Category Archives: Joy

Innovation or In-Ovation? The 43North Experience

{2 minute read}

Pardon the pun. Innovation is huge here in Buffalo, so there is no question.  The 43 North Experience will have us all in awe, and in ovation in face of so much applied genius.

When I followed a really good lead to the Design Innovation Garage, also known as D!G, I learned that entrepreneurs and small businesses can use this former warehouse space to work and build their business. Before you climb the “Steps to Success” in the D!G space, you traverse the hall of 43N, 43 North, an incubator that is inspiring by its mere existence.

A Governor’s Vision

The way it was explained to me, 43 North is a vision turned competition. Not unlike the Ki~Line tagline, Gov. Andrew Cuomo envisioned, empowered, and succeeded. He envisioned a rebirth of Buffalo, set the intention to “make a bold, fearless, beautiful, entrepreneurial city on the rise” together, empowered the vision, intention, and the city with the “Buffalo Billion” initiative and the energetic collaboration with the New York Power Authority, and succeeded in a win/win for everyone involved.

No Free Lunch, but 2 Million Bucks

Start-ups who participate in the 43North competition can win a significant amount of money, a decade of tax relief, expert mentorship, and incubator space on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus’ Innovation Center. There is a catch: winners must bring their business to Buffalo. Clearly, there’s no free lunch. Looking at winners from past competitions, it appears like keeping the business in Buffalo is the right thing to do – a win-win for the entrepreneur and the city.

This past week, 43North and Buffalo celebrated finals.

This Happened.

Out of 542 ingenius submissions, 142 made it to the semifinals on Wednesday. 16 finalists went into the qualifying round on Wednesday, 10 finalists came out of the finals award round this afternoon, and eight teams won $500,000 each. Winner of $1 million was Oncolinx, a start up that is developing cancer treatment that will make chemotherapy redundant. No more “treatment” that kills the good cells along with the cancerous ones. Instead, the are developing a drug that will activate the bodies own immune system to attack and remove only the cancerous cells. All teams had amazing ideas and concepts and products.

Buffalo continues to transition into a role model community for the rest of the nation. Buffalo is transforming itself, its people, and is impacting innovation and health across the country and the whole world. Bravo Buffalo, bravo 43N, yay Western New York!

Your Turn!

If reading this inspired you, and you want to pursue your own journey into a career transition, or entrepreneurship, call me! I can help you with that! Phone number is on the Contact page.

By on | Joy, Transitions | 0 Comments [Read More]

some people are suns.

some sun days are perfect.

some sunsets are promises already kept.

some voices light a fire in your mind and make you bounce with the clouds.

some people are suns.

i am grateful for all these somes. the sum of it all is joy.

manche tage sind vollkommen.

manche sonnenuntergaenge sind eingehaltene versprechen.

manche stimme rührt den verstand zu wolkensprüngen.

manche menschen sind sonnen.

ich bin dankbar für all diese “manche”. die summe aller ist freude.

By on | Alaska, Joy | 0 Comments [Read More]

have a love affair with something every day.

{3 minute read}

i try to fall in love with something every day.

for me, this summer, it has been western new york.
buffalo turned buffalove.
niagara falls, new york.
old world. new england. how dare they.
this world is new, falls, rising.

it is not the beef on weck, or sponge candy. i can easily live without both, but i love that these two things are so unique to here, to this place, where old and broken doesn’t mean discarded.


old and broken is just waiting for the right moment. we will be rescued, is what these buildings say, we will be found, and our treasure will be seen.

and that is something my heart in-joy-s.

i am falling in love with something buffalove and niagara usa
every day.

lovely lake erie beaches. bennett. woodlawn. gallagher. evangola.

silos. once wrapped in blue green purple light, with paper windmills projected on their western end, they are bearers of hope, of vision, of a colorful future where everything is possible.

water, especially as it falls.
glen park in williamsville. the eternal flame near orchard park.
and of course, our falls. those powerful, majestic niagara falls.
american, bridal veil, horseshoe.
there is a time and place for modesty.
this here is not it.
i caution you, reveler, reader, worshipper. respect the water, respect gravity.

these falls, like nature, always, are unforgiving. that is their power, that is their beauty.

last week, i fell in love with stories of haunts. i used to discard them, but today, i relish their layers, and the dreams they hide.

on sunday, i madly loved the heat. it was easy – i was working, and had aircondition. and it reminded me of all my alaskan summers that barely made it above 62 degrees fahrenheit. so i fiercely loved me that sticky humid heat in elmwood village.

and almost every other day, i swear, i fall in love with a gesture, a smile, a voice, a character, an idiosyncrasy of niagara, of elmwood or buffalo or hydro-electric science or crazy cool art such as elevated beadwork.

i can fall in love with the way the sun hits the blinds and paints my room golden. the way the clouds obscure the sun at 8:22pm and paint the sky orange. the way the light hits the mist on luna island and conjures up fat vibrant rainbows, thick enough to sit on and let your legs dangle off.

the way the people around me are brave. like super brave. rappelling off the seneca casino brave. rolling down the falls in a barrel brave. balancing on a tightrope across the falls brave. starting fresh after losing everything brave. forgiving even the biggest jerk type of brave. putting dreams on hold so that babies have happy childhoods type of brave. loving after a broken heart kind of brave.

western new york is full of people like that. my family is full of people like that. my soul family: you are all people like that.

so no wonder i fall in love every day.

i challenge you, and i invite you, just for one week:

fall in love with something every day

By on | Human Nature, Joy | 0 Comments [Read More]

A Heart Full of Joy Has No Room for Fear

Fisherwoman’s Paradise

I had caught a nice trout and was wading amidst an army of pink salmon, when first a blond, then a cinnamon brown bear appeared to get lunch. They fished about 500 yards upriver from where I stood, grounded and glowing with excitement, assessing the situation and realizing I was neither mobile nor fast enough to run if the bear decided I was the better fish to catch.  I remember assessing the situation;  this was too precious a moment to worry, so what the heck, enjoy and trust that intuition will signal what moves will be best, and the universe will take care of the rest.

The bear pounced a bit here and there seeking the fattest Humpy, until it finally stared directly at me, and as I slowly lowered my gaze, I knew it was time to move. It allowed me to retreat slowly, continued to fish, but did not seem impressed with what the creek, a small jewel for trout and salmon along the Parks highway in South Central Alaska, had to offer.

A Waste of Heart Space

I pulled myself out of the stream, took my trout and two humpies, and a camera full of blurry, rainy shots of my “cinnamon girl”. Time to dance back through the alders to the spot where I had to ford through the creek once more, before I reverse-rappeled myself up the muddy slope to my car.
There is truly no need for fear. It is a waste of heart space.

Life happens, and it doesn’t care how we feel about it. We choose whether we are fearful, or joyful and excited during any of our life’s moments. It doesn’t change what is happening, but it does change how whatever happens will impact us.

We can choose. Fear, or less fear. The fuller we are with joy and excitement, the less room we have for fear and worry.

I love to choose joy.

By on | Alaska, Human Nature, Joy | 0 Comments [Read More]


and there, all of a sudden, it is.

a vacuum, where just two seconds ago, we took for granted that he is here, she is still with us, they are.

we see them in our minds alive. with radiant smiles, their voices strong and gentle, their eyes sparkling, beckoning us to share this moment of great joy of being alive, together.
and then no more.

how can we understand this?

the brain knows the facts of life, and death is one, but our minds and hearts have strings that play a tune to every soul we love, and it is a looping symphony, because in that sphere, the realm of affection, connection, there is no end, just more melodies and harmonies that we hum together every time we think of one another, reveling in memories of yesterday and plans for the day after tomorrow.
sometimes, life will give us a fair warning.  bodies become challengers, then enemies, there is struggle, we fight and prevail, but mortality knocks and there is time for what needs to be felt, and said, and walked through and talked through. and when the soul at one point says, “it is enough”, and moves on to a new adventure, we hurt, but prepared, and that’s hard enough.

but sometimes, those bright stars that sparkle in our lives just live with enthusiasm, boldly cultivating their values as they shine luminously, live as right as rain and change everyone else’s life in the process. and suddenly, no more.

we might only connect once, or briefly, and yet remember the moment fondly until we, too, close our eyes for good. there was a light when we needed it, or an idea that opened a door. there was a hand that pulled us through, or a shoulder to lean on just enough to catch our breath.

or we create a tribe, build forts of friendship, look up to one another and appoint each other as side kicks, have each other’s back, and build air castles from blueprints of brain storms. we push each other to new limits and reach new heights, sit with each other in darkness and comfort, allow our tears and screams to be swallowed by the soul sibling’s understanding silence, and because of them, we are okay.

or we are family by origin of blood and birth, and have an understanding of and bond with each other that is special to birth family and hard to replicate outside that realm. we know one another so well, take each other for granted, get along or not, but we’re family, and as such all limbs of one tree.
regardless how we are connected, our bond is something unifying and stabilizing, it roots us, grounds us, stretches and uplifts us and without it, we wouldn’t be us.

i don’t have a recipe for the pain that comes with loss.

i just know that this pain is so deep that it is better to let it be and not fight it. when it devastates us, it’s okay to walk with it. when anger kicks in, and it will, it’s okay to ride with the pain. there will be moments of acceptance, but without warning, the darkness that takes our breath away can be back with a vengeance, and it is good to cry when we can. definitely cry whenever we can. it will take time, but it will get better. in these dark hours and days it is important to be kind to ourselves, because the pain won’t be.

however, it is not our enemy. it is, like everything in life, an opportunity. again, no need to understand it all now. just trust that it will get better, and one day, acceptance will lift the veil of sadness, and what remains is the magnitude of the blessing the loved one is for us, until we, too, move on.

but today, when all we see is the tunnel, it helps to just take it one day at a time. there is no need to think further than the day after tomorrow. there is just the need to eat a little, breathe a lot, stretch, and try to rest.

and to love. the one who left, and to love ourselves.

although our grief is personal and individually unique, we are not alone.

we will get through this.

and just like a rainbow ends the thunderstorm, and spring melts winter, our joy will return.
one day.

give it time.

By on | Joy | 0 Comments [Read More]