Random (?) Questions

What animal your fond of?


What attribute does that animal display which may be helpful to you as you face a current challenge?

And if you don’t feel like literally responding, that’s perfectly OK. But at least contemplate the questions, please. They might be beneficial (and not completely random questions after all!)

Thanks for taking good care of you!


Mistakes or Lessons

Most of us will agree that learning an important lesson sounds like a positive step. Learning is good and lessons prepare us. Fun or not, learning lessons is good for us.

Most of us will agree that making mistakes can be embarrassing and painful.

Some of us will realize that¬† mistakes and missteps are opportunities to change and learn and grow. Choosing to see “failures” that way is a game-changer! When faced with a mistake, press the pause button, take a couple slow deep breaths, and summon a sense of curiosity to explore how else you might have tried or what else you could do differently.

The lessons will keep happening. The real question is whether or not we will choose to learn from them, so that we may move forward.



Hustling Hope

Hope is curious stuff. It’s always right in front of us and yet, so often, hard to see. Hope is undeniable, irrefutable, and evident, even in the midst of tragedy (perhaps especially there.) Hope has the power to change almost everything. Hope is always near, but there are eyes which cannot see it. Hope can meet needs and yet some will never taste it. Sadly people perish every day while surrounded by it – unable to see it or know it.

grass gems

When people wonder what my blog is about or why I take the time to post, I suppose an appropriate answer would be that I want to hustle hope. As long as I have breath, I want to shine the light on hope, point your eye toward hope, sing you a song of hope, or share a story of hope. There seems to be plenty of demand in the world, right?

Hope is the stuff that allows us to see that the same rainstorm that cancelled our parade sprinkled “leaf gems” all over our garden. And when I take a moment to look at the gems on the grass and flowers, I feel hope.

leaf gems

Hope is what I peddle. It’s what I hustle every day – or at least every day while I have it in stock. Hope alone doesn’t change things, but it seems to be a catalyst which¬†allows things to change or helps them to. It’s the greatest game-changer of all because it can serve as a sort of a key to unlock things which seemed, mere moments ago, to be impossible.

On your journey (aren’t we all on a journey?) hope can definitely change your outcome, whether you believe it or not. In fact, whether or not you believe it is part of the key that can unlock hope’s power. So try to stay hopeful. And if you have trouble staying hopeful, stay in touch with your friendly neighborhood hope dealer!



Let it Rain


We may as well “let” it rain rather than hate it, wish against it, or try to pretend it isn’t raining. Rain happens and I usually choose to suppose that the rain happens for a reason. Then it’s not only neutral, but it actually feels positive.

Decades ago, whenever there was a thunderstorm, my mother would turn off and unplug the television. As the storm approached, she’d go to the den and start playing songs on the piano. We’d all be in the den in no time once we heard the piano. Before we knew it, we’d all be singing at the top of our lungs. My siblings and any neighborhood kids who happened to be in our yard would fill every seat in the room and laugh as the thunder clapped and the lightning flashed. Some of the neighborhood kids would get permission to come to our house before a storm started, because they were more fun at our house!

Sometimes we’d say that the angels were bowling in the sky and the really BIG crashes were strikes. We sang and laughed and even shrieked when lightning struck really close. We’d count the seconds between the flash and the crash. But I never remember anyone panicking. Singing through the storm and laughing when a shriek interrupted a verse, we road out many, many storms.

When we were older, my mother explained that she was terrified of lightning storms and that for all those years she was trying to keep herself distracted with the piano and singing. By doing so she taught most of us to “let” storms be storms. Some of us even like storms – even 50 years later!

When it comes to those things we cannot change, we can always change our mind. Or as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said…

“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.”






Here are a few thought-provoking quotes about Grace.

5.31.2018 grace 3

Grace is my hope/wish/prayer for you today.

butterfly nose

May you have sufficient grace to hear the message that the universe is offering you today, regardless of the messenger.

5.31.2018 Grace

May we listen in grace, walk in grace, and offer grace to all. Please don’t forget to treat yourself with grace, too!



Take Five

Whether or not it’s actually said on a movie or television set, “Take Five” is a fairly familiar phrase that means take a break. And there are surely times in our worlds when we need to take a break.

Here’s a simple tool to learn so that we can take a safe, healthy break when we need to. This tool could help us avoid angry actions (which we might have regretted later.) It might help some of us avoid using an unhealthy coping skill.

The next time you find yourself facing a conflict or stressor..

TAKE FIVE (or more) steps away from the source of the conflict.

TAKE FIVE slow, deep breaths. Visualize the oxygen circulating through your body and visualize the stress/anger exiting as you exhale. (Deep breathing can really change how we feel!)

TAKE FIVE minutes to carefully, calmly consider if or how best to respond to the situation. If it isn’t literally on fire, you can take a little time before you respond.

Take five steps, breaths, and minutes. You deserve a break and you deserve to be free. Please learn it, memorize it, and use it. It works!

((Extra credit of you whistle “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck))


#FeelGoodFriday #DFTYA!

Live in Belgium 1964

Paul Desmond (alto sax), Joe Morello (drums), Eugene Wright (bass) and Dave Brubeck (piano)

All I See Is Your Courage

When I listen to people talking about their challenging experiences (especially friends who are battling addictions) their voices often seem to convey guilt or shame. They seem to say – sometime with and sometimes without words – that they feel defeated, overwhelmed, or weak. In a word, I guess I hear regret.


Recently, as I listened to a person talking about their past missteps and stumbles, I was quite overcome by the glaring disconnect. The speaker was candidly retelling the tales of his numerous attempts at quitting and the relapses that had ended the periods of recovery he achieved. The lyrics of his story were accompanied by the unmistakable chords of despair and regret.


But there he sat, voluntarily fighting to regain his freedom AGAIN. He wasn’t drafted into this war. He enlisted. What courage! Even while his voice and affect conveyed feelings of guilt and regret, all I could see was his courage! I observe scenarios like this almost daily, but the other day it moved me in a deeper way to recognize the courage that these brave souls too often cannot see. I can hear a song that they may not easily hear. I can hear a chorus of hope rising from the clamor of their despair and regret.


So may I say again that it is my privilege to serve such brave and hopeful people, and I will loudly sing of hope not just too you, but because of you! While you may not feel courageous and when the war has left you weary, your actions, your efforts, your struggle and persistence quietly attest to your bravery. Thank you for your courage, even when you feel defeated. Your courage sends ripples of hope to all around you. You inspire me and others to believe that anything is possible.


Thank you!



What Does Your New Habit Smell Like?

If you’re trying to build habits, I have two bits of advice:

1.) Start TINY

Tiny habits are the building blocks of days and years and lifetimes. I never fully appreciated the power of tiny habits until I heard B J Fogg talk and teach on the subject. I wholeheartedly recommend his Tiny Habits method and encourage you to try his free email supported week-long tiny habit experience. It’s quick, easy, educational, and potentially life-changing!

Here are a couple of my favorite B J Fogg’s TED talks that talk more about building tiny habits:

Tiny Surprises for Happiness and Health

BJFogg TED Fremont

Forget Big Change, Start With a Tiny Habit

2.) Activate as many of your senses as you can in order to make a habit “stick.”

B J Fogg knows that emotion can help us habituate behaviors which is one of the reasons that he asks us to briefly, but exuberantly celebrate each time we hit our target behavior. A brief emotional response immediately after the new habit behavior seems to glue it down. He often suggests give yourself a high five or saying something celebratory out loud. Why not do both? Activate your tactile sense with a palm-to-palm smack and something positive that our ears can hear!

My sister’s experience with temporal lobe epileptic seizures (Click here to read post) helps me understand the role that our sense of smell can play in memory. Memory has everything to do with habit-building, so how about adding an olfactory hook to a habit we’re trying to build? It may not fit with every habit, but essential oils can help us layer a smell onto the other sense and emotions that help us hold on to new habits.


Some of the essential oils that might support memory are rosemary, basil, cypress, peppermint, and sage. I advise everyone I work with to use affirmations as a daily discipline. There’s solid scientific evidence that affirmations can reduce anxiety and boost confidence. Reciting an affirmation as you massage a drop of rosemary oil into you palms could surely turn that affirmation into a power phrase!

essential-oils-2536337_1920 (1).jpg

Maybe reviewing your calendar as you rub a tiny bit of peppermint oil on your temples can help your calendar stick in your head! Adding some sage oil to a bath when you recite a familiar prayer or read a favorite poem might turbo-charge that scent as a source of soothing for you. Senses and emotions can really help activate your body-mind connection in your habit-building.

Thanks to B J Fogg, PhD, for his eye-opening research of tiny habits!

Thank YOU for taking good care of you!




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