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!


Changing States…

I was having a brief conversation with friends about  students who’ll be leaving for college and just moving in general. I’m always amused when people say they are leaving for a fresh start, to get away from it all or something that’s bringing them down. Believe me I’m not against moving or going away.  I think changing your geography when you have a purpose  like a new job, going away to school or any of the thousands of good reasons can be a growth experience. However, leaving for the sake of leaving is running away. One of the life lessons I’ve lived is no matter where you go you are there! If you’re leaving because another State is going to change your life you are wrong! The only state change that needs to happen is YOUR STATE OF MIND! If you have a self defeating attitude, poor esteem, no discipline this isn’t going to change when you leave Rhode Island!!! The only thing that will change is you’re address.

How we manage our states goes a long way toward how we develop as people. Getting to know ourselves, our true self is what this life is about. When we start understanding, accepting all that we are and truly loving ourselves, then we can move from state to state and not have to hire a UHAUL… Because WE’RE ALREADY THERE!


Enjoy your own company, when you enjoy yourself people will enjoy being with you…






One of the reasons I’m attracted to running is very little is required, except good shoes and time.  I’m free of team obligations, expensive equipment,scheduling venues needed to participate, like a tee time. It’s me and where I choose to run. Since I’ve started running this unencumbered philosophy has found it’s way into other areas of my life. I’ve lost twenty-one pounds that kept me from performing at my optimum. My diet has become “cleaner”, lots of fresh vegetables and fruits sometimes eaten raw or as close to their natural state as possible. I’ve spent less time on the computer and watching television. I sleep more peacefully and breathe more fully. Even though I  experience the same stressors in my life, I’m far less stressed. It amazes me how deciding to run has transpired into all I just wrote about. The ripple effect personified!

We all need to be freer of the chains we burden ourselves with. I’m always drawn to the scene from A Christmas Carol, when Marley  appears to Scrooge. Marley is burdened with chains and when Scrooges asks about them, Marley answers that these chains were forged in my life time.  How many have we forged? I know running isn’t for everyone but what could you do? Remember one simple act will cause a ripple effect, all you need to do is act…

BTW you will be visited by three spirits,



Change of Direction?

A recent set of events has me reviewing my life and where I am.  I’ve been blogging about the comings and goings of  the people in my life, but there are deeper emotional changes as well. Let’s face it at fifty-four there is more road behind me than ahead of me.  I’m sensing a change is coming and it is going to be a dozy!

For the past two years I’ve been having stirrings to look for deeper meaning in my life. This has taken many forms such as attending church, albeit to bring my cousin (long story). I found solace there and enjoyed the service, but I still didn’t feel like this was it or all of it… I returned to my books on eastern philosophy Taosim and Buddhism. Although I feel closer and more in touch  I’m still unsure. I’ve been studying Shiatsu and Pressure Points with my master instructor, this has been gratifying but it is still not the answer I’ve been seeking. In the mean time my business has taken a downturn and CHANGES  HAVE TO BE MADE. At first I was getting physically sick with worry over the possible outcomes. Now I’m resigned to take it as it comes. I’ve surrendered.

In my surrendering I have found a sense of peace. The Buddha and Jesus preached  about ridding ourselves of attachments. I believe we can’t master our souls when we’re so involved with mastering our assets.  I’m reading a book right now that speaks of this very idea. I’m not sure if this book will give me the answer or  just more clues for my journey.  This statement from the book is resinating deep within my heart; “Service over Success”.

I will close with a passage that got me through my  twenties, ironically it was also in the book I’ve been reading; “Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.”- Gail Sheehey

By the way I don’t believe in coincidences, in the mean time I’ll stop and check all the “signs” before I make a complete change in direction.


P.S. This blog is dedicated to my mom who is 78 today she has taught me well…




I just found out from a friends Facebook post that her cat passed. It made me think of how much time has gone by since she brought the furry friend home. These kind of thoughts are like a sweater unraveling and I started thinking of all the people and events that have passed in that time. We’ve lost friends and loved ones. Some of us have lost jobs and homes. We’ve lived through terror and heartache. Then I thought of all the babies we’ve welcomed, the weddings we’ve celebrated. Careers have been launched and life is still being lived. The cycle continues, old makes way for new and so it goes; Time Passing…

RIP Emmie



Re-Tracing Steps…

Have you ever been caught up being busy, lose something, then have to stop and Re-trace your steps to find  what you lost?   I believe this can happen with ourselves as well. We’re so busy being our resumes’ , a 54 year old martial art school owner, former registered nurse, daughter of Manuel and Sarah, amateur photographer, blogger, runner… (fill in yours). Get the picture? Fulfilling all the roles, getting caught up in the persona and losing the person. Then we have this moment of realization that we’ve lost something. We wonder how did I get here? This isn’t where I intended to go or who I intended to be. These mini satori happen periodically throughout our lives.  I’m there now.  You have this scary/excited kind of anticipation, the kind you may have before leaving on a long journey or starting a new relationship.  In a way you are,  you’re  embarking on a journey of rediscovering yourself… I’ve come to notice these as cycles in my life, usually occurring ten to fifteen years apart. Ironically it’s been a little over fourteen years since I opened the school, and ten years since I’ve left nursing.  New road signs are placed in my path. Such as; friends giving me books on service, mentors in the martial art industry who’ve got me to blog, and minor injuries that have sidelined me giving me time to think. Having an opportunity to study Shiatsu has reopened my eyes and heart to the Tao, and Buddhist philosophy. I’m not sure if all of these are part of a whole or just pleasant off road excursions. I’ll let you know after I’m done Re-tracing my steps…


Everyone Runs…

I had a master to black belt talk today with two of my high ranking students.  Most anyone in a mentoring relationship has given similar advice.  I explained to the students that we all “run” we may not all be runners but everyone is running…

It has been my observation there are three main categories for running – None of which have to do with running a race. The first type of running is when we are running toward something; a goal, an ambition anything sought after. This can be  productive or destructive depending upon what we’re seeking. My belief it is far more productive.  The second type of running is running in place or running in circles; this is never productive, it denotes mediocrity, going no where.  The very vision of someone running in the same spot would create a rut!  The third type of running is away from something, this is the opposite of running toward something. This type of running is nearly always counter productive as we can never run away from ourselves and our true essence.

If we look at the above “running styles”  as where we are as  spiritual beings, we are better able to understand where we are in our spiritual development.  Are we seeking fulfillment, marking time or hiding from our true selves? If you look closely only the first type represents positive movement the other two represent stagnation and avoidance.

I can’t  emphasize the importance of positive actions (running toward) enough. The race is a short one don’t get caught marking time in this life if you do you’ll be mocking time and then you’ll regret you didn’t run for your life!

Get on your mark get set and GO!


Staying Flexible On The Road…

Flexibility is not to be overlooked! This opening sentence has meaning on so many levels… (Insert whine about recent injury), as you may know by now I’ve sustained an aggravating injury.  The injury may or may not have been due to a lack of flexibility  but it could have been worse if I hadn’t been moderately flexible and it could have been less if I was very flexible.  This notion got me to thinking on all the other areas in life that may have had a different outcomes because of flexibility .

I’m not just speaking about  physical flexibility but  flexibility in my beliefs. How many times has my thinking been rigid about a person, a place, a religion, my time, the  list is endless! I’m so glad that I was flexible enough to believe a woman of twenty-seven can start martial arts and that same woman at forty could open her own school!  I’m also saddened that there may have been times where I wasn’t flexible enough in a relationship and lost a friend. There may have been a time or two when my schedule wasn’t flexible enough to have spent with a loved one who’s now passed. How many foods have gone untasted, experiences lost because of my rigid beliefs…

Let’s take this to a universal level, how many wars have been waged and lives lost because of our “lack of flexibility”?  The lesson for today is to practice stretching in all areas of our lives, it’s a great way to prevent injuries!

(Tao 76)

“At birth all people are soft and yielding.

At death they are hard and stiff,

All green plants are tender and yielding.

At death they are brittle and dry.

When hard and rigid,

We consort with death.

When soft and flexible,

We affirm greater life.”



No Pain No Gain…

After pulling up lame in what was supposed to have been my long run for the week – Limping home gave me plenty of time to think! I recalled the phrase “No Pain No Gain” from the body builders in the gym. This wasn’t that kind of pain!

After analyzing how I happened to pull,strain and or tweak my  left hip flexor, groin, I.T band. After trying to “work through” the pain by continuing to run! I decided to give into the pain and limp home. I started to recall how many times I’ve pulled up lame in life… Not just with physical activity but in relationships,my career, school, martial arts… How did I get through those “injuries”? Did they continue to reoccur?  After this limping self analysis I realized that I’ve grown from each of these painful episodes as a person, and a master teacher. I started to embrace the pain, the slower pace, enjoy the breeze and think how I could use this experience to my benefit and to benefit others.

The final answer is I can’t… We’re all going to pull up lame Experience Pain, living through the pain embracing the lessons are all our own choices, but this I do know No Pain No Gain!


Be Well,


Running The Loop…

I find it ironic how the types of runs parallel our lives. Take the loop for instance, this is when you have the same starting and ending point; for example many runners start and end their runs from home. No matter how far the runner goes he/she will eventually return to where they started, home. We do this in life as well we try to get away and avoid our inner demons and challenges, but no matter where or how far we go to avoid them the same challenges are there when we return.

Life is full of “Loops” or cycles, the trick is instead of avoiding them learn from them. As a runner I keep a log of my runs so I can see how my training is going. Diaries are a great way to log our mastery of living. Give it a try you may learn something about yourself!