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Note: Shrinkage is not gender-specific, and it’s not limited to body size.

Anyone who has ever tried to take up as little space as possible with his belongings, for example, knows this shrinkage problem.

Anyone who has shrunken her personality to suit the comfort of others.  Each smothered laugh shrinks the space she takes up. Every careful step lessens her sound wave ripples.

Heck, I wonder if hoarding is both defiantly taking up space while crushing the person smaller to minimize the space s/he takes up….


My 49th birthday is around the corner.
It’s making me take stock of how far I’ve come, what I’ve accomplished, and what really matters to me.
I realized recently that, although I am not where I want to be, it doesn’t mean I haven’t fully lived. This was a hard thing to digest because I struggle with not having flown.

But perhaps I have, for certainly my point of view is higher than it used to be.

These words from Paulo Coelho resonate in me:

Live the life you always wanted to live

by Paulo Coelho on February 6, 2013

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“Even if you were to study your own life in detail and relive each moment that you suffered, sweated and smiled beneath the sun, you would still never know exactly when you had been useful to someone else.

A life is never useless. Each soul that came down to Earth is here for a reason.

The people who really help others are not trying to be useful, but are simply leading a useful life.
They rarely give advice, but serve as an example.
Do one thing: live the life you always wanted to live.

Avoid criticising others and concentrate on fulfilling your dreams.
This may not seem very important to you, but God, who sees all, knows that the example you give is helping Him to improve the world. And each day, He will bestow more blessings upon it.”

Check out his blog, and be inspired and uplifted.

Things security officers may think of asking, but shouldn’t:


Do you have any sandwiches in your pocket?
This can be construed as inflammatory and invasive, and it is baffling to the hearer.  It is easy to ask this question on your 13th hour on your feet, but you must refrain.

Are you carrying any weapons of mass destruction?
Again, this is a baffling question, and after many hours is tempting to ask as a shortcut. Refrain.
Weapons of mass destruction are much larger than the average pocket.  And mothers typically point to their children, and say, “Yeah, right there.”

Would you like to dump your $6 cup of joe in the trash right here or walk a mile back to your car to put it there?This is construed as an unfriendly, snotty question, and could result in you wearing said expensive joe, or at the very least, having a very unhappy person in your face.  With spittle.

Legitimate questions prompt interesting responses, as well:

Any knives, guns, or weapons of any sort on your person?
Various answers include:

  • “What kind of person do you think I am!?”
  • “Of course not! Look at me!”
  • “No!  I have children!”
  • “No! I’m a woman!”
  • “No! I’m a mom!”
  • “I left them at home today.”
  • “Yeah, I got your gun right here.”
  • “I got these guns–”  kisses each bicep and flexes.
  • “Dang, honey,–” to husband –“better hand over your grenade.”


A Day in the Life of a Writer: What Makes a Good Story?

A beginning, a middle, and an end.

Yeah, thanks.
Knew that, right?

Check out this TED talk from Karen Thompson Walker, and consider using your own fears to write well-developed stories.  Those fears ARE stories, after all, complete with characters and horrible things happening and an aftermath.  Don’t we create stories all the time?

Pema Chödrön states, “Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.” Of course we must use our fears…. That’s where the truth is.


Video: Mel Robbins–How to stop screwing yourself over (TEDxSF)

Want to change your life?
Watch this video:

Remember: if you’re in your head, you’re behind enemy lines.
And remember the 5-second rule.

Free eBook on Healing Herbs

I’ve downloaded it myself–it really is free!  MountainRoseblog FREE healing herbs book

(If you’re quick, you might be in time to get the free cookbook, too. :))

While you’re there, check out the rest of the site:





Shenpa: That which hooks you in and ensnares you

Shenpa is what Pema Chodron calls the hook. We each have different hooks but we all get hooked by attachment to outcomes, expectations, or regrets. It is emotionally painful and we suffer. Whatever the hook is, I have to let it go. I must remember that 100 years from now when I am dead and gone, it truly won’t matter. It won’t be important because all my actions will be in the past. Just as they are now while I am living, from moment to moment. Why hold on to the negativity? What matters now is being kind, forgiving and loving towards myself and others. ~ Loran Hills ♥

I had the sense that Shenpa might be more complex than “hook,” so I Googled it and found this article by Pema Chodron.  I was right–it is complicated.

The way I see it, the hook is actually about attachment, but in a deeper sense: more like addiction.  You’re attached to cigarettes, or food, or Farmville.  Shenpa is that indefinable itch you absolutely must scratch.  Chodron writes,

Here is an everyday example of shenpa. Somebody says a mean word to you and then something in you tightens— that’s the shenpa. Then it starts to spiral into low self-esteem, or blaming them, or anger at them, denigrating yourself. And maybe if you have strong addictions, you just go right for your addiction to cover over the bad feeling that arose when that person said that mean word to you. This is a mean word that gets you, hooks you. Another mean word may not affect you but we’re talking about where it touches that sore place— that’s a shenpa. Someone criticizes you—they criticize your work, they criticize your appearance, they criticize your child— and, shenpa: almost co-arising. 

It’s at the point of tightening that we must be aware.  This is the time to stop it.

I am continually aware of this tightening because I quit smoking and a few times a day I sooo want to scratch my itch.  It truly is a tightening, too—I feel it between my shoulder blades, and I must consciously exhale my surrender and my recognition.

Chodron further writes,

What’s very interesting is you begin to notice it really quickly in other people. You’re having a conversation at work with somebody. Their face is sort of open and they’re listening, and you say something—you’re not quite sure what it is you just said, or maybe you know what it is you just said, it doesn’t necessarily have to be mean, or anything— but you see their eyes cloud over. Or you see their jaw tense. Or you can feel them… you know, you touched something. You’re seeing their shenpa, and they may not be aware of it at all. From your side, you can, at that point, just keep going and get into it with them, but with a kind of prajna, this clear seeing of what’s really happening, not involved with your story line and trying to get ground under your feet. You see that happening to them.

I have witnessed this many times, but this is the first time I’ve ever read anything about the concept.  One must step back and give space to the other because when shenpa kicks in, it’s like talking to a steel wall.

Go check out the entire article.  You’ll find it’s well worth your time.


We’re all just little icons
little you
and little I

I am seduced by the vacuum-cleaner dance.

Sundance–vote for Una Hora Por Favor by Jill Soloway

There are a number of good films on the Sundance site; I’m asking that you vote for Una Hora Por Favor. The writer is the daughter of a friend, and her splendid piece is so far back in the listings that I think it’s not getting a fair shake.  FYI, Jill Soloway was one of the writers for the show, Six Feet Under.

Check it out, then click on the link on the side that says, “Vote below for this film.”

Una Hora Por Favor

EDIT:  The link above is broken.  Go to the film’s Facebook page for current info.

Here’s an interview with the director about the making of the film.

Check out this cooking site:

These are StumbleFriends I’ve known for a few years, and their simple recipes are geared toward those who don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. (Got kids in college? Or who’ve just moved out and are living on top ramen, or showing up on your doorstep at dinner time? Send ’em here!)
I submitted a recipe for a quick chicken enchilada casserole dish, and they posted it! (It’s really yummy. Check it out.)


You can submit your easy recipes here.

Here’s a quick intro to who they are:

And here is an amazing Taco Soup recipe:

One Girl Riot promo video featuring Arturo Aguilar and Josh Furrer

My boys made this video for me.

The creators are here: IV Films