When I was growing up, I loved hearing my Mother’s memories of May Day celebrations when she was a little girl. All of the girls in her Catholic school wore white dresses and made crowns of roses to venerate Mother Mary. I don't remember doing that in Catholic school but I still adore the energy of our Divine Mother, who is often represented by the purity of a Rose.
My mother passed away this winter, so this morning, I listened to the song she used to sing on May Day. Some refer to it as the Crowning Song but its traditional title is Bring Flowers to the Rarest. The words to the first verse are beautiful and inspired me to make a May Day Crown in honor of my Mother and also our Divine Mother, Queen of the Angels. Here are the lyrics!
O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today!
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.
Bring flowers of the rarest
bring blossoms the fairest,
from garden and woodland and hillside and dale;
our full hearts are swelling,
our glad voices telling
the praise of the loveliest Rose of the vale!
O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today!
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.
May Day is also connected to the Celtic Fertility Festival of Beltane, which celebrates this time of year when the sun grows stronger, and the energies of abundance, love, vitality fertility and joy abound. This is a wonderful time to set an intention for what you want to give birth to in your life. Then of course, you have to mother and nurture this intention so that it can grow and flourish in the world.
Perhaps you aren’t feeling very creative or passionate in your life these days, and if so, it can help to begin treating yourself in a more nurturing, mothering manner. If you didn’t experience this type of soothing from your own mother, it can be deeply healing to connect with the Divine Mother, however the feminine aspect of the Divine is represented in your spiritual tradition.
If you’d like help with any of this, click on my Services to learn more about online counseling with me in Tampa, FL, and if you’d like to continue reading more posts, click here to return to my Blog.
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Looking for a pot of gold on St Patrick’s Day? I hope you get one, but if you don’t, this story might make you laugh. I’m an Irish girl so years ago, I asked St Patrick for a nice Leprechaun to deliver a pot of gold to my door.
On my way home from work that day I saw a double rainbow arching over our neighborhood! Feeling lucky, I pulled my car over to admire it, and at that precise moment, a friend called to say he made big pot of potato soup and dropped it off outside our door!
I told him about my request and wondered if this was the luck of the Irish paying off? He laughed and said “ Well… I did use a lot of golden potatoes in that soup –Does that count? “ I decided it did! After all, finding the humor and being grateful is all part of the Luck of the Irish.
Sometimes you ask for a pot of gold, and you get a pot of potatoes... Even so, seeing a double rainbow and having a friend deliver a pot of homemade soup to your door is still something to be grateful for!
If you are feeling depressed or overwhelmed with life, it can seem impossible to feel grateful or take pleasure in simple things. If that's how you are feeling, I'd love to help you with this. You can click on my Services page to find out more about online counseling in Florida. If you want to read more posts you can click on my Blog.
I loved this message on my teabag - Let your energy be used to build, not destroy! I think this is timely advice considering the level of anger and polarization in our world today. What are you investing your energy in right now? Does it build relationships, support community and uplift the world around you? Or, are you using your energy to criticize and tear others down?
What's happening in the world inside of you? Are you using your energy to build self esteem. Are you extending Loving Kindness to yourself, or are you slowly eroding your self esteem with perfectionism and self judgement?
Love builds, hate destroys. Practicing Loving Kindness for yourself and others builds a bridge that allows us to transition from hatred to love. Our world needs more of that energy today!
If you are struggling with low self esteem and self judgment towards yourself, I’d love to help you with this. Please visit my Services page to learn more about online counseling in Florida with me. Please click on my Blog to read continue reading other posts.
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Are you feeling frozen from all the pain in the world? Whenever we are feeling frozen (inside or outside), that’s when we have to reach for the light.
It if is difficult to feel compassion for the world outside of you, that's usually because it feels difficult to have compassion for the world inside of you. So that’s the place you need to start. Let the warmth of compassion thaw a frozen place inside of you. You don’t need to hack away at it with an ice pick, because that leaves you feeling shattered into little pieces. Be gentle with yourself.
There is great power in gentleness because it does no harm. Its warmth melts pain and creates a space for healing to occur. Gentle compassion is like a soothing blanket that wraps you in its warmth and melts the frozen places inside. This restores your connection to the light and your ability to extend compassion to the frozen places outside of you too. The world needs your light today, so practice gentle compassion!
If you are struggling with self criticism or negative thinking this can be painful and impact your self esteem. I'd love to help you extend compassion and kindness towards yourself and create an environment for healing, so click on my Services page if you'd like to learn more about online counseling in Florida with me.
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The message on my teabag today said “Socialize with compassion, kindness and grace." Wise words on an Election Day filled with so much anger, fear and dread. These beautiful teacups are my favorite gift from my mother and I think of her every time I use them. Since my mother and I are on opposite sides of the political spectrum this isn’t a place we easily connect, but when I focus on the beauty and love we share, that is the bridge that crosses the divide and opens the door to compassion, kindness and grace!
When I read these words from James Baldwin, I am struck by the depth of his wisdom and understanding of human suffering. We therapists often say that “hurt people hurt,” because we’ve come to understand that deep anger and rage are just the tip of the iceberg, and when we are wiling to explore what lies beneath the surface of this anger, we discover an ocean of sadness and fear, which is often perceived as too powerful a force to bare.
Expressing anger and hatred somehow feels more empowering and is just " easier “ than exploring the hopelessness and powerlessness that grief, fear and sadness stir within. I believe this is why there is so much anger and hatred in our society today. Most of us don’t want to explore the cruelty, injustice, inequity, racism, poverty and discrimination that exists in our world and we fear being blamed or judged for the role we may have played in creating and sustaining it.
It is simply more comfortable for us to stay angry, indignant and point fingers at others who we can vilify or blame as “ the one” who has caused so much suffering. But I believe our real challenge as individuals, communities and global citizens lies in exploring the pain that lives beneath our moral outrage and righteous indignation.
How do we do this? The way we heal any trauma or hurt is to first create a space that allows us to bear witness to the pain that we or others have experienced. When we create this space, it activates a wellspring of compassion that is innate to all of us, and this inner resource gives us the capacity to to listen to pain and allow it to express itself. Once expressed and acknowledged with compassion this formerly repressed, blocked and stagnant energy begins to naturally dissolve and transform into another form of energy that we can use for our wellbeing and healing.
As a therapist I have witnessed this process over and over again. There is great beauty in it, but admittedly, healing trauma is messy and can be painful. But when we are willing to discover the ways we have been silent, complicit or actively perpetuated indignities upon the human soul of another, our natural capacity for love is restored and we have the ability to respond differently.
Love heals all, even the biggest icebergs of anger and pain, and when we go deeper, we discover that what we thought was an ocean of pain has dissolved into an ocean of love.
If you are struggling with anger and hopelessness in your life, I would love to help you with that. If you want to learn more about online counseling in Florida, please click on my Services Page. If you want to continue reading other posts click on Blog.
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Since our whole planet revolves around the sun and we are completely dependent on its light, the idea of utilizing solar power just makes sense to me. But we have access to an even greater source of power that that resides in the world inside of– which is the light of our souls.
When I went to visit my mother recently, the community she lives in had a sign that said “ Our staff is SOULar powered” and I’ve been thinking about what that means. When we allow the light of our souls to radiate (and use that energy to power our lives) we naturally emanate kindness and compassion and want to be a source of love and healing in the world.
One of the best examples of someone who is SOULar powered is my mother’s nurse Jen. She is always gentle, kind and soothing, and I’m in awe of her tireless patience, dedication and willingness to help and problem solve. Jen is definitely powered by the incredible light and beauty of her soul and my Mother and I are so grateful to have her in our lives.
One of the things I learned from my mother is the importance of celebrating the birthdays of people we love. Your birthday isn’t about your age, its about your presence in the world - and it is the day your soul took its first breath and began offering its light and wisdom to the world. That is definitely a SOULar power worth celebrating!
Today is Jen’s birthday, so my Mother and I are celebrating her presence in the world and in our lives. We are so grateful for the love and light she radiates from deep within her soul and Jen inspires me to be SOULar powered too! So Happy Birthday Jen – we love and celebrate you.- may all your wishes come true!
I recently read a newsletter from the spiritual teacher Denise Linn, and she shared an interview of Nelson Mandela that inspired me in the face of the darkness and fear many of us are experiencing. The interviewer asked Nelson Mandela if he sunk into despair during his 27 years of imprisonment. He replied that he wasn’t “despairing,” but rather, he was “preparing” for the days ahead. Despite the horrific cruelty, injustice and indignity he suffered, Nelson Mandela found the capacity inside of himself to prepare the way to end apartheid and achieve what once seemed impossible and hopeless.
His noble words reminded me of a song we used to sing in Catholic School called “ Prepare ye the way of the Lord,” ( which I think was from the musical Godspell). I imagined changing those words to “Prepare ye the way for love and light” to flow into our world. With all the polarization and anger about our upcoming elections you may feel a bit hopeless and think you are powerless to do this. But I believe that each one of us can do what we can, where we can, when we can, to prepare the way for light and love to flow. You can start by asking yourself “Am I adding to the darkness and despair by projecting hatred towards the candidate I don’t want to win? If so, ask yourself how can I shift my energy to add to the light?
Preparing the way for light and love is about creating a pathway for it to flow. Whether that is in the neural pathways and thinking patterns in your mind, or a literal pathway in the world outside of you, you can start right now by being gentle with yourself or another, and then doing one kind thing for someone in your sphere of influence.
Light and Love are part of an eternal and infinite stream of energy, but we need to clear all of the roadblocks inside of us and outside of us, that are obstructing their ability to flow. Do not despair. Regardless of who you are voting for, or the outcome of our elections, we need light and love now more than ever. Do your part to prepare the way!
If you are struggling with despair, I would be honored to walk with you on this journey of restoring hope in your life. If you want to learn more about online counseling in Florida with me, please click on my Sevices page. If you want to return to read other posts, click here on my Blog.
Corrie ten Boom was a holocaust survivor who was imprisoned for helping Jewish people flee from the Nazi's in WWII. She had a deep faith that enabled her to survive those atrocities and still find hope in the Divine. She wrote about her experiences and came to believe that Love is larger than the wall that shut it in. If she could believe that despite such horrific torture, we can too.
It is easy to feel hopelessness and despair in the world right now, so I love this image that Love is larger than anything we can erect to keep it out. When we are experiencing fear and uncertainty - we tend to want to constrict, go within and hide from the world outside of us, but this just walls us in our fear and creates a barricade that others must navigate around in order to reach us, so it ends up to adding to our fear and loneliness. But we are often the ones who create those walls and I agree with Corrie ten Boom, Love is larger than any barricade we erect.
If you are overwhelmed with fear and loneliness right now, I'd be honored to walk with you on your journey. If you want to learn more about online counseling in Florida with me, click on my Services page and if you want to read other posts, click her to read my blog.
Are you on Instagram? I'd love to connect - you can follow me @Delighttheworld
Last week I listened to a podcast of Charles Eisenstein speaking about political hope and the idea that movements emerge through us, we don't actually make them happen. It made me think about the word "Emergency" and I know from my experience as a social worker that something new will always "emerge" whenever someone experiences a crisis or an emergency. It may be a new insight, awareness and skill or a greater sense of understanding and compassion for human suffering. But there is always something that 'emerges."
Once something emerges, it takes on a life force of its own, and this is where our true power of influence lies. What kind of environment are you creating to nurture what is emerging from the multiple emergencies all over our planet?
Deep in my heart I believe that hope, compassion, kindness as well as a recognition of our need for connection and collaboration are emerging as movement that is birthing itself through each one of us. If we stay open and willing, instead of contracted and in fear, we can allow these energies to move through us birth these new paradigms that so many are longing for. Movements are birthed through the love and wisdom in our hearts, so what are you allowing to emerge from your heart today?
If you are experiencing a crisis, you may be feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about the future, in which case it may feel impossible to sense what good might be emerging. If you are are experiencing a crisis or feeling anxiety or depression, I would love to help you with this. Click on my Services page to learn more about online counseling with me in Florida If you would like to read more click here to return to my Blog.
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I recently read these wise words from Sharon Salzberg, "Love is an ability," and I've been contemplating them ever since. The word ability means to possess the skill or an innate capability to do something. I like thinking of Love as an innate capability that all of us have. This means we can't lose love and no one can take it from us either, and this can be both a comforting and challenging idea at the same time!
I believe that our ability to give and receive love is always a choice, and that slowing down, taking a deep breath and becoming aware of your heart, is the practice that will connect you to the world inside of you, where you can access this ability to love. The good news is, this ability isn't dependent on circumstances and events in the world outside of you!
If you are feeling lonely or disconnected with the pandemic swirling all around us, this may be a hard idea to accept. That's why I like to think of Love as an ability. Just like any other ability we possess, the more we practice using it, the more skillful we become. What a wonderful desire to aspire to - becoming more skillful in love!
If you are struggling with how to give and receive love in your relationships, I would love to help you with this. You can click on my Services page to learn more about online counseling with me, anywhere in Florida. If you want to read more posts - you can click on my Blog.
Are you on Instagram? I'd love to connect - you can follow me @Delighttheworld!
Years ago, I combined my clinical skills as a therapist with my love of art and interior design, and taught my clients how to create an environment inside of them and outside of them) that would support what they wanted to achieve and create in their lives. I studied Taoism and incorporated eastern design principles into my work, so I would often say to my clients " Energy flows, where attention goes!"
Where is your attention right now? Are you focusing on compassion, hope and loving kindness for yourself and others? Or, are you focusing on your anger and perhaps a sense of helplessness about all the chaos and upheaval in our world today? Whatever we focus on, we flow energy to, which helps it gather momentum and increases its ability to influence our lives.
If you realize that you've been focusing your attention on something that is causing you pain and discomfort, it can help to use an affirmation to begin to build momentum in a new direction. An affirmation is just a simple statement you say over and over again to help you be mindful of what you are focusing your attention on. The key with using any affirmation is to make sure it is something that you want to believe, and not something that feels like an impossibility, because then your mind will start to refute it and just create more mental chatter.
Sometimes, if you are really struggling, then using an affirmation to shift your attention can almost seem annoying and too hard to do. In that case, it might help to start with being willing to open up to more ease and comfort. You could say something like " I am willing to allow more peace to flow into my life." Try saying that 100 times a day, or writing it in a journal. After just a few days of practicing this, you might be amazed at how much more peace flows into your life! It may not change the situation or circumstances you are dealing with, but it can certainly help you maintain a more peaceful attitude and empower you to cope better.
If you are struggling with negative thinking or feeling overwhelmed, I'd love to help you with this. You can click on my Services page to learn more about online counseling with me in Florida. If you want to read more posts, click here for my Blog.
Are you on Instagram? I'd love to connect with you there - follow me @Delighttheworld.
I've always loved this quote by Gandhi because it reminds us that the true source of our power comes from inside of us, not outside of us. That may seem hard to believe in this deeply stressful and chaotic time we are living in.
These wise words from Gandhi came into my mind as I watched the funeral service for Congressman John Lewis yesterday, who I deeply admired. His life was the embodiment of power based on Acts of Love, even in the face of deep hatred, oppression and injustice. I woke up this morning renewed in my commitment to follow in his footsteps and walk the way of truth and love. I hope you will join me!
I've always loved this quote from Marianne Williamson. Love is your birthright and so many of our painful childhood experiences teach us to feel unworthy of love and to fear love because we associate it with pain. But you are good. You are worthy. You deserve love.
If you are struggling with feelings of unworthiness, I'd love to help you with this. Click on my Services page to learn more about online counseling with me.
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Do you know the difference between pity and empathy? I had an interesting conversation with one of my teenage clients about this and was blown away by her insight and wisdom. It always hurts my heart when I hear a teenager say “ I hate myself” and this client said that to me a result of being bullied in grade school and never telling anyone about it. When I asked her why she kept this a secret, she replied “ I didn’t want anyone’s pity.” I think all of us have had experiences where we didn’t ask for help or get the support we needed out of fear of being pitied, so we explored why that is.
My client decided that being pitied is an experience of someone being above you, looking down on you and this triggers shame and a feeling of being less than, which is almost as bad as the original insult or hurt. When I asked her about empathy, she described this as an experience of someone being equal to you without judgment, and then you feel safe to ask for support or help. So we established that pity causes shame and separation and empathy creates safety and connection.
As I sat and contemplated the her teenage wisdom, I realized that after 25 years of social work, I couldn’t come up with a better description of the difference between pity and empathy. All of us need empathy in order to feel safe to share our pain and be willing to ask for help. This is essential for our soul’s journey.
If you are having thoughts like “I hate myself” it may help to explore online counseling with me in a safe and empathetic environment. If you want to learn more about it, click on my Services page and if you want to read more posts, click here on my Blog.
Are you on Instagram? I’d love to connect with you there – you can follow me @Deligththeworld.
Have you ever had someone insult you or do something that upsets you and you don’t say anything about it when it happens? But then you spend the next three days obsessing about it, coming up with all sorts of great lines you could have said in response and wishing you had thought of then, instead of 72 hours later!
Years ago, my mentor taught me what she called the 24-hour-rule, which is a way to stop yourself from doing this. Invoking the 24-hour-rule means you that when you are upset about something, you give yourself 24 hours to speak up about it, or you forfeit the right to complain about it or spend anymore time analyzing or obsessing on it.
What I like about the 24-hour-rule is that it can help you feel more empowered and less victimized. Forfeiting the right to obsess about something because you didn’t speak up about it within 24 hours, means you are making the choice to liberate yourself from the ongoing angst, instead of letting it control you. And when you do speak up, even if its not the most witty, perfectly worded comeback, you are standing up for what is important to you – and that has great value!
So try the 24-hour rule if you need help learning how to set boundaries and speaking up. And if you like more support and practice doing this, you can click on my Services page to learn more about online counseling with me, and if you want to read more posts click here for my Blog.
Are you on Instagram? I’d love to connect with you there – you can follow me @Delighttheworld
Whenever I’m working with a couple that is arguing and unable to listen to each other, I ask my clients this question – Would you rather feel right or feel better? I think if we are honest, most of us would rather feel right than feel better, when we become entrenched in an argument and want to prove our point.
But in your effort to prove yourself right, you are usually single mindedly focused and your energy is contracted, which means you are no longer listening or creating a space for a new way of conceptualizing something, which is how solutions are born.
So why do we need to be right? It feels good! But that's a temporary gain. When you are determined to be right, there will be always be a cost because you will be engaged in a mental battle that disconnects you from the love and wisdom in your heart. You may win the battle but lose your sense of peace and connection to a person you care about. Which one do you value more?
If you are experiencing conflict and considering couples counseling, I would be honored to work with and help you find more peace in your relationship. You can click on my Services page to learn more and if you want to keep reading more posts, click on my Blog.
Are you on Instagram? I’d love to connect and you can follow ma @Delighttheworld.
Many years ago I was unemployed and struggling to survive, and no matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to find a way out of the hole I was sinking into. We attach so much of our self worth to what we do, and when we don’t have a job to define our value, it can affect our self-esteem in ways that catch us by surprise. If you are struggling with this right now, I have enormous empathy and compassion for you.
What I learned from my own experience is that regardless of what you do or don’t do, or how much money you earn or don’t earn, you already have a job that has extraordinary value and purpose. You can BE LOVE, and add to the kindness, gentleness, compassion and hope in the world around you. There is no greater gift or resource you can give another human being, especially when your ability to BE LOVE, affirms the dignity of another's soul.
But if you are struggling to do this right now, you may be in a season of your life where you have to allow others to BE LOVE for you. Many people regard allowing other people to help them as an act of weakness, but actually, it is an act of self-esteem. You are worthy to receive what you need, regardless of how much you do or accomplish. You always deserve to BE LOVED.
If you are struggling with self esteem and letting others help you, I’d be honored to walk with you on your journey. If you’d like to learn more about online counseling with me, please click on my Services page and if you want to read more posts, click on my Blog
Are you on Instagram? I’d love to connect with you there @Delighttheworld
All of our spiritual teachers had moments of despair and I find comfort knowing that even Gandhi, Jesus, Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King had moments where they doubted that love, light, patience, and faith were the way through darkness, pain and injustice. If they had moments of doubt and hopelessness, then surely we will too!
Right now, it is easy to have moments, hours or even days where it seems like the fight against racism, greed, poverty and any other indignity to the human soul seem hopeless. But Mahatma Gandhi reminds us that the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall.
Sometimes the tyrant dwells inside of you and the oppression and injustice you are battling are the false truths you have come to believe about yourself and your worth as a human being. But I believe that the way of love and truth can win inside of you too.
If you are feeling depressed or hopeless right now, I would love to help you with this.. If you want to learn more about online counseling with me, please click on my Services page and if you want to read more posts click on my Blog.
Mark Twain wrote these wise words long before we had the internet and a lie could actually travel half way around the world in less than a second. I find that comforting, because it is easy to think that technology and social media have destroyed our ability to know and recognize the truth, but this simply isn’t true.
It has always up to us to see and hear the truth when it is offered, regardless of how it is presented. It is our connection to our hearts and the wisdom in our soul that gives us the power and discernment to recognize what it true for us, and the ability to question what isn’t. No technology or form of social media can take the place of that. It has always been an individual journey of each one of us listening to the small still voice within that knows what is true and right for you to listen to and respond to. No force outside of you can stop you from finding the voice of truth.
If you don’t know how to set boundaries with the turmoil outside of you so that you can listen to the wisdom and guidance inside of you, I’d love to help you with this. If you want to learn more about online counseling with me, please click on my Services page and if you want to read more posts click on my Blog.
Are you on Instagram? I’d love to connect with you there @Delighttheworld
I’ve always loved the word Delight! To me it means “of the light” and with all the darkness and fear in the world today, I wanted to create a place where we can gather together, restore our connection to the light and help one another to Delight The World with love, kindness, gentleness, beauty, compassion and grace. —Amy Rose, LCSW