Saturday, October 29, 2011


Seasons change.
People change.

Change can be scary. 
But really, isn't change just
another word for growth?
Certainly, some of us are better than others in accepting life's change.

You may be more adaptable
than you give yourself credit.
What were you doing five years ago?
Has your life changed?  I hope so.
You adapted, yes? 
And you experienced personal growth, yes?

Basic Anatomy & Physiology shows the human body is in a constant state of flux. 
Cells lining the stomach regenerate every five days.  The human bones become 'new' every ten years or so.  Liver, every 300 days.  The ever-energetic red blood cells, speeding 1,000 mph through the body's circulatory system, 120 days. 

With this much 'change' going on internally, how could we not do a little two-step externally?

Physical or emotional trauma
commands life change.
Life change, for me, happened in steps:

Clarity is helping me see clearly all that is and isn't important|
and even more importantly, to live intentionally.

Go ahead, 'Stir it Up' ...
'cause life is subject to change.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Couldn't have known. 
My life was getting ready to change in a big, big way.

The year:  mid-2006
Real estate was insane.  If I wasn't out showing property, estimating values, or meeting with clients, I was at home with cell phone to ear.  Wife.  Mom.  Daughter.  Sister.  Friend.  Volunteer-extraordinaire. 

Candles burning at both ends and in the middle.  I knew I needed change and balance, but didn't know how to juggle one more plate. 

Enter my virgin voyage into yoga.
Brand new yoga mat.  New yoga clothes.  This may not work, but at least I was color-coordinated.

All around me were such graceful, balanced AND quiet people! 

Up-dog, down-dog, warrior poses, balance tree, monkey, twisted triange ... huh? I did my best to keep up, but it all felt like a game of Twister gone bad.  My right foot should be where?

Before I knew it, class was over.  I was getting ready to roll up my mat -- but all around me had become very still.  Folks were laying on their mats, eyes closed.  Okay, I'll play. 

What seemed like an eternity went by. 
I turned my head ever so slightly to the side and stole a peek ... no one was moving. 
Wow, they all looked so relaxed. 

Another eternity went by.

Holy crap, how long were we going to lay here?  I'm pretty sure we need milk.  Clients coming in this weekend and the car has been making a weird noise, need to get that checked.  Sam needs to bring cookies to class tomorrow.  Wonder if Kandace needs a ride to the game on Friday?

Okay, that's it, I'm outta here.  Five or 50 minutes, whatever ... shavasana or sha-blah-blah-blah, it's been long enough and I've got things to do. 

It was months later before my yoga mat and snappy yoga clothes budged from my closet.
But, this time my plate had been cleared for me.  Diagnosis: Cancer.  |
Life, or maybe it was death, shook me by the shoulders and said: "Time to make some major changes.  Where you gonna start missy?"

With my 'main course' of cancer, came many healthy side dishes of clarity, perspective, balance, quiet and peace.  And yoga?  It's been five years since I began my journey with yoga, but it's my dessert, of sorts.  It's my deep breath in a crazy, happy, busy world.

In Sanskrit, "Namaste" means the spirit in me respects the spirit in you.
Light and love to you.
Namaste my friend.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

If You Only Knew ...

I believe simple, random or intentional,
acts of kindness could be THE answer.

Yup, a little kindness, in its most simple form could solve some,
if not all of our big-ticket issues:
Democrats vs. Republicans.
Or Republicans vs. Democrats.  (Man I despise 'election' years!)
This religion vs. that religion.
War.  Wall Street.  World hunger.

None of us will leave this life without a few emotional bumps and bruises. 
On any given day we are surrounded by friends, family and certainly complete strangers who are 'walking wounded' -- we aren't always privy to the pain, fear, or loneliness any of us carry.

I remember the day as if it was yesterday.  Was standing in the express-line at Safeway.  Just a few days after my first chemo infusion.  Didn't look ill.  Didn't necessarily feel ill.  Hair still on my head.  No one could possibly know I was a Stage III cancer patient.

Fella in front of me had more than the 15 items.
Ms. Cashier was not having it.  Mr. Customer became indignant.
Before it got out of hand, I interjected with a smile, "It's okay.  I'm not in any hurry."
The tension eased immediately.  Maybe they too, were dealing with tough issues?

Guess if we all walked around with yellow-stickies of our troubles stuck to our foreheads, maybe compassion and kindness would be easier to give?  Am not always successful, but I try to remind myself, your hurts and life 'owies' aren't always visible on the outside.

Maybe nice guys can finish first?  Maybe not, but I know I'll never regret being nice.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


In the coloring book of life, color me PINK !!

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. 

This means there's a whole lotta pink.  Everywhere. 
Pink ribbons plastered on facebook, hospital walls, yogurt lids, cupcakes
-- pink, pink, PINK !

Mind you, pink wasn't always one of my favorite colors.  Nope, in my crayola box, the 'pink' crayon remained like a soldier in his place, bright and shiny tip, from non-use.

My chemo treatment was in full swing when the pink blanket of October 2007 arrived.  Those damn pink ribbons were everywhere --taunting me.  I couldn't escape.  Hey Mr. and Mrs. Corporate America, how 'bout you just donate money to cancer research -- makes a difference if we all save ten yogurt lids and mail them to you?

Now? Bubble gum pink ribbons ... go ahead, bring 'em on!  Pink is the proud battle garment for all women fighting breast cancer.  Pink should be a reminder to you, your sister, your mom, your daughter, your wife, your girlfriend, that early dectection is our best defense in battling the beast. 

Breast cancer gets the press = gets the donation buck = gets the research.  All cancers suck.  In recognition of the other cancers:

White:  Lung
Yellow:  Bone
Sky Blue:  Colon
Jade:  Liver
Purple:  Pancreatic
Periwinkle:  Esophageal
Orange:  Leukemia
Gray:  Brain
Teal:  Ovarian
Violet:  Hodgkins Lymphoma
Gold:  Childhood Cancer 

While helping a woman at the hospital this week, she pointed to the hospital's Breast Cancer Awareness banner, "I need to make an appointment, but those mammograms really hurt."

I touched her arm and looked her in the eye, "My friend, honestly, I know first hand, mammograms don't hurt as much as a year of chemo treatment and recovery."

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Full Circles and Brain Burns

My dad is a man of very few words.  Though, he hasn't always been that way. 

Used to be a family joke: 'don't ever ask Dad anything you didn't want to know too much about.' 

A family shopping trip to Sears could take much longer than planned.  When Dad decided to tell the refrigerator salesperson about his recent gall bladder surgery, an upcoming elk hunt or recent trip to Japan, we knew to find a comfy spot and wait it out.

As a little girl in Michigan, I spent many a Saturday at the Grand Trunk Railroad station hanging in the train tower with Dad and his work buddies.

It was mid 1960, Dad was healthy, early 30s, hard-working with a quick mind and easy dimpled smile. For hours the fellas talked trains and drank dark black coffee.  I loved to swing on the track switching levers; they knew I'd never be able to make those stubborn levers budge.  Being around trains is a dream come true for most 5-year-olds; I was no different. 

Brain burns.  Train Saturdays are one of my very first brain burns.

Brain burns are snapshots we take with our heart.  Moments in time that make up our life. 

About a year ago, my Dad suffered a stroke. 
Now his gait is unsteady. 
His speech isn't what it used to be.

This evening, while helping him out of the car, I noticed his shoe was untied.
"Dad, let me tie your shoe," I said as I kneeled next to him.
He smiled at me and said, "I remember when I used to tie your shoes."

A new brain burn to file.  I hope you'll create some 'brain burns' today.