Liver Rescue Book Club

The book Liver Rescue, by Anthony William, released at the end of October. I preordered a copy, as did my mom and sister Linda. What better way to work through the amazing information within this hefty volume, than together.

Tonight we met for the first Liver Rescue Book Club meeting.

Liver Rescue Book Club

Why a Book About the Liver?

This evening we covered the first two chapters of the book. Chapter one is introductory…and eye opening. Why would Anthony devote an entire book to liver health? Because it’s that important.

We are very aware of other organs and systems in the body. Our hearts beat. We draw breath into our lungs. The stomach growls when it’s empty. We think with our brains. Our bladders fill and our intestines rumble. We moisturize our skin or get goosebumps when something extraordinary happens.

Our livers though? We don’t give them a thought…until we are far gone in a catastrophic illness such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or liver cancer. And yet the liver works incredible hard on our behalf, to keep the body functioning.

Anthony goes so far as to suggest that our livers are our best friends. It’s time, my mom, sister and I decided, to get to know this mysterious organ and do all we can to keep it healthy and happy, as many other ailments and illness are connected to liver health.

Liver Rescue Book Club

Liver Rescue Book Club

Our first meeting was a success. Mom prepared a delicious plant based meal that we shared with stepdad Walter. I’ll provide dinner next Tuesday. Linda will feed us the week after that.

The table cleared after dinner, the three of us opened our books and discussed the first two chapters.

Chapter Two explores the connection between liver health and the pancreas. A diet high in fat wreaks havoc on the liver, which then has a negative impact on the pancreas. Linda and I are very aware of pancreatic distress. We lost our father eight years ago to pancreatic cancer. This terminal cancer is on the rise. I know many, many people who have succumbed to this horrible disease. I want to do all I can to keep my liver and pancreas working well.

We talked about various sections in the first two chapters. And we expressed genuine gratitude for how miraculous the human body is. To encourage each other and keep us on track, we set a goal for next week. Each of us will keep a food journal over the next seven days, recording everything we eat. It’s possible, even on a plant based diet, to consume too much fat. Writing down what we eat raises awareness and allows us to see where problem areas might lurk.

I appreciate my mother and sister, for their willingness to improve their health and walk with me on this journey. Being the best we can be doesn’t have to be difficult. We intend to link arms and do this together…and have fun while we befriend our livers.

Liver Rescue Book Club

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Surrender 103: Letting Our Lights Shine

Tonight was Book Club Night, which currently might more properly be called the Non-Book Club. We are in between books, and using our time together to explore a variety of topics. The beautiful thing is, as we take turns hosting an evening and leading the discussion, we are getting to know each other at deeper levels. And we get to shine, as our authentic selves. 

Cate asked each of us to bring a poem, a song or a quote to share this evening. 

I led off with Mid Life Woman, by David Whyte, from his book, The Sea in You. This poem touches me deeply as it creates a picture of a woman in her middle years. The opening lines are:

“Mid life woman

you are not

invisible to me.

I seem to see

beneath your face

all the women

you have ever been.”

Although the voice in the poem belongs to a man who has matured into one who can see into the heart and life of the mid life woman, when I read this poem I am invited to see and love myself at such an astonishing level. 

Check out the poetry of David Whyte here, or on his Facebook page. 


Margit shared a powerful quote from Marianne Williamson, that begins:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” 

The line that states,”Your playing small does not serve the world” led Margit to share about her own journey of finding her voice and speaking her truth. Margit now does this with joy and confidence and it was inspiring to hear more of her story. 


Cindy shared the poignant poem The Mask, author unknown.  It begins…
“Always a mask

Held in the slim hand whitely

Always she had a mask before her face”

…and ends in a startling way, a cautionary tale, as Cate called it, of what happens when we hide too long behind a mask. 

Cindy led us in discussing why we choose to hide who we are, and the impact that hiding has on our lives. 

Kathleen totally surprised us, by sharing a story that she wrote more than 30 years ago. She read it aloud for the first time, this story that very few people know about. 

What courage she displayed, in so revealing her heart. What a precious gift to our little group. We were moved by her wisdom and vulnerability, and by her beautifully crafted words. We were genuine in our approval. We are gently encouraging this dear woman to publish her story so that it may be a gift to the world. 


Cate closed our time together by sharing snippets from three of her favorite songs. She spoke of her journey and how the lyrics from these songs have touched her life. Messages are all around us, given to us to inspire and guide and reassure. Music is one of the ways in which these divine love notes arrive. 

Cate delighted us with a surprise as well. Fanning out sealed envelopes, she instructed us to select the one we were drawn to. I love activities like this. I truly believe we receive what is intended for us. 


Within the envelopes were gorgeous bookmarks that this creative woman had made. The bookmark I selected (pictured below) was absolutely the right one for me, as were the others for the ladies of the Book Club. Karen was not able to join us this evening, but Cate had a bookmark for her too, and we paused to send our missing friend love and healing energy. 

I so value the roles these women play in my life. Tonight I felt we laid bare our souls, speaking with authentic voices. Marianne Williamson writes, near the end of the quote that Margit shared, 
“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” 

That’s what we are doing with each other, being who we are, and giving permission to one another to do the same. There were bright lights shining in the room tonight. 


Journey 279: The Track of Love

This evening was Book Club night. I missed the last meeting, when we began our new book, Mastery of Love, by Don Miguel Ruiz. Having read chapters 3 and 4, I was ready to get caught up with the group and I anticipated the conversations we would have. I was not disappointed. 


Chapter 3 is titled “The Man Who Didn’t Believe in Love”. It tells the story of a man who, having been disappointed by his relationships, travels the country telling everyone that he doesn’t believe in love, and they shouldn’t either. He explains “What humans call ‘love’ is nothing but a fear relationship based on control.” And then he meets a woman who has been hurt and disappointed as well, and who also does not believe in love. 

The two, having so much in common, become great friends and a wonderful relationship grows between them. Neither looks to the other for love, but shares openly and deeply with each other, without attachment or expectation. They realize that what they have is a profound love for each other, even though both look to themselves for their own happiness. The man, full of joy and overflowing with love, draws a star from heaven, into his humble hands. His soul expands and he is struck by the beauty of this star, which seems to have merged with his very soul. 

Wanting to share this amazing experience, he goes to the woman and places the star in her hands. Overwhelmed with the intensity of the love, she wavers and allows doubt to enter. The star shatters into a million tiny pieces. The man, disillusioned again, walks the earth, no longer believing in love, while the woman regrets her doubt and longs for the man to return. What happened? The man was happy, the woman was happy, each enjoying the love radiating from his and her own heart, until he placed his happiness into her hands. 

The lesson from this rather sad story? We are each responsible for our own happiness. The moment I place my happiness in someone else’s hands, it can be broken or lost. I am responsible for my own happiness, and only my happiness. 

Chapter 4 is called The Track of Love, The Track of Fear. What a great chapter on the contrast of operating out of fear versus out of love. Fear is full of obligations. Love has none. Fear operates out of “have to”. Love operates from “want to”. Love has no expectations. Fear is full of them. Love is based on respect while fear has none. Love has compassion. Fear is full of pity. Love is completely responsible. Fear avoids responsibility. Love is always kind. Fear is unkind. Love is unconditional. Fear is full of conditions. 

Most of us spend our lives operating out of fear. Fear seeks to control, so that outcomes are controlled. We get upset when ultimately, we realize that there is very little, outside of ourselves, that we can control. Fear says, “I love you if you let me control you, if you are good to me, if you fit into the image I make for you.” 

Love has no ifs, no condition. Love says, “There is no if; there are no conditions. I love you for no reason, with no justification. I love you the way you are, and you are free to be the way you are.” How amazing life would be, with that kind of love expressed toward one another. 

We had an amazing conversation around these concepts. Pulling a fragment of a sentence from chapter 4, “…when we are afraid, we lie…”, we discussed whether we are lying when we are hiding our true selves, when we fear loss or punishment or rejection will come if we live as the women that we really are. I appreciate the honesty and insights that each woman in our book club offered. We are each seeking to live authentically, as the person we are created to be, regardless of what anyone else thinks, regardless of the expectations of others. That’s living from love, offering love, and detaching from the outcome. We are choosing the track of love, over the track of fear. Ruiz writes, “The only way to master love is to practice love. You don’t need to justify your love, you don’t need to explain your love; you just need to practice your love. Practice creates the master.” We are becoming masters. 



Journey 237: What Happens in Book Club, Stays in Book Club

This evening the wonderful book club that I participate in finished our latest book. We first met late last fall, the six of us, and during this journey together, meeting every three weeks or so, we’ve completed two books. 


As we read through Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now, we not only learned together but learned about each other. It was a trial time, of settling in to walk together, keeping pace with each other and building trust so that sharing could take place freely.  That happened beautifully. 

What I love about our book club is that we all have different backgrounds, different types of families, and even different first languages! We think our own thoughts, grew up with our unique sets of beliefs, have faced and walked through our own challenges.  We bring that rich variety of differing perspectives freely and openly to the group, and share, united in our desire to learn and grow and journey well. There is no judgment, no condemnation, no correction. Just curiosity and love and encouragement. 

We finished The Untethered Soul with interesting and thoughtful discussions around the last two chapters. This has been a life-changing book for me and it was a joy to read through it again, in the company of such an amazing group of women. I deeply appreciate each person’s input, questions, and honest stories of journeying through life, with the desire to free the heart and soul. How powerful it is to travel together. 

We selected our next book, The Mastery of Love, by Don Miguel Ruiz. I have read other books by this author but not this one. I look forward to reading it and to the continuing journey with these dear souls. 

I pulled a quote out of our upcoming book: “The quality of your communication depends on whether you tune your emotional body to love or to fear. If you know what love is and what fear is, you become aware of the way you communicate your dream to others, and you can choose to communicate with love.” I look forward to the next few months, as we communicate our dreams to each other. 


Journey 97: Secrets of the Heart

untethered soul heart open

It was Book Club night again! How I appreciate this wonderful group of ladies who are willing to share and look within their souls, ask questions and grow. We covered chapters 6 and 7 this evening, titled “The Secrets of the Spiritual Heart” and “Transcending the Tendency to Close”.

Although the entire book is life changing, I love these two chapters especially, as they reveal the phenomenal power that the heart has to open and stay in a place of love and growth….or close and allow energy to become blocked, creating problems in life. I had time to re-read chapter 6, in preparation for the club meeting. And as I drove around town showing property I listened to chapter 7 on Audible, on my phone. It is amazing the difference in reading the words myself, and hearing the words read. Different truths and “ahas” stand out when I am listening, so much so that I often believe the audio edition has words included that are not in the book. I’ve checked many times….the book and the recording are identical.

Reading The Secrets of the Spiritual Heart opens my heart even more with each pass through the chapter. Michael Singer shares that the heart “is one of the most beautiful and powerful energy centers, and one that affects our daily lives. An energy center is an area within your being through which your energy focuses, distributes and flows. The heart controls the energy flow by opening and closing.”

My heart is open and energy is flowing easily and readily when I am experiencing love and being present in the moment. When something happens, for example, someone says something to me that I dislike, my heart closes, and the flow of love stops. My initial reaction is that I no longer like that person, at least, in that moment. The truth is, all through our lives, from our babyhood on, we have been experiencing situations that hurt us and cause us to close our hearts, over and over again. That energy doesn’t go away though. It gets stuck, in the region of the heart, and because energy must move, it circles around and around. We can push that looping energy away, to the back of our awareness, and there is stays….until something triggers that old hurt, that old fear, that old energy. Then the old but still very real energy, which tries to pass through the heart energy center again, is felt and experienced, creating the same emotions that the original hurt or fear caused. Until that energy is at last released, let go, it will continue to be felt anytime a similar experience triggers it.

One only has to be out and about in Joplin, when the tornado sirens sound, to immediately see this truth in action. That energy of fear that occurred as a result of the 2011 tornado gets triggered by the sound of the sirens wailing. The fear stirs and people react, big time. That has been true for me as well. I am still working through those layers of energy, releasing the fear, allowing it to pass through, each time the sirens sound or a severe weather alert appears on the tv. Currently, I experience a mild anxiety, felt more as restlessness, whenever the weather gets severe. I hope to eventually react in an alert, yet calm way, without fear, without anxiety, without that “flight or fight” surge of adrenaline.

Transcending the Tendency to Close is a wonderful chapter that teaches exactly what the title says….moving past, growing past, the tendency to close at all. Two experiences cause the heart to close: resisting and pushing energies away because we are bothered by them, or clinging to energies and keeping them close because they make us feel good. In both cases, we aren’t allowing the energy to pass through and we are wasting precious energy by blocking the flow, rather than just enjoying life.

Closing down is a way of trying to protect the heart from further hurt, further fear. The problem is, if the heart is closed down, all energy has a difficult time getting in or out. Closed is closed. Our joy is limited even as our pain is limited or confined. Singer points out that to be closed is to stop growing. He shares, “Once you close, you have to make sure that what you protected doesn’t get disturbed. You then carry this task for the rest of your life. The alternative…is to give yourself the ultimate gift by deciding not to do that anymore.”

I gift myself by watching what causes me to want to close….and stopping myself from doing that by relaxing and opening my shoulders and heart area and letting the energy pass through. And by being aware of what triggers old energy. I admit handling the triggers is much more difficult. I tend to want to react, and wallow in the old energy, the old hurt…rather than allow the energy to be felt, to be experienced again and then allow it to pass through. I am learning. And trust me, life brings plenty of opportunities for learning and growing, opening and releasing.

Michael Singer says, “The reward for not protecting the psyche is liberation. You are free to walk through this world without a problem on your mind. You are just having fun, experiencing what happens next.” Imagine, not allowing anything to cause a closure of the heart, a restriction of energy. That is what I desire, to stay open, and never close. To allow love and joy to flow through me, filling up and lighting up my heart, and then flowing out to touch those around me….without ceasing. That is experiencing life…and finding freedom, indeed.
untethered soul pic

Journey 83: Continual Joy

journey of joy

My journey today was a string of events that didn’t necessarily have any connection to each other. I found it difficult to narrow in on one aspect of this Tuesday, and stepping back, saw that my journey today might resemble the humorous Family Circus cartoon, where one of the kids’ journey throughout the day is depicted by a wandering path of dashes. Individually, each small journey was a dellight. Combined, the day’s journey was raised to a level of deep and abiding joy.

I started the journey with lunches with Joey and Oliver, at their school. This was my second visit and I knew the routine….where to check in, where the cafeteria was, where to sit to best watch for the boys. I enjoy these 30 minute breaks with the grandkids. It is a time of chatting and laughing as they eat, surrounded by a constantly shifting sea of kids. I find the setting cheerful and the experience entertaining as the school principal, wearing a mic, keeps up a steady interaction with the kids. Today was song day and I heard the song “Happy” twice and “Brave” once. The children sang with gusto. I was intrigued by “Brave”, sung by Sara Bareilles, and listened to the video on YouTube several times throughout the afternoon. What a great song about speaking up and bravely living your truth. Joey and Oliver were wonderful conversationalists and lunch companions and I left with a smile on my face and love in my heart.

journey of joy Oliver

journey of joy Joey

A quick impromptu lunch followed for me, which a friend ended up paying for. Both were unexpected and enjoyed. Next stop, the purchase of the DVD The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, released today and highly anticipated by me. I look forward to a thoughtful viewing of this film at home, where I can stop and rewind any scene that calls to me, and freely express the emotion that wells up during this final Middle Earth film.

journey of joy The Hobbit

Picking up granddaughter Aubrey from school, we met grandson Dayan at his home. With snacks nearby and a Dr. Who episode playing on the TV, we spread out art materials and began work on mail art postcards that will travel to Austria. The theme of this project is “turquoise”. Dayan had the brilliant idea of photocopying monuments and buildings in cities around the world, with the colors turquoise and blue predominant in the pics, and using those to cut out the letters to spell turquoise. For example, the Scott Monument in Edinburgh, Scotland became the E. This is a perfect fit for his interests. My piece will reflect my journey this year and incorporate the open door symbol. I’ll use turquoise and black paint and a variety of textures. Aubrey decided to make a postcard too, entering into the experience wholeheartedly, creating a sea of turquoise and adding the word turquoise above it. She was introduced to Dr. Who this afternoon and loved the episode that we watched, titled The Girl in the Fireplace. I enjoyed the time spent with my eldest and youngest grandchildren, appreciative of how patient Dayan is with his little cousin as he explains things to her. He showed her where various countries are located on his big wall map in his room. Aubrey is a quick learner and asked him great questions.

Journey of joy mail art

To cap off the day, I met with my book club group. I so appreciate this enlightened and authentic group of women. Each of us is on a journey of growth, not seeking answers so much as seeking life and the freedom to enjoy it deeply. We are reading our way through The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer. The chapters on Who Are You?, The Lucid Self and Infinite Energy sparked interesting and soulful conversations and honest and open sharing of our unfolding journeys.

Interspersed with the highlights of the day were calls and texts with family, clients, lenders and friends. It was an ordinary day, made extraordinary by the connections with others and the living of life. Awareness brings gratitude for each moment and the desire to fully engage in that moment, offering out of a full heart, receiving graciously from the bounty and goodness of others. It was an incredibly joyful day, measured in steps and smiles, heartbeats and hugs….my favorite kind of day.

journey of joy untethered soul

Journey 34: The Untethered Soul

Untethered Soul

The book club I am part of started a new book this evening, The Untethered Soul, by Michael A. Singer. I am thrilled about this opportunity to read through the book again, and discuss it with the thoughtful and lively ladies who participate in the club.

The Untethered Soul is one of the books that shifted my life dramatically a couple of years ago, when I read it for the first time. The description of the book, from the back cover, states:

What would it be like to be free from limitations and soar beyond your boundaries? What can you do each day to find this kind of inner peace and freedom? The Untethered Soul offers a simple, profoundly intuitive answer to these questions. Whether this is your first exploration of inner space or you’ve devoted your life to the inward journey, this book will transform your relationship with yourself and the world around you.

The Untethered Soul begins by walking you through your relationship with your thoughts and emotions, helping you uncover the source and fluctuations of your inner energy. It then delves into what you can do to free yourself from the habitual thoughts, emotions, and energy patterns that limit your consciousness. Finally, with perfect clarity, this book opens the door to a life lived in the freedom of your innermost being. (I highlighted the two words that are so important to me this year!)

Those paragraphs certainly intrigued me two years ago. I was ready to be free from limitations, ready to move beyond my boundaries. I knew the journey I most needed to take first was an inner one, and that can be a scary road to travel, alone. Michael A. Singer was my traveling companion on this important trek. His chapters on energy are some of the best I’ve ever read. Suddenly, so many things clicked into place and made sense. Such as why certain things trigger a reaction from me. Why I used to protect my heart area, or chakra, so much, even sitting with a pillow on my lap to make me feel more secure. As I moved purposefully through this book, old energy that had long been trapped in the region of my heart came to the surface, painfully sometimes, and I was able to set it free. It is a continuing process, this untethering.

My word last year, Beyond, first came into my awareness as I read this book. There is a whole section of the book on moving beyond, which became the name of my blog about my own journey of moving beyond my limitations and my comfort zone. It was with great anticipation that I delved back into the first two chapters, in preparation for the book club meeting tonight. Michael first focuses attention on the thoughts and dialogues that are constantly circling in the mind. It was good for me to be reminded that I am not my thoughts and that the mind seeks always to control and to keep safe, at the cost of freedom, peace and joy. It will be wonderful to slowly read through this fascinating book again and see where I have grown since my last reading. Already, a couple of things stood out.

One came to my attention this evening, as I was looking at the cover of the book before our meeting started. The subtitle of the book is the journey beyond yourself. I realized that last year’s word beyond and this year’s word journey are right there, together. Interesting! I had to get beyond my fears and limitations, my comfort zone and safe spaces, before I could really journey this year, in a way that is unencumbered. Then, as we discussed chapter one this evening, I suddenly saw these sentences about awareness: The one inside who is aware that you are always talking to yourself about yourself is always silent. [Realization] is a doorway to the depths of your being. To be aware that you are watching the voice talk is to stand on the threshold of a fantastic inner journey.

There they were, my keys words for this year….journey….doorway…and the amazing visual of standing on the threshold. I choose to pass through that doorway, and step over that threshold. The journey will take me deeper this year, deeper into myself, deeper into the Divine, deeper into life. I am excited to have Michael A. Singer again, as a traveling companion. I am grateful also for the company of the five extraordinary women, all seekers as well, who are sharing in this journey. Oh, the places we will go.

untethered soul crossing the threshold

Day 315: Book Club


What a fun first this evening, for a book lover like me. I was invited by my friend Cate to join a book club. Although I’ve been reading since the age of five, I’ve never participated in an organized book club. The group of ladies is reading through Eckhart Tolle’s best seller, “The Power of Now”.

Tolle offers, in this life shifting book, a path away from the analytical mind and the never satisfied ego, to the power and peace of living fully in the moment…this moment. I read the book several years ago. I read through the first four chapters today, in preparation for joining the group tonight, at their second meeting. Being in a different place in my journey, than I was the last time I read the book, different paragraphs leapt out at me and I had a greater understanding of the concepts.

Book in hand, I met with these lovely ladies, ready to discuss chapters 3 and 4. I only knew Cate, so this was an opportunity to make new friends. After a short time of sitting quietly, allowing our bodies and minds to grow still and our hearts and souls to stir, we spent the next hour and 15 minutes sharing our thoughts and favorite sections from the selected chapters.

I love journeying with others. It is very powerful to travel with like hearted, like minded people. I loved the fresh perspectives that were shared this evening, the enlightening and often humorous stories, the genuine desires to raise awareness and journey well. Each woman brought authenticity and an open heart and mind to the room. I felt honored to be a part of the group.

We will meet every three weeks, sharing insights, asking questions, and bringing experiences to offer to each other, all with the desire to learn and grow and live well. Echkart Tolle says, “Your outer journey may contain a million steps; your inner journey only has one: the step you are taking right now.” I look forward to both…my solitary inward journey, taken one step at a time, and my outer journey, in the company of these dear souls. What an adventure!