Make Fireworks Every Day

My latest Shutterfly creation was a place mat with the above picture with the words “Make Fireworks Every Day”.  This is to remind myself to give my best in all aspects of my day.

Somedays this might be a 200% goal reached on my Apple Watch’s activity app, a new personal distance ran. It could be learning something new about teaching, martial arts, childhood development, nutrition, or just general knowledge. Sometimes it’s giving incredible service at my business, inspiring my martial art students to be their very best. Then again it could be assisting an elderly neighbor who’s locked themselves out of their apartment, helping an aging parent with their chores. We can make fireworks by being a shoulder to a friend in need of one, supporting a charity with a donation or volunteering.

There are millions more ways we can create fireworks, (the good kind) – Which is why every morning with my breakfast I look up and see a small sign that says “There is always something to be grateful for” and now when I look down I see fireworks and my mission for the day; To make each day count, to be better than I was yesterday, to spread love, kindness and inspiration to all I meet… In other words MAKE FIREWORKS EVERYDAY!

Do you have a morning mantra, mission statement or ritual? If yes please share, I’d love to hear how you’re making fireworks…


Why I Love The CVS 5K

My favorite day of the year is not my birthday, Christmas or any other recognized holiday it is the 3rd Sunday in September! This when the CVS Downtown 5K is held.

A road race I hear you asking, what’s so special about that? Where do I begin? Maybe it’s that children, and adults of all ages, shapes and sizes can run with Olympians. It could be the bands along the way — Then it might be the excellent pizza at the end of the race or the great giveaways.  Perhaps it’s how incredibly organized it is and the awesome volunteers. It isn’t any of those obvious things (although all true).

What makes the CVS 5K so awesome, is people coming together to have fun, being with friends, and family, accomplishing a goal, doing something healthy (aside from the pizza). My friend said it best today “It’s the best thing about America.” Standing as one as the anthem is played , people thanking the police along the way, watching policemen high five a cranky child. Everyone trying their best whether they finish under 15 minutes or over 60 minutes. It is encouraging fellow participants along the way or being encouraged, as I was today to make it up the last big hill by a young gentleman who gave me a hug and a high 5 at the end. It was a race. In fact it was the 5k national championship. But for the rest of us it was more about the human race. I guess I keep coming back because it renews my faith in what is good, where the only left and rights are turns. Where we can share a common goal and celebrate together as one team…

Yes Virginia there is a Santa Clause and he’s probably running among the rest of us on the 3rd Sunday in September…







The Congregation of The 5K

You can say this past Sunday I went to church with over 5000 people! It wasn’t your typical church in fact there wasn’t even a building – We did have a Friar who lead us in prayer before the “mass” took off.  This congregation met on the streets of Providence RI for the CVS 5K; an event which has turned into a pilgrimage for me and for many others.

The similarities of church and running a race may not be evident for people who don’t run: Yet for those of us who do it is one of the most uplifting services we attend. As runners/walkers we are sharing our faith in putting one foot in front of the other knowing at the end there will be a finish line where we will reunite with one another to share in the glory of our struggle – Sound a little like heaven?

The race as a metaphor for our lives on earth isn’t the only common thread. There is the sense of communion, it might be pizza and water instead of bread and wine, but the feeling of gratitude and being blessed is the same at least for me. Good Samaritans abound; volunteers, and fellow runners looking after one another; all of this taking place while the rain ends,clouds part and the sun shines! If that isn’t “Divine Intervention” I don’t know what is?

The runners/walkers weren’t the only ones who were blessed by the day anyone who witnessed and shared in the glory were inspired by faith, hope and love!



Kindly Forgive…

I’ve been doing a lot of introspection, and through this process I tend to read, listen to audio presentations and watch a good deal of OWN programing. One of the audio presentations I’m revisiting is Wayne Dyer’s Power of Intentions. I’ve probably listened to this program at least twenty times, but each time I listen I get a new message.

Today Dr.Dyer reviewed kindness and it’s effects on our immune systems and serotonin levels. It seems with each act of kindness the giver and receiver have markedly increased serotonin levels. The more astounding fact is the people who witness this act of kindness have their levels increase also. This is very powerful information think of all the “good feelings” that could be spread just from being kind…

Forgiveness was another one of his topics I heard today.  This is one that resonates with me especially with those who carry grudges and hurt like a badge of honor. I don’t understand that attitude. It takes so much negative energy to hold all that venom and who is being hurt in the mean time? Which is why I love this quote by Mark Twain~ “Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”

My thinking that if we all act kindly, forgive and kindly forgive even for one day this world and all who are in it will be better…



Oh What a Week it Was…

This past week was “Spring Break” for my martial arts school. Which isn’t really a vacation but a time to catch up with things and people you don’t otherwise have time or opportunity for, those of you who own a business understand what I mean.

Nothing about this break was typical. Normally there would be friends to lunch with, errands to run, paper work and cleaning to get done.  Instead it started with the funeral of a long time friend who passed too young. It was in the church waiting for the funeral mass when I had my first reflection. My eyes just welled up with tears as I took my mother’s hand and squeezed it, life is so precious and brief. We are lulled into thinking we have more time than we really do. That lesson hit us all just two days later.

The next day was a much happier occasion, but no less reflective as a student of mine competed in a national martial art tournament. I stood there watching young martial artists take the ring to compete and recalled all the times I competed and all the students I trained to compete. The endless tournaments often two in one weekend, and how and why I fell in love with martial arts and teaching. It looked the same but it wasn’t, the innocents was gone. What was once a format to test skill, in my view had become political and a little tainted.

Monday was to be a day of connecting with an old friend and enjoying time together, instead it was a brutal reminder of the times in which we live.  I was alerted of the bombings through the all too familiar ESPN notification sound from my i phone. I mistakenly thought it was the Sox score. My friend and I discussed how life can turn on a dime and without notice. That the most terrorizing thing is never really knowing when or how – Yet that’s the most comforting thing, because I don’t want to know when or how it will all change.

Tuesday  was a little closer to “normal” but there was still time for reflection and a bit of fear knowing there were fugitives on the loose.

Wednesday, was all about the bike, and riding a bicycle . Reminding me, there are still ways we can reach back to our inner child and reclaim our innocents.

Thursday I was able to workout my angst by cleaning my martial art school. It always gives me a sense of comfort to take care of things and people. I don’t feel as helpless and lost when I’m doing something to benefit something or someone. It’s also a great way to reflect, ask any monk…

Friday was all about old friends, flowers, and looking through a camera lens. Photography was a gift from a mentor who passed last year. Shirley made me believe I could be creative and introduced me to the work of Adams and Stieglitz. Like the bike, the camera allows me to return to another time. A time when I learned to focus not only on the beauty in my view finder but the beauty inside of me.  Then the crazy insanity of the day’s events were shown through the view of different cameras, as we watched with the world the hopeful conclusion to the week of terror…

Today was shared with sisters from Nursing School. Thirty – Five years have passed since we all donned the blue uniforms and white caps of student nurses.  There are more grays and a few more pounds and laugh lines, but the bond is still there. Can thirty – five years be only a moment ago? When we get together it seems that way conversations seamlessly take on the same rhythms and animation. Hugs are just as warm and giggles are just as melodic.

So full circle, friends lost, friends found, security lost, terror found, lives lost, lives saved, the ebb and flow of life was never so evident as it was this week – Oh What A Week It Was…

Ironically I didn’t run…

Peace be with us all,


The Last Straw or In Search of Buttermilk…

We all have our tipping points, that one little issue that puts us over an edge. Ironically it usually isn’t a big problem.  The “Last Straw”  is usually a minor annoyance or for me today it was not being able to find buttermilk.

After a morning of working on my business finances, finding out no matter how many times or ways you look at 1+1 you can never get it to =3!  Then I reviewed my calendar for the next three to five months with too many commitments and not enough hours. I was anxious but still relatively sane.

It was the trip to the grocery store for buttermilk that tipped me over the preverbal edge… I went to three different places before I could find buttermilk. With each failed attempt I could feel my angst increase.

Thankfully I didn’t go postal, I went home meditated and then hit the gym and ran on the treadmill for thirty minutes. The mental and physical break allowed me to regain perspective. By working on things I could control, I regained a better perspective on the things I couldn’t.

It all comes down to perspective and when mine gets out of focus, I run, not away from but to – Peace, Joy, and Balance…

FYI the buttermilk is for a chocolate cake!


Perspective @ 56

Yesterday I celebrated my 56th birthday. It amazes me more and more how quickly life happens! It is said;” the days drag and the years fly”. I’m seeing the truth in that statement more and more each day.

So here are some thoughts from my Birthday Run and the “Run called Life” so far:

Things and having or getting things don’t seem as important now, “Moments” they’re what count and there’s no “gift card”for them!

Aging parents are precious, because each day with them is a rare gem!

Laughing loud and often, is far more fun than whining and complaining and the choice is always ours!

Giving is far more gratifying than getting, especially when you get to share your gifts!

Furry family are just as important as any other member of the family and they will never say or do anything to hurt or be disloyal. They can be trusted with all your deepest darkest secrets.

Travel and reading are our best education.

One woman’s delicates may be frilly from Victoria Secret while another’s may be wicking from Reebock!

Chocolate and Peanut Butter won’t cure anything but they both make life easier to cope with!

Regrets are left for things undone not for what has been done, those are lessons…

Namaste, and here’s hoping I have more perspective @57!