Let Go, Keep Going, or Start Over

I am not alone in knowing what it is like to be in a bad marriage. Said marriage lasted 16 years. Most likely 10 years too long. But I was young and tenacious. I also held the belief that divorce was the ultimate failure. I like to think I am older and wiser these days.

I also know what it is like to be in a long work situation, where things are constantly changing. Sometimes, the changes are difficult. Other times, change is much welcomed. The main constant would be the collaborative and diverse culture of my workplace. In addition, the challenges and continual opportunities to grow in knowledge, skills, and experience. Quality experience.

Fortunately, I have also known what it is like to start over. This can be the scariest decision of them all. Though worth it in every way possible. If you have never tried this, you might be due for some starting over.

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.  That would be the best description of my first marriage. Growth did not truly happen until those latter days when I started my plan to move on. For the most part, I was treated as a second-class citizen. No matter what accomplishment I made, it was reacted upon as another threat to our “family”. I fell for it several times. Until the day I realized that nothing was going to change. So I made the decision to do so.

We had just moved to Northern Colorado the year before and I had just landed the best job of my life. The husband decided to clear all the funds out of our account so that I would not have enough money to hire an attorney or move our kids out of the home. Fortunately, I had developed some strong resources. Nevertheless, I knew that it was going to be a long, difficult road.

Photo by Andrea Boldizar


Of course, my family back in California suggested I come “home”. But I felt home. Moreover, I had this great job, which also provided me with another “family”. So I took a risk. I stayed put, held onto my job and got the divorce.

Several years have passed and I am still enjoying my position as Executive Assistant to the VP of Supply Chain. We have had good times, bad times, tough times, and short times to take a few breaths.

Five years ago, I entered into my second marriage. A completely different vibe in and of itself. Because I learned to teach others how to treat me as well as treating others how I want to be treated. Mutual respect. Was it scary to do this? Hell yes. Has it been worth it? More than anything I could have imagined. I found a husband who loves a lot of the things I do, as well as enjoys his own things. We are both fiercely independent, yet enjoy quality time together.

My husband has never been married. Yet I had, and I was not too interested in beginning a new marriage at first. Fortunately for me, neither was he. But we finally came to the conclusion that we wanted to grow old together. Thus, I started over again with the title “wife”. I am grateful for this decision to this very day.

What would be the difference between these situations, Elysia? I am glad you asked!


Let Go

  • When growth is stunted or downright reversing for a long stretch of time – Let go.
  • When you have exhausted all resources such as counseling and even prayer, and the behavior never changes – Let go.
  • When the circumstance or relationship affects all your other relationships with loved ones negatively for a long stretch of time – Let go.

Keep Going

  • When issues arise, yet progress is made and it sticks – Keep going.
  • When the momentum and commitment are aligned with your personal values – Keep going.
  • When you truly see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel – Keep going.
  • When you are not in agreement but have full trust in the process – Keep going.

Start Over

  • When you have exhausted all of what should be and are ready for what actually is – Start over.
  • When you can have an open mind and clear vision – Start over.
  • When you fully trust your spiritual growth – Start over.
  • When you know you have a true passion for experiencing the unknown – Start over.

Photo by Luis Llerena

An important tool for deciding which path to take is a simple list of Pros and Cons. I know this from experience. Making a decision based on emotion is never a good idea.  So time for reflection and research has always been extremely helpful to me in my decisions.

Where are you today? What is the first step you need to take toward making a decision? When you do indeed make the decision, stick to it.

Stay Blissful My Friends – E


Yoga Sequence – Forgiveness Part II

This is the second part of a practice, which has been effective to me in regard to forgiveness and surrender.

Sometimes, we are not ready to forgive the BIG perpetrator. We might start with smaller hurts. Maybe the person or persons who knew what was happening, yet did nothing to step in and help. They might have participated in tarnishing your reputation with gossip.

You might  feel the need to forgive yourself for being in this position in the first place or staying there too long. Most often, this is not true, yet our feelings deserve to be validated. So if this is what you feel then go ahead and forgive yourself.

My Yoga practice has been a loving channel, which brings me through this process each time a hurt, angry emotion, or resentment begins to invade my inner being.

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.

– Lewis B. Smedes

  • Forward Fold
  • Step back to Plank
  • Bring Knees to Floor to do a few Cat-Cow Poses
  • Devotional Pose
  • Slide nose to front of mat to Cobra poseimg_20160704_181630_kindlephoto-152752864.jpg
  • Downward Dog
  • Step forward to Mountain Pose
  • Right foot back to Pyramid Pose
    • This pose is good for calming and focus.
    • 3-4 breaths in this pose
  • Rise with strength and courage
  • Reset your hips
  • Left foot back to Pyramid Pose
    • 3-4 breaths in this pose.


  • Tree Pose Right Side
    • As we sometimes struggle in this pose we are reminded that trees grow and gain strength in adversity (When the wind is strong). Just like a tree, we are becoming stronger and more rooted in our authenticity.
  • Tree Pose Left Side
  • Warrior I Left Side (with hands on hips) – Transition to Humble Warrior
    • As we bend into this version of Warrior I, we acknowledge that surrender equates to victory.
  • Warrior I Right Side (with hands on hips) – Transition to Humble Warrior
  • Turn to side of mat – Goddess Pose
    • We recognize the courage it takes to become comfortable with who we are today.


Photo by Satyam Ehinger – Konalani Shambhava Yoga

  • Pivot left foot to turn to the short side of the mat, transition into Side Angle Pose Right Side
  • Return to Goddess Pose
  • Pivot left foot to turn to the short side of the mat, transition into Side Angle Pose Left Side
  • Step back to the front of the mat – Forward Fold to a ball then bring yourself down to the floor.
  • Bring Hips to Heels and do a few Flying Breaths
  • Bring feet to front for Staff Pose (sit on a blanket or towel)
    • Re-establishing our personal values as we inhale, pressing our sit bones into the floor, lifting our hearts. Keeping a soft bend in the knees to avoid a rigid hardness in our physical, mental and emotional state of being.
  • Boat Pose
    • Engaging your core (Naval to Spine) for power and correct navigation as would a boat on its proper course.
    • We are heading in the right direction. Freeing ourselves from bitterness, resentment, fear and anger.
  • Come on to back, bringing knees to a table top position.
  • Reclined Twists Both Sides
  • Bring knees back to center, bring your nose up, giving knees a big hug.
    • Remembering to accept self-love and appreciation for who you are and what you have to offer to the universe.
  • Cool-down of your choice to Savasana.



Stay blissful my friends! – E

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

So, first things first. Some exciting news: I have begun my training with Alternatives to Violence to become a Victim’s Advocate!

The training is intense, four hours each night after I get off from work. But it goes by rather quickly, as we are a very involved group.

Last night, we were given a training by the SAVA (Sexual Assault Victims Advocate) Center based in Fort Collins, Co. SAVA is an excellent community organization and they have many events planned for the month of April. You can find out more about SAVA and Sexual Assault by clicking here.

One of their most intriguing upcoming events is the Faces Project:


So many of us are lead to believe that we deserved to be assaulted.

Because of the way we dress, being out when we shouldn’t have been.

Some of us were too naive.

Either way. If you are sexually assaulted, it is not your fault.


At our training, we discussed facts vs. myths and there were some surprise facts and some not so surprise facts…I cannot put this in better words, so here are a few:

MYTH: Sexual assault is provoked by the victim. Victims ask for it by their actions, behaviors, or by their dress.
FACT: Studies indicate that the majority of sexual assaults are at least partially planned in advance. Sexual assault is not a spontaneous crime of sexual passion. It is a violent attack on an individual using sex as a weapon to defile, degrade, and destroy a victim’s will and control over her or his body. For the victim, it is a humiliating, traumatizing situation.

MYTH: Only certain kinds of women get sexually assaulted. Only “bad girls” get sexually assaulted.
FACT: Rapists choose their victims without regard to physical appearance. Victims are of every type, age, race, moral persuasion, and socioeconomic class. Ages of reported victims range from 6 months to 93 years old.

MYTH: Sexual assault is a minor crime affecting only a few women. Its significance is exaggerated.
FACT: Current reports indicate that, nationally, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will be sexually assaulted at some point in their lives. However, less than 40% of sexual assaults are reported to the police. 125,910 sexual assaults were reported in 2009.

MYTH: Rape and sexual assault only occurs in large cities.
FACT: Sexual assault happens everywhere–in cities, suburbs, and rural areas. Unfortunately, small communities are less likely to have the range of services available than in urban settings.

MYTH: Women frequently cry “rape” (i.e., there is a high rate of false reporting).
FACT: False reports make up only 2-8% of sexual assault reports, equal to or less than any other major crime. While some victims later recant, it’s important to remember that there are lots of reasons why victims of sexual assault never even report the crime or may be influenced to rescind initial accounts.

MYTH: Most sexual abuse of boys is perpetrated by gay men.
FACT: Sexual offenders come from all educational, occupational and cultural backgrounds. They are “ordinary” and “normal” individuals who sexually assault victims to assert power and control over them.[1]




So, how can we be better informed? Awareness. Get the facts, follow your due diligence and not assumptions.

If you are a movie lover, here is a clip from a film that touches on Sexual Assault:


Sexual Assault is a serious issue cross-culturally. Please remember the women, children and yes, even men survivors of sexual assault in your daily prayers and meditations.

Whatever you do, please do not judge. We are all fighting our own battles. This month, we focus on those who have been sexually victimized.

Much love and peace to you today my dear friends. – E

  1. http://savacenter.org/about/sexual-assault-101/



As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day “Thy will be done.”  – AA Big Book  87-88.

Pausing my series on The 8 Limbs of Yoga until next week.

Why are you pausing Elysia? I am glad you asked!

During a phone call with a loved one this morning she mentioned that she had signed up for Fabletics but forgot to get the link from my website. A very small thing I asked her to do since I am trying to get my website noticed by my affiliates. Disappointed is a good word to explain this. But I just couldn’t shake this off.

About an hour later my son rang me and I had him on speaker phone but had to go to the living room to grab something. The hubby, having just arrived proceeded to turn on the television at full blast. This was the last straw…

“What’s wrong Ma?”, my son asked. He might have regretted this. “Do I even exist to other people on this fucking planet?!!” I asked. I further ranted about the fact that though, I don’t expect people to be as thoughtful and considerate as I am but when I actually ask for someone to do me a simple favor, they can’t even take the extra 3 seconds to do this. Why am I always the last one people remember to pay back a loan to?

My son replied, “I know I can’t do anything for you but I am listening”. Perfect reply. We finished our talk and I proceeded to stew in my anger.

Maybe it’s the menopause, maybe it’s because I am an empath and I soak up other’s energies (positive and negative). Wait, let’s back up a bit…

Three days ago

I was informed of the death of a beautiful soul I used to sponsor. For the past 6-7 years, she had struggled with the disease of alcoholism and her attempts at sobriety. It was painful to watch. Either way, we remained close and would often run into each other.

The news was shocking though I did not understand why I was shocked. Alcoholic deaths are not uncommon among the people we meet in the rooms of recovery. After almost 13 years of sobriety, I should be used to it right? Wrong. We never get used to it. We don’t want to get used to it.

I found myself sad for her family, for her son, and for her close friends. Indeed, I spoke on the telephone with her best friend who had been the one to find her body. I sent a quick text to my sponsor in California. She thought we should schedule some time to talk. Why didn’t I think about that?

Why didn’t I think that I needed to be heard? I was sad for everyone else but forgot to be sad for myself. I am always talking and writing about self-care. Yet I forget to do so for myself. Thank God, I have a sponsor (and a good friend) to remind me!

Coincidentally, today was the day I scheduled to speak with my sponsor. It was a good, much-needed discussion, filled with tears and laughter. I needed to speak. I needed to share out loud that I felt I had failed my friend even though I knew I had not.

gregortegaPhoto by Greg Ortega

The Yellow Rose of Texas

She’s the sweetest little rosebud that Texas ever knew

Her eyes are bright as diamonds, they sparkle like the dew

You may talk about your Clementine and sing of Rosa Lee

But the Yellow Rose of Texas is the only girl for me

– Mitch Miller

She was a lovely being, inside and out. This is one of the sad parts of recovery. We don’t see each other as the useless  pieces of shit that others would. We get to view the inner beauty of each soul we encounter. I might be a hippie who absolutely adores the redneck because we see past the labels that others and even ourselves put on us.

She loved her friends, family and most of all, her son. Though she drank, she still loved and was loved. Her nails were always done in a bright and lovely fashion. She had a beautiful smile and wit that will be missed for a long time coming. I know I will be expecting to run into her at Safeway out of habit for a while until it finally sinks in that she is gone.

As I stated above, she struggled with alcoholism for years. More than that, she suffered from it. The guilt and shame of not being able to quit. How many times had she beat herself up over it? Only she and God know. But I understand all this. I am no better or different, only owning a program today.

This song has been in my thoughts for several days before I even found out that we lost you my dearest. It perfectly states my heart today. Remembering when we went to see Cindy Lauper together and our wonderful talks. You were and always will be a beautiful soul.



Featured image courtesy of Gratisography.com


8 limbs (1)

Self-discipline and Spiritual observances are the main focus for the second limb – Niyama. Regular temple or church service attendance, prayers before meals, personal meditation practices, habitual contemplative walks alone are fine examples of practicing niyama.

Just as in the Yama, there are five niyamas:

Saucha: Cleanliness

When I think about cleanliness, I think about the Japanese Concept of 5S. 5S is a workplace standard but it can be utilized in our homes, in our minds, and in our heart spirits. The 5S system is defined as:

Seiri or Sort – Put things in order (Remove what is not needed and keep what is needed) Let that sink in a bit. When we put things in order in our homes and work places, we are able to do the same in our psyche.

Seiton or Straighten – Proper arrangement (Place things in such a way that they can be easily reached whenever they are needed) Bring the most important items to the front.

Seiso or Shine – Clean (Keep things clean and polished; no trash or dirt in the workplace) Take out the trash in the physical and in the mental.  I love this piece from The Way of The Peaceful Warrior:

Seiketsu or Standardize – Purity (Maintain cleanliness after cleaning – perpetual cleaning) Because the laundry is never completely done, we keep doing what works to maintain cleanliness. Dusting, wiping, sweeping, etc.

Shitsuke or Sustain – Commitment (A typical teaching and attitude toward any undertaking to inspire pride and adherence to standards) It takes commitment to keep our homes, our minds and our heart spirits clean daily. [1]

Samtosa: Contentment

This word is so simple yet so unattainable for many. I know I struggle with it. Though, not as much as I did when I was younger and when I was using. But how does one find contentment? The Mayo Clinic has a good piece on this subject and here are a few simple suggestions they make:

Devoting time to family and friends – I had to pause writing here to schedule a painting class for son and I  because I have had it in the back of my mind to do so. The weeks fly by and we realize we have not had any quality time with our family members. Make it a priority.

Appreciating what you have  – Wabi-Sabi is another Japanese concept I have come to love and appreciate. For in seeing the beauty in worn  items that we own, we are not so quick to go out and spend money to replace them. We can have a full appreciation in a tattered pair of curtains shuffling in the breeze on a peaceful Sunday afternoon. We can relish in the history of the journey a piece of wood traveled to become that now old secretary’s desk.

As a young man in Japan, I learned the great philosophy of Wabi-Sabi: rustic simplicity, quietness, and understated elegance combined with the patina of beauty and serenity that comes with age. Wisdom is to be found in natural simplicity; beauty in that which is flawed. May you find them, too, my good friend, here in these words” – Wabi-Sabi The Bushido Poems of a Samurai Warrior of The Spirit.

Maintaining an optimistic outlook – Difficult while we are in the midst of another race to the Presidential nomination. I myself, being one of the most optimistic people I know, have found myself shaking my head in disbelief of the crazy outcomes of our current debates. But I also know that this too shall pass. Sometimes the future looks scary. But whoever said things are always going to be rainbows and butterflies? When times are tough, we hold on to the  knowledge that  good things are on the way. And they really are.

Feeling a sense of purpose – If we have no sense of purpose, then what are we doing here? Sometimes that purpose is leading a community. Sometimes it is playing chess. Nothing we do is without purpose. We just have to take the time to identify it and then we can feel that motivation to move in our purpose.

Living in the moment – How many memes do we see and stories do we hear about living in the moment? Sometimes, in the morning, my mind is saying “I am brushing my teeth”, to remind myself that I am in the moment. There are moments when one can walk barefoot in the grass, with closed eyes and feel the coolness of the air, smell the blossoming jasmine, hear the birds chirping and taste the sweetness of fresh berries growing in the garden. This is a moment. Live it. [2]

Drishti MoveEast

Tapas: Heat; Spiritual Austerities – Tapas is doing something you do not want to do or not doing something you want to do. It should have a positive effect on one’s life and the lives of others.

Tapas should be simple with success being attainable,  yet it should also be difficult and challenging enough to engage the will.

Understanding tapas best is to think of it as consistent perseverance toward your goals: getting on the yoga mat every day, sitting in meditation daily—or forgiving your loved one for the umpteenth time.

Peter asked Jesus how many times should he forgive his brother. Peter thought maybe seven times might be a fair limit. But Jesus said “seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21-22).

Tapas is a more subtle, more constant practice, concerned with the quality of life and relationships and not so much on focusing on gritting your teeth through another few seconds in a difficult asana.

Svadhyaya: Study of the Sacred Scriptures and of One’s Self – There are many Sacred Scriptures from The Holy Bible, The Koran, The Bhagavad Gita, etc. Some go to books like Calvin and Hobbs for their moral learning. Whatever it is, consistent study will only bring out wonderful results in our lives.


Photo by Aaron Burden

Isvara pranidhana: Surrender to God – My favorite! I will never forget the day I waved the white flag and surrendered my addictions to my God. I thought I would be beat down for the rest of my life. As it turned out, he moment I surrendered, I felt a huge weight lift off of my shoulders.

I always considered surrender as a form of losing. But I learned in my life, I must surrender to win. I have been winning at life ever since! Not in the way I once thought, not in competition with others but in competition with my former self. All I have to do is be better than I was and I am a winner. You can be a winner too, just surrender!

Wow! I am learning so much about applying The 8 Limbs to my life and I hope you are also! Another week down, another movement toward The Elysian Life! Stay Blissful My Friends – E

  1. http://www.isixsigma.com/dictionary/5s/
  2. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/how-to-be-happy/art-20045714

The 8 Limbs of Yoga – Part 1 Yama

Hello there, my dear friends! For the next 8 Sundays, I will be sharing an 8-part series on the 8 Limbs of Yoga and how they apply to our daily mental, physical and spiritual lives. When one has an open mind, one is able to see the similarities and not the differences in religious and philosophical beliefs, bringing us closer to that Poetic Crossing and the Elysian Life.

8 limbs


Yama, being the first limb, is all about our ethical standards and sense of integrity, keeping focus on our behavior and how we conduct ourselves in life. Yamas are considered universal practices that relate to what is best known as the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”.

There are Five yamas to consider and they are:

Ahimsa: Nonviolence

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will

– 2 Timothy 2:24-26

One of the biggest sources of violence toward others has to do with our differences in beliefs. Over the span of history, people have felt the need to assault those which whom they have disagreements. Religious wars continue to ensue to this very day. One would wonder how weary God is upon hearing another request for victory.

This is not just between countries. In our very own communities and even within each church. A classic example is this clip from Saved. Though many would consider this extreme, I do not. This movie brought to light some of the reality of growing up as a teenager in the modern day church.

“This is not a weapon!”, exclaims the lead character and she holds up a bible that has just been thrown at her.  John 13:35 says “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” There is no disclaimer or loophole in this writing that says “unless you disagree with their form of worship or politics”.

When my dad was young, he went to live with his aunt in Los Angeles. This was when the Charismatic Movement had just come onto the scene. His aunt was involved in the movement. My father would experience kids throwing rocks at him, yelling “holy roller”! They would arrive home from church to find buckets of feces poured onto their porch. This was done to them, not by your average “non-believer”. These actions against my father and his family were carried out by other “Christians” who did not believe in “The Gifts of the Spirit”. My father refused to go to church ever again and began a  30+ year Heroin habit.

Ahimsa – nonviolence. Let’s try this. Let’s love one another regardless of our differences. Let us stop traumatizing young people who will feel said trauma for the rest of their lives.

Satya: Truthfulness

I am not sure there is any belief out there that doesn’t teach truthfulness. When we lie, we must continue to lie to cover the first lie. This is not sustainable. To live a simple, drama-free lifestyle, we cannot lie. Lying is just too complicated.

There are lies of commission and lies of omission. I  have done both in my life, especially during the years that I was drinking and drugging. I was an executive assistant to the president of an aerospace company, martial arts studio owner, church hospitality leader, and Sunday school teacher who drank and used cocaine regularly. Often, I would show up to church without having had any sleep. This was not sustainable.

Eventually, the truth would come out. Fortunately, this happened right as I was getting clean. After some time of being clean, I came clean to my church. I was embraced with love, understanding, and respect for being “real”. The other gift was watching as others began to open up about their addictions and shortcomings. Universal.

When you become truthful, it sets about a ripple effect of truthfulness in others. Of most importance, we must remain true to ourselves. The 12 Steps of Recovery, working with a sponsor and being part of a solid fellowship has been instrumental in helping me be true to myself and to others.

In Native American Culture, the owl represents wisdom, TRUTH, and patience.                       Photo by Cliff Johnson

Asteya: Nonstealing 

As with truthfulness, nonstealing is definitely taught across religions and philosophies. I am one who believes that any ill-gotten gain brings ill-gotten spirit into my household. I don’t want to be responsible for that.

Moreover, when I have worked for something, paid for it and brought it into my life, it has so much meaning to me. This might be due to the mindfulness spending I have been practicing lately. If I need it, if it is functional or brings beauty to my life, I will put it on a list. In a week, if I have the means, I will purchase it.

When I don’t have the means, I put it on a someday/maybe list.

Brahmacharya: Continence

Ah yes! Holding back. Self-control. I think as we age it gets easier to practice Continence. With experience and knowledge, we gain enough wisdom to know that whatever circumstance we are in, this too shall pass.

It is with that core understanding that we realize we don’t have to react immediately or emotionally. We don’t have to lash out, lie, steal, use drugs or drink over any situation. We can step back, breathe and turn it over to our higher power

One of my favorite moments in the book “Eat, Pray, Love”, is when Elizabeth Gilbert is praying in her closet. She is all emotional, wanting to get out of her marriage and unhappiness when she says she hears God speak to her for the very first time. God tells her “Go back to bed, Liz”.  Yes indeed, all was not going to be resolved at that moment, as a matter of fact, it would end up taking a lot longer than Elizabeth expected. But for Liz, this began a wonderous spiritual journey.

Aparigraha: Non-covetousness

Thou shalt not covet” – Exodus 20:17, King James Version

The act of coveting will most often bring on poor behavior. From sulking and being joyless, through attacking one’s character, all the way to violence.

In my first marriage, my husband and his ex-wife were constantly complaining each time one would obtain something the other did not have. I was a very young woman and did not totally understand what was going on with all this exclaiming of just how “unfair” it all was.

I actually started to act on this myself. Though I am a workaholic so I just set out to get raises and promotions to acquire what I wanted. But during this time in my life, I really didn’t like the person I  had become. Being comfortable in my own skin is the best feeling in the world to me and I know if I am to be covetous, that feeling would leave me immediately.

This covetous spirit was set free in me when my divorce took place. I didn’t have a lot of money but I felt I had everything I needed. Today, I could still fit all that I own in a very small truck.

Living these Yamas is another form of attaining bliss. Stay blissful my friends! – E

Electric Waves

We met up with my cousins at Ventura beach on a gorgeous summer day in 1984. The waves were perfect and we spent the whole afternoon body surfing. I didn’t even come out of the water to eat. No other sense could compete with the sound of the ocean singing its love song to me. Or the touch of the water enveloping me in its arms like a lover wanting to hold onto me forever, then liberating me as I am carried out to the sand rim on a powerful wave boasting of its strength.

Later that evening, after a nice shower and a meal, I lie on the living room floor. I reach over and grab the Super-Kool from my brother in-law’s hand and smoke its sweet minty goodness. Smokey Robinson’s Quiet Storm is playing. Closing my eyes, I relive every moment in the waves. But now, they are electric and soothing as they move my body forward and back. This is the sweetest moment and I never want it to end.

A few weeks later, my girlfriends Tina and Letty stopped by and asked me if I wanted to slam some coke. I had never used drugs intravenously but had nothing better to do at the time. “Okay”. 

I told my sister we were going to the park, which was the truth, that’s where we would meet our connection. Three guys, we knew joined us, I found out they were paying for it. It had started to get dark and I really didn’t know who else was there because all I could see were their dark silhouettes against the backdrop of the sun setting over the rolling foothills.

After the purchase was complete, It was time to get down! Then I noticed something, “Are we all using the same needle?”, I asked. “Yeah, we only have one.”, replied Letty. “Umm, nevermind. I will sit this one out.”, I said. They asked me if I was sure. Hell yes, I was. Didn’t any of them watch the news or read the paper? AIDS was the latest killer among IV users. Maybe I am too intelligent for the drug life. Well at least on that night I was.

The following week I am awakened by my sister shaking me. “Did you fucking slam coke with Letty and Tina?!”, she shouts. “No, I did not.”, I reply. “Tell me the damn truth!”, she says. “I am telling you the truth! I was going to but they were using the same needle and I just can’t do that.”

“Good.”, she says, “They all have Hepatitis”. A wonderful example of God doing for me what I could not do for myself.

Within 5 years, both Letty and Tina would be dead. Tina met up with some guys that had some heroin. She had just met them along the roadside. They gave her an overdose, raped her and dumped her body in a field. Tina was identified by her dental records and jewelry. Letty was getting high and wanted to go body surfing. She got pulled under by the tide and drowned. I think I would have rather gone out the way Letty did. Something about those Ventura waves…

Why not me? I know I did not get hepatitis because I made the choice to not use that day. But there were several other days and nights I coulda-shoulda-woulda been killed if only…

Yet I am here today, alive. My friends are dead. Who am I to question God’s will? Just as I had to accept the fact that I am an addict/alcoholic, I also had to accept that I was alive and they were not.

What I do know is that as long as I am above ground, I am willing to be in His service and make myself useful to all His creation. It is a gift, an honor, and a responsibility. This too I accept…blissfully.

What is your purpose in life? Have you accepted it wholeheartedly? I hope so. The spiritual life is both powerful and liberating…just like those electric waves.

Stay Blissful My Friends – E


The Obstacle Course That is Life


BAgus Ghufron Unsplash
Source: http://www.unsplash.com Photo by Bagus Ghufron


My life has become one obstacle course after another. I hope to wake up early enough to do Yoga and meditation. Soon after, I am showering, styling, making coffee and breakfast. My intentions are always to get out the door at 8:50 AM. But I must first: Pack my lunch,  slip on my wedding ring, put the dogs in their crates, give them treats, make sure all electronics are turned off,  and grab my purse/laptop/cellphone/lunch bag.

The drive to work is about the easiest part of my day as long as there is no extreme weather. Upon reaching the office, I must grab my stuff and try not to lock my keys inside the car. Then it is all about standing in line at the espresso machine, placing my lunch in the  fridge, starting up the laptop and checking email.

I schedule travel for many people and just as I am ready to lock in some good rates I will find that; pertinent info is missing, my P-card limit needs to be temporarily bumped up a bit or the server is down.

I will then send out the proper requests for one of the above and move on to another item until I receive a reply. I will choose to schedule some meetings. What happens next? There are no meeting rooms available, the distribution list needs to be modified, or the server is down.

More requests, and more waiting. Maybe I should do some scanning and electronic filing…you guessed it, either the scanner or the server is down. More requests, more waiting. Obstacles.

This is just work. Back at the homestead, we are updating our flooring. I arrive home with a great need to get on my elliptical machine but, it is hidden behind several pieces of furniture.

Obstacles are generally short-lived. At times, they appear in order for us to take a good look at how we are doing life. When this happens, we might ask ourselves a few questions:

  • Is my schedule in need of modification?
  • What is preventing me from doing my best?
  • Are my beliefs about success hindering progress? If so, maybe they need to be looked at realistically.
  • Do I need to delegate?
  • Am I delegating to the right person or persons?
  • Maybe I should hire someone to clean my house once a month.

When we can be honest with ourselves, action will soon follow. For every problem, there is a solution…if we really want one.

The Hindus chant the Ganesh Mantra 108 times to remove all obstacles.  The chant is as follows: “Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha,” as a calling upon the powerful energy of Ganesh, the elephant-headed deity, who is widely revered as the Remover of Obstacles and the Lord of Beginnings.

Christianstt.com has written a beautiful prayer in regard to obstacles:

“Father, we sing praises unto Your Precious and Mighty name. We thank You for all You have done. Be with us daily Lord, guide us and protect us as we remove obstacles in our way. Lead us along the plain path of righteousness, Oh Heavenly Father, bless us with Your divine favor and mercy.

Give us strength to persevere and overcome the obstacles in our lives, whether it is of You, to make us stronger or of the evil one who tries to knock us down. Despite it all, satan’s evil works will not prevail, for the battle is already won and we shall overcome, just as You overcame the world.

Loving King, draw near in these treacherous times. We confess that we need You at this very moment and we cannot gain victory without You. Remove every obstacle that prevents us from getting closer to You, our merciful Savior, remove them! In Jesus name we pray! Amen!”

Whatever obstacles you are challenged with, I pray you clarity. Regardless of our obstacles, we know we can continue in the Elysian Life. Stay Blissful My Friends – E



Domestic Violence/I Know


I found this worn out tattered paper with a poem I had written many years ago. It was during a particularly difficult time in my life. I was sitting with a group of women who were staying at a domestic violence safe house. Their stories were heartbreaking and powerful. I felt a great bond with each woman there. We lifted each other up and decided to write.

Back then, I had a strong desire to give back, or pay it forward to women who have experienced domestic abuse. Two of my kids were still under 18 and I spent the next few years raising them. I am now an empty nester.

Not believing in coincidences…I was recently contacted by Alternatives to  Violence, a local organization in Northern Colorado. The director asked if they could use my poem on their website or Facebook page. Of course, I said, “Yes”.  Further into our discussion, I expressed the desire to volunteer for ATV. She welcomed this and I submitted my application yesterday.

DV is something I have known my whole life.  Thinking about this a lot the past few days. I penned another poem:

I knew a woman for a little while.

She had the most beautiful smile.

Her smile could almost distract you from her blackened eye.

I just could not understand why.

Who would want to hurt such a beautiful creature?

Is this what marriage is, would this be my future?

Everyone is so quick to judge,

Without knowing why a woman does what she does.

No one gave her a hand up or kind offer.

Instead, they chose to gossip about her.

I can still hear those unkind voices.

Whispering ugly tales about her poor choices.

Surely this last beating was her fault.

Of course, she deserved this recent assault.

But I saw her kindness and admired her strength.

To help a friend, she would go any length.

Though I only knew her for a little while.

She taught me rather well how to smile.

I look forward to continuing in my journey of lovingly encouraging all in their quest for inner peace while endeavoring to supportively empower spiritual living. I hope to pass on to others, that which was passed on to me by some pretty incredible women.

If you or someone you know are in an abusive relationship, there are wonderful resources out there to help you get out. Just reach out your hand and ask for help.

Stay Blissful My Friends – E


Are You Ready for a New Year?

It feels to me that many of us are finishing off 2015 by the skin of our teeth. I myself have had a rough end to a rather challenging year. Thankfully, we get to start a new year in just 5 days! I might have a few ideas to consider as we begin 2016…


unsplash morgan sessions
Source: http://www.Unsplash.com Photo by Morgan Sessions



Have we challenged our minds lately? Are we ready to step this up? Might there be a class or educational advancement you have been putting off? Time to let go of fear and hit it head on! A funny thing about getting back into studying, it makes you crave more. At least, that is the effect 2015 has had on me academically.


Is it time to build a habit of prayer, meditation, church or temple attendance? For myself, I am setting in motion my 21-day stay at an ashram in Hawaii.

What are the desires you have for your spiritual life? I miss singing in the church choir. The sweet sound of lifting up God in worship and praise!


The first part of January is always the busiest time of the year for most gyms. Most of us start out fierce and with good intentions, only to fizzle out in the middle of the year. Maybe just starting a walking program at work. I have been known to walk up and down the stairs at work during lunch to get a little exercise in. Some employers offer a workout space for their employees. There are a few good online Yoga programs you can use first thing in the AM in the comfort of your own home.

Do what works for you! Aaaand, don’t forget the bubble bath to soothe those tired muscles!


If you are working on the above items, you have already started working on your emotions. But if you have become a recluse, due to the cold weather, it might be a good time to meet up with a close friend for coffee and a chat.  Call your mother.  Call your father.

Talk to your significant other. You may be surprised at how much time has passed since you last enjoyed a productive conversation with your other half!


Some of us have no other choice but to reflect on last year and plan for the next. This is usually the season for performance reviews. But if you don’t have this option, do your own SWOT analysis. A SWOT is a review of:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

When you inventory these items, you will know what to keep doing, stop doing and start doing more. It is a rather simple process. You can also use this tool in the Mental, Spiritual, Physical and Emotional aspects of your life as well.


Another business that flourishes at the beginning of each year is home organization! Time to start re-arranging your surroundings for better functionality. Wabi-Sabi is a good discipline to study.  It might save you some money as well. Wabi-Sabi is basically the art of seeing the beauty in imperfection. But if you feel you must take action in changing your home, a book on Feng Shui might be a good start.



More and more of us have become aware of what Narcissistic Personality Disorder is. We are able to recognize it in the people we have been close to. We now also realize the effects of continuing our relationships to such toxic people.  Friends of mine have told me how they have chosen to cut things off with their narcissistic family members. I myself have had to do this. But we get to do this in love, by sending  them off with a blessing instead of a curse. The result is being comfortable in our own skin!

Then we get to appreciate and focus on the good, solid relationships we do have. I remember a woman I know crying over a slight by her narcissistic father following a monumental accomplishment she had just made. Later, she called all her supporters and apologized for spending so much of her energy on his negativity rather than their support. “I felt like an asshole.”, she despondently expressed to me. Narcissists have a way of bringing out the worst in most of us…

When we let go of the toxicity, it no longer clouds the positivity with all its drama and chaos. We remain focused. “Focused”, now that sounds like a power word for 2016! Stay  Blissful My Friends – E