“Every moment we are choosing who we will be…
Choose in favor of your genius and you will
discover it is your reality.”
               …Alan Cohen

It’s a new year and you are filled with good intentions and resolutions; promises to yourself to exercise more, eat healthier, laugh more, …You have your schedule set, the chart on the wall to track your progress.  You have followed all the tips about goal achievement and somehow a few weeks down the road you’ve stopped exercising and are eating chips and salsa while watching tv at night.  So what happened?

If our mind and our values/heart are not in alignment we cannot sustain actions that require significant behavior changes, even though those changes are beneficial to us.  If we set a mental goal to lose twenty pounds to become more healthy yet in our heart believe that we are a lazy, fat person who will never be trim and vibrant, we will not be successful in losing weight.  If the picture we have of ourselves does not agree with the goal we have set, we will self-sabotage.

There is a deeper level of belief that is the foundation for all our  opinions about our self:  self-love.  Under all of our self-talk and pictures of who we are is the core belief of whether we are a good person or a bad person; whether we love our self or dislike our self.  If you are finding that you cannot seem to change habits that are self-destructive, no matter how hard you try, stop and ask yourself what is the belief you have about who you are that may be sabotaging you.

Look below the surface and listen to your self talk, that will give you a clue.  Notice how you treat yourself.  Are you kind to you?  Do you give yourself space and grace to be human?  Do you listen to your body and your heart and respond to your needs or do you always put someone else first?

We cannot create externally what we do not believe internally.  Will power will take us a long way and it is heart power that brings us  home.  The will power is like the gas that drives the engine and heart power is the extra-ordinary strength that moves us to extreme performance actions and keeps us moving forward when we have run out of gas.

Our outside life reflects our inside beliefs.  If you would like examples of affirming thoughts, please visit my website and explore the Affirmations pages.   Focus on building your heart power and will power will be easy.

” Some things have to be believed to be seen.”

         …Ralph Hodgson    


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Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Happiness is such a personal experience; unique to each and every one of us. How do we know when we are happy? What does happy look like to me? To you? Maybe I’m happy right here, right now and don’t even know it.

I wonder if I have been so programmed by the mass media that my picture of happiness is measured by the things I own, the kind of car I drive, the $$ in my bank account, the size jeans I wear, my age??? The pictures of happiness reflected everywhere around me are based on “having” something rather than “being” someone. It feels like I’ve missed the main feature of the movie because I’ve been so distracted by the advertisements.

When I stop and think about what gives me deep personal satisfaction it is the simple things like:

~Beginning the day with a good, hot cup of coffee and my favorite inspirational readings
~Shared moments of deep connection with my family and loved ones
~Fresh flowers in the house
~Quiet moments with Spirit
~Hearing my grandchildren come into my house squealing “Nona, Nona”
~Preparing and sharing a luscious meal with my loved ones
~Doing my best each day to acknowledge the Good/God in each person I meet
~Having a moment to chat with friends and neighbors
~Spending time in the garden with my hands in the dirt
~Learning something new and sharing it
~Going to bed each night knowing I’ve been the best person I could be and grateful for all that has been given to me that day

What makes you happy? What gives you moments of deep satisfaction and peace? I encourage you to take a few minutes and ask yourself:
When do I feel the most connected to myself and others?
When am I at peace?
When am I living totally in the present moment?

What does happiness feel like for you? Does it feel calm, joyful, peaceful, connected, energized, creative, expansive or…? Can you even connect with the feeling of contentment or have you been focused on lack, effort, struggle, and challenge in your daily life?

If you put down the story of not enough and open a new book that appreciates and celebrates you right now in this moment where you are what would you see? When you look at what is working in your life more than what is not working, what might you feel?

The teaching of the benefits of Gratitude Practice and focusing on the good in your life are everywhere. You know that it works and you know how to do it. Wayne Dyer says that: “If you want to change anything in your life, you have to first expect it of yourself.” How might your world look if each night when you went to bed you spent five minutes appreciating all the good things about yourself and the contributions you have made that day? I encourage you to try it and let me know what shows up for you. Send me an email or respond on my blog.

Maybe happiness is about allowing and accepting. Maybe happiness is knowing we are enough.

Don’t worry, be happy.


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There’s No Room for No!

Did you know that if your ratio of positive thoughts to negative thoughts drops below three-to-one you undermine your happiness?  If you can create a positive ratio of five-to-one or higher “your relationships will thrive and your business will grow” so say Mark Waldman and Andrew Newberg, MD, authors of How God Changes Your Brain.

In a March article in Science of Mind Magazine Waldman and Newberg say that we are wired neurologically to first look for what is wrong and give less weight to the positive.  They offer a process to help retrain your brain pattern to focus on positive thoughts.  You can read that article here.

If you find that the process they offer in the article is a bit daunting for you, you might try a modification.  Rather than writing down every positive and negative thought on days one and two, begin by noticing those thoughts and perhaps saying to yourself, that’s a negative thought, or that’s a positive thought.  That alone will bring your awareness to the frequency of those thoughts.  Someone suggested using a little click counter to keep track.

On day three interrupt each negative thought and restate it with something that is more nourishing to you; perhaps the opposite of the negative thought.  For example, when you hear your critical voice say “That was a stupid thing to do,” stop and say to yourself:  “I’m making the best choice I can at this moment with the information I have,” or some other self-affirming statement.  Use their end of day journaling and meditation suggestion and see how you feel at the end of seven days.  Let me know what you learn.  I’d love to hear from you.

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100 Days With No Goals

This is the time of the year when we sit down with our pad of paper and pen and create our “New Year’s” resolutions. Our plan for self-improvement for the next year. We create specific goals and timelines to measure our progress.

And, it is the time when we take some time to look back and see what we have accomplished; the progress we have made on our goals and intentions. We congratulate ourselves for meeting our targets and perhaps chastise ourselves for where we feel we fell short.

You know the drill. How many times have you gone through this process? Does it work for you? A recent article said that after the first week 75% of the people who made resolutions practiced them and after six months more than half the people did not remember their resolutions.

Why do we create resolutions/goals? What are we wanting to achieve. I think we set targets/goals to help us move forward in our lives, to make our lives better in some way, whether it is financially, physically, socially or spiritually. We set goals because we want something different than what we have, something better.

Generally with goals we set a “deadline” or a “drop dead date” to encourage performance. What would it look like if we created a “Life Line” to support ourselves instead? What if there were a totally different way of bringing positive change into our lives? An easier way than measuring, counting, performing. A more relaxed and less stressful approach.

Joshua Fields Milburn of  The Minimalists, has found something that works for him and describes it in his blog entitled “100 Days with No Goals” posted at http://zenhabits.net/100-days/.

I found his article fascinating. Joshua learned some very interesting things about himself and the benefit for him of living in the present and responding to what was inviting him at the moment. Joshua shares that he now lives from choices rather than goals and that freedom has created a life for him where he is less stressed, more productive and happier and more content.

I encourage you to explore living without goals for a week and see what happens. I’d love to hear your experiences. Please share them in response to this article on my blog.

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Be Careful What You Say To Your Plants

We’ve all heard stories about how it makes a difference to “talk nice” to our plants. I have some orchid plants that are erratic bloomers and on the occasions I have reminded them that if they don’t bloom soon they will be replaced; they always bloom! I’m a believer.

I’m even more of a believer after reading the following article in the October issue of Science of Mind. I’m curious to hear your thoughts/experiences. This is amazing information. Gives one pause when thinking about how to define intelligence and consciousness and just what that means.   What an exciting time to be alive.

Plants Communication

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Halloween is a holiday for all ages. My grandchildren are all excited about who they are going to be this year. Perhaps you are going to a costume party and playing with different personas yourself.

Who are you going to be this Halloween? What it would be like if you put aside the masks you wear daily for your protection and allowed your true face to be seen? Your most authentic expression of your own unique, marvelous essence? How would it feel to drop the super responsible and possibly resentful mask? Or maybe the I’m here for everyone except myself mask? Or life is hard and the only way to be successful is to stay on task, keep my nose to the grindstone, be serious mask? What mask are you ready to remove? What mask are you really tired of wearing? Take it off. If taking it off is too big of a step, how about changing how you express that mask in the world as a start? If it is your super responsible, resentful mask, are you willing to release the resentful part and accept your responsibility as your own choice, an expression of your personal values?

Our true face doesn’t need to be hidden, protected or even require sunscreen. Our true face is vibrant, joyful, loving, nurturing to self and others, accepting, wise, playful and at peace. Our true face is relaxed and confident and is ageless; no lines or wrinkles, only warmth and invitation. What would it take for you to share your beautiful true face with us? What one step are you willing to take to remove the masks and share yourself with us? I encourage you to step forward in your timeless exquisite essence–now that would really be a fantastic Halloween mask. See you at the ball.

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Can’t Buy/Earn Love

I had the interesting experience a short time ago of being at a concert featuring Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard.   I’ve been a Kristofferson fan since the movie “A Star is Born” way back in 1976 and still held that picture of him.  I was not familiar with Haggard’s music.

Kris opened the concert alone on stage with a voice that had lost it’s tenor and vibrancy that we frequently couldn’t hear.  He looked very thin, frail and was a shadow of his former self; no energy or vitality.  AND what amazed me was the warm welcome of the crowd and the continuing screams and yells of delight as he sang.   During the song “Help Me Make It Through The Night” he quipped, “help me make it through tonight” to the delight of the audience.

The audience didn’t care that Kris had lost his voice or his passion or his vitality, they still loved him, just as he was at that moment.  He didn’t have to earn their appreciation or applause.  He sang several songs that evening interspersed with Haggard and his group’s performance and Kristofferson was hands down the favorite.

I left that evening thinking that I’d just seen a public and vocal demonstration of love for a long time friend and revered performer just because he was who he was.  Not because he “earned” the unstoppable applause and adoration from his performance that evening.  He’d already paid his dues.  They loved him for “Being” who he was; it had nothing to do with what he was doing.   It has given me pause to remember that we don’t have to earn love, buy love, perform for love.  It’s ours for simply being who we truly are.  Way to go Kris!!!



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What’s It All About, Alfie?

May Sarton, one of my favorite authors, when asked at seventy why it is good to be old said, “Because, I am more myself than I have ever been.” As I am rapidly approaching the beginning of my eighth decade of life, her words are both a challenge and a comfort to me.

A challenge because I’m still learning who I truly am. I have played many roles in my life: daughter, wife, mother, friend, manager, CPA, coach, partner, teacher… And those are all roles, they are not who I AM at my essence. Were I to strip away the roles, who would I be? What’s it all about Alfie?

A comfort because I feel a sense of permission in her words to let go of the doing and focus on the Being. An invitation to drop the roles and gently ease into living authentically without apology or guilt.

What have I learned these past seventy years?

~~Life is not about things; it’s about love. It’s about connection and relationship. No amount of things can compare to the joy that I feel when my grandchildren run into my house squealing, “Nona,Nona” and jump into my arms. That is JOY.

~~ We all need our tribe. Our tribe is where we are accepted and loved and supported. Where we are seen and heard as who we are. It may not be our birth family and it is vital to our growth and happiness.

~~Every time I judge you I judge me. Life is a mirror and what upsets and irritates me about you is something I cannot accept or acknowledge in myself. I don’t like this one very much.

~~Forgiveness is the peacemaker. Every grudge I hold, whether against someone else or myself weighs me down. Forgiveness is the answer. We all do the best we can each moment.

~~It’s not my job. Each of us is whole, complete and resourceful and when I see you, or me as less than that, I limit our potential and keep us small. I’m here to support you not make you small.

~~Honesty is the best policy. Being honest with ourselves and others is a challenging commitment. As my friend and teacher Eric says, “It hurts not to tell the truth.” Sometimes it is very hard for me to be honest with myself, and when I am not it not only hurts my heart it shows up in my body as discomfort and heaviness. I think it is harder to be honest with ourselves sometimes than with others.

~~My deepest yearning is to reconnect with Spirit. To be at one with my source, to come home. This does not necessarily mean dying and leaving the planet; it can mean living from that place of oneness here. Underneath everything else, in our heart of hearts, we all want this.


~~Life is too short to wear tight shoes.

What have you learned? Whether you are twenty-seven or seventy, you have wisdom to share. Who are you when you are being yourself? Do you know who you are? What you want? Don’t wait to be seventy to find out.

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Be A “Heart” Listener

The other day I had pleasure of spending some time with a woman whose business card reads “Horse Listener.”  She’s a very adept people listener as well.  I left the meeting thinking that I want to be a “Heart Listener.”

What I know to be true is that our deepest well of knowing is accessed through our heart.  That is the place of inner wisdom and alignment with our values and purpose.  It is in that place that we come home to who we truly are and reconnect with our Source.

What I also know is that most of the time I do not “live” in that place of knowingness and centeredness.  In my daily life I get caught up in the drama and urgency of the moment and forget to go to that quiet space I can trust for guidance.

I had a big lesson in not listening recently.   I had been in the market for a new car and ended up buying a used, new for me, vehicle.  It had been several years since I bought a car and did do some research beforehand.  When I got to the dealership I test drove the car I had been looking at then was invited to drive a trade-in car that fit my list of must haves.  I had not looked at comps on that brand car so was not knowledgeable about pricing and value.

I really liked the used vehicle and entered the negotiation process for it.  During the back and forth of making the deal there were a two or three times when my heart said to slow down, stop, and get more information.  I wasn’t feeling confident that I was seeing everything.  I didn’t listen to that heart message, ignored the call to stop and step back and look more carefully.   I realized later that  there would have been more negotiating room and perhaps some other options I was not aware of had I listened to my heart and said “Stop,” I need more information, time, ….  I may well have made the same choice after taking some time out and I’ll never know that.

Our heart gives us continual information and guidance if we only listen.   Sometimes it takes courage to stop in the middle of a conversation or negotiation and take a moment to connect with that voice of wisdom.   Sometimes it shows up as a gut feeling or a thought that dashes through our consciousness.  It can be a chill down your spine or some other physical sensation or mental “knowingness.”  We each have our own signal and it comes from that heart centered place of truth.  It gets easier with practice and we sleep better at night knowing we paid attention to our deepest knowing.

Next time I’ll pay attention to those tugs and small voices.  Remember the old, old radio show “The Shadow Knows?”   I’m tuning in to station K103:”The Heart Knows.”

I’d love to hear your experiences if you would like to share.


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Releasing One Shelf at a Time

I tend to be a “keeper”, someone who keeps things even though I haven’t worn, used or even looked at those things for a long, long, long time. I have closets and cupboards filled with clothes and dishes and candles and cute little things that have not seen the light of day for many a month/year, and I am still wary of getting rid of them. Maybe next year I will be able to wear those way cool pants; maybe I’ll have friends for dinner and use those beautiful serving dishes; maybe I’ll redecorate and put out those unique and beautiful candles and pieces of art. Right!! In the meantime I am feeling squashed, closed in, weary of the clutter and lack of space and a bit depressed.

So, this morning during my journaling the question that popped up was: “If you can’t let go of the sheets, towels, dishes, etc. that no longer serve you, how can you let go of other things that have served their purpose in your life. Things such as relationships, beliefs, fears?” Now that caught my attention. I know that some of my heaviness and flatness is because I am wading through old beliefs about who I am and how I “should” be. I am in a place of questioning what is truly important to me and how do I stay in the place of putting my energy and attention on what helps me move forward and grow and be Joyful Service. Is it time to appreciate, acknowledge and release people, patterns, behaviors and beliefs that have contributed to my growth and move to the next step?

How to discern what is growth affirming and supporting versus either status quo or diminishing? If I’m honest with myself, what I know is that what excites me, challenges me, pushes/pulls me forward is growth affirming for me and what either feels flat to me or tiring or diminishing keeps me smaller than who I truly am. The BIG question is how to first honestly recognize the diminishing triggers and then have the confidence and courage to say “Thank you for what you have contributed to my life. I appreciate and respect and honor you and it is time for me to release you so you and I can both move forward.” I’m still working on that part.

In the meantime, what I realize is that if I am unable to clean my closets of the tangible items that no longer are part of my life, I’ll not be able to release the people and intangibles. As the inner so the outer. For the moment, I’m going to tackle one shelf of my linen closet at a time and ask of each item: “Do I love it? Does it make me feel good? Do I use it?” and if not, put it in the Goodwill pile. One shelf at a time.

I’m curious to know how you deal with releasing things, people, relationships to that you can move forward on Your Journey. Care to share?

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