Saturday, July 30, 2011

Once, many years ago when I was bemoaning the fact that I didn't have enough time to do everything I wanted that week, my angels stopped me in my tracks and said, "Ann, what is your rush?! You have eternity! You can do what you want in heaven or you can come back to earth and do whatever it is you think you missed. But in reality, why wait to be happy! Be happy now!" They were right. I used to be happy only when I got something crossed off the to-do list. I had to learn to enjoy the journey.

Now I try to make all my work fun. Even if I'm paying bills I use pens I like, pretty stamps, and put on good music. Some of you like to pay online. Some of you, like me, like the old fashioned way of writing checks. I hold each one to my heart, thank God for the ability to pay, and affirm the refill that is about to come. I learned to enjoy cleaning house while I was on crutches years ago. I had to go so slow it nearly drove me crazy until I read a book about zen and decided to think of it as loving my house. Now I can "love my house" at much higher speeds, but it still feels like love! If I don't love doing something I find a way to either get rid of the task, make it fun, or wait till I can pay someone else who likes doing it better than me. Because my job deals with death every day, it reminds me to make the most of life. Even when my dog was dying last year and taking every living ounce of my life energy and spare time with his care, I fo cused on the incredible love between us. That made his care not only bearable, but an incredible journey of the most intense love I have ever felt.

This point was really hammered home again a few weeks ago when I heard a dear friend had passed away very suddenly. He wasn't someone I saw often, only once a month if that at spiritual gatherings I attend, and yet Daniel Stief touched the hearts of many with his big heart, his incorrigible sense of humor, and above all things, his ability to channel Elvis. We all loved him so much. So when I discovered he had passed I tuned in and saw him SO happy in heaven and one of the things that I felt that was so beautiful was how much the so-called small things that he did meant in the course of his life. After joking around once with me, he went and designed a web site called to offer inspiring videos for the rest of us every week. It was a labor of love and joy for him and it touched all the hearts of those who knew him. He uplifted those of us who spend our lives uplifting others. I know that at times on earth he was a little lonely but as I tuned into him in heaven I felt the ultimate joy and celebration he felt upon his return home. I couldn't even grieve. I could only smile and be happy for him. He graduated. He was basking in incredible love. And he was seeing the value of his life. That, more than anything, touched me so deeply.

You may never know what has real spiritual value in your life. Sometimes the smallest things that we do, or the things we do for fun out of the goodness of our hearts, or the kind little comments, are those things that stand out the most at the end of our lives. I talk to dead people and they have helped me see the incredible value in these seemingly insignificant moments. So try not to judge yourself based on how much you achieve, how much you have in the bank, whether or not you have a relationship... those things are all fun, but what matters most in the end isn't the scale of our lives or our achievements but the authenticity with which we live.

Daniel lived with a generous heart and an authentic sense of humor and to me, it seems that his life was precious, priceless, and a journey of immeasurable achievement. I celebrate his homecoming and feel the incredible joy that he feels knowing his lifetime was all about love.