Archive for January, 2011

Book Review- Marianne Williamson’s A Course In Weight Loss

January 31st, 2011 | 1 comment
Weight that disappears from your body but not from your soul is simply recycling outward for a while but is almost certain to return. It’s self-defeating, therefore, to struggle to drop excess weight unless you are also willing to drop the thought-forms that initially produced it and now hold it in place.”
— Marianne Williamson
Before I begin my review, let’s quickly go over some housekeeping items. I received a copy of this book free of charge from Hay House, as they reviewed my blog and thought my readers might like to hear about the book. I want to make sure I am compliant with all FTC regulations, and let you know that although I received this book without charge, the review is my own personal opinion after having read the book from cover to cover.
I have to be honest, writing this review was different for me, more personal than the other reviews that I have shared with you. The earlier books resonated with me. But this one confronted me. This book asked me questions that I have been quietly working up the nerve to answer for quite some time now as I implement my own Continuous Quality Improvement program for Kelly Inc. You see, I grew up in a family where food was associated with both celebration and consolation. Like many others, food served as far more than just fuel for me; it was part of our occasions, relationships and life events. As a result, I have had a relationship with food that has been more cerebral than metabolic at certain points in my life, especially the times of flux.
As part of my personal journey to live life to the fullest, learning from the loss of Stephen, I have started to answer some of the questions I was afraid to ask before now, the questions about myself and my own relationship with food. I love cookies, but do they love me back….that kind of stuff. To be honest, some of this has been really hard to face, because it involved restructuring my entire life and how I deal with good times and bad. But I finally think things are starting to click. I remember the early days after losing Stephen; the particularly painful days, toasted coconut ice cream with chocolate fudge was one little thing I could count on. Now I know that even in the darkest of days, I have a different one little thing to count on, me.
That said, this book has been a pleasure to read as I continue to journey towards a more mindful and healthy life. The book, which is aligned with the principles found in A Course In Miracles, discusses weight loss, and how it is not only related to a daily caloric deficiency, but is also connected with where you are spiritually, emotionally and psychologically. That alone is nothing that we have not already heard from other weight loss experts. However, the presentation of the information is unique, and really explores what is required for conscious weight loss. And that is the key. One of the light bulb moments for me surrounded the discussion around the
“place within you where you have forgotten your divine perfection.”
Again, why is it that we humans spend all of our time seeing what is wrong, and not what is right?
The book, with the twenty one specific spiritual lessons is a beautiful guide through shifting your perception on your relationship with food, as well as your relationship with yourself. From one of fear, to one of love. I absolutely love the focus on reconnecting mind, body and spirit. It is not a quick fix, and will require work on the part of the reader if the changes in thinking are to stick. But the outcome of a love filled fearless life seems worth it to me. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to reconnect with their life, to become mindful, not only about food, but about your relationship with all things external. But, before you buy it, make sure you are ready to be honest with yourself, and put in the work. Otherwise, it will just be another diet book collecting dust on your shelf as you wonder who shrunk your clothes in the closet.
The book can be purchased at Hay House, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.
Today I am thankful for Marianne Williamson’s A Course in Weight Loss. It is helping me with the next step in my journey to choose a happy life. And with each step, I feel Stephen smiling.
Have a good one,

Musicians and Thinkers…Showing Us The Beauty In The World

January 27th, 2011 | no comments

Music is well said to be the speech of angels. ~Thomas Carlyle, Essays, “The Opera”

Happy Friday!

I love Fridays. They always serve as a beacon of hope for people, letting the masses know that the weekend has arrived, and we are allowed just a short reprieve from the “real” world, the rate race. Even if that break is only to dust the furniture and do the laundry. There is something empowering about the day.

So, when I was thinking of what I am thankful for today, it should be no surprise that the day itself sits on top of the list. But there are two others things in my life that deserve mention today.

Musicians and Thinkers. When I look back over my life, and reflect on what has inspired me and given me strength, I always come back to music and quotes from the great thinkers of our time. So many times, on the darkest days of my life, I have found solace in both words and melody, and they both have served as medicine for my breaking heart. They remind me that I am not alone, as we all share the same universal pains and joys.

I have used music and words to inspire, to heal, to comfort. They have never failed me. I lost my own music the day I lost Stephen, and it has not yet returned. I listen to others now, hoping that one day, I will pick up my guitar and sing again too. But until that day comes, I will celebrate and be thankful for those who sing for me, showing each one of us that we are all connected.

Today, I am thankful for Fridays, Musicians and thinkers. Have a listen to the talented Macy Gray as you read some of my favorites quotes about music below.

Hope your day is filled with all kinds of T.G.I.F.’ness,


Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Berthold Auerbach

Without music life would be a mistake. ~Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons. You will find it is to the soul what a water bath is to the body. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day
Shall fold their tents like travellers
And as silently steal away.~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Day Is Done

Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. ~Maya Angelou, Gather Together in My Name

I have my own particular sorrows, loves, delights; and you have yours. But sorrow, gladness, yearning, hope, love, belong to all of us, in all times and in all places. Music is the only means whereby we feel these emotions in their universality. ~H.A. Overstreet

Alas for those that never sing,But die with all their music in them!~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. ~Victor Hugo

Music is what life sounds like. ~Eric Olson

Music is the shorthand of emotion. ~Leo Tolstoy

Poisonous Caesar Salad and a Refresher Course in Gratitude…

January 24th, 2011 | no comments

When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep? ~George Canning

I’ve been so busy. Life has been moving way too fast, and I feel like I have hardly had a moment to sit with my own thoughts. Until yesterday.

You see, I had an encounter with a Caesar salad; I am not sure what I did to offend it or the cook in the kitchen at the restaurant where I ate it, but it poisoned me. While dining out with friends after my son’s hockey game, I was almost killed by romaine lettuce, croutons, and dressing. Okay, this may be a little dramatic of me, but the past 48 hours has not been pleasant, not one bit.

In any case, I have had some time to think, as I waited for the next tsunami like wave of nausea to hit. And I’ve been thinking about gratitude. Because, it seems as my calendar became more full,my focus on gratitude was not kept on the top of my priority list. It is not to say I am not grateful, or did not express my thanks on a daily basis for the blessings in my life. But my attention to gratitude as a deliberate part of my day had fallen to the wayside a little, to make room for work projects, hockey travel, new release movies on demand, exercise etc. And, the conclusion I reached while nuzzled up to the toilet? My life is lacking because of it.

We humans. We don’t make sense sometimes. We look around when the sky is falling and notice what has been around us all along and lament and cry out,

“Oh how I have loved all of this. I am so sad it is about to be squished by this falling sky. I did not say how much I appreciated it enough! But I do appreciate! I do! I do!”

But when things are ticking along, when the road is smooth, we forget and take for granted the little things that serve as the foundation of our happy lives. Instead of paying attention to them, they go unnoticed until somebody or something tries to take them away. Instead of recognizing them as the blessings of our time here on earth, we focus our attention on the length of the line as we wait for our chai tea latte, the flat tire, the negative personality we are forced to endure at a social event, or the fact that our waist circumference is not within the suggested parameters of Dr. Oz. It seems that when things are, in the big picture, going right, our human nature causes us to continue to find things that are wrong.

So, it is no wonder that when really bad things happen, we find it especially hard to find any good in our day to day lives. If we could not see it when the sky was blue, how can we be expected to find the good in the blinding rain?

It is all about training ourselves, our minds to refocus, to see life through a different lens. So, with the nausea subsiding, and my new found awareness, I am giving myself a refresher course in gratitude. I hope you will join me.

Each day this week, I will, as I have in the past, tell you about the simple things I find thanks for, as well as simple ways to find gratitude in your own life. I would also like to challenge you to do the same this week, and each day look for, and write down your one little thing.

Think about the little things that you can hold onto this week, and re shift your focus to see a life of abundance rather than lack, no matter what your circumstance. If you are so inclined, post your gratitude in the comments section of my posts. I love, love, love to hear from people, and each one of us is on an amazing journey.

Today, I am thankful for:

  • Dry Toast
  • Ginger Ale
  • Gravol purchased in Canada last summer. I’m not sure why this is not available in the United States, but I praised God and all things holy yesterday when I found it in the cupboard.
  • My husband, who takes such good care of me, but also laughs at me at the most inappropriate times.
  • My son’s caring concern.
  • Fuzzy warm socks
  • The love of my family
  • Bubble baths and good books
  • My best friend
  • A nearly complete second book

And finally…

Food poisoning. It was the pause button for my life, and I needed it.

Join me this week. What’s your one little thing?

Have a beautiful day,


Grieving 101 Advice from Dr. Cara Barker

January 20th, 2011 | no comments

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.”- Socrates –

I am missing my blog time; that time of connection, with all of you and with my inner soul. Work and life has been hectic these days, and I have been forced to act like a grown up….the things you do to pay the bills. But, as it has always been with me, my fits of adulthood are never long lasting, and I always regress back to the who I really am at heart; a twelve year old idealistic dreamer who believes in magic.

I am looking forward to sharing more soon. I have a list of things to write about, and can’t wait to reconnect. In the meantime, I thought I would share the words of Dr. Cara Barker. Some good advice for those who are comforting the bereaved.

Have a good one,


A Moment of Silence For Those Lost in Arizona…

January 10th, 2011 | 1 comment
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”-Plato-
Today at eleven, as I walked on the treadmill, I observed a reverent moment of silence for the loss of precious lives in Arizona on Saturday. I slowed my pace and thought about the senseless loss of life, of promise, and of innocence.
Prior to this moment of silence and reflection, I spent some of my morning reading some of the Op-Eds in the national papers on the event. Everyone seemed to have a theory about the origin of this man’s hatred, the reasoning behind this horrid act of violence.
Some made it about political rhetoric, while others made it a mental health/health care issue. It seems we all wanted to have an explanation tied up in a neat little package on a Monday morning, so we could sleep better on Monday night, convinced we had answered the unanswerable question.
The answers are not that simple.
Now, this blog has never been political. At times, I have wanted to post things political, as I do have opinions that I want to be heard. Instead, I usually talk to my best friend or mother in law, two of the smartest ladies I know. I rant and rave, and I keep the politics out of the blog.
Why? This blog is personal to me. And, you don’t need to know my political affiliations to decide whether or not to read my words. You simply have to decide if you want to walk with me. Maybe you decided that you wanted to read along because you lost a child. Maybe you know me, or are forced to read this blog because you are related to me and could be quizzed at a family gathering. Or, perhaps you are like me, and want to spark a conversation on life, and how we are living it these days.
But, for whatever reason you show up, I can guarantee you that the biggest one is you focused on what we had in common. You read some of my words and you thought….she’s human just like me. Cellulite and grey hair, unbalanced budget and dust bunnies under her bed. She is just like me.
I believe, like so many others, that there are two emotions in this world.
Love and fear.
You’re either spreading one or the other. There is no grey area here. Not with this.
Loss presents us with an opportunity, a chance to see the reflection of our own lives through the death of another. We can, by witnessing the swift passage of another, take stock of where we are going on our own path, and readjust the GPS if necessary.
Take some time today, not figuring out who to blame, but rather reflecting on how you can help this world get to a better place, where things like this no longer happen. Ask yourself two important questions.
    • Do I spend my time looking at and judging people by their similarities or differences to me?


  • What am I spreading, love or fear?


There is a big mirror standing in front of this country on this Monday morning. I do hope we all take some time to look in it and readjust the GPS.

To the friends and families of those who died or were injured, my prayers are with you all.


Spread Light into the Darkness…

January 6th, 2011 | 3 comments

Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. ~Chinese Proverb

Well, Happy New Year!

I am late sending along my greetings for 2011. I have to say, I just did not want the holidays to end this year. It was not because I had this wild and crazy time. In actual fact, the twelve days of Christmas were quiet and peaceful. Reflective and sometimes a little sad as I reflected on the Christmas mornings of days gone by.

But, I just did not want it to end. So, I’ve kept the tree up.

It is not like me. Usually, with the first sign of New Year’s, everything must be put away, floors must be scoured, and the house needs to smell like Mr. Clean. Fresh start for a New Year. But this year is different.

I suppose I just want the light of Christmas to linger for a while, to boost our spirits. Perhaps I wanted to look a little longer at life through the branches of the tree, with eyes squinting, so the colors blend together to create a magnificent kaleidoscope of beauty.

I will be honest, I’ve made excuses for myself.

At first, I told everyone that I was too busy to take it down.

Then, I said it was to stay in place to celebrate my husband’s birthday. He needed it.

Finally, grasping at any excuse I could find, I said what the heck, I will leave it in place until the 12th day of Christmas.

I just can’t make any further excuses.

The tree is way past its prime. The wind from the dog lightly walking by causes needles to fly from the tree. Two sets of lights have gone out and there are dark patches within the branches. One patch is shaped like Italy, and I am looking at it right now from my office chair.

It is time…

But for today, on this feast of the Epiphany, I will drink up every last minute of the lights of Christmas. January 6th, observed in commemoration of the coming of the Magi. Catholics believe the three kings brought gifts to the newborn Jesus, following the light of the star.

Epiphany. It has two meanings. The first, is as I listed and simplistically explained above, the feast day. The second meaning?

“usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something”

And, right on cue, as I thought about the epiphany, I have one of my very own. This feast day, right at the end of the holiday season, is one last reminder for us to take with us throughout the year.

The Magi, or three wise man, followed the star. The looked to the light, and decided to put faith in the fact that the light would lead them to something wonderful.

Let us all, as we tuck away the colored lights for another 350 days or so, remember the lessons from the Magi.

Remember that if you look for the light in your life, and move towards it, you will find something wonderful. Remember even in the darkest of nights, you can look up, and see the stars and know there is something much bigger than you guiding you through your days. And remember that it is our responsibility, much like the light on my tree, to be the lights for others who cross our path on this earth.

Be the light for someone today, and the next day, and the next day, and the one after that too. Be the light that may help someone find there way out of their own dark night.

Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light. ~Norman B. Rice

So, with that lesson in my pocket, I am ready to disassemble Christmas. I am ready to spread some of my own light around.

Have a 100 Watt kind of day,