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Archive for Personal Experiences

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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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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A Personal Experience Story

Life is certainly never static — it is a living, breathing ebb and flow of change, shift and transformation.  When we talk about achieving stability and balance, it is but for a temporary moment in time. And though it is a worthy goal to aspire to create some form of balanced harmony in our lives, it is critical to accept that change will always be part of our reality.

Yet the thought of change is daunting for most people, and change can present itself as a huge challenge.  Cultivating flexibility and adaptability — traits that will help you stay in that flow of coping and being open to new possibilities — is worth the inner work!

From my own personal experience of the last month or so, I have definitely had to deal with that specter of change.  My elderly mother-in-law (an octogenarian who was widowed 20 years ago) had two accidental falls too many in a short span of time and finally agreed to move up from her condo in Florida to an assisted living facility local to where I live in Long Island.

She was used to living an “independent” life or so she perceived it. But legally blind, hard of hearing, dependent upon a walker for mobility, her life there — away from all family — appeared more “isolationist” to my husband and myself. She had a home health aid to assist her during the day, and even drive her to wherever she needed or wanted to go.  But each health issue that presented became an ordeal, simply because there was no family around and concern for some serious issue without the support and caring of family was on our minds.

My mother-in-law is very quick to speak her mind and is not a particularly positive-minded person. The sudden availability of an apartment at the assisted living during the freezing heart of winter created a whirlwind of activity and stress in order to get her packed up. Figuring out what she could bring with her and getting rid of the rest of her stuff (some of it lifelong accumulation) was really tough for her, as it would be for anyone in her position. (Please know that she had much physical help in the form of my brother-in-law and his wife.)

Personally, I was anticipating a huge challenge and indulging in too much fear-based anxiety, yet secretly praying/hoping that perhaps she would acclimate… She is not a person who has ever done well with change. And yes, I believe in the Law of Attraction and focusing on positive aspects.  However, the practical side of me, based on previous experience with the lady, brought up challenging thoughts.

And even though the facility has an amazing and caring staff, ultimately I knew that I would be the one most responsible for her day-to-day life and needs, especially since my husband works in the city and is gone for very long days. So the bottom line was, how would this impact my own life?  Yes, I love her and DO have an excellent relationship with her — but this move is a significant change in my life — a life that is already very full without another facet (even a loving one) added to it.

It was about four weeks of anticipation for both her and us — and at the other end in Florida, she was extremely stressed by this whole packing up and preparing-to-move process, and leaving the comfort and knowingness of her home.  Additionally, she was unhappy about coming from the mild climate to this freezing Long Island winter — who could blame her for that?

So now you may wonder — how did it all go?

Well, she has been here for a month and I feel a sense of relief from all that fear-based expectation. Incredibly, she has adapted quite smoothly — a surprising and delightful shock to me and my husband.

Despite many obstacles, she has been fine. The first week she arrived, there was a quarantine lockdown because several cases of flu broke out — fortunately not her, but for several days, nobody from the outside was allowed in. I could not get in and start to bring her all the winter clothes that were shipped via UPS and had been delivered to my house. So her stuff was in limbo and we could not even visit her and she had very few clothes.  Eventually, all the boxes were delivered, brought over, unpacked and her little apartment is all set up now.

She seems happier than I have ever seen her. And I totally believe it really has to do with two things — first of all, the love and nearness of family. She will now be able to watch her great-grandson grow up and establish a relationship with him, which she is already doing. Secondly, she is receiving a very helpful level of care and attention from the facility and included are three hot meals a day that she loves.

So there have been enough positive things to override that she is mostly stuck in the facility due to the outdoor weather being too snowy, icy, frigid and treacherous for her to navigate with her walker.  But she has two heating controls in her apartment and can make it as hot and Florida-like as she wishes!

From my perspective, this journey has been made a bit easier because I have truly focused on being in the moment as best as possible. When my mind would sort of “run away” with trying thoughts about what would be, I would remind myself to be truly present, and simply take the actions of the the moment that were necessary to move the journey along. And part of me just needed to “surrender” and accept that this change coming into my own life would be a positive and joyful one. I would have the opportunity to establish a close relationship with my mother-in-law, especially since my own mother is gone for many years and I am open to having a surrogate “mom” in my life, even though I will be taking more care of her than she of me!

The one life lesson that was clear and powerful for me was that: LOVE really does overcome. I firmly believe that the attention and love that my mother-in-law is receiving from nearby family (us and others) has been instrumental in her accepting and dealing with this major life change. And yes, we are all still adjusting to her being here and working on defining our relationships in a way that is pleasing and workable for all.  Another, very beautiful thing, is that my mother-in-law, not usually very expressive of emotions, has been happily voicing her appreciation for all that my husband and I are doing to help her — so that is a truly kind side of her that I am seeing.

All is well and I am adjusting to this change in my own life, and there is now a feeling of ease and grace to it… and for that I am grateful!


  • I accept shift and change with a mindset of ease and adaptability.
  • Life is a flow of ongoing changes, and I welcome new possibilities with joyful anticipation.
  • I strive to stay in the moment and to be present exactly where I am on my unique life journey.

“Through gratitude we express one of our most powerful emotions and open the flow of positive energy.”  ~Joe Nunziata

Gratitude IS powerful.  It is said that being in the space of appreciation can change our lives in an uplifting and transformative way.  When we are thankful for all the joy and abundance in our reality, that feeling is amplified,  attracting more happiness and prosperity to flow in…  because the Universe responds with matching our vibration and bringing in more of the same…

It is easier for some people to adopt a mindset of gratitude and for others it takes more inner work to be able to look around, appraise your reality and count ones blessings, so to speak…

For me personally, I am training myself to spend more time in the place of appreciation… it does not come naturally.

One can keep a gratitude journal for the express purpose of regularly noting down what you are thankful for and make entries in this on a daily basis.

I recently participated in an online Social Media version of that idea — the 5-day gratitude challenge on Facebook. The goal was to write three things each day (over a span of five days) for which I am thankful. And I don’t know why this was more of a challenge… but I think it is because, for the sake of social media, I was reaching for major points of appreciation instead of just focusing on those little things in life that are simple, yet very beautiful.

Such as the wonderful, peaceful energy that fills my my Healing room.   Or a sweet toddler hug from my young grandson… Or the amazingly succulent flavor of a locally grown red, ripe tomato… Or the warmth of the sunlight that streams through the large window of my living room…

Doing the inner work of gratitude has helped me heal from the grief I went through upon the passing of my beloved canine companion. Whenever I would be consumed with sadness, I would shift the thought and emotion process to thoughts like: I am grateful for all the sweet love and devotion he gave me for nearly 14 years… I am appreciative that he actually lived such a long, full and happy life… These thoughts have helped uplift my heavy heart.  Now, as time passes, I bask in the space of gratitude for the wonderful bond we shared and I experience less grief over loss and more joy in the memories…

It has been shown that people who regularly lead lives filled with gratitude are generally more optimistic and experience an increased level of prosperity in their lives. So doesn’t it make sense to move into that space of authentic appreciation?

So what are you personally thankful for? Take a moment to give that some thought. Take a moment to just be in that lovely place of gratitude. Take a few minutes to do this everyday!

Working with relevant affirmations can help you. I have collected ten of the high-vibration positive affirmations that I have written and used over the last several years so feel free to recite them, integrate them into your own mindset, and enjoy the flow of uplifting energy they can fuel within your heart…

  • I gratefully accept all the wealth and happiness that the Universe provides for me every day.
  • I am thankful for all the love in my life.
  • With loving gratitude, I notice all of the beauty and grace that that surrounds me.
  • It is easy for me to feel and express appreciation for others.
  • I focus on all the positive things in my life, empowering them to grow and multiply!
  • I gratefully accept happiness and prosperity from a supportive, abundant Universe.
  • Expressing gratitude is easy and fulfilling for me.
  • The more appreciation I feel and acknowledge, the more joy and abundance flow into my life!
  • My life is exciting, unique and filled with feel-good experiences!
  • I give thanks for all the amazing blessings that fill my life.
Lessons from My Beloved Canine


“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” ~Roger Caras

Sometimes life lessons come to us in the most unexpected ways…

Tiki was like a true family member, and I am certain he was a wise old soul in canine form. And he was my beloved companion for nearly 14 years…

I taught him how to “sit” and “stay” but he taught me how to LIVE!

Some of you who are not really “animal people” might snicker a little and think “What in the world could she have possibly learned from a dog?”

He knew how to experience life in the purest, fullest way. How to take the time to smell every blade of grass… How to feel the earth on his feet and sun warm on his body. He knew how to “commune” with the earth… Rolling in the mud and the dirt and enjoying every physical sensation of it. And he was happy…

From the moment we brought him home as a ten week old puppy, he lived his life totally immersed in every moment, every aroma, every aspect of love… until he couldn’t anymore, until his very old bodily organs and heart just gave out from old age.

There was so much living that happened in between those two moments of his existence… Between his puppyhood arrival and his sudden departure.

When my husband and I were married (the second time around for each of us) we blended our families — his two children and my two. But we were beyond the age for having our own human child so we adopted a “fur baby.” Who became very much like a child to us…

Tiki continually taught me about focusing on the now moment. Just inhaling the crisp beauty of each minute, each day… For dogs do not carry regrets of the past or worry about the future, unless perhaps where their next meal is coming from. And it is known that even dogs that come from difficult pasts are most often able to let go and forgive human transgressions… And to move forward in joy and connection…

So Tiki was always consciously immersed in the present and he taught me how essential that is for living a joyful life… Of course, the Reiki precepts teach that as well but Tiki knew it innately.

He always enjoyed Reiki… He loved keeping my clients company in the healing space whenever they were okay with him being there. And he loved when students came to take classes, especially when there was an Animal Reiki class being taught when he was allowed to spend more time with the students.

And he loved people in general…

He taught me all about the meaning and profundity of unconditional love. And he was always non-judgmental… As animals are… He was never angry and always so accepting and understanding.

And the way he chose to exit this physical life was in perfect alignment to the way he lived his life…

It was a blessing that he left quickly. But because he lived his life so enthusiastically, his passing at that particular time was so  unexpected.

I had noticed that he had slowed down in the last several months, and knew he had severe arthritis in his hips, but he was still mobile. What was to be our last evening together, we had gone for a short, leisurely walk and then sat outside for awhile and I just petted him and enjoyed his presence. He had had his normal dinner, which he consumed with gusto, as well as his bone treat (which he had every day after dinner — and always looked forward to very impatiently.) And then, without any warning, he was gone…

He was such an amazing presence and “light” in my life. And he certainly took a piece of my heart when he left…

He will be sorely missed, but his delightful, powerful presence will always remain strong in my heart. I am wiser and enriched by having had this beautiful, gentle soul in my life. And I deeply appreciate that remarkable inter-species bond we had up until the very end…

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened. ” ~Anatole France

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How well do you bend and flow with the storms and challenges of life? What about with the more gentler shifts and changes in daily realities — can you cope?

Flexibility is one of the key components to living a balanced, joyful and healthy life. Each individual is unique with the way that one adapts to the consistent flow of changes that are a part of the life experience here on planet Earth. Nobody’s reality is truly static. It is when one grasps on blindly to the “what is” — remaining caught in rigidity that brings one into the mindset of resistance. And we all know that resistance is a powerfully negative attitude that can disrupt the flow of well-being in a big way… Resistance takes us immediately out of that high-vibration, feel-good place.

Yet human nature seems to be prone to resistance. For we tend to be creatures of habit — even if those habits are not always the best for us. We seem to crave the comfort of sameness and routine.

For many, change is rarely perceived in a positive light.

Maintaining flexibility takes many forms. For our challenges take a multitude of forms. For instance, as I write this, I know that I am on call for Jury Duty this week. Of course, that is my civic duty and I am legally bound to attend when I am called. I am on standby and will call in each evening. I may get summoned to spend a day or more in court — or I may not. This is beyond my control. Do I want to be a juror — definitely not! This temporary state of “not-knowingness” is wreaking havoc with my week. I cannot schedule clients. I can’t make business plans. My car is having some issues and needs repair and it is difficult for me to schedule this as well. My elderly dog cannot be left alone for too many hours at a a time so I have to arrange care for him. You get the picture. And the thought of potentially getting stuck on a jury for a trial is very unnerving because of all these aforementioned considerations.

So have I felt some stress — more than I care to admit. But I have known about this obligation for some time and have even had a chance to emotionally prepare. Yet the bottom line emotion is resistance. So I am working on trying to regain a more flexible perspective — and I am feeling the inspiration to write this article because it is my own inner work therapy, so to speak. It is a reminder to flow with the current.

We need to adapt to not just changes in our lives, but also changes in those around us. A friend of mine has recently become a complete support system for her elderly mom who has experienced a series of serious health challenges in the last few months. My friend has had a very difficult time coming to terms with the aging of her parent because for such a long time her mom has been in such amazing and wonderful shape. So by her own admission, this lady just wants her mother to be the totally healthy and independent individual she was, and is resistant to adjusting to the way her mother is now at this point in time. But little by little, she is coming to terms with the situation, and appreciating the good in each day and the beauty of still having her loving mom around, even though she requires more care and supervision.

Some people honestly admit to being inflexible by nature and don’t see the need to be any other way. But of course, when challenges arise, they are the ones who become severely stressed out and overwhelmed and whose own physical/emotional health may become weakened because of this.

I always go back to that wise analogy of the old tall tree in the forest that bends and sways when the heavy winds and storms blow — but it survives to grow. We need to remain bendable. We must adjust our course periodically and change direction to stay afloat, on target — healthy, whole and in harmony with life. Adaptability helps us navigate and persevere.

So keep that in mind. Whether it is something as mundane as jury duty or as significant as a job change, loss — or an illness, setback, etc. let yourself be that bendable tree. Know that your roots can be strong and sturdy and “this too shall pass.”


  • I strive to make adaptability an intrinsic part of my path toward self empowerment and joy.
  • A mindset of flexibility helps me deal effectively with all that happens in my everyday reality.
  • I flow with the current of life and tune in to my inner guidance for clarity and perseverance.

Unless you have been living in a cave the last ten years, you are familiar with the “hottest” new concept for positive and joyful living: affirmations. Everywhere you turn, there are teachings about the amazing power of affirmations.

I have written about them quite a bit over time. If you have read any of my monthly blog posts, you will know that each includes a trio of relevant affirmations. I do love affirmations and the immense and uplifting potential they offer us.

Let’s say you are newer to the concept of positive affirmations, or perhaps need a little review. Affirmations are statements we make to ourselves — part of our everyday head talk. They are in a sense, the cornerstone of our thinking mode, of our state of mind.

Because in reality, many (or even most) of the statements we make in our heads are of a negative vibration. Such as “That will never work out.” Or “I am such a mess.” Or “my life is out of control.” You get the picture — and admit it now, you are guilty too — guilty of allowing a barrage of negative thoughts to inhabit your mind and your thought processes. We all do it.

The key to really shifting is to recognize that, own up to it, and then begin to do the inner work of tuning in to more positivity. Good-feeling affirmations are one simple way to help with this.

You may know or have guessed that I have been greatly influenced by Louise Hay, who I consider the “Grande Dame” of positive affirmations. She has brought this concept to light for so many people and has definitely been a pioneer in the positive thinking/personal development field.

When we are totally living in the mode of negative affirmations, we are sad and depressed. And should these negative thoughts and stresses become lodged in both our conscious and subconscious mind, we run the risk developing corresponding symptoms of both physical and emotional illness. So thinking more optimistically, embracing affirmations and the like has been shown to help one align with the flow of well being. Think happy, be happy — be WELL!

Affirmations can be short and general or long and very specific. There is no rule. However, to begin an affirmation practice, it is essential to choose ones that resonate with you personally. For you to make an affirmation your own, you need to feel into it, to be able to believe it and to be able to say it with general conviction.

So an affirmation like “I will receive a million dollars today” is a fun and interesting statement but unless you are a wealthy stock market trader and are expecting the sale of a high level holdings, or unless a great-aunt that you never knew existed left you a sizable inheritance, this statement may not feel too believable to you.

Statements such as “I welcome abundance into my life,” “Money flows easily and joyfully to me,” or “I always manifest all that I need” are more generic, open and certainly have a feel-good vibration! You can also say things like “Abundance and prosperity come to me each day, often in surprising and delightful ways!” Or you can use a specific focus for your day such as “Today I am open to gracefully receive abundance and joy from a supportive Universe.”

Affirmations can be used for way more than just financial abundance, and certainly for all aspects of ones life including relationships, love, career, etc. You can use one — or a few — affirmations that feel right to you or reflect what you wish to shift in your reality or invite into your life. But you need to say them regularly.

Say them as if you mean them! Get in the bright energy of your affirmation! Make it a point to live in your highest and best “affirmation state of mind.” I am convinced that this can absolutely bring joyful transformation into your life…


Friendship – the Varied Bonds that People Share

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Friends are our lifeline, our most ardent supporters, our reinforcement in the belief that we matter. Friends add meaning to our life, joy to our reality, laughter and camaraderie to our world.

Yet how come at times the bonds of friendship can seem overly complex, dramatic or sometimes even disappointing?

Are our expectations about the meaning and bond of friendship too high? Personally, I think that yes, we want each friendship to be absolutely perfect, to meet all our needs. Yet, how can each bond of friendship measure up to such lofty ideals? When we demand perfection, we set ourselves up for failure.

In my own life experience, I have learned (and am still learning) to release some of those preconceived expectations regarding what I want/need in a friend.

The basic requirement is now very simple: if you wish to be my friend, be supportive of me, and my life path.

That’s all there is to it.

However, one needs to accept the knowing that there will be friends who completely support our life paths — and those who may not be so overtly encouraging, but love us nevertheless and allow us to follow our journey without judging.

But this also includes the notion that you must not be a “fair weather friend.” If times get tough, I expect you to be there for me in whatever way you are capable — and that is certainly different things for different people.

I used to have some clear friendship requirements, such as a friend must call me so often (every day/every week) or they wouldn’t measure up to my standards of communication frequency.

I now am accepting of friends who call me regularly and friends who contact me occasionally. As long is there is some joyful connection every once in awhile, I am okay with that. However, when I have called a few times and get no callback — that is a clear indicator of a lag or disinterest in the friendship on the part of the other person.

I used to believe that a friend needed to share the very same interests as me — but I have discovered that this is not always a necessity. Though it IS helpful in terms of understanding each other.

Friends come in a very expansive variety with a multitude of perspectives and world views. And I have found that I now tend to think of friends as being in a range of categories.

For instance, there are:

• Common interest, like-minded friends — For me these may be my spiritual, Reiki and healing Practitioner friends. For others it may be friends who share the same type of work, similar hobbies, etc. You may meet these people while doing the activities you enjoy or the work-related tasks that comprise your life.

• Lifestyle friends — These are people whose presence in your reality enhances or complements your life in some way. These are people with whom you feel joyful and comfortable. People who are going-out-to-dinner friends, friends you take ski vacations with, ones who you share a specific segment of life with, but perhaps no deeper connection than that. Yet these friendships can be very enlivening, uplifting and sustaining.

• Long term friends – these are the friends that have been with us for much of our life journey, through ups and downs, highs and lows, marriages and divorces, births and deaths. These are often our core friends, ones who will lend a sympathetic ear (or shoulder.) Friends with whom we can pretty much share anything with authenticity. These friends truly KNOW us, what we are about, and have persevered through all life’s uphill battles by our side. As of course we have reciprocated that same sentiment of dedication to them.

• Acquaintances — this category encompasses a multitude of interesting individuals who grace our lives, some nearby to us and some in other geographic areas. This category can include some of our Facebook friends, those who LIKE our joyful posts and photos as we enjoy visiting their pages and participating in their life on the net. This category also encompasses in-person individuals who are more on the periphery of our life. These cannot neatly fit into any of the above categories. They are not major players in our lives, but there is some connection they offer that clearly resonates with us.

We can gain insight, exhilaration, and optimism from our friends. They help teach us life lessons and they absolutely enrich our lives.

So let us offer them kindness, consideration, appreciation, and of course, our love and reciprocation of their devotion and connection to us. Our  journey here on planet Earth would be very lonely and solitary without our many bonds of friendship…


  • I appreciate my friends and verbally express my gratitude for their presence in my life.
  • I treat my friends with kindness and caring, the way that I would like them to treat me.
  • I respect the life journeys of my friends, and am supportive along their unique and diverse paths.
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The new year breezed in with a gust of polar vortex air — frigid temperatures that brought challenges of their own. Plus a slew of unexpected everyday life obstacles.

So despite ringing in the energy of the new year on on optimistic note, writing my positive living article, I was — and still am — enmeshed in turbulence.

It was confusing for me a bit. I could not quite understand where these hurdles were really emanating from.

But I also know that surrounding energies and thoughts affect our personal space. And all that occurs reflects not just my own personal “energetic flow” but that of those around me.

And most of what transpired seemed apparently external in nature, beyond my personal control. A blackout burned out my refrigerator, and due to the holiday season — plus one very bad retail experience — I had no fully functioning refrigerator for 10 days!

Then some pipes froze and we were without cold water in the kitchen. The dishwasher burned out around the same time. And my wonderful trusty heavy-duty all-in-one printer that had been a work horse for nearly six years, printing my Reiki business certificates, flyers, forms in beautiful color — went into death throes.

Okay, so I was in appliance and technology hell — and perhaps still am.

Then my indoor/outdoor semi-feral kitty disappeared for three full days and I spent two days searching the neighborhood, posting flyers and almost thinking the worst… when he suddenly reappeared late one evening. A bit disoriented and completely ravenous, but okay… so I think he may have accidentally been locked in someone’s shed or garage. But it was not a fun few days.

And on the heels of that, Long Island endured another polar vortex with single digit temperatures, gusting winds and a 24-hour snowstorm. So I was out in those icy temperatures shoveling for hours. (The snowblower broke last year and we have not replaced it.) Sometimes young men with shovels who want to earn some cash come by and dig us out, but not one showed up this time.

I am physically exhausted and mentally drained as I write this. But in my heart, I know that this too shall pass.

Is there something for me to learn from these three or four weeks of constant turmoil? To maybe look at the bright side, that proverbial “silver lining” — my Reiki business has been greatly expanding. Our health is fine — and that is something to be immensely grateful for.

Life throws curves and challenges at all of us — no one is exempt. It is a question of how we react, how we persevere and how adaptable and flexible we allow ourselves to be as we traverse the winding road.

It is essential not to let yourself sink from all the constant hurdles. And sometimes a string of relatively petty hurdles does begin to seem like an insurmountable mountain of challenge.

Keep your sights set on something uplifting, whatever you can envision. The other night a friend posted a video of a sunrise on a beautiful, serene and unpopulated beach. For five minutes I watched the sun rise gently and brilliantly in this video and was amazingly soothed by it.

Take small, sweet moments that feel good to you and expand them. Stay present when there is a task to be done and don’t go into the “woe is me” frame of mind for that does not serve anyone. Ultimately, it will not help you feel any better.

Know that life flows and shifts in a constant tide of ups and downs, but enjoy the times when the sailing is smooth — let yourself deeply bask in the gratitude for those moments. Know that you would not be able to appreciate those feel-good moments if you don’t occasionally experience the opposite.

In the grander perspective, take some comfort in the fascinating and multi-textured weave that makes up the fabric of your life…


  • I handle challenges that arise with ease and perseverance.
  • I learn important lessons from all phases and aspects of my unique life path.
  • By remaining flexible in attitude, I peacefully and wisely navigate any turbulent waves that head in my direction.