The 'No BS' Guide to Personal Growth: A Comedy of Errors and Wisdom

Nov 08, 2023

Mel Robbins – that dynamo of truth bombs and no-nonsense wisdom! If you don’t know her, you’ve got to look her up - author, motivational speaker, podcast host and tell-it-like-it is personal development guru.

At first, I didn’t quite warm up to her, she was like the spinach of personal development leaders, a little hard to swallow. Maybe it was her unwavering candor, her outspoken approach, or the fact that she was basically a mirror showing me my own flaws. But she slowly grew on me and now she’s my personal therapist, whether she knows it or not!

A few weeks back, I found myself glued to one of her Instagram videos. There she was passionately addressing someone who couldn’t quit the addiction of peeking at their ex’s social media life, even seven years after divorce!

Mel’s reaction was classic, with her “what the hell are you doing to your life?” vibe (in a loving, supportive way, of course).

However, suddenly I felt like...

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My 5 Approaches to Living Joyfully

Nov 02, 2023

Let’s be honest, some aspects of the aging process can downright suck. And even though I’m the ultimate optimist, I confess – I get it. I see it. I feel it.

I’ve been sitting with this “awareness of my aging” for a while now…it’s been percolating in the back closet of my mind. But what I’ve come to realize, is that with the right mix of attitude, heart, humor, and most importantly…ACTION, this journey can still be quite the adventure!

Here are my top five approaches to living joyfully during the later chapters of life.

1. Do What it Takes to Soothe Aches and Pains

These days, my body seems to have a daily agenda of presenting me with both explained and unexplained aches and pains. It’s right there, front and center, in my mind, hips, feet, knees, elbows, hands, back, neck, and I could go on and on.

Dwelling up it and complaining about it to the world won’t do anyone, including myself, any good. So, I’ve...

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Balancing Passion and Authenticity in Family, Retirement and Life using the Enneagram

Jun 02, 2023

Life is a tapestry woven with unique personalities, quirks, and aspirations. At the heart of this intricate design lies the Enneagram, a powerful framework that illuminates the depths of our being. As a seasoned 65-year-old, I find myself finally embracing the Enneagram 3 with a strong 4 wing, an enchanting combination that influences every facet of my life, from family dynamics to retirement work and all my life adventures. So, let's embark on a whimsical journey as I share how my personality, heart, and sense of humor dance through the intricacies of life's tapestry.

The Enneagram 3: The Achiever, Now with a Personal Touch:

Ah, the Enneagram 3—the Achiever. It's like having a perpetual cheerleader within, always pushing for success and basking in the limelight of accomplishments. But let me share a little secret about this personality type: behind the glitz and glamour, there's a person who values authenticity and cherishes the art of self-expression. It's like winning an...

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The Bonding Power of Footprints in the Sand: A Hawaiian Family Vacation Tale

May 27, 2023

Like any seasoned mother, I've accumulated a variety of titles over the years - chef, chauffeur, therapist, nurse, life coach, ATM - the list is as extensive as a Costco receipt. But the label I cherish most, the one that warms my heart like a well-worn quilt, is 'Mom'. Mother's Day this year brought an unexpected surprise: a vacation to Hawaii with my adult son, Bill and daughter, Amy, a thoughtful gesture from them, for which my Birkenstock laden feet are still grateful, albeit a bit weary. We literally walked miles each day on our adventures to sandy beaches, waterfalls, temples and of course, a bit of Honolulu eating and shopping.

These family vacations, sprinkled throughout the annals of our lives like rare gems, hold a unique power to mend bridges, strengthen bonds and generate memories. And honestly, it’s been awhile, thanks to events of the last few years.

Thanks to the lens of introspection, we can appreciate this power even more. Our shared experiences - whether it's...

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Making Our Way Through!

Feb 18, 2023

 Families are complicated.  It’s not so different with mine.  We are complicated.  We’ve been through a lot – some of it together and some of it apart.

If I were being completely honest, I would tell you that it’s not always been easy. 

While honoring my brother’s life this month and making my way through my grief, it’s important to me to look at our relationship as objectively as I can….because that’s what’s real and that’s what will heal my broken heart.

As children, we had a mother who loved us immensely and did what she knew to provide a safe, happy experience.  Mom kept an immaculately clean home, a healthy schedule, well-balanced meals and conveyed solid beliefs and values.  But Momma was only 15-years-old when she had me, and while she had been mothering her younger brothers for a few years before that, a 15-year-old has had limited experience at being an adult, much less a parent....

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Celebrating You!

Feb 08, 2023

He was turning eight on February 8th, 1968, wondering why none of us had wished him a happy birthday. We were just following instructions, but bursting from our little bitty seams, because we knew…we knew there was a surprise coming.

After dinner was cleaned up, my brother Jimmy was moping about, dropping hints about what day it was. Momma took him by the shoulders, hugged him tight and said, “Happy birthday, son!” That was it. Unusual in our family because Momma made holidays and birthdays extra special. I thought I saw his heart drop to his stomach…but still he smiled with those big brown eyes and said, “Thank you, Momma”.

She sent us to wash our hands and tidy our bedrooms. Calling us 15 minutes later for homemade cake and ice cream…and yes, a couple of birthday presents!

Just then the doorbell rang and this time, Momma insisted on answering it herself. One after another, our family members and friends filed in singing “Happy...

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Life Flies By....

Feb 01, 2023

Friends, it’s true what they say, “Life flies by”….

When I look at these few snapshots of my brother’s life, I am reminded again of how precious and unpredictable life is, and I feel sad to know that we won’t get any future pictures of him. Just a few months ago, surrounded by loved ones, Jimmy left this earthly existence.

Losing a sibling is heart-wrenching on several levels. Before he passed, my two brothers were probably the only people alive who really knew me well as a child. Knew how we were raised. Knew how we were loved. Knew our family function… and dysfunction.

All his life we saw Jimmy as the omega man - stronger than an ox, brilliant, athletic, fun, tall, dark and handsome. He could do anything he set his mind to. As the middle child, he was the facilitator, the one of us with a heart of gold and the one who would, literally, give you the shirt off his back.

Thanks to our momma, our bond was strong.

Jimmy grew up to be a...

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My Way Or the Highway

Jan 25, 2023

Call me a geek! I’m doing my golden years MY way. Routines have always been important to me. Yes, I’m that person! I appreciate a well-oiled machine!

I know the value of routines and habits in my life, yet still, I struggle to keep them in place. It’s so frustrating because there’s not too many tips anyone can give me. I’m somewhat an expert on the value and implementation of routines as a result of a lifetime of reading and practicing routines and implementing strategies from books, mentors and professional workshops/ conferences. I’m baptized by fire!

I know stuff about this subject, but consistently practicing my chosen routines and habits is one of my biggest challenges…and that’s okay. I’ve adapted to my own quirky and imperfect ways.

Lol, taking myself with a grain of salt when it comes to resolutions and routines, helps me to quickly move on when I don’t perform the first … or even the second time. I still...

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A Beautiful Mess

Jan 13, 2023


Good Day and Welcome to 2023!

Feeling overwhelmed and burnt out from life’s traumas, I stepped back for awhile because life hit me hard in 2022 and taking a mental health break was the ticket to not only surviving but thriving.

Every now and then, we experience a series of unfortunate events, like I did in 2022.  It was one traumatic thing after another for about half a year.  It happens that way occasionally and this time, it was tough, but I was more prepared than ever before.

Starting with the tragic death of a young neighbor boy who helped us with our yard, then the painful loss of one of my dearest friend’s brother who was also a husband and father of two young children, to the stress of selling our home and preparing to move, my partner’s scary spinal surgery (three surgeries in two days) and continuing complicated and painful recovery, then my son’s life-threatening saddle embolism, my partner’s post-surgical blood clots, then...

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Warning – Gratitude Bomb Dropped!

May 11, 2022

As the door flung open, her energy filled the room like the Arizona sunshine radiating over the morning horizon. Bright smiling eyes, dark mature skin and her deep, welcoming voice called my anxious friend, Virginia, into the doctor’s office.

Something about her immediately calmed me, and I hoped that my sweet friend felt it too.

The day had been stressful with doctor’s offices, not-so-good news, frustrating obstacles, and fear.

I wanted to wrap my arms around Virginia, hold her close and let our hearts do the talking, but sometimes in these distressed moments, our ability to authentically connect with those we love the most, is blocked on one side or another, or both.

Nurse Robbie showed up for us.

After a while, Virginia returned to the waiting room different than she left - this time with a smile on her face and a little bounce to her step.

We sat in the parked car for at least five full minutes, Virginia enthusiastically recounting the amazing interaction between she...

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