Monday, December 19, 2016

It's Gonna Be a Wet Christmas...

One recent Friday evening my husband and I went to the annual Christmas Parade on Main Street. It had been several years and I had forgotten how magical it was. 

We were huddled against the cold with hundreds of others in our small Virginia town as we watched elves dance down the street, enjoyed holiday classics performed by the high school marching band, saw decked out fire engines, smiled at the creative local business floats and laughed when we saw live goats dressed like reindeer.

I love living in a small town.

I began to reminisce about other times spent on this very street. In my mind’s eye, I saw my father, dressed in his best long black wool coat, walking down Main Street as he stopped to laugh and talk to everyone he knew during a Christmas parade long ago. It took a while…he knew everyone. My eyes started to tear up at the memory.

My husband looked at me and said, “You OK?” 

“Daddy,” I answered softly. 

“Oh,” he said. Since my dad’s death three years ago, he’d become accustomed to my “watery eyes” when I think of my dad.

As I looked down the street, I saw a grandmother helping her daughter juggle a toddler, bulky stroller, hot chocolate and an armful of packages and my eyes started to water again. I remembered the hundreds of times my mom had been with my kids and me for spring festivals, Halloween parades and our then weekly trips to church all on this very street. 

“Oh no,” my husband sighed as he glanced at me again.

But he misunderstood.

I wasn’t sad. 

I was overwhelmed with gratitude. 

Gratitude for the memories of growing up and raising my family in this precious little town. Thankful that my parents and siblings were active participants in the lives of my children. Grateful for the holidays spent together, in good times and bad, as an extended family. 
Waves of gratitude flowed over me as decades of memories flooded my mind. And then a new thought emerged. A new realization.

Next year, it would start all over again. 

At that exact moment, a tiny head peeked over the shoulder of the man standing in front of us on the street. I was staring into the eyes of a beautiful baby and could instantly see the pure innocence and immense wisdom in this tiny little being.

My own daughter is pregnant with our first grandchild, due early next year. 

Next Christmas, family traditions will begin anew. 

I was again overwhelmed with gratitude as I imagined my perfect grandson, little Emory, cuddled in my arms as I introduced him to our Main Street Christmas Parade. I thought of all the wonderful memories yet to come. My eyes watered again, my chin began to quiver and tears spill down my cheeks. Just then my poor husband looked my way.

“When are you going to stop crying?” he asked gently.

“No time soon…” I answered.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Happy "Giving Tuesday"

I love the idea of “Giving Tuesday” here in the United States. It’s a day where emphasis is placed on donating to worthy causes and is a delightful break from the commercial spending frenzy our country celebrates on “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday.” I like the idea of “Giving Tuesday” because, for me, it’s a way to practice love in action.

Donations take many forms. Money, time, resources, ideas, food, support and even a smile are all worthy offerings when given from a loving heart. I firmly believe it’s not the amount, but the sincerity of the gift that matters most. There’s something magical that occurs when love is infused into any gift. It’s the type of love that gives freely without expectation of anything in return. I’ve seen that when this occurs, amazing things happen. Miracles appear “out of nowhere.”  And often it’s for both the giver and receiver.

The late Dr. Wayne Dyer suggested we give something away every day and one of my personal goals is to follow his example. Some days it’s easy, some days not so much. I find I can always, always give something to an individual or organization when I set my intention to do so. For me, “Giving Tuesday” is a reminder to step out of my comfort zone and give in a new way.

Whether you read this on “Giving Tuesday” or just an ordinary Friday night…give. Find an organization carrying out work you believe in and give what you can. Donate to the local food bank. Support your homeless shelter, an environmental or animal rights group. Be a fire department or rescue squad volunteer. Read to the elderly. Give a ride to someone in need. Share a smile. Share your heart.

And remember to always give what’s most important….give thanks.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Don't Have Time to Meditate? Yeah, You Do!

Come on now...during May’s Meditation Month, you’re going to tell me you don’t have time to meditate? Yeah, you do. Take a few minutes from Facebook, bitching about your boss or even – GASP – before you watch Game of Thrones. 

Why is finding time for meditation important? 

Because it works. 

Meditation has been proven to be effective in releasing stress, improving health and can even help people put their finances back on track. I understand as little as five minutes a day can make a positive difference in your life. Now really, you don’t have five minutes a day? If you believed meditating five minutes a day could change your life for the better, would you do it? Of course you would. Start at five minutes and work your way up to twenty minutes or more per sitting to see an incredible shift in your life. No kidding.

Check out the thousands of books, articles, CDs and videos on the subject if you don’t believe me. You’ll not only find research supporting the positive effects of a consistent meditation practice, you’ll find many examples of the ways you can meditate. There is a simple meditation style to fit everyone. 

I believe meditation is so important it’s the very first chapter of my book How to Choose Love When You Just Want to Slap Somebody. Read my book to see how it all fits in, but know for now that a daily meditation practice keeps me more balanced, happy and open to all the good life has to offer. Result? I don’t feel like slapping anyone. Not that often at least.

Yes, I’m on Facebook, I’ll occasionally whine to my sister and I know what the Mother of Dragons is up to… but it’s all done after I’ve meditated at least once that day. Meditation comes first each morning and I work to include a second session between late afternoon and evening. Each day, every day. No exception.

Meditation is magic. It’s healing. It’s free. And you definitely have time for it.

P.S. You even have time to #meditatethevote! Check out the details here

Friday, May 6, 2016

May is Meditation Month! The Perfect Time to #Meditatethevote

I’ve been a dedicated meditator for over 20 years and credit the practice as literally saving my life. As a coach and teacher, meditation is the first thing I discuss with my clients and students. It’s a way of life for me and my passion is to help others understand the healing power of a consistent meditation practice. It’s the most powerful tool I know to effect positive life change. It’s that important.

While I’m usually in my “Zen Zone” after meditation, I’m going to be honest with you. The current national political process has thrown me for a loop. I’ve been shocked, angry and – more than anything else – bewildered by the entire process. I’ve had friends from other parts of the world send messages asking “what the heck is happening there?” I’ve wondered that myself.

Because I’m familiar with the benefits of meditation, I know it brings peace and focus into my life. I think clearer. I’m more articulate and avoid getting “pulled into” unproductive, LOUD discussions with others. (I’ve found that angry discussions have never changed anyone’s mind nor assisted with a greater understanding of the subject at hand. Go figure.)

So what could I do to offset the uneasiness I felt over the election process?

I increased my meditation practice….and answered an invitation from Sister Jenna, host of the popular America Meditating Radio Show, to help promote #Meditatethevote, a grassroots campaign to bring respect, compassion and peaceful conversations to our election process.

Our goal is simple. We’re encouraging people to meditate, pray or be mindful in whatever way works for them and then, from a calm state, engage in meaningful and insightful conversations. Ask questions. Listen to others. Do your research. Meditate on who will best lead our country in the highest and best way for all. We do not endorse any specific candidate. We simply ask people go inside, evaluate options and in November vote from the quiet truth of their own heart.

Talk about a win-win!

Want to be a part of this campaign? It’s easy:

1)      Join us on social media now through November 8th to see what’s happening with the campaign at  and Engage in conversations through video messages or #meditatethevote inspired questions. Read more suggestions at

2)     Use your own social media through November to repost and share #meditatethevote messages and videos that you enjoy.

3)     Host an event to encourage others to #meditatethevote. I’m offering a “Free Meditation Session to Introduce #Meditatethevote” in Warrenton, VA the evening of May 11th.  Get details and register at the link above. Want to organize your own gathering? We've got great questions to get your conversation started at

4)     Record a short video of yourself saying, "I meditatethevote" and why in one sentence then post it on or  Videos of your family, friends and co-workers are welcome as well! If you’d prefer, snap a photo from your office, home or any place and write, “I #Meditatethevote.” Please share the photo/video on social media using #meditatethevote. We’ll be tweeting at @meditatethevote and @americameditating.

#Meditatethevote is meant to be a peaceful, fun and productive way for us to participate in this election discussion from a place of clarity and purpose. Think I’m kidding about the fun part? Check out this YouTube video!

Many of my friends have said they don’t know how they’ll be able "to make it through the election.” They’re afraid of heated family arguments, relentless TV ads and uneven media coverage.

I’ve got an idea.

Together, let’s #meditatethevote.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Birthday Note to My 21 Year Old Self

On my birthday I spontaneously decided to write a note to my younger self:

Dear 21 year old Diane,

I'm writing from 35+ (ok ++) years in the future to let you know everything turns out just fine. Life is good. Thought I'd share some tips to help get you through the next few decades:

Calm down. Really. Just calm down. Nothing you think is a big deal IS, in the grand scheme of things, and the things that really ARE a big deal sneaked up on you anyway. It’s OK. You get through it.

Get off the crazy train. This is a big one. Learning that only your own thoughts create your reality will change your life forever. You’re the one making yourself sick with fear and worry. Other people aren’t driving you crazy, your thoughts about other people make you feel crazy! Stop it. Read Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, Florence Scovel Shinn’s The Game of Life and How to Play It, Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life and anything by Dr. Wayne Dyer as soon as you can.

Quit participating in other people’s drama. You don’t have time for this. Yeah, it may make you feel wanted to listen for hours to some perceived slight endured by a friend but it will never be productive. Learn the difference between someone who truly wants and needs help and those who just like to bitch. Being of service and helping others through difficult challenges is a fantastic way to spend your time. Listening to gossip or bitching is not. Do not gossip or bitch yourself. The friend who tells you that “you’re just getting it off your chest and bitching will make you feel better” is wrong. You’ll come up with this phrase in 2015 and learn to live by it: “There may be drama all around you, but you don’t have to buy a ticket to the show.”

Understand your exterior world reflects your interior world.  It really does. When you see someone in your life not being authentic, ask yourself “where in my own life am I not being authentic?” This is a hard lesson but a great one! When you feel love for yourself, you see love in the world. When you feel fear, you see things all around you to be afraid of. When you judge yourself, you judge the world. I’m not kidding. Learning to look inside first will save you tons of time and at least a few years of therapy.

Romance isn’t always easy. Well, for you at least. It takes three tries to get a husband who loves you for who you are and adores your family. Keep at it. He’s far from perfect, but then again, neither are you. The important thing is to grow together in respect and love. When things get rough, ask yourself, “what is being reflected back to me in this situation?” Remember he’s one of your teachers in this life. You both learn from each other how to love on a deeper level. Hang in there. It’s a wonderful experience once you get on track!

The kids turn out to be your greatest joy. I know you question the whole kid thing and wonder if it’s for you. It is. Your son and daughter prove to be your most significant life teachers and bring you more love than you ever thought your heart could hold. Even through the hard times, remember they are God’s perfect reflection of love. They grow up to be such beautiful, soulful people who are spreading light throughout this planet. They are a huge blessing in your life and in the lives of many others. And you get a bonus! When you marry your third husband you get two more kids to love (without the pain of childbirth or additional stretch marks…score!)

Take your nose off the grindstone every once in a while. Yes, you have a great work ethic and love to be the one to take care of extended family, but lighten up. Go to more parties, especially where you’re not in charge. Give others a chance to shine and you'll stop complaining about being the one doing all the work. Take more nature walks. Play with your kids when they’re young. Enjoy simple pleasures. Quit obsessing about your weight. Stop worrying about money. Enjoy life more. You get better at this, but no harm in starting as soon as you’re aware that you can be a bit of a hard ass. Now you’re aware.

Life is hard. And life is fantastic. You’ll grow and benefit from it all. Ok, I’m not gonna lie. You have some rough stuff coming up. Heartache, tragedy and trauma will come to you. And you’ll have angels in the guise of family, friends and professionals to help you heal. You’ll find resources in books, classes and teachers that will help you process your pain into wisdom. Exploring spirituality becomes your passion. You'll discover the truth about the divine energy of love within you that will lead to true joy. You’ll meet a few jerks, too. That’s'll eventually figure out they were an important part of your evolution. Don’t back away from the pain. Meet it head on. Move through it with as much love as possible. I swear it’ll be worth it.

Meditation is always the answer. This is your life saver. You learn to meditate in your thirties, but if you can manage it sooner, it calms everything down. You get healthier in mind, body and spirit with the continued practice and for the rest of your life you preach its benefits to anyone who’ll listen. Find the calm place inside where you can hear the quiet truth of your own heart. God lives there.

Every day, every minute, in every situation ask yourself, “What does love look like here? Love for myself and love for everyone involved?” And then ask yourself, “How does love move me forward?” Ok, this is the biggie…learning this changes everything in your life for the better. Understand EVERYONE is a child of the intelligent, creative, expansive energy of love and that energy runs through everything on this and every other planet. We're talking divine love, not the "I love my slippers" kinda love. It's this energy of creation that is responsible for everything, everywhere across all space and time. Understand this and you've got everything you'll ever need. Use love to understand and act in all situations, especially the challenging ones. You eventually understand that your goal is to live from love. You’ll work on this the rest of your life. The joy this brings, the incredible experiences, the fabulous people…it would blow your mind if you knew what’s coming. Just trust me. A life lived through divine love is your work in this lifetime. And it’s so much more fun than you think it’s gonna be!

Ok, now go live your own life. Enjoy yourself and understand the process of living brings incredible lessons. Embrace that truth. Live from love.

Sending you much love from your very cool future,

2016 Diane

P.S. You’re going to meet a super cute guy in college. It doesn’t end well. Do it anyway…you’ll be smiling for years.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Got Me Again….

My husband loves to point out situations where my words don’t match my actions. He finds this highly entertaining and endlessly amusing. I do not.

While this doesn’t happen often, I appreciate his insight. Eventually at least. I fully intend to “walk my talk” and I’m disturbed when I find I’ve missed the mark in some area.

And that’s what happened. I missed the mark. I didn’t follow my own advice and trust that everything was happening for my highest and best. I didn’t take an action that I’d committed to.

I put something off, procrastinated, masterfully avoided and side stepped an issue. And I did it for months. I know better. This is exactly what my clients pay me to stop them from doing.

What was the potential foe I was so afraid of?

Upgrading a stupid computer program.

Yeah, I know it’s crazy. My husband had upgraded and was delighted but one friend had experienced a big issue that lost her several days of work. I was scared.

And I put it off. Again and again.

I signed up for the free upgrade as my husband suggested, but I ignored prompt for the upgrade the multitude of times it was offered.

I got little pop-up screens saying “We’ve got your upgrade ready! Start now…” but I didn’t. Finally, after months of prompting, I got a notice stating “Upgrade will begin Wednesday at 11pm.”

Hmmm….guess even my computer gets tired of being put off. Although I was beyond hesitant, I followed the directions and allowed the upgrade to take place. The result?

Glorious! I freakin’ love this program!

What the heck was my problem?

Oh yeah….I remember.

Instead of “trusting that everything is happening for my highest and best” as I so loudly preach to others, I had allowed myself to get caught in the drama of “what ifs?”

“What if I lose everything on my computer?”

“What if the new program creates issues and I lose productive office time?”

“What if I don’t like the new changes?”

So this was the real kicker. I’ve spent the last six months telling friends, family and my clients that CHANGE IS GOOD.

I explained that the intelligent divine energy that created our universe is constantly seeking to expand, grow and create anew. Change is part of the plan. And, in retrospect, most of the time we can ultimately appreciate the change. We just have to get past our fear of the unknown. The unknown and the “what ifs.”

Maybe I need to remind myself of a couple other “what ifs.”

“What if this change is fantastic?”

“What if I love the result?”

OK, Universe...message received. I’ll go wipe the egg off my face now.

At least my husband is amused.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Ego vs. Divine

“How can I tell if a thought is from my divine intuition or from my ego?”

Think this is a weird question? Not for me! As a spiritual coach, my clients and students ask this all the time.

My clients are everyday people with normal life challenges. They all want better health, great relationships, to feel fulfilled in their work and, most of all, to experience true happiness. They want to feel connected to something bigger than themselves. They want to feel connected to Source.

If their desire is serious, they do the work required and wonderful changes start to occur. They feel calmer. They feel more at peace. They even catch themselves feeling happy for no reason! Their intuition increases and then…they get scared.

They start feeling inspired, more creative and become motivated. And sometimes confused and nervous. These great feelings may be new, after all, and even “happy” can take some getting used to if you’re normal state is “sullen and sad.”

And that’s when I get the question.

“How can I tell if a thought is from my divine intuition or from my ego?”

The answer is quite simple. When you get an unusual thought (not the “I need to buy eggs today” kind of thought, but the “I want to write a book about the creative process” kind), ask yourself “how does it make me feel?”

If you feel scared, nervous or worried, that’s a sure sign your ego is trying to keep you safely “in the box” you’re accustomed to. Messages from your divine intuition, or Spirit, are gentler. With these messages you’ll often get repeated little “nudges” and notice signs or synchronicities that all point to the message you’ve received.

Here’s the bottom line: the ego likes things the way they are while Spirit is always encouraging you to do more, be more. Think of the ego as a restrictive energy and divine as an expansive one.

So how does your thought make you feel physically? Restricted and tight or expansive and open?

That’s how you tell the difference.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

How Inner Joy Blooms For All

Life gave me another beautiful lesson this week. And, as usual, it came in an unexpected way.

I attended the visitation and grave-side funeral for my parent’s long time neighbor, who I’ll call “Mrs. Green”. For over 50 years, she’s lived just a couple doors down at the end of Dad’s street. While my intention was to pay tribute to Mrs. Green and support the family, I had no idea I would also be receiving inspiration and a shot of….joy.

Yeah, joy.

Not what I was expecting to experience at a funeral. But that’s what happened. You see, Mrs. Green was different.

She was a little thing who worked for many years in public service as part of a local government office. She loved to golf, entertain friends, sing in the church choir and spend countless hours in her beautiful rose garden. She was sweet to all the neighborhood kids, visited sick neighbors and supported local charities.

Sounds like a lot of nice little old ladies, right? Nope. She was different.

She wasn’t an “I’m doing this thing because it looks good” or “I have to be nice or I’m going to hell” kinda gal. She was genuine. She was kind. And she was always “smiling joy.”

Real joy.

She radiated joy.

I’m talking honest to God, sparkly-white-light-shining JOY.

Something struck me at the funeral as I heard various stories from family and friends about this lovely woman. Everyone mentioned the same things: she was always impeccably dressed with full make up and appropriate jewelry, she was healthy and active until the end; she kept a lovely home, was a masterful hostess and loved tending to her beautiful yard and magnificent rose garden. She was a steadfast friend and supportive, loving parent.

I suspected that Mrs. Green somehow knew something the rest of us didn’t.


It finally dawned on me. The love and respect she had for herself was what fueled the joy that was then reflected in her appearance, her health, her home, every aspect of her life. And that joy radiated to anyone else lucky enough to be in her world.

Mrs. Green was not a selfish person. I believe she simply understood we are all children of God and therefore deserving of love and respect. She was smart enough to understand we can’t give what we don’t have. So by creating a loving world for herself, she was able to share that joy with others. Many others.

She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, friend…all because she must have known true love for others starts within our own heart. It starts by falling in love with the “spark of God” that is each one of us at our core.

WOW! Right in my own childhood neighborhood I’d discovered an example of the teachings I’d studied for years! Countless self-help books had discussed the practice I witnessed this lady live out as I’d observed her from the sidelines for over five decades.

After the service, I drove by Mrs. Green’s house and saw the manicured lawn, lush potted plants and the radiant rose garden. It was beautiful. It was a joy to behold.

As I drove by, I realized the roses had been her joyful gift to the neighborhood all these years. Her yard is a testament to the beauty of life, if we’re aware enough to see it.

I realized this must be how her inner joy blooms for all….

Friday, March 25, 2016

“I know what you’re going to say….”

My friends and I have a running joke. Although I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who thinks it’s funny.

Anytime anything – ANYTHING – goes wrong and my buddies call me, they know the first question I’ll ask and they immediately go on the defensive.

“My three-month-old-car needs a new transmission. I can’t believe it, I’m so mad! I know what you’re going to say…”

“My mother-in-law is driving me nuts! I can’t take her endless chatter. I know what you’re going to say…”

“I work with morons! You wouldn’t believe how they run this business! They just don’t get it! I know what you’re going to say…”

Yeah, they know what I’m going to say. “Have you been meditating?”

I know. At first glance you may not see the connection. You may not understand how it relates to everything that happens to you. But it does.

How could meditation help in the examples above, you wonder? Here’s a short explanation from my book “How to Choose Love When You Just Want to Slap Somebody”:

Why meditate? Countless medical, scientific and spiritual sources tout the benefits of consistent meditation. A few common benefits widely reported by people who consistently meditate include:

  • Feeling happier and more at peace
  • Increased social skills and feeling of “connectedness”
  • “Stress eating” is reduced or eliminated thus overall weight is reduced
  • Reduced events of “impulse buying” due to calmer thought patterns
  • Lowered blood pressure and heart rate
  • Muscles feel more relaxed (some say they even appear younger once meditation drains stress from the face!)
  • Increased brain function: improved memory and greater clarity
  • Increased pain tolerance
  • Increased creativity and problem solving
  • Reduced overall stress (and reaction to specific stress triggers) 

In what universe do you NOT want to be more peaceful, calm, happy and healthy? From that vantage point, life’s challenges are not only easier to understand, but it’s easier to see alternatives and navigate through the issue.

Does a meditation practice mean you can eliminate stress? No. It does mean you’re better equipped to handle whatever life brings your way. Life can be stressful. Meditation makes a positive difference in how you handle the stress.

After meditating for over 20 years, I can honestly say the quality of every aspect of my life has improved from this practice. I believe meditation is so fundamental in creating the foundation for a happy, healthy life that it’s the first thing I discuss with my coaching clients.

What about you? Are you or a loved one experiencing health issues? Work driving you crazy? Feel so frustrated you want to hit your head against a wall?

Let me ask you a question…have you been meditating?

Friday, February 19, 2016

Thanks A Lot, Eckhart Tolle…

                                                                 Source: Eckhart Tolle
So things in my life are starting to make sense. I mean, in the BIG picture, cosmic, my place in the Universe kinda way. I’ve been feeling pretty good in general. Yes, despite a few minor setbacks, life is good and I’m excited about my future.

Then one of my friends reposted this from Eckhart Tolle’s page on Facebook:

“Challenges are here to awaken you and even if you’re awakening, life continuously gives you challenges and then the awakening accelerates and deepens.”

So of course I type “Yes to this” in response to my buddy’s post. I want to look cool and all.

Then I think, “WHAAAT?!?!”

“Now wait a minute, Eckhart,” I say as I continue the conversation in my head. “You’re considered a spiritual master by many and we all know you’re super smart, but are you SURE about this? I mean, really, are you VERY, VERY SURE this is true?”

But I know he is.

No matter the heartache, regardless of how much we think we’ve suffered and despite how spiritual we are…no one in human form is exempt from life challenges. No one.

I think challenges are just part of this life thing. I don’t believe God “tests” us, but I do believe we encounter events, people and experiences that give us an opportunity to choose how we react.

We invariably have an opportunity to grow and deepen our understanding of this life, and what’s beyond. Although I can’t say I’m a big fan of challenges, I do see them differently than I used to. My reactions have shifted from what they’d have been even a few years ago. While I don’t always hit my mark, I do always intend to react from love and with love. And sometimes I can do just that. I’m starting to get it. The crazy part is, I’m starting to appreciate the process.

I’m not going to lie.

I still much prefer to learn from a joyful experience than a painful one. But I still learn. And most of all, I am deeply grateful for the lesson and learning that results.

Thanks a lot for the reminder, Eckhart…

Friday, February 12, 2016

Write a Love Note to Yourself

Ok, I know this may sound weird, especially around Valentine’s Day when we’ve been taught to buy flowers, candy and cards for the important folks in our lives. This holiday do something different. Write a love note to yourself.

Yes, be sure to let others know how important they are to you on Valentine’s Day and every day, for that matter. Just don’t stop there.

Too often we look for validation from others before we can accept what we like or admire about ourselves. I hope you have very loving and supportive people in your life. You need to be on your support team.

If you’re like most people, you’re quick to reprimand yourself and constantly remember every little mistake while you hyper focus on what you don’t like about yourself. Self-reflection is healthy, repeatedly beating yourself up is not.

Do this. Get a beautiful card with an image that resonates with you and take the time to write yourself a note. A handwritten note. Yes, I know this takes longer but spending time on this exercise enhances the benefit. Trust me.

I’ll give you some content suggestions and then we’ll discuss your next step.

The note to you could be:

· A list of ten things you admire about yourself. Think of personality traits, acts of kindness and causes you believe in. Yes, you can mention your beautiful eyes, but think about what’s in your heart. What do you like about the type of person you are?
· A note congratulating yourself on how far you’ve come and what you’ve learned from your  challenges. Celebrate your successes here!
· A note to your younger self giving the advice you wish you’d have known 20 years ago. Think big picture and concentrate on what’s surprised you and gone better than you expected.

Carve out some time when you can be undisturbed. Decide on the type of note you’ll write. Get your card, sit down, shut your eyes, take a couple deep breaths and connect to your heart. Write what you feel from a place of healthy self-love.

Now for the fun part! When you’re satisfied with your letter, close and seal it. Put your name on the front. Next, choose one of the ideas below and take the action:

· Put the sealed letter in an area of the house you won’t see for a while. Perhaps with the old photo albums you never see until the family reunion July 4th weekend. You could put it on top of your Christmas decoration box.
· Address the envelope to yourself, stamp it and give it to a friend. Ask them to mail it to you whenever it feels right for them to do so.
· Put the sealed envelope in a dresser drawer and add this note to the front: “open New Year’s Day.” Or pick another day that has significance for you.

Think of this as a scared gift from your soul.

When the note shows up in your life, read and enjoy!

I’ve done this myself with magical results. I wrote my note and months later, the envelope arrived at exactly the time I needed encouragement. It was amazing! I had completely forgotten what I’d written and the message was perfect for what I was going through at the time. The Universe delivered the message I most needed through my own words. Incredible.

I know you have lots to do. But do this. Love yourself enough to take a few minutes and reflect on what you love about yourself. Celebrate your success. Embrace the beautiful unique spark of God you are.

Now go find that card….

Friday, February 5, 2016

Fell Off My Unicorn Again…Hate When That Happens

I have friends who are supportive of my work, but worry I’m “a bit out of touch” with reality. Too “woo woo”. Even naïve. They think I’m “riding unicorns over rainbows” and I need to get my head out of the clouds.

I respect their opinion, but I don’t agree.

I have found that exploring my own spiritual path and teaching about it does come with some special challenges.

It’s not easy facing life’s twists and turns. That’s when I fall off my unicorn, but I’ve learned to get up when life knocks me down, brush myself off and saddle up again. Sometimes it’ll take longer than others to get up. Sometimes I’m down a looooong time. But I get up. Eventually.

Let’s be clear on one thing. I don’t like falling off my unicorn.

Annoying, frustrating and scary things happen. And I still choose to trust everything is happening for the highest and best of all.

During these times is when I remember:

· I believe that God/Universe/Source/Creator is the eternal, intelligent, creative energy of love.
· I choose to see God in everyone and in every situation, whether I understand it or not.
· I believe that all human beings are created from the same Divine energy of love, which makes us “all one.”
· All creatures are from the same Divine source. (Even spiders and snakes.)
· No individual is greater than, or less than, any other.
· The Universe is always working for the highest and best of all.
· Our goal is to recognize the Divine within and live from that space in human form, as best we can.
· Love transforms the energy of fear and is more powerful than hate.

What if every person, place and situation in our lives gave us the opportunity to choose how we’ll be in the world? That doesn’t mean it’s an easy choice. It’s heartbreaking to see a loved one suffer with a terminal disease, watch a family deal with the loss of a child or see the effects of long term physical pain.

Believing that good can come from even the most horrific situation doesn’t mean I ignore the human suffering that it causes. I do believe the way to help others, and myself, is to look at life through the eyes of love to find helpful actions.

“What does love look like here? Love for myself and love for others?” is the inquiry I use when a challenge arises. And most importantly I ask, “How does love move me forward?”

Using love as a filter does not mean you deny that the pain or suffering exists. It simply gives you direction on how to proceed.

While I haven’t always reacted with love, that’s my intention now. I’m not even sure what that means in all situations. I just do my best and keep going forward.

I invariably get stuck. And I start over by asking, “What does love look like here? How does love move me forward?”

Maybe that does make me seem naïve. I’m OK with that.

Time to get back on my unicorn….

Friday, January 29, 2016

Top Five Things I Learned from the “Zombie Snow Apocalypse 2016”

Last week here on the U.S. East Coast, over 70 million people panicked as a “massive snow storm of historic proportions” was predicted for nearly a week before the first flake fell last Friday. We were told to prepare to lose power and to be stuck in place for up to a week. We panicked, right on cue.

I went to the grocery store, mid-day mind you, a full 48 hours prior to the weather event and witnessed people running around in horror like an army of the undead was circling the town preparing to feast on the chubby village folk. The food shelves were sparse, but I managed to get my essentials and returned to my car unscathed after waiting in the check-out line for nearly 30 minutes. While weathercasters dubbed the storm “Jonas,” it will always be the Zombie Snow Apocalypse of 2016 to me.

The weather guys got it right this time. The storm was a beast. In my area, about 50 miles southwest of Washington, DC, snow fell for nearly 36 hours straight dumping 30” around us. We typically don’t get that much snow in a year, much less at one time. To make matters worse, fierce winds between 35 – 50 miles an hour raged in the overnight hours sweeping the soft dry snow into massive drifts that trapped some people inside their home for days.

It was an interesting weekend. We never lost power so we could watch the storm from the perspective of our home as well as see news reports and the social media accounts of our friends. Everything was closed as government officials warned the public to stay put so roads could safely be cleared. Since I drive a Prius and my husband has a Mini-Cooper, we’re not on the roads much in the snow. Staying put was not a problem.

Now that the snow has passed, I thought I’d share the Top Five Things I Learned from the Zombie Snow Apocalypse 2016:   
1) Most people want to be of service. Over and over again, I saw people going above and beyond to dig out neighbors, walk through high snow drifts to rescue animals and offer help to strangers. To me, this is “love in action.”   

2) People need to feel “connected” to others. It was heartwarming to see how many people were checking on each other, posting snow photos and creating funny videos to share during the storm. Besides the occasional, “Do you SEE how hard it’s snowing out there?” my husband kept uttering, “OMG! Did you see this on Facebook?” I had texts and messages from friends in other parts of the world checking to see if we were safe and had power. Prayers and love were being sent to everyone enduring “Jonas.” Especially to the snow removal crews, police and emergency workers who were battling the elements. It’s true. “We are all one,” especially in emergencies.

3) Communication is key, and humor helps! No matter how much you adore another person, being snowbound together, and not knowing for how long, can be a challenge. Sprinkle in some fear (did you see those roofs collapse on TV?) and consume lots of bad-for-you-no-good sugary foods (everyone knows boredom + stress = sugar cravings) and the result can be frazzled nerves. After many years of marriage, my husband and I were both aware of potential pitfalls and were honest with our feelings. We communicated what we needed from each other. Being honest made the event fun instead of frustrating. And we felt free to be playful, even goofy. Here’s a goofy example: my husband shoved a plastic white shark toy into the snow and staged “snow shark” photos including one with his fuzzy bear hat attacking the shark, all for the amusement of his Facebook friends. Goofy and fun can definitely help pass the time during a snow storm.

4) People think they’re “funny” sending warm weather wishes. Oh, I’m not communicating clearly. This is what I mean to say: Hey, so happy you’re in sunny Hawaii, the Caribbean, Florida or freakin’ Australia enjoying beautiful sunshine and warm beaches. The first 100 photos you sent were cool, you know, the ones with the captions “wish you were here” but enough already. Yes, we’re posting lots of snow pictures and writing blogs, but this was an historic storm that even shut down Washington, DC for days. And to those who keep posting “I’m so jealous of the snow” from their beach chairs…no, no you’re not. We all know you’re not.

5) Parents of school aged children are the most fun to follow on social media. Our kids are grown so it was fun to watch posts start out from young parents saying things like “Can’t wait to build a snowman with our adorable crew.” A couple days in, messages became, “Kids are getting restless, but we’re having a wonderful adventure.” By day four I saw posts like, “FOR GOD’S SAKE SEND A DOG SLED LOADED WITH WINE!! I CAN’T TAKE THIS MUCH LONGER!”

Those precious parents are soooo cute. They’ll learn. Like we all have. No matter how bad the ice storm, or how deep the snow…spring is on the way.

All we have to do is hold on.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

"Spiritual Crap"

                                                                             Alevtina Karro/
I’ve spent years deepening my spiritual practice through prayer, meditation, classes, retreats and self-exploration. I feel blessed to be on this path and I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my life’s purpose is to help others discover the joy of spiritual connection.

Did that resonate with you? Or did you just think, “blah, blah, blah…it’s that spiritual crap again!”

I know, I know. Sometimes this “spiritual crap” doesn’t seem realistic. Someone told me once, “I want to be more spiritual, I want to know the Divine within, but how does that pay the bills? I hate my job and my spouse is a jerk. Tell God to take care of that stuff and I’ll have time to be more spiritual.”

Yep, I get that a lot.

The point of developing a life that’s connected to Divine spirit isn’t so much about what you get, but what you give. It’s in the giving that we receive.

Don’t shoot the messenger. I didn’t come up with this plan.

I’ve just seen it quietly at work in my own life and in the lives of my family and coaching clients. And it’s more awesome than you can imagine. It’s where the magic of life happens.

Here’s an example:

A woman gave a $200 donation to a tsunami relief fund to help a devastated community thousands of miles away. It was a huge amount to her and wasn’t in her budget, but she gave from an open and loving heart. Over the next few days, she prayed for those affected and imagined her money bringing clean water and fresh food to hungry children.

A week later, she was gifted a lottery ticket and won $2,000.


Yeah, it can happen like that. And sometimes it doesn’t.

Sometimes you do something from a place of love and it feels like you got shoved into the dirt. Get up. Brush yourself off and stay connected to love. Real love, not the manipulative “I’m doing this because it helps me” kind of love.

Keep living from love, doing your best to be connected to spirit so it flows through all you do and say. Not because of what you’ll get, but because you want to be an instrument for Divine love in this world. That’s the goal of a spiritual life.

When you stay on that loving path, miracles start to find you. Your life becomes magical.

Just ask my sister.

After many years of struggle, her life is now filled with joy. She’s happier than I’ve ever seen her. She’s the one in the family who’s “always there” for any of us in a crisis…or any other time, for that matter.

In our family, she’s always the first:

- to meet you at the hospital emergency room and stay to drive you home
- help with the computer problem
- answer that weird tax question that everyone understands but you
- to answer the phone when you’re having a bad day and need to vent
- take a drive with you to clear your head
- come to every birthday, anniversary, holiday or “just because” family function, no matter where it is, or how much it costs to participate
- cheer on your every success, no matter how big or small
- encourage you in every way…especially when situations look impossible
- say “love you” at the end of text or phone conversations

She’s THAT one. The one everyone leans on, whether you need a shoulder to cry on or want someone to laugh at your stupid joke. Every generation in our family counts on her.

Her love and support is genuine and without expectations.

Is she spiritual? Yes, in every aspect of the word. She lives by allowing Divine love to flow through her actions and into the world. Has it always been easy? No. Like all of us, she’s had traumas, dramas and pain in her life. She makes mistakes. She chooses to live from love anyway.

What a joy to see what’s happened for her in this last year. She’s met the man of her dreams. Her prince. And she’s his princess. Spend time with them and hear their giggles, see the wide smiles and watch their eyes sparkle as they plan their future together which, of course, includes both families.

It’s like she hit the lottery. But not the one that pays money. It’s much more than that.

By connecting to her Divine spirit and living a life of loving service to others in the best way she knows how, she’s experiencing an abundant life. It’s filled with love, romance, security, fun, adventure....and magic.

I just love how this “spiritual crap” works.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Super Powers? Yeah, SUPER POWERS!


A beautiful five year old boy named Christopher, looks his dad in the eye each morning and gives him the same instruction, “Remember your super powers today, Daddy!” Then off he goes to school.

Super powers? What in the world could this little fellow be referring to? Could he believe his dad has fantastic strength like Superman or a super intellect like Batman? Maybe. Could he be thinking of x-ray vision or the ability to fly? Probably not.

When I think of this dad, Robert, I think of his steady presence, kindness, wisdom and quick wit. Every time I’ve seen him, he’s appeared patient, curious, caring and genuinely interested in others.

Ohhh, now I get it! I understand his “super powers.”

Robert lives from Love.

To my mind, that’s more powerful than x-ray vision, flying and super strength combined! Just think what “powers” and benefits come with the ability to live from Love:

     · Forgiveness – forgiving yourself and others for past issues results in freedom from anger, frustration, victimhood and disease.

     · Trust – releases you from constant worry about the future and relieves you of the self-inflicted responsibility of controlling all aspects (and people) in your world.

     · Gratitude – energetically, when you feel truly thankful for anything in your life, you allow more good to flow to you. The result? You have more to be grateful for.

     · Presence – be in the NOW to experience life with a fresh, untainted perspective. New possibilities will emerge, challenges diminish and you’ll be more aware of the sweetness of life when you’re more fully in the moment.

     · Acceptance of others – learning to see individuals as unique expressions of Divine Love frees you from judgement of yourself and others. Do all problems disappear? Nope. But they get better when approached with understanding, respect and love.

     · Joy – my favorite super power! Keeping fear, overwhelm and judgement under control by tapping into the super powers mentioned above, energetically creates space in your life for play, peace, happiness and joy.

Do I think we’ll all have a perfect life if we choose to live from Love? No. But I believe the way we move through pain, sadness and grief will be significantly changed the more we experience life through the filter of Love.

Can we live from Love every minute of our lives? That’s my intention! Sometimes I fall short. Very short. When I don’t feel I’ve been as loving as I could, I forgive myself and keep going forward.

Thanks, Christopher, for reminding me that we all enjoy a fantastic life when we allow ourselves to live from Love.

Now that I’ve remembered my own super powers, I’m off to have fun. I’m going to play. Be silly. Feel free. And create even more to be grateful for while I live this life to the fullest.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Do Something You’ve Never Done

If you want something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done.

This saying, attributed to Virginian Thomas Jefferson, is on a silver cuff bracelet I wear often. I absolutely love it and what it does for me.

When I decided to write my first book, I had a deep desire to give quick and easy stress reducing tips to people suffering from long term stress. These tools had helped me endure an extended family health crisis and I wanted to help others in similar situations.

I was passionate about my project and spent hours on research, developing my outline and writing content.

Then I got tired. Suddenly it wasn’t that fun anymore.

Writing a book is a lot of work! Day after day spent writing, rewriting, editing, proof reading and rewriting again…it was exhausting. And I still had a coaching business to run. The process was definitely not as much fun as I’d envisioned.

But I was still passionate about helping frustrated and overwhelmed people find relief. My original intention never changed.

That’s when Thomas Jefferson came to my rescue. Every time I was busy finding something else to do, I looked down at my bracelet and I knew I had to write. I had to do something different, something uncomfortable, something I’d never done before if I wanted to help my future readers and become a published author. I had to see this project through.

If you want something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done.

I’d repeat this phrase over and over as I forced myself to sit back down at my desk and write. Thanks to Jefferson (and a fantastic support team) today I’m a published author and have had the privilege of helping others through my work.

In hindsight, I wouldn’t change a thing. Understanding I had to “do something I’d never done” to achieve my desired result has been a priceless life lesson. Every minute of work was worth it when I saw How to Choose Love When You Just Want to Slap Somebody on Amazon for the first time. It was amazing.

Everyone has a “special project” that they’ve always dreamed about. So what’s yours?

I guess the big question is, “What will you do that you’ve never done before to ensure your success?