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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

a virtue

It is compassion, the most gracious of virtues,
 which moves the world. 
- Thiruvalluvar, Tamil poet & philosopher

Make peace your purpose and while you move through each day, hold compassion close as you…

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

ticket to ride

I road the train from NYC back to DC and once again found myself looking out the window. Landscape changing from second to second, I thought about how excited my grandparents used to be each time they boarded the Metroliner to Jersey when I was younger. Riding that extra-fare train was a classy experience to them; I wondered if they watched the northeast corridor passing by as the train headed up and down the rails.

Times and the view from my window in the quiet car have certainly changed since then. The Acela, which replaced the Metroliner, is a convenience that gets me from one location to another faster than the regional and is not so classy to me, though I'm not at all complaining. When I get the Red Cap to take me to it before regular boarding, I enjoy walking through the deserted cars, seats quietly waiting to invite this passenger to sit down wherever she wishes. I oblige, get settled, plug into Pandora, and relax into the peace found when someone else does the driving. On occasion I read or play a word game on my iPad, try my darnedest not to work; watching the cities, buildings, homes, waters, woods and wilderness more often than not captures my attention and holds it for the duration of the ride. As I look outside, lost in thought, I’m treated to the art of negligence, renewal, the forgotten, and on this trip an egret standing in the swamp, a blue jay sitting on a tree, and a small forest of pink tree trunks! I snapped away with my iPhone as the train sped along...

One unplanned day, I’ll pack a picnic, my camera, and a light bag, and buy a ticket to ride a route I've never taken to check out a new landscape. Some moment in the future, I’ll hop a flight to India where I'll catch the Maharaja Express for the adventure of a lifetime; I wait with great anticipation for that day. Maybe I'll see you there or somewhere on the rails, so…

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Summer’s officially on, the heat is cranking up and I’m running for the shade!!!  Cool moments, cool thoughts, cooling off and just coolness….ahhhhh.

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

daddy day

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

gliding angels...for orlando, fl

On Sunday morning, the worst mass shooting on American soil took the lives of 49 innocent people enjoying a night out. I just can’t wrap my head around any of this, found myself shedding some quiet tears as I watched the news that evening. Yet, out of violence, many angels were created so I knew I wanted to use a picture that I titled gliding angel several weeks ago when I took it. All that was needed were some meaningful words to compliment the image; I am unable to compose something of my own. Grateful for this beautiful Jewish prayer… 

Memory can only tell us what we were, 
in the company of those we loved; 
it cannot help us find what each of us, alone, 
must now become. 
Yet no person is really alone; 
those who live no more echo still 
within our thoughts and words, 
and what they did has become 
woven into what we are.

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Sunday, June 12, 2016

the greatest

I don’t know what called me to rush home to watch the memorial service for Muhammad Ali this past Friday. For three hours, I sat glued to the TV, my body swelling with emotion moving between sadness and joy as I listened to the speakers and those who eulogized him. I was touched, inspired, enlightened, surprised and really glad that I responded to the urge to get home. While there were so many good speeches and prayers, one young woman captured my attention more so than the others who came to the podium. She had never met Ali however he had changed her life and her words, raw emotion and fearlessness as she shared her story rocked my soul (do yourself a favor, search Natasha Mundkur and listen to her eulogy in its entirety; it and she are dynamic). I found myself jotting down something she said that I know will make an impact on the young people I work with -- impossible is not a fact, impossible is an opinion. 

After some reflective time, I found myself composing a quote of my own which I will also use in my workshops -- I can, so I am. I can do, be anything if I put my mind to it and persevere. Speaking in terms of positive affirmation, as if it already is, I am already that anything or as Thich Nhat Hanh puts it, “you already are what you want to become.” 

Ali truly was and will forever remain The Greatest. Though he is no longer here, his spirit and the courageous way in which he lived the life he was given are the gifts he leaves behind that serve as an inspiration and model for us all. One of my favorite quotes by him is, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth,” words we should all take to heart and embody. My hope is for the unity witnessed as the world celebrated his home coming to last for more than just a few days; let us pledge to be great and…

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

oh snap

Love when I find something unusual to photograph when I’m out and about or taking my morning walk. Yesterday, I was doing my last fast walk before I slow the pace down to head in and almost missed the street art. Was it the bright red against the pale background that called to me or the face I thought I saw. Turns out it was both. 

I stood on the sidewalk marveling at the concrete canvas, created by tire treads and perhaps spray paint, felt lucky to have responded to the voice that told me to go back. Snapped a couple of shots, stood there even longer waiting for the face beneath my feet to say something; the message would come later during the upload. Before me was a portrait painted haphazardly by more than one hand so it was devoid of real thought, flat without the ability to rise up, and the worse thing was the look of exhausted defeat as it seemed to sigh. Oh snap...  

The start of my week did not go as planned in fact, it was so far off expectation that I allowed myself to let lose of calm reverting to an old way of handling a crisis. While I’d like to say that the outbursts gave me some relief, they did not; the loss of energy was palpable. The snapshot captured during a meditative walk was that of a sidewalk schizophrenic clown, served as a reminder to hold onto self, onto practice when presented with unexpected emotional situations involving those closest to you. It also told me, “You’re human. Every now and again, even the most mindful in the bunch can lose it.”

So true, so…

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Sunday, June 5, 2016

still time

Life moves quickly whether you choose to live it or not and we only get one; one filled with infinite possibility and it's up to us to find that thing, that gift we were given to share with the world. There's still time.

It's never too late so if you're not in touch with and using your gift, you may not be truly living so be still, listen and…

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

tweetie bird sunshine

Yellow is a color that I rarely wear however, I was immediately smitten with a pair of canary Chuck’s when I saw them in a shoe store. One of many “fresh” colors on display, that yellow was so bright, happy, and summery, I broke out in a huge grin, though I ended up not buying them. For most of my adult life, I have not included sneakers in my fashion wardrobe; shoes with a rubber sole were for the gym or walking only. I secretly had a thing for red high tops so instead of getting myself a pair, when my niece turned one, I bought her some. A friend of mine bought me cute pink high tops on a whim which I only wore a few times before and after he passed away (yes, I still have them). If a guy showed up for a first date in some sneaks, a second date was not probable. Now before you judge me, please know that that was when I was much younger, back when sneakers were not so fashion forward.

After my hip surgery two years ago, I could not bend over for several months. It was necessary for me to be able to slide my feet into comfortable walking shoes for rehab sessions, so I ordered and subsequently fell in love with my black & white Vans. A year later, I finally bought some red Chuck’s that never fail to brighten my mood when on my tootsies! If you read the blog, you know that I began a new chapter in my work life this past March; casual chic is now my daily dress code so I purchased a pair of silver leather Van’s to add a bit of sophistication to both my professional and personal looks which brings me back to yellow. A more relaxed self has lifted me, lightened my spirits, unearthed a surge of fun that I’m basking in. It was no wonder that I responded to the brightness of those lemony sneakers in the mall and though left behind that day, weeks later I found myself online ordering a pair. 

Tweetie Bird sunshine on my feet, the first time I wore them, I got lots of compliments accompanied by quick exchanges and big smiles. Yellow does that. Fun does that. A happy spirit does that. Letting go does that. If you haven’t already, with summer right around the corner, it’s time to find something that makes you smile all over, so…

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