Welcome!


Welcome!

I so appreciate you finding your way here. May our association help both of us dive deeper into the healing currents of love's presence.

Let's begin with two songs of mine, Teach Me How To Love, and It Takes Courage. They will get you in the mood....

1. http://ia700404.us.archive.org/10/items/TeachMeHowToLove_725/01TeachMeHowToLove.mp3

2. http://ia700400.us.archive.org/4/items/ItTakesCourage/08ItTakesCourage.mp3

(sample more at www.scottsongs.com)


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Lessons Being Learned at Trump University

As an appetizer to today’s main course, have a little listen to:

 An optimistic and playful little song about the end of the world!



"Nothing Real Can Be Threatened."

-A Course in Miracles

This post is about Donald Trump and the sense of threat he either elicits or soothes.

One of the first times I recall feeling a sense of threat was when I was in first grade.

We used to have what were called surprise shelter drills. 

An alarm would go off in the middle of the school day and we had to march out of our classroom into the hallway and crouch down on the floor hugging our heads between our knees.

This was supposedly the safest position to be in just in case a nuclear bomb hit our city.

One day I read up on nuclear bombs and learned how they vaporize human beings instantly, no matter what yoga posture one practices in whatever classroom or hallway.

From then on mushroom cloud nightmares plagued my night life as a growing boy. That shit was whacked!

Teachers of Zen used to whack students on the head with a stick when they got distracted, as if to say, “Wake up! Pay attention! Be here now!”

Here and now we appear to have a Zen stick occupying the oval office, whacking humanity with his every tweet. 

The good news is masses of people are waking up and paying attention.

Welcome to earth 2017, currently populated with humans dealing with the latest installment of PTSD, President Trump Stress Disorder.

Questions That Improve Digestion

Having trouble digesting it all? 

Me too. 

Here are some questions I’ve been chewing on lately that are helping soothe my troubled digestive system.

Could Donald be playing the part of a colonic that is helping to get the crap moving that’s been stuck in our system, igniting masses of previously apathetic people to participate in the political process? 

Could this President Trump Stress Disorder somehow be a part of Divine Order?

What would Jesus do if he were around in this time in history? 

Might he be advising us to love our enemas, or might he advise us to kick the money changer out of the temple?

Or perhaps a bit of both?

I like to see our collective adversity as group therapy in which everything that is brought to the table serves the personal growth and evolution of humanity.

"It takes great learning to understand that all things, events, encounters and circumstances are helpful."

~ A Course in Miracles

Donald J. Trump is providing enormous opportunities to bring up Daddy issues and lessons in discernment for all of us to grow.

To many he’s a repeat of an abusive father, a bully that we need to speak up to with a bullhorn, inspiring us to find our voice and take our power back.

And to others he’s a protector/savior/hero with the balls to say the hard stuff, make the hard decisions, and shake everything up.

It's like there are two worlds.

In one Trump is grabbing our collective pussy, violating our sacred feminine energy.

And in a whole different world, right here on the same planet, Trump supporters are being saved by him. They were already experiencing a sense threat coming from foreigners invading our country through leaky borders/boundaries, taking our jobs and terrorizing our nation.

Here comes Daddy Trump, Towering to the rescue!


I love what Emmanuel, channeled by Pat Rodegast, says in one of his books:

Fear says I will keep you safe. Love whispers, you already are safe.


Those who feel threatened by Trump and those who feel he has come to soothe threat are currently camped out in two diametrically opposed worlds.

Can we agree to disagree?  Can we respect our differences? Is there a rational conversation available when a sense of threat is so active in both camps?

The Chinese symbol for crisis consists of both danger and opportunity.

We called this in for the opportunity. The greater the sense of threat, the greater the healing opportunity available.

But what does one do if you, like me, want all of us to just get along?

I’ve been a peacemaker my whole life. I’m not a fan of strong conflicts, people being hurt. I make my living building bridges, not walls.

But I recognize that forces of nature sometimes separate oil and water, and that trying to get in the way of that is foolish.

A forest fire destroys the old and decaying, and new, lush life rises from the ashes.

It's lovely that a Course in Miracles says "Nothing real can be threatened", but then what do we do with our sense of threat that our ego believes is real and valid?
 

How do you heal, personally, when your nervous system is so freakin’ nervous?

For me, meditation, practicing the lessons of A Course in Miracles, EFT tapping, inner child work, and regular weekly coaching/therapy are all helpful.

But I’m also a big believer in saying NO!, and in some cases, NO FUCKING WAY!

If you were a child and you were violated in some way by a parent who used their authority and their power to keep you down,  then this Trump Presidency is your chance to reclaim your power, to heal the energy of past violation by standing up to present abuse.

If you feel inspired to shout NO! at a perceived injustice or violation, I would encourage you shout it with all your heart and all your resources. 


Liberate your passion. 

No slumping shoulders and no head hanging low. 


This is an uprising. Time to rise up.

But don’t stop there.

Let your NO lead you to your YES that you also express loudly and boldly.

And when you are planted in your passionate yes, focused on your positive vision, you no longer have an opposition to oppose.


No opposition. No enemies.


"The opposite of love is fear, but what is all encompassing can have no opposite.”


-
A Course in Miracles 


 Both Trump supporters and detractors have all been feeling threatened. Everyone wants and deserves to feel safe. 

A sense of threat is fueled by the adrenal glands, and adrenaline offer us two choices:  fight or flight.
 

There is so much more to us than that.

We have grown beyond that in so many ways. Evolution is with us.

People like Jesus, Martin Luther King and Gandhi have brought to humanity a choice other than fight or flight, one that activates the pineal gland and opens the heart.






Here's your to do list, love activist.
 

1. Make a stand for what you are marching towards.

2. Pay no mind to what you are marching away from.

This is the curriculum here at Trump University.


We are learning to march the high road that’s already been paved by Gandhi, King, Jesus, etc,

There is no opposition, just an opportunity for masses of people to stand up and reclaim Lady Liberty, the feminine energy of inclusiveness that made this country what it is.

Trump and his belief system has bitch slapped the rising feminine energy on this planet. And she will not take this lying down. Her time has come.

Hell, we stood up to a tyrant king once before, and it worked out pretty well.

Fear says I will keep you safe. Love whispers, You already are safe.
 


These are exciting times...
 


For dessert, please listen to this playful little song about the end of the world:  What If?
 



Sincerely,

Scott Grace


See Scott Cut Loose as the Spiritual Dr. Seuss

Custom Made Songs Portraits For Someone Special
 

Outrageous Conscious Scott Comedy

Scott’s Intuitive Life Coaching









Wednesday, February 1, 2017

I Haven't Had Sex In Three Years (Here's Why I Am Letting You Know)


Over the weekend I posted something on me personal Facebook page that created a stir. Here it is:


I have not had sex in three years. Not that I'm counting. Well, maybe I am. How can I say I'm not counting if I just did the math. I've never gone this amount of days/months/years/ without having sex, unless you count the first eighteen years of life. Am I complaining? A little. But mostly I am just noting a fact. And noticing that I've survived without it. Sometimes even thrived. I send these words in a time capsule directed to my trembling teenage self when he thought ending viginity was the secret to building confidence: "Dude, you are a valid, lovable, and precious human being, and getting laid, which will happen sooner than you think, will be icing on the cake: a celebration, not a validation of your manhood. You are here to penetrate the world with your love, and you will do so with your huge, throbbing, pulsating organ in the center of your chest. Sex, like everything else in this world, will come and go. Just make sure that when it comes, you get vocal with your joy, and direct all praise loudly to God!


Most of my Facebook friends appreciated the post. One person wrote back:


Really? You put this on an open forum website?? Gotta wonder WHY!


I thought my response to her might be helpful for people who struggle with finding the courage to express vulnerability in a world that might not seem to value it.


One can wonder that. One can also wonder why not? A WONDER-FUL thing about the world we share is that it is filled with a variety of people with a variety of different styles, beliefs, and frames of references. I do respect your right to privacy. Let me explain to you why I don't respect mine so much. I practice a spiritual teaching called a Course in Miracles. One of the daily lessons is: In My Defenselessness My Safety Lies. The 12 Steps also teach: We are as sick as our secrets. For me, I just find that as I practice transparency, even on public forums like facebook, the amount of love and kindness that comes back at me is often staggering. Why would I deprive myself of such support and intimacy? This kind of sharing also helps me release shame, and help others drop their shame. And it sometimes tends to weed out people in my life that don't really belong. And, who knows, it might also lead to sex!


Hope this was helpful!
Warmly,
Scott

Friday, January 27, 2017

How Can I Forget? (Remembering to Value Ourselves)


Do you, like me, sometimes forget that you have valuable things to offer others, things that do not get shared until we learn to value ourselves ? If so, this one's for you...


Recently a friend asked me if I knew of a good counselor for some friends of his that were going through relationship challenges. I told him nobody crossed my mind, but I'd get back to him if someone did.

How could I forget?

A week later I remembered, and called him back. 


I remembered that I was quite good at working with couples. He told his friends about me and we had an excellent first session.

Why didn’t I initially toot my own horn?

Because a little voice I call the inner critic, who sometimes I listen to as if it were my counselor, told me that because I am not currently in a relationship and because I don’t have a traditional degree on my wall, nor an office, that I’m not qualified.

Never mind that I have been coaching individuals and couples since 1989!

The truth is I have qualifications coming out of my ears. Most recently a few years of study at Aesclepion Intuitive Training Institute in the Bay Area, and in the 1980's a decade of training and assisting at the Loving Relationships Training in NYC, not to mention thirty years of working on myself diligently in therapy and many other modalities, which I believe, is the best qualification there is.

From taking the Clairvoyant Training at Aesclepion I learned tools to tune into people, to not take on their energies, to see their auras and chakras, and to maintain a balance point between compassion and detachment.  I learned about staying grounded, and I learned how to become aware of when my own issues were being activated, get out of my way, and really be there to assist.

How did I forget?

After graduating from there I spent a few years putting myself out a psychic, and quickly got burned out. People wanted me to predict when and where they might meet a soulmate, or when they may run smack right into a pile of money. I did not see the value in reading possible futures for people.
 

For me there was no future in it! 
 
The only thing I like to predict is that as we learn to stop holding hands with fear, exciting changes happen that are deliciously unpredictable. Who needs predictions, when you have personal power and a magical universe to play and prosper in?

If the use of my intuitive gifts does not lead to personal power, palpable progress and practical next steps, then, as they say from my home town of Brooklyn, Fuggetabouttit!

How did I forget? And how can I remember?

I do remember how much staying grounded was stressed in that clairvoyant school. It kind of stressed me out, how much staying grounded was stressed. I have to admit I never did care too much about being grounded. Look at my daughter. She loves leaving the ground.
 





What I want is to be happy, feet on the ground or not.

Besides, maybe I was grounded too much in my childhood!

I still use my intuitive gifts in sessions, but not to read the future...more to help people feel seen, honored, and less alone. 



It's a healing onto itself when people feel that sense that I 'get' them.

Sometimes people come to a session tight-lipped, maybe to test me, maybe to build trust. They want me to tune in and tell them what I see and sense without volunteering anything about themselves, their desires or their challenges. 


It’s a little scary sometimes. 

Performance anxiety passes through my nervous system, but after a few breaths it leaves. And words and visions never fail to show up.

One time at a Psychic Fair a young man not even twenty plopped down on the chair in front of me and asked me to ‘read’ him. He refused to give me a topic to ‘look’ at. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw his friends waiting outside the door. fidgeting, maybe even giggling. I imagined they dared him to get a reading, or they drew straws and he got the short one. I closed my eyes, got connected, and asked to be of service.
 

I see you as a young Harry Potter type of person at Hogwarts Earth, taking a course in the Dark Arts, finding out all you can about how dark darkness can be. The darkness might be a current part of your curriculum, but it does define you. There's nothing permanent about it. It’s just a course you are taking to gather some experiences. You will, when you are ready, come to the other side of this and graduate to more fulfilling curriculums and easier classrooms. You do have a part to play on earth, a juicy contribution to make. At some point you will ask yourself what you want to do to make a positive difference amidst all the madness you see around you. From there you will be inspired. From there you will find your way."

I heard some sniffling and opened my eyes, happy to witness tears spilling over and softening his previously stiff facial expression. Having felt seen, he also felt much safer, and proceeded to ask me some pointed questions about his specific challenges. I was able to give him some practical, dare I say grounded guidance. He mumbled a few words of gratitude, then slipped away, back to his gothic friends. I wondered what he told them.


How did I forget that I am here and qualified to make a difference? 


And how can I remember, more consistently, that I'm good enough!

It baffles my mind that just last week I forgot to mention to my friend that I was good at working with couples.
 

So glad I remembered.

Keeping silent about our gifts is not humility, nor is it wisdom.

It’s fear.

I will not be silent. I am here. And I am available.

"I Am Here To Be Truly Helpful"

-A Course in Miracles

Scott Grace delights in being truly helpful in sessions over the phone, in person, Facetime or by Skype. Email him at info@scottsongs.com to set up a time, or find out more at www.scottsongs.com




Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Being a Light in a Tunnel

The first time I met Richard on a Manhattan subway, it was 1985. I noticed him right away. Big, black, and beautiful, he was busy breaking the unwritten, but widely adhered to, laws of the NYC underground: mind your own business; bury your face in a newspaper; and, above all, don’t talk to strangers. 

He was having none of that.

He approached me with a twinkle in his eye and an irresistible question. “Would you like to see a picture of the next savior of the world?”

I had no idea what he was up to, but I was intrigued by the warm, mischievous way about him, and I wanted to play along. “I’d love to!” I said.


He took out a mirror and held it up to my face. 

“Surprise, you’re it!”

‘Not it!’ 


I was twenty years old, out on my own for the first time, a college dropout aspiring to believe in myself....not a savior of anything.

Every few months I would run into Richard around the city. One night I was strolling through Greenwich Village smoking pot. I stumbled upon Richard talking to a gathering of teenagers sitting on a stoop, captivated by his charisma. As I got closer I heard enough to realize he was using his gifts of rap, poetry, and humor to encourage them to stay away from drugs. 


Just as I started to turn around and quickly walk the other way, he spotted me. He called me over and gave me a big bear hug as I inconspicuously dropped the joint to the sidewalk and braced myself for his reaction to the pungent cloud of smoke around me. But his heart chose to not register the aroma, and he immediately engaged me in the sort of conversation one does their best to avoid when one is stoned.

He asked me what I did for a living. I told him I was peddling laundry bags on the streets, but that I was also a singer-songwriter and in training to become a workshop leader and a practitioner of rebirthing. He became animated and excited. “I’ve been wanting to find out about rebirthing!” he exclaimed. Before I had time to guess what was coming next he had taken a pocket tape recorder out of his briefcase, pressed the record button, and said, “ Scott, a professional rebirther, will now give a short talk on rebirthing!” He put the mike up to my mouth, and I managed to sputter out a few sentences on the therapeutic breathing technique that had been rocking my world at the time.

Although he had strong feelings about living a drug-free life, Richard never mentioned the marijuana. He had even stronger feelings about loving and accepting people as they were, seeing the beauty and magnificence in them even when they weren’t yet seeing it in themselves.

We kept running into each other in odd places and through it all a friendship emerged. I nicknamed him Swami Subwaynanda, and he liked it. Richard’s subway ministry was a big part of his life.

A spiritual teacher I was studying with at the time warned her students to avoid the subways. She said the vibrations down there were too dense and could be very draining to sensitive souls seeking to serve humanity. 


I was glad that Richard hadn’t studied with her.

Anyone who doubts Jesus’ prophecy that we would one day do greater works has never seen Richard raise a crowd of people in a subway car from the dead. Once I saw him get almost everyone on the train to chant “More hugging, less mugging!” This was his signature slogan. I started spotting it on window decals and bumper stickers all over the city. Richard, who had once been a police officer in Syracuse, had discovered that he preferred preventing crime with creativity and love to fighting crime with might.

Besides being a blazing light in the tunnels of the city, Richard was also a political activist, a community organizer, a gospel singer, a rap artist, a minister, a gifted and moving poet, and a great improviser. We shared wonderful times together making up songs in the moment, and he was a big supporter of my newly emerging musical career. I was thrilled to have a man twenty years my senior believe in me so enthusiastically.

One tune of mine, Follow Your Heart, was his clear favorite. “That song’s meant to be BIG, Scott! The whole world needs to know about that song!” I had written and sung it as a folk ballad. Richard thought it was more suited for gospel. He performed and recorded it at his church. When he shared the tape with me, it was so full of his heart and soul I could hardly recognize my own song! He had brought it to life, just as he did everything and everyone around him.

Richard was a Christian, and loved Jesus in a big way. He was fired up with a sense of purpose, and considered himself a missionary of sorts. But he didn’t share his church or his dogma: he shared his Spirit. And I had never before met a traditional Christian who so honored everyone's spiritual and religious points of view. His missionary position, pun intended, was that everybody belonged on top.

When I moved to California in 1990, I didn’t keep in touch with Richard. Early in 2003, through Google, he found me. After an email exchange we had a wonderful phone conversation, catching each other up on the too many years we had been out of touch. Feeling like the prodigal son returning, I apologized for how long I had been out of contact. He welcomed me with open arms, and expressed a strong desire to hear the music that had come out of me since leaving N.Y.C. I sent him nine CD’s... thirteen years of material he had not heard before.

Two months later Richard’s wife phoned to tell me that he had just had a heart attack on a bus and didn’t make it. She wanted me to know that he had spoken of me often over the years and had loved me deeply, and also that he had been thoroughly enjoying the music I had sent. I told her how much he had meant to me, that he had infused me with his passion in such a way that my life had been forever touched and blessed.

Connecting once again just before his death was such a gift for both of us. And now I’d like to speak directly to my friend.

Richard, I will always be grateful for your example of fearless living and loving, as well as the sincere interest you took in me. I will always remember you holding that mirror to my face the first time we met. Back then I thought you were delightfully crazy, and ever since I’ve been aspiring to reach your level of insanity. You passed your torch on to me and countless others. Help us hold it high, dear brother, and continue to support us in being the light that we are, the light that you showed me in the mirror, the light in the tunnel. I love you and thank you for your precious gifts to me and to this planet. 


Following in Richard's footsteps, I've been offering Free Hugs in Sausalito. It has become a tradition when I have free time to gather a group of friends, make signs, and go out and hug people! You would be surprised how many people accept our offer. It's such a joyous way to spend an afternoon. Long Live Free Hugs!






Scott Grace creates custom-made songs to honor loved ones on special occasions. His Song Portraits make amazing gifts that touch the heart like nothing can. He is also a guide and coach for those on a personal growth path. His website is www.scottsongs.com

Friday, January 20, 2017

If Donald Trump Triggers You...

When Barack became President, many of us, including myself, projected unresolved father issues upon him, giving him more power than he actually had. Secretly I held hope that he might fix things for me, for others, and for the world. I projected upon President Obama what I would call my positive shadow self. I wanted him to be what only I could ever be, and only for myself: a savior.

Now, many of us, myself included, are projecting our negative shadow material onto President Trump.

While almost half our country and maybe even Trump himself might be projecting onto him the savior role, I suspect that most people on my email list are projecting (inaugurating) him into a role that is the opposite of savior.

If Trump triggers you, meaning watching or listening to him elicits fear, anger, rage, or sorrow, here’s my take on four options you have for dealing with it:

Option 1: Become Politically Active! If you are activated, get active! Turn your outrage into outrageous action... marching, peaceful resistance, donating your time or money. If you can’t stand Trump, turn your attention away from what you can’t stand and turn it towards what you do stand for. Anger is destructive when it is accompanied by a belief in powerlessness, but it is wildly constructive when directed towards what you love, what you do want to create. Channeled into your passion and commitment, rage is simply your life force waking up. Wake up, rise up, and go out there and change the world with all that energy. This is what fueled Martin Luther King. Have a dream! Be a game changer!

Option 2: Become Politically Inactive! If you get triggered when you think of Trump being the Prez, and you don’t want to get involved politically, then don’t. And I mean really don’t. Stay the hell away.

Put your energy where it wants to go.  Don’t watch or read the news unless you feel good about staying informed. Otherwise, let ignorance lead to your bliss. In other words, give yourself 100% permission to ignore (conscious ignorance) what is going on politically, and commit to filling your life with love and positive energy. Show yourself and your children that, whoever our ‘leaders’ happen to be, we are 100% responsible for leading ourselves and creating fulfilling lives.

Option 3: Bless Him! Whenever you read about or watch Trump, use the power of your intention to bless him and his work. See him as a Child of God doing his best. Choose peace. Send him love and light, and send love and blessings to the parts of you that dislike him intensely. The intensity of your dislike reflects that he is acting out disowned parts of you. So you can thank him for helping you see, integrate, and welcome home your disowned shadow.  A song of mine, The Asshole Song, might assist you in this noble quest.

Option 3 is not for everyone.

Funny how options 1 and 2 seem to be exact opposites, but they do have one thing in common: You make a commitment to avoid focusing on what you can’t stand, and instead keep your focus on what you stand for.

That means less complaining and venting. It means not hanging out in conversations with relatives, friends, Facebook or online chat rooms where the environment is filled with the addictive smoke of Ain’t it Awful.

Isn’t it interesting that so many people who would never dream of polluting their bodies with tobacco, crack or meth, will fill their minds each day with their mental equivalent.

Which leads us to our fourth option.

Option 4: Suffer! It’s a very popular choice, and so, on the bright side, you won’t be alone. There are millions of people on this planet who will stand in solidarity with you.

For me, I find that listening or watching Trump makes me cringe. And until that changes, until I can enjoy him as the character he is playing out without projecting upon him all my fears and unresolved issues, my choice will be to not listen or watch him. Why? Because I care about how I feel. I care about what I put into my mind as much as much as what I put into my body. I would not inhale from a crack pipe, so why would I inhale what the media offers me if it makes me smoking mad, scared, sad or frustrated?

If you are ready to make light of the part of you that reacts to Trump or in general feels like a victim of anyone or anything, if you are willing to have a big laugh at your ego’s expense, here is a funny song I wrote, a satire on Neal Sedaka’s classic song Breaking Up is Hard to Do. It’s called Waking Up Is Hard to Do, and it is the opening song in this here video.

So, to wrap this up, whoever is in the Oval Office becomes a projection screen for us to project what is unfulfilled or unresolved in our psyches. Part of our maturation process involves becoming willing to stop seeing our president as our leader, our savior or our devil, and commit to leading and saving ourselves, and maybe even our neighbors, and our planet.

And if you need some help in that process, I am always here with a song portrait or a coaching/healing session to steer you in a more positive direction.


With Joy,

Scott Grace

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Science of Serendipity

Is serendipity a gift of grace or a natural result of a certain mindset?

Last week I was feasting my eyes and ears on Carole King, watching interviews, adoring her live performances on You Tube, and reading her memoir, A Natural Woman

So, imagine my surprise when on Monday night two women approached my dinner table while serenading me with a classic Carole King song, Tapestry.

It felt surreal and amazing. How could they know there already was a Carole King concert going on in my heart? 

Synchronicity? Coincidence? The Law of Attraction? 

Whatever it was, it was utterly delightful.

It reminded me of an experience I had twenty years ago. 


I had just written a song that began with the lyric:

So I tuck you in child, and I kiss you goodnight
Then I read you a story and turn out the light
But before I go, I want you to know

My love

At that time, 1995, I never imagined I would ever be a father. I wrote it to help me re-parent myself. I sang it over and over again that day I wrote it, serenading my inner child while gazing in the mirror. 


That night a friend came over with a video we had planned to watch together. But she also had something else in her pocketbook. A surprise. 

“Scott, before we watch the movie, I’ve a gift for you, but to receive it, you must first slip into some pajamas, get under the covers, and pretend it's bedtime.” 

She proceeded to read me a children’s story about a troubadour, as if she was tucking me in.


How did she know?
 

In 1995 I got to record that song with my producer, Peter Sprague.

Listen to it here: A Child’s Lullaby 

Do take note of the moment where I got to sing four part harmony with myself, a multiple orgasm of vocal pleasure if there ever was one. It happens 3:56 into the song.

Do you believe that what you dwell upon, mentally and emotionally, creates a tractor beam that draws life experiences to you? 


I do. But I didn’t always believe that.

I grew up in a family that was totally into positive thinking. We were totally positive that our thinking had nothing to do with what happened in our lives!

 Like many of us, my upbringing in this culture conditioned me to focus on what I didn't have, what I didn’t want, and the worst-case scenarios that might occur at any moment. It's as if there was a character in my mind as grumpy and negative as Scrooge. Any expansive, positive attitudes and ideas that might lead to feelings of enchantment, excitement and possibility were quickly struck down with a “Bah, humbug!” by this character.


I nicknamed him the SKEPTIC.

The SKEPTIC believed that life was cruel, and that all things ended in disappointment. 


He also believed that if I allowed my subconscious to repeat the mantra, “Life is cruel and all things end in disappointment” over and over, I would not be so disappointed by the harshness of life.

His goal was to prepare and protect me by discounting anything that might threaten my reality as I know it. When I was young, the SKEPTIC put a powerful pair of dark sunglasses on my eyes. They filtered out anything too bright, new, weird, or far out. They fit so snugly that after a while it seemed as if they weren’t there.

 On the morning of my first day of high school I woke up with the first of many severe acne breakouts, and it felt to me like the end of the world was at hand. For two years, going to school was hell, and under the strict restraining orders of my SKEPTIC, I took no risks, kept my head low, and reached out to no one, especially the opposite sex. 


In my junior year, the strain of hiding became too great, and I moved myself into some self-expression. I wrote for a school newspaper, ran for student office, and auditioned for a school play.

Landing the starring role in a comedy, I was to play an awkward teenager with a face full of pimples, few social skills, and zero dates. 


In other words, myself!

When I took a more thorough look at the script I seriously considered backing out. I had to say things like “Damn these zits! I’ll never get a girl interested in me!" and "If anyone knew just how scared I was, they would laugh or throw up. Or both!” 

This would not be acting, but a harsh reality show of the most embarrassing kind, a cruel form of social suicide. The only thing more terrifying than doing the play would be everyone in school knowing exactly why I backed out. I had to follow through.

 My performance turned out to be a big breakout hit. For the first time in life, breaking out was a good thing. Even more surprising was how much I enjoyed it, and how I felt myself relaxing and lightening up about my pimply predicament. When the play was over I had fewer secrets, and overnight became a visible and popular person in the school. I was invited to parties, given compliments, and approached by people - even female people!

Within a week of doing the play, I woke up to something major staring back at me from the mirror: a clear complexion!  In breaking out of an emotional prison, somehow my face stopped breaking out. 


What was up with that? Serendipity? Was there a connection? The SKEPTIC, certain there was no link, classified it as a coincidence, and gave the credit to the new acne cream I was using. There was no possibility in his mind that the clearing had something to do with letting some light and levity shine on my then terribly serious sense of self. 

The SKEPTIC was certain there was no science to serendipity, no such thing as mind over matter. He convinced me to forget that woo-woo stuff.  Never mind, doesn't matter.
 

Three years later I was diving into books on metaphysics, and began experimenting with using affirmations and visualizations. 

The SKEPTIC looked the other way and did not protest, so long as my curiosity stayed at the dabbling level. No commitment, no threat. I was writing prosperity statements like “I am a money magnet” twenty times in the morning and again at night.

After a few days of this, I walked onto a New York City subway and spied a five-dollar bill on the floor near my feet. Pocketing the surprise, I promptly forgot about it and went about my business. In all my years of living in the city, I had never found any bill larger than a dollar, but I did not link the five-spot with my affirmative gymnastics. The next morning before leaving for a day of laundry bag sales, I filled my tummy with pancakes and my mind with money magnetism. I hopped on a city bus and took a seat right next to another loose, unclaimed five-dollar bill. This time I couldn’t deny the connection. I had magnetized some money into my life with my mind!

I began to feel creepy. Could my thoughts really have that much power? Am I really that responsible for creating my reality? My sunglasses were being removed, and I found the light too blinding to handle. If I was in charge of my own serendipity, then that would mean that my cherished victim stories might be mythical, fiction instread of factual.


I wasn’t yet ready to go from renting my reality to owning it free and clear. I was far too entrenched in blaming my parents, the government and God for my problems. It was a while before I was willing to use affirmations again.

Three years later I was taking classes in meditation and spirituality in NYC offered by Hilda Charlton, a wise and beloved teacher who helped and guided thousands during her lifetime. Every Thursday night about four hundred of us would sit with Hilda. She would love us, entertain us, and then challenge us to look at ourselves and our limited beliefs and identities. She excelled in the art of sunglasses removal, and there were times I did not appreciate her skills at all!

One month Hilda seemed to talk a great deal about her communications with beings from other planets. She casually mentioned that they appeared in her living room and conversed with her about spiritual matters. Each time she broached the subject, my mental “Bah, humbug!” screamed at her. My mind was closed tightly when it came to ET’s, and I didn’t see how intelligent people could believe that visitors from outer space were available for fireside chats. 


One evening Hilda seemed to focus her gaze directly on me as she addressed the group: “Do you want to know why I’m spending all this time talking to you about the ET's? To get you out of your little mental boxes, that’s why! There’s a whole universe out there teeming with life, dimensions upon dimensions! Open your minds, kids!” 

In that moment I saw clearly the uptight stance of my skeptical nature, guardian of my fear, and I prayed for help in freeing myself from that rigidity and opening myself to my natural state of openness. I felt a shift, as if my SKEPTIC said, “All right, I have to admit that there is nothing dangerous about having an open mind about all this.”

Two weeks later a friend called. “Scott, I know you sell things on the sidewalks, and I just discovered two hundred T-shirts in my basement. I’ve had them for years, and I’ll give you a great price! Would you like them?” 



I politely declined, believing that T-shirts in November would not sell at any price. “Oh, that’s too bad!” he said. “They are so nice! They have a picture of a UFO landing on earth and they say “I Believe” on them.” Well, my head started spinning and I thought I heard The Twilight Zone music playing in the background. The SKEPTIC chimed in and said, “Calm down, Scott. It's just a coincidence.” But this time I could not retreat to the comfort of my protective sunglasses. Instead, I let the experience rattle my cages and open my mind. I ended up buying his ET-shirts and selling them at Hilda’s classes. I sold out in two nights.

On another occasion, a friend who was struggling with having to find a new place to live at the last minute asked for some help. I led her through a visualization in which we imagined the perfect living space coming into her world quickly and easily. We mentally toured the rooms of her new home, giving thanks for what we declared would be the easiest move of her life. As we went through the process we both had some resistance, internally muttering, “This is such metaphysical mumbo jumbo!” We voiced the doubts and laughed at ourselves, admitting, “Hey, this can’t hurt, it might even help, and it sure is fun!”

Two days later my friend, while fetching the morning paper in her bathrobe, noticed a For Rent sign on the lawn of her next door neighbor to the left. She investigated the situation and ended up moving into the house. It turned out to be quite literally the easiest move of her life!

These, and many other experiences, have gradually inspired me to make space in my head for a universe filled with endless serendipity, one that works with me and for me as I learn to think in harmony with my desires and focus my attention on positive, joyful things.


My skeptical voice is still present, wanting to draw a chalk circle around my world and say, “This is your safety. Stay within this circle and everything will be predictable and under control.”

But I have accumulated too much evidence, too many cosmic coincidences, to continue seriously counseling with the SKEPTIC.


When he barks his concerns these days, I thank him for sharing, and send him back to his room, a little space I call The Skeptic Tank

When I first had the idea to assign him his own room he exclaimed, quite predictably, “Only one room? Is this all the tanks I get?”  

Poor SKEPTIC. The universe seems to be much grander and more magical than your sunglasses can keep up with. Have you considered taking them off and adjusting to the light?

More of Scott Grace at: www.scottsongs.comwww.scottsongs.com

Monday, January 9, 2017

On My Last Relationship and the Importance of Getting Tune Ups for Your Relationship Just Like Your Car

The last relationship I was in lasted ten years, and produced a glorious child, who slipped in past the gates of birth control and blessed my life in ways I could only stumble to put words to.

In the early years of our relationship, my partner and I went on couples retreats once a year, with my dear friends and mentors, Joyce and Barry Vissell. We got all kinds of support from those retreats, and always came home with a sense of renewal about our connection.

I did the music for those retreats, and have done so going on twenty five years.

Then we had our daughter.

My partner started nursing school. I scrambled to play Mr. Mom and get gigs for the bills.

For a million good reasons, we are no longer going on retreats.

Too busy. Too stressed. Can't leave the baby. Financial pressures. You know the drill.

On these weekends, besides having loads of fun, Barry and Joyce teach couples the five most important practices to integrate into your relating, for preventive medicine and to nurture intimacy.

We stopped doing those practices. Again, for what seemed like good reasons.

How many of us were taught relationship skills and practices while growing up? Or in college?

Instead, we are taught that if you find the right person it should just work and be effortless. We take driving lessons to get a license, but when it comes to our relationships, or a marriage license, no education is needed.

Most of us do in relationships what was role modeled by our parents. Or, in rebellion, we do the exact opposite. Neither work.

We started drifting apart. At one point, I asked her what she thought was going on with us?

“Nothing that a Joyce and Barry weekend couldn’t fix," she replied.

We never got to another retreat. A year later we broke up.

This past December I asked my daughter what she most wanted for Christmas. She said for Mommy and Daddy to get back together. I tried holding and comforting her, but with tears streaming down my face, she ended up comforting me.

Would a retreat have turned things around?  I am not sure. We were going in different directions, and our paths were probably just not compatible anymore. But a retreat might have helped us complete our relationship more consciously, more amicably.

Maintaining loving relationships requires work. And skills. Maybe not in the honeymoon phase, when you are lifted together above your egos and get to taste the nectar of your soul connection. But when you come down to earth, and get down to the business of weaving your lives together in a grounded way, regular maintenance is required.

Like with our automobiles. Nobody would dream of owning a car without taking it in for regular oil changes and scheduled services.

Barry and Joyce workshops and retreats are like taking your relationship in for a tune up. Whether your relationship is running great and you want to brush up on your skills, or you have some work you know needs to be done under the hood, couples retreats are invaluable.

I am thrilled that Joyce and Barry are bringing me with them for the first time this year to add my musical and healing gifts to  their seven day couples retreat, February 5-12, on the Big Island of Hawaii.

From their website:  During these 7 days on the Big Island of Hawaii, you will not only open to more love and connection you thought possible, but you will have enough time to integrate these positive changes into your lives back home. We focus on seeing our partner with new eyes, healing dysfunctional patterns, communication of feelings, enhancing the sexual relationship, and practicing loving appreciation. We have couple yoga and meditations, inspiring music, laughter and thrilling sight-seeing – in short, an extraordinary heart-opening experience for you and your partner in the presence of dolphins, whales, giant sea turtles, a beautiful black sand beach, the nearby lava flow, steam vents, delightful snorkeling, and thermal warm ponds.

Please consider giving this gift of a retreat in Hawaii to your relationship.

They have room for several more couples.

It's not too late to jump in.

Click Here too find out more...

With Love,
Scott