I Will Pray For You

Prayer. It’s awkward. There was a time when it was easy to pray. Today I pause. It’s not the words. I can craft a good Our Heavenly Father, as well as any preacher man does on a Sunday morning. Nope, I hesitate because I want to be honest with you. And I’m not sure of who I’m praying to. So I hesitate.

Maybe you understand my problem. I’m sincere, and I wish for people to be well. I want their families to be safe from harm and sickness to leave their bodies. Well, I’ve found a prayer that works for me, and it’s simple. First is a short version and easy to memorize. The longer one is second. I hope this helps you.

One more thing, to anyone who has been in my life, but I have offended or thinks I am angry with them, please know I do ‘pray’ for you. I hold no grudges. It’s important to keep the prayer channels clear. And by prayer, I mean something closer to a positive affirmation.

If you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or of any other religion, I am not saying you should switch to my ways. This is my way of handling an uncomfortable situation.

Here is my abbreviated version Metta Loving Kindness Prayer.

May all be happy

May all be at peace

May I be happy

May I be at peace

Loving Ourselves

We begin practicing this love meditation on ourselves
May I be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May I be safe and free from injury.
May I be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety.
After that, we can practice on others (he/she)
May he/she be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May he/she be safe and free from injury.
May he/she be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety.
After that, we can practice including our selves with others (we),
May we be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May we be safe and free from injury.
May we be free from anger, afflictions, fear, and anxiety. – Thich Nhat Hanh


We Survive, But What Will It Look Like?

I realized after the listening to several French citizens’ response shortly after the tragic concert bombing in November that what I felt some of us are missing here in the states. Love. One of the girls that came out of the concert stated it so clearly, not that she loved those that bombed them. No, but she felt love for those that she was with at the time and she was glad to have been with people she loved enjoying an evening of freedom. And her heart was filled with love even while she was searching for her boyfriend and friends. She wasn’t the only one that I heard say statements like that.
Their response to terror wasn’t to build a wall or blast the shit out of those evil bastards. It was, we are put on this earth to enjoy life. We will live. They want us to be afraid. The terrorist want us to fear because they hate our freedom, but we won’t let them take it away.


We become what we fear or we become what we love. We in the United States of America should not forget this. I want to live, not hide or pretend to be Rambo.



Pajamas Are For Wearing All Day Long

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.

mevlana jelaluddin rumi – 13th century

One thing that I wish is to walk past the idea of right and wrong – and to keep walking until we no longer notice other people’s expectations or even our expectations. I would like us to keep stepping through the tall grass until we can actually say that we ARE. No more guilt for not loving enough or not saying the correct words. I want us to live. To run with joy to the top of the hill and then roll down the other side to nowhere in particular.  I would like to spin and swing until I drop to the ground with laughter.

Do you get the idea? I no longer want you or I to hesitate just because someone didn’t approve of us. Walk to the beat of your drum and feel how good it is to not be rushed or pushed or forced to someone else’s pace. And if you want – to skip or run. Go with all of your gusto.

If wearing your pajamas all day long in your house makes you happy and keeping you window open at night helps you breathe easier then do so. If you like eggs for supper and hotdogs for breakfast, guess what? It can be just as you want it to be. This life is your life. These are your rules.

—This is an EXCERPT from my book Get Your Life Back Now!  and will soon be available on Nook with Barnes and Noble when my account is approved. Usually that’s within the 72 hour time frame. I’ll provide a link on my sidebar. Thanks for everyone’s support.  I’m skipping the post next week since I’ll be too busy visiting with family. Until next time – have a great week.

I Don’t Build Monuments to My Sorrows

It’s so easy to remember the bad times. It’s easy to sit down and have a good wallow in your pain. Who of us hasn’t? I can’t raise my hand. There are times I catch myself sorting and cataloging my mental memories. What was the particular phrase the person hurt me with? I should have handled it differently. The pain. The loss. The unfairness.

Sorrow hits us all. How we handle it is up to us. It shows what we are made of. Are we going to stuff it away and shut the closet door? Or do we open our big chest of lost dreams and broken promises to reminisce every holiday or special occasion?

We know what a monument is. We have our cemeteries. They help us to remember life is short. And they also remind us of the loves we’ve had. We bring our loved ones gifts of flowers and trinkets, sharing our memories, a slice of yesterday. There is Stonehenge in Britain, Taj Mahal, India’s symbol of love, the Statue of Liberty stands for freedom and the list could go on.

We also have walls of pictures. Our galleries of trophies. Glory days. I have beads from a local cover band from a night out I enjoyed. Ticket stubs from concerts and movies with friends. Every time I see them it takes me back to the fun. I get that giddy feeling that bubbles up. Good times. Good friends. Why I walk.  These trinkets remind me of a life I lived.

Sometimes we tell our kids about their long-lost relatives. The time that their great grampy tried to bake a cake. Or the war hero uncle who bought a doll for us from overseas. We get out the old photos and relive the past. sometimes we laugh and sometimes we cry. These monuments help build a sense of belonging in our children and grandchildren. They let us know we belong. Even though these are bittersweet memories and we have to wipe a tear or two, they still build hope. We are sharing lives and teaching important moments. We are building monuments.

With these good monuments you would think there wouldn’t be any room left over for sad memories, yet we have them. We have monuments and trinkets that remind us of them also. So these days when I slip into that morose mood, I stop myself. There is no reason to keep any item in my house or in my life that makes me sad. If it’s a book, jewelry, clothing, or just a photo and it reminds me of pain or brings me sadness, it has to go. I can either give it away or toss it in the dumpster. If I must keep it, then I store it away. There is no need to build a monument to my pain. Sorrows don’t deserve that much of my energy.

It’s a lot like a river flowing. There’s usually jetties, spots where sticks and leaves, even trash get trapped. Along the sides of the river or around, the large logs and boulders, the water flows through but the twigs get stuck. If there’s a heavy rain it usually washes this all downstream.  Enter friendly beaver. He traps the water intentionally. This is his way of catching a meal. When I get out a favorite picture of someone I love, I’m intentionally collecting energy. It’s love. And the energy floods my entire body and stays with me throughout most of the day. Everyone I bump into or talk to can share bits of this energy. I can use it for my health or put it into a cause I feel strongly about.

In contrast, if I have a bottle of perfume left over from an ex friend or ex boyfriend, I’m constantly remembering that person. I stew over the last fight we had. I feel the pang of my loss. And it’s not healthy for me, much like picking the scab off of a wound or bathing in sewer water. I have no room in my life to remember hatred. I have no room for holding on to grievances.

Mostly I choose reminders of joy and love. I put them up on my mirrors and tuck them into drawers where I’ll bump into them. Like the glow-in-the-dark skeleton gloves I found in my sock drawer from a Halloween party I went to years ago. Good times.


The company I work for is wanting to move its office to a more spacious building. One that could house all of our office staff, including the warehouse. In the process of negotiating with the city council and the surrounding businesses, the owner of our company has met with some opposition. Not fire-breathing dragons at least, but bear-like opposing forces. Developer challenges downtown parking moratorium

The site is a renovation paradise but has some tight restrictions. 3rd and Kenosha is known as Hodges bend. Getting a permit to build a parking lot is like putting a girdle on a fat lady. And we must have parking.

In the dynamics of asserting our wishes, as a company or as an individual, the surrounding area will feel some trauma. It must. It either gives way and caves in to your force or becomes dented and scuffed. If you are the heavy weight and bully your way through, they’ll cave in and let you have it. But this is a disturbing picture in my mind since you’ve broken the harmony of the place and it’s no longer the environment you wanted before. Much like the child who wants the kitten, if the child isn’t gentle the kitten loses his anime. Yeah the bully gets what he wants, but the true essence is no longer there. The flower is dead and might as well be plastic.

Gentle persistence. We weave ourselves into the life of our dreams, gradually becoming a familiar face. We coax with subtlety, refining along the way. We expand, contract and conform all the while asserting our wishes. Exhausting? Sometimes. But how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. To win friends and influence people you can’t bully and demand. You use kindness and not in that overly kind, passive-aggressive way that annoys the heck out of all of us. The type that you feel you have to return the favor.

The surrounding area for our new office is owned by a local guy.With several retail shops and a bar under his ownership, he’s gradually building his empire. It’s an impressive story by itself. http://www.newson6.com/Global/story  But there are always new kids coming into town. The game we play changes and the rules adapt. This is life and we live it every day. Sometimes it alters while we are not paying attention, so it seems like an outside force has wiped the old away and displayed the new. Truly it was only one person or a group of persons that developed a different view. Not evil, not good, just different.

Peace isn’t always about submission. It’s often about getting what you want as well as allowing the other their needs as well. Equilibrium, dynamic, hormesis.

Community is Just Another Word for Us

English: Broadway show billboards at the corne...

There are always those that move to a particular city just for the atmosphere. I think of San Francisco or New York. Here in my hometown most of us are here because we were born here or got a job here. Our little place has it’s charm. I could talk it up. Maybe show you the side of the town that has a view or has the latest developments.

There’s the downtown area. Older buildings, renovated loft apartments, well-kept trails along the river. Our place has a low-cost of living compared to most of the United States. There’s not much in the way of a night life. Clubs are small and few. Mostly bars with upgraded flooring to make it danceable. If you’re looking for va-voom and panache, this is not your town. It is a friendly place to raise a family. Churches, schools, shopping. All the normal things.

If someone wants to persuade you they can try. They can show you what they think you’d like to see. Flash some images across your mind. Dazzle you with illusions. I remember looking for housing developments when my children were young. The realtors poured you coffee while they talked about the community play area. Give the kids some popcorn or cookies and show you around the model house that they built in just 2 weeks and decorated in the latest colors and styles.

English: A rainbow flag affixed to a lightpole...

But nothing is like what they present. After you move to a place, you become the community. Your routine and your life habits follow you like a lost puppy. All the personal quirks you have, like not taking out the garbage or unloading the dishwasher, they are still there. Your fill new house with all your clutter. It came with you. And this town you moved into shows it’s true face and that’s okay. Now you are truly a part of this community and you get to know its real charms. You may fall in love with something other than the play area for the children, like the ice cream truck that comes by on Sunday afternoons. It could be that the next door neighbors have the same interest that you do. Or the view across the valley as you drive out of the neighborhood. You can’t predict these things. Life has a way of happening that you can’t plan. You move to a place for the weather, but it’s the people you enjoy the most. If you think you can plan for what type of husband you want or what type of city you should live, I wish you the best. Life is full of unexpected delights. I have a saying,

The things I am afraid of never happen. And the scary things that happen I never expected.

When we get to the daily task of living, if we want a peaceful world, one filled with love and encouragement, we must act peaceful. We teach our children to settle disputes peacefully. We are the good neighbors and citizens. We are the community.


How would you act if you didn’t know? If you can’t make a decision or nothing seems right? I don’t know about you, but that’s when I often panic. It hits me like a knife in my belly. My first reaction is to shut down. But that’s not going to help.

I’ve been searching through religion information a lot lately. I’m now to the point of not knowing what my beliefs are. Well I’ve been there actually which is why I was searching. I keep trying on different beliefs to see if they fit. So far none seem right. So I’m at a standoff with my own beliefs. I’m not quite sure what it is I do believe. And somewhere in my head I keep thinking I need to name it something. Doesn’t it need to be categorized? I’ve stopped trying to label it now and am just enjoying the learning experience.

It’s funny how beliefs seem like absolute truth at times. I’ve given up my childhood faith of heaven and hell but I’m not quite certain about life after death. While listening to several atheists such as Christopher Hitchens, Seth Andrews and Richard Dawkins, I felt a sense of loss. They don’t believe in any afterlife at all. After questioning myself I decided I didn’t want to give up my belief in life after death since it felt too disappointing not to believe. This made me laugh. Since when does my belief or their lack of belief make anything so. I could believe in a land of magical clouds and pink butterflies after death and it wouldn’t change what will really happen or not happen.

We spend most of our lives deciding. Big things. Little things. We choose what to eat, what to wear, where to work. Most of us try our best to do what we consider the right thing. We pick out food that’s good for us and for our family. At least we try. We teach our kids what they need to know for their daily lives, well, again we try. Sometimes life gives us a bump or a shove and we find out that what we thought was the best thing for our children or our health was all wrong. There are times that life slams it down on you so hard you don’t know what hit you. For instance, my former mother-in-law died recently. Complications from breast cancer. She had the biopsy. She took the treatments. She rested and she was getting better. Until. Until the cancer came back and she started treatments again. This time the treatments made her weak.. And suddenly you get the call you least expect.  Her kidneys failed. She was better. How did this happen?

What do you do when you don’t know for certain that you are doing the right thing? How do you handle it? Do you slow down and consider it more? Do you just keep going until it hits you in the face?

My recent reevaluation of my childhood faith has me reeling. I feel like I’ve been awakened from a dream. It is a dream, right? How did I believe those untruths? Ironically, my current doubt comes from the fact that I was so certain before. I knew that I knew that I knew. Truth. Absolute certainty.

It shakes us, but we don’t quit. We keep making decisions and we keep getting up. Because we are alive, we dust ourselves off and choose another direction. It’s not always that we make all great choices. Success comes because we keep making choices. We don’t always have the odds in our favor but as one poker player said, it’s about winning enough of the time. 

Are you sure-radiolab

It’s not about winning the hand all the time, but about winning the hand enough of the time. -Annie Duke http://www.radiolab.org/2013/mar/26/dealing-doubt/

There’s an intriguing story about a woman who incorrectly identified her attacker. It convicted and sentenced an innocent man for a crime he never committed. She was certain it was him. In her words, What do I do? I can’t make this right. – Penny Beerntsen http://www.radiolab.org/2013/mar/26/reasonable-doubt/

In the Buddhist mind, it’s not only alright to have doubt, but it’s commended and desired to not have any knowing. In the Quantum physics field it is known that a particle doesn’t become a particle until it is observed. Or so I heard.

I wonder sometimes if it might be better stay uncertain, to not form a fixed belief. And if you do have a belief or a judgement, to keep it not so solid. Let it flow and change as time goes on. So I wonder, is it better to have a religion, a belief? Or is it better to explore the possibilities?

On Having No Head http://www.amazon.com/Having-No-Head-Rediscovery-Obvious/dp/1878019198

Your Drama is Spinning

Drama is fun. If you’ve ever been in the middle of a big, chaotic ball of drama you know what I mean. The person at the center of the drama gets tons of attention. The people surrounding her act as her courtiers, fanning, patting and all the little comforts necessary. We all have times that this is necessary, but there are those that create it. Maybe it’s not intentional, but they created it nonetheless.

Have you ever noticed the lull after the big holiday season? Or maybe after the sports season? It’s difficult to know what to do. No rush. No big fire to put out. It’s been said that the hardest times are during the holidays. That’s true if a loved one is no longer with you. For the rest of the population, the highest suicide rates are after the holidays. In January.

Why is that? Why is the let down after the chaos so difficult to cope with? You’ve just made it through all the rush and energy zapping events and now there’s a feeling of disappointment. We’ve used up all of our energy and there’s no outside event demanding our attention. We were probably running on pure adrenaline for days already then we stop. You would think you would be relieved, but no our mind is using its balancing methods to support the previous vigor.  It’s been called Dynamic Equilibrium. The body needs stability and our entire system tries to keep up the same weight, the same speed.

This is what It was like before I made boundaries. Here are some things that help me cope. These are some tools to let life flow more moderately.

Your voice. Saying no or speaking up is difficult, but it’s a necessary tool in many situations. There are things to consider before speaking. Would it serve me better to leave the situation, or to let someone know that something is wrong? Such as Thelma, your best friend, talks nonstop and rarely filters when she’s talking. Part of the reason you love her so much is her outgoing personality. There are days that her talking gives you a headache. So the two of you have planned to travel to the beach this weekend. You’ll be in the car for several hours. What should you do? Tell her to limit her talking or just don’t go? Tough call.

Your mobility.  Walk away. Distance yourself from the chaos. Sometimes you don’t have control of the environment around you. Once I was out with a guy friend. We were going to cook so I didn’t eat before I went. I was hungry and looking forward to some time together. He wanted to stop over and check on an older friend of his. The older man’s health wasn’t great. I was thinking 30 minutes and we’ll be out of there. No, not 30. 45 minutes were creeping into an hour. I felt bored, hungry and impatient. And feeling sick from not eating. But I sat there. Didn’t say anything. It was close to 2 hours before we left and I was angry. Afterwards, I knew how I should have handled it. I should have politely told him that I was going to run an errand, stopped and ate a taco or burger and came back later. I would have been happy and taken care of myself. Yes, it was rude of him to visit with these people for so long when we had earlier plans, but I can’t control other people. What I do have is the ability to get my keys and take care of myself.

Your environment. Surround yourself with your stuff. What makes you happy? Hot tea at noon? Snacks? Can you listen to music? Make your personal space like your home. Claim your space as much as you can. Pick out your major purchases for your own convenience. Dependability is very important to me. I like a car that can respond quickly. So I bought something with a certified warranty. It cost a bit more but for my peace of mind, it was worth it. I extended the loan period to cover the monthly fee which goes against all of the advice I’ve ever received, but the alternative was to get a car that I wouldn’t trust. Worry is my flaw. Being single in a large city, means I have a little backup. No spouse to call to take me to work or repair my vehicle on the weekend. So AAA is my back up. I’ve arranged my life to fit my needs.