Monday, December 31, 2018

Showing Vulnerability is Hard for Me

I thought it would be good to make a confession on the last day of the year. Talking about myself on my blog is hard for me. I am an introvert, although I ended up being in extrovert professions, first as a lawyer and now as a psychic and life coach. It means putting myself out there in the world. Just what this meditation image is about, being out in the world, living my heart in the world, living openly. When I would much rather be silent about myself when I have this thought that oh no, people won't want to hire me for readings and life coaching if I talk about my foibles and failures. There is the counter thought that it will help people feel comfortable working with me if I show myself and they know that I understand what they are going through. 

I have moved, changed jobs and professions a number of times. I have suffered grief through the loss of parents and relationships. I suppose by entering my deepest self and acknowledging what I have learned and felt, I am better able to my clients. I do have experience and, hopefully  through that, some wisdom to share with others. 
I don't just want to be someone who pontificates on my blog, which I think could become off putting for some readers. 

I hope that we all have the wisdom to see what's inside and to live it in the world. 


The photographs are from my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be. Please click here if you would like to know more about me, my services, and my book. 

Monday, December 17, 2018

Small Celebrations

I realized recently that being grateful for something is, in a way, a celebration. It can be a small yeah (verbalized or not) for something happening. It can be a celebration that I've lost a half pound. It's not much in the scheme of things, but I'd rather celebrate it than say oh, no I still have this many pounds to lose. Now I say only this many pounds to lose.

A small celebration can be something such as the fact that I have gone a month and half without buying chocolate every day, especially as it has been one of my main comfort foods since I was a child. Plus it saves me the cost of buying the chocolate. 

Or it can be that the treatment for my whiplash has progressed to the point that I don't need to see the chiropractor twice a week. In fact, I only need to see him about once month. Still having massage, acupuncture and physical therapy, but my car insurance medical provision is paying for the first 2 and my regular insurance is paying for the PT. I had a small celebration when I received the check reimbursing me for the acupuncture and chiropractic this summer. Woohoo!. And the car insurance will pay the chiropractic bill since I made the claim this fall. 

Yes, the world is chaotic. It's not that I am unrealistic about the state of the world, but I believe that I need to acknowledge things that are going well for me. It helps keep me from being depressed - which is no help to me or anyone else. 

I hope you find things to celebrate, big and small.


The photograph is by Lori M. Sousa, and I found it on

If you would like to know more about me, my services and my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be, please click here.

Monday, December 10, 2018

10 Qualities I Aspire to Live By

I recently read Dr. James Doty's book, Into the Magic Shop. It is his memoir and is centered around the change that was made in his life when he when into a magic shop at the age of 12 and met a woman by the name of Ruth. She taught him meditation, although he didn't have a name for it at that time. He ignored some of her advice until after he made and then lost $75 million dollars.

He came up with a list of 10 as I call them qualities to live by or to have. The first of these is compassion. I feel that compassion for yourself is as necessary as compassion for others. Compassion, I think, helps me to reduce the amount of judgmental I have in my mind. If I can find a way to look at someone and see the possibility of the hurt, illness or whatever it is troubling them, that causes them to act in a certain way or say certain things, then I can have some compassion even as I believe that what they are doing or saying is harmful. 

I couldn't find a picture for the next 2 qualities on They are dignity and forgiveness. I don't think having dignity precludes having fun or seeing the world with child-like wonder. I just think it means taking a breath, pausing, and then acting or talking. 

Forgiveness is something we all struggle with. I am pretty sure that forgiveness doesn't mean forgetting. I believe it just means detaching from whatever has hurt me, and then letting go of the hurt. Forgiveness is an act that is as much for me as for the person I want to forgive. Sometimes it means saying OK, I have to work with this person, so I'm going to let go of being angry and hurt at what happened so that my life is easier. I know this one well as some people at my last job tried to get me fired, which did not happen. I had to take a number of deep breaths and act as if nothing had happened. I was able to interact with them in a way that colleagues should treat each other. I did not, however, forget what they had done, I was able to let the hurt and anger go so that I could function in this job that I needed to pay my bills. I think that is a form of forgiveness.

The next quality Dr. Doty lists is gratitude. I believe that a gratitude practice helps us see the beauty and joy in the world. It can remind us that something exists besides pain, anger, fear, and loss. My current gratitude practice is using the phrase thank you as my mantra during meditation. There are times this lifts me into bliss. Other times it's just a recognition of the beauty that exists. Other times it's a reminder that my what I have in my life so much more than others and where I live is so much safer than other regions in the world. I try to remember to be thankful for my food, for water to drink, for the home I am blessed to have, and so on and so on. 

I could not find a photograph on unsplash for the next 2 qualities, humility and integrity. I know that Micah 6: 8 says that the things that God requires of you is to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your god. It does leave out integrity, but somehow I think it must be intertwined with these. Seemingly then, a number of the qualities that Dr. Doty talks about have been striven for for centuries.

Humility, according to Wiktionary, is having the quality of humbleness or being humble. It also says that, in a religious sense, it is transcendent egolessness. One of the synonyms is modesty. I suppose this means that I don't assume I'm always right, that someone else's opinion has worth. That someone else has as much worth as I do.

Integrity seems to me to be living by using right speech and right action. Speaking in a way that is not hurtful if at all possible, saying things that you intend and that you can live up to. Right action is acting a way that is helpful and useful. 

Well, justice is, well, justice. It's being just, fair and impartial - as with the figure of justice that our judicial system uses, having scales that hopefully are balanced and not letting personal perceptions blind us to what is fair.

The next quality on Dr. Doty's list is kindness. Kindness is practiced with a gentle touch, a gentle word. It is knowing when to help and when not to help. It is a warmth of spirit that touches others and helps heal the hurt, the pain of another. It is the giving a gift just for the pleasure of seeing someone else's pleasure. I am sure that the actions that have the quality of kindness is almost endless. I agree with the photograph. It is magic.

And, Dr. Doty's last quality is love. As John Lennon wrote, "All you need is love." Well, maybe not all you need, but if you have love first and foremost, many other things such as compassion and kindness fall into place. This one is more than just romantic love, it is love of family and friends, love of the world, and extending love outward.

I hope that, the more that I live by these qualities, the more I can live with an open heart and a generosity of spirit.


The 1st 2 images are from my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be. The rest  are from The photographers are:

Gratitude: Gabrielle Cole
Justice: Joel & Jasmine Forestbird
Love: Steve Halama
Kindness: Robert Baker

You can find out more about me, my services and my book here.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

When I Go Beyond Fear

I think this image is a good one for when I am feeling fearful. Things seem dark and I don't want to look, although in someways I can't seem to keep myself from looking. It's as if my energetic wings fold in and surround me so that I have trouble moving forward. I wonder if this is a good description for fear for everyone.

Luckily, I am able more and more often to move through or go beyond fear. So many times in life, the things I have feared or worried about have not happened. I am able to take a leap of faith, just hold my breath and do what needs to be done. Going beyond fear allows me to do so much more, to be so much more, to connect so much more than when I am in a fear state.

Life has so much more color since I've decided that I don't want to live in state of fear. It has more laughter, more love. Tina Turner was one of the three women who created a CD called Beyond. She speaks these words towards the beginning of the CD:

"Go Beyond Fear.

Beyond fear takes you into the place where love grows, when you refuse to follow the impulses of fear, anger and revenge.

Beyond Means to Feel Yourself."

And, I clearly feel myself more, listen to my own thoughts and voice rather than that of fear having me assuming what others will say and do. I do still have my moments, but they aren't as strong and they tend to be shorter.

I wish everyone could move beyond fear. 


The first photograph is by Melanie Wasser and the second by Sammie Vasquez. 

If you would like to know more about me, my services, and my book, Opening the Heart: Meditations on How to Be, Please click here.