Sister Bracelets

Nov 11, 2019

When I enter a room, I am often heard before I am seen. If you know me at all you are not surprised in the least by this statement… no it is not due to my Italian heritage. No, it is not always because I use my coaching voice inside. It is due to my Sister Bracelets. No, I am not a gypsy either. I am a proud Sister. I belong to a group of women who demonstrate our connection to each other by the bracelets we wear on our left wrists. Like the Vikings of old, these bracelets demonstrate our
love, care, loyalty and commitment to one other. 

The giving of the bracelets began about 15 years ago. Being a group of sisters who have never shopped at the 5,7 and 9 stores, we were once again adventuring into another diet escapade. This time we were going to use money as our motivator for loss... because we all like money. Each of invested $333 dollars into our “biggest loser” pot. With the...

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Did You Know I Was A Hero?

Nov 11, 2019

As a mom, a former teacher and a victim of child sexual abuse by my step-father, I would sometimes wonder… I wondered how this happens and who would victimize an innocent child. 

After years of thinking, researching, and analyzing I finally realize that it doesn’t matter to me anymore.  The bottom line is that we must protect our children from adult predators.  Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, caretakers, whomever has contact with kids must always be watching for signs that something isn’t right.  Sometimes, this means looking closely at each other.  It’s often a convoluted situation and is not as easy as it should be.  It can sometimes require that we overstep our presumed bounds, however, when we act in love and speak respectfully, and all have the child’s best interest as heart, we can protect our children.  Even, when they can’t protect themselves or they seek to protect their predator.

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Turning 60

Nov 08, 2019

60 is one of those birthdays you feel coming for a while…it doesn’t sneak up on you …. or I guess it does. I have felt it coming for a year and a half (or a lifetime, whatever is longest) but then, it’s here and I’m like, “Wow, 60, how did that happen!”

When I was very young 60 seemed so old, REALLY OLD, like “it’s time to die, old.”  Then, of course, as I grew closer and closer, 60 became a different kind of milepost.  My perception changed, thanks to lessons learned, sometimes referred to as wisdom and the many women before me who have blazed new trails and helped me to see that aging is a wonderful adventure.

One of the most important changes I’ve made is how I see myself.  As an avid seeker of enlightenment and personal development for most of my adult life, I did not fully begin “loving myself” until a year or so ago.  I still fall into the self judgement trap...

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I Want To Be Like You!

Nov 08, 2019

Since I entered your life 41 years ago at age 19, literally barefoot and pregnant, I’ve wanted to be like you when I grew up.  I hadn’t seen the likes of you before - beautiful, faithful, educated, classy, and loving. We came from two different worlds.  Some Christian mothers-in-law would be petrified, mortified and humiliated to be introducing a complete stranger as her new daughter-in-law and mother of her upcoming grandson.  If you were, you certainly didn’t convey it to me.  You got right down to business by welcoming me into the Soroka family, throwing us a big baby shower in the church, and making sure we knew we had plenty of support.

Right away, you treated me like I was the expert of my life….like I knew what I was doing.  Quite hilarious, looking back, because I didn’t have a clue.  However, your faith in me, gave me faith in myself.  Part of me, was a bit intimidated by you, you had it all together, you...

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But Wait, There's More!

Nov 08, 2019

Sedona, Arizona, is a magical place, without a doubt.  This weekend, with my family and friends, it was enchanted and mystical, as well.  If you haven’t been to Sedona, you’ll want to put it on your Bucket List.  Sedona, two hours north of Phoenix, Arizona, is nestled within magnificent red rock formations and it’s said to be right in the middle of at least one vortex…….  Sometimes defined as swirling centers of energy that are conducive to healing, meditation and self-exploration.

We met up to celebrate my 60th birthday, 12 of us, all connected in, often complicated, but meaningful, loving ways.  Playing cards, sharing stories, singing, laughing and always discovering and eating delicious meals together, we celebrated our delight in each other and my reaching another milestone in life!  As the birthday girl, I was the receiver of a relaxing facial, a heavenly massage, energizing attention and other very thoughtful...

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Opening Up

Nov 08, 2019

When I was younger I really thought I had a shortcut to God, wisdom, the Universe, whatever you want to call it.  Always on the path to learn about myself and the world, as I learned, I thought I knew more.  As I gained insights, I slightly elevated myself above others, thinking my thoughts were more unique and creative.  I observed, worked hard, saw the big picture and made some wise connections, which made me seem brilliant to a few. 

As life would have it, I fell from grace… grief stricken, shell-shocked and weak.  Never in my wildest imagination could I figure out how this experience would serve me, as I KNEW every other life experience had.  How could immense, multiple losses benefit anyone?  Slowly, I made my way through the pain, one small step at a time.  Reading wisdoms from others in similar mindsets. Processing my lethargy through listlessly telling my story until I broke through my thick armor and got to the core of the...

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Rocky Lover Forever!

Nov 08, 2019

 

My favorite movie of all time is Rocky.  Yeah, yeah, I have heard all the hater’s comments regarding this and I HAVE NOT BEEN MOVED FROM MY OPINION!!! Because you know what- I can relate.  All I need to hear is that Rocky theme music and I am fired up and ready to take on anything.

Of course, this may have a little something to do with the fact that my father was Italian, born in Pennsylvania and like the Rocky character my dad was an academic underdog.  He didn’t really learn to read until college and like the Rocky character, my mom taught him by reading Louis L’Amour Westerns.  My dad was not supposed to graduate from high school, let alone receive two master’s degrees in education and business.

 Dad was a highly successful football coach with three daughters and a much younger son.  So, growing up in a home where we weren’t allowed to say, “I can’t”, or “I quit” pretty much shaped...

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A Change In Perspective

Nov 08, 2019

Life changes fast!  One minute I think that all is going well – my adult children are happy doing the amazing things they do; my friends and family seem to be moving in the direction they planned and everything is smooth.  In a short moment, everything can change!

A few months ago, I was jolted with the news that three people close to me, were diagnosed with cancer.  Although, as I age and become even more aware, I’m always surprised that when I’m faced with “loss”, I have a more “thankful” perspective on living and dying, and the people I love.  Every moment that I continue to live…that I’m deeply connected with another human being…that I’m fully present…is a precious moment.  My attitude towards the impending holidays was different and took on new insight.  How I received long-term, out-of-state family as guests in my home, here to support our loved one, was warm and...

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Grit, Grace and Gratitude

Nov 08, 2019

I am sure in your lifetime people have asked you to find one word to describe yourself.  I find that this is truly a difficult task. Really? One word? Nearly impossible I think.  I could come up with the obvious; funny, lighthearted, kind, bold, caring.  Each of these words are descriptive, but not all inclusive.  So, the struggle persists. 

In my life at this moment I feel the word which resonates with me is grit.  Now when you think of grit you are not instantly envisioning beauty, refinement, softness or caring.  Grit recalls toughness, unpolished, a roughness around the edges and the sense of things being rubbed against another - hard.  Grit, grit grit…. yes, that is a fit

Grit has a variety of words to clarify it. Some of my favorites are courage, resolve, spirit, nerve, tenacity and pluck.  Yes, there seem to be no warm and fluffies here!

In January of 2016, I chose to become an amputee. This was after several years of trying...

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Waking Up...Again

Nov 08, 2019

We are all doing the best we can. No, really, WE ARE ALL DOING THE BEST WE CAN.

         - Brene Brown  from Rising Greatly

                        – The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution.

 No big surprise, as author Brene Brown orally read her book, Rising Greatly – The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution.  I’ve heard the phrase one hundred times before in my quest to understand myself and become a more improved version.  Contemplating it repeatedly, I finally became a true believer.  Yet this morning, as I treaded my final mile and half, I felt sick to my stomach and the tears ran down my face, as I listened to Brene recite her story.

My telling reaction surprised me as I struggled to focus on the words I was hearing, rather than go to my own story.  Knowing that I needed to attend to my emotions but wanting to hear the outcome of hers, I...

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