Thursday, August 30, 2018

Stepping One Toe Over The Line

I have been a strict rule follower my whole life – crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s. Consequently, I feel obligated to fulfill my responsibilities before taking any pleasure.

Never stepping over the line, my late husband’s suicide was an especially hard concept for me to understand, for what goes more against societal rules than taking one’s own life?

I believe part of the lesson I needed to learn was that it is okay to put a toe over the line now and again, and that the world will not stop in its tracks if I do something just for me. I also had to learn to allow myself to consider my own well-being while tending to those around me. Being a people pleaser, ultimately, the lesson was learning that receiving is just another form of giving – that is, by receiving you are allowing the giver to receive his/her own satisfaction in that act toward you.

In my quest to put these lessons into action and do something just because I wanted to, I decided to have some light-hearted fun while doing something very out-of-character. I auditioned for two game shows that were having tryouts in my hometown!

My first foray was with The Weakest Link. I had never even watched the show, but I thought it might be fun to see what it was all about. There must have been 500 people all vying for 10 spots. After filling out the paperwork, we were instructed, one by one, to stand up and state our name and one sentence about ourselves. Ann Landers had passed away shortly before this tryout, so I told the interviewer I was an author of self-help books and that since Ann was gone, I was fully prepared to take her place. I guess that was a memorable statement because I was picked to go on to the next round where a mini-version of the game was played. I did not make it through this round, but it did give me the confidence to try again.

A year or so later, I saw an announcement on TV for open auditions for The Pyramid game show, which was making a comeback with host Donny Osmond. I quickly wrote down the 800 number and rushed to make my appointment. After many thwarted tries and continuous busy signals, I finally reached a live person. Before assigning me a time slot, I needed to answer various questions. The one that struck me the funniest was: "Are you a presidential candidate?" 

Anyway – I was in! Prospective contestants were advised that the producers were looking for people with a pleasant smile; good verbal skills (who knew I would finally get to use my college degree for something purposeful?); and someone to whom the audience could relate and like right away.

As I prepared myself the morning of the tryout, I struggled with the most important question: “What should I wear?” I pondered, “Should I appear demure, or were they seeking a bolder look to liven up the show?” I opted not to push the envelope and settled for middle of the road – not too demure and not too bold; however, I did wear red pants, so I would stand out. Of course, many other people had the same bright idea, and I simply melted into the sea of red – and it did not part in my wake!

Traveling for a good hour, the mall where the tryouts would take place loomed large across the freeway. I parked, and, as I approached the designated meeting place, I saw the line had already started to form.

As we stood there, the production assistants gave us nametags and took our picture with the person standing next to us. About 15 minutes later, they came around again to distribute them, tearing them in half and giving each of us our own photo. One person on line remarked, “It's just like a break up when you keep the jagged picture of yourself because you liked it and discard the other person.”

The appointed time arrived, and we were let into the room where we filled out an application and watched a tape of the show to acquaint us with how to play the game. Next, a 30-question test was given. Five items were named, and we had to put down the category name that tied them together.

Stated at the outset was that it was a difficult test and not many people would score high enough to be considered for the show. I really didn't think it was that hard and was sure I got the answers right (of course except the one I had no idea about and had to skip).

Unfortunately, the judges were not in agreement with me, and I didn't make the cut. Of the original 75 prospective contestants, all but eight were dismissed with the proviso that we were welcome to try out again in six months. And with that, my fifteen minutes of fame (and a possible $25,000) slipped through my fingers.

There was a happy ending, though. This was the night I met my current husband. He lived in close proximity to the mall, which was located in a side of town I rarely visited.

So the point of this tale is that sometimes feelings of grief, although indicative of a great loss, allow us to be brave enough to have new experiences of which we never could have conceived.

The 1947 Nobel Prize winner for literature, Andre Gide, shared his belief that “man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

At times, it is the right thing to loosen your grip on the “old you” and jump into your new life (and the “new you”) with both feet!

Life is for the living!
Partake in all it has to offer!
Be courageous!
Try new things!
Have some fun, for you never know where it may lead!

If you need some more help in finding love after a loss due to death, divorce or break-up, read my book, Love After Loss: Writing The Rest of Your Story.

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Friendship is the Foundation of Any Relationship

If you are not having much luck in the romance department, try another avenue to solve this dilemma. Consider taking some time to concentrate on simply making new friends. An added benefit of new friends is that it exponentially expands your social circle, which can give you an opportunity to meet lots of new people. One of them may be a romantic candidate just right for you!

Here are some ideas on how and where to meet new friends.

1. The easiest way to meet people with whom you share common interests is to take a class or join a group that centers on one of your hobbies. This way you will already have a built-in starting point with the other members.

2. Be kind to yourself, and be a friend to yourself. Open your heart and allow yourself to be liked and loved.

3. Be open to honest and kind conversation. Balance your safety and your wariness of others that may cause you to question if someone has an ulterior motive for befriending you.

4. “Let’s get together soon” is too nebulous a statement when making plans. Decide upon a specific date and time to meet. This assures it WILL happen!

5. Always keep your word. Don’t say you’ll call and then forget to do so. Remember, someone else is counting on your personal contact with him or her.

6. Smile at people. You would be surprised how many others respond and appreciate the good will and warmth you are spreading. It is an inexpensive way to make yourself and others “light up” inside and out.

7. “What goes around, comes around.” Be the friend you would like to have, and others will reciprocate in kind. Keep the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s in mind: “The only way to have a friend is simply be his friend.”

8. Reach out to those less fortunate than you. Help others, personally or through an organization. Your life will be enriched by your good deeds.

9. Allow yourself to be happy and content. Your positive attitude will attract others to you. Everyone likes to be with positive people.

10. Initiate conversation. There’s no law that says you have to wait for someone to approach you first. Be the first to say hello, and you will be surprised how people will respond to this simple, but brave, gesture.

Although there are many other ways to make and keep friends, I think Albert Camus captured the essence of friendship when he said, “Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Heed The Messages

It's important to listen to yourself and to others. 
The universe is constantly sending you messages AND
putting opportunities in your path, 
but if you're not paying attention, you will miss them.

1. When dating, although it's simply rude not to respond to someone's inquiries (by phone, text or email), that person is sending you a message nevertheless. If he/she WERE interested, you can be assured that you would get a reply ... probably sooner than later. Heed the message and move on.

2. To find happiness and fulfillment, listen to your inner drumbeat and walk at that pace.

3. Be patient when searching for love. Desperation never catches anything healthy.

4. Life is so much easier when you expend the energy to be "nice" to others vs. letting petty annoyances ruin your day. Listen to billboard message! Say hello first and see what happens.

Click here to visit Ellen Gerst's page on to view her books on dating, relationships and more.

Monday, September 19, 2016

How To Figure Out Your Karmic Lesson Number

Look at all the numbers in your birth name. Determine which numbers, 1-9, are missing. If you are missing more than one, you have more than one karmic lesson. 

Remember, karmic lessons are areas in which we are currently weak, and, thus, must face and work on in this life. Check the chart below to see the applicable areas. 

Let us go back to our example of John Alan Doe.

1. According to the chart below, if you look at the numbers assigned to each of the letters of his name, you will notice that the following numbers are missing:  2, 7, and 9. 

2. This means John Alan Doe has 3 karmic lessons (2, 7, and 9). 

Here are the Karmic Lessons.

Karmic Lesson One
You need to show more initiative in your life or be more determined. Standing up for yourself will allow you to become more forceful and dynamic.

Karmic Lesson Two
You must learn to be more diplomatic, tactful, sensitive to others feelings, and learn to be part of a team. 

Karmic Lesson Three
You must learn to be kind to yourself, lighten up, have fun, and enjoy life. Learn to be less self-critical. 

Karmic Lesson Four
Confused about your life's direction, you need to create a foundation for your life to give you the stability upon which to build. Work on organizational skills, looking for answer within instead of without, and persevere (don’t give up too early). 

Karmic Lesson Five
With an innate fear of living, you need to learn to be more adventurous. Take opportunity when presented to travel and broaden your horizons. Let go of rigidity in your life and personality and go more with the flow. 

Karmic Lesson Six
With commitment issues, you need to work on showing your true emotions and living up to your responsibilities to others. This will help you in building close friendships and lasting relationships, which you may be having trouble establishing. You have a major issue with commitment and responsibility to others.

Karmic Lesson Seven
Seek knowledge and work on your own talents with determination in order to develop your abilities fully. 

Karmic Lesson Eight
Keep stubbornness and a know-it-all attitude in check to keep your business affairs on an even keel. Learn your limitations, especially concerning your handling of finances. 

Karmic Lesson Nine
Take a larger worldview; learn to be more compassionate, tolerant, and understanding. Try to put yourself in another’s shoes. Let go of some of your egocentric ambition. 

Please note: This is only one interpretation of the Karmic Lessons. Many variations on these themes are available.

I hope you enjoyed this fun exercise. For tips and thoughts on relationships, coping with grief, caregiving for aging parents and others subjects, please check out my books on Amazon by clicking here.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

How To Figure Out Your Personality Number and Personal Year Number


Using the letter/number equivalency chart below, add up the value of just the consonants in your name, as it appears on your birth certificate. 

Next, look at the Nine Life Path descriptions listed on the August 12, 2016 blog. For this exercise, the applicable number describes how you appear to others. It may even describe the social mask you use to protect yourself, for it is the first impression you present. 

Let us use John Alan Doe as our example again.

1. The consonants in his name are J, H, N (for John); L and N (for Alan); and D (for Doe).

2.  J=1; H=8; N=5; L=3; N=5; D=4

3.  Add up the numbers (1+8+5+3+5+4 = 26). Reduce to a single digit (2+6=8). 


Each year in the cycle from one to nine has its own spiritual significance. All the numbers are positive and encouraging, but each one speaks to a different focus or energy pattern.

Here is an example of how to figure out your personal year number. Let us assume we are in 2010, and your birthday is December 15th.

1. Add up the digits of the year (2+0+1+0= 3)

2. Reduce the number that applies to your birth month to a single digit (12 in the above example become 1+2=3) and add it to the reduced number of your birth date (15 in the above example become 1+5=6).

3. 1+2 + 1+5 = 9   
You may also figure it out this way: 12 +15 = 27 and then you reduce 27 to a single digit to get the same result (2+7=9).

4. Add the number 9 to the reduced number for 2010 (which is 3). 

5. 9 + 3 = 12    
Reduce 12 to a single digit (1 + 2 = 3)  Three is your personal year number.

6. Refer to the following chart to see what this can mean.


Here are the key phrases for each year number.

1. New Beginnings
2   Intuitive Connections and Creating Balance in Your Life 
3.   Fun/Joy/Optimism
4. Building Through a Deep Commitment and Long Term Planning
5. Change/Adventure
6. Teaching/Learning, Especially About Family Relationships
7. Introspection, Inner Work, Quiet Reflection
8. Inner Resolution and Problem Solving 
        You can regard this as a year of power & light or "A make it or break it year."
9. Wholeness/Completion, Unconditional Love, Help Others

If the year happens to add up to any of the following two-digit numbers, then the following descriptions may also be applicable (in addition to the ones above). For example, if your personal year number adds up to 13, read 4 above and 13 below).

11. Inspiration and Intuitive Connections; New Channels of Awareness
13. Rebirth and Giving Back
14. Freedom From Addiction, Fear, Guilt
16. Catalyzing Action To Help Healing Process in Life
19. Personal Scrutiny So You Can Move To A Higher Purpose
22. Great Insight and Spiritual Growth Fostering, Power and Practicality
33. Love and Helping Others

Next time: Last Lesson on How To Figure Out Your Karmic Lesson

Remember to check out my books on Amazon by clicking here.
Books on relationships, coping with grief, how to find love after death/divorce/break-up, caregiving for aging parents and more!

Monday, August 29, 2016

How To Figure Out Your Destiny and Soul Urge Numbers

Figuring Out Your Destiny Number

Write out your name exactly as it appears on your birth certificate. Refer to the letter/number equivalency chart below, which gives a value for each letter in the English language. 

Add up the letters of your name. As an example, if your birth name is John Alan Doe, this is how you would figure out your destiny number.

1. J=1; O=6; H=8; N=5;    A=1; L=3; A=1; N=5;    D=4; O=6; E=5

2. Add all the numbers together:  1+6+8+5+1+3+1+5+4+0+5 = 39

3. Reduce your answer (39) to a one digit number. For example, when you add 3+9, the answer is 12. Since this is still a two digit number, you must reduce it again (1+2). Your final number is 3.

4. Next, look at the Nine Life Path descriptions on the previous blog (August 12, 2016). Remember, this number identifies potential talents and abilities, as well as your mission in life. This number may change with the influence of name changes, for example if you change your name when you marry.

Figuring Out Your Soul Urge Number

Using the letter/number equivalency chart above, add up the value of just the vowels in your name as it appears on your birth certificate. 

Let us use the John Alan Doe example again.

1.  The vowels in this name are O (in John), A + A (in Alan), and O + E (in Doe).
2.  O=6; A=1; A=1; O=6; E=5
3.  Add the numbers together   6+1+1+6+5 = 19
4.  Reduce 19 to a one digit number. When you add 1+9, you get 10, which is not a one digit number. You must then reduce it again (1+0) to arrive at your final answer, which is one.

Look at the Nine Life Paths Chart (which includes overall characteristics of each number), which is outlined on the August 12, 2016 blog. Remember, this number describes your inner motivation or reflects the foundation of your beliefs and attitude toward life. This number also reflects what you instinctively know, although it may not be obvious to the outside world.

Next blog: How to figure out your personality number and personal year number.

For help on relationships and finding love after loss, make sure to check out my books on Amazon.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Numerology: How To Figure Out Your Life Path Number

Here's some information to keep in mind when you are figuring out anything to do with numerology.

There are eleven numbers used in constructing numerology charts: 1 through 9; 11; and 22. Larger numbers that occur from adding the numbers in the complete birth date are reduced by adding the digits together until one of these core numbers is achieved. Eleven and twenty-two are considered master numbers, so they are not reduced. Master numbers are intensified versions of the single digit they replace. For 11, it replaces 2. For 22, it replaces 4. 

Life Path Number Calculations:

Write your birth date on a piece of paper and add up the digits. As an example, if your birth date was December 15, 1983, this is how you would figure out your life path number.

1.  December, the 12th month, equals 1+2
2.  The 15th of the month equals 1+5
3.  The year 1983 equals 1+9+8+3
4.  After you add up all those numbers, your answer is 30.
5.  You then reduce 30 down to a one digit number (3+0)

        Month      Day           Year            Total
        1+2     +   1+5    +   1+9+8+3   =     30   

                              3+0        =     3

Using this number, refer to the Nine Life Path descriptions listed below (plus the two bonus master numbers).

Remember, your Life Path Number indicates the major lesson to be learned and the potential abilities and obstacles which accompany it. This number also tells what a person is really like and what he/she is naturally best suited to do. 

Again, this is just for fun so don't take it very seriously.


1. Pioneer:  known for being original; assertive; bold; charismatic; impulsive; innovative; focused; inspired; quick; achiever; stands out from crowd

A "pioneer" could be: a political leader; celebrity; small business owner

Pitfalls: arrogance; impatience; not listening; may be shy and too impulsive

2. Nurturer:  known for being cautious; relationship-oriented; artistic; nurturing; sensitive; affectionate; cooperative; loving; peace-maker; ideal partner; needs harmony, order, right relationship

A "nurturer" could be: in the diplomatic corps, a counselor, a partner in a small business

Pitfalls: codependency; overcautious; lonely

3. Communicator:  known for being a quick thinker; spontaneous; social; magnetic; gift of gab; synthesizer; deal-maker; outgoing; joy of life

A "communicator" could be: a press secretary, party planner, small business promoter

Pitfalls: fears routine; over optimistic; indulgent; may lack self-discipline

4. Doer: known for being pragmatic; systematic; planner, determined; problem-solver; builder, manager 

A "doer" could be an administrator; team player; work in a back office in small business

Pitfalls: stubbornness; workaholism; rigid; needs security so fears downsizing/unfamiliar routine

5. Disseminator:  known for being active, magnetic; outgoing, risk-taker; quick thinker; unpredictable; entrepreneurial; curious; bold; enjoys finer things

A "disseminator" could be a public figure; media; developer of ideas for small business

Pitfalls: scattered; unreliable; poor boundaries; restlessness to point of boredom; easily side-tracked

6. Teacher: known for being careful; conscientious; reliable; nurturing; service and/or community and family oriented; traditional; warm; happily domestic

A "teacher" could be a personal assistant; educator; caterer

Pitfalls: overbearing; smothering; martyrdom; may end up feeling like a doormat

7. Researcher: known for being innovative; intelligent; deep; careful; spiritual; scholarly; a loner, curious; analytical 

A "researcher" could be in the analytical field or self-employed in small business

Pitfalls: contentious; skeptical; secretive; aloof; loner; fears not living up to high standards

8. Executive: known for being business-like; conservative; powerful; analytical; big-picture thinker; pragmatic; decision-maker; accomplished; good with money

An "executive" could be in the professional field; an operator of a small business franchise

Pitfalls: domineering; cold; judgmental; lacks feeling for those who stand in the way

9. Philosopher: known for being open-minded; loves history, literature, arts; tends to have a higher education; sees big picture

A "philosopher" could be a community leader; an organizer of small business owners

Pitfalls: vagueness; talking/not doing; unmotivated

Master Numbers

11. visionary; artist; wants to expand consciousness; wants to be enlightened and enlighten others

Could be in the metaphysical small business with far reaching appeal

Pitfalls: avoids extremes; too high-strung; impractical

22. goal-oriented and practical but on a global scale; has a mission and wants to see it carried out globally

Could be a provider of web sites to small business for total global change

Pitfalls: may feel born a century too early; overextended

Next blog will tell you how to figure out your destiny number.