Friday, June 25, 2010


“How could you do this to me? Why don’t you love me? ” I thought to myself. The maitre d’ was taking us to our table, but the man I was with slowed down. He was staring across the room at a woman sitting alone at a table.

I wanted to tell him how humiliated I felt, but I decided not to start an argument. We were in our favorite upscale restaurant and I had hoped for a pleasant evening. But I was so angry that my body was shaking and I could feel tears filling my eyes.

I had been told by friends to learn to accept him because I was not going to change him, but I refused to accept and forgive the roving eyes of the man I was with. My ego wouldn’t let me. I felt I should be the only one in his life, the only one he cared for and the only one he looked at, and this is exactly what I expected, when I was with him.


He knew I was upset and he grabbed my hand. He assured me that all he wanted was for me to see her smile. He told me that it would be nice being around someone who smiled a lot and gave my hand a tight squeeze.

I gathered courage and looked at the woman. I saw a woman who looked happy. When I looked at her, I did see a smile, a nice friendly smile. People walking in the room looked at her. It triggered in me the fact that not only was I unhappy, but it showed on my face.


I was wallowing in self-pity and it wasn’t a pretty picture. It was time to change.

I would catch myself with an angry or sad thought and could feel my lips set tightly in anger, a frown covering my face. I forced myself to smile. I forced myself to relax the muscles in my face. I smiled at nothing and may have looked foolish, but I didn’t care. I discovered that I felt better when I relaxed and smiled, and I wanted to keep that feeling.

I smiled for no reason other than to portray an aura of confidence and happiness. I hadn’t realized the effect a smile can make on one’s face. When someone is smiling everyone else smiles and it lightens everything and everyone around. I practiced. I smiled even when I was alone.

I decided that this is the way I wanted to be perceived. I knew it would take a degree of acting. I knew I would have to smile even though I felt the man I was with wanted to be with someone else.

It took practice because I had been feeling sorry for myself and by appearing sad and dejected others would feel sorry for me. I had made myself a victim. I wanted to be saved. Therefore, I had no power. Now was the time to regain my power and this was the way to do it.


Did this change the way my man felt about me? Did this change his desire to lust for other women? No.

I can change me, but I cannot change anyone else. This lesson has not come easy, though. I continually tried to change the man I was with. And the man I was with continually tried to change me.

There is something liberating when you feel dynamic, powerful, and have a smile on your face. You feel more alive, centered and self-confident.

  •  Are you aware of the way your thoughts affect your feelings and your facial expression?
  • Can you see how changing this would make a difference?
  • Do you try to change others?
  • Do others try to change you?


Thursday, May 13, 2010


We had just gotten married a few days before and had moved into our tiny basement apartment. Each of us had lived with our parents before marriage and had never experienced living individually on our own. I didn’t know what to expect or what was expected of me.

We ate out or brought take-out home for the first few days, but that was becoming expensive and boring. I wanted to cook and have dinner at home. I just had to figure out how to do it.

My thoughts went from meatloaf, to beef roast, to chicken. They all sounded good, but not only did I not know how to cook them, I wasn’t even sure how to pick out meat at the grocery store. I didn’t know what to buy and if I had known, I would not have known how to cook it.

I had never been in the kitchen when my mother prepared a meal and, and as a result, I didn’t know what to do. Meals in my parents home had somehow appeared like magic.


I reached for the phone and dialed my mother’s number. She was an excellent cook, and not afraid to try something new. But, somehow, she had never taught me how to cook a meal. I knew how to make pull-taffy, divinity, fudge, and cookies galore, even a cake or two with seven-minute frosting and pies. All done from scratch, and all mouth-watering, but nothing that would work for dinner.

My mother laughed at me, but I knew she was happy that she could help. From then on, each time I needed to cook a meal, I called her, told her what I was hungry for and what I wanted to cook. I discovered that it was very important to have not only the right food, but also the right pans and utensils. We had received a lot of useful items at our wedding, but not everything I needed.

After getting the grocery list from my mother I would go to the store, buy the items I needed and take them to my home. I would then call and get her explicit step by step instructions, writing them on 3 x 5 cards, sometimes calling her several times. This went on for possibly a month or until I could cook everything I wanted.


My husband liked my cooking except for one very big mistake. I decided to try something different for Sunday dinner. I assumed that since he had been raised on a farm he would like my choice. I had the meat cooking and as he walked in the door, he covered his face with his hands. I was cooking a lamb shoulder and he could not stand the smell.

I loved lamb. It was a meal my mother made fairly often, so I assumed everyone would love it. Not the case, as I found out. I threw the meat out, opened the windows and aired out the house fixing something else for dinner that did not resemble lamb. After that whenever I had the urge to cook lamb chops or lamb shoulder blades, I did so when I knew my husband would not be home.


My mother is no longer alive, but I have most of the recipes she made and loved. I remember as a little girl helping her add recipes to her many scrap books. I found out later that she had thrown the scrap books away, thinking that since my father was on a low-fat diet she would never again make the food she loved.

Once I had that initial guidance from her, it didn’t take long before I understood all the measurements, oven temperatures and top of stove cooking. I felt confident in getting the best cuts of meat and poultry and picking the best produce.

Cooking became my passion and still is. I love to experiment with flavors and spices. And then there is cooking with yeast. What a wonderful experience, watching the dough rise and eating the homemade bread and yeast rolls. Yes, I continued to make lovely desserts and still made some with my mother as we had done before I married.

As a young mother, I made peach jam and pickled beets with my neighbor and friend. We took the freestone peaches that filled a tree at my house and made and froze peach pies. As a grandma I experimented with different foods for my grandson, mustard squeezed on a slice of American cheese and rolled up. Who needed bread? Eggplant cooked with butter and bread crumbs with a side of pineapple.

Then there were the times I would be at my daughter’s place cooking dinner and everyone would leave the kitchen because I would take over stirring three pots at the same time, and checking the oven and microwave. They would run from the kitchen, laughing and saying, “Look out! Grandmas at it again.”

My second husband liked to cook meats so we would have family and friends to dinner (20 to 30 people). He cooked two or three meats and I prepared all the side dishes. Everyone loved our meals together and on the way out they asked when we would do it again.

Cooking is still a creative outlet for me, a way to get lost in another world.

  • What is your passion?
  • Is there something you want to learn?
  • Do you know someone who can teach you?
  • Memories are made of wonderful life experiences.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I walked out of the building feeling elated rather than forced out. What could have turned out to be devastating actually gave me hope for better things to come.

The Vice President of the company I worked for had just laid me off. It was not a surprise, but expected since the day they hired a controller. One of the conditions of his taking the position was that his assistant was to come with him. I was the existing assistant, and he didn’t need two.

I was formally given my exit notice, but the Vice President had more to say.

He told me I could never make the money I wanted by working for someone else, and I would always work under the threat of being laid-off. Being a woman you just can’t make the money you want. He used his wife as an example of a woman who was independent, making her own decisions. His wife had a part time job working in the medical field, but she started her own multi-level jewelry business. By creating her own business she also gained independence and freedom.

His parting words of encouragement were to remember that this is an opportunity to change my life, to start my own business, to become self-reliant and to no longer depend on an employer for an income. I felt that this was a challenge that needed to be taken seriously. Of course, I wanted to make more money.


The words he had spoken would lead me on another path, if I allowed and accepted them. What he had said made sense. I had, up to this point, lived a life of dependency. If I wasn’t dependent on a husband for money, then I was dependent on a job. I had not thought that I could create a business or an income for myself any other way.

For the next few days I racked my brain to come up with some logical business ideas. I needed to figure out what I loved to do. Then the questions started pouring from my mind. What could I do? How would I start a business of my own? Did I have enough experience in any field to begin a business? What did I love so much that I would want to do it? Did I have the courage to begin my own business? I spent a lot of hours and days in my head, but was left without a usable idea.


While I was in this thought mode, one of my neighbors stopped by to say hello, and told me he had a word processor for sale. An old one, but it still worked. I decided to buy it, thinking that I could write.

Writing had never been a dream of mine and never something I even thought of doing. The only time I remembered writing was when I was 10 or 11. We had a project at school. We were told to write a short story and the next day read it out loud to the class. At the appointed time, I proudly stood in front of my class and read my short story. I was thrilled to share it with others and excited when they applauded.

Remembering this, I decided to put the wordprocessor to good use. I wrote the beginnings of three novels, a children’s book and a self-help book.

I contacted an editor who was also a writing teacher and of course a writer himself.

He was impressed with what I wrote and said it was nice to finally talk to someone who actually had the talent to write. He then told me not to attend classes, even his, and not try and edit my writing. He wanted me to write creatively and not stop. He would coach me whenever I felt I needed advice or confirmation that I was doing good and he would charge me a minimal fee. All he wanted me to do, was to write, write, and write.

I felt honored that he said those things to me. Though I had been looking for a new way to earn an income, I never considered this a business opportunity, nor did I think about being paid for the books I wrote. Maybe it is a short attention span, but I did not finish anything I wrote. Even so, I loved to write. I loved the words I had written and at times was even excited at the outcome of the story.


Meanwhile, I was out of a job and without a paycheck and I knew there was no feasible or practical way that the writing I was doing would lead to an income. There was no getting around it, I was very quickly running out of money and I had to do something. At the time, I had it in my head, that I would never go on unemployment. I was completely capable of finding a job and would not make the government pay while I looked.

So, I found a job, went to work and resumed receiving paychecks. Instead of writing I was involved in a job. My writing suffered and nearly ended. It was a pattern I repeated and would repeat many times again.


I would like to say that I’ve had a marvelous revelation, but alas I cannot. I still work for a paycheck which is minimal, dreadful and abusive. I write because I love it and because there are so many thoughts and words I must get out. My writing is a source of happiness as is sharing it with others.

I have learned that far from providing instant gratification, writing does not produce immediate success. It is time consuming and the rewards are not quick. I have to finish (and it can take a very long time) before I am paid.

Changing the way I earn money and the amount of money I earn can only happen if I believe. Believing that I can be the master of my work and the money I earn is essential to moving from dependence to independence.

  • Do you find yourself repeating patterns?
  • Does it seem impossible to change?
  • Have you given up a dream or using a talent to work for a paycheck?
  • Decide how you can make new choices and different choices, even if they are small steps.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I sat at the desk looking out the large glass windows toward the street and the shops on the other side. There wasn’t a lot to do, take in payments and answer the phone and neither was busy nor constructive. It was a job in an office and I was doing what the job consisted of. Other than the money I was making I felt as though it was a waste of time. I spent most of my time looking at the clock wishing it was time to go home.

I didn’t have to work. My husband preferred that I stay at home, but that was boring, too. I needed something to do, and something to occupy my time, and this seemed to be it. Or at least it was the only thing I could think of.

At this point in my life I did not have a very good track record. I was still trying to find myself, still trying to decide on a job, and trying to decide what a job was, other than a place to receive a paycheck.

Starting at the age of 16, I had worked in retail sales for two years, worked in the catalog warehouse for a major retail store, and worked in the personnel office at a Federal Agency for a few months. None had been good choices, but they had provided a little experience.


I had found this job about a mile from where we lived which allowed me to walk in good weather, since we only had one car.

I had not worked for a loan company in the past. I was somewhat familiar since we had to get a loan to buy a car, but I soon learned that working for them would be a pragmatic eyeopener.

I’ve always been good at observing, listening and making mental notes. At this job I needed all these resources. I soon discovered how things worked. My bosses needed collateral that was worth more than the loan amount. It seemed that in the back of their minds their first thought was the possibility of a default on the loan, since the interest rates were high there was a good chance the customer would not be able to make their payments, in a timely fashion. The owners made sure that the collateral was the amount they needed, so that they could repossess the item or items.

When I learned this, I knew that we were paying a higher interest on the car we bought, than if we had spent more time searching for a better and cheaper way. That was disheartening


Then a young couple walked in with their child. They spoke at length with the loan officer, as he made notes on a pad of paper. The next step was to hand me the piece of paper with the notes and I was to type the information on a legal contract.

They continued talking to one of the loan officers and they were about ready to sign on the dotted line. The loan officer walked out of the room, to speak with the manager and maybe to give them time to discuss the deal between them. The young couple nervously spoke and argued in an almost inaudible tone. I could tell by watching and hearing as much as I could that they were not sure this was what they wanted, but it was what they needed. They were going to do it.

I walked up to the young couple and told them, don’t do this. Walk away. The interest you are going to pay is very high. They are planning on repossessing the item, because they already have figured out that you won’t be able to make the payments. I chased them away.

Yes, they said, thank you and I was happy to know that I helped someone.


The loan officer had been listening and he ran outside to see if he could catch the couple and bring them back to the office, but it was too late. They were gone.

Needless to say, he was very angry and on the spot he and the manager fired me. And it was a good thing, because otherwise I would have had to quit. I would not want to work in a career or for people that deceived their customers and actually hoped they would fail.

Was I sorry? Absolutely not. I felt the young couple should know the real truth before they made a decision and the loan officer was not telling the whole story.

These loan officers were concealing facts and concealing the way they do business, but it happens all the time and especially to unsuspecting people who are led by their fears. This scene is similar to situations with mortgage companies convincing people that they can afford homes that they can’t and selling them mortgages that ultimately increase interest rates and monthly payments they cannot afford.


I don’t know what happened to the young couple. Hopefully they did more research or maybe realized that saving money to buy something is the most responsible way to make purchases.

I learned to be more careful with my money. If I need to borrow, car loan or mortgage, I make sure that I understand everything, if not I ask questions. It’s reassuring to have the experience and wisdom to make better choices, even if this experience means working at lousy jobs or making mistakes.

  • Are you wondering why you have your job? Is it the paycheck?
  • Have you ever watched unscrupulous actions of someone you’re doing business with?
  • Have you ever stood up for yourself or someone around you?
  • Are you willing to walk away rather than stay in an uncomfortable or dishonest situation? Even if it means giving up your paycheck?


Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I crouched down in the corner behind my bed hoping they wouldn’t see me. Hoping they had forgotten I was there and could hear everything. My parents were having an explosive and angry argument in the other room. I knew my mother was mad, because her usually soft voice was dominating their conversation. Their voices raised and lowered and the words I heard were related to my mother accusing my father of being with another woman. The significant part of the conversation was at the very end when my mother told him to pack his bag and move out.

My father did move out and it felt as though everything in our home was falling apart. I can only assume that they made up because he came back after only a few days. He never again moved out, but I don’t know if he any more affairs. Regardless of a betrayal they did love each other and remained married for the rest of their lives, maybe because divorce was regarded as something you just didn’t do. After my father died, my mother told me she wished she had divorced my father. I told her that if she had done so, I would have stood by her.


Until my parents had the loud argument and he moved out, I did not understand the full ramification of his behaviors. Sometimes, when my father had an errand to run, he would take me with him. This was exciting to me, since we lived on a small farm and I was always bored. On one particular day he took me to what he called a “greasy spoon” cafĂ©. He told me that it was his favorite place to eat, as it had much better food than the other larger restaurants. Presumably he had been there often, since the waitress behind the counter and he knew each other.

I watched him as he paid a lot of attention to and flirted with the waitress. It made me nervous and uncomfortable and I kept wishing he would stop. When we left the restaurant and headed for home, he told me not to tell my mother. This would be a secret between the two of us.


Had I not had the opportunity to read the books my father gave me, I may not have understood their argument as well as I did. He gave them to me discreetly so that my mother did not see them. He quietly told me not to tell her. It was our secret. It was another secret that he expected me to never reveal. This was okay with me. I enjoyed the books.

I knew they were hidden from my mother not because they were mysteries, but because they contained some sexually explicit parts. She would not have allowed me to read them.

AND THEN...........

It seemed that my father let me in on his secret life because he was treating me as his son. I was supposed to have been a boy, not a girl, and rather than continue to feel bad, my father decided I was going to hang out with him. Then it would seem okay, actually maybe normal for him to divulge his tawdry tendencies. So I was treated to something that was for me, a little strange, but because he was my father, I felt it was okay.


There were many smaller secrets, ones that were insignificant when my father would tease my mother. My father had a bigger than life sense of humor. He was always playing pranks on the unsuspecting around him.

My mother would be putting clean sheets on their bed, tucking in the sides, making sure it was perfect. Trying to hold his laughter in and starting to turn red he would look at whoever may be watching, put his finger to his lips signaling to not speak out. He would then divert her attention away from what she was doing. My mother, used to his sense of humor would turn and pretend to scold him by using his full name. This was a harmless secret.

Then there was the time when my father wanted my mother to ride on the new escalators that were recently installed in our department stores. She was very afraid to ride on them, so my father convinced her by telling her that they took the elevators out of the building and she would have to ride the escalator to get to the second floor. He chuckled, turned red and put his finger to his lips signaling to me not to let her in on the real truth. I felt very bad for her. My father was lying to her and I wanted to tell her the truth. But, I knew my father would be very angry with me if I did not go along with his plan.

She was furious with him as she bravely rode the escalator and in front of eyes as she got off was, yes, a working elevator.


I never told my mother about the books nor did I tell her about the waitress. I wondered if the waitress was the one they were fighting about. Had my father had an affair with her?

There was no reason why I should tell my mother about the waitress, or my suspicions. I was their child and I felt it was not up to me to come between the two of them. Obviously, I didn’t need to, as my mother seemed to have figured it out herself.

I became more tolerant and understanding in my observation of the relationships of others and of my own. Of course, there will be arguments, but that does not mean an end to the relationship.

  • List a time you were asked to keep a secret from someone.
  • Did you think it was right or wrong? Did you do it anyway?
  • Did your parents or friends ever have a heated argument?
  • How did you feel?



Tuesday, April 6, 2010


My fingers touched the keys trying to feel some familiarity, but it wasn’t there. There was silence in the parlor of the old Victorian style home of my piano teacher. I could feel everyone’s eyes on me as they waited with great expectation. I began playing. For a moment it felt that everything was okay, until I could hear whispers. I heard the music I was playing and I did not recognize it. My first thought was to run out of the room, but decided I had better finish.

I kept playing hoping that the disaster I was creating was just a dream, but I knew it wasn’t. I felt horrible and ashamed and I hoped I would never see these people again. I wasn’t sure that I could do anything right as my world came tumbling down. “I am so stupid.” I thought.

I had failed in front of my teacher, all the other students and their parents, and, what was worse I was the only one that made such a spectacle. I did not know what to expect from my parents, but I could only imagine their humiliation and shame. I was sure that my teacher was angry, but I would have to deal with her later.

I was eight and my parents wanted me to follow in my sister’s footsteps. My sister was good at playing the piano. Not only did she excel at her lessons, but she could also play by ear. I always knew when she had heard a new tune. She would run in the house, so she would not forget the tune, dash to the piano and play the song . But that was my sister.


When we arrived home after the recital, my parents told me that I had been on the wrong keys through the whole song. As my mother put it, ever so kindly, “That’s okay. All you need to do is sit and look pretty.” I know she wanted to console me. I did not have the talent to play the piano. I let my parents down, humiliated and disappointed them, especially my father. He had bought me several John Phillip Sousa music books thinking that I would actually play them.

It was as though there was nothing left for me to do. My goal may as well have been exactly what my mother said, to sit there and look pretty. I don’t think my parents, after the recital fiasco, believed I could do anything. They never seemed to understand that even if I couldn’t play the piano (after all not everyone can), I could do other things. To them it was the piano or nothing. The one good thing that came out of this was that I never had to play the piano again.


There was no doubt in my mind that my parents felt I was a loss cause. My self-esteem dropped to the lowest point. I knew I was not as good as my sister. My parents had given up hope for me.

At that point I felt rejection and I felt my parents loved my sister more. I would have to find something to prove that I was as good as my sister. But I couldn’t. My parents were not going to let me take dance classes or any other classes so I could show them something that I could do. Something that would make them proud of me.


I soon learned that it would be impossible to make up for the piano recital disaster. My parents had stated how they felt about my ability to play the piano, and the fact that they had wasted a lot of money on the classes I took. I was really in trouble.

I had wanted to show them by taking dance classes that I could do well and that they could be proud of me, but they would not even discuss it.

Three patterns developed from this situation: I could not do what I wanted, the money for anything I wanted would not be available to me, and I did not follow through on anything I started.

I knew I could not change their minds about dance classes, but in junior high school I wanted to try out for cheerleading. My parents seemed to have a very good memory and they reminded me of the piano recital. They also explained that the uniforms, for cheerleading were too expensive.

I had built quite a reputation based on one failed piano recital. They didn’t trust me, they didn’t believe I was worth it--nor did they believe I would follow through.


As I am an adult, making my own choices and decisions I find that these beliefs still have a pivotal effect on my life.

A number of years ago I decided I would take the dance classes that my parents stopped me from taking. I found that I loved to dance and excelled. Then the beliefs must have hit me in the head and heart because I came up with excuses. I decided that I didn’t have the money for the classes and the costumes. That I didn’t have the time for classes and rehearsals. In other words, my beliefs stopped me from finding creative expression and something I was good at.

The same thing happened when I went into Real Estate. I conjured up every bit of logic I could think of that would make me fail. I finally reasoned that I did not want to do it anyway, so why bother. What I should have done was to find another Real Estate Company to work for. One that would train me and had willing agents and mentors.

To prove to myself and others that I can follow through, I stay in demeaning low-paying jobs long after I know I should quit, as I am in the job I have now. It is miserable and the hours have been cut tremendously, but I keep trying to hold on.


It is extremely difficult and unproductive to continue living with the restrictions my parents placed on me. Therefore, to transform and change my doubts, and the unnecessary and debilitating beliefs, I must let go of the stigma surrounding the piano recital.

I now believe that I can do whatever I want. I follow through when doing what I love. I always have enough money to provide anything that I want. I am deserving. I am worthy. I am good enough.

Writing posts for this blog is the first thing I’ve ever creatively done, enjoyed and followed through on. For me this is a very big accomplishment.

  • When you feel you are unduly criticized or a statement is made that lowers your self-esteem, do you believe yourself or them?
  • Do you lose hope? Do you feel like giving up?
  • Can you remember a time when failure consumed you?
  • Are you willing to accept constructive criticism?

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I started writing for myself about 15 years ago. At that time I had started three novels and a child’s book, contacted a writing instructor and editor and received very positive feedback from him. He was impressed, told me to do nothing but keep writing. I was not to take a class, not even his and not worry about the editing, not at this time anyway. Doing the editing would slow down my creative energy. He met with me a few times, to answer questions I had, and then I quit writing.

I got involved in my job and didn’t find a lot of time to write. When I did start up again, I called him and found out that he was no longer teaching or editing. He had a few writing assignments that he was involved with and building a house for his wife and her son was more than enough to keep him busy.

I sputtered, started and stopped with my writing and never made it into anything concrete. I did finish one novel, but was not really pleased with it, and let it go. I started several non-fiction pieces and even worked on scripts, nothing completed. Actually completing any of my writing meant that I needed to believe that what I was doing was really good. I also had to believe that I could and would give up working at a job. It became a real lack of confidence, even with the positive feedback from my editor.


This time it’s different. I think it is because I feel more in control of what I want to do with my life. I know I have the talent to write, and now I intend to do something with this talent. Writing also has the potential to give me everything I want from freedom, independence, working from my home and setting my own schedule, to the possibility of earning an abundance of money.

I knew all this before, but I think I didn’t believe I could possibly make all this happen. Now I am taking a more realistic look at the way my life has been. It is a continuous line of degrading and miserable low-paying dead-end jobs. What I see is what I get.

In order to make this change I had to, without a doubt, make sure I understood this completely. I had to understand that I will never have what I want by working for someone else, not ever. It has helped that with the job I have now my hours have decreased so that I would not miss the income if I quit tomorrow.


I realize now that whatever I was told about not being enough, or not having what it takes were just words that my father repeated from his past. I understand this because even though my father said unkind things to me he also wanted the best for me. He wanted me to have the work that allowed me independence and wealth. I am willing to let go of the derogatory things he said. There are more than enough positive things that will give me the self-esteem boost I want, and remind me that my father and mother loved me.


I started writing again, because I never completely stopped. I was always making notes and writing in a tablet whether I was driving, at work or putting on make-up. I could continue this way or actually decide to do something with it. I decided that even though I had a full time job, I always woke up very early in the morning. This was the time that the world was quiet and even to this day I still write early in the morning. I’ve found that I am no longer rigidly set to writing just in the morning and will sit down to write anytime of the day.

I’ve made a promise that I will give myself the life I want and in order to do this I have to make changes to the way I think and the way I do things. My choices and the methods in which I plan to make a change are now a way of life for me. I no longer am wishy-washy in my thinking about ending my job, of knowing I will have to adapt to a different way of being paid, by results rather than hourly. It has become a way of believing in me and my abilities.

What do I want? Freedom, independence and wealth. I believe I have all this in being a writer. I believe that I have the courage, power and ability to make this happen for me.

I have had to rework the way I think about me. Instead of a woman who keeps everyone around me happy, I am the woman who makes me happy first of all and still have room for others. I will never have what I want or even what I need by working at a job for someone else. For me to be happy I must have freedom, independence and wealth, but I also must be happy and fulfilled. It is a package deal, but a package that I wrap for me.

A change can never happen if you don’t really want it. I not only want this change to take place I am also willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen. I can make this change only by believing that I deserve to have what I want, and also believing that I am worthy. I now have an editor, who is fabulous, working with me to fine-tune my writing.

Making a change is facilitated by making it a habit that you repeat constantly. I now mentally focus on my writing all day every day. I click on the delete button in my mind extinguishing all thoughts about my job and the people I work with. At this point my writing is in the limelight, brightly beaming and my job is fading into obscurity.

  • What changes have you wanted to make, but never carried through?
  • Think of the messages that may have caused this pattern.
  • Allow yourself to forgive those in your past who may have discouraged you from achieving what you wanted.
  • Take control of the changes you want to make.


Sunday, March 28, 2010


Here’s what I want you to do, engage with me, follow me, subscribe to my blog, or comment on posts that you enjoy or that you don’t enjoy.

It’s a process of attracting attention because I want to know how you feel about what I write. I write on experiences that I’ve had from a young child to my current self, some are harsh, some funny, but always hopefully interesting.

To know how I’m writing I depend on you. I need to know that I am making a difference and even though I may be, how can I know unless you show me. You can do this by engaging with me, subscribing, following me, and commenting on my posts.

I’d like to hear from like-minded people, to share resources and information. I’d like to know if what I am sharing with is helpful.

Blogging is such a delightful resource and those who do blog find that we are addicted to writing each post. I was unfamiliar with blogging when I first began, now I find that I’m still learning. The one thing that I am sure of is that I love it and I want to share and connect with those of you who feel the same way. Or those of you who still wonder what this blogging world is about and those of you who have just begun, and are just getting your feet wet.

So join all of us who are new to this world of writing. Here’s how:

To Comment on a Post (let me and others know what you think about what you’ve read)

1. Click the “comments” link at the bottom of the post you would like to comment on.

2. Click the down arrow next to the “comment as” box, and choose the account you would like to sign in with, or choose “Anonymous.”

3. Write your thoughts in the “Post a Comment” box, then click “Post a Comment.”

4. If you have selected “Anonymous,” you will be directed to a screen to type in some letters so my blog will know you are a person and not a computer.

5. If you have selected to sign in, you will be directed to a screen to sign in with that account, and then to the screen to type in the letters.

6. Then click “Post Comment.” Once I review your comment, it will be posted for all to see.

7. Just a couple of house rules: keep it clean and be respectful to others.

To Subscribe to Glimmer (conveniently receive posts as e-mail messages)

1. At the top of the blog, to the right, there is a light green box. Where it says “Subscribe Via E-mail,” enter your e-mail address, and click “Subscribe.”

2. You will begin to receive my posts as e-mail messages. Read them and enjoy!

3. Don’t forget to visit the blog every now and then to post a comment (see above).

To Become a Follower of Glimmer (let me and others know you appreciate my blog)

1. Scroll down the page until you see the “Followers” section in the dark green right-hand column.

2. Click on “Follow.”

3. Click one of the icons to sign in with an account you already have, or click on the “Create a New Google Account” link to create a new one.

4. You will be directed to a form. Complete the form.

5. On the next screen, click “Follow This Blog.”

6. On the following screen, click “Done.”

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Screaming and crying I ran into the house, my mother a few steps behind. She was trying to make me go to school, and I was not cooperating, just like the day before and many days before that. I was about six years old, and I knew that if I threw a temper tantrum my mother would give in and let me stay home. From the time I first walked into that huge scary building, I knew I did not want to go to school. My mother and my teachers had already had quite a few conversations about my attendance record. My mother had tried everything to get me to go to school, but nothing worked.

I had it figured out, though. I would stay home for a period of time and then, when I knew I had to, I grudgingly went to school. I would do all the assignments that I had missed, then ask the teacher for all the future lessons that she had ready. I completed 10 days of assignments in two days, and then begged for more work. At that point she would tell me to help the students who were falling behind. When I completed all the tasks, she had given me, I decided I would not go to school again. It was a routine I had created and I’m not sure anyone else had it figured out. In spite of not being there most of the time, I easily passed each grade.


I continued the pattern of missing school through junior high and in high school, minus the tears and screaming. I had it figured out: I was very bored. The subjects that I had to take were of no interest to me, so I dreaded going to school. I asked the Dean of Girls if we could have an art class so I could study sketching and colors, but I was given an emphatic NO. In spite of all this, I maintained very good grades, since this was what my parents and teachers demanded from me. In my senior year I was elected to the National Honor Society.

I remember the time in high school when I decided that if I did not get my homework done in school or in study hall, I would not take it home. I would not use my free time at home to study. I made that rule for myself, even though I knew it had the potential to be self-defeating. It became a challenge. Could I do all my homework assigned to me during my hours at a school, and still pass all the tests?

My parents and teachers did not know what I was doing, the only requirement was to get A’s and B’s, Seeing my report card was all that mattered to them, not the process in reaching that point. Which meant the new rule I had made was perfectly okay.


I suppose that because my family did not have rules for me, I had to make up my own. On one occasion, my friends and I had been out a little later than we probably should have. The next day they told me they were really in trouble and were grounded for getting home past curfew. I felt left out so I told them a little fib. I told them I was grounded, too. Looking back, I’m not sure why there was such a lack of rules and accountability for me, except that my parents, especially my mother did not associate with any of the other parents. Even though they had raised my sister, who was nine years older than me, they may not have considered what it takes to raise a defiant teenager. My sister was cooperative and compliant, while I was stubborn and independent, somewhat of a spoiled brat and I knew how to manipulate people.


I continued my pattern of not spending extra time doing homework into my adult world. For instance when I went to class to study for my Real Estate exam, I refused to study at home and I refused to be worried. I would have to comprehend and remember what I learned during class. Did that work for me? I passed a very difficult Real Estate exam the first time.

The exceptions to this rule are my creative activities. I’ve always spent time practicing and rehearsing anything that I feel passionate about, such as writing, dancing, acting, design and decorating, cooking, and voice.

While still a teenager, I went on a date, and the boy I was with tried to get me to drink flavored vodka. I was angry, appalled that he would think I was that kind of girl. I was afraid I would not be able to handle him if he started drinking. So I made another rule: I was not going to drink, nor would I be forced to drink. I made this rule since my parents did not give me any advice on dating. I was not going to drink nor would I be forced to drink. I did not care what my parents thought or what he thought. This is how I felt.

As an adult, I was out with a group of friends at a bar, and they kept ordering rounds of drinks. I was told to drink up. As they drank, they became louder and more forceful, but I refused to succumb. I did not want to drink the beverages that were sitting in front of me. Worse, the man I was with did not support me. In fact, he was angry because I was not being sociable and because I refused to comply.

I’ve noticed that sometimes it is difficult to go against what everyone wants. I’ve also noticed that to be true to me and true to the rules that I set for myself, I am going to make people angry with me. I accept this, and I continue to make my own rules to live by. I find that by making rules that I know will benefit me, I will less likely be swayed by others. By setting my own rules I also have set my standards high and place value on what is important to me. I have no one to answer to but myself.

  • Did you, out of necessity, make new rules for yourself as a child or teenager?
  • Do you still use these rules in your life, today?
  • Are the patterns plainly visible or do the patterns creep up unexpectedly?
  • Is it time to make new rules and patterns?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Choosing not to appear to be better than anyone else, he had selected an office on the same level as all the other brokers. He sat quietly behind his desk when I entered the room, and pointed to the chair in front of him. I sat down. After a few seconds, he looked at me and said, “It’s difficult for a right brain person to make it in this left brain world.” I wasn’t sure where that thought had come from. We talked for a while, discussing what happens when we try to fight and struggle against the rules and control of those who refuse to understand us. And how much we abhor following orders and working in this environment. It was a topic he knew I would understand.

He was known in the company as the ‘maverick manager’. He wore dress pants, a casual shirt and no tie to work and occasionally brought his dog or his guitar into this very professional environment. There were times he felt the sales assistants were not given enough recognition and praise, so to show his appreciation, he would rent a limo for us, bring his guitar (we would all sing while he played) and take us out to dinner or to a baseball game. Yet, he ran a very successful office, which is probably why the higher-ups accepted his idiosyncracies. I didn’t know what he had done on the corporate level that led to such a title, but I liked it. I secretly wished that I could be more open with expressing my own indignation to rules and regulations.

I had my own maverick tendencies. I had been taking time off, with his permission, to do auditions for acting jobs. At least once a week I went after work directly to my acting coach for a class. I did a commercial for a local television station and a small part in an industrial film. Also, several years prior I adopted the practice of being holistic.

Some of my coworkers were curious about my behaviors and asked me questions. Like him, I was different and I didn’t hide this fact. Instead, I was and still am I am proud of who I am.


Our conversation that day helped me to understand why I had such a difficult time conforming to the work place. Why I was always searching for something else, but didn’t know exactly what. I just knew that I was bored, and never had the drive or inclination to be an overachiever.

He understood, though, and it was in that instant in his office that I knew I had a choice. It was the fact that the words he said were spoken out loud for both of us to hear. I think up to that point we were hiding in our misery. We were both trying to fit in a place that we did not want to fit in, but felt we had to. How else were we to earn an income working at a job if we didn’t do what they asked?

I quit a short time later, but I couldn’t think of anything that I could do other than getting another job. The time I spent in creative classes, the auditions, the two acting jobs were the beginning of knowing that I wanted to do something creative. Acting would not be it, though. I talked with one of my acting coaches explaining that I had a very difficult time saying the words that someone else wrote and make it sound believable. He said writing would make much more sense since it is my word and not someone else’s.

The Maverick Manager also quit a short time later--packed his guitar, took his dog and moved to a town in the mountains. He was doing what he wanted. He had found his freedom. Me? I got a new job, thinking maybe it would be better, hoping it would give me more freedom and more money. It didn’t.

I still had to figure out what I wanted. I was not as brave as he was, nor did I have a concrete talent to use as a way to make money. The only way I knew to make money was to work for someone else and because of that belief that is where I was stuck. I went right back into working for someone else.


I've had several jobs in which every day I go to work, or just thinking about going to work I live under the abusive threat of being yelled at or fired.  Why would I want or be willing to work under these circumstances, if not for the fact that how else can I make money? Certainly not because I enjoy performing a miserable and boring job. On the days I am not working I fear not having enough money. Where is the happy medium? By what means do I actualize loving my work and enjoying prosperity and freedom?

The reason I have not been successful in my endeavor to have freedom, and be self-reliant and wealthy is that I remember being scolded for believing in something so ridiculous. Scolded for being a dreamer.


Which is worse, not having money or not having peace and happiness?

I am working part time at a job, gradually phasing it out. Full time though I am writing. The pieces of the puzzle are not quite in the place they need to be, but time is on my side. A practice called determination and focus on my dreams will win out.

  • Did someone in your past make you feel your dreams were not worthwhile?
  • Do you ever feel like a caged animal?
  • What do you dream of? What work do you really want to do more than anything else?
  • Is there a way that you can save enough money to quit your job and work at your dream?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


It was a difficult time. It was the Great Depression and I came into life here at the end of it. My mother, for some reason, decided when I was about 10 or 11 she would divulge a secret that she and my father had been keeping. She very simply and matter-of-fact said the words I will never forget. “We decided to keep you.”
Up to that moment I had no idea that they were thinking of not keeping me, so I was shocked and sad and uncertain. What did that mean? Were they going to throw me away?

It was her way of saying “We really love you a lot.” But, I couldn’t put those two sentences together to make any sense. I tried asking her questions, but she brushed them off telling me that I was too young to understand.


I spent what I thought was a very long time waiting for the right time and the right age, and finally my mother gave in and explained what she meant.

In those days there was no means of safe birth control. A Lysol douche was the most effective and most dangerous, a diaphragm was neither dependable nor a guarantee. The use of a coat hanger was an extreme method. These methods were used immediately after intercourse, with the hope that they would prevent pregnancy. From what she told me, the time between when my sister was born at the beginning of the Depression, and the time at which she became pregnant with me nine years later was a horrendous period. A time during which preventing pregnancy was a dangerous and perilous journey. A man had a choice to keep a woman from getting pregnant. If this choice was not exercised, then the burden was left to the woman.

It was the Great Depression. The depression was a dreadful time. People were out of work, and there was not enough food or shelter. Men lost their jobs, and this was difficult because at that time, men were the breadwinners, men headed the families, and if they did not have a way to make money, to take care of those they loved, they felt shame and disgrace. My father had been out of work for a period of time, and my mother found a job as a banquet service employee, setting tables and serving food. My sister was sent to live with an aunt during the worse of times. It was all my parents could do to take care of even themselves.

I tried to understand what she was telling me, but even in my teens I didn’t fully grasp the reality of what was happening during those years and the way it affected my family.


Who could know what would have happened had I not been born? Had they decided not to keep me? But, the way I look at it is, the only way I would not have been born is if I had changed my mind. We choose our parents for the lessons and experiences that we know they will give us.

My mother may have used everything she could to prevent pregnancy at the time of intercourse, but I still would have been born to them. In the instant the decision was made, it was the only decision. I already knew and had decided that these people would be my parents.

I learned that, from their perspective, deciding to keep me meant the same thing as loving me. I was afraid of doing something wrong and of not being perfect all the time, because I figured that if I didn’t live up to what they expected, they wouldn’t love me and could reconsider their decision at any time. It is, of course, impossible to be perfect all the time.

Regardless of the tough lessons and experiences, this is what I needed for this lifetime. I chose them to teach me lessons in freedom and independence, and I am still learning. My parents, my father especially, wanted me to have freedom and not work for someone else. He also wanted me to make a lot of money. Freedom and wealth are what he wanted for himself and could never make it happen. They wanted the best for me in the only way they knew how. It wasn’t until recently that I realized how important this is for me and how I wish I had asked my father more questions about what he thought I should do.

Some of their messages are unusable, and I catch myself still using them (such as, “You don’t have what it takes”), with negative effects. I now take control of my life by reminding myself, when I am doing something I know they would disapprove of, that I do have what it takes to do and be what I want, and even if I don’t, the choice to BE remains with me.

  • Do you know if you were planned or unplanned?
  • How does this knowledge affect the way you view your life and your parents?
  • How does it affect the way you have planned your own family?
  • Do you believe we choose our own parents?

Monday, March 1, 2010


I stood in the living room next to my aunt and felt my mother come up behind me. Before I knew it, my mother had taken the glass out of my hand and retrieved the bottle of wine from my aunt. She had been watching as my glass emptied my aunt filled it. I’m not sure if my aunt realized that she should not be filling my glass, after all I was only 10 years old. Perhaps she had herself been drinking too much and figured that behind an empty glass was a thirsty person. I heard my mother’s angry voice scolding my aunt and at that point I was feeling a little dizzy. It seemed that this incident was the catalyst in changing my mother’s mind about my being skinny and unhealthy, because I never had to have a sip of wine again and she stopped taking me to doctors.

For some reason my mother had decided that I was too skinny, therefore I must not eat enough and I must be unhealthy. Every doctor she took me to told her I was fine, I was healthy and for her not to worry. That didn’t stop her. She kept on until she finally found a doctor who would agree with her, telling her the way to make me eat more and gain weight was a sip of wine before dinner.


My mother’s concerns evolved into a pattern in my life. If I did not eat everything on my plate, it became an issue with whomever I was with. I severely upset a man I was dating when we went to a buffet for a meal. He was buying the meal and he told me I was to put plenty on my plate and eat it all, because he was not spending his money on me if I was not going to take advantage of the full meal. As he told me this, standing in the buffet line, he physically pushed me to the point that I lost my balance. He knew from past experiences that I never ate a lot and if there was too much on my plate I didn’t eat it. To him this was wasteful.

Another time, a man I was with became angry because I told him I was not going to drink anymore. People at our table were buying rounds, and I kept saying no even though the drinks were lined up in front of me. I did not conform to their demands even though I knew that when we were alone he would be even more angry with me.

It is frightening to hold my own with people who insist I live my life their way. I get angry when they tell me to eat my food or to consume all the drinks in front of me, but I don’t give in.


Eventually, these resonating concerns of my mother took hold in my mind in a different way. Now I eat everything I put on my plate due to fear that I might be really hungry later. If there is no food, what will I do? If I don’t have time to eat, what will I do? These thoughts and concerns contribute weight gain. I eat when I don’t need to, I eat too much for fear I will starve, then I feel guilty and console myself by stopping at a fast food drive-in. I do this when I am working at my job, because when I am there, I have no opportunity to eat for as long as six or seven hours. I work from morning until mid-afternoon, and these fears begin at breakfast. I fear I will be hungry, so I overeat. When I get home, I am starving, so I overeat. I know that in a few hours it will be time for dinner and I will force myself to eat even though I am not hungry. This pattern creates havoc with my metabolism and digestive system. There is no way to change the way my job is set up, it is what it is.

To feel good, I make better choices. When I am not at my job, I eat several small meals a day to keep my blood sugar level stable and improve the functioning of my digestive system. I know from experience that my body has to work overtime to digest a large meal, causing me to feel sluggish after I’ve eaten. Instead, I can eat small nourishing meals, which makes me feel good and energetic.

I prefer one drink or none at all. I believe that alcohol tends to mess with one’s mind and I really like having a clear mind at all times.

If I am mindful of what I am doing, I tend to stay healthy both physically and mentally. I follow a to-do list for exercise and healthy food until I get into the habit.

It seems to be difficult for some people to accept me as I am. But, I can choose to ignore their opinions and make better choices by turning the fear-based messages that my mother gave me into positive messages. I’m not “too skinny.” I’m “slender.” There is nothing “wrong with” me. I am who I am.

  • Are there things about you that are different from other people you know?
  • Do others make you feel bad for being different? How do you manage their opinions?
  • List the times that others have tried to control you.
  • List the ways you can start to take back the control of your life.
  • Take one step toward taking back control today.

Friday, February 26, 2010


I made a new choice very different from what I had intended when I graduated from high school. Rather than the higher education that my Mother and Father wanted for me or the fashion design college that I wanted, I traveled a very different route. A route that I did not research or plan out. I would get a job.

That would not have been so bad, had I fully understood what a job would entail. Up to that point my experience in a job was working part-time in a dime store in my junior and senior years. I never considered it anything other than the way to pay for a car. Yet my boss had me pass over the older women, the ones who had been there far longer than I, to do the bookkeeping in the office and to decorate the windows every week with new sale items. This was hardly the foundation for knowing what it would be like to work at a job for the rest of my life. The only thing I enjoyed was the window decorating. I did not just enjoy it, I loved it. I was so proud of my displays in the window especially as I stood across the street and appraised my work.

Here I was, eighteen years old and trying to figure out a job for the rest of my life. I knew I did not want to work retail anymore. I would, I decided, do work in an office. This was an interesting idea because I had no idea what people in offices did. I just knew that an office would have to be better than a store.
So, off I went trying out a few jobs, not quite happy in any of them, but at least learning and making a little money.


I tried to feel good about what I was doing, but finding a job and being happy in the job were two very different things. It seemed I was not going have both at the same time.

Mostly I was bored, the work seemed tedious and repetitious regardless of what I was doing. An office job was not that great and I soon found that being confined five days a week to the inside of a building was depressing. How could anyone be happy looking at four walls, pieces of paper, files and a pen and pencil?

I kept changing jobs looking for some oasis in a desert, and it wasn’t happening.


After awhile my outlook changed. I knew this was my chosen path and I would find the best job I could, no matter how many tries I made. I believed I would find the job that would become a career for me. I believed I would be happy in the job I loved. How could that not be true? Here I was ambitious, talented and intelligent and determined to make a successful life for myself. It was a change that I had not made plans for, but it was one in which I knew I would figure it out for myself.

Eventually my inner being, to bring me peace of mind, accepted my role as an employee. It wasn’t that I was happy with my choice of any job, but it was the fact that this was my choice and I knew I had to make the best of it. But why? I knew I wasn’t fulfilled. I could feel that I was missing something, that there was a void in my life. Then I realized that as simply as I made a choice to get a job, I could also make a choice to do what I loved. This shift in energy allowed me to understand that the time has now come to change my choices.

I now look first to what I love to do and there are several things that I not only love, but that I do well. It is a matter of deciding which choice to make and changing my life. I am complete only when I am fulfilled and this is my first consideration when I now make a choice to change the work I do.

  • Have you been on a path that was not only unfamiliar, but uncomfortable, too?
  • Decide how you can make this work for you, at least for the time being.
  • List ways in which you can change the choices you once made.
  • Begin to implement a new choice.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


This is where you are supposed to be.

This is what you are supposed to be doing.

This is whom you are supposed to be.

I am compressed in this one little package and I have lost my independence.

If you are supposed to be, then how could you be good enough as is?

Having said all this it very simply means that those around us, family, friends, co-workers and even acquaintances, put us in a special package with a tightly secure and knotted rope.

Once this package is securely around us this then is the way we are supposed to live. No surprises. That would never do. This package makes those around us feel comfortable, secure and safe. They know at all times where we are, what we are doing, who we are and what we are thinking. They don’t have to guess. They don’t have to search for us.

Here we are in our neat little package, unable to express ourselves, unable to create, unable to move about. We never dare to speak out and express our opinions. That is completely unheard of in our little world of ‘supposed to’.


I was in a, ‘supposed to be’ role with my second husband. I was working at a company in which there was an opportunity to advance into a different position. It meant doing work that had more responsibility, the potential for more money, and eventually a little freedom. To do this I would have to take a test. I told him about this after dinner and in the company of a very good friend of his.

Instead of him feeling excited and supportive he told me that I would never be able to pass the test. This is when his friend became angry and told him, that I could pass the test and he should not speak to me this way. I appreciated what his friend said, and my husband was astonished at his friend taking my side, but the damage was done. That’s how fragile I was. Once I heard his words, I knew I had made a mistake. I had angered him and I had to step back into the ‘supposed to be’ place.

There is no way out, unless we reach out and untie the knot in the rope and make our escape. But this is not so easy. We have been in our, ‘supposed to be’ state for many years, maybe even all our lives. It is very scarey to step out and try something new. We find ourselves returning to our package, retying the rope, even without their help.


The many men in my life all put me in a package of ‘supposed to be’. They left me there to fend for myself, knowing that they held the key to my freedom. If I even so dared to attempt to be me, or express my opinion they let me know exactly how they felt and told me how I was to act and talk. It was many times that I was told to not express my opinion. It made them feel uncomfortable if I were to have an opinion different than theirs.

I had my own values at a very young age. I knew what I would accept, and what I would not. I set the values for myself and did not expect anyone to follow in my footsteps. I also did not expect anyone to try to change me.

WAS HE RIGHT OR. . . . . .

I didn’t believe for a moment that I could not pass the test. I knew that his friend was right and I appreciated that he stood up for me, but it was not the time for gloating. I had stepped out of place. My husband’s ego would not let him accept the fact that I could possibly be equal to him. I would have a chance to leave my, ‘supposed to be’ position and this was not acceptable. It scared him.

My husband was a stockbroker and I was going to take the test to have the same career as his. Not because this was my original plan, but because the opportunity arose. I worked at a brokerage company, not the company he was at, as a sales assistant to five stockbrokers. I took the job because it was a different type of company than any other job I had worked at. I learned after working there that once a year, according to senority, a sales assistant would have the opportunity to study and take the test to be a stockbroker.

I did what he probably hoped for and maybe expected and backed down. I turned down the opportunity and gave up the possibility of changing my way of making money and the amount of money I made. There was no reason to continue working there, no other way for advancement and the money was not enough to entice me to stay. I left the job a few months later. This choice was not necessarily a good one, simply because I did not have another choice in mind. When leaving or ending something having a choice of what you are going to do next and a plan of how you are going to achieve your goal is absolutely mandatory. I did not change my way of working or making money, I simply stayed on the same plane and got another job.

Did what he say affect me? Of course, it did, but the choice I made affected me even more so. When I gave in I, also, gave up. Having someone tell me I can’t, accepting it and giving up and giving in is not a quality in me that I like.

A few months later it seemed that everything wrong with this marriage increased in magnitude. I was angry because I let him manipulate me. I saw him in a different light and I didn’t like what I saw, therefore we separated and I divorced him. My choice was to be single and for me this was a good choice.

Actually I am quite proud that I have opinions and that I am stepping out of my ‘supposed to be’ pattern. In its place I am becoming me and adapting to my new freedom. Gradually I am learning that in stepping out of a ‘supposed to be’ place, I am safe. I am accepting that I can do what I want, regardless of how others feel. Taking this step gives me a feeling of power. Facing the fear and anger directed toward me by the person that feels I’m betraying them, is a big step. The fact I am making the choice to tell a few people that I am writing and not backing down if I hear negative responses, is huge for me. By doing this I am announcing more emphatically that I am a writer and I push forward more focused than ever.

  • Have you found yourself in a, ‘supposed to be’ situation?
  • How did you react?
  • List the ways in which you can change and gradually break free without upsetting the other individual. Is it really necessary (or possible) to not upset the other person?
  • How can you take steps to implement one of these changes today ?

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I had two choices when I first stepped onto the glimmering hardwood floor. I could be timid, unsure, and probably a bit intimidated, or I could stop thinking those thoughts and give it my all. I wanted to dance so much that I was sure I would not hold back. I knew life would be different, once I let myself do what I wanted. It took courage, but I was determined to do something different with my life, to take a risk.

It was the first time that I took dance classes, the ones usually reserved for those of preschool age until their early twenties. That didn’t stop me. I was the only student over 50, actually probably the only one over the age of 30. The instructor/owner of the studio was only 18, but she was gracious and willing to teach me.

We started out with jazz and ballet—ballet being something I did not particularly think would be what I wanted, but she insisted that it was a good foundation. So we began. She was a professional in every aspect and expected the best from me. She pushed me, made me kick higher, made me do everything better, the result being that she knew I would give her what she asked from me.


I soon discovered that two classes a week were not enough, but I consoled myself since there was to be a dance concert in June. I could manage. Ballet lasted about a month, and then I said no more, although at times I still find myself standing in first position. I wanted something fast. A good rhythm, or hip-hop, maybe, and that wasn’t ballet, but it was jazz.

I discovered that dancing is a form of expressing me, of letting go all that I had been keeping hidden inside me. Dancing was something that I had always enjoyed, although as a child I was exposed to it only briefly, through ballroom dancing lessons at school, and square dancing in my hometown. But, it wasn’t until I took jazz classes that I realized just how much dancing was a major part of who I am.

The following June we readied ourselves for the concert. I remember walking out on stage for the first time, looking at the crowd of over 500 people (standing room only), thinking, “This must be heaven.” I loved dancing on stage more than life itself.

The following year, my instructor asked me if I would do a solo plus the class performance. Of course, I said yes rather enthusiastically, and did my solo to “Hello Dolly.”

Both years, after the last of three performances of the concert, it was such a let down, and maybe even a little depression crept in. Classes took a two-month break, but it was too long for me.


I didn’t return for the third year. Many alibis kept me separated from what I loved. Things like not enough money for classes, not enough time for classes, not enough money to buy costumes for the June concerts. I’m sure I thought of more, and that was enough to stop me.

But, the reality was that doing what I loved, what I wanted to do, was a pleasure that I felt I did not deserve, so I couldn’t go back. I had been told many years ago that you can’t make any money in the artistic fields. I wasn’t in it for the money, but I was doing what I wanted, which I knew was forbidden.


Being told I cannot do what I want has only made me more determined to succeed. With the help of my instructor, I knew I could go beyond all expectations. I may not have gotten the support I needed from my parents, but support now comes to me from a different source, from my instructors. They are the ones that tell me how good I am, in front the class. I allow them to tell me how good I am and I allow myself to accept the praise graciously.

Even though I am not currently at a studio, being over the age of 50 has its advantages. I can take line dance classes for a minimal fee and as many as six classes a week. They are offered at the various senior recreational centers and I attend as often as I can. The line dances are the usual country western, but also a ballroom line dancing class, consisting of different styles such as cha-cha, salsa, swing, fox trot and any combination. Line dancing eliminates the need for a partner. The instructors give us enough so that we feel it, we sweat, our heartbeats race.

The instructors in these classes have also commented on how good I am, and with this praise I trust in how good I am, and I push to do even better. My greatest achievement is that I dance in step with the instructors.

I used to be ashamed of being better than others, especially those who are much older than I am, but I’ve since learned that there is nothing wrong with showing my good qualities, with being better than I ever thought I could be.

  • What have you done that took you out of your comfort zone? How did it make you feel?
  • Did you have an instructor, a mentor, or a friend push you to your limits and beyond?
  • If not, think of something you’ve always wanted to do, but never felt you could.
  • What steps can you take toward accomplishing that goal?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Do you slide into old habits, not realizing you have, until it’s too late? I did. Just recently. This pattern is so subtle that I knew it was happening, but I didn’t feel the urgency to stop and make adjustments.

The telltale signs that my body was retaining fat and flab startled me. I wasn’t feeling confident and sure of myself as is the result of working on my core area. What happened?

It only took a few minutes to register that I had quit exercising. I had quit doing Pilates five or six mornings a week. My dance teacher called me the other day reminding me of her classes that I had not been attending. I do a total of three to six dance classes a week and had stopped completely.

I know my body needs a lot of continual movement in order for me to feel good and other than shoveling the snow a number of times, I had quit all other forms of taking care of my body. Worse, yet I was consuming more fat and a lot of sugar. Wow!


Having time was not the issue. I work part time and even fewer hours lately. There wasn’t a physical reason that kept me from exercising.  It was though, the fact that I felt I could not at this time spend any time on me.

Although, I did let my fewer hours at my job, meaning less income, to deter my going to dance classes, which cost under $5.00 an hour. I can reduce my amount of dance classes to two or three.  Can’t say I have that same excuse for Pilates, since I have a Pilates video at home.

Every once in a while what I want and need becomes nonessential. It’s as though I feel I am not worthy and to live up to that feeling, I stop doing good things for me. It happened again. It’s not the time or the money. It is though, the feeling that I am not worthy, I am not good enough. I can make up any excuse I want, but it is how I feel about me that actually makes me stop.


Could it be my mother’s words? Was this message creeping up on me again?

She had emphatically told me that to keep a happy home, the most important person in your life is the man you’re married to, then your children and if you have anything left over, I’m assuming she meant time, money and energy, it is for you. I steadfastly lived by this motto. As I watched my mother this is what she did, so I chose to do it also.

Yes, my mother believed she was last in her family, but she was also clever. She married a man who made a good income and she knew how to manage the money. She saved without needing to skimp. When she decided it was time to have what she wanted, she had the money set aside. She went to the most expensive department store to buy her clothes and for my treat of the day we had lunch in the exquisite dining room on the top floor of the building.

She did though leave out a very important part, teaching me to be clever.


Even though occasionally I need to remind myself to exercise and eat healthy, I can do it so much easier as long as I believe that I deserve to have a strong, slim and healthy body.

I now put myself first as it is essential for my well-being. I intend to be healthy and in a good place mentally and emotionally so that if the need arises I can take care of others.

  •  Think of a situation with which you’re currently dissatisfied
  •  What messages can you recall from earlier in your life that might have contributed to   this situation?
  •  Ask yourself if these messages are still valid.
  •  If they are not, let them go!
  •  Think of positive messages to replace the old ones and say them to yourself every day.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


After a delightful lunch at our favorite restaurant, my friend and I did our usual shopping (for me it was limited to window shopping) at the mall. On that day, since it was a little chilly, what better way to keep warm than to wear the leather jacket she had given me. She had explained to me that the jacket was too large for her and she felt it was too nice to just give away. I’ve always wanted a leather jacket and, not knowing when I would have the money to buy one for myself, I accepted. It was even too small for me, but that didn’t matter, I just didn’t button it.

Still, though it was a hand-me-down. It belonged to her and I felt no pride of ownership. After all, I did not spend my money to buy it. Which is probably why I felt so ashamed when my friend and I ran into an acquaintance of hers. The lady complimented me on the jacket, I could feel my friend’s eyes on me as she waited for me to do what I know I should have. I could not force myself to tell her that my friend had given it to me, that it was a hand-me-down. It was in that moment that I didn’t know which was worse: wearing a hand-me-down, something that she no longer wanted, or telling a lie by omission.


Maybe it was how I felt at the time, vulnerable and a little needy. Money was not flowing abundantly into my life so I felt left out, secluded from the way I would like to have been living. This was not a way that I enjoy or would want anyone to know about, but there I was, graciously accepting a hand-me down that I was offered. It meant I did not have the money to go out and buy the item, and I said yes, when I really wanted to say no. It makes me feel poor to accept hand-me-downs even from the best of friends and family.

I, on one hand, realize that what they’ve done is a nice gesture. On the other hand, it reminds me of my precarious financial situation. I am financially unable to buy the new clothes that I want, that actually fit me and reflect the style that I like, and they know it. It’s another reminder that I am not in the place that I want to be in financially, not yet anyway. I know what it is and I see it off in the distance, but I’m not there.

If I accept the hand-me-downs, no matter how good they are or how expensive they were when they were new, I am still settling for less. This is because I know that I have, in that moment, lost my independence. They are acting in good faith, wanting to do something for me, and there may even be a tinge of pity involved.


Could I have felt oversensitive when it was nothing more than the fact that she couldn’t wear it? When my friend had no ulterior motive, only a desire for me to have her jacket? Could it be that my feeling bad or ashamed was not a rational reaction?

I realize that for a very long time I’ve been worried about finding a way to make the amount of money it will take to keep me from having to worry about not having enough. Because of this worry that is always at the forefront in my mind, negative thoughts are abundant. I’ve stopped believing in the positive. In the moment when my friend and I ran into her acquaintance, I had forgotten that I do have the power to make new choices, to change my thoughts which will then change my life.

I felt powerless, and so I was sensitive to the fact that someone else, a stranger, may see that I am a phony. That I don’t have money that I act like I have, that I do at times need to accept a hand-me-down, that a friend will buy my lunch and that I am not as perfect as I would like everyone to believe.

But, I realized most of that it is perfectly okay. Because I do have the power to change my life, and there will be a time that I will be there to help my friend, to do special things for her.

  • Can you think of instances in which negative thoughts were controlling you and your life?
  • What thoughts are you thinking now? Are they making you feel bad in some way?
  • Are you willing to choose better and more productive thoughts?
  • Change your thoughts and change your life.

Friday, February 5, 2010


It happened many years ago when I was a teenager. My age and inexperience didn’t stop me. First, I should explain that my parents were much older when I was born, so for me, I sometimes thought of them as my grandparents.

In this particular instance I had gone with my parents so that my father could buy a new car. He insisted on buying a new car every two to three years and it was now time.

Having decided which car he wanted we sat down at the salesman’s desk to finalize the deal. I remember the salesman telling my father about all the gadgets that he could get on the car, and with each gadget the price was going up.


I sat quietly, listening intently to every word that the salesman said, until something in me bubbled over or maybe it just exploded. The price kept going up and the gadgets were unnecessary and my parents were about to say yes when I interrupted their conversation with an adamant no.

I, stood up and not so quietly, told the salesman exactly what I thought of him and his sales tactics. I knew that my parents did not need everything he was trying to sell them, nor did they need to pay the exorbitant amount that the cost had risen to. I knew it wasn’t right.

After my explosion my parents and I left the building. Honestly, I don’t know where this outburst came from, but I felt I had to protect them.


Definitely the salesman was in a place of authority and used it to his advantage. This was his job, this is what he was paid to do. I don’t feel anyone of authority has the right to take advantage of another person who for whatever reason, does not or cannot stand up for themselves. I felt this way then and I still do.

My intuition, my inner self or whatever you want to call it seems to innately know when someone is being taken advantage of. Even at that young age. I protected my parents, my children and animals from anyone who intends to do them wrong.

When I recall this incident, I think of how my parents may have felt. Maybe they thought I was out of line, but I did it. I couldn’t change it and I wouldn’t have, not then and not now.

I felt they needed to be protected, because they were getting ready to sign on the dotted line. They seemed to not see what the salesman was doing and I didn’t want them to end up with a very expensive bad deal. This was also at the time that my father may have been at the beginning stage of some health issues. Did that influence his decision making? Maybe, but nevertheless it still was not right.


We left that dealership and went to another where my parents did purchase a new car that we drove home in. Did the salesman try to take advantage of them? No. Were my parents upset with me? No. They thanked me for helping them and I felt proud and powerful. I knew when I spoke up that I was doing the right thing. I can use my voice to make changes.

The one thing I learned about myself is that I do have the innate ability to make powerful and wise suggestions to others. You see, this wasn’t planned. I did not leave the house thinking that I would have to watch over my parents and make sure they will not be pressured or cheated. I acted on what was happening in that moment.

  • Have you been in a precarious situation in which you knew you needed to say something?
  • List the times you knew you should have said something, but didn’t.
  • Would you do differently now?

Monday, February 1, 2010


When I was a little girl, I carried a small block of wood in my pocket to remind me that I was a blockhead. That is how severe my belief was in what my father thought I was. That block of wood was shorthand for the word that I then took on as part of my identity. I knew I was smart and creative, but my ideas did not conform to my father’s. The fact that we were both strong willed did not help and often he became frustrated with me, thus the name calling.

I lost my sense of center, my belief in becoming whom I wanted to be. I came away from my relationship with my parents believing I wasn’t good enough for everything I wanted in life. I believed I did not have what it took to create that life for myself.

Starting at the age of 18, I made some bad choices. Rather than improving, the conditions of my life only got worse. For a long time, I ignored the impact these choices were having, and continued to blindly pursue activities that were not in alignment with who I really was. For example, I continued to work in jobs for which I had no passion. I ignored how important money would become.


While recognizing that work has the ability to provide freedom, independence and wealth, I have also seen that working for someone else can be limiting. That is why I made the commitment to become self-reliant and truly free, independent, and prosperous. I’m trying to have freedom and have control over my life instead of just letting my life happen. I consistently work at making better choices.

For me, the path to this self-reliance is writing. I’ve determined that I want to feel passion toward my work, to work from my home, to schedule my own time, to have freedom and independence and to be independently wealthy for the rest of my life. With writing as my work I can have all of this.


I have committed to leaving behind the pattern of blaming others. Blaming any situation or someone or something is ineffectual, and leaves me feeling even more hopeless. By taking command of my life-the good and the bad-I have options and I have a sense of control.


I have learned that changing words and thoughts also changes feelings and thus begins the process of action toward goals. So, instead of “blockhead,” each day I bring to mind words like “artist,” “creativity,” “passion,” “freedom,” and “choice.” As I continue on this journey, I will continue to chart my path by carefully choosing my words.


  • State your goals and desires in a positive, present, matter-of-fact manner. For example, “I am a self-employed engineer working from my home, with many clients who always pay on time.” This will bring about results as long as these goals and desires are consistent with your abilities, talents and intelligence.
  • Be consistent in your desires and abilities. Repeat them to yourself several times each day. This is mandatory to getting the results that you want.
  • Forgive yourself for past choices. As long as you are attached to the choices you made in the past, you will always live by them.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


The lady tossed her keys on the counter, the emblem shining brightly taunting me with the realization that she drove a luxury car. The quick movement startled me, the clanking noise abruptly changed my thoughts. I couldn’t take my eyes off her keys. I knew this happened for a purpose and the purpose struck me as one in which I should take notice. She obviously was proud of her ability to own a car of such stature.

The set of keys still lay on the counter in front of us as I asked her to wait a moment while I checked the price on an item she was purchasing as I thought it might be on sale. She told me, “No. Don’t bother checking. I prefer to pay full price.”

In the light of everyone I knew, and everyone whoever walked in or shopped in the store this was very unusual. They all wanted a deal, they all wanted to pay less than the discounted price, and they weren’t ashamed to say so.


Not only was this lady boldly exhibiting the fact that she had money and could prove it with the car she owned, but also that she did what most everyone does not and that is to establish the fact that she owned the mind-set of being wealthy. Not one ounce of her exuded a near-poverty belief. She was the epitome of a wealthy mind-set and I had the opportunity to witness it up-front and close.


I grew up in a family that had money and they spent it on what they needed and wanted. My Father had a good job that paid well, my mother did not work outside the home and she had the innate ability to manage their money.

My life as a child in my family meant that my father bought a new car every two to three years. My mother bought her clothes at an expensive department store in Denver equivalent to Nordstrom’s. We had the best food and the best meals. My mother, for our Sunday dinner would prepare a five-course meal beginning with a shrimp or oyster cocktail. When we had our farm, my father insisted that our cattle be grass fed with the most healthy grains added. With all this, my mother still managed to save money and we lived well.

The only time that I remember rejection was when I had asked my parents to buy me a sweater like that of one of my friend’s, and I was told it was too expensive. That having been the only refusal to my requests seems innocuous in my thoughts now.

My life in my family seemed quite easy financially, and this was a pattern that would have been my way of life going forward. But because of choices I made, because of a crucial turning point that I am responsible for my life started in a different direction. This was a direction in which I could never have imagined the results.


For me, though, I was sidetracked from my dream of being a costume designer by my parents, and had to quickly make other choices. I did not research and plan for my future. I settled for getting a job and did not know what to expect. This lack of planning ultimately turned out to be very foolish. I didn’t know if I would like working at a job for the rest of my life, but I made the choice and knew I would have to live with it.

Maybe I was following in my father’s footsteps since as children we learn from what we see before us. Whatever the reasons this began my foundation as an adult. Since I did not have a dream job to plan my life around, I set myself up for failure without my realizing it.


I learned how to struggle financially since this is what I saw around me. After I married, I learned even more since all of our neighbors and friends were struggling. This is where I learned poverty thoughts, where determination turned into failure.

Watching all that was going on around me I soon learned that men went to work, disliked their jobs and never earned enough money, while women stayed home, raised children and became the ultimate homemaker.

I learned from my best friend and neighbor how to can peaches, pickles, jam, and beets. I learned how to make clothes for my children so I would not spend so much money at the store. I love doing creative and artistic things so cooking and sewing are even now quite enjoyable, but that was not all that I was learning. I was learning near-poverty thinking because all of this was not the act itself, but the reason for doing it. To save money, not to spend so much money or to believe that there was not enough money to do and have all that I wanted.

I learned to struggle. Struggle, became the name of the game, but we never called it that. It actually was entrapment in a way of life that we could not get out of. We all believed the same. We did not believe in wealth or living in a way that would induce wealth, we believed we would struggle in near-poverty for the rest of our lives.


Except for my friend who canned peaches and sewed with me. One day she came to the realization that no one was going to take care of her. That she would be responsible for taking care of herself and she made a choice to change her life by changing the way she made money and the amount of money she made.


Words and actions that create a lack-of, continuous worry and struggles need to be changed to those that create prosperity, confidence and freedom. You are changing thoughts that are natural to your way of thinking and that fit the pattern that you are familiar with, to thoughts that are conducive to the way a wealthy person would think. It only takes seconds to change the thoughts running through your mind.

A wealthy person would not need or even think of using coupons when shopping or eating in a restaurant, after all, that would not contribute to being wealthy. Remember that with wealth there is freedom and you are not free if you are confined to the worry of not enough money and to using coupons. Instead you are continually worrying about having enough money for the food you are buying, therefore your mind-set is of poverty.


I had a friend who has since passed on, say to me one day. “I have so much money that I could never spend it all.” This coming from a man who I remember some 30 years’ prior was struggling to make his company successful and make enough money to survive. These were words that astonished me when he said them, but I also wondered how it would feel if I were in a financial position to say those same words.

I now choose my thoughts, choose what I want to think in the very moment. There is an instantaneous change in the way my body feels when I change my thoughts. If I am concerned or think about how much an item costs, I quickly change this thought. I can go from worry to wealth consciousness in a fraction of a second and it is breathtaking. I know this way of thinking is changing my life right now, as I write this.

I keep what he said in my thoughts, often. These words are even more powerful because this is someone I knew, and he said this to me not because he was boasting, but because it was a fact.

  • Are you thinking thoughts of near-poverty?
  • List messages of struggle and lack of that are now a part of the way you think and live.
  • Ask yourself if these messages are still valid.
  • If not, then let them go.
  • Incorporate new wealth-based messages into your thoughts.