11/18 – Jan’s Paperbacks – 11 – 2 p.m. One free Sacred Bundle kit with every purchase

The final two stories in The Sacred Women’s Circle series are now available.

Monday, October 16, 2017

A Tale of Two Friendships

Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance.
This week I want to share a story with you. It isn’t about any of my books or even a topic I’ve dealt with in any of my books or short stories – maybe someday but not yet.

I’ve two friends I met in 1980 who have “memory loss” or “dementia.” They have different forms of cognitive decline. (I learned there are 30 different types of dementia while talking to the primary care doctor of one of them). But back to my story.

I unconditionally accept that both of these exceedingly bright people have dementia/memory loss.

I unconditionally accept that it shows up differently in each of them – but that does not make the diagnosis less accurate.

I unconditionally accept that I will remain their friend until their death even beyond the time when they no longer really know who I am.

Now to unconditional support.

One of my friends lives in the same community I do. When his wife was dying she asked me to watch out for him. I agreed. After her death, he asked me to help him. I agreed. This past year has been fraught with all sorts of challenges as I’ve attempted and at times succeeded in supporting him.

In some ways it is easier with him being nearer. I can stop by and talk to him, see his physical reaction, talk to staff (yes, I assisted him in moving to a protected living situation so he’d be safer). He also says he has dementia and while not thrilled with the diagnosis, he has made peace with it.

Sunset on the Oregon Coast - a place we all love
My other friend lives two thousand miles away. I talk to her on the phone at least once and usually twice or three times a month but I’ve not been back to visit for a little over two years.

We spoke on the phone last night and she was distressed. She’d heard there was a new drug on the market and she’d called her doctor to ask about having it prescribed for her. When she was told there was nothing to be done for her, she told me she cried and cried and cried.

Part of her story was that the receptionist or medical assistant told her in what was, to her, a harsh tone of voice. So, being who I am, I asked her “If it was true that there was nothing that could be done, how would she want that information told to her?”

I ended up asking the question two more times because she just didn’t seem to understand it.

However, when she answered it, I understood it wasn’t her memory loss (that’s the only term she can use to reference her cognitive decline) that was the problem.

She is unable/unwilling to accept that there is nothing that can be done. She believes as long as studies are being done, researchers are seeking cures, there is a chance that the progress of her disease can be halted.

Knowing this, understanding this gives me a different way to unconditionally support her. I won’t be asking her the kinds of questions that create that dissonance for her, the ones where she faces the answer she doesn’t want.

She said “Why would I want to live if I knew there was no hope and I’d become a vegetable, unable to care for myself, unable to enjoy anything?”

Of course she would not want to live under those circumstances and knowing her for 37 years I totally understand that.

Lily helps vulnerable adults
As her memory fails, she is becoming more isolated. I can keep in regular contact with phone calls and cards.

As her memory fails (the past 10 – 15 years have faded to almost nothing). I can listen and reminisce with her about the trips and other events we’ve shared.

As her memory fails, I can remain her friend even when she isn’t sure who I am I can still show up in her life.

These are just two examples of people I unconditionally accept as they are and unconditionally support as best I can.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section so we can have a conversation.

Your free copy of Lily: The Dragon and The Great Horned Owl is waiting for you.

Go to JudithAshleyRomance.com and sign up for my occasional newsletter “Connections.” Follow the prompts to download your own digital copy of the first book in The Sacred Women’s Circle series.

Learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series at JudithAshleyRomance.com

Follow Judith on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

Check out Judith’s Windtree Press author page.



You can also find Judith on FB!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Unconditional Support is _____?

Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance.
Back to basics. What does “unconditional support” really mean?

What if we don’t approve or like what that person is doing?

Do we do whatever we’re asked because we are unconditionally supporting that person?

There is a point in Hunter where she, to put it mildly, loses it. Her daughter, Logan, has run away, is on the streets and who knows what danger she’s in. When she learns Gabriella has found Logan and that Logan doesn’t want her to know where she is and therefore Gabriella won’t tell her. To say Hunt has a melt-down is being kind.

The other women in the circle are witnesses to Hunter’s devastation. They want to support her but…can they support Hunter without turning on Gabriella? Can they support Gabriella without turning on Hunter? And if you see both sides of the issue, then what?

Sometimes there appears to be more questions than answers.

But every question does have an answer. It’s just that, as is the case in our own lives, some answers aren’t the ones Hunter wants to hear.

Unconditional Acceptance is about acknowledging that ‘this’ is where the person is right now. Sometimes we even see how they got to ‘this’ place.

Unconditional Support is about showing up even when it is hard or uncomfortable. It’s about speaking the truth in a kind, compassionate and straight-forward manner.

When Hunter is in major drama melt-down mode, Grant (the hero) is the one who steps up and supports Hunter’s higher goal - her daughter's safety —by challenging her.

How is railing at Gabriella, fate, etc. helping Logan? If she had to choose, which is more important – Logan being safe or her being at Logan’s side?

It isn’t that this is necessarily an easy choice, however in some ways it’s often a simple one.

Since I do want this to be a dialogue, please share your thoughts in the comments section.

Your free copy of Lily: The Dragon and The Great Horned Owl is waiting for you.

Go to JudithAshleyRomance.com and sign up for my occasional newsletter “Connections.” Follow the prompts to download your own digital copy of the first book in The Sacred Women’s Circle series.

Learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series at JudithAshleyRomance.com

Follow Judith on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

Check out Judith’s Windtree Press author page.

You can also find Judith on FB!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Three Truths


Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance.
Last month I talked about ‘unconditional acceptance’ and the role forgiveness (which includes giving up revenge) plays.

Why should we care about unconditional acceptance?
Why should we want to give up revenge?

One idea is we can’t give what we don’t have ourselves. In other words, we cannot love someone else if we don’t love ourselves. That does not mean we can’t feel passion, attraction or even positive feelings for another person but our negative sense of self will be undermining our attempts at positive messaging.

And when we are stressed or just in a bad place, we are more likely to lash out at the other people in our lives…treating them with harsh words, etc. much like we treat ourselves when we are disappointed with our choices or outcomes.

Here are three concepts or truths to consider:

One - no one is born hating anyone or anything.

Another truth: no one wakes up in the morning with a plan to disappoint themselves or others.

And the third: no one makes a decision thinking this will hurt me or this won’t work or I’m sure I’ll fail.

Our plans for ourselves and others are based on what we want for ourselves and/or for them and those plans are our best attempt at the time.

I’ve friends who tell me they don’t always do their very best at a task. And I believe them because that is true. We don’t always do a quality job but we always do what we want given the broader picture.

An example: You have the floors to clean and an invitation to go out with your best friend to do something fun. The probability of you doing a quality job on the floors, especially if it will take hours and means you won’t be going to do the fun activity is low. But you will do something with the floors. They will look better than they did before you worked on them.

However, if your future in-law was coming over to your place for the first time and s/he was a stickler for a clean house, you may choose to not go with your friend (depending on how important it is to impress) but stay home and do a quality job on the floors.

And if you decide to do an ‘okay job’ and go have fun, I’m not sure that you are making that choice to insult your future-in-law. More likely you made that choice because you wanted to have fun and/or spend time with your friend.

Remember I believe all behavior is purposeful so the question becomes, what is the purpose of your negative self-talk?

How can you unconditionally accept someone else if you can’t unconditionally accept yourself?

And do remember that unconditional acceptance does not mean you don’t want to improve something about yourself. It only means that you accept who and where you are right now.

If you want to change something, make a positive plan to do so and support yourself in moving forward with it recognizing you will most likely deviate from your plan at some point. All that is then required is that you Resume your course. No berating, belittling, demeaning is needed. You simple start where you left off and move forward.

I do want this to be a dialogue so please share your thoughts in the comments section.

Your free copy of Lily: The Dragon and The Great Horned Owl is waiting for you.


Go to JudithAshleyRomance.com and sign up for my occasional newsletter “Connections.” Follow the prompts to download your own digital copy of the first book in The Sacred Women’s Circle series.


Learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series at JudithAshleyRomance.com

Follow Judith on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

Check out Judith’s Windtree Press author page.

You can also find Judith on FB!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Forgiveness and Peace in Our World


Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance.
“Unconditional acceptance is a piece of the foundation of unconditional love.”

What would your world, your life be like if you were unconditionally accepted, unconditionally supported and unconditionally loved?

I do have people in my life who unconditionally accept, support and love me. (I've included pictures of a few of them). And, like most of us, I have people in my life who do not. 

Gimi, Lois and Connie unconditionally support me
If you aren’t sure if you do or not, think about the people you look forward to seeing, who, when you are with them or think about them, you feel more energy and optimism. These would be the people with whom you have the most positive relationships.
Lois, Diane and Rosemary. Long time supporters

As I already confessed, I do have people in my life who seem to suck the life and energy right out of me. If I don’t dread seeing them, I’m exhausted by the time I get home.

They are people who see the world around them as a dangerous, negative, fearful place. People are not to be trusted. Everyone is out to get them or at the least out to get what they can which leaves less for them.

Authors Diana McCollum and Sarah Raplee
Anger and fear are energy drains on the one hand and energy surges (without the protector) on the other. Anger and fear pull us into a negative spiral and they negatively impact our health. Being in a constant state of fight/flight/stress wears our bodies out.

So where does forgiveness come in?

Here are two axioms I find true for me:

1.      The only person’s behavior I can control is my own. That doesn’t mean I can’t hold a gun to someone’s head or beat them into submission but the consequences of those choices do not appeal to me on many levels. (And the reality is there are people who willingly die rather than submit – think suicide bombers).

Play write and friend Robin Kramme
2.      All behavior is purposeful. That does mean just that. Everything we do has a purpose. There is something we want to have happen or we wouldn’t be doing anything. And even when we say we are doing nothing, there is a purpose behind that.

Forgiveness is about taking care of ourselves.

Forgiveness is about taking responsibility for our own health and well-being.

Forgiveness is about our own healing and moving forward with our lives.

Forgiveness is not about condoning or approving of the action of the other person/people.

Forgiveness is about our understanding they are in a painfully negatively state of mind and rather than take responsibility for, take charge of, and take care of themselves, they lash out and blame others for what is lacking in their own lives.

In each of the Sacred Women Circle stories the heroines come face-to-face with the issues of both trust and forgiveness. They each face a dark time, they each have doubts about themselves and their futures.

However, they each have unconditional acceptance, support and love within their sacred women’s circle. With that support they are able to find forgiveness and trust and unconditional love with their hero. After all, I do write romance so you know every story ends with a “happily-ever-after”.

Your free copy of Book One: Lily: The Dragon and The Great Horned Owl is waiting for you.

Go to JudithAshleyRomance.com and sign up for my occasional newsletter “Connections.” Follow the prompts to download your own digital copy of the first book in The Sacred Women’s Circle series.

Learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series at JudithAshleyRomance.com

Follow Judith on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

Check out Judith’s Windtree Press author page.


You can also find Judith on FB!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Hummingbirds, Cats and Peace in Our World - Part 2

Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance.


Back to the hummers and the cat.
If I want peace, I must give up “revenge” as in ranting on social media about cat owners who do not bell their cats, putting repellents out to ward them off, dashing out the door yelling at the cat when I see it in my yard, etc.
My other option is to make my yard a wasteland: no flowers, no plants, nothing that might attract hummers or other birds.
But to do that I take away an important piece of my own joy. Inspiration comes to me when I look out at the flowers, see the bees, butterflies and birds. 
And as to forgiveness. What is the point of being angry at a cat for being a, well, being a cat?
You may have already surmised my decision. Flowers, my dwarf larch, ferns, columbine, lupine: plants, trees and flowers growing in my yard are points of inspiration (I can see it all from my office). I also remind myself we are all here on our own journey, even the birds and cat. And I will confess I do send energy into my yard for the safety of birds who come to visit me. This year I’ve no evidence that isn’t working.
My questions to you today are:

What do you need to do to forgive yourself for all those things you blame, guilt, criticize, punish yourself for?

What do you need to do to forgive other people who have “done something” to you?

Before you say it can’t be done, I’d want to remind you of the Amish families who forgave the man who burst into the school and killed their children.

And, more recently? The people who survived the shootings in Charleston, North Carolina and the families of those who didn’t forgave the young man who’d joined their prayer service before opening fire.

Join me next Monday when I’ll share why forgiveness is critical to our own lives and happiness.
Your free copy of Lily: The Dragon and The Great Horned Owl is waiting for you.

Go to JudithAshleyRomance.com and sign up for my occasional newsletter “Connections.” Follow the prompts to download your own digital copy of the first book in The Sacred Women’s Circle series.

Learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series at JudithAshleyRomance.com

Follow Judith on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

Check out Judith’s Windtree Press author page.


You can also find Judith on FB!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Hummingbirds, Cats and Peace in Our World

Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance.
One of the wonders I look for in my yard are hummingbirds sipping from the salvia. Something else I also see is a cat stalking through my yard focused on these same hummingbirds. While I also focus on these tiny bundles of energy when I spot them, I wish them no harm.
I’ve seen cats (more than one comes into my yard) pounce on birds, including the hummers.
Salvia blossoms
You may be asking yourself “what do these thoughts and observations have to do with writing blog posts?”
Here’s my answer:
Labor Day Weekend I attended one of this year’s Women of the 14th Moon Gatherings. I was talking with a couple of women about unconditional acceptance and why that is important if we want to experience unconditional love.
Our conversation included my telling about an experience I had doing a workshop in Slovenia on “Peace In Our World” right after the Balkan War in the mid-1990’s. My premise: Peace requires that we choose to live a peaceful life and to do that we must give up revenge. I will add that my premise was not accepted by many in the workshop. Of course people in attendance had experiences, witnessed or heard first-hand accounts of atrocities so their point of view wasn’t unexpected.
When Lynn talked about forgiveness, a brilliant light of “Aha” shone forth. I had not talked to the group in Slovenia about forgiveness and why it serves us more than the one(s) we forgive.
What I know now is:
We cannot give up revenge for those wrongs done to us until we can forgive.
We cannot have peace in our own lives until we forgive ourselves.
We cannot unconditionally accept others until we can unconditionally accept ourselves.
I’ll talk more next Monday about how these ideas fit into the story about the hummers and the cats. Hope you’ll come back and continue the dialogue with me.
Your free copy of Lily: The Dragon and The Great Horned Owl is waiting for you.

Go to JudithAshleyRomance.com and sign up for my occasional newsletter “Connections.” Follow the prompts to download your own digital copy of the first book in The Sacred Women’s Circle series.

Learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series at JudithAshleyRomance.com

Follow Judith on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

Check out Judith’s Windtree Pressauthor page.


You can also find Judith on FB!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Judith is the author of The Sacred Women’s Circle series, romantic fiction that honors spiritual practices that nourish the soul and celebrates the journey from relationship to romance.


Spent most of the weekend at this year's Women of the 14th Moon Gathering. It was an inspiring experience. Will be writing about this coming week and will share with you next Monday. Enjoy the holiday!

Your free copy of Lily: The Your free copy of Lily: The Dragon and The Great Horned Owl is waiting for you! 

Go to JudithAshleyRomance.com and sign up for my occasional newsletter “Connections.” Follow the prompts to download your own digital copy of the first book in The Sacred Women’s Circle series.


Learn more about The Sacred Women’s Circle series at JudithAshleyRomance.com
Follow Judith on Twitter: @JudithAshley19

Check out Judith’s Windtree Press author page.

You can also find Judith on FB!