Speaking

I have been speaking and motivating people for over 20 years. My desire is to see them embrace the joy and freedom they were created to experience.

Whether speaking to thirty or 3000 I get people “on their feet” right from the start because the best sessions are both fun and thought-provoking.

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Writing

As the author of an international blog and the motivational book Choose a Better Life: Common Sense for Uncommon Living, my mantra has been “you can’t always control what happens to you, but you can always control how you respond to what happens to you.”

Both my blog and book are full of tidbits of treasure. Each designed to be a quick read providing a specific tip on how you can and increase the joy you experience every day as well as your quality of life.

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Creating

As a tool to help process my PTSD I began painting – constantly. Now I paint to heal, to communicate, and to celebrate.

I am honored to have my art displayed in homes and corporations all across the country.I look forward to continuing to create pieces that minister to my soul and speak to the hearts of others.

Own my art

Collapsing into freedom.

If you are interested in booking me for an event or purchasing a piece of artwork please contact me.
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PTSD: Ah-Ha Moments

PTSD: Ah-Ha Moments

For three weeks I was able to spend time with my daughter in the window between her summer job in Georgia and her return to school in California.   We did a lot of the normal mother-daughter things including shopping, talking over frozen yogurt, and laughing with/at each other. It’s always great to get to spend time with her. One of the things we laughed about, okay, she teased me and I went along with it, was my parking. I recently traded in my sedan for a small SUV (which I had been wanting for some time) and after several weeks I was suddenly having difficulty judging parking spaces.   It seems I could not correctly estimate the length of my car’s front end. Time and time again we’d get out of the car and I’d have to get back in and move the car forward about 3-4 feet. One afternoon I pulled in the driveway and as I walked around the front of the car, again about 4 feet from my garage, it hit me. I had an ‘ah-ha’ moment and things suddenly started making sense… This is how I park when my PTSD symptoms flair up. For whatever reason (I have my guesses) this is one of the way my PTSD manifests itself. I lose my depth perception when it comes to parking. It’s been this way since the beginning of my journey with PTSD. Once I realized this other things started making more sense too. My memory loss, my inability to communicate correctly, my struggle with processing, my anxiety … all of these things had been on the... read more
Taking Shortcuts

Taking Shortcuts

Recently my daughter and I were at a concert in a large coliseum. Because I had my service dog, Truman, with us, we were seated in one of the many disability sections. Each disability section, once filled, was roped off with yellow ‘tape’ that read, “Do Not Cross.” When we were seated the usher, and venue manager, assured us that aside from others who may need seating in our area, no one would be allowed to enter our section.  This was important to me for several reasons 1) it would be dark and my service dog would be lying on the ground and 2) because of my PTSD people suddenly stepping into my space can be alarming, especially in the dark, and 3) people intentionally distracting Truman means he is unable to work for me. As we settled in I was surprised at how many people tried to ‘cut through’ the disabled section. They would walk right up to the “Do Not Cross” line and try to step over it. (The barrier was waist high.) Some politely asked if they could cut through, but most just started high-stepping over the line. Time and time again the ushers would kindly tell the people they needed to walk around. A few accepted their direction, but most argued the point. “I just want to get to the other side.” Or “But my seats are ‘right there.’”   Or “But my friends are over there.” Almost everyone walked away with a disgruntled look on his face. During the concert one girl dashed around the usher and stepped over the barrier before she was caught.... read more
Heeling with God

Heeling with God

First, the title is not a typo. Secondly, I do not for a moment believe God looks at us like dogs. Quite the contrary; we are created in His image. That said I have learned a tremendous amount these last few weeks as I’ve been learning to work with my new service dog Truman. One of the areas we have been working on is heeling. Truman knows very well how to heel, however, sometimes he chooses not to. Sometimes he wants to take the lead (by only a step or two) because either he thinks he knows where we are going or he thinks it’s his job to lead me. (It is after all, his job to respond to my needs and serve me.) When he does this I correct him. Sometimes with a gentle nudge on his butt, sometimes with an abrupt turn in a different direction, and sometimes with an abrupt turn into him. All of these things are directing us toward the same end result – my communicating, “Truman, I’ve got this under control. I know where we are going and I know what I need from you.” Once he realizes this and falls into step our walks are so much more productive. Because we are not walking in circles, (he leads, abrupt turn. He leads, abrupt turn. We’ve done a circle.) we actually get to walk to a destination and enjoy the process. And, always along the way, we get a lot of fun surprises. The easiest way for him to stay in sync with me it to watch me … to keep looking to... read more
Clamoring for Peace

Clamoring for Peace

Clamoring for Peace 30” x 30” July 19, 2015 Acrylic on Wrapped Canvas SOLD!   Recently I have been spending quite a bit of time meditating on the fact that as humans, we seem to be constantly striving for things … goals, solutions, promotions, money, etc. Behind all of these “things” we are going after, I believe, is really our desire for peace. We want to reach a place where are minds are at rest, our thoughts are organized, and our spirit is calm. We long for peace and we think all these things can give that to us. Unfortunately, in our search for peace we strive and work to accomplish goals and reach new pinnacles. We try to “become” something and to “do” more. The irony is that in our Clamoring for Peace we are actually stirring up more stress and chaos, and less of the thing we truly desire. Real peace comes from stopping; stopping the doing, striving. Stopping the trying to become more or better of whatever it is we think we need to improve. Real peace come from accepting who we are with all the wonderful gifts, talents, abilities that God has given us and allowing Him to empower us to live the life we were created to live. Real peace comes from the freedom to be our true selves and not from striving for something “other.”   A few close ups …         ... read more
Tapestry

Tapestry

Tapestry June 18, 2015 24” x 36” Acrylic on Gallery Wrapped Canvas   Life is interesting. It can lead you to a mountaintop experience filled with joy or plummet you into a valley of challenge and heartache. It can surround you with friends who give you love and support or leave you feeling alone and isolated. And during the difficult times we can often feel like the darkness never ends. But the reality is that there is a time for every season and every season has it’s time. Every one of our lives is made up of moments and every moment has the opportunity to hold a new experience. As I was painting this piece I was reliving some of those moments. Some good, and some not so good. Some joyful, and some full of pain. I was experiencing some deep heartache that I had to aggressively pour onto the canvas. As I was doing so I was finding myself getting pulled further and further into the pain. Then I was interrupted. I was forced to stop painting and walk away for a few moments.  As I did, I began to breathe and I was reminded that seasons, even painful ones, don’t last a lifetime. They only last for a moment. When I came back to the piece I began adding in moments of joy and passion … revisiting seasons of growth and happiness. As I stood back and took it in, I realized that our lives are like a tapestry. On the underside, when we are caught in the moments, we can’t see beyond the current season. Our... read more