Sunday, December 30, 2012

The inspired life, continued...

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The inspired life, Unleashing Your Mind’s Capacity For Joy by Susyn Reeve with Joan Breiner, is a book I recommend for your reading list. If you read my column you are aware that I live my life open to improvement and this book fits my criteria for renewal; it motivated me!

I reference the book section that offered detail supporting the science behind Neuro-pathways (how we create and respond to our thoughts either, with or without action and why).

Understanding that a new pathway is created and/or seeded and then nurtured into a well-traveled and healthy path can support a future full of positive action. It offers a different perspective to our familiar problems in creating change.

It hit home for me relevant to my journey of healthy living; this is what I need to do to improve my eating choices, create well-traveled paths! I think this is really profound.

Click on the below link to purchase a copy for yourself. I hope each and every one of you is motivated to lead your most inspired life. And, I believe Susyn Reeve’s and Joan Breiner’s book will help you do this.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Meaning of the snowman, continued...

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Examiner article

I was talking to my oldest sister the other day and she was telling me that she was going to be babysitting my great niece this week. She also shared that her granddaughter was really looking forward to building a snowman. She is only 3 years old but she already appreciates the magic of the season and the joy it brings.

This made me think about all of the snowmen I built with my boys when they were little. I bought a big black top hat at a going out of business sale at a store. The boys loved picking the perfect twigs for the arms. We tried to make the largest snow balls that I could possibly lift.

It was a lot of fun. It wasn't too long ago when I actually made one myself, the year before last. Last year I got down in the snow and made snow angels, pretty glistening imprints.

Today, as I shoveled several inches of snow, first from my mom's driveway, and then from mine, I tried to stay in the present moment. As the hours passed I realized the mindless work, fresh air and workout actually made me feel better!

What are your thoughts about the snow? Do you take the time to enjoy it before the season vanishes into spring? If not, I urge you to try something new and enjoy it while you can!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ethical behavior worthy advice, continued...

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Examiner article

I'm excited to learn more about the psychological make of immoral practice as I dive into my counseling master's degree starting in January. It seems like I've been dealing with unethical people over my whole business career. Even as an artist I find myself battling over lost sales because stores lose my product and then expect me to foot their inappropriate behavior. It is unacceptable.

It is such a blessing when I find a person of ethics in my day-to-day world. Yes, I have many in my circle but when I stumble upon one in the world, the connection warms my heart and instills hope for a brighter future.

I do keep the faith and I'm fortunate because I'm blessed with a great life.

I feel that perhaps because, as a teenager, I'm ashamed of my inappropriate behavior, I continue to attract situations that force me to do the right thing time and time again as an adult. When does this karmic wrong become right? I will continue to offer insight as I learn it when it comes to the shadows. These are the dark corners of our psyche that seem to haunt us such as unethical practice.

Any comments are appreciated!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Jodies journey, continued...

Photo provided by Jodie Guerrero

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Jodie Guerrero communicated, “Living for life and fighting for life, has taught me some valuable lessons. It has now shaped who I am as a person and made me more grateful for every moment that steps into my journey. My struggles to get an initial diagnosis highlighted major flaws in the medical systems; I reached out to for help. As a result, I was determined to find out why my diagnosis was so delayed and why my symptoms could not gain the attention of the doctors I sought help from. I took my case to a state health commission here in Australia, who investigated - after an almost 2 year deep look into my desperate struggle, my chief GP was finally disciplined. Although, I got no apology from him, at least I was able to fix a big problem and take a stand for other patients to know that they too can advocate for themselves and for the system. It was never about revenge, but turning a broken health system into a more positive and safe environment for other patients. The full story about my case is here:”

Jodie talked about her support, “I believe I'm a strong person from the outset, able to push through and persevere where others, feel like quitting and don't follow through. However, without a doubt, my strong faith in God has been everything to my family and me. Without that faith and my understanding of a promised eternity, I may have struggled with the weight of my diagnosis and prognosis much more and could have descended into an un-recoverable mental illness nightmare or even have decided to take my own life.  But, just when I felt like giving up, I was always reminded of my key foundations and what I believed, as a disciple and as a woman and mother - who needed to live for her husband and 2 kids. I remember being alone in hospital, looking out of my room at the city lights, planes coming into land and on the horizon - a church displayed a large lit red cross, across the city - without fail it was there every night and reminded me that I was not yet dead, but very much alive and able to carry on and push past this evil thing trying to eat my body.”  

She discussed her condition today, “Although I have a prognosis of incurable, I am currently in remission and excited about the opportunities being placed before me every day. I am also hopeful that current research into cures for Lymphoma and Leukemia are advancing at a rapid rate and showing promising signs to keep patients alive for much longer. Research indicates that there maybe a cure, just on the horizon. I have significant pain without medication, and mobility issues with my right leg, due to scaring of the S1 nerve root. However, I am closely monitored and supported by a caring team of doctors who provide the correct medications for me to live normally and without pain, due to my medications. A pain team and mental health professionals also monitor me for signs of distress or anxiety. I am very blessed to be managed by the southern hemisphere's biggest and best hospital.”

Jodie talked about hitting bottom, “I believe my rock bottom was in my final months prior to diagnosis. Not one person around me believed what I was telling them, not even my husband.  I felt completely trapped in a failing body and in a land of mental confusion. I knew my body was failing, but everyone was telling me that I was wrong, that I looked fine. How else was I able to carry-on a full-time city job and care for 2 kids and a family, whilst I was sick?  I had no choice, regardless of my pain and physical symptoms; I couldn't just drop everything, because not one soul believed me. Even walking to work from the train, in the city was becoming more and more painful, my right leg was shuddering with nerve pain and pins and needles from the pressure of tumors on my nerve roots in my lower back.  I often thought at the time and was comforted by that fact, that if I did finally collapse, the hospital was not far away and an ambulance could get me there fast. Lessons from such an experience could only be described as life altering and I am not sure I would really call them lessons. They were more like little continual nightmares, one after the other. I would say the main lesson I did learn was to trust your gut and never give up, no matter what the obstacles. I could have stopped going to doctors or maybe decided not to go to the ER and died within a short period of time. Giving up is and never will be an option, only 2nd place. First place is the only place I want to be.”

Her advice for others, “When those around you tell you to be quiet, don't feel discouraged. When your pain is escalating, don't be defeated. Understand that these things are temporary and will always come and go. Make sure you form a supportive and positive network around you, who believe in you 100%, even if they are outside of your family.  Reach out to professional support groups for your specific disease - make sure you attend meetings to support yourself and give back to others struggling with the same disease. Grab every opportunity to use your experiences to change a system that may have failed you or made your journey more difficult. This way your difficulties may benefit other patients in the future, by creating a service that is better for future patients.”

Jodie’s closing words, “I want to encourage your readers that no matter what happens, life is worth every day. Don't give up, even when you feel overwhelmed. My disease has created opportunities to speak to media, royalty and politicians. I have written my story in a world-wide book and now I am now an Ambassador for 2 major organizations. Some of the world's top royalty have read my story: Her Majesty The Queen of England, Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess of Denmark (Mary Donaldson), Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton) and also The governor-general of Australia (Ms. Quentin Bryce). With medical support, you can do anything and everything. Live life to the fullest."

Friday, December 21, 2012

Doomsday transformation resulting in rebirth, continued...

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

Examiner article

Of course we didn't wake to find destructive universal forces ending the world, it's a new day; Winter Solace. It can be a day that ends our old unhealthy ways of living; a day for transformation. Think of it the way you might think of the New Year and your resolutions, why not start early?

For me, I have 5 more workouts to meet my 66 day workout challenge and, I must say, I'm feeling stronger. I started this challenge after I read that by doing something 66 times in a row, a neuro-path is created in the brain and it becomes 2nd nature. After realizing this challenge (almost), I can already tell it is working; it's a positive change and I feel it will be easier to continue when I compare it to past efforts. Give it a shot, it might be intimidating at first but if you take it one day at a time, you'll get there.

Regardless of predictions for today, I awoke with the intent to workout, write my Friday Examiner article, clean the house, work on my book, meditate, create a healthy dinner for my kids, and whatever else I can fit into before I cap the night by spending a romantic evening away with my better half!

It is a beautiful day, different than all others before it because it's new. I've never lived on 12/21/12 before and I'll never get the chance to live this day again, so I'm going to make it count! How about you?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Low calorie holiday dessert, continued...

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

Examiner article

I was excited when I thought about the mixture of fudge-cycles and frozen cherries for my Cherry-chocycle dessert. It really is a yummy treat and I can't believe how low it is in calories; only 150 (hurray)!

Besides the Vanilla Almond milk substitute for eggnog I mentioned in the article, I've also gave up whipped cream (two tablespoons equals 50 calories), which used to top my Chai tea. Instead, I order my Starbuck's Chai extra foamy. These kind of substitutions are brilliant to me.

Do you have any you can share?

I've tried substituting applesauce for shortening (when baking), can you think of any others?

Drop me a note with some that have worked for you, I'd love to hear about them!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I married Mr. America, continued...

Photo of Lindy provide by Lindy through Mari Selby

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Lindy Tefft discussed her writing process, “It took me 16 years to write my memoirs and a tremendous amount of courage to revive past treachery. The drive I have to help others is more powerful than the painstaking task of reliving the emotional trauma.

The writing of this book helped me to be proud of the fact that I have survived so much and has helped me to continue my own personal healing process. The publishing process was tedious and made me go back to areas in my life that I would not have revisited. During this process more trauma rose to the surface and once again it made me more determined to claim Simply Lindy."

 I Married Mr. America can be purchased on the publisher’s website and

Her advice, “During the toughest times, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and really step into a space of self-love for all that you are going through and all that you have endured. As you start to gain more and more self-love, you learn to understand your own authenticity and can live with an honesty that will pave your way out of any horrible situation. It was the lack of self-love that got you there and attracted that abuse to you in the first place.

We have all gone through tough times, some worse than others, and not all of us have the calling to write about it. So, for those of you that still hold so much pain and trauma inside, and have not been able or are afraid to talk to anyone, this book is your voice!”

You can contact Lindy via email,

Tradition helps soothe the pain of loss, continued...

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

Examiner article

I really didn't think about traditions until after I loss my father in 2008. His physical absence impacted my life dramatically (especially during the holidays). I was full of sorrow the first Thanksgiving (his birthday was 11/25) and Christmas without him. He was always the life of the party blessing us with laughter as he had a great sense of humor. This was his legacy and tradition. I struggled horribly to feel his spirit at this time of year but it seemed like my void darkened my world and this blocked his light from coming through.

Last year I decided I needed to make him part of our gathering so I spent many hours looking at old family videos and clipping out sections of him to create a DVD that I could gift to all in his memory. We watched it with tears in our eyes at the party but laughed at the same time as some of the silly clips played. It felt good to see him, our spirits lifted. This year I took an old black and white photo of my Mom and Dad and created t-shirts, tote bags and mouse pads in his memory. Everyone was touched by the gifts. I want to continue to find ways to honor him each year as a tradition.

Is there a tradition that helps you cope with a loss? I would love to hear about it if you'd like to share. Your story may help others.

The calendar in the above photo was made by my Ex-husband's grandfather. He was the most kind and loving person. He left a profound impact on me. I think of him each and every time I change the months and/or look at his handy work. He hand crafted this wood calendar as a gift for me. I'll cherish it for years to come!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Crappy things happen, continued...

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

Examiner article

My fiancee and I were supposed to go up North 2 weekends ago for a night get away. We drove part way up and came upon a snow storm; it was white out conditions. The photo above was after we turned around. We had to cancel our reservations.

The following weekend we booked again. He was supposed to work until early afternoon and then we were going to leave. There were emergencies at work and we didn't get to leave until after midnight. We arrived at the hotel at 4AM and had to turn around and leave by 10AM so he could return to work the next day (he wasn't scheduled but was forced to go back the next day to tie up loose ends). That same Saturday I put a dent in his car (of course by accident). My list of crap can go on and on. It seems I've been in a rut as of late and this inspired the article.

Today, I'm feeling healthy and I'm happy to say I'm still working towards my 66 days of workouts in a row. I will have completed this challenge on December 26th. We've been lucky enough to finish our  Christmas shopping and although I had to cut back on spending (I made a lot of my gifts), I'm pleased with the presents I'm gifting this year.

Our bills are paid up to date and I'm getting ready for a new year with a fresh start in graduate school. Regardless of the crap that flows my way, I am truly blessed. Even when I'm wallowing in hardship, I thank God for the blessings and his guidance. My faith will get me through anything.

What helps you overcome challenge? Comment with feedback. It might inspire and help someone else struggling.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Our forever pet, continued...

Photo book cover provided by Charmaine Hammond.

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Charmaine Hammond talked about writing and her book, On Toby’s Terms.

In her words, “I hadn't planned on being a writer. Very content as a speaker I had considered writing about the topics I speak on however, Toby's story gave me something more to write about. I met a publisher (Bettie Youngs) in California and was telling her about our dog Toby, how he became a teacher for us, and had impacted so many lives. Bettie said, ‘That's the book!’ When I told her there wasn't a book, she suggested I get writing as there was a publishing contract on the way. That is how my journey began.

Impact Motion Pictures read the book, loved it, and signed it to become a major motion picture. This is incredibly exciting!

This book reveals many lessons we discovered through Toby including patience, purpose, persistence, trust, unconditional love and how simple acts of kindness can powerfully impact the world. He also taught us the ways in which animals can heal and transform lives. This book also reminds us that rescue dogs can have a big purpose in their lives.  We consistently get positive feedback about this book, and Toby's story.”
Visit or for more information (click below).

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Happiness and humanity, continued...

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Deepak Chopra’s Day 22, Happiness and Humanity session was a nice ending to 22 days of meditation. I enjoyed his offering to the world. There was an essence of spirit surrounding this process just knowing that millions of people were quieting their minds and stepping into this celestial space guided by Deepak.

I must admit I drifted into peaceful naps a handful of times. I’m sure this was because, many days, I was burning the candle at both ends trying to accomplish holiday tasks. The blend of Deepak’s soft words and serene music was enticing in manifesting rest.

Most of the time as I shifted into an altered state, I felt an ease of mind as my spirit opened to the universe. I felt connected to something magnificent, a universal love.

And, ultimately, I’m in the mist of the holiday season and for the 1st time, I’m not stressing over expenses. This validates that the process of 3 weeks of meditation on abundance has gifted me with feelings of wealth (both tangible and intangible).

Of course my bank account isn’t bulging at the seams but it’s not doing too bad either.

May each of you feel abundant this season and prosper in the New Year. Namaste!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What you are, continued...

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

Examiner article

I love when I can tackle two "to do's" with one action. Today's article is a submission essay for a scholarship on I'm starting graduate school the first full week of January and, if you're unaware, the cost per credit hour is outrageous. I need any help I can get. I'm paying approximately $500 per credit with a degree plan of 60 credit hours. This price tag scares the you know what out of me but I'm trying to put my anxiety into a higher power and just bill my way through knowing I'm going to help make the world a better place with my counseling degree.

I'm not familiar with Dr. Parker but I love inspirational quotes and he offers a bunch of them! I believe whole-heartily that your actions speak louder than your words and they do reinforce the true you.

Do you know anyone who speaks softly and friendly but once you turn away from them you start hearing the Psycho music? These individuals, who work hard on a fake outer layer, do exist and they are toxic to anyone who interfaces with them. Can you imagine what greatness they could accomplish if they just put their energy towards the greater good?

Miracles do happen and, meanwhile, I'll keep praying for them and for me to stay the course of inspiration and healthy living!

What are your thoughts?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Taught not to give up, continued...

Photo provided by James Perdue

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James Perdue closed the interview with these words, “The hardest but biggest lesson that I learned is to ask for help. My pride, when I was younger, wouldn’t allow me too. People are willing to help but they can’t if they don’t know what to do. ASK FOR ASSISTANCE. HELP.”

It is humbling and difficult if you are a proud person to ask for help but overcoming this pride opens the heart and enables a connection to the spirit of human kindness. It is a support like no other as James has learned!

James communicated his book One More Play should be out around Thanksgiving. You can search Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Google to find it.

To contact James Perdue explore his website, or e-mail him at