The Roadmap Home: Your GPS to Inner Peace®

February 3, 2015

Get serious about life and rewrite your story!

Rewrite your story!At 7 a.m. I walked the beach with my friend, Daniel. He told me about a recent conversation he had with his brother who was sliding through life, not taking it seriously. Daniel strongly encouraged his brother to take himself seriously.

I asked Daniel if there was a part of his own life that he wasn’t taking seriously. He paused for a moment and then, in a flash of insight, recognized that his brother represented a personal goal he wanted to take more seriously.

As he talked, I realized that I needed to take my writing more seriously. I love to write and create stories but often neglect promotion, a necessary part of any career.

Every story that resonates with us has a message. Once we embrace it, we’re compelled to take action and share our story with all the lessons. That’s how the human race has evolved.

A story involves a main character in search of a goal, who faces and hopefully overcomes opposition, in order to achieve success. In the process, the character undergoes a transformation. “Can Leonard, who grew up in a family with hardship and struggle, overcome his past and create ease and inner peace?”

What’s your story? Is it about being yourself, overcoming adversity, or finding true love? Your theme will show up in the books you choose to read, the movies you watch, and the drama that unfolds around you.

I encourage you to take your story seriously. Doing so requires an audience. You can talk to a friend, see a therapist, or write your story down. Once you get serious, you embark on an incredible adventure–the hero/heroine’s journey.

November 1, 2014

Slow Down You’re Moving Too Fast

Dammed BusyA friend of mine pointed out that I haven’t sent a newsletter in four months. I was about to say, “I’ve been too busy,” then stopped myself. I flashed to a letter that my mother wrote to me many years ago, when I lived in Australia. In that letter, she used the word “busy” twelve times. She was busy working, busy gardening, busy volunteering, busy shopping, busy, busy, busy. Back then, I chuckled at her busyness, resolving that wouldn’t happen to me.

Now I only shake my head at my own busyness. Mind you, I love when I write, speak, coach clients, and present seminars. However, I can easily get absorbed in my work, and when I get too busy, I neglect myself and relationships.

Over the past few months, I’ve come face to face with serious health issues of some family members. Those health challenges forced me to slow down and ask, “What is really important?”

Was accomplishment, achievement, or completing a list of tasks the most important function of my life? Not when facing the potential loss of loved ones. That wake-up call reminded me to slow down because I was moving too fast.

If you ever find yourself “too busy,” ask yourself these four questions:

  1. Why am I so busy?
  2. Is this how I want to spend my time?
  3. What else would I prefer to do?
  4. Can I make time today to do what I love?

Love helps us slow down to make the moments last. We can never be too busy for love.

Welcome Home!

June 10, 2014

Write Your Way to Success

write your way to successMany years ago, I worked with a depressed woman in her 30’s, who had a rare debilitating illness. Growing up, she was raised in an abusive household and kept to herself. She believed she was stupid, ugly, and without much hope for the future. She could barely express herself verbally.

I asked her to write a few thoughts in a journal in between our therapy sessions and bring them so I could read them. Her first entry was one sentence, illegibly scribbled on a crumpled piece of paper. I thanked her for having the courage to open her life and share her words.

Over time, she brought in a journal which I read at the beginning of each session. Her simple sentences soon turned into paragraphs. Her paragraphs expanded to pages. Her pages blossomed into completed journals.

As her writing expanded, so did her life. She grew in confidence and became more verbally expressive. She founded a support group for individuals with the rare disability, started a newsletter, and built a remarkable organization that connected families affected by the disability. In essence, she created a supportive, loving extended family. Not too long ago, I received an email from her, telling me that her story was published in a magazine.

The changes all began because of the power of words. I have witnessed countless examples of individuals whose lives have changed as a result of writing. The late Maya Angelou used words to liberate herself, so beautifully expressed in her book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Words provide the keys to unlock doors. Find the missing pieces and see the whole picture. Write your way to success and health!


January 3, 2014

Let your dreams soar in 2014!

let your dreams soar

The best selling children’s author Beatrix Potter once wrote, “There’s something delicious about writing those first few words of a story. You can never quite tell where they’ll take you.

Beginning a new year is like writing the first words of a story. You can never quite tell what will happen during the year.

As I reflect on 2013, many events occurred that I had not originally planned. I climbed down the Grand Canyon with my two children, Melissa and Nate, and advanced to the quarter-finals (the top 100 in general fiction) of the Amazon Novel Contest for my novel, Kookaburra’s Last Laugh. During the year, I became immersed in helping a Holocaust survivor, Yvonne Carson, write and publish her memoir, Silence and Secrets: A Jewish Woman’s Tale of Escape, Survival and Love in World War II.

An unexpected health issue with my oldest sister made me pause and reflect on the fragility of life and recognize that each moment offers us a precious gift. I have become more grateful for the simple pleasures in life with a stronger commitment to practice love on a daily basis.

As I consider my intentions for the upcoming year, I know there are unknown forces at work that I have no control over. I can, however, clarify where I wish to place my energy and move forward in that direction with a sense of curiosity about the unfolding journey, not knowing where it will take me.

As you consider your intentions for the upcoming year, let your dreams soar. To paraphrase Beatrix, there’s something delicious about starting the beginning of a year. Happy New Year!


March 14, 2013

Prickly People: If You Can’t Stand Them; Understand Them

love, forgiveness, and truthMany years ago, during a personal growth workshop, I participated in an experiential exercise. The facilitator of the group asked members to pair off with another person. To my horror, I was stuck with a woman who I considered the least desirable participant. Unkempt and reeking of tobacco and body odors, she related in an erratic, prickly way.

I had hoped for a partner who was capable of sharing on a deep, personal level, not someone who irritated me and the others in the group. Begrudgingly, I listened to the facilitator issue instructions: face your partner, look into the eyes, and, without talking, see each other.

I nervously glanced around the room at the other pairs, wishing I was with someone else. I reluctantly stared at the grizzled woman in front of me. Then it happened. Her brown eyes penetrated mine. My blue eyes peered deep into hers. Two powerful magnets locked our gaze. A door to her soul fell open; I tumbled inward – to her very Essence. Spirit touched my heart.

My previous judgments lifted like a fog dissolving in sunlight. Tears fell from her eyes; compassion filled my heart. Tears sprinkled down my cheeks and I connected with her – soul to soul. We hugged each other as if we had found a long, lost friend.

That profound experience taught me a life-changing lesson. Whenever I encounter difficult or prickly people, I have limited vision for I only see their outer shells, not their True Selves. Those individuals become my teachers and remind me to practice three powerful forces: love, forgiveness, and truth.

Love moves me to understand and accept others. It doesn’t mean I have to accept their behaviors, but I can appreciate that they have their own, unique spiritual path. If I look behind their masks, I can find their Essence which is love.

Forgiveness frees me from the tyranny of judgment. I can then release unwanted parts of myself that I projected onto others. When I let go of expectations and control, and even forgive myself for judging, I receive unexpected gifts and amazing grace.

Truth asks me to own my thoughts, feelings, and behaviors so I can choose how I act. As Wayne Dyer says, “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.” When I acknowledge my discomfort, I can open up a dialogue with someone who triggers my reactions. That can lead to greater connection and intimacy with myself and others. When I act truthfully, I create an atmosphere for authentic relating.

So if you ever find yourself in a situation with a prickly person, someone who you can’t stand, try to see them through the eyes of love, forgiveness, and truth. With a deeper understanding, you can shift feelings of separateness into Oneness.

Welcome Home!

December 12, 2012

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

the giftAs a young boy, I received a brightly colored Christmas present from my younger sister, Rita. Her excited face prompted me to tear open the package. Tossing the wrapping away, I found three pencils, an eraser and three comic books. My glee soon turned to glum when I checked the present she had given my older brother. His gift, a set of screwdrivers, seemed far better than mine. I ungratefully grumbled to my sister about her choice of presents. My lack of appreciation left her crestfallen, for she had given considerable thought to the gift.

As I grew older, I continued to receive pen and pencil sets for birthdays and holidays. I wondered why others couldn’t be more imaginative with their gift-giving. Then it struck me. I was the unimaginative one who couldn’t recognize presents for what they were – acts of love.

I also neglected to see the significance of the signs that Spirit kept generously sending my way. If only I had grasped the meaning of the constant reminders to express myself through words, I could have fully embraced my sister’s gift. I would have realized early on that I was meant to create stories and write books. Had I known that, I would have bowed in deep appreciation, love and gratitude.

That lesson taught me that when I expect certain outcomes from relationships or experiences, I often miss the unseen gifts. Miracles often reveal themselves when I become a treasure seeker. If I look through the eyes of a curious child, I can watch in wonderment the treasures of life – acts of kindness and love, nature’s magnificent creations, even the precious gifts of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.

When you receive a present, look beyond the material object and find the hidden message – the treasure. And if someone doesn’t receive your gift with glee, smile at them with compassion. They might get your message of love and caring later in life.

May the upcoming Holiday shower you with gratitude – the gift that keeps on giving. Be grateful for all that you have, all that you have accomplished, the people in your life and the miracles you have experienced. And while you’re at it, consider this question, “What would others tell you if you asked them to list the reasons why they’re grateful you are in their life.” Celebrate the treasures!

Happy Holidays and Welcome Home!

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The Roadmap Home: Your GPS to Inner Peace

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