It’s Your Choice

Every choice you make is either an expression of love or an expression of fear.

There are no other choices, so which will you choose? #Love #Fear #Choice 

Choices Where Are Yours Leading You



My paternal grandmother’s name was Calogera.  Calogera is the feminine form of Calogero, a name originating from the Latin name Calogerus which meant “beautiful elder” [Greek καλος (kalos) “beautiful” and γερων (geron) “elder” ].  Calogero was also the name of man born in Constantinople during the 5th century who later traveled to Sicily where he lived as a martyr who eventually became a saint with a devoted following.

Calogero/Calogera is one of the most common Sicilian given names; however, when immigrants from Sicily arrived in the United States, many people found the name difficult to pronounce [kah-lo-JE-ro].  Given that Calogero was not very amenable to accurate translation into English, the name was often simplified to Charley, Charles or Carl.  The feminine form, Calogera, was often simplified to Carrie.

And that is how everyone knew my grandmother, simply as ‘Carrie.’

And my grandmother was true to her name for she was a beautiful elder, as well as a saint.

Dio possa benedirti e tenerti, mia dolce nonna, Calogera.

darkness and light hate and love

Do you have a person or people in your life with whom, no matter how many attempts you make, it simply is not possible to connect with them in a meaningful or satisfying way?

If you do, and if this person is someone from whom it would be challenging to walk away, then this may be a source of sadness for you.  But I am here to offer you words of solace.  Be not sad, focus not on the reality that you are unable to connect.  Instead, rejoice that you are a person of light, of truth, of joy and happiness.  Of course you cannot connect with someone who presents as the opposite – heaviness, dishonesty [often to themselves], and negativity.  Why would you even want to?

It is written in 2 CORINTHIANS 6:14, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers, for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?”   There can be no communion; any attempts to shine your light into the darkness will merely absorb your light into the abyss.  The only way to commune with darkness is to become dark – give up your light – I am unwilling to give up my light, or even allow it to shine less brightly in order to commune with someone who embraces the dark.
As I see it, the only viable option is for the person in the darkness to come into the light, to open their mind and heart to be enlightened, to believe, to emanate love.  Therefore, if this negative person of darkness in your life is someone from whom you cannot simply walk away [perhaps a close relative], then when you interact with him or her, do so from a position of love and light.  They must become light to commune with light.  It is the only way., for it is not an option for a person of light to enter into darkness.
Shine brightly all you believers; glow and grow in love, light, peace, joy and happiness!

Let’s Rethink Anger


To all my fellow compassionate American brothers and sisters who are grieving the tragic losses of human life in recent events and perhaps feeling angry about perceived racial disparity and social injustices, I offer love and support.

I believe that at the root of all of this anger being manifested in the world – both nationally and internationally, as well as within our interpersonal interactions – is a failure to effectively manage one’s emotions.

Poet David Whyte reconceptualizes anger in this way – “What we have named as anger on the surface is the violent outer response to our own inner powerlessness, a powerlessness connected to such a profound sense of rawness and care that it can find no proper outer body or identity or voice, or way of life to hold it. What we call anger is often simply the unwillingness to live the full measure of our fears or of our not knowing, in the face of our love for a wife, in the depth of our caring for a son, in our wanting the best, in the face of simply being alive and loving those with whom we live.

Our anger breaks to the surface most often through our feeling there is something profoundly wrong with this powerlessness and vulnerability… Anger in its pure state is the measure of the way we are implicated in the world and made vulnerable through love in all its specifics.”

I believe Mr. Whyte’s conceptualization of anger is accurate, and therefore offers us grieving humanitarians some insight and hope as to what we can do to prevent these senseless killings from recurring.

Beginning in preschool and integrated throughout the curriculum in elementary, middle and high school, we must teach mindfulness, acceptance and emotion management skills.  I believe that by empowering people with these skills from an early age and reinforcing these skills throughout students’ educational experience, we will create better adjusted people who function more effectively and who adaptively manage their emotions. Consequently, I believe we will all be much less vulnerable to acts of irrationality and/or violence.

Of course, we could also take other measures such as strengthening families and banning the sale of assault weapons but I will leave those issues for others to debate and stick with what I know best, which is promoting mental health and wellness.


There are people in this world who are “joy suckers.”  They will respond negatively regardless of how positive, affirming and cooperative you are towards them.  Their behavior is both perplexing and disturbing.  They often seek to make YOU responsible for their behavior, misfortune, required tasks, etc.  Don’t fall into their trap!

The best option is to dis-engage from the interaction because you likely will not win them over to the positive side.  Stay firm in who you are, what you know to be true about yourself, your values, and your responsible behavior.  Usually this will be enough.  Focus on accomplishing the task at hand, redirect the ‘negative’ person to the task and all will normally get done.  If for some reason the ‘negative’ person sabotages the task, initiates an attack, withholds something that is owed to you or otherwise interferes, then it is time to change strategy.  No more disengaging…now it is time to assert yourself in no uncertain terms and make clear what the appropriate consequences will be if the ‘negative’ person persists with his/her negative behavior.

Real life example – I just moved out of a rented house.  I thoroughly cleaned that house from floor to ceiling, inside and out, had the carpets steam cleaned, the lawn mowed and edged, filled in minor holes from pictures, etc.  I scheduled a walk-through inspection with the property manager so that she could see for herself that absolutely everything was in order.  She was complimentary and appreciative that I had taken such good care of the house; furthermore, she clearly stated that my full security deposit would be returned without delay.  She asked me to email her the address to which to mail the security deposit.  I promptly complied the same day with an email message containing the address. Two weeks passed, but I never received an acknowledgement that she had received the message.  I emailed her to ask that she confirm she had the correct forwarding address and to please give me a “heads up” when the check was on its way.  That is when the negativity was unleashed…

She must have sent me six emails asking “Did I do this___”  “Did I do that ___” then she started with the complaints about having to drive to the house to give the keys to the new tenants because she took the lockbox with her, how that house would be hot because I had the electric turned off when I moved out rather than keeping it on in an empty house so that it would be cool for the new tenants, etc.  How is any of this my problem?  It isn’t.

I responded only once by saying that I had been fully compliant with all terms of the lease and fully cooperative with all her requests.  She continued to send complaining, vaguely threatening emails implying that I would not get my full security deposit.  I did not respond.  I choose to wait the required 45 days to see if she will meet the legal requirement to return my security deposit.  But trust and be sure, that if after 45 days I do not have my security deposit returned in full, I will change strategy.

It may be a challenge to stay positive when the world appears full of negative people; however, I will not allow anyone to diminish my joy.

May you find your way to remain joyful 🙂




The Way of Yeshua


My controversial novel about the life of Jesus entitled, “The Way of Yeshua”



Get it on Amazon and Kindle

Have you ever felt like a cactus, you know, able to thrive in the harshest of climates with very little sustenance?  Perhaps we all feel that way from time to time.
This insight came to me recently when, in the midst of accepting many requests to professionally link with others, responding to numerous emails, and reading through countless tweets, I realized that it was all meaningless, empty activity pretending to be “connections with others.”
My Twitter followers probably never actually read my tweets; the ratio of personal email messages to professional and/or junk is minimal, and most of the people in my professional network honestly would probably not even notice if I dropped out of their network and stopped posting in discussions.  Furthermore, because I am one of the many people who has put herself out in the public domain so to speak, like others, I am subject to attacks.  It is perfectly expected and reasonable that not everyone will agree with me professionally and/or will know more than I do; however, when the attacks become personal and are without provocation, that is where I draw the line.  Lastly, it sometimes seems arbitrary how these professional and social networking sites impose rules.  I had one message on Craig’s List that was posted under “Books – For Sale By Owner”  flagged and removed because it was too commercial – really?   And on Twitter, people like Guy Kawasaki can post a tweet literally every 1-3 minutes, yet my account gets suspended because I posted one “thank you in advance for reading my book” message [without any links] to 50 or so different book clubs on Twitter.  By the way, that same day, I received a direct tweet from one of my followers asking me if I “wanna f*ck?” but apparently, that is allowed.
There are many positive aspects to social and professional networking sites, but there is also a downside and a dark side.  Many recent stories about young people committing suicide in large part due to cyber-bullying is one stark example of these negative sides.
My life philosophy and approach is to be kind.  It’s just sad when someone with good intentions who strives to be kind while earning an honest living by sharing inspirational writings can be persecuted, attacked, and blocked.  So, to answer the question that was posted at the beginning of this post, ‘Yes,’ sometimes I do feel like a cactus, but I am deeply grateful for the handful of people in my life with whom I enjoy genuine, loving relationships who provide enough sustenance to thrive in this harsh environment we call life.
May we all find our way to be kind, accepting, forgiving, and compassionate as we navigate our way through social and professional networks.