The Wednesday Word is: ENERGY

Energy. A force within each of us and of us. It is the strength and vitality of all things. It is the force, strong or subtle, which aids humans in sustaining physical and mental activity.

You know what energy feels like and looks like, though we might think we cannot. You feel your heart beat and the breath enter and exit your body. If you didn’t, you are paying attention now. The mental agility it takes to read and process these words contains energy. When we experience a child’s boundless charisma, we witness energy. When someone shows up in a ‘mood’ we experience their energy before they even say one word.

Energy is powerful. It is a force we too often take for granted and seem to not understand how to harness it, get more of it or settle it. However, we have more control over our energy than we think. Sometimes it just takes sitting with it, meditating on it and tuning in to your personal environment and the environment around you. You know what feels good. Do more of that. You know what feels icky. Find ways to balance the energy so you can not allow the icky to affect you negatively. You can still retain a lesson from a negative experience without retaining the negative energy within the experience. It’s perfect harmony, if we learn how to fund the balance.

Nature is a great neutralizer. Balance can come from a shower, sitting and listening to the rain, dipping your toes in a stream or watching the ocean waves move, rhythmically carrying away our burdens and bringing renewed energy back to us, with each crest and roll. Ocean waves carry, neutrally charged water of mother earth up to the shore, bringing with it, life. And as that wave rolls away, it takes with it, the worries, transgressions, fear, anxiety, stress, sadness and pulls it away from you and cleanses it in the waters of life. So we relax, and allow life to carry on, rolling in, and out and peace prevails if we let it.

Life can pull you in so many directions, but sometimes you just need to stop fighting the tide and go with the flow. Or sometimes you just need to STOP and listen to what your energy is telling you.

If you’re waiting for the lightbulb to go off sending you a signal or an a-ha moment you won’t get it going Mach 30 with your hair on fire. You need quiet to resolve and balance the energy so you can best read the situation. The energy within chaos is meant to be confusing. People surrounded by chaotic energy are surrounded by randomness and often unsettled, lacking clarity. This may leave you feeling like nothing you set out to do gets accomplished. You control your energy and you can control the energy you accept into your circle. When life feels chaotic, take this as that lightbulb moment, or your a-ha! Notice if you experience patterns, and connections between what you experience and times of day or people you are around. Check your ego. What energy are you showing up with which maybe isn’t serving you well? Develop your ability to bring awareness to your energy and notice how you feel and where you feel those feelings. Question those feelings. Ask why or how come and begin to connect the dots, reflect, and learn about what energy you want to hold onto and what energy you need to release, which no longer serves you well. You choose how to show up or not show up. What do you need today?

How will you and your energy choose to show up today?

The Wednesday Word is: BIRTHDAY

This morning, during and after meditation class, I was thinking about my husband’s birthday this week. Despite still being under COVID restrictions, I managed to take him to lunch (our first time out to eat together since March), to the beach and for a nice drive, to get away for a while. Then we came home and I did something I never had done before. I used his pellet grill to make him surf and turf for dinner. He got phone calls, video chats from our daughters and other family and friends, and a quick, socially distanced visit from our youngest daughter and her boyfriend. All-in-all, I think he had a good birthday.

Birthdays were something I always cherished. I remember, despite a lot of my childhood being filled with fear and angst, my mom used to try to make a point to make my birthday matter. I can still remember my very first birthday party with classmates at McDonald’s, when I turned 6. I remember some of my favorite gifts: a ceramic bunny, a water/hoop game, SpeakNSpell, Barbie dolls. I remember going ice skating once. I remember going to dinner with boyfriends over the years, and dinners with my husband. Each year, for my kids, I used to make them their favorite dinner and dessert. We went away from that when they got older, as they wanted to start new traditions. Yet, I find myself yearning for those birthday dinners these days. I hope those dinners are among my daughters’ favorite birthday memories. I remember having a cake fight at my grandson Drew’s birthday party one year, too. And a huge water balloon fight at my grandsons’ Eli and Jeb’s birthday party. Such fun!

For me, birthdays took on a greater significance when I was diagnosed with my first serious health condition at age 12. Seems I have been dealing with something all my life. I had no idea if I would overcome scoliosis. No idea if I would run again or if I would lose the ability to walk or something more serious. I came through it ok. Later in life I would be diagnosed with cancer. And while caught early, birthdays took on a strong purpose, for me. I celebrated my 28th birthday with my brother and friends, all the while no one knowing I was having surgery and starting treatment the following week. I didn’t celebrate my 29th birthday because depression set in. I didn’t celebrate much that year. When I turned 30, I took myself and my roommate out to the fanciest restaurant. I even ate escargot! I decided on my 30th birthday that from this moment on I would celebrate my birthday in some meaningful way, and make sure each of my children understood how precious their lives were, as we celebrated theirs each year, too.

While how we celebrate has changed, I meditate on their birthdays now, sending them love, light and health through the next year and honor the gratitude for being blessed by their lives. Same with my grandkids.

We are only given so many birthdays. Some people are given a spirit and are lost in utero and their families celebrate their short lives in special ways. Others may only get a few seconds of life and their families still celebrate their lives, too. Still, others may get many seconds of life (there are apx. 22,075,000 seconds in a long lifetime) and take each one for granted. Or, as sad as the reality is, life can end in a second, and this birthday could be the last. We never know how many birthdays we will have. So my advice is celebrate each one. Celebrate half birthdays, too. Live the life you deserve, and even if you have a birthday where you just do not feel like celebrating you, make a point to do a random act of kindness for someone else. It will lift your spirits and give new meaning to celebrating life every day. Heck, for that matter, treat each new day like a birthday. Why not?

Happy Birthday! <3

The Wednesday Word is: QUIET

For years I have been a community advocate and stood for the rights of others – mentally ill, developmentally disabled, Veterans, LGTBQ+, homeless women, children, human rights, and countless others. For me, it is my way of honoring the process of my journey. I have empathy and compassion, which helps me help others. While I may never know what your life experiences are like, I can speak up for you as a human being with rights. If you feel I cannot speak for you, then I supportively stand next to you, using my tools when called upon. I tend to be the quiet in the storm, but my quiet is always percolating.

Ironically, by some in my community, I am called ‘The Quiet Lady’. This is because I teach meditation. That once quieted voice now speaks out against injustices to all and equality for all, yet is also the restorative centering people need in order to heal. I am beginning to understand it is because of my history that the world needs me. The world needs the boisterous, soul shakers, too. They make sure the world is listening. So, are you listening? Or have you tuned us out?

I used to be a boisterous soul shaker. At age 12, I picketed the proposed site of a dump, which I am happy to say still has not been built. For all the rebellious luster I had within, one day God said to me: “Be quiet. Be still. They will come. They will need you.” And I said recently, “God, I am mad! I’m angry. I need to scream!!! Why are you doing this?” I even told God I didn’t like people. No answer. I felt like He too was ignoring me. Today, in the quiet of this morning God whispered to me again. “Be quiet. Be still. They will come. They need you.”

So, I wait. I am quiet. Fuming inside at the injustice, the inequality, the outrage, the chains which still bind and hold others back. I’m quiet. I’m still. Uncertain, but trusting. I’m praying. I’m holding signs, but saying no words, because cannot adequately address the injustice and hatred. I’m at a loss for how to help. My voice may not vibrate out with words, but my soul is radiating love, compassion and kindness, hoping people will be called to my light, knowing in me and my practice, the quiet is the tool needed to heal and my four walls are the sanctuary to restore your shaken soul.

Lastly, never let anyone silence you. Never.

No one knows your heart except you and God. If someone is interpreting your words a way which was not of your intention, have a conversation with one another, or choose to ignore their ignorance. If your actions do not match your words, the conversation which needs to be had takes place in the mirror. God already knows. You stopped listening.

-My Prayer-

May your voice find the freedom you deserve.

May the quiet never silence you.

May the quiet with in you bring resolve.

May the peace in your heart bring balance to the changes our world needs.

Amen & Namaste

The Wednesday Word is…

The Wednesday Word usually comes to me when I meditate each morning. Sometimes it filters in after ruminating a bit on how I feel or what is going on in the world. The following words came to me:

















I have no idea where to begin. I also do not feel I have any more words of comfort, or words of wisdom, right now. I know people look to me for clarity and compassion, and I try to convey that each week in this message, I am just out of words that host any benefit.

A wise man once told me: “If you cannot add to the conversation, don’t bother speaking just to hear yourself talk.” – or something like that. So, I’ll just say this: I love you. You matter. You’ve always mattered to me. I will likely never understand, but I stand with you and up for all people to be treated as such.

More than 400 years ago, Black people were stripped, literally, of everything and brought to a country inhabited by White people after they seized it from Native people. When I hear racist statements like, “Then go back to where you came from…” Who, exactly, are you or should you be directing those words?


The Wednesday Word is: HUG

A common phrase often heard at Haven Hypnosis was: “Are you a hugger?” Sometimes by me, sometimes by clients. If it warranted, hugs were accepted and given at Haven Hypnosis. Truth be told, sometimes people just stop by, hoping my door is open, because they need a hug. It is the one free service Haven Hypnosis offered. My, how times have changed. I miss those hugs most.

Some people, who I might surmise are NOT huggers, have said things like: ‘so you can’t hug…what’s the big deal?… Well, my friend, for huggers, not hugging is a pretty big deal. Not only is there this amazing transfer of energy in the reciprocity of a hug from someone mutually engaged in a hug, but a hug is the most basic form of communication. A hug says things you don’t have words for. Did you know hugging has health benefits, too?

It is said that you actually NEED hugs for adequate survival. As it goes, you need four hugs a day for survival, eight for maintenance and twelve for growth. I don’t know who came up with those statistics, but I have received less than four hugs a day before the pandemic and am doing ok. Hugs do have their benefits. Perhaps if I received more hugs I’d be even better.

Hugging releases a hormone, oxytocin. When released, this powerful neuropeptide hormone goes into action. Oxytocin is the hormone which affects our social bonding, and more intimate bonding, like that of a loved one or close friend. Oxytocin is released during and after childbirth, which greatly influences mother/child bonding. The reciprocal energy in a hug causes a reaction, which causes a reduction in blood pressure and a reduction in the stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrine. Just a 20 second hug is so very therapeutic. Within that 20 second hug and release of oxytocin is not only a feeling of love, admiration and appreciation, also an eating of stress, anxiety and fear. There is a reason oxytocin is called nature’s antidepressant. This reaction allows your body to feel more relaxed, feel more connected and allows your nervous system to find balance.

There is a wonderful article on the Mindful website that discusses a study from 2014 about oxytocin and healing, and another study I read by UCLA in 2011, showed raised levels of oxytocin promote optimism and self esteem, and hugging increases our ability to control our feelings and generates happiness.

You see, hugging is a very powerful tool. So the next time you say, ‘what’s the big deal’ re: hugging, it is a HUGE deal, and you, I might assume, have not been hugged enough.

Hugging is different now. I have no idea when or if I will be able to hug my friends and clients again. Just know I want to as much as you do, and it hurts me within, the same as you. We will find other ways to heal and be well. Huggers are sensitive, yet resilient people. As you can see in the second picture in this article, huggers are finding safe ways to hug again. Stay well, stay strong. Together, huggers, we will get through this.

The Wednesday Word is: CHASTISE

Not often when I meditate on Wednesday mornings, do I receive a word I don’t want to work with. However, today was one of those days. At first, when the word began to slide into my awareness, I thought I was getting the word chastity, and I laughed. Immediately I asked, “Why chastity?” Then, I recognized the word was actually chastise and laughed again. Not only at my misunderstanding the message being delivered, also at my immediate chastising of perceived message. Then I asked myself why I was so quick to push back. The answers surprised me, at first. Since I know my heart and so does God, I was quickly assured the negative warning in my head was just in my head. Yet, my heart told me differently. The push back was no one wants to be told they are wrong. I am known for my positive, upbeat messages. I had to be reminded I am also known for truth, authenticity and transparency. So here we go…

When I meditate on Wednesday mornings, sometimes I have to ask for a word. Even when I ask, I don’t always get one. Sometimes, if I am stumped about what to write, I’ll ask my husband for a word. Just a word, no insight. I need it strike a chord within me. Before I take the task of writing the blog I design the art. It usually helps me with needed imagery to form my thoughts. As I perused the royalty-free stock photos for something to go with chastise, I realized I could fill up 1000 or more blocks and not cover the sum of the word. I also am quite mindful, or purposefully attempt to make my imagery diverse. And, while searching for imagery it dawned on me I could be chastised if I use an image of a Black person and the word chastise, before anyone read a word. Then, when I continued to search, I thought, I could as easily be chastised for not using a Black person’s image, and the same could be said regardless of race of the person in the imagery I choose. Though God and myself know my heart to be anything but racist, in these moments this morning, while searching stock photos, I began to question how I might be viewed. I chastised myself before anyone else could, or even might.

This made me realize, as society, we tend to chastise what we know nothing about. I had no idea what would happen, but perception gave me pause. We let fear and ego lead our perception, which distorts reality. There are a lot of opinions about how people feel other people should live. They chastise them, not just cowardly, behind a keyboard, but blatantly, and outwardly, in the general public, when they know NOTHING about said person or their circumstances. Yet, hatred, bigotry and violence reign in a world where I work to cultivate peace.

Now, I feel strongly about a lot of things. I, too, have opinions about how life should look. I feel I am mature enough and experienced enough of life to have rational discussions about tough subjects and agree to disagree. Not everyone can. I look at myself as an optimistic realist. However, in my life, I have been shamed and chastised by a former supervisor for being “too positive” – and told, “The difference between a positive person and a realist is the realist has life experience.” The audacity of this person to pass judgment on my good mood! Sadly, it happens. Some people like misery or get delight watching people they perceive as underlings, squirm.

I don’t always maintain compassion over composure. I am passionate about my stance, at times and I will fight for the best outcome for the majority of the people. That being said, as a business owner, I understand the need to open America. But I have said it before; not one dollar is worth one life. No one should be considered expendable.

People I consider very good friends chastise me. We have had discussions and agree to disagree their opposition to me wearing a mask to protect myself or at least feel like I am doing all I can to help myself be well. Somehow, in a matter of two months, we have a slew of medical mask experts with no medical background. I have medical professionals in my family who have varying degrees of opinions on wearing a mask, how long, etc. Everyone has an opinion about how everyone should live. It is no more anyone’s business today than it was in 2019. Do you. Wear a mask. Don’t wear a mask. I will until I feel I don’t need nor want to. But do not go into establishments where they have a mask protocol and demand your face be naked because it is your constitutional right. Go home. Actually read the constitution, then perhaps, stay home. I choose to do what I feel is best for me, and I do so with my doctor’s advice. Did I just chastise? Yes, yes I did.

Chastising people for something you know nothing about is how fights begin. Wars have started over chastising another based on perception and ego, rather than facts. If you THINK something MIGHT be true. Stop. You’re more likely to be wrong. If you persist to argue, if you’re looking for a fight, how many heart attacks will it take for you to realize THAT is a grave waste of your time?

Society chastised and condemned far before COVID-19 began. We will likely find something else to chastise and condemn after this, too. The majority of the population has never experienced a global pandemic. How is it we all know so much in such a short time about something we never experienced before? Don’t waste your time fighting over who is more wrong. Do what is best for you, for your family. You know those needs better than anyone. Rest assured, when you need more professional input there are professionals out there who have only read about this in text books. Just because they are doctors or nurses, they too have never experienced a global pandemic before. They too are doing their best to provide you with the best care they know how. And at the end of the day, when they return to their families, they are human beings under their masks. Just like you. Remember that before you chastise them for following a protocol and work under circumstances they have never experienced.

At the end of the day, was it worth it? Was your need to be right worth more than someone else’s self-worth? Does your opinion have merit or is it just an opinion? Know this: just because you do not understand something, are afraid of something or perceive something to be true, doesn’t mean it is. Before you chastise or apprise– realize… every finger you point, three more point back at you. You perfect yet? No? Me neither.

Be well.

The Wednesday Word is: TIME

You ever hear of, or think of a word and it sends you into song, where you pick up and finish lyrics to the song of which the word reminded you? For example, if I write: STOP – some of you might automatically think: “collaborate and listen…” – and some of you just sang that to yourselves or aloud. The word TIME has that affect on me. It sends me right into singing one of my favorite karaoke songs: “In The End” by Linkin Park. As the lyrics go: “Time is a valuable thing –
Watch it fly by as the pendulum swings – Watch it count down to the end of the day -The clock ticks life away – It’s so unreal – Didn’t look out below – Watch the time go right out the window – Trying to hold on…”

Trying to hold on… that’s all we have been doing for months; trying to hold on. To uncertainty, to slowing down, to it fleeting by, to the very last sound of breath within in. Just. Hold. On.

Time IS a valuable thing! Yet we often squander it. As I type I wonder if this blog is some times a waste of time. Does anyone read it? Is it helping anyone? Does it help me? I am certain I am not the only one who evaluates how they spend their time. I often feel I would love to spend far less time on the internet, and as of late, I do. I am using my downtime to discover more of what I love about life. I feel, as the clock continues to tick seconds away from my life, I might as well embrace as many of those ticks as I have left. No one is guaranteed the next tick. So we should find value in each one we do have.

As a parent, I have watched that pendulum swing through sleepless nights when babies were inconsolable, to sleepless nights I had because my youngest baby slept too soundly. It was unnerving, to me. To the toddler years where I prayed for time to hurry up and let them grow up so they’d be easier to manage…to the teenage years when I prayed they could slow down and be toddlers again, so they’d be easier to manage… to adulthood, where I watch their next chapters unfold and time tick another second away from time with children in my home. It’s heartwarming and heartbreaking, all at the same time. I can only hope I gave them enough of my time, or hope they will still visit and bless me with theirs.

As a new chapter opens at the Knople Kastle (as we call it), I wonder what time going forward looks like for my husband and me. Having already been married once, I have what are probably normal questions about if time will favor us or ruin us. Will we continue to grow together or eventually grow apart? Only time will tell. I believe it the former. This is the longest time either of is have spent in a relationship (17 years). Time has not always been on our side, but we always try to make the most of it.

What is time to you? One day I really pondered time. I wrote an entire journal entry about how it is a man-made construct of which to measure a day. When I think about those words I wrote that day, I realize we really, truly define time and how we measure it. It can be in each tick of the clock, but it’s also in blocks of milestones of the past and the future. However, we never consider the block of NOW. How often do you stop and allow yourselves to be mindfully aware of just being? No expectations. No judgment. Just. Be. I’ve found it naturally slows time. I’ve found it helps eeek out the tick of the clock, to the point you do not notice it at all, and you just experience this time, right now. Try it. It’s a beautiful thing.

Time is an interesting construct. When I practice living mindfully, in the now, I am reminded that every now was once the future and will soon be the past. So, if we think about time in those terms, we understand nothing lasts forever. Embrace the beauty and surrender to the heartache. This too shall pass. Time will march on. The pendulum will continue to swing, now and always.

However you choose to spend your time, enjoy as much of it as you can. Each of us are stamped with an expiration date. Only the Divine knows when that is, so breath into each tick and relax in the space between each tick and take not one single moment of time for granted. In doing so, you’ll always have time on your side.

Home Sweet Home

My husband and I received news today that our youngest child was approved for her first apartment. If the coronavirus did not already present itself, and all of us, with a host of emotions, now we are sorting emotions which come with this milestone and right of passage.

People keep asking: How do you feel about it? Honestly, I have no idea. I kept asking myself the same thing. Do I feel sad? Sort of. Partly, because I will miss her presence in our home, obviously, as I do all of our kids. Part of me questions if it is sadness I feel. I think society expects me to feel sadness, but I am questioning how I actually feel, maybe for the first time in my life. If I really think about it, honestly, I am indifferent. It is not because I wont miss her, but because my husband and I have earned this place in our lives as much as she has. We raised self-sufficient women and now it’s time for my husband and I to enjoy being a couple. We’ll always be parents, and this will always be home.

Tonight, we celebrate. Not our FINALLY being empty nesters, but we celebrate our achievements as parents, the love and support we’ve created in this family and the role models we hope we are to our daughters and grandchildren.

The Wednesday Word is: EARTH

The Wednesday Word is: EARTH

Later today, I will be hosting my first Earth Day meditation online. I am happy for the opportunity to share with my followers, but a little saddened because I was supposed to be hanging out with my friend, Shannon Ditz, of Huron County Master Gardeners this week and hosting a meditation there. While I will miss that interaction, my commitment to making Earth healthy remains.

Earth Day began in 1970 as an idea by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson. He saw the need to make people aware of the environmental ignorance people possessed. Said ignorance was not always born of stupidity, but of not knowing best practices to keep Earth clean and healthy. He saw a lot of pollution across the globe and wanted to do something more to help. He asked people to gather and invited them to unite and clean up Earth. Some did clean, some protested for better environmental protection laws. On that first gathering, more than 20 million Americans participated!

So, as the header picture asks, what has changed since April 22, 1970? While it might feel to some progress has slowed, it has not. Every day people make positive changes and choices which affect the environment for the better. And, on that day, 50 years ago, Earth Day was born of this event, which has grown into Earth Week, Earth Month and movements to care for the Earth and celebrate Earth every day. People across the globe celebrate Earth Day and have amassed a global cleanup.

Also, since 1970, Senator Nelson’s efforts lead to the passage of environmentally conscious laws such as, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.. Since 1970, environmentalists such as myself and my friend Green Laura Jean, Greta Thunberg, Alex Bellini and Boyan Slat, have been taking charge of making all people aware of the global responsibility to Earth, in small or big ways, every positive effort matters.

So whether you write letters or call your local EPA to insist upon change and report flagrant offenders, or you challenge county commissioners not to build a dump, or you vow to educate people on eco-conscious living or educate on environmental travesties, or live on an iceberg for a year studying the effects of greenhouse gases on the planet or you invent a mechanism to clean the oceans of pollution, or you pick up beer cans in your local park, or plant a tree… you AND your efforts matter.

Each year Earth Day celebrations have a theme. This year’s theme is: climate action. While this seems like a big challenge, it is also a big opportunity to take action on how your actions affect the climate and your environment. What can you do to help Earth and yourself today?

The Wednesday Word is: THANK YOU

Each week before I begin to write this post, I meditate. People assume that because I meditate I am always even keeled, mellow and calm. While that is true, most of the time, I get fired up when I hear of people being treated inhumanely, unjustly or if people are being manipulated and tarnished by others. As I meditated today, calm and resolve did not come. I, like many of you who meditate, allowed the images, words, voices and thoughts to flow. What came at first troubled me. Images from news stories I permitted myself to read over the last few days and details, which I will never understand. Then, there are stories which read differently. Like the stories my friend, Erin sponsors on our local radio station, “feel good news.” I started to think about that, instead.

With a the protests, disgusting death threats and vile things said to and about people on the front lines trying to do their jobs, trying to help people live their best lives possible, there are moments of grand humanity. If you dare to peak through the filter, you will see those moments. For those moments, I say: THANK YOU! For it is in those moments I regain hope for humanity. There are things I will never understand and these moments of heart amidst chaos are ones I choose to embrace.

Before Day 1 of the pandemic, the people who are givers showed up for their communities anyway, because it is just what they do. Thank you — for caring enough to give the best of you especially in the worst of circumstances. Thank you to the leaders in our communities who put others first. Thank you to the doctors, nurses, police, fire, EMS and other staff deemed essential, for staying with us in these unprecedented times. Thank you to leaders looking out for small businesses and all businesses. Thank you to all business leaders and non-profit leaders. Thank you to my friends, Erin, Chip, Marlane, Heather B., Heather T., Stacy, Shaunda, Lanny, Rob, Courtney, Heather W., Krista, Mickey, Patty, Lorainne and others, for giving of your time, talent and treasure to help others who need it most — for joining in the true sense of community. Thank you to area pastors bringing church to the people, and attempting to restore faith and hope.

If you made rules and laws to protect us, even if some of us didn’t deem it necessary…thank you. If you made meals, activity kits for homeschooled kids, bought and raffled gift cards from local businesses, held food drives, sewed masks, donated services or meals, or offered prayers…thank you. If you worked your job and kept America going…thank you. If you were laid off, stayed home and kept me and others from getting ill, or helped deliver food, groceries or other necessities to neighbors. .. thank you. If I did not mention you or a category you fit into, know you make a difference by being you.

We may never agree on how to best handle this pandemic problem, but we can agree to be respectful, kind and compassionate to one another, especially when we disagree. And for those of you doing so, thank you.