Featured

About This Site & You

IMG_1067

Welcome to an oasis on the internet!  This website is about living life from the inside out…from the fire within.  It’s about living life from all of your senses with the depth of passion that keeps you in touch with the gift of Life.  Here you will see beauty in all its forms.  I will post my deepest thoughts and feelings in a way that I hope will inspire you to go deep yourself.  We will laugh, we will cry, we will rejoice, we will appreciate, we will give thanks.  I hope you will share your thoughts and feelings too.

Something you can look forward to is something called the “Weekly Stretch“.  In the weekly stretch, you will be given something to do that will stretch you as a person.  Please be sure to check that out!

Welcome.  Expect miracles!!!

How Can You Help & See You Soon

September 1!! Holy smokes, how did the summer go so quickly? I ask this question every year. It was a wonderful summer and I’m so grateful for each day. I’m not ready to let it go quite yet and plan to squeeze in a few more beach days if I can.

But it IS September and my month is jammin’. Bob and I have the honor of being the keynote speakers for One Spirit Seminary’s first Global Reunion Retreat and we will also be attending my own high school reunion a week later. My classes have already begun and the Jewish High Holidays are soon upon us. We’re jumping in with both feet and everything else. I will be taking a break from regular posting and will write when time permits.

In the meantime I thought I’d send some links to sites we’ve found to help our brothers and sisters in Texas as they recover from Hurricane Harvey. We are so heartened to see how people have galvanized to surround those in need with the knowledge that they are not alone and we are all ONE people. Our Common Ground Community has sent our accumulated annual donation to “Best Friends Animal Society”, a great organization, originally based in Utah, that works nationwide in outreach programs. They are doing great work on the ground in Houston, where they have taken over an empty furniture store to stage their rescues for medical care, reuniting with their families, or adoption. https://bestfriends.org/.

Also, Brene Brown posted that there is a desperate need for socks. She gave a link to buy them online via Amazon which will deliver them directly. You can go to her Facebook page or you can click one of the links below which is text from her post:

Here are three ways to give NEW (still in package) underwear. Please keep in mind that we need a variety of sizes for men, women, boys, and girls, including XXL.
1. https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/2O89ZX93OGCSU/ref=nav_wishlist_lists_1
2. Collect new, packaged underwear and mail it to the address below. It’s our local Hillel and they are collecting for us. This is a really great neighborhood or school project. If you’re purchasing, we recommend Hanes or Fruit of the Loom. UFE doesn’t process or give out anything but underwear!
Undies for Everyone
1700 Bissonnet St.
Houston, TX 77005
3. Give cash and Undies for Everyone will purchase wholesale: https://secure.lglforms.com/form_engine/s/uFpr61ITEItxPeN4Lo9zpA
——————————————————————
I went to the Amazon link last night and placed an order for socks for children and adult men. It was easy.

And locally there is a trucking company that will be driving a huge trailer of accumulated goods to Texas. We have local drop-off points here that will bring all donations to the Hermann Trucking Company in North Brunswick, NJ. There are probably many such efforts in communities all over the country. I’ll be shopping for goods tomorrow to bring to our nearby drop off point.
We are all so blessed to have this holiday weekend to be with our families celebrating in homes or on vacation. So many people who would have been doing the same are wondering if they will ever see their home again, if their families are safe, dry and warm, or even alive. We can all help in some way.

Have a safe Labor Day weekend and I will see you all soon.
More to come.

The Lights Are On & Someone’s Home ~ 8-25-17


photo by Franne Demetrician

Feeling the refreshing cool hint of fall in the air this morning and it feels good. Planning to hold summer as close as possible but ready to welcome the sensual pleasures of autumn.

I spent some time in the last few days talking about and reflecting on authenticity. I had written a post for this week that somehow didn’t work for me and even after asking for some valued input from trusted confidants, I didn’t feel good about posting it. So, it sat in my file for the last few days waiting for me to “post or get off the pot”. I decided to get off the pot and start over. Here is why.

The intention of this website is to be a place of safety and respite for anyone who chooses to stop by and read my blog. My hope is that what I share here is helpful to my readers; that together we come to feel and know that none of us are alone in our human experience. My previous post was more of a “cranky pants” rant than the fulfillment of my intention. I’m considering that post a private journal entry that just needed to be written, and leave it at that.

I had the good fortune of receiving a tremendously healing session from my friend and colleague, Michele Granberg. She is a gifted shaman and healer. I was holding the question about my cranky blog post in my heart when I arrived. My intention for the session was quite simply to find my center, to affirm integrity and authenticity, and to remember my connection to Oneness. As always, the session was amazing, but this one seemed to have an even deeper and higher quality to it and soon I was in an altered state hovering just outside of my body in total bliss. I’ve had some inspired moments during sessions with Michele, and this one was restorative and refreshing, which is exactly what was needed.

Toward the end of the session Michele began to whisper some affirmations to me, and as she did I started to see faces – faces of people in my life who love me. It started with my Dad’s face and I felt his energy as if he were standing right next to Michele at the side of the table. I felt the tears and said a silent “Hi” to Dad, but then I saw more faces – faces of people in my life who I love and who love me – and felt more energy and was immediately surrounded by what can only be identified as unconditional love from every one of them. It was sudden and filled me completely. I almost felt myself lifted off the table by the rush of energy I felt from the light of all their love. Then she said something like, “feel yourself so connected that the face of God is but a hair’s breadth away”. That was profound, and what I saw was me “cheek to cheek” with the face of God. It wasn’t so much a visual image, but it was what I experienced. Me and God – cheek to cheek. It was pure, it was innocence, it was transcendent.

Michele said a few more things, brought me back to Earth and my body, and the session ended. I felt revitalized to be sure. And I gained insights from some of what Michele intuited from the session that clarified some of my present questions and challenges. I hugged her and thanked her, then floated out to my car. My habit is to get the music going before I do anything, which is what I did. I pressed the button that would start my iTunes library and put the car in reverse. The next thing I heard was the most beautiful saxophone interpretation of “God Bless The Child”, by of all people Stanley Turrentine. Y’all, I didn’t even know I HAD that piece in my library. Hello! I stopped the car and just stared at the readout on the dashboard that said, “God Bless The Child”. The message was complete – cheek to cheek with God, “God Bless The Child”, and unconditional love from all the angels in my life. It was all there and the lightbulb blazed as bright as the sun. Ding, Ding, Ding! I knew what I needed to know.

Whatever the eclipse on Monday left behind – the “eclipse hangover”- that I was feeling this past week I have surrendered to it and welcome the opportunities it has afforded me. My session with Michele was integral in moving me forward and I am exceedingly grateful to her for her kindness, her compassion and her skill. I heard the message loud and clear, the lightbulb continues to burn bright, and I’m ready for what is next.

No stretch this week. Just hugs and love from me to you.

FINDING HOPE ON THE BEACH ~ 8-14-17


Bradley Beach, NJ 8-12-17

We are probably all a little freaked out with the hype about the eclipses, moon cycle, and Mercury going retrograde all at the same time. I know I am. And while I do believe that astrological events can and do influence how things play out in our lives, I sometimes wonder how much of these occurrences are actually the result of these energies at play, or my projections and fears about their power. Regardless, energy IS moving around that I think may be related to the action going on “out there”; and it’s gotten my attention.

I pay heed to the advice of astrologers, especially my friend Lisa Zimmerman, who is a gifted one. I’ve learned so much from her about how aspects of astrological circumstances surrounding my birth influence how I express myself in this lifetime and am often comforted by her advice as she helps me understand what’s going on with planets and stars in relation to how life is unfolding. The eclipse energy portends upheaval, endings, beginnings, release and a variety of other possibilities. I am noticing how that is showing in various forms and while I see it in my personal life, what is most important right now is what is occurring in a more global way.

The most dramatic way it has shown up this weekend has been the horrific event taking place in Charlottesville, VA, and the tragic and needless death of a young woman, two policemen, and injury of 19 others. It is impossible to continue this posting without expressing my own feelings of shock and disgust that my country finds itself immersed yet again in the calamity and crime of racism and intolerance. I feel like I’ve been in a time machine that moved me in reverse and landed me in 1966 America, when firehoses and vicious dogs were fixed on peaceful demonstrators asking to be treated equally as men and women. And as a person of Jewish descent, the sight of nazi flags carried by a gang of angry white men was chilling and sickening to say the least. I keep shaking my head periodically to force those images away from my mind. Thus far, they are not leaving me.

The images from Charlottesville brought back some of the most unsettling memories of my youth, a time when change was rapidly taking place and hope sprang eternal despite the extreme turmoil of the times. Today I admit that my vision of my country has been badly damaged and I feel estranged from hope right now. But, I cannot and I will not allow fear and grief to derail my fundamental belief that we as a people are kind and good and that fairness and equanimity are the birthright of all people. What we are perceiving as darkness will be once again illuminated by the light of Truth and we will once again be proud of the legacy of the Great Experiment that is The United States of America. People of conscience must stand up over and over against the “normalization” of darkness and continue to be the bearers of light and love. Thankfully, there has been a lot of that in the last twenty-four hours. Hope.

Yesterday Bob and I spent our day on a crowded beach. I commented to him that we were here with probably thousands of people as far as the eye could see, gathered to enjoy the bounty of nature, focused on the ocean and a collective experience of breathing fresh sea air, the refreshment of the ocean’s waters, the gift of sunshine – all of us together. No politics, no suffering, no anger or violence. Just a colorful sea of humanity enjoying a day at the beach. This is my America. Did the thousands of people on the beach have different opinions about this or that? Probably. But we were together in one place, with one thing in common that allowed us to be there in peace. To me, this was the epitome of “possibility”. It was a helpful balm to soothe my broken spirit and helped to begin to restore my sense of hope for all of us.

The eclipse energy and the various astronomical influences notwithstanding, we are the masters of our thoughts and our responses. We are empowered to offset these influences with consciousness and intention. We can reach out to each other for support and counsel to manage our emotions and impulses. We can navigate these troubled waters with our own focus and awareness along with skillful guidance from those who know. We are fully responsible for the choices we make and now is the time to make the best ones possible. Love is the foundation of life. Nothing and no one can alter that reality.

WEEKLY STRETCH 8-3-17 ~ On August

Ah, August. I have a conflicting relationship with this month.

As I mentioned, August is my birthday month. My awkward relationship with August began in childhood, specifically once I started school. You see, August comes before September, and September means SCHOOL! And there is my birthday, smack dab in the middle of August, two weeks before the beginning of SCHOOL!

Most kids dream of their birthdays. Am I right? And like most kids, I dreamt about mine, in living color. Cake, ribbons, wrapped surprises, games, all kinds of fun. And yet, the specter of SCHOOL was always breathing down my neck in the form of some hideous monster who would show up to ruin it and scare the bejeezes out of me and everyone else. I’d wake up in tears and disappointment. In my waking life I’d think, “Oh boy, my birthday is coming!”, feel a quick sense of excitement and delight at the prospect only to have those feelings diminished the second I would compute the timing and what would inevitably come right after. It didn’t help that some of my birthday gifts might include school-oriented things like fall clothing, a bookbag, or a new pencil case. Such a mixed bag for a kid to manage.

As an adult, I developed what one might call “unrealistic expectations” around my birthday. I think on some level I had hoped that adulthood would negate the conflicting emotions since school was no longer an issue. The end of August was only the end of Summer (bad enough actually, but not as bad as SCHOOL), and I love the fall season so it was not so bad. Subconsciously (maybe not so “sub”) I expected the day to be extra special somehow. And sometimes it was. But most times it was average or less. I often felt let down and sad. It just never measured up to what I had hoped it would be. My birthday continued to be a mixed bag emotionally.

I love being a student and eventually – you guessed it – went back to SCHOOL!! And guess what – that old anxiety returned and I would measure the month of August (and my birthday) against the impending beginning of my school year and eventually my child’s. No matter what I did, I couldn’t separate my birthday from what would arrive shortly thereafter.

As I’ve grown older and more mature I’ve worked at my relationship with August. I am a proud Leo woman, and I’ve educated myself about what that means. I have made peace with the placement of my birthday on the calendar and celebrate the radiance, color, and light that August brings. I pay close attention to the beauty of it and get myself to the beach as often as I can to enjoy the warmer ocean waters and the golden sunlight that is unique to the month. School is a constant in my life. I am always taking classes, teaching something, supporting my family who are teachers and/or students, and I’ve come to embrace the onset of the school year. I see it as a beginning rather than an ending – or at least that is my intention.

I’ve also taken the time to look up the definition of the word august. Here is what I found: respected and impressive. Synonyms: distinguished, respected, eminent, venerable, hallowed, illustrious, prestigious, renowned, celebrated, honored, acclaimed, esteemed, exalted; great, important, lofty, noble; imposing, impressive, awe-inspiring, stately, grand, dignified.

OK, maybe not dignified, but I’ll take the rest and add in some of my favorite Leo traits: kind, sunny, passionate, creative, generous and loyal. We’ll just leave it there.

My birthday became an even more poignant day on August 16, 2012. My father died on that day. He fell into a coma and was in grave condition on August 13. I think I knew then that he would die on my birthday. There is something about that fact that was comforting then, and continues to be. It seems to have some sort of cosmic significance, though for the life of me I haven’t been able to figure it out. I only know that on that day I feel great reverence and peace, along with genuine sadness at the loss of my beloved father and hero.

The day my father died my daughter made me promise that I wouldn’t spend my birthdays grieving. I don’t, but I find that the day has taken on a different energy. I no longer have lofty expectations and anxiety around it. It’s now a day for me to reflect. I think of my Dad and that day five years ago. I also think about how grateful I am to be here on the planet and celebrate life. I enjoy time with my family, but it’s not a requirement. I’m also fine with passing the day alone, doing something I love. This year I plan to take myself to the beach.

My Grandpa Louie used to tell me, “Never be too happy or too sad”. I wasn’t quite sure what he meant by that when I heard it as a young child. But, his words stayed with me and as an adult I finally get it. My birthday is a great metaphor for that advice. It’s a wonderful day of celebration and gratitude – for the magic of birth and the gift of my life. Happy. Juxtaposed with all that happiness and joy is the opposite – my childhood dread of school, the sadness at the end of summer, and the inevitability of loss and death. Sad.

So, with Grandpa Louie’s advice in mind, my birthday is “never too happy or too sad”. I’m OK with the mixed bag. It means I get to have it all. I like that.

STRETCH: Take time to think about where you may have “unrealistic expectations”. Can you imagine removing them? Can you imagine how much more at peace you will be when you do?

WEEKLY STRETCH – 7-28-17 ~ Attitude Shift


(I just love this photo and thought it a good one to post to welcome my birthday month, August.)

We are going to be moving again. I have mentioned that the woman who owns the house we live in will be selling it in the Spring, which means we are about to start sifting through our stuff again. We moved into this house two years ago January. It’s been a great transitional place for us to land and recharge. We took this time to heal and reflect on where we’ve been and envision where to go next. We’ve found a wonderful place not far from here and are excited about the prospect of living there.

What has been hovering in my consciousness is a double-edged sword of dread around the hard physical and emotional work of cleaning out, letting go, packing and unpacking juxtaposed with the wonderful feeling of lightness that comes with shedding excess, the prospect of living space that suits our lifestyle, and starting over with a sense of the fresh and new.

Chatting with my cousin Lana the other day I shared my conflicting feelings with her. She told me that she absolutely loves moving. I looked at her like she had two heads and asked her why. I loved her enthusiastic response. She shared how much she loves the idea of handling all of her “stuff” again. She loves touching things that are around her home that she ordinarily would take for granted. She enjoys taking time to remember where she was when this thing or that thing was purchased or received. She enjoys having time to hold these memories and feelings in her consciousness. For her it’s a gift, an opportunity, a great pleasure – to reflect on her life and the events and circumstances that brought these things into her life and the people and places associated with them. As she described her perspective on moving I noticed a peaceful faraway look in her eyes and could feel how sincere she was. I sort of shook my head and wondered what I might be missing.

So, I’ve taken Lana’s point of view to heart. I’ve decided to make the effort to shift my attitude about the upcoming move. I admit that this requires a good deal of consciousness since I am aware that my thoughts and responses thus far have been reinforced – by me. Up to now I’ve allowed myself to perpetuate the idea that moving is going to be a drudge, a bummer, a pain in the ass, (I could go on but that’s not really helpful). Instead I’m adopting Lana’s take on the whole thing, looking at my belongings with new eyes, and approaching the move with an embrace rather than “talk to the hand” resistance. I’m looking around my home assessing my stuff; thinking about what stays and what goes, what we should sell or give away, what is a treasure and what is no longer of service to us but could be of value to someone else. I’m realistic enough to know that some of these decisions may be difficult, especially when handling things that belonged to my parents or that I’ve been saving as memorabilia but only look at when I’m moving it from one place to another. Some of the boxes we have stored can be likened to Pandora’s, filled with things I haven’t seen for ages that, uncovered once again, suddenly becoming seductive valuables that I can’t imagine parting with but have no real meaning or value in my life now, or that bring up times and places I may want to leave behind. I’m preparing for those – steeling my resolve to make choices to finally let these things go.

The best part, and the most fun, is envisioning the space that will be made for the “new”. Clearing away the debris and residue of our life will give us the latitude and spaciousness to allow new things to come in that will enliven and beautify our new digs. I’m already “acting as if” when I browse magazines or stores that have furniture and décor that I’d like to purchase for us. I’m putting things on Pinterest, clipping pictures, taking snapshots, and choosing wall colors to help envision our new surroundings.

I’m so grateful to Lana for sharing her take on moving and giving me another way to approach it. Like so many things in our lives, it’s a day by day shift that I now welcome since I know the other side will be provide lightness and newness that will refresh our life and lead us to what is next.

More to come.

STRETCH: Look at your material things, things you treasure. Think about how they came into your life and remember – remember the time, the place, the people – remember the feelings and emotions – the season and the reason. Take a little time to appreciate it all.