Friday, December 12, 2014

Rushing water

Take a deep breath. Exhale. Breathe in again. Breathe out.

Breathe normally throughout this exercise. 

Imagine you walk into a bathroom. You turn around. You close the door. Imagine a tub across from you. Walk to it. Feel your hand turning the faucet clockwise. Hear the rush of water streaming out. The sound overwhelms the small space. The sounds of the day swirl in in your mind. The minutes pass, noisily. You sit in the tub, in the center of the rising water, of the cacophony hurrying out of the faucet. Your heart is racing. You are just as hurried. Your mind is just as loud. 

Your hand turns the faucet in the other direction, stopping the flow. Everything ceases in one moment.

Feel the difference.

Feel your mind slow down.

Focus on the space between your thoughts and the silence. Focus on the now still water. Breathe.

Focus on your breath. Be still. Let the water hold you. Breathe.

Be still. Be the stillness.

Feel the shift into the calm, your heart soothing down. Breathe.

Stay here for a few moments. Breathe a few more restful breaths. Smile a little bit. 

Take this quiet, still moment with you today. Whenever you feel the tensions of the day rush in, come back to this feeling, to this moment, to release, refocus and to return to center. 

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Wonder Woman

I am not Wonder Woman. He tells me that every now and then. I have a tendency to commit to causes, projects and people, keeping my schedule full and my body and mind in continuous motion. I refuse to say that I am stressed, ask for help, admit that I am overwhelmed or quit anything or anyone that I have made a commitment to. He sees what I put myself through and lovingly warns me that, at some point, something will give. It does and, when it does, it is usually my health, my personal projects or my writing.

We try to be Wonder People trying to help everyone and every cause. I am not alone. Why do we do this? Why do we spread ourselves too thin? Maybe we are afraid. Maybe we don't want to disappoint.    Sometimes I get so excited about an idea being presented to me that I just can't say no when asked to be a part of it. It all comes from a place of eagerness, yet also from a lack of faith and from a place of fear. We forget that we don't have to prove what we can do or what we know. We say yes fearing that another opportunity will not come around. It is also arrogance stemming from that fearfulness. We think that no one else can or will carry the idea through. We forget that sometimes our meeting with an idea begs of us to simply encourage and enjoy it.

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Today came full of complications that affected most of my plans for the day and, consequently, the projects I am involved in. Rather than giving in in frustration, or struggling against every obstacle, I surrendered to the flow. "I am not Wonder Woman," I chanted as my mantra. I have many gifts, many talents, a path and a purpose. As long as I stay true to those and to my deepest desires I am able to make commitments that I can keep without difficulty, constant striving and struggle. "You are wonderful...a wonderful woman," he says, even if I am not an amazonian warrior princess. He is right.

We are wonderful when we make decisions from our True Selves rather than from our anxious egos. When we commit to causes, projects and people from our wellspring of clarity, spiritual power, knowing, belief...from our essential nature, Universal forces join to give us direction, strength, awareness, knowledge, stamina, time, the ways and the means to do what are meant to do. To know what we are meant to do, we need to tune out and tune in. True heroism involves authenticity and the courage to commit to what we are really passionate about, forgoing all other great ideas. We tune in to our heroic selves in silence and stillness, asking ourselves over and over what we want, what we are meant to do, what is our purpose. Without a doubt, we begin to know, understand and move in that direction. We start rising to our best selves, doing wonderful things, joyfully, and becoming the wonderful beings we are deep inside.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Gap

Piperlime, Banana Republic, Old Navy and The Gap are all part of one corporate family. I have known The Gap longer than the others. I remember saving money I earned babysitting to buy my first pair of Gap cords. When I was a teenager, I used to go to The Gap about once a month. As an adult, I don't go as often. By now, you may be surprised that I am writing about The Gap store. You probably reasoned from the title of this piece that I was going to write about the gap between thoughts in meditation. Oh, who are we kidding? Of course I am.

I now go to the gap daily. In the gap between thoughts I find nothing and I find everything. There are many ways to get there and none is better than any other. What helps one person get into the gap may not help another. Guided meditation followed by meditation music helps me. I also get to the gap by sitting quietly, following the sound of my exhale until I can catch the space between thoughts, until I can fall into that gap.

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In the gap there's an absence of nonsense, worry, fear, impatience, confusion, anger, anxiety and doubt. Time is not an issue in the gap and in it what we really want becomes clear and possible. Every time I go into the gap I am strengthened for when I am not in it. I bring out the clarity I gain to help me prioritize, understand what matters, keep my emotions in check, live purposefully, act with intention, recognize guidance, stay centered and balanced and have an openness of mind and heart. And though I can't wear my Gap cords any longer, I can always go into the gap and enjoy all of its benefits.

Today is a good day to take a few minutes to meditate and get into the gap between thoughts. Join me.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A watched pot never boils

This phrase reminds me of a summer many, many years ago when three of my cousins came to visit us. We were little girls then. My mom was teaching us how to make cream of wheat on the stove. My cousin Angie was so excited. She stood in front of the stove asking "When is it ready?" My mom replied, "A watched pot never boils". It was the firts time I heard the phrase. It has since stuck with me.

A watched pot never boils. This is not about water boiling or not boiling. We trust the laws of physics. Heated at 212 degrees, water will boil. Our watching over it will not make it boil or make it boil any quicker. Yet we ask ourselves, If I don't watch it, how do I know when it is warming up to a boil? Is it hot enough? Is it actually going to boil? Is it boiling? We stir ourselves up. We must have patience and trust.

Once we have made our intentions clear and taken the right steps in that direction, we let go trusting that the Universe is taking care of the details. We will know what to do next, in its time. There is no need to watch the process. This will not speed anything up. Watching over the process keeps us away from living and closes us up to inspiration, guidance and enjoying the present.

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Money is never enough

I have learned from personal experience that abundance is a belief. It is. I have learned that any money I have received was mine to receive. Jobs, gifts and people are just the medium through which I get it. I have also learned that the amount of money I make is irrelevant to my prosperity, abundance and well-being. I have released my fears about money. I believe we live in an abundant universe and I have enough...always.

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Money is a sensitive subject that can keep us up at night, in arguments with loved ones, self-conscious if we use it as an indicator of our success and worried. So I don't talk about it. I have a different point of view, I know. Actually, it's more than a different point of view. It's a deep belief and I live my life in harmony with it. I get, I give, I trust and I am thankful–everyday. I don't question it. I assume it. I live it. I don't begrudge those who have more or judge those who have less. I love money. I am not ashamed of it, ever. I love sharing it. I don't attach any morality to it. It just is. It is a tool, a resource, another thing to be grateful for.

Money is not the measure of an abundant life. Money itself will never be enough. My life is abundant in many ways. I enjoy great experiences, material things, opportunities, friendships and relationships, health, fun, creativity and love. I am abundantly rich because I don't worry about my finances. I take practical steps, am responsible, plan and then I let go. More importantly, I believe that it is not what I have but what I am that makes my life abundant.

Today is a good day to be thankful for what you already have, to set an intention to tap into the abundance that is already yours, to vibrate at a higher level of thought–up from thoughts of lack to thoughts of abundance and, in so, attract more of it to yourself. Choose not to focus on what is missing in your life and stop measuring your worth based on what you have or your income. Believe you are abundant. Soon you will feel it, then you will know it and, finally, you will live it.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

One hairy leg

Mid-morning, I ran my hand over my right leg. It was stubby. What? I shaved! Did I shave? I did. I must have because my left leg was smooth. I just don't remember shaving. I know what happened. I have a bad habit of going over my day and everything I have to do while I'm in the shower. As a result, I miss the feeling of warm water over my skin, the lather I create with my hands, the clean smell of soap. I also walked around all day long with one hairy leg.

We are too busy, unsatisfied, unfulfilled, anxious and overcommitted. We try to fill every moment with activity, entertainment or anything that numbs us. We eat dinner while scanning the news feed on our smart phones, make calls during our drives home, mentally make lists while jogging, pay our bills online while at meetings, do several chores while cooking, text our friends while walking, and so the list goes. Moments go by and we are unaware of what happens in them, what value they hold. Of course, we can't be grateful for what we don't recognize. So what if we stopped being busy and looked around? What do we see? What do we hear? What do we feel? What is this present moment like? What are our present moments like? In them we could find meaningful conversations, laughter, beauty, inspiration, peace, fun, love and connectedness.

He drives, holds my hand and asks me about my day, tells me about his, we talk and enjoy each other. I ruin it every time I pick up my phone to check email. I ruin it for myself. I break the energy we create by dividing my attention. I am making a point of being there, being present. I want to enjoy my showers, dinners, my drives–the music, the cityscape, a laugh with my son, the wisdom shared by my parents, the creativity inherent in cooking, my hand held in love.

In stopping to appreciate this moment and what it holds, we not only receive, we give. In honoring the present moment, we give our attention, our respect and our appreciation to ourselves and those we share the moment with. We participate in the flow of goodwill.

Today is a good day to be fully present, mindful, thankful...happy.

Drawing by Malley McGuire.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


In investing, past performance does not guarantee future results. I am currently writing a book on personal finance and, as I do, I make this caveat clear. This could make investors nervous. This is not my intention. It is meant to educate and to caution. This warning is mainly brought up in the face of possible dissatisfaction if an investment does not yield as expected–to either remain stable or to take an upward turn. It is the notice investors are redirected to when an investment fails to perform.

In life, with people, we don't calculate our return on investment, our ROI, in the same way. We invest our love and, though we may not see personal or direct gains returned, the love we give, in whatever form we give it, is always a gain unto all of us. 

Many times it is great news that past performance does not gurantee future behavior. It is great news that people have the power to change themselves, to choose new thoughts, new habits and new paths. The power of forgiveness, personal and spiritual growth, maturity, wisdom and love can render past functioning presently worhtless. And though we know that people's past experiences can be great sources of knowledge, learning and understanding, in the present, the past is the past. To assess the value of a person on their past performance can lead us to disregard a friend, a lover, a mentor, a running mate, a guide. The return on our investment of time, understanding, goodwill and love can be a blessing unimagined and invaluable.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sacrifice and other words I hate

Well, hate is a strong word. It is true, though, that I really, really dislike the word sacrifice.

The word sacrifice has a deep religious link. This is not the reason I do not like it. In sacred texts and in good horror stories, sacrifice has a proper place. My dislike has more to do with the more common use of the word, with the sacrifice we claim, what we give up for someone or for something else. There is a tone of martyrdom or victimization in the use of sacrifice. It implies a burden we go through. 

There is something very beautiful in our offering of ourselves to others. But we take that beauty away when we place an expectation–explicit or implied, consciously or not–on what we do for the sake of someone or something else. We sacrifice for our children, for a career we want for ourselves, for the lifestyle we have built, for a well-sculpted body, for a marriage, for recognition in a particular field. But the expectations make us resentful. They become the moving force within us. We expect love returned, appreciation, acknowledgement, respect, a sense of worthiness, reciprocity and more. Sacrifice is rooted in fear. We do something to gain something. 

We return the beauty to what we do for others and for our dreams by replacing our feelings of expectation to love. When we instill our giving and our doing with this energy, we become grateful, we do things with grace and we enjoy what we do. Resentment subsides and we no longer bear crosses. 

In A Course in Miracles it says, in terms of the psychotherapist/patient relationship, that if the relationship is to be holy, whatever one needs is given by the other, whatever one lacks the other supplies...there is no cost to either. This applies to all relationships.

As I was thinking about sacrifice, tolerance came to mind. Now there's another word I dislike. Tolerance has its place as well, yet, in common usage, it has an implication of putting up with, of superiority, of entitlement. I tolerate immigrants, gays, jews, white people, black people, Asians, autistic children, those less educated. To tolerate does not convey within us acceptance and respect. It does not convey love.

Other words I hate: Obligation (it's an imposition), penance (it stems from guilt, judgment), hormonal (its common use is sexist), starving (commonly used when we are really hungry. Starvation is a real problem. We have never been close to starving.). 

There are a few other words on my list. For now, I want to focus on words that lift us up, inspire us and bring us to what excites us. Enthusiasm, passion, aspirations, vitality, spiritedness, creativity and so on. Go ahead. Add your own. What words inspire you? What words do you love?

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Monday, November 24, 2014

I knew it!

I simultaneously dropped my shoulders, closed my eyes and exhaled in a universal gesture of disappointment. I don't know why I was disappointed. I had suspected there was going to be a line and I was not going to be able to stay for my appointment. I finally said it out loud, "I knew it!"

Gordon Livingston said it most clearly, "As with most things in life, our expectations are generally realized." I understand this. I have known this for a long time, yet I still fall into pessimistic thoughts that manifest themselves into unpleasant experiences. When we approach our days with pessimism, anger and mistrust, we are likely to find more of it wherever we go, whatever we do and with whomever we have to deal with. We fulfill our own prophecies. 

The good news is that we can change our expectations. We can anticipate good outcomes the same way we anticipate bad ones. We can assume that we will find what we are looking for.  We can suspect that the people we meet along the way are part of our path and the fulfilling of our purpose. We can count on serendipity. We can have high hopes for our dreams. We can expect what we are willing to give. I know this for, just as I have experienced bad days after expecting so, I have experienced great ones after reframing my thoughts, being thankful or simply staying positive. 

Approach today with openness, gratitude, joy and your best intentions. Know that everything is well. Expect it to be and it will be.

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Friday, November 21, 2014


It is the sound of my exhale–throaty, steady and full, that does it for me. In through my nose, out through my nose–centering me, calming me, steadying my nervous system, clearing my thoughts even if for just a moment. I feel it on the exhale. It all happens there for me.

Over the past six weeks I have been inhaling and exhaling trying to sort out my thoughts while in a whirlwind of activity and travel. My time away was a breathing pause. 

There was too much going on, so I only took on the urgent. This discontinuance was a time away from cyberspace, meeting with friends, socializing, weekends away at the beach, The Soulcerer's Apprentice, spontaneous fun, reading literature, yoga, writing and game nights. None of these are extra. They bring joy and balance to my life, but I became disconnected and in that disconnection I lost perspective and forgot what I know. 

Throughout the tumult, I did keep my meditation practice up. There were days I needed a second, sometimes a third, moment of meditation. In the thick of it, meditation helped me prioritize, endure and stay calm. Meditation took me from a possible breakdown to a breakthrough. 

During my breather, I paid attention. I saw, I listened and I received. I received guidance, intuitive insight, cooperation and love. I remembered how capable I am of disconnecting from my wiser Self and that reconnecting is a matter of getting still and quiet. Silence whispers all the answers. I am back, honoring my rhythms. My soul-verse has emerged more pure (as in uncontaminated by outside pressures, opinions and expectations), more open, free and Self-directed. 

Today is Friday and each Friday I like to share with you a meditation exercise. Today's is simple. If you have earplugs nearby, put them in. Otherwise, just plug your ears with your index fingers. Close your eyes. 

Take a slow, deep inhale. 

Exhale, as though you are slowly pushing air up your throat. Feel it rise up and come out your nose. 

Listen to it. 


Slowly exhale. Visualize your hands pushing the breath up. Listen. 


Push the breath gently and slowly out. Listen to it hollowing your throat.

Take a few more breaths in and out, focusing on the sound of your exhale. 


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Friday, October 10, 2014


Take a slow, deep inhale. Exhale. Breathe in. Exhale. One more time, breathe in. Slowly, exhale.

Open your hand. Leave it open. Feel it–your open hand. Imagine you are placing in your palm a dream, something you have been longing for, something you are working to achieve. 


I have my dream in my hand. 

It is born. 

I let it breathe with me. 

I put no demands on it. 

Continue breathing normally. 

Feel the sensation in your hand. 

My dream is becoming. 

It knows. 

It is true. It is real. 

It knows its place and its time. 

I do not command it. 

I welcome it. 

I allow it. 

I let go of the chase. 

I let go of the control. 

I receive it. 

Repeat the above. Continue breathing normally. 

Feel the tingling in your hand. 

Repeat the above one more time. 

Breathe one long, slow inhale. Hold for one-two-three. Exhale, long and slow. 



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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The transition

We leave work. We either go home or we go get kids from school. We go home, or we take the kids to soccer practice. Or we go to night school. Or we go to a second job. Or we go to the gym, meet friends for cocktails or run errands. Or we go home to make dinner, pay bills, supervise homework, let the dog out, catch up on email, tend to the garden or start getting ready for the next day. We do all of these things, but we don't do them mindfully. We leave work and get in the car, but work is still on our minds. We are with our family, but our mind is on all the things we have to do next. We are making dinner, but we only check on pots while we do other chores around the house. And we do all of these things in a state of agitation. We split our minds in several ways, not really paying attention to any one thing we are doing. Our minds don't quiet down and our bodies remain hyperactive, even if we don't see it.

I suggest a transition, a purposeful shift from one activity to another. When you are finished with one thing, set an intention to let it go and be present for the next thing. You could create a ritual, something that will signal your body and your mind to come together here and now. Maybe you chant a mantra or say a prayer.

I transition into receiving my son from school by stepping away from the computer and singing to myself one of the songs I used to sing to him when he was younger. I transition into chores or long drives by pumping up the music. I transition into a meeting by putting my phone away and repeating to myself I am in a meeting, I am listening, I am focused on (insert topic of the meeting here). This way I don't think about the calls I have to make, the errands I have to run or what's going on this weekend. I transition into meditating by lighting incense, turning the lights down and resting my body for a few minutes with a mental reminder: I am meditating and nothing else. I transition into writing, vacations, date night, sleep, reading and family fun night consciously and it has helped me enjoy each activity and each person more.

Today is a good day to set an intention to be mindful, to be present and to bring all of who we into each activity, interaction and relationship. We will enjoy life more deeply. We will sleep better. We will be calmer, happier, more satisfied, more focused, more relaxed and thankful.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

It works!

I am in the midsts of never-ending activity. We are busy. In two weeks we celebrate our big event of the year. It is a literary festival that begins in one capital city and ends in another capital another country. My colleagues are the best in the industry. I count them as part of my blessings. We have fun, put tremendous effort into this and enjoy the harvest of a whole year's planting and tending. This, however, is not simple. We deal with daily complications, drawbacks, stumbling blocks, difficult personalities, government-agency bureaucracy and obstacles that result in high levels of anxiety and frustration. We are masters though. We handle it. Yet, it takes its toll. 

Some of us are not sleeping well either because we are pulling all-nighters or because worry is keeping us up. Some of us have fallen ill. Some of us have shortened our tempers. Some of us are ready to go into a self-created witness protection program or a psychiatric ward. I could be anyone of these and right when I felt like succumbing to the pressure I snapped my fingers and decided to go to what I know. 

Monday began with a long list of tasks to take charge of, meetings to go to, instances of having to be in two places at once. My head was pounding, my heart was racing and my mood was awful. I decided I would accomplish it all. So I dropped everything. Yes I did. 

I woke up and stayed in my darkened room. I rose slowly and mindfully became aware of everything I could sense–the chilly air from the air conditioner, the smell left over from the incense I burned the night before, the sliver of sunlight peeking in through the window, the faint birdsong coming from a few trees away, the silence still looming in the house. I resisted the urge to check my phone for messages and email. I sat for a while in easy pose on my bed with my eyes open, focused on my breath. I stayed there and meditated for a while. I didn't set an alarm. I don't know how long I meditated for. Somehow I knew when I was done. I felt ready. Somehow I knew what to do. 

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It was great. My list of things to do was still there, as were the meetings I had to attend and my responsibilities. With these, though, was a sense of calm and direction. I was able to accomplish many things. I was able to help. I was able to serve. Nothing changed, yet everything was different©. 

This is what my meditation practice has helped me be–strengthened, temperate, thankful, trusting. And with this comes the ability to enjoy what I do in every area of my life. I am able to be a bastion, to be strong yet allowing, to have an easy sense of things, to put things in perspective, to not assimilate the crisis mode around me, to be enthusiastic, efficient, positive, empathic, present, healthy, collaborative, assertive and supportive.  Meditation connects me to spiritual guidance. It helps me to connect with those I love, with those I collaborate with, with my friends, my family and those around me. 

After many years of practicing meditation, I am still sometimes surprised by its benefits. I found myself that Monday, sometime in the middle of the day, saying It works! I was calm, cool and collected in the middle of it all. How about you try it? What if it works for you? Today is a good day to begin with a thought of appreciation and a few minutes in meditation. Everything else will be waiting for you afterwards. The difference will be in the way you receive it.

Friday, September 26, 2014

It doesn't matter...

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Find a quiet spot. Make yourself comfortable. Smile. Take a deep, slow inhale. Exhale.

Another deep, slow inhale. Exhale slowly.

One more. In, slow and deep. Out, slow.

Continue to breathe normally throughout this exercise.

I fell.     It doesn't matter.

I lost.     It doesn't matter.

I failed.     It doesn't matter.

I did it wrong.     It doesn't matter.

I made a mistake.     It doesn't matter.

I am humiliated.     It doesn't matter.

I am embarrassed.     It doesn't matter.

I am being judged.     It doesn't matter.

I got up.     That matters.

I learned a lesson.     That matters.

I am wiser.     That matters.

I am looking forward.     That matters.

The past is gone.     That matters.

I let go of my mistakes.     That matters. 

I am, regardless of what others think of me.     That matters.

I am willing.     That matters.

I am hopeful.     That matters.

I am happy.     That matters.

I am joyful.     That matters.

I am here.     That matters.

I am now.     That matters.

Inhale, slow and deep. Exhale. What matters today is what we give importance to. In this moment, choose to let go of what doesn't matter. Breathe. Make room for what matters. Live from that place. Go.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Return to sender

Every now and then, I make no sense. I am enjoying a beautiful day, experiencing productivity at its highest, having a wonderful time with friends or richly enjoying love. Out of the blue, the mood changes. There's an insistance in the air for conflict. But where is it coming from? I know it's not mine.

Then I remember that everything is energy. I think again, everything is energy: the meditation pillow I sit on, the music streaming from my tablet, the flame flicking from my altar, my thoughts, your thoughts, all thoughts. Moreover, I remember that everything begins there, in a thought. A thought, creates a feeling and an emotion is born. The thought, the feeling and the emotion are powerful carriers of an intention. It is creation. It is an energetic force. Someone's thought has created a charge that has affected me supersensorially. 

It happens to many of us. We lose patience and tolerance when all is going well. We then act from our short temper, our anger, our impatience making wrong and impulsive decisions. And then we wonder how we screwed things up when everything was going fine, when we felt we were heading in the right direction, when everything seemed so lined up. We didn't. We just allowed an energy, an intention that wasn't ours, in. This may be jealousy and envy–even if not intentional–or plain, old ill-will. This is not an option to blame forces outside of ourselves for our moods or our actions. It is a tool for self-awareness.

When we feel that rumbling, we take action. Our action is simple. We disallow. We claim our space. We call on our own intentions for goodness to prevail, for our path to remain unpolluted, for our energy to be more powerful. We remain true to ourselves and not succumb to low-dragging vibes. When we feel that our frequency wants to change downward in spite of ourselves, then we can send this energy, this intention back, just like we would a letter we don't want to open or a gift we don't want to accept. We return it to the sender. 

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014


I have only seen quicksand in movies. My favorite quicksand scene includes Indiana Jones and a big snake. In real life, I have never been close to something like it. Metaphorically speaking though, I have been in it many times. I have been in those situations that seem to suck me in whole. And although real quicksand is not as dangerous as we imagine, our perceptual quicksand is.

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Our circumstances, as we perceive them to be, can suck us whole. They can be hard to get out of. And, just as in real quicksand, the more we fight a difficult situation, the more we sink into it. When we find ourselves in a tough position, in an unbearable situation, in circumstances that are beyond what we think we can endure, we need to surrender to it. What is this situation telling me? What changes do I need to make? What do I need to let go of? When we find ourselves sinking, desperate, scared, not knowing what to do, we cannot see clearly or think coherently. Our thoughts are impaired by our emotional state and any decision we make in that frame of mind is reactive.

When we are caught in quicksand, the way out is relaxing. We surrender to silence, to stillness. This is not passive. On the contrary. In silence and stillness we strengthen our hearts and mind without doing. We listen to something more than words. It is a whisper, a knowing that comes from inside of us, an intuitive guidance, an A-Ha, I understand, revelation, discernment, tranquility, peace. It is within us that the confusion subsides, not by doing, struggling and extraneous effort, but by allowing Spirit to come through in the place where it is not drowned out by the noise of the world. Let us stop fighting against what sucks us in and let our Inner Being lift us up and out of the muck.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Don't look down

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On our journey we aspire to be better people each day. We make an effort to understand better, know more, feel better, be more compassionate, content and full of joy. As we walk in that direction, we develop new habits, new ways of thinking and new priorities. We also discern better and are more focused on our purpose and our dreams. This walk is on higher ground. It is a walk in self-awareness, in a state of higher-awareness. We vibrate at a higher frequency–one in which we have more faith and less fear, more peace of mind and less anger, more direction and less doubt, more harmony and less conflict, more equanimity, joy and love. We are centered and authentic. When we, on our path to a better version of ourselves, raise our energy vibrations we may leave others behind–not because we are better than they are (we are not) nor because they are not welcome along (they are)–but because we cannot stay in a place we have grown out of. We have moved. Out task then is not to look down–not down on anyone else, not down that we may lose our balance and fall back into old patterns of thinking and behaving. We now have to hold on to what we have learned, what we have understood and what we know to not be dragged down by insecurities, gossip, criticism, guilt, obligation, anger, violence, desperation, fear and attempts to control. When tempted to look down or when we are being pulled down, a shift in thought to thoughts of appreciation, kindness and empathy brings us back up into a higher-vibrating field of energy where our thoughts, actions, words and radiance can help bring others up and keep us from looking down, falling down, being down.

Friday, September 19, 2014

The next right step

Find a comfortable spot in which to sit. Sit. Cross your legs, or don't. Be comfortable. Take a deep, slow breath in. Count to three. Exhale.

Blur your vision just a bit. Relax the muscles in your face. Breathe softly, naturally.

Relax your neck. Continue a natural, soft breath throughout.

Relax your shoulders. Feel as though soft hands are washing down the tension you carry.

Relax your arms down. Shake them just a bit.

Feel the bones in your back. They relax while gently holding you up. Breathe.

As your body relaxes, so does your anxiety. You are clear. You know what you want. You have a vision. It is in progress.

Relax your expectations.

In this moment, ask for guidance.

          What is the next right step?

Place your right hand over your heart. Breathe into that space. Ask.

          What is the next right step?

Feel the beat of your heart. Breathe there. Relax. Ask.

          What is the next right step?

There are no demands on you right now. You have set everything in motion.

Feel the beat of your heart relax. Breathe. Relax. Ask.

          What do I need to know? What is the next right step? 

Stay a few minutes. Breathe. Ask.

Breathe one long, slow inhale. Exhale.

Take any action your are moved to take today. Be open. Be willing. Know. Go.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

The chicken or the egg...

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That is the question, isn't it? What comes first? The chicken or the egg? Do we achieve what we want to feel happy or do we feel happy to achieve what we want? I know. They are not exactly the same question, but those two questions are brain-teasers and a mystery to many of us.

This is a personal choice for each of us. We can decide to postpone our happiness as a reward for achieving a specific goal or we can decide to be happy now and let that attitude infuse our process. It is a matter of changing the order from achieving then feeling happy to being happy then achieving. This change in order implies a detachment from a specific outcome, an inner knowing that all will be well, an openness to new and fresh paths and a willingness to say yes to being spontaneous and joyous in the flow of life. It is a matter of being rather than some-thing or some state to attain.

How about changing the order? Today is a good day to give it a try. Feel good, feel joyful, feel happy. Make that choice and continue your process. Don't make your happiness depend on any one thing happening, on any one circumstance change. Be happy and let that be the cause that inspires your life-choices, your path, the course of this day, the interactions you have with others, your relationships, what you attract and your overall outlook on life.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Almost there

I have a dream of making it big. I don't particularly care for fame, but I do want to do something important. I want to do it for those I love, for those I want to serve and for myself. Once I get there, I will be so happy.

I have to admit, though, that I am pretty happy right now. I haven't always felt this way, but a few years ago I came across the notion that I could choose to be happy despite what my current life condition was. It took a couple of years for me to get the hang of it, but then, I was there, at happy, no matter what.

Getting what we want, to where we want, to how we want it is a process. It is different for everyone and how we choose to go about it makes all the difference. We can learn, grow, have fun, stumble, get up, enjoy, redefine and refocus. Or we can struggle, bemoan, complain and resent our opportunities for personal evolution.

Getting what we want brings with it new experiences we may have not anticipated–new tasks, responsibilities and challenges–and then we may realize we want something else. We keep moving the goal and postponing our happiness. We are forever almost there, almost happy. Buying a house, moving to a new city, opening up a business, retiring, getting a new job or promotion, having a baby, completing an academic degree–we don't get there without the process, but the process doesn't happen without the dream, without the goal. We have to appreciate and enjoy both.

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We tend to postpone happiness until we get there, but what if we change course? Then what? What if the course is the point of it all? What if we look at our dream from where we are right now, look at where we are right now and enthusiastically look forward to the path to get to where we want to be? What if we consider this and realize that we are there, at happy?

Monday, September 15, 2014

My secret superpower

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As kids, we would all watch cartoons. There was always a super hero or two in each episode who impressed us. We wished we had their superpowers. Imagining we could climb buildings with spider-like ease or breathe under water while commanding sea creatures were fun thoughts we would get lost in in our spare time. And we had plenty of spare time back then when we didn’t have so many cable channels, game consoles, tablets and the internet.

There were times at school or in our neighborhoods in which things didn’t run as smoothly as we wished. We got bullied, were made fun of or were alienated by the older kids. Other times, somebody else got the undivided attention of our crush or there was a particular teacher that would get on our case constantly. It was then that we wished we had super-strength, super-looks, a powerful mechanical suit, millionaire parents, the power to turn invisible or x-ray vision so we could overcome these challenges in swift and magical ways. Yet to really face and overcome these challenges in a heroic manner, we need to develop new skills to surmount difficult situations in a respectable way for ourselves. We fine tune social skills that help us come out ahead, learn to appreciate the abilities and enjoy the company of a quieter and more intelectual bunch, learn how to connect with people outside our traditional hangouts, develop a knack for comedy to diffuse tense situations with humor, discover the power of empathy, the strength of words and realize we are not powerless in any challenging situation. Thus we develop our personal powers, our interpersonal strengths. Mine is the power of laughter. I am very good with humor and I make my power stronger by practicing it as a comedian in my spare time. It is something I take pleasure in and share with others.

As a sign of our times, this need to fine tune and revamp our social skills is hampered by video games and the overwhelming availability of entertainment on the internet. These don’t make it imperative for us to break out of our shell. And as adults we face more complex situations that require greater resolve and skill, situations in which we would indeed have very good use of some kind of special superpower. These days we have the choice to chide away from the opportunity to grow and take refuge in the comfort of a fictitious virtual world, play games that make us feel powerful, even if deceivingly so, or develop several social media profiles that boost our ego and need for approval. Instead we could seize the opportunity to face with the same heroic determination our situations and challenges. That’s what I did. In the process I developed a superpower.

My superpower is not easily shared, as it is not easily understood, for only remaining focused with steel-like determination, remaining unbreakably calm as we face the onslaught of uncertainty and the unknown consequences of others’ actions, only with profound and sagacious clarity of purpose can this superpower be activated. In times of great peril we must make heroic choices. This is when I gather all of my strength and will to manifest my superpower. I have the power to change the future and the secret source of my superpower is meditation.

Meditation, my secret source of power, helps me remain clear, calm and undisturbed by events or attitudes beyond my control. Meditation helps me remain focused on my goals and dreams without being attached to outcomes, that I may vibrate at the frequency I have chosen and manifest in my life the joy, love, health and abundance that I aspire to make part of my daily life. Meditation centers me on the now so I can make assertive choices today that will transform my future–choices not based on ego, not based on reflex reactions to the environments’ negative or egotistical stimuli. Through meditation I acquire the superpower to remain calm and collected to understand the dynamics that I am participating in and am a part of so that I can assert the adequate course of action, one that reflects compassion, love and joy. In meditation I come to trust in the omniscient wisdom of Spirit and the path that I am on.


Friday, September 12, 2014


Look to your feet. Walk a few steps. Appreciate how one foot goes before the other and, though it takes both to take you where you want to go, only one foot can go at a time. Otherwise, we lose our balance and fall.

This is a meditation for when we are feeling overwhelmed. 

Breathe deeply. Exhale. 

Stand where you are. Breathe normally throughout this exercise.

Imagine you are on a winding path.

On this path you do not know what lies ahead. You take one step, then another, then another...

Do not anticipate what is to come. Continue walking.

Enjoy the unexpected scene. It winds and so you cannot see what is ahead, but what is right before you is enough. 

As you walk the path, do not be tempted to think in advance, do not interfere with what is going on.

You are not looking for anything. There are no demands on you. 

This path is quiet and welcoming. With each step you leave behind tension, worry, stress. With each step you are more relaxed, comfortable and calm. 

Take a few more steps. Feel only the action of one foot, then the other.

Be on this path a few more minutes. Enjoy your steps. One at a time.

Breathe deeply. Count to three. Exhale. 

Carry with you this feeling of tranquility. Remember it as you reenter your day. Only one at a of anything.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Where are you?

I am so excited about my goals. I have narrowed down my list to those I want to focus on right now. I have a tendency to dream big and, although there's no conflict for me in dreaming big, this time I want these oh-so-badly that I am willing to squint my eyes a bit to focus only on them. This entails many things. One of them is to align my habits with my goals. 

Many times we want something, plan for it, talk about it, dream about it, but what we do, what we say and what we think are pointing in another direction. We say we want it, but follow that with the reasons it's so difficult to do it. We think we want it, but couple that with thoughts of jealousy and resentment for others who may have achieved the goal we want for ourselves. We want to do something, but do things that interfere or take us away from the path of our goal. Sometimes, we don't even show up. 

Where are you today? In terms of what you want your life experience to be, where are you? Are you with it or are you someplace else? Are you planning yet staying on the page? In other words, are you planning and only planning? Are you telling everyone about what you will do, but don't actually do it resting on the false sense of security telling others brings? Are you focusing your thoughts on the goal but procrastinating with one excuse or another? Are you clear and certain about what you want, but are unfocused. Are you everywhere but here with your goal? 

Today is a good day to align our habitual thoughts, words and actions with what we want our present and future reality to be. Let's be here, now, with our inner selves, focused on our purpose and intention. Let's line up our habits with our intentions so that we are where we want to be. 

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Pros & Cons

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I have a decision to make. It's a tough one. I am being very careful about it because it involves many things and many people. I made a list of pros and cons. I am reading too, researching, consulting, thinking. I am calling in my pragmatism and my logical mind in order to decide. I still can't do it. I am afraid of making the wrong decision. Why is this so difficult?

It is not. I am making it difficult by overanalyzing, looking for answers everywhere when I already know that the answer is somewhere within. There's my source of power. My critical, fearful thoughts are blocking my intuition. I forget that when I connect to the silence and stillness within, the answers arrive. I don't have to struggle for them. I just have to know that. I then stumble upon the right book or the right article, meet the right expert, overhear a conversation with the right advice or come up with fresh insight. I carry this quiet composure with me opening myself up to answers, solutions and alternatives.

Today is a good day to stop overthinking and go inside yourself. Go in without pressure. Making a decision from a place of anxiety and doubt is tough. Making a decision from a place of peace and clarity of mind is not. Meditation alleviates the confusion by getting us to that place of equanimity abounding in wisdom and awakened intuition.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The spiral down

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There you are, everything seems ok enough. Then, before you know it, you start spiralling down. The spiral down starts with a thought. It is usually an intolerant thought, an impatient thought, a thought that justifies resentment, anger, jealousy, hostility, animosity and separation. One thought leads to another, even if not at the forefront, and you find yourself in a full-on descent into negativity, accusations, yelling, contention, bickering, defensiveness, estrangement or worse. Once you start falling, it seems hard and painful to stop the plunge.

Fortunately, the spiral up also starts with one thought–a recognition of love. A thought of appreciation, gratitude, consideration, sympathy, friendship, affection and gentleness can wind us back up. Today is a good day to catch ourselves on the edge. Let's circle our thoughts around an offering of goodwill that we may uplift each other rather than bring each other down. Let's consider, respect, honor, acknowledge, value, be appreciative of and accept each other and so help keep ourselves and others from falling into the maelstrom and its destructive effects. Today is a good day to see beyond resentments, hostility and indignation through to another, to the Being in another, to the light in another. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

May I?

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I live in a community abounding in creativity, not just in all artistic disciplines, but in other areas as well–business, economy, ecology, education and government, among others. I am in awe many times at the depths and widths of the imagination I encounter in others. I am saddened, however, at the fear that many times accompanies it. It's as though they are waiting for permission to act on this inventiveness. Permission for what?, you may ask. Ah, there's the conundrum.

It's not so much the practical matters that hinder us from creating, but that we seek encouragement, approval and the blessing of others, especially those we look up to and admire, in order to step into our greatness. We look for these also in our colleagues, our peers and even those we compete with. We ask for permission to freely be who we want to be. But what we really seem to be looking for is for is a guarantee that we will not experience the repercussions we imagine we'll have–rejection, humiliation, judgment, interference, obstruction, controversy, wrong impressions and condemnation. We seem to also be looking for an assurance that we will always be approved of and a protection against failure or the results of it.

Receiving the approval of others feels nice, but this can change at any moment. Focusing on receiving this support deflects our point of attention from what we want to achieve, our dreams and our goals to a desire for approval. We focus on what's missing. We divert our energy. We deplete our creative power in the search for acceptance, acknowledgment and approval. This search, this waiting, has led many of us to do what we "should" instead of what moves and excites us, to lead lives of frustration and resentment. 

No one will ask us to step into our greatness, nor will anyone give us self-confidence, enthusiasm and passion to go forth with our inspired contribution to this human experience. It's time we give ourselves permission, allow ourselves to do, explore and go after what we want. It's time we embody our creativity. 

May I? Don't ask. Go. Be. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Cut the cord

Stare straight ahead towards the horizon. Blur your eyes.

Inhale deeply. Exhale. Continue to breathe normally throughout this visualization.

Close your eyes.

Imagine your bare feet in shallow water. This water extends in all directions around you, as far as your eyes can see. There's a red cord tied around your wrist. On its other end, it is tied to a floating deck. On the deck is that mistake you made, and the other, and those choices you regret, and your feelings of guilt, your indecision, your loveless actions, your grudges, what you have said and done that keeps you in pain, your failures, your thoughts about what has been done to you, what you have not forgiven. On the deck is everything that keeps you bitter, angry, insecure, mistrustful and fearful. Follow the cord to the deck. Look on that pile of past and forgive yourself. Only your judgment matters here. You have scissors. Cut the cord. Let the float go. Release your past. Be thankful. Turn around. Where will you go? Go.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Your files are out of alignment. You have no connection to the internet. These are fighting words coming from my computer in the middle of my work day. What do you mean my files are out of alignment?! How do these files get out of alignment? From regular use of our systems, of course. That's what they tell me.

That is scary. One moment everything is in order, everything is working fine and the next moment the computer does not recognize it's own information. What are our options? Not use them to keep them from corrupting themselves? No. We maintain them with programs that align files, defragment separated parts and remove viruses.

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I was thinking about this because I just had my chakras balanced. I feel so good. I can tell a difference in the way I am processing the day and in the way I am handling things. I don't want to lose this feeling. I don't want to my chakras to get out of alignment, out of balance. I was tempted to go home and lay in bed. I didn't want to do, say or think anything that would undo the balancing.

This is where meditation, yoga and prayer come in. At any moment during the day I am perfectly capable of egotistical, self-depricating, unforgiving, fractured and alienating behavior. This is how I get my self out of balance. My mind, body and spirit can work on their own creating disconnection and all sorts of havoc or they can harmonize creating a feeling of calm, tranquility and peace. Everything seems to compute much better when I keep up my practice, when I implement a regular program to keep aligned, defragmented and ailment-free.

We cannot be afraid of getting our files out of alignment. We cannot be afraid of life. We have to participate, make choices, commune with others and work, among many other things. Everything we do has an effect on the next thing we do, on others, on our physical and psychic environments and in our selves–all of our selves. Every now and then, balancing our chakras is a good thing to do, but maintaining a regular practice of silence, stillness and right movement can keep us from disconnection and misalignment.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


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Last night I went to see a friend. We had not had a chance to talk in a long time. He asked me How are you? and I couldn't help but be sincere with him. I have a long-standing habit of guarding myself, of putting on a mask of answering with an I am super, or an Everything is just fine. And although I really believe in everything being fine, what I have been doing is creating a block between the healing that comes through friendship, affection, love and companionship and my wounded places, the parts in me that need wisdom, nurturing and care.

He laid me down and just asked one thing of me: Close your eyes, breathe deeply and with every breath carry an intention. I did. Willingly. No resistance. He balanced my chakras and practiced reiki on me, channeling universal life energy between his hands and my pain, pain I didn't even know I was feeling. After we talked, after we shared, after I opened up, after I received, after I allowed his advice, his concern and his care in, I left not really understanding what happened in the last few hours. But now I know. It was very simple. I let my guard down, I allowed, I listened, I received.

As I left his apartment I felt light, joyful, thankful. The night air, the empty street, the drizzling rain all felt new to me. I was not preoccupied, sad or in a hurry to get anywhere in particular. Good bye took a while and I didn't notice. This is my healing. To let others in.

I still believe that everything is fine. I just have to allow in those things that will help keep everything fine. I just have to let healing in–in all the forms it comes in.

Today is a good day to put our guards down, to stop pretending we have it all together and let healing in. All this means is to be attentive to the Universe's care. Compassion, understanding, relief and care are active forces. They are not just offered and given, they must be received.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary...

I dare you. Say it three times: Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary. Will you do it? There was a time I wouldn't do it. I didn't want a bloody, angry, vengeful virgin coming after me. Ok, so I was nine years old and believed this story. And still, I know that many of us may be a little apprehensive about calling Bloody Mary out, out loud, just as we are afraid to call our fears out, out loud.

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We may be afraid of calling our fears out because we don't want to face them–then we would have to deal with them or, more commonly, because we don't want them to come true. Yet naming our fears does not make them come true. Naming our fears can actually help us see them in the light of truth, for what they really are, as something that keeps us from peace, enjoyment, satisfaction and well-being. 

Naming them is one thing. Naming them allows us to look at them and let go of them. Calling on them, though, keeps us full of fear, anxious, neurotic, troubled. Constantly calling on our fears in our thoughts, in the ways we express ourselves and in the ways we act keeps them true, brings them into our reality. 

You may be surprised at the magic behind naming our fears. Many fears are dispelled just by calling them out. I used to be afraid of eating alone in public. Yep, I know. It sounds silly. It is silly. But I was. Once I named my fear, it went away. Once I named it out loud I realized how nonsensical it was. I know that there are more serious and stubborn fears. There are fears that terrify us and may be harder to banish, but they can be eliminated. It will just take time, effort and faith in your power to do so. When a fearful thought comes up, vanquish it with another thought. Keep a list of replacement thoughts handy while you get in the habit (believe me, it helps). If something we fear were to become true, then we will deal with it if and when it does. In the meantime, we need to remember that fear will not protect us, but it will hold us back from trying new experiences, taking pleasure in what we choose to do for a living, enjoying people, choosing happiness, being glad, tasting new foods, wearing new styles of clothing, taking salsa lessons and more. 

So, what are you afraid of? Making mistakes? Looking ridiculous? Writing a bad novel? Poverty? Cancer? Aliens? Losing? Going bald? Call it out. Take the spookiness out of your fear. Lift yourself out of that haunted place. Your thoughts have that power.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Please excuse our absence. We are experiencing scheduling difficulties. We return tomorrow. Light & Love, The Soulcerer's Apprentice

Friday, August 15, 2014


Stand where you are, preferably barefoot, with your feet parallel to each other, shoulder-width apart. Look at the tip of your nose, then close your eyes softly. Take one deep breath in. Count one-two-three. Exhale. Breathe as you would throughout this standing meditation.

Feel the earth beneath your feet.

Feel the stability.

Feel connected.

Feel the energy exchange between you and the Earth.

Feel every thought, every feeling outflow into the Earth.

Receive every thought, every feeling return to you through your firmly planted feet.

Feel your stance.


Focus your mind on our connection, our oneness.

Imagine beams of light flowing from you into the Earth.

Imagine light flowing back into you.

Stay. Stand. Breathe.

After ten minutes or so, smile, breathe deeply, exhale. Go.

Art from 

Thursday, August 14, 2014


When I was a workaholic, I used to think that not sleeping–pulling all-nighters, staying up late to finish a project, waking up early to work a few hours before heading to the office–was a virtue. "I'll sleep when I am dead" was a common phrase around the workplace between me and my colleagues. I am so sorry that I perpetuated that attitude for I have found that sleep is one of my antidotes to the stressors of life. After a restful sleep I am energized and ready for what may come. Sleep restores my body to proper balance and clears my soul and psyche. I consider sleep a part of my spiritual practice. It helps me heal. I surrender anger, fear and anxiety to sleep. My dreams now tend to be vivid, a sort of fun meditation. Proper sleep allows me to take on challenges in a more positive way, to focus better and accomplish more. I can say today that sleep is my secret to staying highly productive and in good spirits.

There are several things that I make important in order to maintain a good relationship with sleep:

  1. I look forward to sleeping. I don't see it as a chore or something that gets in the way of what I want to do. 
  2. I build a ritual, a routine around sleep. This gets my body, mind and soul ready.
  3. I make it sacred. I don't allow anyone or anything to disrupt my sleep. 
  4. I am thankful–before and after. 
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Sleep when I am dead? Are you kidding me? I can only sleep while I'm alive. That's when it does me any good. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Where's the problem?

Grab a problem. Any problem. Grab it. Ok, so you can't grab a problem. Problems are intangible. 

When I was a teenager I stopped referring to problems as problems. I wasn't as aware as I am today. But back then the drama and negativity surrounding the word bothered me so I started thinking in terms of situations. Now there was a word I could deal with. I then always found solutions. 

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We talk about problems all day long. We hold on to them as though they are something concrete, heavy and palpable. Problems exist for many of us. Yet for others, problems don't exist or, if they do, are easy to resolve. We take life in filtered through how we see the world, what we believe in, what we want, what we are afraid of, how we feel, how we think, what we expect from life and how we see ourselves. When a situation presentes itself, all of these factors come to the forefront and affect how we respond and, therefore, what we then experience. How we perceive what is going on will either keep us in the problem or lift us out of it. When we face difficulties, do we find blame, feel alone, become overwhelmed, get angry, see ourselves as victims, turn irrational, become neurotic, freeze, suffer, find obstacles at every turn? Feeling this way blocks our intuition, our inner guidance system and our creativity–keeping us in the problem. But seeing situations in a different light, from a fresh perspective, opens the channels for solutions to appear. Sometimes this willingness to see in a new light is all it takes for a perceived problem to cease to be a problem.

Today is a good day to reach within, to find your center, where feelings of love, joy, calmness, serenity, compassion, kindness, oneness, security and peace abound. Let these be the ones to affect your perception and to open you up to solutions, insight, synchronicity and deeper consciousness.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Endless summer

I am not sure of where I am going with this. I have been struggling to write all day. I have done most of what I recommend blocked writers do in order to get out of the rut, even breaking my handwriting habit. And so, I have surrendered and come to my keyboard a cappella.

I can't seem to focus. The summer ends today, for us anyway. School starts tomorrow. A new beginning. Not only for my son, but for me as well. I am now the mother of a seventh-grader. Summer ends today...

I think of verse 16 of the Tao Te Ching where it says, "endings become beginnings." This ending becomes that beginning for both of us. I can feel a little excitement creeping in and a little apprehension. It's the alchemizing of one period into another. It's the releasing of all those experiences into this moment, the one that counts. It has just now hit me that my mourning the summer now gone–the weekends at the beach getaway, the travel, the time spent with family, the unawareness of clock-time, the spontaneous adventures, the bonding in love–and the fretting over tomorrow, this week, the semester and the new school year have kept me from experiencing the present, from enjoying today. The yearning for what has passed and the worry of what I have no control over have consumed our last day of the summer.

© 2014 The Soulcerer's Apprentice
It's one of my big lessons, to learn to live in this moment–to enjoy it, savor it and appreciate it with deliberate intention, on purpose. I have wasted this day. I intend not to do that again. All I can think of in order to turn it around, to metamorphose it, is to collect the feelings of joy, enthusiasm and passion for life, the emotion, the fun, the laughter, the memories of the wonderful rush of summer days and the presence I brought to those days. I want to bring that to the days to come, every moment, to make each one an endless summer.

Let us take today and only today. There's nothing we can change yesterday, and there's nothing we can do about tomorrow...except not to create regret for ourselves by not enjoying today, the only day in which we can choose to be happy.