Leaving Home

This may be an odd way to redirect you to my new blogging spot, but here goes. I am no longer blogging at this site. I continue to blog and post at my new website: attarcoaching.com 

I hope you will visit me there!

Thank you dear friends. 



Twelve Days to Turn Worry into Wonder

The twelve days of Christmas can be a great opportunity to turn holiday worry into wonder.

Commit to a change in thinking with the support of these reflections and affirmations and have a fabulous holiday!

From “I’m afraid of what is going to happen.”

To       “I wonder what’s going to happen?”

From “The last time that happened, everything fell apart.”

To       “I experience change in fresh new ways.”

From “It is not going to work out.”

To       “The Power of Consciousness is greater than anything I could imagine.”

From “There isn’t going to be enough __________________.”(fill in the blank)

To        “What I have is sufficient; I wonder what other good things are coming my             way?”

From “I’m afraid she thinks I’m a fool. This is so embarrassing.”

To       “I celebrate the playful spirit of my inner fool. I wonder where she’ll show             up next?”

From “I made a mistake. I’m so ashamed.”

To       “I’m grateful for the gifts of humility. I’m not afraid of my humanness.”

From “I’m always going to feel lonely.”

To       “I wonder how I can be of service today?”

From “No one believes me.”

To       “I wonder how I can be a better listener?”

From “I’m afraid this anger is going to swallow me up.”

To       “I wonder how many different ways I can forgive myself today?”

From “I don’t know how much longer I can bare this.”

To        “I wonder if I can change my perception about this?”

From “I won’t be able to get everything done!”

To        “The important things always get done. It will help to visualize success!”

From     “I shouldn’t have said that.”

To            “I don’t have to say the perfect thing in all circumstances.”



Mass is a highly personal experience; it may sweeten or sour the tongue.

Today was a Northwest miracle. Early November, golden leaves fell over a clear blue sky, sunlight flooded rainbows through the crystal hanging from my window; outside felt like 70 degrees. I came home from an hour-long walk around Capitol Lake and checked my calendar. Noon Mass started in thirty minutes. I frowned. I wish I hadn’t put this on my calendar; it would have been easy to forget. Now I had to make a choice. Giving an hour, on a day like today to sit inside felt like a huge sacrifice. Surely any one, including God, would understand not showing up.

On the drive to church I thought of all the ways that it was both a sacrifice and privilege to be going to Mass. Then I started naming every thing else in my day that felt like both a sacrifice and privilege until it seemed there would be no end to my list. In fact it seemed all of life, every moment of being alive in a body on earth was both sacrifice and privilege. This state of permanent blessing and offering was simply the nature of mortal existence.

Jesus told parables to explain the Kingdom of God. “The Kingdom of God is like…”

I started thinking about Mass. What could I compare it to?

Mass is like…

the sweet taste of butter on fresh baked bread

the cream in ice cream

sugar for the soul

the crimson color of a sunset

the glint of gold from a dark room

a room where, when I leave it, I can truly start over again

the scent of early spring

a great emptiness, where both silence and words heal

an ocean that carries my sins away

warm ripples of water that love me

forgiveness without conditions

Mass is a personal, individual experience. If you’ve gone to Mass thousands of times, only because you had to, or if the Roman Catholic Church is a symbol of betrayal and heartbreak for you, then my writing may feel like sand in the mouth. That makes sense, in that case, I’m writing about my Mass, not yours.

The Breakup

Love affairs can end in grace.

Love relationships may have to end for lots of different reasons. When they do, there is a period of healthy grieving that can help us let go with grace and authenticity, a path that keeps us true to ourselves. Even though grief will accompany us for a while, the break up does not have to be painful. Here are a few pathways for the wounded heart that might help:

Acknowledge and honor feelings of grief and sadness when they arise but also recognize that these are simply states of mind. Inevitably over time they will leave. Think of every life event as a gift. The break up may have brought us new learning, insight and inspiration if we notice. Most of the time to notice something we have to be looking for it. Celebrate and applaud yourself for taking the risk.

Asking ourselves a few questions can be helpful. How we perceive and interpret the time we shared with our love will affect the after taste. The mind may be filled with conflicting thoughts, feelings, or memories. We may not know how to think about either our love experience or the break up. Confusion can be the impetus for forming questions that if we reflect on them long enough, bring forth clarity. Notice what you are still angry about. Is there a way to see these circumstances in a new, fresh way? Can you be absolutely certain the story you have in your mind about the love or the heartbreak is true? How might it be different than the movie you are playing over and over again in your head? How would you like it to be different? What would it look like to let go of this relationship with grace?

This leads to the next stage of letting go, remembering the positive experiences, shared events and feelings. You may slip into remembering the difficult times and that is OK. Bring your attention back to the gifts, what you learned and what you cherish about your time together. You are doing this for you. Focusing on the take away will lift your mood, give you more joy in your daily activities and expand your awareness. You may develop a greater sense of control. What we focus on and remember often grows into a story in our mind and we really do get to write our own story.

 After this period of remembering, it is time to focus and allow creative expression. Focus on what you learned through the relationship, the many ways that it inspired you. Make a list of all the ways. For this you may need to go back to the very beginning, the meeting and first few months, the good times together. You may want to build a collage of images that define the relationship as you want to remember it, write a poem or better yet, write the story of your relationship as a personal myth where you are the heroine.

Believe that you are lovable and precious. This truth is not dependent on what others say or do. You are unique in all the universe and no one and nothing can change this. Try not to compare yourself to others. If there are feelings of jealousy, accept this as simply a normal response, notice the feelings and return your focus to self-care. Spend time every day doing the things you love to do with the people you love to be with.

Imagine new possibilities, and opportunities that are fresh and fun and could not have manifested for you while you were living your old life. It is time to imagine a new one, full of spirit and excitement. Even when you feel your energy wane, give yourself the encouragement to try new things, meet new people, plan a special event just for you.

Some relationships end unexpectedly and with a deep sense of betrayal. Others were never meant to have a long life, yet even with a premonition about this, it can throw us off guard when our loved one finally walks away. We may feel a little dizzy from the experience and even be knocked off our feet because of it. But we can step sure footed again and with renewed strength from the learning, wisdom and inspiration, gifts of both love and heartbreak. A friend shared this poem with me when I was in the throws of a recent breakup. D.H. Lawrence helps us keep perspective.

Go Deeper than Love

Go deeper than love, for the soul has greater depths,
love is like the grass, but the heart is deep wild rock
molten, yet dense and permanent.
Go down to your deep old heart, and lose sight of yourself.
And lose sight of me, the me whom you turbulently loved.
Let us lose sight of ourselves, and break the mirrors.
For the fierce curve of our lives is moving again to the depths
out of sight, in the deep living heart.

~ D.H. Lawrence ~

(excerpt from Know Thyself, Know Thyself More Deeply)


June Morning Musings

Nature is the best remedy for an unsettled mind.

Sunlight streamed through my window this morning; I met a rare, clear, blue sky in the great Northwest with a cloudy, nameless longing.

My morning routine includes several hours at the computer. Great progress was made on the page, but this didn’t help my murky state of mind. I stood up, stretched, and stepped outside to sit in the sun near the flower garden; nothing changed. At the neighborhood Olympia Coffee roasters, I sipped a cappuccino with steamed almond milk. Nope. I drove up the hill to the San Francisco St. Bakery and indulged a triple chocolate mousse cupcake, the longing followed like a lost puppy, searching comfort and solace. Finally, meandering shaded paths through picnic tables at Priest Point Park, drawn to the cheerful sounds of Mexican brass and guitar, I listened, as women, stretched out on a blanket under the trees chatted in Spanish and laughed, children played kick the ball, called to each other, while men gathered at the grill, cigarette stubs between their lips, turned the chicken, pocked the hot coals now and then; sure, committed, cozy. A place the lost puppy wanted to call home.

Instead we travel the path hugging Puget Sound at Ellis Cove, up and down hills fecund with a forest of Douglas Fir trees grown gnarled, twisted, and silent against the sky. One with a bulging uneven girth leans toward me as though bowing. I have a thousand questions, but it doesn’t stir. Buttercups grow cheerfully along the trail with ferns lush and at home in the dark crevasses of a thousand tree shadows. Bird wings rustle the low brush and sing to each other from a place where nothing is missing. Far below the blue Sound shimmers under brilliant light, the perfection of everything wild and unfettered, refusing to notice doubt or uncertainty, refusing to notice anything at all. The whoosh of traffic wafts up from the road ever more distant with each step, hardly noticed now like the longing, trailing off and finally forgotten. Sometimes the Northwest rains are weary, but the sun follows and I remember I live in heaven. The ubiquitous green under the sun’s light absorbs all doubts, questions, disquiet. Tomorrow I’ll forego the coffee and chocolate and head straight for the trail-head.