Fear has been both friend and foe. A lot of us who think we are becoming more spiritually conscious think that we should be exempt from fear of any kind. We also say that we know how fear can keep us from doing things we want to do or from being what we want to be. We talk about how love can overcome any fear. All of these are true to a point. But fear can be a friend. It can keep us from throwing all caution to the wind, not using our common sense, or not recognizing danger. Some times it is difficult to say whether or not a fear is a friend or a foe.

     There is a lot of things that go into how much fear a person may be experiencing at any given time. Perhaps someone is threatening your life or you are in the mist of a war zone. That fear is your friend to help you do things to stay as safe as possible but there is no guarantee that you will be able to avoid harm or death. Sometimes you have fears from simply not knowing. Not knowing can send you into panic mode. No one likes to feel fear. Most of us don’t like to report to anyone that we have any fears because we might appear to be less spiritual or weak in some way. It takes more guts to say you have some fears than to lie to yourself and others. This is not to say you should continue growing your fears or burden others with them either.

     I was curious about where fear forms in the brain. It comes from the Amygdala in the brain. What causes some people’s to be larger than others? What causes some people to tend to be more fearful in general that others? Why is it that some people can take a ride in an amusement park, enjoy the thrill and want to do it again while others are practically having a panic attack just imagining it? Are we taught fear, do we learn to fear from experiences that we have been through or is there some mechanism in some of us that is out of balance or malformed or damaged or over or under developed in our brains or our nervous system or some organ that causes us to be more fearful or less fearful than others? I would say yes to all of these possibilities.

     We can face some of our fears and overcome them to a certain degree in various ways but can we find ourselves caught back up in a fear loop just when we thought we no longer had issues with that particular thing? My own experience tells me that we can at any time. How do we know if someone is fearful? Some are very good at hiding such feelings or pushing them down burying them, using distractions, or medicating them until they reach the boiling point and the fear or fears have totally taken over common sense and perhaps destroyed or misused the life we could have had.

     So what is the good news? We have tools to deal with fear and it’s cousin anxiety. Use those tools wisely. Learn that fear is part of life and can give us warning signs. Unfounded or emotional fears can be helped through psychotherapy, breathing techniques, meditation, tapping and relaxation techniques and others. Naming the fear and facing it is the only way through. Some give their fears to God. Whatever it takes there is no right or wrong but stuffing the fears can make your life miserable. Telling yourself you should NOT have these fears or that you are failing as a spiritual being if you have them or that you are a weakling doesn’t help either and,it isn’t true.

     They say where there is love, there is no fear and yet fear is part of being human no matter it’s origin. We can, however, learn to change what we able to change and learn to accept and live with what we cannot change. Make peace with your erroneous fears, listen to them, learn from them and make them subjects to the rule of your heart as much as possible. That’s all I know to do from where I sit this moment. And this now is all I have.



In the twilight of my years (at least I surmise that I have reached that marker) I find that like a traveler on a path that has appeared only with each step, I cannot see beyond the place where each now is happening. Looking back these many years, I congratulate the Universe for not showing me where my steps were taking me before I got there. Had I known what was ahead, in some cases I would have eagerly anticipated that future and easily walked into it not being able to arrive fast enough. In other cases I would have wanted to drop my anchor and not taken another step in an effort to avoid what was coming. The former surprises brought me unimaginable joy; the latter surprises brought me unimaginable wisdom.

Traveling along this road which only appears as I move forward, I can notice the dust of the years settling step by step upon my shoes. It is the dust of a few dreams that died along the way. It is the dust of no regrets yet a desire to have known then what I know now. I often though how ironic it is to have not even begun to know how to be a parent to new born children until after they were grown. It is only in the doing that we learn what we need to know. My father loved to talk about bits of my babyhood emphasizing how I did not arrive with an instruction book. My father seemed to want to have children. He grew up in a large family as did my mother and that was very common back then in the early twentieth century. I know for a fact that my mother put her foot down about having any more children after she had given my father one daughter and one son. At times I sensed that the two of us were even two too many for her. How do I know this? Little pitcher have big ears as they say and so it went in my life. One had to be sneaky or sharp to know what was going on in the “grown-up” world. No one talked about things they did not want to discuss back then, even the things that should have been discussed or acknowledged. Putting my ear to my parents’ closed bedroom door I heard the no-more-children declaration from my mother’s own lips. Well, dang, there goes my chance to have a sister. I would have to settle for my pesky little brother. That’s another of those things I was glad to not be able to see ahead of time. My pesky little brother turned into a man I was proud to call brother, a man whom I admired and grew close to in the last few years of his life, a man who would be taken unexpectedly at age 42 with a heart attack. Yes, I did not see that one coming.

In spite of what I say now, I did indeed wonder about the future. I loved stories real or not about people, mostly women, who had a gift of seeing the future. My guess is that females seem to come with built-in, varying abilities to sense or intuit things whereas males have a more concrete approach to life. One of my favorite toys was the magic 8 ball. You ask a “yes” or “no” question then shake the ball and either yes or no would or other simple answers would float to the window of the ball. A more modern version of the magic 8 ball would be the use of a pendulum and that is not considered to be a toy per se. A vertical swing usually means “No”, a horizontal swing usually means “Yes”, and a circular movement means “Neutral”. Tea leaves readings, tarot cards, and other forms of deviation are still around. If those scare you, try fortune cookies. True confession time. I did try a Ouija board once but that’s another story. Suffice it to say I threw it in the fireplace planchette and all; but, that’s fodder for another story.

We are all curious creatures and want to know what the future holds. How many years will I live or how many children I will have or will I get that job I wanted? We have so many questions but do we really want to know all the answers ahead of time? Even if we thought we knew, we can still make different choices that will alter the odds and point our future in a different direction. It’s all a game of choice and chance. I’ll make my choices and take my chances. How about you?





I have come to the point in life where differences (race, color, cred, sexual orientation, religion or no religion, beliefs and what is “proper” or not) are superficial to me. What is uppermost is what lies deeper than that. Can you just enjoy laughs, tears, joys, sorrows and celebrate the ways in which you and others are alike? Can you stop, at least now and then, from being offended by someone else and realize that it is not they who offend you but rather your beliefs and inability to see beyond your own boundaries that cause the offense? 

Perhaps the question is, do you want to look beyond, walk out on that limb, suspend your own beliefs or feelings for even a moment or two, to try to see things differently? If the answer is that you would rather keep things just as they are and you feel no need to see deeper than your present ability, then, please don’t pretend you do. Be true to yourself, be authentic. That does not mean that this should give you free license to be be cruel, harm someone physically, or want to make them conform to your own standards. You will, perhaps, miss out on a more expanded and enriched life but that is your choice and certainly you have that right.

If you do wish that you could be more open and accepting, I can tell you from my own experience that this has been one of the best gifts I could have given myself. I can walk through freak shows and find the freak in myself. I’ve been an insider during my lifetime and an outsider as well but when I choose to allow myself to just be with different people expressing different things, I can enjoy the party even if I am not an exclusive member. What does that mean? I can be free to jump in and frolic all I want, then go to a different party and frolic there even if the former was worlds apart from the latter. I can be dead serious, solemn , thoughtful, or off-the-wall funny, playful, light or sassy. Without my erecting or keeping so many boundaries, I am free to fly however I want, whenever I want, wherever I want instead of being constricted and becoming a prisoner of my own making. Does this mean anything goes? Of course not. You don’t throw common sense to the winds. You don’t put yourself into harm’s way. You don’t stay where you are not welcomed. You don’t have to play any games that make you feel uncomfortable or stay in situations where you are being taken advantage of. You don’t have to join in for the sake of appearances, of looking good. It has taken me a lifetime to begin to figure this out. I don’t know about you but I have often felt out of place. It wasn’t because I was so different (though I often feel that way) but rather because I was not allowing myself to be the authentic expression of Brenda that I always was deep down inside. I was brain-washed and trained to conform to my family, my society, my church, my groups. I tried to make myself into whatever I thought would make me fit in with the norm. I find that I can fit in with the norm or the exception thereof not so much because of the need to be accepted but more for the sake of just expanding myself and setting myself free.

No one could tell me this. I just had to figure out where the discomfort came from all these years, look back at my experiences, and find the real me. I invite you to do the same. You may not find that your path is like mine in any way. I believe that this Energy or Power or Spirit or God that creates all things wants to express in, through and as me, as you, as all things created. I find that having that belief brings me joy, helps me make sense of what I can’t explain, and gives me the the awesome job and responsibility to allow Spirit to shape me and shift me as He/She is declined to do. Following a path of authentic freedom is, to me, the most loving, common-sense, and creative path one can take, It is the gift that keeps on giving through storms or calm, through light and dark, through joy and sorrow and for this I am truly thankful.


Love is everywhere. We sometimes miss it because we are looking for it in a specific form or forms we are familiar with or forms that are giving off love to us. Sure, a hug or kindness from someone feels really, really good but when you are feeding your pet or you catch the morning sunrise or the colors in the sky as the sun sets that also is a love moment. When you watch a funny program or hear or read a joke or a pet does something funny that’s a love moment.

When I used to go visit my paternal grandmother we often shared some toast and honey over a game of Chinese checkers. Was I experiencing love? You bet I was. My grandmother treated me like I was a great friend, someone she derived pleasure from spending some time with and hanging out together. She often showed me a dress she was making or just finished making or something she crouched or knitted. She patiently and happily taught me how to play some songs on the piano or praised me for things my piano teacher was having me practice. Loving moments? You bet they were. I was accepted for myself and treated as though I mattered. She was teaching me about love and I was learning about love. I can wrap myself up in those memories and feel safe and warm and comforted as I was then.

 You are entering or exiting a store and there is one door in or out and you hold it open for the next person or they hold it open for you and smiles and thank yous are exchanged. Did you catch that moment of love? Your big dog comes over and lays his head on your lap and looks up at you with adoring eyes. Bingo! Love just walked all over your heart. Your cat or your small dog jumps up next to you and wants to be near you. You may think that they are asking for love and maybe they too want a sign of your love but perhaps they are giving you an opportunity to give love and it is in the giving of that time and energy of yourself to your pet that you also receive it.

 The above mentioned are just small examples of love being everywhere in different forms and they are sweet and soft and fluffy. They are the kind that are easier to spot. Enjoyment and thanksgiving for these comes easily and quickly. What about the forms of love that you could easily miss or mistaken for anything but love? I will attempt to cover that in “Love is Everywhere Part II”



When I was young it seemed as though time walked at a slower pace. In fact I had been known on more than one occasion to get behind time with a broom and try to hurry it along, sweeping in desperation and angst. I couldn’t get to a certain age fast enough or I couldn’t get through a difficulty or challenge fast enough or the goal or special something I was looking forward to just could not get there fast enough.

Fast forward to middle age. Time began to seem like I was riding on a train watching the events go by outside my window slow enough to be seen but fast enough that at times I seem to miss some of the scenery. I began at times to search inside my head for memories that were not sticking because time was moving faster than before. Then I noticed that every time I turned around, my children were becoming women and preparing to go out and begin lives of their own on their own.

Fast forward and my children are having children who are growing at a faster rate than mine did,. And the mate I though would grow old with me is given a death sentence by an oncologist. What? No! This isn’t happening to me. Time finally got me to an age where we finally had a little more money and more time to enjoy our “Golden” years. This cannot be. At first I wanted to grab the hem of time and slow it down again so that I could have more time with my husband but as his pain worsened and every organ in his body was dying for lack of oxygen I wanted time to be merciful and pass a little more quickly for his sake and not mine.

Time stopped for a while after that. I was not the “me” with whom I was familiar. I was dead inside. Yet, there was a spark that would not let me give up. One day time started back up, slowly at first, until I had begun to see that I had redefined myself. I had become a familiar being to myself yet different than before. Once again time was going at a nice pace that I was nether hurrying along nor trying to slow down. I started building a new life and open to dating again which seemed to throw me happily back to my teenage years. I thought for a while I had pushed time back, was reborn into my teens (in my head) and started finally seeing a second chance for a whole new squeal to my first book of life. The second book would contain some of the same people and things and yet many, many more different characters added, new places to live, new life style, new way of looking at things. This was not to say it was all peaches and cream. I had to learn about managing money and a whole lot of things that I never had to mange before. Some things I did not know how to do or who to talk to or who to hire to do things I could not do. Time for me was exciting, scary, tearful, joyful, and challenging. Sometimes time flew, sometimes it stalled in the air, sometimes it crawled and sometimes it enjoyed tangling me up it its web.

Fast forward to now. Has time been good to me? Yes. Has time been painful sometimes? Yes. What is time doing now? Time is going faster and faster now. I look down at my hands and my arms and I see the container in which I have lived these many years is shriveling up. Mother nature knows I am way past child bearing so has called back the estrogen that kept my skin a little more moist, my hair thicker, the wrinkles at bay, and muscle tone with ability to hold things where they belong instead of sagging or dropping south so I shrivel with every day that passes. Though I have a lot to be thankful for including activities if I feel up to them; people who love me and whom I love; enough money right now to sustain me; a roof over my head; a wonderful little dog; traveling planned; and a nice place to live, I find that time is slipping away. People whom I have known all my life, famous people who lived in my life time so far, and all that composed my life all my life are dying or dead. I am feeling more like I am becoming the last leaf on the tree. My whole life now is geared towards its end. Time is still there but even if I live twenty more years, those twenty will gather momentum and pass with the speed of light. So I am in my final times of my life and the next big transition will be my final one. At times I start to grieve my own demise like I grieved the loss of my first and second husbands and my boyfriend who also died long before the transitions were made. It is a preparation that cannot be avoided.

Through every state of my life thus far, time has been on my side whether it went quickly or slowly I know that time is always now. It is only fast or slow in my head. Looking back I can see more clearly now and know that I can love every bit of life – the good, the bad, the ugly of it all. I know I will continue to do so as I come to terms with growing older and beginning to transition from a life looking forward to life loosing its meaning and hold upon me. I am starting to embrace the body changes more and resist them less, to love what is. I’m not alone in this transitional time of life. I may be more aware or willing to talk about it than some are and I know the key to love what is at all stages of life. The “what is” are things we cannot change. The things we can change, we should of course.

It has been said that growing old is not for sissies. Life is not for sissies either but it is a most fantastic and deliriously, ever-changing whirlwind of being whose form we must embrace at all times or suffer through a resistance that is futile. I have not choice but to love it what is and to grow old with it.


I love to watch my dog pounce on a toy in victory. I love the way he jumps up on the sofa right by me looks straight into my eyes and then as though he is puzzled, looks away for a second then back at me until he figures out what’s next.

I love the way cats purr and mix dough when they are content.  Sometimes their eyes close and they seem to have smiles on their faces like they are sleeping in a poppy field.  I love that they are not like dogs because they teach me about getting needs met without attachment.

I love the way hummingbirds can go up or down or sideways or fly in one place for a while. I love that they are so tiny and yet strong. And like me, they have a sweet tooth. I’m a lot like them.

I love to listen to the ocean or a stream bumping along over river stones or the sound of a flute floating on the air as I feel these rocking me gently to the quite rhythm of breathing in and out, of life.

I love the acidic taste of lemon upon fish and the crunch of a crispy pizza and a cup of steaming anything when the weather is damp or chilly. I like how coffee runs through my veins and gets my brains in gear or how sweet tea just makes a meal complete somehow. My taste buds like to show off.

I love the ticking of a clock that reminds me of my grandmother’s hall clock when I was young. It reminds me of home and days gone by. A fire crackling in a fireplace has it’s own delights mesmerizing, enchanting, glowing and warming it invites me to remember a time when my piano teacher had a party for us students and we roasted marshmallows in the fireplace.

I love the sound of an airplane flying overhead placing visions of bygone trips and trips to come where for a while I leave my normal life behind and see, hear, touch, smell, and take in all the nuances of different cultures that I can. Climbing up falls, looking at ruins, seeing great cathedrals and monuments, visiting museums, hobnobbing with the country and city folks, eyes wide with wonder and gratitude.

I love the smell of bacon and wonder why it is that is not so good for my body. I love the feel and touch of books and the excitement, the mystery, the love, the truths, and the ideas they embody. I love to go barefooted and feel the floor, the ground, the grass, the carpet the sand beneath my feet. It ground me. I love the freshness and newness of Spring after a gray and chilly winter. I am born again when the flowers bloom.

I love the gift of life that has been given to me in all its forms. I am so grateful for all that I have and have experienced. Life is good. All is well.



Did you ever reach the point in your life where there are so many things to learn about, to see, to smell, to touch, to read, to think about, to just gobble up because they are so interesting, exiting, and stimulating? I feel like a dry sponge wanting to soak it all up. I don’t want to spend my time cleaning house or doing my income tax. I don’t even want to know about the politics going on either but I know that this part of me that rebels against such things must also accept that some of these nasty time eaters are to some degree necessary. I also realize that for some people, a spotless and neat home is what they enjoy creating so why compare myself to them? Taxes? Well, the IRS is not people friendly enough but just decide you won’t spend you time digging up all the necessary paper work and keeping it forever and they can get really ugly.


But I grab all the other things I consider goodies and wondrous things I can. Like this morning I took Ollie out to do his thing. It is a very dark and gray morning and early enough that it is quite. I could hear Ollie sniffing as we walked along this way and that. A very gentle breeze was blowing – not too warm; not too cool. In a nearby bush, song birds were trying to cheer the gloomy day. Across the golf course, there were other noisy birds having their say which was a bit rancorous in comparison but part of the morning symphony. For a moment I just stood in awareness and let those things pass through me leaving their perfume.


Consider this as an example of toxic people or situations. Noah is in the ark filled with animals and a few people and the woodpecker comes along and begins drilling holes in the ark. If Noah doesn’t stop the woodpecker, he and the others are going to risk downing. He doesn’t want to kill the woodpecker, but he does want to prevent harm, so he (lovingly) uses a net to try to keep the woodpecker from doing anymore harm.

Toxic jobs, toxic relationships, and toxic situations do not have to call for desperate measures but you do have to use common sense and love as your guide as to what to do to keep yourself safe and sane. It is also a great time for self-examination. What part am I playing in this scenario? If this keeps happening in my life, what beliefs, attitude, unhealed pain in my life or patterns may I be addicted to that is making a contribution to these kinds of situations? Every situation that seems toxic should start with self-examination and a willingness to first know yourself.

Toxic people, jobs, and other toxic situations can also be a clue that you could be doing something better. It could be that this job, for example, is a clue that I need to go into another way to make a living. This toxic relationship may mean that you have to give up trying to be everything to everybody. Maybe it is time to close the book on that chapter, Maybe it means I need to put some physical distance between myself and this other person. In any case, you can learn something from it and the other person has the same opportunity.. If it is a job situation, it can afford your co-workers the same opportunity to clean things up or go another way.

In my life, I have been a magnet for damaged people, addicted people, people with psychological problems (wounded birds so to speak), or people who think differently, people who think outside the box or who are rebels of some kind. – people who don’t fit the norm. (As an aside, this does not mean I do not mingle with or am a magnet for the people or situations that fit the norm.) I know I was called to be a healer but I tried doing it without first healing myself. The thing is, in my attempts to heal others, I was also healed. While I was making every effort to heal myself and understand myself, I found that I could better help others or know when to give up trying to help. Perhaps your calling is a different one. Perhaps your toxic situations will lead you down some path that you need to take that you would not have otherwise. Maybe having toxicity in your life was to help you grow your wings or to stand up when you have always cowered. Whatever is happening always includes an invitation to love yourself and to take that love with you into whatever toxic situation in which you find yourself. It’s the loving thing to do and you do not have to kill the woodpecker.