Just Call Me “Clutch”


Our bikes for the weekend

This weekend I learned to ride a motorcycle. Yes me!  I did it!

I’ll be honest, my first ride felt horrible. There were so many things to pay attention to. It all got garbled up in my head. I worried and panicked and overthought, making it all worse. I stalled, pulled the throttle at the wrong time and forgot everything I was supposed to know.

Dave, the instructor was a tough-love kind of guy…he was a big dude, with a Southern accent, a white goatee, and a missing tooth. He told it like it was and didn’t give me any breaks for being the only girl in the group. I kept messing up, he kept yelling at me, and man, I wanted to cry.

After the first lesson of the day I had to step away. I actually hid in my minivan and yes, even cried, angry at myself for screwing up. I decided then in my misery and anger that I was going to leave and be done, walk away, and cut my losses.

So I approached Dave and said, “I think it’s better if I leave.”

He looked at me and said “You’re doing better than you think you are. Just don’t over think it. How about one more round and then decide?” And so I agreed.

And you know what? The next lesson went so much smoother. I actually had fun.

I returned to the break area with a smile on my face. I had practically forgotten about my escape plan.

But then, of course, in round three things got hard again…I mean really hard. I kept stalling the bike and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how to shift into second. Do a figure 8? Forget it. I failed at it four times, with Dave yelling at me the whole way…pretty soon I had the whole class shouting at me “use the clutch!!” As crappy as it felt at first, it became almost comical. At one point I found myself even smiling….and suddenly out of nowhere I was getting it right, taking the turns like a pro. I had stopped overthinking, and was just doing.

At the end of the first class everyone patted me on the shoulder and said “We’re so glad you didn’t leave.” They were rooting for me.

After another round or two Dave gave me the nickname “Clutch” because of my frequent neglect of this vital component. Pretty soon all the guys were calling me “Clutch”. I sort of liked it. I felt like the kid sister who everyone picked on but still loved.

I had far from mastered anything except maybe putting up the kickstand, but I had come a long way. All I could think is “When am I going to get my own bike so I can practice, practice, practice?

At the end of the final day, after all our work and testing Dave had us pull up in our spots.  He said to the group “I‘d like to congratulate you all…you’ve passed.”

Me!? With a motorcycle license? When Dave handed me that little card, you’d think I was receiving my diploma. I was grinning ear to ear.

Before I left I asked I asked Dave for a hug, which I’m sure looked out of place out on a range with a bunch of guys and their bike’s, but I didn’t care. He wasn’t just my instructor he was my weekend guru. He didn’t let me give up.


Me and Dave!

And so here I am with A MOTORCYCLE LICENSE!!!! I did what I thought I couldn’t do. Thank God I didn’t quit.

The funny thing is that all the work I did this weekend seems to directly apply to the rest of my life. There are many moments lately where I feel stupid and want to walk off “the course” and hideaway, but I’m going to keep on riding, because I know if I let go and stop worrying so much there are good things to come.  There always are.

One thing I learned out there this weekend is when you ride is that you need to look in the direction of where you want to go…not at the ground, not at your speedometer, or your foot brake… look ahead.

And when you do, the bike follows…wherever you want it to go.

And so, as I continue dealing with life, I’m going to keep looking ahead…looking out to where I want to go… and when I do, though I may falter once in a while, I will still ultimately ride in the direction of where I want to be.

Many thanks to Dave and all the guys today who supported me (and thanks for not running into me all those times I stalled).

Keep on ridin’

Becky (aka Clutch)

P.S. I go bike shopping tomorrow!! I’ll post pics!!

The Day I Stopped Trying….


I woke up yesterday morning sure as hell I was leaving. I was going to go to Marrakesh. I was going to pack my bags, kiss my kids and my husband goodbye and head overseas. Oh, I’d be back, maybe in a month or two but in the meantime I’d be off wandering open air markets, riding camels for fun, and eating all the humus my heart desired. That’s what one does in Marrakesh, right??

Frankly I knew nothing about this city. It’s in Morocco, right? But I did know- if I could throw a stone over the ocean, from the beach where I mediate each day, I’d hit this far off land.

And flying over the Atlantic to a distant world, where I wasn’t me, where my problems didn’t exist seemed like the best solution…because frankly I was sick of me….this me anyway.

“Traveling Me” wasn’t failing her family, her friends. “Traveling Me” didn’t have a house to keep clean, children and a husband to keep happy. She could make mistakes without causing a whole household to tumble. Traveling Me wasn’t needy, insecure, a victim of her own imaginary tragedies.

For months…years… I told everyone I was going to fix things… that’s right, everything I hated about myself. I was going to erase horrible Becky and bring in a better one….no…a perfect one!

I had a plan. I read books on how to be a better person, made motivational charts, wrote blog entries, gave myself mantras, prayed to the sun. Yet in the end I always failed.

The pain of imagining how horrible and unpleasant of a person I must be was getting unbearable…but somehow when I looked around, I saw that everyone still loved me, deeply. They didn’t care about my motivation charts, the mantras I chose. They loved me. Just me.

The only person who thought of me as a failure was me.

The day before my imaginary plans to Marrakesh began I was unloading cans onto the pantry shelf in our kitchen. …Actually I was shoving cans into the shelf because I had failed to clean it off, for weeks. It was overflowing . Yet another reason to loath myself. And so as I rested a can of chicken stock onto the stack, CRASH! The shelf collapsed causing a cascade of other collapsing shelves….and what did I do? I collapsed too. Right there in the kitchen. I cried and cried and cried. My eight year old twins came running into the room asking what was wrong.

What was I to say? I’m a horrible person? I’m sorry I failed you again?

I went upstairs to my room and sobbed until I reached exhaustion. I was so tired of failing.

Now here’s the thing about me, when it comes to emotional intelligence I’m not dumb. I understand my psyche quite well. I know I’m not a horrible person. I know people love me. I know this.  I  know I’m not depressed. It is just I keep playing forty year old “tapes” in my mind, tapes that say ‘You will never be good enough for the people you love.’

That’s one crappy burden to carry. In fact, it’s become a self-fulfilling prophesy. I get so sick of trying to attain imaginary heights that I say “fuck it! It’s not worth it anyway. ” Why bother?

And so yesterday in the face of my Marrakesh dreams I looked at my husband and said, “We need to leave.” He looked at me confused.

“I’m getting a hotel room in Daytona,” I said

So, we set the twins up with my 16-year-old son and we drove the 30 miles to Daytona Beach.

And during the drive, I poured it all out…all of it…about my struggles to be “good” and the “voices” who are telling me who I should be.  I talked the poor man’s ear off, and he listened, saying little, as I shared my bare ugly truth.

But here’s the deal, at the end of my soliloquy I felt better.  I realized maybe it all wasn’t so ugly. This needy, tired little girl was just a piece of me.  She is the one who tells me love is conditional, that love can only be attained through song and dance, though saying and doing just the right things.

But the truth is, love is not based on the state of your pantry, the nutrition content of the food put on your table, or for me as an author –the number of books I sell. Love permeates it all.

In the end the act of trying is useless. The true secret is being, because love doesn’t care how many hoops you jump through, love just is.

May you, in your journeys know that you too are loved by just being beautiful you. There’s nothing to prove. Love is all there is.

And hey, who knows, maybe I’ll see you in Marrakesh!


There’s Nothing We Can’t Do


I arrived at the gym yesterday and walked up to the front desk to check in. Right on the counter was a stack of cards titled “Dancing Light: The Spiritual Side of Being”. The cards seemed out of place amidst weight machines and treadmills but the image on it intrigued me.

It was of an older woman with a glowing smile sitting in lotus pose wearing a red halter dress, arms over head looking to the sky.

Tao Porchon-Lynch

Tao Porchon-Lynch

Curious I picked it up. The card, a promo for a new book, said that the woman’s name is Tao Porchon-Lynch. She is 96 years old and from her resume she appeared to be more active than most forty year olds I know. Among many other things to her credit, she is an award winning ball room dancer and holds the title for the oldest yoga instructor.

Then as I read on and I felt my breath leave me for a moment.

Her life mantra is…

There is nothing you cannot do.

These words struck me deeply. It is the same message I had been hearing all week, from numerous places..

A few months ago, my friend first told that he believes he can do anything. I secretly laughed. It sounded like boyish pride to me. He couldn’t become a champion belly dancer, I thought…or a master chef on a Caribbean cruise ship …my list of “preposterous” things grew. I thought how childish of a notion it was and I actually felt sorry for him for being trapped in such a naïve reality. Wasn’t he just setting himself up for failure and disappointment?

But on Friday when I talked to him, I started to see that he didn’t just think this idea…he KNEW it. This statement wasn’t out of arrogance, nor was it some sort of grand delusion; it was the source of his power. There was no doubt that if there was something in life he wanted to do, he could do it.

That same day, in the evening, I was speaking with another friend. Sue, at 85 has a youthful spark in her eye, a playful sense of wit and a curiosity that makes her appear decades younger than she actually is.

I can’t remember what we were talking about, but when I heard these words slip from her mouth: “I can do whatever I put my mind to.” I paid attention. She too was a believer.

And so, you can imagine, when I was at the gym just the next day, holding that little card in my hand, reading about a 95 year old woman who’s life moto is “There’s Nothing You Cannot Do” the message felt profound.

I believe it is time to not just hear to these words, but to be them… to dive fearlessly into life, nod at the things that scare us and keep moving forward. We can do whatever we set our minds to. The only thing in our way is us. This doesn’t mean things will be easy. Quite the opposite, but when we truly believe this truth, we can’t be stopped.

Don’t give up.  It’s in you.



Here’s a clip of an interview with Tao,

Waking Up


This morning I woke up in a horrible funk…once again angry at myself for all the ways I’ve declared myself a failure. It seems to be a pattern lately, waking up in despair.

So, since it’s Sunday and I don’t have to get the kids off to school I decided to try something different. I slipped on some clothes and walked down to the beach. When I got there the morning sky was glowing, rays of sunlight pouring through the clouds onto the ocean’s surface.

I stepped in the sand and did my morning “yoga” prayer to the sea, then settled myself on a step at the beach walkover. With no particular plan I ripped out half a page out of a notebook I had brought along. I then began scrawling all the things I “hated” about myself—all those things that ran through my head while I laid in bed most mornings…my neediness, my lack of order, the ways I’ve clearly fail my family, friends and myself….all my inadequacies. I didn’t hold back one bit.

Then with pleasure I shredded the half sheet into little pieces and stepped into the water. With a smile on my face I tossed the paper in, watching the little fragments flutter into the ocean like a flock of tiny birds on their final flight.

I then walked back to my seat, where my notebook and pen sat. In front of me was the remaining, blank half sheet of paper.


Looking at it I decided it needed to be filled. And so I began to write a response to those negative words that were now part of the waves:

This is you. The one here in this moment, connected to the ocean, connected to God. Fear is just a distant whisper—a memory of need and loss. It serves no purpose anymore.

You are here—magnificent, with all the knowledge you need in the palm of your hand. You are the light that streams through the clouds, the breeze that blows, the changing tide. Your heart breaths light.

Chaos and order are just perceptions. The world is both—neither good nor bad.

I hereby free you from your obsessions, your worry. These are distant calls. They are no longer needed in this magnificent place.

Now—tell this to your heart! Worry and self-hatred are no longer you.

You are beauty, light, and love.

And so, I came back from the beach feeling calm and clean, free from my worries.

It’s going to be a good day.



The Ta-da Factor


Over the past few days I’ve done some very important, very nonscientific social research. And lucky you get to hear the results–

So, my new book came out on Amazon a few weeks ago. ( The whole thing happened faster than I expected, and Amazon posted the paperback three days earlier than planned.

I was thrilled beyond belief when I saw it up there, so without much thought I shouted it out to the Facebook world sharing how absolutely ecstatic I was that my “baby” was finally out in the world.

My friends and supporters shared my post like mad. It was amazing.

There was one problem.

This “announcement” was too soon. The kindle edition wasn’t out yet, so people were heading to my site and the kindle version wasn’t there.

Nothing was choreographed like I hoped. My words in the post weren’t carefully crafted, just blurted out to the world, but something interesting happened. I watched people’s excitement as they read it. They felt connected to me, and I felt connected to them! We were sharing in the love. They wanted to “share” on facebook because they were thrilled for me. They wanted to celebrate in the moment too. It was wonderful.

Then a few days later, when the kindle edition was out I had a chance to make a “real” announcement. I created an official one, spending a very long time figuring out the exact words to say.

In the end I tried to mimic my initial enthusiasm: “Hey guys! It’s here!” but something was different, this time I was in essence saying “buy my book” and the energy shifted.

On top of it, with all that over thinking going on in my head, my writing lacked sincerity. My intention was different. This time instead of just wanting to share the news I was secretly thinking “I want people to share this” “I want lots of likes” and it completely changed the overall reaction of my friends.

Living your life wanting likes is not a great way to live. Trust me, I know this sort of thing. I’ve learned in my 43 years, anytime I go into a situation where I’m thinking: “I want this person to like me”, “buy this”, or better yet “Ta da! Everyone! Look at me!” people turn away. They’re left ironically unimpressed.

No one likes a needy person. Their behavior in essences says “Something is incomplete in me. Please fix it.”

So, what’s the answer when you’re trying to sell books, make a living? Honestly I don’t know, but what I do know is this: all I can be is me and the minute I shift from my truth…from my essence, everything is thrown off. I know, I probably will never been a marketing wizard with these tactics, nor will I likely sell a million books by just “being me”, but hopefully the people who do read my books will walk away feeling they’ve been touched by something good and they’ll tell others because the book brought them joy.

In the end, all we have is truth. There’s no reason to hide it.

Side note: I can’t finish this post without a shout out to author (and occasional sensai) Tim Baker who has been telling me this stuff for quite a while. Now I’m listening Tim. You were right.

Never Doubt the Power of your Own Advice


My higher self has a lot to say these days…and it seems to do it in Wizard of Oz metaphors.  In fact, while writing in my journal tonight this thought landed on the page:

“The yellow brick road is right in front of you, Becky. It’s time to take that next step towards home.”

These days it’s not just my subconscious talking to me.  Those who love me are practically screaming: “Becky, you have the power. Listen to it. It’s calling you to greater things.There’s nothing to fear.”

Never in my life have I been surrounded by such positivity. I’m watching the people I love dance the dance of life with confidence and joy, unafraid. They are breathing in all that is good around them, taking the negative and harnessing it into something powerful and strong.

I plan on taking my own advice…and the advice of people around me and move forward, no longer shielded by fear.

So here I go guys, I’m doing it, taking that next step down the golden road headed straight in the direction of my heart.

1,000 thank yous to Daniela Behler of Engaging Social Media and Tim Baker of Blindogg Books who hear my heart and never doubt me.

Peace to you all.

P.S. Tomorrow is my birthday, so I’m wishing myself a happy day. 43 years on the planet and each one is better than the next.  I am so very grateful!!!!!!

Oh, and if you like what I have to say check out my books

Thank you!

When Life Gives You Flying Monkeys

flying monkey

I’m sitting in bed with my favorite blanket on my lap listening to this silly Native American flute music hoping it will elicit something deep and meaningful for my blog post… maybe some spirit guide will pop in for a visit, I dunno. So far I’ve got nada.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of “Being Who You Are”. This isn’t just “Ta da! I’m the cute girl in the spandex pants.” This is the core You on the path you’ve been on since the day you were born (or before!)

Imagine you’re lost in a foreign place and all you want is to go home. You’ve got this yellow brick road in front of you and you have been told (by some adorable munchkins) if you follow it good things will come.

On this road you meet some interesting characters and they decide to join you on your journey (as all good friends do!).

Staying true to You, you persist even though there are some nasty things along the way: flying monkeys, poison poppies and giant trees that throw apples at you, to name a few.

oz tree

So,here you are with apple size bruises all over your body. You just want to turn in those slippers that nice lady gave you and call it a day, but you keep going because this is your role as a traveler, to be there in that moment, even when it sucks. You don’t know exactly what waits for you up ahead, but that doesn’t matter, because you have a single goal: to find your way home.

The irony of this story comes at the end from the lady in the puffy dress: “You’ve had the power all along.”


That’s right… YOU were always there. All that strength you wished for was always there. Every moment of that journey you were right where you needed to be.

I am realizing now, we all have ruby red slippers and every day we walk a yellow brick road. Even in the crappy moments we are living out our story, just as we are meant to.

Yeah, Dorothy had the power to go home…but maybe home was an illusion. Maybe she was already there.



Credit to author Tim Baker of Blindogg Books, whose reminded me of Glenda’s words many, many times.


The End of the Story


I feel as if I’m ending a chapter in my life “story”.  It was a wonderful chapter, maybe one of the best in my book thus far, but its time for the next one, so the story can continue on.

And so, as I was journaling today, I decided to write out an ending for myself as if I was a character in my book.

Here’s what I came up with.  (As far as I’m concerned, its all true!)

…She looked in the mirror and saw not what she wanted them to see, but what was really there…her new forming wrinkles, her blemishes, her fly away hair…but also her beauty, her strength, her vibrancy. She was magnificent, not because she was anything particularly special, but because she was all she could be–herself.  And in that moment she noticed a glow, burgeoning in her chest.  She watched it emerge, growing in intensity, until it was shining brighter than 1,000 suns…it was light, yes, but more importantly, it was also love.

This, light emerging from her depths, held it all, the love she felt for her sweet parents, her brothers, her friends who made her smile, her magnificent husband who holds her hand through it all, and all the people before her. This heart shone with love for everyone who has ever crossed her path, for every animal, for every leaf. But most of all, it shone for her.

And as she recognized this, the light spoke:

“You have been exactly who you were supposed to be all along. All the noise, all the chatter, all the demand—that was just air, an illusion, a subtle breeze.”

And now as she stands looking at herself in the mirror, she knows that all that she feared was a myth.

Love. This glowing heart.  It has always been here, and it will always remain.

“You are forgiven Becky. You are marvelous. I am always here.”

ocean sunride

The Butterfly and the Dragon


I recently attended a class by Ali Rodriguez, a local business consultant who spoke on “Passion to the Fifth Power”. Her lecture, though business in nature, felt more like the words of some sort of Indian yogi than someone teaching us how to get rich quick. I liked her right away.

Ali’s shtick was all about overcoming fear, finding self-confidence, and listening to your gut. She said turn off the voices around you and focus on what you want, not what everyone else wants for you.

Here’s what I know about me: My outside voices are loud. In regards to business they’re constantly telling me, “You should be marketing more. You should be on Twitter. You should be doing book tours. You should, you should, you should.”

But when I step back from those voices and listen to my heart I hear, “Write, write, write. Spend time with your family. Bake a cake. Find joy in the simple things in life. The other stuff will come later. And if it doesn’t, oh well, at least you lived a wonderful life.”

So over the past few months I’ve been watching as my goals shift from trying to impress the world, to simply letting it all go, allowing myself be truly me.

That’s big stuff.

I’m finding when I listen to my gut and follow what it says I am happy. I am content and my writing is good.

Last night I went to dinner with some friends. Tim Baker and Nadine King. I love these two. We have this playfully antagonistic relationship that borders on hostile if we’re not careful. If anyone else in the restaurant was to guess our connection they’d suppose we were a healthy, if not moderately dysfunctional family.

Tim is another local author.  We don’t always see eye to eye. I’m pretty sure Hemingway and F.Scott Fitzgerald got into similar disagreements in their time.  Tim worries about my career path as a writer. It concerns him to see me flitting about, wasting my time on different marketing techniques, only to have them fail.

To him, my actions are like that of a butterfly, flitting about, testing each direction, but never really going much of anywhere.  I wont deny that I like to flit about. To me it keeps life fun and it keep my spirit alive but from our conversations I’m learning that to some I come off as flighty and unfocused.

Tim on the other hand is very focused and sticks to the path. He moves though his life in straight lines. He makes a calculated plan and moves forward. Tim, I suppose is sort of like a dragon. A dragon has strength, he has determination, and he certainly doesn’t falter with a shift in the breeze. A dragon has goals and power.

How cool it would be to be a dragon. He gets stuff done, impresses people with his strength and conviction. But as a writer I am not a dragon. (I’m a dragon in other areas of my life, but that’s a different post)

Right now, I’m fancying simplicity, vibrancy, and beauty in the detail. I’m scouting out flowers, taking a sip here and there and smiling. And in the end, like every female butterfly, I will lay my eggs (or in my case create a really good book or two).

The route I’m going isn’t going to get me thousands of book sales, but right now it is okay. I know it’s not the route for everyone, It’s certainly not Tim’s, but that’s okay too. I can only be me. As long as my gut keeps pointing me in this gentle direction, I’ll flutter my wings and eventually make my way there.

Side note: The letters between Hemingway and Fitzgerald make me laugh. After bashing his friend’s manuscript, Hemingway says in a letter to him: “It’s a lot better than I say. But it’s not as good as you can do.”  I would have loved to have sat down with those two, plus, maybe Tim and seen what kind of crazy discussions we’d land ourselves in. I can guarantee there’d be yelling…and maybe a little crying (from Tim, of course)

Here are two links their letters:

July 1925

May 1934