleared our desire for a particular outcome, and brought us to a moment where anything could happen.

I know now that what we were doing was entering Sacred Space: the realm of miracles. I find that in the last few months, I have been entering into this partnership with myself, letting go of expectations. And why do I need to let go of expectations? Because I have been programmed from birth to fear and expect the worse. I am not alone. I believe that the product of our modern society creates just that. We have news that tells of tragedy in every corner of the globe, tragedies that hit close to home and predictions of worse to come. We live with scarcity, we live with fear.

How can we expect to create miracles that have anything to do with happiness, if we have not cleared ourselves of this fear first? We must get ready to get ready! And so I have created opportunities of accepting that the horror stories about my surgery are not what will happen to me. Things could go any way possible, but I will not write history before it happens!

And so, in getting to get ready, I have emptied the expectations that came naturally to me. And then, once I felt the vacuum space of having no expectations, I allowed the space of positive outcome to grow. I started seeing stories of speedy recovery on the internet, now, where I had only seen pain and agony. The world reshaped around my differing expectations. As I left getting ready to get ready, and moved into getting ready, I found myself able to vision a path of ease for myself.

In fact, I stopped fighting destiny. I stopped holding on to the idea that I could not avoid an unpleasant outcome. And by letting go, creating void, entering Sacred Space, and visioning Peace, I find that I actually think less about the surgery at all! Oh sure, it creeps in. But the monster is easier to put back on its leash.

What will be, will be. Worrying about it now only puts me in distress now! If I encounter pain along the way, then I hope to only experience it when it is there; I don’t need to feel it’s grip now!

So I create the void. I experience this moment. I live in Sacred Space. And I will sleep well tonight.



Standing Tall

This morning, early, long before my bedside alarm was set to go off, I was awakened by my dog’s low gruff and growl. She didn’t move or bark as she does when there is a predator animal, or maybe a cat, outside. Instead, she just seemed to want to wake me up and her job was done. As I gained awareness of the physical world around me, waking from a deep sleep, I noticed that there was a cacophony of crow caws.

They were talking up quite a storm, but I paid only a little attention. I was tired, and knew that I was set to get up in about an hour. I needed my sleep! So I went back to dreams.

When my alarm woke me, the crows were still singing their morning tune. I was now awake enough to understand that there was a message for me waiting. Continue reading “Standing Tall”