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.

The Wednesday Word is: EQUANIMITY

This word came to me a week or so ago as I sat pensively awaiting answers to a question I posed to God. We had been at odds in recent years, yet I find myself turning to Him these days, as if He is my only friend and true confidant. I didn’t get the answers I sought immediately. As per the usual, I was not God’s only caller that day. I had to wait my turn. I found the word returning to me this morning during meditation. What could it possibly mean? Maybe it was an answer.

Last week, many of you saw I graduated from the Palouse Mindfulness training. While this 8 week training is free to anyone, it is anything but cheaply made or underdone. It was grueling some days and weeks. Lots of reading and video watching to learn and gain insight on mindfulness practices. That, paired with incorporating said practices into my daily routine, took commitment and perseverance. In the end, it provided much needed introspection, which I had put off years ago. This MBSR program made me make myself a priority. Thus enhancing my mental calmness, composure, and evening out my temper, especially in difficult situations. I learned to practice indifference and balance the good and bad. This doesn’t mean I lack opinions, care or concern. It means I have enhanced those aspects of my life and am able to best choose if my opinion, care and/or concern can aid any said situation. If yes, I offer my advice or services the best I am able. If not, I get to choose to allow someone else to be of service. I also discovered value of understanding my ego. When faced with any situation I want to engage helpfully, I ask: Am I doing this to help or does my ego-self need to be a hero? If it is the latter, I am offering for the wrong reasons.

Discovering my inner equanimity has opened my eyes to the true me. I was not always kind, calm, composed, or even tempered, especially in a difficult situation. I had to work at it. For years I felt the world might be out to get me, or perhaps, I was doomed. Growing up surrounded by chaos and living in a life of constantly waiting for the inevitable other shoe to drop made me cynical, angry, bitter and manipulative. These qualities were my tools for survival. My survival meant no one in and nothing out. Showing emotions was a sign of weakness. Having an opinion or ideas meant I was uppity or trying to come off better than my parents, and often lead to physical, emotional, psychological or spiritual retribution.

Practicing mindfulness and owning qualities of equanimity, now, have opened my eyes to other qualities my parents had, not just the sad, bad, haunting memories. For this I am grateful. It doesn’t mean the lessons of the bad or those events never existed, because they did, or that I would ever excuse their behaviors. It might take an entire lifetime to never let them consume me some days. Instead, I am allowing the good of it all, which was instilled within me, to illuminate the dreadfulness. In doing so, I discover the good within the bad.

Meditate on what equanimity means to you. Perhaps it is a quality and value you already, own and practice. How might you enhance this? Perhaps it is a quality you seek. How might you now be empowered to engage in your own self discovery? What lessons might you need to learn to bring calm, stillness and compassion to your life?

The Wednesday Word is: PEACE

Peace. We are all searching for it. The internal question begs, “When will it end?” To find peace, stop asking the question. None of us know the answer today more than we did before the pandemic started. Tomorrow was never promised, so just live, today.

Perhaps you’ve said, “I cannot deal with one more month, week or day with this situation!” You’ve likely said that repeatedly regarding situations before the pandemic, yet, here you are. I’ve got news for you. A plan to get you the peace you desire.

1. Stop saying those words, because you obviously CAN endure more than you credit yourself with.

2. Stop trying to live each month, each week or each day in one moment. Just live and get through this moment. Then this one. Then this one. Then this one. Before you know it, it’s morning, and you have made it through another day.

Within living in the freedom of step #2 is where peace resides.

If you’re still struggling, find words of wisdom which bring you peace. For me, it is in the words of the Holy Bible, in this passage:

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

John 14:27

May peace find you.


The Wednesday Word is: CONTROL

As I meditated this morning, a quote from a book I read long ago kept coming into my thoughts: “Who controls the past controls the future…” , from George Orwell’s 1984. No matter how many times I acknowledged the quote it continued to float in and out of my consciousness. So, what I do when thought or image pierces my meditation practice is invite it to teach me, or show me clarity. Indeed, it did.

What I learned was something I already knew. Many of life’s lessons are like that. Who controls the past? No one. It already happened. It cannot be tampered with or altered. Who controls the future? We would like to think we do. However, the reality is the future is not certain nor guaranteed. So, that means we can control right now, present time, right? The answer, no. Not really.

The ONLY thing anyone has control over are thoughts, feelings and decisions. Certainly, each component affects the outcome of all that happens now, but are not the sum of the factors, meaning — no one person has total control of every situation.

The way I see it is you have two outcomes given this insight. The first, panic. You realize you are not in control, never in control and end up feeling bad, spiraling into the abyss… -OR- You can take comfort that some responsibility for your future, as well as your past, along with now are simply outside your level of expertise, not part of your job description, not all on you. In doing so, you allow the weight of the world to lift off your shoulders and you accept your place in this world, as it is, along with the things you are responsible for, thus allowing this new sense of peace and clarity to help you think better, feel better and make better decisions. You’re off the hook! You are no longer responsible for saving the world, curing the pandemic and fixing every part of the planet. Just know, whatever you decide to do, think or feel, for yourself, or decide not to do, think or feel right now, that of which is in your control, is ALL you can do, and that’s ok.

Control is overwhelming and overrated. In all seriousness, if you find yourself panicking, breathe. Know you have options. Though you may not have control, no one likes the outcome of the panic scenario. And though you may not like the outcome of letting go and letting God, so to speak, and doing only what you are capable of, I know it feels better and more in control than living within a panic state.

Relax. You are truly not alone. Many of us are frightened by the uncertainty. However, within the events of the past month I have witnessed unwavering human compassion, something the world truly needed and we hadn’t witnessed since September 11th. I have also witnessed humanity collapse, but seeing and experiencing the compassion gives me hope.

We cannot control what has already happened. We cannot control what may happen.

We can only show up as our best selves, daily. And right now, that’s everything.

The Wednesday Word is: STOP

The Wednesday Word is: STOP A lot has changed in a week. I firmly believe knowing the difference between being vigilant over hypervigilancy and inviting calm over hysteria is best practices for optimal Wellness, any day. It is good to be informed and aware and have a plan for care. However, before we go forward, we need to STOP and BREATHE, right now. Go ahead. I’ll wait. The reason some feel anxious about all this is:

1. Their reality and odds of getting sick

2. Concern for self and loved ones

3. Perception of the unknown or lack of control



Reality is, we can wash our hands, we can practice social distancing, we can sanitize every inch of ourselves and our surroundings and unfortunately, still get sick. From COVID-19 or something else. We may not be able to control if we are susceptible to getting sick now anymore than before, however, we always have control over how we respond and show up in our daily lives. Fear and panic cause our internal frequencies to lower, which aid in populating disease and illness. To best combat this: STOP and BREATHE, and raise your vibrations by being happy, joyful — driving away fear and negativity.

Use this as an opportunity to take inventory of your life and what you want most. Instead of panicking or being afraid, take heed of necessary precautions and STOP and look at this moment as a reset button for life. No one likes to be told what to do or that they cannot do something. I know. I’m one of those people. However, rather than be combative, cranky and annoyed I decided to STOP. I stopped and asked myself the following questions:

1. What is it I do not like?

2. What can I do about it?

If I could or needed to formulate an action plan for the answer to #2, I did. If there was nothing I could do about it, I let it go. Letting go takes faith. Having faith is hard when there is so much uncertainty and zero guarantees. So, maybe all you can do right now is STOP. Maybe all you can control right now is you. How you show up, how you allow this stillness to work for you, how to respond, when you need. All best practices we need to do anyway, every so often. Take this time to STOP and check in with yourself.





What do you hear externally?

What do you hear internally?

How do you feel?

What do you know? Not presume to know, but truly know.



Be still.

Do nothing.

Just be.

Don’t define it.

Don’t explain it.




Repeat as often as necessary.

You’re ok. <3

The Wednesday Word is: HYSTERIA or HYPERVIGILANCE 

Today’s Wednesday Word is actually two words: hysteria or hypervigilance. Two words because of varying view points.

By now, the word coronavirus has made it’s way into conversations or at the very least, your newsfeed. Every day there is a new statistic, meme, story to scare us and/or help us find humor amidst the horror. I do understand why the coronavirus is scary. It is the unknown. Know that within my viewpoint I do not take lightly the seriousness nor the lives tragically already lost. However, I think back into history to all the times humans were made to believe something and enacted standards in the name of hypervigilancy, when in fact, hysteria caused unnecessary grief, stress and in some cases, trauma. I’m also aware certain governments are not beneath using people they find dispensable for political gain. Believe it or not, this is a sad reality.

From 1932 to 1972, 600 Black sharecroppers in Alabama were told they qualified for free health care from the U.S. federal government. This was largely a farce. The U.S. government infected a portion of these men with syphilis and made them unknowing human Guinea pigs. The CDC reports show these men were told they were being treated for blood disorders, experimented on, etc. – the Tuskegee Study was one of the biggest violations of ethics in U.S. medical history.

In 1984, a 13 year old hemophiliac was given a blood transfusion, something standard protocol for his ailment. It was during one said transfusion in 1984 he contracted HIV and subsequently, AIDS. Before passing away in 1990, Ryan White and his family were plagued by the downfall of hysteria of the unknown. The little they did know caused a vicious cycle of global panic. This family, enduring this disease and dying of their loved one, and endured such viciousness and vile hatred. People made death threats against this boy and his family in the name of an illness he could not have prevented. Amidst all this were political shifts and the Exxon Valdez crisis. One can wonder if the call for hypervigilance was to deflect the hysteria of lack of action amidst crisis.

SARS was introduced to the U.S. in 2003. According to the CDC, “March 24: CDC laboratory analysis suggests a new coronavirus may be the cause of SARS. In the United States, 39 suspect cases (to date) had been identified. Of those cases, 32 of 39 had traveled to countries were SARS was reported.” So, this hysteria of the “unknown” coronavirus is a farce. They’ve been working on protocols for 17 years. What else was going on in March 2003? We were headed for heightened combat with Iraq and preparing to drop a bomb on Baghdad.

Ebola came on the scene in 2014 to 2016, when the U.S. was at the peak of fighting ISIS. And no matter if it’s Zika (2015- peak of gun violence), H1N1 (2009 – first Black US. President), MERS (2014- Ukraine/Crimea), whatever and regardless if government if trying to distract our attention from something bigger, or not, one thing is certain: We cannot control EVERYTHING!

We can stock up on toilet paper and hand sanitizer and sadly, die in our homes from a tragic carbon monoxide poisoning incident. We can check the mailbox and be met an unfortunate accident by a distracted driver. And if history is repeating itself, it may just be a not-so-new disease and a new spin to dejecting another race or subset of humans. Do your best to live as healthfully as possible. Don’t give in to all the hype. Breathe. Relax. We will be ok. We are ok.

I am not worried and if anyone should be, it’s me. I am among the group who could potentially be at risk. Having an autoimmune disease puts you in this category, and having two or three leaves you more susceptible than most. I’m not panicked, hysterical or hypervigilant, any more than I need to be in daily life. My philosophy is this: sadly, we are all going to die from something and there is not a damn thing any of us can do to stop that day when our expiration date is here.

Life is not guaranteed. We can be vigilant in handwashing and not shaking hands and yet, somehow still get sick. Quite possibly, the stress of worry from mass hysteria is a bigger threat to you than the coronavirus itself. Do your due diligence to live as healthfully as you can. That is all you can do. No amount of vaccines, Lysol, Purell, or Charmain are going to ensure your wellness. If history tells us anything, our government cannot ensure our wellness, either. Make good choices for yourself daily, and just live. Live each moment, mindfully and with good intentions. You’ll be better for it, in the long and short run.

The Wednesday Word is: COMPANIONSHIP 

According to the Oxford Dictionary, companionship is, “a feeling of fellowship or friendship.” For some, we imagine companionship as a visual of sharing time or space with a friend, partner, pet or even a plant. Companionship is an easy, reciprocal process without effort. Just being in the presence of that friend, partner, pet or plant is enough to bring joy into your deepest depths. Sometimes just hearing their voice suffices and add comfort to your day (if your pets and plants talk back, send videos, please!). All of this is well enough and good, but recall I stated companionship is reciprocal and without effort. In order for this to be true, you must begin with the self. Your first friend and companion.

Spend time getting to know yourself. What do you like, dislike, tolerate or cannot stand for? These standards help align your core values. It also helps your people, pets and yes, plants, to know if you are their people. Commonality is the first core of companionship; compassion is the second. You must get right with yourself and own these two important core values for yourself in order to attract the right companions.

Spend some quality time with your first companion: yourself. It will make the bonds with each companion sweeter and richer. You’ll be glad you did. Spending time with yourself and loving yourself first allows you to abundantly and authentically share those qualities with others. And isn’t that what life is about?

If you find you spend a lot of time alone and really seek companionship, perhaps your focus is more about receiving compassion and care and what you can get from others, instead of what you can do for yourself. Take time to reflect on how you can best use your time alone to learn more about the great qualities you possess and to work on the less than stellar qualities that you wish to change and grow from. This work is often not without a lot of effort, commitment and sometimes, pain. However, you are worth getting to know. So make the commitment to yourself, first. The rest will fall into place on the Universal timetable.

Some people are alone virtually all their lives, either out of desire, need – because they just don’t like to socialize, or because seeking companionship is difficult for them. I believe these folks are put here to teach some of us the art of compassion. If you know someone who seems isolated, ask them to coffee or lunch. Take 30 minutes of your life to be their companion, if it is mutually agreeable to do so. Maybe they can show you how to love yourself more or, maybe you can show them the companionship they deeply desire.

What can you do today to bond more with your first companion? How can you explore enhancing companionship in a positive and compassionate way?

The Wednesday Word: GIVE UP

Blessed Ash Wednesday and Lenten Season.

The Wednesday Word (phrase) is: Give Up
During the Lenten season, many people of the Christian faith commit to fasting for a 40 day period as a token of faith symbolizing the account of Jesus’s sacrifice into the desert. This “giving up” of certain luxuries such as TV time, particular foods or drinks and so on for the 40 days is meant to replicate the sacrifice and the chosen tool or path many Christians use during Lenten season. This post is not meant to shame or condemn anyone’s practices or religious rituals, more so a faith awareness of the self. See, I have worn many religious hats in my faith journey. I was raised in all the following churches or religions in my childhood: southern Baptist, ol’ regular Baptist, Salvation Army, Latter Day Saints, Seventh Day Adventist, Church of the Nazarene, Pentecostal, and Unitarian. Then, as an adult I was Unitarian, Catholic, Universalist and now a member of the United Church of Christ. During my thus 48 years on this planet, there is a lot I understand and a lot I do not. One thing I do not understand is Lenten season, as it is ritualized in the modern times. For example, why would I give up red wine as a symbol of sacrifice to Jesus’s sacrifice and journey, only to go right back to drinking it after 40 days? How does that honor the account? To me, it really doesn’t. It is just that, a symbol. Giving up TV for 40 days likely feels like a sacrifice and difficult for some, but does it equate anything truly meaningful? Jesus had to do without a lot on his journey. He had to rely on faith to get him through. He didn’t finish the journey and return to watching his favorite shows. He had a lot of time to think out there. When was the last time you took 40 days to reflect on how your life is this far? Or to reflect on ways you could better yourself? It is my opinion this Lenten season, my 40 days might be best used in giving up old ways of thinking and really working on believing in myself and working on the gifts God gave me to use during this lifetime. We often think we need to give up something materialistic for Lent in order for it to count or for people to hold you accountable. Heaven forbid, a co-worker see you drinking a chocolate shake and remind you there is chocolate in it and you gave up chocolate for Lent. Like a 40 day game of “A-Ha, I Caught You Sinning…” How about, instead, give up something no one can see, but tangible in the mindful/awareness sense? If that same co-worker heard the words you say to yourself in condemnation, would they intervene? Would you? How about giving up calling yourself stupid, ugly, fat, loser, etc.– and keeping with it long after the 40 days passes? I believe it IS what Jesus would do, versus give up red wine, chocolate or TV. What will you give up this Lenten season? Whether you practice within a religion or not, we can all benefit from being better to ourselves. Let today be the day you give up who you’ve been for who you can become. Blessed Lenten season and blessed life.