uealse Holidays - Dr. Dina Evan's Columns

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You’re in Love When…

When you are young you believe that you fall into love. You could conceivably fall into lust, or trip mindlessly into passion-but love, real love is something you become – not something into which you fall.

We also often confuse unconditional love and romantic love. Unconditional love is the glue that holds the universe together. It is called morphic-resonance, alignment, attunement, peace or grace. It is the act of energies coming together in way that creates harmonious fluidity in the system. It is the dance that makes each of its parts more, united in the mutual blessing of mutual recognition and honor. Each integral part moves into union. Each part having the implicit awareness that it individually is, and is necessary to the whole. Love is an act of recognition from one soul to another. Your spirit is familiar to me – I know it as my own. Jeez that sounds a lot like romantic love as well. Hence the confusion. They are one in the same, with romantic love having a few, okay a lot, more challenges.

Love can be spontaneous, it can pop up in unexpected places; between friends over lunch, between words in secret sharings, between breaths beside the ocean. Love is found in sad songs, love songs, in nearly all songs. Love is in the eyes of a child, in the warmth of a shaggy dog’s coat lying across your foot as you write your column, or in the recognition of humanity in a stranger’s glance. Love is found in uncommon acts of kindness and in moments of being vulnerable. It is in the space behind our fear. Love can peek through the eyes in the mirror when there is acceptance or compassion for ourselves. Love gets created between two people who are healing themselves and each other. Love is in each of us when we are open to being it.

In relationships, love is often confused with need. Love is not need. Love does not seek anything. When there is true love it is never partial, it is already complete. When we seek out each other to fill our needs, our lovers become the object of filling those needs rather than our beloved. Love is being present, profoundly here, solid and alive. Love is the connection, the commitment, the ecstasy and relief of right union. Love creates a direct path to Spirit parts, head parts, heart parts, girl parts and boy parts. When love is real all of our parts are in it and nothing is held back. When we are both being love, we are able to cradle the child in each of us, respect the adult in each of us and encourage the Spirit in each of us.

When you are being love, there is no separation between who you are and what you feel, therefore, there is no way to give less than your best. When you still feel you are looking for the best, or still trying to give the best, you have not yet found love. When you have found it there are no questions left. Love is a surprise! It is never what you thought is was and never comes because you wish it would. Love knocks you off your feet and onto your butt when you least expect it or have decided you don’t need it.

Love walks barefoot in summer and wears sweats in winter. Love stays up through the night to help you solve problems. Love reaches out through fear or pain to touch your face or take your hand. Love reaches back to touch his or her face or take his or her hand. Love reaches through all the distances we each create when we feel a need to protect ourselves, or have begun to doubt ourselves – and it pulls us toward each other. Love believes there will always be resolve and does not leave until we find it.

Love cracks me up laughing while dishing the guests at a party we’ve just left, or while describing how somebody – the invisible person who lives in my house – ate the last fat free cookie. Love calls me Einstein when I launch into an explanation of morphic- resonance but I can’t even remember the date or time of an event after being told twenty-seven times. Love is an amazing thing.

When we are being love, we are also being integrity, honesty and truth because love walks hand in hand with them. It is not possible to stand in love and also stand in lying, cheating, leaving in any way, or pretending. Love knocks at your hearts door and reminds you to do these things would be a betrayal to yourself.

No, love is not an instantly falling into thing. Love is a feeling fully, failing and forgiving, filling up and over-flowing, finding you and finding me thing. In truth there are only two emotions in the world, love and fear… and love is the only real one. Perhaps this will help….
You Know You’re In Love When…

Love becomes something you do, rather than something you want.
Taking care of yourself means you get another moment
to brush the hair from off her forehead.
Cuddling is not about the weather
An expected glance at her takes your breath away.
Sex becomes sacred
How she looks is less important than who she is
You are willing to discover something new about her
from moment to moment
Uncertainty, questions and greener grass no longer exist.
Leaving is not an option
You would gladly give your inner child to her
What you feel begins to heal you both.
You are willing to open your heart in ways
you never thought you could
Giving less than your best feels like lying
You can feel her imprint on your soul
You can feel her presence even when she’s not near
It’s more fulfilling to listen than talk
Truth becomes a gift of spirit
And, loving her becomes all you need

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

All rights reserved. No part of the intellectual property of Dr. Dina Evan may be reproduced, placed on mechanical retrieval system, transmitted in any form by electronic, video, laser, mechanical photocopy, recording means or otherwise in part or in whole, without written permission of the author. Contents are fully copyrighted and may not be owned by any other individual or organization.

Valentine’s Vows

I love being in love. Most of us do. Why then do we settle into relationships with a bowl of popcorn at one hand and the remote control in the other, zoning out as life and love pass us by? Could it be that relationships are work? In fact relationships are the toughest assignment on the whole planet and at the same time they bring the most rewarding gifts. Like love itself, they can be filled with the most intense energy of intimacy and at the same time, the most profound possibility. That is, if you are really present and doing the work.

This Valentines Day would be a great time to begin to create the love and joy you deserve. This is a time to use your relationship as your own personal spiritual workshop for enlightenment. After all, it’s the best tool your have.

Here are some important steps you can take which deepen your relationship. These are not for those folks still in relationship kindergarten who are sleeping around, lying and telling people what they want to hear. These are for those of you who are ready for deep, meaningful relationships. You know who you are, those of you who would consider skipping Survivor, Who Wants To be A Millionaire or Real TV, for some good old fashion intimacy. Begin by taking my list and making it your own with revisions and changes that are reflective of who you and your partner are. Once you have a new list of commitments or re-commitments, sit down and promise them out loud to each other. I’d love to hear about your process. Write and tell me what you discover in yourself and in your beloved. Most importantly, have fun!

Seven Steps to Creating Conscious Relationships

1. I Commit to Achieve Intimacy.

I commit to recognizing, owning and clearing away the obstacles I put in the way of my ability to be close. I will identify and name the defense mechanisms I use to distance, close my heart, abandon myself, abandon my partner, friends or family members in order to avoid telling my truth or creating real intimacy.

2. I Communicate and reveal my truths openly. I honor my partner’s truths by being trustworthy.

I do not conceal parts of myself, even those parts of which I am not proud. Holding parts of myself back in relationship is self-defeating. I can’t be committed unless I am fully present and willing to be transparent. Conscious relationship means microscopic truth telling. I honor my right and my partner’s right to reveal our truths only as it is safe to do so. I honor my partner’s truth as a sacred trust and do not reveal it to others without her permission.

3. I Take Full Responsibility for My Own Needs and my own Growth.

I have the power to take charge of my life and stop being a victim. I have the power to stop my dependence on substance, obsessive activity, bad relationships or people whom I have made responsible for my lack of self-esteem, security and happiness. The times when I have projected blame and shame onto other’s, are when I have forgotten that I am in charge of my own reality and healing. I will not expect my partner to deal with the consequences of my refusal to do my own work.

4. I Commit to joy and laughter in my relationship.

I am aware that relationships take immense courage and commitment and therefore, I also commit to creating equal joy. I accept the ups and downs in relationship as a normal part of the process and my personal opportunities for growth. I take the time to enjoy the strengths, creativity and healing in my partner, in myself and in my relationship.

5. I Commit to Releasing Learned Behaviors and Negative Programming that no longer serves Me.

I accept that I am ever changing and so are those I love. I do not hold on to pain or anger from the past. Neither will I hold on to negative behaviors that diminish my self-worth or are harmful or demeaning to myself or others. I promptly admit my mistakes. I do not accept responsibility for, or cover-up for, the mistakes of others. I commit to stay in the process until the issues are resolved or there is an agreement to disagree.

6. I Commit to some path of service to the planet and all sentient beings.

I commit to actions that restore peace and balance on the planet. I commit to assisting others in the discovery and joy of conscious relationship and conscious living. I will do this first and foremost by committing to my own growth and increasing awareness.

7. I Commit to act honorably with reference to the issue of monogamy in my
committed mate relationships.

If I have committed to be monogamous, I willingly make the choice not bring anyone else, or any one else’s energy into our physical relationship. I will provide a safe place for each of us to completely unfold and give fully of ourselves. I will not play with, or encourage other people’s attraction to me. I willingly choose not spend time with people who cannot or will not honor our commitment as partners. I will not use affection as hostage or reward – nor will I create a space of withhold lacking in unconditional love in which error may occur.

If I have not committed to be monogamous, I will speak clearly and truthfully about my intentions, whether I am sexually with others and I will not act deceptively to have my needs filled in ways that are not in agreement with our contract. I will honor my spiritual relationships with truth and I will disclose fully.

Conscious relationships are a commitment and gift to self. They teach you to be:

(1) Be Fully Aware And Present
(2) Be Authentic – Experience all your feelings
(3) Be Committed – Keep your agreements and increase your level of integrity
(4) and Be Joyful!

Take a minute to imagine how much soul deep work could be accomplished if you knew your partner would never cheat on you, lie to you, betray you or leave you without an honorable end to your contract. These gifts of safety and integrity provide unlimited opportunities for your own growth and growth toward each other! Light a candle. Put on some music. Sit across from each other. Renew your vows this Valentines Day with these commitments or ones that the two of you create. The result? Deeper love and growth.

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

All rights reserved. No part of the intellectual property of Dr. Dina Evan may be reproduced, placed on mechanical retrieval system, transmitted in any form by electronic, video, laser, mechanical photocopy, recording means or otherwise in part or in whole, without written permission of the author. Contents are fully copyrighted and may not be owned by any other individual or organization.

Some Mothers Die Twice

Every one has a mother. Mine died twice. She died emotionally before I was born and literally at the age of 50. She had been trying to physically die from before the moment of my birth. She did it slowly in increments and degrees throughout my whole life until she finally succeeded in our mutual last breath of trying to keep her alive.

I often talk about my parents, to students and clients. I want them to know there is life after dysfunction. I have often gotten a pit of shame in my stomach as I speak of my parents in class. It’s the same shame every child of dysfunction gets when they speak of their past – as if the shame was theirs. Since they are both dead, I also wonder if I am not a bit afraid my parents are watching me from some place on high and wincing as I speak. Fortunately, I have good boundaries and know that is their problem. They have been gone a long time, no doubt had a few classes, so by now they know it too.

Every Mothers and Fathers Day I am delighted to celebrate these two scoundrels. It is so clear to me that I could never have become who I am without them. My mother, Nell, was an alcoholic who smoked and drank herself into numbness, beginning in her teens. She lacked the courage for on-going life or sudden death. Instead, she continued drinking until she finally reached variations of apathy, stupor, rage and depression, or all of the above in the same tearful evening, over and over between Librium’s. These were the nights that could be viscerally felt making their approach by 5:30p.m. That is, unless, she was in a precious, but regrettably infrequent, window of being utterly delightful, fantastically fun, incredibly funny and real. These few and far between windows of opportunity that debuted her potential were always fleeting and left only longing for more in their wake. So you might wonder what on earth I would celebrate about Nell this mothers day. Everything!

My mother died spiritually and emotionally before I was born and physically when I was 32. With the exception of a few cameo appearances, she was not a mom in my life. She never tucked me in, made my dinner, called to ask me to lunch or shared in the joy of my children. When I was five, at a time when we had nothing, she tore up her prized squaw skirt to make my sister and I a doll dress for Christmas. And when I was 25 after my divorce a black negligee arrived with a note from her that said, “So start living again” – these were the only two gifts from my mother. No mother taught me how to deal with money, be a woman, hold a child or create safety or love for myself. No one taught me how to be on my own side and make decisions and choices in my own best interest.

Until I became an adult and could see beyond my own emptiness, I didn’t have the compassion to see that my mother was just like me. She had no tools. This precious woman taught me what it looks like when you don’t love yourself, because she didn’t. She showed me how incredibly important being present in someone’s life is because she wasn’t present in mine. She taught me what happens when you don’t fight for your own life and when you let yourself believe that your emotions, feelings and fears are bigger than you are. She taught me compassion because I was able to love her even in her emptiest moments. She taught me forgiveness because I finally understood she never got what I expected from her, and therefore never had it to give. She literally unraveled the whole issue of blame for me. I understood by loving my mother, that parents are only able to give you what has been given to them – not an ounce more.

This coming mother’s day I will celebrate my mother again. I thank her for allowing that empty space in my life in which I could connect to the Universe and the deepest parts of myself. I thank her for leaving so that I could learn about staying. I honor her for never finding me, so I could find myself. With great genuine love, I thank you mom. In some contract signed long before this lifetime, we agreed to this dance and you did your part. You gave all you had and it was everything I needed to be who I am.

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

All rights reserved. No part of the intellectual property of Dr. Dina Evan may be reproduced, placed on mechanical retrieval system, transmitted in any form by electronic, video, laser, mechanical photocopy, recording means or otherwise in part or in whole, without written permission of the author. Contents are fully copyrighted and may not be owned by any other individual or organization.

Finding the Right Mom

Unconsciously at some point, I decided to give myself a mother. Now that I think of it, I have actually given myself several mothers. My biological mother was an alcoholic. She emotionally left when I was about three months old. I left her and home when I was thirteen years old. When she left, I felt abandoned. When I left she felt relieved.

When you don’t have a mother, there are many other things you also don’t have, but you may not be aware you don’t have them until you are an adult. For instance, you don’t have the necessary tools for treating yourself with love and respect. You may not even have the awareness that you deserve love and respect. I had to learn how to take care of myself after years of bad relationships, bad choices and bad decisions that reflected little or no respect for myself. The predicament I continued to find myself in, was that most of my relationships, business and otherwise, were with people who were a great deal like my parents. Big surprise!

When you have no mother, no parent, you don’t have the simplest basic information about how to navigate safely in the world with grown up issues such as money, long term goals or security. You have no way of knowing what it looks like to be on your own side, if no one ever has been. In my 30’s, I fell back into the couch as if I had been struck in the gut by a closed fist the first time I heard someone on Good Morning America say, “Don’t put anything on your charge card that will wear out before your payments end!” I was aghast, and at that time, well into credit card poverty.

I had to teach myself how to be affectionate with my own children because I had no role model. I had to learn how to tolerate the frustration of allowing my adult children to make their own mistakes without jumping in to fix it for them. All my messages came from having been my mother’s mother for much of her life and the loudest message was that it was my job to fix it! Since I hadn’t been able to fix it for my mother, who succeeded in drinking and smoking herself to death at age fifty, I felt like a failure.

The first mom I gave myself originally belonged to my boyfriend. He went off to the Marines, and I adopted his mother, My boyfriend Larry and his father would pack the truck and do their male bonding thing each deer season. Mom and I would stay at home snuggled in her bed, laughing ourselves silly about how dumb hunting was after a couple of glasses of wine. I shudder to recall that I actually locked her in the trunk of my car one night to sneak her in at the drive-in because neither of us had brought enough money. Mickey taught me about acceptance. No matter what her son did, she loved him in that unconditional way that only some mothers can love. She extended that same gift to me and though I never married her son, I was her daughter and in her own way she always let me know it.

At some point, I realized that no matter how many mothers I might try to give myself, each would someday leave. It was then that the child inside and I had a serious chat. I’ll be your Mom, I said. Yea, right, she replied, as if you have any idea about how to be a mom. I winced. She was right. Well, look at it this way, I know you best, I will never leave you and out of all the people we’ve met, I have the closest connection to you. I can practice showing up for you and you can teach me what you need. Amazing little chat that literally created a sense of wholeness I had never felt. My child and I began to get connected.

Something literally happens to the chemistry and the electromagnetic messages that effect the brain when you are able to make this connection with yourself. A sense of safety begins to return and a greater awareness of wholeness starts to fill up the empty spaces. This therapisty little tool has quite an impact. Try it. The kid inside of you may have been waiting a long time for a real mom, or dad. Why not give him or her one for Mothers Day. It may be the best gift you have ever gotten.

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

All rights reserved. No part of the intellectual property of Dr. Dina Evan may be reproduced, placed on mechanical retrieval system, transmitted in any form by electronic, video, laser, mechanical photocopy, recording means or otherwise in part or in whole, without written permission of the author. Contents are fully copyrighted and may not be owned by any other individual or organization.

The Fearful Splendid Thing of It

There is a huge number of us are looking for it. Many of those who have it often take it for granted, ignore it or complain that it isn’t coming in the way we expected. We spend billions of dollars trying to look good enough to keep it. So then, if love is this many splendored thing …why are we so afraid of it?

Don’t go too far. Don’t say too much. Don’t feel that deeply. Maybe it’s not love we don’t trust. Maybe it’s not even the other person we don’t trust. Maybe it’s US we don’t trust when it comes to love. We don’t trust ourselves to be ok if we see an ounce of disapproval in the eyes of our beloved because that might mean there is something wrong with us. We don’t trust ourselves to be ok if we get abandoned because we don’t believe that we are worthy of finding someone else. We don’t trust that the feelings won’t kill us. We don’t trust that our partners could really love us in the first place because we, ourselves, do not believe that we are lovable. It’s a big mess. Or not.

Love is like setting this gigantic table filled with exotic fruits and flowers and arranging it with incredible, delicate care and tenderness and then offering it to the person you love. If they are allergic to fruit does that really change the value of your gift in any way? And, wasn’t it simply your task in life to learn how to care that much and have the guts to offer your love without holding back on any level? The exercise, for those of us who choose to accept it, is to become the love we seek and not give a damn about how it is received. Love gives us the chance to lose ourselves so we can find ourselves. The good news is that the majority of the time, if you are loving with a whole heart, no one in their right mind would leave such a gift because that kind of genuine devotion is so rare. But instead we hold back.

Allowing yourself to fall madly, deeply in love opens your heart to the whole mystery of life. It introduces you to the connective stuff in the universe and reminds you that there is no such thing as separation. It tests your ability to tell the truth. It makes you look at your addiction to sameness. It allows you to uncover the places you feel unsure about yourself and go to work on them. It gives you the thrill of looking across the room and filling up with ecstasy and adoration for a person who is willing to show you his or her soul. It tests your ability to remain committed. It pushes your level of presence and delivers everything it promises and more. Love gives you an inside peek at who you really are because when you fall in love you are experiencing your own spirit, your own profound ability to become love.

Since I was a child, I have longed for love. I knew that it existed, even though it took a detour when scheduled to arrive at my home. As I became more aware, I knew that loved entered into the center of sacred connections where truth lived. I knew that love created mystery, magic, music and enchantment. I knew that love made anything – everything – sacred. I knew that love turned words into prayers, anger into forgiveness and fear into courage. I knew that love from, or with, anyone stopped the agony of longing and not yet finding. I knew that love was not need, control or ownership. I knew that love was openness, acceptance and compassion. I knew that love was a celebration, a reunion with the Divine. I knew that love heals, renews, inspires and empowers us to act with courage and character. I knew that falling in love was an act of the soul and staying in love was an act of Spirit. I knew that love had less to do with desire and more to do with holiness, reverence, comfort and grace.

But, until I was a woman of age, I didn’t know that love was all there is – and everything else is an illusion based on fear. I didn’t know that in order to have love – all I had to do was be it. Now you know it too and it’s your turn.

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

All rights reserved. No part of the intellectual property of Dr. Dina Evan may be reproduced, placed on mechanical retrieval system, transmitted in any form by electronic, video, laser, mechanical photocopy, recording means or otherwise in part or in whole, without written permission of the author. Contents are fully copyrighted and may not be owned by any other individual or organization.

Thanksgiving or Gratitude?

We all know the meaning of Thanksgiving. We don’t need to hear it again, and yet, if we were to stretch our minds we might get curious about this concept of gratitude itself. It’s suggested that we all feel it on November 25th and many of us will indeed be grateful for that painstakingly prepared, delicious meal and the opportunity to gather with loved ones. But are we so bereft of gratitude and thanks giving that we need to set aside a day on November 25th to remember it?

Consider the concept of prayer, the asking and the thanking God for the gift He, She or It, depending upon your perspective, bestows upon us. It seems to me these rituals create yet another sense of separation and foster a lack of gratitude rather than empower it. In this sense, gratitude usually becomes the thing we feel after we have asked for and gotten a prayer answered – now and then.

Isn’t real gratitude something you feel all the time? And if it is, how can one best express gratitude for this life and all that it provides for us? It seems to me, the words gratitude and grace are synonymous. Albert Schweitzer said. “You must learn to understand the secret of gratitude. It is more than just so-called virtue. It is revealed to you as a mysterious law of existence.” In other words, it’s how you live your life.

Brother David Steindl Rast says, “We grow in love when we grow in gratefulness. And we grow in gratefulness when we grow in love. Here is the link between the two: thanksgiving pivots on our willingness to go beyond our independence and to accept the give-and-take between giver and thanks giver. But the “yes” which acknowledges our interdependence is the very “yes” to belonging, the “yes” of love. Every time we say a simple “thank you,” and mean it, we practice that inner gesture of “yes.” And the more we practice it the easier it becomes. “ Feeling gratitude and thanksgiving are in essence the act of saying YES to life.

Yes, to loving fully and without limit. Yes, to having a grace-filled life of comfort serenity. Yes, to spiritual growth, personal responsibility and waking up. Yes, to acknowledging the value and right of every human being to exist in safety and peace. Yes, to the equality of every individual. Yes to joy and abundance. Yes to aliveness and all things that support us on our path to enlightenment. Yes to life itself.

This Thanksgiving, consider the level of your yes-ness to life. Are you letting life in, embracing it fully and giving at least as much back as you are getting? As Rabbi Harold Kushner says “Can you see the holiness in those things you take for granted–a paved road or a washing machine? If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul. “

Or, are you holding life and love back at an arms length, waiting to enjoy it until you have accumulated enough, found the right life mate, look good enough, have accomplished enough, worked hard enough or something-else-enough?

Now is the opportune time to fall in love with your life and the priceless blessings in it. Now is the time to embrace your friends, your partner and your family and remind them how precious they are to you. Now is the time to watch a sunset, smell a flower and remember that your next breath is a gift – an incredible opportunity to experience aliveness. Don’t miss the whole reason for this journey. Don’t miss the gift while waiting for its arrival. We wish you an incredible day of yes-ness.

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

All rights reserved. No part of the intellectual property of Dr. Dina Evan may be reproduced, placed on mechanical retrieval system, transmitted in any form by electronic, video, laser, mechanical photocopy, recording means or otherwise in part or in whole, without written permission of the author. Contents are fully copyrighted and may not be owned by any other individual or organization.

Thanks Giving

It’s that time of year for offering a bit of thanks on Thanksgiving and that for some of us is enough. We do it because this is the month when families are supposed to get together, give thanks and eat too much. But, is there an art to giving thanks and being appreciative, or are those two little words here and there throughout the year enough? I don’t think so. Gratitude is like enlightenment. It’s a fire in the soul that moves us to being a certain way in life. It’s an action, a feeling we embody and a delicate state of mind that is a prayer. It moves us to having a reverence for life and the people with whom we share this journey. When we are truly grateful we experience a joy and wonder at the blessedness of life.

Living in a state of thankfulness is about being willing to recognize all of the good that is in our lives. It’s about recognizing the gift of choice and free will. It’s about feeling blessed by the breeze on your face or the radiance in a sunset. It’s about feeling filled with gratitude that you know what you know and have sorted out the ways in which you may have tripped yourself up or tricked yourself with a lack of awareness in the past. It’s about accepting ourselves with compassion for every mistake and error that taught us a new way of being.

Thanks giving is about affirming our ability to create the quality of life we desire by acknowledging the power of who we are. As you experience gratitude for every relationship, every resource and every experience that has acted as a master teacher in your life, you become safer and more spiritually directed. A sense of grace arrives when let go and acknowledge that there is, has been, a divine plan in everything that you have experienced.

We wake up in every morning in this country in a time of unbelievable comfort. We live in luxury that is the envy of most other countries. We listen to the magic of music from the minds of genius’s. We read any book written on every imaginable topic. We have access to entertainment and media any where in the world. We can instantly communicate across vast distances by phone and internet. There is no place on the planet that is inaccessible.

We are truly blessed in so many ways. Gratitude is something we need to instill into our character. This awe and gratefulness needs to permeate the core of our being, so that it guides our decision making processes and our life.

When you are grateful for your partner, a deeper level of love and a certain respect and honor follows. When you are grateful for your job or career a certain diligence and sense of personal responsibility follows. When you are grateful for your children, a level of protection and awe arrives and you can acknowledge them as your teachers. When you are grateful for your family a certain commitment to be the best that you can be follows. When you are grateful for your life a certain reverence follows, one that provides purpose and joy. Gratitude brings with it humility, civility and compassion for others. A life filled with gratitude is light, freeing and purposeful.

Take a minute this holiday to make a gratitude list and share it with those you love. Pull it out and read it again the next time you are feeling depressed. Get up in the morning with a heart filled with thanks and rest in the same as your last thought at night. No matter what your choices have been in the past you can feel grateful because you have tomorrow and the right to make new choices. You are alive, you are awake and in the next minute you have the right and the choice to be grateful.

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

All rights reserved. No part of the intellectual property of Dr. Dina Evan may be reproduced, placed on mechanical retrieval system, transmitted in any form by electronic, video, laser, mechanical photocopy, recording means or otherwise in part or in whole, without written permission of the author. Contents are fully copyrighted and may not be owned by any other individual or organization.

Thank You

This is the time of year when we gather around tables graced with perfectly browned Thanksgiving turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy and we give thanks. We give thanks for our health and our families. We give thanks for the partner who has arrived or is in route. We give thanks for the abundance we have amassed or the opportunities that have presented themselves to us. We give thanks for each other. And, there is so much more for which I feel grateful.

Now don’t get me wrong; perhaps even at one level higher in priority than that of my next breath, are my children and grandchildren. But, when I think of all I am grateful for, some things different, harder to see, bring tears to my eyes and catch my breath. Perhaps it is a matter of age- perhaps a matter of awakening – perhaps it just is.

I am thankful for the reality that even though I have been single for quite some time, I fall often into the arms of my beloved. I often rest in the knowing that some energy, powerful and compassionate, is caring for me in ways I am not even able to understand at times. Growing up with an alcoholic mother and an abusive father makes me so grateful that this Presence is always covering my back, standing on my side, taking care of me with generosity of spirit, compassion and understanding. I am thankful that It is so much a part of me that I am nearly unable to distinguish much of a separation any longer. I am grateful that I have the most sacred relationship with God, the Universe, All That Is – (what ever you want to call it) that at times feels as if I could reach out and stroke the cheek of my Beloved with the same tenderness with which It holds me. We talk. We love. We accept each other in sheer delight.

I am so grateful for having choices – for the choices I have made. With whom shall I dance? What do I want the quality of my life to be? Who do I want to be when I grow up? In the most precious places of not knowing, I get to choose. And, because I am awake I get to choose only that which befits me, makes me more and challenge the fiber of my character and the strength of my spirit. I alone am designing my life, either consciously or unconsciously and that is, as well, yet another choice for which I am grateful. I am so thankful that my choices no longer comes from need but rather from a place of having so much in my life that I cannot hold it all and want to share. Free will is an immense blessing that we often take for granted.

I am grateful that I have stopped taking detours away from my own power – that I no longer need to pretend that I don’t have the answers. I am grateful that an unimaginably wise energy designed me is such a way that I could find myself and discover the truth of who I am through my own choices rather than ones inflicted on me.

I am grateful that I have learned to listen when the Universe speaks. I have discovered the immeasurable value of good friends and spiritual family, people who speak truth, love generously and are making every effort to live authentically. I am delighted that I am no longer willing to leave myself to be what someone else needs me to be. I am thankful that I leave places and people who are invested in chaos and drama and I no longer have a need or longing to stay.

I am grateful that I have come to a place in my life where I am aware that I am part of a grand intelligence in the universe and that every contribution I make that is loving is of value. I am grateful for the chance to sit here writing words on a page that some of you will hear with your heart and which will unite us with out ever having met face to face.

I am grateful for every moment of this life, every breath I take, every challenge I create and every opportunity I am given to love someone. I wish you a moment this Thanksgiving to reflect on your own unseen blessings. I hope they cause a smile to gently appear on your face and a warm and honest moment of love to fill your heart.

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

All rights reserved. No part of the intellectual property of Dr. Dina Evan may be reproduced, placed on mechanical retrieval system, transmitted in any form by electronic, video, laser, mechanical photocopy, recording means or otherwise in part or in whole, without written permission of the author. Contents are fully copyrighted and may not be owned by any other individual or organization.

Thanks

Funny, as I write this column I am aware of such uncertainty in the world that I wonder if what I write will even be valid by the time the paper comes out? Will there be another major event that shakes us to the core and rattles our sense of safety? Will there be another tragic loss of life and yet one more reason to accelerate a sense of separation and hatred for others? What if that does happen between now and the time these words find their way to a printed page? Would I be any less grateful during this month of thanks giving for the things I am filled up with at this moment? I hope not, and therefore, here’s my gratitude list with the desire that you will create one of your own with great expectations for what the future brings.

I am grateful that I can sit at my window and have eyes with which to see the brilliant peach in the rose bloom only a foot away and in the lining of the clouds bathed by a Phoenix sunset. I am grateful for the mutual understanding and acknowledgement embraced in a precious card sent by a friend that said, “Loving you is a prayer.” I am grateful that I understand the power of that statement and feel it in my soul in every silent, miraculous connection in my life.

I am grateful for the courage and dedication expressed by my clients as they travel the road of their own healing knowing every step they take is a gift to the world. I am grateful that I have taken my own steps of healing and can now be fully present, fully aware and fully spiritually in love with all of them, my friends and families of birth and choice.

I am grateful for chocolate, especially Carmello, and having the ability to buy it, taste it, and when feeling particularly lonely, hold it in my mouth just a tiny a bit longer than usual. I am also grateful for non-fat frozen yogurt swirls that come out of the machines and land like pillows of pleasure awaiting strawberry blessings. I am also grateful that I don’t visit them or the chocolate on a regular basis because I am also determined to stay grateful that the Universe is sending my precious partner – any day now.

I am grateful that I have finally learned before I left this planet, that life is for living, enjoying and expressing. I am delighted that I have worn my best clothes for everyday, I have given up three inch heels and I have insisted on remaining an un-girdled woman. I am glad that I understand a car is not a badge of honor, a title does not make me worth while and what I have, or don’t have, in the bank has nothing to do with my value. I am delighted that I understand that the only thing I will leave this planet with is my integrity and character and the blessings of those who loved me.

I am grateful that I don’t give myself or my truth up to make others comfortable and even more grateful that others do the same for me. I am grateful for all the horses patoots who have been my best teachers about who I don’t want to be and every splendid, evolved soul who held me in a space of love so I could discover what love acted and looked like. I am incredibly grateful for my spiritual family who let me practice on them until I could get it right. And, I am so grateful for every challenge and formidable task that tested my strength of spirit and fired my soul work. I am grateful for every mistake that I have made and every person who danced with me so that I could make them.

I am grateful for each of you, who through all these years has given me a place to share my feelings, express my truths and fulfil one more part of my purpose. Thank you. And, no matter what tomorrow brings, today, right now, take a minute to be very grateful that we live in a world where despite opposition, you and I can love the person of our choice, the God of our choice and a journey that is priceless. Many Thanksgiving blessings to you all.

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

All rights reserved. No part of the intellectual property of Dr. Dina Evan may be reproduced, placed on mechanical retrieval system, transmitted in any form by electronic, video, laser, mechanical photocopy, recording means or otherwise in part or in whole, without written permission of the author. Contents are fully copyrighted and may not be owned by any other individual or organization.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Away from the cooling fall air, a fire crackles in the fireplace and the table is set with candles and neatly folded napkins. The fragrant scent of turkey and dressing wafts through the room enticing all those who have passed up lunch to wait for its arrival. The announcement is proudly made from the kitchen and only after an appropriate number of kudos and ahs does everyone gather at the table to give thanks on this special holiday. We give thanks for the program, our host and host and the fine table set before us. Some offer thanks for their successes and the challenges all of which provided new opportunities for growth. Yet, we can miss giving thanks for the greatest blessing of all – the gift of each other.

There is infinite wisdom in your conscious and unconscious choice of those with whom you create both partnerships and friendships. They are each individually a mirror and reflection of your soul. Just as there are colorful, creative and intricate dishes set upon the table, there are also colorful, creative and intricate choices in our friendships and mates. They reflect back to us both who we are and who we are becoming. After you have taken in the scents and visually enjoyed the culinary delights set upon the table, perhaps you can take a moment to reflect on the diversity and beauty in your choices of life partners and friends seated at the table. Let me share what my picture looks like on Thanksgiving.

Somewhat removed from the flurry of dishes being passed I can usually sit back and first notice my son J.D. He is the part of me that still thinks all things are possible, sort of an “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” kind of guy whose commitment got him through earthquakes and rain storms to make sure I was OK. We both know no matter what the obstacle, we would be there for each other when necessary.

Across the table my friend Jan scoops potatoes on to her plate and I think of how her childlike antics put me more in touch with the child inside of me who never learned how to play. My inner child was too busy dealing with an alcoholic mother and an abusive father until Jan came into my life and gave my inner child permission to come out. Before Jan, she was hidden and hesitant, too fearful to play with anyone.

At the end of the table sits Elaine, talking a bit too loud and acting a bit too self-assured. She is the part of me that was still afraid she is not quite enough and over compensates for her uneasiness in groups. Beside her sits Randy. Randy reflects back to me the spiritual side of myself. He reflects my Higher Self, that knowing part of me that is connected beyond words and explanations to the Divine.

At the other end of the table, my friend Lauren carries on an in-depth philosophical conversation with David. Lauren reflects the part of me that spirals with intellectual exploration and thrives on unanswered questions. David! Ah David, the part of me that still carries unresolved anger about what I didn’t have as a child. Then there are my other two children Lauren and Mia. Lauren is the creative part of me that loves making things and being artistic. Mia, is the part of me who is profoundly on the path to Spirit and loves the challenge of learning. At one end of the table, you may have a mate. That’s the beloved person in your life who constantly reflects back to you the parts of you that are seen as beautiful, lovable and worthy of being cherished.

This incredible group of people, even as it changes, always reflects back to me my own soul’s growth in living color. There sitting at my table was the perfect picture of all the ways I had chosen to grow and not grow. Each person at that table was my teacher, my guide and I was grateful for their courage and willingness to be part of my life lesson. Each one had made the decision to enter the process of relationship with me. Each was willing to look at the ways in which he or she closed down, defended against and opened again to all we might share. Thanks to their courage and mine, we were all learning a great deal about ourselves. I have often said that I know I could go to sit on a mountain and achieve enlightenment. In doing so, I would not be helping the world a wit, nor would I have any inkling of how my own human soul was evolving. Until I enter into relationship with each of these precious people, I have no way of knowing about my judgments, my invulnerability’s, my fear, my need for sameness, my openness or my courage.

I am constantly amazed at how once we become conscious and aware, life speaks to us so clearly. There are no coincidences, no accidents. There is only life, trying repeatedly through each relationship to teach us more about ourselves. Perhaps this Thanksgiving, you too can begin to see with a more conscious vision as you sit at your holiday table. Perhaps, you will quietly accept that each person before you is an integral part, a perfect reflection of who you are. Perhaps you too will silently give thanks. Better yet, say it to them out loud and have a great Thanksgiving!

© Dr. Dina Bachelor Evan 2013

All rights reserved. No part of the intellectual property of Dr. Dina Evan may be reproduced, placed on mechanical retrieval system, transmitted in any form by electronic, video, laser, mechanical photocopy, recording means or otherwise in part or in whole, without written permission of the author. Contents are fully copyrighted and may not be owned by any other individual or organization.