Monday, July 30, 2012


I was having a glass of wine with a good friend last week and we were essentially day dreaming about the summer opportunities ahead of us.  For some reason, though, I found myself feeling constrained.  The discussion was fun and carefree, but that intuitive 'gut feeling' inside of me didn't feel like I was in a position to be fully embracing the opportunities ahead.  I felt held back.  Why did my chest feel tight and the conversation feel bittersweet? 

I wasn't in a position to fully embrace these ideas and dreams because I was living an hour away from all of the excitement and feeling disconnected from the community in which I felt the most at home.  I currently live in a beautiful beach community surrounded by young families and restaurants that close around 8 PM.  I have felt a burning desire to move to a more metropolitan area for the last year or two, but have not brought it to the attention of my employers for fear that it would compromise my job.  Essentially, I was shoving on the glass slipper and saying "I am going to make this work -- the shoe will fit!"  But really, it was uncomfortable and not fitting quite right.

I was driving home and it hit me.  It was my 'Ah Ha!' moment.  I felt held back in life, but through no one's fault but my own!  If I want to position myself to embrace opportunity then that is up to me to decide and I cannot simply wait and hope that things will figure themselves out. 

The next day I went to lunch with my boss and calmly described my decision to move closer to the big city and crossed my fingers that it wouldn't get me fired.  To my surprise, he responded with excitement and acknowledgement that he had seen this coming for months.  Even he could see that I was struggling to make the shoe fit!  We worked out a plan to help with my new commute and within days I had identified a new place and a move date.

Since that moment I have been breathing easier, feeling more excitement for the opportunities ahead, and sometimes wondering why I didn't have the guts to make this decision earlier. 

To an extent, we are all still responsible for our own destiny in that we have the ability to make active decisions about our life.  Scratch that -- we have the responsibility to make active decisions about our lives!  Is there anything in your life that you suffocate or brush under the rug by associating it with words like "when" and "one day"?  If so, then I challenge you with this question:  What are you waiting for?!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


I was laying in bed last night after a fantastic evening laughing over a glass of pinot noir with some old friends and I decided to pull out the iPad and check in with the vlogs of one of my favorite authors and life coach:  Gabrielle Bernstein.  She had a great vlog about 'Letting Go of Control' -- I highly recommend checking it out!  But more importantly, the theme music to the start of her conversation was the Michael Jackson verse "I Believe in Miracles!".

I couldn't help but smile as I simply took in the power of this statement.  Do YOU believe in miracles?  If so, when was the last time that you actually asked yourself that question?  I love answering YES to such an inspiring question, but without the proposition there is no momentum for an answer.  So hopefully, today as you read this, you might find a little inspiration and joy when I ask you this question:  "Do You Believe in Miracles?"

As for the icing on the cake?  Click on the video below.  I found it when searching for the Michael Jackson song to ease me into a peaceful sleep.  Never stop dreaming, never stop believing.

I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.
Audrey Hepburn

Monday, July 23, 2012


I was letting my freshly applied peroxide set under the dryer this past weekend and reached for the closest magazine to entertain me.  I picked up the June Issue of Marie Claire and was immediately intrigued by a story titled "Love and the Single Girl".  The five page article went on to discuss the various perspectives between generations on the meaning of being a successful and single female in her young adult years.  The commentary was intriguing and contained many specific notes that I would like to take the time to share with hope that it will influence your frame of mind as we all struggle right now to redefine "Normal" when it comes to the lifestyle of a woman.

It is no secret that in our Grandparents' generation the value of a woman was most likely placed on her ability to be a good wife.  Perhaps this stereotype might apply to our parent's generation as well.  However, at some point in the last 30 years women have been experiencing a shift in educational opportunities which, in my opinion, is the ultimate force behind success and power.  According to an article by USA Today, posted in October of 2005, 57% of college graduates were female.  More striking, perhaps, is the counterpart to this statistic which states that only 43% of college graduates in 2005 were men.  This pursuit of education for young women can ultimately lead to expanding career opportunities and, most likely, a drive to be successful and embrace ambition. 

I can't speak in broad sweeping terms as it wouldn't be appropriate so I will simply speak from my own experiences.  I don't recall my mother ever telling me stories in which her parents encouraged her to be ambitious.  Nor are there stories in which she was encouraged to outline a long term career path and set personal goals.  In contrast, I am lucky to have parents that encourage, and frankly require, me and my siblings to pursue education and then to find excitement and energy in our chosen careers so that we find a sense of self worth in our accomplishments that were earned through hard work and dedication.  Not all members of society, ranging from our grandparents' generation to even our peers, agree with putting the pursuit of marriage in the back seat and placing our career in the co-pilot's chair. 

The article in Marie Claire presented a quote by Rush Limbaugh from March of 2012 in which he stated, "What is it with all these young, single white women?"  The article then effectively made the case for what some consider to be the "traditional path" of pursuing marriage as an evolving concept and its evolution is not to be feared -- but embraced.  Marie Claire then stated "But here's a surprising truth that gets lost in all the fuss:  Women staying single longer is good news for --of all things-- marriage!  The divorce rate is going down, especially for people who marry later in life".   

I am not here to encourage all young woman to 'push off marriage' for ten years simply for the sake of fulfilling a stereotype that is quickly becoming the new normal.  Rather, I would encourage all of us to simply keep an open mind and realize that 'Normal' means something different to everyone.  Some may find lasting happiness in young love and others may wait to commit to marriage until their 30's or 40's.  Either way, we should be a united voice in saying that each person is to be encouraged to follow the beat of their own drum without needing to apologize to society for not crossing milestones in a timeline defined by those around them. 

So to dear Rush Limbaugh, I am happy to be a part of a community that is redefining the path we travel when considering marriage.  I think that these young, professional, single females are a gift and -- for our future -- a force to be reckoned with.  In fact, Rush might want to see these ladies as leaders and change makers -- and to learn something from them.  I'm sure his next wife might appreciate it seeing as how he has left a trail of 3 ex wives behind him already.  

Monday, July 16, 2012


Things happen that are beyond our control and we are placed in a position with no choice but to react to those events.   It is in those reactions that we find true definitions of our character.  We are called to react to things ranging from the mundane and small stuff to truly  life altering events. But how often do we respond with intention and then take the opportunity to look inward at what our decisions mean to our own lives -- and how these reactions impact the lives that exist in the world around us?

Two weeks ago I found myself dating a man that I knew to be rare and good. The connection was strong and the time together was only filled with authentic expressions. Two weeks ago an email arrived that would change everything. The email presented an unexpected opportunity that would bring him to new heights, raise new challenges, and throw this budding relationship entirely off course.

You see, the path we had been traveling was a familiar one to both of us. The 'meet cute' occurred over the simple act of sharing witty conversation while enjoying a summer cocktail.  It was quickly followed by efforts to continue to engage in moments that grew from entertaining and amusing to authentic and intimate. It wasn't complicated or particularly challenging -- it was just effortless and enjoyable. In fact, I once joked about it being the modern day vignette opener to Grease with the sounds of "Summer Lovin" playing in the background.  The sounds and feelings of a new relationship are familiar to many and we were simply dancing to ours.

The email had arrived out of the blue and would reveal that the ensuing weeks, and perhaps months, would be all consuming with work deadlines and pressure of unfamiliar strength coming from the great Powers-at-Be.   I say 'would reveal' because the effects were not felt all at once. They were felt in layers and with each passing day the intensity grew. Finally, with a heavy heart, both of us respectfully acknowledged that we were no longer living in an environment that had the soundtrack "Summer Lovin" playing in the background. The parting of ways in order to allow a person to thrive in the moment and pursue opportunities at hand was ultimately a reaction to the email that had started it all.  I was being called to let this relationship go and do what was necessary and right, despite the potential of those necessary actions being in direct conflict with feelings and hope of the heart.

I  walked into church on Sunday morning with a heavy heart and a faint smile on my lips where only a week before there had been a light in my eyes revealing the presence of joy and excitement.   I was processing the events that had taken place earlier in the week and the conversations that had occurred only the day before, with little focus on the words being spoken at the front as the greeter welcomed the church community. The lights dimmed, the music began, and all I could hear was a stunning vocalist repeating the chorus line of "Sing a new song."

My eyes swelled with tears, just as they do now in sharing this moment with you, as I found myself reacting to this chorus line that had managed to touch my soul in an instant. I have always been, and will continue to strive to be, a woman of unwavering hope and faith.  I believe that we must trust in the events of the world without always knowing their greater context and that we must always press forward.

I had entered the sanctuary that morning lamenting the loss of a journey that I knew to be leading me towards a new, and potentially exciting, relationship. However, I walked out of the sanctuary feeling empowered to stand a bit taller and stronger knowing that the core of who I am still believes that even when the music stops playing you should never stop dancing.  This is more than just a call to be optimistic and 'think happy thoughts'.  This is an act of faith and model of trust in the greater context of the life that we lead.  We must display hope and loyalty towards whomever it is you believe to be that 'Greater Power' charged with writing a story through our lives.  We don't ever really know, or feel in control of, whatever chapter it is that we think is being written in that moment.  However, we can trust that there is a reason for it all to be revealed in its own time. 

So the next time you find yourself reacting to events that are beyond your control and feeling a heavy heart because they weren't part of "your plan" -- I would encourage you Sing a New Song and remind yourself to Never Stop Dancing.

Monday, July 9, 2012


I recently found out, via some very uncomfortable lab tests, that some unwanted 'souvenirs' returned to The States with me from Peru.  After spending an incredible week exploring the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu our family decided to take on a few days 'roughing it' in the Amazon jungle.  I will be the first to admit that our family could easily personify Troop Beverly Hills and my father made sure to book only the best of the available Eco-Lodges located along the Amazon River.  What we found out on our boat ride up the river, as our guide looked amused at all of us with an in our Lululemon pants and RayBans, is that 'Luxury' in the Amazon simply means you have hot water in your private quarters.  Needless to say, it was an adventure of unanticipated proportions.

We left in high spirits having experienced something new and different, but our stomachs were not faring so well.  All five of us experienced some sort of stomach issue for the following week, but mine seemed to never truly go away.  After three weeks of moaning about my inability to feel like my stomach was truly capable of digesting food I went to the doctor.  I was laying on the table with a stethoscope to my lower right pelvis and the doctor simply nodded her head and said, "Yep, it's what I thought it could be.  You have a parasite."   My mouth dropped out of horror, disgust, and fear of what that means.  A couple of tests and about a week later I found out that there was more than one 'Little Creature' in my digestion tract and some serious antibiotics for the next two weeks were in store for me. 

I needed to better understand what it was that we were dealing with here so I made the terrible mistake of 'Googling' parasites from the Amazon.  What I found was the following:  "An organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host's expense.  The parasite is dependent on its host for its life functions."   I apologize in advance for those that may find the following comment offensive, but upon learning this definition I immediately called my best friend and requested that we name this little sucker and he is clearly a male dependent upon my host female body.  We went with Sanchez. 

Sanchez quickly became emblematic of any person in my past or present that I felt was taking from me the nutrients that they needed for their well being, but leaving me behind with nothing but discomfort and hurt.  I couldn't help but start to think of the bigger picture as I was eradicating the Sanchez in my body -- how could I wipe out the other 'Parasites' in my life?

The thing about Parasites is that they don't just go away on their own.  You have to starve them of the nutrients.  It was all becoming clear.  I needed to stop feeding into the negative relationships in my life because without breathing life into them they wouldn't exist. 

Within a week, Sanchez was no longer causing me harm or pain and as I gained my physical strength back I could also feel myself gaining back a sense of empowerment in other aspects of my life.  Do you have any 'Parasites' in your life that need to be starved?  I encourage you to make active decisions on how to free yourself of such dependant creatures because only you have the power to make that change.