Stop! In The Name of (self) Love


Recently, my cousin sent me this picture. I love it. It’s of me, and my two cousins (brother and sister) when we were around 4, 5 and 6, I think. It is one of my favorites and the timing reminds me of one of the best learnings I have come to this past year – learning to laugh at myself.

I am going to send it to the website Awkward Family Photos I love to look at the pics on the site. I think it shows us that all families have good intentions, and still, they can go terribly wrong. And I laugh out loud.

Such is also one of the lessons I hope to take into this New Year. I don’t always “do family” as well as I’d like. It’s complicated and managing it all can sometimes be challenging for me. With a lot of hard work, I’ve come to realize that we all “picture” our families, and lives, in a certain way. The picture is made up of moments – “snapshots in time”. The moments stick with us and we can choose to metaphorically caption them any way we want. We can also change the caption. I had several “captions” for this photo in my mind. My cousin had a different one. I loved hearing his. It opened me up to possibilities outside of my limited, and sometimes hard on myself, observations.

Maybe that’s what makes sites like Facebook and Instagram so appealing (and appalling). We have an opportunity to put out the best picture/caption possible and to believe in it.

So, I have put this old, dear picture where I can see it and like the little girl on the right, I vow to raise my hand more often and say, “Stop”! Stop and consider other perspectives. Stop and lighten up. Stop and be grateful for the friends and family who laugh with me. Stop and love ALL this moment has to offer. After all, it’s only a moment. And moments are all we have.

Do you have a picture that MindFULLY makes you laugh at yourself ?

Let us know!

7 Up


Looking for something new to watch? How about a new way to ponder life and time. The link below is to a blog that my Kabbalah teacher, David Sanders writes. Always insightful, David brings new ideas and ways of seeing, moving through and being in the world.

His latest post is about 7 Up, a series of eight documentaries chronicling the lives of a dozen people from the London area since the age of seven–every seven years. None have died. They are now 56.

I’m curious about what ordinary people like you and I have thought about, experienced and have in common.

Which led me to ponder, if I were to make a documentary of my life, how many years in between would I choose to revisit with my self? What thread would weave itself throughout my story? And how would I want it to end?

What MindFULL documentary would you create? Let us know!

One MindFULL Bite

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Such was the advice of the gentleman in the seat next to me, enroute to a project somewhere, years ago. His advice, on the heels of sharing how he got to be CEO of his company, made it into my journal.

“One bite at a time” I chanted as I stood in the doorway of my master bath, longing for a new color and knowing that if I wanted it to change, I was going to have to do it myself.


Uch. I love the concept and I hate the execution. Taping, painting, perfecting.

I watch too much HGTV. They make it look so easy. Yet, for someone like me, who loves the big picture, but isn’t as crazy about the details, it’s really hard.

However, I am determined. And I thought about my daughter and all the little sayings we share, when we want to do something and feel overwhelmed. “One bite a time” has moved us through many a challenge.

I find that a saying can remind me of something I know, show me a new way to think about a situation and help me through a tough moment. If you have ever wasted hours clicking through Pinterest, you might notice all the sayings posted on the site. I have started a Phrase Board. I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you. After all, “Choose Joy” is something we could all do well to remember.

  • When odds are one in a million, BE that ONE.
  • People may not always tell you how they feel about you, but they will always show you.   Pay attention. (Similar to my friend Barb’s favorite saying, “People tell you who they are. Listen.”)
  • Sometimes walking away has nothing to do with weakness, and everything to do with strength. We walk away not because we want others to realize our worth and value, but because we finally realize our own.
  • Judging a person dose not define who they are…it defines who you are (And vice versa)
  • Swearing…because sometimes “gosh darn” and “meanie head” just don’t cover it.
  • Chin up, beautiful. Your mistakes do not define failure. They define your efforts. Even if you’ve stumbled, just take a step forward and keep moving on towards your goal.
  • View challenging people as your assignment. Ask yourself: What is this person meant to teach me? Every person in our lives has a lesson to teach. Some lessons include: To become stronger. To be more communicative. To trust your intuition. To be more self loving. To know when to let go. To be nothing like this person. To see a part of ourselves we hate to admit, or need to admire.
  • Don’t raise your voice. Improve your argument.
  • Some things fall part so other things can fall together
  • If things aren’t working out, turn 180 degrees and move toward what you want (thanks, Ellen!)
  • You don’t drive your car looking in the rear view mirror. Why should you live your life looking backwards?

 What MindFULL saying do you use to move through life? Let us know!

Ten Small Words

Several years ago, I posted about one of my favorite sites: At Head Butler, you can find reviews of books, music, movies and products. Head Butler is Jesse Kornbluth, a magazine journalist who loves all things cultural – he sees himself as sort of a cultural concierge. He’s my cultural idol.

He always seems to find something new and fresh to share. My intention as well; but I am not as good these days at putting myself into the thick of things.

That’s why, every week, I devour his email.

A few weeks ago, I was struck by the column below. What stood out for me, in addition to the story he tells, are the 10 words he hears in a song- Am I a Blessing to Everyone I Meet?

Straight to the heart.

Check out his post (recopied here for your ease) and then click through to his site. Sign up. Perhaps there will be something you see that will enable you to answer, Yes.


It-s embarrassing. No, really, it-s humiliating to admit this, but somebody wronged me in 1989 and I still haven-t dealt with it. I-ve tiptoed right up to the door of a conversation I need to have with this person, a close friend who very nearly cost me the best job I’d ever had, but I-ve never taken the final step and told her that I know what she did and asked why she did it. I have my reasons — I mean: I have my rationalizations — and first among them is that I have, from day one, known why she did it: She was desperate, there was something she had to have, and it made no difference what lie she had to tell about a close friend to get it.

One could have compassion for someone so over her head that it didn-t matter who she had to burn to survive. But for more than two decades, I haven-t been able to forgive this person. When I think of her — and it-s not often — I-m suddenly sitting on a powder keg of fury, with no way to locate compassion or forgiveness.

In a moment like that — a moment of loathing for her and self-loathing for myself — I heard a song from Brandi Carlile-s new CD, –Bear Creek. That Wasn-t Me.- It-s about addiction — not hers — and dealing with it, and that person changing, and friends wanting to believe in that change. It-s about love and compassion and hope, emotions that Brandi Carlile can access with astonishing speed. [To watch/hear the video, click here ( ) .] Of course I bawled when I first heard it — the way I know something is Art is that it makes me cry — and I got teary all over again the next dozen times I heard it. So I stopped playing the CD. For a never-before reason: It was too good. [To buy -Bear Creek- from Amazon, click here ( ) . For the MP3 download, click here ( ) .]

But now there-s been an event — you don-t need the details — that has reminded me of this long-distant betrayal. And the wrong done to me has been gnawing at me. Often. So, seeking solace in somebody else-s drama, I put on -Bear Creek- again. And, in -That Wasn-t Me,- I heard the words fresh: -Do I make myself a blessing to everyone I meet?-

And you know what? I don-t. It-s not obvious that I don-t, because I can fake it as well as anyone in this city, but it became very clear to me that as long as I-m holding onto this bile, I-m treating everybody I deal with just a bit more defensively than I ought to. That-s got to stop. And I-m gonna stop it.

Why tell this story?

I-m not minimizing the importance of entertainment — life is hard, a good night out is to be cherished — but some entertainers are healers as well as performers. And over three CDs, I find qualities in Brandi Carlile that are worthy of admiration. Healing qualities. And not, I’d bet, just for me.

 How do you MindFULLY decide to change a behavior? Let us know!

Half A Million Secrets

Everyone has one (or some). “Secrets can take many forms — they can be shocking, or silly, or soulful.” Says Frank Warren. . Warren is the creator of, a blog full of secrets anonymously shared via postcard. It’s the most visited advertisement free blog in the world.

What do you think? Could you post your secret there?

I loved this TED talk about the site. It stirred something deep inside. I loved how people put their secrets out there. I loved their stories; I imagined how they lead to relief, happiness, connection and lightness.

I once had a secret and it took me years to tell someone I thought should know. When I finally told her during dinner one night, she literally looked at me and said, ‘Really. Hmmm. Well, did you know  ….” And then proceeded to tell me HER story and basically said, “Pass the ketchup.”

All those years and that was the response. Too bad Frank’s blog wasn’t up yet. I sure wasted a lot of energy. Don’t waste yours. Stop by and post your secret. No one will know its yours and yet, everyone will know it. Imagine how good that could feel to let it out. And then, imagine how good it could feel to let something else that lightens your heart, in.

Do you MindFULLY keep your secrets or do they just keep you? Let us know!