After several weeks of disturbing social media threads full of fear and hate and judgment, along with some powerful feelings about what's been happening in our government and several conversations with clients, colleagues and friends about how to cope with the stress many of us are feeling from the constant barrage of negativity and fear, I had to stop, unplug, get quiet and spend some time reflecting on my own feelings and find a way to find some balance and make peace with all that's going on.
Here's what I'm noticing:
I am holding out for the bright spot in all that is going on in our country. I see and feel glimmers of hope in the midst of the fear and angst. I am witnessing a surge of empowerment beyond anything I can recall in my lifetime.
People are engaging in conversations that, up until now, have been avoided, discouraged and even suppressed for fear of judgment. Those conversations are resulting in connections that were never before explored and forming support systems that have never been in place. The old adage, “Silence is golden,” is being blown apart and people are standing up and speaking out about the issues that are important to them. Profound growth and expanded awareness is happening.
People are seeking balance, peace, understanding and consensus, which is leading to people setting boundaries. Clear, strong, healthy boundaries. On social media. In classrooms. In personal relationships.
People are seeking counsel, standing up and taking bold actions on behalf of their beliefs and in support of basic human rights and, in my opinion, the most important premise of the constitution ... that all men are created equal.
The struggle is real. The challenge to maintain balance and peace of mind through all of this is something many of us are struggling with. For me, it’s necessary to strive for that balance so I stay emotionally healthy myself and am able to continue to support others in my work. If I succumb to fear and overwhelm, I am ineffective. If I allow myself to become surrounded by the fear that others project, I shrink and become disempowered. And if I don't practice intentional self-care, I am not able to show up and serve how, when and where I am called to do so.
I've been reflecting back to my pharmacy practice days, in search for a prescription or a cure for those of us struggling to stay strong and healthy through what seems like has become a long, difficult and endless journey.
The truth is, there is no pill. No tincture. No quick fix. Nothing outside of us. The truth is that we already have what we need. It is within each of us. We just have to access it, activate it and live it. And if we can't get there ourselves, we have to reach out to each other for help. Our future depends on how we choose to move forward.
Here is my prescription:
What if this period of darkness and divide is actually a gift to humanity? What if it's something to actually feel grateful for? What if this is exactly what we need to move us forward to a better place in unity? What if this is meant for us to reach out and have difficult conversations so as to better understand each other and set clear and healthy boundaries?
Science has proven that united we are a powerful force and that love and gratitude vibrates way higher than fear. What if this is the beginning of a whole new era? One where complacency has no place and empowered individuals stand up for themselves. What if we stand together in unity fully embracing the fact that love and compassion trump hate and fear ... and that, in truth, we are all one?
Let's be honest. We all know we need motivation to stick with our goals. But with busy lives, we may not always take the steps we know will bring us success. That’s why we need others — friends, colleagues, and personal accountability partners — to help us stay on track.
Consider joining my 14 day Take Back Control of Your Life Challenge designed to keep you focused on your goals, while you uplevel every area of your life.
During the Challenge, you’ll:
- Resolve long-standing troubling situations and move forward without stress
- Become proactive about your future, instead of blaming and complaining
- Respond differently to unexpected challenges and unexpected opportunities
- Master the #1 habit that top achievers use to stay focused (hint: it’s not time management or a 3x5 card)
Meet new friends, swap stories, share your biggest wins, participate in guided discussions on my Facebook group (you'll get the link when you register below) developed to support your Challenge experience. You never know who you’ll connect with in this amazing new online community — or what they’ll mean to your future!
Join the Challenge here! Hope to see you in the pre-challenge conversation on Facebook!
Some people don't like Facebook. I happen to love it and use it in ways that enhances my life and my connection with others. As I plan the next construction project, prepare for Ripple's grand opening and create an event schedule for the spring, here's what showed up in my feed today to remind me where I was the day after I closed on the property. The post gave me goosebumps ... just like the real life experiences did. For me, that's validation that I'm on the right path and I am certainly not alone.
"In life my Mom cautioned me about taking on such a big responsibility. Clearly she was worried about me taking on such a big responsibility at this stage in my life and without a man to support me. Yes, she was a bit old fashioned ... and perhaps a bit afraid for me. I have to admit that sometimes her fear projected onto me made me even more determined to succeed. So funny to observe what motivates us.
When she was sick and was making her decision to leave this world, she and I spent a lot of time together. She asked me lots of questions about my work, about my dreams, about why I wanted to buy this property, why I wanted to turn it into a retreat center. Why I wanted to take on such a large project at this stage in my life. After all, she said, I could still go back to my old career, get a 9-5 job with benefits and a retirement plan and spend my time finding a life partner who could support me. She tried, but I never really fit into that traditional mode. And apparently, on some level, she knew I never would.
After she died, I found a crystal heart on her bureau with a tiny pieces of paper folded up. On one she had written, "Success for Trish's retreat center" with a heart on it. It think I found her God Box.
Last night, as I sat alone quietly on my porch reflecting on the day, a huge dragonfly flitted around outside the screen. I've seen her before.
Yesterday during the closing, I picked up my phone to add my mortgage payment date to my calendar. My brother Kevin's contact info popped up on my phone out of nowhere. He left this world a little over a month ago. His contact info popped up twice more throughout the day. I'm pretty sure my Mom and my brother both approve of the purchase.
Last night, after the closing, as we drank champagne and I listened to the previous owners share stories about the history of the house, which dates back to the early 1900's, I remembered an old picture I found when I was going through my Mom's things. It was a picture of my grandmother as a teenager sitting on the beach at Silver Lake. It was taken in 1924. My Mom used to talk about going to a lake house in NH but couldn't remember the name of the lake. My new house is on Silver Lake!"
I can't help but know this was meant to be. The thought of my grandmother and my Mom walking around my neighborhood comforts me, grounds me and makes me feel totally supported in this new adventure. I'm grateful for the time I've given myself to grieve all the loss I've had over the past couple of years and integrate some of the healing, miracles and profound growth me and my family have experienced.
And now, it's time. Stay tuned for details on upcoming events ... and save the date, June 21-23, for the Grand Opening Events at Ripple on Silver Lake.
After a pretty tough year, Dad is back to good health, is home and settled in to his "new normal" and is actually driving again. He is my hero and has given me a glimpse into where I got my drive and persistence. If I'm honest, I'd tell you that I never thought he would ever make it home. If he was honest, he'd tell you that he never thought I would realize my dream of buying this property and turning into a viable business. And yet here we both are to tell each other's stories and support each other through our challenges and experiences. So cool!
He is so happy to be home and I am so happy to be back in NH and settling back into my own life again. I finished up my classroom schedule and quickly geared up for opening day at King PIne Ski Area. The King Pine Ski and Snowboard School is in full swing. for the winter season. I have been quite been quite busy keeping up with it all and haven't really been very good at simple self care.
The holidays were a blur, but it was wonderful to take Christmas Day off to head down to RI and spend the day with family. It was the first time we were all together since my Mom and my brother Kevin passed and since my Dad had his health challenges. It was wonderful to sit around the table and share stories about our experiences, growth, lessons and how Mom and Kevin let us each know they were around. So much love around that table with each of us suffering way too much loss in such a short amount of time.
I was so happy to finally get on skis this week and for the first time in a long time, I could feel my brain drowning in that wonderful serotonin surge I feel when I'm sliding on snow. That peaceful, easy feeling that literally soothes my soul and rejuvenates my spirit. I definitely need more of that and less of the busyness!
I finally had a couple of well deserved days off and I literally stayed home, practiced deep breathing and allowed myself to cozy up in front of the fire and let my mind wander. No plans. No lists. No chores. Nothing. I simply let my mind wander as I watched the flames flicker in the fireplace. As my mind wandered, I found myself thinking about spring. And about a grand opening event. And hosting weddings. And events I'd like to hold at Ripple. I started taking notes, making lists and formulating plans! And so it goes.
I know myself enough to know that when my mind is idle and I allow my body to rest, my creative juices flow, my passion takes over, the ideas flow and I get clear about what's next.
Stay tuned for more info about our late spring Open House, our program and event schedule, discussion groups and opportunities to book our venue for your program, small group gathering or event. I'm even exploring the possibility of a hosting a few small weddings on this spectacular property.
I'm excited for what's in store for this spring and summer! In the meantime, if you're interested in coming up for a quiet getaway, check out our VRBO rooms at https://www.vrbo.com/1367010?unitId=1925362
Alot has been happening since I closed on my dream property, Ripple on Silver Lake. I spent the better part of the month of June cleaning, reorganizing, rearranging, redecorating, reconfiguring and renovating the space. It's been alot of work, but truly a labor of love. I've lived on the property for four years and had a plan for the property long before the closing. The day after the closing I got started so that by the time the first mortgage payment was due, I would have generated enough cash flow to cover it. Paying my old rent is quite different than meeting the new mortgage!
In an effort to generate some cash flow, I quickly I secured leases with three long term tenants. I upgraded two rooms and listed them on VRBO for the summer and fall season. I renovated the barn and turned it into a pleasant and functional space for workshops, trainings, meetings and classes.
We held our first event in late August. I learned alot, made some adjustments to the space and began to plan a calendar of events. The calendar started on October 5th with the Magic of Manifesting with the Law of Attraction class, a Vision Board Party, a couple of followup programs and our Open House event that was chock full of events planned for the day, including a Clear Your Clutter for a Cause yard sale to generate money for our scholarship fund for locals who may not be able to afford to attend our offerings.
I was excited and really looking forward to seeing the house come alive, our base expand and begin to expand our offerings throughout the fall and into the winter.
And then I got the call. Evelyn, the social worker who has been coordinating my Dad's care asked if I could be on a conference call on Wednesday. I rearranged my schedule to accommodate her request to meet with my Dad's care team. Dad began his most recent medical journey six months ago. He was out and about in his neighborhood and had a fluttery feeling in his chest. He went to his primary care doctor who referred him to a cardiologist. The cardiologist scheduled him for a cardiac catherization to clear a suspected blockage. Once they got in, they decided Dad needed open heart surgery. The day after his surgery he was extubated and doing well. I talked with him on the phone. He was a bit loopy from the medication but was doing well. Shortly after our call, Dad had a cardiac arrest. He was coded for thirty minutes and reintubated. And there it began. He was on a ventilator for 2 weeks and kept in a medically induced coma. He experienced multisystem shutdown with all sorts of complications. We had no idea what his neurological status was and yet had to make all sorts of critical care decisions. Going with our best judgment and a whole lot of intuition, but not really, truly knowing how things were going to turn out.
Dad had to have a tracheotomy and ultimately got transferred to a complex care respiratory facility to get weaned off the ventilator. He couldn't speak. He couldn't eat. He couldn't walk. He couldn't really do much of anything but lay in bed. His course of treatment was even more complicated by a couple of serious lung infections, a bladder surgery, dialysis, endless tests and a couple more hospital admissions. Little by little, his neurological status became evident. He was really confused, but seemed to be coming back. Finally he was discharged to rehab for physical therapy and occupational therapy.
While he was in rehab, me and my brothers took over his household, his bills and taking turns visiting him in Florida. We kept each other informed of his progress. He was working really hard in rehab, but it didn't seem that he would ever get beyond the need for assisted living. We started to explore options. In the meantime, we fought with insurance companies, negotiated with bill collectors and advocated for Dad throughout every level of the health care system.
The past six months have inspired me to talk to people about being sure they have a living will, clearly spelled out with specific directives. My Dad had a living will, but the process of deciding on his behalf while he was in a coma and not knowing what the outcome would be was the most difficult thing we had to do. The past six months showed me how lucky I am to have awesome brothers who are married to awesome women who have all banded together to support my Dad in the most amazing ways. And the past six months have taught me how necessary it is for me to take good care of myself so I can help others. Extreme self care became my motto. And asking for help ... specifically what I need and want to allow me to recharge for the next round ... has become second nature to me.
In the middle of it all, the deal for the house came together in the most miraculous ways. Almost as if to remind me of my own dreams and goals. Almost as if to prevent me from giving up the life I love in NH to move to Florida to take care of my Dad full time. And almost as if my Mom had a hand in orchestrating it all so she was sure I didn't give up my dream to make the Silver Lake property a retreat center that helped people connect, learn, grow and thrive.
As the call progressed, it became clear that Dad was making remarkable progress. Even more remarkable over the past few weeks. The team recommended him for discharge to home. Not to assisted living. Not even to an independent living facility with onsite support services. To home. To the place he has lived for over twenty years. Ideally he would need two to four weeks of someone with him 24/7. And he was ready to go as soon as we could coordinate the details of him coming home.
I was in California. I was flying back to Boston for a few days to prep for the October 5th class and for the Open House. I had list upon list of things to do to get ready for the upcoming schedule of events I had planned.
And Dad was waiting to go home. He had been waiting for six months. And today was the day he could be free.
I did the only thing I could do. I called my brothers and put them on alert. I changed my flight and headed to Florida. I drove straight from the airport to the rehab center. And there he was, walking up and down the hallways with his walker waiting for me to come. Practicing his transfers and balance exercises so he would be strong for when he got home. I met with the physical therapist who scheduled a home evaluation. Dad passed that with flying colors. There was no legitimate reason to insist that he go to assisted living. Except for my own reasons. My schedule. My plans. My reasons.
And so I did the only thing I could do. I made the decision to bring Dad home and to stay with him during his transition. I canceled all my classes and appointments and workshops and meetings. And I am right where I am supposed to be.
Dad and I have had lots of powerful conversations about all that has happened over the past six months and the impact that it has had on each other and our family. In between we are focused on the very simple activities of daily living that we take for granted until we are humble and find ourselves in a place we have to pay attention.
Life happened. I was busy making other plans. I'm glad I was able to cancel those plans so I can support Dad fully in accepting, living and thriving in his new normal. I am grateful for so many things, but in this moment, I am grateful for the richness of the experiences and challenges I've had this year for the lessons and growth they have afforded me.
When Ripple on Silver Lake celebrates it's Open House and when the new class schedule is released, you can be sure that it will be inspired by the life and the lessons of my Mom and my Dad ... and all I have learned from them and through them.
In the meantime, I'll be sure to continue a bit of self care while in Florida and be sure to take in some of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen!
Our first official event at Ripple on Silver Lake was a huge success! RIM Essentials Training for Educators was amazing and the possibilities for using this work in schools and with youth are exciting.
RIM is a powerful set of tools used to help process emotions at the subconscious level, quickly and effectively so that clients can overcome blocks to success and happiness. This is the kind of work that will change lives.
A total of 16 of us gathered in the barn for 4 days of intensive training the RIM process and tools. RIM stands for Regenerating Images in Memory and is a powerful set of skills that help kids and adults clear subconscious stuck emotions that block success and living our best lives.
There were 13 participants, 6 of whom are on my Pathways to Success for Youth team. There were 3 school districts represented including teachers, school counselors, school psychologists, social workers, special educators and support staff. We were supported by 2 RIM Master student assistants.
The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Deb Sandella, founder of the RIM Institute and best selling author of Goodbye Hurt and Pain. Dr. Deb is a master of this process and is confident that RIM will play a powerful role in decreasing violence and expanding trauma sensitivity both among educators and youth service providers as well as in school settings.
I am looking forward to continuing the momentum that was started with this group and seeing the use of RIM expand in schools and youth service work to help prevent school violence and enhance youth success.