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Thoughts On Grieving And Other Hard Emotions


Death is such a touchy subject and so hard for people to hear a grieving person talk.  Every person has been touched by death and we are so much better equipped for healing if we can talk about our feelings.  If we can feel our feelings and not shove them down.

I like to observe our human behaviors and determine if there is an easier way, a more honest way to talk and process as we all become more evolved as a species.

In general, I believe our society doesn’t want to age, let alone die, so people don’t like to talk about death because it makes them uncomfortable.  I love to talk about all the stuff you’re not supposed to.  I love deep conversations where we get down to the nitty gritty.  That’s where healing takes place.  The place where dark secrets come out, the place where deep and compassionate listening takes place.  Sometimes those “stories” just need to be said out loud so that they can dissipate.

Last week, we had to put my dog, Misha to sleep.  I have never experienced such a deep, unconditional love that she gave to me in my life.   We buried her at home and the grief that my three cats displayed was beautiful and heart wrenching.  I am glad I was a witness to their grief so that I could console them.

I could feel their feelings and what they were thinking.  It was amazing.  My oldest cat, Chickie, was meowing loudly as my husband, Michael, buried our sweet love.  Chickie is the same age as Misha and feeling pretty crappy herself.  I could feel her saying, “Oh crap!  Crap!  Misha!  Crap! (Crap! I’m next!)”

Bobby, 2 1/2, wide eyed, mouth open…  “What Happened??  WHAT happened????  Donny, 4 months, “What happened to my friend??  Why is she under there?  What happened??”   I could feel their feelings, their questions, their fears, their grief.  Wow.

Even though this experience was intense, I am honored to be part of holding space for us all to process.  I know she’s in a better place and all that crap that we like to say, but for now I want to dwell in the sadness as I turn over each memory.  I want to remember every detail of her.  I want to remember her plush fur, her compassionate eyes that would twinkle when she thought something was fun or funny.  I want to remember her cute snout and sweet ears and her squiggly, wiggly tail.  I want to remember how she would roll over and show her belly for massages every time I walked by.  Who will eat the carrots and the cucumbers as I make the salad?   How will I live without drool on the floor?

Death comes in many forms.  Death of a marriage, death of a loved one, small “deaths” of our bodies as we age or become injured.  I’m learning as I go through these deaths as they happen around me or to me that what seems to be the most comforting is to let the person have their feelings and say what they want to say.  We mostly need a compassionate ear and a quiet mouth that murmurs support.   We all know they’re in a better place, and that it will get easier.  But, when we’re in it, we just want to feel it.  We need to feel it.  It’s how we heal.

Let’s not be afraid to feel.  To cry.  To hug.  To love fully, even though sometimes, it hurts.  These are the circles and cycles of life and death.

“It bothers me that we’ve developed a culture that denies mortality and that so many are terrified of the end of life.” ~  Claire Rayner

“My dream is to die in a tub of ice cream, with Mel Gibson.”  ~ Joan Rivers

A Life With Reverence: Adding Ritual and Ceremony

“When we align ourselves in the moment,
our pain shifts to fulfillment and we’re pulled
toward thoughts and actions that expand us.”

~ Kyle Cease

My life is so blessed.  Over the last five years or so, I have been studying Shamanism with Sandra Ingerman, Michael Stone and many other teachers.  I have been learning how to “Walk in Beauty”.  Every day, I walk as my highest self, as best as I can.  I work to let go of judgement over myself or anyone else.  When my focus is on my own work, I have little time to worry what someone else should be doing.  I work on appreciating everything that comes in my path.  The amount of JOY I experience most days is so much more now than before I incorporated this way of life.

One thing that is so moving for me is the reverence for life, ritual and ceremony.  My life is so rich and full when I focus on appreciation and gratitude.  Shamanism has brought me these gifts.

Ritual and ceremony bring in positive emotions and celebrations. Indigenous people and other cultures have many celebrations for the rites of passage.  My dream and goal is to bring that back to the norm.   There are many reasons why we are blessed to live here in the “Melting Pot”, but I want to include the blessings of our heritages.

We can create many rituals and ceremonies.  For example: The birth of a baby, coming of age, getting married, divorced, a new job or promotion, letting go, death, stepping into a new way of life…  Within a few moments we can crystallize a passage and give it the honor it deserves.  The amount of ceremonies we can create is as many as each of our imaginations.

Recently, my friend turned 50 and she hired me to co-create a special ceremony for her to honor her past and step into the present with her new dreams and goals as an elder and a wisdom keeper.  We created a beautiful ceremony site with lots of flowers and an alter to bring in dreams and goals and a fire pit to let go of all she was ready to release with honor.  We clapped, drummed and rattled. We hooted and hollered with JOY for our friend.

I am curious if our children had rites of passage to look forward to if we would have less “lost” and depressed teenagers and young people?  Would families and friendships have stronger bonds?  Everyone needs to know that they are special and loved.  What better way then having friends and family cheering you on when you make an initiation into your next phase of life?

“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Finding Balance

“There is a time for work and a time for love.  That leaves no other time.”  ~ Coco Chanel

There has been so much anger and fear in the world these days, it has been incredibly stressful for many people.  I feel like we all have a “calling” right now that we need to listen to.  Are we to be a warrior, fighting for human rights, out there with our pussy hats, representing women?  Are we to be writing the Congress to motivate them to represent us and our beliefs?  Are we to be teaching children to love and respect all life?  What are you called or motivated to do to make a difference?

I feel that my calling is to hold space for everyone and to hold them in my heart, letting them know there is some kind if divine order in the world, if we just stay true to our calling and our Spiritual nature. We came here with gifts to share with the world.  The time is NOW to use our gifts.  We are being challenged to step into our higher selves and lead by example.  Each person has their unique gifts, their “medicine” to help heal the world.  Every person and every skill is needed.  Every life is important and every life matters.

For me, I feel that I have been given the gift of a huge heart.  I like to put others actions into perspective.  What motivates them to behave or believe the way they do?  Just  being a good listener unburdens people.   Then they have the space to unravel their own story and see their challenge from another angle without me really saying much of anything.  Giving a person the opportunity to feel heard without being judged, opens doors.

The other thing I try to do all day long is to imagine my light is as strong as the Sun and to radiate love and light to all my loved ones, to all people, places and situations that need healing. I even radiate love and light to ask people to step into their higher selves.

Sometimes, when I am not working, I am overcome with sadness and despair.  I don’t believe it is my sadness, but the sadness of the world or of individuals that are coming into my field of awareness. Sometimes I feel like I am moving through mud, it is so heavy. Then, I go into my healing studio and I begin a session with someone and I settle back into my purpose.  It grounds me and connects me to Spirit.

I am learning say no to people or events when I need to retreat and refuel.  That’s when I go into the garden to recharge my batteries and come into balance again.  The grounding of Mother Nature and her glorious blanket of greens and colors of flowers fill me with JOY and optimism once again.

I believe that whatever is our calling, we should do.  It’s why we came here.  I also believe that we need to make sure we take time for ourselves.  We need to regroup and to recharge our batteries.  It is not selfish to take care of ourselves.  It is necessary and in the long run we have more vitality for our causes and for others after we have given ourselves the time needed to heal, relax or self soothe.

What brings you back into balance and helps you to feel nurtured?

“A human being is multidimensional. A human doing may be more like a drawn line than a faceted gem.”  ~  Unknown

“We came here to be a human being, not a human Doing.  ~ Me

Your JOY Was Inside YOU All Along

“I’ve learned that if there were no problems, there would be no opportunities.” ~  Age 19

“I’ll be happy when I loose some weight.”  “I’ll be happy when I finish paying off my debts.”  “I’ll be happy when it’s the weekend.”  On it goes.  Something external has to happen before we decide it is okay to be happy.  If bad things (hard things) are happening to us or around us or in the world, how can we be happy?

Here’s the answer:  We decide to be happy.  We find the JOY that resides in our Soul and draw on that in times of need.  Happy people don’t necessarily have it any easier than unhappy people.  We all have hardships.  We never really know what happens behind closed doors or in someone else’s mind.

Some people grow with grace and wisdom in the face of hardship.  We can all do this.  Even if we are facing death, for example a cancer diagnosis or a car accident, we can choose to see the positive side of the situation.   We can focus on how now we are so much better at making wise food choices, or we use our time so much more wisely now.  Maybe a stranger was very helpful when they could have looked away.

Some people see the cup half full, some half empty.  Some people see how overflowing life is with so much to do, see and experience!  Some people remember that you can refill your cup!

Each day, we can spread Peace, Happiness, Love, Equality and Respect by talking to everyone in a way that shows these positive attributes.  Share your smile, share your gratitude.  Pay attention to the person doing a good job and as far as the person that is annoying you… consider that something hard might be going on.  We don’t know if there has been a death, disease or other hardship. Walk lightly in this world with compassion.

Make eye contact.  Smile more.  Appreciate the trees.  Notice the clouds.  Watch the birds. Enjoy lovers walking hand in hand or parents playing with their children.  Appreciate teenagers for wanting to stand out in their own way, so they can be special.  Hold the door for someone. Help the elderly.

When we step out of our small self and do these simple acts of love and service, we make the world a more pleasant place.  We make someone else feel special and in doing so, we give ourselves purpose and we are no longer sad or lonely.

Won’t you join me in creating a more positive environment to live in?  It starts with us.  It’s an inside job.

Let’s find our JOY!!!

“I’ve learned that I have never been bored in the presence of a cheerful person.”  ~ Age 63


Raw Emotions Exposed

ma-at-stair-beach-dec-2015On Mother’s Day, my Mom announced that she had been bleeding for 6 weeks.  In June she was diagnosed with anal cancer.  In July she started chemo and radiation.  By day 5 she was admitted to the hospital for 9 days.

My world got really small.  All I could think about was healing my Mom.  I was ready to be part of the cure.  I researched oils and herbs to heal the cancer and the radiation burns, I wrote guided visualizations for my mom to use, I learned all kinds of things about cancer, radiation, chemo and alternative therapies.

One chemo drug was too strong for her, she was allergic to the other.  The chemo gave her sores on her lips, all inside her mouth and down her throat.  It was painful to eat, so she refused.

When the oncologist said this kind of cancer was a hard one, he wasn’t kidding.  This was the most brutal thing I have ever witnessed.  I have never seen someone suffer so much for so long.  It broke my heart to see my Mom in such incredible pain.

Luckily for me, I have two brothers and a sister.  We took turns sleeping in the hospital with her. One of us was there, 24 hours a day.  Holding her in a container of love while she turned inside out with pain.   We all became quite proficient in nursing.  My mom had to pee and she would jump up to pee at any given hour with a moment’s notice.  We would jump up to chase after her with the IV pole so she wouldn’t get disconnected or fall.

It didn’t matter that she was in the hospital.  They came.  The paramedics came to transport her to radiation day after day.  My Mom continued to refuse to eat.  On day 8, they said they were going to use intubation  if she didn’t eat.  She was afraid, so she tried to eat.  There was numbing medicine so that it wouldn’t feel like pins and needles, but they always forgot to bring it, even when we constantly reminded them before each meal.  The next day, they discharged her.  She wasn’t any better than the day before.

She quit the last 3 days of radiation and the last 4 days of chemo.  The treatment was killing her. It is now December and she is still incontinent so she rarely leaves the house.  She has so many symptoms, sometimes I don’t know which one is more important.  I don’t know if anyone is prepared for the role reversal that is thrust upon you when your parent is sick or aging.  It’s like taking care of a child, but this child used to take care of you.  It is an honor and is humbling.  My Mom who used to be so discreet and shy now has to be naked in front of me on a regular basis.

I try to comfort her and soothe her but I am so sad inside.  I’m not ready to loose my Mom, but now she has nodes in her lungs.  Her shortness of breath is disconcerting.

For now, I am enjoying her stories of her childhood and her past and hearing some stories that explain how she became who she is.  I am holding close our time together, tucking it safe in my heart.



Craving A Good Listener

Elephant Ears

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
~ Stephen Covey

My soul leaps for joy when I have a conversation with someone that gets me.  When they listen intently without judging, comparing, advising or changing the subject.  Having a real conversation, a deep soulful conversation is one of my favorite things to do.  It doesn’t matter what the subject is, it just has to be real.

See if you can catch yourself when you have a conversation.  I am paying attention, so that I can catch myself, too.  When someone is telling you about something, are you waiting for them to pause so you can give them advise?  Are you rehearsing what you want to say when it is your turn?  Are you thinking their opinion is wrong?

Let’s turn listening into a compassionate state of mind, where we hold space for that person to unravel their story in their own way.  In our attentive silence, they may sort things out for themselves.

When we listen, let’s listen with curious ears.  Let’s wonder what happened that made them form that opinion or belief?  What is the problem or objective?  Let’s ask empowering questions that help them to find what the next the next step is that they can do.  This works well for our own conversations in our heads.  Hmmm… That thought comes around pretty often…  Is that really true?  If not, why do I think that?  If so, is it something I need to accept and love myself anyway?

Some conversations are like a circle.  They go round and round and nothing ever changes. Complaining about the same things and never doing anything different provides no change and no growth.  Nothing happens in these conversations.  They are full of “assertions”, meaning, opinions and remedies are given about what the person should do, whether the person asked for them or not.

When we ask empowering questions, and listen with engaged presence, the next step reveals itself, and creates movement forward.  Let’s help create action by asking clarifying questions. We can create something, bring our goals and dreams into existence, if we can figure out what the goal around a problem is.

The other day, I got about one sentence out before I was getting advise and I said, “No, I don’t want to do that at all, that isn’t my end goal.”  The person was so surprised.  You have to wait for the whole story before you know what the person is trying to convey.

We literally create as we speak and believe what we think, so it is wise to pay attention to ourselves and others.  Let’s raise the quality of our lives by raising our vibrations to match what we want, instead of complaining and staying in “circle” talk.

Words with higher vibration are words like love, passion, brilliance, thoughtful, appreciate, miracle, wisdom.   Lower vibration words are like stupid, hate, war, scarcity, you should have, you can’t, what are you thinking?

Every time we listen to someone talk we are listening through our filters, thoughts and memories.  The conversation filters through our experience with the subject.  Our experience might not be the truth or the right way for someone else.   If we examine the belief, we may find it is no longer true for us, either.

So let’s commit to be open to the conversation that is unfolding.  Ask clarifying and empowering questions to help the person unfold into their new story.  Let’s use high vibrational words and listen beyond the story to the essence of the person.

Let’s do the same for ourselves.  Let’s live inside powerful questions that we ask ourselves and weave a bigger story around our smaller stories and become more of who we are every day. Let’s step into our higher selves and find our bliss.

So I ask you, who are you today?

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
~ Leo Buscaglia

DMV Meditation

Love Statue

Yesterday I had to make the trek to the Department of Motor Vehicles.  I didn’t have an appointment, but it was my day off.  I thought, I’ll bring a book and just know that I am going to be sitting there for about two hours max… Right?  I challenged myself to “walk in beauty” and to keep my happy mood and breathe through the experience.

Universe said… OK, let’s do this!

I arrive to find 120 people lined out the door.  I know, because I count them with a smile on my face.  About an hour outside and I am only half way through the outside line.  My back begins to ache from standing on concrete.  It’s cool.  Just breathe.  Patience.  It’s fine.  Stretch, move around.  Breathe.  Smile at people.

The woman behind me is crowding me and talking loudly on her phone.  Just breathe.  The woman ahead of me is lagging.  I have no space in front of me or behind me.  It’s ok.  I am safe. Just breathe.  Keep reading my wonderful book,  “Shapeshifting Into Higher Consciousness” by Llyn Roberts.  How appropriate.  Yes.  I can do this.  No problem.

Five people ahead of me before I reach the door.  I gotta pee….  No worries.  I am friendly. People are friendly.  The woman ahead of me is willing to hold my place in line.

It’s been two hours.  I finally have reached the first counter.  She gives me my number.  I get to sit in a blessed, hard plastic chair, but I am sitting.  Ahhh, thank you, my back says.  I start to get a little anxious because I am supposed to meet my friend for lunch at 12:30 and it’s 11:45… 12… 12:15.  I breathe.  She says, no problem, she will wait for me.  She is patient.  I am patient.

A man behind me has just arrived and he is already angry.  He keeps trying to hook me with his angry comments about the DMV.  I resist each time.  Just breathe…  I am not angry.  This is not my story.  They are working very hard and my turn will come.  12:45… 1pm…  My number is finally called and they don’t take credit cards…  Just breathe… Pray… Yes!  My ATM worked.  Breathe…. Call hubby quick… Move money over…

It’s 1:10 and I am done!  I got a lot of reading done.  I made some nice contact with people.  I shared my appreciation with the DMV woman.  My friend waited for me and is not angry at all.

We proceed to have an amazing conversation and a delicious lunch.  Thank you, Universe!

Success!  This was my goal.  To walk a spiritual path with practical feet.  To walk in beauty.  To live my life with my soul intact daily.  Twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.  To be a light bearer.  I challenge myself to carry my love and light in all situations and even though it is not always easy, I can always start again.  Can I rebound faster and faster if I slip up?  I can.

Let’s all wake up to the beauty inside of us.

“It’s in every one of us to be love, if we allow it.” ~Dr. Wayne W. Dyer


Sarcasm ~ To Tear Flesh

“If you have a vagina and an attitude in this town, then that’s a lethal combination.”                      ~ Sharon Stone

Willy Wonka

I have been thinking about sarcasm a lot lately.  Years ago, I used to be really good at sarcastic and rude remarks.  I thought I was quite clever and quick witted.  Many years ago, someone mentioned that sarcasm meant to tear flesh.  (Word History Anyone who has suffered from the sarcastic remarks of others will not be too surprised to learn that sarcasm, “a cutting remark,” comes from a Greek verb, sarkazein, that literally means “to tear flesh like a dog.” Very early, though, this Greek verb came to mean “to bite one’s lip in rage,” and “to gnash one’s teeth,” and finally “to sneer.” The Greek nounsarkasmos, from which the English sarcasm comes, meant “a sneering or hurtful remark.” But even today sarcasm is often described as sharp, cutting, or wounding, recalling in a faint way the original meaning of the Greek verb.)

This got my attention and I began to realize how mean sarcasm really was.  I also began to realize how often I used sarcasm as a way to be passive aggressive.  I could say what I was angry or judging about and get away with it.  We have all been on one side or the other of these conversations.  We get away with it by saying, “What? I was only joking.  Can’t you take a joke?”  So that way the person under attack feels like they are overly sensitive when in reality they were getting the full meaning of that remark.

We get to say our piece and they don’t get to defend ourselves.  What if we just said, “I would like to start our outing on time today, I have things to do afterwards.  Would that work for you?” Instead of “There she is, always the last person to arrive!”  Then it opens up an opportunity for a humane conversation with respect. Maybe the other person didn’t realize how upsetting it was for you and now will try not to do that.  Even if the other person doesn’t change, if I speak up for myself and my needs with integrity and respect for myself and the other person,  I feel good.

Humor is great and I don’t think anyone should go one day without it, but when we tell jokes at someone else’s expense, that is a different story.  In my quest to be someone who is about love and light, I try to examine my behavior at all times.  I don’t want to tear flesh.  I don’t want to make someone feel less than me.  So I am looking at my thoughts so that less thoughts become words.  Then, I don’t have anything to apologize for and I like myself better.

As my heart, my mind, my soul and my tongue come into alignment, the thoughts are not critical, they are full of love and peace.

Before you speak:


Is it True?

Is it Helpful?

Is it Inspiring?

Is it Necessary?

Is it Kind?


Don’t Die On The Vine


Butterfly – “Lighten up and stop taking everything so seriously… Get ready for a big change… It’s time to make the changes you’ve been considering.”  ~ Dr. Steven Farmer

The other day, I had an epiphany.  I saw a butterfly wiggling it’s way out of her chrysalis.  I was so excited to witness nature in action.  I kept going back to check on it.  It was making slow progress.  I was curious why ants kept crawling over the chrysalis.  The chrysalis was breaking open… about a quarter inch more, wiggling still going on.

Then I got distracted and didn’t check on it until the next day, expecting to see an empty chrysalis hanging onto my passion flower vine.  Sadly, no.  The butterfly was no longer wiggling and for some reason she had died inside her chrysalis.  She was covered in busy ants.  It never occurred to me that sometimes they die and don’t burst forth into their winged beauty.

I believe that our angels and guides are always communicating with us, showing us metaphors and signs, if we pay attention.  I started to mull over, what was the meaning in this??  All of a sudden, it dawned on me.

I have all this passion and love for life and I want to burst forth and share it with everyone.  I am ready to teach workshops and do one on one’s with people about my Shamanic practices.  I want to show people how to find their JOY and live in the moment.  I want to teach people how to live in gratitude and to focus on what is good and beautiful in the world around them.  I want to help people to realize how special and unique they are and encourage them to share their gifts in the world and do what their higher selves and their souls came here to do.  That is why I came here to this world.  That is my passion.

Who do I think I am?  What do I have that is so unique?  Who are my people and how do I find them?  Then I contract into self doubt and worry.  Not to mention fear around the almighty dollar.  How will I pay my bills?

What would I accomplish if I had total trust in the universe and went about my soul’s agenda and didn’t worry if I was making money or not?  I am trying to do that, but the physical reality is that we do also need to pay our bills.

But, right here, the universe is saying to me, “Do you want to burst forth into the beauty that you already are?  Or do you want to die on the vine?”

I do not want to die on the vine!!!  If the universe is so powerful that it brings me such a profound message, it must also be powerful enough to take care of me.  To take me under it’s wings, so to speak…

“The entire universe is an intelligence system.” ~ Wayne Dyer

Bring Your Soul Into Daily Life

Girl looking up before storm.

Girl looking up before storm.

“Character building begins in our infancy and continues until death.”  ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

“A mind at peace, a mind focused on not harming others, is stronger than any physical force in the universe.”  ~Wayne Dyer

I love having deep discussions with my friends about our spiritual lives.  Our souls and our bodies are not separate.  That being said, I believe we should keep our souls activated at all times.  Bring our souls to the grocery store, the bank and to the sink while doing the dishes.  I believe we should act with love, compassion, honesty and integrity at all times.  We can keep our personal safety and spiritual integrity and still go throughout our day.  We can maintain healthy boundaries  and safety in the world.  Daily work builds on reserving an hour a day or week to meditate, walk in nature or go to church, etc…  Church, meditation, spiritual workshops, walking in nature… all help us to stay grounded to Mother Earth and connected to God/Goddess or Father Sky.  These practices keep us on track in our daily life, but the other part of time we are to keep ourselves on track.

I think it’s beautiful that we all find what feeds our personal soul.  Do that.  Then bring it into the world.  I imagine we all have some influence over our loved ones and community.  Let’s use that influence for the greater good.  The more we show honesty and integrity and respect for all life the better.  If people can be influenced by their friends to do negative things, they can be influenced to do positive things as well.

I also believe we can be a good example and a good friend with conscious listening.  Many times people listen to compare or to fix or to wait their turn to talk.  What if we just compassionately listen, so that the person feels validated?  A lot of times, people resolve their own problems by talking out loud and come to their own conclusion with a few deepening questions.

I believe we all have a higher self.  My personal goal is to continue to step into my higher self, every day, every hour and at some point, I become my higher self.  Then, my next goal is that I “grow” an even more higher self and begin my growth into that one too.

Where is the tipping point?  I challenge us to keep up the good deeds and loving acts of kindness.  The goal being that we reach the tipping point when more and more people follow this way of life,  leading us into the “Beyond”.  We can create pods of people in our towns and then as our energy reaches farther and farther, we can connect with other like minded, spiritually based groups of people.  We can see the big picture and begin to visualize our whole planet connected by a web of light.  We can heal the world in this way.

My Shamanic teacher, Sandra Ingerman, describes the Web of Light that she has sponsored all over the world to help with world peace and healing.  To learn more, click here: