Blossom like the winter rose

...And accept the gifts of waiting in the unknown

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“The desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and signing.”

-Isaiah 35:1-2

Winter represents two different experiences for me.

When I lived on the East Coast, the colder, often snowy season was a time for inner reflection. No permission was needed to seclude oneself, regroup from the holidays and hibernate, like animals intuitively know to do during the winter months.

In the desert of Arizona where I now live, winter takes on a different meaning. Sitting inside on a sunny, 70-degree day feels wrong, like I am cheating myself from the glory of being outside in nature. After walking or hiking, I grab my laptop and run to an outdoor café to write or market my recently launched book, Cancer as a Love Story.

Yet, I’ve faced a unique internal winter of solitude here, when I spent many, many months over the past three years unraveling all of who I knew myself to be. The excitement of starting over was coupled with long stretches of feeling like nothing was happening, that I was stalled. There were many times of terror, chaos and excruciating loneliness.

Change is not smooth sailing from point A to point B; transformation is a lot wobblier than that, including missteps, wrong connections, hard work, and a lot of experimentation.

The journey of healing from cancer, or any other life curveball one may be thrown, requires a letting go of the past and claiming a new more vibrant future. Such courageous work of creating a new mindset can rarely be done alone. We all need others to champion us.

Even after making a five-year dream come true—and publishing my book in November to rave reviews from a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, an award-winning brain expert, doctors, healers, patients and a bestselling author—a period of stillness followed. I met another author this morning who published his book at the same time. He, too, was surprised by the quiet that followed.

I now understand that the initial adrenaline rush is for the writer, not the reader. Readers will continue to come forth, at their own pace, not at the desired timeframe of the excited author. It is another unfolding of a dream that takes time and effort.

Yet, the delays—or spending time in the void of a desert experience (which emotionally feels like a dry time in life, when life feels like a long drought)—are necessary. The gap time of the unknown between the past and future is the time to:

  • strengthen the core beliefs in yourself.
  • set intentions (which are vastly different than “resolutions”).
  • embrace solitude daily to allow for new dreams and whispers of guidance to come forth.
  • take actions out of your comfort zone by doing something new and different every day.

As a result of my stretches of inward time, I now feel like the winter rose in Arizona, just about to bloom, with new opportunities appearing daily. Each time a new possibility pops up, I listen to my strong intuition and ask if the next step is in alignment with my core essence and current needs.

Waiting for the big YES, the one that may require I take a major leap forward, is a little scary. I may be asked to place myself in situations I have never before encountered, coaching or teaching on my feet, in a roomful of people without a script instead of behind a computer screen or a cell phone. Or, I may be required to surround myself with others more technically savvy than me to expand my marketing and writing skill set.

I feel the joy of an upgrade, life expanding in new ways. Settling for the old, the familiar ways that now feel a little too boring and safe, no longer works.

My soul has grown from the time I nurtured it in the void of the unknown. A new sense of peace and aliveness has emerged. I want to scream, “Bring it on, all of the ways you want me to grow, share, laugh and love in this next phase of life.” I stand open-armed and open-hearted.

If you are in a desert experience of your life, feeling stuck or stalled, consider it a gift, a time to find what is inside you wanting to blossom. Use the waiting period to instill new beliefs and intentions that will sustain and expand you over the long-term.

To learn more about my unique “Creating a new mindset for living” coaching programs, or to hire me to speak, email

To read testimonials of my leading-edge work using the latest in neuroscience, check out and

Join me in choosing 2018 to be the year to FLOURISH!

In great courage,


Talented horse trainer, cowgirl, blacksmith and artist friend Jess Ann Cullen (pictured here) captured the above photo of a winter rose on her ranch in Cave Creek, Arizona. Jess’ deep spiritual insights, along with her eye for beauty, have added such depth and joy to my life here in the desert as I continue to reinvent myself and guide others in profound ways.

Originally published at

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