Saturday, June 27, 2009

Denial is not just a River in Egypt

I decided that it's time to acknowledge how beat up my body was through marathon training and running the Boston Marathon and to take some time to heal and recover. I will not bore you with the list of tender areas of my body nor the sense of fatigue that I experience as I ponder going out for another intensive training run. Instead, I will share with you the importance of honoring my body not just as a polio/post polio survivor but as a woman who is learning to connect and love her body in a whole new way.

I am overjoyed that I was able to overcome the symptoms of post polio syndrome to embark on an incredible journey on the road to the Boston Marathon. It truly was about the journey, not the destination although I will admit -- what a beautiful sight coming down Boylston Street with the floodlights looming in the distance and putting one foot in front of the other to inch ever closer to the finish line. What a blessing to have my beloved family surround me along with my personal trainer, Janine Hightower. Just as I learned to push my body beyond its limits during marathon training, I am now learning to acknowledge what I need to do to create a balanced health and fitness program. Once again I am embarking in new territory and am so blessed to have the guidance of Janine Hightower of

Janine reminded me that after I crossed the finish line, I revealed to her all the pain I endured during marathon training as well as areas that were injured. She continues to remind me that she is amazed that I never shared anything with her of what I was going through. We both agreed I was not going to stop any way and I needed to keep those thoughts and feelings at bay to accomplish what I was called to do. But now, I no longer need to deny and worked with Janine to design a program which will enable me to achieve cardiovascular and strength training benefits without burning out and allowing my body to heal.

I don't know what the future holds in terms of returning to running and road races; I do know that my future holds a health and fitness program and a lifestyle which will prevent further disability from post polio syndrome. I do know that I will continue to be a part of the running community. The future holds a time for healing and strengthening and for now I am getting reacquainted with my body. I am so blessed and overjoyed with this body and I am falling in love with my body all over again. The present holds peace, joy, happiness, gratitude, feeling incredibly blessed with the knowledge that I can let go of denial because denial is not just a river in Egypt.

To purchase a copy of my book, "New World Greetings:Inspirational Poetry and Musings for a New World" overflowing with love, healing, grace and whimsy and which helps me and others to experience healing and inspiration, visit I generously donate 20% of the proceeds to Spaulding Rehab's Polio Fund.

And while you're there, visit my sumptuous samples of customized poetry. Enter a new world of greeting cards and celebrate, commemorate and allow me to create a customized poem for that special someone and that special occasion.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happiness is....

Do you remember that song from You're a Good Man Charlie Brown - "Happiness is..." - it speaks to all the simple pleasures in life and the final lines to the song are: "FOR HAPPINESS IS ANYONE AND ANYTHING AT ALL THAT'S LOVED BY YOU." I will confess that after running the Boston Marathon, I had expectations that I would go on to be competing in road races, beating my personal records, getting up early to attend breakfast meetings... I had the expectation that I had beaten post polio syndrome as if post polio syndrome or any disease is something to be beaten. I believed that I had eliminated post polio syndrome from my body and this was the message I was to share with the world. It's funny how I have come full circle but always spiraling upward. I went from rejecting and hating my body, to loving it in its state of total immobility to then denying all that I had been through and a belief that I had eliminated disease from my body. I didn't need to see a primary care provider for a physical; I didn't need to have my annual mammogram because after all, I am all powerful, all knowing - the mighty and magnificent Oz (and what a magnificent allegory for our ego). Oh how a part of me wanted to believe that but God sent me some wonderful loving friends who did not challenge me but wondered if perhaps I had gone a little off the deep end. And truth be told I had-and that's okay because it is all a part of the human part of human Being. God's plan for me was not to demonstrate my invincibility but rather to share my being human. I had to ask God, well if my purpose was not to show how I could eliminate post polio from my body, then what was the purpose in all of this? During yesterday's "Its All About You" Blog Talk Radio Show God had me hear this phrase during the affirmation portion of the show, "What is my highest purpose? God speaks to my heart in language I understand." I am smiling, feeling overjoyed with my life and my purpose.

I ran the Boston Marathon as a mobility impaired runner. That's the story - that's the purpose. I conquered the symptoms of post polio syndrome in order to run the Boston Marathon to raise money for Spaulding Rehab Hospital and to also be a beacon of hope and inspiration to others. I live with the challenge of post polio syndrome every day. We all live with challenges every day and I am so happy and blessed. I am so grateful because every challenge that I face be it with my health or my business or book promotions or relationships or money puts another notch in my spiritual belt of faith, hope, courage, determination and gratitude.

Gratitude the flaming torch that lights my journey way
The lessons and the blessings woven into every day.
Grateful for just who I am, each precious part of me
A happiness perspective is the key to feeling free.
Love who I see and who I am erase the shoulds and must
Adversity helped pave the path and now with faith I trust.
If I swerve and lose my way, God helps to set things right
Head of my construction crew, from heart She sheds the light.
My ego can be stubborn, shrieking look at what I did
But there's a higher purpose not post polio should we rid.
For those who are complaining, and lose sight of their own gifts
I help them count their blessings, they find their spirit lifts.
For those in midst of challenge, I'm a voice of strength and hope
Someone who has been there and found a way to cope.
I'm grateful for this wondrous life each scar and bump and bruise
I'm grateful for the Power my perspective I can choose.

I can laugh and love myself for my beautiful vulnerabilities and missteps, for going off the deep end at times and for always coming back to Center, anchored in God's amazing Love and Light. I am so blessed to share it with all of you because happiness is indeed "Anyone and anything that's loved by you."

To purchase a copy of my book of inspirational poetry, "New World Greetings:Inspirational Poetry and Musings for a New World" which helped inspire me to heal my life, mind, body and spirit, and become a Boston Marathon finisher, go to

And while you're there check out my sumptuous samples of customized poetry. Communicate, commemorate, create a beautiful keepsake and enter a whole New World of Greeting Cards.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Yesterday I was blessed to be able to attend the Eighth Annual Shelby Cullom Davis Award for Caregiving Excellence at Spaulding Rehab Hospital. I was there to share my patient story and honor the caregivers at Spaulding Rehab. Imagine my surprise and delight when my beloved energy healer, Janice Wesley was a nominee. In my book, she should have won the award for all the love and care she provided during my journey on the Road to the Boston Marathon and beyond. I know Janice though and for her, being nominated was truly an honor. She does not do her work for honors or awards; she finds the reward in her watching her patients heal.

I decided to write a poem for this special occasion and after Ashley Bronson, special events coordinator handed me the mike, I noticed my hand tremor decided it was time to make itself known. Whenever I have to tightly grip something, it can reappear. There was a podium in the corner but I could not stand behind it so I had to hold the mike and read my poem. I tried to put my poem on the podium but had difficulty reading it because of the angle it was at. So I bravely took the poem, held the mike and worked the room reading my poem. Everyone loved the poem and I had wonderful conversations after the formal program and luncheon with a board member of Spaulding and Diana Spencer who created this award and luncheon to honor her late husband who died from complications of MS.

In the past, I would have been apologetic about the tremor and been self conscious asking if anyone noticed it, making excuses but instead I felt God's Presence and also thought about Katherine Hepburn - she was so classy with her tremors and what have I learned on this journey about being authentic and not needing to apologize for who I am - perfect in all of my imperfections.

Divine – extremely pleasant, delightful; supremely good or beautiful, magnificent, heavenly perfect

We've all been battered by life's tempestuous times both in the past and in the present. We can either perish in the wake of the storm or discover that we have strength, courage, determination and a capacity to weather any of life's storms when we are anchored to the Divine and our divinity within ourselves. We all experience times when we are frightened, feeling doubtful, anxious or worried, especially as we take risks to step out of our comfort zone. It is easy to listen to the noise in the world around us and let that static interfere with the frequency of what we know to be true about ourselves. As we grow and transform, expand and grab the brass ring of life, we leave behind old beliefs and allow ourselves to be....

Awaken to hear God's Voice so clear,
the compass to guide who you are
Look up to the heavens, the dazzling lights,
you can outshine any star.
The brilliance within a source of great love –
pure, untainted and true
In no one's shadow shall you walk behind,
step into the spotlight of you.

The old self so frightened needs compassion and care
as she's tenderly laid now to rest
The blame, shame and guilt, the armor she wore –
she did her absolute best.
The price that she paid to sacrifice true self –
to give until she just gave out
Trying to please, fueling all others' needs,
of her own power she had such doubt.

She's now awake and healing tears shed,
polish this diamond so rare
The light cannot hide, it can't be contained
on center stage with the world she must share.
The success of her life is found deep inside,
the courage to step out and shine
Unveiling True Self perfection and flawed –
a woman who's simply Divine!

To purchase a copy of my book of inspirational poetry, "New World Greetings:Inspirational Poetry and Musings for a New World" which helped me to heal mind, body and spirit, visit my website at

And while you're there, be sure to check out the sumptuous samples of customized poetry I create just for you to bring joy to all of your special occasions.

If you are in the Boston area on 6/24 be sure to come and celebrate Poetry in Motion - an evening of inspiration and cheer at Marathon Sports Brookline 1638 Beacon Street Brookline, MA

Monday, June 8, 2009

Corrib Pub Run 5K - One Year Later - Still Running Outside of the Comfort Zone

Yesterday my husband, daughter and I ran the Corrib Pub Run 5K. It was 81 degrees with the noon sun smiling on over 2000 runners. All proceeds go to benefit Boston neighborhoods. The mood was festive and I felt a sense of triumph returning to the first road race I had ever run. My daughter decided she was gonna take off and run her own race - how apropros for our almost 22 year old daughter who is finding her way in the world. My husband said he would stay with me but he wanted me to push myself out of my comfort zone. I noticed a dramatic shift in the way I was feeling - I felt so grateful to him for running a little ahead and encouraging me forward; I did, however, monitor my heart rate and used that as a guide for moderating my tempo. Our first mile was a little over 12 minutes and we finished in 45:48. That is 7 minutes off of our pace last year and a personal best.

Stepping out of my comfort zone in life means that I release beliefs which are no longer true in my life. By clinging to old beliefs and continuing behavior and thought patterns based on those beliefs, I am fueling the sense of unworthiness which comes from the voices of parents, peers and sprung up from life experiences. I separate from God and disconnect from the Truth about being God's child. And so, to move outside of this comfort zone of fear, doubt, worry, anxiety and the solar plexus clutch as I refer to it, I had a beautiful image while meditating this morning.

I visualized that there was a pile of dirt in my solar plexus. I sifted through the dirt and I began releasing its contents and then I had a brilliant image flash through - I can transform the dirt. It is fertile soil for new growth and so I planted a beautiful garden where once there was only darkness and a feeling of being soiled. My healing tears water this garden. It is a place of beauty and a reflection of God's great healing power to transform.

Back to the Corrib Pub road race - I wasn't the fastest runner by any means and when someone would say, go ahead, you're still in the hunt or commented on us being toward the back of the pack I would put my arms up a la Rocky and pronounce, "I'm a polio survivor and so happy to be out here." Toward the end of the race we met a wonderful woman whose name is April and she said, after hearing my story that she feels so inspired. I have heard from so many people that when they hear my story and what I have overcome that they realize how grateful they feel. They say that I give them perspective on their problems and challenges.

I'm so grateful for the gift of polio, post polio and all of the challenges that have been a part of my life's tapestry. I can be a gift and a blessing to others as they see how I triumphed over incredible challenges and they can be inspired to create the best life they can for themselves. I become a mirror for the best that is inside of them. I am so blessed that through the gift of poetry I bring joy and healing to myself and to others. It is a powerful way to express what is in my heart and it also makes my heart sing. I lose track of time when I write poetry and feel such joy when people tell me how my poetry has affected them. I live my Truth whether I am running a 5K road race or running my life. I celebrate who I am, I embrace the beautiful person I am; I celebrate my gifts. I feel such gratitude for the strength, health, confidence, love and joy that God has given to me. I am so grateful for the gift of Grace showers which helps my garden to grow.

To order a copy of "New World Greetings:Inspirational Poetry and Musings for a New World" - the book of inspirational poetry which inspired me to heal mind, body and spirit and go on to run the 113th Boston Marathon, go to

To celebrate all of life's special occasions, check out the sumptuous samples on my website and contact me to create a customized poem. At New World Greeting Cards - It's more than a card, it's a gift from the heart.

If you are in the Boston area on June 24th, please join us for "Poetry in Motion" at Marathon Sports Brookline, 1638 Beacon Street at 7 pm for a celebration of my Boston Marathon run and a book signing! I am so grateful to Marathon Sports, Mizuno, The Fireplace Restaurant and Trader Joe's for their incredibly generous donations.