Empty Nest

October 15th, 2012

I’ve always considered myself so blessed to have a daughter who is so thoughtful, kind, smart and funny (like her momma, of course).  But I’m now discovering that there’s a downside to having the greatest kid in the world.


She really took to heart all the messages I sent her about being her own person, taking personal responsibility for her actions and forging her own path in life.  You’d think I’d be ecstatic about that, right?  Well, I might if the forging hadn’t been so successful and taken her to the college of her dreams located clear across the country.  What was I thinking encouraging such independence?!


This is all tongue-in-cheek, of course, because I’m unabashedly proud of my daughter’s accomplishments and life pursuits.  It’s just that when the child you’ve been raising turns out exactly as you’ve hoped and dreamed they would, it would be nice to have them around a little more.  Oh, is that my mother’s voice I hear in my inner ear? “What goes around, comes around.”  Yep, that was her alright reminding me that I, too, spread my wings at a very early age and kept spreading and forging my own very long, windy life path (through foreign countries at times)  until I finally settled clear across the country from my origins.  Sorry, mom.  I finally get it.


Okay.  I’m not going to cry in my empty nest for too much longer.  That would make for a soggy nest which would probably fall out of the tree real soon.  Splat!  Nope, not a pretty image.  I’m going to start  thinking of ways to respread my wings…though they might be a little stiff, dusty and a few feathers shy of their former brilliance. Regardless, it’s time to explore new flight paths for the momma bird who has successfully launched her birdies into the world.


Ah, the blessing and the curse of having a kid who turned out a lot like me.  Hats off to my momma bird who let me fly so young.


Life is good.  Namaste.  –Lori

When Life Gives You Shingles, Make Lemonade.

April 5th, 2012



Okay. So maybe the saying is supposed to say something about lemons rather than shingles, but the lesson is the same. At least for me.


[As a quick side note, I just want to say that I’m glad to be posting on my blog once again after a long absence. I’m not going to offer a multitude of excuses, explanations or apologies. I’m simply ready to write again.]


I’m happily on the path to recovery from a very mild, but mindful, case of the shingles. Of course I brought it all on myself. Overwork, under self-care, stress and worry abounding. What was in my control (workload and taking care of self), I considered out of my control. I let others dictate how much, how little I should work, exercise, play, etc. What was totally out of my control (most things in life, really), I allowed myself to worry and stress over to the point of dis-ease (AKA: shingles).


Now this is a true testament to the Universe giving you what you ask for. I so desperately wanted a break from my four part-time jobs and various other obligations. Felt sorry for myself that I had no vacation time. So I conjured up a break/vacation of sorts. Only it came in the form of a contagious virus. Brilliant! Must stay home and recuperate, right? Well…


I spent the first half of my isolation week continuing to worry about all the stuff I wasn’t getting done and making HUGE to-do lists. Then I would look at the lists and just cry from a sense of being overwhelmed and under-energized to tackle any of it. I know! Terrible therapy for recuperating from illness (but when part of the illness has to do with control issues…totally understandable).


The latter half of my get-well week was spent reviewing how I arrived at illness to begin with and refocusing my attention inward. So I put away the to-do list and took out the journal. I started writing affirmations about my health, safety and living in a peaceful Universe. All is well and works out as it should. I repeat. All is well in my life and works out exactly as it should. (Of course these affirmations are intended for me, but feel free to say them with me and feel your shoulders start to release from your ears and melt down your back.)


The saying goes that when the Universe blesses you with lemons, you should not wish for a less bitter fruit, but rather make a nice cold batch of lemonade to refresh yourself with (mildly paraphrased that saying, of course). So I plan to spend the rest of my recuperation time (which will be however long the Universe blesses me with), being thankful that my wake-up call was mild and not severe. In case a sports metaphor is more to your taste than a food one, I don’t have to be hit over the head with a wooden baseball bat to take notice. A whiffle bat will do just fine.


Universe, thank you for my refreshing glass of shingles. I plan to drink it mindfully.


Life is good. Namaste. –Lori

Your Legacy

October 3rd, 2010



Skip right to the end.  Don’t worry about the beginning or all the in-between stuff of your life.  What do you want to be remembered for in the end?  When all is said and done, what shall your life have been about?


Do you really want to be remembered for your stylish shoe collection, how shapely your eyebrows were, your golf handicap, how many hours you were able to work in a day (day after day)?  Those will, maybe, make for interesting stories…until they’ve been over told and ultimately forgotten.


I don’t know a lot for sure, but what little I know is this.  I want the legacy of my life to lie in the answer to this question:  How well did I treat others–my family, my friends, complete strangers and even my enemies?


That’s it.  Short and sweet.  As a pebble dropped in the pond of humanity, I want to drop in such a way that the ripple effect will touch others for the better.


In the spirit of full disclosure, I will tell you that this short post was inspired by a very good friend of mine, my daughter.  She is amazing.  At a very youthful age, she has figured out that being a good person, being her best self, and treating others well (regardless of how they treat her), is more valuable than getting sucked into whatever today’s world would have you think is important for a “successful” life.


I know that the golden rule is that we should treat others as we want to be treated.  But I say treat others (all others, no exceptions) even better than you think you deserve or want to be treated.  Be the bigger, better person always and with everyone.  Now there’s a legacy!


Life is good!  Namaste.  –Lori

Think Before You Act…But Act!

May 27th, 2010

acts of kindness


Think before you act.  Don’t be impulsive.  Consider the consequences.  All good advice for the rational human species.  Keeps us out of trouble most of the time.  Yet sometimes keeps us stuck in the realm of the mind.


Did you ever have an inspired thought of a random act of kindness, but then just think yourself right out of acting on it?    I do it all the time…but I’m trying to make the change. 

 old man on bicycle

My elderly neighbor, Joe, lives alone but knows everyone in the neighborhood.  He’s one of those people that makes you feel like you’re an important member of a village, rather than an anonymous resident of a big city.  Our interactions happen mostly when I’m parking my car.  We chat for a few minutes.  He asks me where I’ve been and tells me exactly what he bought at the dollar store (he lives on a limited fixed income, I gather).  I’m always impressed that he rides his bike everywhere.  I want to believe that he’s just trying to stay in shape, but I suspect that the price of gas and costly repairs on his old car make it more affordable for him to get around on two wheels rather than four.


I had thought about it more than once, but one day I finally decided to invite him to share dinner with me and my family.   In a big city, taking your neighborly relationships from the alley into your home seems like a big step.  He gladly accepted and was quite at ease at our dinner table.   After dinner, I thought about asking him if he wanted to take home the left-overs, but was afraid he would be insulted.   When I offered the filled plastic storage container to him, you would have thought he hit the lottery!  Dinner and left-overs equalled two home-cooked meals in one week, a rare treat  for Joe.


Now Joe and I exchange plastic containers on a regular basis.  He gives me the empties and I return them filled.  In fact, my family no longer eats left-overs because we don’t consider them as left over from our dinner, but rather as reserved for Joe’s dinner.  I even make a little extra sometimes to ensure we have something for the storage containers.


I know that giving Joe my dinner remnants is no huge act of kindness, but the point is that at least it’s an act.  Not just a thought (that I can think myself out of before even acting).  If you believe that little acts of kindness can leave little footprints on the earth, make sure you do act on those inspired thoughts.  Random acts of kindness leave bigger footprints that random thoughts of kindness. 

 random acts of kindness


Will you try it today?  Just act on one kind thought.  Write someone a note that is not necessary, but might just make their day.  Verbalize that compliment that is stuck in your head but could make someone feel special and beautiful today.  Don’t worry about how you will be perceived.  Let go of your ego and see what happens.  And please share your experience in the comments (something you’ve probably thought of doing, but could act on this one time).


Life is good!  Namaste.  –Lori

Taking Care of You

February 17th, 2010

taking care of you


Too busy to take care of yourself?   Well, I’m just as neglectful as anyone else who has a family, job and other important responsibilities.  And the reward for putting everyone else’s needs before your own?  No, not martyrdom.  Not even a shiny medal.  Sometimes, not even a “thank you”.  The best way I can express how I feel if I’ve gone too long without feeding my spiritual side:  disconnect.


I don’t really need to go into how we get to this point of feeling disconnected from ourselves, our loved ones, our Source (or God, if you want).  We all have our own scenarios and excuses.  What we do share in common, I suspect, is the feeling of being separated from that (or those) that we think we’re trying so hard to help.  Just ask yourself this:  Have you ever spent your whole weekend doing for others, and instead of feeling fulfilled at the end, just feeling used up and grumpy?  Like your weekend got away from you?  Well, it wasn’t hijacked.  You gave it away.  Okay, at least I did.


So what’s the solution?  Well, it’s not that we cannot serve each other.  Serving others is a good thing.  It’s just that we need to stay spiritually juiced to do it.  And that takes effort and discipline.  We cannot neglect the 10-minute meditations or the 30-minute exercise or walk or whatever keeps us connected to our Source.  If we do, we have nothing of value to give others and just end up resenting the lost time we spend serving others’ needs.


Okay folks, I’m making a pledge to myself, and I invite you to join me with your own personal pledge.  I pledge to value myself and my spirit above all and to feed my spiritual side every day.  I will not start my day focused on others, but focused on myself and my Source.  I pledge to serve others every day from a place of spiritual wealth rather than spiritual poverty.  It’s the least I can do.  My family, friends, co-workers, strangers on the street all deserve a connected spiritual being rather than a shell of a being.


Life is good!  Namaste.  –Lori

Parenting A Teen

January 24th, 2010

Parenting A Teen

I like my teen!  Crazy, isn’t it? After all, we all know that when we were teenagers, our topmost mission in life was to drive our parents insane.  And we felt totally justified because we were positive that they arose every morning deciding how to make our young lives more stressful than we already felt they were.  We vowed we would never be like our parents, only to find ourselves in the same conflicts with our children years later.


Until recently, my story was no different.  The mommy-daughter relationship in our house hasn’t always been joyful.  And the early adolescent phase was downright awful.  There were many times when I wondered if an ornery alien was inhabiting my daughter’s body.  However, I’ve noticed that the more time I devote to myself (yes, self-focus), the more I  relax, breathe, stretch, read and try to find the joy and peace in life, the more my inner calm permeates my household — teen and all.


“The attitude”, as I call it, of the teen who always feels bothered and picked on (no matter how nicely you try to say something to her) has almost disappeared.  And when it does resurface, it doesn’t last for long.  I don’t overreact to “the attitude”, and so the fire is not fueled and quickly burns out.


I don’t want to take all the credit for my wonderful teen.  Maybe some of my inner calm and ability to see the greater good in people and situations, rather than judging and trying to control them, has rubbed off.  I hope so.  But maybe my 15-year-old is just maturing and coming into her own beautiful soulfulness early on in life.  Either way, I really enjoy spending time with my teen and look forward to each and every day.  As long as I don’t neglect my own spiritual health and wellness, things seem to flow in my household.


If you’re having a challenging time with your teenagers, try working on yourself.  It may not be the complete solution, but certainly can’t hurt.  If nothing else, you’ll be able to weather the storm of the teen years without totally losing yourself or your sanity.  Just a little tidbit that has worked for me.  Good luck.


Life is good!  Namaste.  –Lori

‘Tis the Season

December 13th, 2009

Christmas Ornament

I like holidays.  I really do.  I even like birthdays, anniversaries, retirements, quinceñeras and the like.  What I do not like is gift-giving.


It’s not that I’m selfish or cheap.  I love to give…money, hugs, my time, food, my shoulder to lean on.  I’m just slightly unimaginative and terribly insecure when it comes to purchasing and giving stuff.  I put off the gift-buying until the last minute and then second, third and fourth-guess myself long after I’ve swiped the credit card.  Is this gift good enough?  Does it convey how much I care about this person?  Did I spend the right amount of money? 


Well, thanks to a terrible thing called a recession, my gift-giving stress has been somewhat alleviated this year.  Forgive the glibness of that last comment.  I don’t want to make light of the difficult economic times we are in as many folks are going through extra hardships this year.  But I’ve noticed some good to come out of this.


This year, I have finally saved up enough bucks to go cross-country to spend the holidays with my family…the first time in three years.  And because of tough economic times for all, the matriarch of my family (we just call her “mom”) has decided that there will be no customary, frenzied gift-exchange on December 24th.  Just board games and food.  Yippie!  I couldn’t be happier.  I get to see my family and enjoy their company without worrying about how well I fared at gift-buying.





On my husband’s side, we’ve started a name-drawing and dollar limit.  I think I can handle that…one small thoughtful gift for one family member.  We’ve also started to make a bigger deal of the time spent together and less of the “stuff” given and received.


‘Tis the season for generosity, sharing, open hearts, and creative and fun ways of spending time together at the holidays.  While I’m a very insecure gift-giver, I sure know how to give a hug, share my laughter and enjoy my family.  That’s better than beautifully wrapped “stuff” any day.  Even if money is tight this year, try to enjoy your time with the people you love and know that that’s the best gift of all.  Happy holidays!


Life is good!  Namaste.  –Lori

Life Without Cable

December 5th, 2009



This is truly just a tidbit.  Just thought I’d let you all know that it is possible to survive and lead a normal lifestyle without cable TV (or satellite, or Direct TV, or 100+ channels).  My family and I do, and we don’t really feel deprived.


Now, you might urge me to join the 21st Century.  I appreciate that.  And just so you know, I couldn’t live without a computer or a microwave.  However, we haven’t found a compelling reason yet to increase our TV viewing choices or our monthly expenses.  In fact, it amazes me that most people consider cable to be a basic utility (like water, gas, electric) and wouldn’t consider cancelling it even in times of financial struggle. 


To all those who gasp when I tell them that I don’t know the show they are referring to because I don’t have cable TV, I assure you that I’m fine.  I’m normal.  My family is well-adjusted and not deprived in the least. 


For the time-being, we just choose to skip all those reality shows (I still get to watch desperate housewives, just not real ones).  We also watch sports and PBS regularly.  I would have never discovered the life-changing teachings of Wayne Dyer if it were not for PBS.  Oh yeah, and we have two bookshelves in the living room where the big screen TV would probably go if we had one (which we’d definitely have to purchase if we had cable).


Just thought I’d let you know that if you’re ever in the situation where you need to trim some fat off your monthly expenses, you can survive without cable TV.  And I’ve got a lot of great books for you to read to fill the time if you think you’d get bored.


Life is good!  Namaste.  –Lori

A Matter of Honor

November 22nd, 2009


photos by: Theresa Holder


 “Perhaps, the most important thing we can do is

honor whatever season we’re in and not fight it.”  


I love this follow up comment from my recent post Seasons Change.  Fellow blog writer Sara  really gave the fighter in me something to think about here. 


After reading Sara’s comment, it struck me that while honoring the seasons is an excellent way to deal with the changes in the calendar, the temperature, the daylight hours, energy levels, etc., the concept of honoring can be used in a much wider arena.


You see, I tend to resist or fight changes that I don’t immediately see the value in.  The kink that change throws into the perceived steadiness of my life does not thrill me.


After Sunset


Accepting change, therefore, may require us to honor things we normally fight against.  Honoring a headache, for example.  What value is there in a headache?  (As a migraine sufferer, I’ve been trying to answer this question forever.) Well, maybe, just maybe, it’s our brain’s way of telling us to shut out the noise—that constant chattering that we allow to fill our minds. 


Perhaps pain of any kind is a reminder to us as humans that we have been given the gift of the human body and need to honor it as a gift. 


Hmmmm…should I then welcome or be happy with pain?  Gosh, no.  I’m all about quality of life.  This earthly visit is so short, I prefer to go through it as healthy and happy as possible. 


I’m merely suggesting that honoring what is (physical or otherwise)–respecting and allowing that some changes are just plain necessary–may be the first step in moving through those changes effortlessly. 


Life is good!  Namaste.  –Lori

Seasons Change

November 8th, 2009

 sleeping bear


Been wondering why no new posts lately?  Honestly, I’ve been wondering the same thing.  I ask myself: Why the lack of inspiration?  Where did all that great creative energy from the summer go?  Why the desire to just come home at night, put on my pajamas and vegetate?


But alas, all questions that are asked with a pure heart are answered in good time.  My answer came yesterday while attending a very cool workshop on Taoist energy healing, given by a very cool Taoist Monk, Pedram Shojai.  Whoa, sounds pretty out there, you might be thinking.


Well,  I love going to these types of workshops because I’m just plain curious about different things, philosophies, ideas, systems, etc. that are new to me.  But to be perfectly frank, I really only understand a fraction of what I learn and remember only a fraction of that fraction.   Being an optimist, I guess I’m hoping that just exposing myself to these different ways of thinking, believing, dealing with life and the Universe will somehow positively affect my life.




In addition to learning about how the health of different internal organs, or lack thereof, affects our whole well-being.  I also had a minor epiphany about my own spiritual well-being.  It came during a minor comment about the earth elements (fire, earth, wood, water and metal) and their connections to the seasons.  Just as the seasons change, so do our inner beings.  Afterall, we don’t live in isolation of the place we live in.  It’s impossible.  Rather, in every moment, we are affected by and affecting our Universe.  Energy in and energy out.  It’s a dance, it’s a relationship, it’s a continuous give-and-take.


Come to find out, I’m not immune to this mutual exchange of energy.  I’m not unaffected by the changing seasons, the lessening of daylight, the cooling off of the outdoors, the need to power down and conserve energy to stay warm for the coming seasons.  As much as I love how my soul just blossoms and takes flight during the spring, how it fires up and burns bright all summer, I forgot that with the passing of spring and summer comes fall and winter. 


So if you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, I’ve been shedding my leaves I guess.  Closing the windows and getting out the comforters.  Preparing to power down and burn more like an ember rather than a blazing fire.  Time to nourish, replenish and rest the body and soul.  No worries, though.  I have no fear that the flames will extinguish.  They are just recharging for the coming seasons.  It’s natural.  It’s seasonal.  It’s the give and take of life forces at work.


Life is good!  Namaste.  –Lori

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