I’m Coming Out 12-5-17

Today is a “coming out” kind of day for me. My birthday is Saturday so to celebrate, I’m flying to San Francisco to spend it with my cousin, who also happens to be my best friend. I haven’t been back for a year and a half.

I left San Francisco in May of 2015 after a long battle with Cancer. I also left a tumultuous relationship that brought so much strife in to my life. I’ve spent the last two years hiding out in my room at my mothers house. It’s no secret I’ve not only battled anxiety as well as PTSD but I’ve also struggled to heal from the side effects left behind from treatment. I’ll admit returning to San Francisco is really scary. After all, my departure was not on good terms.

I was blessed to cash in some airline miles and bought myself a round trip ticket for $11.20. What a steal!! As the time draws closer to driving to the airport I find myself nervous and very fearful. I suppose because my return to my beloved city by the bay opens the door to having to face the reality of what I left behind and why. It also means going out of my comfort zone (my bedroom) and learning to live life again.

Life happens sometimes. Occasionally we run away from reality and sweep the wreckage of our past under the carpet. We become complacent in our “safe” place. That’s what’s happened to me. I’ve become very complacent in the comfort of my room at my mothers which has become my safe place. I’m excited to go to San Francisco. I’m excited to spend time with my cousin but at the same time I’m scared. I’m not sure what the days ahead have in store for me however, what I do know is I’m ready to take on the challenge.

Diana Ross sang a song called “I’m Coming Out”. This song holds a special meaning for me today. In so many ways I’m Coming Out. As I board my flight to San Francisco I recognize I’m no longer the same woman I was when I left San Francisco two years ago. However, I really like this new me. Saturday is my birthday. The beginning of a new year and a new me. What better city to launch my “Coming Out” as the new me than my favorite city…..my beloved city by the bay. Look out San Francisco!!! I’m coming back!!

A Big Win 11-3-17

It’s Friday! Thank goodness. If you’re reading this post, congratulations!! You made it through another week. We all have ups and downs throughout the week, expected and unexpected challenges however through it all there’s always a “WIN”. It’s easy to focus on the negative but if you focus on your “Wins” you’ll be surprised how quickly your attitude and demeanor changes. It’s easy to go from a 5 to a 10 when focusing on the good stuff. My challenge to you today is to post one win on the comment line of this post. Focus on that win and watch how quickly a challenging day/week can become an awesome one!! Carry that feeling in to the weekend and Make this weekend a big win!! I’ll start by sharing my “WIN”. Spending time with my grandkids this week not to mention my son and his wife, my daughter and her partner, hearing from my son in Italy and scoring an awesome deal at Banana Republic!!! 
Now your turn!!

Tag……you’re it!

Shaking The Tree 11-2-17

I haven’t posted in awhile. I have had some medical challenges these past couple of months however, I thought I’d post today in the hopes of inspiring women today. 

I was in my car yesterday and as I was listening to Sirius radio, Peter Gabriel came on. He was belting out “In Your Eyes”. For a brief moment I found myself reflecting on my youth when I was young, free and everything was good. As a young adult, I recalled listening to music by Peter Gabriel. I loved his songs then as much as I do today.  It was a very nostalgic moment for me. 

One of my favorite songs is “Shaking The Tree”. The song exudes influences from Africa which I love. In fact, Peter wrote the song with Youusou N’Dour, an African musician Gabriel admired. The song was Peter Gabriel’s way of taking a stance against the many problems in the world. This song was his way of supporting the women’s movement in Africa where traditionally men allowed women very few rights. It’s an awesome song and very empowering to all women throughout the world. 

I read a post the other day about courage. I was very moved by the words and I was inspired to be courageous and press on and do the things I was scared to do.  I’m sharing  in the hopes it will be the inspiration anyone reading might need today. 

“Today is COURAGE DAY!!! What have you been scared to do, even though you know you want and need to do it?  Today is the day!! It’s time!!! You know you’re ready. Now JUST DO IT!!”

After I listened to Peter Gabriel on the radio I remembered my favorite tune. I not only listened to it on my YouTube playlist, I shared it on Facebook. Today I’m sharing on my blog and dedicating it to all women who are facing challenges today. My hope is you will be inspired to have the courage to take back your life and be the strong woman god intended you to be. 

Maybe some of you are in an abusive relationship, maybe you’ve recently gone through a break up. Maybe some of you are at a workplace where sexual harassment is king or maybe someone reading today is facing a medical challenge that has brought you to your knees. Whatever your challenge is, I’d like to encourage you to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start “Shaking that tree!”  Shake two trees if you have to!! Do not allow anything or anyone to take a way that power that lives inside of you. Maybe it’s hiding somewhere deep inside but believe me, if you shake that tree hard enough you’ll not only find that courage but you’ll also find that strong, independent woman that lives inside of you. Break away from the fear that holds you back and just do it! Have the courage to do whatever it is you’ve been afraid to do and have the courage to just be you!!! 

I stand with all women today!  Remember, we are women. Hear us roar!! This is your day!! Its your life!! It’s a woman’s day!!  Take back your life!!!

 https://youtu.be/3_Q79lls1f0

New Beginnings…The Story Of A Butterfly 9-14-17

This was written by someone very dear to me. She would like to remain anonymous however, our hope is it will inspire someone to keep moving forward today. 

“Siempre adelante” ….(always moving forward)

I’m grateful for new beginnings. I am finally realizing that change, while hard, isn’t always bad.  I’m leaving what doesn’t work behind me and focusing on the new, the exciting, the unknown. That which brings growth and new perspective.  
Change has always been hard for me. Really, REALLY, hard. I am such a creature of comfort it’s ridiculous. But for the last year or so my life has undergone lots of change. I finally left the boy friend I ALWAYS went back to. A relationship that kept me from growing and becoming the person I am destined to be. I resigned from my job of 18 years— as it no longer challenged me. I wasn’t part of something positive anymore. I was actually surviving and NOT thriving.  

It’s strange how “hard” I thought it was going to be to move on from both of these situations as they were such huge parts of my identity. Who would I be once these labels, these relationships, these fantasies of the future fell away? Once I took stock of what these situations were costing me- I took action. How much do we have to endure before giving ourselves permission to let go? I was so tired of selling myself short. As one person put it, it was like wearing old clothes- they fit, but they weren’t my style anymore.  

After the butterfly leaves the cocoon, she spreads her wings and flies. The process takes time, but the end result is amazing. We all endure tough times but what does it cost us to carry these burdens? I’ve learned to view my challenges as “gifts”. They have taught me to love myself, to honor myself and to trust the journey in front of me. While not always easy, it is ALWAYS worth it.  

Last week a fleeting thought came to mind- and I realized that I am DOING IT. I am finally living life on my own terms! I will never forget that I am the artist of my story. Looking at life through this new lens, I realize how free I feel, how the possibilities in front of me are endless. I feel like a kid waking up on Christmas day. I’ve learned to trust God, the process and most importantly myself.    

“Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” –  Tony Robbins

Walking In Rhythm 8-10-17

My song today is….. “Walking In Rythm” by The Blackbyrds. I haven’t shared much however,  a month ago I began experiencing problems with my eye. I saw an optometrist and he found a mass behind my eye. I have been referred to a specialist. Not sure what it is but my vision has been impacted by this. The good news is it’s not a blood clot. Whew! Keep me in prayer. Upon some research and consultation with physicians I became aware that a side effect from the cancer drug I’ve been taking is eye damage among other things. Despite the recommendations from my oncologist I made the decision to stop all cancer meds a month ago. 
Yesterday I met with doctors at the Bastyr Institute to discuss holistic naturopathic treatment. I began taking some meds yesterday. This morning I woke up not only feeling rested but for the first time in three years the pain in my hands, feet and even Breast (I have severe radiation damage) is nearly gone. This miracle in 24 hours of taking these drugs which by the way are all natural. In truth, I feel really good! I’m not sure what the outcome will be with regards to this new treatment and I’m not sure what the outcome will be with regards to my eye but just for today “I’m walking in rythym, moving with sound. Thinking ’bout my babies (Oliver and Audrey my beautiful grandchildren) trying to get home”. Home meaning….feeling good again. Feeling like my old self again. Just livin’ life again. Hence, I’m Walking In Rythym

Stay In The Game 8-1-17

Stay in the game”And it came to pass. . . .” — The Bible

We can’t always be sure that things will always work out, but we will always have the strength to make it through. We can trust that eventually both the bad and the good will come to pass.

I’ve had the good ripped away from me and felt sorrow until I could drown. But it passed.

All I’m saying is that sometimes the bad guys win and the good guys lose. Sometimes it’s the other way around. Sometimes nothing that we do seems to swing the decision one way or the other, but we can always come back tomorrow. There’s always another chance to play the game, dance, sweat, and cry. And maybe it’s the experience, not the outcome that is the true prize.

If you’re feeling a loss of strength or confidence, let go of the desperate need for a positive outcome in your life. Realize that this, too, will pass. Gain your strength from knowing that whether an event is good or bad, we’re enriched by our experiences. Only we can choose to learn from them or allow resentment and foolish expectations to destroy their value.

Dust yourself off. Pick yourself up. Step up to the plate and get back in the game.

God, give me the hope, faith, and courage to live my life today. – Author Unknown

Obstacles 7-19-17

Every obstacle is a challenge carefully chosen to teach you what you’re here on this earth to learn. You can view the challenge like a victim and get into a funk about it. Or you can trust that the obstacle is the perfect lesson you need in order to grow. 

I saw a quote this morning. I thought it was worth sharing. 
“No part of your experience is wasted. Everything you’ve experienced so far is part of what you were meant to learn.”

This is so true. The challenges we face are simply experiences that allow us to learn and grow.  The past few years have been tumultuous for me. One challenge after another. However, the blessings are the lessons I’ve learned as well as the person I’ve become. I’m no longer the person I once was. In fact, I’m more content and happy today than I was five years ago when my life was grand. I had money, success. I had everything. Life, I thought, was good. It wasn’t until I lost everything including my health that my view on life began to change. 

Life and experiences are what you make it. I’ll admit, it has taken me a long time to move beyond the victim mentality however, the minute I did I began to see things differently. I’ve changed. Today I’m more grateful and as I reflect on my challenges, I think to myself “thank god I made it”. I’m a much better person for it. The lessons I’ve learned, the knowledge I’ve gained makes everything all worth it. 

Are you facing obstacles or challenges today?  What will you choose? To be a victim or embrace the challenge as a learning experience? If you choose to embrace it, you will grow brighter as you learn to overcome and in the process, you will not only grow, you will become everything beautiful god intended you to be. 

Winning It All 5-21-17

I read a blog today titled “Write Your Own Song”. It was so inspirational and true to my beliefs, I felt the need to share it. I would highly encourage you to read it. 

I love to walk in the mornings. I love the outdoors. Being outdoors, breathing in the air, soaking in the sunshine is so healing for me. I especially love walks on the beach. The sound of the ocean is music to my ears. I love it. I listen to music on my walks while I reflect and pray. It’s my personal “me” time. Whether I’m outside or at the gym, music is my lifeline. My escape. I was listening to one of my favorite 80’s band this morning. For those of you that remember The Outfield, you can relate when I say, their music is still awesome as  today as it was all those years ago.  

I love all of The Outfield songs, and there are many,  however, the song “Winning It All” holds a place in my heart. It was the song I listened to while going through a very tumultuous divorce many years ago. Somehow the song gave me the strength to fight until I reached the finish line. It reminded me every day that despite the name calling or even the stress of a failed marriage and a divorce, I was a winner!  I made it to the finish line. I didn’t get everything I wanted but I still felt like a winner. Why? Because I not only survived a year long divorce….I made it and I crossed the finish line.  

I hadn’t heard this song in a very long time. Years I suppose but it popped up on my playlist. Immidiately I resonated with the lyrics. In fact, the song couldn’t have come at a better time in my life. A reminder that despite the challenges I have endured up until now, I’m not only a winner but I have no intentions of giving up until victory is won!!  It reminded me of that overwhelming feeling I get the moment I conquer any challenge I’ve faced throughout my life. 

As I listened to the song, it occurred to me this song could be related to anything we face in life. Whether we are going through a divorce, custody dispute, overcoming addictions and or an eating disorder and even when we are fighting cancer, if we give it everything we’ve got and never give up, eventually we conquer that battle and achieve victory. 

Cancer is for winners. Divorce is for winners. Job loss, financial challenges, addictions…the list goes on. All are for winners. It’s the winners who have the strength to never give up. As I thought about this I found myself meditating on a vision. I was at the bottom of a pit but I was climbing my way out. When I got to the top I couldn’t pull myself up. Finally,  I saw a hand. It was God’s hand. He grabbed my arm and pulled me out of that dark pit. I could see the finish line. I started running towards it. I made it. 


I’m sharing this because today you might find yourself feeling hopeless. Like me, the finish line seems so far away but I’d like to encourage you not to give up. I know I’m not giving up. If I can keep going, so can you. So today in the words of The Outfield:

“Winning it all! Ain’t gonna walk away. Giving it all. No matter what you say. Ain’t gonna fall. Don’t want to lose today.” I hope you will feel the same. Remember….”no one remembers a loser and I don’t intend to be one”. So join me today and keep fighting the fight and together we will be “Winning It All!” 

Winning doesn’t always mean we get everything we want. It simply means we persevered with determination until we crossed the finish line. All things have an end. Even trials in life. It’s the journey to the finish line along with our perseverance,  determination and the lessons we learn along the way that make us all winners. 

Jealous Again- My Life As A Rock Star 4-20-17

One of my favorite songs is by The Black Crowes called “Jealous Again”. It’s hard to believe but I’m a rocker at heart. I love rock and roll music. I graduated in 1984. The year Ozzie was riding that “Crazy Train”, Van Halen was belting out tunes like 1984, Panama and AC/DC was a staple in every teenagers music collection and at every party. In fact, even after all these years I still get that exuberant feeling I got in high school when I listen to AC/DC. Black Crowes came on the scene in 1989. They have recorded many songs that I love however, “Jealous Again” has been a mantra of mine as I have come against many adversaries in my life while facing challenges. 

My life story could certainly be classified as being a “Crazy Train”.  In fact, I have heard the words “you can’t make up this shit!” on many occasions from those who hear my story. It’s no secret, I’ve faced some incredible challenges in my life and through the grace of god I’ve been able to overcome many of them. What can I say? I’m one strong lady. However, I’m human. The hardest challenges for me have been while being on the receiving end of those who have found it appropriate to judge me, ridicule me, verbally attack and even shun me while enduring those very painful challenges. I’m not going to lie. It’s been very hurtful. I’ve used the song “Jealous Again” as my mantra to focus on when my feelings are hurt by others.  

Growing up my dad instilled a strength in me. He taught me many things including how to stand up for what I believe in and never give up. My dad was a force to be reckoned with. He was who he was. He never let what others thought of him bother him. Either you liked him or you didn’t. He didn’t care. He just kept on being who he was. He instilled that same attribute in me. In fact my dad used to tell me I had balls of steel and I looked like a movie star which is why any time someone hurt my feelings or made fun of me and I found myself teary eyed, my dad was always there to the rescue, reminding me I was fabulous and the meanies were just “Jealous”. I’ve lived my entire life believing everything my dad taught me. 



 I thought I would share this Black Crowe’s song, among others, on my blog today in the event someone reading today finds themselves in need of a “Pick Me Up” This blog goes out to my fellow warriors and survivors who are riding the wave of any particular challenge. Whether you’re fighting cancer, overcoming addiction or an eating disorder, recovering from an abusive relationship, dealing with an EX, overcoming PTSD, you’ve lost a job and are in financial disarray or maybe you’re facing the challenges of coming out as an LGBT.  I’ve experienced many of all of the above. In my opinion, it’s none of our business what other people think of you or me!!!  We are all survivors. Rock Stars at that!! 
It’s been my experience that in every challenge or trial there is always a lesson to be learned. I’ve learned so many lessons that I’m embarrassed to admit, I’m “lessoned” out!!! One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is empathy towards others and the ability to recognize my strength and believe in myself and keep on keeping on regardless what other people might think.  Here’s what I’ve learned…..

To those of you fighting cancer and lack the much needed support and encouragement from family members or friends….You’re not alone. I’ve been there. I even found myself being accused of faking cancer. A low blow when you’re at your lowest point!! Jealous!!! That’s what these people are!  Jealous because you have the strength, courage and determination to face a battle that they probably couldn’t face themselves. Look back at your life and remember all the challenges you have overcome. You survived those challenges because you were you and now you’ll survive cancer too!  

If you find yourself on the beaches of Maui and you’re sporting your chemo bald head or if you’re lucky like me and have lost your eyebrows, eyelashes, toenails and fingernails too and you’re greeted by the stares of many onlookers looking at you like you’re an alien…..don’t be discouraged. Theyre just Jealous! Unlike them you’re not defined by your hair or even what’s on the outside. You are strong and confident knowing it takes a Rock Star to fight cancer. You my friend are beautiful!!  However, if you must retaliate do what I did. Tell the onlookers you’re a genie that washed up on the beach and would be happy to grant them three wishes!!


Maybe you’ve lost a job and in the process you’ve lost your livelihood too. You’re insecure and lack the confidence you once had in yourself.  Others have ridiculed you because you’re rock bottom. Don’t worry about it. Those that criticize are Jealous!!! They don’t have the strength to wake up every morning like you do despite standing in a mine field while dodging the bullets of creditors blowing up your cell phone demanding money for something you can’t pay….every day, all day!  Heres what I do. I ignore them and listen to AC/DC!!

To those overcoming addictions and are facing judgement based on a previous addiction. Put your rocker pants on and remember any one who judges you is merely Jealous. It takes courage and humility to recognize and overcome an addiction. 
Maybe you’re gay or transgender and being judged for being who you are. Put your rocker hat on and remember those that judge are Jealous!!!  They don’t have the courage to be who they are but you do!  That my friend makes you a Rock Star!!

Maybe you’re recovering from an abusive relationship. Those around you don’t understand. They are shunning you or think they have all the answers while you suffer in silence. Those that judge you are Jealous!!!  It takes a strong person to walk away from abuse. An even stronger person to endure the pain and humiliation yet believe that one day you will declare “I’m an overcomer!” 

Maybe you’re battling PTSD. Overcoming PTSD is one hard battle. I know this from experience. I myself am still healing but here’s what I’ve learned. PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. That means you’ve endured a very traumatic experience. Not a small feat!  To anyone who thinks PTSD isn’t real. You’re just Jealous!!  Those of us who have it have been through a war zone and survived it. In my book, that makes us Rock Stars!!  I think PTSD should stand for “Pathways Through The Secret Door”. Behind that door are all of us Rock Stars!!!
I’ve been through a lot and have faced challenges galore. Through it all I’ve been ridiculed, rejected, isolated, vilified, judged but I don’t care. Like the song I’m not afraid of losing face. I wake up every morning. I’m still standing and that’s more than I can say for many others who have never faced the humility of many of the same challenges. How sad. It’s not easy being a Rock Star but some of us have to do it. It may as well be you and me!!! The truth is, I’m not afraid to have faith in God and even more so have faith in myself to keep going regardless what people think of me. Like I said previously my mantra is “Jealous Again”. It’s what keeps me going sometimes. 

We all face challenges in life. Some of us more so than others. But when the challenges or the adversaries come, remember God never gives you more than you can handle and if you find yourself in a battle right now, relish the moment. It means God thinks you are one strong rock and roller!  Now if God thinks you’re a Rock Star, who cares what everyone else thinks!  They’re just Jealous!!! And remember, in the words of AC/DC, “Its A Long Way To The Top If You Want To Rock and Roll!”

I’ll leave you with the following quote today. Have an awesome day and whatever you do……DON’T GIVE UP!!!!

“Assert your right to make a few mistakes. If people can’t accept your imperfections, that’s their fault.”- Dr. David M. Burns

The Story Of The Red Shoe 3-6-17

Once upon a time in a far away land there lived a sweet and lovely girl named Amlev. Amlev dreamed of providing a good life for her and her children. 

One day after many years of experiencing hurt, an opportunity arose and Amlev took it! She ran away to another land and began a journey that provided many great experiences. She travelled the world. Explored beautiful beaches, met wonderful people. Some famous and some not so much. She experienced great restaurants, saw famous music bands and met some of the members of the band too. 

One day she woke up. She found herself in a very strange city where men dressed like women, women dressed like men. There were strange people buzzing around her calling her Wemma. Lying next to her was a very odd old man. She realized that maybe, just maybe she was in the wrong dream. She missed her children, her family, her friends and she missed her mother too. She said to herself “I’ve got to get out of this dream!” 

 Amlev ran to Walgreens and bought a box of Calgon in the hopes it would “take her away”. She jumped in the tub. Closed her eyes and said “Calgon take me away!” When she opened her eyes she was still in that same awful dream that was nothing short of a nightmare. 

At that point she knew this required emergency measures. She needed some red shoes. She had lost everything but thank goodness, she hadn’t lost her sense of style too! She knew “when looking for the perfect red shoe…..call Jimmy Choo.” She contacted Jimmy. She said “Jimmy! I need the perfect shoe! I’m in the wrong dream and I have to get out!” Jimmy replied, “I’ll send you the perfect shoe. When you receive them put them on. Tap your heels together and say “I want to go home!” When you do this, you will find yourself in the perfect dream surrounded by the people you love, working your dream job, relaxing on a tropical beach as all of your dreams will be  coming true!”  Amlev placed the order and patiently anticipated the arrival of the “miracle” shoe. She knew that upon their arrival she would finally find herself in the perfect dream providing for herself and children just like she set herself out to do! 

 Finally, the Jimmy Choo Miracle Red Shoe arrived. Amlev took the shoes out of the box and put them on. She closed her eyes, tapped her shoes and when she opened her eyes she was finally in her new dream. She was standing on a stage wearing a red dress and her “miracle” red shoes. She was successful. She was strong. She was a survivor! As she stood in front of the cheering crowd she held her arms in the air and said “I made it! If I can make it, so can you!” 

If you’re reading this today and find your yourself in a challenging situation that feels more like a bad dream. Remember……

“Home is knowing. Knowing your mind, knowing your heart, knowing your courage. If we know ourselves, we’re always home, anywhere.” – Glinda The Good Witch (The Wizard Of Oz)

Know your courage. Put on your red shoes and you can go anywhere!