Friday, May 26, 2023

What We See



                      "What we see depends mainly on what we look for." ~ John Lubbock

I use this Lubbock quote often, and I wholeheartedly believe it is at the root of all manifestation. What are you giving your attention to? Do you expect miracles, or do you assume they happen to everyone else, never you?

I seek love, not the romantic kind, rather the kind that is found in grocery store lines, on the highways, daily on Facebook and in social media. I do not watch the news, I do not seek out the gore and desperate tidings online or in the newspapers. I will scroll right past your post if you're whining again about your cheating husband. I am not blind either; I know such miseries exist. I simply choose to focus on the things, the experiences, the happenings, that I wish to see more of. Generosity. Abundance. Kindness. 

I once dated (literally, once) a man who kept a machete under the seat on the passenger's side of his truck. I'd been groping around for my misplaced cellphone when I came upon it.

"Why do you have a machete in your truck?" I asked.
"Just in case," he answered.
"In case of what?" I pressed.
"In case someone tries to mess with me," he countered.

I had just returned from my first solo cross country road trip---9000 miles in 30 days---and not once did anyone mess with me, not at the pumps, not checking into my rooms for the night, not on the long, sometimes barren and desolate highways. I went out into the world expecting safety, seeking connection, deliriously in love with life, and not once did calamity visit me. Perhaps there are two types of people in the world: people who look for, and generally find, trouble, and people who have faith and hail mankind as benevolent.

Maybe one day, someone, something, will prove my theory wrong, but in the meantime, I'll go on believing in love because when I lead with that, all things are possible. 

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Sunday, May 21, 2023

It's Your Life

"It's your life. Stop waiting for someone else to show up with the key." ~Carol Mossa

A few years ago, it occurred to me, in a stunning and humbling moment of clarity, that I was waiting for someone else to show up with the key to my life.

As a single woman, I was seeking a partner with a big life. In my mind, big life was not necessarily synonymous with big money, big house, or big car. Big life meant that I wanted a partner whose life was filled with passion, purpose, meaning, and depth. I wanted to be transformed, and carried from my own so-so life, into someone else's purpose-driven life. What the Universe provided me with, however, was an opportunity to experience, and utilize, my own sense of lack as a vehicle for transformation. In short, so long as I sought, outside of myself, that for which I desired, I would continue to attract that missing piece in others. And while I never thought of myself as a woman seeking rescue, that moment of clarity was a game changer. I discovered that in order to find people who led deeply passionate and purposeful lives, I had to become a vibrational match.

The Universe wasted no time delivering direction. Almost instantly, I was given an opportunity to attend a class at the Rhode Island School of Design, aptly called, "Become the Art Director of Your Own Life." From the first class, I began a process that continues to this day, of creating my own big, rich, passionate, purposeful, meaningful life. And lo and behold, now that I have taken responsibility for that creation, now that I am an energetic match to all that I seek, I no longer have to look outside of myself for the key.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Meditation: Simply Notice

“Meditation is not about feeling a certain way. It's about feeling the way you feel.” ~Dan Harris

Volumes have been written trumpeting the practical benefits of meditation, yet all too often I hear, "I can't do it. I can't quiet my mind. It doesn't work for me." As a certified meditation teacher, I believe that somewhere along the spiritual continuum, a lot of folks missed the point.

I don't practice to relax. I don't practice to quiet my mind. I don't practice to become a better meditator. I practice to notice. I practice to let go, without attachment, without judgement. If you're waiting for the perfect moment, the perfect mood, the perfect cushion, clothing, music, incense, CD, you are cheating yourself out of one of the most useful tools in our wellness arsenal. 

Try this. Find a spot to sit undisturbed for a few minutes---start slow. Get comfortable. Set your timer. Close your eyes. Breathe. When the siren outside screams past, notice (don't curse), the sound. When the cat jumps into your lap, notice the sensation. When your mind revisits the argument you had with your partner last night, notice the thought. Don't judge sounds, sensations, thoughts. Don't get mad at your mind for dragging you into the past, racing you into the future. Notice, then let go, detach. Stay. Breathe. Repeat, and then repeat the process again tomorrow, and the day after that.

You can't do this wrong. You can only not do it, and in not meditating, you are depriving yourself of learning to coexist peacefully with the world around you. Practically speaking, this means, the next time another driver cuts you off in traffic, notice, do not attach, do not react. Instead of railing against a co-worker's procrastination to complete a needed task, notice your resistance, your frustration, and in that moment of noticing, choose, without malice, without judgement, the higher thought. 

Notice. Simply notice.

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Wednesday, May 3, 2023


“She remembered who she was and the game changed.”―Lalah Delia

As the weather here in southern Rhode Island warms up, I find myself in a position to attend those events where my tribe routinely gathers. Recently that place was a lovely picnic spot overlooking the East Bay. I stopped at the market, picked up a few dozen pieces of sushi to take along, and away I went. Alone. It never occurred to me to seek out another to go to the picnic with. However, while I was navigating the crowd, making small talk, answering questions about my work, I overheard some women talking about being happy to have another to go with because left to their own devices, they never would have attended alone. 

I understand the need to show up with a friend in tow, someone to break the ice with, but take it from someone who has walked into plenty of rooms full of strangers alone over the years---it's a worthy pursuit. Cast aside your fear. Hold your head up and walk bravely into that gathering. Smile. Find a friendly person or group of people and walk up and put your hand out. Say your name. Listen when others give you theirs. Ask questions. Recognize that it's human nature to feel awkward, maybe even a little intimidated, but lots of folks feel that way initially. You are not alone.

I was listening to my favorite songwriter/musician, Jackson Browne, earlier. In For a Dancer, Browne sings, "Just do the steps that you've been shown, by everyone you've ever known, until the dance becomes your very own, no matter how close to yours another's steps have grown. In the end there is one dance you'll do alone." Let's all stop hiding behind our partners, friends, family, and move bravely into the world. I can't get to know you if you're sitting home afraid to come out and play. Quite frankly, if I waited for a mate or a fellow traveler to experience life with, I'd be missing out on a whole lot of cool people, places, and things. I don't know about you, but life is way too short to sit this dance out. When I hear the music, the chorus, I am going to dance, with or without a partner in tow.

Enjoy some vintage Jackson Browne!

Tuesday, April 25, 2023


"The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek." ~Joseph Campbell

What frightens you? What thoughts keep you awake at night? If the earth is our schoolroom, and mastering love and banishing fear is the curriculum, what grade would you give yourself? 

Over the last decade, I have done the hard work on myself. I have excavated buried trauma and come to terms with my part in the painful memories. In short, I have become the best version of myself thus far, but make no mistake, I still have a cave to enter, explore, to make peace with. For me that cave represents financial insecurity, but why? I own my own mortgage-free home, drive a car without monthly payments, live debt-free, and have safe, long-term investments and holdings. Those family-of-origin tapes are difficult to silence, to mute. I was born into a lower middle-class Connecticut family. My father, a roofer all his life, went off to work every day, but at quitting time could be found throwing beers back at my uncle's bar across town. My mom often worked a factory night job to fill the gap left by my father's alcoholism. While we always had clean clothes and food on the table, I recall an ever-present sense of lack, an undulating fear. 

When I left home for a state college (financed by my own student loans because my parents failed to plan for my higher education), my head and heart were filled with a fierce determination to do better than my parents, and I did. I got great jobs, married, bought luxury property, and I often sent money and gifts home to my mom. When my marriage ended, I made the decision to navigate life solo, and I have remained single-by-choice. It's just me, and I am wholly responsible for my own financial health and well-being. I long ago rejected a 9-5 existence, choosing instead the life and path of a solopreneur. 

That cave of financial insecurity is an illusion. Financially, I have nothing to fear. It's when those demons come knocking in the middle of the night, whispering that I will run out of money before I run out of time on this planet, that my tender heart wants to seize. Instead of hiding, I can look those demons squarely in the eye, throw my head back, laugh, and say, "not today, fear!" 

Thursday, April 20, 2023



Everyone is gifted, but some people never open their package. ~Wolfgang Riebe

My 90-year-old mother told me that I attended creative writing classes after school when I was a young girl. I have no recollection of such classes, instructions, or assignments. I do know that writing has always come second nature to me. Whether a term paper for school, a thesis for graduate school, a short story, a poem, or a marketing piece, I was in my element if wordsmithing was involved.

I became an English major in college because I liked to read and I could write, and I had no interest in nursing. Where I came from, those were the two career options most young women pursued. I was an art minor in college with a concentration in photography. I penned two books of informational nonfiction during the ten years I was not drinking alcohol (between 1989 and 1999), was a columnist for a national trade magazine for two years, earned a Master of Fine Arts degree, and did all kinds of creative things. The minute I picked up a drink in 2000, I ceased to write another word, and the camera got buried behind some cardboard boxes in a closet under the stairs. Once I got sober, it took five years to remember that I was an artist and had God-given talents.

One fall, I got to spend a month in Arizona in this blue chair with the light streaming in, writing, and crafting another book. I don't know many of you who are reading this today, but I will tell you one thing: I am not unique. You, too, have been given gifts, talents, and skills that the world needs. What are they? What's holding you back from following your heart's desire? Fear? Of what? Failure? That you're not good enough? Trust me when I tell you, you are brilliant. You are a beacon. How dare you not shine?

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Saturday, April 15, 2023

Begin. Now.

There is no beginning too small. ~Henry David Thoreau

In The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving-Kindness, Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron, tells us to, "Come as you are." Often, I resist stepping out of my comfort zone unless I can be sure I have it right, until I can be confident that I'll be a master at whatever new endeavor I am attempting. But I've learned in recovery to just show up and start wherever I am. The magic is in the moment, and in that moment, I can choose to be fully alive and present. Fear holds me back from experiencing all that this life has to offer. Fear of failure. Fear of imperfection. Fear that you won't like me if you find out how truly inept I am.

Nowhere has that fear had a bigger hold on me than in my personal relationships. I never knew how to make friends. I was so sure you weren't going to like me that I went out of my way to make sure you didn't. Once I became willing to remove the chip on my shoulder, and practice being friendly, I gained a boatload of friends. If I hadn't been willing to bring my imperfect, often socially immature self to the table, I would have missed out completely on experiencing the fellowship of the spirit.

If I'm waiting, busily preparing my mind, my body, and my skill set, then those golden opportunities to be present in the world as the imperfect person I am, pass by. Last year, a good friend of mine helped me develop my Instagram account. She noticed my reluctance to commit to various suggested action steps in the process. Speaking from experience, she encouraged me to "Just do it. Do something. You can always change it." Essentially, she told me to just "Come as you are." Start somewhere. Take this blog, for example. Upon launching it a year ago, I didn't understand all the nuances, but the point is, today, I am willing to come to the page just as I am. Today, it's not about being perfect, it's about being present.  

Check out “Nine Joys of Being Imperfect” at