Weighing In

This past weekend I volunteered at a local fundraising event. My job was to fold countless women’s tops as eager shoppers went through them looking for bargains and treasures.

As I picked up one garment after another, folded and arranged in neat little piles, bits and pieces of random conversations floated by me and the thing I noticed most was the unrelenting body shaming words women use to describe themselves. It did NOT matter their age or what they looked like.

It disturbed me to no end.

At what age did we begin hating our bodies? When did we decide that our bodies, which are mystical and astounding are nothing more than things to complain about, things to be disdained, things to be criticized over and over again? During what phase of our lives did our bodies become private enemy #1?

Did this mindset take shape in our youth? Did it take shape in our childbearing years? After menopause? Or was it ingrained in us at such an early age that we can’t even put a finger on it?

A few years ago, while cleaning out some ancient stuff my mother found in an old closet, I came across a wall calendar that belonged to me. The year 1975. Back then I made notes on calendars the way most girls use diaries. I came across an entry made on a Friday in May.



In the spring of 1975 I would have been a mere 14 years old and I can only imagine that I was concerned about the approaching summer and bathing suit season. Apparently I got it in my head that 110 pounds was unacceptable.


Not the weight gain (?) but my perception of the weigh gain. How did I, at the age of 14, come to believe that 110 pounds was fat? That gaining weigh, a normal physical evolution of the maturing of a healthy human body, was bad?

Did it come from my family? My friends? Teen magazines? Marsha Brady?

Of course I can’t remember what was going through my mind 40 years ago, but what I do know is that stigma (if I care to look, which I don’t) still lives deep inside me and I will venture to guess in most women too.

These days I no longer focus on my weight. What I focus on now is how my body functions. Am I healthy? Staying ahead of things before they break down. Making sure I eat as well (for my body) as I possibly can and yes I do have that occasional piece of cheese cake, because, well why the hell not?

It drives me crazy when a woman discounts her own beauty because she unrealistically views herself as ‘less than’ or ‘flawed’.

If I really wanted to fit into a a size 8 then I would make that my top priority. But the truth is it isn’t. My priority is being active, experiencing life. Working at things I enjoy. The size of clothing I wear will no more make me feel better about myself (in the long term) than any other quick fix.

I know women who by society standards are high on the BMI scale and they are gorgeous! They OWN who they are.

I also know women who are hyper focused on every calorie that goes into their mouths and find themselves on the never-ending carousel ride grabbing at the brass ring and holding on for a few days, or weeks until the ride stops and then starts all over again.

Our bodies change. THAT IS A FACT. The key is to keep that change healthy. Somehow we tend to view these changes as abnormal as though we are the ONLY ONES on the planet whose bodies have gone rogue. What is abnormal is comparing ourselves to 19 year old models on a cat walk.


Women out there: PLEASE don’t be so hard on yourselves!  Make your focus and priority staying healthy both physically and mentally. MOVE your body daily. If you don’t use it you will lose it. Walk. Ride, Swim WHATEVER, just move.


Eat as well as you can and that does NOT mean deprivation. If you want a salad because you love salads, have a salad.IMG_1276 I happen to love salads, but I also love other things as well.




IMG_1945If you feel like indulging in something that isn’t considered ‘good’ for you then have at it but note HOW you physically feel later on. If you truly enjoyed it and it made you feel good, then great!

If it made you feel like crap physically, mentally
or both (and most foods that are bad for you will leave you with that prize) then find IMG_3189something else.

There are some foods that taste fantastic but do not make me feel good so I avoid them. On the rare occasion I am truly wanting ‘that thing’ I’ll have it BUT I am well aware that when I feel like shit afterwards I won’t wonder why.


Wear clothing that makes you feel beautiful.  That is different for everyone. Treat yourself and YOUR body with respect and it will respect you back.  And if you have people in your life who focus on what you LOOK like instead of who you are, then…well, let’s just say that will set me off on another tangent!

More than at any time we are realizing the affects poor body image is having on the young girls of today. As mature women it is our responsibility (whether we ourselves have daughters or not) to lead by example. Teach them healthy choices. Movement (whatever works for them). Healthy eating NOT deprivation eating. Put the focus on the things that matter not just numbers.  It starts with us.   It is about accepting the fact that our bodies change throughout our lives and it is up to us to keep them functioning well.

The only way we will ever displace unrealistic body ideals is if WE start to love not only who we are, but what we look like NO MATTER WHAT.

We can only teach our girls to own  who THEY are if they see that we own who WE are.

The Power of a Library…

IMG_3188It’s Noon on a school day and I find myself on the upper level the local library, a stone’s throw from my family home. The ‘upstairs’ is known as the children’s library. It’s probably been thirty plus years since I’ve set foot in this building and along with several other adults, I’m enjoying the quiet.

It is on these bookshelves that I discovered Margaret and Nancy, Encyclopedia Brown and the Hardy Boys. My love for the written word evolved in this space those many years ago. I was a voracious reader, often checking out however many books my ‘children’s library’ card would allow. I would hide those books under my pillow to be retrieved once my mother left the room so I could read well into the night, finishing one book and immediately starting a new one, a single pen light illuminating three or four words at a time.

When I was older and graduated to the adult library “downstairs,” I felt empowered. It was a right of passage. No longer limited by the children’s library card that allowed only a couple of books checked out at any given time, the new one, the ‘adult’ card allowed me to check out 5 hardcover and countless paperbacks at once.  And boy, did I make use of that privilege!  I surrendered myself to the possibility of reading as much as I could physically carry home.

In high school I spent many hours doing homework here. Many times alone, sometimes with friends and on occasion with my boyfriend far from the prying eyes of my ultra strict parents. There were many stolen kisses in the reference aisles somewhere between the Egyptian civilization and the discovery of the New World.

The children’s floor looks different now and I could say it’s because of my perspective as an adult, but the reality is the layout is not how I remember.   I could still visualize the way the shelves looked back then. Where once I found Judy Blume who answered the age old question millions of preteen girls were asking, there are now board books.  Yet, I find I am liking sitting up here.  After hitting my personal best height at 5’1,” the tables and chairs suit my frame much more comfortably.

I have this library to thank for my love affair with books. The way they feel, the way they smell. The way their weight shifts from right to left with the turning of each page.

Today’s kids have tools at their disposal we couldn’t even begin to envision back then. It’s a different way of learning and clearly necessary for the evolution of generations to come.

Being in a space where words changed my life and the lives of others before and after me, I feel as though I am in sacred space.  Words are sacred. All words.  How lucky I feel that the gift of those who put words together so that ideas and truths could be conveyed and imaginations sparked was available and easily accessible.

Walking Along Minding My Own Business

THE PROMPT: You are walking along on your path and see a stranger up ahead standing at crossroad waiting for you.

IMG_1153IN the distance I see a woman standing at a spot where several paths merge. My first thought is perhaps she is lost. Though her stance, her posture, is one of a woman who is in command of herself and her environment. My instincts tell me she is far from lost.

I can’t tell which path led her to that spot, but I instantly realize it doesn’t matter. It’s as though she has been there waiting for a long time.

She is focused in my direction and for whatever reason I come to the conclusion she waiting for me to reach her. I have no idea why.

I wonder who she is but know I will find out in a short while. I get the feeling we are heading in the same direction.

My eyes are fixed on her as I walk. Something is vaguely familiar about her, yet I can’t pinpoint what. She is not very tall, probably about my height. I make a mental note that she is dressed way too lightly for this time of the year. Yet, something tells me she dresses this way no matter what the temperature is outside. Her hair, a deep chestnut, falls to mid back with just enough wave. Her clothes do not hide her graceful curves. I am immediately enchanted. I can sense the vibrancy of her beauty as I get closer. She smiles when I join her.

“Hello!” She says. “It’s so great to see you again!” She draws me in and gives me a strong tight hug.

Her excitement is contagious but I still am cautious when I hug her back.

“Again?” I asked puzzled. “Do I know you? You do look vaguely familiar but I’m sorry, I don’t recall when we’ve ever met. How exactly do we know each other?”

She looks at me a lets out a quirky laugh. “I am you silly. Don’t you remember?”

I am really embarrassed to say I don’t, so I just smile.

“You really don’t recognize me do you?” She asks.

I give her an apologetic look and shake my head. “No, I’m sorry. I really don’t. I never looked like you. Your figure, your hair, your smile. Everything about you is nothing like who I was.”

She looks at me in a way that makes my heart swell. “Oh but I am most certainly you. I am the you others saw. You had a vision of yourself which had nothing to do with WHO you really were and still are. I am here to help you remember that.”

I stare at her again and this time I notice her green eyes, my eyes. Though, hers sparkle and mine have taken on the green of an aging woman.

Curious now I ask “Is it possible to go back in time? I mean, there are no ‘do-overs’ right? Did I do it wrong the first time? Am I even on the right path?”

“Yes. Of course you are on the right path. There is no wrong path. Ever. Not even detours.” She replies.

“Really? But I assumed the ‘right’ path would be easy and smooth and tranquil. Mine has had some, shall we say, bumps in the road. At those times I thought I completely missed the mark.”

She looks at me with a smile that is peaceful. “No path is always smooth. That is a misconception. I don’t even know who started that rumor. If there were no dumps and hardships, how else would you learn what really matters? This is why you meet several companions along whatever path you’re on. They appear when you are ready for the next lesson. Though, I have to caution you, sometimes the same lesson appears through different companions until you learn from it. The point of all this, is really about moving forward and progressing through various experiences.”

“I’m confused.” I say. “Then why ARE you here?”

She circles my arm with hers and encourages me to step with her. She doesn’t assess all the paths, she just starts walking. I fall in step.

“Which way are we going?” I ask.

“Oh, that doesn’t matter.” She replies. “They are all the same and eventually lead you full circle.”

“Well, if they are all the same,” I say, a little disappointed with this new information. “Then really, I’m confused as to why are you here.”

My appearance here is merely to remind you there is a beautiful heart somewhere deep in there.” She pokes me in the chest. “Together we are going to have some fun and let it open. You remember fun right? No matter what path you think you’re on, the key is to have an open mind, open heart and be very aware of your attitude.”

“Even when the going gets tough?” I ask a bit puzzled.

“Especially when the going gets tough!”

I can’t help but laugh and part of my guard begins to dissolve. “Yeah, fun. It’s been a while.”

“What do you say we go find some puppies to play with?”

The thought makes me smile. This is going to be an interesting walking companion.


A several months ago I, along with millions of others, watched SNL’s 40th Anniversary show.

I had to admit that after a certain point in the show’s history I had no idea who made up the cast. The pre-show, show, was as high profiled as any award show except no one asked who wore which designer but instead the airwaves were filled with stilted conversation about various appearances throughout the course of the show’s existence.

Some appearances were classic and memorable and some, well, not so much.

Though it was fun to see former and current favorites come together to celebrate the longevity of comedic brilliance, at times it was more than a little painful to watch. Case in point when some of the middle aged stars reprised their roles from yesteryear. Yes, the skits were silly and funny and mostly pointless, but I think I enjoyed the clips from the old shows better than Emma Stone donning the wig that made Gilda Radner’s character a household name. And by the way, I have nothing against Emma Stone, I think she is a terrific actress, but there was only one Roseanne RoseAnna Danna. To this day, whenever I meet someone from New Jersey, I still ask,“What exit?” It either gets me a chuckle or a confused look followed by rolling of eyes.

I guess my point here is less to critique the show but more to create awareness of how we live life. We LOVE to be reminded of the past. Unfortunately some people still live there when they should have packed up and left ages ago.

The show was was a fun trip down memory lane. But more than ever, it made me aware that nothing stays the same.



It reminded me that our lives are made up of a series of windows, each of which are open for a finite period of time. I think we can get into trouble when we try to keep some windows open long after they are meant to be closed.

Redefining Spiritual Guardians

It’s been a few weeks since the passing of my beloved Zia, my 15 1/2 year old Yorkie. Only now can I sit down to write. Grief, in its ever mutating form, has made concentration difficult.

Questions constantly churn in my head.

Did I do right by her?

Did I take care of her in the best way possible?

Did I show her enough love and kindness?

And during the last day of her life, did I do all I was capable of to make her feel comfortable, safe, secure and most important loved?

I’d like to think I did but I won’t know the answer to those questions for a while.

Those of us who have or ever had pets like to think they are put in our lives so that we can care for them and we do it willingly in the most basic ways. We give them shelter, we feed them and provide care when they are ill. Most of us grow to love these beings in a way we love little else.

It is often said we are their guardians while they live out their brief lives on earth. After all, we are the superior beings with Souls.

Looking back on my years with Zia I have come to the conclusion that we are not their guardians.

They are ours.

And, I will go out on a limb here and add, I believe their Souls are more highly evolved than ours. (That should send some folks into a tizzy.)

A lot of memories were created in fifteen years and as I look back I realize now her presence changed the course of my actions more times than I can count causing me to put my ego and pride in check.

One of our greatest struggles as humans is dealing with ego.

Animals? No egos. (Unless it’s a Disney movie.)

We know we should love unconditionally but most of the time fail miserably. (Check with ego on this one).

Our pets love unconditionally. Even under the most cruel circumstances they still try to please. They still love. They may have fear, but they love nonetheless. Forever hopeful. Ask anyone who has a rescue.

They love us no matter what is happening.  It is our responsibility to love them back and we do a piss poor job in comparison.

We look down at them from our platform of superiority because of our highly evolved intellect and communication skills yet they are able to let us know what they want without the use of words.

Who is the one trained?

If the highly evolved Soul has no ego and can love unconditionally, then we have a long way to go before we can even come close to our furry companions.

They are truly the purest of Souls.

I wish I would have realized this while Zia was still a part of my life. I know I would have looked at her differently. I considered myself ‘enlightened’ until a tiny three and a half pound dog took her last breath in my arms. In the subsequent days, as I relived our years together, it dawned on me she was the one who was protecting and keeping me centered.

She taught me the power of unconditional love, something I will strive to master but know my own flaws as a human being will prevent me from achieving.

I truly believe we decide our lessons before we are born. I am now convinced our pets are a special Soul group and they enter our lives when we need their guidance most.

They do their jobs in the short amount of time they have and by doing nothing more than waiting around for us to pay attention.


June 13, 1999 – January 23, 2015



Good Vibrations.

Q:  How will you know when it is time to make serious changes in your life?

A:  When you get tired of living life at lower vibrations you will know it is time to move on.

Q:  But what is the difference between lower and higher vibrations?

A: That’s easy. Just pay attention to how something  (or someone) makes you feel. If it makes you happy and gives you a light feeling, that is usually a higher vibration. If it makes you anxious, upset, scared or anything along the lines of discomfort, then it is a lower vibration.

Lower vibrations are about survival. They take an enormous amount of energy to manifest and when all that energy is depleted it leaves you emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted. When your total focus is on survival, there is little room for much else. Survival is based on fear and worry. Or rather,  it is based on worry which is brought about by fear.

Circumstances and people who emit a higher vibration are effortless to be around. These are not based in fear. It is difficult to live a life of love and heartfelt peace when you are consumed by fear and worry. Living from love requires faith and trust. Foremost faith and trust in yourself.

Being and living in that mindset requires persistence and practice.

It is very normal for humans to be worried. Most of us are brought up this way. We worry about finances. We worry about relationships, we worry about health. When we are continuously bombarded with stimulus from society about how things ‘should’ be, it’s no wonder we feel we can never measure up and thus consistently think we have fallen short of the ‘ideal’ weight, ‘ideal’ vehicle, house, relationship, etc.

But how do you change that?

We have so much invested in that part of ourselves that we think is not perfect, that we fail to see that we are perfect. The Creator, God, the Universe does not create imperfection.

Our mindsets create imperfection.

How do we take the step to exist at a higher frequency?

The first step is to understand that NOTHING, good or bad, lasts forever. Everything is in a constant flux of change. Even those things are seemingly stable. They are shifting continuously. Once we truly believe and live that way it frees us from the prisons we create.

When you live or are alive at a higher vibration the emotional attachment to ‘things’ changes.

They are severed.

Living at a higher vibrations evokes a sense of belonging. It is easy, it is fluid, it is seamless. The expended energy is constantly being replenished and in turn attracts people and things and situations that are in tuned with this vibration. (This, by the way, happens at any vibration. You are always drawing things that match your current vibration. Good or bad.  Some call it the law of attraction, some call it synchronicity).

Most of the time we are somewhere between the two levels. The reason we can’t move on is because we don’t really trust the process. There is an inherent fear of letting go and thereby we make excuses as to why we can’t or don’t. True freedom comes from trusting the process.  It is difficult to do, but once you are in tune with what that ‘feels’ like, it gets easier as time goes on.

Let those things that no longer fit, fall by the wayside. There may be some angst in the process but it is important to understand that which does not or no longer serves the process will automatically and irrefutably find its way out of your existence.

So You Consider Yourself Spiritual?

Just what is spirituality? These days the word ‘spirituality’ is tossed around like a football at a…well…football game.

But what does it mean or what is it meant to convey?

Often I hear things like I’m spiritual but not religious. Apparently you can be religious AND spiritual but you don’t have to be religious in order to be spiritual. I guess I’m guilty of that myself. Though I love the traditions of the church I was raised in, I don’t necessarily connect with some of the dogma. Yet, I consider myself spiritual. I have an unwavering faith in what I call God. But saying I’m spiritual doesn’t give me a lock on (my idea of) God. It doesn’t mean, ‘I pray, therefore I am.’ It doesn’t mean I am better because I believe in something I can’t touch.

Now, my God doesn’t have to look like your God and for sure you don’t have to even use the word God. Use Universe, Creator, Goddess, whatever it is that gives you a sense of connection. The list is long but in the end it means the same thing. Most of us believe there is something more and beyond what we can see.

Usually the word ‘spirituality’ evokes images of misty angelic realms very heaven like as though there is a mystery that needs solving. sunshine

Sometimes, things need to be left as mysteries. The joy of experiencing or understanding ourselves in connection to each other and the world around and beyond us. THAT connection is mystical. Of all the vastness there is, here we are trying to make sense of it all and maybe we don’t need to. Maybe all we need is to trust and have faith.

Naysayers could find dozens of ways of challenging this concept and to that I say “OK. You can choose to believe or not in anything you want.” It isn’t an argument for who is right or who gets to drive in the HOV lane at the end of life.

Spirituality is a state of being. It is a state born of a connection with something unexplainable, something profound and it resides deep in our hearts, a place where our Souls remind us why we are here.