Thoughts to Ponder

“Anything you give your attention to will become your ‘truth’.”

Esther and Jerry Hicks*

This sentence seems contrary to what many of us believe about how the world operates. Yet, if we look at those who have become big earners or achieved acclaim, we know that statement is true.

When I was growing up, the mantra in my extended family was that rich people are either born that way or cheated to get to the top. As a young person I had great dreams of doing work that helped others and gave me prosperity and adventure. It never happened.

I had an opportunity to travel with my military husband and enjoy the many places we visited. Then when I was on my own, I sometimes felt that I had an adequate income and could occasionally go out to dinner and a movie or even a weekend getaway. Eventually, the tide turned, and I was again struggling to pay bills. Thoughts of dinner and a movie were beyond my grasp.

Over the past few months I have been in the depths of mental and physical distress and wanting to get better. To that end, a few weeks ago, I reread Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks. This book, as well as their others, is channeled through an entity called Abraham. You may have heard the authors referred to as Abraham-Hicks.

I was ready to receive the message. I read “You only hear what you are ready to hear,”** and “…if you are predominately thinking about what you do not want, your life reflects those things.”*** So true, I was focused on monetary lack and physical illness. Then, I came to this sentence, “…if your decision is to reach for the best feeling thought that you have access to, that decision can be easily achieved.”**** This reminded me that I’ve heard Esther Hicks say many times, on tape and video, “Reach for the NEXT best feeling thought.”

Wow! Eureka! I’ve been doing this all wrong. I’ve been dreaming of trips to exotic places, living in a nicer house, driving a sportier car, etc. I need to focus on the NEXT step. When I accomplish that I can take another step.

Immediately, I set smaller, reachable goals: Today I will have more energy and accomplish a task that has been waiting to be done and annoying me that it hasn’t done itself. The next day I can do another long-neglected task. It worked. My work at Busch Gardens has recently restarted. I have the energy and a fun attitude to interact with the visitors. Also, I wrote this short essay, the first in many months.

One Sunday when I was a child, my dad and the other men were putting away chairs after a church gathering. Each of the men carried four folding chairs. I tried to carry two but couldn’t control them. Dad came to my rescue and said, “One chair for beginners.” Now that I’m much older, I realize one chair is equal to one step in building my confidence and allowing my next best feeling thought to grow. The thought I must focus on is “one thing at a time,” or as all the 12-Step programs teach, “One day at a time.”

Only when I feel like I’m ready for the next step can I start to plan for it. Right now, in addition to boosting my energy and enjoying work, I’m beginning to sketch out ideas for a walk around Colonial Williamsburg and maybe even get a Good Neighbor Pass. After that I can choose to drive to Newport News or Hampton and enjoy their lovely parks.

I’m asking my friends to watch my actions and words. If I start planning a trip to Hawaii before I get to Newport News, please remind me to focus on the NEXT good feeling thought.

  • Hicks, Esther and Jerry, Ask and It Is Given, pg. 56, Hay House, Inc, 2004
  • ** ibid, pg 5
  • *** ibid, pg 27
  • **** ibid pg.92

 

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Thoughts to Ponder

“The only step you ever need to complete your whole life’s mission

is the one right in front of you.”

Martha Beck1

Years ago, a friend gave me this bit of advice. “If one person tells you to turn around and look behind you, you can ignore them. If a second person tells you to turn around and look behind you, you’d better stop and look.”

Today I have my marching orders, my second message (The quote above). I must move forward to accomplish daily tasks and pursue my dreams.

How many times have I thought about doing something, then thought, maybe I should eat lunch first, get my hair cut, take a walk…. If you’re anything like me, you can cover pages with excuses. There is always one excuse sitting on the tip of my tongue, just waiting to tell me why I can’t do something. One of my most intimidating questions is: What if so-and-so disapproves, challenges me, or gets angry? Do you rely on those excuses too?

I got the first message yesterday while reading The Traveler’s Gift,2 a novel about a man facing several disastrous situations in his life and feeling hopeless. He is in an auto accident and while unconscious dream-travels to visit seven historic people who give him advice, which he heeds and becomes rich and famous.

While all the advice is valuable, and I need to heed every word, the sentence that startled me into action was this one by Christopher Columbus; “If you are afraid of criticism, you will die doing nothing.” In other words, do what feels right, no matter what other people say. Where would we be if Columbus had accepted the common knowledge of his day that nothing except ocean existed east of Spain? I don’t know about you, but I’ve stepped back from many challenges and opportunities because I was afraid of what someone else would say or do.

My urge is not to discover the New World, but simply to share my thoughts. Sometimes those thoughts are lofty or spiritual. Other times, I just wonder if someone else is thinking the same things. If I am wrong and put my ideas out in the ether, will someone explain my mistake? It doesn’t matter. I remember a saying from my work place about new ideas, “Throw it against the wall and see if it sticks. If it doesn’t stick, try something else.”

My job from this day forward is to simply do as Beck and Andrews suggest: take the first step and don’t worry about what other people think. That’s hard for most of us, but a challenge we need to accept. And – if you catch me falling back into “What will people say?”, please gently remind me to take a step forward.

P.S. I was planning to edit this first, then go out to empty the trash and check the mail. Luckily, I followed my instinct and went out first. I wasn’t back in the house five minutes when thunder began booming loud enough to shake the house. Almost immediately rain began coming down in sheets and the trees swaying. Had I not taken that first step I would now be outside in the dangerous weather instead of inside writing to you.

Spirit: When I feel afraid to take the first, or second, step to follow the path that seems right for me, please remind me that if I don’t try, I’ll die doing nothing. Also, that criticism never killed anyone. And, so it is.

1 Compass Points by Martha Beck, info@marthabeck.com, August 30, 2018

2 Andrews, Andy, The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success,  Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2002

Thoughts to Ponder

“Burn every bridge but love.”

Martha Beck*

That statement shook me to my center when I first read it. Does this mean I cannot feel anger, frustration, disappointment…? Do I need to turn into a Dalai Lama clone overnight.

Not at all. We have a range of emotions for a reason. We’re born with them and we need to know how to use them for our highest good. Let’s look at an example:

The city announces it is going to build a highway through our neighborhood. Most likely, we are going to feel anger, resentment, a need to get even…. Are we going to act on those feelings? Or can we go to the next city council meeting to ask questions: who, what, when, where, why and how? We can ask questions in a respectful, yet firm tone and quietly listen to their answers. Or, we can yell and denounce the board before they have a chance to respond.

Which would gain us the greatest amount of information and understanding? Once we have that information we can begin to plan our route to stopping the highway. Or, we may decide their reasoning is valid and prepare to sell our home for the best price possible, which might be the contractor’s offer, and start looking for a new home.

You can see that at each step we felt the emotions, but responded respectfully. Or, we could have reacted angrily and felt every moment of stress (high blood, pressure, chest pains, headaches) until we give up the fight, or carry our resentment into our old age.

By facing the situation thoughtfully and acting respectfully to all concerned, we are showing ourselves love, as well as those responsible and our neighbors. Our resentment becomes acceptance. Acceptance becomes love.

Living in love does not mean that we won’t feel the normal emotions. It merely means that we examine and accept or change our situation as we are guided by our conscience. We take action according to what is the highest good for us, and others.

Spirit, Please guide me to look at the situations in my life as opportunities to grow into a better person. Show me how to discard old, and new, resentments and angers. And, so it is.

  • Compass Points by Martha Beck, July 19, 2018, info@marthabeck.com

Thoughts to Ponder

“Live today by the Buddha’s words:

‘You could search the whole world and never find anyone as

deserving of your love as yourself.'”

Martha Beck*

We’ve heard similar words in many forms over the years. “Love your enemy as yourself.” “Be good to yourself.” And many more.

Most of us do this occasionally. Many of us go through our day saying to ourselves, “That was a dumb thing to do.” “I can’t do that, I don’t know how.” “I wish my hair was curly, less gray, smoother, longer, shorter….” “My nose it too long, wide, drippy….” We all have our private lists of what is wrong with us.

What if we turned that practice around? “I did a good job dusting. The house looks nicer now.” “I handled that difficult situation well.” Do you think that might change our outlook on life?

I’ve tried it and it works – very well – when I remember to do it. Sometimes I fall into a gloomy pit and everything seems wrong and unchangeable. The longer I’m in the pit the worse everything looks. My hair is wrong. I don’t have enough energy. I make too many mistakes. A good friend brought me food gifts. I thought she just felt sorry for this beaten-down woman who couldn’t afford to own food. This winter and spring I was deep in that pit, and life was a drain on my body and soul.

I’m not sure what caused the turn around. I think I was just tired of being tired. I told myself to look and act on the bright side. I asked Higher Power to nudge me along the right path. Soon, I found myself saying things like: “I did dishes today and the kitchen looks nice.” “I did laundry and the clean clothes feel good.” After a while I could say, “I solved that problem. Good job.” “I handled that situation well and both of us are satisfied.”

I till have a long way to go to be the person I’d like to be. But, I’ve come far enough that the world seems a kinder, safer place. My friends and relatives are more supportive and loving. My friend still brings me food gifts. Now, I realize she is a kind, thoughtful person, and I receive the gifts with joy and gratitude. Yesterday she gave me four green tomatoes. I grinned from ear to ear and cried, “How wonderful! I can enjoy a couple meals of fried green tomatoes. Thank you.!” We both came out of that encounter feeling better.

Spirit: Thank you for nudging me to change my attitude. I know that life will be better from now on. I’ll still have situations to overcome, but they’re not so daunting if I look at them as challenges rather than disasters.”

 

 

Nothing is Permanent

The only way to find permanent joy

is by embracing the fact that nothing is permanent.

Martha Beck*

May times we’ve heard the axiom that “joy is fleeting.” We know this is true because we realized that a good word from our supervisor lasts only until the next suggestion for improvement. Or we get an A in History only to discover that we earned only a C in Math. Those events happen all the time because we tend to feel that joy is temporary and woe is permanent.

“Oh, I’ve been feeling terrible for a few days. Will this situation last the rest of my life? Woe is me!” You understand, of course, that I’m not talking about terminal illness, but temporary ailments like a cold, muscle ache, or situational malaise.

“My boss hates me. I have the worst luck finding supervisors. They must all be mean.”

“I’m too fat. Why can’t  be skinny like my friend?”

We may be stuck on the pitty pot for many years or, if we’re lucky, for just a few minutes or hours. That depends on our world view. If we are convinced that nothing will work out right, it won’t. If we believe we’ll always be poor, we will. If we’re convinced we’ll always feel ill, we will.

Let us take a look at each of those “life is terrible” scenarios mentioned earlier:

Do we have a cold or sad situation? Both bring on physical and mental distress. But, guess what? If we take our medicine and rest our cold will dissipate. Perhaps we lost the rent money playing the lottery. A disaster to be sure. But what if we put a portion of the amount we lost in the bank each week. If we can afford to lose it gambling, we can afford to save it. Just imagine how soon you’ll accumulate a vacation fund.

Does our boss really hate us, or do we have an “I don’t care” attitude? Our attitude is reflected in all our actions and interactions. If we just do the minimum to collect a pay check, everyone knows it, no matter how polite we are. If we select a job that inspires us or that we enjoy, then our coworkers and clients see that and respond accordingly – and so does the boss.

For years I chose jobs in which I sat in a cubicle and bemoaned the fact that I wasn’t part of the “gang.” Finally, I chose a job that pays less, but involves interacting with visitors all day long. Meeting new people daily helps me feel useful and friendly. Sometimes I need to seek additional help. Instead of moaning, “Why do the ask for the impossible?” I go to my supervisor and say something like, “This person would like ____. Is that something I can handle, or do you need to do it?” Because I changed my attitude, my guests and coworkers responses are friendly and fun.

For most of us the obesity situation is controllable. We can choose to eat sweets and fatty foods, the feel ugly and suffer indigestion at the same time. Shopping for clothes is even more demoralizing. Or we can choose to get help from a weight loss program. Or if we feel helpless to control our intake we can work the Overeaters Anonymous program. Both ways offer us alternative attitudes and behaviors.

These are all situations I had to learn the hard way and sometimes still struggle to see sunlight through the fog of my mood. Because I’m chronologically advanced, I tend to easily fall into the “rest of my life” thought mode. But, if I can stay in the “This is a new day with new opportunities” attitude, I find it easier to stay in the moment.

Staying in the moment makes staying in the “nothing is permanent” attitude easier.

Spirit, I know in my brain that nothing is permanent, especially my problems. Help me to feel the joy of each moment as it occurs.

  • Compass Points by Martha Beck, June 19, 2018, info@marthabeck.com

Relax and be at peace

Nothing important ever comes to you because you feel desperate to get it.
Go to peace first.
Everything you long for will meet you there.
Martha Beck*

When I read this message a few days ago, I realized that I had been doing a lot of either-or thinking and neither option was pleasing to me. One solution would make me too tired. The other wouldn’t provide enough money. Other options didn’t seem to fit my needs and wants. What to do?

I worried. I stressed. My blood pressure went up. Headaches prevailed. You know the routine. We’ve all been there.

Reading this quote caused my brain to shift gears. “I know that. Why haven’t I gone to peace before this? Blaming myself for what I had not done was useless. In fact, it added more stress to the situation. I must try a calmer way to reach a decision.

I  took a few deep breaths and sat quietly for a while until my racing heart became still. Then I whispered, “I choose to be at peace with this situation. The answer will come at the proper time. The situation will resolve itself for my highest good. Thank you.” Then I went about my business.

So far, I don’t have a decision, but a few ideas are edging into my awareness and suggesting I do some basic research. Best of all, I’m not stressing. I know that a solution will present itself at the appropriate time.

Spirit, I thank you for bringing this message when I needed it most. I’m grateful that your quiet assurance is available to each of us. All we have to do is ask. And, so it is.

  • Martha Beck’s Compass Points, April 5, 2018

Sharon Dillon, April 17, 2018

Continue reading “Relax and be at peace”

Daughters Tackle the Army

Thoughts to Ponder

February 28, 2017

A year after their brother joined the Marines, my identical twin daughters left home to join the Army. I didn’t write an essay about their departure and it disappointed them. When they asked why I told them the truth. The stories would have been almost identical except for writing daughters instead of son and Army instead of Marines. Now I can look back and write what I was unable to say back then.

I was so proud of my girls choosing the Army both to serve and to learn a usable skill. Yet I worried about them differently than I had my son. I knew they could surmount whatever challenges they faced in basic training, but as girls they were much more vulnerable in so many ways than their older brother was. Because they chose different job specialties, one a food inspector, the other personnel manager, they went to basic and advanced training at different locations. These two girls, who had functioned almost as one entity for 17 years, were now forced to be individuals, relying on themselves.

All I could do was trust God that they would be safe. As far as I know they were, but I also know they still hide unpleasant facts from me. Whatever they faced they became strong women. As they matured both married career Army men. Both men were good choices. One daughter gave me a granddaughter and grandson. In turn they have given me five great-grandsons so far. The other daughter has become a close friend and support for her stepsons and their families.

These women have been my cheerleaders, strength, motivation, wisdom and caretakers. They encouraged me when I went to college, they supported me when I faced life-changing decisions and cheered me during down times. They monitor my health and support me when my spirit is low. Best of all, I feel that they do it out of love rather than duty. Sometimes I think that is more than I deserve. Even so, I am so proud of them and brag on them every chance I get. Most of that bragging is vocal, but it’s long past time to put those words in writing.

So, I’m taking this opportunity to say, “Linda and Sarah and am so proud of you. You’ve become strong women who exemplify all that is honorable and compassionate. You are role models for younger women – and for me. I trust your words and actions and probably rely on you more than I should. Thank you for gracing my life.”

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of Echoes of Your Choices, a motivational book, and one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com

Thoughts to Ponder

February 28, 2017

“Here are the two best prayers I know:

‘Help me, help me, help me’ and

‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.’

Anne Lamott1

“I would maintain that thanks are the best form of thought;

and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

G.K. Chesterton2

Those two quotes sum up the main teachings of any belief practice. Remember those sermons about sin and repentance or rules for correct spiritual practice? As we think of the rules we’ve been taught, we may wonder where this topic is going.

However, if we stop to analyze those lessons we will remember that the two main points our spiritual leader was trying to make were:

  • I’m in trouble and need help.
  • Help received. Thank you.

After considering the main points of those sermons, we may stop to consider events when our situations improved, perhaps unexpectedly. We were happy that it was resolved and wondered how it all happened. Often, we assigned those small or large miracles to mere coincidences. Possibly, if we were spiritually inclined, we might say something like, “God was on my side that time.” That is expressing gratitude or “happiness doubled by wonder.”

While I acknowledge God as the Supreme, Eternal Being, I tend to anthropomorphize that entity and the angels or spirit guides as someone I can talk to like my best friend. I like to start my prayers with gratitude. I wake up in the morning and say good morning and thank you to God for giving me a new day and the gifts of sun, trees…. Then I tell the Higher Power that on this day I choose to be the highest and best me I can be. After that I ask for the guidance and the ability to do what is mine to do. As I end this conversation I express my gratitude again, knowing that all that happens this day will be in my Highest Good.

Those of you who know me personally are probably saying her life does not reflect the words she is writing. That is so true. I tend to take the easy way out in many aspects of my life. Then I wonder why certain miracles are not forthcoming.

Spiritual teacher Doreen Virtue3 advises us that God and the angels will always help but you must first ask. If I follow that advice and ask my Higher Power to assist me as I do what is on my to-do list, each situation is resolved quickly, leaving me to wonder what the big deal was – and grateful.

The point of that confession is to admit that my Eternal Source has not let me down. I cannot blame God for not giving me my heart’s desire. Instead, I must admit that I often do not follow divine prompting and take the action that is mine to take.

Spirit, Thank you for this new day, new beginning. I ask that you will show me what action is mine to take today. I will ask for help when I need it and express gratitude when that help appears. And, so it is.

1Quotables, O the Oprah Magazine, September 2016

2ibid

3Virtue, Doreen, Hay House World Angel Summit, audio, “Real World Angel Experiences”, February 28, 2017

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of Echoes of Your Choices, a motivational book, and one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com

We can use fear for good

Thoughts to Ponder

January 31, 2017

“Fear is faith that it won’t work out.”

Sister Mary Tricky*

 “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself….”

Franklin D. Roosevelt**

 

Recently I wrote about life being stressful and the need to find relief by finding ways to relax and laugh. Since then I have become aware that stress is often a disguise for fear.

Fear tends to be sneaky and finds many ways to insert itself into our lives. One way it manifests in my life is that I say that I don’t like roller coasters because they upset my stomach.  What I really mean is that I am afraid I’ll vomit and humiliate myself. Gosh, so that’s why thrill rides are often called vomit comets. I also say I’m afraid that I’ll drop my cell phone, knowing that it would shatter into many pieces. What I really fear is that I will fall out and my body will shatter into pieces. That’s an unlikely scenario, but it is real to me.

Many people face their fear by riding the coaster and enjoying the adrenaline rush. Their anticipation of the rush is stronger than their fear. Think I’ll ever get there? Nah! Besides, my cardiologist would get mad at me.

I recall hearing that anger is the face of fear and know that is true. I’ve seen this happen in my life and I see it happening in the world around me. Some people face their fear by protesting. Others yell at the television. Still others have health failures because their bodies can’t handle the stress.

This became all too real to me recently. A couple weeks ago I had a scary dream that caused my body to tremor for several hours until I spoke with a trusted advisor. That person led me in a meditation that showed me I was fighting Fear with a capitol F that is a part of me. I have to accept that, but I don’t have to live by Fear’s rules. That exercise lowered Fear’s impact to a lower case f on an important portion of my life and gave me freedom to try certain things that I’d been delaying for fear of failure.

However, over the past several days I’d noticed that my body was rebelling, a pain here, an ache there, and so on. I tried relaxation and physical exercise to no avail. Finally, I felt prompted to calm myself and just let my thoughts guide me. Those thoughts reminded me that this fear had a different cause and that sometimes it gives us pain to keep us stuck in a dark personal space, that place where fear controls us.

Then my thoughts (guides) gave me the realization that I have a platform for sharing this information and that I should use it because many others besides me are living in the same fear. They think it their bodies are failing, but they aren’t. Their bodies are simply holding the fear that is preventing us from moving forward. They think they are angry, but they are afraid their world is crumbling around them. We can’t stop those people whose actions distress us from doing what they are determined to do, but we can lessen their impact by not concentrating on the “what if” aspect of what we see.

I’m not going to be ingenuous and say that I no longer have fear. I don’t want to be fear-free. After all, fear is what keeps me from stepping in front of a fast moving vehicle. Instead, I asked fear to take its proper place in my life, keeping me safe when necessary while allowing me to move forward in other areas, such as writing this short essay.

For those who aren’t sure that angels/guides can teach us:

“The answers will always be discovered when we connect to Mother Earth.”

A Window of Wisdom***

We do this by sitting on the ground and feeling the Earth’s energy. If we’re not as agile as we used to be, we can sit outside in a lawn chair with our bare feet touching the ground. As we relax, we can feel our stress drain into the soil. If we leave our feet there a bit longer, we can feel regenerating energy flowing back up our feet and legs.

Spirit,

Thank you for giving us the gift of fear and showing us how we can use it for our protection without allowing it to dominate our lives and prevent us from doing the job we are on Earth to do. Thank you for making us aware that we can use fear for reasonable protection rather than a barrier to prevent us from being who we are meant to be.

 And, so it is.

* Andrews, Robert, The New Penguin Dictionary of Modern Quotations, page 480. Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933 (also used in other FDR addresses and by other world leaders)

**Warner, Carolyn, Treasury of Women’s Quotations, page 114, Prentiss Hall

***Window 1397-Step Outside, https://awindowofwisdom.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/windo-1397-step-outside/

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of Echoes of Your Choices, a motivational book, and one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com

Laughter really is the best medicine

Thoughts to Ponder

April 8, 2016

“The more stressful, baffling, or unpleasant your situation,

The more important it is to laugh at it.”

Martha Beck*

“You grow up the day you have your first real laugh, at yourself.”

Ethel Barrymore**

Life has been stressful for all of us for quite some time. All sorts of things have weighed on our minds: economy, weather, politics and our own personal issues. We’re allowing ourselves to turn into a nation of curmudgeons.

It’s time to reverse that trend and remember to laugh again. During our nation’s stressful times, humor helped people laugh and relax just a little. A few of those people are President Abraham Lincoln, who loved a good anecdote, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Erma Bombeck, and Robin Williams. They found ways to make distressing events funny. Every drama includes one or two of humorous incidents to break up the heaviness. How often have you been in a serious meeting where little is accomplished, then someone makes a joke, everyone laughs and immediately you are finding solutions to your dire dilemma.

Let’s dial back on the news and drama shows on television and focus on what is happening closer to home. We’ll see our children, our pets and, most of all, ourselves in a new light. Rent a funny movie and kick-start laughing with the whole family. The next time you spill your cereal on yourself, don’t worry about the mess, but imagine how funny you look to the rest of your family.

Spirit, Thank you for the ability to laugh at ourselves. Often we don’t realize what a gift humor is until we’ve been surrounded by seriousness and someone makes a joke in the middle of it all. And, so it is.

*Beck, Martha, Daily Inspiration for January 19, 2017, info@marthabeck.com

** Warner, Carolyn, Treasury of Women’s Quotations, pg 169, Prentiss Hall

Sharon D. Dillon, energywriter@cox.net, http://energywriter.me

Chesapeake Bay Writers, Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop, Southern Humorists, National Society of Newspaper Columnists

Author of Echoes of Your Choices, a motivational book, and one of 14 stories in The Book of Mom: Reflections of Motherhood with Love, Hope and Faith, published by booksyoucantrust.com. Available in print and e-format at Amazon.com