Monthly Archives: July 2016

The Fear Of Being Better


We can’t get better until we’re no longer afraid of being better.

Being better means changing our minds. It means having the courage to admit we were wrong. To be humble enough to apologize. Bold enough to say no. Free enough to say yes. It means being open to new thoughts, multiple perspectives, new ways of doing things. Being better takes innovation, creative thinking, and clear communication.

We can’t get better until we’re no longer afraid of being better.

Being better means quitting jobs, moving house, leaving relationships, putting cookies down. It means being willing to be uncomfortable. Being better means paying more attention to our own actions than we do to the actions of others. It requires a sense of integrity and demands personal responsibility.

We can’t get better until we’re no longer afraid of being better.

Being better means learning lessons and behaving gracefully. It means keeping our opinions to ourselves while speaking our truth with wisdom and compassion. It requires a gentle, loving language. Being better means looking for peaceful resolution. It requires an end to whatever story of anger or betrayal you currently have on repeat.

We can’t get better until we’re no longer afraid of being better.

Being better means not hiding behind excuses or lies. It means facing yourself in the mirror and owning every choice you make. Being better means not lashing out, not calling names, not abusing or withholding, repressing or revenging – yourself or anyone else.

We can’t get better until we’re no longer afraid of being better.

Being better means giving yourself permission to know you deserve better. From family members, co-workers, acquaintances and friends. It means knowing they deserve better from you as well. Being better means taking no shit and giving no fucks while doing no harm.

We can’t get better until we’re no longer afraid of being better.

Being better means not blaming or judging. It means crawling out from under the weight of guilt and shame. It means having the courage to let go of pain, grief, anger, and frustration. It means forgiving others, forgiving yourself, accepting the heart-felt apologies of those who hurt you, and moving on if an apology is not forthcoming. Being better means not being afraid of walking away from anyone or anything that doesn’t want to be better, too.

We can’t get better until we’re no longer afraid of being better.

Being better means understanding your behavior is your choice. It means acknowledging that if your mouth is the one talking and your hands are the ones doing – then you are the verb in your story.

Being better is a way of life, not a means to an end. It is a call to action. It requires us to reflect on our own behavior and then asks us if we’re ready to be the grown up in the room.  To be better means to live by a new set of rules – all the time. Being better means being respectful – to yourself and the world you live in.

Being better means never, ever, for any reason, justifying an act of assholery. Ever. Because being an asshole is not being better.

We can’t get better until we’re no longer afraid of being better – to ourselves and to each other.










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The Question That Saved My Life…


I spent almost a year living out of a shed in my backyard.

Not literally. I just spent most of my free time there – it was the only place I could go to deal with my life at the time. As I sat in the dank, musty darkness, crying while ants crawled across my toes and spiders wove webs in the rafters, I wondered how long it would take for me to be able to feel comfortable participating in my own life again.

Day after day I meditated in that shed. And wept. And journaled. And cursed the bugs. Until finally, I overcame all the reasons I was in there in the first place.

A combination of events had thrown a plethora of blended and extended family at my doorstep. My husband and I were living with both our newly adult children (19 and 21), my brother, my mother, two cats, two hamsters, and a dog. We all crammed into my 850 square foot mobile home for an intense year of bat-shit crazy.

It was challenging for everyone.

Little did I know, at the beginning of this particular family traffic jam, that what I was about to experience would become the ultimate test of personal growth and my ability to take care of myself.

For the first few days, everyone was simply happy to see each other. I felt as though we could, as a family, make this work. That was my intention. The optimism was short lived.

We were amassed for the sole (and Soul) purpose of healing. It didn’t take long for everyone’s wounds to come bubbling to the surface. By the end of the first month, my home was festering with anger, depression, angst, willful disobedience, ambivalence, and outright defiance.

Everyone’s stuff was everywhere. We were tripping over each other – physically and emotionally. My quiet, peaceful home had morphed into complete chaos.

What happens when your life suddenly spins out of control?

You begin to do things you never thought possible – like spending your ‘quiet, relaxing, me-time’ in a spider infested shed asking the Universe to please not let you fall down the prozac and valium hole.

I’m a big believer in the idea that the Universe never gives you more than you can handle. However, it can and will challenge the shit out of you when life lessons need to be learned.

When that happens, the best thing you can figure out how to do is take care of yourself.

This can be difficult – especially when you’re living with others who are struggling, too.

In my situation…

  • My children were trying to figure out how to be independent adults while still receiving all the benefits of childhood
  • My mom was dealing with high blood sugar – undiagnosed and untreated
  • My husband was working long hours
  • I was managing chronic pain and fatigue while doing my best to keep order
  • My brother was between jobs, trying to figure out what to do next

It was the ultimate mix of – Who’s the most needy and how are they going to get those needs met without making it difficult for anyone else in the house?

That was the question we all had to ask ourselves – individually and as a family unit. How do we find our way into lives where we are each able to meet our own needs while living peacefully with one another?

The answers didn’t come easily. They required motivation and action, personal responsibility, and a willingness to be self-sufficient. We had to learn to be patient and loving. We had to take space and give space. We had to be committed to not lashing out at one another. We had to learn how to be better, kinder, more understanding people. We had to reflect on our lives – mentally, emotionally, and Spiritually – and commit to learning what the Universe threw us together to learn.


  • My brother moved on, finding work he loves to do
  • My children continue to grow and manage their adulthood, becoming increasingly more independent
  • My mom moved somewhere sunny, got her blood sugar under control, lost over 60 pounds, and now looks and feels fabulous.
  • I focused on meditating, going to yoga, managing my chronic pain, and saying goodby to the spiders in my shed.
  • My husband found ways to tweak his schedule so he could be home more often

I don’t know how it happened – the grace of God – Goddess – The Universe – whatever it was – somehow we all moved forward. For some beautiful reason, things got better and so did we.

Life can and does put challenges in your way. The key is figuring out how to take care of yourself so fully and efficiently, no hurdle, road block, or crisis can stand in the way of you or your ability to be happy and healthy.

Now, every morning I ask myself  –  “How can I take care of myself today?”

I spend the rest of the day answering that question – with my words, my actions, and my thoughts. Doing this changed everything.

How could your life be different if you did the same?








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I’m Not An Asshole, So Why Do I Keep Disappointing People?


One of the only over-riding truths I can reveal about myself to my readers is that I disappoint people.

I’ve been disappointing people since childhood and I’m sure I’ll continue the trend well into my old age.

I can’t seem to help it. I’m not doing it on purpose. In fact, I try very hard not to be an asshole. Yet – somehow – somewhere – someone is disappointed.

So…. fuck it.

They’re just gong to have to be disappointed. Why? Because I’ve made a promise to myself – to continue to live my one and only shot at this life – in a way that makes me grateful for what I have and proud of who I am.

Disappointment used to scare me. In fact, it kept me stuck in unhealthy patterns of people-pleasing for years.

I didn’t want people to be mad at me. I didn’t want them to dislike me. I didn’t want them to think bad things about me. Or talk about me behind my back. Or be mean to me to my face.

I spent years of my life giving so many shits about everyone else’s opinion of me, I forgot about my own opinion of me.

I spent so many years of my life living the way other people wanted me to, I forgot to live the way I wanted to.

Until I became peri-menopausal.

Once that happened, all those shits ran screaming in the other direction while I slid into the depths of a Spiritual crisis* that made everything about me want to be different.

To summarize, once I turned 40, I realized there was something missing.

I couldn’t name it. It wasn’t a person. Or an object. A home. Or a vacation.

It was a ‘feeling’ – a knowing that the way I lived needed to change or I would end up missing out on the entire reason I was given a life in the first place.

I couldn’t explain it in words – to the disappointment of family, friends, acquaintances, neighbors, and colleagues…

There was simply something gnawing at my insides, begging me to pay attention. Day after day it screamed, clawed, and ferociously fought for me to let it out.

I couldn’t ignore it.

I couldn’t silence it.

I couldn’t kill it.

I struggled every day. And I was scared.

I felt an overwhelmingly deep longing to connect to my life as if I were a lover having an orgasm at my very existence. The strength of the emotion of wanting to be ‘alive’ – of allowing unbridled passion, love, excitement, and joy to overcome me – was both my greatest desire and my biggest fear.

The more I explored what was happening to me, the more I disappointed the people around me. It was as if the Universe was saying –



The more I explored what my Spirit wanted and needed out of this life, the more the Universe tested me.

Friends I dearly loved stopped speaking to me.

Family members yelled and screamed at me.

Acquaintances wrote me hostile e-mails.

Everything became volatile as change unfolded in my life. Yet, something within me knew I had to keep going – despite everyone else’s fear, disappointment, anger, and opinion. I had to allow myself to change. To grow. To be a better, more impassioned, loving and alive person.

So I did. And what I found was…

  • allowing a disappointed person to exit my life meant I had more time, space, and energy to explore the passion I was so desperately seeking.
  • the relationships I kept became much more authentic and meaningful.
  • new people and experiences flooded my existence.
  • letting myself grow and change, as scary and uncomfortable as it sometimes felt, was the only choice my Soul could make.

Now, I live my life my way. Yes, that continues to disappoint people. However, I’ve learned to accept their disappointment as a direct sign from the Universe that I’m doing the personal and Spiritual work I was meant to do in this life.

And I feel fully, passionately, orgasmically alive while doing it.

**I talk in depth about my Spiritual crisis in the first few posts of this blog. Click Here to start at the beginning…**




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What Difference Do I Make?


This is a picture of ‘Tank Man’ – the anonymous Chinese man who stood in front of an army of tanks right after the Tiananmen Square Massacre in China in 1989.

Stopping them in their tracks.

I remember watching the footage on television. He simply walked out in front of all these tanks and stood there. When I first saw the video, I thought the tanks were going to run him over, but they didn’t. They stopped. After a moment of stillness, the tanks tried to go around the man. So he moved with them, staying in front of them, continuing to block their way. And again, the tanks stopped.

I was mesmerized by this guy. I thought to myself – Holy Shit! This is the bravest man I’ve ever seen in my life! He’s all by himself in front of all those tanks, yet, something about him made the entire army stop.

No weapon in the world is as bad-ass as this guy. He totally wins.

His actions on that day made me believe I, too, could change the world. He inspired me to want to stand up for peace and social justice no matter the obstacles.

He solidified in me the desire to be non-violent and non-aggressive.

For three minutes, I watched this guy brake up the violence around him.

I wondered for years how he did that. How was this guy more powerful than all those tanks and guns and soldiers?

He was just some guy with a few shopping bags.  A skinny little army of one against a goliath of heavy artillery.

How the hell did he make them stop?

At the time, I knew nothing about ‘energy’ – or the reason behind how people have the power to inspire, heal, or motivate.

What I did know was that something about this guy was worth paying attention to. I knew what he was doing meant something to the world – that his actions were changing humanity.

I wanted to find within myself the same level of courage, empowerment, bravery, and conviction. I wanted to find my huge, metaphorical cojones – the ones that would allow me to stand in front of tanks with nothing but my desire for peace and make all the bad things stop.

No one knows the Chinese man’s name or what happened to him after this incident. He’s simply an anonymous man, holding a few shopping bags, refusing to allow violence to unfold in his presence.

Yet, he changed the course of my life. He changed who I was and what I wanted to become.

He single-handedly showed me the immense power of love and how it far outweighs the power of violence, fear, and hatred.

He allowed me to bear witness to the quiet, poignant, elegance of Peace.

He made me believe in myself and in my ability to help make the world a better place.

Because of him, I understand how important it is to break up violence and negativity  – in all its forms – whenever I can.

I may never stand in front of a brigade of tanks and I’m certainly not spending my life putting myself in dangerous situations.

However,  I have committed to living as compassionately, peacefully, and lovingly as possible – never forgetting that every act of kindness is a break from violence.

And the world needs as many breaks from violence as it can get…


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Processing Violence


I had no intention of writing this morning. However, I woke up to several messages posted by friends on my Facebook page expressing their despair over the extreme violence our country has faced in recent weeks. And so, I wish to approach this post gently, as a Reiki Master and a Healer.

The truth is, the amount of violence and fear we wake up to on the news these days is extraordinary. It’s a guarantee that as soon as I pull up my internet homepage, I’m going to be inundated with violent images and violent stories. I’m going to be told what and who to be afraid of. I’m going to spend the day living out the traumas of the world. And I’m going to feel a wide rage of yucky emotions.

How do I process so much fear? How do I process so much anger? How do I process so much grief and despair?

One tear at a time.

And the tears are many.

Yet, each one I shed is important. Each one means something to the world around me. Each tear honors a life lost, a woman or girl raped, a refugee turned away, a person repressed or enslaved…

Each tear is a prayer for peace.

Every time I allow myself to grieve, I shed a layer of fear, discomfort, and anxiety.

For now is the time to grieve. As individuals. As communities. And as a nation.

The anger and fear we hold in our bodies isn’t helping. We need to let it out, not as a lashing out with more violence and fear, but as a cleansing.

Grief is a raw, powerful, shedding of all that no longer serves us nor can remain a part of our lives. To shed violence and fear means to grieve deeply for the suffering it has caused our friends, families, neighborhoods, and countries.

It takes courage to grieve. Because to do so means to stop fighting. Grieving means surrendering to the consequences of our actions as humans.

And so I say to those who woke up this morning in despair. Let your grief come. Allow it to roll down your face. Have the courage to take a few moments to stop fighting. To stop fearing. To stop allowing violence to overwhelm you.

Instead, overwhelm the violence with your grief.

Let us mourn the loss of safety.

Let us mourn the loss of love.

Let us mourn the loss of nature.

Let us mourn until the last tears of violence and fear leave our bodies.

And then let us honor, courageously, the wisdom we have acquired from witnessing such extreme acts of horror and war.

As we do that, may we begin to create new ways of being. Little pockets of peace in the world.

Be bold enough to be the anchor of a new way of living.

Peace happens one heart at a time.

Love happens one heart at at time.

Safety happens one heart at a time.

If you are fortunate enough to live outside any immediate threat of violence, I implore you to move through the process of grief so as to hold the energy of peace and love.

Honor those who are experiencing extreme violence in their lives by being as peaceful and loving as you can in your life.

I encourage you to remember the motto of our beautiful nation – E Pluribus Unum

From Many, One. The opposite is also true.

From one loving heart – the rise of many loving hearts.

From one peaceful person – the rise of many peaceful people.

Hold on to your love as strongly as possible. Share it whenever possible. Be bold and courageous enough to end your personal cycles of violence and fear – however you can.

Honor those who have been directly affected by violence by surrounding them with loving peace.

I am a white woman. My direct experience with the violent atrocities of modern humanity is limited. I fully admit I still have the privilege of living a life in a safe harbor. I understand my privilege. I honor it. And instead of taking it for granted, I work to share it with as many people as possible in my personal life.

I will not waste my privilege by denying others the right to feel peaceful and safe in my presence.

I will not hate.

I will not fear.

I will have the courage to look at the faces of refugees. To acknowledge the repression in black communities. To lovingly accept the prayers of Muslims. To thank migrant workers for their labor. To stop blaming victims.

I will have the courage to live a peaceful life. To surrender any and all fights I don’t need to perpetuate. And to anchor Love wherever I go.

This is how I wish to contribute to humanity – as a Reiki Master, a healer, and a citizen of this Earth.







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“Owning” What I Own

Knowing what you’ve decided to be physically responsible for is important. A part of your energy is being spent on every item you own – every day – whether you realize it or not.


I woke up one day with an insatiable urge to clean my house.

I don’t mean just vacuuming, dusting, or picking up the clutter.

It went far deeper than that…

I woke up with the desire to take an inventory of every single object in my possession.

I wanted to know what I had, why I had it, and where it was located. I wanted a conscious inventory of every inanimate object I’d crammed into the closets, stuffed into drawers, slid under the bed, threw in a corner….

I wanted to be fully conscious of everything I’d agreed to be personally, physically responsible for in my home. And I wanted to know how those items were affecting me.

I started with the closet in my bedroom. I pulled out all the boxes, baskets, blankets, shirts, dresses, pants, odds, ends, what the fuck is this’s, and then some.

And I began to sort.

  • keep
  • throw away
  • give away
  • recycle
  • repurpose


Once the physical items were dealt with – I scrubbed. I cleaned each shelf, drawer, wall, and floor with a mixture of essential oils, flower essences, and sacred waters from various places around the world.

It took me nine hours – yes, I said 9 – hours to clean my bedroom closet. But when I was done, what I realized I had was one physical space in my life that was fully organized. There was not a single thing in my closet that didn’t have a purpose or a meaning. In that moment, my closet represented a vision of what it would feel like to not have to be responsible for a single extra piece of meaningless shit in my personal life.

It. Felt. Liberating!

I woke up the following day with a sense of jubilation as I started in on the dresser drawers. I worked my way through my entire house. Room by room. One basket, box, and drawer at a time. Organizing everything. Cleaning everything. Creating space. Creating awareness.

Over the course of a month, I took complete ownership and responsibility for every physical thing in my life.

Sometimes the experience was liberating. Sometimes it was difficult. The entire process was exceptionally and surprisingly Spiritual.

Dealing with my crap was emotional. I spent day after day, week after week, committed to ‘owning’ what I owned. From large pieces of furniture to rubber bands, staples, and tacks – everything was acknowledged, sorted, put in its proper place, or released out of my life.

The end result?

I no longer spend time looking for things. I don’t spend extra money buying replacement items for the crap I know I have but can’t locate. I feel calmer, lighter, less stressed, and less worried.

No more rummaging through drawers. No extra trips to the store. No frustration over a misplaced, can’t finish what I’m doing, need this now, thing.

Once I’d organized and accounted for my stuff, I actually knew what I had and were it was. Imagine that! I need tape. I know where the tape is. I need a screwdriver. I know where the tools are. I need wine. I know where the bottle opener is. It’s. Flippin’. Amazing.

I’d never felt more comfortable, grounded, or relaxed in my environment as I did the moment I finished putting away the very last object.

My life suddenly felt manageable in an entirely new way.

Now, when I think about spending my time, money, and energy on acquiring something, I consider…

  • is it useful?
  • is it meaningful?
  • do I know where will I put it?
  • do I really want to be responsible for this?

If the answers are yes, yes, yes, and yes. I get it. If there is a ‘no’ anywhere in there, I don’t – and I move on – unburdened by anything ‘extra’.












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Turing Chronic Pain Into A Spirit Guide


I live every day in physical pain. The degree of my pain varies, but it is always present.

A headache on the right side of my forehead.

Neck and shoulder pain with  joint and muscle tension.

Stiffness and pain in the upper and mid back.

In addition to this, I’ve also experienced hip and groin pain, waking up with unexplained bruising of the bones and skin, swelling of the fingers, locking of the jaw,  a metallic taste in my mouth that makes me nauseous, a central nervous system that makes my whole body sound like a bowl of Rice Krispies every time I bend, stretch, or otherwise move around. Yes, I could go on. For paragraphs. But you get the point.

I wish I were exaggerating, but I’m not. The experience of pain in my body has been a daily occurrence for almost a decade. It has become my uncomfortable, exhausting normal.

The medical community couldn’t give me a specific cause nor could they provide me with much relief. I’ve tried to explain the pain away over the years – gluten sensitivity, low thyroid function, possible arthritis, autoimmunity – whatever I could say to myself to understand why, day after day, year after year, my body continues to hurt.

I did this until the day my daughter woke up, walked into the kitchen doubled over, and said, “Mom, I think my spleen is bursting.”

I took my otherwise healthy 20 year old to the emergency room. After a series of blood tests and x-rays, my daughter received the same diagnosis as me – we can’t find anything wrong. The doctor turned to me in frustration and said, “I’m sorry. This is becoming so common. People are coming in with extreme pain but the medical community can’t find anything causing it. I wish I could give you a different answer.”

He was frustrated, apologetic, and quite obviously perplexed as he relayed his findings. I, however, felt only relief and gratitude at his candor.

For me, this was a revelation.

I’m not the only one. I’m not imagining it. I’m not over-reacting. I’m not being a baby, or feeling sorry for myself, or using unexplained illness to opt out of my life. I’m not a hypochondriac and I’m not crazy.

What I’m experiencing is real.

The medical community can’t explain it.

And this doctor – unbeknownst to himself – just gave me permission to approach my pain from an entirely new perspective.

Spiritual Empowerment.

From that point forward, I choose to look at my pain not as a physical ailment to overcome,  but as a Spiritual Guide enlightening my Soul.

Pain is an Awakener in the Spiritual Journey of a Soul’s life experience. It forces its student into the present moment like nothing else. There is no distraction or relief from chronic, physical pain save an extreme effort to care for one’s self like never before.

My chronic pain stripped me of my career, my home, my bank account, my gym membership and physically fit body, my comfort foods, my social life…

It left me with only one alternative. Personal, Spiritual growth.

I was forced to pay attention to myself.

I was forced to care about myself.

I was forced to make decisions in my best interests over the interests of others.

I had to rest.

I had to eat well.

I had to let go of stress.

I had to Grieve. Cry. Leave. Let it go. Breathe it in. Accept. Embrace. And Love.

I’ve had to acknowledge pain as a possible, life-long Spirit Guide.

I had to learn how to befriend my pain. To trust it enough to know it will always show me the most gentle, loving, kind way I can treat myself from one day to the next. I had to learn to appreciate pain for teaching me the difference between what I think will make me happy, and what I actually need to live a fulfilled and joyful life.

Befriending pain and using it as a Spirit Guide taught me Appreciation. Humility. Gratitude. And Grace.

It taught me to live differently. To love differently.

It woke me up – physically, mentally, emotionally, and Spiritually.

Pain taught me it’s goal is not misery. It’s mission is not to harm me – but to bring into my awareness the full reality of a life passionately lived – as an awakened soul who will remember this existence.

I turned Pain into the most powerful Spirit Guide imaginable.

If you live with unexplained chronic pain, simply know you are not alone. Know that the goal of pain is not to make you suffer endlessly with no purposeful outcome. Understand you are on one of the highest paths of love, growth, and Spiritual awareness you could possible imagine.

Then – give yourself a break. Take the much needed nap. Take care of yourself without worry or guilt. Be gentle to yourself. Be kind to yourself. Turn your pain into your most powerful ally. And know you’re going to be ok.









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