|Here’s what I like about you.|
(It’s a long list, so settle in.)
You can do impossible things.
You prove that every day.
You’ve suffered setbacks
in your career and relationships
and learned how to course correct
and declare a do-over.
You’ve experienced unimaginable losses
and a devastating amount of shame.
You’ve lost a parent, a child,
a sibling, a spouse,
a friend, a pet,
or they’ve lost their way,
and somehow you’ve
found the faith to love
and offer support again.
You have taken risks
that nearly broke you
and still struggle with
for not knowing better.
You’ve been misunderstood
and yet you remain
open to what’s possible
even when it requires you
to risk it all again.
You do the necessary hard work.
You go in early,
and shovel snow
even when you know
no one else will attempt
to venture out.
You’ve bought more self-improvement courses
than you’ll ever complete,
but you don’t let this stop you
from seizing new opportunities
to invest in yourself
and build a better world.
Your body has betrayed you.
You may have experienced
a threat to your health
that brought you face to face
with your own mortality.
You’re getting older in spite of
your ageless attitude,
and inimitable shoe collection.
Somewhere along the line you started
working overtime instead of working out.
You occasionally overindulge
and binge watch entire seasons
of your favorite shows
all in one weekend
when you could be
clearing out the clutter,
attending a CrossFit class,
or preparing healthy meals
for the upcoming week.
But you believe Mondays
are like New Year’s Day,
so you begin again
and vow to do better.
You worry about the world
going to hell in a hand basket
and secretly suspect it’s
weapons of mass distraction
that will ultimately lead to our undoing.
You fear that folks have forgotten
how to talk to each other,
think for themselves,
follow their guidance,
or stand up for what they believe in.
So you make sure to vote
even though you know
your neighbor will vote differently.
You smile at strangers even though
they may interpret this small
act of kindness as stalking,
and you speak your truth
even if your voice shakes.
You are brave when bravery is required.
You are resilient even when you are bone tired.
You weave a spell with words that soothe the soul.
And you sing despite your reputation
for making up your own lyrics.
You are more than the sum of your parts –
even though all your parts are perfect in their imperfection.
You are always evolving.
You are still learning.
And so you remain a mystery –
even to yourself.
You see life differently.
You are wildly creative
which makes you
You hug trees,
flirt with babies,
let your dog occupy
the choicest spot on your bed,
let your cat commandeer your computer
(to allegedly manage her Instagram account),
and let baby goats jump on you during yoga.
You orchestrate the elements,
bend time, and defy gravity.
You feel deeply so you hurt easily.
You know intuitively so you act instinctively.
You keep these gifts hidden so you can
blend in and not out yourself as
the force of nature that you are.
Your curiosity keeps you questioning the status quo.
Your attraction to the extraordinary
summons you to sacred sites.
Your generosity makes you magnetic.
Your vulnerability makes you irresistible.
Your dancing makes you legendary.
Your sense of humor makes you the life of the party…
should you ever stray from the sanctuary
of your studio, library, garden, or kitchen.
You bloom where you are planted.
You are a sensual creature who insists on honesty
wherever you can find it.
You are a meaning maker
with an appetite for adventure.
You are a citizen of the world,
a renegade, a revolutionary,
a rebel with a most compelling cause.
You are a visionary, a shapeshifter, a truth teller,
a way shower, and a light worker.
You are grounded in this world
but not exactly of it.
You are a Spark of the Divine.
Made up of stardust and moonbeams, you are.
You continue to surprise and delight.
Because of that, I’m all in.
I’m devoted to helping you get
from where you are now to where you want to go.
Because I want more for you than you dare to want for yourself.
And partnering with people I adore as much as I do you
is what I’m most grateful for thisThanksgiving.
THE “HOLIDAZE” ARE HERE!!
If you are triggered just hearing those words,
then it’s time to tap!
EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) can help you
not simply survive this season,
but quite possibly thrive!
Join me for a FREE tapping session on Friday, November 26th.
We’ll tap at 3pm and 7pm EST.
Or, if you’re super stressed, tap twice!
Register here to get the Zoom link.
You’ll get my
“Top 10 Tension Tackling Tunes to Keep You Humming
Through the Holidays”
just for registering.
For as long as I can remember, I have loved all things “woo-woo.”
From feathers to sticks and stones to drums to oracle cards to divination guides, I was fascinated with how these tools could transform an ordinary experience into an extraordinary one.
And for almost as long, I’ve felt a sense of “poo-poo” about incorporating these tools in my professional work. Like they aren’t “legit”. “They shouldn’t be taken seriously.” “I should just consider them a hobby or something I entertain friends with.”
But not using them disrespects the gift. Because you see, these transformational tools are my medicine.
Unfortunately, the creative gifts we unapologetically accept when we are young are the first to be sacrificed on the alter of adulthood.
It took me years to embrace my creativity and unique way of knowing as the incredible gift it is. I can finally acknowledge how incorporating this supports my health and well-being in ways that have just as much to do with the bottom line as meeting a sales quota.
It has taken me even longer to see that my decades in the desert struggling in silence and solitude to come to terms with my quirky way of seeing the world and experiencing life were actually preparing me for the journey I’m now on. This shamanic adventure is one that demands that I reclaim the gifts I abandoned in my misguided attempt to blend in with the conventional crowd.
We are wired to want to belong. We are social creatures who need community. And with that comes the need for approval, acknowledgement, achievement, and evidence that we are okay.
So we sometimes give up what we know to be true about ourselves in order to fit in with everyone else.
If you’re not the average bear or color outside the lines or move to the beat of a different drummer or are a free-spirit (as I was often called), life can be more challenging.
But it can also be extraordinary.
We all have unique gifts. Whether we’ve honored them or abandoned them in the past, they are needed now.
It is time to excavate them from wherever they may be hiding and share them with a world that hungers for human decency, compassion, understanding, insight, consciousness, forgiveness, light, and love.
If that requires me to bring out my drum and singing bowls, my crystals and oracle cards, my talking sticks, flower essences, spirit animals, and Divine Assistance Team, then so be it.
Maybe when I embrace my woo, you will embrace yours too.
Ever wonder what it would be like to use your gifts to transform an ordinary life into an extraordinary one?
Join me this week for a FREE Master Class
Embrace the Woo
Thursday, June 27
at 8pm EDT.
Plus get a behind the scenes look at
The Academy for Practicing Everyday Alchemy
coming in September.
The only thing you need to do to participate is
download the free Zoom app at https://zoom.us.
Then just sign in and enter the
Meeting ID 517 495 633
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org ahead of time
to get your free guide to Embrace Your Woo.
With a name like Penny, I’ve heard money references my whole life. And like many people, I’ve had a complicated, complex, and at times chaotic relationship with money.
After sharing the results I experienced participating in the Millionaire Mindset Challenge with the fabulous Fiona Orr, many of you asked how you could play.
I have been wanting to jump into the topic of money and mindset for a while now, but I wanted to do it in a way that felt light and liberating. After having so much fun with the challenge, a game seemed like the best way to do this.
Hence, Pennies from Heaven was hatched.
Money is a loaded topic. And because we all have issues around it, I decided it was time to come clean with mine.
As a highly creative person, the managing of money seemed less of a priority to me than pursuing my passions. But I quickly found out, until I learned the art of making and managing money, pursuing my passions might not be financially possible.
I invested a whole heap of money learning about business in the last year that have directly impacted the way I show up in the world as well as what I am willing to believe and achieve.
I didn’t do it without fear or resistance. I did, however, take consistent action and did not back down when things got difficult, challenging, or overwhelming.
The difference was I built an unbelievable support system made up of great coaches and risk takers who were going through the same thing or were a few steps ahead of me, reassuring me I could do it.
And this is what I want to offer you.
A chance to stretch your imagination, play with some new perspectives and possibilities, and feel the support of others who are doing the same in a safe environment.
April can be a tense and tricky month around money and taxes. So it’s the perfect month to start playing with prosperity!
I’ll be sharing more details in the next couple of weeks.
The only thing you need to know right now is whether you’re willing to take the leap with me and play along.
PS – Did I mention you get to play for FREE? Just type “I’m in!” in the comments below and I’ll make sure you get all the juicy details.
If a lucky leprechaun failed to lead you to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow on St.Patrick’s day, never fear.
There are many ways to manifest a miracle that don’t involved leprechauns, lotteries, or even luck.
They do, however, require a little imagination, a lot of faith, and an action plan.
A few weeks ago I started playing a game called the Millionaire Mindset Challenge with the fabulous Fiona Orr. It starts with receiving $250 virtual money and doubles every week day so that by the end of the first week the amount is already up to $4000. In a few short weeks, you’ve amassed a million virtual bucks.
The only rule is that you share your money story in as many splendid details as possible of where the money comes from and where it goes. Did you earn it, win it, or was it a gift? How will you spend it, what will you buy, where will you go, what will you do? You assume all debts are paid so no money can go to paying off debt.
How does playing this game change anything in real life?
As Fiona says, “The more specific you can be, the more you activate the trifecta of happiness neurochemicals in your brain – dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. So just playing the game will make you feel happy if you let yourself really feel like it’s real. Your brain does not know the difference between imagination and reality.”
So when you make the emotions and scenarios so real, so compelling, and so specific, your mind doesn’t make the distinction between an actual the windfall and an imagined one. You start raising your vibration and open to having this money show up in your life because you know what it feels like and have plan for it when it arrives.
Many players have already experienced real money showing up – me included – and I must say, it’s pretty darn exciting.
The crazy thing is we are all capable of manifesting miracles of all kinds and do so on a regular basis. But most of us fail to acknowledge that anything out of the ordinary is happening.
I facilitate a monthly mastermind group called Practicing Everyday Alchemy. The goal of the group is to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.
It starts with the right mindset and the ability to see what’s hidden in plain sight.
This happens when a handful of people connected by a promise, a person, and a picture of what’s possible come together. When a tribe of people who matter to each other start believing in each other, things get really interesting.
People start taking action. People start succeeding because their success lifts up the entire group. People take risks because others have their backs.
A year ago I invested in a coaching program that required a huge financial leap, travel to Boston four times throughout the year, and a rigorous examination into my fears, shadows, hopes, and dreams. I made this journey with about forty other women and men who have shown me what’s possible through their vulnerability and courage.
Belonging to such an amazing group has multiplied my miracles. I joined two other groups and allowed myself to participate and be seen in a way I’d never done before. Experiencing first hand the kind of transformation that can happen with the support of others in a safe and sacred space, I made it my mission to create that space for others.
Of course, the biggest secret to manifesting miracles is to believe you can. To know you are worthy of your deepest desires and to expand your bandwidth to allow for the fulfillment of them.
I liken it to placing an order on Amazon. When you order something, you expect it to arrive. You don’t wonder if you’re worthy of receiving it. You know it’s on its way.
Some miracles simply take time to manifest. Like birthing babies, writing books, shaping beach bodies, or apprenticing with shamans. Some miracles require preparation and practice.
One of the best things you can do to prepare is to align your energy and adjust your environment for the imminent arrival of your miracle in the making. Make a plan, act as if, ask and you shall receive. All in good time. Or in an instant. Or when you least expect it.
What happens when you play a game like the Millionaire Mindset is sooner or later you come up against your limitations. You feel the resistance, you hear the voices of everyone and everything that ever held you back, and you might even get a little angry that you can’t allow yourself to have what you want.
But if you keep playing through the resistance, you start to realize what’s possible for you.
And that may be the biggest miracle of all.
I’d love to hear what you’d do with your ever increasing wealth. Where would it come from? What would you do with it? Dare to share in the comments below.
For someone who is not real big on the holidays, I absolutely adore these days between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Part of it is because I work full-time at a college and, like our students, we get these glorious days off before starting full steam ahead again in January.
The other part is I happen to believe there is something magical about these days. Because they are the last days not just of the month or the quarter but the whole year, people tend to write them off as an insignificant segue into start of a New Year.
But I know better.
It’s as if these days have a secret they will share only with those who can get quiet enough to listen and be still enough to notice.
While many people are bustling about returning items, reconnecting with family and friends, or trying to check off the last few items on their yearly to do list, I’ve been quietly calling the pieces of myself back home in order to acknowledge all the adventures I’ve had during this trip around the sun.
Before I even begin thinking about what I want to create in the New Year I ask myself a series of questions about the current year. The answers I get inform my direction and my intentions for the upcoming year.
I wanted to share them with you as a way to consider what 2017 has meant to you. You may want to sit with them, answer the ones that feel most in need of answering, skip those that don’t make sense for you, or make up your own.
After allowing my answers to these questions to reveal themselves to me, I take out a piece of paper and put a big plus sign on one half of the page and a big minus sign on the other. Armed with the insights from this year, I can clearly articulate what I want more of and less of in the New Year.
Because this is a process and the questions require time to marinate, I first read through them and let them seep into my psyche before attempting to answer them. Then I grab a pen and let the answers come to me.
By about Sunday I’ll be able to collect my responses and apply the perspective they afford to the New Year. On Monday I’ll spend some time welcoming 2018 and contemplating the choices ahead of me. I’ll Name & Claim what I intend to create and then release that intention into the wild.
I share this with you in hopes that these questions might help you find some clarity and direction in the New Year. Maybe you can ask some of these questions of your family and friends at a New Year’s Eve gathering?
May you savor these last days of 2017 as they share their secrets with you.
Baby Steps & Best Advice
- Where did the smallest step produce the biggest result?
- What was the best advice you were given this year?
- Who shared it with you or how did it find its way to you?
- How aware of your body were you throughout the year?
- Did you feel connected to your body and allow yourself to feel the pleasure of being in a body or did you disconnect and spend the majority of time in your head?
- Did you have any health challenges or achieve any health or fitness goals?
- What books, movies, music, conversations, trips, trainings, or classes forever changed the way you think, feel, see, or experience life?
- What places provided you with the most peace or inspiration, the best working environment, the most creative conversations, the most nutritious and delicious food and drinks, incredibly beauty, or fascinating people?
- Where did you love hanging out and with whom?
Fears & Thrills
- What was the scariest thing you did this year?
- How did you feel once you faced your fear?
- What was the most thrilling thing you did, said, felt, or experienced this year?
- What made you feel most alive?
- What caused you the most pain or regret?
Gadgets & Gizmos
- What new technology did you master that catapulted your business or personal life forward?
- What products, apps, or life hacks made your life easier, more organized, or more fun?
- What purchased created the most joy and/or frustration as you worked through the learning curve?
- When and how were your gifts recognized and appreciated this year? (By you and others.)
- When did you need to activate your superpowers and how did you do so?
- Was there a particularly painful lesson that held an exquisite gift for you?
- When did you have to practice patience and learn to move at the pace of grace?
Health & Well-Being
- What creative, meditative, fitness, or health practices did you begin that made a noticeable difference in the quality of your life?
- What new foods or drinks did you discover this year that you now can’t live without?
- What really nourished you? (Mind, body, and spirit)
- What health care practitioners offered you the most comfort or provided you with the most helpful information necessary to achieve your optimal health and well-being?
- Were there any new arrivals in your home? (Pets, people, plants, furniture, etc.)
- Were there any departures in your household or family circle?
- Did you move or add on to your existing home or somehow alter your living arrangements?
Livelihood & Creativity
- Did you start a new adventure, begin a new business, retire, or leave an old career to start something new this year?
- Who was on your dream team? What collaborations or partnerships gave you the most joy and brought about unexpected or innovative results?
- Who needed to be fired from your life? What relationships created chaos, unnecessary drama, miscommunications, or major meltdowns?
- Where did you create something amazing out of nothing?
- Where did you take “massive imperfect action” as my coach likes to call it?
- What crazy idea captured your attention and refused to let go until you took action? What happened next?
- Where did you lose track of time and fall into the flow of doing what you love?
- How did money show up in your life this year?
- Did you experience any money miracles or windfalls?
- When did you feel especially abundant? What thoughts, practices, purchases, or actions contributed to that?
- When did you feel constricted or tight about money? What thoughts, practices, purchases, or actions contributed to that?
- Did you read any books, attend any seminars, work with any financial wizards or coaches who helped shift your mindset around money?
- Who walked into your life this year? How did their presence impact what’s possible for you?
- Who walked out of your life this year? How did their absence create more presence for you?
- Who do you long for? Who is missing in your world?
- What relationships shifted or transitioned as you changed and grew?
- Where was your love most needed and how easy was it for you to offer it up?
- Who surprised you with their unwavering support and love? Who disappointed you?
- Where did you go this year and how did you get there?
- Did you travel for business, for pleasure, out of obligation, and/or because it was your soul’s calling?
- Who did you meet in your travels?
- What did you see?
- How did it change you?
- How did God/the Universe/the Great Creator/Divine Feminine or Masculine reveal itself to you? How did you respond?
- Were any of the answers you were seeking hiding in plain sight?
- What was lost? What was found?
- When did you feel closest to God or Source energy?
- What was surprised you most this year?
- How did this surprise rearrange your reality?
- What unlikely sources of support, funding, friendship, or freedom showed up for you?
- How did world events impact your actions?
- Did these events alter your opinion of humanity or change the way you view the world or the future of the planet?
- Did these events catalyze you to join a movement, stage a protest, offer aid or assistance to those in need?
If you had to sum up the year in 6 words, those words would be:
___________ _____________ _____________ ______________ _______________ _____________
* Mine would be: You can’t make this stuff up. Really, it was that kind of year! Totally amazing.
Top 10 Takeaways from the year? List them here!
I’d love for you to share any aha’s or epiphanies that may arise from these questions in the comments below.
Today’s Sunday Summer Stretch Series episode is all about showing up.
Yesterday Becca and I went on location to the site of our Tapping Into Your Wellpower retreat to film this week’s episode. Ironically we recorded twenty minutes of video that mysteriously did not show up in my iMovie library when I came home to edit, forcing me to use the only five minutes that did show up.
What I’m noticing as I produce the Sunday Summer Stretch Series is that the right (and often exasperating) experiences show up at the exact right time to illustrate the point I am suggesting you pay attention to.
Clearly, it’s a case of physician, heal thyself.
For example, last week we talked about structure. On the 4th of July – a day that had the potential to throw a lot of people’s structure out the window – I found myself feverishly outlining Sunday Summer Stretch Series topics through September and creating a structure for each episode.
Some might say that should have happened before I even started, but let me assure you, if it would have, you would not have seen Episode 1 until next summer.
Sometimes, I just have to “Leap,” as Les Brown says, “and grow wings on the way down.”
Showing up in Boston in the middle of a blizzard in March to attend Ignite Your Power was such a leap. At that event I invested in a year long coaching program that has transformed the way I show up for my life and the people in it.
It wasn’t that I hadn’t had coaching or heard similar stuff before. Like you, I’ve consumed copious amount of content either out of curiosity or fear of missing out.
However, I seldom contributed to these conversations or left comments, even when the information totally rocked my world or changed the way I looked at something. I figured someone else would surely comment and the author wasn’t interested in my opinion.
Until I started creating my own content. Now I realize feedback and comments are the lifeline of a thriving community.
Writing can be a very solitary pursuit. Or it can be a call and response feedback loop where I put out the call and you respond or you toss out a question or a comment and I respond.
Showing up changes everything.
You can stay in your head where it’s safe, you’re surrounded by intelligent life forms, and your eccentricities are considered charming.
Or you can risk being seen.
You can risk being exposed for being human, being a bit unorganized, messy, or otherwise imperfect. You can be accused of anything from fashion faux-pax to intentional ignorance of the laws of defensive driving or good grammar.
I used to lament that my superpower was invisibility. Now I’m determined to turn that around and I am committed to showing up and being visible – imperfections and all.
As Barbara She said, “Isolation is the dream killer.”
I used to pride myself on being fiercely independent. Now I know the real honor is to be a part of a community. If you are reading this, please know I am thrilled to have you as part of mine. Many of you have been quietly reading for years, never letting out a peep.
Today I’m going to nudge you to just check in and say “I’m here” in the comments below. Or simply like this or share it with someone who might benefit from reading this. Because showing up – even in small ways – matters immensely and I’d love to let you know.
Here the link to today’s episode on Showing Up in the Sunday Summer Stretch Series.
It’s that time of year when students of all ages are graduating on to bigger and better things. In my family alone, we have three graduations in as many weeks.
After a couple of decades of being out of school, my sister just completed her Master’s Degree in Student Leadership. Her daughter is finishing her last week at SCAD and will be heading out to California to start her creative career with a hat maker. And my nephew just graduated from Illinois State University and is on his way to Wyoming with his girlfriend to experience a summer working at Yellowstone.
Oh, the thrill of the open road and a new chapter!
This is the promise of new beginnings. Anything is possible.
The reality is that new beginnings are available to us at any time, although we sometimes need a little pomp and circumstance before we’re officially ready to roll.
I prefer to start without the fanfare.
I tend to launch before I know what I’m getting into.
Because if I knew what would be required of me to do half the things I long to do, I’d never do them.
It’s too daunting.
The learning curve is too steep.
If I knew how ridiculous I would feel prior to feeling fabulous or smart or trendy, I would never conjure up the courage to connect or create in all the ways that really light me up.
If I knew how much time, energy, and effort would be required to learn something people half my age were born knowing, I’d be tempted to use the “I’m too old for this” excuse.
But it’s that attitude that ages us faster than anything else.
The thing is, before we can get there from here, we have to go through the I-have-no-idea-where-I-am-or-what-I’m-doing place. No one talks about this place because once we get where we’re going and know what we’re doing, we often erase limbo land from our memory.
It’s human nature to want to forget our ineptitude or gloss over the obvious errors in our thinking or the epic failures we didn’t anticipate.
But these often make the most memorable stories and become the beginnings of our greatest adventures.
Countless success stories start with the adventure that went awry, the chance meeting that wouldn’t have happened if all had gone as planned, or the random recalculating of an accepted hypothesis that resulted in a scientific breakthrough.
There is an urgency about getting to the Promised Land, wherever that may be. We want to start out making top dollar. We want to instantly become an internet sensation. We want everyone to know our name. We want to succeed in business without really trying.
But there is a necessary learning curve. This is that magical time when we are humbled and frustrated and overwhelmed and filled with uncertainty that’s only occasionally sprinkled with awe and amazement and enthusiasm about what’s possible.
It’s this grace period when we get to fly under the radar, make mistakes, and hone our craft before we get pummeled by public perception.
It’s when we realize how lucky we are not to have our dreams realized before they are fully formed.
I recently came across a book titled “What’s In The Way, Is The Way.” This echoes the idea we’ve been tossing about in my coaching program that the life we’ve lived so far, with all its trials and tribulations, has provided the precise experiences we need to succeed.
Whatever impeded our journey informed our journey and placed us in the perfect position to offer the unique contributions we can today.
So, graduates, as you saddle up and ride off into the sunset, remember it’s the detours, flat tires, the missed turns and the learning curves they afford that hold the real gifts.
I have no doubt you will get to your Promised Land with the flair and finesse that only you possess. Just remember to embrace with grace the path that leads you there.
I’d love to hear what you are graduating from at this juncture in your life. Please leave your comments, insights, or advice for fellow graduates of all kinds in the comments below.
Yesterday I attended the funeral of a dear friend. She was the first one to “like” a blog post or leave a comment on my “latest and greatest” idea, no matter how wacky or weird it was.
If we’re lucky, we all have at least one person like my friend Linda who makes us believe in our own brilliance by reflecting it back to us.
Ours wasn’t a likely friendship but one that developed by working together. We didn’t work together for hours on end but in the odd hours when everyone else was asleep or had gone for the day or the week.
You see, Linda was the caretaker of our building. She was the invisible hand that kept the floors and windows clean and everything in operating condition. She would usually come in around 4 in the morning and spend a couple hours at our building before heading to her full-time job to put in another 8-9 for the day.
In her “free” time she made quilts and took in sewing projects and did all kinds of odd jobs for others.
She was a worker bee.
About a year ago Linda got bone cancer and embarked on the only route she deemed acceptable – the grueling road to recovery. She was an extremely private person so at first she simply withdrew. I’m sure she thought she could handle it without bothering anyone else and be back to work in no time.
But that was not the case. She had a long battle ahead of her and she was forced to fight it full time.
Once as I was driving her to the hospital I remember thinking, “This is really happening to us. We are no longer immune to cancer. It’s no longer something other people deal with.”
I got a glimpse into the impact a diagnosis of a debilitating disease has on a person. She, of course, was not going to let it get the best of her. In fact, like many people who have had cancer, it seemed to bring out the best in her.
Despite her declining physical condition, emotionally and spiritually she seemed to simultaneously harden and soften. Harden to take on the fear and uncertainty and soften to allow others to help. This brought about a kind of acceptance and letting go that comes with finally understanding what truly matters.
During the service, the priest admitted that he didn’t know Linda. I thought about how lucky I was that I did. As he fumbled his way through a reference to some Twilight Zone episode meant to comfort her family and friends, I consoled myself with what I did know and love about her.
While he surmised she loved being an aunt, he had no idea how much she loved her “kids” Rick and Rachael, the cats who shared her life. He made no mention of how mechanically minded she was or how, despite her fragile physical form, she was in the midst of a full DYI home renovation that had her excited about her future again. He failed to mention her lucky streak at the casinos or her love for Manny’s pizza.
He had studied her obituary but knew nothing of her life. He hadn’t had the opportunity the rest of us did.
As the priest offered the congregation communion, I imagined Linda finally communing with Michael Jackson, whom she admired more than any other performer. She told me once she’d love to have his music played during her funeral service but didn’t think it would go over very well.
So I came home and honored my friend the best way I knew how. “Alexa,” I commanded my AI device from Amazon, “please play ‘Man in the Mirror’ by Michael Jackson.”
Let me just say Alexa has ever understood or responded to any of my requests before. I believe she’s in cahoots with Siri who has the same problem. But today she responded, “Okay, Penny. Playing Man in the Mirror – the Immortals edition.”
Then I moon-walked around my kitchen, celebrating the life of my friend.
The letter “V” is the visiting today to validate and vouch for the various strategies we been voicing to get from Here to the New Year in Good Cheer.
If this were a tv show, I’d be asking you to vote for your favorite strategy. But I’d like to give you a vacation from vocalizing your views or vetoes and simply ask you to practice the strategies that add value and verify what works for you.
Venting about what vexes you may be all that’s necessary to vanish the stress. Or visualizing a vibrant, healthy, happy version of yourself may do the trick.
The variety of tips vying for your attention may vary. So I’m going to volunteer one of my very favorite strategies.
Find a room with a view and let your imagination veer you towards that venerated state of a virtual Valium like quality peace and serenity. When you can vacate the need to control events and open to the vulnerability of being present, the volume of vibrant ideas you recognize as vital signs to your well-being may astound you.
One of those ideas for me is to venture into video. So slave-driving Santa will be bringing the equipment I need to up my game, face my fears, and be more visible in the New Year.
I’d love for you to voice your viewpoint in the comments below.
P.S. How would you like a perfectly sized Resolve to Evolve journal to record your resolutions, write out your to-do or ta-da! list, or record the many vistas you see out of your room with a view? Just let me know where to send it below and I’ll get one to you in time for the New Year. Please know your information is safe with me because selling your information violates all that I hold dear.
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It’s time for Plan “U” of the Here to the New Year in Good Cheer challenge. Plan “U” urges you not to underestimate the appeal of the ugly sweater. It’s undeniable!
If you’ve got one, it’s time to usher it in with unbridled enthusiasm. Understanding this fashion trend is not important. Unraveling the mystery is unnecessary.
Wearing Santa underwear or elf pajamas usually falls under the ugly sweater umbrella. But have no fear, upgrading to ugly sweater apparel does not undermine your authority. On the contrary, it unquestionably upholds it as it unifies us by unleashing and acknowledging a kind of universal dorkiness in all of us.
When you dare to be vulnerable or silly or uncharacteristically unconcerned, you uncover the truth that it’s what’s underneath the ugly sweater that counts. I’m guessing for most of us, that’s ultimately a uniquely loving heart and an utterly amazing soul.
Use the hashtag #midlifemacgyver to send me photo of your ugly sweater on Instagram or leave me a comment below describing your ugly sweaters or other apparel and the adventures they uncork.
P.S. If wearing an ugly sweater leads to your undoing, then make an ugly sweater cake. The possibilities are unending!