Saturday, March 30, 2013

Jennie DeVoe: A Magical Adventure!

A creative life, bringing through what must come forward requires 
honest moments, going where most cannot go, a willingness to be raw and stand naked before the world so the soul can sing
songs that only you can sing.
It aint all glamour but those who dare this life GIFT us, FEED us and INSPIRE us as they take us into a magical adventure.

It is my pleasure to be friends with Jennie DeVoe, a true Indiana treasure.  She is an old school entertainer and artist extraordinaire with the brilliance of comedians like Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball, with the unique physical beauty of stars like Audrey Hepburn who are lit from within from an innocence that pours from their hearts, and with the genius of a poetic lyricist who embodies every word taking us into the depths of our Self as she surrenders to the magic that bursts through her voice. 

Jennie just returned from England where she worked on her new album and has bestowed me with the honor of listening to the unfinished tracks.  I am blown away at where she has gone and what she has brought through.  She was joking that she has a "writing problem" because she had over 50 songs that she would weave into her 14 track album.  She makes this process seem easy but as her friend, I have witnessed her go where most simply cannot - not because we are less than her but some are born to go into their Self in a deeper way and take us with them through the expression of their artistry.  It aint all glamour but life on the surface would starve her, cut her off from her Self and her connection to all life. 

I can't stop listening to the album as it is gifting me, feeding me and inspiring me through a magical adventure like no other because it is like no other; it is her soul expressed magnificently, going where she has never gone before and taking me with her.  I am grateful as I soak it up like a dry sponge thirsty for water.

What comes to mind is Grandma Moses, Anna Mary Moses, the American painter who didn't pick up a brush until she was 77 years old.  When asked near the end of her 101 year life if she had never painted what she would have done, she simply yet profoundly responded:  I would have raised chickens.  It's all art.

Each of us is an artist of our own life whether we are waitresses, farmers, moms, dads, professionals - it matters not what we do but how we show up and dare to express our Self throughout our life.  Knowing it's all art makes life an ever-evolving masterpiece as each day unfolds more and more, adding to the texture and depth of us. 

I write this in appreciation and in awe of each artist that walks this earth.  THANK YOU for expressing the beauty that you are!

Hoosiers Basketball: Sweet 16 went Sour

Sports, the spirit of competition is primal.
Since the beginning of time, we have gathered to challenge each other,
To see who is the best, the champ, the winner.
Thankfully, we no longer fight to the death.
Even when it feels that way as we watch our team fall.

March Madness creates a buzz throughout the nation but especially here in Indiana as basketball is the sport of our fine state.  Everywhere I travel, people bring up the Hoosiers and the basketball tradition.  Some hate on them and some appreciate the legacy.  It is fun for me to banter with them and when they ask what a Hoosier is, I can't resist saying:  HOOSIER Mama?  HOOSIER Daddy?  No matter their feeling about the Hoosiers, this lightens the mood and causes an exchange of laughter.

Watching the Hoosiers fall to Syracuse 61 to 50 was absolutely painful.  This amazing team ranked number 1 struggled throughout the entire game never finding a rhythm, never playing to their full potential; and I found this heartbreaking for them.  Yet, this is the nature of sport and of life.

On any given day, our best can be a mess.  Even elite ball players can look as if they are amateurs.  We analyze this trying to figure out what went wrong.  And to this I say:  This was the best they had today.  Our perfectionist society cannot accept this truth.  Not that there isn't value to reviewing the tape and seeing what worked and what didn't.  But ultimately, there is value to accepting that this was their best on this day.  Thankfully, we no longer fight to the death even though we grieve the fall of our team.

Life is not a success only journey!  We watch documentaries and read books about our heroes, men and women of greatness and every single one of them fell short, faced adversity and kept on going.  It was their willingness to never give up on their Self and on life that turned the sour into sweetness.

The invitation is to mourn for our beloved Hoosiers and look forward to the possibilities found in the seasons to come.  Let go of perfection and let your best be enough on any given day!  Oh, Sweet FREEDOM...

Friday, March 29, 2013

Planting Seeds...

One generation plants the seeds
The next generation gathers the shade.
No seeds are wasted.
All life serves and has purpose beyond our knowing.

A few weeks before John died, he went to Frazee's Garden, our favorite spot here in Brownsburg to buy a replacement for my St. Francis statue that had cracked after years of enduring the seasons; and he found a chime that he just had to buy for me that said:  One generation plants the seeds...the next generation gathers the shade.  

This chime still hangs right outside my kitchen door and was banging without rest as the winds kicked up earlier this week.  It was beckoning me so I stepped onto the porch of my farmhouse and soaked in the wisdom of those words as if I were reading them for the first time.

I remember when John first died, reading the chime and being in awe that this message would be written on one of his final gifts to me.  And feeling even in the midst of my shatteredness, a sense of all the seeds he had planted throughout his lifetime.  I couldn't even wrap my brain around all the lives he had touched as the invisible thread is immeasurable.  These seeds would continue to blossom and grow; and those of us left behind would rest in the shade of his love - all the gifts his life bestowed on us.  This would be never-ending, beyond his lifetime as others who didn't even know him would experience the shade through me and all who shared this journey with him. 

It struck me that this wasn't only true for John's life but for ALL life.  No life is wasted.  Often, we place judgment on those who have come before us, generations past.  We look at their lives, how they showed up, what they did or didn't do with a critical eye instead of being in appreciation of their journey.  In the year 2013, we absolutely do things differently than the generations before and yet we stand on the roads they paved and the trails they blazed.  To give thanks for the seeds they planted and accept that the choices we have today weren't an option for generations before (even one generation before us).  But I believe that all that we reap today is the direct result of the seeds they dared to plant.

I invite you to give thanks for those generations who have come before you - no matter how screwed up they may appear.  No life is wasted.  And in this gratitude for their lives and the shade you now enjoy, you will have a deeper appreciation for your own life and the planting of your own seeds throughout your lifetime.  

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Wedding MESSAGE

Marriage is a GRAND ADVENTURE into the unknown.
Marriage takes us into parts of our Self so we can evolve and grow.
Marriage is a source of JOY as we share the ever-shifting ride of life.
Marriage is SACRED in that we choose to enter into a union
And dance with another throughout a season of our life or a lifetime.

My marriage to John was the greatest adventure of my life (so far!) so it is my honor to officiate the weddings of my nieces, Macy and Jessica.  Macy's wedding is only 5 days away so I have been sitting with what will be the wedding message.  To me, these are words I want to write on their hearts that they can carry with them throughout their journey together.  I have attended several weddings over the last few years where the ministers felt compelled to share the divorce rate and warn the couples that the love will leave and paint a picture of doing time together instead of entering into a grand adventure.  That kind of message is cringe worthy to me and made me want to stand up and shout:  WTF?!  This is a wedding celebration not doomsday!

One morning as I was reflecting on the wedding message for Macy and her fiance', Mark, a flock of morning doves also known as messenger pigeons landed on my patio.  Believing in signs, I looked up the symbolism:  They represent the LOVE of home and family.  They remind us to dwell in the possibilities as they accomplish the impossible again and again,  finding their way back home no matter how far they travel.  They huddle together in the storms with the entire community of birds to create a chosen family of various species.  This is all good stuff so I will weave this into the ceremony.

Mark and Macy are truly friends to each other and a core group.  They also love sports so the message may include THE TEAM, the 2 of them and all of the friends they have carefully picked and the family gathered who will stand with them whatever comes throughout their journey. There is a richness to
marriage, the one on one relationship; and we mustn't forget how friends and family add to this through our shared experiences with them.  When we connect with others and enjoy life with them, we take this back into our marriage, our homes and this creates an ever-expanding life.

MAKE IT GREAT!  has come to mind again and again.  Each day, committing to making life great no matter what comes, knowing they have choices in how they show up as a friend (to their self and to the other) and a partner who wants only good for the other; and understanding that making it great will include NOT so great moments and how we learn from this extracting lessons and wisdom.  Oh, and I cannot forget the healing balm of humor, finding our way back to laughter and play.

I only have a few minutes to write the wedding message on their hearts and I trust the exact words will flow in that moment.  My experience of marriage is summed up in the following:

Marriage is a GRAND ADVENTURE into the unknown.
Marriage takes us into parts of our Self so we can evolve and grow.
Marriage is a source of JOY as we share the ever-shifting ride of life.
Marriage is SACRED in that we choose to enter into a union
And dance with another throughout a season of our life or a lifetime.

And just like the lyrics form the Garth Brook's song The Dance:  I'm glad I didn't know the way it all would end...I wouldn't have missed the dance.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

CLEARing Out to OPEN Up the New

Clearing out stuff,
Purging things from our lives,
de-animating, withdrawing energy from the old,
FREES us and OPENS us as this makes space for the new.

It is a natural progression for the aging to downsize, moving from the homes where they raised their children into smaller more manageable spaces that aren't so taxing physically to maintain.  Not everything can fit in the smaller spaces so they must let go of stuff, things that were once treasures and a source of joy.  This seems so logical that they simply do what they must. I can remember doing this with my mom as she transitioned into a smaller home and then, into her living quarters in my sister's home.  But I didn't realize how the letting go, the clearing, the purging, withdrawing her energy from the old opened her to what was to come, the new life she would experience from this.

When John first died, I held on to everything of his leaving his clothes exactly as they were even his razor as well as toothbrush and toothpaste stayed in position.  I didn't realize this was my attempt to keep things the same.  Holding on to the way things were helped me and was necessary until I was ready to begin to purge.  This has come in waves over the past couple of years and each time I let go, new life has organically sprung from within me and around me.

I wasn't consciously inviting the new and there was no talking myself into doing what others told me I should; it was just time.  I have followed these inner impulses and continue to be amazed at the sling shot effect de-animating my energy from stuff has, as I am catipulted into a life that bathes me with a deeper sense of freedom and exploration.  In the opening, anything is possible.

As my mom gave away her prized possessions, I watched her excitement in knowing that others would now enjoy what she had.  I also watched her disappointment when family members didn't want items she treasured.  And I remember having a moment of clarity and thinking:  Girl, enjoy your stuff because it is for you.  When you are gone, this stuff may end up at a flea market or Goodwill Store.  What is a treasure for you may be CRAP to someone else!
Each item, each person, each pet in our home as well as the physical space takes our precious energy.  There is a constant exchange that we aren't aware of.  I have come to see that we don't have to wait until our Golden Years to
downsize and purge.  There are gifts to doing this regularly, feeling things out and letting go of what is taking up space and letting in the new that fills you with joy.  No need to force this and create a practice based on shoulds.  Pay attention and tune in to how you feel so the choice becomes choiceless.  It becomes an act of honoring your life and welcoming the new life that SPRINGS from this. 

Happy SPRINGing!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Gift of Love Letters

Love letters keep on giving.
The written word expressing how we feel about those we love
is a lost art form that I invite you to reclaim.
Long after we are gone, generations that follow can connect with us.
And they will know that the one constant throughout the ages is:
 LOVE is what makes life wonderful.

I was discussing with friends the lost art of letter writing and how I wrote the postal service a few years ago, mapping out a marketing campaign where generation after generation was shown discovering letters from ancestors.  They would connect with the past which would lead to a deeper connection to the present.  They would see similar themes, ideas and thoughts that transcend time.  They would extract messages from the letters and be moved and inspired by the wisdom from those who came before them.

John and I wrote love letters to each other regularly and those letters are my most prized possessions.  Since he died, I have discovered letters tucked away in books or drawers and the messages are so timely, as if from beyond, he is reminding me of the enduring love we share.  Some of them are passionate and sexy and some are playful and silly.  They all feed me.  Recently I found this note:  Gee, I love you and I hope you have a great day - write a letter and tell someone you love them.  I LOVE YOU, John xoxo.  

What a wonderful invitation to take a moment and write someone to tell them we love them.  Perhaps, it is a sticky note stuck on a dashboard or in a school backpack or on the vanity mirror.  This seemingly simple gesture has the power to make someone's day; and why wouldn't we want to enhance the day of someone we love?  Afterall, the one constant since the beginning of time, throughout the ages is:  LOVE makes life wonderful!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Free Falling...

Life requires us all to free fall. 
Sometimes, it is so easy, an effortless leap where we don't miss a beat. 
Sometimes, it comes from the ground crumbling beneath our feet.
Either way, the fall takes us into the unknown, where we have never been.
If we want to live, we must let go.
If we want to die, we must let go.
New life emerges in the letting go.

Tom Petty's song Free Fallin' released in 1989 is still a favorite of mine.  From the first time I heard it, it took me into a knowing that free falling is a part of life, stirring my innate desire to liberate my Self.  The video showcased a gorgeous girl in her own world, riding a skateboard experiencing freedom as she flowed with the winds back and forth.  

The need to be free, to liberate our Self is an imprint within each of us.  No matter where we are in our life, no matter what we have accomplished, there is always more to free.  Sometimes, the free fall is effortless, where we willingly go where we must.  Sometimes, we go kicking and screaming as the ground crumbles beneath us.  Either way, the fall takes us into the unknown, where we have never been.  And new life emerges as we go where we have never been, as all that is inessential is stripped away. 

Below is a journal entry of mine that I recently discovered.  I don't remember writing it but the higher wisdom that came through onto the page fills me.  It is day 487 of my free fall after John's death.  I share it with you hoping it will companion you as you experience free falling throughout your life.  May you know that when the falls come and they will, you are not alone.  There is a love so vast that it holds us, strips us, protects us and takes us into our Self so we can liberate more life than we knew was possible. 

The freedom I know today cost me EVERYTHING!  And with this in mind at all times, I choose to use this gift every day of my life.

I was in the bathroom and woosh!  I felt myself drop into another dimension where I knew with every fiber of my being that all I must do is allow, let go, free fall.  There had been a silent message from John the day before as I walked through the woods:  If you want to live, let go.  If you want to die, let go.  I cried as I continued to walk because I embodied this truth and it freed the residue of all I was clinging to and the release brought a welcomed vitality.  This is grace at work.  It is nothing I have done or have forced to happen.  This is so grounding and healing as I continue to liberate my Self from that which strips me of the abundance that is life.  To the rational mind this would sound insane but this is truth, pure sanity, veils lifting, new life hatching.  I am meeting and merging with the One, the soul force of the universe, the Great Creator, the God that animates all life.  Nothing is the same – the views within and without are profound and indescribable, a freedom to be, a knowing that nothing can harm me really, a knowing that all is whole, perfect and complete.  There is a soul’s sight that flushes out illusions of the material world.  Illusions are falling.  I step into limitlessness, timelessness, infinity, the totality of LIFE.  My breath is swirling in my body and beyond – my heart is OPEN and ready to serve by being love, being peace, being joy, being ME, flaws and all.  No longer defined by the labels; no long ego-identified, no longer making choices from a fear of death, no longer thinking that I must fix things or know it all or figure it out.  I am free.  I sit here more alive in my body, fully present to what is.  My life is essential to all life and all life is essential to my life.  The oneness is the only truth and from this knowing, all false gods I have worshipped are dismantled.  This is freedom. 
I have no interest in telling others how to live their lives or what to do.  I only want them to find their way to life, to feel alive on this earthly journey.  To be knocked down by life, perched on your knees or flat on your belly and find a way to stand again.  This is the power of the human spirit to prevail over circumstances we wouldn’t wish for, try like hell to avoid and dread when we witness others in the storm.  We are such miraculous creatures…creatures of soul, enduring the unendurable, enlivened by own death (psycho-spiritual), rising from the dead again and again and again like Lazarus, freeing our Self from the rubble when the skies fall, when the life we carefully constructed and protected blows into bits, when we lie there now ashes and have no fucking idea where the winds will blow us or if a phoenix will lift us to new heights – to life beyond the life we knew, when we want to die as we experience heartbreak that echoes throughout our being – shards of glass cutting away, slicing us into unrecognizable pieces.  How will we be reconstructed?  When small talk is so fucking noisy that we want to scream, “Shut the fuck up….please.”  When the disconnect from life as we knew it leaves us swirling into the cosmos even as we sit in the same chair, wearing the same clothes, looking the same physically, living in the same house, driving the same car, doing the same rituals and errands we have done for years.  The paradox:  Everything is the same and nothing is the same.  You are a stranger in your own life, in your own mind, body and spirit.  You recognize nothing yet everything is familiar.  You drop into pockets of new realities and want to take others with you but they can’t come along.  No one can go with you.  This is indeed a solo journey into the Self, the One, the soul.  It is lonely and it is the warmth of a crowd so vast and full of love you feel you might burst.  There is a spiral ride, swirling you around and around and you think you might vomit and sometimes you do and then, out of nowhere things shift and you laugh with delight as it all becomes a playful carnival ride.  Hands in the air, screaming for it to stop and screaming for more, wanting to do it again and again.  When death comes, it is a ride like no other, an adventure so full of life, so alive as it dunks you into oceans unknown and familiar sweeping you down under in the current, whisking you away – to where?  Hell, you don’t fucking know.  You laugh like a mad woman from the depths of you and it shoots all around you and you love the madness as it is true, authentic – so alive.  You now know the power of being with the madness, the wildness, the crazy.  Kindred souls in the form of family and friends can hold space for the crazy, the madness, the wildness after they have drunk from the well.  This elixir is like no other.  You are drunk on life, a life you could have never imagined, a life that leaves you in awe even when you are fucking terrified wanting to grip what was but you can’t – it just won’t take ahold any longer because it doesn’t exist anymore.  It is dead.  It is not part of your reality.  You know it has all led you here, to this moment, this moment that is so alive it rushes through so vibrantly and expresses more life than you alone could bring through.  You free fall.  And let life take you where it will.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Life as a TREASURE Hunt

There are TREASURES within
that are revealed in perfect time.
This is an endless unfolding.
This is the truest adventure of our life.

(Unlock the Doors Within You.)

I became friends with Theresa after John died.  She had known John for years and actually worked for him and his business partners.  We had crossed paths occasionally and traded pleasantries but never got to know each other.  She was helping me with all the administrative details related to the business and we connected  immediately.  I would come to call her Boss because that lady knows how to get shit done and I was incapable at the time of doing any of it.  Theresa said to me:  You are the best kept secret.  She joked that John kept me hidden because he wanted me all to himself and didn't want to have to share me.

I tried to explain to Theresa that I am meeting parts of my Self for the first time and the person she is meeting today isn't who I was before John died.  Her words:  You are the best kept secret resonated with me so deeply and took me on a treasure hunt, an exploration of the more of me that had been revealed in the wake of the tragedy.  I came to see that each of us is the best kept secret.  Along the journey of life these secret compartments are unlocked and more of us is freed.  This sacred process can't be forced; it requires us to live and to stay open to the direct experiences of life.  The poet Rilke invited us to Live the answers which excites and terrifies me simultaneously - this is life as a treasure hunt.
Being with the direct experience and letting it inform, guide and lead us into more of our Self, new life, new creative expressions, I have discovered treasures that leave me in awe of my life and all life.  I am committed to never saying NEVER...staying open, not boxing my Self in with limiting ideas of who I think I am.  Every day allows me to reclaim more of my Self so I can let it ROAR.  What ya' see isn't all there is.  This illusion lifts and worlds within and all around become so vast the excitement swallows us, ushering us in to the unexpected, the unimaginable.  How magnificent!

Knowing the treasure lies within me, within all of creation and to connect to that again and again and again.  It is a HOMEcoming.  The treasure is always there.  As we are reacquainted with parts of our Self, it brings forth revelations:  Oh yahhhh, I know you.  The familiarity with what was unknown moments before is stirring and baffling and freeing to our vitality.

Enjoy your life as a TREASURE hunt!  Some doors unlock through effort and some doors unlock through grace.  It all happens in perfect time.  Trust this.  Welcome your Self with awe and wonder all the days of your life!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

8 Years Ago Today!

I believe that some wounds are so sacred that they aren't meant to be healed.
Rather they become a part of us.
We carry them with us as reminders of how precious life truly is.

Today marks the 8 year anniversary of my brother, Michael Patrick McHugh's death.  He was 51 years old and had spent the last 18 months living as he was dying.  The prognosis was bleak from the beginning as he had advanced stage metastatic prostate cancer.  But he was determined to live, telling the priest who provided counsel:  I understand 'thy will be done' but I am still fighting like a bitch.

Observing Michael become more alive as he was dying, I wanted that kind of freedom without having to be diagnosed with cancer.  His life was now his own.  He let go of all the obligations, of being who everyone needed him to be and lived more honestly than ever before day in and day out.  He knew what mattered and what didn't and this clarity enlivened him even on the darkest of days.  And there were absolutely hellish days.

Michael's death initiated me into a new life that I had been reluctant to step into out of fear of the unknown.  His death made it clear to me that we never really know anything for sure and there are no guarantees.  And that's okay.  Being okay with the unknown creates a rich life of being present to the mystery,  staying open to the magic found in the moments of our lives.

I have visited with him in dreams over the years but the most profound encounter was him sitting across from me looking into my eyes smiling and urging me:  LIVE THE PASSION!  This message sent me into the inquiry of what this actually means and it continues to unfold me as I open more and more to life expressing through me passionately.

These past 8 years, I have discovered that some wounds are so sacred that they aren't meant to heal.  Rather they become part of us, integrating so we can use them.  We wear them as badges of honor like warriors returning from battle with scars to mark the experiences.  And to try to force healing in a conventional way or because others say we should can strip away the gifts, the beauty, the passion these heart punctures bear. 

Here's to all those we love that are no longer here to physically enjoy this life with us but remain with us as we live each day.  Let us carry them with us to remind us how precious life truly isMay you LIVE THE PASSION! this day and all your days!

Friday, March 22, 2013


It is a beautiful thing to be MISSED.
It speaks volumes about how we nourish each other
And our need for this exchange
in ways we know and can language
And in ways that we don't even know and can't possibly language.

My late-husband, John's friends were headed north to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to snow mobile, a place where they still feel at play with John.  They had taken me there last summer to visit all John's favorite spots and people and we had a blast on our adventure together so they sent me a text: Geeeeee!  We are headed north and miss you.

As I read those words, I began to cry.  It felt so good to be missed.  It had been a long time since I had someone acknowledge that they missed me, that they wished I was with them and were thinking of me at that very moment.  Being missed, that longing to be with someone and the excitement when you finally get to connect was something I experienced regularly as John and I traveled separately and returned home; or even on an ordinary day when one of us was in meetings or unavailable to touch base by phone.  Some of my favorite love notes from John are written on a sticky note:  I love you and I miss you, Gee!  Come be with me at the lake where I am waiting for you.  I miss you!  You are the best part of my days and my life...or when I went on a 3 week trip to Israel and Egypt for my 40th birthday which was the longest we had been a part and he wrote me a card for every single day I was gone numbering them:  I miss you but know I will see you in 17 days (that is way too long!).

Being missed and missing someone speaks volumes about how we nourish each other and our need for this.  It is a good thing to need and be needed as we are in a constant exchange of energy with those we share this life with.  It is an honor to be missed by others.  And it is a wonderful thing to miss others and long to be with them again so we can enjoy time together.  

I invite you to welcome being missed and the feeling of missing others.  Because John and I traveled separately often, we would discuss missing each other and be open about our anxieties and fears.  This acknowledgement helped us be okay with the absence of the other instead being a reason not to go. 

All feelings are a part of the human experience.  To cut a feeling out is to cut out life!  To be with whatever feelings arise is to be alive.  Be grateful that you can feel and let these feelings take you deeper into your Self and into life.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Meeting Moses

Everywhere I go,
I meet the coolest people.
It never ceases to surprise and delight me
as I receive the gifts bestowed on me in these often brief connections.
The orchestration of life is weaved into each of us
expressing uniquely and brilliantly!

Several years ago, I was downtown Indianapolis, heading into Nordstrom's to do some Christmas shopping when I met eyes with this man leaning against the building outside on a biting winter day.  He said:  Hi!  I am Moses.  And I told him that it was nice to meet him and shook his hand introducing myself:  I am Kathy.  He explained to me how he got the name Moses:  There is a preacher with this church down the way that I work with to help my people.  They started calling me Moses because I lead my people by helping them find the warmest places to sleep - I know all the spots and I get them blankets and food and whatever I can. 

I stood there in awe of this man with the presence of a true leader, oozing charisma with his thousand-watt toothless smile.  The whites of his eyes were red from being out in the harsh elements but there was a sincerity in them that made me want to weep, that made me want to be like him and live with such heart and passion.  We stood there in a vacuum and I soaked in his wisdom saying to him:  There is no doubt in my mind that you are Moses because you embody the energy that he possessed.  You are an inspiration to me and to all with your ability to serve those in need.  I came here to shop for Christmas gifts and you are my gift.  Thank you.  And I went on about my day with a deep appreciation for Moses, for my own life and for all who travel this journey as my sense of abiding purpose was heightened.

In order to receive the gifts that others have to bestow on us, we must be present.  We all matter.  We do.  And we are all in this together.  Be present to the direct experiences that life brings your way and soak up the gifts - pay attention to how enlivened and connected you feel.  And never doubt for one moment that you bestow your gifts in a thousand little ways throughout each day of your life - just by being YOU.  It is a privilege to be a part of life's orchestration.  Let's Dance!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Make Someone HAPPY Today!

I am always amazed by this constant TRUTH
that I have known as long as I can remember:

I am in Nashville, Tennessee staying at my favorite boutique hotel where I feel a sense of home and comfort that enriches my stay.  It is small enough where I see the staff as I enter and exit.  Their Hello's, Good morning's, Good afternoon's, Good evening's...How was your day's/night's? are asked with the warmth of friendship and they always connect with their eyes and a smile.  These seemingly simple exchanges touch me and remind me of the power of sincere kindness.

It has always been my practice to leave a tip each day with a note for the housekeeper as I feel they are the forgotten ones who make my stay easy.  I want them to know how much I appreciate them so I generally write:  THANK YOU! Enjoy this day...I appreciate you!  with a heart.

As I was walking through the hallway to my room Monday morning, Gaby, my housekeeper stopped me and took my hand saying in broken English: Thank you for my tip...God Bless You!  When I got inside there was a note from her to me:  Thanks!  You make me very happy today! with a smiley face and hearts and so much love that it caused me to tear up.

I began to reflect on how I left the tip and note with the intention of expressing my gratitude and it came back to me with such a force that it filled me - what we put out into the world always comes back to us. I am blown away! 

Today, I invite you to make someone HAPPY and watch how HAPPY it makes you.  Never underestimate the power of you and your ability to choose in any given moment generosity, kindness and gratitude.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Trying to Out Run the Storm (literally!)

Storms whip through the skies gifting us with its ability to shake things up and clear the air.
Storms have intrigued me and left me with a sense of deeper connection since I was a child.
Storms come with such a force,
putting into perspective what I have control over and what I don't.

Yesterday morning, as I left fitness bootcamp in Nashville, Tennessee, the instructor cautioned us all that a tornado warning had been issued.  My hotel was a mile away so I took off running.  The winds were whipping, blowing over cafe umbrellas, bending the trees, pushing the spotty grey clouds feverishly. 

I felt invigorated at being in the midst of the storm's chaos, running with a slight smile on my face as if I had a secret world that I had dropped into where I alone could be fed.  I was almost to the hotel when I remembered that I forgot my face moisturizer so I made a decision to head to Walgreen's - any excuse to continue this dance with the storm.

Leaving Walgreen's, I noticed the storm had kicked it up another notch as the skies were now black with lightning splashing across them and echoing thunderously all the way through my body.  Still exhilarated, I took off running toward the hotel and the grounded, practical, sane part of me knew that it was time to kick it up a notch in order to get to shelter.

I saw the wall of rain out of the corner of my eye and laughed as I began to sprint the remaining block to the hotel.  I was 100 feet from the door when the storm caught me, drenching me as if I had jumped into the lake, pelting my face with pea-sized hail and honestly, making my day with the simple yet profound joy I found in this experience.

Like a child returning home minus the fear of getting into trouble, I walked through the impeccable lobby dripping all over the polished floors, making a trail to the elevator as my shoes squeeked with each step.  The woman who shared the elevator with me was motherly, concerned for me and tried to comfort me which was so kind of her.  But I looked her in the eye, laughing and shared my secret:  I was trying to out run the storm but I am so glad that it caught me.  That was fun!  She got what I was saying and joined in on my delight, sharing that she hadn't been caught out in the rain in years but she remembered those experiences fondly.

I invite you to remember that try as we might, we can't out run the storms - literally and metaphorically.  But we always have the option to exercise our power of choice in how we view the experience.

ENJOY THE RIDE!  (Play.  Dance.  Sing.  Laugh.  Be.  Explore. Love. Savor all the moments of your life - THIS, this moment, is YOUR life.)

Monday, March 18, 2013

What Would You Tell Your 14 Year Old Self?

If I could go back 30 years and have a talk with my 14 year old Self,
I wouldn't try to tell her a damn thing.  I couldn't.
She wouldn't even be able to grasp what I now know from years of living
AND she wouldn't have listened anyway...

While purging stuff throughout my house, sifting through boxes of pictures, I found a photo of me at 14 years old.  I am in my childhood home on Tabor Street at my sister's high school graduation party and I had just graduated from the 8th grade.  When I looked at myself, the first thing that came to mind was: Wow!  Such innocence.  And I stood there smiling as I thought of the adventures that would lie ahead as I entered high school, college and my own life outside that of my family.

Celebrities are often asked in interviews:  What would you tell your 14 year old Self based on what you know now?  This question brings a nice thought of being able to save our Self from all bruises from life bumping into us, all the falls into potholes and all the jumps off the cliffs.  But I say:  Give me a fu&ing break!  All life experiences serve us even the ones where we seem to Self-destruct; and the girl I was is similar to the woman I am in that I wouldn't have listened anyway.
I now know the power of the direct experience that takes us into our Self more and more and more throughout life.

This is what we witness through Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, making her way on the Yellow Brick Road facing flying monkeys, the wicked witch and forces that seem bigger than herShe looked to everyone to save her but not until she tapped into her own power did she find her way home.  The Tin Man gets angry with Glinda when she helps Dorothy use her power, asking why she didn't tell Dorothy sooner.  Glinda smiles knowingly and shares that Dorothy had to discover this for her Self and this was only possible from the journey - all of it.

I invite you to view your journey as one of great discovery down your own Yellow Brick Road and understand that there is nothing to save yourself from.  Be with the direct experiences of life.  Revisit the past with fresh eyes and with wisdom of time, see all the gifts even the most costly.  Use it all!  Delight in your own personal Odyssey instead of feeling ashamed of choices that you can't undo, instead of feeling guilty for not doing it perfectly, instead of blaming others and resenting them for NOT saving you.

And if you must tell your 14 year old Self something:  Tell him/her that LIFE
is WONDROUS and MIRACULOUS even when it sucks!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I Get By with A Little Help From My Friends

We fear needing others so we resist asking for help.
But the ability to be vulnerable enough to acknowledge that we can't do it alone, that we truly are in this together and receive from friends as graciously as we give creates a rich exchange and connection that living with
walls up keeps at bay. 

The night before John died, I had a jam-packed day going from one appointment and meeting to the next.  John was in Kentucky so the usual million little things he did to make my life easier and keep our home functioning was all on me.  Realizing I was going to be home much later than anticipated, I called the woman who cleaned for us and asked for her help in caring for the cats.  I actually said to her I don't know how John does it all.  I don't know what I would do without him.  I couldn't do it!  He spoils me and I know it.  Hell!  I haven't been in a grocery store and months and dread the thought that I have to stop in Walmart to get ink cartridges on my way home. And I thanked her for her help.

I would have to learn to ask! ask! ask! and receive as I know I cannot do it alone and thankfully, I don't have to. None of us has to go it alone. Over the last 2 years, I am clear that I get by with a little help from my friends AND they get by with a little help from me.  This connection, this dance is sacred and I feel nothing but gratitude for all who grace my life through friendship. 

This morning, I am preparing to leave for a trip that wouldn't be possible without the Cat Nanny and house sitter, the neighbor boy who will haul my trash to the curb, the emergency contacts that are on my list in case anything happens with the house or to the cats in my absence. 

I used to believe that being a strong woman meant not needing anyone and not asking for help; but I have come to see there is a fierce strength in asking for and accepting the help of others.  It was a false sense of empowerment that fostered the belief that I could help everyone but having personal needs was a sign of weakness.  I am an independent woman who can stand on her own two feet AND I have needs.  Both is true. 

I invite you to give thanks to all the friends who help to enrich your life day in and day out.  Look them in the eye and say thank you! for all they give to you (listening to you, celebrating your victories, laughing at stuff only friends get, standing with you through it all and so on) or text or email or hand write a note.  Let the walls come down and allow yourself to have needs.  Let others nourish you as you nourish them.  And if you simply cannot allow this exchange, sit with that and tell yourself the truth as to why - learn, discover and grow. Take a pause and see that you haven't been doing it all alone anyway and have a good laugh at this absurd notion.

FRIENDS:  for a reason, a season, or a lifetime...THANK YOU ALL!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

What's YOUR One Simple Truth?

There is a theme, a personal TRUTH, that runs throughout our lives.
No matter how much we change and evolve, this TRUTH
is the thread that connects all of our days.

A few years ago when Oprah Winfrey started the OWN Network, she had a contest to search for new shows to feature so with the help of some friends, I made a video pitch for a show:  One Simple Truth.  The idea was to take every day people and have them share their One Simple Truth that guides their life and how they arrived at this. (You can see the video on my website under Media.)

While preparing to shoot the video, my late-husband, John and I were discussing our One Simple Truth.  He asked what I thought his was and without missing a beat, I said:  The rules do NOT fu#%ing apply!  He cracked up laughing, falling over himself as he nodded his head in agreement.

Not applying the rules served John well as he was a visionary with pioneering energy.  He had a sense of Self that was rare and truly could not bend to the expectations of others. He did things his way not out of rebellion or to piss off others (even though this was often the case) but because he wasn't wired to follow - he had his own trail to blaze.  The ingenuity that he came here to express wouldn't allow him to be otherwise. 

Admittedly, I tried like hell to police him at times which created countless comedic episodes.  We were meeting with a group of bankers to discuss a multi-million dollar deal and I asked him to at least wear business casual clothes.  He showed up in blue jeans, a T-shirt, his CAT baseball hat, work boots and just to show me who was the boss of him, he looked at me and smiled only to reveal he had Billy Bob teeth in.  

My One Simple Truth is  Don't Box Me In! as I am ever-changing, expressing my Self in unexpected ways, letting in the new that comes and this has been a constant throughout my life. The box contains and I can't be contained.  This way of being is knowing my Self but NOT knowing my Self so well that I box my Self in by an idea instead of allowing the spontaneity, the great surprise of who I am to be revealed in any given moment.

What's YOUR One Simple Truth?

Have fun with this exploration!  Greet this question with humor and delight.  Invite those who know you intimately to share their experience of you. 

What I see at this point in my life is how John and I had similar truths that played out uniquely.  He was actually a great teacher for me in his ability to stand in who he was without apology or shame.  Every time, I allowed my Self to be boxed in, life would suffocate me.  When John tried to follow the rules like wearing clothes that weren't him, he twitched like a 3 year old in church trying to be still.  When we go against who we are and don't learn to appreciate how we are wired, it clogs our sense of joy and vitality.

LIVE YOUR TRUTH!  (And learn to LOVE IT.)

Friday, March 15, 2013

I Don't Want To Miss a Thing.

I don't want to get to the end of my life and realize: I MISSED IT.
I don't want to miss a thing!
And there are no do-overs.

Yesterday, I was singing Aerosmith's I Don't Want to Miss a Thing at the top of my lungs as I drove down the road.  As songs have the power to do, I was transported back in time visiting moments where I was completely aware that I didn't want to miss a thing, that being right there in that moment was everything.

I visited a moment with my brother, Michael, when he was in the hospital near the end of his life.  The night was long and we didn't think he would make it.  He was clearly in between worlds, sitting up suddenly and jabbering unintelligibly as he looked at the corner of the ceiling at something or someone that only he could see.  The morning broke and there he was back with us, laughing, joking, holding Jeanne, his wife as she laid in the bed with him.

I visited a moment with my mom when she was taking her final breaths.  She had been in a coma for 4 days and the death rattle had begun several hours before letting us know the end was near.  I was alone with her and the rest of the family was poured into the other rooms of my sister's house as we held vigil over her.  Suddenly, she opened her eyes and looked straight into my eyes, piercing my heart with the thousand souls behind her translucent purple eyes.  She was showering me with a depth of love that is beyond description, letting me see that life indeed goes on after we leave the body and she was being ushered by those thousand souls into the next realm.

I visited a moment with John, following his bypass surgery.  He was still sedated, going in and out of consciousness.  I laid my hands over his heart and gave thanks for this man, for his life and for the gift of us and our shared adventure.  He woke up and spoke to me as if nothing had happened, as if he hadn't just experienced major surgery, saying with a shit eatin' grin: Hey Gee!  I love you.  I drank him in and let his words grace my heart.

Then, I came back into present time and thought: Hell! I don't want to miss a thing NOW, in my own life.  I wanna enjoy this ride and be excited about what is to come this day and the next and the next for as long as it lasts.  One day will be my last day and I shall miss all that makes up this human experience - the chaos and the sublime.

Often, we zip through our days going from task to task and even though those tasks are necessary, we forget how precious each moment, each day actually is.  We wait for what we feel are the big events and MISS the things that are right in front of us.

I invite you to soak in the unexpected joys found in each day, to tune in (even just a few times a day) so you don't miss the things that fill you with a sense of wonder, the seemingly little things that make life so damn BIG and beautiful.

There are NO DO-OVERS!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

When You Complain, LISTEN!

ALL human responses, reactions and behaviors
including COMPLAINING are trying to tell us something.
If we LISTEN, we can use the information instead of just creating a habit that keeps us stuck in old patterns that no longer serve us.

A friend shared that after hearing a lecture from a TV preacher on why we shouldn't complain, she was trying to stop because she felt it was negative.  I respectfully disagreed with her and the preacher that complaining is negative because I view it simply as information.  When we complain, if we listen, there is crucial information trying to guide us into making different
choices.  When we hear our Self complain, freedom is a choice away. But sometimes, it takes us complaining for a long, long time, before we listen and act; and that's okay too.  This is all part of the human journey.

All human responses, reactions and behaviors serve us even complaining and if we pay attention, don't go to sleep at the wheel and live the answers to What is this trying to tell me? we will be set free over and over and over again. 

My friend was actually shaming herself instead of listening - I should be grateful that I have a job in this economy even though my boss is psychotic throwing tantrums and sucking my energy like a vampire day in and day out and I have heart palpitations all day long and I feel like I am 100 years old and I am actually starting to look it and I started smoking again to take the edge off and drink a bottle of wine at the end of every day...

The complaining was telling her to RUN like hell and exercise her power to choose but she couldn't hear this because she was stuck in the chaos, fear and way of living.  I get it!  I have ridden on the crazy train a time or two or ten and I am sure I will find myself back on it again.  Friends tried to tell me to jump but I couldn't do it until I was ready.  Knowing this, I repeated what I heard her saying, I reminded her that she deserved better and let her know that she had choices.

Instead of judging your responses as negative and trying to control them, I invite you to welcome all it has to say.  LISTEN!  Trust your innate wisdom even in the ugliest responses, the behaviors that you wouldn't want anyone to see.  When we bring everything into the light, out into the open, we can make choices that honor our needs and help us to live consciously, joyously and deliberately.

Judge Nothing.  But LISTEN closely!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Life is Bitter AND Sweet...

Holding the paradox of life,
being with the bitter and the sweet,
resisting nothing.
allowing the totality of the experience,

I have come to see that there is a sweetness to life that can only be tasted in the wake of the bitterness - a depth carved from the bitterness that drops us into another level of sweetness.  If we bypass the bitterness, we bypass the sweetness.  But if we dare to allow the totality of our life experiences, we come alive more fiercely and sure-footed regardless of the circumstances.  Letting life touch us, cut us with its sharp edges in order to transform us takes faith that no matter what comes, we can meet it and use it to inform our journey. 

Using our experiences takes us from victim to victor, gives meaning to everything and helps us to evolve as we extract the wisdom, spin the lead into gold and free more of our Self to come out and play throughout this lifetime.

Some things are harder to swallow than others and acknowledging this, helps us to swallow it anyway, digesting and integrating the most unpalletable of experiences.  In the movie Mary Poppins, she sings A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down.  This is true in life.  Knowing the sweetness will come enables us to be with the bitterness.  Nothing stays the same.  Cycles come and go, this journey is ever-changing, ever-shifting bringing both bitterness and sweetness.

I invite you to look at your life and reflect on the gifts that have come from the jagged little pills you have been forced to swallow.  Seeing the gifts, seeing the beauty, seeing the grace in all life has brought your way actually makes even the bitterness extra extra sweet.

BE WITH IT ALL...Use it!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What Can't You Live Without?

We may NOT choose to live without the people and all the things we call essential in this world but the MIRACLE is:  WE CAN!
The human spirit allows us to endure the unendurable.
The force within us that is HOPE infuses us every moment of every day.
We may give up on LIFE but LIFE never gives up on us.

When my nieces, Macy and Jess got engaged, I was searching for gifts to mark these special milestones.  I went to my favorite spot to browse and found a wooden sign with these words painted on it:  Don't choose someone you can live with.  Choose someone you can't live without.  This saying is a great reminder to not settle and to be passionate about who you choose to share your life with because there is a distinct difference.  The message is not lost on me; but in the wake of John's death, I couldn't bring myself to buy it.

I now know that I can live without the person that I thought I couldn't live without.  And my living, moving on and welcoming new life serves as proof that it is possible to do what I thought was impossible.  John insisted that in our wedding ceremony we use the wording:  until God shall separate us by death knowing that more than likely one of us would leave this earth before the other.  I get it that this is a daunting thought and I represent the greatest fear for couples.  But I also get to pass on hope.  Standing on my own two feet, I show others how to do the same.

Now, on a purely superficial level, I can't live without my pen and notebook, lip balm, mascara (being an 80's girl), my defrizzer hair products, bottled water, good friends, interesting conversation, travel, Lake Cumberland, running shoes, Nike Air stilettos, a comfy bed, peanut butter m&m's, belly laughing, hot bath soaks with candles and rag mags, books, art, soulful music and so on. 

It is FUN to enjoy the pleasures of this life that feed our needs.  Go ahead and proclaim:  I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT THIS! appreciating the abundance of this life; but know in the depths of yourself that you can live without anything you think you can't (aside from the essential things that keep us alive like oxygen, water and nutrients).

When careers end, when marriages end whether by divorce or death, when life as we know it is gone, when the things we treasure are no longer, we must grieve and feel the pain of this.  And we learn to live again.  

 We may give up on LIFE but one thing is certain:  LIFE NEVER GIVES UP ON US!  (Miraculous...Wondrous...AWEsome...BEAUTYfull.)

Monday, March 11, 2013

When is the last time you did something for the first time?

Daily rituals are essential and grounding but rigidity - not allowing the new experiences of life can dull our sense of adventure.
Pay attention to how you feel.
One seemingly small change can lead to big shifts.

When I signed up for my bootcamp fitness class, my intention was to maximize my workouts in a shorter amount of time.  This is the reason why I thought I was doing it.  But doing something new, allowing myself to let go of rituals and make room for change has had far-reaching effects on the whole of my life that I could never have imagined.  I expected to get in shape more efficiently.  I didn't expect that it would stoke my creative fires as much as it has bringing forward new projects and ideas.  I didn't expect to meet the incredible people that give so much to my life standing side by side with me day in and day out.  I didn't expect to feel so playful in the midst of doing things for the first time.

My willingness to simply show up and do something different gifts me every single day.  I feel as if ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE as I do what I have never done before and discover life outside my cozy little box.  The box I had created was comfortable and tidy, but getting messy, allowing myself to get sloppy and drop into the muck has proven to be enriching in ways I can express and ways that are beyond language.  

Last week when I went to get my hair colored, my stylist, Angel, who is always gorgeous had an extra umph in her step that I noticed immediately.  We hugged and I asked what the heck was going on with this new mojo she was exuding.  She shared that she had bought a Groupon for Crossfit, a workout program, 9 months ago but was scared to go.  A high school friend posted on facebook how she was doing Crossfit and had lost over 100 pounds and felt better than ever.  Inspired, Angel dared to take her fear by the hand and go.  4 weeks later, she is standing taller.  She has more energy.  She respects herself and feels courageous.  She is dwelling in possibilities as she feels more connected her Self and engaged in the world.

Doing something for the first time requires us to risk, to move into the unknown, to challenge our need to do things right or perfect, to be okay with looking foolish or silly.  This is NOT small stuff.  But the reward is a sense of adventure in experiencing this life fully, jumping into the fires as we befriend our fears so they no longer stop us from blossoming into the highest expression of our Self. 

Remember this and repeat it to yourself over and over and over and over: 
You have everything to gain and nothing to lose!

What if playing it safe is killing YOUR SPIRIT?  (FREE Your Self.)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

No Holding Back!

This is YOUR life.
This is MY life.
No HOLDing back.  No WAITing for someday.
LIFE is now.
You deserve all the ABUNDANCE it has to offer - LET IT IN!

I was at my fitness bootcamp class last week, going hard, holding nothing back as my sole intention for attending is to get stronger mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally.  Suddenly, one of the group members yelled to me Slow down!  Being clear that  I am there for me, I kept doing my thing and didn't take on her stuff

At this point in my life, I don't feel I have anything to prove as I did when I first began to move my body 20 years ago.  The group I work out with is at all fitness levels and attends for their own personal reasons known to only them.  We are there together yet we are alone doing our own thing, going at our own pace, getting what each of us needs in that 45 minute span.  What a perfect metaphor for life!

The instructor who calls me Katie looked me in the eye and said:  Did you slow down, Katie?!  Laughing as I responded:  HELL NO!  This is my life.  And I am NOT holding back to please someone else.  I am here for me.  He cracked up laughing and supported my ability to stand up for my life as he patted my back and said:  That's my girl, Katie.

That moment brought a choice my way that may have seemed inconsequential
on the surface but at a deeper level, it was evidence that I no longer reel myself in or hold myself back to please others; and this is BIG STUFF.  Reeling our self in, playing small, allowing others to have authority over our life shows up in a million tiny ways throughout our life. 

Be clear and let this TRUTH in:  THE ABUNDANCE IS YOU!!!!!

This is YOUR life.
This is MY life.
No HOLDing back.  No WAITing for someday.
LIFE is now.
You deserve all the ABUNDANCE it has to offer - LET IT IN!

I invite you to pay attention, be present to your life so you can see when you hold back, reel yourself in and do what others need you to do at the expense of YOU.  When you make an empowered choice, take a stand for your life, pat yourself on the back as you would a child and say:  That's my girl/boy!  I got ya.  Be in charge of YOUR life.  Watch the ABUNDANCE that is YOU swell throughout your body, mind, heart, soul and beyond. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

No BSing Myself...

There will always be moments where we see what was NOT visible before and this makes life an ADVENTURE into more of our Self!
NO BSing, our ability to observe our Self - our choices (why we do what we do), beliefs, thoughts, actions, the way we show up in any given moment - gives us the power to consciously choose instead of doing what we have always done because we are asleep at the wheel as we drive through life. 

On my last trip to Nashville, Tennessee, I ordered a non-alcoholic beer because although I no longer drink alcohol, I enjoy the taste of a nice cold beer every now and then.  The waiter brought me my beer and said, "I heard that if you drink like 6 of these you can get a buzz off them due to the trace amounts of alcohol they contain."  I let him know that I have a no BS policy with myself so if I wanted a buzz, I would order a regular beer instead of pretending.  He laughed along with me as I added that really, as I see it, the only person I owe the truth is myself because only I have the power to make choices for my life. 

I began a journaling exercise 10 yrs ago:  TELL THE FU%&ING TRUTH which has helped me not BS myself by grounding in my Truth so I can bring it out of the shadow and into the light.  After all these years, I live this throughout my days as I consciously make choices not labeling them good or bad, right or wrong but simply staying aware.  Sometimes, I choose to eat peanut butter m&m's by the handfuls or party sized bags, knowing that they are something I use to manage feelings around missing the sweetness in life that was my beloved John.  In the awareness of the choice, I remove the shame game and actually eat them occasionally instead of eating so many that I feel sick from the sugar overload. 

Shame perpetuates destructive patterns.  No BSing myself  removes the shame and gives me permission to be an empowered woman who makes her own life choices not a child hiding out of fear of ridicule and judgement.  If I am going to do something, I do it.  I own it.  I take 100% responsibility for my life because living in denial or blaming others feels crappy and doesn't serve me.

Not being a fan of perfection as the pursuit of this unattainable ideal
has wreaked havoc on my life.  I put down the bat, refusing to beat myself up and befriending myself no matter what with complete understanding and compassionate care.   I acknowledge the truth with humor, welcoming my humanness and viewing myself as the best entertainment.  Silly girl!  Remember how this pound of m&m's feels in your stomach so next time, you will eat to ENJOY them not DESTROY you. 

NO BSing!  is a liberation walk.  I invite you to let go of the need to do things right and meet yourself with unconditional kindness as you observe yourself and the choices you make throughout your days.  Take 100% responsibility for your life.  If you want to do the journaling exercise, write on the top of the page:  TELL THE FU$%ING TRUTH!  and release your personal truth about an event that has you in knots or circumstances or where you feel stuck.  The page can contain all that pours out of you without judgement.  The page will mirror the beauty found in your truth.  Pay attention to how good, how alive, how light you feel in your mind, body, heart and soul. 

The TRUTH will set you FREE!

Friday, March 8, 2013

What's Fair Got to do with It?

I actually like to say: WTF does FAIR have to do with life?
Life is not governed by scales of justice hanging in balance.
ACCEPTING that life isn't fair, living in the mystery of it all, brings me a sense of PEACE that trying to figure it out, control it and manage it
simply doesn't.  And I choose PEACE and FREEDOM.

At John's funeral services, well-meaning people would say to me:  You didn't deserve this.  This never sat well with me as I am uncomfortable with the idea that someone else would deserve this kind of heartbreak and tragedy.

Based on our human limitations, seeing life on the surface, being a constant
judge and juror, trying to figure out how we can prevent life from kicking our ass, we want things to be controllable and manageable - neat and tidy.  If I do this than I am protected from that.  We become superstitious believing certain actions and thoughts will keep us safe - insulated from life.

When we experience the biting harshness of life's unfairness, we are free from thinking we can control the uncontrollable.  We are more compassionate when others are shattered by circumstances.  We know that they did nothing to deserve it.  We know life happened!  And tragedy and pain and the unwanted is a part of life NOT some measure of justice handing our asses to us.

I was on the phone a couple of days ago with my dear friends whose brilliant and beautiful 15 year old son died last July by suicide.  We were saying: What the Fu%& does fair have to do with life?  And we laughed together at the absurdity of the notion that life is supposed to be fair.  We know better.  Our experiences have cleared us of that thinking.

Accepting life on life's terms offers a peace and a freedom like no other.  We always have choices in how we face the events of our life but we don't always get to choose the events of our lives.  I must say that the things I would NEVER have wished for have shown me I am far more than I knew before AND I can be a friend to all wherever they are because I can be with their pain without judgment. 

This day, I invite you to observe when you are judge and juror instead opening your heart, meeting yourself and others with compassion and understanding.  We are in this together whether we are aware of this or not.  Befriend yourself so you can befriend others! 


Thursday, March 7, 2013


There is no greater feeling than OWNING all that you are
AND standing tall without apology!
(Stop the SHAME game.  Return HOME to your Self.)

As a coach and numerologist, I am privileged to be with people as they return home to their Self, reclaiming dormant energies that they abandoned over the years and activating potential that must be set free.  The journey of life takes us into the unexpected which can be difficult to navigate alone so I get to be with individuals during times of great transitions where beliefs are assessed and dismantled, what no long serves is acknowledged and laid to rest, visions and plans are created so new life can move through.

But it all starts with me and my relationship to my Self.  I couldn't do what I do if I was unable to own the truth of all that I am, stand tall without apology, let go of shame and return home to my Self.  This is an ongoing process and will be until my last breath so I welcome the discoveries found in each day.

I AM TOO MUCH!  I am.  At 44, I can say that, know it and delight in it.  Being too much was one of my original wounds where I was ashamed of not being like the other kids, talking too much, asking question after question, needing constant attention and assurance from adults and bouncing off the walls.  My mom used to say that she should have been my grandma.  I wore her out.  She used to shout at me with tears of frustration and out of sheer
exhaustion and desperation:  What do you want from me?  You are too much for me!   And I was.

All the TOO MUCH energy I was born with, when out of balance led me into destructive patterns and behaviors - binge eating, drinking and so on.  But in balance, it is my most treasured gift, an innate vitality that I get to share with the world through my being, speaking, writing and coaching.
When I met my late-husband, John, he was not afraid of my TOO MUCHness, celebrating it, inviting all of me to come out and play, entertaining him,
inspiring him and challenging the hell out of him.  He laughed at my fire and welcomed my roar.  He helped me own this sacred gift as angels we meet along our path do.

At my 20 year class reunion seeing photos splashed on the big screen of me rocking funky 80's headbands, red boots with holes cut out of them, flashy mini-skirts in bold colors, metallic silver eye liner with matching shadow, I absolutely fell in love with my TOO MUCHness, integrating more of this energy so I can use it.

Who are you?  What parts of you do you need to reclaim and own so you can USE the precious energy to express your truest Self?  I invite you to examine where shame still grips you.  Letting go of shame is a worthy mission
because the richest of lives is found in returning HOME to our Self so we can enjoy this grand adventure.

This is YOUR life!  What if it's FUN to be YOU? 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Make Some Noise!

Digging deep, going into that uncomfortable zone,
I find myself MAKING SOME NOISE.
This primal urge is an instinctive response to help us release tension so we can go where we have never been before and express our Self more honestly and expansively.

When John first died, my breath was so shallow that it felt stuck in my throat.  Like a fish out of water, I would feel myself suddenly gulp for air unaware that I was holding my breath.  Grief had gripped me stealing my breath.  And yet, instinctively, my body did what it had to in order to keep me alive. 

I had never been so aware of the miracle of this human system, the body, and how it kicks in to do what it must to ensure our survival.  Most the time we aren't aware of this but in times when we are in a deficit; when life is sucking the wind out of our sails if we tune in, we get see and explore the wonders of being.

Making some noise is information so listen to your Self.  A friend shared that for the last 6 months of her ill-fated marriage she walked around sighing and was asked by her then husband why she was sighing.  She didn't know.  In hindsight, she can see that it was an innate response to her burdens, the heaviness of life that she was carrying around.

Yesterday, at my "squat party" workout, I was making some noise as I always do when I am diggin' deep.  Grunting, cursing, letting it out in the form of various noises have become necessary practices as I am now keenly aware of how it helps me release tension, go where I have never gone before and express my Self more expansively like a flower in full bloom. 

Sometimes out of the blue, driving or going about my day, I breathe consciously into the whole of my body and MAKE SOME NOISE freeing any residue of repressed energy.  This simple practice is energizing.

I invite you to MAKE SOME NOISE and tune in to see where it takes you. 

ENJOY the ride!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Next Move?

It is a fact that LIFE GOES ON.
It does.
It goes on with or without our consent.
We can't stop this perpetual motion which is LIFE inviting me to ask:  NEXT MOVE?

I just got home from a workout called "Squat Party" which was 45 minutes of butt and thigh burning exercises, one after the other.  As the fitness instructor yelled Next move! I felt myself roll with and move into whatever was next.  I trusted my Self - my strength, my inner rhythm, my ability to take care of my Self  moment by moment. 

Not all changes in life are so easy to roll with but change is a constant whether we are aware of it or not.  Sometimes, we are instructed and simply do what we are told.  Other times, we follow our heart's guidance and do what we must regardless of the opinions of the peanut gallery.  We are sure-footed and we stumble.  We pick our self up and we stand taller than we knew was possible.  We hold our breath and we breathe deeper into our self enlivening our senses and connecting to life in a more profound way. 

Being with with the next move, not placing conditions on what should be, we release the tension of the opposites - our human desire to control our life experiences instead of being with it all.  Miracles happen when we are present to life as it is, making choices as to how we will use our precious energy as we move forward.

I invite you to reflect on the question:   NEXT MOVE?  Tune in to your Self and welcome the unexpected, let go of limits, stay open delighting in your own personal adventure expressing as YOU.  The mantra of the great explorers of life is:  Surprise!  Surprise!  Surprise!  Life is wondrous, indeed.

Monday, March 4, 2013

How the Hell Did I Get Here?

I have come to see there are no good days and bad days.  There are simply days filled with good and bad.  And the courage to be present to it all unfolds me and enlivens me. 
It is my life's mission to LOVE EACH DAY and LIVE IT ALL.

Coming out of an intensely harsh cycle following the sudden death of my husband, John, I have moments that jolt me and I wonder:  How the hell did I get here? And I am filled with awe at all that has led me to this moment in time.   

The human experience is the great leveler.  No one goes through life unscathed.  We all get our asses handed to us in one way or another.  Knowing this, I respect the journey of each person no matter how fu%&ed up it may seem.  The soul's journey is not so neat and tidy - it aint all pretty and we don't have to pretend it is.  We are all making our way, doing the best we can where we are with what we know.  From this place of knowing, I don't judge so my heart goes out to everyone as I cheer on the whole of humanity.  Sometimes my cheers are silent and sometimes they are explosively loud with pompoms in hand but cheer I must.

I invite you to take a pause and revisit ALL that has led you to this moment in time.  Be in awe of your journey!  When you appreciate your Self, all of you, the whole of your journey full of struggle and triumph, you can appreciate others wherever they are.   Life is so damn juicy!  Welcome it all.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Carve Your Blessings in Stone

Write your troubles in the sand. 
Carve your blessings in stone.
A sign with this saying was hanging on a friend's wall.  I had never heard it before but the truth of it resonated with me so deeply that I wanted to share it.
Oh, the power of GRATITUDE to lighten our hearts and FREE us...

We have all heard, "This too shall pass," acknowledging that the troubles we face today will fade as life moves on, tomorrows come and go clearing the old and bringing in the new.  Admittedly, I have found that platitude offensive
when I felt as if my troubles weren't acknowledged and honored by others - where they were uncomfortable with my pain and wanted me to bypass the experience and put on a happy face. But there is truly wisdom in trusting that the hell we are walking through will pass with effort and grace, counting our blessings and processing the pain.  With time, I have been able to be grateful for even the troubles that have rocked me, shattered me and dismantled my life, transforming the troubles into blessings that could now be carved into my heart and taken with me wherever I go.  Miraculous!

The image of writing my troubles with a stick into the sand and walking away, knowing the tides will come in and wash them away feels freeing to me.  And the only life I am interested in living at this point is one free of the cages - the beliefs, thoughts, attitudes, ideas and past circumstances that keep me from feeling alive.  Freedom is the ultimate blessing!  Knowing that life happens and we make choices how to transform fated events into an empowered destiny. 

I invite you to close your eyes and visualize yourself on the beach writing your troubles in the sand.  Acknowledge it all!  Any residue of past pain is essential to include so you can let the tides take even that.  Watch the waters come in and graciously wipe the slate clean.  Give thanks for all of your blessings, great and small (they are actually all GREAT).  Start with the breath you breathe, for your life, the day, the wind and go on and on and on.  Feel your heart lighten as you accept the abundance of your journey here on earth. 
(Repeat this practice over and over to enjoy more freedom in your life!)

LOVE EACH DAY (for what it is) and LIVE IT ALL (meet what comes)!