Tag Archives: transformation


                                Last Spring


Last year, in the spring, my favorite time of year, I was shocked into retreat. I became a small newborn shell of the person I was, lost and stagnant and felt like a little caterpillar egg, waiting to hatch and to become something new and different. My prior life was suddenly gone and I had no frame of reference, so, I stayed in the safety of my egg, waiting.


After a few weeks I came out of my egg, more by force than by choice. There was nothing else to do but to emerge, look around and see what I was facing, so I did. I began to look for familiar things, yoga, the beach, work of course and the children. I looked for friends and family and for ways to occupy myself. I resided in the familiar, but everything was different now.

                         Starting to Bloom

As small as a caterpillar, I crawled along, nibbling from the familiar and attempting to try a few unfamiliar things too. I traveled alone, I traveled with my daughters and I connected to everyone I could. I found out who my true friends were-the ones who stuck around and cared. I rediscovered the importance of family and traditions and I found joy in my new granddaughter. I wrote more, read a lot, found strong roots in feminism and awareness.

I grew and became more than the small egg and more than a small caterpillar crawling along alone; I became bigger. I was still me, with my sadness, insecurities, and fear of this new, unknown life and though I had new experiences that felt good, the winter brought cold and darkness and it was hard to find any light. I retreated.


I spent the winter in the cocoon of my routine, the security of my home with cozy fires and getting inside out of the darkness. I spent weekend mornings in the safety of my flannel sheets and most nights with the company of the television. I waited for Gary to walk through the door but of course he didn’t. I stared at his collection of cars, his clothes and it seemed surreal, the magnified sadness of the winter only kept at bay by keeping busy.

Then, last week, the rain stopped and I saw the first lupines and poppies blooming in the Canyon. The birds once again wake me with their songs and sit on the wires in pairs, some building nests in the lavender bushes. The hills are lush green from the heavy winter rains and the trees are filled with buds. I feel comfortable beginning to nibble my way out of the cocoon, or at least a bit of the way out. I am not quite ready to emerge, my wings still wet and new, but I can imagine flying.


Filed under change, death, grief, Life thoughts, writing


I went to the Topanga Film Festival this morning to see the documentary Happy and I started thinking about happiness, the concept, the reality and the possibilities. I have been following The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin for about a year now and enjoy the daily quotes and reflections, but I wondered,  how can I spread happiness, encourage happiness and find areas in my life to insert happiness? 

Encouraging signs are popping up everywhere, for example, my husband was given the book Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert awhile ago and it was mentioned in the movie today,  and this quote that showed up today on Facebook from Weight Watchers:

                                “Life has no remote. You have to get up and change it yourself!”

So I know what I can do to make myself happy: 

incorporate a healthy lifestyle into my daily life,



allow creativity to be a priority

spend time with my family

connect with my close friends

practice kindness and tolerance

Now I want to expand by giving more happiness:

sharing what I have to give

helping worthy causes

creating more happiness in my home

creating more happiness in my classroom

It is a commitment, but also a choice, to surround oneself with happiness.  It is a road I am choosing to walk.

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Filed under choice, Family, Focus, Life thoughts

Standing Up


I am beginning to realize that to begin something new, you do actually have to stand up, or at least get up off the couch.  I am an expert planner and possessor of good intentions, but I am also the “Queen of Procrastination” when it comes to establishing a new routine.

I spend a lot of time observing children and noticing the “just do it” attitude they have, which we spend a lot of time correcting, e.g. think before you act.  It is true that there are benefits to thinking things through before you blurt out words that can hurt feelings, or actions that can physically hurt someone, but too much thinking can also take the spontaneity that children have and turn it into a hesitancy and fear of making mistakes.  There is a balance that exists somewhere between impulse and no-pulse and my goal is to find it!

Opportunities present themselves to me on a revolving stage and all look so tempting.  New spirituality, new exercise, new meditations and of course new books to read, which lead to further opportunities.  My laptop is a cozy companion that is also an infinite trail to that famous information super-highway.  My challenge is to slow down enough to enjoy the scenery.  Ideas?

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Filed under change, choice, Life thoughts

Day 2-B-Well 21 Day Detox Cleanse: Focus!

What a perfect word for today:  focus.  There are new things to focus on and some old friends that hang around daily, such as my morning workout.  Today was Curves as I am alternating between the Curves workout and my Couch to 5k training at the gym.  Walks usually come in the evening but today I had the pleasure of taking Charlie on a short walk through the park too!  Have you ever noticed how dogs are so good at living in the moment and totally focusing on whatever they are doing, even if that means sleeping or staring in the distance?  Charlie focuses on every smell and sound on our walk and he takes his time, walking slowly, enjoying the moment.  He is a great teacher!

I started off the day with my glass of water with the juice of 1/2 a lemon and came back from Curves and made a bowl of oatmeal (with a little Almond Milk), coffee and strange as it sounds, I grabbed a slice of smoked organic turkey for my protein.  I took my vitamins, including a pro-biotic, and felt great!

I had two doctors appointments and got my vision checked.  It is strange that as I age, I find that I am repeating my mother’s life.  She always had multiple doctors appointments and went prepared for a few hours of waiting in various areas of Kaiser.  Today I followed in her foot steps, bringing my lunch bag with extra water, almonds and a green apple.  I am focusing on being prepared and it worked.  My mom was a smart lady!  I used to think her habits were a bit silly, but now I realize how wise she was.

A Few Habits of my mothers:

Two drawers for socks ( white socks and black socks)

Reading the paper every morning

Watching the Tony Awards


Sending interesting articles to her children

Always bringing a water bottle with her  Why is it that we think our mother’s habits are silly until we are their age?

New prescriptions, new medications to read about and new glasses ordered, I stopped at Whole Foods Market on the way home to pick up a few items on the B-Well shopping list that I hadn’t found the day before.  Now I am completely “stocked” for the week.

I came home, made a quick lunch of salad and grilled chicken and then proceeded to swim and float in the pool, it is summer after all and I must have a little fun and relaxation.  I am finishing up a fun mystery book:  The Writing Class, by Jincy Willett and taking care of a few odds and ends.

So, my pictures, are lacking because Charlie, my dog, is terrified of the camera.  At first we just thought it was the flash, but now if he sees the camera, he wants to run out of the room.  I will work on this, I promise, but honestly my meals have not been that exciting yet.  On the positive side, I am feeling great with plenty of energy and not too hungry or filled with cravings.  I do have a challenge tonight because we are going to see Toy Story 3 and I will need a big bottle of water to keep me from temptation.  19 days to go!  Focus!

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Filed under Focus, Life thoughts, Power Words

Day 1-B-Well Detox: Smile!

Smile is the word of the day and you might wonder why I am smiling as I begin to change my eating habits, diet, and embark on this adventure of a 21-Day Detox Cleanse.

Today I feel like I am floating away having drunk about 64 oz. of water, but I digress…I started the day at 5:30 waking up and getting to the gym at 5:45 for my Couch to 5K workout.  I am on Week 3, jogging for 3 minutes alternating with brisk walking.  I am actually beginning to enjoy running and the nice endorphin rush that comes with it, giving me that great feeling for the day.  I came home, showered and made my egg with some onions, a bit of coffee with Almond Milk and took off for my last day of school before officially beginning summer vacation!

I had a snack of cottage cheese and a handful of raw almonds and a green apple.  Feeling content, I continued to drink my water.

Lunch was a bit disappointing because I didn’t really prepare as well as I should have, but we did have our staff party complete with sub sandwiches.  I ditched the bread and cheese (which I am sure wasn’t raw) and just ate the turkey, lettuce and tomato.

I had a snack at home (corn tortilla with raw cheddar cheese and a few strawberries) and am now preparing for dinner.  I think I will have a chicken breast and some veggies, salad and more water.

I promise to be a better food photographer beginning tomorrow, now that I am officially done with school and can spend a bit more time in the kitchen.  I really think I will succeed at this detox.  I keep reminding myself that it is only for 3 weeks, and that is the amount of time it takes to develop a habit.  Hopefully I am developing some new good habits.  Who’s cheering for me?  Comments, suggestions?


Filed under change, Life thoughts


Change can be empowering, frightening, enlightening, depressing, difficult or exciting.  Often change is all of these emotions at the same time, which is possibly why so many of us are hesitant to voluntarily take change on.  Usually change happens “to” us, or we are forced to change against our will.

I have always been emotional during life-stage changes such as children growing up and entering new phases of their lives, weddings, births, deaths, and moving on, either to a new home, new job, new place in my life.  Change does not come easily because it places us in an uncomfortable unknown place and we crave the familiar.

At some point though, we begin to crave change.  We look in the mirror and say “enough!” Or we see an opportunity to grow intellectually, spiritually or to improve our health or our surroundings and we say “yes.”  We initiate the change, and that is a huge step to insuring its success.  Change embraced is change most likely to be effective.

I am embracing changeI have three areas that I will focus on:  health, spirituality, and responsibility.  I will change my health habits to protect my body and to assure my health by exercising daily walking, with yoga, strength training, pilates and Qigong (my new-found exercise area of interest.

I will focus on spirituality through meditation (One Moment Meditation), connecting with people I care about, and those I want to help and self-reflection.

I will focus on responsibility by taking responsibility to educate myself about the things I need to take care of myself and live the life I want to live.  Those include financial responsibility, staying connected to those I care about, performing my best at my job, challenging my intellect and being there, emotionally and physically, for my friends and family.

Change is not something that comes easily to me, it is an area that I chose to work on.  My life is not stagnant and my self-initiated changes are more likely to have a positive impact on my life.


Filed under change, Family, Life thoughts, Power Words, Walking

Who are we?

The Path Unknown courtesy of Virgil Poetry

I was wondering today, if we ever really know the people in our lives.  Sometimes we feel like we know each other and that everything is out in the open, but suddenly we are privy to something that opens a door we didn’t know existed.  How do you ever really get to know someone?  The only way to know each other is to be totally honest and open, without fear of repercussions or retaliations.  This is harder than it first appears because while we know what we are thinking and feeling, we cannot predict what others will feel or think.  We have to take chances.  We have to believe that honesty is the best path and that those we love will understand us.  We don’t always know what we are doing, or what the consequences of our actions will be, however, by acting with honesty and with the best intentions, we can be assured that we are on the right path.

There are times when I long for a chance to go back and to re-live parts of my life, like pressing the rewind button on the TV remote control, if only life could be recorded, watched and then revised.  I wish for opportunities to jump into the past and see the reality that existed then, gaining understanding of the actions of my parents and family members.  I want answers that I cannot have, understanding that eludes me and knowledge held at bay.  The mysteries of the past created me, shaped who I am today and impact my life, giving me a shrouded path leading to the unknown.  The choice I have is to give others a clearer picture and light in which to make their choices.


Filed under creative writing, Family, Life thoughts

Something In Common

I am watching the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics and I notice a stadium full of positive people from all over the world, all getting along and am seemingly exuberant.  How can this be?  Well, these people all in one place with something in common:  the love of athletics. Perhaps if we search for the things we have in common with people of other countries, instead of focusing on our differences, we can create a world that shares joy and comes together during times of sorrow, a tall order for a world of separatists, fierce with pride and often unwilling to see the good in those who are seemingly different.  I propose a one week contest:

For one week, make only positive comments, look for the positive in people and situations and after the week, post a comment here about any changes you notice.


Filed under Life thoughts

Collaging The New Year

Simple New Year’s traditions are habitual for me.  I relish creating goals, lists and most recently, collages-visual representations of my hopes for the new year ahead.  I drag my family into this activity, but secretly I think they love the creative, artistic escape of sitting around the big kitchen table with piles of magazines torn apart in the search for the perfect picture or word.  This mellow time of sharing, hunting together and putting our hopes and dreams for the future out on the table, stuck to small boards with white glue, is one of the few rare times we all sit engaged in a common activity that doesn’t require electricity.  I often yearn for a technology-free day of time spent sharing an activity that requires personal interaction and the time we spend creating our New Year’s collages is a close as I get.

Before I can create my collage I have to consider what I want to visualize for the new year and that can be inspired by magazine images or ideas I’ve had floating around for a while.  Setting goals is organized ambition and my inspiration after reading my daughter’s blog is to think of three goals and bring them to life with visual images that will inspire me during the year.  I usually put my collage in a prominent place where I see it first thing in the morning and remind myself to be cognizant of my actions.  So here goes,  this year’s goals are:

1.  To Write-I want to write blogs, journals, poems, stories, comments, and articles.  I want to improve and grow as a writer.  I will read, a lot, to be inspired, to learn, to be entertained, to relax and to escape.  I think that reading and writing go hand in hand and surrounding myself in the literary world will help me create a place for myself in that world.  It also is much nicer than watching mindless TV, although at times, mindless TV comes in handy too.

2.  To Walk-I want to keep my commitment to walk an hour each day both as a great health goal, and as training for the Avon Breast Cancer Walk I will be participating in next September.  Walking provides time to think, to listen to music or motivating walking CDs, or to watch a little of that mindless TV if I am on the treadmill at the gym.  Walking connects me to the world, my neighborhood or places of nature and I feel better after walking thanks to increased endorphins.

3.  To Move Forward-I am ready, more than ready, to move forward and away from 2008-2009 and towards a decade of increased awareness, a plan leading to goals, a life that is more in line with what is important to me:  family, friends, health, and personal creativity.  I am ready to accept help in getting started on my yellow brick road from any good fairy willing to help, and I do know that I have the power within me to make the changes, and start the walk down that road leading to my own version of Oz.

This was the quote from Creative Catalyst today:

“The masters at the art of living make little distinction between their work and their play, their labor and their leisure, their minds and their bodies, their information, their recreation,their love and their religion. They hardly know which is which. They simply pursue their vision of excellence at whatever they do – leaving others to decide whether they are working or playing.”

~James Michener

With that in mind, here’s to a year of playing!  Happy 2010!


Filed under Art, creative writing, Life thoughts, New Year's, Walking

Start With A Title


This is the advice I have been waiting for as a title has been floating around in my head for quite some time.  Now is the time to begin my story, and the title is:

“How To Lose Everything Without Losing Yourself”

It began when I realized that life is not after all, a fairy tale, and there is no knight riding up on a white horse to rescue me, take care of me and provide for me for the rest of my life.  I am not sitting on a throne, commanding subordinates to fetch the items I desire, or wandering among the roses in my lovely garden.  In reality I am rising early to get to work on time and then returning to my simple abode to take care of the household chores and it is this realization that snaps me out of my dreamlike state that began with simple childhood stories and fairy tales.

Through life seemed full of disappointments when this bubble burst, it was really the beginning of a transformation and having recently emerged from the fog of 18 months of sliding down a long hill and from down here at the bottom, there is nowhere else to look but up.

To be continued…….


Filed under creative writing, Life thoughts