courageLike so many people my mind is chaotic this week with conflict. I admit free and clear my dominant feeling is fear after these last five days.

My resolution is to not give way to fear. I will not write nor speak any name associated with any terror organization. I will not give them the satisfaction of my fear.

Conflicted feelings abound yet I resolve to love. My moral compass will not change with regard to charity and kindness toward others in need of any human aid.

The acronym SWOT comes to my mind as a good rule of thumb for these bizarre scary times we live.

SWOT is generally used in marketing and business development, it aligns strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to a new product or venture. Adapted to my use for some time now I associate SWOT with my surroundings, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Be aware of your surroundings and people who are around your surroundings. Always know the way out. Be aware of weaknesses, your own and those who are close to you. See the big picture of where you go and what opportunities for harm may arise. Seek opportunities to love and be loved, always. There are threats every where, all the time. The ones I worry about are outside of the ordinary, such as possibilities for a terrorist attacks.

Perhaps, I think, the best we can do as a humane society of diverse and free people is to keep in mind SWOT. Be aware, be cautious, yet love more not less, hate less not more. Protect and be protected yourself and those you love.

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Making Space for Warm Holidays

Are you surprised it’s November? I know I am. Where did the year go? Now I have to think about the holidays. I’ll be honest, because that’s what you like about my posts, the holiday season is stressful, not always in a good sense. I have learned over the years that making space is necessary for a peaceful season.

For me, this year is different. I no longer expect peace and joy to fill the air, bringing glad tidings and good cheer. The key word in that sentence is expect.

Great expectations pave the road to disappointment, anger, frustration, starting the first week of November and running through to January 1. I apologize if that seems pessimistic or unwarranted given that we are talking about Thanksgiving through Christmas or Hanukkah.

Recent years were hard for me, celebrating the holidays was a total chore. Can you relate to that?

Celebrating was draining for me. I went through the motions of shopping, wrapping, over giving, festive meal planning and cooking, calendar coordinating various celebrations and not once felt the joy in any of it. I always wanted those experiences, still, I cannot claim them.

These motions are expectations imprinted on our delicate selves early in life and repeated year after year. You might call them traditions. Some are good, yet some need be relegated to the past; wrapped up in a pretty box with the finest paper and biggest bow, then gently moved to make space for the present day. Think about that.

I did have the power all along. Following is some of what I learned:

Do as much or as little as your inner self feels good about. If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it. If you must, then find a compromise. I choose to honor the holidays. Speak in gentle tones to yourself.

Do be grateful, count your blessings, yes, by all means do that and feel good in your heart because if you’re able to read this, you have much to be grateful for. So many people are far less fortunate on many levels.

If you’re experiencing any amount of depression or anxiety, or both, and the holiday season makes you feel like running far away, please don’t suffer in silence. I know now that when it seems like the world is a giant happy Holiday Spectacular, it’s an illusion. Don’t buy into it. Remember where that road paved by great expectations will lead you. It’s a hangover that’s not worth it.

With much gratitude, I can say my hardest years are behind me. I feel cautiously optimistic about this holiday season, and that’s because I matter. I know with certainty that I matter. You know what? You matter too. Don’t ever forget it.

Make space for peace and joy no matter how you choose to honor the holidays. Listen to your inner self and maybe see that peace and joy manifest in a different form for you. You may not recognize it right off.

May peace and joy find the warm light of  your essence this season and forever more.


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Making Space for Friends

Do you have space in your life for new friends? Are you into cultivating friendship, as opposed to casually friending (verb)? I lost a long time friend this past week. The bond between us weakened over time, so I am not surprised that I had to cut this friend off of my list and out of my life. Still, the break stings my heart.

Two weeks ago I took a virtual machete to my Facebook friends. One by one I looked at each photo and measured the value each brought to me. In the end, I cut off those who had not contacted me, or seen me, since friending on Facebook. Why should I share my time with them? It actually felt pretty good. I took control of my list, that felt a bit unwieldy, and I made it smaller, more intimate in a sense, to those who know and love my core essence.

The subject of friends, as a group in general, is on my mind a lot lately. I think we get to an age where real friends are our hearts desire. It’s not easy to cultivate those relationships, even in our social culture.

People like me, educated and childfree, have special concerns about growing older. For me, I look for similar mindsets, values, the ability to laugh. Folks who are 45 or older, may have the hard-luck benefit of difficult times behind them, times when a good laugh was hard to come by. Maybe you were alone, or just felt alone. Perhaps you are in the midst of such a time now. Featured image

To that I can offer this small token illustration that appeared on my Facebook news feed and resonated in the chambers of my heart today. Personally, October wasn’t a great month for me. Yet tomorrow is a new day and November is a new month. Let’s hope for starry sky delights, and moon beams shining bright.

Namaste to the divine spark in each of us.

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Making Space for You

I’ve been away for the summer. I’m back now and grateful for readers who have checked in every now and then. There’s a lot of things for which I am grateful. Gratitude journals are popular now, I suspect mindful writers keep a growing gratitude list. Such a list can prime the pump when the well level sinks.

I am listening to iTunes now as I write. Playing on my random listening track is Big Girls Don’t Cry by Fergi. It’s a personal favorite of mine. Sometimes we have to save emotion for a later time, don’t we? Emotions need confronting, even if packed away, to stay healthy in mind and body.

Vulnerability is another big word getting some exposure these days, it seems to me. is offering different, sometimes free on-line mini-classes to learn about vulnerability and why it’s important in our social world. If you see one by Brene Brown, I’ve read her books and she is phenomenal, in my opinion.

Think about it for a moment. Is vulnerability important today? Feelings are important any day. I explained to a friend recently that social media offers me an outlet for expression. Prior to 2010, for me personally, I had no time or space for something called Facebook.

Now, I can’t say I love Facebook, but I’d be hard pressed to live without it. On the plus side, like I said, it gives me an outlet for expression. In return, I get a view of what’s going on in the minds of my friends. After a while, you know who will appreciate what in a post. There’s a feeling of connection, sometimes that’s the best feeling on a lonely day.

The quiet, private person that I am, dislikes small talk and big crowds in person. On line however, it’s totally different. I’ve found a place of comfort in communication. My big brown eyes take in the visual world around me as well as on-line and I let the images sink in as fodder for expression.

Trusting in the good of strangers is hard. I think as a social society, broadly speaking, we want to form that trust to the extent that we Like something, or rant about other things. It’s sad though, when one persons expression or viewpoint is another’s reason to blast negativity. I grew up with the mantra that if you can’t say something nice, say nothing.

Now, a note of thanks for reading my blog. It’s in a state of transition, as am I. I’m going to take a deep breath and let you in, if you want to follow me. Why? Because I have things to say that are worth saying, to the extent that my words will resonate and help. In order to help, I must try.

Keep in touch, friends.

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No Nonsense Job Seekers

These days the job market is all about talent. Think about your resume. Does it represent your talent? Resume writing is a tough craft in that the implied rules change often.

Personally, I remember at the start of every job I’ve known, feeling so grateful to be there and finished with the process of searching. I would promise myself never to leave that employer because searching is so painful and drawn out.

I had the best of intentions each time. Yet in time, things change, we all know how that goes.

Today, loyalty is not critical. Nobody is hiring or accepting work with the expectation that the employment contract will last 30 years. If you make it to five, count your blessings or take a vacation to do some soul-searching.

Perhaps 2015 is the year you hone in on your talent and what you can do to improve your score in job rankings. That’s a practical way of thinking to get started. What are your skills? How well do you communicate your skills and abilities?

Here’s a side note to stick in your pocket: you may be interviewed by someone who knows nothing about the job you seek. You may be interviewed by someone new to the company, or not as smart as you. These all work against you.

A good exercise is to make a list of every job you’ve had in your life. Jot it down with pen and paper. You no doubt own transferable skills. What are they? How do they apply to your future place?

My point is simple. Context is important in understanding communication. How we speak, what words we choose may depend on with whom we are communicating. Be mindful of your innate communication tools; that mighty tongue, swift thumb and fingers. Words and meanings are not universal. Speak and write words with clarity. Let words gently glide in context to the receiver. Communication skills are highly sought in today’s workforce. That said, recall the note in your pocket.




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