Thursday, January 29, 2009

Young at Heart

Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you
If you're young at heart
For its hard, you will find, to be narrow of mind
If you're young at heart
Rodgers & Hammerstein

Young at Heart is the title of Johnny Kelley's autobiography and the song that was played when they dedicated his statue on Heartbreak Hill in Newton. Ever since my daughter sat next to Johnny Kelley's nephew on the plane ride back from Puerto Rico, we have been learning a lot about Johnny Kelley and feeling that his spirit is blessing our Marathon journey. But Young at Heart has special meaning for me today. During today's training run with Janine, my trainer, she told me about her 70+ year old client who celebrated the fact it was getting easier to get off the toilet seat and stand. When Janine first did my assessment, and I told her what functional areas I was struggling with, she said to me that those struggles are for somebody in their 70's - not for a 53 year old. The other day as I was cleaning out my attic, I saw the tub chair that I used to use because I did not have the strength or energy to stand in the shower, and I kept my black polio shoes, toe up brace, wrist brace to ease the painful symptoms of carpel tunnel syndrome and of course my swanky blue cane with its ice gripper. I am a walking miracle and I give thanks to God for every moment, for every breath I take and for the strength and courage to reach out first to Spaulding Rehab and then to Janine for help. It is a journey of physical, spiritual and psychological transformation.

Fairy tales can come true and it's happening to me. In just a few short weeks, I will be at the starting line of the 113th running of the Boston Marathon. I am clearing out the blockages - physical, spiritual and psychological as they come up to have a wonderful path to the starting line. I am learning to temper fears by allowing the love of God to wash over my soul. I am discovering the beautiful child of God who I am - fearless, determined, courageous, giving, loving, compassionate, faithful and overcoming all of the obstacles which have been placed in my path. I have my eye on the prize - raising over $9,000 for Spaulding Rehab Hospital, inspiring so many with my story, and getting my medal and jacket after Team McManus crosses the finish line. I am also drinking in every experience along this journey and finding the lessons and the blessings in the triumphs and tribulations along the way.

I know you are inspired to donate and it's so easy - just go to
If you are in the Boston area, go to to purchase your tickets for our fabulous fundraiser on 3/14.
Remember to order your Valentine's Day poems and gift at

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Heartbreak Hill for the First Time

This morning at 8 am as we had the cooler packed and ready to go around Jamaica Pond (it was 39 degrees and sunny; there were predicted wind gusts but we just had to take our training outside), I felt God speak to me - go to Marathon Sports and get a route from Domenick (our trainer for Spaulding Rehab's Race for Rehab Team) - it's time to get out on the Marathon Course. This meant that we had about 15 minutes to fill up the water bottles for our fuel belts, pack clementines and Power Gel into our pockets and get down to Marathon Sports. I felt throughout my whole being that we were meant to do this today.

When we arrived, Domenick was there along with some other runners. Team McManus was a wee bit nervous not knowing what to expect or what was going to happen today. Ruth Anne had forgotten her hat in our haste to leave the house, but fortunately there was no shortage of hats at Marathon Sports. Domenick said we could pay when we got back to the store. He was deep in thought about what route we should run today, "Have you run outdoors? Have you done hills" and with a yes answer to both those questions he sent us down Beacon Street to Newton Wellesley Hospital, over to Wellesly, up Concord Rd, over to Route 30 via the Marriott, down Route 30 through Heartbreak Hill, through BC to go around the Reservoir and then back to Marathon Sports for a total of 17.5 miles.

I won't lie here - it was not easy! We did not know where we were going at times; we had to watch out for black ice and negotiate our way through snow and slush at times along the route; there was a stiff headwind and temperatures were dropping throughout the afternoon; Ruth Anne is recovering from a head cold; at times Tom would set a pace that I couldn't keep up with and I vacillated between sheer exhilaration and dealing with demons from polio days. BUT we did it!!!! 4 hours and 45 minutes after we left Marathon Sports, we returned to a jubilant staff. Alison, the store manager, just back from her own vacation, hugged me so tightly and wanted to make sure we were all okay. I remember her on the Marathon Sports 5 Miler, giving me a high five and also checking in to make sure that I was doing okay. Her love, faith and beautiful Spirit is such a blessing to Team McManus.

So this polio and post polio survivor ran Heartbreak Hill - all of it and I felt God's Presence so palpable with each step I took - and no matter whether we were running or walking, we did a 17.5 mile run today including Heartbreak Hill. I also felt Johnny Kelley's spirit blessing us and felt angels were just moving us along the route. We never got lost and whenever we needed a landmark - there it was. God bless Domenick for planning out this route which included a pit stop at the Marriott and we refilled our water bottles.

In 3 weeks, we will be doing a 16 mile long run and to be honest, I was terrified - until today. When I felt that little knot of fear, I would pray about it and the answer to my prayer came today when God told me to go to Marathon Sports and just do it!

God smiled with sunshine and the wind at our backs when we got to Heartbreak Hill and She told me you are going to run the Marathon and finish the course - you deserve all the joy and triumph and courage and celebration that saying Yes to me is bringing you. And you are going to touch so many people's hearts and lives with this journey - you are blessed and you are going to bless the lives of others.

In yesterday's healing energy session, Janice and I were very talkative as she went about clearing out my energy and helping me to deepen my connection to Source as we intensely prepare for April 20th. God's Love is transmitted through her loving hands and God spoke to me through her as she said, "You have everything you need. You are overflowing with God's light so don't worry". Today, Team McManus took the plunge and ran a good portion of the Marathon Course with God's guidance and love leading the way. I felt as though I were Luke Skywalker listening to Yoda and she smiled when I shared that image with her.

It was a magical day and I feel so incredibly blessed to be on this wild adventure with my beautiful daughter and loving husband. My son reassured us that although he has to work today and tomorrow, he'll do the laundry on Monday to get our running clothes ready for next Saturday's run. God is good!

Please check out to learn more about my transformation from the crisis of post polio diagnosis to running the Boston Marathon and be inspired to donate so that Spaulding can continue their tradition of remarkable recoveries just like mine!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

God At Every Turn

It is unusual for me to post two blogs in one day but I must share how God's Presence is so manifest in my life that I am humbled, overwhelmed and overjoyed. Several months ago, I attended an alumni event at Boston University. I was debating whether or not I wanted to go and I heard God say to me, 'go get ready and go.' I was feeling tired that day but listened to God's Voice. As I was getting out of my car, I heard God say to me, "Remember who you are." When I have gone to these gatherings in the past or any social gathering for that matter, the scepter of polio and having been abused would loom and I would feel less than. On this night, there were also distinguished alumni awards being presented; it was God's Grace that She told me to remember that I am a child of God full of grace, glory and power.

I mingled and met the new Dean of the School of Communication (who, by the way is a marathon runner) As the evening was winding down, I 'just happened' to find myself next to Geoff Poister. He asked me about my business (New World Greeting Cards and I shared a little bit of my journey with him. He was enthralled and his eyes filled with tears and I said to him, 'you know, I've often thought that my story would make a great documentary.' He said to me, 'funny you should say that...I'm a professor of film and I teach a course on how to make documentaries.'He told me that he would tell his students about me and that if one of them did not want to make the documentary, he would. (By the way,I google'd him when I got home; he is an award winning documentarian and also studied jazz at Berklee - amazing). I gave him my card, followed up with a couple of emails and two days ago I received an email from one of his students.

We met for coffee at Starbucks near the College of Communication. Joe knew who I was because he had gone to my website and watched the You Tube video I had made which is on our firstgiving website ( He had also sent me a link to a short documentary he had made. I knew this was going to be a very special connection - I had no idea how special. As he was taking notes, I was taken by the fact that Joe really got me and knew what I was talking about. As we were talking about the shame and embarassment and teasing I suffered as a result of polio, he shared with me that his dad had polio. He said that he was drawn to my story and just knew he had to make this documentary. He's not sure if his classmates will want to work on this as the project for the class, but he said he is committed to making the documentary no matter what.

So what are the chances? What are the chances of my daughter sitting next to Johnny Kelley's nephew on the plane ride home from Puerto Rico? What are the chances of me just happening to meet Janine, an in home personal trainer ( who possesses such special talent and a belief that with God all things are possible? What are the chances of meeting Prof Poister and he has a student in his class whose dad is a polio survivor? What are the chances of becoming a client of PR lab at BU and the professor who teaches the course just happens to be a Governor on the Board of Governors of the Boston Athletic Association which is the sponsor of the Boston Marathon?

With God at every turn, the chances are 100%...and I feel so blessed, comforted, loved and supported by God's Presence as I journey on.....and am so grateful for the blessing of synchronicity.

Hill Training

I had email'ed Janine (my personal trainer for those of you new to my blog) about doing hill training today. Because of the weather, we had not done hill training in a long time but simulated intervals on the stationery bike. The weather report said it would be sunny and in the 30's and my daughter and I had checked out the roads and the hill yesterday. I laid out my running clothes last night and was looking forward to training with Janine and my daughter (also a part of Team McManus -

Ruth Anne woke up this morning with a wicked head cold; Janine email'ed and then called me to tell me she wasn't feeling well. The temperature at 8 am read 18 degrees. My gut told me that I had to get out there and do my hill training. The marathon is 12 weeks from Monday which means that we have only 9 weeks left to train. Even as I type this, the excitement flows through me - it is the excitement that I said YES to God almost a year ago now when Janine asked me what my next health and fitness goals were. By 10 am it was 22 degrees but the forecast said it felt like 13 degrees with the wind chill. As I started to 'warm up' I felt the cold wind embrace my face. The sun was shining and I saw clumps of snow fall from the trees. At one point, there were 3 plops of snow clumps and I knew God was telling me - this is what you are supposed to be doing.

After a five minute warm up, I began running to where the hills are being very cognizant of the snow and ice patches and asking God and the angels to guide my footsteps. I arrived at the hills. Last Spring, they had once loomed so large as Janine took me there when I could barely run for 10 minutes consecutively. She told me - you're gonna have to run hills so let's start now.Today, I dug in and I did 8 hills consecutively and then ran home. At one point during this training run, I felt and thought "I hate running in the cold"; I then realized I needed to chant a new mantra and I told myself, "I love running in the cold...I love running in the cold" and it got me through.

I listened to Kristen Chenowith's As I Am CD on my iPod. I knew that since I was alone (Tom - the third member of Team McManus had biked last night to get in his mid week training) I needed to know that I was in fact, never alone, and needed to hear God's Voice speak and sing through Kristen Chenoweth's voice of an angel. It worked! When I got home, I was sore - just a week ago, my body had run in 80 degree weather and here I was doing hills in the cold. I told myself - no worries - you need to do a good stretching session, drink a lot of water and have a banana followed by a long hot shower.

As I was drying my hair, I visualized what it is going to feel like when Team McManus crosses the finish line with friends and family and strangers cheering us and embracing us and I began to cry as though I were living in that moment. I know we are going to do this. I also reflected on how, during the recovery from many orthopedic surgeries, I would 'joke' that I was not going to run the Boston Marathon this year. I would also watch people train for the Marathon and there was a place deep within me that wanted to do it. And here I am - just shy of 12 weeks from when the starting gun of the 113th Boston Marathon will be fired. We have some great races and a benefit concert coming up (, but in addition to getting the training runs in, it is crucial that I spiritually prepare for the day. Each morning, I quiet my mind and tell myself to stop creating, planning, thinking and just be One with God. I breathe in and out feeling God's breath and my breath as One. I let God bathe me in glorious light and love and I ask God to cleanse the toxicity of feelings and beliefs which no longer serve me. I give thanks for blessings great and small and focus on how God is so evident and active in my life. I ask that I feel and join with God's power for the highest good of myself and others and to know that all is truly well and in Divine order if I just let go and let God and walk in Love and Light.

It is wonderful to share my journey on the Road to the Boston Marathon which is a wonderful metaphor for being on the Road of Life - training myself for endurance, going through the literal and metaphorical ups and downs of training, challenging myself, stretching myself, giving to others and growing in the likeness of God.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Heart Sings with Joy

It is not the external events which make my heart sing with joy; it is that my heart sings with joy and the events around me respond to that joy and love. God is there waiting with all of my gifts and blessings and all I have to do is say yes - I love myself! I am Your Child. I am Your Creation and as the saying goes, "God don't make no junk". I can claim all the blessings that You have set before me and they are unlimited.

I awoke at about 6 am this morning. The internal alarm clock, knowing I was getting up at 6:30 to go on a training run with my husband, Tom, wanted to give me time to connect with God to set my intentions, pray, and express gratitude for the day ahead. I could not focus on 'having to get up' at 6:30 am but rather I focused on the love of getting up at 6:30 am so my husband would be able to get in his mid week training run. He had been so busy at work and I had not wanted to get up early to train with him. I realized that just as I need a push at times for our long training runs, he needed a push to ensure that we maximize training during these final weeks of preparation. And so, with love and gratitude (rather than grumbling and martyrdom) we went to the BU Fit/Rec center for our interval training.

Tom had not done an interval training; we had done tempo runs and hills and so I taught him what Janine taught me. We did 6 speed intervals with a 2 minute sprint at the end.We did not track the miles but we know that we did over 3 miles with the way we were just running around the track. We did not listen to music with our iPod's today. I focused on connecting with my body being aware of my form and if a muscle felt tight, I would relax and also be aware of using all my muscles to propel myself. I was also keenly aware of my foot strike. I am instinctively and intensely preparing for Marathon Monday as well as our upcoming races. I am focusing in on stretching and hydrating and really taking care of myself but interestingly enough, as I do so, my energy level is soaring.

I know this is happening because I am strengthening my connection with God - Loving Creator and opening my heart and Spirit to let the love bathe me - mind, body and spirit. I feel the enormous power and strength of God which is in me and I allow this to propel me forward on life's journey to fulfill my highest purpose. My journey is a story to be shared so that others can light the spark in their soul using a taper from the flame which is now burning within me. I am so blessed that when my flame grows low, there are loving people around me who can fan the flame and help me to get back on the track. When two or more are gathered in God's name .....

Be sure to visit my business website at and Team McManus' donation website

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Snow Day and Synchronicity

Passion is found in the field of the unreasonable. Anything is possible
if you are clear about what you want and you have strong enough reasons
and a real action plan - if you have unreasonable expectations for what
will be required of you and you are willing to meet them.

-Tony Robbins

I found this quote on Tony Robbins' website and 90% of the time, I experience Tony Robbins' definition of passion on this Road to the Boston Marathon accompanied by my daughter, my husband and my son (who although he is not running, without his support at home, we would have no clean laundry or food to eat on weekends when we do our long training runs). But yesterday, on the plane ride home from Puerto Rico (where I had the most perfect vacation of my life - for the first time I felt healthy and could truly enjoy myself) I had the doubts begin to creep in, and so, as I do when this happens, I immersed in the thoughts and then released them to God. I realize that the process of transformation is not linear and I am patient and loving to myself when my mind wants to steer me off course and revert to old beliefs.

Through my meditative state, I heard my daughter talking to the couple seated next to her. We could not get 3 seats together - no coincidence there of course - and as we land in Boston, I find out that my daughter has been talking with the nephew of Johnny Kelly. For those of you unfamiliar with the Boston Marathon, Johnny Kelly is a legend and there is a statue of him along the Boston Marathon course. So once again,synchronicity was at work and God gave me yet another sign that I am to move forward in joy.

Today there was yet another snowstorm in Boston. The peak of the storm was forecast to hit at the time we would be finishing up our long run at the BU indoor track. What to do? I felt throughout my whole being that God wanted us to do cross training today for several reasons. We built up our long runs slowly and with enough weeks planned so that if for some reason we needed to miss a week, we would still be at 21 miles by 3/28. If we did 17 miles today, we would do 18 miles on Saturday and that would be a 35 mile total within a week putting at risk for injury not to mention fatigue and burnout. I also felt that if God wanted us to do the 17 mile run today, She would have created a way for us to do so as has happened in so many weeks past. Team McManus opted for cross training and cross training we did! We gave it our all and got in a great cardio and mileage workout on the bike.

With every training day, I learn something new and today it was teaching myself how to relax when my muscles became tight in response to the stress I was placing on them. I am also learning how to engage all muscles and understand my unique body mechanics to make sure that everything is working in tandem, in harmony and in balance. It's a great journey discovering how my body works and what it needs to both be stressed and taken care of for maximum performance. God is guiding me every step along the way and as we get closer to Marathon Monday, I am listening and paying keen attention to what She is telling me. Janine, my beloved trainer, is another fabulous guide and where would I be without the healing hands of Janice, my beloved energy healer. What a team God has sent to me to lift me up on angel's wings and guide me safely through my journey.

If you are feeling inspired by this amazing journey, please go to and make a donation to benefit Spaulding Rehab where remarkable recoveries and healing journeys like mine happen every day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Reflections after a Training Run in Puerto Rico

Those of you freezing in the Northeast and anywhere else in the US - I send you sunshine and warmth. I am so grateful that I was able to run outdoors today for a 3 mile tempo run with my husband, Tom, setting a beast of a pace. We ran 3 miles in 35:35 but you know what? I discovered that it is not about any one training run or any time or any one race. I thought about this incredible journey of transformation and truth and wrote the following poem:

Reflections on the Run

Each time I lace up running shoes, let Spirit's essence shine
No matter what the outcome, Divinity is mine.
Beliefs I held about myself - immobilized, unfit
Living from a head, not heart, Spirit dimly lit.
Living in a bubble, afraid I'd crack or break
Threw all caution to the wind - a risk was time to take.

It's all about the freedom - to trust in Love and Light
Grabbed God's hand and took the leap - you know She holds on tight.
The journey is exquisite - knowledge, insight as I run
Overcoming every obstacle - each victory is won.
The sweetest victory of all is self-love I have found
Overflowing from the One True Source, peace can now surround.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Riding the Wave of Fear-a Transcendental Experience

I used to beat myself up for feeling fearful or anxious feeling as though that is a feeling I need to get rid of - fear means I am not trusting God; fear means that I'm weak or a coward; fear means I am giving into a negative emotion. Feeling fear or anxiety is a part of life - it is a signal just like hunger or thirst and it's what I do with this fear that matters - not that I feel the fear or anxiety.

When I awoke this morning and still felt that soreness in my right leg, I realized I needed to first and foremost acknowledge the fear I felt and then find a way to transcend it. I have never trained for any athletic endeavor in my life so of course as I experience new feelings in my body or see the healing process of a blister or darkened toe nails, my first reaction is going to be - 'What is going on? This is scary!' It's scary because it's new; it's scary because I am paddling out into uncharted waters; it's scary because I am finding the courage to go where I have never gone before and that it is okay to feel anxiety and fear. I have never experienced being an athlete; I have never experienced living in joy and peace and safety and confidence and strength; I have never experienced such a sense of unwavering faith that whatever life experiences there are, God is with me and in me and before me and behind me and in front of me and together we live each moment in the here and now. I also understood how to manage pain - once a part of the body hurts, it is easy to have that imprinted and to brace against it expecting and fearing that it is going to continue to hurt. I released it knowing and trusting that it is subsiding and I'm gonna work it out through stretching and visualizing and prayer. I am also so incredibly grateful to my team of healers - God, Janine and Janice!

I took deep breaths and slowly stretched and loved my sore muscles. I also realized that the body has an incredible capacity to be loved and to heal. I realized that my dream to run the Boston Marathon for Spaulding Rehab is happening and I will work through each and every challenge along the way; I will work through each grueling training run and I will overcome every psychological hurdle that I experience. On every step of this journey, I continue to blossom and here's a mixed metaphor - I unfurl my wings as a beautiful butterfly to fly freely and bring Light and Love out of myself and into the world. I am both the flower that has roots firmly planted in earth and I am the butterfly emerging from the cocoon and awakening to the freedom of flight. Transforming fear into power fuels my journey.

Does a part of me want to retreat and find an obstacle that is insurmountable so my dream will crash and burn and I return to being a victim? Absolutely - after all - living so many years as a victim and being trapped in my body through fear and external circumstances does not go away over night. But this part of me shrinks away much like the melting when water was poured on the Wicked Witch of the West. I stand strong and powerful on the surf board, finding my balance and riding this wave of fear. I can no longer be swallowed up by the waves of fear; God's love and light and power within me give me strength and confidence.

The joy of being last - this thought came to me this morning on the heels of what I shared in my previous blog post - I choose to stop focusing on using arbitrary measures of success and I choose to focus on my grit, courage, determination and faith in going where I have never gone before. What cheers I experience when I finish a race dead last. And you know what? Somebody always has to finish last - so why not me? I choose to pace myself during training so as to not crash and burn. Save it up for race days - not test myself during the training but prepare mentally and physically. YES I CAN and I LOVE ME are the two mantras that will best serve me. Dismissing beliefs of being too slow and the chants from a taunting childhood which I erroneously internalized are crucial to my success.

I was afraid that I would miss the Marathon post race party because I would be too slow or that no one would wait for Team McManus to cross the finish line because we took too long and so on and so on ... I would continue to be a victim and to be left out... SO NOT TRUE!!!!.. but what a joy to expose the fears and the worries and then to ride them like a wave on a surfboard and to know that I have the power to create the outcome of my desires. The outcome of my desire is to cross that finish line and exceed our fund raising goal of $9,000; to be a source of strength and courage and inspiration to others of how one polio survivor defied the diagnosis of post polio syndrome to challenge herself and exceed all expectations; to transform the fear and worries into a power house of Truth which keeps me balanced and secure and strong and confident. The outcome of my desires is to have an ocean of loving arms waiting for us on Boylston Street no matter what time we get there. I embrace the child who believed that she was not worthy of being celebrated for who she was with her braces and limp and pixie hair cut and braces on her teeth; who felt tainted by the mistreatment of family members and I love her and teach her that it is never too late to have a happy childhood!It is never too late to ride the wave of fear and feel the triumphant joy of overcoming so many challenges.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Seventeen Miles or 119 Times Around the Track: A Time for Reflection

What an amazing journey! This past week I trained outside in cold and wind, snow and ice but yesterday, it was 5 degrees with the wind chill - no reason to try to brave those elements for a 17 mile run and so off we went to the BU Fit/Rec Center. I had recently done 4.65 miles with speed intervals during the week before and so, our pace was slower than usual as we ran for 17 miles. But you know what? That's not important. We ran exactly as we needed to run and it is crucial that we not burn out before race days. The little polio part of myself is feeling, 'I'm not fast enough' - well you know what? That is a belief that no longer serves me - I am showin' up and I am participating in this amazing journey and can not be a slave to a chronometer. I am running my own race, surrounded by incredible love and support from God, my daughter, my husband and my son. Each training run is an opportunity to learn more about myself, mind body and spirit; every race where I finish 'last' reminds me to celebrate my amazing courage, faith, determination and to let go of arbitrary measures of success.

I hear God's Voice speak to me - God is telling me to do more stretching exercises and to return to some of the exercises Janine had showed me to work on the muscles which are uber sore.God is telling me to love myself and honor myself as I recover from a long training run. God is telling me that She called me to run the Boston Marathon and together we can do this. During yesterday's run, I learned so much about myself - well there certainly is enough time for reflection with no distractions of the computer, phones, text messages, etc. I got in touch with the feelings of what it is like to feel powerless in my body and this is juxtaposed with the strength and power I felt during my last energy healing session.

Strength and power had been taken from me when I collapsed on the gym floor on 6/3/1959 when paralytic polio overtook my body. Strength and power had been taken from me when I was diagnosed with post polio syndrome in December of 2006. Strength and power had been taken from me during many painful incidents throughout my childhood but in reality, the strength and power of God was always with me deep in my soul.

I was terrified to feel my own power; I thought that if I were physically powerful that I would want revenge. I thought that the anger would consume me and destroy me. I discovered that the most powerful feelings one can experience is the power of forgiveness and the power of God's great Love. So many great teachers talk about this - Nelson Mandela, Victor Frankl, Jesus just to name a few. To feel power is to feel the power of love and forgiveness from God. The power of Love washed through me during our training run yesterday much like dialysis to remove the toxins of anger, shame, fear, doubt and feeling less than because....

God's Love is the most powerful source of purification and it is a blessing to be able to feel this Love. Ironically enough, I feel this Love while my body is pounding the track and perhaps it is the two together - the rhythm of running and the connection to God that helps me to feel whole again. Interestingly enough, I typed whole again and my first thought was, I never felt whole - but of course, I was/am always whole. I just forgot because I was buffeted by life's winds and by people who did not know how to love. It is time to forgive them for truly, they knew not what they did and for me to create new feelings, new memories on every level and to open wide to all that life has to offer.

I am so blessed and I am so grateful. I know that God is with me every moment of every day and it is so important to take time out away from Twitter, and email and gmail and texting and building and creating to feel God's love deep in my soul. To know and to remember that no matter what happens 'out there' that inside I am pure and whole and loved and perfect. I said 'Yes' to God in February of 2008 and every moment of every day, God says 'Yes" right back!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Accentuate the Positive

Remember that old song, Accentuate the Positive, eliminate the negative and don't mess with mister in between - it's a mantra that I say to myself to ignite the flame of Spirit within to drive me forward on this journey. When I took a leap of faith now almost two years ago and left the VA to follow my bliss and to heal my life, I had no idea that I would be sitting here, writing a blog about my company, my book and my journey on the Road to the Boston Marathon. I have a business website,; a book of inspirational poetry, "New World Greetings:Inspirational Poetry and Musings for a New World" available through my website and wherever books are sold (and I donate 20% to Spaulding Rehab's Polio Fund) and another one 'in the oven'; and a website dedicated to fund raising to raise a lot of money for Spaulding Rehab by running the Boston Marathon.

I am blessed with a loving husband who loves his work and has made a full recovery from bladder cancer; I have two beautiful children who are healthy and finding their paths in life; and I have defied the diagnosis of post polio syndrome and am now running - yes running and tomorrow we shall run 17 miles on our long training run. Yesterday, in the cold and wind, my daughter and I went to Jamaica Pond to do our hill training. It was slushy and muddy but we would not be deterred to run as fast as we could up a hill 8 times and then run around the Pond at a good pace. We talked about how this is so new and different and we are embracing every step of this journey. Training - training to claim health and fitness and training to do an endurance run. These are words so antithetical to anything I had known in my life as a polio survivor and then after being diagnosed with post polio syndrome, I initially prepared myself to not be able to walk up stairs and to probably need a wheelchair at some point in the future.

So how did this happen? That, my friends I can tell you in one word - FAITH! Faith and my connection to God fuels every step of this journey. Faith and my belief that I can finish the Boston Marathon. Faith and my belief that I am worthy of a life overflowing with blessings. Faith and my belief that I have the ability, with the help of God to face any challenge in life and to know that I will find the lessons and the blessings in the challenge. Faith that God is with me at all times. Faith that God's love and light and Truth are more powerful than any human experience I have known and will ever known. Faith to see beyond appearances and to seek goodness and express gratitude.

Today's gratitudes:
I am grateful for this warm home filled with love and laughter.
I am grateful for my health.
I am grateful for sore muscles because this tells me that I am working hard to get fit.
I am grateful for the beautiful people that have graced my life.
I am grateful for my upcoming trip to Puerto Rico.
I am grateful for the love in my heart and the feeling of Spirit deep in my soul.

May you all have a blessed day overflowing with peace, joy, love and kindness.

Monday, January 5, 2009


The fear of ice and snow and slush embedded in my soul
A training run in winter – the path to Being whole.
A winter scene – Jamaica Pond – a feast for eyes' delight
To witness nature's splendor and behold this glorious sight.

A leaf – a tiny dancer – skating free without a sound
God's breath directs her movements, as She guides her twirling 'round.

Families of ducks decide to walk or take a dip
A comedy of errors into icy water slip.

The branches now bejeweled with ice bend with loving Grace
Sparkling diamonds' anchor water's surface hold in place.

God's hand a glove of glistening snow hugs rocks along the wall
Their heads peek out reminding me I'm answering God's call.

A scene I'd never witness if I let my fear take hold
Courage triumphed, steppin' out with footsteps sure and bold.

Knowing that the pain subsides and Spirit can prevail
The Marathon is beckoning - through those miles I shall sail.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


I will admit to you that yesterday was a really rough day for me. I had been awakened early two mornings by our beloved cat and had also been awakened in the middle of the night by same so I was a little sleep deprived which can account for low energy. I observed part of me feeling victimized by different circumstances and other people's behavior while a part of me forged ahead with redesigning my website (check it out - - it's awesome) and closing out the books from my business last year and prepping for today's 16 mile run. It's strange living in two universes and I will tell you - I love living in the Spirit and emerging from feeling the weight of ego and human experience. I love the feeling of knowing down to my toes that I am on the right path and that God is providing me with every single thing I need to succeed - in the realms of my business, my book, my health and fund raising for Spaulding Rehab by running the Boston Marathon with my husband and daughter. Moving forward in joy and confidence and strength also means shedding my old identity - social worker who tried to fix everyone, victim who felt hurt and ostracized, and life basically being a struggle. God spoke to me this morning and asked me how much longer I was going to serve penance by feeling that I still have to hold onto the role of social work and be available to take care of others--please know that this is very different from giving out of love and joy because I feel overflowing with love in the Spirit. One is a burden and one is freedom.

Here are the epiphanies which I share with you - perhaps it will spark something within you to find your own ephiphanies.

I get to choose with whom and how I want to spend my time. I can be loving and respectful to all but I can and must set limits if I am to fulfill my highest purpose and pursue my path with passion. And I can do this guilt-free. I realized that I was carrying the burden of my dad's suicide and holding back from fully moving forward in joy and celebration of my Being. Feelings of unworthiness were fueled by so many circumstances - there is no blame here for I get to choose how I am going to respond to life's circumstances and so I choose freedom and I choose to feel my incredible preciousness because I (like you) am a complete child of God.

My gift is poetry and this gift helps me to heal, helps others to find healing and joy in God's words expressed through me and I can create poetry which can help others express the love that is in their heart. My website had been focused on the fact that see, I am a good person; I donate 20% of the proceeds of the sale of my book to Spaulding Rehab and I am going to run the Boston Marathon for Spaulding oh and I also write poetry. Well, I decided to shift the focus and feel the power within of my gift. This shift in energy is going to help draw customers to me. I have many new visitors on my website and it is now time to convert those visitors to sales and hence - a redesigned website.

I have been focusing on the fact that I am victorious over polio and post polio syndrome and look at what I can now do - well during our 16 mile run today, I had the epiphany that - I have worked my butt off to overcome polio and post polio syndrome and many crises in my life - but I also want to remember and honor these crises - especially post polio syndrome. It was freezing outside today with the wind chill; when it was calm and sunny it was deliciously warm in comparison to the stiff wind gusts of up to 35 mph. One of the major hallmarks of post polio syndrome is intolerance to cold/cold sensitivity and as a result of polio, my body has a difficult time regulating its thermostat. And so, I never got to be outside and enjoy the splendors of a winter's day. I dug deep and joined with God to feel a courage I have not known before - to run outside when there were remnants of snow and slush (the path had been heavily sanded so I knew we would have a safe run) and to be outside on a cold January day.

Today, on our run, as I blocked out the incredible pain caused in my limbs by the cold, I noticed these amazing ice formations on the bottom of bent tree branches (yes, there is a poem percolating here) as they met the top of the water on Jamaica Pond. I saw how the snow hugged the beautiful rock wall on my left. I saw some ducks swimming where there was no ice and I saw ducks skating across the pond. There was a leaf in the middle of the pond that skated along the ice pushed by the wind until it landed in the water. The snow was so white and clean and glistened with God's love and I felt God's overwhelming love for me as I decided, during the last two miles, to power walk. I was actually able to keep the pace with my husband, Tom (our daughter took off and did an amazing run of a 15 minute mile) during the last two miles of our run and I felt so blessed to be able to honor my body's limitations. I would not quit because that's not in me (although how I yearned for a hot bath - I did have a great visualization technique - I felt God pouring hot cocoa into my legs during the run) but I had to find a way to keep going. I felt incredible relief once I used power walking which enabled me to take long, stretching strides, use my arms to pump me along and took the stress off of my knees as we finished up our run. Several weeks ago, when the weather was exactly the same, we had decided to go to the indoors track at BU. But look at how far we have come - we decided to brave the cold and the wind and to know that God would be at our backs. I also used a technique taught to me by Janice Wesley, my beloved energy healer and I asked the wind to change direction. There were times when it worked and we suddenly felt the wind at our backs. I also gave thanks to God for the cold, icy wind because when we run the Marathon, it is going to seem so much easier after the grueling training run of today. I also still have my head tremor and I rejoice and celebrate that I am still perfection and I need not try to hide or downplay this. After all, Katharine Hepburn had an amazing tremor and look at what a classy broad she was! {I did put in my order for warmer temperatures now - and I just checked the forecast-Monday temps are going into the mid-40's and on Tuesday it is going to be in the mid-30's when we have a training session with our beloved trainer Janine Hightower.}

I have an exciting week ahead - on Tuesday, I have been invited to be a guest on Planetary Spirit radio ( and on January 12th, I will be a guest with my trainer, Janine on It's All About You on blog talk radio ( Next Sunday I get to meet some incredible folks I have met on Twitter right around the corner from where I live at Lisa Johnson's Modern Pilates Studio. And it's time to start planning for our 3/14 Benefit Concert - an evening of a capella music featuring Ball In The House. Wow - isn't God amazing! I am overflowing with love and gratitude as this flower of God opens and blooms and I turn my face towards God's radiant sunshine.

God bless you all and here's to a new year graced with epiphanies!