I’m Trendy

 trailer 1

Attending an important business conference I was reluctant to share with them where I was living. I was ashamed to let them know of my current situation and worried how they might judge me if they knew. I guess God was hearing my fear as during introductions two people, for no reason, opened up about how they had once lived in trailers. Years ago when they were starting their business was one woman’s tale. Another had recently moved out of the trailer and into their newly built dream home. They both spoke of their trailer days with a hint of adventure in their words. They had no regrets about it and no shame either.
This allowed me to fully embrace my circumstance. I now tell everyone where I live (and blog about it too!) My shame has instead become #trendy.


Your ego lies…


Our ego tells us that others are judging us all of the time. It whispers to us that we are not good enough, that we are not doing enough, that we are just not enough. The reality is that we are always enough. The reality is that most people aren’t really spending too much time analyzing your life or talking about you. The reality is that your reality is what you make of it. Embrace your circumstances, love who you are right now. Quiet the ego mind and allow the heart to lead you. Start a revolution of people loving who they are, how they are and be #trendy.

The Raccoon Incident

Potrait of a common raccoon

Newly settled in, I walked to the LQ (Living Quarters) in the warehouse late one night. Upon entering the warehouse my eyes caught movement up on the second level of storage. At first I thought it was my brother’s cat, but then I locked eyes with the furry beast and realized that this was too large to be a cat. Even from far away I could tell that a raccoon had found its way into the warehouse to look for leftover cat food or just get out of the oppressive night heat. Either way, it was a bit of a shock for me to be faced with wildlife in my path, inside my new “place.”
I looked at Simone, who was oblivious to the raccoon, and silently made a vow to be more aware, so that she would never be near our nighttime visitors. I looked at my dog and thought, “Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” I’m not sure what other unexpected surprises await me in Florida, but I will be alert and watch for them.
(I’ve since named her Hazel!)


Be ready for the unexpected…


Adjusting to new circumstances always includes discovering the unexpected. Be aware and present and watch what shows up. Some may only appear once, just enough to “wake you up” or “shake you up,” while others may become familiar as you settle into your journey. Take each as it comes and immerse yourself in the experience. If it grabs your attention, then it contains a lesson. Allow the meaning to unfold and embrace its guidance.

Signs of Things to Come


My soul yearns to live where I can sit on my patio, savor a cup of tea and look out at the water. Water soothes me and draws me in. I keep hearing their warnings of flooding, alligators (who will eat my precious Simone) and tiny bugs that will bite me. I understand that with water comes issues, but nowhere else do I feel in harmony as when I am near water.

I have visioned the patio scene thousands of times and finally realized it has come into reality, just not exactly the way I pictured it. I was at my patio table chatting with my bestie, Melissa, on the phone with a cup of tea in my hand. I was distracted by the sunlight glistening on the water of a puddle that had formed outside of the trailer following an earlier downpour. At last I had my “waterfront” property or at least a sign of what was to still come.

What is your sign?

Noah sent out the dove and it returned with an olive branch letting him know that the floods had receded and he could leave the ark and begin life anew. What does your “olive branch” look like? What sign may come your way to let you know that what you have been wanting is on the horizon? What you most want may not manifest all at once, but God will send you road signs to let you know that you are on the right path towards your destiny.



That’s my brother, Rick. This is the poster he printed to hang on the inside of the bathroom door at the warehouse. It scared my bestie, Melissa, when she came to visit. My brother is funny and he expresses it in many ways, sometimes this is his “way.” One of the best things about my living arrangements is that I get to see my brother every day. We get to catch up and talk about the simple details of our day. Nothing deep or sacred. No discussion of world happenings, more along the lines of what we have planned or the weather.

I grew up with two older brothers. I say that my parents wanted a girl and stopped once they had me. They say that my parents found me abandoned in an alley, took pity on me and brought me home. Similar to the stray dog, Cha Cha, we had growing up. My brothers teased me relentlessly as a child. It was their job and they did it well. I never could have predicted how close we would be now that we have grown up. Having siblings is like… from teasers to treasures.

Who are your teachers?

Our teachers are oftentimes the people we are related to. Our parents, grandparents, children and siblings. It is the sibling bond that helps to form us. We share the stories of a shared childhood and they remember the Saturday morning cartoons we watched together and the name of the kid down the street who memorized the names of all of the Vice-Presidents (Andy Rose) Those closest to us may test us or tease us, but they also teach us who we are and those lessons allow us to grow. Beyond algebra or adjectives, the subject we are here to study the most is ourselves.

A Dose of Kindness


The drive was long, made longer by the concern over the path Hurricane Hermine was going to take. Maybe she was picking up on my anxieties or maybe it was just her “pugginess” showing, but Simone’s heavy breathing would not stop. We gave her a light sedative to calm her, but she continued to pant for over an hour. When she refused a snack (with more medication hidden inside) we knew she was in trouble.
We stopped in the next town, Valdosta, Ga, and went inside the closest veterinary office. They had only re-opened a few hours before, as the hurricane had roared through their town and left them without electricity. They welcomed us and took such care to assess Simone’s condition and what had to be done to calm her down. We felt relieved that she was getting the treatment she needed. Their kindness made a stressful day so much better. Not only did Simone get the medicine she needed, we also got the medicine we needed – a dose of kindness.

Reach out for help…

On the days when you are feeling overwhelmed, reach out for help from others. It may be from a friend or family member who will listen or just offer a hug. It may come from a stranger that says just the right words or offers the assistance you need. My best friend, Melissa, always says, “God gives you who you need, it just may not be the person you think it will be.” Be a gracious receiver of their kindness and take in the love they offer to you, for that is truly the best medicine to help you through any stressful moment.

No Bed to Call My Own


Is it possible to be without a home, but not homeless? For millions of refugees around the world this is the situation they find themselves in. I look to them for courage and inspiration when I face the stark reality of where I am currently living. Gone are the days of the 3,000 square foot five bedroom home or even the townhouse I rented. No longer am I an owner or a tenant. I am simply “one who resides.” My landlord is my brother and the bed I sleep in is not my own. My mattress is in storage in the warehouse, my bedding in a bin.
Yet I am filled with gratitude to have a place that is safe and clean, even if I do look out at barbed wire fencing from my living area window! It is not what I envisioned when I pictured where I would reside (that consisted of a modern, beautiful home overlooking the water) nor is it always convenient to occupy such a small space. I walk across the parking lot to use the bathroom, Bob bumps his head on the cabinets and Simone must content herself with barking at the few cars that travel down the dead end street. We each find our way each day to embrace this living arrangement and watch “Tiny House” to realize that we are simply living out a trend.

The Rolling Stones Were Right…
God takes care of your every need…the wants may have to wait a bit! In the immortal words of the Rolling Stones, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime you find, you get what you need.” It is an evolutionary bias to focus on the negatives in your life, however you can shift, re-frame and dwell in the positives. Look at what you do have and be grateful for each small blessing. The path to happiness is in being satisfied with your current situation, even when it is not as you prefer it to be.

What was I thinking?

I now find myself living in Florida, in my brother’s warehouse parking lot in a 30′ trailer and calling it home. Within my journey are aspects of the one you are also on. The life path that teaches us to trust, to surrender and to enjoy each day rooted in the now, without fear of tomorrow.

I hope my musings will uplift and inspire you to live each day fully, to embrace the “not knowing” and to Dump the Ego and Embrace Your Spiritual Self.


What was I thinking?
What a welcoming committee I had as I made my move to Florida. Hurricane Hermine, the first hurricane to hit land in Florida since 2005, was moving right through our driving route. We delayed our arrival by a day, swung wide west to get around it and finally arrived in time to be welcomed by a huge downpour that shook the trailer. I sat there and wondered, “What was I thinking?” I had moved to the land of sinkholes, alligators, giant bugs and hurricanes.

I did a quick inventory of all of the other times in my life that I had to start over. When I moved away to college, when I got married and first moved to Buffalo, when I got divorced and had to re-define who I was – the list was long and served to remind me that “I’ve got this.” I know how to start a new chapter. I’ve done it before and I can certainly do it again…as long as the alligators don’t get me!

You’ve got this..

When you are facing a challenge, look back at your life and all of the other times you have overcome difficulties. What resources within yourself did you call upon? What was the outcome? Think back to your ancestral history and the hardships your parents, grandparents or other relatives faced. Draw upon the strength that ran in them that now runs in you. Always remember, “You’ve got this.”

Sometimes all you can do is surrender

When you find yourself living in Florida, in your brother’s warehouse parking lot in a 30′ trailer and calling it home, you learn the power of surrendering. Within my journey are aspects of the one you are also on.

I hope my musings will uplift and inspire you to live each day fully, to embrace the “not knowing” and to Dump the Ego and Embrace Your Spiritual Self.

I have never dug in my heels so hard and shouted to the Universe, “I’m not going anywhere!” However each day brought new signs that my life was shifting from the familiar to the unknown and I could resist or I could surrender. The choice was mine to make.
The signs came each day: a catalog buried in a plastic tote from a college in Clearwater, FL that I did not remember ever sending for, a place to live for free showing up just when we needed it, a hotel in Atlanta minutes away from my old college roommate. One synchronicity after the other flooded into my life and I realized that if I just stopped resisting and let go, everything would turn out as it should.

Your turn…

You have the choice each day of where your life will go. You can control each moment or you can release into your soul’s knowing. The signs may be subtle, but they appear waiting for you to recognize them. Surrendering is the hardest thing for us to do. It means we let go of our ego that is there to protect us and we allow ourselves to be guided by our inner knowing that connects us to the Universe, to God. It means we accept that we never really had control anyway, that making plans is an illusion and that life can change in an instant. Surrendering is a powerful act of faith that allows you to relax and stay rooted in each moment.

Embrace Your Spiritual Self

2016 began without a hint of what was to unfold in my life. Yet my next chapter was waiting to be written and now I find myself living in Florida, in my brother’s warehouse parking lot in a 30′ trailer and calling it home. I am filled with gratitude for a place to live, people to share my story with and an adventure that continues to unfold.

Within my journey are aspects of the one you are also on. The life path that teaches us to trust, to surrender and to enjoy each day rooted in the now, without fear of tomorrow.

I hope my musings will uplift and inspire you to live each day fully, to embrace the “not knowing” and to Dump the Ego and Embrace Your Spiritual Self.

MUSING #1: The Power of Prayer

My story begins…
The call came unexpectedly. Bob (the fiancé) had a job offer in St. Petersburg, FL. I was comfortable in my life in Buffalo. I had a wonderful place to live, a job I loved, friends and no reason to move…except for the snow. Spending four or five months of the year living in various hues of gray and white wears on you. It had worn on Bob and now he was heading south to the Sunshine State. I had a decision to make: Do I stay in the familiar or do I join him on this adventure?

I knew it was not my call to make. I was not going to uproot my life for a man, but I was also not going to ignore God’s call to begin my next chapter. I prayed the only prayer that seemed appropriate: “Lord, let me release the need to know why, how or when.”

Your turn…
When you are faced with a decision that will alter the course of your life, slow down. Put it up to prayer and wait for the signs that will show up. As human beings we want to control our destiny, but sometimes we need to realize that while we can decide, perhaps it is best to wait to decide. The “why” is not always apparent until we look back in hindsight. The “how” is best left to God. Visualize “what” you want and trust that the “how” you will get it will unfold. The “when” sometimes has a date set, but sometimes we can just trust our gut and make the move when we feel the shift within ourselves.
Remember the time to take action is when your intuition whispers “now.”

A Near Death Experience – What Businesses Can Learn About Caring Customer Service

how-to-beat-the-heatThis story is about a dog – a very, very sick dog. My dog, Simone. She had a lung torsion that came on quite suddenly and, in an instant, we were dealing with a life and death situation if we could not get her help quickly. Fortunately this occurred on a Sunday, when our only option was to head to the emergency veterinary hospital. They had specialists there who could properly diagnose and determine the immediate course of action, which was to operate and remove half of her lung. She has recovered quickly and fully and will live quite happily without this part of her body.

It cost $3,500 to save her life. I had taken out pet insurance when we first got her and this is the next chapter of this story. Healthy Paws allowed me to focus on Simone and not on the expense. Their systems made it easy to submit claims and their customer service staff answered each of my questions with kindness and concern. Reimbursement checks arrived even before her stitches were removed. I was quite impressed with how they ran their business. Soon my admiration turned into “raving fan” status when I received the following e-mail:

Hi Nancy,
We were wondering how Simone is recovering from her major surgery? We’re sorry to hear she had to go through that and send wishes for a quick recovery!
Please send a quick email letting us know how she’s feeling and give her a great big hug from us!

Tim Weiss
Paws & Claws Protector

A personal e-mail from the company to check up on Simone! This was a company that cared. Imagine if your personal health insurance company ran like this. Imagine if your own company did.

So on to our final chapter of this tale (or should I say “tail”?) There are so many parallels we can take from my personal story to the stories of the clients you serve.
• Life brings unexpected turns – Plans can change in an instant. Depending upon your type of business, they may look to you for guidance. Your expertise reassures them and what you do (and how you do it) makes a difference.
• Words matter – The words you choose lets your client know that they are important to you. By listening, as well as talking, you create a conversation that connects you to the information you need in order to best serve their needs. Don’t talk at them, talk to them.
• Systems matter, too – Every company needs to have clear and concise systems of operation. Forms, options, online stores, whatever way you do business from start to finish it must be easy for the client to navigate, informational, consistently followed by all your staff and void of extra, unnecessary steps.
• Show you care – In every interaction, recall the sage words of Dr. Suess, “To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.” By taking the time to let them know they are important to you, you build trust. Allow the client whatever time they need to be with you. Don’t make them feel rushed, no matter how many items are waiting for you to do. Be there and show you care.
• Provide them with “wow” service – That email was a “wow” to me. Someone went out of their way to send me a note to ask how my precious pug was doing. This was not some giant insurance company that just wanted my monthly payment, this was a person who had a job and part of that job was client outreach. Think of the ways, small and large, that you can personalize your interactions and how you can reach out to let the client know that your care continues beyond that sale or service.
• Earn customer loyalty – When every moment from the initial phone call to final delivery creates a positive feeling in the client, you create a loyal customer. You create someone who will become your best representative, a “raving fan.” They will share with everyone they know their story of how you treated them and what you did for them. For Healthy Paws, all it took was a short e-mail. What will it take from you?

(If you have “fur children”, check out: www.healthypawspetinsurance.com)

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