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Pearls of Wisdom

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Today, I have a long list of things to do. There are work projects that must be completed, meetings to attend, a haircut appointment, and household chores. Today is like any other Monday, except it would have been my 30th wedding anniversary.

Thirty years ago today I said “I do” to the promise of sharing my life with another.
It was a beautiful day filled with happiness, love, laughter, and a world of possibilities.

Growing up, like most other young girls, I dreamed of the day I would find love. I had my entire life planned out. And for two decades, for the most part, I lived that life. But, as I soon learned, it takes two people to make a marriage work and ours wasn’t meant to be.

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Are You A Mentor, Cheerleader or Destroyer?

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If you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all. Ah… a mother’s wisdom. I’m sure most of us have been told this many, many times. But, how many of us actually follow this sage advice?

Communication is a powerful force and the effects of negative words cannot be underestimated. Words are remembered long after they are written or spoken. They have the power to destroy one’s self-esteem and self-confidence, making someone feel less than adequate and fearful. Words leave invisible bruises that can last a lifetime.

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Is Your Gratitude in Motion?

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Are you someone that dwells on what is missing or went wrong in your life? Do you whine and complain about your problems? Do you believe that you’ve been dealt a bad hand? Or, are you someone who sees the beauty in every situation, counts your blessings, and has decided that you will live your life in gratitude?

Gratitude is defined as a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation. To be grateful is a mindset, a conscious decision that we make.

Recently, I had the privilege of speaking with an extraordinary woman, Colleen Alexander, who exemplifies the power of the human spirit and the ability to find the good in any circumstance.

In 2011 while bicycling home from work, Colleen was run over and dragged by a freight truck. The accident left her body ripped apart and shattered into pieces as she clung to life. Her survival would be a miracle; she flat lined multiple times as EMTs, doctors, surgeons, and nurses worked ferociously to save her.

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There Will Always Be an Invincible Summer Within

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As another new year begins, I have spent hours pondering what I want my first message to be, as it sets the tone for the year ahead. As I reflected on 2017, and all the wonderful things that have happened to me, I realized that the message is simple: Even in the darkest moments of your life, there is strength within you (that you don’t even know exists) and, if you don’t give up and succumb to the negative feelings, you will realize that there is hope and that better times lie ahead.

For someone who is going through an extremely traumatic period in life, you may not believe what I am preaching because you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel or because you believe that your life is over.

While the life that you knew may be over, or to be more correct, changed, there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel. Trust me … I know.

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When Your Pet Dies

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Recently, my beloved dog, Ginger, passed away. One day she appeared fine and the next we were being told that we needed to “make a decision.”

Ginger lived with us for seven years. She was a foster dog and her first three years of life were painful. She was shuffled from one home to the next, never finding anyone who was willing to give her a permanent residence. If you knew her, you’d wonder why this was the case. She had a kind, gentle soul and wanted nothing more than to please. Looking back, I guess she was waiting for me.

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Action Can Set A New Tone

It seems like every day we hear a new story about sexual harassment. What was once whispered in back corners at work is now making headline news. More and more women today are being empowered to share their story, say enough, and take back their dignity.

Just about every woman I know has experienced some form of inappropriate behavior. From the slip of the hand, to the condescending comment, to the dirty joke, it’s something most of us can relate to.

I recently spoke with former Fox News Channel host, Gretchen Carlson, to discuss this prominent issue and to learn what she believes are ways that women can reclaim their power against injustice and abuse.

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The Heart of A Friendship

February is the month of the heart, the time when we celebrate love. We buy chocolate, flowers, jewelry, and greeting cards to profess our undying love to that special someone. But, in all the hoopla of the season, perhaps we forget to honor the affection provided by the people that sustain us and enable us to thrive – our friends.

We hear so much about marriages, committed relationships, and romantic breakups, but I believe we neglect to truly understand the dynamics of what may be the most important relationships in our life – friendships.

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Tis the Season

This time of year, from Thanksgiving through the New Year celebration, is a season that provides for us the opportunity to stop our busy lives for a moment and give thanks for our many gifts and blessings; it’s a time of birth and renewal. No matter what your religion or belief structure, it’s a time when we can come together and celebrate new beginnings.

Often, however, we get so caught up in the festivities that we forget the true meaning of the season; we are so involved in getting everything done, that we miss the message. We may be more cognizant of this fact during the holiday season, but in reality many of us miss the message every day, all year long. We spend so much time worrying about ourselves, fulfilling expectations, and striving to get ahead, that we forget that we are here to love others unselfishly and to help those less fortunate.

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A Ripple Effect

The recent massacre in Las Vegas has been challenging to say the least. Many lives were devastated by this unfathomable act. This wasn’t the first of this type of violence, and unfortunately, it won’t be the last. It’s impossible to be human and not feel the suffering and pain experienced by so many victims.

In the wake of such destruction, we search for meaning and things that we can cling to that will help us make sense of what has occurred. We look for ways to avoid repeated attacks and we ask ourselves what we can do to help.

It feels surreal – life has been turned upside down.

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Out with the Old and in with the New

Recently, I was in a round table discussion in which we talked about interpersonal relationships. A repeating theme of the conversation was that people felt like they were replaceable, that there was no value given to them and/or a relationship by a friend, partner, family member, or employer.

Hearing so many people express the same feeling made me start to wonder if we have become a society of disposables. It reminded me of an expression my mother used to say: “Out with the old and in with the new.”

It seems like just about every aspect of our life today is disposable. We throw away televisions, computers, clothing, phones, food, furniture, and so much more.

By contrast, when I was growing up, we fixed everything. There was a neighborhood television repairman. We ate leftovers for dinner. We took our shoes to the local shoemaker for new heels. Baby diapers were cloth and appliances were kept until they could no longer be repaired. We drove the same car until it died on the road. And most marriages lasted “until death do us part.”

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