Know Your Hot Buttons

May I suggest that the next time someone causes you to feel defensive, you make it a point to observe yourself and what button just got pushed. It can be an eye opener into your own personality and what’s important to you, sometimes very revealing and an opportunity for growth.

The irony is that what we feel we need to defend, ultimately, is only an illusion. No two people see the same thing in any given situation. When people say life is but an illusion, I don’t think they mean there’s nothing actually there, they mean, whatever is there is seen as something different by each observer. Unobservable by others, therefore an illusion. Everyone sees and understands things from their own perspective which is drawn from a very complex back story which is uniquely their own. Evidence of this is in our own personal experiences.

As one of four daughters in my family, I can say for sure that my sisters and I grew up in completely different households, even though we lived at the same address. We reminisce and compare histories and it’s often shocking to me how we saw our childhoods so differently.

Hot button emotional upset fizzles out when we allow for illusion. For example, in an effort to be as honest as possible with my readers, I have to admit that my biggest hot button is my self image. There, I’ve said it (not easy). When someone says something that causes me to recognize that they’re seeing me in a lessor light than I want to be seen, I experience mind numbing humiliation and irritation. How dare that be what they see or heard me say? What’s wrong with them? Can’t they see what I see?

No, they can’t. They can only see what they can observe through their own life experience and knowledge. I’ve spent a lifetime thinking that people were seeing a lot of good things about me because I received a lot of positive feedback. I’m grateful for that. But, the truth is, people were giving me feedback on what they saw, not on what I thought they were seeing. Because the feedback was mostly positive, I thought I was being understood. I wasn’t, I have no idea what they were seeing. I was just living in my illusion. Everyone is living in their own illusions, it’s just life.

So, what is the benefit of observing your HOT BUTTONS? In my case, self observation taught me that my self image is unimportant to anyone but me. A completely useless waste of life’s energy. What is important is how I live my life without needing the approval of others. Just do what I believe is right and good and let the chips (illusions) fall where they may. It has also caused me to be more generous and understanding of others. After all, what I’m observing of their lives is only an illusion of my mind. Not their reality. None of my business.

The great thing is, since it’s all an illusion, we can choose how we live life. We aren’t stuck in anyone else’s illusion!



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Out at Sea

The Great Creator shared these beautiful words with me recently and I want to share them with you, my treasured readers.  That endless stream of creativity, that rises in all of us naturally, loves dropping pearls of wisdom at our feet.  This time, I got it and I’m framing it!  Never to be forgotten.

The quote above came into my mind just as it is, as I awoke one morning, recently.  I recognized something powerful immediately and reached for my pen and notebook so I could get it down before I lost it.  The meaning I derive from it is the most fabulous gift and greatly appreciated.  It will be interpreted in many ways by those who read it and I hope you can apply it to your own life, for I think it’s a Universal message.  A metaphor that can be applied on a micro level to each of us personally or a macro level if looked at with eyes on our troubled and confused world.

For me, it’s confirmation.  The giver of all life knows that I’ve been adrift for a couple of years, waiting for the “Wind” that surely, even at my advanced age, will rise again to catch “Sail” just at the right time, like it always has, and move me then swiftly to another great adventure.  Another project I can sink my teeth into and enjoy the process, the people and opportunities it always brings when the “Wind” is at our backs.

I see the words, “Our sails flirt with the wind”, as a gift to remind me that really good things don’t happen overnight. Sometimes we’re not ready for our next great adventure.  We may need to overcome more challenges so we’re prepared.  To make us stronger.  It takes time for “Shyness” to morph into “Power”.  The caterpillar doesn’t know, as it struggles to spin itself a cocoon, that it is becoming a magnificent butterfly.  Or, perhaps it does, maybe in its natural simplicity it sees the great design more clearly than we complicated humans who are often preoccupied with self-doubt and disbelief.  So anxious to get to our goals.  We think we have control of our lives.

The words remind me that preceding full “Sail” there is always “Shyness” (hesidency, doubt, imbalance, and correction needed to stay on course).  The “Power” of co-creating, surely we don’t create alone, reminds me that there is pure potential in every thought, every inspiration that comes to mind.  It’s a matter of recognizing it, picking it up and loving it into fruition. 

Perhaps, like me, this time you’ve been “Out at sea” a bit longer than you expected.  It’s been worth it, I hope you agree.  Why else?  Can’t wait to get into the unknown and have another great story to share.  Would love to hear yours.  While we wait, there are small things to create everyday.  Like smiles on people’s faces who never expected to be smiled at;)


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Yes! Wonderful, Hollywood brings a message to the public spectacularly, again!! That was my reaction to what I took away from the movie Wonder Woman, until I read what the “critics” had to say. The top five reviews online didn’t even discuss what I saw as the point of the whole movie.

Here’s the disappointment: The movie depicted human suffering that was shown in many subtle and some not so subtle ways. There was blatant brutal killing of innocent human beings by other human beings. Some others were poor and starving slowly, forgotten by the rich, powerful and greedy. Many had scars, visible and invisible. The invisible being every bit as difficult to live with as the visible, and both requiring a loving eye to even notice. Subtle, too, was the reminder that history continues to repeat itself only with bigger and more destructive weapons and our real world is more dangerous now than ever. So clear, though, was the terrible personal pain suffered by people who look different than the majority and are treated often as less than human, hence, sometimes behave in inhuman horrific ways. None of the obvious message was mentioned by the critics. They critiqued the directing, the colors chosen and the actors delivery. They continue to discuss the success of a Comic Book series. That’s great, but nothing about the Value of the writers work.

Wonder Woman, at the end of the movie, is sure that love will heal the world; our real world. The message is simple, we need to feel and show love toward ALL others. She’s right that love will do it, but is awareness and comprehension occurring fast enough to overtake possible destruction before it’s too late? The writer and director have presented us, in an entertaining way, with the responsibility of our age. If most critics didn’t even get the message, I pray the huge viewing audience did. Will we, the people, reach the tipping point with awareness that will save humanity from itself? Will we take it upon ourselves to start seeing with more understanding and loving eyes?

What has this got to do with CAREGIVING? Everything! Another place where we need more love! We don’t take good enough care of our people. We can’t even get a decent healthcare system in this country to take care of the ever increasing number of Seniors, Veterans and the Underserved, let alone everyone else. That’s bigotry and neglect. Those making the decisions have their hands tied, even when they mean well, because voters threaten to kick them out of office if their special interest is threatened. That’s greed. Fifty million special interests. Impossible!

What about human interest- Caring, Compassion, Love, if it’s not too corny? What about responsibility? Do you know what happens to beautiful human hearts when they’re neglected or shunned or allowed to go hungry? Sometimes they grow to be your enemy and their hatred is powerful in numbers.

Maybe critics are just supposed to critique movie making and leave the values to be judged by the individual viewer. If that’s the case, they’ve done their job and, hopefully, more people will see the movie because of the critics opinions about Diana’s great costumes and Steve’s arresting blue eyes. In addition to the important message, the movie is uplifting, inspiring and a love story, too. I thoroughly enjoyed it, I hope you do, too.


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Finding Joy in Your Life

Caregiving has many rewards.  A sense of being needed, the joy of giving to another, rewarding work, responsibility and often a sense of doing something that is beyond what the average person is privileged to participate in during his/her lifetime. Along with great work in our lives we can all appreciate a sense of joy that comes with connecting to something that is thrilling to us.  Joy in your life on a regular basis, in my opinion, should be considered your birthright, like the air you breathe.

How often do you get to experience joy?  Do you know what gives you joy?  Can you recall the last time you felt the thrill of joy?  If you can answer those questions positively, I know your life is good, no matter what your responsibilities or circumstances.  You know where to find your joy when you need it, when your cup needs refilling. What we focus on, on a regular basis, is what we create more of in our lives.  Creating space for joy will bring more joy, and more space for lovely experiences in your life.

MASTERFUL CARE FOR YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES, the byline of this website, starts with you taking care of yourself first. I hope you give yourself permission to indulge in your joy often.

If you feel a little less than positive about your answers I have a feeling you’re not alone.  How many caregivers find the time to even think about doing something that would be just for their own pleasure?  Please see this as a possibility. The things that give us real pleasure are often so simple.  But we have to make a point of recognizing them.

I recall a sweet friend who, in the midst of my most difficult times right before my husbands passing, offered to come over and sit on the curb outside my house and just be with me for a little while.  There wasn’t a lot of joy just then in my life, but I could always find a little time for two things that will always bring a thrill and joy to my life on a regular basis no matter what shape my daily life takes.

My simple pleasures are having coffee with someone I enjoy and can share life’s experiences with on a personal level (I leave feeling somehow restored) and reading books, especially great works of literature and books that make me grow. It was a great sentence I read this morning that gave me such a thrill I wanted to share it with anyone who might have the patience for it and feel thrilled by it, as I do.  I hope you enjoy it, nineteenth & early twentieth century writers have such a way with words and a sensibility I miss in modern society. Their writing is often a character study and the study of human nature has for me always been a passion. I had to read it several times to get the full measure of it.  Enjoy!:

“Nothing could have been odder than Strether’s sense of himself as at that moment launched in something of which the sense would be quite disconnected from the sense of his past and which was literally beginning there and then.”

– Henry James; The Ambassadors

Please take the time to recognize what gives you joy and find the time to get a little of it each day.  Then…when you know how to find it, you could help the person in your charge find what would bring some joy into their life.

I Wish You the Thrill of Finding Joy and Experiencing It Often,


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Screbere Jussit Amor

Screbere Jussit Amor


Love Has Commanded Me To Write

Have you noticed that there is a movement afoot that is bigger than many of us realize?  A movement that will counter the most visible, terrible turn of events making history in our world today?

As a child of The Cold War Era, I remember our instructions in school.  In case of emergency (a bombing), we were to get under our desks and cover our heads with our little arms.  The present political atmosphere around the world is feeling unsettlingly familiar.

The good news is, there are signs all around us that the number of people interested in real world-wide peace is growing exponentially.  And it’s growing at the grassroots level, too.  The Internet and cell phones (technology) are a blessing, juxtaposed to being at the same time the curse, that may save humanity from itself.  Man creates and, hopefully, he is creating for good fast enough to overcome what would otherwise destroy him/her (us).  Our means of connection across continents with people we would never reach in all of past history, seems to have arrived in just the nick of time.  Coincidental?, I don’t think so. The Universal collective mind knows we’re on the brink.

I believe one purpose of humanity is to create as much love in the world as possible, as much kindness and joy as one can spread. Hence, love has commanded me to write.  There is a responsibility to do what one can when faced with a problem, as a Caregiver and as a Citizen of the World.  Even if it is just to give Hope.

What is happening that gives Hope?  People are standing up against the bullies, from the one next door to the dictators around the world.  We’re doing it in peaceful ways.  We’re developing a sense of awareness, relying on our own instincts, self education and sharing experiences on the internet that reach individuals all across the globe.  We’re recognizing that the differences between our cultures does not make us enemies.  Where do I see this?  Among my own generation, the Baby Boomers, to begin with. Some of the most socially intelligent influential leaders of our time, in business, science and spirituality are turning 70 years old about now.  Generation X has lead by bringing awareness of the doom we face if we continue on destructive paths and are designing avenues for change.  People of all ages are interested in technologies that can provide high quality water, food, shelter and medical assistance for people in the most remote corners of the world.  Young people always seem to be more inclusive and their ideas are being recognized and implemented.

Creativity abounds.  Foundations are being created to help people in nations worldwide to live more safe and healthful lives.  Here is a list of just 20 of the leading organizations working for world peace.  Look beyond the 6 o’clock news and the 24/7 cable news channels and you’ll see a completely different world out there.  The Movie and Entertainment industry has been producing consciously aware product since the sixties.  Books and educational videos are a wonderful source of inspiring information. The Internet brings people together.

What I’m really getting at is that there is every reason to have hope for planet Earth. Leaders in science, religion and spirituality around the world are coming together, if at  least in conversation, in an attempt to find common ground for the good of humanity. People are reaching people through the Internet and commerce.  We’re not singing Kum by yah yet, but we’re witnessing Quantum Mechanics proving much of what ancient Eastern religions have espoused for thousands of years.  Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims are joining with Secularists to find common ground and understand that we haven’t walked in each other’s shoes but many are willing to try.  When we work together we accomplish miracles. This is spreading Hope.

Our own lives are a microcosm of the larger world around us.  My wish for you is that your life is full of hope for your own future and you are inspired to spread love, kindness and joy wherever you can.


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