Every frustration and difficulty
has the opportunity
to form you
in the deepest places
of your heart.

A good reminder for me as I move into my new home this weekend.  It’s been hitch-free so far (knock on wood), but stress has really done a number on me for the last month.  In the space of a month, I bought a house and moved into it.  I arranged for new floors to be put in and a new paint job.  Coordinating all of this was a major effort on my part!  I’m not great at multi-tasking or making a series of rapid decisions — things I’ve been having to do for the past month.  Then comes the additional stress of unpacking!  I don’t know which is worse — packing or unpacking! And then there’s just the stress of living in boxes during that time.

Having a Gentle, Truthful Voice

A few years ago, a FB friend said that I had “a gentle voice.” So I was thinking about that. I hope my voice is always honest and gentle. Kind and truthful. Caring and forthcoming. To have both in your voice is a talent and a gift to be practiced constantly. People desperately want the truth and don’t get enough of it — but they also deeply fear harshness and criticism. So: Speak the truth, say your heart, but let love be your guide in words.

Sending Love to the Universe

Okay weird thought of the day: I give all my love to the Universe and all of its inhabitants everywhere. When you give this kind of love, the Universe hears you back and reflects this same love back to you. Have a sensitive ear to the ways the Universe is hearing you and sending back. Sometimes there is a bit of detective work involved! Hahahaha! Seriously! You have to notice the little ways that the Universe hears your desires and responds to them.

Being A Judgement Free Zone

I don’t share memes very often because I think that there are too many memes posted on FB. But I’m posting this one. Yesterday a group of friends and I were talking about judgement. It was specifically said “We don’t judge you. No one judges you.” I like a judgement free zone, because I would not want to be judged for my frequent failings (I’m hard enough as it is on my own failings) so I do not want to judge others.

Often our first impulse is to judge. That’s natural, it’s normal! But if you can catch yourself doing that, or if someone points out that you’re doing it, and you work on it, more power to you.

In my mind, one of the most generous things you can give a person is a safe place to be vulnerable. To be a calm, quiet, accepting, loving presence. It can be hard to do or easy to do, depending on whom you are with. It’s easy to do if you like and love the person. It’s difficult to do when you don’t like the person or are uncomfortable with the person.

Be a judgement free zone: Try it, you’ll like it!

Regarding Grief and Change

I wish grief was as simple as following “the five stages of grief” 🙁 that would greatly simplify life! It would be nice if they were in order, too. But they aren’t.

The mythic of the 5 stages of grief and the order they go in was formulated by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, a wonderful and beautiful pioneer of grief, death, and dying. She was the seminal author on this topic.  Does that mean she was right? No. Does that mean she was wrong? No. Was she revolutionary? YES!! YES!!!

She introduced the topic and expounded on it. She made it acceptable to talk about grief and the process we go through.  She made it okay to talk about dying and our reactions to it. I’m grateful for that. You have no idea how appreciative I am of that.

Grief makes us human because we have human responses to loss. The big thing to remember is that it’s just not death that is a loss. In some ways, death is a traditional and unambiguous loss. You have no choice about it. It’s permanent. But other kinds of loss? More ambiguous because the person you are losing is still alive, active, and possibly doing things that are painful for you.

The grief literature is very extensive about death and permanent loss, but it’s not as good about the more ambiguous loss. I have total sympathy for this. The ambiguity resonates with me: because people are ambiguous about their feelings.  They can feel multiple things at once.  In the face of opposing feelings, even seeing two sides to the issue (which I think makes it worse), it can make a conclusion or resolution worse.

My final advice about anyone going through a loss or disappointment: IT IS OKAY, YOU WILL BE OKAY. WHAT YOU FEEL IS OKAY. AND IT TAKES TIME. DON’T LISTEN TO PEOPLE WHO JUST SAY “GET OVER IT.”

Because your feelings and your process are YOURS. You own it. It’s yours. Be it. Express it. Feel it. And most of all, take your time.



Bring Back the 1960’s, Please

Let’s bring back the ’60’s. Let’s bring back sit-ins and marches. Let’s bring back protest music. Let’s bring back flowers in guns. Let’s form idealistic communes again. Let’s scare the conservatives into a moral panic. Let fundamentalists know they ain’t the only religion around. Go nude if you want to. Have long hair, don’t shave your pits or legs, give up deodorant. That’s not a joke and I’m not trying to be funny. I’m actually serious. It’s a protest against societal norms. The popularity and endurance of Bernie Sanders has shown me that we are ripe for this.

Can we resurrect Pete Seeger and John Lennon?

They say young people don’t vote. People think their votes don’t count. What actually scares politicians is an active voting population. Think about that. It does scare them. Low polling numbers works in the politician’s favor. An active, informed voting population is scary because it has power. A protesting, action-orient constituency is totally frightening.

Anger and activism, my friend: embrace it.

Why I’m not mad at Melania Trump

Regarding Melania Trump’s speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention: I’m not mad at her personally.

Do I think there was plagiarism?


Do I think it’s her fault?


I’m not mad at her personally — I think, honestly, she probably didn’t write her speech. (Even thought she said she did, but she did say she got a little help.) The speech writers probably interviewed her and then wrote the speech for her. I’ve read some articles about why they like to parade out the wife. They are the “humanizers” of their husbands.

There was no doubt some incredibly poor vetting of the speech and I’m really surprised that I haven’t heard of speech writers being fired instantly.

I jokingly wrote to a Facebook friend: “rhaps the Rick rolling speech writers are secret Democratic spies sent to derail the RNC!!!! LOL.  Which, actually, I hope is kind of the case.” However, I must say that I thought her delivery of the speech was pretty good.

Ultimately, this is what gets me though. If she was the wife of a Democratic nominee, the Republicans would be all over her for the nude photos, the lack of morals, her obvious lack of depth.  They’d be all over her for being raised in a Communist country and possibly being a Communist spy.  They’d be looking into Ivanka Trump for the same reason. If the Donald was a Democrat, the Republicans would be  having a field day with him — his financial troubles, his bankruptcies, his three marriages, and the fact that his children have different mothers.  Isn’t that what they complain about minorities doing? Having children with different partners?  It’s so all hypocritical to me.


Kindness and Compassion

Be encouraged just to be with your pain—do not try to rid yourself of it—and allow kindness and compassion to surround it. Paraphrased from:

Yes. Hard to do. But worthy of the effort of trying. If you have compassion and acceptance for others, then you deserve that for yourself.  You do not see yourself the same way that others see you. Others no doubt see you as wonderful and worthy. You probably do not see yourself that way. I know I don’t. It is hard to accept one’s own worth and essential worth sometimes.

But work and meaning and goal and purpose take us (take ME) somewhere meaningful. It is difficult to see ourselves as necessary, but we of course ARE NECESSARY.

I know that  you can think of at least one person that you are necessary for.  My person has always been my son: for the past 18 years I have been necessary for him.  He has needed me in a very fundamental way.  What has often motivated me to be good, healthy, well-adjusted is knowing that he needs a parent who embodies all those qualities. I am therefore HIGHLY MOTIVATED TO BE ALL THOSE THINGS. 🙂

I think the key to having a purpose in life is finding a reason to be your best self.

Give people the benefit of the doubt, ok?

This is a thought based off of a very recent conversation I had. I.e. just a few minutes ago.
About people thinking they can just diss you or threaten you or ruin your life because you are not real to them. They forget that there are real people on the other end of the conversations.
So as a result people think “oh so-and-so was a bitch/asshole and said something stupid, ignorant and pissy. So we are going to ruin their lives completely.”

Well NO. is that a real way to be with someone? There’s a PERSON on the other end who is saying whatever and you have to mind whether they are saying what you THINK they are saying or maybe something else that you are just getting plain wrong about them

You could always just ask kindly, “hey what do you mean by that???”

Hey give people some benefit of the doubt okay??

So here is an example of what I am talking about (personally) I pissed off some people online and they decided to be immature about it and threatened to call my church about it, saying they would tell my church they should not accept me as a member any more. OMG. How immature. I’ve been with this church for 15 years. People in it can love me or hate me. People could call up and tell the minister or staff what a shit person I am based on my online behavior and whether they agree with me or not. BUT…in the end please judge me on whether yo u think I have been an honorable person or not, an ethical person or not. Judge me for being myself.

Being In Love

I don’t think you have to be “in love” to have a good marriage, but love and care and solid friendship are, in my mind, essential. If I were to define “in love” I might say that euphoric, ecstatic feeling that one has when one is with someone for whom one feels in love with; one can also have that same feeling for a beloved pet or activity (have personally felt this in love feeling for people, pets, activities). I currently have this in love feeling for my son and my pets.

I’ve seen many good marriages between people who love each other, are friends, but have also done what I think of as “coming to terms with each other.” Where they see each other as a couple and as part of a larger family, but they have also come into their own as individuals and don’t need that special togetherness or “coupleness”.