Back at work!

I went back to work yesterday and it’s the perfect job for me! I am head fairy godmother and executive director at the Fairy Godmother Connection! We’ll have non-profit status really soon, and I have another post coming soon that fills in the dots and gives links and all that good marketing stuff.

In the meantime, if you want to know what else I’ve been up to, try googling  “choosethesmiles” and see what you find! If it isn’t a dentist it’s likely something I’ve been involved with! There are a few things searchable under “Bonnie Cohen” as well – like I was on the radio again this morning, and you can check it out right here!

Stay tuned!!

The Story of Bob

Dear Humans:

There is a microbe on your left foot that I’ve named Bob.

Bob is smaller than your current state of perception will allow you to see, but Bob is actually there.


Ponder, for a moment – what must Bob think of you? Can Bob imagine you, in your entirety? Can Bob know your hopes and passions and reasons for doing anything you do?

How much of the YOUniverse can Bob grok?

You don’t really know anything about Bob either, but you’ve been told that Bob is bad, so you do your duty and do your best to remove the likes of Bob, at regular intervals.

You trust the experts.

Think for a moment of all the showers you take and all of the cleansing products you use – they are designed specifically to remove Bob from the YOUniverse. Think of all the resources you use to deal with the likes of Bob.

What about what Bob wants and needs?

Now, look up. Look up at the sky and think about what you see. Is the sun out? Or are the stars? Maybe clouds are obscuring the view?

Remember for a moment, that you and Bob are living on a tiny rock that is sloshing through space at thousands of miles per hour around a big ball of fire – which is hurdling through space around much bigger rocks and bigger balls of fire than you can see from there.

The sun is always “out” and the stars are always “out” – just sometimes your experience of them is blocked – by clouds, or the position of the rock you’re standing on, or even by other rocks.

Now think about the people that dictate the rules of how to move around on the rock you’re standing on. Did the people making the rules ask you or Bob for your input? Could they hear you? Can you see the imaginary lines they’ve drawn upon the rock? Can you see the labels they’ve stuck on you, or on Bob?

Do you think you understand the scope of the broader known Universe any better than Bob understands the scope of you?

How can any one individual know what’s going on from all the other perspectives? Would Bob’s cousin Ida, living between your toes, have a different outlook on things? Or how about Roger that lives inside that micro-fissure on the bottom of your foot? Or Jane that lives inside of your stomach?

Could we blame Jane for not understanding Roger’s experience? or Ida’s?

Should we?

Should be blame people that have the viewpoints they do? What if their experience of the bigger picture is being obscured and pulled by forces we can’t see?

What if their limited, narrow, view of reality is such that their reasoning resonates as universal truth – because their experience of the universe is that limited.

Should we blame them? Or forgive them because they know not what they do to the bigger picture?

If we showed them the part of the zoomed-out bigger picture they were missing, could they see it too? Or have so much cognitive dissonance that they’d spook, and snap back to hyper zoomed-in?

Would they go and break off the zoom options to keep themselves “safe”? What does that mean for you? What does it mean for Bob?

E-mail is so old, it’s new again!


I’m back on the road after spending the winter with a friend up in Portland, Oregon. I was pretty sick after 11 months on the road (eating opportunistically, off all supplements, not resting enough) and needed to be housed for a while. I’m much better now, and my lungs are clear :-)

It’s so much easier to be there for others when I’m well. I’m so grateful for that time! I wrote a lot,  colored, made a lot of medicine-soup, saw assorted healers, and brainstormed about connecting with all the people following my journey.


I concocted my own supplement that my friend spooned into empty capsules for me. They’re filled with organic turmeric, black pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, garlic, and “memory” mushroom powder. It cost all of about $2 to make 250 pills. So, I’m back on a supplement, and I’m pretty happy with it :-)

I learned from a healer that breathing in fully and deeply is effortless when I breathe out fully first. I didn’t know I hadn’t been.

Letting go of that which does not serve me gives me space to accept new things that might. This applies to breath and everything else.

I also learned that email is a powerful way of keeping connected with people.

I’d stopped updating here because I felt like I was speaking into a vacuum and I didn’t feel it was worth the effort to polish work no one was going to see. I was writing a book and stopped for the same reason. I started posting more on Facebook, and then my posts got filtered by the algorithms, and people weren’t see everything there anymore.

I looked around at my options and remembered Amanda Palmer talking about building a following using email lists…


So I started sending out personal emails with updates. I just sent out the third one and I’m getting lots of great feedback!

It’s slow going, reaching out to people to get current contact info, and I’m managing it all from an iPhone – but it’s been so great to connect with everyone! This feels right.

You can join the fun by sending me an email at choosethesmiles [at] gmail [dot] com, and you can leave at anytime.

Note, that’s also the email for my paypal account, or you can just click here. If I’ve written anything anywhere that has opened something up for you, or  you’d just like to contribute back to me – that’s one way to do it! I use that account to keep my own belly and gas tank full enough that  I can keep on giving.

Peace and hugs!



Fear of grief is paralyzing. Grief just plain sucks.


17 years.

In 7 years, I’ll be as old as you were when you died, Dad.

As together as I feel most of the time, there’s a timey wimey thing that happens around this date that always pulls me right back to that day. Maybe it always will.

It’s usually hard on this day, and I usually fight it.

Today, though, there’s no fight in me. Just acceptance.

I’ve lived so much since you’ve been gone. I’m in a good place now – ready to feel everything I couldn’t feel that day and let my heart do what it needs to do. Let the pain melt off the calluses from so much loss and let the poison flow out through my tears so it can actually heal. The calluses build to dull the pain, but also restrict the flow of bliss.

I miss bliss.

This is a gift to future-me. To next year me. And all the years after.

So today, I looked into that old dad-shaped void – that is now old enough to drive.

You know what I saw when I looked into the void?





Not pain. Not sorrow. Nothing broken.

I didn’t hear the sirens – I heard the jingle of the keys to the orange 1979 AMC Spirit you gave me when I was 16.

I didn’t hear your last breaths – I heard you yelp when I was little and you were teaching me to ride a bike and I got scared and panicked and hit the brake and you hurt your back. I felt my shame about hurting you like that, and saw the look in your eye when you realized how scared and hurt I’d been.

I didn’t see your lifeless grey skin – I saw you happy and smiling and sitting in your chair telling me about the amazing deal you just got on your new cell phone – and how we could talk to each other as much as we wanted for free.

I felt my happiness when I’d see your name pop up on my big fat flip phone, and how proud you were of the deal I negotiated for the extra battery because mine kept dying.

I heard your happy bark of throaty laughter.

The void wasn’t a void, or a poisonous pit of flesh-melting regret, or anything that could pierce and shatter a heart. The void was created by my fear of my grief. The void was my unwillingness to accept life without my father and best friend. When I was willing to feel what there was to feel, the void vanished and left reality behind. It left memories, both sweet and sad and funny and mad.

It was great to have you as my dad, Dad – thanks for supporting me and giving me shelter and helping me navigate the first parts of my life. All of that would have been a lot harder without you, and I am grateful we had so much time together. My life would be very different today if you’d lived longer, but I am really happy and I love who I am and how I turned out.

You can come visit me in my dreams now – it won’t hurt me anymore to have you pop up randomly. It was even great to see you on my news feed today. Other people are missing you too and they posted about it.

And now I’m laughing with tears in my eyes, trying to imagine explaining Facebook to my father.

Fear of grief is paralyzing. Grief just plain sucks.

But, it seems, if you let grief flow through you freely when it needs to, it leaves a tender place inside that feels good and warm when you visit it.

That’s good to know. Thanks for the lesson, Dad! I love you too.

This isn’t funny

This is long, read it anyway.

I’m not my usual self these last few days. Something about the last group of shootings broke something in me.

“Someone” clearly needs to do something. What that something IS? I don’t know. Anything done will simply be drops in an ocean until there’s enough volume and momentum to make a wave.

Every time there’s a tragedy people are quick to judge this ”someone” for not doing something, but…

…who is this “someone” that we think is supposed to be doing something anyway?

I had a piece of art in my house growing up that had a Lily Tomlin quote on it, “I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.”

So I knew I was “somebody”, but I still waited for the “real” experts to handle it – since they’d know what to do. When “something” needed to be done my first instinct was to look around for an “expert” to handle it, or at least someone more “adult” than me. I’m 43 and I STILL do that. I used to think experts were specially anointed people that knew everything they’d need to know about a thing. I grew up thinking that the experts made the rules that ran the world.

I was wrong.

Was that funny? I want to hide behind snark here, but this isn’t funny. It’s time we started telling the truth about the world we’re in instead of hiding worrying about being cool or funny. We CAN have “nice things” but we have to start telling it like it is and feeling the impact of our reality.

What to do then?

The first step in changing anything is accepting where we are – and it isn’t pretty.

Keeping our focus on the level of state and country has gotten us this far, so maybe we start by looking up and zooming out. Maybe if we see that we are tiny creatures on an enormous rock that’s hurdling through space – see that safety is a matter of perspective, maybe we’ll see we’re all in this together. Maybe we could even collectively cultivate enough curiosity and love in our thoughts that fear waves will be nullified. Maybe then stranger-danger will no longer be a thing – and without fear of strangers, there’d be no waves of terror.

Maybe we’ve gotten as far as we can visualizing world peace.

Maybe access to world peace is through inner peace? How many of us have a practice of inner peace beyond taking a few deep breaths? Maybe we also need to zoom in and start cultivating insight into the realms we don’t talk about. Maybe it’s time to start talking about inner peace like it’s something important, and something we can’t buy or get from an expert, or a bottle, or pill. Maybe it isn’t even something we can define, maybe it just a sense that you have or don’t have.

People filled with inner peace do not seek to destroy the peace of others – they value it and do what they can to protect it and support others in having it.

People filled with inner peace don’t go around killing people, even if they own warehouses filled with guns and ammunition.

Guns don’t kill people. Fear, shame, hate, lies. anger, stranger-danger, ignorance, and pain? They do.

I have a deep practice of cultivating insight and spending my days in mindful meditation, but I’m not exactly living a typical life. I have no kids or pets and no job to maintain, and last year I gave up my home and most of my worldly possessions.

Until a few years ago I was anxious and depressed and filled with fear and “static” most of the time, but I took slow deliberate steps to change that balance. It took a long time to notice the impact, but now I’m really sensitive to it and it doesn’t take much work to maintain. It still takes something to keep negative ripples from spreading at times, but I never really lose my feeling of inner peace. That was unpredictable, and I’m incredibly grateful for that.

What if everyone that wanted to live filled with inner peace had free and accessible conduits for doing that – and maintaining it?

My path isn’t likely to work for you, so what will? What can you do from where you are with what you have to build a better world, starting with your own?

Could we look at strangers as friends we haven’t met yet, and choose to wish them things like days filled with smiles and love and peace and abundance and bliss? Could we embrace people and tell them that they are enough, and wanted and lovable and visible and worthy and everything else people learn to fear they aren’t? That’s what I do, but that’s what works for me.

What works for you?

Could we focus on what brings us joy and seek it and cultivate it and seek accessible conduits for it? Could we give people airtime every day for doing KIND things for their fellow humans, and make that shit cool? What else could we do?

What can you do?

It’s time for the “silent majority” to start talking to each other and start eradicating stranger-danger. It’s the most dangerous kind of weapon, and they keep using it against us. What would it take to stop letting the fear win? Could we feel our fear and shame and butterflies and awkwardness and say what there is to say, and ask what there is to ask anyway?

You are somebody, and you are worthy, and you are enough. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you live or what you’ve done in your lifetime (yes, including that thing when you were a kid) – if you want to have inner peace and are willing to do the work to get it, you are worthy of having it.

The state of being connected and having inner peace is our natural state of being. There are so many modalities that restore it – it must be. We know that stress and fear and all that other stuff is toxic to our health – so it makes sense that we evolved without it. Many people simply accept stress as a normal part of their day. Maybe you do that. I used to do that.

Why do we do that?

You are somebody. There’s no right way of doing this. Your inspiring words, your own self-expression or art or your music, or your hugs or smiles or good deeds are valid and worthy of sharing with the world. Go forth and cultivate connection and create ripples for peace!

You waiting for instructions? Fine. I’m not an expert, but that’s never stopped me from telling people what to do. Spend time every day looking at the content of the thoughts in your head. Don’t judge them, just notice what you think and what you react to. Cultivate skills in communicating though “languages” we all share.

Spread passion and curiosity and kindness and love and joy and bliss like they cost nothing. Cultivate curiosity and creativity. Indulge in things that make you feel good deep down in your gut and share your experiences with others. Talk about the ideas in this post and see what you come up with with your friends from your worlds. Share your recipe for a kinder, gentler world. It’s ok if you don’t know how it’ll turn out – none of us do!

When it comes to creating something we’ve never seen before, anyone willing to try is an expert and anything that gets us closer to it is a triumph. You’re an expert, and you’re somebody, and you’re worthy. YOU, the person reading this.

Somebody has to do something. What are YOU going to do to help us get closer to a world with more peace?

I wrote this.

It’s your turn.

Best Job Ever!

  I’m a Sock Fairy! :-) 

I’ve been traveling for nearly 11 months now and doing a needs assessment as I go. I have a Master’s degree in Social Work and a car, so I collect resources to help out those living much rougher than me. The biggest request? Warm, dry socks. Preferably new men’s hiking socks, but any socks – even worn-out unmatched socks with holes in the toes, are better than cold wet feet. 

Warm, dry socks are like hugs for feet – so I started collecting socks and giving them to people that desperately want them. It’s heartbreaking and heartwarming work to make someone’s day with something so small – and I want to do it full time! 

There’s so much need I’m usually out of socks though :-( 

A friend suggested I start a crowd funding campaign to buy more socks, but socks are pretty cheap and I need an endless supply…My graduate training tells me that I should start a non-profit so I can give tax deductions to corporations, but that takes time. 

So I’m looking at immediate and sustainable solutions, and taking suggestions and donations. 

Want to help? Share this post! Spread the word! Clean out your sock drawers, go be Sock Fairies!  Tell your friends that there’s a need out there for socks, hold a sock collection drive. Don’t donate them to Goodwill or other charities that sell what you donate though – get them directly to those that need them. I’m happy to be your conduit for that, just send me an email and we’ll work it out. You can also send me money to buy socks – even a dollar or two helps, socks aren’t expensive! My PayPal account is the same as my email

Can we love each other without rules or need or obligation or squashing?

I love you.

I want to be connected to you. Being connected to you gives me a conduit for connecting to myself, and therefore to the world. I feel that switch go on for me when I’m in your presence, which turns on my ability to love myself. It’s easier for me to see and love your brilliance than my own (because I have more tools to see you), but mine mirrors yours, so in you I see both of us.

The only thing for you to do is not be afraid of looking in the mirror.

I am self-sustaining. I do not need you to be my rock, or my wall, or a pillar of strength or shield me. I have grown up strong; I do not need those things to feel protected anymore – even on days when I feel weaker than I am.

You aren’t really any of those things anyway.

I do not need you. Can you be with that? Can you be with me, knowing that I want to be with you, with no “because”? Can you be with me knowing that I want nothing from you? Who you are is enough. There are roles in my life I like to have filled, yes, but I don’t need you to fill them.

Can you be you in my presence, without needing to do anything for me?

Can you be with all of the echoes of your inner children chattering inside your head and not get lost in the mix? Do you have a sense of the fully functioning adult I’ve always known and always loved and always respected? Can you fully love every inch of you (not do you, but can you) so that it doesn’t hurt when I love you?

Can you be with me as I grow and transform? Can you be with knowing the person you knew yesterday (or five minutes ago) is gone forever? Can you be my companion on my journey when it works for both of us, and be ok with it when I want to walk alone for a while? Can you walk on your own then, and not wait for me?

Can you be with me and not need me as your rock, or your wall, or pillar of strength or shield for you?

Can we be fully separate people enjoying companionship and affection without needing to complicate it with a sexual entanglement?

Can we love each other for the sake of love without rules or need or obligation or squashing?

Can we hug and cuddle like children and frolic and play like puppies together? Can we make music and sing songs and bang on pots and pans with sticks and splash and play in the ocean together, and learn to wear joy together?

Can we embrace the all of the love and all of the affection with none of the stuff that doesn’t work for us? Can we just spend time being connected together in love and let it nourish each other?

What would be possible if we did?