Welcome to 2016

The last several days my Timehop has replayed messages from years past where I exclaim to the world that what I just had was the best birthday ever — hands down. It’s surprising. The near dormant snark-a-holic in me still rolls her eyes and says, “They can’t ALL have been that great.” But, you know what? My 40th birthday was SO COMPLETELY GREAT. A big part of the greatness is the endless stream of texts, phone calls and social media posts congratulating me on another ride around the sun. They might say “Happy Birthday” but how my brain interprets is “You are neat!” and “I love you so very much!” or whatever is appropriate depending on the author. Then my heart sends that sweet vibration back to their heart so I get to be loved and give love, even if only in a blink. Those hundreds of blinks add up, though, and this year’s digital birthday was so very blinky. Twinkly, even.

The offline birthday was even more delightful. My kids were home in the morning. I counseled a client later that day then had sushi with a dear friend. Another friend gifted me an evening in the Plaza District where I hugged plenty, kissed many and experienced lotsa merriment. I wore a new dress and a traveling tiara. I laughed and laughed and laughed. It was a fucking great birthday.

So here we are at the Monday after the New Year — the real MVP. It’s when the majority of us go back to work and school. It’s when even the stragglers look at that lingering holiday pie in the fridge, sigh, and realize that it’s long past time to consider pie a proper breakfast. Some make resolutions, others make goals. The bristly non-conformists roll their eyes and denounce all of the above but I have to imagine even they clear their throats, straighten their invisible ties and greet the fresh year in their own way.

I’ve made resolutions in years past and they worked. This year I’ve a list of goals to enhance my professional success and keep me who I am in my personal life (but with a whisper of betterment). Sitting here, trying to shift out of the holiday mode and into the solid path of 2016, I know what I want more than anything else. What I want is more of in 2016 is that great, twinkly love. I wanna give it, I wanna get it. Let’s do this new year thing, y’all. <3

The worship of women



When I read this Danielle LaPorte Truthbomb in my email this morning I was all, “Hell yes! Worrrrrship meeeeee.” Maybe my instinct said the world needs to take my goddess-like, sexual self into heightened awareness? But after the flash of ego burned off I sat on the edge of my bed, blinking at my phone and thought about worship.

What would the worship of women look like?

Here were my immediate thoughts in no particular order:

  • Heightened awareness of our goddess-like, sexual selves (of course)
  • Pay equality
  • The acknowledgement that a woman’s body is her domain to rule. It is not for any of the following to rule: legislators, spouses, strangers, employers, clergy, partners, or anyone else….period. 
  • Awe and adoration of the gorgeous bodies we all walk around in. You know what’s endlessly fascinating about women? The lanky limbs of the skinny, the soft and pliable wrinkles of the old, billowy curves and bumps of the overweight, itty bitties as well as big ‘ole boobies, piercing eyes, crow’s feet, jiggles, muscles, gray or curly or blue hair, bald heads, freckled or ivory or deep brown or mottled or flawless or tattooed skin, chubby or hairy or claw-lookin’ toes, or any of the million variations of what a woman is and can be. All of it is precious and fascinating and all of it deserves the world’s worship.
  • Respect in the mirror, every time. 

I’m hereby assigning this worship to all the humans, regardless of sex. Enjoy your homework because when the worship is fully underway, there’s gonna be some pretty confident, grounded and loving women roaming the planet. A rising tide lifts all boats and I get giddy at the thought of three generations of worshiped women living on the planet at the same time. Or five. Let’s max this out. 

So here’s my question: What would the worship of women look like to you?


Interchange Weekend 1

A few months ago I announced my plans to join a school and was too timid to even name the school for fear someone would look it up, judge me up one side and down the other, then burst my bubble that the school was a fly-by-night scam and that I was an idiot. Then I quit worrying about what people would think and asked the Internet for FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS.

The Internet gave me $5,150. Someone must’ve told the Internet my Sammy vs. Dave beliefs

And last weekend I started that school: Interchange Counseling Institute



Later tonight (I started this post on Thursday night) I will trade practice sessions with a classmate, which sounded daunting until late Sunday afternoon came around. 

At the end of the first training weekend I felt a bit overwhelmed and under skilled. So many of my classmates are currently counselors or have extensive experience in talking with people on a personal level. I couldn’t give myself the credit I needed of being perfectly apt at carrying a classmate through a conversation for 30 minutes. I was overthinking it, like I do. And my ‘not good enough’ were having a raging good time up there in my head. 

Fortunately, fate paired me off with a gifted counselor who cleared me out of my own way. I grasped a sliver of confidence like a relay baton and took my turn as counselor. What happened in the next 30 minutes was personally astonishing. Of course I won’t share any details about our talk but there was this moment where things clicked inside. I was all the way with this wonderful human and I heard a clue. I took a risk and asked a question. I hit pay dirt. My client had an immediate, visceral, positive reaction and I physically felt the bullseye in my own body.

I COUNSELED SOMEONE. I didn’t give advice, I didn’t pat their head and say ‘There, there…it’ll all be ok”. I took all the pieces given to me, looked at them closely and snapped them together. Then handed them back and said, “Look. There’s that thing you’re looking for. It’s right here.” Or something. I’m sort of terrible at analogies. 

That was the biggest moment, knowing that I was a counselor. There were plenty of other cool observances and happenings. So many. And I didn’t live tweet it, either. In fact, I mostly left my phone with my stuff on the side of the room — ignored for hours on end. At one point my son was frustrated I hadn’t answered his first 30 texts that said “Mom”. So he sent 17 more in various form, called 15 times and left 5 voicemails ranging from angry to tearful. But he lived and so did Twitter. (His phone wasn’t charging. That was the big, ironic emergency.)


My classmates range in age from early 20s to, uh, 70ish? Ethnically and socially diverse, soccer moms mixed in with Burning Man regulars. Loud, bright men mixed in with quiet and shy women. And vice versa. All good-hearted. All highly emotionally intelligent. When I realized I was in a room with 150 of ‘my people’ my eyes filled with happy tears. 

The meeting facility is at Ft. Mason and when we look out the window there’s a view of a marina. Beyond that, was the Golden Gate Bridge. Mostly the weekend weather was completely and totally perfect with just enough fog to be charming. 


I uncovered things about myself that surprised me. Did you know that I have some places where I’m closed off and protected? I hope to work on that in a gentle, purposeful way. I also hope to find more places that need light and fresh air. I’m ready to really flourish. 

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