The Roadmap Home: Your GPS to Inner Peace®

February 10, 2011

Conscious Relationships: Are You Ready To Tango?

relationship advice

I’ve been working on personal growth and self-awareness most of my adult life. However, to bring that awareness into relationships often makes me, well, quite unconscious!

I know I’m unconscious when I think, “Surely it’s not me that’s causing the problems!” Unfortunately, it IS me that causes problems when I blame my partner and project my feelings onto her.

I could place my relational shortcomings onto Hollywood. After all, movies create the illusion that there is a perfect partner who will make me perfectly happy. And if I’m not happy, it means I’m not with the perfect partner.

In truth, it is up to us to be the perfect partners on the dance floor of love. True love requires that we change our perspective, alter our behavior, stretch our heart, express our needs, give of ourselves, and birth a relationship.

That requires being conscious and intentional. The benefits are many: emotional bond, heartfelt connection, deep healing, and personal transformation. So why don’t we step into those relationships with ease and comfort?

Many of us witnessed unconscious parents and took on their beliefs and behavioral patterns. To overcome our conditioning and become conscious, we must not only recognize our needs and desires but also the default patterns we adopt when feeling wounded or stressed.

Personally, when I feel hurt in a relationship, I tend to withdraw, judge and become self-sufficient – not the best way to stay connected to a partner. After I realize what I’m doing, I try to return to my vision of a loving relationship. I must then cultivate within myself the desired visional behaviors, thoughts and feelings rather than expect or demand that my partner change.

This may seem as easy as watching professionals dance the Tango. Getting on the dance floor with your partner is another matter.  Here are seven quick steps to prevent your feet from getting tangled.

1.    Identify your needs, wants and desires in a relationship.

2.    Notice how you feel emotionally and physically when your needs are satisfied.

3.    Examine your sensations and feelings when your needs are not met and name your reactive behavioral pattern. (Your partner will know!)

4.    Recognize what you don’t say to your partner and how you can say it lovingly.

5.    Imagine yourself expressing needs and desires to your partner in an open, undefended, loving way.

6.    Cultivate this loving vision in a safe, non-judgmental climate where you and your partner remain open, make requests, and lovingly satisfy them.

7.    Embrace gratitude and appreciation through affirming, loving acts and statements.

While romantic love is more about “Falling in love,” a conscious, intentional relationship is about “Rising toward love.”

We can then dance the Tango with unabashed passion!

January 11, 2011

Sailing the High Seas with Captain Bill

island of peace

Every New Year’s Eve I review my adventures from the previous year. As I reflected on the 2010 highlights, I immediately flashed to my sailing expedition on the high seas with Captain Bill.

This past August I was aboard a 40-foot sailboat on a 3-day trip around Catalina Island, a picturesque place off the coast of Southern California. My friends, Captain Bill and his first mate, Bev, had invited me for a voyage on a boat called, Knot Home.

The vessel’s name did not generate confidence as I much prefer being “at home” wherever I go. I believe home and inner peace is anywhere and everywhere, however, camping on a sailboat offered a rollicking challenge.

When we first set sail at midnight, Captain Bill programmed a Global Positioning System (GPS) to navigate the course. Finding an island in the dark is difficult but with the help of a GPS and my friend’s 15 years of sailing experience, we glided effortlessly out of the harbor into the vast ocean.

The voyage provided some harrowing moments especially when I staggered like a drunken sailor on a deck that rocked and rolled against high swells. “Shiver me timbers,” I mused, “There’s no place like Knot Home.”

Fortunately, my faith in the captain’s skill allowed me to enjoy the company, savor the beauty of the deep blue water, and gleefully watch the occasional dolphin swim alongside the bow.

Sailing was unpredictable and depended on wind conditions, water currents, and changing weather. Clearly, living on a sailboat for three days offered many lessons. I learned about the need to remain steadfast on a deck in constant motion. Most importantly, I recognized the value of setting a course with a proven navigational system.

Those lessons apply on land as well as at sea. With 2011 already upon us, we can set our destination for the upcoming year. Intentions help us focus on our destination. When we insert our intentions into our internal GPS, The Guiding Power of Spirit, we can relax and enjoy a journey with wonderful companions, beautiful scenery, and playful dolphins.

Even in the face of a storm, we need not worry for the Guiding Power of Spirit is ever-present. We merely have to restate our intentions, still our mind, and ask for our inner GPS to show the way.

As we clarify intentions and goals for 2011, we can take into consideration the following areas:

1.    Family and Relationships

2.    Finances and Career

3.    Physical and Emotional Health

4.    Personal and Spiritual Growth

5.    Social and Educational Goals

Once we identify our intentions and destinations, we can always ask for guidance on the journey, especially during stormy weather. There may be times when we rock and roll on the voyage but, if we remain steadfast and follow our GPS, we can sail in a vessel called, Welcome Home!

Ahoy! Leonard

December 23, 2010

Puncture Your Reality

Puncture Your Reality

In November I journeyed to Wisconsin to conduct a seminar on The Roadmap Home: Your GPS to Inner Peace. I had the good fortune of staying with my dear friends, Bill and Barb Motlong, who I’ve known for 40 years. As a therapist/photographer, Bill is collaborating with me on a new book which combines his beautiful pictures with inspirational sayings.

Like the birds on his farm, Bill rose early to take advantage of his house set in the farm belt of Wisconsin. When I arrived for breakfast, he announced that the day started off with glitches. Barb had a flat tire at the bottom of their winding driveway as she prepared to ferry a friend to hospital. Bill had to exchange cars with her and call triple A. I imagined this crimping our work time set aside for the book. Fortunately, the beautiful fall colors outside their picture windows brought me back to reality.

When a tree releases a leaf, everything is in perfect order. That realization punctured our illusions and helped us understand how our egos are the ones actually creating roadblocks. Our expectation that the day proceed a prescribed way prevented us from seeing the wonderful change of events, just like the change of seasons. So we decided to look for the mystical moments that would unfold as a result of a flat tire.

When Ron from AAA arrived, Bill decided to look for poignant signs during his encounter with this unexpected visitor. After the tire was replaced, Bill returned  to the house and announced that Ron did, indeed, have a simple, yet profound message. “You need a new tire.”

Bill and I laughed uproariously. Who were we to judge the way Spirit conveys messages or how the dominoes would fall over unexpected roadblocks.

So if you ever experience an obstruction, ask yourself, “Who is really creating the blockage?” Interruptions can puncture your views about what “should” occur and may provide opportunities to meet someone new, to connect on a deeper level, to gain penetrating insight, or to share a heartfelt experience.

In the process you may receive unexpected news that you need to replace something broken in your life, even if it’s a tire.

When faced with a roadblock, encounter it, embrace it, and evolve on the roadmap home.

August 25, 2010

The Rumbling Snore – A Miracle Wake-Up Call

Spiritual awakeningsI recently attended a weeklong spiritual conference on California’s Monterrey peninsula overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Deer roamed freely among the pine trees in this rustic setting – an idyllic place to get spiritually buffed and fluffed.

Little did I realize the buffing would begin the first evening when I discovered that my roommate snored. The idea of sharing a room initially seemed like a good way to reduce costs and establish a friendship with a spiritual buddy. However, when my buddy fell fast asleep on his bed, he began inhaling as if his nose was snorting jello.

I tried lulling myself to sleep by imagining a gentle brook in a peaceful pasture but my visualization kept morphing into the roar of Niagara Falls. I pondered the notion of six tortuous nights as I listened to the nasal rumba.

Spiritual awakenings can occur from sleep deprivation but, frankly, I preferred a blissful night’s rest to catapult me into the Divine. Since I was wide awake, I asked the Guiding Power of Spirit, “Show me what you want me to do.”

Sometimes we may not know immediately what Spirit wants us to do but we can quickly discern what we’re NOT meant to do. Like smack my buddy’s head with a pillow. Or tie string around his toe and yank it every time his nasal cavity rumbled.

At one in the morning, I plodded to the balcony with my journal. I shivered in my pajamas and sweatshirt and wrote about the incident, imagining the glass door quivering with every snore. I sought help to understand this noisy wake-up call. Asking for help places the key of intention into the door of the Divine. So I asked, “God, what do you want me to do?”

Listening requires a quiet mind. In the still of the night the answer arrived that I was doing it – writing in my journal. So I wrote with a stream of consciousness and reflected about being awake. I completed my journal entry with the following words, “This is all about waking up from the dream time. To know that we are in a dream when we are not conscious of the Divine in all of us and that we are connected to one another.”

Once we ask and listen, we are ready to receive. I didn’t expect to receive a miracle so quickly. After I had finished writing, the snoring ceased! The silence was unbelievable. I clamored back to my bed but couldn’t sleep. I stayed awake awestruck by the miracle.

In the morning I shared my experience with my roommate who was deeply apologetic. I told him that Spirit will help us resolve the problem – if we ask, listen and receive.

If you’re wondering how we resolved the problem, the solution came easy. My buddy used a pillow to elevate his head and opened the patio door for fresh air. I obtained ear plugs from the front desk and received more miracles – no snoring during the rest of the conference.

Wake-up calls appear in unexpected forms. They provide opportunities to connect with the Guiding Power of Spirit. When we ask for assistance and listen with an open mind, we receive miracles on the road Home to love and inner peace. And in the process, we get spiritually buffed and fluffed.

February 17, 2010

Become the main character in your story!

be the changeI love stories! We often don’t realize that we are the main characters in our stories.

If we want to change our stories, we have to change our narratives, that is, what we think and believe about ourselves, how we present ourselves to others and how we act in the world. The story is up to us. Storymaking can lead us back home when we recognize the narrative and change our lives. Ghandi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” In other words, we are asked to embrace our role as the main character and create the story we want to play in the world.

January 14, 2010

I invite you to share your personal stor …

I invite you to share your personal stories where your GPS has guided you through life or you have experienced Home. Your message can inspire others to realize that they are not alone and that they can connect with the Guiding Power of Spirit to heal their lives and guide them Home to love and inner peace. Welcome Home!

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