Finding Meaning in Life’s Turning Points

Shutterstock, Andy Dean Photography Life events are the situations; the insight we gain is our story. What meaning do you make of the turning points in your life? Have you ever waited for something that seemed to take forever to happen or get resolved? And after all that waiting, the outcome wasn’t guaranteed or might not be what you expected? I’m still lying in bed 20 hours a day, waiting for the pain to lessen and my spine to heal on its own from two compression fractures. The neurosurgeon’s PA says to give it 12 weeks. It’s been almost 6 weeks since I fractured the second vertebra (bending over [...]

How Are Your New Year’s Resolutions Going?

Did you make New Year's resolutions? Here’s one way to empower yourself to reach your goals. Resolutions and Intentions I wrote in my January newsletter that I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I do set intentions. And then I wondered what the difference was and why resolutions didn’t work for me. Somewhere over the years, I stopped making resolutions to get more exercise and eat healthier and set self-imposed deadlines for work and writing projects. The goals felt more like something I should do or would do anyway, without a specific outcome, rather than what I wanted to work on. Instead, I started setting intentions for my emotional well-being and spiritual growth and that [...]

Finding Balance by Letting Go

The fall equinox and a new moon in Libra invite us to find harmony and balance by letting go of thoughts that no longer bring peace and joy. Happy fall equinox for those of us in the northern hemisphere (happy glorious spring equinox for our southern companions). For one day (Sept 22), the earth was in perfect balance on its 23.5º axis with the sun pointed directly at the equator. Everyone around the globe had 12 hours of sunlight and 12 hours of darkness. Balance. Global synchrony. Did you notice? What does balance even feel like? For me, it’s not an outcome to achieve (how would I know when I’ve found it?) but an ongoing [...]

From Fear to Hope: How Cancer Research Makes a Difference

Valentine’s Day reminds us to show our love to one another. International Childhood Cancer Day, the day after, reminds us of how much love our children bring into our lives, and how much fear and anxiety we feel when they get sick. Losing a child is a parent’s worst fear. Watching your child endure months or years of scary and invasive treatment and debilitating side-effects obliterates the childhood we expect and want them to have. We all want the best for our children. Criss Angel, Las Vegas illusionist and magician, faces fear every day when he performs with fire and gravity-defying stunts but says that nothing compares to the fear of losing his son to cancer. [...]

Here Comes Another Year, but Not a New Year: How to Make Yours Happy

As the holiday season winds down and 2021 exhales its last breath, we look ahead to 2022. With the Omicron variant of COVID-19 exploding across the entire United States and many other countries, however, 2022 doesn’t feel like progress or offer a whole lot of happiness. It’s another year, but not a new year. The imprints of 2020 and 2021 cling like droplets on our masks—invisible when we ignore them, debilitating when they invade. How are you protecting your body and nourishing your spirit? As we reflect—yet again—on the upheaval in our daily lives, the relentless cycles of loss, and the uncertainty for tomorrow, can’t we also seek the flickering flame deep within our solar plexus? [...]

2021-12-31T08:53:08-05:00December 31st, 2021|Categories: 2022, COVID-19, Pandemic, Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , |

Going outside your comfort zone: When is it worth the risk?

Good morning, sunshine. I didn’t know how desperately I needed you until I did. Your early morning caresses soothe me. Your midday beams energize me. And your steady presence, day after day—here in Hawaii—rejuvenates my spirit and confirms my impulsive decision to escape Minnesota during one of the grayest, dreariest, and iciest January’s on record. I typically love the deep freeze of the Bold North winters—the biting and invigorating crisp air, the resplendently clear blue skies, and the teasing sunshine that sparkles but promises nothing. I just walk faster to keep warm. I had no intention of leaving on a jet plane in search of hope. I’d only just begun to travel again after a low-back [...]

2020-02-08T00:02:18-05:00February 7th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , |

Winter Solstice: Living in the Darkness of Light

Winter arrived early this year. Seven inches of heavy, wet, white fell like a weighted blanket on my November birthday. I typically love the first snowfall of the season, with the transformation from drab brown to feathery white, illuminating the darkness at night. But I wasn’t ready this year. The last big Minnesota snowfall was mid-April, when crocuses and tulips should have been rising out of bed. And I had just started walking again after a fifth major surgery and a broken foot, and I really wanted to rebuild some strength by climbing the hill every day. And now the icy undercoat makes it too risky for my fragile spine, which is rather like the decomposing [...]

2019-12-17T20:43:16-05:00December 17th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

Why Stress Makes Us Sick

  Well, not all stress makes us sick. Stress can motivate and energize us—it helps us perform better in front of an audience or get psyched for an adventure, like white-water rafting on the Colorado River in chilly November (shout-out to Mike, Eric, and Frederique!) or skydiving from 13,000 feet (“terrifying” and “freeing” says my brave niece, Laura, pictured). Not surprisingly, skydiving triggers a “fight-or-flight” (literally!) stress hormone response. In one study, 39 men and women who tandem jumped for the first time had increases in cortisol, stress catecholamines, inflammatory cytokines (IL-12 and interferon-gamma), and natural killer cell numbers and gene expression. Manfred Schedlowski, a German researcher I heard at a conference way back in 1993, [...]

2019-11-23T22:47:25-05:00November 23rd, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

“What were his symptoms?” was the most frequently asked question after finding out that my four-year-old had leukemia. At first, I was taken aback by the question. Why did it matter? I thought. We were in treatment now, moving on—at laser speed. I had no time to pause, to process the chaotic events leading up to his diagnosis. And yet, the awareness gnawed through my reality that first night in the hospital. In Standing at Water’s Edge, I write: After a day of seeking answers and direction, confusion cornered me. Why did I allow his symptoms to drag on for so long? I admonished myself during those dark, vulnerable hours of solitude and exhaustion. “Two months [...]

2019-09-06T22:38:16-04:00September 6th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|

Are You Resilient?

“The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.”― Robert Jordan, The Fires of Heaven How do you know if you are resilient? Are you able to get through an extreme setback or life challenge by facing the situation head on and accepting it as a new reality, coping with the immediate challenge, then getting through and bouncing back stronger and more capable than before? Or, do you tend to emotionally react, become numb or immobilized, see yourself as a victim of circumstance, or let it define who you are? Or are you somewhere in the middle, as most of us are? Take a free quiz to [...]

2019-08-22T18:47:15-04:00August 15th, 2019|Categories: Uncategorized|
Go to Top