Does Everything REALLY Happen for a Reason?

On Monday morning I arrived at my desk after a fantastic weekend that included a perfect mixture of training, DIY home improvement projects, and relaxation and flipped on my computer. As I was scrolling down my Facebook feed, I noticed that there was a buzz in the Advanced Meditation group I am a member of… something about a shooting in Minneapolis. It didn’t register to me, so I continued to scroll. Suddenly, I saw pictures of my friend, Justine Damond, whom I met at a workshop in Tampa earlier this year… and things began to connect… JUSTINE was the person who was shot and killed in Minneapolis. My friend was dead.

It was one of those moments when you feel like you’ve been punched in the solar-plexus and everything takes on a very tunnel visioned, surreal character. How could this be?

I started clicking on the links…

It seems that Justine heard a ruckus in an alleyway behind her home that sounded like a sexual assault was in progress. She called 911 and then went outside – maybe to wait for the police, maybe to see if she could help, only Justine knows why she was drawn outside.

Then, when the police arrived, through some as yet unknown sequence of events, one of the officers shot Justine through the driver’s side window of his squad car. The officers’ body cameras weren’t on and the police car video didn’t capture the event, so no one really knows exactly what happened yet and we may never know… and that is a bitter pill to swallow.

Justine and her fiance, Don, were supposed to get married next month. Justine told me the story of how they met and how she eventually moved from Australia to Minneapolis to be with him when we were together in Tampa. It was like a fairy tale! They were so much in love – you could see it in their eyes and feel that warm energy a mile away!

Justine was a devoted student, teacher, and practitioner of meditation and spiritual healing. She’s just one of those people that makes the world a better place just by being in it – a truly GOOD person. She was a very gifted teacher. In meditations we are taught to tune in to new potentials in the quantum field, and so I can’t help but wonder how someone who is so good at manifesting her desires has something like this happen to her? Surely this is not a potential that she has been meditating on.

I do believe that everything happens for a reason. And I know there are those people out there who get very angry when people say that… people who have had such huge losses and traumas in their lives that they can’t possibly see any REASON or any GOOD that comes from it. But I believe it. I believe that very often it takes a long, long time to discern the good that lays hidden in something that on its face seems so unimaginably horrible.

I also know that Justine believed this too. At this moment in time, I’m having difficulty understanding what could possibly be the higher purpose for this senseless tragedy. It’s the same way I felt when my dear sister lost her son when he was born prematurely and lived only 7 minutes. What REASON could this possibly serve? What GOOD can possibly come from this?

But then, I look at my sweet niece, Maggie, and I know that she is the good that came from what happened to my nephew. And she is VERY, VERY good.

And so, as I grieve the loss of my friend and mourn the prospect of the world without her in it, I KNOW deep in my heart  that there is a reason for it and that good WILL come from it – somehow… even if we can’t possibly begin to see it yet.

Rest in Peace, Justine.

You are loved and missed.


Keeping It Simple…

fogMy Mom is a HUGE advocate of keeping things simple.  She has a whole shelf of books devoted to the concept of living a simple/simplified life (Sarah Ban Breathnach, anyone?) that she has read over and over again.

I get the idea and I like things clean and simple – I really do.

However, when life gets overwhelming (as it tends to do often these days) I turn into a squirrel – over here, no there, no, back over there…  Things get “cluttered” – literally and figuratively – my desk, my house, and most of all MY MIND!!!

And that generally doesn’t work so well since I share my life with an OCD, neat-freak.

Eventually there comes a point where I snap and I can’t stand the clutter anymore – literally and figuratively – and I clean – my desk, my house, and most of all MY MIND!!

How does one go about cleaning their mind, you ask?

Well, I imagine the “gurus” all have their techniques, but for me, I just have to stop – EVERYTHING!  I go to a quiet place, sit down, close my eyes, and empty my mind.  I repeat “Every complex problem is just a series of simple steps – keep it simple” over and over again.

It’s as if I swiffer out all the cob-webby thoughts that were cluttering up the dark corners.

Sometimes it only takes a few minutes… Sometimes it takes an hour, but I ALWAYS feel refreshed and rejuvenated when I do this exercise.  I come back to my very complex world and start breaking things down to simple tasks, and the overwhelm does go away – for a while. 😉

Believe it or not, this post was not intended to be about my mental swiffering, but rather to share the thought that sometimes simple is just BETTER!!

Last night’s dinner was a perfect example.  We had steamed Old Bay Shrimp and corn on the cob and it was so, so good!  Nothing fancy, no recipes with 20 steps and 30 ingredients, just simple, real food.

I just wanted to share the recipe:

Steamed Old Bay Seasoned Shrimp

Steamed Old Bay Seasoned Shrimp

Steamed Old Bay Shrimp


  • 1 lb. shrimp in shells
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning


  • Bring vinegar, water, and Old Bay to a simmer in a large saucepan.  Add shrimp to pan.  Stir well.  Cover.  Shrimp should be opaque when cooked (only a few minutes).
  • Drain shrimp.  Peel and eat.

corn-on-the-cobCorn on the Cob


  • 4 ears of corn, shucked
  • water


  • Put corn in a stockpot and add water to cover ears by a couple of inches.
  • Bring water to a boil
  • Turn heat back to Low and allow to simmer for 10 minutes
  • Drain water, add butter, Voila!!