Sunday, February 28, 2010


What a lovely word that is - Grace... It has so many different meanings, each one with a special beauty. Whether you're speaking of charm and refinement or goodwill and generosity it is always a compliment.

One of the nicest things anyone ever said to me was how gracious I was in handling a very delicate situation at work. When I think back on what was happening at the time I recall how torn I was over how I wanted to respond. Trust me, grace was not the first thing that came to mind!

In the end, choosing grace over rage felt like a gentler way to be honest without letting it become ugly. For me that was the best possible outcome because it allowed me to tell the truth but not hold onto any of the negativity. As much as I possibly can I will choose grace.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


To me, being self-confident is feeling comfortable with who I really am. Not someone else's idea or opinion of it.

That is something I have always struggled with, caring a little too much what others think of me. Naturally I am rather shy but I am also very friendly. I love people but I don't like being the center of attention or having the spotlight on me in any way. Someone told me once that I lacked confidence - they were very wrong!

My self-assurance comes from knowing who I am on the inside. There is a very fine line between confidence and arrogance and I would always rather err on the side of caution. Every day I learn a little more about myself and as I do it is easier to let some of that confidence shine.

Friday, February 26, 2010


Forgiveness is something I try to do for myself even when I'm not sure I can do it for someone else. The pain that causes me to withdraw or be upset can be over when I release the resentment that I have built up.

Before I can do that I must remember that the answer always lies with me. Whatever happened was because of something that I did or allowed. If I have unreasonable expectations, unclear boundaries or fail to see the truth in the situation there will be a problem. It is easier to blame others but I have to take responsibility for my own thoughts and actions.

We all have different paths in life and I respect that. I am trying to be kinder to myself, learn my lesson and move on.

Thursday, February 25, 2010


The great Anthropologist Margaret Mead said “We are continually faced with great opportunities which are brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems”. That is the philosophy I grew up with. From a very early age I understood that even if they were less desirable there were always other options.

Whenever I find myself feeling limited or restricted I think back on some of the defining moments in my life. During those times I needed so desperately to have some hope of escaping what was happening. I would create every possible scenario I could think of… Truly some were very unrealistic but it did not matter, everything got equal consideration.

Then I would sort out what seemed to be the most reasonable course of action. I always trusted my heart to guide me, I knew how I was feeling could not be wrong. That set me on the path of where I am today, trusting and believing that everything is possible.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


What a fantastic education I have had …. Not your normal institutional instruction but incomparable life experience. My dear mother had such a hard life and struggled in ways that I can barely imagine to raise my brother and me. She was a single mother at a time that it was not only unheard of but shameful as well.

Every day she would get up before dawn, start the coffee and turn on the radio. She would lay out the clothes we had to wear to school. Even though they had come from the charity shop she made sure they were as clean and presentable as something brand new. She was determined to give us a better life than she had and she knew that a good education was the way to do that. What she did not realize was that she was teaching us something much more valuable – how to live and survive in the world.

Everything I have done and accomplished has been because of the incredible education she gave me!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I am what Barbara Sher refers to as a “Scanner”. I have so many ideas and interests that sometimes it is difficult for me to choose just one to focus on. When I was growing up that was called being scatter-brained and I was told that eventually I would have to settle down and do just one thing! I am so glad that I did not listen to that advice. It might be ok for someone else but it would never have satisfied me.

My life has been so full of wonderful experiences because of all the variety I have had. I have done things that would never have occurred to me if I had to sit down and pick one. Every time I do something it opens up a whole new realm of possibilities that I want to explore. My life is rich and full in ways that I can’t measure because of my lack of focus!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Kindred Spirit

I love to feel the connection with a kindred spirit, someone who really understands me. Not just what I say but how I feel. Of all the different types of relationships you can have this one may be the dearest of all.

Sometimes it is a good friend that calls and we begin to talk as if no time has passed. Our conversation is so easy and effortless... Sometimes it is someone new and I am thrilled and surprised to find we have so much in common that we are nodding our heads in agreement and laughing.

To relate to another person on that level is very moving. It is almost as if everything else fades away except for the interaction you are having. It is one of the most intimate bonds you can share with another person. It affirms who I am and touches my soul.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Many years ago I worked with a group called Passages, helping Women in Transition. Even though most of the focus was on women reentering the work force it had a much broader scope. Just like many of the books by Gail Sheehy, she talks about what we experience as we pass through different stages of our lives.

Sometimes we make the choice to change but more often life thrusts the change upon us. It is those times that we can choose what is really right for us. If we get caught up in our current circumstance we may not be able to see the window of opportunity that is open. I have learned to welcome those changes and now I get very excited waiting to see what new adventure awaits me.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Amelia Earhart wrote - Courage is the price that
life exacts for granting peace. I believe that is true.

We don't get handed a trouble free pass when we arrive in this world. It is a daunting mission to be sure. But if we are strong and brave enough we will overcome the obstacles and reap the rewards. It may not be easy but it is always worthwhile.

I have learned to ask myself what is the worst case scenario? Will I die, will someone I love be injured? Usually, that isn't even remotely possible. So why not try it?

Several years ago I traveled to New Zealand to hike some of the infamous treks there. It was the trip I had dreamed of for many years. A few weeks before leaving I developed a sudden back pain. So bad I thought I might not be able to go. After getting it checked to make sure it wasn't something serious I realized it was fear. Not your normal variety but something this side of sheer terror. I had never been so far away from home before and I had no idea of what to expect.

It occurred to me while I was hiking through the rain forest on the south island that I had done it! I came to this unbelievable place and had an unforgettable experience because I had the courage to overcome my fear!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Secrets and Lies

"People of the Lie" by M. Scott Peck is a dark and disturbing account of how people give up their true selves to be accepted. Keeping secrets or telling lies is a desperate attempt to make something appear different than it is. We try to hide the truth in order to cover up the fear and insecurity underneath.

Lying is very complex and can damage your self-esteem. You have to constantly be on guard to maintain the pretense, always keeping track of everything so no one will know the truth. When I was young I learned very quickly that you will get caught and then you are ashamed and humiliated.

You can justify that you are doing it to spare someone or to help yourself but none of that is really true. We do it because telling the truth can be scary and difficult. It always amazes me when people think they are able to deceive others with their elaborate stories and situations. Usually, the longer and more involved the explanation the further it is from the truth. I like the concept of Occam's Razor - the simplest explanation tends to be the right one.

I value honesty in my life and I know that has to begin with me. If I can be brutally honest with myself, then I can honor my truth with others.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I was a very a shy little girl and friends and family know that the circumstances of life have sent me more inward than outward. Privacy and solitude have been the hallmarks of my life. My biggest desire was to fit in, blend in and never stand out.

Now, in writing my stories and this blog I have exposed myself. Taking this risk has been a long time coming but it is time for me to actually let this part of myself be seen. I have so much passion inside of me and I have been very afraid to let it out and seldom let it be seen by others.

The fear was if I showed anyone my true self they might not love or accept me. Wow – that is hard to even write down but it is the absolute truth! Now I am a bit braver and the more I discover about myself the more I am willing to reveal.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Living Life in Reverse

It is very interesting to me when I hear other people talking about their lives. How growing up was such a great experience and all the hopes and dreams they had. Many of them now look back on a life unlived with regrets of what they did not do or accomplish.

I see people who resist or deny aging, trying to recapture a lost youth hoping to escape the disappointment they feel. I am so grateful for every experience I have had and know that I would not be the person I am or have the life I have now if I hadn't had my disappointments early in life. I don't regret one single moment that brought me to this wonderful place.

I truly love my life and it just keeps getting better - maybe that explains why the older I get the younger I feel!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Letting Go

Sometimes we have to let go of something in order to move on with our lives. Holding onto people or expectations can hold us back. When we don’t allow ourselves to change and evolve we can get stuck in old and unhealthy patterns.

I am learning that making those changes does not have to be harsh or unkind, just honest. I know in my heart when something needs to be released. I have to care enough about myself to let that happen. I am a classic enabler – needing to be needed was more important than taking care of me. Now I have to take care of my own needs and save the healthiest.

It can be very frightening to take that leap, but for me letting go of the fear feels like pure freedom.

Monday, February 15, 2010


When I feel indecisive or unclear about something in my life it is usually because I have spread myself too thin or let things get out of control. Being scattered mentally and physically overwhelms me and that is when I have to stop and regroup.

Sometimes it is as simple as clearing off my desk or shutting off the phone that helps me regain some sense of order and harmony. The noise of the world can be deafening and I need the quiet serenity that allows me to hear that voice inside. That is the time when I can ask myself what I really want and need to do. The answer always comes easily and gently and I can see clearly again.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pearls of Perfection

All through history different cultures have had some belief about perfection in imperfection. For the Native American it was adding an intentional mistake to their weaving or sand painting. The Amish would add a “Humility Block” to their quilts. The Japanese had the philosophy of Wabi Sabi; nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.

This was a profound discovery to me while I was searching for my true self. I had always been raised that perfection without flaw was the only worthwhile goal. In my mind nothing could be further from the truth. Now I believe in pursuing excellence not perfection.

It is only in appreciating the imperfect in life that we find true and everlasting beauty.
A perfect oyster does not form a pearl!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Losing Energy

Sometimes I lose my energy, sometimes I give it away and sometimes I let it be taken from me.... How to manage that and keep appropriate boundaries has always been a big challenge for me. I have to work at it every day.

I can always tell when I am losing more energy than I am getting - I feel a bit low and my spirit starts to sag. I need to keep my resources replenished so I have the strength to keep going.

It is so easy for me to give my energy away, I love people and I'm very receptive to them. The problem I have is setting limits and very often I give too much and I am left drained. Just like what I wrote the other day, I need to find the middle ground. I owe it not only to myself but to others as well so they can learn self reliance.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


When I was younger I lived in a world of intense emotion, always bouncing between extreme highs and lows. I married very young and I missed the normal process of discovering who I really was so I was searching for the place that felt right.

It has taken my entire life but I am now feeling a calm strength that I can only call temperance. It is like the metal that is made stronger by the temperature of the heat it is forged with.

To be more moderate and finding that middle ground has helped me to know my true self. Even when I slip back into some form of excess I can center myself and regain my balance. That is the place that I find peace and joy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


When I'm happy I find myself singing some silly old song. Usually it’s something from the Wizard of Oz or Doris Day. I dance and play like I did when I was a girl and I am instantly young again!

Music has always been a big part of my life. My mother was a singer and avid dancer, my brothers were musicians, my daughters played and sang beautifully and I sang in my school choir. Also, I grew up in the 60s and enjoyed some of the most incredible music in the world.

One of my fondest memories was when my sister took me to a dance to see my brother’s band playing. I was only 10 or 11 and very shy but I was so enchanted with the music and the atmosphere. I felt like Cinderella going to the ball. My sister bought me a lovely summer dress and fixed my hair like hers, I felt like a princess that day.

The thought of it transports me back to a place in time that I will never forget. Just the way listening to some great song that I grew up with fills my heart with joy!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


It isn't Springtime in the Rockies yet, but every year around this time I am filled with excitement and anticipation. I can feel the energy of new life making its way toward the warmth and sunshine. Native Americans called it the "Quickening" that time when life stirs just before birth.

This is when I begin my clearing to make room for what is to come. Mentally, physically and spiritually cleaning house, preparing for that wondrous new growth.

It is time to sort through everything that has been carefully stored away. I must bless and release those thoughts and things that hold me in the past so I can continue on my journey.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Slow Down

I am really enjoying writing these posts. It gives me a chance to slow down and appreciate the thoughts and experiences of every day. I think about what I am learning right now and what is showing up in my life that I need to pay attention to.

We are all so busy it is easy to just let time fly by. Before you know it your life is gone. The only thing I don't want is to get to the end of my life and have regrets for those things I did not do. I want to savor and appreciate every beautiful moment this life has to offer!

There is a lovely quote from Bobby Clancy of the Clancy Brothers (Irish music fame) that I love!

One life is all you have, slow down before you lose it.
For it seems a crime, to make good time
and then not live to use it!

Sunday, February 7, 2010


To me faith is a total and ultimate belief in something that you cannot see or touch but you know exists.

At a very early age we are taught what our parents and our community believes. What to think, how to act, how to feel... and we are expected to conform. Don Miguel Ruiz writes about this in The Four Agreements, it is one of the ways that we are domesticated.

I was very fortunate to have an unusual life growing up. The circumstances were difficult and painful but I learned so much from all of it. Through it all I had faith! Faith that I would discover what was true for me and that everything that happened was for my highest good.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


Throughout our lifetime people come and go. All of the relationships are important and help us to learn but there are some that are so special - we call them friends.

Of all the connections we can make this may be the best of all. A friend is someone who reminds you how great it is to be alive and lifts you up with their wonderful spirit. They are the person you can trust to be both honest and kind. They listen and support even your wildest dreams and always accept you just the way you are.

Loving and reliable they honor what you believe even if they don't agree with it. Just spending an afternoon at a lovely French restaurant or browsing through some local shops is so peaceful and satisfying when the person you are with is your friend!

Friday, February 5, 2010


In the movie Star Trek: Insurrection - Data is told if he wants to know what it is like to be a child he must learn how to play.

All too often children face grown up responsibilities or suffer adult traumas and their childhood vanishes. When we are young we need to discover all the magic and wonder in the land of make believe. We pretend to be queens and kings and imagine that we might be able to fly.... Our imaginations are limitless and everything feels possible.

As a young girl I would go to the neighborhood library, sit on the floor and read stories about amazing people and exotic places. I believed that one day it would be me in those stories. Now, it is. This is my life and I am learning to play!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


The only constant in life is change. I am learning to embrace and appreciate everything that comes into my life as a new opportunity for growth. Some days I am better at that than others but when I think of how far I have come I know it is all worthwhile.

Once upon a time there lived a beautiful man named Leo Buscaglia. As I sat in a darkened classroom watching a film of one of his lectures, his words brought tears to my eyes. I looked around the room to see if anyone else was having this reaction.... my life was forever changed.

I have to always remember to stay true to myself. I can't be something I'm not but I can aspire to be the best possible me. When it is quiet and I can let my inner most passion and energy surface I can feel the transformation taking place.

We can't undo anything that has happened. Honestly, I wouldn't even want to but we can redo and change our lives into anything we want them to be!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I have always been a dreamer... literally and figuratively. It is only recently that I have discovered how those dreams really can come true!

My night dreams give me valuable information about what I am feeling and help me to know the right way to proceed. My day dreams are incredible, full of clarity and inspiration. I have to stay clear and focused on the unlimited possibilities in life and not let my critical mind dismiss or dampen them.

Dreams are a heart's desire to express itself. We owe it to ourselves to explore everything that speaks to our soul.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Synergy means joint work and cooperative action, when the result is greater than the sum of the parts. It is created when things work in concert together to create an outcome that is in some way of more value than the total of what the individual input is.

Recently I had a conversation with a total stranger and before long she was telling me about a woman she knows with breast cancer. In an effort to help, she goes to work for this woman one day a week so she can go to her chemotherapy treatments and not lose time at her job!

I know many people who are reaching out to help someone cope with debilitating illness or crisis in their lives. That type of energy lifts me up and inspires me in ways I cannot express. I believe we all have something very valuable to contribute and together can create something far greater than we could have on our own.

Monday, February 1, 2010


The Celebration begins! February is a fantastic month - not only is it when I was born but it has such wonderful energy. The days are beginning to get longer, spring is approaching and I am ready to waken from my long winters sleep.

I look forward to my birthday every year with the anticipation of a child! I love the process of aging and all the changes it brings. Most people think I am out of my mind but I am very happy to be at this stage of my life. Everything I've ever been through has brought me to this place in time.

It's all a matter of perspective - just like the old saying "Age is mind over matter - if you don't mind, it doesn't matter"! I intend to be a healthy, happy, vibrant old woman! Birthdays are a fabulous acknowledgement of life and that is why I celebrate all month long!