Guest Post: “The One Who Walks Beside.”

On December 11, 2015 my father lost his wife. Below are the words, images, lessons and teachings from his experience…..

There is an American Indian phrase that is used to designate the person who walks beside another, through out their life; it is, “the one who walks beside.”  This simple expression is clearly referring to a spouse, a best friend, a brother, a sister, etc., who, regardless of the kind of conditions or circumstances that surround the beloved person, will walk by his or her’s side.  This kind of relationship exudes characteristics of loyalty, love, support, protection, respect, selflessness: my wife would say, “they are attached at the hip.”

This phrase accurately describes the relationship my wife and I had.  She was the one who walked beside.  I say “was” because my wife passed away, unexpectedly Dec. 11, 2015.  My wife, Mary Lou, was  not feeling well after Thanksgiving.  She complained of stomach pains, thinking she had an urinary infection, which she had had several times previous.  We went to urgent care, and she was diagnosed with a severe urinary infection, and was given three antibiotic pills.  Mary Lou seemed satisfied that the pills would cure her infection, as they had on previous occasions, and she would be fully recovered in three days.  The next day, Mary Lou wasn’t feeling any better and complained of lower back pain and a severe headache.  We went to see an orthopedic doctor who took x-rays of her lower  back with the result that, other than some arthritis her lumbar area was fine.  The next day Mary Lou was getting weaker. and we decided to go to the hospital emergency facility.  She was so weak that she could not put on her socks and shoes, I had to put them on her feet. Continue reading…..

Stop Trying to be Grateful.

Source: via Pete on Pinterest

The other day I made a list. The idea to do so arrived spontaneously.

I will write down everything I am unsure about—all of the issues and questions, currently outstanding, which remain, for now, in the mystery. 


As I made the list, I was amazed at how many unanswered questions I have about my life. I would imagine I am not alone here. But, I did wonder how many had some of the questions I had, especially in mid-life? Will I have a home again—and when and where? Will I have friends? Will my children recover from our accident? Will I find work? Will I finally be able to sit down and write my books? This barely begins the list.

As I finished, many pages later, questions and unknowns still loomed upon the rolling hills in my mind. But now, there was space between all of it and me. In this space, a glimpse of compassion for myself arose. I could see why my brain feels fried and fuzzy. Why I am carrying myself a bit too tightly. Why I just might not be fully myself. Why my creative life suffers.

I posted my experience, briefly, online. Why not try it for yourself, I said, and write down the unknowns, which are probably, continuously, swimming around in your mind. Someone commented: “How about putting the energy instead into all the things that are good in your life?”

I was offended….Continue reading here. 

Cutting Through the Bullshit.

From Pinterest

Are we willing to face the good and the bad within us?

I’ve been reading articles from those who seem to be a part of a (fairly) new demographic. The demographic (another group the GOP knows nothing about): middle to upper-middle class people who have been quietly and not so quietly engaged with the self-help and new-age spirituality movement.

This group of people are often thrilled (I’m basing this off of my past experience with this movement) to find a philosophy, which speaks to their inner thoughts and seems to point in a direction of personal fulfillment—and like a drug, they are hooked. They find classes. They see where their fav teacher is lecturing and try and get them to sign their book. They buy their CD’s and DVD’s. They get a yoga mat. They try meditation and tell their friends. They look and most importantly, talk the part of a spiritual being.

Some then (myself included), as they keep reading and going to classes, want to teach too. They might even start teaching classes. They start blogs and hope to publish articles. As I stated, I’ve been reading some of these articles written by this demographic and I’ve had an insight, which prompts this opinion: some of these writers seem not to write for clarity of their thoughts (what most writers do) and service toward others (what most teachers do), but instead for affirmation they are good people.

Continue reading at elephant journal: spirituality.

You’re Likable Just Because You are You.

Source: via Joyce on Pinterest

If we in public television can only make it clear that feelings are mentionable and manageable—we will have done a  great service for mental health.

~ Mister Rogers


Since Governor Romney confidently stated he will cut PBS funding, in front of Jim Lehrer no less, an uproar has emerged. There are numerous Facebook postings and tweets—many of them from Big Bird saying, “Oh hell naw!”

On my news feed, my cousin posted a video of Mister (Fred) Rogers speaking to the United States Senate. It is of Rogers graciously sharing his commitment to children and his concern about what they see on television. His goal: to receive the 20 million dollars of funding for PBS that Richard Nixon wanted to deny.

Read the rest on elephant journal

Are You Recreating Your Childhood With Your Partner?

Got a new column over at elephant journal, and I’m talking about marriage.

Here is the first post:

The Soul Reporter on Growing Up Your Love.

The other day, my husband informed me via text he was going to do something he knew I might not approve of. Him sharing this with me is a new behavior. In the past, I found out these things by accident or because I was snooping around.

I told him how I felt about what he was going to do. I threw in the kids: “Do you think it is a good choice considering we have children?”

Turns out, I had no influence. He was still going to do what he wants to do, and I fell into a funk and sent him this text:

To continue reading…

>Kids and the Resistance Epidemic


Kids and The Resistance Epidemic
by Nikki Di Virgilio

How many times have we told our kids to do something and they either refuse, or do so with a constant whiney tune, of I don’t want to and why do I have to. The request can be something as simple and mediocre as wiping the table, and yet they put up a fight. It’s frustrating, and causes tension between our kids and us. Depending on the severity of the resistance in our household, this tension over time can create an isolating and perhaps even numbing relationship, which is damaging to both parent and child.

Resistance is defined as: the act or power of resisting, opposing, or withstanding. Unfortunately resistance is our first response to almost any that comes our way. This is often the same for our children.

The word “power” is in the very definition of resistance. Resistence itself is a power struggle between parent and child. Once we enter this planet, we are instantly faced with the power struggle of balancing the demands upon our minds, bodies and souls. We have to breathe on our own. We have to eat to live. We have to sleep to function and be well. These are required and necessary things. But then we get older, and there are more requirements. And these requirements often do not align with the truth of who we are and what we seek. School demands we pay attention, not chew gum, not wear our hair a certain way, be smart, be happy, learn, and agree with what is being taught. Then society demands we look and act in a certain way. As do our parents.

Consciously or unconsciously our children are absorbing all of these little and big demands all the time. It is no surprise they are resisting! We are energetic beings, here to unfold the purpose of our soul. We are not machines, which comply with the buttons being pushed–although we can, and often do. However, most of us don’t want to, especially the young ones who are coming to our planet right now. They are different, and leading us on a new course, which is more properly aligned with our soul.

What lessons and tools can we use to help our children grow beyond Resistance?

For lessons and tools- click here to read rest of the article.