Category Archives: Inspiration

Got Thorns?

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We hired a new girl at work. She’s the same age as my daughter and very sweet. This week I was training her on the dynamics of the office. Considering her age, I knew I didn’t have to say too much about the computer system beyond a password. I was right; she’s a wizard.

As we talked and got to know each other, I noticed a common thread in her language. Fear. Not just your common fear of, let’s say, spiders, I’m talking fear of life. What in the world?

I was drained by this negative energy by Tuesday, which was a new reaction for me. Typically, the mother in me takes over, but I stopped noting she has a mother. Who I now know is 11 years younger than me. Next up would be my inner Therapist, who I had to tackle before she started to take on another non-paying patient. Boundaries baby.

On my ride home, I could not shake the thought of our conversations. There was almost a sadness about them, and usually, I’m very understanding. So why the hell was I so annoyed? What is it about myself that I don’t like in this girl? Ding, ding, ding!!!

Then I remembered a chapter from a book I listened to recently, The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer titled Removing Your Inner Thorn.

I highly recommend reading or listening to this book for a broader explanation.

This is a complex subject, so I’ll do my best to explain it in the simplest form, and even that is complicated. I think I listened to this chapter 1,000 before it started to sink in.

Let’s say you have a thorn in your arm, and the pain is excruciating because it’s touching a nerve. Of course, you’re not going to let anyone near it because it will cause too much pain. This makes your life very difficult. The thorn now becomes a constant source of disruption in your life. Protecting and hiding is a job.

To solve the issue, you have two choices: One, you continue to protect the thorn, or two, you take it out. As simple as this sounds, it’s actually the most complicated thing a person can do to heal and grow.

Where am I going with this? Well, let me tell you. I’ve had thorns stuck in me for decades! You could say I was a professional thorn protector, or so I thought. I didn’t realize everything I was missing while my energy was focused on creating airbags to keep my thorns at bay. The thorns ran/run my life.

No matter what solution you choose, the thorn will continue to run your life until you remove all the layers, dig deep down to the root and give a good long hug and a quick yank. Free at last.

Through growth and higher consciousness, I’ve learned that my thorns are nothing more than stored energy from the past that sits in my heart. The good part is I noticed my thorn was being poked, but I didn’t have a reactive response; it shows my growth. It’s about time!

When I look at this girl, I see my twenty-something self looking back at me full of thorns. Talk about being tested; she’s my teacher.

The low self-esteem, lack of self-worth, an unhealthy relationship, people-pleasing, and fears out the wazoo were front and center, staring me in the face. Taunting me. Forcing me to feel my own thorns. Oh, not today, Mother F@$#ers, not today.

I thought if I had to sit three feet from my twenty-something self four days a week, I’m going to need a plan that doesn’t involve drugs or alcohol. This was not in the job description.

I asked myself, “what did I need in my twenties?” “what would have helped that wounded girl?”

I had to really dig for an answer without getting too complicated. The answer, drum roll please, I needed someone to see me, the me I didn’t see. In 2022 terms, someone to give an actual f**k.

Now, I’ll have to be subtle. My challenge will be controlling my inner cheerleader to quietly assist this young, intelligent, beautiful soul on her path. Pom-poms in the face could be scary.

Of course, I know I can not heal her thorns, but I can have compassion and not judge her journey. We’re all human. We all have pain.

Recognize the teachers; they seem to show up in the strangest circumstances.

Enjoy the Ride!

Timeless Lessons

I have two books sitting on my end table that get a lot of action. More than me, but that’s another story.

One is a small book of Maya Angelou quotes, gifted to me at just the right time and read many times since. Maya’s wisdom can snap me back to reality.

Broken down into five parts, all equal to sending a message at just the right time. The best house guest a girl can have these days.

Self-Empowerment. Who doesn’t need a daily dose of this now and then? I am empowered by this nugget of knowledge to stop doubting on any given day.

“My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humor to lighten the burden of your tender heart.”

Love. No matter how alone we might feel in this world, there is always one thing that brings us together. Laughter, especially with a friend, is highly recommended by me.

“There is an intimate laughter to be found only among friends.”

Society and Culture. This can be turbulent and beautiful on any given day. Remember, home can be anywhere.

“The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”

Life. In the words of Forrest Gump, “it’s like a box of chocolates.” Between Forrest and Maya, it’s a wrap.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

Herself. This is where Maya really shines. This hit me hard, considering our current climate.

“I refuse to allow any man-made differences to separate me from any other humans.”

The second gem is The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse, a book written and illustrated by Charlie Mackesy. If you don’t know it, get it now.

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The book is dedicated to the author’s “lovely kind mum” and his “wonderful dog Dill.” How could this be anything but fantastic with that dedication?

The journey of these four unlikely friends takes its readers on a trip full of life lessons in the most superficial, most profound way to be kind, forgiving, and loving one another. Granted, it’s a children’s book, but the lessons are timeless.

Mr. Mackesy creates a world within the pages that seem foreign to the one we live in today, but the optimist in me doesn’t believe it cannot exist as long as we are willing to participate. A girl can dream.

Always let your wisdom ride shotgun and Enjoy the Ride!

Extra Extra

No News Is Good News

Background: The first recorded use of this exact expression in English is by James Howell in 1640, who wrote, “I am of the Italians’ mind that said, ‘Nulla Nuova, Buona Nuova’ (no news, good news). Some years before that, James 1 of England (VI of Scotland) wrote, “No News is better than evil news.” In case you were wondering like me. Information compliments of bookbrouse.com

Do you know what else Good News is? Umm, plain ole Good News. There is plenty of it out there in the world, but it’s not a moneymaker, so it doesn’t get all the glitz like a good tragedy. Seems a tad backward, but here we are.

Today, I share not only a good news story but the far-reaching effects of a simple gesture of kindness. Many of you may have heard it, and if so, consider it a reminder; if not, enjoy.

I recently found out quite a bit about Sidney Poitier after his death. We both share the same zodiac sign, and shortly after I entered the world in 1964, Sidney won an Oscar. Looks like two Stars were born that year.

After reading about Mr. Poitier’s accomplishments throughout his long life and career, I found his constant strive to be viewed as dignified, with his strong sense of decency to be at the forefront. If only these were available on Amazon …

Now for the good part.

As everyone knows, Mr. Poitier was well known for his elegant speaking voice, but that was not always the case, being born in the Bahamas and arriving in the states with his heavy accent and illiteracy in tow. It’s hard to believe after listening to him for one second.

He told the story many times, but this excerpt is from a CBS interview in 2013.

“There was one of the waiters, a Jewish guy, elderly man, and he looked over at me and was looking at me for quite a while. I had a newspaper, it was called Journal American. And he walked over to me, and he said, ‘What’s new in the paper?’ And I looked up at this man. I said to him, ‘I can’t tell you what’s in the paper because I can’t read very well.’ He said, ‘Let me ask you something, would you like me to read with you?’ I said to him, ‘Yes if you like.’

As the story goes, they would sit together every night after their shifts. This kind man would teach him not only how to read but also the importance of punctuation, why it exists, followed by syllables, how to recognize them in words, and finally, pronunciation. I didn’t get that in my formal education.

This small act of kindness put Mr. Poitier onto a path that led to significant changes, on and off the silver screen. He was not only an actor. He was a published writer, director, and most of all, a social game-changer. Kudos to brave waiters and diner educations.

Although he regretted never getting the opportunity to thank this man in person, I’m going out on a limb to say he unknowingly thanked him every time he opened his mouth.

Be Kind. Share the good news, and Enjoy the Ride!

Girlfriend?!

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Over the past year and a half, we’ve been hearing a lot about healthcare workers being heroes. Frankly, I never thought they were anything less. One stint in a hospital is enough to see the light. 

Last November, my mother was in the hospital for an extended stay. Unfortunately for everyone, so was the patient a few doors down. I think I’ll call him Pita (pain in the ass).

As if things weren’t bad enough with COVID on the rise once again, the hospital reaching total capacity, and untrained me taking care of one too many Code Browns, use your imagination folks, to count, we ALL had to deal with Pita. Trust me; I earned a cape. 

On one quiet Saturday afternoon, mom was resting, and I was reading when we were interrupted by a commotion coming from the hallway. Enough to stop the cleaning woman in her tracks right outside our door. 

I looked at the cleaning woman with a WTF glare, and she responded with a WTFK’s. Facial expressions speak volumes.

Now mom was wide awake, wondering what was going on. All we could hear was a loud voice insisting at the top of his lungs to see his girlfriend. I peeked out the door to see a 6’4′ bare assed sock-wearing hands flailing big mouth trying to escape. Superpowers would come in handy. 

Without missing a beat, my mom says GIRLFRIEND?! and we both started laughing. It was like that’s all she heard.

The cleaning woman came into the room laughing and said, “she’s on vacation.” Now, we are howling. Mom chimes in with, “she’s not coming back.” The only thing missing was popcorn.

While we were acting like three school girls laughing at all the things the girlfriend probably did after dropping Pita at the hospital entrance, he was making vulgar remarks to the nurses about their bodies. He was a real charmer. 

As security arrived, I saw one of the nurses filling up a syringe, smiling ear to ear. Pita was going down!

Mom couldn’t get out of bed, so Juanita and I gave her a play-by-play of the injection. They’re going to need a big one,” she said. The giggles continued.

Finally, silence took over, and the nurses went back to their duties as if Pita never existed. Night night.

Juanita stayed a little longer to talk to mom about her age, sense of humor, and unruly men. This was the best medicine mom received.

Remember, heroes cross our paths every day, some with needles, some with mops, but all serving a purpose. It’s important to recognize the good in everyone as we … Enjoy the Ride!

Get Hold Of Yourselves

XFD8tp93TXeaaieZMR125wDid you hear the one about the squirrel that walked onto a deck wearing a mask during the pandemic? At this point, it’s the only way anyone would believe that this actually happened yesterday. On the FIRST day, masks were mandatory in Pennsylvania. 

I was sitting in my sunroom, on a quiet morning, listening to the bird’s chirp, waiting for the sun to make an appearance when I felt I was being watched. Listen to your instincts.

Once my eyes registered, I realized that I was, in fact, looking at a squirrel, looking at me, wearing a mask. This little guy just stood there as if he was on the red carpet waiting for the paparazzi to get their shot, which is precisely what I did. A miracle considering the laughter!

I still have no idea what this little guy had in his mouth, so I’m going with the obvious, that he watched a do-it-yourself mask-making video like the rest of us. Well done!

Now that the squirrel community is on board with following directions, it would be great if humans would follow suit. The sad reality is that people are well, people, and they only listen to what they want to hear and do what they want to do. Educated, grown-ass adults suddenly become toddlers. 

It’s not that difficult. Wear the mask because the GOVERNOR said so. This is smart, safe, and limits make-up application to just the eyes. 

The lack of human cooperation since the kick-off of Stay In Your Damn House guidelines does not surprise me or any other human being who has witnessed the behavior of parents on back to school night. When the words “this is not the time to ask questions about your child” are uttered, the hands begin to rise. 

Disclaimer: I’m not a teacher. I’m the parent who LISTENS. 

Living in a culture where instant gratification is a necessity and impatience is at the forefront does not help. Listening to adults asking on more than one occasion, “Is this over yet?” is the equivalent to “Are we there yet?”  and that rarely ends well.  Get hold of yourselves, people!

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Honestly, the universe doesn’t always protect us, sometimes it challenges us with more than we would like to receive, and on occasion, hits us when we’re down, instead of cutting us a break. We have to remember that not every test passes in an instant, and not every threat can just be shrugged off.  So, here we are, on the day who the hell knows of this blip in our regular routines, with guidelines changing every day, and new choices to be made. We can resist. We can hide. Or, we can just react in a manner that will benefit ourselves and others.

Don’t make it harder than it has to be. Enjoy the Ride! 

 

Rise and Shine

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So, here we are, Easter 2020, and suddenly the Easter Bunny isn’t the only one sporting a mask this year.  Sorry if you still believe that a giant rabbit breaks into your house once a year to drop off life-like chocolate images of itself, it does not. 

Does everyone else feel like they’ve been living the tomb life these days? We’re way past the required three day limit over here.

All kidding aside, this experience, combined with the time of year, has me focusing on what our resurrection will be like when we get back to business. Hopefully, it will be much better than what we left. 

After the universe slammed on the breaks, leaving chocolate bunnies everywhere stranded on the store shelves, we were living in a constant state of “what kind of world are we living in?” and then, just like that, it stopped. I can still smell the burnt rubber. 

In the wake of this virus, we’ve been left with heavy hearts and death all around this world. However, we’ve also been handed a once in a lifetime opportunity. A pause that allowed us to look deep into ourselves and at the world around us with eyes wide open. It’s like a deep global breath.

Now, it’s time to get uncomfortable.

What are the lessons we should be learning during our time in the tomb?

How are we going to reenter our pre-pandemic lives?

What will we do differently on a personal, social and economic level?

What have we learned, not just about ourselves, but our surroundings?

Where have the lights been the brightest? On our climate? Our economy, education, food, and healthcare systems? Our democracy? On our greed, social injustice, disconnection, or ALL of the above?

It’s a lot to think about, absorb and change, but it’s also a time to reimagine the world we want for ourselves, our communities, and the world. One that fits all of humanity, with a side of nature, would be nice.

On day 2376457635 in the tomb, we are starting to crave normalcy or the normal we’ve been normalizing for much too long, we cannot return to that world. Just say, no!

The worst thing we can do is rush to return.

We need to remain still a little while longer.

We cannot fall victim to the influx of deals and steals that are waiting in the wings to tempt us back to our old behaviors.

We need to be diligent in remembering the good, the bad and the love revealed throughout this experience.

We need to figure out a normal that works for everyone.

We need to continue to be creative in our ideas and innovations for our communities.

We need to live and breathe the words of Margaret Mead.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead

My Easter wish for everyone is that when you do resurrect, you will step back into the world with fresh eyes, clear minds, open hearts, and all of the soulfulness you can offer. It’s our time to Rise & Shine! 

Enjoy the Ride!

 

 

#ratballsmatter

 

 

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How many times have you thought “Ok, I can leave this earth now I’ve heard or seen everything”? Yeah, that party isn’t ending any time soon. 

Babies are born every damn day packing a whole new series of shock and awe for the world. This is why they smile in their sleep. It’s called plotting. 

The other day a woman was leaving our office, as she has been doing for YEARS. Irene is kind, a little hippyish, and ALWAYS comes bearing a freshly baked challah loaf for the doctor. Some people might think that’s shocking, no, it’s not.

Out of nowhere, or the clear blue sky, she stated, “6 rats were castrated at the zoo today.” There was no warning. No one was discussing rats or their genitals before this statement, she was simply dropping a fact, and it was clear she was outraged. Before this moment I never thought about rodent genitals… EVAH!

I watched her mouth move, but I was fixated on the word “castration” as if these rodents were sexual deviants convicted by the other animals at the zoo. Maybe my kids are right, I do watch too much Law and Order SVU. 

In a perfect world, I would have the power to shut that office down for a one on one interview about rodent castrations. Sadly, I’m not in charge. 

So, I did the next best thing and Googled rat castration at the Philadelphia zoo. Nada. Then I broadened my search to a general rat castration window, which I admit was not one of my better life choices. I still have no idea why Irene was outraged, but now I know of several vets in my area who provide rat castration services. Knowledge is power. 

The more I thought about this, which has been way too much over that past few days, the clearer the picture became. Irene is on to something with her matter of fact approach to getting the word out about injustices that leave no room for public backlash. #ratballsmatter 

Now, let’s just say we took it up a notch. Next time you’re at an appointment, in the grocery line or anywhere human ears are present, drop a fact and go. Sort of like a smash & grab, but you’re leaving something behind for the greater good.

Now, since topics are endless, and facts come in all shapes and sizes, my advice would be if you’re the “go big or go home” type, please be an experienced runner or have a getaway car waiting. Remember, this is a drop and go mission, not a force your beliefs on anyone who can hear one. We already have plenty of that going down.

If you’re interested here are a few examples to get you started. Less is more. 

  • China has not wasted a single penny on war.
  • Bats always turn left when leaving a cave.
  • Peace takes courage.
  • Sea levels are rising.
  • Laughing reduces stress.
  • One in 5 adults cannot afford their medication.
  • Slugs have 4 noses.

If nothing else, it will provoke research on a subject, plant a seed, open a mind or make you look batshit crazy. There’s always that risk when you lay down the truth. 

I’m going to drop that slug fact on my next visit to Whole Foods. #Enjoytheride! 

Change is a Thug

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First, let me just say HOLLA! I guess we could all agree that’s it’s been far too long since we’ve all been Enjoying the Ride together. So let’s get down to business.

Recently, while having a conversation with one of my sisters, the subject of all things crazy going on in the world became the topic. Lord knows we all try to avoid this like the plague.

However, this conversation was different. We weren’t complaining about what wasn’t being done, because that has never gotten anyone anywhere … EVAH!

We were discussing the massive shift in our personal, professional, mental and even spiritual lives. Guess what? It’s not a coincidence.

As we enter this new decade, the universe has sent a message. No, not from Amazon. There’s no need to add anything to a cart when the universe is in charge, it has a way of landing on our doorsteps just when we need it most. Without entering a single credit card number.

Take a minute to go back to your life as you knew it in 2012. What was going on? What big, good, bad or indifferent reality came crashing down on you? For me, it was this Blog, which was born through an influx of changes in my personal life. The “C” Word

So, what the hell does all of this mean you ask? Calm down I’m about to fill you in on a secret. The universe is very generous when it comes to redemption, and it is giving us all an opportunity to grow leaps and bounds from whatever knocked us off our feet in 2012. Don’t you just love some good ole fashioned second chances?

My lesson since 2012 has been getting a handle on my reaction to the changes in my life. Whether they are everyday occurrences or things I am powerless against. The best tool I have for dealing with this is my humor. It’s my superpower. But sadly, change is my kryptonite. 

One thing I know for certain, and I’m sure you’ll all agree with my assessment. CHANGE is a Thug! My definition of a thug, in this case, is something that shakes up your world without asking permission because it was necessary. Bandannas and tattoos are optional. 

Of course, as in everything in this life, we make choices. I could have taken the Transition road to personal enlightenment, but clearly, I did not get the memo. Maybe I did and it got shoved in a drawer during a cleaning frenzy… who knows?

Honestly, though, transition sounds nice. I imagine it gliding into lives around the globe like a swan on a lake. No one is alarmed. No one is hit over the head with bricks. No one is screaming in horror. Transition is an unassuming rock star.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter the label we use to describe these experiences, the outcome is the same …. growth.

I’m heading into 2020 with my new luggage filled with lessons, humor, goals, hopes, and dreams. No worries, I saved some space for you so we can Enjoy the Ride together.

Happy 2020 Folks!

 

 

One Change

On Sunday while attending my Quaker Meeting, I was moved by the message of one of the members. So much so that it has stuck with me for days now.

She began with a story about her company looking to revamp some staleness within her department, which led to a member coming to the table with a YouTube video about the reintroduction of grey wolves into the park, and the far-reaching effects their presence has had on the ecosystem. I highly recommend you watch if you haven’t already had the pleasure.

The video led to the conversation of the power of making ONE CHANGE.

Next, she shared that a few years ago, as she was stirring her coffee in the company kitchen, she looked at her plastic spoon with different eyes.

After going back to her office, she realized that she used two plastic spoons every day. One for her coffee and one for her yogurt. a/k/a … A LOT!

Just a few calculations later she realized that there is probably a landfill somewhere sporting her name in bright lights. A total will not be provided due to my loathing of mathematics.

So, from that day on she began bringing her stainless steel spoon to the office, but not just any spoon, she decided to bring a family heirloom that would catch the attention of her co-workers. Smart!

Next thing you know the idea of B.Y.O.S. caught on and not only did the company save money; co-workers got creative with their spoons, the climate in the office brightened, and those landfill lights began to dim. Bam!

Now, I know there is a large community of creative minds who read this little ole blog, so take a moment to think about what ONE CHANGE you can make in your daily routine that will change the world. We are much more potent than we let on folks. 

Please feel free to share your creative juices in the comments, and as always … Enjoy the Ride!

 

 

Google Grim Reaper

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Ok, 2018 can seriously pack up now and hit the road. Bye bitch!

Hearts of all kinds have been at the forefront for me this year. The theme could indeed be dubbed hearts gone wild. 

The year kicked off big bringing the shattered hearts of parents who lost their child. One would think that would be enough.

Nope, next up the hearts of children who lost a parent weighted down with sadness and a load of new responsibilities. The circle of life at work.

Witnessing the end of young love with hearts broken in half. Ugh, it felt like 1986 all over again.

Having heartstrings pulled and tugged in every direction with news of illnesses of friends and family. Is this just another thing that happens when you get older?

Feel free to grab some black crepes at this point, maybe a sickle.

Oh, let’s not forget the feeling of an impending heart attack every time we see the words BREAKING NEWS flash across our televisions. Too many to count these days.

At work, I have been given a new title without a raise. Oh, yes, I can add Google 'Got him... got him... got him... need him...'Grimreaper to my resume. That should raise an eyebrow or two at an interview.

After 14 years of working in the medical field, you get to know your patients, so when they don’t show up for an appointment or their phone has been disconnected your heart sinks. I tend to forget we’re all 14 years older. 

Ugh, so this summer I spent a significant amount of time Googling death notices to earn my new title. Lucky me.

All of this gives us a choice to fall into the abyss of grief, pain, and uncertainty or stand tall in the gap recognizing the resilience of the human heart. Honestly, you’re not human if you have not had the experience of a broken heart.

It’s allowing that open heart to be filled with compassion, grace, and empathy.

It’s believing that our pain can be given new life.

It’s keeping faith in humanity.

It’s hope.

It’s learning to Enjoy the Ride in the process.

 

 

 

 

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