Just breathe

Yes, some days breathing is an exhausting exercise, although your breath is more than inhaling and exhaling air. Read how being fastidiously persnickety is my recipe for health, happiness, and wholeness. From My Chariot: A Wheelchair Oddity TO BE THE BEST YOU

Thoughts of Change

Quote Success relearnRecently, my sister posed the question: “What brings you alive?” which made me think:

Before my chariot, discovery was my high. It was one of adventure’s draws: exploring hidden paths, and back roads; climbing trees, rooftops, and to the top of a mast; lying upon the earth pondering the heavens; studying world maps. But, after considering her question, I don’t think that what enervates me has really changed. It used to be by physical dexterity; now, it’s through imagination and thinking skills.

I come alive when faced with a quandary—a need to “discover” a solution. I light up with each “aha:” a new idea…thinking outside of the box.

Whether faced with a barrier (or, simply, figuring out how to safely clean up shattered glass from a dropped bowl), writing, decorating, repurposing, for myself and others…whatever, I come alive when faced with a problem. That’s adventure! J

For this upcoming New Year of 2015, join with me in discovering contentment. YES! Contentment.

Happiness is an inside job. It’s a bi-product of fulfillment, and fulfillment is in your hands. Not in your spouse, your children, your youth…job…achievement…but in the realization that you are the current to “aliveness,” your life rhythm.

The body’s melody is reflective of its thoughts, whose frequency determines its health. You’re the note determining the duration (endurance) and pitch (atmospheric attitude) of events for the beat of your life.

Maybe music isn’t your language. Does gardening speak to you? What have you cultivated? Paradise lost or paradise found?

Weeds of discontent require pulling. Floods of self-indulgence need irrigating. The infested, stagnant pool of unforgiveness needs unclogging.

Refresh gloomy thoughts with winds of change!

“Mindfully,” choose life!

HOW TO BE THE BEST YOU is my book on ‘how-to’ rediscover your heart and change your stinkin’ thinkin’ in order to find happiness. It’s an elementary outline to simplify needful changes. You can order it off amazon or here:



Don’t Give Up!

We’re all familiar with the famous war-time quote: “Never, never, never give up!” But, do you know who has said: “Don’t Give Up!” concerning your health, hopes, and pursuits? Stephen Hawking.

Who is Stephen Hawking?

He is an “English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge. Among his significant scientific works have been a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity, and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. Hawking was the first to set forth a cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. He is a vocal supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics….”

The truly amazing thing is that at 21 years of age, he was diagnosed with a motor neuron disease related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). By its progression over the years, he is almost entirely paralyzed and communicates through a speech-generating device.

At 72 years of age, he has yet to give in to his physical disability. But, in September of 2014, he declared himself an atheist.

If you’re so given, would you lift up a prayer that his spiritual eyes would be opened for his greatest discovery yet: that the “grand design of the universe” was created by The Grand Designer, God, Who was, is, and forever will be…and his heart would open to receive Him.

(If interested, today, November 7, “The Theory of Everything,” is premiering in theaters. It’s a movie depicting Stephen and Mary’s love story, and subsequent marriage (after his diagnosis and expected two years to live), his collaborations, honors, and struggles.)

BOOYAH for God!

This is a BOOYAH (my fist is clenched, elbow at 90 degrees…I’m pumping down) for God!PHOTO Quote His love and mercy is new every morning

I’ve wanted an inviting back yard for-E-VER, but something more important always pressed into the forefront. This year, I decided: it was “tha year.” I began calling landscapers, giving my detailed vision.

The first said he was in. (Well, truthfully, who wouldn’t be?! I have the most beautiful, relaxing natural observatory for avians, mammals, you-name-it. I’m wrapped in a wood on 3 sides, with a stream running through it. You can read about my sanctuary in Views From My Chariot: A Wheelchair Oddity ) Three weeks after no return responses to my calls, I moved on.

Second: Mr. No Personality tells me everything that wouldn’t work…“It just want work!”

Third time’s charm, and IS charming…ly married. Moving on…

Within 5 minutes, he had solutions to my naysayers non-imaginative, “It want work.” as well as, THE stone bench I wanted…for half the price.

Moral of the story: If you’re in-tune, and in-tuitive, timing is everything! TIME: The Imminent—“close in time” (be patient not to jump at the first option)—Moments of Energy cast illumination/direction on your path.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my pathway.” Psalm 119:105 (ISV)

AFFIRM: “Lord, Your faithfulness is new EVERY morning; GREAT is Your faithfulness!” (Lamentations 3:23)

Journey to Wholeness-VII “Solar Plexus Chakra (Personal Power-I WILL)”

During WWII, Eleanor Roosevelt suggested, “Do one scary thing a day.” By “scary,” she didn’t mean playing chicken with an oncoming car. She was suggesting learning something new—a language, a sport, a musical instrument, or practice something you’ve learned and haven’t utilized. It doesn’t have to be difficult or dangerous, just different. Challenging yourself to overcome fears increases your self-confidence, self-worth, and personal power. I mentioned 3 of my fears in the chapter, “Facing Fears,” of my first book Views From My Chariot….

The Lumbar or Solar Plexus Chakra represents personal power and will. When open, self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-control are actualized. Located in the upper abdomen in the stomach area, when it’s closed, digestive problems may occur (constipation, ulcers, parasites, colitis). Nervousness, feelings of powerlessness, and a victim mentality may distort feelings of worthiness.

The Law of Intention and Desire governs this chakra. Be conscious and aware of your goals.

The Road Not Taken

The Road…Taken

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are going.” ~Lao Tzu

Can you give your full attention and map out your direction to an unspecified goal or desire? Make clear your intention (or you may be surprised by their fruit), then nourish its seeds for them to manifest.

Mental exercises and positive affirmations can reverse negative momentum.  Florence Scovel SHINN’s book, Your Word Is Your Wand, is resplendent with affirmations for success.

Read self-help and informative books to stimulate this energy, like my Views From My Chariot and HOW TO BE THE BEST YOU .

Enroll in a class you desire to take. Dance or take out the ol’ hula hoop!

It’s time for a “You say w-h-a-t?!” Remember Superman’s hands-on-hips stance and Wonder Woman’s twirl with extended arms, then hands-on-hips? They’re power positions. They portray strength and tell the body to produce testosterone. Girl Scout’s honor!

With shoulders back, position your feet about shoulder width apart (just sitting up straight with fists on hips works if you’re in a wheelchair), place closed fists on your hips, and say: “I AM STRONG. I AM CONFIDENT. I AM VICTORIOUS.” These are empowering affirmations.

The musical note “E” can open this energy center. Wind chimes tuned to E are delightful do-it-yourselfers.

Since yellow is associated with this chakra, stroll in the sunshine, invest in a yellow sweater, socks, or citrine ring. Add bananas, yellow peppers, yellow lentils, yellow squash, corn, and chamomile tea to your diet.

Use yellow essential oils, such as revitalizing and uplifting Lemon, #3578 ($14.80 for 15-ml). Lemon is researched to quell nerves, digestive problems, and gives a lift to emotions. Honk if you love happy! I start each morning with a cleansing couple of drops in my glass of water.

For those of you who are seriously changing your lives and will embrace an alternative method to help relieve negative thoughts, send me an email to or leave the comment to tap in to emotional freedom and personal power!

If you’d like to learn more about Young Living Essential Oils, email me or click here to purchase or become a member

Disclaimer: I am offering my insights and what has worked for me. This is not meant to diagnose, prescribe or treat any condition of the body. Always consult your health professional before changing any program. I am not legally responsible for anyone else’s thoughts, words, actions or ramifications of such. Quotes I have used, and books or information I have referenced are not indicative of their authors agreeing with or condoning my suggestions and approaches.

When Reality Bites

I’m a dreamer and a visionary. Some call me unrealistic; I’m creative and think out-of-the-box. Some say I’m too particular. I’m an unrelenting doer aka stubborn; and a rebel, because I’m not tied to the status quo.  Since living with a SCI, my body also has a mind of its own.

There are days that my fingers rebel–they don’t want to bend, grip, or squeeze. For those times, I’m realistic. I keep plastic glasses and unbreakable dishes, go without make-up, dress in something that goes over my head, struggle with hygiene issues, and drop LOTS of things.

When my fingers are cooperative, my hands decide to drop what my fingers want to hold, like my litter scooper. That’s when it’s easier waiting 24 hours to, literally, “pick up” hardened clumps of litter from the litter box than to scoop them.

On any of these given days when my reality bites (ramifications of disability), or the day thereafter, you will find one or more of the following items strewn on the floor throughout my home: magazines, books, pens with their to-do list or notebook, pillows, dental picks, my hair brush, my cat groomer, broken glass, scattered espresso grounds with brown streaks of espresso running down my cabinet (and brown wheelchair tracks when I forget they are there); even a meal, partially dried and thoroughly stuck to the floor under my oven. C’est la vie! (That’s life!) Or, that’s (only a SMALL part of) my life.

To add insult to injury, I used to be a neat freak; still am, somewhat. To keep my sanity, and sense of humor, I’ve learned to let go (pun intended) of what I can’t control. That doesn’t mean that I don’t cuss, cry, or throw something in frustration. It simply means: I push on. Quitting isn’t an option. (Read the “I quit. No, wait. Never mind.” chapter in my book, Views From My Chariot: A Wheelchair Oddity , for expensive frustrations!)

You can call me unrealistic, particular, stubborn, and/or a rebel. I don’t mind; you’ve a right to your opinion. But…

I KNOW: Thinking out-of-the-box to solve daily limitations and their frustrations instead of complaining about my circumstance, has brought me contentment and peace.

I KNOW: Being persistent and determined to live as independently as possible instead of expecting someone else to take care of me, has given me that independence. I’m grateful for it.

I KNOW: In respecting my life and well-being more than fearing other’s judgement of how I live it, I am gratefully responsible for, and happily free to reach, my potential.

I KNOW: As a result of dreaming and believing in my abilities instead of succumbing to a disability, I’m living my purpose.

Are you?

When reality bites, bite back…with a bulldog grip!

Wheelchair Warrior

Let me tell you a story:

“There was a little girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead.” (It’s not exactly a curl; it’s more like a wave, if I have a perm. If I don’t have a perm, I wear unintentional bangs.) “And, when she was good, she was very, very good, but when she was bad, she was horrid.” MY story changes here to: When she was MAD, she was a Warrior. Let me explain:

Last week, I told you that my ebook was coming SOON. I was three-fourths through; I had about one more week of typing to do. As I’ve told you or you’ve read, or maybe you haven’t read and I haven’t told you, I type about 8 words a minute, with my middle finger. Five hundred words a day is great for me. It’s a good day. Recently, I typed a thousand in one day. I was elated to be ahead of schedule. How I did it, I don’t know. Magic fingers, I guess. What can I say?

I took a break, went to dinner, came back to my office, and opened the file. It was EMPTY—0 CHARACTERS!

I clicked here, clicked there, trying to find where it went. Was there an auxiliary file? No. The original file was still titled, but there was nothing in it. Seven thousand words circling Saturn!

Okay, I have “lost” articles, emails, FB notes before but not of this magnitude. I decided to call my computer guy the next morning. He had retrieved things before; he could do it again.

He said, “If the file remains with no content, it can’t be retrieved.”

I was sick; I was literally nauseous. I thought I would vomit. Instead, I cried. After a short cry (I do not indulge in pity parties.), I made my morning espresso. I enjoyed my morning indulgence then, went to wash my face and apply make-up.

I decided on black eyeliner. After lining my eyes, I thought, “I feel like black eye shadow.” I have NEVER been Goth but, today, this felt right!


I blackened my eyelids. My hand painted God’s zigzag lightening rod on my right cheek and on my left cheek. I drew a cross (the blood of Jesus) between my eyebrows, three interconnecting circles (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) on my chin, and symmetrical arches (my angel’s protection) on my jaws.

Because this book is for YOU, my faithful readers, this MAD WARRIOR put her head down, fists up, and middle finger poised. Threatening the enemy, I DECLARED VICTORY to complete this book!

I am back again, two-thirds of the way through. Determinedly, it is COMING SOON. (You can order, Views From My Chariot: A Wheelchair Oddity while you wait. Click “Purchase,” and click the link to its web page. Order there.)

Today, I apologize for the delay.

Wheelchair Pathfinder

This is an excerpt from my ebook that you can instantly download FREE with your subscription to my ezine. COMING SOON!

When I was five or six years old, someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Without hesitation, I said, “A boy.” As adults, we laugh at children’s cute misconceptions. We know it isn’t going to happen. Then, somewhere amidst the journey from innocence into adulthood, the majority of us arrive unfulfilled, bothered and bewildered of the cause. We wonder: How did I get off my path? What is my calling? What is my purpose?

Carolyn Weiss says it best. She says it’s never too late to get back on your life path. If you are alive and breathing, you have a purpose.

I have always been an explorer, much like my Daniel Boone-esque, frontiersman, explorer dad. (You can read the wild stories about him in my book, particularly the “That Was Then” chapter.) Back in my walking days, I spent endless hours exploring concealed paths off country dirt roads, ambling amidst woods, discovering hidden swimming holes, and forgotten Civil War grave yards. Occasionally, forgetting my compass, I lost my way. Of course, I always found my way back—I’m here to tell you about it. But, they were daunting times in unfamiliar places. It required maintaining control over my emotions—to stay calm and focused—search for familiar landscape, and persevere until I recognized my path.

I have ALWAYS been a writer. Growing up, other ambitions, and other’s ambitions for me, clouded my thinking, causing me to diverge from my path. Like the blinking arrows >>>>> direct a driver to merge into another lane, thoughts of becoming a nun (yep), an archeologist, Ms. America, a linguist, a famous actress, an Airline stewardess (to name of few), kept detouring me from who I was—a writer and teacher.

Because I never listened to my heart, I didn’t know who I was. My persona became whatever this noggin head imagined I wanted to do.

I entered and won beauty pageants until retiring my last three crowns at nineteen. I took Latin, Spanish, Italian, and French until I realized it took more dedication than I was willing to give. I majored in Speech and Theater until my interest in phonetics changed my path into becoming a speech and language pathologist. (This was God’s plan, after all. It was a trick up His sleeve in order for me to provide for myself after becoming disabled.)

I still followed a couple of detours after that. I’m a S-L-O-W learner, but once I got it, a dust cloud follows behind me and my chariot. (You don’t see it on my book’s cover because my illustrator replaced it with wheelchair tracks. Whatever.)

I believe we wander from our heart’s path because we don’t recognize our value and belittle our gifts. We assume them common and mundane by thinking, “This is too easy. Anyone can do it. I’m nobody special.”

That’s the big LIE—to derail you off your life path, your fulfillment, your contribution to the world. Yes, the world!

Do you know what yours is?

I will help you find the path leading to your heart, the way I found mine.


Wheelchair Exercise in Optimism

In a recent article “Disability’s Truth,” my intent was to defuse the seeming tension and uncertainty for the able-bodied person in being around a disabled individual; then I wondered, “Are we, the disabled, fostering the discomfort?”

It sounds trite to say that we are more alike than we are different, but it’s true. We are all living life with the cards we have been dealt, often shuffling and reshuffling—seeking better.

My introduction to the world of disability was my own rehabilitation. I was always optimistic, but in rehab I met some really negative, sour sojourners. Their negative energy was too heavy for me. After awhile, I began avoiding their space. They were still angry and blaming the world for their situation, expecting others to do everything for them. (I lingered a little long in the denial stage myself. Catch the five stages of grief in my “Wheelchair Derailment” article.) They completely missed the point of rehab; we were learning a new way of life in order to become as independent as possible.

Yes, it was hard. After struggling an-hour-and-a-half to dress each morning, I wanted to rest, but I was too hungry to miss breakfast. Creeping down the hall to the cafeteria took me another fifteen minutes. After breakfast, our OT and PT classes began. I took full advantage of our rest period after lunch; I took a recuperative nap! I am so thankful that I learned how to wheel a wheelchair (without ever breaking a toe from running into walls, furniture, and other people), dress and feed myself, and put on my own make-up. I wouldn’t be living independently and triumphantly now if I hadn’t.

So today, I am speaking to us: the disabled. Do we greet the world (and our loved ones) with a frown, assuming that “they” should make things easier for us, or with an optimistic smile believing that we can improve our lives? These facial muscles determine how we are perceived?”

Think about it: Our body also responds to our frame of mind. No one is responsible for our well-being but oneself. Making excuses for our bad health and habits, low energy level, being disliked and avoided by family and estranged friends, or for a poor prognosis from our doctors, is not an option. Only we can change the stigma of “poor, pitiful, paralytic.” We must let go of the illusion of normalcy. (There is no such thing anyway; and forget convention.)

I understand pain and discomfort, and the precariousness of each outing. But, I don’t expect my friends, family, and community to change just because I experienced change. I bought a portable, extendable ramp for inaccessible terrain, call ahead to verify accessibility, plan outings and appointments around the weather, humbly request help prior to doctor and dentist appointments, wear earrings and dress stylishly when I go out, and greet others with a smile.

If I feel down, I call someone that might need encouragement or may just need to hear a friendly voice; BUT NOT TO COMPLAIN. That doesn’t mean that I don’t experience occasional insecurity; I just nip the doubt into do!

Let’s go for it—our potential, our purpose, our passion. We’re worth it! Optimism is contagious.