Reclaiming Your Joy After Loss


I know 2020 is a positive year. I am so excited to anticipate all I plan to accomplish! I used to always write New Year’s Resolutions, but for the last couple of years, I have written intentions instead, and they work!

Last year at this time I wrote fifteen intentions. I reviewed them today and discovered that I have completed ten and a half of them! In the past, I would review my resolutions at the end of the year and see not much progress. I would basically write down the same resolutions for the next year. Sound familiar?

Intentions are stated differently than resolutions. When you state an intention, always use positive terms. The universe will give you what you ask for. If you say “I don’t want to be lonely (or broke, or sad, or sick), the universe hears lonely, broke, sad, or sick. Instead say something like “I welcome new friends, new relationships, abundance, prosperity, joy, and health.” Then that’s what you will get. 

The key with...

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giving joy thanksgiving Nov 27, 2019

I woke up this morning just overflowing with gratitude, grateful for a day to celebrate all that thanks! Then I started to think about the giving that goes along with that thanks. I realized that giving can make me just as happy (if not more happy) than receiving.  

What can you give today? Probably lots! I just drove by a school crossing guard who smiled and threw me a Shaka sign, an Hawaiian greeting where the thumb and little finger are extended from a closed fist. I couldn’t help but smile and throw him one back! Generally, when you smile at someone, that person will smile back as kind of a natural reaction, and that smile might be the only one that person has that day. So smile at people you see whether you know them or not. Spread that joy! And while you are at it, smile at yourself in the mirror!

You can also give little love and support with an email, a text, or a little handwritten note. This costs nothing but the moment it takes to do it, and it can make...

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Moments of Grief

Uncategorized Nov 21, 2019

I have a wonderful studio that Ron had built for me when we moved to Maui. He knew I would miss the studio I had on the mainland, so he arranged for a bigger studio to be built here. As wonderful as my studio is, by the time it was completed, I needed to be with Ron most of the time, and even though the studio is on our property, it’s  far enough away from the house so that when time was of the essence when he had medical emergencies, I couldn’t get back up to the house fast enough. So, I didn’t spend much time there.

After Ron’s transition, I just couldn’t bring myself to go to the studio. Now, two years later, I am feeling creative again and have been appreciating what a wonderful gift studio is to me.  I was there a couple of days ago and was suddenly overcome by tears. I realized that it was a profound moment of missing him. When the tears slowed, I was able to complete what I was doing before I came back up to the house, though still a...

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Who cares who is watching?

journaling joy judgement Nov 21, 2019

Who cares who is watching? Blog 9 3 19


When I was growing up, I was always doing things to impress my parents, to see if they were watching. Most times they didn’t. After I left home, I would do things to impress my husband to see if he was watching, but generally he wasn’t impressed. Then I started doing things that I could share to impress people at my class reunions, but they didn’t care much either. When I married Jacques, he did notice what I did and shared with me how much he appreciated me. I knew he was watching, and that was a much more positive inspiration to do good things.

After Jacques died, I began to feel like everybody was watching me, wondering what I would do next, afraid to get too close for fear of dealing with the subject of death. I felt like everyone was judging me, waiting to see if I was being a good widow. I know how absurd that sounds, but in grief, we aren’t always rational. I recall one time when a gentleman friend offered...

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Change your world!

change gratitude Nov 21, 2019

Change Your World!

I read a short book today named A Pocket Guide to Gratitude by one of our Reclaiming Your Joy After Loss group members, Karen Schaal.  It reminded me of my journey with gratitude that I thought I will share with you. Reflecting now, I can see clearly the division in my life from before I really started practicing gratitude to when I adopted a practice of focusing on gratitude every day.

My life was good. I was married to Jacques, a kind, brilliant, loving man, was involved in my community, and I loved what I was doing with my life. Then I had the opportunity to support him through the last two years of his life. Then I was alone. My attitude was negative. I was lonely. I didn’t know what to do with myself, so I mostly felt sorry for me. None of that was helping me at all, but I didn’t see it at the time. I was inspired to write a list of things I was grateful for after watching the move...

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Uncategorized Nov 21, 2019

Cocooning Blog  5 21 19


Cocooning is a time that all you can do is maybe sit at home in front of a fire, and that is OK. If you don’t want to go somewhere, don’t.  Be easy on yourself now because grief is unpredictable.

            A few months before Ron transitioned, we were sitting on our lanai, Hawaiian for deck, in our beautiful back yard. We live on the side of Haleakala, a dormant volcano, that gently slopes down our yard vibrant with avocado, ficus, banana, and papaya trees and much tropical foliage including giant hibiscus and lilikoi plants. We frequently witnessed rainbows from this perch which appeared to be lower than we were allowing us to think that we lived romantically over the rainbow. Enjoying the gentle Trade Winds, orange and black butterflies were plentiful and would actually land on Ron as though they were attracted to him. He told me that there would come a time that every...

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“The only thing that is constant is change.”

                                                           Heraclitus of Ephesus, Greek Philosopher


When we grieve, we often feel like things will never get better. We know we can’t go back to how things were before whatever happened leading to our loved one’s death. And we can’t see a future beyond where we are right now. With all this, there is one thing I can guarantee, things will change.

Every morning, the sun comes up to brighten our day. Every evening, the sun goes down so we can have the peace of darkness to get our rest. Every time we blink our eyes, we open them back up again. Every time we breath in,...

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Uncategorized Nov 21, 2019

Do you feel stuck in your grief? Do you sometimes feel like things will never be better than they are right now? Do you long for the way things were before your loss? Do you think you will never feel whole again or even feel better? Did you know that usually all these thoughts come from your monkey mind, what Eckhart Tolle calls “the voice in your head”? And I hear you say, “But I don’t want to feel this way! Why would I do this to myself?” And the answer is, you are letting that monkey mind run amuck.

That voice in our head is frequently like background music that is constantly running. And you can do something about it. First, recognize that it is there and that basically it’s just trying to help. So I invite you to take a moment right now to listen to what it is telling you. You may be having a bad day and feel alone. Your monkey mind may be saying something like “Oh, poor me. I am so alone and being alone makes me feel so bad.  All...

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Spring Up!

Uncategorized Nov 21, 2019

Easter for me has always reminded me of a fresh start. That after a time of stillness, it’s time to begin again. In my heart I know that I am whole, complete, and perfect, and I know that making the best of each moment is my goal.

I remember wonderful times growing up where the family gathered with tons of food, especially ham and potato salad. We’d eat outdoors and wild flowers blanketed the hillside. Mom taught me the names of all the different wild flowers. I especially loved lupine and poppies. 

Now missing all that family, I will remember them and start my own new tradition of a little beach picnic that must include potato salad and flowers. I will bring to mind each of those loved ones with sweet memories and in their honor, plan my fresh start blossoming more each day, opening up to more light, more, love, more joy. I wish this for you, too!


I have created a new, Closed Facebook group just for my followers to share about reclaiming their joy after...

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Uncategorized Nov 21, 2019

Comedian Bill Mahar ends his act on stage after each performance by singing silent film star Charlie Chaplin’s song Smile. The night I saw him, Woody Harrelson came on stage with him to play the piano and sing with him, and Paul Simon came on to sing with him too. What a treat! But when he announced that they would sing that song, I thought it was an odd choice because as I had heard the song throughout my life, I always thought it was kind of sad, and this was a comedy show.

When I woke up this morning with the music to the song running through my head, I decided I would look up the lyrics. I realized that the music came to me because that was just what I needed to hear today. Here they are for you:


Music by Charles Chaplin, Lyrics by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons

Smile, though your heart is aching
Smile, even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky
you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see...

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