This blog introduces you to my special brand of BIKE. I show you how to find your Best self, access your Inner strength, tune in to your Killer instincts, and use your Expressive voice. It's inspiring, spiritual, quirky, and it's all in your head. It's about ATTITUDE, not exercise, though that might be a side benefit.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The 100-word challenge you can play

Today, my post involves a little playtime. I'm participating in Velvet Verbosity's writing game--the 100-word challenge. In it, I must write 100 words, no more, no less, on the word of the week. This week, it happens to be KALEIDOSCOPE. I met the blog owner yesterday on Twitter where we were both discussing writing and fiction during #writechat. I had mentioned the 100-word novel, which I had learned about in a writing workshop several years ago. Velvet Verbosity brought up her exercise. Since it's similar, and I'm always up for a challenge, I thought I'd give it a try. It's been a few years since I played. If you're up for the challenge, visit her site and play along. Here goes my attempt: 100 words about the word...


Looking through the tube, I saw nothing. I shook it, turned it, twisted it. Still nothing. A-ha! This was but a tube. It wasn't finished. The big man behind the counter, the one with his shoulders hunched over, was busy making them. His back turned to me, I tried to watch him. Standing on tip-toe, I saw him pick and choose different color rocks--the kind you might see in fish tanks--vivid colors, bright hues, florescent. His chubby fingers dropped them like coins, one at a time, into another tube. Then, he showed me. Nothing. Damn! Forgot my readers.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Let's talk spiritual creativity

Man's greatest asset is his mind. With it, he has the power to turn negative thoughts into positive, a question into an answer, and tragedy into triumph--a power which I believe resides in a person's spirituality, in other words, who that person is at his very core.

Maybe not always (if we consider the Edgar Allen Poes in the world), but for the most part I think the creative mind has the ability to think it's way out of trouble. Yet, it's the follow-up action that will make the most impact on how a challenge is addressed. Therefore, I think a person who denies his creativity also denies his ability to problem-solve--and he does it at the detriment of who he really is.

I think this is why Julia Cameron's book, The Artist's Way, has been so successful. It addresses this internal struggle. And it has helped so many people learn how to tap into their own creativity and live a more complete life. That's where a person's ultimate success lies--within his potential, that part of him that illustrates who he really is as a spiritual being, his inner core.

I remember telling my son something like this when he was having a terrible time in high school. He wasn't spending enough time studying. He expected to just know things. He wasn't developing his mind's ability to absorb information. He wasn't developing his confidence. He was just getting by. When his grades didn't match what he thought his grades should be, he had a hard time dealing with the truth; he needed to spend more time studying. I tried explaining to him that he wasn't living up to his ability, but he didn't want to hear that. He wanted it to be because his teachers wouldn't let him debate things. Or, because this or that teacher didn't like him.

It was only later, a few years after he'd dropped out of college, when he realized he could have done better. But now he has a family, and it's not as simple to go back to school. He's a good example of how we can do ourselves a huge disservice when we fail to grow our potential in order to discover who we really are inside. Rather than risk failing, he failed to do. He had put so much emphasis on the grade itself that he didn't realize the growth he would have gotten had he put more emphasis on the work.

This doesn't mean he'll never grow his potential. It just means he'll have to be much more creative about it. He'll have to work even harder. And if he's smart, he won't allow giving up to be an option. He needs to do some more work on who he really is within so that he can discern what he needs to do without. But how, you ask? He might consider looking to Holy Scripture for thoughts on how to connect with your greater good. For me, that would be a derivation of 1 Corinthians 13:

First and foremost, you have to trust that the creativity is there. Just by being you, the living human being that you are, you've been given a mind. You can choose to use it to think through any challenge set before you.

You have to have faith in your ability to look at a challenge as only the beginning. When you do that, you'll realize that it has to have an end. That's the only logical conclusion. Beginnings beget endings. They just do.

You must have hope that you will find the solution. Nothing in life is worse than a person without hope, a person who cannot see light at the end of that dark tunnel. We've all been there. We've all seen it in one form or another. Without hope, the darkness stays. With hope, you know you'll find your way out. And you will be prepared to do what it takes to get there.

You must love yourself enough to accept your weaknesses so that you can seek out what you need to build on your strengths. That means you will gladly reach out to others who might know better than you. You will not let pride get in the way. Instead, you embrace humility.

From there, you will find peace. You have done all that you can. The rest is up to the universe.

I am also a big fan of concentrating on the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22):
  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Faithfulness
  • Gentleness
  • Self-control
When I was going through my divorce, I wrote these words out on a Post-it Note and stuck it up on a kitchen cupboard I looked at daily. The words reminded me of what I wanted in my life. I saw them as a guide, my values. By focusing on what you value, you can tap into who you really are, thus, freeing up your ability to tap into the more productive and creative way to respond to any challenge. In the end, how you respond is what really matters. Don't you agree?

(Photo of the creatively painted truck was taken by Jackie Dishner in Globe, Ariz., 2009)

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I'm thankful I only have to make mashed potatoes this year--and that the holiday dinner won't be served till 4 p.m. I have lots of time to dilly-dally. Since I've got a cold this year, I like that idea.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Did you notice my new BOOK SIGNING feature?

It's on the right-hand side of this page, below the cover of my new book. If you click on that image, it'll take you to the page where you can buy my guidebook direct from the publisher. If you want to buy direct from me, you can check out the new feature--my schedule of upcoming signings. I'm updating this regularly so you can keep up with where I'll be selling and signing.

My next event is at Kiss Me Kate, a boutique shop with two locations--one in Phoenix and one in Scottsdale. I'll be appearing at both, on different days. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thought for the day

Yesterday, on my way to a breakfast meeting, I spotted a coyote running down a street in my neighborhood. Right after that, I caught a quick glance of the sunrise over the Arizona Canal--both streaks of yellow that took my breath away. Sometimes, the sudden glance is not enough. I wanted to pull over and take a picture but didn't; I'd have been late to my meeting.

That made me wonder if I should be scheduling "time with nature" on my calendar? That's one way to connect with our Best self.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What is satisfaction?

Satisfaction. The Rolling Stones couldn't get it--no matter how many times they tried. At least they sang that in a song, belting out a lot of frustration over the fact of the matter.

William Shakespeare, on the other hand, wrote in "The Merchant of Venice," as quoted by Portia in the play, "As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death."

Powerful statements by both. Yet, they are conflicting, thus, making me wonder: What is this thing called satisfaction?

In the photo above, taken by my boyfriend last summer on a trip to a mountain village in Arizona called Greer, don't I have the look of satisfaction? That's exactly what I was feeling in that very moment. There we were, taking a break from a mountain bike ride. We'd been having the most difficult time going up hill. The altitude affecting our breathing, we were tired. And yet, there I stood, with a smile on my face.

The mountain temperatures were much cooler than it would have been in the dry summer heat of Phoenix back home. Here, we were staying at a luxury cabin with food spreads divvied out on all day long. Cookies. Cheeses. Cakes. Pies. Fruit. Candy. We could have whatever we wanted. And we had plenty of water to drink, or sodas if we preferred. If we wanted a cocktail or a burger, we could walk to the nearby bar & grill. It was peaceful in Greer, and we would see wildlife in the fields: deer, elk, ducks, raccoons. We even took our plant guides on hikes with us through the nearby alpine forest to see if we could identify the wildflowers along the way. It was a great trip, and I'd say we need and deserve more of the same.

But what about when you come back home from a trip like this. Where do you get satisfaction then? Are you always looking for it? Are you the Rolling Stones-like character, never finding it, always looking. Or are you the Shakespeare character, happy for the hunt?

These days, I feel like the Shakespeare character. I have much to do, and I'm always seeking the best way to create the work that needs to get done. But I'm happy for the opportunities. I do feel frustration at times. But my overall attitude is positive.

What does satisfaction in your life look like? Is it attainable?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mothers who kill their babies

Have you seen the breaking news about the child abduction in Fayetteville, N.C.? Supposedly, a child had disappeared from her home a week ago. Now, it's been revealed that might not exactly be what happened. It turns out the mother may have been somehow involved, and the child was found dead.

These stories--and they seem to be occurring more frequently than ever (or is it just that we can be spoon fed them more frequently because of 24-hour news capability)--are killing me.

Women who prostitute their children, which this mother is being accused of, just can't have a place in society. Women who kill their children in any way--physically, emotionally, or otherwise--just can't be ignored. But what can we do?!

If you really looked inside your neighborhood, if you really knew who your neighbors were, I would imagine you'd discover or uncover a woman like this mother or a woman like Susan Smith who was sent to prison for drowning her two boys (maybe because she couldn't find love if she had them to care for), or a woman like Casey Anthony in Florida who is accused of killing her little girl Caley (maybe because she was mad at her mother?). And then there are the father stories--the men like Scott Peterson who kill their pregnant wives (maybe because they're carrying their children and they decide they don't want them anymore). It's frightening news that just won't go away.

But what can we do about it? Is there anything? Why can't we make these stories go away?!

These are people who are clearly suffering their own internal anguish, yet they take it out on the people they are supposed to love and cherish the most. These are people who may have no way of ever accessing their mental BIKE. That kills me. I want to think all of us have the ability to access who we really are within or who we have the potential to be. But I must admit this may not be true.

If it were, ideally, we would all know and live our Best selves. We would all have access to our own Inner strength. We would recognize and respect our Killer instinct. And we'd certainly want to Express our own voices and be heard. And we would be. And all would be right in the world.

But that's not so.

What I really believe is true? It's simple. We want what we want when we want it. We use our personal power to get it. To hell with what seems like the right thing to do or the right way to act. And if we have to scream out loud to get it, if we have to yell and spit venom out of our lips, if anger gets in the way because our needs aren't met on demand, then all hell breaks lose--and someone dies because of it.

It's not a pretty world, this world I know that is less than the ideal I'd prefer.

But does it mean that's all we have to look forward to in the future?

Absolutely not! If I believed that, then what would be the point of a blog such as this one?

There will never be a perfect world. I know this much is true, as they say. That world was lost to us when Eve bit into the apple, if you follow Biblical history. So I can accept that. But what I can't accept is that we can't do anything about the mothers who kill their babies. These are not women with shiney red apples who just want a bit of the forbidden fruit. But they are the legacy that followed, the Cains who killed Abel, the brothers who sold Joseph as a slave, the Judas' who betrayed Jesus. That's the mindset of parents who will kill their own for the good of themselves.

We do have steps in place to correct this. We have Departments of Child and Family Services who can come in and investigate and interrogate the suspects. We have neighbors and family members who can keep watch. We have friends and school administrators who can file a report if they see what they know to be wrong treatment of children. And we have our own eyes and ears.

Protecting a child may not fall on the mother, or the father, if they don't have the skill set to parent effectively or correctly. They may not. If we reap what we sow, then the sowing may not always measure up, right? But those of us who know better, who live with a healthier conscious, who think more clearly, we can be the lookouts. We can be the "savior" substitutes.

I doubt we can stop all the murders. I doubt it's 100 percent possible. But the neighbors who lived in that trailer park, where five-year-old Shaniya Davis was found, could have said something before this, couldn't they? They must have seen something. They must have known something was not quite right. And while one might think it's not your business, don't you think it really is? If not their child, couldn't it have been yours?

It IS our business that babies are dying at the hands of their mothers. It IS our business that innocent children walk across the street to get home and never make it because they get nabbed by a stranger. It IS our business that a child might be found dead in the dumpster next to your so-called safe have--your home--next month. Or today.

Is IS our business because it shouldn't be happening. Not in my backyard, not in yours, not anywhere.

And if all we can do is be the eyes and ears to help stop it?

Can't we?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A quote to remember

Last night on CNN's "Larry King Live":

Bob Meyers, whose brother Dean, 53, was shot dead while pumping gas in Virginia, called Tuesday's execution of John Allen Muhammad, known as the DC Sniper, surreal.

Meyers said he had forgiven Muhammad and pointed out two reasons.

"One is that God calls for me to do that in the Bible and the second thing is related to that. If I don't, it rots me from the inside out. It doesn't really hurt John Muhammad or anybody that I have bitterness against."