In the face of natural disaster

I know this will sound crazy to most people, but I’m OK with sounding crazy right now. I am one of those people who believe we are made of energy, and we are connected to one another and the planet via that energy. It is one of the reasons I started this blog without coming right out and admitting it. If our own energy is positive, it will create more positive energy. Yeah, I’m one of those people.

Natural disasters happen. I understand that. But we have experienced two devastating hurricanes here, and Mexico was hit today with its second earthquake in a month. Could all the hatred and anxiety resulting from our political climate have  an impact on our planet and Mother Nature? Yes, I am crazy enough to believe it can. Then again perhaps it is Mother Nature’s way of saying neighbors (or people in general) should love one another and disaster is the only way to accomplish that right now.

I don’t know. I realize I sound nutso. My thoughts are with the folks in Mexico and Houston and Florida and the Caribbean who have suffered these disasters of late, as well as those in Bangladesh and other places around the world who are also suffering similar fates. I realize it is likely climate change, but I also feel that our disconnect with the planet that is causing climate change comes from a disconnect within ourselves. But that is a post for another day.

I simply want to ask that, in the off chance that my weird ideas have any basis in reality, that we all work on ourselves in the coming days, weeks and months. That we love ourselves and take care of ourselves so that we can be more loving and caring to others – no matter their race, religion or place of origin.

Even if it doesn’t have an impact on the disaster themselves, it can at least have an impact on the recovery. When there is more peace, love and compassion in the world,  recovery becomes much easier. There are large swaths of people in recovery mode right now. The least we can do is create an environment where healing and recovery can take place.


Skinny Dipping in the Dark End of the Pool

Successful self care embraces the whole self and strives for balance.


Taking care of the whole…

I’m all about balance. For me, self care has to embrace all aspects of myself. Otherwise I’m neglecting some part of me and well, neglect is not caring. To put it simply.

I try to steer away from too much positive thinking stuff. It has a place in the world. It’s a great motivator. It helps change your perception.

But to truly accept yourself. To truly thrive in this world. To love and care for yourself, you must find peace with all of you. That includes your dark side … or shadow self as Carl Jung called it.

In some ways I’m just getting into what is called shadow work. But in other ways, when I think about it, I’ve always done it. I just didn’t realize I was doing it.

I’m a big fan of Edgar Allen Poe. Horror stories in general. Big fan. Growing up, Poe was kind of my idol. I didn’t look up to too many people to be honest. But Poe I did.

Why would I look up to some alcoholic, opioid-addicted writer? Because he made the dark side of human nature OK. Or at least worthy of acknowledging. And, unfortunately, his addictions were the unhealthy solution for dealing with his dark side.

Even as a child I knew I wasn’t the only one who ever had a terrible thought. We all have them. It’s part of being human. To deny that is to deny yourself. So when I discovered Poe … well, the world opened up.

Poe took his dark side, the evil parts, the hidden and taboo and put them out there for the world to see. I appreciated that. In fact, as I got older maybe I appreciated it a little too much.

You could say I went skinny dipping in the dark side of the mind. I dove in, buck naked and didn’t come out for a while.

I studied psychology in college. Most of my college life was as a psych major. Part of my interest was wanting to help others, of course. But the other part of it was wanting to understand the dark side of human nature. I particularly wanted to work with serial killers and child abusers and the like.

I had a unique ability, I felt, to dive deep down into the dark side of myself and of others. To understand their motivations. People felt comfortable talking to me because they could be honest – dark side and all.

I try not to judge anyone for having feelings — good or bad — because we all have them. Like I said in my last post, people’s change of fear is their dark side. And if they don’t cope with it, then the begin to hate and threaten. So I think too many people are letting their dark sides rule them and not finding the proper balance.

But anyway, back to my swim in the dark end of the pool. My theory was that I could use my skill to help catch and profile serial killers. And, that weird, undyingly hopeful side of me thought I could help “cure” them, as well. I thought I could make them feel more understood and therefore I could actually work with them.

For some reason I’ve always felt that I could fix the unfixable. A bit of arrogance on my part, I suppose.

So my trip to the dark side was strange. I realize that. But it was my thing.

Even after college and after changing majors, I still had a fascination with it. I began writing a novel about the “making of” a serial killer. I really dug deep in the research. I tried to think like a serial killer. I kind of lost balance a bit. I started having nightmares. I was skittish all the time. So, I had to step away from that for a while.

Funny fact, though, I turned in a story idea in college for a script writing course I took. My idea was to tell the story of a likable serial killer. Hello, Dexter. Why didn’t I act on that idea?

But that’s the thing about your dark side. A lot of creativity comes from the dark side. Whether you’re coping with pain or you have fascinations with or fears of taboo topics or whatever it is, when you face it and challenge it in a healthy way, you open up creatively.

Think about it. How many songs or novels or poems do you love that are purely, straight up sunshine? There are a few, of course. But most of them, come from a world of hurt. A world of darkness. A world of pain. A place of dealing with the negative. The longing. The disappointment. The unworthiness. And it’s quite beautiful, don’t you think?

Poe. I still friggin’ love Poe. People can say he was a hack writer. I don’t care. He told a good story. Stories with real human qualities. I love Poe.

But the dark side, for many, is the reason they struggle with the “positive thinking” movement. It’s not realistic. The world is not all sunshine and rainbows. And that is absolutely correct. It isn’t. And it never will be and it shouldn’t be. If it were, we would be off balance. And, quite honestly, we would be kind of boring.

I’ve always fell into that line of thinking of “the weather is better in heaven but the company is better in hell.” So, 100% behind that.

So self care means embracing both sides of yourself. Embracing your whole self. Working with the dark and light sides to reach a balance.

In fact, I didn’t get into meditation and journaling (well, I’ve always journaled but…) to be positive, per se. I got into it to not be too negative. I told myself, “Your are your problem. You have to deal with your worry and constant chatter in your head.”

In other words, I let my dark side, my demons, guide me to improving myself. For me it was to strike a balance within myself. Not to be Mary Poppins.

There’s nothing wrong with striving to be Mary Poppins, but life is more fulfilling when it’s in the middle. Not one extreme of the emotional spectrum or the other.

By accepting your fears or your demons, as well as your strengths, you find yourself more able to cope with the world. You’re not denying any aspect of yourself. You begin to look at yourself, your life, the world as a whole. It’s a much more centered and grounded place to live from.

You see, mindfulness and self care are all about striking a balance. Not being something you’re not. But being entirely you. All you and nothing but you. The whole you.

So, take a walk on the dark side. Start to understand the fears and weaknesses that motivate the negative aspects of your life. I think you’ll find it beneficial.


How’s about a Meditation Amendment?

Mindfulness is the key to managing change and the fear of it.


Change. A lot of the world’s problems right now boils down change. There are the ones who tolerate it vs. the ones who don’t.

The distrust and hate we’re seeing in the world is coming from fear. The fear of change. The ones who are afraid of it … and it’s not their fault. We all have a certain tolerance for change. But the ones who have a low tolerance for it are afraid their lives will never be the same. That they may lose some aspect of their lives as they know it.

It’s a legitimate fear. I’m not going to belittle it. Although I’m pretty good with change most of the time, I understand it to some degree. I’ve a had a time or two that I didn’t deal with it well. And what got me through those times was meditation.

A few years back my employer needed to make some cuts. I knew my job was one of the ones potentially on the chopping block. Unfortunately, I enjoyed that job. I was there for 5 years, and in all honesty, I had planned on retiring from there. Doing that same work. Never getting promoted. But I was good. Happy.

Alas, the housing bubble, along with some warm winters and cool summers, brought on some hard times for the electric utility industry. Now my company was good about it. I can’t complain. They basically gave us a heads up 1 year prior and said, “Hey we can’t make any guarantees next year when we submit our budget. We won’t discourage you from looking for other opportunities.”

So, I took the obvious hint. I looked for jobs.

But it was a stressful time. I had changed careers for that job and liked my new career. And it’s such a niche area of expertise that there are few to no jobs in that arena. I was being forced to return to my previous career. I wasn’t too happy about it.

Plus, the company offered unheard of benefits. Pay was awesome. Raises were awesome. I worked from home as much as I needed. They trusted me to do my job and to do it well.

Leaving was not in my plans.

So, for the first time in an extremely long time the fear of change got to me. Probably more than it ever had before.

I gained weight. I developed high blood pressure. I had migraines at least once a week. I worried about losing my condo. My car was 10 years old. The job market was non-existent. No one was paying anything.

It was hard. I was angry all the time. Paranoid. I didn’t trust any one. It was bad. And I knew I had to do something or I was going to have a breakdown or a heart attack. And that’s not an exaggeration.

So, I began to meditate. I only did a little, 5-10 minutes, from time to time in the beginning. I wasn’t disciplined about it at all. I’ll be honest about it. But, in my opinion, it’s better to do it two or three times a week than not do it at all. Especially if you are feeling stressed.

Slowly but surely my anger started to drop. I became a little more disciplined about it. Eventually, I found another job. I was feeling better. Life was looking pretty good.

Then I stopped meditating. I didn’t think I needed it any more.

Turned out, I wasn’t too happy with the new job. I gained even more weight. My blood pressure went even higher. I was doubting myself. My abilities. My future. I became depressed. My health hit rock bottom. I was calling in sick quite often.

One day, about two weeks before the Christmas holidays (a bad time for me in general), I was so depressed I couldn’t get out of bed. I officially stopped functioning. Now, most of it was due to some medication I was taking for an infection, but I had never been that low. Ever. And I don’t ever want to go back.

After I got off the medication, I got serious about meditation. Within the next 6 months, I had gotten to the point that I was meditating twice a day. 30 minutes in the morning and at least an hour before going to bed at night.

My weight stabilized. My migraines went away. My blood pressure dropped – still needed my meds, but it dropped. I slept better.

More importantly, though, my mindset began to change. I still didn’t love my job. Meditation isn’t going to make you love something you don’t. But it will help you look at things differently.

With meditation I started to think about where I wanted to be rather than where I was because you start to control your thoughts more. Or focus your thoughts more.

See, I worry. I’m a huge worrier. So meditation for me is to quiet my mind to a certain degree. For others it’s more of a visualization thing. I use it for both, but many times, it’s to stop the voices in my head. Especially the negative voices.

Ultimately, it led to me quitting my job without anything else lined up. Now, talk about change and taking a risk. That was a major change. A major decision. I had never quit a job before without another job lined up. I still think it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

And my world was just fine. I was calm and peaceful. I kept up my meditation and coworkers noticed how happy and peaceful I was. That’s a long way from where I had been just a couple of years prior when I was told I had a year to look for a job.

Mediation did that. It gave me strength. It gave me power. Freedom. Confidence that I could survive anything that came along.

So when I see what’s happening in the world. The hate, the concern about the future. The fear of change. From a certain perspective, I understand where the feelings come from. It’s the same feelings I had when I was forced to change jobs. Anger, paranoia, fear, worry. The list goes on.

And then I think of how meditation helped me. It makes me wish there was a mindfulness law … or a meditation amendment. This country and this world could be a better place. It truly could be, but we have to find some peace within first. Find the ability to cope with the change that is frightening so many at the moment.

And the funny thing is that you don’t even notice that it’s happening. It just happens. But then one day someone points out your anger or some other bad behavior, and you know something is up. You usually don’t even know that it is a fear of change until you are able to look at in retrospect.

But the world is changing all the time. Right in front of us. We can’t stop it. We can’t control it. But if we want to get to a point where we treat one another as human beings again. To stop the hate. To balance our fear of change. To feel better about ourselves, our lives, our country. Everything. Then, meditation is a clear and simple solution. It’s the easiest of first steps.

I recommend it. And in the beginning, it won’t be easy. You will struggle with it. You’ll feel awkward or incapable or something. I’m not going to lie to you about it.

It takes effort to rewire your brain. But it’s so worth it. Just stick with it — a few minutes a day every other day or so. Then add a little more time and add other days. There are resources everywhere online. Maybe I’ll post some good ones one day, but for now, just Google it. Please. The world needs it right now.


No one knows anything about anything

Or society needs a new operating system (my philosophical purging)


So I’ve taken a break on this blog for a little while. An existential crisis reared its head. I get those from time to time. I began to wonder if this whole self-care, change the universe one person at a time thing was worthwhile or realistic. Who knows? Maybe. I think so, but I don’t know.

My existential crisis, though, got me to thinking. Mindfulness and being kind, loving and compassionate are my ultimate goal here. But I think to get to that point, to really have peace of mind, we have to start thinking differently.

That’s the conclusion I’ve come to. Our old ways of operating aren’t working for this society any more. As a result, it’s having a greater impact on our physical and mental health.

The truth is that no one knows anything about anything, but they are quick to tell us how we should behave. We’ve been told a lot about life. We’ve accepted things forced on us by society. By religion. By political parties. By family and friends.

You should be married with kids and love your job and have great hobbies.

We read a bunch of self-help books. One tells you to fake it until you make it, while another says only be your authentic self.

But these soothsayers are telling you what works for them or a few people they’ve worked with. But, ultimately, we have to find our own truth. Our own happiness. Our own whatever it is we’re seeking. And we define that. Or we should. But right now, most of us don’t. We look for answers somewhere else.

My existential crisis was focused on being more, doing more. Deciding what I want out of life. But that’s part of the problem with our society. There’s all this pressure to “do” in some form or fashion. To be noticed. To excel. To produce. To be successful. To be something.

What do I want out of life? I want to be happy.

But you can’t just be happy.

Why not? Why can’t I just be happy?

Well, what is it that you do that makes you happy?

You know what makes me happy? Sitting on my sofa staring out my french doors at the evening sky. No television. No radio. Just me and the night sky. I’m good with that. Or, when I had a pet, rubbing the little pink pads of his feet until he stretched out his claws. That made me happy. Still makes me happy just to think about it.

But you have to do something to be happy. A job. A career. A hobby.

No, I don’t. I really don’t.

The pressure to perform in our society is ridiculously stupid. I’m lazy. In fact, I excel at being lazy. And as long as being lazy makes me happy and doesn’t impact my health, then that should be OK. But it’s not for most people. I should want to be more. Be pro-active. Be social. Go out more and do meaningless stuff.

I disagree.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying simple things or with being humble and low key. We say we should be this way, but when you actually tell someone that’s what you want out of life … well, then you’re wrong. Or there’s something wrong with you. You must be depressed or anxious or something.

No. None of those things apply here. But it’s not the norm. It’s not what people expect of you based on our culture and society, so it’s unacceptable. And therefore it starts to have a negative impact on you.

I quit a job a few years back without another job lined up. People thought I was crazy. Eh, maybe I was. But it was the right choice for me.

After I did it – I even gave them a few weeks’ notice – everyone started commenting that I looked like a completely different person. I looked happy and relaxed. I didn’t know if I was going to pay my bills the next month, but it was one of the best feelings I had experienced in years. After I left, everyone kept saying they wanted to do the same thing. They didn’t, but they wanted to. And my manager, after he saw the change in me, said, “That’s the way it should be. If you’re unhappy, you should be able to quit.”

Yeah, my point exactly. Society tells us not to do that. It tells us to not be who we are or do what we know is best for us in certain situations. We should hold on or tough it out. But, I can tell you, sometimes its best to go against the norm.

Now I’m going to say some things here that people aren’t going to agree with, but I feel that it needs to be said. We live in a society of group think. And group think is killing us and our peace of mind.

Whether its politics, religion or some other societal monitor, we are told what to do and think. Let’s look at religion, for example. If you belong to a church but you disagree with something said or done, then you are in the wrong. Perhaps even a sinner. And you are led to believe that you are bad for thinking for yourself or living based on your own experiences.

Religion creates a lot of judgement whether people want to admit it or not. And hypocrisy, I might add – at least that’s been my experience.

To me, religion more than anything should be a personal thing. I don’t get going to church. Many folks go to church because they think that’s what they’re supposed to do not because that’s what they want to do.

God will ban me from heaven if I don’t go.

I don’t understand that kind of God. And again, the church and the originators of any belief didn’t know anything about anything either. Call me a blashphemer if you must. They were the self-help gurus of ancient times. They had no proof. No concrete evidence. It was their opinion or their perception. They didn’t know anything with any certainty.

Well, this is what I think, and he agrees, so everyone should believe this way.

To me, if anything in the world should have a singular, personal perspective, it is religion. You know what’s right and wrong, especially when it comes to yourself and how you live your life. That should never be a group think kind of thing. And it should never be used to judge another person or how they live. And no one should ever feel guilty about not living up to a religion’s group think standards.

Growing up, my family didn’t go to church much. Mostly because the church goers told my dad that he would never get into heaven because he loved money too much. He grew up during The Depression in poor, rural north Georgia. Of course he loved money. I didn’t learn that little church fact about my dad, however, until the day we buried him.

Not going to church and not being saved (I grew up Southern Baptist) tormented him. I saw him cry over it many, many times. He worried about it his entire life. And it was all because some group who didn’t know anything about anything told him he wasn’t up to snuff based on their interpretation of the Bible and of my dad.

My dad gave more money to people than anyone I know. He rarely got paid back, but he helped a lot of people. Yeah, he loved money. And yeah, it was a weakness, but we all have those, right?

But he believed he was a bad person. Not worthy of God’s love because he loved money. All because the church said so.

Group think. Not thinking for ourselves … it a source of mental discourse and it’s only getting worse.

We have to start thinking for ourselves. We have to start looking at the world differently – from our own perspective and our own viewpoint. These religions and these philosophies that were created thousands of years ago and our societal norms  don’t serve us well any more. They are becoming divisive rather than creating balance.

We need to think of new theories, new philosophies, new religions. Or, at the very least, update the old ones … just like an operating system for your computer. Modern society needs a new operating system. There needs to be a focus on individual responsibility and individual thinking.

The world changes. People change. Beliefs change. But these “institutions” for lack of a better term never change. Never grow. And as the population grows, so does group think. Now, we’re seeing more and more hate in the world. More and more judgement. Less and less compassion. We’re not thinking for ourselves. We are falling prey to group think.

We have to start thinking about what’s right for us as individuals and forget the norms. I mean, we need common rules of law but the way we live our lives should be based on  our own perspectives. What we feel in our hearts. If not, we’re going to keep trying to live up to someone else’s ideal or some group’s standards. And we’re going to alienate more and more people who don’t fall in line with the group’s philosophies.

That’s why self-care matters to me. Why I think it’s important.

It gives us time to think. And to think deeply for ourselves. It removes us from group think. We develop our own perspectives and instincts. We think more deeply about the world and how we operate in it. We develop our own flow. We do what’s right for us and make ourselves happy. And when we’re happy as individuals, then those around us are happier and so on and so forth.

Of course, I don’t know anything about anything either. But I know what’s happening in the world right now is not right. And group think plays a big role in what’s happening.

So, if we’re going to change the world, we must realize that no one else knows anything about anything. We have to figure things out for ourselves. Make our decisions based on our own instincts and experiences, and not live up to what some group says we should be doing or thinking.

If we do this, it will clear the mind of a lot of negativity. With less negative personal speak, we see greater inner peace and individual happiness. And if we are happy individuals, then we can become a happier society.

Evolution (A Brand New Day)

Evolution (A Brand New Day)

On a quest for a new solution
Ain’t exactly a revolution
More a philosophical evolution
There is no them against us
We all ride the same blue bus
So set aside all that fuss
Let’s just love one another
Share our light with our brother
Take care of the Mother
Let’s start a brand new day

If we give a little reflection
We’ll see our grand connection
Make a move in the right direction
Let’s clean this home we all share
Put an end to the wear and tear
Treat her right, she’ll treat us fair
Then plant a seed in our minds
A simple focus on being kind
Watch our troubles all unwind
Let’s start a brand new day

Inner Peace & a Little Ditty

Walking for perspective & learning from old loves


It’s been a tough week with the back injury and no exercising. I went for a walk today – that I can do if I take my time. Like I mentioned in a previous post, walking can clear the mind and open it up for more creative thoughts. And so it did that for me today. But it can also give you some perspective on some old issues that are floating around in your head.

You know how sometimes you hold onto feelings for old loves? That one is a tough one for me. When I fall, I fall very hard, so it’s difficult for me to move on. But I read this somewhere once: You can love someone but realize they can’t be in your life. I don’t think those were the exact words, but that was the gist of it.

My walk helped me deal with that today. Not everyone is going to be in your life forever. Some teach you a lesson and move on. Both have to be invested in the relationship and willing to meet the other halfway. It’s the only way love will ever work.

But sometimes we fall for the wrong ones. The ones who can’t meet us halfway. It happens all the time, and you should never beat yourself up for it. We love who we love. It happens. We can’t control it.

It hurts when we fall for the wrong ones, but we do learn something from them – what we’re willing to accept, what we deserve, etc., etc. Maybe it’s not the easiest lesson to learn, but a worthwhile one in the long run.

In my walk, for some random reason, I thought of a long, lost love. One I never quite let go, and I still didn’t let it all go today. But I was able to see it from a different perspective, and it gave me some peace.

Even if they’re not part of your life, you can still enjoy the moments you had, learn exactly what the relationship taught you and still wish them well if those feelings never quite completely fade – and sometimes they don’t. And that’s how I came about this little ditty:

A Little Starlight

I just wanted to love you, sweetheart
to pull you up and out of the dark
I knew I couldn’t save you, baby
but maybe I could bath you
in a little starlight
on a warm night
kiss you ‘til it’s alright
for a little while

I’ll never understand your troubles, baby
but I’ll help you with your struggles
I know you’re in no mood to talk
Give me your hand, let’s take a walk
through a little starlight
on a warm night
kiss you ’til it’s alright
for a little while

I can’t hold you close any more
You left one night & closed the door
But I still want to help you baby
So close your eyes and think of me
in a little starlight
on a warm night
kissing you ’til it’s alright
for a little while

So getting over someone doesn’t mean forgetting them. They came into your life for a reason. Once you can accept that, then you can get a better perspective on the entire relationship. And you can release the pain of it and appreciate the beauty of it. Once you do that, you’ll find yourself in a much better place.

A Stroll through Paris or Dust through Sunbeams

Observing life as a means of meditation and mindfulness


The urban wanderer, Baudelaire’s flaneur, observes the world without judgement. Experiencing life through the fives senses. Part of the world, yet detached.

Isn’t that what we’re trying to achieve through mindfulness and meditation? A sense of being in the present?

I read a re-posted article from The Paris Review a few month’s back about the flaneur. Interesting article, and that’s when I realized flanerie, or aimless idle behavior as Wikipedia calls it, is a form of mindfulness.

It reminded of me of one of my trips to Paris.


I had just arrived and wanted to take a stroll after a long flight. Fresh air would do me good. So I began walking with no specific destination in mind.

I rambled for hours, aimlessly.

Listening to couples having conversations along the streets of open patios.

Watching the man in the park leaned against a tree feeding the birds.

A couple kissing beneath the bridge.

A mother leans over to give her child a snack. The garden’s flowers in full bloom.

I’m not thinking of me.

Nor the mother or the child.

Or the man in the park.

I’m not thinking at all.

Just watching.



I walked most of the city that afternoon. Lost. But present. Immensely present.

I interacted with no one, yet experienced everything.


Getting lost is the best way to see Paris, by the way. I highly recommend it.

But back to the matter at hand. Wandering mindlessly. It’s a good thing. We don’t do it enough. It quiets the mind and gives you a little exercise to boot. Work in some deep breathing. It’s all good.

Lesson 1: Wandering mindlessly … do it. It’s good for the soul.

And you don’t have to wander. You can sit. It’s very Parisian – people watching. Or bird watching. Or dust watching as I did as a child.

Dust watching, you say? Yes, it’s a very technical term, indeed.

When I was a kid, we had a room in the front of the house that we didn’t use very much. Or the rest of the family didn’t. I spent many hours there as the scribblings still etched into hidden corners of the wall will attest.

Sometimes I was a strange kid. I’ll admit.

Anyway, the sun would shine through a window at one end of the room. Our house was kind of dusty. Not from a lack of cleaning – it was just in the air.

At certain times there were these amazing beams of light that came through that window. I would lie in the floor underneath the curtains and watch the dust fall through the beams of light. Just drifting. Silently.

I know. Still a weird kid. I own it.

But I love that memory. It brings me feelings of happiness and peacefulness. And you find inner peace where you can, right? Even if its dust falling through sunbeams.

Lesson 2: Inner peace can be found anywhere. Don’t wait to go to the yoga studio.

You know what else happens when you stroll aimlessly? It clears your mind for other things. Yep, that means it can boost your creativity.

There is a book that I may reference often here. I enjoyed it because the theory behind it is so different from the life most of us live today. That book is How to Be Idle: A Loafer’s Manifesto.

That was one of the first times I had read about how idleness and loafing are good for creativity. Well, maybe not the first, but the one that stuck with me.

I was seeking something to tell me that, I think. I like being lazy. I needed validation that it was OK. That book did it.

But in that book it discusses how idle time allows you to get the creative juices flowing – it opens up the mind for freer thinking. And we’ve all read the stories of genius, novelists and entrepreneurs making daily walks part of their lives.

Lesson 3: Strolling for creativity – the wandering mind expands.

Study after study, article after article, the facts support this. Here are just a few for further reading:

So, I say get out. Do some wandering. Put on your walking shoes and leave the thinking hat (and the phone) by the door. It will do wonders for your mind and soul. Just saying.

Happy flanerie!

The Tao of Typos

Acknowledging change and reserving judgement


There is a lesson in almost everything that happens in life. The secret is seeing and accepting it. Take typos, for example.

I used to be an editor. I was paid to find mistakes in copy, including my own. It was my bread and butter, and I did a decent job of it, too.

One day, my editing skills changed. I started making more typos than usual and even worse, missing them when I edited the copy. I wasn’t an editor at that point. I was working in the corporate world, but still it was kind of my job.

Now editing your own copy is always harder, but not impossible. And I was cranking out a lot more content at that time, so I wrote it off to working too quickly. Plus, it was just a few here and there.

Until it wasn’t a few anymore. I started finding typos in almost everything I did.

It freaked me out. I thought I was losing my touch. The more I worried about it, the worse it got. It became a major stressor in my life. Even on a slow day, I would miss some typos.

I had no idea what was causing it, but I actually broke down a few times over it. Then I tried to fix it. I made myself really focus on editing. I would find a quiet space so nothing would disturb me. But it didn’t help. Nothing helped.

Then one day I realized, I didn’t want to be in the job any more and I didn’t want to be doing the same type of work any more. So, I made a change.

Guess what happened? The typos started to disappear. I stopped telling myself that I couldn’t do my job any more. Stopped torturing myself over it. All I needed was a change.

Lesson No. 1: Mistakes may be guiding you to change – don’t discard or judge them too harshly.

On the other side of typos, readers can learn a lesson, too. Now, you pay good money for books or magazines, and you expect a certain level of editing. But even the best sometimes make mistakes.

If you’ve ever read reviews of new writers or the comments from people who always feel the need to correct your Facebook post, you know some people just cannot get over a typo. They see nothing but the mistake and gather nothing else from what’s said.

But sometimes the grammar isn’t what matters. It’s the message … or the story, depending on what you’re reading. If you focus on nothing more than the writer’s mistake, then you may be missing out on what’s important.

And you may be judging someone for nothing more than a fat finger. That one happens a lot on social media. Mistakes don’t make you uneducated and catching the mistake doesn’t make you smarter, especially if you miss the point of the conversation.

Lesson No. 2: Don’t get lost in the details – look for the bigger meaning.

Mistakes are mistakes. They are not the be all and end all of everything. Sure, no one wants to make them, but we do. Accept it, own it and if you can, laugh at it. And if you’re on the receiving end, be mindful that we all make mistakes from time to time. It’s a small act of kindness to not judge others’ mistakes. Remember, we’re trying to make a better world here.

Dreams of White Bikinis

Trusting your path to find inner peace

Narrow Coastal Road in Ireland

The world works in mysterious ways. But letting go, trusting your path and not expecting perfection are very big first steps toward inner peace. That’s what I’m learning in my journey so I thought it was a good place to begin this blog.

Since the election back in November, my need to make a difference has kicked into overdrive. I have taken many twists and turns to end up here, but that journey has been teaching me things I needed to know.

See, I’ve always felt the need to make a difference, but I didn’t know how. I struggled with it so much that I never started. I would plan and ponder and worry if I could stick it out — I dealt with all of that inner monologue that weighs you down. I would get frustrated and beat myself up for not figuring it out fast enough.

In fact, my soul searching became so intense that it began to destroy my inner peace. And that ain’t cool.

So I stopped.

Lesson No. 1: You can’t force it.

It didn’t hurt that I was dealing with my dad dying, as well as my pet of 12 years all within the first nine months of last year. It’s been said before, but I will say it again, 2016 sucked.

And then came the election. Finally, my time had come. I had to do something. I was being called … or at least I was calling on myself.

I had so much in my head and so much in my heart. The world was falling apart. Up was down and down was up. I needed to do something to move past everything I had been dealing with.

So I did what I do. I started writing.

First it was tweets and Facebook posts. Simple stuff I could do quickly and get my voice out there. Until the trolls found me. I don’t do trolls. So I started a blog.

I wrote a few posts, but it wasn’t me. Too corporate. I didn’t want that vibe gunking up my purpose. So, I created another blog.

Both were all politics all of the time. My concern was the state of the world and humanity as a whole. I was doing OK. Felt OK, but still not quite me. The message was right, but the voice was wrong.

So blog No. 3 came along. It’s still up, and I will keep it up for a while. That journey hasn’t ended yet. Still politics, but poetry and politics … a little more me.

I read and watched news – hour after hour, day after day. Eventually, it started to get to me. It was wearing me down.

There’s a lot of anger and bitterness out there right now. None of which helps a highly sensitive introvert stay calm and collected on the inside. And it does nothing for the betterment of the world.

But on blog No. 3, I had written a poem that began the next leg of my journey. The poem was about we all share this earth and we all have one destiny. The last line reads: We are significant in our insignificance, and our destiny begins with me.

Now, if you read my “about” page, you’ll start to see the connection. One person can have a positive impact on another person’s life and after that happens enough times, the world becomes a better place.

Lesson No. 2: Everything is connected. The universe knows what it’s doing. Sync with it. Trust it.

So I wrote a couple more poems, but then I had to take a break. I got overwhelmed with all the news and bad vibes floating around. I needed some goodness and to stop the “noise.”

I put down the phone, turned off the news, read a little more, exercised a little harder, ate a little better and meditated more. I focused on me – yeah, the one where our destiny begins.

See, it’s coming together. Wait for it.

My break from the last blog lasted a little longer than I had planned. But I got some good me time. Did a lot of journaling. Started clearing out the clutter in my head. You know, working on that inner peace stuff.

Then came the dreams of white bikinis. I know. It’s an odd twist but stick with me.

First, let me say that I’m a big believer in dreams tell us something we need to know. I don’t always know what they are telling me, but they’re telling me something.

So I had a few dreams over a course of a few weeks, and in each of them I was shopping for a swimsuit. It wasn’t the main point of the dream, actually, but it’s the part that stuck with me.

Now I should point out that I’ve only shopped for swimsuits twice in my entire life. Pale girls don’t go to the beach that often, so to dream of swimsuit shopping is a little out of the ordinary.

In all of the dreams, though, I had to make a choice of which swimsuit to buy. In the first dream there was no rush, just floating along, picking out a bikini. But, by the last dream, the pressure was on. If I didn’t make a choice I was going to miss my flight (yes, I was shopping in the airport in that dream). I was in a bit of panic because I had so many choices and so little time.

I wrote the dream in my journal when I woke up. It made no sense to me. I wasn’t getting the message and I had to get ready for work.

As is always the case, the message came to me in the middle of my shower — when I wasn’t thinking at all.

Lesson No. 3: Clearing the mind brings forth answers.

I had been journaling and meditating on different paths I could take while I was on my break working on myself. Do I keep doing the political blogs and watching a lot of news, keep focusing on the self-care and inner peace, start a novel or the 15 other things I was thinking about? I was falling back into that overthinking thing, and not getting any where.

But in the shower, I wasn’t thinking. I turned toward the water and let it run down my face. And then, it hit me. All the swimsuits in my dreams were the choices I was pondering in real life.

In the end it didn’t make a difference which swimsuit I chose, I just needed to make a choice before that last flight to Mexico hit the runway. The swimsuit wasn’t going to make or break the trip; but not making a choice was.

Lesson No. 4: Action matters, not perfection.

So, as with all the other dreams, I chose the white bikini.

Which is the white bikini in the real world? Well, you’re here. When I thought about what I was willing to put the most effort into, I determined, at least for the time being, it was me. That’s what I had been doing. That’s what I did to take a break. It felt like the right path for now. It may change. It probably will.

Yeah, it’s another fork in the road, but I’m trusting it. It’s a hard lesson to learn sometimes, going with the flow, but it’s worth it. It’s getting easier every day and my inner peace is coming back.

And I do believe we are significant in our insignificance and that the only way to change the world is one person at a time. And you can only do that by focusing on yourself.

As crazy as it sounds, finding inner peace and performing self-care can save this world. So, for now, I’ve put on my white bikini. I hope you’ll join me for a swim.

Peace, y’all.