June 7 ♥ Loss: Saved by Heartstrings into Infinity

I lost a very good friend last week. We both knew it was coming, and yet… I was still surprised when it finally happened. I kept expecting some sort of miracle, just for her. Because we clicked instantly when we first met. Because she really understood me, and I got her. Because we truly were kindred spirits brought together by a shared experience. And, I needed her to ground me. But that’s not the way life works. Sometimes it just sucks. So, how do you say goodbye to someone so special? How do you let go of something so precious? Here are some things I am finding helpful. Allowing myself to recognize my feelings, cry when I need to, and laugh at our past antics. My emotions are running the gamut. And I am allowing them to do so. Being gentle with myself and allowing others to offer comfort to fill the void I feel. Letting go of any would-a, could-a, should-a’s. Regret will not change anything in the past. Our time together was what it was. Recalling the important things she taught me, especially spirituality and her favorite mantra: Spirit: teach me, show me, guide me. Seeking the lesson in all of this, and although it alludes me right now, I’m certain it will become evident, eventually. Most importantly I recognize that even though she no longer has a physical presence in my life, she will live on in my thoughts, words, and actions. These are the heartstrings that tie me … Continue reading

Feb 8 ♥ Boundaries: You Need to Know What You’ll Put Up With

Personal boundaries are vital and an important part of our self-care because they clarify how we will let others treat us. Boundaries allow us to understand what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior from others. It’s a way for us to maintain self-respect and demand respect in return. So often we say, “Yes” when we mean “No”, we let people walk all over us and our needs or we don’t stand up for ourselves. Maybe we sacrifice our time, energy and resources to help others, while ignoring our own lives and priorities. We become too compliant, afraid that others won’t like us unless we give in. And all of this leaves us resentful, emotionally drained, exhausted and feeling crazy. Fact: setting boundaries is not about trying to control other people. It’s about drawing a line on what you will and will not allow into your life. It’s about standing your ground and recognizing that your needs are important. It’s about demanding respect from others. And, yes, some people may fall away as a result but you will have gained self-reliance, self-confidence and trust in yourself. Priceless gifts!   Now It’s Your Turn When have you said, “YES” when you really meant, “NO”? Why did you make that choice? What were you afraid would happen if you had spoken your mind? What personal boundary could you create to prevent this in the future? … Continue reading

Dec. 27 ♥ Celebrate and Complete 2016

So many people have looked upon 2016 as the worst year, ever. And yet… There have been really good times, right? This is the time of year when many of us hunker down, stay close to the fire and wait for the wintry blasts to end. And yet… We want to feel hopeful for the bright New Year. I’m recommending that we all — me included — take some time for reflection on this past year, taking stock of what occurred in our lives. It’s really important to find the gifts, lessons, challenges and blessings from the year that is ending. In this way we can truly celebrate what has come before and release whatever needs to be so we can start fresh with clarity as our New Year arrives. Along this lifetime path of discovery you will come to deeply know yourself, grow in wisdom, and rejoice in sharing your own, unique gifts, which the world sorely needs. You need to review this past year to recognize it happened to you for a reason. You may totally understand that or maybe the meaning is hidden in a cloudy mist right now. Either way, it’s OK. What’s important is the process of introspection and celebration that will help you clear the debris so that beautiful, gorgeous you can make room for the new possibilities that will be coming in your New Year. And so, I am offering a gift to help you examine this past year and set your intentions for … Continue reading

When Did You Last TRY to Scare Yourself?

Try one thing each day that scares you. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt Courage. According to my dictionary, it’s the “ability to conquer fear or despair.” I believe it’s about having a choice and believing in oneself. About leaping into the unknown, without a manual or guarantees. It’s about being proactive rather than reactive. Courage is the antidote to fear. Unlike a certain commercial, “Maybe she’s born with it…” doesn’t hold true for courage. As of yet, the Human Genome Project hasn’t successfully isolated that part of our DNA that makes one person more courageous than another. So, where does it come from? Courage is more like a muscle: the more you use it, the more easily it comes to you. Our courage muscle is built one small, sometimes infinitesimal, step at a time. No child jumps on a bicycle for the first time and rides off happily into the sunset. You remember: there are cuts, scrapes and bruises along the way—not failure but part of the lesson of learning to overcome. The child’s yearning to ride that bike diminishes any fear they may have of trying. Where DID our childhood courage go? “Consequences” was not a frequent visitor in our vocabulary, much to the chagrin of our parents. You remember, someone would yell, “Come on, let’s do it!” and we’d all be off on some adventure, consequences be damned. How can we recapture that independent spirit, that fearlessness? Our long-lost courage? As Eleanor Roosevelt says, we need to practice. One day at … Continue reading

The Courage Muscle

I love Eleanor Roosevelt—her gumption, her unflagging goal to make the world a better place, her courage to survive the many adversities in her life. Do one thing every day that scares you. This has been one of my all-time favorite quotes. Eleanor’s words have graced every office I have worked in, have been affixed to my refrigerator door, and currently are displayed in a place of honor near my home computer. The quote has inspired me to push beyond my “edge” and to shake off my complacency. Over time, it has helped me to exercise and strengthen my own courage muscle. Because developing courage takes practice. No one is born courageous. We learn to grow bolder in incremental steps: learning to walk, ride a bike, drive a car, go after that job we really want, live on our own. And somewhere along the way, particularly if we are female, we begin to forget about courage. We fall into complacency, the “shoulds” loom large, and the adventure in our lives diminishes. But it doesn’t have to happen this way. And the good news is: it’s not too late to reawaken and build up our courage muscle. Just like well-toned arms, our courage muscle needs to be exercised on a regular basis. Even a little practice, over time, will add to the prominence of this muscle. The rewards: a richer life, an increased sense of adventure and self-confidence, a greater willingness to try new things, and an expanded sense of curiosity—because … Continue reading