night watch
Calming Emotions, Mindfulness, Relationships, Writing

Night Watch

I wrote the notes for this poem on my father’s bed during the wee hours of the night, pen in one hand and his fingers curled around the other. Writing is the best way I know to process emotions and pass through challenging times. It helps me arrange my thoughts and get to the heart of what I’m experiencing. When I arrive at what I feel is a finished poem, essay, or story, I feel a great sense of peace about what has transpired.Read more

prayer for the precious lost
Calming Emotions, Mindfulness

Prayer for the Precious Lost

I greeted the day with my habitual morning meditation—reaffirming my commitment to the path of enlightenment; acknowledging and atoning for my own misuse and misdirected actions, words, and thoughts; activating energy points throughout my body; and centering my spirit for a calm mind and focused intent.

And then I prayed…Read more

Reflections on Gratitude...
Calming Emotions, Health, Mindfulness

Reflections on Gratitude (Insights from a Fractured Tooth)

Who knew a blast of air on a fractured tooth could render a badass ninja into a trembling kitten? Okay… I suppose I would have expected it if I had given it prior thought. But here’s the thing: I don’t have problems with dental work. I don’t leap from the chair like a Halloween cat and claw the ceiling every time the dentist pokes at a tooth. In fact, my biggest concern is staying awake in those comfy reclining chairs. But when that air blasted my nerve, I embedded all twenty of my claws so deeply into ceiling panel I didn’t think I’d ever come down.Read more

Energize the Waiting
Calming Emotions, Empowerment, Motivation, Perspective, Writing

Energize the Waiting

“I love to wait!” said no one, EVER. And yet, we can’t seem to a avoid it.

We check our emails on the hour (or minutes) for responses from agents, editors, and casting directors. We stare at our phones (and test the connection), willing them to ring with news of that hard earned promotion or the house of our dreams. We pace our floors (or pound our heads) waiting for test results and customer service, plumbers and computer techs, heartthrobs and children. And no matter how fast we work or how efficiently we manage our affairs, every series of actions seems to be followed by an even longer and more grueling period of waiting for some omnipotent entity to say YES!Read more

Dangers of Over-Sharing
Calming Emotions, Communication, Mindfulness

Dangers of Over-Sharing

We’ve all got problems, right? They exist. We can’t just close our eyes and pretend they aren’t there. Well, actually we can, but pretending won’t really make them disappear. Our problems will still be waiting when we work up the courage to take another peek. So, we might be tempted to think that talking about them couldn’t hurt. We might even believe that unburdening our troubles will relieve some of our stress. And to some degree, it does. But at what price?Read more

The Second Guessing Game
Calming Emotions, Communication, Empowerment, Mindfulness

The Second Guessing Game

The other day, a friend of mine was wrestling with a common relationship issue, trying to figure out whether someone’s action was motivated by good intention or woeful disregard. I say common, because I suspect we have all experienced this kind of uncertainty at one time or another: Someone we know does or says something that leaves us feeling hurt, bewildered, or perplexed. The most direct course of action would be to ask. But that only works if we’re willing to believe the answer.Read more

Reflections from a Beach Girl
Calming Emotions, Communication, ShowBiz

Reflections from a Beach Girl

In 1986, I recorded with Brian Wilson. I was a young singer at the time and thrilled to be hired (along with two fabulous women) to sing on his album-in-progress. This was during a difficult time in Brian’s life when he was struggling to get back into his music. A couple years later, he would come out with his critically acclaimed solo album. But in 1986, he was in the midst of his struggle with music and his longtime therapist, Eugene Landy.Read more

Empathy without Suffering
Calming Emotions, Communication, Mindfulness, NINJA

Empathy without Suffering

While speaking on the Power of Empathy to graduate students studying for their Masters in Social Working, I saw a need to address how to be empathetic without taking on the pain. Like writers, doctors, artists, caregivers, parents—and any deeply caring individual—these young professionals wondered if there was a way to open their hearts, safely. If you’ve ever wondered the same thing, read on!Read more

why feel bad
Calming Emotions, Empowerment, Motivation, Perspective

Why Feel Bad?

I see many well-meaning slogans encouraging us to embrace imperfections, anything from extra pounds, to volatile social skills. You know the ones. They declare to the world that we are perfect just the way we are, and that others need to fix their perceptions of us. Either that, or they can just leave us the hell alone!

On the surface, this sounds like a good thing: there is great power and peace in acceptance. The problem that I have with some of these slogans is that they imply that any attempt to correct an imperfection is an act of self-denial.

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Time warp
Calming Emotions, Empowerment, Perspective

Time Warp

Time, like everything is relative. It depends on our temperament, our work load, our environment, our relationship to people, our stage in life, our health, and myriad other things. Our perception of time fluctuates throughout the day, week, month, or years. It varies according to topic, people, and circumstance. So while we would like to think that the past is the past and the present is the present, that is not always the case. The past for one person might be the present for another. It might even be perceived as the future for someone else. Talk about confusing! Is it any wonder that our differing perceptions of time can cause such conflict and heated emotions?Read more

Tori and rinpoche
Calming Emotions, Communication, Mindfulness, NINJA, Perspective, ShowBiz

Differently the Same

I’ve had a series of fascinating conversations for Empowered Living Radio this past month. Each has been on a different topic with wildly different guests: the reincarnated spiritual leader of the Red Hat Lamas of Tibet, an advocate and activist for the Indigenous people of Turtle Island (North America), a Colonel in the United States Army stationed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as an adviser, and a professor and author of middle-grade fiction. And yet, there seems to be a common thread that weaves between all of these conversations—connection and interdependence.

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