my secret


Opportunity Found

“The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time”  James Taylor sang to us all in the 70’s.

I fell so in love with these lyrics when I first heard that song my Freshman year of college that I sat down and played it over and over on my friend’s turntable in her dorm room as I transcribed them.  With an abundance of teenaged angst I’m sure.

We, meaning me John and my Dad were out last night with our dear friend Cathy Hughes enjoying Restaurant Week at a fine French restaurant.  Now she’s a person who truly enjoys her life and goes for it.  She travels constantly, meets people easily, enjoys the entire experiences of culture wherever she goes; learns and shares.


Cathy was the prosecutor who put the men who killed my sister in prison.  And who came out of retirement decades later to assist the AG’s office pro bono to make sure they stayed there.

We’ve been friends with her for over two decades.

Last night the four of us sat on the patio wining and dining.  It was a beautiful night. We won’t get many more here in AZ as summer looms.


As we drove up toward the restaurant, my father made a disparaging remark about others doing the exact same thing -enjoying a meal al fresco- uttering under his breath “idle rich”. 

He then proceeded to, while typically uncomfortable in settings he perceives as fancy, complain about the service immediately, to the server, because our table had received 3 lemons instead of 4 for our water per his request.  And he had a lemon slice in his water.



Growing up in my family, appreciating nice things or fancy things or things that were typically associated with rich people was usually regarded with disdain.

We weren’t those kind of people.

Yet, we were rich.  Or at least my father was.  Go figure.

It’s been a constant struggle in my life.  This learning to allow myself to enjoy or even experience the finer side of life in any form.

I bet that comes as a surprise to many of you.  Because I do many many things that would be perceived as upper crust or maybe even opulent.


It’s taken me a long to undo my programming and get here and I’m still getting here.

I had to get sick, exhausted and with a medical diagnosis to justify my first trip to Rancho La Puerta.  I told my father, either I go somewhere to unplug and rest and be taken care of or I will end up in a hospital with huge medical bills.  I had burnt myself out care taking with no backup for far too long–decades.


It’s often a discussion about money.  Justifying, over explaining, over qualifying.


Now however, I go to the Ranch at least once a year.  Sometimes twice.  One year I went three times. I leave again next Saturday.

It’s my sanctuary, my place of refuge, a place I know without a doubt I will heal.


And I will find my people.

In fact one of them showed up unexpectedly in Sedona this past week, while I was there!

I went up for a short little visit to, well, to clean the house.


smoke from the fire as I turned up the street toward our house

I read on Facebook that morning that the firefighters battling the Slide Fire (scary) were in need of supplies.  I was driving straight past Costco on my way up so ran in and filled the back of my car with electrolyte waters, protein bars, nuts, things like that.

Oh, I thought, that was another reason I needed to head up.

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and dine with the Boys and put up my new hammock (and proceed to fall asleep in it for 40 min)


thankful rain headed that way the morning I came back

The morning after I arrived,  I looked on Facebook and saw a post from my darling friend Louise, who I met at Rancho La Puerta that New Year’s where a group of us really bonded, that she was headed to Sedona!  That day!


Louise and I at Enchantment enjoying a Sedona Sparkler in the breeze.

I’ve said about Louise that she would win any Reality Show she would ever be on –she has that kind of amazing universally liked personality.  She could win Survivor or Chopped and not even know how to boil water.  No one would want to vote her off.  All of our friends at the Ranch that year agreed with me.  I’ve never met anyone quite like her and just love being around her.

I got to hang out with her twice this week up there and here I thought I was just going up to clean the house.  We crammed so much amazing conversation in to those two visits, it was like a week at the Ranch!

Being in the moment, responding and saying yes and no appropriately to life with each step.  That’s part of James Taylor’s secret I’m finding.

I also got to thinking recently about the saying no business.  I ended a going nowhere way too superficial hard to even call it a relationship with someone I’d been seeing for a while last week.  When I reach a point where the outflow has far exceeded the inflow, it’s time to unplug.  On the drive up to Sedona I thought that sometimes the most important element of a relationship is the decision to end it and the way you walk away.


Now that’s a classy way to do it 😉

I feel good about both things on that one.  No hard feelings.  But he wasn’t offering enough and he never would.  I got it.

Now many women would have never engaged in that dynamic in the first place and maybe a future me wouldn’t.  But the walking away in style is something I can be proud of.  I am proud of it.



I mean that man woke up at 2:30am, drove to my house dressed in crisp pants, picked up my suitcase, opened his car door, had 3 CD’s waiting for me to choose from and a bottle of water and drove me to the airport for a 5am flight.  He chose the song “Dance with my Father” by Luther Van Dross as I was headed off on that odyssey with my Dad.  All unsolicited.  After meeting him one time.

Now that was classy.

Unfortunately that amazing moment of Prince Charmliness became an oasis in a sea of disconnected behavior and when I realized that this man had almost never asked me a question about myself, displayed virtually no curiosity in who I am and seemed mostly interested in me when I was leaving, it was time to go.


I told you I will always remember you as that guy who got up in the middle of the night to take me to the airport and I want to always remember you as that guy so I need to say goodbye now,  I said.

I meant it.  And I had zero ambivalence.

I’ve been taught my whole life to subsist on crumbs while a whole banquet is within reach.

I’m good at it.


Saying no to those bland table droppings is something I’ve spent years learning.  And I’m still learning it.

Giving; that’s the easy part.  Receiving, well we women tend to not be so good at that end of the equation.

I’m getting better and I intend to get really good at it.

And that means receiving from myself as much as anyone.

Hapuna Light #1 - Hapuna Beach, Big Islan, Hawaii

For me, at this stage of my life, that often means the gift of time.  Time and the luxury to engage in activities that I just love.  That are things that feed my soul.

I’m fortunate to have many many hobbies and many more I’d still like to pursue one day.  I want to try so many things and some I’d like to revisit like improvisational theatre.  I probably never shared that I spent a year as a paid actress with a company performing Playback Theatre, a form of improvisational storytelling theatre, all over the state of AZ.  It was amazing.  I’d love to get back in to it one day when I’m older and have outgrown my stagefright. 😉

I also will spend as long as it takes believing that a truly great partner is in store for me who wants to scamper along this charmed path together–this is a dream I just can’t let die.  I will say I’m tired of frog kissing, yet I’m having a blast in the meantime and will have some great stories for him to last the rest of our lives on some long plane or road trips.  Good thing I’m a good storyteller.  😉



I looked at Cathy Hughes last night, totally enjoying her retirement, missing nothing about that grind and battle of a courtroom which she excelled at.  She has things she loves and unapologetically goes for them.


one of many gorgeous sunset views from our Sedona home

I’m doing the same and I’m going to amplify that posture as time goes on.

I feel sorry for people who really don’t know what they love or have passions that engage them to come more alive because those are the people who don’t live long after retirement.

You gotta find those things out now, that’s my advice.


For me though, I’m not going to live the rest of my life running around filling in the spaces for people who don’t step in to life in that way, embodying that which can ignite a passion in them.  I’ve done that far too long and with too much expense and I’m retiring from that job as well.  Give me the pre-passioned people.  Yeah!


Give me the alive people, the ones who’s faces go bright when they bring that wine glass to their nose, when they share favorite moments of the trip they just returned from, when their face tingles with excitement talking about the new project they are taking on.


Give me that infectious curiosity about life all around me because trust me, I will give it back.

I want to be this old woman, my face lined with experiences, still excited about taking on a new craft or a new flavor–thirsty and hungry to learn to take in more and more of this life.  That is the person I aspire to be and I’m starting now.


And that’s my secret of life for this morning.

I’ve given enough and in some cases far too much. 

I’ve earned this spacious, luxurious, big, tricked out with aliveness life.  More than most anyone I know.



And I’m going to take it.  All of it and then some more.

Finding my tribe along the way and politely side stepping those shiny river stones that are deceivingly too slippery to step on.


Trusting, the next one will be covered in diamond-like crystals not just inviting my foot with brilliance but providing just the traction I need for safe passage.



sophie’s choice



I understand that is a cliche of a title for this post and I tried talking myself out of using it a few times but in this case it just sort of stuck so I guess sometimes a cliche has a place.

Amy, one of my bff’s daughters Sophie turned 11 this week.  Her birthday party was yesterday.


Sophie and her Mom

Sophie has Down Syndrome.  Let’s just get that out of the way on the front end.

And she is one of the most amazing, inspiring, magical people I’ve ever met.  I’m not just saying that because it’s PC or some other such bullshit benevolence about someone with a disability.

I’m saying it because it’s a fact.  Not just for me but for many.


Sophie has performed in the ballet The Snow Queen the last few years

That girl has surpassed so many limits placed on her, she puts us all to shame.  For example, she learned to sign VERY young as they said she’d never speak.  I’ve been speaking to her off and on on the phone over the last week as she was specific, very specific about the kind of cake she wanted me to bake her for her birthday party.

Sophie’s accomplishments have been so far reaching in their inspiration that a story about her landed on my favorite radio program This American Life written, and read by Amy.

Listen here.

Did you click and listen?  Ok do it after you finish reading.  I’ll repost the link.


Sophie pours my tea at the Ritz

“Chocolate on the bottom, vanilla in the middle, chocolate on the top” Sophie instructed me about her 11th birthday cake.

Let’s back up.  At first she said she wanted 11 layers–for obvious reasons.  Which sent me in to immediate cake PTSD symptoms from the last time I made her cake.  And attempted 8 layers I think…or was it 6?  9 for her 9th birthday?  See, I’ve blocked the trauma.

I went over to make the cake that time in Amy’s kitchen.  Let’s just say, it wasn’t pretty and none of us want to remember it — ok I lie, we do.  We remember it in a way of hilarity you do about a fiasco once all is said and done.  A tinge of cringe followed by a pause, eyes roll to the left, then laughter that’s often served with a lot of head shaking and hands to the forehead.


I was cocky about that cake.  I kept saying “oh easy, we can do this”.  I mean it’s from Sweetapolita.  That chick is foolproof.

In retrospect I’m thinking this cake came out of Amy’s old kitchen before the gorgeous remodel.  Which means her old oven.  Ok maybe my memory just wants to blame that oven.

I was impatient.  It was a lot of batter, a lot of hours, I was probably a lot of some kind of messed up at the time.  I wanted to start stacking those dark chocolate layers on my gorgeous faultless swiss meringue buttercream as soon as possible.

Sophie of course was right by my side.


although we are making bath bombs here

I think it was about layer 5 that it started happening.

The meltdown I mean.


And yes, I’m referring to myself primarily in response to that innocent- taken-for-granted cake who just couldn’t take the rushing anymore.  She just decided to stop yielding and start falling.  There’s something to that you know.  That whole surrender business.

I thought I was in control, but no, she decided to show me who was boss.

Not allowed enough time to cool down, she began disintegrating before my very eyes;  top layers sliding off and bottom layers turning to cake and frosting mush.  In seconds.


Right in front of Sophie.  And Amy.

At some point Amy realized this was going South fast and grabbed her keys and moved in to action.  She said she was running to the store to grab long toothpicks or some other such scaffolding.

It was too late, we all knew.  We were in flight or fight–she was fleeing and I was fighting–with those dark chocolate layers of happiness that had turned on me.


Sophie was the only one remaining calm.  She found the whole thing fun, a game, hilarious!  And it was her cake!  Her birthday cake!

I couldn’t stand her joviality–just could not stand it–so I calmly but sternly directed her to leave me alone for a few minutes to protect her from seeing me pick up all 8 layers and fling them …somewhere.  In hindsight, she’s probably the only reason I didn’t do that, thank God.

Finally her denial wore off and she realized she needed to leave the kitchen.

Sophie, I’m serious, you need to give me a minute here.

She had probably never seen that look on my face nor heard that tone of my voice.

She calmly walked toward the door leading from the kitchen to the rest of the house, paused and pivoted.

Oh no, I thought, she’s coming back.  The tears and swear words were pushing hard against my face and my resistance was melting like swiss buttercream on the porch during an Arizona summer day.

This part, the part that happened next, I will never forget.

Sophie walked calmly and deliberately toward me as I glared at the cake, jaw shaking, eyes piercing.  Watching it dissolve to the table, helpless.

She said nothing but lifted her tiny closed hand to the edge of the long wood table and opened it softly, silently, releasing something.  To this day I don’t remember what she put next to me.  It could have been a piece of gum, a barrette, a small toy, a miniature lip gloss, a wrapped mint.  It was something that caught her eye as she attempted to exit the room;  something she thought I might need.

Quiet as a whisper she deposited that little remedy and then pivoted right back and silently exited the room.


I remember sitting there staring at that tiny piece of soul Prozac as it looked back up at me saying you are loved.

And everything’s going to be alright.

Let’s put this in perspective now shall we?

As I reflect, I know I was going through a rough moment generally that day.  It happens from time to time.   I typically take on a creative project as my kind of therapy and something like this was just the ticket.  Had it all gone smoothly I mean.

It’s tough-squared when you think you are doing something positive to lift yourself out of a funk then you end up failing at that too.  Especially something as special as baking a child’s birthday cake.

Sophie’s cake.

But something inside me pivoted with that small sweet gesture from that dear diminutive sage.

I breathed.  I smiled.  Different tears sprung to my eyes.

I rallied.  I figured out solutions.  I salvaged at least 4 of the layers.


And that little cake that couldn’t, then could, became glorious I must say.


Amy said to me last week “it was the best cake I’ve ever eaten”.  It garnered all kinds of oohs and ahhs from the party goers.  I have to say, it was a bit of a rock star.


there is that cake and the birthday girl in all their glory

Sophie remembers the right things and forgets the others.  That is one blessing of her “disability”.


the piglet birthday party–dozens of piglet cupcakes

She remembers I love to bake for her.  And forgets that it could mean a meltdown and near disaster in her own home.


She remembers the love I think.  And she goes for it.  In all ways.

This year she, being 11, was very specific about what she wanted.

Imagine her, being so ambitious for me, asking for 11 layers.


Amy and I both looked at each other and laughed; remembering.  You know, that laugh described above–the one with the pause.

But Sophie was all like “what?  you can do it!”.


she knows who can do what

When it was clear that this wasn’t going to be attempted she quickly transitioned to requesting 3 layers.  But those three very specific layers.

She demanded to speak with me on the phone every time Amy and I talked over the last week “Chocolate/Vanilla/Chocolate kathymonkman”.

Oh and chocolate frosting.

Got it, I’d say.


I spent much of two days, last week/weekend leisurely crafting her requested cake.  And I must say I was in Kitchen Heaven the entire time.  Using my new expanded kitchen island too.

I went with the same recipe (yes I do get back on horses that throw me) and same bulletproof Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

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And I took my time.  I played my favorite music.  Leisurely reviewing Rosie from Sweetapolita’s tutorials; I relaxed.

And I poured all the love I have in my heart in to that cake for Sophie.

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Her confidence in me was tossed in to that mixing bowl over and over as my own puffed up just like that meringue.


This time it was easy, graceful, joy filled and luxurious.

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As I built those layers I was reflecting on the life I’ve been building for myself in the last year or so.

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Also easy, graceful, joy filled, luxurious.  And sturdy.

It’s a good life.

Maybe I’m just starting to see it through Sophie’s vision.


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Sophie teaches us all good things–all of us in her Kingdom.


I call her the Queen because she skipped right over Princess.

She’s always been the Queen.


And I, for one, am lucky to be one of her Subjects.


In case you don’t want to scroll back, you can click here to listen to the This American Life piece by Amy about Sophie.

To read more about Sophie’s adventures, visit Amy’s blog:

Girl in a Party Hat.




i’m changing



Greetings from Day 4 of my 10 day Sugar Detox!  I woke up feeling really inspired and cheery this morning so want to write about that first and then the sugar detox (with a recipe!) after.

Good morning!

Part of the reason I’m doing this detox is that I’d been waking up in kind of a funk, not energetic or perky mind/emotion wise.  I’m a person who tends to go after things when they are out of balance (eventually) so I saw this detox and thought hey I can do that.

This morning, on waking and feeling better, I got to thinking about change.


Over the weekend I heard someone tell me things like “this is just the way I am”  “see, I’m doing it again” “I don’t know if I’ll ever be any different” about a pattern that was keeping them exactly stuck in a hamster wheel of misery (for themself and others).  For once I just decided to be quiet and not give any suggestions or unsolicited advice but just to notice that this is the choice that person is making for their life.  At least right now.

The reward of staying stuck like that must outweigh the potential benefit of taking a risk toward changing it would provide.  I see this often in my dear brother around issues he identifies he’d like to be different and he uses the word “try” a lot.  I’ve told him that in my way of thinking that word means the same as “I don’t intend to do anything”.  I’ve also had to learn to redirect my expectations there too and do the only thing any of us can ever really do:   focus on myself.

I’ve found that when I’ve gotten way too invested in changing someone else or their changing themself, I’m avoiding my own development.


It’s hard to rip off a bandaid sometimes and turn your finger toward yourself.  But it truly is the only way to achieve true happiness.  As I focus on myself I’ve learned a whole lot more acceptance of others exactly where they are.

I may adjust my level of investment in someone who is not invested in themself or choose to spend more time around people who are motivating to me.  Yet at the same time I can accept people more easily exactly where they are.  We all have our own timelines.  This has not historically been an easy thing for me to do.

One thing I was pondering this morning though has to do with reaching out for help.  And not just having an awareness that there is a need for change and not just having a plan.  But fully implementing it, whatever it is.  I guess I lose patience with people at times who complain about their own predicaments while simultaneously sitting there performing the same actions over and over refusing to explore one tiny change.


I guess I’m still working on that acceptance piece.

One thing I have decidedly stopped doing is asking endless questions like “have you tried….have you considered….?”  with all my oh so helpful suggestions and ideas.  Because I do have good ideas!  Implementing them for myself is where it’s at.  Period. And that’s enough.  Enough exhausting myself while avoiding myself.  Know what I mean?


The strategy I often employ is going after a stuck pattern with a broad plan of attack.  What I mean is I’ve figured out it takes a village and I don’t have to know the a b c steps of breaking through.  I just have to gravitate toward activities, people, plans that spark a fire in me along the lines of “this changes me”.  Not that this is fun or easy necessarily but that this will change me. For me change = improvement.  A pattern breaks and the life force can slip through and that’s where the real healing manifests.  This has been my philosophy for as long as I can remember.  I was writing about these ideas in my teens.

It’s such a relief to remember I don’t have to have things always figured out all the time.

Some of my sure things that I’ve been employing lately have included Myofascial Release (my profession).  I’ve been retaking classes in Sedona this  year and have more upcoming.  With the focus on working on myself.  It’s working.  Another is that Revelation conference I just went to–that’s always a shot in the heart of Truth and Spirit and I feel like a new person every time I come back from that.  Ready for change.  I’ve also incorporated music back in to my life in a very deliberate way.  Like right now listening to my favorite Watercolors station in the mornings vs. listening to news shows.  And I’m going after myself in a body-way through this detox and getting back to the dance I love so much.


Finally, I’m always feeling my best when involved in some kind of creative project.  Right now it’s this furniture painting thing — which I expanded in to fabric yesterday for a seat cushion for this chair I’m redoing.  I’m really never more alive than in that fabric store or the Annie Sloan paint store exploring colors and textures and ideas with other obsessives around me like yesterday. 😉 You can really see the sparkle in someone’s eye when that creative force is working intensely through them.  So I think this treasure hunting/painting thing is gonna be my thing now for awhile and since I’ll run out of space at home, I may start selling some pieces.  😉  Stay tuned.


i couldn’t decide between these two for a seat cushion so bought both 😉

I guess what I’m trying to impart is that if I follow those things that ignite the spark of me and/or things that I know bring me more alive in some way, then the stuck places will naturally start to dissolve and I start feeling more alive just generally.  But I hit it from lots of angles simultaneously–body/mind/spirit, hoping they all influence each other.  I think it’s a good strategy at least for me.


I think the next time I’m with this person who keeps complaining about how stuck they are I’ll just start asking “what’s bringing you alive right now?”.  That’s actually a conversation worth having.   I thank this morning’s stream of consciousness for handing me that one.  😉

Ok, now on to the 10 day Sugar Detox.


So far it’s going really well.  It’s easier than I thought and I’m really not craving sugar much at all.  I’m craving comfort food, ya know like a big baked potato or something starchy like that but not really sugar.  They tell you this happens quite quickly with this and I believe them.

It’s astounding how other foods start tasting so much sweeter, like cabbage for example.  I’ve made the same cabbage dish the last two nights–it’s just that good.  It’s good enough to be served in a restaurant good.  I got a humongous head of cabbage from my Bountiful Basket over the weekend so have been working my way through it all week.


that’s albacore tuna on top–delicious!

Here’s what I do:

I put some coconut oil in the skillet and heat it to about med. heat.  Then I slice of big slices of cabbage and season it with some kind of seasoned salt.  My favorite right now is this one:


I got it at Trader Joe’s in some kind of kit awhile back.  I think it’s the lemon though that’s doing it in this.

Then I just brown that cabbage and saute it til it’s wilted.  Then, don’t forget this part as it’s the money shot:  I squeeze fresh lemon juice on top.  Trust me, this is DELICIOUS and it tastes sweet and sour at the same time and salty!  Yum.

This morning though I’m experimenting with turkey cutlets making this recipe:

I will probably freeze some but it will be good for salads too I think.

I refuse to put myself on a scale so I’m only going by my clothes and I do feel a small difference there.  But more than anything it’s in my energy level which is very welcome!


I’m also noticing that, although I’m likely at my heaviest weight ever, I’m going on dates (yes dates) now and I’m not feeling uncomfortable or self conscious.  Hey, I’m 54 right now and dammit I look pretty good even with these extra ahem 30-40 pounds.  But I’m gonna get better.  In the meantime though I’m feeling confident and sparkly and curious about what this world has to offer in terms of a good time.

I’d been stuck in my own lonely patterns for too long so I’m doing something about it and I gotta say, it feels pretty damn good.  In fact, I’m going out tonite.  With my new manicure–dandelions drifting.  I love it.



lookie here…someone just sent me this as I launched this post–perfect!

Off to dredge turkey cutlets………..have a fantastic Wed. out there everyone!

honor thy mother



Good Monday Morning!

Ok I have so many thoughts whirling around my head this morning from the weekend and beyond that I’m just going to sit down and write out this kaleidoscope.  All of these things seem to be intersecting so let’s see if I can merge them in a way that makes sense.  Like usual, just gonna write and see how it organizes or not. 😉

I had a great weekend.

women with lightbulb

I’m having so many aha moments and moments of healing lately that they are all impacting each other and now that I write this, realizing they are probably all stemming from some deeper root.  Where to start….

At the end of course.

Mother’s Day has often been a very difficult day for me. As you can imagine.  Having lost my mother at age 5, then growing up with an abusive stepmother, my sister and I taking over that role for each other, losing her at 29, having no children myself.  You get it.  Like what do I do with this?

Yesterday though was completely different.

Hapuna Light #1 - Hapuna Beach, Big Islan, Hawaii

I woke up feeling good and thinking this thought about Mother’s Day.  I’m going to make choices all day today which would make my mother proud as she shines in to my life from the beyond.

So that’s what I set about doing.


I started the day with Dance Church.  It’s a dance/movement process that I’ve done a lot of but not a lot with this particular group. There was a weekend workshop going on with an out of town instructor that they opened to the public for the Sunday morning segment, so I went.  It was in the very same dance space at ASU that I did my Nia White Belt training over a decade ago.  I was very familiar with letting go in that space.

Sometime during the two hours of dance and freedom I had this new thought enter about my mother.  You see on the Odysseys I’ve been on related to her–first the tattoo journey and later the trip with my Dad to Mississippi; I discovered so many letters she’d written.  Some even to me.  She started becoming, for the first time in my life, a real person.  Not an angel or an idealized fantasy memory.  But a real person with real handwriting, real thoughts, a real personality.


While I was dancing, the thought came in to my mind about how utterly excruciating it must have been for her to be forced to leave the planet with her three very young children being left behind.  I can only imagine, well I can’t.  Thoughts of What will be children do without me?  Who will care for them?  How will they survive this? of course had to be reeling in her mind constantly.

Sad Teenage Girl

Well, the thought I had yesterday is that I’m the one she’s been waiting for.  I’m the one, the only one who can show her that I’m ok.   I’m the one who can demonstrate that this life she gave me has meant something, something beyond the grieving her.  And if I take it one step further, maybe I can show her that because of her leaving and the challenges that put me through, I became perhaps an even deeper and more compassionate person that I’d never have become otherwise.  Maybe more self reliant, wiser, more dependable, more of a self starter.  I am all of those things.  Maybe because this life offered the opportunity for me to become them.  And just maybe, if I consciously determine to show her that, she will be able to heal any residual wounds she’s carrying for, albeit unintentionally, abandoning her children.  Well, abandoning me.


Whew!  That’s a lot to take in isn’t it?  I’m 54 now.  I was 5 when she left her body.  That’s almost fifty years, well this year it will be fifty years.  It’s about time I figured out some things.

It’s one thing to choose to dedicate your life to someone’s memory.   It’s another altogether to choose to heal together with them.

Now that my friends is a purpose worth living for.

Feel free to take a break from reading right now because there is quite a bit more and that was a lot to absorb.


I wrote about attending the Agape Revelation Conference a couple of weeks ago.  I had another aha moment along similar lines there (which I’m sure kicked the pebble for this much deeper Mother’s Day one).

You see right before I left on that trip, without 48 hours of each other, the last two men I’d been involved with contacted me separately and independently.  One even wrote sharing how he couldn’t stop thinking about me.


Well neither of these relationships ended on a, let’s say, positive note.  In fact, I ended both of them for basically the same reason:  they were uninvested and detached having heavily pursued me then sort of disengaged in to some kind of indifference.  That’s a terrible thing to be on the receiving end of and very disorienting.  One of them turned on a dime right before my very eyes.

Now the one I’m about to tell you about, the one I actually met for coffee yesterday (I will call him R) was someone who seriously pursued me like I was a winning lottery ticket floating down the street in front of him slipping through his grasp.


When we met, I wasn’t really in a place of relationship being at the front of my mind–I had just moved John out here, he was living with me, my life was changing drastically.  I couldn’t imagine it.  But I met R and he thought I was IT.  I was marginally interested at first but after weeks and weeks of hot pursuit I started letting my guard down to the point where I said “yes I will be exclusive with you”.



And two days later, he disengaged.  Well, actually he did that very moment.  I saw it and felt it–I’m sensitive that way.  He just unplugged and to make matters worse, made it seem like I should have known this was coming (he was right but more on that in a minute).

Yes, he was the one who wrote two weeks ago, two years later, “I can’t get you out of my head”.  Interesting right?


I was leaving for this uplifting, soul stirring conference in the morning and I’ve got THIS man to deal with the night before.

So I did what any spiritual seeker heading toward enlightenment would do.  I went on attack mode.  😉


Oh I let him have it trust me.   I let him know how he’d treated me, how surprising it was that I was in his head at all because of how indifferent he was toward me when I was actually dating him, how whatever feeling he was having right now tripping down memory lane I’m sure was born out of a momentary boredom and not something real, how he roped me in but was pursuing many women at the same time toward the end…on and on in three separate emails I let him know exactly what was what.

And I felt so proud of myself for finally standing up for myself and telling him the truth of how he’d made me feel (ha).  I used words like “you devalued me” and basically lots of “you did, you didn’t, you you you”.


And I felt like absolute shit that night falling asleep after that trip town memory lane Hell. And was kicking myself that I was headed to Revelation with that feeling.  Not a feeling of excitement or anticipation but a feeling of toxicity.  Bummer.

I shook it off the next day at the airport but a shadow of it was lingering.


Right up until the second day where two of the talks just opened my mind.  Rev. Michael Beckwith came in to the audience with a microphone that afternoon and was working with people to look at their “patterns” in a new way.  My friend Max, who I went with, kept nudging me to stand up but I didn’t.  What I did do though was superimpose my own pattern on to the dialoguing he was doing with each person.  When he asked them to identify a pattern they wanted to change mine was always “men who come on to me like I’m so special then turn on a dime and abandon me”. That one has happened in a variety of forms for years now.  To the point where I think I developed a bona fide PTSD from it and that’s no joke.

But of course what’s standing in the middle of that pattern?


Rev. Michael also said something that hit me between the eyeballs.  He said (paraphrasing), that if you are living your life guarding against this pattern, looking for it so you can avoid it, you are still magnetizing it because it’s still what you are focusing on.  You have to be ready to let it go completely.



Now if that wasn’t enough to get me reeling, Rev. Sheila McKeithen speaks later that day and she’s just one of those people who no matter what she says, I listen. Carefully.  I encountered her at this conference probably a decade ago and she had that impact on me the first time and every time.  I take note, I trust her, I am led by her.


She was talking about staying in the present.   That so often we respond to situations from our wounds from the past so we miss the gift that is coming right here and now.  I think she was talking about parents saying even though we came to this life through them, we truly inherit nothing. We have our own trajectory that is unaffected by anything they’ve done.  That we need to stay bound to ourselves, our HIGHER selves and where that life is leading us.  I’m totally extrapolating but this is part of what she said that lit more of a fire on my aha moment.


I sat there and realized that these two men contacted me within 48 hours of each other, right before this conference for a reason. And the reason was to show me that they still held me in regard, were still thinking of me, still cared about me.  Everything I’d felt had become “abandoned” and “devalued” when I ended things was simply not true.  At least not in the present.  Men don’t cycle back in to a woman’s life for no reason or casually.  These men are still thinking about me 2 and 3 years later I had such an impact on them!  Wow!  Talk about a reframe!

They didn’t come back around to remind me how discardable and unvaluable I am–the OPPOSITE.

Suddenly I saw the dynamic between R and I completely differently.  He kept responding to my defensiveness and attacks with words like “I’m just trying to tell you I FELT something with you dammit!”.  And I wouldn’t let myself take it in.  Until Rev. Sheila got a hold of me.


I went right back to my room after that and I wrote him this:

Giving this a little more thought and taking a little space to respond what I really want to say is this. I’m glad you felt something with me. That reinforces I’m energizing the world in a positive way. And that I do get seen and appreciated. It ended because it was supposed to. No one is to blame. And I wish both of is our biggest dreams coming true.


Ok take another breath here.  Talk about a turnaround.

Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. woman standing in doorway looking out at bright sunny day, view from behind and below

I met R for coffee yesterday.  It was nice to see him.  We decided we can be friends.  We have quite a bit in common, live near each other, have fun together and he’s in a field that can be very helpful and supportive with some of my life’s challenges and is offering me that support.  It’s a win/win.

It was easy and comfortable seeing him.  We spoke frankly about what happened between us back then.  He owned what he did yet I also owned that I didn’t pay attention enough when he told me, on the front end.  That he had a pattern of idealizing women then suddenly getting turned off.  Now he shared this in the vein of  “I’m so surprised this isn’t happening with you–you must be the One!“.  But really, I should have paid better attention right in that moment.  Or maybe I did and my own fear of truly bonding with a man drove drives me to seek those who I know will never be fully available.  Chaching.  I can own that and did.

In the present though, he wasn’t defensive and I wasn’t attacking but speaking in a real way about what was going on.  It was very healing, at least for me.

Cloud with silver lining

What I know is this. It’s important for me to walk in a new reality that is unencumbered by whatever has happened to me in the past on this quest for true love.  I have to let all of that go and welcome a brand new future.  And taking in thoughts and feelings from men who do admire and value me is critical to healing those wounds.  So that’s what I’m doing right now and I have to say it feels amazing.

open door

Guarding yourself against an old pattern may keep you sort of “safe” in a way but it also keeps you shut down, isolated and limited.  And magnetizing that thing because you’re always on guard for it.  Make sense?


Ok now on to the next thing from yesterday–well two things–more on a lighter note.

I decided to go on this 10 day Sugar Detox and started yesterday.  I’ve not been comfortable in my skin and feeling sluggish and let me tell you, nothing highlights that more than going on a date.  So I decided to do something about it.  I followed it almost to the letter yesterday (I did have coffee) but I already feel pretty amazing, even after one day.


I noticed in dance yesterday how swollen my ankles were yet after a night of up and down releasing water last night my ankles are at least half down.   It’s actually very easy to do (for me) and gives me a great feeling of accomplishment taking care of myself like this.  So I’ll probably be blogging about it for the next 10 days.



I also went treasure hunting again yesterday for my room redux and found this treasure.

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I just love it and so do my cats.  They both hopped on it as soon as I brought it in.  I’ll be painting the wood, just not sure the color quite yet.


And on my painting spree, finished this plate rack and put my mother’s china on it.

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I also started working on this chair that I think was my Grandma’s.  I almost have enough chairs now to have a dinner party.

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I guess that’s about it for now.

I’m feeling very well, hope you all are too.  And hope passing along these little life jumps springs in to your life in some small or big way.

Now, it’s time for my morning smoothie and to get in to this beautiful day.




Oh wait!  One more thing!  I thought I’d lost my new/old glasses and yesterday…found them!  Good fortune all around.





transformation whirlwind



First of all, please forgive me for this long absence.  My life has been swirling and whirling and all good things in and around me and so much to write about I don’t know where to begin!

Guess I’ll start with the present and work my way back.  😉


Just returned last night from an amazing conference in DC called Revelation put on by the astounding Reverend Michael Bernard Beckwith of the Agape spiritual organization in LA along with his beautiful and musical wife Rickie Byars Beckwith.




I met, hugged and was inspired by Neal Donald Walsh, author of all those Conversations With God books. By the way when I say “hugged” I mean he walked right up to me that morning before giving his powerful talk and offered me a hug!  😀

I will share one tidbit.  When asked of all the messages he felt he received to write about, which was the most important to him, he said “Your life is not about you.  It’s about everyone’s life you touch and the way you touch it”.


There were so many powerful speakers and performances there (Agape is full of creative talent) that I couldn’t begin to synthesize it all in this small format.  I just feel totally transformed and will write about a specific story of revelation I experienced myself once the dust settles here a bit.

Let’s see if I can embed this video which captures some of the amazing energy at the conference at the Sat. night banquet.  Chaka Khan!  If you look closely you can see me dancing toward the back…I’m in turquoise.  😉

Ok I can’t quite figure it out but you can click on this link. 



I met up with my friend Max there who I’d not seen in three years.  We’ve gone to this conference together four other times.  We were approached by so many people who remembered us. We truly are magnified and the sum of our parts multiplies when we are together..we have that kind of energy.  It was great to see her and of course we had tons of laughs and tears too.

(by the way, anyone who followed us during the Scott Peterson trial knows us as Katie and Jordy–an article about our wild ride is found here)


Before I went to Revelation, I went on an Odyssey with my father back to rural Mississippi to filter through all of the family heirlooms that have been stored there for almost two decades.  Let’s just say there was a large shed on the property of a lake house filled with memorabilia, photos, furniture etc , most destroyed by every kind of strain of mold and fungus you can imagine.  Yet we were still able to salvage so many treasures- including this Santa Claus portrait by my Aunt Natalie that was my #1 hoped-for.  It was moldy but it’s restorable and it’s back with us now after being buried in there for too long.




clearly he has made this exact face all his life


My dad and I would sit at the kitchen table each morning reading each other letters he’d written to his parents from boarding school, letters my mother wrote when she was dying, essays my father wrote in school, found his father’s very full passport and death certificate.  There was so much to explore and it was quite a profound bonding for us.

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I also saw a whole lot of wildlife there!  Foxes on the property, two alligators my Uncle John took us to try and find (we did!), armadillos, opossums and tons and tons of hummingbirds.  One even flew in to the house and was flying around the kitchen!



On our long drive way home we visited the Carlsbad Caverns in NM which were AMAZING.  I’d love to go again to see the bats swirl out…wasn’t on our time frame.

Between those trips, I found another treasure and did one of my favorite activities–restored a piece of furniture.  I’ve been redoing my entire downstairs, giving it a facelift and in doing so, let go of my dining room table replacing it for a sleek kitchen island which I’m sitting at right now in this bright open space typing!

beforeafter beforeaft

before and after

But I did need a table for when I do have company for dinner…so had an idea about a “gate leg” table to have against the wall and pull out when I need to…perfect for my small space and multi functional.



I could barely believe my eyes when I found one on Craigslist for $50!  I’d also been wanting to try out this new “chalk paint” process (Annie Sloan paints) so spent three times the price of the table on supplies and I’m not kidding when I say I did this table in ONE DAY Sunday before last.  It was super easy and fun.  When I have a moment I”ll sit down and do a full tutorial on it as you know I took pics every step of the way.

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I can’t wait to host a dinner party now! Soon!

Well that’s a quick recap so you know I’ve been super busy enjoying life and hope you readers out there have been as well.

Life is good!  And I will end with the view I’m enjoying right now.


But more like this as my friend Yolanda, who made and gifted me with this beautiful block said “you have the world’s largest coaster” when I told her how I was gonna use it. 😉


Be well out there!