Important Times to Play

My challenged nephew has reminded me that being goofy, making up a stupid song, quoting a comedian, doing a silly dance, and laughing out loud at my own seriousness are effective recovery techniques, especially when…

  1. I feel mean

  2. I want something that isn’t good for me

  3. I feel overwhelmed

  4. I am disappointed

  5. I am sad

  6. I am afraid

  7. I am jealous or angry at someone

  8. I feel wronged

  9. Things don’t make sense

  10. I have a resting bitch face

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Not Feeling the Love?

Recently, when my phone had been silent for a while, I was surprised by the thought, “I guess no one loves me.” I urgently changed that path by picking up the phone to remind others that I loved them.

No more silence.

In that same week, my email box was empty of substantial mail and the thought crossed my mind, “I guess no one needs my services.” I quickly made a U-turn by initiating contact with people who might need me but were busy or something.

The inbox filled up within the hour.

How creepy that I had started using my electronic communications to “feel better about myself” instead of as a tool for making a difference.

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I have found this simple lesson to have implications anytime I feel crazy about what I need. 

Live Now

Thanks, Willa Cather, for your inspiration to get on with living yesterday when a “boulder” dropped into the middle of my schedule. My body and mind wanted to writhe with rejection and condemnation of the obstacle. After holding myself accountable for 1,2,&3 below, I successfully used my energy for living instead of dying.

Things that keep me from living:

  • Disappointment with my health, body, or genetics, or circumstances

  • Discouragement with myself

  • Fear of the future

  • Dread of certain tasks

  • Irritation with people


  1. Accept life with passion even if it includes pain

  2. Smile at the future, don’t worry about it

  3. Forgive myself, the world, and others for being imperfect

Rather than letting sickness, relationships, old age, or problems kill me, I’m gonna die from having lived…and look as peaceful as that angel!

I’m Working on Building Dikes of Courage

Maybe it was from my steady childhood diet of horror movies, but somehow I became one of the biggest chickens of all time.

  • My heart races at the drop of a hat.
  • My stomach turns at the slightest thought of trouble.
  • Fear and resistance are my first responses to the smallest challenge.

To counteract these default settings, I have learned to review a mental “tape” of my bold-people heroes when in high-stake environments.

If I don’t, you will find me running for cover or whimpering in the corner.

What a difference it has made for me when…

  • confronted with an undesirable task
  • someone needs to go first
  • there is danger
  • I might be rejected or mocked

Choose “Productive.” Choose Happy.

Choose happy?

How naïve of me, right, in light of the reality of mass killings, brutal war, global tragedies, and random horror?

Yet, those realities are why we must choose productive thoughts over dark thoughts that harm us and others. You may not pick up an AR-15 and start shooting, but some will.

Obviously, we cannot choose to live in a place where there are no disasters, killers, or despots. We cannot choose our genetics, or the opportunities we do not have, or who our parents were, or how we were raised, or what we have been forced to live without, or what disabilities we have.

But, right now, we can choose to make peace with that reality (however unpleasant it is) and take responsibility for making the best of it instead of choosing hatred and anger for those who have taken life, or who have what we want, or who have treated us unjustly.

Letting go of pain is not easy.

But, it is easier than holding on and allowing it to breed more darkness in the short lives we have.

Make It Right or Lose Everything

never too late

Where there is doubt

Where there is sleeplessness

Where there is hiding

Where there is anxiety

May I resolve to be humble, real, and truthful

It hurts to be humble, real, and truthful

But not as much as living a lie

Let the worst happen to me when my soul is free

I will have strength to make it through

When I am dishonest even the best circumstances

Will leave me empty

I’m Awake. There’s Only One Thing that Means.

My complex body is still executing

Thousands of complicated processes to keep me alive

Only one thing that means;

One more chance to get it right

To notice the unlikely existence of me

To see my fellow “survivors”

Who have somehow managed the maze

Of mental and physical pain

To arise this day

And use this chance

For courage instead of fear

Love instead of hate

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After a botched epidural many years ago, I woke up in an intensive care unit, blind and mentally impaired, with a broken jaw, dislocated shoulders, and massive back injuries, but I woke up. My vision, mind, and body eventually returned. Today, I don’t take color for granted. Or the ability to reason. Or moving without pain.

Or waking up.

Hear the Healing in The Music Shop

Normal people just want something to love and look after, he thought; that’s all they want.

– Rachel Joyce in The Music Shop

I wasn’t sure about this book. Now I know.

And the best way to read this book is to listen to each piece of music as it comes into the story. I found myself asking Alexa for Puccini in one breath and Sex Pistols in the next.

I found The Music Shop to be an enlightening journey into ordinary life and into (sometimes unlikely) music that lifts ordinary life into the extraordinary.




Ride It Out

Whether or not we believe this quote by historian Edward Gibbon, history and experience validate that those who survive and thrive are those who believe life happens for them, not to them.

It has certainly helped me to believe in my ability to ride out a storm while in the middle of one. Believing the wind and the waves were not on my side, that the storm was too much for me, caused me to…

  1. Sink

  2. Despair

  3. Give up

  4. Go bat-shit crazy

  5. Make other people miserable

If I had only known earlier that my thoughts and words were creating the blueprint of  my life, I would not have wallowed so long in pathetic negativity, comparing, and complaining.

Today I choose the thoughts and words of peace and success because my thoughts and words will  enable me to ride it out.