Simple Ways To Worry Less

Small shifts in perspective can help you manage your fears. When I was young, when anybody offered me anything, my mother believed they were just being nice. Her response was always to inundate me with questions and commentary: You told them no, didn’t you? You can’t...

Don’t Be Fooled: Strong Relationships Take Work

Self-awareness will carry any bond farther. Who doesn’t want a strong relationship? Anyone who sets out to coast by on a shaky foundation is asking for trouble right from the start. But the problem is often not that we begin with that in mind. Rather, it’s not...

The first of many last suppers

A tale about saying goodbye, over and over again Saying goodbye is hard enough. Saying goodbye. Goodbye cuts deeper and hurts longer than the uninitiated could ever imagine. There was no easy or painless way of telling our parents we were leaving. Leaving. It had to...

When Someone Misjudges You, Keep Showing Them Who You Are

“You don’t know about real loss, ’cause it only occurs when you’ve loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you’ve ever dared to love anybody that much.” Sean’s words dug into Will. The normally cocky, confident main character of Good Will Hunting was...

What I Did To Better My Life

Maybe these ideas will work for you too I grew up hard. My mom was bipolar, my sister mentally ill, my brother a hemophiliac, and my dad was a walking cardio condition who finally died from his third heart attack. My extended family was no better. Cancer, diabetes,...

Why I Went Back to My Childhood and Read Harry Potter

The first-ever Harry Potter Book came out when I was in Year 7. My English teacher, Ms. Ostepeev, raved about the book and insisted we all read it. I didn’t get it and had no interest in dragons, witches or wizards. I ignored the advice. As I got older, there was an...

Why Madwomen Seem So Nice

But you have no idea Today I mastered a tempest. But to the 20-something clerk at the clinic check-in desk, I was just another incoherent lady who thought she was vaguely entitled to special treatment for reasons that weren’t very clear.  I had a 10 a.m....

And then came the time to leap

A story about jumping and living The final strip of road, before it burst onto the ocean, embraced by ironwood, yellowwood, and Cape Beech, was as straight and narrow as an arrow. Keeping left, as per the rule of the road, the sun warm on our backs, the Volkswagen...

Your Relationship is Over… Now, What?

Long term relationship break-ups are no joke. They are taxing, exhausting, frustrating, and if you aren’t careful, you can end up leaving pieces of yourself on the floor of your previous residence, to be trampled on by your ex.  So, how do we move on?  Short...

Going Out vs. Going Somewhere

42nd Day in Spain Do you prefer to just go out, or do you require a destination? City life offers so many opportunities for adventure and entertainment. Fancying myself as an adventurer, I enjoy wandering, getting lost and letting the proverbial game come to me. Some...

How To Cope When Some People Don’t Want You In Their Life

A lesson I learned the hard way. Have you ever been ghosted? I hope you didn’t. It’s not pretty. I’ve been ghosted multiple times in my life. Ghosting is a term given when someone decides to treat you like a ghost and completely ignores your existence. The immediate...

The Only True Freedom

What does it mean to be free? Understand This One Concept to Truly Honor and Appreciate Freedom It’s early July, the time of year to celebrate and appreciate freedom! It’s easy to get caught up in fireworks and brisket and lose sight of what freedom really means. One...

We Are All a Little Too Entitled

It is true that, when an entitlement begins to be enjoyed by people, they like to keep it. — Jon Kyl Sweat is developing under the hair on my head as I type. I can feel the heat on my scalp as though I’ve just finished a workout. Moisture is building up and...

What To Do If You Feel Stuck At Any Point Of Life.

Take a rest. Sometimes, life is a kick in the pants. You don’t know what to do or when you’ll do the next task, you don’t feel like it. You don’t understand why this is happening. You’ve numerous options but are confused. You’re unclear about the future.  Being...

The Song That Changed My Life

Writing a letter to my younger self about that day I spent many years as a geek. Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory had nothing on me. I spent a long time being reviled for thinking outside the box. Years later, I would discover that being a nerd was cool, but in...

You Deserve The One Who is Truly Yours.

Love Is powerful than your brain. What type of person do you want in your life as a partner? One who’ve multiple relationships with others or who are fully devoted to only you. The condition is, those who’ve multiple relationships are available and easily come...

How To Be Self-Reliant And Achieve Greatness

Depend on yourself and be unstoppable I woke up with my face covered in blood sitting in the driver’s seat of my Honda Civic wagon. I looked at myself in the rearview mirror and thought I was in a horror flick. There was a knock on the driver’s side window that shook...

What Happened When I Started Olding

Real life happened, that’s what It was a great day earlier this year when I decided I was done adulting and ready to start olding. With olding, you’re no longer compromising with the phony expectations of the “Real World.” Instead, you’re just grown up and ready to...

I Kissed The Boy I Feared The Most

I thought Clifton wanted to kill me. When the elementary school bus dropped us off the first day, I jumped off and skipped my way towards my trailer. Thoughts of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and afternoon cartoons went through my mind as I shook off the stress...

If You’ve Cried For Someone? Read This.

Crying Is the last action to actualize your feelings. “You left and I cried tears of blood. My sorrow grows. Its not just that You left. But when You left my eyes went with You. Now, how will I cry? “— Rumi You cried for those whom you love. Crying is not obvious. It...

Sowing the Seeds of Trust

Growing Your Relationship Garden Trusting people can be a daunting matter. Learning about another human being enough to put credence in what they do or say is one of those skills that is learned, or unlearned, over the course of a lifetime.  I have been thinking...

You Know We’re Friends When We Show Up Naked

And are comfortable around each other Your naked body should only belong to those who fall in love with your naked soul. ― Charlie Chaplin in a letter to his daughter Geraldine My college Theatre professor told us:  Imagine your audience naked.  It...

How to Find True Freedom, Joy, Recognition, and Sanity

Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will be stationed in the presence of kings; he will not stand before obscure men. — Proverbs 22:29 I’m not the most skilled writer in the world, not even close. I’m not the most prolific, original, or stylish. But I know one...

How To Be Authentic In A World Full Of Fakes

“Authenticity is about being true to who you are.” Michael Jordan When I think of the word fake politicians are the first people that come to mind. They talk and talk and talk and make false promises to get your vote. Even when they smile you can feel how full of shit...

My Kids Don’t Go For Any After School Classes.

Whenever I happen to meet up with other parents, the conversation eventually goes to, “So what classes are you sending them to?” To which I always reply “None”. In about 2 seconds I am met with a surprised, confused, silent expression which screams “Butwhy?” I am...

How to Live Like you are Dying

“Mommy, You’re Dead at 48.” That’s what my daughter said as she climbed into bed next to me this morning, with tears streaming down her face. What do you mean, Honey? You’re dead at 48. I had a nightmare, and I don’t want you to die, Mommy. I want to love...

Overcoming Betrayal: How To Move On After Infidelity

And save your relationship Ask anyone in a committed, monogamous relationship, and they’ll probably tell you the same thing. Cheating destroys trust. It’s the lowest blow you could deliver, the ultimate form of betrayal.  Infidelity is often regarded as...

5 Proven Ways to Be Happy Now

Experts weigh in on implementing your signature strengths to raise your level of happiness “Happiness is the joy we feel striving towards our potential.”-Shawn Achor, author, The Happiness Advantage. I can’t begin to tell a story without sharing why it matters. There...

You Are Not Responsible For My Feelings

And Vice Versa “But if you would just stop doing that ONE thing that I HATE — then I wouldn’t have to keep reminding you not to do it!” “But if you’d just done what I asked you when I asked you to do it, we wouldn’t be having this conversation!” “But if you were...

A Conversation With A Best Friend

A conversation that changed my life.  “A writer? Who do you think you are?” My best friend said with a sneer.  Wow. I expected this but I didn’t know that it was going to be this bad.  A seed of doubt was cast.  Who the hell did I think I...

Fear is a Universal Emotion

Fear is a powerful beast. But we can learn to ride it. (Justine Musk) Fear is a universal emotion. It is likely that fear protected early man from extinction. Fear of danger creates a fight or flight state that would have saved an early human when he or she was...

If You Love Someone, Don’t Ask For “Why?”

Love has one answer. “It’s okay.” Someone has told you that you lack something, so he or she doesn’t accept your proposal? Or currently, she has plans, so she is not ready. In other words, people reject you when you confessed your heartfelt love? Everyone encounters...

We Only Have One Side of the Story

And that’s okay.  When we sit down to write, we can only write what we know, right?  The fact that stories, especially when relationships are the topic, we can only write OUR VERSION. But you know what? That’s okay. I have been writing a lot lately about the...

What You Need To Know Before Becoming A Digital Nomad

What happens after traveling starts sucking? The other day one of my favorite bloggers (and people) in the world sent a newsletter saying they were going home after 2 straight years on the road. Two years! Think about that for a second and marvel at their bravery. I...

Don’t Wait For Life To Happen

You’re going to run out of days I usually turn my phone off on the weekends because I like peace and quiet. I’ve always loved being in charge of my technology, and if people need me, they can leave a message. On Monday morning I listened to a cryptic voicemail message...

The Haunting of a Murdered Pigeon

Every once in a while, as I sleep, a pigeon flies through the window in my dreams. Last night was no exception.  It is a the symbol of a lesson. It is a reminder of a traumatic moment in time, that will never leave my memory. I am not a highly spiritual person,...

The Key to Good Relationships: Active Listening

Active listening is an often-overlooked but incredibly important social skill, both at work and at home. My very first job interview after graduation did not go as I had expected. It was with some type of startup in the Chicago loop. I had been staying with my...

Happiness Comes By Sharing Your Part With The World.

Contribute your share. “For 30 years, the society provided you everything, shelter, food, money, friends. Now it’s your time to give it back to people — not for them, but to make yourself happy.” This line is by Mr. Anoop Khanna, who started his retirement with a...

How I Grew Younger And How You Can Too

How was your childhood? If you can say that your childhood and younger adult years were largely stress-free, and happy and healthy, congratulations!  You started young and as long as you appreciate and honor your biological growth processes, and you have used...

The Power and Strength of Self-Esteem

Isn’t it funny how we are so driven by the way others treat or perceive us?  Think about this for a minute. Someone says something offensive to you, and you feel anger or resentment toward them. Or, a friend comes along and tells you that “you need to update...

Depending On The Kindness Of Strangers

The world can be a pretty good place Ten years ago, my world began to unravel. I had followed the mantra of my generation. Go to college, get a good job, work at that until you retire. I did this in an unusual way. I joined the Navy, utilized their tuition assistance...

This is What Happens When You Return to Africa

The flight from Doho to Kilimanjaro is the smoothest I can remember. For six straight hours, the plane glides through forgiving skies as though bargained before takeoff. I sit quietly in an aisle listening to faint Italian prose spoken by the women around me. My mind...

Dang, Leon Redbone Died

“Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone.” Sorry, Leon, I really want to share this tribute of you. I was 17 years-old in 1980 and somewhat of a loner. I worked as a clerk in a bookstore that summer and briefly dated a freshman in college on a gymnastics scholarship....

My Next-Door Neighbor Stalked Me

I didn’t even know her name. She moved into the house diagonally across the street from me. She seemed harmless, an older lady who lived with her husband and adult son. Sometimes they yelled at each other, the noise bouncing off the side of my house and sneaking...

The Damage We Cause by Giving Too Much

Life Lessons in My First 50 Years Well, then. I am onto the next big chapter of my life, and only have a few scars, an assortment of horror stories, a couple moments of, “what in the hell was I thinking?” and a whole host of learned lessons.  Through the past 3...

Barefoot

Love, fairytales, and fear It’s supposed to be my favorite, this meal. The creamy sauce lays over noodles that were delicately made by professional hands. It’s technically perfect but, honestly, I think dad made it better. Either way, I simply can’t take one more...

Aren’t You Getting Tired of Change?

35th Day in Spain How well do you handle change? You know that thing that everyone says constantly happens. I’ve tricked myself into thinking I’m comfortable with change, but I’ve grown to realize the opposite. In spite of all the changes I want to make, I’m...

Learning to Love What’s Good For Me

A conversation about positive mental hygiene Clearly, I write an awful lot about mental health and parenting — that’s how I got a ‘top writer’ status in both categories here on Medium in less than two weeks of writing. I write constantly. But I don’t write about these...

The #1 Reason Why I Hate Teaching

Our children deserve to experience failure, and we as parents need to get over our discomfort in letting them. I have been an educator for nine full years now. When I resume school in the fall, I will be starting my tenth year in the profession. I started teaching...

The New Way They Run the Grift

Grifting Hasn’t Gone Away. Goalposts Have Moved Responding to Social Media, Society… Little Work Is Now Required to Bring in Record Scores It used to be somewhat of a joke, grifting. There was even a wildly popular Scorsese classic, starring that 80’s guy we all...

The Morning I Lost My Father

How do you say goodbye to a legend? My dad’s last heart attack differed from the others. At first, I thought he was having a panic attack, which would have been reasonable under the circumstances. The day before the attack, he was looking around on the Internet and...

How to Derail Your Future (Without Noticing Your Are)

“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.” — Marcus Aurelius. The future never happens the way you want it to or picture it. It can be close, but the subtle nuance of...

Missing Time

The doctor looked at the man across the desk from him. Edward Carstairs, according to his patient profile, was in his middle 40s. No known history of illness, he had come to Doctor Gordon’s office seeking help for what seemed to be a very strange affliction of the...

Positive Thinking Will Destroy You.

Don’t be positive, or even negative. Be real. “Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.” — Wayne W. Dyer When you are in stress, people advice to stay positive. You may have overheard these sentences:...

To Have The Best Friendships, Give Up 1 Day Every Week

“I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success… Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.” -Nikola Tesla Nikola Tesla was...

Why Is it So Hard for Me to Make Friends?

Somebody told me, “You’ll have to go find activities and friends because they won’t find you.” When my children were young, I had as many friends as I could handle. I was constantly seeking out play groups and activities for the kids, which threw me into contact with...

How to Follow Your Own Advice

Many of my followers are aware that I write often about relationships, mental health, and abuse.  Through my experiences in the past, I have learned some methods and practices to help get through struggling times, and how to heal from the damages caused by...

Do this one thing for more powerful conversations

What if we are missing out on meaningful connection because we keep jumping into reporter mode? What Photographers Do I was a yearbook editor the year our school first used computer software to submit our layouts. It was 1993 and we were embracing the future. ...

Embracing Failure As An Integral Part Of Life

No one wants to fail. In particular, no one wants to fail multiple times. But everyone does. I, for once, have failed so many times, I could not believe how unlucky I must be. There must be a higher being up there who enjoy looking down at me stumbling around. So what...

When Life Becomes Facebook Official

Social media, for some people, is now where life comes from. It is the actual newsreel of their lives, and as they scroll, they note their friends’ “Most Recent” posts, in order to stay in touch with their little world.  In many ways, it is sad that we all have...

How to be Humorous in Everyday Life.

Life is short, smile while you still have teeth. How to be Humorous in Everyday Life. Life is short, smile while you still have teeth. Image Credits: Pixabay.com Humor is one of the most important things in everyday life, chiefly because it is through humor...

The Stages of Breaking Up

I know I have been writing a lot lately about my recent breakup from a 9-year relationship, and I would like to say I am sorry for inundating you all with my journey. But, I am not sorry I am writing about it.  I am not only writing ABOUT it all, but I am also...

Why Life is like a Journey on a Train

and the mystery of not knowing at which station we get off  …with its stations …with changes of routes …with accidents. Life is like a journey on a train. Meeting halfway  The other day, not so long ago, I boarded a clean, polished train from...

Be Mascara-on-a-Bad-Day Brave

My eyes meet their match in the mirror, and I’m struggling to keep my hand from trembling as I swipe on a coat of mascara that I know all too well isn’t waterproof. I wish for waterproof mascara while I give myself the talk that I will not cry today. Not yet. Not...

Watching Yourself Return, One Piece at a Time

Have you ever lost yourself?  That may be an odd question, but I am sure many people know what I am talking about. You hear from friends, “I miss the old you”, or “Where did that person go, who used to be __________” (insert quality here).  Well, over the...

Success Starts Outside Our Comfort Zones

There are two ways of living this life — in our comfort zones or out of them. In the words of Steve Harvey, If you stay in your comfort zone, that is where you will fail. It may be new to some of us, but the concept of getting out of your comfort zone is an oldie. The...

Why are you letting a little rain stop you?

Let it do its thing. You do yours. We have a saying where I’m from. The only thing rain stops is cricket I guess the American equivalent will be baseball. When we use this saying, it really applies to our party culture. If it starts to rain during an outdoor event, no...

The Value of a Good Reputation

“Just because you didn’t put a name to something does not mean it’s not there.” — Jodi Picoult When I meet people, it is often revealed early in the conversation that I am a middle school teacher. This revelation often carries with it a stunned look from those I...

How we read today makes me treasure it even more.

How reading evolved has never occupied much space in my mind. During my schooling, I was made vaguely familiar with the history of the text and moveable type. Yet, how we read never garnered much focus. This has radically changed in recent years. Silent reading is...

This is Why AI Will Create Better Politicians.

What if your future president or prime minister is a robot? This is Why AI Will Create Better Politicians. What if your future president or prime minister is a robot? Image Credits: Pixabay.com If you had the opportunity to vote for a politician you totally...

From Monster to Mother

Mother’s Day can be an emotional day for many.  Some mothers have lost children, some children have lost their mothers, and some of us, like myself, have had strained or broken relationships with their moms over the years.  Lately, as I have made some life...

The Deacon’s Bench

This is a true story…word for word (names changed to protect the innocent) I was at a loss for words.  Could it be true? I turned to look at my friend but he was looking up at the windows and appeared as bewildered as I felt. The windows were covered in...

Breaking Up With a Friend

Yesterday I broke up with a friend.  This friend — I’ll call her Debbie— and I had met shortly after I’d discovered drugs in my house and that my husband of six years, significant other for nine, had been secretly abusing drugs for nearly our entire...

Who Are You? What Makes You “You”?

Start acting like the person you know you should be “You’re unique.”  It’s a line you’ve probably heard a million times, but have you ever let it sink in?  Nobody on Earth will know what it’s like to walk in your shoes. Every thought, experience and feeling...

My Nine-Year-Old Self Still Cries Sometimes

But now it’s easier to feel better Life was hard when I was a kid. It’s not so hard now, and for that I am grateful. These days I have the time to look back and think about the troubles I went through as a kid. Nobody bothers me about them, and in writing about those...

How to Overcome Leadership Failure.

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. Bill Gates’s first company was a failure.James Dyson tried and failed 5,127 times. Steve Jobs was kicked out of his own company. The list of leaders who suffered ignominiously is...

What Every Introvert Should Do To Live A Great Life

For some people, solitude is the air they breathe Isaac Newton formulated the law of gravity alone, without brainstorming or group discussions. Famous composer Frederic Chopin gave only about thirty public performances in his lifetime, preferring instead to play for...

What is the Definition of You?

If you were to look yourself up in a dictionary, on a page where you are clearly defined, what would that look like, and why?  How are we all defined?  Is it our career? Our family? Our culture? Our skin color? Our partners? Our values? Our religion? Or...

Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word

Like Lust, Hate, and Fear Today, my heart breaks. So many stories from strong, stubborn women, fighting for their place in the sun. Fighting to be heard. Fighting through the hurt and pain of past abuse or failed relationships to make their own way in this often...

The One Failure That Really Scares Me

I’m afraid of having lived in blues and greys when I could’ve lived in reds and orange.  When I think of failure, three ways of defining it make sense to me. The first one is failing to live up to what society expects of me. The second one is failing on what I set...

I Never Meant to Hurt Her

A story about my mom If you ever saw the movie, Big Fat Greek Wedding, that was my life in the making. We even owned a family Restaurant, actually a Snack Shop. At twelve, I was already behind the counter learning to be a waitress.  In our home, there was no...

Pick a Side, Any Side - Just Not Both Sides

Word of the day: Commitment This idea really struck me while I was in the shower. I sincerely don’t know why, but this seems to be the place where most of my ideas flow. …But back to the point. Commitment is a thing that I now (thankfully) understand. It’s no longer...

Today there will be a Shooting at Your School

#SeeSomethingSaySomething They saw it on the newsChildren sent out to schoolTo get a brighter futureSent backDead― bellatuscana, Pavo This morning I dropped my daughters off, each at her respective school. We all notice an increased police presence. There were...

The Inspiring Life of Fearless Inayat Khan

The spy princess who crushed the Nazis. She was a princess. A guerrilla fighter, trained in bomb-making, sabotage and secret communications. But above all, she was a war hero. Indian princess-turned-spy Noor Inayat Khan is one of the most underrated figures in...

Reading Saved My Life

Not only because I can understand the medication instructions I’ve loved to read for as long as I can remember. From the time when my bookcase was filled with Little Golden books to today when I can find the best writing in the world here on Medium. I grew up in a...

Dealing with a Partner with Anger Issues

We all get angry. It’s a normal emotion.  Sometimes we’re angry for very real reasons: our rights or boundaries are violated, we get cheated out of something, our purse gets stolen.  But what is important is how we deal with that anger.   Some of us...

Don’t Let Your Past and Future Steal Your Present

Dwelling on the past can lead to regret and guilt that drive away our ability to enjoy the moment. This morning while I was walking, I ran into a woman I hadn’t seen in three years. We’d met when she and her husband were house-hunting in our neighborhood. Now,...

Is it Selfish to Find Your Own Happiness?

Life can be tricky. There are twists and turns, challenges and triumphs, accomplishments and failures, and everything in between.  But, are you HAPPY?  Even with the changes and pressures that life can throw at us, it is imperative that we continue to check...

Asking for Help is Not a Weakness

Knowing your weaknesses is a strength “Sometimes it takes more courage to ask for help than to act alone.” — Ken Petti “Help!” I have grown up hearing this word in multiple places. The Beatles sang about it, Gilligan yelled it while sinking in quicksand, and...

7 Things I Wish I knew Going Into College

When I first got to college I had gotten one piece of good advice from my cousin; don’t buy textbooks unless you absolutely need them. But they didn’t tell me everything I needed to know about school; Some things I had to learn on my own. I don’t know about you but...

How Vulnerability Deepens Relationships

Hint: Vulnerability doesn’t make you weaker Graphics by ConsciousEd After having conversations like this, I was able to build deeper and healthier relationships between my friends and I. We broke down barriers, made it ok to be vulnerable, and cared deeply for each...

Why The World Needs More Honesty

Don’t be afraid to share your life experiences. My grandmother was an ostrich. She spent most of her life married to a verbally abusive alcoholic. My grandparents’ house came with its own “drinking room”, which was actually the basement. My grandfather shut himself in...

How To Jump-Start A Ripple Effect Of Good Deeds

A gift everyone can afford to give Dorothy Day was an aspiring young author, but she struggled with alcoholism and depression. It was only after admitting her flaws that she got her life back by shifting her focus from herself to others.  In 1933, she founded a...

How Failures Can Make You More Creative.

Creative Work Relies on Failure. It’s normal to fear to make a mistake. And that’s completely natural, according to Hilda Burke, an integrative psychotherapist, and life coach. “I think it’s innate to want to know the answers, to know whether our efforts will pay off...

Would You Like to Catapult Your Success?

Try this interesting technique. Let’s take a little trip down memory lane, shall we?  Think back to your teenage years — ah, the good old days, sorta.  Perhaps you were a rebel without a cause, ready to stick it to ‘the man’ and start a revolution. ...

The Dying Art of Thinking

Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.  Martin Luther King, Jr. Autocorrect and predictive text is...

How Does Power Reveal Character?

What Types Of Power? Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.Abraham Lincoln, 16th United States President, 1861–1865. There is a universal need to exercise some kind of power, or to create for one’s self the...

Why You Need to Believe In You

Doing things because they’re easy doesn’t make you stronger. It makes you weaker. My days as a high-school teen was consumed in sports. It was the life I had lived since I was a kid. I’d come to hate that life as time progressed, however. Not the sport, but those in...

Grieving a Divorce: A Year Out

What we grieve for is not the loss of a grand vision, but rather the loss of common things, events, and gestures. Ordinariness is the most precious thing we struggle for. — Irena Kelpfisz My ex-husband, who has lived with his mother for the last six months,...

We Need To Talk: How To Have Meaningful Communication

So others will listen In one popular TED talk, the deep-sea explorer Robert Ballard presented persuasive arguments for why more money should be spent on deep-sea research. Among many other facts that he shared, two, in particular, were attention-grabbing. The first...

The VW Speed Collectors

I can’t believe what I’m seeing. It is almost too fast to understand. I’m in the parking lot of a Target Store in San Jose, CA. It is 8 pm on a Thursday. We are at least a two-hour drive away from Oakley, CA with good traffic. “Never steal one within thirty miles of...

Suspended, not Concluded

Further Saga of ‘The Strike’ Today, the 26th of April is the last day of the teachers’ strike…ending three weeks of Polish kids, K-12, not going to school.  “What!? Surely you are putting us on!!” you say. We couldn’t be so lucky 🙁 I’ll give it to you...

Is It Bad To Want To See A Psychologist?

Deep down, we all know the answer. All my life, I’ve been told by my family and close friends that talking to a psychologist means you’re sick. That something is wrong with your mind that it’s shameful. When we talked about someone meeting a psychologist, it was...

Growth Is Not Just About Talent

Depending on your abilities alone will do more harm than good. I thought I was the best guitarist on earth. I’d mastered a few chords here and there, gained some seasoned advice from a close friend who had his share in the music industry, and pumped myself up full of...

The One Thing You Need to Level Up Your Parenting

If you miss this as a parent, you will discover a disconnectedness in the parenting journey. And kids who may not wanna “hang” with you as adults.I When you are knee-deep in all the stuff of kids, it’s tough to get the larger picture. But there’s much value in doing...

Truths of a Cosmic Mom

I get it now… My mother was not like other mothers. Looking back, I can see that she was actually living in a cosmic sphere that only casually intersected with our suburban life. And the cryptic sayings she imparted, that sounded so ordinary, held uncommon wisdom. To...

At the Gate, Anxious About Seatmate Roulette

Will the gods be kind? Obsessing on the preflight to London. At the Gate, Anxious About Seatmate Roulette Will the gods be kind? Obsessing on the preflight to London. Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash At the crack of dawn arrive I arrive at JFK courtesy...

Wanted: Peace, Hope, And Forgiveness!

It has happened so many times, You would think I’d be an expert by now. Perhaps in some areas. But despair is not an area in which I wish to excel Yet it seems to call me all too often, and certainly with more intimacy than is welcome or necessary. Having just gone...

Birth Story By Grandma - Part Three

In the last two parts of this story (which you can read here and here,) we see baby Autumn born into a chaotic, vulnerable situation. It’s no surprise she found herself in foster care. Social services told Julie it was on a temporary basis. I was visiting my mother...

Risks Are Meant to Be Scary

Learning to embrace the challenge of moving when standing still is far more comfortable. How boring would life be without a sense of thrill? Even the movies we watch portray the idea that in order to do more with the life we have, we have to take chances. Those...

To Be Happy Is All That Matters

Life is so much better when you’re happy After the Declaration of Independence in 1776, hundreds of disgruntled people filed lawsuits against the American government and against other citizens. Drafted by Thomas Jefferson, the American Declaration of Independence...

Want To Be More Creative? Try Desperation

Okay first of all, I don’t need you to hang off the edge of a cliff like the picture above to get more creative. Let me tell you a quick story. 18 months ago I was a mess financially. I had been writing on Medium for a year already and had more than 10,000 followers,...

How To Stay Positive In A Negative World

feel better without drugs or therapy We see the world, not as it is, but as we are.Stephen Covey When you look at the world around you, what do you see? Do you see beauty, hope, and possibility? Or do you see destruction, despair and delusion? It all depends on...

How I Stopped Hating Myself

It was the lowest point of my life. I was alone and living in the back bedroom of my coworker’s trailer. Everything I owned was long gone, including my car which the police confiscated for an expired tag and suspended license. This is my penance, I decided, for all...

The Most Heartbreaking Gift a Student Ever Gave Me

The $1.00 gift that cost a fortune “A wonderful gift may not be wrapped as you expect.”  — Johnathan Huie My dream: Becoming a Teacher Since the time I was a small child, I have always dreamed of becoming a teacher.  My plan was to teach and give the...

The Art of Mentoring 

Navigating the waters of independence, individuality, and interdependence can be very tricky. As adults, we feel as if we should be able to navigate through most of life’s storms and trials on our own. When we can not- ego kicks in, tells us that our independence has...

Putting The “I” Second: Listening

How do FBI negotiators manage life and death —  by listening. Our world is all about the “I”.  Reality television populates our networks and it revolves around the life of a few characters. It hyper-focuses on the way the world circulates around this narrow...

Here’s What Happens When You Stop Being Jealous.

Every moment you spend being jealous is a moment wasted. We don’t have much time in this world. The most successful and renowned individuals have often commented later in life how surprisingly fast it all went. You don’t have time to be jealous. If you constantly look...

They Were Searching For Him

He could hear them. They were outside the camouflaged entrance to the bunker, looking for signs of a hidden door. It wasn’t their first attempt. There had been many sweeps of the area over time, some as close as this one. None had been successful. None could be...

Learn to Laugh at Your Problems

Everybody else does… Every once in a while, no matter how hard you try to see that tired old glass as half-full, it’s not. It’s completely empty. Nothing to do but throw it into the fireplace, excuse yourself from the company, and retire for the night. ...

Selfishness Nearly Ruined My Life

Examining the relationships we currently have and our own self-centered tendencies. The most amazing thing happened to me last year. I was given a token of appreciation from my older brother and his wife. That may not seem like a big deal to you. But for me, that...

How To Banish Your Inner Critic

Liberate yourself from the judge within Do self-critical thoughts keep you trapped or stuck in a rut? If so, you might have something in common with a white tiger named Mohini. Mohini lived in the National Zoo, in Washington, DC, in the 1970s. After being kept in a...

The Fear and Irony of Independence

I just saw a blog post titled, “6 Figure Blogging: Zero to Passive Income in 30 Days.” The post was filled with useful information, but I’m not sure how I feel about the implications of the title. It’s a theme I’ve been seeing across the internet lately. Open up your...

Age Does NOT Guarantee Wisdom

How I got along so well with my parents (1) “How do you get along so well with your parents?” “How come you and your daughter are like best friends?” Those were the two questions my mother and I got asked the most by people. (First, mine. Second, hers). Her...

Why Human Interaction Still Matters

What I Learned from a Random Lady at a Cable Store About two months ago, I walked into a cable store to get my new wi-fi and cable services started for my new apartment. I’d just moved, and there was no way I was letting a day pass by without wi-fi. As I walk in, I...

Breaking Free of ‘Save Me’ Syndrome

What happens when we stop looking for someone to save us, or for someone to save… Save Me Syndrome or the Princess Trap can be attractive — two sides to the same “rescue” coin.  On the one side, the Cinderella side, there’s the idea your handsome prince or...

Singleness Does Not Mean Loneliness

Exploring the lies that keep us crying over fake love stories. As a younger version of myself, I assumed that by now I would’ve met my significant other. It’s what I saw everywhere I’d go. People cuddled up and clinging to each other like twinkies. Happy faces...

Sometimes the Best Wishes Do Unexpectedly Come True

But wishes are only granted in fairy tales. ― Simone Elkeles Close your eyes and make a wish. What did you wish for? Please don’t tell. If you do, your wish won’t come true. That’s usually true, but sometimes fairy tales meet real life. Such was the case tonight....

If patience is a virtue, what is tolerance?

In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle proposed that humans are social, rational animals that seek to “live well.” To that end, he proposed a system of ethics designed to help us reach eudaimonia, a world that means living well or flourishing. Eudaimonia is reached by...

To My Friend Stan - One Of The Greatest Men I Know

The story of my friend Stan who is one of my biggest inspirations. “Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”  — Roy T....

Transitions are Hard

Why Accepting This Truth Makes Them Easier “Everything is hard before it is easy.” — Goethe All that’s New is Hard It’s true of walking and talking, eating, and riding a bike. It’s true of printing a sentence, setting a table, and driving a car. They all demand...

Birth Story As Told By Grandma Part Two

Last time we visited this story, Julie had her baby. Just less than five pounds of perfection. My beautiful granddaughter. You will recall, there were issues around this baby’s birth, with social services involved and very cautious about Julie and her partner keeping...

Sometimes It’s Not Good To Be Kind, Actually

I saw her for the first time in 8 months — my ex. It was a nightmare coming true right before my eyes. I broke up with her months before, and since we lived so far apart, I couldn’t do it in person. But I wanted to do the kind thing and give her closure because quite...

Are you doing this because you love me?’

My 3-year-old grandson understands what I don’t say I arrived just before 7 on Saturday morning, at my daughter’s request. The house was quiet and dark when I entered. I found the elusive light switch, took a seat, and then waited. My son-in-law was on a business...

How to Have Superman-like Resilience

I have a couple of solid talents. I can juggle well enough to make a 5-year old clap. I’m fluent in another language (American Sign Language.) I’m good with computers. I can speak in front of crowds. But I’m terrible at resilience. What is resilience? Resilience is...

Don’t Know What to Do With Your Life? Read This

Existential crises are the soup du jour. With the rise of personal development and a generation of people who want more meaning from life, topics like passion and purpose permeate our thinking. The question burns in your mind — you want to figure out what to do with...

Tough Love Isn’t Punitive

The Gift of Facing Consequences Tough love isn’t punitive. The purpose of tough love is redemption.  This means that the consequences that are being faced by the offender should be something that will lead them back to the place that they should be. What does...

Stop Giving Fat People Your Free Advice!

Kindness works best, folks. We aren’t allowed to insult disabled people. We aren’t allowed to be racist. We aren’t allowed to dislike people of different faiths. We can’t hate women. Fat people are all we have left to shame! Why do fat folk get shamed? People have no...

The Difference Between Love and Sex

Going beyond the birds and the bees. My mom taught me all about sex when I was a young girl, but it wasn’t because she sat me down for “the talk.” Instead, I heard the noises coming from her bedroom on nights her boyfriend stayed over. My mother was particularly loud,...

There Might Never Be a Sign From Heaven

On The Courage to Walk Away ‘I don’t like how this makes me feel’ is a good enough reason to stop doing something. You know it when you’re just lazy and could do with some pep talk. You know when you’re lying to yourself. You can pretend and tell the whole world a lie...

Chocolate Fried Memories

“Grandpa, these are perfect!” They’re not. The little half-circle pies have imperfection written all over them, from the re-rolled pastry dough right down to the non-symmetrical pleats on the edges. The gooey chocolate filling is nothing more than cocoa, sugar, and...

Why Believing in Yourself is Overrated

And why you should believe in a purpose instead. If I had a dime for every time I was advised to believe in myself, I’d have enough to buy a double Shackburger at Shake Shack. For you, it might be crinkle cut fries or even a full meal. Heck, I too am guilty of having...

The Fatal Attraction of Gossip

Five Reasons People Gossip and What You Can Do About It We live in a litigious society and many have made it their mission to sue anyone that may have infringed on their person, property or rights.  Because of this, it is logical that companies have gone overboard to...

Poor Choices are NOT Mistakes

Realizing there is a difference will make your life better I have taught middle and high school kids for almost 35 years and have heard just about every excuse for why they did not follow the rules. I forgot. I didn’t know. It’s not my fault. It was only a mistake....

When Love Becomes a Weapon

Love is a powerful 4 letter word.  It can be almost as powerful as breath, or strength, or hate.  But, what happens when it is used as a weapon? Is it as violent as a gun? Or mightier than a sword?  It can be if you allow it to be.  When Someone Says “I...

How To Appropriately Handle Relationship Disagreements

“Don’t air your dirty laundry in public.”  When I was married, all of my friends knew what was going on in my marriage. They didn’t know the extent of the abuse going on (because I kept that private, even though I shouldn’t have), but all the small annoyances,...

The Surprising Way Our Thoughts Are Like Dinosaurs

An oddly accurate analogy Twenty four hours a day, our minds create thoughts. All day every day without ceasing. We might get a little break when we’re sleeping, but if we have dreams, those are the results of our minds still thinking thoughts. Lists, memories of past...

Stop Living For Your Dreams

I’ve always dreamed of living in a cabin in the mountains. Ideally, my cabin would only be accessible by horseback or running in. I would have trails for running miles and miles throughout God’s beautiful landscape. Of course, along with that dream is the income to...

Is Kindness Outdated?

No act of kindness ever is wasted Several years ago, I had a serious bout with shingles. At first, I thought I had an infected bug bite on my hairline, not unusual in Maine during the summer.  When I awoke the next day, blisters covered the right side of my face...

Sleep, sweet little one.

A creative nonfiction tale about growing up. an there be anything grander when one is five and a half than to have a proper swing in the yard and to live where eternal summer reigns? The object of my pleasure was a sturdy steel structure, eight-foot-tall (although, at...

Generosity Doesn’t Have to be Seen

Doing extraordinary things without attention can be more rewarding than you think. “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” — John Holmes In a world where promoting yourself is popular, it’s not hard to figure out...

Your Story Inspires More Than Any Self-Help Cliché

Let’s not oversimplify human struggle and growth.  The problem with all the self-help cliches is that they simplify something that is not simple at all.  Get up early in the morning, have a meaningful morning routine, have a clear plan and direction to where your...

How To Decide If It’s Time to Move Home

When is the Right Time to Quit Traveling? Every time we move abroad, it raises a question. How long will we stay? When will we come back? A pro/con list won’t work because it’s not an either/or question. It’s a when question. Is this the year to move back? After the...

What Makes Me Unique And Why You Should Care

I am unique. You are unique. Each of us is a ‘one-of-a-kind’ kind of person. So what makes me unique? Why should you care? Because it only takes a spark to get a fire going. I want to spur you on to greatness. I describe ten sparks describing my uniqueness. Each...

Can I Really Have an Emotional Affair?

Uhhhh yeah.  I wrote an article about cheating, and a few readers disagreed with whether emotional cheating exists. One went so far as to argue that best friends could be considered as cheating with each other because they have a close bond.  I was flabbergasted by...

She is Someone’s Daughter

The girl at the rest stop was no woman, and she will haunt me for the rest of my life Blustery May weather. It’s always unpredictable in New England in springtime. The saying goes, “Don’t like the weather? Wait ten minutes.” It could be a scorcher of a day,...

How “The Gift Of Fear” Changed My Life Forever

The first time I read “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker, I was 25 years old and deathly afraid of the world. Watching the news on TV didn’t help. Every day, I saw stories of rape, murder, kidnapping and other things too horrible to comprehend. Although I locked my...

This is What You Should Pursue Instead of Happiness

“Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.” ― Viktor E. Frankl On July 26, 1877, a boy was born in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. Jesse Livermore would begin investing at the ripe age of fourteen growing up to become one of the most celebrated investors of his...

The Ultimate Guide to Staying Motivated and Fresh

Staying motivated is sometimes the hardest thing to maintain. What was once a dream come true soon turns into the worst possible thing that ever happened to you — or so it seems. Comparison kills motivation. In the start, I started feeling terrible about my work. I...

What Kind Of A Father Do I Hope To Be Someday?

The kind I never had myself. Learning how to be a good parent was easy in the end because I’d basically had the What Not To Do manual.  — David Cassidy My Dad Wasn’t My Friend I’d like to start off by saying that my Father was exactly the kind of dad a...

Find Inner Peace in One Step

Finding inner peace can seem as elusive as trying to capture a unicorn. A beautiful idea, but a complete myth. Or maybe you think the only way to achieve it is to join a monastery and meditate for 18 hours a day. Eat. Pray. Love. Right? I have to admit there are some...

The Fear of Self-Control

Making changes in your life is a difficult and daunting task.  I recently walked away from a 9-year relationship, where I felt that I had very little control. I have regained a great deal of it back, and it scares the shit out of me.  My therapist refers to my...

Questions Never Asked

I’ve talked a lot about my parents. They’ve been gone four years, but it feels like only yesterday that they made their final exit. They flicker in an out of my consciousness like fireflies on a summer night. Random memories of good times and bad. My father, tending...

The Courage To Be Kind

Why Cinderella’s mother was right. My 12-year-old daughter Vanessa has an arch-nemesis in her middle school. His name is Michael, and he sits next to her in three of her classes. She’s been complaining about him for the last few months. “Michael is so weird,” she...

In My Tragedy, I found Mercy.

Shasta Moran’s reoccurring nightmare: Shasta scanned the frozen snow covered lake. The cold north wind picked up shards of icy snow pelting her face. Ignoring the sting, she squints through the sunlight reflecting off the ice. Watching, waiting, wondering, “Will Bill...

How To Be The Most Interesting Person In The Room

Stretch yourself a bit You don’t have to look like a model or have the verbal skills of a senator to be a fascinating person.  Everyone you know is fascinating, if only you knew them well enough to see it. With limited time, you have to do a little more than just...

Your Work is Not Important

your internal peace is Although attempting to bring about world peace through the internal transformation of individuals is difficult, it is the only way. — H. H. The Dalai Lama  Your work isn’t important; your worldly duties aren’t terribly important. And...

Challenge Impossibilities to Make Them Become Opportunities

How I started to work in the USA legally An impossibility is a concept in our mind, which mostly reflected from our disadvantages, often, not fully utilizing our advantages. Usually, we know our abilities better than to understand the situations surrounding us. So we...

The Ivy Bridge

A True Story of Transformation from Brokeness to Joy A young man sat awkwardly on my sofa and explained to me that he had never been in a rich person’s home (we are not even close to being rich) He shared some of his childhood stories with me. He told me how his...

Sail Into the Deep Waters

Discovering the Capacity for Greatness That Lies Within Who doesn’t want to be their own boss? If we are all honest, there’s something about slaving away for a pittance of a paycheck that seems beneath us and almost suffocating. It’s almost like we are selling...

Moving Home is Hard. Here’s What You Need to Know.

No amount of reading can fully prepare you. But I’ll try. Forewarned is forearmed. Here are some things you should see coming when you come home. Don’t Underestimate the Effect of Novelty When you go to a new place, it’s NEW. By definition. You see the novel, the...

Oh, The Places You’ll Go

Thoughts on Traveling the World Congratulations!Today is your day.You’re off to Great Places!You’re off and away! You have brains in your head.You have feet in your shoes.You can steer yourselfAny direction you choose.You’re on your own. And you know what you know.And...

Stop Living For The Weekend & Live With Purpose

“The thing about today is…It’s Monday! No other day could get the week off to such a great start.”― Anthony T. Hincks I wish I could say I look forward to Monday but I don’t. The truth is. This. Week. Has. Been. Long. I’m probably not alone when I say my week has...

How To Know What You Really Want From Life

make the right choices There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.Oscar Wilde Do you know what you want? Our desires vary from the mundane need to scratch an itchy back to the intangible urge for...

Want To Curb Stress In 2 Minutes? Try Gratitude

“Gratitude is the best stress reliever.” I wrote this down in my iPhone notes yesterday at 2:27 PM as an article idea. On my daily walk to the gym, I couldn’t help but be happy. I was headed to the gym at 2:27 PM in a city thousands of miles from the one I grew up in....

I Used to Be a Time Lord

Now I’m all, “What just happened?” One trip in a TARDIS and I was hooked.  When I was 12 years old, I made my acting debut as a Lost Boy in a professional regional theatrical production of Peter Pan. I made a very strong showing as Tootles, according to my...

How to Survive an Office Party and Enjoy It

Everything boils down to good conversation. Office parties are often a crescent of forced fun, where CEOs cheerily greet employees they’d usually just ignore. That said, office parties can be like fruitcake — sure, it seems like a good idea to mix fruit and nuts...

What I’ve Learned from 3 Funerals in Less Than a Year

“It takes a village to raise a child” — African proverb I was raised by a village. Not that my parents didn’t play an integral part in my upbringing, we just felt a strong connection with the high-caliber people we lived around. It was those exceptional people that...

Writing from the Heart Is a Radical Thing

In a world that pushes boundaries, we should do the same with our writing. “Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.” —Sarah J. Maas We don’t often associate radicalism with writing. It seems so simple when we think about it. You’re just putting ink (or...

The Truman Show: One Hero’s Quest

This film review contains Spoilers. The Truman Show: One Hero’s Quest This film review contains Spoilers. Photo by Martin Jernberg on Unsplash The Truman Show (1998) was a remarkable movie. Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) is a character on a TV show whose entire...

The Best Friend I Never Had

I thought Robin was the coolest person I’d ever met. We liked the same music, bands like Bauhaus and Joy Division. Her knowledge of 80s Brit Pop far surpassed mine, and I fell in love with every new band she recommended. Robin loved antique stores and Goodwill, always...

Easy Ways To Have More Meaningful Conversations

Being an excellent conversationalist is part science and part art. For most of us, it takes practice to be successful at communicating verbally. There are plenty of little tricks and strategies you can use to enhance your conversation experience.  You’ll enjoy...

Top, Bottom, Left, Right

Imagine a donut covered in decadent black chocolate laid demurely on a white plate. Imagine someone has taken a generous bite out of that donut. From where you stand, and from the angle from where you see that donut, would you be able to tell me which side of the...

To My Best Friend, the One Who Makes Me Laugh

Now that I’ve written a letter to my old best friend, it’s time to write about my current one.  The one who has tagged along throughout life, despite my ricocheting from state to state and long periods of no communication. The one I consider gold simply because...

The white coat’s magic

A creative nonfiction tale about perceptions The quiet night carried the whining of the VW-van as it labored toward the hospital, its blaring siren doggedly holding the pace. The hedges, lining the winding road, absorbed very little of the racket.  The...

The Problem with Perfect

 I won’t lie. I am a hot mess these days.  Making a huge life decision, such as taking a break, and walking away from a very intense relationship, has played with my head.  This week has been a full reminder of who I have become over the past decade, as...

Can Truth Be Fluid?

Can truth be fluid? Imagine yourself standing two inches from a massive piece of art hanging on the wall in front of you. The truth of what you are observing with your limited scope is absolute. The colors are absolute. The shapes are absolute. The smell is absolute....

We are Our Best Companions

Even if we may be our worst enemies. My mother is a profoundly unhappy woman. I’ve never seen her be truly happy. Not even during vacations or holidays. Especially during vacations and holidays. For as far back as I can remember, I blamed myself for being the root of...

Guns, Guns, Guns

Bodies fall in red pools of bloodGunshots piercing silent prayers,Peaceful mosque erupts in violenceMore destruction by armed bigots. Children murdered many timesWhile only seeking educationSlain in their school sanctuaries,Mentally deranged, allowed to have guns....

Life on My Terms

We’re chasing the wrong things. By wrong, I don’t mean by a value I’ve arbitrarily assigned. I mean wrong, as in it won’t make us happy.  Happiness doesn’t equate to treating other people poorly or climbing on the backs of others for success. Happiness isn’t...

You Might Have Been Manipulated For A Reason

Often being used is a two-way street. I was being manipulated. There were no two doubts about it.  It should have been easy to see from the request I received. But, I was disarmed by time, conversation, and a kind personality. There’s no point in lying, the...

The 5 New Rules for Old(er) Years You Need to Know

Yes, life can be rich but you’ve gotta know the new rules. The 5 New Rules for Old(er) Years You Need to Know Yes, life can be rich but you’ve gotta know the new rules. Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash Maybe it was George Bernard Shaw who quipped, “Youth is...

Hope And Encouragement For Times Of Grief

A Grief Recovery Guide Grieving is one of life’s most challenging experiences. No one lives a life without loss or suffering. “Life is a long series of losses.  It’s pretty much the only thing that is guaranteed in our existence… I’m no stranger to loss. I don’t...

Unsubscribe These Myths To Become Who You Are

By Redefining The Boundaries of Unlimited Possibilities. Fact is everybody’s truth — A rational mind loves it.  Fiction is nobody’s truth — An idle mind grabs it.  A myth is somebody’s truth — A mind looking for assurance snatch it. Usually, it’s a mix of...

Hope And Encouragement For Times Of Grief

A Grief Recovery Guide Grieving is one of life’s most challenging experiences. No one lives a life without loss or suffering. “Life is a long series of losses.  It’s pretty much the only thing that is guaranteed in our existence… I’m no stranger to loss. I don’t...

Maturity Is Knowing How Lucky You Actually Are

“We’re flawed because we want so much more. We’re ruined because we get these things, and wish for what we had.” -Don Draper | Mad Men In AMC’s Mad Men, Don Draper works in the advertising business during the 1960’s in New York City. He has a beautiful wife,...

7 Ways to Be a Traveler. Not a Tourist.

“The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes ‘sight-seeing’.” — Daniel J. Boorstin Being a tourist has its time and place. There are...

Forgiving My Toxic Mother for the Pain She Caused

I must admit I am at a crossroads in my life. In the last two years, since I left my home city, I somehow feel responsible for my mother’s sharp decline in her health. Her mental health, that is. All the chaos and heartbreak that ensues when she’s ill. It doesn’t...

Why Didn’t My Mom Save Herself?

I imagine her. She’s trying to navigate the living room filled with assorted junk, bags of garbage and unopened packages from QVC. She’s trying to be careful, but her shaky legs don’t cooperate. She steadies her gait with her cane as she heads for the couch. It’s...

You Are Not A Job Title

Stop living and acting like one. At the end of the day, the position is just a position, a title is just a title, and those things come and go. It’s really your essence and your values that are important. — Queen Rania of Jordan Let’s start with a question: ...

What Can Be Learned from a Car Accident?

Is there a life lesson to be found in getting into several car accidents? There’s a common belief that if your accident was minor and didn’t result in any serious injuries, that it’ll just fade into memory and get brushed under the rug. That’s not true though. I’ve...

Why Willpower Works And How You Can Get More Of It

The shortest shortcut to success Its been described as the ability to control oneself and the decisions one makes. As the ability to delay gratification and choose long-term rewards over short-term rewards. As a muscle that can be strengthened. We are of course...

How to Stand in Love

John Allen Lee, in his book Colours of Love: An Exploration of the Ways of Loving, defined the Greek word Pragma as a mature, realistic love found among long-established couples. Pragma is about making compromises to help the relationship work over time, and showing...

I’m Learning How To Talk

Yep. Like a baby.  “Are you okay?” “Yes.” 10 seconds later… Inner voice : WHY DID YOU LIE? I have always had a bit of a problem expressing my feelings as far as I can remember. Expressing it to people outside my family circle, to be precise. At home? No...

Freedom from Freedom (for Freedoms’s Sake!)

“Freedom may be mankind’s natural state, but so is sitting in a tree eating your dinner while it is still wriggling.” ― Terry Pratchett Freedom is a word that gets thrown around quite a lot, especially when subjects commonly held to be “political” get underway....

Bed

Just say it, when you need help The trouble I met is changing my attitude toward asking for help. When I looked at the room, the first things I noticed was the bed, located in the center of the room, a queen size bed! “Great,” I thought, “I could sleep well in the...

What do you hoard?

‘Fess up, is it shoes or handbags or hats or trousers or brooches that you love? Maybe you stash away PlayStation games or DVDs or books? I love necklaces and brooches, and kid myself that I’ve bought my last pendant …… for the Australian Summer anyway!  The...

They are more insecure than you think

Tips to protect yourself and maintain your sanity So you are in a meeting and it’s finally your chance to speak. You have an idea that you have been working on and you want to get this across. But you know there will be at least one person who will immediately cause...

How to be Happy; Why Most Get it Wrong

Have you ever watched someone dance without music? As I was sitting in my car outside the ballet studio where my daughters were taking lessons, I could see little girls leaping and twirling as I watched through the enormous windows. The graceful movement of the...

Why Having Confidence Should Not Be Your Focus

Many of my clients come to me struggling because they don’t feel they have the confidence to do what they want in their life or in their business. One woman, in particular, stands out in my mind. She’d had her business for years but wasn’t getting anywhere with...

You Feel Me?

Recently, someone I know — a fellow screenwriter — more of an acquaintance, than a friend, told me that he believed I was an empath. At first, this threw me. I instantly envisioned myself seated at a round table, leading a séance, even though I know that a “medium” is...

Happiness Is Nothing But A Perspective

If you think about it… “Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is.” — Mandy Hale What is happiness exactly?  It is a question that we ask ourselves from time to time, but find...

Immigrants

People crowding southern borders Struggle to escape cruel oppression, Fleeing South American countries Ruled by dictators with firm hands. On a daily quest for freedom Trying to find a life to live, Most with no intent to harm Only seeking opportunities. Compassion...

Reaching Cacao

 The Day I Pushed a Taxi up a Mountain in Nicaragua Above the cloud forests in Nicaragua is a tiny village where coffee and chocolate grow wild. It is extremely remote and difficult to access.  I traveled there recently to explore the viability of a future...

33 things I have learned in 33 years

Yesterday was my 33rd birthday. That means I have been around the sun 33 times and had the chance to learn a few things. I would consider most of these things useful in my everyday life, and because of this fact I have decided to share them with you.  Always be...

You are what you hide.

Beneath the surface lies our true nature.  Deep down lay the struggles we spend a large chunk of our mental energy suppressing. Former French government minister and author Georges André Malraux said it best. Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides....

The Moment I Chose My Life

It ended badly, like most relationships do when you rush them. I met Donny in AA. When we broke up, I had seven months sobriety under my belt. I didn’t touch a drop of alcohol or use drugs in all that time, but the monster still raged inside me. Donny wasn’t allowed...

I Have a Clone

The Truth About Being a Twin and Its’ Common Misconceptions Recently, I was asked to talk about what it’s like to be a twin. If you don’t already know, or have never noticed, don’t feel bad. It happens all the time. Yes, I have a clone. And this guy is also on Medium....

I Had To Let Her Go

Saying goodbye to my mom Eight months after my dad died, I was standing at my mom’s hospital bedside watching as she slept. Her chest rose and fell easily because of the constant flow of oxygen from her nasal cannula. Her emphysema was not a surprise, given her 50...

Now

Life flows at same eternal pace Revealing mysteries all its own, What is present, soon to be past, New horizons coming into view. Horizons soon to be our present Once the future, becoming now, Visible presence with complexities Intriguing mysteries it conceals. No...

What You Need to Know for Baby’s First Flight

Flying with less Crying (for Babies and Toddlers) By my 20th birthday, I’d taken one trip involving air travel. One. By my child’s second birthday, she’d flown around the world. She’d done a half dozen long haul flights and at least a dozen shorter hops. Here’s what...

Firewood For Spring

Maybe developers will buy him out and he’ll make a fortune; much more than his firewood would bring.Spring danced in this week, tentative and teasing. She followed on the heels of deadly tornadoes, torrential rains, and record lows, and she will most likely get our...

Why You’re Absolutely Worth It

The Secret of Decision-Making From Tony Robbins and Me I have a suggestion for anyone interested in physical intimacy: wait. Draw a line in the sand. Throw down the gauntlet. Challenge your partner: “am I worth waiting for?” Make that decision for yourself. Decide...

Anticipation

Present feelings of anticipation Not sure why I feel this way, Accepting them in full awareness Waiting to see what happens next. Drama felt in life’s becoming Uncertainty in what path it takes, Some things are in my control While others randomly occur. My spirit...

Writing My Way Out Of Depression

I’m making myself write this. It’s been seven days since I’ve written anything. Most of the time, I aim for three to four blog posts a week. Writing is my favorite activity in the world, but depression is taking it away from me. It reared its ugly head at the...

What To Do When Mom Guilt Slaps You In the Face

There is no such thing as a perfect parent. So just be a real one. — Sue Atkins I have to get this out, and I have to hurry — fast!  The kids are running, the dog is barking to be let out, the dishwasher just dinged, and not 5 minutes ago the washer stopped...

Swan Lake, Pink Tutus and Dreams Doomed to Fail.

Last night the fat little girl in the baby-pink tutu dreamed once more.  The Impossible Dream. She went to see - The Russian Ballet performing Swan Lake. The soaring music of Tchaikovsky. The beloved story of Siegfried and Odette. Many years ago, she wanted to be...

A Day in a Metro

Metro trains are common around the world, but my city got one just a few years back. When it was first launched, everyone was talking about it. But soon, like all things the excitement had died down. Nowadays, the metro is sparsely used. On rare occasions when I’ve...

A Fire in my Soul

On approaching 50.  In just a couple of weeks, my half-century clock turns over. That day is quickly looming over me like a shadow, reminding me of where I came from, and where I could be going.  It’s only a number. I don’t FEEL old. In fact, I emotionally...

Don’t Believe the Lies

Tell yourself the truth I sat across from her with hope, maybe this counselor would help me. I knew the drill. I pour out my hurting heart, she tells me what she thinks. And then she said words I had not heard before, and I felt hope flicker inside. “I believe your...

The Purge

A creative nonfiction tale of catching fish. When cancer took Ouma, we lost more than a grandmother. Reeling from the loss, the tears not dried on their faces, her four sons decided, the farm had to go. Her two daughters’ voices, bitter in its opposition, didn’t carry...

Transitions

“You ask me what I came into the world to do. I came to live out loud.” — Emile Zola  It was hard not to notice themso I stooped down to inquire Muscari girl, you and your sisterswhatcha doin’ in my garden so early this year? We have come...

Spring Awakening

Cool spring morningNew sprouting growthGlistening sunlight. Spirits nurtured by shimmering sunAwakening from slow winter slumber. Aliveness always presentSurfacing once againNew creative thoughts. Feelings of love and reconciliationOld hopes in new spring awakening....

The Hook up at Motel 6

She spent hours and hours, flawlessly designing the perfect profile. She added photos that made her look more beautiful than she was and mastered the art of adding strangers, like her friends. Why wouldn’t they want to be her friend? She was stunning, and she composed...

What’s the Purpose of Life?

Have you really sat down and thought about it? People-pleasing, as a term, sounds so nice, like something we’d all want to do. Really, how could pleasing people be bad? Aren’t we often told to please people when we’re at work anyway? “The customer always comes...

Damned Spring

Chinooks, they say, for the last few days are blowing out windows, punching at trees,teasing of spring in the deadlock grim of winter;melting snow: powdering breaths of almost-summer,hale and evocative, driving me mad.In spring I know I’ve spent another...

How to be content

about always wanting more & the simple things in life Everyone seems to be running through life. The pace is getting faster and faster in a world that glorifies the word ‘busy’. We’re all trying to juggle everything at once, trying hard to advance in all...

Silkworm - How I handled a bully when I was a child

The Principle of My Life I could let you attack me once, I could let you attack me twice, but after you attack me three times, I have to fight back, catch whole power I could carry, fight back forcefully so that you would never, ever, not even think, be near me...

Trusting Truth

Truth, a forever lingering presence Powerful molder of our character, Critical in forming our personas To be who we authentically are. Who do we genuinely want to be? How do we want to be perceived? What character will personas have? Truth at heart of what answers...

Why We Need To Let Our Children Fail

Our hearts ache when our children suffer, but sometimes they are more resilient than we think. The parent scheduled an after-school meeting with teachers, advisors and counselors. His son was failing one subject and barely passing three others. “What can you do...

Creative Spirits

Feeling calm freedom within Patience pervades my spirit, No rushing urgency today Tranquility in being present. Heart enveloped loving kindness Compassion for my fellow beings, All similar, but uniquely different, Everyone with own personas. Creative spirits reside...

Smiling depression

Smile oh smile …beautiful features on the outside as your lips expand Smile oh smile …you keep appearing for no reason Inside a cry for despair, no one sees or notices your inner pain Inside you carry the healthy and the rotten…and the rotten keeps piling up...

How to Choose the Best Flight Path for Your Family Trip

“At least we’re flying First Class,” I thought. Boy, was I wrong.  Before we moved our young family to the other side of the world, I worried about the flight. I thought it would be bad because it was overnight. I thought it’d be awful because it was 13 hours long. I...

Is Transhumanism Enough to Overcome Global Suffering?

Higher intelligence, even one aided by Artificial Intelligence (AI), is not the solution that will end our suffering — a view that is promoted by transhumanists, who believe that the human race can and must evolve beyond its current constraints through science and...

Spring Arrival

Full moon shines through murky haze Ethereal glow before morning arrives, Enjoying stillness while darkness fades Stark awareness of silent presence. Cherry trees sprout glistening shoots Nurturing beginnings of new buds, Gradual opening of blooming blossoms A gift of...

Love It’s In The Details.

My father died four years ago of Stage IV Lung Cancer. As did my mother. I could say they “passed away,” I suppose. A softer, more palatable alternative. But, that’s not really what happens, is it? If only. Four years. It seems like a long time…but not really. Not...

Rest In Peace, Dear Friend.

I’ve been busy recently. A friend of mine died last month. I guess this is what life is; we never know the surprises, and some surprises just slap us on the face and stabs through our heart. Death is inevitable and nothing out of the ordinary happened to my friend....

This Is What Happened When I Stopped Dying My Hair

I took a journey to the dark side and I liked it. I went cold turkey and stopped dying my hair eighteen months ago. Tow-headed as a child, my hair darkened after I hit puberty. Like many women I fought back against nature. On my 16th birthday, I dyed my nondescript...

Hate to judge but love to condemn?

Here’s what happens when we get it backward. Years ago, I was listening to a radio report of an impending local election on a special referendum. As I understood it, the city was going to vote on the Wet Bra Issue. Well, I was immediately offended, loudly proclaiming...

How A Male Weasel Can Affect Your Fertility

And Other Strange Medieval Ideas about Women and Sex Deformed men. That’s what Aristotle said about women. Sure we know it’s not true, but in the Middle Ages it made perfect sense. After all, wasn’t it a woman who took the first bite of that infamous apple? Women...

How to Work Through Your Partner’s Jealousy Issues

Know this first: it’s not your problem. When I first met my current partner, he was handsome, thoughtful, attentive, and confident. He had had a rocky rocky life, but he was an entirely self-made man. These were some of the qualities I first became attracted to. But,...

Feral Kittens Need Your Love

The little kitten looks down at me from the catwalk above, mewing softly. It sounds a bit accusatory. After all, I did grab her by the scruff yesterday, throw her in a cage, rock us both side to side, bouncing, as we drove down the bumpy road down the side of the...

Pains Of A Homeschooler

Once Upon A Time… I remember the tremendous struggle I’d faced when I’d first started Homeschooling. My parents told me about the big break from school when I was enjoying my short vacation. The big break was nothing but a one month leave from school. Just to study...

Healing from the Trauma of Previous Relationships

It was a Thursday night. My partner was heading out the next day on a business trip and we wouldn’t see each other for a good two weeks, so we were having our last date night for a while. After dinner, he drove us to a Redbox to rent a movie to close out the...

Wishing for 2020

Reflections of a fifty-year-old girl When I’m imagining next yearAs if I’m gliding high through the skyWith a watchful and downward eyeLooking at everything from a bird’s-eye view I see people walking past each otherBut they do not really look at one another no...

Spaciousness

Spaciousness looms beyond horizons With no turmoil or violence seething, Peaceful presence, universe’s gift Enveloping us in its warm embrace. Its soothing comfort always here Waiting to be felt as time unfolds, No effort or movement on our part, Its eternal spirit,...

What learning Mandarin taught me about not giving up

Learning Mandarin is difficult. After 90 hours worth of classes and nearly 2000 flashcards, I’m still struggling to even understand everyday real-life conversations. According to the Defense Language Institute (DLI), Mandarin ranks as a Level 4 foreign language, which...

How I Got Rich By Giving Money Away

There’s a man I know. He leans against the wall outside the Walgreens I shop at almost every day. He might be in his sixties. I don’t know if he’s homeless or not. He has on the same outfit almost every time I see him. A blue baseball cap sits on top of his head. His...

The Ladder of Forgiveness

A friend once asked me, “How did you manage to learn to forgive, and live a normal life?” We were seated on her sofa, with packed boxes surrounding us. She had just left an abusive relationship, and she knew about the darkness of my past. I have recovered and survived...

Why Society Doesn’t Want You to Succeed

Photo by Max Bender on Unsplash Why Society Doesn’t Want You to Succeed  You’ve heard a chest-thumping guru or two say something along the lines of “everyone is just trying to hold you down!”  They’re right, but this way of thinking goes much...

Toto, I Don’t Think We’re In Kansas Anymore…

There’s No Place Like Home… There’s No Place Like Home! https://youtu.be/zJ6VT7ciR1o It’s safe to say, I had not a clue what I was getting into when we moved here. I thought it would be different. Well, it’s definitely different alright. Not in a good way. I won’t go...

The Day My Boss Disappeared

I first met Kevin in his office for an interview to be his secretary. He was an accountant and a mortgage broker, and I hoped my lack of experience wouldn’t show. I’d never been an actual secretary before. At the tender age of 19, my only experience was with data...

Breathe Deep: Give Peace A Chance

If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right — Henry Ford I don’t know what happened to me when I was four years old, but something did. There’s a picture of me from that summer, smiling shyly at the camera, my hair cut in a short bob, wearing a cute...

One Size Does Not Fit All

In high school, I was taller and broader than most of the guys in my class, let alone the girls. Add in the extra couple of inches for the big eighties hair and that put me over the six foot mark. That was the time of Nike Legends and Levi’s 501 Blues, which were...

This is What 70 Looks Like. Episode 2

It looks vibrant. It looks like leadership. It looks like wisdom. There was a collective sigh of resignation (or was it disappointment?) when septuagenarian Glenn Close was passed over for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the recent Academy Awards. The honor went to...

The Day I Saw Your True Face.

A Poem on the mask of deception. I remember your black mottled face,A face devoid of human intelligence;Your sleepy eyes peeping out like flickering candles,Thick, bulbous lips protruding like blistered coal,Gaudy mismatched clothes hanging around your bloated...

The Art of Filtering Out The Non-Essential

What Steve Jobs’ approach to dressing and design can teach us about simplifying our lives. The Art of Filtering Out The Non-Essential What Steve Jobs’ approach to dressing and design can teach us about simplifying our lives. Photo by rawpixel.com...

Lost Harmony

Time flows on its own courseWith life evolving as it flows,Beings think they have controlCreating discord and confusion. Harmony, our only way to peace,Without it chaos is always thriving,Conflicts sowed among many nationsWhile destroying our precious Earth. Humans...

How I’m Making My Own Rules

Nine of them. And you can, too. People often like to say they hate rules: they believe rules are made to be broken; rules are for fools and sheeple and chumps. At their best, such people are wildly creative and productive, bringing fresh thinking to the world. At...

Why Do We Self-Sabotage?

Has this happened to you?  You are working on a project, you have set the goals you wish to aim for, devised a plan of attack and got off to a great start, all guns blazing. Each week you take one — sometimes two — steps forward towards your targets. Everything...

Asking My Children For Forgiveness

My hands shook on the steering wheel as I made the turn into my ex-husband’s driveway. That won’t do at all. Once I put my car in park, I put one hand in the other and squeezed hard. I couldn’t show up looking like a wreck. What if he thought I was unstable? What if...

How To Cope Through Pain Being Your Best Teacher

Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave. — Mary Tyler Moore Pain has no face, but every human being feels when it shows up. It shows up without warning, often...

Our Prodigal

We pray for safe return Author’s note: This was written October 28, 2018. Since this was written we have established contact with our oldest daughter. Today’s subject is horrid. It is one I wish on nobody, yet one which plagues many families daily. For my wife...

Are You Rich and Don’t Know It?

I’m Crazy Filthy Rich — Maybe You Are Too People play the lottery hoping to get rich. Crazy filthy rich. But most people don’t win. Those who do often don’t stay rich. In fact, oftentimes the winners go bankrupt ending up worse than before they’d won and don’t know...

Mortality vs Immortality

Will We Survive Death? A few years ago, my brother died suddenly. At the funeral, I sat a few feet away from the open casket containing my brother’s body. This did not upset me because I kept thinking “THAT is not my brother. My brother was his spirit and personality...

When We Are Small

Despite the crying during our last visit, we took our grandson, Will, back to the Heard Museum to see the robotic dinosaur display. When you are shorter than three feet tall anything larger than a cat is intimidating, especially if it has sharp teeth and looks like it...

Complaining Won’t Ever Solve Anything

Complaining doesn’t solve anything. It’s an old saying but worth repeating, often. There may even be far wider consequences from complaining than we previously even thought. For instance, have you ever noticed how you feel after you begin whining and complaining? Do...

The Root Cause Of Discontent

Sigmund Freud wrote a book that changed the Western World: Das Unbehagen In Der Kultur. The English translation is “Civilization and it’s Discontents.” This, in my opinion, does not do justice to what he was trying to say. The German word, Das Unbehagen, is closer to...

Life Is Like Making Rice

Without the instructions I don’t have a microwave and haven’t had one since I moved to Guatemala. There are actually a lot of first world things I don’t have and honestly don’t miss much these days (except Canadian chocolate bars). Because I don’t have a microwave I...

Change sucks. Until it doesn’t.

Change sucks. Not the kind of change you planned for and now it’s here. The kind of change you didn’t see coming and it disrupts your normal. You are expected, known, beloved normal. I know maybe two people who will tell you they love that kind of change. Either it’s...

Adventure at the World’s End

isembarking from the cargo vessel, my legs wobbled as I moved down the gangplank. Moving slowly, I stepped carefully across the wet windswept boards that extended into the bay. I knew it would take a few days to get my land legs back. While sailors tend to be tough,...

What Will You Do When Facebook Jealousy Strikes?

Hit that like button? If you’re feeling blue, Facebook could be the culprit.  Those hours spent on social media looking at other user’s exotic vacations, new sports cars, and adorable children could be making you depressed about your own circumstances. That’s the...

The Collateral Damage of Failed Relationships

Something that is inevitable in any breakup, is the impact it has on the other people involved in your life.  Whether it is your children, in-laws, close friends, and even pets, there is always collateral damage. Those people become the debris that is left...

Yes, You CAN Learn How to Communicate with Aliens!

Understanding across divides – in this case generational – can be tough. But pressing forward to do so offers lasting rewards. It’s worth it! You’re a parent of a 12–16-year-old! Congratulations…and best of luck. Close your eyes and just grin and bear it…. Or, better...

Life Hacks Learned from a Toddler

As a father of a two-year-old most of my days — when I’m not at work — are spent caring for and raising my son, along with the help of my partner of course.  I am also the stepfather to a ten-year-old boy — who seems to have hit his teens sooner than expected,...

Patience, A Rewarding Habit

Many people view repetition and routines as boring. Where’s the excitement in doing the same thing day in and day out? The greatest achievers of our time achieved excellence through consistent habits. The journey may not have been exciting, but the payoffs definitely...

Adopt a Traveler’s Mindset

How Great Expectations Can Derail Any Trip When our girls were little, my husband worked long hours, often arriving home after the girls were in bed. I came to accept this as normal. The worst days were when I expected him a certain time and he was delayed. ...

How to Mentally Survive Losing Your Job

As I got up this morning, I had an odd thought about something that I never really thought I would experience. I’ve been unemployed for over a week. I still feel the stinging pain of it all. Some days it’s hard to stay afloat above all of the difficult feelings...

Top 10 Ways To Deal With The Critics In Your Life

If you have no critics you’ll likely have no success Have you ever gotten excited about doing something, only to be shot down by the people that you thought would support you?  It happens all the time. Maybe you decided you wanted to train for a marathon,...

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Does anyone care? It was a little before 1 in the morning and not unusual for me having trouble falling asleep. Out of nowhere the old Peter, Paul and Mary song, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” began playing in my head. As much as the song relaxed me, it elicited...

Entanglement

Terrors of memory slumber in the attic “I can’t go up there, Helen.” My wife looked at me over the white rims of her glasses. The gold flecks in the temples glinted in the late morning sun streaming through the window of our spare room. “I don’t have time to handle...

Teachers Need A Pat On Their Back Too!

And I’m Happy To Oblige. There was a time when I was a child that I truly believed teachers knew everything! Think about it! They teach kids and even grown-ups at the big people school. It would stand to reason, they know everything right?! As I grew up, I realized...

The Best Thing I Did To Change My Life

Unorthodox, cool and fun I like simple ideas that work. I’m a positive and plainspoken person but I didn’t grow up that way. I spent a lot of time being tragic and self-destructive. I was snarky and sardonic and bitter. That pretty much sucked. It took me a long time...

An Open Letter to Husbands of Creatives

I know it’s not easy for you to watch someone you love struggle. Especially when you feel like there’s nothing you can do to help her. You know how freakin’ talented she is and yet, you are firsthand witness to how difficult it is for your creative partner to work her...

Gone Fishin!’

Tiger Fish, Silver Torpedoes of the Zambezi Bream, of which there are many species, are pretty fish, with delicate colours, and are gentle compared to the tiger; the fishermen enthusiasts went out to catch bream, but it was the tiger that drew them for a day of sport...

Quiet Solitude

Snowflakes fall silentlyIn white barren trees,Distant mountains invisibleEnveloped in snowy vista,Spirits hover above. Nature’s morning arrivalLeaping deer in brush,Peaceful ShenandoahFelt in this momentNo disturbances here. New creative thoughtsIn quiet...

I Close My Eyes And I’m Overwhelmed

by the universe that comes to life inside my head All the space and time in which I can recall my existence. Everything that I have ever been, everything that I am and everything that I will ever be is there, inside my head. My notion of me. My notion of life. My...

The Girl with the Absolution Tattoo

I always enjoy notifications of Time Hop and Facebook, reminding me of what I was up to, on “this day”, years before.  Notifications reminded me that today marks 5 years since I went in for the final coloring of my most important tattoo. (I have 9). This is the...

The Enduring Allure of Fairy Tales

Fairytales are archaic stories, shot through with whimsical and fantastical elements. At first glance they might appear to make no sense and yet, the slow dawn of delayed realization reveals that scarily, they make very much sense. How was it that in all our glory of...

7 Hacks for Saving Time When You Have Kids

I left my ex-husband when my boy/girl twins were 18 months old. I immediately had to learn how to juggle all of the business of raising two children on my own, and now, a year later, we are doing just fine.  Whether you’re a single parent or sharing the...

Buddha and the Mountain Bike

The Buddha spoke of moderation in all things. The more years of life experience I gain, the more truth I realize there is to these simple but vastly eloquent words. Most often, when I find myself “off-course,” if I can allow myself to glimpse a reality outside of...

6 Steps To Help You Move Past Perfectionism

 Do you constantly seek approval from people around you? Is it incredibly difficult for you to accept being second best? Do you too often sacrifice your own well-being in order to complete a task perfectly? Are you consistently stressed and anxious? If you’ve...

Mind Power

Personal power of our minds Greatest gift we ever have, Create thoughts for us to use Determining eventual destinies. Sometimes ignored, or not considered, But guiding us where we go, No actions taken without thoughts And no creations materialize. Minds, reflections...

The Vantage Point

rom my vantage point, I knew I was surrounded. Basic training had prepared me for some of the hardships I would endure, but this was definitely a new adventure that no tech school can prepare even the bravest sniper or recon operative for. It was one thing to laugh...

Elevate Your Life With The Lousy Deal Hack

They say that happiness is a choice, but hey — then everything in life is. All your emotions, actions, thoughts. Dirty little secrets, big bold dreams. Bliss and misery, brilliance and mediocrity. Gettings things done or procrastinating for days on end, waiting for...

Do You Remember Your Bullies?

The girl in the fairy dress hated me on sight. I was five years old, and I’d been a child model for nearly half that time. My mother got me into doing it as her entrance into show business. I was in a commercial for Fidelity Savings Bank the year before. I played a...

Why Third Places Will Save Us All

How I discovered the lifeblood of community In 2011, I was living and working in Chengdu, China. I was rocked to my core with culture shock the first few months and sought out familiarity from the hutongs, the streams of scooters and smog at ‘Peter’s Tex Mex Grill’, a...

Flipping Our Worldview

The reason you and I struggle in the world is that we see ourselves as isolated beings in a hostile world. This makes us feel vulnerable to all sorts of calamities that could strike us at any time from any direction.  Consequently, we are fearful when things...

Confusion

Compassion for our world today Confusion reigning everywhere, People unsure of who they are Or how they really need to be. Disagreement when unity needed Conflicts over almost everything, Knows no limits or natural bounds As it spreads throughout our world. People...

We’re All Screwed Up — Yes, Even Me.

Everyone is filled with flaws All the lonely peopleWhere do they all come from?All the lonely peopleWhere do they all belong? — Lyricsto Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles Bad Days Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash I have my bad days. You guys know the ones. Where you...

Grandpa, You Have Poop on Your Finger!

The first-day of Babe watch, a simple diaper check turned disastrous. I pulled back his diaper to investigate. That was when the gaseous green cloud escaped. During my investigation, I dabbed my middle finger into baby sludge. To make matters worse, the toxic vapors...

A Thousand Lost Golf Balls

According to the book 501 Great Writers, T. S. Eliot was one of the great ones. Poet, essayist, critic, playwright and children’s book author, his influence on the cultural landscape was extensive. I remember studying his works in high school with profound...

10 powerful lessons to find the right direction in life

Feeling confused, lost, painful, hopeless and miserable…So do I Are you now in a dark room without any glimpse of the light or any ray of hope?… You are not alone, welcome to the club of life my friend.  There will always be times when each of us will be without...

The Long, Weary Legacy of Women’s Speech and Power

Mary Beard’s manifesto is a must read.  When it comes to silencing women, Western culture has had thousands of years of practice. — Mary Beard, Women & Power You know it’s campaign season when then the New York Times runs a story about women tossing in their...

Why Choosing The Correct Path Is Important

In life change is inevitable. So important to make the choice to change before the change changes you. Will you choose the path of inspiration or driven onto the road of desperation? These two emotion-charged paths; inspiration or desperation, will drive people to...

Servant or a Son?

In the story of the prodigal son, Jesus unveils God’s heart. Two sons had deeply disappointed their father. One essentially took his inheritance and ran away. The other worked for his inheritance, not realizing he was working for something that was free. The Prodigal...

It’s too boring to color inside the lines

The declaration My four-year-old daughter was sitting doing her homework with mom. The work required her to color a particular set of shapes that made up a path she needed to follow.  As is customary with our toddler, she tends to get wild with her coloring. So...

Is it Ethical to Earn Money Off of Your Abuse?

2018 was full of stories of abuse. It was the year of the #MeToo movement, and multiple stories of celebrities like R Kelly, Donald Trump, Jacob Hoggard, and Bill Cosby. (These were only a few of the headliners in Canada)  All of these men were accused of sexual...

How to improve yourself by believing that you can

Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset It’s just a matter of mindset! How often did you already hear that? Me for sure too often. No matter what it is that I am complaining about, my boyfriend is always the person saying ‘’This is just a matter of mindset.’’ And I can...

The Forever Home

The worse part of being a traveller is that you never know how long you will stay with any family. Sometimes it can be a couple of weeks, sometimes a couple of years. If you are lucky, on very rare occasions, travellers find forever families. This is such a rare...

I’m not one who celebrates love

Here’s a note from me to you my darlingFor the love of another is something we all seekBut I stopped my seeking and searching for meaningI lost hope and faith in love and humanityYou came along my beloved You became a friend and someone I could talk to without...

One Year After Parkland

There are more questions than answers. My 12-year-old daughter came home from school crying last week. There was a “code red” drill earlier that day. She didn’t know it was coming. Her sixth-grade math class was working on their pre-algebra projects when the alarm...

Every Breath I Take Is A Reminder Of My Blessings

That breath that you just took, that’s a gift Every breath I take is a reminder of my blessings. Each morning and evening, I inhale blessings and exhale gratitude.  The breaths of air that enter my body keep me alive and awake to endless possibility.  I...

Poor in West Africa

Learning from the Rich in Heart urrently, I am in the process of finishing my second book which is a memoir of my first visit to Liberia, West Africa in 2007. This small country used to be prosperous, but a devastating 14-year civil war absolutely decimated it....

Hey World

Hey world,My dad just died.How dare you keepMoving forward.It’s time to stopAnd show regardFor a man whoLoved his fam’lyWe miss him so. Hey world,Don’t just keep onRushing aroundAnd leaving usBroken and hurt.I may just endUp withdrawing From you and quitUntil I...

Can We Please Have A Funeral For Opportunity?

Our brave little Mars robot rover, Opportunity has died. This cool (it’s cold there) robot lady, Oppy, has been collecting intelligence about our human idiocy for fifteen years without a potty break. Or ro-botty break? She’s been brave, beautiful, and brilliant, and...

Experiencing Paris

Treasures galore as I explore ParisA city experienced, unlike any other,History’s presence an enveloping shroud, My sensory perceptions unusually heightened. In Paris my passions are fully arousedWith sensual feelings strong and deep,My personal awareness reaches...

How to Have Unlimited Access to Greatness

”You believe in honesty” — That’s mistake #1 “Many believe that by being honest and open they are winning people’s hearts and showing their good nature. They are greatly deluded. “ — Robert Greene. There are two kinds of people in this life: Those that believe in...

We Know What to Do, so Why Aren’t We Doing It?

We all have visions for the future. Of how we wish our lives to be. Huge aspirations, mammoth sized, scary almost impossible ambitions — if yours aren’t that big and scary give yourself a shake, dream bigger for goodness sake! In our daydreams, we are whisked away to...

Valentine’s Day is Coming Up

To Celebrate or Not to Celebrate “Valentine’s Day is coming up,” Charlie said while reading an online sports article. “Is there anything special you’d like to do?” Warm tears immediately slid down his wife’s face. Hearing her sharp intake of breath, he rushed over and...

Fleeting Thoughts

Thoughts from my distant pastIntruding in my current realm,Visions of what has come and gone,Realities thought forgotten long ago. Why do these fleeting thoughts appear?From what dimension do they come?Perhaps unresolved issues linger here?Are hidden years just coming...

How to Fix Your Life

You want more for your life. I can guess that about you because everybody wants more for their lives. There’s nothing wrong with wanting more — a better job, a better business, the right partner, great health, more opportunity, more reach more impact — but we all have...

How to Become Extremely Motivated?

(lessons from Elon Musk’s and struggling author’s stories) You can be extremely motivated by fear.  Jon Morrow was paralyzed from the head down. He imagined that he is left in some health care facility, he dies and nobody even notices for a few days. This picture...

Having Hard Conversations

Have them with the ones you love because you love them.  The last nine months of my marriage were a nightmare. I discovered I’d been living with an active drug addict and had been for almost the entirety of our nine-year-long relationship, AND I also had one-year-old...

The Stupid ATM Machine

A Lesson in Humility The road of life has never been easy. I have long struggled with health issues, some of them that brought me close to death. However, in the midst of all the struggles, even when living deep, DEEP in the steamy jungles of Liberia, West Africa, we...

Being Present

Deeply feeling my own presence Intimately knowing my soul within, Generously accepting whatever comes My spirit vibrantly thrives in peace. In harmony with the world that is With no resistance as life unfolds, Present in each precious moment Experiencing boundless...

I Thought There Was Nothing New To Learn

If you think you’ve seen everything, look at it another way and it becomes new. There are times when I think I’ve seen everything. I get this strange feeling. Maybe it’s complacency. Everything thing under the sun has been done and re-done. Nothing seems to surprise...

Talent Isn’t Enough

Talent isn’t enough. The first time I heard that statement, I don’t think I really agreed, until I took a closer look. I had seen plenty of talented people have lots of opportunities that seemed to elude me. But I also have witnessed fellow art school students who...

One way to stop romance from messing up Valentine’s Day

My husband is nothing if not economical. He loves me because I appreciate the finer things in life — him — and because I accept the things I cannot change — his economy. We do share one economic perspective: gift giving to each other. We don’t. In general, we have...

Adolescent Awakening

I refused to call them “niggers” as others didThose six black girls in sea of 1800 students,God-fearing community’s school integration,No brotherly love, just resentment and hatred. Haunted images from my adolescent painBeing torn asunder in puzzling confusion,I was...

How to Overcome Your Fear of the Future

I’m sitting here trying to avoid thinking about the inevitable drive to my parents’ house this afternoon. It’s only thirty minutes from where I live, but the drive itself has developed into one gigantic monster that I must battle every time I want to visit them (or...

Our Rescue Dogs Visit us While We Sleep

To Make Sure We’re Okay being Without Them For over the past twenty years we have rescued, adopted, fostered, and helped anywhere between thirty-seven and forty dogs. Being an accountant by trade, I am embarrassed at not being able to remember the exact statistics and...

Coming Home… Finally

It was a beautiful morning as I made my way to the galley of my ship for breakfast. Growing up on a farm in Kansas, breakfast was my favorite part of the day because the world is just beginning to come alive. The galley smells of bacon frying, and the sound of eggs...

The Forgotten Blessing of Your Name

Once upon a time, the sound of your first name enchanted you. It was music to your ears. You heard the lilt, the cadence, and the phonetic richness of each syllable of your name. This occurred because your name was spoken with love by your parents. So it carried the...

Violated, Hailed, Forgotten

Trigger warning : This poem was written after and is a reference to the famous Delhi, India rape case.  She fought, she scratched, her screams unheard Nails clawing flesh pain from pleasure They kept on with their greed Testing fiercely,...

My Beautiful Sister and The Museum

There is something so intimate and magical about whispering a secret.… “A sister is both your mirror — and your opposite.” — Elizabeth Fishel Moving My only sibling, a sister, Carrie Ann and I were moved from rural Amarillo Texas in 1975 to a suburb of the 3rd largest...

There Are Thrushes Everywhere

Sometimes life forces you to notice things. The woods surrounding my home are teeming with wildlife: deer, birds, squirrels and the occasional bear or coyote. They’ve become part of the landscape, blending into the snow-covered trees in the winter and the bubbling...

The power of self-reflection

If I had to choose only one tip to give someone who wants to develop themselves and become better in whatever he is doing it would be to practice a lot of self-reflection. The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by...

Kaleidoscope Sky

Pink glows hover in early morning light Purple hues illuminate scattered clouds, Kaleidoscope colors beginning my day, Contemplating this beauty present now.  Each day colored along nature’s spectrum Always surprised by what colors come, Days sometimes break dark...

For Our Children

And, oh, the things we do for them Her tiny body rolls into position on the pink and white patterned mattress. She sighs through her perfect lips, and I exhale a breath of relief. She’s asleep. I get to go to work, clean, or play with her brother. So many...

Why You Should Never Pay Your Children To Wash The Car

A case against extrinsic motivation. I screwed up badly on this one. Now, you’re probably thinking that my 4-year-old daughter royally botched the job and damaged the family car, perhaps leaving a scratch here and a ding there.  If you’re prone to exaggeration,...

With Friends Like These

What a man with Down Syndrome taught me about being human. He’s standing by the keyboard, nervous, wearing a new vest and pressed white shirt. The room is festooned with streamers and balloons stamped with ‘Happy 30th’. Guests are filing in wearing their Sunday...

You Don’t Have Time for Regrets

The importance of taking advantage of now. “Forget regret, or life is yours to miss.” —Jonathan Larson This morning was not the best for me, not by a long shot. For some reason I sat at my desk pondering on the past and what I wish I would’ve done. My mind was...

Discover the Joy of Being Yourself

It’s simple to change your whole life for the better, but it’s not easy. The key to this type of personal transformation is cultivating your sense of lovingness. Interestingly enough, if you attain a high-enough state, you will even love the unlovable, alert to the...

Analyzed

For it is in your world not the externalthat analysis of the deep takes placebereavement and snipping corners the divine plays with the defeatedsoldiers marching through your field of poppies. Self-analysis played out in the nineteenth hundred’sa reason for...

We Are Life Expressing Itself

What if the entire universe is conscious and you are a shareholder of this consciousness? If this is true, as many spiritual traditions assert, then when you look at anything in the universe — a rock or a star — you are a manifestation of the universe looking at...

Awakening the Genius Within

I fell in love with Santa Fe the minute I arrived, instantly dazzled by its rich history, a meld of Anglo, Native American, and Hispanic cultures.  Everything was refreshingly different. Unlike most American cities, it had unique architecture, a predominance of...

Creating a Need for Competition at a Young Age

Throughout my entire childhood, I have always been unbelievably competitive. As someone who was in a school specifically designed for high-level athletes, the only thing that mattered was performance. While that may bring more pressure, it was always something that I...

Watching My Mother Die

Real death isn’t like the movies March 1987 “Cancer can be beaten” That’s what the light-up advertisement on the bus proclaimed — the one sporting a cheerful, yellow daffodil while exhorting us to support cancer research.  It was Monday morning. I was on my way...

How to Inspire Without Smoke and Mirrors

Have you ever seen those late night commercials with the beautifully perfect women, asking lonely people to call the 900 number to “chat”? They portray these ads as if you are calling the expensive phone number to chat with a perfectly hot, lonely bombshell, clad in...

Cries Within

Cries keep coming from deep within Cries caused by distant hurts and pains,The dissonant cries of a little boyTorn asunder in puzzling confusion. This little boy desperately seeking truthsTruths of who he is, and should become,Truths of what is right, and what is...

Why You Should Strive For Progress Not Perfection

We all want to be perfect in some ways. I think it started in a school where we have been taught not to make any mistakes to get the best marks. We have competed with each other to please our teachers and parents. Then it continued with the expectations. ...

Why You Should Do the Things That Scare You Most

Most people choose safety over uncertainty. But do safe choices always bring you happiness in life? If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. This quote by Vincent Van Gogh is my favourite for...

Why I Stopped Reading Self-Help Books

In the most Freudian tradition, it began with my Dad. The Dad who was absent? No. The Dad who was reckless? No. He’s not that kind of Dad. The Dad who for Christmas, wanted not the latest James Patterson thriller, but a hefty computer programming manual for his...

This is How You Become a Better Listener

“If we could only listen to each other on the stage like the animals in the forest do — as though our lives depended on it.” -Geraldine Page British writer Julian Treasure believes we are losing our listening. In his brilliant 2011 TED Talk he shares his concern for...

Shenandoah Longing

Thoughts of a distant Shenandoah cabin Tucked gently in its mountainside retreat, Overlooking blue ridge mountain vistas Calming presence in its hovering quietness. Walking winding verdant forested trails Discovering new hidden natural wonders, Yearning to explore...

What a shark attack taught me about living my best life.

“Did you hear about the shark attack?” ….. 3 hours earlier… As we pulled into the car park, I caught a glimpse of the shimmering blue sea. I couldn’t wait to get out of the car and take it all in. We were chasing a tip-off from fellow travellers who told us this...

Racist roots of rock and roll?

Or. How Rock and Roll almost saved the world. Rock and roll was born in the era of segregation. Its roots go much deeper. Traces of rock and roll can be found in the slaves who brought their rhythms from Africa, and from white pilgrims with primitive stringed...

We’re Waiting, Spring!

Please Come Soon, We Beg Of You! WE’RE WAITING, SPRING! Oh, for the love of snow! Won’t you please just go?! You’ve overstayed your welcome… This is not Siberia, but wait I’m starting to wonder. This winter has been one big blunder! Is this going to be the last...

Unexpected Ways You’re Giving Away Your Personal Power

How to Regain Control Recently, my boyfriend and I saw The Favorite (which I highly recommend). The movie is ironic in that the queen, supposedly the most powerful woman in England, is weak and spineless. She’s entirely dependent on her companion, Lady Sarah, to run...

What I’m Learning about God’s Rest

I’ve been on a journey learning how to honor the Sabbath and enter into God’s rest. Not that those are both the same thing, but they are related. True rest, God’s rest, is not the absence of work. Regarding the Sabbath, Jesus told the Pharisees, “My Father is always...

You Are For Me, Mine

Poetic Prose You are the morning star,One that guides the fading twilight…You are a god-sent angel,One that makes life bright… You are the early bird,One that surely gets the worm…You are the glowing crimson,Of the early sun-kissed morn… You are the cumulonimbus,Of my...

She Did Not Walk Out!

My sister would’ve never left her kids This is not the first time I’ve told this story. I know it by heart, by my broken heart. On September 9th, 1982, I waited for the mailman. One thing that made it hard, being a military wife, was the distance it put between me and...

Eliza Jane

Eliza Jane was a tiny thing She loved to dance, and loved to sing.  The house where she lived was old and broken.  Pointed fingers and rude words, often spoken.  She never had friends in her neighborhood.  Kids would tell her she’s poor and no...

What Does It Mean To Be Limitless?

How does one soar to the stars when we’re all stuck on the ground? When you hear the word limitless, or without limits, what comes to mind? It might be someone soaring through one success after another, shattering glass ceilings, and even gender-less...

Behind Every Person’s Decision

I guess if you have an original take on life, or something about you is original, you don’t have to study people who came before you. You don’t have to mimic anybody. You just have a gut feeling inside, an instinct that tells you what’s right for you, and you can’t do...

Finding love in all the wrong places

And how I found true love right smack dab in the middle. I was 21 when I first started using craigslist to go on dates. I had just returned from an 18 month LDS mission and I wanted to get married. Going to school among a lot of other members of the Church of Jesus...

Real Friends Never Leave, Even When They Do

Addressing the reality we often want to ignore. riendships are important to everyone. Those who are dearest to us also mean a lot to us. Without giving it much thought, our small (or large) community of comrades are among the most special of all relationships in our...

The “Here & Now” Theme in Literature and Life

To see a World in a Grain of Sand. And a Heaven in a Wild Flower. Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand. And Eternityin an hour~William Blake Irecently came across a reference to the “here and now” theme in a poignant short story by Jorge Luis Borges, whose...

Life as a Broken Tea Cup

When I was a child, I was quite lonely. I would spend hours in my bedroom playing with Barbie dolls or making my own tea parties with my favorite doll and stuffed bears. I know that image is probably a lot cuter in your mind than it was in reality, but that’s...

Guises

Pearl gray skies on the horizon No sunshine present in this day, Snowflakes might eventually fall Turning Earth white, matching our sky. Polar vortex coming this way Cold air swirling in its path, Nature’s presence being felt Changing guises as it comes. Weather is...

Anna Karenina and Her Justified Suicide

Whether you watched the film starring Keira Knightley or one of the Russian adaptations or read the very novel by Tolstoy, you surely came across the phrase about the main character which sounds like: “She was being torn between her love for two men: her new beloved...

Don’t Wait for an Opportunity to Strike

The art of having an active pursuit. It feels amazing to get stuff done. From small tasks to the biggest, most important project, nothing screams “WIN” louder than checking off an item on the to-do list. But what are we supposed to do next  We often overlook what...

This is What Happens When You Arrive in Dubai

“The Phoenix must burn to emerge.” — Janet Fitch “You staying or going?” you ask. “One day layover,” he says. “Me too,” you tell him. These are the first words you utter to the man you’ve been sitting beside for the last twelve hours. You get to talking and discover...

New Questions?

Is it freedom we really want? Are we genuinely seeking peace? What does tranquility mean to us? What powers do we feel within? Or are we trying to acquire more stuff? Seeking and grasping status recognition Wanting more money to buy new toys, Is there any end to these...

I Know Why You Can’t See Me

I’ve Compromised To Nothing I stood open before you;One could not have been more true.But you didn’t want to seeMe. To your tune, I danced and strippedOff my skin.I morphed into your dream; a nobody. I gave in and passed out.I compromised and finally died. Now I’m...

How to Quit Your Nine to Five

Most of us have dreams of quitting our jobs and living the rest of our lives doing whatever the hell we like without a care in the world.  If I had to guess I’d say that’s one of the main reasons people write on here, to make enough money to be able to live life...

Three Things I Learned From a 2,400-Year-Old Book

It taught me the way. At least this is what The Tao in the title roughly translates as — The Book of the Way. The Tao Te Ching (or Daodejing, in pinyin) is a classic Chinese Taoist text, thought to be written in the fourth century BC. It has been attributed to a...

Homeless Realities

Full moon fading towards the west New thoughts springing in the east, Earth progressing as it always does New sun glowing on our horizon. Distant car lights breaking darkness New day unfolds in its early stages, Will new wisdom come with light? What new ideas will...

Madam Oiselle

Beautiful Oiselle Walking out of the airport lounge, I saw this lady. A little anxious but waiting, She seemed to be in transit. I was in a trance. It Wasn’t just her Slow hair whips, beckoning eyes and shape That blew me away. OK, I’ll be on my way. But before I fly,...

Ten Choices I’m Glad I Made and Ten I Wish I Hadn’t

With my last birthday, I qualified for seniors’ night with the Buffalo Flats Social Club: dinner, entertainment, and occasional dancing for those 55 or older. I pretty much know everyone who attends. I’ve considered them “the wise ones” for the decade I’ve lived...

The Unexpected Visitor

Sitting in bed with a large pillow propped behind his neck and shoulders, Irene put her book of Rumi’s poetry down. His eyes were moist, her heart touched by the words whispering in his mind. “What is it like,” she asked herself aloud,” to see the world as it is?” Her...

How Badly Do You Want To Be Free?

“San Quentin, you’re a livin’ hell to me.” — Johnny Cash I recently watched Walk the Line again, a movie about the life of Johnny Cash up thru his marriage to June Carter. Here is a man who knew well the gritty side of life. The hard times of his childhood scarred him...

Innocent Forbidden Love

Elizabeth placed a gloved hand against the wall of the dining car, steadying herself as the brakes unlocked and the train rocked forward. Building speed, the train’s pace steadied, as did her balance. She pulled away from her walled anchor and unfastened large ivory...

Act on Behalf of Evolution

The more you evolve as a person, the more you contribute to the well-being of the species. And the more you devolve as a person, the more you assist in holding the evolution of humankind behind. These may strike you as odd statements. After all, since your birth, you,...

How Changing your Mind Changes your Life

“You lived with anger and physical yearnings that were insatiable, and you went about dismantling yourself on a daily basis, tendon and join, for the rest of your days all the time wearing the mask of a court jester.” James Lee Burke, Creole Belle That’s a description...

It’s Time You Changed Your Idea of Success

You’re simply making things harder than they have to be. What does success really mean? This seven-letter word often crosses my mind when I think about life. We see it all the time in the books we read and the shows we watch. Such a powerful but scary word. It’s...

The Day Evie Williams Inherited the Earth

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Shivering violently, Evie did not know if her shivering was from the frigid temperatures or an oncoming bug, “If I had only gone to The Holy Evangel Mission earlier, tonight, I could have endured another hellfire...

Earth Messages

Bleak, dark clouds hovering in morning sky Hang ominously above this ground below, What winds are blowing with these clouds? Only time will tell what change is coming. Provocative messages from Mother Earth As she absorbs what beings have given Her, Heavy smoking...

You Will Never Get There

I don’t mean to offend you, but you will never get there. It’s not because you lack talent or genius or courage or drive. You may have these in abundance, but, still, you will never get there. The reason you will never get there — to that perfect place in time and...

Seasons

Spring was a new beginning,The days promised to grow longerAnd we promised to do betterThis time, unlike the last.But while Nature grew fresh and fragrantWe disregarded the lessonsThe previous seasons had taught usAnd made the same mistakesWe had resolved not to make....

The Best Win: Better You, Better Parent, Better World

Our world wins big time when you — yes you — are healthy and contributive. Especially as a parent. I want to encourage you to leverage the age we live in — this highly connected, no-return technological world where we’ve arrived — to your advantage when you parent...

The Impossible Scheme of the Ego

The ego’s impossible scheme is to be immortal and to be happy about it. Although this scheme to be both immortal and happy is doomed to failure from the beginning, the ego refuses to give them up, regardless of how much logic about the nature of reality you throw at...

Timeless Monsters Who Never Stop Chasing You

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.― Friedrich Nietzsche The abyss is life and living it well. We are called to live, but how...

Finding Balance in an Unbalanced World

I won’t judge you if you won’t judge me.  The opening thought in Dan Pedersen’s December 3 letter (now deleted) is an accurate assessment of one of life’s challenges. “No matter how much you do, it will always feel like you’re not doing enough. Because we’re aware...

In the Light of Love

A Greeting In the turmoil of these current times Remember who you are In the midst of all your challenges  Remember how much you’re loved You might not feel it now Maybe you have forgotten But you’ll know deep down inside of you Love is...

Looking for and finding magic in her eyes

One small variable can change everything. A short conversation, close calls, near misses, and then … no telling what might happen. I can’t help but enjoy what I enjoy. I’m not asking for anything from anyone. The view is good enough. She was the girl of...

Questioning What The Will Of God Is For You

(And what customer service should not look like) The day I picked up my dry cleaning was much more pleasant than the cold, rainy day on which I’d dropped my two dresses onto the counter at Town & Country Cleaners. I handed the girl at the counter my claim slip,...

You Can Achieve Your Goals & Still Have Fun

I’m sure we would all love to be smashing our goals while at the same time doing all the fun stuff we love to do.  But we are told that in order to achieve a huge success that there has to be a struggle.  Long hours. Minimal sleep. If you’re enjoying...

How Sudden Death Changed My Life

Reflections on figuring out what matters You never expect to receive a message like this after a long day.  Hey Frank, just wanted to let you know that Phyllis Armstrong passed away this week. I don’t have any real details other than she had gone to hospital and...

Women and the Power of Unity

Women Must Join Together and Speak Up, Step Up, and March Right Up to Those in Power The Women’s Marches that took place across the nation on January 19, 2019, are part of a tradition of women joining together to effect change. Women march to stand up for their own...

Face It, Nobody Likes A Smart Ass…

Except we do — we really, really do We all love a good smart ass… From the kid with the clever come-back to the stand-up comedienne who lampoons our least-loved politician. And among writers? They’re the ones with the great headlines, who use cheeky, provocative,...

I Might Actually Be Good At This

Today I had a eureka moment in my day job. For those that don’t know me, I am Deputy Head of a small independent school. We specialise in young people who can’t access mainstream school. They have a mix of learning needs and behaviour that challenges. Yes, it’s...

Some Colorful Fragments of Vibrant Life.

A Poetic Snapshot of Life. The burning sun scorched the land.Orphaned animals die parched of thirst.I am a sunflower.I love the sun. Power blackouts darken the hapless town.The wind blows off dazzling neon lights.I am a glow worm.My glow never dies. Men aim to reach...

WE PITCHED OUR TENT ON A CLIFF

Overlooking the ocean. My camping days are stored in the archives of long-ago times. However, such was the experience that it soured me for life. Of camping, that is. I was much younger. Adventurous and stupid. Obviously. I was on that Merry-go-Around called Marriage...

I’m That Mom

I’m that mom. You know, the one that doesn’t have it all together. I probably forgot to grab my coat on the way out of the house this morning. (It’s 35 degrees out.) I also failed to remember I needed to put gas in the car before dropping the kids off at school this...

What happens when your travel adventure comes to an end?

I winced as if I had been stabbed. The words uttered by the American volunteer I had become acquainted with pierced the warm Indonesian night air. ‘’I have begun researching jobs in my field, you know just to be prepared when I return home. I have also been checking...

It’s Only a Game

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere.~W.B. Yeats You may have seen this sticker: Life is only a game. If it were the real thing, then you would have been given clear...

How to Escape The Blame Game and Reclaim Your Happiness

leave blame behind and take control We all have baggage. Yours isn’t the same as mine but it’s all heavy. It weighs us down in the present because we can’t face the future without looking back at what happened to us in the past. And then we place blame. “I can’t...

Thanks I Needed That!

There is no such thing as nothing “Have a nice weekend!” How many times do I hear that? I usually reply something like, “Yeah, I will. You too!”  Just recently I changed my response. “My week has no end. It is circular.”  I have been working weekends for...

How To Tell If You’re A Self-Help Junkie

And What Self-Help Advice You Should Ignore “I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, “where’s the self-help section?” She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.” — George Carlin Self-help can be a great thing.  What could be better than...

How to deal with rejection

How do you deal with the feeling of being told: “you are not good enough?” It doesn’t matter if it is a job, relationship, education, or contract. The feeling that comes with someone closing the door in your face is the same. From worthlessness to hopelessness,...

What If There Was An All MOMS Shut Down?

efore dads all over the world go into panic mode and start having anxiety attacks, let me say, the chances that a MOMS shut down will happen are very slim.  That’s because MOMS will feel GUILTY that their dependents will suffer and NOT do it , unlike (rhymes...

Mother’s Kind

The kind of loving we should gravitate towards.  I tried to conjure up her image in my head. Her shoulder-length deep brown hair. Her beautiful twinkling pair of eyes. Her rather plump cheeks. Her pink lips, in the shape of a heart. Her smile, the kind that lighted up...

The You That Is Also You

Embracing the dichotomies of self How often do you hide the real you? The things you love, in secret, perhaps? The you that retires in safety just below the epidermis and only surfacing when it feels safe. The right company. The right crowd. This contrasting self...

Breaking Hearts

Hearts are breaking around the world Suffering as hunger and poverty grows, Conditions tragically breaking their spirits Taking their toll on millions each day. Oppression of many by a few dictators Thrives in far too many places, Sometimes violent with many deaths...

Drinking Should Have Killed Me

Drinking makes me bolder. A trait which I don’t possess when I’m sober. A confidence that is unashamed, the power of which I piece together the following morning through hazy memories and text messages from friends. Shyness entered my life around the same time as...

Preparing for Death

The information provided in this short series is morbid to many people, especially here in America. Death and all of its aspects are considered cold and unfeeling. In many ways, preparing for the inevitable is like walking the road less traveled. Here are four things...

Should I Be Offended By This?

When I worked in a nonprofit thrift store, I hired a Muslim woman to be my assistant manager. One Christmas when we were digging through donations to see what we could sell, she ran across some life-sized wooden nativity figures.  A lot of thrift store donations...

More To Come

Premonitions of new change coming Never sure what its nature might be, Knowing time evolves incessantly Revealing surprises with each day. Newness refreshes how we feel Letting go of what has passed, Regeneration of creative natures Stirring thoughts hidden long ago....

My Love, I Set You Free; Fly and Be Free.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Mack sipped his morning coffee in the solitude. The aches of loss and loneliness nipped at Mack. The sunlight hit his face from the window as the sun breached the horizon. Five years had passed since...

The Day My Daughter Stopped Singing

My daughter Vanessa has perfect pitch. I’m not biased when I say she sings like an angel. She has a wonderful voice. It’s always been that way. I remember when she was seven and obsessed with Frozen. She held concerts in our living room for me and her father and sang...

Maybe So. Maybe Not. We’ll see.

(The Parable of the Chinese Farmer) There is a Chinese Parable that goes something like this: ‘A farmer and his son had a beloved stallion who helped the family earn a living. One day, the horse ran away and their neighbors exclaimed, “Your horse ran...

My Sister

A Poem As I passed to the end of the vistaI was stopped thinking of how often I miss herAt the view of this wonderful sceneryI realized there is nothing compared to our bond, sweet sister Oh, we had so many magical moments!Being young together, crying over each...

Are You Interested or Committed?

I was listening to a great interview with John Assaraf, where he was talking about his first mentor. Before he took him on, the mentor wanted to know if John was interested in, or committed to, reaching his goals. I’m fascinated by people who make a life-changing...

I Hate the Midwest and it is Amazing for Personal Growth

Absorb what is useful, Discard what is not, Add what is uniquely your own. — Bruce Lee Doing that right now… The Midwest has my family by the metaphorical balls again. Hand firmly placed around intimate parts poised with the threat of a clenched fist. If that’s...

The Man Who Never Was

My name is Pliny, and I am an old man dying in a large bed. In a few days or even tomorrow, I will no longer be here. One advantage of this precarious situation is that I can now speak about forbidden things. No longer intimidated by the threat of death, I wish to...

Always Becoming

New thoughts arise in every moment Part of this journey in our becoming, Never finished, always evolving Dynamism inherent in who we are. Dreams floating from us in the night Phantom warriors in our subconscious, Sometimes reminders from our pasts At others, new...

If Only

I thought of you todaynot fleeting snapshots,but long reflections. Clear pictures in my memory,stored in baggiesto keep them safe. Your dwindling voice fadeslike a sunset,barely there. I thought of you todayas I wiped away tears,that come unannounced. The day you...

I’m Grateful for My Catlike Reflexes!

Narrowly Escaping a Wreck on My Drive to Work Other than the lighter traffic, this morning’s drive to work was typical. At first.  Sometimes Traffic is Better Cars move slower in traffic. Unless you’re right on the bumper of the person in front of you, the...

It’s Not All About You

People tend to do whatever they want. Thank goodness for laws. The result of actions can play a big or small part in society. Some people may use the following phrases to describe their feelings about other peoples actions. “ I don’t care what they do behind closed...

This is Why It’s Not Too Late for You

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” — George Eliot During my second year of drama school my classmates and I tackled the works of Shakespeare, Beckett, Williams, and Ibsen. Each storyteller shared a unique vision of the world, transporting me from a...

As a Young Fawn, I

As a young fawn, I with awkward step found an opening in the wood; unfolding eyes beheld and touched what I could little understand — that though I’d freely come to see, ’twas his hand that was drawing me.  I wished not that our eyes...

Speak. Listen. Lead.

Question: What is the most important leadership skill? Answer: Knowing how to communicate. Why? Because leading is about relationships. Question: What is most talked about in making or breaking any relationship?” Answer: Knowing, or not knowing, how to communicate....

So Gray, Are My Days…

When it’s gray, So long seems the day. The sun is hidden,  And the dreary cold Comes unbidden The rain spruces up our nature,  But me, it bruises up. Not my skin,  But my feelings which are akin. Many a time,  I wonder if indeed I am naive? The...

A Dad to be Remembered

When my dad first died, I became upset because the world kept going. Everyone did their own thing without any respect to the fact that a good man passed away. Never again would anyone hear his voice. My niece and I wrote up pieces dealing with how we felt about his...

Tales Of An Unfortunate Tattoo

I didn’t stop to think it might be a bad idea. My husband, Micah, and I were getting along at the time, not to mention the amount of substance abuse we were engaging in. I hadn’t yet been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, so I didn’t realize I was in the middle of a...

The Problem Solving Strategy

Life Skills… “Analysis is not the only way to resolve inner conflicts.Life itself still remains a very effective therapist.”  — Anonymous A hospital receptionist smelled smoke.  Searching for the source, she eventually discovered a soldering iron mistakenly left...

I Have Value And I Matter

You! Yes, you Everyone is important, including me.  I have important things to do and accomplish.  My ideas and opinions are important.  I bring value to those around me with my thoughts, words, and actions. I feel more important and valuable...

4 Parents-1 Daughter

My Daughter’s Modern Family During the Autumn of 2009, on a rainy, chilly day, my daughter and I sat in silence watching the rivers of water trickle down the window panes. We lived in the country, just outside of a small town, at the time. She was just 17-years-old...

Things I’ve Learned in the Year Since My Son’s Death

Grief has taught me some good lessons. It’s been about a year since my oldest son, Nick, passed away. It’s been a year of grief and healing, despair and hope. Sometimes all of them at once. I’ve changed. The loss of one of my children literally changed me into a...

Are You Willing To Do Anything To Change Your Life?

If so, start with this It’s no secret the life we’re living right now is the result of our thoughts and actions. Sure, there are some things that seem like they fall out of the sky directly on top of our heads. But if we’re honest about it, we can see how past...

Improvement Should Be Your Next Big Thing

How to get rid of those rotten habits once and for all. Most of the time, we do things without thinking twice about them. Because of a certain routine, our actions are left without much explanation. We do it because it’s what we’re used to. Scroll through Twitter....

Short Story: Power Grid

Gabby ran to the nearest safe spot she could find. The air smelled of gas, dead bodies, and trash. It has only been 3 days since the power grid went out. No answers on who or what caused it. Gabby was at home at when the power went out. Her parents took her to a...

Can People Be As Smart As Seeds?

Seeds are wondrous little packets of DNA, but they are much more than that. They contain nutrients, proteins, cells for storage, structures for dispersal, and attractive features that help other living beings spread them far and wide. But seeds are also notable for...

How Finally Listening to my Girlfriend Changed My Life

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” Ernest Hemingway Women always say “Men don’t listen” and they are correct. We do not listen especially when people are trying to help us. We think we know best and are...

When Buffed Met Saggy…

How The Hell Does That Happen? So I bet you’re wondering how in the world did “Buffed Meet Saggy”? I might as well state the obvious, (or for some of you who aren’t that familiar with me), the not so obvious. I am like a walking conundrum. A polarizing dilemma, if you...

Why You Should Stop Trying to Do Everything

Breaking free from distractions to focus on what moves you. “If you are trying to do everything, you will fail at everything.” —Matt D’Avella With all of the fancy new gadgets coming out every other day, there exists a pull to do multiple things at once. New features...

Why Am I Here?

Bonsai thriving amidst cold winter airBright sun illuminates lively new scenes,Commuters all moving at hurried pacesHomeless huddled in tattered blankets. Contrasts in our current urban dramaAlways seen as it is presently lived,Musicians play at subway...

Why You Should Read Your Favorite Books Again

And the Huge Impact it Has on Your Life “Why do you keep all these books on the shelves?” someone asked as I was showing them around our house. We stopped in the den where I have a few full bookshelves. They vary in size, shape, color, and topic, but each one is...

It’s a Big Enough Pizza For Us All

You will get your perfect slice! I believe the Universe is big enough to hold us all. It can support all of our dreams. We all have different dreams, motivations and goals. We all have different styles of writing too. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.I mean who...

How to End Your Worries, Anxieties, and Fears

A cure to your internal pain You worry about your relationships, your financial situation, your life and you worry about your loved ones. You feel anxious about taking a decision: “Maybe I’m not the best fit for this”. You fear the outcome of an event. You fear...

Without Robbing Your Dignity, May I Help You?

While waiting for my doppio espresso, I watched as a young woman struggled to put her drink into a coffee sleeve. Something you and I might take for granted. For many disabled people, the struggle for independence is strong. The desire to be seen as normal and...

What I Have Is Enough

If you know enough is enough, you’ll always have enough I am content with my life as it is now.  I think about the riches I already possess instead of striving to acquire more. I focus on gratitude.  I find creative ways to express my thanks, so I...

Bleu de France.

A short story about second chances The business of attending the funeral of a parent was no trivial matter. He was not going. In spite of having dressed the part: suit, tie, sapphire shirt, dress shoes, and cufflinks. He stood waiting for the taxi outside the hotel...

Waiting for her.

and Writing Poetry……. Golden chrysanthemums littered the frozen ground, Fading grasslands stretched towards the horizon. Rain sifted through the apple trees. A mournful cuckoo lamented the dying spring. I leaned over the ornate balustrade, A thousand memories filled...

Poised at the Crossroads of Parenting & Culture

Parenting is hard. But take heart. Here are 5 principles to help you bring your best self to the job and show how you can impact the world as you do. Here you are, with little people who see you as Mommy. Or Daddy. And you’re suddenly that person who’s supposed to be...

7 Millennial Marketing Myths Busted

Throw everything you thought you knew about marketing to millennials out the window. Millennials have caused quite the controversy in recent years, whether it’s because we’ve killed another industry or we spend too much money on avocado toast. In 400 BC, Socrates...

The unslakeable mendicants we are

How complacency in life helps you to live a better life… Yeah, buddies, I am speaking of you and me. We are all beggars in our own ways. Opulence or indigence is purportedly not the marker for our mendicancy and the incessant banging on the doors high above. Beggars...

How to Rebel Against Reality

What we call reality is not real. Science agrees with Democritus’s wildly accurate conjecture that reality is atoms floating in empty space. And it goes even further in establishing the insubstantiality of things. For instance, atoms are not small blocks of...

Your Worth is Not Defined By the Money You Earn

I have felt it often and I know of many mothers who feel it a lot of times. Especially if you are not an “earning member”. Feeling that you are not worthy because you do not have a steady income.  You see others around you bringing in money and wonder if you are...

Paint

Paint me a deeper shade of blue, I am not enough of the night sky I wish to twinkle. Paint me the globe burning of sun orange and yellowexcitement and Spring, for I need the birth of new thingswithin. Paint me a delicate pink one that adores and smells of...

Too Much for a Funeral?

Whether it is a small family-owned and run funeral home or it is a large corporation that owns hundreds or thousands of funeral homes and cemeteries, businesses operate in order to make a profit. However, there is a huge difference between a locally owned and operated...

Searching for Childhood as an Adult

As a child, I had a hard time because I wanted to be older, and now I have a hard time because I don’t want to grow up. I took pride in being the “mature one.” The child with the highest aptitude for sitting at the adult table. Silent and observing. I was pretending...

Don’t Get Used To It

Learning the art of appreciation. Where do I begin? It’s always a bit tricky when it comes to relationships. It’s not always easy. We all know that. One of the strangest things that happened when I was in high school is that no matter how inexperienced I was in...

Saying Goodbye!

In my previous article to this, I told a fun memory I had of my dad when I was a teenager. Remembering Life  Before my dad died in June of 2017, I went to visit my parents. I struggled with what I saw because he didn’t look the same. He had gone downhill while I...

Sticker Shock at Funeral Homes

On the worst day of your life, the last thing you or your family should have to deal with is sticker shock. A quick perusal of this link will show a wide variety of prices that have to be considered. The average price of a funeral in the USA is currently between...

Wisdom Power

Wisdom derived from what we see Absorbing it daily as we live, Experiences rapidly accumulate Teachable moments every one. What power comes from all of this? Knowledge for our minds to hold, Interpreting what it really means Discerning values that we feel. Power when...

Money is the root of evil

Money is the root of evil This piece of paper rules our lives Do we have enough to live? Do we have enough to give? Some have money to burn Spending cash on frivolities Money for new gold watches Money for pet haircuts and homes People who work all week To go to the...

A Phoenix of Hope

To be reborn in your fireThat arises from your heartFrom the golden or the silver skiesYou came descending here With your colors that are fadingWithout regrets, without questionsBeyond shadow, beyond doubtTime for a new resurrection You can leave it all thereafterAs...

If you are a boss you need to learn how to lead

Simply bossing people around is not good enough Let’s get things straight. A lot of bosses are terrible leaders. And it’s not because they are stupid or bad people in general. It’s because they don’t know how to lead. Take look at a typical boss. He’s most likely a...

Choices We Make

Feeling cool breezes in early morn Light breaking across far horizon, Beings all around beginning to stir Peaceful moments in quite stillness. Contemplating nature’s gifts Gifts to embrace and enjoy, Always present for us to see If we let awareness behold them. So...

Who Do You Want Teaching Your Child?

This is a story I saw on Instagram, quoted verbatim: I made the mistake of downloading 1… ONE ABC learning game on my phone for my 2 year old daughter. smh Three weeks later I finally had enough (not that I had much of a choice, she broke my phone out of frustration...

A Lesson In Gratitude

Dodging the curveball I was given an unexpected and totally jacked up lesson in gratitude. I know I should be grateful for all that I’ve been given. I have a great husband and a beautiful grandbaby, I have a fantastic job and I get to write out all the stories in my...

Ten Things About Funerals

While every state is different, I wish these were some things that EVERY adult knew about funerals. Having previously been in the cemetery/funeral industry for almost 8 years, I can speak to the practices of private firms as well as cemeteries and funeral homes that...

I Accidentally Fell For This Gender Stereotype

And it was the best thing this dad of two daughters could foresee. I did not see it coming. “If I had to choose between beauty and brains, I will choose brains any day.” — casual words of a young executive to my friend. They were talking about finding life partners....

How To Inspire, Impress And Energize Everyone You Meet

Stand Out, Be Noticed, Captivate People “Charisma is a sparkle in people that money can’t buy. It’s an invisible energy with visible effects.” — Marianne Williamson Have you ever longed to be the life of the party?  Wouldn’t it be nice to navigate business and...

Next Moments

Heavy fog enveloping my views Is it metaphor for what comes next? Future usually does seem quite hazy Without completely being obscured. Never exactly sure what is coming Discerning hints in present moments, Thinking it will be of keen interest As most of our journeys...

Terrifying + Exciting

Creativity is both. “The triumphs, anxiety, joy, pain, wrapped together. They don’t live without one another. It was hard. And it was good. Focus on the PROCESS of becoming great at what you do and everything else will fall into place.” @Ayodeji Awosika Creating...

Either You Make The Choice Or It Is Made For You

It was 1978, Freddie Roach a promising lightweight pugilist traveled to Las Vegas with his father in search of a personal coach who could help him in elevating his game and prepare him for next level of fierce competition in professional boxing. Eddie Futch, one of...

Here’s How To 10X Your Personal Growth

Get More Aware Of Yourself… Most of us don’t even know the depth of our problems. 60–70% times I’m mistaken in doing so. It’s my father or my journal that uncovers the whole situation for me most of the times. I never knew that I was so reactive. I never knew that...

Santorini, Greece. I Love You.

I had the most amazing opportunity to take a seven-night Greek Isles cruise after dreaming about going to Greece for almost ten years. It was hopefully the first of many times I’ll be able to travel to one of the few places on Earth that I felt at home. Truly, at...

Coffee, Cake and Lifeisms!

In the corner of a popular coffee shop sat a lady with short brown hair and a laptop. Nursing a milky cup of tea and a thoughtful frown, she sat quietly while life went on around her. A young lady with long, sleek black hair and effortless but yet perfect makeup...

You Need More Introverts In Your Life

Here’s why. There are some common assumptions about introverts that have been driving me crazy lately. It’s not that I have anything against the people making them. But out of all the bullet points they conjure, many are untrue and more are left out. You see, I...

Ode to January

A Sonnet January, you inspire me to write How I love the way you anticipate Invading my mind through the dark days and long nights Always dreaming about new beginnings… Let me compare your steadfast dark times With a frosty fiery sleepy head Your...

Where Is Winter?

This year is passing without winter here No snow falling or prolonged cold days, Temperatures change from cold to warm Never real feeling of a cold winter season. Christmas came without any winter feel Autumn just extended itself into December, Trees expected the...

Don’t Use ‘Just Words’ – Use Encouraging Words

I always write with music playing in the background and this morning was no different, except when it hit cowboy poet Baxter Black with his spoken word poem “Just Words.” Like a bolt of lightning, I knew what I would write about today. I would write about how we all...

Naked And Alone

Hermann Schultz, the young guard, peered through the bars and saw the shadows of the evening gather around the skinny, naked man huddled in the corner of the cell. The shadows accentuated his sad gray eyes and rivulets of sorrow glistened in his gray beard. The...

I’m A Little Teapot

I’m a little teapot short and stout Here is my handle, here is my spout When I get all steamed up, then I shout, “Just tip me over, pour me out!” That was a song I sang to all of my children while they grew up. There were others, as well, but this is the one I want to...

Sometimes I think he only wants me for the money

That’s a result of abuse I’ve been abused. not just a little bit, but a lot. In many ways. A major part of my life. So I’m thinking. Always. I’m thinking that I’m being abused because I have been abused. It’s hard to separate that thought from other things. Because I...

Mundaneness

Pleasure experiencing mundaneness Thriving plants with flower blooms, Rising suns lighting new days skies Coolness felt in early morning air. Children’s laughter when at play Smiling faces with people passing, Mountains climbing to highest peaks Ocean waves lapping...

How I Gained a New Perspective

The busyness of the holidays are past and the decorations are packed away for another year. Recalling the joy and chaos of having all five young grandchildren in the house bring a smile, but also a twinge of sadness as I wonder when they will all be together again....

My Beautiful Lover.

Sedoka poetry. Sedoka is a Japanese poetic form which is written in a question and answer form. What is that golden hazeSifting through the twilight zephyrsFading through the silvery mist? That is not golden haze,But the refulgent tressesOf My beautiful lover. What...

The World is Looking for Leaders

Leadership is the sun coming up on the horizon sprinkling the world with beauty and energy. Management is the rainy, grey day that gives you the feeling of hopelessness. Working in corporate America can be very frustrating. The frustration doesn’t come from the work...

The Healing Powers Of Cranberry Peppermint Candles

Walking through the mall with my 12-year-old daughter was quite surreal. The mall itself seemed frozen in time, a replica of something you would see in the 80's. The stores were flashbacks from when I was a preteen: Dillard’s, Macy’s and even those Auntie Anne’s...

Martial Arts… Here We Come

When my husband and I were younger, Mark decided to take Tae Keon Do for exercising purposes. I was all for it. It was a desire he’d had for years. We discussed sending our children (at that point they weren’t even teens yet) with him. We figured this would help them...

How to Respond to Bad Reviews

ust one negative review has the power to damage your company’s reputation and therefore revenue. In fact, it takes roughly 40 positive reviews to undo the damage of just one negative review. On average, a dissatisfied customer will tell up to 15 people about their...

An Orgasm is Not What Girls Fake Most Often

Her name is Ann, and she’s 4. This girl is little, amiable and not very smart, but her behavior already resembles that of some adult women. She’s always active. She’s always playful. She always smiles. That’s the way other people see her. But once the door of her room...

Would You Like the Senior Discount?

With sincerity written all over his face, the young man standing behind the glass said, “Would you like the Senior Discount?” I am sure he wasn’t speaking to me, since, I was standing behind my wife when he mistakingly said that. Confession time — I chuckled when I...

Why New Year Is in the Dead of Winter

It’s fascinating to me that our New Year here in the West occurs in the dead of Winter. I know other cultures’ New Year occurs at different times of the year, and that’s great. I’m sure God is speaking to all cultures with the timing of their New Year celebration, but...

Say It: I LOVE YOU

Shout it at the top of your lungs. Say it like it’s your last day on Earth. When I was a child, I used to say I love you a lot. To a lot of people. Family and friends. Acquaintances of my parents who gave me candies or chocolates. I just said it. I love you I love you...

Mimslyn Inn

Fascination with orange dancing flames In old brick fireplace of this aged inn, What wisdom might these flames reveal In mesmerizing presence gazing at me. Grand inn resplendent in past ages traditions Having baby grand piano and poinsettias too, Lobby bar and...

Time to clean out your word closet

At the turn of each calendar year, I love to purge files, sort housewares, clean out closets and send my usable discards to the thrift store (while hoping I don’t buy them back later). As I do so, I’m also thinking it’s a good time to inventory some words and phrases...

Remembering Life

As I grew up, I never realized how important my parents were. My dad was the center of our life, the one who kept our family together. He was the one everyone enjoyed being around.  He didn’t speak much at all. When he did, everyone normally listened. Of course,...

Ten Quirky Things

My original thought when challenged to do this was that there is NOTHING quirky about me. I am, well, I am just me! After all, if the rest of the world was just like me, then it would be a boring place. While speaking openly about my hesitations, my lovely wife,...

While 2018 is Fresh on the Mind – My Perspective

With Great Change Comes Great Opportunity Reading all the “Top Stories of 2018” and “New Year’s Resolutions” and “My ‘Word’ for 2019” articles has left me both reflective and bemused. I wasn’t going to write one of those “What I Learned Writing on Medium” or “My Year...

How to Become an Actual, Real Life Superhero

YOU are a superhero, even if you don’t know it yet. “Anyone can wear the mask” — Miles Morales, Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse “We can be heroes” — David Bowie Every Time You Help Others, You Are A Superhero “That person who helps others simply because it should...

Why Helicopter Parents Have Got It Wrong

My husband used to teach in a low-income high school riddled with crime, homelessness and poverty. He loved his job. When he figured out that one of his students couldn’t read because he couldn’t see the words, my husband spoke with a counselor and together they made...

How to Grow Up

To My 18-Year-Old Self Dear younger me, Don’t heavily rely on people to help you. I’m not talking about asking for help when you need it. This is more like sitting on your butt, waiting on someone to come and scoop you up, as if you were incapable of getting up on...

Starting Over

In all honesty,I don’t know what to donow that you are gone. I am starting life over. Struggling with the darkI am a child whose innocence is stolenstumbling composurerocks pebbles thrown in ponds staring blankly at the ripples a desperate light bulb clingingto...

Time Zones Can Throw Off Birthdays

For 13 months, from July 2010 through July 2011, my family lived in France. Our daughter Ella turned 14 while we were in Paris. December 18, 2010 — Sabbatical Blog I tried to explain to Ella this morning that as long as we are in France, December 18 isn’t really...

Earth’s Changes

Time flowing on its natural course Daily coming and going on its own, Nothing special in this flow Continuing along like ages past. Constructions of the human mind Created time as we know it now, Earth knows not of human time Nature continuing as it always has. No...

My Best Moments in Life

Surveying the tightly gathered group of people, I should have been grateful. But I wasn’t. A strange sense filled the air, and looking into the eyes of each person, it seemed as though I could read their thoughts. But they could not read mine. Gifts of various kinds...

What Is the Good Life?

You are consciousness navigating through empty space. When you think about it, Democritus, the ancient pre-Socratic philosopher, who flourished in Abdera, Thrace about 460 BC was right. The first human being to formulate the atomic theory proposed…  Nothing...

Present Love

Freeing myself of past burdens Separation from what has been, Knowing it is all a part of me But that was then, this is now. Freedom in renewing myself Being where my life has come, Past regrets have been dissolved Like evaporating ethers in the air. Seeing beauty...

On Loneliness and Relationships

And why the latter can never be a cure to the former. I lay in bed, with my partner less than 6 inches away from me, I felt this profound loneliness. I’ve felt this way many times. With my current partner and with others who came before. Loneliness, as it turns...

Greet the New Year with Great Expectations

I always close out a year with a run right before midnight and then a run right after midnight with a kiss for my forever girlfriend in between right at midnight if I can wake her up. It seems like a crazy thing to do but it sure beats the way I used to ring in the...

All the Best Things in 2018 Had One Thing in Common

Drum rollllll… He who is not happy with a little will not be happy with a lot — Lao Tzu I was reminiscing about my last year. For the most part, 2018 was insanely uncertain. It was aconfusing challenging stressfulanxioussad sometimes overwhelmingly...

The kind leader. Do I have to be?

My mantra: Create. Sweat. Give. Listen. Be kind. I think of a mantra as something very personal, like the essence of a personal life philosophy. It was a little surprising when I honed mine at work writing for our e-newsletter to try and put a face on our mission....

Life Lessons Learned with Food

As I awoke this New Year’s morning, my first thoughts turned to food and the traditional Southern New Year’s Day lunch or dinner of pork, collard greens, black-eyed peas, and cornbread. Why you might ask, would one immediately think of food on the first day of the new...

How Can I Help?

In 2019, we can expect more chaos because the chaos in the world is accelerating at an alarming rate. This is a wakeup call for all of us. Each in our own way can contribute to bringing about new possibilities. The way we contribute, or the size of our contribution,...

Man Is the Greatest Animal.

A collection of Poetic Pleiades. A pleiade is a structured poetry form in which only one word is allowed in title followed by single seven line stanzas. Tigers Image Credits: Jessica Weiler The men who become “Tigers” in strip-tease lounges, Throwing...

Marley & Me-Why I Have an Alter Ego

There are actually 3 names I carry within me, and although it may make me sound like a schizophrenic, I can assure you, I am not. (I don’t think, anyhow).  I was named Christina Marlene when I was born-both names came from Aunts. Christina is my mother’s sister,...

Lessons From My Three Weddings

I was twenty when I got married for the first time. Derek was my high school sweetheart and savior. I was still seventeen when we started living together straight from the apartment I shared with my mother. She unceremoniously kicked me out one July morning, and when...

You Are:

You Are: The one love of my life for 29 years We’ve been through so many things Fun times, laughter, hard times, tears Love comes from you… my heart still sings We are one facing other frontiers You Are: The one who holds the sky for me Making me feel like a jewel...

Pretend You’re Good at It

Nearly every year before the holidays I look for something light and amusing to read while the hectic planning, shopping, baking and socializing begins. This year, I read Furiously Happy,by Jenny Lawson, a somewhat irreverent (the book, not Jenny) read about life from...

Discontent

Aliveness felt in morning spirits Contemplations of what is here, No voices in this stillness now Silence with its peaceful calm. Tree shadows distantly visible Vague outlines in stark darkness, Hooting owls break the silence Nature’s presence alone with me....

The Myth Of The “Work Friend.”

Fourteen years ago, when I began working at a privately-owned marketing agency that, as my husband pointed out, looked like a “sperm bank” from the outside, my immediate goal was to find another gig and get the hell out of Dodge. For the first time in years, I would...

Why I really enjoy being single

‘’I want to be married by the time I am 30!'’ exclaimed my friend. Her soft golden curls framed her pretty face and highlighted the steely look in her eye. I knew this was a goal rather than an arbitrary statement. My eyes slowly surveyed the room. Each of my...

What High School Taught Me About Life

And What I Wish I’d Known Then From a small city in North Carolina, I was a simple kid trying, like the rest of my classmates, to finish high school. I was a varsity basketball player, somewhat popular, mainly because of sports. But being a twin had something to...

Why do I remember Kristine?

Last evening I watched a television show that featured a small child of about 11 or 12 who was dying from cancer but was facing his impending death with both humor and courage, attributes not often not seen in adults in the same situation. When I retired for the...

Acceptance

Silence speaks the loudest violin concerto in the background hummingtiny winged creatures suck sugar and fly heart strings that long to be united. The mechanics of separation have led you to distant shores where I can only hope in hand’s of perfection ...

TWO OLD FEISTY BROADS

A song from my upcoming Musical This is a song I am writing for my upcoming Broadway Musical. I thought I'd share it with you (without the vocals of course). These fun lyrics will be put to the tune of the Stevie Wonder classic ‘For Once in My Life’. It will be...

Creation’s Joy

Joy reverberates in this richness of life Creation’s masterpieces painted over time, Awed by its intensity in everything we see, Nature’s bounteous gifts, our good fortune. Continual happiness from its creation Wonders to be discovered in all times, Feeling abundant...

What Will It Take For Your Heart To Rest?

What will it take for your heart to rest? Have you ever really tried your best? Why must you travel down this unhappy path? Why is it upon your loved ones that your release your wrath? Why must you make it so hard to love you? Or is that you truly hate me?! I seek...

The Border

You were sitting on your favorite chair when you discovered the news. A friend of yours told you what’d happened there. The border. It was just a matter of time until the assault started to crush the sacred land again, everyone knew that. Schools, hospitals,...

The Devolving of Truth

hat is truth? Is there any such thing as absolute truth? What about moral truth? Is truth merely what each individual chooses it to be? America is at a crossroads. I would posit that the crossroads have almost converged to the point where both roads are almost...

Use Your Superpowers for Good

In the 1960’s, I was Batman.  That’s me on the right in the front row (you can usually spot me in pictures because of the crazy tuft of hair dropping down the center of my forehead).  Like my cape?  I sure did.  My best friend, Stevie, there on the...

Why Your Experiences Mean So Much

We all go through things, although we experience them in different ways. Some encounters are tougher than others. One page of our lives turns to the next. And the scene changes. After it’s all said and done, it’s easy to become private about our stories — the things...

Real Men Do Cry

On the early morning of Nov 15th, 1997, something surreal happened. I was seated next to him on my first airline flight — ever.  From North of India, I was rushing home to South.  The last 15 hours had been a blur. That was my first moment alone surrounded...

“When I got the invite, I knew it was too late”.

I love country music. Yesterday, I was singing along to Thomas Rhett’s Marry Me. If you don’t know it, the general gist is, he’s had a crush on a girl since high school and he’s upset because she’s marrying someone else. ♫ “Yeah, she wants to get married, but she...

Writing Resolutions For the New Year

Please borrow them if you like At the end of the year, I like to make resolutions for the year ahead. I’ve read a lot about resolutions not being worth much. But I created my own simple system to make them work and I have been very successful. My system works because...

Rejoice of Children’s Laughter

A Prose Joy of children’s laughterThe promise of young lifeI listen with closed eyesMy heart is filled with love I see a river with crystal clear waterIt meanders and sparklesInviting me to travelThe Life light I walk through the forest of intent joyWhere...

Would da. Should da. Could da. Year-end wishes.

Near the end of each year, the stock market reminds me of recent “opportunities.” Until I get used to making errors and correcting them. In this instance it is a problem of accepting. The stock market “gave” me the opportunity —  6 times in 2 years — to sell a stock...

Emotions

Gentle waves roll through my heart Waves of emotion from what I see, Emotions felt and then expressed Give life to feelings held within. Once expressed to be released Not to be long simmering within, Emotions should be slight ripples Not powerful cresting ocean waves....

Believe In Thyself And All Things Will Be Possible.

If you ask any great minds today or centuries ago, they would all tell you the same thing as I’m about to tell you. Before you do or try anything, you must believe in yourself; wholeheartedly with all your will and power. If not, the chances of failure are almost...

Boldly Invest in Your Success

“Find out who you are. And do it on purpose.” ~Dolly Parton As I sit here tonight thinking about my life up until this point, I realize that I’ve never truly totally invested in me.  My dreams. My hopes. My career. Myself. And my life is evidence of this...

Broken… Vanishing…

Why Women Leave A “Good” Relationship Not every relationship fails for the obvious, usual reasons.  Some relationships appear to be fine. They don’t look broken — at least, not from the outside. There are none of the usual warning signs: no infidelity, no...

The Day I Got Revenge on My Grandmonster

You know, sometimes I am grateful for the lessons and memories of my past. I can thank those people who abused me in my life, because they taught me the value of strength, creativity, resiliency and coping mechanisms.  In some cases, the monsters of my past have...