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Even When they Are Family


A Personal Experience Story

We forged a close bond in an unusual way. It was those long car commutes to and from my corporate job many years ago — I on my cell phone and she on her home phone 1000 miles away in southern Florida. We shared thoughts and experiences, and chatted about family — and we laughed together, my mother-in-law and me.

Because we lived so far apart, these caring and joyful conversations kept me company on those tedious (and sometimes stressful) trips in rush hour traffic. And it was the only way I got to know her in a more personal way after my husband and I were married and blended out families together.

Then the years passed — many years — and we all grew older. My MIL (mother-in-law) is now elderly, infirm, disabled. She is legally blind, hearing impaired and mobility impaired. Certainly many challenges.  She reluctantly agreed to give up whatever little independence she had down in Florida and move up to an assisted living nearby to my home, so that my husband and I could help care for her.

Right before she moved here, we prepared for her arrival very diligently and happily — furnished her bright, lovely suite and made it as welcoming as possible. We believed that being near to family — particularly the great grandchildren — would be uplifting to her.  We were looking forward to having a close relationship with her. We had no idea what the reality would be — and now it is 14 months later and the “honeymoon” is certainly over!

The actuality of her negative, stubborn personality has been incredibly difficult for us. As joyful, as positive as we have both attempted to treat her — there is absolutely no joyful response and no appreciation. She is solely self-involved, with extreme focus on each disability and each pain she feels.

The constant barrage of negative energy has shaken me to the core. However, I always consistently remind myself that yes, I do love her, despite these challenges.  And every once in awhile, on a special outing or maybe when the inspired mood catches her, she might light up a bit and almost seem to have a glimmer of happiness in her countenance.  I wish that would be more of the norm!

Though there are aides and skilled nurses at her facility, some real care still falls to me, as well as to her son. One of my responsibilities include taking her to her doctors appointments.  In Florida, the business of “doctoring” is out of control with all the seniors, and when she was there, accompanied by her aid, she would visit doctors sometimes three times per week. That became the flow of her life and it was a comfort zone to her. Trying to replicate that absurd lifestyle cannot and will not happen here, much to her dismay. (Yes, she somehow enjoyed the doctors visits because it made her the center of attention.)

On the up side, MIL has finally become involved in some of the activities at her facility so that provides some minor busy-ness and interaction for her. And for that I am grateful.

However, the new challenge is that it appears she is at the beginning of some dementia, so on top of that challenging personality, we now have some mental decline to deal with. We cannot believe anything she tells us anymore, even though she states all things as if they are absolute reality.

My husband has waning patience — he works full time in the city and has limited time and energy to spend with her — and with her attitude in general, it is not conducive to encouraging him to want to spend time with her.  It is a sad situation for both him and me.

My resolve as we entered this current year was to step back from the judgmental, self-centered world in which my MIL lives.  Sure, I always cover my responsibilities and I provide care. Emotionally, I am remaining more aloof — for it is too easy to be overwhelmed with her constant drama.

So what is the lesson in all this?  Why do I share this? Yes, I will admit it is in part to vent, partly cathartic. Perhaps you, too, have dealt with something (or someone) similar — or perhaps you will someday down the line. And maybe you will say, “ah, yes, I totally understand.”

Is this a clear illustration of “the best laid plans, etc.”? Sometimes as much as we do set goals, as we do make every positive attempt to help someone, they are not receptive to us. We might think our joyful intentions, our heartfelt drive is so powerful — how can someone not get caught up in the wave of our optimism?  Believe me, there are obviously those that ARE unresponsive, those who make the personal choice to wallow in negativity, turbulence and victimhood. That is truly a depressing life choice.

We all have a choice about how we react to life — the sad thing is that many do not realize this. They remain unawakened.

And another lesson in all this is that powerful reminder that you can’t change anyone else. The only one you can change is yourself. That lesson keeps hitting home… But with my MIL, I was not trying to change her — just encourage her to be a bit more in the flow of peace and adaptability.

That is definitely my sincere wish for my MIL — peacefulness and acceptance of what is.  Also, when it is her time (and I believe this is still far into the future), I truly pray that it will be quick and painless, and maybe she will just pass gently one overnight when her soul is ready to begin the next leg of her spiritual journey.  As for now, we will continue to give her love as best as possible.



  • I strive to remain patient and non-reactive with challenging people and situations.
  • I let kindness and compassion flow to others, with positive intention and a pure heart.
  • When challenging people and drama arise, I make sure to take care of myself in a nurturing, caring way — and remain peaceful within!

SherTrampolineDo you make time to have fun? I mean the downright pure, tune-in-to-your inner child kind of fun?

A recent personal experience served as a clear reminder that maybe I do not always take enough time to indulge that youngster that resides deep within.

I attended my grandson’s third birthday party at a trampoline-activity place. I had been looking forward to this for several weeks because the whole thought of it had rekindled a very distant memory from my own childhood.  When I was about five years old, my mother took me to an outdoor trampoline place which was  a bare-bones type place —  trampoline material stretched over openings in the ground, all surrounded by cement or stone. Probably totally unsafe – but I spent time jumping with childish delight.

It was my first time on the trampoline and I thought it was the best thing in the world. I remember how happy my little heart was! I couldn’t wait to go back, but unfortunately the place closed down to make room for some other construction. My newfound fun disappeared and I was sorely disappointed.

Across the years I don’t remember too many opportunities to jump on a trampoline — maybe at some point with my own children when they were younger, but I do not clearly recall.

Fast forward to last weekend and I found myself at the most glorious, colorful state-of-the-art trampoline facility. And of course, I also found myself much, much older than my last recollection of jumping on a trampoline!

I hoped to jump with my grandson, but it turns out there were so many rules and restrictions. The petulant little child within me decided I really wanted a jump so I had to speak with someone who was in charge at the facility, and finally worked it out that I was able to purchase my own jumping pass  —  and sign a liability waiver, of course.

And suddenly — almost magically — I was on this huge area of trampolines, jumping and turning and running around with my grandson. It was such a strange but nearly euphoric sensation. My daughter captured my exultation in photos and I am grateful for that. I was definitely the oldest person who was jumping. Though I had some surprised glances from others who were my age and standing on the sidelines, I felt very smug and very free. And I personally, I don’t care what other people thought. I was having FUN!

My grandson appeared delighted that one of the older folks joined him on his spree of joy.  For children — those pure little souls — know how best to be in the moment with great joy!

I know we always learn by contrast about what we do like and what we don’t like here on planet Earth. For me, this bubbly experience was a powerful reminder that we need to take a “fun break” from the mundane and ultra-busy parts of our lives to really experience that grand JOY of living.  For sometimes we tend to just go through the routine motions of our everyday patterns and then wonder why we feel stuck or down.  It is so essential to reconnect with that happy-go-lucky child that I believe still does reside in all of us.

So if you have the opportunity to do something a little silly, or a bit “outside the box,” seize that moment!  And if you don’t generally have these opportunities, then you need to make time for them or seek them out.  For you absolutely need to create fun and optimistic moments in your own life.

Yes, sometimes it is too easy to simply view life as a string of challenges — and occasionally that is exactly what our own perceptions tend to fall into.  However, not ALL of life is challenging. I like to think of our journey as a “grand adventure” filled with a broad range of experiences and a wide variety of emotions that flourish within us.

But it is up to us as individuals to focus upon and explore those experiences that are unique, fun and enriching for us.  And when you have those opportunities to really stretch outside your little comfort zone — and help you connect with that uplifting, curious child within — then go for it!


  • I make time for fun and uplifting moments in my life!
  • I view life as an enriching adventure and I learn from the contrast of my varied experiences.
  • I strive to nurture my inner child, for I know that this is a most joyful and healthy way to be!
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Positive Attitude – Happiness and Mindfulness

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There has been so much written about finding that elusive state of being — profound happiness.

Our inspirational teachers have all come up with thousands of ways to help you be happy.  Yet how many people feel they actually achieve that pinnacle of extreme exultation and positivity? And is it truly necessary for leading a fulfilling and rich life?

Optimism does not seem to be the natural way of the human condition and I am not sure why. Are we born relatively happy, and then life teaches us otherwise? Or are we born in a neutral space, and have to learn happiness? These are just questions that are food for thought.

In my years of experience here on Planet Earth, working first in the corporate world and then the holistic healing world, my observation is that people have a wide range of happiness ratio (whether they spend more time feeling good than bad.) It seems far easier for people to fall into that space of concern, stress, tension, confusion. Happiness seems to take work!

If you are one who naturally gravitates toward positive feelings, then I suspect you are more uplifted than most. If you get up in the morning, excited and optimistic about greeting the day, then you are in a beautiful space and probably among the minority.

However perhaps there is too much focus on the achievement of a total constant positive state of being — if we try hard and fall short, we feel in worse shape.  And really, I don’t believe it is possible to be happy ALL the time!  Part of the human experience here in the physical plane is to feel through a large range of emotions so we can understand contrast and learn the value of appreciation.

So what if we set our sights on a more neutral state of being rather than always pursuing some perfect state of bliss?  That would be mindfulness — being present and focused in the now.  Maybe we don’t always need to be happy, but simply “happily functioning” in the current moment, living purely right here, right now.  Observing what is at hand and coping with what is right before us. Ready to move forward into our next moment, just greeting the unfolding of our own unique life experience with a sense of expectancy, openness and receptivity.  As well as flexibility.

If you can wrap your mind about that kind of state, then you will likely be able to move into a more receptive space that includes peacefulness and harmony. So if you can just be peaceful (meaning non-reactive to all the challenges that happen in our surrounding reality) in the moment, with the task at hand, being in an attitude of “neutrality,” that does leave an opening for good things to flow in, thereby bringing that wave of happiness that may periodically flow with it.

It is completely spectacular to seize those clear moments of happiness, of course!  Milk them for all the goodness you find streaming through you at that point in time.  But don’t be judgmental when the flow abates, because like the ocean tide, there will be an ebb and flow of this sought-after emotion.

Accept yourself for who you are — and your own variety of emotions. Take those “steps” so that you are happy more than you are not happy — yes, go ahead and do the “inner work.” Yet know that it is okay if you find yourself in a sort of breezy, gentle place of “neutrality” for periods of time.  The only place you DO NOT want to be is mired in serious sadness, stress or depression for any prolonged time frame.  But don’t underestimate the gracefulness of living neutrally and mindfully in the moment.

“Happiness is not what makes us grateful. It is gratefulness that makes us happy.”  ~Br. David Steindl-Rast


  • I focus on the now moment, allowing my life to unfold with a state of openness and expectancy.
  • I strive to be in that space of neutrality and mindfulness, doing the inner work of remaining peaceful and non-reactive.
  • I understand and accept that my human range of emotions brings a wonderful learning experience in the form of contrast.
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Positive Living – Cultivating Supportive Friendships

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Are you surrounded by mostly healthy relationships?  If so, that is a joyful blessing! It is also a testament to your own mindset, outlook and personality — as well as the inner work you do to maintain and sustain these bonds.

Yet no matter how much focus we give, there are bound to be those questionable ties we have. Those relationships that make us pause and ask ourselves about how we can effectively cope with a specific person. Or silently wonder: why is that person still in my life?  Some relationships are just blandly “okay” — not helpful, but not harmful.  Others can be downright toxic to ones well being.

You should not remain in a relationship that is blatantly toxic. And toxic can have a range of meanings — from one that is merely somewhat unhealthy to one that is seriously emotionally abusive. If a friend is consistently putting you down in overt or perhaps even subtle ways, that is not a healthy friendship.

All the inspirational teachers say to surround ourselves with people who support us, lift us up — and cheer us on along our life path. If our friends authentically love us, then wouldn’t they want to be encouraging and uplifting to us?

Our connections with those around us should always be optimistic, loving and respectful. This makes perfect sense to us — and yet, why do we often get caught up in ties that are far less than stellar, far less then supportive?

I believe that most of us make every attempt to put our best foot forward, so to speak, and cultivate many relationships, simply assuming that if we set out to be a fine friend, then what we give out will be returned to us in kind. And though that is the case perhaps for most of the time, it does not hold true all the time.

Sometimes, despite trying to be a loving friend, the other person is not able to return that attitude. This can stem from extreme life challenges/obstacles; egotistical and narrow-minded beliefs; or sometimes simply a change in directions, as in paths becoming so divergent that there is no real commonality anymore.

And what about those fair weather friends — or barely there friends? They tend to possibly be more “takers” rather than “sharers.”  They enjoy the bond and the company as long as things are going smoothly for you — but when a little turmoil lands across your path, they are suddenly GONE — or busy with their own stuff without even a sympathetic ear.

Sometimes you may experience the uncomfortable dance of trying to integrate a person into and out of your life, depending on how caring the friendship is at each moment in time. This can create havoc with your emotions… Relationships thrive on positive stability — knowing another is there for you. And of course, this should be a two way street. We need to be there for others in both peaceful and challenging times. Being totally able to count on each other when the going gets rough is essential to a healthy friendship.

Over the course of my life, I have learned that usually those vastly difficult relationships tend to dissolve out of my life (the Universe giving me some supportive assistance perhaps?)  Some relationships thrive on drama. When you become aware of this and refuse to be reactive — and discourage all aspects of that volatility — the other person might simply retreat. For they are not receiving that atmosphere of emotional turmoil that they so crave.

So take the serene, shared road — be a remarkable friend. Immerse yourself in healthy relationships. Surround yourself with those who buoy you up.  Release those who bring you down.  And embrace those you care about with a kind, encouraging, honest, loving heart.  If you strive to do the emotional “work” of sustaining healthy friendships, it is bound to bring greater joy, satisfaction and connection on this journey called LIFE…


  • I treat others with understanding, compassion, support and encouragement.
  • It is easy for me to lend a sympathetic ear to my friends, and truly listen with my heart.
  • I remain peaceful and non reactive in the face of drama that others may create.
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“Life is what you make of it…”  That is a well known older saying. Which has recently resurfaced in my own mind and thoughts.

So I ask you this question: are you creating a life that is pleasing to you?  One that resonates with your heartfelt desires and goals?  One that is fulfilling the primal longing of your soul?

Sometimes we get caught up solely in the energy of challenges and obstacles — all forms of negativity. Downtrodden thoughts that bring us into feelings of powerlessness.

It is sadly the human condition to focus upon these aspects that are difficult as opposed to the beautiful aspect of life — our free will and our amazing ability to be able to make our own choices and decisions.

We have the remarkable power to design our lives to reflect the best and Highest versions of ourselves. It is just that most of us don’t truly get that — or don’t believe it.  Or have no clue how to go about it.

Look back on those times that you have been strong, successful and fulfilled — even if those times were brief.  There is no doubt that you have had experiences where you fully realized your own potential and inner strength. But then, instead of holding on to that knowing, you became adrift in the busy stream of life, forgetting how to tune in to your inner guidance, your core essence. You lost that Divine connection to your soul, your Higher consciousness or whatever you wish to call it.

Your physical vehicle (your being) needs to do the work of navigating life here on Planet Earth to have your most joyful, abundant and enriching experience. Part of this is to take care of YOU and realize the powerful creation abilities that you have. A second part is to understand our soulful connection in Oneness — and to have deep compassion for others and all of Life.

This realization is never easy.  It requires steadfast energetic movement along your path in a most positive, uplifting way.  Some general suggestions include:

1) Meditation
2) Positive living resources — affirmations, self-empowerment teachings, spiritual and personal development books
3) Holistic modalities such as Reiki and the like
4) Immersing yourself in nature and the natural world
5) Consistent time with family and friends and a continuous widening of your Circle of connectedness
6) Events that empower and inspire
7) Life coaching or something similar
8) Religious/spiritual practices that truly resonate with you

Most significantly, will you “awaken”  (yes, a very popular term these days) to the multidimensional, complex being that you are at your core essence? You are not some stick figure puppet meandering around our planet aimlessly and in isolation — though sometimes you may feel that way.

Though you are undeniably unique — you have a radiant connection to others.  So truly let yourself enhance and appreciate that — not wallow in the state of separation. For I firmly believe that understanding and embracing our interconnection is essential, and actually complements and enhances our uniqueness and individuality.

Your life will be exactly what you make of it.  Choose to take those steps — one thought at a time if need be — that will bring you the reality of a life that is pleasing and joyful to you.  A life you are passionate about living.


  • I seek to enhance my connection with others on a profound level of understanding.
  • I take time to nurture myself with those things that inspire joy within me.
  • I am a powerful creator of my life experience and I design a life that is fulfilling to me.
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Appreciation – Tapping into the Vibration of Gratitude

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What are you grateful for in your life?  Do you actually take time to focus on appreciation, to think of those aspects of your life that inspire gratitude within you?

Right now, as I write this, I am expressing appreciation for this glorious day — because amazingly, this particular day is actually mild, sunny and almost like summer, even though we are well into the autumn weather here in my locale.  And I am just “tickled” — yes that is the word that comes to mind — that I can experience this day — and maybe even eat lunch out on the patio in the middle of autumn.  How delightful will that be!

But you can express appreciation for ANY day, for the gift of that day, for the possibilities, opportunities that can flow your way…  Be grateful for each new morning, awakening to the potential of that particular set of 24 hours and what it can hold.

Yes, sometimes it is far easier to look at the day with negativity (and of course, we all are prone to get into that mindset periodically) and all those unpleasant tasks you may have to do.  And those many responsibilities that await your attention.

However, if you choose to greet each day in the space of appreciation, wonder, curiosity, adventure — each day can become a magical gift.

Holding that beautiful, high-vibration sense of appreciation in your heart will inspire you to feel better, to align with the infinite flow of both abundance and well-being… The “attitude of gratitude” can do wonders for you — on the mind/body/spirit level!

And joyfully and deeply immersing in the mindset of appreciation will bring more of those feel-good emotions into your reality.

So try it — WHAT do you appreciate in this moment — there certainly is something and hopefully “many somethings”!  Something as simple as a flavorful cup of tea, a comfy blanket, an unexpected joyful email — anything that gives you the welcoming flicker of feeling good.

WHO do you appreciate?  Who are those people who truly make your heart sing and invoke a smile on your face and a happy dance in your outlook?  Focus on them.  I hear your mind chatter thinking — but what about those that are the opposite — those negative personalities?  Give them less — or no — attention.  Remain non-reactive.  Meanwhile, spend time and connect with those who support you and buoy you up!  Sometimes the other types will then begin to “fade” into the background.

And don’t forget the loving connection with a sweet pet — our pets can bring so much happiness into our lives.  Appreciate the human/animal bond and the unconditional love it provides.

Incorporate a gratitude mindset (or a full gratitude practice) into your life.  Pay more attention to being happily appreciative of the beautiful and uplifting aspects of your environment.  Keep a gratitude journal or simply keep track of some of your gratitude observations.  Share your gratitude with family and friends.

When you awake each morning say this affirmation: I am grateful for this day and welcome all wonderful possibilities into my life!

The beautiful vibration of gratitude can shift your life into such  a deeply uplifting direction. Just be supremely open to receive all things joyful and positive — and then be thoroughly grateful when they do arrive…


  • I am happy and grateful for everything I have and receive daily.
  • I am thankful for my blessings — and focus on the good things, giving them power to grow and multiply!
  • I breathe in gratitude and breathe out love.
  • I am profoundly thankful for my own unique and wonderful life.
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A real life observation and metaphor…

Every day — or almost every day — the Walker passes by.  Solitary. Purposeful in his step. He has been striding through the neighborhood for as long as my husband and I have lived here, which is seventeen years.

I do not even know his name or where he lives.

He is focused on some inner screen as he never acknowledges anything outside himself. Never says “hi” or “how are you doing” — or even casts an inquisitive glance in my direction. Never notices the blooming of the flowers and greenery in the spring, nor the falling of the leaves in the autumn. Not seeing anything else but the road directly in front of him.  Looking almost as if propelled by some unseen force.

He is a puzzle, an enigma. Why is he out walking in such a driven way?  Is it for his health?  I almost get the feeling that if he stops this ritual, he will just cease to be. Perhaps his doctors told him he must walk, as an antidote for some cardiac condition. Or perhaps he walks to escape something — some difficult but ongoing family situation, spouse, partner?  Or maybe he is simply mentally disabled or challenged — somewhere in the autistic spectrum.

In reality, I have no clue.

All I know is that as long as the roads are walkable, he is there, passing by my house.  When I first moved in, he was more rotund, and I thought perhaps he was walking simply to shed some pounds.  Yet, over the years, he has slimmed down and now he is actually skinny. His legs are like pale sticks and where he used to walk with a spring in his step, now he is slower, slightly unsteady. He looks as if he is walking bowed, his spine beginning to curve with age.  I can only assume this will grow even more pronounced in the time to come. The Walker is becoming an old man.

I can’t help but wonder — why does he walk so steadfastly? And why does he not acknowledge or connect with anyone?  How does one remain so inward-turned, so oblivious to life happening around him?  When we first came in contact with him, we tried to connect — made efforts to meet his gaze, say a soft “hello,” but he cast his eyes away, pretending not to notice. Or maybe he truly did not see us with any focus, as he is stuck in his own strange world.

Yet how does he go through his days as a Walker, without partaking in the Life happening gloriously all around him, without enjoying the companionship of others? To me this is incredibly sad.

Am I too judgemental — too critical?

Would you envy the Walker — an individual who takes time to exercise his physical self each day and have some alone time?  Or would you look at him with sorrowful curiosity?

If I had to be in his walking shoes, it would be torturous to walk the solitary road. Because I adore companionship and interaction with others and thrive on that. For I feel we are meant to engage with others. I feel it is so barren to go through life unaware of the beauty and connection that is here in this physical plane.

Yet, for The Walker, who truly knows?  Maybe this solitary walking is his salvation, his time of meditation…  I will never know as he chooses not to share words with anyone along his daily path.

As as for yourself, do you too often find yourself walking (or even “sleepwalking”) through life, oblivious to all the possibilities and opportunities that surround you?

Do you become so singularly intent on getting somewhere, accomplishing some goal, that you don’t enjoy the beauty of the actual journey?

For most of us, our human experience gives us a taste of both solitary and connected “walking”…

Let these musings and metaphors help to awaken a knowing within you about what you are guided to experience here in the physical plane. I do believe we are meant to partake of many samplings that life has to offer us. Be open and receptive to the possibilities that flow your way…  and tune in to your inner guidance and heart to help navigate whichever path(s) you choose to walk…


  • I delight walking this road of life with others who support my journey…
  • I respect the life path of others — striving to be understanding and non-judgmental.
  • I enjoy my solitary time where I can connect with nature and the elements.
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Forgiveness – A Path Toward Healing

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Do you ever find yourself stuck in the difficult place of “unforgiveness”?

Do you shudder at the expression “forgive and forget?”

It is not a simple task to do both, and I believe those actions can be segmented out. You can absolutely forgive without forgetting. And I am not implying that you should condone or accept horrible actions or treatment that someone has done to you in the past.

However, when you hold anger in your heart, it just eats away at YOU. It is a tricky toxin that blocks your ability to be in the flow of joy, love and well-being. And yet sometimes you don’t even realize how seriously poisonous it is for you…

So forgiveness is something you should integrate into your life and work through…

Here are several suggestions:

1) Permit yourself to experience the pain, the wrath, and the anguish. Let yourself get lost in it — temporarily. But give yourself a time limit, and make it a brief one. Say to yourself “For the next three days I am going to allow myself to express the pain/hostility/regret, etc that I feel. But after three days, I am letting it all go. And then I will embrace forgiveness.” Stick with your set goal, and make a super-conscious effort to release hurt and negativity. Then, take the compassionate action — send and light (or peace and light, if that is easier) to that person!

2) Forgive someone from your own perspective. This type of forgiveness does not actively involve the other person who is the object of your bitter feelings. This means doing the inner work on your own (or with a counselor, therapist etc.) — piece by piece, releasing each segment of negative, resentful emotion. When these blockages are truly gone, your psyche should feel healed and clear — this is a major “cleansing” process.

3) Forgive someone face to face. Some situations are best resolved actively with the other person. You need to sincerely share your forgiveness and let them know you are ready to begin anew with the relationship. You may wish to ask for them to forgive you too. This scenario asks that you let go of blame and fault — and only focus on healing and moving forward.

4) Learn from the experience. Life teaches us a variety of valuable lessons, and we need to be open to grow from difficult experiences. What can you personally learn from the experience of holding on to the anger versus letting forgiveness into your life? What lessons will you take into the future to improve and enrich your relationships?

5) Accept healing into your life and move on. Being open to complete emotional healing is key to forgiveness. When we are stuck in prolonged situations of anger toward others, our lives are certainly not joyful. The more hostility you feel, the more anger and negativity you attract into your life. And of course, the reverse is true as well. Forgiveness is the supremely beautiful path to healing.

By allowing both your mind and heart to heal, letting the pain subside, and focusing on positivity, you will be able to move forward in a peaceful, balanced and empowered way!


  • Connecting with love and understanding with others brings feelings of radiance and joy.
  • I let my inner light fill the darkness, illuminating the way for myself and others.
  • I make a conscious effort to forgive others and let go of past hurts.
  • I release anger and resentment, and replace this with genuine forgiveness.
  • Forgiving others brings me to a peaceful place of understanding and balance.
  • By letting go of past hurt and anger, my heart opens to healing and harmony.
  • I release hostility and resentment, and welcome love and healing into my life.
  • I am patient and steadfast on my path to forgiveness, as I know it is a process that can take time.
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Mindfulness – Peaceful Moments in A Busy World

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Here I am — a Reiki Teacher and Practitioner — you would imagine that my life is very tranquil, organized and filled with much meditation and peacefulness.  However, the reality is that I live on super-busy Long Island, NY and my life has become exceedingly full.  Think of that saying “too much on my plate.” Because that is how it sometimes feels.

Some acquaintances and very extended family think that because I do not work at a corporate, full-time job, that I am the equivalent of being “retired.”  Nothing could be far from the truth of the busy-ness of my days. And I still need to earn a living.

In a practical sense, the challenge is prioritizing and time management.  In a spiritual and nurturing sense, the challenge is carving consistent, peaceful moments to take a break from the hectic flow of “constant doing.”

Mindfulness. Meditation. These are two significant concepts and practices that are extremely helpful for keeping that sense of peacefulness within, despite what is happening in the outer world.  It keeps my inner world more balanced and joyful.

Easing yourself into even five to 15 minutes of quietude and solitude can be incredibly rejuvenating! So don’t underestimate the power of taking ten minutes to tune out the distractions of the outer world and turn your attention to creating calmness within.

In fact, taking some time for this is vital to your well-being.

A nature break is always soothing — observing a serene view, feeling the wind against your skin, watching the soaring of a bird, or anything that captures your attention and your vision.

There is a new theory of well-being and aligning with nature — it is called grounding. Which refers to literally placing your bare feet on the ground — soft grass, soil, sand — so you can directly connect with Mother Earth. Obviously this is something to do in the good weather. I have been indulging in walking and sitting barefoot in the newly sprouted lush green grass in my yard. And it has been exquisitely satisfying to just dig and roll my toes in the grass and feel rooted to Mother Earth. And very invigorating!

Here is a relevant quote from the Great Indian Chief “Standing Bear” (an Oglala, Lakota Sioux Chief — one of the indigenous people of the Great Plains.)
”It was good for the skin to touch the earth, and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth… the old Indian still sits upon the earth instead of propping himself up and away from its life giving forces. For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply and to feel more keenly. He can see more clearly into the mysteries of life and come closer in kinship to other lives about him.”

So see if you can simply walk barefoot upon the Earth and tune in to the energetic vibration of our planet in a stable, centering way. And really be in the moment of what that feels like to you — I believe it will be very soothing and revitalizing.  Maybe it will help you “think more deeply and to feel more keenly.”

If it is not always possible to be with nature, you can always tune into some slow, deep breathing wherever you are.  These kind of intentional breaths bring our mind into the present, forcing us to connect with our own inner rhythm in a positive, calming way.

Or just practice being present in whatever task you are doing

When the pace of life feels frenzied, you can be mindful in the present moment while cooking, washing dishes, brushing your teeth or doing simple tasks. That means focusing on that task completely, not letting your mind wander back to the past or into the future — or anywhere else but where you are at that moment.

Ultimately life does not always go the exact way you want it to, but the essential joy is to find the glory in each moment. If you search with a believing, trusting heart, you will find the blessings all around you.  Teach yourself to tap in to each moment with your focused attention. And you will feel the better for it.


  • I strive to practice mindfulness consistently, tuning in to each moment with pure and nonjudgmental attention.
  • I enjoy connecting with nature, tapping in to the radiant, grounding rhythms of Mother Earth.
  • Spending moments in stillness and quietude are so rejuvenating and healing for me.
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Self Empowerment – Your Soul’s Varied Path

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Are you aligned with your soul path? Following your life’s predetermined vision of what you are meant to do here on Planet Earth?

There is so much consciousness buzz these days about discovering ones true purpose in terms of job/career/mission on the physical plane.  And for the purpose of this article, I am referring to ones path that brings in income, not just a hobby or volunteer opportunity.

I believe one of the most fulfilling things is to be able to earn a living doing what you are most passionate about.

And I also believe that there are variations to ones mission here — that perhaps we are not all meant to simply discover our “purpose” and then just do that one thing for the balance of our time here on Earth. For that sometimes can make one weary, bored or burned out.

Sometimes your journey might take you down different roads and along each turn, each path, you learn something new, some important and enlightening life lesson.

It is up to us to make sense of these lessons, learn from them, grow from each experience here..

I have been musing over my own varied life path segments here in the physical world and decided to make a list. I found it quite interesting to really ponder the huge variety of things I have done over the course of my life…

  • Office temporary in Manhattan
  • Assistant to the cataloger of law books at a law library
  • Sales assistant and Administrative assistant at a high end Italian furniture company
  • Electrolux vacuum cleaner sales lady
  • Administrative Assistant for a Mortgage company
  • Administrative Assistant for Kitchen and bath renovation company
  • Journalist, writer and designer of weekly newsletter for local day camp
  • Professional belly dancer
  • Graphic designer/Art Director both freelance and staff for a variety of companies, including a major direct mail/sweepstakes company
  • Veterinary assistant at local Animal Hospital
  • Sales rep for a pet product company
  • Dogsitter
  • Distributor for Young Living Essential Oils
  • Reconnective Healing Practitioner
  • Reiki Master Teacher/Practitioner

Quite a varied list, isn’t it?  Though some jobs were short lived and perhaps lasted just months, the Graphic Design was very lengthy. And my most recent work as Reiki Master teacher has been in the last nine years, and I plan to continue it into very old age, or as long as I am able.

Now contrast this shifting background to the soul path of my brother.  The first time he ever flew as a passenger on an airplane at about the tender age of three, he told us “I want to fly airplanes.”  And fly airplanes he did — and still does.  It is definitely his life’s main passion. And he never wavered or looked to do anything else. In fact, his early aviation passion took so much motivation and focus and putting in many hours of learning and practicing… Until he landed (pun intended) his dream job with a major airline, now the captain of both domestic and international flights…

I used to think (way back) that I couldn’t quite “find myself” as I explored different jobs, but now I know that each step along these pieces of my life journey made for a very full, richly-woven fabric of life experience.

Today, in college, most students are required to declare a major course of study by their second year, when most students are barely out of their teen years. It is not always clear what young people really might want to do with their lives at that stage, but yet they have to make a decision. I wonder what percentage of young people change life course numerous times.

I ask you to respect and honor your own life journey…   Let life unfold for you in a natural way, meeting it with flexibility and adaptability.

Be open to all possibilities.  Let your heart help guide the way. Know that yes, maybe you will find — or have found — the one remarkably satisfying path in your mission. Or perhaps you may experience a multitude of different roads along the journey. Let yourself learn and grow from each one. And for any long period you spend in an intensely fulfilling job or career experience, be in appreciation, because that is one of the radiant blessings one can reap here on the plane of human existence…


  • I relax into the flow of life and let it unfold in with a flexible, open-minded outlook.
  • I am open to all possibilities and opportunities that appear in my life journey.
  • I understand that my soul path may reflect various segments of learning, and I am receptive to this process.
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