Friday, January 31, 2014

Do it Anyway...

Do it anyway!
I think the first line sums it up on this last day of January 2014... "People are often unreasonable and self-centered."  It may be that "self-absorbed" is a better word, as most are so busy living their lives they become unreasonable to the kindness that now seems to be out of vogue, out of step with a hurried world and a world out of control. Kindness is now such a rarity that at times we find ourselves and our body shifting when it happens! From someone holding a door open for you, to someone smiling a smile with bright eyes, kindness now seems to be such a rare gift we all are taken aback when it happens... 

Do it anyway! Find the courage to step outside of your own way while remembering the feeling when others say hello to you while moving through their day. Hold a door for another, offer to help unload a shopping cart at a car with good intention for another, just because you can.  Do it anyway, with hope in your heart for a greater world in the making that you are a part of.

I remember once hearing the now 60 year old Oprah who celebrated her birthday on the 29th of January  saying  "I offer my hand to others to pull them forward" (or something like that).  I liked thinking that she does that, that she is not so big that she does not offer her hand in kindness to others, in pulling them forward to success with integrity.
I like knowing that folks around the world can do many small things each and every day in kindness with intention and mindfulness asking for nothing in return. I love that folks who are perhaps having the hardest of times make time to offer prayer and thoughts for another in the world.

Do it anyway; whatever it is that might brighten a day, that might make a light brighter along your path.

Do it anyway; wherever the opportunity rises that allows you to rise with it.

Do it anyway; even if you have to turn around at the dead end street take time to notice the area, the sky, the ground that is there. Take the time to inhale and exhale while being grateful for the lesson, the blessings of your life.

Do it anyway; know that you will never please everyone, someone will have something to say about everything. That is their story, not yours.  EVERYONE has a story... just don't become the story. Live Love become the kindness.

Just be.

BE kind... Just do it anyway you can!

I was honored last night to be the guest on the radio with Chaz Wesley. His show titled, "From Grief to Grace" is heard in 143 countries and sponsored through Unity.Fm, the voice of an Awakening World. Last nights show was "Krumpled Kleenex" dedicated to my book, Healing Heartaches! We had a lovely time. 
You can now listen to the show by clicking this link. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed joining him live last evening!  Thank you Chaz for having me. 

Last night, Jan. 30th 2014, the second Super Moon was also viewed by some, was felt by many. It also was and will be remembered as the night that one beautiful woman, loved by so many chose to step up into the next place...
Louise Eagan Duckworth, beloved friend, wife, mother. A woman known for her courage, her laugher, her smile, her kindness, her fun, her struggle. She picked her moment, to use that rising Super Moon as stepping stones to dance into the galaxies, ending her painful journey and now once again, she soars free. Just a few days ago, Laura Roorda sat at her bedside, lovingly touching her, carefully doing her nails, quietly sharing intimate time... Both knowing her time here was drawing to a close, both knowing that love is eternal, that bonds will continue into the next place and beyond. Gotta have those nails lookin good, gotta get that hug, silence speaks volumes, and a Duck is is a Duck here there and just everywhere!
May those who love her embrace her journey, her freedom from pain, as they remember her LIFE. The Creator has gained another angel to dance in the lights and watch over all of us.

 DO IT ANYWAY... kindness, joy, peace, love... share it.

Walk in beauty,

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Willie Nelson walked onto the Stage at Ruth Eckerd Hall...

Oh what a night at Ruth Eckerd Hall, as Willie Nelson once again made it to Clearwater Florida! When he finally walked on the stage, the sold out house took to their feet screaming his name, the applause deafening, ( I think)... hard to say as I was screaming so loudly for him, that I am not sure I heard anyone in particular but everyone's voice as one! We watched as the legend dressed in a black t-shirt, black jeans, worn good tennis shoes, with his black hat just calmly walked on stage and grinned while waving a "Well hello there, it's been a long long time". We watched as his little sister Bobbie was escorted to her shiny black piano and took her seat, and Paul took to the drum. I wondered where in the world was Mickey Raphael... The bass man was awesome. We talked of the days of old, the Outlaws, Willie and Family... Waylon Willie and the boys as we anticipated that walk on stage, a night of his "Nightlife", his voice, his life played out in music.

We watched as Willie picked up Trigger and placed it around his neck... just knowing that this was a night long to be remembered.  I had noticed a couple who brought  their little boy around 8 that sat in front of us, the Dad wanted him to see Willie, to see him live and his way with a guitar. I liked that a lot. Smart Dad.

Most of the audience were still trying to undo the damage done to their nerves by the opening act. My gawd was she painful to listen to, many walking out to get a breath of icy raining air after three songs. Where in the world did they find her and why I kept wondering... I did not pay to hear that nor was it mentioned on the ticket price. the pain, oh the pain of that guitar she kept tuning between dark songs that droned on and on... 

Finally we had too much and had to walk away to breathe(we found many like minded folks with one nerve left when we got outside) as we waited for the one and only... Willie, we all wanted Willie.

When we got WILLIE, we got "All of him, the best of him, the most of him". He was rich, he was poetry in motion, powerful in voice and the combination of he and Trigger; his faithful guitar were unstoppable. From the old classic Willie, to the off the hook guitar playing Willie, he had the audience on their feet more times than I could count screaming for MORE... Bobbie at that piano with only the top of her hat being seen was a magician once again, her fingers remarkable as she had the ivories tickled and tantalized with each and every touch.  It was a night to remember, a night of a legend on that stage once again, a modern day prophet that so many of us have listened to over the years who just keeps moving, keeps us moved... and amazed.

Willie engaged everyone, he had us singing "Will the Circle be unbroken", he had folks singing parts of "Mama don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys" and he smiled a smile that everyone felt was being smiled for just them when he did it!

But my goodness, his voice... his hands and body when he played that guitar. An extension of a life lived through music, through feeling the lines of each song, living them fully, the last of the free, the original outlaw that everyone loves.

When he sang "Still is STILL moving to me" the crowd exploded... and oh so true those words are... When he sang, "Angel flying too close to the ground" there were some tears and even more truth, and an aura that came around him... 

The merchandise stand out in the lobby seemed to have the longest line; folks just can't get enough of Willie Nelson!  As I sat with my family of choice, all of a sudden a red bag got handed to me... wouldn't ya just know it, Mitch and Laura had snuck and bought me a Willie Shirt! Right there I had to put it on over my sweater, I had died and gone to heaven, now sporting my "WILLIE SPIRIT" shirt with black sleeves and red shirt with none other than Willie's face on it!

Oh yea, life is good! What a great night to celebrate Mom's birthday... as she was out partying like no body's business in VA, I was with Willie and family.  Oprah celebrated her birthday yesterday, Landon Korabek turned 21 in heaven... Willie at 80 is tuned up, turned on and keepin' on with music that is the Universal language for hope, healing, and great vibes for everyone everywhere... Let the music move you to all good things wherever you are... just as you are.

Willie got close to the end of his show with his newest gospel song;  and the audience just screamed... the energy in the rain after it was all over was as electric as a parade...

So here ya go... "just look em in the eye..." there's a party goin' on, so Roll Me Up and Smoke me When I die!

Thanks Willie& family... through the years, through the old times of coming back stage and on the bus, "you are always on my mind"...

Walk in beauty,

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mom is celebrating another Birthday Today... go figure!

My Mom...
Today she is 29 (again)
She is the one on the right!

My Mom... Dorothy Eller Sowers, yep... that's her!
Happy Birthday Mom...
oh yes, and that is her imaginary friend with her! Tonight I plan to celebrate her well, as I attend Willie Nelson's concert here... I've let her know that I'm sure she will love knowing that I'm here doing that for her birthday! Can't really write what she had to say about that though... but it was rather funny as I laughed til' tears squirted out of my eyes. Yes I called first thing this morning and sang and sang, only to hear her ask " what did you do with the money I gave you". I was surprised by the question and it gave me pause, until she finally cleared it all up for me saying, "YOU know, the money for singing lessons!"  Ohhhh, that money I thought!  Yep, that's here, there with Elvis and cuz Angie; but today she is chillin' at home as the snows have hit, the ice has rendered her on the hill that has yet to be safe to get down in her car! I was lucky to get through on a phone that is blowing up with those calls of Happy Birthday to the woman known all over town!  Now that she knows I'm off to see Willie tonight, she has plans to kick up the volume to his latest CD while checking the weather and see if her plans for the day are a go or a stay... Perhaps she will indulge a bit. After all, she is preparing to hit Vegas next month, oh how I hope she hits it big on those slots! Go MOM ... take that hat with ya for luck, bling baby wear the bling, bring home the dough!








My Mom lives in Dublin Virginia on a hill above where my Granny lived for years and years. Across the road is a railroad track and when the train runs you hear it long before you can see it... it shakes the house! I can remember running as a child to wave at the conductor; funny thing is, we will still do that when I'm there visiting! Dublin is a small little town, population 11,077 and Mom knows just about everyone there. The adjoining towns of Radford and Pulaski are not safe havens as she seems to know everyone there as well! Heaven help us if we are in a hurry and go to the store... cos' Mom has to stop and have a "hi how are you" with just about everyone she sees! This is a source of great comedy and often greater teasing from my 19 year old Godson D'Vante. He has texted me from the airport with this message, "Dot is talking to strangers"! haha
Thing is, Mom knows no strangers and  loves to engage folks in conversation it seems!!! If you don't believe me, just ask Kamryn, Angie or D'Vante. We have all enjoyed hearing the stories and have even more funny playing with her about learning to not talk to strangers.

Ah yes, Mom is also he volunteer of nursing homes, caller of bingo extraordinaire, and all around good pal in her area. She is there for so many and so often on the move that someone would be fast to keep up. She is an advocate of the YMCA there that once was struggling, once at a place of perhaps closing their doors... now that has changed, people have become passionate, involved with a sense of community and common values of care. She is there about three times a week in the water, has learned to swim this last year and with her friends has a ball! She is on the streets, in the water and now helping to teach little ones to swim, to foster fellowship and community. One busy woman I tell ya, and in the stands of the basketball court screaming success for Kamryn and those Radford ballers like nobody's business to the point of losing her voice at each game.  She's in it to win it!

Mom has been called many names & has many a story from & by her friends & family; and of course it would not be right if I didn't share some of that with you... after all Granny would want me to, and I am after all celebrating Mom's birthday with all of you this morning.

  1. It is Mom's hand you see on the photograph on the cover of Healing Heartaches! Now famous, I am sure should you ever run into her she will tell you all about having to pose for me and the 250+ photos that were taken! She will autograph the book for you as well which she did in Charlotte NC for a couple of women from the Philippines! She passes out cards/bookmarks everywhere she goes as she promotes Down the Hallway along the way!

  2. Mom and I grew up together... which is why she is but 29 years old... or maybe by now she is 39, I never have been good with numbers.

  3. Mom has a way about her that others love; from the depth of her volunteerism, to her concern of others at the YMCA that gives them a deep sense of community caring. If someone doesn't show up, someone calls to check... If someone is unable to drive, someone will go and get the person in order for them to come. Mom has sat by the bedside of the dying, visits the rooms of those in Nursing Homes, brings a ray of hope to those who would go without a hug or a smile, and she does it as though they were family.  She is funny, she is fierce, she is a force to reckon with if you piss her off or mess with someone she loves.  

  4. Granny used to call Mom "Boss Hog" and then we started calling her "The General" years and years ago. Why you may ask... well, you see Mom's home sits on the hill where the pigs used to live back in the day! So once the pig pen was gone, (Mom was once chased down the hill by the pigs when they escaped and oh how Granny loved seeing that through the kitchen window) and the land was changed to be able to have a home for Mom it only seemed fitting that she would be "Boss Hog" hahaha!!!

  5. Now as for the title of "The General"... Granny & Dorothy & Me all decided that since Mom like to act like she was in charge we would let her feel like she was in charge by giving her that name...  It stuck through the years, and darn if she didn't act more and more like a General!!!  We would pretend to pay attention, but we really didn't cos' we all knew that it was Granny who really ran things, but we let her keep the title anyway...  But, Mom could leap into action and line people up with their tasks and hold them to it... especially in times of heartache and tragedy. She would move em out! Get things done, but again that was back in the day when she was tough and before she got "mushy"!!!

  6. Now come the boys, Kamryn and D'Vante who she adores and who drive her completely crazy on any given day... they absolutely love to stand on her last nerve with their antics and practical jokes. They love to spend the night and play the WII, bowling, boxing, watching movies, throwing popcorn across the room, pillow-fights, and the like, all of which she is usually in the middle of when she is not the instigator of. Years ago they  took to calling their beloved "Dot" by a new name... They dubbed her "Big Nose" making jokes and all sorts of things and then decided to call her that in public places; airports, restaurants, in front of friends!!!  So being the sophisticated & classy lady that my Mom is, she takes it all in stride and waits patiently for just the right timing... usually in front of the kids' friends or in a busy restaurant. And then it happens... she gets the attention of the boys and in a heartbeat with a gleam in her eye and without warning will open her mouth and stick out her tongue (which will have the contents of a bite of food) and then make a face at the kids! THEY GET HYSTERICAL & EMBARRASSED at the same time!!!  But they have a ball and wonderful memories are made; great laughs are had by all and others watch with amazement at the bonds between them are clearly visable from two kids through the years to a single Mom of --- and an Elder and it is beautiful, and my heart and soul  sing knowing "that is my family, that is my MOM".
  7.  Then she comes to Florida and meets some dear friends of mine, Laura and Mitch. We spend time on beautiful Lake Tarpon and by the time Mom returns home she has yet another name... COB! So when in Florida and you meet my Mom, just say "Hello Cob" and she will answer I'm sure! That's my Mom, she'll talk to you like she's known you all of her life, and then she will tell you about her daughter, and she will sell you your very own autographed copy of Healing Heartaches or Down the Hallway too!
And so it goes... MY MOM is having a birthday today! And heaven only knows what is in store in Dublin, Radford or Pulaski Virgina. The great news is that she is good buddies with the Sheriff there, and that makes me feel better. It helps to know that if she is out and about and running the roads with  or with Angie and the boys and they are trying to make a spoon stick to the end of their nose and someone decides she or they are a danger to themselves or others...

It will probably be her friend who answers the call.

And somehow that makes me feel better!

On a more honoring note I will tell you: I could not ask for a more loving and beautiful Mother... whose love and support through the years have been a gift. I am blessed to have her, because of her I am more. We will laugh much, love often and live well.

I am one of the lucky ones, still able to laugh, love and experience life here with her and for that I give thanks... And So It Is!

At 73 years old, Helen Hayes said, "The hardest years in life are those between 10 ~ 70" 
I think she must have known my Mom! She has not had the easy road; it has been a path of heartaches, losses and tragedy some of which is written in Healing Heartaches, most of which is kept personal and honored as private. But she is a survivor, a thriver, she is a woman who has found her way back from the uncertain and dark path of sorrow and into the light of hope and healing ways. As Granny will remind her and all of us with her sage advise, "Keep your head held high, even when your butt drags the ground". Granny taught by example that through tragedy we will survive... and some will choose to thrive.

Happy Birthday Mom, you walk with amazing grace in all that you are, all that you have given to so many through the years. Your dedication to your family; your volunteer work with Hospice through the years and your commitment to Highland Ridge Nursing Home, Pulaski Health and Rehab  and the residents there along with your service to the YMCA in Pulaski, your gallons of blood given with love to the American Red Cross and the Lions Club so that others needs are met  are all to be applauded and admired. YOU are a remarkable human being, and Granny would be proud of her daughter as I am proud of my Mother. "whole lot"

YOU've still got it !

To all of you today... If your parents are alive, honor them, pick on them, love them and laugh with them... if they have died, honor your memories, live their legacy, stand tall for as long as you live they to shall live as you remember them.

I hope you will take a moment today, whet your breath and send a message of birthday wishes to My Mom, and honor yours while you are at it!

Walk IN Beauty,

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Caregivers, generation sandwich and switch

Sometimes what seems like a straw
may just be a flute ready to be played!
Just as Olivia once was so intent on that ever so cute photo that Nana captured,
it seemed she was playing her heart out on a flute that she could later dance to the music from!
Creativity is the name of the game in
I do believe~
More times than not it will require you to have on your
"water wings"
a control of YOU in your hand
and at times it will surely curl your toes,
as a younger Kamryn demonstrates so well,
and at times it requires you to
"set your mouth just right" for the ride you will feel like you are on.
And at times it will be a wild ride indeed while other times
a ride like none other with sights and sounds and smells and experiences that you will treasure the rest of your life.
But make no mistake,
care-giving is a ride for those who are not with a faint heart.

The Elders now caring for the adults, the grands, the little ones...
Great-Aunts, Godparents, Grandparents, Extended families
now finding themselves raising a new generation and finding themselves with a new set of rules
so vastly different from their own ways, cultures, norms.
Once able to feed their families on food grown from a garden that was planted by the whole family, food washed from water from the well and distributed around a table where the family bowed their heads with thanks.
Now a table where the food is scarce,
the cell phones out and texts a flyin from here to there,
the pants on the ground unless a rope holds em up; unless that fad doesn't live where you do anymore!
Now a time of coke being more than a bottle of pop.
 A ho being something other than what is used in the garden,
and when you "are down with that" it does not mean you have the flu.
So much to keep up with, so many things to be on top of,
to be groovy is not cool,
to be "fly" is now the way to
be "fresh" but not rude.
A roller coaster looks tame in relation to all that is happening in the world of caring for our youth,
and add to that the schools that are now lowering their standards when kids do not do well on standardized tests rather than work harder to bring them UP and educate them better.
to understanding.
Those who are providing care
would do well
with support, with tips to enhance their survival and their self preservation along this arduous path of caring.
The tracks are long and sometimes isolating.
Sometimes caregivers just want to lay on those tracks and hope for the train...
So for them,
perhaps they need to know,
they are NOT alone in those feelings.
In communities across the Nation, there are those who Stand up
and find ways to get speakers in the community to hold seminars/workshops to talk to them, to help to restore some balance and empower them in ways to enhance coping.
They can find others in their communities and set up
"caregiver support groups"
and the effects and impact can be awe=inspiring, validating and make a tremendous difference.
May it help to know a few things.
YOU are not responsible for the actions of the person that led you to this place unless they are YOUR actions!
If you are the caregiver of a grandchild, niece or nephew;
you are not responsible for the actions of your adult child.

YOU must take best care of you.
Remember the friendly airline steward?
YOU must first put YOUR oxygen mask on before rendering aide to another.
tip number 1.
YOU are your most precious resource.
Enlist resources and support.
People don't know what they don't know.
Unless you ask, you will never know what you need along this journey of caring for another.
AWARENESS is the key to understanding.
*Walk or exercise daily
*Make YOU time every day
* Find someone to talk with; even if by phone or internet to feel a connection
* Laugh (even if its at yourself or the circumstances) where there is tragedy there lies comedy somewhere.
* Learn of what is out there on the streets
*Call everyone in the community to enlist help
*Know that there will be some unsettling times
*Find ways to educate, to maintain connections to YOUR traditions, your routines, while finding ways to incorporate the newness you are now in
*Concentrate on the NOW. Don't dwell in the past or become the story of why/when/how.
*Try to not look to far down the tracks, it can be overwhelming
*Practice mindfulness
*Look to your faith to sustain, to maintain, to comfort
*Talk Talk Talk to the one you are providing care for
*Learn to say NO
*Write, make a journal of things said, things that you will always have to look back on, or a video
*Look for the humor, and encourage laughter
*Be like a willow; strong enough to bend
*Make a list of 3 things, stick with the list
*Develop boundaries
*Foster Respect in daily routines
*Be Creative 
*Be careful in expectations!
Care giving is rewarding, it is Work,
it is circumstances that we often never imagined
and it is a wild ride at times.
A ride that not only is being taken by what we call the
"sandwich generation"
but by those we know as the
Elders. It is often trading places, one a child that was cared for by a parent, we know see adult children caring for the parent... Switch ups, things that no one thought could happen.

WE must teach the children that respect for the Elders has been earned, props should and will be given to our wisdom keepers.
Even when they are ready to bring out the big gun to make their point;
those caregivers are quite amazing, funny, serious and Warriors!
Whether caring for Mothers, Fathers, spouses, Children or grandchildren///
YOU just don't want to mess to much with them or
They might just bring out
the squirt gun on ya and we know what happens then~ and heaven forbid if you step on the nerve that is sometimes all that is left after a long day and exposed! Truth is truth there... walk gently, offer a smile and know when to just sit quietly and listen. Each care giver needs respite at times, each needs an opportunity to just get away and breathe for a bit, needs distraction, needs their life to be theirs for a bit in order to keep going. For so many that is a tall order and hard to fill.


Wherever you are
Whatever you are doing
Please take a moment,
light your candle
say a prayer for the Universal connection that ties us all together in this world. Say a prayer for those who are traveling to the Olympic Games that they will be safe, able to focus on their best efforts in the games rather than the threats that loom large there. Light a candle for another who is going through it, been through it, or in remembrance of someone that has been so loved and is missed now and always.

Take a moment to look at that candle mindfully, to allow it to remind you to shine brighter within, being more than you think possible with each breath you take as you look for the good.

Walk in Beauty

Monday, January 27, 2014

Where but the Grammy's...

Oh my goodness, The Grammy Awards, 2014, now the glitter, the awards are done for another year... We can all say that either we watched it, we were there, or we watched the Pro Bowl, or... we just didn't care at all!

One thing rings true through today, where but the Grammy's could you ever see and hear such diversity?  Where could you ever watch such change in action, hear through your own experiences music that has changed through the years as we must remind ourselves, 'sex sells' in every venue of our world. With that being said, there are some very beautiful bodies who sing these days, who leave little for the imagines of those who watch while straining to hear the lyrics of the song.  They sure don't make music or entertainers like they used to I remarked to a friend last evening. Guess you have to call me "old school" in that way. 

Beyonce stunned the world when she secretly released her latest CD, now that it has skyrocketed with little done except her name, she is on top. Her stage presence was larger than life, her acrobatics and sexual aura delighted many and offended others. JayZ joined her and their love for each other was sensual, was electrical, and again many loved it, while others decided it was not suitable for family viewing... One thing is certain, she is a woman who stays in the gym, and has a stretch of her legs that many cannot fathom... She also has done some remarkably great and wonderful things off the stage and in clothes for kids with cancer by the way.

 The millions who viewed her had much to say as social media lit up, the comments, the opinions... I was more struck that I had trouble understanding the lyrics... and a bit envious that my body has never had the ability for that agility!

Truth be told, I had only decided to attend the Grammy's from my couch to see Willie Nelson, Kris together ... joined by Merle Haggard and Blake Shelton. I remember the original outlaws, the Highwayman; with Waylon and Johnny Cash; their music, the good times that they shared through three cords and a story. It's great that Kris received the Lifetime Achievement Award while he is still living and it was not lost on me that these legends were sharing a stage with rappers, hip hop, new generations of song... Along with Sir Paul, Ringo together once again, as Yoko Ono looked on from the audience. Carole King did a remarkable job, her look her voice, the memories she brought back through the years! 
Seems Willie just wasn't on long enough, or that maybe he should have sang "Roll me up and smoke me when I'm gone"... just for laughs and great times!

It was quite the night it seems as rolling cameras panned the audience, as we now hear of the mass marriage of love occurred by the Queen Latifah!  Even Keith Urban shed a tear or several as rings were exchanged during that remarkable event, that had twitter blowing up with wonderful or hate filled remarks!  Ah, controversy plugged into music, into celebrations and awards... the connections of music being the greatest healer of all things and people. Can you imagine the love that was felt by so many while viewed by over 100 million... the validation, the feeling that must have been felt in that space?

Then of course there was PINK... now talk about an entrance! I was just astounded, as we not only watched her but listened to her as well. A body that is as fine tuned as her voice, both combined a force to reckon with, as she twirled and swirled from the air to the floor... truly a highlight of the night! For me anyway...

 Cirque meets the Emmy's meets a body that won't stop meets PINK... The audience seemed to love it, to reach for her to spin her round and round. How is it, she never lost a note, never seemed breathless, never seemed dizzy?
Just one heck of an entertainer I have to say, and I did get the lyrics! Talk about "core strength", that woman must spend 6 hours a day with a trainer, and train in her sleep on top of that. Impressed I was... and a joy to watch! Thanks Pink, for the show... I stand amazed.

 There were times though I could not understand a word of songs, times I was afraid that folks on the stage were having convulsions as I watched their heads go backwards at odd times and violently come forward and then back again... It happened with more than one act, so now I have to think it is a new style, a new dance, a new move. Taylor Swift did it at the piano... a group did it dressed in white to the resounding beats of drums... (I couldn't hear a word of the song though). The young 17 year old Lorde who won an award, though I thought her 40, she made body awkward movements that had me frightened for her safety, I didn't get that, and a look that appeared came from a dark place.  I hope she was having the best time of her young life though. From legends of years ago, to those I did not know, to those I hear from time to time, it was quite the night for all.

 Remember when?  What do you think of the music now?  

 Daft Punk won album and record of the year honors for the album "Random Access memories" and the single "Get Lucky" featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers.Pharrel looked like he stole Smokey the Bear's hat for the Grammy's!  Did we ever think we would watch a show that had Sir Paul, Ringo, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristoppherson and robots sharing the same stage? I sure can't say that I did, nor how they could breathe in those things!

Life, music, soul inspiring lyrics... so interconnected in so many ways. Thinkin' I will just stay with all of it, but perhaps skip the newness of lyrics I can't hear or understand for a bit... I love music that speaks to me, artists that show me their style, their souls knowing that their songs speak to them in ways unimagined. When I watched Keith Urban play last night, how he "feels" music, I got that, I felt it with him... His love of music, his passion. When Patti Labelle takes to the stage, she is the music, the story, the storyteller, the soul of music.  Fully dressed, all present, the "true diva" of song.  They don't make em like that anymore.

When Willie Nelson strikes the strings of Trigger that guitar, you know he has been there, he has walked the walk... and you are about to walk the walk with him, through his words... That is the Universal Connection of healing, of song, of the beat of the drum.

Oh what a night those Grammy's were... As JayZ said after receiving his, "I got you a new gold bowl to drink from Blue".  Let the music play on, as it moves you today and always.

(that's a wrap( from one writer who almost fell asleep at the end!

Walk in beauty,

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The U.S.A. Olympic Athletes 2014

Ralph Lauren has let us see our US team outfits, the thoughts have spread across social media with those who like, love and those who wonder what in the world was he thinking as we have all seen the 2014 selection! One thing is certain, our colors stand out, they represent our United States, just as every man and woman will in Sochi for this years Olympic games. Ralph Lauren certainly put the heart of America in the fabrics that our Americans will wear as they proudly walk with their hopes in hand and their heads high, joining others from all across the world to compete.

 We've listened to Mitt Romney tell us that he would take his family there as he feels safety will not be an issue. We've heard Putin and his stance on gays, telling Americans and others to "stay away from the children" in Russia and the zero tolerance for gays there. We've also listened to the incoming threats to security and less than welcoming messages for America and its athletes.  

These young men, women; who have dreamed of this Olympics, those who have trained to be the best of the best since children. They sleep, eat, dream "the Olympics", now having received their outfits to represent their country.  In just a few short days the games will begin.  

The hard work, the stress, the mounting excitement, the adrenalin... all now tainted with perceived threats of the potential of terrorism by extremist groups. Memos being received and Americans being told to not wear their uniforms outside the venue, nor to sport their Americanism for fear of harm.

Some parents, friends, Americans deciding the fear is too great, the threats becoming too large to attend. 
Why exactly did we agree to an Olympic event in a country where America would be so very unwelcome?

Will our athletes lose their edge now being coached on how to walk in the streets under such duress of perceived and very real threat on their lives there? Wearing their team colors now making them a target seems to be a large stressor for those who are proud of their country, representing their country and ramping up to compete.  

Those threats... including new video of Jhad groups and security preparing for the unthinkable at an event attended by the world with the rest of the world watching. It is hard to imagine that the traditional Games, of athletes who are coming from across the lands/seas the globe in unity to compete, to do their personal best would be viewed now as the biggest target of hatred and harm.

Talk of a "Black Widow" of Jhadist groups, radical Islmaist groups, and those who are securing areas...

This has got to be on the minds of athletes, of their families and loved ones. It has got to be on the minds of the millions who will be watching, watching not just the remarkable skills of those who will be competing, but also watching and hoping that all is well, all is safe within such a country that has let the U.S.A. know their colors are not safe to wear.

"SOCHI, Russia — The United States Olympic team and at least five other national delegations have received messages making terrorist threats ahead of the Winter Games, adding to mounting security fears two weeks before competition begins."

AS we move closer to the games, let us all send energy to those there, send mindful hope that all will be safe.
"The safety and security of Team USA is our top priority," Scott Blackmun, CEO of the Olympic Committee, said in a statement Wednesday. "As is always the case, we are working with the U.S. Department of State, the local organizers and the relevant law enforcement agencies in an effort to ensure that our delegation and other Americans traveling to Sochi are safe."

 Friday FEB 7th, let the games begin...
God Bless you Olympiads may you be safe, may you be successful and may you find this to be the best of your dreams.  These folks have worked so hard, so long to pursue their dream... what a damn rotten shame they now cannot wear their colors wherever they go with pride, with confidence knowing they are safe. What a damn shame that they have to have thoughts of safety intrude thoughts and centering to prepare for their day... their day where they put it all out there as they go for the Gold doing what they have trained to do.

What a world, when we lend help to the very people who live to destroy others in ways that boggle the fabric of society along with our minds.

 May we know peace ...



Saturday, January 25, 2014

Time to ramp up "Happy"

It's cold... bad things happen to good people. Grief is a hard arduous journey. Hearts bend, but do not break. The news we watch is fraught with "awfulness personified". We often feel and are unable to change things as we absorb the worst of humanity, the actions of others that change lives in a hot second. We sit and shake our heads and wonder out loud or to ourselves, "how can this happen, when will it stop".

It's like watching a hamster on crack with a wheel that is ever turning, but the people are constantly changing, the wheel is moving into communities, cities and across the world while we view it from home, or in our cars listening.

We nurture our own, in our families and sit astounded when we see and hear lies, untruths, and the results that are so far removed from what our dreams for another become. The choices of others, the blame games, the guilt that is felt when all goes wrong... Our bodies, soul, spirit and minds get overloaded from intimate relations to world wide events; from youth to adults and we wonder...

We forget basic realities; the Universal Oneness that makes us connected. The light that burns within us, that gives us the ability to rise during storms of life, through times of great tragedy, through seeing life in all its grace and splendor.

We forget that happiness is ours, if we pause to claim it, to own it, to choose it.  In the best of times, the worst of times, we have that capacity within us, to get us through, to enhance the quality of our lives right here right now.

I think it's time for people to be happy again.

It's time for people to laugh out loud again.

It's time for people to look themselves in the eye through the mirror again; not at their hair, but at their character, at their lips that move when speaking to another. Maybe it's time to record voices to hear the tone of the message, to hear the impact that may be felt while heard from another, the very imprint that is going from vocal chords to heart chords.

It's time, more than ever to come together in ways unimagined in Unity. To stop the party line hatred and unite as one people who fly the same flag of Red/White and blue.

It's time more than ever to bring back some of the lost rituals that used to bring communities together in faith, fellowship, friendship, and kindness.


It's time to stop making excuses for our children, our brothers and sisters, colleagues who outright do the wrong thing.  Now more than ever we see someone who does wrong and the next words from the mouths of lawyers and T.V. hosts we hear is "mental illness".  Mental illness is now being spread like butter to excuse behavior that is wrong, fundamentally wrong but a convenient plea in a time that seems the world has lost its mind.

We watch the likes of a spoiled kid who made it big; the new term "affluenza"; Justin Beiber, Miley... we see the press over and again, the result of poor choices, bad behavior and those who think they are above it all. Next words: too much pressure, rehab, mental illness.

Let's try to say things how they are, try truth, overindulgence, responsibility, accountability.

Let's work for getting into our happy place and refusing entry to anything or anyone that tries to invade the space with less than.

Follow through is key; it's time to take back the night, take back the days where the light within spreads to all making them shine better, laugh louder, dance harder.

It's time to ramp up the happy, to dance with wild abandon, to come into your own on a wrecking ball of joy, amazing grace into your own.

That's my thoughts, and I'm stickin to em'!  
Be kind, be joyous, be real, be happy!

 Walk in beauty,

Friday, January 24, 2014

Turn your radios ON, Jan 30th

Modern technology has made it easy to connect on the radio. The lovely news is that Chaz Wesley contacted me from Tulsa OK, and asked that I join him live on his radio show on Jan 30th at 5pm CST, so I'll be at the ready, here in Fl, as we connect from here to there on his show. 
 I'll be live on radio Jan 30th with Rev. Chaz Wesley, at 5pm CST. Chaz has a radio show called "From Grief to Grace". He let me know that the show will be titled, "Krumpled Kleenex" (think he pulled that one from Healing Heartaches!) I'm honored.  

For those who wish to listen to the broadcast as it airs live, the link is: 

I Look forward to knowing you'll be listening! JAN 30TH, 2014... 

From grief to grace is often a journey that begins with a diagnosis, a journey that may begin with a phone call, a journey that may begin with the loss of dreams, hopes, the loss of the "way it was, the way it was supposed to be, the way it was planned." It is sometimes through darkness, through stumbling, through hitting your knees when too weak to stand...
OR it may just be that grace takes one through loss, grief and growth. It is individual, it is the movement of energy through the Universal connection of something much greater than ourselves ...

I am looking forward to shared time with Chaz; I met him in KS long ago when speaking for Stephen Bright and KS Comfort Keepers ... He is in Tulsa doing great things, sharing his light with so many there. The show will will be filled with spirit, with music I am sure he has planned and by now he has read Healing Heartaches that I sent to him, hopefully he has read Down The Hallway as well.

From Grief to Grace, from Grace through Grief; it will be a time of connection, I'll be listening for you there...

Jan. 30th 2014 at 5:00 CST.

on Unity Online Radio Weekly, just click the link above to join in

 Rev. Chaz Wesley
Transformational Coach
Tulsa OK.

May you be warm today, be safe today, be bombdiggedity in all ways ... 

Walk in beauty,
author of:
Down The Hallway
Healing Heartaches
Chronic Pain; Hand in Hand