New Day

We are as we are for a reason. This is an explanation. It is not an excuse nor a life sentence.

There is always hope.

Face your challenges, ask for help, and know that you are always capable of positive change.


Homemade “tat” or ballpoint? Hmmm…

If I had any inclination toward body art, two initialisms* would be permanently inked on my arm. One day on my morning walk, I mentally spun on something someone said which was not my problem nor any of my business.


NMP/NMB was born on lovely trail along Minnehaha Creek.

Let’s say we have 16 waking hours per day, 112 hours per week. Unless we are meditation masters, our mysterious, creative, beautiful, cruel minds are buzzing every second. We need filters, we need awareness, we need tools to use when the noise overwhelms.

In this crazy age of near-infinite interconnectedness, personal intrusion takes on new significance. The curated minutiae of individual lives crowds social media–vacations, vaccinations, personal milestones, random thoughts, selfies taken here, there, and everywhere. Pop-up ads, celebrity scandals, political machinations, twenty-four news stations intended to suck us in. To the degree we allow it, a non-stop bombardment of sound and images enters our consciousness.

NMP=Not My Problem and NMB=Not My Business. 

I find these little reminders very useful. I may be stewing over something that another person did or said. Maybe a friend or family member tried to drag me into a situation for which I have no time, or in which I have no interest. Definitely NMP! Or I be thinking about choices made by a friend or relative, or a political situation over which I have no influence. Or I find myself judging the lifestyle or political opinions of another. NMB! 

Do you resonate?

We need protection from chaos, cynicism, hatred, dishonesty, judgment, endless problems which can overwhelm us to the degree that we either shut down, find refuge in less-than-healthy coping mechanisms, or fall into the trap of negativity. By setting filters we can tone down the interference, find peace of mind, and become more effective where things are our business or our problem. 

Peace be with you. Please stay in touch.

  • I first typed “acronym” as in NASA, then realized that being unpronounceable, these are initializations. Yep.


Did not do. Did do. Should not have done. Should have done. Could have done. No going back.

Regrets live in our mind as burdensome reminders of perceived failure, manifesting as self-judgement, which may result in ill-health and troubled relationships.

Memory, a mysterious aspect of our being, allows us to savor positive past experiences. The vacation, a delicious meal, the first kiss with a beloved. Memory also serves to torment us with the discomfort of other choices. An impulse purchase, a lie, an episode of unfaithfulness, misplaced anger, violent action. On and on and on.

Those who have experience with 12-Step Programs are familiar with examining regrets and making reparations. In a similar vein, Jewish tradition teaches that when you have knowingly done a wrong to another person, healing comes by directly (if possible) spelling out the wrong you have done, asking for pardon and offering appropriate reparations. If the other refuses to accept your apology, try another time. If refused again, make one more attempt. If refused again, it is considered that you have done your best, and your conscience (karma, to mix religious metaphors) is cleared. If the individual harmed is no longer living or available, find a way to make an appropriate reparation by helping someone else.

In addition to regrets over actions done, we regret that which was undone, such as missed opportunities. My clients have expressed regret over not being more adventurous, not taking more chances, dithering over a decision until it was too late, staying in a life-sapping situation rather than summoning the courage to leave, not taking better care of their health, or not finding ways to deal with problems and stress.

Healing regrets over that which was left undone may take the form of asking for pardon, if the past choice had a harmful impact on another. “Undone” regrets may be healed by simply doing what needs to be done, such as tending to one’s health, or by doing what might be regretted if an opportunity slips by.

In same way that other forms of negative energy are addressed, become aware of your regrets through examination of thoughts, dreams, and reactions. What a burden regrets are! Journal the regrets, examine their origin, and contemplate their healing, whether they center on things done or left undone..

And, as always, ask for help if needed.


Deep within we each have a receptacle of infinite storage capacity. Envision it as made of iron, heavy and growing heavier. From its surface protrude rough spikes. As threatening as this sounds, given the courage to contemplate the contents, inside this cache lies a treasure trove of opportunity to learn and to grow.

In this dark place resentments dwell. Some date back to our earliest childhood memories, while some are as new as our anger at the driver who blew through the pedestrian crosswalk as you stepped into the street with your dog. (This happened to me yesterday.) The cache lies in wait until a similar situation triggers a the memory of a stored resentment, be it a confrontation with your partner, or a bad day at work, or an another encounter with a rude driver.

A negative experience becomes a resentment when we cling to the emotions engendered. Some resentments are big and readily accessed. We may review these over and over incur minds or in conversations with others. “And then there was the time that….” Resentments may be pulled out on special occasions, like a family gathering or an argument with a partner. “You always say/do that!” Other resentments are deeply buried but still can affect our well-being.

How do we feel when we connect with an item from this festering collection? I try never to suggest feelings to others (“You must be feeling…”) but I can tell you what it is like for me–queasiness in the stomach, buzzing in the head, increased respirations, and, perhaps, a welling of tears.

Resentments may result from what is said, what is left unsaid, what is done, what is neglected, perceived injustices, or negative self-comparison with others. Resentment is an emotional response to perceived harm to the self. When I say “perceived harm,” I don’t mean the harm is imaginary. It means that we interpret what happened in a personal, negative fashion.

We, as human beings, share this tendency to store resentments. The unhealed existence of a dark cache impairs us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It is toxic to our own well-being and to our relationships.. In extreme cases it may lead to harming oneself or the one whom we see as having injured us.

What is to be done? Funny you should ask.

Practice thought-awareness  This is the most important aspect of healing resentment. When you begin dwelling on a past injury, or introduce a lingering grudge into a conversation, take note. If you are alone, say aloud, “I am thinking about the time my cousin Sharon called me a dumb ass.” Take note of how you are feeling, physically and emotionally. 

Write the memory down, along with feelings  “In 1992 at my 7th birthday party, my cousin Sharon called me a dumb ass and pushed me after I spilled pink punch on her white shoes. The other kids laughed. I felt embarrassed. Everyone thinks I’m dumb. Sharon is mean. She ruined my birthday party. When I remember this now it makes me feel angry. It wasn’t fair; I didn’t mean to spill my punch on her.

Consider what you can do now to rectify the situation Talking with or writing to Sharon is an option, but you haven’t seen her since your grandmother’s funeral ten years ago and it took awhile to even recognize her (but the resentment memory did crop up ). In this example communicating with the source of the resentment will not be useful.

In responding to resentment, it is important to distinguish rectification from retribution, like giving Sharon an atomic wedgie at grandma’s funeral luncheon. In reality, rectification of a long-held resentment is RARELY helpful, and retribution is never the way to go. If you spoke to Sharon, the likelihood of her remembering that particular incident is slight. Even if she did, her most reasonable response would be, “I was like 10 years old! Get over it.” If the situation is more recent and you have the kind of relationship where honest conversation is a possibility, give it a try, but first give it a think.

Consider why this particular memory is an emotional trigger. You may think this memory is about Sharon but our resentments are ours. What we choose to resent tells us less about the offending party than about ourselves. Sharon did speak rudely. You could have said, “You’re a bigger dumb ass” and run away. You could have offered to have your mom to help her clean off her shoes. You could have explained that it was a total accident. You could have told her that her shoes were ugly anyway. But why choose to perceive this as an injury? That’s the first question.

Over time an examination of our resentments can lead to better relationships, improved self-awareness, and greater peace of mind. Resentments are toxic to our well-being, and may be used to justify poor behavior or lack of responsibility for our actions.

Please stay aware, keep in touch, and let me know if I can be of assistance to you.

**An important caveat. Your Dark Cache may contain memories of experiences which resulted in deep and lasting trauma. In that case, please find a trusted guide to help you navigate and deal with these memories. One technique that some (including me) have found effective in treating the trauma resulting from abuse or violence is EMDR treatment administered by a licensed therapist. Click on this link for more information:

“This is the Best Day of My Life”

A white squirrel licking sap from a tree. Happy day!

A gentleman in his 80th decade walks down the corridor. As we pass he pauses.

“A good afternoon to you,” he says.

“How are you doing today?” I ask, going against my personal vow to avoid trite social questions.

“This the best day of my life,” he responds.

I didn’t ask what made this a grand day. His response could have been either cynical or deeply meaningful. Not knowing the man well enough to probe, I smile and continue on my way.

Ze hayom, a Hebrew phrase meaning “this is the day,” opens Psalm 118:24. What day? Asah Adonai. The day that the Creator has created. So what? Negilah v’nismacha bo. So, we are to rejoice and be glad in it. End of story. Just do it.

Once upon a time, I called my mom, who is no more in this life, to complain, “I am having the worst day ever.”

Her response? “Well, Gail, if this is the worst day ever, then tomorrow has to be a better day. Right?”

But was it the worst day? That have certainly been some dillies since. Did that day, with its unremembered challenges, teach me something important? Are there really “good” days and “bad” days? Who are we to judge?

I am sitting at a desk in Minneapolis, looking out a window as snowflakes pass by on a 45 degree trajectory from the south. A man with a COVID mask hanging from one ear walks by accompanied a high-stepping maple brown poodle. They walk under a leafless ash tree, its twigs swaying in a light breeze. Earlier, on a brisk morning walk (3 degrees F), I watched a pair of hunting coyotes, on the lookout for bunnies or rodents. Then I spotted an albino squirrel on a tree, which despite the presence of my dog, stayed still long enough for me to dig my phone out and take a photo.

This is the day. The only day. This is the moment. The only moment. As I write this, as you read this, the moment is here, then the moment passes. We awake, we sleep, we dream, on and on, the days pass.