Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Archive for March, 2012

The Grace of Being Present

Today, I attended the annual Hospice luncheon to thank the volunteers for their service. As a Hospice volunteer we all receive much more than we give to our patients. A smile, a hug or just listening to them as they relive the significant parts of their lives, gives them an opportunity to be heard and appreciated. The meaningful parts of their memories that are forever etched into their minds deserve to be heard. We listen and we share. Some times the patients want to hear about our lives since they are home bound and are still choosing to live life, albeit, through their outside connections. The time we spend talking and listening is invaluable. A Hospice patient (nearing her 91st birthday) told me that she misses her ‘wheels.’ I was not only astounded but touched by this wonderful women’s sharing of her emotions. She felt a loss and was willing to share it with me. The training we go through to be a volunteer is both enlightening and uplifting. When we realize how life begins to close in on those who are in the last stages of their lives, we can be so thankful for our own ability to go out and be immersed in the living, breathing Universe.

The minister, at the meeting today, after talking about our willingness to listen, gave a non example of listening. It made me think about the occasional lack of attention we may give to others in our fast-paced world. He mentioned that he was in a coffee shop recently and there was a grandmother, mother and daughter sitting inside enjoying their beverages. What he found so astounding was that for 20 minutes each of them had their cell phones out and were either talking or texting others. He said there was literally no conversation going on among the three generations.
How sad, I thought to myself. So often a simple phone call to someone you care about is uplifting and gives you the opportunity to make a difference in their world.
Technology is an incredibly important part of all of our lives. We would be lost without it. The trick, if seems, is to keep a balance between being efficient and effective. It helps when we remember the importance of the human voice and the resultant energy that is shared between two people. Their is no substitute for it. Who knows, there may be someone who just needs to hear your voice and receive your energy to make it through another day. Just remember, no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. Think about it and pay it forward.

Changing Your Path and Your Life

I am finishing a 10 week class this week. Since my final project is now finished it is time for celebration! It is also time for reflection on the many things I have learned. I will be sharing some of the thoughts with you on this blog in the future. Included in the material for this class was the following. It is entitled, A Simple Story and written by someone who has chosen to remain anonymous. If you think about your life lessons when reading it, things – lessons – will jump out at you. As Einstein used to say to those he had not talked to recently, “What has become clearer to you since we last met?” I hope this story brings greater clarity to your life.

Chapter One
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost…I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
But it takes forever to find my way out.

Chapter Two
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend that I don’t see it.
I fall in, again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
It isn’t my fault.
But it still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter Three
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I fall in…it’s a habit…but now my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter Four
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter Five
I walk down a different street.

Are you Inclusive or Exclusive?

As fellow travelers in life, how often do we stop to think about connecting with others to help them? Loss, hurt, pain, denial and avoidance are themes that seem to continue to surface in all of us from time to time. When we listen, without judgment to others, we may be surprised to hear that they have walked on a similar path. It can be reassuring or disarming to realize that, as human beings, we are much more alike than originally imagined. Although we are each a unique individual, we share incredibly similar lessons.

When we experience a loss that rocks us to our very core, our behaviors, attitudes and viewpoints frequently change. I talk with so many people about loss and have come to realize that they seem to fall into one of two camps. They either choose to pick up the shattered pieces of their life and become more inclusive after the initial wound is healed or, sadly, they retreat into themselves and become more exclusive in an attempt to shield themselves from further hurt.

The difference is significant. The energy around us can either serve to heal us or debilitate us. Energy, in itself, is neutral. It is our thinking that causes it to become a positive, life giving force or a negative drain on our daily existence. Life is meant to be lived. Yes, even after experiencing the greatest loss of your life, you need to reengage and keep going. I have been there and talk from experience. You will never be able to protect yourself from unforeseen events but you can live today, this moment, for all it is worth. You can choose to close and lock the doors in your mind to others or open the doors and let your heart welcome in their healing energy. Think of the power and energy from the sun. Even with that intense power, it cannot get through a shuttered door. We need the energy from others to heal from loss. Set a goal tomorrow to open the doors of your mind and heart and welcome in fellow travelers. Take the time to reach out to someone. You will be glad that did!

Have a great rest of the week!


I have talked about the importance of positive thinking and the need to check, even redirect, our thinking when we become aware of any negative thoughts. You simply refuse to give them any of your mental space or emotional energy. There is nothing to be gained in seeing our cups as half empty. It robs us of energy and enthusiasm for tomorrow. The steps to goal setting that I have blogged about recently emphasized the importance of writing out goals in the first person, present tense ( I am… I have…). Equally important is to act as if we have already attained our goal. You want to feel positive emotional energy when you send your goal out into the Universe. Remember, it will come back to you, just like a boomerang with the same amount and type of energy you originally gave to it. Basically, you are telling the Universe/God that you are claiming ownership of the goal so you will have a better, more rewarding, life. The reason behind this approach is to harness the energy of the Universe/God. This energy is there for the taking. The only thing we must do is to remain in a positive expectation and state of mind. Any goal can be achieved by apply the principle of “ask and you shall receive,” as long as you believe. The Universe/God simply expects us to do our part by positively tapping into the energy source.

The topic of abundance is important to consider in goal setting. The Universe has unlimited energy and will deliver to you whatever is foremost in your thinking. Your life today is a result of your past thinking. We may want to blame others or circumstances but the truth is that we created our existing circumstances from the energy of thought that we surrounded ourselves with – no more, no less. Are you happy with the result?

Most of us have not been taught that the world is our oyster, but it truly can be, once we learn to control the energy in, around and through us. Goal setting is a way to get your thinking aligned in a positive way to realize a better, more fulfilling life.

I am absolutely convinced that abundance in our lives is our inheritance. Goal setting helps you tap into this abundance. Nothing but the lack of faith in the possibility can keep good from you. Abundance in any form is your birthright. Claim it and make it yours!

Gratitude and Goal Setting

We have all experienced loss in our lives. It may have taken the extreme forms such as losing a child or spouse. Regrouping after any loss, including divorce, can be difficult but it is not impossible. In the last 3 blogs I wrote about the steps in goal setting for an important reason. We must be strong enough to go on with our lives. We will never forget our loss but we must force ourselves to see any and all positives that still exist in our lives in order to heal. When we write a goal in the first person, present tense we place ourselves in a higher level of vibration. The energy of the Universe/God WILL respond. It is important to use positive statements. Phrases such as, “I am not…” or “I am no longer troubled by…” must be reworded in the positive, for example, “I am… or I have all peace and abundance around me.” Remember the energy of the Universe will respond to POSITIVE statements. Like attracts like.

The attitude of gratitude is a critically important step in attaining your goal. I know it may be difficult to feel gratitude if you have just recently experienced a loss that has, temporarily, stopped you in your tracks, but it is necessary. Think of all you still have as a human being. Think of the family and friends that have been there with you throughout your experience. Before letting your feet hit the floor in the morning think about 3 things for which you are grateful. By doing this, you are drawing more positive energy to get though the next day. Slowly but surely, you will begin to see hope for the future. You will have found the renewed energy that seemed to have disappeared. I talk from experience.

My wish for you is that over time you will begin to understand that the loss was part of a bigger plan of the Universe. Regardless of how many times you think, “maybe if I would have been there, done this, kept him on the phone longer,” the loss would not have happened. We all go through these feelings but the truth is, as my son has told me from the other side, “Mom, all is as it should be.”

P.S. My book is VERY CLOSE to publication! I will give you the specific information on how to order as soon as it is available. I hope you will find my story of the many losses in my life to be inspiring and it will give you courage and hope of a better tomorrow.

Visualize the Goal

We have talked about goal setting to achieve something you really want in your life. The last two blogs centered around monitoring and redirecting our negative thinking. To achieve your goal you must believe it possible. Negative thinking can derail your ability to achieve your goals. In fact, negative thinking is the direct result of a lack of faith. Think about that for a moment. You need to believe, to have faith in the possibility of a positive outcome to achieve any goal. There is absolutely no room in your mind to entertain negative energy! Buddha said it clearly, “All that we are is a result of what we have thought.”

To achieve your desired goal you must be able to visualize how you will feel, act and think differently having achieved it. This may sound like you are pretending but just stay with me on this one. The Universe/God is made up of energy. We are all, in fact, made up of energy. Our energy attracts like energy. Positive energy attracts positive energy. Think of a battery. You must connect the right end of the battery to the force to achieve the connection. It is the same in our minds. When we visualize the goal we want to achieve we are connecting to the positive end of the battery in the Universe. Think of the goal you want to achieve and believe that the Universe is simply waiting to deliver it to you. How will you feel having achieved this goal? How will your life be better?

Write the goal you want to achieve in first person, present tense as if you have already attained it. For example, I am… or I have… and then finish the sentence by saying, and I feel grateful that I have attained it. You are basically telling the Universe that you know it can deliver. The energy is there for you to tap. You simply have to believe it is your right to tap it.

After you have written out your goal if you have a question, just email it or post your question on the blog and I will be happy to respond.

On the next blog I will talk about being grateful. There is no substitute for gratitude in our lives. Have a great week!

Thinking Patterns and Goal Setting

By now, you have had the opportunity to reflect on your thinking and may have discovered that, unless you make a conscious effort to think differently, those negative thoughts seem to infiltrate your thinking. It may sound like a lot of work to say to yourself, “Stop, I refuse to entertain negative energy about…” In truth, this will not take an inordinate amount of time once you break the negativity habit. In fact, before you realize it, you won’t have to consciously work at it and the positives in your thinking will out weight the negatives a hundred fold IF you really want to change.

John Steinbeck, in The Winter of Our Discontent explains that if we have a condition or problem that needs to be resolved, we may choose to bury it in our minds, but it “minces up with a lot of other things already there and what comes out is discontent and uneasiness, guilt and a compulsion to get something – anything – before it is all gone.”

Let’s not bury an issue but deal with it head on, with a positive, goal setting approach. To set and ultimately manifest or achieve a goal we must, as a first step, be brutally honest about the condition we choose to change. There is no place for ‘maybe’, ‘if only’ or ‘I wish’. We must be absolutely certain about it. One way to truly get to the bottom line is to ask yourself, for instance, “What is it that I am totally sick and tired of being, doing, not having, being frighten of, or worried about? Think long and hard about this before deciding on the one statement you select. Once you have the statement, write it down and think about it for a few days. How would your life be changed if you replaced this negative condition with a positive? What would it look like, feel like, actually be like? Are you sure this is the most important condition in your life that you want to change now?

On the next blog I will talk about the art and science of visualization. It is the next critical step in making your goal your new reality. Sound exciting? Stay tuned!

Monitor Your Thinking to Set Goals

Last week I talked about goal setting and the importance of living our lives in the flow of positive energy. In order to make this happen, it is important to take the time to monitor your thinking. I am not talking about a laborious task. It is essential, however, to just check your thinking from time to time to see how much time you are allowing yourself to entertain negative thoughts. You may be surprised to realize that most humans really do spend an enormous amount of mental energy seeing or thinking about what is wrong with a person, place or thing. I make it a conscious habit to remember that if I can’t do something to improve a given situation, for myself or others, I will choose to view it as something to get through and search for the lesson in it. I refuse to focus my energy on something I cannot fix. Given the many challenges in our lives it is not surprising that we may fall, occasionally, into the trap of seeing the glass as half empty rather than half full. The operative word here is occasionally. The same amount of liquid is in the glass. However, in one scenario we feel depressed and lack energy and the other we feel more optimistic and ready to take on tomorrow.

Over the next few days, please check your thinking once every hour or so. Ask yourself, are my thoughts positive or negative? One first has to RECOGNIZE THE CONDITION before anything can be done about it. Once you realize any thought or concern that feels like it is draining you of energy, the next step is to look for a pattern to your thinking. When we take the time to listen to our own thinking usually a pattern will jump out at us that, in retrospect, was quite obvious.

As an example, when I’m exhausted or ill, I realize my typical responses can be quite curt if encountering an issue. I have to be aware of my pattern to control it. We can also develop different patterns in our behavior or thinking after a loss. For instance, I talked to a friend recently whose husband passed on in late December. We were discussing that Saturdays seem to be a particularly hard day of the week for her. Why? The answer became clear as we talked. That was the day they usually spent together having fun and doing things they enjoyed. For Saturdays, then, she needed to set a goal and develop a plan to keep her body and mind occupied. She needed to experience more positive thoughts on this day of the week rather than allowing the memories of her loss to engulf her. She may not need this plan forever, but for now it would help her though the Saturdays in her immediate future.

On the next blog we will build on what patterns you have discovered in your thinking to develop positive goals for your life. Stay tuned!