Paying back living forward
NINJA, Relationships

Paying Back & Living Forward: Ninja Travel with Dad

In an ideal world, family relationships are such that parents care for their children and, after time, those children grow up wanting to care for their parents. This isn’t always the case. Some relationships are too toxic to continue or too fractured to recover. Sometimes distance, severe infirmity, or financial strain stand in the way between what the heart wants and what can actually be accomplished. However, when all else aligns, a child’s ability to payback love and care—in whatever capacity—is one of the greatest joys in life. Such has been, and continues to be, my experience.Read more

Gung hay fat choy
Mindfulness, Motivation, NINJA, Writing

Year of Calm, Smooth Efficiency

“Mom, you’re moving too fast,” my eldest son said, as I chopped, scooped, and tossed a butcher knife full of veggies in a sizzling wok, nearly slicing my wandering husband in the process.

I froze, mid-step, in the center of my narrow kitchen and assessed the scene. Sure enough, I had been zipping like The Flash from one cooking station to another in frantic dash to get my gourmet dinner on a perfectly set table before any of the seven courses dropped in temperature. However, as my son so accurately pointed out, I was not The Flash. No one is.Read more

Warrior Women
Empowerment, Motivation, NINJA, Writing

Warrior Women – An Essay on Empowerment

You probably know I’m a writer, but did you know I’m a ninja?

I’m not using the word in the popular sense—as a synonym for awesome or as a generic term for any skilled martial artist. I’m using the word in the literal sense to describe someone who has studied, trained, and earned a master’s rank in the modern evolution of the ancient art of the ninja. Yeah… it’s pretty heady stuff.Read more

Ground's Eye View
Mindfulness, NINJA, Perspective

Ground’s Eye View

Unless we’re thinking about growing plants, most people seem to view the ground as a hard, dirty place to avoid. Even inside we head straight for the chairs and couches rather than plopping ourselves on the floor. Modern societies have created enticing and ingenious ways to elevate ourselves above good ole Mother Earth. But is that a good thing?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

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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Fear
Calming Emotions, Empowerment, Exciting Stuff, NINJA

Overcoming Fear

FearFear stems from our unwillingness to experience a particular condition. It doesn’t matter what that condition is. If we are unwilling to experience it, we can be controlled. The condition could be anything: unemployment, divorce, solitude, poverty, confrontation, injury, illness, or death. All conditions have an opposing counterpart to which we are probably very attached: ie. employment, marriage, friendship, wealth, harmony, mobility, health, and life. Read more

Dodging Disappointment
Calming Emotions, Motivation, NINJA, ShowBiz

Dodging Disappointment

When we are willing to do the work, remain flexible as to the means, and have unwavering belief in our ability to get it right—disappointment has no place to root. On the other hand, when our heart and mind are attached to a fixed outcome and timetable, disappointment digs deep and sprouts up like a nasty weed. Water those weeds with doubt, and soon we’ll have a field of despair where nothing positive can grow.Read more

Train station
Exciting Stuff, NINJA, ShowBiz

Planes, Trains, and Peace of Mind

trainstationSo, there we were, sitting on the tarmac in St. Louis biding our time. Actually, the pilot had taxied our plane away from the gate to avoid the mandatory evacuation that is required after an hour or so of just sitting in a non-ventilated cabin, enjoying the slow ripening of 150 humans. He would chime in periodically to inform us of the status of the thunderstorms that had temporarily shut down La Guardia airport—apparently lightening is not a good thing. It was time for some ninja magic.Read more