Tag Archives: heart

Beyond the Noise

winnie and fuzzy under table
In a perfect synchronicity, this was the view under my chair as I wrote this blog.


Beyond the noise of political campaigns and other news headlines, and all the thoughts that vie for our attention, there is some essence of us that is pure and innocent, that urges us to be present, to remember that our nature is love.

Within each of us is an idealist who still believes all things are possible, who wants everyone to get along, and who believes we can find a way to create peace and fulfillment for all.

Yes, on the surface, our skeptical minds take us into doubt and fear, but deeper within us is an encouraging voice that says “even now, all is well.”

In yoga classes, the teachers will often invite us to soften our gaze, to loosen our jaws, and to relax our faces. To me, this is the physical representation of coming back to center, of coming back to the innocence and purity that is our nature. It is taking off the armor that we have adorned to face a world where we sometimes feel we need protection.

Sometimes it’s hard to see the purity and innocence of those with a different point of view than ours. An important lesson in this regard was brought home to me so clearly many years ago when I came to know a different side to a woman with whom I had previously served on a non-profit board. We had been each other’s nemesis. In my mind, I thought “this is one of the toughest people I’ve ever met.” She would meet me head-on and we would butt heads on most any issue.

Several years after we had both left the board, I ran into her at the party of a mutual friend. We began to dialogue and ask what it was that made us each bristle so much in our encounters with each other. Very quickly we discovered that we had each assumed completely false ideas about the other. My assumption that she was one of the toughest people I had ever met was laid to rest quickly when she told me she went home and cried after every board meeting.

So much of what is going on in our world today is calling us to meet each other heart to heart, to see beyond the masks and armors we each wear.

First, we might need to remember to remove our own barriers, to soften our gaze, loosen our jaws, and to relax our faces. If the toughest-appearing people we meet are really feeling more like scared children, perhaps ours is to offer love and acceptance, to bring our hearts to all situations.

Ironically (and in a divinely perfect way), the woman I thought was my nemesis was one of two people who ultimately introduced me to the Science of Mind philosophy, which directly led me on the path to becoming ordained as a minister in this teaching and to the calling I am fulfilling today.

When we take off our armor and allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we can admit that we really just want love. And when we join with others who do the same, we can see that they too are like us.

Beyond the noise, there is that beautiful essence of each one of us that just wants to make a difference with our friends, our families, and in our world.

The invitation today is to remember that others are just like us at their core, and to see if we can extend our hearts with love to embrace everyone we meet.

Enjoy the journey.

Answering Your Soul’s Calling

Three white pebbles against the background of the sea and sky

by Gregory Toole

I often receive the comment, “how brave,” when I share with people the story of leaving my corporate career. My response is always the same: bravery played very little part. June 30 of this year marks 20 years since I left my corporate career. One day, I just walked away and I knew I would never return. I hadn’t much of a clue what lay ahead, but I knew my corporate-ladder-climbing days were over.

To give a little background, I had come into the computer industry out of college when it was the hot field to be in, when jobs were thought to be somewhat scarce in other industries. I quickly advanced and after five years I earned an MBA and moved into the business side of the industry. One of the gifts I received while there was that I worked with people who were really passionate about what they did. They were really passionate about creating the best computer and software products they could. Try as I may, I did not find myself excited or passionate about that.

What I did find is that I wanted to be involved with something I was just as passionate about as my colleagues in the computer industry. Going back to my college days, what excited me was serving more in the social sector to make a difference in people’s lives. While I wanted to leave my corporate career, I had prepared so much for this work I had no idea what else I would do.

Then I entered a Center for Spiritual Living. I found people on a spiritual journey much like my own. Within just over six months of finding spiritual community I found the support and the clarity to leave my corporate career. The people in my spiritual community understood what it meant to follow one’s heart and to answer the call of the soul.

While the only clarity I had was that I wanted to serve humanity in some greater way, it was enough because the call was so strong. Everything in me pointed to moving in this new direction, while the thought of staying in my corporate career felt like severe contraction and the extinguishing of the fire in me. In fact, it didn’t seem like much of a choice at all: one option took me toward fulfillment, soul-alignment, and felt like full expansion of my energy field, while the other option felt like contraction of my energy field and ultimately death. Not much of a choice, which brings me back to why I have always said it really wasn’t about being courageous.

When the choices are that stark, there really is only one choice. I feel thankful that the call within me is so strong, although there were times I wished it weren’t, that I could have just stayed in what was comfortable, even if it weren’t all that fulfilling. But my soul would not allow it. I believe it literally would have killed me, staying in something that was going so against the grain of my soul’s calling.

Having made the choice to follow my soul’s calling, within a year I became Executive Director of a non-profit youth development organization, within four years a licensed spiritual practitioner, and within 10 years a minister in Centers for Spiritual Living. I did not foresee any of this when I took that first step to leave my corporate career, but I did feel a strong calling in the direction of something important. I have never regretted the choice and never looked back.

What is the deeper calling in you that is seeking expression? Are you fully aligned with your soul’s calling, with what expands you and has a deep resonance in your heart? My vision is of a planet where everyone is following the call of their soul. In this vision, I see a more vibrant, peaceful, loving, and creative world, free of fear, greed, and addictions.

Will you join me in that vision? If so, just check in with your heart and see what you are called to in this moment, and the next, and then the next. What a world we are creating together!

Enjoy the journey.