Autumn came bright and early that year. My toddler and I wandered down the sidewalk over a carpet of leaves, one that created a riot of color crackling under our feet. I held his hand as he balanced himself, precariously, on a low stone wall. Periodically pain streaked, low and mean, through my belly. For…

Read More

Every time I see an ASPCA ad on television for an abused dog or cat about to be put to sleep, I start to cry. Sometimes I get upset enough that I shut the TV off. I don’t want to look at their faces–even though I know I should face their reality. I suppose I…

Read More

To be misunderstood is one of the more difficult experiences we all face. It happens to every one of us at one time or another. How one deals with it speaks to both our self-confidence, and our willingness to take a risk. Will we continue to reach out in a positive way, despite having been…

Read More

It’s Sunday afternoon, and my dogs lie beside me on the couch, chewing on fresh bones, while my husband watches the 49’ers game. Because the weather is somewhat rainy (cause for celebration here in California) and because the 49’ers are winning (another miracle at which to marvel), I am happy just to hang out, even…

Read More

Sometimes life sends us curveballs. Just when we are least expecting it, a new situation arises, be it good or bad, and we are left scrambling. Not so long ago, I was talking with a friend whose older sister had died suddenly quite some time ago, and who was having difficulty coming to terms with…

Read More

A road trip! A road trip! Who doesn’t love a road trip! While mine down to Southern California thirteen days ago wasn’t exactly filled with Jack Kerouac moments, it was nevertheless an exhilarating break from the pressures of daily life about which I wrote in my previous newsletter. The Thursday before last, I went south,…

Read More

At some point in our lives, all of us feel insecure—whether because we are rejected by someone we love, or because we make a hash of a good career opportunity, or because we choose poorly and discover ourselves in a situation in which we do not want to be, or simply because we allow ourselves…

Read More

Everything in life that is worth anything at all requires the belief that, if you persevere, you will eventually get wherever you are headed. The Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu once said: “The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.” While I am neither a Taoist, nor a “religious” woman (“spiritual” would be…

Read More

Early spring is here in Northern California. In my last newsletter two weeks ago, the daffodils were nodding their cheery yellow faces at the wind, but now they have gone past and are only little wrinkled heads on the top of long green stalks. However, my neighbor’s magnolia trees hold out boughs on which perch…

Read More

A number of weeks ago I wrote about the four “A”s that fulfill the needs of our hearts: Attention, Affection, Appreciation and Acceptance. My Thanksgiving newsletter, “Turning the Wild Animals Loose,” described the ways in which I have often had trouble accepting the problems that come my way. Since then, I have been working on…

Read More