2/12/19 My Warrior Chick

Mind of Neal – Initially, I started my inspirational posts as a means of self-care 10 years ago. Now it has grown to include a host of friends and coworkers and the message has varied at times from humor, venting, inspiration and sometimes inappropriateness! Today, I veer back to the original purpose of self-care. My daughter, my Warrior Chick, is my inspiration. Truly, I am a wimp weak; however, I pull energy and strength from others, like her, who despite the odds they go with the flow with a positive attitude. 4 years into her Lupus diagnosis, steroid on top of steroid, infusion after infusion – here we are again embarking on a new method. Still, she is positive. This medicine may give her severe migraines, Still she happily orders a carb-loaded lunch. She has to be hooked up for 6 hours and miss a day of school every month. Still, she talks to her friends via text message and shows me pictures they send her. How can I complain when she doesn’t? How can I be tired? When despite being drained most days she pushes on? How can I not have joy, faith, and a heart of praise when I see this blessing in front of me? She will never live a life without Lupus. But she definitely will live a life despite Lupus! – Namaste.


1/25/19 By the Power of Grayskull

Mind of Neal – Yes, I am showing my age with the He-man reference, but who cares! In the lingo of Yoda – “Rough week, I have had!” But I am getting more powerful everyday as I claim the power within me to push on. One of my favorite encouragement lines is “You have a 100% survival rate!” Yes, we all do. We have survived all the horrible, upsetting, frustrating, stressful situations that have happened before this present day 100% because we are still here to testify that we have. So, why give credence to present and future hard times when you have already survived a host of others. Go forth with the mindset that “I got this. I have the power. I have a winning record of surviving – no ties, no losses!” Namaste, my friends.



Mind of Neal – One of my favorite books that I have read to my daughters is The Colors of Us by Karen Katz. It is a story of a little girl and her artist mom discovering the perfect mixture of colors – red, black, yellow, and white – to make the skin colors of her friends and family members. The colors discussed were rich and vibrant blends, such as cinnamon, fall leaves, butterscotch, peaches, vanilla, bronze and amber as the colors merged, ebbing and flowing to allow for the prominence of one, then the other to take over. If only this was how it was in life, how awesome it would be. Perfect blends of interactions, a spectrum of acceptance, a rainbow of positivity where separate individuals can join together to form powerful alliances and blended bonds capturing the diverse uniqueness and the splendid individuality for the greater good of all. I’m just saying…wouldn’t it be nice ~Namaste


Click here for a youtube reading of The Colors of Us!


1.11.18 Mind of Neal

Mind of Neal – If you are fortunate (or unfortunate enough) to know me, you are aware that I juggle a lot of balls and wear a bunch of hats. It takes a lot to keep things straight and there are times that I falter; yet and still, I pick up the balls and adjust the hats and try again. I would like to say one day I will decrease the amount of balls or hats, but I know the likelihood is low as that is not my personality or way of work. Instead, I just pray that I am strengthened , in the right frame of mind, and able with my whole body and soul to take care of what needs to be taken care of and not to be overly concerned when one ball or hat just happens to get lost in the shuffle. Adjust your attitude and it adjusts your life. Namaste


1.8.19 Mind Of Neal

Mind of Neal – I was asked what my New Year’s resolution was. I resolved not to make a resolution – to not make a firm decision for or against – to not take a stance: but, to instead just move. Movement forward to advance, movement to the side to avoid, movement backward to retrace, learn from, and regroup – Just Move! It’s not black and white, it’s not yes or no, it’s fluid motion of steps on the gray toned stones.


Past Musings

I have been gone too long, but I hope to be back more. Here are some past thoughts. Thanks for still being here. I know it is lengthy.. read a little at a time and I promises I won’t let it get backed up again.

Mind of Neal – One of the definitions of Solstice is- a furthest or culminating point; a turning point. So, in defining Soul-stice it can be perceived as the point in your life that your soul reaches its peak, the point of maturity, where everything makes sense and ceases to matter simultaneously as only thoughts of fulfillment fill your soul. Namaste!

Mind of Neal – You ever hear someone say when talking about a change that things made a  360? And you’re sitting there thinking…Well, honey that means you are right back where you started? You know they meant that things really turned around 180 degrees, but 360 sounds so much better! A 180 is much more difficult seeing that it is the opposite direction to what it is going on. The up to down. The left to the right. The forward to the backward. The positive to the negative. The burp to the fart…(crickets). But back to what I was saying, making a 180 is hard to commit to because it is the stopping to what has started or vice versa, the starting to what has been stagnant or frozen. At this point in time, I think I can commit to making a total of 36 slow 5 degree turns to the changes I want to make. Who’s with me?

Mind of Neal – Adulthood is overrated! Last night, during the interim between laying my head on the pillow and actually falling asleep… I delved into the question of Why Was I So Ready To Grow Up? For those of you who fall asleep 5 secs after lying down, I hate you and I hope you die a slow death (just kidding)! Anyway, I digress….The period of adulthood is really on a spectrum from Novice (What am I doing here?)  Wizened Old Fool (I could teach others!) Somedays, actually who am I kidding, most days I feel like a novice! Today is one of those days!

Mind of Neal – My mind has been quiet. It is on a hiatus. Is that a sign of good or bad? You never know with me…It could be the calm before the storm or maybe its just my turn to coast down the lazy river of thoughts. Either way, I’ll find my way. I always do. Namaste!

Mind of Neal – Last night, after all was said and done…kids fed and ready for bed, work-out completed, and my shower over, I sat down on the floor with the plan to do something with my hair. Eden decided on this evening to be attached to my hip. Her face had been pressed up against the clear shower curtain, she bounced on the bed as I lotioned, and she followed on my heels to the living room to my spot on the floor. Before I could get started with the task of my hair, she took the comb and started “playing” in it. All of a sudden that pleasant, tingly feeling of peace washed over me as her small hands manipulated the comb through my hair and she methodically and unknowingly brought me unexpected peace! I let her stay and play for as long as she wanted even when she tangled it or hit a couple of snags because in those few minutes, all was right with the world. She got a piece of me and she had unselfishly given me a piece of her. Namaste!

Mind of Neal – Being sick may make my body rest; but, not my mind… So I have dissected the words of a coworker, “What is understood, does not have to be explained.” Hmmm? But understood by who? You or the other person and how could the other person understand if it has never been explained. Is it understanding or is it just acceptance? So, then the inverse is true – what is misunderstood is unexplained or unexplainable? (Sigh), I don’t want to be sick again….Namaste

 Mind of Neal – If and when had a baby. They named it Someday!

 Mind of Neal – I awoke this morning with  a heart of gladness, thankful for all that is right and faith and hope for what is wrong. To you, I hope to pass on this spirit of peace. If even just for a moment…open yourself to it and let it sink into your soul bringing you the energy and strength to make it through whatever – the moment, the situation, the day, etc. Namaste

 Mind of Neal – You, too, are priceless! Take your tags off, yall! Big Up yourselves today!

 Mind of Neal – Good morning Day. I am ready and rested for you. Yesterday, I wasn’t so sure I looked forward to waking up to you this early, but here I did and I feel good. Who knows what you may bring, but it doesn’t matter. I made it through scores of other days – good and bad, and I will make it through you to. However, I hope you will be kind to me today as I have a lot on my plate and a lot on my schedule. When I opened my eyes to greet you, I smiled and said to myself, “ I wonder what new wonderful surprises, great friends, and awesome things you have in store for me today?” Regardless, Day…..I’m ready! Bring it on!

Mind of Neal – Natural Pearls form when an irritant – usually a parasite and not the proverbial grain of sand – works its way into an oyster, mussel, or clam. As a defense mechanism, a fluid is used to coat the irritant. Layer upon layer of this coating, called ‘nacre’, is deposited until a lustrous pearl is formed.

Soooo…it stands to reason that each of us can also become pearls against our “parasites or irritants” if we emply the proper defense mechanisms. With every coat of positive attitudes, self-affirmations, believe in ourselves and our abilities and deflection of negativity, layer upon layer, our luster will be polished and shined. And we too will be valuable! Let the Pearl-Process begin!

Mind of Neal – Someday… is now today, In the future… has become the present, when I grow up actually was yesterday! I need my SUV to become the Back to the Future DeLorean, ahora!

Mind of Neal – Decide to be happy and everything else will fall into place!

Mind of Neal -O Happy Day – I woke up this morning feeling good and feeling fine. Praising and thankful that no worries were on my mind.

My daughter called with happy tears because on the varsity team of soccer she had made in her 14 years.

My niece, God Bless her, entered in my space with a medium hazelnut coffee that I immediately brought to my face.

O Happy Day, O Day of Joy. I look forward to rest that this day has in store

Mind of Neal – One of my favorite movies is The Fifth Element starring Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich. In it is discovered that in addition to the 4 essential elements…love is the 5th element needed for all to thrive. Be the 5th element for yourself. Give the 5th element to others. Embody the 5th element for all to see. You never know whose void you are filling. Namaste

Mind of Neal – I bet some you clicked on this with ideas that I was talking about shopping at an outlet mall. Well…fooled ya! As I was waiting for my breakfast to warm in the microwave, my unfocused pan of the room with my eyes stopped on an open outlet. As educators, we are always in need of an open outlet to plug something in we need to help us through the day. So excuse me if for a moment I felt a little thrill at seeing one. Don’t judge me! Anyway….my mind then segued into the purpose of the outlet – to provide energy to something so that it could function properly. No outlet, no energy, it’s that simple. Should be; however, when juxtaposing that concept onto our lives, how many have outlets that provide us energy in order to function?? Ahhhhh!! You liked that hunh? We got so wrapped up in going and doing we forget to plug into an outlet to replenish ourselves and reenergize. Soooo, I encourage you  and challenge you to do some outlet shopping over the holiday break. I plan to walk, read, and yes- SHOP! Namaste to all.

Mind of Neal…

Twas the day before break

And all through the schools

The staff and the students

Were trying to keep their cool

Exams were being taken

With hopes high for the results

Because getting a bad grade

Would just really suck

Payday is finally here

To buy the last of the gifts

Accounts were checked

And some people were crossed off the list

Minds were a scurrying

As people shopped in their minds

Its now to0 late

to buy anything online

Happy holidays were wished

to coworkers alike

Even those who get on your nerves

were also hugged tight

There would be no referrals

no meetings to attend

no PLC’s, no lesson plans

for two weeks on end

Happy and joyous staff and students were

As they passed through the halls

Looking forward to a holiday break

Most deserved by all.


Happy holidays to you from me!

Mind of Neal- I couldn’t sleep, so my mind took over and I thought about this new year. I vowed not to make resolutions, but I resolved to make a better me.

With each passing day….

  • I plan to criticize myself less and love and forgive myself more.
  • I will enjoy the little nuances instead of just waiting for the big excitements.
  • I will work smarter.
  • I plan to look ahead and not behind.

Mind of Neal – Circle of Life -One day during my hustle and bustle travel from one destination to the next, I looked over into the car next to me at the red light and saw an elderly woman sitting in the passenger’s seat and what I assumed to be her son driving. She was a cute little woman, thin with a cap on her head and to my surprise and delight, she took a sip from her pink sippy cup. You know the same ones toddlers use to transition to the big kid cups. I thought to myself “ How functional and resourceful her family was to use this for her!” She was happy, there were no spills and and I am sure she was happy to continue doing even this small thing by herself without another’s assistance. I loved it.

 Mind of Neal – Tickle me Elmo -If you are unfortunate enough to know me (JK), you know I am pretty much always smiling and can find humor in most anything (appropriate and inappropriate). So, my charge today is to share with you the benefits of humor and laughing. Remember…When you laugh the whole world is laughing with you! Unless they are laughing at you, then you probably need to check your fly. Just Saying. Namaste

Mind of Neal – How many of you remember the game Perfection. The object of the game is to get all the shape pieces in the right place before the board springs up and pops them all out when the time expires and scares the beejeesus out of you. In life, how likely is it that you will be able to put all the pieces in place before time runs out? Perfection is not likely at all! So instead, do what you can-the best you can-with what you have and don’t let life scare the beejeesus out of you for not being perfect. Namaste

Mind of Neal – A ray starts at one point and goes in one direction. A line can go backwards and forwards. Be a ray in go in the right direction!  Hindsight is necessary to learn from our mistakes and to appreciate how far we have come. A present mind is needed for our day-to-day, conscious functioning of being the best we can be. Foresight allows us to form and frame the picture of ourselves we hope and aspire to be.  I’m not what I used to be, but I am not yet what I hope to become!

Mind of Neal – Make your weak-end into a better weekend. The hours may make you cross. The days may make you tired. But rejoice that you made it through! Yes, YOU. You did it! Now go and enjoy yourself. Namaste…

Mind of Neal – Another day, another breath, another chance to make a difference. And you did, rather you realize it or not. Your presence, your words, your patience, your smile made a difference for someone this week. Be blessedly assured that your purpose is defined! Namaste, my friends….

Mind of Neal – What’s your “–ing?” What’s your thing? How do you swing? Let it ring? Those of you who know me, know I am a practicing Dr. Seuss! Anywhooo… back to the subject. What is your ing? We are sometimes too aware of our “nots” and “don’ts” to the point where it inhibits our “dos” and “cans.” Spend more time thinking about what you enjoy doing and do it more. My “–ings” are; singing, dancing, praying, laughing, loving, hugging, reading, writing. Every, and I do mean every, chance I get I indulge in them. By no means is this an exhausted list. These are the top contenders! Bring your “ing” forward into your life or develop an “ing” that brings you joy! – Namaste… (Welcome to the list new people)

Mind of Neal – What’s in your pocket? It was Mae West that said, ‘Is that a gun in your pocket? Or, are you just glad to see me?” Either way…it was a little something extra! Pockets hold our treasures, our secrets, things we want protected from getting lost or being seen out in the open. However, sometimes we keep things hidden in our “pockets” that could be useful to ourselves or others. If we open up, turn our pockets out – we fear being vulnerable and transparent; however, it could also be a release, a freeing, and you never know …the common thread you share with someone that could be the foundation of a budding relationship. Check your pockets – see if there is anything in there you can wear around your neck instead.

Mind of Neal – Fowarding to you this fascinating flavor to further your favor of Friday. Not being facetious or false; fore, if you were able to forage through the fray and fathom the fatigue you felt, you were fated to have a fabulous finale. So, if you are feeling me say with freedom of full voice, “EFF U FRIDAY!”

Mind of Neal – I refuse to allow anyone and anything get in the way of my calling. My calling is to serve people, to support them and help them to be the best they can be. When I encounter a barrier that I can’t break through, can’t go over, under, or around; I will devise another plan another route or just be patient and be still until the barrier itself wants to stop being so obstinate. Never give up, never stop! Namaste

Mind of Neal – Scurrying through our hectic lives, we sometimes pick up tidbits of wisdom that are valuable not only to ourselves, but can be valuable and useful for others. So the message I am passing on today is STRESS is MAN MADE! It is a combination of fear, anger, and frustration which are innate emotions; however, when those emotions are not dealt with appropriately, they becomes stress. So what do you do? You change the stress story. The story that you have in your head that says, “I can’t…, There isn’t…. I must…. He/she didn’t…..!” Change it to a positive of what you do have and what you can do. Changing your story, changes your emotions, which then changes your behavior and ultimately the consequences of the situation, which will then allow for a new story to emerge and the cycle to continue with another new story. Our thoughts, influences our emotions, which thereby influences our behavior. So be aware of the tale you are telling yourself! Namaste…








to walk with long, decisive steps in a specified direction or a step or stage in progress toward an aim. As I reflected on my day last night, I thought about the little exercise I had gotten. I walked for a mile at a nice stride – not too quickly or slowly, fast enough to get my heart racing, but slow enough to take in my surroundings. If I fell, I wouldn’t hurt myself to badly. I could get up and brush myself off. But I had a purpose, a goal, an endpoint in sight. I compared my stride in walk to my stride in life. I am going along with decisive steps, making progress toward a goal – to live the best life I can with what I have. I may stumble, but I can get back up.; However I refuse to stop! Here’s to your stride…

Forever Friends

Already I miss you…

I pick up the phone to call you, to tell you something, to share something with you, sometimes just to see how you were doing. Often you would be busy, but you eventually you would get back to me, calling me the name meant just for me. My last attempt at contact with you will now forever be unanswered because you are no longer there. I wasn’t ready…It was too soon…! You had just shared words of hope with me and I jumped on board on that road of encouragement from second opinions; but no, the first doctor was right of which we now have overwhelming evidence.

I thank you my friend for the season we shared – our laughs, our thoughts, our joys, our sorrows. I know, you know, we know what each was to the other and for that I am forever thankful. My dear friend, I am glad you are not in any more pain as you have underwent the most ultimate of healings through His will.

I just wanted to tell you that I missed you…


What is it? Is it good or bad to be strong. Right now, I am not so sure. Normally, I would think of myself with great strength in all areas as would others of me. But there are times when I don’t feel so strong and need the comfort of others and they just don’t see it because they don’t expect me to need it. I do, I really do. I need to be checked on and not be the checker, I need others to look at me and say your mouth may say one thing, but I know you aren’t fine. I need to know it is ok to have weak moments and not have to be strong and that there will be people receptive to it. I am tired of being told this is what you should do instead of being asked what can I do for you or by golly, novel idea, someone just doing it without having to be asked to. Past messages I have received is that it is not ok to show vulnerability, but … Yeah, I’m venting and through venting I will find my strength again. Namaste

The Earl


The Earl

A short story

I was first introduced to The Earl during grad school. We shared a mutual friend. He would show up sometimes when we had weekend classes to keep her company. Our interactions were brief and fleeting; yet, for me unforgettable. He had a long-lasting effect and smelled sooo good!

Not long after that, I ran into The Earl at the grocery store. I flirted with the idea of becoming more acquainted with him and before I could change my mind I jumped right in. We shared many a night and some mornings, too. The Earl and I. Me and The Earl. He made me feel so good, so comforted.

 I took a chance, a wild chance now that I look back on it, and introduced him to my husband. I explained to him that I wanted to bring The Earl into our lives. He was hesitate at first, and rightly so, as it was a big change for him but he wanted to make me happy. Slowly, he became involved and was soon all in. We had some times, us three! Some nights, as well.

 I soon discovered that my husband and The Earl had their own relationship and I had been left out. Those two had excluded me from what was supposed to be our special thing and now here I was on the outskirts looking in on their special relationship. I did not know how to feel since it was I who had introduced them. So I sat by and let it happen. My relationship with The Earl started to fizzle as there was nothing left of him for me. I turned to others as replacements.

Well, their thing didn’t last long as my husband came to me one day and shared that he couldn’t do it anymore. That he had started feeling bad with The Earl and that he had to end what they had started. I was sad because I never gave up hope that I could once again be included in the group, but oh well. The Earl and I was able to slowly resume our relationship and my husband didn’t mind, but the memories of the three of us would forever live on. Too much of a good thing can be too much. I now realize Earl Grey tea is to be consumed wisely and in moderation as with all things in life! Namaste