Some Lessons Learned from 2020

Circumstances do not make a man, they reveal him.”

Wayne Dyer

Yes, I know we all want to put 2020 behind us.  It’s certainly been one like no other.  In November 2019, after months of physical therapy for a misdiagnosed shoulder injury, I had surgery to remove a huge calcium growth on my right rotator cuff.  The X-ray technician who filmed my shoulder months earlier had missed it and so did the doctor.

It’s fair to say I had high hopes for 2020 as I looked forward to putting 2019 behind me.  At that time, I certainly didn’t think 2020 could be any worse but, as we all know, it was.  Nothing could have prepared us for the challenges and doom and gloom of COVID-19.  But before we put 2020 to rest, I must admit it wasn’t a total bust.  In the midst of our greatest challenges, we also find our greatest strengths and learn our most valuable lessons.  Here in no particular order are some of my personal takeaways from 2020.

  1. What We Appreciate, Appreciates.  If we focus on what’s lacking in our life, our unhappiness and need for more will only grow.  But if we focus on what we already have in our life, we will find contentment with what we already have.  If we focus, instead, on what we don’t have, we’ll always be looking for more.  Nothing will ever be enough.
  2. The Simple Things Are Not So Simple. In March 2020, I found myself at the local supermarket bright and early at 6:00 a.m. My mission was a modest one . . . to buy toilet paper.  But as I combed the aisles looking quite disheveled having just rolled out of bed, I realized that the shelves were completely bare of paper products.  No toilet paper, napkins, paper towels, tissues—nothing! After visiting quite a few stores with no luck, I ended up paying a fortune for toilet paper on Amazon. It’s a good way to learn that the basic things in life are really not basic.  In 2020, the simple things I never thought about became my focal point while the more elaborate things fell to the wayside. 
  3. Never Take Anything for Granted.  I know I’m not alone when I say 2020 taught me a hard lesson on not taking things for granted in life.  We all do it.  Our daily routines become so habitual that we don’t take the time to think about them.  Instead, we take these things for granted and move on to still more things.  Ironically, these very things we so often take for granted are what often matter the most.
  4. Feel How You Feel.  Pay attention to your feelings; they are there for a reason. This year had me feeling completely burnt out.  Between my health issues, my family and all the mental stresses that came with COVID-19, I was pushed to the edge at times. I realized that I just couldn’t do it all and that’s OK.  Admittedly, I felt guilty at first.  But I couldn’t truly heal without putting myself first for a change.
  5. Touch is Essential.  Rick Springfield was right, “We all need the human touch.”  The year 2020 taught me the hard way that human touch is a fundamental human need.  Never before have I ever appreciated a kiss or a warm embrace more than I did this year.  Never before have I valued my time with my family and friends more than I do now. 
  6. Change is Unavoidable. Many things in our life appear to be permanent so we convince ourselves that they are.  We don’t give these things a second thought.  Unfortunately, this permanence is just an illusion.  Everything around us—our relationships, our circumstances, our feelings, our needs, etc.—is constantly changing.  We all know this but we often don’t pay much attention to it—until something like 2020 forces us to.
  7. Stay True to Yourself.   This year had me suffering some kind of an identity crisis as I struggled with not being able to keep up with my work, my books and all the other things that I identify with.  But that’s just it.  All those things are just things.  The real me is much more than that and is very much still me.
  8. Cherish the Moment.  Nothing is ever really guaranteed and the only thing we ever really have is right now.  Put another way, five seconds ago is the past and five seconds from now will be the future.  The past is no more and the future may never happen. So, again, the only thing we only know or have for sure is the present moment.
  9. Be Still.  Just breathe. When was the last time you watched the sunset or got up early to watch the sunrise?  When was the last time you took the time to meditate and quiet your mind?  When was the last time you took the time to appreciate the beauty of a rose or the sound of ocean waves crashing along the shoreline?  In July 2020, I had to have surgery and I’m still recovering.  As I said earlier, both 2019 and 2020 dealt me some hard blows.  But through it all, I tried never to lose sight of the value of the moment.  After my surgery in July, I spent a long time laying in the lounge chair in my backyard.  Honestly, it offered me the best way to lay down without feeling too much pain.  And it also offered me many opportunities to just be still with my thoughts and appreciate the incredible beauty of the sunset.   And, AAH, the moon!  Did you know the more you focus on its glittering glow, the brighter and more beautiful it becomes?

Try it.  I promise you your eyes will never see anything so stunning.  We can’t see the things we don’t choose to look at.  As the late Wayne Dyer once said, “With everything that has happened to you, you can either feel sorry for yourself or treat what has happened as a gift. Everything is either an opportunity to grow or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose.”

No, we didn’t have a choice in the difficulties dealt to us with COVID-19.  But we can use the lessons learned from our many challenges in 2020 to grow and thrive in 2021.  Remember, what we appreciate, appreciates.  Our reaction is always our choice.

Happy New Year!  Perhaps the many hardships of 2020 will plant seeds of gratitude and become the milestones to a joyful and treasured 2021. 

What Does the Quantum Entanglement Theory Tell Us?

“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.”  Nikola Tesla

Recently, I was interviewed for a documentary film.  Prior to the interview, the host sent me a list of possible questions to give me an idea of the subject matter.  One question that really struck a chord was “can you give an example of the most ‘out there’ paranormal theory you’ve heard but are willing to entertain as true?” 

Although I was never asked this question during the actual interview, it really got me thinking.  Truthfully, there are many theories that I consider true but the one that really stands out for me here is a branch of quantum physics known as quantum entanglement.  This theory involves the idea that two separated objects can share the same state no matter how far they are apart.  In other words, once two entities meet they remain connected and whatever you do to one affects the other. 

In the 1930’s, Albert Einstein flinched at this idea even though it was drawn from his own research and calculations.  Believing the concept to be strange and that there must be some other explanation, he famously called his findings “spooky action at a distance.”  Yet, today, science continues to find that quantum entanglement, though seemingly outlandish, is true. 

For example, in 1964, John Bell proposed the now well-known Bell’s Theorem and was able to show that two particles, once linked, will change together instantaneously when a change to one or the other is made.  Then in 1982, a team led by Alain Aspect at the University of Paris discovered that subatomic particles can communicate with each other no matter how far they are apart.  Yet again in 1997, scientists split a pair of entangled photons and then shot them through fiber-optic cables in two separate villages several miles apart.  They found that changing one appeared to have instantaneously affected the other. 

The implications of these theories are astounding for many reasons.  Some prominent researchers, for one, believe that quantum mechanics may actually prove some version of life after death.  According to quantum mechanics, photons and electrons are both particles and waves.  Some assert that this is an indication of the duality of body and soul. 

They also assert that our cells carry quantum information that goes on to exist as a soul once the physical body dies.  Former head of the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Germany, Dr. Hans-Peter Durr, explained, “What we consider the here and now, the world, it is actually just the material level that is comprehensible.  The beyond is an infinite reality that is much bigger.  . . which this world is rooted in.  In this way, our lives in this plane of existence are encompassed, surrounded, by the afterworld already. . . The body dies but the spiritual quantum field continues.  In this way, I am immortal.”*

British Physicist Sir Roger Penrose argues that consciousness is actually information stored at a quantum level.  Our cells carry information which is stored at a sub-atomic level and then when we die, it is released back into the universe, he notes.  If, however, we are resuscitated, the information is channeled back to our cells and this is what sparks a near-death experience.

The human body is made up of several difference types of cells (skin cells, red blood cells, white blood cells, nerve cells, muscle cells, etc.).  These cells, often called the building blocks of life, come together giving us the illusion of solid mass.  However, what we perceive as solid is not solid at all but 99.999999999999% empty space!  What we are really made up of is energy and this energy is part of one unified field. 

As Niels Bohr once said, “If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet.  Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.”  What does this all mean?  Well, for one, things are not what they appear to be—not even death.  Perhaps what Einstein once regarded as spooky is not so eerie after all but merely a profound indication of our true nature and the unbreakable interconnectedness of all things—both physical and spiritual. 


What Really Matters

When something really matters, you should never give up or give in.” Gordon Brown

The stars seemed to be our only intruders as we sat with our backs up against the windshield of my car.  Two hours earlier my friend Karen jumped in the driver’s seat telling me she was taking me for a ride.  I had no idea where we were going but never asked.  We had recently graduated high school and I was game for anything—well, almost. 

We ended up in Round Valley—a park covering 2,000 acres in Lebanon, New Jersey and home to the state’s deepest lake.  Admittedly, at 18, I didn’t truly grasp the significance of that night as we sat there both enjoying the silence and at other times talking about our hopes and dreams and everything in between.  It was a beautiful, warm summer night and we could see fireflies over the lake to our right and literally hear the stillness of the water. 

We were both dealing with so many insecurities and unknowns with college just ahead of us.  Everything seemed so fast paced but on that night, we hit pause.  Karen and I are still friends but we haven’t done anything like that since.  Like I said, I didn’t really get it then.

But life has a way of teaching us what really matters.  And although I may not have fully realized how significant these precious moments are as a young teenager, I do now.  And after almost 40 years, I have never forgotten about that night.

Last week, I was talking to my friend Chris and the conversation turned to what really matters in life.  The point in our chat was that the older we get, the more we realize how little material things and money actually matter.  As I told my friend then, what’s important are life’s beautiful moments and making them count. 

One of my favorite quotes by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is “the things which matter most must never be at the mercy of the things which matter least.” Unfortunately, some people get so caught up with getting the bigger house or the fancy car that they don’t take time to notice the little moments in between.  They lose sight of the fact that less is truly more.  Trust me, when you’re on your deathbed, you won’t be thinking of either the size of your house or your bank account.

I’ve experienced both pain and joy over the years and realized many things about my life.   The pain, loss and disappointments have been tough.  But they have also given me a deeper understanding of what truly is invaluable.  The way that I see it what matters are the relationships you keep, the love you give and the moments you are lucky enough to embrace.

Take advantage of every opportunity you have to be with the people who matter most in your life.  Love fully and give freely. Recognize the moments that make your heart sing and cherish the times when you are lucky enough to make someone else smile.  When you can make another life a little happier, you will brighten your own.

As the Buddha once said, “In the end, these things matter most. How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you let go?”  Very wise, indeed.  The things that count the most in life cannot necessarily be counted or even measured.  They can only be given, received and treasured.

Looking back, I only wish I could have appreciated many of my life moments a little more.  But at least now I know the value of those precious memories and will never take anything for granted again. 

Register 14, Please!

“There will always be a reason why you meet people. Either you need them to change your life or you’re the one that will change theirs.” 

Angel Flonis Harefa

Patiently, I waited my turn making sure to stand at least six feet away from the woman in front of me.  I had stopped at the local supermarket to grab a few quick things but nowadays there is no such thing as quick.  I have no idea how many people were in line behind me but I would guess there were at least 10.  I must have been daydreaming hoping to be anyplace else but in a crowded supermarket when the employee monitoring the line called out to me, “Register 14, please.”

 I looked up shyly at the employee.  “I’m sorry.  Did you say 14?”

Turning to face her, I tried to picture her face.  Her voice sounded almost fleeting and surreal behind her white mask.  It is very difficult communicating these days but even more so for the hearing impaired.  Honestly, I never realized just how much I rely on reading lips until COVID-19.

She glanced at me momentarily and quickly turned her attention to the long line of registers.  “Yes, 14.” Still, unsure if she said 14 or 13, I decided to go with my gut and head over to register 14.  Once there, I noticed that register 13 was empty and there was someone ahead of me in 14.  I started to second guess myself and wondered again if I had misunderstood her.  My first thought was to just head into the empty aisle but something told me to stay put. 

After a few minutes, the customer ahead of me paid and left and I proceeded to put my things on the checkout counter.  The young woman working the register looked over at me quizzically.  Even though her face was covered, her kind eyes welcomed me.

“Do you have any coupons?”

“Oh, I’m sorry . . . what did you say?”

“Do you have any coupons? She repeated.

“No, I don’t.”

“Do you have anything at the bottom of your cart?”

“I’m sorry.  I’m hearing impaired. Did you ask if I have anything at the bottom of my cart?”

She gave me a quick nod affirmatively.

“No, nothing.  Thanks.”

She then proceeded to scan my items as I began to help her bag my items.

Raising her voice slightly so that I could hear her she noted, “My son is hearing impaired. So I understand.”

Looking up at her, I smiled beneath my mask.  “Oh, really?”  She went on to tell me that that he was seven year’s old and would be mainstreamed in the local public school.  I stopped bagging for a moment and gave her my full attention.

“That’s interesting because my mother fought for me to attend a Catholic school when I was the same age.  I was born with a disability known as cerebral palsy.”

Undeniable shock now peered through her brown eyes. “OMG, my son has cerebral palsy!”


“I can’t tell that you have CP at all.  Can I ask what you do for a living?”

“Sure, I’m an author and motivational speaker.”

At that moment, I could see her eyes begin to water as an impatient customer now showed up in register 14 waiting for his turn.  I pretended not to notice his stares knowing the universe had put me in register 14 for a reason.

We chatted for a few more minutes and she finally said, “Thank you so much.  You never know the truth about someone just by looking at them.”

“You’re very welcome.  And, yes, that’s very true.  You will never know what someone is really going through.  But you can tell a lot about someone when you take the time to look through their eyes.  Or maybe I should say behind the masks.”

She gave me a slight chuckle as she handed me my receipt.  The early stages of tears still apparent in her eyes.

“Do me a favor and tell your son to always get back up, no matter what happens in life.”

She looked up at me—a tear now rolling down her face.  “Thank you.  Thank you so much.”

Somehow I knew she could see me smiling as I walked away from register 14.  I made my way towards the exit and into the parking lot feeling much lighter than I did when I walked in.  Life really does have a way of putting us in the right place at the right time.  For me, it was register 14.

Justifying the Cost of Online Vs. In-Person Learning

I want all tuition to stop growing.

Rick Scott

As students start the 2020-21 school year across the globe, no two plans seem to be alike in the midst of the pandemic.  Our education system has been shocked in unprecedented ways as most schools continue to use a remote learning platform.  Others are using a more hybrid method combining both in-person and online learning while some have been able to conduct their classes in person.

student-849825_1280 (2)My two daughters, both college students, have received word that all of their fall classes will be conducted online.  While this, of course, does not surprise me I can’t help but wonder how colleges can justify charging the same for virtual instruction.  With off-campus living expenses included, the cost for sending each of my daughters to school is about $50,000.  Now that the classes have transitioned online, the cost remains the same.

I wrote to both colleges voicing my concerns and was very unhappy with the responses I received.  It does not surprise that there are so many class action lawsuits against colleges.  When I asked for some kind of credit, I was told that the cost for online instruction was “actually higher.”  That same letter ended with “….we are attempting to be thoughtful and consistent with what we can do as we continue to navigate through continued uncertainty.”

Recently, I googled the pros and cons of online classrooms and found negatives like the lack of social interaction and in-person networking opportunities or the need for intense discipline and time management.  Other sites claimed that quality is lacking and argued that virtual education continues to have a bad reputation and is judged unfavorably by major companies when seeking job applicants.

To be fair, there are also advantages to online learning.  For one, you have much more flexibility and can often study when, how, and even where you want to.  It also presents an opportunity for more individualized learning because you can work at your own pace.  However, one of the top advantages often noted is the affordability of online classes and this is simply not true in the midst of the pandemic.  At least, it’s not the case for me.

My youngest daughter Lia, after finding out that all of her classes would be online, opted to take a leave of absence and attend an in-state school for the fall semester.  Doing so will save us well over $10,000.  My daughter is not alone.  Many students have opted to take a gap year and explore other options.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have heard much hype from seers about the “new normal” in which everything from the way we live, work, worship and even hug and shake hands will be turned upside down.  Some are even predicting that the future of higher education will forever be transformed as more and more question both its value and cost.

A recent study of incoming freshman found that 40 percent are likely not to attend college this fall—many opting to take a gap year instead.  Google recently announced that it will offer a selection of professional online courses.  These courses which are being called Google Career Certificates are designed to be completed within six months at a fraction of what is spent for a four-year degree.  I truly hope we see more follow in Google’s footsteps and hopefully the insane costs of higher education here in the United States will eventually come down for future generations.

More than 30,000 have signed a petition calling for the elimination of fees and a 20 percent tuition cut at Rutgers University.  Others are calling for the refund of housing related charges.  Some have turned a deaf ear while others have heeded to some of the demands of both parents and students.

In Virginia, for example, Hampton University has reduced tuition and fees by 15 percent while Spelman College located in Atlanta will give remote students a 10 percent discount.  Kudos to them.  I truly hope we find more colleges and universities following suit in the days ahead.  If we are truly in this together, they are no exception.

Being Mindful in the Midst of the Coronavirus

The things that matter most in our lives are not fantastic or grand. They are moments when we touch one another.”   Jack Kornfield

The world has literally been turned upside down.  As of today, there were 14,619,746 COVID-19 cases reported worldwide.  Currently, the number of deaths stands at over 608,000.  The past several months have drastically changed just about every aspect of our lives. Everything from the way we learn, work, travel, interact and even love.  In so many ways, it feels like we are grieving a life we once lived as we struggle to adapt to a new normal.

beachThe coronavirus has restructured our personal relationships in ways none of us could have ever even imagined.  Last week, I visited with a friend and her husband.  We hadn’t seen each other since the beginning of the pandemic and we welcomed the chance to catch up.  However, we sat outdoors, six feet apart and did not greet or hug each other.  To me, this was the hardest part.  It is really ironic how we are not allowed to hug each other during a time when we need human contact and affection the most.

During these uncertain and difficult times, however, it is perhaps more important than ever to remain mindful of the present moment and find ways to manage our fears and anxieties.  As Lao Tzu brilliantly said, “If you are depressed, you are living in the past.  If you are anxious, you are living in the future.  If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”

I know these stressful times don’t exactly feel peaceful.  But the truth is the only thing we can ever master or control is the present moment.  Most of us spend so much time either dwelling in memories or thinking of the future that the present moment takes a backseat.  But in reality, everything only really happens in the present moment and it is the only place to find calm amidst all the distress.

Easier said than done, I know. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about my husband’s job, our health insurance or the ability to continue to pay for the steep college tuition bills our daughters have handed us.  Of course, I’m worried like everyone else but I’m also grateful and mindful.   It is important to remember that happiness is not a place, it is a state of mind.  No matter what is going on in the world around us, we have control over our thoughts at all times. How we think matters.  How we respond matters.

Here are some “TCC” tips to help you stay in the moment:

  1. Take a Step Back:

Stop, breathe and take some time to focus on the NOW.  I mean really take note of the moment.  How do you feel?  What do you see?  What do you smell? What are you thinking?  Notice the colors around you.  Take a moment to pause and be still.  Focus on right now.

  1. Count Your Blessings:

Make a mental note of a few things you have to be grateful for.  No matter what is going on, there is always something to be grateful for.  Gratitude won’t change what is going on in the world right now but it will change the way we look at the world.  In many ways, it is gratitude that helps us to see the roses and ignore the thorns.

  1. Choose Your View:

Our state of mind.  Our happiness.  Our choice.  What we see depends on what we choose to look for.  As we look back over the heartbreak dealt to us by this pandemic, let us remember how far we have all come.  We have faced unprecedented challenges but we’ve also witnessed unimaginable strength.

An American professor named Jon Kabat-Zinn wisely said, “The little things? The little moments?  They aren’t little.”  He’s so right; they aren’t.  It is in those little moments that we will find our greatest strengths.

Find Your Own Beauty

It’s not the face, but the expressions on it. It’s not the voice, but what you say. It’s not how you look in that body, but the thing you do with it. You are beautiful.     

Stephenie Meyer

My Godmother Lucy would always tell me how special I was.  She would tell me that God had a special place in heaven for people like me. I never really thought much about this when I was little.  I didn’t feel special in any sense of the word.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

As many of you already know, I was born with a disability known as cerebral palsy.  Growing up, I did not like that little girl with kinky, curly hair and leg braces looking back at me in the mirror.  I did not want to be her.  I wanted to be someone else.  I wanted to be “normal.”  I wanted someone to make my life all better.  I wanted someone to make me feel beautiful, happy and accepted.

But eventually I realized that this someone was never going to come into my life.  I came to understand that the only person that could make me happy was ME.  And I certainly didn’t have to go anywhere to find happiness because I already had everything I needed.  Happiness is all about what’s within us, not about our life circumstances and what’s going on outside.

Likewise, true beauty is not about what you see when you look in the mirror.  The difference between those who are happy and those who are not has a lot to do with not what they see but how they feel.  True beauty is not about those curves but more about the love in your heart, compassion in your eyes and the smile on your face.

Recently, I came across a quote on Facebook which read, “I’m not beautiful like you; I’m beautiful like me.”* These wise words really struck a chord in me. In short, you define your own beauty.  Honestly, you can find beauty in everything if you truly take the time to look for it.  And when you do, you’ll be more willing to accept and appreciate what you see in the mirror.

I’ll be the first to admit that changing your mindset and how you feel about yourself is not always easy.  That little girl with kinky hair that I once saw in the mirror looks a lot different these days.  She’s older and wiser and her once smooth skin is now sagging and showing signs of aging.

But those winkles represent the love I’ve both given and lost, the pain I’ve endured and the many joys my heart has had the pleasure to experience—lessons learned throughout my life.  If I had the chance, there are things I definitely would have done differently but this is my life and these are my lessons.  Looking back, I appreciate and treasure every single one.

Sometimes we all just need a little reminder to find our own beauty.  Consider this yours.  You are beautiful; you are enough.

*Lyrics from “Beautiful” by Joy Drop

The Different Shades of Control in Relationships

“I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line.” Lucille Ball

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Abusive and controlling behavior in relationships comes in all shapes and sizes.  A commonly held definition of abuse is a “pattern of behavior in which one partner seeks to gain or maintain power and control over the other.”  Although most people instinctively think of physical abuse, emotional, sexual, and verbal abuse can be just as harmful if not more.

As the definition above implies, this abuse involves trying to control or manipulate the other person.  Often this behavior is driven by those who exhibit narcissistic tendencies.  It’s important to note that these relationships need not be romantic and show up in all facets of our lives—friends, co-workers, family members.

Often times, the abusers tend to have a grandiose and inflated image of themselves in order to protect the shame or insecurity they are actually feeling on the inside.   In order to deal with these insecurities, they are quick to judge and challenge while attempting to control and even belittle the other person.

There are several “red flags” to look out for and many of these signs can be subtle and elusive.

  1. Attention Grabbing: No relationship should demand too much of your attention or time.  An example, may be getting upset if you don’t answer their call or text message right away.  Also, spending excessive time together is not healthy.
  2. Jealousy: Although some may think of this as normal, jealousy is just another form of a controlling behavior.  There is no need to be jealous when there is complete trust involved. Jealousy equals insecurity.
  3. Gaslighting: According to Wikipedia, gaslighting is a form of manipulation which involves covertly planting seeds of doubt in another person. For example, they deny things ever happened causing you to second-guess yourself and feel confused.  They’ll tell you that you are overreacting and are oversensitive.
  4. Shifting Blame: When confronted, they will often attempt to shift the blame to someone else.
  5. Isolating: A relationship should never keep you away from another relationship. Those who are controlling will attempt to gradually isolate you from your family and friends.  A healthy relationship whether platonic or romantic is inclusive, not excluding.
  6. Snooping:  Have you ever been in a relationship where a friend or partner reads your text messages or even answers your messages for you?  This screams insecurity as well as control.  Of course, it’s different when you ask someone to check your phone.

For obvious reasons, those who are arrogant and controlling often look for partners who are submissive and lack self-esteem. No relationship should ever make you feel unworthy or inferior for any reason.  And, as a general rule, you should never give someone permission to change who you are.

Being free to be yourself and having time to yourself is an essential part of every relationship.  Never allow someone else to speak your mind or be your voice.  As Eleanor Roosevelt brilliantly said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

COVID-19: Together As One


Photo Credit:  Gulf News

Reality is merely an illusion, although a very persistent one.” Albert Einstein

In March, Italy announced a country-wide lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Today, Venice’s canals—stripped bare of its usual water taxis and gondolas—are clearer than they’ve been in decades.  Carbon monoxide emissions are down drastically in Los Angeles and in New York City you can actually hear the birds singing.  In Beijing and Delhi, reduced smog and air pollution has given way to beautiful, clear skies.  As we witness these incredible transformations, it is an important reminder to us all that our actions affect everyone and everything.

The world as we know it does not consist of separate things and we are not really separate from one another.  We only seem to be.  I’ve written about the Law of Oneness many times over the years in both my books and my blog and I know it is difficult for our earthly minds to understand.  We live in a world of contrasts which gives us the illusion of separation but, in reality, we are not separate at all.

If you think this is pseudoscience, look around you.  If the global pandemic we are experiencing right now is not proof of the interconnectedness of all things, I don’t know what is. Our very actions today are literally making the difference between life and death and affecting the future of humanity as a whole all over the world.

After taking a trip to Jamaica with my family, I wrote about the concept of oneness in a former blog post.  Here is an excerpt from my post of July 23, 2017.

When asked what your body is made of you might automatically think: blood, bones, skin, organs, etc. But if you break down everything that you can see and feel to the subatomic level what you will find are particles and atoms.

As you look deeper and deeper into the workings of the atom, you will discover that nothing is there. Well, at least nothing very tangible. What you will find is an energy field or energy waves. These atoms, in other words, are composed of nothing less (or nothing more) than pure energy. So everything that you see around you (the trees, the sand, the sky, the ocean, your house, computer, cell phone, etc.) is made up of this energy and everything is connected to that energy.

Science has discovered that matter is 99.999999999999 percent empty space. So what looks and feels solid is not solid at all. It’s actually energy. In 1911, Max Planck was the first to demonstrate that the seemingly empty space between the planets, stars, etc. is actually teeming with energy.

If we all truly understood the implications of this on the nature of reality, the changes in our way of looking at life would be immeasurable. We are all connected by an unseen force that in turn infuses everything else. This is why it is so important to make sure we surround ourselves with positive people. The energy waves that make up who we are constantly collide or join with the energy around us.

We get back what we put out there in the universe. Taking this one step further, everything that we think, say and do influences our reality. If you want good, you have to do good. If you want love, you have to give love. You create your own destiny.

If you want proof, turn on the news or take a walk outside.  Here in New Jersey, one of the places hardest hit by COVID-19, we remain on 24-hour lockdown.  My niece Brooke and her fiancé Joe had no choice but to postpone their May wedding and I am growing increasingly worried about my elderly parents in Florida.  I know several people who have either died from the virus or are recovering from it.  Over the past few weeks, my prayer list is sadly getting longer and longer.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if the world just stopped?  Again, take a walk outside.  Turn on the news.  Streets are eerily quiet, stores and restaurants are padlocked, schools are closed and businesses are shut down as many employees struggle to work from home.  In New York City, Time’s Square is virtually empty.  As you know, no more than 10 people are permitted to gather at one time and when we do we must adhere to strict social distancing guidelines.

What we are experiencing is something I thought I would never witness in my lifetime but it’s nonetheless very real.  What’s more, there is really no definite end in sight and we have no idea when things will return to “normal.”  And speaking of normal, we may never see life as we used to know it again.

As we spend our time quarantined away from those we love and care about, I hope we can all reflect on and appreciate the many blessings we have been taking for granted for so long.  As we deal with the loneliness and fear of the unknown, may we remember that we are all in this together and know that we can only survive this together.  When we turn on the TV, the current message is that we are “alone together.” But the correct message should be “together as one.”  In reality, we are never really alone.

Science is now echoing what ancient texts and religions have been telling us for a very long time:  there is an unseen connectedness between all things.  That is why every thought and every action affects the whole of humanity.

As we take this time to catch up on things and maybe even fit some exercise into our days in quarantine, may we also remember to exercise our minds.  Be mindful and stay in the NOW.  Doing so will help us to be grateful for all that we do have.  I may not be able to see my parents or my daughter Erica, for example, but I’ve never appreciated my family or missed my friends more than I do now.  There is a positive in every negative and a lesson to be learned in every experience.

Besides the environmental benefits, people across the globe, for example, have voluntarily made sacrifices to protect the lives of those who are considered more vulnerable to the virus (the elderly and those with diabetes, cancer and autoimmune diseases, etc.).  As doctors and nurses work tirelessly to save lives, others deliver medical supplies and hand out food to the needy.  The list is numerous but there are many unsung heroes out there who are putting the needs of others before their own.

When asked if the worst was behind us, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, noted, “I’m a very cautious person, but we are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.”  While there are no definitive answers, I must say that I do agree with Dr. Fauci.  As we all get through these uncertain times, may we remember that light will always prevail over darkness.  Love will always carry the day despite the loneliness and hope will forever conquer fear.

In the end, we will emerge a stronger, more compassionate world.  As before, and perhaps now more than ever, we are together as one.

This blog is dedicated to all those who have lost their lives or who are fighting the coronavirus.  I would also like to acknowledge those who are on the forefront (doctors, nurses, police officers, firefighters, EMT’s, etc.).  Thank you.  And to all those essential workers, for example, who continue to deliver our mail and stock our shelves at the supermarket, thank you so much. 


Photo by Jude Beck

Never forget the world at this moment

Take nothing for granted ever again

Let your hearts be not silent

As the memories of these days remain


As we get through this

Remember only what truly counts

Family, friends, a handshake, a hug, a kiss

Precious gifts, may we recount


Life’s many pleasures

Dinner, shopping, dancing . . .

Appreciate all those simple treasures

Love and romancing


Once taken for granted

Now gone in an instant

The seeds seemingly unplanted

Now so precious, yet distant


A walk on the beach

On a warm summer day

Once within reach

Now all kept at bay


We shall rise

Stronger than ever before

Amidst the uncertainty and cries

Footprints left upon the shore

Seeds replanted

A testament to all that we adore