Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sheba . . . Wonder Dog!

We lost our Sheba two weeks ago today. After learning that she had cancer, we authorized the vet to do surgery. When he did his exploratory work, he found that the cancer had spread from her spleen throughout her body. There was nothing that could be done to save her. Sheba came into our family one Spring day in 2004. Steve had read on-line about a rescue group in Denton that had German Short-Haired Pointers. I didn’t even know about that breed, so I was open to checking it out. He drove up on his day off and took our younger daughter with him. He had a list of 3 dogs from the rescue center’s website that he wanted to meet. Sheba was not on the list. After seeing one or two of the dogs on his list, our daughter said, “Steve, look at this one. Isn’t she cute?” Sheba immediately turned her attention from Sara to Steve, as if to ask, “Oh, are YOU the decision-maker?” He was instantly smitten with her and he began to rub her ears and interact with her soft and sweet personality. That night, he asked me if I would go with him the next day and meet Sheba. When we drove up, I saw a house, sitting on acreage and lots of dogs running around a fenced yard. Then, I saw her. There was a huge, square picture window and a dog peered out, as if she were smiling to greet an old friend. “That’s her,” said Steve, as we walked up. As we entered the house (the lady had given the dogs the run of the place!) I saw a chair and as I contemplated whether to sit or not, Sheba came up and jumped on me and I sat down, with her in my lap in an instant. She worked her way into my heart immediately. She was sweet, gentle and had these piercing eyes that looked right into my soul. She said, “Love me and I’ll love you back.” Steve and I walked out to the truck to get his check book and she not only followed us, but also jumped up into the truck, as if to say, “OK, I’m ready to go now.” We couldn’t take her, as she had to be tattooed with her special code and there was a two or three day waiting period. Steve drove up a few days later and brought home our girl. We already had another female dog and we introduced them carefully. They were best friends and had many wonderful days together until we brought home a male dog to be a mate for the basenji female. That changed the dynamics of our pack and the basenji was never the same. (This is another story for another time.) Through all of the dogs we’ve had over the 12 years of our life together, Sheba was the constant. She lived with us for 8 years, bringing much joy to our evening TV watching, park walking and errand running. She even abided my crazy Christmas photos with red and green collars, pink dog snugglies and other off-the-wall ideas. In many ways, she was our spiritual companion, too. She saw our relatives, who came to visit, after crossing over. Many times, my grandmother or Steve’s grandfather came to visit and while Steve felt their energy, our sweet girl saw them. She even liked to sleep with a towel over her head. LOL Steve says that he feels that Pappaw and my Granny were there to greet her when she crossed over on that Friday a few weeks ago. So, she is chasing squirrels in heaven and having DQ ice cream every night. She is a sweet little girl. We will miss her.

The Power of Forgiveness

When people ask me for a way to heal past hurts, I always recommend forgiveness. Many times, we are carrying around the pain of betrayal or the residual feelings from words that hurt us. In some instances, these situations occurred many years ago, but we are still stinging from the pain. In a seminar I recently attended, the speaker gave us an example from his own life. He said that his parents divorced over 30 years ago and yet, to his father, it just happened and “he’s really pissed!” Does this resonate for you? Are you still focusing on something that a sibling did more than a few years ago, just like it was yesterday? When you think of a High School friend who betrayed you, does it hurt like a fresh wound? Or, what about your spouse or partner (substitute BFF, boy/girlfriend or any close relationship here) and something that happened last summer that you didn’t like? Are you still upset over this issue? When we fail to forgive and let go of something that hurt us, we waste energy thinking about it, replaying it in our minds and maybe wishing we had responded differently. All in all, we are wasting precious time on something from our past. Once I read this quote: “If you can’t forgive and forget, pick one.” Robert Brault True words! The old “forgive and forget” is often hard for us. Some people feel that to forgive and forget implies that we condone the person or the act we are forgiving. This is not true! In its most pure sense, forgiveness is for you and really has nothing to do with the other person or persons. Allow me to repeat this: FORGIVENESS IS FOR YOU! Malachy McCourt said “Resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” How ridiculous! And, yet how many of us harbor old, hurtful feelings against another, because of something that we perceive that was “done” to us many, many years ago. We think somehow that our maintaining our vigil on this hurt is protecting us or honoring ourselves in some way. Yet, the exact opposite is the case. The power of forgiveness lies in our making a choice to forgive and move on. According to University of Wisconsin psychologist Robert D. Enright, who is an expert on the science of forgiveness, it is best that we forgive the perpetrator, wish him or her well and move on. It doesn’t matter whether the perpetrator is sorry or not, according to Enright. He calls this process "making a gesture of goodness" to a wrongdoer and says that you have "to be able to see through to the end." By doing so, by forgiving the person and moving on, you benefit the soul AND the body. People who have been studying forgiveness have been able to document health benefits to forgiveness. According to Dr. Loren Toussaint’s studies, “unforgiving people are at up to 10 times the risk for mental illness as the forgiving and twice the odds of cardiovascular disease as the average population.”(1) Here are a few interesting facts from another study on forgiveness: They have shown that "forgiveness interventions" — often just a couple of short sessions in which the wounded are guided toward positive feelings for an offender — can improve cardiovascular function, diminish chronic pain, relieve depression and boost quality of life among the very ill. An AIDS patient who has forgiven the person presumed to have transmitted the virus is more likely to care for him or herself and less likely to engage in unprotected sex. Those more inclined to pardon the transgressions of others have been found to have lower blood pressure, fewer depressive symptoms and, once they hit late middle age, better overall mental and physical health than those who do not forgive easily. Like proper nutrition and exercise, researchers say, forgiveness appears to be a behavior that a patient can learn, exercise and repeat as needed to prevent disease and preserve health. Dr. Douglas Russell, a Veterans Administration cardiologist who, in a 2003 study, found that the coronary function of patients who had suffered a heart attack improved after a 10-hour course in forgiveness.(2) The practice of forgiveness has been shown to reduce anger, hurt depression and stress and leads to greater feelings of hope, peace, compassion and self confidence. Practicing forgiveness leads to healthy relationships as well as physical health. It also influences our attitude which opens the heart to kindness, beauty, and love.(3) Another one of my mentors, Author Caroline Myss says: "When we harbor negative emotions toward others or toward ourselves, or when we intentionally create pain for others, we poison our own physical and spiritual systems. By far the strongest poison to the human spirit is the inability to forgive oneself or another person. It disables a person's emotional resources.” The second part of the power of forgiveness lies in the ability to forgive oneself. The inability to forgive oneself can be especially toxic to the body, according to Dr. Toussaint: But when anger is turned inward and directed at oneself, lack of forgiveness appears likely to have an ongoing, toxic health effect that might be even more corrosive to physical and mental health than anger directed outward. "Sometimes people hurt us, and we move on, and it might fade," says Toussaint, the psychologist. As he has refined that work with better definitions of forgiveness, however, Toussaint says he has been surprised to learn that those who hold onto self-blame might suffer more. "Forgiveness of self holds the more powerful punch," Toussaint says. "The effects are dramatic." In work not yet published, Toussaint found that men who do not forgive themselves readily are seven times more likely to meet the full diagnostic criteria for clinical depression than men who do. Highly self-forgiving women are three times less likely to have the symptoms of clinical depression — a risk factor for a host of ills — than their sisters who are prone to regret and self-blame. Those more forgiving of themselves also sleep more and are in better overall health, he has found.(4) So, forgive others and forgive yourself . . . you’ll see benefits in both physical and mental health. As the author Jon Krakauer writes in the beautiful book, Into the Wild: "When you forgive, you love - and when you love, God's light shines on you" Footnotes: (1) Ryan Blitstein, Pacific Standard, “Forgive and Get Healthy,” October 5, 2009 (2) Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, “Forgive and Be Well,” December 31, 2007 (3) Stanford Forgiveness Project (4) Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, “Forgive and Be Well,” December 31, 2007

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Choose Joy!

On any given day, I can choose to be in joy OR I can choose to be pissed off. Yes, this is MY choice. I’ve been working with Access Consciousness clearing statements, which encourages all of us to be “choosers” of our own reality. I’ve been studying this way of thinking for well over a year now. So, it came as quite a surprise today when I experienced a HUGE “ah-ha” moment around choosing to be or feel a certain way. It all started when I became “pissed off” about something very mundane and trite. (Bought some new make-up and the sticker security tag was almost impossible to remove. Even though I used alcohol, I still got the sticky substance all over my hands AND my phone (really . . .) As I was fuming, a thought came into my head: “I am CHOOSING to be ‘pissed off’ in this moment.” WOW! What a revelation! Then, the next thought came in: “I can CHOOSE to let it go, and be in JOY!” What freedom! To realize that all I have to do is change my mind. All I have to do is CHOOSE to be in joy! Then, I did a clearing statement or two around this to speed up the process: How many decisions, judgments, conclusions and computations do I have that keeps me from knowing how easy my whole life can be? Everything that doesn’t allow that to show up, do I choose to destroy and uncreate it? YES! Right and wrong, good and bad, all 9, POD, POC, shorts, boys and beyonds. Everywhere I am not willing to receive the change that the Universe is trying to gift me, do I choose to destroy and uncreate it? YES! Right and wrong, good and bad, all 9, POD, POC, shorts, boys and beyonds. Those weird, almost non-sensical statements are part of Access Consciousness and a way to bypass the conscious mind to make rapid changes in thinking, releasing limiting beliefs and letting go of patterns that no longer serve us. If you want to know more about Access Consciousness, go to the website: This wonderful modality helps you release limitations and step into your full being. The initial class teaches you how to gently touch 32 points on the head. Activating these points by lightly touching them and allowing the energy to flow through the bars releases the electrical charge that holds all the considerations, thoughts, beliefs, decisions, emotions, or attitudes you have stored. This is the beginning of the change you have been seeking. This is the beginning of more JOY!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Remembering Mrs. Wilson . . .

In 1970, my family moved across town and my sisters and I had to change schools.
I was a High School junior, so the transition meant that I left friends whom I had known for most of my life. I had also worked as a junior staffer on the prior school’s yearbook, aiming for an editorship in 3 years. When I moved, I thought I had to give up that dream. On the second day of school, my sister and I were in Study Hall before school and the class had a wall of windows that overlooked the Library. The Librarian looked right at me on that morning and motioned with her finger to come in and see her. I told the Study Hall monitor and went in. Her name was Miss. Walker and my first thought was that she knew my last name (also Walker) and had selected me based on that. No, she said she liked my demeanor and the fact that I was actually reading a book, while the other kids were talking, scribbling notes or cutting up. “How would you like to work in the library?” she asked. “Oh, you don’t want me,” I said. “You want my sister. She worked in the Library at Atkins Junior High for 3 years. We’ve just moved to this side of town.” “I’d rather work in the principal’s office. I did that at Monterey,” I added. “Well,” she said, “Go in and see Mrs. Fuller. She works with Mr. Gooch. Tell her Helen Walker sent you. Now, ask your sister to come see me.” My sister DID work in the library every year of her three years in High School. I worked in the Principal’s office half of the year. But I digress. When we moved to Coronado, I registered for Yearbook again. I told the sponsor, Mrs. Marjorie Wilson that I had edited the Sophomore section at my old High School. She told me that she could allow me to edit the Sophomore section again, to “prove myself.” So, I did. I enjoyed working with the younger kids. As an older sister, it came second nature to me. With my sister in that class, it was easy to get to know the kids and earn their trust. I did a wonderful job managing the Sophomore section and, at the end of the year, when Mrs. Wilson announced the editors for 1971-72, she called out the name of another girl in the class AND me. We would be co-editors for the new school year. I was ecstatic! I would be yearbook editor after all! Mrs. Wilson was a kind woman who gave a new kid a chance. She was always interested in our personal lives, too. She provided lots of counseling on matters related to school, love and home life. (I remember getting some sage advice from her regarding a boy I was interested in!) She was like a second mom to me. She was wise, compassionate and firm, which was necessary to keep us on deadline! My dad called the Publications office when my little brother was born and she sent someone down to English Class to tell me that I had a new baby brother! Mrs. Wilson passed away last month at the wonderful age of 89. She was surrounded by her family and her memorial page has wonderful remembrances from students all over the US. (One former student is now an anchor on Network TV, Scott Pelley. I remember Scott as one of the photographers who helped us fill out our yearbook sections. He was a nice kid!) I remember Mrs. Wilson’s kindness, her grace and her wonderful way of motivating and inspiring a bunch of teenagers to win awards year after year in communications. We could have easily gone to the movies, gone out and gotten drunk or other assorted things that teenagers do. I learned about commitment, about follow-through, about deadlines and about taking pride in a project with a long lead time. (We started work on the yearbook before school started in the Fall and didn’t deliver it until after graduation in the Spring.) Many of the skills I learned from Mrs. Wilson have helped me manage marketing brands in Corporate America AND create websites for my husband and myself now. Thanks, Mrs. Wilson. I know you are managing editor for Heaven's most popular magazine! As you reflect on your success today, thank a teacher!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mother's Day

Mother's Day was really sweet this year. We had a sleep over with our little angel, Avery, who is almost one year old. Then, we met our two daughters and our son-in-law for a great lunch at one of my favorite restaurants. I LOVE spending time with Avery. The love that I feel when she is around me is so wonderful. I only remember feeling that one other time in my life: with my maternal grandmother! When I went to meet my daughter to pick her up, she saw me and immediately started smiling and laughing. Her eyes twinkle! She knows me AND she loves me!!! How fantastic is that? Why is the love so strong and so wonderful? It is unconditional and so very pure, don't you think? There are no agendas, no "what can you do for me?" ideas hidden behind our relationship. There is just LOVE!

Friday, March 23, 2012

See Yourself as Whole

I found a quote today that I had scribbled down a few years ago:

Those who see themselves as whole make no demands.

From A Course in Miracles, this idea is one of the pillars of self worth. When I am secure in who I am, I don't have to demand that you behave a certain way or give me certain things.

Have you ever met a person who was just easy to be with? Someone who made no demands. Someone who was happy to just "be" and allowed you to be the same!

Norman Brinker was one such person. I had the good fortune to work with Norman for about 6 years in the early 90's, during a major growth period in the life of Brinker International. One of my favorite responsibilities was participating in "test kitchen" roundtables, where we reviewed new menu ideas for the Chili's brand.

There would usually be about 10 or 12 people around a large table and we would try different "new" ideas. Lots of free-flowing comments and critiques! Norman was always very open and asked everyone for his or her opinion.

In my 25 years in corporate America, he was the only CEO with whom I interacted who portrayed a man who was whole. And, he treated me as if I was whole, as well.

This is the focus of a "holistic" view of healthcare,isn't it? In holistic healthcare (and note it's not called sickcare) we focus on the well or whole person inside and work with the client to bring out or reveal that part. In medicine, they treat the "sickness" and focus on what's wrong. In holistic care, we focus on what's right and re-establishing that basis of health.

As Carolyn Myss points out, we may not revert totally to the earlier condition. Given aging, that may not be possible. But, we can recapture our vitality and a sense of being that is, in some ways, better than our prior state of dis-ease.

So, begin to see yourself as whole. Because, when you see yourself as whole, new possibilities begin to present themselves. And, you also give others permission to be whole, as well.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Language of Emotions

I spend about 2 hours everyday in my car, driving to and from the office. Since I moved almost 5 years ago, I've listened to quite a few books on CD or my i-Pod. Recently, I listened to a live seminar given by Karla McLaren on emotions, after reading her book on Chakras. Yesterday, I received from Amazon a "real" copy of her book, called "The Language of Emotions."

After enjoying the 7 hour seminar, I knew I just had to have the book, so that I could really incorporate some of these wonderful practices into my life.

What would you say to:
* Feeling your feelings, as you feel them?
* Tapping into "hate" and seeing what Shadow material is to be found?
* Learning that "fear" is a natural emotion and is often tied to INTUITION!
* Getting grounded and letting Mother Earth take in your sadness, so that you can
live in joy?

These are just a few of the concepts. It is a very comprehensive book!

Stay tuned, as I'm creating a workshop to share some of these processes.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I've been revisiting forgiveness this month. Why do we think that once we've worked with some forgiveness tools that "we're done"? Hey, I'm a coach, right? I SHOULD know better! LOL

I read a quote and reposted it on Facebook a few months ago:

"If you can't forgive and forget, pick one."

Wise words! Sometimes, we struggle with forgiveness, despite everyone telling us how good it is for the soul, the body, the mind.

One of my EFT Teachers suggests a strategy of forgiving just 1%.

She says, "If you were truly able to just let go of 1% of your anger, resentment and desire to punish, then you will be in a very different state of mind than you were before."

Allowing for this small change in your attitude allows you to entertain the possibility of opening the door to letting go of your resentments completely!

Dr. Pat is an EFT Master Teacher and I have enjoyed training with her. I use some of her techniques and EFT scripts in the forgiveness work I facilitate with coaching clients.

Maybe it's time I remember the 1% solution myself!

Write me and ask me to send you my free Forgiveness Toolkit:

It's a collection of tools and techniques that will help you forgive yourself and others who may have hurt you along life's path.

Happy Spring!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Meditation - Find Your Own Inner Peace

I am really enjoying the Chopra Center's 21 Day Meditation Challenge. Each day, participants get a free meditation of about 15 minutes. Each day, there is a focus for the meditation. Today's introduction really spoke to me and I want to share it:

Releasing Negative Patterns and Addiction

As David Simon observes, we all are addicted to something. While you may not have a destructive relationship with alcohol, nicotine, or gambling, if you closely observe your thoughts, emotions, and behavior, you may notice that you have more subtle addictions, such as an addiction to approval, perfection, or control – or a compulsive need to be right. At the root of every non-nourishing behavior is a desire to fill unmet needs for security, comfort, self-esteem, and love. Yet acting out a pattern of addiction or compulsion will never fulfill our deepest needs. As the Sufi poet Hafiz advised,

“Learn to recognize the counterfeit coins that may buy you just a moment of pleasure,
But then drag you for days like a broken man behind a farting camel.”

One of the greatest gifts of meditation is the clarity and peace it opens in our lives, allowing us not only to recognize the counterfeit coins, but to no longer feel compelled by them. Meditation helps us realize that all our happiness, love, and wellbeing reside within. In meditation, we tap into our own, inexhaustible source of good as we release the need to seek it outside of ourselves. This doesn’t mean that we don’t enjoy our possessions, relationships, and activities – only that we know we aren’t dependent on them for our happiness. In today’s meditation, we will experience the gifts within and begin to release any negative patterns in our lives.

This was especially touching to me, because about 8 months ago, my husband and I gave up red meat. Then, a friend told me about her sugar addiction and the mental and emotional clarity she gained by deleting sugar from her diet. Back in July, I gave up sugar myself. Of course, any meal plan that eliminates sugar also eliminates alcohol, so I'm alcohol free, too.

I guess I've been patting myself on the back for these healthy new habits and then today's meditation brought me to other patterns I am still dragging behind me: addictions to approval, perfection, or control. Make that and control!

Yes, I see how I allow these obsessions to fill my life and cause me to be anxious and fearful. So, today, armed with a new kind of inner peace, I am setting an intention to go within and rest in that sweet place and allow the real me to come out and play!

Oh, and a note about the other habit mentioned: the need to be right. I gave that one up a few years ago, when a wise mentor asked me if I would rather be right or happy. Anytime my sweet husband or a friend brings up a factoid that I may think is incorrect, I remember this and smile. It's so much more nourishing to myself (and them) to just let them think they are right! In the end, does it really matter anyway?

If you would like to join the Chopra 21 Day Challenge, go here:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Shining a Light

“Hell is the opposite of joy. It is unfulfillment. It is knowing
Who and What You Are, and failing to experience that.
It is being less.”

~ NEALE DONALD WALSCH, Conversations with God

When I look back on my life in Corporate America, I see that I was in a type of Hell; a Hell of my own making! Oh, I made the choices that put me there and I continued to make choices that kept me in that dark, lonely place. No one ever pointed out that I alone could open the door and let myself out. This was something I had to figure out . . . the hard way.

For the past six years, I’ve been a type of guide for folks. My specialty is helping you “get out of Hell.” If you’re interested in getting out of the Hell you’ve placed yourself in, contact me. Remember, I’ve been where you are now. Sometimes, all you need is a guide or someone with a light that is just a little bit brighter than the one you have to show you the way. For many people, I am that light, helping them see a new way to healing, and to a better life.

And, if I can do that for you, it will make my day.

I use a coaching style in my work, which allows you to ask questions, seek answers and grow. I don’t give advice and I don’t do the work for you. If you’re interested in clearing out some of your old stuff, give me a call. If you are interested in equipping yourself with tools and techniques that continue the healing long after your session is finished, I’d like to talk with you. If you are interested in learning new skills that make Earth School a little more fun and your life a lot more rewarding, contact me. If you’ve decided that Hell is no place to live, well you’ve found a friend.

Because what I really want you to know is this: THERE IS NO HELL, no prison, except the one you create for yourself. Truly. So choose freedom. Today.

And give yourself the gift of: FREEDOM

You truly hold the key. In this moment, you can choose to set yourself free. I offer you the potential for change, for healing, for transformation . . . It’s like I’m offering you a “get out of hell” card . . .I wonder if you will take the first step . . .

In the words of one of the world’s great Statesman:

“If you're going through Hell, keep going.”

~ Winston Churchill

Contact me if I can help in any way.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Surfing Life

I was thinking about what I "do" in the world and was gently nudged to think instead of who I "be." And who I "be" these days is a surfer . . . a life surfer . . . surfing, gliding and floating around on the current of life . . .allowing it to be easy.

Isn't that what we say when we are on the internet? "I'm suring the world wide web," people say.

Well, I want to surf life!

I was driving home from the office and this came to me. So interesting and novel to look at life this way. Gives us freedom to just "be."

Off to surf a little bit more . . .