Locked Out, Lost, But Still Feeling Lucky


, ,

Note: I thought I’d posted this when I wrote it over a week ago… That’s how I know I’m having a good time simply being in the experience of Guanajuato! It became a bit of a novel…

A week gone by just like that! I think I’m finally beginning to get my bearings – just slightly. At least I can figure out how to find that darn tunnel, and then from there which street to huff and puff my way up to The Golden Bee.

Yes, this town is riddled with underground tunnels, carved out of the rocky mountainside and they are the automobile thoroughfares – which is nice because it leaves a few of the downtown streets car-free. (I wish more of them were! And let’s just say they don’t have the emissions rules that we enjoy in the U.S. So Pee-Uuu!)

I have grown intimate with one of these tunnels – known as Tunel Santa Fe – as I must walk through it to get into the Centro. It takes about 5-7 minutes to briskly walk through the long, dank, and slightly stinky tunnel but fortunately there are usually several other people taking the hike too – so not too scary. Wouldn’t attempt it after dark though.

Walking through Tunel Santa Fe

Walking through Tunel Santa Fe

Day One

Time change, altitude, recovering from flu… still feeling groggy I checked the time to see it was already 9 AM. And Liz was picking me up at 11 to take me to the SuperMercado so I could stock up on some groceries without having to haul them back up that hill.

And, she had to show me the dog-feeding routine.

Sara, my landlady, and the owner of this place – which is still a work in progress she and her husband designed and helped build – had picked up two street puppies while she was living here last year. Being a quirky artist type in construction mode at the time, she named them Tullia Tool Box and Galaxy Hammer. Two Doberman mixes, they look like they came from the same litter. They were both overjoyed to see us. And not just for the food, I could tell they were starved for human company.

Tullia Toolbox and Galaxy Hammer, the rambunctious puppies I'm caring for

Tullia Toolbox and Galaxy Hammer, the rambunctious puppies I’m caring for

Then, off to the supermarket, where Liz said, “I’ll meet you out front.”

Hmmm, what to get? And how to tell what anything is. I wandered through the aisles squinting and labels trying to call up my limited Spanish vocabulary. Were the produce prices by pound or kilo, I wondered as I picked up familiar and exotic looking fruits.

In my fuzz-brained state it probably took me over an hour to make it through the store (Poor Liz), but I got out of there with several bags of staples, produce and even a couple bottles of booze for about $75.

Back at the compound, Liz helped me carry my bags to the door and hopped in her truck and sped away. Annoyed at how long the whole thing had taken I’m sure.

The Great Key Debacle

Then ensued my first ‘adventure’.

I pulled out my keys and inserted the giant weird looking one into the main deadbolt lock. Turning it one way and the other, I kept trying to get that door to open. The knob wouldn’t budge. I tried the second lock – which I hadn’t locked when I left, but none of the other keys fit it. But, I reasoned, that shouldn’t matter since I hadn’t double locked.

Well, apparently it did.

Sweat began to bead my forehead, and I’d wished I’d found a bathroom at the super market as I stood there in the hot sun, surrounded by plastic grocery bags, trying to get the @#$#@% door to open! What was I going to do? Liz had given me her card with her number, but I’d left it up in the apartment. And I didn’t have a working cell phone yet anyway.

Did I mention I’m on a rather busy street, the Panoramica, a main thoroughfare for buses and cars? Assorted locals hung around across the street, waiting for the bus, or heading into the Centro, staring at the flustered Gringo.

Soon a young guy came over, taking pity on me. Oh thank you! I couldn’t understand a word of his rapid fire Spanish, but I got the gist that he was asking if I couldn’t get the key to work. He tried and tried – but no go. The damn thing was not going to open.

Why oh why hadn’t I tried out my keys when Liz was around??

Now I had two ‘helpers’, both gabbling away in muy rapido Spanish, but neither of them could force that door open (and I didn’t possess the language skills to discourage such forcing!)

Finally through pantomime I managed to communicate that I needed to send an email to get a key. He pointed out an internet place right across the street. I headed over there and managed to fumble through sending an email on the strange keyboard.

I sure hoped Liz would be checking her email soon!

I raced back across the street, belatedly realizing I’d left the keys with those guys. And fortunately the two were still there. The first guy had found a ramshackle ladder and – much to my dismay – commenced climbing up to the overhang above the door (while the other guy held onto it, barely preventing it from keeling over.)

How the heck was that going to help, I wondered. But of course I didn’t know how to ask.

At the top of the ladder he kept making noises and grimacing as he seemed to be pushing something out of the way. Later I realized it was planters that had been studded with broken glass!


In another couple of minutes he was on the other side and the door swung open.

Umm, so much for the first level of security.

But what sweet relief that I was in! He jabbered away pointing at the locks, indicating a separate bolt that we’d not been able to open.

Just then Liz showed up.

Together we determined that I in fact did not have a working key to that 2nd lock.

WTF? I did feel a sense of relief that it wasn’t just my ineptness with keys though.

Proper keys in hand, I hauled my stuff up the four flights of stairs, and soon was collapsed on the bed.

Still groggy after my nap I perked up when I witnessed the first of many stellar sunsets followed by the lights of Guanajuato winking on one by one.


Day 2 – The Centro

Since Liz’s partner George had offered to take me on a walk around the town and show me some of the key places, I got my shit together in time for pickup.

We were joined by a Canadian couple who had just arrived to stay a few weeks at their Air BnB – so I got a chance to connect with some fellow travelers. Oscar and Joy were both mostly retired, but being Canadian they had lots of travel adventures under their belt. Six week yearly vacations will give you that opportunity!

George guided us through the winding cobblestone streets, pointing out his favorite cafes and restaurants, the grand theaters, churches and museums. It only took me a minute or two to realize there was no way I’d remember where anything was. The narrow streets curved around and circled back on each other – a challenge even for someone with a good sense of direction. So, I just took it all in, figuring I would know my way around by the time I’m ready to leave in three months.

IMG_6137 IMG_6141

Wow! I’d forgotten how easy it is to make friends when you’re traveling. When we sat down at a (Japanese!) restaurant – one of George’s favorites where you can enjoy a delicious, healthy lunch for about $4 – we struck up a conversation with some fellow North Americans at an adjacent table. The Canadian gal had moved to San Miguel de Allende (the well-known ex-pat destination about an hour away by bus). And the couple were visiting from Vermont. They’d been spending a couple of days in Guanajuato.

Turned out they were staying at the B&B owned by Barry and Louisa Evans from Eureka! How I love synchronicities. Although I’ve never met Barry and Louisa in person, I’d read Barry’s columns in the weekly paper, and was thrilled before I left to find out they spent half the year down here. I’d been planning to reach out to these world travelers.

Now I knew they were actually back in Eureka at the moment.

I visited the phone place to get my SIM card and Mexican phone number… so I can really be like an ex-pat for the next few months, and George pointed me in the direction of Santa Fe Tunnel so I could attempt my first walk home.

First though I had to stop at Cafe Consquitador right next to the mouth of the tunnel for a Cafe Americano – and to buy some ground coffee to take home. As I sipped my coffee, in walked the other couple we’d encountered on our walk. They were also staying at LIz’s AirBnb, but leaving the next day. Lisa and Cy chatted with me, and I got the scoop on a good Spanish school in town.

Wired from the espresso, I decided to wander down the narrow street before heading up the tunnel. The crowds were out on a Saturday afternoon, and I peeked into and poked around the tiny tiendas and fruit stands. Music blared out of tiny shops, where brightly colored clothing both modern and traditional jumbled together.

I discovered the Mercado again – which was great because now I knew exactly how to get there from the tunnel. I decided I’d return in a day or two to explore the big Marketplace.

I stopped at a flower stand and bought 5 carnations to take home (because every girl should have flowers on the table!) and made my way back to the tunnel. On the other side I searched for the tortilla place that LIz had told me about – and stumbled upon it right when I was about to give up. A half kilo of fresh warm corn tortillas set me back a whole 6 pesos – a little less than 50 cents. Of course it was way too many.

Miraculously I chose the right upward climbing street, and my heart rate climbed as I climbed up up up the steep rocky street. I was pretty much out of breath by the time I reached the top – gratefully gazing at The Golden Bee right there in front of me.

I guess I don’t to worry about where to go for runs after all. I’ll get quite the workout just walking back from town!

Lost In the Guanajuato Twilight Zone

A couple of days later I ventured down the rocky road on a mission to explore the town a bit more and check out the big Mercado. Since it was lunch time I figured I’d grab an authentico Mexican lunch – maybe there at the market.

By the time I got through that tunnel though my stomach was grumbling and it was past 2. I began to look around for inexpensive eateries, as I walked up the only route I knew would lead me to the market. Slim pickings on this street.

Then a sign caught my eye, “Hostal”, and “Menu”. Was it a hostel that served food? I could understand enough Spanish as I scanned the Menu de Dia to see that this looked like a full course lunch for 40 pesos. I pulled out my converter app, and calculated that this worked out to all of about $2.74. Yes! This was the Mexico I was looking for!


Reasoning that if this was a hostel the food was probably safe, I turned up the narrow staircase.

Well, no sign of a hostel anywhere, and the room was empty save for a young girl and the counter and a wizened Mexican lady surrounded by bags sitting a table with a bowl of soup.

I didn’t care – sun streamed in a window, gleaming on the worn vinyl tablecloths. From my seat I could view the rooftops of the city and I sighed with contentment as I dug into my Sopa Azteca. I’d had no idea what it was but took a chance – and wasn’t disappointed with a tomato chicken broth with rice and slices of avocado. The food was far from gourmet, but satisfying. I did hold off on eating the small salad of iceberg lettuce and a sorry-looking slice of tomato. Just in case.


After touring around the Mercado and scoring a pile of veggies for something like $1.25, I made my way back through the tunnel, feeling pretty sure of myself as far as finding my way home. After all, I’d done it the other day and ended up right in front of the casa. And I couldn’t wait to kick back and relax. Getting lost in town is tiring!

At the end of the tunnel you get to a cobblestoned roundabout surrounded by little shops and often swarming with people. Several roads fan out from the roundabout and I knew mine was toward the right. It seemed like a reasonable assumption to think that even if I took the wrong one, as long as I headed uphill I’d end up either slightly lower, or slightly higher on the Panoramica than where my place was.

Umm – unless you enter the Gunajuato twilight zone.

I plodded up, up and up – and then in a shorter time that I remembered I saw the Panoramica up ahead. It’s already getting easier to climb this hill, I thought.

Um, yeah – because it wasn’t the same hill. Shoot! Where was my place? Was I above or below it? I scanned the view of the houses and mountains… yeah, I was not in the right spot. It didn’t look the same. But which way to go?

I headed up, walked about a half mile and realized, nope, none of this looks familiar. Shoot, must be the other way. So… down I went, past the road I’d come up on following the main road, looking for landmarks.

This shouldn’t be this hard – I’d walked both up and down the Panoramica the first couple of days. You’d think I’d recognize some landmarks. But everything looked totally unfamiliar. Yes, the colorful houses on the hillsides opposite told me I was still in Guanajuato – but everything was configured differently.

I’d headed right and uphill and the roundabout… how could I possible be on a completely different part of the Panoramica? (a road which circles the entire city with lots of bends and turns.)

Well, apparently it was. Either that, or I’d entered the twilight zone. I was completely flummoxed And exhausted.

Crap!! Nothing for it but to go back down the road I’d come up and try again.

Which I did. Arriving at the roundabout I still couldn’t tell which of the little roads might be the one. That first day had been beginner’s luck apparently. My legs were beginning to ache, the sun was low in the sky, and the last thing I wanted was to find myself in the twilight zone again.

Spotting a taxi, I held up my hand. Somewhere in my phone was an email with instructions from Sara on what to tell a cab driver who was driving me home (since the place has no actual address!)

Barrio Nuevo y la Panoramica,” I informed the driver in squinting at the phone as I climbed in the back seat.

He looked at me funny – pointed to a little road off the left, gabbling away incomprehensibly. I just nodded and repeated.

Bumpity, bump, bump, twisting and turning , and there we were – much to the driver’s mystification. I really does look like there’s nothing there but a stone wall – unless you look hard.

In my exhaustion I couldn’t even remember how to say ‘here’, or ‘this is it.’ But I finally managed to get him to realize I was at my destination.

Home sweet Home. Just in time for another sunset.



Dreams Really Do Come True: A Room with A View



guanajuato.viewHi friends. I’m reviving this blog as a place to informally record my adventures and experiences during my 3+ month stay here in Guanajuato, Mexico!

I sit here on this third floor deck overlooking the high desert mountains, and the colorful houses stacked on the hillsides of Guanajuato. It is truly a spectacular view! Some time ago I set the intention that I wanted to live somewhere with a view of the sunset and the moonrise.


I just got here a few days ago, and the new moon was yesterday – so I haven’t seen it come up yet, but soon!! And the sunsets are exquisite! Unique each evening. Sometimes  I sit here with a tequila and pineapple juice drink watching the sky flare into  purples, pinks and oranges. And yesterday I did my yoga practice out here – while gazing at the fiery ball disappearing behind the mountain.


Yep, it’s the realization of a few different dreams. Ever since my journey in Bali and Thailand four years ago (somewhat chronicled on this blog) I’ve longed for more international travel. And … here I am! I won’t be traveling a great deal over the next three months, as this is a caretaking gig and I’m taking care of a couple of cute pooches, but .. that’s the other dream:  to actually STAY in one place for an extended period of time really soaking up the culture and having time to just BE.

It’s already Day Six, and it’s taken me a while to get writing since my first few days were all about rest and assimilation. This first post may be a little long as part of the point of this is a travelogue and diary. So… feel free to skim or skip as you will. And don’t expect super polished prose. I’m just having fun here!

Take Off

Packing for 3+ months presented a challenge. Normally I like to travel with just a carry-on, or at least only with what I can carry. But since I knew I’d be working here and want some of my reference books… and I had a stack of books I wanted to read with the down time I anticipated, well I decided to forgo my usual rule. Plus I wanted to be sure I was supplied with my supplements and preferred toiletries for the season.

Umm, didn’t work out so well.

I knew I had a 50 pound limit on my check through bag, and between that and the fact that my stack of crap couldn’t fit even into this hugest of suitcases I decided to just bring TWO check through bags – plus my Eagle Creek rolling carry on that converts to a backpack AND my daypack. Definitely more than I can carry. But… I was foggy brained with the flu and didn’t think the thing through.

I’ll blame it on the fog brain that I decided not to even bother weighing the bags – after all now that there were two of them surely they couldn’t exceed the 50# limit.


I found myself kneeling on the floor of Oakland Airport frantically moving things between bags trying to get my huge bag down from 68 pounds to the required 50. At least Oakland was a much mellower airport than JFK where I’d been through a similar scenario back in 2008 when returning from my 3 month internship in Manhattan. That time I was forced to offload some loved possessions such as my yoga mat.

I finally got the monstrous red bag to weigh in at exactly 50 – and I was off on the grand adventure!


Oops, did I mention I hadn’t thought through what it might be like to have more luggage than I could carry? Since I knew I was being picked up at the airport I figured all would be okay. What I didn’t take into account was – hi! – customs! We had to collect our bags and then take them through the gauntlet where some of us were selected to be searched. I glanced around for those carts… and none to be found.

Finally I saw a young fellow with a push cart and realized that we are in the land of people-powered labor. Fewer machines and more actual people who need your tips. So he loaded the things onto that cart and the poor fellow was forced to follow me around – unloading them to be searched (yes I was one of the lucky ones!) and then loading them back up again. Control freak that I am, I kept wanting to say, ‘I’ll get it from here.’  Um, no, it doesn’t work that way.

We wound our way through the airport once my bags had passed the cursory inspection. Before I could tip my guy I needed to get some pesos. I thought all airports had ATMs these days… but apparently not. Again – people power. I waited impatiently behind a man as he changed his money. The young girl moved at the speed crystallized honey dripping, and meanwhile I scanned the crowd of folks waiting to pick up the new arrivals. I spotted Liz – my landlady’s mom who had so graciously offered to pick me up and waved tentatively. I didn’t know it yet, but she was accompanied by her partner George, spry 78-year-old American who spends half his year here, and half in Utah with his kids and grandkids.

A good 15 minutes later, pesos in hand and my porter following along behind we exited the airport. He even loaded the things into the back of the truck. The 20 pesos I gave him was probably a bit skimpy, but I was still unsure how to convert

I Made It!

A half hour later we wound up the twisty road known as “Panaramica” which encircles the town, and pulled into the , well not really a driveway. That’s when I was introduced to the ultra secure locks and bolts that would keep me safe in this compound. Heavy duty iron doors protect every home here it seems.

Oh. Ooops, Another thing I’d forgotten to take into account when packing: I’m on the 3rd floor. After we’d unlocked and locked a second iron gate, poor George and Liz huffed and puffed up the stone steps with me, each of us dragging a heavy suitcase, while I apologized at least a dozen times.

The view! The view! The view! Lights twinkled on the hillside opposite the wraparound deck.

“Wow!” I said. “I’m so excited to see what it all looks like in the morning!”

Third lock – and then I was in my new home! Beautiful, just like the pictures.


And… a one-room place. Where exactly will I put all this crap, I wondered.

Liz of the saintly nature had purchased a few food items for me, she showed me the basics and they were off.

Wired and excited, yet a little woozy, I stayed up till past 1 am unpacking. (I managed to find homes for almost everything) and then collapsed into the comfy bed, listening to the unfamiliar sounds of the Mexican night. (Which mostly consisted of a cacophony of dogs barking and howling to each other across the canyons).

Well, that’s long enough for one post! Tomorrow’s another day and I’ll catch up on the adventures of Days 1 -6 here in Guanajuato. Including the Great Key Debacle and how I ended up in Panoramica Twilight Zone – due to my affliction of being directionally challenged.

Oh – and BTW, I haven’t seen the moon rise yet – but since I started this post I was blessed with an incredible view of the crescent new moon hanging in the post sunset sky alongside Venus. Wow!








Big Changes Ahead


, , ,

Have you ever gotten so stuck in your own head and wrapped up in your work that you forget how to feel?

I hate to admit it, but that happens to me all to often. Call it being a Type A, or Workaholic – but when I get wrapped up in a project I get so head to the ground that everything else disappears. It’s okay when I’m having fun and in the creative zone – but sometimes it’s not that fun anymore. I’m stuck and struggling to force things to work. I’ve just got the blinders on and I can’t see anything but the dilemmas and problems that I’m trying to sort out.

Intellectually I know that those are just the times when I need to back away from my desk, head outside into the fog or sunshine, do some stretches, read something inspirational, find something to evoke a deep belly laugh or a good cry.

But that intellectual knowledge often doesn’t translate into action (although I’m getting better about this – really!)

The other night I got one of those jolts that ripped the blinders off – suddenly I was yanked out of my head and right into my heart. It happened at a poetry reading put by the Humboldt Breast Health Project’s Amazon Warrior Group. My sister-in-law, Sheila,  was one of the poets.

I was going to tell the story here, but I decided to post it over on Wellness The Natural Way – click here if you want to give it a read.

It was eye-opening. And intense.

And so what does all this have to do with the promised “Big Changes Ahead?”

Hot and saucy ladies on my 50th birthday, including Sheila second from left. More saucy fun coming soon!

Well, my dilemma about where to post this last story kind of leads into my big announcement. Very, very soon I will be merging both of my blogs (this one and Wellness The Natural Way) into a brand new website.

It’s called Holistic Hot Sauce – and it’s a place where I can write about all my multiple passions. I can be introspective, natural health oriented, creative – but always (I hope) entertaining, informative and/or inspiring!

I’ll be writing about how we can all look radiant, feel vibrantly healthy and follow our dreams – at any age. Empty nest ruminations will live over there, along with all the other fun, hot and spicy stuff I come up with.

Holistic Hot Sauce will be online within a couple of weeks – and I really hope you will join me over there.

But What About Grown Up Mom?

I’m not going to retire this blog (it’s such a nice venue for family stories,) but I will probably be posting a lot less on here. So, if you enjoy reading these posts, click on Holistic Hot Sauce right now and sign up for the mailing list. You’ll be one of the first to receive “The Sauce” right in your in-box. You just need to click on that little envelope in the lower left corner and enter your email address.

Even if you are already a subscriber to Grown Up Mom, I can’t transfer your email over without your permission. So get on the list now so you don’t miss the inaugural post – I’m already working on it. I think it’s going to be pretty cool.

If you’ve enjoyed Grown Up Mom over the past months and years, I know you will love Holistic Hot Sauce – looking forward to hanging out with you over there!

Meanwhile, continuing to strive for that head/heart balance…

So… what do you think? Let me know in the comments – or feel free to email me at sarah.h.oleary(at)gmail.com.  (You have to use the @ symbol of course!)

Rethinking “Nice”



I’ve always known it’s a lazy word.

But it’s such a nice word. Works so well for a huge variety of situations and people. And certainly it’s been a gauge to measure my behavior, and that of others, particularly my children.

“Be nice now.”  “Let’s play nice.”  “Is so-and-so nice?”

Oh, and how about the ubiquitous, “If you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

And the cynical side:  “Nice guys finish last.”

But really, nice? What does it mean?

In the last couple of weeks everywhere I turn – be it an article, a conversation, or a blog post,  I find a new indictment of “nice.” And it’s got me thinking – maybe all this being nice is not so, well, nice after all. Continue reading

The Other Side of Surrender


, ,

Yesterday was rough.

Despite my oft-stated intentions to balance work and creativity, my list once again ran off the charts. I’ve got this exciting new project (more on that soon) and if I am to manifest it I must tackle it – chunk by chunk.

So there’s that list. And here’s my deep desire and intention to write, to continue to post on my blogs. And there’s all the other stuff that needs to be done just to keep household and life functioning. And over here is this other list of actual paying work projects.

Of course that last takes precedence. So yesterday morning I Continue reading

Beware The Busy Beast


, , ,

The Beast lumbers along beside me always.

She’s been there – oh, ever since about age 24. She’s the To-Do List that runs off the page. She’s a million errands. She’s the partially finished project scattered on the kitchen table.

She’s the stab of guilt every time my eyes fall on a pile of dust bunnies under the couch, or the caked-on grime along the edge of the bathroom baseboard.

The busy beast isn’t very friendly.

She yells, “Go, go, go! Faster! What about that stuff you said you’d do yesterday?”

“How much did you get done today?” she sneers as I brush my teeth in preparation for bed.

The busy beast thinks Continue reading

How To Be Rich And Happy


, , ,

Photo: Gigi Cooper

That’s the title of my new favorite book.

Hokey, right? You’re probably thinking, what is this? Has she become some sort of online scam artist?

We live in a world of gimmicks and rip-offs. And so we’ve all become a bit jaded and cynical. If I came across that title while I was browsing the shelves of my favorite bookstore I would likely skim right past it, maybe giving a little internal snort.

Now that I’ve read it (in Ebook form), I’ve ordered three hard copies – one for myself to reference and mark up, and one to give to each daughter.

That’s how much this little tome with the cheesy title impacted me.

Despite the title, the book is not about getting rich quick, or some sort of instant happy pill. It’s an exploration of what it is exactly that causes some people love their lives Continue reading




Learning to walk

Newborn, I cradle you in my arms. So tiny, so precious. Eyes wide and deep brown, stare into mine with a wisdom still carried from the womb.

I hold you close to my heart, rock you as we walk through the house. I sit on the worn white sofa and guide your hungry mouth to my breast. As you nurse I gaze out the window at rows of spring greens bursting forth their life-giving leaves. Mustard, arugula spinach and lettuce sparkle in the spring sunshine as tulips bloom in pots on the porch.

Someday, I think, this world will be yours.

How far away such a day seemed on that spring morning in 1991. A day when this tiny being, now drawing nourishment from my body, would step out into the sunshine on her own. So many days must first pass – long hours learning to crawl, to toddle on the porch holding onto those pots for balance.

There will be birthday parties, trick or treating, colorful paintings pinned to the refrigerator. Childcare, first days of school and graduations. Temper tantrums and Continue reading

A Conversation With Money


, , ,

Photo: Sarah O'Leary

The other night a friend arrived from out of town and we sat around the kitchen table, empty plates pushed aside, refilling our wine glasses.

Inevitably the conversation turned to politics and world affairs. And just as inevitably I began ranting. Somehow we’d circled onto the subject of Wall Street bankers, foreclosures, and all those senior citizens now scrambling to eke enough money out of their pension check to stay in groceries for the month.

And then we got onto lobbying, and the way that lawmakers now vote based on the wishes of their corporate lobbyist buddies, rather than what they know to be right for their constituents.

“It’s greed!” I shouted. (I’m happy to report I did not pound my fist on the table, but I may as well have.)

“These fat cats just want more and more, and they don’t care who they screw in the process! It’s so disgusting – the more money they make, the more corrupt they become and the less they care about the rest of us.”

Everyone nodded in agreement.

A small percentage of super rich folks (now immortalized as the One Percent) are sitting back in their mansions, serving up caviar on their yachts, and flying around in their private planes, while the rest of humanity is wondering how to fund their retirement so they can live decently (at best), or struggling to find a cup of clean water and something to put in their belly (at worst.)

And those people with all that money – they just couldn’t give a damn. They just want more.

That settled, we babbled on, jumping from subject to subject as we continued to empty that wine bottle.

And then it struck me. The Aha! Moment.

What the hell did I just say? And how does that fit in with my affirmations about the free flow of money? As in Money flows into my life easily and effortlessly. Or, I am worthy of financial abundance.

Um, hello? All the affirmations and abundance meditations in the world aren’t going to do a damn thing when I Continue reading

Time To Go Now Guilt


So Guilt, we’ve been tight companions for such a long time now. I carry you everywhere. You’re familiar and comfortable, we know each other so very well.

But you know, you are a heavy backpack. I’m getting tired. Really tired.

I’m just going to set you down here, by the side of the trail. Just for a time. Let’s call it a trial separation.

I know, I know. You’re shocked.

“But I’ve served you so well,” you say. “I remind you of so many things – what you should be doing, where you need to be, who you need to take care of, of the many things you’ve left undone.”

Yes, you’re always whispering in my ear, letting me know how I should improve. Sternly, you remind me of the many people who suffer, how much worse life could be, and that therefore I should not aspire for more.

You are so articulate when you outline the many reasons I need to shut up and get back to work.

It occurs to me now, perhaps underneath your dexterous explanations lurk that old patriarchal Christian cliche:  “Idle hands are the devil’s work.”

But I don’t believe in that one. Or do I? You’ve certainly found ways to make it seem true.

For just a little while I’m going to cut you loose Guilt – along with your sidekick, Regret.

I know you don’t need me. You’re just fine hanging out there, heavy and solid like the rocks beside you.

But it’s funny, even though I’m so much lighter setting down that pack, I feel a little lost without your familiar weight.

Maybe I don’t need you either, Guilt. I’m going to take a chance and move on without you for a few days. I know you’ll be right here waiting for me if I change my mind.