NYC Bike Lane Mayhem

As I peddle to the curb to exit the bike lane, I get slammed by a battery operated bicycle. Out of nowhere and at the speed of a motor vehicle, he tries to pass between me and the curb.

I hear the bicycles metallic clank as they crash! The next thing I know, I’m climbing up from the ground, bewildered.
A woman asks if I’m OK?
I’m not even sure what happened, as I check myself for torn cloths or pain points.

The battery bicycle rider spoke little English, but could at least say, I’m sorry.

What strikes me, even more than the mayhem that plagues the NYC bike lanes with battery and motorized bikes making it another (but narrower) car lane, is my lapse of recall between the hit and my fall!

Shock interrupted my timeline.

This interruption has happened to me before in a motorcycle crash, when unexpectedly hit from behind; in sexual abuse, when unexpectedly woken in the night; and, when falling down a staircase, when the woman behind me unexpectedly slipped.

But other car, motorcycle or bicycle crashes, that I have seen coming, have not interrupted time?!

The unexpectedness, not the life threatening consequences, is what interrupted my experience creating a time warp. The unexpected, is what I couldn’t face, recall or feel, then or now.

The unexpected, the out-of-control, the unforeseeable, is what takes us out!

And, we’ve all experienced this phenomenon whether in or out of a shocking time warp. Being out-of-control takes us out of our mind’s comfort zone and we short circuit.

But, there’s more to this story than my mind’s timeline.

In every one of the incidents where time was interrupted, I didn’t get hurt. In fact, I was elevated in some way.

  • In the motorcycle crash, I was thrown past a parking space and bicycle lane to the sidewalk while in the time warp. Then, I returned to real time, when I landed on my feet like a super-hero with a few descellerait steps.
    • I was elevated by my confidence being ignited!
  • In the sexual abuse, I was woken by my perpetrator stroking himself coming toward me. Then, I disassociated into the time warp, into a different environment entirely, where I felt embraced by the Universe and safe. Then, I returned to real time to find my perpetrator lying beside me asleep.
    • I was elevated by experiencing the blueprint of mind body alignment, and being introduced to my future life purpose!
  • In the staircase fall, I felt my knees buckle when the woman behind me fell into me. The cascade down the stairs happened in the time warp. Then, real time returned with me buried under a bleeding woman 60-pounds heavier than I.
    • Uninjured, I was elevated by learning that I was resilient!

The time warp in every situation knocked out my defenses—my learned strategies—from their habitual patterns. I was unable to discern mentally the right action. Instead, my body’s intelligence took over with a perfect amount of surrender and strength to serve and protect me.

All this makes me wonder why we worry so much about what we cannot yet wrap our minds around? Would our lives be happier, and better served, if we could trust the body’s intelligence—the physical world’s involvement—to help guide us.

Could feeling out-of-control be an invitation to stay out-of-our-minds and into-our-bodies?

Next time I feel out-of-control, rather than continuing to muddle around in mental worry, I intend to consider, and act on, what my body is asking for in lieu of the situation. No time warp necessary!

If mind body alignment is intriguing to you, download my Free Mind Body Blueprint. You’ll discover the story your body’s tension is telling.

A Fireside Chat Ignites Old Ways

Gathered around my cousin’s Christmas Eve fire doing needlepoint, we chatted about everything and nothing. I feel relaxed, engaged and productive. She comments on how big my needlepoint project is, when I’m already so busy with work projects.

I had spoken about feeling burnt out. Frustrated, that at my age of 61-years, I was still building my work projects; and, wished that my only job now was to share my work with the world.

While she was correct in thinking that a smaller quicker project would reap a rapid reward.
And, reward is a way out of burnout!
I realized that what I needed wasn’t a bonus or a reward, it was easeful engagement with my creativity!

Her enquiry made me aware of my mindset. I was soothed by the doing. The reward of a finished product was something else. The reward has never been what motivated me to create. I was inspired to create. I learned who I am by creating. Creating has been a need, not a job.

A reward, if or when it would come, was in addition to the easeful engagement I was experiencing while crafting. Self-development was what felt rewarding as I went along.

Easeful engagement feels like engaging with your own unique rhythm.
It’s in flow—in right relationship—with your spirit.
A physical connected-ness that’s truer than anything else I know.

As my Christmas visit continued, my needlepoint and mindset emerged together into a resolution.

My old way of creating—becoming a dancer, writing a book, building an app, crafting a program—wasn’t made on deadlines. I just trained, wrote, built and crafted to the beat of my own drum.

I allowed the process—my creativity—to dictate the speed of my development. I followed my body’s connected-ness.

After multiple business courses I’ve been instructed to create deadlines for accountability. To lead with mental authority. A deadline that I’ve come to realize thwarts my creativity and makes me chase time.

My needlepoint mindset brought me back to my old way of engaging with my Self. A way that is curious about what’s inside me, what interests me, what could support my development.

Tao writings say: “How do you know what is right for the world, by knowing what is right for your own life.”

My resolution this year is to reclaim my creative spirit as the Source of my work. I promise to listen, rather than make demands, to what wants to be expressed and when. And, return to Source timing.

Easeful engagement is what makes me happy, and what makes me happy supports what I create, how I develop, and (I believe) the way the world will respond to it. Even if it takes a little longer.

Happy New Year everyone!
May your relationship with time be a guide and mirror for you throughout 2024!


A Thanksgiving Blessing Rose Out of a Thanksgiving Rejection.

One year and nine months after my sister Sherry’s death, I was rejected by those I had once considered family. I was the only one my sister’s family excluded from the Thanksgiving guest list.

Sherry was my only sibling. Being excluded from the holiday table we’d shared my whole adult life was an abandonment from family that I knew too well. It triggered the childhood wounds surrounding paternal sexual abuse and maternal abandonment around it.

The blessing is, my mother rejected their invitation to be with me.

While she couldn’t, and still can’t, discuss my challenges around dad’s pedofile advances in my direction. She could choose me this Thanksgiving. A choice that has lifted a dark cloud that has hung over us for the last 40-years.

What I’ve learned is: my joy is more valuable than anyone’s anger, including my own.

A meaningful life is a coming home to yourself. It isn’t about being a savior to others or being patient and kind at your own expense. It’s about being your own hero. Only then can you be free to create the life you’ve been given.

My REACTION to my brother-in-law’s anger was calm rational. But my underlying TRUTH was tormented confusion about how he could be so aggressive toward me when we’d always been allies. My REACTION to my dad’s pedophilia was silence. But my actual TRUTH was terrified confusion about how he could be a caring father by day and scary monster by night… and where was mom night after night?!

I believed that my cloak of calm and silence were acts of love.

But I now realize, my passivity was not love at all. It was fear. Oddly, love and fear have a similar vibration, only opposite sides of the spectrum.

Difference is, love wants to resolve fear and fear wants to perpetuate anger.

My REACTIVE calm has created tremendous conflict within me. I became, by my own embodiment, the sacrificial lamb (so to speak). I have felt irrelevant by my brother-in-law’s accusations and unimportant by my mother’s absence. But, while it’s true I am a victim in this story, I also accepted the role.

I questioned my own relevance and importance, and coward to their anger and shame. I gave them permission to continue treating me wrongly. And, as the saying goes, people treat you how you let them.

Silence has been my REACTIONARY response, not screaming or blaming or fighting. It‘s time to change my REACTIONS into RESPONSES that reflect my inner truths.

This Thanksgiving I give myself permission to give my mom a second chance at motherhood. Just like she said over our holiday meal, “you kids gave me a second chance at childhood.” And, I also give myself permission to walk away from a brother-in-law who’s ruled by anger.

My mother’s love has been shown through her RESOLVE to stand with me, no matter what her limits may be. My brother-in-law has only showed a unquenchable anger that uses fear to perpetuate it’s destructive wake.

Answer life’s call! Keep your story moving! Be your own hero!
Happy Thanksgiving.

The Cages We Live In

Like Noah’s Arch, I’ve always found it helpful to care for animals in pairs. Presently, I care for two four-leggeds, two winged-ones, two+ finned-ones. While my adopted menagerie of cats, birds and fish highlight differences between species, the pairs offer comradery within species.

Creating different environments for different animals to thrive has been my task as an animal rescue activist. But only recently have I considered two-leggeds as members of the menagerie. I too began to want comradery.

The winged-ones have been the biggest challenge since adopting a very lovable two-legged man into my world. Each bird had chosen me as their mate, which created rivalry between them, but they united in their jealousy toward my man.

I began to question if I should keep the newest member of my bird-duo. She was aggressive toward my longstanding bird-friend of 25+ years, and after 5-years it’s clear they’re not going to be peaceful comrades.

Every time I serve dinner to my man, she squaks to be included in our feast. She ignites the other bird’s shared, but contained, agitation, and they blast us with siren-like screeching focused on our food and ignoring their own throughout dinner.

This atmosphere isn’t exactly a thriving environment for my two-legged relationship.

But I took this bird on, with all her foibles, when I adopted her. Even if I found another good home for her, my commitment to her would be breeched. No matter how I looked at it, judgment was all I could feel… toward me, toward her, toward my man for being the agitator.

Then I realized, the feeling I get when my bird acts out was familiar! I was being triggered into the, “she doesn’t care about me,” punishing hopelessness, that I’ve always felt with my mother.

No wonder I couldn’t think straight!

After a few deep breaths, I could see that feeding her off my plate was teaching her that screeching reaped reward. To train her to stay quiet, take away the stimuli—cover her cage when serving dinner and save her some for after dinner as a reward for staying quiet.

I’m happy to report, it’s worked! But I still struggled?

Then I realized, the guilt I’ve carried for caging my birds was a part of this saga. They’re born in captivity and would die in the wild, but they’re built to fly free. My mind understands the need for the cage, but my body cringes.

Covering the cage exaggerated this internal argument. The punishing screech was easier for me to bear than covering her, until I had yet another realization. Considering my needs was as important as considering hers.

The root to transforming the relationship with my mom was revealed through my relationship with my bird.

After another few breaths, I could see that the cage and its cover aren’t punishing, they’re used to protect and shield them from threat and excess stimuli. Not so different from my apartment and its curtains.

The cages we live in are not made of metal, they’re made of hardened judgments that allow us no space for process, growth or learning. And the way out, as I have illustrated in this story, is to learn to love.

My menagerie and I are intact and learning to love each other. And my man continues to agitate the love-fest. Now, I can use what I’ve learned with my mom.

Am I Pretty Enough?

My job was to sit quietly and let the potions do their magic, while makeup artist Jennifer Snowdon applied and explained the product line.

“Mature Makeup Redefined” is the tagline for Alchimie Forever—a skincare line used as basis for glowing makeup application. I modeled for them at The Brand Summit, presented by The Powder Group.

As Jennifer illustrated how high-definition film makeup—where you can see every pore, crease and crevice of the skin magnified—was the perfect cosmetic segue to aging with beauty. I suddenly realized, I was the there-said “aging beauty!”

There I sat with hair pulled back un-styled, wearing an un-stylish spandex tee shirt, no makeup stylizing my appearance, just plain ole me. The previous broadcast was a drag queen applying a mega-stylized makeup look! I paled in comparison!!

I suddenly felt naked on the screen.

Every time Jennifer’s hands left my face, her presence left the screen leaving me there alone. Without the permission to ask questions, share my knowledge of herbal nutrients mentioned, or just be witty, I felt powerless to fill the uncomfortable void I found myself in.

Am I pretty enough to be paid to model at a beauty summit?
Do I belong in this chair?

Belonging in this particular case meant being pretty. In other settings, it could mean being smart enough, skilled enough, loving enough, to belong. And, as we have all experienced, at one time or another, the absence of belonging ignites an upswell of shame.

A shame that dictates what you should-be.

As I sat with my nakedness reflected back at me, I saw a lonely innocence. Like a puppy at the pound begging to be chosen. So, I decided to choose the little-girl who needed me, rather than the big-girl who was judging me.

A curiosity about what each potion was doing to my skin began to override my “pretty enough” worries. I’d lean into the camera so I could see my skin subtly soften. Every pore, crease and crevice was waking up.

What I could-be began to override what I should-be.

My awake-ness felt more than skin deep. The shame my judgments had triggered were softening. I gave myself permission to be, see, and free myself, from myself. This freedom was different than broadcasting who I wished to be, as in a make-over. But rather, to be plain ole me.

What I began to notice was, plain ole me, when engaged, interested and playful, was more than pretty enough. She sparkled with a joie du vivre that was alluring, slightly mysterious, and a whole lot lovable.

My little double chin, quirky nose and character lines (such a better word than wrinkles) paled to the inner vibrancy that was allowed to surface. The camera doesn’t lie, beauty truly is more than skin deep.

Jennifer always says it, and broadcasts it, as her tagline: Make It Up True!

The transformation I made in that chair went from trying to look beautiful to being beauty. And in the doing, I redefined beauty to include me.

Love asks You to Stand in Your Truth

To create the life we want, we extend into an I-don’t-know-abyss to consider new people and things. And also, stay present in I-know-myself-alliances to manage past people and things.

But what happens when the old things shift you back into the I-don’t-know-abyss?

As I witness my boyfriend, of two-years, I can happily say that loyalty comes easily to him. He treasures his alliances with friends and me. Commitment, on the other hand, creates a lot of internal conflict for him.

I’ve struggled with little things like, chasing his attention and gaze in public places, or craving reassurances about our romance.

To me, commitment means helping a person feel the safety of their loyalty.

So he’s loyal, but doesn’t want to broadcast it. His I-know-myself alliance turns into an I-don’t-know-abyss at curious moments?

There were times I’d freeze with uncertainty.

Perhaps, loyalty stems from one’s internal nature, and commitment is more of an external offering? Whatever it is, loyalty and commitment make my fella feel very differently.

I’ve always felt that asking for attention was needy. I mean, if I’m special to someone wouldn’t it come easily to show me?

What I’ve discovered is, NO. It’s not easy.

What I’ve come to understand is, it’s not easy to stand in your truth if it triggers personal failures, disappointments or self-doubt. For him or I. It’s not easy to broadcast your truth if you’re afraid of another failed effort. For all of us.

It’s not easy to trust happiness when it’s yet to lead you to happily-ever-after.

Recognizing my own fear of the truth, I extended myself into my own I-don’t-know-abyss. I asked for what I needed, and let myself fear being needy! But what actually happened was quite the opposite. I felt confident! And ultimately, I believe he did too!

I let him know, I couldn’t continue in a romance that didn’t make me feel safe. I’d rather be alone and feel safe in my own company.

For a moment we were both frozen.

Then, the other evening a bar-pal said to him, “We used to flirt with woman together all the time, but you’ve left me to my own devices now that Tammy’s around!” Without coaxing, my boyfriend replied, “Because Tammy is my last ONE, the woman I want till the end of my life. I don’t want to do anything that would jeopardize that.”

His pal was silenced and a male onlooker said to me, “Wow… how does it feel to be that loved!?”

It feels amazing… thrilling… relevant beyond belief!

We have both faced our fears! And, we agree, that love is worth fighting demons for.

Extending yourself into the I-don’t-know-abyss for love asks you to stand in your truth. It feels scary because when you stand in your truth you stand alone… until love catches you.

Choosing You to Reclaim Love

We all know people whose identity is wrapped up in being the funny, smart or artistic one. And their sense of value is dependent on broadcasting that “thing.”

Their comments regularly remind listeners of this “thing” they believe makes them lovable using shocking jokes, speaking above the mean, or belittling the artistry of others. Not considering how it may make others feel.

Unless you’re the butt of the joke, the one who doesn’t understand or whose work is being judged, their comments generate laughter, status and awe.

But, what do you do when you’re the butt of the joke?

I’ve experienced being under the weight of a funny guy and an artistic mother. Both of whom, had no intention to hurt me, only to broadcast themselves as the “thing” they valued so much. In fact, I don’t believe I even existed in their inner dialogue at all.

This was the problem. I was hurt just by being associated. Deeply hurt. And they were oblivious to it. They didn’t see that their behavior valued the “thing” more than me.

In both instances, I first tried to validate their popularity and appreciate their talents, in hopes that they’d gain enough confidence to stop throwing verbal daggers. Of course this didn’t work, they were completely unaware of any casualties.

Then, I tried to defend my self and my artistic works, but this was met with complete disinterest. So, I decided this was an opportunity to build my own self-confidence. Why not turn lemons into lemonade!

But, no matter my level of confidence, being around them eventually began to feel unsafe. So, I let them know my feelings. I lost my cool, you might say! And, their response was bewilderment. “How could you feel this way?!” I was dismissed and they continued.

Finally, in both situations, I had to turn my back on them. I had to love myself enough to walk away… at least temporarily. This is what it took for them to look at themselves and consider their actions.

Love makes us want to uplift each other, stand by each other. So we can weather a lot before walking away from it or them. Love is also precious. So we don’t turn our backs without due cause.

I learned that loving myself is the answer to reclaim love. Even when the action of turning my back seems unloving. Because it asks them to love themselves enough to be loving to me. And, my own self-love soothed the swallowed hurts that had accumulated from loving them through their assault of unconscious daggers.

The phrase, you can only love another as much as you love yourself, has never felt more true. For them and me.

May we help each other grow in love, forever and always.

Fired into Silence

Goodness Misunderstood

When a take over of new management happens, there are casualties.

After 15-years of service, my mother’s aid was fired! Or was it actually silencing the voice of reason that could foresee oncoming problems.

The senior residence, mom has called home for 8-years, occupies the old Ringling Brothers Circus base camp. You can easily imagine the various family acts residing in the different sized rooms.

And down the road, past the bend in the lake, is what was once the elephant house!

The home is an old structure with boiler and plumbing problems. It’s fashioned with a wrap around porch that holds the chill coming off the lake; and in turn, chilling the residence. And, home-repair needs abound.

Add this to the newly infirmed residence, that new management profiled and accepted, whom need more care than the facility is equipped to provide, mayhem was on the rise!

The institutional experience of new management did not want to hear of mom’s old-home problem—a broken toilet seat. So the messenger, mom’s aid, got fired for voicing it amongst the other unaddressed problems.

Surely, it wasn’t the toilet seat that seeded the sudden firing. My guess is, new management wanted the aid to work for them, not with them.

What could have been a seamless transition became a soul crushing acquisition!

It reminded me of being fired years ago from a studio/gym after 30-years of service. I was like the beloved old dog everyone tripped over as they walked into the gym. But this affection was exactly the reason I was fired.

Of course, new ownership created a phantom drama about me bad-mouthing their choices. Just as an accusation was made about mom’s aid.

The workers who care the most speak up the most when they see inevitable problems arising. Not to deface anyone, but rather, to show that they can be depended on.

Unfortunately, some people compete for rightness, rather than discern right action. So, instead of fixing a toilet seat they fire the aid. (Let’s hope mom doesn’t end up on the floor through this drama!)

This got me thinking…

Service is giving from a state of empathy and expertise to accomplish a desired result. A role that is looked up to for its know-how, and down at for its servant status.

But, being the recipient of service has an equal dual nature.

Recipients’ receive what they need, even when the need is resisted. We can have a love/hate relationship with our needs. They can make us feel impotent or empowered in regard to our own development.

We need each other to learn our purpose and grow into ourselves. Growth is spawned from this two way deliverance of giving and receiving. Silencing smothers that potential!

If you struggle when feeling your needs, remember it’s an opportunity to find your voice to service your life purpose. And, when you’re giving service, remember their need is an opportunity for your growth.

Work with how needs serve you, rather than for your resistance to need.


Life and Death Unite in my Spring Garden

My Spring Terrace Garden Clean Up

Since my sister’s death I am often visited by her.

Have you ever had a dead person visit you?

It’s easy to explain it as wishful thinking. And, maybe it is? But the timing and unexpected nature of her visits lead me to think otherwise.

It can feel like she’s hanging out in the corner of a room witnessing my actions, (usually when I’m challenged by something or someone), and she chimes in occasionally to help center or advise me.

Other times, she suddenly appears as a large bird flying over head at a moment that would be meaningful to her. (Driving by her house, picking up my mom, leaving her thrift shop—The Very Sherry Boutique—now run by her best friend.)

The most intimate and recent way she visited was when cleaning up my terrace garden. (And, she had just flown overhead as mom and I drove out of the nursery the day before with new spring plants!) She always loved gardening!

I had many big brown bags from her thrift shop with The Very Sherry Boutique scribbled on them. I decided to use one to collect the dead plants that didn’t make it through the winter.

As soon as the bag was opened up and prepared to collect the prickly dried-out plants, there she was! But not at a distance, like usual. I could feel her steer my mind and body from the inside out.

• She reminded me of every tool I needed from inside, as not to make my usual multiple trips that traipses dirt through my apartment. I was so clear-headed.
• She directed me on how deep to dig the holes for the various plants, and I argued with her as usual, and she was right as usual. We giggled (as usual).
• She guided my hands when transplanting the young plants, tenderly splitting the root balls apart. She splits the roots a bit differently than I!

It was as if she wanted to feel the garden dirt through me.

She made me slow down, as not to miss the sensations my body was having. She reminded me that every moment of feeling life through my physical senses is fleeting. She reassured me, though, that death isn’t the end, but a new beginning.

She showed me that neither living or dying are absolutes. It is up to me to live fully enough—feel wholly enough—to bridge the gap between us. And so, I keep one eye open for her, and encourage my sixth sense to grow in the name of love. A love we did and didn’t share when she was alive.

Love is powerful. It’s an invisible gateway. It lasers through time and space, and is the most influential teacher of our Universe.

How have you experienced your loved ones after they’ve moved on? Please comment about it!!


The Measure of Reverence that Transformed Love

If I knew then, what I know now.

A foundation of trust is what we most crave as children. With an alcoholic father and narcissistic mother, that craving was never nourished and a foundation was never laid. I’m sure I’m not alone in this alternative foundation.

The way this played out in my story is, uncertainty always plagued me in matters of love. “I love you” were words that floated through my senses with no anchor, no meaning beyond a pleasantry, no sense of knowing if it was true.

Recently, a measure of reverence has begun to build a foundation of trust within me.

A reverence toward the Universe co-creating my life, with a mystical deliberation, has deepened.

A trust that, what unfolds in our lives is in our best interest, even when it seems otherwise. And, the consequences that unfold when we don’t listen.

After my mom’s recent heart surgery, I brought her back to her senior home exhausted and exasperated. The surgery was unsuccessful. I tucked her in bed, shut out the lights, and made sure her roommate was OK in the dark so early in the day.

“Oh sure,” she says with a big smile, “I’m fine.” With relief, I gave her a big hug and said, “I like you so much!” And we shared a giggle of reciprocal gratitude.

A few weeks later, when my mom had recovered, she had the opportunity to repay the kindness. And more than this, repay a karmic debt. (if you believe in such things?)

Gut pain had mom’s roommate crying out in the night. Mom ignored the cry’s believing she was just being dramatic. In the morning, mom found her dead in her bed with, what we later learned was, a twisted colon that caused septicemia.

In my youth, mom had made the same nighttime turn-the-other-cheek decision, when my dad would leave her bed and slip into mine. He’d been arrested as a pedophile and she had two young girls in the house. She never once got up to check on us! (Here lays her karmic debt.)

This time, someone ended up dead, due to her inability to extend herself toward others. And, though she felt guilty about having done nothing, she showed no ability to feel concern, empathy or love when it was needed. Not then; not now!

As I see it, the Universe has provided multiple opportunities for my mom to learn important life lessons about acts of love. Each opportunity becoming more dire to coax her into taking action. She may not be listening, but I am.

I see now that her inaction, or inability to act out of love, is NOT due to MY unlovability. It’s due to HER love-abilities, or lack there of.

My reverence to the Universe—my mom’s roommate being a central part of that—for repeating history for me to learn, has transformed me from the inside out. It has given me a foundation to trust love.

From a giggle of reciprocal gratitude to sharing the words I love you with my partner, I feel a stir of deep deliverance. Because it’s finally anchored in being lovable.

A measure of reverence, toward something bigger than my story, transformed the consequences of my story. Thank you dear Universe. Thank you dear roommate.

How has your reverence for a world bigger than your own shaped your life?