With Or Without You

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I’ve been on my own for 4 years now. In those 4 years, I’ve gone from having 2 or 3 friends to having many. Some of them are there for me regularly, some of them are there for me only sometimes, but there are many to choose from.

It took a while to build up a base but I’m happy to say I’ve done it. What would I be without my friends? Not sure I would be here if I didn’t have them.

One of my friends is such an inspiration. He has so many friends and most of them he met them because of his amazing ability to INITIATE them. I was celebrating my birthday with a girlfriend and my other friend Alexander was going to join us as well. He said he invited a bunch of his friends. There were so many people there and most of them were Alexander’s friends, not mine. I asked each of his friends how they met. All of them said, we just met when we were out and Alex said, “hey, let’s exchange numbers, let’s hang out”.

There aren’t very many people who have that quality. In my world, no one (except Alexander) has that quality. I want to be more like him. I am inspired to be more of an INITIATOR!Thank you!  I feel such fortune in being your friend!


Dig Deep–I Am That

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We stood above a waterfall on the trail. Huge boulders were nuggets in a stream. A tree stuck out among the rocks–its roots looked as if they were going into the rock but they simply went beyond the boulder and into the ground. Another tree had huge thick roots that stuck out above the stream.

All you need to do is stop and look around in nature, nature leaves clues. Everything really does always work out for us!

Nature abounds with continuous proof of abundance!

Tree roots never give up, they always seek to grow. It doesn’t matter if they have to force their way through boulders and rocks, they dig deep and get connected.
If there’s no more room to dig deep, they puff up above the surface and grow that way. Whichever way they can, they’re growing. Trees really do amaze us. Some of them have been around for hundreds of years and have seen and heard so much. Imagine…

I guess they set an example for us humans. How are you growing? Are you growing? Reaching? Digging deep? Sometimes contentment and complacency set in and we no longer strive. To strive and be a bit out of balance is where the thrill of life shakes us up and thrusts us forward. Those trees inspired me today, I will reach higher and deeper than I have before. Life is calling me out into it–I just need to trust it and reach!

Your Body–Built To Move!

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As I’ve been recovering from straining some ligaments in my foot, I haven’t been exercising very much at all.  My yoga practice is not happening because that involves lots of foot work.  I haven’t been huffing and puffing up the hiking trails and the biking I’ve done is pretty tame.  I’ve just really wanted to heal completely so I thought I’d give my body some serious time off.pacific palisades hike

While it has been good for healing my foot, the rest of me is really feeling a difference.  

I actually feel as if I’m aging–my muscles are tighter and achier than ever.

This goes along with a trend I see as a massage therapist.  Most of the people who complain about chronic pain are those who have NOT been exercising.

Today, I got on my mountain bike and could feel my legs burning.

They were gasping for more Oxygen! One of the ratings of an athlete’s ability to utilize oxygen is the VO2max test. When you are fit and efficient, it is high. This means your body has the ability to utilize MORE oxygen. This is so key.

When you keep the capillaries and veins pumping and working and exchanging healthy oxygenated blood on a regular basis, you create a smooth running system–more pathways.

Our bodies are BUILT TO MOVE and when they don’t, they get  dry and stiff and uninspired because there is no good stuff rushing through them!

Without the activities that increase the oxygen, we feel stiff, achey, irritable, and less than youthful.  In the same way, the synovial fluid in our joints needs to be stimulated to stay lubricated and flexible.

Currently my mom is in a nursing home, getting some therapy to get her body moving again. Several months ago when her back and knees hurt too much, she just started lying in her bed all day. She could only sit for 10 minutes at a time. Her back hurt just to sit and her legs hurt along with it.

After assessing her current condition, she is now being told she has the muscle tone of a newborn baby!

She has a long way to go to get to feeling good again.

Let this example urge you forth into your life with a desire to move your body.

Keep it moving and enjoy it moving and it will continue to serve you as long as you live and love it fully!

We need to use our bodies in a way that challenges them.  When we just walk through life with no vigorous movement, our bodies feel the lack of life and vitality. Your body deserves to move.

Simply, oxygen is life and a lack of it is a gasping for breath!

Oh–and the good news is my foot has healed completely and I am back to moving my body with vigor!

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can–don’t be afraid of it or what other people think about it, it is the greatest instrument you will ever own!

Childless By Choice


I am a woman and I am childless by choice.

No, this is not something I need to discuss and wonder about, it’s a decision I made many years ago.

Many years ago, though, everyone seemed to want to challenge that decision.  Talk about pressure, there was extreme pressure every turn I took. If we could all just allow one another to be who they are and honor their own preferences and decisions, the flow of life would be as it should be–full of ease.

Many people made immediate conclusions about me as a person.

Two of the most common conclusions were that I was too selfish or that I didn’t want to go through labor because I would lose my body.  I sometimes wish it were only that simple a decision.

I was once on a date and after telling the guy I was childless by choice, he became outwardly mean and angry toward me, calling me selfish and cold hearted. Clearly, he did not take the time to know who I am, he simply made a judgement.

In an opposite interaction, I was giving a woman a massage. We did not know each other, she had been given a gift certificate so I suppose she felt an ease in being open with me. As we discussed the whole child or no child issue, she said, “if I could choose now whether to have them or not, I would choose to not have children”. She had 3 boys and she was not enjoying the ride. I was sad for her but so impressed in her ability to be honest about such a touchy subject.

I tell everyone, if I were to choose to have a child it would be to witness the miracle taking place in my body.  It is simply awesome! 

To think that a man and a woman can create a child that grows inside a woman’s body for 9 months–that is just mind-blowing.   But when going through the process of deciding, this is not enough of a reason to have a child.  So much more will be required after the awesome, miraculous 9 months and subsequent birth.

In the same way that this is no reason to have a child, some have made the comment, “but who will take care of you when you are old”?  Wow, really?  Would that be a reason to have a child–to have someone to take care of me when I’m old?

The easiest way to explain it:  I never really had the gene that some women have while growing up, the gene that has them fantasizing about being a mom and having a family.

Maybe it had something to do with me being the youngest child and not having anyone to take care of.  I know my sister who is 2 years older than me is a fabulous mom to her 2 daughters and she was pretty fabulous as my older sister too.  She was accustomed to caring for me a lot!

I just never wanted kids bad enough to even think about having them.   I watched many women go through the process of hormone therapy, in vitro fertilization, and thinking about getting  a surrogate.  I just couldn’t even fathom going through that to have a child.

The thing we all need to realize,  in every area of life, is that we are all different.

As much as I haven’t had any desire to have children, I can understand that one could have such a huge desire to have them and how doing whatever it takes would be in order.  I get that.

The whole motherhood thing always looked like too much for me.  I never felt “fit” to be a mom.  Not fit, but fit.  It just seemed overwhelming, daunting.  I have a hard enough time taking care of me let alone a helpless child.

And the feelings.  I have a huge sense of empathy and I can’t bare the thought of having to go through the pain of childhood.  I remember when my niece was about 14.  She had been on the soccer team for a couple of years and she had just returned from try outs.  She didn’t make the team!

She was in so much pain and I felt it. 

It hurt me to watch her and feel her pain.  I can’t imagine having to go through all that pain with a child of my own let alone my sweet niece!

I had many women try to convince me that I HAD to have kids.  One of my friends had just had her first baby and was clearly elated; she saw my husband and I in a restaurant and came over and said “you have to do this, you have to have kids”.

I understand their joy and their desire for me, but this was just a bit inappropriate especially knowing that I had made this decision years ago. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “you’d be such a good mom”.  Perhaps I would, but I don’t want to be.  No person, man or woman, who doesn’t want kids, should have them.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t love kids, I do.  I have always blended in with kids and their friends, I relate well to them and their energy.

I guess what I’m going on and on about is to make the point that we are all different and not everyone is cut out to be one thing or another.

If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it–that’s a rule I live by.

There is nothing worse than saying yes to someone or something and then when the time comes to do it, you wish you wouldn’t have said yes.  “When in doubt, don’t” is something that really resonated with me regarding having children.  What if I went ahead and said yes and then later regretted.

Honestly, I am in awe of my mom and all moms!

The love and sacrifice that they give their lives to for us just boggles the mind!

To me, the most powerful being on the planet is a mom!

Having a child is not something to take lightly.

It’s not committing to an event or an appointment, it’s committing to a lifetime appointment!

I am childless by choice and while I have unending respect for every mom that ever lived, I am so glad I took the time to choose!

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Life can be really blissful if you recognize it as such!

Hiking Los Angeles, Malibu, Santa Monica Mountains

This morning when I awoke, I took a deep breath and silently said, Thank You (it’s a miracle).  I had attended a Japanese Master’s workshop on Saturday.

He explained that in ancient Japan, the phrase “Thank You” was filled with revery and awe and it meant, “it’s a miracle”.

He said, they once lived each moment as if they would die in 5 minutes–especially the Samurai.  Today, the phrase is just used as a polite business catch phrase.  He encouraged us to use it as it was originally intended thousands of years ago–we could die in 5 minutes.

As I thought about my breath and felt the miraculousness of it, I remembered the pregnant woman I had massaged yesterday with the new life ready to emerge.  Really, we’re all a miracle every day!  I slept through the night again, after all these years, and I have new life in a…

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STREET Smarts–Detroit Taught Me Well


Today,  I am feeling very appreciative of my mom and the freedom she graced upon her kids.  She gave us so much space and exposed us to more than the average person, I’m sure of it now.

When I was a young girl, we would go and visit my Grandma and Grandpa in the Cass Corridor, Downtown Detroit area.   The Cass Corridor is where the riots broke out in the heart of Detroit in 1963.

It was a real raw city, indeed. 

My Grandpa would walk us to the park downtown where we would feed the pigeons.  He was in a very sick phase of his life, and there were many times that he would have to lay down on the side of the street and take a nap.

My sister, Valorie,  and I were about 8 and 10 years old.  We would just sort of linger there while grandpa napped.  We were harassed by all sorts of people.

We learned the subtle art of knowing when to speak and when not to pay any attention.  There is a huge difference. 

If you look someone in the eye that should not be looked in the eye, you learn quickly what you did wrong.  When you ignore someone that you should have spoken to, you learn quickly what you should have done.  Trust me, it’s a big deal.

Most of the people I know are afraid of going to areas that seem unsafe.  Quite frankly, most people just don’t go.  When I was  a teenager and driving, I would drive my friends to downtown Detroit.  There were some amazing ethnic festivals at The Hart Plaza down on the riverfront.   Talk about a place to party and meet people from all over the metropolitan area, this was it.

If my friend’s parents knew they were down there, they would have thrown a fit!

To me, being downtown was not a big deal and it was not dangerous.  My Mom worked downtown all of my young years, my Grandparents lived downtown, and it was part of my vibe.   

If you aren’t exposed to the diversity at a young age, when will you be?

That, I believe, is the problem with most people who are filled with fear about going to certain neighborhoods.  If they’ve never had any experience carrying themselves down a city street, you’d better believe they’re going to show it. 

Body language and posture is everything. 

If you have no confidence, it will show and you will be an easy victim if anyone were interested.

Just the other day, I was in an area in Los Angeles that I would not necessarily  choose to go to.  I had bought a Living Social deal and I wasn’t sure of the area it was in.  Sure enough, as I drove toward the address, things weren’t looking all that fabulous.

It was a run down neighborhood and the people were definitely diverse and,  in the words of Jerry Seinfeld, “not that there’s anything wrong with that”.

I had a voucher and it expired TODAY.  Since I was juice fasting, I was going to get my full supply for the day and take them to go–all juice.  As I handed the cashier my voucher to pay, he announced that it was dine in only.

Shoot, I had no choice so I decided to sit there and drink a couple hours away.  I needed my computer which was in my car.

I walked to my car, which incidently had my bicycle on top of it, and grabbed my laptop and walked back.

There were people of all sorts out there.  Some in their yard, some on the street, some lingering in the old garage business on the corner.

They were diverse and it did feel like I was on the streets of Detroit from my childhood. 

The beautiful thing, though, was that  they were not at all offended by my presence.  The tough chick walking by was one of those you just don’t engage.  The older woman, who seemed a bit out of sorts and maybe a little intoxicated,  was pleasant and a simple smile worked with her.

All I can say is, I am so appreciative of my upbringing and the example my mom set for me.

I appreciate her for exposing me to all the neighborhoods, not just the suburbs. 

Fear just wasn’t present in my body when I was out there.  All was well.

I guess if you are already an adult and you  weren’t prepared to navigate in such neighborhoods, you probably should stay out of bounds until you learn the art of posture.  Or, come with me and you’ll be fine.

All is well and it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood–wherever it is!

Thank You–It’s A Miracle

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This morning when I awoke, I took a deep breath and silently said, Thank You (it’s a miracle).  I had attended a Japanese Master’s workshop on Saturday.

He explained that in ancient Japan, the phrase “Thank You” was filled with revery and awe and it meant, “it’s a miracle”.

He said, they once lived each moment as if they would die in 5 minutes–especially the Samurai.  Today, the phrase is just used as a polite business catch phrase.  He encouraged us to use it as it was originally intended thousands of years ago–we could die in 5 minutes.

As I thought about my breath and felt the miraculousness of it, I remembered the pregnant woman I had massaged yesterday with the new life ready to emerge.  Really, we’re all a miracle every day!  I slept through the night again, after all these years, and I have new life in a whole new day.  The baby is new life and we recognize that with more clarity because it’s new but when we really look at it, we are all a miracle.

We are, in every moment, new!

I have noticed it with almost everything: puppies, kittens, babies,  relationships.  When we look at the young animals and kids, they are refreshing and as cute as can be.  Somehow, as they get a little older, we begin to take them for granted.

Relationships are the same–whether they are relationships with others or ourselves, we take them for granted and just expect that they will be here the next day.

The Japanese Master told us about his grandmother.  At the age of 70 she started rock climbing and at the age of 80 she started downhill skiing.  Everyone tried to stop her and convince her she was too old, but she did it anyway.

She lived as the ancient Japanese did–fully alive and present with every moment. 

Then, tragically–she was hit by a truck.  She is gone from this realm but she was an inspiration to her grandson on how to live life.

She lived fully!IMG_0508

I am cultivating a new practice and that will be the practice of taking that first deep breath and saying “Thank You (It’s A Miracle)”.

As much as I can be present to the miracle that I am, I will be. tara-and-the-coastline.jpg

I will not take you or me for granted because every minute in life is a miracle!  Thank You.

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