Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Last Day (Poem)

A concept that I created for myself over the last year and a half, came from a place where my physical pain and illness had reached a critical point. Much of my day was hidden from even the closest of my family for I dare not expose them to what was a private matter but a place that I didn't think they should be burdened with. During these private moments I had to find a way to cope with pain that was like a hell....truly. For example, I would visualize those lost in the Haiti disaster whose last moments were buried between rocks and walls. Imagining their pain, helped me to understand my pain was still tolerable. Then I asked myself one day "What if this was my last day?". I kept that thought going daily because I knew that if anything could help me appreciate the good I had, this idea did. So this poem was created from my survival mindset during a time that appeared never ending, providing me hope. Today, I feel so relieved to have overcome this painful experience and having hope made it happen.

This poem is dedicated to "Mandi".

My Last Day

Have you had days pass by without a thought
Absorbed with battles that you needlessly sought
And in the midst of this storm blinding your way
Suddenly, you awake to "What if this was my last day?"

If today was my last day, I want to feel gratitude in my heart
Because there's a new door, to open with a new start
Now I will include thanking God for each day
No more taking anything for granted, because it all could fly away

All that matters is right here, within my grasp, now
Loving everyone around me without having a need to ask "how?"
My last day is today, and I am free!
Like a strong breeze I can feel it within me

With a perspective more clear my heart rejoices
Finally I'm not chained to the old dark voices
A new beginning that I can make my destiny
My last day is my first step into making my dreams reality

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Subject to Change" On the Front Door of Life

We all get comfortable periods in life, and “expecting” each day to be the same is just an unconscious part of our thinking. We grow into our lifestyles, adapt to the way we like our home, personal life, work life, health and how we raise the kids. Our daily routines are rituals that we give no thought to, because we are on automatic pilot mode. We hear others talk about sudden health issues, family breakups, financial fallen, and job madness. We move on as though we won’t get hit by these changes. When change does happen, and it disrupts all that we have known, we tend to resist and suddenly we are all out of sorts with life.

My first major change in life occurred at age 27 and it was a mystery illness in many ways. I found myself in a maze of great physical pain and odd symptoms but a variety of doctors who were unable to adequately treat me. That change had such an impact in my life and I really didn’t want to accept that my life needed to continue carefully in a new direction. Accepting change means we ourselves have to look at what we have in our ownership of the change. However sometimes we don’t recognize our part to play in making the change. Today I am able to see that I didn’t make the necessary changes in my life for my new health condition.

When I look at change in my life I recognize those changes that were wanted but still had great challenges. My move from Cincinnati, OH, to Houston, TX, was one that I was so excited about. Not only was I starting a new job after being jobless for 3 months, but I was moving where the weather was warm and dry instead of so many dreary cold days! There was no way to mentally prepare myself however for a move to Texas and a new job. I was just turning 34 and moving away from all my friends and family, 1100 miles away. At first it felt like a vacation as I made friends immediately, and playing on the lake like I so commonly did in Ohio. Life felt great, but as time went on, things got tough. Before I knew it I was slammed with another major change and I had only been in Texas nine months. Another move, this time to Austin, TX, which included surprising changes that blew me away.

The odd part about change, good or bad, is how it can make you grow and continue to open other doors. The problem we face with change most times is the patience to see it through. I read a book once that talked about change and our normal resistance to it. The book suggested that every home should have a sign on the front door that reads “Subject to Change”. That meant a lot to me as I realized that many of the changes which turn into life changing events, come either unplanned, not on our timetable, or the end of something or someone we loved dearly. What we have to come to terms with is change is subject to happen at any time. Our wakeup call is that change is suppose to occur. If we decide we can’t accept the change, then we are in for a world of hurt.

Three years into my daughter’s life that I was so delighted to have with me, another major change hit….but this time the biggest of all booms! At age 40 I found myself in the hospital being brain monitored and dealing with the mystery illness again. It has now been 5 years, and I am disabled as a result of this mystery type illness. With this illness has come a continual revolving door of nonstop change.

I know now that change is something that can happen every day. The loss of health, job, and friends is still a change I struggle with however it has ironically opened up doors also. Now, I don’t think about all the hours away from my daughter while at work. I’m able to be more at peace with my home not looking perfect because my health is priority over it. Writing and poetry have been great gifts to me that I never saw before. I have accepted that change has knocked on my door so many times that hopefully one day I may find that change will show me a healthier body soon!

Subject to change is our purpose in life. If we resist or refuse to accept it we will close those doors that are being presented to us, to walk through and embrace those opportunities that can come with change. Here are five tips that I have identified in helping me with ongoing changes in my life.

Tips For Accepting Change

1. Expect Change - Allowing and accepting events in your life to happen, planned or unplanned, but definitely involve changes that we should always know are just around the corner.

2. Change You – Changes that disrupt our day-to-day life come to us two different ways. There is change that happens to you, and also change that happens within you. We can’t control what will happen, but we do have the ability to control what we do with the change. Be alert and quick to recognize that you are about to enter a new phase of life.

3. Seek the Opportunity – When you see that you are having a hard time moving from where you are, to where you need to go, envisioning where the move could take you may help. Look at the big picture, and see what positive options there are. Sometimes it is scouting our location, or even trying new relationships. Once you have built some trust in the new, it will be easier to leave the old.

4. Let Go of the Old – One of the toughest things in life is to let go of a loved one we have lost. Letting go of our sense of security or relationships can be awfully scary and difficult to do. One of my favorite reminders that I say to myself is “Let Go, Let God”. The best gift we can give ourselves is peace, and only by letting go can we reach that blessing.

5. Keep Growing – Making strides towards the things that will benefit you also keep you moving in the right direction in any transition. Whether it is in your personal or business life, when you recognize an opportunity to expand in ways that will reap rewards, go for it. It is all about our growing and knowing that a breakthrough does lead to better days.

One of the things I say to my daughter a lot is “Everything has a beginning and an ending”. That may sound morbid but preparing her for what to expect at the playground, school, birthday parties, or chores around the house,etc. is to help her understand a head of time that these things all change and we move on through life as it was meant to be.

This is the most recent blog I have posted for Crafted Elegance provides quality crafts that are hand made creations by those who are disabled. Within Crafted Elegance is an opportunity to find great crafts and also provide yourself the ability to sell your art. Please take time to visit this craft site!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Love Tree

As a poet (only aware after becoming disabled) my words tend to flow easier for me only in a poem. For this month’s blog, I was suffering Bloggers “block"….but then an idea came to me after talking to Dianalynn Varin (owner of Crafted Elegance) about how her business will grow, for it is a “Love Tree”. My emphasis was that in her walk to provide us, the disabled, a way to fulfill a purpose and still make an income was pure love! As more of us reach out to others, more branches grow. I asked Dianalynn since I was having Blogger’s “block”, if it was OK for me to write a poem. A few days later this poem just flowed out.

The Love Tree

The roots take seed

In ways we need

To work our way above the ground

Then off to receive sight and sound

The trunk of a tree is like the soul

Finding the path that makes us whole

Find a branch to reach out

Then in turn branches will begin to shout

I’m here for you as you grow!

Helping during any high and low!

The fruit your tree bears

Is sweet and nothing compares!

How remarkable to see the tree over time

With bright leaves in green and lime

It glows among others in the big forest

Beginning a desire to be the ultimate best

Love is a beautiful tree of giving

Branching out, and making others sing

Giving a heart to branch out and receive

Collecting together because we believe

My tree of love is always here

Asking you to take care

Be my friend not my enemy

For peace is my gift to you and me

Look around your tree

Do you have what your heart can see?

Dare to spread your branches far and wide

You will see that your love tree is right inside

I have climbed through many trees wavering

I found love can only be received, after giving

If I first love what my tree can be

Only then can others branch to my love tree

Crafted Elegance is an on-line marketplace that sells high quality, homemade crafts created by disabled individuals. Please take a moment when you can and visit This business is one of great opportunities for both those interested in craft products and for those needing a place to demonstrate their beautiful abilities through their art.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fear: False-Evidence-Appearing-Real

The only one who comes to know the lasting contentment of true spiritual fulfillment is that unique person who realizes that the fear of emptiness is itself an empty power.

Life's Secret Lessons About Real Success

Success is not measured by the amount of our possessions. The truth is that real success is determined by how much we are in actual possession of ourselves. We can also see that the person who fears the loss of what he thinks is his success has not truly succeeded. Why is this the truth? The individual who lives with secret self-defining fears is not a self-possessing person but rather a person possessed, often pushed and punished by his fears.

To see the truth of these findings is to realize the need for a whole new way to succeed in life. This new way of life requires us to search out a totally different path through life, a new path we can climb only by calling on a whole new set of higher actions. We can begin our ascent to securing real success with the following new action:

We must begin the inner work of consciously proving to ourselves that there is nothing to fear, instead of allowing our fears to push us into a never-ending series of fearful actions. This suggested new action makes more sense the more we gain insight into our present notion of success; for if we look closely, we can see that contained right within it, although unseen at present, is the fear of failure. The real fear behind this idea of failing is our unconscious fear of losing our familiar, confident sense of self.

As long as what we think of as being our "success" in life harbors the secret fear of our self somehow being diminished by the loss of this same external source, then our sense of self does not belong to us. Under these conditions we are little more than unsuspecting victims subject to every vagrant wind of change that blows through the world of our enterprise.

Strive to do what is in your power while remaining awake to what is not. It is not in your power to control what will occur or how events will transpire. But it is in your power to be awake to the fearful voices that either project some doom or that denounce you for making mistakes. Realize that these fearful states are secretly trying to keep you their captive. The only hold they have is the fear they can get you to buy into about "you." Remember: Do what is in your power, not what is not.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Overcoming Isolation with Social Media Network

Here is the second blog I had the pleasure of writing for Crafted Elegance. Hope you enjoy!

One of the things I have learned just recently in 2011, is how my own social isolation was improved by the Internet. Many individuals, who are housebound (i.e. disabled, stay at home moms along with caregivers), find themselves over time to become socially isolated. Participating in relationships and contacts outside the home is critical to health as shown by national studies. Studies recently conducted, are focusing on whether the Internet is a positive or negative influence for those isolated. Overall the studies do show that the online communication of chat rooms, online dating and social networks have reduced isolation and will continue to do so through 2020! Here is a study I found on this serious topic and to view click on the link:

I haven't been to a happy hour in probably 15 or so years. The "end of the work week" used to be a place where my coworkers and friends would gather over a beer, while enjoying each other with laughter. Being social was always part of my way of being. I talk a lot and anyone who knows me will tell you that! My history of employment was that of a service type position where I had to work on people's computers, telephones, wiring, etc. It was important that I have a social attitude when working on people's office equipment and that opportunity fulfilled my strong desire to be part of a group of people.

I think many of us have that nature in us to be a part of something other than ourselves. We make friends at work, church and in our fitness world (if we have one outside the home). I was an avid "work-out girl" and used to spend hours upon hours at the gym....and I loved the social atmosphere there too! Another thing I used to love to do with my friends is dance! Most weekends I had to be "out" or I felt so bored.

Starting a family is a common stage in life where family becomes the primary focus and we gradually wean into this family mode. Especially when you have that baby that just makes your heart explode, being social takes a different twist. We tend to mingle at the work place but happy hours and weekend dancing goes way back on the back burner.

Imagine though becoming ill with your body restricted...or injured to the point that interacting with others is more than a becomes so difficult you can't drive, maybe even mobility is an issue. The trend is unfortunately that your good co-workers (who are busy with their family and friends) after time will not call anymore, or visit. Definitely relationships with friends can be strained by your new world. It's nobody's fault that you're "disabled" and/or your life doesn't fit in with others. It is very hard to understand and live with someone who is disabled. In my experience, and as I have learned from talking to others who have become disabled, life outside the home rarely exist. It becomes a world you don't recognize, and turns into isolation that can lead to depression. I know, as I went through all of this.

Now comes what some may think is funny or odd, but I bet those who have been isolated, will understand. Social Media Network stopped my isolation! I have been on Facebook since about 2008, however, I wasn't really drawn into Facebook and I wasn't a regular visitor except when I wanted to post some pictures.

When 2011 arrived, I started a Facebook group called "Finding the Answer" which was to help me focus on finding answers for my wellness. This was the new pavement that I was about to learn would lead me out of isolation and back into my social world. I began sharing stories with friends, finding new friends, finding friends with common issues, and the list goes on. I found opportunity in Facebook with my writing but most of all I had my laughter and social energy back!!! I so desperately needed friends to just joke around with and feel like I belonged to a group.

The amount of time I spend hooting over witty comments and fun times with my friends and family across the U.S. has changed my life for the better. I had lost my sense of humor, but I regained it and then something far better and surprising happened. I physically felt better!!! When I had my social interactions back, I could feel my body strength improve and physical pain reduce. I may have serious health issues going on at present, but having the ability to joke and laugh, makes all the rest seem not as important. I don't want my pain, illness, or plain health issues to be the center of me. Making others smile and laugh, brings delight in my life and my body has been rewarded by this gift.

It may be hard to reach out in the Social Medial Network if you are presently alone and maybe not sure how to get "out there" on any internet social media. I never thought that 3 years after I joined facebook I would be writing about how it virtually saved my life. One step towards opening the door, allowing a few friends to be of comfort and to add light back into your spirit may surprise you beyond what you could imagine. I only hope that more people who are isolated can find their way to people who make them inspired, grow, and is one source of medicine we do require.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Opportunity is Ability - Blogger for Crafted Elegance

The Opportunity Is Ability
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 23:32

In 2006, I was faced with my life changing event called disability. I focused initially on the physical problems and overcoming them. A wise friend gave me advice, the same words repeatedly which were "find the opportunity". As I tried to digest those words and handle what I viewed as only my pain that no one could understand, the words hit me so many times "find the opportunity". I would get "annoyed" at times with my friend who was healthy because she wasn't going through my ordeal. I thought how dare she keep telling me to get beyond my pain and stop resisting. I knew my friend was right about finding the opportunity. It was the best advice but I wasn't ready to receive it.

Then in 2008, I began to try and create a business with being able to work from home and make up for the income loss when I converted to disability pay. The loss of income was quite extreme and I was a single mother. Repeatedly since 2008 I have continued to try and find my business opportunity but at the same time I felt the reins of the illness pulling me down. I had accomplished a business startup but there were so many Internet scams I came across and I questioned if a means of providing for me and my daughter was even possible.

Presently I have peace and opportunity in my writing. I learned that opportunity is also the knowledge and recognition that I have more ability. A few months ago I read a post for crafters needed at Crafted Elegance and was intrigued at the fact that the owner of Crafted Elegance and myself had many things in common. Dianalynn Varin is disabled just as I, and she is a business owner starting out, clearly she demonstrated the desire for a business opportunity, and to provide for the ability disabled folks have. Dianalynn Varin, has shown not only her desire to bring opportunity to herself, but in doing so, through Crafted Elegance she has provided a world of opportunity to those who are restricted but want to go on providing for themselves. Making crafts has an element of peacefulness to it and that was a huge attraction to me to be a crafter. I wanted to give myself some peace and a break from my own business while I allowed my body to heal. What Dianalynn did for me is help me see that I have been exhibiting opportunity all along, by blogging and writing poetry.

I am honored that Dianalynn asked me to be the "blogger" for Crafted Elegance. I believe in Dianalynn and Crafted Elegance 100 percent. There is a poem I wrote a year ago called "Disability Without "D" which you can find in my blog archives. Crafted Elegance is the place where "Is Ability" (Disability without "D") is demonstrated by the owner, the business opportunity for the disabled, and the customer...who will not only have purchased a quality inspected product, but allowed ability to shine on the faces of every crafter and on Crafted Elegance.

Please take a moment and check out Crafted Elegance website! I am working on a craft myself to start selling! So whether you are interested in creating & selling a craft or buying hand-crafted qulity items, Crafted Elegance wants to give you opportunity with quality!
- Click on the link!

Friday, February 25, 2011

This Far

Don't sit and let your mind scatter and compare
It's not about what you think is fair
Through it all, This Far is what matters
It will sustain you through the blinding glare

Picking up the pieces of a continual mourning
I failed to see all the good I had happening
Making an effort to see beyond the eye
This Far, is enough without any Why

Climbing those stairs that circle and wind
Is critical to healing, even if it doesn't seem kind
The focus being on your walk through the journey
Looking at how far you've come instead of disability

Believe beyond your expectations and plans
For that which is out of your control is in His hands
Each step you take makes all the difference
We weren't meant to be our own hindrance

Find how far you can go by not looking backward
Keep your attention on the next step forward
Don't fret over the stones that may slow your walk
And be careful not to listen to the evil around you talk

There will be days that This Far will be still
Don't make it about self punishment or lack of will
Some days are meant to be quiet and motionless
Keeping yourself peaceful and gracious

You know This Far can be about your influence
Give yourself and others the motivation to go the distance
No matter what don't give in to the hardship
This Far is God's way of helping you worship

Don't forget to pray to Him who walks with you
He wants you to recognize the walk and What you do
Talking is not enough, so show This Far with dignity
This Far is accepting that one step, even the smallest is plenty

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Hopefully you have a hobby or outlet that helps in your journey of trying to pull you through any struggle, whether it is tough times in your life, health issues, etc. Some of you know I tend to write poetry and am very big on my journals. During the most difficult of times in my illness, I would sit and think of how I felt, how my family must feel, and start to write. My poetry collection is starting to pick up however it halted for the last few months.

My coming forward with this is just a way to say keep doing whatever keeps your spirit alive. I allowed depression and focus on my pain to keep me from writing. I had told James several times that there were no words coming form my heart and I had not written a poem for months. "One liners" have come to me, which I jot down but just a big block in my mind and heart.

Today as I was reading through my journal I found something I ever noticed before but loved seeing how it changed my heart. In my journal, I wrote on Dec. 26th, "Celina told me she thinks I should work on my poetry. I think she is wise". Then the next page in my journal was a poem I wrote on Dec. 27th....and I wrote this poem without Celina's advice in my thought process. I needed "my therapy" and on 12/27 I was up all night, unable to sleep. I had ulcers all over my tongue, and I started to obsess over them. Then I went to the computer at 4am and wrote the following poem:

(This poem is about the countless doctor's I've tried to explain my body's message, counselor who I had built much faith and fondness for but "she" revealed her true self, and hired psychologist, by private disability, for hidden agenda's to disprove my body's voice).


Mind, Body and Soul need to be together

Without them balanced, you are a meaningless token

Every storm big or small you cannot weather

You continue to fall but hope you won't end up broken

In front of them all, like presenting to a jury

You expose all, expecting something in return

Justice, Sympathy, Integrity, Humanity

And when that fails, you feel it as a personal burn

You seek answers from prophets of God

"Patience, that which you wish for is coming"

Over and over "patience" is drilled into the head

Now 20 years later, what should you be feeling?

Therapy reveals to you what you reveal to it

You try to get help and in return are struck down

In my face you spit

Your faces may smile at me but your souls frown

Illness struck the body mind and soul

You added insult to injury

Knowing me was not on your schedule

Next I'm accused of perjury

So stand up, don't stay broken

Every day trying to find your legs and their strength

Seems they are weak and lack desire for walkin

By now, you know there's another kick in the ass comin

The next day after writing this poem, I found out:

1. I was scammed $6500 on my credit card - still trying to resolve

2. Medical drug insurance coverage was halted and $400 worth of meds still waiting at the


3. Went to refill my Darvocet - found out that FDA pulled it from US - now illegal

4. Missed my doctor's appt that I had waited 3 months for...I have never missed appt with

this doctor in 4 years. I was so sick I couldn't hardly get out of bed for 3 days. Now

the doctor can't see me for another 3 months.

Sometimes, despite how negative the poetry seems, it is truly my therapy. My daughter is wise and I now feel the inspiration to write again.