Go ahead. Take the shot.

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” ~Wayne Gretzky

I happened on this quote recently. It reminded me of my dawn, where everything is new. And isn’t that exactly the point?

I loved being a litigator, something I left behind – at least for a bit – more than a quarter of a year ago. When I think about this dawn, the newness of it all, I know that it’s the fresh morning air, the feeling of promise, and the delicious uncertainty of it all.

That’s where the energy exists.

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There’s promise. And there’s delight. When you think about it, isn’t everything in life simply about taking the shot? Going for it?

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I’m no hockey player and I’m not much of a fan either, but I do know about taking shots. There’s sizing up the situation. Strategy coming into play. There’s adrenaline….. and then there’s just what’s meant to be.

Momentum. Unstoppable motion. Speed.

What I mean is that sometimes it’s a flyer. Sometimes it’s intuition, a gut feel, that out of nowhere message heard in the silence. The almost-breath on a shoulder. It’s there, but just barely. We’ve got to know to listen for it.

What it tells us is that we must take that shot. Even when we don’t know the outcome.

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I can see it so clearly now.

You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you. ~Joseph Campbell

It was magical.

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Meeting up with eight soul sisters in a house on a beach in perhaps what was the very farthest corner of the country from my home. A trains-planes-and-automobiles destination (well, two of the three for sure). Pulling cards. Seeing feathers. Drinking red wine. Beautiful fruit dipped in dark chocolate.

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Each came with an offering, a gift of herself to guide, share, inspire. Coming from wildly different circumstances: parts of the country, families, careers, backgrounds and upbringing, we gathered.

We’ve spent some time together before, these soul sisters of mine. Each time I come away with a fresh perspective, a well of gratitude, and a deep knowing that I am exactly where I’m meant to be in this world.

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And there was time, a huge expanse of it, on Sunday morning.

Vision-away-the-day time.

Making pages. Finding secret messages just for me. Pure magic.

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For me, visioning has opened up the Universe. When I look back at the pages I created just a year ago, I find myself staring at my current life. At the dreams. The ones that I created.

Find the magic of your visions. Manifest your own truth, your knowing.

Join us each month to vision and gather. Next workshop is February 25th.

 

 

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A year in the books…

“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when we look back everything is different.”  ~ C.S. Lewis

It’s been a year. Today. Last year on this day, and this evening, I was a patient in a hospital. It’s a fabulous place, but it’s a hospital nonetheless. I had undergone a double mastectomy earlier in the day, and by early evening I was sorta-kinda awake and pretty uncomfortable.

But it’s been a year. A whole 365 days of cancer freedom. Of being cured (yes, they used that word). A year of tumult and turmoil, of introspection and decision-making, of disappointment and desire, of deep pleasure and wild happiness.

And sometimes it feels like yesterday. Not often, but as I look back, as I consider the months and seasons that followed, it happened in a flash. A sometimes awesome flash and a sometimes painful one.

Life, right?

So today, I do the normal, regular things of life, hauling out a shedding Christmas tree, preparing dinner, droping-off and picking-up from basketball practice, shopping at Barnes & Noble. Each time today as I live my blessedly-uneventful life, I can’t help but reflect back. With deep gratitude. And with eyes cast up and outward.

The best is yet to come.

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Showing up.

“Keep showing up. Keep showing up to your canvas, to your novel, to your memoir, to your guitar, to your yoga mat, to the dance floor, to the floor of your closet, to the forest, to your bike, to your running shoes. Keep showing up to your craft – whatever it is – keep showing up.”   ~Tanya Lee Markul

Recently, I was encircled by the spirit that is known as Serendipity by the Sea.

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Part workshop, part art class, part gastronomic extravaganza, and part slumber party, Serendipity’s co-creators bring together women from all over the U.S. and Canada for four full days of wonderment.

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Spending time in the glorious Outer Banks during the off-season, when the sun is bright and the air is mild, is like medicine from the Universe.

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Learning from some of the country’s most profound and creative women is a gift.

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And having the opportunity to meet and get to know gorgeous spirits whose paths never otherwise would have crossed mine is like a super-extra-special package tied with a sparkly ribbon.

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It’s showing up and being nourished in every way. Nourishment for the soul.

 

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For everything there is a season. . .

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Yesterday, I was an attorney in private practice. And today, I’m not.

And all is well.

There comes a time when change occurs. It may be unexpected or predictable. Each has its own challenge and each, its own sort of celebration, a reason to cheer.

I am so freaking proud of the people I worked with, the ones who remain and the others who already have moved on. The ones who challenged me to be the best teacher and guide I could be. The ones who had creative ideas that floored me, and the ones who toiled in the hot summer sun (no A/C on the weekends, you know) and in the dark of many nights. The ones who found themselves. The ones who knew it mattered.  The ones who cared as deeply as I.

And I’m so grateful for the clients and friends who placed their trust in me, sometimes literally on my shoulder, in a litigation bag, footfalls next to me as we traveled to court. What a leap of faith. What a gift for me to receive. They weren’t all battles, though the battles were many. Sometimes it didn’t require a battle at all; all it required was reassurance that their path was not littered with legal road bombs. These clients, too, gifted me with their faith and confidence.  And each made my life richer.

One of the amazing characteristics of the legal community in which I’ve plyed my craft for more than two decades is that the people, the professionals, know and respect each other. They swap stories of kids and schools, gyms and spouses, vacations and red wine. They break bread. They slap each other on the back. Yes, that really does happen.

To be a part of this is to know goodness.

To know hard work. To embrace challenge and, yes, change. And, most importantly, to know integrity. To know, even in the toughest battles, that the scales are evenly balanced. To play tough but play fair.

Who could ask for more?

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When

Anticipating pain was like enduring it twice. Why not anticipate pleasure instead? ~Robin Hobb, Renegade’s Magic

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When the breeze blows warm, like a caress.

When the sun moves into the golden hour.

Take a breath. It’s a moment.

And it all belongs to you.

 

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Tell me.

We buried a seed underneath the ground. We waited to see if the rain would come down. Tell me it’s a good start, I’m a good heart, And this might turn us back around. ~Natalie Closner (Tell Me There’s A Garden)

IMG_4079Tell me your story. It’s just beginning.

There, beneath the eves, is the sanity we crave.

Breathe with me. We know, don’t we?

The cycle, the circle, it’s everything.

 

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Opposition

Instead of being discouraged by opposition, be encouraged by it, knowing that on the other side of that difficulty is a new level of your destiny.  ~Joel Osteen

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I love the notion of being encouraged by opposition.  As a litigator by training, opposition is second nature to me. Often, in fact almost by definition, opposition is at the heart of a lawsuit. We have advocates and adversaries, points and counter-points, winners and losers.

We fight for a living. Of course we do.

Sometimes, though, the fight isn’t a wise choice. It’s then that riding out the opposition makes the most sense. Whether it’s a steep hill to climb or a wave to crest, sometimes – just sometimes – the better option is to breathe into the opposition, still the reflexive action, and simply be encouraged by the path that it’s carving for you.

Because often, especially in those times when we can’t see directly around the next corner, that path leads to grace.

 

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She said. . . .

Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.  ~Ella Fitzgerald

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She said, “Thank you for your support. Always.”

She said, “Your words are wonderful.”

She said, “Universe is teaching me patience.”

She said, “Holy crap indeed.”

She said, “You tell the world, woman.”

She said, “It’s just a moment in time.”

She said, “Breathe.”

With gratitude to Hannah Marcotti and her course, Community Grace.

 

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Why I Hate Pink

You’re gonna hear me roar.    ~Katie Perry

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It was bound to happen. After all, October is breast cancer awareness month. As I drove to a dusky early morning meeting this week, the front lawn of a Main Street nursing home twinkled with 2 gigantic, glowing pink ribbons. Pink ribbon twinkle lights. And I cursed the Pink Gods, yes I did.

I tried to ignore the uncomfortable feelings. I should embrace this, I thought. I should want more than ever before to be among the sisterhood and brotherhood heralding Pink.

But I just couldn’t do it. And the more I thought about it, the more it annoyed me.

Angered me, even.

Before I go all postal, let me say that to the extent those who participate do it altruistically [and to be sure, not all do], there’s fundraising involved in the whole Pink thing. Pink socks, pink wind chimes, even pink hair extensions.  So if the fundraised dollars get directed to research and patient care – and they should – I acknowledge that for the good it is.

And, of course, breast cancer awareness is good. No, it’s great. Meaning :: be aware of the risk and take steps to minimize or eliminate it where possible. Awareness empowers women to do everything they reasonably can to ensure their long-term health.

  • Get mammograms,
  • Do self-exams, and
  • Where necessary, explore possible gene mutations that may exist in your family of origin.

But Pink? I think not. Breast cancer doesn’t come close to being Pink. And Pink for damn sure doesn’t come within a country mile of the battle we call breast cancer.

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Breast cancer is black, the blackness that emerges when you feel sentenced to death. Because, yes, in those first few minutes, hours, or perhaps even longer, that diagnosis felt like a death sentence. Walk the plank, strap me in the chair, sayonara sister. And for many who aren’t as unbelievably fortunate as I’ve been, 40,000 each year in the U.S. alone, the disease we bathe in Pink each October is real and relentless. It’s not imagined. It’s not a momentary flash. It’s not pastel.

It’s their life, what’s left of it. And it’s impossibly devastating.

Breast cancer is a slash of red. Red like blood, yes, there’s a fair bit of that, too. Red reflecting pain when parts of your body are deleted as swiftly and surely as the backspace on your keyboard. Red like the emotional bruising that resurfaces. Sure, maybe it gets better and perhaps it fades over time. But there’s hard, often-grueling work getting to better, however amorphously we define that term when it comes to raw emotion. Understand this :: red never completely disappears. And if that’s uncomfortable, so be it.

While I understand that Pink October has come to symbolize awareness and may have a salutary role in fundraising, for me – for now – it’s just too cute for breast cancer.  Breast cancer isn’t cute. It’s not sweet. It’s not reminiscent of bubble gum or cotton candy or Barbie.

I’m grateful for the efforts and the intentions, truly I am. I know that for the most part, those who participate – indeed many of them survivors – do so with honor and commitment. In many ways, I salute them, which is what makes this anger of mine so perplexing. Perhaps it would be easier to stay on the sidelines, ignore this month’s rosy spotlight, and choose to focus my attention elsewhere.

But, dammit, Pink’s far too gentle for a beast called breast cancer.

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