October 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Friday Funnies

Q:  Why was the lady ghost so angry with her plastic   surgeon?

A: She didn’t like her new BOO-b job



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October 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Overcoming Fear

Yes, I know the simple answer would be ME of course!  But let’s go a little deeper.

I had an experience today where I thought it was me, the 56 year old spiritual coach, teacher, mom, friend, etc who was shopping in the rock store (looking for crystals that might help me sleep more soundly and consistently).

But when I looked at it a little closer, with the help of my fellow spiritual teacher and good friend, I realized that while the grown-up me was certainly present and had also made the choice on the stones and paid for them, there was another little girl part of me that was quite “thrown” by the whole experience.

The rock store had a lot of energy to it – for those of you who know about these things – you know what I mean . . . and for those that don’t . . . well  . . . everything has energy and certain rocks, stones, crystals have VERY strong vibrations which is why they are frequently used by healers.

What was interesting for me today was to recognize a familiar pattern – that being – that when my energy gets “overwhelmed” or “confused” . . . I “read” it as DANGER.

Yup.  I do.

And when my friend questioned me about that . . . I told her how as a child, my lawyer-through-and-through-father was VERY insistent that every response to every question or situation be logical.  He valued logic and discarded feelings so I was taught from my youngest memories to come up with logical responses to any question or situation and if I didn’t . . . there was usually a price to pay.

So as a child, how that affected me emotionally (among other ways) was that I would get scared if I encountered situations or questions that I couldn’t explain logically.  I would be scared of being punished – which I was regularly – sometimes In a rather draconian way and sometimes just a “normal” punishment – but almost always a punishment.

But I hadn’t identified, until today, the connection for me of “overwhelm” / “confusion” to “danger” and what that means is that for an awful lot of times over many years, I’ve been letting my inner child call the shots!

That’s OK of course – if I could have done better I would have done better but I couldn’t so I didn’t.  But here’s the really good news .  .  .

Now that I KNOW . . . I can definitely do “better” . . . .

And better for me will be to have more conscious awareness the next time I feel confused or overwhelm.  I can then remember that I am now a grown woman and no one is out there to punish me except for me! J  And hopefully I will choose NOT to continue THAT particular pattern of abuse!

So that’s the lesson in this post.

Next time you feel yourself reacting fearfully . . . see if you can catch yourself and ask yourself “how old am I emotionally right now?”  If you get an answer similar to mine . . . about being a child . . . then see if you can follow that through and ask what does that remind you of in your childhood.

Remember,  what you are looking for here isn’t to beat yourself up or your parents or whomever raised you.  What you are looking for is to take your power back and act from the powerful adult that you currently are, while having some compassion and understanding for that part of you.

As another dear friend frequently says . . . awareness precedes consciousness . . . so realize what a real gift it is to become aware of these previously hidden triggers and give yourself a big pat on the back for it!

Remember also – no emotions are all “bad” or “good” . . . . but recognizing what you are feeling and WHY can empower you to make a different choice next time.

And I’m all for having POWER and multiple choices! : )


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October 26, 2010 by  
Filed under General, Practical Spirituality

“Dump the junk! Whether it’s physical junk or emotional junk . . . it’s time to let it go! Create the space for the magnificent!”

When I posted that status update recently on FACEBOOK it got quite a few comments and “likes” which indicates to me that we all have quite a bit of junk to dump eh?

As I mentioned in the quote – we tend to hold on to both physical junk and emotional junk but the root cause of both is frequently overwhelm, at least for me.  It takes some time and attention to keep things “tidy” so that the junk doesn’t accumulate and I, for one, sometimes am just too “busy” to give the time and attention to that task.

(Which brings up another interesting point – but perhaps for another post – about how we can make ourselves busy and overwhelmed as a distraction to become our greater selves . . .  but I’ll just leave it there for the moment.)

One of the best techniques I ever learned for not accumulating emotional junk is a process they teach in 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous.  It’s called “inventory” and the long version involves making a list of all the things you feel you’ve done “wrong”, including people you have hurt, etc.  It’s a bit more complicated than that and you are welcome to email me or Google for further information, but for the purpose of THIS post, I want to share with you the abbreviated, daily version of this process.

This is a perfect process to do before going to sleep because it really clears your head!  You can do it written or unwritten, but frankly, there is ALWAYS power when you put a pen to paper – it shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes or so.

So start by dividing the paper in half lengthwise.  You can just fold it in half.  On the left side make a list of all the things that you feel you did “wrong” for the day.  It could include stuff like “didn’t make my bed”, “yelled at my kid”, “forgot to send a birthday card to Auntie X” . . .  What you write doesn’t matter – and if it is floating around your head in a negative way – better to write it down than leave it to swirl around and collect “negative” dust bunnies around it!

When you have the list done go back to Item 1 and on the right hand side of the page . . . make amends.  Most often that is going to mean a statement like . . . “I forgive myself for not making my bed.”  Or “I’ll apologize to my kid tomorrow or give him/her an xtra treat tomorrow.”  Again, it doesn’t really matter what you write, or HOW you decide to make amends . . . what matters is that you recognize you are HUMAN, that you recognize that everyone else is ALSO human, and that you don’t carry today’s concerns into tomorrow.

If you come across an item that you really don’t know how to rectify  — that’s the perfect time to turn it over to your Higher Power.  Just put “God you take this one!” next to it!  And actually, that’s how I end my list always.  I write “Thank you God for taking care of everything and everyone on this list for the Highest Good of All Concerned.”  Amen.

Now if you REALLY want to feel good when you wake up in the morning . . . take an extra 3 minutes and on the back of the piece of paper, make a list numbered 1 to 10.

On each line list something you are GRATEFUL for today.  Like how much you LOVE that kid, and how grateful you are to HAVE a bed to sleep in.  I encourage you to add to the list – the longer the better . . . but do at least do 10 things.

Then lay your head on your pillow, put a smile on your face, feel the love in your heart and go nighty-night.  The angels are watching over you and your loved ones and all is well . . .


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October 26, 2010 by  
Filed under General, Overcoming Fear

I’m sorry I’m too chicken to go take a picture of this guy hanging from the dining room ceiling as I write. I have NEVER been a fan of spiders or bugs but as I’ve gotten older and continued on my spiritual path, I can honestly say that I do look on them as another of God’s creatures and I do my best to honor their lives and their purpose here on the planet.


And I’ve already called the exterminator (who can’t come for 2 hours), and my ex-husband (who always handled spider duty during our marriage with his bare hands but now is afraid this one might be poisonous), and my handyman who is already 45 minutes on the other side of town half way up Mt. Charleston for the day.

I’m holding out for the pool man . . . who should be due here within the next hour or so. I wasn’t happy when he changed his route and made my house earlier on his schedule . . . and so he modified the route slightly so he gets here a bit later . . . and right now . . . I’m thinking . . . why the HELL did I EVER ask him to do THAT! Get over here and get over here NOW with your big pool skimmer net and get this beast out of my DINING ROOM NOW please!

OK . . . .

So . . . I’m breathing . . . and I’m remembering my power . . . great powerful creator and manifestor that I am . . . HOLY CRAP I MANIFESTED THE BIGGEST HAIRIEST SPIDER I’VE EVER SEEN IN MY HOUSE BEFORE!

OK . . ..

Back to breathing . . . I’m a powerful creator . . . I’m protected and adored by a loving Universe . . . . I’m safe . . . .


Breathing . . . . writing . . . . remembering my purpose . . . . remembering who I TRULY am (and that would NOT be a wimpy, overweight woman 10,000 times the size of the BIG FAT HAIRY SPIDER HANGING FROM MY DINING ROOM CEILING that wants to seal herself into her office until the BIG BAD SPIDER has been taken somewhere else to live that is NOT IN MY HOUSE!).

OK . . yes . . who I truly am . . . a Glorious Child of a Loving God . . . Whole, Perfect and Complete. With the power to choose the thoughts I think . . . the power to choose calming thoughts . . . . the power to make CONSCIOUS choices . . . . like BREATHING . . . and remaining grounded . . . and not going sssspuuuttter around the room like a blown up balloon that just got untied as it has one magnificent ride before it ends up in a heap on the ground.

In the last 18 months I’ve been through a separation, a divorce, the sale of a house, my Dad dying unexpectedly, some heavy (read “dysfunctional”) family “stuff”, the purchase of a new house, the renovation of a new house, major changes in my business, and countless other “opportunities for spiritual expansion” . . .. but . . . now . . . a BIG FAT HAIRY SPIDER HANGING FROM THE CORNER OF MY DINING ROOM threatens to undo my inner peace.


Really Steph?

Are you REALLY gonna let this guy get the better of you? After all that? After all the tears? After all the prayers? After a gazillion exercises in re-framing? After re-scripting countless memories? After countless hours on the phone with amazing supportive friends? After hours and hours in church services being gently (and not so gently) reminded of your Divinity? After even more hours of listening to CDs to clear your chakras, clear your mind, restore peace, learn new breathing techniques, meditate, received channeled messages?

Really Steph?



It’s JUST a Big Hairy Spider Hanging From My Dining Room Ceiling.

It does NOT have control over me.

I am the Master of my Domain.

I have dominion over my state of mind.

It IS a choice.
It IS a choice.
It IS IS IS IS a choice DAMMIT!

So guess what Big Hairy Spider?

You just hang there for a little while longer while I go ahead and continue with my day. Because I know I have an army of angels watching over me. I know I have my spirit guides to show me the way to joy and peace. I know that being afraid of you is only a story I tell myself and I can tell a different story.

I know that I can allow you to be a distraction or I can allow you to be an opportunity to remember, ONCE AGAIN, who I truly am.

To BE that Glorious Child of an Adoring Universe.

And you know what Big Fat Hairy Spider?

You have the right to be exactly who you are . . .

And . . .

I have the right to be me . . ..

And I do not have to give you my power.

Or my light . . . .


And guess who just pulled up out front? Yup! The pool guy, Kevin!


And now, 2 minutes later, spider has been deposited out into the side yard . . . hopefully to find a more suitable abode.

And me . . . .

Well . . . . I have to admit . . .

I’m breathing a bit easier . . . .

But I’m also pretty proud of myself . . . .

Because I WAS honestly and truly scared.

But I made it through it.

Again . . . .

And so will you . . .

when the next time comes that you cross paths with your version of a big fat hairy spider . . . .


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