Intuition and Grace

October 27th, 2010

I was at my local health food store recently and asked for some help from one of the employees. I had seen this gal at the store quite a few times but never really had a conversation with her. I was looking for a supplement and she offered me the regular formulation or the vegetarian formula. I guess I looked puzzled, so she informed me that the regular capsules were made from HORSE HOOVES. REALLY? I told her I’d take the vegetarian formula, since I “flipped” to vegetarian two years ago during a nutrition cleanse and have enjoyed my “vegetarianism” ever since.

I saw her heavy heart right away. She (let’s call her Susan) told me that she had been a vegetarian for about 20 years and that in the last year, she had added some chicken back into her diet. But I could see how torn she was—almost tortured (not to be dramatic, but I felt that she was). I felt guided to convey to her my belief that some animals willingly give their lives for our sustinance and that if they are raised and slaughtered humanely, that she could consider letting go of some of her guilt around eating animals. Susan looked like she was going to cry, and then her eyes got really big and she uttered “Why are you saying this? Where is this coming from?” I just smiled. She continued, “No really, where is this coming from? What religion are you?” I paused, took a breath and asked, “Are you trying to put me in a box?” Then she looked like she was going to faint….

Susan proceeded to tell me that when she was a little girl, she had such a zest for life, she loved to play outdoors and that her home surrounded by beautiful woods and a stream. As her home was secluded, she would enjoy many hours in nature noticing the wildlife around their property. (She paused and said that she never shares this story.) She said when she turned five and went to school, and was forced to draw inside the lines, nap at “nap time” even if she wasn’t tired, move about in a line of children and eat when she wasn’t hungry. But all she wanted to do was go outside and commune with her beloved Nature. (I was right there with her and I could feel her losing touch with her soul and joy….) She recalled the small schoolroom…the four walls…and feeling like she was in a BOX…. She remembered feeling delighted when, after naptime, it was time for recess! She eagerly lined up. The teacher opened the door and let them out one by one, and as Susan escaped outside, she was instructed her to go play in the small sandbox. Another BOX.

I don’t know exactly what happened that day at the health food store, but I did feel the “unmistakable touch of Grace” as Cheryl Richardson calls it. I felt like something shifted, perhaps healed, for my soul sister whose name I did not even know.

As I left the store, Marianne Williamson’s wonderful words came into my mind: “Use me, dear Lord, that I may know the joy of being used by You.”

Fun with Intuition

September 29th, 2010

Yesterday, I dropped my son off at school and went to Shop Rite for some groceries so that we could have something besides pasta or protein shakes for dinner this week. :) It was actually funny to see how sleepy everyone is there before 9:00 a.m…especially me. It is nice to walk around and have so much room, as opposed to say, Saturday afternoons, when you’re bound to have at least one near-miss with the grocery cart shuffle. Anyway, I was having an internal debate about which liquid soap to get, wondering when soap got so complicated that I need 55 choices, when something caught my eye…the twine. I don’t know why the twine caught my eye, but my thought was “I’d better get some twine so Ag can do the recycling.” Then I pictured how surprised he’d be when twine “magically” appeared at home, without him asking for it. I kind of grinned in my sleepiness as I reached for the twine, to put it in my shopping cart. I woke up a bit and began second-guessing myself with thoughts like “That’s a waste of money if we don’t really need twine” and “Where’d I get that idea, anyway?” and “Ag didn’t ask me to get twine.” I paused for a second and then decided to go with my first instinct, rather than my “drunk monkey mind” as Matthew Ferry calls it. I tossed the fancy white twine in my cart and didn’t give it a second thought….

Until this morning, when in the hustle and bustle of getting the kids out the door for school, my husband bounded in from the garage, with that happy, surprised look on his face and exclaimed, “You got twine?” And I got the same smile on my face (like in Shop Rite as if I’d already been there), and nodded yes. He said, “HOW DID YOU KNOW?” And I just shrugged, still smiling. “You got the message!” he said.

“Yes, I guess I did.”

OK, this is not me or my twine, but it's cool, right? Dave Leiker from Kansas took this pic.

What we think about, we bring about.

September 28th, 2010

I was at our local Shop Rite this morning after I dropped off my son at school. We were running low on a couple things, so I decided to go right after drop-off rather than risk not getting there at all today and having nothing to eat for dinner. So I made a plan this a.m. and off to Shop Rite I went, rain and all. The “meat lady” actually talked me into buying a roaster chicken to use to make chicken soup. I’ve only made chicken soup once in the past 2 years, probably because someone in my family had a cold. I used to make chicken soup on a regular basis, but since I turned vegetarian, cooking anything with bones, especially when I have to pull the meat from them, kind of turns my stomach. BUT, the gal explained how lots of folks use the roaster chicken for flavor and there’s not much meat to pull from the bones. We shall see….

Once I put the chicken in my cart, I realized that I had to go back to produce to get onion, garlic, carrots (oh, no, I forgot celery! probably because my kids don’t like it!). I decided to get some green leafy lettuce, the kind with the red on the edges. I also got peaches for my son to take for snack tomorrow. I was marveling at how great the produce looks there–so fresh and inviting. THEN I REMEMBERED a conversation I had a couple weeks ago with a gal, let’s call her Emily. Emily was recounting how terrible Shop Rite is, and how every time she’s there, she gets spoiled and/or outdated merchandise. When she told me this, I couldn’t believe it! She recounted several times, recently, that various items, from different departments, even, sold her bad, moldy, outdated, spoiled food. This is definitely NOT my experience, but it definitely IS her experience! This is law of attraction in action. She is drawing into her experience what her mind expects, as am I. It’s amazing.

The motto? Be careful what you think about, because what you think about, you bring about!

We see things not as they are, but as we are. Immanuel Kant

Change your thoughts, change your life. Wayne Dyer

Why I take a day off…every week!

September 27th, 2010

I’ve really enjoyed blogging every day for the past few weeks…every day except Sunday, that is. Sunday is the day that my MacBook Pro gets a rest. And I do, too. Last year, I took a class with the amazing Cheryl Richardson, personal coach and author of several books, including Take Time for Your Life. The year-long class was based on her book The Art of Extreme Self-Care, and each month we had a lesson and live coaching session. She is wonderful and the class was too. I love to learn and grow and be inspired! So when Cheryl asked us to turn introspective and come up with one thing that we could change in the upcoming month to honor ourselves, I chose to implement a day of “rest” on Sundays. I’m happy to say that during the past year, there have only been a handful of times that I’ve used my computer or made a work phone call on a Sunday! The result? I’m more refreshed and ready to go on Mondays, I have more dedicated family time for a bike ride, a movie, some shopping (I do have a daughter who’s 13!), enjoying my son’s soccer game, a trip to Dorney Park or taking the dogs for a hike…so many wonderful things to do when I make the time for them! It’s been awesome! I’ve been blessed with so many amazing teachers in my life. There’s a saying that says, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” It’s true. :)

Here’s my picture with Cheryl at the 2008 “I Can Do It” Hayhouse Convention in Tampa, Florida.

Say, Self Care!!

New Jersey Greyhound Adoption Program (NJGAP)

September 25th, 2010

Sunday, September 26th is the semi-annual NJGAP picnic. It’s a wonderful celebration of the beautiful greyhounds that have been “retired” from racing and placed in loving homes by NJGAP. Greyhounds are quiet, gentle, and soft on the inside as well as out. You know when they really like (and trust) you, cos they’ll lean in to you and be content to hang out there, leaning on you, for quite a while! It’s really sweet. Tomorrow there will be dozens and dozens of greyhounds, and they’ll all get along quietly and beautifully.

My friend Jen founded this group in 1993 and together with many generous volunteers, they have placed over 2000 dogs, from racetracks to loving homes!! I am so inspired by this tremendous labor of love.

This is the second year that we’ve done an NJGAP calendar with 13 gorgeous pictures from the picnics. It is great fun for me, because I take the pictures! We unveil the calendar at the September picnics, and the models are always surprised and delighted to have been included. I remember last September when Molly’s “Mom” saw her as the cover girl (pictured above!), she was so HAPPY! I think maybe we both got a little teary-eyed. There’s nothing like a proud mama (or papa)!

It’s a day of celebration and fun. And during it, I will join and hold the vision that beautiful greyhound dogs will no longer be used for racing, but only as beloved companion pets, as they deserve.

Met Lisi Harrison tonight!

September 24th, 2010

Lisi Harrison signing my daughter's book :)

At our local bookstore tonight, Lisi Harrison made the final stop on her book tour for her brand new book, Monsters High, the first in a series. A bunch of girls and their moms turned out to welcome her. (There may have been a dad there at some point, but I missed him!) Lisi was absolutely delightful. They had a Q&A session before the book signing, and one little girl asked her how she wrote all those books in one month. (She meant literally wrote each and every book that was in the store!) It was priceless. Lisi sweetly explained her process: how she types her book into her computer, hits a button and sends it to her editor, who then hits a button and sends it to her publisher, who then prints all the copies on a big machine (ok, I’m paraphrasing, but it was very cute).

My daughter asked if The Clique was her first book, and she said yes, it was. Then she explained the inspiration for her wildly successful Clique book series. Lisi used to work at MTV, where the drama and label-reading, etc. etc. etc. started to remind her of high school–more specifically, middle school. That was her inspiration! From there, a brand new career was born…a super successful one at that. I wonder if she ever imagined where that inspiration would lead?

She wrote her latest book, Monster High in 30 days. She was given a broad basis for the book–high school kids with monster relatives–and then submerged herself for 30 days. She said that she considers it possibly her best work because she had to be very focused because of the quick turnaround. There were no trips to the beach, no distractions, no email (!)…just a story emerging about monsters in high school.

Meeting her was a real treat for everyone! Look how cute she is! I left the red-eye, for the monster-effect. :)

Lisi Harrison having fun with her fans

Inspiration at my Exercise seminar!

September 23rd, 2010

I really do my best to provide information as well as inspiration at my seminars. I find that the blend of left brain information, right brain creativity and inspiration from the heart is the most powerful. And laughter, without a doubt, is the icing on the cake! I come from a long line of jokers, and I love to laugh. Speaker extraordinaire Mr. Les Brown (a.k.a. Mrs. Mamie Brown’s baby boy!) says that laughter is key in having a group receive your message, and I believe him! It definitely changes the energy in a room, and it’s contagious. :)

Today in my Exercise seminar, I was inspired! Several women shared stories of how, following health scares, they’ve taken back their health by using the basics: making time for exercise and a commitment to healthy eating! They raved about all the ways that their lives have improved, and they’ve inspired family members and colleagues by the example! Awesome! We all celebrated with them.

We had some good laughs today, as well. But since I can’t back up time and/or have you sit in at my corporate training, I’ve included something from YouTube that has made over 138 million folks laugh. Enjoy, and smile!!

My favorite part is the expectation between belly laughs…when his eyes get bigger and he sit up expectantly. Oh, to live in that state of great expectations!! Now there’s an intention!

Why travel soccer (and other kids’ sports) are worth it

September 22nd, 2010

One of the research studies I was reviewing this week while prepping for my Exercise seminar is worth sharing. Keep this study in mind when you’re schlepping your little athlete(s) around town (or the state if she’s on a travel team!), and when you’re writing the big check for the travel soccer fees and sport equipment. And maybe especially keep it in mind when you’re getting up at 5 a.m. on a Saturday to travel several hours for the big game.

In a Harvard study in 1985 and then subsequent 2000 study of women who were athletes in college (as defined by participation on a varsity team), the incidence of breast cancer and cancer of the reproductive tract is significantly lower. In the follow-up study in 2000, the incidence of breast cancer was 50% less than that of non-athletes. WOW.

I think these results are profound. So, as I sit in my car in a thunderstorm, waiting to walk in the pouring rain to pick up my daughter, I am happy for all the benefits she and her dancing friends are receiving from class and from all of the other sports in which they participate!

“Do I need to exercise?”

September 21st, 2010

I’ve been doing a lot of research on Exercise because of the seminars that I’m facilitating this week. What I discovered was both fascinating and shocking! It looks like we can significantly reduce our risk of heart problems, diabetes, hypertension, obesity and even some cancers just be adding some exercise into our lifestyle. It looks like we can even slow down our aging process!

Here are some facts from the US Dept of Health & Human Resources from 2002:
12.6 million people have coronary heart disease2;
1.1 million people suffer from a heart attack in a given year2;
17 million people have diabetes; about 90% to 95% of cases are type 2 diabetes, which is associated with obesity and physical inactivity3; approximately 16 million people have ‘pre diabetes’;
107,000 people are newly diagnosed with colon cancer each year4,5;
300,000 people suffer from hip fractures each year6;
50 million people have high blood pressure2; and
Nearly 50 million adults (between the ages of 20 and 74), or 27% of the adult population, are obese; overall more than 108 million adults, or 61% of the adult population are either obese or overweight.7,8

1. Butler RN, Davis R, Lewis CB, et al. Physical fitness: benefits of exercising for the older patient. Geriatrics 53(10):46-62. 1998.
2. American Heart Association. 2002 heart and stroke statistical update. Dallas, TX: American Heart Association, 2001.
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National diabetes fact sheet: general information and national estimates on diabetes in the United States, 2000. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2002.
4. American Cancer Society. Cancer facts & figures 2002. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society. Inc, 2002.
5. Vainio H, Bianchini F, Eds. Weight control and physical activity. IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention. IARC Press Vol 6, 2002.
6. Popovic JR. 1999 National Hospital Discharge Survey: Annual summary with detailed diagnosis and procedure data. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Statistics 13(151). 2001.
7. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General’s call to action to prevent and decrease overweight and obesity. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Office of the Surgeon General; 2001. (Available from US GPO, Washington)
8. U.S. Census Bureau. Resident population estimates of the United States by age and sex, July 1, 1999. Accessed on June 17, 2002, on the Internet at:

And this is data from 2002! Wow.

The good news is that the 30-45 minutes of moderate intensity aerobics five times a week recommended by the cdc may be “chunked” into 10 minute segments! So, instead of needing to earmark 30 minutes during the day for a vigorous walk, three 10 minute chunks a day work! That could be a quick walk in the morning and a quick walk at lunch, and then a quick walk after dinner. And, they’re saying that the health benefits are the same. That is great news for today’s busy corporate employee as well as today’s busy mom.

The most important part of getting started on an exercise regime is making the DECISION to get started. Then making the COMMITMENT to keep on going. I find that it doesn’t take long at all to get into the healthy habit of exercise…the body enjoys those amazing endorphins and will ask for more!

Why do I exercise? For my body, and for my family. :) How about you?

The problem wasn’t being thrown from my horse…it was the landing

September 20th, 2010

It was three months ago today exactly that I:
was knocked unconscious for the very first time,
took my very first ambulance ride,
was thrown off a horse for the first and last time, &
spent the final day of our Girl Scout trip in the ER.

Our Cadette troop worked so hard to raise the money to go to Girl Scout weekend at Rocking Horse Ranch in Highland, NY. It is so beautiful there, we love it. Two springs ago, we did our bridging ceremony there and we “Cantered into Cadettes!” By the end of the weekend, I remember getting pretty confident and donning my cowgirl hat instead of a safety riding helmet. Thankfully, I kept my riding helmet on this past spring….

Sunday morning, we got up super early to wait in the “stand-by” line for a ride. There were so many scouts, we didn’t get horses until our scheduled ride at 9 a.m. My horse was a big guy, but gentle and sweet. He liked to run and had a smooth cantor but a bumpy trot. That was a problem for me, cos I don’t have much actual equestrian experience. Rides through the mountain trails are so peaceful and exciting at the same time. First, you’re walking along, and then the trail guide asks if everyone is “Ready to cantor” and then the excitement of the horses is palpable! During the last “Run,” we ended up doing quite a bit of trotting–which put me off balance. By the time it was time to cantor, I had a feeling I might be in trouble. Then my horse saw something in a puddle on the ground to his left, veered right, and all I remember is thinking “Oh my God, I’m going to get thrown.” That’s it. That’s all I remember, which is really bizarre for me. My daughter was in front of me on our ride and she said I exclaimed “Oh, SH*T!” and that was it. (I was secretly grateful I didn’t say worse!) The next thing I remember is lying on the ground and thinking about opening my eyes…then opening my eyes and seeing three giant horses staring at me, right above me. I thought maybe it was a mirage (!) so I closed my eyes and opened them again, and they were still there! My daughter said that my horse, instead of running away, walked over and stood right over my head and stared at me with really big eyes…the whole time I was there! She said it was freaky. By that time, the manager was telling me he was sending me to the hospital while I tried to convince him that I was FINE, dilated pupils and all. He told me that I could tell him my name, but not the President’s name. The fact I didn’t remember that conversation at all made me agree to go to the hospital….

What I know now, three months later, is that I was very, very lucky that day. I know that all the healing prayers I received immediately after the accident had a profound effect on me.

I wonder what our Emergency Rooms would be like if we had a focus on healing work, prayer and energy medicine, especially early on in trauma cases. It sure helped me.