Gone fishing living

BMC04When I launched the blog, I posted weekly. It was great fun and I learned so much about myself. (As I often tell others, I don’t know what I’m thinking until I write it down.)

It has been several months since I’ve posted, however. For a while, I panicked. Now, I realize I am taking a break. Actually, that’s not quite it. Rather, I am gathering new experiences, ones I’m not ready to articulate.

I feel like I am in the midst of Life itself. Do you know what I mean? Those moments when life becomes Life, terrifically profound and instructive. Relationships and priorities change, as does your worldview. The planets shift and, for once, you allow yourself to spin without fighting for control.

And so I am spinning. Instead of writing about Life, I am living it; trusting that my words will come when, at last, I am ready to greet them.

Best wishes til then.

Buddha lesson for the day: Self-compassion

Beth Mende Conny of Lifenicity and Write Directions shares a lesson from the Buddha about compassion of selfThe Buddha once asked a student, “If a person is struck by an arrow, is it painful?” The student replied, “It is.”

The Buddha then asked, “If the person is struck by a second arrow, is that even more painful?” The student replied again, “It is.”

The Buddha then explained, “In life, we cannot always control the first arrow. However, the second arrow is our reaction to the first. And with this second arrow comes the possibility of change.”

Excerpted from “Self-compassion: Releasing the second arrow,” True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart, by Tara Brach.

She’s a practicing Buddhist and psychologist. I have listened to her speak and subscribe to her podcast. She’s pretty darn incredible, and her voice calms me down immediately.

Churmyumov-Gerasimenko comet and the Rosetta satellite is one of the subjects in Beth Mende Conny's weekly essay for Lifenicity. Beth is also the founder and president of Write Directions.

Stinky comets and impatient cashiers


After 23 years of wind and ants brazenly entering our home, Joe and I decide to replace the back door. We make the long-awaited decision over breakfast and map out the route we will take around Frederick County to scope out stores.

In between, we discuss energy efficiency, which leads to a discussion of UV light. (I’ve just purchased a light box, which is to ward off winter malaise, or so the box promises.) This, in turn, leads to a discussion of sunrays, which in turn leads to a discussion of the Rosetta satellite, aka the Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis. (Say that five times fast, Einstein!)

The Rosetta has been chasing the comet Churmyumov-Gerasimenko which itself is racing toward the sun. (Say that name five times fast — anyone!) Apparently, the satellite’s been on the comet’s tail for about 10 years, trying to determine what happens to the tail when it starts to sizzle. (Shouldn’t we care more about unattended steaks sizzling on a grill than a comet sizzling some 400 million kilometers from the sun?)

Churmyumov-Gerasimenko comet and the Rosetta satellite is one of the subjects in Beth Mende Conny's weekly essay for Lifenicity. Beth is also the founder and president of Write Directions.

Churmyumov-Gerasimenko comet. Photo from NASA.

Turns out, it’s a good thing that the comet is far, far away; way past Mars, in fact. Through its sophisticated instruments, Rosetta has discovered that Churmyumov-Gerasimenko has a stench no cosmic deodorant could mask. Imagine a mix of rotten eggs, urine and vinegar, seasoned with formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide and methanol. No wonder there is no life on Mars!

Churmyumov-Gerasimenko comet and the Rosetta satellite is one of the subjects in Beth Mende Conny's weekly essay for Lifenicity. Beth is also the founder and president of Write Directions.

First map of the Churmyumov-Gerasimenko comet. Photo from NASA.

For reasons as baffling as sizzling tails, this part of our celestial discussion leads Joe and I back to door replacement. It is getting late. Off we go. Read more

Is youth wasted on the young?

Beth Mende Conny, founder of Lifenicity and Write Directions, reflects on the importance of living in the present moment.

They say youth is wasted on the young. How silly. You can’t waste what you don’t know you have: the Present. You merely live it.

But we who are older and oh so much wiser, look back — or is it look down? — on the young and tsk, tsk. We see opportunities lost, the seeds of poor decisions planted in shallow ground.

But what of our own opportunities? The decisions we let the wind carry away?

We who claim to be so much wiser also forget that we live in Present. And this is the ultimate waste — to not be here, now. To not grasp that we are never too old to be young.

“Oy, my aching head,” said the intuitive

A few weeks ago I shared a personal problem with my advisory board: the loose grouping of friends and colleagues whose opinions I trust and sometimes even listen to. Their words were wise but I was still undecided, and so I decided to see an intuitive who lived on the outskirts of town.

A friend’s daughter had consulted the woman (I’ll call her Cassandra), and Cassandra’s reading was spot-on. Cassandra identified the daughter’s medical issue and suggested a course of action, which turned out to be a good one.

My issue was relatively minor and likely would have resolved itself had I been more patient. The problem with problems, however, is that they linger. They are like houseguests who trash the place, promise to leave but do so only when there’s nothing left to munch on.

Now, for those of you who have never consulted an intuitive, be forewarned: sitting across from one is unnerving. You realize suddenly that you are paying a stranger $60 to nose around in your life for 30 minutes and that within milliseconds she’ll know you cheated on your 4th grade math quiz and are wearing holey underwear. You’ll get this sinking feeling that she’ll make horrid pronouncements, like your dog is going to die, which will freak you out even though you don’t have a dog.

Cassandra the intuitive didn’t smile as I stepped into her office. She sat on one side of her huge desk, I sat on the other, feeling like a job applicant. She closed her eyes and told me she was going to do a quick scan of my body to see what was what. Oh no! She was going to see my underwear.

When she opened her eyes, she looked at me accusingly. “You’re giving me a headache,” she said.

This threw me. I know I can be a pain in the ass, but a pain in the head? Read more

Car names — dumb, funny and dangerous

Author Beth Mende Conny of Lifenicity and Write Directions wants to know who gives cars such dumb, funny and dangerous names.So here we are, Joe and I merrily driving along Pennsylvania Rt. 322, going at a pleasant 60 mph when — gimme a break! — an RV darts in front of us at a blazing 15 mph. We curse, brake.

“Well that was dumb,” I say, though not about the driver. I’m thinking about the dumb ad execs who chose the name of this 40-foot monster whose belly holds 60 gallons of highly flammable liquid. The name? The Inferno.

Inferno? What’s with these people? Were they devotees of quality films like “Fast and Furious” or “Smokey and the Bandit”?

This got me thinking about an article my father once wrote about ad campaigns gone wrong. Here’s what I remember:

A group of execs are sitting around, trying to think up an appealing name for their client’s laundry detergent. Hours go by and finally, they find it: Dreck. Pats on the back. Yes, Dreck!

And then they got lucky. Read more

Beth Mende Conny of Lifenicity and Write Directions writes an essay about seasons and reconfiguring

Reconfiguring our lives


© 2014 Original art by Beth Mende Conny. Lifenicity.com

Let’s talk about the seasons: Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer. Or is it Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring?

There is no official order, of course, but they are ordered nonetheless, lined up like school children. One follows the other, no pushing to get ahead.

To shift their position is to upset the world order and realign the planets. That certainly won’t do. We humans don’t handle change well. Hell, we get disoriented when forced to change sides of the bed.

And yet, at times, there is a seasonal shakeup, a melding. Fall becomes Spring, as buds of dreams break through barren soil. Summer becomes Winter as love grows cold and hibernates. And so it goes, this year and every year of our lives.

There is mystery and madness to the seasons, hope and glory and sweetness and laughter. And change. Like it or not, the seasons reconfigure our lives. It is best not to fight the inevitable or, at times, to try to understand why it is so. What matters most is to let the planets follow their course and to align with them as best we can.


My Weekly Recap in Pictures

black walnut weekly

Thermometer under the Black Walnut says 67, but weather folks say 90 today. Where should I put my trust?

Vegas weekly

How bizarre, but then again, this is Vegas. Ceasar’s Palace underground mall. Cash registers shouting: Hail the mighty Ceasar!

vegas weekly

Anyone want to join me? Only catch is you have to fly out to Vegas. #bethconny #lifenicity #someonegetmesmellingsaltimfeelingkindveweak

flowers weekly

Joe loves flowers so I made him a bunch. Learned how to make them in camps during arts and crafts. Pipe cleaners and tissue paper. #bethconny #lifenicity #feellikeakidagain

book weekly

A rare moment when everything aligns. Good book, lunch, ice tea and conversation I’m eavesdropping on #bethconny #lifenicity #shoulditellhimtoreconcilewithhiswife?

art weekly

New markers, old love. We were meant to be together. #bethconny #lifenicity #lovedrawingpicturesformylifenicityblog

dance weekly

So little time, so many dances. Which is your favorite? #bethconny #lifenicity #anotherrecordfrommyfatherinlawscollection

music weekly

This New Age music makes me feel old age. Too schmaltzy and putting me to sleep before even dinnertime. #bethconny #lifenicity #perhapssomeheavymetal


Should I or shouldn’t I get out of bed? #bethconny #lifenicity #maybeiwilljustlieinbedanothertowhoursandtrytofigurethisout

I would like to thank

I would like to thank …

I would like to thankI would like to thank the sun for coming through my window this morning, casting strips of shadows through the blinds and onto the floor. They were the ladder rungs I used to climb out of bed and into the bathroom.

I would like to thank my sink and the cool fountain water I cupped to my cheeks. Splash, splash. Tingle.

I would like to thank my mirror — but forget that one. The mirror’s too judgmental, and so early in the morning! Bad mirror, bad mirror.

So instead I will thank my teal towel that gently rubbed and opened my eyes so I might see the day and pray to make it a good one.

I would like to thank the day for showing up yet again, whatever the season or reason. I love how it weaves its fingers through mine and gently tugs: “Let’s begin.”

And I would like to thank the universal powers that be, whatever their shape or name, for the periodic wisdom that allows me to follow my purpose, with trust.



My Weekly Recap in Pictures


Definitely going on my reading list. Can’t wait to see the movie version. #bethconny #lifenicity #iguessthereisareasonwhytheyarecalleddummiesbooks

apple mac

Initiated! Jenna gets her first Mac. #bethconny #lifenicity #anothersuperiorpersonwalkstheearth


Well, so much for drinking out of my commemorative cup, which the guy in front thinks is an arm rest. #bethconny #lifenicity #isheevenwearingdeoderant?


Incredible!!!! Joe’s BD and as Joe, Julia and I go up to the O’s ticket booth to get seats, a season ticket holder gives us three tickets because his friends can’t make the game. We’re five rows from the dugout! Great BD gift! #bethconny #lifenicity #maybewewillcatchaballandgetonjumbotron!