Joy in Mourning?

People have made thlove and joye comment to me that I come across as ‘Joyful’ and full of ‘Light.’ Hmm …Interesting choices, I think to myself.

There have been times in my life that to be considered a person that exuded any essence of joy would have been unfathomable. I was in the throes of mourning the deaths of my only children. Just as there is no crying in baseball, there is no joy in mourning. Right?  If I’ve learned anything in this thing called life, I know that it comes down to the choices we make. There may be little joy in mourning…but there can be much joy while mourning. I’ll explain.

Puzzled people have asked, “How do you survive having stood at the graves of your only children—and those of your husband’s only children, too?” It is as simple as this: I am not my story. I choose to rewrite my story as I stumble along. Blame, shame, and judgment against ourselves or each other serves no one, yet we sometimes weaken and become snarled in that scenario. Whether it’s the death of a loved one or traumatic change in your life’s situation, you can learn to stop the spiral and start to trust the goodness of Spirit. It takes effort and a sincere, maybe even raw, reality check.

Go ahead, fall down if you’re going to. The world looks different while lying on the ground looking up. I should know. I turned the corner of my sadness when a teacher walked into my life and I had the presence of mind to notice. It is said that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. “Trust the process,” she tells me. Again and again.

I found joy while mourning because I have the memories of two beautiful boys that gave me the honor of being their mother. And in being that mother, how could I dishonor their legacy by never having recovered from their deaths? I do it for them. Every. single. day.  It’s the choice I make.

I am here to tell you that joy is simply your Inner Light. The light Spirit innately gave you from the very beginning of it all. The illuminating light that shined within you when your children were born, when you fell in love, or even now when music fills your dreams. Be open to receive and honor your Light, your legacy of love.

Today’s affirmations: I choose love. I choose joy.   

Donate to a Wonderful Cause: The DreamSTRONG™ Foundation

The DreamSTRONG™ Foundation needs your help.  We are gearing up to begin offering educational services to women in need but must raise some funds in order to do so. As a brand new public charity we are just getting started and heaven knows it takes capital in order to be able to pay the bills and begin providing what the mission set out to do.  DreamSTRONG Foundation red heart

We are in the midst of designing speaking events and personal mentorship programs for the empowerment, enrichment and education of women in need of a better way in life—a way to help her achieve that which she never dreamed to be possible; a way for her to better her life, and the lives of those she loves.  It’s all about our families. And it begins with the women who feel drained of resources, stuck in jobs they hate, mired in dysfunctional relationships, or just merely situationally stressed to the max and confused about her ability to move forward.

We can help them. But we need help, too.  Please consider donating any amount toward this important mission.  Click here to go to our GoFundMe account or visit the charity website at to download a pledge card.

All gifts are tax deductible in accordance with IRC Section Code 170.

From my heart to yours, please accept my deepest gratitude.


The Companion Spirit

As I sat down to write today, I began to ponder…which usually gets me into trouble. I’m wondering, what will people think about what I have to write about. Do I really want to open the vault of my private struggle for the entire world to see? Then it dawns on me: Why would I not? Wouldn’t you? If the essence of your trials could shine as a beacon for someone experiencing the agony of loss in their life, wouldn’t you have the courage and strength to share loving lessons that help those left floundering in the dark? own kind of beautifulI can expect no less from myself. And so it is.

My husband and I have had to bear the incomprehensible pain of burying four beautiful sons in less than a decade. I liken the loss of a loved one, especially a child (or in our case‒all four of them), to knowing where true loneliness lives. As any parent knows, children are the shining lights of our lives … so how do we survive when those precious lights go out? My urge was to stand and scream, but knew I had to kneel and pray. A lonely place exists when forced to face the depths of darkness and confusion as many of us find during times of dire straits. I stared it down, though often with my eyes tightly closed, and yet found the loving Light on the other side. It did not happen overnight but it was there‒all along–waiting patiently to embrace me once again. A Companion Spirit that I have grown to know quite well.

I only share this part of our journey to build the messages of hope that follow. For years I was hesitant to tell my story, reluctant to relive painful memories, fearful of what others would think. I know that dark days do bring golden opportunities if we seek them: To nurture compassion, find courage, embrace change and to sing at the top of my lungs once again. The past can only hurt us if we continue to cling to it. I made the decision to honor it instead.

Why question our own God-given gifts? I did just that as I began writing today; I began by asking questions. Come with me and begin to revel in the journey of confidence, courage, strength and Light. There comes a celebratory moment when we realize how wonderfully unique our journey. We may perceive others as being confident, strong, or having it all together. Perhaps they appear to be the elegant swan, effortlessly gliding atop peaceful waters, when below the surface she is paddling wildly just trying to keep up! I imagine they perceive you and me to be the cool, calm and collected ones instead. We’re in this thing together.

Dream it. Dare it. Do it!

When aiming at your dream, are you where you want to be? If not, read on!

1. Ditch the Glitch!

Is there a missing step you haven’t taken? Was there a call you should have made, a meeting you should have attended? Maybe you get in the groove from time to time, but not as consistently as needed. Perhaps you lost interest because you found little to no success when you did do what was needed. The important thing is to recognize the moment when you gave in, gave up, or zoned out—and identify the triggers associated with it. Don’t give up on your dream now. No, not now. If you’re missing something, take a good hard (honest) look at your actions, or lack thereof. It’s hidden in there somewhere. dream big 2

2. Put Your Big Girl Panties On

If you’re hesitant to make a unique or bold move in the interest of your dream, ask yourself, ” What’s really the worst thing that could happen?”  I say allow the virtue of patience enter the picture here. Avoid jumping to conclusions for the ‘right answers.’  Give yourself every opportunity to get quiet within, and do so on a regular basis.  If you allow it, the solutions will come to you on their own. What are you really afraid of? Is it fear, fear of failure, fear of rejection, hesitancy due to what people may think? Maybe you’re dealing with loss, anger or guilt, or something so personal that it’s altogether different.  It is said the more unsettled you feel, the closer you are to a breakthrough. Don’t run for the hills, stay on track. Suck it up, buttercup. It will be worth it in the end.

3. Stay True to You 

It takes courage to stand your ground and fight for that which creates your dream. But if you don’t fight for it, who will? The alternative then manifests itself as dream left unfulfilled and your gifts go unshared with the world. Try imagining that the worst that could happen, did.  Let yourself feel it, deeply, even if it gets uncomfortable.  Soon you will begin to think your way out of that uncomfortable place and come away with a plan to dissuade it from occurring. This is your dream. YOU must protect it, right?

4. Rinse and Repeat

It’s liberating to weather the storm and emerge through to the other side.  You will find that the emotions, excuses, reasons, blah blah, that you thought was absolutely intolerable isn’t! You gain personal power by accepting the circumstances because then, and only then, will you survive and thrive because you have defeated the doubts and fears.  Give yourself a break. Those feelings can no longer undermine your dream. Stop procrastinating, work smarter and harder, and get into the flow.  Repeat all these steps when you begin to feel that you are faltering.  Each time you will find that the process gets easier and quicker.


Here’s to your dreams, and mine. Let’s do this! 

With Love,



WE Magazine for Women Top 100

Today I find myself truly humconnie we mag coverbled and honored to have been named one of the Top 100 Women in eCommerce by WE Magazine for Women.  There are amazing women serving their constituents and communities well featured in this issue and I’m proud to be among them. I have met some of them and am fortunate to call some of them my personal friends. It’s hard to toot your own horn, and I struggle with that to be sure, but this is indeed an honor and I am so very grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving!