Friday, December 31, 2010

Footprints, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

When I look back at my life, I have some not so proud steps I took as a teenager. Because of them, I work extremely hard today to make the world a better place. As an adult I'm proud of myself and my actions. I do live my life with intent and purpose. I will start 2011 improving my health and holding onto this mission as long as possible. Last year I went sugar free for 7 months before I totally gave up. I think I made up for the sugar in the last 5 months of the year so it seems that my strategy didn't really work:(

This year I want to be really aware of what goes into my body and how it impacts me. I'm logging my foods and keeping an eye on my calories. I'm hopeful I can achieve a balanced healthy regime without depriving myself totally of sweets. I plan to increase my exercise by adding the steps Dr. Oz recommends. I can walk, I know this for sure so let's see how my 10,000 steps per day work out!

What is your plan for the New Year? Leave me a note about it!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010, feel and release it, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

Wow, what have I learned from my experiences in 2010. I've learned that it really doesn't matter how quickly I want something to happen. My time-line, regardless of my effort, is just a shot in the dark! There are so many unknown variables that alter timing and when I fight this reality and I'm not flexible, I might as well just give up! It is that nasty word, EXPECTATION, that gets me every time. I'm learning to tame my need to rush while continuing to dream!

Today, as my bank account is basically non-existent, I am happier than I've ever been. What does this mean to me, money is a nice thing but it really doesn't buy happiness. When I had it, I really enjoyed material things but I didn't have inner peace. Today my core is at peace, I'm healthier than I've ever been and I believe in my artwork and my mission to help others heal through art. Creativity is a tangible gift from the soul and it is priceless. I've discovered this over the past year!

What have you learned from your 2010 experiences? Leave me your story!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Healing foods balance the holiday aftermath, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

I am going to research and learn with you the foods that will improve my well being. I am 41 years old and what I know for sure is that my metabolism has caught up with me. I have to do better by exercising more and eating healthier to tone my body and feel better about myself.

Together we will build a healthy grocery list over the upcoming months. Why not give it a shot with me, what can it hurt? The first item I added to the list is candy, how bad can it be? I don't want to start a new diet as January first rolls around. Instead, I want to start taking ownership of what goes into my mouth and how my choices benefit me or set me back. I only have 1 body and it is time to start treating it with respect!

What are your health plans? Let me know what you're thinking. I need all of the moral support and ideas you can provide!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Excitement through the eyes of children, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

I think believing in magic should not only be reflective during the holidays but it should be present in our everyday life. It is about having faith and hope for a better tomorrow and also working hard to make it happen. I love talking to little kids this time of year and listening to the them describe Santa and all of his unlimited possibilities. If we could only hold on to this blissful mind-set and apply it to other aspects of life as we mature!

Do you believe in miracles? Can you share any stories with me? I love to hear them.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The healing powers of peppermint, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

Here we are in the midst of the holidays and I'm trying so hard not to gain weight. After discovering the healing power of peppermint I've decided perhaps it is a good idea to put down the cookie I try to justify daily and to pick up a peppermint candy cane. The calories, in comparison are less and the benefits are more worthwhile. It seems like I have a sore throat most of the winter and maybe the peppermint will help sooth it.

Can you offer any healing home remedies to winter ailments? If so, drop a note and educate us!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

People and their journeys, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

This blog and my column has enabled me to share many stories of survival and empowerment with the world. I am so blessed to have met so many interesting and inspiring people along the way. The connections continue to lift my spirit. It has always amazed me to people watch and think about each and every story that passes by. We are all so very unique and individual in our approaches and interactions. Yet, in another way, we are very much the same. We all get to the same place but in very different ways. One path may be harder than the other but by persevering through it, it educates you along the way. By sharing our stories we're able to share courage and strength. We're able to help empower others who may not have thought about certain tools we have used to get through a similar experience.

Do you have a story of inspiration or know someone who does? If so, make the connection with me and share. I know it will help others!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Winter Solitude, continued...

Click here for background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

It is really crazy how winter can take its toll on a sane person. Take away light and warmth and your freedom to move about freely due to bad weather and suddenly the mindset weakens. Our bodies are geared to beef up during these months in survival mode, which doesn't help either.

I always work hard to take my own advice since I'm writing about my feelings. I think, what would I tell my girlfriend if she were going through this right now. It seems we're all more attentive to our girlfriends than ourselves (which is a whole other article). But, I find my best advice for the ones I love and it is the foundation of my words I share several times a week.

Leave me a comment or email me with your thoughts about coping through winter. Who knows, you might like winter more than the others seasons and you can offer a whole new outlook!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Anger, eroding your health during the winter, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

Winter is beautiful went you're looking at it through the window of a warm and cozy home unfortunately most of us don't have the luxury of staying in for 3 months or escaping to somewhere warm until it's over. I must say that I enjoy one snow covered day per year and this is Christmas morning otherwise, I'm white-knuckling my way through the icy roads here in Michigan.

I, like many in Michigan and the US for that matter, am struggling to make ends meet. I juggle minimum income with, what seems to be, maximum output. I am extremely anxious each Christmas wondering if I'll be able to gift kindly and find my way through the bills incurred as a result. Each year as I move into the next I'm thinking, "Boy, that was a close one but we made it!"

It is so easy to get caught up in our own world of fear and to let this drive our feelings. I have to make sure I'm taking moments out of my own quiet melt-downs to recharge and find my faith. As much as I hate to exercise, when I'm done, it really does re-align my mind, body and spirit. As I talked about in the article, light is physically healthy for us. We associate it with good and it does help lift the spirit.

Have you ever had a friend who is Debbie Downer (the Saturday Night Live character). All they do is complain. It is draining and it will eventually put you in a similar mood. This is why I recommend spending as much time with others who work to stay positive. It really does make a difference.

How do you overcome the winter blues? Share with me, I would love to know!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Everything feeds the spirit with inspiration, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information for this blog post:

Examiner article

I was extremely fortunate to have my booth next to Kath in last month's Ann Arbor Women Artist show. It didn't take long to discover this very creative, warm hearted person working next to me. I'm intrigued with her print making ability. The beautiful colors and shapes she creates clearly are reflective of her passion and spirit. They caught the eye of many who were passing by.

If you're interested in viewing the work of Kath Frajbis, click here.

The above is a photo of one of her pieces which she provided!

Are you creative? What is reflective of your spirit? Leave me a note to describe!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Humbled, vulnerable and raw, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post.

Examiner article

I volunteer in the community where I see loss on a weekly basis. It has touched my home also. We've been downsizing for the past 2 years and we continue to do so. I am so grateful for my life, even without a steady payroll check. I'm a strong person and I know, like many others, this too will pass.

I work daily writing and drawing and trying to find job opportunities to enable me to stand on my own feet again. I'm sure a door will open when I least expect it. Why do I believe this, because I choose to keep pushing forward; not to give up. Life is what you make it and the message here is regardless of what you have to give up, you're still doing pretty good. Just start over and raise the bar a little at a time!

How has the economy affected you? Leave me a note and tell me about it.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Circle of life, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

I continue to try to find new ways to tangibly describe a spiritual connection that I believe actually exists. It is fueled by the greater good and it is contagious. Once you're able to tap into it, it offers security; it really is your salvation.

Whether you're surrounded by people or you find yourself alone, you can feel the love and kindness of the greater whole. We're all connected regardless of your walk of life, your color or your gender. Let go of bias, prejudice and judgement and just reach out to others. This will strengthen your vitality.

Be kind, regardless of the circle of life phase you're currently under-going. It all comes back around so it is important to be generous with your compassion!

Can you share any thoughts about the greater connection? I'm interested in your perspective.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Surrounded by musicians, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

I met Betsy a few weeks ago at a craft show where we both displayed our arts and crafts. We are both artists in the Ann Arbor Women Artist organization. It wasn't long before we were talking. She is a very kind and warm soul and I'm really intrigued with her musical talent.

When my Dad was in hospice, one of Betsy's friends (I didn't know this at the time) came into each of the patient's rooms and played the harp. My Dad had not really been responding much prior to but when he heard the music, my sister said he opened his eyes and smiled. It brought him into himself and open to interface with her for a while.

It meant the world to our family. Betsy and others like her create miracles each time a person is gifted with their melodies. I feel lucky to have met her and I'm happy she is spreading joy to those in need!

Do you have any healing art stories you would like to share? Leave me a note or email me at with your information.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Your name connects you, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

According to, my name Kathryn means pure, virginal. I like the thought of this:) I really do try to live my life in the purest way.

My Mom told me that my 2 sisters and brother used to make believe they had a little sister named Kathy and so this is why she named me as such. I suppose I'm lucky they didn't choose a little brother's name and I didn't disappoint them!

Have you googled your name? As I noted in the article, when I looked up Kathryn Williams I found thousands who share my name (first & last). It is a group of authors, artists, musicians etc from all over the world. If you follow my blog, you know I transitioned my career into the arts 2 years ago and I finally feel an inner peace validating I'm on the right path. So, it was pretty cool to discover the others out there!

What does your name mean? Do you have any thoughts you would like to share relevant to your story? Leave me a note!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The spirit of Christmas, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

This morning I woke up and looked outside to see the first real snowfall of the year. My first reaction was to flinch, withdraw and mumble unkind words under my breath. Later as the crisp air entered my lungs and it grabbed a hold of me and woke me up, I looked a little closer at the large flakes coming down. They were actually really pretty. I felt like I was part of a large scenic snow globe. Looking at it in this child-like way instilled awe in me. I became amused and amazed by the gift given to me on the first day of December.

It is really amazing how an outlook can shape you. It also affects everyone who surrounds you. I decided today that I will have happy holidays this year regardless of any worries. I choose to boot the old Scrooge out and close the year with joy.

What are you choosing for your holiday season? Leave me a comment and explain.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Open to life's winding road, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

Andrew Taylor’s neighbor, and a dear friend of mine, arranged our interview. She adores him and it’s easy to see why. He’s a truly genuine person who makes it his mission in life to, in some small way, brighten the day of everyone he meets.

He explained to me, “I challenge myself to answer with a new adjective each time someone asks, ‘How are you?’ Or I’ll say, “Any day above ground is a good day. … Unless you’re an out of work spelunker.”

As you can see he’s a clever character with a smart sense of humor. If you’re local and Andrew’s article has peeked your interest, check out his profile page on His member, user ID is HopefullyYours42.

I feel it’s a priceless treasure to find a life partner who’s ethical, extremely enthusiastic, and has a sense of humor; Andrew fits these criteria perfectly!

Are you looking for love? … If so, what traits are important to you?

Leave me a comment.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey leftovers, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

This is the first year that I do not have turkey leftovers. We went to my oldest sister's home and we had a wonderful traditional turkey meal. Her turkey turned out really tasty. The picture I posted with the article was her turkey. It was perfect.

It was a nice break this year to awake on Thanksgiving morning in the 8 o' clock hour instead of 5 to 6 AM to stuff a bird. I do miss the leftovers but since I'm trying to watch my calories over the holidays, it is easier to leave the stuffing, gravy and potatoes elsewhere!

I love the mix of turkey and pasta in the tetrazzini recipe I posted in today's article. It's different than the white chili or casserole dishes that are common leftover meals.

Do you celebrate Thanksgiving? If so, can you share any recipes for leftovers? Leave me a note! I love trying new ones.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Survive by believing you will

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

Tomorrow, Thanksgiving, is my Dad's 71st birthday. If you follow my posts, you know he passed 2 years ago. I would have never imagined how his death has impacted my life. It helped me prioritize things, I changed careers in the aftermath and it has given me a new spiritual perspective. It has been life altering. I miss him dearly and I wish he was here so we could celebrate his birth tomorrow.

I will be with my family and we'll share memories of him although all of our lives altered dramatically after his loss. We have survived and my Mom who was married to him almost 50 years has learned how to cope without him. If we had a choice, we would take him back in a heartbeat but unfortunately, this isn't our choice!

The best thing we can do is make the most of our lives and make him proud!

How are you honoring the loss of your loved one? What has helped you survive? Leave me a comment and explain.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

No veteran dies alone, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

I hold a special place for the VA Ann Arbor hospital. When my father's insurance money ran out for hospice care, the VA stepped up and took him into their facility. They supported us and cared for him through the end of his life. They handled everything with professionalism, dignity and grace.

This is why I am going to volunteer for the program, No Veteran Dies Alone. I'm not sure how well or strong I'll be but I am sure it is a very worthy cause. I was so crazed with the thought of my Father dying while we weren't there, this is why we tried to be with him 24/7. It is very important to me that our veterans get the same priority.

Please, if you feel you are able to do this type of work, contact your local VA and reach out to help!

How are you making your community better? Drop a note and let me know. I'm sincerely interested!

Friday, November 19, 2010

One in the broader sense, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

Call me crazy, and many will, but regardless if I'm physically with someone or not, I feel energies that surround me. This, in itself, assures me that I am never alone. I'm not telling you that I'm surrounded by ghost or that my life is haunted, I'm telling you there is a greater presence and I'm connected to it. The more I pray, meditate and focus, the more I feel this strength. The more I feel assured that "everything will be alright" regardless of what I'm currently going through. I believe this energy surrounds everyone but you have to become aware of it to be able to tap into it.

I'm curious if you understand what I'm conveying. Please send me a comment and confirm or deny this posting!

Come see me in the Ypsilanti Craft Show

I'll be at the Riverside Gallery in Ypsilanti tomorrow from 10AM-3PM with many Ann Arbor Woman Artists. If you have an opportunity and you're local stop in and see us:)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

We are grateful, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

Of course any of us can easily create a list of things that have went wrong in our life but it is a bit more difficult to look beneath the challenges and find silver linings that we probably reluctantly learned to appreciate. If you haven't, get ready for another round of heartache while the universe attempts to mentor you in a new direction!

I write 5 gratefuls down each day to get my mind processing positively. These articles also keep me on track. There are many times when I'm feeling down, I will thumb through the pages of my work and re-read an article or 2 as a reminder to keep my chin up.

I know things can get very tough but the message here is to make sure your focusing your energy on the positive stuff instead of energizing more mayhem!

Drop me a note and share what you are thankful for this year!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

After his mother's death, continued...

Click on the below article link for background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

Unfortunately, Max is not alone. His story is among many; children with step-parents who do not feel the parental love they shared with their natural parent. Many of the newcomers do not feel this love in their heart nor to they feel it necessary to work on developing. During the interview with Max he did talk about how his Dad's wife, at times, tried to make an effort. Hopefully she'll continue to work on their relationship. Acknowledging a need for improvement is a great start.

I can only imagine what Max went through; first losing his mother and then trying to find a way to embrace someone else who is very different from his mom. Through all of his heartache he is still holding on to his faith and leaning on a support circle that includes his work with Willow House and his religion. Max has found a healthy way to cope and hopefully someday as he matures into an adult he'll find a way to relate better with his step-mom and she'll be able to view him as the remarkable person he is and will continue to be!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The power that elevates, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

The power that elevates, many christians would start by giving God credit as the foundation of this. I believe he is the underlying source that fuels sincere power. Of course, individuals come to mind who have come to the forefront through dark power such as Hitler but this isn't the type of power my article is focused on. It is about striving for and succeeding through hard work and with purpose. Many times this means going against the current and overcoming hardship during the early years. Most people do not even attempt their dreams because of their fear associated with such hardship. It takes a lot of courage and persistence to keep pushing through!

People like Oprah have remarkable spirits, it is evident in their work.

I believe I have a remarkable spirit also and I am working to enable it to soar! I'm living each day with purpose and I'm fighting the change one obstacle at a time. I have faith that I'll get there. I'll never be Oprah, there is only room enough for 1 in this world and I'm just fine with that:) It is my dream to help as many as possible by inspiring and soothing souls with my art and words.

What is your purpose? Tell me about it, I really want to know.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Patience is love, hope and faith, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

I am someone who leaves the house with a bag filled with opportunity just in case I get a spare moment during my day. Why not take advantage of this time? This is where multi-tasking really works well. It helps you get ahead while you're still crossing tasks off of your list. You're actually killing 2 birds with one stone although I would never really want to KILL A BIRD!

Everyone is intolerant at times because we're human but I do believe if you embrace the concepts shared in the article, you'll find your day, even when filled with delays, will run much more smoothly!

Leave me you thoughts, what do you think?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I hope you never hear, your mom died, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

Max is an extraordinary teenager today. He suffered more than most can even imagine at the tender age of 8 years old. His world was changed and his dreams with his mother lost. It is a true miracle which I credit God for that he was able to work through this loss with the help of Willow House and come out of this as a healthy young adult.

I've said this before but the healing powers continue through volunteer work and Max is discovering this now as he works with kids in this organization. He chose a path that gives back as a gesture of love and appreciation that reflects his journey of loss and survival.

Do you know anyone who might benefit from Max's story? If so, please forward the blog and article link. Max is hopeful by sharing, he will continue to touch and help others!

Friday, November 5, 2010

You don't believe, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

I often refer to myself as "hokey poky" because I believe in ghost, UFOs, psychics, heaven and hell, dream interpretation, and many other intangible and mysterious happenings. This doesn't mean I believe ever person who steps forward with a ghost video or every psychic who sells their service is real. Realistically there are probably more hoax's than real occurrences or fakes than authentic intuitive people. I love how Ghost Hunters go to "debunk" the activity first and if they catch their own evidence and after they've ruled out man-made interference, they rule it as "paranormal".

I do think that this mind-set carries over into flexibility in other areas of your life. Of course, you can still be open-minded and not believe in ghost but I think this case is an exception to the norm. It is interesting how your view/opinion can create havoc or promote flow. It is a great rule of thumb to start open-minded in every situation, look at the facts unbiased and then make your decision.

Are you open-minded? What are your thoughts about how this plays into your life?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Disappointed with politics, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

I must admit that I wasn't very thrilled to jump out of bed yesterday and rush to the poll to vote. First of all the commercials that bombarded me on a daily basis caused me to run the other way. I was not motivated by the negative attacks that came forward. You see I usually vote for the person meaning I have been known to vote right left or in between (not really loyal to a party). I wasn't totally impressed with either candidate in our local Michigan election although I really am grateful for my right to vote. I don't mean this as an insult to these men who fought for the Governor's spot but I feel strongly about the horrid condition of the economy here in Michigan and because of this I was praying for an extraordinary person to step forward. I did do some research and I voted for the best person considering everything. I'm hopeful they will surprise me as their passion is fueled by our challenge!

As I stepped forward to cast my vote I thought of the women who were jailed as they stood strong and fought for the right to vote. It was their spirits I felt yesterday and that motivated me to get out of bed and fit voting into my day!

How do you feel about our voting process and/or about your political outcome?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The loss of our daughter, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

It is heart breaking to read about the loss of a child. But it is so empowering to see someone survive such a loss and find purpose in its aftermath.

Lydia shared, “I truly believe that things happen to us on LIFE, because we're supposed to (GOD wants us to) do something with it. I think I've finally found my purpose in life. My mission is to raise awareness about both Asthma and organ donation. Here is the RIBBON that w/ the HELP of my Family & Friends on FB, I was able to have created & added to the "RIBBONS" page on FB. And, it's the 1st one of it's kind (ASTHMA) on FB, one of the largest Social NETWORKING site around. How cool is that?”

What have you survived that has gifted you with the strength to move forward and persevere by helping others? What is your mission? Share your story with me and my readers!

Friday, October 29, 2010

An act with required recognition feeds the ego, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

This article has really caused me to look closely at my volunteer work and charitable giving. I do look for recognition and this in itself helps to motivate me to continue to give. At the same time though, I have gifted anonymously in the past and I do still feel joy from this type of giving. I think if I had more to money to give I would do more of the random acts of kindness anonymously. It is pretty cool to leave this mysterious karmic gift to someone and then run for the hills; things like paying for the order behind you in the drive through or another tables bill when your dining out.

Do you think your just feeding the ego when you wait for the clerk to look before you put the tip in the jar or is this still giving from the heart? Drop me a note and leave your thoughts. I'm interested in what you have to say!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The most powerful means are words, continued...

Click on the below article to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

I've been on both sides of the "bullying" spectrum and I'm ashamed to share this. I was in kindergarden when I actively participated in picking on a fellow classmate for a short time. I was part of the crowd as apposed to someone who stood next to her and helped push back. I often think about this person and I wish her well and pray for forgiveness for my name calling.

As I grew and moved into middle school I made a choice to start going to church with my parents and at that time I decided to give up wearing pants. This phase of mine actually lasted a couple of years. I remember being called a freak by someone at school. The words did piece me. It gave me a glimpse of what I did to my classmate earlier in life.

From that point forward I became the person who stood up for others who weren't really embraced by the main-stream. As a teenager I gave up my dress wearing choice and became somewhat popular in my little circle. I was aggressive and full of life. I took this into my adult years and became a leader in my life. I'm proud of my adult reach to others as I always work to help those in need.

What are you doing to help others? Were you bullied, the person bullying or a by-stander? Share your story.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

To share his story, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

It seems it doesn’t matter how much we give, we always feel we didn’t give enough somewhere deep inside. Joleen discussed the guilt she felt relevant to her father and their struggle through Alzheimer’s Disease. From an outsider’s view, as I’m someone who reads her blog and knew her father Frank Senior, she was and continues to be a loving and brave soul, supportive beyond belief; I’m sure she has made her dad proud!

She shared, “There’s a LOT of guilt along the way. Guilt about putting him in a home against his will. Guilt about living your life while he’s locked up scared and confused. Guilt that you can’t hold his hand 24/7, 365. So it IS better that he’s gone and at peace now, that’s all he wanted. And now we can start healing and try to live the next chapter of our lives.

I feel Dad’s presence. In the moon. In sunsets. In special ways. I talk to him every day. I know that we’re somehow still connected. And I look forward to the day when I get to see him again!”

In closing, if you know someone who is suffering with Alzheimer’s Disease or who is supporting someone coping with it, Joleen suggests looking into this company.

She communicated, “CareScout is a national company I recently stumbled upon which sounds like it may be an affordable option for more people. Here is an email response I received from them.”

‘CareScout is a leading risk management partner of insurance companies and has been helping Americans make informed long-term care decisions since 1997.

Our company was founded on the principals of helping families evaluate quality and cost of care. To that end, we are objective by not collecting fees or any sort of payments from care providers. Due to that, we have a solid track record of negotiating discounts that can more than pay for our service.

The retail price of our service is $499 although we are currently offering it as a special for $350. You mentioned that you were happy to see we are nationwide and I’d like to tell you a couple of other differentiating factors. We don’t charge by the hour and the price is all inclusive. The price is for an “episode” or event, which could be anywhere from weeks to several months. The end product of our service is to find specific services that are appropriate based on their needs, timing and price.

I’d love to chat with you further to answer further questions you may have. Please feel free to call me at the below number anytime.

Thanks again for contacting us.


Sarah C. Howes
Marketing Leader


230 Third Avenue, 2nd Floor
Waltham, MA 02451
Toll Free: 800-571-1918 x313
Direct Phone: 781-966-3313
Direct Fax: 866-933-1772

Can you relate to Joleen’s words? If so, leave a comment and let me know how.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Blissful Silence, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

Wow, I really never knew what embracing silence really meant while I was working and trying to keep up with a very demanding lifestyle. Running around 24/7 and never putting me on my list caused me to develop this thick skin that I thought was just as beneficial as quiet time. I just accepted my circumstances without trying to take the time I now know is necessary for my inner peace. This thick skin was my survival mechanism keeping in as a way to cope not my savior!

Today, there are 4 teenagers making their way through my world as they find their way in their own. It makes for a loud and busy life but I have still prioritized meditation within this craziness. It is the key to my clarity. It renews my faith and refuels my spirit like nothing else I've find. I'm hopeful my article will entice you to give silence a try. It is very therapeutic.

Give it a shot and drop me a note to let me know what you think!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

An anniversary of a loved ones death, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

Unfortunately we have all experienced loss, it is part of life. It continues to tug at our hearts and souls daily. I'm sure most of you can ramble off very significant dates of hardship you have coped through and continue to work through as each anniversary arrives annually.

I loss my father in May of 2008 and then lost my job shortly after on October 17th. Both losses were devastating to me although, of course, the loss of my father was much more traumatic! I'm not taking my job loss lightly but many will come and go over my career but I have only one dad.

I feel really lucky that exactly 1 year, to the day, after my Dad died, my niece had her daughter. This precious little life gave us all cause to celebrate on this very life-altering date. Not everyone is as fortunate as we are in getting such a heavenly gift so timely but she was and continues to be greatly appreciated.

Bereavement pain is so awful and soul retching but it is universal. As we learn how others have released their tie to particular dates, it helps us to overcome in the same way. Can you share your story of perseverance with me and my readers? I'm hopeful your story will help empower us!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Music was his happy place, continued...

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Examiner article

I love the passion Joleen has and how devoted she is to helping the world. It is apparent she is one of Frank Firek Sr.’s children; he was a very passionate man and always on a mission! He and his wife spent a lot of time mentoring Detroit inner city children in a non-profit reading program they developed and maintained for years. I spent a lot of time with Frank in the business world. We negotiated our way to win-win contracts many times. And, through thick and thin, Frank was always there to count on!

When I asked Joleen if she had anything else she would like to share with my readers, she offered the below information.

In her words, “I hope that my family can make a difference with legislation on a few topics.

First off, we hope to influence changes in in-home professional care hiring standards (i.e., background checks). We have talked to key people in the Michigan government and look forward to helping with this movement. People in need should be able to depend on professionals they hire for help; they shouldn’t be afraid of being taking advantage of.

Secondly, I think the law against assisted suicide should be overturned. I think that the fact that we aren’t given a chance in this country to choose our own End of Life Strategy is ludicrous.

After his diagnosis, my father made it VERY KNOWN to friends and family that he had NO intention of going out slowly and taking everyone down with him along the way. He was adamant about taking his own life when he felt the time was right. He never shared with us his chosen means for doing this, as he didn’t want us to be held legally accountable for having known nor helped. All we could do in the matter was watch his clear mindedness turn blurry with the disease, clouding his judgment of what defined a good day vs. a bad day and quality of life. At some point, it became clear to us that he simply could no longer problem solve his way through his original plan. And we weren’t legally allowed to help. So he had to be put in an assisted living home eventually, which was absolutely against ALL of his wishes!

I believe that if a person is educated on the topic of their incurable disease and they therefore choose to prematurely end their life, they should be allowed to do so with dignity. The fact that a person’s only option to end their life (without getting others legally involved) is to do it alone is unconscionable. Why should a person who’s surrounded by loved ones in their life be forced to die alone like an injured animal? It’s humiliating. We take mercy upon even our dogs and cats and allow them to be put to sleep. Why should we treat our beloved family members differently? I don’t think it’s humane.

Plus, the astronomical figures of rising healthcare costs for the elderly, in particular Alzheimer’s sufferers, is no longer manageable. It requires too much money and resources over too long a period of time that most people cannot afford to adequately take care of themselves. And, the number of new cases are rising exponentially. (see statistics on my website)

I could go on and on about the healthcare system in this country and how they treat people with Alzheimer’s like they have leprosy but I will get off my soap box for now. It’s just that, after the way I saw my dad drugged into oblivion in the psychiatric ward against our/his will, I realize that the medical community is going about this all wrong. These people have to be treated with love and respect, not fear and intimidation. Sometimes the only thing that is still recognizable and comfortable to them is their spouse; shouldn’t family caregivers be financially reciprocated to stay at home and care for their loved one vs. throwing them into an assisted living facility where they will be a drain on limited resources, plus alone and confused…? Until a cure is found, this horrendous disease IS coming to knock on all of our doors.”

Are you supporting a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease? If so, can you relate to Joleen’s feedback? Drop me a note about your experience.

Family photo by Amanda Coulon, Focal Point, Inc.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Living your life to the fullest, continued...

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Examiner article

I've been working on living in the moment for the past couple of years. REALIZING that multi-tasking totally destroys this concept! I had to throw away my old self and retrain my thinking. I found that my God given senses are the best tools that help me "live in the moment".

When you're trying to take something in, think about how all of your senses apply. Really look closely at the environment and become one with it. Good, bad or in different when you take it all in, it makes an impression and this process, in itself, enables you to release it and move on in a healthy way.

Have you made an effort to live in the moment? How has this changed your life? Drop me a note and tell me about it!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Is what you see what you get, continued...

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Examiner article

For the most part, anyone who really knows me knows I'm real from the outside in and inside out. I learned early in life that it is to exhausting to put any energy into anything other than the truth. This can be both good and bad at times. You see, I'm the friend you ask for a real opinion. Don't ask me if you don't want the truth otherwise you could get really upset!

The truth might hurt but I do believe it will set you free. So, if you're hiding anything, summon the courage to open up and brave the journey it creates. Let go of your secret. It might seem a little harder at first but once you get "real" you'll find your way and you'll find your ego isn't lighting the path!

What secrets are you keeping from your family and/or friends? Are you willing to share?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

To teach a lesson, sternly but with kindness, continued...

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Examiner article

It really amazes me how the Firek family’s bond strengthened during their hardship and how their compassion for human kind overpowered their anger as they followed through and participated in the court trial.

Joleen talked about how she forgave the criminals, “It was easier to forgive the boys and to simply look FORWARD. I don’t know how to explain how I accomplished that. I mean, I don’t like them. But I don’t hate them or wish them ill will. I hope one day they will pay back the world in kindness 100-fold for the horrible things they have done up to now.”

She continued, “I don’t talk about this openly in my blog or with my friends, but I think part of how I accomplished the forgiveness part had to do with believing in God. I sat in that courtroom, so tired from the past 2 years of my life (divorced, laid off, broke, exhausted caregiver) that I refused to take on one more upset. So I put it in God’s hands.”

Joleen offered advice to help others who are struggling through an overwhelming care giving situation, “There is a job position which sounds very vague and tends to be very expensive: Geriatric Care Manager, Care Advocate, Senior Care Expert, Care Consultant. We made the choice NOT to hire a Care Consultant. Knowing what I know now, BIG mistake! We had so many curve balls thrown at us within a 3 year period, we were exhausted. Not only that, but when it came down to needing a home for Dad which would tolerate violent residents (as Dad had become one), there’s no way to decipher one home from the others. Non-profits like Alzheimer’s Association are legally unable to tell you which homes on the general list are better or worse from the others; they can only give you a long list of homes for you to start investigating. Only an experienced Care Consultant knows the little differences!”

This is priceless advice from someone who is now working to help others impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. She is devoting her efforts into making a documentary about their journey with her father Frank. Learn more about their story by following her blog, Frankly Speaking: Alzheimer’s. It is filled with family, love, sorrow and hope for a better future for others!

Joleen’s parting words about her father, “He wanted so badly to make a difference and leave the world a better place than he found it; he chose to do this one person at a time. He lived his life with a Pay It Forward mentality. I believe that most people who passed in his wake knew that he was someone exceptional!”

Photo credit, Karrie Martin~Wings & Roots Photography

Friday, October 8, 2010

The key to happiness, continued...

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Examiner article

I think for most, including myself, we let our ego get in the way of our happiness. It likes to guide us by gauging our level of happy by the toys we own. In the article I ask you to list 3 intangible things that will bring you happiness and then to engage yourself by applying action to the list. For me, I am happy when my creativity helps relieve pain from others suffering hardship. It is the goal and foundation of my work today. I feel like the tip of my iceberg (in a good way) has surfaced allowing me to feel the warmth that comes from this intangible but very real feeling. The next thing for me is self-love. I'm getting there but I can't check this one off yet. I'm working on my health by exercising several times a week and changing my perspective of what is acceptable to me. I thank my body daily for enabling me to get out of bed and accomplish my many lists but I'm still tweaking this one! The 3rd item for me is making sure my actions reinforce my words. In other words, I practice what I preach. I want to be authentic all of the time. This is very important. I realize I am not perfect, I'm far from it, but I need to make sure my efforts are sincere and I embrace the world and myself in this manner!

Share with me 3 intangibles that make you happy. I'm excited to know!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Top ten stress relievers, continued

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Examiner article

This is the 2ND article I've posted listing ten stress relievers. They, of course, overlap. When I was busy in the corporate world I blew off lists like the one in my article today. I didn't allow myself the time to step out of my multi-tasked lifestyle. Of course, in this lifestyle I was extremely unhealthy; migraines, stomach issues, reflux etc. Today, I still take medicine for reflux but the headaches and stomach issues come very seldom now as apposed to weekly/daily previously.

I credit this to my curiosity for tapping into a universal peace and comfort that gifts me with grounding and balance. I've always believed in prayer but it offers so much more when I intertwine it with meditation. I also get so much more out of my exercise when I practice a short yoga session after a 30 minute run. Utilizing and interchanging all of these tools help me to find gratitude for my body (mind, body & spirit) in its current condition!

Can you leave a comment explaining how you achieve inner peace and balance in your life? I love to explore new ideas!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Diagnosed with Autism, continued...

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Examiner article

I love to see a Mom who is 100% vested into her family and to see how this investment reaps the ultimate reward; contributing healthy children who become successful adults! When I asked her about what she is most proud of, she got emotional. Her response, “This always makes me cry. I am proud of my family. I am proud of Michael in the work he is willing to put forward to understand his surroundings as well as us. I am proud of the effort that we have all put in to our family as a whole. As far as I am concerned, it is not just about Michael, it’s about every member of our family. We can now say, 17 years later, we have raised and continue to raise great kids. Challenges aside, which we have had many, I always look forward to what is coming with pride and confidence.”

They are successful in embracing each other and teaching and learning from one another. ANCA has helped them achieve healthy living; This community is truly heaven sent!

Can you recommend any organizations that are helping you? If so, send me a note. I love to learn about new programs that help our communities.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The secrets of making dreams come true, continued...

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Examiner article

It is really interesting to me to consider Walt Disney's recipe for success. He obviously created an empire and from what I've read, he did it with the utmost courage, constancy, confidence and curiosity. It is pretty cool how he shared to empower others. Do you agree with him? If not, what might your recipe be? What would you add or take away?

I think he summed it up perfectly and his legacy lives on as proof to it!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A primal tool that can save you from most any crisis, continued...

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Examiner article

I took my son to the hospital for lung testing this month and we met an interesting pulmonary specialist during our visit. I wish I could share his name but I don't have it. He discussed thoroughly the benefits of breathing properly which causes the full use of the diaphragm. He spent his precious time teaching us the proper way and telling us the importance of practicing only a few minutes a day. In his words, "Before you know it, you'll be doing it correctly without thinking twice about it!"

I started following a basic 1/2 yoga CD daily which also practices a breathing technique. I've intertwined the 2 and, to my surprise, I'm beginning to see the shape of a 2 pack forming just under my ribs at the top of my stomach. Now, keep in mind, I'm not in shape and below the 2 pack hangs a very under-toned stomach so it looks a bit funny now. But, I feel like I'm starting to get in shape from the inside out which is really a different approach. It is helping to motivate me!

Can you offer any unique techniques to exercise? Share with me!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The physical and spiritual side of dying, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

It is interesting to learn about Janice Ervin’s religious beliefs considering her extensive experience with death and her study of different religions, science and philosophies.

She shared several points on this subject.

•“There are countless etheric planes to accommodate the limitless levels of spiritual expansion and existence.
•Existence may appear random; however universal laws exist as a form of governance.
•The physical body, the mind, the emotional center and the spirit are linked and the effects of one facet flow to, and influence the other facets. So your personal power, your level or ability, parallels with your belief structure. Therefore, the intensity of your belief in your weakness, directly correlates to your lack of personal strength, or your capacity for individual power and action.
•From the moment you take your first steps on a spiritual path, your experience shifts. And as with any shift in awareness, all that surrounds you begins to alter as well. This can include the people in your life, the activities which bring you joy, and your outlook, moment by moment.
•All life is precious and serves a purpose, from the smallest insect to the greatest beast. To harm another is to alter its natural place in the universal mechanism.
•Mental states which do not bring joy, can experience a shift - be overcome - through the constant practice of meditation
•The consciousnesses of those who are discarnate remain connected to those who are incarnate through love.
•The Divine does not inflict pain for the purpose of learning. However man’s poor choices can cause him and others to experience pain.
•The body is a magnificent miracle of a machine; however, it is fragile and as such, subject to the illnesses, circumstances and conditions of this physical plane. It is not intended to last for eternity as there is great beauty and much to experience on other planes. Should it last an eternity, our overall awareness and connection to so much more would be stymied.
•The root of the Divine is a constant state of unconditional love. Love is Divine. Therefore, communication with those whom we love and miss, who are now of a discarnate form, is a natural experience. Unfortunately, superstition, religious dogma through the ages, and fear create walls which hamper and even block this natural process.
•Our thoughts, feelings and actions carry an energetic force and initiate ripples that span outward.
•Checking oneself to see whether the intent of their thoughts, feelings and actions stem from a loving, non-ego state can bring about shifts in personal awareness.
•One state of consciousness is no better than another – to think otherwise, is to implement judgment.
•There IS more to existence than only that which we only perceive through our five senses. Science finds evidence daily to support this statement.
•Existence is never ending.
•We are beings gifted with a choice willing consciousness. The words commonly utilized here are ‘free will’. However our free will choices are only as expansive as our awareness. For example, if you’ve never left your small town, your educational awareness for making choices will differ from a world traveled individual, in effect, hampering the purity of your free will options to a degree.
•We are not puppets living a pre-determined existence, with a greater being pulling the strings for the purpose of our learning and growth. I believe we have the ability to exert choice and control over our destiny. That does not say that there isn’t a level of determinism involved. But that determinism alters constantly, based upon man’s choices.

For example: A person may choose to drive to the store on a road directly into the path of a truck with broken breaks. As the truck is careening down the hill towards that innocent person, that individual may suddenly decide they want to pull into a fast food location to get a coke. They make this choice; pull off the road, and the truck careens past seconds later. The determinism is in the truck’s inability to stop, and therefore will collide with any physical obstacle in its path. The free will choices exacted by humans alters the physical results of the incident.
•Existence on this plane offers limitless opportunities for learning and evolvement of spirit.
•“Everything (DOES NOT) happen for a reason”, except in the broadest language of determinism. However, there is something to be gleaned from every experience, should we choose to search long enough and hard enough to find the wisdom. This belief is not offered flippantly or lightly. I understand that life experiences can be enormously painful…especially in cases involving the physical death of a loved one. But it can be these same situations that place the initiate on a path to a more expansive consciousness.
•Timeless, eternal existence is a reality.
•Through a blend of our free will choice and a strong energetic pull, we alter our state of existence between a discarnate form (out of physical body) and an incarnate form. (in physical body)
•There are unlimited levels of vibrational force on this physical earth plane, from that found in a quark, to a flower, to an animal to a human. On an overall level though, it is my current theory that all contains a modicum of Divine consciousness – a natural, innocent, pure loving force.
•All that exists is derived from one Divine, awakened, source, which increased in its vibrational force, sending forth fractions of it’s energy. Evolvement of that energetic force creates all that we know today. In the ‘all’ I refer not only to the animal and human life, I refer to the plant, mineral and even gaseous elements. I refer to the room, and the oxygen in the air.
•Since the Divine is in all, there are no incorrect paths of existence. Some ‘paths’ are more winding and scenic in nature – others more expedient and direct. Eventually, all lead to a heightened ability to love, greater expansion and personal transformation
•Personal transformations unite individuals in an appreciation for love as the root to forward progression.
•It is possible that if enough individuals undergo personal transformation, a wondrous global shift can occur.”
She continued, “These are only some of what I’ve deduced thus far. However, education is never ending. I am constantly filtering new thoughts and ideas through the meshing of my conclusions to ascertain whether there are flaws in the thought process or flaws in the conclusions I’ve assembled. Thus far, my deductions have held steady.”
As you can see, Janice has very strong views of existence both physically and spiritually. It always amazes me how someone comes full circle in their beliefs and how such beliefs are shaped as one matures. Janice was raised in the Catholic religion although her study and work has evolved her view into a much more sophisticated and open-minded perspective.
How have your beliefs about spirituality changed as you’ve grown. Fill me in on your progression. It is really interesting to me!

Friday, September 24, 2010

The virtual door of opportunities, continued...

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Examiner article

With my purchasing background I've been someone who has used the Internet as a tool for sourcing for a very long time. But, on the social side, I had no clue what a blog was or the in's and out's of Facebook just 2 years ago. And, today I've got a couple of thousand friends and a blog that people actually read! I'm so grateful and I'm still in awe!

I'm really curious what you utilize the Internet for most. I've got my web business Lifetime Art Impressions, LLC and I'm active with my Examiner and Open To Hope columns and Facebook page but otherwise I use it for research, education and marketing. Of course, I can't forget my wasted but fun time playing Bejeweled. It is a time I like to allocate for useless activity:)

How has the Internet changed your daily endeavors? What sites are you active on (please no adult site links) Drop me a note!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Story of sadness, wonder and intrigue, continued...

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Examiner article

I chose Vincent Van Gogh for this article although many famous artists would have fit the profile. I once read that a person is most creative in their darkest hours, perhaps this is why these historical famous artists coped through such sadness. I think everyone has moments, hours and even days of weakness. Days when you are just to tired to fight the fight and you want to just bury your head under the covers and stay in the fetal position. But when days become weeks and weeks become months and you find yourself shutting down through self-sabotage you've crossed the line into a danger zone that is threatening your livelihood.

Depression is very serious and therefore if you're unable to find a glimmer of hope to hold onto while you're coping through the tough times, please reach out for help. You are human and as humans we need help. It is okay to admit this!

The purpose of the article is to help you find beauty and creativity in your life and to help you recognize your efforts even if they feel insignificant. As noted in the article, Van Gogh said, “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” Give yourself credit where credit is due, even for the baby steps, and keep chugging along!

What are you're thoughts about depression? How do you cope through sadness? Share your outlets, it might help others who are struggling.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Her focus is so meaningful, continued...

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Examiner article

Janice Ervin specializes in grief, the spiritual connection and as a Hospice & Vigil Service volunteer, she has been touched by many beautiful souls as their earthly journeys came to an end.

She shared one of many stories, “One sweet patient taught me a heightened sensitivity for the plight of those who have lost their independence, with no hope of it returning throughout the remainder of their lifetime. Mable was in an elderly care facility, and had lost the use of her hands because of a stroke. She was never again able to dress herself, or leave her bed to visit the restroom without asking for aid, or take a shower when she wanted. Can you imagine waking in the morning and suddenly not being able to get up, use the rest room, dress or eat until someone arrived to assist you? What if you wake early? What if you are hungry or thirsty in the middle of the night? I asked HOC what her favorite food was, and they told me she loved coffee ice cream. So the first time I visited, I surprised her with a quart. When I sat to help her eat, she begged me to let her feed herself. She only had on a pajama top which ended high on her thighs. As she struggled to eat, the ice cream melted and ran down her bare legs. It was a messy ordeal, but she loved every second of it. More ice cream found its way on the chair and her body than in her mouth, but for the first time in ages, she felt as if she exerted control over her life. I pondered the situation on my way home that night. The next time I visited, I stopped at 7-11, purchased a cup with an extra long, large straw, and some milk. I carted my blender into her room, made her a coffee shake, sat it in her lap, and wrapped her sweet hands around the cup. She was absolutely delighted. She was able to hold the cup, and enjoy the shake while we chatted and watched tv for hours.”

Anyone who spends anytime genuinely volunteering understands the intangible and heart filling rewards that come from reaching out to others in need. Janice’s story is such a testimony to this!

Have you researched the organizations where you can volunteer in your community? It is a worthwhile endeavor to invest your precious time! Leave a comment describing to me what makes your spirit soar! I love inspirational stories.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ability without honor is useless, continued...

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Examiner article

I’m not sure many of my coworkers who surrounded me in my 20 years of manufacturing had any idea that I could do more than just draw a stick person. What I didn’t know was the joy I was neglecting myself by retiring my oil pastels for most of my adult life and ignoring my ability.

Today I honor it and regardless if my art career stabilizes or I have to make a living working for someone else, I will continue to honor my creativity. It feels like it has made me whole again. I didn’t really stop and pay attention during my multi-tasking years to my need for more. It is really pretty sad but through forced change that I stressed over, it has come full circle for me. I so believe in the words of Marcus T. Cicero as quoted on Great, “Ability without honor is useless.”

Are you honoring your ability? Tell me about it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Failure is part of the process of becoming successful, continued...

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Examiner link

I’m someone who feels passionate about everything I focus on. I believe I can be successful at anything when I truly put my heart and soul into it. But, I have failed many times in the past (a divorce comes to mind among many other things). I’ve been humbled time and time again! Today, I feel very vulnerable to economic factors, to the public in regards to their opinion of my art and writings and to the transition of my career. I’m living on the edge and working to make ends meet which seem to get farther and farther apart. At times, after almost 2 years, I feel like my many failed attempts marketing my work validates my dream is just a vision in my head without merit.

But then I hear from someone who shared kind words about something I wrote or created; it touched them and helped sooth their pain in their time of need. This little pick me up is enough to fuel my passion and enable me to keep chugging along! I wish I could look into a crystal ball to see if my art venture turns into a successful career but without all of my hard work, these years at the grindstone, I’m not sure I would truly appreciate it when I finally get there. My dream is to become an established author and artist (while I'm alive, not in the aftermath of my death).

Just 2 years ago my dream was to become an author and artist and today I can say I’ve reached this goal. Although, I continue to reach higher.

What are your dreams? Has failure kept you from moving forward? Share with me!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A spiritual theorist, continued...

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Examiner article

It takes a special person to come to the side of a stranger who is transitioning from their physical being. Janice Ervin is a strong and compassionate angel here on earth! Because her message is so powerful, I will be spending the next few Sundays sharing her words with my readers. Unfortunately, my column is limited to only 400 words and this is far too small for all of the critical information Janice made available. Janice offered the following list about grief.
In her words,
1. “Grief is the normal process of reacting to a loss, on all levels of physical being. Bereavement is the period after a loss during which grief is experienced.
2. The emotions of grief ebb and flow. BE as you are. Allow yourself to experience the emotions of the moment – move with the ups and downs. Be angry or sad. Yell, pound a pillow, and cry when you feel the need – toxins are released through tears. And when the spirit moves you, don’t regret the healing joy found in laughter. Your loved one would wish no less for you.
3. Allow that grief is a sacred experience that doesn’t have an actual end time. It is organic to each individual, and a journey. It is not easily cured with medicine.
4. Grief evolves through the years – it is a process which unfolds the current loss into the future life.
5. Support plays an important role during the bereavement process, so share your process with others in a safe environment. Areas through which support can be found include family members, close friends and bereavement support groups.
6. In this fast paced world, the effects of grief on the physical body are often unrealized, overlooked and misunderstood.
a. Chemical changes taking place within the body affect levels of dehydration. Water makes up 83% of the blood and acts as a transport system delivering nutrients to the brain and eliminating toxins. During grief, chemical changes taking place within the body affect the levels of dehydration. It is therefore critically important to drink water, to replenish fluids and release toxins.
b. Replenish Magnesium and Calcium, as these levels are rapidly depleted during the grief process.
c. Eat a potato with its skin to increase your serotonin level. Omega 3 fatty acids in fish also raise serotonin.
d. Focus when possible on taking long slow breaths. To assist with this process, purchase a bottle of bubbles. Breath work forces the brain to cease it’s natural stress/alarm process, and translates as a chemical reaction that sends relaxation hormones through the body.
e. Progressive muscle relaxation forces the body to relax and increases blood flow.
f. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables to assist the adrenal function and because the stomach tends to be sensitive during grief
g. Assist the thyroid by insuring adequate intake of iodine.
h. Gentle exercise provides obvious benefits.”
If you follow my column and blog you know I suffered the loss of my Father through hospice. It was a trying process that really took a toll on me, both physically and mentally. Regardless if your loss was through hospice or not, the above list is essential to your wellbeing. Can you add anything? Drop a comment if this post resonated with you!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Yoga, use of balance, continued...

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Article link

I finally put in a Yoga DVD I received as a gift for Christmas this past year.

I'm sitting here typing this blog post with very sore muscles everywhere. The most prominent areas, my shoulders, arms, neck and even my jaw. I feel like I have whip-lash. I must have an extremely heavy head and I think I was clinching my teeth together while trying to attempt the poses:( During the session the instructor kept saying to smile. I wasn't to receptive to this but perhaps my jaw wouldn't be so sore had I given the smile bit a shot!

My doctor recommended I try it to correct my posture and to cure the hump I'm starting to develop at the top of my spine. I know it is good for me and I'll continue to attempt it. I'm sure with time I'll get better! Who would have thought yoga was so hard?

What are you doing to keep yourself in shape? Let me know.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Your soul sensory, continued...

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Examiner article

It took me hours to find the words "soul sensory" to describe the tool that has and continues to enable the spiritual awakening that I feel is taking place in the transition of my life today. So far, it has been a 2 year process and every day when I open my eyes, I feel a bit closer to all of the pieces coming together and falling into place. I'm on a path that I could have never imagined, it is beyond any of my dreams.

I used to put in long days in the business world without much satisfaction. But today, I can work for hours to put words to my thoughts like, soul sensory, and I'm so fulfilled with the outcome. It empowers me and ignites my spirit. I hopeful my words are not from out in left field and you're able to relate to my thoughts.

Provide some feedback, good or bad, I'm grateful for the comments!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hurricane Katrina gave me some valuable perspective, continued...

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Examiner article

I am so amazed when someone changes their life dramatically by following their gut instinct, like Jenny Pavlovic did. I love it when the loop is closed and the person is gifted with true fulfillment by doing so! Jenny persevered through her fears, anxieties any of us would have had. A women traveling by herself to an area that is suffering tremendously after a natural disaster; Hurricane Katrina. Jenny found her way and found a beautiful dog, Kate, in the process. She has cared for and loved Kate back to health. Pretty amazing story!

Jenny is still trying to find Kate's owners. Please take a look at the book cover, read the article linked & watch the video to see if you recognize the dog. I've got my fingers crossed she'll find them!

Do you know anyone who has transitioned their life into a more fulfilling career? If so, please connect them with me if they are willing to share. I really love these stories!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Why the rush, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

I am someone who is pretty comfortable behind the wheel. I can get around in heavy Michigan traffic. Realizing this, I try my best to focus on the ever changing variables around me during my outings. I'm also proud to say I have signed Oprah's No phone zone contract. I do use my phone but I'm hands free now. I'm working to eliminate it all together. It is a distracting danger.

It is easy to show the impact of careless and rushed driving because safety is important to all of us and traffic statistics are black and white. But, take this concept and apply it to anything. You are not super-human. Anything you rush through, will be impacted by careless mistakes. Is it really worth the rush?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Balance the mayhem, continued...

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Examiner article:

I often write about overcoming hardship and balancing your life because problems frequent us so often. I find it nice to offer a positive reminder to help myself and others to navigate through such hard times.

It seems I'm preaching the same message; don't avoid, accept change by feeling and releasing the moments (staying present), lean on your support circle for help, stay healthy, keep the faith and find your gratitude, look for silver linings and learn the lesson so you're sure you don't have to repeat the experience again.

What can you offer to this very important list? Help me to build a tool box we can all dig through and utilize during times of distress!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

An Organization Whose Mission Is To Stimulate Creative Expression, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

I had a very nice chat with Katherine Wilson during our interview meeting. She is very down to earth, sincere in her endeavors and charismatic. It is really nice to know such a warm person is at the top of the Ann Arbor Women Artist Organization (AAWA)!

I found AAWA on-line the July before last. Since then I've taken a few Internet workshops with them and had a few notices posted in their newsletter. It is my goal to be a bit more actively involved over the next year with this very creative group of individuals.

I like how Katherine described her feelings when she found the group, "I felt like I made it home." It does help to motivate when you can lean on the creative energy and inspiration that is emanating from others.

What organization do you belong to in your community? Share your feelings about it with me and my readers.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Miracles, feel this sensation of awe, continued...

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Examiner article

I posted a picture with this article of an oil pastel drawing I did in the past. It is of a little boy running in his yard. To me, it feels full of life. I noted that bringing life to a blank sheet of paper is a miracle to me. I so believe this. It is a heavenly inspiration that comes into me and enables anything that resembles the actual photo to come to life. There is no way I could do this on my own! I feel like I go into this coma type state that blocks everything out when I'm working on a piece of art. It is very serene and peaceful for me! I get to participate in these heavenly drawings and writings on a daily basis, pretty cool, huh?

Tell me about your miracles. I would love to share them with my readers. They make for such inspirational and empowering stories. Help me spread the faith!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This difference makes you memorable, continued...

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I love the name of my art business, Lifetime Art Impressions. At the time I created the business, I knew that someday I would be able to capture memorable moments through my art and I had hoped people would actually pay me to do it:)

I was going through my divorce and, at that time, decided it was the right period in my life to at least create and register the name. I remember thinking, what is memorable and warm? When it came to me, it felt right. It took me 8 years before I actively started writing and drawing for a living. And, what amazes me even more today is that all aspects of my work (as I continue to broaden my work) still fits the name perfectly.

People commission me to write an inspirational piece about their loved one. I'll create it, overlay the piece on one of my nature photos and I'll press a flower and frame the work. It is really touching when my client gets the artwork and I watch their eyes well up with joy. I also get the same fulfillment when I bring life to a sheet of poster board and create a drawing for someone.

These types of impressions become timeless!

Tell me about your most memorable impressions and how they've impacted you. Share your stories!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Memories of tragedy my guardian angel helped me survive, continued...

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Safehouse Center of Ann Arbor, MI. made the connection between me and Rachel Holmes. I've never met anyone who has overcome so much and who is so positive today. She is on a real mission to make the world a better place by empowering others with her story. I believe only the power of God could protect someone like Rachel and guide them through so much.

Do you know anyone who is coping with sexual assault or in a domestic violent intimate relationship? If so, it might help them to read Rachel's story. Please forward it to them if possible.

The National hot line number for those surviving domestic violence is (800) 799-SAFE (7233). If you know anyone please carefully and quietly encourage them to reach out for help. Everyone deserves loving kindness especially from the ones who are supposed to be protecting them not hurting them.

I can only pray for those struggling in this type of unhealthy environment. May you find your way to safety and may God bless you and protect you along the way!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Little things do mean a lot, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

Boy, have I been trying to drill this concept into my teenagers for years. It drives me crazy when they get off of the school bus and walk right by the empty garbage can on their way into house. They are getting better as the years pass. I imagine it will fully set in as they graduate from school!

Little things do mean a lot in every aspect of our lives. I am someone who usually picks up the crumbled piece of paper on the street. I'm not going to chase something down but if it falls right into my path, I will stoop down, pick it up and through it away. It just makes for a cleaner community. No one likes to look at streets that are full of garbage but most won't take the extra second or two to help keep it clean. It amazes me how thoughtless some people are when it comes to this kind of stuff.

I do understand that if we just all cared enough to clean up after ourselves, we wouldn't have messy houses or streets but we have to start some where so why not start here and help with the cause?

What are you doing to make the world a better place? Share some of the little things you do that make a difference!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Is your well running dry, continued...

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Examiner link

Wow, does my well feel drained this week. I'm sure I'm not going to get much sympathy as I'm recovering from a 3 day trip to the Dominican Republic which was supposed to fuel my energy not take away from it. I'm pretty sick this week; I'm sure it was from something I ate or drank while at the resort. When you're physically down, the emotional state follows pretty quickly!

It was a beautiful setting and wonderful to get a little taste of the island but had I known the impact of my get away would have been so dramatic, I would have saved my health. Be careful when you are visiting foreign countries; I basically tried everything to get that hands on experience. Not such a wise choice:(

Otherwise, in my normal life, I feel my work is a daily spiritual renewal for me. I'm very lucky and grateful for each day I'm able to devote time to write and/or bring a blank page to life through a drawing. Pretty amazing and, with each project, I'm in awe with the outcome. Creativity is number one on my list of "things that bring me joy"; Reading, being with family/friends and stepping into nature are all on my list (no particular order).

What are basic or simple things that gift you with joy? Take a moment and share with me and my readers; I always love to hear how others find moments of peace and comfort.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I call hobo a little dog in a cat suit, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this article link:

Examiner article

I completely relate with Kevin and his comment about his cat being a dog dressed in a cat suit. My Scruples was the same way. He would fetch, carry socks around and beg just like a dog. Could he have had a dog hanging off his family tree somewhere in the past:)

I love promoting authors like Kevin who work to help other animals in need. He is sharing part of his proceeds with his local animal shelter. Pretty cool!

If you can afford it and you have a child in your life, purchase the book about Hobo and bring a smile to the child and at the same time help a four legged friend!

Click here to purchase his book.
Are you a dog person, cat person or have you been converted to one or the other? Drop me a note and let me know! I love to hear from you.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Be the change, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

Basically what I'm trying to say in this article is, Walk the talk. If you want to change the world start with yourself first. I think a lot of people just like to complain. Sure, that is okay once in a while but, on a whole, practice what you preach or emanate what you wish the world to reflect.

It sounds simple although once you give it a shot, you'll see it causes a whole new way of thinking which is pretty cool!

How are you bringing about positive change? Drop me a note!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Validate others, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

I have always been a multi-tasker so I have to be very careful to make sure I'm giving my undivided attention to the people who surround me. I think we're all human and at times we're forced to make the most out of our time but for those moments when it is necessary and you should know when, PUT DOWN THE GADGETS. Look into the eyes of your recipient and engage into a sincere conversation. Validate them by listening, interface and consider their message. How does it impact you? Let them know to confirm you really do care!

Are you making the most of your relationships? Drop me a note and let me know.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

You might say my life has gone to the dogs, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner link

Dawn and I, like many of my fellow animal loving friends, connected through Facebook on the Internet. I have no doubt that she is very passionate about our 4-legged friends. I love the way she described animals as "Spiritual beings, different from humans but not lesser beings." It is so true.

There are so many people in the world who give no priority to these little angels. Animal cruelty is hard for me to imagine. It breaks my heart to think of so many homeless and abused animals who haven't known love.

Just as Dawn requested, I reiterate her plea, please do whatever possible to help homeless animals; these pets need lovek!

What have you done to better an animal's life? How has it given back to you? Share with me if you can.

Friday, August 6, 2010

It is best to empower, continued...

Click on the below post to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

Wow, enabling and empowering, verbs that are very different in their impact on others. I do believe it is okay to step in and help someone who is over their head and I don't consider this enabling; it's a good deed and maybe needed help. But when you have to step in time and time again, guess what, your are now enabling something that isn't healthy. But as I said in the article, it is such a priceless gift to help someone learn how to overcome their challenges with a gentle nudge and loving emotional support; empowerment is extraordinary!

As I look back over the years, I know I have enabled many times in the past. It is easy to do when you love someone and you're caught up in their drama. Logic seems to fall to the side and, if you're a kind person, suddenly you're heart is hurting for them and you're stepping into their mess.

If you want to step in, help them find their way to solve their own dilemma through a shoulder to lean and maybe a little sound advice and education. They may not be so receptive at the time but, guess what, it is time!

How are you empowering others? Share with me, I love to hear your stories.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Adult orphans, continued...

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Examiner article

I first heard the label "Adult Orphan" from Lisa Hein who hosts the Internet radio show Everyday Parenting. It struck me just to hear it termed like this. When I think of an orphan it really pulls at my heart especially since I have children; I just can't imagine any child, without parents. Until I lost my dad, I had no idea of the void I talked about in this article. I am a very independent adult but knowing I can't see him and interface with him in the same way, makes me feel sad and child like in a odd way. I am fortunate to still have my Mom in my life and I truly appreciate the time I have with her. But loss really does touch on vitality. I realize it is part of life but when you live it, the logic of it being "part of life" is hard to embrace.

Are you an adult orphan? If so how have you been able to move forward in life?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dallas-Fort Worth Dachshund Rescue Foundation, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this blog post:

Examiner article

Sally Monahan and I connected on Facebook by sharing the common interest of promoting the well being of our four-legged friends. She volunteers at the Dallas-Fort Worth Dachshund Rescue Foundation. She connected me with Kathleen Coleman who, if you read the article, is a real life angel. Kathleen devotes her efforts towards rescuing Dachshunds.

I'm so grateful for people like Sally and Kathleen. They advocate on behalf of our little fury companions and work to better their world and ours!

What can you do to help with this very worthy cause? Contact the rescue foundation if you're able to adopt and/or donate. Anything is helpful and appreciated!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Loyalty, a feeling of devotion, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this post:

Examiner article

I think loyalty is one of my best traits but it is also one of my faults because I usually sacrifice my well being for far to long before I realize, hey, I'm tired of being the door mat and I need to make a change. It is why I stayed in an unhealthy marriage for far to many years. It is why I stayed in unhealthy jobs for to long and it is why I've had people around me who ended up hurting me because I gave them the benefit of the doubt and shouldn't have. The good news is eventually I wised up and today I have healthy people around me.

Please do not miss-interpret my message. Turmoil arises in all relationships at times and we have to decide to overcome it or move on. You'll do what feels right. This is part of life. And, at times, you'll need to give more than you will receive and this is okay too. Just be sure this cycle balances out in the long run and if it doesn't, cut the string and move on!

What are your feelings regarding loyalty? Have I hit a nerve; share with me!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Maintain a healthy brain as you age, continued...

Click on the below article link to obtain background information to this post:

Examiner article

I learned a lot from my research for this article. I feel like my life is much more paced these days in comparison to my previous executive life-style. I used to multi-task and I seemed so on top of things back then. I'm only talking about 2 or 3 years ago. Today I feel more scattered with less pressure on me. Could I have aged that much moving from my thirties to my forties?

I'm thankful for the "promoting healthy brain" foods listed in the article. I'm sure I am going to make an effort to fill my diet with these nutrients.

What are you doing to keep yourself and your brain healthy?