Source: Priscilla du Preez on Unsplash

“Toss Away the Could-Haves and Should-Haves Day” is celebrated the third Saturday in July across the United States. This day is intended to remind us to let go of regrets and to strive to live regret-free lives.

My guest on this week’s YouTube show, Jennifer O’Brien, author of The Hospice Doctor’s Widow: A Journal has a lot to say about this. Jennifer’s husband Bob was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic cancer. She traces their journey together during the 22 months following his diagnosis until he died, as well as her early years of widowhood. …


Source: Markus Spiske on Unsplash

“We all lie like hell,” says Dr. Brad Blanton in his book Radical Honesty. “It wears us out…it is the major source of all human stress. It kills us.”

July 7 was Tell the Truth Day, an unofficial holiday that encourages us to be honest, even if it’s inconvenient. We were all taught as kids to tell the truth, and most of us hold honesty as a highly esteemed virtue.

Because lying kills us, right?

Maybe so, but honesty can be just as lethal. Telling the truth is often an excuse for touting reprehensible opinions that are damaging and offensive…


Write Now

“My firm belief is that we all want to be heard and understood.”

Photo courtesy of Marlena Fiol

I like to say I write because I need to get the words out of my head. For about 90% of what I write, that’s the truth. However, the other 10% of what I write is, as Marlena puts it, to be heard and understood. Aiding people to understand something new or see things from a new angle is a huge motivator for my writing. Enjoy Marlena’s interview.

Who are you?

I’m Marlena Fiol, PhD, a globally recognized author, scholar, and speaker. I am a spiritual seeker whose work explores the depths of who we are and what’s possible in our lives. …


My Dad and I (1970)

In honor of Forgiveness Day, which is observed on June 26 this year, my YouTube show this week is about my journey of forgiveness with my father and his Mennonite clan.

My father and I hurt one another. Deeply. He was an angry disciplinarian. I was a horribly rebellious child. You can imagine the rest. I can assure you: It was not pretty.

Fortunately, we found mutual forgiveness several decades before he died — for ourselves and for each other. …


Tai Chi for Quieting the Mind

My YouTube show this week features Kim Colegrove. In 2014, Kim lost her husband David, a former police officer, to suicide. She created Pause First: Mindfulness for First Responders to honor her husband’s memory, and to help other first responders cope with stress and trauma.

The stress of police officers has been much in the news lately. But it’s not just first responders who lead stressful lives. If your life is stress-free, you are unique and unusual!

I don’t need to give you all the details of my wonderful, overly full life for you to understand that sometimes it feels…


But Wait…Who’s My Family?

My Family

May 15 is the International Day of Families, which is celebrated around the world. The Universal Peace Federation joins in observing this day because it holds that sustainable global peace is grounded in the family as the core unit of society. It considers the cohesion and stability of the family as essential for a healthy and stable society. By strengthening the family, so the argument goes, we can build a stronger base of social capital that will enhance peace and improve the overall quality of life for everyone.

Sounds pretty straight-forward, doesn’t it?

Until we get to the part about…


Patricia Prudente on Unsplash

May 4 is Renewal Day, a day to resume or revive what or whom we have inadvertently or mistakenly left behind.

Relationship Renewal

When we think of renewal, we often think of relationships that have grown stale or have ended. It happens to all of us. We vow our marriage will remain vibrant. Sometimes it does not. We promise to stay in touch with close friends who have moved away. But over the years, we often do not. This day invites us to identify relationships that may be calling for renewal.

Physical Self-Renewal

For some of us, this day calls…


Our Marriage in 1971

I was 20 when I married Steve Fiol, the father of my children, and the man with whom I planned to spend the rest of my life.

I was 30 when we divorced.

The divorce hurt like a death, and my mourning process went on for several years. I was adrift in an unfamiliar world. I was afraid, having stepped out of the safest space I’d ever known. (Note: I did not feel safe as a child.) And I was deeply lonely, given that numerous friends sided with Steve and judged me quite harshly.

In short, I was broken.

Chapter…


I’m the baby here — three more children came along after me

April 10 is National Siblings Day, a day to remember and celebrate our brothers and sisters.

I am child number five of eight in my family.

We all grew up with doggedly determined Mennonite missionary parents, who devoted their lives to treating the poor, the sick, and the leprous in Paraguay, South America.

I used to have negative feelings about all of my older siblings. The truth is, I don’t remember much about them during my childhood, except that the three oldest treated me like an annoying non-entity, and I fought incessantly with the one closest to my age.

I…


John and Clara Called to be Medical Missionaries in Paraguay

March 16th is World Social Work Day. It’s when we are invited to celebrate and promote the contributions of social workers to individuals, families, communities and wider society.

This year, World Social Work Day highlights Ubuntu: I am Because We Are. The word ubuntu is part of the Zulu phrase Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu, which literally means that a person is a person through other people. I am who I am through you, through our common humanity, through our oneness.

If we didn’t believe in the interconnectedness of all people and…

Marlena Fiol

Journeys of Awakening. Storyteller/Spiritual Seeker/ marlenafiol.com

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