True, Truer, Truest

“The kind of truth that matters does not make itself known to those who shout for it to come out and then try to batter down the door. The truth that matters must trust us before we can have a relationship with it.” Parker, The Promise of Paradox I celebrate disappointment. My disappointments met as a Spiritual Friend are openings to other possibilities, to something Spirit-handed. I trust this place of disappointment and discouragement as a threshold and doorway to what can emerge. I wanted “this”, but got “that.” This is true. Truer yet is that something always waits on the … Continue reading

Getting Into It

I was a cat person, until I married Bill, who came with two dogs. Now I am a dog person. Soon after Lydia was born, and both Bill’s dogs had died (and my cat companion, Targhee), we decided to get another dog. (What child doesn’t want a dog?) Still not a full blown dog person, I had several rules: Dogs stay in the kennel or outside.  (I soon relinquished that rule and our dog Zafu lived in the house.) Dogs stay off the furniture.  (Well, our now blind dog Cookie has a favorite chair.) Dogs never, ever, ever sleep on the … Continue reading

Why Did the Chicken Cross The Road?

We have a few magnets on our refrigerator. Okay, more than a few. So, it took me a few days to discover the one my sister-in-law put on after house sitting: Another magnet asks: What Would the Buddha Do?   (What we choose for magnets and postings on our refrigerator does speak to our politics, leanings and causes. But this blog isn’t about what we post on our refrigerators–– or why.)       Questioning WHY the chicken crossed the road points to our attachment to a misguided question, at least off the page. In life when you ask WHY someone lost something, why they failed … Continue reading

A Bit of Tough Love

Our lives are rich with pivotal moments and themes that have become the very fabric of our lives. Your mother’s narsistic, you grew up in abject poverty, you were sexually abused, your losses out number your gains, you survived cancer, twice. Your heart has been broken and shattered. You’ve been abandoned, ignored, humiliated. Or (and), you have had spiritual visions, epiphanies, you have saved lives or witnessed others’ heroics. You are the first to climb the mountain and survive. You have traveled to exotic places, alone. You have a unique skill. You have saved numerous abandoned animals or people. You are … Continue reading

The Writer Friendly Life

At last weeks Writers’ Institute I gave a short talk on how to be disciplined and inspired as a writer. I began my talk on how to make our life “writer friendly.” Really the entire thirty-minute talk got down to how we do this, –– how we can actually fulfill our writing dreams and intentions. Making our life writer friendly is the simplest part of the writer’s life. I said simple, not easy. So whose life is writer friendly? Yours. Mine. Every writers. The simplest way to have your life be one where you write is to write within the context … Continue reading

Be The Cause of Your Life

“It’s your life – but only if you make it so. The standards by which you live must be your own standards, your own values, your own convictions in regard to what is right and wrong, what is true and false, what is important and what is trivial. When you adopt the standards and the values of someone else . . . you surrender your own integrity. You become, to the extent of your surrender, less of a human being.” – Eleanor Roosevelt I work with a lot of writers, mostly creative nonfiction writers who want to share personal experiences … Continue reading

Grasping The Opportunity

“Whichever step of the staircase you enter upon, the journey will, in its own way and own time, lead you to all the other steps. The only requirement is that you continue to put one foot in front of the other—one thought, moment of interest, and effort after another. That is all teachers really require of their students. They have trust that the teachings will unfold their results naturally, if the student will only grasp the opportunity.” –Geshe Lhundub Sopa with David Patt, Steps on the Path to Enlightenment As I write this I am surrounded by my beautiful home and … Continue reading

Transformational Writing Techniques for Health Care Professionals

On Friday, April 22, 2016 I will be teaching: Transformational Journal Writing Techniques for Health Care Professionals This workshop gives professionals evidence-based journaling techniques and journaling prompts to help clients transform negative states to more positive ones and to increase success in treatment. The techniques help clients dealing with pain, depression, resistance, self-abuse, anxiety, and panic disorder. Please bring a journal so that you may participate in the practices presented. Friday, April 22, 2016 9am-4 pm Credits: 0.6 CEU/ 6 hours of instruction $150 Level: Beginning to Advanced  For more information and to register, contact Christine DeSmet at or 608-262-3447 … Continue reading

The Importance of Being

If “well-being” — [defined as] functioning well as a person, not as an instrument — is the supreme goal of one’s efforts, two specific ways stand out that lead to the attainment of this goal: Breaking through one’s narcissism and breaking through the property structure of one’s existence. –Erik Fromm, The Art of Being What Fromm means by “breaking through the property structure” is for us to focus less on doing and having and more on being. In my view, if we are secure in who we are, strongly rooted from a sense of self, our actions and “property” (stuff) will … Continue reading