If you play by the rules, you miss all the fun!

I LOVE that I am fearless and refuse to live my life the way society dictates. Every morning I find joy in my love of life that has led me to adventures beyond what I ever thought possible.

Istanbul 2019

I woke up this morning and hit the yoga mat. I have immense gratitude that at 72 I am able to move every single part of my body without pain.

I sat down at my desk and finished editing my latest book, The Istanbul Conspiracy. I LOVE that I’ve been blessed with the gift of imagination and the ability to entertain and inspire.

When I take a my medications for heart/blood pressure, I give thanks to a world that has created drugs that have allowed a woman like me to continue living and loving even though I was given “6 months to live” in 2009!

And I take joy from my attitude in life: everything amazes, surprises, and delights me…simple things like the Istanbul cats, Starbucks coffee, caramel waffle cookies, and finding fresh lettuce for my salad at the corner store.

And I find joy — endless joy, in creativity: photography, writing my novels, reading, graphics, fashion, music. And style, like my new hair color. This is what happens when you don’t speak Turkish, your hairdresser doesn’t speak English — but he gets me!

I take joy in knowing I have two amazing sons in my life. We don’t always see eye-to-eye, but that’s okay. They are both just like me: strong-willed and on their own paths.

I’ve been through bankruptcies and divorces — make no comment about the plurals, please! But my stubborn determination to succeed means I’ve bounced back from both more times than I can remember and refuse to become hardened or bitter.

And at this moment in time, I have a very loving relationship with a guy who makes me laugh-out-loud and reminds me that I’m beautiful inside and out. He says that age is just a number to be ignored — ”It’s what’s in your heart that counts.”

Finally — although I’m sure I can come up with a lot more — I have a philosophy in life — many, actually, but I will share this one:

What you may not know about Paulo Coelho

If you’re having a hard time with your sense of direction, metaphorically, these Paulo Coelho Quotes can help you understand that perseverance, diligence, and faith in yourself are keys to getting what you want.

I love this piece from Paulo Coelho’s website: Link is on the bottom for the full posting.

Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho was born on August 24, 1947. He first expressed his interest in writing during his teens. Due to his introversion and his resolution to reject the traditional path, his parents committed him to a mental institution. He escaped three times before being released at age 20.

He briefly attended law school before dropping out and lived as a hippie during the 1960s where he mostly traveled. When he returned to Brazil, he worked as a songwriter; most notably collaborating with Brazilian icon Raul Seixas. This led to his arrest over allegations that his lyrics were rebellious.

His first book, Hell Archives, was published in 1982 though it failed to gain significant success. In the late ’80s, The Pilgrimage and The Alchemist were published. However, it was in 1994 that the latter became an international bestseller after being re-published. Since The Alchemist, he has been a hugely prolific writer. His works are a combination of autobiographies, fictions, and essay collections.

Often cited as one of the most influential contemporary authors, Coelho’s books combined have sold in hundreds of millions. His journey, as arduous and diverse as it was, is an excellent example of persistence in the name of passion.  http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2019/09/07/30-paulo-coelho-quotes-on-lifes-greatest-wonders/

Here’s a few of my favorites:

Everything tells me that I am about to make a wrong decision, but making mistakes is just part of life. What does the world want of me? Does it want me to take no risks, to go back to where I came from because I didn’t have the courage to say “yes” to life? – Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way. – Paulo Coelho, Brida

And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Sikh Politician Goes Viral For Calm And Powerful Response To Anti-Muslim Attack

A Canadian politician is winning praise on social media this week for his surprising response to a racist attack at Sunday’s MuslimFest in Mississauga. Gurratan Singh, who represents the Ontario district of Brampton East, went viral for declining to correct a man’s ignorant string of Islamophobic comments directed at him ― despite the fact he is not Muslim.

“I will never respond to an Islamophobe by stating, ‘I am not a Muslim,’” the Sikh politician tweeted.

“Instead, I will always stand with my Muslim brothers and sisters and say hate is wrong.”

In the video of the incident, which has been viewed more than 1.2 million times since it was posted on Sunday, Singh condemns the man’s Islamophobic comments and tells him it has “no place in Canada.”

“It’s not hate, it’s the truth buddy,” the man says at one point, denying repeatedly that he’s a racist. “What about sharia? Political Islam? You’re hiding bud. I’ll debate you anytime.”

The man in the video is Stephen Garvey, the leader of a minor federal political party called the National Citizens Alliance (NCA) which is known for its anti-immigration policies.

NCA streamed the same incident live to Facebook, stating “National Citizens Alliance’s agenda is Canadian First, and opposition to political correctness and third world migrant populism.”

Singh’s brother, leader of the federal New Democratic Party Jagmeet Singh, famously told a heckler he loved and supported her in response to racist remarks in 2017.

Check out the video. Wow!!

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/sikh-canadian-politician-viral-anti-muslim-attack_n_5d6dbf26e4b09bbc9ef36baf

My comments:

In my trip to India this year, I was overwhelmed with emotion when I visited a Sikh temple in New Delhi. I was so totally unprepared for the love and the kindness of the people that I started to cry. It was one of the most profound moments of my life. There is no room for racism in this world. We are all one.

Sikh Temple New Delhi
Thousands of free meals are made and distributed daily to anyone who is hungry.

Reasons why Istanbul should be #1 on your Bucket List

How I ended up in this city is pure serendipity. But here I am and I LOVE it.

  • Everyday I learn more and more. 17M people live here, but it feels like any other city in the world, only more historical and beautiful. Let me tell you why I love it.You walk amongst historical sites like it’s part of everyday life. Take a look at this view. The Blue Mosque is in the foreground and the Hagia Sophia in the background. If you make an arrow straight from the left of this photo over the Bosphorus Strait, that’s where I live. It’s a 15 minute tram ride to the Blue Mosque.
The Blue Mosque at night
  • The Old City Walls are intact and can be seen in various forms all around the city. Imagine driving on ultra modern bridges and highways, with a view of the Theodosian Walls of Constantinople that saved the city many a time during its wars against the Avars, the Tartars, the Russians, and the Bulgarians.

Photo Bob Phillips thank you! Fine Art America

  • The food is fun, delicious, nutritious, and colorful! And I LOVE the chocolates!!
Fish Sandwiches under the Galata Bridge
  • The mix of old and new is felt in both the architecture, the culture, and the Islam religion. The unique ability for a 96.4% Muslim country to live side by side with all religions and cultures is felt in the welcoming nature of the people. As a secular woman I dress in my comfortable secular attire, and walk side by side with fully robed and casually attired Muslim women. There is no criticism, nor evil eyes, only nods of recognition that we are all one.
  • I LOVE the Call to Prayer, the Muslim tradition of the Quran prayer that reminds the devout five times a day, to stop what he/she is doing and say a prayer. Most of us have a belief in a Higher Power. It’s expressed by a variety of religions and ideologies, but the tenets are the same: We are all one and God is Love.

I was given a second chance at life in 2008 and I am determined to make the most of it! LOVE the Beat Goes On

Thank you for following my blog and I hope I gave you a small taste of life in Istanbul, Turkey.

Why did it hurt so much?

What was the most difficult thing you had to deal with after writing and publishing your personal story or memoir?

To understand what I’m about to reveal, let me explain that in 2008 I was given 6 months to live! I was diagnosed with a heart condition that I didn’t know I had but the symptoms had been with me for at least a year. After months of treatment and absolutely no improvement, the doctors told me to “get my affairs in order”—and they weren’t referring to my love life!

Writing LOVE The Beat Goes On was the most amazing experience for me, and yet, so highly personal and revealing. I cried a lot and laughed too. There’s a great quote I read after I published it: When you write a memoir, there’s no place to hide. I also read a comment about memoirs that said there is rarely truth in a memoir. Two very differing points of view and both equally correct.

The book won medals, and was chosen as a Book of the Month club selection, and read by groups, and sits at 4.5 Stars in the top 25 of Amazon Health, Fitness books. BUT, I got one super hurtful nasty review. The writer compared me to Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat Pray Love which I loved, but the review said basically that I (and Liz) was a woman of passion and privilege. I can’t argue the passion, but what hurt so much was the “privilege.”

My immediate thoughts went to my upbringing. My Dad was a military guy with all the challenges of returning from war. He drank, he smoked and I only recall bad times that ended in arguments between my mom and him. I also remember bearing the brunt of his anger and leaving the supper table daily in tears. But those times helped me become independent and self-sufficient.

We moved every three years—I still have difficulty staying in one place and forming attachments—including marriages. I found out I divorce very well. I had my first job at the age of 11, washing hair in a beauty salon on the weekends. And I worked my butt off my entire life—built businesses, lost them, and kept on going. Hardly a privileged life.

I don’t say these things for pity. I don’t believe in self-pity or blame. I mention them as facts. The same way I might smile when I buy a new pair of shoes. When I was a kid, I got a new pair of shoes when there was a hole in the sole and the cardboard that blocked the hole didn’t work anymore.

This was the only life I knew. And I learned from it. I came away strong and independent and determined to make a place for myself in the world. I brought up my boys, I supported my family, and when fate gave me 6 months to live, I never ever gave up my belief that I could and would heal myself.

It’s okay to dislike my personal story or not feel hope and inspiration for the way I fought through those challenges and defied the doctors’ diagnoses. But the personal attack, that was so painful. It brought back a ton of memories, you know, those deeply buried bad things that you never tell anyone!

When you write about your life, you will always be scrutinized. And let me tell you, it’s really hard not to take it personally. But the good news is, I get emails almost daily from people that have been inspired or are suffering from the same condition as I was, and I know I’ve made a difference in their lives. And for that, I would tell my story over and over again.

Thanks for asking.

Answered in Quora


How to be unforgettable

How did Toni Morrison influence your life?

At this time in my life as I’ve allowed myself to fall in love againI would say her words on love touch my soul in profound ways.

Every great author and some who never achieve world-wide acclaim has affected our lives in a multitude of ways. Toni Morrison’s work is in a class by itself. Maybe right up there with Maya Angelou.

I will let her words speak to you in honor of her memory.

“Love is or it ain’t. Thin love ain’t love at all.”

“Something that is loved is never lost.”

“To get to a place where you could love anything you chose, not to need permission for desire, well now that was freedom.”

“Love is divine only and difficult always. If you think it is easy you are a fool. If you think it is natural you are blind.”

It is the courage of authors like Toni that have opened their hearts and bared their souls, that gave me the guts to write the stories that I write. My memoir LOVE The Beat Goes On is so personal and revealing it took me years before I would publish it.

“Make up a story. For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don’t tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief’s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear’s caul.” Toni Morrison

So I went on and wrote about a 50 year-old-woman and her 20-year-old lover in Target in the Sun. And then I exposed the lives of several male prostitutes in Mexico writing in the first person as Layla, in Lie To Me, again opening myself to major criticism, but also an award for Contemporary Fiction Social Issues.

It’s not easy to reveal yourself because that’s what I do when I write. Yes, my books are “fiction” but as in the current Daniel Silva book The New Girl, our stories are often based on fact. Some hide it better than others.

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  Toni Morrison

This sums it up for me:

Lynda Filler photographer

Answered on Quora

I’m Alive!

 

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It’s that time of year, again! Happy Mother’s Day! I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy in early 2008! After many months at 28% EF, there was no improvement although the shortness of breath and what felt like heart attack seemed under control with meds.

The doctors told me at best I’d need a transplant but basically the last words were “get your affairs in order.” This photo was taken a few days ago in Istanbul Turkey. This year I sold everything and decided to travel and visit all the places I write about in my books! I’m now in my fourth month!! I’ve written my personal story it’s available on Amazon LOVE the Beat Goes On, and has inspired many! But I’m writing this to let you know not to give up hope!!!

I went to work with a shaman in Arizona in 2008. I never had a transplant nor any operations. The last thing I did before I started this trip was to visit my cardiologist in Puerto Vallarta where I lived. He said “you will always have some left bundle blockage but your heart is functioning at 86% normal! And it’s been that way for several years! Live and enjoy your life!”

This is what I wish for all of you!

 

These Are The Heroes Who Chased Off The Poway Synagogue Gunman

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The words of the Rabbi are riveting and stunningly beautiful in the message he delivers to the world. Please watch the video link for the message it delivers to all of us no matter what faith we practice.

An Army veteran, an off-duty Border Patrol officer and an Israeli war veteran are credited with coming to the rescue during the deadly California shooting.

An Army veteran, an off-duty Border Patrol officer and an Israeli war veteran are credited with coming to the rescue in Saturday’s deadly shooting inside a California synagogue that left one woman dead and three others injured.

 

The three men were attending services inside the Chabad of Poway when authorities say 19-year-old John Earnest, armed with a rifle, entered the lobby and opened fire, fatally shooting 60-year-old Lori Gilbert-Kaye in front of her husband and daughter.

 

“I turned around and I’m face-to-face with this murderer ― terrorist ― who was holding a rifle and looking straight at me,” Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein recalled on NBC’s “Today” show. “And then as soon as he saw me, he started to shoot toward me, and that’s when I put my hands up and then my fingers got blown away.”

 

Video here. Huffington Post

 

 

When did terrorism become the new normal? First hand report from Tel Aviv March 15, 2019.

I was in the kitchen making coffee. I’ve never heard air raid sirens before but I knew instinctively what I was witnessing.

I arrived in Tel Aviv on Sunday, March 5th, from Jerusalem. Those of you who are following me know I recently left Mexico, my home of several years, to travel through the USA, into Europe, India, Turkey and now Israel. You also know I’m a writer. What you might not know, if you haven’t read LOVE The Beat Goes Onmy memoir–I’m also a great believer in visualization–but usually, it’s the good kind!

I always wanted to make an amazing trip like this, but I never took my thoughts seriously until this past year. Part of it was the desire to visit countries I’ve read and written about; and the other part was to follow a journey my heart has wanted to take for a long time. A journey into self.

Everyone kept saying: Why do you want to go to the Middle East? It’s dangerous. Watch out for terrorists!

My response to that might be, why take a trip anywhere in the world, or even the USA, today? I’m not even referring to 9/11 which was horrific in every way, but how about the Las Vegas mass shooting? It seems there isn’t any place safe in the United States. So why make a blanket statement about the Middle East?

I did acknowledge that the Middle East has issues. But I was totally unprepared for New Delhi. I like to think I’m well educated and aware of events happening around the globe. After all, I do write a thriller, action, suspense series, Code Raven. I’ve covered terrorism, trafficking, cartels, abductions, the refugee crisis, and many other current affairs and issues we face today. But to land at the Delhi Airport and witness the police barriers casually located everywhere throughout this amazing city, brings a whole new meaning to the word terrorism.

Unfortunately you quickly become immune to it. If you’re a world traveler, you are familiar with airport security. But that similar level of security is visible at every hotel in New Delhi and most tourist attractions. Cars are checked underneath, and trunks are opened. Handbags, backpacks, and luggage go through detectors. I had to pass through a screening process to enter my hotel, any time of the day or night. An Indian friend of mine explained it this way: “Terrorism is a fact of life in India. Pakistan, our neighbour, is the home of terrorism.”

Which brings me back to the purpose of this blog. I’m a strong believer in visualization. Last summer while visiting my son in Paris, I jokingly said I could live out of a suitcase. And now I am! When my friends and acquaintances told me to be careful on my journey, I jokingly responded: “Hah! With my luck, they’ll probably be dropping bombs in Israel when I get there!”

As usual, there is conflict in Jerusalem, especially at the Western Wall, where I was staying in the Old City. But I didn’t know that. It’s not widely reported in the news. And whatever was reported in the Times of Israel, I glanced over never thinking it would affect me. However incidents were happening while I was there and the military actually closed the Damascus Gate, my entrance to the 800-year-old house I was renting, on the morning I left to come to Tel Aviv!

But nothing prepared me for the reaction I felt to the air raid sirens going off last night in Tel Aviv.

It was surreal. In some strange way, it felt like I was in the middle of a movie set. My apartment is on the 6th floor in the artsy district of Tel Aviv, and I could look out and see many other buildings, plus the street and the emergency vehicles racing down the thoroughfares. I stood transfixed by the sound and witnessed many others on their balconies looking towards the skyline. I watched several jumbo jets ascending going to faraway places, leaving Israel behind. And then I heard the explosion! I stood transfixed. No smoke rose up. No one moved from their patios. Television screens continued whatever shows were being streamed. Life stood still, and at the same time, life went on…

For many Israelis who were in Tel Aviv in 2014, air raid sirens are not a new thing. But I don’t generally enter war zone territories as a daily event in my life. Unfortunately, my powerful mind did visualize this event. Or maybe the mental/emotional part of my mind, could feel it coming. Either way, like one Twitter friend, said, in response to my tweet, “I bet she felt safe in Tel Aviv.” And she was right. Although my body was stressed, my mind was calm. I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be, and I would be safe.

It’s the morning after. I sent a lot of messages last night to friends I’ve made in Turkey, Dubai, India, Canada, and Mexico. No one knew what I was talking about. TWO ROCKETS LAUNCHED INTO TEL AVIV, ISRAEL WAS NOT REPORTED IN THE INTERNATIONAL NEWS.

When did acts of war become so mundane that they were not worthy of coverage? I guess if you don’t have bodies strewn on airstrips, or shopping mall floors, or rock concert stadiums, no one cares.

When did terrorism become the new normal?

STREET ART TEL AVIV MARCH 2019

Please read this…it might save someone…

Do you believe in miracles?

I got another message today on one of my videos on my Heart ❤️.

Some of you who are new to my world don’t know that basically I was supposed to die in 2008-9. I had a dilated heart that was barely functioning and having heart attacks for months without realizing what was happening!! I dumb down the explanation because it was such an incredible and life-altering time that I can barely write about it without crying! Anyways I told very few people but one of the people who helped me at that time was Jay D Davis who has been a great supporter of my current journey.

You see, every single breath I take since that time is a miracle. That’s why I’m doing this trip! That’s why I left my life in Mexico and am traveling to places I’ve only dreamed of seeing… And that’s also why I have no set destination. Every day is a gift.

That’s also why I choose happiness over sadness no matter what goes on around me. I choose LOVE as my highest value, and love my life so intensely—-every single moment is a miracle. Yes, I wrote the story and from the comments I receive I know it has helped thousands. Maybe you, or someone you know needs to hear my story and know in your heart ❤️ to never, ever give up!!!

Yes, I believe in miracles because I am one.

Here’s my story. If you’re reading this, maybe you or someone near to you needs to hear my story. LOVE the Beat Goes On You can read it for free on Kindle Unlimited on Amazon.

WESTERN WALL JERUSALEM MARCH 2019