Sunday, December 6, 2015

Be the Light of the World

Tis the season!
A time of sharing and celebrating the birth of Christ. I grew up in a Catholic household and yet through the years I have found my way inward to create a peaceful time through the holiday season. It is beyond the dogma of religion. It is a season to share our hearts with our families, friends and community. It is another day to remember that peace abides within a grateful heart and sometimes our longing is just a breath away. We can choose to drop into this moment of a holiday season and just breathe in this precious life that we have and get out of the way so that we can be used to bring some light into the world.

It's not always the happiest days when we think of the loved ones that have transitioned or live far away and are not here to sit at our table on Christmas day. Life has brought opportunities to help me to shift into what is the gift that is most natural to give. I love to give in the spirit of self -expression. To share food, conversation, appreciation or just listening to those that are placed before me. We can hold the hand of the one that sits beside us and just be love. Why isn't it always that easy? Why do we ever for an instant stop ourselves from expressing who we truly are? Why is life so hard sometimes and we wait for someone to give us permission to just let go and let God? 
I walk down the beach on this glorious day, the sun is shining in the brilliant blue sky as I reach down and pick up a shell. I look at it as if it were a gift from the heavens. I gaze up at the sky and I speak out loud to my spirit loved ones. I speak to them as if they were walking beside me and then I listen with a silent and open heart. Sometimes I just hear myself talking. Today, the waves of energy flow up and down my spine and tears roll down my face as a sweet energy fills my heart. It is such a mystery as I watch the sun setting and the brilliant sky lights up in every shade of orange. This masterpiece created by this divine force begins to speak a language heard only within my heart. I am filled with love once again.
Nature is my teacher and reminder of who I truly can be. I have wept before the sunrise and sunset so many times. I have raged and screamed my hurt and pain a thousand times when I have forgotten to breathe or disconnected from my source. The world has brought me face to face with myself and humbly I bow to nature as the earth grounds me into what is real. I let go so that I can sit at the smorgasbord of this table of life. It is filled with so much food and I can taste the nectar that nourishes my heart. I walk back home.
The season is preparing me to empty so that I can be filled with more peace. I enter my front door and begin to take out the boxes that are stored in the laundry room.
This ritual I have as I take out the Christmas ornaments, one by one, brings memories through many years of my life. My heart feels it all and breath by breath I am humbled by the presence of spirit that gives to me through these moments where my story continues to unfold. Right here in my living room as Christmas music plays, I wrap my tree with the strands of lights of every color. Then I turn on the switch and the darkened room is filled with light. I open myself with the awe that filled me for the first time when I was a child. This incredible feeling of wonder as if I was just born.

These lights are twinkling before me. I sit on the couch and breathe it all in. I can be the light in the world and so can you. We can be used as an instrument for peace to touch the world through our living.
I savor the gift of presence as I open each day as if it were a present!
Happy Holidays to all!

All my love,

Friday, October 9, 2015

Live, Love and Laugh!

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."
- Wayne Dyer

Being in Italy again is more than I ever imagined. I was 17  years old when I walked down the cobble stone roads before with my best girl friends, Debbie, Virginia and Christina. Now 
I am appreciating the experience with the wisdom of what life has brought me. I am taking in the moments with all of my senses, inspired by this new environment. One of my favorite teachers and authors, Wayne Dyer, has just transitioned recently. Countless times he would sit at his writing desk with pictures of Saints and Guru's surrounding him.  He would share with us that he could call on their energy and channel the words written for us all to receive the gift of presence in each word that flowed out of him. 

I felt the same way as I walked into the Academia Gallery in Florence that houses Michelangelo's David and his Prisoners and many works from the 16th-18th century. The energy  vibrated through me as if I was plugged into a light socket. I felt like I could cry, emotions filled me with a joy that was expanding my heart. My eyes drank in these works of art as huge sculptures of marble, like giants, carved so long ago were right before me. Seeing the forms of strong, naked prisoners stepping out of the marble as if they were unfinished pieces of art. The freeing of the form out of the formless as these marble figures seem to come alive. As I looked down to the great hall, the statue of David pulled me closer to take in the history of this sculpted masterpiece. The tremendous surge of energy came in waves as I recall the words Wayne Dyer used to tell us, " to be inspired is to be in-spirit".  I felt myself in this timeless moment sharing this love I have for art and allowing the inspiration to move me into more of myself. Then to make the whole experience even richer, I am holding the hand of my new love, Robert,  who gets it. He knows that I am filled with the emotions of being surrounded by the energy of all of these masters who seem to be crowding the room. The room is wall to wall people and maybe most are unaware of the magnitude of energy that is filling us all, feeding us with so much more than we could conceive of. 
I am intoxicated with a love that is beyond this human experience and every part of me wants to dance, sing, paint, hug and kiss...I am inspired and filled with the joy of being alive. It doesn't get better than this! I am in love and meeting all parts of myself that wants to be free just like the sculptures of Michelangelo. I am making a choice to free myself out of the mold of this human form that I am. I get lost in the paintings as I move through the various rooms and time seems to be stands still and nothing seems to pull me away from the incredible feeling of just being here right now. I look away from the statue of David and meet the gaze of Robert as I see him taking me in and sharing in the love of being in this magnificent place together.

With love,

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Listen to the Call

We hear the call from deep within. This sweet sound that gently wakes us up to be fully here. There is nothing to do but be and in this state of being we accept that we are enough. Life has moved us into the direction of our soul’s path and we realize that every step we have taken on this journey has formed us and molded us from the inside to the outside. The falseness has fallen away and we walk on through all of the ups and downs of being human. Slowly we surrender to what is without trying to change a thing. As we look around we begin to see that there is a perfection to this magnificent ride we have been on. Without any loud announcements or drum rolls, we enter the present moment realizing that who we are is worthy to be right here in this magnificent life that gives without conditions. We have arrived with the knowing that it is our heart that knows the truth instead of letting the ego run the show. We enter into grace as we open our heart and our hands to the one who creates through this beautiful life that is living and breathing through us.

We are all called to be ourselves; to show up for this life that flows freely through all of life’s circumstances. Nothing needs to take us away from the presence that breathes us into every moment. We begin to watch the world around us with the eyes of the observer, not taken away but taken into the center of it all and allowing the changeless part of us to realize the truth that we are. Here we can fully be human yet allow the divine nature to join us with all creation. This is an intricate weaving of every heart as we walk on in our union with the light that some call the Christ or unconditional love. This arch of golden light moves out of our heart, our eyes, our touch, our voice and joins with the gentle sweetness of a love that joins us all together in this magnificent circle that never ends. We are all doing this dance together and every moment we let go of more so that all that is true comes to the surface of our minds where we join in the mind of God where only light prevails. Our hearts become the messenger of a love that speaks every language and expresses the truth that sets us all free. There is only union here and everyone is a part of the tapestry that we weave together.

As Robert and I paddled into the turquoise colored water of the Gulf of Mexico, we felt the joy of this magnificent moment. There was the knowing that life as it was, right now, was perfect and everything lined up to create more life. I heard the paddle dip into the rippling water surrounding our kayak, each stroke pulling us forward as we slowly got into rhythm. It was magical as we felt the touch of the wind upon our skin and the warm sun wrapping us up in this beautiful day. Without saying a word we knew that we were being pulled into the momentum of our heart’s calling. Moment-by-moment we were guided, leaning into each other and then stopping to be held in the presence of quiet meditation. Calling the dolphins with our hearts, we opened our eyes to witness a dolphin racing through the clear water right beside us. His eyes met ours and deeply we could see ourselves in the joy of being with this magnificent creature of the wild. He danced upon the water just for us.

I felt a rush of energy giving to me the message that was just spoken. Let this dance begin. A new dance proclaiming the joy of being fully here. It was Steve’s spirit, I am sure, in all his brilliance moving us both into the calling of our soul’s path. It was an initiation of the joy of this beloved union where we settle into the calm waters that surround us. We look into the mirror reflecting back to us the beauty of a life unfolding before our very eyes.

Robert and I went back to the shallow waters and began to sing the songs of our hearts (perhaps a little off key).  We danced around and played like children sharing the joy of finding ourselves again in the arms of each other. We have stumbled. We have fallen. We have risen through the ashes of our past, seeking peace because the pain of living has brought the truth that we are worthy. Calling on God, we have cried and laughed in each other’s arms. Even though we have faced death and have looked into the eyes of loss, here and now we feel the touch of the wind upon our skin.  In this embrace of the beloved we are enough as we become the offering of love no matter what.

There is so much to share. It is as if the stories of the past are seen clearer now and as the heart empties of talk of yesterday, we make room for new memories. We touch the miracle of life that continues to be alive and well. Right here now, not in the future or the past. Right here in this moment where we see ourselves and all that life has birthed because we chose to live instead of dying inside.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Intoxicated With Life!

Three decades ago I was diagnosed with an illness called Environmental sensitivities. One breath of a toxic substance would put me into a catatonic state and then I would be bed ridden for days. I was told that if I didn't change my lifestyle, I would have a year and a half to live. For me, I had no other place to go but within. This was the journey that took me inside to release all of the toxicity that was calling for my attention.  
Breath by breath, step by step, I learned how to listen inside to a voice that called me to show up for myself; I learned how to surrender to a guidance that showed me true love. I cleansed and let go. This love of self brought me into alignment with my inner source. Strengthened by this reconnection, I began to reclaim my true power that became my health of body and mind. Here I let go of the false self and slowly began to live more authentically. This journey continues to humble me daily. 
My commitment to living from the inside to the outside has changed me forever. Meditation is a tool that moves me mindfully into my every moment. With self-acceptance I stay focused within as I turn my gaze outward to receive this incredible life that gives and gives unconditionally. It is our birthright to receive this life that has been given as we learn to receive ourselves without judgment. 
Unconditional love is the greatest gift we give to ourselves. Can we accept and love ourselves no matter what the conditions are in the external world? Can we remember not to be afraid of these internal feelings that are only frightening when we repress them? 
After my husband transitioned, I walked back into my home where everything was a reminder of loss and I let myself feel everything. I was filled with sorrow and didn't think I could ever experience joy again. 
Death of a loved one demands your attention to step into dark places that we learned to avoid. Here is where you must accept the hardest unacceptable parts beyond your imaginings. But here in the deepest and darkest valleys inside there is an emptiness so silent that truth does eventually emerge. True love is the divine force that is ever present. This love within never dies and the greatest miracle is allowing it in again and again. Getting out into the world and sharing this feeling is powerful and life changing. 
Each of us is unique and precious. We all have our own journey through life's challenges. Maybe today you will walk out into your world with the belief that all is possible and hold the vision in your heart for another as you share in this intoxicating life that gives from the inside.   
Be still and breathe into this moment where you awaken to the beauty that illuminates you from the inside. 
Be aware of what is present within as you accept yourself just as you are. 
How worthy you are to be held in this presence that loves you unconditionally.
Give yourself to this moment and allow the healing waters that flow through you to release you from the past.
Let go of what cannot serve you as you accept the truth that moves through your heart this day.
You are a child of God, worthy to be loved and to love.
Today is filled with promise as you give yourself to the moment. 
Stay here and drink yourself in as you are filled with the spirit of life that moves through you with or without your conscious connection. 
This love is in all creation and as you join within, you are joined with all. 
Let go of who you think you are and allow yourself to be fully here. 
You are not the coverings you wear. 
You are not the credentials or diplomas.
You are not your mistakes or your pains. 
You are the one that is connected to a presence that gives life. 
This power would never take away from anyone, it gives from its fullness and shares in the eternal presence of the divine. 
This place of well being is in the center of your heart as you receive yourself fully. 
Every part of you is worthy of love and acceptance. 
Every part of you is here in the center of being you. 
Be yourself! 
Now, fully receive the gift of this beautiful life that is the beloved. 
You are incredible. 
This life that lives within you and all around you inspires and creates. 
Move into your world, open your eyes and stay right here giving and receiving this love that has no conditions. 
Now move from the inside to the outside and allow this light to illuminate through your living. 
You are free to be fully here, intoxicated with the beauty of love divine that is reflected in the world that surrounds you. 
Blessed Be


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Spring Forward

Happy Spring Everyone!

The clocks now are set forward an hour and we get to have longer days of light! I love springtime evenings after a few months of winter, where darkness comes upon us too early. Without those sunny, warm days keeping us busy outside, we are moved inside to hibernate and withdraw. Even here in Florida we have our seasons. Nothing compares to the deep freeze around the globe.  

I remember springtime in Ontario when I was a little girl. The sidewalks would clear of snow and you could smell the earth defrosting. It was fun to put on knee socks and finally get out of tights and leotards. I loved keeping my jacket open, no gloves or hats, skipping to school as the sun seemed to shine brighter. I felt so free and that feeling is always right inside of me when I am present with it all.

Springtime is here! Come join me at one of the Circle of Light meditations and together let us move forward into the richness of new life and promise that blossoms into adventure and infinite possibility.  

Have a blessed day!

 As I walk through the restaurant, memories pour through me. I look at the table that Steve and I sat at each time we stepped into this place. It feels surreal. I walk past that empty table and for a moment I see him sitting there. I am transported into a moment where the spirit world is right here and no veil separates us. I walk through the hallway and look at the familiar pictures on the walls. My human eyes gaze outward yet I am focused inside where I am filled with feelings. I looked at these pictures so many times before but today I get closer and the details move me deeper.

When I am present with myself, I feel the inner landscape. The internal world, filled with so much of my personal history, also holds the mystery of spirit. As painful as these moments can be, I am filled and enriched with more expression and truth as I awaken a little more to who I am. These familiar places can be a distraction, but when I consciously breathe and am still within, they provide connection to more life that is present in every moment.

Being present moves me closer to that which joins and allows union. I see the world as another opportunity to share in this expression of unity consciousness. Step-by-step, as we walk in our ordinary worlds awake and conscious, we slip into a vast inner world that knows everything and nothing at the same time. We open up to every so called problem and allow our hearts to call on spirit to show us the way to what is true. Joined here within the heart of the one that creates anew, we become illuminated with the light that sees all as one moment in time. We are free to choose life or simply choose love.

It's not always easy to find our way back to our own hearts. We like to travel away into the busy life of distraction and doing. Yet no matter how long or how far we stray, returning home to the present moment is only a breath away. From this place of connection we can spring forward into the next moment instead of staying stuck in a past that does not serve us any longer.

The moment brings memories and yet now it helps you heal and remember what is real. Love prevails and the miracle is seen as the eyes are open again and what is seen heals everything that has been. The art of stillness brings the truth out into the open. The artist begins to paint a new picture. The singer sings a new song. And through the writer words again flow. The woman finds her purpose. A man becomes devoted to his true self. We awaken and now we consciously chop wood and carry water. Everything is alive and flowing again.

Blessed Be

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Home Wherever I am

I am on my usual morning walk with my puppy Mollie. She leads me to where she wants to go as I allow her the freedom to sniff and explore to her little heart's content. She teaches me to be present and patient. It becomes a walking meditation for me. Without fail, the beauty of nature awakens something deeply inside of me each time I choose to walk mindfully. Daily I am shown the way to live a life that is full and giving.

This morning the beloved found me and entered my inner world as sweetly and gently as the sun rising above the trees. My heart was filled with love as I looked all around and felt held in the presence of a power much greater than I. It always humbles me.

It was an ordinary day yet with my heart wide open I was experiencing an awakening. No phenomenon, just being swept into a moment of rapture. I stood still, hearing my heart beating and I felt at home right then and there. Home was right here within my heart and there was no searching. It was illuminating everything I gazed at. I saw the details as if someone was shining a spotlight on the world around me. I could hear sounds as if nature was amplified and in that holy moment I remembered that this is who I am. I was okay and there was nothing I had to do to arrive here but to receive it. Drinking it all in, I was filled with a love that seemed infinite. I realized that just as Mollie was guiding me to this presence, I was the one who allowed myself to just fall into love. The divine waits for me to be open and present to all that is right here.

I stand by a tree right with a woodpecker just an arm's length in front of me. Wearing his red helmet, he looks right into my eyes. I didn't spiral into the past thinking of missing Steve, instead, I gaze into this bird with my heart wide open. I am filled with appreciation for all that life has brought me. All the ups and downs and ins and outs of day to day living seem to stop and give me the answer I have been waiting for: Be right here and see beyond the image. The mind softens and in the quiet presence of the moment I receive the rhythm of my own life. All my senses seem to be more alive and become the pathway home to my heart. I choose to be in the stream of consciousness instead of the mind of thinking. I feel at home in these familiar surroundings of Anna Maria Island and yet in that moment it wouldn't matter where I was. I am deeply with the divine that is close and intimately within and outside of me.

The longing for the beloved isn't a faraway place to get to. It beckons us toward the journey that brings us deeply into our hearts where we are home. When we arrive, it radiates through and joins us with everything that exists. We begin to see the precious gift of life that offers comfort as the world becomes the messenger, giving to us the feeling of belonging.

To be in love no matter what the conditions are outside is easier said than done! But if we can trust enough to let go, to surrender, this river of presence can fill you up. We are enough and worthy to drink from this cup of living waters that flows from within.
I make my way to my friend's home and Mollie runs to the door knowing what is waiting for her. She jumps up onto the  laps of Pat and Rob wagging her tail in excitement as she brings love and is loved right back. After getting treats and strokes, she parks herself in front of the screen door. She sits, fully alert and focused within, gazing out into the garden where she watches in stillness. Mollie is home wherever she is. She is happy and content just to be the receiver of life's gifts. 

Frannie Hoffman (c) 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Kisses From Heaven

Hello my Beloveds!

For the last 18 months I have been on a sabbatical. This time has been an opportunity for me to turn my vulnerable heart toward each precious moment. It has been a transformational time, as grief has melted away more of my falseness and softened the limitations that held me a prisoner of fear.  Lau Tzu says it best, “when I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”  

When my husband Steve transitioned, I kept believing that spirit would guide me to a different life. Although I wanted to run away and start all over, I was forced to stay right here in all of the glory and pain of my vulnerable and broken heart. My home on Anna Maria Island was a safe haven as I continued writing and spending time in silence and inner contemplation. Being with myself, family, friends and my puppy Mollie brought me to a deeper sense of intimacy. I realized that my purpose had not changed at all, it was me that was different.

I am so grateful to all of you for loving me and choosing to walk upon this earth with me. It takes courage to live awake and we are all doing this dance together. In more ways than you will ever know, your hearts touched mine and helped to lift me up. With this New Year we find ourselves moving back into the river of life. New beginnings for us all as we merge with the flow that brings us into our own beautiful authentic expression of self with compassion and openness.

Blessed Be

Kisses from Heaven
I bike down to the beach, excited to finally return to this place where the sea meets the sand and sky. My heart expands as I park my bike between two trees. I am pulled by a force that feels like a magnet. I am being guided. That’s what it is like to surrender completely to this presence that knows what you need. Pulled into the stream of consciousness where all that exists is filling me up and moving me into the direction where the veil lifts. Here I fall into the towel, lay upon the white powdery sand and merge deeply inside myself. I let out a sigh of relief. I am here fully and let go of all that burdens me. I feel totally alone, even though the beach is full of people basking in this magnificent day.

I breathe into my body, and melt into the warm of the sun shining on me. I fall deeply into sleep and awaken completely rested, my mind quiet… I hear Steve’s voice in my inner ear, “Hello baby-doll, it’s good to have you here.” I feel held in the womb of spirit and happy to feel the connection.

It is not uncommon to be in this place with Steve. Yet so often I wander off into the valley of sorrow or disappear into the busy mind of unwanted chatter. Sometimes I stay away, not because I consciously choose to, but I am pulled into the direction of doing and that’s okay. It’s part of living in this human world until we find balance. The balance is within and it is always my choice to find that center again or sometimes I am led by my heart like I was today.

I open my eyes and look at the brilliant blue sky. Contrails from planes passing overhead have formed a giant X. Most people just see a design made by an aircraft, but for me, they are kisses from Steve. He always signed his cards to me with big fat Xs. Now, using the sky as his canvas, he is reaching from wherever he is to kiss me with his presence. I feel the warmth of this energy holding me and filling me up with incredible peace. My connection to this feeling lifts the veil that shows me that Steve is right here waiting for me to open to the only way he can connect with me…through this magnificent world.

The veil between the worlds is thinner now and I can talk to my spirit loved ones anytime. As I let go of my own plan and allow myself to be pulled into the stream of consciousness, this union happens where Heaven awaits me. I am welcomed by this breathtaking view of the world that is now illuminated by the light that is within everything and I see the truth. I receive myself as I am joined by spirit. Kissed by the presence where I merge into oneness with all of creation.

How easy it all seems to be when I let go of doing it myself and surrender to the moment. Here the stream pulls me into the flow of life that gives and gives and gives. Into myself I am born again and alive like never before. Merged like never before because more of the falseness has fallen away and I am embraced by all of me. I have allowed myself to be loved, loving all that has come before this moment. The pain and the hurts and fears have all been embraced as I fall more deeply into the moment of what is. The choice is mine to make as I receive the inner guidance that speaks loud and clear, “Welcome Baby doll, I am here wherever you are.”

As I walked away from the beach, I took a picture of the huge X in the sky. I realized as I looked around that now I am never alone.

Later that afternoon I am with my son Luke and we get into a heated conversation. How easy it is to fall into the trap of defensiveness and trying to be right. We both are charged with unwanted energy but talk it out and return to what is true. I own the fact that I am not perfect, and in my self-acceptance I am able to listen to myself and still hear my son. Together we return to the warmth of our truth.

Maybe it didn’t feel as easy as it was earlier when I merged into the powdery warm sand but it was just as real and just as vital to allow that which will pull us into the truth. Here we are kissed by a presence that can free us and open us to what is important. Then the veil is lifted and we can see in every face, the face of God. It is the face of God looking back at me through the eyes of my son. And it is his perfection I see shining through all the imperfections of our humanity.  

Love wins again. As the sun sets into the trees and the moon rises up in all her glory, I am reminded once again that all can be shown to me in the dark where nothing keeps me separate from my connection to this presence that creates worlds. Another day where the veil is so thin and the Mystery reaches into me and wakes me up to welcome all that is new. We can be lead with our hearts without trying to figure it out in our heads, and then bowing down to creation, it begins within.