Desperation and Hope

I traveled to Malawi with two wonderful colleagues last week and while visiting a small hospital outside Lilongwe, a tiny newborn captivated my heart and mind. She was lying on a warming table, bundled up in two swaths of colorful cotton fabric. We spoke to a nurse who estimated that this baby had entered the world at 28 weeks, much earlier than the full 40-week term. She is the tiniest baby I have ever seen. …

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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

The best advice I have received over the course of my life has come from my mom and dad, much of it in my early years – important lessons like listening carefully while others speak, treating everyone the way I wish to be treated, and their precious words “remember that no one is better than you and you are better than no one.” My parents taught my brother and me invaluable lessons about trust, unconditional …

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The Burden of Unfinished Business

I sat at a departure gate at Newark airport, watching a woman struggle with more bags than she could possibly take onto the plane. She looked around and the only open seat in the waiting area was directly across from me. She sat and immediately began to unpack and repack the contents of four bags, trying to rearrange her belongings to meet the airline’s carry-on limit of two. Within a few minutes, this woman seemed …

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Asking “Do I really, really want to do this?”

For years I spent most of my waking hours doing what was expected of me rather than what I truly wanted to do. I like to think of myself as a strong and independent woman, but somehow I was driving my life following the roadmap of others’ requirements rather than my own. Was I alone in this? I know I was not. Over time I learned to check in with myself more often, to do …

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Dealing with Grief

It’s a sad and lazy Sunday afternoon and I have just watched a quick, angry summer storm drop heavy rain and snap branches that now clutter my yard. As the rain poured down I thought, “Nature is weeping with me today. Weeping for those who have gone.” In the past week, two young, vital and vibrant colleagues died suddenly, leaving family and friends stunned, bewildered and grief-stricken. I cannot make sense of these tragedies or …

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Saying Goodbye to the Little Red Hen

I am reluctant to admit that one of my very favorite stories as a child was the tale of The Little Red Hen. Many times over the years I remembered two of the lines repeated throughout the tale — “Then I’ll do it myself“, said the Little Red Hen. And she did. And so did I! Like so many women I know, I needed to prove that I could handle everything that came my way, …

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Our First Thought of the Day

Many of us skip our first important decision of the morning, one that we make before we open our eyes and get out of bed. It is the decision concerning how we feel about this new day. Our first thoughts upon waking shape our experience of the rest of the day. Will we be calm or harried? Happy or frustrated? Will we feel confident and comfortable about what lies ahead, or worried about how the …

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What if we didn't call it meditation?

One of the most effective ways of connecting with the deepest part of who we are, our true self, is to meditate. Mediation is also an excellent tool for reducing stress and for improving overall health and well-being.  Most of us know this, or at least have heard it, so a simple question comes to mind — if meditation can be very helpful, why don’t more of us meditate?   “I can’t do it,” a …

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Rediscovering Joy

Many years ago I discovered a photo that made my heart smile.  My mom or dad had taken it at the very moment I discovered a new rocking horse on Christmas morning.  I was not yet three years old and if you saw the photo you would agree that this little girl was in a state of absolute joy.  Years passed and I forgot about the photo and, if I am truly honest with myself, …

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