August 2022 Hope Is a Cold Nose and Other Inspiring Stories

Map to symbolize quest

N42.36087° W85.87946°

Hope Is

  • Receiving a card in the mail confirming a planned dinner approximately a year from now at 42.65525° N, -86.20289° E with one of the vital individuals at my table.  At my table you ask?  Someone once told me that they have approximately five people they invite to their table, or given that it is a quest, perhaps it is better for me to say invite to my campfire.  Those individuals who “get” us, accept us, hold the safe space for us to be vulnerable, who encourage us, who give us honesty when we might not feel brave enough to look into the mirror, who don’t ask twice to put on their boxing mitts and fight for us, who celebrate with and for us, and cry tears with us, too.  In other words, as those in cold noses would say, those who are part of our pack.  

The thing about this vital individual is not just that she has been sitting at my campfire for, mmmm, let’s see, twenty-eight years and counting.   If it were not for this individual, I would not be writing to you some of the messages you will soon read.   I was living of the mind.  I knew I had a body, though it was this separate aspect of myself, in that taking it for granted kind of way.  I was not in touch with hearing my soul.  I did not know the power of integrating all three.   Because this dear lifetime friend walked up to my campfire and whispered may I take a seat? I began a spiritual journey of aligning my mind, body, and soul.  Through the seeds she planted, or more like the initial crack she helped me make to begin my transformational journey, I am the author of To the Moon and Hope Has a Cold Nose and the coach and teacher that you are reading from today. 

Hope Is 340 days until our next dinner, give or take a day. 

  • Hope Is in the butterfly wings that whisper peace and always by your side.  I have a very special friend who I’ve written about before.  She became a dear part of my heart when I had the sacred honor of writing her and her husband’s life story.  I could write so much about the radiant light that she is for this world in how she perceives and lives life, how much her encouragement of my dreams means the world to me, how much she has influenced how I want to live the best rest of my life.  But today is for writing about her most recent phone call to me a few short days ago. 

My dear friend had been on my mind especially strong to call her, and in that synchronous way life works between hearts, she called me.  I answered believing we would talk about the family trip she had recently taken with all her family – children, grandchildren, great grandchildren.  She called to share the news that her oldest daughter had passed away.   A sudden moment in which life tapped, and life became before and no longer the same. 

Margie.   Margaret her formal name.   But, oh, as I type, I am smiling as I hear my dear friend’s beautiful melodic voice saying Margie.  I can still remember how I felt writing about Margie in my friend’s life story, how I thought she was a precious and rare gift to this world in what she could teach us.   In my eyes, Margie was the epitome of being a perfect soul sent to Earth with a big purpose to fulfill as one of the world’s change agents.

Margie had special needs mentally.  Margie had this incredibly expansive loving heart – of which had been physically challenged when she was born.  Margie also had this wise wise knowing, and when suffering was occurring around her, she was the calm “sage” offering grace and peace.   When my dear friend called to share the news, one of the things she shared was that Margie was born during a time when children with special needs were hidden away, society’s way of coping – or lack there of.  My friend and her husband vowed they would not hide Margie.   They let her light shine.   My friend became a special needs teacher because of Margie.  Many children’s lights were allowed to shine because Margie paved the way.

Margie had been diagnosed with cancer just a few short weeks before my friend’s call.  Just a few days before an annual family gathering in which Margie was so excited to go.  She was able to.  Family.  Gathered from all across the United States.  Together.  As one large, connected, loving nucleus.  And then a couple of weeks later, as my friend and I talked, Margie’s soul would whisper it is time to go peacefully without invasive surgery or intensive life extending measures.  I have fulfilled my purpose here on Earth.  

After my friend’s call, I started to notice the butterflies dancing in the sky.  A couple of hours later I was on one of my bicycle training rides and the butterflies continued their joyous dances.  In front of me and beside me.  I was reminded of the butterfly that danced with Ginger the year after my beloved Roo left Earth.  I believe that encounter is one of the stories in To the Moon.  Roo’s way of whispering to me that day that death is not goodbye, still by your side and peace. 

Dear Margie, I only had the honor of meeting you on paper and in photo.  Yet, just as your beautiful heart danced on this Earth, keep dancing joyously where you now are.  Your footprints have left this Earth a better place.   Your purpose achieved.   Fly high dear soul.  And thank YOU for the reminder in the butterflies you sent to dance with me.  Death is not goodbye.  Always by your side.   Peace. 

I welcome your handwritten messages or drawn pictures.  You can email me or send what Hope Is to you at:   

P.O. Box 327

Gobles, MI 49055

ATTN:  Hope Is

42.20098° N, -85.59168° E


Inspired by one of my students who is writing a book about her mother’s journey with multiple sclerosis in such a way that she is offering not only a legacy story for her mom’s forty-five grandchildren who didn’t have the opportunity to know their grandmother.  This student is writing a story filled with vulnerability, with the “realness” of the story in all its raw emotions.  In the words of Brené Brown:  Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center, of meaningful human experiences.  And vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, and change.

Given that I view our world as cracking open, like a butterfly in a cocoon through metamorphosis or a swan breaking out of an egg, I am going to share a reframed story with you that I may be doing my part to create the kind of change I wish to see our world crack open for.

If you were to look at the front of my legs right now from my knees to my ankles, you would wonder if I had gotten burned.  You would wonder about the current circular scarring that weaves its way down my legs, predominantly my left leg.  I anticipate you would wonder, while graciously not asking.   Or maybe you’d stare.   We humans can be like that in our curiosity.   

They are the scars of my story.  They are the chapters that continue after the last pages of To the Moon in which I had started stepping into my personal sense of


When the eggshell started to crack open, when I started to step into vulnerability, when then it all became “real.”  (smile)   When my soul was saying this way and I began the dance of grace between opposites in which buried emotions kept asking are you sure you are comfortable in your own skin?  Are you sure you are comfortable being seen as intuitive author, coach, teacher?  Are you sure it is safe to be seen? 

A physical rash developed at my ankles around the time that I was going through a significant internal transformation as a result of catalytic life changing events (corporate work roles-responsibilities, a parent’s passing).   After all, that is how transformation is initiated.  At least how I believe. 

I was a runner.  In Nature.  On trails.   Translation, I would run where a certain vine that contains “itch me” juice grows fluently.  It looked like poison ivy.   It acted like poison ivy.  Must be poison ivy. 

A half dozen spots would appear a little bit higher up on my leg, and they would go away.  On I ran.  On trails.  Through the days.   

The rash stayed even in the winter.  Because I had come to believe that our mind, body, and soul are not separate entities but are intertwined in intricate ways, I knew I did not want to ‘band aid” a solution.  I knew I needed to understand holistically what might be going on.   At the deepest level, I knew it was not poison ivy. 

This led me to holistic health measures that determined foods my body was not appreciating so that I could change my diet.  It also led me to understanding a subconscious fear of sharing my voice.   “Armed” with these two understandings, I set out on a healing journey to eliminate the rash.  

I published To the Moon.  Put voice out there.  Check.   I radically dissolved the “I love you, ah but I don’t like you in return” relationships with certain foods.  Eating better.  Check.  The rash disappeared.  Mostly.   A handful of dots would occasionally show, but without any itch.  Out of sight out of mind.   Focused on every morsel of food I ate for that familiar itch or rash, and I’m showing up speaking my voice, so I believed all better.  Solved.  

The person in me who loves that feeling of accomplishment said check.  Done. 

Life continued to bring the metamorphosis.   After all, it is a lifetime journey, and as I like to tell others when they say they are a work in progress.  Good, because if not, then it’s time to flat line and I am not ready for you to flatline.   I completed a master’s program.  My corporate career came to a close.  I started my own business.  I published a second book.   I became one of all of humanity to experience a pandemic.  

Along the way, my rash came back.  Stronger.  Bolder.  Definitely in sight.  Definitely on mind.  I closed 2021 and entered 2022 determined to “find my way back” to what had felt like a detour on a tributary of the river of life.   This time I knew it wasn’t “just” the dairy or peanut butter I had let enter back into my diet.  I could feel it was, as they say, “deep in my bones.” 

My mind, body, and soul were not in harmony.  

I was not feeling safe in my own skin.

I started peeling back more layers of the onion, so to speak to understand what was happening physically and emotionally.   Among the Divine messengers put on my path to aid this healing journey is Dr. LeAnn Fritz with New Hope Health.   (For those of you who live in / near Kalamazoo, MI, I cannot say enough positive things of the benefit of working with Dr. LeAnn.  Physical alignment meets historical scores (or traumas) held in the body and both meet emotional belief systems known or subconscious.   At the risk of using words that may not hold the same level of sacredness the more frequently they get used – game changing!  If you do not live in the area, please still check out her web site and blogs!  She has a powerful mission she articulates in her latest blog.   And since you know I am about casting ripples of hope and things I believe whole-heartedly in.   Check out the link below!)

The layers were asking me to see and see again what I thought I had already read and “resolved.”   My journey of writing my memoir had taken me into the first chapters of my life in which, as we all experience, had known elements of what I like to phrase as pain, trauma, sorrow, and despair.  And grief.  Yet, I came to understand that though I went to these places when writing my memoir, there were emotions I had buried, not yet discovered and certainly not yet released.  Buried deep under the skin were stories I had told myself growing up, framing them in such a way that they became my internal compass that was often, not always consciously, my starting place in how I heard, saw, and chose to respond.   Which was you are not enough yet in that skin. 

I was still holding deeply under my skin the childhood feelings I had framed for myself that I should be ashamed of who I am.   As Brené also says when she describes guilt and shame.  She communicates that guilt is the sense I have done something bad.  Shame is I am bad.   My rash was begging me to understand that not just at the surface, but to the core place where the stories first formed, and then let it all go.  It was begging me to form a relationship in which if I felt even the slightest twinge in one of my legs at the surface, I could then ask what is triggering my sense of safety and worth in this moment?  And then understand.  Reframe.   Let go.  Step forward.    Legs.  The motion of forward. 

The rash – and my entire body – was asking me to find grace, compassion, and love of the first chapters of my story.  It was asking me to embody what I believe thru every one of my cells and not just ones I was selectively picking and choosing to hold inside.  We enter this life with a plan of what we wish to learn at the soul level, but we do not remember that plan when we take our first breaths.  So, we start out learning the opposite in preparation for the future, so that at a point in life, at a point of transformation, when we begin to crack open, we can begin to step forward into experiencing our purposes for this lifetime.   

We can begin to step into the comfort of our own skin.

And guide others in how to reframe their own stories that they too can know how to thrive with life. 

Now do I think as I did several years ago after publishing To the Moon, ok, done.  Oh, certainly not.  Life is a journey, and I have many a spiral staircase circles yet to climb.  I am not ready to flatline.  (smile) If it took me the time it did to write the first chapters of my life creating experiences to doubt my worth, I have quite some time ahead of me to write the chapters I have yet to live differently.  (smile) Yet, I now have a solid foundation to build upon that is not fragile behind the “walls” of my skin with buried debris.   

I am in harmony with the foods I fill my body with that are aligned to the emotions that flow through my body and both are in congruence not only to my mind, but also to my soul’s desires.  I’m now very aware of the limiting pattern I had where I would hold a soul wish, let my mind go to a long-standing hidden collection of doubt I’m “enough yet”,  experience the emotional trigger sometimes unconsciously, that said ugh, not feeling safe in wishing this, while my body and mind then conspired with that whisper of the troublemaker on the shoulder jabbing go ahead and eat the peanut butter to quiet that emotion and get to a place of feeling safe.    Now I can choose to practice building new patterns every day – every 86,400 moments of every day, for it takes time to build up any new muscles! 

So, now there are scars.  Beautiful scars that are part of my story of this one joyous, wild, crazy, rugged, HOPE-full, amazing miraculous life each of us choose to enter into to be the best versions of ourselves we can be to leave the world a little bit better than how we found it.  Scars to remind me Hope Is new beginnings.  And the joy of striving to write new chapters going


42.59429° N, -86.09806° E

42.241177° N, -84.40951° E

A Cold Nose

On Thursday evening, August 4th, I had the very special and sacred honor of being a guest on Wine and Words with Viola Shipman (Wade Rouse).   If you have Facebook, you can listen to the replay here.   As one of Wade’s writers when he was first mentoring aspiring authors (and one of Wade’s writers I will always be), I am grateful, humbled, privileged and proud to have been a guest, and to be a mentee of such a bright light of hope in this world through his books and his hope-full words as Wade and as Viola Shipman in honor of his grandmother.

I was a guest with Laura Steenrod, author of the book Gratitude, who is an amazing soul for cold noses!  And horses, too!   Laura is a radiant example of hope, and she dances exquisitely between the two things life brings us very well – joy and suffering holding the same space.   In the moments when a fur soul is suffering most, Laura is there to offer the greatest gift of all.   Love.    Each soul lives the balance of their life knowing love.   

The mission of Love From Louie. Love from Louie has developed a reputation for taking on dogs that have been deemed unadoptable by other agencies or unable to survive in an incarcerated setting due to injury, illness, or advanced age.  Laura ensures they know nothing short of physical well-being and love! 

To learn more, please visit Love From Louie.   

Love from Louie Canine Rescue Organization

(Gosh, I just this thought.  I am sure blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people of hope in my life!)

42.38337° N, -85.95741° E 

Hope’s Spiral Staircase

Your inspiration for this month.

N ° S ° E ° W °

Hope Whispers, Nature Speaks

Your assignment for this month is this.   While spending some time peacefully in nature, reflect on a sentence, paragraph, or chapter of your story you are telling yourself that is nudging reframe me.  Now stand in front of a mirror, look into the person’s eyes looking back at you, and tell that person who is cautiously, hopeful, and eagerly looking back listening a reframed sentence, paragraph, or chapter.  One that whispers you are more than enough.

Sun on water refelting as if glass

A true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. ~ Elizabeth Gilbert




If you have enjoyed this month’s message, please pay it forward to others.  They can also subscribe to future emails by visiting   If you know of someone who has a Hope Is message to share, please encourage them to share via the post office address (or via email).  I welcome sharing their input on the Hope Is website or in future blog messages!   


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