Friday, April 27, 2012

Part II: Confessions of a Recall-aholic

“…use the negative episodes (you encounter) to figure out what common denominator they all carry, namely you!”

Learning From Their Mistakes Excerpt from "The Ten Commandments of Divorce"

On my life journey, I realized I was attracting the same hurt and pain from every man I was in a relationship with. And that notion was confirmed some years ago after spending time researching American Indian Medicine. In the book, “Medicine Cards” by Jamie Sams and David Carson, the authors describe how Native Americans use animals to recognize their strengths and frailties, and they turn to “animal medicine” to heal. There is an amusing story about a rabbit that brought so much clarity to me, I have to share it.

At one time, the rabbit was considered courageous and bold, but after encountering a witch, he was cursed with attracting fear into his realm. Since then, the rabbit has been referred to as the “Fear Caller.” While peacefully grazing in a field, the rabbit will look up and see an eagle. Sams and Carson write, “He goes out and shouts, ‘Eagle, I am afraid of you!’ If Eagle does not hear him, Rabbit calls louder, ‘Eagle, stay away from me!’ Eagle, now hearing Rabbit, comes and eats him.” This story sounded crazy to me until the authors revealed the ancient wisdom behind the tale. “As the story shows, Rabbit medicine people are so afraid of tragedy, illness, disaster and of ‘being taken,’ that they call those very fears to them to teach them lessons. The key note here is: what you resist will persist! What you fear most is what you will become.

Being a student of energy, I recognized the law of attraction right away, and then it was seconds later when I realized my long-time fear of emotional abandonment was almost luring in, energetically and unwittingly, men who were masters at emotional escape.

The picture was becoming crystal clear: Since every fight I had was over the same issues with each man, it would trigger the pain from all past issues that were never resolved. When I found my own weakness and realized I was the common denominator in each of these relationships, I decided I needed to change myself and work on those very issues that were keeping me from staying in the present. My thought was, “If I want a great guy, I have to be a great woman!” I understand now that if I didn’t take responsibility for the annoying habit of rehashing, it would have never changed no matter what man I was with. It became obvious that the mistakes they made with me became my lessons to learn from.

Next, look for Part III, Confessions of a Recall-aholic, How to Rewrite the Past

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Praying for Change

“Did I hear right? Tebow is coming to NY!?” This was my post on Facebook the day his trade was announced. Excited, I thought he would infuse some positive energy into my favorite sport and team. Little did I know that one innocently written sentence was lifting the lid on football’s version of Pandora’s box.

They (the comments) came flying in from all over from people I didn’t even know. Although there were a few excited fans, insolence, and anger was the main theme. Shocked and shaken by the rage, I realized my anxiety wasn’t over the controversy. I felt sorrow about the hatred…all over a kid who bows.

Part of my duties as an activist is to write and implement programs in schools that promote health, and well being. High on the agenda is conflict resolution and bullying prevention. As a nation, we are making headway bringing awareness and also in dealing with the aftermath bullying creates, but we are at a loss over how to prevent the underlying causes that promote this unbearable behavior. My focus is to teach kids about spreading goodness and about energy exchange through what I call, “The Law of Return” (which means, whatever you do, good or bad, will come back to you). Another program addresses moods and makes children aware of the outside and inside influences that affect their bodies’ bio-chemistry. This helps them understand where negative feelings may stem from so they can appropriately handle and manipulate them before they are unleashed on others.

After reading the Facebook posts, I felt bullied! A Giants fan tears me apart verbally because I am a Jets fan…how does this make sense? Since I was a little girl, I have loved many teams, but have never found it necessary to hate any of them. If you love the game, how do you not make it a “pastime” to find the good in all of it? The talent, the sportsmanship, the incredible human and spiritual energy it generates: What turns passion into fury? Could it be bio-chemistry? Money? Some jealousy? Why would grown adults spew, spit and fight over what is supposed to be enjoyable and entertaining?

There is some research needed before I can answer these questions, but this is clear; if we as adults expect our children to be civil, sympathetic and honorable, then we need to change the way we handle our own verbiage and emotions. If we don’t, our kids will never have a shot at becoming problem solvers and peacemakers, and we will forever perpetuate the incivility we are now experiencing in our “Un-United States.”

In the end, Tebow may or may not be bringing in what the Jets need to win a Super Bowl, but he is bringing in some form of lesson to a nation that is in dire need of finding its way back to honor, integrity and grace. Perhaps all we need to turn ourselves around is to look for the good versus the bad in everything we encounter. Perhaps we can start with sports. After all, isn’t the whole idea of athleticism supposed to be about seeking out the best of what we have to offer? We need to remember: The human race is not a is a team. We need to find a way to pull it together before we all lose.

For more information on programs for your school, contact me at

Photo taken from

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Ask and You Shall Receive

Today I received a gift...another reminder that we are not alone. My ex-husband sent me a picture. I cried the second I saw it, because I recognized who sent it. Yes, it came from his cell phone, but there was another energy involved. An angel named Katherine heard my question today and sent me an answer.

The question came after I received a message from a facebook friend who just lost her husband two days ago. I was stunned. He was only 44 and left behind three teenage children. I immediately thought about my own father and his death just before Easter. All morning I had been reaching out spiritually to him, reflecting on life and death and what it meant to be reborn. I felt helpless to take away this woman's pain. What do you say to someone going through such a tragedy? Still, I wanted to give her something that may bring comfort, if not today, in the near future. I wrote about how I felt my dad and others who had passed on; that they send messages and let me know they are always around. "His energy has not left you," I wrote.

When I typed those words, I wished that I had a way to prove it. "What can I do for her and her family to ensure their belief that he is still with them?" I asked the question out loud, but I had no idea who I was asking.

Close to two decades ago, my friends lost their little girl. Only 9 months old, she died of a rare disease that slowly stopped her tiny heart. For some reason I felt very connected to that little baby. She was truly an old soul whose eyes spoke for her. So many people came to help the family mourn, but again, what can you say to a family that has lost a loved one, especially a child? At the time, I was just beginning to write, so I started to think about what a little girl would say to her parents about being in heaven. A poem came to my hand very quickly, as if she was dictating it to me. I put it on parchment paper and tied a ribbon around it. The day of the funeral, I went to a nursery and picked up a small tree. I attached the poem to one of its leafless limbs and left it at the house so it would be there when they arrived back from the cemetery.

The family loved the tree and planted it in their backyard. The first year it bloomed, I got a call to say that it was lovely with white flowers and one tiny pink blossom. They believed it was their little girl giving them a message that she was okay. It made me happy that they had some comfort and that I could help them in some small way.

In these last 18 years or so, I only got to see the tree once, but I have heard from baby Katherine countless times. Today's picture was no different. She, in no uncertain terms, is letting me know that there is proof. Her tree, now tall and majestic is as beautiful as she would have been. The message she and others send me is clear, "There is not death. There is only rebirth and new life in a different form. We are in all you do and see. Look for the signs, because we are sending them always."

This goes out to my new facebook friend: Katherine has a message for you.

Katherine’s Tree

This is my tree; I leave it to you,
It will grow strong, as I will now do.

You see, on Earthly plains I could not thrive,
But in Heaven’s domain, I come alive!

As my tree’s branches thicken and soar,
Know that I am growing like never before.

Feed my tree as you would have fed me,
And the wonders of God you will now see.

While the leaves of my tree begin to unfold,
God will be shaping my new mold.

He has a plan for him and I,
He wanted me here. He’s telling me why.

So as my tree’s limbs reach for above,
Know that I’m basking in glorious love.
And as my tree’s leaves see their last fall,
Remember, we’ll meet again when You hear God’s call.

Written by Donna Martini

Friday, April 6, 2012

No matter what I say, I can't get some people to listen...

"If I start to think like Gandhi, love like Mother Teresa and act like Martin Luther King, Jr, then will you listen to me?"

This is the question I want to ask every time I encounter someone in a position of power who does not want to heed my warnings about the healthcare issues our country faces today. I keep thinking it must be me, my approach, my verbiage or possibly my attitude. Unfortunately, it is not just strangers who don't want to hear it or take the steps necessary to affect change. Sometimes the worst offenders are my family and friends.

A recent plea to a close friend (who had told me he didn't feel well) was no different. He did not understand the motive behind my desire to help him. "I am not trying to make your life harder," I pleaded, "or tell you that you are a bad person for not exercising and eating right. I am trying to help you get rid of all that is keeping you from being happy and healthy!"

When I coach strangers or acquaintances, I have a motto that I will only work as hard as they do to help themselves. I never go where I am not invited, and I don't get emotionally involved in their lives, only in their decision to reach their goals. I love helping others learn what I know, and when there is vast improvement due to our mutual investment, I am more than thrilled that I had the privilege to participate in their wellness journey. Something changes, however, when we love or are related to who we are trying to help. There is a bigger investment of course. Our happiness and sometimes our own well being is very much contingent on our loved ones staying healthy, and more importantly, alive.

The reason I asked my dear friend to "please go to the doctor for blood work and start working out with me", was because he was complaining of tiredness, weight gain and an inability to feel joy. Nonetheless, he was furious at my persistence and demanded I drop the subject. But watching his body and mind become unhealthier by the minute was now stressing me out. When logic and pleading got me no where, I wondered how I was finally going to convince him before disaster occurred.

It boggles my mind that we as humans have such incredible survival instincts, but when it comes to our bodies and what we are doing to ourselves, we ignore, fight and resist the signs and symptoms that warn us of physical, emotional and mental dangers. Much of America's medical woes are connected to this disconnected way of thinking.

Not about to give up on my friend, I finally pulled the guilt card I was holding. Just one year prior, I took him from start to finish through an agonizing back surgery. I didn't want to throw it in his face, but I was desperate. Teary eyed and with one hand on my hip (the other was pointing and waving), I said, "And guess what! If you get sick or have another surgery, who do you think is going to be there with you every step of the way?" He hesitated for a second, looked me straight in the eye and calmly stated, "Who else...You."

Days later, he called me, promising to start exercising if I promised never to say the word colonoscopy again. “Not on your life...literally!” But he is still starting a workout regimen next week. Few of us can make someone do what they don’t want to do, but we should not give up trying. Perhaps, though it would be good to re-evaluate our approach. Asking ourselves, "What does our loved one need to hear?" or "How does he/she need to hear it?"

Truth is, we should all feel obligated to take care of ourselves for our own sake and that of our family. There is also the much bigger picture to consider: We are all connected; we are all affecting one another as a society in every way, including but not limited to each other's money, health, stress and pursuit of happiness. We can't step out of our house in the morning and think that what we do and say on a daily basis does not ripple an effect on dozens, hundreds, if not thousands of other people.

My message is clear and evidence based: There is no healthcare crisis in America. There is only a wellness crisis, and the solution to reversing it is simple: We need to stop relying on a “system" or government to get ourselves and our families healthy and instead start doing what it takes to actually be healthy. It is our body. It is our challenge. It is our responsibility!

In the end, I can acknowledge that I am not as centered or gifted as my three guides, but I can still learn from their wisdom:

Dr. King, cautioned, "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter," so I will not stop talking.
Mother Teresa taught, "We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love," so I will not stop caring.
Gandhi challenged, "Be the change that you wish to see in the world,” so I will not stop trying to be the change the country needs.