The Weeds of Summer

10527583_10204203246062954_2529964229101594036_nI’ve been weeding a lot lately.


I prefer not to use chemicals, yet I’ve been amazed at how quickly some particularly aggressive species have been crowding out my carefully planted annuals and perennials.


Are you noticing the weeds in your garden more than the flowers?


Some “weeds” are quite beneficial. Dandelions, for example (now sold at Whole Foods in the produce section) contain calcium, iron, fiber, Vitamins A, E and K plus antioxidants of beta carotene and lutein–how’s that for a miraculous little weed! A little in your salad or sauteed is a tasty and good thing.


So…not all weeds are bad. But, what happens when you get an invasive green machine that isn’t so helpful?


Like negative thoughts, this invasion can take over and become a problem when they multiply.


Perhaps your yard is neatly manicured, rather than the organized chaos I prefer to have going on. I used to be that perfectionist person. Now I try to see the beauty in nature’s own, inherent design sense.


Nature, without trying too hard creates its own kind of perfect.


“…Observe how the lilies of the field grow, they do not toil nor do they spin.” Matthew 6:28


Right at this moment my garden is awash in lilies in hues of orange/red/yellow/peach (some of my favorite colors). This is their time to thrive!


Too many weeds, like too many negatives, can close off oxygen and prevent the light from getting in. Giving air and space can give positive energy–or thoughts, for that matter–room to breathe, move and thrive.


I pick at the weeds while not getting too picky about it.


Are you stifling your own growth? Weeds, like unproductive thoughts will most definitely take over if allowed to run rampant.


There will always be weeds, but if you’re noticing the weeds, how can you see the proverbial flowers?


What’s going on in the garden of your house as well as the garden of your mind?


I hope you’re enjoying all the glorious rainbow of colors this summer in the myriad majesty of Mother Nature’s blooming flowers–while appreciating the beauty of even some of it’s weeds.

Are You Down?

10354073_10204071221482422_6594480918528686556_nToday I’m down with a cold.


Sometimes it takes such a thing for me to slow down and take a look at my life.


I managed to go a whole year–not to mention one of the worst winters on record–disease free. So, even though I’m “down” with this blocky head thing, I’m down with it.


It’s giving me some much needed so-called me time even though I may not have thought I needed it.


But, someone, The Universe, that nasty cold virus,  is putting me down in this place so I have no choice but to slow down.


A fast of sorts is in order.


I’ll still have a Cup-O-Joe so I don’t get a headache. But, I’m avoiding alcohol (abstaining for a few days is not a bad idea), and most gluten-loaded foods. Nuts, fruit, teas, H20, immune boost drops–and that Cup-O-Joe are all on the menu. Ah, and Rest, of course!


Ironically, or on purpose, our power went out last night during an intense Midwestern wind/rainstorm causing me to take another fast–from electronic devices.


Phone about to die.


Comforts, like AC, the gas stove, etc., are down as well. Although I can light the gas stove with a match which I’m grateful for to heat up soup and water for tea (and yes for that coffee cup too).


Even being down and out, I still have many blessings to be thankful for.


A summer cold? Not so bad to be down with cold when it’s warm outside.


What are you grateful for on this fourth day of July?



How To Find Your Genius Starpower

5357806_orig“Know thyself.”


The Greeks said it.



“This above all: to thine own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,

Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!”


And so did Shakespeare.


And, it still remains true to this day.


That’s what I learned from Zsuzsa Novak’s Starpower Assessment when she analyzed my strengths–and my weaknesses, my true nature, in the most thorough personality/strengths evaluation I have ever experienced.


And it was so right on.


My “what”, my “how”, and, especially, my “why”*, my true essence–if you will, became crystal clear to me concerning my approach to how I deal with people, things and the world.


It reaffirmed a lot I already knew–or at least suspected. Yet, more importantly, it also confirmed that I am on the right path. I am “in alignment”.


Actually, totally.


As I discovered with Zsuzsa, in my “rare” case (her words not mine), my three “W’s”* are –all three of them–aligned with each other. I learned, among many things, I am ideally suited to my journey’s path thus far.


Did I believe this about myself? Partly. But, there was uncertainty.


But, not only did she show me where my strengths are. She showed me where I can “up” my game when interacting with those who approach things in a very different–or even opposite way I do. With the awareness of my “weaknesses”, I can learn when I’m coming from a place of fear, insecurity–where I’m not in my “natural” state, but where I’m “adapting” to uncomfortable situations in which I relinquish some of my strength in doing so.


This was spot on!


It was incredibly valuable.  I can’t go into all the details here, but, in a span of nearly 3 hours, I got such tremendous insight about my purpose in life and business that was beyond measure–and all of it recorded and transcribed (including a 70 page pdf) for me to reference and return to.


I must tell you that it is wonderful to work with Zsuzsa Novak. She over-delivers. Her enthusiasm for what she does is infectious and it is evident she derives great joy from what is her greatest gift–of helping others’ find their starpower, their “true self”.


If you are grappling, or struggling with your direction in business and/or life, work with Zsuzsa. Check out her . You won’t regret it.  And, thank-you so much Z. It was a pleasure!



Every Day Birthday Thoughts…Today I will wake up, snuggle with some kitties (depending on who is in my bed) get up, make-like-a-tree pose, do some stretches, meditate.
Then, I’ll go downstairs, greet my mate, and drink a tall glass of water with lemon, make a big Chai tea with almond milk and raw honey, open the back door to breathe in fresh air and check out what’s going on outside.
Then, I’ll have some fruit, probably grapefruit or berries.
Then, I’ll take my chai and H20 and go check on my email.
Then, I’ll go upstairs, put on makeup and do my hair.
I’ll put on a fun outfit and accessorize it accordingly.
I’ll drive to meet some cool peeps, family, friends or a combo of both.
We’ll then meet, have some heartwarming food and drink while we have scintillating conversation.
We’ll think of those who can’t be with us–but who we know are there in spirit.
We’ll laugh, reminisce, talk of future plans, and just enjoy each others company.
(There will also probably be some music and-hopefully-dancing involved.)
We’ll head out, continue the party, continue the conversation, feel blessed that we have each other and deeply grateful for family, friends, health, wealth-beyond-measure (because wealth can’t be measured in numbers).
Shouldn’t every day feel like your birthday?
Love My Life.
(photo credit: Craftberry Bush)

Revealed: My Greatest Happiness…The Story Continues


bhk3827aActress Zan Charisse in costume for “Gypsy”


Some of us have regrets, things left unsaid or undone. Perhaps in our younger, immature or insecure selves we hesitate. We’re unsure. Like I was during my days as a twenties-something version of myself living the gypsy dancer life in New York City. A few years ago, I wrote a story about those days…a story I was hesitant to re-tell. I was not proud of what I did, or rather didn’t do. To act on my mother’s wishes. It wasn’t such a big request. But I hesitated–and disappointed mom.


So, I blogged about it which helped assuage some of the guilt of not delivering a letter to a prominent New York City ballet teacher from my mother. Way back when,  my mom was a little girl and the ballet teacher was a slightly older girl. They met when my mother’s family sponsored the young girl’s entire dancing family-headed my matriarch Calliope Charisse-after they came from France to live in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Mom (Virginie!) was their first student. In the un-delivered letter my mother penned, Mom’s wish was to introduce me, her-daughter-cum-dancer to Nenette in New York.

Are you still with me? You can read the original story here:



Then, this happened. Just recently it happened. And, it happened at the end of  what had been for me a very trying, not-so-great day. Another letter. Only this time the letter came to me from the daughter of the young girl slightly older than my mother.

“Hi Jean,

I was just going to bed and somehow decided to google my grandmother, Calliope Charisse. My daughter and I had been talking about her and discussing names for kids even though she’s not even in a relationship. Just Daydreaming. I suppose she was on my mind. I came across your lost letter and immediately called my dad. He was so taken and asked me to contact you to tell you that Nenette has gotten the letter now through me. It is a lovely tribute to my mother and grandmother. We are so thrilled that especially my mother is remembered as the amazing talent that she was as she was very private. If Calliope was Gloria Swanson, well then Nenette was Greta Garbo.*

Happy to meet you



To state that this letter made my day…is, well, a great understatement.


Immediately, I felt the presence of my mother, Virginia Mary Sarah Lohr Morgan and Nenette Charisse bringing her daughter, Zan Charisse–another dancer (and actress) and myself together through generations dating back to our grandmothers.


“Zan, meet Jean. Jean, meet Zan.”

Smiling with Love, Nenette, Virginie, Calliope and Bena.

And, not only that. I got to meet Robert Tucker, Zan’s father and Nenette’s husband. Little did I know that Nenette was married to the Broadway dancer/choreographer.  You can read more about Zan and Robert here:




Then I found the original letter my mother wrote.  And, after scanning it, they both got to see it. Reading the letter made Robert, and me even more, wish I had indeed studied with Nenette, said Zan.


I didn’t want to tell my story.


But, this is why we need to tell them.


Because stories make connections.


And, then…


Miracles happen.

Somehow, my mom and Zan’s mom connected us. And, the best part is that we are now family. And, Zan, one of these days we will meet in person and make our mothers (and grandmothers) dance for joy.

Make some miracles happen.

Tell your story.

Don’t hesitate.

Thank you, Zan.

With Gratitude and Love,