Monday, December 23, 2013


This seems highly appropriate this time of year!  Just before Christmas.
"Most of us tend to bite off much more than we can chew in life. And because we cannot chew what we have bitten off, we tend to take life in lumps and have difficulty digesting it at all.  Too many of us take on too much.  We are overly ambitious, overly acquisitive, overly possessive.  We are much better off to take just a little of anything at a time, taste if fully, and suck all the sweetness from it. "Enough is a feast."
W. Phillip Keller
Taming Tension

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


What do you do when your world is suddenly turned upside down and interrupted just when you least expect it?  What do you do?  What do you say?  What is there that can pull you out of the pit you have been forced into?

It is a week before Christmas and my world had turned topsy turvy.  What happened and why is private, but suffice it to say it crushed me in a most disturbing way.  I went to bed and stayed there for 24 hours and felt a grief and pain that I felt would never go away. I was immobile. My dearest friends were there for me.  They talked to me for hours on the phone and assured me that I was safe, and that they were there for me no matter what.  My PTSD kicked in big time.  Nothing else mattered in that time and place.  Text messages came in droves and words of love and understanding flooded my phone. 
Everything I thought I was and comprised of suddenly crumbled.  I felt helpless and abused. I felt my purpose on this earth had been demolished.
But with time, a little medicine and friends, I crept out of my cave and took control of the situation and suddenly, and most surpriseinly recovered myself yesterday, as I met a severely wounded warrior and realized that my issues were nothing.  He smiled a smile that melted me. He hugged me with a heartfelt hug, one I think I needed more than he. 

In combat, his eyes were blown out, a portion of his skull removed from a TBI, he lost a leg, was severely burned and he lost use of both hands and yet he smiled and joked and laughed.
I felt like a fool.  What happened to me wasn't any less real, but it suddenly didn't matter any more.
All fell into place.  Perspective rushed in beside me, sat down and comforted me in a most beautiful way. 

Thank you my friend for washing away the sorrow and self doubt that surrounded me and letting me know how truly blessed I am to have been hugged back to reality.  God bless you Joel!  You are a true gift to this world.


Friday, December 6, 2013


The eyes tell the story. Look deeply into the eyes of your dog.  What do you see?  What do they reflect back to you? Are they telling you a story, or perhaps even which way to go? What to do next or which road to travel. Are they telling you to forget and push the past aside and live for this one moment, the only moment we are guaranteed.

Upon close observation and reflection back to the dogs of my life I have determined that they reflect back to us that which we need to become closely aware of. 
I have always been goal oriented.  I have been forced by family and others in my life that to be of any value or worth in this world you have to accomplish something monumental each and every day....something of importance, something tangible and worthy of greatness. No excuses.  Just do it! If you don't, then you are not worthy.
I remember in my long ago married life, having to prove myself at each and every turn.  It was the way I grew up.  I knew no other way. I had to be important to make him important. Looking back after a 20 year career on television, I was never really doing what I like to say made my heart sing. I did it because it was what was expected of me.  It was what added worth, value and importance to another, not to me.
It has been a hard characteristic or inbred personality trait to get rid of.  It was built in me from day one.  But slowly I realized that there was much more to life than simply pleasing another for their benefit.  It was time for a change.  Sure I had ups and downs and made mistakes along the way, but for all the speed bumps encountered I believe I have found the ability to at last say 'no'.  No this is not in my best interest.  No you will not treat me like this. No there is no emergency on my part because of your lack of poor planning.  No I will not be taken advantage of anymore. No I will not be yelled at or treated this way anymore.
A new energy has opened up inside of me.  I can now open up and share exactly what I am feeling or thinking without fear of abandonment or retribution.  What used to work for me no longer does.
I have been insurmountably more sensitive  and  open than I have ever been.  I feel and sense pain in others that I was previously never aware of or concerned with.  It is different and at times uncomfortable, but for the most part taking in the positive energy of a person or situation is allowing me to feel more intense, more alive than ever before. I have found this is where I need to be...where I feel most at home. Negative energy now terrifies me.
Many things that once worked for me, no longer do.  The old way is falling away.  And I am keenly aware of the inner guidance, as my heart leads me to someplace new.
Yes, storms come and there is lightening and rain, and I find myself frightened and yet delighted at the new me.  Peace is now a place I welcome.  Joy and meaning are tip toeing into my life as I am discovering the person that has been in there all the time, but never allowed to come out and play. 
I yearn desperately for joy and laughter and the absence of stress and anxiety.  It is a slow journey.  Here is where dogs come in. 
Dogs have been the one constant in my life!  For as long as I can remember they have dwelled in my heart and home.  Strongly disapproved of by my mother and former husband, I was only able to find comfort in their presence.  With them I didn't have to pretend.  I could be me.  I could be real. Watching them quite simply stimulates me and centers me.  They teach me daily that I don't have to worry and fuss about 'stuff'. They have quite simply taught me what it is like to tip toe into that place called the present moment!!!
I find, as I watch people close to me racing and hurrying, it serves no purpose but to make them tense and stressed.  They seldom take time to breathe much less enjoy the journey.  What happened yesterday or tomorrow never enters the mind of a dog.  Only the present moment is important.  The cell phone has become an addiction.  It obliterates all else around people. It has become their lives.  Sure you can reach out and touch someone.  But what about reaching out and enjoying the moment and the person you are with.  It is then and in that place that the real magic begins!!! Sitting with your dog on a warm day on a hillside or your living room sofa is all that is necessary.  It is a place of peace and tranquility.   With my dogs by my side I have been able to go deeper into my journey and deeper into my joy and subsequently deeper into my heart, mending and healing all the broken places.

And for our warriors and those struggling with the aftermath of war, going deeper and once again finding your happiness will at first lead you deeper into your pain, your grief and losses.  But don't be afraid.  This doesn't meant you will live forever in this grief and loss.  It takes time to heal and mend the broken places and put them in perspective. In many cases you have to bury these cracked places and dreams, as you release the hurt.  But in so doing you will go deeper inside and help yourself heal. With a dog by your side you can slowly find that, with love, you have, almost without knowing, healed places you never thought you could.  You will find a freedom to once again join this earth. 
With a dog by your side, as you look into his/her eyes, you will find the real magic is about to begin.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


"I think one of the things I love most about photography is that it often elevates the mundane. When you stop a moment, and preserve it forever, and take the care to frame it, light it, and chose one moment over another, you effectively tell the world – or anyone who cares enough to look at your work; Look at this! And if, even in these mundane moments of life, we find something worth looking at, worth showing the world, then we’re effectively saying,
Nothing is mundane." ~ David du Chemin
I have a facebook friend.  A young lady who has PTSD.  She struggles, copes, cries, hides, creeps out of isolation and tries again.  She loves rocks, polished stones, and shells found on a beach. These bring her peace.  She shared with me about a stone that resides in her pocket everyday to reach for in times of anxiety, fear or stress.
I too have always loved stones and shells and never really given it much thought.  The only tangible  thing remaining in my life to remind me of my father is a rock.  A malachite rock that rested on his desk in his law practice.  I was left nothing else but that rock and memories. 

Yesterday I posted on facebook small photographs of things that are on my desk.  Things that bring me joy, peace, serenity, and things that center me.  As people wrote back it was abundantly clear that there was nothing celebratory on their desks but dust and paperwork. Nothing that brings them clarity, joy and peace.

On my desk one of my favorite things is a rock.  I hold onto this rock while on the phone.  It is cool to the touch and warms slightly as I continue to hold it.  Its oval shape fits perfectly in the palm of my hand.  I often cradle it in both hands and feel the coolness and the strength it offers, as I try to make a decision or find the right words.  Some how it centers me and reminds me no matter what, I too am a part of this earth, just as  surely as the rock is.
I love this quote. "Stones have the oldest knowledge.  They spend a lot of time looking up at the sky.  We should not take the stones that are still partly in the ground because that means they haven't decided to come into our world yet.  Choose a stone that speaks to you and show it respect."  ~Author Unknown 

I suspect some of you might find this a bit bizarre.  But having things I love and cherish on my desk brings light into an often all too tedious and benign place. Everything is about connection. We are meant to explore the ways in which everything fits with everything else.
On my desk you will also find a white duck feather, a sand dollar, a bronze sculpture of a tiny dog, a deep purple amethyst rock, and two rocks from a church at the base of the millions of years Red Rocks in Sedona.  These too are memories, things that center me and sometimes often times pull me back from the edge. 

I also have a collection of crystal paper weights from various places I have loved.  They top piles of paper, as well as bills, to do lists, way past due to do lists, someday lists and wish lists. They are beautiful.  I love them. They pull me into them sometimes when I need a break from stress and the cruel reality of some days. As each pile is tackled and removed, the rocks and paperweights remain.  Ready to be present for their next assignment, whether pleasurable or lifesaving. 

This must say something about me.  What I am not certain.  But it bares exploration. 

What is on your desk?  What can you sit and glance over at and find peace?  What brings back a special time in your life that resides only inches from your computer? A miniature holiday you can take in your busy work day.

Maybe the reason for these 'personal' treasures on my desk is summed up by Piglet, "Pooh, whispered Piglet. "Yes, Piglet?" said Pooh.  "Oh, nothing."  sand Piglet.  "I just wanted to be sure of you."

Perhaps this is all any of us want ~ to just be sure of something or someone. My desk treasures do just this.  They center me, make a mundane place less mundane and remind me of exactly who I am, what I represent and what I hope to mean to others. Nothing is mundane!  Absolutely nothing!