Archive for the ‘Gratitude’ Category

Choosing to Live in Love

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

I was exuberant with joy this morning. The Reporter Herald contained a good-sized article about my new life-coaching business – Paths 4 Change. The young reporter had been very attentive during our conversation. He described the role of labyrinths in my work and gave examples of ways that people can use labyrinths in spiritual practices.

I was sitting at my computer around noon when my telephone rang. The caller ID read anonymous, so I figured it was another solicitation call, but I answered anyway. There was silence, so I thought a recording was coming.

Imagine my surprise when the hesitant voice of a woman asked me if I had been the subject of the article in the newspaper today. “Yes!” I responded quickly thinking this sounded like someone sorely in need of my services.

Imagine my greater surprise when the woman said, “What you are doing is New Age. Labyrinths are not in the Bible and I cannot believe that they built one at First Christian Church.” Somewhat flabbergasted, I told her that labyrinths have been used in churches for hundreds of years. The labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral was built in 1200.

She was not convinced. Jesus did not walk labyrinths, and, furthermore, meditation is evil. Just another New Age thing. And you might not think about Jesus when you are meditating.

“I felt sick reading the article,” she said, “I know you are making a lot of money with this New Age stuff. It’s probably paying your rent. I looked up your address and you live in Lincoln Place Apartments, so you’re making a lot of money.”

At the close of the mostly one-sided conversation and when I got my breath back, I tried to understand where this woman is coming from. We make our decisions based on love or fear. I did not detect any love in either her tone of voice or in her words. She is obviously living in fear. I do not know what she is afraid of, but I refuse to be pulled into the depths of her despair.

I am so grateful for the positive, supportive people in my life. I am blessed.



Ignition! Blast off!

Friday, June 21st, 2013

I love writers' critique groups. Love the synergy, love the connections with others who love the craft of writing the way I do.

I also enjoy getting newsletters from writing coaches, writers markets and publishing companies. Got one this week - an extremely well-written  first person account by Beth Erickson of Filbert Publishing. Knocked my socks off!

She writes.
She was just diagnosed with cancer.
She has a promising prognosis.

Her words reignited my determination to write more. And often. To somehow juggle whatever I must to spill those words out. I've stored them up for so long, there is a torrent barely held back, sloshing, raging, ready to break free.

I love it when writers write!

Read Beth's blog post. See if you aren't reignited, too.

A Pumpkin Tale

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Here is a 200-word story I wrote in 2000 that I like for its simplicity and the story it tells:

A Pumpkin Tale

I live on 5th Avenue next to a rotting pumpkin patch. The smell of old pie, raw and sticky, reminds me of walks Pa and I took in the late summers. He knotted his fingers over my hand, engulfing it in his strength. I was his toy pulled along by stringy arms. If I stumbled, I had to be the one to balance while running to make up for lost steps.

I grew. My gangly limbs gained strength as my body expanded. My pa did not explain to me why my body changed.

I became tall, taller than he, and on our walks, he stopped holding my hand.

But he still talked.

“God damn corn this year. I aint gonna get a crop.”

“What about the pumpkins?” I asked, breathless as I ran.

He walked steadily.

“They are weeds,” he said. “They were here when I got this here farm.”

What about me? I wanted to ask.

In my house on 5th Avenue, I paste photos of Pa and me in my album. I close the book and look out the window. My husband is outside pulling a dandelion out of the ground, engulfing it in his strength.

Thanksgiving - favorite fun

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE holiday (next to Valentine's Day) ... it is easy to say why:

√  Weekend off!
√  Gatherings with Family & Friends
√  Weekend off!
√  Good food, good wine, good times
√  Weekend off!
√  No presents required
    (that means - sooo thankful here - no shopping,
    no wrapping, no brain-racking for the most
    perfect thing)
√  Time ... to think, to adjust my attitude of gratitude ...
√  Time ... to list all of the people who populate my life with goodness ...

Every year I am always overwhelmed by the sheer volume of good and abundance in my life.

Yesterday I had fun with Google's Thanksgiving doodle. Mashable and PC World had write-ups about it - and give you more info on how to click n' play. I have to admit, it is fun to sit here clicking and customizing my very own turkey doodle.

PS: you can check out 2009's Snoopy Thanksgiving doodle, and 2010 Dinner-themed doodle complete with a link to recipes.



Saturday, November 19th, 2011

            A few days ago, I received a challenge to write down seven things per day that I am grateful for – a total of forty-nine items for the week. “Easy-peasy!” I thought. But then I had a problem. Where to begin?

            My first thought was to just choose random letters of the alphabet each day and come up with seven items. Since this blog was on my mind, I began with the letter “W”. I am so grateful for the Weekly Writers Workshop where I experience so much love and support. Then there’s Whole Life Center for Spiritual Living, another loving, supportive place. Weight Watchers helps me take care of my health. Then I turned to less tangible thoughts. What a joy to live in this World, to experience Wonder and Work, to strive for Wisdom.

            Next I explored the letter “L”. I thought of the places where I’ve lived most of my life. I grew up and went to school in LaSalle; most of my married life and my career occurred in Lakewood; and now I have lived in Loveland for fifteen years. I rejoice in my discovery of Labyrinths and the ways they have enriched my Life – for which I am also grateful. I give thanks for Love and Light.

            What about the letter “C”? I feel so blessed to live in Colorado. I appreciate the Chilson Center and its offerings for my grandkids. I treasure my association with the Colorado Authors League. And even though I don’t understand them well, I give thanks for Computers and the Changes they have brought into my life. I am grateful for Creativity and Compassion.

            I also explored the letters “G”, “E”, “H”, and “B”. In the process, I have come up with far more than 49 things to be thankful for and I still have 19 letters of the alphabet to go. My joy increases as I contemplate the many blessings of life. I am filled with gratitude as I approach the official day of Thanksgiving.

Tolerance and Gratitude

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

I admit it. I am overwhelmed by the information explosion surrounding me. I can't keep up. Fast paced rapid fire info confuses me, especially if it comes thru gadgets smaller than my hand that fill my head with details.

My disability has become apparent with situations with friends, like horseback riding pals. Something as simple as what time to arrive at a trailhead gets tangled up in a series of cellphone calls, and I miss important details.

For example, two times this week I showed up at what I thought was the correct time only to find them waiting for twenty minutes, horses already saddled--the morning air filled with tension and hostility of unmet expectations all around. Not pleasant for anyone. Now, I too dislike waiting, especially when I have hurried to get there on time. But I was there; I thought I was on schedule; I did what I agreed to. For these particular friends, I had not done enough.

The lesson of the week--give yourself a break. You tried to show up for life and inane details got in the way. Some of my friends and family are more into high expectations than I am. And they get snippy about it. My style is more along the lines of gratitude that another human decided to spend time with me on a horse outdoors. Horses don't know about time, or being late or early.  They just are. Horses also forgive easily, naturally, and I can do that, also. Why is it always the people I have the most problems with?

To my horse pals, I say "Seriously girls-- Tolerance and forgiveness make a nicer morning ride."




Friends to the Third Degree

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Last night we went out to dinner at Adelita's (Heiditown gives a great review with photo) here in Loveland. The food is good and the atmosphere is more “Little Mexico in My Neighborhood” than anything else. Located off the main thoroughfares but still easy to find in the downtown area, it is a place where the locals meet 'n greet.

Our gathering was an impromptu kind of thing. Our friend Pat's grandson Robert was in town, which was as good an excuse as any for a night out. Pat called us, said Jan was coming, too, and so was Bo. So I called Helen and Phyl, who sometimes join us when we play cards and chickenfoot or Mexican Train dominoes. We know Trudy likes Mexican food, so we asked her to join us.

We sat in no particular order, filling in seats around the long table as we happened to follow one another in from the porch. It was a noisy, laughter-filled dinner. At one point Pat leaned over to me and said smiling, “Just listen to the cacophony around this table!” With all the side conversations going on, we were indeed sitting in the midst of some rather boisterous dialogues. Discussions ranged from who was doing what to what, to mixed drinks or wines we liked, which shots were lethal (Starry Nights!) and specific desserts not to be missed. Which led to ordering 3 desserts (Flan, Key Lime Pie and Fried Ice Cream) and enough spoons so we could pass around each yummy dish.

I looked around the table, eyes resting one by one on the familiar faces, and pondered.

Let's see … going clockwise … there sat Pat, whom I'd met nearly 16 years ago when her dear friend Jan was my boss. Pat and Jan's children, who are now sending their children off to college and beyond, grew up together. Trudy and her first husband knew my husband and his first wife when their children were small. I met Phyl through Colorado Authors' League … or was it a mutual writer-friend? Robert is Pat's grandson, who stopped here on his way to California, and we know him from previous visits. Helen … well, I've known Helen forever, and we became reacquainted through mutual colleagues and writers. She and Phyl are members of the Weekly Writers' Workshop that sits UnderTheCuckooClock each week. Fred is my best friend and partner in business and life, and Bo is Jan's one-door-down neighbor. Their children grew up together, too.

As it ended up, Jan wasn't feeling well, so Bo took take-out back to her. We all signed the top of the take-out box so she'd feel more a part of our little gathering.

I always get a kick out of seeing people who reside side-by-side in my heart meeting one another and forming their own bonds. Facebook calls it “friends of friends.” Linked In calls it “second or third degree connections.”

I call it simply living the good life.

Seeing with New Eyes

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

I am always amazed at how our bodies adjust to whatever is going on with them. I thought I was seeing fine, even though the optometrist kept telling me that cataracts were growing on both eyes and would eventually have to be removed.

Then I started having trouble driving at night and I couldn’t read street signs even in the daytime. I went to see the eye surgeon and she confirmed that the cataracts on both eyes had advanced beyond the “annoying level” into the “need to be removed level.”

She asked me what kind of vision I would like to have. What! I get to choose my own vision? She explained the options and recommended that I go with mid-vision for distance so that I can still read without glasses. If she had corrected fully for distance, I would have needed reading glasses.

I have had the surgeries on both eyes and it’s truly a miracle! I had forgotten how bright colors are. The numbers on my bedside clock stand out clear and precise. I can read the restaurant sign across the street. And I can now read printed materials at exactly the distance the surgeon had described.

I still can’t drive until I get new glasses, but I can walk around downtown. I can read the newspaper and my computer screen. I can enjoy the bright emerging colors of spring. I am truly enjoying “seeing with new eyes.”

Decade Birthdays

Friday, March 18th, 2011

My brother Dennis will turn 60 in a few days. The family gathered in Black Hawk for a joyous celebration. Brother Bill and his wife Earlene graciously took me up and helped me get around as it was my first trip there in over fifteen years ñ and things have changed!

We went on Wednesday and had our own time with the Birthday Boy and his wife Claudia that day and, again, Thursday morning before others began arriving. Brothers Ralph, with wife Cheryl, and Roy, with wife Sue, arrived yesterday. Sister Linda was unable to join us due to health problems.

About 1:00 this afternoon (Friday) we all gathered in a room at the Ameristar Hotel. We lit candles on a large cake ñ 6 candles, each representing 10 years ñ and sang Happy Birthday. We basked in our time together and admired the glorious scene of snow on the evergreen trees from our vantage point on the 23rd floor. We brothers and sisters donít always agree with each other 100% (no political discussions by mutual agreement), but we do always love and respect each other.

Now in the quiet of my own home, I am reflecting on the tradition of noting decade birthdays in special ways. I remember aiming to get my doctorate for my 40th birthday. I missed that goal by a few months ñ receiving the Degree in December instead of May of that year, but I was still 40! My sister Linda threw a surprise party for my 50th birthday. We had a great brunch in the Sheraton Hotel in Lakewood with family and close friends. I was awake to greet my 60th birthday at 12:01 a.m., but exhausted, sitting in an airport in Lima, Peru, waiting to return from an inspirational two-week trip featuring Caroline Myss. The family honored that birthday a few weeks later with everyone giving me packages containing 60 of something ñ paperclips, note pads, marbles, stuffed mice, pennies, etc. When I turned 70 last May, Bill, Earlene, and Linda hosted a fabulous party for friends and family. I am truly blessed.

Yes! Letís celebrate life! Letís celebrate each decade and continue to anticipate even greater events and joys as we move into the challenging and unchartered territory of a new age.


Thursday, February 24th, 2011

"An-ti-ci-pa-tion" the way Carly Simon sang it sounded marvelous.

I am enjoying the anticipation of a long overdue visit with my brother. Always our family has been close - you know, the kind of close that means we call one another, criss-crossing the country with our phone calls.

My sister Lynda and I are on the phone at least three times a week. Same with my brother Lawrence. Cousins, too. We might not see one another often, but we remain connected. Thank goodness for VOIP and lots of cell phone minutes!

We are grounded in the safety net we provide for one another. We've been through births and weddings and graduations and adventures. We've also shared illnesses, deaths, divorces and life's disappointments more often over the phone than in person.

But for the next 2 weeks I will have the distinct pleasure of sharing face-time with my Bro - and taking him all around Colorado yet again. Each time he visits he sees more of my favorite places. And always, the laughs and memories we share are gifts to be savored.

Delicious ... this anticipation.† Sing it Carly!