May 11th: Disagreements

Killpecker Dune Field

Lately I have caught myself in minor disagreements with people.

In the past, especially within my marriage and later my divorce, it would be very hard to listen without becoming defensive or upset.

I would believe that somehow a disagreement was completely “on me” my personal failure.

I wasn’t able to see that maybe we just had differing perspectives and that neither of us had to be wrong: we could just agree to disagree.

What does it harm me to allow my mind to stay open when faced with a criticism, an observation, a scenario?

Isn’t it easier to take a step back from ego and emotion and simply say, “Maybe you’re right.”

Doesn’t it help me to stay balanced by learning to live and let live… or take the time to really think about what was offered to me and reflect on the moment?

Today I work very hard to stay calm during a disagreement and listen to what is being said… if it is being presented to me:

without agenda

without malice

without intent to harm…

Don’t I owe it to my friend to hear them out?

“Dear God, help me to keep an open mind. Help me to see all sides of an argument and act from my best self, my higher spiritual place, when engaged in a difficult conversation.”

May 10th: Guilt and Time

May 10th-Time and Guilt

One of my dearest friends was having a heart felt conversation with me today when he said, “I am so overwhelmed with my new work right now. I feel guilty about the lack of time I have for the people I love.”

I understood exactly how he felt.

Sometimes circumstances in life arise that make it absolutely impossible to spend extensive quality time with the people you care about the most:

A beloved child…

A lovely spouse…

A dear friend…

There just aren’t enough hours in the day to give your all to everyone and everything.

When situations like this arise in my life, unforeseen responsibilities that cannot be altered, I remind myself that “this too shall pass” and I hold tight to the idea that I can “do something for one day that I would find appalling for a lifetime.”

I must let go of my guilt.

Guilt will not change my present circumstance or bring me more time.

I must do the task at hand, spend what minimal quality time I have with those I love and also… I must make time for myself so that I have something to give to all: physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

“Dear God, help me to find balance during difficult times. Help me to let go of guilt and give what I can, with love, until I am once again able to give more.”

May 7th: Happiness


It was hard to believe during my divorce that I would ever be happy again.

All of the joy in my world, all of my own spark, was diminished by the tragedy that was my failed marriage.

I did everything I could to try to distract myself from the sadness that clouded every waking moment of my life, but despite my best efforts to “act as if” and to “move on” I was miserable.

But we as human beings are adaptive.

And though I often thought I would not make it through… soon happiness began to pop up to surprise me in unexpected moments:

A small child waving at me from a distance.

A funny expression on my dog’s face.

An off-the-cuff comic remark from one of my friend’s determined to make me laugh once again.

Happiness came back to me in tiny increments… snapshots of joy that began to punctuate my life and soothe my soul.

Today, my life is filled with happiness.

I find it in my conversations with my loved ones.

In my daily lessons with my students.

In the words that I write.

In the music that I sing.

In the sure knowledge that I am exactly who I am today and where I am supposed to be… reminded through tragedy… that happiness is precious and should always be cherished.

“Dear God, thank you for bringing happiness to my life. Thank you for giving me so much to be grateful for in my world.”

May 4th: Kindness

May 4th

Each day I am fortunate to spend my life around a group of young adults who are constant reminders of the trials of youth and the joy that experience can bring.

Their dramas are intense… their reactions quick and I sit by and offer advice and hopefully soothe their bruised egos and souls as they begin to navigate life.

Yesterday… one of my young students was upset over an argument he had with his girlfriend and told me that mid-fight she had turned on her heel and walked away from him: He was very upset over such a slight.

In that moment, my mind flashed back to a time when I had done the same thing to my former husband.

And why had I stomped off?

Not because of anger.

I had left our argument because I was too hurt to continue.

I had left our argument because I didn’t want to cry in front of him and show what I believed to be at the time… weakness.

And so… I did the only thing I could do: I left.

I shared this story with my student and said, “Wouldn’t you rather be the person to be kind in this situation? The person who understands another person’s pain? She’s hurt. She’s caught up in the heat of the moment. Be kind and when the time comes when you are both calm… then you can let her know how you felt when she did that to you. But for now… be kind.. and understand that her anger comes from a place of hurt.”

I let him sit with that for awhile and by the end of the class period, he was calm, and gave me a big hug before he left the room.

Later that afternoon, I was walking to my car in the parking lot.

I saw his girlfriend, talking on the phone, looking left and right, longing to see someone on the horizon.

And as I pulled out of the parking lot, I saw my student, also on the phone, hand raised, waving at her…

They did not see me, and I did not stop.

It was enough to see that they were both smiling… that the fight had calmed… and that kindness had taken the moment and changed the mood of the day.


“Dear God, help me to be kind when I am consumed by anger and frustration. Help me to see all sides of an argument, and to be the one to soothe instead of incite.”

March 3rd: Serenity

March 3rd-Serenity

Serenity for me is putting what I can in my life in order and letting the rest go: the things I cannot control.

This means that I complete tasks/chores in my life that will add to the quality and balance of my daily existence.

Paying the bills in a timely manner.

Keeping my house clean and orderly.

Exercising each day.

Eating well.


By keeping my physical and mental house “in order” I am creating structure and balance so that when unforeseen events tax my emotional or physical state… I am centered and better prepared to handle the situation: I am calm and able to offer support to those I love when they may be negatively affected by a crisis.

“Dear God, help me to keep my house in order. Help me to make time each day to complete the tasks that will help me stay in serenity.”

May 2nd: Joy and Expectations

May 2nd

Last night I spent time with an old friend… someone very dear to my heart.

Yet there was a time, when I was so attached to the idea of what I expected of our friendship, that I couldn’t even enjoy my time with him.

I projected an idea of what I thought it “should” be and I held to it; what I wanted… what I believed was needed… my rules… my way.

Tonight, with no expectations, no projections, I found great joy in his company once again.

We laughed.

We caught up on each other’s lives.

And I was reminded how much joy the friendship had brought to me, before I started placing so much emphasis on how I thought it “should be.”

What do I know about “should?”

Preconceived notions regarding what life “should” be only leave me unable to grow and see the limitless possibilities of having an open mind.

Maybe it is time I took a step away from what I believe life “should” be and let my Higher Power take the lead for awhile.

“Dear God, help me to let go of what I believe life should be… and live life as it is… one day at a time… with an open mind and an open heart.”

Photo credit: Bill Thompson

May 1st: Detachment and Other People’s Opinions

May 1st Obsessive Thinking

Recently one of my friends, who has acquired a bit of “status” over the years was asked, “How do you feel when people make negative comments about who you are and what you are doing?”

I was interested in how he would respond. His power, his wealth, his education, and the fact that he was a well-known leader put him in a position where he was continually watched and judged for each of his choices.

I began to feel nervous myself just thinking about it: such a large audience of people paying attention to each of his day-to-day moves.

I imagined my own life and how difficult it was for me to detach, at times, from other people’s opinions of me.

His answer surprised and pleased me.

He said, “I can’t let people’s opinions of me get in the way of who I am. It’s not my business what they think. That is their idea of who I am… their projection… it has nothing to do with me. I know what my intention is when I make a choice or take a risk. They do not. If I spent each day upset that someone has a poor opinion of me… well then… I’ve wasted a lot of time now haven’t I?”

How much time have I wasted fretting over someone’s opinion of me?

Has that helped me to move forward in my life or on my spiritual path?

I cannot stop someone from thinking badly about me nor do I have a lifetime to fret about it.

I know my own intentions.

I know when I act from a place of love and humility, from my true self, and when I act out because of my ego, self-esteem, fear, anger or frustration.

I am the only judge of my actions.

I must detach.

I must allow them the freedom of their opinions and keep the focus where it matters: on my own life.


“Dear God, help me to detach with love. Help me to detach without losing compassion.”

April 30th: Perspective

April 30th

It is so difficult when caught up in an intense moment of passion, anger, frustration, obsession, pain or despair, to let go of the “immediate” and embrace perspective.

There have been many times in my life, where I found it difficult to step back and allow time to bring me insight, but none as emotionally, spiritually and physically trying as my divorce.

Each time my emotions were engaged during this painful period, I would find myself consumed in the moment, reacting without thinking, caught in an all-or-nothing mentality that would leave me emotionally worn and physically ill.

I remember feeling like a small bird, throwing myself repeatedly at a glass window, trying to escape my pain and fear, yet too terrified to calm down, and wait for the window to be opened and my inevitable release.

It was a very disheartening experience for me but, my divorce did show me that time will carry me through a difficult period in my life… and that someday… I will get to the other side of any emotion if I continue to move forward and work towards understanding the situation, and my part in it.

Today when I am suffering, I use the experience of my divorce to remind myself that… “This too shall pass.”


“Dear God, thank you for the gift of perspective. Thank you for helping me to move through my pain and for getting me out of my own way.”

April 29th: Choices

April 29th- Choices

During my marriage, my husband and I were at a party together for one of his male mentors.

We were all in the middle of a conversation, when I noticed an elderly gentlemen, about eighty, sitting all alone, watching the activity, and hoping that someone would sit and talk with him.

I asked about him and my husband’s friend said, “Oh that’s my dad. He doesn’t really know anyone and he’s a bit shy.”

I immediately excused myself from the conversation and went to sit with him and keep him company.

Later that night, when my husband and I were driving home, he admitted something to me.

“When you left to sit with my friend’s father,” He said. “I turned to my friend and said snidely, “Oh what a good little enabler. What a lovely little people-pleaser. She’ll save him!”

My husband paused here, embarrassed and said, “Do you know what my friend said to me?”

I waited… not sure what I was about to hear.

“He said that you are a kind, thoughtful person, and he appreciated how sweet you were being by making his father feel welcome in the group.”

I smiled.

I was not smug or self-righteous.

I did not use the moment against my husband.

We had both learned a lesson regarding choices.

I knew that my choice was not related to enabling, or people-pleasing, it was my higher spiritual self, choosing to be compassionate and present for another human being.

I had not chosen to go sit with our friend’s father to please anyone or make an impression: I had chosen to sit with my friend’s father because it was the right thing to do, the loving choice.

My motives were clear.

And my husband learned… that he had used poor judgement in his choice of words; his motives were suspect and so… he made an immediate amends.

We ended our night on good terms with each other, both of us reminded, that when we make a choice we must check our motives, and listen for our own unique inner voice of guidance that will ensure we are walking firmly on our spiritual path.

“Dear God, thank you for guiding me in all of my day-to-day choices. Help me to keep my motives focused on love and compassion.”

April 28th: The Gift

April 28th-The Gift

My divorce was very difficult for me to accept.

I had been with my husband many years.

We had experienced life at its best and its worst.

We had raised children, buried parents, struggled with financial burdens, and rejoiced in financial gains.

We created a world together and when we separated, it was very hard to let the dream of what we were… what we could be… go.

I have been asked by many people since, “Do you regret the time you spent with him? Do you wish you could take it back so that you wouldn’t have had to feel the pain of divorce?”

And the answer has always been and always will be, “No.”

How could I regret the birth of my children?

How could I regret the joys I have witnessed as they have lived and grown into the truly wonderful people they are today?

To give up all the pain I have experienced would mean I would also have to give up all the joy:

The togetherness that we shared as a couple, the history of our lives during that specific period of time: a moment that will never be known by anyone the way it is known by my former husband.

I do not regret the love he gave to me.

I do not regret the love I gave to him.

I learned many things from our time together, both good and bad, and now I use those experiences to help my own grown children navigate their relationships. I offer my experience, strength and hope, my extensive time in a marriage to be a guide, a voice of reason, an advocate to help them when they struggle with those they so dearly love.

“Dear God, thank you for the gift of marriage. Thank you for allowing me to experience true joy, through giving myself honestly and openly to someone I loved.”