Words are hard to find to describe the range of emotions as I continue to hear about all the violence, hatred and fear being expressed all across the globe, as well in our own backyards.  I have to keep reminding myself to find my center, remember who I am and remember all that I believe about the power of making conscious choices about each and every experience I have.

Months ago, when I first heard from Susan Sklar, LMHC, our newest therapist on staff, about her very inspirational friend and guide, Bhante Dhammawansha, I wanted to meet with him for my own personal reasons; hoping for a deep reminder of my authentic, essence self as I continue to walk Bhante Dhammawanshathrough my imperfectly human, and sometimes challenging, world.

Then my focus shifted more outwardly after the horrible attack in Orlando.  Like many of you I am sure, I could barely catch my breath before the next round of violence took place.  Then another one, and another.  Senseless shootings, innocent people dying, fear and violence expanding and exploding.  The feelings of sadness and helplessness enveloped me.

On the one hand, I am, on some level, compelled to watch the news reports – how can I turn away from the harsh realities of so many lives lost…Yet, the energy of the sensationalism, negativity, hatred and fear which the media fuels to attract viewers, is one I do not want to perpetuate.

One of the basic premises we at Conscious Choices use as a foundation both in each of our personal lives, as well as in the work we do with clients, is that what we focus on is what we experience.  We also know that although we may not be able to control all of the externals of our lives, we know that the quality of our life is something we can choose.  In fact, we make choices about the quality of our lives all the time, whether we are aware of this, or we do so unconsciously.

No where is this idea clearer than within our personal relationships.  Most people think of romantic partnerships when they read the word “relationship,” but realistically, our whole lives a made up of one relationship after another.  Whether intimate partners, family members, friends, co-workers, teachers, doctors, neighbors, or even grocery store clerks, each one of these is a relationship to some extent.free peace sign heart

In every one of these interactions we may have, we have a choice about what kind of energy we want to perpetuate.   Do I want to perpetuate Love or Fear?  Peace or Hatred?  Kindness or Rage?  Inspiration or Envy?

I know it is difficult to not feel angry about injustice, any kind of pain and suffering inflicted on innocents.  Honestly, I don’t believe it is healthy or “spiritual” to resist our very human experience of anger.  However,  I do wonder instead, can we use our strong feelings of indignation and righteousness to remind us of what we ultimately want?  Love.  Peace.  Kindness.  Inspiration.

It is with these sentiments in our hearts that we at Conscious Choices have chosen to sponsor this Loving Kindness in Relationships Meditation Retreat on Saturday, August 6.  We have asked Bhante to guide us during this day, reminding us of the many paths to loving connection with each other.  Click here to sign up to join us.

free imagine peaceWe believe at the core, that although the world may have to go through some physically painful changes, and it may get worse on a material level before it gets better; the only way to begin to heal the planet is through each of our own personal relationships – in every experience, every interaction, we can choose to touch another heart, another soul, another life – and in that exchange each recipient passes that feeling, that loving energy, on to the next experience and interaction…and so on.  We are not helpless.  And we believe nothing is hopeless.

If these feelings resonate with you, we hope you will join us for this sure to be amazing event.

Bring your partner.  Bring your friends.  Bring your family members, your co-workers.  Come by yourself; you won’t be alone for very long…

You don’t have to know how to meditate, just come and be curious about your experience, curious about opening your heart, curious about how Love can change the quality of your life, and heal the world…

I look forward to being with you.


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“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”    – Ghandi