Once again, the below link is my friend, Dr. Adele McDowell’s article in the Canadian Huffington Post on suicide. For those of you contemplating suicide, have loved one(s) who died from suicide, or health practitioners who have dealt with issues of suicide with their clients – this is a must read!

As a former psychotherapist, as a young daughter of a father who talked about committing suicide, and as a grown woman when I remembered being sexually abused and feeling at my lowest, Dr. McDowell’s words spoke to me personally and professionally. For my adolescent years, the “straw that broke the camel’s back” for my father was after a series of failed businesses in the United States, when our chicken farm went bankrupt, my father felt a total failure and didn’t know how our family could survive this last circumstance. While my father bemoaned his losses, starting with losing his wealth, status and class when we escaped from Communist China, my mother immediately went out to work to put food on the table. Because of her quick action and her willingness to work for minimum wage, she saved our family from total loss. However, it still took a long time for my father to get over all these failures, and added to that, the fact that his wife saved the day rather than him, made it harder for him to bear.

As a child, I was afraid I’d lose my father – then, what would we do? And, from my mother, I learned that pride had no place when the family had no food to eat. However, growing up with a suicidal parent must have had some affect on my psyche. When I remembered the sexual abuse, in conjunction with physical and emotional abuse, I remembered my father’s suicidal mantra and wondered, if indeed, that was a way out for me. At the time, I’d already been divorced, but I did have my adult children to help me through this period – for which I am truly grateful.

It was also Dr. McDowell who helped all of us through one of the most trying time of our lives, following the death of my mother. I had a lot of unresolved issues with her at the time of her death, and when she died, I knew there was no way they would be resolved with her. Not that they would have resolved even had she lived, but that her death made it final, made it real. I know I had suicidal thoughts, but they never went as far as making any definite plans or taking any definite actions. But, it scared my children so much that they sought Dr. McDowell’s counsel and got us all talking about what was going on. I am extremely grateful to both my children for doing that, as well as Dr. McDowell for speaking with us.

Professionally, and ironically, the majority of my clients were adult survivors of child sexual abuse. Many of them had suicidal ideations. And, it wasn’t until I remembered my own abuse that I was able to help them in a way that I couldn’t before. They knew I understood how they felt. They couldn’t say, “You don’t understand” because they knew I did. On the other hand, they couldn’t get away with hiding, justifying, rationalizing or denying either – because, again, I did understand and had gone through all those ways myself. And, with intensive therapy and soul work, I am grateful that I had the right people resources to make it through.

I had one client who actually succeeded in committing suicide. I immediately sought counseling because all those questions that Dr. McDowell asks in the article, “Did I do enough, what else could I have done, could I have prevented this, etc” were the same questions that I asked at the time. I learned that I did all I could do, that the final decision isn’t mine. And, this was later confirmed by her husband. He told me that she lasted longer with me in therapy than the many other therapists she had gone to, so he had hoped that this time, she would make it. He told me that the many other times she attempted suicide, she’d always left signs for people to find her. This time, she did not! He told me how grateful he was that I had gotten through to her as much as I did, but that she had already made up her mind.

Please read Dr. McDowell’s article: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/adele-mcdowell/understanding-suicide-grief_b_7950622.html. And, also her more in-depth book, “Making Peace With Suicide”,  on the current happenings in this arena as well as the groundbreaking ways to heal.


10511666_10203697090843786_8239781659426528588_oI know how frightening it is to confront one’s abuser. I wasn’t even able to do that with the male relative who sexually abused me at a very early age. In fact, I didn’t even let myself remember it until I became a psychotherapist working with adult survivors of child sexual abuse. In the mid-1980’s, when 20 new clients showed up in my practice with the same issue, I remembered my sister telling me – years ago – that she had been molested. I immediately asked my supervisor, also a certified hypnotherapist, to bring me back to that time to see if I could remember anything. Unfortunately, I did. And, fortunately, that was also the beginning of my healing from the trauma. Read the rest of this entry »

There is more and more violence in the world than ever before, or is it because of the internet that the truth will out? What was easier to cover up in the past can no longer be contained. And, it is only when violence of any kind is exposed that we are given the opportunity to make much needed changes.

This is what happened to me when I was dx with cancer in 2011. In the blink of an eye, my life, and that of my children, was irrevocably changed. Yet, in the midst of my shock and anxiety about this rare form of cancer, I was given a vision my first morning in the hospital. I turned on the t.v. and switched to the meditation channel. I watched as scenes of the most beautiful places on earth flashed before my eyes, accompanied by meditation music. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I was thinking, “I’m not ready to die yet. I still want to see all these beautiful places before I go”.

Immediately, I felt a sense of love, first surrounding me, then penetrating my whole being – mind, body, soul. I left my body, and when I came back into consciousness, it was two hours later. I had no idea what had happened to me – not consciously, at any rate. I knew that I had been given the experience of Divine Love. And the message that came into my mind was, .” This is not about being a healer; it is about life and death. Love is the power to heal”!

I didn’t realize then, but know now that when I said “I’m not ready to die yet….” I had actually invoked a prayer, letting God know that I was choosing to live. This vision happened one other time over the next few months. Even though I didn’t get a spontaneous cure, I miraculously lost all sense of fear about dying. I was ready to do what needed to be done to heal.

The second dx, two years later, showed that the cancer recurring, this time in the liver. And, I was thrown into a dark place. I did not get visions this time, and even though I recalled these last two visions, I was scared – not so much that I would die, but that I didn’t know whether or not I had the strength to undergo more treatment with all its debilitating side effects. It’s taken 10 months, with the tumor increasing 4 months ago, yet the latest PET Scan shows it shrinking by half a centimeter. I have 2.7 more centimeters to be cancer free. This time around, I was thrown into the “dark night of the soul” as Catholics would say, or “the void” as Taoists would say. And, I had to slowly climb out. With my faith in God and with love and support of my family, I am coming along. This time around, the lesson for me was to learn to “know love” through my own perseverance and courage to spiritually know Love. You see, the vision this time, became an intellectual exercise. I had to go through this second time to really receive this love into my being. Truthfully, I’m not fully there yet, and I’m coming along.

To say that a dx of cancer is traumatic is understating the obvious.  When I read Einstein’s letter to his daughter on fb, I recalled my vision and felt affirmed about my life journey. In sharing my story and his letter, my hope is to help others undergoing trauma of any kind find their “forgotten peace”.


One of my fb friends put this on his timeline. I have nothing but admiration for these women to come forth and take a stand against their rapist. It is so hard to do, not only because there is great shame for the victim, but also because of the way society, unfortunately, still looks at rape. It is also why it is still so rampant – because we let people get away with it – and because it’s easier to blame the victim.

Please read and share this with everyone!


MAKINGPEACEWITHSUICIDE_FrontCvr_Final_web72dpiIt’s been a long while since I’ve blogged, mainly because I’ve been dealing with the aftermath of healing my 2nd bout of cancer, only to learn in the last month that it has returned. This is my 3rd bout of cancer!

Spiritually, my mind recognized that my already 3-year process of  transformation  is not yet complete, even though I thought it was.  Perhaps, I  hoped it was. I questioned, “What is it that I have still to learn”?  Yet, knowing this intellectually didn’t keep me from experiencing the full range of feelings – fear, anxiety, grief, worry, anger, etc. Read the rest of this entry »

“Gong Hei Fat Choy” greeting is to wish others prosperity for the coming new year. Year of Horse, starting January 31st, promises to be one of moving forward with great speed towards all your hopes and dreams.

So, in light of this promise, here is a link to guidance that is titled for teenagers, but after reading it, I see that it fits all ages. For me, and probably for many others, I wish someone had told me these words of wisdom earlier in my life.


My family and I celebrated Chinese New Year with friends in San Jose, CA. We had great company and amazing food!

Wishing you all a miraculous New Year!

I read the following New Year Blessing from my friend, Adele’s, website, Adele and The Penguin:  http://adeleandthepenguin.com/happy-new-year/.

A Little Blessing for a New Year

May light find its way into the darkest crevices.
May hope take root and bud under the tightest of circumstances.
May laughter come easily and often
And may its side-kick joy be a frequent visitor.

May you sense the high-vibe connection of your angels.
May you know, down to your toes, that you are needed on Planet Earth.
May your heart be open, full, strong, and wise.
And may peace be your robe of comfort.

May you know that you are loved
And loved and loved and loved and loved
For your wonderful ways, occasional missteps,
And wide-open willingness to be here now.

Please share this with others!






Wishing you all a joyous holiday season. I am reminded again how much there is to be grateful for.

I am grateful every breath being able to celebrate another Christmas season.

I am grateful I wake up every morning and go to bed every night.

I am grateful I have loving family and friends,

I am grateful that, in spite of my precarious health, I’ve had the opportunity to travel this year to Alaska, Hawaii, and Paris twice.

I am grateful that I have a roof over my head and food in my belly – that wasn’t always the case growing up.

I am grateful for all the wonderful and competent medical staff that have helped me throughout my treatment process.

I am grateful for the ongoing research on my father’s artwork, how I am being given the gift of knowing him in a whole different way.

I am grateful for the lessons that cancer has and continues to teach me – to be grateful, to focus on what’s really important, to be more compassionate and forgiving.

What are you grateful for?

I wanted to share this first public article by my daughter, Jennifer, about my father’s earlier architectural work in Paris and China. It comes at an opportune time as we are preparing to go to Paris for his first major exhibit since 1947, when our family escaped to the United States.

In the last two years that I have battled cancer, my daughter’s research and my son’s archiving his artwork, has given me a purpose in life as I was dealing with a life threatening disease. I can never thank them enough for this hope of renewed life as seen through the work my father did that I knew nothing about.

Please read and share our miraculous journey with others: http://www.iias.nl/sites/default/files/IIAS_NL65_0607.pdf.

A special thanks to all those who have supported us in this journey – with additional research, with translation, with pointing us to exploring other directions.

I received this email from Cameron Von St. James today. I hope it’s o.k. to post the entire email because I think it’s just that important and much more poignant in Cameron’s voice:


I’m not sure if you remember, but I contacted you a while back about your blog. I wanted to reach back out to you and let you know about a campaign that my wife and I have put together with the help of the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.  September 26 is Mesothelioma Awareness Day, and we are trying to get 7200 voices talking and sharing about this rare cancer, to represent the 7200 hours that the average mesothelioma patient has to live. 

As my wife is a rare survivor of mesothelioma, this day obviously means a lot to us. We aren’t asking for time, money, or donations of any kind, just voices to spread the word about this awful, and sadly little known cancer.  I was hoping that you would help support our cause by posting a link to our campaign page on your blog, so that your readers can use their voices as well! 

Here is the link, please let me know what you think when you get a chance to take a look.  Your help would mean the world to us!


I read some of the blog and feel honored to be asked to place it in my blog. I don’t know too much about this type of cancer; however, I can certainly identify with some of the same experiences that all cancer patients go through. I am only too happy to lend my voice to spread the word about this cancer.

So, to my readers, please go to the website above and share it with your family, friends, and acquaintances.

Thank you so much.

Note: Sorry, I don’t know how to put in the link so that it can be clicked, but please do not let that deter you from accessing a very inspiration blog on this subject.

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