Breast Cancer Behind Bars by Sue Allen


Ruth Jacobs

Guest post by Sue Allen

Photo credit: USAG Vicenza, Flickr Photo credit: USAG Vicenza, Flickr

It’s October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The world is pink. We race for the cure. We stand up to cancer. We support our loved ones battling or surviving the disease, but there is one population we never mention: women with breast cancer behind bars.

Imagine the feel of shackles on your ankles. Hard, cold steel does just what it’s supposed to do. It cuts into your ankles and restricts your movements to baby steps. Even when you are very careful, you wind up with blisters or ankles rubbed raw. The weight alone drags you down.

Now imagine handcuffs. They too are designed to restrict and they can chaff and cut, especially if the guard who cuffs you is having a bad day. His bad day becomes yours.

It’s two o’clock in the morning and the halls of the jail are…

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Dreams Come True: Tip Number Five


Dreams Come True:  Tip Number Five

Tip Number Five: Celebrate

This last tip is a reminder for me. I have a tendency to claim a dream and forget to celebrate or to share my “dream come true story” with others. Why? Probably because I was raised with the “be humble, never brag” advice given to protect me. It wasn’t ladylike to boast, be outspoken or even ask for what I wanted. In my family, we waited to be offered our secret desires. We made wishes and dreams and hoped someone else would make them come true.

Now, I know that dreams come true with the help of others. I’ve learned to both ask and accept help. I’m grateful to all those who encourage and support me along the way. Others have joined me in claiming this most recent dream of attending the Rose Bowl game and being a part of the Spartan fan team. To celebrate and share the excitement with others sweetens the success and expands the joy.

Thank you to all who have left replies and have sent private emails. Thank you to all who will share as their dreams come true! or as always, leave a reply here at the blog.

Dreams Come True: Tip Number Four


Dreams Come True:  Tip Number Four

Tip Number Four: Take Calculated Risks-Redefine Ready

When the dream seems ready to claim, be courageous and ready to live it. Even if it doesn’t seem “possible or practical”, or the right time, honor the opportunity. Look at it closely. I believe successful people take calculated risks. I think it’s smart to look inside to see if any challenges are real or just familiar fear. Maybe it’s like switching lanes in LA traffic-take a quick peek, and if the coast is clear, accelerate! Redefine ready and go for it. Hesitation can cause a huge traffic jam and regret.

On the Saturday Spartans championed over the Ohio State team, I knew my dream had surfaced. So many questions popped into my thinking. I had no idea how my husband and I would get tickets, or if they would be affordable, where we would stay, would $45 be too much to pay for a parking ticket, would a shuttle really be available. The answers came one step at a time; and, the next steps became apparent and doable. They led us to our seats where we watched the Spartans win the Rose Bowl title! The rest is history—we went, we loved it, and it is now a treasured memory.

What dream is waiting for you to claim? How will you know it’s the right time? Will you be courageous enough to look at the calculated risks and redefine ready?

As always, I’d love to hear about your dreams and encourage you to take action when you know it’s right. Email me privately:, or leave a reply for all to learn from and share.

Dreams Come True: Tip Number Three


Dreams Come True:  Tip Number Three

Tip One:      Create the Dream
Tip Two:      Envision the Dream
Tip Three:   Prioritze and Practice Patience

Tip Number Three:  Prioritize the dream and be patient .

While waiting for a dream to realize, keep it alive with patience and priorities.   Admittedly, during the 49 years I’ve waited for my chance to get to the Rose Bowl, there were times I grew discouraged.  The Spartans went in 1988; there were other priorities that needed attention.  We were fulfilling a more important dream-to be financially secure.  With a four year old, and with two older children working jobs to have what they needed, I knew the timing wasn’t right.  I needed to be patient and trust that I would have another chance.

Likewise, MSU teams and fans waited 26 years for a coach to come in with passion and patience to take time needed to build a winning team. Coach Dantonio waited 7 years for his Spartans to make it all the way to Pasadena.  I’m sure there were times of hope and times of disappointment.  He stayed true to his dream, and he stuck to his priorities.  His definition of a winning team would include players who were unified, strong, and respectful to a high standard of conduct.  Imagine his determination when he needed to remove his key defensive player for misconduct just days before the “big game”.   His strong and unified team came together. The last winning play of the game was made by the defensive player who stepped into the position for the Senior player removed for testing the definition of a winning team.  The Spartans were patient, they stuck to their priorities, and they earned the title of Rose Bowl Champs at the 100th Tournament of Roses.  What a great example for all of us!

As always, I would love for you to share with me privately at or publicly by leaving a reply below.  It encourages all of us when we can share times when priorities and patience have resulted in realized dreams.  We can all be winners on a Dream Team!

Dreams Come True: Tip Number One


Five Tips I learned from the Rose Bowl

Five Tips I learned from attending the 100th Rose Bowl Celebration

 Tip Number One:  Create the Dream.

I attended Michigan State University, and as a freshman and as a sophomore, the Spartans went to the Rose Bowl.  My roommates and many friends attended the big event. I made a vow that I would attend the Rose Bowl to watch the Spartans play in a National Championship game. That was in 1965. I didn’t know when, I didn’t know how, I just knew that I would “move mountains” to go when I could.  Well, the dream came true.  This New Year’s Day, 49 years later, I sat in the stands at the 100th Rose Bowl game and cheered for the Spartans, the underdogs, to play a great game.  Tears streamed down my face when I saw the marching band, the twirlers, and sang the fight song with 59,000 other Spartan fans.  It brought back memories and made some very special new ones.  My dream came true!  Yours can, too.

As always, you can leave a reply here at the blog post, or you can email me privately at  I would love to hear dreams already realized or those still waiting for you to claim.

Dreams Come True: Tip Number Two


Dreams Come True

Five Tips I learned from attending the 100th Rose Bowl Celebration

Tip Number Two: Envision the Dream

MSU Coach, Mark Dantonio, envisioned his dream of taking the Spartans to the Rose Bowl.  Last spring, he took several staff members to visit the Rose Bowl stadium.  He took a cell phone video of the field and captured words of encouragement so his team could see the stadium, see their presence there, and see them win the title of National Champions 2014.  His dream became their dream, and together they planned a path to success.

On a personal note,  I’ve watched the Rose Bowl parade every opportunity I could grasp, for as long as I can remember it being televised.  My children would probably attest that it was a tradition for me to have my coffee and get up early on New Year’s Day to be a part of the most creative expression I could imagine at the time.  I saw myself on the parade route, and five years ago, my husband and I ventured to LA to get even a peek at the floats and celebration. I had no idea if we could really get close enough or find a place along the parade route. And, we did!  That day, I re-vowed we would return to Pasadena when the Spartans won their way to play at the Rose Bowl Tournament of Roses.  And, we did!

I would love to join you in holding a space for your dreams yet to be realized.  As a life coach, my clients and I co-create dreams that might seem impossible to reach.  Mark Antonio reached one of his dreams, and you can, too!

As always, you can send me a private message at, or leave a reply here on the blog.

Day Twelve: The Twelve Days of Christmas for the Mentally Strong


Day Twelve: Celebrate every little step along the way. Mentally strong people are “in it for the long haul”. They know better than to expect immediate results; they understand that genuine change takes time.  I would bet they don’t wait to celebrate.  They recognize and appreciate the benchmarks of success along the way.

The holidays give each of us pause to reflect on our highest values.  We identify what is most important to us and clarify purpose and desires for a better tomorrow. New awareness about something we want for ourselves can be quick, dramatic, and long lasting.  We can decide on a new way to eat, to exercise, to save money, to take a vacation of a lifetime, or to spend time with the people really important to us.  Regardless, each new goal has many tiny steps to bring about the final prize. 

The challenge I would offer to all of us today, is to break down into tiny, achievable parts, any goal we want for ourselves.  Another challenge is to think about how we will celebrate each piece. 

I would love to hear what it is you are willing to claim for yourself, the breakdown of each step along the way, and how you will celebrate along the way.  Sharing our goals and plans to achieve them can be a powerful way to jump start the changes we want to take and practice the tenets of the mentally strong.