Stop Doing…Start Being

StopDoingThe world wants you to be in constant motion. Searching or buying the next big thing. Building your career. Starting a family. Buying a new car, house, purse or latest Starbuck’s creation. But in the constant motion of doing, is there is one question that seems to stop people in their tracks.

Who are you?

Are you the guy who works at a job he hates so he can collect the paycheck to pay the bills and support his family? Are you the  mother who holds onto her patience by the thinnest thread as her toddler throws food in a new game she just created? Or the high school or college student who stayed out too late last night chasing fun when you should have been getting a solid night’s sleep for today’s big exam.

Who are you?

We get so caught up in the doing that we forget about the being.

Our activities in the outside world seem to define us on the inside. And then we wonder why that shiny new car or job promotion didn’t make us happy. We have reversed the process and then get mad when it doesn’t work.

The key to a happy life is to stop doing and start being. Clarify and identify who you are in a particular situation, then go out into the world. Your inner identity guides your thoughts, beliefs and actions, not an advertising campaign designed to part you from your money.

Take time to listen to your heart, not your head. 

Once you plug into your Self, your life will change.

It has to, because your heart guides your thoughts, beliefs, words and actions, not your head. And that my friend, is a beautiful thing!

Reframe. Release. Renew. #HeartDancing

A Mountain to Climb

My husband and daughter are about to summit Mt. Rainer as I write this post. I have not been in contact with them for the last 5 days due to the remoteness of their location.

What is a wife and mother to do?Climbing towards the summit of Mt. Rainier

Pray. Pray a lot. Visualize a safe journey up and down the mountain. Ask that they be kept safe and free from harm.

And the Universe delivers! Just as I was typing that last sentence about visualizing, my phone rang. It was Joe from the expedition company to tell me that they made the summit and will be back in civilization later today!

I stand in awe of how the Universe always supports me.          All I have to do is ask.

While they were climbing the physical mountain, I have climbed my own…internal mountain of fear, doubt and worry. But I am now at my own summit of freedom, knowing that all is well.

Thank you!

A Moment to Breathe

We have been chasing the sights, sounds and tastes of Paris that we hit a wall. This morning, we slept in and didn’t get going until 10:00 a.m. Sacrilegious to all of the annal-retentive travelers, but necessary for us.

We needed a moment to just breathe.

I am amazed at how easily we have adapted to the rhythms of Paris. Of course, we are on vacation and not working…but still. Breakfast from the crepe stand, an espresso for me and we are ready for our next adventure.

First to Notre Dame to take in the atmosphere and wealth of spirituality that pours from the statutes, small side chapels and vastness of the space. I can sit inside this cathedral for hours, but a 16 year old would never have tolerated that kind of inactivity (especially without use of her cell phone). A full model of the building was displayed in one of the alcoves, which proved fascinating to my daughter. Not the famous statues or bas reliefs…

Portrait1On to Montmarte and Sacre Coeur. Getting there was a bit of a challenge by Metro – three change of trains/subways, but we made it without incident to the Abysses Station. Many narrow streets beckoned, but we stayed the course and found the Place due Tetra where the artists have set up their easels. After walking around, we chose the artist to paint her portrait. How amazing to see him swiftly stroke the charcoal, outlining her face and its major features, then  going back to add the detail. A crowd stood behind and watched silently admiring his skill.  The end result was everything we hoped it would be!

Next it was the steps leading up to Sacre Coeur and the great cathedral itself. We enjoyed seeing the wonderful painting of Jesus after the Resurrection, which is painted onto a dome over the altar. But it was the trip up to the Dome that got us excited.

It is 300 steps upwards on a small round staircase that seems to go on forever. We walked through a narrow alley to reach the next level anSacreCouergargoyleEiffelTower1d discovered the skyline of Paris. A strong breeze wrapped around us as we slowly walked around the perimeter of the dome, taking pictures as we went. And then we saw it – the Eiffel Tower in the distance! It was great fun to see who could take the most creative photo of the Eiffel Tower with a gargoyle.

The one that made me laugh was her fascination with pigeons…check out the photo I took of her…taking a photo of a pigeon! SacreCouerPidgeonLauren

Retracing our steps down the 300 steps, and on down the hill, we found the Metro station and made our way home.  To a relaxing time on the terrace, jazz music playing from the apartment across the way, liquid note floating on the evening air.

Yes, it is good to take a moment and just…breathe.

Chasing the Sun…to Paris

Flying for more than 9 hours can mess with your head. I felt like we were chasing the sun, because it was always behind us as we traveled east and it was setting in the west. But watch out – we played a game of tag and won! We met the sun as it came around the earth on the back side. Only problem was that our back sides were done (literally and figuratively).

Rue des Arts2 Although we slept on the plane, when we finally arrived at St. Andre des Arts, we were exhausted. We staggered through the day, but I am  writing this at 8:00 p.m. and she is already down for the night.

As we walked through our neighborhood, we came across a crepe stand that wPARIS 2014 003afted tantalizing smells into the street. And guess what their favorite sauce is – Nutella! The chef let her go behind the counter for the photo. And the crepes were delicious!

That’s not to say that we did not take advantage of our location. St.-Germain-des-Pres is an ideal spot to get anywhere in Paris. And the best part is the neighborhoods. We walked down small narrow streets that looked just like that hundreds of years ago. Imagine who else walked down these streets?

Notre Dame is a five minute walk from our apartment. We managed to attend a 6:30 p.m. mass (well, I did; she stayed in the apartment). CardinalblessingI couldn’t help taking photos – wPARIS 2014 043ith a setting that fabulous, who could blame me?

Tomorrow is the Louvre and a bicycle tour of the back streets of Paris. Paris is known as the City of Lights. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a great start to see Paris at her finest. Until then, avoir!


Simple Steps to Love on Mother’s Day, Even If You are Dreading it!


Today is Mother’s Day, a holiday to celebrate all of the wonderful qualities found in mothers. Unselfish love. Infinite support. Utter and complete belief in a child’s potential.

But what if you do not have such a great relationship with your mom? Are you dreading any celebrations today? Maybe you are the mom being celebrated but your relationship with your children is strained. There is hope…if you are willing to try something different.

Before going out to be with family, take a few moments for yourself. Take several deep breaths to calm your mind. Repeat the following:

I am worthy of love. I am love. I am joy.

Imagine your day from the point of love. See everyone smiling, happy and relaxed. Enjoy each other and appreciate their uniqueness. Set aside judgement for today and love them as fully as you possibly can. See the light in the other person, not the darkness.

Your day will follow a much different path than if you began it with fear.  It works every time…because your thoughts create your reality. Starting your day with loving thoughts produces a much different experience than if you began today with fear, dread or resentment.

Your energy changed from fear to love and your reality has to follow.

It’s called “Thought Become Things” and this concept, as well as many others, are taught in a 6 six-week e-course. Learn more at

Spread the light and more will be returned to you.

Please share the TextPhoto on your social media pages or with friends. Let’s get this party started!

Time to Heal

I have a dear friend (Sarah) who struggled with a seemingly impossible situation for several years. Her daughter-in-law (Amy) was rude, obnoxious and refused to let Sarah see her grandchildren. When the issue was forced, Amy was especially critical, judgmental and made the visit so unpleasant that my friend would walk away stunned, then angry. Sarah looked into taking legal action, but did not want to pursue JohnLolaMazenekWeek3that route. She convinced Amy and her husband (Sarah’s son) that they should all go to counseling, but that did not resolve the negativity or shared anger.

Two weeks ago, I had lunch with Sarah and listened to her grief at not being part of her grand children’s lives. (By this time, Amy and her husband had moved next door to Amy’s parents, which was quite a distance from Sarah’s home.) I started to suggest that she strongly look into taking legal action (grandparents do have some rights in the state of Texas), but then I had a better idea.

My training in the material known as Infinite Possibilities has helped me see these types of situations from a totally different perspective. The energy that Sarah was using to stay angry, hurt and resentful was also filling up any space that could be used for healing. As long as her thoughts and beliefs were grounded in the fact that she was right and her daughter-in-law was wrong, nothing was going to change. Her thoughts, words and actions were going to spring from those beliefs and Amy was going to react in kind.  When she shifts her beliefs to love, kindness and acceptance, her thoughts, words and actions will also shift.

I also explained about the basic principle of “Thoughts Become Things”  and reminded her that it works 24/7. Currently, she was getting everything she didn’t want, because she was focused on those negative images and emotions. Change your thinking to what you do want and your outside world will also change.  Thoughts are powerful bundles of energy that actually mold the energy that you live in. Why not use these principles to get what you want most in life?

As I explained these basic principles, Sarah went very still and quiet. Her entire body seemed to be listening to my words.

“Are you ready to change and open the way to a new beginning?”

Sarah nodded and smiled.

“Then here is what you should do. Sit quietly and imagine spending quality time with your grand babies. They know you as a loving presence in their life, and Amy and your son are thrilled to have you share in the joy of their children.  Try to fill in as many details as possible to make it real, including what you feel in those moments.”

I looked to see if she was still attentive. Sarah nodded for me to continue.

“After you have completed your vision, write Amy an email and express your desire to see the babies. Let her know that it is her decision to allow it.”

Sarah looked at me in astonishment. “Is that it?”

“I know it sounds hard to believe, but your energy shift around why you want to spend time with your grandchildren will be communicated in your email. Amy will sense the change, even though there are no words used to convey it.”

She still looked skeptical, so I added, “What do you have to lose? If this doesn’t work, you are in the same situation that you find yourself now. But if it does work…”

Sarah sent me an email after Easter to let me know what happened. I have her permission to reprint it here:

“Remember our lunch when I said ‘I’m listening.’ I was and made my wishes known to my son and daughter-in-law. They came over today with the grand babies. We had an Easter egg hunt and a wonderful time together. Amy and I talked for about an hour and expressed ourselves to each other. Our perception of events, how it had hurt us, angered us and how we could move forward. We cried. We hugged each other, but most importantly, we communicated for the first time ever. ”

Isn’t that unbelievable? I was thrilled and excited that she had opened communication again and could now be the Grandmother she dreamed of being.

Do you have any troubling situations or worries? If you are caught in the vortex of anxiety or anger, it always helps to take a step back and see what you really want from the situation. Follow the steps outlined above and observe how it shifts your energy, which changes your thoughts, words and actions. A key question to ask yourself is, “Would I rather be right or happy?” If you are stuck on being right, the situation will not change. But if you are tired of trying to be right and you just want happiness, then these techniques will work.

Please let me know how this worked out for you – I would love to hear it!  Be well –


Answers to the Questions

Sandra from MommyhoodbySandra fame has just nominated this blog for the Liebster Award.I am thrilled beyond words that someone thought enough to nominate Dare to Dream Big for an award. With gratitude and excitement, my answers to Sandra’s questions are below.

1. What is your motto in life?

“The Universe has a crush on me.” When I first heard this saying, I was struck by the utter simplicity of the message. It has taken me a bit longer to appreciate the long lasting effects. When you know at the core of your being that you are always supported and loved by God/The Universe, you realize that the only limits you have are the ones you put on yourself. That one realization has changed my life. Fear no longer controls my decisions, but actually acts as a signpost that what is behind the fear is something I need to embrace and accept. That truth leads to the second motto I follow – “Beyond Fear Lies Freedom.”

2. What serves as your inspiration?  SeeLionin Mirror

My connection to God – truly, everything I do is to reflect His presence in my life. When I see God in other people, He reflects back to me.

3. Why did you start blogging?

Writing has always been a way to process the events and emotions of my life. For some reason, when I express myself in the written word (even it if appears on a digital screen), I can step back from the emotion and see the patterns or themes. Blogging is an extension of that process – one that I hope helps others process the events of their lives. If I inspire just one person to lean more into God, than my words have done their job.

4. What has been your biggest accomplishment?

My biggest accomplishment is to connect with other like-minded, joyful people who love life and know that we are here to create our dreams! There is so much to discover about who you are and why you are here – I hope to provide a guide to help you on your journey.

5. What do you want to accomplish next?

I am working on a revised edition of my latest book, Dance With the Divine. I can see it help so many people, including teenagers struggling with questions of “Why did this happen?”  It should be available in the next six weeks on

6. What is something you can’t live without?

I can’t live without God – I know that sounds unbelievable but it is so true. His love and presence is the foundation of my life. And He has a crush on me, remember? How can you not live without that?

7. What is the best advice you’ve given a friend who needed encouragement?

To step back and realize that the present pain is not permanent. There is a larger picture that you may not be able to see from where you are right now, but good always comes out of everything that happens.

8. What serves as your daily dose of happiness?

Receiving comments from my blog readers (hint, hint)! No seriously, I am happiest when I stop and just appreciate what is around me. For example, right now, as I am writing this, gorgeous sunshine is filtering through the trees and a soft breeze is flowing in from the patio.

9. Who is your role model?

I have so many – a few of the people whom I admire are: Marianne Williamson, Gabrielle Bernstein, Neale Donald Walsch, Mike Dooley.

Thank you again Sandra – Be Well!


The Ocean of Relationships

My daughter just went to her first High School Homecoming Dance/party and “After-Party.” 

Her entire class of 14-15 year-olds attended, so the social pressure of being “cool” or “funny” or “just-don’t-do-anything-stupid” was extremely high.

For some reason, the image of pushing her out onto the ocean of relationships flew into my mind. Please indulge the following analogies and metaphors while I sort through the possibilities that may lie in her future.

English: Two Sunfish with instructors teaching...

When she first sets sail on the ocean, her boat may be a humble dinghy or a Sunfish sailboat. Small and unsure, she is waiting for the first connection with another.

It could happen many different ways, but that connection, once made, could determine how she views herself inside that new relationship.

Unless she remembers the secret.

Her first real relationship with a boy could be like riding in a speed boat…the feeling of exhilaration and speed could wipe away any thoughts of common sense or safety.

Or it could be like a sailboat, moving in sync with the wind and the waves…peaceful, calm and serene.

But what if it is like the Titanic…glittering and seductive but a tragic end is ensured, whether the participants know it or not.

What is a Mom to do?

My imagination runs wild with the possibilities…drugs, sex, STD, drugs, sex.  I cannot listen to those fears though, because I know that her future is hers to determine. All I can do is to pray, ask for guidance and help her through the good times and bad.

Because in the end, it is not what happens to her as she moves on the ocean, it’s what she learns from the experience and how she integrates those lessons into her self-image.

And that is the Secret.

She is still and will always be a child of God, loved and adored.

She cannot lose her relationship with God. She can only ignore it or forget that it is there.

God is the most patient partner, always waiting for you to acknowledge him.  He set you forth on the ocean of relationships to discover who you are and who you are not.

And to learn that in the end, no matter what happened while you were adrift, that you can always come home to a safe harbor.UniverseCrush

Dance With the Divine

My latest book has been published – without fanfare, a publishing contract or an agent!  In the amazing new world of on-line publishing, anyone can write a book and have it transformed into an e-book, at no cost.  Unbelievably easy to do, and you are instantly available to anyone who either has a Kindle or can sit and read in front of a computer.

Dance With the Divine is the first in the GuiDance Series of spiritual fiction.  If the book were printed on paper, the back of the book would read something like this:

Dance with the Divine is a book of profound spiritual truths as revealed to an angry and rebellious teenager. The most common questions that have plagued humans for centuries are confronted by a troubled 13 year old whose family has been torn apart by guilt, shame and despair.

  • Why am I here?
  • What purpose do I have in my life?
  • Why do bad things happen to good people?

The answers may surprise you.  The knowledge imparted by this slim piece of spiritual fiction will intrigue you.  But the profound nature of spiritual truths that resonate in this story will be instantly recognized by your very soul.

Dance With the Divine is a guide to living a life of love, peace, joy and gratitude.  A simple instruction booklet for beginners to learn the steps of the greatest dance of all –how to create your very own dance with the Divine.

If you are intrigued, curious, or just want to know more, please visit the Kindle store on and check it out.  And if you buy and read the book, could you also write a review on Amazon? I will gladly repay the favor —



Live Like a Bird

We have a lot of black turkey vultures in our area and two of them have chosen the top of our chimney to rest. At first, I was slightly alarmed to see these huge, black birds sitting on top of our home, but when they cleaned up after a squirrel who chose the wrong time to cross the street, the integral role that vultures play in nature became graphically real.

Watching these birds soar on invisible wind currents, slightly adjusting their wings to maintain their altitude, is an amazing sight.  And it got me thinking about how I could navigate life’s currents and eddies the same way.

Do I go with the flow and allow things to happen, or do I try to control everything and muck it up in the process?

For most of my life, control was my main password.  If I was determined enough, focused enough and strong enough, I would get what I wanted.  If it didn’t happen, then the fault lay with me, not with anything else.

This kind of thinking led me into all sorts of traps – despair, frustration and pain.  Although I learned from my experiences, I did not learn the most valuable lesson of all.

To breathe and allow, just as a bird soars on the currents and still reaches its destination.

Following this new way of being, my life feels so much freer and less constrained.  I still set my goals and visualize how it will feel to reach them.  What I don’t do is try to control the “how” of what materializes – that is not my job.  When I allow God or the Universe to supply the “how” it always turns out much better than I could have ever imagined.

So next time you see a hawk or vulture soaring effortlessly, apply that to your own life and see what happens.  I promise that your spirits will be lifted as you reach your dreams!