Risk to Blossom

Risk Butterfly_bw

This morning I read that Jimmy Carter has stage IV melanoma. Not a good prognosis. My father died at 57 from melanoma. Last fall I was given a diagnosis of stage 0, non-invasive, insitu melanoma. Sounds like the best you can get if you’re gonna get it…to me. So much so that I couldn’t bring myself to say that I had a cancer. That word is so very difficult to ascribe to self. Meanwhile, my very dear and close friend was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. Another very dear and close friend died suddenly. All within the month of August and early September. The fall began as a time of grief and acceptance. The winter thru now has been a journey of healing.

As I feel the upcoming fall season, and reflect on where things are, I feel the urgency of life and getting the most out of it on a day to day basis. This summer I had knee surgery to clean out damage done over years and specifically in a fall while on a hike 2 years ago. So, rather than the summer I keep dreaming of and felt ready for doing on my own, being on the water, riding my bike, hiking, I was resting and recovering.

Now the summer is coming to a close. The children are back in school. Nights are a little cooler, a little crispy. I love this time of year. And it also brings up the sadness of a summer gone by once again unfulfilled. Or is it? Unfulfilled. I can’t quite feel that, though it is there and I am choosing not to go down that lane.

What does this summer and past year have to show me? Is this another level of healing a sad soul? I have harbored a secret (and not so secret at times) sadness throughout my entire life. It is a sadness born of feeling very much adrift from humanity, a separation of sorts between me and another human singular human being. My mother was not the mothering kind. She didn’t like any of the mess that comes with a child. She didn’t hug, didn’t kiss, except quick and perfunctory. She yelled. She told us all in various ways we were a pain and a burden to her. Though I know my sister has voiced the same, I felt alone in feeling unloved. Things and people change and now, at 86, Mom is learning it’s ok to be vulnerable and love openly. In doing so, she is showing us the person we always wished for is in there and a real possibility. She is allowing us the safety of loving her.

Coming into this past spring, my ex-husband entered the scene once again. He is an addict who lives for the appropriate moments he is able to drink and smoke. I lived for the “in between” of those moments and they became fewer and fewer until they didn’t exist much at all. After the divorce, my children began to bear the burden of his alcoholism. My son took him to rehab nearly a decade ago and gave him a home for the first 5 months following, which coincided with the first 5 months of the oldest daughter’s life. This past spring, my ex was given an over-the-top fresh start when an ultra-sound tech searching for reasons his heart was acting up made an intuitive detour and found a leaking aortic aneurism and saved his life. He went through alcohol and nicotine withdrawal in the ICU for 10 days. My son and oldest daughter saw him through it.

Our hope was that he would take this opportunity to find life again but he didn’t. He lived with my daughter and her family for 4 months, sneaking off to drink a six pack or so at the lake. I took on the task of telling him it was time to leave. And he did, leaving in his wake the sadness that has pervaded his life. Nothing is normal anymore. My children are finding their way around the emotions that accompany the knowing that your dad is not coming back, and that he has chosen it. How do you reconcile that? My new role is to be both parents to my children and I am learning how to do that.

A few years ago, I was told by an intuitive that my ex-husband was corded into my soul through my knee. I tossed that over my shoulder as probably just a lot of ooga-booga and hopeful thinking that there is something more magical than meets the eye going on here. I am thinking and feeling differently now. I am feeling pretty certain that it’s more real than not. Or is it a coincidence that, as I have a clear and final break with my ex, I have a clean out knee surgery? Maybe. Maybe not.

What is apparent to me is that life goes quickly and all of us do die in the end. My hope is that I live a very long and healthy life and my fear is that I won’t get to experience all that I long to experience. I have been holding on to the hope that I would meet the man of my dreams and we would do these things together. I have been waiting to live my life until it looks like I think it should look. Slowly as I gather more confidence and love for myself, I am moving into doing things on my own, like buying a house and taking care of my health, both physically, spiritually and emotionally. Next up is my trip to France.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk to blossom.” – Anais Nin

A really quick coloring page … Risk Butterfly_bw

Practice Positive

Practice Positive 8x10I’ve noticed lately that I have been leaning in the direction of not so positive. Can’t really say negative. Sad. I can say sad. Just about a year ago, a cycle of wake-up calls began. Life knocking on the door with a reminder that it’s not going to wait around forever. Each situation didn’t look like that at first glance. But quickly I looked for and found a reason for each one. Maybe I made up the reasons just to make myself feel better about having to go through the emotions. No matter. Finding or giving reason to a crummy circumstance creates a life preserver, to stay afloat and not get dragged under by the mental mounting weight of a situation.

It’s a choice. Choose peace and love, or choose otherwise. Choose a positive outcome, or choose otherwise. Whatever we choose, we get. Wherever our focus goes, that will be what we see. I choose peace and love, patience, positive intention. It’s how I hope to change the world, one person at a time…starting with me.

This is for you, a pdf coloring page of the image above: Practice Positive 8×10


Live the Life You Have Imagined

After a “clean out” knee surgery last week, I’ve been propping my knee up with a pillow I bought probably 2 years ago. It says “Live the Life You’ve Imagined”. It’s funny how focusing on a statement, whether purposefully or just because it’s there, can make a difference. I am sure it has to do with the fact that I am not traveling right now for work so I get to have a clear and quieter mind, too. But whatever, I am taking a look at what I have been putting off and holding for a “rainy day”. That rainy day is here (literally!) and I’ve made a little list of the things I hold as important to accomplish during my life. So one by one I intend to check off those things as complete!

The link below is for a pdf of the coloring page image. Click on it, print it and get out your coloring utensils and take it in as your color…living the life you have imagined!

Live the Life You Have Imagined

Live the Life You Have Imagined

Git’er done…

For more than a couple years, I have been writing and illustrating and growing a book titled “What’s Right With Me?”. What was once a little quiz to help a couple friends figure out what lights them up turned into a full blown potential paragraph in someone’s life (mine included) from which they create a new chapter.

You never know how what is happening now is going to affect the future. So it makes sense to focus on what is happening now, keep your dreams in sight in the distant landscape, and dig into today. Git’er done. Today. Now. Bye-bye.Gitrdone


Believe in who you are, what you are doing.
Believe in the support of people and circumstances to take you to your next opportunity.
Believe in a higher power of whatever sort suits you.
Believe this higher power is benevolent, loving, generous, honest and has your best interests at heart.
Create you intention from your passion…and begin.


And Just Like That…Everything is New Again.


About a month ago, as I was launching my new audiobook “What’s Right With Me?”, my website needed an update to reflect the launch. Just a few years ago designing and creating websites was a job that supported me, along with various other graphic design work. I enjoyed the work but I was in constant inner, if not outer complaint that I wasn’t doing what I wanted to do, what I felt passionate about. One day, sitting in front of my computer full of that inner complaining turmoil, something sort of snapped awake. It was kind of a self-dare. I challenged myself to proving that I was truly passionate about inspiring people. “If I am truly passionate about inspiring people, I will do it everyday, book or not, standing in front of a roomful of people or not. I will do it in small ways and as an undertone of my life. And just like that…everything was new again… Not long afterward I was asked to do the graphic recording for a conference here in town. I had no idea what that was then. Now it is my primary work, how I make my living. It is not at first glance the kind of inspirational work I was seeking. At second glance it is inspiring to those who are experiencing it during and after a talk or a conference. My job is capturing (mostly livetime) the content of conversation through words and pictures standing in front of a roomful of people. It helps people to be creatively engaged and in the present moment. When I first started doing graphic recording, like anything new it required a good deal of nurturing. Two of my best friends offered to help me start this new business. I asked what they were passionate about to see how they could fit it into the work. Both raised their shoulders to their ears and couldn’t articulate a thing. So we conjured up a few questions and I drew out the answers on a big piece of paper taped to the dining room walls. Bam! And just like that…everything was new again! Both of my friends were so astounded and inspired with what they saw that I went home that night and extrapolated those 5 or 6 questions out to 13, drawing a thread from first joyful memories to “what are my next steps?” That was 4 years ago and I have been offering individual sessions and workshops ever since. I put it all down in book form and produced an audio version of “What’s Right With Me?”, which was launched last month. Which brings me right back to what I started to tell you about at the start of this post. I updated my blipstudio.com site and successfully uploaded…or so I thought. A week or so later when I went to my blog, it was gone and in its place was the uploaded blipstudio site. I have no idea how I did that but I did. The entire Verbal Remedies site was gone. And just like that…everything was new again. I’m pretty sure that there was a way to bring it back but I quickly looked at it as a fresh start. Time to widen my view and to recommit to those of you who are reading this, to offer my version of inspiration to make your day just a little bit brighter, life’s load just a little bit lighter. Life feels very different again. It’s been a life altering few months for the little trio who gave birth to “What’s Right With Me?” At the beginning of August, one of us shared the news that she had been diagnosed with stage one breast cancer. And just like that. One month later, I was diagnosed with stage zero melanoma. My father died from that when he was 57. And just like that. Two days after that news, I received a call from our other friend’s son that she had left this world abruptly and without warning the night before. And just like that. I do believe there are random happenings, but this one is too close. This time period is a wakeup call. Life is fast! And it ends. Even I will die one day. And I don’t want to. It scares me in a way that my stomach begins to feel like it is hollowing if I let myself go deep into the thought of not existing here. I love so much about this life and I am so far from complete. My prayer is that as long as that is true, I will stay here whole and healthy and of service and value to myself and others…being kind and having a blast along the way and inspiring you to do that too. And just like that…everything is new again.