Hug a Pup

Dogs leave paw prints on our hearts – Author Unknown

It’s National Puppy Day! Who doesn’t love puppies? Even the word “puppy” makes me smile.  I’m not allowed to visit a place where puppies might be available for sale. I’m way to susceptible to buying one and my puppy days are behind me. I’ve had at least five dogs in my life, mostly poodle mixes. Dogs are a delight and also a huge responsibility. 

If you’re shopping for a dog, steer away from the puppy mills and consider a shelter. If you’re a dog lover, hug that puppy for me—even if he/she is all grown up. 

Affirmation: Pets are precious.

Coaching questions: What do/have your pets mean/meant to you? If you’re grieving after the loss of a beloved pet, who can support you and not belittle your grief?

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Photo by Lydia Torrey on Unsplash

How Grateful Are You?

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. Melody Beattie, author

Did you know that positive thoughts create pathways in the brain? The more you feel gratitude, the easier it becomes. In addition, you’ll attract more for which to be grateful.

The motherless daughters I spoke with who found the path back to gratitude seemed to have also found a way to move forward in the lives. Expressing gratitude may sound like a cliche but being grateful for even the smallest thing can help you take a step forward. 

Think of fresh ways to express your gratitude. Start a gratitude journal, post notes of gratitude to yourself and others, send an email or text thanking a friend for being there for you, show gratitude for good service at the grocery store or restaurant, say thanks to your garbage person, be grateful for waking up to another day. 

Affirmation: I am grateful.

Coaching questions/request: How do you show gratitude? When you were at a low point in your life, how did gratitude lift you up? Say thank you to God for His creation, or to a person in your life for their love, or to yourself for being a grateful person. 

Namaste – the divine in me honors and thanks the divine in you – I’m grateful for your attention

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Photo by Quentin Keller on Unsplash 

Why The Special Olympics Are Special

We see a world where there is no ‘us’ or ‘them.’ Instead, people of all abilities are treated with dignity and respect and all are welcomed with acceptance and understanding. Special Olympics website

Years ago I had a friend with a son who had mental disabilities. He was a teenager when I met him and had recently participated in the Special Olympics. He proudly showed me his medals and told me how he was already starting to train for next year. From that moment, twenty-eight years ago, I’ve been a supporter of  Special Olympics, seeing first hand the difference they made in a young man’s life.

This week the Special Olympics World Games are taking place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Thursday is World Down Syndrome Day. Seven thousand athletes from 170 countries and 24 sports are participating with the help of over 20,000 volunteers. Their ultimate goal is to embrace unity, achievement, and dignity. 

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Photo by Adrià Crehuet Cano on Unsplash

Celebrating Saint Patrick

Luck is believing you’re lucky. Tennessee Williams

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! If you live in the U.S. or Ireland, chances are you’re celebrating by wearing green, drinking green beer, marching in a parade or, like us, eating corned beef and cabbage.

The patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick was born in Roman Britain in the late 4th century. When he was sixteen, we was kidnapped and taken to Ireland as a slave. He escaped but returned around 432 A.D. to convert the Irish to Christianity. In his lifetime he established monasteries, churches, and schools. He died March 17, 461. 

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Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

Surviving Rejection

Be strong, be fearless, be beautiful. Believe that anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you. Misty Copeland, American ballet dancer

Not everyday is a good day at my desk. Today my short story was rejected for the Marco Island Writer’s Anthology. I respect the professionalism and expertise of the person who gave me feedback and I will rewrite my short story or start over. Rejection is a bitter pill to swallow but, as a writer, I’ve grown somewhat accustomed to it. 

The challenge of rejection is to not lose confidence in myself or my writing—to stay strong and keep pushing forward. Creating art in any form is a tricky business. Going public with my creative process means exposing myself time and again to an audience with a variety of opinions, interests, and levels of expertise. I will take the advise of a ballet dancer. I will stay strong and be fearless.  

Affirmation: I will persevere.

Coaching questions: In what ways does rejection affect you? Do you keep moving forward? If not, what support do you need to succeed? Where will you find it?

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Photo by Hudson Hintze on Unsplash

Have You Told Your Story Lately?

My mother memories that are closest to my heart are the small gentle ones that I have carried over from the days of my childhood. They are not profound, but they have stayed with me through life, and when I am very old, they will still be near. Margaret Sanger, American nurse and activist

As I was leaving the Marco Island Writer’s meeting last night, a man I hadn’t met asked me about my book. When I told him it was Mom’s Gone, Now What? and about moving forward after mother loss, he was quite interested. As we walked out, he said his mother was smart, funny, caring—in short, a wonderful mom. By now we were standing in the cool evening as he told me how she had a stroke and suffered for several years. He was by her side at the end when she awoke from a coma to say lovely last words to him. As he repeated the words, I knew they were his treasure.

This stranger seemed pleased to have an opportunity to tell his mother loss story and I was pleased to hear his precious tale. We went from strangers to friends in the time it took to leave a meeting. 

Jerome Bruner, psychologist, wrote, “The eagerness to tell one’s story signals a desire to live.” As we tell our mother loss stories, we affirm, not only our desire to live, but to thrive. We share so others can benefit from our experience and we learn about yourselves in the telling. 

Affirmation: I eagerly share my stories.

Coaching questions: When did you last share a story about a meaningful, personal event? What difference did the sharing make to you? What difference did it make to the person you were telling? 

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Photo by Andreea Popa on Unsplash

 

Writing Can Be Healing

While I wouldn’t consider it a viable substitute for therapy and counseling, writing about our painful experiences can cause them to lose their power over us. Srinivas Rao, author and podcast host.

I dedicate this blog to my mom, Winnie (pictured here), who only enjoyed thirty-four years on Earth but has not been forgotten. Writing a book about my mother loss along with the experiences of nearly fifty other daughters, is powerful and healing. The book led to this blog and I hope the blog has made a difference.

In the last year people from over twenty countries have read this blog with over 7,000 views. When I write, I picture some of my dear followers and friends who tell me they read it consistently. They are the impetus to keep going. I don’t want to let them down. I’m not stopping. I will continue to blog, just not every day. Become a follower so you won’t miss out. I’m considering including a “what’s for dinner?” post since I’m a foodie. Stay tuned and thanks for being there.

Affirmation: My writing is powerful.

Coaching questions: What’s in your heart that might be important to write about? How might writing make a difference for you or others? 

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