The Journey Begins


It’s the morning of October 14, 2018 and I have decided to reinvent myself.

If you know me and are looking at the photo above and saying to yourself, that’s not Alison, I can assure you, it is. That name was given to me at the very same moment my ‘other’ name became mine, and I have used that one responsibly for sixty-seven years.

person holding white paper and typewriter
Photo by on

But I long for a change.  I’ve had so many starts and stops and curves and slides over my travels that I want to put that all aside and start at the very beginning again, but retain all the knowledge, wisdom, experiences and courage I have acquired since 1951.  I’m not ready to leave this wonderful earth yet, but I have often thought how great it would be to have known this or that ahead of time! Or to recognize beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was put here for a specific purpose… and not have to wait decades for it to emerge or learn the skills to carry it out!

In ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron, I learned about Morning Pages: three pages of thoughts jotted down in longhand to sort of clear the cobwebs away and make room for the creativity that is harboring inside of us all. Interestingly, Julia has also dubbed them ‘mourning pages’ as well because they “are really a farewell to life as you knew it and an introduction to life as it’s going to be.”

I have scads and scads of journals dating from the 1970’s to the present filled with morning pages that list ad infinitum all the things I need to accomplish, complete, order, clean and do. I still believe that is one of the best ways to start your day. And I also agree with Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of another favorite book of mine, ‘Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy‘ who counsels that a gratitude journal is imperative for a fulfilling life.

But sandwiched between those pages are all the wonderful insights I have learned along the way, stories of people I’ve known and loved, things I’ve done and places I’ve seen and books I’ve read.  Ideas come to me in no particular order, and without rhyme or reason.

Actually, that’s not true. Memories are interspersed throughout everything we do and trigger the most incredible internal journeys. We hear music and it reminds of of a time and a place; or we find ourselves at 50 singing the words to songs we heard as a teenager because what we were doing mimicked the lyrics. One of my fondest memories is of sitting on the floor of our kitchen reading aloud to my mother. I came to a word I couldn’t pronounce and Mom said, “Sound it out, dear.” And when I did, she continued by saying, “Yes, it comes from the Latin root which means…” At that moment I became enamoured by words. I couldn’t get enough of them. I still can’t.

Thus Daily Pages was born. With a storehouse of knowledge spanning over six decades plus the wisdom gleaned from the distillation of almost nine decades of my dear mother’s life (and countless people before her), coupled with the magical assistance of the internet to help me recall things hithertofore (yes, it is a word, albeit archaeic) I would never be able to remember, I begin my blog.

Happy Birthday New Me.

Whether you realize it or not, you have lived many lives, and each one has left an indelible mark on your soul.  ― SIMPLE ABUNDANCE: A DAYBOOK OF COMFORT AND JOY




Welcome to My Blog

I have been considering starting a blog that will enable me to write on a myriad of topics, rather than just one, as I am inclined to do on The Caregiver’s Corner, and here it is.

Now that my mother has passed, I can appreciate the effort and love that it takes to care for a parent, but I also recognize the transition that must follow if the caregiver is to remain whole and not let grief prevent them from realizing their own dreams and goals.  In a sense, I have had to reinvent myself and tailor my goals to fit the changes that took place as a result of retiring early in order to care for Mom.

I miss her more than I could have ever imagined, but the sadness is mixed with gratitude for having had this lifetime with her. Just today as I was organizing some of the books from her collection, I found a bookmark that she had left within thefashion woman notebook pen pages, and as I scanned the words that she had read, I felt her presence. It’s not the first time this happened, as she loved to use the fronts of Christmas Cards or pieces of beautiful wrapping paper to mark her place. Sometimes, she wrote on them, “Hillary, this made me think of you,” or, “Something to ponder.”

I don’t know whether she left these little messages for me on purpose, hoping that one day I might find them, but it makes me feel as though she is still keeping watch over me.  My sons don’t really read, so it would be fruitless to start writing notes. However, there are a few books that I have marked up, and each time I would read them, I’d choose a different color pen, or print rather than write in cursive, or underline, or highlight in yellow. It is those books that I hope they will one day open and discover the hidden ‘me’ inside.

One day I made a list of some of the books that are on my shelf that have special significance to them or memories attached to the time when I read them. They are sorted alphabetically, not in order of importance, and it is by no means a comprehensive list.

Acres of Diamonds Conwell, Russell H. A timeless classic from post-Civil War times. Conwell’s famous Acres of Diamonds speech helped countless individuals to understand the meaning of true wealth. Another book I think the kids should have to read!
As a Man Thinketh Allen, James 1902; *Any attack from another is simply their FEAR projected outwards. Once you know this is coming from their own vulnerabilities, you have more compassion and respond with either love or non attack.” WOW.
Ask and It is Given Hicks, Esther and Jerry I explained the book to my BF about a decade ago, which is really a re-do of many other books I’ve read and he put the principles into practice IMMEDIATELY! The difference between this book and others is that the pressure is off to manifest and instead, we say, “Wouldn’t it be nice if…” and then visualize. Wow! Success in a lot of little things. Now we have to work on the big stuff. Sometimes we need to be reminded that the Truth is that, “We will see it when we believe it,” and not the other way around.
Be Rich! The Science of Getting What You Want. Collier, Robert I’m not certain that I read this one, as many of them are so similar, but I believe that we need to read and re-read truths such as this over the course of our lives, or we will forget.
Believe and Achieve Stone, W. Clement W. Clement Stone started a great magazine entitled, “Success” in the 1960’s and ’70’s. My Dad got me a subscription and I still have copies with articles by now famous people when they were starting out. He started the PMA movement – Positive Mental Attitude. He was one of the richest men in America and one of the most generous. In his long life (he lived to 100) he gave away over $300 million. In his later life he teamed up with Napoleon Hill, whom he admired and whose “Think and Grow Rich” covers much the same ground. My Dad died in 1986, but when I read these books, I get to know him better through the values and beliefs he espoused.
Fit For Life and Fit For Life II Diamond, Harvey & Marilyn I was reluctant to read this book (first one) probably because my mother kept begging me to do so. She found the principles of FFL and Natural Hygiene to be in complete harmony with her no-meds/doctor religious beliefs. When I finally stopped being stubborn and started to read it, I found I couldn’t put it down. I was suddenly like an evangelist, preaching to everyone about how the body was an amazingly intelligent machine that could self-heal almost anything. I still believe this wholeheartedly: when we are given the right tools and environment (clean air, pure water, nutritious food, nourishing rest, fulfilling work, satisfying relationships), our body has an intelligence to maintain itself that defies logic.
How to Win Friends and Influence People Carnegie, Dale 1936; Don’t get him confused with Andrew Carnegie, but Dale was a pioneer in corporate training, self-improvement, salesmanship, public speaking, and interpersonal skills. His book has sold over 30 million copies and he is known for his succinct pearls of wisdom: “You can’t win an argument” and “Never contradict or argue with anyone” because nine times out of ten, arguing doesn’t change anyone’s mind. Why do I continue to do it then? I think I should re-visit this book. My mother always said she could write a book, “How to lose friends and alienate people.” Sometimes I think I’ve written the forward to her book.
In Search of Taylor Caldwell Stern, Jess This was a fascinating book about a hypnotist who regressed a famous author (MY fav at the time) and found that she may have actually lived some of the lives she wrote about. Not provable, but fun nonetheless.
In Tune With the Infinite Trine, Ralph Waldo First published in 1897 and for decades not many people knew that RWT wrote it. Almost all current well-known spiritualists were inspired by him. Henry Ford, Sr. discovered this book and loved it so much that he kept about 100 of them at his house all the time and gave one by one to his house guests. After reading it myself, I purchased a dozen and gave one to my mother and to all my close friends. I don’t know that it affected them as much as it did Mom and me, but I’d put it in my Top Ten Lifetime Reads. THIS is one of the FIRST that current-day ‘New Age’ books copy.
Iron John Bly, Robert Written in the style of Joseph Campbell, this book acknowledges and explains how deep and multi-layered men really are. But it’s not just a book for men.
Joy – Expanding Human Awareness Schutz, William C William Schutz (1925-2002) was an American psychologist who practiced at the Esalen Institute in the 1960s, then later taught at Tufts University, Harvard University, UC Berkeley, and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine; he was chairman of the holistic studies department at Antioch University until 1983. This was the book that started the ‘encounter group’ movement. It is the answer to a famous NYTimes question: “Are you capable of experiencing joy?”
Man’s Search for Meaning Frankl, Viktor E. If you change the meaning of a thing, you change everything. Frankl was in a concentration camp in WWII and wondered why some people thrived and others didn’t. In his own life, it was predicated by the understanding that he could CHOOSE his own attitude. He could learn from adversity, he could become stronger. He taught this post-war to survivors, who had an incredible number of people that became doctors, lawyers, Nobel Prize winners, etc. Absolutely worth devouring!
Personal Power Robbins, Anthony When I listened to the Personal Power audio tapes in the 1980’s, I was able to double my salary. When I listened to the CD’s again in the 1990’s, I doubled it a second time. I’m retired now, but I’m starting to feel that I should listen to the series yet again. Who knows what other life-expanding adventures may be in store for me!
Psycho-Cybernetics Maltz, Maxwell MD, FICS 1960;This is the second of two books that I purchased by the case to give to my loved ones, that is how much it affected my psyche and has probably been one of the most instrumental books in making me who I am today. Maxwell Maltz was a plastic surgeon in the middle 1900’s who found that unless a patient altered their mental image of themselves, that the surgeries – although successful in the eyes of others – fell short of the desired result to the patient. It is the grandfather of books that are published today on visualization, etc. A classic and one I will read again and again!
Raise Your Kids Right Carton, Dr. Lonnie An arrogant title, but a very good book. Another that’s not mentioned here is Hiam Ginot’s “Between Parent and Teenager” and “Between Parent and Child.”
Riches Within Your Reach Collier, Robert A follow up to the Secret of the Ages, a blockbuster book that earned the author, who was born in 1885 and was cured in Christian Science, orders exceeding a million dollars within six months of release. It was printed in many languages and remains a classic to this day – The Secret, etc. pale in comparison. Anything by Robert Collier is worth reading.
Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures Eddy, Mary Baker This was my mother’s favorite books – the one that changed her life – and the life of her family – forever. For me, it is the quintessential book on metaphysics, and the power of prayer, visualization and right thinking. Curiously, as I age, I seem to be better able to appreciate the wisdom and innovation of this brilliant woman!
Self-Reliance Emerson, Ralph Waldo 1841. There are few writers that are as commonly quoted as RWE, but that is not the only reason to devour his essays. They are a timeless admonition to “step to the music” of one’s own individuality and uniqueness. Don’t miss Thoreau and Whitman once you get the syntax of 19th c writing. Then perhaps on to ‘Moby Dick.’
The 15-Second Principle Secunda, Al Do something for 15 seconds and watch how it changes your world. Really. 15 seconds. Worth a second read. Or a 15-second read.
The Abundance Book/40-day prosperity plan Price, John Randolph If you think you understand the Law of Attraction, you ‘ain’t seen nothing yet.’ This little book changed my relationship to money. It’s a 40-day plan to free your mind from limiting beliefs.
The Art of Loving Fromm, Eric First published in 1956, this work promotes love as an art, and like art, it requires practice and maturity. Fromm distinguishes Real Love from cultural promotion in song and media and believes that a `mature love is union under the condition of preserving one’s integrity, one’s individuality.’  I wholeheartely agree!
The Magic of Believing Bristol, Claude M. This is a classic on psychokinesis – first proposed in Psycho-Cybernetics and demonstrated by Quantum Physics.I believe this book is a must read by everyone both religious and nonreligious. George Burns loved this book
The Magic of Thinking BIG Schwartz, David J. Arnold Schwarzenegger was given a copy of this book in the late 1960’s and he credits his success with the principles given by Bristol. Many salesmen put this book at the top of their list, but it is a classic that should be read by everyone! I gave a copy to my grandson at HS graduation, but I doubt he’s read it. Too bad.
The Master Key System Haanel, Charles Once a banned book for 70 years, Bill Gates and Napoleon Hill will tell you that it made them who they were/are! We all know Bill Gates, but NH increased his salary by 10,000% in three years. It is the original book on the “law of attraction.” Might be worth a look-see!
The Meditations of Marcus Arelius Arelius, Marcus Published in 1902, this tiny little pamphlet can fit in your pocket, emerge at check-out counters, on long bus commutes, and fill your soul with an abundance of provoking sayings that will elevate your whole existance. Allen commands, Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.” You have been warned.
The NOW Habit Fiore, Neil PhD  “The Now Habit” sounded so gimmicky to me. After reading it I realized that my core belief needed some fine-tuning. Procrastination is a product of anxiety, not laziness. A great book if you are writing a Thesis! Fiore says that procrastination can become an addiction because it makes us feel better in the moment. But by constantly avoiding challenging situations and seeking perfection, we deprive ourselves of evolving from a physical/mental/emotional weakling into a fully actualized person.
The Power of Myth Campbell, Joseph Many may have seen Campbell on PBS’ show with Bill Moyers . Yet the book delves deeper into the tales and legends that bind our respective cultures. Campbell talks of the ‘hero’ – an ordinary person is faced with a decision, challenge or opportunity where he is forced to go on a journey that ultimately leads to a reawakening. He then returns to his ‘tribe’ to try to change things. Voltaire’s ‘Candide’ is a brilliant example of this myth.
The Power of Positive Thinking Peale, Dr. Norman Vincent How could anyone not be at least aware of this book? Dr. Peale was one of the most influential clergymen of his day,and there is a reason that his book continues to sell: over 1500 reviews on Amazon will tell you why. Even though it’s filled with talk of God and religion – don’t let it deter you from reading it. The main cause of physical and mental illness is negative belief, resentment, jealousy, hatred, and the way to get better is to get rid of those beliefs.
The Prophet Gibran, Kahlil Kalil’s 1923 book is a beautiful and poetic look at Love, Marriage, Children, Work – at all of Life. All educated people should be familiar with his prose…who can have a favorite? “To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of living.” A wish for today.
The Richest Man in Babylon Clason, George S. 1926; This was one of my mother’s favorite books, and is a classic on personal finance written as a story that takes place in Babylon. EVERYONE should read it!
The Science of Getting Rich Wattles, Wallace D. Wallace D. Wattles wrote that thoughts are things and we become what we think about. I have a little book by Yogi Publishing by Edward Walker called, “Thoughts are Things” but even before that is a wonderful book by James Allen: As a Man Thinketh. They are ALL good.
The Secret of the Ages Collier, Robert Some regard this book as one of the best metaphysical texts ever written.
Think and Grow Rich Hill, Napoleon 1937; Napoleon Hill was sent to interview Andrew Carnegie, one of the richest men in America. During that interview Carnegie slyly dropped a hint of a certain master power he used; a magic law of the human mind—a little known psychological principle—which was amazing in its power. This is the book that resulted and I recommend that everyone needs to read, if only to say that they have. Make sure you read the original manuscript – it’s different than the updated versions!
Think Big Anthony, Dr. Robert “A big little book filled with things to think about.” Includes Anthony’s Think, Think Again, Think and Win, and Think Together. For those who are not big into reading.
Thoughts Are Things Walker, Edward 1909; a ‘New Thought’ primer, and a little gem that can be read and reread until its principles are carved into your brain and become a part of your DNA.
Three Magic Words Anderson, U.S. This is a book about metaphysics is one that many successful people keep on their bedside table. ‘The Secret’ is elementary school. This is college. One of Tony Robbins’ top reads.
Walden Pond, Civil Disobedience Thoreau, Henry David Oh, how I wanted to escape society as a young woman, get back to Nature, and follow my own drummer! We Boomers will remember the ‘Civil Disobedience’ we experienced in the 1960’s and as retirees, we hear his battle cry, “Simplify, simplify” from the shores of Walden Pond.