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Positive Attitude – Appreciation in Your Everyday Life

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Do the people around you appear to complain more often than not? Does the “woe-is-me” state of mind seem pervade your surrounding reality?

Perhaps you tend to be the “everything bad happens to me” type yourself at times?

Or does the opposite state of mind seem to be more of the norm — being uplifted and feeling joyful appreciation for much of what shows up in your life?

I believe that more people generally focus on their sense of things not going well than going well, on the negative stuff that befalls us rather than on what shines with genuine beauty and exhilaration in our lives.

Take this conversation I had with my elderly mother-in-law who lives 1000 miles away from me. I hadn’t spoken to her in a few days, and I cheerfully made the call to catch up. But I innocently decided to ask: “How are you doing?” Well, the response I got that particular day was shot out at me “I’m disgusted, I’m depressed, I’m frustrated…” etc. You get the picture.

I asked her what was going on and it came down to the reality that macular degeneration has left her “legally blind.” But she is not blind — she can actually still see, though of course not well. But she keeps going to doctor after doctor on the impossible quest of finding a miracle to restore her vision.  “It’s time to stop going to all these doctors — they are only taking your money. And it is time to start dealing and adapting to it.” I reasoned with her, but she was not happy with that. “How would you like to be blind?” she snapped at me.

“What about those people who are blind their entire lives and still live happy, productive lives? Listen, you are eighty-something years old — you have had your vision almost your entire life. You still have quality of life and your aide [she has a fantastic home health aid] can and does help you. You mind is amazingly clear and lucid. Now it is time to focus on how to handle the tasks you need to get done.”

Of course, the point I was trying to get across was to be appreciative of having the amazing experience of now being an octogenarian, having a loving family and still living on her own. I went on to give her a gentle, caring “speech” on trying to cultivate a more positive, appreciative attitude — one that includes adaptability as well. And we also talked about practical ideas — such as a powerful, illuminated magnifying glass.

The next day I had a voicemail message from her and in a bit of a sheepish tone she had said: “I’m feeling much better today!”

Life is not always easy to navigate. Each stage brings its own set of unique challenges. But it is essential all along the way to really find those strong moments of appreciation. Focusing on gratitude always seems to bring in more of the same. It buoys us up, lifts our spirits and gives us the emotional prowess to forge ahead in a positive, optimistic way!

So think about your own habits and thinking — do you make consistent time for appreciation? Do you seize a moment and just inhale the reality of your blessings of the present?

I personally need to do more inner work on the theme of appreciation myself. But sometimes I just get caught up in the moment, and am absolutely flooded with an exquisite sense of immense gratitude. Sometimes it is just when I am doing Reiki for someone, whether friend or client. How beautiful and fortunate I feel to be in that space of letting this beautiful, beneficial energy flow. Or even surrounded by my sweet pets — sometimes the simplicity of their unconditional love just tugs at my heartstrings and I am completely in appreciation for their being in my life.

So how does one go about bringing more gratitude into their life experience?

1) Observe and note it down! Many people keep “gratitude journals” — whether it be the old spiral notebook or an app on your smartphone or tablet. Write down three to five things you are grateful for each day — or each week, whatever feels right for you.

2) Just choose “random moments of gratitude.” Make sure that each day you stop and feel the appreciation twice a day — or more. Even if it is for but a minute, it will uplift you and infuse your day with a boost of positivity!

3) Each night before you go to sleep, just focus on those things that stir up appreciation within your heart and mind. Particularly occurrences of that day for which you are appreciative. Make an effort to focus on each, replaying or visualizing those moments clearly. (Note how you feel when doing so — it usually will make you radiantly happy.)

4) Mirror work – best done at night. Speak to yourself in the mirror (perhaps strange at first, but very powerful if you do this regularly) and appreciate YOU and your blessings of the day verbally.

5) Share your gratitude with someone! Make that extra effort to just let others know about your appreciation, whether it be for something that they have done, something that you have experienced that day, or just something that creates a sense of bold appreciation within you. People enjoy hearing positive musings on gratitude because they feel joyful from the listening.

So do make an extra effort to bring an a powerful sense of appreciation into your life on a regular basis. I have a sneaking suspicion it just might bring in more joy, more abundance and more overall life satisfaction…


  • I make time to cultivate thoughts and feelings of appreciation.
  • I acknowledge the blessings in my everyday life with supreme gratitude.
  • I appreciate all the goodness and positivity that flows my way from a supportive, abundant Universe.
  • An attitude of gratitude opens the door to the flow of more joy and abundance in my life.
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Positive Living – Being in the Now Moment

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Focusing on the breath of the very now moment. Does that thought of “just being” resonate with you, intrigue you? Does it suggest to you some quiet, downtime for yourself?

Or is life too fast-paced, complicated and ultra-busy for you to want to even think about this concept?

Life here on planet Earth is a full-bodied, multi-faceted adventure, especially in the big cities (and certainly here on Long Island where I live.) The pace of life gives us so much to take care of, to accomplish. And we often feel driven to do, do, do. Our schedules are filled to the brim with tasks of all varieties.

I always think about that old cartoon that read “Nobody wants their epitaph to read ‘I should have spent more time at the office.'” And maybe a modern version would be that nobody wants their epitaph to read, “I should have spent more time on my smartphone, tablet, etc.” Why are we so tied to these technological playthings? Believe me, I am as guilty as anyone with this at times.

But these devices are only one aspect of an ultra-busy lifestyle.

It is essential to seek some downtime, time to just “be.” Time to tune in to your own core essence. Time to just have the emotional freedom to unplug, relax and just “chill.”

You need to make that time, carve that time carefully. Make sure you take care of YOU. Give yourself that energetic break from the fast-moving current of life.

Sometimes, I just sit (not even meditating) contemplating and letting my thoughts deliciously wander. Not paying attention to the clock. Then I feel guilty about squandering or wasting time, not being productive. But fortunately, I give myself permission to “veg out” and just plop myself into the now moment. Not letting that gush of thoughts about what needs to be done interrupt me.

And I focus on the exquisiteness of:

Just being.

Just being me.

Just being me in the moment.

Make sure to take these breaks and just spend time being present, even if it is just ten minutes — though longer is better. Which means that you release the busy chatter from your mind. Particularly important to release difficult thoughts. Brush them aside. (And make sure all devices, including the TV, are off for this period.)

You can meditate if you wish — in any way that feels comfortable or right to you. Or spend time in quiet contemplation.

Strive to do this every single day. You will reap the calming, feel-good benefits.

It will help alleviate and reduce stress levels.

It will help ground you, give you focus.

And it will help you glide joyfully into the stream of well-being.

Although I posted the following video several years ago, its message is very apropos to this post. If you have not seen it before, please check it out. It is only 3 minutes long, and hopefully will give you a brief respite of peace and being present. And if you have seen it before, let yourself go back again and take a few moments to just relax with it.  (Affirmations are within the video!)

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Self Empowerment – Expressing and Releasing Difficult Emotions

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Admit it — you get angry, frustrated and raise your voice on occasion. Or maybe too often. I am guilty of it at times, even though some people think because of my career path that I must be completely “zen” and calm always. Oh, how I wish that were true. And believe me, I am consistently doing the inner work of striving to maintain a sense of tranquility, non-reaction and the skill of being non-judgmental. But it can take a lifetime (and perhaps several) to learn some of these lessons.

As we are all members of this particular species — that is, human — and I say that with a smile, we are all prone to a broad spectrum of feelings, thoughts, behaviors and self-expression.

It is NORMAL to get cranky, angry, sad, frustrated and the like…

It is NORMAL to be dramatically reactive in certain situations…

We all have learned behaviors, ones we’ve brought with us from childhood on. Personally, any snapshot slice-of-life picture of my own childhood was far from peaceful and harmonious. My family thrived on drama and raised voices. For them, yelling was a socially acceptable expression of whatever frustration they were feeling at the moment. I thought that familial yelling and screaming was something everyone experienced and grew up with. I was quite surprised to learn such is not the case.

It has taken many years to un-learn some of my own ingrained behaviors. So, in my attempt to veer off into the other end of the spectrum and be this perfectly harmonious individual, I have discovered THAT is not normal either. So where is the balance? How can one achieve the middle ground? After all, to be totally zen, I think one would have to become a monk and live on a mountain in Tibet.

After much pondering and life experience, I have come to some conclusions.

1) I do believe it is important to slow down in life, as best one can, despite all the rushing and ultra-busyness of modern life. Slowing down allows you to catch your breath, get in touch with your inner guidance and also tap in to the wellspring of peacefulness or at least some semblance of calm that lies within.

2) DO strive to do the inner work of seeking and embracing tranquility/harmony/etc in whatever way will work for you individually. Maybe that is meditation, yoga, deep breathing, taking a walk, whatever feels right and peaceful to you.

3) It is okay to have periods of more dramatic and excited “self-expression” or negative self-expression. Permit yourself to raise your voice and show some anger or frustration if you truly need to do so and allow this personal release.

4) However, when you do need to release difficult emotion, keep it brief. If it should end up being directed at someone, be sure that person understands that you are having “a moment.” And that you still care about them. (And I am not condoning taking your frustration out on another, but I am acknowledging that as humans, we sometimes do this.) But try to keep any outbursts as something that you personally are experiencing as opposed to inflicting upon another.

One example from my own life was on particular occasion when my husband developed what I consider “domestic amnesia.” Which means he totally forgets about and distances himself from anything at all that may need to be done in the house, even small things that he is usually responsible for. I love him and he is a terrific husband, but occasionally… So this one time he was supposed to take care of something, actually a few somethings — and didn’t — and of course, I was feeling very frustrated. So I definitely got a little huffy and raised my voice but felt so guilty afterward. And then I felt guilty about feeling guilty. Because I do take care of most everything in the house since he works long commuter hours in Manhattan. So maybe he needed to hear what I had to say and maybe I needed to say it in a louder voice to get his attention and make a shift in his approach to taking care of a few things…

But my outburst was brief and it is infrequent that I allow such behavior to surface. And in the end, my husband DID respond to my requests and became more helpful.

The bottom line is that it is okay to permit some negative feeling to be expressed. Just don’t bathe in it, wallow in it and let it last interminably. Don’t become a victim to this behavior. And don’t let someone else bear the serious brunt of it. Let it come to the surface and then flow out… and be done with it.

And DO make every effort to find other constructive and gentler ways of expressing these emotions, channeling them into release before you get to the breaking point…

So acknowledge your “human-ness” and know that encompasses a broad perspective of self-expression. Choose the path of finding your personal voice in your own life — expressing your authentic self on an emotional level but in a way that you show up as a kind, caring, calm, considerate individual.


  • I embrace an attitude of peacefulness and do the inner work of bringing tranquility and balance into my everyday life experience.
  • I acknowledge my need to express negative emotions and I do so as gently and constructively as possible.
  • My inner guidance helps me express my thoughts in a clear, candid yet tactful way.
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We sat across from my stepson, trying to impart some tidbits of life wisdom upon him. He was about to embark on a journey all the way across the country beginning a new life, along with his girlfriend, on the west coast, filled with the dreams of youth, and a sense of spirited adventure…

“Stay true to who you are” my husband advised him, “don’t submerge your sense of you in the influence of your partner… Never lose yourself. And though you are part of a couple, always let the individual who you are shine through…”

For my husband and myself — both having been through previous marriages and relationships — know the pitfalls of losing yourself, your core identity, to the generic overview of the “couple equation.”

In my first marriage, I lost myself trying to be what my first husband wanted me to be. Or to be what I THINK he wanted me to be. And it didn’t feel right. In the end, it was probably the undoing of my marriage. He was strong-willed and for me, I just wanted to please him. But I was also very young at the time. And in attempting to please him, to live up to his expectations, I became just a shadow of who I really was. It took years of self-discovery and evolution to return to the light of my core essence. And feel whole and joyful again.

Yes, it is obviously easy for us to get lost in the drama, the passion, or the newness of a relationship. We gladly submerge ourselves in the couple unit. I think most of us go through this experience at some point in our life. Sometimes it is a positive happening and other times not…

But what about the grander perspective? We come in to this world a pure, loving soul ready to begin our amazing journey of LIFE. Perhaps we bring experiences from other times and other lives, but regardless of what our metaphysical or karmic background, we enter this world through the miracle of birth… And we are ready to have a physical adventure here on planet Earth.

I do believe our intentions are all honorable, that we are born tapped in to this great bright light of purity and caring that vibrates profoundly with our newly beating human heart.

However, what happens to us after we begin this path called Life? We are powerfully influenced from day one and onward — by our parents, siblings, our environment in general. Our schools, our religious organizations, the media — all play a huge role in shaping who we become. As children, we are innocent, trusting, looking to shine our little lights in the world. Sometimes we get sidetracked.

It often takes time, life experience, much soul-searching to go back to our core essence, to who we actually were when we entered this world. Ah, if only we could remain so innocently loving…

Looking back, I realize that I was generally a compassionate child. My mother perceived me as a shy, sensitive toddler/youngster and so sent me to learn how to mingle and socialize at the local nursery school. Back then hardly anyone sent their kids to preschool. In fact, the term “preschool” had not yet been coined. But I was ecstatic to be with other children — it was like my life was suddenly illuminated and my heart was awakened with happiness.

But I do remember that the teachers were not happy with one aspect of my interactions and it is almost comical looking back but it had to do with etiquette and behavior at snack time. Everyone’s parents supplied their snacks, but some youngsters did not always have. I would share or sometimes give my entire supply away. In hindsight, I think it was altruistic of me. But the teachers thought I was wimpy, weak and manipulated by others. I know it became an issue, and so what did I really learn — maybe sharing was not entirely good.

But innately I wanted to reach out and connect — and share what I had with those who in my young eyes were “needy.”

However, as time went by, I learned how to be selfish. Everyone taught me this “skill.” It is indeed sad that compassion and generosity were almost frowned upon back then.

However, I wholeheartedly believe that at our soul/core essence we are compassionate, kind and caring. We know how to love, how to embrace abundance in a gleeful way, how to enthusiastically connect with others, how to be non-judgmental. Often, as we move into the flow of our adult lives, we forget some of these things.

If your inner light has dimmed a bit, know it can be rekindled! And let us be forgiving and understanding toward others who may not be as aware or awake as we are. We are all on a fascinating course of personal evolution, and the bottom line is to stay tuned in to your innate guidance, the birth wisdom that resides in your own heart. And even if you lose it for a time, it is always there if you choose to look within and connect to that Higher Consciousness, that spark of Divinity that is joyfully present within all of us!


  • I tap in to who I truly am at my core — to my powerful, radiant inner light.
  • I strive to reflect kindness, consideration, understanding and tolerance out to the world.
  • Though challenges can be trying, I remain strong, focused and tuned in to the spiritual, soulful essence that is me.

Having compassion for others is a desirable way to be, is it not? However, is there such a thing as being too compassionate or too caring for others? And I mean those outside the immediate family and friend circle.

For me, this short saga of my life that tried my emotions and my altruism began after the great hurricane that wreaked so much devastation here on Long Island. It was in December that I first noticed the kittens, as I have a tender heart for the animals. They were living in the front garden of a house down the block from me, a house with a larger protective overhang that provided some shelter from the inclement weather.

At first I saw bowls outside, so I believed that someone was feeding the cats, though I wasn’t sure who lived in that house as it looked vacant. Well, it turned out that a woman named Lorraine lived there and very quickly I discovered that she was a recluse in every sense of the word, and a very ornery older woman in her late 70s. She was thrilled that I was feeding the cats, as the cats were her one link to the outside world, and most of the time she completely “forgot” to put food outside, so they were often just about starving.

Lorraine had lost her beloved husband in 1997 and I believe time had just about stopped for her then as she withdrew from normal life. From what I heard, neighbors had attempted to help her over the years, but she had pushed them away and so was now absolutely alone. (She had no children — just two nephews who live out of town.)

I am not going to go into the whole sordid story — about how she had not brushed her hair in over a decade, about how her house made the stars of that TV show “Hoarders” look neat and clean, about how her difficult personality combined with dementia made her a real challenge to deal with. But I know that she appreciated my assistance — running errands, bringing her wonton soup (her favorite) and just being a smiling face on her doorstep.

She had a service shopping and delivering groceries to her door once a week but she never, ever set foot outside anymore herself. I tried to get her to go to the doctor and would have driven her there, but she refused.

However, she would call me her “angel” and thanked me for making sure the cats were taken care of and for the few errands I ran for her.

(I trapped the cats outside her house, had them neutered, returned the feral one; found a friendly one a home through a rescue in Brooklyn and the other I am still fostering.)

One day Lorraine was found on the floor of her house, conscious but disoriented, and was taken to the local hospital by the paramedics. I finally wrangled the name of one of the nephews (who lives in a neighboring state) from her and found his phone number online, so I called him and let him know about the situation. He contacted the hospital and took over responsibility for his aunt, which was a blessing at this point. I did visit her several times and knew she was gravely ill, as her breathing was labored and there was a mass in her throat. She was always incredibly relieved to see me and very tearful about her situation. She hated being in the hospital and she was definitely very fearful about dying.

One Sunday her nephew finally came to the hospital with his wife, to visit and take charge of her paperwork and mail, and I did feel a burden lift off my own heart. That day I visited, too, and as I exited her room, she blew me a kiss good-bye — and I did the same sweet gesture for her. That was the last time I would see her, as she passed away the next day, so somehow the significance of that parting gesture became more meaningful.

I was truly saddened and have felt grief over this episode. The this whole saga did take time and emotion for me, in between all the many family and business responsibilities, demands and happenings that are part of my life, including the birth of my first grandchild.

Through it all, my husband would say “You’re doing a good deed, but…” And there was always that “but” even in my own mind and heart. “But” maybe you are TOO involved. Maybe you should review your priorities. Maybe you should choose not to be so caught up in the plight of others. But as the old Dickens quote goes, “Mankind is my business” is still the concept that I live by.

It was a life lesson for me. Lorraine was responsible for her life choices, and unfortunately made ones that left her completely alone at the end of her time here. I tried not to lose sight of that piece of it. At one point in the hospital, she had asked through tears, “Why is this happening to me? It feels like a nightmare.” And yes, that was painful to see and hear, but one must remember that she CHOSE to be a recluse, chose not to live her life in a joyful way, chose to shut herself in and have no contact with the outside world. (The nephew confirmed that Lorraine had always been a difficult personality, not particularly friendly or kind to anyone.)

I like to think that my brief friendship with her was a small ray of light in the dark reality at the end of her life, and maybe that is why our paths crossed the way they did.

So is there such a thing as being too caring, especially when it takes time away from your own life and family? Perhaps — and I know that many people would have absolutely looked the other way — but for me personally, in hindsight, I would not have done anything differently.


  • I show kindness and caring for all beings, as I feel a deep sense of connection to others.
  • I am able to create a joyful balance between compassion for others and being nurturing toward myself.
  • Being of service to others is fulfilling and helps me “grow” as an individual.
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Positive Attitude – Finding Harmony and Peace Within

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So what happens when despite all your efforts to carefully arrange and coordinate the varied facets of your life, the Universe dumps chaos into your reality? Okay, that might sound a bit dramatic. But can you relate to this — at least sometimes?

As a holistic healer, one would think that I spend most of my time being zen and serene — perhaps tuned into the whisperings and secrets of the Universe as I sit cross-legged on cushions surrounded by incense and sage. I only wish!

The reality of modern life (particularly on Long Island) makes the attainment of peacefulness quite an interesting challenge. And on occasion, it almost seems beyond my energetic grasp.

Sometimes we get caught up in an intense swirl of momentum — ending up on the verge of overwhelm. As a positive living proponent, I dislike even writing about overwhelm because it gives way too much negative attention and power to that thought.

So how does one cope? How can one find any sense of tranquility with so many obstacles and demands?

The one consistent answer I have found in terms of that elusive quest for some semblance of tranquility is that the most profound place to look is right in your heart. Going within, tuning in to that abundant inner wellspring is sometimes the only way to tap into the flow of serenity. And going within can be as simple as affirming “I tune in to the innate peacefulness of my soul,” or “My light is strong and radiant.” “I can easily weather this moment, this bump in the road that will soon be past.”

By tuning in to your heart, I also refer to the knowing that peace is more a state of just being, not so much something to actively seek. It is simply a feeling, a sense of harmony with the world on a more broader perspective. Despite the temporary curtain of chaos that may envelop us, in our heart resides that pure seed of all that is calm, radiant, loving and compassionate. And we just have to pay attention to it for it to flourish and grow.

If you can take even ten to fifteen minutes a day to quiet your mind it will be a helpful boost to get you into the flow of harmony. Just breathe, focus gently on your breath. Put on some soft, calming music if that feels right to you.

Additionally, remember to stay in the moment. Be truly present. When chaos abounds, handle one thing at time — the most immediate priority and let all else wait. And do not feel guilty about it. One can only do so much at a time.

Whatever it takes, temporarily tune OUT the surrounding turmoil and tune in to YOU. Even a brief respite can give you a much needed dose of rejuvenation to see you through the day. And do not feel guilty about taking a little time for yourself.

Life is full of cycles, ebbs and flows. I always embrace that timeless adage that “This too shall pass.” For it will…


  • Peace and tranquility reside within my heart — and I am learning to easily connect with these feelings.
  • I know that on a soul level, I am always in harmony with my right life path.
  • I embrace the concept that serenity is a state of mind and heart, and is not dependent on external events.
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Overcoming Challenges – Learning Powerful Life Lessons

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Sometimes we lean into a shift– we choose it. Other times it is thrust upon us. Regardless of how something manifests, shifts can have a dramatic impact on our lives and can leave us with profound life lessons. But the lessons aren’t always obvious so sometimes you must closely examine the situation and find the lesson concealed within. And it can be very eye-opening and fulfilling to discover these lessons.

For me, there were three to four weeks of waves of challenge just surging in like a turbulent sea during a storm. My husband ended up in the emergency room — he was having a heart attack. It was a horrific and painful experience for him (and a very demanding and scary one for me.) He ended up spending a total of five days in the hospital, even though his heart attack was deemed “minor” and a best case scenario from a heart attack perspective. He finally was given the go ahead to be released (his heart rate had stabilized and lowered) and I brought him home.

Four days later we were hit with a major hurricane that left Long Island quite devastated in general, but left us without power, heat and hot water for fifteen days. The temperature inside the house dipped down to a chilly forty-something degrees on some of the colder nights. And my husband had to spend most nights out, as the cold was too taxing on his recovery. I spent a night or two alone in a very cold, dark house with my pets. Most nights we were like nomads, going from house to house, friend to friend. We depended on the kindness of neighbors, friends and nearby family.

Yes — life challenges change us – there is no doubt about that.

The question is does a particular difficult challenge change us for the better or the worse? Initially you may feel downright sad, angry, frustrated. So you need to move through much of the challenging time period first. But when you find yourself finally moving into clarity, and you are gaining forward momentum, ask yourself the question: what did I learn from this experience? And really feel into it.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • Am I stronger from the experience?
  • Did I gain insight into who I really am at my core?
  • Did this experience teach me how to appreciate the beauty, balance of normalcy and the simplicity of everyday routine life?
  • Did I  learn how to genuinely be present and to focus solely on the moment in order to survive?

For me, life during that “dark period” was absolutely a struggle, but we were so profoundly touched by the compassion of many people. One of the lessons we learned was that sometimes being “power-less” meant we had to completely surrender to the “powers that be” — to the Divine plan and also to the compassion of people we did not know well, but who gently and warmly came to our rescue. So though we were power-less, we were profoundly empowered by this knowing. We were enveloped by a warm blanket that was a sense of community that we had rarely experienced or acknowledged during the flow of “normal” life.

I learned to appreciate the modern conveniences in our lives. When our power finally came back on, my husband and I had emotional tears of relief in our eyes. We turned on every light in the house, just needing to soak up and absorb the feeling of radiant electric light. I know in my heart that this feeling of appreciation will last a long while as the lesson was deeply ingrained.

Make every effort to learn from your experiences — even if the experiences rock your world. Our challenges do shape us into who we are — and if we let ourselves morph into stronger, more compassionate, more alive, and more loving individuals — than we have powerfully reached for the positive result and will be happier for it.


  • Overcoming challenges and obstacles helps me grow stronger.
  • I greet the ebb and flow of life with an attitude of flexibility and adaptability.
  • I strive to remain true to my integrity and my core essence, particularly when navigating through turbulent times.
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Positive Attitude – Claim Your Joy

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Is it easier to be stressed, anxious and discordant rather than being happy, peaceful and zen?

Just from observation and life experience, it appears to me that most people gravitate toward disorder in their lives. They find themselves caught up in the negative aspects of human existence.

To be calm, serene, in the flow of exuberance and joy often seems to take substantially more effort.

And I can’t figure out why that is.

Yet it has been my own life experience as well, stemming from what I learned during my childhood. Children learn what they live — and personally, I lived with plenty of negativity. Discord and drama were rampant in my household. Of course, we did manage to have some fun in between, and I did consider my mother to be a nurturing woman. But both my mother and father thought that yelling and a raised voice were the only parental way to get things done and let their authority be known.

So for a good part of my life, I fell into the trap of perceiving turmoil and commotion as the norm. What follows from that sort of norm unfortunately is much unhappiness.

It took quite a bit of growing up and my path of holistic healing that brought me to a more enlightened way of looking at life. I finally began to realize that maybe — just maybe — that joy was part of the purpose of life, a part that we are all worthy of.

Yes, I am saying that you DESERVE to be joyful. It is your right. And if you can authentically claim it, you will realize how powerful you are and will become better aligned with your soul/life path.

Of course, I am not saying that your joy should come at the expense of another. As you are pursuing and delighting in your joy, make sure that the component of compassion flows within you. Allow yourself to find delight and satisfaction in the joy of others. If you can do that, then your own sense of fulfillment, your own sense of being in the stream of harmony, light and abundance will increase.

Know that you CAN leave negative patterns behind, that you can reach for higher-vibration, uplifting thoughts. When you grasp and embrace this concept, your life will make an immense shift for the better.

And yes, we all are guilty of falling back into negative patterns once awhile. For doing so just seems to be a part of the human experience. Staying in those patterns can be our emotional downfall. Remain keen and observant, and try to catch yourself before you fall too far. Then gently lift yourself up into that sweet perspective of joy. Because you CAN do it — and the result is exhilarating…


  • I know that I can choose my attitude — so I strive for a positive one!
  • I am a powerful life creator and choose to stay in the flow of optimistic, uplifting thoughts.
  • An outlook of joy comes naturally to me.


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Achieving Life Balance – Is it Good or Bad?

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In my own thinking, I had always believed balance was a positive state of being. After all, I would always tell people, as I had learned from my Reiki teachers: “Reiki is about bringing harmony and balance into one’s life.” However, I had all my beliefs radically questioned when a holistic teacher told me her point of view, culled from her own life experience, plus from a definitive book that she had read. And this was that we should not even mention the word balance. Could this be? Was she saying that balance is BAD?

From my past experience, most inspirational teachers, as well as my healing mentors, had always heralded balance as a beautiful, peaceful state of being. After all, didn’t Dr. Wayne Dyer write an entire book about “Being in Balance?” Eric Pearl, founder of Reconnective Healing, often mentions balance as being a profound and GOOD space for one to be in — a space of healing.

So this new theory from this holistic teacher shattered my previous views — or at least made me think twice or more about them. And though I was not particularly thrilled with this take on the “balance” idea, perhaps it was something that I needed to ponder and give some serious thought to in order to come to my own conclusions.

The dictionary has several meanings for balance: state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight amount; mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior, judgment, etc.

So what could be negative about balance? Balance in the extreme can be considered a place of “no growth.” A state of being that lets one marinate in stagnation as opposed to being able to thrive and bloom with expansion. As the combination of human/spiritual beings that we are, we are here in this physical plane to learn, create, love and grow on numerous levels. If we were in a constant state of balance, we would be losing out on a huge part of our purpose and soul calling here on planet Earth.

We need to be in the fluidity of the stream of life, to navigate the ebb and flow of our everyday experiences, gain our lessons from the realities that we live. Learn strength and knowledge from overcoming hardship. This profound movement along our life path is what makes us unique as well as enriches our journey. At least that is one way to look at it.

An ongoing state of absolutely ultra-perfect equilibrium might keep us from engaging in the unfolding of our life purpose.

But, the flip side of the coin, is we often CRAVE balance in our lives. Particularly when the current of our lives has been turbulent for a long period. That is when we seek a calm port in a storm. When we yearn for a semblance of peacefulness, of sameness, a state of just being present and tranquil. So a little balance is definitely welcome.

Our lives are ever-changing, whether or not we yearn for — or find — balance. A pure state of equilibrium is rarely achieved and generally short-lived. But attaining even an iota of balance — even a delicious touch — helps us connect with our inner guidance, helps us be present in the moment, helps us be in a lovely space of bliss.

So after the diverse views I present here, I still believe, at the heartfelt level, that overall balance is a positive aspect to embrace in our lives.

The richness of our journey is what life is all about and life is certainly a glorious process, so do relish each step — whether you are in perfect balance or not!

What do you think? Is balance good — or bad? Is balance something to be desired? Or something that stunts our spiritual growth? Please leave a comment here on my blog, as I always appreciate hearing your thoughts and perspective!


  • I enjoy the ongoing multi-faceted journey of my life and I welcome personal growth on a daily basis.
  • Achieving a state of calm, non-judgmental peacefulness can enhance my life experience.
  • I accept the fluid motion of my life as it unfolds, enjoying the opportunities for growth and expansion that that are abundantly present each day.


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I am sure you can vividly recollect those dramatically turbulent times in your life when you experienced a myriad of challenges and obstacles. Times when you felt your life was just falling apart. Discordant, unbalanced, stressful periods. Those memories stay with us quite clearly but DO help shape who we are.

But have you ever experienced the opposite — a time when you have finally arrived at a point of harmony and balance — and now suddenly everyone around you is going through challenges. With no warning notice, the lives of others in your “circle” are simply unraveling with health issues, money problems, etc.

When we are in the graceful flow of life, we somehow expect and assume that everyone else is riding the same wave. And as we go merrily on our way, attempting to be in the joyful moment — WHAM — people are falling like dominoes (remember that old game?) around you.

Of course, that is all figurative language — not that people are dropping at your feet. I’ve been experiencing this myself recently. After getting caught up in the swirl of challenge after challenge with family and friends, I am truly wondering — is this part of the great energetic shift of 2012? Or is it just the normal stream of life showing up in difficult and tumultuous ways?

I first met these tough happenings with extreme resistance — which we all know is never an appropriate way to deal with anything. Those feelings of resistance bring to us more of the same, and more hardship too, if we do not move ourselves into a better mindset. And I do know better, but I reacted at a gut, emotional level as most anyone would do.

I have since been learning to navigate these choppy waters in a calmer way. But I constantly re-learn the lesson that life is always an adventure.

Here are six suggestions for coping during tough times:

1) Don’t bury your head in the sand and pretend nothing is happening. Do acknowledge what you are observing. But don’t let your whole heart get caught up in the negativity.

2) Be supportive to those going through the challenges. Extremely supportive. But don’t let their fear-based emotions become yours. Be compassionate, but not empathetic. Walking with others too closely along their rocky path is not healthy for you either.

3) Keep your own powerful inner light strong and radiant. Be a brilliant beacon of understanding and peacefulness to others — a port in their personal stormy sea. They will come to depend on you. But realize that they will regain their poise and harmony at some point. So you will not have to shoulder their burden indefinitely.

4) Understand that everyone has their own personal life path — some of it joyful and some of it difficult. Respect the unique soul journey of others. There are always powerful lessons to learn through overcoming hardship.

5) Continue to keep a keen focus on those aspects of your own life that are optimistic and positive — and take care of yourself. As much as you need to be there for others, make sure that your own needs are met. Or you will begin to feel stressed and worn-out.

6) Do keep in mind that this is all temporary. The ebb and flow of life is constantly changing. Hold tight to the knowing that the stream of joy and well-being is always there, that others can slip comfortably back into it at some point after they have bypassed the swirling turbulent eddies of challenge and turmoil.

And take to heart the simple, yet profound steadfast guidance of Abraham-Hicks as they say: “All is well.” Accept that concept and allow it to permeate your emotions and your senses. All IS well.


  • I let my powerful inner light shine as a guiding beacon for others who are experiencing challenges.
  • I tap into my heartfelt sense of stability as I assist others in navigating through turbulent times.
  • I consciously and gratefully focus on the uplifting aspects of my life — all the blessings, the joy, and the people who love me.