What are you made of?


About two weeks ago, I had surgery to replace my ACL. I had a few setbacks, but had wonderful support from family and friends. It made me think of resilience and how what we are made of determines how we handle life situations.

In my journaling workshop everyone wrote to this quote, and I asked them to describe themselves in terms of food. What type of food are you? What does it say about how you handle circumstances in your life or where you are right now in your life?

The results were creative and eye opening. I was overdone spaghetti, because I feel all twisted and overdone. Obviously I was having a hard time and need to rethink my food in a more positive manner. That’s OK, because it made me aware of my mindset. Others were strawberry because they are refreshing and sweet, avocado as it tastes nutty (she is is self-proclaimed nutty and tans dark like a ripe avocado, and lobster being a favorite food and feeling like she is floundering.

Identifying with a food may not be an earth shattering epiphany, but it can help you connect to where you are mentally and emotionally. Perhaps you’re oatmeal–soothing and constant or a lemon–always tart and stinging, but yet cleansing. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of fun and creativity in your journaling, and we can always change what we are made of by adding some ingredients.

What are you made of? Are you happy with the food that reflects your mood or attitude? What can you add in to balance that food or complement it?

Months in Review


January was a blur of catch up, rush, get overwhelmed, then catch up again. I literally accomplished one item on my publishing company goal, but finished a great deal of goals and updates for the foundation. This included a new website. Check it out at www.fighttobehealed.org


February’s focus was on family and finishing the first draft of Sketchy Dinosaurs, the third book in The Puzzle Quests‘ series. I scheduled when I would write and made it my priority. I also stayed home. That is a theme for me–keeping myself still is very difficult. The nature of my work involves meetings, events, teaching, and visiting patients, so I schedule stay at home time.

One change that really worked for me in February was a daily intention. My life/purpose word is HOPE. Everything I do with the foundation and my writing is driven by my desire to share, create, and grow hope.

But just like having a long-term goal, I needed smaller daily words to keep me on track. Every day I thought of an Intention Word that would help me accomplish my goal. I also wrote why or how this word applied. Sometimes it ended up as a phrase. Some were:

Deep Breaths of Gratitude

No Self-Doubt

Eat Clean and Healthy

Love Myself

Be Present






At the end of the day, I wrote about the word and whether or not it resonated or helped with my goals. Some days it reminded me of my plan of action. On my Persistent day, I wrote for four hours. Other days when I didn’t set my intention, I titled my journal entry. Some were: Fatigue, Conflict, Reminders. There was a clear connection on how well my day went when I wrote down my word.

On the day my word was Simplify, I didn’t even write an entry. Using my journal as a reminder for my purpose, calendar, and entries kept me on track and gave me guidance on what was or wasn’t working.

I did incorporate Sunday Simplicity to plan for my week, which helped me rejuvenate and not feel as stressed. I relax, read, enjoy family, prepare my weekly calendar, order my food through Hannaford to Go, and do that never-ending laundry. Doing this lowers my stress levels and gives me time to take care of myself.

For March!

My big goal was getting the 2nd draft to the editor. Done! Check that off my list!

Keep Sunday Simplicity

Title my entries and continue Intention Words

I also wrote a list of my goals/to-do’s for the month, so each week when I plan my calendar, I have the list handy and can break them down into manageable projects. There’s nothing better than crossing off those finished items!

Reviewing your previous week/month guides you on whatever path you take, but you need to write it down in order to know what you have done. Schedule in that journal time. You’ll see and feel the difference it can make!


Be Kind

My beautiful Baptiste yoga sister, Cara, recently taught a community class, and she focused on the impact of unexpected kindness. Somehow when we least expect it, a display of kindness can pull us out of the worst mental funk.

Her quote was, “Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.”

Being kind to someone else doesn’t cost you a thing, but it might be the most rewarding for both you and the receiver.

In my journaling workshop this week, I shared that quote and had them write from some prompts:

What form of kindness have you recently received that was unexpected?

How did it make you feel?

What kindness have you given without expectation?

How did it affect that person? Do you know if it did? Did it matter?

How did you feel giving kindness?

Answers ranged from someone showing up at work and being thrilled to see that person, to going the extra mile to do something special for a mom’s birthday. On either end it felt wonderful knowing that someone cared and that you could make someone happy.

Lake with fog and Instagram effect

When I have hit rock bottom, it took love to bring me back. We don’t know what someone else is going through and even if we can’t understand what they are feeling, we can empathize. We can show love, support, and kindness. That is mainly why I write and teach journaling, so that others know there is always hope. There is always love.

Kindness comes in all forms. It doesn’t have to be directed only to you. In my yoga class today, the teacher exuded kindness and wrapped us in her cocoon of love. Not only did I get a great yoga workout, but I felt safe and cared for–exactly what I needed in that moment. After class I told her that, because I wanted her to know she made a difference in my day.

What are other ways you can show kindness?

Smiling at someone who looks sad

Holding the door open for another person, male, female, old or young

Paying for the person’s drink who is next in line

Sending a card or to someone you haven’t seen in a long time or giving them a call

Telling people that you love them. It’s a simple gesture that can turn someone’s day around.

Give a hug.

Don’t forget to do something for yourself that makes you feel good. Kindness to yourself keeps your heart open to share kindness with others.

Think about who you have shown kindness to today. If you haven’t, make a point every day to show love, kindness, and give the same to yourself. You’ll attract the love and kindness you want to see in the world.

Thank you Cara for sharing kindness and your bright spirit!


January in Review

Before I jump into a new month I like to review where I have been. The power of journaling is in the self-inquiry and checking in to make sure I’m on the right path.

As far as using my journal for my calendar, this is the first time I laid out the entire month. I listed my goals for the month to keep my priorities up front and center. It helped me track what I had to do and spread it out through the month.

I added daily quotes, which inspired and were often self-fulfilling.

One of my goals for January was to write book two of The Puzzle Quests. I’m more than halfway through, but emphasizing it as a priority was motivation, and I plan to finish the draft this month.

Stephen was home during the beginning of the month for school break. That feels so long ago! This was a perfect example of being flexible and remembering my priority-him when he is home.

I’m at this awesome place in my life where I can focus on my business. Luke and I have our own goals and those that we share. We give each other the space we need to fulfill our dreams

I still struggle with too much on my plate. My journal keeps me accountable on how I spend my time. I need more downtime. I was out of the house 19 of 31 nights. Too much for me with working all day.

I started getting more exercise in and slowly adjusting my food to healthier choices.

In February I will continue to write and create, focusing on self-care. And of course Valentine’s Day! Have a fabulous month!

Finding Purpose—You Are Awesome!

adriennemishlerIt’s a new year, and I am excited about bringing more journal prompts and forms of expression to you. This week was the first of my monthly journaling workshops. So many came out to learn about journaling and others are hooked by the written word and the accepting and encouraging community we have created.

Journaling at the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library

One of the first prompts we wrote from was the quote from Adriene Mishler, an actress, yoga teacher, and entrepreneur. Sarah, a fellow writer and journaling extraordinaire, introduced her to me with another quote from Mishler:

“You don’t need fixing, you don’t need to waste energy searching for tools to help you get what you don’t have. You have everything you need.”

This is so true. In a world tainted by anger and fear, we often forget we have the power within ourselves to create positive change and to make choices that fuel us. It’s important to look inside ourselves and know what makes us so awesome. For when life gets tough, we can dip into those awesomeness reserves and know we have what it takes to live a life that fulfill us and make us better people.

So the awesome in me bows to the awesome in you and asks:

What makes you awesome?

Don’t be shy. Let it out. Share what makes you special. Stand in your awesomeness and don’t be afraid to let the world know it.

Halloween–Gratitude Day 31

“You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: The more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given to you.”

-Sarah Ban Breathnach, Author of the Simple Abundance Series

me and my boys halloween 2001Never does this quote mean so much to me as on Halloween night. For every day during the last month, I have found something or someone to be grateful for. It has open up my heart to all the abundance and love I have in my life. It also has opened up opportunities that I may not have risked trying for in the past.

A gratitude journal directs me to the positive moments, memories, and birthdays that October encompasses. Although not always successful in keeping a smile on my face, by reflecting on what I am grateful for, I realized how many blessings I have in my life.

It doesn’t negate the pain my family and I feel during this rollercoaster of a month. Nine years ago, we held Nick’s funeral on this very day. My whole family spent the night with us, and we dressed up and went trick or treating. Halloween was Nick’s favorite holiday. The actor in him loved dressing up, participating in the school parade, having pizza at night, then walking through the development.

Now I look forward to the the neighborhood kids coming to the house. It’s amazing watching them all grow, and I am grateful they are healthy and can enjoy this holiday.





I also had the pleasure of having two of my book fans stop by today to get some candy and their copy of my book. It’s a joy to have so many kids around me.


Keeping a gratitude journal is one of the best types of journaling I have ever done. I hope you try it and see how the abundance in your life grows.

I am grateful to everyone who has loved and supported my family this month and always. You have our heart.


Millennials—Gratitude Day 12

I am surrounded by millenials, whether they are my nieces or nephews, my son, teens who volunteer, others battling cancer, in my workshops, you get the picture. 

I am grateful for this circle of young adults who has taught me lessons, supported me in my mission, shown bravery beyond amazing, and are in the heyday of their youth. 

Millennials like Alyssia who has been helping me market and launch my new book. Not knowing anything about book promotion, she researched and through trial and error has done a fabulous job. Q

Or Tyler who while looking for a job, same as Alyssia, volunteered for the foundation and did all our accounting. Luckily he found a job, but continues to support. 

Then there’s Kendra, a cancer survivor who despite being in college, has started a Nick’s Fight @UAlbany. More to come. 

Stephen, who gets technology and is always updating me on the latest apps or sites and makes sure I know the current lingo. 

There are so many positive Millennials around me, I could write a book. Hmmm. 

For every Millennial in my life thank you. I am grateful for you!

Growing Family–Gratitude Day 9

cousinsI am grateful for our growing family. I often wonder what my son’s wife (if he plans to marry) will be like and get excited about how our family will build and change. When Kyle, (wearing suspenders) married my niece, Samantha (next to him), he became an instant member of the family. He is a wonderful person and brings laughter and his great personality to our crazy group. He gets and I hope appreciates the craziness.

This past weekend, my nephew, Sal, married his college sweetheart, Mishelle. Besides the fact that it was a wonderful and special day, I now have another niece!


Mishelle is joyful, has a beautiful singing voice, and it’s like she was always a part of us. I love big family gatherings, loud get togethers, every flat area filled with food, kids running around, and everyone reluctant to leave. Now that all the ‘kids’ are older (the youngest three are 18), everyone is doing their thing, living their lives, and that’s damn good. But how I love when we get together and you have to go outside to give your eardrums a break from the high voltage of conversation.

We need more happiness and joyful tidings to celebrate. So I am especially grateful that on my Nick’s birthday, we added a new member to our family. Nick voiced his approval by shining his light on us.