January 7, 2012

2012 Intentions: One Step at a Time!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — leonardszymczak @ 9:11 pm

December has been a whirlwind month for me. In addition to the heartfelt connections from family visits in Ohio and Michigan, I witnessed my son’s marriage to his true love, Ginger, on Dec. 17th. The glorious event took place in a lush botanical garden. I was and continue to be a proud father.

Prior to the wedding, I was also blessed with spending time with my daughter, Melissa, in Cozumel, Mexico where we scuba dived and visited the Mayan ruin of Chitzen Itza in the Yucatan peninsula. The picture above shows me standing at the foot of the ruins.

There’s plenty of controversy about Dec. 21, 2012, the end of the Mayan Calendar. Interestingly, the pyramid at Chitzen Itza was constructed with 91 steps on each of the four sides for a total of 364. When you add the top platform, the number totals 365 which represent our calendar year. Quite an amazing feat produced some 1500 years ago.

Since 2012 marks the end of the Mayan calendar, I suggest we act as if it’s our last year. That may inspire us to step forward and complete intentions so that each day counts.

Hopefully, we can identify goals and aspirations and even commit to climbing the pyramid of our dreams. The real challenge, however, is taking one step at a time every day. If we follow through with action, step by step, we will eventually stand at the pinnacle of success and count 365 blessings.

Consider these steps when you climb your 2012 pyramid of goals:

  • Name your intentions and read them every day.
  • Focus your attention at the top, the end result.
  • Visualize and emotionalize your outcome.
  • Share your intentions with a mastermind group or accountability buddies who support you.
  • Establish 30 or 60 day programs to reinforce habits of success.
  • Bring joy into each step.
  • Persevere when you feel like quitting.
  • Ask for help when you have difficulty climbing.
  • Celebrate every victory, even the small steps.

I send you encouragement and love for a wonderful climb and an amazing 2012.

Welcome Home!


June 20, 2011

What would your life be like without this word?

Filed under: Uncategorized — leonardszymczak @ 9:46 pm

Being free of judgment may bring you peace. It may also trigger fearful, polarizing thoughts because the ego wants to be in control. Our beliefs dictate how we should, and should not, think, act, or feel.

My parents were highly critical and judgmental. As a child, I unknowingly downloaded their viral programs into my mental computer. Though I now run my anti-viral software, I still find my inner critic popping up to remind me that life is a struggle or that I’m not good enough.

Judgment is the tool that the ego uses to create walls of separation. Our identities are forged out of judgments that have been handed down, like old clothes. Add emotions to the beliefs and those clothes get super-glued to the skin. After awhile, we wear our judgments without much thought until someone points them out. Ouch!

We can shift away from our judgments when we act as a witness, meaning that we remain present with whatever is, without judging whether it is right or wrong. Witnessing helps us release our attachment to opinions and thoughts that create separateness from others. We can then move from restriction to curiosity, openness, and expansion. From that place, we can notice our senses, feel our emotions, and recognize our thoughts.

Try practicing the art of witnessing by answering three questions:

  1. How are you judging yourself now?
  2. When you judge yourself, what physical sensations do you have?
  3. What’s it like to not judge yourself?

The questions ask us to turn inward and notice what’s going on. We may be telling ourselves to get busy, to struggle, or to slow down. When we judge, we often feel physical tension, such as muscles contracting in our shoulders, chest, or stomach. Without judgment, we have a greater acceptance and appreciation of who we are. That brings lightness, relief, and compassion.

As you become your own witness, you create the space for love and inner peace.

Welcome Home.

April 29, 2011

Swimming with the Dolphins on youtube

Filed under: Uncategorized — leonardszymczak @ 12:42 am



Swimming with Dolphins

Filed under: Uncategorized — leonardszymczak @ 12:33 am

I recently returned from a memorable trip to Australia. A highlight was the time my daughter, Melissa, and I swam with the dolphins. With only 15 places around the world to swim with wild dolphins, the town of Forster, a 3 ½ hour drive north of Sydney, offered a pristine location to say “G’day” to Flipper and friends.

We sailed with 12 other adventurers on a 34-foot catamaran to find a pod of wild dolphins frolicking in the open ocean. Donning wetsuit, snorkel and mask, we each took turns in the water.

The procedure was simple: jump in, grab the rope extending from the bow, pull myself forward, and, with left hand hanging onto the rope and left foot resting in a loop, exhale through the snorkel while emitting a strange sound, “Whoooooo, whooooooo.”

The skipper informed us that dolphins weren’t there to entertain us; we were there to entertain them. So if we wanted them to swim under and around us, we needed to entertain them with high-pitched noises. Sure enough, the curiosity seekers swarmed nearby. I felt like I was the main attraction, performing in a sea world to amuse the mammals.

The down under dolphins probably said, “A strange bloke with a tube stuck out of his mouth is making a bloody racket. Let’s check him out.”

I enjoyed getting checked out. The sleek creatures made me realize how beautifully attuned they were to their environment. They were always curious, played like little children with apparently little conflict, consciously breathed, and appeared to be forever smiling. I wanted to be more like them!!

If you ever find yourself overwhelmed with stress or struggling in life, mimic a dolphin. Consciously breathe, smile often, bring out your inner child, be curious, have fun, and swim with a friend.

If you’re ever interested in visiting Australia on a spiritual odyssey, let me know. I’m planning a future tour to swim with the dolphins.

G’day and Welcome Home!


March 2, 2011

Snowstorm and change: Your One Minute Guide on YouTube

Filed under: Uncategorized — leonardszymczak @ 2:23 am


Brrrrr! Catch the snowstorm in a Southern California desert.

Click youtube link below.


Snowstorm in the Desert

Filed under: Uncategorized — leonardszymczak @ 2:18 am

I just returned from a weekend in the high desert in Southern California. I planned to enjoy the rejuvenating waters of a hot mineral spring and witness the desert flowers blooming this time of the year. Sometimes the best laid intentions can get turned upside down – especially during a storm.

The storm turned out to be a thick blanket of snow surrounding the area of Warner Springs where hot sulfur baths heat the body at 104 degrees. The dramatic shift in weather made me realize that unexpected changes can occur in an instant. Even the trees had difficulty adjusting as a number of branches cracked under the weight of the accumulating snow.

The sudden climactic change made me contemplate the very nature of change. I tend to organize my life by setting intentions and expectations to complete projects, further my career, maintain relationships, achieve optimum health, and establish financial security. However, the universe doesn’t always work according to my plans. It relishes surprises such as snow in the desert. While I personally don’t like the cold, I was offered an opportunity to melt my perspective.

One thing is for certain. We will all experience unexpected changes at some time or another. They may be mild relational rifts such as those that occur with couples and families or they may be severe life-threatening challenges or devastating financial crises. Though the disruptions may wrench us out of our comfort zones, they can teach us important life-altering lessons and help us grow as human beings.

Fortunately, when faced with any change, we can choose our responses. We can complain about snow or we can bundle up and admire a winter fairyland.

So when life hands you a cold, bone-chilling incident, practice these tips to warm up:

  • Witness the change as an unfolding process. After all, each day offers two stark contrasts of daylight and nightfall. You can recoil at change or be inspired by the unfolding process.
  • Look for the lessons and the opportunities for growth. Within every disruption lies a seed of growth. For example, a life-threatening illness can prompt family members to relate deeply and lovingly toward one another.
  • Choose your response. If you look at change with soft eyes of love and compassion, you can shift a perspective and respond in an accepting, loving way. Instead of cursing at the snow, you can rejoice at the miracle of white crystals tumbling from the sky. The choice is yours.

Create a wonderful day of change. Welcome Home!


February 10, 2011

Conscious Relationships: Are You Ready To Tango?

Filed under: Uncategorized — leonardszymczak @ 7:13 pm

I’ve been working on personal growth and self-awareness most of my adult life. However, to bring that awareness into relationships often makes me, well, quite unconscious!

I know I’m unconscious when I think, “Surely it’s not me that’s causing the problems!” Unfortunately, it IS me that causes problems when I blame my partner and project my feelings onto her.

I could place my relational shortcomings onto Hollywood. After all, movies create the illusion that there is a perfect partner who will make me perfectly happy. And if I’m not happy, it means I’m not with the perfect partner.

In truth, it is up to us to be the perfect partners on the dance floor of love. True love requires that we change our perspective, alter our behavior, stretch our heart, express our needs, give of ourselves, and birth a relationship.

That requires being conscious and intentional. The benefits are many: emotional bond, heartfelt connection, deep healing, and personal transformation. So why don’t we step into those relationships with ease and comfort?

Many of us witnessed unconscious parents and took on their beliefs and behavioral patterns. To overcome our conditioning and become conscious, we must not only recognize our needs and desires but also the default patterns we adopt when feeling wounded or stressed.

Personally, when I feel hurt in a relationship, I tend to withdraw, judge and become self-sufficient – not the best way to stay connected to a partner. After I realize what I’m doing, I try to return to my vision of a loving relationship. I must then cultivate within myself the desired visional behaviors, thoughts and feelings rather than expect or demand that my partner change.

This may seem as easy as watching professionals dance the Tango. Getting on the dance floor with your partner is another matter.  Here are seven quick steps to prevent your feet from getting tangled.

1.    Identify your needs, wants and desires in a relationship.

2.    Notice how you feel emotionally and physically when your needs are satisfied.

3.    Examine your sensations and feelings when your needs are not met and name your reactive behavioral pattern. (Your partner will know!)

4.    Recognize what you don’t say to your partner and how you can say it lovingly.

5.    Imagine yourself expressing needs and desires to your partner in an open, undefended, loving way.

6.    Cultivate this loving vision in a safe, non-judgmental climate where you and your partner remain open, make requests, and lovingly satisfy them.

7.    Embrace gratitude and appreciation through affirming, loving acts and statements.

While romantic love is more about “Falling in love,” a conscious, intentional relationship is about “Rising toward love.”

We can then dance the Tango with unabashed passion!

January 11, 2011

Sailing the High Seas with Captain Bill

Filed under: Uncategorized — leonardszymczak @ 4:52 am

Every New Year’s Eve I review my adventures from the previous year. As I reflected on the 2010 highlights, I immediately flashed to my sailing expedition on the high seas with Captain Bill.

This past August I was aboard a 40-foot sailboat on a 3-day trip around Catalina Island, a picturesque place off the coast of Southern California. My friends, Captain Bill and his first mate, Bev, had invited me for a voyage on a boat called, Knot Home.

The vessel’s name did not generate confidence as I much prefer being “at home” wherever I go. I believe home and inner peace is anywhere and everywhere, however, camping on a sailboat offered a rollicking challenge.

When we first set sail at midnight, Captain Bill programmed a Global Positioning System (GPS) to navigate the course. Finding an island in the dark is difficult but with the help of a GPS and my friend’s 15 years of sailing experience, we glided effortlessly out of the harbor into the vast ocean.

The voyage provided some harrowing moments especially when I staggered like a drunken sailor on a deck that rocked and rolled against high swells. “Shiver me timbers,” I mused, “There’s no place like Knot Home.”

Fortunately, my faith in the captain’s skill allowed me to enjoy the company, savor the beauty of the deep blue water, and gleefully watch the occasional dolphin swim alongside the bow.

Sailing was unpredictable and depended on wind conditions, water currents, and changing weather. Clearly, living on a sailboat for three days offered many lessons. I learned about the need to remain steadfast on a deck in constant motion. Most importantly, I recognized the value of setting a course with a proven navigational system.

Those lessons apply on land as well as at sea. With 2011 already upon us, we can set our destination for the upcoming year. Intentions help us focus on our destination. When we insert our intentions into our internal GPS, The Guiding Power of Spirit, we can relax and enjoy a journey with wonderful companions, beautiful scenery, and playful dolphins.

Even in the face of a storm, we need not worry for the Guiding Power of Spirit is ever-present. We merely have to restate our intentions, still our mind, and ask for our inner GPS to show the way.

As we clarify intentions and goals for 2011, we can take into consideration the following areas:

1.    Family and Relationships

2.    Finances and Career

3.    Physical and Emotional Health

4.    Personal and Spiritual Growth

5.    Social and Educational Goals

Once we identify our intentions and destinations, we can always ask for guidance on the journey, especially during stormy weather. There may be times when we rock and roll on the voyage but, if we remain steadfast and follow our GPS, we can sail in a vessel called, Welcome Home!

Ahoy! Leonard

December 23, 2010

Puncture Your Reality

Filed under: Uncategorized — leonardszymczak @ 3:41 am

In November I journeyed to Wisconsin to conduct a seminar on The Roadmap Home: Your GPS to Inner Peace. I had the good fortune of staying with my dear friends, Bill and Barb Motlong, who I’ve known for 40 years. As a therapist/photographer, Bill is collaborating with me on a new book which combines his beautiful pictures with inspirational sayings.

Like the birds on his farm, Bill rose early to take advantage of his house set in the farm belt of Wisconsin. When I arrived for breakfast, he announced that the day started off with glitches. Barb had a flat tire at the bottom of their winding driveway as she prepared to ferry a friend to hospital. Bill had to exchange cars with her and call triple A. I imagined this crimping our work time set aside for the book. Fortunately, the beautiful fall colors outside their picture windows brought me back to reality.

When a tree releases a leaf, everything is in perfect order. That realization punctured our illusions and helped us understand how our egos are the ones actually creating roadblocks. Our expectation that the day proceed a prescribed way prevented us from seeing the wonderful change of events, just like the change of seasons. So we decided to look for the mystical moments that would unfold as a result of a flat tire.

When Ron from AAA arrived, Bill decided to look for poignant signs during his encounter with this unexpected visitor. After the tire was replaced, Bill returned  to the house and announced that Ron did, indeed, have a simple, yet profound message. “You need a new tire.”

Bill and I laughed uproariously. Who were we to judge the way Spirit conveys messages or how the dominoes would fall over unexpected roadblocks.

So if you ever experience an obstruction, ask yourself, “Who is really creating the blockage?” Interruptions can puncture your views about what “should” occur and may provide opportunities to meet someone new, to connect on a deeper level, to gain penetrating insight, or to share a heartfelt experience.

In the process you may receive unexpected news that you need to replace something broken in your life, even if it’s a tire.

When faced with a roadblock, encounter it, embrace it, and evolve on the roadmap home.

August 25, 2010

The Rumbling Snore – A Miracle Wake-Up Call

Filed under: Uncategorized — leonardszymczak @ 8:09 pm

I recently attended a weeklong spiritual conference on California’s Monterrey peninsula overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Deer roamed freely among the pine trees in this rustic setting – an idyllic place to get spiritually buffed and fluffed.

Little did I realize the buffing would begin the first evening when I discovered that my roommate snored. The idea of sharing a room initially seemed like a good way to reduce costs and establish a friendship with a spiritual buddy. However, when my buddy fell fast asleep on his bed, he began inhaling as if his nose was snorting jello.

I tried lulling myself to sleep by imagining a gentle brook in a peaceful pasture but my visualization kept morphing into the roar of Niagara Falls. I pondered the notion of six tortuous nights as I listened to the nasal rumba.

Spiritual awakenings can occur from sleep deprivation but, frankly, I preferred a blissful night’s rest to catapult me into the Divine. Since I was wide awake, I asked the Guiding Power of Spirit, “Show me what you want me to do.”

Sometimes we may not know immediately what Spirit wants us to do but we can quickly discern what we’re NOT meant to do. Like smack my buddy’s head with a pillow. Or tie string around his toe and yank it every time his nasal cavity rumbled.

At one in the morning, I plodded to the balcony with my journal. I shivered in my pajamas and sweatshirt and wrote about the incident, imagining the glass door quivering with every snore. I sought help to understand this noisy wake-up call. Asking for help places the key of intention into the door of the Divine. So I asked, “God, what do you want me to do?”

Listening requires a quiet mind. In the still of the night the answer arrived that I was doing it – writing in my journal. So I wrote with a stream of consciousness and reflected about being awake. I completed my journal entry with the following words, “This is all about waking up from the dream time. To know that we are in a dream when we are not conscious of the Divine in all of us and that we are connected to one another.”

Once we ask and listen, we are ready to receive. I didn’t expect to receive a miracle so quickly. After I had finished writing, the snoring ceased! The silence was unbelievable. I clamored back to my bed but couldn’t sleep. I stayed awake awestruck by the miracle.

In the morning I shared my experience with my roommate who was deeply apologetic. I told him that Spirit will help us resolve the problem – if we ask, listen and receive.

If you’re wondering how we resolved the problem, the solution came easy. My buddy used a pillow to elevate his head and opened the patio door for fresh air. I obtained ear plugs from the front desk and received more miracles – no snoring during the rest of the conference.

Wake-up calls appear in unexpected forms. They provide opportunities to connect with the Guiding Power of Spirit. When we ask for assistance and listen with an open mind, we receive miracles on the road Home to love and inner peace. And in the process, we get spiritually buffed and fluffed.

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