Feb 26

We Are Not Alone

At times we may feel alone, although there may be forces we can not see that constantly surround us. Is it possible this picture captured a force bigger than myself? Shadow or reflection, both are a guess, for whatever the reason, the answer still cannot be explained. This is a great illustration how we may perceive ourselves one way, while others perceive us differently. Can they see or feel something we do not? It has been said, “Life is an illusion.” We know there is more to life than meets the eye. In this life, it is good to remember we can have more questions than answers. The key to success is to keep asking, the answers are on their way.



Oct 27

Trust Yourself


Willing to be the only red flower in the midst? Be authentic!

Trust yourself is a powerful statement. In an ever changing world, how can we know who to trust? The biggest question is, “How do we trust ourselves”? Reading the classic book, “Walden”, it states back in 1845 that Emerson was speaking to Henry David Thoreau to encourage him to follow his passion. Now in the year 2015, we still hear how people will question themselves, trying to figure out what is their passion.
“Trust yourself, Emerson told Thoreau; “In self-trust all the virtues are comprehended… Look in your heart and write.” Can we trust ourselves to follow our passion and write that which is hidden within?

There were very practical difficulties to be surmounted back then, just as there are now. Thoreau wrote, “A literary career would support a man only if he wrote what the public wanted, shallow, sentimental stuff, to which a sincere soul could not stoop.” In our day, only politically correct material is acceptable without some type of negative consequences.

I realize even as I write there will be those who will not agree with my thoughts. We can never please all the people all the time. Knowing that, how do we follow our passion and be true to ourselves? Are we willing to take risks, sacrifice, and be willing to be honest with ourselves, trusting our ability to be unique and individual as we vocalize our authentic voice?

Thoreau viewed people living their life as divided, the earning from the enjoying; the mass of men leading lives of quiet desperation, believing they had no other course, and labor year round for mere subsistence. Are we any different now? It is interesting how can the writings of a man who lived so long ago can be so relevant even today?

Emerson told Thoreau, “Trust yourself.” Can we trust ourselves? Are we trust worthy? We may be with others but are we honest and trustworthy with ourselves? Are we being sincere when it comes to our own passion that cries from within?

Each person must be careful to find out and pursue their own way, and not their fathers, mothers or their neighbors.” I would say these truths spoken so long ago, recorded in written form are as sound today as they were back then. The question stands; now that we have seen, now that we know, are we willing to go forward in our pursuit of truth and passion, or do we retreat and settle for compromise and surrender? I choose to follow my true passion and live life to the fullest.

Sep 23

Are you pleased with yourself?


The beauty of the lone pink flower in the midst of all the yellow creates an appreciation for both. Being true to oneself is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves .

Have you ever spent time evaluating your current life style? I am hoping to celebrate another birthday next week, and as I reflect back on my life I see many things I would have liked to be different.

We know we can’t change history, but we can learn from it. To do so, we can begin by reviewing what we have done in the past, and decide what worked and what didn’t. We need to begin asking some very hard questions. We must be honest with ourselves. Are we really happy with how we are spending our time? Do we feel good about the progress we are making in life?

Knowing the answers to those questions I realize I must make positive changes now. I continue asking myself, “Am I growing & becoming a better person”? Do I laugh enough? Do I feel moved & inspired by my life? Not happy with the answers, I accept the fact I must be disciplined, as well as determined to make good choices that will bring forth good results.

I want to be able to say I am actually spending time on what I believe matters the most. I want my life to contribute to others in a significant way! I recommend we all take time to ask some serious questions like the ones above. We are the only one who can make a difference in our lives and the lives of others. Congratulations for making good choices.

Jul 06

Living in the real world?

Working in the real world requires being responsible, having a plan and working the plan, correct? I have heard people say discouraging words when I shared creative ideas I was excited about. Have you ever heard these words? “That would never work in the real world!” Is that real world a place where creative ideas are viewed as foreign concepts to be rejected. If so, what do we do with all the unique, unparalleled experiments or inventions waiting to be discovered? Shouldn’t we venture out into the unknown, walk out from under clouds of doubt and fear and face the storms of rejection from others? Can we stand tall while trekking toward the new horizon of freedom to be able to express our own creativity? How do we accomplish that which we dream about? We may start by picking up a pen and paper, or go to our computer, and allow our thoughts to be transformed into words written on a page. As we continue, fears will fade while our creative energy transforms into action. Writing free flowing thoughts, get-away plans, blue prints for our future, or a fiction novel, whatever the case, we must allow words to come forth. Once seen on the page, they become alive with passion and purpose. Passion compels us to move forward while fulfilling our purpose to be heard. The plan is to use our authentic voice in the real world without fear. People desire to see true, genuine and unique individuals, for there are not many who appreciate a ‘Great Pretender’. Now is time to share our creative talents and tell our stories. Let us be determined in our hearts to rise up and embrace the beauty of our individual voices as we follow our call to write.

Jun 29

What defines happiness?

Happiness? What is that? How many times have I heard clients respond with that statement when I ask them what makes them happy? For many even the word itself is void of meaning. I have known happiness and I have know sorrow. When I look back at those times of unhappiness, I can see there were moments I contributed to my own pain by making poor choices. As I take time to reflect I understand how I even sabotaged myself, resulting in the loss of my happiness. When this occurs in life, it does to all, it is important to admit we made a mistake. Once we recognize and address the issue, we can move quickly to correct that which we see. I have decided not to trade my happiness and joy for any temporary desire, instant gratification, or lust of the flesh. Being true to one self is another step to being truly happy.

“The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want now.”
Zig Ziglar

Jun 27

Beware of identity thieves

Who am I speaking to? That is a question I may ask the secretary when preparing to see a client. As a mental health professional I have counseled many who were suffering emotionally for a variety of reasons. With or without a mental health diagnosis, we all suffer from what is called a mixture of good and evil tensions, therefore creating stress emotionally and physically. In spite of that, we are all born with an amazing potential to fulfill our highest destiny and purpose. How is it that we lose sight of that awesome and inherit capacity to come in to being? Why would we give up our joy and passion for life or simply bury our gifts? Is there any truth to what some call “spiritual identity theft”? As bazaar as that sounds I question how that could be. In the financial world when talking about identity theft we may think of one getting into our bank accounts, stealing our identification/social security numbers, taking our private information for their gain. With access to our credit cards they can illegally make purchases while we get the bills. Now companies sell insurance to help protect us from those continually on the prowl. What about the spiritual identity theft? What does that look like? Here is one example; when a thief tries to convince someone to believe they do not have any purpose, gifts, talents, potential, or even a clear destiny. If they agree with the adversary they will lose their hope, become discouraged and not move forward.They were robbed. By seeing the truth and then embracing it, they can push back negative forces that attempt to steal their spiritual identity. We are all created with many gifts and talents that we need to share with one another. There is no ‘one’ person who has them all, that is why we need each other. Understanding there are different forms of identity theft; one form addresses financial circumstances that will be traced back to a banking institution. When addressing spiritual identity theft, this is hidden in the realm of the heart. The area we acknowledge as the place where the “knowing” occurs, the gut feeling, that special place we should cherish. When we hear someone say, “She has been so heavy on my heart lately, I hope she is OK”, we understand the meaning. We know that was not a literal statement but a figurative one. Somehow we just ‘know’ although we can’t see the ‘heart’ with our eyes or touch with our hands. I am taught to “Guard my heart, for out of it flow the issues of life.” Guard my heart? How would I go about doing that? Is there a class I take, who teaches us how? Lack of knowledge, as well as lack of experience may hinder our ability to guard our heart. How is it we don’t think it is strange that banks have guards, some even traveling in armored trucks while transferring money, yet it sounds strange or unusual to say we need to guard our hearts? If we knew there was a thief present, and everything we worked hard for all our lives could be taken away, would we guard that which we view as valuable? Is not our heart more valuable and therefore should be guarded even more? I want to clarify, guarding our heart is not the same as having walls up and keeping people out due to fear or wounds. Shall we let the thief enter our abode and steal our spiritual identity? With the reality of this Proverb, “For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” How does he thinketh in his heart? Are we being genuine, authentic and fulfilling our highest destiny/ purpose in our thought life, or are we being robbed? Although we all know we cannot change history, we can begin guarding our hearts and enjoying our lives to the fullest from this point forward.

Jun 25

Are you hoarding yourself?

I have been doing research on the topic of hoarding as I prepare to conduct future “sensitivity trainings” for governmental agencies involved with the Hoarding Task Force, as well as law enforcement and the judicial system. In doing so I have interviewed a number of professionals from mental health, fire services, adult protective services, social workers, public defenders, child protective services and others. They all have interesting perspectives and are focused to do their job to “protect the community”, while assuring people are safe and abiding by the health and safety codes. While compiling notes for a new book, I began writing the definitions of hoarding according to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual DSM-5 that is used to define mental health disorders. These are very serious issues. As a mental health professional, I understand the criteria that defines the mental health disorder we term as ‘hoarder’. There are many who have seen television programs revealing peoples lives with scenes of chaos and disorganization, with an over abundance of things in every area of their home. Therefore the term hoarder may bring up a negative image. Now for a paradigm shift. If someone were to say to you, ‘Express yourself”. Let your actions speak for you. Don’t hoard what you are! What would they mean? Actually it is a great thing to say to someone. We all have gifts within that can be shared with others and perhaps even make a great contribution to society. Are you hoarding yourself?

Jun 18

What is your value?

What is your value? I realize that is a strange question. People seem to think we have to own things, or have money in the bank to be of some value. What one values another may care less about. The bottom line is, we are giving importance to one thing without paying tribute to that which is truly most valuable. What is the definition of value? Perhaps it is time we look it up and determine if we are striving to prove that we are we valuable to others. The sad part of this scenario is we may value everyone and everything else and not value ourselves. These are just a few questions that cry out for answers and must be answered by the only one that matters. Your valuable opinion is all that is required. What is your value?

May 31

What do you do to relax?

What do we do when we know it is time to relax? That answer may depend on our personality, likes and dislikes, financial circumstances, as well as our physical abilities. Gender, race, culture, society, and spiritual beliefs also may play a part on our ability to relax. In addition, there are many who have emotional challenges like anxiety, guilt, depression, etc. that will have an effect on the way they relax. I found while giving myself permission to let my shoulders down, put my feet up, take some deep breaths, it is not only beneficial to my health, it does wonders for my soul! The key word here to emphasize is “Permission”. Who else can give me permission to relax at this time in my life? For some the idea of relaxing is a foreign concept. How we decide to relax is another area impacted by the way we think and who we believe we are. Embracing the reality of who I am, while learning to enjoy my life each day, I understand I must work as well as take time to have fun. Being creative, I may desire to experiment with watercolors or oil paints and create an abstract picture. Or perhaps I will desire to be silent and relax while listening to beautiful instrumental music and meditating. During times of relaxation we can embrace our unique and authentic self. Understanding it is true that one of our basic needs is to have fun, I am learning how to relax in a new way. I am letting go of temptations to be driven to accomplish, perform, or conquer the invisible to-do list. I also will say no to thoughts that challenge my decision to take care of myself. I realize as I take time to enjoy life, relax and have fun, I am refreshed and prepared for the times I am on duty. Knowing I will have different desires and talents than others helps me understand what I find fun and relaxing may be terrifying to someone else. Others may think that which I find fun or exciting to be completely boring. That is why we are not to compare ourselves among ourselves. Isn’t it exciting to know that it is OK that we are all different? It is because we are all so unique, with individual thoughts and desires, we are able to create this extremely interesting and beautiful world.