I was talking to a friend earlier, who was feeling down. I was glad I called, it’s good to be able to listen when someone is feeling blue. I suggested that she might want to go for a walk to feel better, as I was doing and then I remembered that the truth is, this is life and we aren’t supposed to always feel great. I’m sitting in the muck right now, feeling worried about the election, the economy, my own future, my daughter, my poor old dog, Lucy, who isn’t doing all that well. I am sitting in some sadness and worry and it’s perfectly okay.

I saw a story on Rock Center about the Daily Show and how there are several dogs who come to work with their owners. They said it really helps everyone to cheer up when they can pet the dogs.

So here’s my dog, Lucy, from several years ago, wearing a $6,000 sapphire, emerald and 24 carat gold necklace. She looks very royal, doesn’t she?  (The necklace does not belong to me!)

Please let President Obama do a good job at tonight’s debate…please.

Lately, it seems as if I have heard of a number of friends and acquaintances who are dealing with some difficult situations.  I think that the economy and the struggles that so many people are having financially, is often at the root of it, but it also goes much deeper.  It is a struggle with aging parents, illness, young people searching for jobs, opportunities.  A very difficult election.  

I am at another crossroads and I’m not sure where it is leading, but if I’ve learned one thing in the past few years of studying Buddhism and spirituality it is to stay in this very moment.  It’s one of the hardest lessons, since we human beings are always looking towards the future and worrying about what is coming, rather than appreciating and staying in the present. 

I went to help out a friend this morning who is about to give birth and is in a difficult situation with her new husband.  I can only imagine how hard it is for her to stay in this moment, when in six weeks she will be giving birth to her baby and life will get even more challenging.

One of the greatest gifts we can give each other is to show up – so that was what I did.  I listened and helped her unpack and just sat with her.  And now I am sitting with my own anxieties, as I have many days over the last few years.

I love what I have been learning lately from August Gold, a spiritual teacher.  She says:  “Life is a conversation.  We need to stop asking ‘why is this happening to me’ and start asking ‘why is this happening for me?'” 

In reading about the Kaballah it says:  “This challenge is an indication that there is a great amount of Light to be revealed here!  I may not understand how yet, but I can make the effort to see why this opportunity has been given to me.  I can choose, instead of reacting or worry, to continue the development of my soul.  I can choose to not allow negativity in, and as I do this more and more, I will grow my certainty in the Light.

Negativity has power over us only when we allow it to.

So my choice now is to put on my shoes and go for a walk and get out of my head and my apartment.  And stay in this very moment, which is a rainy autumn afternoon, and be grateful for all the blessings in my life.  Starting with the fact that my daughter lives in Brooklyn and last year on this day I was visiting her in San Francisco. 

Enough sitting, it’s time to move my feet. 

Fear of Winter…I can feel it looming, especially this year, given the state of the country and the world.

Less daylight, five or so months of cold weather, snow, rain, darkness, it hits me every fall and although I love this season, I always feel anxious about how I am going to handle another winter. It’s not so bad that I’m thinking of moving to Florida or anything and it may sound silly, but having suffered from depression a few times in my life, the winter’s always tough. I know I’m not alone. The mornings are difficult for me. I wake up and don’t want to get out of bed. And in the middle of the night, I lie in bed and worry…and obsess. Once I get going, I do my meditation, reading and some exercise, I usually feel better.

I think that the most important thing is to remember to breathe and to be in the moment.
By the way, I wanted to put up a new photo, but the one that’s up is too big! If anyone knows how to make it smaller, please let me know. Thanks!

Sarah, You have no idea how many people are grateful for your nomination. Let’s start with Katie Couric. I have never heard her name mentioned as many times as I have in the last week. Everyone is talking about her – Katie’s interview, Katie Couric’s gotcha moments, she is probably beside herself with joy that she got those interviews.

And given how tired Bush jokes are, I’m sure that every comedian in this entire universe is grateful to have someone new to kick around. What about Tina Fey? Could her career get any hotter? When I watch you now, I think you are doing a Tina Fey imitation. Even I enjoy being you, answering questions like you, you are just so darn cute and folksy.

You know, if our futures and the futures’ of generations after us and the entire planet wasn’t at stake, I would say: thank you for being such a good sport. When people praised your mediocre performance last night in the debate I couldn’t help but think that a really smart and articulate fifth grader could have done just as well.

But what we need to remember is that today there are more important things to focus on (the economy, the House’s vote) and last night is over.

For me personally, we are starting to rehearse our solo shows and that is challenging and fun.

And I believe in my heart that the Democrats will prevail on November 4th.

The Dow fell over 400 points today and I am not hysterical. I’ve been worrying about the stock market for years and always felt that we were headed for some serious shit – and here it is and I’m just watching it and not hyperventilating. I don’t know why. For some reason, I felt happy today. It’s odd how certain days you can feel like Chicken Little, “the sky is falling, the sky is falling” and other days, even under really difficult circumstances, you can feel okay.

I think it’s because I had a day of connecting with different people all along the way. I got a phone call from a lovely young woman who is going to grad school and we had a nice chat about Brooklyn and her life here. I rode my bike to Park Slope and went to a meeting and heard a really brilliant speaker and then talked to another young woman who is looking for a job. I worked for a few hours and met some of my colleagues at an apartment and they said what everyone is saying, the market is very slow. And then I took a long walk in my neighborhood and met Zoe and we sat together in Fort Greene Park.

Oh – the best part of the day was hearing from my writing partner about a project we are working on and he had a brilliant idea – that really started my day off well. I made an appointment to go to a school on Friday and do some research on a subject we are interested in.

I signed up to take a workshop called “Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts” – which I thought was kind of crazy, but then I found out that Dr. Christiane Northrup, the Maine gynecologist, is speaking there and she highly recommends it. I respect her – so I signed up. Pretty soon you may see me wearing high heels and a little cleavage. (Which would shock me.) And I will be going to Miami Beach for a weekend with the course – and that sounds like fun. And fun is something I don’t have much of in my life and I think that has to change.

(I often don’t know what to do for fun. When I was a kid I loved riding my bike…still do, dancing, singing, going to movies, reading, swimming, hiking, being with friends. Zoe and I used to have fun when she was younger – we’d go on adventures together. We don’t do that so much anymore.)

Okay, financially things look bleak. I have no idea where we’re headed and I can’t do anything about it. My mother says when her family went through the Depression they didn’t suffer too much because her father was a baker and he always brought home bread for their family and all their neighbors.

The election looks terrifying. In one poll today Obama finally has a slight lead. Maybe the fact that the economy is in such disastrous shape and McCain actually said that “the fundamentals of the economy are strong” will show people just how ill-informed he is. And that the policies of the Republicans have gotten us into this mess. Donald Trump just announced that he is supporting McCain. I can’t stand Donald Trump.

Maybe the timing of all of this is good. Maybe the 9% of undecided voters (in the CNN poll today) will decide that four more years of Republicans in office is more than any of us can afford.