I’d Rather Be Happy


My husband Bill used to say, “I’d rather be happy than right.” I’ve had the great good fortune to have had teachers like my dear husband who entered my life, opened my mind, and changed the way I looked at the world. I could say I was lucky, but I know it’s more than that. I was blessed.

That mantra, “I’d rather be happy than right,” has given me a lot of peace. It also made a happy marriage. When I think about it, when I did win an argument with someone, when I was “right,” I don’t ever remember feeling good about it. Because it got me nothing.

Oh, I have opinions. I have viewpoints. I believe that racism is the ultimate ignorance. I think science will save our planet. I think people should love who they love. I believe that a government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth.

But what I think the mantra teaches me is that nothing I believe should be used to make someone else feel small.

Not that I haven’t done it in my lifetime. I have. I am not perfect, but I am a lot better than I used to be. As I’ve grown older, I’m more likely to think before I say or do something that will do harm to another person’s spirit. We are fragile, we human beings. Our souls are perfect reflections of God, but in our conscious minds and our human bodies, we are bundles of ego, fear, and insecurities. It doesn’t take much to hurt us; that is, if we have the capacity to feel. Some of us, hurt once, carry it with us until the day we die. If the hurt is significant enough, a person may act or speak in awful ways. When I encounter such a person, do I need to add more to his or her burden?

I think my purpose here is to constantly strive to be more like the spirit I truly am, instead of the ego or the fear, or the insecurity that drives me to be “right.” All-knowing. Above others. As if.

It helps to be older. It really does. I don’t have the energy I used to have, the energy that drove me to conquer things, to be triumphant and righteous, to stand with my foot on the body of the giant, his head by the hair in one hand, my slingshot in the other. I need to rest more. Maybe that’s why some of us old people seem “wise.” The truth is, we’re just tired. Maybe God has blessed us with fatigue. Slowed us down.

Because we’re slower, we have a little more time to think before we act or attack. It gives us a minute to ponder the Buddhist admonition: Before speaking, ask yourself three questions: (1) Is it true? (2) Is it necessary? and (3) Is it kind?

An aversion to hurting other human beings doesn’t mean that I should stop living by the principles I have adopted. I will not be walked on. I will not turn my back when I see things or hear things that will hurt others.  But. My minute to ponder will give me a little more time to choose how and when I take my stand. If I have to take a stand, I want to take a stand against things, not people.

This is not an easy time to choose to be happy. But that’s the side I want to be on.


Read The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney. Find it at www.amazon.com For an autographed copy, go to www.themessenger.space








Mornin, Al

1118full-al-jarreauAl Jarreau 1940-2017

Photo by listal.com

Our family lost a dear friend last week. Al Jarreau was the internationally known and universally loved singer who thrilled the world with his music and left a joyful imprint on our hearts. He was also my daughter Debbie’s mentor. Debbie traveled and sang with Al for ten years, and over that period of time, our family came to know and love him. He was generous and kind and was not afraid to share the spotlight with a young, vibrant singer – Debbie Davis.

Al passed into spirit last week. Debbie was in the hospital with him a few hours before. She was by his bed, and they sang together. Imagine that. Imagine a soul so lovely and so filled with the beauty of music that it was there for him as he let go of his earthly bonds.

When something like this happens, we get a glimpse of what our soul looks like. The soul sees beauty in every circumstance.  It hears the sound of God, and when it sings, it is the sound of God.

We all have the sound of God within us, whether we can hear it or not. The soul is so much greater, so much more beautiful and holy, than anything our minds can perceive. It is in us, and we are better and more beautiful than we think we are. And others are better and more beautiful than we think they are. Imagine walking around every day thinking that of others – knowing that, no matter what we see or hear on the outside, that shining goodness still lives within them.

This may be the path to true happiness.

Thank you Al, and you, my dear Debbie, for reminding me to look for the beauty, for the music that is in every soul.  Wherever you are, Al, I know it’s mornin’ and that you have touched the face of God.

Thank you, Niki, for the video.


Read The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney. Find it at www.amazon.com or for a signed copy, visit www.themessenger.space



He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands

We all have it inside of us. Some call it the Still, Small Voice. For others, it is the Inner Voice, or the whispers of a spirit guide. We may not even know that what we “hear”is from a spirit guide. It may come as just a knowing. The trick is to be able to hear it. To be impressed by it. It is a real gift, when we can accept it.

Some people seem to hear this voice without effort, some do not wish to hear it. I want to hear it, but I have to work hard to open the channel through which it flows. It doesn’t come easy to me. Most of the time, this Inner Voice is trying to tell me one simple truth, and it may best be expressed in that old spiritual: He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.

For three years, I tried to sell my house. I tried everything. I hired a different real estate agent each year. I painted the kitchen a different color (one agent told me that a man wouldn’t go for my pink kitchen – another told me to paint the front door gray). I redid the bathrooms. I got up every morning with a new scheme to draw the buyer to my house. I reinforced beams. I made the garden as pleasant and welcoming as I possibly could. I put new windows in the front of the house. I had it power washed every few months. I pulled weeds out of the driveway until I was dizzy.

I had two offers that didn’t go to settlement. Sedona was calling me and I couldn’t get here. My friends kept telling me that it would all happen in exactly the right time. I knew they were right, and still, I couldn’t let go of the...effort. I kept trying to make it happen, and the harder I tried with no results, the more frustrated and depressed I became. I should have known then that how I felt was the sign that that devilish little monster, my ego, was in control. The sure sign that I am in its throes is when I am a mess. Because it drowns out the Still, Small Voice.

But the Universe is merciful. It makes you tired. I got tired of hoping, tired of trying, and I gave up. That was the day the buyer walked into my house. I remember sitting at the end of my lane, in my car, waiting for the husband of the couple to show up. He was late. I’d driven around for a while, and then parked where I could see the house. I’d been waiting for over an hour. I was always out of the house when the “lookers” came.  I think it was then that the Still Small Voice told me to give up the struggle. That was also the moment I experienced something like relief for the first time since I’d put the house on the market. It’s a grand feeling when that happens, believe me. The wife walked down the lane and chatted with me (she recognized my little red Mustang), and I didn’t try to sell her the house. We talked about how pretty the river was. She asked me about the trees and if they were strong enough to withstand storms. I told her they had sheltered me safely for 13 years – and that was all. Then, her husband came and I sat there, waiting for them to leave. As strange as it sounds, I was no longer invested in selling the house. Something from that deep well of wisdom within had finally clicked in. I had done everything I could. Now it was time to let a Greater Power look after me.

Of all the things I had tried, I had never considered the thing that finally sold the house – the art that was hanging on my walls. At settlement, the buyers were a delight, and the “ceremony” went smoothly. Afterwards, out on the sidewalk, the man told me why he wanted the house. “Your paintings,” he said. “They made an aura about the house that drew me to it.” In particular, a portrait of me done by an artist who had taught my brother and my daughter, was hanging in the stairwell, unlit, unnoticed by most people who came into the house. This man recognized the artist as his own professor, at the Philadelphia College of Art. The right buyer had come into the house and I had had nothing to do with it.

And then, of course, everything fell into place. When I came out to Sedona, the right place was waiting for me. The Universe was in order, and I was in order with it.


Read The Messenger: The Improbable Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney. Find it at www.amazon.com and for a signed copy, go to www.themessenger.space.




Stops Along the Way

To my dear Readers:

There was no blog last Sunday because I encountered technical difficulties, due no doubt, to a key I hit that I shouldn’t have. The keyboard is a sensitive thing, quick to obey an order, no matter how mis-guided it might be. I have more respect for it now than ever before.

If I haven’t told you lately how much I appreciate you, let me say it now: I do. Thank you for reading, thank you for your messages, and thank you for trudging this road with me. And now to our blog:


I vowed that I’d never make this blog about politics. And I’m not going to make it about politics, even though the events out of Washington seep into my consciousness by the hour, unbidden and unwelcome. I spent a career in Washington. It used to be familiar ground. But it is a world I no longer recognize. It may have lost its mind.

What I write about is matters of the spirit, because for me, that is the refuge of the sane and the good. It’s not that I wish to disassociate myself from earthly matters. I have plenty of work to do, as a responsible citizen and someone who loves my country, but I can’t work if I’m not clear, and anger and worry block my channel. Anger and worry will also make me lose my mind, and there’s enough of that without me adding to it.

One of my spiritual teachers likes to say, “Keep your feet on the ground, your head in the clouds, and the rest somewhere in between.” In other words, life is a balancing act. I do not live on the top of a mountain, or in a cave. I do not chant and practice yoga all day. I live here, on this earth, in the human community. I am subject to the laws of physics. I have to brush my teeth, pay my bills, and put out the garbage. I have to pay income taxes and clean the cat’s litter box.

Yet, I am spirit. By that I mean that the spark of God lives within me.

My spiritual teachers tell me that people I am tempted to judge as evil or “bad” are neither. They are just in need of enlightenment. As am I. They tell me that whatever harm I do to another, whether in thought, word, or deed, I do to myself. Because we are all part of One Spirit Body. How can I do harm to one organ or the cells of one system without doing harm to the others?

My first rule of thumb, therefore, is to do no harm to myself by thought, word, or deed that is negative. I am then more likely not to do harm to another. This is something I have to practice.  Because I have an ego, it isn’t inherent, but the more I try to keep it in my sights, the more I surrender to my spirit’s instincts, the more good days I have. Let me pause here and remind myself and my readers that nobody said the spiritual life on earth was an easy one. It’s really, really hard. Really. Really. Hard.

What is hard is constantly consenting to letting my spirit take the lead as I go about my earthly pursuits.  This is a full-time job, with no sick days, no vacations, and no coffee breaks.  It’s constant, eternal vigilance, for my mind will go back to judging and righteous anger in the blink of an eye. My husband Bill used to say, “I’d rather be happy than right.” I’m sure that making that choice often is key to a happy marriage. And a happy, peaceful life. Being right is not all it’s cracked up to be.

BUT. That doesn’t mean I don’t have work to do. It doesn’t mean that I can’t work to help the helpless, be the  person I want to be, or think of all human beings as if they are God’s children. It doesn’t mean that I can’t Work On a Political Campaign, work to elect someone to represent me who reflects the values I cherish – honesty, integrity, compassion.

Every once in a while, I think of the story of Jesus, however you see him – as myth, as prophet, as great spiritual teacher, as brother, as the way-shower, as the Son of God – as he turned the money-changers out of the temple. If He can do that, why can’t I?  I can. I can turn money-changers out of the temple, remain compassionate toward them, and stay in touch with my soul.  That, I believe, is the evidence of a spiritual life.

I must always remind myself that I wasn’t always a student of metaphysics, nor was I a seeker of peace. It took the death of a child to set me on this path. What I am finding out is that it has a lot of interesting stops along the way.


Read The Messenger: The Improbably Story of a Grieving Mother and a Spirit Guide by Helen Delaney. Find it at www.amazon.com or, for a signed copy, at www.themessenger.space.