Personal Note

My most valued possession is my family. Even if you are living in a box somewhere, and you have the love and support of your family, you will always be wealthy. Love really is all you need. From love, great things will emerge. From your thoughts, you can create greatness.

This is what I need to remind myself of everyday to be the best person that I can be. Live your life with gratitude. Be thankful for all that you have everyday, even if it is your eyes to see or your ears to hear or your feet to walk or your hands to create. Understand your place in this Universe; how infinitesimally small you are, but how huge a contribution your Spirit is. Don't wear blinders to the world around you, you're not the only one here. Be kind, considerate, don't be judgemental, love others, and yourself. Know that you are perfect inside; that you are love.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sundays With Buddha

Week 23

Chaos is inherent in all compound things. Strive on with diligence. 

No matter what you wish of this world, chaos is to humanity as death is to life: inevitable.  You must find a way to fulfill your destiny in a way that brings you peace. You must identify your goals and dreams and be diligent in the work to attain them. I struggle with this as much as anyone else. When chaos is all around us, and it certainly is; in our families, swarming all over the news, on your Yahoo home page, it's hard not to get "sucked in" when it has become such a prominent way of mainstream life.

The chaos we deal with isn't always just the kids at home or war on the news. Think about all the chaos you went through yesterday. Write it all down, whatever you can remember. Now really devote some time to figuring out alternatives to how you dealt with it. How could you  have done things differently? This is a perfect example of "striving on with diligence".

You are capable of bringing yourself some peace. No one is waiting in the wings to do it for you. Not really. It is attainable. Conquer small goals at a time. I actually wrote an article for about getting things done in the midst of chaos.

Though I have accomplished a lot of this myself, I know how difficult it can be to fall back into old, chaotic routines. And, as I am working diligently on mastering this myself, I also know the difficulty in sticking with it; and the power of faith in your accomplishments. You may not be able to change the headlines, but you can certainly change the channel.

What channel will you tune your life into?



Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sundays With Buddha



Week 22

There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it.


I've been thinking a lot lately about the events affecting my family over the last year and a half. Though I have lost two of my own, my mother and very recently my brother, my husband’s mother has really been on my mind. I wrote a piece following her passing about all the peaceful feelings of love and closeness everyone had, even after being rocked to the core as everyone was by the awfulness of what happened.
I haven’t revisited my stance on the situation since then, but now that a full year has passed, it’s easier to get honest with myself about what I’m feeling. The shock of what has happened is all but gone and all that remains are raw thoughts and feelings that have had the time to be processed and evaluated. I can tell you, I spent a lot of time not thinking about what happened because I was afraid I would have different feelings about it than I originally had. I didn’t want to feel angry, or cheated, or saddened by the state of this world and what happened because, truthfully, there was a lot that I could feel angry about, cheated out of, and saddened by. But ignoring these feelings doesn’t help. Feeling them, recognizing them, allowing them and then accepting them is what helps you through.

I'm not sure if I was actually doing that as best I could. I know this because I have let myself 'go'...farther than I thought I would revert to, but not as far as I could have, thank God. I've just now started to realize the effect this has had on me, and, like I wrote in this post, it's time to get it together and prove the "purity above all."

Noah and I, from the start, though we had calm feelings about the events, had many questions, as well. Why did this have to happen? What is the purpose? Is there a purpose? And we didn't just have these questions about our own tragedies. There has been so much that has happened in our world, our country alone, that everyone has questions regarding their faith, the state of the world, our future as a society and as the human race . It's a hard thing to swallow, accepting that there must be evil in order for good to prove it's purity above all. But, if you think about it, we've all come together at our best after major events. We stand together at our strongest in our darkest hours. The most touched I have ever been was watching people pull together to help make things right.

I don't know all the answers to why things happen as they do...I'm sure I don't know any answers to why they do. But it brings me peace to think that there may be some reason for it. Some great, perfect, cosmic reason for all that happens to us. That, even though we may not understand all that does, we are free to have all the faith we need to believe that all of our trials are to better us as a race and that the sacrifices that the fallen have made were, indeed, not in vain.

May you find your own peace and comfort in your days.

As always, thank you for reading.




Sunday, September 15, 2013

On Another Note...

I haven't written any other post besides the Sundays With Buddha in a really long time, so I thought now would be a good time to sort of get back to my 'old' writing style. I've written many posts about the power of positive thinking, how to love yourself first, the importance of being authentic, and how I need to follow my own advice. I've shared my struggles with my journey to becoming what I envision for myself, and have vowed to do better.

The vow is still alive and I am still working on getting myself in gear, but no matter how much I can write about doing it, I just don't seem to be able to get it done myself...not as fast as I would like, that is. And, since I'm a "think-a-holic", I'm really entering into super analyzation mode. The problem, right now, has been my continuing lack of motivation to take care of myself and commit to the healthy lifestyle I left behind the day my mom died.

As you know, we've had a lot going on this past year and a half, but I really need to stop using that as an excuse. My whole summer has gone by and now fall is just on the threshold and I'm letting my days slip on by.  I'm really good at writing and giving advice about letting go of your fear and how to go get what you want, but I can't seem to break my own cycle of monotony.

After my brother died this past July, life was a little harder to swallow. I had been dealing with my mother's death, and Noah has been dealing with his mother's death (at least we think we are) and we were starting to settle into our day-to-day life. But, we weren't getting back to our lives as we knew them before. Thank God I started on this change in myself way before our mothers were taken from us because I don't know what I would have done with myself had I been the same frustrated, angry, blame-laying person I was before.

Then my brother died. We still don't know exactly what happened, we're still waiting for the toxicology report and death certificates, but I waited four months for my mom's to come back so I suppose I can wait for his. What I do know is that, at age 49, his Aorta was 75% blocked. He was an alcoholic. And he was terribly depressed. And, apparently, the months following the one year anniversary of moms death is when he started to decline rapidly due to these compounded circumstances.

Very scary. I made my sister promise that she would get on board and get healthy with me. She's the oldest, at nearly 51, and more unhealthy than I think she'd care to admit. Needless to say, this has not happened, either. There's a lot of talking about starting, and not a whole lot of doing any starting. That goes for Noah and I, too.

And that brings me to the apex of my "Get it in gear, girl" decision. At the time I write this I've got a tiny bit of concern on my mind. A few weeks ago I was at a my Doctor's office for some lab results following treatment for a major vitamin D deficiency and had to tell him about the death of my brother and the possible cause. He decided to run an in depth cholesterol panel on me to make sure I don't have the markers of heart disease. I already have a slight heart condition that I was born with that has continued to develop over time. I have mitral valve and tricuspid valve regurgitation due to an apparent hole or leak in my heart from birth, and  PVCs (Premature Ventricular Contractions) and PACs (Premature Atrial Contractions), all very common, and I've never had abnormal cholesterol (I find out the results tomorrow). While I was there, I mentioned to him that I had been having left flank pain. Lo and behold I had blood in my urine when they tested it. I had a CT to look for a kidney stone, that came back negative (and I just so happened to leave for Milwaukee the evening after the doctor, the CT, and the waiting around for the results to identify my brother's body.) So I saw a Urologist. I'm set to have a Retrograde Cystogram in the OR under sedation (thank goodness since this is a test using a camera to look into the bladder and filling the bladder to look at the ureters, or tubes for draining the kidneys into the bladder) on the 30th. Also a fairly routine procedure, and hopefully they can figure this out now. The day after I saw the Urologist, I had my routine Mammogram. Then I received a letter that it was abnormal. They found a spot on the image of my right breast. Now, even the Radiologist said it's most likely summation (the sum of two parts, in this case the sum of two veins overlapping one another) but I have to have further testing with spot compression on Tuesday.

So, I wait for tomorrow, I wait for Tuesday, and I wait for the 30th. But I have kept myself relatively calm. What should I do, worry about what has not even happened yet? Nothing is set in stone, even after the results are in. Even though I don't know what else could possibly happen, or why what has happened has, or even if there are definitive reasons for such occurrences to happen, I would like to think I can at least take my own advice about not projecting into the future and causing strife about the non-existent. So far, I'm actually doing that.

What I need help with is the motivation to take this into account and get on the path to changing my health. I can't think of a bigger slap upside the head than what I have gone through, thus far. I'm keeping my cool, and I think these events are finally hitting home. I have to make a promise to myself and my husband and son that I will take the good fortune that I have had and be grateful for it and live each day as if it were my last, so that I can live a long and healthy life. I have found some practices that I want to start but have been putting off for so long I almost forget what they are.

But I haven't. Practices for peaceful, healthy living. Things that will be scheduled that keep me on track, because I do well with lists and schedules. I am realizing that this is who I am, for the most part. I'm not a fan of labels, but finding oneself and doing what makes you feel complete, as long as it helps you become successful at what you long for, I say "go for it".

So, that's what has been happening in my life. I've been putting off my writing until the last minute, neglecting my other blog and projects I want to finish, and living day in and day out with no real ambition. I have a head full of ambitious ideas, mind you, but until now, I didn't know how I was going to get out of this funk. This has been an overwhelming testimony to the power of gratitude. I'm actually grateful for the events I've gone through because I don't know what else would have shaken me into evaluating my life and what it is, and what it could be.

I am still living without fear, as I have written about before. I'm really not afraid. I think that went away after my mom and Noah's mom passed. Those life-changing events changed me forever. Maybe I'm just numb, I can certainly see why I would be. But, after living through the devastation of losing my mother, it changed everything I knew. I started to realize there was nothing worth worrying about so much that I sacrifice my well being, my peace. I've taken care of so much this past year as a result of the tragedies we have endured , I can't even begin to list it all; now it's time to take care of myself. I pray that everything in my life is an example for you. That is my goal. I hope that as I journey to find my peace, I can help you to find yours.

Thank you for listening,


Sundays With Buddha

Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.
Week 21

I've passed this quote up many times, until I could truly appreciate its meaning. Sometimes, though I have the basic understanding of a quote, I wait until I fully understand the deeper meaning enough to relate to it and share the insight I've gained, and I take this quote to mean that you can speak thousands of words, but if they are all just "filler"--hollow words with no heart and soul behind them-- they are meaningless.

One meaningful, heartfelt, kind, true sentiment holds more weight if it is spoken with love and brings peace or comfort; one word of 'truth' is better and more valuable than a thousand hollow, meaningless words. I am really beginning to understand the value of my words and the effect that they have. It is one of my goals to master myself enough to not only become master of my thoughts, but also of what I say and put out into the world. This has proven to be one of my biggest challenges. We get used to being a certain way; speaking and acting the same way our whole lives. We often find it difficult to believe that we can change or expand our horizons to become different people. It certainly isn't as easy as flipping a switch.

I definitely struggle every day with watching what I say or how involved I get in certain conversations, whether in public or especially with family. Family can be the most difficult to monitor yourself around because you've known them the longest. You may find it intimidating to declare the changes you have made or are planning to make to better yourself to your family; they are often our most staunch critics. But it is important to remember that you are your number one priority. You must make decisions based on what will make you happy. Your desire to become your best you must outweigh the desire to please everyone else.

It is also of much importance that you learn to speak to yourself with kindness and truth. Don't fill you own head with excuses and hollow half-truths. It has become a common past time in this age to lie to ourselves and give in to reasoning that allows us to remain less than diligent with what we know we need to be doing. Being honest with oneself is liberating to the point of peace. There is no judgement; learning to be kind to yourself should relieve you of that. There is enough harshness in this world, enough judgement. Make yourself a sanctuary. Go within. Find that word that brings your peace.

Until next time,



Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sundays With Buddha

Week 20
Let a man overcome anger by love.
I'm sorry this post is a little late. I had a bit of an epiphany and decided to rewrite this week's post. Today is my husband, Noah's, 40th birthday, and I wanted to talk about him. He doesn't always get the recognition he deserves, and he definitely deserves it. If there ever was any representation of acceptance and forgiveness and love, he is it. I often take for granted the fact that he is the way he is because I've known him for so long (since I was 15 and he 17 and in art class in high school together). We started dating when my son was 18 months old and have been married since 2002 this October 26th. He is, undoubtedly, the best thing that has ever happened to Tyler and me.
This young man took on a ready-made family and never looked back. He worked two jobs at times while I was in college and raised our son. I have never been judged by him or called names, not even once, and, boy, I know I deserved it quite a lot, sometimes.
I often catch myself just thinking of how good he is; better than me at his resolve and non-judgment, though he is even investing in improving that, too. Now, I’m not making him out to be a saint, here, he has his faults, too. Nothing worth mentioning, though. He helps clean the house, washes and folds laundry, washes dishes, waters the flowers, loves flea-markets, loves our pets, and loves me. (He also loves muscle cars, engines, rock-a-billie, punk-rock and heavy metal with a side of classical, neo-classical…the list goes on. He’s no softie, is what I’m trying to say.) He is a true partner.
 He tries his very best, so there isn’t much that I would ever get up in arms about. When I did in the past, it took all of the work I’ve done on myself these last few years to realize that most of my upset was unwarranted and based in my own insecurities. I am so grateful that I have gone through all of the processes that I have to change myself and my outlook on what is important and what to let go of.
Noah has an inherent peace and calm that I have had to work so hard for. He’s working on things, too, but he has a natural, kind spirit. He is the perfect representation of overcoming anger by love. He is a natural loving being and anger is not his way. He has learned as he has gotten older to assess a situation before reacting to it. He may have gotten some of that from listening to me talk about how wonderful I feel now that I’ve learned this and that from this great author and that great teacher, but Noah has never really read any book that I own. I talk about what I’ve read. He’s interested in learning what I’ve learned. But, for the most part, it's all him.
My biggest realization was that he has been my greatest teacher, all along. He is my best friend, ally and partner. I have never known a better man. I am grateful that he is our son’s father, because I know why Noah is the way he is. And I can rest assured that because of him, Tyler will be a great man, too. People are born who they are; they either realize it and live it, or don’t, and they are also often products of their environment. Noah was raised by two wonderful people who loved each other dearly for over 50 years. He was raised by a kind, gentle, calm, loving soul with all of those attributes surrounding him within his family. I have them to thank for Noah. And God.
It’s Noah’s birthday today, but I got the gift.
Thank you for sharing in this special post today. Have a great Sunday.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Sundays With Buddha

Week 19

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.

When I first started to read about ‘truth’, I didn’t know exactly what was being said. Now I know it to mean “your truth”; what you believe, what you want to accomplish, what you want to become. And your only mistakes in getting there, seeing it all into fruition, is to never start along your journey in the first place, and not giving it your all, if you do.

What keeps us from acting? What keeps us from following our dreams?

Procrastination, doubt…fear?

It’s (or can be) incredibly hard to set those feelings aside. What if we fail? What if it’s not good enough or we lead ourselves to criticisms? It’s a terrible doubt, but one we all have had at one point or another.  The trick is to cut through that. So what if it doesn’t go exactly as you planned? At least you tried. Without doing so, you would never know. Not knowing, always wondering…that’s a doubt not worth living with.

The best "mistakes" are ones you learn from. The greatness you may achieve the next time is well worth the risk. The greatest fear for me now, is getting to the end of my life and having the regret of “I wish I had done…” I’m beginning to change that. I’m devoted to learning to live every day as if it were my last. When you stop worrying what others think, you liberate yourself from fear. Fear of failing, fear of embarrassment, fear of inadequacy. Those things don’t really matter. What matters is that you tried.

There is so much bravery in that.