Posted by: sistermom1 | October 7, 2020

Observing Being in your 20s in 2020

The other day, I saw a meme that read, “My kids wanted to know what it was like for me growing up. So I took their phones, turned off the internet, gave them a popsicle, and told them to go outside until the street lights come on.” All chuckling aside, many of us over 45 remember exactly what this was like. Daily life is dramatically different for kids and young adults today. First, many are concerned that it’s not at all safe for young children to be outside unsupervised anymore. Also, connection to friends through cell phones is a basic reality of life, not to mention the challenges of social media….

We parent 2 children who are 21 and 24. The challenges of parenting during a pandemic are multi-layered, but I will share several. First layer – our relationship with the kids. Thankfully, over the past five years we have been actively working on shifting our connection with them to a much more conscious one. Thanks to Dr. Shefali Tsabary and her books, entitled The Conscious Parent and The Awakened Family, we have fundamentally grown as parents, and our son and daughter have both noticed this dramatic shift. Our entire family has grown closer and is sharing what’s happening a lot more easily and comfortably.

Our son (24) has a full-time job, which he has been doing from home. It is a job he enjoyed doing before the pandemic, and his room now looks like a professional office where he works, eats, sleeps talks on the phone with friends and plays video games. He has redecorated his room, which looks great, and basically treats his room like the apartment he was unable to rent because of COVID-related restrictions.

Our daughter (21) is in her senior year of college – planning to attend Grad school (we will see how THAT goes….) Her off-campus apartment sits empty. (The University landlord has not offered a refund of the rent we paid a full year in advance!) All classes are virtual, and she attends from her childhood bedroom. Most of her friends are home with their parents, missing their senior year activities, since nothing is happening.

I remember how I enjoyed my twenties...lots of nights out — comedy shows, concerts, and restaurants… Hanging out at friends’ apartments drinking too much and dancing until all hours. Catching a cab home, and getting there in time to shower and head to work… Not paying attention to anything on TV unless it was MTV or BET. Those days seem SO far away — and yes they are – not only in time, but in attitude. I have been reminiscing with many old and dear friends lately.

I don’t mean to make anyone feel bad. There are many things about being in your 20’s in 2020 that are fabulous. Consider Instagram or Facebook (OK maybe not Facebook!) You can find out anything – just Google it. So many different types of food available (Grub hub anyone?), electric cars (I know they are expensive, but what about Uber or Lyft?), Zoom (yes, that is still a good thing – although yesterday I had 4 Zoom meetings in a row!!) Even being able to share this blog is a real joy for me.

I don’t spend time feeling sorry for our kids — Despite our current political malaise. Talking to them about the Good Old Days brings so much: laughter, smiles, shocked disbelief (No cell phones? No PCs? What’s a Word Processor? What’s a fax machine?), and much more. Reminds me that being in your 20’s is an important stage along the journey of life that should be enjoyed. After all, It is what it is!

Love you all,


Posted by: sistermom1 | August 13, 2020

Another Encouraging Meeting

Hi friends!

Last week, after the 3-hour meditation meeting,  I participated in a phenomenal meeting for people of African descent who practice Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism with the SGI.  I have been a member of the SGI since 1984, and chanting Nam-myoho-renge-kyo has been one of the secrets to helping  me challenge MS over the years,  Overcoming obstacles that present themselves in life while maintaining a high life condition is one of the many things I have learned that have helped me keep moving forward in my life.

The meeting was entitled, “The Conversation We Need to Transform Our Country”, and featured several experiences, a panel discussion of 6 young people who practice Buddhism, and some additional presentations.

There is much to share, and I was deeply encouraged – first, by so many young people of color outlining their experiences and determinations toward the future, and next, by the wonderful experiences that were shared. This blog entry will focus on the former, and a future entry will share more about the experiences.

The discussions revolved around what has been happening in our country related to racism, politics, and how the practice of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism has helped each person strengthen their life and move forward with confidence and courage. They also discussed the leadership and writings of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda and how they have been inspired by them. Some of my take-aways are listed below.

  1. Following the news and major storylines will leave us deflated and in a place of anger and hopelessness. If you don’t have any hope, create some, because where there is hope there is peace.
  2. We are all deeply connected in this world, so there is no need for racist or sexist beliefs.
  3. With this Buddhism, there is no problem we cannot surmount.
  4. Just like fear, hope can be contagious – How are we creating hope?
  5. There is some humanity in every person’s heart, even those people we don’t necessarily agree with.
  6. Important to recognize the divisiveness in society, and that in our own heart.
  7. Dialogue and conversation is where hearts and minds connect.

As I wrote in the beginning, I left this meeting encouraged and inspired to strengthen my own practice. There is still so much positive to share, and I will do that later. Thank you POAD for the phenomenal meeting of almost 5,000 members and 400 guests!

Striving to live my best life on this detour….

  • Linda
Posted by: sistermom1 | August 7, 2020

A Conscious Diva

Yesterday I had the honor of participating in a 3-hour online session meditating with a tremendous group of people from all over the world. I had never had this kind of experience before, and it was tremendous.

Billed as a “Deep-Dive” meditation experience, I was eager to get started and learn whatever it was that I needed to learn. The cost included receiving 5 books that the group leader had co-written about helping children learn how to manage anxiety and stress. As a newly-minted Conscious Parent coach, I felt that this was perfect timing, so I was ready!

Well, I have never experienced such a phenomenal gift. (I know that I paid for it, but I got so much value out of it!) I will try to share with you some of what I received. It was an amazing session…3 hours and 15 minutes in total. Dr. Shefali Tsabary (The Conscious Parent, and The Awakened Family) led us in 90 minutes of meditation, 2 – 15 minute bathroom breaks and a total of 1 hour helping us get the most out of our time together. AMAZING!

I am still jazzed from the session 24 hours ago!  There is a golden ring around everything I look at.  These were four points that resonated for me:

  • Meditation is self-care through self-knowledge.
  • Reality is neutral – it just is.  How you respond to it is up to YOU.
  • Meditation helps us learn to be an observer of our thoughts.
  • When we change our capacity to live in the present moment, our suffering diminishes.

So many more things to share once I have deconstructed them more fully!

By the end of the three hours, I had an image of myself scuba diving in my own essence. It was beautiful – and very quiet. Like an underwater scene that was so comfortable and honest. I ended my evening with this image, and slept calmly and deeply.

Woke the next morning with that same feeling, and I did my morning prayers with a tremendous energy and clarity of thought.  These past few months have often found me pushed beyond recognition. I didn’t know how much I needed this Deep Dive. While feeling great appreciation for Dr. Shefali, I remembered something shared by one of my mentors in life, Daisaku Ikeda:

“None of us can exist in isolation. Our lives and existence are supported by others in seen and unseen ways, be it by parents, mentors or society at large. To be aware of these connections, to feel appreciation for them, and to strive to give something back to society in a spirit of gratitude is the proper way for human beings to live.”

I am very grateful – determined to re-pay the tremendous gift of this meditation Deep-Dive forward — to my family and friends with my new self-knowledge, to my new clients with a deeper understanding of consciousness, and to the community-at-large by sharing my Buddhist practice with all of folks the above!

Posted by: sistermom1 | August 4, 2020

Don’t bring Me No Bad News…

I just ate a 2-scoop Baskin-Robbins ice cream sundae with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and nuts. And it was delicious….

Why do I confess that? Because I just left an appointment with the pain doctor who has been taking care of me for 10 years — the man who surgically implanted my Baclofen pain pump, the man who closely worked with me to determine the best dose of medicine to stave off the level of spasticity that I had developed over the previous few years from MS, the doctor who replaced that pump when it reached its 5-year life, the doctor who is married with 3 children under 11 with whom I shared Conscious Parenting — THAT doctor, is leaving the practice to work closer to his home.  He just told me today, and after he finished, all I could say to my husband was “I need some ice cream.”

Dr. G is a wonderful man, who has been a solid member of my medical team. We have developed a positive relationship, discussing kids, Conscious Parenting, Buddhism, MS, and life in general.  We have laughed together like old friends, and even discussed politics from time to time! (Easy to do with a Democrat!)

Once my pump was filled, Dr. G and I spoke privately for about 30 minutes. (Difficult to do when docs have so little extra time built into their schedules.) He talked about what brought him to this decision to leave (only good things!), how we can handle the transition, (cleanly, because he has a non-compete), and how much we have enjoyed working together. I was able to stay tear-free, at least until I got to the car.

One of the best books I read when I was first diagnosed with MS, was Lean on Me by Nancy Davis. In it, she shares 10 steps to help move from initial diagnosis to empowered medical consumer, and it continues to help me move forward.  in it, she says, zzzz’think of yourself as CEO of Your Health, Inc……Enjoy and encourage the friendships that you develop with the people who share their abilities to support you in your time of need. Always thank them and show your gratitude.”

Thank you for everything Dr. G! I have had an emotional cry into my ice cream, and now I am ready to start looking for a new pain doctor. I will get your advice (despite the non-compete!) and only hope to find another fabulous healthcare teammate for the next ten years!






Posted by: sistermom1 | August 3, 2020

Moving Ahead Consciously

Last month, I shared that I had earned a certification in the Conscious Parenting Method of coaching. Several of you have asked me how it’s going, and more about what CP means?

Conscious Parenting approaches parenting with a non-hierarchical model. Parents are not inherently worth more than our children, and we are not in control of them.  When they are young (10 and under…) we are in charge, simply to teach and protect them as they begin to learn general information about how life works. (e.g. cause and effect, making friends, how school typically works, and what your family practices are…) Since they have just joined this world, we parents are their guides. But they do have a special job too — to help us parents grow and learn things we would only learn through our interaction with them.

Think about it — the challenges that our children have (ranging from learning/reading struggles, behavioral differences, or personality differences to mental health and/or addiction challenges…) certainly stretch us in unexpected ways. And that’s not all. What about the standards/expectations we have for our children before we even know who they are (Ivy League college anyone?) Add to this the experiences we had in our own childhoods and what  parenting ideas those experiences have left us with (familial expectations, the challenges our own parents had growing up in an unconscious or traditional manner themselves…) and we face quite a combination of situations when welcoming our children to the world. How to even begin?

Well, over the next few weeks, I will break down some parts of Conscious Parenting into what my friend Janet Roth Philbin on her Facebook page calls “Bite-Sized Pieces”.  (I hope she does not mind me referring to her page!  If you want help meditating, or with CP, she is another great coach, and she can help!)

Thanks for checking in on the latest stop on my Detour! See you next time!

Posted by: sistermom1 | July 16, 2020

A Conscious Diva

Today is Certification Day!

I just completed studying to become a Conscious Parenting Coach! For the past few years, I have been participating in classes with Dr. Shefali Tsabary, whose books, The Conscious Parent, Out of Control, and The Awakened Family introduced me to a more awake way to parent my children, who are now 21 and 24. These books really changed the way I connected with them, the way I interact with my family-of-origin, and the way I approach other moms and my  fabulous mom group – Sistermoms.

According to Dr. Tsabary, “… to parent consciously requires us to undergo personal transformation. In fact, it’s my experience that the relationship between parent and child exists for the primary purpose of the parent’s transformation and only secondarily for the raising of the child.”

Since first reading these words in 2014, my life as a parent began shifting — up until 5 months ago, when, along with handling pandemic-related issues, I began training to become a parent coach certified in the Conscious Parenting Method.

The training required us to open our lives wide to examine things like why we became parents, the state of our marriages/partnerships, our relationships with our families-of-origin, our childhood experiences, as well as how to successfully work with other families to help them awaken.

The classes and Buddy work required to earn this certification were life- and perspective-altering.  Not only that, seeing a wide variety of parenting styles combined with role-plays in real-time, made me think about how to help other people re-assess their own parenting journeys.  After all, one of the best ways to help the next generation is to awaken their parents. We learned  that our children are our teachers, and that it is not our place to rule over them – much like the hierarchical approach embraced by  traditional parenting (which had often been modeled by our parents!)

And now that graduation is complete – what now?  Well, this Diva on a Detour is getting ready for yet another stop along the way… I’m excited to move forward as a Conscious Parent Coach!






Posted by: sistermom1 | May 2, 2020

MS in the Time of Covid-19

It is an unusual time.

During the seven weeks of this pandemic so far, I have spent time reading and listening to many wisdom teachers including Daisaku Ikeda, Eckhardt Tolle, Shefali Tsabary, Brene Brown, Byron Katie and many others. My lessons have included much that I value, including what this time has shown me so far about the life that I had built, and how much needed to be changed.

This pandemic has made many things crystal clear to me – including what I truly needed to shift. In the past, much of my energy was spent on chasing after things like the right jobs/titles, luxury items, designer shoes, money, and the appearance of accomplishment. I thank my husband for supporting my choices, even when they required him taking the kids full-time — even after my 2005 MS diagnosis. So much ended up changing about my life pretty quickly. By 2007 I had to let go of many things, including a job that I loved but no longer had energy for (too much travelling…), and I began needing a wheelchair 100% of the time.

My pursuit of many external things over the years taught me a great deal, but this pandemic has brought many of those lessons back into focus for me. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed spending time with the kids (now 23 and 20!) and my husband (25 years together!), playing board games, cooking, and spending time outside. Even chatting with our neighbors while social distancing in the cul-de-sac was enjoyable.

This challenge has shown me how things have changed.   And how much I needed to remember about what is important before I am too old to enjoy it. And I didn’t have to pay a terrible price to learn it, thank goodness.

Can you thank a pandemic?




Posted by: sistermom1 | April 18, 2020

On Becoming Conscious

A few years ago, I was introduced to Dr. Shefali Tsabary, author of several books including The Conscious Parent.  This book put me on the pathway to becoming a better parent, wife, and adult.  Many of you may have been introduced to “Dr. Shefali” through Super Soul Sunday, on which she has appeared several times. I must say that I have grown “exponentially” (my husband’s words!) since first encountering this wise, irreverent, and life-changing woman.

Now I am not saying that I have reached a final destination of consciousness. In truth, my journey has begun and I can say that on the scale of consciousness I have certainly progressed. And I have further to advance. I am becoming a more conscious diva, And what at one time I considered a “detour”, I have learned is my real journey.

My experience has shown me how much I needed to learn starting in 2005, when I was first diagnosed with MS. You may recall that I became wheelchair-dependent in 2007, and it continues currently. I have been on a wide range of MS medicines ranging from the self-injectables, infusions, orals, returning to infusions, and in May starting The Wahls protocol, an approach considering food as medicine which has been very successful. (Wish me luck!)

As I write today, I have experienced many ups and downs, but becoming a more conscious traveler has allowed me to maintain a more positive attitude towards this journey. The sadness – even depression, that I have felt sporadically, has left me in far better space with Dr. Shefali than I have felt on my own. With her I have learned how to deconstruct my internal beliefs and biases to reveal what has prevented me from progressing along my pathway. Combining her approach to Mindfulness (, with my own experience of Buddhism, (www.sgi-usa org), I am spiritually stronger than ever and ready to move farther along my journey!

Looking forward to seeing you along this pathway!


Posted by: sistermom1 | December 30, 2019

Reviewing 2019…

I finally have the answers to two questions that were asked of me this weekend! They both came from a wonderful family game – The And game – which can be purchased through

Question 1: What is the best thing that happened this year?

A: Encountering Dr. Shefali Tsabary‘s writings and teachings. I have read two of her books, The Conscious Parent and The Awakened Family, and taken several of her courses. Through participating in all of these, my life as a parent has dramatically changed for the best! (my family agrees!) I have even applied to the Conscious Coaching Institute to become a Parent Coach. Please check her out on

Question 2: What was the best thing to happen to me in the past decade?

A: The best thing this decade will happen to me on 12/31 — my 25th wedding anniversary!!! Our journey through life as a married couple has been a multiple-layered one that has required deepening love, tremendous flexibility, impressive patience, powerful prayers, and much laughter and appreciation!

Being diagnosed with MS in 2005 has certainly contributed to the challenges we have experienced over these 25 years.  I have been wheelchair-bound since 2007, which has forced us to grow in many ways – mostly consciously – as we have navigated parenting our two children, caring for aging parents, retirement, bill paying, healthcare, partnership, love-making and goal-setting together and individually.

I have been a SGI member for over 35 years, which has really helped me confront the challenges connected with building a powerful life as a woman with Secondary-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.  My mentor in life, Daisaku Ikeda, has written, “…Nichiren Buddhism does not view sickness as something  to be feared or despised but rather as an opportunity for doing human revolution (living your life in your own way; being true to yourself) and attaining the life state of Buddhahood (Achieving absolute happiness).”

My daily prayer is to be able to introduce someone to this incredible practice.  I know that through it,any and all problems can be solved — including enjoying my life regardless (or including!) a diagnosis of MS!




Posted by: sistermom1 | December 21, 2019

Getting Ready for Christmas 2019

It’s the end of 2019, and it’s time to start an annual review.  In general my health is not great. I do still have Multiple Sclerosis, and my diagnosis has changed to Secondary Progressive instead of Relapsing-Remitting. I now need a different type of medicine which has only been available through this year. Because I am on Medicare, this new medication is not covered and costs $3500 per month to take, which we cannot afford.

Simultaneously, a good friend introduced me to two products that could be helpful to me as I navigated this auto immune disorder. They are both distributed through ASEA, which develops products using and supporting cellular communications, particularly with individuals with auto-immune disease. I have tried both products this year and experienced very positive results from both and still use them. more on this in a future post…

After taking a fall and breaking my leg this Spring, the ASEA products were very helpful in my healing, along with intense Physical Therapy. All of my doctors were fabulous, and I have learned so much about the future and what it holds for me — at least through 2020

This year I continued serial classes with Shefali Tsabary, writer of The Conscious Parent and The Awakened Family. (  Through the classes, I have started learning how to be a more effective parent of our two children, ages 23 and 20, and spouse of my husband (no age here!). As a wheelchair-bound parent, I have often blamed MS for any time I experience difficulty with my children.  What I have learned over the course of these classes is that most (if not all) of my discomfort must be credited to my own Inner Child wreaking havoc in my life unrestrained. My main job as a Conscious Parent (CP) is to raise my own inner child. Not to raise our son and daughter — they came here knowing so much more than I could ever teach them about the world that they will inhabit. Even more on this (and my decision to start training to become a Parenting Coach!) later….

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