being positive

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 7.34.45 PM

Julie, me and Rachel

Photo-on-4-18-15-at-4.43-PM1Julie, me, and Rachel. Just girls having fun. And get this—Rachel lives 7 blocks down the street from me—we’re neighbors, friends again!

These beautiful ladies gave 20 years of their lives to AMCTC. Twenty years! And you think I have crazy stories—wait until they tell theirs!

Rachel was excommunicated to the shed shortly after I. We went through a lot together. “It was like a nightmare,” she says. But in the end, she wasn’t kicked out on the street like I was. God let her back in. So she gave another 15 years of her life serving Lila and Jim Green’s god, and then one day she breaks, and decides she’s had enough. Finally she leaves for good, and she wakes up.

We were so unaware—all of us. We were naive, dependent, and as Rachel puts it,  “stupid.” But our intentions were never to join some crazy cult. We were seekers looking for purpose in life, for significance, looking for someplace to belong, and for something greater than ourselves to live and to die for.

We thought we were in it for God.

IMG_4820Abe, my daughter Rebekah, Julie, and Rachel. 1987. They’re all out of there now!



The key to changing the world, to changing your life, and to empowering those around you is authenticity – the willingness to be yourself – the willingness to be vulnerable – the willingness to feel – the willingness to live. I’m simply reminding you of who you truly are, supporting you into self-love and acceptance by eradicating the judgement that you’ve imposed on yourself and society has imposed on you.” Panache Desai

It’s so obvious to me. Embracing authenticity is key to change. Only then will we try less to be like someone or everybody else, and just be who we are. We all have our own unique experiences, perspectives, personalities, gifts, dreams, our own DNA—our own unique piece of the puzzle that makes up the global pie, no one piece ever alike. Our differences needn’t divide us—they can be our strengths! 

It’s debilitating living in a cultish environment of judgment, where everything is painted black and white, with no shades of grey, and no color. In this space there’s no encouragement to be who we are, but rather to conform. You’re either in or you’re out. It’s a world of sacrifice, beginning with yourself and your family—sacrificing everything you think, believe, have, and foremost, everything you love.

Leaving the Fold

An outstanding book for anyone questioning or leaving their faith.


This book by psychologist Marlene Winell provides valuable insights into the dangers of religious indoctrination and outlines what therapists and victims can do to reclaim a healthier human spirit…. Both former believers searching for a new beginning and those just starting to subject their faith to the requirements of simple common sense, if not analytical reason, may find valuable assistance in these pages.”

Steve Allen, author and entertainer

becoming aware is a process

keynote templete.001Becoming aware is a process. It starts with letting our questions in, with opening wide the doors that someone else has shut inside our minds, then greeting with openness the things on the other side. We step outside, we take in some fresh air, and we learn to be free a little.

It works wonders. Stepping out gives clairty with new, fresh perspectives.

It’s not that hard, nobody but you and the God you believe in need know, and if the divine source of life is love, then what’s the problem with questioning what we believe?

There’s no fault in that. The fault is in fear. Fear is what binds, what blinds, and there is no love in fear.


Freedom of Mind: book


Another book by Steven HassanAvailable through Amazon Prime:

Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 11.24.07 AMJust now purchased this on my kindle (along with a lot of other books). If it’s anything like another book of Hassan’s I’ve read, Releasing the Bonds, then it’s going to be good.


Heaven and Hell


I love this story by Pema Chödrön

“There’s another story that you may have read that has to do with what we call heaven and hell, life and death, good and bad. It’s a story about how those things don’t really exist except as a creation of our own minds. It goes like this: A big burly samurai comes to the wise man and says, “Tell me the nature of heaven and hell.” And the roshi looks him in the face and says: “Why should I tell a scruffy, disgusting, miserable slob like you?” The samurai starts to get purple in the face, his hair starts to stand up, but the roshi won’t stop, he keeps saying, “A miserable worm like you, do you think I should tell you anything?” Consumed by rage, the samurai draws his sword, and he’s just about to cut off the head of the roshi. Then the roshi says, “That’s hell.” The samurai, who is in fact a sensitive person, instantly gets it, that he just created his own hell; he was deep in hell. It was black and hot, filled with hatred, self-protection, anger, and resentment, so much so that he was going to kill this man. Tears fill his eyes and he starts to cry and he puts his palms together and the roshi says, “That’s heaven.”

Pema Chödrön, Awakening Loving Kindness

it starts with the mind

keynote-templete.0015keynote templete.001

becoming authentic can be painful

keynote-templete.00181Nothing’s much harder to pull out of than being physically or mentally stuck, especially if both are working together as one.

Never let someone claiming authority from God do all your thinking and discerning for you. Stop and listen to your own voice. Smell the roses. Let your mind and your awareness work for you. This empowers you to dispel someone else’s myth, someone else’s crazy beliefs.

I think we have to be quiet and really listen, and we have to let our questions in, and let our mind and heart go to work. I’m telling you—a welcomed paradigm shift can occur!

It’s like stepping out of a box you’ve been living in for a long time. It gives clairty. For me, observing the obvious, the uncomfortable, the less than good parts of myself or my life enables me and motivates me to do the work of change. We can’t fix what we don’t see, and we have to create our own happiness.

I think what it really boils down to is that we have to really want the truth, regardless of any pain attached. We have to really yearn for happiness and an authentic life.

keynote templete.001

asking questions opens doors